Pairing: HyukMin (Hyukjae / Sungmin)
Word count: ~3000
Summary: Listen to me, you can’t fix people. Your love won’t make him stop hating his father and your devotion won’t cure her of her childhood. All you can do is be there, violets sprouting out from your ribs, acceptance on your lips, your own wounds still bleeding and all you can do is be there and sometimes that’s enough, sometimes that’s everything.
A/N: plot idea / summary is taken from this tumblr post [here]. This turned into 3000 words of random kindy angsty emotions~ un-beta'd like always ^^
Your love won’t make him stop hating his father
and your devotion won’t cure her of her childhood.
All you can do is be there, violets sprouting out
from your ribs, acceptance on your lips, your own
wounds still bleeding and all you can do is be there
and sometimes that’s enough, sometimes that’s everything.
Hyukjae is eight he firsts meets Lee Sungmin. To this day he remembers first seeing him clearly, the way Sungmin sat by himself quietly in class. No one had ever really talked to him, the other kids leaving him alone in the back corner of the large classroom. When he had first asked Jessica and Sulli why everyone left the small boy alone, they had instantly told him he was 'a weirdo who never smiled', before running off to join the others on the playground.
The next day at lunch, a determined Hyukjae had marched his way past the rest of the kids out on the field before stopping in front of the quiet boy, sitting down on the grass next to him before offering him half of his sandwich. Sungmin had just looked at him, before taking the piece of bread slowly, a small smile crossing his face. The boys said nothing at first, quietly eating their sandwiches together, before Hyukjae looked over at the boy with a curious gaze.
“Do you like monkeys?” he asked, watching the quiet boy for a response. Sungmin didn't say anything, he shook his head in a small nod before his eyes returned to the sandwich in his hands. Although the boy hadn't actually said anything, the smile and nod alone was enough to satisfy him.
It became a daily routine for the two – Hyukjae babbling out questions and stories as Sungmin sat next to him. The quiet boy didn't respond to much, but when he did a feeling of joy bubbled up inside of Hyukjae, a large grin spreading across his small face.
It was one morning a few weeks after settling into their routine that Sungmin came to school with a yellowish bruise around his small wrist. Sitting down to eat, Hyukjae had stared at the bruise. Had Sungmin hurt himself playing? The boy wondered, remembering the bruise he'd gotten once after falling out of the big oak tree outside of his home.
“Did you hurt yourself playing Min?” he asked, looking at the boy curiously. He watched as Sungmin's smile quickly faded, the boy's small frame tensing. Noticing something was wrong, Hyukjae immediately changed to speaking about his adventure in the tree, watching as the boy visibly relaxed as he spoke. For a few minutes everything had returned to normal for Hyukjae, until he brought up a different question.
“...and today my daddy said he was going to teach me how to ride a bike without training wheels! What about you and your daddy?”
Sungmin instantly freezes again, a terrified look in his eyes, before getting up and running across the playground inside, far away from Hyukjae. He looked at the half-eaten sandwich thrown onto the grass in haste, then back in the direction the small boy had run.
Hyukjae had learned fairly quickly to never ask Sungmin about his family.
Things went relatively smoothly the next couple of years, their friendship strengthening so much that Hyukjae's young mind almost forgot about the short uncomfortable moment when they were eight. Its not until they're thirteen that Sungmin starts closing himself off from the world again. It honestly scares Hyukjae, watching his best friend lose the spark that he had gained over the years.
They're getting ready for gym class [Sungmin had been scared of going anywhere near the locker rooms, so the two had decided going to the abandoned boys bathroom earlier before class was the better option] when Hyukjae first notices the purple bruises littering Sungmin's torso. He tries to immediately hide them, pulling down his shirt hastily, but Hyukjae sees them anyway. He opens his mouth to say something, anything, but Sungmin visibly panics, taking slow steps towards the door before slamming the door open and running out, leaving a stunned Hyukjae behind.
