Title: Save your Goodbye
Series: Sungkyunkwan Scandal
Soundtrack: Save your Goodbye – Mike Posner
Time frame: Entire series (mixed up snippets)
Summary: Sometimes what you call home is not a place, but a person. Sometimes what you call family is not your own blood. And sometimes silence speaks more than words.
Excerpt: “The little lamp is flickering and shadows dance across Yong Ha's eyelashes and onto his cheeks. Jae Shin looks more intently as the shadow-play fascinates him and then it strikes him hard in his chest. Those are tears.”
Pairings: Moon Jae Shin/Gu Yong Ha
Word count: ~3600
Rating: T (songfic, fluff)
Other: The lyrics in “italic” are from “Save your Goodbye” from Mike Posner and the conversation in “italic” is original from the series.
Thanks: to knerrir who insisted that songfics are good and that I should do more of them.
“Excuse me, your heart is in my heart”
Emperor purple, soft peach pink, kingly crimson red, deep sea blue, spring sprout green. A veritable rainbow of colours assaults Jae Shins brittle senses as Yong Ha roams through his wardrobe in search for something newer, better, more astounding.
“What about this one?” Yong Ha holds up a canary yellow coat that is just screaming his name and presses it to his chest while posing in front of the large mirror.
“Ahh...” is Jae Shins only reply as he can not for the life of him make any other sound. All he can do is wonder how, no matter what Yong Ha holds up for display, all looks magnificent on Yong Ha. Especially that yellow coat.
“Ahh...I am going insane...what shall I wear...” Yong Ha is frantic as he throws the yellow coat to the floor and returns to the cupboard tearing out even more things in search for the perfect frock.
As Yong Ha is fretting with his clothing Jae Shin takes another sip from the cup and leans on a pillow. Here in Yong Ha's lavish room there is a peace he cannot find in any other place, a calm that pervades his senses in the most extraordinary ways. He takes yet another sip, his eyes never leaving the busy figure on the other side of the room.
How come Yong Ha's pillows are so fluffy. Why is it that his wine is always so good.
Jae Shin closes his eyes, intently listening to Yong Ha's antics, as he is dressing, redressing and undressing. Why is it so calm here, even with Yong Ha going at it like this?
Why even bother with choosing robes, Jae Shin thinks, when they all suit you so well. Although secretly, secretly he likes seeing a flustered Yong Ha. It is a part of Yong Ha that Yong Ha never shows to other people, except to Jae Shin. It is a private thing, only they share.
He stretches out on the beckoning pillows and his hand encounters the discarded robe, forgotten in a corner. The fabric is deludingly soft at his touch and he lazily wonders if you can feel colour through touch, and if you can, what colour would Yong Ha's skin be? Luminously yellow, he decides, for obviously it is just as soft as the fabric twinning between his teasing fingers.
That is the last lingering thought Jae Shin has before he unknowingly falls asleep with a smile, the small drinking cup dropping from his hand and hitting the floor with a transparent clink.
“Hello, you've taken this too far
Am I just a piece you push in your board game?
Have you been laughing all day long?
You like it when it's hard for me to see straight
You make it go on and on and on and on and on”
It is high summer. Humid and hot enough to cook pork buns on the stepping stones outside the lecture hall. Uncomfortable in their mandatory uniforms, the young Sungkyunkwan scholars listen intently to Professor Jung as he vividly focuses their attention on the joys of reading the classics. Everyone likes Professor Jung but they cannot help but wonder how long the lecture is going to take. They all harbour, more or less, a desire to run out of there and throw themselves in the shadow, or splash some water overhead. All but one.
Moon Jae Shin has his focus elsewhere. His eyes are painfully locked at the gracefully curved neck of Gu Yong Ha, who uncomfortably shifts in his seat. Moon Jae Shin does not feel the heat or the humidity, he feels something else entirely. Something much more ...acute.
Pearls of sweat are forming on the damp skin and as they begin to join each other, gravity takes over and they slowly, slowly trail a path over the tender flesh of the neck and under the collar of white silk.
Moon Jae Shin swallows hard as he imagines the path that drop will take underneath Yong Ha's robe.
Now, another droplet is running down Yong Has cheek, next to the ear. Jae Shin is mesmerized as the droplet is absorbed by the lock of hair that has escaped from the cap, slightly curling it around the lobe of the ear. Then, for what seems like minutes, it releases the drop once more to continue its path down the soft curve of the jaw. Jae Shin randomly wonders how it will taste.
“Yes, scholar Moon Jae Shin? You have something to add to our discussion?” Professor Jung asks with a raised eyebrow since Moon Jae Shin is not famous for partaking in school activities.
