Title: Blood Brothers II
Pairing: KyuTeukChul, HanChul, YeWook, EunHae, SiChulfriendship, possible SungMi (Is that the name for Zhou Mi x Sungmin pairing?) possible other pairings in the future.
Chapter Rating: PG-13
Genre: romance, action, thriller
Summary: The cycle of revenge is never-ending, unless someone learns to forgive.
Chapter 1 ---- Chapter 3
It was awkward at first. Leeteuk had just started unpacking when he’d gotten Kyuhyun’s call. Initially, he’d hesitated in allowing Kyuhyun to come. He looked around the sparsely furnished apartment and felt that this place was one that he didn’t want Kyuhyun to experience.
This was Xi Che’s old apartment.
He’d gone there the day after the incident to find everything already moved out. The landlady had said the people had checked out a few days earlier, and he’d rented it on a whim. A desperation had gripped him and he’d been afraid to give up the last link he had to Xi Che. To Heechul.
Kyuhyun’s tone had made him change his mind and tell Kyuhyun the address. He’d sounded scared, vulnerable…and Leeteuk had realized that it was the first time the two would be meeting in 9 months. He’d been afraid and he’d called for his hyung…that had to count for something, right?
Kyuhyun hadn’t seemed to recognize the apartment when he’d knocked on the door, and that made Leeteuk feel a little better, oddly. It was a secret that Heechul had kept from Kyuhyun. Did it mean anything?
He wasn’t certain.
All he knew was that this was the most awkward silence he’d ever experience. Kyuhyun was lying on the bed beside him, staring up at the ceiling and refusing to make eye contact. Ever since he’d entered the apartment he’d been quiet. He’d simply gone into the bedroom and flopped down on the comforter.
Leeteuk closed his eyes in the soft darkness and let out a slow breath. He felt the springs of the bed shift as Kyuhyun moved around beside him, and he tried to imagine Heechul lying on this same mattress. Did he lay there alone? Or was he with someone else? Male? Female? He didn’t like to imagine it.
“I really hated you.” It was the first words Kyuhyun had spoken that night.
“I’m sorry.” Leeteuk’s reply was soft, and unconscious. He simply opened his eyes and stared up at the ceiling. He’d left the window open and a soft breeze wafted through the room, rustling his bangs.
“Hyung, why aren’t you mad at me?” Kyuhyun sounded frustrated, and Leeteuk heard him moving around on the bed, scooting closer, but not close enough to touch.
“I’m not mad at anyone.” It was the truth, said in a world-weary tone that made Leeteuk wonder if he’d aged past his years.
“That’s stupid.” Kyuhyun muttered, rolling over so that his back was facing Leeteuk’s front. “You’re supposed to get mad at someone at a time like this.”
Leeteuk shrugged, and turned his head to see Kyuhyun’s face only a few inches away. He blinked, looking into eyes that were searching for any answer. When Kyuhyun had been confused or worried he’d always come to Leeteuk for help. ‘Leeteuk Umma’ was a nickname not given without reason. Even Siwon came to him for problems. He was simply the person you could talk to when you needed someone to listen.
Kyuhyun’s gaze was worried, and a little hesitant as he finally spoke. “…do you think he’s dead?”
They both knew who ‘he’ was, so Leeteuk didn’t have to ask. He lifted his hand and brushed Kyuhyun’s bangs out of his eyes and gave a small, tremulous smile. “He’s probably in China by now.”
“I hope he’s dead.” Kyuhyun choked out, and Leeteuk quirked his eyebrows at Kyuhyun’s words.
“What do you mean?”
“He deserves it.” Kyuhyun whispered, fiercely, but the hatred that laced his words was only a cover for the hurt that lay beneath. “For what he did to hyung and I, he deserves to die.” But Leeteuk knew that his words were just words and that if Kyuhyun saw Heechul again, he wouldn’t have the heart to hurt him.
He wasn’t as forgiving as Leeteuk, but when Kyuhyun loved he was unable to ‘unlove’. He probably still cared for his father, despite everything that happened. Leeteuk didn’t want to test this theory, however. He also didn’t want to think about Heechul’s death. It left a hollow, empty feeling in his chest and made it hard to breathe.
