+ nc-17 / 4638 words
&’ slight!onew/key, taemin/minho
- mentions of sex/drugs/swearing
they lie down anyway with jonghyun informing kibum that to live a little was not illegal.
we all carry these things inside that no one else can see.
they hold us down like anchors, they drown us out at sea.
jonghyun was twenty one, kibum twenty. they were drunk and stupid and that’s all you really need to know that mistakes happen for a reason.
kibum knows who kim jonghyun is. he knows, but he doesn’t show it. so when taemin introduces them to each other, with that-guy-who’s-kinda-tall-and-quiet and clearly has something with the maknae, he puts on the most indifferent face he can muster up and shakes the latter’s hand as if he’s never met jonghyun in his life.
“have we met before?” jonghyun’s eyes sparkle, hiding secrets that kibum can’t quite clearly see. he isn’t sure if it was good thing.
“wait, aren’t you—”
and ohshitohshit, it hits kibum like a brick: he remembers. and that’s all kibum needs as a signal ringing like alarm bells.
so kibum is all sharp tongue and quick replies, tries to save himself as he mouths a ‘no’ because, “this is the first time i’ve seen you.”
he holds his breath, the pressure bubbling inside and forcing to come out—telling what needs to be buried. he hopes taemin doesn’t figure it out.
jonghyun lips crinkle just the slightest, eyebrows raised and gives an okay. because “it’s really nice to meet you.” and they become strangers once again that never did meet in normal circumstances.
(this, this was a coincidence; kibum doesn’t believe in fate)
there is an awkward pause before jonghyun’s phone rings and he’s fast to pick up, already making excuses to the other line. he lifts his finger as if to say ‘excuse me one moment,’ but kibum doesn’t notice because he’s focusing on everything else that’s in front of him: red skinnies, white v-neck, and too toned muscles on blonde hair.
(kibum doesn’t miss the “don’t worry, babe. i didn’t forget about our date tonight.” and the way taemin says, “that’s the third girlfriend he has a date with this week.”)
fuck, he thinks, it’s him alright and he doesn’t miss his heart skip a beat at the grin that passes his way.
“well, we should really get going,” kibum continues, pretending for once that time was important. the clock ticking tictoctictoc, as if it’s counting down to something—
just as significant.
he gives hints like it’s the most obvious thing in the world and hopes that taemin clues in.
true to his word, his best friend does. completes the changing pieces of the puzzle and gives kibum a kind of sigh that spells out: tell me later, because right now this is too confusing to figure out. taemin waves goodbye to
(“minho-sshi, right? i’m glad to finally meet you.” and “likewise, kibum-sshi.”)
with a peck on flushed cheeks that kibum decides to ponder on for later. later.
right now his main goal is to find a way out like he usually does. too bad the exit sign wasn’t near.
“so you mean—”
“well fuck, hyung.”
taemin frowns, jinki laughs. kibum just digs his face deeper in his hands, hoping that at least the darkness will swallow him whole.
“we were drunk and horny and fuck, the guy literally dragged me to the club’s bathroom and begged me to have sex with him.”
“but he’s straight!” taemin almost roars, drawling out the word in such a way that has kibum’s skin rolling like tiny hills.
“i know, taemin.” i know.
kibum buries his face deeper.
autumn makes kibum think of leaving and of black coffee, though he never did like coffee. he liked the idea of it.
jonghyun comes in on a tuesday morning with mopped brown hair, whistling an almost-familiar tune that kibum figures was just one of those things you can’t remember. he orders a coffee
(“black, naturally.” he says and kibum rolls his eyes in response because, “you seem like the type,” to which jonghyun smiles sheepishly with his hands up and says, “guilty.”)
with a charming smile and laughs rudely at kibum’s shocked glare.
“are you stalking me now?” truth be told, kibum has been waiting until the day he meets the egotistical boy that moved his heart, though he never would admit it. he settles on just staring at said person and hopes his eyes don’t turn into little stars that reach and sparkle. and love.
