theme: oo1. freefall
"Wow, this brings back memories," Sungmin said aloud from the computer.
"What are you looking at now?" Shindong asked distractedly as he sat on the living room couch watching TV with Eunhyuk and Donghae.
"Ah, I'm on this site and it has the episodes of the Adonis Camp we did a few years ago," Sungmin replied as he skimmed through the various links to the different 'episodes'. "Ah! Eeteuk Hyung, come look what I found!"
Eeteuk, who had stepped out of his bedroom wandered over complacently and looked at the screen over Sungmin's shoulder, "The Adonis Camp! Aiish that was so long ago; you know, I can't even find those pyjamas anymore. Why don't you click on any of those links? Let's watch."
"Hyung is the type to be vain enough to want to watch himself on the computer," Kangin's voice commented from the kitchen.
"Don't listen to him, he's just upset that he didn't get as much airtime as we did. Click on..." Eeteuk closed his eyes and randomly pointed to a place.
"Hyung, you're pointing at the television," Sungmin commented. Eeteuk tried again and this time successfully pointed to one of the episode links.
"FIGHTING!" Shindong immediately looked up from the television screen; that had been his voice, he was sure of it.
"Uwah - Shindong you just jumped!" Sungmin grinned as he and Eeteuk watched the clip. "Eeteuk, there you are on the platform waiting for your turn..." Sungmin suddenly got quiet as a smash was heard from the kitchen. However, despite the loud noise nor the continuing of the clip, no one said a word. Sungmin slowly looked over his shoulder at Eeteuk, "I'm sorry..."
But Eeteuk didn't hear him. His eyes were glued to the screen as the clip continued, the shadows of that time suddenly seeping back into his mind.
... "Aish that looks so scary!" Eeteuk said from his perch atop the jumping platform. He looked over the railing, watching as the crew got Shindong down. He wasn't sure if it was him or if the wind really did get stronger; or if the water below looked farther; or if the equipment wrapped around him got tighter. He felt his mind spinning as he took attempted to look away from the sight below, but his body wouldn't let him.
Eeteuk snapped out of his reverie just in time to see Kangin jump out of a crew van, waving his arms below. He watched, as if spellbound, as Kangin ran over to the other members, greeting them once again. Eeteuk - as if suddenly regaining his senses - snatched up the two-way radio, "Kangin, what are you doing here?"
"I'm done my schedule for today already, so I thought I'd visit for a bit before having to go back," Kangin's voice replied through the radio. "Are you going to stand there or jump?"
He heard the challenge in the dongsaeng's voice; he also felt the need to prove himself to Kangin. "Watch and learn," Eeteuk said as he handed the radio off to one of the crew members that were hooking him up to the bungee cord. As he stepped up to the edge, his hands gripped the side railings so tight that his knuckles whitened. He looked down, feeling dizzy at the sight of the enormous drop. He steadied himself with a slow, deep breath. The cheers from his dongsaengs brought back his focus. He turned his eyes to them on the deck, forgetting about the water below. A smile broke out on his face.
"SUPER JUNIOR FIGHTING!" Eeteuk exclaimed as he saluted the members below once before stepping back a few feet. Then he broke into a dash, his feet pushing off the edge at the last possible second and he was airborne as he did a flip in the air much like Sungmin had done before him.
The feeling was exhilarating, unlike anything he had ever experienced. The balloon in his hand forgotten, he relished in the feel of the wind blowing past him, of colours swirling about him, of freefalling into the unknown. He opened his eyes to look over at the members as an attempt to bring himself back, to steady himself.
That's when it happened.
The cord jerked as he expected it to - it had happened to all the members - when it had reached its limits and had to restrain itself. However, the jolt felt violent - too violent. He felt his body be whipped back by the cord's reaction to the fall but then he didn't become steady. He was going down again. Before he could think anything, he was surrounded by cold. Not just a shivering cold he'd get in the winter; it was a painful cold, as if being pricked everywhere by a million frozen needles.
He felt his chest tighten suddenly as he struggled to hold onto what little air he had accumulated after the cord had broken. He moved his limbs violently in an attempt to break to the surface, but the weight of the equipment hindered him greatly, adding an additional thirty pounds to his normally small body. He swam as hard as he could, but the freezing water penetrated his body as the equipment restricted him. He felt as if the surface was just an inch away when the last bit of air escaped from his lips.
The last bit of his strength left him just as a pair of strong arms surrounded him...
Eeteuk shook his head as he came back to the present. He clapped his hand on Sungmin's shoulder, "Eh, too bad they didn't air that; would've made for a good drama." He glanced at the others' faces, watching him silently, each remembering what had happened when Eeteuk had lept from the high platform.
He walked past them saying casually, "Imagine what would've happened if I didn't know how to swim." He walked into the adjoining kitchen, still in view of the silent living room, "Kangin, when you break a dish, at least clean it up - someone might get..." He paused as he saw Kangin.
He was standing sideways to the counter, one hand gripping it tightly as the other was open loosely at his side; its dish lying broken and forgotten by his feet. He was staring stright at the wall, his lips forming a thin line.
"How can you joke about that?" He asked quietly.
"It was years ago," Eeteuk reasoned lightly,
"It took me ten minutes to get you back to land. It took another fifteen minutes to get you conscious again. Those were the worse twenty five minutes of my life - all of our lives who had to watch it and you... you make jokes about it?" Kangin turned to look at him slowly, eyes narrowed despite the brimming tears. Kangin opened his mouth to continue, but was stopped as Eeteuk closed the distance between them and embraced him tightly.
"I'm sorry for making you worry," Eeteuk muttered as he hugged him, his own tears forming, "Thank you for getting me; for bringing me back." Eeteuk closed his eyes as he lowered his voice for Kangin only, "Thank you, Youngwoon."
Kangin, suddenly unable to continue his statue-like posture, embraced Eeteuk back, hugging him as he let himself cry, leaning his forehead against his hyung's shoulder. As Eeteuk felt Kangin's body shake slightly from his crying, it caused him to strengthen his arms about his dongsaeng. He couldn't let himself cry - one of them had to stay strong. During the bungee incident it had been the younger of the two to hold the other up, but this time it was a chance for the roles to be reciprocated.
Eeteuk would be Kangin's strength.