“What is it like to be in love?”

“Free. It feels free, like there’s nothing that can stop me, nothing can hold me down.
It feels as if I can do anything because of love and I’m free of the fear of failure because,
even if I can’t do everything, at least at the end of the day,
there’s still me and him. When all else fails, love won’t.”

Reign on Me series

Thursday, May 3, 2012

[M13] Reciprocated

words: 6698
rate: PG13
(13th Cycle of the Mourning Song series)

13th Cycle: Reciprocated

I found myself alone today
looking at my mirror thinking
Who is that girl?
Why didn't I recognize her?
Why did she look so sad?
Why did it seem like

life had stopped somehow?

Regardless of wearing just a sweater and jeans, Kyuhyun left his office and headed directly for the floor above his own; the top floor. Standing in the empty elevator, he ran both hands through his thick locks. Seeing his blurry reflection in the metal elevator doors, he questioned his decision of taking the taxi from the hospital straight to the office instead of stopping at home first. As the elevator doors slid open, he sighed heavily and walked steadily, head held high; there was no going back.

He was halfway to his destination when he paused for half a heartbeat. His assistant appeared, slowly, steadily walking down the hall towards him. As they drew closer, Kyuhyun could see the curious expression on his assistant's face, one brow raised slightly above the thick rims of his glasses. Kyuhyun felt his heart clench at the sight and all the curiosities and fears of just a half hour ago had disappeared. Mijoon had never worn glasses before and, something about the sight, had his heart racing. Kyuhyun wondered if he had a bias for glasses or if it was the man behind them that had his heart beating a mile a minute.

"Are you trying to anger your father? Dressed like that?" Mijoon asked simply as he stepped aside so as not to block the younger man,

"I want to talk to my father and I'm not going to waste time by going home to get changed for what will probably be a five-minute conversation," Kyuhyun said as he continued on down the hall, partially surprised when Mijoon turned and followed him.

"He seems to be in a good mood, if that helps," Mijoon said as he shoved his hands into his pockets, just a step and a half behind the Young Master.

"You mean as good a mood he'll ever get in," Kyuhyun scoffed as they neared the double doors to his father's office. He paused outside of them, giving a nod to his father's secretary.

"I... I don't have you scheduled for a meeting with your father, Young Master," she stammered frantically flipping through pages of thick book, presumably his father's schedule.

"Indeed, but I think a little surprise in the morning is a good way to start the day," Kyuhyun said brightly,

"But... Young Master... at least let me inform your father you're here first," she said, gesturing towards the phone on her desk,

"I would much appreciate it if you didn't warn my father of my arrival," Kyuhyun said,

The secretary opened her mouth to argue and then finally nodded.

Kyuhyun held his breath as he reached out and grabbed the handles of the doors. He stared at them for several heartbeats, steeling his mind and steadying his heart. A warm, strong hand clapped his shoulder, squeezed it comfortingly.

"I'll be waiting out here for you to finish," Mijoon said simply,

Kyuhyun nodded, signalling he had heard. He threw open the doors and stepped in. He walked as far into his father's spacious office as he could, half of the room filled with early morning sunlight. The doors closed with loud thuds. His father hadn't even flinched, simply continued reading stacks of paper on his desk.

"It's not even eight and you're at work? I'm surprised," his father said, glancing up. In one glance, he took in Kyuhyun's entire appearance, "On second thought, perhaps I'm not too surprised. I hope you have a good explanation - a very good explanation - for why you're dressed like that." Before Kyuhyun could answer, his father held up a hand, "No, no... there is no explanation for why you're dressed like that at work!"

Kyuhyun fought the urge to flinch as his father's voice escalated until it echoed in the large room.

"Why didn't you or Mother ever tell me I had a sister?" Kyuhyun asked, quietly, firmly. His gaze locked with his father's, blazing with defiance and challenge; "Why was I never told about Kyuri? She is my sister isn't she? She's even more than that, right? She's my twin sister, isn't she?"

A pause and, then, "Yes."

Kyuhyun had the urge to walk right up to his father's desk and slam his palms on the tabletop. However, the sun was a beautiful, cruel barrier, keeping him back, restricting his movements. And, now he knew why.

"Why?" Kyuhyun asked, the one word full of ill-disguised anger and cold command.

His father stared steadily back, "What would you have me say, Kyuhyun? We sent your sister away the moment she was deemed healthy enough to travel, to ride a plane. You didn't know anything, couldn't remember anything. The first year was difficult because you were adjusting to life, seeing everything as new," he said simply, his tone flat, almost emotionless; "Then, to make things easier, we moved from Seoul. It was easy to simply pick up and leave everything behind, start from the beginning since you had to begin again."

