Summary: Shouldn't Heechul get what he wants? He wants Kyuhyun to come back sooner.
Word count: 2,915
A/N: fanfic. what is fanfic…? lol how do I usually do things around here again? kidding, kidding. so, this is for unactivist , Michele, my love. it is an ungodly hour and I finally finished this fic. in one sitting, no less, because it came to me like an ocean wave of blasphemous inspiration! I still can't believe that I wrote something this long after such a long period of uninspired-ness. guess that just happens. I LOVE YOU, MICHELE, HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR, HAVE THIS THING. yes, I will finish your Glee fic, too! ♥
"Take a hike," Heechul says as Kyuhyun starts putting his scarf back on. His mom bought it online, on sale, and let it take away her nice shiny penny. The boy is sixteen and sorry for showing up. It's not going to stop him from coming back another time, though. It's the day after Christmas; maybe the holidays are just one of those kinds of seasons that piss Heechul off more than usual. He knows that neither of them are going to apologize, so he leaves quietly, for fear of Heechul turning around to finish what they never started before Kyuhyun could get out.
Kyuhyun doesn't like walking. In fact, he doesn't like gravity, either. Without it, maybe he could leave faster. Leaving wouldn't need walking; he could just leave, easy as that. He still hates it. His feet are too big at sixteen and his legs are too thin. He's on the track team and everything, yet still, his legs are sticks. Hie body defies the law of everything, and Heechul sometimes uses that to his advantage. Bird Legs, get the fuck out of my way. Why do I waste my time on you?
Sadly, Kyuhyun knows inside that that's just how Heechul shows his affection when he's really, really happy. That, or Kyuhyun cannot read signals. The second option is likely, but less likely to be believed and understood by Kyuhyun himself. He's cynical, but analytical. He knows that Heechul actually loves him.
He's halfway down the block when he glances back up at the fourth floor. Sure enough, Heechul is watching. He watches the ground like he owns every inch, including the sixteen year old boy with the scrap of warmth his mommy dearest bled green for.
Heechul likes the kid. Kyuhyun is an amalgam of everything that is wrong and right with boys these days. It's one of those kinds of things that only select people can truly appreciate. Through the wall, Heechul can always hear him practicing in the apartment next door. Clarinet or voice, it sounds perfect enough to someone who loves him more than necessary. The ones who love the most are the ones that see the flaws and still think they look damn good.
The good thing is that Kyuhyun wouldn't always be sixteen.
"I'm waiting," Heechul says, throwing a rubber ball against the wall. He let it bounce back every time; every single time. Donghae wouldn't always get it. Waiting for what? "It's not time yet."
"Why do you always say that?" asks Donghae, cross-legged on the bed. He's only had to doge once today.
"Because it's true."
"It doesn't make much sense, hyung."
Heechul stops throwing. He catches. He smiles. "Too cryptic for you, huh?"
Donghae doesn't nod, his head twitches. "Yeah. That."
He throws it, and Donghae catches without an issue. Sports: Good for reflexes. "I'm a complex man, little boy."
"I'm not little."
"I know," Heechul says, probably patronizing on the outside. Smiling with his insides, he pats Donghae on the head. "I don't think you would understand, though. It's more complex than I am. What I've been talking about—waiting for—I mean. It would be as complex as me, but there's a twist."
Donghae is so confused that he's rubbing at his eyes so Heechul won't read his face.
"Someday, you are going to get what you want. That day will be sooner than when I get what I want, though. So, I want you to cherish the fact that you will win for that certain time frame."
"Why are you talking like that?" Donghae leaves his eyes alone and plants his feet against the wood floor of Heechul's room, his bottom still perched at the edge of the bed.
"Because it's the truth. Remember that stuff, the truth?" Heechul says. "Someday, I'll be dead and gone, and that'll be years before—never mind."
Donghae stands up. Heechul is on the floor. "Do I need to call—"
"Hyung—Heechul, I'm sorry, but I should go now."
The frustration catches in his veins. "Don't call me that!"
"I'm sorry, hyung."
Donghae leaves. Heechul isn't fast enough—he tries the doorknob, but he can't. Maybe it's a mental thing. No, of course it's a mental thing. But he can't do it. And they're talking on the other side of the door, he knows they are. They'll come in later to talk, to ask him how he's feeling, or to ask him what he was trying to tell Donghae before. It's almost like having parents every waking moment in his face, with only an hour or two to himself.
Down at the bottom of his chest, somewhere near his heart, he wants Kyuhyun to come back soon. It's so close to Christmas, whether it's after Santa's Big Day or before, shouldn't he get what he wants?
Kyuhyun waits until New Year's Eve to come back, dragging it out until the last minute before the clock strikes 12:00, signaling the race is beginning, the months are coming full circle and it's time for everybody to try again. It's time for Kyuhyun, too.
When he gets there, Donghae is sitting on the front steps. There's a cigarette in his hands, but it doesn't look like he's actually smoked it. The older boy almost looks as if he sat down and someone else came along, placed the cancer stick between his fingers, and lit it all on their own volition. Donghae had nothing to do with it, perhaps.
