Part: Chapter Five: Orange
Previous Parts: Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four
Pairing: Donghae / Eunhyuk
Rating: PG-13 (sensuality)
Word Count: 4,368
Synopsis: Colors have always been there in our relationship...from the day I met you. If I were to tell our story, I’d do it with a canvas and paint; vibrant colors of every shade and hue.
Next Update: No specific date. Busy busy busy in January! ^^
In January I'm going to be out of town a lot...so chapter six will be up as soon as possible, but I don't want to promise a specific date because I will probably miss it. Sorry about that. ^^ I hope everyone had really great holidays! And Happy New Year~! Please read and enjoy! ^ ^ /
Thanks again to tvxqsocks for helping me to edit and generally being awesome. <3
I rest my chin on my knees and hit play on my iPod. A song I know by heart so well that in all practical senses, it is a part of me, plays. I turn up the volume and smile. It's one of our songs, now put behind us to make way for new singles until the time is right to perform it once again. The reason I can smile so happily while listening to it now is because no one is parting ways from the group. We're staying as we were created forever.
Well, okay, not exactly forever. But it feels like forever to me right now.
Instead of losing my friends, we're gaining a new member. I don't know much about him. He only signed to SM Entertainment recently, and I've met him, but the first thing that comes to mind is still the fact that he's younger than us. Which means we have someone new to tease. I laugh. Put more nicely, it means that we have someone new to get to know. I don't know how I really feel about someone coming into the group after we've already debuted and bonded, but I'm not upset about it. I'm much too happy for that.
A few hours ago, we were at dinner with the CEO. Now it's almost one in the morning, and I'm sitting on the floor in the living room next to the windows. Everyone else is sleeping already, or doing things by themselves. We're all used to each other.
I smile at my faint reflection and the city beyond it. My dream came true, and I'm living it. I can't ask for anything else. I'm doing exactly what I wanted to do everyday, and I have some kind of future ahead of me with these people. I wouldn't want to work with anyone else.
But if I thought that being a trainee was hard, it pales to nothingness in comparison with being a working idol. It's a good kind of exhaustion, but it's still exhaustion. Not only that, but the brief gap between high school and college is gone. I am busier than ever.
But it isn't having consequences - at least not yet - on the other major thing in my life. Even on days when we have different schedules, and I don't see you until late if at all, I'll think about you and text you. Somehow we maintain some kind of link. And just with that, we're okay, if not closer than ever. When you have to try harder to make a relationship work, the more you realize that it's important, and the stronger it is, I guess.
Maybe I'm reading too much into it. But you are important.
"Here." A hand and a carton of strawberry milk are lowered in front of my eyes. I look back and smile at Sungmin as I take it. He sits down next to me and leans back on his hands.
"So you're still stuck with me."
"Stuck with you?" I laugh and punch a hole in the carton with the straw.
"Are you happy, then?" He smiles at me and pulls out one of my earbuds. He scoots closer to me and puts it into his own ear. "Oh, this song."
"How could I be anything but happy? Strawberry milk is the best."
"I meant because no one is leaving," he laughs.
"I'm thrilled. Aren't you?"
"Of course." He grins. "This is exactly what I wanted to have happen."
"What about Kyuhyun, though?" He tilts his head and almost pouts. I still don't know how he's managed to only get cuter after debut. But then again, when you condition yourself to be like that on camera, it has to carry over to your normal personality to some degree. No one should know more about conditioning behavior than myself.
"Cho Kyuhyun. The new guy."
"Oh." I shrug. "I don't have much of an opinion."
"I kind of like him. I guess we'd better like him, since he's going to become one of us."
I shrug. "So what, did you guys talk, or something?"
"Oh." I smirk. "I see."
"What?" He pouts. "It was just a little."
"He's already your friend?"
"Well, he's got to have one, hasn't he?" he says defensively.
"Do you feel sorry for him?"
"No, that's not why..."
"So what do you like about him?"
"I just do, okay?"
"Whatever." I sigh switch the song to something else. "Don't forget about me when you fall in love with him."
I laugh. "I'm just joking."
"That isn't funny."
