Fandom: Super Junior (AU, !mutant)
Pairing: central Hankyung/Heechul, Siwon/Sungmin, Kyuhyun/Zhou Mi, Kibum/Donghae, Yehsung/Ryeowook, Kangin/Eeteuk
Word count: 4,235
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: URGH THERE IS SERIOUSLY NO EXCUSE FOR HOW LONG IT HAS TAKEN ME TO WRITE THIS CHAPTER. Basically I moved away to school and I'm living by myself for the first time and asdasf;asd;laf I got distracted :( but then I found inspiration! And I doubt that there will ever be a delay like this ever again. Especially since I'm hoping to finish this before nanowrimo :\
guys guys guys I swear there is a plot! everything will come into play! it will make sense! asl;dasd isucksohard D: this sucks so hard. please don't hate me ;~;
School during the summer was not like school during the rest of the year. Classes were only held in the morning, and they were free to spend their time as they wished, even, in the case of Hankyung, as the only third year, going to the city of an afternoon. The ban since Hankyung and Heechul's incident had been lifted for the holiday as it wouldn't be known that there was still kids at the school, and Hankyung spent most of his time just wandering around, not wanting to be in the school where the possibility of being lonely was proportional to the time spent there. When he wasn't in town, he was down at the lake, not swimming -- since he didn't know how -- but relaxing in the sunshine.
Classes, however, were another matter. Control lessons had stopped, and so even the chance of seeing Hyori and being able to joke with her was out. Instead, it seemed like Park was taking most of the classes -- unfavourably he thought that this was because she had nowhere else to go for the summer, or rather, no one to go to -- and because she was here, she was pissed off. It was all he could do to bite his tongue whenever she laid into him, which seemed to be daily. Korean was his best subject by far, yet it was becoming the subject that he hated the most, simply because it was her usual subject. None of the other teachers who had remained behind gave him such a hard time.
He complained about it on the phone to Heechul, who put up with it for a certain extent before making some comment about just coming back to school since it felt like he had never left. Hankyung took the hint and changed the subject, asking about how things were getting on at home. Heechul was cagey, at best.
"Fine," he said. Hankyung waited.
"Well, you know. It's home."
"And do you like being at home?"
"This is worse than talking to Kibum."
"A couple of people have got anti-mutant posters in their windows," said Heechul, in this quiet tone of voice, as if he was trying to hide fear of some sort. "Most everyone around here knows that Siwon and I are mutants, and I--"
"You're scared they'll come after you," said Hankyung heavily.
"Not me, in particular," said Heechul, a little fiercely. "I mean, Siwon and I can take care of ourselves against a couple of dickheads -- or at least, I can just make Siwon take care of them for me. No, I'm scared they'll wait until we leave, and then attack our families."
"You think that's a possibility?"
"I think that you can't predict what these fuckheads are going to do next," said Heechul, once more showing his flair for language. "One minute they can be your best friend, the next they're trying to blow your head off with a rifle. Be-ran has a poster, in his bedroom window."
It was said so casually, so clearly just an added piece of information, that Hankyung almost overlooked it before it fully sunk in. "What? He has -- how do you know?"
"Saw it. Drove past his window one day when dad was taking me to an old friend's house on his way to work. Obvious as anything, right there in his window, the lightening bolt inside the circle. Guess we know now why he didn't like me using my powers."
"Yeah. Also, since he's army trained and all, probably just as well you didn't use cuntface in everything." The woman sitting behind reception gives him a half-scandalized, half-disappointed look. He ignores both parts.
"No, I still think that was a perfectly legitimate term to apply to his sorry ass. He is a complete and utter cuntface." In the background, Hankyung heard a shocked exclaimation of Heechul's name; from his mother, no doubt. Hankyung heard her ask who they were talking about. "Be-ran," said Heechul breezily.
"Be-ran is a perfectly nice boy," said Heechul's mother.
"Yeah, yeah," said Heechul.
Hankyung's most regular phone calls were obviously from Heechul, although Siwon was often in the background to those and sometimes came to the forefront. Both Sungmin and Ryeowook had, in their usual thoughtful way, sent him a letter, although he hoped that they understood that he had no way to get his own letter back to them, seeing as he didn't understand the Korean postal system. Zhou Mi had even called him once, to chat for half an hour in Mandarin.
