Characters: Donghae, Kyuhyun
Disclaimer: I do not own Super Junior.
Warning: attempts at angst and dry humor?
Summary: I’m bad at these.
A/N: my first story, so criticisms are helpful. :] I’ve been told by many that my writing is stiff and formal. Consider yourself warned. ^^
Everything after that was a blur. There was yelling. Lots of it. We were hustled into the waiting van and returned to the hotel. I didn’t remember much of what happened during the ride, much like how I couldn’t remember what I was doing when I received news of the April car accident.
Luckily, that was our last promotion event for the day so we had the rest of the day to ourselves. When we arrived onto our floor, we all gathered in Henry’s room, which seemed smaller than it really was with all seven of us in it. While the others hovered around Henry, I stood by the wall with my hands pressed against it for support.
“Don’t think about it,” Hankyung advised as he smoothed down Henry’s hair.
“That was close,” Siwon whistled from his place on Henry’s bed.
“Do you want something to eat?” That was Ryeowook.
Amidst the chaos, I managed to see that Henry seemed fine. Granted, he shook a little from anger or fear. I couldn’t tell which. Perhaps it was a bit of both. I finally spotted Kyuhyun, who had also separated himself from the pack. Like me, he stood to the sidelines with his hands behind him. But unlike me, he wore a face of complete boredom. Maybe it was the terrible lighting. Maybe he didn’t care about his fellow band mate. Don’t think like that, I silently scolded myself. If he didn’t care, why bother to protect Henry?
I looked over at Henry, who was getting irritated with all the noise around him. “I’m okay,” he reassured us with a thin smile. “So please leave.” There were protests from most of us, particularly from Hankyung, but Henry was adamant. “I’ll talk to you guys later.”
Defeated, Hankyung exited Henry’s room, followed by Ryeowook, Siwon, and Zhoumi. I waited for several breaths before I took my leave. When I stepped into the hallway, I waited once again, this time, for Kyuhyun to come out. The others have already returned to their rooms. It wasn’t long before Kyuhyun joined me in the hallway.
Upon seeing me, he raised his eyebrows slightly. “You waited for me?”
Smiling, I took his left hand in my right and walked with him to our room, which was only two doors down from Henry’s. “You did well today,” I stated simply, keeping my eyes straight ahead.
He gently squeezed my hand. “It’s okay,” he said, not answering my praise. He turned to give me a small smile. “No one was hurt.”
Not this time, I thought bitterly. By then, we were standing in front of our door. I released his hand and fumbled with the key. When I got the door to open, Kyuhyun was the first to enter. He immediately threw off his jacket and sprawled out on his bed. It was quite a day, and I suppose that he would be tired.
On the other hand, I felt quite filthy. I headed to the bathroom and showered, scrubbing the Chinese dirt from my body and watching in travel towards the drain in brown rivulets. It was a good fifteen minutes before I was done, so when I reentered the room, I found that Kyuhyun’s bed was empty except for a copy of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Flipping the book open to the bookmarked page, I saw that he was nearly finished. Before we left for China, I realized that he was only reading tragedies though I never had the opportunity to ask him anything about it.
Realizing that it was time to talk to Henry, I hastily put on my navy sweatpants and a white T-shirt and made for Henry’s room, not bothering to lock my own. When I reached his room, I tentatively knocked on the door before opening it and letting myself in.
I caught sight of him standing by the TV and drinking water from a bottle. “Hey,” I murmured cautiously as I sat at the foot of his bed. “I came to see how you were.”
“You know,” he said with a thin smile. “You’re the second to person to talk to me in private today.”
“Yeah,” he said. “Kyuhyun already talked to me.” He put down his water and took out a bag of chips from the refrigerator. “So you can just leave if you want.”
That piqued my interest. Kyuhyun wasn’t the type to console another person. At least I didn’t think so. “May I ask what he said?” I drawled, careful to keep the curiosity out of my voice.
His shoulders drooped as he turned to face me, his eyes darkening slightly. “Kyuhyun told me,” he replied in a low voice. “That it wasn’t perfect. And that sometimes they liked us and sometimes they didn’t.” A sigh escaped his lips as he sat next to me. “But it’s always better to feel something than to feel nothing.”
Us? I glanced at him and placed my arm around his shoulder. “That’s some heavy stuff,” I commented lightly. “What did you say to that?”
