(2nd Epilogue of the Brotherhood series)
Dedicated to all the readers who read this series and continue to reread it.
18 years old
He sighed heavily as he didn't even turn away from the stove. Instead, he continued stirring the contents of his pot. For the past hour he had heard that name in that tone every ten minutes. He learned that despite how desperate the tone the situation was never so dire. And, so, he ignored the sprite of a young girl who came bounding to his side and grabbed his free arm in a tight clasp.
"You know better than to attack me while I'm cooking. Kitchen accidents are serious, YooMae," he warned, his pale blue eyes flashing,
"Kyuhyun!" She exclaimed in exasperation.
He sighed again and set the stove to a simmer as he led her away from the stove. If she reverted to calling him by his name, then he knew she was being serious. Well, as serious as she could be while being dramatic, "What?"
"Tell Kangin-oppa to stop it!" She complained,
"What is he doing?" Kyuhyun questioned, leaning back against the counter that stood like an island in the kitchen,
"He's sitting in the living room -"
"That's a crime now?" Kyuhyun quipped,
"He's sharpening his arrows!" YooMae cried as she tugged at his arm,
"It's nice knowing he still has time to do archery," Kyuhyun mused, knowing his non-compliance to her troubles would annoy her.
"But - but - but!" YooMae let out a yell of frustration, "He lives in Ulsan! That's like four hours away!"
Kyuhyun rubbed at his temples with both forefingers, "YooMae, calm down. You're wearing down my control. I'm getting annoyed and I don't know if it's because you're annoyed or because you're annoying me."
"You and I both know he's doing it to scare away my date!" YooMae accused,
"Your date isn't even here yet," Kyuhyun said dryly,
"He's practicing! He's sitting there practicing different menacing expressions," YooMae insisted, "If only Sungmin-oppa wasn't working... I'm sure he'd be able to take on Kangin-oppa bodily."
"Why am I the last to know we're having a sibling reunion?" A voice demanded.
YooMae and Kyuhyun turned to watch Donghae entering the kitchen from the front hall. Dressed in black slacks and a black suit-vest over a long-sleeved, white button-up, it was clear he came straight from his office. He pushed his sleeves up to his elbows as he approached them, dropping a kiss to his sister's forehead as he reached them,
"Siwon comes up to me and asks if I'm heading over soon. Where to, I ask him and he says, why, to Kyuhyun's because Kangin is driving over from Ulsan. How does he know, I ask and he says Eeteuk told him," Donghae narrowed his eyes at his younger siblings, "Now, tell me why I had to find out in a round-about way."
"It wasn't planned," YooMae insisted as Kyuhyun went to check on his cooking pot, "I made the mistake of telling Kangin-oppa I had a date tonight and then he rushed over after he was done teaching. Now he's sitting in the living room and -"
"Wait, wait, wait," Donghae held up a hand and he turned his attention to Kyuhyun, "When we let YooMae would live with you, it was under the assumption that you could handle it."
Kyuhyun raised a brow, "I can and have been for years."
"Let me live with him? I'm eighteen! I have almost complete control of my powers already!" YooMae argued,
"If you've been doing your job then why is Kangin in that living room?" Donghae questioned,
"Because our brother is crazy," Kyuhyun stressed with enough drama that his sister beamed at him.
"Not the fact that he's there, how could you let her go on a date!?" Donghae demanded,
"She hasn't gone on it yet," Kyuhyun replied, "He's due to pick her up any minute, though."
"I think I should go stand in the front hall in case the doorbell rings," Donghae announced as he immediately strode out of the kitchen,
"Why would you tell him that!?" YooMae cried, not knowing if she should rush after Donghae or attack Kyuhyun. Realizing she lived with the latter and, thus, any consequences should she attack him, decided to follow Donghae out, "Ugh, you're so annoying sometimes."
Kyuhyun rolled his eyes, "Wait," he said before she could storm away. He held out a long wooden spoon with a bit of broth in it, "Taste."
She took a sip of what he offered, "Needs pepper," she replied, momentarily forgetting her annoyance with her brother.
"Was that the doorbell?" Kyuhyun mused, averting his eyes to hide his amusement.
YooMae let out a high-pitch squeal as she bolted from the kitchen.
Kyuhyun merely continued cooking, all the while chuckling to himself.
19 years old
"Ah, there's my favourite sister," He laughed as he dropped a kiss to her head before slipping into the other side of the booth.
