Hankyung was about to protest but he saw from the corner of his eyes Kibum and Ryeowook move closer to Kyuhyun, both reaching out to touch Kyuhyun. He knew that the two needed the time alone to reacquaint with the fact that Kyuhyun was alright even if there were emotional scars that still remained. Hankyung gently shut the door behind him as he headed out to the living room behind Eeteuk. Hankyung was half listening to Eeteuk, and half worrying about the three magnaes in the room. But he did pay enough attention to know that they had come up with a tentative plan to take care of Kyuhyun. As they dispersed to go collect their blanket, Hankyung walked silently back to his room. He sat on his bed and took out his handphone. Hankyung knew that he should be carrying his blanket and pillow to the living room, but right now, he just wanted some time by himself. So many things had occurred so suddenly, leaving Hankyung gasping for air. First was the accident, then finding out about Kyuhyun’s parents, then the nightmare, and then having to leave Kyuhyun alone in the house, and now this.
Hankyung tried to be strong throughout the whole time, throughout the time they found Kyuhyun lying in the bathroom. But he couldn’t. He could feel his resolve breaking when he was tending to Kyuhyun’s wound. The only reason why he didn’t collapse there was because Ryeowook was quietly taking care of him. Hankyung was not sure if Ryeowook instinctively knew that he was about to break, but he certainly was glad for the help. Now alone in his room, Hankyung finally let the emotions take hold of him. Hankyung gave in to the tears that had threatened to escape when he saw Kyuhyun lying on the bathroom floor. When he first saw the blood on Kyuhyun’s hand, his first thought was that Kyuhyun tried to end his life. With all the problems that Kyuhyun had faced and was still facing, Hankyung wondered if that thought ever crossed Kyuhyun’s mind. But Hankyung was upset that he thought Kyuhyun had given up. He was upset that he did not have faith in their friendship, in their love, and most importantly in Kyuhyun. It was obvious that Kyuhyun was a strong person to have survived his childhood, even if he did not survive unscathed. Hankyung could not imagine how Kyuhyun grew up alone, how he grew up without parental guidance.
Thinking about parents gave Hankyung have the urge to call his parents. That was why he held his phone in his hand. He was just wondering whether he should call. He didn’t want to worry his mother. But there was a part of him that wanted to act like a child then, to be comforted by his mother like a little child after a nightmare. Hankyung pressed the button and brought the phone to his ear.
Hankyung didn’t speak. He was overwhelmed with emotion at hearing his mother’s voice after such a stressful day.
“Shi ni ma, Han Geng?” Is that you, Hankyung?
“Zhen me le? Wei he bu shuo hua?” What’s wrong? Why aren’t you speaking?
His mother’s worried voice came across the phone.
“Mei shi. Wo mei shi.” Nothing. I’m fine.
“Geng, ni yi ding you shi. Bie pian wo.” Hankyung, you’re not fine. Stop lying to me.
“Shi zhen de.” It’s true.
However, Hankyung was not able to hide the sniffles that escaped from his mouth. Listening to his mother’s voice brought back memories of his childhood where his mother would always play with him, feed him, hug him or just plainly be there for him. It made him really grateful that he had such a wonderful mother, but it also made him realise distinctly how much Kyuhyun had missed out.
“Geng, bie ku. Sui ran wo bu zhi dao fa sheng le shen me shi, dan shi, Geng, ni yi ding qing zhu. Sui ran ni bu ke yi bi mian bei shang de niao er cong tou shang fei guo, dan shi ni ke yi zhu zhi ta zai ni tou shang jian wo.”
Geng, don’t cry. Even though I don’t know what happened, Geng, you must remember. You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.
Hankyung nodded over the phone, absorbing the words of wisdom from his mother. Yes, everyone experienced sorrow, it was part and parcel of life. It was how and what they did that mattered. If they let the sorrow rule their lives, they would get nowhere. That was a statement that told Hankyung it was alright to cry when he was sad, but after crying, always, always stand back up again to face whatever life threw at you.
“Xie xie, Ma.” Thank you, Mother.
“Geng yao hao hao de zhao gu zi ji. Bie mei ci ba xin shi dou bie zai xin li. Yi ding yao shuo chu la. Wu lun fa sheng le shen me shi, Ma Ma yong yuan dou ai zhe ni.” Geng, you must take good care of yourself. Don’t always keep your feelings within you. You have to say it out to someone. No matter what happens, I will always love you.
Hankyung smiled over the phone, wiping the tears from his face.
“Ma, wo ai ni.” Mother, I love you.
Without waiting for a reply from his mother, Hankyung hung up the phone, a little embarrassed, but glad that he got that out of his chest. After seeing Kyuhyun bleeding in the bathroom, Hankyung had been meaning to call his mother, because he realised how easily someone could be taken away from him. He didn’t want to regret not telling anyone how much they meant to him. Hankyung wiped his face clear of the tear tracks and smiled at himself, glad to have sorted out some of his feelings with his mother. He grabbed the blanket and pillows and headed out of the room.
“…It does nothing to change the fact that you are our leader, our Umma of Super Junior whom we respect and adore above all other leaders. Nothing will change our belief.” Heechul’s voice travelled to Hankyung’s ears as he saw Eeteuk staring at Heechul. Hankyung decided to speak up, standing by his enlightenment from his mother.
“Chullie’s right, Teukie. You will be our leader no matter what. We love you regardless.”
Ryeowook and Kibum each took one side of the bed beside Kyuhyun. They stared at Kyuhyun, as if to imprint the image of him lying on bed in their minds. Kyuhyun’s fever had lowered a little, despite the wheezing still refused to let go of Kyuhyun. Ryeowook hoped that this flu would not harm Kyuhyun’s lungs. He could not imagine how Kyuhyun would feel like if he discovered that he may not be able to sing. Ryeowook knew that it was devastating for Kyuhyun when he first learned that his ability to sing may be impaired after the accident. To be told the same thing so soon after learning that he could sing again, Ryeowook could not even fathom what Kyuhyun’s reaction would be. Ryeowook held onto Kyuhyun’s hand, feeling the warmth. Even if Kyuhyun’s hand felt a little hot, to Ryeowook, it was the proof that he was still alive and not lying cold somewhere. It was indeed traumatising for Ryeowook to find Kyuhyun on the bathroom floor. Of all the situations that ran through his mind when they rushed down to Kyuhyun’s house, never did Ryeowook to find what he saw.
I should have made him talk to me that day he called me. It was the next day that he was left home alone. How come none of us knew? Ryeowook was mentally berating himself. None of them had pestered Kyuhyun to tell them his problems, believing that Kyuhyun would talk to them when he wanted to. Ryeowook didn’t know that Heechul had tried, but Kyuhyun proved to be too determined. We should know by now that Kyuhyun would not take that first step towards us. Too much had happened to him such that he does not place faith in others. Ryeowook had observed all that by being Kyuhyun’s room mate. He knew that sometimes Kyuhyun would keep a ear on his conversation with his family while pretending to be absorbed in his video games. Ryeowook didn’t know why then, but he felt that he might have some idea now. I wonder if the video games were his comfort when he was living in the house.
Ryeowook and Kibum did not talk at all, each needing the silence to confirm with their own eyes that Kyuhyun was lying right in front of them, but he was no longer on the bathroom floor. Kibum, like Ryeowook, held Kyuhyun’s hand in his. It had been a roller coaster ride for Kibum the past few months, from the accident to his breaking down to Kyuhyun’s waking to learning about Jong Ki. And now this. It really made Kibum think about his relationship with Kyuhyun. In the past few months, he had discovered more about Kyuhyun than in the months since Kyuhyun had joined them. Was our relationship that superficial then? Kibum wondered why he never knew those facts about Kyuhyun. He wondered why it had to take such horrible incidents to get all of them to know. Was it because they refused to see what was obvious in front of them? Kibum never suspected anything when Kyuhyun asked about his family. He had believed that Kyuhyun was just curious about his family – which Kyuhyun was. Kibum stared at Kyuhyun. Why don’t you let us into your world? Why do you keep everything in your heart? Did you think that we’ll think you’re weird? Why Kyu? Why? How Kibum wished he could ask those questions out loud to Kyuhyun, how he wished they could be answered.
Kibum used his other hand to stroke Kyuhyun’s hair. He had witnessed how Kyuhyun relaxed under such administrations. I should have noticed something was wrong earlier when I noticed that Kyuhyun had not been calling. I should not have assumed that he had called others. Why couldn’t I have picked up my phone to call him? Why did I wait for him to call me? It takes two hands to clap, Kim Kibum. If you were upset for him not calling you, why didn’t you call back? Why weren’t you there when he needed you? Time and time again, despite promising to be there, they had not been able to. It didn’t matter that they did not know about it, that Kyuhyun did not tell them. All it mattered was that they were not able to fulfil their promise. Kibum was saddened by the fact that despite all the promises they made, none of them saw this coming. None of them had thought much about Kyuhyun when they were busy. Was Kyuhyun that easily forgettable? Did he leave such little impact in our lives? Kibum continued to berate himself.
“Kibummie, Wookie, I’ll take over from here. Why not you two go get some sleep? It has been a stressful day for all of us, especially both of you.” Kangin spoke as he walked into the room.
Kibum and Ryeowook looked up. “But Hyung, who would take care of Kyuhyun?” Ryeowook asked, unwilling to leave him alone.
“Me. And later Yesung. We have drawn up a schedule to make sure that someone will be there for Kyuhyun all the time. So just go have some sleep k? We’re all bunking in the living room today.” Kangin explained walking closer to Kyuhyun.
Kibum and Ryeowook took a look at Kangin before getting up from their seats. Kangin took Kibum’s seat, gently shooing the other two out of the room. Kibum took hold of Ryeowook’s hand and they left the room together holding hands. Kibum just wanted someone to anchor him to reality to prevent his mind from drifting to the image of Kyuhyun.
Kangin stared at Kyuhyun, wondering when Kyuhyun began looking so small, so vulnerable on the bed. His dongsaeng had never looked like that before the accident, before all the problems began piling up. Kangin wondered if it was the accident that caused Kyuhyun to be so vulnerable, or it was the cracking of the mask that Kyuhyun was wearing all the time. Perhaps it was both. Whatever the reason was it does not matter now. Now we have to take care of Kyuhyun and take things step by step. Kangin felt tears prickled at his eyes. He had always been strong, and it took a lot to get him crying. But looking at Kyuhyun now, Kangin could not help but let the tears escape. Nowadays, every time he thought of Kyuhyun, Kangin could not help but think of how much they had neglected Kyuhyun, of how much they had failed him as his hyungs. They practically knew nothing about Kyuhyun, until the accident unearthed some secrets that Kyuhyun meant to kept hidden. Kangin laid his head on Kyuhyun’s chest, listening to the heart beating as well as the harsh breathing.
