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It’s three minutes before midnight. He is sitting in front of his computer again. Again means, that he actually didn’t want to be in front of his old and trustworthy laptop, only enlightened by the bright monitor. He should be in bed at this time, like a normal good person who cares about skincare and not wanting to have a puffy face tomorrow. But Min Kyunghoon is actually a pro in unhealthy behavior and doesn’t listen to the voice in his head who sounds suspiciously like his mother. „It’s bad for your eyes and brain, if you sit in front of your pc in the night! “, the voice sounds shrill and unforgiving.

But Kyunghoon isn’t able to sleep. He wasn’t able to sleep yesterday either. He feels sick of feeling and his head just won’t shut down. Kyunghoon wants to escape again. But the only solution that his stupid brain suggests, is alcohol. “Just one glass of soju. It’ll help you forget all the bad feelings. It’ll even help you to finally fall asleep again. One glass isn’t that much. Remember how relaxed you felt and how warm your belly was.” Shut up. Shut up. If he learned anything from the past time, it would be that alcohol is never the solution but the next step into bigger problems. It took him so long to get finally rid of the craving in the morning. He doesn’t want to get haunted by it in the night again.
To be honest, things aren’t that bad lately. He is back in the Korean society again. People even consider him good looking. His Band, Buzz, is getting a lot of recognition lately. Hell, they even have concerts again. Kyunghoon even has a solid fanbase that will cheer for him, whatever public event he attends. But why does he feel so empty right now? The answer is simple: After nearly eight years Kyunghoon is still not mentally stable. He should go see his therapist again. But even that step, to admit he needs help again, is too much for him.

The problem is also his current feelings for his friend and also sort of coworker Kim Heechul.

He doesn’t know when it actually happened. But Heechul stole his heart slowly and steadily. And now he sits in his dark and cold room with unwanted feelings that he tries to shove down but come up either ways. Pathetic. He is so pathetic. Why can’t he be a normal person? Why it is him who gets always attached too much, obsesses too much. Why can’t he just like someone casually? Why does he always want so much? Kyunghoon hates feeling small and insecure. It’s an indication that he still doesn’t feel better, that he is still the unhealthy person he used to be nine years ago.

If he wouldn’t surf in the internet and look for stuff that doesn’t interest him either ways, he would be laying in his bed, staring at the ceiling with tired eyes and a certain dizzy feeling that comes with a sleep wanting body and a racy mind. He opens SNS and starts slowly to scroll down his newsfeed. Nothing interesting. Well, except for..His mindless scrolling stops for a second. He looks closer to the screen of his laptop, unsure if he can trust his sleepy and tired eyes. It’s a small clip from the second season of super junior tv: Heechul is dancing with BM from Kard. But that would a too simple explanation for the scene that unfolds in front of Kyunghoons shocked face. He wanted a distraction from his feelings. What he gets is a fucking softporn.

Heechul is swaying his hips (his waist looks so small and delicate, compared to BM’s big big hands around it) and nearly grounding his ass against BM’s crotch. Kyunghoons ears feel red suddenly. When Heechul says: „BM, i slide into your dms“, Kyunghoon is nearly fuming with jealousy. Heechul never does that with him on screen. But also why would he? Heechul already had too much controversial scenes on Knowing Brothers anyways. And: They are friends. Sometimes the both of them meet up in their free time, playing League of Legends in gloomy and dark internet cafés or they’re having some drinks in Gangnam. But that’s all. Sadly. But better that than nothing at all, right?

Kyunghoon sighs. He plays that clip again. And again. Heechul is at his best. Stealing the spotlight, being interesting, entertaining and also controversial. And sexy. Kyunghoon looks down. He already spots a semi-hard on. He sighs and presses his lips together in embarrassment. Pathetic.This is his only friend. He should be ashamed for having such thoughts. But his imagination tells him other things. What if Heechul would dance like this with him? What if he could grab Heechuls waist like this, slowly putting his hands down until he could reach his butt? He would caress it for sure, would gently massage it until his hands would move forward to his crotch. Feeling, if Heechul is already hard for him, making sure, that he is as much excited as Kyunghoon is. He would bend his head down, feeling Heechuls soft skin on his neck with his lips. Making Heechul moan with his beautiful and husky voice.

Because of the lateness of hours, his parents are already asleep. Good for him. The walls at their apartment are quite thin. He grabs the front of his trousers and starts massaging his penis. What if Heechul would be doing this instead of him? Probably he would touch him more possessively, pressing down on his erection while looking Kyunghoon seductively in the eyes. He starts moaning quietly into his hand. Maybe Heechul would whisper in his ear with a low voice, all telling him that Kyunghoon is his and that no one except of him has the right to touch him like this. . He nearly cries out at that thought and needs to bit his lip. A small drop of precome spoils his pyjama pants. Not wanting to explain anything of this to his mother, he puts the trousers down, his underwear as well. Kyunghoon totally pictures him as a dirty talker. The Heechul in his fantasies looks him intensely in the eyes and tells him “You’ll only be coming from my hands. And you’ll be only coming when I say so.” Kyunghoon comes nearly alone from this thought. He fists his penis furiously now, groaning into his hand. Heechul would tease the slit of his member with a fingertip. It would hurt but feel so good at the same time. “You only belong to me. And to nobody else.” His hips move upwards. But there is nothing, except for thin air.

The aftermath of all of this is pathetic too. Kyunghoon spills silently into a handkerchief and curses as some of his come hits the spacebar. He is deeply ashamed. Picturing his only friend who means so well with him like this. He really is a human perverted trashcan. Even though it’s just a joke on the show, they’re all right. He feels so lonely and his head hurts so much. He is so tired. Tears of shame and resentment against himself form in his eyes. And so he finally falls asleep. Exhausted from feeling too much and receiving so little from it. Exhausted from too many scenarios forming in is head all at once. Nothing makes sense. Nothing is real.

As Kyunghoon looks in the bathroom mirror the next morning, he isn’t surprised at the human racoon that stares back. He looks horrible. At least he doesn’t have a schedule today. At least nothing important though. Last night doesn’t look so bad at the light of a new day. He definitely overreacted yesterday night. But this is what Min Kyunghoon does. Overthinking and overanalyzing to a point where it almost becomes emotional self-harm. He is at least glad that he has enough control about himself that he would never act any of his self-invented scenarios out. So what if he jerked off to lewd fantasies about Heechul? It’s not like he did something harmful. He will never find out about that anyways. Kyunghoon does feel a bit bad about the level of lewdness though. There is more about Heechul then just his sexiness. The way he laughs, bright and loud. Or the proud look on his face after he made a witty comeback. Teasing him, but never going to a point where it might actually hurt him. The feel of inclusion he gives Kyunghoon when he holds his hands. Especially holding hands is nice. Heechuls hands are slim and warm and dry and his stomach does funny little loops when he grabs Kyunghoons.

The way he looks at him, when they are singing together. That Heechul thinks of him while reading webtoons and always sends him his favorite ones that he might also enjoy. Or that one time, where they pulled an all-nighter together and played League of Legends till morning. He will never forget how Heechul collapsed on his bed, not even having washed up or anything. How Kyunghoon stood there, waiting if he would get up again or not, and then just quietly layed next to him. Not able to sleep even though he was exhausted. His heart ponded like crazy back then and he was so happy. Kyunghoon smiles at the memory and decides, no matter what he thought yesterday night, he still had lots of happy moments with his friend. And this is also better than nothing, right? This is what he likes to tell himself. But Kyunghoon was and is always greedy.

His parents are already off to work. So it’s just him, his favorite grey sweatpants and a dark blue cardigan which he drapes around his shoulders like a cocoon. Well, he should hit the gym later. But except for that? A typical lazy day in the life of Min Kyunghoon. Maybe he could write Heechul. But also Heechul didn’t had time for him, the last time he asked. Or the time before. Or the time before that time. Comebacks are always stressful and come with a heavy packed schedule.
He decides to do nothing. Like always. Kyunghoon puts on the TV in the living room. Makes himself some instant ramen which he slurps directly from the pot, while watching breakfast TV. He is still tired from yesterday so he lays down on the sofa.
Later the vibration of his cellphone awakes him from his self-induced haze. It’s from Young-Jae, one of his oldest and longest friends. They know each other since high school. The both of them used always used to watch soccer together.

Park Young-Jae (Highschool):
“Hyung, I know we haven’t talked much lately. But I would like to hang out with you again. For the sake of good old times. We want to go karaoke singing next Friday, wanna join? We’re also going to a restaurant before that!!The whole gang is coming.”
Kyunghoon feels a bit bad about the sudden disappointment that it’s not Heechul who messaged him. But this could be the perfect opportunity to go out and mingle. Meet some of his old friends. Get in touch again. Actually he smiles a bit at the wall of text in front of him. Young-Jae was always like this. Loud, talkative some might say overwhelming. Kyunghoon liked that character trait though. The more the others talk, the less he has to.

Min Kyunghoon:
“Good to hear from you again. But..I don’t know. I don’t like singing in public like this.”
There is always the pressure of being the best at singing when it comes to those kinds of activities. He hates it.

Park Young-Jae (Highschool):
“Aw come on. Everyone is coming. You already missed the other occasion Hyung.”
Ugh. Kyunghoon can already read between the lines that Young-Jae isn’t happy about his hesitant reply. He knows that it’s his own fault that he hasn’t a lot of friends. It happens so quickly to lose social contacs nowadays.

Min Kyunghoon:
“Mh. I’ll think about it. It will be super awkward though. Everyone will bring their girlfriends except for me.”