He had ordered a coffee the moment he stepped into the small cafe and a waitress came and brought him his drink as he pulled off his coat and laid it beside him in the booth.
"So," he began, eyes sweeping over his sister who was watching him anxiously, "What has you so distraught that I had to leave work in the middle of the day to see you?"
"Donghae-oppa, he says he loves me!" YooMae blurted before clasping both hands over his mouth,
"Now I know why you called me," Donghae sighed as he settled into his seat, "Kangin would send you off to a convent and Kyuhyun would tease you mercilessly. Okay, so why does this boy's declaration warrant an impromptu meeting with your second-favourite brother?"
"Second-favourite?" YooMae blinked,
"Kangin and I are resigned to it," he waved off her words before prompting, "The declaration?"
"What if he doesn't mean it?" YooMae explained, "What if he says it just to... to... you know."
Donghae blinked before he took a deep sip of his coffee and shook his head, "No, no, no... I don't want to know."
"Oppa!" YooMae cried quietly, "I'm serious!"
"You're my baby sister - there are some things I don't want to know about your life," Donghae grounded out, his aquamarine eyes reflecting the calm before a storm,
"I just want to know if I should read his thoughts or not," YooMae explained, "Like... so then I know if when he says it, he really means it and isn't thinking about other things."
"I say read that bastard's mind," Donghae replied, eyes narrowed. Then, he sighed and took another sip of his coffee. When he put his mug back down on the table between them, he continued, "Unfortunately, Siwon would kill me if he heard I told you to do that."
"So, do I just trust he means it?" YooMae asked,
Donghae nodded, "Unfortunately, that's all you can do. You have to think about... him... what you know about... him... and decide for yourself whether or not you believe him."
"You hate that I'm dating him, don't you?" YooMae looked at her brother amusedly,
"I hate that you're dating, period," Donghae snapped,
YooMae laughed lightly, melodically before she sighed, too. "But what if I'm wrong? What if I trust him and I'm wrong?"
"Then you learn from it and move on," Donghae said ruefully, "That's all you can do. Life is all about leaping and hoping you fly."
"I knew I should've called Aunt AhMae. She could've seen my future and told me if I should trust him," YooMae muttered,
"You know her future sight is blocked to us because of Mom," Donghae reminded lightly, "And don't you dare think about introducing her to him. It's not right to use our powers against people for our own gain."
"But, Oppa!" YooMae argued,
"You've only been with powers for a year. I've had to deal with it for 21 years," Donghae reminded gently, "With telepathy, you have to be careful because you can easily use it selfishly. I learned the hard way that I had to trust people rather than rely so heavily on my telepathy. You have to do the same now."
YooMae sighed, "Yeah... I understand. What do you mean you learned the hard way?"
Donghae glanced away, "With Siwon."
"You used your telepathy on him?" She hissed quietly,
"It wasn't like I could control my telepathy," Donghae defended, "This was during the first year after Mom and Dad died. My power was running wild and Siwon happened to be around me often."
Donghae took another small sip of his coffee, "It was because of my telepathy that we got in a fight. I would catch parts of his thoughts and kept prompting him into telling me himself. He realized what I was doing and got upset - rightly so. We're supposed to trust people. If and when they want to confide in us, it should be their choice, not manipulated by us."
"Was it a big fight?" YooMae inquired.
Her brothers' partners had been in her life for almost as long as her brothers. It took her a few years to realize that their relationships weren't always accepted by other people. However, she took their relationships as the norm in her life and had never questioned how they all met and fell in love. They simple were.
"Yes," Donghae spoke quietly, looking into his coffee mug, "It could have potentially been the end of us. Indeed, at the time I thought it was."
"But you two got over it, obviously since you're always on one another," YooMae noted with a slightly disgusted tone. As much as her brothers' relationships were normal to her, they were still her brothers. There were some things she would rather not know about their lives.
"Don't tell him I told you, but Kyuhyun is a key component to Siwon and I getting back together," Donghae looked at her with a small smile, "He talked to me just like how I'm talking to you. Eventually I hunted Siwon down and we made up."
She took a sip of her own drink before glancing at her brother hesitantly, "Do... I do I have to say it back to him?"
Donghae, who had been taking a swig of his coffee, nearly choked at her words. He swallowed hard before having a coughing fit. Once he got the spasms under control, he cleared his throat and stared at his sister, "What?"
