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Super Junior {Hankyung/Heechul ; fingertips (11/23)}

Title: fingertips (11/23)
Fandom: Super Junior (AU, !mutant)
Pairing: central Hankyung/Heechul, Siwon/Sungmin, Kyuhyun/Zhou Mi, Kibum/Donghae, Yehsung/Ryeowook, Kangin/Eeteuk
Word count: 4,828
Rating: PG-13
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: When I checked the word count on this chapter, it was only 3300 words, so what you're getting here is chapter 11 and what I'd had written of chapter 12, and then something extra I'd written, sigh. You know, I'm sure all my loose threads will get tied up eventually. I promise that.

fingertips (11/23)

The next night was somber in mood. The excitement of the weekend had passed and now all that was left was the come down, and even though Hankyung had had no family come visit him, he too was affected by the mood. Everyone was showing their sadness in different ways. Heechul, in his typical fashion, was snapping at everything and everyone, even Hankyung, even Siwon, who had shrugged and just accepted it. Hankyung just tried to do very little that wouldn't annoy Heechul. Yehsung and Kangin kept arguing over little stuff, which meant Eeteuk kept yelling. Ryeowook looked close to tears each time it happened.

Donghae, after his mother and brother had left, hadn't joined them, and seemed to just disappear. Strangely, no one went looking for him, like they had for Hankyung, but Hankyung just assumed they knew where Donghae had gone. When he finally turned up, it was apparent that he had been crying; he looked like Hankyung thought he must have looked the day before by the river. No one said a word about it. Instead, Eunhyuk invited him to play a game with him, something Donghae declined. Kibum, who had his laptop on his knees, slowly laid it aside and let Donghae fold into him, head against his shoulder.

Any strength that Donghae had told himself to have before he entered the room broke when Kibum put his arms around him. His shoulders shook, his breathing ragged, and Kibum murmured into his ear, too quiet to hear. Silence filled the room -- shocked, in Hankyung's case -- before the noise started up again, this time with an effort to be cheerful and not as conflicting as before. All eyes were averted as Kibum sat back and pulled Donghae closer to him, Donghae's legs slung over his lap. Hankyung stood up and went to the alcove that Heechul was sitting at. "What was that about?" he asked, sitting down next to him. Heechul fairly buried into his side; his hands were freezing.

"Donghae's dad died two years ago," Heechul explained, mouth close to his ear so that Donghae couldn't overhear. "Family Day is hard for him because he misses his father all the more, as his absence is more obvious. He feels guilty for being here and not with his mother, but she's the one who insists he stays."

"I never knew," whispered Hankyung. Donghae had always seemed so bright and almost childish; he had had no idea he'd been carrying this with him.

"No," said Heechul. "Well, he doesn't like to talk about it. It doesn't affect him all the time, he generally tries to forget about it, tries to live around it. It's just sometimes, it really hits him. He really, really loved his dad." His eyes were sad. "He was a good man."

"You knew him?" Hankyung was surprised about that.

"Donghae and I have known each other for a while. Although you've only seen the high school section, we were at the middle school section together for about a year. Before that, we used to go to the same summer camp. It's run by this school, for mutants. I met him there."

"I thought your power didn't usually start developing until later on." Hankyung had finally learnt the reason for Hyori's raised eyebrows when he'd told her that his powers had started when he was five. Mainly, your power didn't show itself until puberty, although that didn't mean it was uncommon for it to develop beforehand. His, however, had started at a very early age.

"Sometimes elements begin to show when you're younger. Donghae always won first prize at sports day or something like that. Sometimes things can point to an upcoming mutation. Sometimes people who come to the camp never actual develop mutant powers. It helps a lot when you come to this school." He smiled a little. "Don't mention it to Siwon though, he's the only one out of all of us who never got to go at least once. There was never any sign that he had powers until he fell against the side of his house one day and ended up through it."

