October – Close Encounters with the Third Kind
The floorboards squeak as the creature takes a step closer, the beast’s fingers flexing open and closed, a sneer upon its lips. “You have nowhere to run now,” it says, the voice raw and low, like a scream from the underworld. It reaches out; its bloodied palms grabbing at the woman’s collar and its fingernails digging into the main character’s neck.
“Ahhhhhh!” Ryeowook screams, kicking his feet up into the air. He hides his face in the covers, knocking over the bowl of popcorn that sits on Jongwoon’s lap in the process. The white and yellow treat falls onto Kyuhyun’s lap, and they all groan in process. In the fray, Kyuhyun hits the pause button—just at the close-up of the evil character.
Kyuhyun sits up, pushing the blanket from his lap and glaring at Kim Ryeowook, brushing the popcorn off of his jeans so that it falls down on Jongwoon’s wooden floor. “Thanks for that, Ryeowook.”
“Dude, stop—and pick that up. I don’t want my parents screaming at me for the mess you two leave behind all the time,” Jongwoon says, rolling his eyes. His little sibling had a habit of snitching seconds after Kyuhyun and Ryeowook left to his parents about the ‘big mess Jongwoon had made!’ and that ‘you had to come down and see!’
Kyuhyun groans in protest, picking up the fallen popcorn and throwing it back into the purple bowl that now sits on Ryeowook’s lap, earning a “Hey!” from both Ryeowook and Jongwoon. He huffs, throwing himself back onto the couch, beside Ryeowook who sits in the middle, and covering his legs with the blanket because it is fucking freezing in Jongwoon’s basement.
“Why do you always have to scream whenever we watch a horror movie?” Kyuhyun snaps, turning to Ryeowook and giving him a glare. Ryeowook shrivels up at the look, trying his best to hide under Jongwoon’s arm. Jongwoon sighs, his attention being captured by a very interesting doorknob.
“I’m sorry,” Ryeowook huffs, brushing some of his red-purple bangs out of his eyes and looking down at the now-contaminated bowl of popcorn.
“I knew we should have watched Star Trek Season Five,” Jongwoon mumbles. Everyone promptly ignores him.
“But you were the one that asked to watch a horror movie! Getting ready for Halloween, remember? All the scary masks, remember? You wanted to watch some so that you would be used to the ‘scary’ stuff that has scared you for fifteen years of your life!” When Kyuhyun has finished his rant, Ryeowook looks like he’s on the brink of tears and Jongwoon is completely disinterested.
Ryeowook moved the bowl of popcorn side to side, watching as it moved back and forth, back and forth. “I don’t know why I’m so scared during Halloween, I seriously don’t know why. Everyone makes so much fun of me, too! I don’t want to be made fun of, Kyuhyun-ah, I want to be strong! I thought that if I practiced, I might be able to face the fear that I have. That people will stop laughing at me whenever I scream because I see someone dressed up as Hello Kitty, for Pete’s sake if I prepare myself. You guys are my best friends, and I thought that you wouldn’t laugh and get mad at me…”
By this time, Jongwoon has his arms around Ryeowook’s torso and is screaming at Kyuhyun for being such a meanie, and that they should have started with a less-scarier movie, like ‘And Then It Happened’, instead of some unknown film that he had randomly picked from the movie store. Kyuhyun sighed, mumbling something about it being on sale and it wasn’t that scary, seriously.
To keep it brief, they retired for the night, promising each other that next week they would face a scary movie and finish it all. Just not tonight. And plus, there was homework that Kyuhyun hadn’t finished.
Kyuhyun lives a very sheltered life to many people. For one, his glare makes it seem as if he hates everyone. In reality—he doesn’t, but he finds the short skirts that some girls wear appalling and really, why do men have this fascination with smoking or drinking? He keeps his days to waking up, eating his breakfast, going to school, learning things, and then going home and finishing his homework. If all that is finished, he might go to an Internet café and play some games, or just stay home and watch some dramas with his sister.
It honestly depends.
He was still a freshman so he wasn’t ‘the talk of the school’ or anything, just a new kid to high school who would, unfortunately, have to slush through four, or more, years of this terrible system. Thankfully his grades were kept high enough so that his parents wouldn’t have to go all ballistic and force him into any cram schools to make sure that he got into a good university yet. He got good grades, hung around the right people, and didn’t do drugs. Kyuhyun considered that the recipe to a wonderful son.
How he met up with Kim Jongwoon and Kim Ryeowook, a senior and a sophomore, you ask?
Kyuhyun had been strolling through the hallways, back when he was pretty much a loner and didn’t have that much interest in getting friends, when he had happened to be pushed into the line that went directly to the library.
With dismay, he found himself in the library with no clue of what he was supposed to do next. He had already finished his homework; the main reason why so many people were in the library. He could take out some manhwas and pretend that to be reading until the bell rang. Yeah, Kyuhyun decided, that sounded like good idea. And so, with a smile, Kyuhyun started walking through the library, finding out where the manhwas were.
