Fandom: Super Junior
Pairing: Hankyung/Heechul, Siwon/Hankyung
Summary: AU, Slice-of-life, Hankyung breaks up builds up and goes on.
Heechul and Hankyung break up in September. Hankyung can’t remember why, exactly. He remembers the look on Heechul’s face when he left their apartment with a duffel bag and he remembers how his footsteps echoed differently on the hardwood floor the day he came home from work and found the apartment stripped bare of any sign Heechul had ever lived there. He remembers the way Heechul’s key was slightly warm from the sun on their kitchen table, still attached to the rainbow keychain Hankyung had gotten for him as a gag gift on their first anniversary.
Hankyung supposes it doesn’t really matter, now.
Hankyung kisses Siwon two months after the first month without Heechul. It’s as much of a surprise to Hankyung as it is to Siwon. It’s Zhou Mi’s birthday party, and when Siwon smiles at him and ducks out of the kitchen, blushing, Hankyung moves to catch his arm but sees Heechul out of the corner of his eye, leaning against a wall with Kyuhyun.
His hair has been dyed again, a deep rich brown and cut short, slicked up stylishly with gel, and he’s wearing rectangular black framed glasses; the jeans with the long rips in the knees are clinging to his legs and he’s wearing the converse that Hankyung bought him when Heechul landed his first radio contract.
Hankyung brushes a kiss past Zhou Mi’s cheek and nods at a few other people on the way out the door and doesn’t look back to see if Heechul is watching him go. He’s halfway to his car when Siwon catches up to him.
“Hey,” he says, jogging alongside Hankyung and slowing to a walk. “Hey, wait.”
“What,” Hankyung snaps, spinning around, and Siwon takes a step back, hands raising in a large appeasing gesture. “Sorry,” Hankyung mutters, “I--”
Siwon kisses him gently, almost in slow motion, and when he pulls away Hankyung blinks at him a little. Siwon rocks back and forth from heel to toe, and his head bobs in and out of the golden halo cast by the streetlamp across the street.
Donghae gives Hankyung a lift to Sungmin’s new years party, and they stop off at a grocery market to pick up their contributions for the potluck dinner. The party is humming by the time they get there, and Donghae laughs his big loud happy laugh and dives into the small thrum of people dancing, leaving Hankyung standing awkwardly by the door with two fruit platters and a chocolate pie.
“Hey,” a familiar voice says in his ear, and he turns to see Siwon, dressed in jeans faded from use and washing, a thin worn hoodie with the strings missing and tiny holes in the hems of the sleeves. Hankyung looks down at himself, pressed silk button down shirt and dark wash designer jeans, black shoes that still smell like new leather.
“You’re not overdressed,” Siwon says, grinning at Hankyung’s flush, “Shindong popped the champagne and I was...” he gestures down at himself, brow furrowing in an adorably comic manner.
“Collateral damage,” Hankyung says in Chinese, and feels something jump in his chest when Siwon laughs. His surprise must show on his face because Siwon grins again.
“My teaching certificate is for Korean language development,” he explains, “I thought I should speak another language. I’m still learning.”
Hankyung hesitates. He remembers the kitchen, the feeling of the bass in his chest, the quick-beat thump twisting and turning at the DJ’s fingers, the ache in his palm when he wrapped his hands up in Siwon’s jacket. He had tasted like glossy cherry chapstick and club soda with lime.
“Do you, uh,” Hankyung asks slowly, “do you want to, um.”
“Let’s go on the balcony,” Siwon says abruptly, and grabs Hankyung’s hand to lead him out into the cool night air.
They find Sungmin leaning against the rail of his own balcony, eyes bright and drinking something in a glass, the colour of which Hankyung finds deeply unsettling.
“Siwonnie,” he says affectionately, and tries to hug the potted plant to Siwon’s left. Siwon laughs, tugging Sungmin into his side, and his arm is warm draped on Hankyung’s shoulder.
Hankyung runs into Siwon at the grocery store, standing in the middle of the fruit and vegetable section, peering at yellow radishes.
“Hey,” he says, and Siwon smiles at him. From the corner of his eye Hankyung can see the display of cereal Heechul had crashed into after the car accident, that one time, and he can remember the exact way Heechul’s lips curled up at Hankyung’s blush when they were asked to leave.
“What are you doing for lunch?” he asks, and carefully doesn’t look anywhere but Siwon’s face, hair curling out from under his beanie and big dimples.