That night Eunhyuk slept in Kibum's bed in the room he shared with Kangin. There were no jokes or raised eyebrows when Kibum and Donghae went into Donghae's room together; apparently this happened every time Family Day finished. Donghae had stopped crying but had been silent through most of the evening. The next morning, however, was a different story. He was back to his normal, cheerful self, laughing with Eunhyuk over breakfast because he hadn't watched when he was going that morning and had walked through a wall.

"I was lucky," Eunhyuk said. "Imagine if I couldn't go through walls?"

Hankyung laughed and then ducked as the jug of milk suddenly shot forward and almost cracked him on the head before banging down on the table. "What the hell!" he said, and turned to Heechul sitting next to him. "What the hell was that for?"

Heechul was wide-eyed and white. "I didn't mean to do that," he said solemnly. "I lost control."

"Oh," said Hankyung. "Next time, can you please not lose control in a way that means death for me?"

"Eh, I'll try my best," said Heechul, and poured some of the milk into his coffee. He took a sip, then leaned in and kissed Hankyung. "Sorry," he murmured.

"That's okay," said Hankyung, surprised. "I know you didn't do it on purpose."

Heechul nodded and continued eating breakfast. The whole exchange had left Hankyung a little worried, although no one else seemed to have paid much attention. He felt thrown off, mostly by Heechul's apology. He'd expected Heechul to just dismiss the incident, but Hankyung had seen the shock on Heechul's face. He'd lost control. Hankyung had never seen Heechul lose control.

It kept him puzzled throughout morning classes, during which he luckily didn't have Park, because he didn't pay attention to a single thing that was said. He was too busy watching Heechul out of the corner of his eye, and he got the feeling that Heechul wasn't paying attention either. Instead, he was making his pencil do somersaults in the air for some reason, just staring at it with his chin supported against his hands. He did that right up until lunch, where he was quiet. He didn't snap or bitch or appear annoyed. He sat next to Hankyung, slumped a little, and didn't say a word.

Hankyung watched him throughout the afternoon as well, and when the bell rang and the time for control lessons came, he went over to where Heechul was sitting with his head in his hands, and said quietly, "Heechul, go back to the dorm."

Heechul looked up, frowning. "What?"

"You look like you need to sleep."

"I'm fine."

"No," said Hankyung, still in that quiet tone. "You aren't."

For a second, the pretence dropped. Heechul blinked once, slowly, his eyes tired and dark. Then he scowled, the act back on. "Don't tell me what to do," he said, harshly.

"Please."

"I'm fine, Hankyung. God, stop being like this."

Irritation spread through Hankyung, so he let it go. He'd known that Heechul could be stubborn, but this was slightly different, this just seemed like he was being mean and nasty. Both he and Heechul were silent walking down to control lessons, avoiding each other. "Have you two fought or something?" asked Yehsung in his usual tactful way. "Well, that lasted long."

Hankyung thought that he was just trying to get a rise out of Heechul, whose silence surely hadn't gone unnoticed by anyone other than Hankyung, but Heechul just flicked his hair over his shoulder and walked a little faster, saying nothing. He soon slowed down again, and by the time they reached the doors of the gym, he was actually lagging behind. Hankyung paused and waited for him.

"Heechul," he said, taking his arm. "Please, please don't try to act like you're fine."

"I don't understand what you're talking about," said Heechul scornfully. "I am fine."

"You don't look it and you certainly aren't acting like it," said Hankyung heatedly. "What's wrong? Why won't you tell me?"

Heechul opened his mouth, face like thunder, and then closed it again. He swayed, before his eyes fluttered shut and he fell forwards into Hankyung, unconscious. Hankyung almost dropped him through surprise, but just about managed to get his hands hooked under his shoulders to keep him from hitting the floor. Hauling him over to one of the chairs running down the corridor, Hankyung knelt in front of him and then looked helplessly at his hands. He couldn't feel for a fever. "Hey," he said desperately to someone just about to go into the gym. "GetHyo -- Professor Lee for me."

