Fandom: Super Junior (AU, !mutant)
Pairing: central Hankyung/Heechul, Siwon/Sungmin, Kyuhyun/Zhou Mi, Kibum/Donghae, Yehsung/Ryeowook, Kangin/Eeteuk
Word count: 4,396
Summary: At the Soo Man Academy for Gifted Individuals, those with mutant powers are taught how to control their gifts. Hankyung has come to learn to control something he doesn't consider a gift, but rather a curse, and he wants nothing else from the school, certainly not friendship, but then, his life has never gone how he wanted it.
A/N: In case you were wondering, yes. Yes this fic is just me going HEY THAT WOULD BE INTERESTING.
civilized_era: So I'm assuming you have a plot now?
black_goose: I have a vague plot
civilized_era: or is it really just kinda like, oh oh you know what would be fun-- CANCER
civilized_era: or something
Sungmin seemed very cheerful when he appeared -- quite literally -- at breakfast the next morning. "I heard you helped Heechul to bed last night," he said, without any sort of preamble, sitting down next to Hankyung. He put his chin on his hands, arms supported against the table by his elbows, and grinned at Hankyung, who looked back at him in some shock.
"Wha -- how do you know that?" he asked, stammering a little. Sungmin laughed in a bright, cheerful sort of way.
"So it's true!" he said.
"Wait, what?" Kangin seemed, like all of the others, completely confused.
"Heechul couldn't make it up to the bedroom last night," explained Sungmin. "Hankyung met him on the way there and helped him." He sighed in a melodramatic kind of way. "Oh, it's so romantic."
"No, it wasn't," said Hankyung quickly. "I just, you know. I was there."
"Romantic," insisted Sungmin.
"Is hyung okay?" Siwon looked like he was the only one to be worried about Heechul. "Does his head still hurt?"
"He was already using his powers this morning, so I doubt it," said Sungmin. "Made his bed with his mind and then threw my phone out of the window, I almost didn't catch it."
"Oh, I wish he wouldn't," said Siwon.
"We'll keep an eye on him," said Eeteuk. "Don't worry, Siwon."
Heechul appeared right then, walking with Donghae and Kibum. At first glance, it seemed that Kibum wasn't even paying attention, but then he laughed at something Donghae said, bringing forth a rather pleased smile from Donghae. Heechul rolled his eyes and sat down next to Kangin. He reached forward, took a egg from the bowl in front of him, and then noticed everyone staring.
"What?" he snapped, glaring.
"Hyung, why didn't you tell me that your head was so bad last night?" Siwon asked.
"Oh my god, Siwon," said Sungmin. "That is so not the important part here."
"You told, didn't you?" Heechul was directing his full glare torwards a happily smiling Sungmin. "What a bloody tattletale you are."
"Well, I had to check your story against Hankyung's," said Sungmin. "What if you were lying to make the story better than it really was?"
"You're getting yourself confused with me," said Heechul. "And anyway, all I said was that he helped me to my room, what on earth made that sound like an exciting story?"
"It's--" Sungmin began, but Heechul cut him off with a groan.
"It was not romantic," he said. "Stop saying it was." There was a brief pause, and then Heechul stood up again, glaring at Zhou Mi. "Stop it," he said. "Seasoning, I don't know what you think you know, but you don't know it. Sungmin, the same goes for you." He snatched up a napkin, wrapped his egg and two slices of bacon in it, picked up two slices of toast, and then said; "I'm going to eat somewhere else. Somewhere where I won't be accused of things that are completely untrue."
He turned and stalked from the room. Siwon jumped up and ran after him, shouting that he'd join him. Sungmin and Zhou Mi didn't look in the least bit ashamed of themselves: Sungmin turned to Zhou Mi and said; "So what did you say to him?"
"I think he's a little in denial," said Zhou Mi.
"Oh, he totally is," said Sungmin, and they both turned and grinned at Hankyung, who just blinked back.
Yehsung summed up his feelings completely when he said "I am so confused."
"Don't worry, hyung," said Ryeowook with a sigh. "I'll explain it to you later."
That was all very well and good, but who was going to explain it to Hankyung, who still didn't have a clue later when Heechul appeared at the classroom and gave him such a look of extreme dislike that Hankyung, who had known that Heechul didn't seem to think much of him, was shocked. Then Heechul just walked purposely to his chair and sat down on it. Kangin reached across and handed him another piece of toast from breakfast.
"Figured you'd wanted something more," he said. "Considering you eat like a pig and all that."
"I swear, you'd be my best dongsaeng if you'd just keep your damn mouth closed," said Heechul, but he took the toast and ate it quickly.