“Where is Sungmin?” Leeteuk wanted to get them on a safe topic, one that wouldn’t lead back to Heechul.
“I don’t know. He left earlier today. We had a fight.” Kyuhyun muttered, snuggling a little closer to his hyung. “I’m tired.”
Leeteuk knew that meant ‘let’s not talk anymore’ in Kyuhyun-ese, so he simply pulled the blanket over them both and closed his eyes. He figured that despite Sungmin storming out he’d probably driven behind Kyuhyun the entire way to the apartment and would sit in the parking lot till morning.
He wondered if this loyalty of his was bred by guilt or affection, and immediately felt bad for assuming that Sungmin would only look after Kyuhyun because of duty. He knew the younger man saw Kyuhyun as a brother and would give his life for him.
Leeteuk continued petting Kyuhyun’s hair, listening to the younger boy’s peaceful breathing as he drifted to sleep.
Those people that aided Heechul in his revenge…what were they to him?
He wondered if he wanted to know the answer.
“What can you tell me about Vladimir Nabokov?” Heechul leaned back, sitting on the corner of the desk and looking around the large room.
“He was trilingual from a young age.”
“He was forced to leave St. Petersburg during the Bolshevik Revolution for Crimea.”
“In 1922 his father was assassinated by Russian Monarchists.”
“In 1940 he and his family fled German troops and escaped to the United States.”
“He was the curator of lepidoptery at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.”
“He and his family moved back to Europe where he lived in Switzerland. He died there on the 2nd of July, 1977 after being hospitalized with an undiagnosed fever.”
“In July 2009 Playboy gained the rights to Nabokov’s last unfinished piece and printed a 5000 word excerpt of it in their December issue.”
Silence met the last answer, and everyone turned to the Chinese boy who put up his hands in defense, “I read the articles, that’s it, I swear!”
Heechul cleared his throat, pushing his glasses back up his nose. “Can anyone tell me what exactly any of that meant?”
“What do you mean, professor?”
Heechul slipped off of the desk and headed to the whiteboard where he began writing in his steady hand. “What do any of those facts tell you about Nabokov’s works?” He turned back to the class, “I do hope that you know what works Nabokov wrote. You were supposed to have read two of them before stepping into this classroom.” He gave a small smirk and the girls giggled.
He turned back to the board and began writing again, feeling the stares of all of the girls—and probably several of the men—on his ass. He couldn’t blame them, of course. He was wearing a pair of exceptionally tight jeans. Zhou Mi had gotten them for him when he’d gone to New York to ensure a business deal.
But his hotness was not the reason the students were here—well actually he was rather positive that was the reason at least 85% of them were but he liked to believe that some of them were actually interested in English literature—and so he continued with his lecture. “This is a class on English literature, not the life of Russian émigrés.” The whiteboard marker squeaked across the board as he wrote.
He stepped back. “Now tell me what any of those facts have to do with these books.” He pointed to the list.
There was a moment of silence and Heechul sighed, resisting the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose in annoyance. “First fact, he was trilingual at a young age. What can that tell us?”
“That he was smart?”
“The fact that he spoke English, Russian, and French fluently was the reason he was able to write half of his works. Even though he was born in St. Petersburg he spoke and wrote in English before he could read and write Russian. He has metaphorically described the transition from one language to another as the slow journey at night from one village to the next with only a candle for illumination.” Heechul explained.
Then he pointed to the first title on the board, “The second fact that you mentioned was how he was forced to leave St. Petersburg after the Bolshevik Revolution. His depression at leaving his perfect childhood behind and his exile are noted in his works Mary and Ada or Ador: A Family Chronicle.”
Tap. The market cap smacked against the board, “Can anyone try and tell me anything about the third little tidbit you gave me? Or am I going to have to spoon-feed you every bit of information here?”
One of the boys hesitantly raised his hand. “In Pale Fire, one interpretation of the novel has a communist assassin murder the poet John Shade while attempting to kill a displaced monarch who has escaped from his home country. He wrote it because of his father's death, right?”