The teacher was joined by Kangin when she came running out. "I am getting very sick of you people collapsing," she said when she saw Heechul slumped in the chair, and pushed Hankyung out of the way to put her hand to his forehead. "No fever, he's -- ow." She opened her eyes, almost falling backwards onto the floor, and Hankyung was forced to put his hands on her back to keep her upright. "It seems like it's mostly just exhaustion."

"Exhaustion?" Hankyung blinked at her, confused. "So it's not his head?"

"Oh, that's part of it. The fact that he's so tired is meaning that his power is taking more of a toll on him. No doubt he's been a bit slapdash recently?"

Hankyung remembered that morning, when he'd almost been brained by a jug of milk, and nodded. Hyori nodded. "You see? He needs to sleep. Take him back to the dorm."

Kangin carried Heechul, who was heavier than he looked, back to the dorm, and then went back to control lessons. He seemed to have taken a very practical minded approach to the whole thing, clearly believing that a good night's sleep would help Heechul to no end. Hankyung wasn't so sure. There had to be a reason why Heechul was exhausted.

Hankyung was sitting in the alcove by the window when Heechul woke up with a groan. Hankyung stood up to go over to him and handed him a glass of water, which Heechul took, avoiding his eyes. Hankyung sat on the bed.

"I see why you didn't like me shutting everyone out," he said quietly. Heechul laughed softly.

"Yeah," he said. "Not nice, is it?"

"What's wrong, Heechul? Hyori said that you were tired more than anything. Aren't you sleeping?"

Heechul was still and silent for a moment, and then reached over to the bedside table. Opening a drawer, he pulled out an envelope, twisting it a little in his fingers as he sat back in the bed. "Do you remember a while back, when I said I knew what it was like to be in a relationship where you have to be with the other person constantly, always in contact, always in sight?" Hankyung nodded. "And then, even further back, about my mother ringing up to tell me about my ex-boyfriend being back in town?" Another nod. "That's the same guy. I've only had the one boyfriend."

"It was the year before I was set to come to this school. I was fourteen and he was sixteen, and he was nice and charming and I really liked him, and he really liked me. We went out for about four months. My mother loved him -- well, who wouldn't, he was the perfect son. Perfect in every way. My mother still can't believe I let him go, but the truth is, he got too much for me. I didn't like how he was with me. He didn't like it when I spent time with my friends, because he thought I should have been with him. He texted me every half hour, asking me how I was and what I was doing. I'd come home from school and find him in my kitchen, talking to my parents. He acted like I was being ridiculous when I wanted time to myself. He was foul to Siwon, insulting him to his face and always on about how I clearly liked Siwon better than I liked him. He tried to tell me that I couldn't see Siwon anymore, and that I shouldn't use my powers anymore. That's when I snapped. No one tells me what I can and can't do. So I broke up with him."

"He didn't take it well. He went all teary and begged me to reconsider, but I was just sick of him and his bullshit. When I refused to give him a second chance, he changed tactics. I don't know if it was stalking, but it was enough to freak me out. I'd be out in my garden with Siwon or something and he'd walk past and just stare at us. Sometimes he'd be waiting for me after school and say that he'd walk me home, even though I had Siwon. He just never let me alone, keeping on at me, pleasant and nice, so that I felt stupid complaining about it. Siwon is still the only person who knows about it. My mother thinks -- or thought -- I was an idiot for dumping him and I don't want to ruin her perception of him because I bet he was a nice person to her. But I was so glad when I got accepted into this school because I could get away from him. Hankyung, I don't scare easily. You know that. But he -- he scared me. Soon afterwards, he decided to join the army and went away to camp."

"Then I found out he was back, but that wasn't too bad. I mean, it's not like I'm home for that long, a month or two in the summer, a couple of weeks in winter, a week in spring. But then, on Friday, I got this." He held the envelope out to Hankyung, who took it, making sure to not let their fingers brush, and opened up the letter inside of it.

