He hears the faint patter of the rain pelting against the roof of his thin black umbrella, providing an incongruent but regular beat to already heavy bass of Se7en’s ‘Digital Bounce’ which blasts through his headphones as he takes a characteristic stroll along the streets where his apartment is.
As his rubber soles hit asphalt to the music (disregarding the additional beats provided by mother nature), his mind reels as he goes through the events of that month, that week, that day.
He watches as the azure patches of sky disappear and reappear through thick grey clouds of rain and he squints at the fading orange sunlight, the mesh of various colors blending together in a strange but comforting picture that possesses his thoughts for a single moment.
He recalls how his lover scolded him for the tiniest things, and started talking to him like he was always missing something out, doing something wrong. But what was it? He went about life as he usually did. There was no reason in the accusations, and Shim Changmin simply couldn't put his finger on it.
He thought about how when they met, Yunho had bought Changmin an anonymous drink from three tables away in a local café. He remembered how he watched as Yunho sipped his coffee coolly, the sides of his mouth pulled upwards in a playful grin when Changmin looked over his shoulder for the sender which the waitress had so kindly pointed out.
Changmin had smiled thankfully in return and politely drank the cool liquid despite his already full bladder from the previous cup of tea he had.
The man walked over to his table and introduced himself as “Jung Yunho,” with a “have we met?” question attached to it which Changmin thought was a very cute and clichéd pick-up-line that could only be followed up with a “maybe you were an angel in my dreams”-type answer that was enough to make his fingers curl. But adorable, nevertheless.
And within a month, Changmin found himself knocked up in the middle of Yunho’s apartment, staining his Persian silk rug with perspiration and precum and lust, panting stark naked in Yunho’s arms. And he thinks to himself, “good god, how did I get so lucky?”
But that was then. As time went by, Changmin found himself gradually subject to the frequent disapproving glances shot at him whenever he changed or cooked ramen.
Then the nagging slowly came. “Why don't you button your shirt from the bottom instead of from the top? You should boil the powder in the soup first before putting in the ramen!” and the words became harsher each time, “Why don’t you ever learn? What is wrong with you?”
And these were little insignificant things that Changmin could not care less about. But because he found himself loving Yunho more than he could ever imagine, he tried to consciously change himself to suit Yunho—to fit.
But that morning he had forgotten when he buttoned his cotton shirt from the top button as he always did. So he was quickly chased out of the house by a self-proclaimed-mute Yunho who seemed offended at his doing so—for no reason fathomable to Changmin.
He could change. He didn’t mind—because he loved Yunho that much. But couldn’t the older man be a little less demanding and make some accommodations? Why couldn't he change instead?
Changmin throws a few coins on the starbucks counter, the clink of metal inaudible to the loud music, as was the cashier’s “thank you, please come again” as she passes him the paper cupped coffee. He is too deep in thought and in love to notice her being especially nice to him, sticking out her chest a little farther than usual, then swooning slightly when he flashes her his infallible grin.
He repositions himself on a nearby park bench. Legs crossed, he looks like a picture out of a classic romance novel with crimson leaves actively littering the ground around him as he sips his coffee in a reverie.
That evening, Changmin tosses his keys onto the counter and pulls off his tie, throwing it onto the couch. He makes sure Yunho sees when he unbuttons his shirt the wrong way, pulls off his sock to their reverse end instead of pulling them by the tip such that the sock remains the right way up.
Changmin pretends he doesn’t see Yunho’s jaw drop and goes the kitchen. He tears open a packet of ramen, the crinkle of the plastic almost a ringer for his death as he drops the noodles first into the boiling water.
He has never felt so afraid in his life, but something compels him to continue, to tear open that sachet of seasoning after the half-soaked noodles whilst watching his lover from the corner of his eye, watching as the anger spreads like red as the powder dissipates into the water.
He hears the bedroom door slam. Then silence.
Changmin turns off the stove and tiptoes cautiously towards the bedroom. The seething is almost audible through the thick oak doors. But Changmin never understands why.
He opens the door slowly and like a deer, his heart palpitates a million a minute as though about to meet his death in the lion’s den.
The sheets where Yunho’s fists are clenched are gathered in folds, fingernails digging into cotton where skin should be. And the voice that comes is almost inaudible.
“What the hell were you thinking?”
The whisper is soft and harsh all at the same time and Changmin feels truly afraid for the first time in a long time. Had he overstepped the boundaries? Had he pushed Yunho’s so-called OCD a little too far over the edge?
Yunho doesn’t wait for an answer but stands up too quickly, pulling the white sheets through his fingers as he does so, letting go just as he is inches from Changmin, allowing the white to billow to the floor gently behind.
“Hyung…” Changmin’s moans turns to a plea, his eyes trembling in their sockets as cold sweat begans to form in beads along his thick eyebrows.
The pain that comes is stinging, white hot on Changmin’s cheek.
Yunho is furious, hyperventilating as he freezes in mid-action, his palm red from impact held at a height. It takes the older man a while to become sober and to realize what he has done—as though the loud smack did the trick.
“Fuck Changmin, why can’t you just be more like him?”
They don't talk about that day any more after that, but the awkwardness never dissipates despite Yunho’s evidently fake mood of cheeriness which he tries to christen the apartment with.
Changmin, on the other hand, does not try anything funny anymore and sticks to the ‘norm’ of shirt buttoning and ramen cooking, and forces it into his own personal habit.