(because that meant he’s interested and kibum will never live that down).
jonghyun takes his drink and subconsciously blows on invisible steam that he knows you can’t see quite clearly, but knows is there.
“i don’t need explanations,” kibum is to the point (jumps over the picket fence without really thinking or feeling). “i don’t need that crap. i get it; we fucked up. that’s all i need to know.”
“i guess it’s easier if we introduce each other as friends then.” jonghyun dimples are cheeky and oblivious, hand out in a polite manner.
kibum stretches his hands as if to say, ‘yeah. we could be that’ and smiles back like he means it (really, he just knows he’ll fall even more).
jonghyun understands and still rips open kibum’s heart.
kibum figured his heart was on a hook thrown out to the sea, catching the trade winds and sailing away from the safe harbor. he hoped that someone grabbed it before it sunk deep into the ocean and never came back.
kibum doesn’t know how it happened, but he and jonghyun form an unrecognizable friendship. he thinks its cliché but he’ll never really admit that because he doesn’t quite believe in happy endings
(“life is a bitch,” he says to taemin one day, “make sure to always bite back.”)
and jonghyun surely wasn’t it. he finds out that the latter comes from a prestige family, born with the riches and luxury that kibum wasn’t lucky to have. son of the kim empires, jonghyun was to take over the business in a few years time and immense pressurepressurepressure that kibum almost feels sorry for.
he doesn’t know how they happened but—
(jonghyun takes out a pack of marlboro cigarettes. he takes a stick and breathes in toxic scents and kibum, “you know what’s funny? they want me to have ten kids.”
to which kibum laughs hysterically because, “at the rate you’re going,” he points to the pack of tar and ashes and takes one for himself just because he can, “i don’t think you’ll live long enough to.”)
he concludes that this is how they just are, because why else would they have clicked so well without some kind of chemistry.
“this is insane.”
jonghyun’s laugh sounds like birdsong sunsets, spreading like balloons in the air. he is beautiful, new, unexplored; kibum feels helpless as he falls prey to the fragile game of lo—
maybe he’s just lying to himself.
they are standing in the middle of the railroad track, hands in the air and looking at the unknown stars above them. the train is coming, kibum knows (he can feel the tracks burn through his shoes and shake his exhilarated body).
“live a little.”
jonghyun laughs and kibum figures he can never forget the sound (rooted in place in the synapses of his brain ringing and mocking him).
“standing on railroad tracks is illegal.”
jonghyun takes his hands and motions them to lie down.
they lie down anyway with jonghyun informing kibum that to live a little was not illegal.
(“we’re in two places at once,” he had said when they tip toed over the middle section of the railroad, “one foot on either side of the country border line; an accomplishment.”)
kibum wishes the stars would eat him so the darkness can strangle what’s left of him. and he curses rudely at the gods above because he’s getting that fluttering in his stomach again like hummingbird wings, when their arms brush together because jonghyun was tootoo close.
he prayed for some kind of sign, but all he got was the twinkle in jonghyun’s eyes and the way those stars shone even brighter in the moonlight.
they get a ticket for walking on those railroad tracks.
kibum knew that he was going to fall. he knew because if he could have jonghyun form into a chain, he’d have him tied ‘round his neck to keep him near.
jonghyun’s smile is deadly. kibum finds out the hard way when he’s pushed roughly onto the door of jonghyun’s apartment and his back reverberates with pain caught by parched lips on his neck, gutting out moans and pleasure and—
“jjong, do that again.”
and jonghyun does do it again, grinds their erections together and smoothens the plains of kibum’s skin drumming digits under his shirt and feeling.
kibum isn’t given time to breathe but he manages “p-public, j-jjong” so effortlessly that he wonders how they have gotten on the couch with jonghyun on top of him riding and grinding and all kinds of fuck that kibum can’t put words to.
he’s seeing stars again and his stomach is oozing out that funny feeling straight to his heart and he wonders if this is the right thing to do.