He stopped to gaze upon its utmost beauty. He had never seen that many books, and so full! He could see one to twenty for many of the manhwas, and he jumped up in a very ‘pwnage’ kind of way, punching the air as he did so. A few people turned to stare at him but he pretended not to see them.
Kyuhyun ran his finger over the covers, squealing in glee at the feel of the thousands upon thousands of books underneath his touch. He stopped half-way, his eyes growing wide and his body screaming ‘want’ when his eyes fell on the sixteenth book of his favourite series. He had discovered the book series last summer, when he was bored and tired of experimenting with his pre-pubescent body and was trying to forget the fact that he was moving up to high school. Unfortunately, the municipal library didn’t have that many books, and stopped at fifteen, and his pocket money was spent on buying the last book available on novel sites. He had watched all of the animated show, but this was different. You could touch and flip.
“Oh my gosh,” Kyuhyun mumbled underneath his breath, reaching out to grab the edges of the book, his fingers pushing against the other copies. He squealed with glee. Honestly, he could probably take the other seven to finish the series and probably finish all his homework in a week. That English work wasn’t due until Monday, anyways, he told himself. A smirk pulled to his lips, and as he was about to pull the books out, a hand reached out and took the books fifteen through twenty-one. Including sixteen.
Kyuhyun turned, determined to kill whoever had laid their hands on his prized book. He was greeted by a pair of glasses, a small face, and reddish-brown hair that Kyuhyun automatically knew wasn’t real. In his hands, he carried a big pile of books, some manhwas, some novels, and a binder at the bottom. The boy was a bit shorter than Kyuhyun, but he couldn’t be one-hundred-percent sure if he was older or younger than him by his baby face. It seemed like his body needed to catch up with the rest of him.
“That book was mine,” he snarls, reaching for the books in the little boy’s grasp. Then, something that Kyuhyun hadn’t expected happened—the boy handed him most of the books, blushing and stuttering.
“Oh! I-I’m so sorry…I knew I shouldn’t have taken them, you just looked uncertain and I really, really wanted to finish reading the series this weekend…” He continues off and Kyuhyun blocks it off, looking at the almost-new books that now sit in his hands. Score!
“Thanks,” Kyuhyun mumbles. The little boy smiles and reaches up, his hand blocking the giggle that leaves his lips.
“I’m Kim Ryeowook, by the way.” The little boy tries to free his hand to shake, but in the end almost tips over, and just nods at him instead. Kyuhyun nods, “Cho Kyuhyun.”
Ryeowook or little boy as Kyuhyun has found a liking to call him now, seemed to like this answer, and smiled brightly. “I would love to be friends with you, Cho Kyuhyun-sshi.”
Kyuhyun is taken aback (he hasn’t really been accepted into the ‘cliques’ just yet and this invitation is rather odd) by this sudden friend invite, and he isn’t sure how to respond seeing as he has just learnt of this Kim Ryeowook character who seems to like manhwas and seems pretty cool, even if he looks like he’s too young for his age.
“Yeah, that’d be great,” Kyuhyun says, and Ryeowook jumps up. Surprisingly, the books don’t fall off or anything.
They move to a table, where silently, they disclose their likes, dislikes, characters in the manhwas that seriously need to die, and favourite movies. It’s this day that Kyuhyun learns that Ryeowook hates horror movies (or horror in general), and Kyuhyun laughs a tad under his breath.
“You’ll love Jongwoon,” Ryeowook says, and Kyuhyun leans in, confused.
Kyuhyun grumbles when his parents ask him what he is going to be doing this weekend. Honestly, he had to finish some report for science, and if he didn’t, then he was sure Mr. Kim would be more than willing to kill him. He wasn’t doing that well in science, but each time that his parents brought it up, Kyuhyun would reply with the truth: he hated the teacher, the teacher hated him, and when the teacher was wrong and not up to date, one had to fight against the lesson.
Instead of finishing his report that weekend, he shrugs. “I think I’ll be going to Jongwoon’s place, again. It depends on if they’re free.” His sister tries to hide her laughter by eating some more rice, but Kyuhyun catches her and rolls his eyes, wanting to grab her chopsticks and fling them at her like how he did back when they were younger “and wilder” as relatives said.
“I’m really happy that you’ve found such nice friends in such a short amount of time,” his mother comments. Like that’s supposed to raise my mood, Kyuhyun thinks. His parents always hinted that he was a little anti-social, but whenever his parents talked about it, he would pull out his ‘I’m not anti-social, I just hate you’ t-shirt from his closet and wear it the next day to prove a point.
His father nods and it sickens him. Thanks, pops.
“And you guys seem to get along quite well! Is this the third week you’re spending at least one day together? That must mean that they like you,” his father comments, and Kyuhyun rolls his eyes. Now even a whole boatload of kimchi wouldn’t make his food taste good.
Ahra rolled her eyes, poking at her food, “They’re all a bunch of nerds, anyways.”