"Leave everything behind... even my own sister?" Kyuhyun questioned,

His father sighed exasperatedly, "Kyuhyun, you know about your sister, okay? Are you done, now?"

"How did I get this scar?" Kyuhyun asked, raising his right hand to his temple, feeling the subtle ridge usually hidden beneath his fringe,

His father sighed as he pushed his glasses to the top of his head, rubbing the bridge of his nose, "You keep jumping topics, Kyuhyun, focus on one topic."

"I am!" Kyuhyun's voice was a soft growl, "How did I get this scar!?"

"It was a biking accident," his father answered, weariness in his voice, "You were being foolish and were riding your bicycle without a helmet."

Kyuhyun swallowed hard, "Was I with anyone?"

"Kyuhyun, if you're asking that question, then you already know the answer," his father stated simply,

"I'm sick of hearing people say that! Just answer the question! Was I with anyone!?" Kyuhyun demanded, horrified to feel the sting of tears behind his eyes,

"Your friend," his father answered and then, added, "And your cousin."

"My cousin..." Kyuhyun said slowly, the word strange on his lips and, yet, he had learned that piece of information just a few hours ago,

"Your mother's sister's daughter," his father said and, then, repeated, "Your cousin."

"Everything she said... everything they said..." Kyuhyun took a step towards his father, "How could you keep this from me!?"

"Kyuhyun!" His father yelled, his voice an angry command,

Kyuhyun immediately jumped back, the heat already spreading throughout his body.

"Stop being foolish!" His father exclaimed, "You're asking pointless questions and can't even focus enough to take care of yourself!"

"Kyuri's in the hospital," Kyuhyun said then, finding it difficult to breathe as he felt his world closing in, tightening, suffocating. He looked at his father directly, his eyes narrowed as his vision blurred and he repeated more loudly, "Kyuri. Is. In. The. Hospital!"

His father stared at him silently. Then, he lowered his glasses back onto his face and turned his attention back to his stacks of paper, "Leave. It's still office hours and, unlike your idle ways, I have work to do."

"What?" Kyuhyun blinked, "No!" He walked forward to his father's desk, slamming his palms on the desktop, "I still have questions! How the hell can you sit there so calmly after I told you about Kyuri -"

"LEAVE!" His father bellowed,

Kyuhyun felt heat spreading through his body and was rapidly replaced by fire; "NOT UNTIL -"

"Young Master!"

Kyuhyun's words were cut off as strong arms wrapped around him, pulling him away from the desk, his tear-filled glare glued to his father.

"The sun!" Mijoon hissed into his ear as he pulled him back towards the door where the rays of sun did not trespass.

Kyuhyun stared down at his hands which were already a bright red. He let Mijoon drag him backwards as he angrily swiped at his eyes with the sleeve of his sweater.

"So much for a five-minute conversation," Mijoon said quietly as he opened the door and more or less shoved Kyuhyun out of the office.

Kyuhyun shook off Mijoon's hold the moment he closed the office doors.

"Heartless..." Kyuhyun heaved, the heat painfully weaving around him;

Mijoon's gazed locked with Kyuhyun's, "Let's get cream on your skin and then I'll take you to the hospital."

"Why the hospital? They're not that bad," Kyuhyun looked down at his red skin as he walked towards the elevator, unknowingly being shielded from view by his assistant,

"I thought perhaps you'd want to visit with your sister again," Mijoon replied,

Kyuhyun nodded in silent reply. He did need to go to the hospital. He had to help his sister and the new baby live. He prayed everyone was right and that his blood wouldn't hurt anyone. He wanted his sister to survive, wanted to talk to her, know her. Most importantly, he wanted to make things right.

My life has empty spaces,
and many cold places.
I stopped running with life
and just withdrew.
This is me after you.


I found myself alone today,
looking at memories thinking
Where is that girl?
Why couldn't I find her?
Where did she go?
Why did it seem like

life wouldn't wait anymore?

"Is it okay if I go in alone?" Kyuhyun asked tentatively as the car pulled up at the curb just past the hospital's main entrance.

Mijoon parked the car and turned to look at him, "You'll get in as soon as possible?"

Kyuhyun took off his seatbelt, twisted in his seat and reached into the back seat, pulling out an umbrella, "I'll even use extra protection."

Mijoon glanced out the back window, measuring the distance. He looked back at Kyuhyun and sighed, "We just got your burns healed."

