abstractpersona (abstractpersona) wrote,

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Haemin- Perfectly Clear

Title: Perfectly clear
Pairing: Donghae/Sungmin
Length: One-shot
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Fluff
Summary: Sungmin thinks Donghae’s simply ignoring him.
A/N: Set in Palladio’s once again with Donghae taking on the role of a cook and Sungmin is a waiter this time (rather than a dishwasher:P) Methinks I should start a restaurant arc:) 
For champagneshots , cause it has Sungmin in it. YES I HAVE FINALLY CLEARED FIC BACKLOG:D YAY! okay so i can rest now right?:D

Sungmin is into his third day as a waiter in Palladio’s and he is pretty proud of himself at this point. After much effort, he has acquainted himself with pretty much everyone in the kitchen and on the restaurant floor—save for this one guy whose name he didn't even know who worked in the—what was it again?—pasta station? Something like that.

Sungmin tries to get his attention by flailing his hands at the stoic man to get his attention, but to no avail. So he gives up the first time. The next time, when he sees a chef that he is familiar with talk animatedly with that guy, he tries to join in the conversation by positioning himself strategically close to them, and interjecting raucous laughter at remotely funny comments. But by the end of that, the man doesn’t shoot Sungmin a single glance and resumes his quiet routine of dicing up the purple onions.

He thinks he’s struck gold when he sleepily walks in to work one morning and throws the silent man a drowsy grin as a morning greeting and receives one in return. It is a full minute before he realizes that he has managed to elicit a response from him. “Third time lucky!” is what Sungmin whispers to himself when it hits him, and he can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Sungmin makes it a point to get to know the man more—from other people at least. There’s something in the way he smiles that really gets to Sungmin. And Sungmin finds himself, on more than one occasion, mesmerized by the intensity in the man’s eyes when he is in conversation with another chef, as though he was completely deep in thought and conversation—he is so genuine—Sungmin thinks, and finds himself falling deeper into the mystery of this man.

He hears Chef Kibum refer to the quiet man as “Donghae”, and he thinks it is a lovely name, for he is as calm as the sea. At this point, Sungmin kicks himself—that was really cheesy—and he self-edits.

Sungmin tries various ways of wheedling out information on Donghae, like what he does in the kitchen, what is his age, and what does he like to do, and who is his favourite Korean artiste. He finds out that Donghae is 23, he loves dance and is rather good at breakdancing, and he dances to Super Junior songs a lot—so he deduces that that must be his favourite band—which Sungmin resigns himself to the fact that if he must like that kind of music, then so be it.

He hates that he has to go through all these channels just to dig up information of the elusive Donghae and decides that he should get a word or two out of the man himself.

So on one faithful day, he finds himself standing at the counter where Kangin is in the middle of a self-absorbed one-sided conversation with Donghae while waiting for the pizza to set in the oven.

He wants to say, “Hey Donghae, stop talking to that lousy egotistical lout,” just as a conversation starter, but even those words, though easy enough to say, is difficult for Sungmin to articulate, as he is unable to find his tongue. As though that’s not enough, his feet turn, strangely enough, into jelly.

And as usual, who’d come bounding up but a nosey Ryeowook who announces that he has an announcement to make. Not like showing any interest would make a difference, he’d continue anyway.

“Yesterday, when Yesung and I were watching the telly in the staff lounge, I suddenly heard laughter from behind us and it turned out to be Donghae! Ohmygosh, his voice!” And proceeded to break into peals of laughter as though he had himself said something extremely unbelievable.

He watches as the stoic Donghae throws Ryeowook a look of mock disgust and holds his forefinger and thumb together, fanning out the other three in an “okay” sign, a raspy unused voice escaping from his lips, making out a faint—umm what? Donghae could say something like that?

And as though he needed a confirmation of some sort, Kangin translates, “he means ‘fuck you’ by the way.”

Then it hits Sungmin.

This entire time he was trying to get the attention of Donghae, who could not hear a word he was saying.

Sungmin learns sign so he can ‘talk’ to Donghae and not before long he is signing a-mile-a-minute and in deep conversation with Sungmin.