His parents laughed and Kyuhyun expertly excused himself from the table, putting his dishes away in the dishwasher and climbing the steps to his room. He grabs his computer. Might as well finish that science report, then.
His first expression of Jongwoon was of a much calmer, laid-back individual. And for the most of it, he was correct. Jongwoon was two years older and it showed in his course load, but he had the life of a sophomore with the amount of tweets he tweeted every day, and his love for animals, which happened to be even bigger than Ryeowook’s—which by this time, Kyuhyun had decided was impossible.
“Are we going to your place tomorrow for a movie?” Kyuhyun asks over lunch. They don’t sit in the cafeteria like everyone else; they have found a secluded corner where they won’t be attacked during lunchtime. It’s just the two of them today—Ryeowook is somehow busy with thousands of clubs during the year—and Kyuhyun finds the quietness surprisingly refreshing. It’s usually the three of them, but Jongwoon is lively enough to be just one.
Jongwoon shrugs, “I haven’t gotten a yes or a no from Wookie, yet.”
Kyuhyun nods, ignoring the silly nickname that Jongwoon had picked for Ryeowook, and had been trying to persuade Kyuhyun to use, too. “If not, then you could just come over to my place and play video games.” Jongwoon smiles at the hidden meaning. After getting bored of playing multiplayer games on Kyuhyun’s console, they had turned to porn—playing video games was now code for watching porn.
“I got a pretty nice game last night, too. I’ve been waiting to watch it.” They both smile at the crudeness of it all. They’ve both decided to never watch it with Ryeowook, both thinking that he would be, for one, too frail, and two, they hadn’t really considered him to be the porn-watching type. If there was a type, of course.
“I’m happy that you’ve gotten so close, really,” Jongwoon says, “It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.” Kyuhyun takes another bite of his food.
“It’s been roughly a month; we just have a lot of free time on our hands. Well, most of us.” Jongwoon nods at Kyuhyun’s explanation—it makes sense. They typically finished their work in class, and so they didn’t have any work to do at home, so inviting people was easy. Jongwoon was still in his last year, though, and so most nights he spent in cram school and Kyuhyun would be forced to spend a night alone, with his parents or Ryeowook.
Neither of them sounded interesting. Ryeowook was undeniably the light that brought a smile to his face even when he didn’t feel like getting out of his sheets in the morning, but Jongwoon was old, mature, and he could easily chat with him any time, any place.
“I’m going to find Ryeowook and ask, k?” Kyuhyun says. Jongwoon nods, and watches him as he packs up his lunch, and heads towards the library. He doesn’t follow and Kyuhyun isn’t surprised. Their relationship is based on small goodbyes and body language.
The library is packed, as per usual, with kids trying to finish last minute assignments in the small amount of time they have to complete them. Kyuhyun smiles at kids that he remembers from various classes, too curious not to check to see which paper they were currently trying to finish. He strolled by nonchalantly, his fingers tapping the phone in his pockets. He scanned the library, and eventually found the purple-red mop of hair, and walked down casually.
“Hey Ryeowook,” Kyuhyun says, giving him a small wave. He registers that there’s a boy that he’s sitting across from, and there are posters on the table, probably to advertise some spirit day or way of life to follow across the school. He doesn’t spend the time to read them when they’ll be up any day now, anyways.
“Oh hey Kyuhyunnie,” Ryeowook says back. He gestures towards the person across from him, and Kyuhyun finally gets a good look at him. He has black hair that is styled in a swoop, much like Jongwoon’s but the colour is lighter, and has just the thin trace of eyeliner. Kyuhyun notices that he has longer eyelashes and a pretty smile. “This is Lee Sungmin.”
“Cho Kyuhyun,” he says, bowing. “Pleased to meet you.” Ryeowook rolls his eyes at his politeness, hitting his arm.
“He’s not this nice, typically. He screamed at me, recently! He’s such a spoiled brat,” Ryeowook’s list of complaints only seems to grow, and Kyuhyun rolls his eyes. Once the seventy-three thousand things that Ryeowook hates about Kyuhyun are over, Ryeowook turns from Sungmin to smile at Kyuhyun. “So, what’s up?”
“Are you still on for the movie this weekend at Jongwoon’s? He said you didn’t really give him an answer, yet,” Kyuhyun said, deciding that that was the exact reason as to why he had come to the library, and when he was done, he would return to Jongwoon, or go to class and finish some work. Maybe get that science homework half-way done.
Ryeowook nodded, “Yep! Hopefully the movie isn’t that scary this time.”
Sungmin’s eyes grew wide. “Can I come?”
Kyuhyun and Ryeowook turned to Sungmin slowly. This was not something they were used to. Their movie nights were strictly Jongwoon, Kyuhyun and Ryeowook, something that they had started a month ago with animes and now horror films. They hadn’t even thought of other people coming to watch the movies with them. And now this guy wanted to come?
Sungmin seemed to notice his mistake and leaned back. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t think it would strike such a cord with you guys.”