Kyuhyun looked down at his hands, no longer red, "Now I know the secret to that cream."

"I'll come in after you," Mijoon suggested,

Kyuhyun shook his head, "No... I... Everything's happening all at once for me and I... I just want some time by myself to absorb everything."

Mijoon raised a brow, "You're not going to use your new-found identity as a means to push me away, will you?"

Kyuhyun glanced away, a blush stealing across his skin, "No."

Mijoon reached out, his long and strong fingers cupping the younger man's face, "Take care, Kyuhyun... I don't know how I'd take it if something ever happened to you."

Kyuhyun blinked, his blush brighter, and he ducked his head away from the assistant's hand, opening the door and umbrella. He murmured a quick goodbye as he closed the door. Mijoon twisted in his seat, his eyes following Kyuhyun until the Young Master disappeared into the hospital.

The moment he was in the building, Kyuhyun closed the umbrella and bolted deeper into the lobby until none of the rays of sunlight could threaten him. He gave a quick nod to a receptionist at the main desk, seeing her quickly turn to her calender as he breezed by and headed to the elevators. He was well known by certain hospital staff due to his supposed illness. The receptionist was probably checking the day of the month only to realize it was not his usual day for a transfusion.

'Little does she know I'm here for a different kind of transfusion,' Kyuhyun thought as he reached the elevators,

When he reached his sister's floor, he saw his brother-in-law by her door talking to what appeared to be a doctor. Kyuhyun paused near the nurses' station, waiting for Kibum to finish his conversation. Finally, whent he doctor walked away, Kibum leaned his head back, pressing the heel of his palms against his eyes. His arms dropped to his sides and, as he turned, his gaze locked with Kyuhyun's. Taking it as his cue to approach, Kyuhyun quickly walked up to him,

"Kibum-sshi, I wanted to tell you -"

Kyuhyun was rattled as he was slammed against the wall beside the door. Kibum's hands were curled into his sweater, his fists just beneath Kyuhyun's collar bone and the only things keeping him up and against the wall. Kyuhyun gasped for air, pain stabbing his chest where Kibum's fists were pressed into him. Kyuhyun managed to lock gazes with his brother-in-law and found himself looking into the eyes of anger incarnate.

"Pain... please..." Kyuhyun stammered, struggling for air, grasping at Kibum's hands but unable to grip at all.

He realized then how tired he was. He had been awake since he had learned of his sister's hospitalization. He had been burned on his hands, face and neck just an hour ago. He had been physically drained for hours. He had to handle his sister and new niece or nephew being on the brink of life and death. He had to learn about his past from several different people who had only met recently. He had been emotionally exhausted for three years. He realized, not for the first time, how easy it would be to give up on everything; to give up on life.

"Kyuri flat-lined last night," Kibum growled as security came running, trying to pry him away.

Kyuhyun felt his heart clench so hard he felt nothing else. All of his mind was focused on his sister and how she laid on the bed so small, so still. How her chest barely rose with each small breath and how pale her skin and lips were as if she were no more than a cipher, close to fading away. She hadn't looked good when he had left, but she hadn't looked any worse than when he had first seen her.

"If you hadn't left to be so fucking stupid and selfish, that wouldn't have happened!" The other man hissed, his voice vibrating with anger,

"I... she..." Kyuhyun stammered, managing enough air into his lungs to speak,

"I should kill you for what happened!" Kibum threatened, his dark words strong, steady and so sincere that Kyuhyun truly feared for his life,

"Please..." Kyuhyun breathed, "I... Sorry..."

The security guards finally tore Kibum away, leaving Kyuhyun to crumble to the floor, hunched over to make it easier for him to breathe. A nurse ran over, kneeling beside the younger man.

"Jo-sshi, what are you feeling? Can you breathe?" The nurse questioned,

Kyuhyun nodded, offering a small smile. He should have known that most of the nurses on the unit would recognize him. The year before his family moved from Seoul, he had been in and out of the hospital. When they returned to Seoul, he had been in the hospital once a month and hospitalized three times. The nurses knew him well and he could name them all on sight. He had been proud that he hadn't been in the ICU for months.

"I want a vitals machine here, stat!" The nurse called out as she pulled her stethascope from around her neck, "Jo-sshi, I want to listen to your lungs. I know you said you're okay, but I'm not taking chances with you,"

Kyuhyun, moving his head slightly, could see people up and down the hallway trying to see him. "Not... hallway... please," he murmured,

The nurse, understanding immediately nodded. A security guard stepped forward, helping Kyuhyun to his feet, lending his balance and strength to the Young Master.