It only takes a few seconds for Hyukjae to start into action, quickly pull his shirt over his head and taking off after his best friend. He frantically searches the entire building, long after the class bell had sounded, until he eventually finds him around the back side of the school.
Sungmin is a mess, eyes already bright red as he cries. When he looks up and finds Hyukjae standing over him he gets even more agitated than before, choking on his breath as he stares at the boy in front of him. Hyukjae doesn't know what to do, scared and confused of his friends terrified reaction to him.
He ends up sitting down beside him, and as his friend shies away from him, he quietly pulls him into a hug, shushing the muffled sobs coming from the head now leaning on his shoulder. Not knowing what else to do, he rubs his back as he tells Sungmin 'everything will be alright. I'm here for you'. As the sobs quiet down to mere whimpers, Hyukjae promises himself that no matter what he will help his best friend; he will fix him so that he is okay again.
Hyukjae is fifteen when he first meets Sungmin's mother. It's the first time Sungmin has ever invited him to his house; all of their time either spent at Hyukjae's or the local football field. Hyukjae knew better by now than to ask why.
It was obvious Sungmin hadn't expected her to be home by the way he freezes in the doorway, both boys watching the woman move absent-mindedly around the kitchen. As she turns, Hyukjae can immediately see the resemblance between the two – both having very soft facial features and almond-shaped eyes. She's a very quiet woman, something that reflects Sungmin himself. To Hyukjae she seems very fragile, quietly saying hello before turning back to wander around the kitchen again, ignoring them.
Sungmin grabs his arm tightly, leading him through the cosy one story house to the small room at the end of the hall. Sungmin's room is very... Sungmin. After all these years imagining where he lived, its not quite what Hyukjae imagined and yet exactly what he expected of the quiet boy. The walls are covered in a coat of pale lavender paint, reflecting Sungmin's calm demeanour. Shelves and shelves of books fill the room, the desk shoved into the corner littered with sheets of music paper. Lying next to his bed is a baby pink guitar, obviously cherished in the way it was carefully placed on its stand.
They flop onto Sungmin's small single bed together, pulling out an old board game box [Sungmin is embarrassed at first about not having the brand new console that sits in Hyukjae's room, but is quickly assured that 'he's going to get his ass kicked at monopoly' and 'to bring it on', causing a warm smile to return to his face].
As Sungmin sets up, Hyukjae realises that there is only one photo in the entire room – a small picture of the two of them when they were about 12. Its creased, and looks as if its been constantly held tightly and then smoothed out again. As Sungmin tosses him the die, he decides he's going to eventually cover this room with photos and shared happy memories of the two of them together.
It's after two hours of gruelling monopoly warfare [Hyukjae's competitive nature has come out and despite being down the entire game he refuses to back down] and inhaling a ton of chocolate and candy, that Sungmin is as radiant as Hyukjae's ever seen him, vocal and full of smiles. When Sungmin lets out a musical laugh at his loss Hyukjae decides that yes, this is how Sungmin should always be, he will make sure of it.
It's not until the morning of Sungmin's sixteenth birthday that Hyukjae meets his father. He had woken up early, and had decided to visit Sungmin's house before school to surprise him. Grabbing his present [he'd spent all weekend diligently working on what he'd nicknamed operation: blow your mind], he ran out the door, making his way to the nearby bus stop. Taking the 20minute ride to Sungmin's street, he casually made his way to the familiar yellow house.
When he'd reached the yard, Hyukjae immediately realised something was not alright. From the edge of the driveway he could hear muffled shouting coming from inside the familiar house. Scared, Hyukjae slowly made his was toward the door, the shouting getting louder before he heard a smash, followed by a small scream that he distinctly recognised as Sungmin. In his panic Hyukjae ran the rest of the distance to the front door and after finding it alarmingly unlocked, threw the door open and made his way into the house.
