Pairing(s): past!HenMin, HyukMin
Genre: Angst, Romance
Rating(s): PG; 1475 words
Summary: When Sungmin loses himself in sadness, he temporarily forgets that Hyukjae will always be with him.
Author's Note: Written for xdespondence for the Secret Santa Fanfic Exchange in 2011.
I totally forgot to post this up in my journal after it was released. Hahaha. Well~ It's not too late to share, right? XD Was quite pleased with this fic.. I had 3 different drafts for the exchange and decided this was the one. LOL. Okay, enjoy~
You're in a field. You shuffle your feet to a lone tree nearby and settle down beneath its shade with your legs curled under you. You stare at the patch of never ending greenery and remember how you used to run around here when you were younger. You glance beside you, feeling rather than seeing someone sitting next to you, with his head on your shoulder. It’s times like this that you feel the empty hole in your heart despite having everything that you have always wanted. You miss the easy smiles and laughter, the joyful experiences and carefree life. And most of all, you miss him.
He was your childhood friend - the friend that was always there for you; looking out for you and caring for you when nobody would. Although he was younger, he never failed to take care of you like the fragile person you were. He stood by your side through thick and thin, braving mishaps and shielding you from everything.
You loved him.
And he loved you, too, but neither of you took the step to cross the line between each other.
It was something that couldn’t be changed – at least, not anymore. Henry had tried, but that was on the day he left for the city, promising a good life ahead and that “When I come back, Min, I’ll marry you. We won’t need an elaborate ceremony; as long as there’s me and you, we can get through everything.” And then he had left for good, leaving you alone with only memories of him tucked inside your heart.
You know Henry hadn’t meant to leave you behind, that he merely wanted the best for you. It was inevitable that a drunk driver had crashed into the taxi he was in headfirst, sending both Henry and the taxi driver to Heaven. Why the drunkard only suffered from mild injuries you’ll never know.
Life was unfair like this, and you despised it most.
You close your eyes then, and feel the wind on your skin. You feel the cold of the rain, too, but it's just your imagination. You pull your legs to your chest and prop your head on your knees. You think about the times you felt unworthy and upset over life, and how you would always run to this same field to drown in your woes. Henry always found you, though. He knew your tendencies and knew where you would be even when no one else could find you. The field had been the secret hideout for both of you, and you had treasured it – you still do.
Henry was – is – special to you, and you love him like no other. He’s a friend, a confidante, a potential lover, yet he would never be there for you again. You feel the pressure rising in your chest now, the burn of tears at the back of your eyes threatening to spill over as you struggle to hold it inside you. You open your mouth in a gasp, only to let out an uncontrolled sob. Your fists are clenched tight, your knuckles beginning to turn white as you try to direct the raging storm inside of you. It’s a futile attempt, you know, because your memories are not helping you.
You think of the times Henry found you here, the endless laughter and chatter when he tries his best to cheer you up, and how he would gather you in his arms, making sure you were snuggled securely against him with your head tucked under his chin. You remember the feeling of his lean arms around you, the warm hands rubbing down your back soothingly, comforting you and ceasing the sound of your sobs. You remember the gentle assurances and the melody he would hum to calm you. You remember the sense of security he gave, and how you knew you would always be safe in his arms, no matter the circumstances.
You’re feeling it now – the ghost of memories haunting you, making you believe Henry is here, soothing your tears and making you feel secure. A crash of lightning and thunder frees you from the lingering tips of reminiscences, and forces you to succumb to reality. You open your eyes, feeling the cold breeze against your skin, the warmth you felt earlier now gone with the memories. Realisation dawns on you, and you feel the onslaught of tears coming again. This time, however, it surges its way down your face and soaks through your jeans.
Your heart clenches in pain as you let out a wail, and then another, and another, and another – you try to stop, but you can’t, not now, not yet. You feel the misery consume you – the lost of Henry catching up to you like the many other times you’ve been here and you can’t prevent it – no, you want the despair to flow. You need it to flow, to drown you until you can feel nothing else. It’ll hurt less that way, you think to yourself.
It isn’t till you hear the crunch of branches and the sound of footsteps making their way through the tall grass towards you that you try to slow your breathing and cease your cries. You hear a soft sound, but you can’t be sure – it’s too far away and your breaths are still coming out in heavy pants. You raise your hand to wipe your tears away, but they keep on coming, keep on rolling down your face and refusing to stop.
“Sungmin?” The voice rang out, now clearer to you, and yet still so far away.
Your tears continue to fall, the water blurring your eyesight – but you don’t care, you don’t want to care. You hear the footsteps slowing down, the sound slowly becoming louder now. It comes to a halt in front of you, but you don’t need to raise your head – you know who it is.
“Min,” the voice cracks at the sight of you.
You feel the person crouching down and pulling you into his chest, his muscular arms winding around you in a protective embrace. His musky scent hits your nostrils – the fragrance so different from Henry’s, and yet so familiar to you. You feel his body providing you heat, taking away the coldness that you were feeling. You also feel the warmth in the pit of your stomach, and you know it isn’t just his body heat that is warming you up. Your eyes burn again, and tears continue to fall. He wraps his arms tighter around you, shifting you into his lap as his left hand strokes through your hair tenderly.
You feel safe in his arms, but it is different from how it is with Henry. You squeeze your eyes shut, your hands clutching his shirt firmly. He lets you do so while he tucks your head under his chin. He rubs your back gently, comforting you with all that he has. As you stayed longer in his hold, you feel your tears subsiding, and your breath begins to slow.
“Don’t cry, Min. You know I hate to see you like this,” he murmurs softly into your ears, his breath tickling your skin.
“I’m-“ You hiccup, “sorry, Hyukkie. I didn’t mean to come here and cry, and think about Henry again, and-“
“Shhh,” Hyukjae shushes you, “It’s okay, Min. I know Henry will always have a place in your heart, and that I will never replace him, but you must remember that you’re not alone, not anymore after you met me. I’ll always be here, and I will always stay by you. So don’t cry, Min. I’m here.”
And you do remember. You remember coming back to the fields time and time again to pour all your sorrows after losing Henry, but you remember meeting a certain person named Lee Hyukjae who managed to crawl into your heart and settle right next to Henry’s spot. You remember this much stronger man with the adorable gummy smile and amazing sense of humour that never fails to light up your day. You remember him confessing to you boldly and accepting all your flaws, and most importantly, your love for Henry. You remember that he was always by your side, supporting you, guiding you, and making sure you were never alone.
You pull away from him then, hooking your arms around his neck with a smile. His arms now rest on your waist, giving you sufficient space to lean up and press a chaste kiss on his cheek.
“Thank you, Hyukkie. I won’t forget it, I promise.”
Hyukjae pressed his forehead to yours as he gave you a gummy smile.
“You better, Min.”
You nod, positive you won’t ever forget the most important thing – that Hyukjae loves you like no other, and you love him just the same.