The beating of the heart told Kangin that Kyuhyun was alive and was now safe in their dorm – not lying in the hospital or lying on the bathroom floor. It comforted him to know that his dongsaeng was right there with him. But the harsh breathing brought back the harsh reality. It told him of the duties they did not do as his hyungs, as a family because Kyuhyun had always seem so independent that they had never found the need to take care of him. It told him of how young Kyuhyun was, of how he was still recovering from the accident. It told Kangin that Kyuhyun was just like a child, in need of care and concern from the people around him. And most importantly, it told Kangin of how much Kyuhyun cared for them to not want to disturb them even when he was sick. Kangin kept his ear on Kyuhyun’s chest, letting the breathing and beating lure him to sleep.
Yesung gently opened the door to enter the room. “Kangin, it’s time to change shift.” Yesung whispered, not wanting to disturb those who were sleeping. Kangin lifted his head from Kyuhyun’s chest, looking blearily at Yesung.
“It’s time for you to sleep. I’ll stay with Kyuhyun.”
Kangin’s brain slowly processed the statement as he nodded and placed Kyuhyun’s hand down on the bed. Yesung opened the door and let Kangin walk out. Before Kangin left, he turned back to remind Yesung to wake Kyuhyun up to take his medicine later. Yesung nodded as he walked towards Kyuhyun.
Yesung occupied the chair Ryeowook sat on previously, taking up the same position as Ryeowook. He caressed Kyuhyun’s hand in his, glad that the skin was not so warm anymore, even if the breathing still sounded a little laboured. Yesung closed his eyes as he hummed softly. He heard that sometimes listening to music help ease the pain that people felt. He hoped that this would help Kyuhyun get better. As he hummed, Yesung let his mind drift. Just like music which could take them to any where they liked, Yesung really wished that he had the ability to twist time so that he could rewind the time all the way till before the accident, to bring them back to happier times where they were still carefree children. But that would mean that we would never find out about Kyuhyun’s past.
It was a struggle. Yesung didn’t want Kyuhyun to be upset, but he also didn’t want to not know about Kyuhyun’s past. He was not about to let Kyuhyun carry the thinking that he was not good enough for his mother his whole life. it was as if there was an angel and a devil quarrelling over his head, each insisting they were right and refused to give in. He wished there was a straight forward and simple answer in life regarding such issues. Yet sadly Yesung knew that that only existed in their imagination. If there was such a thing, they would not be so stressed at the moment. Yesung wished there was something more that he could do instead of just sitting there, humming a song which Yesung did not even know if Kyuhyun heard it.
Then Yesung remembered. He was supposed to wake Kyuhyun to give him his medicine. Yesung stopped humming and gently spoke, “Kyu, wake up. It’s time to eat your medicine.”
There was no response as Yesung stared into Kyuhyun’s face, taking in the gaunt look and the eye bags beneath Kyuhyun’s eyes. He must have been taking care of his mother the past week. Why didn’t he take care of himself? Didn’t he know that there are people out there who are worried about him? Who care for him? Yesung paused in his thoughts as the answer came almost naturally to him.
Because he does not believe that. Because of how he was treated by his parents.
One day, this will not appear in my head again. One day, I’ll make it sure to Kyu that we all love him and we will never abandon him.
Yesung was about to repeat his statement when he saw Kyuhyun’s eyes open slightly.
“Kyu, you’re awake.” Yesung sighed.
“Who … are … you?” Kyuhyun asked with a little difficulty.
“I’m Yesung. It’s time for your…” Yesung stopped in mid-way as Kyuhyun flinched and quickly shifted away from him and taking his hand along, despite still looking very pale.
“Kyuhyunnie, what’s wrong?” Yesung asked concerned, reaching a hand out to touch Kyuhyun.
Kyuhyun’s response was to bring his arms and legs closer to his body, trying to make himself become a ball on the bed. Yesung persisted in touching Kyuhyun, causing Kyuhyun to shout out, albeit a little soft.
“Don’t touch me!”
Yesung quickly raised his hand in surrender, backing away from Kyuhyun, letting Kyuhyun have more space. Kyuhyun peeked out at Yesung from the corner of his eyes, shivering slightly as he observed Yesung backing away. Yesung was halfway through the room when Kangin rushed in. He was the only one still preparing to sleep. The rest had already fallen asleep.
“What happened?” He said loudly, catching both Yesung’s and Kyuhyun’s attention.
Kyuhyun fell off the bed as his eyes widened at the voice.
“Kyuhyun!” Yesung and Kangin shouted as a ‘thud’ was heard.
Kyuhyun immediately got up from the floor and ran towards the little corner of the room, pulling the blanket with him. He covered the blanket over his body as he huddled in the corner, making him as small as possible. Yesung and Kangin rushed over wanting to check if Kyuhyun was fine.
“Kyu, are you okay?” Kangin reached out a hand to touch Kyuhyun.
Kyuhyun began to tremble more as Kangin’s hands got closer. “No. Don’t touch me. Go away. Go away. Go away.”
Yesung caught the mumbling and remembering Kyuhyun’s reaction just now, Yesung grabbed Kangin’s hand before Kangin could touch Kyuhyun. No, Yesung moved to Kangin when Kangin flashed anger at him. Kyuhyun apparently noticed that no one was about to touch him. He slowly pulled the blanket higher until only his eyes and above was visible. The two older ones just stared at Kyuhyun, wondering what they could do.
Just then, someone ran in. Their shouts had apparently woken the dorm. “What’s wrong with Kyuhyun?”
Yesung and Kangin turned quickly upon hearing the voice.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
Everyone jerked awake from their positions in the living room. Although they were sleeping, after the events that occurred, none of them was sleeping deeply. Eeteuk was the first to react, climbing out of his blanket next to Heechul. Behind him, the rest tried to follow but were tangled in their blankets. Eeteuk ran straight to the room which the door was left open only to see Kangin and Yesung standing in the middle of the room facing a corner.
“What’s wrong with Kyuhyun?”
Yesung and Kangin turned to face Eeteuk, unable to answer as they too had no inkling about Kyuhyun’s reaction. Eeteuk looked worriedly to the bed. “Where’s Kyuhyun?”
Yesung slowly pointed to the corner which was covered by them previously. Eeteuk followed his finger and saw a blue ball huddled in the corner with a tuft of hair showing through the top. What is he doing there? He should be on the bed. Eeteuk rushed towards Kyuhyun wanting to get him off the hard and cold floor which was bound to worsen his flu. Yesung didn’t stop Eeteuk this time, thinking that anyone could get through to Kyuhyun now, it would be Eeteuk. By then, the rest had managed to untangle from the mess of blankets and squeezed into the room.
Kyuhyun vaguely heard someone talking to him as the fog in his head cleared. Mother?
“Who…are…you?” Kyuhyun opened his eyes but they didn’t seem to focus on the figure in front of him. He only saw a black blob.
Kyuhyun heard no more as his body automatically reacted. He pushed himself as far away from the figure as he could while still remaining on the bed. Don’t touch me. Kyuhyun was fearful of people touching him. He didn’t know if they were going to hug him, or simply just push him away. There was hope for the first, but Kyuhyun’s body had been conditioned for rejection. He simply believed that people only wanted to be in contact with him to push him away. His mother did that, his classmates did that, people around him did that, his father did not even bother to touch him. During the time Kyuhyun had stayed with the rest, he became slightly used to the touches his hyungs showered on him, even if he wondered every time when they would change their minds. Kyuhyun became accustomed to linking touches to rejection that he would rather people not touch him at all despite how much he craved for it. He was usually able to suppress his reaction but this time, the illness and the nightmare both ruined the control.
Kyuhyun sensed rather than saw Yesung backing away from him. He relaxed a little but still kept his guard up. The dream remained vivid in his head. He was afraid that Yesung would shake his hand away again. As he was about to look up at Yesung, Kyuhyun heard another voice. Kyuhyun panicked and fell to the ground.
It hurt hitting the ground, but Kyuhyun did not stop. He pulled his blanket and curled up in the tiny corner. It had yet to register in Kyuhyun’s head that he was no longer in his house, but back in the dorm. His mind was still trapped in the nightmare – he was left alone in the brightness where he could clearly see his hyungs walking away from him.
“Kyu, are you okay?”
Kyuhyun saw from the corner of his eyes that Kangin’s hand was about to touch him. Kyuhyun trembled, wondering what Kangin was going to do. He didn’t want to be pushed away again.
“We don’t need you here.”
“You’re unwanted here.”
“No. Don’t touch me. Go away. Go away. Go away.” Kyuhyun mumbled frantically to himself, wanting to get rid of the tendrils that kept reaching out to grab him in his mind. He wanted the words to disappear, to leave him alone. However, some part of Kyuhyun was fearful of Kangin’s touch. His brain remembered the words clearly, which told him that he would be hurt if he was touched. In his hysterical mind which was trying desperately to silence the words, Kyuhyun no longer knew what was real and what was his dream.
“You don’t deserve it.”
“…never made friends with you.”
He pulled the blanket up, almost covering his face. He didn’t want to let Yesung and Kangin see the emotions flash past his face, yet he still wanted to keep the two in view. He could not understand why they were still there, why they didn’t walk away. Then Kyuhyun heard Eeteuk’s voice.
Kyuhyun pulled the blanket over his head. He didn’t want to see Eeteuk-hyung. He ignored you. Totally ignored you. Has he ever ignored anyone in Super Junior before? No. He was always there. A sinister voice that sounded suspiciously like his mother and Jong Ki’s brother combined whispered in his head. He was there for everyone but you. Kyuhyun shook his head vigorously trying his best to deny the words, but his resolve wavered. Where was he when you had a nightmare? Where was he when you dreamt that they left you? Definitely not with you.
