A/N#1: This is just a preview of the Scarlet Night Series. It is the first scene of chapter 2 (a.k.a. Phase Two - Consequences of Knoweldge).
A/N#2: Not a lot happens in this scene.
A/N#3: This is unbetaed because I wrote this up a few days ago (yes, my editor has never even read this!)
He cared about Kyuhyun, damn it.
He cared about Kyuhyun and that should count for at least something, shouldn’t it? But no, Kyuhyun was hiding something about his health problems from the previous year. Granted, they hadn’t spoken for the past two years while he was away at college, but before that, they had been close. Two years before even that, before he had moved away they were practically inseparable. He watched out for Kyuhyun as if they were more than friends, as if they had no one else.
Sungmin paused in his musings, paused in his progress as he walked down the hall towards the dining hall. He caught sight of a familiar face coming from the opposite wing, Kyuhyun walking at her side. He watched as she spoke without stopping, the tone of her words being displayed clearly on her face.
No, he was wrong. Growing up, he had no one else. Growing up, Kyuhyun had her.
He may have known Kyuhyun since before he could remember, but he knew her for almost just as long. She had burst into Kyuhyun’s life when she was five and Kyuhyun was six – an age before girls had cooties – and from that moment on, whenever she was around, he saw a different Kyuhyun compared to when it was just them two.
Sungmin continued walking, having the new purpose of intersecting their path on the way to the dining hall. He and Kyuhyun had been close – closer than most brothers – but he was aware that Kyuhyun didn’t tell him everything. With her, however, Kyuhyun spoke freely without any hesitance. He knew she knew what Kyuhyun was hiding, after all, wasn’t she the one to stop Heechul from saying more the previous week in the nurse’s office?
The question, however, was if she’d tell him. If Kyuhyun and her told each other everything while they were growing up, she told him nothing. Well, not nothing, because sometimes Kyuhyun wasn’t around, but close to nothing.
Trapped in his musings, Sungmin hadn’t realized he had slowed down and, thus, failed at meeting them before reaching the double doors that led to the dining hall. He quickly followed after them.
The dining hall was the equivalent to a cafeteria, the difference was that SJA’s ‘cafeteria’ was more akin to a five-star restaurant; not to mention it took up the space of one-fourth of the central wing’s ground floor and SJA was not a small-scale building. Within, circular, dark-cherry tables were spaced in the large room (much like the table of a normal high school’s cafeteria would have), each table having ten seats. Smaller tables were scattered around the perimeter of the room seating two people each.
Sungmin watched as the pair instinctively went to one of the smaller tables where two plates were already set for them. He stood just inside the doors, presumably doing monitoring duty, but as his gaze swept over the entire dining hall, his attention was always focused on the two students he had known since he was a young boy.
He watched as Taeyeon spoke animatedly, her hands doing as much talking as her mouth. The only time she didn’t seem to be talking was when she was eating her breakfast or drinking her juice. Sungmin noticed, however, that while Taeyeon was vitality incarnate, Kyuhyun was more withdrawn, only smiling or nodding in response. What he also noticed was that Kyuhyun barely touched his food. The younger man would take a sip of water from time to time and picked up his toast for a bite now and again; that was all.
As breakfast progressed, he silently willed Kyuhyun to eat more. If the young man had been sick last year – six months was it? – then he should still be recovering. If he was still recovering, Kyuhyun needed all the strength he could get. Sungmin inhaled sharply; what if Kyuhyun wasn’t recovering? What if he was still sick?
He watched, silently praying, as Kyuhyun picked up his toast, raised it to his mouth but then put it down again. That was the last time he saw the younger man even reach for his dishes. Before breakfast was done, Sungmin left the dining hall so he could go to his classroom ahead of his students. On his way there, he thought of what to do, what to say.
He cared about Kyuhyun and that should count for something.