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. ^^
“Kyuhyun!” I called out as I opened the door to our room. “It’s time to eat.” But I was barely through the door before I noticed that the room was barely lit. The curtains were drawn, allowing only a fraction of the light from the setting sun to illuminate the human-sized figure on one of the beds.
Buried beneath a layer of maroon was Kyuhyun. He had pulled the blanket up so high that only his eyes and hair were visible. Beside his head was pair of jeans and a black shirt, carefully folded and positioned as not to fall of the bed. The book that was on his bed several hours before was nowhere to be seen. Not knowing what to do, I walked to the door, where I noticed Kyuhyun’s black Adidas lying by the entrance. The left shoe had a pair of striped socks stuffed into it like a Thanksgiving turkey.
Worried, I returned to Kyuhyun’s side and knelt down. “Hey,” I whispered as I put my hand on his head. His hair was still a bit damp; he must have taken a shower no more than an hour ago. “Are you hungry?”
Surprisingly, he opened his dark eyes and gave me a smile as he pulled down the blanket to reveal more of his face. “Go eat,” he said to me without a trace of sleep in his voice. “You need to keep your strength up.”
I removed my hand from his head and placed them on my knees. “You’re just going to sleep?” I asked in askance.
“Uh-huh,” he said as he closed his eyes again. “Perchance to dream.”
It was from Hamlet. That line. I read the play already, so I knew. He could’ve been taking it out of context. Perturbed, I hastily headed for Hankyung’s room, ate a few spoonfuls of food while the others were telling me to slow down, went back to my room, and got into bed.
I turned on my side so that I could see him. He was sleeping now; his breathing was deep and even. From what I could gauge, he was curled up with his knees pulled up to his waist or maybe a little bit lower. His arms were probably folded in front of him, but I couldn’t be sure since I couldn’t see beneath the covers.
I remained vigil for a while since I was vacillating between asking Hankyung for assistance and watching over Kyuhyun by myself. However, that didn’t go so well.
I must have fallen asleep somewhere between cyanide and a noose because I was stirred out of my sleep by the sound of water coming from the bathroom. That must be Kyuhyun. Groaning and stretching, I sat up in my bed and peered outside through the curtains’ tiny opening.
It was early morning. The sun had not risen yet, but the sky was painted a faint rosy pigment at the horizon line. Sunrise would arrive in a couple of minutes.
Upon hearing the characteristic squeak of the water being turned off, I immediately lied back down but kept my eyes opened. Just moments later, Kyuhyun opened the bathroom door walked out, letting some light shower our room. He was wearing the clothes that he put out last night. After he turned off the lights and closed the bathroom door, he put on his shoes and exited our room, closing the door softly behind him.
Anxious, I followed him out the door barefoot, not bothering to wear any shoes. He was already out of our hallway and out of my line of vision, so I quietly strode to the elevators. He wasn’t there, and the elevators were unused. It was eerie being in here by myself even though the hotel was dimly lit. The only thing left was the stairs.
I opened the door that led to the emergency stairs and looked up and down. How many movies have I seen where the characters were killed at the stairs? Not knowing where to go, I waited several moments in hopes of hearing his footsteps. THUD. THUD. It came from above. I quickly and softly bolted up the stairs, barely feeling the coldness of the steel against my feet.
I followed the sound of his footsteps all the way to the roof, which wasn’t too far from our floor. As I neared the rusted metal door that opened to the flat rooftop, I slowed down and steadied my labored breathing. He didn’t close the door; it probably locked from the inside.
Not wishing to make him aware of my presence, I stood at the top step, but I remained only twenty feet behind him. Leaning against the discolored walls for support, I watched Kyuhyun as he put his hands in the pockets of his jeans. I watched as he stood still. I watched as his shoulders moved up and down as he took a deep breath when a tiny sliver of the sun’s face broke through the horizon and chased away the remnants of the night.