Park Young-Jae (Highschool):
“Don’t think. Just come! You can just bring a friend instead! You weren’t this boring in high school, Hyung!”
Kyunghoons stomach does funny things again. In an instead of a second he imagines Heechul coming with him. Probably totally rocking a weird outfit. Also he knows that Heechul likes to show off. “Hey, you all have family and live a good life. But look at me and my celebrity friend.” “Wow. Min Kyunghoon unlocked a new high score at being pathetic. Congratulations”. But on the other hand? Fuck it. He is going to ask him. Now. No, probably tomorrow. Maybe on Wednesday? Eventually when he musters up the courage to do so.

Min Kyunghoon:
“Alright. I’ll bring someone instead.”

And this is it for the day. Later on he goes to the gym and tries to take out his frustration on the treadmill and to get rid of the nervous feeling in his stomach. He already regrets his decision to come to the reunion on Friday.

Chapter Text

On Tuesday, probably around one pm, he finally types out a message to Heechul. It’s a little bit sad and depressing to see his other unanswered texts but he just ignores the uneasy feeling that settles in his stomach. Kyunghoon is very good in ignoring during the day actually. It’s just the night that haunts him.

Min Kyunghoon:
“Yo Hyung! I have a very uncomfortable high school meet up at Friday. Maybe you would like to come with me? I need a bit of back up. I’m paying for your drinks that night. You see, I’m actually THAT desperate.”
He thinks a bit about the small text that he wrote and adds:

Min Kyunghoon:
“I’m sorry I didn’t wanted to bombard you with messages. But I would like to hang out again?”

Wow. Now he really sounds desperate. He sighs, disappointed in himself. Where were the times when Heechul contacted him first? They hung out together at least once a week. It was Heechul who approached him first. It was Heechul who invited him to have lunch together. It was Heechul who suggested Ramyeon and LoL. And it was also Heechul who wanted to sing sad songs in his favorite karaoke bar until two am. And now he feels like a small peasant who is pestering His Highness Kim Heechul. Kyunghoon is angry at himself again for letting someone near him, for letting his guard down. He should know better by now. It’s always the same old story. People start to like him. He starts to like them back. Then at a turning point of the relationship he likes them more. They think he is clingy. They start to ghost him. He is simply not meant for friendships or relationships in general.

Kyunghoon wakes up at eight am on wednesday. Eight am is actually a bit late for how packed his day is. Manager-nim already sent ten messages by now. The last one sounds menacing enough to finally get his ass out of bed and to put on a lazy outfit combined with scarf, hat and facemask. But of course he stayed late up again, glancing at his phone and hoping for a message from Heechul. It’s crazy how desperate he actually is. Desperate for a little attention. Every cell in his body seems to scream. “Please, please please notice me. Please recognize me. Please give me just a little bit of attention.” Of course he always puts himself in an inferior position. It’s just because he hopes for Heechuls reassuring company and nothing else. This is why he acts this way. He doesn’t even believe his own lies, no matter how well composed they are.

Kyunghoon is fucked. Super and utterly fucked. It’s already Wednesday and he hasn’t heard a word from Heechul yet. Well at least he has schedule today, so he is at least distracted from the selfmade thought carousel that is spinning in his head constantly. He packs a water bottle, his phone and the keys into his favorite bag and then he is off to his first schedule. Firstly hair salon and make up stuff, then he is going to advertise the opening of a new music equipment store, afterwards he has band practice with Buzz and then he is finally at home again. Manager-nim advised him into going out this night to let himself see somewhere but he doesn’t like to go out much. “Except with Heechul. You would do everything for Heechul.”, the tiny evil voice in his head says. Kyunghoon is a real singer, not one of those robot like celebrities who hang out in Gangnam daily. He actually feels better at this thought, even though it slightly discredits Heechul. Maybe this is why he feels better. He is not just desperate and insecure but also mean. Nice.

He doesn’t speak a lot during the ride to the hair salon. Manager-nim doesn’t notice, the man is busy with other clients as well and so Kyunghoon just stares at the rain tinted car window, glad not to be able to actually see something. He is barely able to stop himself from taking out his cellphone again.

Thursday. The day that he dreaded so much. They are filming “Ask us anything” today and Kyunghoon already sweats nervously as he thinks of the probable confrontation with Heechul. Not because he plans on saying anything to him, he is just afraid of being hurt by how Heechul will treat him. He doesn’t actually know what’s worse: Will he just act like he didn’t ignored Kyunghoon for three weeks straight? Or will things be awkward between them? He knows that he is only scared of the nature of the response. Probably Heechul won’t say a thing. Which is kind of good actually, since Kyunghoon wouldn’t have something to answer that wouldn’t make him look like the miserable pile of trash that he is.

Kyunghoon tries to distract himself by chatting with his stylist in the waiting room. But it’s just actually him blurting out convenient pleasantries and the stylist who just nods and continues to fix his hair. Normally he doesn’t do that. But the nervous energy that flows through him makes it possible and gives him a +10 on smalltalk. Today the fat layer of makeup feels even more uncomfortable. Makeup Noona wasn’t amused with how his skin lately looked. “Not amused” was quite the understatement though. He has already gone through one hour of constant scolding. Not that he listened to it anyways. It feels weird to make facial expressions now. Sometimes Heechul showed up in the waiting room. But apparently not today. Heechul wormed himself into his heart with small gestures like that. He made Kyunghoon addicted to his affection. And now that he doesn’t get that anymore, it hurts even more. He feels so weak that it almost hurts.

His hands start to sweat too. Kyunghoons heart is racing now. “Please. Please. No panic attack. No panic attack. Not right now. Not over something so ridiculous.” Someone knocks on the door and opens it in the same second. It’s a new staff member that he doesn’t know the name of yet. “Kyunghoon-sshi, we’re shooting in ten. Get ready.” Before he can reply anything (as if he even would be able to do so right now) the door is shut again. He begins to breath. In. Out. Closes his eyes. Just as Sangmin showed him.
He finally steps out of the waiting room after five more “In. And. Out’s” and takes the elevator to the set in the basement. At least he isn’t able to look at his phone while they’re shooting. As Kyunghoon opens the door to the classroom set, he looks immediately to Heechuls table. But he isn’t there yet. He isn’t sure if he should feel nervous or actually thankful about it. Janghoon, Young-chul and Sangmin are already there, engrossed in a discussion about shoe brands. He greets very vaguely mumbles a barely audible “Hello” and gets seated. The others look up, Sangmin acknowledges him with a friendly smile, and the others mumble “Hello” as well and get back into their conversation. Kyunghoon is glad that their attention is directed to Sangmins new Yeezys and not towards him. Especially Sangmin and Young-chul have a kind of really scary intution especially when it comes to Kyunghoon and surpressed emotions. But where is Heechul? He wonders if he should ask the others. Five more minutes pass.

He is literally anticipating Heechuls final arrival on the set. Kyunghoon gets nervous again. His hands are sweating too. His heart starts to race again. After all he decides to turn around and ask. The risk of getting another panic attack just because of his imminent paranoia is too high. Kyunghoon tries desperately to sound casual and puts a forced smile on his face. “Yo, have you guys seen Heechul Hyung? Is he late again?” The others, finally distracted from Sangmin spending too much money for ugly american shoes look at him with surprise in their eyes. “Didn’t PD-nim tell you that he is absent this episode?” , Janghoon says, leaning back comfortably with crossed arms.

Young-chul nods. “Heenim just messaged me one hour ago, telling me he won’t make it today. His leg is probably acting up again. Also he just came back yesterday from overseas.” Kyunghoon tries not to let emotions show on his face. But it’s so hard to maintain a poker face, especially in his current mental condition. He feels overwhelmed at the sudden information. Heechul is not coming. Heechul is probably in pain. Heechul didn’t messaged him but Young-chul. He feels hurt, worried and embarrassed at the same time. Wow. He worries about his sad little high school reunion and in the meantime Heechul has serious health problems. But still? Why didn’t he told him about this? “Aren’t you two really close? Why does he know about this”, Janghoon points at Young-chul, “and you don't?” Young-chul is often annoying with his antics, but this time Kyunghoon is glad for it. “I’m also close with Heechul-ah! Don’t act like I am a loser without any friends!” Young-chul draws all the attention towards himself with his loud voice and Kyunghoon is able to maintain his poker face. So he just shrugs and turns around again. He doesn’t see Sangmins worried look on his face.

Chapter Text

Wet. Something feels wet on his face. He groans. His eyelids flutter. It’s so hard to actually open them. It hurts. His head hurts. His leg hurts. His throat tightens. He is barely able to move his face to the side, more instinct then everything else, before he gags and vomits a mysterious yellow liquid to the floor next to him. Too tired to be even ashamed of himself, he opens his eyes slowly. And sees his dog licking the liquid instead of his face. “Zorr, Zorr, don’t do that. Please. That’s disgusting.”, he says in a voice so weak, that it’s barely audible. He wouldn’t even listen to himself with that kind of voice. There is also meowing in the background somewhere. It’s probably Heebum, wanting to have breakfast. The other little kittens start to make noises as well. Heebum sounds really pissed, so it must be around twelve o’clock. World superstar Kim Heechul has a really bad hangover and on top of that: He is also a bad cat-dad. Oh god. He should check his phone. What if his manager tried to reach him? What if someone tried to reach him with something important? But where the fuck is his phone? After some minutes filled with little bubbles of panic in his stomach, he discovers it laying near to his big leather couch. Heechul tries to get up. It’s harder than he thought. Every motion is filled with pain, either from his leg or his head. After some minutes wriggling like a worm on his floor, he decides to crawl. “Fuck dignity”, he thinks and crawls a bit forward before an especially ugly bolt of pain shots through his leg. It’s too much for his from the heavy drinking exhausted body. His face hits the ground and a comforting black spreads before his eyes. Heebum meows again. But nobody hears him.