"Do I have to say I love him back?" YooMae asked,
Donghae blinked. With anyone else, he would have said she should know the answer. However, she wasn't anyone else. She had grown up without parents. She had grown up with three brothers who acted as both parents and siblings. She had grown up with an aunt who she loved, but wasn't exactly a parent. She should know the answer, but her dating was a first for them all and they had never discussed the particulars of relationships. After all, she was still their baby sister. They still had hopes she'd become a nun instead of dating boys.
"You only say it if you mean it," Donghae answered finally, "If you don't, then you don't say it."
"I like him," YooMae stated, "But... like what I see from you and Siwon-oppa, I don't feel that way about him."
"Good," Donghae replied as he shot back the rest of his coffee, "Damn it, YooMae, I can't believe I'm talking to you about dating boys and love. Ugh, you're my baby sister."
"But you still love me," YooMae grinned, throwing her brother a brilliant smile,
Donghae laughed, "Yes. Yes, I do."
21 years old
"That bastard isn't worthy of the ground you walk on!" He roared when he burst into her bedroom. "The moment I met him I knew I didn't like him and he's only proved me right. Don't get me wrong, I didn't like your first boyfriend, but at least I knew he was a good guy. This one always rubbed me the wrong way."
He began to pace before her bed, rubbing his palms over his close-shaven head, "You know what, though, YooMae, you don't need him. Indeed you do not. You just forget about him because he's not even worth your time. He was never worthy of you and never will be. All your tears are wasted on that bastard."
He turned to the bed when he realized she had stopped her wailing - which had been stiffled by her pillow and had sat up in bed to glare at him,
"Ready to go downstairs? The others are worried," he said,
"Kangin, can you stop being my parent for just... for just five minutes?" She questioned, her voice still shaky as she wiped at tears that couldn't seem to stop.
"What?" Kangin blinked,
"For as long as I could remember whenever something serious happened you would act the parent. Even if it wasn't for me but for Donghae or Kyuhyun, you'd play the parent," YooMae stated, "But you're not my parent. You're not, Oppa, you're my brother."
"But... YooMae, Mom and Dad aren't... I have to because -"
She held up her hand to silence her older brother and then reached over and grabbed another tissue. She blew her nose hard before continuing, her nose a bright red, "I'm not saying I don't appreciate all you've done. I know it's been hard on you to be both brother and parent but... but right now I don't need the rational words of a parent. Right now I want my brother to sit with me and... and... just be there for me."
"I... I'm always there for you, YooMae," Kangin said softly, his hands at his side. "I... I'm not trying to play the parent. It's just... that's all I know how to be. I took more responsibility for all three of you after their deaths, but that doesn't mean I stopped being me."
"Then talk to me like you, like a brother. Don't try to be rational, just... just be strong and overtly protective," YooMae said, "I don't need rational right now. Maybe after once... once I've calmed down. Right now, I need sympathy and... and a shoulder to cry on. Especially since... especially since... I can't stop crying."
Kangin watched helpless as YooMae burst into more tears, burrowing her face into the pillow she hugged. He sighed heavily as he sat on the edge of the bed and pulled her into his embrace. She turned into his embrace, crying into his shoulder as she clung to him. He had never seen her so sad before. One of the victories he claimed was ensuring that YooMae smiled often and laughed easily. That wasn't to say she was never sad. She had her share of disappointments, but this was the first time she seemed so shattered and he felt helpless to piece her back together.
Secretly, he swore at his brothers for voting him as the brother to enter her room. After her conversation about love with Donghae 2 years ago, they had all decided they would do a vote to decide who would talk to YooMae whenever she had relationship questions. After she and her first boyfriend had broken up, they had breathed easier. When she got another boyfriend a year ago, they reinstated their voting system. They never anticipated they'd have to vote on who would talk to her out of a broken heart after she was cheated on.
He tightened his hold on her as he dropped a kiss to her head, "Well, you just tell me where that fool lives and I'll go and kill him."
YooMae snorted an unexpected laugh before crying some more.
"You know... if I killed him now, we wouldn't have to be rational later," Kangin stated in the most matter-of-factly tone.
That garnered another laugh from his sister. He waited as her cries were reduced to loud sniffs and the occasional hiccup.
"You know, the others voted I be the one to come in here and talk with you," Kangin admitted, "I didn't want to at first because I had no idea what to do or say but I'm glad I was the one."
YooMae sat up, swiping away her tears, "Really?"
