riots: (Default)
k ([personal profile] riots) wrote2013-12-08 11:42 pm

fic advent 2013: day nine

for [personal profile] seulpeo
kai-centric, kai/kyungsoo, kai/yixing
pg, 2.6k words
sort of based on the prompt "we were on two different pages, going two different places" and also the lyrics for mr.mr's waiting for you but mostly just self-indulgence ft jongin and a puppy WHOOPS



It takes Jongin over a week after the breakup before he even wants to see anybody again. It’s exam season, so at least it’s not too out of place if he doesn’t shower and looks a wreck. He only leaves his room when he absolutely needs to, for classes or for food, and he ignores all the messages and texts he gets. He knows his friends mean well, but he just...can’t.

He can’t fault Kyungsoo for his honesty. If nothing else, Jongin supposes, he can be grateful that Kyungsoo hadn’t drawn this out, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. “I can’t give you what you want,” he’d said gently, cupping Jongin’s cheek with one hand, and Jongin didn’t understand then and he still doesn’t now. Doesn’t Kyungsoo know that all he wants is him? Even now, when he’s fighting to hold himself together, that’s still true. Part of him is still holding out for Kyungsoo to come back, say he’s sorry, that he made a mistake.

Jongin knows he won’t. Kyungsoo doesn’t do things without certainty, and he’s never been cruel to him. If he was going to break up with Jongin, it’s because he thought it was best. And that hurts too, setting off a slow ache in his chest, because he hadn’t seen anything wrong. He’d thought everything was fine, and then all of a sudden it wasn’t, and now he’s alone in his room feeling like the entire world has shifted out from under him and he can’t find his feet.

On the seventh day, something finally breaks. He’s still miserable, true, and he’s not sure that’s going to let up any time soon. But he can’t just sit here anymore, staring at the wall. His last exam was yesterday - he doesn’t even have anything to occupy himself with and he feels twitchy, restless, so he heads out for a run.

Instead of letting his mind wander, he puts in his ear buds, turns off his head, and just runs. It helps, a little. It’s not as good as dance, which requires concentration, precision, but the rhythm of it and the fact that he’s burning off some of his energy, it helps. He has to take a really roundabout route, avoiding the places that he and Kyungsoo used to frequent, and he nearly trips over his own feet when he sees a very familiar profile outside of a coffee shop. His heart stops but the man turns and it’s not him, it’s not Kyungsoo, but Jongin doesn’t have his heart in it anymore.

He’s got company waiting for him when he makes it back to his room. “You worried me, Jonginnie,” Lu Han chides. Jongin knows it must be bad because even Sehun looks concerned, eyeing Jongin warily when he should be making fun of him for being sweaty, or going out for a run in the winter like an idiot. “You worried all of us.”

“Sorry,” Jongin says. He avoids their eyes as he keys in his code, but he doesn’t fight it when they follow him in.

It’s weird being around people after so long. His friends seem too noisy as they jostle around in his room, and they take up too much space. “I need to shower,” he mumbles, grabbing a towel and running to the bathroom for a quick escape.

He doesn’t waste any time climbing into the shower. He probably should’ve expected this to happen. He hasn’t turned on his phone in days, and it’s his own fault, really, worrying them. If he’d just said he was fine, he probably could’ve gotten out of this space invasion. The thing is, he’s not sure anymore if he really wants that. Feelings are stupid.

When he emerges again, Lu Han and Sehun are squabbling over a pot of ramyun on the floor and Yixing is sitting crosslegged on his bed. “I bet that feels better,” Yixing says, smiling up at him. He’s right, although Jongin doesn’t want to admit it. He pulls his shirt straight instead and puts away his wet towel, taking a seat next to Yixing on the bed.

“Food,” Sehun tells him through a mouthful of noodles, gesturing at the pot, and Lu Han punches him. That’s the first thing that makes Jongin crack a reluctant smile in days. There isn’t a lot better than seeing Sehun in pain. “What? I didn’t start eating until he got back, just like you said.”

Lu Han sniffs, and then he holds out a hand to Jongin, pulling him down so that he’s right in front of the pot. He ends up with his knee pressed against Lu Han’s companionably, and Yixing shifts forward until his legs bracket Jongin’s shoulders. Jongin’s always been particular about touch, he likes it better when he’s the one doing it, rather than being surprised by someone else. He hadn’t realized how much he’d been missing it until Sehun slaps his hand down against his knee. “Eat,” he says, and if Jongin didn’t know better, he’d think he sounds genuine. “I’m hungry.”