Siwon takes him to a cheap Chinese takeout place Hankyung hasn’t been to before, and Hankyung teaches him how to order dumplings in Mandarin, both of them giggling as Hankyung stretches his mouth open to show Siwon how to curl his tongue around foreign syllables. Siwon carries the big brown bag carefully, the edges and bottom darkening with grease; Hankyung stops at a corner kiosk to pick up cans of fruit juice, still sweating from the cooler, and they clomp up the stairs of Hankyung’s three floor walk-up.
“I’m thinking about going back to school,” Siwon says, tossing his jacket and his hat on Hankyung’s sofa, and Hankyung hums, rummaging in the tiny kitchen for cutlery and bowls.
“Why?” Hankyung asks, ripping a few paper towels off the roll and bringing everything to the table.
“Get my certificate for language teaching,” Siwon says, wandering around the room, peering at the pictures and other decorations hanging on the walls. He pauses at the Chinese silk weave Hankyung’s mother had sent him as a housewarming gift, and Hankyung knows that underneath the character for health there’s an ugly paint blob, leftover from the tussle he and Heechul had when they painted the apartment.
They eat with wooden chopsticks and afterwards Hankyung does the dishes while Siwon dries and the radio Heechul got him for his birthday plays old Chinese songs, interrupted every so often by gentle static crackle.
“You’d make a good teacher,” Hankyung tells him, still a little awkward, and Siwon smiles again, teeth sinking into his lip as he ducks his head. Hankyung smiles back, and they stand there for a minute, grinning, until there’s a faint banging from another apartment and Siwon jerks back. Hankyung realizes that they’d been leaning in, and he’s close enough to Siwon that he can smell the faint scent of the laundry detergent Siwon uses.
“What are you doing tomorrow for dinner?” Siwon asks, “There’s a good ramen place by my apartment complex.”
Hankyung rubs a towel across his neck and winces at the ache in his muscles, still sore after twenty minutes under a hot shower. “Getting old,” he mutters to himself, and pads barefoot into the kitchen, water droplets falling from the ends of his hair and dotting the tile, cold against his toes. He tugs a water out of the fridge, the expensive kind in the strong square plastic bottles that Siwon brings him in four and six packs when he comes by Hankyung’s studio during the breaks between his classes. Hankyung has just managed to get the cap off when his phone dances on the counter, buzzing insistently.
“Hey,” Siwon says on the other end of the line, “where are you?”
“Home,” Hankyung says, draining the bottle and tossing it in the general direction of the sink. He peers through the odd bottles on the top shelf of his fridge, willing alcohol to appear.
“I’m at that barbecue place two blocks from you,” Siwon says, and Hankyung can hear the swoosh of traffic and low hum of chatter in the background. Siwon hesitates, and Hankyung sniffs a carton of milk before closing the top as tightly as possible and shoving it behind the other water bottles.
“Do you want--”
“Why don’t you--” They laugh a little nervously, and Hankyung uses one hand to haphazardly shove the dishes in the sink into the dishwasher, rushes to throw his shoes into the closet and straighten the throw blanket on the couch.
“I’ll be there in about fifteen minutes?” Siwon offers, and Hankyung frantically kicks a pair of dirty socks under the couch, uses his elbow to dust the top of the television.
“Yeah,” he says, and doesn’t realize he’s been smiling until he goes to style his hair and sees his face in the bathroom mirror.
Siwon doesn’t shudder like Heechul did when Hankyung traces his collarbones with his tongue, but he makes this inhaling moan that sends a shudder up Hankyung’s spine when he presses tiny bruises into Siwon’s hips.
Siwon fiddles with his radio until he finds stations that play music Hankyung finds boring and gets up early to put the rice on to cook while he goes on his run; Siwon likes to slide around on the hardwood floors of Hankyung’s apartment in thick fuzzy slippers when he thinks no one is looking and holds a deep seated irrational fear for toe-socks.
“You give me a complex,” Hankyung says lazily, and arches his back in one slow roll, muscles stretching and relaxing under Siwon’s palm, heavy and warm on his ribcage. Hankyung gathers all of his energy in one big movement, and manages to half roll over onto Siwon, leg dangling off the bed.
“A complex?” Siwon asks, and his fingertips flutter on Hankyung’s hips, smooth over his belly and up his sides. Hankyung hums, and drags a single finger of his own up to trace Siwon’s abdomen, hard sculpted muscles.
“Complex.” he mutters, and drags his hand across Siwon’s face, feeling his smile, until he can bury it in Siwon’s hair, grown out just long enough to ruffle.
