Pairing: Haewook friendship
Warning: suicide attempt
Word Count: 1955
Summary: Suju isn't as happy and they appear
He was fading into nothing, but all he could see were the imperfections. They were all up late, but he would be up even later, exhausted, but obsessed with meticulously recording everything that passed his lips, and every movement he’d made. He would spend as much time as he could in from of a mirror, making sure his makeup was good enough to face the world in, or the clothes he wore were enough to make him seem like the confident, thin idol he was supposed to be. And every day, he would fall up short. Every night, during his shower, he would use a razor to etch into his thighs, and force himself to let out some of the pain. Everyone saw him as perfect, but perfection was the furthest thing from the truth. Every day, someone would end up having to call him to hurry up before they were late, and he’d give one last despairing look in the mirror before running out the door after the rest.
On the way home from a late schedule during which he’d been singled out as the “perfect” member of Super Junior, he thought that it was really funny how the only thing he was perfect at was this façade. Late as it was, he always insisted on a shower before bed, and the rest of them called him crazy. He turned the water on, and knelt in the tub, using the razor to bite deep into the skin on his thigh, he breathed through his nose at the pain, but as the blood began to pool, he was entranced. He carved over older scars, and it was the same word as always. “perfect”. Even if he wasn’t, he had a constant reminder of what he should be…what everyone thought he was. His blood began to drip down the side of his leg, and he washed it away . The new cuts stung, but he’d come to love the pain.
Sudden banging on the door made him jump.
“Ryeowook-ah!! Do you mind if I brush my teeth while you’re in there? I’m too tired to wait for you to finish.” it was Sungmin.
“Yeah, sure, Hyung.” Ryeowook said, still kind of heady from the blood loss. He’d been doing this too much lately, and his body was complaining. Then it hit him that he had this big cut on his leg, and one of his hyungs was going to be in the bathroom with him. The cut was still bleeding a bit, and Ryeowook pressed a wash cloth over it to stop the blood flow, and to hide it incase Sungmin got curious about him being in the shower so long.
He breathed a sigh of relief when Sungmin brushed his teeth, and then left, calling his thanks as he shut the door. Ryeowook sagged against the side of the tub, suddenly sick and tired of playing “perfect.” He grabbed the razor blade again, and sliced into his other leg, over and over, until there were five 4 to 5 inch cuts, all with blood pooling and dripping out of them. The lightheaded feeling returned, and he swallowed, shaking slightly. He pressed the cloth on his leg, giving enough pressure to stop the bleeding, before climbing out of the tub and grabbing as ace bandage from under the sink and wrapping it around the leg with the newer cuts. He pulled on pajama pants and a t-shirt, and went to his bed, falling asleep sooner than he had in ages.
“Ryeowook-ah! Time to get up!” Donghae called, making his wake up rounds to all the members. Ryeowook groaned and rolled over. The sheet and blanket he’d slept with were all twisted around him, and he unsuccessfully tried to pull one of them up over his head. He sensed that something changed before he saw anything.
“Ryeowook-ah! Are you---OMO, Ryeowook!! Is that blood on your sheets???” Donghae was grabbing at the sheets, and trying to figure out where the blood was coming from.
“No! It’s nothing! Please Donghae, I promise, it’s nothing!” Ryeowook whispered frantically, pulling himself away from Donghae’s hands. Donghae grabbed his shoulders, making him sit still.
“Ryeowook, where did the blood come from? Either you tell me now, or I take the issue to the managers, and they deal with it.” Donghae was dead serious.
“It…I just…I…I cut myself accidentally the other day when I was cooking, and I didn’t want anyone to worry, so I didn’t say anything.” Ryeowook invented, thinking fast.
“Are you sure?” Donghae asked, but Ryeowook could see that the older man wanted to believe him…wanted to think that there really wasn’t a problem. He nodded, and smiled in a way that he hoped came across as genuine.
Donghae smiled then, and said, “Ok, the…but be more careful in the future, yeah?” then he left to go wake up the others. Ryeowook lay back into his pillow, groaning inwardly. He must have thrashed around a lot the night before, because the recent cuts had opened up and were bleeding again. He got dressed and did his makeup, and wandered out to the kitchen to cook breakfast for the others.
“Ryeowook-ah. You look pale today. Did you sleep enough?” Sungmin said, slightly concerned as he caught sight of Ryeowook.
“I didn’t sleep well last night, but I’ll be fine with some coffee.” Ryeowook answered, smiling slightly.
A few days later, the were again in a late rehearsal, and they were all exhausted. They were in the middle of the dance when Ryeowook collapsed. Someone turned the music off, but Ryeowook was already getting up, and saying he was fine.
“I just tripped. We’re all tired. It happens.”
The rest of the rehearsal, he felt Leeteuk’s concerned eyes on him, and he did what he did best, and acting the part of the perfect dongsaeng.
