Fandom: Super Junior (AU, !mutant)
Pairing: central Hankyung/Heechul, Siwon/Sungmin, Kyuhyun/Zhou Mi, Kibum/Donghae, Yehsung/Ryeowook, Kangin/Eeteuk
Word count: 4,716
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: sobs I wrote some of chapter 10 today and then got home and realised that I'd already written it and just hadn't saved it to the pen drive. That's the kind of time wasting nightmares are made of.
lol Hankyung has swine flu. (not really jk)
They were eating breakfast when Zhou Mi came running into the hall, the widest grin any of them had ever seen on his face; it looked a little like his face was going to split in half. Then he practically threw himself at Kyuhyun, hugging him so hard that Kyuhyun nearly toppled off his seat, taking the two of them to the floor -- luckily, he caught himself, and just hit Zhou Mi on the back in retaliation. "What the hell?" he asked. "What's wrong with you, you idiot?"
Zhou Mi pulled back, still grinning, though his eyes seemed too bright, like he was struggling to hold back tears. "They found one," he said.
"Found one what?" Everyone was staring in confusion now.
"A donor," said Zhou Mi, a small amount of hysterical laughter in his voice. "A donor for my sister! She's going to be fine, she's going to -- get better!" There was a pause and then:
"That's brilliant!" said Kyuhyun, and everyone was crowding around to offer their congratulations, relief washing over them; even if they hadn't really been aware of it, his sister's fate had been hanging over their heads, no one wanting to bring up what they thought would happen to her, none of them strong enough to confront what they had somehow seen as Zhou Mi's own delusions. "I guess you really are psychic," said Kyuhyun with a grin, and Zhou Mi laughed happily.
I told you so, he said to Hankyung, who nodded, a slight smile on his face. "She might even be strong enough to come for family day," said Zhou Mi brightly, and that wiped the smile off Hankyung's face.
"Family day?" he asked, but it went unheard.
"I wouldn't get too confident so soon," said Kyuhyun. "She'll still be weak, and family day is only in a month."
"What's family day?" asked Hankyung desperately.
"I'd like to see her still," said Zhou Mi. "Last time, she was -- she wasn't well."
"You'll be able to visit her in the holidays," said Eeteuk comfortingly. "That's only a few months more and she should be recovering well by then."
"Guys," said Hankyung loudly. "What's family day?"
"Family day?" Eeteuk blinked at him. "Don't you know about that?"
"I have no idea what it is," said Hankyung, but he knew he didn't like the sound of it.
"It's when our families come to visit us for a weekend to see how we're getting on at school," said Eeteuk.
"Even though it's called 'day'," added Yehsung.
"It happens twice a year, the first one of this year is in exactly a month."
"Oh," said Hankyung, heart sinking.
"It's usually fun, they stay in the school and we get to go into town with them."
"I'm not sure my parents can afford to fly over," said Hankyung uneasily.
"The school pays for travel," said Heechul bluntly. Hankyung looked up to see Heechul giving him a searching look, and he flushed a little and looked away.
"They own a dumpling shop," he muttered. "Not sure they'll be able to leave it for a whole weekend."
"Huh," said Heechul, and seemed to lose interest.
"Oh, okay," said Eeteuk, blinking, clearly not really getting it but deciding to just leave it. Hankyung poked miserably at his food for the meal, the prospect of something like a family day playing heavy on his mind. It was all very well and good for the others around him, who would no doubt be greeted happily by their parents, whom they hadn't seen for a few months. His own family reunion would not be nearly so joyous. A slight amount of resentment started to build in his stomach, which he fought hard against and finally managed to box down; he knew that he could not blame them for his misfortune. By the time they were walking across to class, he'd decided to just accidently-on-purpose forget about family day, in the hope that it got too close to be able to arrange a flight for his parents.
In class, his bad mood only worsened. Professor Park seemed to have it in for him today, calling on him for all the answers. Even a drawing that Heechul covertly passed as the teacher wrote on the board of her being eaten by crocodiles didn't do much to improve how Hankyung was feeling.