As Eeteuk gently pulled down the blanket, he felt unease at the way Kyuhyun was trying to shrink into himself and hide in the shadows. Eeteuk reached out to pat Kyuhyun’s head, having discovered in the past few months that Kyuhyun almost calmed down every time someone did that. When his hand touched Kyuhyun’s head, it was violently pushed away, startling Eeteuk, causing him to fall backwards.
“Don’t touch me! Leave me alone!” Kyuhyun screamed. Kyuhyun was getting desolate. The voice was convincing. Kyuhyun just didn’t want anyone to touch him now. He didn’t deserve it. He caused the death of Jong Ki who had such a bright future. He didn’t deserve anything, and certainly not the love from an angel such as Eeteuk-hyung. He would only taint the pure aura Eeteuk emit.
Kangin rushed forward to stop Eeteuk’s fall.
“Why did you push him?” Kangin didn’t mean to be reprimanding but he was so frustrated at the situation that he could not help it.
Kyuhyun showed no indication that he heard Kangin, except for the flinch. Is Eeteuk-hyung alright? Did I hurt him? He was so tempted to look up to check, but he didn’t dare. He didn’t want to see the anger and disappointment in his hyungs’ eyes which Kyuhyun knew would be there, just like how his parents always looked like. Instead, Kyuhyun shrank further into himself, refusing to even take a peak now.
Eeteuk reached out a hand from his position in Kangin’s arms, only to have Kyuhyun’s trembling intensify. Eeteuk let the arm drop limply to his side, collapsing into Kangin’s arms. Kangin gently carried Eeteuk back to where the rest were standing, leaving a space between Kyuhyun and them. Eeteuk was silently crying, wondering what exactly happened during the week Kyuhyun was left alone. He seemed even worse than when Kyuhyun was hospitalised.
The rest didn’t know what to make of the situation. None of them knew what was happening, not even Yesung who was present throughout. It only scared them out of their wits to see Kyuhyun acting like that. If even Jungsu-Umma is rejected, who can get through?
Siwon took a step forward, then another, and another. Kyuhyun did not seem to notice that Siwon was gradually getting closer and closer to him. Siwon stopped an arm’s length from Kyuhyun and bent down. He wanted to show Kyuhyun that he would not touch him.
“Kyuhyunnie, would you like to get out of there? We want to look at you. It’s been so long. We’ve missed you.”
Kyuhyun stilled hearing those words. Donghae, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Shindong and Kangin held their breaths, hope rising in their chests at the different reaction. But Siwon, being closest to Kyuhyun, knew instantaneously that he said something he should not have. Kyuhyun’s face turned even whiter. Siwon did not think that one could be so pale.
“…go back to before? Before everything fell on us? Before the pregnancy?”
Kyuhyun remembered the words his mother said, the words that spoke of the real thoughts of his mother. He remembered the aching pain that even when she was sick, she did not want her son there. Even your mother hates you. He remembered the slap on his wrist when his mother pushed the glass away. He could see in slow motion the glass shattering into pieces, into irreparable shards, just like his heart. It must have something to do with me. She doesn’t treat anyone else like that.
“Go away. Go away. Go away.” Kyuhyun muttered, wanting to be left alone. That was where he belonged – in the darkness, alone.
Siwon opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. He didn’t know how to react to it. He felt a tap on his shoulder and saw Heechul’s hand on his shoulder. Kibum walked past the two and leaned against the wall next to Kyuhyun. Kyuhyun tried to press himself against the wall more, but it was the maximum. Kibum made no move to show that he noticed Kyuhyun’s futile attempts. Hankyung slowly shooed the rest out of the room, knowing that Kyuhyun did not need so many people crowding around him. Even before the accident, Kyuhyun hated being in a crowd. Eeteuk didn’t protest at all. He was still shocked by Kyuhyun’s reaction. Kangin guided Eeteuk to the living room. Wordlessly, everyone sat down in a circle on the blankets on the floor.
Sungmin picked up his bunny and hugged it tight. When he saw Kyuhyun in that dark corner, his first reaction was to run over to pull him out to the light because that was where he belonged – in the light where everyone could see him. But he hesitated when Eeteuk was pushed. Sungmin didn’t want to cause more distressed to Kyuhyun.
Shindong felt like vomiting all the food he ate out. What happened in those few days he was in the house? What led to such a drastic change? Before the helpless feeling could engulf him again, Shindong squashed it down. Now, Kyu is staying here. We will be able to find out the problem and help him. We will.
Eunhyuk leaned onto Donghae, trying to digest what he had seen. He had only seen that kind of actions on television and movies. And only when there had been some abuse or deep trauma in the family. Eunhyuk was not happy with where his mind was heading towards. He didn’t want to consider the fact that Kyuhyun might have been abused. Which I don’t think he is, seeing how that idiot of a mother does not seem to favour touching Kyu. Eunhyuk scraped that idea, but somehow, somewhere, it continued to linger.
Ryeowook shut his eyes tight as he held on to Yesung. Now there were two images in his mind that he wanted to get rid off. How he wished Kyuhyun was singing to him like he did for Kyuhyun that day. How Ryeowook wish that fate was not so cruel to Kyuhyun, to them, making them suffer.
Heechul stared at Kangin.
“Hyah. What did you do to him?”
”What did you do that made him flinched at you?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t do anything.”
“You must have done something. He’s not one to act like that.”
“But I really didn’t do anything!”
The two were now arguing across the room, their voices getting louder and louder. Eeteuk was trying to hold Kangin down while Siwon did the same with Heechul.
“Stop it! Can you two stop it? Now is not the time to be placing the blame on anyone. I don’t mean that Hyung caused Kyu to be like that. Now is the time to be there for Kyuhyun. To help him know that he is and will always be part of us. With how you quarrel, it’s no wonder Kyuhyun doesn’t tell us anything.”
Donghae interrupted their quarrel, frustrated with everything that was happening. He sat down heavily on the blanket and ignored everyone. He couldn’t understand how his hyungs could be quarrelling when Kyuhyun was in the room, scared of them. He couldn’t understand why Kyuhyun was scared of them. He thought that sitting in a circle, they would be discussing their feelings over the issue and think of a way to help Kyuhyun, and not place the blame on each other and start quarrelling.
Heechul wanted to find a reason to explain everything. He wanted to know what was wrong, why Kyuhyun felt the need to be scared of them. He was frustrated. He knew that he should have phrased the question better, voiced it better, instead of the accusing tone he used. It’s no wonder Kyuhyun doesn’t tell us anything. How could he, when his hyungs act younger than him and are most probably reflecting his parents when they quarrel. Heechul felt guilty over his ungrounded accusation of Kangin, and for making Donghae so angry and upset. He shrugged to get Siwon to let go of him. Siwon released his grip hesitantly. Heechul kneeled on the blanket and bowed.
Everyone’s head looked at Heechul sharply. Heechul remained in that position. Kangin and Donghae both knew that Heechul was apologising for his actions. Eeteuk let go of Kangin, knowing that Kangin would do the right thing. Kangin went in front of Heechul, mimicking his actions.
“I’m sorry.” His apologies were to everyone.
Donghae kneeled in front of them. “Hyung, I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t mean to imply that it was your fault. I was doing the exact same thing I was accusing you of.”
Heechul and Kangin shook their heads, indicating that Donghae was right and that he was forgiven. Heechul looked up with tears brimming in his eyes and said, “Let’s find a way to help Kyuhyun.” Before letting the tears roll down.
Nods went round the circle, with Eeteuk, Sungmin, and Ryeowook silently crying despite the determination on their faces. Donghae enveloped Heechul in a hug, whispering into Heechul’s ears. “We will help Kyuhyun. ‘Cos we are family.”
Kibum sat quietly next to Kyuhyun, pretending not to notice any of the actions Kyuhyun was making. Hankyung shut the door quietly behind him before walking towards his dongsaengs. Hankyung sat down where Siwon was just now. He too kept his silence. Both Kibum and Hankyung knew that right now, no matter what they said Kyuhyun would not hear anything or believe what they say. They had to just be there next to Kyuhyun and wait – wait for Kyuhyun to make the first move towards them. It was the same when they had found him outside Heechul’s ward. It was so quiet that they could hear the whole quarrel between Heechul and Kangin as well as Donghae’s interruption. Hankyung noticed that Kyuhyun’s head tilted when he heard the quarrel and Donghae’s words. It was as if Kyuhyun was puzzled over the quarrel and confused over Donghae’s words. Hankyung believed that Kyuhyun’s actions today had something to do with Super Junior. It was just the ‘what’ that Hankyung did not know.
Kibum could almost hear his heart beat in the silence. He did not like this silence. It was not one he felt comfortable in. He knew that Kyuhyun cannot be forced to say something. He knew that in order to get to Kyuhyun, they must let Kyuhyun take the first step – the step towards knowing that there was someone there with him. Thus he waited patiently, humming a song below his voice, hoping to get through to Kyuhyun.
Kyuhyun noticed out of the corner of his eyes as one by one his hyungs left, each with a forlorn look on their faces, until only Kibum-hyung and Hankyung-hyung were left in the room. When he saw the look on his hyungs’ faces, Kyuhyun wanted to run up to them and hug them. But fear held him back. However Kyuhyun was grateful that he was not left alone in the room. If not it would have been exactly like his dream. Exactly like my dream? You mean…?
Kyuhyun’s head slowly emerged from the blanket, staring around him. It was then that it occurred to Kyuhyun that this was not his room. No it is my room – my room at the dorm. It finally registered to Kyuhyun that this was a different place. Does that mean…?
Kyuhyun slowly raised his hand out towards Hankyung who was in front of him. He touched the silky hair, feeling the texture. It feels real. I can touch it. Kyuhyun removed his hand from Hankyung’s hair quickly as he saw Hankyung looking at him.
Kibum pretended to be asleep as Kyuhyun turned his attention from Hankyung to him. Kyuhyun’s hand gently and slowly ran through Kibum’s hair. It feels like Kibum-hyung. Seeing that Kibum did not react to his touching, Kyuhyun got a little braver. His hand went to pat Kibum’s face. It’s warm. It really is.
“Kibum-hyung?” Kyuhyun’s voice though soft was heard immediately by Kibum and Hankyung. It carried hope, but there was fear. They did not understand the contradictory emotions in Kyuhyun’s voice.
“Kibum-hyung? Is that you?” Kyuhyun asked again, afraid that it was all a dream again where his hyungs had ignored him completely.
