g, kangin-centric, 457 words
Kangin has become afraid that they'll forget him.
It's a perfectly reasonable fear. It has been almost five months and countless concerts since he did that stupid, stupid thing (even when he wakes up at 3am, he can't believe what he did) and it's reasonable to assume that if his absence continues, he might just disappear from everyone's consciousness entirely.
It's strange how life goes on, Kangin (or maybe Youngwoon now?) muses as he walks his dogs, meet with his friends for quiet dinners, watch fancams of Super Junior's performances in the concerts, spend time with his mother. Even when you think you're one of the most indispensable members in Super Junior, even when you've talked more on programmes than anyone else but Leeteuk, even when you've taken care of eight boys younger than yourself for years – it's so easy to disappear. So easy for the cracks incurred by your sudden exit to close up and vanish under layers of mending. So natural for Kyuhyun to take over your lines, for the choreography to be altered to fit eleven members instead of twelve, for another member to replace the space left behind in variety programmes.
He watches them moving ahead; Leeteuk and Eunhyuk and Shindong with the popular Teuk Academy gags, Heechul and Siwon and Kibum with their drama and movie stints, Yesung and Sungmin with their stageplays, Kyuhyun with his solo songs. He watches them recover first from his absence and then from Hangeng's, watches Kyuhyun sliding alone to the left in Sorry Sorry and Heechul dealing without his two closest friends in the group and Leeteuk taking on the entire guidance of the team on his own shoulders. He wonders if the cracks can be covered so perfectly that when he comes back, there won't be a space for him to fit himself into anymore. He wonders if they'll forget how it was like with him around to playfully bully them, listen to their problems, heat soup for them at night, tease them about their bad skin, be the main speaker on talkshows with Leeteuk.
He wonders if there's any use in going back now.
This suspension is not so much a punishment or a test of endurance, he thinks, as a lesson for the ego, a hard and heavy reminder that no matter how high you climb, it doesn't get any harder for you to fall all the way back down.
Kangin (maybe he should start thinking of himself as Youngwoon again) walks his dogs, plays video games, reads the newspapers, talks to Leeteuk and Heechul and Eunhyuk and Donghae occasionally, and he wants so badly to keep the faith but each day it corrodes and he can't figure out how to stop it.
g, eunhyuk/donghae, 727 words
Eunhyuk likes girls, not boys, and he knows that. Unlike a few other boyband members whom nearly everyone in the industry knows have problems trying to hide their homosexuality, Eunhyuk has never struggled with his sexual identity. He gets turned on when he sees girls with long silky hair, he loves the smell of faint perfume mixed with fragrant shampoo, he likes looking at models and actresses and he really has no urge whatsoever to watch gay porn.
His first kiss was with a girl when he was fifteen, not with Sungmin as fans like to believe (and Sungmin's mouth had tasted of his pre-lunch snack too, not sexy at all) and the first palpitations his heart went through was for the quiet girl with the heart-shaped face sitting at the back of the classroom. His first heartbreak was confided in Junsu (whom he is neither dating nor bedding, no) and when he does Sukira with Leeteuk, they're too busy being tired with the day's work than thinking about what to do with their hands underneath the table.
But sometimes, in this industry, you have to excite imaginations a little, pretend that you might actually be fantasizing about stroking Leeteuk's thighs under the table or doing naughty things with Sungmin in the shower, and Eunhyuk is resigned to that. He has to be, after five years of being in the business. He's pretty good at it, too. He knows that he and Donghae are notorious for their touchy feelyness and displays of affection and simulated kisses. He knows that they conspicuously go beyond what normal good guy friends do with each other. He knows that when he kneels down in front of Donghae, or when Donghae kneels down in front of him, they're giving off more than PG-13 vibes (he knows, too, that the both of them are hard put to it not to burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation).
Donghae wants a family more than anything else, and so does Eunhyuk. They talk together about the type of girl they might want to marry, the kind of marriage they would like to have, the amount of kids they want. Donghae wants at least three, two girls and one boy, and Eunhyuk thinks just one kid is enough, there's enough stress in the world without having three babies screaming in tandem when all you want is to put your feet up and watch TV. Donghae loves the thought of family-filled public holidays, picnics at the beach, decorating Christmas trees, romantic movie dates with his wife at fifty years old. Eunhyuk loves the thought of being settled in life, having a permanent place to come back to.