"Hankyung," said Professor Park, and Hankyung looked up at her, full of trepidation. "What is the third person plural subjunctive of this word?" And she wrote some symbols on the board that Hankyung could read the pronunciation of but not understand the meaning of. Hankyung frowned at her.
"Um," he said. "I'm sorry, I don't know."
"My god, you really are an idiot." Professor Park seemed to take great pleasure in saying so, and Hankyung turned a deep red and looked down at his textbook, feeling more miserable than he had in quite some time.
"Professor?" Eeteuk spoke up, polite but with an undercurrent of steel in his voice. "There isn't a third person plural subjunctive of that word."
"I know that," said Professor Park. "That's obvious, he should have known that."
"You stupid woman!" exploded Heechul, banging his pen down on his table. "He's Chinese, how the hell is he even supposed to know that?"
"Detention, Heechul-shi," snapped Professor Park.
"My god, you really are an idiot," said Kangin and Yehsung simultaneously, in imitation of Professor Park. She glared at them.
"Both of you, detention also," she said in a low, angry voice. "I have never been so offended by a class before. Be glad I'm not taking this up with the Head teacher."
"I'd like to see you try," muttered Heechul, loudly enough that everyone could hear but quietly enough that Professor Park could do nothing about it. The remaining half hour of the lesson was spent in a sullen silence, and the bell for lunch was accompanied by a sigh of relief, as Professor Park swept angrily out of the room. "Stupid bitch," Heechul said after she had left.
"Sorry," said Hankyung softly as they left the classroom for the dining hall on the first floor.
"It's not your fault," said Eeteuk. "She was being ridiculously hard on you."
"I don't understand what she could possibly have against you, though," said Yehsung. "You barely even make yourself known in lessons, she couldn't possibly be angry at you for something."
"She's sexually repressed in some way," said Heechul, in a tone of great knowledge. "Or, you know, this is just her usual cheerful self. I don't even understand why she works at this school."
"I'm sure she has her reasons," said Eeteuk, though he didn't sound sure.
"She doesn't have mutant powers," said Heechul to Hankyung. "She's a perfectly normal human, who somehow ended up here. Rumour has it that she didn't realise it was a mutant school when she applied, and then it was too late. You get the feeling that she doesn't even like mutants."
"Yes, well," said Eeteuk. "She's not the only one, is she?"
There was something ominous in the way he said this that made the others fall silently uneasingly, though Hankyung didn't really understand why. It wasn't until they joined the others in the dining hall that anyone said anything else.
"I'll be late tonight," said Heechul, slipping into a seat next to Siwon and helping himself to some food. "I've got detention after control lessons." He sounded quite proud.
"So have I," said Kangin, next to Kibum.
"Me too," said Yehsung cheerfully, sitting next to Ryeowook, who looked disappointed.
"Hyung," he said softly.
"What did you do to get detention?" asked Siwon; he too sounded disappointed.
"Bitched Park out," said Heechul. Sungmin suddenly looked happier than he had since the news of Kyuhyun and Zhou Mi getting together had broken.
"Good," he said. "The woman is a complete monster."
"She was picking on Hankyung," said Kangin. "So we called her on it. She wasn't very happy."
"You were awfully rude," said Eeteuk doubtfully. "I don't think I'll manage to get you off detention tonight."
"I don't want you to," said Heechul. "We're like martyrs for our cause, punished for fighting against corruption in the school."
"She's always been fine with us," said Ryeowook. "Our class has never had a problem." Kyuhyun coughed and pointed to Henry, who was oblivious, clearly not really understanding any of the conversation. "Oh," said Ryeowook.
"I wish we had Henry in our class," said Shindong sadly. "It would make dealing with Park much easier."
"Sometimes her true colours show through," said Kyuhyun. "Henry can't hold it for too long."