“Kyu, it’s me, Kibum. It’s me.” Kibum turned towards Kyuhyun, whose hand was still on Kibum’s face.
Kyuhyun stared at Kibum, as if contemplating if this was all a dream where his hyungs would disappear anytime now.
One thousand and one. One thousand and two.
Kyuhyun stared. His hyung was still there in front of him. It was not a dream. It was real.
“Hyung!” Kyuhyun threw himself into Kibum’s chest, fists curling around Kibum’s shirt.
Kibum was not prepared for the sudden attack. He fell sideways off the wall when Kyuhyun threw his weight on him. Hankyung did not react as well. Both of them had not expected that action from Kyuhyun.
Kyuhyun temporarily forgot his fear of touch with others as he was elated with the fact that his hyungs were there right there and then. He didn’t care if it was a dream or a reality. As long as his hyungs were there, it was fine with Kyuhyun.
“Hyung! You’re here. You’re here. You didn’t leave me. You didn’t leave me alone.” Kyuhyun cried into Kibum’s chest, trying to seeking assurance from Kibum. Kibum flashed a confused look at Hankyung. He had no idea what Kyuhyun was talking about.
“You’re here. Is this real? Are you really here? You’re not going to leave right?” Kyuhyun continued his tirade, not waiting for an answer. He was not sure if he wanted to know the answer to his questions. It would hurt even more if they answered no.
“Shh. I’m here. I’m really here. Hannie-hyung is here too. See?” Kibum tried to lift Kyuhyun’s head towards Hankyung, but Kyuhyun refused. He refused to let go of Kibum. He distinctly remembered the despair he felt when he could not reach any of his hyungs. He truly felt that they had abandoned him. Now that he was holding Kibum in his grip, he was not about to let go. If I let go, they would definitely leave me.
They would leave you even if you don’t let go. The sinister voice continued. Are you sure they’re real and not just a figment of your imagination? Are you sure?
“Shh. I’m here. It’s real. I’m not going to leave you. I’m going to be here. You’re going to stay with all of us in the dorm. We will all be here.” Kibum’s voice cut short the voice.
Right now, Kyuhyun was willing to believe his hyung’s words and voice, even though Kyuhyun knew that Kibum was just bluffing him. It could not be true.
But Kyuhyun just wanted to hold on to that small hope, that small possibility that life could get better.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
Kibum could only hold Kyuhyun in his arms from his position, whispering words into Kyuhyun’s ears.
“I’m here. I’m not leaving. Hannie is not leaving. We’re not leaving. You’re going to stay here. We’ll all be here.”
Kyuhyun continued to cry into Kibum’s chest, refusing to let go of Kibum’s shirt. Kyuhyun was really afraid that his hyung would vanish if he let go. His shoulders shook as the sobs wrecked through his body. Kibum had fallen to the ground when Kyuhyun suddenly flew into him. He lied on the ground with his arms around Kyuhyun, hugging Kyuhyun tightly, partly to prove to Kyuhyun that he was there, partly to prove to himself that Kyuhyun was there.
Hankyung walked towards the two, kneeling down beside them. He gently ran his hand through Kyuhyun’s hair, hoping to calm him down. He didn’t believe that all the crying was good for Kyuhyun when he was still sick. Kyuhyun showed no indication that he felt Hankyung’s hand on his head. Hankyung placed his other hand on Kibum, knowing that Kibum also required comfort. Kibum glanced up at Hankyung, gratitude in his eyes, despite the worry he still held for Kyuhyun.
Suddenly, Kyuhyun started coughing. He rolled off Kibum, crashing into Hankyung. Kyuhyun coughed harshly, curling into himself as the coughs got worse. Kyuhyun had one arm around his stomach and the other clenching his chest. Tears continued to flow as Kyuhyun coughed. Kibum hurriedly sat up, turning towards Hankyung. Hankyung had his hands on Kyuhyun’s shoulders, trying to get him to uncurl. He was not able to carry Kyuhyun when he was in that position.
“Kyu, hush, hush.” Hankyung said softly to Kyuhyun, trying to get the coughs to subside.
The coughs began to lessen, allowing Kyuhyun to uncurl a little. That was enough for Hankyung to carry him up. Kyuhyun grabbed Hankyung’s shirt as a sudden dizziness hit him when Hankyung stood up. Hankyung stayed still for a while, letting the giddiness pass for Kyuhyun. Hankyung walked towards the bed to place Kyuhyun on the bed. Kyuhyun had begun to shiver from being on the cold floor for too long despite wrapping himself with the blanket. Kibum quickly placed the blanket on top of Kyuhyun, adding another on top of the first one.
By then, Kyuhyun’s coughs had lessened. Hankyung placed a straw in front of Kyuhyun, wanting him to drink some water. Kyuhyun looked timidly at Hankyung before taking a sip of the water. Hankyung let Kyuhyun drink as much as he wanted before gently taking the straw away. Kyuhyun immediately lowered his gaze to his body as if he was afraid of making eye contact.
“Kyu, look at me.” Kibum said next to Hankyung, holding Kyuhyun’s hand.
Kyuhyun turned slowly to Kibum. What is he going to say?
“Kyu, tell me, tell us what happened. Why do you think we’re going to leave you?” Kibum pleaded, unable to see Kyuhyun looking so lost and so sad. Hankyung gave a gentle squeeze of Kibum’s shoulder, silently providing him strength.
Kyuhyun looked back down. He wanted to tell them, to have them comfort him, to tell him that it was not true. Yet on the other hand, Kyuhyun didn’t want to tell them. He didn’t want them to think that he was childish, to tell him that it was true, and to let them know exactly how much he cared because it would only be used against him. Do you think they actually care about what you think and feel?
“Kyu, we will still be here.” Hankyung spoke up.
“I had a dream.” Kyuhyun’s voice was soft. Kibum and Hankyung almost didn’t catch it. They leaned forward a little to listen.
“I dreamt that you all ignored me, that you left me alone. Yesung-hyung pushed my hand away. Kangin-hyung said that there was no need for me. You debuted as twelve and will remain as twelve.” Kyuhyun did not say the sentence that hurt him the most.
“There is no need for a thirteenth member.”
“It’s a stupid dream, right? I’m stupid to dream about it. It’s nothing serious.” Kyuhyun tried to pass it off as something that was just part of his imagination, laughing awkwardly.
Kibum and Hankyung were stunned. They didn’t know that Kyuhyun felt that way. Kibum believed that dreams reflected what someone felt. So the dream told him how Kyuhyun felt about their relationship with him. He never knew that Kyuhyun harboured such fear in him, didn’t know that Kyuhyun thought that he was simply an addition to Super Junior that could be easily subtracted off. Kibum wanted to scream that it was not true, that they would never abandon him, that he was not replaceable. But Kibum knew that none of his words would convince Kyuhyun of anything. It must be through their actions that would allow Kyuhyun to know that they would always be there.
Hankyung felt something pierce through his heart when Kyuhyun whispered the dream to them. To think Kyuhyun carried all this fear with him for god knows how long, and none of them knew anything about it. They should have suspected it, considering the fact that he entered last and was faced with all the controversies that revolved around the anti-fans. But no one knew. Hankyung was upset that Kyuhyun had such little trust in their relationship with each other as a group. But he could not bring himself to be angry at Kyuhyun. He knew somewhere in his heart that all this fear was largely a residue from his childhood. He knew that it would be a long time before they would be able to remove the entire residue, but for now, he was content to take the beginning steps to untangle the mess inside Kyuhyun to expose Kyuhyun to their love.
When Kyuhyun tried to deny his feelings by saying that his dream was stupid, Kibum couldn’t keep it in any longer.
“Cho Kyuhyun, don’t you dare try to deny your feelings. They are not stupid. They are legitimate. No matter how you feel, we will not laugh at you.”
Kyuhyun focused his eyes on Kibum in shock. Every time without fail when he used to tell his mother about his nightmares, his mother would laugh at him and say that he was such a childish kid, until Kyuhyun decided to deal with his nightmares on his own – by ignoring them to his best abilities. Yet now, here was Kibum-hyung telling him that it was okay to tell them his nightmares and that they would not laugh at him. Kyuhyun didn’t know who to believe – his mother or his hyung.
Believe the one who never made a major lie to you before. The sinister voice said. Kyuhyun was surprised that it actually gave a suggestion.
The one who has never lied to me. That would be Kibum-hyung. Kyuhyun concluded.
Are you sure he has never lied to you? Kyuhyun started to doubt his choice. He did lie to you. He said that he would always be there when you needed him, but he wasn’t. He broke his promise, just like your Jong-hyung. It’s your mother who never lied to you, always telling you the truth about yourself. Kyuhyun felt hurt that Kibum broke his promise to him. He must have been busy. Very busy.
Just like your mother? The voice said.
Kyuhyun shuddered as an image of him being ignored in favour of work flashed through his mind. No, Hyung would never do that, would he? Kyuhyun didn’t know what to believe anymore.
Tears emerged from Kyuhyun’s eyes silently, depicting the struggle in his head. Kibum didn’t know what to say anymore. He just stood there holding Kyuhyun’s hand as Kyuhyun stared straight ahead at the ceiling. Hankyung never said it out, but he was glad to see the tears rolling down. To him, that was evidence that somewhere in Kyuhyun’s heart he believed in their relationship, that he had hope in them. Hankyung kept silent, letting Kyuhyun let his emotions out of the tight box he kept them in.
As Kyuhyun cried, Kibum and Hankyung remained beside him. That struck something within Kyuhyun. They’re still around. They didn’t leave me. Kyuhyun could not suppress the hope that bubbled – the hope that his hyungs would remain with him, proving that voice wrong. Kyuhyun peeked from the corner of his eyes as his arm pulled inwards, when Kibum made to stand. But he stopped halfway realising that if his hyungs stayed too close to him, they would contract his flu as well. Kibum ignored the slight push on his arm as Kyuhyun tried to get Kibum to move further from him, choosing instead to wipe the tears off Kyuhyun’s face as he lifted the blanket to climb into the bed. Kibum lied down next to Kyuhyun, his arms strewn across Kyuhyun’s stomach and behind his shoulders. Right now Kibum didn’t care if he contracted the illness from Kyuhyun. So long as he was able to comfort Kyuhyun for that one night, and begin the long process of healing the wounds on Kyuhyun’s heart, he didn’t care.