“are you sure about this?”
jonghyun fumbles with the hem of his shirt and kisses kibum’s lips once more, cradles the action like children and keeps it slow, cautious. kibum guesses it may have been because he was ashamed that this will come out stocky and short, and stumbled, not quite ringing out with confidence.
“i'm trying to save you. so you don't wake up and regret this in the morning.”
he reassures as if to say, it takes two to tango, curls his hand against the back of jonghyun’s neck, which is all too familiar in a way that should be a little frightening.
he catches jonghyun smiling against his throat.
“maybe i don’t want to be saved,” he says and that’s all jonghyun needed to continue.
they are only in boxers and disheveled hair, picking up pieces of their hearts on adrenaline and spitting what’s left of their erratic breaths. jonghyun works fast: blows warm air onto his stomach and moves downdowndown.
jonghyun licks his lips, “you make me want to be dangerous.”
“oh?” kibum runs a hand through his hair. he’s kind of flattered. skin already painted with meshes of abstract pinks and reds and hushed tones and kisses that only jonghyun can truly splatter on kibum’s canvas.
jonghyun drives kibum up the wall. he knows this, takes advantage as he palms the latter’s length and gives it a few strokes to get a response. kibum offers a faint groan at the back of his throat, soon being swallowed by jonghyun whole.
they breathe in, sharing the scent of intoxication, all too eager and willing. jonghyun’s fingertips are imprinted on kibum’s hips, leaving marks so bruised that will serve as a memory rather than a dream.
and then kibum is crashing, rolling his hips to meet jonghyun halfway when the latter is pulling out of him only to ram back in a dance only they know. it’s sensual and giving and—
“fuck, jjong. just like that.”
they’re chest to chest, with kibum’s cock sliding between both their abdomens. it makes the hairs rise at the back of his neck; they never really were graceful. and like a blind fog that sweeps over the world, jonghyun is all kibum could think about; he became everything.
but just when he’s about to come undone, jonghyun whispers three words that were never said directly until the thumping of his heart stops (the organ starting to back up again and running) and he hears them.
kibum never believed in fate. he fucked things up and pushed people away, that’s what he did. a person who faked a smile and a heart like a brick in the cavity between his ribs (because he can’t help it).
kibum faintly remembers jonghyun inviting him out to drink one night. even with the circumstances, he couldn’t afford another round of slap-some-sense-in-kibum day.
his heart was getting too delicate but he agreed anyway because it was just kibum to do that.
“kibum-ah,” it was a broken record; sad and disappointed. jonghyun slurs his name and kibum feels a wave of nostalgia and déjà vu and his heart tighten like coils.
“i’m getting married, you know.”
“trust my parents to marry me off to some random girl, i don’t even know.” jonghyun speaks in a foreign tongue and he vaguely wonders how he even understands any of it.
he reminds himself that this was jonghyun, his best friend and that’s all kibum needs to calm his raging heart. it sounds choked but he says it anyway, “t-they want what’s best for you.”
jonghyun comes as a hushed whisper, “is this their way of showing it?”
“we are how we act.”
“does that mean if we act like we are loved, we are loved?”
kibum almost cries.
“hyung, i’m worried about you.” taemin’s words hit him like glass on tiled floors and kibum trips over wondering how this even happened.
“i don’t know anymore, taemin.”
“what do you mean?”
“i-i just don’t know.”
he cries for the first time in a long time. taemin hopes to god that his hyung’s lack of everything doesn’t have anything to do with a certain three-toned blonde, but is defeated.
he should have said no when he had the chance to. maybe it was because (please circle: helikedme helovedme hewantedme) and watching something so tragically doomed like love that he forgot everything good must come to an end.