"In here," a weak voice called out.

Kyuhyun stiffened as he slowly turned his head to look inside his sister's room.

Kyuri sat in bed, the upper half raised to a 50-degree angle, her pillows propping her up. The monitors were still present and even more wires were hooked to her. She still looked impossibly wan, but she was awake. She was alive. That was all that mattered to him.

The security guard helped Kyuhyun into the room, sitting him down in the same chair he had sat in just a few hours ago. As Kyuhyun sat there, the nurse entered after him. Kyuhyun slowly, gingerly took off his sweater so the nurse just had to work with his shirt to listen to his lungs properly. He watched, head bowed as his brother-in-law stormed into the room, pushing away the other security guard.

Kibum stalked around the room to the other side of the hospital bed. Once he got to Kyuri's side, she weakly punched his arm,

"Told you... leave him alone," Kyuri hissed quietly, weakly,

"A lapse in memory," Kibum replied in a flat tone, arms crossing over his chest,

"He said you died," Kyuhyun said as he leaned back against the chair as the nurse took the vitals machine and began to wrap the blood pressure cuff around his arm.

"I said she flat-lined. There's a difference," Kibum replied,

"Mean," Kyuri huffed as she rolled her head, which was propped back against the pillows, so she was looking at her brother,

"After you left, she got worse," Kibum said, his gaze not on Kyuhyun, but on Kyuri, his dark gaze unblinking, steady, flickering with fierce emotions; "She stopped breathing... she flat-lined on the monitor... As the nurses came running in, I had thought she died." He swallowed hard, turned around and walked towards one of the windows, his feet shoulder-width apart, his body straight and steady; "They revived her in less than three minutes, but it seemed longer... so much longer."

"Your blood pressure is a little low, Jo-sshi," the nurse said, "But everything else seems in working order." She turned her gaze on Kibum, "Kim-sshi -"

"It's fine," Kyuhyun insisted as he began putting his sweater back on, suddenly feeling cold, "That's how he greets everyone. It's how he says 'I love you'."

"Hmm... yes, well, if you need anything Jo-sshi, you just ring the call button your friend has on her bed," the nurse said. "Well, Kim-sshi," she turned her attention to Kyuri, "Your daughter will be up here within the hour. We'll be back in half an hour to do your vitals again. Do you need anything until then?"

Kyuri shook her head slowly, "No... just my baby... please."

The nurse gave her a small, kind smile, "It won't be much longer."

The nurse left, herding the security guards with her and closing the door behind them.

"I thought your baby was in the NICU," Kyuhyun said as he pulled his sweater into place,

"She is, but a team of nurses are being paid extra to stay here," Kibum answered,

"How?" Kyuhyun stared at his sister who had her eyes closed and he was sure he saw the glisten of tears on her lashes,

"Your father," Kibum said quietly,

"My..." Kyuhyun stared harder at Kyuri, silently willing her to open his eyes, to confirm if she was really crying,

"What they're doing for us is something they never do. Ever. Apparently your father convinced them to do it and promised to pay them extra for the inconvenience," Kibum explained, his back still facing them, "There was an accompanying donation to the hospital as well."

"I sill can't believe... my... our father?" Kyuhyun asked, confusion interlaced with his words, "But, doesn't the staff suspect anything? Why did the nurse call her by Kim?"

Kibum turned around then. He returned to Kyuri's side and took her hand into his, "Your sister is very stubborn and prefers to keep the distance between herself and your parents. When she was brought to the hospital, I had her registered with my last name instead. Whether they suspect anything or not... well... one has to wonder if there are still those who were involved with your births still working here."

"I... I came back for the transfusion," Kyuhyun revealed then, "I was going to tell you that, Kibum-sshi, you know... before you slammed me on the wall."

Kyuri shook her head on the pillow as she slowly opened her eyes and locked gazes with her twin, "No... pressure."

"Kyuri!" Kibum explained, "You could've died two times in the ambulance here! You could've died just hours ago!"

"No," Kyuri said softly, squeezing his hand in comfort and warning. She offered a very small smile, "Kyuhyun... don't listen... stupid husband."

Kyuhyun stared directly at his sister, “What if it’ll save your baby?”

My life has empty spaces,
and many cold places.
I stopped running with life
and just withdrew.
This is me after you.

No more glory days
and easy smiles.
No more childish dreams
and sunny days.
No more pretending
that I'm the same.