“Sleep Kyu. You need to rest. Tomorrow we’ll continue the conversation.” Hankyung said before Kyuhyun could attempt to protest. Hankyung knew that Kyuhyun needed Kibum to stay with him that night. He knew that the dream was still fresh on Kyuhyun’s mind.
“Bummie, take care of Kyu k?” Hankyung ruffled both their hairs, smiling when he noticed the shy smile on Kyuhyun’s face. It was the smile Kyuhyun always had on his face when he first joined them – the one that found happiness in all the smallest actions they made. Back then, they had good-naturedly teased Kyuhyun about his smile. But now, Hankyung could guess the reason behind it.
Kibum nodded, keeping his hold on Kyuhyun. He hummed a song under his breath, not knowing that it was helping to shut the voice in Kyuhyun’s head. Hankyung turned to leave the room, trusting Kibum to take good care of Kyuhyun, and knowing that those outside the room must be anxious for any news. He took one last look at them before closing the door.
Kyuhyun had reached out a hand timidly holding on to Kibum’s shirt at the chest while Kibum kept his arms around Kyuhyun as if protecting him from the rest of the world.
Hankyung leaned against the wall outside of the room, trying to compose his feelings. He could still hear the sobs, the coughs and the words Kyuhyun said echoing in his mind. He did not even ponder about the reactions the rest were going to have when he told them that. Hankyung and Kibum didn’t suspect that Kyuhyun did not tell them the whole dream, but only part of it. When Hankyung entered the living room, everyone looked at him. Noticing the tired looks around, knowing that he was sporting the same look, Hankyung found himself a seat next to Heechul and Donghae.
“He’s asleep. Kibum’s with him.”
Everyone visibly relaxed, the high tension in the room slowly dissipated. Heechul was especially relieved. He was afraid that his quarrel might have affect Kyuhyun even more since it was rather loud. It was the first time Heechul had cried in front of them, cried tears of sadness in front of them. Heechul was upset at the whole situation, upset that Kyuhyun was hurt, that Kyuhyun was sad, that everyone was upset. Everyone had their breaking point and Heechul’s broke just now. His way to handle it was to lash out at something, which just now happened to be Kangin. Heechul was upset that he caused more sadness to his family instead of making it better. He didn’t bother to suppress the tears, knowing that it was time they flowed, if not he would lash out at even more people who didn’t deserve it.
“Why was he hiding in the corner?” Yesung asked. He had been wondering about that the whole time.
“He thought that we were not real. That we were just a dream.”
“Dream?” Sungmin asked, puzzled as to what exactly happened in his dream for such a drastic reaction.
“He dreamt that we left ignored him, that we left him. That Jongwoon shoved him away. That Youngwoon said that we didn’t need Kyu. That…” Hankyung looked towards the wall, unable to repeat the words. He knew that it would hurt them badly to hear these, and that it would hurt the most for Kangin.
“That we debuted as twelve and will remain as twelve.” Hankyung mumbled, seeking comfort in Heechul. Hankyung shut his eyes and tilted his head towards the ceiling. He didn’t wan to see the emotions fly across their faces.
Kangin’s jaw dropped. That was why Kyuhyun was running from him. Because he thought that I said those words. Kangin wondered if he did anything that made Kyuhyun feel that way about him. The only incident was the one that occurred when Heechul was hospitalised. But I thought we have already resolved that issue. Kangin could not help but feel that the feelings Kyuhyun had were leftovers from the incident. We didn’t manage to get to the bottom of the story. I will show him that we are thirteen and not twelve.
Shindong and Sungmin leaned onto each other. We will never leave you. Shindong thought. He was determined to never let Kyuhyun feel that way again. Kyu, how did you manage to hide all these from us when we stay together? From now on, I’ll make sure that you won’t hide them anymore. Sungmin’s fist clenched together, feeling the need to punch something.
Siwon was shocked. He didn’t know that Kyuhyun had such little faith in himself in them that they would not leave him that easily. We’re like the three musketeers, only that we have thirteen. One for all and all for one. We will never leave another behind.
Eunhyuk wondered how Kyuhyun coped with the accident. Of all the times they had seen Kyuhyun, he just seemed to be having more and more problems piling on him. Eunhyuk wondered when they would stop. When Kyuhyun could stop hurting and begin his healing process. We will be there for you.
Donghae stared at the ceiling. Appa, can you help me? I really don’t know what to do. How can someone – someone like Kyu – have such parents? How can I help him? I don’t want to see him so hurt and vulnerable anymore. I don’t want to see anyone like that ever. Appa, please.
I should have known. Ryeowook muttered mentally. He knew that Kyuhyun was affected by the anti-fans when he first debuted with them. He just didn’t know that it was that serious that caused Kyuhyun to still be afraid that he could be taken off Super Junior. Because he always hid his reactions from everyone. That is going to change.
Heechul closed his eyes after he heard Hankyung’s words. He knew how Kyuhyun felt about being left behind. Heechul had felt the same way when he was hospitalised. He had felt so unneeded by the rest as he could not do anything. But for Heechul, someone had noticed his fears, had noticed that he was about to give up, had noticed that he needed comfort and reassurance. Kyuhyun. Heechul grasped Donghae’s hand tightly. Sorry Kyu, that I didn’t notice anything. That I was just concerned about myself. Heechul doubted that he had the courage to say that to Kyuhyun. And knowing Kyuhyun, he would probably turn it around to comfort me. Heechul shook his head slightly. This time round it’s my turn.
Eeteuk felt everything crushing down on him. There was so much that he did not know about their magnae, so much such that every discovery came as a shock to him. Eeteuk couldn’t see how Kyuhyun managed to make it through all these months carrying those fears in him, how Kyuhyun still managed to genuinely smile with them. Eeteuk marvelled at Kyuhyun’s inner strength, but he also knew that the strength came at a price. Kyuhyun kept everything within himself in order to survive, and now, everything was exploding in his face at the same time, forcing Kyuhyun to deal with them on top of his injuries. Even the strongest man would have fallen. Eeteuk was about to doubt his ability as a leader when Heechul’s words came to him.
“You cannot notice everything.”
“…like all leaders, they have a team to fall back upon when they get tired …”
“You are not alone.”
Eeteuk knew then that he alone could not make Kyuhyun realise how wrong he was to think that way. It was them as a team that would make Kyuhyun realise how much they needed him, just like how much he needed them.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
He looked down. Blood. He looked up. It was a field of red. Everything that he saw was red, from the floor to the ceiling. Everything was dyed blood red. Every step that he took, his shoes made squishing noises as they came into contact with the still moist blood.
He spun around, trying to figure where he was. He wanted to escape from this place, this unknown place that ignited fear in him. He ran and ran, with no idea exactly where he was heading. Then he tripped over something on the floor. He fell head first into the pool of red. He shut his eyes, expecting the harsh impact with the floor and the disgusting wetness of the blood on his skin.
Instead, it was something soft and cold that collided with him. He opened his eyes to see a tuft of black hair. He quickly pushed himself up. It was a person he had tripped on. Blood was flowing from a wound on the person’s hand. That’s what tainting the whole place red. His eyes travelled up the person’s body, eyebrows furrowed together as he tried to connect the familiar features of the person with people he knew. As his eyes focused on the face, it hit him.
Kyuhyun! He kneeled down immediately casting aside his fear of the blood.
“Kyuhyun. Kyuhyun. Wake up! Please!”
His vision blurred as tears gathered in his eyes. He could no longer see Kyuhyun clearly. Kyuhyun was slowly vanishing from his sight. His hands reached out in the darkness, trying to hold on to his dongsaeng.
His eyes snapped open as he jerked up from his position on the floor. The fear was still visible in his eyes.
“Are you okay?” came a whispered question from one side. Sungmin had opened his eyes halfway, attempting to focus his vision on him. Sleepiness was heard in Sungmin’s voice.
“I’m okay. Go back to sleep.” He whispered back, trying to stop his voice from trembling.
Sungmin contemplated the answer before complying with the request. Sungmin snuggled further into his blanket, closing his eyes. He gave a silent sigh as he extracted himself from the blanket carefully, not wanting to wake the rest who were sleeping near him. His legs wobbled as he stood up. He stayed still for a while, willing his legs to stop shaking.
Slowly, tiptoeing over the various members lounging in the living room, he made his way to the room where Kyuhyun and Kibum were sleeping in. He turned the door knob carefully, pushing the door open. The door screeched. He stopped. He turned his head around to see if anyone woke up. To his relief, they all seemed to be sleeping too deeply to hear the screech. He peeked his head in to make sure that he did not wake the two sleeping dongsaengs in the room. He opened the door just wide enough for him to slip in, before closing the door gently behind him. He twisted around to face the room.
It’s not red.
That was the first thought that entered his mind. There were no squishing noises as he walked towards the pair. He reached out to pull a chair towards the bed. He plonked down softly on the chair, watching as the two slept.
Kibum’s hands were curled around Kyuhyun. Only Kyuhyun’s head was visible. The rest was buried under the blanket. Kyuhyun’s face scrunched up in hurt and Kyuhyun let out a small whimper. Before he could react, Kibum had subconsciously wrap his arms tighter around Kyuhyun, mumbling nonsensical words to Kyuhyun. It seemed to work as Kyuhyun’s whimper stopped and his face relax in sleep.
He smiled at the gesture from Kibum, reaching over to ruffle Kibum’s hair. Kibum whined a little before falling back into deep sleep. He draped his left arm over Kibum, holding on to Kyuhyun’s hand which still clenched onto Kibum. Using his right arm as a pillow, he laid his head on the bed, comforted by the fact that Kyuhyun was not in a pool of blood, that Kyuhyun was not alone, that Kibum was there, that he was able to reassure himself that they were all safe. Slowly, he drifted off to sleep.
Kibum’s eyes opened slowly as his internal clock woke him, despite still feeling sleepy. The first thing that came into his vision was Kyuhyun’s face. He looked peaceful, and the flushed look had disappeared slightly. Kibum lifted a hand to Kyuhyun’s forehead. It was still a little hot to the touch, but was much better than the day before. Kibum smiled, noticing that Kyuhyun had not shifted from his position at all. Kibum wished he could remain in this position the whole day; however, it was just a wish. He had to leave for filming today.
