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A Million Tears Into the Sea (Donghae/Kyuhyun, PG13) for silkekim
Title: A Million Tears Into the Sea
Author: sparksfly7
Recipient: silkekim
Characters/Pairings: Kyuhyun/Donghae, friendship!Kyuhyun/Ryeowook
Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): ANGST, Romance, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort
Warnings: Major character death, Depression
Author's Note: This is really depressing; I’m sorry if I’ve made it too sad, but the prompt couldn’t really be interpreted any other way. I hope you like it!

Kyuhyun takes his usual route to the graveyard, leaves crunching under his shoes as he walks, the icy wind whipping his scarf against his jaw.

He runs the edge of a finger against the forget-me-nots nestled securely in the crook of his elbow. Their vibrant hue looks out of place against Kyuhyun’s black leather jacket and grey scarf.

“I wonder,” Kyuhyun says to himself. “If you would like these, or if you would just laugh at how corny I’m being.”

It takes him no time at all to find the familiar gravestone, Kyuhyun’s last bunch of forget-me-nots wilting on the overly long grass beside it. “They really need to learn to take better care of this place,” Kyuhyun says, picking up the wilting flowers and replacing them with the fresh ones. “I should give them a piece of my mind.”

He can almost hear his lover’s voice, chiding him for being disrespectful, and telling him that graveyard maintainers had a lot of work to do, and couldn’t take care of everything.

“My therapist tells me it’s healthy to talk about you,” Kyuhyun says, “but I don’t think he’d say that it’s healthy to talk to you. Is it a sign that I’m going crazy that I still talk to you so much?”

Of course, there’s no reply. It’s not like Kyuhyun had expected one (he probably would’ve been seriously freaked out if he did hear one), but it still sends a pang of loneliness through him.

“I miss you so much,” Kyuhyun whispers. “God, every day I miss you so much I don’t know if I can take it anymore.” He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.

Here lies a beloved son, brother and friend. Our love for him will always remain as deep as the ocean and his smiles in our memories as bright as the sun.

“Honestly, who thought of this inscription?” Kyuhyun snorts. “I don’t know whether you’d love it or think it’s the lamest thing ever.” He sighs, grazes the white marble with his fingertips, as if he can touch Donghae again, but he feels nothing except hard, frigid ice, nothing like the lingering softness of Donghae’s caresses or the infectious warmth of his smiles.

“I miss you,” Kyuhyun repeats. “I’ll never forget you, and I’ll always love you.”

He lies down the cluster of forget-me-nots by Donghae’s headstone, and walks away with a lighter load and a heavier chest.

Donghae, what the hell are you doing? Kyuhyun splutters as Donghae grabs his arm and shoves him into a janitor’s closet, looking around before getting in himself and shutting the door.

Donghae just flashes him an impish grin. “Fulfilling one of my fantasies,” he says, flicking some dust off his shoulder.

“You fantasize about getting expelled?”

“We’re not going to get expelled,” Donghae says, rolling his eyes at Kyuhyun. “The caretakers only come in here when they need supplies, and I know they got a fresh load yesterday, so nobody’s going to come in here.” Kyuhyun purses his lip, not quite nullified. Donghae runs his hands over Kyuhyun’s shoulders, a mischievous sparkle in his eyes. “Come on, loosen up. Where’s the fun little Kyu I knew from middle school?”

“I was never little,” Kyuhyun snorts. “You’d better hurry up, I have math next and I don’t want to miss it.”

“You’re so boring these days, Mr. Einstein,” Donghae says, and then he pulls Kyuhyun closer by his collar to kiss him.

“Just because I don’t want to kiss in a janitor’s closet doesn’t mean I’m boring,” Kyuhyun refutes, kissing Donghae back, heated and eager, biting down on his lower lip.

“Kyu?” Donghae waits for Kyuhyun to murmur a breathy “hmm?” back, and then says, “Shut up.”