They don’t ask him if he’s okay, and Jongin is so, so grateful. Instead, Lu Han fills him in on the gossip he’s been missing, and Sehun complains about his history TA, a giant, touchy feely weirdo who is intent on making Sehun pass. It’s all so normal, but Jongin just feels a half-step out of place. He obediently opens his mouth when Lu Han holds out his chopsticks and listens to their chatter, but the best part is the warm press of Yixing’s knees and the way he strokes a hand through Jongin’s hair. Yixing’s always been pretty good at knowing what Jongin needs, and right now, he doesn’t need heart-to-hearts or long discussions about what he could’ve done wrong. He just wants this.

It’s dark by the time they leave, and Jongin feels full and warm. “Don’t do that again, okay?” Sehun says, staring at the ground like the lack of eye contact means that he can pretend he’s not showing emotions. Lu Han squeezes the breath out of him, already making plans to meet up on the weekend and sternly informing Jongin that he will be in attendance.

Yixing hugs him tightly and offers him a quick smile. “Don’t shut us out, alright?” he says. “You don’t have to be alone.”

“Thanks, hyung,” Jongin says.

He should be relieved when they’re gone, his room isn’t big enough for four people, anyway, but somehow, his room just feels empty again. Without the noise, the sadness seeps in again, cold and inexorable, but Jongin’s getting kind of used to it now. Maybe it’s not so bad now.



-



Turns out, that time heals all wounds thing has some ground in reality. It’s not that Jongin’s healing, really, but it feels like the sharp edges get a little more dull. Every time he lets Lu Han drag him out, he feels a little less precarious, a little less fragile, and it’s good. He hadn’t realized how much he’d let his world centre around Kyungsoo until suddenly his sun was gone, and he was spiralling aimlessly through space. He’s not sure how to gain his own gravitational pull, instead.

He still feels the loss, although a little less keenly, maybe. He thinks he’ll always miss Kyungsoo, always. Sometimes he finds himself looking through his closet for a sweater before he realizes that it’s gone, along with everything else that was Kyungsoo’s. His own things are still in a box in his closet, because he never wanted them back. Part of him wishes that Kyungsoo had kept them, because it would mean that he had wanted to keep a part of Jongin. It would mean that their relationship had meant as much to Kyungsoo as it had to Jongin. Too bad Kyungsoo was meticulous and thorough and now Jongin had a box full of clothes that didn’t fit him and gifts he never thought would be returned. It blows.

But it’s easier, when he’s with his friends. When Lu Han pushes a coffee into his hands and launches into a diatribe about his boss at the office, bemoaning being a real adult, Jongin thinks that maybe he can be a person again, one without Kyungsoo. It’s a bit like relearning how to walk, he thinks. It’s something so fundamental, knowing how to function on his own, but he feels like he’s forgotten it all.

His friends are good about it, too. They avoid Kyungsoo’s hangouts when they make plans, and they don’t ever invite them both to the same party. Jongin feels guilty for making them make the effort, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t appreciate it. He’s not sure what he’d do if he saw Kyungsoo again.

He gets to find out a few weeks later. Yixing had asked him to come shopping with him, he was looking for a gift for his mother’s birthday, and Jongin had agreed without much thought. It’s when they walk out of the jewelry store that Jongin spots him. “Oh,” Jongin says quietly

Yixing walks forward a few more steps before he realizes Jongin has stopped, preoccupied with trying to find a secure way of storing away the little box he’d just bought. Out of the corner of his eye, Jongin can see Yixing spin around, looking for him. “Jonginnie?”

Kyungsoo is with someone, Byun Baekhyun, Jongin thinks, that sharp little vocal major he’d met a few times. He looks - well, he looks good. He looks fine, happy and laughing at something that Baekhyun says, and Jongin wonders for a second if he’s going to throw up. There’s a roaring in his ears, and Jongin thinks it’s absolutely unfair that he should still be such a mess and Kyungsoo looks so good.

He jerks wildly when Yixing hesitantly touches his arm. “Jongin-ah?” Yixing says. “Are you alright?”

No. He’s not sure when he ever will be, again. “I want to go home,” Jongin says, his voice coming out small and shaky.

He sees it when Yixing spots Kyungsoo, across the street, the way his eyes harden for just a second before he curls an arm around Jongin’s waist. “Alright,” he says without hesitation. It’s not that Jongin needed the help walking, really, but Yixing’s arm chases away some of that nausea. “Let’s go home.”