My smile fades. "I'm sorry. I thought it was pretty funny."
There's a pause, and he stares moodily out of the window. "Like how you forgot about me when you fell in love with Donghae?"
"Sungmin." I roll my eyes. "How many times have I told you that it's not like that? And how many times have I told you that you're just imagining us drifting apart?"
"We spent a lot more time together before you became friends with him."
"We spent a lot more time together before we got really busy with training and preparing for our debut and everything after that. It's not because of him."
"Fine," he sighs. "Sorry, I shouldn't bring it up again."
"It's okay. But make this the last time already."
"Anyway, pick a song," I say, handing him the iPod. "It's not fair if I pick all of them."
"I'll pick something you hate."
"There's nothing I hate on my iPod, stupid."
Sungmin giggles and scrolls through my song library.
"Are you sleeping soon?" he asks.
"You want to keep your room, right?"
"Uh, yes. Why?"
"Okay." He smiles. "Then I'll put Kyuhyun in my room."
I blink a few times. The last thing I want is a roommate. "Okay, great. When is he moving in?"
"I don't kn-"
The door opens and Sungmin starts and looks at it. I look back too, but I wasn't startled. I know who it is; it's you. Sungmin's jaw drops the slightest bit as you walk in and lock the door behind you.
"Hey," you say, walking over to us.
"What are you doing here?"
"Hi Sungmin." You smile and drop the key into my hand. "Here."
"Thanks." I pocket it.
"You gave him your key?" Sungmin looks between us with a raised eyebrow.
"He said he was going to come down. Why make one of us get up just to let him in?"
"But why is he here?" He chews on his fingertip, looking plainly at us.
"Visiting." You look at him for all of three seconds and then sit down and yawn into your hands.
"Sungmin's got a new friend," I say quickly, before Sungmin can ask why he's visiting.
"No, he does."
You laugh. "Who is it?"
I look at Sungmin, who rolls his eyes. "The new guy."
"What's his name, again?"
You snap your fingers and grin as if you were the one to remember his name. "That's it! Kyuhyun."
"What is it with you two and not remembering what his name is?"
"It was hard enough remembering the names of eleven members," I offer as an excuse.
"It wasn't that hard! Me and Donghae for example...you couldn't forget our names if you tried."
"Don't be so sure."
"Would you?" Donghae puts in innocently, eyeing our listening to the same song together jealously.
"I might forget yours," I answer in a deadpan tone. You laugh, picking up on my insincerity, but Sungmin nods as if agreeing with me.
"Anyway," Sungmin says, "he's going to live in our dorm."
"What?" you cry. "Why do you get all the young people? It's not fair."
"You have Kibum."
"But he's only one person and he's younger than me," you whine. "You guys have each other and everyone else is close to your age. I have Eeteuk and Heechul and Hankyung. They're old."
"Shall I tell them that you said that?" Sungmin smirks.
"Don't cause trouble," I sigh. "You know they're sensitive about it."
"But they talk about it all the time."
"It's like middle aged women, Donghae." I hand you the rest of my strawberry milk, ignoring Sungmin's glare as I share something he had given me with you. "They can complain about it, but you can never mention it."
"Well that's silly." You lift your eyebrows subconsciously. "They're not even that much older than us, either."
"You can't say that either. You don't want to take the age card away from them."
"So I can't mention it at all?"
"Right." I give you a thumbs up as you get it. "Not a word about it."
"You see, we know this because we're older than you."
"No it doesn't!" You crumple the carton and pout. "Anyway...Want to play a game or something?"
"No," Sungmin says, yawning again and handing me my iPod again. He stands up and stretches. "I'm going to bed."
"You're not leaving because of me, right?"
I'm surprised that you even asked that. Sungmin looks at you in surprise for a few seconds, and I can tell that he feels uncomfortable.
"No," he says. "Sorry I didn't just say hello to you earlier..."
"It's okay." You smile.
He leaves, and you look at me. The door to his room shuts and you smile. I turn off my iPod and put it down. I don't need to listen to music when I can listen to you.
"So what do you want to do?"
"Let's go up to the roof."
"I want to talk."