"What was that about, this morning?" Kangin asked curiously.
"Nothing," said Heechul. "Don't talk about it, it's all stupid."
He glared at Hankyung one more time before the teacher started lessons. Hankyung stared at the board, unable to work out what had happened. He got that Heechul thought he was a bit of a drama queen and didn't like him for it -- which was slightly hypocritical of him -- and also didn't like him for the way he had been treating Siwon, but he never thought Heechul would come to hate him on such a brief acquaintance, especially after last night. He could understand if he'd just ignored Heechul and gone on his way, but he'd helped Heechul! Clearly, he thought bitterly, his understanding of people was even worse than he'd imagined.
He was beginning to rethink that evaluation, however, when lunchtime swung around. Maybe he'd been so detached from human emotion for so long that he was able to see through people, but he was starting to realise that Sungmin really did not have any chance. There was something between Kyuhyun and Zhou Mi that struck Hankyung as slightly odd. It was even stranger than whatever was betweenYehsung and Ryeowook, but nothing was stranger than whatever was between Siwon and Heechul. With Kyuhyun and Zhou Mi, it struck him as something more than friendship, something just less than anything more; with Yehsung and Ryeowook, it was clear they liked each other but nothing was going on; with Siwon and Heechul, Hankyung had no idea.
They seemed to just be friends, but he had never seen someone act more like a boyfriend than Siwon. He followed Heechul around everywhere, seemed constantly poised to comfort him in some way, was always ready to do whatever Heechul said. There was even something like hero worship in the way Siwon looked at Heechul. He seemed to think that Heechul was the greatest person ever to walk the face of the planet, but also seemed willing to recognise Heechul's faults and was attempting to correct them in some way or another. From what Hankyung had been able to see from Heechul, it was beyond shocking that Heechul allowed Siwon as much leeway as he did. It was true that he got annoyed at Siwon, but it was never in the same way as he got annoyed at the others. It took more for him to get annoyed at Siwon, was always willing to apologise to Siwon where he would never with anyone else, and the two barely left each other's side. And yet, there seemed to be no indication of any romance between the two.
Three more days passed without Hankyung knowing what was going on. Three days of trying to settle into a routine that had been set before he had even been around, and three more days of not understanding how his powers worked. It was making him frustrated, and he couldn't help himself, he sunk back into a state of despair, quiet and unwilling to be part of what was going on around him. No one seemed to pay any attention to it, although he could feel that it was forced, like if they thought that if they didn't react, he would stop. He wanted to, but he didn't feel like he could: it had been ingrained into him for too long. Only Heechul showed any sign that he noticed, glaring at him every time he was in the room.
Siwon was quite happily dishing out food for Heechul when Professor Lee walked past the table and spoke quietly to Zhou Mi, bending down so that only he could hear, but judging by the grim expression on Kyuhyun's face, he could hear it too. When Professor Lee straightened up, her face was sad. She walked away, and Eunhyuk sighed. "God, I made such a fool of myself in front of her today as well," he said.
"You always make a fool of yourself," said Sungmin cheerfully. "Hyori knows that." Hankyung glanced at him, a little shocked at the use of the teacher's first name. Sungmin grinned at him. "My family knows her family," he said.
Everyone seemed to have forgotten about Zhou Mi at the end of the table. Kyuhyun was murmuring to him softly when Zhou Mi got to his feet. Everyone turned to look at him; he looked completely broken, and he turned and quickly left the hall. Everyone stared, before Kyuhyun too jumped up and ran after him. Hankyung had yet to see Kyuhyun look so worried or move so fast. There was a pause.
"What was that about?" Eunhyuk seemed completely nonplussed.
"I have no idea," said Eeteuk.
"You don't--" Sungmin looked worried. "You don't think it could be something to do with his sister, do you?"
There was silence as everyone pondered the concept. Hankyung looked around before asking; "What -- is something wrong with her? His sister, I mean."
"She's not very well," said Eeteuk quietly. "There's something wrong with her heart, it's a problem that she's been suffering from for half of her life, since she was fourteen."
Heechul stood up. "I'm going to go see how Seasoning is," he said, and Siwon got up too. Hankyung too stood up. Heechul glared at him. "You can't come," he said.
"I think I could help," Hankyung said.
"You barely even know Seasoning," said Heechul.
"I -- I want to come," said Hankyung.
"God," said Heechul. "Fine, whatever. Come on, Siwon."
Siwon showed signs of wanting to talk to Hankyung as they made their way up to the room that Zhou Mi shared with Henry, but looked like he didn't dare try it when Hankyung was quite clearly not on Heechul's list of favourite people. Hankyung didn't mind. The silence gave him a chance to concentrate his thoughts, work out what he was going to say to Zhou Mi without giving too much away. It was no mean feat.