-Another spacious apartment in Seoul-

Lee Hyukjae sits in front of his TV with a bowl of Ramyeon. Today is his day off, so he just wants to enjoy his lazy day to the fullest with cheesy dramas and not moving from the couch. He chooses a romantic comedy for his own sake. An idol life is a lonely life after all, and so he cheers himself up with various fake love stories from the TV. For a mysterious reason, all of them involve a rich bratty CEO and a quirky self-confident girl. But he doesn’t care. The less he has to think, the better for him. Hyukjae always roots for the girl and hopes that she gets the love that she finally deserves. Clearly this isn’t about him. He just enjoys those stories for the sake of it. Hyukjae takes one of his huge pillows from the couch and hugs it, as he continues watching the tenth episode.
A sudden series of beeping from his front door distracts him. Someone is typing in the entrance code for his electronical lock. The door beeps the “access denied”-Beep and guessing from another series of beeps his supposed to be guest tries another time to get in. He knows exactly what this means. It means the end of a lazy peaceful day for him. Hyukjae sighs. He gets up before this idiot in front of his door manages to call the security from the building with his wild guessing. He doesn’t even bother to look in the camera. He knows exactly who it is. Loud shouting emerges from the door. “Yah! Hyung! Are you at home? I can’t get in for some reason! Did you change the passw-” Hyukjae opens the door aggressively. And looks in Lee Donghaes startled face. “Youuu!” he hisses and grabs him by the collar of his t-shirt to pull him inside his apartment.

Finally standing in his living room, Donghae pouts. “I’m not an idiot for wanting to see my favorite Hyung.” Hyukjae, a bit irritated, crosses his arms. “You are one for making so much noise! I don’t want my neighbors to get mad at me again, alright?” But Donghae doesn’t even listen to his complaints and proceeds to the kitchen. “Yah! Listen to me, you little-” He almost cursed. Lee Donghae always makes him forget his normally good manners. He hears him rummaging through his fridge. Worried about his food, he follows his friend and bandmate into the kitchen. “You’re way too comfortable with my stuff”, Hyukjae says, but he is already used to this behavior. “You like me. And you like me eating your food.”Donghae answers with a mouth full of leftover Mandu from yesterday. “Yeah, yeah keep telling yourself that. You’re also way too confident about all of this.” Hyukjae shakes his head and starts to make Donghaes favorite brand of tea almost immediately. He is wax in the hand of his Dongsaeng and he knows it. “To be honest, I came not only because I wanted to see you”, Donghae says and fidgets with his hands. “I need your help Hyung.” Hyukjae gets a bit worried as he sees his friends suddenly serious face. The cheery mood, that Donghae normally spreads, is suddenly gone. “Let’s sit and have a bit of tea first”, he says gently. He nods and waits for Hyukjae to get on the couch. He sighs and spreads his arm so that Donghae can snuggle up close to his chest. He sees his Dongsaeng closing his eyes and inhaling his scent. A small smile appears on his face. They have a silent agreement about this. Cuddling is okay. Holding each other close is okay. But more than this is forbidden. No kisses, no inappropriate touches. When they cuddle, it’s Hyukjae who initiates it. It’s also Hyukjae who established this rules and he is sticking strictly to it. More isn’t possible for him, for his beliefs, for his carrier. Donghae doesn’t care about anything of this. But he cares about Hyukjae. So he takes gladly what he can get.

Donghae opens his eyes again and lifts his head to look at him with this intense look in his eyes. His heart starts to ponder and he hates it. “Hyung, I’m worried about another Hyung”, he says. “Which Hyung?” Hyukjae replies carefully. Sadly they have a lot of Hyungs in their group “Super Junior” to worry about. “It’s Heechul-Hyung. I haven’t seen or heard from him since all of us went overseas. He isn’t responding to messages and calls too. I have a bad feeling about this. Maybe he is disappointed about himself again.” Donghaes eyes are suddenly filled with tears. “I don’t know, Hyung but I am scared about him. He is always so unforgiving to himself. He didn’t attend the “Ask us anything”-shoot too. I asked Janghoon-sshi.” Hyukjae sighs. He isn’t sure what to say about all of this. He feels jealous that Donghae cares so much about Heechul, also he doesn’t want to invalidate Donghae’s feelings, but the man is a cute sensible crybaby after all. It’s true that all of them haven’t seen Heechul-Hyung lately. He and Heechul aren’t very close, so it didn’t mean so much to him that Heechul wasn’t around. But he is still a member and they need him. He is the one they go to with their problems, if they didn’t want to tell Jung-Su Hyung. After all, Heechul is way more chill and understanding. “Ok. What do you want me to do?” he answers after some minutes of thinking.

Donghae looks at him. His cheeks are tinted with red. “Can you do me a favor and come with me? Heechul-Hyung is..kind of scary when he’s in this kind of mood. You too aren’t that close. I can’t talk with him like you could.” Hyukjae caresses his arm to reassure him. “You want me to give him a scolding?” Donghae doesn’t look him in the eyes anymore. His face is red from the embarrassment now. “I might need you as support. That’s all.” His voice gets quieter and quieter. Donghae isn’t playing fair right now. How could he deny him something if he looks at Hyukjae like this? “Do you have his door code? He might not open the door.” And with that, Donghae is in a cheery mood again. “Of course I have! Does that mean you’re coming too? Let’s go!” Hyukjae shakes his head about the sudden display of enthusiasm. “Let me get dressed first.” He gets up from the couch and makes his way to his dressing room. “Can I drive your car Hyung?” is the last thing he hears before he closes the door. So much for his relaxed day.

 

Noises. Someone says: “Oh my god Hyung! Is he really laying in his own vomit?” Another voice replies. “We have to wake him up.” The Blackness around him slowly fades. Someone grabs him by his legs. Someone else wraps his hands around his torso. “Donghae! Get yourself together! Don’t start crying again. Just help me to put him on his couch! Be careful though!” Is Donghae in his apartment? But why? His exhausted brain tries to put the pieces together. “Stop thinking. Open your eyes first” His body gets hoisted on the couch. “I’ll look for water and something edible. You stay with him.” Is that Hyuk-Jae? Oh god. It really must be Hyukjae. And Donghae is also here. What are they doing in his apartment? How did they get in? Someone puts his head in their lap and starts to caress his hair. Slowly. Carefully. Tender. It’s probably Donghae. “Chullie-Hyung. Please open your eyes. I’m scared. Please, wake up!” Donghae sounds like he is on the very edge of crying again. Heechul is afraid that his world starts to spin again if he opens his eyes but the pleading and desperate tone in Donghaes voice nearly orders him to do so. “Hyung finally! I’m so glad! I thought you were dead or something”, his loud and enthusiastic voice nearly hurts. “Hae I’m sorry. But shut up. You’re way too loud. And what the fuck are the two of you doing in my flat?” His voice sounds hoarse and weak. He hates it. “Because you made him worry about you with your irresponsible behavior! That’s why!” Hyukjae is yelling from the kitchen. “So be grateful that we’re here to help you!” Heechul groans. “Why did you have to bring Hyukjae?” Hyukjae yells again. “To kick your ass, since he is too nice to do it!” Heechul closes his eyes again. Just for a tiny second. “Is this how you talk to your Hyung? Show a little respect”, he mumbles. Hyukjae hears it nevertheless. “Then behave like one!” Heechul hears Hyukjae going back to the kitchen. “I guess you haven’t fed your little zoo today as well? I’m going to give them food.”

Donghae sighs and begins to massage his scalp carefully. It doesn’t make his headache go away, but the motion relaxes him a little. “Hyung, you promised me that you wouldn’t drink so much anymore. What happened?” “Nothing. I just felt like drinking.” Donghae puts a bit more pressure into his massage. “Don’t lie to me Hyung”, he says softly, “I’m not that naïve. You don’t drink yourself into oblivion without any reason. Those days are over. You didn't reply to any message that i sent. You skipped a huge portion of your schedule. What happened?” Donghae knows him better than most of the other members. Maybe it’s because he’s so sensible. “My leg hurts. Massage it a little. Do it for your Hyung.” Heechul pouts. He wants to be babied. Just a little bit. “I’ll do it, if you tell me what’s wrong.” Donghae really isn’t as naïve as he used to be. Heechul is tired. He is so fucking tired from all those things that happened and didn’t happen, because they happened only in his head. So he gets up a little bit, leans forward and whispers into his ears. “I’m in love. I’m in love with a man. It’s Kyunghoon-ah. Is that enough reason to drink yourself stupid?” Donghae says nothing. He just wraps his arms around his Hyung and holds him tight.

Chapter Text

Hyukjae gives him and Donghae a weird look as he comes back from the kitchen with a glass of juice and a steaming hot bowl full of Heechuls favorite ramyeon. It’s not that Hyukjae knows Heechuls eating habits, Ramyeon is just the only thing he has currently at home. It feels kind of interruptive as he sits on the armchair and watches him and Donghae on the couch, not saying a word. The atmosphere suddenly feels awkward so Heechul gets up from Donghaes lap and takes the painkiller that Hyukjae wordlessly offers. After some minutes of silence only interrupted by Heechuls ramyeon slurping, Hyukjae seems to have decided to finally say something. “So what is this drama all about? What’s the problem?” Donghae looks on the ground. He doesn’t dare to say something and Heechul is glad for his shyness. “Why did you behave this recklessly the last weeks?” Heechul doesn’t like the kind of judgmental tone that Hyukjae suddenly has. “Someone is jealous of me and Donghae”, he thinks, not without a tiny bit of satisfaction. He has often a problem with Hyukjaes attitude. As an atheist, Huykjaes beliefs seem like bigotry to him and Heechul also doesn’t like how Hyukjae actively denies himself and also Donghae to be happy because of it. So, why not shock him a little? Also he already told Donghae so it doesn’t hurt to say it once more. “I’m in love with Kyunghoon-ah. Im bisexual”, he says with a bit of schadenfreude in his voice as he sees how truly shocked Hyukjae is. It’s not that he doesn’t like Hyukjae. He is reliable and trustworthy. Sometimes he is also funny. He considers Heechuls bad leg when he makes a new choreography. But he hates it when he looks down on him because of his flaws. Because he drinks, because he is friends with so many female Idols and so on. Hyukjae doesn’t say anything. He knows already that tirades of “God doesn’t want men to be in a relationship” or “This is sin” won’t have any effect on him. Because world superstar Kim Heechul simply doesn’t care.

