I think there's one more I did, but fuck if I'm going to go look for it. :D
Also there is an extra one at the end done quickly (sloppily, sorry love) for remixied, my ain tru lub.
Heechul joins every Epik High fanlisting and texts his confirmation emails to Mithra, I’m your biggest fan he teases, and Mithra angles his screen away from nosy bandmates, not sure why this is more private than a close friend teasing just to tease.
Creeper, he texts back, go stalk Yunho, and he ignores the barrage of sad kitten pictures that follow. Honestly he doesn’t know where Heechul finds this stuff.
Sometimes Heechul shows up at his door and drags him over the threshold to go drinking, usually pulling him halfway down the hall before Mithra can dig his heels in and demand that he be allowed shoes and, on one occasion, pants. Of course Heechul’s idea of drinking is to go to the closest dirty rundown corner store, the kind that looks like the ones that are robbed at gunpoint in films, makes Mithra pay for the alcohol they consume back in the apartment Heechul had stormed earlier.
You know, says Mithra, thoughtfully drunk, you are very strange. Heechul is lying across his bed, new haircut across his eyes and bottle dangling in artful grace from between his fingers.
Mmm, he answers vaguely, what do you dream about late at night? Don’t say pretty girls, his eyes are vague and his speech is softer and rounder and gentle and his toes are wiggling in the socks Mithra got him as a gag gift and Mithra settles onto the bed and slides one hand along the bright denim of Heechul’s calf, smoothes the wrinkles out and makes the fabric young again. Heechul shakes his fringe out of his eyes and watches him think.
Pretty boys, he says finally, and Heechul laughs hard, chokes on his own saliva and drools a little, all over the freshly washes bedspread. Mithra settles against his flank, thin and warm and moving with the beat of their hearts, and closes his eyes.
“I’m pretty sure,” Heechul announces calmly one morning at breakfast, “that stalking inside a church is some kind of double-sin.”
Siwon looks puzzled. Kibum looks indifferent. Donghae laughs and then looks confused, wondering what the joke is. Eunhyuk chokes violently on a mouthful of food and sprays little bits of eggs and toast across the table.
“Aish, put this in your mouth,” complains Hankyung, shoving a dish of food at Heechul, “so noisy so early.”
“What are you talking about?” asks Siwon curiously, “Do you want to go to church with me, hyung?”
“Do I fucking look like I want to go to church with you?” Heechul scoffs around his chopsticks. His eyes slide over to Eunhyuk and he smirks, still managing to look evil with rice hanging out his mouth. Eunhyuk concentrates on dabbing the napkin against Kangin’s face, hopes the mess will be gone before Kangin wakes up enough to realize Eunhyuk spit all over him.
Eunhyuk thinks it’s okay that Heechul knows, because somehow Heechul knows everything that goes on, and Eunhyuk has been very careful to be calm, silent, swift. He is a fucking ninja, okay. He dresses in all black and wears a hat and dorky glasses he stole from Yesung and skulks behind Siwon all the way to church. He could just go straight to the church but he likes the way Siwon’s step is lighter when he walks in the church, the way the tension bleeds out of his muscles and into varnished wooden pews, the way peace runs up from the hymm book, impossibly thin pages with faded ink, slides into his fingertips and makes it way to his face.
Siwon’s face is never more relaxed and gentle then it is at church. Eunhyuk loves the way Siwon loves his religion, and it helps him keep still and not wiggle during the sermon. He believes in God, but it’s hard for him to keep still. But he wants to see what Siwon sees in these weekly excursions, so he calms himself and he closes his eyes and he murmurs along softly, his testament to his faith, faded but never forgotten. When he’s not staring at Siwon, that is.
Eunhyuk waits, turned sideways and head bowed, waits for Siwon to leave. He mentally pats himself on the back, watches Siwon leaves the church and turn the corner, stands up with a smirk.
“Hey hyung,” says Kyuhyun casually, standing right behind him. “Yesung says he wants his glasses back.”
“You’re not as ninja as you think,” Kyuhyun tells Eunhyuk later, smiling faintly, “or, you know, at all.” Eunhyuk throws himself facedown on his bed and wails into the comforter.
“I don’t want him to knooooow,” he sobs, and then makes a face as fabric softener twists bitter on his tongue.
“Why not?” asks Sungmin. Eunhyuk sighs, rolls over onto his back with his arm over his eyes.
“Because,” he says impatiently, “because—what the fuck.” He bolts upright and spins to face Sungmin. “Since when have you been here?”
“Siwon has you,” says Kyuhyun impishly, “I have Sungm—ow” he finishes his statement on the floor, and Sungmin sits back down, smirking at a roundhouse kick well executed.
“It’s my room,” he says, rolling his eyes. Eunhyuk blinks and casts a good look at his surroundings.