When they finally got back to the dorms, they all scattered to their beds, except Ryeowook, who could not think of anything except to make himself pay for showing weakness in the rehearsal. He started the water, and stripped out of his clothes. Grabbing the razor, he stepped into the stream of the water, and knelt, looking at his legs for a fresh place to cut. But they were all scarred. In panic, he gripped the razor tighter, cutting into his fingers. Raising his bleeding hand, he suddenly saw the pristine, beautiful, soft skin of his forearm. His hand trembled slightly as he brought the razor to his skin, and dragged it slowly across his arm, the blood pooling more readily here than it had on his legs. He carefully wrote into his own arm the word that had tortured him for ages. PERFECT. He realized he was crying, and he didn’t know when the tears started. His cries were louder than he thought because there was a banging on the door, and then cooler air rushing in, and someone yanked back the curtain, but he couldn’t tell who it was because the blood coming out of his arm was coming out too fast, and he was fading in and out of consciousness.
He woke up in his bed with a start. There was light streaming in through the window, and he shot up. Where was Donghae? Why hadn’t he woken up? Was he late for something? He panicked, but then caught sight of four of the other members sleeping around his bed. Donghae and Yesung were leaning against the wall, tears still wet on Donghae’s cheeks, and he had his head on Leeteuk‘s chest. The leader had fallen asleep with his arms wrapped around Donghae. Sungmin was asleep leaning over onto Ryeowook’s bed, his hand on Ryeowook’s leg, as if making sure he always knew that Ryeowook was still there. Ryeowook looked at the four of them sadly, and brought his knees up to his chest. His heart ached because what was supposed to be his punishment for himself had caused the others so much pain, and now he had no way to ease that guilt.
A movement caught his eye, and he looked up toward the door, and his eyes locked with Heechul’s. Heechul wasn’t one to show much emotion, but now, as he looked at Ryeowook, and saw the bandage peeking out of one of Ryeowook’s sleeves, and reading the guilt in the eternal Maknae’s face, he couldn’t help the tears that flowed down his face. Kangin came up behind him, and silently wrapped his arms around him, his face full of grief.
Donghae was stirring then, and he mumbled something, and pulled Leeteuk closer to him as something to hold onto, and even though he was half asleep, fresh tears started to drip down his face. Watching, Ryeowook’s guilt grew until he slipped out of the bed, somehow without waking up Sungmin, and walked out, brushing past Heechul and Kangin.
He made his way to the kitchen, and started to pull together ingredients for a meal.
“Why are you doing this?” Heechul asked, and for once, the always confident Heechul’s voice cracked like a mirror.
“Because I don’t know what else to do.” Ryeowook whispered. “Everyone says I’m perfect, and I have it all together, but I’m n-n-not. And I can’t l-let you all down, but I-I-I can’t do it anymore, Hyung.” His voice wavered, but didn’t rise louder than a whisper. “I’d rather d-d-die than make you disappointed.” he slid down against the wall until he was a ball on the floor, hugging his knees. He started to cry, but they were silent tears, and he said, “I don’t want to die. Oh god, what do I do? Hyung? When am I going to be enough?”
The other eleven were there silently watching, and Ryeowook was desperate to hold together the pieces of himself. Heechul walked over to Ryeowook and knelt next to him.
“Ryeowook-ah, it’s ok. It’s going to be ok.” He pulled the younger man into a hug. “You are a part of us. Without you, what would Super Junior be? If we lost you, we’d all be lost. But I could say the same for any member. You’re human, Ryeowook, and you were given way too much pressure. But it’s ok. You don’t have to fight to be perfect anymore. Because we love you for who you are, and what you mean to us.” Heechul motioned to the others to join him, and they all folded Ryeowook into a group hug.
That night, all thirteen were gathered in their living room. All the lights were off, and there was a soft glow of several candles. No one spoke. Words weren’t needed. All anyone wanted to do was hold each other close and reassure themselves that they hadn’t lost anyone. Donghae and Eunhyuk went around to all the rooms and grabbed blankets and pillows, and they made a huge bed on the living room floor. Exhausted, they all fell asleep almost immediately, but hours later, Ryeowook was woken up by the sound of someone sniffling. He felt Donghae to his left, trembling, and he reached out in the darkness for his Hyung’s hand.
All he got were a couple sniffles. Ryeowook propped himself up on his arm.
“Donghae?” He said more firmly, and as his eyes adjusted to the dark, he looked at Donghae’s face, and realized that the other was crying. He pulled Donghae into a hug, and the older buried his face in Ryeowook’s shirt.
“Ryeowook…don’t…please…not you, too…” Donghae mumbled.
“He‘s terrified to lose you, you know…” Ryeowook hadn’t realized that Leeteuk was also awake.
“I’m so…so sorry, Hyung.” Ryeowook said, sadly.