Characters: Kyuhyun, Heechul, Yesung, Siwon, Donghae, Hangeng, Eunhyuk other SJ members might join in soon
Pairings: KyuChul, YeWook, past!HanChul, KyuSung_friendship, SiChul_friendship, Kihae and more to come soon
Genre: AU, Supernatural, Drama, Angst
Word Count : 1850
Warning : Character death, ghostly apparitions?, mature language
Disclaimer : I own many things, but unfortunately Super Junior isn't one of them.
After the whole ‘ghost’ incident with Heechul, Kyuhyun thought he would be free from all of the craziness and go back to his normal life as a university student. But when he starts to hear whispers again, nothing is as he expects...especially when so much more is at stake this time.
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Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12
“Yah. The scarf, it’s not mine. I don’t have any that’s so thick and woolly.” Heechul dropped a crumpled-looking bag onto table where the tousled-haired boy sat before taking the opposite seat.
Kyuhyun tensed up in surprise and nearly choked on his hot mocha. The small café that the older man had asked to meet up at was bustling around lunch time, so no one really noticed the two men at all. He did feel glad that the man finally agreed to meet up, but at the same time he can’t help but feel a little annoyed that after so many times he had casually asked that Heechul finally did give some response. Especially when something seemed to be happening that day…or was he over-thinking everything again?
“It’s for y-you. Erm, it’s a present. Christmas, you know..?” he gulped, trying to ignore the heat rising in his reddening ears despite the snow outside.
“It’s another week before it comes,” the other replied with a straight face.
“Aish, fine, I’ll take it back.” Kyuhyun muttered while grabbing onto the bag.
Heechul couldn’t help but shake his head at the tinge of red colouring the tousled haired boy’s pale cheeks suddenly before snatching it back. “I like red. At least you have good taste.”
“I guess no other colour’s loud enough for you. And I refuse to buy anything pink, especially after I’ve seen you in those horrible pants.”
Heechul rolled his eyes, taking out the woolly accessory and wounding it around his neck rather messily. “Well, I’m not going to be shy then. Okay, goodbye,” he casually rubbed his nose before standing up to leave.
Kyuhyun shot upwards from his seat before subconsciously pulling on the man’s navy blue jacket sleeve. “W-wait! Where are you going? You just came!” Before he knew he was actually moaning at the man to stay, to his own horror. I haven’t seen your stupid face in ages!
“A-and it’s so cold outside, just w-wait, okay?”
“Yah, what’s wrong with you?” Heechul gave him the most annoyed expression that he didn’t think could be surpassed by even he himself. “No, well, uh…I bought you doughnuts!” he quickly let go of the man’s sleeve and looked down at the brown parcel containing the pastries that he had ordered beforehand. “At least sit and finish it first? I have something to ask you. Why are you in such a hurry??”
Heechul ran a hand through his now-auburn hair and sat down back into his chair, cursing himself inside for backing down. He knew he shouldn’t stay, but he can’t help but give in to the boy; after all he knew nothing and deserved more than this. “Aish, I hope you bought me the right flavour.” Before he knew he was sinking his teeth into white chocolate toppings and was genuinely surprised that it was exactly the one that he was hoping for. He shook his head; the boy must have spied on him or something.
“Aish kid…so what is it?”
Kyuhyun hid a secret smile as he watched the man munch somehow heartily on the doughnut with white frosting, just a shade yellower than the snow outside on the pavement. Heechul looked a little worse than after the incident; there was just something off and irritable within the guy, like there was a storm brewing somewhere in his mind. He noticed the way he clenches his free hand before putting it into his thin jacket pocket; the man had clearly forgotten his gloves and proper winter attire. He just seemed to have so much on his mind and Kyuhyun couldn’t understand why. And it frustrates him.
“Why did you ask to meet in a café?” Kyuhyun asked a little louder than usual, to get over the lunchtime buzz. “Aren’t we gonna go do stuff for the spirits anymore?” Heechul only managed to finish half the doughnut and stuck it back into the brown bag. “So now you’re telling me you like meeting at the cemetery? And that you’re enjoying it? I thought you were scared?” he scoffed with a familiar smirk, and Kyuhyun was surprised at how much he had actually missed seeing it.