Henry looked up then, hearing his name, glanced at them all and paused with thoughtful eyes on Hankyung. "Ge," he said cautiously. "You're -- it's all a bit--"
"Just a bad day, Henry," said Hankyung, attempting a smile. "Nothing to worry about, seriously." After looking at him carefully, Henry nodded and turned back to his meal. Hankyung wasn't hungry; he quite badly just wanted to go back to his bedroom and possibly even sleep; he felt exhausted. Unfortunately, he had to struggle through the afternoon and then control lessons, where Hyori did not care one bit about his bad mood.
"Come on," she said, putting yet another plant in front of him, his third that half hour alone. "You're close to a breakthrough."
"I'm not," said Hankyung angrily, resisting the urge to swipe the plant off the table dramatically. "I've been trying for three weeks, and I've made so little progress that I might as well had made no progress at all. I might as well just return to being a shut in and get over this stupid attempt at controlling what can't be controlled." And then he ducked, and the golf ball that Heechul had been controlling shot over his head.
"Damn it," he heard Heechul say behind him. Hankyung sat up -- and received a blow from Hyori instead.
"For god's sake!" said Hankyung, but was ignored.
"Do it," said Hyori, and walked off to scold Heechul for trying to hit Hankyung, which seemed to dissolve into a thoughtful wondering as to whether Heechul could control darts already in motion.
By the end of the lesson, he had killed seven plants, made no progress, and had a headache on top of that. The only thing he counted himself lucky on was that Eeteuk stayed behind to help Hyori tidy up, and that the others all rushed off to detention, so he was able to walk up to the school alone and in silence, being as miserable as he possibly could. He didn't meet anyone, finally got to his bedroom, and fell asleep, only waking up when the bell for dinner went.
He still felt tired, and not hungry in the slightest, but he had the feeling that the others were using meal times as check times for him -- despite his protesting, there was a definite sense of him being under constant 'suicide watch' -- and so he dragged himself out of bed, tried to sort of his hair out, and tripped down to the dining hall, where everyone else already was.
"Enjoy your nap?" asked Kyuhyun with a wry smirk as he sat down, rather heavily, next to Siwon. Siwon looked at him nervously.
"I thought I'd woken you up," he said. "I accidently pulled one of the handles off the wardrobe door when I was getting something more comfortable to change into, but you didn't even stir." It was only then that Hankyung realised he was still in his uniform, tie and everything. He noticed it with a vagueness, reached up to take his tie off, but then didn't really feel like doing anything else about it.
"You really were out for the count," said Sungmin. "Siwon asked me to check on you for him because he was scared you were dead or something."
"Yeah, I'm sure that's why he asked you," said Donghae to Eunhyuk, whispering. Sungmin didn't hear it, but Siwon did, and looked like he wanted to hit Donghae quite badly but was fearful of breaking bones if he did so.
Hankyung smothered a yawn and then shook his head as Ryeowook offered him the plate of kimchi. "I'm not feeling too hungry," he said, and rubbed his eyes. "I'm going to go back to bed, if that's okay."
Everyone nodded, and he noted absently that they all looked a little worried though he had no idea why; he was just tired, not used to the hectic schedule of school just yet. He left the dining hall, climbed the stairs to his floor and was walking along the hallway when he stopped, suddenly feeling very, very dizzy.
Heechul and Sungmin left before everyone else, neither of them really in the mood for the large group down below. Heechul had a headache after control and then detention with Park, who had made them write letters of apology, and he'd found it incredibly difficult to come across as sincere in his. Sungmin still wasn't too happy being around Kyuhyun and Zhou Mi.
"It's not that I don't feel happy for them," he explained to Heechul as they climbed the stairs. "It's just that right now, my own disappointment drowns any congratulatory feelings out."
"Seasoning thinks that you're angry with him, though," said Heechul. "He's quite, I don't know, he's upset at the thought of hurting you like that."
"I keep wanting to tell him that I'm not," said Sungmin. "Because I'm not, it's just -- it's hard."
"It should be Kyuhyun you're angry with," said Heechul with a smirk. "For being supposedly so hot that two guys like him. I personally don't see what all the fuss is about, but each to their own."
"And I personally don't see what all the fuss about the new boy is all about," said Sungmin in a sing-song voice. "But each to their own."