“Huh,” he says.
“Fail,” reiterates Kyuhyun helpfully.
“Loving him from afar is more than the oxygen I breathe,” Eunhyuk says dreamily.
“What.” says Sungmin.
“He doesn’t really know,” Kyuhyun says sagely, “it’s one of the things Eeteuk keeps posting on his cyworld.”
“Jesus Christ,” mumbles Sungmin, “isn’t he young yet for this midlife crisis thing.”
“I don’t want to tell him,” Eunhyuk says, carefully ignoring them all, “I don’t need to tell him. I like—I like to watch him,” he admits, looking down at his hands, chapped red from the cold and fingernails with dirt under them, bitten to the quick and gnawed ragged. “I like the way it is now.”
There is a semi long painful silence. “You like to watch,” Sungmin says slowly, like he’s testing the words against the air, and Eunhyuk is almost nervous but then--. But then Kyuhyun boots up his PSP and Sungmin cackles that’s what she said and they wrestle and crash around and irritate each other until Eeteuk shrieks for silence and then they crank it up a notch.
heechul has decided that since hankyung has made this mess this thing that twists around all of them and tightens like a boa constrictor the ticking of the army clock that is wrapped around them like the duct taped wires of a bomb on a hostage
heechul has decided that since hankyung has done this to them all that hankyung does not deserve the privilege the honour the right to talk to him but that doesn’t work like it’s a two way street do not enter is the sign on his mobile painted in missed no ignored calls and unanswered texts but this way only he says in the texts that ping expensive miles away in china
don’t forget to eat are you sleeping well don’t squint it gives you wrinkles oh my god what was that yellow monstrosity way to hide from the paparazzi idiot and hankyung reads them all he responds to them all but they roll off heechul’s sim card in the same way lemmings run off cliffs in pursuit of each other blind and sprinting and reaching for the ground beneath them that is no longer there
in honesty heechul only continues to text because hankyung continues to respond he’s not sure what he’d do if hankyung snapped the cable connecting them frayed from tears and lawyers and conflict and he’s just waiting for hankyung to cut it like how the fates cut the life strings in the greek myths he read in grade school
ryeowook has a high voice and ryeowook likes cute things and ryeowook cannot dance well but yesung dances worse and yesung trips over cute things and yesung’s voice is low and gravely a testament to the rough edges of the nicotine he inflicts on his lungs and he thinks they cannot fit together but he can fit above
like an umbrella he reasons he will shield and soften and offer shelter from the elements of this lifestyle and the hail it rains down upon them ice balls like a texas storm that will bow your shoulders and bruise baseballs under your eyes and he may trip and he may fall but his umbrella will never twist and buckle and blow inside out
ryeowook wishes he could offer the support yesung offers him but he’s not sure how he cooks and he cleans and he writes and he composes because he thinks his voice is his most treasured thing the only thing that he truly loves about himself that he thinks is his perfection and he duets with yesung an offer of his voice of his heart of his soul
gay gay gay say the whispers and fag it says on your door, the scratches gouged deep down the boards like how blood runs down the wall and the sound of fingernails screaming against chalkboards, you will burn your roommate says almost pitying as you help drag their stuff down the hall to their new room you will burn in the fire and the brimstone and you shall smell of sulfur forevermore
ssshh sshh say your parents as they close their eyes against the truth and the proof and the hints because they don’t want to know they never want to know and the lie twists your insides and scours your stomach lining the unspoken ulcer that eats away with pain and decay and the deep hollow feeling of being a disappointment by your very existence
silent is the priest and here are the people and loud is the steeple the clang of bells on Sunday god’s day and you stay away from the comfort of the song and the rumble of prayer because you cannot step foot in church anymore because you know what you are and they know what you are a disgrace an affront an abomination to the lord that you thought would always love you for he is in heaven hallowed be his name
his will be done on earth as it is said in the holy book says the mob and they break your windows and your bones the lid slams down on your fingers with a clang of keys and pain and your will and leave your blood on the ivory and the mahogany like proof that you were there and this happened though you will never ever press the charges
you are a liability you must understand you have no sale appeal this is a conservative market they say and you rip your contract down the middle like your heart and look at the dirty broken fingernails of your broken hands
you lift up god and you bow in apology and presentation and you speak not to priests but directly to god but he has never spoken back and you are not catholic and it is not a mortal sin to swallow them all but it is a mortal sin to love another man even though you have never had the opportunity for love just the dream
and so you are burning burning burning and you wait for the good lord to pick you out o’ lord pluckest you out of the fire but you don’t really think he will so you o lord pluckest me
you can connect nothing with nothing
the boy is no good
“I think,” Siwon says nervously, “that we should pray before this.”
Eunhyuk blinks at him, tangled in his shirt. “You think?” he asks hesitantly, finally finagling himself out of it.
