theme: o24. Spotlight.
(Sequel to Cold Winter; last in the Winter Storm series)
That’s all it took to shake his world, break his resolve and tear him apart. When Kyuhyun and Eunhyuk arrived back at the recording studio with the hot chocolate mix, Sungmin was just finished the last of his recording. When Sungmin came out of the recording room, stretching his arms out above his head, he caught sight of Kyuhyun entering the studio.
Sungmin smiled and Kyuhyun offered a small, weak smile back. Suddenly alert, he immediately crossed the room to him. He pulled him off to the side, one hand firmly holding Kyuhyun’s,
“What’s wrong?” Sungmin asked quietly.
Kyuhyun shook his head, his eyes glued to the floor. Sungmin searched his eyes for answers, but Kyuhyun only turned his gaze away, refusing to look him in the eye. After a few minutes, Eunhyuk entered the studio. Immediately, Kyuhyun looked up from the ground, his eyes following Eunhyuk as he walked over to Eeteuk, handing over the can of hot chocolate powder.
As Kyuhyun watched Eunhyuk, Sungmin watched Kyuhyun. He tugged gently on Kyuhyun’s arm to get his attention. Kyuhyun looked back at Sungmin, “Did you and Eunhyuk have a fight?”
Kyuhyun opened his mouth to reply, however, before he could say anything, Eunhyuk walked past them, joining Yesung on one side of the studio by an electric keyboard. Kyuhyun promptly closed his mouth and shook his head in a silent reply.
Sungmin regarded Kyuhyun a moment before nodding slowly, “If you say so.” Sungmin slowly released Kyuhyun’s hand and turned to leave the studio when Kyuhyun grabbed his wrist before he could even take a step, “Kyu?”
Kyuhyun’s eyes ran over his face as if trying to memorize it. Finally he said quietly, “I love you, Min.”
Sungmin tilted his head slightly confused by the almost desperate, pleading tone but nodded as he replied easily, “And I love you… Kyuhyun, are you sure nothing’s wrong?”
Kyuhyun nodded as he let go of Sungmin’s wrist, “I just… wanted to remind you.”
A few days later, Kyuhyun was sitting at the computer when his cell phone rang. He picked it up, eyes glued to the computer screen as his game progressed, “Hello?”
“Hello, Kyu-sshi?” Eunhyuk’s voice came from the other end of the line,
“Ah, hi hyung, how’s the dance coming along?” Kyuhyun replied, suddenly more alert and sitting a little bit more straighter,
“Me and Donghae are done. Let’s go see the new movie that came out yesterday,” Eunhyuk said. His tone implied it was more of an assumption they’d already go, more than actually asking him.
“Sure!” Kyuhyun answered, the words leaving his mouth before he even had time to think it over. But after he replied, it was too late to take it back. Kyuhyun remained stunned in silence as Eunhyuk named the theatre and time and hung up. Kyuhyun closed his phone and carefully placed it on the computer table. Long after the conversation ended, Kyuhyun did not continue his game.
When they were in the movies, Kyuhyun couldn’t concentrate on the movie at all. Eunhyuk and him both shared an armrest, their arms nestled together. They shared a bag of popcorn and more than often, their hands met in the bag and at one point, Eunhyuk even accidentally grabbed his hand rather than the popcorn,
“Sorry,” Eunhyuk mumbled casually as Kyuhyun pulled back his hand. However, Kyuhyun had a suspicion he wasn’t sorry at all.
Suddenly, it seemed to Kyuhyun that he was spending more time with Eunhyuk than Sungmin. Firstly, later in the week he was at the recording studio with Yesung, both of them helping Eunhyuk strengthen his vocals. After an hour of continuous scales, Yesung offered to get them drinks.
When they were alone, Eunhyuk sat down at the keyboard and began going over the higher register of his range.
“Try to take deeper breaths,” Kyuhyun instructed as he came and stood behind Eunhyuk, “And try to focus all of your breath into the high note you want to sing - that way it sounds solid instead of cracking or wavering.”
“Well, besides mental concentration, I already tighten my abdominals to focus my air,” Eunhyuk stated,
“Place your hand on your stomach when you’re practicing,” Kyuhyun suggested,
“What?” Eunhyuk asked,
“Place your hand on your stomach,” Kyuhyun repeated, his arm slipping beneath Eunhyuk’s arm, his hand resting on his hyung’s trunk, “Now sing the first note of your high range.”