Moon Jae Shin has to tear his eyes away by force to answer the calling and it is not until he looks at Professor Jung that he realises that he has brought his hand up. It is just centimeters away from Yong Ha's face and that teasing sweat drop. Instantaneously he lowers his arm and looks away.
“I..I have nothing, it's nothing...” He can feel the silk in his robe absorb the excess dampness caused by his flushing face.
“Yes, well, please don't hesitate if there s something you wish to ask me. Or maybe you are to shy to ask here in class?” Professor Jung is famous for his good humour and usually Jae Shin enjoys it thoroughly, but not now. He curses silently the fact that he ended up sitting next to Yong Ha. He curses that he cannot control himself. He curses that he was found out in such an obvious manner.
“Yes, Goel Oh. Please don't be shy, and tell us!” Yong Ha's eyes are glittering in withheld laughter as they pin Jae Shin where he sits. Then he leans forward, his forehead almost touching Jae Shins ear, and adds
“or is it something that we shouldn't know about? Maybe naughty?” at which the entire classroom bursts out laughing. Somehow seeing the terrifying Goel Oh being teased so relentlessly by the fearless Gu Yong Ha is a very endearing sight. Or maybe its the very idea of Moon Jae Shin appearing more human, closer to them, by the fact that he also thinks about other things during class.
“Aish, its nothing I said...damned punk...” Jae Shin mutters as his eyes darts from side to side. He doesn't know where to look as Yong Ha keeps pinning him with his penetrating eyes.
Jae Shin would like to be angry at this obvious lack of respect for his person but secretly, secretly he smiles at Yong Ha's obvious joy at teasing him. Everything is worth seeing his eyes light up, his mouth curve in a smile and those perfect teeth showing as he laughs.
Jae Shin is willing to give anything for that, even having the others laugh at him.
He looks away before the inner smile reaches his lips, but in the corner of his eye he sees that Yong Ha has already seen it. It is as if they have a secret only they share.
“I beg your pardon, you're standing on my love
Hello, have you not had enough?
Yeah, it's my time to shine and my sword is true
You're back inside my mind, I can still remember”
The night is dark and slightly chilly as the two men who are each others polar opposites face off.
“Then, did you think I wouldn’t know? Did you see me as an idiot who can’t even recognize his decade-long friend’s writing? Me? Don’t go. Aren’t you afraid? You could die!”
Jae Shin feels his heart squeeze painfully at Yong Ha's words, but he ignores it. Yes, he has violently underestimated Yong Ha and now, faced with Yong Ha's pain of deception, he is more than ashamed. He should have told him, he should have confided in Yong Ha. His excuse, that Yong Ha should not be punished if something goes wrong, now feels horrifyingly empty, so shame colours his retort.
“Afraid? Why should I be afraid? Living is not any more fun.” Even before he finishes the sentence he can hear Yong Ha draw his breath. Jae Shin doesn't even have to see Yong Ha's face to know he is crying. He doesn't want this, but the memory of his brother is still strong and he doesn't want to let it go. Not yet.
Then how come right now his brother feels very far away and Yong Ha feels closer than ever. Is he making the wrong choice?
“If being alive is worth no more than death, then what am I to you who’s by your side? Go! Go… live as you wish… And get lost!“ It is words that Jae Shin deserves after what he has said, but they still hurt. Like a sharp shard is lodged between his rib and heart. Torn between his brothers ghost and Yong Ha's agony the choice seems simple, but honour will not let him stay. He is hurt that Yong Ha thinks so little of him. Would he be Moon Jae Shin if he let this go? In this moment, is not that all he has left, his integrity. So pride fills his reply.
“Then…you want me to just sit around and watch as the truth that my brother gave his life for… gets forgotten as that of a thief and a murderer? In front of my own eyes, and moreover, because of me! Is living like that a life at all?" The words are burning Jae Shin's throat as he almost screams them, but he can't stop now. Jae Shin turns around with a furiously aching heart, before Yong Ha's eyes will make him waver. He cannot take Yong Ha's tears, more so when he is the culprit.
“Don’t worry, Gu Yong Ha. I won’t let them touch a hair on my head, and will come back safely.” In Jae Shin's mind it is clear what he has to do, but his heart is telling him something else. He sets off, leaving Yong Ha orphaned in the night, swearing to himself that he will return, without fail. For someone is waiting for him, impatiently.
“I say I'm chasing dreams, but you know
I've been running away from, running away from you”
He smells it before Yong Ha has even come around the corner. That strong, musky perfume that can only come from one place, and one woman.