“Yes,” says Siwon firmly. “You know, as a precautionary measure. An apology and admission of guilt before hand.”
“Maybe we shouldn’t,” says Eunhyuk nervously, peering out the window for incoming lightning bolts heralding their imminent smiting.
“Probably not,” agrees Siwon. They look anywhere at each other for a moment.
“You know,” says Eunhyuk, “if we were Catholic we could just do it and then say a few prayers afterwards.” Siwon nods thoughtfully.
“They get to drink wine,” adds Eunhyuk wistfully.
“We’re going to hell,” Siwon says dejectedly.
“And eat a cracker,” Eunhyuk grumbles, “like a snack every time you go to church.”
“You have already got your shirt off,” says Siwon, reaching out to drag a finger across his collarbones.
“We can pray after,” Eunhyuk murmurs, attention focused, and slides forward, tilting his head up as his hands slip under Siwon’s shirt and travel downwards.
When Yunho dances, people pay attention. He complains about repetition, needing to be able to do different moves, but Jaejoong doesn’t care. Jaejoong doesn’t really understand dancing, he doesn’t like it, he is awkward and fumbling and he still needs to count the beats in his head, lips moving as he concentrates on which foot goes where to which swell of the music. (Yunho makes up funny rhymes to help him remember)
Yunho moves like a river, Jaejoong thinks, flowing and ebbing and sometimes raging, pops and locks and flips as he rushes against the banks of his limits. Yunho has a decent voice and is a good rapper, but if he had his way all he would do was carry the dancing so Changmin and Jaejoong and Yoochun and Junsu could stand to the side and harmonize, vocals soaring as he twists in grace between them. (Yunho likes the dance breaks best because Junsu will stop besting him at singing and challenge him in a forum Yunho can compete in)
You captivate me, he tells Yunho when he balks at a dance solo, saying it’s Junsu’s turn, don’t be stupid, Yunho-yah. Yunho doesn’t eat well and he fusses over the other members and sometimes he does aegyo instead of fearless leader and feels bad about it after, but he will stay behind in a dance studio and run the music over and over, until the stereo crackles its displeasure and Jaejoong can fake it well enough to pass. (sometimes Jaejoong takes longer because Yunho is dancing just for him)
Yunho wishes Jaejoong could dance with him, because he never feels as connected as he does with anyone than when he dances with them. He thinks the beats of the bass synchronize their hearts, and that’s as in tune as any two people can ever be with one another. (he wants their heartbeats in tune, all of them)
Jaejoong wishes he could dance with Yunho, Yunho who will act older if need be and Yunho who organizes their schedule so carefully even though he loses his cellphone every time he puts it down. Yunho who still taps the beats on his microphone with his fingers when he sings, and Yunho who dances in his stool because Yunho cannot stop dancing, out and away from Jaejoong who stumbles and falls and can’t tell a fourbeat dance from an eightbeat dance. (Yunho can’t either, he just knows)
Yunho doesn’t actually care if Jaejoong can dance or not because to him no one will ever sing so well or so sweet, but he does wish Jaejoong had chosen their friendship and their family over selling lipstick in Japan. (Yunho is careful never to let on)
Yunho does feel bad for thinking that. (but not really, because it's true)
jungsoo doesn’t understand why he is in charge of twelve no thirteen no fourteen young boys no young men no grown men they are grown grown grown and they need not a mother he is not a mother all he wants is to be a brother and yet they are his responsibility they are his
he feels useless on shows he hears heechul crack jokes and watches kibum's easy confidence and listens with pride to youngwoon's calm speeches about unity and pride he tries not to flinch when the mc asks who is the leader
no one asks tvxq who is their leader
so he steps up and he talks quick and fast and he's always up to try to stumble to play the fool and the laugh but his members laughs are tinged with love and easy acceptance they are laughing with--well they are laughing at but it is in love always in love
youngwoon never thought he never thinks he should be should have ever been leader because he knows that he is angered easily and he knows he is weak to the temptations of the underworld and he has always been the first to choke on his words and resort to his fists and his knuckles and his teeth the first to down one too many each swallow a streak of white out upon his reasoning
he knows jungsoo is calm and he knows jungsoo is rational and he knows jungsoo can hold them all together even as they fall apart
jungsoo panics easily and jungsoo gets worked up fast and jungsoo secretly likes to be the mother of the group though it pains him to act it and he is still and always will be forever surprised when they all come to him for comfort and reassurance and he hopes he will always hope that he can be the glue but he is small and he is thin and he is tired and youngwoon is not there to support him as he stretches across fifteen cracks and crevasses widening all the while
AND HERE ENDETH THE ABSTRACT. GOT THAT OUT OF MY SYSTEM, NOW LET'S WRITE COHERENT OPLYMPFIC.