On the busride home, Jongin tips his head to rest on Yixing’s narrow shoulder. “Thanks, hyung,” he says quietly. He knows that Yixing had other shopping he wanted to do, things he wanted to get done, but he hadn’t even given it a second thought. “I’m sorry.”

Yixing presses his cheek to the top of Jongin’s head. Like this, the height difference isn’t so clear. “No apologies,” Yixing says firmly. “It’s fine.”

Jongin is a mess right now. His emotions are everywhere and he’s sure he’s not just complicating his own life, but the lives of all his friends. But Yixing has never made him feel guilty for it. “Thanks,” he says again. Yixing nods against his head, but doesn’t say anything else.

They don’t speak for the rest of the ride, and Jongin just closes his eyes. He can’t stop remembering Kyungsoo’s laughter and his smile, directed at someone else. It’s just not fair.



-



The box that Yixing is holding is big and brightly coloured, a large red bow on the top. “It’s a bit late for Christmas, hyung,” Jongin says cautiously, but Yixing just smiles at him.

“Go ahead,” he says. “Open it.”

A few more weeks on, and Jongin still feels unsteady. Now, it just feels like he’s not allowed to be. After all, Kyungsoo has recovered, right? Can Jongin really justify still being so upset? So he tries really hard. He pretends not to flinch when people bring Kyungsoo up, he smiles extra wide when Sehun calls him on spacing out. He hopes it’s all enough.

He reaches out to grab the box, but Yixing stills his hands before he can shake it. “Please don’t,” he says. “Just open it!”

Inside the box is the tiniest puppy Jongin has ever seen. It’s so small, it would barely fit in both of his hands, brown and fluffy. Jongin is instantly entranced. “Oh,” he says. It weighs next to nothing when he lifts it from the box, and it trembles in his hands, blinking up at him with enormous eyes. He is in love.

Yixing laughs softly as Jongin lifts the puppy to his chest, holding it close. He feels the cold press of its little nose against his throat, followed by the hesitant wet swipe of its tongue. “I know you miss your dogs at home,” Yixing says, and Jongin glances up at him again, curling his fingers around the puppy’s head. It’s so little and warm, and Yixing’s eyes on him are gentle. “And with everything - I just thought she would help.”

The puppy shifts in his palm, pressing one tiny paw against the hollow of Jongin’s throat. “Hyung,” he says, though he doesn’t know what he means to say. What can he even say right now? It’s funny, because Yixing can be spacey and forgetful, he loses his phone twice a week and misses the punchline, but sometimes he can be so uncannily perceptive. Jongin strokes his thumb across the puppy’s head and looks at him. “This is…”

It’s a lot. It’s too much, but it’s everything he needed. “You’ll have to give her a name,” Yixing says, and he smiles again, dimpling.

A dog - it’s perfect. There is no fast cure to a breakup, no magical present that can cure the hollow ache in Jongin’s chest, but this puppy, nosing curiously at his fingertips, it was exactly what he needed. And Yixing knew. Jongin fumbles with his words, bending to press his cheek against the puppy’s head while he tries to sort them out in his head. “Hyung, this is amazing,” he says finally. He doesn’t know how to verbalize it, how grateful he is that Yixing knew what he needed.

Yixing shakes his head. “No,” he says. “But I’m glad you like her. You must promise to look after her, alright?” He points a finger at Jongin, mock-stern, but his face is all soft affection.

Impulsively, Jongin pulls Yixing into a tight hug, the puppy held safe, just out of the way. “Promise,” he says, and Yixing curls a hand around the back of his neck, fingertips scratching against the hair there. “I won’t let you down.”

“You never do,” Yixing says, and Jongin feels a surge of warmth in his gut. When Yixing steps away, he scratches one thin finger under the puppy’s chin. “What will you name her?”

It’s a good question. He thinks for a moment, watching the puppy nip at Yixing’s fingertip. “Monggah,” he decides. He tilts his head down to look at the puppy. “What do you think?” he asks the puppy. She blinks at him for a second, then licks his cheek. “She likes it,” he tells Yixing.

“Monggah,” Yixing says. He repeats it a few times, trying to get the Korean syllables right. “It’s a good name.”

“Yes,” Jongin agrees.

When he grins at Yixing, it’s broad and uninhibited, and it’s the happiest he’s felt in months. Monggah shifts her tiny little body in his hands, squirming around and pawing at his chest, and his heart feels so light.

“This is the best present I’ve ever gotten,” he says honestly, and Yixing’s answering smile is pleased and wide and Jongin feels just a little bit more whole.



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