(Part of the Shatter series which is a sequel to the Surrender and Succesion series.)
It was a time of peace.
For so long, Seoul had struggled with the underground war of organized crime and the secret government sector that had to deal with it known as the Agency. However, a year ago, Seoul’s major gang had legitimized their businesses, the Agency was able to concentrate on more national and international affairs and the capital city was at peace. However, peace is a delicate and fragile thing that must be cared for, fostered and protected. As the people of Seoul – the ex-gangsters, the Agents and the oblivious innocents – settled into a false sense of security, those who were aware of the underground war never expected for that long, sought-after peace to end so abruptly.
They were wrong.
Hidden within the depths of Seoul was a small bar. It was nothing spectacular, having only one room open to the public. The bar was so small, in fact, that the owner had only two employees: a bartender and an accountant. He had known the bartender for years and had only met the accountant two years prior. This trio of men, however, were more spectacular than the bar in which they worked. At one time or another, all three men had worked for the Agency, had been Agents and one of them was still working for the Agency as a tactician.
One evening, the owner sat in his office which was located in the backrooms of the bar. Sitting at his desk, his eyes slowly moved away from the ledge before him to the sleeping form on the couch of his office. Slender limbs and the face of an angel, the man was curled on the couch, his body turned towards the back support; a black blazer with silver pinstripes was draped over him. On first glance, the man could’ve been mistaken for a woman, especially if he had long hair. On first glance, no one would suspect that the sleeping, fragile-like man was an Agent and, not just any agent, but the Head of Covert Investigations.
The sound of plastic vibrating on wood caught the owner’s attention to the small cellular phone which lay on a side table beside the couch. His eyes followed as one arm smoothly slipped out from beneath the black blazer, reached towards the table knowingly and grabbed the phone. He watched as the phone was held to one ear and heard the quiet lilt of the older man’s voice,
“I recall stating not to contact me for the next twelve hours… That’s why I said give me all the information available prior to leaving… Oh, trust me – if I was mad, you would know.” He closed the flip-phone with a crisp click before gracefully extending his limbs, standing up in a fluid motion as he draped the blazer on an armrest.
The owner watched as the man slipped his phone into his slacks’ pocket and walked over to him. The Agent sat on the desk, his arms crossed over his chest, “I swear, I almost think they want me to live at the Agency.”
“That would make it difficult for us to have fun,” the owner offered a small smirk as he held out a hand. The older man placed his slender fingers into the warm expanse of the owner’s palm, allowed himself to be pulled onto the lap of the younger man. “Do you have to leave now?”
The Agent sighed heavily, leaning his cheek against the owner’s shoulder, his face turned towards the owner’s neck as he inhaled his scent, “Yes… but I promise to leave the office early tomorrow?”
“You’ve said that for the past… five months,” the owner stated, only a hint of disappointment in his tone.
It was enough, however, and the Agent raised his head to look at the owner directly, “I’ve asked you before, do you want me to quit my job?”
The owner shook his head, “You love your job and it doesn’t haunt you like the other departments.”
The Agent brushed his lips briefly against the younger man’s, “Thank you,” he whispered as he slipped from his lap and stood his full length. He looked down at the owner, offering a small smile, “I love you, Youngwoon.”
The owner blinked, startled at the sudden declaration. It wasn’t as if he had never heard the words before, but it was so sudden, such a shift in mood. He stood up then, eyes narrowing, “Are you going on another black case?”
The Agent stared at him a moment, as if trying to understand his words. Suddenly, he smiled, a small dimple appearing at the left corner of his mouth, “No, no,” he reached up with both hands and cradled Youngwoon’s face, “I’d never leave so abruptly if that were the situation –”
Youngwoon covered one of the Agent’s hand with his own, his eyes still narrowed, his tone low and stern, “You said you’d never take another black case.”
He sighed, “I know, but Youngwoon, I’m the Head of Covert Investigations; I’m one of the most qualified for –”
“I can’t lose you again, Jungsu,” Youngwoon said then, “I… I can’t.”
Jungsu leaned in and pressed his lips against Youngwoon’s before pulling back, “You won’t. I’m just going to the Agency, okay? I’m not taking any cases.”
Youngwoon fell silent, but nodded his understanding. As Jungsu left the office, Youngwoon followed in his wake. His eyes followed the Agent who said his goodbyes to the bartender before slipping out the bar’s main door. Youngwoon stepped into the bar’s public room, leaning his side against the bar counter, arms crossed over his chest.
