Genre: romance, angst
Warnings: Serious themes
Disclaimer: I do not own people.
Summary: Some people drink to forget. He drinks to remember.
He roped the tie around his neck, his hands shaking too hard and tangling in the long cloth he was trying to knot.
He couldn’t do this. What in his right mind made him think he could do this? There was no fucking way he could do this - he didn’t know how fucking much he loved him.
Fuck fuckity fuck fuck.
And just for a bit of added emphasis.
He tore the tie off of his neck angrily and tossed it onto the dresser.
He couldn’t do this.
He could not, he could not, and he WOULD not.
He glared at his face in the mirror. “I won’t do this.” He scowled, smacking the desk for emphasis.
“Hyung, you were all confidence two minutes ago.” He glared at the person’s reflection in the mirror, his eyes violent enough to kill a horse. Any horse but Choi Siwon of course. That guy was just too conservative to be intimidated.
“Why the hell are you in here anyway?” He picked up the tie again, yanking it around his neck roughly, trying one more time to get it right.
Alas, his hands still shook like a rocket before launch. He gave an aggravated exclamation and threw it down once more. This was the dumbest thing he’d ever tried to do.
Not counting the other things of course.
Siwon rolled his eyes, smiling fondly at his friend. He took the tie from him and calmly looped it into place. “Hyung, you love him, right?” He watched Heechul’s expressive eyes as he deftly corrected the tie. His hands moved to the silk cloth vest as he tucked the tie into place.
Siwon finished smoothing Heechul’s clothes and started to pat down his long, straight black hair as his hyung calmly watched him. “As long as you love him then everything will fall into place.” He pulled him into a supportive hug.
Heechul couldn’t help but smile as he wrapped his arms around Siwon’s large muscular form. He breathed in the scent of the other, which had always been a comfort to him. The other man just had the odd ability to put people at ease, just by walking into the room. After a long moment, Heechul pushed him away, giving him an annoyed look. “Yah, now get out of here!” His hands flew up to make a shooing gesture. “I want to finish getting ready alone!” He turned to the mirror and watched Siwon leave after putting a supportive hand on his shoulder and blinding him with that dimple of his.
His hands started to shake again, and he balled them into fists, hard enough to feel it, but not hard enough to mark his skin. It wasn’t enough to stop the shaking however, and he sighed, dropping into the chair and putting his head in his arms. He was wrinkling his suit again, but at the moment that was the last thing on his mind. He looked terrible anyway and the only person who he wanted to look good for was Hankyung because this day was too special for him to look like shit.
Heechul looked at the silver and gold band that adorned his carefully manicured finger. This was for a lifetime. He put the ring to his lips. This was a decision he’d made the moment he’d fallen in love with the Chinese man. To him, there could be no one else in his life. He was getting married today, married to the one man who completed his soul.
He was nervous as fuck though, not because of other people, who cared about what the millions of fans and anti-fans that they had accumulated thought. He wasn’t the type to give in to others. He knew from the start that he had wanted to be with Hankyung forever, but he was always nervous – was Hankyung thinking the same as him?
When he looked into Hankyung’s eyes he saw love. Whenever the other man was near his legs felt weak, his mouth became dry, and every touch exchanged was like pure ecstasy. This was marriage; this was a selfish bonding of two people for eternity. He was finally stealing Hankyung away from the rest of the world. He felt like he was stealing the Sun from the sky, because that was what Hankyung was. He was the Sun, and Heechul felt like the Earth, needing that light and love to survive.
“Hyung.” Heechul let out a startled shriek jumped up at the deep voice that came from somewhere near his right shoulder. His eyes wide, he stared at Kibum like he was an alien.
“Fuck Kibum!” He gasped, putting a hand to his chest. “You’re going to give me a fucking heart attack!” He tossed some random thing at the young man in retaliation – a bit half heartedly. Kibum caught it easily and looked down at it with a raised eyebrow “Hyung, why are you like this?” He put down the little jar of facial cream and looked at his old friend. “You know, everything is going to be fine.” He caught Heechul’s hand with his own and started to button the sleeves of the coat.
Heechul watched quietly, limply, as Kibum made him look presentable again. When the young man pushed him down on the vanity bench again he didn’t object, just watching with wide eyes as Kibum ran his comb through Heechul’s long hair once more. “Don’t give up now,” The raven haired boy said, placing the comb on the desk and pulling Heechul to his feet.