"Hi," Kyuhyun says, informally.
Donghae doesn't get angry, he just smiles. A ribbon of smoke blocks his face. "You're back. I thought you lived next door. Thought we'd see more of you."
Kyuhyun shakes his head, but he doesn't like not seeing Donghae's eyes clearly.
"Go on up."
"To answer your question—sort of—I don't live next door."
Donghae opens the door. "Oh. Heechul-hyung said you did. He says he hears you play clarinet every night. Sometimes you sing, too."
Both of them sigh at the same time. And then they laugh. Donghae crushes the cigarette with his foot in one swift move. Smooth guy, smooth enough to make some girl walking on the other side of the street swoon, maybe, but it's not like Donghae would notice—especially not today. Bad time. Today's whole clock is just wrong. He wants the New Year to come, and Kyuhyun can read it all over his face.
"I never smoke," he says, honestly, and with a smile that makes Kyuhyun smile back. "Go on up."
Kyuhyun's hands are in his pockets. "You seem sad today. Usually you're made of smiles."
Smile, sad smile. Not the one Kyuhyun is looking for. "Sorry. Suppose I've been thinking too much," he scratches the back of his head. Just act casual. Act normal. "You should go up now. Heechul-hyung is probably waiting for you."
"Does he know I'm coming?"
Donghae laughs, but it sounds oddly hollow. "I think he always knows when you're coming."
"Oh. Well, if I don't see you later…um, Happy New Year," Kyuhyun nods and waves sideways.
The older boy leans against the threshold, letting cold air in and warm air out. "Same to you, Kyuhyun-ah!"
"You took too long."
Heechul gets angry, he gets angry a lot when this happens. There is no such thing as space when he doesn't want it. Kyuhyun should know that; he's an idiot if he didn't know that before now. He might have to learn now. Maybe he knows now, though.
"What took you so long?"
Kyuhyun takes his scarf off again and leaves it on the grey desk chair in the corner of the room. "I was busy," he answers, annoyed. Time to change the subject. "Dammit, it's cold out tonight. Did you go for a walk today?"
Regrettably, Heechul can hear the way Kyuhyun sounds forced, like maybe someone paid him to come today at 11:34 PM, so Heechul would calm down for the night. "I did. I went by myself."
"That must have been nice," Kyuhyun crosses one leg over the other. He's sitting in the grey desk chair now, and Heechul is watching him with intent. Kyuhyun looks too old for his actual age; he's too young to fit into a supposedly sixteen-year-old body. His face, acne-ridden, is Heechul's only inclination of teenage youth among the picture of a man he's turned into this evening.
"You're dressed to the nines tonight, darling," Heechul winks. "You look old enough for some wine."
"I'm not, though," Kyuhyun protests, as if he couldn't tell that Heechul isn't completely serious. Then again, he isn't completely made of jokes, either.
"I know, I know. Don't have a cow."
"I don't—oh, figure of speech. Right. I should've seen that coming," Kyuhyun nodded, tapping his fingers against the top of his knee. He's the epitome of what a businessman wants their firstborn son to look like this evening.
Heechul laughs, cruelly. "You've changed, my dear. Tell me, what's got you so formal? What's got you all high-strung tonight? Do I need to loosen your metaphorical tie for you?"
The younger boy laughs, too, in a superficial kind of way. Someone, if leaning against the door to Heechul's room, would have been convinced. Someone, like Heechul for instance, would laugh again in time with Kyuhyun, because he would understand.
"I'd never pass up the chance you get you out of a suit."
Kyuhyun turns red but doesn't move. His face thinks that everything is fine, but his blood vessels dash to the surface, embarrassed enough to want a touch of cold air to cool them down. That's what happens, or at least, that's what Heechul remembers from high school biology.
"Did you have dinner already?" Kyuhyun asks, pretending to be the completely caring dongsaeng he's only sort of wanted to be. He'd vie for the position any day, though. All he ever wanted was some Heechul-related attention.
Heechul shrugs. "I was brought dinner at approximately…7:30 this evening. Did I eat? Well, you be the judge."
Kyuhyun smirks. "You're so full of shit."
"In your mind, does that mean I ate something?"
"I think you ate a shitload of air."
"Oh, good, you're back," Heechul says, and Kyuhyun would have turned to look for a new person in the room if he hadn't known that Heechul meant the witty comebacks he's been waiting for. They aren't planned, necessarily, Kyuhyun thinks. They simply happen. Heechul provokes, and provokes, and provokes the living hell out of Kyuhyun. They both can't get enough. "You look good tonight."
"If I take off this," Kyuhyun pulls at the edge of his button-up shirt, "it's just a stupid band t-shirt. A band that probably won't get signed for another three years at least."
"O ye of little faith."
"Practicality," Kyuhyun corrects, uncrossing his legs.
Heechul sighs. "You're adorable."
"What?" Heechul sits up straight. His hair looks like a pile of horribly raked leaves in the back. "Don't look at me like that. Let's talk about something else. You're an intelligent fellow. How's school?"
Kyuhyun glances out the window. "As good as it'll ever get. How's this room treating you?"
"It's getting worse every day."
