theme: o62. God.
With no schedule that day, he had wanted to sleep in. However, he slept over at one of the dorms and someone in the room he had slept in (Eeteuk and Donghae’s) had opened the curtains, causing a flood of light to pour over where he slept on the ground. Rolling over onto his stomach so the sun wasn’t in his eyes anymore, Kangin buried his face into his pillow, only to have his back being warmed by the light. He let out a low growl as he got up from his make-shift bed of blankets on the ground and crawled onto Eeteuk’s empty bed. Free of direct sunlight, Kangin snuggled into the mattress, preparing himself for a morning nap after waking up.
“Kim Youngwoon, you shouldn’t be lazy. You should get up, it’s already ten o’clock,”
“Go to hell,” Kangin murmured as he rolled to face the wall, grabbing Eeteuk’s stuffed animal (coincidentally a raccoon) and hugged it as he tried to ignore whoever had entered the room.
“It’s sort of hard for God to go to hell,”
Kangin’s eyes opened as he sat up and looked around; the room was empty. Kangin looked around him suspiciously. Sure, he had been controlling his temper lately, and was in the process of quitting smoking, but that was hardly merit enough to be hearing God. He got up from bed and checked around the room. He opened the closet doors, looked under the beds - but no one was there.
“Ah, at least it’s good to know you still believe in Me.”
Kangin blinked as he looked up at the ceiling, slightly startled, “Erm… God?”
“Haven’t spoken to you in awhile, Youngwoon.” God replied happily,
“…Ah… erm… excuse me… God,” Kangin bolted from the room and practically collapsed into a chair at the dining table. He heard noise from the kitchen and leaned forward onto the table to peer through the archway into the kitchen, “Hankyung-sshi!”
Hankyung turned around from the sink, hands soapy and a dish in his hands, “Morning Kangin-sshi.”
“Is… is anyone here besides us?” Kangin asked hesitantly,
Hankyung shook his head, “No, everyone has a schedule today.” He paused as he put down the dish and walked over to the fridge where there was a calendar, “Yeah, everyone’s gone but us. Why?”
“And there’s Me,” God added,
Kangin blinked, “Did you hear that!?”
Hankyung gave him a slanted look, “Hear what?”
“That… that voice,” Kangin replied,
Hankyung walked over to Kangin slowly, then touched his forearm to Kangin’s forehead, “Doesn’t feel warm… Are you seriously hearing voices?”
“Yes! No! I don’t know!” Kangin threw his arms onto the table, laying his head down on the table top as well,
“Maybe you’re just hungry and your stomach’s talking to you,” Hankyung insisted as he walked back to the sink and rinsed off his hands,
“It could be that pitcher of beer you had last night with Eeteuk and Heechul,” God suggested lightly, “Although, you did restrain more than usual - so I am proud of you.”
Kangin raised his head, so his chin was on the table instead of his cheek, “Maybe… I’m hung over?”
Hankyung glanced over from the stove where a wok of Beijing fried rice was, “You didn’t seem that drunk when you came home last night with the hyungs.” He brought over the plate and took a seat across from Kangin,
“Maybe I’m dreaming?” Kangin muttered as he accepted the chopsticks Hankyung held out for him,
“You can’t be, because that would mean I’m not here, and I’m definitely here,” Hankyung argued,
“Don’t forget, I’m here too,” God added,
“Do you SERIOUSLY not hear that!?” Kangin pleaded,
Hankyung shook his head slowly, “Do… do you want me to bring you to the hospital?”
“I’m not sick!” Kangin defended angrily as he started eating,
“Then perhaps you’re just still tired? Go sleep some more, I can wake you up for lunch,” Hankyung offered,
“I’m not tired,” Kangin replied, mouth full of rice, “And God told me to wake up because I was being too lazy.”
“God… told you… to wake up…” Hankyung looked at him quizzically before standing up and returning to the sink, finishing the dishes silently.
Kangin grew irritated as Hankyung kept glancing back at him with worried eyes then turning back to his dishes and shaking his head.
“It’s because he doesn’t believe in me,” God said, as if reading Kangin’s thoughts, “That’s why he can’t hear me.”
