Pairing: Jungsoo/Yunho, minor Hyukjae/Junsu
Rating: PG-13 (bit of implicit sex in the middle)
And he remembers a five-year-old boy in his blue-and-white stripped pajamas on his bed, hugging a fluffy white pillow and a smile written on his face as he was staring at her, eyes wide. And she would tell the boy stories, fairytales, plays, and everything he asked her to. And he would hear the story of a prince looking for her princess who was locked up in a tall tower and had no way out, and he would also hear how the prince would always save his princess and they would live happily ever after. The boy would then fall asleep, and she would quietly leave, as always, after tucking him safely under the covers and switching off the bed lamp.
He closes the window carefully, delicate fingers shoving the white transparent curtain. He still feels the moonlight bashing through, and he looks on the figure on his left.
It seems like Hyukjae is in his deep, slumber sleep. He smiles and gently strokes the fringe covering the sleeping boy’s eyes. “Goodnight, Hyukjae-ah,” he whispers and he switches off the lamp, as if mirroring what she used to do.
It takes all of him for not smacking his best friend on the head when he is forced to join Hyukjae’s friends for lunch. It’s just our senior, Hyukjae told him two hours back, and his friend.
Then there are they, having lunch together in one corner of the college cafeteria. And he immediately knows it is the senior whom Hyukjae has talked about in the past few days, that he met him in one of the session in his soccer team, and that he’s awesome and he’s just so perfect and wish I can know him better, Jungsoo-ah.
He is pulled from his thoughts when he hears a clap right in front of him. He blinks and looks at the intruder who is the friend of the so-awesome-and-perfect-senior of Hyukjae. “Why are you so far away?” Yunho is smiling and he can’t help but to smile back.
“Is it possible to fall in love at the first sight?”
He says later when the night falls and they two stay in darkness and they are lying on their beds, listening to the sound of the breezing wind and the trickles of rain outside the window.
Hyukjae looks at him, and he cannot read his eyes.
“Believe me,” states Hyukjae softly, “It is.”
He is staring at Hyukjae then.
“Jungsoo-ah,” Hyukjae lifts his body and leans on his elbow, facing him despite the one meter distance between them that he can barely see his face. “Love is love,” Hyukjae continues, “Description will make it less. Just remember, this is what I feel but I can’t define. This is what I know but I can’t express.”
Then he watches Hyukjae falls in silence and goes back to his slumbering sleep, and he can’t help but to wonder since when Hyukjae is becoming so wise.
“I saw you here yesterday.”
He hears a quite-of-familiar voice and he turns only to meet eyes to eyes with his senior. Yunho smiles and signals he is getting there, and he pats the rough, not-so-dry grass on his right before Yunho sits next to him.
“Hm-mm,” he just mumbles and throws himself on the back, tasting the plants and the dew, feeling the rough smooth fibers of leaves on the back of his neck, and smelling the newly fragrant scene on his right.
Yunho says nothing for the next few minutes, and so does he. He keeps staring, counting the fluffy white clouds in the quite blue sky above, and when it somehow reaches a thirteenth count, he stops and turns to look at Yunho.
“Do you still remember,” he softly says, “the very first dream you’ve ever had?”
Yunho looks at him and he is grateful that he can’t read the meaning behind that looks. As if Yunho is thinking what’s the meaning behind that very question or deciding if he should tell him the truth or just forget that he has indeed asked something. It strikes him then… how can he just be so stupid? He is learning to just shut his mouth up but his heart never listens and he always comes up asking stupid, unimportant questions.
“I’m pursuing it now.” Suddenly comes the unexpected reply. “I just need some more time.”
Then silence overtakes them. He waits and waits and waits.
And he feels a warm, comforting hand on his head, patting him to sleep, and he hears a soft beautiful voice singing him lullaby. And he would smile back when she smiled, she would tell him to sleep and not to worry about tomorrow since tomorrow surely be a better day and he would just nod and he would finally fall asleep.
And few hours later he would wake up to find himself in a strange, foreign-looking room, with scary faces around him in their all white coats and goggles and he would be scared and scared and scared that everyone in that room was just so similar to one another as if it was only one person being cloned and with no trace of her. Then there were needle-clamped scissors and crescent-shaped blades and several needles lay on a cloth upon his chest. Then he saw dark red liquid on his arm. Then he screamed and cried and called her and called and called and called.
He snaps out of thoughts when a pair of hands firmly holding his cheeks. He blinks and then he is staring right into Yunho’s eyes.
“You are gone. Just now,” states Yunho as a-matter-of-factly.