Why did you learn how to sign?
                          Because I wanted to talk to you.
Why does that matter? Everyone else communicates perfectly well without having to learn.
                          Because it matters to me.

But Sungmin is unable to answer. Not that he doesn’t know how to, but he hasn’t figured the answer out yet.

                 Art, Music and Food. These are the world’s universal languages. You know 2.
What do you mean? I only know one of them.

                      Sign language is universal too.

Sungmin doesn't realize when it starts. He understands that Donghae is more touchy than most people cause that’s how he communicates. But there comes a point when Sungmin sees Donghae squeeze Eunhyuk’s thigh to get his attention and Sungmin thinks to himself that he doesn’t like it one bit.

      Donghae, you really have to stop touching people in weird places.
                    I don’t touch people in weird places.
     Oh nevermind.
                 Do I touch you in weird places?

And Sungmin laughs, Donghae staring across the table from him at the joyful silence as Sungmin thinks that this conversation is really quite pointless.

“Hey Min, how’d you say ‘I love you’ in sign?” asks Ryeowook one day over the bar counter as he polishes beer mugs.

“Oh it’s easy. Like this.” Sungmin raises his open palm toward the curious Ryeowook and folds down his third and ring finger. “Most people who don’t know sign already know this.”

“Oh good, I thought you hadn’t learned how to sign that yet, seeing as you haven’t said that much to Donghae.” And Ryeowook returns to his counter, fervently polishing whatever else he can find.

Oh no, he doesn't love Donghae. Does he? “Love” seems too strong a word by any count.

Sungmin’s sitting next to Donghae again and it is not before long that he feels a warm hand squeezing his thigh and sees a worried Donghae looking at his questioningly. He remembers the plus side of being deaf; what was it again? Oh yeah, the heightened ability to read another’s emotions.

    What’s wrong?                 He signs.
                   It’s nothing.

Donghae let’s out an audible sigh and leaves it at that.
And Sungmin wonders if that is the first time he’s heard Donghae’s voice—because if it is, he likes it very much.

                    Are you and Sungmin together?                asks Eunhyuk.

Donghae has taught him what little he knows about sign and the movements are slow and unsure, but the message gets across perfectly fine.

    Donghae lets out a chuckle.                 What do you mean?
                I mean are you two—but he can’t sign it so he spells: c-o-i-n-h-a-b-i-t-i-n-g?

Donghae stares at Eunhyuk like he’s all strange and shakes his head. Where did he get such an idea? But he thinks to himself that maybe he doesn’t mind.

So Sungmin doesn’t like it when Donghae touches other people, nor does he like it when he sees Donghae signing with someone else, particularly Eunhyuk.
         But he doesn’t get it.

He tells Kangin that he feels iffy when Donghae’s not around him, or when he sees Donghae laughing with someone else. And it takes a very incredulous chef waving a large knife in the air shouting, “Oh-gosh-you-are-so-dense-don’t-you-get-it-already? You-like-him!” to get Sungmin to understand.

When Donghae sees Sungmin so absorbed playing a panadol-pink guitar, eyes closed in the moment of the music, he wishes he can hear for that moment in time and know what music is.

He really wishes he can hear when he sees Sungmin and Ryeowook sing in what he thinks is a harmony for he can only see their mouths move. He wishes he can hear so Sungmin will not feel bad about singing in front of him because he stops abruptly when he sees that Donghae is watching him not far away. His look speaks for itself and Sungmin doesn’t want Donghae to feel any more discouraged about his hearing abilities.

He’s boring a hole in the pan by now as he focuses determinedly on scrubbing a spot that he never noticed before to keep from looking at Sungmin. He cheats and takes a peak at the guitar-wielding man who hasn’t looked away, his eyes boring as deep a hold into Donghae’s profile as Donghae is with the scrub and pan.

Ryeowook thinks he can’t take it anymore and throws his hands up in frustration. He waves to get Donghae’s attention and points to him and Sungmin and follows up by signing “I-D-I-O-T-S”, then storms off to locate Yesung to discuss the new house pour.