“Will I be able to keep Hannie happy?” Heechul asked suddenly, finally speaking up. He placed a shaking hand on his mouth when his voice cracked a little. He felt like crying. It seemed so sudden but he wouldn’t want it any other way. Of course he was the happiest person alive, but he was also afraid of what would happen that could go wrong. “I’m a terrible person.” He said quietly, his voice seeped with self loathing.
Kibum sighed and gave Heechul a nudge with his hand. “You are not and you know it.” Chasing away the tears that had just started to track down his friend’s face, he offered his hyung a smile. “If you were a horrible person you wouldn’t be feeling so much.”
Heechul couldn’t help but give a smile at that, knowing that Kibum was right. “Yah,” He waved his friend away with a hand. “Go on, I’ll be out in a minute,” He stated, willing his tears away. He was an actor but not as skilled as Kibum. He couldn’t just keep his emotions in check. In fact, that was what he was worst at. “God,” He wiped his eyes on the sleeve of his shirt and stood, drawing in a shaky breath. He took a step and promptly yelped as his legs gave out on him. “Aish!” He stood up again, dusting himself off.
He was perfect. He was doing this. He was going to go through with this and love Hankyung selfishly forever. He already was going to, married or not, be with Hankyung forever. He took a deep breath and let it out. Suddenly he found himself impatient to get this all over with, so that he could be with Hankyung alone, this whole thing behind them, just the two of them together, united to the rest of the world as they were already united in their hearts.
He left the room, feeling like he had just left a crossroad. He had finally decided to leave the path that he walked for himself, and move into one that he already had one foot on. He left the room quickly, and suddenly all became a large haze.
He remembered walking down the ridiculously long isle, where Hankyung’s smile had blinded him, and tears had started to stain his cheeks. He couldn’t remember when he began to shed them. He remembered the warm hands in his. He remembered nothing but Hankyung. Nothing of the crowd that had surrounded them or the priest speaking; He remembered how Hankyung’s hands had been so steady in his, and how in those gentle brown eyes nothing but joy radiated back at him.
He left any doubts behind him, all those fragile little doubts, the moment he said ‘I do’ while he stared in Han Geng’s eyes. Suddenly his fingers were entwined with Hankyung’s hair and they were kissing and arms were around his waist and neither one was pulling away until someone in the crowd had coughed. They had pulled apart from each other with a loud, audible smack. Then suddenly there was uproar in the church hall, as all their friends and family rushed unceremoniously over to clobber them with hugs and congratulations.
Heechul felt a surge of annoyance and his hand tightened around Hankyung’s. He started pulling his husband toward the exit, pushing through the crowd. When he opened the door there was a larger crowd, one with camera’s flashing and people screaming so loud that it was like a war zone. He wanted to tell them to get the hell out of the way, because he and his Hannie were not going to spare another moment of free time for them.
Hankyung was nicer though. He had stopped in front of the fans and was expressing his love to them. Heechul pulled him to him with a huff, snaking his arms around his waist and kissing him soundly, prodding his tongue into his mouth to make it deep and sensual. He pressed their hips together. At first Hankyung had been alarmed but he allowed it, knowing Heechul better than anyone else in the world.
Heechul pulled away suddenly, eliciting a groan from Hankyung and a showy smack as their lips separated. Their hands joined together, Heechul stuck his tongue out at the screaming fans and winked at his Hankyung, who was staring at him with a mixture of awe and lust.
When they had reached the limousine they had lasted only long enough to tint the windows before Heechul had slid into Hankyung’s lap and they had started making love as only they could.
When the after party had ended, and it was only the two of them in their hotel room, they had loved like they had never done before, because they belonged only to each other, and it was beautiful, it was amazing, and there were no more doubts and no more pain, because they had each other and that was all they needed.
A week later they had moved to China, because Korea had banned them from performing. It wasn’t much more than a year after that when the signs started to appear. They were the first signs that something was drastically wrong. Heechul would call him suddenly some nights on his cell phone, talking in Hangul so fast that Hankyung couldn’t understand him.
“Heechul…” He started, shocked.