"Really," Kangin nodded, "With you living with Kyuhyun, I hardly get to see you as much. Even Donghae lives in the city. I guess... I guess the reason it's hard for me to be the brother to you is because growing up I was the parent. Now that you're older, I'm not around to be the brother."
"You don't have to be around to be my brother, Oppa," YooMae insisted as she hugged him fiercely, "Just... just when you are around, don't act like my parent anymore."
Kangin sighed heavily as he hugged her back, "Fine. Just give me his address and I'll be on my way."
YooMae laughed lightly before she sighed also, "How could he do that to me? We were going to celebrate our one-year anniversary later this month. He said he loved me and I did, too... I... I still do love him. But if he loved me, how could he cheat on me?"
"Then what he felt for you isn't love. You don't cheat on people you love... You don't do things that'll hurt the people you love," Kangin insisted, "He'll probably give you explanations as to why he cheated, but they're not excuses. There's no excuse for cheating."
"I'm stupid for loving him then, huh?" YooMae asked quietly,
"No, it just means you have a big heart and there's nothing wrong with that," Kangin insisted, "You see the best in everyone, even if perhaps they don't deserve it. So, maybe what you saw in this guy was some good, but it wasn't the whole package."
"I don't want to love him anymore," YooMae muttered, "How long until I stop loving him?"
"I have no idea," Kangin answered, "You can't... you can't put boundaries on love. If you can, then it's not love. But if you really do love him, then it'll take some time for you to fall out of love with him."
YooMae sighed, "I was hoping you wouldn't say that."
"I could probably quicken the pace if I killed him?" Kangin offered,
YooMae shook her head, "No, it's okay." They sat there in silence, just hugging one another before she asked, "How did you know Eeteuk-oppa was the one?"
Kangin laughed, his indigo eyes twinkling, "I didn't know. Donghae was the one to tell me I was in love. But once it was labelled, it was clear that it was true that I was in love. I knew he was the one because I couldn't imagine not having him in my life. I couldn't imagine my life without him there, without him to talk to, lean on and just... just be. The time we spent apart was horribly painful for me and part of it was because he wasn't there."
"What was the other part?" YooMae inquired,
"I had forgotten everything about Mom," Kangin admitted simply, "But that's a story for another time. This is about you and your problems."
YooMae sighed, "I'm so tired of crying but it's all I feel like doing," She stated, sitting up straight and slipping from his embrace, "I don't want you to kill him... but can you hurt him really, really bad?"
"As long as we keep it secret from Eeteuk," Kangin stated seriously,
YooMae laughed softly as she wrapped her arms around her brother's neck and knelt on her knees so she could rise above him and kiss his crown, "I love you, Kangin-oppa."
"I love you, too."
23 years old
"Can't you save that for the bedroom?"
Kyuhyun immediately slipped out from between the kitchen island and Sungmin. He strode purposefully to a bunch of grocery bags by the fridge and began stocking the food, "We were just kissing. And you could have knocked."
"To come into the kitchen?" YooMae questioned, "I just have a quick question and then you two can... well... you know."
"What's the question?" Sungmin prompted as he leaned an elbow on the island and propped his chin in that hand,
"Well... erm... when did you two decide to... well... you know?" YooMae asked tentatively, her previous boldness immediately gone,
"Ow!" Kyuhyun yelped as the cantalope he had been holding dropped onto his foot. Leaving the offending melon rolling on the floor, he hopped over to the island, balanced himself with a hand on the counter and directed the other hand at her in a pointing gesture, "You are not allowed to think about you-know-what!"
"I'm 23!" YooMae defended,
"No se - I CAN'T EVEN SAY IT IN RELATION TO YOU! No s... no se... no you-know-what until you're married!" Kyuhyun exclaimed,
YooMae raised a defiant brow and crossed her arms over her chest, "When did you two decide to first do you-know-what?"
Kyuhyun opened his mouth to retort before closing it.
"She has a point," Sungmin said pleasantly,
"It's not my fault," Kyuhyun defended, "Sungmin jumped me. I was an innocent lamb until this wolf came along!"
Sungmin rolled his eyes, "I remember you being a willing and active participant. You showed a lot of initiative."
"SUNGMIN!" Kyuhyun and YooMae exclaimed in unison. The former had his face a bright red as the latter had her face scrunched up in disgust,
"Not in front of YooMae!" Kyuhyun scolded just as YooMae stated, "Not in front of me!"
"Well what do you expect when you ask a question like that?" Sungmin shrugged as he walked over and picked up the melon from the tile floor, "I'm not going to be modest especially when Kyuhyun's playing the prude. Heck, that first night he did things that made me blush."