“Ah well…I still am, a little anyway. But I try not to because it’s helping people, uh, I meant spirits…” And also I get to be around you, he thinks in frustration. “I think I’m hearing someone again, almost like how I did with Shin Donghee-ssi. And I don’t know what to do,” he slumped back into his chair a little helplessly.
Heechul shrugged and decided he can’t look at that helpless face anymore. “I can’t help you that much with it anymore but I’ll try, and I’m warning you, don’t bring him to me like you did the last time, alright? I’m warning you”, he said as the other curved on his back a little with a goofy smile, giving him an urge to just punch the guy in the face, but not in a bad way. “I’ve got my own stuff to do.”
“What stuff? Hankyung?” Kyuhyun blurted out before he could stop himself.
“How did you know about him??” Heechul’s voice dropped menacingly suddenly, the situation tensing up.
“I-I was only guessing…Who is he…anyway?” He asked timidly.
“He’s just someone close to me, okay? But he’s not here anymore, not anywhere that I know of, anyway…” Heechul was clearly avoiding his eyes.
“What, is he like dead or something? Who is he??”
“I don’t wanna talk about him, alright?!” Kyuhyun could not help but feel slightly hurt by the raise of voice, but he knew he was asking for it. One day, he swore to himself, he was going to find out who this Hankyung guy was.
Watching the boy’s face turn a shade paler and defiant quietly made Heechul cool down before taking a deep breath. “Right now, I’m just worried about my little brother, okay? Heechul would have left just about right now and would definitely have spared that last detail if it was anyone else and he didn’t understand why he stayed either.
I don’t want to lose him, like how I lost Hankyung and my noona.
“Donghae-ssi? What’s wrong with him?” Kyuhyun cocked his head to the side.
“The kid’s hiding something from me and I don’t know what. He never hides anything from me. And that’s also because he doesn’t know how to. Why has my brother changed so much so suddenly? It’s my fault for not looking after him these days. I just feel like I can’t protect him anymore…” he muttered in frustration.
“Have you thought that maybe he’s just grown up? He’s got a life of his own right? Maybe you gotta stop treating him like a kid?” Kyuhyun offered subtly.
“Argh, you don’t know my brother, alright. He’s always my kid brother, and I gotta look after him, you know?” A moment of silence before he slumped back into his chair. “You really think so?” Heechul said through half-lidded eyes, a tired frown forming on the milky-white face again.
Kyuhyun can’t help but feel a pang in his heart. Why does this guy have to worry about so many things? First Ryeowook-ssi, then Donghae-ssi…and not forgetting that ‘Hankyung’ or whoever…When will it be finally his turn?
After what seemed like a very long time, Heechul shook his head and straightened up in his seat, reaching out for his remaining doughnut. “Ah, just tell me about your ghost or whatever, pabo. He’s not here, is he?”
Kyuhyun snapped out of his thoughts and shook his head slightly before starting. “Err, I don’t really understand him. I know he’s been following me but when I talk to him he doesn’t know about anything. He doesn’t know why he’s following me, or how he wants me to help him. He doesn’t even know who he is, for that matter. Like I said earlier, I can’t really understand him because when he’s not speaking in that broken Korean of his, he’s always speaking in some foreign language or something. And he comes and goes just like that, it’s hard to really talk to him straight in one go.”
“Just try your best to understand him, get what he wants you do to, do it and get it over with. Or else just call your local shaman in case he gets annoying or if he’s really hurting you. You can have Siwon’s number but you can’t have him for life because no.1 he’s not gay, and no.2 he belongs to me,” said Heechul lazily.
Kyuhyun made a face and crossed his arms, almost pouting. “That’s not really helpful, is it?”
Heechul gave a small laugh. “Ahh…there’s things in life you’ve just gotta figure out yourself, kid. We all do.”
“How can I help him if I can’t even understand him?”
“You’ll find a way, okay? Call me if anything comes up again,” Heechul stood up to leave, for real this time.