Eunhyuk did as Kyuhyun instructed. As the air slowly left and his muscles pulled in, Kyuhyun’s hand pressed firmly against his stomach. As Kyuhyun gently pushed against his middle, Eunhyuk found his voice strengthening as the note went on. When it was finished, all he could do was mutter,
“When you practice, just do what I just did… it’ll help you focus more when you’re performing,” Kyuhyun explained, looking down at Eunhyuk,
“Thanks,” Eunhyuk said, tilting his head over his shoulder to look at Kyuhyun.
With his hand still on his hyung’s stomach, Kyuhyun was crouched over, his face just inches from Eunhyuk’s. “So yeah, it… it helps a lot,” Kyuhyun stammered as he suddenly straightened and moved several steps away from Eunhyuk.
When Yesung returned with drinks for all of them, Eunhyuk was sitting at the keyboard idly playing scales while Kyuhyun was standing by one of the window with shadowed eyes and pinked cheeks.
Then, a few days later, Kyuhyun found himself once again with Eunhyuk. This time, they were at the dance studio with Donghae. Eunhyuk and Donghae had choreographed the new dance sequence for their upcoming music video and both had offered to help Kyuhyun with the moves.
Kyuhyun and Eunhyuk stood before a wall that was lined with floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Step by step, Eunhyuk went through the first quarter of the new dance sequence. After each step, Eunhyuk would critique Kyuhyun’s position. At one point, Eunhyuk closed the distance between them and stood beside him.
“Keep your middle straight,” Eunhyuk instructed as he looked at Kyuhyun in the mirrors, a hand suddenly going to Kyuhyun’s hip. “And your elbow needs to be a bit higher,” Eunhyuk said, reaching around Kyuhyun to his other arm, pushing his elbow an inch higher, “That way, your upper arm is straight.”
Kyuhyun, said nothing for a moment. All he could see was Eunhyuk’s reflection beside him, and all he could feel was Eunhyuk’s hands on his hip and his arm. Before Kyuhyun could say anything, however, Donghae cleared his throat loudly. Kyuhyun’s eyes snapped towards Donghae’s reflection in the mirrored wall just as Eunhyuk jumped away from his side. Sitting by the stereo controls, Donghae had his face tilted towards the controls, but Kyuhyun caught Donghae furtively glancing their way from the corner of his eye.
Even later that evening, Kyuhyun was still with Eunhyuk. From the dance studio, both of them had to rush over to the radio station for Eunhyuk to host the show, Kiss the Radio with their leader, Eeteuk; Kyuhyun was guest starring that night.
Upon entering the studio, Kyuhyun took his seat beside Eeteuk who was already reviewing the schedule for that night’s show.
“How was practice?” Eeteuk asked without looking up,
The memory of Eunhyuk’s hands on him burned through Kyuhyun’s mind as his eyes dropped to the notes set before him, “Hard - ah! I mean, difficult,” Kyuhyun stammered, glancing at Eeteuk cautiously,
“That’s good,” Eeteuk replied and, to Kyuhyun’s relief, it was obvious the almighty leader wasn’t paying attention.
Throughout the show, Kyuhyun found himself stealing glances at Eunhyuk, thankfully, his hyung never caught him, instead, Eunhyuk kept his attention on the show they were giving. At one point, Kyuhyun was asked a question,
“Chocolate ice cream,” Kyuhyun answered, his gaze whipping away from Eunhyuk to Eeteuk who had asked the question.
Eeteuk laughed, “So what you’re scared of the most is chocolate ice cream?”
Kyuhyun flushed as Eunhyuk joined in the laughing, “Seems like Kyuhyun has ice cream on his mind. We’ll be back after a few commercials.”
The moment the light signal turned off, telling them they were off the air, Kyuhyun felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He pulled it out, startled to see a message from Eunhyuk: What are you thinking about?
It was a simple statement, one he’d been asked hundreds of times before and yet -why? Why now? - now it made him react differently? Why did he have to fight the blush from creeping up his neck and onto his face? Why did he have to fight the urge to look over at Eunhyuk?
That evening, Kyuhyun was the last of his dorm mates to fall asleep. He sat up in bed, back against the head board and hands cradling a picture frame in his lap. In the frame was the picture taken after he had rejoined Super Junior after the April 19th accident.
He traced the thirteen faces with a finger, his fingertip pausing over Eunhyuk’s. He turned his head towards the other bed in the room. Sungmin lay in his bed, his back facing Kyuhyun. He had fallen asleep hours ago. Kyuhyun sighed as he put the frame back on his night stand. He flung his blankets off of him, swung his legs over the edge and padded the short distance to the other bed. He gazed down at Sungmin’s sleeping form, a spotlight created by the moon was cast through the window upon him.