He presses Kyuhyun back against a shelf, the racks digging uncomfortably into Kyuhyun’s back, a bottle of bleach threatening to tip over the edge, but Kyuhyun is beyond caring, lost in the taste of Donghae’s mouth, the feel of his body against Kyuhyun’s, warm and solid and familiar.

“My mouth is good for kissing
and talking,” Kyuhyun drawls. “I’m very talented like that.”

“Your mouth is good for something else too,” Donghae says, a very different glint in his eyes this time, his gaze dark, hooded.

Kyuhyun smirks at Donghae, never one to back away from a challenge, and gets to his knees.

“Kyuhyun, I’m worried about you,” Jungsu says. “You’re still so…”

“Disgustingly mopey,” Heechul supplies. “Walking around like you got rained on by—”

Sad,” Jungsu says, elbowing Heechul not so discreetly. Heechul winces, shooting Jungsu a baleful glare, but Jungsu ignores him. “We’re worried about you.”

“I’m fine,” Kyuhyun says monotonously, two words that he’s been so used to saying that they come out easily now, naturally, almost believably.

“You’re not fine,” Heechul says. “You’re depressed. You need help, and I mean you really need help, not just how Sungmin’s addiction to pink needs help.”

“Heechul, can you shut up for two seconds?” Sungmin sighs. “And this isn’t about how much I like pink – like, not addicted to. This is about Kyuhyun.” He looks at Kyuhyun, eyes full of concern. “We lost him too, you know,” he says quietly.

“It’s not the same and you know it,” Kyuhyun says, pushing back his untouched lunch tray. “I have to go. I have a Calculus test next period.”

“No, you don’t,” Sungmin says. “You don’t even have Calculus next period. You have history with me.”

“Kyuhyun,” Jungsu says, his voice anxious, expression stricken, and Kyuhyun feels an abrupt throb of guilt at making them all so worried about him. Even Heechul, in his snarky, sarcastic way, is expressing concern for him.

“I’m not fine,” Kyuhyun relents. “But I’m trying. I really am. I can’t help it that I miss him.”

“We miss him too,” Jungsu says. “And we’re not telling you not to miss him. It’s just – you can’t keep doing this to yourself, Kyuhyun. You don’t sleep, you don’t eat, you just sit by the graveyard with those flowers and mourn over him.”

“How do you—” Kyuhyun cuts himself off, giving Jungsu a sharp look. “You’ve been following me?”

“I’m worried about you,” Jungsu repeats, looking a little embarrassed.

“That doesn’t give you the right to stalk me,” Kyuhyun says. “If you were really my friends, you would try to understand, instead of doing – whatever this is that you’re doing.”

He slings his bag over his shoulder, and, without looking at his so-called friends, walks out of the cafeteria.

“What do you want for your birthday?” Donghae whispers, nudging Kyuhyun gently in the side. They’re lying on the grass in the backyard of Kyuhyun’s summer cottage, looking up at the night sky speckled with stars, only the sound of the crickets chirping accompanying their quiet breathing.

“The newest StarCraft game,” Kyuhyun replies without thinking.

“It’s always StarCraft this, StarCraft that with you,” Donghae snorts.

“I like it,” Kyuhyun says with a shrug. It’s not like Donghae doesn’t know how obsessed Kyuhyun is with StarCraft; everyone knows.

“That’s it, that’s what you want for your birthday?” Donghae looks strangely disappointed.

“Well,” Kyuhyun says. “I do want this other thing too.”

“What is it?” Donghae looks at him expectantly, face backlit silver in the moonlight, eyes inky pools of some complex emotion, darker than midnight but bright too.

“You,” Kyuhyun says simply.

Donghae bites his lip, looking away from Kyuhyun for a moment, before he meets Kyuhyun’s steady gaze head-on. “Really?” he breathes, hopeful and a little tentative, nothing like his usual sunny, playful self. Kyuhyun loves this shy, uncertain side of him just as much.