Heechul knocked on the door loudly and called Zhou Mi's nickname. There was a long pause and then shuffling before the door opened and Kyuhyun stepped through, sighing heavily. "Hey, hyung," he said.
"What's happened?" demanded Heechul.
"It's his sister," said Kyuhyun softly. "They say that apparently, beyond an emergency transplant, there's nothing more they can do for her."
Heechul seemed suddenly stricken by this thought, quickly sober. "How much longer?"
"Weeks," said Kyuhyun. "Two months, at the most."
"Oh my god," whispered Siwon.
"So he--" Kyuhyun broke off to look behind him at the door. "He -- I thought he'd be heartbroken, I know how much he loves his sister, but he seems like he's in shock."
"Shock?" Heechul frowned.
"There's no tears," explained Kyuhyun. "He's upset, obviously, but he's not crying or screaming or doing any of those things I'd expect him to do in this situation."
"Weird," said Heechul. "Well, it's a bit of a weird situation, so he can be forgiven, I suppose."
"Can I talk to him?" Hankyung asked. Kyuhyun looked at him, shocked, and then looked reluctant.
"What -- what could you possibly do?" He seemed a little unwilling to allow anyone else a chance to comfort Zhou Mi, which Hankyung could understand, to some extent.
"I can understand his feelings," says Hankyung softly. "A little."
Kyuhyun looked unsure, but then he sighed and nodded. "Fine," he said. "If you think you can help him, then I suppose I can't stop you."
Hankyung took a deep breath before he entered the bedroom. Zhou Mi looked up as he entered, and like Kyuhyun had said, he was not crying, but he did look completely unlike his usual smiling self. Even after less than a week, Hankyung knew that Zhou Mi smiled constantly and to see him without that was rather worrying. His eyes were dull.
"Hi," said Hankyung softly, coming into the room and closing the door after him. He hesitated before sitting on the bed next to Zhou Mi. His carefully planned words were failing him. When he spoke next, it was in Chinese. "I thought I'd talk to you, if you were willing. I can understand, I think, because -- because my sister died too."
Zhou Mi was silent for a moment or two before he said, "I know. I can -- I can see her. And what happened to her, I can see that in your head."
Hankyung jolted a little in his seat. "You can see that?" he asked, voice a little angry to cover his terror. "How can you--"
"She's too closely tied into your thoughts for me to be able to ignore it," said Zhou Mi. "Ge, you're so terrified at it being found out that the whole incident is practically being shouted at me twenty-four seven."
"I feel -- I never wanted anyone to find out," whispered Hankyung.
"I know," said Zhou Mi. "But ge, we could help you -- no one will judge you, it was an accident, we can--"
"No," said Hankyung. "No, Zhou Mi, I'd rather not talk about it." He motioned around vaguely. "Are you -- I came here to talk about your sister."
Zhou Mi smiled at him sadly. "Like you, I'd rather not talk about it," he said. "She'll be fine, you'll see." Hankyung wasn't sure whether Zhou Mi honestly believed this, or whether he convinced himself to believe it, but he jumped up suddenly, smiling widely, and went to the door. "Hey, Kui Xian," he said. "Want to go get some ice cream?"
Kyuhyun stared at him. "What?" he asked. "I thought you were -- what about your sister?"
"She'll be fine," said Zhou Mi cheerfully, taking hold of Kyuhyun's arm and trying to pull him down the corridor. "You'll see, she's going to be okay."
"You're psychic, not a prophet," was the last thing they heard Kyuhyun say before the two of them went out of ear shot. Heechul immediately rounded on Hankyung, who was probably just as confused as he was.
"What did you say to Seasoning to make him act like that?" he demanded, glaring at Hankyung. Hankyung blinked at him.
"I have no idea," he said. "We didn't even talk about his sister."
"So you just talked about you, is that it?" Heechul seemed to have spent the whole time he had been in Hankyung's presence since he'd arrived glaring at him, Hankyung couldn't help but notice.
"No!" protested Hankyung. "That's not--"
"God, I am so sick of this," snapped Heechul, and turned off down the hallway. Siwon was looking between the two of them worriedly, like he wasn't too sure what was going on.
Hankyung was sick of it too. He understood that Heechul had been annoyed over Siwon, but this was different, this was pure dislike, and it was unwarranted, he felt. "What the hell does that mean?" he shouted at Heechul's back. Heechul turned back, surprise flickering across his face -- Hankyung didn't blame him, he was surprised at himself -- before he rolled his eyes.