Kibum gently pulled his hand from under Kyuhyun, careful not to disturb him. Using both his hands, he tenderly unclenched the grip Kyuhyun had on his shirt which was surprisingly strong. Kyuhyun refused to let go of his shirt even in his sleep. Kibum sighed, twisting his body around to see if there was anything that he could use as a substitute. As he turned, he finally felt an extra limb on his body fall away as the blanket fell off Kibum.
Huh? Kibum was puzzled. As far as he knew, no one else was in the room with them when they fell asleep last night. He glanced down from the corner of his eyes, only to see a tuft of hair. He could not tell who it was. Deciding to just give it a try, Kibum called out softly.
“Hyung?” The figure stirred, taking his hand off Kibum to rub his eyes.
“Ryeowook-hyung? What are you doing here? Did you sleep here the whole night?” Kibum asked when he saw Ryeowook’s face.
Ryeowook had let go of Kyuhyun’s hand when he fell asleep in the night, but his arm remained over Kibum. Ryeowook was trying to process the barrage of question that Kibum threw at him. He too was wondering why he was sleeping on a chair. Then he remembered.
His eyes instantly focused on Kyuhyun. Ryeowook sighed when he saw Kyuhyun sleeping on the bed, with his hand bandaged. Kibum took all these into his eyes, from Ryeowook’s almost frantic stare at Kyuhyun to the sigh of relief. Kibum wondered what was with all the emotions that flashed past Ryeowook’s face.
“Bummie, why are you up so early?” Ryeowook asked as he glanced at the clock. 9 am. Scratch that. It’s not that early.
“I have a filming to go to, Wookie. But it seems like Kyu doesn’t want to let me go.” Kibum said, pointing to the hand at his shirt.
Ryeowook stood up, chuckling at the sight. It was heart-warming yet sad. Heart-warming because Kyuhyun simply looked too adorable doing that; sad because Ryeowook knew that fear of them leaving made Kyuhyun seek comfort in the tiniest ways possible. Ryeowook looked around, helping to find something to substitute Kibum temporarily. He would volunteer to take over Kibum’s position, but Ryeowook had something to attend to as well.
He pouted mentally at that, wanting to boycott the work, though he knew it would not be possible. Well, I could always just let it happen in my head. He could almost picture their manager’s face if he knew that Ryeowook boycotted.
Ryeowook spotted the bag of things that they packed from Kyuhyun’s room. They had yet to find time to help Kyuhyun unpack his things. Ryeowook opened it and pulled out the elephant and the blanket, lifting them for Kibum to see. Kibum nodded and Ryeowook brought the two items over. He lifted the two blankets off the pair, before helping Kibum to get Kyuhyun to release his grip.
“Kyu, I love to stay with you, but I have to go to the film site. I promise I’ll be back k? Hyung will be in here to accompany you soon.” Kibum said gently while he uncurled Kyuhyun’s fingers.
Kyuhyun seemed to have heard Kibum’s words as he didn’t grip back onto Kibum’s shirt. Ryeowook took the chance to place the stuffed elephant into Kyuhyun’s hand, watching as Kyuhyun’s fingers immediately closed around the foot of the elephant. Kibum sat up slowly and got off the bed. Kyuhyun whimpered at the lost of the warmth, his free hand reaching out. Ryeowook grabbed hold of his hand.
“Shh. It’s okay. I’m here. You’re not alone.”
Kibum shot a thankful look at Ryeowook, promising to send their hyung in to be with Kyuhyun. Kyuhyun calmed down when he felt someone grab his hand. He didn’t know who it was, but he was just glad that someone was with him. Ryeowook reclaimed his space on the chair as Kibum quietly left the room.
Outside the room, Kibum was met with lethargy floating around the air. None of them wanted to go about their work today. One, they were tired from the late night. Two they were tired from the scare they had the previous day. Three, they were still trying to grasp the fear they discovered Kyuhyun carried in him, wondering how they had missed it and how they could help get rid of it. They just were not in the mood to go to work today.
Kibum went to wash up before heading to the kitchen, looking for something to eat even if he didn’t feel like it. He knew he needed to get at least some food into him to get him through his filming. As he sat down on the table, he could see his reluctance to go to work plastered on all his hyungs’ faces – at least those that were going to work. Hankyung placed a bowl of porridge and some pills on the table in front of him. Kibum looked at the pills, opening his mouth to ask what they were for. Hankyung answered his question without Kibum having to say anything.
“They are vitamins. We won’t want you falling sick after spending the night with Kyu.”
Kibum looked around seeing nods from all over the table. He sighed. It was not that he wanted to get sick. Kibum just didn’t like eating vitamin pills. He resigned himself to the fate as the urge not to fall sick outweighed his dislike of the pills.
“Anyone knows where Wookie is?” Eeteuk asked from his position. He could not find him around the house. He had originally thought that Ryeowook was in the bathroom or in another room, so Eeteuk was not very worried about it. But when they gathered in the kitchen, he noticed that Ryeowook was not around.
Sungmin looked up from his food, remembering hazily that Ryeowook had woken up in the middle of the night. “He woke up in the middle of the night, but I didn’t pay much attention as he seemed fine and told me to go back to sleep.” Sungmin hoped that nothing happened. Or else he would be terribly guilty.
Eeteuk looked really worried now. Before he could start voicing out his worries, someone cut in.
“Ryeowook-hyung is with Kyuhyun. I found him by our bedside this morning.” Kibum put the spoon of porridge into his mouth after speaking. He could see the tension in Eeteuk’s face vanish before returning again.
“You mean he’s been there the whole night since he woke up?”
Kibum shook his head. “I don’t know. I didn’t notice when he came in. Only saw him when I woke up.”
Silence fell on the room as each of them contemplated Ryeowook’s actions. Sungmin was glad that Ryeowook was in the house – and did not just disappear somewhere – but now that he was thinking about it, Sungmin could almost hear a tinge of panic in Ryeowook’s voice. I should have paid more attention.
Then Kibum remembered. “Hyung, who’s taking care of Kyuhyunnie today?”
Kibum did know about the schedule, Ryeowook had told him about it. But he could not remember the exact details of it.
“I am. I have nothing on today.” Siwon spoke up. He was the only one with a free schedule the whole day. Later in the afternoon Eunhyuk would be joining him.
“Siwon-hyung, could you go take over Ryeowook-hyung when you’re done here? ‘Cos Kyu is hanging on to Wookie now. We really shouldn’t leave him alone.”
Siwon nodded, finishing his breakfast. Hankyung shooed him out of the room, saying that he would clear the dish for him. Siwon grabbed a book from his room before heading towards Kyuhyun’s room. Siwon knocked on the door, gently turning the door knob. Ryeowook tilted his head at Siwon, his hands wrapped around Kyuhyun’s hand. Kyuhyun had turned to the side facing Ryeowook, his other hand holding the elephant.
“Ryeowook, I’ll take over from here. You should go eat something before you leave.” Siwon walked up to Ryeowook, touching him on the shoulder.
Ryeowook nodded before looking at Kyuhyun again as if to remind himself that Kyuhyun was here in this pale blue room, wrapped in a blue blanket that Sungmin-hyung had gave him with an elephant in his hand.
Kyuhyun is not in a pool of blood. The room is not red.
Ryeowook stood up, hands still holding onto Kyuhyun, letting Siwon take his position on the chair. Slowly he extracted his hands from the grip, pushing Kyuhyun’s hand to Siwon. Kyuhyun’s fingers slowly curled around Siwon’s hand tightly, using their hands as an anchor from his dreams.
“You might want to wake him later to feed him the medicine and change the bandage, Hyung.” Ryeowook said one last time before leaving the room after receiving a nod from Siwon.
Siwon sat down, staring at his dongsaeng, listening to the soft but steady breathing which told him that Kyuhyun was better than yesterday.
Ryeowook changed and washed up before heading to the kitchen. He sat down next to Kibum and immediately Hankyung placed the same things he gave Kibum in front of him. Like Kibum, Ryeowook was confused over the pills.
“Those are vitamins. You should eat them. We don’t want you to fall sick.” Yesung commented from across the table.
Ryeowook stared at Yesung before turning disbelieving to Kibum.
“Don’t look at me. I got the same treatment.” Kibum raised his hands in surrender. He knew that Ryeowook like him hated pills.
Ryeowook pulled his puppy-dog look at Hankyung, hoping to get out of it. Hankyung turned away, not wanting to answer.
“Hyah. Just eat it. It’s good for you.” Heechul intersected. Ryeowook pouted, placing the pills in his hand.
“Of course you’ll say it’s good for me. You’re not the one eating it.”
Ryeowook mumbled under his breath before swallowing the pills.
Kibum nodded his head next to him, agreeing completely with the statement. Ryeowook made a face after the pills went down, scooping up the porridge to get rid of the after taste.
“Is it that horrible?” Donghae asked curiously having finished his breakfast and was now waiting.
Kibum and Ryeowook shot him a look.
“Why not you try it?” Both of them said together.
Donghae said, “Yikes,” and ran to hide behind Hankyung, shaking his head vigorously. The rest laughed at their antics.
Donghae smiled to himself. That was his purpose. All of them were so upset about the situation that Donghae felt that he had to do something to cheer them up. It was not that they should not be upset – they had the right to feel depressed over the situation – but being surrounded by sadness would not help Kyuhyun recover. Donghae believed that in order for Kyuhyun to recover with their help, they first had to come to terms with whatever they were feeling about the situation before they could help Kyuhyun.
Hankyung smiled to himself, patting Donghae on the back. He knew what Donghae was doing. Donghae looked up and smiled cheekily at him.
Eeteuk clapped his hands. “Okay people. It’s time to go. If not we’ll all be late.”
He stood up after making sure that everyone caught his statement.
“I’ll go tell Siwonnie and Kyuhyunnie that we’re leaving now.”
Suddenly there was a flurry of actions as all of them rushed to bid Kyuhyun goodbye before they headed for work.
Eeteuk opened the door, looking into the room. Siwon was by the bed, holding Kyuhyun’s hand. Kyuhyun was still sleeping. Eeteuk entered, followed by the rest of them. Kyuhyun’s eyes twitched a little at the noise. Slowly his eyes opened.
Hearing Kyuhyun’s voice, they all turned their attention to Kyuhyun.
“Kyuhyunnie, how are you feeling?” Hankyung asked as he walked towards Kyuhyun, feeling his temperature.
Siwon stood up but his hand remained with Kyuhyun. Kyuhyun simply nodded as an answer.