Kyuri slowly opened her eyes as two little children ran up to her bed. Taeyeon followed at a more sedate pace, smiling sadly at her cousin. Taeyeon steadied the children with a hand on each of their heads,

“No climbing the bed,” Taeyeon warned gently as she looked around the room, her eyes growing wide suddenly.

On the other side of Kyuri’s bed near her head was an incubator, a large light hovering overtop although the bulb was currently turned off. The incubator consisted of a solid base about a meter tall with many drawers and compartments. Atop was the incubator itself, a see-through box with openings that could be closed and opened in order to reach the baby within. The baby itself was a small bundle wrapped in a pink blanket.

“Is this…?” Taeyeon said quietly as she walked around the bed to the incubator, stopping before it, gazing at the tiny baby.

“Beautiful,” Kyuri said weakly, her voice warm with love and pride.

“She’s so small,” Taeyeon said, feeling her heart clench at the sight, “Does she have a name yet?”

“No,” Kyuri answered,

“Can we see the baby?” The twins asked in unison, patting the mattress beside Kyuri’s hip.

She reached out slowly, brushing her fingers over their heads, “Careful.”

The kids raced around the bed, slowing down when they approached the incubator. Taeyeon picked up Kyumi so the little girl could look in.

“That’s not pretty,” she accused the adults as Taeyeon put her down and picked up her brother,

“Was Mimi wearing pink, too, because she’s a girl?” Kyuki asked as Taeyeon put him down,

Kyuri laughed softly, “No.”

“Babies start their lives wearing nothing,” Taeyeon explained as the twins began to climb on top of the cot.

“Nakie!” The twins laughed together

“Be careful,” Taeyeon warned them as they sat on the cot together. She turned her attention back to Kyuri who was watching her children with an almost wistful affection; “How are you feeling?”

“Want… another go at the… you-know-what,” Kyuri muttered,

Taeyeon laughed, “Of course you do. What are the doctors planning for you? Can you go home soon? Don’t get me wrong, I love having the kids with me, but… well, they miss you.”

“I’m getting... blood transfusion… and baby, too,” Kyuri explained,

Taeyeon nodded, “I know. It will work right? It’ll help you both?”

“It should,” Kyuri replied quietly, “Heechul coming... need protect... Kyuhyun’s secret.”

“Where is Kyuhyun? I called him here last night,” Taeyeon asked,

“Calling assistant,” Kyuri answered, “Needs pick-up... after... tonight.”

Taeyeon paused, wondering what to say and how much to say. She didn’t want to say a lot on the off-chance Kyuhyun would appear, but at the same time, she wasn’t sure she liked the assistant, didn’t trust what he was doing in Kyuhyun’s life. Kyuhyun was probably standing on the edge of a precipice having learned so much about his past in such a short amount of time. He would be in a fragile state of mind and Taeyeon couldn’t allow the assistant to take advantage of the vulnerability.

“Have you met his assistant?” Taeyeon asked as she turned slightly to watch as the twins climbed down from the cot, unable to sit still at the age of two and eleven-twelfths;

“No... barely seen Kyuhyun… longest... with him this morning,” Kyuri answered, her voice stronger, but still quiet, “Why?”

“Kyuhyun told me he’s in a relationship with his assistant,” Taeyeon revealed quietly, the twins playing tag around the room,

“With assistant?” Kyuri’s brows rose in surprise,

“More or less… apparently,” Taeyeon answered,

“Oh my... I didn’t… wait… Zhou Mi,” Kyuri gasped, “Does he-”

“Zhou Mi knows,” Taeyeon said grimly, “I don’t understand it… any of it, but Zhou Mi knows… he’s always known.”

“I… I don’t understand,” Kyuri admitted,

“Um… am I interrupting?” Taeyeon and Kyuri looked to the door as Kyuhyun stood just outside of it,

Kyuri shook her head as Taeyeon said, “No, not at all.”

“Uncle! Uncle!” The twins ran to him, tugging on his hands and trying to drag him into the room.

Kyuhyun stepped into the room, his gaze going to his sister, “Kibum is getting everything planned for the transfusion. He said he’ll be back as soon as he can.”

“Where did he go?” Kyuri asked,

“Change of clothes and finding you real food, he said,” Kyuhyun explained as he sat down in the chair again, the twins deciding it great fun to run circles around his chair.

Kyuri nodded her understanding. She stared at her brother for a moment. The entire morning, she hadn’t spent even a minute alone wit him, Kibum always present. It had taken her an hour to calm Kibum down – something she had never had to do before. Then, they spent another hour discussing the transfusion. After that, Kyuhyun had hesitantly asked Kyuri about her past and Kibum would answer for her whenever she nodded her head for him to do so. Several times during the last part of the conversation, Kyuhyun’s eyes had reflected guilt and pain. She didn’t like knowing she was the cause, but she knew he had to learn the truth.