All this touching and hugging and kissing; it's not that they don't mean a thing, but rather they mean different things from what fans think. Donghae is affectionate, and Eunhyuk knows that Donghae knows Eunhyuk will never push him away when he needs someone to cling to. Perhaps, after all, that's the reason why they're so close. They don't have anyone to cling to just now, with the public spotlight turned on them and cameras ready to record any evidence of scandal, and so they turn to each other as old friends and best friends, friends who know one another better than anyone else does, friends who won't misunderstand, friends who've seen ugly sides and continued loving each other anyway, friends who can sleep together in the same bed and not think anything of it.
And yet; Eunhyuk had read once, somewhere, that nobody in the world is perfectly hetero or homosexual. There's always a lingering feeling in you for people of the same sex, be that feeling sexual or otherwise. Eunhyuk knows that he likes girls, not boys, and he has never had to struggle to believe that. He doesn't want to make love to Donghae, or go on romantic movie dates with him at fifty years old, or have steamy making out sessions with him in the car, or anything like that. And yet, maybe because they don't have anyone else to hold, maybe because they've been in such close proximity for so long, maybe because Donghae has beautiful eyes and an even more beautiful smile; sometimes, just sometimes, when Donghae secretly gives him the smile that's reserved only for him, Eunhyuk's heart stops a little.
g, kyuhyun/leeteuk, 823 words
for girlearthless as a belated birthday present; i really wanted to write this earlier but i failed.
Kyuhyun loves having Leeteuk to himself. Having someone to yourself sounds overrated especially when you practically live together, but getting Leeteuk alone is almost the hardest thing in the world, right after trying to get Eunhyuk to agree that his moonwalk is just as good as his own. Kyuhyun is sorry and sympathetic when Eunhyuk falls ill (though he really can't help but think that swine flu was so last year) and he's doubly sorry when Eunhyuk runs a fever and coughs so hard in his room that Sungmin almost risks catching his germs by going in to see how he's doing, but it does mean that he gets time alone with Leeteuk in Sukira.
When three or more of them are together (and that's usually the case), Leeteuk is the oldest and Kyuhyun is the youngest and never the twain shall meet. Leeteuk does his thing with the directors, cameramen, sound technicians, etc., goofs around for the camera, prepares gags with Shindong and Eunhyuk, jokes around with Heechul (and, when nobody is looking, rubs Heechul's back comfortingly because Heechul's going through hard times), pampers Donghae and Ryeowook, humours Yesung, tweaks Sungmin's nose, listens to Siwon's latest emotional problem, and by the time it's his turn for attention, Kyuhyun always feels that Leeteuk has run out of steam.
It's not like it's Leeteuk's fault, of course, it can't be easy being the oldest in a large group of attention-demanding boys, but Kyuhyun can't help feeling a little left out sometimes. He envies how Donghae can prance up to Leeteuk and claim his attention completely for whatever huge, life-shattering problem that Donghae is currently facing (like not having enough clean underwear to take to China); how Eunhyuk gets to confide in Leeteuk whenever he wants because they're together every day; how Ryeowook gets Leeteuk's special affection because they once shared a room together (lots of bonding moments); how Heechul, by virtue of age, gets more claim on Leeteuk's attention than him. He envies them all and wishes he could feel special more often, because he never gets to feel special unless he's alone with Leeteuk with nobody to sneak in annoyingly to interrupt them.
Being alone with Leeteuk is an entirely different matter. Leeteuk gives him his undivided attention then, asks him how his days have been going and jokes with him about the other members' infamous habits; teases him, ruffles his hair, massages his shoulders, and Kyuhyun feels that it's okay his parents are so far away because Leeteuk is capable of giving him all the love he requires. He feels himself transforming when they're alone, from the adult-like, snarky image he usually upholds to a child who wants to be coddled and pampered and gets it. He suspects that Leeteuk enjoys spoiling him more than the rest because he's young and occasionally pimply and unsure of what really to do with himself, and so he basks in Leeteuk's care, feels that things aren't so scary or bad as they are when he jerks awake at 3am worrying about Kangin hyung and Hangeng hyung and what Zhou Mi is going to do without SJ-M and the possibility of his voice cracking at the next concert and not getting enough solo jobs to sustain his career and etc.etc., Leeteuk tells him to stop worrying so much, things will work out, he'll see that they do. And Kyuhyun trusts him partly because it's good to have someone taking on some of your burden and mostly because Leeteuk has never gone back on his word.