“Yes, really,” Kyuhyun says, taking Donghae’s hand in his own, running this thumb over Donghae’s knuckles. They’ve kissed and even made out a few times, and it’s not like they don’t know that they have something special, but they’ve never put it into words.

Emboldened by the sweet countryside air and beautiful moonlit night, Kyuhyun comes to a decision. He doesn’t want to live a life of uncertainties and regrets. He knows what he wants, and he doesn’t intend to let it slip out of his grasp.

“You’re the most important person in the world to me,” Kyuhyun says to Donghae. “That day when you kissed me in the middle of math review was one of the best days of my life.”

“I kind of did it because all those letters and numbers were making me dizzy,” Donghae says sheepishly.

“Stop ruining the moment, idiot,” Kyuhyun says, shoving Donghae’s shoulder.

“Hey, calling your boyfriend an idiot is pretty much the surefire way to ruin a moment,” Donghae says indignantly.

Kyuhyun feels like the breath’s been knocked out of him. “What did you call me?” he asks hoarsely.

Donghae swallows. “My boyfriend,” he says, his voice clear, not a single waver in it. “Isn’t that what you are?”

Kyuhyun smiles, leaning in to kiss Donghae, short and sweet. “Yes,” he breathes against Donghae’s lips. “I like the sound of that.”

“Math makes my head spin,” Donghae says. “But kissing you didn’t help, because every time I kiss you, I don’t know left from right. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to forget my own name.”

It’s not the confession of Kyuhyun’s dreams, but it’s something pretty great, and Kyuhyun will take it with open arms. “Just don’t forget my name,” Kyuhyun says, and then he kisses Donghae again, lips harder this time, tongue seeking with purpose.

“You say that like it’s possible,” Donghae says, with a grin that is somehow teasingly impish and impossibly sweet at the same time, and Kyuhyun feels like his birthday is going to be the best one ever by a long shot.

“My name is Cho Kyuhyun. I lost my boyfriend to a drunk driver,” Kyuhyun says in a calm, steady voice, keeping his chin up and eyes straight ahead. “I haven’t drunk a single drop since, and I make sure to keep my friends away from alcohol when they’re going to drive later.”

“Thank you for sharing that with us, Kyuhyun,” Zhou Mi, the leader of the victims of drunk drivers group, says sympathetically. “I’m so sorry for your loss, and I’m glad to hear that you’re taking measures to help prevent further incidents.”

Kyuhyun doesn’t say anything, just takes his seat again and plays with a loose thread hanging from his sweater. He doesn’t really know why he’s here. His therapist had suggested the group casually a long time ago, and Kyuhyun had ignored her for months, but one day, he had found the notice she gave him buried away in his drawer, and.

He had walked here, feeling detached from his own body, his legs moving mechanically while his mind drifted miles away. Maybe his body knew what to do even when his mind didn’t, Kyuhyun thinks.

The next person to speak is petite, with glossy hair and cheekbones that could cut glass. “My name is Kim Ryeowook,” he says in a melodic, melancholy voice. “I lost my best friend to a drunk driver. I was going to confess to him that night, but. He was taken away from me by a man who drank too much at a club and didn’t want to wait for a cab home.”

Ryeowook’s eyes shimmer, as if he’s going to burst out crying, and his hands clench into tight fists. “I learned that you can’t leave things hanging, you can’t wait for life to give you more chances, because you never know how long you’ll have.”

Kyuhyun’s eyes widen, because Ryeowook’s words could not be more true. He had cherished his time with Donghae, of course, but he didn’t think to truly appreciate it, to keep every moment close in his heart, because he always assumed he would have more time, more moments, more long kisses and playful banter and more.

But there wouldn’t be any mores in Donghae’s life, because of one fateful night and one person who didn’t think before they got into their car and set out on a course that would end in death and pain and grief.