"Then let's go somewhere," Kyuhyun says, leaning his elbow against the top of the chair. He rests his cheek against the palm of his hand. Heechul is three seconds away from punching him for looking this good, dressing up, posing and everything. Accidental things get to him the most.
Heechul doesn't move. "I want out."
"Then let's go somewhere."
"It's not that simple."
Kyuhyun deadpans. "There's this thing called walking out the door. You can do that. But you might want your coat first," he suggests, putting his scarf back on.
"Come here," Heechul commands.
"You fucking come here."
Kyuhyun falls into silence. He does what he's told now. Suddenly Heechul's hair seems less of a mess and his face seems more threatening than anything else. He pulls Kyuhyun in when the boy gets close enough, and even with resistance, Heechul is strong enough to tug him with both bony hands until there's little space between. Heechul tries to suck the life out of him with this one touch, arms wrapping around his neck and crawling down his back like pinpricks. There's nothing Kyuhyun can do but wait, let him do what he wants, and respond. It's hard not to, when this is what they've both wanted, but both been so afraid of. Heechul kisses him like secretly, he's trying to kill him—through suffocation. They could both die together, like this, in a way some people would write about and make people want to cry over if their hearts were made of mush.
To everyone else, it'd simply be stupid.
It's over in three minutes, and Kyuhyun has one less layer of clothing on him. The button-up has no more buttons; it was what Heechul destroyed in his shallow attempt to destroy one of the only people he ever truly loved. But that's one of the things Heechul can do: Destroy.
"I've kept all his clothes."
Kyuhyun doesn't sit up, he rolls onto his side and faces a wall.
"I've kept them in the closet. Sometimes, when the room shakes, he's standing there outside of it, because the reason the room shakes is because he's angry. He gets angry because I'm trying to move on. He won't let me. He gets angry after you leave. Sometimes, I don't see him clearly, but I know he's there. It's a nice feeling. You should have met him."
He flips onto his back again. "Is that why you never let yourself leave?"
Heechul closes his eyes. "You could say that. I would say that, and you could, too. He never used to get angry."
"That's nice," Kyuhyun muses.
"He started getting angry when he died."
It turns into one of those moments where finding the right thing to say is as difficult as grasping at a switch when it's pitch black in a room, and there isn't a single stream of light to stop you from tripping over.
"Yeah, people get that way when they kick the bucket."
Heechul laughs a harsh, painful sound that's too joyful for Kyuhyun's ears to handle at the same time. Donghae opens the door and stands there like a hurt puppy for the longest time, watching Kyuhyun watching Heechul, then watching Heechul keel over, still laughing. The two younger boys are having an out of body experience, it feels like. Donghae waits until it calms into a slow fit of giggles to close the door and retreat.
"You know," Heechul swallows a chuckle, like a trapped hiccup. "You could stay here. I wouldn't mind…if you just stayed."
"He'll get angry."
"He's dead, what the hell do I care?" Heechul coughed up a laugh once more; a softer one. "When you're around, he doesn't show. He only comes when you leave."
"But he never hurts me."
"Ghosts can't inflict pain, hyung."
Heechul smiles. "Oh, but they can."
It takes him a while to say, "I'm not leaving, then."
The smile remains, not a millimeter different from the way he'd created it a second ago. Not a word passes. Heechul sleeps an hour after they ring in the New Year.
Lying isn't the best way to go, but Kyuhyun needs to tell his mother. Even high GPA troublemakers can be mama's boys. She doesn't accept, but she knows she can't stop him. He's turned into his father for the evening, bolting out of the house with a mission and a flimsy return date. His sister runs after him until she reaches the door. She knows, too, that she can't stop him.
Kyuhyun comes back and Donghae is there to let him in again. Heechul is asleep once more. He closes the door, pushing it with one hand pressed against the wall for support as he tries to close it as softly as he can. With a slam that could split the floorboards, the room shakes and shakes and Kyuhyun stands there like none of this is truly happening.
It's Anger—Anger in the form of the ghost, taking the shape of someone who used to wear the clothes Heechul keeps in his closet. He's the reason Heechul's actual clothes are folded next to his desk. He's the reason for too many things that Kyuhyun has to deal with now, when he's too young yet too committed, yet not committed enough.
"I'm not afraid of you."
He's in the form of a shadow, the Anger. He isn't related to Violence, though. That'd be another ghost for another person withering away in their memories. Heechul could only deal with Anger taking on the shape of someone he loved and destroyed. This isn't something for Kyuhyun, though—it's not his ghost. Kyuhyun stares at it a few times and tries to picture the full frame and face of this person.
"I don't want to live up to you."
"Like I expect it," Heechul mumbles.
The ghost fades, like a hand passed and cut through smoke.
"Don't talk to him. He'll only stay longer if you do," says Heechul. "Just stay here."
Kyuhyun trips over his own feet, but walks as normally as possible until he's touching the edge of the bed. He doesn't know how to hold someone properly. He only knows how to hug his family. He curls around him like a cat with big paws. He stays outside the blanket. He sleeps.
The ghost is gone.
It's not the best, but I'm very fond of it. Idek why!