The thing was though, Hankyung was used to silence. He was comfortable in silence, he'd known silence for the majority of his life. A love of silence was not something easy to break, but being comfortable alone was. It seemed like he was always doing things by extremes: years of solitude, a few months of being around people constantly, and then sudden solitude again. It was made slightly easier by the contact that he did have, but he knew that if he didn't keep himself busy, that he'd end up sinking back into his thoughts, and thinking about the past.
He probably worked his way through every Chinese book that they had in the school library. He did an hour of Korean practise every night. He studied and studied and studied. He took up drawing, then dropped it immediately. He took up writing, and dropped that even quicker. Then he went and got a Korean book from the library and struggled through that. Heechul, while impressed that he had finished the whole book, was rather worried about Hankyung's mental state.
"It's just," he said, when Hankyung asked what he meant, "finishing a book is not something to throw a party for."
"I'm not throwing a party," said Hankyung, confused. He didn't have anyone he could throw a party with: that was the whole point of his reading the book.
"You're practically bouncing off the ceiling, Hankyung. I can hear it in your voice."
"Well, it was hard to do!"
"Are you really that bored?"
"Yeah," admitted Hankyung. "I'm so bored I could weep. I thought staying at school would have been better but going home and having to deal with the battle of emotions might have been more exciting."
"No, you don't really want to go home."
"No," said Hankyung. "I really don't."
"You've been there two weeks already. It's only a few more. Isn't there a club or something that you can join in town?"
"I have no money, Heechul."
"Right. Well then, you're screwed."
"And you're totally helpful," muttered Hankyung, but quietly and in Chinese, so Heechul couldn't understand.
After hearing about the changes in Heechul's hometown, the posters in bedroom windows, Hankyung began to go to one of the common rooms each morning, early enough to catch the news. Honestly, the news scared him. He'd always been introverted, never really aware of what was happening beyond the walls over whichever place he was housed in, and watching the news always seemed to take his tentative view of the world and break it apart to show him something much bigger, and much more terrifying, than he'd ever thought about before. He had to force himself to watch through most of it, and every day there seemed to be another death or murder. "Police believe it to be suspicious circumstances," and every so often someone would be charged for the murder. The victim turned out to be a mutant alarmingly regularly.
After the third mutant killing in two weeks, Hankyung rang Heechul, but couldn't get through. "I'm rather glad that I'm here," he said soberly to Heechul's answer phone. "It's got to be safer than out there." Then he paused, twisted his fingers in the wire of the telephone, and then added, "Be safe, okay?"
Hankyung didn't manage to get through to Heechul for the next two days either. Worry bit until the secretary caught him and said that someone called Heechul had rang and asked for him, but Hankyung had obviously been out and hadn't answered to the intercom. Hankyung was able to relax a little from then, glad that the lack of contact was through bad timing than anything else. Being left alone with his thoughts was generally not a good thing for Hankyung, since no matter which turn his thoughts of Heechul took -- worrying over his safety, or a decidedly more erotic turn -- Hankyung was still terrified. He still was not over his feelings of inadequacy.
His exams would take place in the fifth week, with everyone returning thereafter. While he was excited about that, the fourth week suddenly seemed like the bleakest time of his life, counting down the days until that struggle to pass started again. If he didn't pass this time, even just a fleeting pass, then he'd probably be dropped down a year, or two, and if his results weren't any better than his first attempt -- he had, for example, only recieved five marks out of one hundred in his History exam -- there was a chance he could be thrown out of the school. While he felt like he knew a lot more now, he wasn't so sure that he was confident he could pass.
A couple of days into the fourth week, the day after he hadn't managed to get into touch with Heechul, he was on his way down to the main hall, where he could then make his way to a common room and a television, when he heard voices coming through the open front doors, from the driveway outside. Something, mainly just curiosity, made him stop and crane backwards to see who it was. Then he practically fell over backwards. "What the hell," he breathed.
Siwon was pulling a case out of the trunk of a car, a case to keep company with the one currently sitting at Heechul's feet. Heechul rested against it, texting on his phone, looking bored and seemingly not paying attention to the farewell scene playing out behind him. As Hankyung stood, staring, Siwon's parents got back into their car and drove away. Siwon turned to Heechul, who finally looked up from his phone.