"Oh my god, I'm not that--" Heechul broke off as he noticed said new boy sprawled on the floor by the wall, eyes close, limbs asunder. "That's not good," he said, and Sungmin finally noticed. His face went white, and then he disappeared.
Heechul ran over to Hankyung and knelt down beside him. "Oh my god, you just have to have the spotlight," he said as he first checked for a pulse, which, luckily, there was. Hankyung's skin was hot though, he was clearly running a fever of some kind. Heechul tried slapping him but there was no response. "This is so ridiculous," he said to Hankyung's unconcious body. "You should fucking say if you're feeling unwell, you stupid, silent boy."
Sungmin came sprinting up the stairs, Siwon, Eeteuk and Kangin with him. "Oh my god," Heechul heard Eeteuk say, and he waved a hand dismissively.
"He's just unwell," he said. "He hasn't -- he's got a fever, you see."
"Sungmin, get the nurse," said Eeteuk, and Sungmin disappeared again. "Siwon, get Hankyung."
Siwon easily scooped Hankyung up, the older boy's head lolling back; it did look rather terrifying, Heechul had to admit. Siwon looked like he didn't have a clue what he was doing. "He's just ill," Heechul said forcefully.
"I know," said Eeteuk soothingly, like he was trying to comfort Heechul, who had only said it to reassure Siwon; he had to admit it had come out a little harsher than he'd expected. He wasn't worried about Hankyung at all, he wasn't, he just--
"This is what he gets for being a shut in," he said, hurrying after Siwon taking Hankyung back to his bedroom. "And I'll be sure to tell him so when he wakes up."
Which, in fact, he did. It was the first thing Hankyung heard when he woke up, Heechul's voice saying, "Oh good, there you are. This is your own fault for being a shut in."
Hankyung just groaned and shut his eyes again, a steady rhythm pounding out behind his eyes. "Am I dead?" he asked, voice so hoarse that it was barely there. That actually really, really hurt.
"No," said Heechul. "Which is a good thing, rejoice."
"I feel like I'm dying."
"You aren't," said Eeteuk's voice. Hankyung struggled to open his eyes and found that most everyone was sitting or standing in his bedroom, looking at him with expressions of varying degrees of worry. Heechul looked completely blank; Ryeowook looked like he was about to burst into tears. Eeteuk had a look of someone who was trying to not show how worried he actually was. "You just got ill, that's all."
"I...got ill?" Hankyung asked blankly. "But I never get ill."
"Yeah," said Heechul, drawing the word out. "Because you never used to go outside. Now you're at a school, and this place is full of nasty things, like the common cold, which you seem to have contracted. Only you aren't happy being normal, and so it turned into flu."
"People die from that," said Hankyung. "I know, I read about it."
"For god's sake," said Kangin. "You aren't dying."
"Ow," said Zhou Mi, and winced. "Your head hurts to be in," he said sheepishly. Kyuhyun nudged him with his shoulder.
"Don't go in his head," he said. "We need some sort of a muzzle for your mind."
"But Kui Xian!" said Zhou Mi, pouting.
"Shut up," said Kyuhyun.
Hankyung lay still. Even though they told him that he wasn't dying, he still felt like he was. His body was heavy, aching, in agony. "Urgh," he said after trying to lift his arm, and then fell still, vowing to never move again. He shut his eyes, the light making them sting. "I think he's gone to sleep again," said Donghae.
"No, I haven't," said Hankyung quietly.
"We'll let you sleep," said Eeteuk soothingly, and then there was five minutes of the sounds of people leaving: some, like Donghae and Zhou Mi, didn't want to, and let Eeteuk know rather loudly, but eventually there was silence and Hankyung thought he was finally alone. He was wrong.
"You know you collapsed?" said Heechul. "It would have been kind of awesome if it wasn't so pathetic."
"Hyung," said Siwon wearily.
