Genre(s): Romance, Light Angst, Friendship
Warnings: Brief mentions of child abuse, extensive discussion of coffee!
Author's Note: I really really hope you like it! I tried to use as many of the prompts as I could and I think they worked well together!
Kyuhyun is a reasonable person. He doesn’t do drama, that is, he doesn’t try and disturb the natural order of things. He is a go-with-the-flow sort of person. He doesn’t feel strongly about one thing over another and as a result, almost never disagrees with anyone enough to cause a fight. He has prided himself his whole life on being able to say that he gets along with everyone he knows. But everything changes when he is thrust into the world of Super Junior and onto the path of one Kim Yesung.
Growing up, his house always smelled of coffee and kimchi fried rice. His father consumed coffee by the bucketful, and smelled more of over-roasted beans and the saccharine fake-sugar sweetener than his expensive aftershave lotion.
Kyuhyun himself had always hated coffee, and he liked to say that it was because he had tried it once and couldn’t get into it. But the truth was that the stench of the murky-brown bean juice always reminded him of being in close proximity to his father, and that only happened when Kyuhyun was in some sort of trouble. And Kyuhyun being in trouble usually implied him being about to be hit with something. So, it isn’t really surprising that coffee is not at the top of his '100 things to drink before you die' list. Not that he has such a list anyway, but if he did, coffee would not be on it. He just really does not like coffee.
It is because of coffee that Kyuhyun and Yesung do not get along. Actually, to say that they did not get along would imply that some sort of communication, or miscommunication rather, has happened. This is not the case. They haven’t really talked much despite Kyuhyun having borrowed Yesung’s floor in lieu of an actual bed of his own. Yesung seems nice enough, if a little self-absorbed and spacey. He is nicer to Kyuhyun than most of the rest of the members, in that he barely acknowledges Kyuhyun’s existence. And Kyuhyun does the same.
The only issue that Kyuhyun has with Yesung is that he drinks coffee by the bucketful too. Kyuhyun just does not understand how someone could like drinking coffee so much. Every time he sees Yesung walk out of the room like a zombie and desperately down 3 mugs of over-roasted and under sweetened coffee, he flashes back to episodes of his dad coming after him, and sometimes his faint-hearted mother, with a leather belt flailing from his outstretched fist. And those are the better memories of his father from his childhood. It’s infuriating, especially because he had thought that he was over it. But he definitely doesn’t want to create any sort of friction, so he just tries to ignore the serial coffee drinking and lay low.
Time goes by. Super Junior KRY forms, and that’s really when Kyuhyun starts on his long journey of ridding himself of his irrational hatred of coffee. Having to be with Yesung in such close quarters definitely helps. Yesung is nothing like his father; where his father was strong-handed and rough around the edges, Yesung is nothing but gentle and smooth; where his father had no tolerance for anything quirky, Yesung is nothing but that.
They stay up sometimes, long after Ryeowook has nodded off on the sofa, and just sit and talk. Yesung tells Kyuhyun about his own aspirations and fears, his jealousy of Kyuhyun’s voice. Kyuhyun learns that Yesung laughs when he really wishes he could cry instead, that Yesung feels just as lonely as he does sometimes. Yesung makes Kyuhyun feel more at ease than anyone else, and although it should, it comes as no surprise when Yesung, in the middle of one of their late night chats, just leans over and plants a sloppy and unsure kiss on his mouth. It’s over before he can blink, and Yesung keeps talking like nothing untoward has just happened, like he hasn’t just given Kyuhyun his first real kiss. So Kyuhyun runs a shaky tongue over his lips and does the same.
It’s not until he goes to bed later that night that he allows himself to savor the taste he had licked off of his lips earlier; Yesung’s lips tasted, unsurprisingly, of coffee. What is surprising is that instead of alarming him, the taste leaves him feeling warm and comforted, and another feeling he really does not want to think about.
Their late night rendezvous continue, with varying frequency, for the next year and a half. Sometimes they wake up having dozed off in each other’s arms. Sometimes they don’t. Either way, each one of their little meetings ends with a warm, coffee flavored kiss, just the one. Kyuhyun sometimes wonders why Yesung never takes it further; after each kiss, he gets a funny look on his face, as if he’s waiting for Kyuhyun to react negatively or push him away. Kyuhyun never does, but Yesung still never pushes for more. He seems content to just look at Kyuhyun, his eyes warm and soft, like melted chocolate.