"Oh my God... I am going to pretend I never heard any of that!" YooMae exclaimed, pressing her hands over her ears,
"It's your own damn fault for asking that question!" Kyuhyun exclaimed, "No you-know-what until marriage!"
"Why do I have to wait when you didn't?" YooMae questioned, "I bet Kangin and Donghae didn't wait either, did they?"
"That's different," Kyuhyun said,
"Why? Because I'm female?" She demanded,
"Yes," Kyuhyun answered bluntly, "And because you're our baby sister. You're not allowed to be doing you-know-what until you get married! No, no, you should never do you-know-what! We should just send you off to the convent!"
"You three didn't wait!" She argued,
"It's not like we can get married anyway," Kyuhyun rolled his eyes as Sungmin continued putting the groceries away,
"And what do you mean I should never do it? It's going to happen eventually, Kyuhyun," YooMae stated, glaring at her brother from across the kitchen island, "Whether you or the others like it or not, it's going to happen eventually. If not now, then at some point in the future. Many times, even, once I feel I'm with the right person."
"No," Kyuhyun replied, "No, no, no. I am not having this conversation with you."
"I'm going to have sex, Oppa, you can't stop it," YooMae said lightly, now enjoying her chance to tease her brother,
"Ugh, Min, make her stop," Kyuhyun threw up his hands as he took over the groceries and pushed Sungmin towards YooMae, "I can't have a conversation with my sister about... about..."
"Sex?" Sungmin piped mischievously before turning to YooMae. He pulled up one of the stools to the island and sat down facing her as she did the same, "Alright, if you're asking the question it means the topic's come up between you and your boyfriend."
"That horny bastard," Kyuhyun swore quietly but loud enough for them to hear,
“Not really,” YooMae admitted,
“Oh thank God,” Kyuhyun muttered as he continued with the groceries,
“It’s just that we’ll be –”
“Please don’t finish that sentence,” Kyuhyun croaked, hitting his forehead against the fridge door,
“Doing stuff and it’ll get kind of hot and heavy –”
“Are you trying to give your brother a heart attack?” Kyuhyun hissed,
“But then we’ll stop,” YooMae explained, throwing her brother an exasperated look, “I just don’t know when it’ll be the time to… you know… not stop.”
“There will never be a time when you don’t stop!” Kyuhyun exclaimed, waving a cucumber threateningly at her, “In fact, you should never have started! Ugh! I cannot be having this conversation with you!”
“And you think I like having this conversation with you?” YooMae shot back, “It’s not like I can talk to my friends because they’ve all done it in high school and it’s none of their business anyway. All of you are gay so I don’t have any females to talk to and there is no way in hell I’m going to ask Auntie about this. I just need a little advice because I don’t want to be make the wrong decision especially after my last boyfriend.”
Kyuhyun sighed heavily, lowering the cucumber. Her annoyance and anger were obvious to him even without use of his empathy. It was her fear, however, that pierced through his thinly-guarded powers. Controlling his empathy had become second nature, so his barriers were never as strong as they could be. Her fear easily slipped past his guards and flew straight to his heart. He would forever hate her last boyfriend who had cheated on her.
Walking over to her, he tossed the cucumber onto the counter and crossed his arms, staring hard at her, “Fine. We’ll have this conversation and then, I will continue on in life as if this conversation never happened, as if I am not cruelly aware of my sister’s… relations. Understand?”
“If it helps, I’m none-too-pleased with the fact that I only have brothers to ask about this,” YooMae muttered,
“Take it or leave it because in about five seconds I’m going to forcibly forget this moment and you can go ask Donghae or Kangin about it,” Kyuhyun stated,
“Well, I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to Sungmin-oppa. He’s more open to the subject than you,” YooMae huffed,
“Not really. Blood or not, you’re my little sister, too,” Sungmin confessed, “But I also know if we can’t answer your questions then you may never get the right ones. So, I’m sacrificing my sanity – along with Kyuhyun’s – in order for you to get your answers.”
“So what’s the answer?” YooMae inquired,
“When you feel it’s the right time,” Sungmin said simply as Kyuhyun repeated, “After marriage!”
YooMae narrowed her sapphire eyes and crossed her arms again, “It seems like a lot of things have a time line based on instinct.”
Sungmin nodded, “It is. Not all instinct is good, as your brother would tell you, but if you have the right information to support your instincts, then more often than not, you’ll be right. Especially if the concerning topic is love.”