“Hankyung,” Heechul voice had sounded so frightened. Hankyung could close his eyes and know just how wide those eyes would be. “I’m lost.” His voice sounded so scared, so incredibly raw and full of emotion that it made a lump form in Hankyung’s throat.
Heechul stayed on the phone with him until Hankyung could figure out where he had wandered around to, and had come to find him. The minute he had seen Hankyung he had punched his arm.
“I hate this stupid foreign country!” Heechul had exclaimed, sliding into the passenger side of the car. “When the hell are we going back to Korea?”
That was Hankyung’s first sign that something was dreadfully wrong.
Heechul had been taking a shower when he first noticed that something was wrong. He had just finished drying his hair when he suddenly felt like he had lost his very grip on reality. He looked around the bathroom and he noticed that his clothes were scattered around the floor. He had a towel around his waist. He frowned and draped the towel around the bar, stepping into the shower. It was still wet, but he had no recollection of showering before this. Perhaps Hankyung had just showered.
He had just started the shower again when Hankyung entered, a concerned look in his eye. “Heechul,” The man in question stopped messing with the faucet at the tone, poking his head out of the shower. Hankyung snaked an arm inside and killed the water, pulling his love out and soundlessly starting to dry him off.
Heechul pulled away. “Yah!” He scowled, reaching to snatch the towel away from him. “What are you doing?” The look in Hankyung’s eyes was scaring him, one of concerned love, as though there was something drastically wrong here but he had no idea how to deal with it.
“What are you doing?” Hankyung asked, in his accented Korean. “You just showered.” He elaborated, “Five minutes ago.” He pulled Heechul close, starting to dry him off gently. Heechul let him, confused. He had no recollection of showering. But he took in Hankyung’s appearance, not one of just showering. To his knowledge they hadn’t had any guests, so it must have been him.
He blinked, and he was suddenly sitting in Hankyung’s lap in the Super Junior dorm, running his hands through the artfully styled hair and taking in the beautiful and finely crafted features. His hand ran down the strong nose, tracing down the jaw line, tilting Hankyung’s head upwards and capturing his lips.
There had been a sudden gasp from behind him, and he looked up to see a wide eyed Donghae standing there in the dark of the dorm.
He blinked again and he was back in the little apartment with Hankyung, being dressed in a flowery patterned silk shirt. It was blue and white, reminding him of the music video they had shot once, long ago, with the group Super Junior. “Where are the others?” He asked suddenly, making Hankyung’s fingers freeze, shocked eyes looking up to meet Heechul’s disoriented ones.
“It’s just us,” He said, quickly bending his head down so that Heechul wouldn’t be able to read how his heart had frozen suddenly.
After that, it stopped happening for a while, or as far as Hankyung knew. Heechul knew differently however. There were moments when he would be completely alone, suddenly forgetting the Chinese he knew, forgetting his purpose for being there.
It was in those moments when he suddenly would find himself in a bar, trying to think of why he was there and where Hankyung was. The bartender had handed him a drink, and he downed it. Memories started to flood back.
There had been a wedding. He was reliving it, wallowing in the memory he was suddenly remembering. Marveling in how amazing Hankyung looked in a black and white suit and how much love he felt for him.
He motioned for the bartender to bring him a drink, wondering how he got to the bar and how long he’d been there. He must have just arrived as there was no drink in front of him. He was swallowing this one, feeling his throat burning.
Suddenly he was on stage, performing Miracle for the Super Show.
“Life couldn’t get better, ohhh yeahh~!”
The performance ended and they disappeared backstage, quickly changing into their outfits for Don’t Don. Suddenly he felt strong arms around his waist, pulling him against a strong body, a heavenly voice speaking in his ear. He fell back against the shoulder of the man with a moan. He had missed this person so much. He loathed China for taking Hankyung away from him.
Hankyung had reached down to capture his lips in an upside down kiss when a very English phrase interrupted them.
“Jeez! Get a room!” Henry had shouted, laughingly. “I don’t wanna see that!”
Heechul had stuck his tongue out at the young member. “Henli come too!” He said in heavily accented English, smirking at the musical protégé.