Heechul purses his lips and smiles bitterly. Ah, his head hurts so much. “So this is what the drama is all about. Oh and I am also scared that I will endanger the group with my behavior.” Not getting any reaction at all from Hyukjae makes him even angrier. He explodes like a volcano. The words splutter out of him like a water fountain. “Because sooner or later, I know myself very well, I will act on my feelings. I’m going to do it. So why not drink and wait till it’s over? So why the fuck not drink until I forget about all of this, until a new day dawns and I survived another week?” Donghae looks insecure. Probably thinking that it might not have been the best idea to bring Hyukjae with him. In his rage Heechul points a finger at Hyukjae. “You of all people should know the best how nice it is to live with repressed feelings, am I right?”

Minutes of silence pass. Nobody dares to say something. Heechul already regrets his explosion. That was highly inappropriate. But he IS highly inappropriate. Probably all the time. Still, Hyukjae and Donghae came because they were concerned. He shouldn’t treat them like this. He behaved like a total asshole. They didn’t deserve this. Finally Hyukjae opens his mouth. His voice sounds raspy and full of restrained emotions. “This is not fair Hyung. I’m sorry for acting like your feelings don’t matter. But this is really unfair.” Donghae opens his mouth to say something but he decides against it. He looks embarrassed and ashamed at the same time. Heechul isn’t able to meet their eyes. “This is why I didn’t called back or wrote something. This is exactly the reason,” he says quietly. He fucked up. His voice trembles. “I am truly sorry. I overstepped certain boundaries. I don’t have any right to say something about the relationship that you two have.”Hyukjae gets up. He notices Hyukjaes trembling hands. Hyukjae is never the man to show how much upset he is about something. “I appreciate that. But I need to go now. This is too much for me. Everything here is too much for me. I need some fresh air”, he says in a neutral somehow robotic tone. Heechul doesn’t answer. He cannot take back what he said. Because why should he? His opinion is his opinion. Even though it wasn’t right to yell it at him like this, he would never change his mind about that particular point. But not everything that is the truth must be said, while everything you say must be true. He should have listened to his mother more often. Without any further word Hyukjae takes his jacket and closes the door to the living room behind him. They hear the front door being shut louder than necessary. Donghae is such an idiot. Honestly. He must be, because his behavior isn’t explainable otherwise. He still puts his arm around Heechul and strokes his back. He slumps back. He suddenly feels so defeated.

“Hae. Don’t do that. I probably ruined the blossoming relationship with your homophobic cuddle buddy.” It’s kind of shitty to talk about Hyukjae like that, but.. Donghae simply shrugs. “It’s the truth, isn’t it?” Heechul looks at him. “How can you be so calm about it?” The stroking on his back intensifies. “You didn’t needed to phrase it like this”, he says, pronouncing every word carefully, “But you were right. And if I’m honest, it does frustrate me. Maybe he needed this. I wasn’t brave enough to say something”, Donghae shrugs again. It’s the longest Heechul has heard him speak for such a long time. “You were, Hyung.”With that closing statement, Donghae gets up and looks at him expectantly. “Let’s do something about your shitty situation too, Hyung.” The headache is suddenly back. Maybe it’s psychological. “You could meet him and just have like a coffee. And then you could check the mood. And,” Heechuls frustrated puff of air shuts him up quickly. “He asked me to go with him to a high school reunion or something. I think he needs me to show off. I don’t really know. He promised free alcohol.” He tries to look indifferent about it and shrugs cooly. But he knows that he fails miserably. “I didn’t even answer though. I didn’t know what to say.” Donghae seems to think for a second and then nods. “Let’s do that then. Let’s make you really pretty and breathtaking, Hyung! And then I’m going to drive you to his house! And then you’re going to steal his heart! And if it doesn’t work, you’ll have at least free soju! Isn’t that something?” Huh. Lee Donghae is a not only an idiot but also a really horrible person. He knows how to use his charm. Because suddenly Heechul thinks, that everything of this idiotic plan might be kind of nice actually. “But massage my leg first and make me one of your anti-hangover cocktails, would you?”

~

It’s Friday afternoon and Kyunghoon gets a panic attack. He is currently standing in front of the mirror in the Min-Bathroom and is on the very edge of hyperventilation. He is 34 years old and he acts like a 16 year old girl. He shouldn’t had relied on Heechul. He should have prepared himself on his own for the meet-up. But right now he feels like a huge ball of social anxiety and on top of that he doesn’t even know what to wear on Friday. He isn’t even able to do a bit of make up at least. Wow. He looks in the mirror while trying to breathe properly. There are at least fourteen kinds of different pimple on his face right now. Most of them are stress induced. He doesn’t know why this goddamn meeting means so much to him. Maybe it’s because these people are the only ones who know him better than his parents. They know him so well that he’ll not be able to put up an act in front of them. Maybe it’s also because Young-Jae told him on Wednesday that his ex-Girlfriend will also come and was already thrilled to see him. Kyunghoon looks at himself in a sort of ironic awe. The mirror really is without any mercy. He tries to do the breathing technique that Sangmin Hyung showed him once but it’s not helping. In lieu of a bag he takes his fist in front of his mouth and tries to stop himself from breathing way too fast. His heart races and his lips feel dry.

~

“I’m not wearing that. Forget it. I’m way too old for this kind of stuff”, Heechul says dismissingly as he eyes the tight leather pants that Donghae holds in front of him. “You wore that on stage once”, Donghae pouts. “Yeah. Seven years ago. Away with this shit. It’s a high school meet up. I’m not that desperate.”
Heechul sighs. If he would actually have any saying in this, he would just put on his favorite tracksuit from Adidas and some sandals, but Donghae has a different opinion about this. “We have to make you pretty”, he said. “He should see what he could have if he wouldn’t be kind of weird about everything”, he said. Heechul groans. He should just write an apology message, play some LoL and forget about this whole bullshit kind of plan. “I know what you’re thinking”, Donghae says while he pulls out more stuff from his dressing room. “But you can’t get an easy way out of this.” Finally Donghae gets something out of his closet that seems to be decent. “You’re going to rock this, Hyung. Trust me.”

Heechul rolls his eyes and goes to his bedroom to get changed. He hasn’t much time left and also he hasn’t done his makeup yet. But Donghae is right. Stop sulking. Let’s rock Min Kyunghoons highschool reunion.

Chapter Text

It’s already awkward as Heechul stands in front of the apartment complex, where Kyunghoon lives with his parents. It occurs to him that it’s the first time ever he actually visits him at home. They always met at impersonal places like the arcade or Heechuls favorite internet cafe. He kept him unconsciously at distance, and brought him to places where he felt safe and confident. Okay, sometimes Kyunghoon had visited him at home, but they were always doing things Heechul wanted to do. Kyunghoon never suggested anything on his own. Except for this high school reunion. He should stop thinking now. None of his so called ‘conclusions’ make sense. He just feels somewhat guilty, that he doesn’t know much about Kyunghoon actually. Maybe this was a huge mistake after all. His phone beeps. He receives a message from ‘Hae <3’.

Hae <3:
“Hyung. You’re stalling. I can literally see you getting second thoughts. Go and ring the doorbell. I don’t leave before I see you going in! Love you :*”

Somehow feeling called out he turns around abruptly, and sees Donghae, who parked in front of the building. He is waving furiously from inside the car. He sighs, rather feeling annoyed than insecure now and writes back:

King Heenim:
“Yeah, yeah. You can leave now eomma. Thanks for driving me to school though :P .”

Hae <3:
“Don’t be so salty Hyung  <3 See u tomorrow!!!!”

And with that, Donghae finally starts the engine and drives away. With a lot of enthusiastic waving of course. He waves awkwardly back and finally concentrates on his mission again. Heechul shakes his head and looks at the dozens of nameplates. Thank god that Min is an uncommon family name in South Korea. And there is only one Min-Family in this building. Luck must be on his side.
Suddenly he is hyperaware of the security camera. He practices a polite smile since he is not good at being polite and presses the doorbell. Minutes pass and nothing happens. Then: “Yes? “, a female voice, probably belonging to Kyunghoons mother crackles through the speaker. “Ah, hello“, he says awkwardly, “I'm a friend of your son, Min Kyunghoon. We're supposed to meet up. “Again, no answer. Then his mother answers, with suspicion in her voice.

“Who are you? A crazy fan of his? Put your facemask down and look into the camera directly. “Wow. Kyunghoons mom sounds pretty rude and tough at the same time. Also it's a bit idiotic to try to smile friendly, while still wearing the facemask. Good job Heechul. He finally puts the fucking thing down and bows a bit too deep in front of the small security camera. “I'm Kim Heechul. “ He leaves the usual 'world superstar' out this time, because the ahjumma doesn’t sound like she would like or appreciate it. Finally the ahjumma answers a bit friendlier. “Ah, Kim Heechul-sshi! You should have said that sooner! I'll open the door for you! We’re on the tenth floor! “Before he can even thank her, the door to the staircase already springs open and Heechul dashes in, before it would close in front of him and he would have to ring the bell again.

