Title: Blood Brothers II
Pairing: KyuTeukChul, HanChul, YeWook, EunHae, SiChulfriendship, MiMin
Chapter Rating: PG-13
Genre: romance, action, thriller
Summary: The cycle of revenge is never-ending, unless someone learns to forgive.
Chapter 14 < ----- > Chapter 16
It took fifteen minutes to get to the Four Seasons Hotel. The car ride only took this long because of a traffic jam in which Zhou Mi had to keep Hangeng from getting out of the car and walking. It would have been faster, but Hangeng made up for the lost time by driving twenty miles over the speed limit the rest of the way.
The ride had been made in relative silence. The first couple of minutes had been spent planning, wondering what could have happened to Heechul, but after that, they’d drifted off into their own thoughts.
Now, as they stood in front of the large hotel, Zhou Mi wondered how this could end without bloodshed. They had taken Heechul, and that was unforgiveable.
But if they’d really taken him…why would they have called on his cell phone? They obviously wouldn’t want a ransom. And Zhou Mi held the firm belief that Park Jungsu wouldn’t harm Heechul.
They took the stairs instead of the elevator after checking in. Hangeng’s hand was held firmly in his pocket, where Zhou Mi knew his gun lay. Zhou Mi had questioned whether or not to give the gun to him, but the fear of Heechul being kidnapped and possibly hurt made him give the gun over without a second thought.
Hangeng may have never killed anyone before, but he was a good shot and someone Zhou Mi wanted with him if he had to take out any hostiles. Zhou Mi wondered belatedly if the fact that Hangeng had never actually killed someone was why he was so shaken up about shooting Heechul. Was that the reason that Hangeng was having such a hard time accepting everything?
It wasn’t a time to think about that. Not now…not when they were standing in front of the apartment suite and Hangeng looked ready to kill. Zhou Mi was certain his visage was just as fierce as he knocked on the door. Three succinct knocks. They echoed, and for a moment it seemed like no one was going to answer before the door was pulled open.
Zhou Mi hadn’t expected any less. There was no way Kim Youngwoon would let Jungsu open the door on his own with the possibility of Zhou Mi and Hangeng out for blood. And they were. Kangin looked them over before opening the door wider, “Come in.”
“Where is he?” Hangeng whispered harshly, but shoved past Kangin anyway. He looked around the entire suite that was visible, noting the closed bedrooms doors to the side. Sitting on a couch in front of them was Park Jungsu.
He stood to greet them as the two Chinese men walked inside. Hangeng wasted no time with pleasantries.
“If you don’t tell me where Heechul is right now, I’ll kill you.”
Kangin was already halfway to putting a bullet through Hangeng before Zhou Mi stepped between them, grabbing Hangeng and pushing him to the side. “Let’s all calm down.” He turned coldly to Leeteuk, who looked startled at Hangeng’s harsh words, “Park Jungsu-ssi, could you tell us where Xi Che ge is?”
Leeteuk looked at them both, wondering once again what their relationship was to Heechul. They’d helped him orchestrate everything. How close were they, truly? From the bodyguard’s—Hankyung?—reaction, they had to be very close. It made Leeteuk worry, and, if he were honest with himself, jealous.
He simply nodded his head at Director Gam—Zhou Mi—and tried to explain. As he looked the lanky man over he wondered how he could have attacked and kidnapped Sungmin. But from his cold stare—despite his smile—it was obvious that he was much more dangerous than he seemed. Leeteuk swallowed, then spoke. “Heechul isn’t here.” He held out his phone. “When I met him earlier today, he left his phone.”
A sudden thought occurred to him. They didn’t know where Heechul was. That meant he hadn’t gone home. Was he still at the hospital? Was it worse than Leeteuk had suspected? His fears over the sight of Heechul coughing up blood returned and he began to pale. They didn’t know. They didn’t know he was hurt.