"You can't stand to have the attention drawn away from you," said Heechul, a hint of a sneer in his voice, as he stalked forward and came to stand a little in front of Hankyung, arms folded across his chest. "Poor little China boy, whose life has been so tragic that no one else is allowed to have anything miserable happen."
"That's not it at all," said Hankyung, angry. "I don't think--"
"You walk around looking like the whole world is on your shoulders, and you've only been here for five days and I'm already sick of it." Heechul was shouting now. "You act as though being around us is a chore and like we're not worthy of your time because you've went through things that we just can't understand."
"You have no idea," said Hankyung through gritted teeth. "You don't know what--"
"You're right!" Heechul shouted over the top. "I have no idea, because you won't fucking tell us. You're hiding from something, Hankyung, and if you don't let us know what, then we can't help you."
"You can't help me anyway," said Hankyung. "Your powers are nothing like mine."
"Of course not," sneered Heechul. "You're a special snowflake."
"You think your powers are gifts, somehow!" Hankyung motioned to Siwon. "A gift from God. My power is a curse, not a gift, and I hate it."
"My own power is hardly sunshine and daisies," said Heechul condescendingly. "You think I consider it a gift when I get headaches so bad I can't even see? You think Ryeowook gets happy about burning himself? Everyone's power comes with a drawback."
"Yes, but you've never killed someone, have you?" said Hankyung heatedly, and then stopped dead, breathing heavily. He stared in horror at Heechul, unable to believe what he had just said. Heechul had gone very still and was just looking at him carefully.
"Is that what it is?" he asked softly. "Is that the cause of all this?" Hankyung looked down towards the floor. "Who?" asked Heechul. "Who did you kill?"
"I can't -- no." Hankyung looked up again, staring Heechul in the eye. "I'm not going to tell you, no. I don't want people to know, they would just shun me like they've always done."
"If you don't tell us," said Siwon eagerly, "then like hyung said, we can't help you."
"I don't want to be helped," said Hankyung, exasperated. "I don't want you to even be around me, none of you seem to realise that I'm dangerous."
"Let me ask you this," said Heechul, folding his arms again, a scruntinzing look on his face. "This person that you killed: did you mean to do it?"
"No," said Hankyung in horror. "No, of course I didn't, it was an--"
"Accident?" Heechul nodded and then shrugged. "You see? You aren't dangerous."
"I still killed someone," said Hankyung.
"You're running from this," said Heechul. "Is that why you've come to Korea? Were those idiots yesterday actually correct?"
"I'm not on the run from the police," said Hankyung. "I just needed to get away, and I need to learn to control this before I kill someone else." He looked down towards his hands. "I've never taken these off since then."
"They could probably do with a wash," said Heechul. "Well, it's late. I'm going to bed."
Hankyung stared at him. "That's it?" he asked. "I tell you that I've killed someone and you're not even bothered?"
Heechul stared back at him. "Well, there's nothing I can do about it," he said. "And you said it was an accident, I'm not going to live in fear that you sneak into my room at night and kill me." He rolled his eyes. "Losing sleep makes your skin bad, I'm not risking that just because of you." Hankyung was kind of gaping at him. "So I'll be going now," and with that, Heechul turned and walked around the corner to the hallway where his own bedroom was situated. Hankyung turned to stare at Siwon.
"Don't ask me," said Siwon, holding up his hands. "I've known Heechul-hyung for most of my life and even I can't work out what he's thinking sometimes." Then he stopped, his expression changing to nervous. "Is it true, then? Did you really kill someone?"
Hankyung closed his eyes before nodding slowly, letting out a shaky breath. "Yes," he said. "Yes, I -- it was an accident, I never meant to--"
"No," said Siwon, horrified. "No, I know you would never, I'm not saying--"
"How would you know," said Hankyung softly. "I -- I haven't exactly made it easy for you to get to know me."
"I at least knew that you were pushing us away for a reason," said Siwon. "I mean, you're clearly -- affected, by this. Doesn't that prove that you never meant to do it?"
Hankyung held up his hands to show Siwon his gloves. "I was slack with these once," he said. "I will never put people in danger ever again."
"It was an accident, hyung," said Siwon with an uneasy smile. Hankyung shook his head.
"It could have been avoided," he said. That was the one thing that he was certain of. Even when his parents had told him later that it wasn't his fault, that there was no one to blame, Hankyung had known, had been able to see it in their eyes, that they did blame him for taking his gloves off, for leaving the bedroom door open, for not thinking about what he was doing. He'd been careless, and he'd vowed that he would never be careless again. So he slept with his gloves on and he showered with them and he had resigned himself to the prospect of never being able to take them off again, if he was unable to master control.