“Aaaah! Don’t infect me! I’m innocent!” Henry shouted and clamped his hands to his eyes and turned away as his two hyung’s proceeded to do very R rated things. His face flushed red as a tomato as his virgin ears helplessly picked up everything his eyes were kept from viewing. Now where did he put his IPod and OH THANK GOD IT WAS SUNGMIN! “Save me hyuuung!!” He cried, latching on to his savior’s arm. Heechul noticed with satisfaction that Henry’s face was bright red and that he his eyes were looking anywhere but at the mischievous couple.
Heechul was sitting at a bar, his legs tucked neatly on the stool, wondering where Hankyung was. He frowned, ordering a drink. His head felt light. Perhaps he was getting sick. He knew it couldn’t be alcohol because he didn’t recall having any. The barman placed a drink, which stunk heavily of vodka, in front of him and he lifted it to his lips and took a sip.
He held Hankyung’s hand tightly, staring at the other Super Junior members who had all been gathered in the living room. They were all staring at the two as though they had sprouted horns. Except for Donghae, who had perched on the arm of the couch and was cheerfully watching everyone else with wide, amused eyes. He had known before this had happened but he had been the only one. Heechul had the suspicion that Kibum had known, but he had a script in his lap and was curled up beside Donghae on the couch.
“What?!” Kangin had roared, standing up with an astonished look on his face. “Yah! Why didn’t you tell me before?” he was yelling loud enough to wake the neighbors, so Eeteuk smacked his shoulder to get him to quiet down.
“What are you going to do about it?” The quiet leader asked, giving the two a concerned look.
Heechul smirked, “Fan service is Fan service right?” His thumb rubbed the skin of Hankyung’s hand in slow circles. “What they don’t know won’t hurt anyone.” He lifted their joined hands and kissed their intertwined fingers. Kangin screamed in fake disgust so he kicked him, starting a playful fight between the members.
He started, his back straightening up. Suddenly there was the absence of the warmth of the other members, and he was sitting in a bar. It was nearly empty, and he was wondering when he got there because he didn’t remember stepping foot in the place. Where was Hankyung? Were they clubbing together? Was he in the bathroom? Heechul frowned, and raised a hand for a drink. He wondered if he had drunk anything yet. He felt like he had, he felt like he was floating, he felt intoxicated, and yet he couldn’t remember.
The bar tender came up to him with a frown on his face. “You’ve had enough, sir.” The man stated. Heechul stared blearily at him before he shook his head with a playful smirk.
“I haven’t had any,” He winked. “I haven’t heard that pick up line, but sorry,” He flashed the ring at the man. “I’m taken. I’ll let you buy me a drink though.” He frowned as he slurred his words slightly.
The bartender sighed and shook his head, pulling out a drink and serving the man something light. “Do you have a ride?” Heechul rattled off some numbers to him, tipping his head backwards and slipping backwards into memories.
The next thing he knew, he was floating and Hankyung’s concerned face was looking down at him. Heechul smiled, planting a kiss on his lips. “My angel!” He sang, looping his arms around his neck. He was being carried out of the bar by his knight in shining armor.
“Heechul,” Hankyung’s tone was serious, and it dropped a stone in Heechul’s stomach. He looked at his husband with large eyes. “You gave the bartender the Super Junior dorm number. Eeteuk called me.”
“What’s wrong with giving him the number of the place we live?” Hankyung opened the door to the passenger side and sat Heechul down. He buckled him in and shut the door gently, ignoring the hollow feeling in his chest as he got in on the driver’s side and started the engine. He could feel Heechul’s demanding gaze on him and he turned to look at his lover, placing a hand on his knee.
“We were banned from Korea seven years ago.” He said quietly, watching Heechul’s eyes widen with shock as he took it in.
“Hannie,” Heechul shook his head. “Don’t lie to me.” He grabbed Hankyung’s hand, squeezing it hard. “This isn’t a joke.” He stated and his eyes were wide and petrified. Hankyung fished a newspaper out from the backseat and showed it to him. It was from yesterday. He watched as Heechul took it all in.
Heechul’s hands were shaking. Why did they always shake? They were shaking when he was getting married. They were the reason he had trouble with his tie. He looked at Hankyung, with fear filled eyes. Had they been together for that long? Was he forgetting? What would he remember? How was he here? Where was here? What was going on? How could he forget Hankyung? How could seven years disappear from under him?