“His phone.” Hangeng’s voice was tight. “You called us here to take back his phone?” His relief over the news that Heechul was not there was weighed down with the knowledge that Heechul had met with Leeteuk in the first place. What had they talked about? Why would he leave his phone with Leeteuk?
“I called you here to talk.” Leeteuk continued on bravely, reassured by Kangin’s presence and Zhou Mi’s calm gaze. Only Hangeng frightened him now. “I need to speak with Heechul.”
“You already had your chance earlier today, didn’t you?” Zhou Mi murmured, “Judging by the fact that he left and you only have his phone and are asking for another meeting, I can assume the outcome. It would be troublesome for everyone if that happened.”
“I know you’re angry about what happened.” Zhou Mi continued, “You’re justified in being angry,” Hangeng made a low growl in the back of his throat, as if to say that no, they didn’t have a right to be angry, they should have gotten worse for what they’d done to Heechul, but Zhou Mi ignored it, “But nothing is going to change. It will only make matters worse if you continue to try and find him.”
“I’m not angry.” Leeteuk whispered.
Hangeng scoffed, but he saw in Leeteuk’s face that it wasn’t a lie. There was a bit of anger there—it was impossible not to be after all that had happened—and there was sadness, and hurt, and betrayal, and a weariness that came with acceptance. But most of all there was love, and Hangeng hated it.
Because he knew that Heechul loved Park Jungsu back.
Zhou Mi had been afraid of this. It wasn’t about revenge now. Leeteuk still loved Heechul. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Everything was supposed to end with the revenge and then Heechul’s Korean past would be forgotten and he would only be Xi Che. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Why were Park Jungsu and Cho Kyuhyun ruining everything that the three of them had worked so hard for?
Cho Kyuhyun. Zhou Mi’s gaze flickered around the room. He’d wondered where the loud, obnoxious boy and his annoying
sexy bodyguard were. He’d been a bit disappointed that Lee Sungmin wasn’t there. He wasn’t quite sure why, or if he should be thinking about that now, but he let his mind wander before he pulled himself back to reality.
Cho Kyuhyun, it was a topic that could change this conversation…because while Zhou Mi knew that Park Jungsu loved Heechul and would never do him any harm, he could not be so sure about Cho Kyuhyun.
He was too much like Heechul for his own good, and that meant that he would not stand idly by after being betrayed.
“Well,” Zhou Mi cleared his throat, brushing imaginary dirt from the sleeve of his jacket, “While I don’t doubt your…amiability toward Xi Che ge, I do doubt Cho Kyuhyun-ssi’s.”
The mention of the younger boy made Hangeng growl again, gaze darkening in anger. That’s right…Cho Kyuhyun. He would never forgive Heechul. He was dangerous. Hangeng took a step forward, ignoring Kangin’s hand that slipped into his jacket toward his gun.
“Kyuhyun wants to kill Heechul.” Hangeng began. “I can’t assure his safety if he does so, so I suggest you get him out of China before I take him out.”
“Kyuhyun won’t kill Heechul. He loves him.” Leeteuk defended.
“Don’t joke with me.” Hangeng growled. “I won’t let Kyuhyun hurt him.”
“He won’t!” Leeteuk snapped back hotly, losing his patience as well. “Kyuhyun loves him. He does.”
“No he doesn’t!” Because if he did, Hangeng would lose everything.
Ryeowook had never felt so relieved than when Yesung walked in the door holding two orders of jajangmyeon and iced coffees. Ryeowook wasn’t sure if he was happier that Yesung’s appearance meant caffeine, sustenance, or someone to help him file papers and set up business meetings.
Yesung placed the bowls down on the empty conference table in the middle of the room and gave Ryeowook a slow smile as he saw the younger man stand from his desk and head over. “I sped here to make sure it was still hot.”
Ryeowook nodded his thanks, sitting down and beginning to devour his noodles with fervor.
Yesung watched Ryeowook eat from behind his bangs and smiled to himself again. Ryeowook always looked so cute whatever he did. It was difficult not to become enamored with him. Yesung didn’t understand how Ryeowook could have so few friends. If people had stopped long enough to get to know the real Ryeowook beneath his snippy, defensive exterior, they would find someone invaluable.
