Fandom: Super Junior (AU, !mutant)
Pairing: central Hankyung/Heechul, Siwon/Sungmin, Kyuhyun/Zhou Mi, Kibum/Donghae, Yehsung/Ryeowook, Kangin/Eeteuk
Word count: 4,538
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: no rly:
black_goose: I wish I'd never started it.DRIVING ME CRAZY >:\!!!!
crazychickencow: but then I'd be sad.
black_goose: ...I wish I'd never started it
Hankyung had only been sitting down at the table the next morning at breakfast for all of two minutes before Heechul said loudly, "Are you going to be like that forever now, or do I have to hit you?"
Hankyung blinked at him, confused. "Like what?" he asked.
"Like that," said Heechul, and motioned to his face. "All depressed and what not."
"I agree with this question," said Kangin.
"Yeah," said Shindong. "No offence, but it's kind of a dampener."
Hankyung looked around at them all. "Oh," he said. He then looked down at his plate, hands clenched together in his lap. "Sorry."
"You know that we're here if you ever want to talk," said Eeteuk. "You know that, right?"
Hankyung looked up and nodded, avoiding Heechul's eyes. Then he stood up. "Sorry," he repeated. "I -- I'm going to go back to my room, I just --"
"It's fine," said Eeteuk.
It will get better, said Zhou Mi's voice cheerfully, and Hankyung could tell that he honestly believed that, just like he believed his sister would soon get better, although two weeks had passed with no sign of improvement or a transplant. They all seemed to be aware that time was running out for her, apart from Zhou Mi. Hankyung felt annoyance at Zhou Mi for not seeing the truth in front of him, but also envied him his optimistic outlook.
He left the dining hall alone. Kangin paused with his chopsticks in his mouth, looking a little thoughtful. A joke about not hurting himself passed through most of their heads, but went unsaid. "Hey, guys," he said, drawing their attention. "Do you think we should try to find out what Hankyung did in China that made him like this?"
There was a pause, during which Eeteuk opened his mouth to say something, looking disapproving, but Heechul got there before him. "No," he said firmly. "No, you can't."
"I thought you wanted to know the most," cried Yehsung, throwing his hands into the air in exasperation.
"Things change," said Heechul. He seemed reserved somehow; apart from snapping at Hankyung, he had mostly been quiet. Kangin looked carefully at him, and then understood.
"You already know, don't you?" he said, and Heechul looked him in the eye and then nodded, slowly.
"I do," he said. "And -- you'll have to take my word for it, but it explains everything. But I, I owe it to Hankyung to keep it a secret, it's understandable why he doesn't want anyone to know."
"He killed someone, didn't he?" Shindong shrugged as Heechul frowned at him. "It's not hard to work out."
"But it's easy to see that he didn't mean to do it," said Eunhyuk. There was hopeful encouragement in his voice. Heechul stood up.
"I've got to go to the classroom," he said, and he was even avoiding looking at Siwon. "I've got some work to do."
"I'll come with you," said Siwon.
"No," said Heechul. "It's okay, Siwon." He stood up and too left the room, turning left out of the doors rather than right like Hankyung.
There was silence for few moments, until Sungmin said, "Well, what do you think?"
"It's all really weird," said Donghae. "Don't you think?"
"Why would he tell Heechul-hyung and no one else?" asked Siwon.
"Heechul probably just bugged him about it until he confessed," said Yehsung with an uneasy grin.
"I don't think it's as obvious as that," said Eeteuk. "Hankyung never struck me as the type to talk easily; he's been here for two weeks and he's barely spoken about his past at all. Why would he suddenly spill all to Heechul?"
"I have a theory," said Sungmin brightly.
"I agree with this theory," said Zhou Mi with a happy smile.
"They don't like each other," said Kyuhyun.
"They've only know each other two weeks," said Kangin, exasperated.
"So?" Sungmin looked unimpressed with this counter-logic. "That's plenty of time."
"I think Hankyung just had to tell someone," said Ryeowook quietly.