Ryeowook shook his head, putting his hand on Sungmin’s. “We would love to have you, wouldn’t we, Kyuhyun? And Jongwoon doesn’t care just if you don’t ruin his carpet or anything, ‘cause he hates cleaning. And the sofa is big enough, ain’t it? We’ll just need to squeeze in a little bit more.” They share a smile before Ryeowook turns to Kyuhyun. “Which film are we watching?”
“I wanted to watch Poltergeist…” Kyuhyun mumbled. The movie store had roughly seventeen copies at the moment.
“I love that movie!” Sungmin squeals. That seems to seal the deal, then.
“Then it’s settled. I’ll text you Jongwoon’s place. Seven-thirty works?”
Kyuhyun has a hard time explaining to Jongwoon how it came about that they have a new member of their weekend-night trio. After three tries, he still doesn’t understand.
Honestly, nor does Kyuhyun.
And here they are, watching the newest movie. It was filmed in the 70’s and so the quality of the effects aren’t that special at all, but even with the fake green slime and the cheesy fog, Ryeowook is jumping out of his seat. So much that Kyuhyun is sure that he’d be afraid of Ghostbusters, too. Thankfully, he isn’t sitting beside Ryeowook, and the bowl of popcorn sits on Jongwoon’s lap.
That time, Kyuhyun had made sure not to sit beside Ryeowook and ends up sitting on the end, beside Sungmin. He was the first one to arrive, chatting up with Jongwoon in the basement when Kyuhyun had arrived, and the three of them talked before Ryeowook arrived. From the ten minutes of useless talk, Kyuhyun knew that like Jongwoon, Sungmin had a younger brother, was in ten thousand school clubs and was the vice president for his homeroom, too. They were learning about Jongwoon’s current chore woes when Ryeowook popped in and they started up the movie.
“Oh shit, oh shit!” Ryeowook screams, grabbing onto Jongwoon’s arm as the little girl’s voice goes through the television screen. “They’re all insane. A girl cannot be stuck in a television.” No one speaks; their eyes are glued to the screen, watching as the investigators listen to the voice that resounds through the new house.
“Mommy, Mommy?” the voice asks and Ryeowook screams, clutching Jongwoon’s arm with all his might, and Kyuhyun briefly wonders if he’s blocking the circulation in the older man’s arm. He doubts Ryeowook can be that strong—but there were rumours of what Ryeowook used to be like in elementary school so you could never be sure.
Sungmin laughs, reaching for the remote control. “I gotta pee. Plus, it seems like Ryeowook needs a break for a few minutes.” He presses stop, just when there is a close-up of the television screen, and Ryeowook hides underneath the blanket that drapes over their knees.
Jongwoon agrees. “I need some refreshments, too, anyways. Kyuhyun, would you mind helping me?” Kyuhyun shakes his head; no, of course not. Jongwoon smiles and they all get up, except for Ryeowook, who stares at the television. Sungmin chuckles and pats his shoulder comfortingly.
“So,” Jongwoon drawls, watching as Sungmin sneaks into the powder room, “How is this ‘Sungmin’ character?”
Kyuhyun shrugs, “How would I know?”
“You have been sitting beside him for a quarter of the movie,” Jongwoon comments, rolling his eyes at their progress. There were breaks, when they couldn’t even watch the movie because of how loud Ryeowook was screaming, or maybe Jongwoon’s parents or little brother had come down to check up on them, but now they seemed to have locked themselves in their rooms, or had gone out, for the house was eerily quiet.
“He jumps often, but it isn’t like how Ryeowook jumps. Nor does he claw at my arm.” Jongwoon rolls his eyes and hits Kyuhyun’s arm. They grab some bags of chips, having finished the popcorn (four mouths get through food faster than three) and Jongwoon throws two cans of pop at Kyuhyun that he barely catches.
“I guess I’m still on bowl duty, then?” Jongwoon asks.
“Do you want to clean up if Ryeowook spills, again?” Kyuhyun asks. The question answers itself.
“Ooh, my favourite,” Sungmin swoops in, grabbing the bag from Jongwoon’s hand and digging his hand inside, pulling out a handful of chips. He winks, chewing them up before asking, “So, are we gonna go see if he’s still ok?” Kyuhyun decides that ‘he’ must be Ryeowook, and nods, but realizes that Jongwoon has already started walking back down to the basement, pop cans in his sweater pockets.
“Do you need any help?” Sungmin asks, only carrying the stolen chips bag, whilst Kyuhyun is carrying two—and two pop cans. Kyuhyun nods sheepishly, handing over one soda can.
“I can manage the rest,” Kyuhyun says when Sungmin looks at him again. The ravenette nods and smiles shyly, and waits for Kyuhyun to start walking before he joins him, walking to the door that leads down to the furnished basement.