“Where are you goin? Hey!” Kyuhyun grabbed onto the man’s arm this time, a tight grip at first, desperate even, but turned lax eventually when the man turned around. After all he had gone through, all they had gone through… Why was he just leaving like this?
“I’ve got things on my mind now, alright? I’ll be back soon, kid.”
I promise. A whisper in the man’s heart that was never heard by the other.
Kyuhyun had wanted very much to hold onto the cold hand that clasped his shoulders on the way out, but all there was left was the wispy scent that smelled like flowers, and a trace of red as the scarf around the man’s neck and the man himself left behind a swinging door and the sounds of bells ringing. The only comfort he had was the sight of that very same milky-white hand tightening the red scarf snugly around the man’s neck, hopefully protecting him from the cold, harsh winter.
The day was cold, and more so in the evening. Kyuhyun knew he should probably start leaving for home soon, but he knew he’d most probably be returning to either an empty apartment or a very cosy and romantic situation between his hyung and his new-found love, complete with candle-light dinner and perhaps even slow dance music in the dining room; both of which would be awkward either way.
Clutched in his gloved hand was a newly-bought book, (aptly titled ‘How to Speak Chinese if You’re Korean’), still new in its plastic covers, price tag still intact. It was cold outside, but still bearable and Kyuhun had strangely no desire to return indoors. With a sigh, he sat on the nearest bench he could find by the quiet snow-laden street, illuminated by the orange street lamp just looming behind him. Whispers and a quiet buzz lingered in the air, but recently he seemed to have the ability to shut them out, or rather tune it down to a bearable volume that wasn’t so annoying. He slid his right glove off and began peeling off the slippery plastic, turning the book to the last page and back again. ‘Greetings’ should do the trick.
“Ni hao ma. Wo shi…well,” he paused. “Kyuhyun,” he shrugged. Just a general introduction when you meet someone new, ah, simple enough for an educator’s son. Language was one of the abilities that Kyuhyun was proud of during school, scoring high for English and even French. He had contemplated once to join the Mandarin language class, but he never thought he’d have the use for any Chinese until now.
“Chi fan le mei you? Have you eaten rice? Wo shi shu…shuai ge. I am a handsome man,” he wriggled his own eyebrows as he flipped to yet another random page. “Che suo zai na li? Where’s the toilet? Wo yao da bian. I want to shit,” he sniggered pretty badly to himself. By now Kyuhyun was clearly amusing himself in a wrong way with the dictionary.
“You want to…shit? Here?”
A voice suddenly loomed in, quiet but loud enough to make the fine hairs on his back stand, coming from just right beside him, a spot that was most obviously empty a second ago, but not so much now. Kyuhyun’s heart skipped a beat before racing. Here’s his chance again.
“Ah..uh… wait, just wait.” He fumbled with the book in his hands before turning back to the beginning. “Ni hao ma. Ni zh- uh…jiao shen me…ming?” How are you, what is your name? Polite enough? Kyuhyun hoped he wasn’t dealing with anyone who would be easily pissed like Heechul.
“Oh..wo jiao…” Kyuhyun sensed some hesitancy in the unmistakable voice. “ Wo ye wang ji le ah. Jian dao ni zhen hao. Ni yao xue zhong wen? Wo shi-”
“Whoah, whoah, hold it, hold it right there. I’m sorry, but I’m not that good in Chinese…!” Kyuhyun said in alarm, looking at the empty spot beside him although he knew very well he wouldn’t see anyone. A chuckle resounded softly before the sounds of clearing of throat.
“My Korean isn’t that good either, but I’ll try. It’s better than not have anyone hearing me at all…”the voice trailed off in a rather sad note.
“So…erm, have you figured out how I could help you?” Silence ensued for a while before Kyuhyun got tired of waiting for a reply. “H-hello? You still there?”
“Yes, yes…sorry, I forgot you couldn’t see me. I nodded just now. I suppose you could help me figure out who I am first…?”