"You didn't have to come," he said, quietly.
"I know," said Siwon. "But I wanted to."
"What the fuck," said Hankyung flatly.
Two faces shot around to face him, surprised. Heechul practically dropped his phone before regaining himself and pouting. "Damn it," he said. "Now my surprise is ruined."
"What are you doing here?" asked Hankyung. He found that his voice was a little hoarse; he also hadn't managed to move from the doorway. He was just staring, at Siwon who was avoiding his eyes, at Heechul who was slowly smiling, a lazy smile. He'd dyed his hair again while he was away. It was no longer the faded blonde of the last few weeks of term, but instead brilliant, bright, saturating everything around him -- or maybe Hankyung was just biased. Possibly just biased, because Heechul was here.
Suddenly he had this arms around Heechul's shoulders, hugging him so close it was like he was never going to let go, but he didn't quite remember how he got from the doorway to the drive. Heechul was so tense, the first few moments clearly taking him by surprise, then his fingertips snagged at the hem of Hankyung's t-shirt as he burrowed his nose into his shoulder. Hankyung was as taken by surprise by that as he had been by his own sudden hug. Heechul sighed, breath hot even through the material of Hankyung's shirt.
"Why are you back?" Hankyung asked, when Heechul made no move to pull away.
"Just felt like we'd been away long enough," Heechul muttered.
"Did you miss me?" Hankyung asked with a grin, mostly at Siwon, who was the only one who could see him. Siwon coughed and started to carry both of the cases back inside. Heechul didn't say anything. Hankyung was decidedly confused and wrong-footed. "Hey, is something wrong?"
Heechul pulled back, shaking his head as he did so, so that Hankyung got the faint brush of hair against his jaw for just a moment. "Nothing's wrong," said Heechul, not really sounding confident about that. "I just have a bit of a headache."
"You should rest," said Hankyung uncertainly.
"I should rest," agreed Heechul, and kissed him, just as lazily as his previous smile had been. His eyelids had lowered; he seemed lethargic somehow. "God," he said, fingers still holding onto the material of Hankyung's t-shirt. "I really fucking missed you."
Hankyung smiled, a little unsure what to do with this Heechul but deciding to just go with the flow. "I missed you too."
"Don't say things like that," said Heechul seriously, as he let his head rest on Hankyung's shoulder again.
Hankyung would have just filed the whole strange incident on Heechul being out of sorts seeing him again, but the thing was, Heechul continued to act weird over the next few days. He was remarkably quiet, never saying a word whenever he sat in on the study sessions Siwon started up. Hankyung had improved a lot, according to Siwon; Heechul offered him congratulations in the form of clinging hands. That was the only explanation for it; Heechul was clingy. Hankyung was worried.
It kept him preoccupied, so that his mind slipped off the exams and onto whatever was making Heechul act so oddly. He didn't really notice that he was doing so, it was Siwon who confronted him about it, the Friday of the fourth week when it was just the two of them sitting in an empty classroom. Heechul was resting, after a headache had started up soon after breakfast. Hankyung wasn't listening to a word Siwon was saying.
"You aren't listening to a word I'm saying," accused Siwon, sounding truly annoyed rather than playing around. Hankyung blushed.
"Sorry," he said. "I was just -- Heechul's acting odd."
Heechul wasn't the only one. Siwon had carried a vaguely disapproving air around with him ever since they had come back, and now he avoided Hankyung's eyes again and lowered his head, muttering something. It was quiet, but not quiet enough that Hankyung didn't pick up on it.
"He's feeling guilty?" There was only one reason that Hankyung could think of to explain why Heechul could possibly feel guilty, and the idea of it made a cold sweat break out on the back of his neck. "Why? Did he cheat on me or something?"
"No!" Siwon's denial was rather violent; the pen he had been holding snapped in half. "No, of course he didn't, hyung would never -- no, something happened and he -- doesn't want me to talk about it."
"No, he doesn't want you to tell me," said Hankyung, knowing there was a difference. One was just avoiding a subject, the other was keeping a secret. "You've already opened the can of worms, Siwon, you might as well tell me the rest."
