A few weeks had passed since Hankyung had received the news from his wife and, staying true to his word, he hadn't returned home since and had begun a temporary living arrangement with Heechul. Granted, he had returned home a few times in the days he had been absent however that was only to retrieve important items such as clothing and work-related objects... and he had made sure to do it when Na Young wasn't home.
Yet even now as he sat there on the darkened hardwood floors of Heechul's apartment staring up at the creamy white ceiling while some nameless television show rang in his ears, he felt like a complete coward. After all, what type of man runs away when his wife tells him she's pregnant? Any normal husband would have been excited beyond belief... if things weren't as they were now, he could imagine his reaction clearly as though the memory were fresh in his mind.
Hankyung could imagine himself wrapping her arms around Na Young's shoulders so tight he feared it would crush her fragile body - maybe he'd even pick her up and swing her around. They would celebrate by going out to dinner... somewhere secluded and romantic, followed by a romantic night in bed where...
But he had run. As soon as the words left her lips his mind has shut down and he had ran like the coward he was. That was why he was staying at Heechul's place now, wasn't it? Because he was afraid to face the truth. Because he didn't want to face the harsh realities of the world when everything was going right for him in the cozy little lie he had built around himself and that was the reason why he was hiding away in the safety of Heechul's house because some part of him believed that the outside world couldn't touch him there and yes, it all made sense! It all boiled down to the fact that he was a fucking coward
Now this wasn't the first time Hankyung had come to this conclusion. In fact, it seemed as though he had been reflecting on the thought a lot more than usual recently... the guilt that had been absent before, the anguish that he hadn't been feeling in the previous years of his life seemed to be coming back to him now
out of all times and he wasn't sure why... maybe he was just getting wiser. Growing up. Realizing that what he was doing behind his wife's back was wrong on so many levels...
"Tsk, my head hurts..." Hankyung groaned, rubbing the palms of his hands against his eyes in an attempt to lessen the pounding in his temples.
Along with the guilt, he had also found that he was receiving headaches more often than usual... no doubt a side effect of all the self-reflecting he had been doing in his spare time. But it couldn't keep going on, it was affecting his work as well as his physical and mental health. Deadlines were getting increasingly harder to meet, he was constantly tired and he was just... drained from spending sleepless nights on trying to meet those deadlines.
However - and Hankyung wouldn't lie to himself about this matter - there had been times when he had considered contacting Na Young... why? Well, he wasn't certain himself... and he could never get past the dial-tone to figure it out. He had clearly tallied his attempts in his head - so far there had been six that very week alone. Why just earlier that evening he had been standing outside on the balcony, cellphone in hand, thumb hesitating over the call button... but he couldn't do it and had pressed the end call button instead. It where as though some part of him were preventing him from doing the right thing and talking things over with his wife... and he had no problem what-so-ever listening to that part of him, for he more than willingly put that cellphone down.
The familiar echo of the door opening cut into Hankyung's thoughts like a knife and brought him back to reality just in time to see Heechul casually stroll out of the bedroom, towel draped over his head and dressed in his pajamas which consisted of a pair of pink bottoms and a white t-shirt, the total norm for a man like him.
"Ahhh, what are you still sitting there for? You were doing the same thing before
I went in the shower." Heechul murmured in a scolding tone.
Hankyung simply snickered and draped his left arm over the sofa pillow behind him.
That reminded Hankyung of yet another thing to feel guilt for - although he was puzzled as to why. Recently, it seemed as though it had become increasingly common for him
to ask Heechul for sex, instead of the opposite way around. Of course, it wasn't like the older man really minded... in fact, he seemed to find amusement in it. Perhaps the guilt came from the fact that he always went to Heechul when he wanted to forget, like he was using his lover as a sort of drug to numb his senses. It seemed as though the more he came to terms with himself, the more sickened he became.
"Hannie, I'm bored." Heechul said with a mock-pout curving his lips.
Making his way over to the sofa, the older man took a seat beside Hankyung. It was faint, but he could still smell the strawberry-scented shampoo in Heechul's hair... his lover seemed to be a fan of fruity shower gels - the colorful bottle practically owned
the bathroom! Hankyung never favored them, opting to use his own shampoo and conditioner that smelled of... well, clean. Yet this was just another of the many things he loved about Heechul, simply one of his many unique quirks.
"You're always bored at night." Hankyung replied matter-of-factly.
By now Heechul had draped the towel around Hankyung's neck, gripping it tightly on either end.
"Well fix it." The older man replied, slowly tugging his lover closer to him until their lips were merely a breath apart.
That, of course, was when the phone decided to ring rather loudly, disturbing the mood and absolutely pissing Heechul off. Hankyung coudn't help but chuckle as Heechul rose to his feet and stormed over to the telephone, practically ripping the electronic device off of the receiver.
"Hello?!" Heechul said into the receiving end of the phone, a bit more venom in his voice than he had originally planned.[ Heechul! My god, it's about time you answered the phone, do you know how many times I've tried to reach you?! ]
"...Hye Ri?" Heechul murmured questioningly, raising an eyebrow in the air quizzically, "Why are you calling me at home? I have a cellphone you know..."[ I DID try your cellphone, there was no answer! ]
"Oh. Probably because it was dead." Heechul stated matter-of-factly, completely oblivious to the anger in Hye Ri's tone, "Anyway, what do you want?"[ Well isn't that a kind way to ask... listen, you're wanted for a part in a movie. I have the script right here beside me and it doesn't look bad. The director seems really set on having you play the part - if you're interested, that is. ]
"Me, an actor?" Heechul asked in astonishment.