Dear Heechul,

You've probably heard that I'm back in town after my four years training. Next year I'm set to join a battalion about an hour outside of Seoul. I understand that you're still at school, although this must be your last year. We haven't seen each other for so long! I've really missed you a lot; we had something good, don't you think? I always thought that we were good together, and I know that you thought so too. Looking back, I probably seemed a bit intense, although you probably understand now that that is how an adult relationship works out. I apologise for forcing such a relationship onto you at such an early age, but I do hope that you can see that it was simply a demonstration of how real my feelings are.

It seems likely that you will be coming home over the summer holidays. After four long years, I would love to see you again. I feel like we have lots to discuss, such as how we were in the past -- and hopefully, where we will be going in the future.

Yours,
Be-ran

Hankyung finished with a frown on his face. "He wants to meet you again?"

"Apparently so. I don't want to, Hankyung."

Hankyung handed the letter back. "You don't have to," he said simply.

"I don't even want to go back, knowing he's there."

If Heechul thought that Hankyung had the answers, he was mistaken. Hankyung didn't know how to deal with this; or, he did, and his solution would have been to have bury his head in the sand. That had always worked in the past for him. Heechul laughed, low, shaky. "I can't believe I've been losing sleep over this guy," he said.

"You're the only person I've ever wanted to touch," said Hankyung impulsively. "The only person I've ever kissed. The only one to ever tell me to just get over myself. You've chosen me, but you're not mine, because you can't be controlled."

He leaned very close, pressing their foreheads together, because he was incapable of taking his hand. Heechul looked a little shocked. "He's controlling you through fear, still," Hankyung said softly. "Don't let him, Heechul."

Heechul exhaled, strangely loud in the tense silence of the room, and then Hankyung was flat on his back, Heechul on top of him, hands in his hair and mouth against his. "How do you do that," Heechul asked, voice a little muffled because he was still trying to kiss Hankyung. "You don't even know what you're saying and yet it's the right thing."

"I--" began Hankyung, and then door opened.

"Oh, things I never needed to see," said Sungmin.

"Fuck you," said Heechul, and sat back up. Hankyung followed suit, blushing.

"I have been told," said Sungmin, "by Eeteuk no less, to inform you that Hankyung has to leave you alone so you can sleep some more."

"Who is he, my freaking mother?" Heechul rolled his eyes, but Hankyung stood up dutifully.

"I'm going to talk to Siwon," he said, and gave Heechul a pointed look. Heechul rolled his eyes at him too.

"How is hyung?" Siwon wanted to know the second Hankyung stepped into the common room they had taken over for the night. He was anxious, seemed to have been waiting at the doorway for Hankyung coming in. Hankyung led him to an alcove and told him the true reason why Heechul had collapsed. At the mention of Be-ran's name, Siwon's face clouded over. He looked, for the first time Hankyung had known him, actually angry.

"Only person I'd ever like to hit," said Siwon, and Hankyung knew that one hit from Siwon could actually mean death. "He used to treat hyung like a possession, and hyung didn't like that; I didn't like that, but he considered me to be nothing more than a hanger-on, thought I was in love with hyung and that was the only reason I was around. But hyung, he wouldn't take that, they would never have lasted that much longer if hyung hadn't called it off, but that type of guy, they like to think that they have some sort of claim to people. I guess to Be-ran, the fact that he himself never called time on the relationship means that there's still something there he can have."

Then he stopped for a second, and when he spoke again, his voice was softer. "I don't like speaking badly of people, you know that, but he is an exception. I'd be happy if hyung never saw him again. I'd do anything to stop that."

"I don't think Heechul is going to see him again."

Siwon looked relieved. "You don't have to worry about it," he said eagerly, as if Hankyung might have gotten the wrong end of the stick. "I've never seen him look at anyone the way he looks at you, so this talk of ex-boyfriends, you don't have to worry about it."

