Rating: PG-13, warning for attempted suicide and slight foul language
Summary: Leaving is never as easy as it seems.
They rush Jungsu to the hospital in the middle of the night when Monday is busy turning into Tuesday and Seoul still hasn't gone to sleep. Kibum watches in passive silence as Sungmin desperately tries to reach Donghee on his cellphone. When he finally does it's all "Donghee, Donghee, listen, where are- what? Hyung, what are you- I- oh my God, are you drunk again?"
After the angry bleep of an ended call only a heightened sense of finality remains as their few square meters of the hospital corridor grow silent again.
Kibum turns his head while leaning it against the dull gray wall, sweeping his gaze over Hyukjae's hunched figure and thinks to himself well, isn't this nice.
They stiffly get onto their feet twenty five minutes later when their harangued manager finally arrives with Donghae and Heechul in his tow.
"Just sit. Anyone know where I can find the doctor?" They point him the right door and the man barges through it without even knocking, pushing aside one of the many faceless nurses who makes a scandalized sound at the back of her throat. Donghae stares after them for a moment until the spell breaks as the nurse goes on with her chores after one last click of her tongue, her small frame taking more space than it should. Donghae throws himself heavily down onto one of the ugly orange chairs next to Hyukjae without uttering a word.
Heechul considers the display in front of him for a split second further before reaching forward to tap Kibum lightly on the shoulder, his face a calm, unreadable mask.
"Coffee. Care to come with me?"
They hear Sungmin mumble coffee's not gonna fix it as they go, but let it pass. It is turning out to be yet another endless day for all of them.
The canteen next to the main entrance is closed, but there is an automat nearby, which, they decide, will do. Anything would, really. It is going to taste foul, no matter what.
"I'm a bit surprised to see you here, actually," Heechul states matter-of-factly, faithful to his style, as he hands the first steaming plastic cup to Kibum, who shrugs softly, careful not to spill the drink, and doesn't even pretend to be shocked or hurt.
"Sungmin was running pretty low on options, with Geng obviously still in China and Ryeowook, Kyuhyun and Jongwoon in Japan. Then he apparently called the manager, who said you guys wouldn't be able to come exactly in a flash from the neighbouring city. Oh, and Youngwoon is busy serving the country, so I guess I was the next best thing, or third or fifth best or whatever. Besides, I live near, don't I?" Except he doesn't really, but they both choose not to mention it.
They start to make their way slowly back, deliberately taking their time. Anything is better than waiting outside a hospital room. They know from experience.
"You're forgetting Shiwon and Donghee."
"Former filming in Incheon but trying hard to get here as soon as possible, latter dead drunk, location unknown. I thought Sungmin would throw his phone through the nearest window at that one." Heechul flashes him a tired but genuinely amused smile at that one.
"I wish he would've, it could have brought some much needed life into this place." Then he sighs, letting the smile slip away.
"Just look at us, trying so hard to joke the reality away. What happened, Kibum, what the fuck did he do?" Kibum doesn't need to ask who he means this time.
"Took something, some pills," he pauses briefly, reconsidering the words that have just passed his lips, "hell, what am I saying, he took such a fuckload of them that Sungmin couldn't pick all the empty bottles up at once. He was all blue by the time I got there and Sungmin was sticking his fingers down Jungsu's throat." He stops dead on his track, jerking to a still so suddenly that Heechul takes a few steps on his own before realization hits him, making him turn back. Kibum is rubbing his eyes with the sleeve he has pulled too far over his fingers, thin fabric stretching enough to almost break. For a passing moment he is like the kid he used to be, the person Heechul used to know. The person who used to care.
The trouble with passing moments is that they pass.
"But you're not really upset, are you?" Kibum's head jerks up at the harsh words, their blow heavy even with the silky wrapping of a soft tone. He is about to snap something back - of course he is, of course he is - but purses his lips at first instead. A chilly silence hangs between them until he spits out an unoriginal fuck you, hyung and hates himself for it.
"Come on. You can admit it, it's not like I will like you any less for it."
"Stop it. I do care. Why would I be here otherwise." It's not really a question.
"Some habits are hard to break, aren't they? You've been trying to leave us for so long and yet something always cuts your wings off and you fall right back, no matter how far you've thought you've reached this time. Kim Kibum of the Super Junior fame." The last words are little more than a murmur. Heechul has turned to look out into the darkness through one of the ridiculously oversized windows punctuating the white and grey walls, and Kibum is glad his expression cannot be seen. "And this time it's Jungsu. Come to think of it, maybe that's why he's done this, one last desperate attempt at putting all the shards together again. He always did believe in stupid shit like that."
What hurts the most inside the invaded privacy of Kibum's head is the way Heechul leaves him out of the us he refers to.
"Thanks for blaming it all on me, hyung." His tone is all acid and fire and tears and iron stemming from blood that flows from open cuts, but all it gets out of Heechul is a short laugh, an ugly bark too loud and too sharp.
They are too tired for this.
Notes: This has been hanging around on my computer forever.
I wonder if we are still doing the 100 fics challenge? Because if yes, then this is 19/100 for me (after a two year break...) with the prompt 027. Replacement, Heechul / Kibum.
Archive for the challenge.