He feels the warmth of his hands and he forces a smile. “Sorry,” he says. And he sees her again, telling him to sleep and kissing him on the forehead. And he would think of the princess with her long beautiful hair and the prince on his white horse and how the prince would easily reach the tall tower and find her.
And he was never able to find her. Ever again.
He does not need that.
And he feels the breeze of the wind when Yunho pulls his hand back onto his laps. “How about you?” Yunho grins.
“I just want to have a simple life.” His lips curve into a smile. “That is all.”
He is walking along the aisle to the library when he accidentally sees Yunho walking from the other end, talking or perhaps discussing to Junsu at the same time. He does not stop though, and nor does Yunho. He catches his eyes and he smiles, smiles smiles and smiles, until he passes and everything fades and he no longer smells the familiar scent and he is back alone again.
He stays in class after his last class is over. Not that he wants to stay, but something tells him to just stay. And he trusts his intuition, and he does stay. Every now and then, his phone vibrates but never once he takes a glance at it. It will disrupt his moment; as it will destroy his peace.
He does not know how long has passed when he hears a crack of the door opening and he smells a familiar scent of a certain figure. Yunho comes in and takes a sit opposite to him, and he smiles.
“Takes you long enough,” he starts.
He knows Yunho is the one he has been waiting for.
Yunho merely smiles. “I need to say something,” he shrugs. Seeing the opposite boy in silent, Yunho continues, softly, “I am leaving soon.”
Then his gaze is back on Yunho as he becomes more alert. “Yes?” He tilts his head a few degree to the left, waiting for Yunho to continue.
“I told you,” says Yunho, “I’m leaving soon. Next week.”
And he feels tons of loads bump him on the head. He notices how his voice becomes harsher but he has no will or no energy to stop it. “How long?” he whispers. He doesn’t want to know and he does want to know at the same time.
“I don’t know.”
He should be happy. Yes, he should be happy though; that he won’t be confused anymore, that there will be no more doubt, that he just loves his ordinary life and that nothing will change. And he sees her coming back and leaving again in the next instant. And he would never see her again, as she told him about everything, that she loved him and would always love him, that she cared about him, that she wanted to be with him always, and that he belonged to her and therefore they should always be together that she would never lose him; that she told him everything but leaving.
And there he is. Yunho is telling him and he knows he is leaving. Soon.
“Forever perhaps,” Yunho’s voice softens, “You know how much I want this.”
And he feels somehow Yunho’s eyes are saying even more things, things he wants to know but he doesn’t want to hear, things he longs for but will impact him so much for knowing, and he decides to stop it.
He kisses him. He can feel the taste of his mouth, bitter and sweet, and the touch of his tongue, rough and gentle. He pulls him close and as he hears his own heavy breathing, he opens his eyes. He watches Yunho watching him until everything becomes blur and he can no longer see Yunho’s face, nor can he think clearly where they are right now. He no longer feels the coldness, hardness, of the wooden material on his back. He does not feel hands in his hair and Yunho’s fingers clutching the back of his shirt and Yunho’s tongue against his own. He vaguely remembers Yunho’s hand preparing him, he squirms and suddenly he tastes blood in his mouth.
He tries to bring himself back together until it is all no use and everything mixes into a spiraling motion and everything breaks all and they are all then unleashed; the world, the classroom, the desk, the metal ring he is wearing, and Yunho’s hand on his hips.
And later, when his senses returns back, he opens his eyes and finds Yunho smiling.
The next moment he finds Yunho is in the airport. He doesn’t call him, he only watches Yunho’s figure saying goodbyes to friend after friend, bouquets of flowers on his hands; he knows it is his decision and he has no slightest right to interfere. He watches Yunho walks away, his figure getting smaller and smaller until he knows it’s safe to turn up and then turn away and leave.
However, as if knowing he is being watched, Yunho turns at his direction and stops. He deadpans.
“Don’t,” he immediately says that he is sure that Yunho’s eyes are staring at him as if wanting to say something. “Don’t come closer.”
“Why?” Yunho’s eyes narrow dangerously.
“Because,” he takes a long breath, avoiding his stare, “if you do, I might break right here and you might ask me to go with you.”
Barely a minute passes and Yunho’s eyes soften and he reaches out his hand.
“Then I won’t ask.”
He looks at Yunho, completely puzzled. Yunho’s eyes darken, betraying his own words and pleading him not to say anything.
And he hears her voice again. I love you, she would always tell him everytime, everywhere, when he just woke up and when he was taking a bath and when he was having his breakfast and when he kissed her hand before leaving for school and when he came back and showed her his B+ test paper and when she beamed in happiness of just being the two of them.