Tentatively, Kyuhyun reached out, his hand gently touching Sungmin’s shoulder. On instinct, Sungmin suddenly sat up, his hand tightly gripping Kyuhyun’s wrist. When he realized where he was and what was going on, he released Kyuhyun’s hand,
“Is something wrong?” Sungmin asked sleepily as he ran an idle hand through his hair, his eyes slowly turning to check the time on the digital clock on the wall.
“I… I had a bad dream,” Kyuhyun replied lamely.
By the look in his eye, Sungmin didn’t believe him but all the same, asked, “Is there something I can do?”
“Can… can I…” Kyuhyun turned his eyes away, suddenly embarrassed and unable to look at Sungmin directly.
As if hearing Kyuhyun’s silent words, Sungmin moved on his bed until he was pressed against the wall. He lifted his blankets, revealing the empty side of his mattress. Hesitantly, Kyuhyun slipped beneath the blankets and laid down beside Sungmin, his back to him. He was quiet as he felt Sungmin lie down beside him; he said nothing as Sungmin wrapped an arm around him and held him close.
“You’ve had bad dreams before,” Sungmin said quietly,
“This one was different,” Kyuhyun replied, his voice barely above a whisper. If he spoke any louder, he was afraid his voice would give him away.
“Why was it different?” Sungmin inquired as he closed his eyes,
“I dreamt that… that I lost you,” Kyuhyun answered, his voice wavering,
Sungmin tightened his hold on him, his lips pressed to the back of Kyuhyun’s head, “You won’t,” he promised, “You won’t…”
“But this was so… real,” Kyuhyun swallowed hard,
“How did you lose me? Did I die?” Sungmin asked,
“NO! No… nothing like that,” Kyuhyun insisted, “Instead… I…I had… I had left you for someone else.”
A silence fell upon them for a few minutes. Finally, Sungmin broke it, his voice uncertain, “How real was this dream?”
“It was just a dream,” Kyuhyun replied.
Sungmin paused a moment, noting that Kyuhyun didn’t truly answer his question. He propped himself on a hand, his other hand that had been wrapped around Kyuhyun’s waist, now reached up and forcing Kyuhyun to look up at him, “You’ve been acting strange since that night in the recording studio.”
“Don’t be silly,” Kyuhyun said, trying to look away again,
“I’m not. We never see each other any more, it seems every time I look for you at home, you’re out…” Sungmin stated,
“I have a life outside of our relationship, Min,” Kyuhyun replied hotly,
“Then why does that life seem to always include my best friend?” Sungmin countered, “Ever since that night at the studio, it feels like you’re always with Eunhyuk. Every time I try to spend time with you, you’re already gone -the movies, the recording studio, the dance studio-”
“Most of the time, I’m preparing myself for our upcoming album and new video!” Kyuhyun defended,
“Then prepare with ME! Not my best friend!” Sungmin exclaimed,
Kyuhyun brushed away Sungmin’s hand from his face, suddenly sitting up, “He’s not JUST your best friend, Min! He’s my friend too!”
“Then why do I feel angry every time I hear you’re out with him? When you told me about your dream, why do I feel the person you left me for was Eunhyuk?” Sungmin demanded, sitting up properly, eyes staring hard at his boyfriend,
“You’re just feeling jealous,” Kyuhyun replied, getting out of the bed, standing before Sungmin, “I love YOU, Min - not Hyukjae - YOU.” He turned to retreat back to his own bed, but froze when he felt something pull at the hem of his shirt. “What?” He spat, not even bothering to look back.
“If you were the one who had the dream of us breaking up… why am I the one who has the reality of it?” Sungmin asked quietly.
Kyuhyun turned around then, “It was just a dream and this is just an argument.”
“Kyuhyun… I love you,” Sungmin stated simply, quietly.
Kyuhyun sat on the edge of the bed, collapsing into the other’s embrace, “I love you too…”
That night, Kyuhyun fell asleep in Sungmin’s arms. That night, Kyuhyun decided to forget everything that had happened with Eunhyuk since the night of the kiss.
Suddenly, Kyuhyun began to do things he had never done before. While he was playing his computer games, he felt himself feel more tense than usual. When his phone would ring, he’d check the caller display; if Eunhyuk’s name appeared, he’d ignore the call. Whenever he was at home with his hyungs, he made a point to always be beside Sungmin. Whenever they were out recording, or at the dance studio, or with the other members, Kyuhyun forced himself to either stay away from Eunhyuk completely or never be with just him alone.
One winter evening at the dorm, Kyuhyun was out on the balcony watching the light snow fall. Arms crossed atop the railing, he gazed serenely up at the falling snowflakes. The door slid open and then close, behind him.