“this relationship is destructive.”
jonghyun hums into soft skin, paying no attention as he works his way into kibum like there was nothing in the world more important.
kibum hesitates and draws out a long breath that he didn’t know he’d been holding, “d-do you not realize that we need to talk about this?”
they push and pull and break things apart; kibum doesn’t even know what this is
(“what are we?” kibum asks and jonghyun smiles so sadly that kibum wishes everything would just fade to black.
“everything.” my hopes, my dreams, my wants it says.
kibum kisses him, hopes he can take away the what if and could have and should have beens and
“why can’t we just be together?”
jonghyun hugs kibum closer, “i only have one shot to please those that need to be pleased.”
and kibum gets it, he really does but he doesn’t want to listen.)
and knows it’s the least bit healthy for him(self). because kim jonghyun is making him go insane where they’re treading on fine lines between friends and lovers, trying hard to keep their heads above the water and swimming.
he feels like drowning but jonghyun hooks his lips on kibum’s and offers oxygen and everything else that kibum doesn’t want to know, hear, see (because damn right, he’s just as afraid too).
“jonghyun,” kibum tries and hopes to god that this will be the last time because his heart can’t take it anymore (he’s not sure if it’s capable of recharging only to have it break and charge and start all over again).
“we can’t keep doing this.” kibum untangles himself from tangled limbs and tries to walk away because that’s what he does when there’s nothing left to hope for.
but jonghyun is keen and always so goddamn positive and hopes and believes. he makes sure to grab kibum’s wrist, eyes closed and voice soft and—
“because i said so.”
kibum is compliant because this is kim jonghyun; he loves him. he feels his chest explode like shots banging out of his chest and hears his heart break so loudly that he holds onto jonghyun tighter, screaming save me.
sometimes, kibum’s mind forgets to remind him that jonghyun was a bad idea. he wants to pretend he’s someone else and lose himself in the process.
“can i come over?”
he doesn’t wait to hear jinki say ‘of course’ and rings the doorbell without a second thought.
there is always something about jinki that kibum finds hauntingly familiar. maybe it’s the way jinki understands him that he finds entirely pleasant or maybe it’s the way jinki is open and loving and just different compared to a certain blonde haired boy that he knows. in any case, he’s known lee jinki all his life and what he needs right now is a breath of fresh air.
“you know, knocking is an essential part of being polite.” jinki doesn’t look up from his laptop, eyes bulging out like fireworks dying in the distance as he scans the page of the new mexicana menu. chickeeeeen.
kibum rolls his eyes and flops down the couch next to him, “yeah? well, what happened to shut the fuck up.”
“feisty are we?”
“you’re not helping.”
jinki finally turns to him, expectant and curious. “just know that i’m closing the mexicana webpage and the bountiful amounts of chicken i can indulge in because i love you and i am an awesome friend.”
(he closes his laptop just for added effect).
kibum rests his head on the latter’s shoulders, sticks his tongue out as if he wants to poke fun, “jerk.”
jinki understands because he’s jinki and that’s all kibum needed right now. he tells kibum to get some rest because “for a diva, you look like shit right now,” to which kibum snarkily replies and with bite, “fuck you.”
jinki all too used to the insults, just pulls kibum towards his bed and forces him to lay down and sleep, “you should know by now that even the almighty kim kibum needs his beauty rest.”
kibum embraces the darkness like it’s all he has. he sees a distorted perception of olive green grass and blossoming trees through a window and remembers smelling scarlet tulips and joy. he remembers waking up with petals stuck in his eyebrows and grass stains on his lips and puppy eyes with a sheepish grin next to him.
he falls into a deep slumber with a pained smile carved on his face.
he wants to drive until he loses the road, but he was afraid that there won’t be any map to direct him back to where he was before.
they’re swinging under the stars on a deserted playground that they will never know or care to remember. jonghyun is pushing kibum on the swings as he embraces flight and lets gravity push everything down (he laughs at the irony of it all).