Making his way toward the end of the house, the sounds became disturbingly louder the closer he got to the familiar lavender room. Hyukjae's mind was in full panic mode as he slowly pushed the bedroom door open.
What he found terrified him – a large man [who he instantly deduces to be Sungmin's father] was standing over Sungmin kneeling on the floor. From his position at the door he can see a small trickle of blood running down the side of Sungmin's face.
He's frozen for an instant, taking in the scene in front of him, before the mans hand is coming down towards the cowering boy – and Hyukjae sees red. Dropping his present he quickly positions himself in front of Sungmin, doing his best to shield him from the blow. As the first makes contact with his back, Sungmin looks up at him, eyes widening in horror as he realises who is now standing above him. The look angers Hyukjae further as he turns around to stare straight at the frightening man.
“leave. him. the FUCK ALONE.” he shouts at the glaring man. Time seems to stand still as the man looks at him, Sungmin tugging on his pant leg almost desperately, a blubbering mess of 'please' and 'don't' spilling from his mouth over and over.
Eventually the man narrows his eyes at the two of them before spitting at the floor between the two, muttering a short 'fuck you' before storming out of the room. The two boys don't move an inch until they hear the rattling slam of the front door.
It jolts them into action, Hyukjae turning back to check on Sungmin, while Sungmin's eyes roam over Hyukjae in panic.
“You were never supposed to be here – never supposed to see that” Sungmin mumbles out between hiccups as he checks Hyukjae over and over for any noticeable bruises. Hyukjae wipes the blood from Sungmin's face, looking over the boy quickly for any more immediate injuries. Finding none, he grabs the boys hands, looking at him calmly, all anger drained from him.
“It doesn't matter because I'm here to protect you okay? You're alright, he's gone now and you're safe with me. While I'm around no one can touch you”. Sungmin grips him tightly, once again sobbing into Hyukjae's shoulder as he continues to whisper comforting words to him.
The scrapbook Hyukjae had made of the two of them lay crushed in the doorway.
The two years after what Hyukjae dubbed as 'the birthday incident' hadn't been the best. Although Hyukjae had tried to talk about it, Sungmin readily avoided any mention of the topic. Instead, he had started to distance himself from Hyukjae, both physically and mentally. Hyukjae watches the gap widen over time, and he's struggling. Every time Hyukjae thinks he's broken through and pulled Sungmin back to his side, a new bruise appears on his pale skin, and with it the wall he has been putting up around himself.
It's draining to say the least; Hyukjae feels that he's tried so hard to fix his best friend, but it's become a constant dance of one step forward, two steps back.
They're graduating in a couple of months, both signing up for the same musical college, and Hyukjae hopes that it means Sungmin will start to perk up a bit, but it seems to be getting worse by the day. Eventually, Sungmin stops smiling altogether, eyes constantly red and puffy no matter what Hyukjae tries. He's started to feel like he's drowning, like with every fix he makes on Sungmin's heart, new cracks start to open up at an even faster pace. If he's honest with himself, it scares him. He's scared he's starting to lose his best friend.
Graduation comes and goes, the distance between the two just growing larger. Nothing had been getting better, and Hyukjae isn't sure he can ever fix Sungmin... maybe his efforts had just gone to waste.
Although both Hyukjae and Sungmin attend the same college, the frequency of their meetings greatly depletes. Hyukjae doesn't notice at first – he makes new friends, attends unreal parties, experiences girlfriends and the stress of studying – until he is so caught up in his new world that Sungmin's smile disappears from his mind and Hyukjae forgets ever struggling to fix his best friend.
It is not until six months into the school year that Sungmin even crosses his mind. He sits with his large group of friends, laughing over their trays of food when someone brings up who they've dubbed as 'the weird music kid'. Hyukjae starts to feel sick to his stomach the longer the conversation goes as they describe the weirdo who never spoke and never smiled – what was his name? Yemin? Sungwook?