Yesung reached out and wiped a bit of sauce from the corner of Ryeowook’s mouth. There was an awkward moment of silence as Ryeowook stared at Yesung’s hand and the soft pressure that his finger had made on his lips as he’s swiped the sauce from them.
He swallowed, trying to hide his blush as Yesung licked the sauce off of his finger and sat back in his seat, looking thoroughly pleased with himself as he took a sip of his iced coffee.
Yesung watched Ryeowook’s reaction with interest, not sure what to make of it, or how to judge it. Ryeowook looked uncomfortable…but not disgusted or angry. Maybe he thought it was just an act of friendship? What kind of friend would do that? But this was Ryeowook, who would have little experience in these kinds of situations.
Naïve little Ryeowook…because he was innocent despite his knowledge of business. He knew next to nothing about relationships, no matter how many degrees proclaimed his experience. He was beginning to trust Yesung…and Yesung wondered how far this would continue before something horrible happened.
It was only a matter of time. Lying like this…it would come back to haunt him. The longer he kept the truth from Ryeowook, the more painful it would be in the end. If he told him now…perhaps their relationship could be salvaged.
He needed to tell him. He had to. This couldn’t continue—whatever it was they had, if they had anything at all—not with lies between them. He swallowed, trying to wet his dry throat. “Ryeowook?” It would not be easy, but in the end, it would be best.
“Mm?” Ryeowook looked up from his meal.
Oblivious. Happy. Trusting.
Yesung was going to destroy it, by his own choice.
He swallowed again, and his gaze drifted to his untouched noodles. He reached for his chopsticks but his fingers merely skimmed them before retracting and he lifted his hand to his face to brush away his bangs nervously. “I…there’s something I need to tell you.”
Ryeowook cocked an eyebrow at him, perplexed. “What is it?”
“Do you remember…when Yumyeong Industries was…taken over?”
Ryeowook’s gaze darkened. “When we were bought out from under by other companies?” His lips tightened in a thin line and his eyes darkened angrily. He looked brittle and bitter.
Yesung nodded, a knot of dread twisting in his stomach, becoming more and more uncomfortable. He continued despite the feeling. “The only way the company could have been bought out without the Directors realizing what was happening would be for it to be an inside job.”
Ryeowook nodded. “We tried to track down the source but couldn’t.”
“It was me.”
Ryeowook’s face was blank, and the knot in Yesung’s stomach continued to twist. It was becoming painful. He forged on despite himself. Despite the aching in his chest, he knew that he couldn’t stop now. He also knew that the longer he refused to explain, the more confused and hurt Ryeowook would be.
“I was their informant. For Gam Xi Che. It was my job to get him information about Park Jungsu and Cho Kyuhyun and the companies. It was stupid but I needed some extra money so that’s why I did it at first. I thought it would be really fun too, to be a spy and all that,” He was rambling now, unsure of what direction his words were going in but they were tumbling past his lips unbidden, “But when I got here, it was different. Because I met you and I saw how you were so overworked by the previous directors and I got mad and I wanted revenge for you and—”
The cracking sound of skin against skin echoed in the expansive office. It stung, the throbbing that was just beginning to burn its way across his cheek, but Yesung barely felt it. The pain was nothing compared to the look in Ryeowook’s eyes.
Disbelief and betrayal.
Yesung swallowed. “I wanted to tell you before but I couldn’t. It was the reason that I tried to get you to transfer over to Hong Kong Trading Company in case you lost your job—”
“Get out.” Ryeowook whispered.
“—so I’m telling you now because it’s over and done with and I don’t want to lie to you anymore and—”
“Get out!” Ryeowook’s entire body was trembling now, an angry rush that sifted down to his fingertips and made them clench into a fist.