So Kyuhyun just goes through the motions, trying not to step on any toes along the way. He follows orders, sings like a bird at command, and keeps to himself. All the while, he watches Yesung. Yesung, who drinks coffee like his dad used to. But Kyuhyun doesn’t seem to fear Yesung like he did his dad.
No, Kyuhyun thinks, trying to will down an erection he got from watching a video of Yesung practically gyrating on stage at the last Super Junior performance, what he feels for Yesung definitely isn’t fear. The erection goes away on its own after he sees what comes next- Siwon, good-looking, charming and gentleman-like Siwon, that bastard Siwon leans over and runs his hands over Yesung’s writhing body, and then just keeps them there as he plants a kiss dangerously close to Yesung’s lips. Kyuhyun can see Siwon’s hands inching down past Yesung’s waist and snaps the laptop shut before he can force himself to sit through more. He likes Yesung. And he has no idea what to do about it.
But suddenly, there are talks of forming another subgroup, this time, a foreign one, and there is no time to do anything about his feelings for Yesung. Kyuhyun finds himself whirled away and sitting in his makeshift bedroom in China on a hot April day before he even realizes what has happened.
So he does what he does best: follow orders and keep to himself. This time around, however, it appears that this approach is not going to work for him. He needs to step it up, his manager tells him. He needs to develop a memorable personality and becoming distinguishable among the members by his fans. And so he does. He starts speaking out more on shows, letting his witty sense of humor and snarky personality outside of his head for the first time in what feels like forever. He grins along with everyone else, and plans elaborate pranks with the help of his new partner-in-crime Zhou Mi. It gets easier every day because here he is not the youngest or newest. Here, he isn’t the most-hated member. And as awful as it is for Zhou Mi and Henry and as much as he hates their “fans” for being close-minded idiots, he still feels a sense of relief that he is finally out of the spotlight.
As the days go by, the feeling of relief slowly morphs into a sense of emptiness. Even though he is enjoying more popularity amongst the fans than he has before, he feels incomplete. He has an inkling of what, or rather who, it is that he is missing but it takes walking into the local convenience store and having a one-sided stare down with the rows of ready-to-drink coffee before he allows himself to acknowledge it.
Yesung. He misses Yesung. And hopefully, Yesung misses him too.
Kyuhyun grasps one of the many 3-in-1 coffee boxes off the shelf next to the ready-to-drink ones in the fridge, pays for it with shaking hands, and walks back into the apartment before his instincts kick in. The box contains instant coffee mix, a packet of powdered milk and a heaping portion of sugar. He throws the last two away, but brews the coffee and lets it sit on the table in front of him until it goes from boiling hot to ice cold. It’s a poor substitute for Yesung, but if he closes his eyes and burrows under the duvet on the sofa, the smell is enough to enable him to pretend that he isn’t miles away from his favorite place on earth; in Yesung’s arms.
They’re in Japan when Kyuhyun actually realizes that his feelings for Yesung might be deeper than he had previously thought. They have just finished the last day of filming for their second Boys in City video and have been given some time off by their manager. Kyuhyun stays silent while everyone is planning where to go and what to do; he’s trying to come up with ways to be allowed to sneak off with Yesung without anyone realizing. When Yesung insists that he doesn’t want to go back to the hotel for a quick nap first, but instead wants to go to this café he has heard a lot about, Kyuhyun gets his answer. Quickly muttering an excuse about not being tired either, Kyuhyun jogs off after Yesung, ignoring the pointed looks shot at him by Leeteuk and Sungmin.
“Yesung-hyung! Wait a sec!” Kyuhyun calls.
“Kyuhyun! You want to come with me? But you hate coffee…” Yesung responds, staring up at him curiously. Kyuhyun sort of wants to pinch his cheeks and looks away quickly, lest he actually follow up on his desires and embarrass himself.
“I do not hate coffee. I just don’t see why anyone would want to drink burnt bean juice.”
They banter back and forth during their walk. Kyuhyun hopes Yesung knows where he is going because Kyuhyun really has no idea and he would much rather focus on Yesung than try to figure it out anyway. Soon, they make a turn off of the bustling Meiji Dori and arrive at a nondescript building on a quiet backstreet.