kibum doesn’t understand why it’s so important for jonghyun to know but he’s getting this funny feeling and it makes him smile the slightest because
(“wait, is jonghyun jealous?” and he laughs so loudly that it echoes through the walls of slides and swings.)
which he says out loud without meaning to.
jonghyun sputters like a dying engine, splutters excuses that come out wrong, short, and awkward. “it’s just he— i-you— i-i talked to him last night when i tried calling you. said you were busy sleeping, and i… i just wondered.”
jonghyun stops the flying and holds onto the iron bars on either side of kibum as his knuckles turn white. he envelops kibum’s waist with his arms and hugs him from behind, chin on top of slumped shoulders.
“what do you wanna know?”
“all of it.”
kibum sighs and digs into the warmth that is jonghyun, “he was my first in everything.”
he feels jonghyun’s embrace tighten and grins stupidly.
“you’re a retard.”
“y-yah! what the fuck, you bastard.”
“keep going you baby.”
“we knew each other since we were kids, grew up together with our families being so close. somewhere in the middle i figured out i like boys and he did too, so it just happened. we just happened… for two years, actually.”
kibum reminisces of the past and thinks man, was it ever easy back then and wonders how things fucking ever got this complicated.
“why did you break up?” jonghyun seems so sure of it all, so genuinely sure that maybe it was really meant to be kibum and jinki after all. he frowns just the slightest but kibum takes away that doubt with a small smile.
“we wanted two different things in life.”
jonghyun kisses the side of his chin almost lovingly. if kibum had really paid any attention maybe he should’ve seen the sadness in jonghyun’s eyes.
“what do you want?” to be with you.
kibum turns around and fully kisses him and his chapped lips.
he once heard that people cry, not because they're weak but because they've been strong for too long. he hoped this was true.
he learns that minho is observant when he comes over one day with the invitation of a surprise birthday party for taemin. kibum learns that minho knows too many things and wonders if he should be fearful.
jonghyun catches him in his pensive state, locks an arm around his head and kibum forgets everything for a brief second. almost.
(“you freaking idiot. is this really necessary?!” to which jonghyun just grins widely. “of course it is.”)
minho towers over him with an air of authority and sense and kibum can’t quite figure it out but maybe it really was pity after all.
“he’s suppose to get married, you know.”
kibum closes his eyes and hopes the thudding in his head will go away because he’s heard this already and he repeats all the things he’s been trying to say: jonghyun is too young to get married and nononono he just can’t because i lov—
“please be careful, hyung.”
minho doesn’t continue. he learns that through all of this cryptic talk, minho still doesn’t explain the how’s, the when’s, the why’s (in the world is jonghyun even about to get married). but minho knows kibum knows; he just doesn’t want to hear it the second time around.
(jonghyun is throwing glass and cutlery and everything kibum fears the most but can’t quite say himself.
“i’m so tired, kibum.”
and kibum is holding onto him like he was the last thing on earth, spitting promises and lies that don’t quite mesh together. “what’s wrong?”
“we can’t keep doing this.”
“because as much as i want to be with who i want to be, i need to be what my parents expect of me.”
and he feels something pulling on his throat, restricting and constricting and he wonders when this will all end. kibum tugs at the words he’s said before and spells it out for jonghyun.
“they want what’s best for you.” )
and downs whatever’s left of his drink and goes home.
he doesn’t see or hear from jonghyun for months. he figures it was just like messages lost in translation, god’s way of saying: “he’ll be back when he wants to.” because jonghyun always comes back. and kibum believes himself so well that he kind of forgets that growing pain in his chest that keeps repeating, “no. no he won’t.”
he sees prim and proper paper stamped with inked cursive letters on his doorstep one day and the smell of roses and dread.
we cordially invite you,
to the joining of shin sekyung and kim jonghy—
he feel his lungs tighten like swollen balloons filled with hacked-up spit from tainted breath and cries.