“Good.” Heechul nodded, “Someone has actually read the book, it seems.” He smirked, “Perhaps everyone should start reading Playboy to help us pass Modern English Literature.”
The class laughed softly, before Heechul spoke again, “So, who took notes?”
“Unless you all have photographic memories or are recording this, notes will be rather important for the rest of the lecture.” Heechul commented dryly, “Tomorrow we may have a pop quiz on the life and works of Vladimir Nabokov. Please prepare for it.”
The class began to shift uncomfortably, before a girl raised her hand, “Professor?”
“Yes?” Heechul had leaned against the desk again and was flipping through his large notebook to decide what to begin with next.
“How can we prepare for a quiz when we’ve only begun the class?”
“You’ve had three weeks to study his life and you were supposed to have read several of his works before class began.” Heechul answered back calmly, “This class is not an easy one and so I expect you to pay attention. If you came here to gawk at my lovely self without putting forth any work then you should have signed up for my Introduction to English Literature class.” He sighed, “Please hand in your essays, then you’re free to go.”
The class began shuffling, heads down, while others chattered in fast Mandarin to one another. A few girls giggled as they placed their essays on the desk where Heechul sat, smiling wanly at him. He smiled back coolly, turning his attention back to his notes.
He really needed some coffee.
Leeteuk sighed, shifting through a stack of business documents. Ryeowook had sent them up earlier when he’d come in and Leeteuk had effectively locked himself inside until he could finish reading them over.
Kangin was standing outside the door, ready to make a quick run to the café for coffee or for some ramen or anything else the older man might want during his self-induced seclusion.
Leeteuk took a sip of the coffee on his desk and winced. It was cold. He was too tired and too busy to call in Kangin for a refill. He simply turned a page in the document he’d been going over and began reading. He stared down at the page for a few moments and didn’t process anything. The words stared back up at him and began to blur as he started to nod off.
When his head hit the desk he sat up quickly and looked around sheepishly, just to make sure no one was watching. He looked to the door but Kangin didn’t come inside and so he simply reached into his desk and pulled out his iPod. He stuck in his headphones and clicked on a playlist, closing his eyes.
The sound of Yuja Wang playing Cziffra's Tritsch Tratsch Polka drifted through his ears and he smiled softly to himself.
When Leeteuk’s mother dragged him to the Kim mansion, Heechul was playing the piano.
“You came!” A woman sitting on one of the plush couches in the lounge stood with a smile. She was tall and elegant and had the look of a woman who knew she was beautiful. Leeteuk was immediately intimidated, and as he looked from her to his own mother he couldn’t help but feel that she was much prettier.
Leeteuk’s mother smiled back—a brittle smile, as if she really didn’t want to—“Yes, I brought my son.” She turned to Leeteuk, “Jungsu honey, go and play with Heechul-ah, ok? Mommy is going to talk with the Director’s wife.”
Leeteuk nodded as his mother pushed him toward the other boy as she headed to the couch where Heechul’s mother waited.
Leeteuk was shy, too afraid to talk to the boy that he’d met the day before, the boy that had thrown a snowball at his head and told him that his nose was too big and he smiled like an idiot and had then grinned and asked if he wanted to make snow angels. Someone whose mood changed so abruptly was someone that Leeteuk couldn’t predict, and even at such a young age he liked things planned out for him.
But then the other boy began playing. Leeteuk blinked, because he’d never heard the song before. It was beautiful, but sad. He took a few more tentative steps forward and found himself sitting down on the piano bench beside Heechul, watching his hands.
“What are you playing?”
Obviously he’d know that, but he didn’t comment. “What song?”
Heechul turned to him with a frown, fingers pausing above the keys. “Aish, you ask so many questions. It’s Brahm’s Symphony no 4.”
Leeteuk nodded. “Brahm’s Symphony No. 4…” He smiled to himself before turning to his mother who had stood and was walking over to him.
“Come on honey, Heechul-ah’s instructor is coming by in a few minutes, so you can play with him tomorrow, alright?”
But Leeteuk wanted to stay and listen…he simply nodded. “Alright umma…umma?”
“What is it?”