Jongwoon has already settled down on the couch beside Ryeowook. He raised an eyebrow when Kyuhyun entered, shortly followed by Sungmin. Ryeowook seemed to be happy to see his friend, beckoning Sungmin over, and the ravenette was eager to walk over, sitting down on the couch and patting his knee comfortingly.
“The movie gets less scary, ok?” Sungmin promises and Kyuhyun is reminded of when he was little, when Ahra used to explain to him about those monsters under the bed.
Kyuhyun takes slow steps to the couch, setting the refreshments down on the coffee table. Ryeowook and Sungmin dive for them like vultures, and Kyuhyun is glad that he chose the drink that he wanted first before, sipping on it casually as Jongwoon finds the remote again and presses play. The movie starts up again and Ryeowook whimpers.
Kyuhyun decides to watch Sungmin, now interested by Jongwoon’s words. It’s not like he hasn’t seen the movie anyways. He looks older, maybe Ryeowook’s age or older? That was one of the things that he hadn’t been able to catch when they were talking earlier. He could be a junior, from the looks of it. Ryeowook did look a little bit younger.
Sungmin also had habits. He had a habit to laugh at the worst times—the mirror scene with one of the investigators and his face being ripped in the mirror, or when the daughter mentions the Holiday Inn, or when either the father or the mother ends up in the sludge that was supposed to become their pool, eventually. Ryeowook seems to find this even scarier, as if he doesn’t realize that the soft chuckling is not coming from the screen, but actually from the guy that sits right beside him.
Also, and this is a big one because Kyuhyun sits beside him, he notices how much of a hog Sungmin can be with the covers, pulling at the sides. He sits cross-legged to make sure that all of his lower-half is covered with the blanket, and Kyuhyun notices soon enough that Sungmin has taken almost three-quarters of his share of the blanket. He’s honestly tempted to point this out—“I want my blanket back!”—but Jongwoon seems to be having a nice time, and Kyuhyun does not want to interrupt a movie for such a silly thing like a blanket.
“The boss is mean,” is all that Ryeowook says about the movie when it has finally finished. As if on cue, Sungmin laughs. This time, Jongwoon joins in.
“But guess what! You finally finished a horror film!” Jongwoon says excitedly. A small smile appears on Ryeowook’s face.
“Yeah! I did!” Ryeowook gets up and dances around proudly, and everyone laughs at him, giving him applause when he bows down in front of them. They decide that next week they’ll watch another movie—they only have a week until Halloween, so they’ll have to bump it up, and this time, because Jongwoon’s parents are hosting a party, it will be hosted at Sungmin’s.
Kyuhyun is the first one there.
Ryeowook had explained that he had a few arrangements he had to go to before he could go to Sungmin’s, but he promises that he’ll be at the party before eight, so no one is that pressured to get to Sungmin’s house on time. But Kyuhyun’s family had been a pain (Ahra was complaining about the music department yet again and Kyuhyun was done with this bull) so he decided to just lie and go early.
Sungmin’s shocked when he opens the door, but it quickly melts away to happiness. “Welcome! Come in!” Kyuhyun walks in, slipping off his shoes at the doorway and following Sungmin. His hair is wet and the hair in the back sticks to his nape. He smells like lavender and the only way Kyuhyun knows this is because of the tightness of Sungmin’s kitchen. Sungmin’s home isn’t as big as Kyuhyun’s, nor is it bigger than Jongwoon’s. It’s almost claustrophobic, actually.
“Sungjin’s with some of his friends, so he won’t be home until late,” he explains, opening up a cupboard and stepping up on his tippy-toes so that he can fetch some glasses. “I only have the 2L pop bottles, sorry.” He blushes, opening the 2L Coca-Cola and pouring equal amounts in each glass. In the last one, he leans to lick some of the bubbles that appear at the top, licking his lips and humming.
Kyuhyun accepts the cup graciously, sipping on it. It’s too early to gulp, he thinks. The others haven’t arrived, and Jongwoon probably won’t appear at the door until five minutes to, especially with his work load. That means there’s ten minutes. Ten minutes of Lee Sungmin.
“I’m sorry for asking this, but what’s your age? I didn’t know so I automatically assumed that you were the same year as Ryeowook, but you look a little bit older.” Kyuhyun tries to mask his nervousness by taking another sip of the coke. Sungmin laughs and Kyuhyun wonders how someone can laugh so much.
“I’m a junior. Thanks—everyone wants to be told that they look old.” At least he has some sense of humour, Kyuhyun thinks, remembering Jongwoon’s flabbergasted expression when he asked him his age for the first time.
Sungmin leans against the counter, his arm poised to take another drink. “Why don’t you use formal language, Kyuhyun-ah?” Kyuhyun looks up from his cup, confused. Sungmin cocks his head to the side, his bangs falling into his eyes. This is one of the first times that Kyuhyun has seen the older boy without eyeliner, and honestly, Kyuhyun does not know which version he prefers.
Kyuhyun shrugs, “I have an older sister, and I didn’t call her noona or anything when I was younger. I did the same with the older kids at my elementary school. It’s a habit, I guess. Ryeowook and Jongwoon have gotten used to it by now.” Sungmin nods, accepting the answer.