A letter was written, in which Heechul informed Be-ran that he did not want to meet with him. A first draft had been considered too Heechul-like -- Hankyung did not see the need to antagonize such a character, and the frequent use of 'cuntface' would no doubt have achieved that -- but with Hankyung's slightly softer touch, they managed to write something which they sent. There was no reply back, which seemed like a good thing.

Soon they forgot about it. Instead, their minds became preoccupied with the remaining weeks before summer, and what came before those weeks of freedom -- for the first time in Hankyung's life, he would have to sit mid-year exams. And he was terrified.

Kibum looked very, very bored.

"No, hyung," he said. "The Ganges is in India and Bangladesh. And the Rockies are both in Canada and America."

"I don't know," said Hankyung. "I've never looked at Geography before."

"You taught yourself Korean but nothing about basic Geography?" Heechul sounded incredulous.

"Well, I was interested in Korean," said Hankyung defensively. "I'd heard about this school and thought it might have come in handy at some point. But until I--" He broke off, suddenly remembering that Kibum was there. "I never worked up the courage to talk to my parents about it," he finished lamely.

"Well, what do you know?" asked Kibum.

Very little, was the answer. Hankyung had been in classes at the school for long enough to know that his self-lessons in his bedroom with any materials that he managed to get from his parents were not enough. He was severely lacking in the sort of general knowledge that came easy to all the other students. Korean, he could no doubt get a pass in. Some parts of History, he had a vague idea about. Basic maths, he could just about do. Beyond that, he was ashamed to say that he'd just sort of been drifting in lessons. To admit that he didn't understand anything would have run the risk of being demoted a couple of years, but the senior level work had just gone over his head.

That was why they had now resorted to desperate methods. Kibum, Kyuhyun and Siwon may have been in lower years, but they were far ahead of him in school work. Quickly it was decided that Kibum would teach him geography, chemistry and biology, Kyuhyun would teach him maths and physics, and Siwon would finish up with history and Korean literature. Considering there was only two weeks until the exams, he was most probably screwed.

He kissed Heechul and said solemnly, "Our relationship was fun, but now I must leave you. Duty calls."

"Fuck off," said Heechul in a bored tone and kicked him in the stomach. With a groan, Hankyung sat down in the chair opposite him and Heechul stuck his feet on his lap. "You know," he said, in a sly tone. "If you fail these exams, you can't go home for the summer."

This was the first that Hankyung had heard of this deterrent, which suddenly seemed like a brilliant idea. Failing these exams seemed now like the most logical route. He didn't want to go home this summer anyway, to spend two months sweltering in his bedroom, eating only when his parents left the house because he was tooafraid to face them. Staying this school, where he could at least be in contact with his new friends and Heechul seemed like a far more inviting prospect.

"Ah," said Heechul, looking at him seriously. "I knew you'd go like that. You look like you're hatching a plan; stop it. You're not to fail on purpose."

"You'd never know," Hankyung pointed out.

"I would," said Heechul imperiously. He poked Hankyung in the stomach with a toe. "You're not allowed to fail on purpose."

"Fine," said Hankyung sadly. In this way he spent the next two weeks immersed in textbooks, trying to catch up on all of the education he should have had since he was ten years old. The night before the exams, he understood most basic algebra, could name all the countries in Africa, and knew most of the major battles in World War One. Unfortunately, this would not be enough to get him through. There was no doubt he would be staying at school over the summer, trying to learn enough to pass the resits at the end of the summer.

Though he mentioned it to no one, not even Heechul, it was a load off his mind. He had tried his best, would try his best, but it was apparent that his best wasn't good enough. Therefore, he wouldn't have to go back to China, where he didn't want to be. Even staying at a school without any of the others -- because they would all pass, even if it was just a scraping through. He would be left here by himself, but even that was preferable to what was waiting at home.