The bartender walked over, his fox-like eyes alight with something akin to mischief, “Let me guess, you two were having some alone time and he was called to the office?”
Youngwoon snorted, “Right, as if I got any this evening… Jungsu was exhausted when he came in, so he was sleeping. I can’t believe he’s going back to the Agency already, Sungmin.”
“Better than Yesung,” the bartender said as he picked up a glass and began to dry it with the hand towel that had been draped over one shoulder, “He just sleeps all day.”
“I heard that,” a young man stated, appearing from the back rooms. Dressed in a black suit with a red button-up, he joined the other two, “And after crunching numbers for hours, I like my sleep.”
“He is a good accountant,” Youngwoon stated as his eyes swept over his customers. It was the beginning of the week and, as such, the owner had more fingers than customers that evening. He sighed as he looked over at his accountant, “Yesung, can you close up the office tonight? I think I might head home early.”
“Not feeling so well?” The other man asked, observant eyes taking in the owner’s face,
“Memories… bad ones…” He sighed as he ran a hand through his short, thick hair, “I just… I can’t concentrate after thinking of them.”
Yesung nodded his consent before Youngwoon disappeared into the back rooms once more. He glanced at the bartender, “You can leave without me; I’ll just take a cab home.”
Sungmin, the bartender, shook his head, “I’ll wait for you in the car out back. It shouldn’t take you too long, right? It’s pretty dead tonight.”
Yesung cast a quick glance at the handful of people present, “Yes, it is.” When his eyes finally rested on Sungmin, they brightened with a peculiar light, “Don’t work too hard.”
He rolled his eyes, “Sure, because pouring drinks is difficult. Compared to the training we’ve been through, this is like a walk in the park.”
Yesung’s eyes narrowed slightly, “Are you okay? You were up all last night.”
“You heard?” Sungmin sighed as he put down the dried glass,
“I always hear,” Yesung stated before prompting, “Well? What happened?”
“I had to plot out a strategy the other day and it was an infiltration strategy and,” he sighed, “I just remembered what happened last year and the last time I did an infiltration… It was at Shiwon’s headquarters and…”
Yesung subtly took his hand, squeezed it, “I’m still here, alright? I’m not going anywhere.”
“Someone might see,” Sungmin tried to pull his hand away,
Yesung gripped his hand tighter, “I don’t care. Sungmin, listen to me –”
“I know, I know,” Sungmin looked at him, his eyes filled with the ghosts of concern, “But it made me remember and… when you fell to the ground and… the blood.”
“Sungmin,” Yesung said quietly, firmly, “I am still here. I am not dead. I know what happened was difficult for you, but I am still alive.”
“Yesung – what happened to you that day haunts me more than any of my past assassinations, it’s not something I can simply forget,” Sungmin stated, his eyes blinking back tears,
“You’ve never said that before,” Yesung replied,
“What else can you expect?” Sungmin hissed, “Yesung, you’re all I have in this world. If I lost you… If I lost you –”
Yesung gripped his hand harder, “It’s okay… It’s okay… I’m here.” He glanced at the customers whom all were oblivious to the exchange. He looked back at Sungmin who now looked away as he took control over his emotions, “Do you want to take a break? I’ll cover for you.”
Sungmin shook his head, “I’ll be fine.”
Yesung looked at him, unconvinced. Finally, he nodded, “Okay… I’ll be in my office.” He made to move, made to slip his hand from the other’s grasp, but Sungmin held on tightly. He looked at the younger man, “Sungmin?”
“I love you… You… You know that, right?”
Yesung blinked, “Of course, I do. Sungmin –”
“I just… I just had to tell you,” Sungmin explained, his hand finally releasing the Yesung’s, “I just wanted to tell you again.”
“You sure you’re okay?” At Sungmin’s nod, Yesung swept his eyes over the younger man one last time before turning and disappearing towards the back rooms.
Sungmin placed his palms on the countertop and inhaled deeply as he took control over his emotions. He hadn’t realized until then how hard and fast his heart was beating. He calmed it, slowed it down and forced rational thoughts to chase away his demons. He breathed, breathed and breathed again. When he finally straightened and looked up, he was Sungmin again.
On his way out, Youngwoon stopped by the bar counter where Sungmin was just putting away dishes into the dishwasher.
“Hey, I’m heading out, now,” Youngwoon stated, “Are you alright?”