"You're probably right," said Eeteuk sadly.
"I wonder what happened," said Yehsung musingly.
"No doubt we'll find out sooner rather than later," said Eunhyuk.
Hankyung sat on his bed, staring aimlessly out of the window. The bell for lessons had rung over fifteen minutes ago, but no one had yet appeared in the room: Siwon apparently had all he needed. Hankyung knew that he needed to move, knew that at this rate, he would be late, but he couldn't. He didn't feel physically capable of it.
The day before had rocked everything. Like Heechul had said, Hankyung had been getting better. He had still been quiet, still more willing to let others talk around him than talk himself, but he had least been there, had at least been listening. Now, there had been another shift.
This time, he just felt sick. He felt tired. He was tired of the guilty feelings, the nightmares, the constant feel of leather against his fingers. He was sick of it all, of all the things that his power entailed. Sometimes, he wished his powers worked on him: he could just press his fingers to his forehead, and it would all be over.
Slowly, he stood up and left the room, leaving his jacket on the bed, his school bag on the floor. He walked through the dorm building, empty by this point: when he went out the front doors, the final bell rang overhead. It seemed to be a note of finality for him.
Instead of heading over the grounds towards the school, he kept close to the walls of the dorm building, turning the corner and going to the back of the building. From there he continued on, walking down towards the forest that lay at the base of the slope, pushing through the trees until he came out at the lake at the very back of the school grounds. He stood, and then he walked forward and sat down at the edge of the water.
By second lesson, there was a definite sense of unease among his friends. Heechul was staring out of the window, as if by looking hard enough Hankyung would appear: Kangin and Yehsung were doing exactly the same thing with the door. Even Eeteuk kept glancing at the door, a frown on his face; he almost missed the teacher calling on him for an answer. By the time lunch swung around, he was actually feeling quite frantic.
"Quick," he said, the second they were out of the classroom. "Kangin, I give you permission to transform, run to the dorms and see if he's there."
"He's probably just not feeling well," said Kangin, though he didn't seem too certain. Donghae's class suddenly arrived then, and they noticed someone missing from their number immediately.
"Where's Hankyung?" Donghae asked, frowning.
"We have no idea," admitted Yehsung. "He never turned up for lessons."
"Don't worry," said Eeteuk hastily. "We're sure he's fine, we just need to--"
"Want me to teleport to the dorms and see if he's there?" Sungmin offered, interrupting Eeteuk. Eeteuk paused, and then nodded, biting his bottom lip. Sungmin flickered out of view, and then, a minute later, re-appeared, face rather white. "He's not there," he said.
"Right," said Eeteuk, taking control of the situation. "Zhou Mi, can you--?"
Zhou Mi nodded and closed his eyes. While he normally could catch bits and pieces of emotions or thoughts, it took a lot of concentration to be able to tap into what he actually wanted to get. He was so focused on finding Hankyung somehow that he didn't notice when Kyuhyun came up.
"Hey," he said, and then frowned. "What--?"
"Quiet," ordered Eeteuk, putting a finger to his lips. "We're trying to find Hankyung."
"Hyung is missing?" Siwon had caught the last bit when he arrived with Henry and Ryeowook. "What, where could he have gone?"
"That's what we're trying to find out," said Heechul. "Be quiet, Seasoning is thinking."
Zhou Mi opened his eyes then, frowning both in confusion and pain; he put his palm against his forehead. "I can't -- he's quite far away but still in the school grounds, I think. He's deeply unhappy." He paused and looked at Eeteuk, ignoring the hand Kyuhyun put on his shoulder, this striking as odd and significant. "I'm worried, hyung," he said.
"I," said Henry, and then faltered as everyone looked at him. "Black," he tried, his Korean hesitent. "Um, spots. All over."
They understood suddenly: Henry was telling them that Hankyung's aura had black spots all over it. Black, the colour of deep depression. "We have to find him," said Eeteuk desperately.
