Pairing: Sungmin/everyone + Sooyoung
Disclaimer: I do not own Super Junior
Warning: Character death
Summary: The other members were left wondering if they’d ever really known him at all.
If anyone asked, Super Junior would say they were close friends who knew just about everything about each other after living and working together for so long, and they thought they’d be telling the truth. They all knew, for example, that it was sometimes hard for Kyuhyun to dance, even years after that accident. They all knew that Yesung was extremely insecure, even after all the success he’d achieved. They all knew that Leeteuk was depressed more often than not, and would continue to be depressed until their contracts were over. But there was one member who always seemed to disappear into the background. Who was always there, but didn’t seem to shine quite as brightly as the others. Sungmin. He was reserved and quiet, and in a group as loud and crazy as SuJu, if a member is a wallflower, then the others would overshadow him. Shindong would pull him out of his shell, though, and make him join in.
Some people wondered if Sungmin was just a cold person, or if he thought he was just better than the others. But the truth was that Sungmin was almost painfully shy. He didn’t like being in the spotlight, and he was perfectly happy as a supporting member, instead of one who stands out, and he would often step back and let the others get the attention. Like, with the dance break for Bonamana. It should have been him, but he knew that Kyuhyun wanted it, so he suggested that Kyuhyun take his place. Or the Sexyback dance performance in the Super Show. It should have been him instead of Donghae, but Donghae wanted the dance solo, and Sungmin stepped back.
One evening, in Shindong‘s internet cafe, Shindong sat down next to Sungmin, who was checking his email.
“You don’t have to give them all what they want, you know.” He said, frowning.
“Just drop it…” Sungmin said, tiredly, massaging his temples.
Shindong was about to argue, when he looked past Sungmin, to the screen. The email Sungmin was reading was from a doctor about the results of some test.
Sungmin quickly closed the page, signing out of the computer, and picking up his bag. “It’s nothing. I’ll see you back at the dorm.”
“Sungmin…” Shindong grabbed his shoulders and turned him so that they were facing each other, but Sungmin wouldn’t meet his eyes. He broke away, and headed out the door, walking to his car, and driving away.
Shindong watched him leave, and then turned back to the computer.
After closing the internet café for the night, Shindong made his way back to the dorms, holding a bunch of papers. He found Ryeowook in the kitchen, and said, “Where’s Sungmin?”
“I don’t know. Haven’t seen him.” Ryeowook answered, not looking at him.
“Yes, that’s a common problem around here, isn’t it?” Shindong muttered, turning away, and heading to Sungmin’s room. He knocked on the door, and then pushed it open. Sungmin was sleeping, curled up on his side. Shindong moved closer, shaking the other one awake.
“Huh? Shindong…?” Sungmin mumbled, sleepily.
“When exactly were you going to tell us about this?” Shindong asked, bluntly, handing Sungmin the papers. They were printed out emails from doctors and specialists, all saying that there was nothing they could do, and that Sungmin should start making his last plans. “At least tell me you were going to give us some warning.” Shindong hissed.
“I did.” Sungmin said, snatching the papers out of Shindong’s hands. “I told you all months ago. But guess what? Not only am I invisible, I’m unheard.” Sungmin laughed hollowly. “My anemia is killing me…and yet…no one cares…” He drew his legs up and wrapped his arms around them.
Shindong sat back, thinking back to see if he remembered Sungmin telling him, and he vaguely remembered that conversation. He’d been distracted by the choreography or something, and although Sungmin had looked miserable, he’s assumed the other would be fine, and had blown him off.
“Oh…Min…I’m so sorry…”
“Just go, Shindong…I’m tired.”
Shindong got up slowly, and walked out of the room. Kyuhyun was sitting against the wall just outside the door, and from the look on his face, he was stunned.
The maknae pushed past him, and into the room, crawling in the bed with Sungmin.
“Kyu…? What are you doing…?” Sungmin asked, but made room for him anyway.
“I care, Min…” Kyuhyun sniffled.
Sungmin wrapped his arms around Kyuhyun, comforting him. Sungmin fell asleep like that, with Kyuhyun’s whispered apology in his ears.
“Awww, KyuMin…won’t the fans be happy?”
Kyuhyun nearly punched Donghae in the face when the older one came into the room to wake him up, and started teasing him.
“Aish!! Kyuhyun! Managers said to let Sungmin sleep in. Just as well. He needs rest.”
“You mean, you knew?” Kyuhyun asked, looking up at Donghae.
“He told everyone months ago. Not my fault that the rest of you don’t pay attention to him. Now get up before you wake him up.” Donghae walked out of the room.
“Too late…” Sungmin mumbled, burrowing his face into his blankets. Kyuhyun reluctantly climbed out of the bed, changing quickly. When he looked back over at the bed, Sungmin was already asleep again. He smiled slightly, closing the door behind him.
The whole day was nothing like what they’d been used to. The managers kept coming to them with things that had to be taken care of. When they asked who usually took care of these things, the answer was always “Sungmin.”
Sungmin always took care of having the rehearsal music there and ready for them. They needed a guest star on Shindong’s radio station, and Sungmin would have done it. No one had thought to pack lunches because Sungmin usually had them prepared.
They suddenly realized how little time off Sungmin had ever had or taken.
But then, Sooyoung came into the rehearsal room, sitting respectfully in the back corner until they were done. When the music finished, she asked, “Where’s Sungmin?”