“So… if Eeteuk-sshi was here, he’d hear you?” Kangin asked, glancing up at the ceiling. It wasn’t as if he actually saw God, so when he was talking, he felt the need to look upwards,
“If he wanted to listen, then yes,” God answered,
“What if I didn’t want to listen?” Kangin asked hesitantly, his eyes dropping to his bowl of rice,
“I’d be very sad,” God said,
“But… Hankyung hyung thinks I’m crazy!” Kangin exclaimed, looking up again.
He caught sight of Hankyung in his peripheral. Hankyung had stopped washing the dishes again, now watching him as if he had grown another head.
“Kangin-sshi… I know I don’t believe in a god or anything but… are you sure it’s God that’s talking to you?” Hankyung asked tentatively as he took a dish towel and wiped his hands on it, approaching him slowly,
“I’M NOT CRAZY!” Kangin insisted angrily, jumping to his feet as he slammed his palms onto the table, “God, can you PLEASE let Hankyung hear you at least once?”
“I can’t MAKE someone hear me, Youngwoon. They have to WANT to listen,” God replied soberly,
“AISH! Hankyung-sshi, please believe me!” Kangin turned to look at him imploringly, “Just… I know you don’t BELIEVE… but for the sake of my sanity, TRY to believe for just a second! Just one second so you know I’m NOT crazy!”
Hankyung cocked his head, regarding him quietly for a moment, before pulling out a chair diagonal to Kangin’s and sitting down. He folded his hands atop the table and said quietly, “Because you are my friend, and I don’t want to think the worse of you - I will try.”
Kangin plopped into his seat with a sigh of relief, “Thank you.”
“I’ve… I’ve never done this before,” God confessed in a whisper, “What should I say?”
Kangin glared up at the ceiling, “You’re God! Say anything!”
“But… an atheist believing for one second? I have to make it good, don’t I? That’s a lot of pressure on one divine body,” God reminded,
“But you’re God!” Kangin argued,
“Should I say ‘hi I’m God’? Does that sound okay? Or perhaps ‘hi I’m the Almighty God’? Or does that sound like I’m bragging?” God asked,
Kangin blinked at the ceiling with disbelief, “Now? NOW you get shy? But with me, you just wake me up like I hear you every day?”
“But you ALREADY believe,” God stressed, “Hankyung doesn’t.”
“Is… there something wrong?” Hankyung asked, giving Kangin a slanted look, “Am I supposed to be hearing something?”
Kangin shook his head with a sigh, “No, He doesn’t know what to say.”
Hankyung blinked, “Oh… Then I shall try to believe for a little bit longer until… erm… God decides to speak.”
Kangin glared up at the ceiling, “Can you PLEASE talk to him?”
“Don’t rush me, this is a lot of pressure!” God sighed - Kangin was startled to hear him sigh - before muttering, “Perhaps I should just smite him. That was a good way to make them believe back in the olden days.”
Kangin’s eyes widened, “Don’t smite Hankyung!”
Hankyung raised his eyebrows, “He said He’s going to SMITE ME!?”
Kangin whipped his attention back towards Hankyung and shook his head, “No, no! He’s just frustrated because He doesn’t know what to say!”
“But… why’d you mention smiting? I… I may be an atheist, but… I would prefer not to die,” Hankyung said, slowly sliding his chair back a few inches, “I’ll… I’ll wait a bit longer if that stops … erm… God from smiting me…”
“God - please!” Kangin begged, turning his attention back to the ceiling tiles, “I’m begging you!”
“Okay - okay. I’ve narrowed it down to two greetings. I could say ‘Yo, what’s up Hankyung?’ to show him that I’m ‘with it’ with the new generation,” God said,
Kangin gave the ceiling a slanted look, “And the other greeting?”
“Or ‘Ni hao Han Geng!’ and show him that I don’t discriminate,” God answered happily,
Kangin buried his face in his hands, pressing his palms against his closed eyes, “Either one, God; really, I don’t think Hankyung cares how you greet him.”
“He’s thinking of how to greet me? That’s very considerate,” Hankyung assumed from Kangin’s words, smiling at his dongsaeng,
“I think that’s the first time a non-believer called me considerate,” God noted, “And then I have all these believers that say I’m vengeful and angry and smite on a whim. Maybe I’m playing for the wrong team?”