Donghae feels embarrassed but he decides to pretend he doesn’t get it and gives a look of utter innocence and confusion, shrugging Sungmin’s discomfort off as he does his own.

Donghae thinks that playing it dumb is the only way to go. After all, why would a more than perfectly working human like a broken one like him?

                    You’re such a great friend. What will I ever do without you?

So Sungmin pictures Donghae linking his index fingers once, twice—a symbol of ‘friends’—as he smiles his characteristic eye-smile. Somehow that concept was unimaginable to Sungmin. He wanted something more and Donghae seemed to draw the line at “friends”. And Sungmin finds himself in a rut. How now?

“You sure he said ‘friends’? I mean signed, or whatever… Friends?” Eunhyuk has difficulty talking through a mouthful of Risone and breadsticks. “Wow, I thought—Nah I was so certain that there was so much more! This is ridiculous Sungmin. Maybe you’re not as good in signing as you think.”

“Naw, he said friend. I checked. Twice.” Sungmin stops himself. Wait, when did he actually realize he did like Lee Donghae at all? “It’s not like I care that much. I mean yeah, I want to be friends with him. D--Don’t I?” Even he started to doubt his own words.

“Admit it Sungmin. You like Donghae.”

Eunhyuk suddenly went incredibly quiet, very unike his usual self, so much so that Sungmin was forced to look up from the plate of Risone he was busying himself with. “What’s up Hyuk?”

Eunhyuk tried to stutter a response and forgot himself. His eyes were fixed on a spot behind Sungmin, as though he had seen a ghost or something.

“Dude, what’s the deal?” Sungmin laughs at Eunhyuk’s expression, but stops himself. Maybe it was as serious as it looked. “What? Do I have a bug on my hair or something?” And he crosses his eyes to look up at his fringe, sweeping the thin margin between his locks and the air with his free hand to rid himself of any hypothetical insect that may have found sanctuary on his hair.

Eunhyuk simply silently scuttles off leaving a very confused Sungmin at the table.

What’s up with him? Thinks Sungmin to himself and he shrugs it off as a Eunhyuk quirk thing. His fingers are poised at the handle of his latte cup and he sips the coffee, feeling the bubbles of steamed milk gather, then dissolve at his lips. He mops up the rest of the white with his bottom lip then taps out a rhythm on the wood table.

Sungmin feels a familiar clap on his shoulder and freezes for a moment. Oh damn. Is all he can think right now.

Hesitantly but not reluctantly, Sungmin turns to face an equally confused Donghae who looks back at him with questioning eyes.

Donghae’s actions are slower, smaller and uncertain.

                   What do you mean Min?
         What do I mean what?

Perhaps he had read Eunhyuk’s lips wrong. Maybe it wasn’t ‘like’. Maybe it was something that looked like ‘like’. And his mind listed a plethora of possibilities. “lick” looks like ‘like’—but what the hell, it doesn’t even make any sense. How about ‘light’? Sort of does, doesn’t it?

What were you and Hyukkie talking about? He had to make sure.

It was Sungmin’s turn to panic (not like he wasn’t already). He knew Donghae could read lips and perhaps, it was time enough.

                    Min, do you like me?      The question came.

Sungmin had no answer. He could only throw his arms around Donghae and squeeze him so tight, it was as though letting go would mean losing Donghae forever.

Sungmin whispers into Donghae’s ears, his voice a mere breath to the deaf man, knowing that Donghae would somehow hear him without hearing him. “Yes, I like you Min. I like you so much I could die. I like you so much that it hurts when you hurt. I hate it when people touch you or when you want to hear me because I hear you perfectly well, and that’s all that matters.”

Sungmin pulls away from Donghae as though he was originally adhered onto him like sticky tape and mouths “I love you”, then pulls the man into a short kiss. The sweetness of the kiss multiplies into one, two, three, and soon it’s a long drawn one, meant to make up for time lost in the delay of the confession.

When they pull away, Donghae smiles,
               I found another universal language Min.
                               What’s that?

And they kiss again, the breath of the single worded answer lost in contact.
Tags: pairing: donghae/sungmin
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