“I’m sorry for your loss, Ryeowook,” Zhou Mi says. “You are absolutely right. We never know how long we’ll have, so we must treasure everything and everyone around us because we don’t know when it’ll be taken away.”

Kyuhyun just nods, his throat closed up, because he can’t remember the last time he heard something so true, and he wishes that he knew this earlier.

It seems like a million years ago when he swore to himself that he didn’t want to live a life of uncertainties and regrets, and now, all he has are those, along with the memories of Donghae, memories that are slipping away by the day and can never compare to the real thing.

He promised to not let Donghae slip out of his grasp, but he never thought that Donghae would be wrenched away from him by a force that no one could have controlled, that his heart would be left shattered into a thousand fragments afterwards, like the chocolates that Donghae had bought for Kyuhyun, the chocolates that he still clutched tightly after the car rammed into him.

Kyuhyun was told that his name was the last thing on Donghae’s lips before he had gone stiff, his fingers loosening around the box he was hanging onto like a drowning person gripping a life preserver.

Kyuhyun had been playing StarCraft when Donghae had died, completely unaware that his life would start falling apart because the biggest piece of it had gone to a place that he could not follow.

After he found out, he threw away all his StarCraft games. It meant nothing that it used to be his favourite pastime (besides being with Donghae), that he had saved up for years to get some of them, that the old Kyuhyun would have had a heart attack at doing so, because StarCraft meant absolutely nothing to him now.

The only thing that matters is Donghae, and Kyuhyun doesn’t have him anymore, can never have him again, never see his dazzling smiles or hear his lame jokes or watch his mesmerizing dances.

And so, Kyuhyun threw away his StarCraft and swore off chocolate and gradually lost pieces of himself to the Donghae-less darkness that he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get back.

He’s beyond caring.

“I’m so sorry, Kyuhyun,” Donghwa says, his voice choked with tears, and the phone drops from Kyuhyun’s numb fingers.

He doesn’t remember exactly what he does afterwards. He remembers hearing a voice crying hysterically, and then the sobs breaking off into choked, senseless gasps, and then the screaming.

The terrible, heart-wracking screaming that went on and on and hurt Kyuhyun’s ears and did nothing for his shattered heart.

It takes him a while to realize that it’s coming from him.

“Kyuhyun,” his mom gasps, running into his room. “Kyuhyun, what’s wrong?”

He just shakes his head, clawing at his throat because he wants to stop the horrible screaming, but it won’t go away. His mom puts her arms around him, and at first he tries to shake her off, because her touch is all wrong. He doesn’t want her arms around him; he wants Donghae’s, he wants Donghae’s soothing voice telling him everything’s okay and Donghae’s gentle eyes sending him the same message. He wants Donghae so badly that every fibre of his being is aching for him, but Donghae doesn’t come.

Donghae doesn’t come, and Kyuhyun realizes he’s never going to come again, and finally he stops screaming.

“Mom,” Kyuhyun whispers, his voice barely audible, barely recognizable. “Donghae’s dead. He was killed in a car accident.”

“Oh, Kyuhyun…” His mom strokes his hair like he was a child again, a kindergartener wailing over a scraped knee, except this time the pain is infinitely worse, and it can’t be healed by a bandage and a kiss to ‘make the boo boo go away’.

She holds him tightly, as if that can somehow put him back together, and Kyuhyun just sobs against her shoulder, knowing that nothing can make this pain go away.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds, because nothing can quite heal the pain of a broken heart.

Kim Ryeowook stops Kyuhyun on his way out of the building. “I’m sorry,” Ryeowook says. “I dropped my pen at the meeting, and you were sitting right across from me, so I was wondering if you saw it.”

“No, I didn’t see anything,” Kyuhyun says. “Sorry.”

Ryeowook just nods. “Thank you,” he says, in his quiet, sad voice.

Kyuhyun just nods curtly at him, and proceeds on his way. “Your eyes,” Ryeowook says. “They’re just like mine.”