“—so please…please believe me.” Yesung trailed off weakly. His chest felt lighter for a moment with the weight that had been lifted, but it ached at the sight of Ryeowook’s anger nonetheless. Nothing could change the fact that he had lied.
“Get out!” Ryeowook repeated, pale, dark eyes glistening with unshed tears and fury. He looked like he wanted to hit Yesung again but didn’t have the strength to do it. His mind was clouded in confusion and anger. He was trying to process all that Yesung was telling him but all that was making sense was the fact that Yesung had lied to him all this time. Had pretended to be someone else.
He hadn’t befriended Ryeowook in the beginning because he liked him…but to get more information on Yumyeong Industries.
He had been used.
Not again. He wouldn’t let it happen again.
Heechul reached home first. He was sitting on the couch, Heebum in his lap and Baengshin wrapped around his neck and shoulders like a scarf, watching a drama he wasn’t particularly interested in. He was sipping something—he didn’t remember what it was, but it wasn’t alcoholic. He wasn’t about to try and mix alcohol with his pain killers.
He lifted his hand and fiddled with the new cell phone that had lain in his upturned palm. The secretary had dropped it off a few hours ago and he’d spent most of his time after that filling in the contacts. He’d already been told his old phone had been disconnected.
The new phone was nice, he supposed, but it was missing the cat charm. It was the only thing he was panicking over, simply for the fact that he’d had it ever since he was fifteen and it was more important to him that anything. He needed it back.
“These festivals are stupid.” Heechul whispered angrily, grip tight on the arm of his wheelchair. “I want to go home.” Home, the word tasted bitter in his mouth, more so because it was spoken in Chinese and the language still felt foreign on his tongue.
“You’ll have fun.” Hangeng insisted, pushing him along the crowded street. It smelled like chicken and dumblings and rice and China. The smell was making Heechul nauseous, the feeling beginning in his stomach and mixing with anger and hurt. The sensation was altogether unpleasant and he glared at the people walking past.
“Look gege!” Henry was skipping around, tugging on Hangeng’s hand. “Come on, come on! I want to play that game! I could win a prize!”
Hangeng looked around but shook his head, “It’s too crowded for the wheelchair.”
“Go.” Heechul snapped, looking around angrily. “The little brat is waiting for you. Go have fun”
Hangeng sighed, glad that Henry hadn’t heard Heechul’s harsh words. Heechul always got like this when people brought attention to the fact that he couldn’t walk. It wouldn’t be much longer before he’d be able to do so again, Hangeng was sure of it.
Zhou Mi stepped forward and smiled brightly at Hangeng—all arms and legs and gangly awkwardness—“I’ll stay here with ge. Bring us back something to eat?” He gripped the handle of Heechul’s wheelchair.
Hangeng looked ready to protest but Henry was pulling on his arm and leading him into the crowd, leaving Zhou Mi and Heechul alone.
Heechul watched Hangeng and Henry traverse the streets, hands clasped together tightly as they weaved through the crowd toward the colorful booths lining the streets. Heechul hadn’t meant to call Henry a brat…but when he saw him and Hangeng he remembered home…and the feeling of a smaller hand in his own as he lead his dongsaengs through a crowded garden party or the forest in his backyard.
He didn’t want to remember right now…but at the same time, he refused to forget.
“Ge, are you thirsty? It’s really hot over here…” Zhou Mi was talking excitedly, turning Heechul’s chair and pushing him down the less crowded part of the street toward a small wooden bench. He sat down and looked around, large hands in his lap. His fingers were long and his palms were wide. He looked like a mixture of too many different sizes, and Heechul wanted to tell him that he looked stupid and deformed and altogether freakish, but he couldn’t.
Because Zhou Mi would cry and he didn’t want him to, despite that he hated China and everything in it.
Because he did. Really.
“…when Hangeng ge and Henry get back, we can go and find a good spot on the hill to watch fireworks. We don’t have to be back to the orphanage for a few more hours, so we’ll have plenty of time. It’s already really dark so they’re going to start soon. We have to hurry before the hills is too crowded.”