“Can I have a piano?”
“—Director Park, Kyuhyun-ssi just arrived.”
Leeteuk blinked, looking up to see Ryeowook standing a few feet away, looking at him warily. Leeteuk pulled off his headphones and nodded with a slow smile. “Alright, thank you. You can send him up.”
“Really Hyukkie, you didn’t have to come and wait for me to get off work.” Donghae smiled, inwardly pleased, as he looked over to where his boyfriend of one day stood at the entrance to the company, grinning sheepishly.
“Before we get dinner I have to do something first, hold on.” Donghae reached for his phone. He had to transfer the money to the account like he’d been directed, and he’d forgotten about it because of work. He promised his hyungs he’d do it today, he needed to get it done soon.
“Um, ok…” Eunhyuk nodded, before his own phone began blaring. He flipped it open and stared at the unknown number. Who could it be? He answered it tentatively, hoping that the person simply had the wrong number. “Um, hello?”
“Hello.” Came a smooth voice on the other end, “This is Kim Heechul, Donghae’s hyung. You remember me, correct?”
Eunhyuk paled, looking furtively to his right and seeing that Donghae had walked a few feet away, messing with his cell phone. Donghae would not be able to rescue him from the man that Eunhyuk was certain was the spawn of satan. “Y-yes, I remember you.”
“Good.” He could hear the smug tone on the other end. “It would have been hard to have this talk if you didn’t know who I was, right?”
“Hyukjae…or should I call you Eunhyuk? Or Hyukkie? We’re family now, so we should be familiar with one another, eh?”
Eunhyuk swallowed. “O-of course h-hyung-nim.”
“Such a good boy. Now why don’t you tell me about this relationship you’ve developed with my favorite dongsaeng? Is it mutual? And by that I mean do you love my little fish as much as he loves you?”
“Um, well, I can’t exactly say—”
“You know the saying, ‘sleeping with the fishes’? You won’t be sleeping with any fish when I’m through with you, Lee Hyukjae. You’ll be buried so far down in the earth they’ll be finding crude oil before they get to your miserable body. Do you understand me?” It was all said in a cheerful, calm tone, and that frightened Eunhyuk more than anything.
“Of course hyung-nim!”
“Good, good. I would hate for there to be any misunderstandings between friends. And we are friends, aren’t we, Hyukkie?”
“Friends, yes!” Eunhyuk gave a small peal of nervous laughter. “We’re almost brothers, hyung-nim!”
“Mm, I’m glad you’re getting the picture.” Heechul agreed on the other end. “If you treat my family well, you become part of my family. If you don’t…” Heechul trailed off and ended with a small laugh, “But we don’t have to worry about that, because you’re going to treat my dongsaeng like royalty, aren’t you?”
“Where are you going for your first date?”
“Um, we were planning on going out to eat at Jangddok Kimchijjigye and then—”
“Too cheap. My Hae isn’t a four cent whore, Hyukjae. You’ll be taking him to La Plancha and make sure that you pay for the meal. Also, make sure that no one around you orders fish. If you make him cry because someone’s eating Nemo at the next table and he sees it, I’ll castrate you. You won’t be able to jerk off to your porn ever again.”
Eunhyuk froze. How…did Kim Heechul know about his porn?
“I know everything, Lee Hyukjae…” Heechul murmured over the other end. “Just remember that.” And then the line went dead.
Donghae came up a second later with a bright smile, “Who was that?"
Siwon isn’t quite sure why Kangin and Sungmin had called and asked to meet him. Not that he didn’t know them well, but it seemed odd that they were here and Leeteuk and Kyuhyun were not, especially after the incident. The two usually refused to be more than ten feet away from their respective wards.
“Where are Leeteuk hyung and Kyuhyun?” He sat down at the table in the relatively empty restaurant, smiling at the waitress as she came over to take his order. “Water, please.” He turned back to the two bodyguards, awaiting an answer.
“At Yumyeong.” Sungmin replied, stirring his brightly colored drink. Siwon wasn’t certain if it was alcoholic or not, but it was a cheerful shade of pink.