Somehow that smell always makes him prickly and agitated. He tells himself that it is because it is hurting his nose, but he knows that it isn't the real reason. No, there are other, more valid, reasons but even as he doesn't want to acknowledge them they pervade his senses. Mental images of a splendid Yong Ha rolling around in the brightly coloured skirts of a gisaeng fills his mind, a brilliantly laughing Yong Ha charming all the women at the table until they blush in anticipation, a half dressed Yong Ha pulling the ribbon of a top. He hates it, these insinuations. He hates it, yet he cannot escape it every time he smells that perfume, like an annoying habit.
“Aish...what do I care...” Jae Shin, angry at himself, turns around to disappear before Yong Ha sees him, but he is much too late. In a flash of green, Yong Ha is around his neck, and he is not very sober.
“Aigoo, Goel Oh...here you are...” Yong Ha stinks of alcohol and mixed with the cloud of perfume the odour is so dense it is on the point of choking.
“You should have come with me tonight...friend...” Yong Ha leans in and whispers in Jae Shins ear.
“They have a new girl! And the things she can do...” Yong Ha snickers insinuatingly.
“Leave me be.” Jae Shin roughly detaches Yong Ha's arm from around his shoulder and stomps away, hoping Yong Ha will not follow. He doesn't want to hear these things. He doesn't want to know.
“Goel Oh....oh..Goel Oh” As expected Yong Ha is as unfazed as always, clumsily chasing after Jae Shin. It isn't until Yong Ha stumbles and falls that Jae Shin slows down and then stops. He wavers between taking his chance and disappearing or to go back and check if Yong Ha is ok. In the end he curses his kind heart as he dejectedly walks up to Yong Ha, who is sitting on the ground woeing over his foot.
“Aigoo, I think I have broken something...”
Jae Shin bends down to take a look at Yong Ha's wrist, completely sure he is faking it but discovers that Yong Ha has indeed seriously twisted his ankle. Yong Ha looks up with his cheeks all red of spirits and a panicked look in his eyes.
“Do you think it's really broken? Eh...Goel Oh...tell me the truth..”
“You will survive...its not broken...” Jae Shin cannot resist such an obviously vulnerable Yong Ha and with a sigh he resigns himself to the obvious course of action.
“Here, put your arms around my neck...” Yong Ha does so and then Jae Shin heaves up Yong Ha on his broad back. He has done it countless times before and the feel of Yong Ha's weight feels almost comfortable.
As he starts to walk towards the dorms Yong Ha leans on Jae Shin and starts talking about everything and nothing. Jae Shin isn't really listening but somehow the sound of Yong Ha's voice is familiarly soothing in the dark night and he smiles to himself.
“How come you are always so warm, Goel Oh...” Yong Ha is mumbling into his neck and Jae Shin can feel Yong Ha's entire body starting to relax into him.
Soon he can hear how Yong Ha's mumblings gets lower and lower and the last thing Jae Shin can hear, before Yong Ha falls asleep on his back, makes him smile even more.
“Goel Oh...you should have seen...the new girl could do...she had this puzzle cube...she solved...just a few minutes...incredible...” Then all Jae Shin could hear was the soft snoring of a sound asleep Yong Ha.
The picture of Yong Ha, bright eyed like a child, trying to solve a puzzle cube with a gisaeng, is slowly replacing the other images that had filled his mind earlier and the strong smell of perfume turns slightly less nauseating.
For Jae Shin knows, he knows how innocent Yong Ha really is. He is the only one who knows and he cherishes that more than Yong Ha will ever now.
Maybe one day he will tell Yong Ha how much.
Still smiling to himself he walks slowly, for he knows that this moment will only last until he reaches the dorm, and he wants to cherish it some more. So he walks slowly as Yong Ha softly breaths against his neck, thinking that maybe a drunk, stinking Yong Ha isn't that bad at all.
“Some sort of comfort in your pain, I can't help but take it
No matter how I change there'll be no escaping”
Something is just not right, Jae Shin thinks as he lies in Yong Ha's comfortable bed, propped up against a cloud of pillows. Yong Ha affluently wets a cloth and carefully starts wiping the blood of the jagged edge of Jae Shin's chest wound. Jae Shin is used to it but he still have to restrain himself from flinching in pain. It isn't a very deep wound but it is new and the blood just won't stop flowing.
Yes, something is strange tonight, Jae Shin thinks as it strikes him that is it as quiet in the room, as the night outside the door.
