theme: traumatic fan meetings & "Why we don't shop together"
pair: Kyuhyun/Zhou Mi
Having an aversion to crowds was counter-productive to being a celebrity; that’s all there was to it.
It wasn’t like he had this fear for a long time. In all honesty, it was brought about because he was a celebrity. Every time he found himself in the situation, he grew uncomfortable. Bodies closing in on him, the feel of a stranger’s body or skin against him, crowding him, was not something he was accustomed to or wanted. The thought of suffocating heat of all the people around trying to get closer was enough to make his palms sweat with anxiety. The loud noises and his name on peoples’ lips were just enough for him to bite down on his lip to stop himself from screaming at them to go away.
When he thought about it, however, it was ironic how the same things could have such a different affect on him. One body coming closer to him – not just anyone’s, but his body – and to feel that body and skin against him, wrapping around him, was something he was growing to crave and want. The thought of suffocating heat emanating from two bodies in a locked bedroom, closet or shower stall, was enough to make his palms itch with anticipation. The loud moans and his name on those lips were just enough for him to bite down on his lip to stop himself from screaming his own ecstasy.
So, perhaps it wasn’t what happened in crowds that bothered him, but just the fact that there was a crowd.
Not liking crowds was not a good thing to have at fan meetings. The members of Super Junior – M could all be sitting in a row behind a table as lines of people came up to them for their signatures, and still, he could feel the creeping need to run away.
“Zhou Mi! Zhou Mi! Zhou Mi!”
He would hear the cries of the fans in his line as they slowly came forward for him to make a mark on a photograph, a CD case, a shoe,
As the next fan would hesitantly approach him, he would feel the calming presence of a hand on his knee, slide a few inches higher onto his thigh and it would squeeze him comfortingly. Tentatively, he would look over to the younger man beside him who would give no indication to the fan whose CD he was signing that his other hand was beneath the table comforting the older man.
Just a touch and he would feel calm again.
Just a touch was all it ever took to calm Zhou Mi down in a crowd and that’s what Kyuhyun counted on when he asked Zhou Mi to come with him to go Christmas shopping one day. They were in China and one of the managers allowed them to go shopping because they also had to buy presents. Once they were in the parking garage, Kyuhyun stood outside the car, arms crossed as he waited for Zhou Mi to exit the car.
Dressed in jeans and a sweater, Kyuhyun had a white beanie on, thick-rimmed glasses and a mask over his mouth and nose to give the appearance that he had a cold when, in actuality, he was further hiding his face from the public. Checking his watch and realizing the manager and driver had already been gone for twenty minutes, Kyuhyun knocked on the window of the car again.
Slowly, it rolled down to reveal Zhou Mi in the backseat, “Yes?”
Kyuhyun rolled his eyes, “We only have two hours left to go shopping before we have to meet back here… are you going to leave the car yet?”
“I have to get my mind in the right place yet!” Zhou Mi defended just as he pulled a baseball cap onto his head, “If I don’t properly prepare myself with what’s to come I could just panic or – or – or faint!”
Kyuhyun pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep, steadying breath, “Mi… it’s been twenty minutes and I still have presents to buy for the others for Christmas.”
“Okay, okay,” Zhou Mi sighed as he rolled up the window, opened the door and slowly exited the car. Dressed in black jeans and a white zip-up sweater, he pulled the hood over his already-capped head. “Should I put on a mask too? It’ll help hide my face better.”
Kyuhyun shook his head as they finally let the car and began heading towards the mall building, “No, it’d look too suspicious if we both wore masks. Either we’re just a pair of contagions walking around or we’re planning to rob a bank.”
Zhou Mi’s bottom lip protruded just a bit in a slight pout, “But I didn’t bring anything else… I could be recognized immediately and… and…”
Kyuhyun ripped the mask from his face and held it out to Zhou Mi. As the older man smiled brilliantly at him and began to put on the mask, Kyuhyun muttered, “This is why we never go shopping together.”
After securing the mask, Zhou Mi looked at him questioningly, “What did you say?”
“Nothing, let’s go,” Kyuhyun insisted as he grabbed Zhou Mi’s hand and began to more or less drag the older man into the mall.
Kyuhyun was impressed.
For the first hour, Zhou Mi had been relatively normal (except for, of course, when a group of school girls obliviously walked by and Zhou Mi practically jumped on him). As they walked around, both with their own set of shopping bags from various stores, Kyuhyun realized that if he kept Zhou Mi talking, then the older man was distracted from the slowly growing crowds of the holiday shoppers.
They were walking and as Zhou Mi spoke, Kyuhyun listened intently as he drank a cola. They were walking past an electronics store when everything began to go down hill.
“OH MY GOD! IT’S ZHOU MI!”
The exclamation was followed by several squeals of glee. Zhou Mi immediately spun towards Kyuhyun, trying to find safety and comfort in the nearness and warmth of the other’s body. He practically clung onto Kyuhyun as he watched a group of girls run towards them. He breathed a sigh of relief when they ran past them to the electronics store’s window where a flat-screen television was playing their latest music video.