Heechul didn’t say anything. He stared down at his legs and wondered how much longer he’d have to let someone else help him. He hated it when people helped him. It made him feel useless…and Heechul refused to be useless anymore. He would be strong and able to protect those he cared for, not stand and watch as everything he loved was taken away.
Heechul and Zhou Mi both turned as Henry ran up to them, dodging families and young couples before coming to a stop in front of Heechul’s wheelchair, panting heavily but grinning from ear to ear. Hangeng followed behind him a bit slower, more polite as he apologized for bumping into an elderly man and his granddaughter.
Henry held out his hand, his grin stretching wider—if that was even possible—as he opened his palm. “I won this! I was going to get myself a watergun so that I could play with all the other kids at the park but I wanted to get this for gege instead.”
It was a small cat charm. A Japanese lucky cat. A cheap souvenir, something that would cost next to nothing at a drug store in downtown Tokyo. But Heechul reached out and picked it out of Henry’s hand—a small hand, fragile and delicate and in need of protecting—and let it dangle in front of his eyes.
It was the most precious gift anyone had ever given him.
“How long do we have before the fireworks, Seasonings?” Heechul found himself asking, still twirling the charm on its string and watching the cat wave to him as it spun.
Heechul nodded and then pointed toward the crowd. “Get me over there. I’m going to win Henli a watergun.”
Heechul came out of his reverie at the sound of the door opening. He blinked, looking up from the TV screen—he was lost, he didn’t know what was happening at all—to see Hangeng and Zhou Mi enter the living room.
The moment they saw his face, their entire bodies seemed to lost their strength. Hangeng reached him first, collapsing atop the older man and causing Heebum and Baengshin to dart away, hissing in annoyance. Hangeng’s arms slipped around Heechul’s shoulders and held him close. He breathed in his scent and closed his eyes.
Heechul was here. Safe.
Zhou Mi landed on Heechul’s other side. He didn’t try and hug him—Heechul would feel smothered and snap at them both if that happened—but he did lean his head on Heechul’s shoulder. “…how long have you been home?”
“Where have you two been is the better question.” Heechul announced, his voice muffled because Hangeng had pressed Heechul’s face against his chest. He pulled back to breathe, eyeing them both warily. “What’s wrong?”
“We met Park Jungsu and his bodyguard.” Zhou Mi muttered, too tired and relieved to sound angry at all. He felt Heechul stiffen and wondered what he would say.
“He had your phone and called.”
“I got a new one.” Heechul answered back. “…so there’s no need to worry. It's going to be disconnected before the night is over.”
Hangeng’s embrace became tighter, smothering him again. “You worried us. But you’re ok.”
Heechul nodded. “Of course I am.” But he wasn’t, and he could only hope that he hid it well enough from the other two.
“It isn’t safe for you to go out alone.” Hangeng spoke, pulling back now. “Since they’re here, I’ll pick you up at the University.” He sat back down on Heechul’s other side, but he was holding his hands, and his fingers kept reaching up to weave through Heechul’s hair.
Heechul saw the caring and love there and he remembered Siwon’s words. Talk to him, he’d said. It would make things better.
Heechul doubted it would do anything but break them, but he spoke nonetheless. “Hannie.”
“We need to talk.”
Sungmin slowed to a stop at the red light and began tapping the steering wheel as he waited for the light to change. Beside him, Kyuhyun huffed impatiently.
Siwon had called earlier and asked if they could come pick him up, giving directions to the park he was at. Neither quite understood why he was at a park in the first place—he’d said he was going to the University to check on things after his lecture, so why had he been at the park?
But they’d ignored it and gone out because Kangin and Leeteuk hadn’t gotten back from doing another business meeting. Kyuhyun was still angry at Sungmin for knocking him out and dragging him back to the suite, and they hadn’t talked at all since getting Siwon’s phone call.
Sungmin didn’t like the uncomfortable air that surrounded the two. Ever since all of this had begun, they’d been drifting apart. They’d been close, almost like brothers. Kyuhyun had shared all of his secrets with Sungmin, telling him everything.