Out of all the things for Hye Ri to call him about, he certainly wasn't expecting that... well, it did sound interesting to say the least.
"Fine, I'll check it out tomorrow. That's all then right?"[ ... ]
The other end of the phone went silent and for a moment Heechul wasn't sure if Hye Ri had hung up the phone, fed up with his attitude. He was about to end the call himself when her voice once again spilled through the speakers.[ Actually, Heechul... can you come over... right now? ]
The voice speaking to him over the phone seemed almost foreign to Heechul... it was void of any authority that Hye Ri's tone usually held. Instead, she was quiet and sounded... extremely vulnerable.
"Well I'm kind of busy right now..." Heechul murmured in reply, glancing over his shoulder at Hankyung, "Does it have
to be today?"[ Yes. Right now. ]
Heechul was so shocked by the change in the Hye Ri he usually knew that the only answer he could muster up was an okay what she had asked of him - despite his obvious reluctance. Heechul hung up the phone and retrieved his jacket from the chair which he had carelessly discarded it on the day before. So what if he were in his pajamas, this was just Hye Ri he was visiting.
"I'll be back, I need to go out." Heechul called over his shoulder before exiting the apartment and abandoning a very confused Hankyung while he went to investigate what was going on with his manager.
[ Seoul ( Mapo District ), Hole in the Wall - 11:00pm ]
As soon as So Yoon placed the sole of her heel in the bar she immediately regretted her actions. Despite the time of night the place still seemed rather lively. Couples and groups of people were seated at tables, beer glasses in hand chatting and gossiping about the latest and greatest thing in South Korea, or simply speaking for the hell of it because they were too drunk to figure out what was going on anyway. Overhead some nameless song wafted through the bar, struggling to be heard over the flood of voices filling the tiny establishment.. So Yoon wasn't feeling regret over coming here - she knew the owner quite well. No, she was feeling regret over the fact that she knew
that whatever she heard from Jungsu's lips that evening would not benefit her in any way possible and only prove to damage her more. If she was smart, she'd turn around and leave right then... but the power of curiosity drew her closer until she unknowingly stood at the front of the bar.
However, it was Youngwoon who noticed her first.
"Ah, So Yoon! It's nice to see you again!" He said, making his way over to where she was positioned from behind the counter.
"Yes, you too... " So Yoon said with a faint smile, "Siwon had told me you had gone out of town, I hope your trip went well."
"Ahh, it was nice to get away. Between you and me, Jungsu really get's on the nerves after awhile if you know what I mean-"
Youngwoon, surprised by the sudden vocal addition, jumped a good foot in the air before wheeling around to face a rather ticked looking Jungsu who stood with his arms folded over his chest and an eyebrow raised at the younger man.
So Yoon, who had been observing up to this point couldn't help but chuckle at the two men's interactions. However, the moment didn't last long and it seemed as though Jungsu noticed this immediately.
"Youngwoon, can you take care of table five over there?" Jungsu asked, nodding his head in the appropriate direction.
Youngwoon let out a sigh but did as he was told and made his way over to his appointed place. Only after he was out of earshot did Jungsu return his attention to So Yoon.
"It's a surprise to see you here without a certain someone
with you... I take it you didn't drop by just to say hello." Jungsu murmured with a knowing smile.
So Yoon was momentarily taken by surprise at the fact that she had been found out so easily... but simply replied with a small nod of her head.
"I... need to talk to you... about Siwon." So Yoon said quietly, "There's something I need to know... if you don't mind. I've tried to ask myself, but he just changes the subject he... !"
Before she could continue Jungsu shushed her with a simply nod of his head.
"Come, let's go upstairs to talk. It's much less... crowded there." He said, gesturing towards the staircase located behind the bar which no doubt led to where he and Youngwoon lived.
So Yoon followed him upstairs until she found herself in the middle of a rather spacious living room.
"Please take a seat." Jungsu said, taking his own seat opposite of her on the other couch.
Looking down at her hands, she was shocked to find that she was shaking... shaking bad. Scrunching her fingers into fists, So Yoon returned her attention to Jungsu with as determined a look as she could muster.
"So what is it you want to know?" He asked with a curious tip of his head.
"I... I want to know..."
So Yoon stumbled over her words, still conflicted over the fact that she didn't want to face the truth that she already knew. Because as soon as Jungsu spoke it would confirm it and then what was she to do... ?
"Who is it Siwon loves?"
After a moment of hesitation, the words finally left So Yoon's lips and they hung heavily in the air... it felt like they were poisoning the room, contaminating the air and making it hard to breath... yet Jungsu looked un-phased by this un-comforting feeling. He simply sighed before staring her down with a rather sullen gaze.
"So Yoon, I won't beat about the question and avoid the answer you and I both know is coming, but I will tell you that the day I met you I noticed the similarities between you two. You could have been his female counterpart - dress him up as a female and surely nobody would have been able to tell the difference between you two." Jungsu murmured, tangling his fingers together upon his lap.
"... Yeah." So Yoon replied simply, gaze falling. "It's Heechul, isn't it? But... for whatever reason it is he can't have Heechul, he decided to go after me because I was the next best thing."
She covered her face with her hands, "I feel like a fool..."
"I'm sorry So Yoon..." Jungsu said quietly.
"No," She said, raising her head, "It's not your fault. I'm not mad at anyone..."
Raising to her feet, So Yoon smoothed down her pants in an attempt to do something
with her hands that didn't look as completely stupid as she felt, and even as tears stung her eyes and threatened to flow down her cheeks she still managed to smile at Jungsu and bow her head to him before exiting the bar, only after leaving the premises allowing herself to break out into tears.