“Uh, well okay…So first things first…are you a hyung, or a dongsaeng? I’m born in ’88…”
“Erm…I don’t remember when I was born…but judging from your looks and what I remember of myself, I think maybe I’m a dongsaeng?”
“Hey, what do you mean by that?” Kyuhyun got startled by the sarcasm suddenly but sighed with resignation. “People do tell me I look older than my age. Just to be safe, I’ll call you hyung then, if you don’t mind. So do you remember anything at all? Anything or anyone before you were... like this?”
“I’ve been like this longer than I realize, I think…Floating around mindlessly, everyone minding their own business without even looking at me…But children, they’re different. Some of them can hear me and see me, so I talk to them sometimes, but I don’t do that often because it gets most of them in trouble with their parents. You’re the first adult who can hear or talk to me, Kyuhyun-ssi...Is that right?”
“Yes, that’s my name. I suppose you’ve been secretly following me around, huh? It was you who was stroking Ddaming back at home, right? I hope you don’t do that when I’m, you know, in my own private place, doing my private things…It’s sorta creepy…and rude.”
“Ah, ah…sorry, sorry, Kyuhyun-ssi…I’m not really in control of when I’m allowed to follow you. Sometimes I get sucked in here and there and end up all over the place. I don’t know where I get to go next.” Even as he spoke, Kyuhyun had trouble hearing the voice because it felt like it was threatening to fade away any time, like someone turning up and down the volume knob on the radio.
“So where do you go when you’re not following me around?”
“I honestly don’t really know…I just go with the flow most of the time, and it gets so tiring and disorienting that I just wished it would stop. At times, I have so many feelings inside it feels like I was going to explode...I also hear all sorts of noises, some beeping, some monotonous, and some voices…all over. Sometimes they sound familiar…in particular one voice….she always seems to be talking to me, but I can’t talk back…And then all white…and poof, the next second I’m back where you are…”
“Wow….that’s a little…information overload…At least the rest knew who they were and what they wanted. I still don’t know how to help you though…”Kyuhyun sighed.
“But there are times when I don’t feel like I’m present, I mean, not like now, when I know I’m talking to you, or that when I talk to people and they don’t respond because they can’t hear me. Sometimes it feels more like a memory, like I’ve been there before…or something…”
“Memory? Do you remember any one in particular?”
“There’s always one where there’s this person… When he’s around, my heart feels happy, but at the same time it’s not. I don’t know how to describe it. In the memories we seem very happy together…I don’t know how real it is, but sometimes there are monsters too…”
“Monsters?” Kyuhyun wondered out loud.
“I know, it’s strange to me too…But every time I see him, I have this strong urge…like I need to protect him from them…He feels important to me…”
“I just feel like I can’t protect him anymore…” Heechul’s voice rang in his head unknowingly.
“Are you feeling alright lately, Kyuhyun-ssi? You seem a bit distracted about something…”the soft voice asked.
Kyuhyun shook his head. “Y-yeah…I was just thinking, sorry…”
“Don’t leave…come out please…I need to see you!”
A loud voice cut across the thick air despite the heavy snow. Kyuhyun looked around in surprise; he thought he was alone with the spirit on this quiet, deserted street. Just about a few feet away from where he sat, a figure of a man was kneeling on the road, knees embedded deeply into the thick snow, hands outstretched towards nothingness, voice unsteady and sobbing loudly. In just about that moment, yellow headlights flashed. Kyuhyun could feel adrenaline pumping through his veins, his legs frozen and stuck to the ground. If he didn’t do anything the boy would be hit. The car was going too fast, far too fast on this slippery, dark road. Before he knew what he was doing, he ran and jumped and pushed with all his might.
A loud honk, a loud burly voice, cold snow plastered onto his face. It was almost 2 seconds before he shakes himself back to reality. He wakes up and finds the figure in his arms, breathing shallowly, tear tracks frozen on the pale face. Kyuhyun swept the white flakes off the face with his own frigid hands.
“D-Donghae-ssi??” Kyuhyun shouted in alarm, hands shaking beneath the unconscious figure.
“I think…I know him…” said the voice just above the two of them before fading out.