It's one of the older buildings, where Kyunghoons family lives, but the elevator still works perfectly and so he enters the tenth floor in no time. As he looks around, a door opens suddenly and a now friendly smiling old lady gestures him to enter. “Come in, come in, quick! “ As Heechul approaches the door, she pulls him in and closes the door even faster. They are standing in a small corridor now. He should say something for sure now, but he tries to avoid it by looking around. The flat doesn't seem to be very big. Something inside of him actually wonders, where all of Kyunghoons money goes. Everything here is so normal. Some pictures hang on the otherwise white walls and a small cabinet, probably for the shoes is there too. The obligatory plastic flowers not to forget, which are standing near an open door. Probably the door to the kitchen. It smells like Kimchi Jjigae. The silence is surely getting awkward by now, so Heechul should finally do something about it. He bows and greets again. She repeats the gesture with an even deeper bow and smiles. “It's nice to finally meet a friend of my Hoonie“, she says. “Sorry for my behavior, but we already moved once because of a crazy fan who leaked our address. “ Heechul nods, actually feeling a bit sorry for her. “I can understand this. I already had to move twice. “
Five doors lead to other rooms. One of them is open, the TV is running loudly. Probably the living room. Suddenly the TV noises get quieter. Someone yells. “Eh, who is it? “ The ahjumma yells back. “It' Kim Heechul-sshi, a friend from Hoonie“, she smiles apologizing. “My husband Sang-chul “, she says in a slightly hushed voice. “Ah, the little faggot from TV“, Kyunghoons dad exclaims loudly and the TV noises get louder again. Heechul just stares at the open door and doesn’t know what to say. The ahjumma gets red in the face and bows again. “I am terribly sorry“, she whispers, “he saw your video with the duet that you and my son Hoonie did and he didn’t liked it. “ Heechul gulps and tries to say something. That he feels embarrassed is the understatement of the year. „Its fine, I get that more often, than I actually like to admit. “ Heechul wants to sound cool and confident, like he doesn’t care, but his voice shakes too much for it. He finally gets, why Kyunghoon never invited him to home. He feels like he really shouldn't be here.

And this is also the reason why Heechul doesn’t go out much, if it’s not for roaming the streets of Gangnam with his celebrity friends. They don’t say anything about his behavior and stuff like this, because they are allies. Not allies in the meaning of actually supporting him as a flamboyant and feminine man, but allies in the showbiz. Everyone in his group of friends get judged enough while they’re working. None of them, including him, wants to hear about that in their free time. So everyone lets him be and lets him do whatever he feels like.

But here? In the real life? Where fame doesn’t seem to count? Nothing here is glittery, extravagant or some other shit. He wants to go to Kyunghoons dad in the living room and say something provocative like “Hi, I’m the faggot from TV, my name is Kim Heechul, nice to meet you “, but he doesn’t dare to say anything. He was so 'brave' in front of Hyukjae, but doesn’t manage to be the same in front of Kyunghoons parents. The ahjumma has this look of pity in her face and Heechul hates to see it. “Kyunghoon is in the bathroom, getting ready for the reunion. You can just wait in his room if you want too“, Kyunghoons Mom says, probably to break the silence, which has become awkward again. “It’s the third door on the left. “
Heechul is only capable of nodding and bows again, in lieu of an actual answer or a thank you. He has to get away from this place. And he has to take Kyunghoon with him. But what if Kyunghoon thinks the same as his father? Could be possible. As it is a specifically ugly thought, he dismisses it right away and nearly dashes for Kyunghoons room. He opens the door, closes it immediately and sits on Kyunghoons bed. It feels like that this particular day is actually one of the toughest fucking days in his life. He never had to come out this far out of his comfort zone. The whole day feels like a challenge already.

It’s also the first time since his unpleasant encounter with Kyunghoons parents that he feels like he can breathe again. He looks around in the room. The walls are painted in white, there are some soccer poster on the wall, but they seem old. The room looks so empty. There is nothing special about it. Heechul is actually surprised. He would have thought, that such a homebody that Kyunghoon is, would have more decoration or things in general in his room. The big desk with Kyubghoons self-built pc dominates the whole space. He showed him some pictures but seeing this monster in real is something different. At least Kyunghoon spent a little bit of money for himself. Also he owns three screens. It looks like a little command center. At the left is a small bed, with a lot of different kind of pillows on it. He also has a small wardrobe, standing at the end of the little bed. Nothing like the big dressing room Heechul owns. He sits on Kyunghoons bed and waits. There is an urge to take a cushion and see if it smells like Kyunghoon, but he resist it.

After ten minutes he decides to play a racing game on his cellphone. After twenty minutes he takes out a small mirror to check his makeup and if he still looks the same as he left the house. After thirty minutes Heechul has enough of waiting and gets up. Kyunghoom doesn’t even know how to apply makeup, why is he spending so much time in the goddamn bathroom? He gets up, suddenly and decides to knock. Heechul opens the door of Kyunghoons room carefully and peeps outside, if the parents are somewhere. He feels like a little school boy at the motion. So ridiculous. Both of the parents seem to be in the living room, so he slips out and sneaks to the door, which hopefully leads to the bathroom. He takes a deep breath and knocks. The door isn’t locked, because it swings open suddenly. And what he sees nearly breaks his heart.

Kyunghoon sits on the cold tiles of the bathroom floor, the likewise cold bathtub in his back. His back hurts from breathing to much in a short amount of time and he feels so exhausted. He isn’t even able to show a reaction of surprise, as the bathroom door opens all of a sudden and Heechul, Heechul of all people, stands in his bathroom. He doesn't look up, because the burning feeling of shame tells him to not to and so he just sits there, waiting for everything that might happen.
Heechul comes forward and he hears words, but his brain isn’t able to form sentences out of it. Something touches his cheeks and it must be Heechul, because the air smells like peaches so suddenly. His head gets lifted up and he sees one of the most beautiful faces, which Kyunghoon ever saw. Heechuls hands caresses his cheeks so tenderly and carefully, like no one did before. Kyunghoon must have drool on his face, because Heechul rubs something sticky off his face. Even more embarrassing.
He tries to open his mouth, but his lips are so dry and his mouth won't move anyways. His heart aches, Heechul is so beautiful. He must be saying something, his lips are in motion. God, Heechul looks so beautiful. He is wearing a bit of lip gloss, that makes his soft, big lips look so shiny, and he also has a bit of light orange eyeshadow on.

He tries to listen this time. “....hoon-ah, Kyunghoon-ah, Kyunghoon-ah! What’s wrong? W-what can I do? I'm scared, don’t do this! Please say something! “
Heechuls tenor sounds high with anxiety. He never heard his voice like this. Heechul looks him directly in the eyes and Kyunghoon sees little droplets of tears forming there. Kyunghoon would like to react, would like to say something but his body is in total lockdown. It already happened, more than once and it takes some time to get out of the kind of self-induced stupor. “Kyunghoon-ah, please“, Heechuls pleading tone breaks his heart. It seems that Heechul has gotten up again, because he moved out of his limited point of view. “I don’t know what to do, should I get your parents, should I call an ambulance? Please, please say something! “

The mentioning of his parents gets at least the corners of his mouth moving. He makes a sound, at least he tries to, he is fighting against his very own body. He kind of gargles, and tries to desperately to stop staring at the door. Kyunghoon feels so betrayed by his body. Honestly. Thank God, Heechul seems to take his senseless noises as an indication that he is still there. “Kyunghoon-ah? Are you with me?” He makes another half-moaned sound. Heechul looks him in the face again. “You are, but you can’t talk?” Kyunghoon cringes on the inside, because he has to make another ugly sound, but he is thankful, that he can at least do that. “Are you in danger? Is this a stroke, or some other shit?” He probably looks like a creepy emotionless doll, as he makes another sound. Kyunghoon tries to at least express himself with his eyes. Heechul has to stay. He wants him desperately to stay. The dissociative disorder was never that strong as it is right now, actually. And he cannot involve his parents in this. He just can’t. They don’t know. They are not supposed to know. Heechul is suddenly in front of him again. His mouth is so dry. Kyunghoon can feel his arms, which are around him somehow. “Kyunghoon-ah”, Heechul simply says and holds him. Peach surrounds him again and Kyunghoon feels like he could drown in it. Heechul holds onto him, to be exact, because this is how it feels like. Kyunghoon feels wetness around his eyes. He realizes that he is crying. He just lets it flow. With the tears the voice comes back. He cries and cries and says “Heechul. Heechul. Stay. Please stay.” Kyunghoon sounds like an old man. He croaks and coughs and cries. Heechul is shaking. He is crying too.

Heechuls make up is ruined. But he doesn’t care. He cries like he never cried before. And he clutches onto Kyunghoon, so desperately like he never did before. All of a sudden, he feels a shaking grip on his back. It’s Kyunghoon, it must be Kyunghoon and he is so glad. He doesn’t know if Kyunghoon can hear this, but he whispers: “Let’s go. Let’s just fucking get out of here.” His voice is shaking. And everything hurts.

Later on, Donghaes phone vibrates. He is currently sitting near the bank of Han-River. Disguised with a facemask and a hat. Originally he wanted to play the guitar. Working a bit of his feeling into a new song maybe. He puts the guitar away and gets his phone.

King Heenim:
I’m at home with him now. We won’t go to the reunion. Things happened. Just letting you know. Be safe Hae, alright?

Hae <3:
I’m always safe <3 Don’t worry :*

Actually he doesn’t quite feel like the smileys he sent. But who does that nowadays?