“We have to go off to work now. Siwonnie will be here with you. Don’t worry. You won’t be alone.” Hankyung told Kyuhyun, hoping to soothe his fears. Hankyung kissed Kyuhyun on the forehead.
One by one they stepped forward to tell Kyuhyun to rest well and that they would be back before Kyuhyun knew it. Kyuhyun closed his eyes, drifting to sleep; contented with the knowledge that Siwon-hyung would be there with him the whole time. Eeteuk, being the last, turned to Siwon, wanting to leave instructions before he left.
“Siwon-ah, don’t forget to wake Kyuhyun later for his medicine. And remember to change his bandages. Remember to apply the antiseptic. We don’t want an infection occurring. Give him plenty of water, and mind yourself as well. We don’t want you to get sick. Maybe you should eat some vitamins as well. We all should…”
“Hyung! Jungsu-hyung! If you continue like that, we really are going to be late.”
Sungmin cut in, stopping Eeteuk’s tirade. Eeteuk’s mouth remained open though no sound came from it.
Sungmin tugged at Eeteuk’s hand, pulling him out of the room, waving goodbye to Siwon. The rest followed, chuckling slightly at the scene.
“Take good care of Kyuhyun, Siwonnie!”
Heechul threw back as he pushed Hankyung out of the room.
Siwon nodded before taking his place on the seat again. Kyuhyun had fallen asleep again. Siwon decided to let him sleep as Kyuhyun still looked very tired. He settled down on the chair, holding his book in one hand and began reading.
Siwon changed the bandages on Kyuhyun’s hand while he was asleep. Siwon didn’t have the heart to wake Kyuhyun when he was sleeping so peacefully. Siwon didn’t know that it was due to his presence that kept the nightmares away. Siwon winced when he saw the injury. They must hurt a lot. Gently he spread the antiseptic on the wounds, glancing at Kyuhyun. Kyuhyun’s eyebrows scrunched up in pain even in his sleep.
“It’s okay Kyu. It will be over soon. Just hold on for a while more.”
Siwon comforted Kyuhyun, hurrying in his actions yet still being meticulously about his wrapping. He tied the bandages together and placed Kyuhyun’s hand back on the bed. By this time, Kyuhyun had let go of Siwon’s hand, seemingly trusting Hankyung’s words that Siwon would be there with him the whole day. Siwon took the chance to visit the bathroom.
During that time, Kyuhyun woke up. What time is it? Kyuhyun looked around, recognising the place as his room. It was nearly noon. Kyuhyun felt that his hand was curled around something soft and brought it up to his eyes. It was his elephant.
Kyuhyun pulled it to his chest, bringing the other hand up to ruffle the fur on the elephant. It was then that he noticed the bandage on his hand. Where did it come from? Kyuhyun stared at it for a while, feeling slight throbbing coming from his hand.
Then it hit him. He had punched the mirror in anger and frustration as well as denial.
The words whispered in his head. Kyuhyun’s eyes scanned the area that he could see. There was no one.
“Hyung?” Kyuhyun called out as he tried to push himself up, but his hand hurt from the effort that he gave up.
He called out again, hoping for an answer. “Hyung!”
Where are they?
Eunhyuk ended his work early. After bidding goodbye to his fellow colleagues, Eunhyuk headed home. He wondered how Siwon and Kyuhyun were coping. He was so deep in thought that his trip home passed in a flash. He didn’t notice that he had reached the dormitory door until he almost crashed into it. Eunhyuk searched his bag for the key.
There! Found it!
Eunhyuk opened the door and looked in. The house looked almost devoid of people, except for the various pairs of shoes that lay on the floor. Eunhyuk dropped his bag on the sofa and headed to Kyuhyun’s room, guessing that they were most probably there as he didn’t think that Kyuhyun was up to walking at the moment.
Eunhyuk was about to knock the door when he heard Kyuhyun’s frenetic calling for his hyungs.
Where’s Siwon? The thought flashed past Eunhyuk’s mind as he rushed into the room. Kyuhyun was trying to push himself up, using one whole arm and hand and using minimal pressure with the other hand.
Eunhyuk called out, startling Kyuhyun. He lost his concentration and leaned heavily onto his injured hands. Kyuhyun immediately pulled up his hand to protect it, forgetting that the arm was was supporting him for a moment. Kyuhyun fell a little sideways as Eunhyuk rushed over to prevent Kyuhyun from falling to the floor.
“Kyu! Are you okay?” Eunhyuk asked, concerned.
Kyuhyun, hugging his hand to his chest, looked at Eunhyuk. Hyung.
“Hyung! You’re here!” He opened his arms, asking for a hug from Eunhyuk.
Eunhyuk looked up and down at Kyuhyun before reaching out to hug him. Siwon silently entered the room, shock but happy to notice that his hyung was there already.
“Eunhyuk-hyung, you’re here.” Siwon said to Eunhyuk.
Eunhyuk looked at Siwon, “Where have you been?”
Eunhyuk nodded, turning his attention back to Kyuhyun. He understood the need for the bathroom. There was no way Eunhyuk could blame Siwon for leaving Kyuhyun alone.
“He was looking for the person whom was supposed to be here with him.”
Siwon looked a little sheepish. “I had to go to the bathroom.”
Eunhyuk turned his attention towards Kyuhyun, trying to comfort him, to let him know that they were there and that they did not disappear somewhere where no one can find.
“Shh, we’re here. We didn’t abandon you.”
Kyuhyun buried his head into Eunhyuk’s shoulder, savouring the warmth from his hyung. Kyuhyun refused to give in to the tears. He refused to give in to his tears this time. He won’t admit it but for a moment Kyuhyun doubted Eeteuk’s statement that they would all be there. He was almost stretched to the limit by his fear when Eunhyuk turned up. Simply by being there helped to calm Kyuhyun down.
Siwon hovered behind them, not knowing what to do.
“Siwonnie, why not you cook some lunch for us to eat? I don’t suppose you or Kyuhyun have eaten lunch yet. And in order for Kyuhyun to take his medicine, Kyu needs to get something inside.”
Siwon nodded, heading out of the room to cook. Eunhyuk patted Kyuhyun gently on the back as Kyuhyun kept his head on his shoulder. Kyuhyun did not cry like the previous time. They remained in that position until the food came in. Siwon came in holding two plates of food – one for himself and one for Kyuhyun.
Eunhyuk gently pushed Kyuhyun off his chest, helping Kyuhyun to lean against the head rest until lunch was over.
“Food’s here Kyu. Do you want me to feed you? Or can you do it yourself?” Eunhyuk asked Kyuhyun.
Kyuhyun glanced at Siwon, a small shy smile on his face that spoke of his gratitude towards Siwon and Eunhyuk for all their help.
Siwon smiled before turning to stare at his watch looking at the time. He didn’t know that he was able to cook that fast. It didn’t take him too long to cook the lunch for both Kyuhyun and he.
Kyuhyun shook his head at Eunhyuk's question as his hands reached out to take the bowl and the spoon from Eunhyuk. Slowly Kyuhyun ate the bowl of porridge. His appetite was not great with his illness and after a couple of mouths, Kyuhyun had to stop eating. If not he would feel queasy and all the food that he had placed in his stomach would be removed.
Kyuhyun handed the bowl back to Eunhyuk, indicating that he had enough.
Eunhyuk and Siwon glanced into the bowl, realising that Kyuhyun only took about 3 or 4 spoons of porridge before giving up. But it was better than nothing. Siwon took some medicine and handed them to Kyuhyun. Without a single complaint Kyuhyun ate the medicine. It was a totally opposite reaction from the other two magnaes who hated the pills.
Eunhyuk helped Kyuhyun lie back onto the bed, waiting for the antibiotics’ effects to take place.
“Can you stay with me, Hyung?” Kyuhyun whispered lightly to himself, happy that he had two hyungs with him but still a bit fearful that they would disappear if he fell asleep.
Both Eunhyuk and Siwon heard the question and both could not help but answer yes to the question. It was seldom that Kyuhyun asked for anything. Kyuhyun had asked it with a mixture of hope and wariness in his voice as if he was preparing for a rejection.
Eunhyuk took over Siwon’s seat, holding onto Kyuhyun’s hand which was raised for Eunhyuk to hold on to.
“I’ll be here. Siwonnie will be here. We’ll all be here.” Eunhyuk said, repeating his words, hoping that it penetrates through Kyuhyun’s nightmares.
Kyuhyun slowly closed his eyes, his other hand grabbing onto the elephant.
“We will still be here when you wake up.”
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
Kyuhyun slept the whole day, making up for the lost sleep the week he was taking care of his mother. He was also recuperating from the illness that still clung on to him. He slept peacefully, basking in the presence of his hyungs, which prevented the nightmares from coming. It allowed him the first full day of sleep that he had in ages.
Eunhyuk and Siwon stayed in the room, not wanting to leave Kyuhyun alone especially after promising that they would be there by his side. None of them wanted to break the promise they made, even if they didn’t know that Kyuhyun never placed much trust in promises made to him. Eunhyuk settled on Ryeowook’s bed, leaning against the wall and hugging Ryeowook’s pillow, contented to just watch Kyuhyun sleep.
Siwon sat on the chair next to Kyuhyun, reading his book. Or at least pretending to read his book. He stared at the page. Siwon was not processing anything that was written in his brain. His mind kept wandering to Kyuhyun, wondering how Kyuhyun was coping, whether he was doing well in his physiotherapy, how his injuries were recovering, when Kyuhyun would be back with them as Super Junior. Siwon was looking forward to the day Kyuhyun could be on stage with them. He never doubted that Kyuhyun would return to stage. It was only a matter of when. Finally Siwon closed the book, giving up his pretence of reading.
Eunhyuk looked up, opening his eyes. He had closed his eyes and was resting while still keeping an ear out for anything that Siwon or Kyuhyun might need. He was after all the oldest present, even if he did not always act like it. Eunhyuk tilted his head to the side, letting Siwon know that he was paying attention.
“Eunhyuk-hyung, what do you think exactly happen to Kyuhyun during his childhood, making him like this?” Siwon immediately added after his question, realising that something was wrong.
“I’m not saying that he turned out bad. In fact, he turned out to be a brilliant person. It’s just that he’s so afraid to be close to people, so afraid that he doesn’t allow himself to get close even if he craves for it.” Siwon’s voice lowered to a whisper as he turned to stare at Kyuhyun.
