Heechul / Hyukjae
Summary: Heechul doesn’t like to look back at the mistakes of his past. But maybe he can't tell the difference between "looking back" and "running away".
A/N: WHERE DID THIS COME FROM I DON’T KNOW WTF HURHURHUR. I will never write angst again, and never will I attempt this pairing henceforth. But I do love Hyukchul with a kind of vengeance, and I hope people never give up on them.
It was because they slept together.
All that talk about a tee-shirt? Rubbish. Egg on kimchi rice? Heechul was insane, but not that insane. The reason why they were so awkward with each other was because they had slept with each other one night during the promotions for Miracle.
Heechul blamed it on insanity and too much soju. Hyukjae never talked about it.
Nothing came out of it, except Hyukjae avoided him whenever he could and that was something that never sat well with Heechul.
“Hyung,” Donghae asked once. “Hyung, why are you always mad at Hyukjae?”
“I’m not always mad at Hyukjae,” Heechul bristled, just like Heebum did sometimes when you got too close to him. It’s probably the same, Heechul thought to himself. Donghae was getting a little too close to a topic that he didn’t like.
Donghae shrugged. “He looks like he doesn’t mind, but he cried that time you left his birthday party sulking.”
“I did no-“ Heechul was about to protest but he stopped and remembered that yes, not only had he walked out of the birthday party, he’d done it with some choice words and Jungsu had looked at him disapprovingly. “I was angry, okay?”
“Oh,” Donghae said, pulling his knees up to his chest and turning back to the television. He probably would not remember this conversation the next day.
It burned in Heechul’s chest. It was never supposed to be that way.
It was impossible not to like Hyukjae. Hyukjae, with his gummy smile and child-like innocence, who used all his money to buy a present for a girl he liked (and used Jungsu’s pass for all his travel needs after). It probably meant something that Jungsu never called him on it, and when that girl dumped Hyukjae (and not lightly), it was such a huge deal amongst the older set that even Heechul heard about it.
When they were put together to debut and practice, Hyukjae worked the hardest. Heechul thought it was because the boy liked to dance, but as time went by realised it was more because Hyukjae was having a complex.
Hyukjae thought he wasn’t good enough- and the only good he could give them was his dancing.
“Ya, you need to rest,” Heechul called out, as the still pimply Hyukjae danced his way through the choreography of their debut. “You’re not getting anywhere with that.”
Hyukjae turned to Heechul, his hands clasped together, standing like he had been chastised by a school teacher. “I’m sorry, hyung.”
“No, that’s not what I…” Heechul started, before he paused. “Whatever,” he said, before turning to walk out of the room.
Perhaps it was his own fault. His fault for not ever telling Hyukjae exactly what he meant. That “Hey, stop dancing” meant, “Hey I want you to get some rest”. “Hey, your face is ugly” actually meant, “You have dark eye bags and they’re making you ugly and you should get some sleep.” Maybe that was why he got along with Hangeng best. Hangeng, the foreigner who understood their language in a different manner, who probably got the true meaning of what Heechul wanted to say by way of translating Korean to Chinese.
Maybe he should have been born Chinese, Heechul thought to himself. No, Hyukjae should have been born Chinese.
It would certainly have made things easier.
Mithra once said that he thought Heechul was a person with many layers. He means one thing but says another. But it’s not because Heechul was lying, no, in fact he was an honest person who only spoke the truth. It was because that was the way Heechul was. He would never show you true concern, especially if you were something who hadn’t earned his trust.
Heechul thought showing kindness was a weakness. A weakness the other party could wield against you when the going got rough. He’d certainly experienced it before.
All that had come out one evening when Heechul, frankly, had too much to drink, and Tablo was sitting at the other side of the table, watching him curiously.
“He likes you, you know,” Heechul muttered, pointing at Tablo.
“Who?” Tablo asked, still amused.
“Our Hyukjae. It’s always Tablo-hyung this, Epik High that,” Heechul said, slamming his mug on the table. “I don’t know why he even likes you so damn much. You two look the same.”
“I think Eunhyuk’s a good person. Got his heart in the right place,” Tablo smiled lightly. “My girlfriend likes him.”
Heechul snorted, shaking his head. “That silly boy,” he shrugged. “Always falling in love with lost causes.”
Heechul hadn’t meant to say it- he knew Hyukjae didn’t like Tablo that way, of course he knew that. Hyukjae truly admired Tablo for his talent. But the next time Epik High and Super Junior met in the hallways of some television station, Heechul had to squash the feeling of guilt that rose when Tablo’s handshake with Hyukjae was a little lighter than usual, and almost felt like stabbing himself at the confused hurt on Hyukjae’s face, even if it was for just a second before he smiled and turn to give Mithra a hug.
“You want to fix it,” Hangeng said.
“What?” Heechul frowned, not even looking up from his latest game of Starcraft where he was finally, finally kicking Kibum’s ass. The boy didn’t even see it coming; Heechul chuckled to himself as he demolished the kid’s marines.
“This thing with Hyukjae,” Hangeng said softly. “You want to fix it.”
Heechul watched with some satisfaction as Kibum’s army was crushed in front of his eyes, and… why did he suddenly feel the need to crush Hangeng’s face as well? “There’s nothing we need to fix.”
Hangeng waited until Heechul won, before walking over and placing a hand on Heechul’s. “Chul,” he sighed. “You need to fix it.”