Hankyung loves it when Siwon comes back from his run, even though it wakes him at an ungodly hour in the morning, because Siwon is slightly out of breath, and his hair slicks damp across his forehead, light droplets dancing on his skin as he gasps. Hankyung wakes at the sound of the door closing and dozes to the squeak of the pipes and the fluttering of the shower spray on the tiles.
When he comes out he smells like sharp plain soap and steam soft skin, and the brush of his fingers across Hankyung’s ribs makes him smile. Siwon kisses him gently, and laughs when Hankyung tries to undo the knot holding up the towel around his waist.
He likes that sometimes Siwon forgets to throw his running clothes back into his gym bag and they lie in a pile behind the door, that when he reaches for his shampoo his hand passes the other bottle Siwon favours, he likes the look of their towels hanging side by side and the smell of Siwon making breakfast rolling under the door with the cool air.
The day he steps out of the shower and doesn’t check the mirror for the message Heechul used to write, it takes him an hour to realize, the knowledge hitting him like a lightningbolt as he stands at the bathroom sink after breakfast, toothpaste foam dripping down his front.
“Hyung?” Siwon calls, rapping on the bedroom door with the tips of his knuckles, “Han Geng-ge, Breakfast--” Hankyung swings the door open and laughs at Siwon’s face, relishes the lightness that tickles his insides every time he sees Siwon’s face twisted in comical emotion, feels the warmth curl up and settle in his chest.
“Have a good day at work,” he says brightly, and kisses Siwon, tries to tell him how he feels with the press of his tongue and the brush of his nose into Siwon’s neck as he pulls away. Siwon blinks at him, and Hankyung wants to make his eyes go hazy like that everyday for a long time.
Siwon comes in from his run the next morning to find Hankyung already awake, lounging in bed with the sheet dipping low on his hips, the sun playing golden on his skin, hair tousled enough to make Siwon pause and consider postponing his shower. Hankyung grins at him, lazy and confident, and Siwon takes a half step towards the bed. Hankyung tosses a pillow at him, and Siwon laughs, holding his hands out and stepping to the bathroom instead.
When he comes out of the shower there’s a thick arrow drawn in the steam covered mirror stretching down to a plain white box, the bottom damp from the water collecting on the counter. The lid whispers as he opens the box, and the silver metal of the key is cool as he lifts it from its bed of toilet paper squares. There’s a rectangular keychain attached, clean white rubber with letters stamped in gold, John 4:7.
“I’m sure,” Hankyung says from behind him, and Siwon drops his towel to walk Hankyung backwards to the bed, fumbling past the dresser. Siwon’s skin is hot and flushed from the shower, and Hankyung makes a half gasp into his mouth, twisting around until he can lick across Siwon’s collarbones.
Hankyung comes home one day, juggling a paper bag with milk and three small parcels wrapped in smooth clean white butcher’s paper, to find Heechul lounging in his hallway, leaning across from his door. He looks tired, and the hood of his light jacket is pulled low over his face, his bangs falling over his right eye.
“Hey,” he says, “I thought I’d finally come by for that last box in our---your, your closet.” He shifts his weight slightly and Hankyung opens his mouth and closes it again.
“Hi,” Heechul says again, and Hankyung saves himself from having to answer by accidentally throwing his keys at Heechul’s ankles as he fumbles getting them out of his pockets. Heechul manages to duck the worst of it at the last minute, turning his foot so the keys bounce of the sole of his sneaker. Hankyung closes his eyes and tries to will himself backwards in time.
“Hi.” Hankyung says finally, and Heechul leans over, scooping the keys off the floor. The metal ring clinks and jangles, and Heechul looks at it for a long time. His thumb brushes against the ears of the small metal dog keychain, trails along the jagged edge of the apartment key that used to be his.
“I gave this to you,” Heechul says softly.
“Yeah.” Hankyung says shortly, and then feels like a dick. “It’s my favourite,” he mutters.
“Monopoly dog,” Heechul says, and cracks a smile, his awkward smile, the one he used to give at work parties and family functions.
“Bow-wow,” Hankyung says woodenly, the other half of their inside joke. His lips crack a little when he smiles back.
“I know Heechul, you know,” Siwon says casually, and Hankyung pauses in the act of reaching for his glass. “I’ve known him a long time.”
“I know,” Hankyung says, after a while. They’re eating takeout from the Chinese place they went to on their first date, and the vinegar from the dumpling sauce is curling his tongue in the most pleasant way.