“I have this crazy feeling that you’re avoiding me,” Eunhyuk stated as he stood beside him at the railing.
“That’s a crazy feeling indeed,” Kyuhyun agreed coolly,
“I think you need to choose between me and Sungmin; rather than spend all your time with me one week and then switch over to him the next,” Eunhyuk said, his eyes focused on the city lights below.
“I have chosen! I love Sungmin!” Kyuhyun snapped, turning to face Eunhyuk.
“If that’s the truth, then tell me to my face that you don’t feel something for me,” Eunhyuk challenged, slowly turning towards Kyuhyun, leaning his side against the balcony’s railing,
“I don’t… I don’t…” Kyuhyun grounded out, “I can’t.”
“Well you’ll have to! It’s not fair to me OR Sungmin!” Eunhyuk exclaimed,
“I was fine until the night YOU kissed ME!” Kyuhyun countered angrily,
“If you were really fine, then my kiss wouldn’t have fazed you!” Eunhyuk retorted hotly.
A sudden silence fell upon them as the door slid open and Sungmin joined them out on the balcony, the glass door closing behind him, “Is something wrong?” He asked tentatively, his eyes hopping between his boyfriend and his best friend.
“Nothing,” Eunhyuk replied as he turned back to look out towards the city lights.
“That night at the recording studio… he kissed me,” Kyuhyun confessed quietly, his gaze on the floor and his fists clenched at his sides.
Sungmin suddenly turned Eunhyuk around, gripping his collar tightly, “YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE MY BEST FRIEND!” Sungmin exclaimed angrily,
“I STILL AM!” Eunhyuk grounded out, pushing Sungmin away from him.
“Then why did you kiss Kyuhyun!?” Sungmin demanded, his body shaking with anger,
Eunhyuk felt his heart suddenly beating violently in his chest, his mouth dry as the desert as he blurted out, “Because I’m in love with him too!”
Sungmin suddenly stood still as Kyuhyun’s eyes suddenly whipped towards him. “You… You what?” Sungmin questioned,
“I… I love Kyuhyun too,” Eunhyuk replied to Sungmin, but his eyes were on Kyuhyun. Then, Sungmin stood between them and Eunhyuk was looking at his hyung; “You just happened to confess first.”
“You may be in love with him too - but Kyuhyun loves ME!” Sungmin defended, his fox-like eyes narrowed and his words laced with bitter anger.
“Min… go cool off,” Kyuhyun’s voice came quiet but steady, his hand on Sungmin’s arm. When he didn’t move, Kyuhyun made Sungmin turn to look at him. He stared directly into his eyes, “Go cool off.”
Suddenly, Sungmin pulled Kyuhyun to him, capturing his lips with his own. It was hot and heady and something Kyuhyun had never felt before from Sungmin. As soon as it started, it was over and with one last look of triumph towards Eunhyuk, Sungmin slipped back into the dorm to join a confused Yesung and Ryeowook - both of who had seen them arguing.
Kyuhyun watched as Sungmin brushed past Yesung and Ryeowook towards the kitchen. “I told you… I’ve chosen Sungmin.”
“Please… just leave me alone,” Kyuhyun practically pleaded as he watched Sungmin get a glass of water while Yesung and Ryeowook talked to him. “I love Sungmin,” Kyuhyun repeated - steadily, as if some sort of personal chant or reminder.
“I’ll leave you alone only if you tell me that you feel nothing for me,” Eunhyuk replied persistently, his voice still elevated by a shred of hope,
“You know I can’t do that… so please,” Kyuhyun finally turned his head to look at him, “Don’t ask it of me… not ever again.” Kyuhyun moved to leave, but Eunhyuk grabbed his arm,
“It’s not fair to stay with Sungmin if you have feelings for someone else,” Eunhyuk stated matter-of-factly.
Kyuhyun paused before replying. He stared at Sungmin who was suddenly staring at them. Even Yesung and Ryeowook were hesitantly watching the balcony as well. “What lies between Sungmin and myself is for him and I to handle. If the crush I have on you is worth anything, then I’ll let him be the judge of that.”
“So you do like me,” Eunhyuk said, his chest suddenly feeling tonnes lighter,
“Like is NOT love. Like will never BE love,” Kyuhyun stated simply, steadily as he pulled his arm from Eunhyuk’s grasp and re-entered the dorm, leaving Eunhyuk on the balcony and the falling snow.
A few days later, the members of Super Junior were all gathered at the dance studio. With their new video about to be filmed in a few days’ time, the members thought it the best idea to start learning the dance Eunhyuk and Donghae had choreographed.