“Looks like... finally paying me back,” Kyuri said softly before narrowing her gaze, “It’s about time... too.”

Taeyeon laughed when Kyuhyun stared, startled at his sister’s anger, “Kyuri, you know he doesn’t understand.” She looked at Kyuhyun, “You and Kyuri used to fight every time you got together. She’s just teasing you now.”

“Oh… but… you really did give me a transfusion, didn’t you?” Kyuhyun asked, “Kibum mentioned it but, even before then, I had a transfusion a few weeks ago and… and when I woke up, I half expected a girl to be in the room with me, but I couldn’t see her face and… I guessed it had been you, but I wasn’t sure.”

“Yes, I did,” Kyuri said, “I’m... no saint... because of it.”

“What’s a saint?” Kyumi asked,

“It’s… it’s a person who is good all the time,” Kyuhyun explained to the little girl,

“Oh… then I must be a saint,” Kyumi declared as she climbed into her uncle’s lap, “I’m very good.”

“No! You pushed me yesterday!” Kyuki announced,

“Did not!” “Did too!” The twins bickered amongst themselves.

Kyuri watched the twins, inhaling slowly, deeply, her chest hurting from the exertion. She could wipe away the negativity from their past, from their relationship. She could start a new with her brother, keeping only happiness between them. However, she soon put those thoughts aside, knowing that if she pretended everything was perfect between them, then it would all be a lie.

"If I had to go through it all again... if I had to go through losing everything, the years of endless loneliness... I would, Kyuri. I would go through all of those years of being alone if it meant I could be meet you, be with you... have you in my life."

Regardless of the pain and anger from their past, she couldn’t let it go, couldn’t pretend it never happened. It would be dishonouring her brother if she willingly gave up memories he was forced to lose. It would be dishonouring the people they became, the relationship they created at SJA because of their past.

Finally, she revealed, “But I didn’t do it easily… I was stubborn and… and so angry at you... Not until Taeyeon came... talked to me... then I said yes.”

Kyuhyun nodded, accepting her admission for what it was. He turned his attention to Taeyeon who stood on the other side of Kyuri’s bed. He had admired her for years, had thought he was dreaming when he met her, had believed he’d been hallucinating when she had asked to be his friend. All that time she had been his cousin.

“I asked my father about my scar,” Kyuhyun admitted, “He… He told me how I got it and… and what he did to you, Kyuri.”

Kyuri shrugged, having lost all emotional reactions to what her parents had done to her. She didn’t think of what had happened anymore unless forced to think about it. The only times she did become emotional was whenever her mother called asking to see the twins.

“You’re my cousin… aren’t you?” Kyuhyun asked tentatively, the thought odd and, yet, right, at the same time.

Taeyeon hesitated and, then, nodded.

Kyuhyun exhaled loudly, “It’s… it’s a lot to take in all at once.”

“Did not!” “Did too!” The twins’ voices silencing anything anyone was going to say.

The adults remained silent as Kyumi and Kyuki’s argument continued.

My life has empty spaces,
and many cold places.
I stopped running with life
and just withdrew.
This is me after you.

My life has empty spaces
and cold places
where you used to be.
I stopped living life
but it kept going on.

Later in the evening, past visiting hours, Heechul came to the hospital with his equipment. Kyuhyun was silent, merely nodded when the nurse was introduced. Heechul had stared at Kyuhyun, seemingly wanting to say anything. However, he said nothing and merely began preparing the direct transfusion. During the transfusion, Heechul had monitored Kyuhyun and Kyuri and, then, the baby, however, his eyes continued to drift back to the younger man.

Two and a half hours later, Kyuhyun was pale, weak and dizzy. When Kibum suggested he sleep in the cot overnight, Kyuhyun declined, stating he’d rather rest at home. No one argued, no one even said a single word in response. They knew what a toll it had taken for Kyuhyun to learn so much of his past suddenly; to do a transfusion he was scared would hurt his sister and niece.

Once his dizziness subsided, Kyuhyun slowly stood up from the chair, Taeyeon running to his side immediately, lender her strength as she hooked his arm around her shoulders. She offered to help him outside, stating her fiancé would pick her up. Before they had left, Kibum had approached Kyuhyun and quietly thanked him, Kyuri having fallen asleep during her transfusion. Kyuhyun, too tired to say anything, merely nodded and let Taeyeon help him leave.