Chapter Text

They are currently driving along the interstate near Seoul to avoid the traffic jams inside of the city. Heechul asks himself for hundredth fucking time whatever the fuck just happened. He doesn’t have an actual answer for it and so the question starts to spin again inside his head again and again. Beneath him sits Kyunghoon, wearing a ton of scarfs and the biggest coziest wool jacket that they could find and stares out of the window. He doesn’t allow himself to have second thoughts about driving Kyunghoons car. It’s better than taking a cab anyways. He still looks like a mess from all of that embarrassing crying. If he and Kyunghoon would be spotted like this, SM would rip him a second asshole probably. He had enough rumors and scandals already.
The car, that he tries to bring safely to their destination, is a foreign one. It’s a Volvo, very big and loud and also expensive. Probably needs a lot of gasoline too. He remembers Kyunghoon bragging to Janghoon about it. Heechul smiles a bit at the memory. He wasn’t able to contribute anything at all to the topic back then. He doesn’t really care about cars and different brands and all that shit. If it looks cool, it looks cool. That was all he has to say to that subject, if someone would ask. Of course they don’t. But it was somehow sexy to see Kyunghoon taking so much pride in his car. He was seemingly proud and confident and Heechul likes to see him like this.

It’s been a long time, since he last drove. Probably two years ago, before he decided to sell his car. The reason back then was stupid enough. To prevent himself from drunk driving. He could’ve just stop drinking, but that didn’t seem like a good idea and honestly it doesn’t seem like one now. At least when he is sober, like right now, he is a good and responsible driver. A better one as Donghae anyways.

The silence between them is deafening, but Heechul doesn’t know what to say. He has an usb stick with music with him, he always has, and wonders if he should openly show that the constant silence is bothering him and just put it in. He risks a quick side glance to Kyunghoon, but he doesn’t seem to acknowledge him and just stares out of the window. He seems pretty tired. Apart from that his mimic seems emotionless. He sighs shakily and tries to concentrate on driving. The silence is driving him mad though.
He is glad, that they are on the way to his house, a safe space, at least for himself. Everything happened in a rush. After Kyunghoon was able to speak again, they somehow made it out of the flat. Since that, Kyunghoon hasn’t said a word. He just got in the car, like it didn’t matter where they were actually going and since then he is staring out of the window.

“Kyunghoon-ah, is it okay if i..” A sound from Kyunghoon, clearing is throat. “Hyung, I”, Kyunghoon says at the same time “Its fine, I didn’t wanted to interrupt.” Minutes of silence pass, before Kyunghoon speaks again. His voice still sounds so rough. “You know what? Nevermind.” Kyunghoon folds his arms together and avoids his gaze again. Wow. He never felt so uncomfortable in Kyunghoons presence before. “Are you..”, Heechul tries to think of a better wording. “Is.. is everything okay?”, he stutters, while he keeps his eyes glued on the street in front of him. Why is he so insecure? It’s only Kyunghoon. His friend Kyunghoon, from whom he hid for three weeks straight. Kyunghoon, who makes him weak in the knees with his fucking dimples. Kyunghoon, who he tried to drink away but failed so miserably. Kyunghoon, who had a mental breakdown. Wow. Maybe everything isn’t so easy. Maybe everything is fucked up. Kyunghoon finally answers. His voice sounds still strained. “I’m..I’m good, Hyung. Everything fine.”
“Domo arigato Mr. Roboto”, he thinks, as he hears Kyunghoons nearly mechanical tone. Fuck, Heechul is not even sure if it’s his mistake, if he is the reason everything seems so weird between them right now. He doesn’t even know, what he wants with this glorious rescue of his. He glances again, but Kyunghoon is busy observing other people who drive by them. Well fine, two can play the game. He presses his lips together, until they become a thin line and nearly rams his stick into the slot. Fromis9 starts to blare out of the speakers. Normally he is proud of his students, now the songs sound way too cheery and upbeat, but Heechul is stubborn and overwhelmed so he just cranks up the volume and tries to concentrate on the traffic.

Honestly, Kyunghoon just doesn’t know what to say. He is currently way out of his comfort zone right now. He isn’t used to show feelings on his own or freely talk about himself. Normally people just look at his face, if they want to know how he feels, or they don’t even care and that is that. He ducks his head into the big white scarf and pulls his facemask up. He feels overwhelmed by the sudden proceedings.

Both of them stay silent, until they are in the elevator that leads to Heechuls flat. Of course it’s Heechul who starts to talk again. It’s a very fancy elevator, at least for Kyunghoons standards. Everything is polished chrome, except for the panel with the buttons for the different floors. He tries to study it in detail, just to not make eye contact with Heechul.

“So. I thought, maybe you could order takeout, and I’m going to shower and wash this fucking mess of a makeup out of my face and then-”
“I.-I liked your look. You l-look beautiful with makeup”, he doesn’t know why, but the carpet on the elevator floor looks suddenly very interesting. “I l-like it when you wear makeup. B-but I also think you look h-handsome when you’re barefaced”, he stammers and his ears feel so hot right now, like they are about to explode. Kyunghoon doesn’t know what actually came over him to say that to Heechuls face. He still faces the floor, too scared to look up and see Heechuls reaction. “But m-maybe-I-I meant, you’re also r-really handsome without makeup at a-all”, his voice gets higher by any second, and shit he already said that. Heechul must think that he is a total idiot.

As the silence continues, he has no other choice than to look up. Heechul just stares at him, before he glances away and says,“Ah, don’t say that. My makeup is totally smudged. I am everything except of beautiful.” His cheecks are flushed, way much more than they actually should be. Suddenly it dawns on Kyunghoon.

His Hyung likes his compliments.

Heechul likes it, when he says stuff like that. Normally he doesn’t seem to like it, when someone tells him how handsome he is though? But he likes it, when Kyunghoon says it? Does that mean, that he is someone special to him? Heechul didn’t left him as he saw him lying on his own bathroom floor. Hell, he invited him even to his house. He wasn’t abandoned, like he normally is, when people get to know how broken and sick he truly is. But why? His brain seems to not know how to process the thought properly. All of this thoughts race through his mind and they don’t seem to stop in the near future. Kyunghoon gulps and stares at the carpet again. Why did he have to say this in the elevator of all places? He can’t even escape the situation here. The atmosphere feels weird, repressed somehow. But apart from being a coward, he is also very stubborn.

So Kyunghoon says, stuttering again, because of the sudden nervousness “But I- I-I think you are!” His tone has something childish in it, he thinks. If his ears get any warmer and probably even redder, they will probably fall off. But it’s true. Heechul really really is beautiful. His Hyung is beautiful and delicate. Even when he cries. Especially, when he cries for him, because it means he cares, and he feels for Kyunghoon. No one cared for a very long time. No one ever shared his very own sorrow and heartbroken feelings with him. What he actually feels, he doesn’t know. But does it matter right now? His ears nearly start to hurt from the warmth, which is radiating from them.

“If you insist like this, I cannot say anything against that”, Heechul finally answers and it sounds like something someone would say if they wouldn’t have any idea what they actually should say. Maybe he went too far right now. Kyunghoon looks up again and sees a very flustered Heechul who isn’t apparently able to meet his eyes. Suddenly the elevator makes a rich beep to indicate that they are finally arrived on the right floor and probably both of them are glad to have an excuse to leave the elevator and this situation. But Kyunghoon didn’t expect Heechul to take his hand firmly in his as they walk out. Wow. His heart nearly explodes. What does that mean? What kind of gesture is this? Heechul clears his throat as they slowly walk together to Heechuls flat. “Kyunghoon-ah, please breathe. You look like you’re going to die any second! You don’t like holding hands with me anymore?”, Heechul sounds playful. Ah yes. Breathing. Breathing sounds like a good idea. “Hyung, I like holding hands. With you.” He breathes in again. Why did he have to emphasize it like this? He is cringy, depressed trash. That’s for sure.

“I like holding hands with you too”, says Heechul quietly then. “Do you like Disney films, Kyunghoon-ah?”
“Haven’t watched a lot of them, actually. I always felt it was inappropriate to watch them as an adult”, Kyunghoon answers as Heechul punches in his door code. He does it one handed though, still not letting go of his hand. Maybe it means more than the usual friendly gesture. Maybe. A man can still dream, right? “Inappropriate? Wow you little brat! You think that you’re more mature than your oppa?”, Heechul looks at him. “N-no of course not!” He cannot get enough of Heechul calling himself Oppa in their conversations. It has a playful undertone that lets him foolishly hope. “Good”, Heechul smirks.

You probably haven’t seen Frozen yet?” Heechuls hands feel so nice. Of course, he lets his hand go now. Heechul has to open the gate that keeps his cats and the dog save in his house. Heechul looks at him, he expects an answer. “Ah, actually no.” His ears get red again probably. The mood between them seems better again. And Kyunghoon is so fucking glad.

Later, Kyunghoon sits on the red sofa and tries to call Heechuls favorite restaurant, while the latter is in the shower. He can hear the water pouring. He is currently surrounded by Heechuls cats, Heebum and Cherry, both of them are rubbing their head against his forearms very forcefully. He shoves them aside, but they are back in mere seconds and rub with even more force. Actually he is a bit proud that Heebum shows so much affection towards him.

He is still nervous and feels kind of weird. The disassociating in the bathroom exhausted him and the back and forth feelings for Heechul exhausts him too. But the situation doesn’t feel so bad itself anymore. They are back to their old bantering. Heechul even kind of flirts with him, like he normally does. He hears the water running, echoing from the bathroom. He cannot help but let his mind wander. How would Heechul look like, under that shower? His body directed to the hot stream, slowly relaxing? Oh, Kyunghoon wishes he could be there with him. Touching his naked wet body, casting his fingers along Heechuls thin and elegant body. Hugging him, directing his face towards himself, kiss his thick beautiful lips. Jerking of together in the shower.
Heebums head bouncing impatiently against his hands bring him back to reality. He should really call the delivery service now.