YooMae raised a brow at her brother, “What did you do?”
“Oh, you know… this and that,” Kyuhyun said flippantly as he grabbed the cucumber and headed back to the fridge. He belatedly muttered, “And accused Sungmin of cheating.”
YooMae, who perfectly heard his utterance, gasped, “How could you!?”
“How could you indeed?” Sungmin smirked as he turned on his stool to follow her outraged gaze at Kyuhyun.
“Hey! We’re not talking about me here, we’re talking about you!” Kyuhyun retorted, swinging around and pointing the cucumber at her again, “Look, if you want to have… you-know with that bastard of a boyfriend of yours, then you’re going to have to look deep in your heart. If you feel it’s right and he’s the right person, then it’ll be right. But, if you have doubts, if you’re not ready, then don’t do it. The right person will be worth waiting for and won’t mind waiting for you.”
YooMae scrunched up her face in thought as she contemplated his words. Eventually, she nodded, her expression brightening, “Thank you, Oppa.”
“Why are you thanking me?” Kyuhyun questioned, throwing her a narrowed gaze,
“Because you helped me with –”
“Before you finish that sentence, just know that I have completely forgotten the past ten or so minutes of my life. Now, if you excuse me, I have groceries to organize,” Kyuhyun huffed as he turned back to the fridge and finished putting away the groceries.
Sungmin stifled a laugh as YooMae freely giggled.
24 years old
“I don’t see why we have to help her pack. She has telekinesis, she can do it herself,” Donghae muttered as he closed another box, taping it shut with thick, silver, duct tape; “In fact, why the hell isn’t Kangin-hyung here helping?”
“Because he lives in Ulsan,” Siwon rolled his eyes as he picked up the newly closed box and headed out of the bedroom just as YooMae entered it,
“I don’t like this. Have you even told him about your powers?” Donghae questioned,
“Yes,” YooMae replied as she pulled out more clothes from her closet and began folding them neatly and handing them to Donghae to pack,
“How’d he take that?” Donghae inquired bitterly as he tossed a folded sweater into the empty box beside him,
“He freaked out,” YooMae admitted, “After that we talked about it though. He’s fine now, although he gets this wary look whenever I get angry. I think he’s scared I might use my powers on some unsuspecting person one day.”
“You should’ve used it on him,” Donghae stated from his seat on the floor as YooMae handed him another folded article of clothing,
“Oppa, what’s wrong? You’re never so upset,” YooMae stated, “Is it because I’m moving in with him? Is that why you’re upset?”
“Yes, because after you move in with him it won’t be long before you two… before you two… do other things,” Donghae said disgustedly as he accepted another piece of folded clothing from her,
YooMae averted her gaze as she quietly continued to fold her clothing.
Donghae, his instincts picking up on her silence, immediately stared at her, his eyes flashing like jewels. He took in her quiet demeanour, her reddened cheeks.
“YOU’VE ALREADY DONE IT, HAVEN’T YOU!?” Donghae exclaimed, jumping to his feet and glaring down at his sister,
“I thought you knew,” YooMae retorted, locking gazes with her brother. She was 24-years old, after all. No need to play timid with her brother.
“How would I know that!?” Donghae questioned and then added, a little hysterically, “Why would I want to know that!?”
YooMae shrugged, “I don’t know, I thought Kyuhyun would’ve told you.”
“Kyuhyun? Oh, hell…” Donghae strode to the bedroom door and stepped into the hallway, “KYUHYUN! GET UP HERE NOW!”
When Siwon appeared a few seconds later, Donghae stood akimbo, “Where’s that little brat of a brother of mine?”
“He was called to the restaurant for an emergency. Something about a big-name critic walking in,” Siwon shrugged, “Why, what’s wrong?”
“We allow innocent, sweet YooMae to live with him and he lets her get into all sorts of who-knows-what!” Donghae exclaimed,
“Did you say ‘allow’? I’m 24-years-old,” YooMae defended, “I don’t need anyone’s permission to do anything!”
“Siwon! She’s having… relations, with that boy!” Donghae exclaimed desperately,
Siwon blinked before looking at YooMae and then looking back at Donghae, “Well, one would assume as much, especially since they’re going to be living together.”
“WHY ARE YOU SO CALM!?” Donghae demanded as he stormed back to the box he had been packing and plopped back down on the ground. Who knew one of the leading producers in Korea could be so ungraceful.