Nowadays Sungmin was lucking to get more than a few sentences out of the younger boy.
“…do you remember when we first met?”
“Of course.” Kyuhyun answered back. “I was thirteen.” He didn’t look like he wanted to talk at all, but he seemed interested in why Sungmin had asked in the first place. He sat up a little straighter from where he’d been slumped against the seat.
Sungmin nodded, glancing up at the lights from behind his pink-tinted shades, wondering how long it was going to take for the light to change.
“It was after I’d almost been kidnapped at school.” Kyuhyun continued. “My parents got worried, so they wanted a bodyguard. But I complained and said I didn’t want some old grown-up following me around. So they sent you instead, so that you could always be at school with me.”
Sungmin nodded with a small smile at the memory.
“Kyuhyun-ah…this is Lee Sungmin-ssi. He’s going to be staying with us from now on.”
“Why would a pink-loving freak like that live with us? I don’t like him. I don’t need anyone else besides Teukie hyung and Siwon hyung.”
“There’s nothing wrong with having a third hyung—”
“I already have one. Heechul hyung will come back soon. I don’t need a replacement.”
Their relationship hadn’t started out smoothly. Kyuhyun was snippy, sarcastic, and rude. He hadn’t wanted anything to do with Sungmin. Truthfully, Sungmin had been annoyed with Kyuhyun from the start. A typical spoiled, rich kid, the kind of person that Sungmin detested the most.
But somehow over the years, they’d grown closer, had accepted each other despite how they clashed, and Sungmin had thought that bond was unbreakable.
“That was the second time you’d almost been kidnapped…” Sungmin murmured, before the light changed and he pulled through the intersection.
Kyuhyun sent him an incredulous look as he laughed, “What are you talking about? That’s the first and only time.”
Nothing more was said as they pulled up to the side street where Siwon sat at the park bench, waving and smiling.
Leeteuk was debating whether or not to get drunk or to go out and try and find Heechul when Kyuhyun, Sungmin, and Siwon walked into the suite. He wasn’t certain what to say, or if he should say anything at all, because Kyuhyun looked much happier than he had earlier—then again, he’d been unconscious the last time Leeteuk had seen him so anything was an improvement over that.
But as he stared down at Heechul’s phone in his hands, he couldn’t help but think that it was important to tell Kyuhyun…because maybe, just maybe, it would help Kyuhyun realize that Heechul loved them just as much as they loved him.
Siwon was tired and antsy and wondering how everything was going to turn out. After his talk with Heechul he’d been worried. He’d spent the majority of the afternoon wandering the park and trying to decide whether or not he should tell Leeteuk and Kyuhyun that Heechul worked at the University.
His gaze drifted to the cell phone in Leeteuk’s hands. Their eyes met, but Siwon looked away. If he asked for the charm back, he would have to admit to knowing that it was Heechul’s and that he’d met up with him…and that meant he would have to admit that he’d known where Heechul was since the first day they’d arrived.
It was not something he looked forward to. He intended to take the charm later that night after everyone was asleep. He figured that since Heechul had asked for it, it had to be important. If it was simply a charm he wouldn’t have cared. He could always buy another one after all. There had to be some other kind of value on it.
From Hangeng, perhaps?
Kyuhyun was ready to sleep. He was hungry, but he wasn’t particularly interested in eating anything at the moment. He was still grumpy at Sungmin—it was hard to stay mad at him though, so it would be back to normal by morning—and he was still shaken and frustrated with his meeting with Hangeng and Zhou Mi.
Sleep was all he wanted.
Leeteuk seemed to have other plans. He smiled uncertainly at Kyuhyun, that odd, awkward smile that he gave only when he was unsure of himself.
“Kyuhyunnie…come sit down. I need to show you something.” Leeteuk continued to smile, and the smile was fragile and lopsided. Kyuhyun noted it and sat down on the opposite couch warily. He noticed that Kangin was leaving the room, looking frazzled around the edges and as tired as Kyuhyun felt.