“He had a day off today.” Eunhyuk answered. “Why?”
“He said he needed to talk.” Sooyoung said, looking down.
Siwon spoke up, “I actually have to run to the dorm, if you want to come with me, Sooyoung-ssi.”
She agreed, and he gathered up his stuff, and they headed to the parking lot.
“Did…Sungmin say what he wanted to talk about…?” Siwon asked hesitantly as he drove.
Sooyoung thought for a moment. “We talk a lot, especially lately, because he’s sick. He says it helps to have someone who actually sees him. Why do most of you just…not see him, oppa? Can’t you see how special he is? Even a friend looking from the outside can see it, but you all spend so much time with him, and you barely see him. Don’t you see how much he holds the group together?” She wasn’t mad, she just wanted him to see it.
He was silent for a while, and then he said, “Sungmin…he’s our support…the stable member that everyone relies on…He’s talented, but he works behind the scenes so much that it’s easy to miss.”
“You should pay more attention.” Sooyoung said firmly.
They arrived at the dorm, and it was strangely quiet. Sooyoung had a bad feeling, and she followed Siwon to the bedroom, and peered in after him. Sungmin wasn’t there. They checked the other rooms, and then went up to the other dorm. Sungmin was sitting against the wall, his eyes closed. Siwon shook his shoulder to wake him up, but he didn’t stir.
“Sungmin…? Come on, wake up, Min.” Siwon said, shaking him again. He looked over at Sooyoung who was already calling for the manager, and then for Sungmin’s doctor. Siwon didn’t think until later that it was strange that Sooyoung had had the doctor’s number, when none of Super Junior did.
The doctor arrived quickly, and Siwon helped him carry Sungmin into one of the bedrooms in the dorm. Although it wasn’t Sungmin’s, it was more convenient. Siwon and Sooyoung sat in the kitchen in silence, until the doctor came out of the room. He looked concerned, but he told them to just let Sungmin rest, and try and get him to eat something when he woke up. Sooyoung stood, and started looking through the cabinets and refrigerator for something to cook, and Siwon showed her where the rice was, and where the knives were.
“Has this…ever happened before?” he asked, hesitantly, when she’d finished chopping vegetables, and put them in the pan, along with some seasonings.
“Yea, it happens…not a ton, but enough.” She answered, frowning. “You didn’t know?”
A voice interrupted them. “Sooyoung-ssi? You’re still here? What are you making?” Yesung walked into the dorm.
“Sungmin passed out. And don’t touch. It’s for him. He needs it more than you.” Sooyoung answered, covering the pan, and checking on the rice.
“Sungmin passed out? Shouldn’t he be at a hospital…?”
“Sooyoung looked back and forth between Siwon and Yesung. “Do you guys seriously not know him at all? He has weeks left, and he wanted to spend them with you guys. And yet, none of you hardly give him the time of day.”
Sungmin, himself woke up in he bedroom, and it took him a while to realize that it was Siwon’s. He wandered out, the blanket he’d been sleeping on wrapped around his shoulders. He heard voices in the kitchen, and was pleasantly surprised to see Sooyoung, although she was yelling at the others, and he wasn’t happy about that.
“Sooyoung-ssi…when did you get here?”
She was startled, and then ran over to hug him. “Min! Are you feeling ok? The doctor said that you should eat…I made you food. Here, sit down.” She pulled out a chair at the counter for him. He eyed her mischievously. “You cooked? I don’t know if I want to eat it now.”
“Yah! You’re gonna eat it cause I say you’re going to eat it.” She threatened.
“Awww, I was kidding.” He said apologetically. He turned to Yesung and Siwon. “How were rehearsals and everything today? I was hoping that it wasn’t to difficult on you guys.”
“No, it was ok.” Siwon assured him, as Sooyoung placed a plate of food in front of him.
“Wow, Sooyoung…cook more often.” He said after a couple bites. She sat down next to him, grinning. “As long as you eat it more often.”
“Is something wrong, hyung?” Sungmin asked, looking at Yesung, who’d been staring at him openly since he’d walked in. Yesung looked down, and said, “No…” before walking away.
Days later, the others were returning to the dorm after a long day of rehearsals and work, and they found a note from Sungmin on the table.
“I’m sorry I had to go like this, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep going. I don’t want you all to watch me die. I want you all to go on, strong, like the family we are. From wherever I end up, know that my thoughts and prayers are always with you. You guys are my family, and I love all of you.
We’re Super Junior. Always.
The dorm phone rang, and Shindong reached for it blindly through his tears. He saw who it was on the caller ID, and pressed speaker. The voice on the other end was soft and full of sorrow.
“He went peacefully. He’s gone. Now, you boys keep going, and make him proud. He always said that the best thing that ever happened to him was being in Super Junior.” Sungmin’s father’s voice was thick with emotion. “Thank you…all…for being what you are. Never forget how much you meant to him.”
Finally the dial tone sounded, and Shindong dropped the phone. It clattered to the floor, and a tear rolled down his face. Once, Sungmin had been called the invisible member. Now, he was gone, and he would never come back.
He pulled Kyuhyun into a hug. The maknae was crying hard, trying, it seemed, to hold himself together. “Shhh…Kyu…don’t think about it like he died…think about it like he’s an angel…like Teukie hyung…Sungmin’s an angel.”
“An angel…” Kyuhyun whispered, his tears still falling. “Yes…Sungmin is an angel…”