“Because we went through this with LiWon and I was the hysterical one,” Siwon reminded with a shrug of his broad shoulders, “And, while I consider YooMae my sister, too, I’ve already had experience with this situation.”
“Ah, damnit!” Donghae glared up at his sister, “Guard your thoughts!”
YooMae blinked down at him before throwing a shirt at his face, “I shouldn’t have to! Guard your telepathy!”
“I am! You’re forcing your thoughts on me!” Donghae exclaimed,
“Why would I do that!?” She retorted,
“Because you make it your life’s purpose to drive your brothers insane!” Donghae countered,
“If I wanted to do that, then I would have described in explicit detail what my boyfriend and I do in bed!” She argued,
“ARGH!” Donghae jumped to his feet and stormed out of the room.
Siwon watched Donghae leave before stepping into the room and taking up his seat on the floor beside the not-so-empty box. He accepted the folded clothes as YooMae handed them, her gaze averted. Eventually, he asked,
“Do you want to talk?”
“I just don’t see why he has to make this day so miserable,” YooMae muttered bitterly as she did up the buttons on one of her blouses to fold properly, “It’s supposed to be a happy day because I’m moving out, being an adult and… and he has to ruin it by being a jerk.”
“He’s being a brother, not a jerk, although those two things seem to cross often for sister,” Siwon laughed lightly, “It’s because you’re moving out and being an adult that has him acting so… jerk-like.”
“But I’m 24 –”
“Yes, but you’re still his baby sister,” Siwon stressed, “LiWon’s just a few years younger than me and I still want to beat up her husband whenever I happen to see them kiss.” He accepted a pair of jeans from her, “This is a happy day, don’t let your brother ruin it because he’s being grumpy. But, also, you have to understand that this is a sad day for him and all of your brothers and brother-in-laws. We’ve all watched you grow, YooMae and the fact that you’re going out into the world on your own scares us all. We can’t protect you as much now. It’s a sad thought.”
“Well, then, he’s got to understand that no matter where I go or what I do I’m still going to be his baby sister,” YooMae stated, “And he’s going to have to come to terms with the fact that I’ve slept with my boyfriend.”
“I’ll come to terms with it after I get my hands on Kyuhyun.”
YooMae and Siwon looked over to the door. Donghae stood with his shoulder against the frame, arms crossed over his chest.
“Is what everything Siwon-oppa said true?” YooMae questioned, hands on her hips,
Donghae rolled his eyes, “Perhaps.”
“You and everyone else are still my big brothers even after today,” YooMae said firmly, her eyes narrowed,
“I know,” Donghae sighed,
“And despite popular belief I do not have a favourite brother,” YooMae informed as she turned away to continue folding clothes and handing them to Siwon.
“But… Kyuhyun –”
“Always smelled like delicious food,” YooMae admitted, “As a little kid, I remember him smelling like cake. Often.”
“So you don’t have a favourite?” Donghae questioned slowly and seriously,
“No,” YooMae insisted firmly. She stared at her a brother a moment as expressions of relief crossed his face; “Will you help me finish packing now?”
Donghae rolled his eyes as he pushed off from the doorframe, “I suppose –”
The doorbell rang.
“I’ll get that,” YooMae said, a little too happily for Donghae’s taste.
“No, no. You stay and keep packing. I’ll answer the door,” Donghae insisted as he turned and left.
YooMae ran into the hallway just in time to see him descending the staircases, “Be nice to him!”
“Sorry, can’t hear you. I guess I can’t be nice to him,” Donghae called back, “Guess you should just unpa-AH! YOOMAE! PUT ME DOWN!” Donghae glared over his shoulder.
YooMae stood at the top of the stairs, “Promise you’ll be nice and I’ll let you go.”
“YooMae!” He warned,
“Hurry and promise. My powers aren’t as strong as Kangin’s. I might let you fall any minute,” YooMae countered,
“Fine! Fine, I’ll be nice to the bastard,” Donghae growled.
Gently, YooMae allowed her brother’s feet to touch the stairs again, “Thank you.”
“Humph. You’re too good for him,” Donghae muttered darkly as he proceeded down the stairs.
YooMae stifled her laughter as she waited at the top of the stairs and listened. She heard the door open and heard her boyfriend greet Donghae.
“So,” she heard her brother reply, “I hear you’ve had your wicked way with my sister!”
YooMae sighed heavily as she shook her head and returned to packing her things.
25 years old
“You look beautiful.”