Kangin raised his head from his hands and blinked at the ceiling for a moment before stammering, “You’re… You’re going to become an atheist?” Kangin cocked his head, “You’re going to… stop believing in… Yourself?”
Hankyung tilted his head as he regarded Kangin and his words, “Is… erm… God confused about His religion? Isn’t that… wrong?” Hankyung gave him a slanted look, “God- from what I know - wouldn’t be confused about His religion… are you sure you’re talking to your God? Are you sure this isn’t just some figment of your imagination, Kangin-sshi?”
Kangin turned his stare to Hankyung and just looked at him in silence before crying out, “I don’t know anymore!” He covered his face with his hands again,
“What an eventful morning: you don’t know if you still believe, and I might become an atheist,” God chuckled lightly,
Kangin raised his head and glared at the ceiling, his fists pounding down onto the table, “God! You’re not helping!”
“I like to look on the positive side,” God replied easily, “For example, you could join a different religion - you could become Buddhist! Oh! You should become a Buddhist! Buddha’s such a cool person.”
“What’s wrong?” Hankyung asked at the sight of Kangin’s jaw dropping,
“God… is trying to convert me,” Kangin stuttered,
“But you’re already Christian,” Hankyung reminded tentatively,
“Not to Christianity, He’s trying to convert me to… Buddhism…” Kangin explained,
“He has the nicest Bodhi tree in his garden! And - oh, he has lotus tea which is very delicious!” God continued on,
Kangin threw his arms in the air exasperatedly, “GOD! I AM NOT CONVERTING TO BUDDHISM!”
Hankyung blinked, “God is converting you - sorry, trying to convert you to Buddhism?”
Kangin looked at Hankyung, his eyes wild and almost maniacal, “YES!”
“I know I’m not the most religious of people, Kangin-sshi,” Hankyung began tentatively, “But why would your God be trying to make you change your religion?”
“Apparently Buddha’s a cool person and has the nicest Bo… Bo… Bodhi tree in his garden?” Kangin offered with a shrug, letting his head drop to the table, the wood feeling cool and relaxing against his pounding forehead,
“Don’t forget the lotus tea!” God added,
Kangin closed his eyes, “And Buddha makes good tea-”
“Lotus,” God chimed,
“Lotus tea,” Kangin sighed.
“Buddha makes good lotus tea…” Hankyung repeated slowly.
“And your God told you this…” Hankyung continued in the same slow, tentative tone,
“I’m going back to sleep,” Kangin grumbled, “I have nothing to be awake for and God keeps trying to convert me and you can’t even hear Him,” Kangin stood up and shuffled back to the room, the door closing behind him with a slam.
He laid back down in Eeteuk’s bed on his stomach, burying his face into the feather pillow. He closed his eyes as he continued to hear God chiding him gently for being lazy and still raving about how awesome a person Buddha is.
Kangin fell into a dreamless sleep and when he woke up, fully refreshed with his headache gone, he was surprised to see that only an hour had gone by. He padded out of the room and found Hankyung on the couch reading a book.
“Late riser,” Hankyung stated as he kept his eyes on his book,
“I technically woke up an hour ago,” Kangin defended as he plopped down on the other side of the couch,
“Then why didn’t you come out and eat some breakfast? I made Beijing fried rice,” Hankyung said as he turned a page of his book,
“I did come out… and you gave me rice,” Kangin stated,
Hankyung put the book down on his lap, a finger stuck between the pages he was on, “No you didn’t… Kangin, I’ve been alone out here since the others left for their schedule.”
“What? But… remember? God was - and you didn’t hear - so I - and then…” Kangin suddenly looked up at the ceiling tiles, “G-G-God? Are… are You there?”
“What? The moment I try to start a conversation with YOU, suddenly YOU grow silent!?” Kangin exclaimed angrily,
“No hyung, seriously! Don’t you remember? I came out here and God kept talking to me, but you couldn’t hear him?” Kangin reminded in a panicky tone,
“God was talking to you…” Hankyung restated slowly,
“Yes! And then He was trying to convert me to Buddhism!” Kangin exclaimed,
“Wait,” Hankyung held a hand, when Kangin opened his mouth to say more, “God was talking to you - and He was also trying to convert you AWAY from Him and TOWARDS Buddhism?”