"But it's freezing outside..."
"It's not that cold. Believe me."
"Okay." I stand up and get my shoes and jacket. "Is everything okay?"
"Yes." You smile reassuringly. "Let's just go talk for a while."
I follow you up the stairs, zipping up my jacket and stuffing my hands into my pockets as I go, and wondering what you want to talk about up on the roof, or if you really want to talk about anything at all. You open the door and let me go out first. It's cold, but you were right - it's not too cold. You walk to a corner of the roof and stop near the wall.
"He's still jealous." You sigh and sit down against the wall.
"He'll get over it." I sit down next to you and lay my head on your shoulder. "It's not that he doesn't like you, you know? I think he just doesn't...like it...that I have someone who I'm closer to than him now in our 'family.'"
"But it's different, isn't it? The way you're close to me and the way you're close to him."
"Of course. But that doesn't make him special. I mean...if it came down to a best friend contest, you would win."
"I just communicate better with you. Especially now that he's got this undercurrent of jealousy. I like you more."
"Should I feel bad that that makes me happy?" You laugh quietly. "I mean, it's not good for you and Sungmin, but...I like being the person who's closest to you."
"Don't feel bad. It's who you should be."
"I can't do anything about it, right?"
"Right. Just let him mature a little."
"Maturity...Do you think...we're more mature because of each other?"
"I can't say." I shrug. "I don't know what I'm like without you."
You reach across me and put your fingers in my pocket. I look up at you and smile. You smile back with the smile that you reserve for me, and I fall into the familiar sense of happiness that comes when I make the complete psychological shift to being your boyfriend first and your friend second.
"You're a part of me too," you say. Your smile grows, and I take your hand out of my pocket and push my fingers in between yours; the closest way I know how to hold your hand.
"I'm glad you cut your hair." I touch one of your short black locks. "You look good."
"Seeing you with black hair again feels like seeing you without makeup on."
"Yeah?" You laugh. "Heechul has been talking about dying his orange again."
"I guess that suits him."
"Mmm." You nod. "I guess so. Whatever he does, he'll just be Heechul."
I laugh. "Right."
You laugh with me and then put your arm around my shoulders. It's almost like being hugged. The added warmth and shelter is welcome, up here on the roof. It's winter, but we don't really care, do we? I like it up here. I like being here with you, specifically.
"We have time now." You stare into space. "Years, maybe."
I look at your profile and feel as quiet as you look as your voice fades. I move closer to you and lay my head against your shoulder again after a minute. I don't know what to say. Yes, we have time. I don't think I've gone through the motions of understanding what that means yet. In the last few months, I haven't been able to keep the niggling possibility of separation out of my mind. I've cried about it a few times, because what can a person do? It's not in my control. But everyone has been crying. Nobody wanted to say goodbye.
I wanted more time with you. Be it another year, or two, or more after that, however improbable that was going to be. Now I don't know how long we'll be together in Super Junior. It's in our hands now; to see how far we can push ourselves and succeed as a group. As for you and me, I don't have any doubts about us.
"You like playing hard to get, don't you?"
"It'd be a lie if I said no." Publicly, as Eunhae, it's what I do.
You laugh and put your finger beneath my chin. "Kiss me?"
"Because I want to be kissed."
Privately, what's the point in it? I don't have any reason to make you work for affection. It's not often you actually ask me to give it to you. Usually it just happens on its own. So if you ask me, it must be because you really need it. If it wasn't for me, you would feel lonely, wouldn't you? You need someone to love like this. Or maybe it's just a void that I both create and fill at once.
I get onto my knees in front of you and take your face gently in my hands. As I lean in to kiss you, you grab my collar and pull me closer by it. Our lips meet. I'm the easiest person in the world, aren't I? I fell for you without even making you try.
"Are you worried?" I can't help but smile. You won't let go of me. "About the future."
"No. It's just..." You hesitate, words half formed in your mouth. "Just think about how much potential we have now."
"No," you say, putting your hand over mine. "Excited."
We smile and kiss again, confirming that the feeling is mutual. You lower your hands to my waist and then break away, laughing.