Hankyung was standing on the edge of the pier when they eventually found him. Heechul, Siwon and Zhou Mi suddenly came through the forest behind him, Siwon holding a large branch that he had apparently snapped off a tree somewhere in his haste. "Hyung!" he shouted, his voice carrying over to Hankyung, who turned to look at him.
"You fucker!" Heechul yelled, almost falling on a rock leading up to the pier and only staying upright because Zhou Mi caught him -- Siwon looked like he wanted to, but stopped himself in case he hurt him. Heechul threw Zhou Mi off. "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
Hankyung was silent, just staring at them. "Hyung, don't kill yourself!" Siwon shouted.
"I'm not," said Hankyung finally, looking at them like they were crazy. "I'm not, of course I'm not." He took a step back from the edge of the pier. "I was just--"
"Don't lie," said Heechul sharply, standing at the other end of the pier. "Zhou Mi knows what you're thinking, after all."
"I wasn't going to kill myself," said Hankyung. "I was -- it's --" He sighed, heavily. "You don't understand," he said.
"You explained it all to me last night!" Heechul sounded annoyed.
"But I killed her," said Hankyung. "I have to live with that."
"It was a fucking accident!" Heechul was definitely annoyed now: he had both arms folded over his chest. "You couldn't control it, you only have to live with it because you keep blaming yourself."
"I can't--" whispered Hankyung, but Heechul cut across him, possibly not even hearing him.
"Get the fuck over it!" he screamed. "Is killing yourself going to change anything? Is it going to bring her back? No, of course not, you complete idiot. All it's going to do is hurt a lot more people."
"I wasn't going to kill myself," said Hankyung, his eyebrow twitching in anger.
"You were standing at the edge of the water," Heechul pointed out. "And Seasoning said you were thinking of death."
"Well, of course I was," retorted Hankyung. "I was thinking of my sister, wasn't I? Zhou Mi didn't pick up on that."
"I only got a vague idea," admitted Zhou Mi.
"Well, why are you standing all the way out there?" Heechul asked, looking sure of himself. Hankyung blinked at him.
"I was just looking at the water," he said. "It's strange, being among nature. I'm not used to it."
Heechul's facial expression changed immediately; suddenly he looked completely pissed, and something hit Hankyung hard on the back of the head. He almost fell into the water from shock, and turned to see a large branch lying on the floor behind him. "What the hell?" he yelled, rubbing his head. "Stop hitting me with stuff!"
"Stop being such an emo dick!" Heechul yelled back. "I don't have the time to play your babysitter all the time, okay? You're going to make us all late for lessons at this rate. And we haven't eaten yet."
"I don't understand why you all came looking for me," said Hankyung, starting back towards them.
"We were worried about you, hyung," said Siwon. "We didn't know what you would do."
"You've got to think about other people, idiot," said Heechul. "You might have lived a selfish life before but now you have people who actually like you, though god only knows why, they're going to worry." He glared at Hankyung, and once Hankyung had reached him, he actually clenched his fist and punched Hankyung in the jaw. Hankyung staggered back, more from shock than anything else. "Think about it, you idiot," Heechul hissed, then he turned and stalked away.
Are you okay? Zhou Mi asked, sounding worried. Hankyung, with his hand pressed to his jaw, nodded slowly. Then, in silence, he followed them back through the forest, Siwon forcing his way through, Heechul keeping up an annoyed, scornful air. Once through the trees, Sungmin immediately appeared in front of them. "Hey, you're right," he said, and then he disappeared. Hankyung looked at the others like they maybe knew -- Siwon blinked back at him. Zhou Mi smiled a little.
"I told him where we were," he said, and sure enough, a second later, there was a shout and suddenly everyone was running down over the lawn towards him, their faces all mixtures of worry, anger and relief. Eeteuk, on reaching him, practically threw himself at Hankyung, hugging him tightly and patting him on the head for some reason.
"Oh thank god!" he said loudly, almost babbling. "Zhou Mi said you were unhappy and Henry said you were depressed and we were so worried, we didn't know what you'd do!"