He never saw the way Heechul watched him leave.

Outside of the hospital's main entrance, pulled to the curb just past the entrance was a familiar car. Kyuhyun gestured towards it and Taeyeon helped him, her arm wrapped around his waist. When they neared the car, the driver door opened and Mijoon appeared. He ran around the back of the car to the other side of Kyuhyuh, sharing the burdan with Taeyeon.

Kyuhyun never saw the way Taeyeon stared suspiciously at the assistant. He never saw the way Mijoon subtly shook his head at the singer.

Mijoon opened the door and handed Kyuhyun into the passenger seat.

"Won't you be more comfortable in the back seat?" Taeyeon asked,

"It's better if he sits in the front so he's closer to me," Mijoon stated,

Taeyeon glanced at Kyuhyun who's head was already lolling, his eyes closed. She looked back at the assistant, eyes narrowed, "I don't know what's going on between you two and... and I don't know if trust you, but if you hurt him -"

"I won't," Mijoon interrupted, his voice soft but strong, his gaze steady as he closed the passenger door; "I know you don't trust me with Kyuhyun... I know you'd probably be happier killing me... I know you don't know me... but know this - I will protect Kyuhyun until I die, even if a day comes when we're no longer together. I will never hurt Kyuhyun intentionally - I would rather die first."

Taeyeon stared at the assistant, hearing truth ring in his words and voice and seeing truth in his dark eyes. Slowly, she nodded, "Fine, but if you end up hurting him-"

"What?" Mijoon questioned,

"I have very good connections," Taeyeon said quietly, "I could make you disappear and no one - no one - would ever find you."

Mijoon regarded her for a full minute before nodding, a small smirk tugging at one corner of his mouth, "I always knew you were more than just a singer."

Taeyeon raised a single brow in askance, "Oh?"

"Kyuhyun talks about you all the time at work," Mijoon revealed, walking around the front of the car to the driver's side. He glanced around as he opened the door, "Shall I chauffer you, Lee Yeon-sshi?"

Taeyeon gave a small dip of her head in appreciation, "No, thank you," she said just as another car pulled up behind the assistant's.

"Ah, your driver," Mijoon said,

"No," Taeyeon glanced at the car, a soft smile on her lips, "My fiance."

Mijoon glanced at the car, unable to see the driver in the darkness. He saluted the man with two fingers in silent greeting. He looked at the singer just as she looked back at him.

"I'll be watching you," Taeyeon warned as she slowly walked towards the second car,

"And I'll be watching over him," Mijoon replied.

He waited until the singer got safely into her car before getting into his own, closing the door securely. He started the engine and pulled away from the curb, heading straight towards the Young Master's house. The drive was silent until they were at the half-way point of the journey. Kyuhyun shifted in his seat and, immediately, half of Mijoon's attention was on the younger man.

"You were talking to Lee Yeon a long time," Kyuhyun murmured, "Weren't you? I feel like I've been sleeping for an hour."

Mijoon laughed softly, "She just wanted to make sure your assistant was also a good bodyguard."

Kyuhyun was silent long enough that Mijoon thought he had fallen asleep again. Then, he felt tentative fingers reach and brush his hand resting on the shift stick. Mijoon turned his hand so their palms were together and he linked their fingers, securing their joined hands. Mijoon was startled, the Young Master having never initiate any touch between them. It was just holding his hand, but it was more than the past year and it was enough.

"Thank you for picking me up," Kyuhyun said quietly, weakly,

Mijoon raised their hands to his mouth, pressing a firm kiss to the back of the younger man's hand; "Thank you for calling me."

They were silent for the remainder of the ride. Mijoon hadn't tried to start conversation again, knowing the Young Master was tired after the transfusion and wanting Kyuhyun to rest. They reached the house, a security guard manually opening the gates for them since it was late at night. Nodding towards the security guard as he drove past, Mijoon drove up the long drive, parking at the front of the house.

Mijoon killed the engine and got out of the car, rounding it to Kyuhyun's door. Opening the passenger door, Mijoon pocketed his keys to use his free hands to help Kyuhyun out of the car. However, Mijoon realized soon enough that Kyuhyun didn't have the strength to stand on his own, let alone walk through the large mansion to his bedroom. Mijoon swept the Young Master into his arms, kicking the door close as he turned towards the house.

Having his own key to the house, Mijoon carried Kyuhyun the entire way to his bedroom, the head butler following only to help open the bedroom door.