“Your turn,” he says, and Kyuhyun formulates a question.
“Why do you wear so much eyeliner?”
Sungmin smiles, “It’s because men like you have a higher tendency to stare at me if I’m wearing eyeliner.” He winks, and before Kyuhyun can reply—“I honestly wasn’t staring at you!”—but the doorbell rings and Kyuhyun realizes that Jongwoon actually came ten minutes before, not five, like he had predicted.
The movie isn’t that scary and even Ryeowook recognizes this fact when the movie is over. Sungmin shrugs, turns on the television, and they watch a k-drama that’s half-way through its season, pretending like they actually know what’s going on in the story. Kyuhyun and Sungmin chat lazily about the character’s decisions whilst waiting for Kyuhyun’s dad to pick him up, they both love dramas.
“We should watch one sometime,” Sungmin says, “I enjoy these. And I don’t think Ryeowook or Jongwoon-hyung do that much.”
Kyuhyun shakes his head. Jongwoon was much more interested in foreign films. He knew because he followed Jongwoon’s twitter and every tweet was a movie that he wished to watch. Ryeowook was a bit of a fan, but he wasn’t sitting on the edge of his seat like Sungmin appeared to be.
“That would be cool, seeing as these movie nights are over, now that Halloween is on Wednesday,” Kyuhyun said, and Sungmin’s smile seemed to shine brighter than the full moon that evening.
October came to a slow close, and things became drastically cold when Halloween rolled around. Since Ahra had decided to go partying with some friends, Kyuhyun had been given chocolate duty (just in case). In the end, Shim Changmin, appeared at his doorstep, and they ate all the candy themselves.
And Ryeowook still got scared when Kyuhyun dressed up as a test subject for Aperture Science Enrichment Center. Kyuhyun still doesn’t know why it was scary.
November – My World is on Fire, How About Yours?
They meet up to watch a drama. Kyuhyun isn’t one-hundred-percent sure how it happens, but it’s one night when Kyuhyun is bored and Sungmin is bored and they’re chatting up on twitter lazily. Jongwoon is finishing an assignment for one of his classes and Ryeowook is out of town so they have no one else to talk to. Sungmin is like Kyuhyun. Sure, Sungmin involves himself in a lot of clubs compared to Kyuhyun, but he finishes his work quickly, and once he’s finished with helping with the chores and getting care of his younger brother, there’s nothing for him to do. This is when he pulls out his phone. Kyuhyun replies and their chat grows steadily.
Sungmin : I’m bored
Kyuhyun : Homework?
Sungmin : Finished it all. You?
Kyuhyun : Same
Sungmin : Wanna come over?
Kyuhyun : Is this some type of booty-call?
Sungmin : keke. Nah just bored. And you’re bored too, yes?
Sungmin : We can watch dramas?
Kyuhyun : Get the TV ready. I’m headed over.
Kyuhyun jogs over in the brisk, late autumn air. This year it’s much colder than last year, and if he remembers well enough, he’s sure that it was just last week that the clocks rolled back. The nights are dark because of it, and Kyuhyun sticks to the lit up pathways to not get caught up in the dark. He hears dogs bark in the background; his hands pale and sickly from the cold as he walks up the steps to Sungmin’s door.
His house seems roomier now than before, and he finds himself at home. After the weekly horror films ended at Jongwoon’s house, Kyuhyun had found himself spending more time with Sungmin. It didn’t happen on purpose, of course, but it seemed like it was just the two of them that ever had any time, now that Jongwoon was trying to keep his grades up and Ryeowook was always preoccupied. The junior didn’t seem to have any of these problems, and so they would call or text the other, setting up plans to ruin each other’s boredom.
“Are we on the seventh episode, by now?” Sungmin asks when Kyuhyun enters the living room. If Sungjin is home, he’s extremely quiet, and Kyuhyun is surprised to see them using the family room’s television instead of how they typically did it, by retreating to Sungmin’s room. He had a decent-sized screen and they could both sit on the bed peacefully whilst watching the drama with a bowl of popcorn on their laps. This time it’s chips and soda.
Kyuhyun nods, settling down on the sofa beside Sungmin. The drama is stupid and Kyuhyun wants to kill off the lead male’s fiancée (seriously, she’s a bitch) already, but none of them have had the willpower to change onto a new one, plus Ahra has most of their family’s dramas, and would never allow Kyuhyun to even look at most of them, so they’ll deal with the few that Sungmin owns.
“She seriously needs to die,” Kyuhyun mumbles when the fiancée winks, her lips dangerously close to the other’s lips. Sungmin laughs.
“That isn’t very nice.”
Kyuhyun rolls his eyes, gesturing at the screen. “She’s already tried to kill the main character! And now she’s threatening his job if he doesn’t stop hanging around her! Like gosh, if you didn’t like her so much, you didn’t have to go so far. Hyejung should get Woosung and they should just disappear forever and leave that bitch Hana behind.”