Sungmin also seemed to have the plan to go to bed because he was following Kangin, covering up a yawn with the back of his hand as he walked.
“What is it?” Kyuhyun muttered.
“This is Heechul’s.” Leeteuk held out the cell phone.
Sungmin and Kangin both paused in the doorway to their room. Siwon, who had begun to poor himself a drink, turned to look at Leeteuk worriedly. What…was he going to do now?
Kyuhyun stared down at the phone, but the words didn’t exactly compute. Why on earth would Leeteuk have Heechul’s cell phone?
“Kangin and I saw him earlier today. We ran into him on accident. He was…he was sick.”
Sick. It was a word that registered in Kyuhyun’s brain, a small spark of something, but it disappeared quickly under the knowledge that Leeteuk had met up with Heechul. They’d met.
Had Heechul said to Leeteuk what he’d said to him? Kyuhyun swallowed, feeling hot, and a little jealous. No, he couldn’t have. Because even if Kyuhyun hated him, he didn’t want Heechul to have feelings for anyone else.
“So?” He tried to sound nonchalant. “Why did he give you his phone? And why should I care that you met? Did he laugh at you for believing he was a girl all this time? Or was he still dressed like one when you saw him?”
Siwon stiffened at the counter, biting back the words that bubbled to his lips in defense of his hyung. He didn’t have to say anything, however, as Leeteuk spoke up. “Kyuhyun-ah…it wasn’t like that at all.” He sounded desperate. “I told you because I found out something.”
“I don’t care.” Kyuhyun stood, wanting to get away. Leeteuk and Heechul had met. Leeteuk still loved Heechul. Leeteuk had Heechul’s phone. Did Heechul love Leeteuk back?
Had he been forgotten?
“We were still in it. Our numbers.” Leeteuk pleaded, standing as well, not letting Kyuhyun escape. “Don’t you see, Kyu? He cares. He loves us too or he would have deleted the numbers, wouldn’t he?”
“I don’t care! I don’t!” He repeated hotly, shaking his head. He took a step back. Only a few more feet to his bedroom.
“I do.” Leeteuk whispered. “Because I love him. And you do too.”
“So?” Kyuhyun yelled out angrily. “So what if I do? It doesn’t change anything! Because I hate him too!”
It was the truth, and Leeteuk simply sat back down as Kyuhyun stomped off, slamming the door to his room shut with a loud bang.
Even after Donghae had tried to explain everything to him, Eunhyuk was still thoroughly confused.
It felt like he was in the middle of a crime drama. He half expected Donghae to tell him that he was actually a secret agent for the Korean government. It probably wouldn’t have phased him.
Donghae couldn’t explain much to him, of course. It wasn’t anything like, “It’s confidential, if I told you I’d have to kill you” although Eunhyuk was sure it might have amounted to that, but simply because Donghae was too busy trying to make sure that Henry was alright.
The other boy was still angry. Distraught was probably a better word. He was staring down at his phone, but when Donghae had suggested that they call Hangeng and ask what this was all about, Henry had refused.
He’d just stared down at the phone and looked up at Donghae and whispered, “I don’t know him anymore, hyung…how could my gege do that?”
Donghae hadn’t known what to do with Henry looking so lost and confused. He’d simply hugged him, rocking back and forth with the younger man in his arms as Eunhyuk watched from the other side of the coffee table. After Henry had calmed down a bit—he still refused to call Hangeng—he’d come up with a plan, one he wouldn't back down on.
“I’m going back to China.” He whispered harshly, making to stand. “I need to pack my things and get a ticket.”
Donghae grabbed his arm and pulled him back down. “Henli! Henli you can’t go. You have a concert tomorrow.”
Henry threw off his grip. “I don’t care! I need to get to China! My gege shot Heechul!” He swallowed, trying not to cry. “I don’t understand. I don’t know what to do. I need to go back to China.”