Sungmin straightened, turning questioning eyes to his old friend.
“Yesung mentioned that you were also remembering,” he offered a bitter smile, “Makes you kind of regret joining the Agency sometimes, huh?”
“I remember when we started out as trainees… we were so excited and just,” Sungmin sighed, “Naïve. To be placed in Assassination, we would be the ones under the most physical duress; the challenge was just too tempting, too delicious to walk away from. But then…”
“Then the first mission happened,” Youngwoon finished, “And that’s why I left.”
“We were so fresh back then,” Sungmin stated, “We probably made so many mistakes during that first mission, I’m surprised we weren’t caught.”
“We completed it, and that’s the main goal of it,” Youngwoon replied, “How we go about doing it, how we go about covering it… well, those are the things we tend to think about afterwards. We’re just lucky there haven’t been any repercussions because of how sloppy a job we did.”
“We get payback from the memories,” Sungmin sighed, “So many lives…”
“I asked you, Sungmin,” Youngwoon said quietly, “When I left, I asked you if you wanted to leave with me because it’d be easier to leave with someone else rather than going it solo.”
“I wanted to… but the thrill, the excitement… To me, living in the moment meant more than the pain it caused afterwards, despite the fact the pain outlasted the moment itself…” Sungmin turned back to his dishwasher and continued filling it, “The memories I live with, though, sometimes I wish I had left with you after the first mission.”
“I thought you said the memories don’t bother you as much anymore,” Youngwoon asked, eyes narrowing with concern,
“They don’t, but that’s only been the past two years, Youngwoon… I’ve had two years before that full of memories,” Sungmin stated, “And on top of that remembering when Yesung almost died…” He sighed heavily as he shut the dishwasher, deciding to wait until later to turn it on; “I should’ve realized early on that I’m more suited to being a tactician than an assassin.”
Youngwoon nodded, “And you still get to be on the field as a tactician, right?”
Sungmin shook his head, “Technically, yes, but I refuse… I won’t put myself in danger. Yesung hasn’t asked it of me, but I’m asking it of myself… After last year, I don’t want to make him worry the way I worried over him.”
Youngwoon offered a smile, “I wish you could convince Jungsu the same.”
“Youngwoon… he came back,” Sungmin reminded,
“Yeah, and Yesung’s still alive,” Youngwoon shot him a wink, “We all have our fears, Sungmin, but we have to remember to be rational. We both almost lost the loves of our lives, but they’re still here and we can’t keep acting as if they’re not.”
Youngwoon said goodbye one last time, glanced at the few remaining customers still dwindling, and then left. Sungmin watched as the door closed behind Youngwoon. He glanced over his shoulder towards the hallway that led to the back rooms. He took a deep, steadying breath before bringing a hand up and lying it flat over his heart. His heart was racing again and the memories, the images of Yesung lying in a pool of blood kept seeping back, crawling on the fringes of his sanity.
Sungmin took three more breaths, forced himself to relax as he repeated Youngwoon’s words over and over again in his mind. Quietly, he murmured, “He’s still here… he’s still alive… he’s still alive.” Lowering his hand from his heart, he continued preparing to close the bar for the night.
Sungmin locked the main door and then headed to the back rooms. He opened one of the doors, finding Yesung at his desk, a pen in hand as he wrote numbers down,
“I’m done closing up the front,” Sungmin stated,
“Okay, I’ll be out in fifteen minutes,” Yesung said, not bothering to look up from his work.
“Okay, I’ll be in the car,” Sungmin replied. He turned to leave when he heard his name. He looked over his shoulder.
Yesung was looking up from the books in front of him, his eyes filled with worry, “Are you okay now?”
Sungmin forced a smile on his lips, hoping it reached his fox-like eyes, “Perfect. I got you, right?”
Yesung chuckled, a slight smirk tugging on his lips, “Forever.”
“I’ll see you out there,” Sungmin said and then left.
It was a hot, summer evening – technically morning since it was almost 3 a.m. – so Sungmin sat in the driver’s seat, the windows of the car rolled down as his hands intertwined behind his head. As the hint of a breeze flowed into the car and then out, he hummed a soft tune, his eyes passively closed. He heard the sound of a door opening and he instinctively opened his eyes.
He caught sight of Yesung locking the back door of the bar and slowly making his way down the few steps to the ground. The accountant had unbuttoned his blazer as he entered the thick humidity of the night, running a hand through his hair. Sungmin cocked his head when he saw someone approaching Yesung. He watched as the two talked, an old friend perhaps?