“Ah, you don’t look to bad yourself, Oppa,” YooMae grinned up at her eldest brother as he stood by her side.
They could hear the organ play and the double doors that led into the cathedral opened, allowing the start of the procession into the inter sanctum. The solemn yet light notes of the organ echoed from within, setting the atmosphere of what would be one of the happiest days of her life.
“I can’t believe this day’s finally come,” He said seriously, eyes narrowed out of sadness rather than anger, “I still remember the day we brought you home from the hospital.”
“Now is not the time to go down memory lane,” YooMae scolded even as her voice wavered and her eyes began to sparkle with unshed tears, “If my make-up gets ruined, I’ll blame you, Kangin!”
He chuckled softly, “In my defence, I didn’t have as much time with you as the others. They had a few months more of time with you than I did.”
YooMae blinked, startled, “What are you talking about?”
“For the first few months of your life, I never held you,” he confessed quietly, suddenly preoccupied with adjusting the veil that fell around her like a lace fountain. “I never held you, rarely touched you at all, if possible.”
“But… but why?” YooMae questioned,
“Because you were so tiny and so precious,” Kangin replied, his indigo eyes like the velvety night sky, “Because you were light borne from a horrible night and my powers were unstable. I couldn’t risk hurting you, couldn’t risk… killing you.”
“But I’ve seen pictures of us together and I couldn’t be more than a few months old,” YooMae replied as the first of her bridesmaids walked out into the chapel.
“There was a time when I had forgotten everything about Mom,” Kangin said as he turned to face towards the open, chapel doors,
“Yes, I remember you mentioning it once,” YooMae said as she slipped her arm through his, her bouquet held firmly in her hands,
“I forgot all about Mom because my telekinesis had been sealed away,” Kangin explained, “I didn’t know the consequences of that decision and I was devastated to realize I had lost all I had left of Mom.”
She squeezed his arm tightly in comfort, “Oppa –”
“But once again, you were the light borne from another horrible night. Without my powers, I wasn’t afraid to go near you, to hold you,” Kangin said with a smile, “When I got my powers back, I could control them, so I never had to fear hurting you or worse.”
“I wish we had more months together, too, then,” YooMae offered as her maid of honour, her cousin, walked slowly and steadily into the chapel. She and her brother would be next.
“I’m sorry if I’ve made you a little sad on your wedding day,” Kangin apologized sincerely, “I didn’t mean to.”
“I know, but, no, I won’t be sad about the past. Instead, I’ll be happy because I know a little bit more about my big brother,” YooMae smiled brightly up at her brother,
Kangin laughed softly as he leaned over and pressed a kiss to her cheek, the soft lace a thin barrier between them, “No one can ever be worthy of the light you bring into people’s lives, YooMae,” he straightened, “But your husband-to-be is as close as it gets.”
She laughed quietly, melodically, “I should hope so, especially considering I’ll be spending forever with him.”
They received the signal from the wedding planner and, together, they stepped into the chapel. Canon in D major played then as all in attendance stood and turned to watch the bride walk down the aisle, her eldest brother at her side to give her away to the groom.
“Kyuhyun wanted me to tell you that there’s always a place at his house for you,” Kangin said as they slowly progressed down the aisle,
YooMae stifled a laugh, “Is that a thinly-veiled warning to my husband that I can leave him at any time?”
“Yes. Donghae is worse. He told me to tell you that he has a lot of influence in Korea should you ever need it,” Kangin grinned, glancing down at her,
“I’ll be sure to warn him then,” YooMae grinned back,
“Of course, none can beat me,” Kangin said solemnly, “I can still hit a moving target from 100 paces away.”
YooMae bit down on her lip hard to stop from laughing out loud. Instead, she nudged him hard in the ribs with her elbow.
“He’ll make you happy, I think,” Kangin said quietly as they came closer to the front of the church, the groom watching with a smile for his bride and a wariness for his soon-to-be brother-in-law,
“He already does,” YooMae agreed simply,
“And will keep you happy, too?” Kangin prompted,
“He will,” YooMae insisted, a light happiness in her tone,
“Then I give you away with a happy mind,” Kangin replied as they reached the groom.
He shook hands with the young man to marry his sister. He placed YooMae’s hand in the groom’s and turned to his sister. He leaned down to press another kiss to her cheek and whispered,
“You always were and will be a part of the Brotherhood.”
A/N: Cheers to those with at least one brother. Considering I have several, I feel for you ;D