He gave me a somber smile. “I asked him if he really believed that.” There was a slight pause as he took a deep breath. “And he said he believed that it wasn’t perfect.” Suddenly, his mood changed as he stood up and pulled out a box of assorted chocolates from the mini-fridge. “But you know, he came bearing gifts, which is more than I can say for you.”
I laughed a tired laugh and gave him a cherry lollipop that I stashed in my pocket. “Does he talk to you often?”
Henry shrugged casually as he placed a piece of dark chocolate on his tongue. “He often comes to bid me a good night.”
Kyuhyun really wasn’t the apathetic person that I deemed him to be. Maybe it was finally time for me to talk to him. A real conversation this time. No small talk. But first, I should talk to Ryeowook. He and Kyuhyun were friends.
“So,” I asked as I stood up. “You really are all right?”
He answered me with a smile of his that pushed his pale cheeks up into his eyes, and that was all the confirmation that I needed. Thus, I left his room and entered Ryeowook’s with a lighter weight on my shoulders.
I found Ryeowook lying on his bed with a pad propped on his stomach and pen in his hand. He was writing lyrics again.
“Ryeowook!” I shouted as I jumped on him.
“Oh god,” he groaned as he rolled away. “What do you want?”
I sat up straight and put on a serious face. “Can I talk to you about Kyuhyun?”
He must have sensed the anxiety that hovered about me like a butterfly because he too settled down. “What about?”
“Well,” I began. “You’re his friend and I could really use your help with something.”
“Uh-huh,” he nodded for me to continue.
“I want to be a better friend to him, but I don’t know how.” I stole a look at Ryeowook, who was giving me his undivided attention. “When I try to talk to him, he goes off on these tangents that have nothing to do with what I said. And he never wants to know more about me. And what’s with all these jokes on Siwon?” My voice was steadily rising and my hands shook a little so I stopped talking.
“Oh my God!” exclaimed Ryeowook as he clapped his hands together in childish delight. “You like Kyuhyun.”
I hit him with his own pillow. “No, I don’t.”
“You love Kyuhyun,” he said in a sing-song voice as he jumped about the room. “You loooove Kyuhyun!”
Slightly irritated, I tackled him to the ground. “Hey,” I complained. “I’m trying to be serious here.”
“So am I,” he said, his voice serious once more. Pushing me off of him, he sat up and stared at me like a biologist studying a parasite through a microscope. “Can I ask when?”
“I don’t really know,” I shrugged. “Maybe since the accident.”
“So you want me to help you?”
“Yeah,” I laughed. “That’s what I’m asking for. You’re his friend. You should know his secrets and other things that are worth knowing.”
While stretching his legs, Ryeowook gave a loud yawn and stood up, pulling me with him. “I’m not privy to all of his secrets and abnormalities,” he muttered kindly.
“I only know what I have observed,” I confided. “Other than that, he doesn’t tell me much about himself.”
“I suspect, then, that you know that he reads Shakespeare,” he stated thoughtfully. I gave him a slight nod. “Few people do. Most people think that he’s into games and dramas. You know, this might be a long conversation. Let’s sit on my bed.” With that, we resituated ourselves. “Have you asked him why he likes the Brit so much?”
“A long time ago before the accident,” I replied shamefully and nervously, not daring to look at Ryeowook. “He said something about flow and imagery.”
Ryeowook’s face twisted into a pained expression. “You made fun of him,” he murmured quietly. He took my hands and patted them affectionately. “You made fun of him,” he repeated. “Nonetheless, I will help you.”
Nodding, I choked out a strained thank you. “I’m sorry,” I apologized to him, but maybe more to Kyuhyun.
“When you talk to him, tell him a bit about yourself,” he advised. “He won’t tell you about himself if you don’t tell him about yourself. It’s a trade-off.” He paused to get a drink of juice before he continued. “It will be difficult at first. He might be reluctant to share. You might be too.”
“Is this the tactic you use on him?” I asked.
“No, it’s not my tactic,” he corrected. “It’s Kyuhyun’s code. You can’t expect to be his friend if you think that he’s a game.”
“Also, listen to him sing.” Upon seeing my confused countenance, he elaborated. “He sings differently off camera. You should really hear it.”
That was how our conversation ended. Instead of leaving, I stayed with Ryeowook and watched some Chinese game shows until Hankyung told us that it was time for dinner.
“I’m gonna get Kyuhyun,” I informed the singer as I stood up.
When I was a foot away from the door, Ryeowook called out to me. “Donghae, don’t love him out of guilt or pity. He doesn’t - it’s just - we don’t want him to be emotionally broken too.”
With that in mind, I left his room.