Suddenly, Sungmin sat up straighter, his arms lowering from his head. No, any friends Yesung had were also his friends; Yesung didn’t have any friends from before they got together. When he saw Yesung and the stranger begin to scuffle, Sungmin tore the door open. Suddenly, they were fighting and Sungmin couldn’t move. The stranger was taller, bigger than Yesung, but he had faith in Yesung.
He watched as Yesung dodged punches and hits. Suddenly, he watched as Yesung’s fist made fierce contact with the stranger’s jaw just before his other fist struck deep into the stranger’s gut. The stranger seemed to stumble and soon he was falling. The glint of moonlight off of steel caught Sungmin’s eyes,
“YESUNG!” He cried out. His gaze locked with Yesung’s from across the parking lot for a heart beat.
The stranger tipped himself forwards, causing his entire body to fall, sandwiching Yesung with him. The two forms fell to the ground in one heap.
Then, it was as if time froze. The stranger jumped off of Yesung, but the accountant remained on the ground. Sungmin felt his heart stop, felt every nerve in his body go numb. The stranger ran off, disappearing into the night and still, Sungmin could not move.
He felt himself thrown back in time. Suddenly, he was in a different place with different people and yet, the sight was the same: Yesung in a pool of his own blood. He still felt nothing, but was aware of his entire body shaking. The night air was heavy with heat, making it even more difficult to breathe. He was gasping for air now, trying to pull away from his memories.
It was barely above a whisper, but it broke through his reverie. Then, he was moving, moving fast. Sungmin was at Yesung’s side before he even realized it, dropping to his knees and not caring that the blood was soaking through his pants. He stared down at Yesung and suddenly, that numbness was replaced with an indescribable pain which reverberated through his entire body.
“Sung… Min…” Yesung murmured, raising a hand to his face.
At the contact of trembling fingertips to his cheek, Sungmin suddenly was brought back from the past, but the present was so much worse. He began pulling at his own button-up shirt, ripping the buttons off as he tore it from his body. He rolled his shirt into a ball and pressed it against the blood gushing from Yesung’s abdomen. Sungmin applied as much pressure as he dared, willing the blood to stop.
“Min, it won’t help,” Yesung whispered as he struggled for air, struggled to force the pain out of his mind, but it was hard – oh how it hurt.
With a shaking hand, Sungmin managed to get his cellular phone out. Instinctively he was going to call emergency, but realized he was in what was once considered ‘neutral territory’ in Seoul – the Agency was close by. He called the Agency and the first person who answered, he practically yelled at them to send help, allowing his phone to drop to the ground after he finished his sentence.
“God, this hurts so much,” Yesung gasped, fisting his hands to stop his body from shaking so much.
His abdomen felt as if it were on fire, burning and searing. He could feel the pain sending bolts of lighting to the rest of his body, the pain almost paralysing. He wanted to shut his eyes, curl up and make his body as small as possible, make the pain as small as possible. However, he forced his eyes open, focused them on the face hovering above him.
Sungmin, now clad in just a simple wife-beater, had one hand keeping his shirt pressed against Yesung’s wound, the other hand trying to get his undershirt off. Yesung felt his heart turn over for the other man. Somehow, he gathered the strength to raise his hand again and place it over the hand which was trying to manoeuvre out of the wife-beater. Sungmin’s eyes locked with his on the contact, those fox-like eyes wide with fear and glassed over with unshed tears.
“There’s too much blood, Min –”
“If I can stop the bleeding then… then… just hold on a bit longer,” Sungmin stammered, the words flowing from his lips like a prayer, “A bit longer, Yesung and… and help will be here… it’ll be alright.”
“Not this time, Min –”
“DON’T TELL ME THAT!” He exclaimed, the tears suddenly breaking free and trickling down his cheeks, “Don’t… don’t tell me that,” he repeated, his voice just as broken as his resolve, “You just… you just said I’d always have you… you… you can’t leave me, Yesung… not after last year, not after…”
“I feel so tired, Min… even I haven’t built up a resistance to this kind of wound,” he whispered, not being able to keep his voice at a normal volume any longer, “He… he got me too deep… too wide… I’ve never… this pain it’s…”
“No, you can pull through this,” Sungmin insisted, “You’re… you’re the great Kim Yesung! You were a trainee with the Agency for two weeks before you became a full agent. You’ve become the greatest Agent Korea – no, the world has ever known… you can’t… you can’t lose to a wound like this… you can’t… YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME!”