Sungmin laughs behind his palm, his eyes bright and his giggles short. Kyuhyun doesn’t particularly like Sungmin’s laugh—but anything is better than the things his old babysitter, Jungsoo used to spill out—but the way that he covers his mouth is cute, or how his eyes turn up like half-moons in the dark sky.
“I didn’t think you get so attached,” Sungmin jokes, and Kyuhyun rolls his eyes, crossing his arms across his chest. His lips turn into a thin scowl, trying his best to concentrate on the story at hand, but it’s currently just Hyejung’s little brother and his girlfriend: characters that Kyuhyun has deemed useless to the plot.
“It’s okay Kyuhyun-ah~” Sungmin coos, grabbing onto Kyuhyun’s arm and shaking it back and forth. Kyuhyun tries to keep the frown on his face, but Sungmin starts singing some old trot song about being happy, and Kyuhyun laughs because of the change of pitch. Sungmin claps when Kyuhyun laughs, raising the volume of the singing until Kyuhyun starts following along, moving with Sungmin.
Sungmin giggles when the song is over, and the OST of the drama is playing, signaling the end of the episode. “Yikes, we missed part of the episode.” He turns to Kyuhyun, but Kyuhyun shrugs. Sungmin laughs and Sungmin grabs the remote, ready to replay the final seconds of the episode.
The doorbell rings before Sungmin presses the button. He gets up and checks the door. Ahra is standing on the other side, her hands in her jean pockets, waving shyly at Sungmin. Kyuhyun gets the message and gets his stuff, nodding goodbye to Sungmin before exiting the house and hopping into Ahra’s car.
She looks tired and Kyuhyun remembers that she went to her boyfriend’s house that night. By her expression, Kyuhyun knows that it’s best not to ask.
They’re driving up their street when the silence finally breaks. “You look happier these days, you know?”
Kyuhyun blinks. “How so?”
Ahra laughs awkwardly and brushes a lock of hair behind her ear. “You looked like a loner before, I guess? I thought that you were going to be screwed when you entered high school. But those three guys, Ryeowook, Jongwoon and Sungmin? They’ve opened you up. Kyuhyun-ah, you’re doing just fine.” She gives him a thumbs-up and things seem okay, for now.
They pull up and Ahra sets his hand down on his knee. “And we’re here for you.” Kyuhyun wonders what cheesy film he’s entered (it is almost Christmas, he thinks) but smiles anyways, nodding.
November is a quick month. It’s a nail-biting month with Christmas right around the corner, and that winter exams are also bound to arrive anytime now, too. Kyuhyun keeps up his grades, and soon finds himself having less and less time to spend watching dramas with Sungmin because of it. He always texts ‘sorry’ when he can’t make it that night or when he really needs to study. Sungmin seems to understand—he is a junior, after all.
And so, woefully, November closes without that much interaction from any of them. Kyuhyun plans a day where they will meet up and have a day to catch up, and they will just enjoy the day. Everyone seems to enjoy this idea; even Jongwoon, who mumbled something about universities and forms and not having time anymore. Kyuhyun just hoped that Jongwoon would enjoy it either way.
December – Under the Mistletoe
“Oh my god, I love this park!” Ryeowook cheers when they arrive at the park. It’s one of the bigger ones in Seoul and Kyuhyun remembers the times that his parents would bring him here. It looks beautiful now, trees adorned with snow, its branches icy and cold to the touch. Even if it’s this cold, Ryeowook practically radiates sunlight, and Kyuhyun realizes that this was what he missed.
“Just don’t slip and fall,” Jongwoon advises, grabbing onto Ryeowook’s hand as he’s about to step onto an icy patch in the road. Ryeowook blushes and slaps Jongwoon’s arm. The eldest turns to Kyuhyun and Sungmin. “I’ll go rent a little car for us. You guys can go get some coffee.” He heads off to the office, and Ryeowook skips along after him.
Kyuhyun and Sungmin decide to go get coffee, finding a small vending machine near the office and ordering four different kinds of brew. Sungmin takes the lightest one and keeps it for Ryeowook, who doesn’t enjoy coffee, and Kyuhyun keeps the darkest brew for Jongwoon, who lives off of the drink. Sungmin goes for the second heaviest, Kyuhyun the second weakest.
“It isn’t too warm?” Kyuhyun asks, for he knows that the machines have a habit of burning one’s tongue. Sungmin shakes his head and smiles, leaning against the brick wall. Kyuhyun follows him, sipping on his coffee slowly.
“They’ve certainly come along, haven’t they?” Sungmin asked. Kyuhyun raises an eyebrow.
Sungmin rolls his eyes, “Jongwoon and Ryeowook, of course! Haven’t you seen how clingy Ryeowook is right now?” Kyuhyun has noticed, but had been with them for so long (ok, it was just three months, but for some strange reason, it felt longer) he was used to Ryeowook’s zealous attitude. Wasn’t this how Ryeowook was like on a daily basis?