Hankyung opened his eyes again and tried to struggle upright, his body screaming in protest. Siwon eventually came and helped him, and once he was more or less sitting up, lying bonelessly against the pillow, he looked around at who was still left in the room. Heechul was rolling his eyes at him, no doubt taking his inability to get upright by himself as a sign that he was being dramatic when really he just could barely move. Siwon looked worried, hovering by the side of the bed in case he could possibly be of some more help. Sungmin was sitting in the alcove by the window, staring sadly out of the window at the rain. Hankyung wanted to point out that Sungmin was being much more melodramatic than he was, but couldn't quite find the strength.
"You were out for almost two days," said Siwon. "The doctor said that you were still just recovering but we were all started to get worried."
"I wasn't," said Heechul haughtily. "Just for the record."
"Sorry," said Hankyung, speaking softer as his throat ached and his eyes grew heavier.
"It's not your fault," said Siwon in surprise. "Everyone gets ill sometimes."
There was a pause. "I think he's actually asleep this time," said Heechul, and there was no denial from Hankyung this time. Heechul sighed, and then turned to Sungmin. "For God's sake," he said. "I've only just managed to get him to stop being emo, don't tell me you're starting up now."
"Wah," said Sungmin, and tried to smile but it was weak.
The next time Hankyung woke up, Henry was the only other person in the room; Hankyung had no idea about how long he had slept for, but he had a definite sense that surely people should be in class. "Isn't the sick bay supposed to be quarantined?" he asked, and Henry looked up joyfully from his book.
"You're awake!" he said, Chinese as usual. "And yes, it is -- the doctor put a--" he stopped and thought for a minute. "Bubble? Is that how you say it? A bubble around the bed."
"Oh," said Hankyung, not really understanding. His throat at least felt a little better, and his limbs were not nearly so heavy. "What time is it?"
"Seven o'clock," said Henry. "Evening. You were asleep for another day."
"I think I should get these days back," said Hankyung, annoyed. It wasn't half so hard to pull himself upright this time. Henry closed his book and pulled his chair closer to the bed.
"I'm sorry," he said anxiously. "I should have realised that you were ill, it was just all a bit confusing. I was so focused on the large grey bits that I didn't pay attention to the brown creeping in around the edges."
"I did feel really depressed that day," said Hankyung softly. "I'm not sure how much of it was due to the illness."
"A lot of it, I bet," said Henry. "You really did seem to be quite happy -- happier than you had been -- which is why the grey seemed so strange to me."
"Henry," said Hankyung impulsively. "Will your parents be coming for Family Day?"
Henry frowned a little at the surprise question, before finally making sense of it. "Yeah," he said, smiling happily. "I don't get to go home for most of the holidays so they always come see me for Family Day."
"Oh," said Hankyung.
The door swung open, Heechul stepping through. "Henry, you can go get dinner now," he said, and then finally looked up. "Oh, you're awake. Ew, now I have to actually talk to him."
"We're taking it in turns to sit with you," explained Henry brightly.
"Argh," said Hankyung in Chinese. "Why would you torture me with him, isn't being ill enough?"
Henry grinned, and reached out and seemed to swirl his finger in something in the air around Hankyung, who vaguely wondered what had happened to the bubble around the bed. "Pink," said Henry.
"Go away," said Hankyung. "Get lost, I don't want to talk to you."
Henry laughed and then left, saying a cheerful, albeit highly accented goodbye to Heechul as he went. Heechul stared after him and then turned to Hankyung. "What was that about?" he asked.
"Nothing," said Hankyung. Heechul twisted his mouth, clearly knowing that it was something, but chose not to say anything for once. He took the seat that Henry had vacated and looked at Hankyung scrutinisingly. "What?" asked Hankyung.
"Do you feel any better?" Heechul asked, suddenly quite serious. "I mean, you did collapse, so we all sort of knew it was serious, but you were -- you were asleep for such a long time."
"I feel a lot better," Hankyung said, unsure of what to make of the atmosphere. "Why didn't Hyori just cure me?" he asked, trying to make a joke. Heechul did actually smile faintly.