Yesung tried to grip Sungmin’s free hand tighter, “I don’t want to leave you, Min… but I’m not indestructible… I’m not invincible… at the end of the day, I’m just another human, despite what my record shows –”
“N-n-no! You’ve fought to get this far,” Sungmin argued, hot tears falling from his face and splashing onto Yesung’s bleeding torso, “You had to abandon the Agency for a greater mission… you had to accept one last mission when that was the last thing you wanted… you… you… you already died once – you cannot die again!”
“I didn’t die then, Min… you brought me back, remember?” Yesung murmured, his lids growing heavy and the effort to keep his eyes open growing too great. “You brought me back,”
“Then let me bring you back again, Yesung! Please! Stay awake!” Sungmin urged him, applying just a bit more pressure on his wound, not caring that his shirt was already thoroughly soaked with blood, his hand warm and stained red. “Yesung, you cannot – do you hear me? – you cannot leave me again!”
“I’ll always be with you,” Yesung insisted, “Please Sungmin… if I thought I could fight this, I would –”
“Then let me help you fight this!” Sungmin exclaimed, “Why are you giving up so early! Why don’t you try –”
“I’m just… so tired, Min… everything hurts and yet… yet I can’t feel anything,” Yesung murmured, trying to keep his grip on Sungmin’s hand, “I don’t… I don’t want to let you go,” he confessed as tears sprung to his eyes and began to fall down the sides of his face,
“Then don’t, Yesung! Don’t let me go! I’m right here,” Sungmin changed the grip of their hands so that he was holding Yesung’s. He brought it against his heart, holding it there possessively, protectively, desperately, “Don’t let go of me, do you hear me? You’re not allowed! I haven’t even gotten to tell you how much I love you –”
“Yes you have,” Yesung managed a small smile at him, his vision blurred from either the spreading weakness in his body, or the veil of hot tears, “You even said so earlier this evening…”
“Not enough,” Sungmin said, “It’s not enough… I haven’t been able to tell you as much as I want to… I want to tell you so many more times, Yesung… once more, ten times more, a hundred, a thousand – I don’t want this to be the last time.”
“Can I hear it then?” Yesung asked, his voice trembling as he tried to steady his lungs, forced them to fill with more air as he willed his heart to keep going. More and more, he kept his mind focused on his organs to continue, on Sungmin’s hand wrapped over his own, on keeping the pain and the creeping shadows away.
“This… t-t-this isn’t the last time,” Sungmin warned,
Yesung shook his head, “No… I just… want to hear it.”
“I love you, Yesung,” Sungmin managed, forcing himself not to choke on the words, his fear, his tears, “I love you so damn much.”
“Can you… can you keep saying it?” Yesung asked quietly, his eyes sliding shut to preserve all his energy to keep his body going,
“Stop acting like you’re going to die!” Sungmin demanded, “Stop acting like these are the last words you’ll hear!”
“But Min –”
“J-just f-fight i-it,” Sungmin pleaded, his body curving as he pressed his forehead against Yesung’s chest, “Please… just a few more minutes… let me bring you back, Yesung… let me keep you here.”
“I want to stay with you, Min,” Yesung murmured, “I don’t… I don’t want this to be the last time. I’m scared. I’m scared that… that I won’t be with you. I’m scared that I’ll be alone again… after meeting everyone… after having you in my life… I c-can’t… I… I can’t be alone again.”
“T-then don’t leave me,” Sungmin whispered, pleaded as his tears soaked Yesung’s red, silk shirt, the sound of distant sirens barely registering in his mind; “Y-you’ll never be alone, Yesung, s-so please… p-please don’t leave me.”
“I don’t think I’m s-strong enough,” Yesung managed as he gasped for a deeper breath, his lungs never seeming to fill up quite enough, “I… I’m trying, Min… but my body won’t fight it… my body’s too weak to fight it… I don’t… I don’t want to be alone… not again.”
“I won’t leave you,” Sungmin promised as he raised his head to look directly at Yesung, “Please… open your eyes.” When Yesung forced every bit of his strength into opening his eyes, Sungmin brought his clean hand to his face, cradling his cheek affectionately, “I won’t leave you; you won’t be alone… so don’t… don’t leave me alone, Yesung.”