"What's funny?" I straighten up and raise my eyebrow at you.
"How is it," you say, pinching the sides of waist, "that you eat so much, yet are still so skinny?"
"It's not my fault." I push your hands away, laughing. "Maybe I'm still growing."
"I don't think you're getting any taller."
"Then I'm just a food vacuum with an endless space to fill."
You laugh, covering your mouth with your hand. You don't really care if I'm skinny or not; I know that you like the way I look. You stand up, taking me with you, and your lips brush my cheek. I silently ask you if we're leaving, and I know from your eyes that we aren't. I lean against the wall and look at Seoul. Somewhere, people are still working on the next episode of a variety show, trying to come up with new ways to entertain. In less than eight hours, we'll probably go meet with them, or people connected to them. This is our world.
"I'm glad that we're sticking together," I say, smiling at the dark cityscape. "Even though it's kind of hard."
"Mmm." You touch my back lightly with your fingertips. "What's hard?"
"Being with you."
"You don't mean that, do you?"
"No." I smile sadly. "I don't."
You run your hands over my shoulders. "I know what it's like too, you know."
"I know you know," I laugh, looking back at you. "You're the other half."
"Your other half," you correct, somehow blinking at just the right point for emphasis. You smile and then put your chin on my shoulder, hugging me lightly. "Do you miss me?"
"I miss you." Actually saying it makes me feel like crying.
"Want to know something?"
"I miss you too," you whisper. "All the time."
"Oh," is all I can manage before I lose my voice to tears. Your arms tighten around me as soon as you feel that I'm crying.
"Which is why you said it's hard, isn't it?" Your breath is warm against my ear. How is it that you're never angry with me when I let you know what my feelings are? No matter what they are?
I nod slowly. "Yeah."
"Listen..." You take a deep breath. "If we split up tomorrow, how long would it take for you to stop thinking about me?"
"I don't know," I choke, uncomfortable with your choice of words. If we split up. The only thing that comes to mind in response to that is no. No, no, no, no, no. "A really long time."
"But even after then, you wouldn't forget me, would you?"
"No. Donghae, don't..."
"Relax." You kiss the edge of my jaw. "I'm not leaving you. Not even close."
"I know, but..."
"I want to know if it's hard on you. I want to know if it hurts."
"It's not really hard on me. It's just sometimes..." I trail off and try - and fail - to stop crying. "It's just that..."
"It isn't fair," I gasp. I hate crying to you like this, because I want to be more mature. I don't want you to know that I think things like it isn't fair, but I want to hide from you even less. "I want...I want the things other people want."
"Honestly? You know what I want?" I look back at you, laughing for no reason. Laughing just because I'm upset.
"What do you want?"
"I want to sleep with you without caring about how other people think it's weird for two boys to want to sleep together, and how can we be such friends that want to do that? I want to fall asleep and wake up to you and not care that we have to get up at a certain time and act differently. I want..." I take a breath and wipe my tears away. "I want to live in a world where this is okay."
"This is okay," you whisper, turning me to face you. "This is okay."
"Doesn't it make you feel bad?" I whisper back. "Doesn't it make you feel bad to hide and lie and keep secrets from everyone?"
"Yes and no." You sigh. "I don't like it, but I don't mind doing it if I can be with you. Even if I only get five minutes alone with you to show you that I love you, it's worth it."
"Five minutes." You smile. "Stop trying not to cry."
"I feel bad for crying about this," I say, letting myself be pulled into your embrace. "I'm really happy. It's just sometimes that I'm like this."
"I know," you say gently, massaging my neck with your fingertips. "Don't feel bad. I want all of your emotions, not just your happy ones. Okay?"
"God, you're so nice." I hug you tightly. I feel like my heart is swelling to a new size. "I love you."
"I love you too. I really love you."
"And now I don't want to leave you." I laugh. "It just sucks sometimes, doesn't it?"
"Maybe someday it will be different, yeah? Maybe someday we'll have the same home to go to."
"Maybe." I smile. "Would you live with me if we had the opportunity?"
"Don't ask that. You know the answer."
"Is it yes?"
I can feel you roll your eyes.