In the end, Kyunghoon orders himself some boneless chicken and some fried rice with kimchi for Heechul. He wants to show him that he is considerate as hell, perfect boyfriend material, even though it is highly unlikely to happen. He hears the bathroom door open and his heart starts to race, as wet footsteps are nearing. “What did you order? “, asks a nearly nacked Heechul as he stands in front of him. Kyunghoon must look ridiculous, sitting surrounded by cats on the sofa, mouth gaping wide open. Heechul wears nothing, except for an, of course, red towel that modestly hides his crouch. And he looks so good. Even better than Kyunghoon thought. Heechul is slender, but muscular. His nipples are..God. His nipples are cute and small and..How would they feel if he would lick them? Would Heechul like that? Would it turn him on? And he has abs. Not too defined though. But more like totally fine. Kyunghoon wants to kiss him, wants to mark up every part of this naked milky white body in front of him. He isn’t capable to think straight. How is it possible to feel miserable and triggered and horny at the same time? “Why are you staring at me? And like not saying anything? “

Kyunghoons mouth is dry for the like hundredth time this day. What was he supposed to say, anyways? Heechul sighs. “You make me feel inappropriate in my own flat if you keep on staring like this. “ Kyunghoon finally catches on and says, while facing the red couch table, “I ordered fried rice with kimchi for you and chicken for me. Hope this is okay, Hyung. “Heechuls face lights up. “Perfect. I know i could trust you on this one. Sorry for coming in naked though. I didn’t thought that modesty is kind of a big deal for you“

“No, no it's fine. This is your flat, your rules“, he hurries to answer. Goddamn, now he looks like a pervert. The beard is growing again, Soogeun Hyung would probably say. It doesn’t even seem weird to him, that it’s Heechul of all people, which he finds attractive. The denial phase of all of this already happened six months ago and so he is good with being bisexual or whatever his label is now. “Honestly i just wanted to check, if everything is fine, because it was so silent“, Heechul says with slightly pink cheeks. “I'm good, Hyung. Your cats kept me company. “An awkward silence passes. None of them says anything, Heechul just stands there, looking gorgeous as he starts to blush even more, the redness spreading to his neck. Oh god. Kyunghoon wants to make him blush like that. He wants it so bad, with such an intensity. “Ah, well. I'm going to get dressed and then we can watch the movie.” He doesn’t wait for Kyunghoons answer, he just kind of escapes the situation.

Heechul stares at himself in the mirror in the bathroom, examining his hair. It’s free of all the dozen products Donghae smeared in it. Now he looks kind of fluffy, smooth and kind of weird. Unexpected visuals, he thinks dryly. He can’t forget the way Kyunghoon stared at him in his very own living room. It hasn’t been simply staring, this had been proper examining. To be honest, nobody ever looked at him like this before. With that kind of intensity. Desiring, but not acting on it. Wanting, but barely containing himself. Maybe they were the same after all. His heart races. His cheeks turn pink. Maybe he should show him that wanting him wasn’t as bad and so out of the question as Kyunghoon maybe thought. He decides to do something, and even if it’s just something small. Heechul has finally enough. His patience has worn thin.

Later on, while they’re sitting on the couch, watching Frozen, he does that one lame move, that he saw in western films. He can’t believe himself that he is actually doing this. But Heechul kind of fake yawns and puts his hand on the back of the sofa. What happened to “I’ll close my eyes and you can kiss me if you want to?” He doesn’t actually know. Maybe it’s because Kyunghoon is a man too. And he doesn’t know how to actually, really flirt with men. For fun, sure. But if you mean it in honesty? Kyunghoon, who sits beside him, looks at the arm, suddenly thrown in his direction. No one says something. Elsa sings. Heechul feels awkward and embarrassed. He considers putting his arm away, as suddenly, suddenly Kyunghoon starts to scoot a little closer. He is now at the close proximity of Heechuls hand. Seconds stretch into minutes. Nothing happens. Then, Heechul says simply “Come here, Kyunghoon-ah” His heart ponders. And Kyunghoon comes closer. He is now at Heechuls forearm. It feels uncomfortable for both of them, probably. So Heechul says it again. And he says it softly. “Come here”. And Kyunghoon is somehow closely leaned against him. He can feel him shaking a little bit. He can smells his aftershave. Heechul caresses his him slowly and Kyunghoon puts his head in the crook of Heechuls neck and just breaths.

Chapter Text

Hyukjae paces around his couch table for the twentieth time, probably. He is doing this since five o’ clock, after he came home from a disastrous model job. Probably the most disastrous model job he took ever part in. He is out of his mind and the sad part is, that he actually knows it. Full of restless energy, he draws another circle. His thoughts do that too. Around the table again. He is glad that he lives alone, that no one sees this that no one knows what an actual mess he is.

Hyukjaes heart beats faster and faster. Another round. He feels agitated. He needs to calm down. He knows this, but he doesn’t know how. He never had to learn on his own to keep his emotions in check, since Donghae was always there. Even as they moved out of the dorm, he was only one phone call away. But he isn’t anymore. He hasn’t heard from his best friend since that awful gone wrong visit at Heechuls. His lips tremble as he presses them together harder and takes another round. His hopes to get calm by excessive moment slowly fades. Hyukjae feels like a human tornado by now. He needs to get his shit together, he knows it. He messed up big time today, sign of the emotions bursting out of him as he suppressed everything for a whole week. Hyukjae doesn’t know what happened at the photoshoot, nor does his manager. He didn’t have the right expression, snapped at the photo director, blamed the stylist, and made the poor girl actually cry.

Another round. His manager gave him the talk afterwards in the car. He never had to before, because Hyukjae normally knows how to behave. Normally, things like this are easy for him, he just does it. But not today. Today had been different. Robbed of his source of calm and peace, he just behaved like one of those bratty rookies. Heechul. It’s all Heechuls fault. It’s Heechuls fault, who started to talk about weird gay things, who made him look like a gay in front of Donghae, who made it sound like they were some kind of gay lovers. Of course, Donghae doesn’t want to talk with him right now.

Another round around the table.

He is truly and utterly fucked.

Heechul on the other hand finally decides to do something. It’s a good day, his leg doesn’t hurt so much anymore because he had an appointment with his physiotherapist today. He feels kind of happy and empowered and so he decides to call Kyunghoon. Actually they’ve played some PUBG together since last time, but that was everything. Nothing more happened and he isn’t quite sure anymore if the atmosphere and everything else was just part of his imagination. They just sat simply on the couch that night together, Kyunghoon breathed kind of weirdly but snuggled with Heechuls chest and then they continued watching Frozen. Very anticlimactic if you ask him.

So today is the day and he is hopeful and maybe he is going to kick his luck away, to say it with Hodong, but it doesn’t matter to him now. Heechul hasn’t drunk anything today and he also will not drink today. He will call Kyunghoon. He will ask for a date. He feels fine. Heechul feels brave. And why shouldn’t he? He is world superstar Kim Heechul, the most eligible bachelor of south (also probably north, but not so sure) Korea. His hands are a little shaky though as he gets out his cellphone with the cute pink cellphone case and searches for Kyunghoons number. Heechuls heart beats so frantically, he stops for a second and puts his hand on his chest. He breathes in and out and finally calls.

“YeaH?”, Kyunghoons voice sounds higher, a bit shrill at the end of the word. Heechul remembers that Kyunghoon hates to talk via phone. Ups. “It’s Oppa~”, Heechul says with a honeyed voice and cringes a bit. Kyunghoon snorts. “What does Oppa want?” he asks, mimicking Heechuls tone. Heechul has to smile a little bit. That little shit. “Actually Oppa wants to go out with you today”, he says, feeling brave suddenly. Not like hang out, not like chill together. But go out. Yes. But apparently his choice of words still seems not clearly enough.

“You mean, like a date?”, Kyunghoons voice sounds extraordinary high again. Heechul can totally imagine him with wide open shocked eyes and frozen mimics.
Heechul sighs. And because he is World Superstar Kim Heechul and really feels it today, he says “Yeah. Exactly. Like a Date. You can say no and we never talk about it again or you say yes and you’re going to have an incredible evening with me. What do you say?”

Silence. Nothing. Wow. Did he interpret too much into this evening? “Well, I was at least expecting an answer, but”
“Yes! Yes! I mean, if you want to, you know Hyung, I would like to go on a date with you”, Kyunghoon hurries to answer. And man is this guy cute. Heechul smileys and feels bubbly feelings in his stomach. He is totally smitten and he loves it. “Kyunghoon-ah, I’m happy to hear this. Pick your oppa up at eightish, alright?”

“Do you have planned something, Hyung?”

Later, Heechul has a very stupid and also very good idea. He is going to be totally pretty today. He stands in front of his wardrobe, only wearing black briefs. He decided against his normal pair of boxer shorts, because they maybe could be seen through the clothes that Heechul is going to wear tonight. This was gonna be so much fun. Kim Heechul is well and truly happy.

Kyunghoon on the other hand doesn’t feel so good. Originally he wanted to stay at home, maybe watch Ipman for the 24th time and eat some snacks. He wasn’t prepared at all for a date. His parents are happy though. As soon as he informed them that he is not going to stay at home tonight both of them looked at him with this certain kind of proudness in their eyes and told him to “give absolute 100 %” in the words of his dad this evening. Of course they don’t know that Kyunghoon is going to meet Heechul, who his father deemed a “goddamn faggot without any honor for his family”. Kyunghoon is very good at suppressing his emotions after all and so his father didn’t even noticed his clenched hands at the statement. He was still fuming with anger as he sat in his room, kicking his rubbish bin around aimlessly. Sometimes he hates still living with his family, but on the other hand living in Seoul is expansive and renting one of those highly secure buildings in the middle of Seoul is very expansive too.

Additionally he is very nervous. He has a date. Finally. And he has it with Heechul, the best looking man in whole South and North Korea. To be honest he can’t even believe it himself. It still feels like a dream. Of course, the evening at Heechuls’ was really nice and cuddling with Heechul was also very very nice. But he didn’t expected him to be so forward about everything. They played casually PUBG two days ago without any mentioning of anything. Actually he expected nothing.