Siwon wasn't happy about it, but Hankyung wasn't happy about the secret. He recognised that there was something hypocritical in that, since he, too, had a secret that he was refusing to tell, but this seemed different, somehow, or maybe he was just being selfish in being curious. Whatever it was, he felt like he had a right to know, especially since it was affecting his relationship with Heechul.
Siwon bit his lip, deliberating, and then said; "When we were away, we ran into Be-ran. We were on our way to the house to an old school friend of mine, hyung had tagged along since he had nothing better to do. Someone called hyung's name. I didn't recognise the voice, but hyung clearly did. He told me to continue walking, so I did, but the person shouted again, closer now, and we had to turn to see him."
"Looking different than I remember. Of course, he'd been in the military, of course he'd bulked out, and he'd always been cocky, but there was something disturbing about it. He, as usual, ignored my existence. 'Didn't you get my letter?' he asked hyung. Surprised, hyung replied that he had, and that he'd sent a reply back. Be-ran acted -- and it was so obvious that he was acting -- like he didn't know what hyung was talking about. He asked to talk. Hyung refused."
Siwon lay his pen down, taking a deep breath. "Be-ran took hold of hyung's arm, and refused to let go. When I stepped forward to help, hyung held out his free arm and stopped me. 'You're mine, Kim Heechul, you're mine', he kept saying. Hyung pointed out that he was a mutant -- and I just knew, I knew that hyung was trying to get through this without violence, because Be-ran is so unpredictable -- and Be-ran said that it didn't matter. He said that he could get rid of the mutant, he knew of ways, hyung wouldn't have to be a freak any longer."
Siwon's voice had been steadily dropping. "Hyung asked how, he asked what kind of ways. Be-ran started listing all these groups of people who claimed to be able to get rid of whatever makes us mutants. 'They don't work, Be-ran', hyung said, and Be-ran changed tack. He accused hyung of having another guy. He said that was why he wouldn't change for him, that was why he wouldn't do what Be-ran asked. He called him a whore, pointed to me and accused him of sleeping with me. He said that just because hyung had a pretty face didn't make him a good person, and that he wasn't worthy of anyone or anything. That was when hyung dropped his arm and I dislocated Be-ran's shoulder pushing him away."
Hankyung was putting two and two together and possibly getting five. "He didn't believe him, did he?"
Siwon laughed, devoid of humour. "I don't know about that, although you've seen how quiet he's been since then. I know the whole thing freaked him out, but he doesn't like to talk about the things that freak him out, so it became this secret and he feels guilty about keeping it a secret. It freaked him out enough to use wanting to see you as an excuse for coming back to school early."
"And so you came back."
"Two days later."
Hankyung threw his pen down and ran a hand over his face. "Why does he even feel it needs to be a secret?"
"You should know as well as anyone that hyung is not as confident as he makes himself out to be," said Siwon softly, scratching something out on his paper with a pen.
Heechul was asleep when Hankyung arrived at his bedroom. Sungmin's side of the room was still as clean and tidy as it had been when he'd left. Heechul's side was strewn with articles of clothing, empty water bottles, pieces of paper. He was lying on his back when Hankyung came in, head tipped to the side and one arm flung out. Slowly, hoping that Heechul wouldn't wake, Hankyung lay down on the bed on top of the covers, slightly raised up so that he could look down at Heechul's head.
He put a hand out and touched his hair. All he felt was pressure against the leather. Heechul's hair looked soft, but Hankyung had no way of knowing. He'd been practising secretly over the summer, but had only managed to extend the delay of time before whatever he touched died by ten seconds. Ten seconds was not enough time to know the feeling of Heechul's hair, the silk of his skin, it wasn't enough to know anything.
He couldn't touch Heechul with his own bare skin, and that made him scared. A lack of contact seemed to suggest to him that there would be a lack of intimacy, like they would never really be together unless they could touch. He was wondering, his stomach sinking as he did so, if maybe this was just a pointless venture, when Heechul stirred and pushed his head in the direction of Hankyung's touch. Hankyung pulled away like he'd been branded.
"Don't," murmured Heechul, reaching up and taking his wrist. "You don't have to be scared of touching me."
"You don't have to be scared of telling me things," said Hankyung, softly but pointedly. Heechul's entire body tensed up as he let Hankyung go, and he turned on his other side, back to Hankyung.