“Sungmin.” Hyukjae whispers, as the rest of the group continues to laugh.
Dread slams into him, what the fuck has he done? He had wanted to help fix Sungmin so bad, but in the end he'd just failed him. He'd fucked up... how could I be so blinded? College had been like a breath of fresh air and he'd jumped in without even looking back, without even giving Sungmin a second glance, and now he'd probably been stupid enough to lose his best friend...
Hyukjae jumps from his seat, sprinting out of the cafeteria as his friends call after him, confused. He needs to find him – needs to see him and make sure that he's okay. God what the fuck have I done?
Eventually he ends up outside Sungmin's dorm room, panting and out of breath. He pounds on the door frantically before it quickly opens, revealing a confused Sungmin. He's skinnier than when Hyukjae last saw him, the baby weight from his face now gone. His hair is longer, the fringe nearly covering his eyes now a shade of dark red, standing out on his pale skin compared to the normal colour of chocolate brown.
Different. Hyukjae immediately thinks. He looks so different.
His eyes widen before he releases a broken sob before jumping at him, holding on for dear life.
“I'm sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry oh god” he babbles over and over again as he cries. Hyukjae keeps trying to say it's alright, why are you apologising?, but then Sungmin is shushing him and he realises he's the one sobbing and grabbing onto Sungmin, as if scared that he will tell him no – that Sungmin will tell him to leave and never come back, because he's already fucked up once.
Sungmin brings him inside, sitting him down on the small dorm bed, waiting for him to calm down [and if he thinks about it, its quite reminiscent of the first time he visited Sungmin's house, the two of them cramped on the small bed together]. Hyukjae's sobs soon become quiet whimpers, as he spills everything he felt over the years to Sungmin; his failures of being a best friend.
“You were so broken” he sobs, “You were so hurt and fragile and I just wanted to fix everything for you – I needed you to be okay because you would shine so bright when you didn't have to worry. But then he just kept dragging you under over and over and over... and I tried so, so hard to bring you back to the surface but I just kept failing until I figured, why would you ever need someone as useless like me?” he mutters darkly.
As Hyukjae stops to take a breath, trying to wipe his sniffling nose, he feels something soft slam into the side of his head. Shocked, he turns only to have another pillow whack him in the face. Sungmin hits him two more times before Hyukjae reacts, snapping out of his bewilderment before grabbing a pillow of his own. They duke it out before collapsing on the bed again, this time in giggles.
“Hyukjae, you are a god damn idiot”.
“Look whose talking” he snorts in reply.
Sungmin grabs the pillow and hits him one more time, mock pout on his face before sighing and turning to Hyukjae.
“Seriously though, just because you can't 'fix me' doesn't mean you weren't helping. You of all people know what I've been through, and as much as you try what... he did will never just disappear from me; from who I am.”
Hyukjae goes to retort but Sungmin immediately shushes him, continuing on.
“Hyukjae you are my best friend, and you've been the only constant person I've had care about me in my entire life. Thats enough for me.”
“But how could that alone ever be enough!?” Hyukjae splutters, looking at Sungmin incredulously.
A small delicate smile, just like the old days, spreads across Sungmin's face as he looks at his confused best friend. Grabbing his hand he looks at him carefully, making sure to capture his full attention.
“Its enough because you're here, sitting with me, telling me it will be alright. Its enough because no matter how many scars I have or the amount of times I break down and cry I'll know I have a best friend by my side who will always love me for who I am.”
As the words sink in, a matching smile graces Hyukjae's face as he pulls his best friend into a tight embrace, promising himself to never be so stupid to let him go again.
And maybe Hyukjae won't ever be able to completely fix the tears in Sungmin's heart, or fully make up for all the bruises that once littered his skin. But he'll always be there, one step behind, ready to pick up the pieces. Because he knows now, that as long as Sungmin has him, it will always be enough.
“You're an idiot, Lee Hyukjae.”
“I know Min... I know”.