"I'm fine," said Hankyung, laughingly exasperated. "Seriously, I just -- I wanted some time to think by myself, I feel fine, I--"
"Liar," said Henry loudly in Korean, looking angry, and then he switched to Chinese. "I can see your aura, you're not fine."
"My aura?" Hankyung blinked at him in confusion. "What's that?"
"Your emotions," said Henry, who did seem very annoyed. "Yours are always really dull and dark, and there are all these grey blotches all over it all the time. I don't like to look at it."
"I don't understand," said Hankyung slowly.
"Henry sees emotions," explained Zhou Mi. "He sees them as a sort of haze around people, different colours representing certain emotions. He can also control the emotions of non-mutants to some extent, he's handy in tricky confrontational situations." Zhou Mi grinned; he found it impossible to be upset or worried about anything for more than ten minutes.
"And mine is--?"
"Black," said Henry with a nod. "Ge, you're like a walking rain cloud."
"Okay," interrupted Heechul. "That's enough Chinese, someone tell me what's going on."
"Black," said Henry in Korean.
"I'm a walking rain cloud, apparently," said Hankyung, nonplussed.
"I'll agree to that," said Heechul.
"Were you--" Ryeowook looked small and rather frightened. "Zhou Mi said that you were -- did you really want to kill yourself?"
"No," said Hankyung, and then sighed. "I've thought about it before though. Everything would be a lot easier if I wasn't around, for my family."
"You're not supposed to make life easy for your family," said Yehsung, sounding like he was trying to bolster the situation up a little -- and knowing that he was failing. "I think I aged my mother by fifteen years since I hit my teens."
"Which is kind of ironic, if you think about it," said Kyuhyun with a grin.
"So?" Eeteuk was looking at him intently. "Are you going to tell us why you've thought about killing yourself? Or why you needed to be alone at the edge of a very deep lake?"
Hankyung was surprised to find that he was squirming a little in embarrassment: it really was like being on the recieving end of an interrogation by a disapproving mother. Eeteuk looked soft and may have been kind of fragile, but he had steel running through his mind, and the more Hankyung tried to avoid looking at him, the more Eeteuk tried to catch his eyes. In the end, Hankyung just sighed. "I still don't want to talk about it," he said.
"But you've told Heechul," Kangin pointed out. Hankyung slid his gaze sideways to give Heechul a Look.
"You told?" he asked, frowning.
"They asked," said Heechul, as if this excused him. "But I never told them what, I just told them that I knew."
Hankyung closed his eyes and sighed. "I don't feel ready for everyone to know," he said. "I might do, at some point, but right now, I just can't."
"We'll wait," said Eeteuk. "I know that some day, you'll trust us enough. We want to be your friends, Hankyung. You need to talk to us, don't go to extreme lengths if it all gets too much for you."
"We all know how hard it is," said Shindong. "Coming to this school is a culture shock in itself, but you've come from a different country on top of that. And then there's whatever makes you so unhappy."
"We're here to help, hyung," said Siwon eagerly.
"T-than--" Hankyung broke off as Kibum suddenly appeared next to Donghae; Hankyung hadn't been aware that he'd even been present. He was corpreal for about five seconds -- Hankyung had never seen him look so happy, or emotional at all -- and then he disappeared again.
"Bugger," he said, and Donghae reached out and took hold of something invisible, presumably Kibum's hand, and seemed to squeeze lightly. "God, this sucks."
"Well, that's the moment ruined," said Heechul.
"What's wrong?" asked Hankyung, confused.
"First years have control first thing in the morning," said Siwon. "Something went wrong and now Kibum keeps flickering in and out, he's got no control over it."
"I like having control over it," said Kibum's voice. "I just know I'm going to reappear at the worst time, like when I'm -- when I'm spying in the girl's bathroom or something." His voice had taken on a mischievious tone.
"Hey!" said Donghae, and made to hit Kibum on the shoulder. Unforunately, because Kibum was invisible, he seemed to miss, and Kibum shouted out.