Kyuhyun completely stops, turns around and stares at Ryeowook. “Your boyfriend, you must’ve loved him a lot.”

Normally Kyuhyun hates hearing people’s sympathy, because they can’t possibly understand what he’s going through, but. Ryeowook does. “I still do,” Kyuhyun says.

Ryeowook nods, giving a melancholy smile. “I still love my best friend too,” he says. “What they say about ‘it’ll get better with time’, it’s all a load of nonsense, isn’t it?”

“I would rather use the word ‘bullshit’,” Kyuhyun says.

Ryeowook laughs; it’s a light, airy sound, a nice sound. “That works too.”

“Your pen,” Kyuhyun says. “Did he give it to you?”

“Yes,” Ryeowook says. “He gave it to me. And I won’t go home until I find it.”

“Good luck,” Kyuhyun says, feeling something tie him and this stranger together, a thread woven out of grief and bonded together with tears.

“Thank you,” Ryeowook says. “I hope that you find what you’re looking for too.”

“Who said I was looking for anything?”

“We’re all looking for something,” Ryeowook says. “Especially people like you and me. Except what we’re looking for is something that we can never have back again.”

Kyuhyun’s never talked to someone like Ryeowook, all sad eyes and candid words. It’s strangely fascinating. “So why did you say that you hope I find it?”

“You’re looking for something else too,” Ryeowook says. “We all are.”

“What are you looking for, then?” Kyuhyun asks, intrigued.

Ryeowook smiles again, and this one is a little bigger and more enigmatic. “Right now, my pen.”

Kyuhyun can’t help but smile back. “I’ll help you,” he offers, half-surprised by the words coming out of his mouth.

“Okay,” Ryeowook agrees easily. “Thank you.” He starts walking back towards their meeting room, and Kyuhyun follows him, one hand tucked into his pocket, the other hanging by his side, no longer seeking the grasp of phantom fingers.

“His name was Jongwoon,” Ryeowook says softly. “It’s still so strange to me to refer to him in the past tense. I still feel like he’s with me sometimes, you know? I turn around and I expect to see him there, but needless to say, he isn’t. And then it hits me that he’s never going to be again, and I just feel like bursting into tears.”

“I know,” Kyuhyun says, equally as soft. “I know.

“It’s nice,” Ryeowook says. “To find someone who actually does.”

“Yeah,” Kyuhyun says, and then, half involuntarily, “His name was Donghae. He was the best and brightest person I ever knew. I’ll never find anyone like him again.”

“Life is like that,” Ryeowook murmurs. “It’ll never let us be happy for long. It’ll give us something just to take it away later.”

“We should hold on while we can, then,” Kyuhyun says. “Find something worth holding on to.”

“You’re really smart, Cho Kyuhyun,” Ryeowook says suddenly. “You know that?”

“I’ve been told that quite a bit, yes,” Kyuhyun says, and Ryeowook laughs. “You’re not so bad yourself, Kim Ryeowook.”

“Loss makes you smarter,” Ryeowook says softly.

“It makes you smart too late.”

“Yeah,” Ryeowook says. “It does.”

“Ryeowook, I’m so glad to see you!” Zhou Mi says, jogging up to them. Kyuhyun doesn’t understand how he can smile so brightly given that he’s always surrounded by depressed people. “Is this yours?” He holds out a pen, a completely unremarkable ballpoint that looks like it can be bought at any store.

Ryeowook’s eyes light up. “Yes,” he says. “Thank you so much.” Zhou Mi hands him the pen, and he clutches onto it like it’s worth a million dollars.

It’s probably worth more to him, Kyuhyun thinks.

“You’re welcome,” Zhou Mi says with another brilliant smile. “Anytime.” He turns his smile on Kyuhyun, who thinks he should probably return it, but can’t bring himself to make the effort. “Kyuhyun, did you lose something too?” A worried furrow forms between Zhou Mi’s eyebrows.