You are my only reason, Park Jungsoo, she would always say, you are mine. I can’t imagine what would happen if I lost you.
“You are never mine,” says Yunho softly, “and I will never lose you.”
He does not know why but something inside him suddenly soothes, like suddenly someone pours ice water right onto his heart, like somehow there is a trace of blue among the white grey clouds above. He does not need promises, he does not want promises. He chews his bottom lips; he needs to say it. He has to say it.
“I am having nothing,” he sternly replies, “and I won’t regret it.”
Yunho is staring at him and he says nothing. Then he glances over the bouquets on his hands, and for a split second, he closes his eyes. And he is waiting. He knows it’s that is the best for them both. He can continue his simple, ordinary life, where everything has its own color and every moment has its own souls and he can remain on his dream.
He has his life, just as Yunho has his own life.
“You belong to here,” Yunho says, “You have your own life. You have your own dream. And I cannot simply take you with me.”
He stands frozen on his feet as Yunho walks closer and closer. No, he is not asking to leave with him; perhaps it’s him who hopes too much, but he feels grateful that he doesn’t. And when he feels a warm hand slinging around his back and pulling him close, chest to chest, skin to skin, he only prays that he will not break down right there.
It lasts for a minute and he is able to keep his composure. “People give flowers to show that they care,” his breath flows against his neck and he feels fingers brush upon the cold metal on his own, entangle their fingers together. Yunho loosens his grips and he backs away, eyes fixated on the white and yellow and red petals on his hands, “but as soon as I possess them, they will die.” He then looks up, locking their eyes together. “It’s the same for everyone.” His hand is then caressing his cheek and he is collecting himself to just please not to cry.
Yunho then smiles ever so slightly. “We cannot possess anything, anyone. Once we did, their beauty would fade.” And he feels that he understands what Yunho is trying to say. And he nods and replies his smile and he is grateful that he does not see her again, that she’s finally gone and that he finally forgets.
“Until I see you again then,” he whispers, fingers clutching on the dark blue cotton.
Yunho’s smile widens.
“Until you bloom and I return,” he agrees.
Then Yunho leaves. And he is back alone again, but he is not scared and he is able to smile then.
He lives his ordinary life, just like what he wanted few years back.
He wakes up at nine, gets into his desk at ten, has his usual lunch with his colleagues at one, goes to the field at two, comes back to his desk at six or seven, and takes off at eight. He gets himself a few dates, one week the shortest, seven months the longest. He has his tiny apartment at one corner of the city, which unfortunately has no garden, but is comfortable enough to live by himself with a simple taste of decoration (Hyukjae once complained that it was too white, but he didn’t care, he doesn’t care less.).
It is in a cold rainy night when he arrives at his apartment at eleven twenty-seven in the evening, soaking wet and cold. He baths with the bathroom door opens while listening to messages left on his phone.
Two messages. One is from Hyukjae saying Junsu and he would go out on Friday night and asking him to join in. It’s the second message that catches his attention. Can you squeeze a one-hour interview on Friday afternoon? It is his boss’ message twenty minutes after he left his workplace. Youngwoon can’t make it and it’s scheduled already. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
He does not mind his life, really. It’s simple, nothing extraordinary, just like he loves to.
Eleven twenty-eight on Friday in the same week, he is on his way to the office-studio on the highest floor in the building. A white notebook and a tape recorder, he just needs to fill next week’s special music column with this Japanese but Korean-born singer who is going back to Korea. Whether he likes it or not, it’s his job and he does it just like what he used to do. Simple.
He walks into the room and sighs contently, barely a minute before the scheduled time. He puts his notebook and tape recorder on the small round wooden table at the middle of the room and walks to the other side, a three meters tall window lays elegantly, where he can look at outside and he sees the bright blue sky with no trace of clouds. A sunny day, a bright day, a Friday. He turns around when the door is opened, and his eyes widens in an instant.
He must be dreaming.
No, it can’t be the fact. It just can’t be real.
He must have been sleeping. And it is only a dream.
Yunho’s voice sounds only like a whisper. He looks just as surprised as he is.
Then Yunho cracks the engulfing silence with a smile, still the same smile as he remembers years ago.
“Of all places and time I have imagined earlier,” he says, “I didn’t expect to see you here“, and he walks into the room, closing the door carefully. “Anyway, I’ve returned.”
He can’t help but to smile back. And he feels tears starting to dwell in his eyes. Yunho looks the same, smells the same, tastes the same, and is still the same.
One hours and eleven minutes later, Hyukjae feels his phone vibrates and he shoves Junsu’s hand from his thigh (Junsu frowns) as he flips the phone open and his lips curve into a smile.