yoochun/junsu, pg-13, 1158ⓦ
Note: Time flow is backwards. Yoochun has advanced glaucoma; Song is Like a Child (김동률).
Yoochun misses his smile the most.
He's learned to listen for the small creaks of hardwood floors, the rustle when Junsu moves from place to place, and the clink of silver spoons against china when he makes coffee in the morning. But sometimes, he makes it easy and Yoochun can tell where Junsu is by his voice: his accent rounds out thin French os and brittle vs when he sings oh, champs élysées, stirring vanilla sweeteners and half & half into his cup, nothing for Yoochun (he likes it bitter, sharp on his tongue).
Junsu likes a Sunday morning life. He doesn't like telling Yoochun the time in the morning, never wants to let Yoochun know whether he's up early or late. Yoochun lets his fingers trail like sillage even with the most practiced movements – pulling up a chair, reaching for the handle of his cup – always careful, and listens to the smile in Junsu's voice, imagines the raindrop shape of his eyes and perfect, symmetrical teeth when he reads the morning's comic strips out loud. He smiles, takes a sip and burns his tongue: it must be early.
Yoochun keeps a shoebox of notebooks underneath the bed. Most of them are in messy conditions, creased and folded into softness, the pages like Braille because he favours cheap ballpoints, the kind he doesn't have to care about when he loses them. Yoochun had tried to memorize them all once: handwritten song lyrics, observations on the Atlantic and fingerprinted glossy photos with tiny writing on the back like Mie, 2005. He doesn't realise he's been crying until Junsu is whispering I'm so sorry, it'll be okay into his skin like a prayer. Yoochun doesn't know what for, but absorbs it all anyway: it's all history, the slow, practiced fit of their bodies and a map of tactile memories beginning in the planes of Junsu's chest. "What are you sorry for," Yoochun asks absently, later, eyes feeling for the edges of his blurry figure, floating hazy near the window past Yoochun's messy crown of hair. Junsu never replies. When Junsu sinks back into the warmth pooling in the sheets, Yoochun discovers salty dampness on his fingers.
He finds it curious that he is turning into a bird, his scope narrow, mistaking everything for feathers and smoke. He is afraid of what Junsu will say to this, though, so he writes it down as best he can, just another page in books he never looks at again.
Yoochun lies awake sometimes. He used to watch the rise and fall of Junsu's chest, think about the pack of Camel Lights in the back pocket of yesterday's jeans and try and guess the time without checking the clock; doing two out of three isn't quite the same. When he traces out the notches rising between Junsu's shoulder blades with a finger, Junsu stirs, mumbles "What?" in a soft sigh, dazed and mostly-asleep. "Doing math," Yoochun whispers, and shifts closer, fingers tangling with Junsu's. "Okay," Junsu breathes, uncomprehending, and in another moment Yoochun's feeling the swell of lungs, four hands knotted against Junsu's sternum.
Yoochun is peeling an apple when he cuts himself. He inhales sharply, surprised; he drops the paring knife and hears Junsu rising haphazardly from his seat at the table. "I'm fine," he says, annoyed at himself, a hand on his elbow directing him to the bathroom. "It's just a cut." He sticks his finger in his mouth, childish, feeling for the counter top before easing himself onto it, and hears the clatter of medicine bottles and Q-tips as Junsu rifles through a cabinet. "Junsu. Junsu. Stop." And Yoochun reaches out, finding Junsu's ear, face, mouth as the chaos stills and Junsu steps between Yoochun's knees. Yoochun presses his forehead to Junsu's; Junsu exhales shakily. "I'm not helpless," Yoochun says softly, hands on either side of Junsu's face, and kisses him. The way Junsu moves is frantic, shaken as if he'd suddenly found death. It makes him feel restless when Junsu's fingers brush over the inside of his wrist, moving over his pulse when he gasps into Junsu's mouth.
"Yoochun. Yoochun, hey." Junsu's shaking him awake, warm fingers on his bare shoulder, and Yoochun jerks into consciousness with a gasp, eyes fluttering. In the dark of night, even Junsu sees close to nothing; Yoochun can't divine legs and limbs from sheets, cold fingers skittish over Junsu's arm and heart fluttering at seventy miles an hour. "I," Yoochun croaks, and stutters to a halt. Junsu reaches around him to turn on the light and the click makes Yoochun jump. "Hey," Junsu says again, threading their fingers together, "I'm here." "Can you turn on another light?" Yoochun whispers. "I can't—" "Sure," Junsu says immediately, the way Yoochun looks so small making him feel desperate. The mattress rises as he leans toward his side of the bed to flick on his light, pulling Yoochun's hand along with him. Yoochun sits up when he does, and Junsu pulls Yoochun's feet toward him, wrapping his legs cross-legged around them. "When you tell me that you love me," Junsu sings tentatively, into the silence, and Yoochun follows suit, after a moment, the hoarseness softening. "I say confidently to myself that I have nothing else I need."
The hospital is a bright white, a sea of floodlights and sterilisation. Yoochun's always hated hospitals. He's always hated using crosswalks, too. "You're so stupid." Junsu's voice shakes with the tears he's afraid to shed in front of Yoochun. In the background, the monitor beeps out Yoochun's heartbeat, hovering in the low 60s. "Sorry," Yoochun hums, easy and lighthearted. "Doctor says it's not too bad." You're very lucky, he'd said to Yoochun, who had explained, I couldn't tell which light was on. Junsu had woken up to a message from the hospital on the answering machine after a sleepless night. Junsu is silent, and Yoochun's fingers tighten around Junsu's; he turns his head toward Junsu. "Really, I am sorry." Junsu stands up, leans over the bed of tubes and bandages, and kisses him as fiercely as he dares. The beeping jumps in intensity, a green 82 flashing back at the both of them. "I don't think I like this," Yoochun says, and Junsu laughs through tears.
It's another week before Yoochun is discharged. Junsu peels old visitor stickers off his jacket while Yoochun stands by the closet, slowly buttoning the blue collared shirt Junsu had hung up on one of the hangers on the third day. At home, Junsu makes toast with butter, and Yoochun plays back every song he's written for Junsu on the piano.
"It's not so bad," Yoochun slurs, head resting on Junsu's shoulder. His opthalmoscopy results are lying on the floor by the couch. Junsu tilts his head away to see Yoochun more clearly, and he smiles, crooked and sad. "No?" "Sure," Yoochun says, looking sideways at him, one eye closed. "You look like an angel from here."