“I don’t see him much anymore,” Siwon says quietly, and Hankyung takes a measured sip from his glass. Siwon is looking down at his rice with an expression Hankyung can’t read, and Hankyung’s heart is beating in a way that makes his head thump. His tongue twists with a sudden sour burn.
“Me neither,” Hankyung says finally, and they finish eating in an odd silence.
“Hey,” Zhou Mi says cheerfully, and starts telling him a long story about a violently neon shade of paint. Hankyung feels a little of the tension he gets when he’s at a party fade in the wash of home that comes with an entire conversation in Chinese. His beer is cold and his brain is pleasantly warm and fuzzy, and he can see Siwon out of the corner of his eye, talking to Sungmin.
“How’s that going?” Zhou Mi asks, and something about his tone makes Hankyung pause. He straightens, but Zhou Mi is carefully making himself a drink, something in a red plastic cup hat reminds Hankyung of college parties.
“Siwon is...” Hankyung trails off, lost for words, and Zhou Mi drops a tiny pink umbrella into his cup.
“Are you happy?” Zhou Mi asks, and Hankyung plays with the label on his beer bottle.
“I’m...” Hankyung gropes for articulation, and tiny lines appear in the furrow of Zhou Mi’s brow.
“I’m good,” Hankyung says finally. Zhou Mi spins his umbrella between two long fingers.
“You used to be happy, ge,” he says slowly, “Heechul used to be happy.” Hankyung feels a sharp pang of irritation.
“I’m serious about Siwon,” he snaps, and Zhou Mi draws back.
“Okay,” he says, and Hankyung excuses himself.
Siwon greets him with a kiss, and Hankyung hooks his fingers in Siwon’s pockets, feeling irrationally uneasy.
“Let’s go home,” he says, “I don’t feel well, let’s go home.”
Siwon brushes his fingers across Hankyung bangs and presses a kiss to his temple. “Okay,” he says, and goes to get their shoes. Sungmin regards Hankyung for a long moment.
“You make Siwon happy,” he says.
“My mom wants to meet you,” Hankyung says, and Siwon grins.
“It’s like we’re in a serious relationship,” he jokes, and Hankyung frowns.
“I like you,” he tells Siwon, draped in his lap on the couch while they idly watch a movie. Siwon kisses the inside of his wrist and tangles their fingers together.
“I know,” he says.
“Maybe you should move in with me,” Hankyung says while Siwon is making dinner, barefoot in sweatpants in front of the stove, stir frying strips of beef with Chinese broccoli. “I’m not unhappy.” Hankyung is sitting on the counter next to him, rolling a cold drink across his forehead to ward off the sticky summer heat.
“What did you say hyung?” Siwon asks absently, digging in the upper cabinets looking for soy sauce, “It’s hard for me to understand you in Chinese when you run all the words together like that.”
“Nothing,” Hankyung says, “nevermind.”
Siwon comes in from his run and sits on the edge of the bed. Hankyung stares up at the ceiling and watches the fan blades click around in never ending circles. They sit there long enough that Siwon’s breathing eases and evens out, and Hankyung’s back up alarm goes off, his cellphone buzzing on the bedside table.
“I’m going to stay with Sungmin for a while,” Siwon says quietly, “just... just for a while.” He waits a long time for Hankyung to respond before he sighs and heads into the bathroom, closing the door carefully behind him. Hankyung waits until his vision stops blurring to get up and get ready for work.
Hankyung comes home from work with takeout from the Chinese place he and Siwon went to on their first date to find a key sitting on the dining room table, warm from the sunshine streaming through the kitchen window. The closets are empty of Siwon’s neatly pressed slacks and button up shirts, and the tie he used to steal from Hankyung is folded neatly on the end of the bed.
Hankyung feels like he’s been here before.
Hankyung calls Heechul.
“I’m tired of being not unhappy,” he says to Heechul’s voicemail.
When he comes out of the shower the light on his home phone is blinking.
“I can’t remember why we didn’t work out,” Heechul says on his answering machine, and he sounds quieter than Hankyung remembers. When he thinks of Heechul he remembers his energy, the way the force of his personality seemed too large for his slight frame.
Hankyung thinks about the way he used to sleep against Siwon’s side, and then remembers the feel of Heechul’s hair against his neck; the gliding way Siwon kissed versus the loud shriek of Heechul’s laughter.
He puts a plain silver key in his pocket and settles himself against Heechul’s apartment door to wait for what happens next.
A/N Written for my very best bbycake, remixied the most sweetest awesomest noonabean \o///