The exams were finished in a week and marked over the weekend. True to form, Hankyung got less than ten in every single topic. He was the only third year to fail; the next lowest was in the other class and had least reached the 30/100 which signified a pass. He accepted his failure with ease, causing Heechul to look carefully at him for a moment or two before deciding that everyone needed ice cream.

The results were handed back on the Monday; those who could left on Thursday. The two days between were spent without classes, without constraint. They were two days of perfect sunshine, so they all spent most of the time down by the lake, where they were allowed to swim if there was a teacher present. It seemed, to Hankyung, two days of what the summer could have been if everyone else was staying with him. Saying goodbye come Thursday was going to be difficult.

Or so he thought. It was made easier that Siwon and Heechul left last, together in Heechul's parent's car. After Siwon had got in the car first, Heechul turned, poked him in the stomach and told him to pass this time, and then left. Hankyung shook his head fondly, and suddenly wished that he'd had enough money to buy a mobile phone at some point. Instead, half an hour later, he was called to the administration offices: there was a phone call waiting for him.

"So I thought," said Heechul, "that to pass the time in the car, I'd call you and give you a pop quiz."

"Gee, thanks," said Hankyung. There was Siwon's voice in the background.

"Siwon says that before he left, he put some important notes in his bedside table but forgot to give you them. You can just go in and get them."

"Tell him thanks," said Hankyung.

"Ew," said Heechul, after he had done so. "I think we just passed a dead cat by the side of the road. That was disgusting. You know I have a cat?"

"I didn't know that!"

"Yeah. He lives at home. I make him dance to girl songs and he never scratches me." There was mumbling in the background. "Well, okay, apart from that time where he sunk his claws in my back. I've still got the scars." This last bit was directed at Hankyung.

"What did you do to make him do that?"

"I didn't do anything, cats are just crazy."

"Tried to give it a bath," called Siwon in the background.

"Yes, okay," snapped Heechul. "I tried to give him -- him -- a bath and he scratched me. Like I said, I've still got the scars. I'll show you one day."

"O-okay." Hankyung looked around the offices, at the empty seats and the receptionist sitting behind her desk. If he craned his head, he could see out onto the main hall of the dorm building. It would normally be crawling with students, but now it was completely empty. He tore his eyes away; there was some eerie about it. More than that, it made him feel lonely.

"My back, Hankyung. I'll show you my back."

"Yeah?" Hankyung stood up to get a cup of water from the water cooler in the corner.

"My lower back." Heechul's voice had dropped.

"Yeah?" Hankyung raised the cup to his lips.

"Oh I forgot how sheltered you were. Never mind."

"Eh?" Hankyung threw his cup in the bin, then decided that he needed to get out of the vicinity of the hallway, where the silence seemed deafening. Maybe he'd go up to his room and have a look at the notes that Siwon had left. His life was very sad, he decided.

"No, never mind. You'll find out soon enough, I'm sure."

"What--"

"Oh, we're here now, I'll have to go." There was a long pause, like he was waiting for Hankyung to say something -- or like he was trying to say something himself. "Well, bye."

"Bye." Hankyung leaned against the desk where the phone receiver was and added, "You'll call back, won't you?"

"I'll call tomorrow," said Heechul. "And I'll make you pay me back for my phone bill when you're a rich man."

"Deal," said Hankyung with a laugh.

There was another pause, then Heechul said something so softly that Hankyung almost didn't understand him. "Miss you," he said, and then hung up before Hankyung could say anything back. Hankyung stared at the phone and then put it back, shakily. Then he snatched it back out and pressed the button for redial. He got Heechul's answering system.

"Miss you too," he said, and it came out a lot more confident than he felt. His laugh after he hung back up, for example, was slightly breathless.
Tags: !multi chaptered, au: mutant, fandom: super junior, pairing: hankyung/heechul, pairing: kangin/eeteuk, pairing: kibum/donghae, pairing: kyuhyun/zhou mi, pairing: siwon/sungmin, pairing: yehsung/ryeowook
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