Yesung felt the words sink deep into his mind. Then for some reason, he wasn’t sure, another memory, another thought came to the front and broke through his pain, his fear. He grasped at the thought, hoping that rationality would extend the time on his life, “Min… Min, listen,” he began, his voice with a renewed strength as he tried to keep strong, “The man who hurt me… he… he knew about the Agency… he asked if… if I was an Agent.”
“We’ll worry about that after we get you better, okay?”
Taking the deepest breath he could manage, Yesung willed his other arm to move, forced it to raise and cup Sungmin’s tear-stained cheek tenderly, weakly, “I love you, Sungmin.”
“D-d-don’t… don’t say it like you’re saying goodbye,” Sungmin warned, his voice, his body, his heart – everything trembled with cold fear, “D-don’t say it like that’s the last time… the last… the last time I’ll hear it.”
“Sungmin? What – oh God! Yesung!” Jungsu ran over, falling to his knees on the other side of Yesung’s body. Suddenly, he was pulling off his button-up shirt and rolled it into a ball. He pressed it over Sungmin’s, “HURRY!” He called over his shoulder.
Sungmin was distantly aware as a team of paramedics rushed over. He kept his eyes on Yesung’s, “You can’t… you can’t leave… this isn’t… this isn’t goodbye!” Sungmin exclaimed,
“I’m sorry,” Yesung murmured, his hand falling from Sungmin’s face, “I couldn’t… love you for… as long as I wanted… I’m sorry.”
“Say it,” Sungmin pleaded as he felt someone pulling at his arm just as Jungsu slowly rose to his feet, “Say it!”
“I… I l-…. I love… I love you,” Yesung’s voice trembled as more tears fell from his eyes, “I love you, Lee Sungmin!”
“I love you, Yesung,” Sungmin cried as he was pulled away from him, “I love you!” He called out as a paramedic came between him and Yesung.
The person who had been holding onto him, let go and joined the other paramedic, caring for Yesung’s wound. Sungmin made to run for Yesung again, despite being blinded by his tears; however, he came into contact with a body. Jungsu wrapped his arms around Sungmin, holding him captive,
“They need space to work,” Jungsu said quietly, his strong and steady voice not hiding the fact that his body trembled with fear, “I know I’m asking a lot of you… but let them do their job…”
“I love you!” Sungmin continued to call out as he allowed Jungsu to hold him back.
He put all his strength, his effort to stop himself from running over and to keep saying the words. He fell to his knees and Jungsu, who refused to let him crumble alone, went down with him, holding the young man protectively. As he continued saying the words, over and over again, Sungmin was barely aware as Jungsu buried his face against Sungmin’s shoulder,
“I’m sorry, Sungmin,” Jungsu murmured, his tears warm against Sungmin’s bare shoulder, “I’m so… so… sorry.”
“I love you, Yesung!” Sungmin cried out into the night as another car pulled into the lot beside the ambulance, an old man stepping out.
Jungsu looked up at the sound of the car, “C-chief?”
The old man ignored him, going towards the paramedics. They exchanged quick words and the old man, the head of the entire Agency, nodded his head once before turning his attention to the two younger men. He walked slowly, his face etched with sorrowful lines,
“N-no… N-NO!” Sungmin exclaimed, “D-don’t s-say i-it!”
“Lee-sshi… I’m sorry,” The Chief said quietly, solemnly as the paramedics moved Yesung’s body onto a stretcher and began to move it towards the ambulance, “They said he lost too much blood –”
“N…N…N… No,” Sungmin stammered, his voice weak, his body completely depleted of its strength. He tried to break free of Jungsu’s hold, “S-stop! W-we can still save him!”
Jungsu held onto him firmly, “You heard the Chief, Sungmin… he’s –”
“Don’t say it,” Sungmin begged, collapsing into Jungsu’s embrace as the tears continued, “Don’t… don’t tell me… let me… let me pretend… let me pretend a bit longer… Please, Jungsu… Please…”
Sungmin couldn’t even feel it when Jungsu tightened his arms around his trembling body. All he was aware of was how hard it was to breathe; how his entire body felt cold; how his heart seemed to stop… He closed his eyes to dam the tears, but they only came faster, stronger as Yesung’s face came to his mind and his voice floated through his memory. His entire body refused to move, to work, but he still had his voice.
“I love you, Yesung.”
Willing the last of his strength into those four precious words, he cried them out into the hot, summer night before dissolving completely into darkness, into emptiness, into loneliness.
Why did you tell me ‘forever’?