“They’re trying to come up with a financial plan so they don’t have to lay off any workers.” Kangin explained.
Siwon was surprised that Kyuhyun had decided to help. He supposed that nine months had been a long enough time for Kyuhyun to mope, but he couldn’t help feel a bit uneasy. “So why are you two here? I need to get back to my shift soon.” He needed to begin prepping for another surgery in a few hours.
“How was your father involved with the death of Kim Chanho?”
Siwon paused, looking up at the two bodyguards. “W-what?”
“We’ve been trying to uncover the story behind Kim Heechul’s disappearance and reappearance and the reasons he wanted revenge. Our trail ends at your father. We need to know what happened to Kim Chanho.”
Siwon swallowed, “…my father committed suicide shortly after the death was announced.”
“Why did your father hide that Kim Chanho had died? Why did he and Director Park and Director Cho not tell anyone?”
Siwon shook his head, “I don’t know. I really don’t.” The topic of his father’s suicide was painful and uncomfortable and he wanted to change the subject as quickly as possible.
“You have the medical files, don’t you?”
“I don’t think—”
“We need to see them.”
Siwon looked hesitant, before he nodded. “…alright…I’ll try and find them. I’ll tell you if I come up with anything. But you don’t think that my father was involved, do you?” Heechul’s words in the confessional came back to him and he suppressed a shiver.
“We don’t know what to think, but the sooner we can clear your father of involvement and find another lead, the better.” Sungmin smiled cheerfully, and it was almost comforting except that Siwon knew the person that lay beneath that cheerful smile. He simply nodded.
He stood, and was about to leave when Kangin spoke again, “He’s still alive, isn’t he?”
Siwon turned, “Who?”
“Kim Heechul. You treated him personally at your family hospital in Busan, correct?”
Siwon had turned again, his back to the two bodyguards. His entire body was stiff, on edge, but it relaxed in one fluid motion and he was moving again. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. I’ll get you those files as soon as I can.”
“…yes, yes if you could transfer the funds to the necessary accounts within twenty-four hours that would be satisfactory.” Ryeowook hung up the phone and dialed another number in quick succession as he headed out the front door, nodding at the security guard.
“Hello, is this Hong-Gil Agencies? Yes, I’m Park Ryeowook from Yumyeong Industries if I could have just a moment of your time—please, this will only take a minute. No, no I don’t have a prior appointment but perhaps I could schedule one now to meet with our Director—” He stopped on the steps, letting out a frustrated sigh as he shut his phone and placed it back into his pocket.
He remembered the days when even the mention of Yumyeong Industries made everyone cooperative and respectful. Now when you said that name, companies immediately turned them down…all because Kim Heechul had destroyed any reputation that Yumyeong Industries had.
Ryeowook let out another sigh. He was starting to regret not taking that offer Yesung had given him. But to join Hong Kong Trading when the company was responsible for the destruction of Yumyeong Industries…no matter how stingy and money-loving Ryeowook was—and in need of a paycheck—he still had some semblance of loyalty. Perhaps not to the former directors who never gave him a break or a raise for all he did, but he felt an odd allegiance to Park Jungsu who was trying his hardest to keep the company afloat.
He began walking toward the bus stop when a car pulled up to the curb and Yesung poked his head out the window, “Want a ride?”
“Not when I’m fairly certain I’ll find myself chained to a bed in someone’s basement in the morning.”
Yesung frowned, knowing that Ryeowook was being defensive because he was tired and stressed out. “Would you like to get something to eat?” It still didn’t make up for the hurt and the fact that Ryeowook had labeled him a psycho merely because he collected bugs as a child, worked on computers, and owned a pet turtle.
“I have to get going.” Ryeowook snapped.
“Your house is in the other direction.”
“Stalker, how do you know that?” The accusation was half-hearted. He was too tired for anything else.
“We always leave at the same time when I stay to help with computer problems. I kind of notice these things.” Yesung defended, frowning a bit. Was Ryeowook really going to act like this? He’d thought that working together for over more than a year would have made the younger man more comfortable around him. Yesung felt a little hurt that Ryeowook still didn’t trust him even after all of that.