And before long, things are back to normal again—sort of.
That’s what Changmin thinks until he decides to do the ironing in front of Yunho one day.
He presses his shirts collar first, in a foldable shape for easier packing, but that’s all wrong, according to Yunho, who let slip that he used to open up all the buttons and iron every little crease and corner of the shirt, making it completely flawless and creaseless.
“Who’s he?” Changmin forgets himself, his curiosity and inability to bear the thought of an unforgotten other overriding his naturally patient, conflict-avoiding self. “Is he the one you’ve been pining over since forever? Taking it out on me because I’m not like him?”
“No, fuck… Changmin I didn’t mean it like that… There’s no one.”
“Please Yunho, I just want this out here and now. No secrets.”
Yunho heaves a sigh. He knows that the topic is and always was unavoidable. He just wished he hadn’t sporadically burst out into the random shouts when he saw Changmin do something he didn't use to do—but hadn't he promised himself that he wouldn’t see Changmin that way anymore? Hadn't he let go?
When Yunho saw Changmin for the first time, casually sipping a cappuccino by a frosted window, he thought that he resemblance was uncanny. He watched as Changmin darted a pink tongue out to lick up the froth that was dancing delicately on his lip and decided that, yes the resemblance was indeed too uncanny.
After a while, Changmin had become that person. Yunho hadn't thought that Changmin was someone else—someone with his own personality and habits. It was as though it was sacrilegious to even let such a thought cross his mind. So when he saw Changmin doing things ‘all wrong’, he dared to reprimand the unknowing man, passing it off as OCD.
But when humanity got the better of him, guilt overrode him in a flood of emotions. Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Yunho lived a life with two faces. On one hand, he wanted Changmin to be that man, but on the other, he wanted to start anew with this guy—how did he get so lucky?
Changmin knew nothing and yet he was made the victim. Yunho felt guilty calling Changmin his name in his own head; he felt guilty about making Changmin out to be someone he wasn’t. But most of all, he felt guilty about not telling Changmin—but that seemed to be the only option. Well now he had to face the music.
“I’m so sorry Changmin. I didn’t mean for all this to happen—it’s just—”
Changmin remains quiet. His mind conjures a myriad of scenarios and possible excuses that Yunho would blurt out, silently eliminating, and hoping that none of them were true. Maybe he could go with a: “Sorry sometimes my OCD makes me delirious.” Or some lameass excuse like that.
“I—you—ah—Oh god. Please Changmin you have to understand… When I saw you for the first time, you looked so much like this guy I used to go out with and I thought that maybe—”
“I’d be his replacement?” Changmin was on the edge of bitterness and disbelief.
“No… Well, it was like that at first. I wanted to see all his little habits in you and I let it get to me. But after a while—oh god Changmin, please don't look at me like that—after time passed I realized how much I love Shim Changmin—you, not the other guy—and I wanted so much to accept you for you. But— I let my old self get to me again. Oh god, Changmin, please I’m so sorry.”
Changmin doesn’t know how to react. He feels his tear well so dry he is unable to cry, neither can he laugh at the absurdity of the entire situation, nor express his anger in a furious rage. He doesn’t decide what to feel—hurt? But the feelings wouldn't come.
Maybe he pities the man in front of him. The one who had lied to him since it mattered; the one feeling the remorse that would have taken him ages to recover from.
“I need some time—to think.” Is the most that Changmin can manage, as he picks up his bag and heads out the door without a second glance back at Jung Yunho, who is too guilt-ridden to even try and stop him.
It takes a year, two alcohol rehab sessions and three job transitions for Shim Changmin to realise that he hasn’t ever gotten over Jung Yunho.
He gets himself drunk senseless before knocking up a common whore who looks remotely like Yunho, or acts like him, or even allows himself to be addressed as Yunho for Changmin’s sexual pleasures—it’s all about the costs.
And he finds himself looking for Yunhos in strange places to fill the void that he created for himself when he left his lover a year ago.
Perhaps he is being like what Yunho was when they were together. But he tells himself that this is different—he is sleeping with complete strangers who have no emotional attachment to him apart from one-night of great sex—nothing like the emotional turmoil that Yunho had subjected him to.
As of now, he has had enough alcohol flushed out of his system to be sober for the next one month or so, before depression kicks in again and the cycle repeats itself.
Something in him wants to return to that apartment, but he cannot bring himself to do it, having not heard from Yunho for so long, the sudden return and shock would be too much to bear.
He doesn’t know what has come over him, but a compulsive urge brings him back to that café for a cup of hot green tea latte. His legs bring him to the empty window seat which is all too familiar and the memories return—but they’re not painful or bitter. Just poignant.
He wishes he could have another shot. To start again, on a new slate. But ego gets the better of his thoughts. Why should he be the only wanton one? He was never wrong—where has Yunho been all this while anyway?
Another side of him tells these thoughts to screw off, because his heart hurts too much, thinking about Yunho and such. And he wants Yunho back so bad it kills him.
“Umm sir? The guy over there sent this drink over to you.”
It’s déjà vu, he thinks, when he looks over his shoulder and sees a familiar face. Because screw the past. Something tells him that they are starting all over, from the beginning, and nothing is going to change that.
HOMIN and TVXQ
the pain in my heart at their break up is too much to bear. i hope y'all like this fic:D