During a break, Kyuhyun was standing beside the mirrored wall with Donghae. Still having some problems with the same section of the dance, Donghae practiced it with him while the others lounged around eating, drinking and relaxing in the studio.
“Eh, let’s get Eunhyuk,” Donghae said, running his hands through his hair, “He’s the one who came up with this part.” Before Kyuhyun could object, Eunhyuk was already sprinting over to them.
“What’s up?” Eunhyuk asked casually,
“Kyuhyun’s still having some problems with the section you made up,” Donghae replied,
“Oh, okay,” Eunhyuk said as he stood beside Kyuhyun who was now resolutely facing the mirrors. He placed his hands on Kyuhyun’s ribs, “What you have to keep in mind is to keep your middle straight and still,” his hands slid down to Kyuhyun’s hips, “While the rest of your body-”
The rest of Eunhyuk’s explanations were left unsaid when he was suddenly jerked away from Kyuhyun and something made fierce contact with his jaw. Stumbling backwards but regaining his balance quickly, Eunhyuk found himself staring back at Sungmin who now stood beside Kyuhyun, his hand still clenched from punching him.
“We were supposed to be best friends,” Sungmin grounded out as suddenly the other members began to head over to them. Donghae and Kyuhyun each had a hand on Sungmin, holding him back from any further attack.
“We STILL are!” Eunhyuk argued, suddenly lunging at Sungmin and shoving him to the floor.
Sungmin swiped his leg at Eunhyuk’s ankles, tripping his dongsaeng to the ground. Before the any of the other members could either help Eunhyuk up or restrain Sungmin, he had jumped towards Eunhyuk, straddling his stomach and his fist raised for another punch.
“No… we’re not,” Sungmin gritted his teeth as hot tears brimmed his lashes, “Not… not anymore…” he stammered, his raised fist now shaking. Two pairs of hands grabbed his upper arms and pulled Sungmin off of Eunhyuk. Sungmin allowed Shiwon and Kangin to restrain him as he watched through a veil of tears as Hankyung and Kibum helped Eunhyuk from the floor.
Eeteuk came and stood between the two, trying to think of a way to rectify the situation - if there was a way.
“Don’t bother,” Sungmin stated as he shook off Shiwon and Kangin’s holds on his arms. “He’s dead to me,” He spat as he pushed passed the others, trying to get away… just get away.
“Min,” Kyuhyun reached out for his arm as Sungmin tried to leave,
Sungmin immediately shook off Kyuhyun’s hand. Eyes locked with his dongsaeng, Sungmin stated with finality, “Both of you are…” With that, the members watched silently as Sungmin walked over to where his things were. He stuffed them into his bag, slung his bag over his shoulder and left the dance studio.
Kyuhyun, despite Sungmin’s words, had followed him, silently watching him from barely a foot away. He had followed Sungmin up until the door when Sungmin had slammed the door between them. Eunhyuk slowly pushed through the other members to Kyuhyun’s side,
“I told you…” Kyuhyun interrupted, voice trembling and tears blinding his vision as he stared at the closed door, “I told you to leave us alone…”
Eunhyuk blinked, standing on the front steps of the recording building. He looked down towards Kyuhyun who still stood on the sidewalk.
“Eunhyuk-sshi, I’ve called you three times now,” Kyuhyun said exasperatedly,
“Ah, sorry,” Eunhyuk smiled sheepishly, “I was just… thinking.” Eunhyuk breathed slowly, his mind slowly reliving his reverie.
Kyuhyun tilted his head, regarding him with a worried look, “Why are you crying?” Kyuhyun asked, startled as he climbed the few steps to his side and wiped at the tears with a gloved hand.
Eunhyuk reached up to his own face, shocked to feel tears absorb through his thin gloves, “Ah… I just…” He paused a moment, looking over at Kyuhyun and remembering everything that had just happened but in truth, never happened. He let out a small sigh of relief, nothing was lost, “I just love the snow.”
Kyuhyun smiled, satisfied with Eunhyuk’s answer. He stared back up at the sky as the snowflakes continued to swirl about them from the late evening sky, “Yeah, I love it so much,” he agreed simply, his tone light.
Eunhyuk, however, watched him. Kyuhyun gazed up at the sky as snowflakes slowly drifted down towards them. His eyes dancing and just the smallest hint of a smile on his lips, Kyuhyun was the portrait of innocence and natural charm. Eunhyuk began to raise his hand towards Kyuhyun, then paused and, instead, stuffed his fists into his jacket pockets, the plastic bag with the hot chocolate mix hanging off his wrist.
“Yeah…” He forced himself to look away, to turn away, “So much…”
He forced himself to walk away on that snowy night.