“That won’t solve anything.” Donghae reasoned calmly, “Let’s sit down and think about this. Why don’t I call Hangeng hyung?”
“No!” Henry looked scared for a second. “You can’t!”
“He-he shot Xi Che gege…if he knows that I know…what if he tries it again?”
Donghae swallowed, because the pain in Henry’s gaze was intense. “Do you really think that he would?”
“No.” Henry shook his head, but paused. “Yes—no, he wouldn’t. He loves Xi Che gege! But the tape, and the video, and he had a gun and the bullet trajectory and—” Henry clutched at his head. “I can’t call him.” He whispered roughly.
“What about that Kim Kibum guy?” Eunhyuk piped in, wanting to help, to contribute and keep both of the boys in front of him from dissolving into tears. “He could find out the truth, right?”
“Kim Kibum?” Henry questioned, his gaze confused and his eyes glassy.
Donghae swallowed. Deep in his gut, he felt that he couldn’t trust the other man, despite that he’d saved Donghae before. There was something off about him. “He’s the one that got me free when I was kidnapped by Yumyeong. He…worked with hyung and the others for the revenge plan.”
Henry nodded fervently, “He can help then. Call him. Can you contact him?”
Donghae opened his mouth to say no, but found himself nodding instead. “Yeah…I’ll call him right now, ok?”
They’d driven out of Hong Kong to talk. It had taken a long time—Heechul knew they wouldn’t get home before daybreak—but neither had minded. The silence had been comfortable, despite that Hangeng was nervous about what Heechul wanted to talk about.
Heechul pulled the car to a stop in front of an old temple. It was deserted, overgrown with vines and broken bottles and trash. As Hangeng stepped out of the car, his boots crunched against gravel and dead leaves. He closed the door, hearing Heechul do the same.
Heechul was walking toward the steps that led up to the temple and Hangeng followed behind silently. The air was hot and muggy, a Hong Kong summer in all of its glory. But the air felt cleaner out here away from the city. It was calming. As Heechul turned to sit on one of the top steps, Hangeng heard the sound of wind chimes from further ahead on the path. It was a pretty sound, but eerily haunting in the darkness.
Heechul didn’t speak for a long time. He simply watched Hangeng from the corner of his eye, his gaze hidden by his bangs. Hangeng looked nervous and a little afraid, and it made Heechul feel even guiltier. Why was he doing this to him? How could he be so cruel?
Hangeng loved him so much…why couldn’t he just do the same?
He wanted to, he really did. He’d tried ever since he’d gotten out of the hospital to deepen his feelings for Hangeng. He’d thought that the sex would make his brotherly love turn into something else but it hadn’t. He’d only felt dirty and guilty because he could never give Hangeng what he truly wanted.
When he’d been in that hospital bed he’d made a resolution to give everything to Hangeng, all of him…because Hangeng had looked so crushed and all Heechul wanted to do was fix him. Stupid of him, really, when he’d never been able to fix anything in the past. He could only break and destroy things, it was all he was good for.
But Hangeng’s love was smothering him, killing him, because he couldn’t reciprocate. He hated himself for being unable to do so—if he’d never met Kyuhyun and Leeteuk, would it have been different?—but at the same time, he was slowly beginning to realize that if they continued on this path, they would both end up despising themselves, and possible each other.
Heechul never wanted to hate Hangeng.
“I love you, you know.” Heechul began.
Pain swelled in Hangeng’s chest, along with hope and something wonderful. But the pain and fear outweighed everything else. “…yeah.” He rasped out. He reached out his hand; searching, frantic. Inwardly he knew what was coming but he was scared to accept it.
Heechul’s fingers interlaced with his own.
“But you love me more.”
“Yeah.” Hangeng agreed, his voice cracking.
Heechul was crying.
So was Hangeng.
And they sat in silence on the stone steps in the muggy summer heat, listening to the buzzing of mosquitoes and the chirping of crickets and Hangeng’s soft sobs.