“Are you saying that they’re…” Kyuhyun was afraid to say the word out in public. Of course there was a chance. Ryeowook was very feminine, when Kyuhyun thought about him—and he could cook. Kyuhyun remembered the lunches that Ryeowook would pack a lunch for Jongwoon if he didn’t have anything to do. And Ryeowook’s texts to Jongwoon, the ones that Kyuhyun had managed to glance at over Jongwoon’s shoulder, were filled with hearts and emoticons. Maybe?
Sungmin nodded slowly. He stopped, looking at Kyuhyun with wide eyes. “You aren’t homophobic, are you? If you are, I’m sorry—but I don’t want all my years of work to go to waste because of a crude remark.”
Kyuhyun rapidly raised his hands up in defense. “No! It’s their business, not mine. If they are like that, then that’s fine. It’s perfectly ok with me.” Sungmin seems to like this answer, for he leans back and relaxes. He waves when Jongwoon and Ryeowook reappear, jangling the car keys.
“Well, where have you planned for us to go, Kyuhyun-ah?”
They arrive at a snow-covered hill and Kyuhyun reaches into his bag, finding a blanket and laying it down on the cold earth. Jongwoon and Ryeowook sip their coffees, idly chatting about course load and the times. Kyuhyun and Sungmin sit off to the side, as Sungmin has already told him not to ruin his years’ worth of work.
“So, how did you get into this type of work?” Kyuhyun jokes. Sungmin brushes a hair behind his ear. He hasn’t had a haircut recently and the wisps of his long hair curl around his ear.
Sungmin chuckles, “I guess personal experiences wanted me to? They look cute together, don’t they?”
Kyuhyun hums. He guessed that they looked cute. He could never really tell, though, seeing as he wasn’t really in that kind of department. “So, now that this match-making case is almost closed, are you going to work on your love life, now?”
Sungmin smiled, looking down at his lap. “I don’t believe they like me that way, Kyuhyun-ah.”
“And why not? You could just go up and ask like how people do it in the movies. You are a matchmaker, so it should be easy, right? Or do you want me to help?” Kyuhyun asks.
Sungmin’s smile grows and looks up from his lap to smile at Kyuhyun. “No Kyuhyun-ah, I think I’ll be fine by myself.”
“I’m hungry,” Ryeowook complains, interrupting their conversation. Kyuhyun rolls his eyes and starts unpacking the lunch he had made for the rest of the group.
The day is slow and peaceful and everyone agrees that it was undoubtedly what they needed. The food is a little bit cold, but they grab some cupcakes on the way back home. Ryeowook drops Sungmin off and Kyuhyun and Jongwoon walk home, because their homes aren’t that far away from each other.
“You’re gone next year?” Kyuhyun asks. It’s not like he hasn’t considered this; he just remembers it now. The corners of Jongwoon’s lips turn up.
“Yeah, but you’ll do fine. You have a good group of friends.” He nods, digging his hands into his pockets. They end up watching some Star Trek episodes and Kyuhyun decides late in the night that it’s easier just to sleepover at his place.
Sungmin: Get your ass over here
Kyuhyun: I have homework!
Sungmin: Does it seem like I care? Get your ass over here!
Kyuhyun sighs and saves his work, shrugging on a coat and walking to Sungmin’s place. It’s a week until Christmas break, and Jongwoon is stuck in cram schools, whilst Ryeowook is working on plays and fundraisers. Sungmin keeps clear of these things because of homework, and so there is time where they can’t meet up because one person has work.
“Hello!” Sungmin chirps when Kyuhyun knocks on the door. The first thing that strikes Kyuhyun is that he has blonde hair, something that he wouldn’t have expected Sungmin to do—but it looks so wonderful on him. He’s trying to find some bromantic words he could possibly say when Sungmin wraps his arms around Kyuhyun’s neck, standing on his tippy-toes.
“W-W-What are you doing?” Kyuhyun stammers, unable to step back.
Sungmin smirks, “You told me to go straight up and tell the person, yes?” He leans in and presses their lips together, and suddenly everything makes sense. Everything melts away and it’s nice. “And if you say that you’re not gay you can seriously just jump off a cliff.”
Kyuhyun doesn’t jump off a cliff, though.
He’s got a good amount of friends.
Christmas break is filled with cookies and fat and Kyuhyun is sure that he’s gained weight throughout it all. But there’s little-to-no homework involved and Kyuhyun spends most of his time with Jongwoon, Ryeowook and Sungmin.
They settle on the ratted, old and beige couch in Jongwoon’s basement. Ryeowook has his head on Jongwoon’s shoulder and Sungmin’s legs are draped over Kyuhyun’s. They press play and a movie starts.
Kyuhyun smiles and relaxes. He’s fine.
a/n: yeah. no.
a/n1: thank you to all the people that encouraged me on and the people that commented (no one, lol). I hope the original prompter who shall stay unnamed enjoyed this!