Ryeowook came to a stop and sighed. Right now he really didn’t care if Yesung really was a psycho killer that was planning to chop him into little pieces and stuff him in a freezer somewhere. At least his family would be able to get some money from his insurance policy that way. “Can you take me to Choseon Hospital instead?”
Yesung blinked. Choseon Hospital? He nodded, “Alright…get in…”
Heechul arrived home late at the apartment with a bag full of takeout. He’d been unable to drop by Mama Han’s restaurant to pick anything up because he had been late getting back from the university so the takeout was second rate at best.
Zhou Mi wasn’t home yet—he’d probably be at the office all night making the necessary arrangements to transfer funds to their new company. Ever since they’d begun changing Hong Kong Trading into a new company it had been difficult for Zhou Mi. He’d told Heechul to go back to school, that he could handle the company himself, and that had meant long nights for the Chinese man.
Hangeng was in the kitchen, and Heechul laughed as he placed the takeout on the counter, “And here I went through all the trouble of getting dinner and you’re making fried rice.”
Hangeng smiled, “Work hard today?”
“I’m exhausted.” Heechul muttered, “Do you know how difficult it is to run from all those college girls?” he let out a weary sigh. “Sometimes I think such beauty might be a curse.”
Hangeng laughed, “Go shower oh cursed beauty. I’ll have dinner ready by the time you get out.”
Heechul nodded, “I got it, I got it.” He headed to the bathroom, pausing once inside. “Ya Baengsin, what are you doing in there?” he muttered, grabbing the cat out of the sink and taking him back into the bedroom. He deposited him on the bed before pulling a pair of sweatpants and a loose shirt out of the dresser. He then headed for the bathroom once again, letting out a tired sigh.
Hangeng listened to the sound of the water running and paused at the stove. He could tell how forced Heechul’s smiles were and it was slowly eating away at him. How much longer would Heechul be able to pretend before he finally snapped?
Hangeng tried his hardest to keep Heechul focused on something, anything, because he knew the older man was drifting away. He and Zhou Mi had encouraged Heechul to head back to school where he was now an associate professor. They’d eagerly agreed to Heechul taking music lessons and his shopping sprees simply because it diverted his attention.
But Heechul’s eyes remained dead…
Sometimes Hangeng wished that Heechul would hate him, just because hatred seemed like the only thing that would fuel Heechul’s will to live. But Heechul would never hate Hangeng, no matter that he had almost killed him, no matter that he made love to him when Heechul loved someone else.
So Hangeng hated himself enough for both of them.
Zhou Mi arrived home at around 3 in the morning. Heebum was lying on the couch and looked up at him lazily as he entered. Zhou Mi took off his jacket but he was too tired to change his actual clothes. He guessed that the others were probably sleeping so as he headed to the bedroom he was surprised to see light coming from beneath the office door.
He opened it, “Xi Che ge?”
The older man was sitting at the desk, reading glasses hanging precariously on the tip of his nose as he chewed on the cap of a red pen. He looked up as Zhou Mi called him and gave a tired smile. “I thought you were camping out at the office.”
“What about you?”
“Grading papers.” Heechul explained as he circled something on the paper in front of him. There was a mewl as Heebum sauntered into the room and leapt up onto Heechul’s lap. Heechul was unfazed by the cat and continued skimming the essay for errors.
“You have a class to teach tomorrow, don’t you? You should get to sleep soon.”
“I want to finish a few more papers.” Heechul murmured, putting up a hand to shield a yawn from view. “Go ahead, I’ll be there in a little bit.”
Zhou Mi nodded slowly, stepping back out into the hall. The last thing he saw was Heechul flopping down atop his essays, letting out a tired sigh. Zhou Mi decided he’d take a shower and then come back to make sure Heechul went to bed.
Heechul’s growing insomnia was just one of many problems that had arisen since he’d betrayed Leeteuk and Kyuhyun. Zhou Mi was certain that it wouldn’t be long before he snapped or broke down. He began dialing on his cell phone. It would be best if he canceled his flight in the morning for Boston. He would do the meeting over the internet.
He couldn’t afford to be away from Heechul when he was this messed up.