"I'll get him settled and see myself out," Mijoon said to the butler before disappearing into the room.

As he walked to the bed, Mijoon heard the door close softly, firmly. Mijoon laid Kyuhyun on the bed, sitting on the edge facing him as the Young Master's eyes slowly rose.

"You need to regain your strength," Mijoon said quietly as he reached over and turned on the dim lamp on the bedside table.

"A few hours of sleep will do me good," Kyuhyun insisted as he shifted slightly, rolling his head on the pillow to stare up at the assistant,

"No, Kyuhyun, you need to feed," Mijoon stated, his gaze unrelenting,

"You know I can't hold any food down," Kyuhyun replied sleepily,

"I said feed not eat," Mijoon said, "Kyuhyun, stop playing dumb... you know what I'm talking about."

Kyuhyun's eyes stared at him, a flick of fear in their dark depths, "Mijoon... please... I... I can't..."

"You mean you don't want to," Mijoon corrected gently, "But I can't let you have your way this time, Kyuhyun. You need your strength... you need to feed."


"You know how it feels after you receive a blood transfusion," Mijoon said, "Now, imagine if you actually fed the way you're supposed to."

"What if... what if I can't?" Kyuhyun asked, "I've never had the urge to drink blood... I've... I've never gone on a frenzy because I couldn't have blood - I've just been... sick. I don't even think I have fangs... my... my canine teeth are -"

Kyuhyun's words were cut off as Mijoon leaned into him, their heads beside one another until the assistant's neck was just centimetres from Kyuhyun's mouth. Kyuhyun gasped as his heart sped up and he felt the odd sensation of his canine teeth lengthening into full-fledged fangs.

"No... this isn't me... I... I don't ever have cravings for blood," Kyuhyun stammered,

"That's because you've never been this close to feeding," Mijoon said, "Kyuhyun, I can feel your breath on my neck. Just try it, graze your fangs against my neck," he pressed a kiss to Kyuhyun's neck for emphasis.

Kyuhyun swallowed hard as he slowly moved his head closer. He was sure he could hear the pulse pounding in Mijoon's neck. He felt the points of his fangs slide gently over the pulse and Kyuhyun felt his body respond, the urge to sink his fangs into the assistant's neck escalating. He had never felt such need before, his heart hammering in his chest, his mouth suddenly dry from the anticipation of what was to come. Before he realized it, Kyuhyun raised his arms, slipping them around Mijoon, pulling him closer. Mijoon had to shift, stretching out on the bed, half-lying on the Young Master.

"Kyuhyun... bite me," Mijoon insisted,

"I... I..." Kyuhyun murmured as his eyes fluttered close as his fangs pressed a fraction harder against the assistant's throat,

"One bite, Kyuhyun," Mijoon repeated, "One bite."

"I don't want to hurt you," Kyuhyun admitted, his fangs pressing harder, just before he coulud break the skin,

"I want you to bite me. I want your lips on my skin, your fangs in my neck," Mijoon whispered, his words soft and sultry, pressing his body into the younger man's; "Bite me, Kyuhyun."

Kyuhyun clung to the assistant, holding him against him, the older man's body a strong, solid warmth above him. His mind was racing and, briefly, Kyuhyun recalled how he never had to worry about his telepathy when it came to the assistant. Even when they were in the car and held hands or when Mijoon carried him, not a single thought slipped into his mind. All he got was silence and his own racing thoughts, needs and wants. And, what he wanted, was Mijoon.

"Yes," Kyuhyun breathed as he pressed harder, his fangs puncturing the skin and sinking in fast and deep.

Blood rushed into his mouth, coppery and sweet.

Suddenly, he thought about the bracelet on his left wrist and its engraving. Suddenly, he remembered what the chinese characters said.

Zhou Mi.

He remembered.

This is me after you.
This is my life
without you.



Anonymous said...


Mi said...


My comment got cut in the previous chapter lol Glad you're back :D
I hope you can update this soon ♡

Anonymous said...

GAHHH!!! I want more, I felt that this chapter was shorter than others...but omg!!! NEXT CHAP!!! CAN'T WAIT

bibbien said...



I hope Kyuhyun won't have lingering feelings for Mijoon even after he remembers Zhou Mi...

BUT AHHHHH Can't wait for the next update :)

Anonymous said...

I have never ever commented before but I have been obsessively checking this page daily to see if you've updated. This past month I've been in exams so I haven't been able to check but let me just say... this is the best end of semester present ever, oh my goodness. Thank you for coming back ;~;

The ending of this chapter.. please update soon. ;A; <3