They're hosting Sukira now, some song is playing in the background and Leeteuk bends his head over the script for tomorrow, taps his pencil against the paper, makes some minor adjustments. Kyuhyun wants to tell him how much he misses him whenever he's in China, how sad it is when he tries to call and can't get through, how much he wants to be special to Leeteuk like Ryeowook and Donghae are. How much he appreciates Leeteuk for taking such good care of them, for always trying to be around. How time spent alone with Leeteuk gives him renewed energy and confidence to face whatever comes next. How a trivial thing like having someone asking you about your day and willing to listen to what you have to say about it is so important, so very important, and Kyuhyun appreciates the effort it takes to be personally interested in fourteen other members' lives.
But saying such things is just not his way. He can't say the words, can't even shape them. Instead, he leans his head on Leeteuk's shoulder and snuggles up against his side. He wonders vaguely if Leeteuk can feel the gratitude in his touch mingled with the need to be occasionally showered with affection, spoiled and petted and taken care of. Leeteuk leans his head slightly on Kyuhyun's and Kyuhyun smiles, closes his eyes and savours the moment.
g, vaguely yesung/ryeowook, 623 words
When Ryeowook announces that he's going to start working out to portray a more mature, edgier image for the fourth album, nobody believes him except Eunhyuk, who doesn't count because he believes anything that anyone tells him. Eunhyuk tries to make up for the general indifference by offering to help Ryeowook at the gym, but Eunhyuk's really busy with a ton of filming and radio schedules and since the others don't believe him, nobody else offers to help.
Ryeowook goes to the gym alone four times a week for the first month, lugging along a huge bag of towels and extra clothes and water bottles each time he goes, and everyone living on the 11th floor is too busy rushing from schedule to schedule to notice that Ryeowook is actually spending time working out. It does register in Kyuhyun's subconscious that Ryeowook appears to be consistently coming back in the evenings looking tired and blissful, but he has other things to think about and eventually he just forgets it.
In the second month, everyone is finally alerted to Ryeowook's gym adventures when Siwon bumps into him one day on his way to the gym and decides to go with him. Siwon reports that Ryeowook has made friends with half the fitness instructors in the gym with his enthusiasm and shy appreciative smiles, and that one of the instructors has told Siwon that Ryeowook is well on his way to becoming as well-built as any 2pm member ("The second Taecyeon," the instructor had said despite Siwon's huge-eyed look of disbelief). Sungmin and Shindong sit stunned at the involuntary image of a muscular Ryeowook stripping on stage.
"I told you so," Eunhyuk whines. "Why didn't anyone accompany him to the gym when I couldn't?"
"How were we to know it was for real?" Sungmin says defensively. "Working out has never been Ryeowookie's thing."
"I'm practicing my dancing, too," Ryeowook says. "Kyuhyunnie has been doing work with Hyukjae hyung and Donghee hyung in dance numbers. I want to be like him."
"Ryeowook-ah," Shindong says, "there isn't a need to be a dancer, you know. If you become a dancer as well as a singer, Hyukjae and I won't have anything to do."
"That's not my purpose at all," Ryeowook begins, horrified, but Shindong laughs and claps him on the back, says he's looking forward to the new sexy dancing Ryeowook.
"Why are you doing this?" Yesung asks curiously that night. "Is this for the group? You want to assimilate more into the group's image? It's okay, you know. You've looked good so far and you'll continue looking fine. K-pop already has muscled groups in Dong Bang Shin Ki and 2pm. Besides, we need to keep Siwon looking special. If all of us start showing off our abs, Siwon's will become boring."
"Hyung…" Ryeowook begins.
"I like the way you look, Ryeowookie," Yesung says comfortingly. "You're fine the way you are. And being muscled will hinder you in the whole disguising as a girl thing, too."
"Hyung," Ryeowook says insistently.
"I'm tired of being girly. That's all."
Yesung blinks. "Oh."
When they begin photoshoots for the fourth album, Ryeowook surprises and pleases everyone with his new mature, edgier image. Eunhyuk says I told you so. Siwon decides that a muscular image shouldn't be confined to him; sharing is caring. Sungmin and Shindong whisper about the possibility of Ryeowook stripping on stage. Kyuhyun hopes he doesn't lose his place in the dancing line-up if Ryeowook experiences the same amount of success in his dancing as in his working out. Heechul and Leeteuk reflect that the babies are growing up.
Yesung, who's the most fascinated, thinks there might be advantages in Ryeowook tiring of being girly after all.