“Yes, quite a couple of things, actually,” Kyuhyun says, thinks of Donghae and joy and laughter and a heart so full of love it felt like it was going to burst. “Some of them I’ll never get back. But some of them I think I can find again someday.”

“I’m sure you will, Kyuhyun,” Zhou Mi says, as if he understands Kyuhyun perfectly, and pats Kyuhyun’s shoulder.

“Good luck,” Ryeowook adds.

“Thank you,” Kyuhyun says to both of them, closing his eyes, Donghae’s face flashing in the back of his eyelids, as it often does.

“I love you, Kyuhyun,” Donghae says, looking intently into Kyuhyun’s eyes, their faces two inches apart. “No matter what, don’t forget that, okay?”

“Okay…?” Kyuhyun says, slightly confused but feeling the warm glow in his stomach that he always does whenever Donghae says those three little but enormous words.

“You look so cute like that,” Donghae says, poking him in the nose. “Like a confused puppy.”

“It’s just kind of random, you saying that.”

“I should say it more often then,” Donghae says. “It shouldn’t be random. You know I love you.”

“Yeah,” Kyuhyun says, smiling rather dopily at Donghae. “I love you too. You don’t forget that either, okay?”

“I won’t,” Donghae says, with one of those only-for-Kyuhyun smiles that the younger boy loves so much. “I promise.” He takes Kyuhyun’s hand and squeezes it firmly, and Kyuhyun feels like it’s a promise for a lifetime.

“Zhou Mi, have you lost someone you loved?” Kyuhyun asks.

Zhou Mi doesn’t seem surprised by the question at all. “I lost my parents and my little brother to a drunk driver,” he says. “That’s why I spend so much time here, trying to help you. Because I wish that somebody was able to help me back then, when I needed it.”

“How are you so happy all the time?” Kyuhyun asks, open-mouthed.

“When you’ve reached the lowest of the lows, you learn to appreciate the highs,” Zhou Mi says. “I met someone who helped me a lot to heal, let’s just say.”

“That’s good,” Ryeowook says, sounding happy for Zhou Mi but wistful too.

“Maybe one day you two can find people the way I found Han Geng,” Zhou Mi says.

“Maybe,” Ryeowook says, with a rueful twist of his lips that suggests he doubts it.

“Maybe,” Kyuhyun echoes Ryeowook, but with a lot more optimism in his voice.

Donghae taught him to be optimistic, to hope for things even if they don’t seem likely. To see the light, even when there’s only a sphere of darkness around you.

Kyuhyun is trying to conjure up that hope now. He’ll never forget Donghae, and he’ll always love him, but he knows that Donghae would never want him to suffer like this, to mourn and grieve without respite.

He remembers two lines that he had read once somewhere, an old poetry book perhaps, or one out of many blogs that he’s skimmed past:

“A million words would not bring you back, I know because I tried, neither would a million tears, I know because I cried.”

Kyuhyun doesn’t know how many words he’s uttered for Donghae, how many times he cried out for him, or whispered that he missed him, or prayed for him to come back. He doesn’t know how many tears he’s shed either, but he feels like there must’ve been enough to fill an ocean, just like Donghae’s namesake.

Nothing would bring Donghae back now. Kyuhyun still has a life ahead of him, a future lit up with bright promises, and he has to live it to the best of his ability, for him and his friends and family and Donghae.

Right now he’s just existing, surviving, but not living, wandering around barren plains of desolation and regret, sinking away in dark seas of sorrow and loss, and he needs to shake himself free, to take in the fruitful meadows of joy and hope, to break out into the clear skies of happiness and opportunities.

“Kyuhyun?” Ryeowook asks, gently shaking his shoulder. “Are you okay?”

Kyuhyun exhales, breathes out some of his pain, his shoulders feeling abruptly lighter. “Yes,” he tells Ryeowook, and for the first time in what feels like eons, he means it. “I’m okay.”

Maybe he’s not completely right now, but he will be.

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