Kangin nodded his head violently,
Hankyung shrugged, “Eh, Buddhism’s more of lifestyle anyways; I say go for it,” he opened up his book again, lifting it from his lap,
Kangin reached out and lowered Hankyung’s book, “You don’t believe me.”
“It’s a pretty farfetched story, Kangin-sshi. First of all, why would your God be trying to convert you to Buddhism?” Hankyung challenged,
“BECAUSE BUDDHA IS A COOL PERSON WHO HAS THE NICEST BODHI TREE IN HIS GARDEN AND MAKES VERY DELICIOUS LOTUS TEA!” Kangin bellowed exasperatedly, his arms moving in Shiwon-like gestures to emphasize his meaning (and frustration).
“And this all happened when you woke up an hour ago and came out here… where we spoke and I gave you rice?” Hankyung inquired,
“Are you sure it wasn’t all a dream? Wouldn’t that make more sense? I mean… is your God still talking to you?” Hankyung asked hesitantly,
Kangin glared at the ceiling, “Apparently not,” he sighed, slouching back against the couch, “Maybe it was just a dream.”
“Quite the dream,” Hankyung admitted as he returned to his book, “Oh, Heechul-sshi called; they’re going out to lunch and asked if we wanted to come.”
Kangin nodded as he stood up, “Yeah, I’ll go shower then.”
“Okay, just be quick, Heechul said he was coming back to change then we’d meet everyone else at the restaurant,” Hankyung called after Kangin. He sat there listening to the sound of Kangin’s fading footsteps and knew Kangin was gone when he heard the bathroom door shut firmly behind him. Hankyung looked up at the ceiling, “Yesung-sshi, you can come down now.”
Suddenly, one of the tiles in the roof shifted over and Yesung’s face appeared in the black hole, “Finally!” He grinned, “We really had him going!”
Hankyung laughed, “Yeah - I really like what you mentioned about Buddha.”
Yesung shrugged with a mischievous smile, “I think Buddha would be a pretty cool person to talk to. So… when are we going to tell Kangin the truth?”
“Well… he would kill us… so on his death bed?” Hankyung suggested,
“Sounds like a good idea…” Yesung’s words trailed off when they heard a key enter the lock of the dorm’s front door, “Must be Heechul-sshi! Let’s get Heechul too!” Yesung’s face disappeared beyond the darkness of the crawlspace between the ceiling and the upper level’s floor. The ceiling tile moved back into place just as the front door opened.
Heechul closed the door and knelt down to untie his shoes, “Hi Hankyung-sshi,”
“Hi hyung,” Hankyung replied casually as he flipped a page of his book,
“What are you reading?” Heechul wondered over, “Ah - good book.” He looked towards the hallway, “So I guess Kangin’s getting ready?” He assumed from the sound of the shower’s running water. Hankyung nodded, “Good, means I can rest before I have to change,” Heechul sighed with relief as he sat down on the couch, leaning his head against the back of the couch.
“Kim Heechul, you shouldn’t be lazy! You should get changed now so you don’t have to rush later on!” God - that is, Yesung - stated,
Heechul raised his head from the backrest, looking around, “Who said that?”
Hankyung glanced over the top of his book, looking quizzically at him, “Said what? I didn’t hear anything.”
Heechul lowered his head back again as Yesung answered him, “I know you don’t believe in Me, but it’s God, Heechul.”
Heechul, not seeing anyone, settled for looking up at the ceiling (especially since his head was already tilted upwards). He gave the ceiling a slanted look as he crossed his arms loosely about his torso, crossing on knee over the other. He remained silent for awhile.
Yesung, not sure what to do and not wanting to risk exposing himself by moving the tile to ask Hankyung for help, prompted, “Heechul?”
“I know that voice… Yesung-sshi, get down from there!” Heechul exclaimed standing up, arms still crossed.
The ceiling tile moved again as Yesung’s head popped down from the crawlspace, “But… I don’t… Kangin was fooled…”
“How did you figure it out so fast!?” Hankyung gaped,
“First Eeteuk-sshi tried last month now you two clowns?” Heechul shook his head as he retreated to his bedroom. Before the bedroom door closed behind him, Hankyung and Yesung both heard him scoff: “Don’t ever think you can pull a fast one on Kim Heechul!”