Kyunghoons hands are shaking a bit as he unbuttons the black dress shirt and gets it from the wire hanger. He knows from Heechuls various stories that his Oppa [he blushes a little and feels stupid for liking it so much but actually he is too far gone to even really care] is clearly no joke when it comes to dating and so he has to make an effort himself if he wants to impress him. And he does want that. He wants Heechul to look at him like he is the only man on this godforsaken planet. He wants Heechul to blush, because of how charming he is. [Kyunghoon knows that he is not very good at being charming but one can try], he wants him to want him. Like Kyunghoon wants Heechul. He didn’t watched “Queer eye for the straight guy” with a VPN for nothing. He rubs his face and feels a bit of stubble. Maybe he should shave for the date. And maybe a shower would be good too. Goddamn. Of course he should shower. What is he even thinking? This isn’t his first date after all.

They said he was the most beautiful man in Korea. He thinks about this, as he stares into the mirror and applies some aftershave to his face. They write this in their articles. “He was considered the most beautiful man” Kyunghoon sometimes still thinks that he is still beautiful. Not was, actually is. He is still beautiful. His fingers traces over his now smooth shaven face. He is going to prove it tonight. Min Kyunghoon is ready. Even though his fingers are shaking again.

Kyunghoon decided for an all-black outfit. “You never can go wrong with black” the queer guys from the TV show are echoing in his mind. He wears fit black trousers with his black dress shirt [he decided against a tie, he looked like a choirboy] with pointy black leather shoes and a lengthy woolen coat, of course in black. His skin looks even paler than normally. Kyunghoon likes it nevertheless.

He really loves his car. The Volvo is big, it’s badass and it’s masculine. Ridiculous, he thinks, how important that is for him but yeah. He going to a very gay date and a bit auf reassurance is necessary. Especially when he thinks about his father’s highly inappropriate comments about Heechul. “I hope I am a disappointment for you too and you choke on it when you discover it”, he thinks bitterly and opens the car door. Okay maybe he is a bit dramatic right now, but still. He sits down, puts some Traxx on and drives straight to the inner city circle of Seoul, where Heechuls apartment complex is. Kyunghoon really loves driving by the way. He presses a button to let the window down and the wind in. He doesn’t care that his hair probably looks disheveled by now. Kyunghoon thrums with energy, feels like he is about to vibrate and drums with his fingers on the steering wheel along to the music, nodding to the fast beat with his head. God, he feels so much. He feels thrilled for the very first time since one year or something. Kyunghoon is ready.

It’s only ten minutes until eight and Kyunghoon feels a bit awkward for coming so early. When Heechul said “eightish”, he probably meant something like half past eight or something. Maybe he seems too eager? But actually, enough with these bullshit games. Why shouldn’t he be eager? It’s Kim Heechul of all people he has a date with. He stops He is not good with this, he knows, turning into the street filled with fancy rich apartment complexes. This kind of area is really different from where he lives, with derelict buildings everywhere which could collapse with a very loud sneeze. He stops at the corner near to a 24 hours open convenience store and parks near an old still fancy looking tree. A last look in the side mirror, last minute correction of his hairstyle, last time smelling under his armpits if he smells of sweat and then he goes to Heechuls apartment, because he doesn’t move now, he will never arrive at Heechul’s probably. He walks a bit too fast, like a pensioner in sports group. His heart beats like crazy.
He presses the doorbell. Heechul answers it immediately, his honeyed voice nearly dripping through the speakter.

“I’m coming, one sec, Kyunghoon-ah”

Wow. If Heechul doesn’t hurry now, he might simply have a stroke and die there in front of Heechuls doorstep probably. He braces himself, because Heechul will absolutely look stunning and he might just pass out at the sight of it. He isn’t in the slightest prepared for the view in front of him as Heechul steps out of the door.

“How do you breathe? How do you exist? How do you function?” all of this questions form in Kyunghoons head at once.

Gorgeous, Heechul simply looks gorgeous.

“Hi, Hoon-ah”, he says and smiles shyly. And if Kyunghoon wouldn’t have been in love before, he would fell for Heechul right now.

He wears a tight red bottle shaped cocktail dress. It is very simple but form fitting, so it hugs Heechuls small waist and highlights his thin long legs. The High Heels are black with a red sole. They’re from Christian Louboutin and Kyunghoon knows this, because his ex-girlfriend had the same, but the shoes look so much better on Heechul. He is speechless, he thinks of saying something desperately but his words fail him. Heechul adjust his hat with the broad brim that he is wearing as well and looks at him curiously. Hell, he even put on red lipstick, and Kyunghoon can’t bring himself to stop staring at Heechuls gorgeous soft full lips and he must have done something with his lashes too, they seem even longer now. His Hyung is actually more beautiful than any other women he went out with.

“Do you like my outfit?”

Shit. Heechul wants him to say something. But what could he actually respond? What could he say, that wouldn’t embarrass him on spot?
He should say something now, but before he maybe should remember how to actually speak. He coughs, gets read ears again and finally blurts out “N-n-noona, you look so beautiful!” with this shrill voice of his, that he always gets when he is really nervous. Before he has even time to process what he actually said, Heechul steps forward and gives him a small peck on the cheek. “Thank you for using Noona instead of Hyung”, she says, steps back and adds “The name is Heemi for this night, I hope this isn’t weird for you or anything.”

Actually, this is kind of weird for him. He knew that Heemi liked to crossdress, but he never thought that she would do it in private as well. She looks at him, her smile becomes slowly but steady a bit droopy. If he is nervous, he thinks, she must be out of her mind right now. Kyunghoon knows perfectly well what kind of nice impression his parents left one week ago. She is braver as he is but this was always the most alluring part of her personality. And she is so, so beautiful. If she was stunning as man, the woman in front of him makes his stomach do weird things.

He didn’t know how it came to this. Everything of this. Dating a good friend, who is also a man, then to discover that this man apparently sometimes likes to become a woman. Then, upon this discovery, to discover as well that he also thinks that his friend is really lovely and also hot. Honestly he should just give up on thinking so much and actually enjoy this date.

Kyunghoon is sure that by now his normally pale face is beet red. “I-I don’t think it’s weird!”

His voice dies out after that simple statement. But it must be enough to reassure her, since her smiley has gone up again.

Kyunghoon simply isn’t physically able to say more, so he offers his arm very stiffly to her to bring her to his car. “Kyunghoon-ah you’re a real gentleman”, Heemi says and wraps a hand around his bicep. Her firm grip feels so good. Kyunghoon can’t really help it and plays a bit with his muscles to show her subtly how fit he is. Pathetic like always Old habits die hard. Heemi looks at him with honest happiness in her face and says “You’re really considerate, Kyunghoon-ah! “, and adds shyly, “I would really love that”

He swallows, at least he tries to, mouth totally dry. “I-I am not, le-let’s just go to the c-car”, he says literally five minutes too late. God, how can a human being be so lame? He is not really good in responding to the ungodly force that is Heemis shameless flirting. He is behaving like a high school boy. Nice.

Heemi directs them to a small karaoke bar way out of Seoul. While they are driving, Kyunghoons mind is occupied. Are there other sides of Heemi that he hasn’t seen yet? Why did she never told him before that she likes to wear dresses? Kind of a stupid question. Kyunghoon has some friends in the LGBTQ-scene, but the scene in general is very well protected and exclusive. One of his friends is gay and has told Kyunghoon that he goes to group meetings where everyone is gay and supportive. But she probably never had this opportunity with her celeb status and all. The risk would be too much.

Suddenly it dawns to him why she never hesitated to play the female role in their countless skits. Kyunghoon suddenly realizes that this is literally the only time where she can be both Heechul and Heemi in public without having to fear anything.

Everyone knows what happens if you tell the wrong person, you could risk and ruin everything. What do you do, if the police is rather your enemy than your friend? What would you do if everything that you build for your whole life could be destroyed in seconds? You may have the approval of the masses now, but what happens if they found out? Has she talked to everyone else except of him about this? He hopes so. Kyunghoon knows better than to be bitter that his friend kept this aspect of her life as a secret for such a long time. He will do better than his parents. He will respect her wishes and treat her accordingly. He really likes Heechul and he is, to be honest, really interested in getting to know Heemi.

“Why aren’t you asking questions?”

Her sudden question startles him. “Why would I ask questions?” Kyunghoon looks away from the street for a second and at her. Heemi squirms in her seat and tries to clear her throat. It’s the first time this evening that her voice wavers. “W-why I am dressed this way, and since then I’m dressed this way and why I want to be a w-w-w” She can’t seem to bring the word “woman” over her lips and doesn’t even try.

“Why I want to be like this sometimes, you know I don’t want to be always like this”, she gets quiet again instead. “Why would I like to know this, noona?” He can see her trembling out of the corner of his right eye, so he simply takes her hand to reassure her. “I don’t mind. For a fact, I don’t even care. You’re very beautiful like this and a man couldn’t be happier to have a date with a woman like this.”

Kyunghoon can say this proudly because it’s said to reassure her, not because he wants to be nice or charming.

He asks her, which directions to follow and stays calm during the whole ride. She doesn’t seem so nervous anymore and this is all he cares for.

The Karaoke bar is lovely. It has this wooden panel nineties style and looks very outdated. Perfect for melancholic guys like Heemi and him, he thinks. Heemi asks him to ask the receptionist about her reservation. She is a bit scared that someone could recognize her voice and even hides her face behind huge sunglasses. Kyunghoon does that gladly. They never discover him in public anyway. He looks so different without his whole face caked in makeup and he is glad about it. The date doesn’t feel so different from any other date that he had before. As they are walked to their karaoke booth by the staff, he feels nervous again for the very first time. He is going to sing for her. Kyunghoon is going to show her how much he cares for her.