Usually Yong Ha fills any silence by just being himself. He prattles about, scolds Jae Shin for getting hurt or even yells at him and then laughs it off somehow. Now oppressive silence rules Yong Ha's room and surprisingly Jae Shin finds it very disturbing.
“I will need to sew this.” Yong Ha states in a slightly detached matter-of-fact tone.
“Ahh...” Jae Shin knows how much Yong Ha hates doing that, being slightly squeamish at the sight of blood and such. However it wouldn't be the first time and Jae Shin completely trusts Yong Ha, so he leans back into the pillows and braces himself as Yong Ha threads the needle and carefully pricks the edge of the wound. Though this time Jae Shin doesn't even flinch, the wound is hurting plenty enough for a needle to make a difference.
As Yong Ha is concentrating on sewing neat stitches, Jae Shin tries to focus on something else than the throbbing pain on his chest. His mind wanders and without error, it gravitates towards Yong Ha, as a moth to an open flame. Slowly, slowly Jae Shin is getting aware of their physical closeness and the intimate atmosphere of the small room. Being so close to a a quiet, concentrated Yong Ha is indeed very distracting and Jae Shin can feel how slowly, slowly Yong Ha's entire being is penetrating Jae Shins unconscious barrier, like osmosis.
It strikes Jae Shin how narrow Yong Ha's presence is when he is silent, as if it was glued to his very skin. Maybe this is the reason Yong Ha always scares him half to death, just appearing when he least expect it. Yong Ha is virtually undetectable when quiet. The last thought makes Jae Shin let out a chuckle.
“funny...” He doesn't even notice that he has spoken out loud until he hears it echo in the silent room.
Jae Shin has never thought about this before and he feels as if he has learnt something new, something precious. He looks down on Yong Ha's face, completely concentrated on the sewing. The little lamp is flickering and shadows dance across Yong Ha's eyelashes and onto his cheeks. Jae Shin looks more intently as the shadow-play fascinates him and then it strikes him hard in his chest. Those are tears.
Warm, salty droplets cling to Yong Ha's eyelashes and releases down his cheeks. Jae Shin is bewildered. Why is Yong Ha crying? Has something happened that Jae Shin doesn't know about? Surely it cannot be because of the wound? Because of Jae Shin?
As Jae Shin ponders all the reasons for Yong Ha's tears, Yong Ha finishes the sewing and nips the thread.
“There, all finished...” That is all Yong Ha says, not looking up. Jae Shin recognises the slight tremble in his voice.
“Thank you...Yong Ha...” and he brings up his hand gently wiping away a tear from Yong Ha's cheek with his thumb.
The gentle gesture, so unlike Jae Shin, makes Yong Ha whip his head up and Jae Shin finds himself hurting more from the look in Yong Ha's eyes than from the wound on his chest. Excruciating pain, random hurt, terrorising fear, endless love. Yong Ha's eyes are full of conflicting emotions and it leaves Jae Shin mute and ashamed. For now he knows that he is indeed the reason for Yong Ha's sadness.
“Yong H...” Jae Shin doesn't get to finish the sentence before Yong Ha throws himself in Jae Shins arms, sobbing.
“You...bastard...I really thought...don't you ever...do that again...” Yong Ha's ramblings, between his sobs are so endearing that Jae Shin cannot help himself from smiling. Now, this is the Yong Ha he knows. The usual animate Gu Yong Ha. Nevertheless, he cannot help himself from flinching at the pain from the wound as Yong Ha holds him in an iron grip, not letting go. But it is a good pain, for it tells him he is alive and compared to the pain Jae Shin saw in Yong Ha's eyes he would rather feel this physical pain any time, over and over again.
So, as Jae Shin calmly sits in Yong Ha's room on a particularly quiet night, with a violently sobbing Yong Ha in his arms, he fondly thinks that there are far worse ways of spending an evening than in the company of someone who loves you so.
“I say I'm chasing time but you know
I've been running away, running away from you
Save your goodbye
You're everywhere I go”
“So is my place here then?” Yong Ha entire face lights up as he smiling throws his arm around Jae Shins shoulders and this time Jae Shin doesn’t make an effort to throw them off. Yong Ha is the king of insinuations but this time Jae Shin doesn't feel even slightly offended by the implication. For he knows.
Jae Shin knows that it is not he who is the fixed point for Yong Ha but the opposite. Jae Shins place is by the side of Yong Ha, and it will always be so. A great joy fills his heart and he uncharacteristically laughs out loud.
Yes, if there ever was a place he would call home that would be here, right by Gu Yong Ha's side.
Maybe, just maybe one day, Jae Shin will tell him so.