Eunhyuk strained to hear Siwon’s words, leaning forward from his position. He leaned back when he caught the words. Eunhyuk looked towards the bed. Kyuhyun was curled up to the side, facing Siwon and hugging the elephant to his chest. He looked so innocent, so child-like that Eunhyuk didn’t want to fathom what happened in his childhood, as in his heart, Eunhyuk knew that it was not that picturesque.
Siwon’s hand slowly landed on Kyuhyun’s head, fingers twining through his hair. Kyuhyun was still running a slight fever, but it was much better than yesterday.
“I don’t know much about Kyu’s childhood.” Eunhyuk admitted. “He never talked much about himself, silent like Kibummie. It’s only after the accident that I started learning more about Kyu.” Eunhyuk hugged the pillow tighter. “He doesn’t say much. What I know I gathered from observing him. Sometimes, he gets this far away look in his eyes when we’re talking about our childhood. Did you notice that whenever we have that conversation Kyuhyun simply sits there and listens?”
Siwon turned around, looking at Eunhyuk, his hand still playing with Kyuhyun’s hair. “It’s almost as if he has nothing to share.” Siwon paused before continuing. “That was what I thought then. But now, I think that he didn’t think they were worth sharing.”
Siwon had no idea that his both thoughts were exactly what Kyuhyun believed in. Eunhyuk nodded, agreeing with Siwon. He too had noticed that while they were all discussing happily about their childhood – something that Kibum also joined in, Kyuhyun just sat there, absorbing everything like a sponge. Eunhyuk had originally thought that it was because Kyuhyun was shy – he had just joined them when they had one of such conversations. Now Eunhyuk wondered why none of them thought that the action was weird.
Eunhyuk patted the bed next to him, inviting Siwon to sit next to him. Siwon peered at Kyuhyun, noticing that he was still fast asleep before moving to Eunhyuk. He climbed on the bed and sat next to Eunhyuk with his legs stretched out in front of him. He leaned his head onto Eunhyuk’s shoulder. Even though he had total faith in Kyuhyun returning to stage, Siwon did not know if Kyuhyun trusted them well enough to reveal more to them.
“Hyung, do you think Kyuhyun will tell us more?” Eunhyuk looked at Siwon, then back at Kyuhyun.
“I don’t know. I really hope so.”
Both just sat there, watching and hoping that their dongsaeng would open up to them soon.
Kyuhyun woke up the next morning, blinking blearily from sleeping for too long. He rubbed his eyes with his hand, twisting around to face the ceiling. It’s been a long time since I’ve slept for so long. Kyuhyun had not felt so rested for a long time. Ever since Jong-hyung died. Kyuhyun smiled sadly to himself, remembering the happy times with Jong Ki.
The box! Kyuhyun snapped his head sharply to the side. The last he remembered of the box was that he had fallen asleep with its contents spread out on his bed. Where is it? Where is it? Is it here? Or back at my room? Kyuhyun panicked. That was the only thing he had of Jong Ki. And the only reason he still had it was because his mother didn’t know about it.
He tried to push himself up, but his injured hand was unable to take the weight. Where’s Eunhyuk-hyung? And Siwon-hyung? They promised to be here. Why did I hope for anything? Kyuhyun was starting to hyperventilate both from his panic as well as fear. Hyung.
“Kyuhyun!” Kyuhyun jerked a little. That was his only reaction. He vaguely felt someone’s hands snake around him, which made him panic even more. Who’s that?
“Breathe, Kyu.” Kyuhyun felt himself being pressed against a toned chest. He tried to struggle but the arms only tightened.
“It’s Hankyung.” Kyuhyun stopped his struggles. Hankyung-hyung?
“Follow my movement Kyu. Breathe in. And out. Deep breath.” Kyuhyun mimicked the action, taking deep breaths trying to calm himself down.
“That’s good. You’re doing fine. A couple more.” Hankyung’s voice echoed in his ears. Slowly the mist cleared in Kyuhyun’s head.
He saw a person’s face in front of him. Kangin-hyung. Kyuhyun immediately pressed closer into Hankyung’s chest, trying to make a wider gap between him and Kangin.
“Kyu? What’s wrong?” Hankyung asked, worried that Kyuhyun was not feeling well.
Kyuhyun shook his head, though he leaned further into Hankyung, trying to bury into Hankyung’s arms.
“Kyuhyun…” Kangin said, reaching a hand out. He stopped when he noticed that Kyuhyun was trembling slightly and looking at him with fear in his eyes. Kangin let his hand drop to his side, backing away.
“Kangin? What are you doing?” Hankyung asked, curious. Being behind Kyuhyun, he did not manage to catch Kyuhyun’s emotions in his eyes though he felt the shivers in Kyuhyun, but he did catch Kangin’s. A flash of hurt appeared and disappeared so quickly that Hankyung thought that it was a figment of his imagination.
“Nothing. I just remembered that I needed to do something. Hyung I’ll leave it up to you then.”
Kangin escaped from the room, not wanting either of them to know that he was hurt by Kyuhyun’s actions. Kangin understood to a certain extent why Kyuhyun reacted the way he did that night. Kangin would be surprised if Kyuhyun did not react that way. But he did not expect Kyuhyun to still be afraid of him. It hurt to know that his dongsaeng was afraid of him. However it hurt more to Kangin that Kyuhyun dreamed that Kangin said those words. Do I seem that way to him all the time? So mean and demanding and, and… Kangin did not know anymore. He sat on the sofa, his head buried in his hands.
When Kangin left the room, Kyuhyun slowly extracted himself from Hankyung’s grip.
“Thank you Hyung.” Kyuhyun whispered, choosing to lean against the wall, instead of Hankyung.
Kyuhyun felt disgusted with himself. Why did you shrink away from Kangin-hyung? You hurt him with that action. Hankyung looked at Kyuhyun, seeing the internal turmoil written all over Kyuhyun’s face.
“Kyu, why did you back away from Kangin?” Hankyung decided to be direct. It was one of the ways where Kyuhyun would most likely say something about his problems. Kyuhyun looked up at Hankyung, wondering whether to tell Hankyung or not.
“Is it regarding the nightmare you had that day?” Kyuhyun nodded, willing to attempt to confide in Hankyung, though she refused to say a word.
“Is it about what Kangin said in your dream?” Hankyung hit the target again. Kyuhyun nodded, hugging onto the elephant as if Hankyung would take it back whenever he wanted. Hankyung felt like sighing, but didn’t.
“Kyu, listen to me. The dream was an imagination, even if there are people you know in it. Dreams are imagination. But sometimes, dreams become reality. What is reality? I don’t know. But I know that everyone’s reality is different. Reality is what you wish to believe in. if you believe what was said in your nightmare, it will truly become reality.”
Kyuhyun listened carefully to the words said. Reality is decided by what I choose to believe in. Kyuhyun looked down. It was all a dream. It was only a dream. Kyuhyun tried to convince himself. He felt disgusted that his reaction caused Kangin-hyung to be upset. He didn’t mean to hurt Kangin in any way at all.
“Hyung, can I get off bed? I want to find Kangin-hyung and apologise.” Hankyung smiled a little but shook his head.
“You’re not supposed to be walking for today. Doctor’s orders. I’ll go find him. Will you be okay for a while?” Kyuhyun nodded and Hankyung left the room. Hankyung found Kangin sitting on the sofa, looking really upset over the situation.
“Kangin-ah, could you go into the room?” Hankyung said as he sat down nonchalantly next to Kangin. Kangin shook his head.
“I’ll only scare him.”
“He wants to apologise to you.” Kangin’s head snapped up. Apologise?
“I don’t know. I’m just relaying the message.” Hankyung stood up, holding a hand out for Kangin.
Kangin was not one who could deny Kyuhyun or Hankyung of their requests and he had to admit that he was curious – upset but curious. Hankyung led Kangin into the room, where Kyuhyun had not shifted from his position. Kyuhyun was trying to think of a way of apologising to Kangin. He was really nervous about it. He tried to have faith in Hankyung’s words and believe in the wonderful time he had with his friends, but Kyuhyun was still afraid, afraid of rejection, afraid that his apologies would be brushed aside like his parents. Hankyung closed the door and stood in front of it, crossing his arms.
Kangin and Kyuhyun stared at each other, none knowing what to say. Then Kyuhyun lowered his head.
“Hyung, I’m sorry.”
“Why are you sorry? Did you do something wrong?” Kyuhyun bit his lips.
“I’m sorry I shrunk away from you. I’m sorry that I made you upset. I’m sorry. Really I am.” Kyuhyun said slightly louder.
“You didn’t do anything wrong Kyu. You don’t need to apologise to me.” Kangin moved closer to Kyuhyun, but at a much slower pace, not wanting to scare him.
“It’s regarding the nightmare you had right? Can you tell me exactly what happened?” Kangin asked. Kyuhyun looked at Kangin. Why does he want to know? Kyuhyun was shocked that Kangin actually wanted to know about his dream. Kyuhyun had never told anyone about his nightmares before except that night he was groggy from sleep. Kyuhyun played with his fingers.
“You, no, Dream-Kangin said that “There is no need for a thirteenth member.”
“What?” The exclamation came from both Hankyung and Kangin. Kyuhyun immediately look back down, not wanting to face the emotions swirling through his hyungs’ eyes.
“Kyu” A warm hand held his hand.
“I’m sorry I said that in your dream. I’m sorry that we didn’t get to cut the cake together.” Kyuhyun wanted to protest that it was not Kangin’s fault. But he was cut off.
“Listen to me Kyu. There is a need for a thirteenth member. Why, you wonder. Because Super Junior is thirteen people, and without any one of us, we would not be complete.” Kyuhyun looked at Kangin, with a conflicting look. He wanted to believe in the words – it made him really happy – but when he was young he had various people who have said such wonderful things only to turn out to be a lie.
Kyuhyun could not bring himself to trust the worlds completely. Hankyung walked up.
“Kyu, it’s true. All of us believe in that statement. Missing on piece the puzzle will never be complete.” Kyuhyun nodded cautiously.
“I’ll try my best.” Kyuhyun whispered to himself, promising to start learning to trust others words. The four softly-spoken words were heard by the other two. It was all they could hope for now. They sat in silence, each basking in the presence of others. Then someone spoke up.
“Can I eat with the rest for dinner later?”
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.