"She doesn't like hopeless cases like yours," he said, and then; "No, she doesn't like healing students of diseases and anything non life-threatening. It makes sense: if she just keeps healing us, we won't build up any sort of resistance of our own." There was a pause. "We did ask though," he added.
"I really hate that woman," said Hankyung.
"No, you don't," said Heechul, and he stood up and went over to the window. "You actually really, really like her, don't you?"
"Well, yeah," said Hankyung, not too sure where this was going. "I mean, compared to Park, Hyori's like my most favourite person in the whole world."
"Park was pissed that you weren't in," said Heechul, turning around and smirking at him. "I think she's taken it as a personal insult, I'd be prepared for harsh words when you return."
Hankyung was silent. The incident with Park seemed so long ago -- well, he supposed it had been three days. It seemed vague and dreamlike; he remembered how weird he had felt that day, how he had put it down to those dark feelings resurfacing again, when really, it had been the start of some sort of illness. Strange, really, how he couldn't tell the difference. Then, suddenly, he remembered something.
"Heechul?" he said softly, and Heechul sat back down and looked at him curiously. "You know when we were talking about Park and how she didn't seem to like mutants? Eeteuk said something about her not being the only one. What did he mean?"
"You don't know?" said Heechul, and then made a noise of understanding. "Oh, I keep forgetting you never went out. I have never met someone so ignorant."
"Bring Henry back, please," said Hankyung, and Heechul glared at him, before settling back and sighing.
"There's this group," he said. "Extremists, I guess you could call them. Fuckers, I prefer to say, but whatever name you give them, they're idiotic, prejudiced bastards. They hate mutants. They think that we should be -- tagged, in some way. Like we're out of control animals." He crossed one leg over the other, making a show of how calm he was being. "The Government ignores them, of course. Some of the Government are mutants, we're not animals or freaks." Here he looked pointedly at Hankyung, who squirmed inside; Heechul clearly remembered Hankyung calling himself a freak that one time. "We're just, different, I guess."
"If the Government ignores them, what's the problem?"
"They've begun to take matters into their own hands," said Heechul, voice getting softer. "The way the ecomony is now, they place the blame on us, and they've begun to gain some support. There have been -- incidents. It seems like one of their supporters killed a couple of mutants in Seoul. It's all getting a bit intense. A few kids here, they're starting to get scared."
"Are you scared?"
Heechul shook his head slowly. "I'm not scared inside the school. Outside the school, even just in the town, there's always this -- it's something in the back of my mind, like I know that we could be at risk. If they're going to attack anyone, we're almost easy targets. We're nothing more than kids, really, and we're still learning to control our powers. We haven't yet grown into the ones that they're scared of -- because that's why they hate us, because they fear us -- and so they will probably attack us, if no one else."
"I didn't think going into town could be so dangerous," said Hankyung with a frown. "I mean, they just let us go, didn't they?"
"You probably didn't notice," said Heechul, and there was nothing of the usual scorn in his voice at Hankyung not noticing things. "But the first years are only allowed into the town if they go with a third year student. They also need to get permission from a teacher. The first years in our group, they can all pretty much get permission whenever they like, thanks to Eeteuk, and you saw how Siwon came with me, Henry went with Eeteuk, and Kibum went with Yehsung. Of course, Kyuhyun doesn't pay attention to the rule, but then he's got almost perfect control, he doesn't need someone to fight for him."
"Siwon doesn't need anyone to fight for him, either," said Hankyung, attempting a joke but it was more of a mumble as he lay back, the room suddenly beginning to spin, head aching. The next bit was sincere though. "And neither do you, I don't think."
"You're falling asleep," noted Heechul in a wry tone. Hankyung mumbled something under his breath, already half gone. Then he opened his eyes for a second and squinted at Heechul.
"You'll still be here, won't you?" he asked, and then he was asleep, his illness claiming him once again. Heechul sighed in a put upon kind of way.
"Yeah," he said, to the room at large as he reached into a drawer on the bed side table and pulled out the book he had been reading during his turn to wait for Hankyung to wake up, his turn being after every other person, self inflicted. "I'll still be here."