"Yes, it's yes," you say, letting go of me and kissing me quickly. "But don't get your hopes up too high, okay?"
I smile. "I won't."
"It should be past two in the morning." You bend your head and kiss the hollow of my neck. "Getting sleepy at all?"
"Crying makes me tired."
"You're an easy crier."
"Yeah, well..." I take a deep breath and steady myself. "At least I'm pretty when I cry."
"You're always pretty. But the truth is that I still wish I could take your tears away."
"I do?" You smile. "Thanks."
"That...is my line."
You laugh and twine our fingers together, slowly nuzzling your head against my neck. Every little thing you do is filling the well, leaving me more complete. There isn't much I need in life, is there? I need you, and I need my friends and family, and I need my job. Beyond that, it's all just fluff, isn't it? Nothing material comes close to this.
"Let's stay up all night," you say. "Let's stay up until the sunrise."
"We have to work tomorrow." I kiss the side of your head. "We can't stay up."
"But I want to."
"You can't always get what you want, Donghae." I lean my head against yours. "We'll regret it if we don't sleep. And think of the questions we'd get for staying up all night on the roof."
"Not here. I'm already cold."
"Anywhere. In the dorm."
"It's impossible, love."
You sigh. "Then we really do have to part again."
"I'll see you tomorrow."
"You...weren't you just saying how you didn't want to part from me? And how you were having a hard time."
"I still know what we need to do." I pry one of my hands away and hug your neck. "It doesn't mean that I want to be alone. But I will anyway."
"What time are we getting up at?"
"Six, I guess."
"So we won't sleep long anyway."
"Some is better than none."
"Fine." You sigh again and lift your head. "So we'll see the sunrise either way."
"Yes." I kiss away your pout. "I'll make sure that I'm in the same car as you."
"Tell me you don't want to go."
"I don't want to go," I say earnestly. You smile and kiss me again, longer this time than before. I guess the word for the contrast between the cold air and your warm kiss is lovely. At least, it's lovely to me. It's another reason for me to like winter. You kiss me again and then throw me a look that says I love you. You take my hand and lead me towards the stairs. As soon as we're inside, you squeeze my hand and then let go. As you always do. As you have to.
"I'll see you tomorrow," I say, leaving you at your door. You nod and leave me with a smile. I wonder if you'll still be smiling when you're on the other side of the closed door, back into the quiet dorm where everyone is sleeping. I wonder what you're like when you're alone sometimes. But I'm happy with the Donghae that you show me, and I get the feeling that the Donghae I know is more real than the one that other people know.
I make my way to my own dorm, and get ready for bed and then go to sleep, ignoring the clock. I don't care what time it is; I know I'm not going to get a lot of sleep. But I'll get what I can and like it.
"Wake up." Sungmin shakes my shoulder. "C'mon, Hyukjae. Wake up."
"No," I slur, turning away from him. "Sleep s'mportant."
"Why are you so sleepy?" he gasps exasperatedly. "You have to get up, Hyukjae!"
"Why?" I curl into a ball, further away from his hands and voice.
"Schedule!" He tears the blanket off of me and I swat at him.
"You didn't have to do that!" I shiver and stand up, swaying dizzily at first. "I'm up."
"Now you're up." He laughs. "Get ready to go."
I walk along the wall to the shower and try not to fall asleep in it. I dress and grab the things I'll need as quickly as I can and go. The first stop is the salon...where they make us beautiful. More attractive than we already are, that is.
You look even more tired than I am. You glance at me as you get into a van, and to my surprise, and surely yours, Sungmin pulls me towards the van that you entered. I sit down between the two of you. We greet each other with a tired glance, and Sungmin whips out his cellphone and starts playing a game on it. Let him. I just want to sleep.
You lightly tap me on the shoulder after we've driven for a ways and point out of the window. I blearily look up, first at you, and then at what you want me to see.
It's the sunrise; the very first hints of orange creeping up and promising a sunny day later. Winter sun is only so warm, but we both like sun. We didn't stay up all night to see it, but I feel as if we have. As soon as I look long enough to satisfy both you and me, I let my eyelids droop again.