"Hyung, that was my fucking head," he said, and then there was a brief pause and Donghae's hand fell to his side.
"Kibummie," Donghae wailed, making grabbing movements in the air as if that was going to help him locate someone he couldn't see. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it!"
There was no reply from Kibum; they soon found that that was because he'd started on his way back up to the school, as he flickered back into view once near the fountain. Donghae took off after him at a run, normal human speed, but didn't seem to catch up with him before entering the school building, but no one had any idea because Kibum was invisible. The rest started back a lot slower, aware that they were a little late.
They were yelled at when they got back to lessons, Eeteuk and Hankyung in particular because Eeteuk was head boy and "should know better", and Hankyung because he'd missed the morning's lessons. Professor Park, the one who had made Hankyung show his power in that first lesson, seemed unimpressed by Eeteuk's excuse that Hankyung hadn't been feeling well that morning and they'd gone to check on him (which was true, in a manner of speaking). Unlike the casual, obviously fake dislike he displayed towards Hyori, Hankyung honestly didn't like Professor Park, who taught the Korean language class in addition to being their form teacher, and who didn't seem to like him back because he was foreign and therefore didn't have a perfect grasp of the Korean alphabet yet -- he'd learnt the spoken form mostly.
She kept an icy front towards the five of them for the remainder of her lesson -- Heechul stuck his middle finger up at her back when she left -- but Hankyung barely even noticed. He felt strangely on edge, and the feeling stuck to him, brewing in his stomach, until he got to control lessons and realised what it was. It was anticipation of something not good. Hyori.
"How are you?" Hyori asked, fixing him with a steady stare. Hankyung shrugged.
"Fine," he muttered.
"No, he isn't," said Heechul helpfully on his way past. Kangin nodded his agreement. They were on their way to the corner of the hall, where Heechul had to stop Kangin from catching a ball while he transformed into different animals in order to catch it. They were testing to see how fast Heechul's mental reflexes were, and whether only being able to transform into rather large animals hindered Kangin's movement in any way. Hyori, based on their evidence, stared at Hankyung again.
"Are you still hung up after yesterday?" she asked.
"No," said Hankyung, and then, "Yes. I don't know. I feel like I should be hung up on this, to be honest."
"Probably," said Hyori. "I got you another flower. Don't kill it."
"I don't understand you," Hankyung muttered as he sat down in front of a pretty flowering plant, with large yellow buds just starting to open. Half an hour later, when Hyori came over, the plant was pathetically hanging over the side of the pot, dead.
"Ah well," she said. "We'll get it soon."
"It just happens so fast!" said Hankyung, in despair. "It's like smoke or something, but it moves so fast that I can't control it."
"You will do, soon," said Hyori.
Another person Hankyung didn't understand was Heechul, who was back to being friendly with him, but hadn't mentioned the fact that he'd punched him in the face earlier in the day. In fact, Heechul was being downright pleasant. "I don't understand you," Hankyung told him at dinner, causing a slight amount of laughter.
"Good," said Heechul, looking strangely proud of this fact. "You're not supposed to."
"Hyung, you're such a girl," said Kangin.
Heechul looked like he wanted to retaliate to that, but Siwon said, uncertain, "Hyung, I understand you."
"No you don't," Heechul told him.
"Okay," said Siwon, and then passed Heechul a plate piled with pieces of meat, which apparently was exactly what Heechul wanted. He took a couple of pieces and Siwon put the plate back.
"Siwon really does know you very well," said Sungmin.
"Shut up, no he doesn't," said Heechul.
"I don't, not really," said Siwon, loyally.
"Forget Hankyung, maybe you should go out together," said Sungmin, and he slid his gaze along to Hankyung to see his reaction.
"What do I have to do with anything?" Hankyung asked, frowning in confusion.
"No!" said Siwon, voice full of horror as he stared at Sungmin. "No, no, I don't like Heechul-hyung in that way, I -- I don't--"
"Siwon," said Heechul calmly, though he was glaring at Sungmin with not an insignificant amount of venom, probably nothing to do with Hankyung and a lot to do with Siwon. "Calm down, he's joking." Siwon glanced at him and then nodded, biting his bottom lip. He sat back. Sungmin grinned at him, cheerful and apparently not noticing that Heechul was giving him death glares.