He licked his dry lips. “Let’s have a drink.” Hankyung leaned over and took Heechul’s face into his warm hands. Heechul stared into his eyes. It was then that he noticed the wrinkles around his eyes. The skin around them were crinkled, as though from a lifetime of laughter. At least he hadn’t been suffering.
Hankyung noticed the edge of near insanity in Heechul’s eyes. Stroking his smooth cheek, he pressed their lips together in a kiss, slow and tender, coaxing his husband to relax for him.
“Hannie,” Heechul breathed, breaking their lips apart. “Let’s go drinking.” He was adamant.
Hankyung turned to the wheel. “Let’s go tomorrow,” He said. “I’m too tired.” He pulled an excuse out, giving his love an apologetic smile. He drove them back to their apartment and dragged Heechul up the stairs, as he was intoxicated whether he could remember or not. He laid him down on the bed and slid in next to him, pulling the covers up over both of them.
He drew Heechul to his chest and watched as he slowly fell asleep. It took a while, but Hankyung calmly ran his fingers up and down his back in such a soothing manner that eventually he gave in and slept.
The Chinese man was glad, because tears started to run down his face, wetting the pillow beneath him. There was a dead weight in his chest, and as he pulled the other closer to him he feel their joined heartbeats. The sound was assuring because it meant he was not alone. Physically, Heechul was there, but mentally he was slipping though his fingers faster than he could latch on to him.
He stayed up all night but it wasn’t until the first rays of sunlight started to burst in through the window that he untangled himself from the bed and his lover’s limbs and called the hospital. He talked quietly, watching Heechul sleep through the open door of the bedroom. After reserving an appointment for later that day, he went out to the balcony and smoked a pack of cigarettes. It was his first pack in years. He had promised to never touch another one, but he needed to calm himself down.
He tossed the empty pack down from the window and rested his forehead on the railing. Even after breaking his promise to the one that meant most to him they didn’t help his anxiety at all. He realized that he smelled like cigarettes, and that Heechul would be devastated to find out that he had even been near them.
To avoid hurting Heechul, he went to the bathroom and took a shower, and slipped by the slumbering man in the bedroom quietly and proceeded to cook fried rice for breakfast, something he hadn’t had the time to make in a while. Once finished, he called work and took time off and then set about preparing a hangover remedy.
Heechul wandered out as Hankyung was blending the drink together and watched him moving around the kitchen. He spotted the pink apron hanging on a hook near the kitchen door and picked it up with a devilish smile. Looped it over the Chinese man’s head and tied it in the back with a big bow. After that he hugged him close around the waist and pressed his ear against his back to listen to the heartbeat that sang the same rhythm as his own heart. Humming an old song, he felt the vibrations as Hankyung’s voice joined his own. He gave a genuine smile and turned the man around.
Heechul pressed them against the counter and kissed him, nibbling on his bottom lip and hearing a noise of delighted surprise from Hankyung. He smirked and grinded their hips together, pulling his hands through the other man’s hair. He opened his mouth and deepened the kiss, letting Hankyung take over after he had recovered from shock. He was the better kisser anyways, so it was best to let him take control.
“You have Alzheimer’s.”
The morning’s events had still been playing through his head when he had been told the news. He gaped at the doctor like a fish before he felt a sudden flash of anger. He stood up, shouting at the man in his native tongue. The old doctor wouldn’t have known what he was saying but Hankyung knew, and he tried to stop him even though his own heart was painfully constricting in his chest.
“This isn’t fair!” Heechul shouted at Lee Soo Man as he told him the news. “What have we done wrong?!” He cried, not caring to keep his composure in front of his former boss. “You can’t terminate our contracts just like that!” He knocked over a pile of papers on the old man’s desk.
“Mr. Kim, if you do not restrain yourself I will have you placed under arrest.” The elderly man said coldly. “I’m sorry, but since you have both been kicked out of Korea, we cannot have a black stain on the Company’s record.”
“We were never a black stain to this company!” Heechul snarled, but Hankyung pulled his lover away. He bowed, which was a magnificent feat as he was restraining his husband at the same time. They knew this might happen anyway, but he supposed Heechul still had the hope that they wouldn’t be torn away from their friends and family – from Super Junior – from SMTOWN.