"Siwon told you?"
"Because I had a right to know."
"It's not that I believe what he said," Heechul said sharply. "I'm not a whore and I'm not worthless, I don't give a fuck what that idiot thinks. I just couldn't help wondering -- what went wrong? Why did this person that I once really liked suddenly become like this?" He shifted back onto his back. "I felt -- my thoughts were full of him when I claimed to want to see him."
Hankyung, who had never had anything of his own and wasn't a possessive person, didn't really see what the problem was. "But it's not like you were thinking that you wanted to get back with him?"
"No, of course not!"
"Then I...really don't understand the problem."
Heechul rolled his eyes. "The problem is that you're an idiot too, so I'm wondering what it is about me that attracts idiots."
"I'm not an idiot."
"Whatever you say, Mr I-Got-Less-Than-Ten-In--" And then he stopped, because Hankyung kissed him.
Since he'd come back, Heechul had not initiated anything like this, and Hankyung did it only because he was astounded at how convoluted they were getting. He'd been thinking all along that he wasn't good enough for Heechul, and Heechul had been thinking something similar; he kissed Heechul to feel him shift on the bed, to let Hankyung roll on top and kiss him so hard that he couldn't breathe. He kissed him to hear Heechul moan and arch up into him, pushing a knee between his thighs.
That was when Hankyung jolted back.
He couldn't have painted himself out as more of a virgin if he'd tried, but he really just couldn't help it, it was an inate reaction. He jolted back far enough that Heechul was able to completely sit up, pushing his hair wearily back from his eyes. "Yeah," he muttered, more to himself than anyone else, "because that installs confidence in me."
"I can't--" Quite what he couldn't do, Hankyung didn't know. He seemed to be living life in this constant state of uncertainty. "I can't do it, I don't know how to--"
"Calm down," said Heechul calmly. "I understand."
He swept the cover from his bottom half, revealing legs clad in old looking shorts, now too small for him. He made to move off the bed, but Hankyung, on impusle, caught hold of his ankle and held him still. Then, after thinking for a second, he kissed Heechul's knee. "Urgh," said Heechul, trying to push his head away. "Get off me, stop being like that."
"I'm sorry," said Hankyung, chin now resting on Heechul's knee. Heechul's leg twitched, as if he wanted to kick him away, but was thinking better of it since he quite liked Hankyung's face. Instead he put his palm directly across Hankyung's face and pushed him away like that, muffling Hankyung's noise of surprise and indignation, and meaning that he could now jump out of bed.
"You have exams," he said, pointing imperiously at Hankyung, his other hand on his cocked hip. "Exams which you are going to pass."
Hankyung tore his gaze away from Heechul's legs, and nodded.
That weekend, Hankyung barely got any sunshine, but at least neither of the other two gained any either. They holed up in spare classrooms, Hankyung bent over textbooks and notes and flashcards, trying to cram anything he could into his brain in the least possible amount of time. Siwon would stop him every half an hour and test him on a random subject, like the most terrifying pop-quiz Hankyung had ever had, since Heechul was there, and Heechul was scornful when Hankyung got things wrong.
"You are the worst teachers ever," he grumbled, after Heechul told him that if he didn't pick himself up, he'd fail and have to join Henry in the remedial Korean class.
"I'm not!" said Siwon indignantly.
"Okay, he's the worst teacher ever," said Hankyung, pointing a thumb over his shoulder at Heechul, who was drawing random things on the blackboard.
"I'm not here to teach," said Heechul in a very sing-song tone. "I'm here to bolster."
"I remember," said Hankyung, articulating clearly, "when I didn't like you."
"Message for you," said Heechul, and Hankyung turned around to find that Heechul had written your Korean sucks on the blackboard.
Really, Hankyung had done it to himself, by doing all that he could to stop Heechul from being clingy and strange and quiet. He'd done all he could to bring back the old Heechul because honestly, he liked the bitchy, sarcastic, vain Heechul. God only knew why, but that was the Heechul that he was probably, kind of, maybe in love with. He concentrated a lot harder when he knew that Heechul was watching. He tried harder. The Heechul who insulted him was also the Heechul who managed to help him achieve a pass mark in all of his summer exams.