kibum knows that sometimes, you have to fall before you fly. he just never figured that falling would hurt so much.
he is broken from every possible angle, constricted by the suffocation of white dresses and tuxedos and pretty flowers that he feels the burning sensation of acidic tears treading in bedlam as they slip so slowly from his face.
taemin is fast to react, dancer’s feet on edge and already hugging kibum because that really is all you can do to a battered face distorted by love and its plentiful imperfections.
kibum wipes his tears awake, bones jutting out in odd places as his throat stings from the pain of smoke and heartbreak searing up and down his throat. taemin takes the cigarette and puts it out with nervous feet.
“it’s gonna be okay, right ‘minnie? it’ll be okay, right?”
taemin hugs him deeper and tugs on his shoulders to say that i’m here for you, because he really has no reply to that; he doesn’t want to lie. minho comes in then, throws an apologetic look and turns to leave.
“yah, minho-ah! you’re not even gonna try and make your hyung feel better?” kibum can still be impolite and demanding even with the circumstances (damn, the circumstances). minho grins for the first time, and engulfs them whole in a group hug.
“kibum-hyung, fighting!” minho squeaks in attempt to make light of the situation but his voice cracks and they’re laughing buckets at how unmanly this all is.
kibum figures, yeah. i can get through this.
he doesn’t cry when the wedding ceremony starts and he’s sitting on the edge of the church’s benches. he doesn’t cry when jonghyun takes a once over at the crowd and spots him with pleading eyes to say i fucked up, and that i’m sorry. i should’ve said something. but kibum pretends he doesn’t understand anything and smiles for the hell of it (jonghyun knows he’s lying).
he doesn’t cry when sekyung opens her heart with wedding vows and empty promises that kibum knows will never be as good and as truthful if he would’ve been in her place. he doesn’t cry when jongyun does the same and the crowd ahh’s and the groom and bride kiss.
kim kibum can’t cry anymore.
so when he feels a small hand resting on the plains of his back in the isolated part of the courtyard, he puts on the best smile he can muster and says, “congratulations.”
“you didn’t have to come.” jonghyun’s hold on his waist tightens as if to say, i’ve missed you. kibum pretends not to hear or feel because his heart is already breaking and he can’t pick up the pieces fast enough.
“of course i did,” he turns around and puts his arms around jonghyun’s neck and whispers, “i’m your best friend after all,” before pulling away.
“i can explain—”
“you don’t need to.”
jonghyun cries for the first time, and kibum is wiping down his tears with so much goodbyes and iloveyous and i didn’t mean for this too.
“let’s run away together.”
“don’t be an idiot, jjong. you have responsibilities now; a wife to take care of.”
jonghyun pleads one last time, “how do you care for something you don’t believe in?”
and it breaks kibum’s heart.
“things shouldn’t be changed if they’re not supposed to be.”
that really was all it took for jonghyun to kiss him one last time and linger caresses on picture perfect skin he will never touch and kiss again.
“remember that i love you,” he says and kibum closes his eyes to keep the tears from flowing and stinging the back of his eyes.
jonghyun walks away with recently dyed brown hair and a smile that will never reach his eyes. kibum calls up jinki, says he’s had enough of this place and to please come pick him up. he doesn’t miss the way jinki tells him he’s sorry or the way his heart was finally thrown out to the sea and drowned. somehow, he couldn’t find the will to look for it anymore.
kim kibum is human, and humans can forget.
Note: Comments&Criticism ♥
i am sorry. this wasn't suppose to be sososo sad. jongkey can never be happy when it comes to my writing -.- i feel horrible.
in any case, i am terribly sorry for my lack of updates. this story has been up for months and it's only till now that i have been able to post it on lj. you don't understand how much editing this story went through. it got ripped apart and broken into so many times that i almost felt sorry for it.
i hope you enjoyed; pleasepleaseplease comment. your comments are what keeps me inspired. thankyou.