“Are you sure this is the place? It looks so…”
“Boring? Bland? Kyuhyun, the quality of the coffee has little to do with the exterior of the coffee house- those flashy little cafes we saw on the way here are nothing compared to the Chatei Hatou when it comes to coffee quality” Kyuhyun is relieved that Yesung does not appear to look angry, just mildly exasperated.
“What are you? A walking advert for this place? You’ve never even been here before!” Kyuhyun calls out, but he follows Yesung up the steps anyway.
His hopes for them to be able to spend some quiet alone time together are shot when he sees Yesung bypass the isolated booths on the side of the wall and head straight for the bar where the staff prepares the coffee. There’s classical music playing on the old-school speakers, muffled but still audible, and a large flower arrangement that has trellises of hydrangea trailing out of the clay vase.
Yesung grabs a fine porcelain mug off of the wall next to the bar, and following his example, Kyuhyun grabs a Beatles mug, the coolest mug in the room. He ignores the smirk on Yesung’s face and swings up onto the bar seat, watching as the staff member prepares the drinks Yesung has ordered for them.
He is starting to see what Yesung has always been trying to tell him; coffee making is as much of an art as is tea making. There is something beautiful about the silent focus with which the barista is going at it - his back is gently curved over his working station, his entire focus centered on the swan-neck kettle in his hand. His breathing is light and even and in tune with the steady drip of water from the kettle to the drip cone. His hands have the grace of a skilled, experienced worker and not a drop of water spills during the process.
Kyuhyun’s breath gets caught in his throat as he feels Yesung’s hand grasping for his under the table. He turns to Yesung to say something, but the words freeze on their way up to his mouth as he takes in the sheer intensity of the gaze Yesung is bestowing on him.
The gentle, classical music, the slowly intensifying smell of freshly ground coffee and the steady dripping of the water, the way Yesung is looking at him as if he is the only person worth being with at that moment, all make him want to somehow freeze time and capture this moment forever. So he does the next best thing, and leans over and presses a kiss against the corner of Yesung’s mouth. Just subtle enough that in case someone is watching, he will look like he’s leaning over to whisper a secret. But when he straightens up, he can see that the baristas and staff are too engrossed in their own activities to pay them any mind.
When they leave and get back onto the deserted street outside, it is dark out and Kyuhyun can just make out the faint twinkling of stars above the polluted Tokyo cityscape. He turns to face Yesung and get his feelings off of his chest, once and for all, but finds Yesung looking at him with those melted chocolate eyes again.
Yesung reaches up, intending on placing a quick kiss against his mouth but Kyuhyun traps him there, winding his sinewy arms around Yesung’s toned waist. Yesung slowly reaches up and winds his arms around Kyuhyun’s neck, and the skin there suddenly feels to Kyuhyun as if it’s on fire. He deepens the kiss frantically, trying to convey through his actions what he has been trying to through his words for a long time.
Moments, or hours, Kyuhyun doesn’t really know which, later, when they step back into the street light, they both look worse for wear. Kyuhyun’s jacket is all scraped up on the back from where Yesung had pushed him against the wall, and Yesung has red marks blooming down the side of his neck, barely obscured by the collar of his coat. But Kyuhyun can’t bring himself to care, and anyone passing by would have to take just one look at Yesung’s flushed, beaming face to know what was going on between the two. And, if that didn’t give it away, then Yesung’s bulging pocket might; Yesung had grasped Kyuhyun’s hand and pulled it into his coat pocket along with his own. Kyuhyun does not think he can feel any happier than he does at the warm pressure he feels on his hand; comforting and secure, and better than just about any other feeling in the world. Yesung doesn’t let go for the entire walk back.
A few months later, in Seoul
“You-you bought me a coffee grinder?” Yesung asks, and his grin has stretched out up to his ears. It is almost painful to look at, and Kyuhyun tells himself that that is the only reason he has averted his eyes. It has nothing to do with the
“Yeah, well…you did say you wanted one” Kyuhyun grumbles, still not looking anywhere near Yesung.
“I did. I told you that seven months ago” Yesung says and Kyuhyun feels a flash of panic. What if he didn’t like it? What if he does not need one anymore because he already got one, probably from that bastard Siw- “I can’t believe you remembered that” Yesung grins out, and before Kyuhyun knows it, his back is flat against the wall, Yesung is plastered down his front and he leans his head back and smiles because coffee might be the best darn thing that has happened to him.
This entry was originally posted at http://sujuexchange.dreamwidth.org/2064