"Just joking, Siwonnie," he said. "We know that you don't like each other that way."
"I don't," said Siwon emphatically, and it was tragically obvious to everyone other than Sungmin exactly what he was getting at.
"And now if we could only get Heechul to admit to what we already know," said Sungmin.
"No," said Heechul. "Two weeks, Sungmin. And he's a fucker."
"And yet you still--"
"You want to--"
"Oh my god, I will--"
"Just admit it!"
"Fine!" said Heechul, standing up and slamming his hands down on the table. Everyone apart from Sungmin jumped in shock. "Fine, so I do! I don't see what it's got to do with you, because it doesn't make a difference, okay? It doesn't change anything, it's not going to make me act any different, and I'm certainly not going to do anything that you think is a good idea." Then he turned and poked his finger at Hankyung. "This is all your fault," he announced, and then he turned and made to storm out of the dining hall.
"Eh?" said Hankyung.
"I can help you if you want!" Sungmin called. Heechul whirled around, looking strangely honestly furious.
"No!" he screamed back. "I'm not taking advice off someone who can't give up on a guy that they've got no chance with and who can't even notice what's right in front of them, in the form of a tall, dark and handsome guy, which is supposedly what you go for!" And then he finally made his grand exit.
Sungmin was too busy looking at Kyuhyun nervously -- who was struggling to hold his laughter back and hadn't noticed Sungmin looking at him -- to notice that Siwon looked horrified. He opened his mouth, closed it, and then Sungmin disappeared. Siwon made to hit his head off the table in frustration and then remembered that he'd end up breaking the table in half if he did so.
"Yay," said Zhou Mi happily. "This is so much fun, it's like a drama in real life."
"You have no sense of what's appropriate, do you?" Kyuhyun sounded too amused by everything for there to be any real bite in his voice. Zhou Mi shook his head happily. Kyuhyun grinned at him, and Hankyung suddenly felt very sorry for Sungmin, and by extension, for Siwon. He'd never been in love before, never even crushed on someone before -- you had to actually meet people for that -- so he couldn't understand that, but he could at least understand the sadness that came from rejection.
"Hey," said Sungmin thoughtfully the next morning at breakfast, when Hankyung had yet to come down, Heechul was still angry at him and so was 'sulking', as Sungmin had put it, in the room, Siwon was keeping him company, and Eeteuk had had to leave early. "I was thinking. I know Heechul said that we shouldn't, but I'm dying of curiousity about whatever Hankyung did."
Donghae looked unsure. "I am, but you heard Heechul-hyung."
"He said that we shouldn't," Sungmin pointed out. "He never said we couldn't."
"I don't think we should," said Ryeowook solemnly.
Sungmin sighed. "I know you probably think I'm just being a gossip and trying to dig something up, but I'm not," he said seriously, laying his utensils down. "I feel like if we don't know what Hankyung did, we can't help him. And we do want to help him, don't we?"
"Yeah," said Eunhyuk softly. "Yeah, we do."
"I'm just not happy with the idea of poking our noses into places where they aren't wanted," said Ryeowook, who did sound unhappy.
"We aren't going to talk to Hankyung about it," said Sungmin. "It's just so we know which subjects to avoid."
"Fine," said Donghae. "I'm in. I don't want a repeat of yesterday." He shivered. "It was scary."
As the others all agreed to try their best, Zhou Mi stayed silent. He knew that he should warn Hankyung, but he didn't feel like it was ever going to amount to anything. Hankyung's secret -- well, maybe having the others know his secret wouldn't be so bad. He was optimistic like that, and after all, he just wanted Hankyung to get better. It was rather depressing for Zhou Mi himself to hear the despair in Hankyung's thoughts. If the others could help him where Zhou Mi felt he had failed, then who was he to stop them?