As Zhou Mi slowly detached himself from Kyuhyun, he muttered, “I was so scared! That was a close one!” At the other’s silence, Zhou Mi looked at Kyuhyun only to see the other looking down. Zhou Mi followed Kyuhyun’s line of sight and flinched when he saw the front of Kyuhyun’s sweater drenched in cola. When he met Kyuhyun’s eyes again, he met a glare, “I… I…I’m so…”
Kyuhyun sighed heavily as he saw the remorse etch itself into the older man’s face, “It’s fine… I’ll just go to the washroom and try to dry this or something.”
“I’ll go with you!” Zhou Mi stated immediately,
“No, no… it’ll attract too much attention,” Kyuhyun replied,
“B-b-but… I can’t stay here by myself! I’m liable to get pounced upon! Did you hear me? Pounced! Like an innocent little rabbit!” Zhou Mi exclaimed,
Kyuhyun slanted him a look, “We certainly acted like rabbits last night.” He smirked as redness spread over the older man’s face and took that as his cue to leave, “Just wait for me right here and I’ll be back, okay? Ten minutes at the most!”
Before Kyuhyun could even turn around to head to the nearest washroom, Zhou Mi stopped him, “Leave your bags with me.”
Kyuhyun blinked, “Why?”
“So… I know you’ll come back,” Zhou Mi muttered,
Kyuhyun rolled his eyes, “Why wouldn’t I come back?”
“Because you have a sadistic sense of humour,” Zhou Mi accused, eyes narrowed challengingly,
“You like my sadistic side,” Kyuhyun smirked again as he relented and handed his three bags to Zhou Mi,
“Only in the bedroom,” Zhou Mi grounded out as his cheeks blushed again.
Kyuhyun threw him a wink before turning and disappearing amongst the other shoppers. Zhou Mi followed him with his eyes until he could no longer see him. Sighing heavily, Zhou Mi leaned against a section of wall between the electronics store and another. Glancing at his watch, he slowly began the countdown until Kyuhyun would return.
No one was perfect; that was his excuse.
When his phone began to vibrate in his pocket and he pressed pause on the controller in his hands, he grabbed his cellular phone, only to see a familiar face on the display screen and he swore. He answered;
“WHERE ARE YOU!?”
Kyuhyun sighed, “On my way back from the washroom. I saw a video game store… and they had the unreleased version of –”
“I asked where are you, not why did you abandon me,” Zhou Mi stated through the phone,
“Okay, okay, I’m coming right now,” Kyuhyun insisted, “Where are you?”
“I don’t even know,” Zhou Mi cried, “At one point, I think someone recognized me and I ran off before I could find out… and now… I’m not exactly sure where I am in the mall.”
“This isn’t the first time we’ve been here,” Kyuhyun pointed out,
“I like buying things, not walking amongst the crowds – I have no idea where I am,” Zhou Mi restated,
“Okay… just… stay where you are, what store are you by?” Kyuhyun inquired. After Zhou Mi told him the name of the store, Kyuhyun hung up and pocketed his cellular phone. Resisting the urge to roll his eyes, knowing he was at fault for leaving Zhou Mi for longer than ten minutes, Kyuhyun went off to find the older man.
Kyuhyun walked through the crowd, keeping his face tilted downward and trying his best not to draw any attention to himself. As he did so, he kept an eye on the passing store windows, waiting until the designated store came into view. He saw a few mannequins wearing familiar clothing and he paused. Looking up at the display, he realized the store he was standing outside sold clothes that he and the other members of SJ-M endorsed. He smiled slightly, always amused at the small quirks of being a celebrity.
He was about to continue walking when he paused and looked back at the display. One eyebrow rose in curiosity as he began to count to himself, “One… two… three…”
He didn’t have to finish counting when one of the mannequins waved at him. Fighting the instinct of slapping a hand over his face out of exasperation, Kyuhyun quickly entered the store and ran to where the display was.
“What are you doing?” Kyuhyun questioned as Zhou Mi slipped out of the display, careful not to hit any of the mannequins,
“Being brilliant,” Zhou Mi said simply,
“I had to hide!” Zhou Mi insisted, “I had to hide and out there with the other shoppers was too vulnerable. So, I noticed this store had clothes we endorsed and I was amused that they even had seven mannequins in the window display. SJ-M clothes, SJ-M mannequins – it was the perfect disguise!”
“Except for the fact that you are not a mannequin,” Kyuhyun stated dryly,
“You cannot judge – you abandoned me; threw me to the wolves!” Zhou Mi accused, as he walked over to a rack of clothes and pushed the clothes aside to reveal their hidden shopping bags,
“I left you for ten minutes,” Kyuhyun said as he picked up his own bags,
“You were gone for longer!” Zhou Mi stated,
“I was late by three minutes,” Kyuhyun defended, “That’s hardly throwing you to the wolves.”
“I was almost attacked!” Zhou Mi argued as they began to head out of the store,
“You didn’t even wait around long enough to see if you were going to be attacked. You really need to get over your fear of crowds, Zhou Mi. You’re a celebrity – there’s no running away from them,” Kyuhyun said before sighing heavily, slightly shaking his head, “This is why we never go shopping together.”
“Well it’s not like I’m going to sit around and wait to be – OH MY GOD; CUTE SWEATER!”
Kyuhyun watched as Zhou Mi suddenly ran half-way across the store (despite being weighed down by five shopping bags) and began to critically examine a blue sweater he was sure Zhou Mi already had. He slowly made his way towards him, shaking his head and smiling indulgently as he murmured,
“This is why we never go shopping together.”