As he lay in bed that night waiting to fall asleep, he thought about what would happen if he failed control. The terrifying reality was that if that happened, he would never feel confident enough to be around people. Thinking of the people in this school, the ones with their own unique gifts, he knew that he could not trust himself around them, that he couldn't trust himself not to slip up. His best bet was to somehow retreat back into being a recluse if control failed. This was terrifying because his short time here had been more than enough to destroy ten years of being a shut in, and he wasn't sure he would be able to go back to it.
When he and Siwon left their bedroom the next morning for breakfast, it was to find Heechul standing impatiently outside the door. "Here," he said, pushing a book into Hankyung's hands. "Hold this."
Hankyung stared down at the book in his hands and then up at Heechul. "What's this?" he asked, confused.
Heechul had his foot up against the wall and was fastening his shoelace. "It's a book," he said. "What are you, retarded?"
"Why do I have your book?" Hankyung asked, blinking. Heechul glared at him and then motioned to his newly fastened shoelace. Then he snatched the book back off Hankyung and stalked off down the hallway. Hankyung turned to Siwon. "I didn't mean it like that," he said. "What I meant was why didn't he give it to you?"
"I think hyung likes you," said Siwon, a strange smile on his face. Hankyung stared at him.
"What," he said flatly.
"Well, Sungmin-hyung thinks so," said Siwon. Hankyung couldn't help but be amused at that.
"And Sungmin knows everything?" he asked.
Siwon seemed to realise what he said, because he hurriedly said, "They were roommates last year so he does know Heechul-hyung quite well." Then he pushed his shoulders back, as if to instil himself with more confidence. "And I've known hyung since we were just little kids, so I think he does too."
"Oh, so that's it!" said Hankyung. Siwon looked at him curiously, a little taken-aback by his rather loud reaction. "I wondered how you knew each other, you seemed really close."
"We've always lived next door to each other," said Siwon with a slight smile. "His powers developed a long time before mine though, he was lifting things with his mind when he was ten or eleven. He came to this school when he was fourteen, he was one of the first of us to arrive." They were climbing the stairs down to the main hall now, the sounds of happy shouting coming up from the dining hall. "I guess I missed him so much that my own powers surfaced. I came the year later."
"So you were," said Hankyung, and then hesitated. "You -- liked Heechul?"
"No," said Siwon with a laugh. "We've only ever just been good friends." Then he stopped. "Wait," he said, grinning. "Does that mean -- do you like Heechul?"
"No," said Hankyung, slightly exasperated. "No, I was just wondering."
"Because I could help," said Siwon, and Hankyung would have liked him to shut up, because now they were nearing the table for breakfast. "If you wanted me too."
"What does Hankyung want help with?" Shindong looked interested. Hankyung cursed inside, because he'd completely forgotten about Shindong's super hearing. Even Siwon looked a little nervous, possibly because of the Sungmin thing beforehand.
"How much did you hear?" he asked.
"Not much," admitted Shindong. "Just you offering to help Hankyung with something."
"Nothing," muttered Hankyung. "I don't need help with anything."
"Is it a girl?" Sungmin looked very interested. Hankyung laughed a little.
"No," he said. "It's not a girl." And then he stopped, because everyone was staring at him. "What?" he asked, non-plussed.
"You laughed," said Sungmin, sounding unsure.
"We didn't know you could do that," said Yehsung. Heechul actually snickered.
"See?" He grinned at Hankyung, leaning over the table a little. "What a special snowflake."
"Oh, shut up," said Hankyung, unable to deal with it after the conversation he had just had with Siwon. He expected Heechul to snap back, but he just raised an eyebrow, in apparent approval, before turning back to his meal. Hankyung stared at his empty plate for a moment or so before standing up, slowly, palms pressed to the table. "I -- I wanted to say sorry," he said. "For being -- well, for --"
"Be quiet," said Kangin, waving his fork at him, scrambled egg falling off it. "I can't eat with you talking."
"It's fine, Hankyung," said Eeteuk. "Don't worry, we understand."
"Yeah," said Heechul. "Sit down, your face is putting me off my food. Stop being such a girl, seriously."
Hankyung gaped at him. "Are you ever happy?" he asked.
"No," said Heechul. "Now sit the fuck down."
Hankyung did so, hands shaking a little. They had been waiting for it, he knew, but now that he had apologised, they hadn't needed it. He didn't notice Heechul watching him carefully, but Sungmin did. He poked Heechul in the side, grinning a little. Heechul hit him over the head.
"No," he said. Sungmin just grinned wider.