In the hallway Heechul broke down. Was he in the hospital now or was he at SM Headquarters? He wasn’t sure anymore, it was all a haze. He gripped Hankyung’s hand as tears cascaded down his cheeks. He didn’t care about image anymore; he just let the tears flow. He laughed bitterly in the face of the paparazzi. He cried shamelessly in front of the friends from the business. He left Heebum at the dorms, because he wanted there to be some sort of connection between them, he knew that when they called to complain about the fat cat he’d be able to laugh at them. He remembered that he had dropped his suitcases in a puddle because Eunhyuk, Donghae, and Sungmin had tackled him suddenly. They were the first, and then there were bodies everywhere, as everyone from Super Junior started crying and trying to hug the two members.
“You will always be a member to us.” They had cried, because they all knew that even if they gained more members, Super Junior would never lose members and be able to stay Super Junior. They would be less than they were, because they needed each other. There were many promises to keep in contact, many phone numbers exchanged, and more tears than there was rain falling from the sky.
Suddenly Heechul was standing on a street, alone. He stopped dead, looking around in confusion. When did he get here? Where was Hankyung? What year was it? What country was he in? He spotted the sign for a bar –it was open. He went inside, placing an order for a drink and going to the bathroom. He stared at his reflection in the mirror. He had aged. His hair was shorter than it was, and not dyed. It was still black, by some miracle it wasn’t turning grey even though he must have been around the age to get grey hair. There were wrinkles under his eyes and laugh lines in the creases.
He pulled out his phone with shaking hands, checking the date and time. His life was one scattered mess of time. He couldn’t remember how he got there or where he was. Who was Hankyung? Wasn’t he the Chinese trainee who he teased? The one that made his breath catch every time he saw him?
Oh his new dorm mate, that was right. He dialed the number. “Ni Hao Ma.” He heard the voice say.
“Yah!” He scowled at the phone. “You’re in Korea! Don’t speak Chinese at me!”
There was a breath, and then, “Heechul? Where are you?”
“I’m at a bar Hannie! Come have some fun with me!” He smirked, twirling his hair in his hand.
“Which bar?” Hankyung asked, the tone of voice sounding both alarmed and intrigued.
Heechul frowned. Where was he again? He went out into the main room and back up to the bar. The bartender pushed a drink in front of him and Heechul took it, putting the cell on the counter.
He slammed the drink down his throat and suddenly he was gone, lost in another memory. Gone on another roller coaster ride of confusion – life was just one smudge of memory. No matter how hard you try to preserve it, it just ended up getting smudged in the end.
There was no turning back without losing the present. There was no remembrance, there was nothing. There was burden, there was pain, there was life, and there was love. There were things you swore to never forget to the people you love. There were promises you break to those you love even though you never meant to.
“Hannie,” Heechul picked up the phone, his voice slurred, “Are you there?” His voice caught in his throat. “I love you more than life.” Tears were blurring his vision again. “I don’t want to forget.” He choked out.
“Heechul, give the phone to the bartender, let me talk to him for a minute. I’ll be there soon.” He did as Hankyung told him to, trusting him. When the bartender handed him the phone back, he wondered why that man had his phone.
Where was he? Oh, a bar.
Had he had anything to drink? He ordered a drink because he couldn’t recall whether he had or not.
He pressed back against silk sheets, pulling Hankyung on top of him. Their lips met as their bodies melded in unison, molding perfectly together and finding the stride that was their own unique beat. That beautiful heat that came from joined bodies, those lips upon his fiery skin, his nails scraping down that divinely formed back. This was a moment he would never forget.
Heechul ordered another drink. Not because he hadn’t ordered one before, but because this was the only way he would remember the things he did not want to ever forget.
When Hankyung arrived, Heechul had ordered him a drink and latched onto his arm. It wasn’t because Hankyung needed to forget, or because he needed to remember. It was because Heechul was selfish and he still felt guilty for stealing Hankyung – the Sun - from the world. He wanted Hankyung to drink with him and laugh with him and more than anything else, he wanted to remember life with him. And so he buried into Hankyung’s side as that familiar strong arm slid around Heechul’s shoulder and pulled him close. He smelled that familiar spice smell that was Hankyung and ordered another round of drinks.
Cheers to unforgettable memories.Fin.