Eleven minutes passed as I waited with bated breath to see if he would do anything dangerous, like make a swan dive off the building. But he just stood there with his back to me. About a quarter of the sun was visible now, but only Kyuhyun’s outline was visible to me.
Suddenly feeling as if I was intruding on a private moment, I reluctantly returned to the empty hotel room.
We had another big day ahead of us so I decided to get ready. By the time I was out of the shower, Kyuhyun was back in our room with a cup of coffee in hand.
“Good morning,” he said brightly as he offered me the drink. He was like that for the rest of day. Cheerful and full of floppy, hoppy bunnies.
I guess being on the roof was sort of his ritual, a way to renew himself. For several days after that, I often found him on the top at odd times of the day. I never let him know that I knew, and I imagined that I discovered his little corner of the universe.
On the fourth day since I first uncovered his sanctuary, Kyuhyun suddenly asked me if I wanted to play chess. We had finished with our schedules early and were sitting in on our beds, respectively.
“Sure,” I consented as I sat up on my bed and propped myself on my pillow.
Within one minute, he was opposite of me on my bed and setting up the chess pieces, delicately moving his fingers as not to knock over any pieces. I was white and he was black.
“I assume that you know how to play,” he stated.
“Mm-hmm.” Not really.
“You can go first.”
I moved a pawn. He did the same. The game went on for a while before I finally spoke.
“Kyuhyun, I would like to apologize,” I declared from out of the blue.
“For what?” he implored, looking at me with unrestrained curiosity.
I leaned back a foot and supported myself on my elbows. “For what happened in April.”
“You mean the accident? Not your fault. No harm, no foul.” He moved his bishop. “It’s your turn.”
I picked up my knight and moved it forward. “No, not the accident,” I murmured. “For what happened before that.” I stole a quick glance at him. His hands were resting on his knees but his shoulders were tense. I took that as motivation to continue. “I wasn’t that nice to you when you joined Super Junior. Sure, I was decent enough on camera. But I always made fun of you. Of the way you dance. Of how you like Shakespeare. Then the accident happened and I didn’t know what to do. I wanted - ”
“That’s enough,” he interjected harshly.
“No, it isn’t - ”
“Yes, it is,” he insisted firmly but softly this time. “I don’t need your guilt. What do you want? My forgiveness? I gave it to you nearly a year ago. So let it go, okay?”
“You forgave me?” I asked, shocked by the news.
Remembering the pain that I glimpsed on our first week in China, I quietly prompted, “But you still hurt.”
Sighing, he gave me a soft smile. “But I hurt less each day.”
We continued to play in silence. I had a couple of his pawns and he had a few of pieces. Then I decided to bring up another topic.
“I miss Korea,” I sighed.
I shrugged. “I miss our friends.” My queen took his rook. “I miss the people and I miss the ability to walk outside without the fear of getting lost.”
“Don’t we all.”
Taken aback, I implored, “Don’t you miss home?”
“I do,” he affirmed. “But I try not to let it get to me.” He knitted his eyebrows together, as if deciding whether or not to tell me. “It’s my dream to become a singer.” His queen took my knight. “So if it means that I have to leave my home, I’m willing to make that sacrifice.”
He left his queen open, so my rook took it. When he realized what had happened, he leaned towards the board and put his chin in his hands. His lower lip disappeared beneath his upper lip as he struggled with the fact that he just lost the most valuable player. In the end, he opted to move one of his knights.
“You have deep thoughts,” I commented as I moved another piece.
“That’s what they say. Checkmate.”
Startled, I checked the board carefully. He was right. His last rook was in the position to take my king. “You win,” I concluded.
Instead of moving his rook, Kyuhyun placed his hand on his king and knocked in down. “Stalemate.”
I opened my mouth to protest, but Ryeowook interrupted before I said anything. “Hankyung’s room. Now. Meeting.”
Both of us immediately jumped from my bed and headed to the meeting place.