“It doesn’t need to be fixed. He stays out of my way; I keep being mean to him. We have a standing relationship- this is how things are supposed to be.”
“That’s not… look, you told me you were drunk out of your skull, right? I have a theory. You weren’t,” Hangeng said. Heechul continued to stare resolutely at the screen, where Kibum was expressing his shock over how Heechul had gotten good at Starcraft, because “Hyung, you never stay interested enough to get this good at something. I mean, look at your hair.”
“You weren’t drunk. He just thought you were. You knew what you were doing.”
“I was dead drunk,” Heechul insisted.
“There are things we want to hold on to and protect,” Hangeng said softly. “It’s human nature. Like a mother protects a son. Like a lover protects his partner from pain.”
Heechul took a deep, shuddering breath. On the screen, Kibum was going, “Hyung, are you still there? We should play another game, that one was just a fluke.”
“And it’s also human nature to protect yourself. But you don’t know what to do because when you protect yourself, Hyukjae gets hurt,” Hangeng sighed.
“I don’t need to fix anything,” Heechul insisted as he typed, “I’m going to crush you again, Kibum.”
“Hahaha,” was Kibum’s reply.
It certainly didn’t help matters that Hyukjae still treated Heechul well. He did the usual, dongsaeng-would-do things, like make sure he was around during group meetings and telling all their managers that Heechul needed to be included in their dances, no matter what. (He said it was what anyone would have done for him, even if Hyukjae had been the only one to insist on it) There were other things Hyukjae did though; things he did when he thought Heechul wasn’t looking.
Like, calling Hangeng in the morning from downstairs to ask if there was breakfast. “Oh you do, so… did Heechul-hyung eat? Did he come back at all?”
Or getting Donghae to give Heechul the presents they bought back together from Jeju. “Hyukjae said he wanted to buy it for you. He used Jungsu-hyung’s money though.”
Heechul wished he couldn’t see this things- but he did. It was his hypersensitive nature- the one that also usefully allowed him to find hidden cameras when the group tried to prank him; but that wasn’t the point here. Heechul wanted Hyukjae to stop, and he did it the only way how.
The only, very terrible way how.
Hyukjae had stood, frozen in place as Heechul yelled at him in the middle of the dance studio, with everyone else present. The hateful words that came out from Heechul’s mouth couldn’t be controlled- Heechul tried to hold back, but his frustration overruled everything else, and being one that worked with his heart more than his brain, he just kept yelling.
Finally, it took Siwon and Donghae dragging a still-stunned Hyukjae out of the room and a very solemn looking Youngwoon and Jungsu to stop him. Jongwoon was glaring at him, and Ryeowook had his face turned away.
“Stop it,” Hangeng pleaded with him that night. “Please.”
Heechul did not want to tell Hangeng that there was nothing to stop now.
He thought he had it all together, until Hangeng left for China with Super Junior M and never came back.
Heechul didn’t bother to notice the people who came to check on him everyday. He didn’t realize that Hyukjae was downstairs, asking Ryeowook to check on Heechul, asking Kyuhyun to see if he was online. He was blind to the world except his own depression, not knowing that everyone else was trying to cope with what it meant by Hangeng’s absence.
Hyukjae never hovered, but he was definitely close by.
It happened finally during one of the practice sessions for the new album, when Heechul and Jungsu were the only ones in the practice room beside Hyukjae and Shindong.
Heechul watched as Hyukjae made a spectacular fall, almost on his face. The boy let out a loud yelp of pain.
He got up to his feet, even faster than Jungsu and was by Hyukjae’s side in an instant.
“Yah, are you okay? Hey!” Heechul shook Hyukjae.
“I’m, okay,” Hyukjae mumbled, using both hands to brace himself up. Shindong grabbed him from the other side but Heechul glared at him. “I’m sorry.”
“What are you sorry about, aish,” Heechul muttered, grabbing Hyukjae and pulling him upright.
Hyukjae wasn’t moving anymore, just looking curiously at what Heechul was doing, and Heechul stopped, realizing what he was actually doing, and jumped back in surprise.
Heechul held Hyukjae’s stare, and for a moment neither of them spoke, and the other two were too surprised to speak. Hyukjae dusted his knees off and walked out of the room without another word.
“Heechul,” Jungsu sighed.
“I don’t need another lecture,” Heechul muttered, brushing the hair out of his face. He needed to tie it up; maybe it would help him think better.
“Hyung?” Shindong looked confused.
Heechul turned and ran out of the studio, banging the door shut behind him.
“I hate what you do to me,” Heechul hissed, pushing Hyukjae against the wall. “Why, why was it you?”
Hyukjae shook his head; looking every little bit the meek mouse to Heechul’s cat. “I shouldn’t… I’m sorry.”
“Stop saying that,” Heechul growled, before devouring Hyukjae’s lips in a kiss.
Teeth knocked painfully against each other and Hyukjae’s eyes fluttered close as he returned the kiss, letting his body slump back against the wall, boneless if Heechul wasn’t holding him up.
“Stop saying you’re sorry,” Heechul whispered, when he finally let go of Hyukjae’s lips, both of them panting heavily.
Hyukjae had tears falling out of his eyes, and Heechul resisted the urge to brush them away. That action, that was just… too intimate. Un-Heechul-like, no matter how much he wanted to do it.
“No hyung,” Hyukjae whispered, and he sounded like someone who had walked a long journey to get to where they were at the moment- like he finally understood. “I was never sorry.”