Pairing: broken SiHanChul (Siwon/Hankyung/Heechul)
Summary: When Hankyung left for China, Siwon lost two best friends.
Disclaimer: I claim ownership of nothing but my own thoughts.
Notes: The title isn't really related, but it's from a song by The Wombats that sort of inspired this in the first place. I think that I really needed to get this out of my system because, well, it's something that I can easily see happening. There are a lot of my own feelings and thoughts in here, mainly the final bit of dialogue. I don't want people to think I don't support Hankyung's choice, because it's his life and he is a human being before an idol, but it doesn't make me any less sad to see him go.
When Hankyung left for China, Siwon lost two best friends.
They had been the trifecta of Super Junior, the three that were always together despite how truly different they all were. They had all been the popular outcasts, even within their little group: A Christian among non-believers, a foreigner among citizens, a diva among men. But somehow they had meshed together more completely than any of the other members, and that made tears in the fabric of their friendship all the more noticeable.
When Hankyung first started talking about suing the company for a change of contract, Heechul had scoffed and told him to not rock the boat. Sure, they were overworked and underpaid, but why bite the hand that feeds you? Siwon had been more supportive, as he always was, sympathizing with Hankyung's difficulties as a foreigner even though he could never understand it himself. He lived with his parents, and even when he lived in the dorms, he could always go visit them because they lived so close. Heechul had been born and raised in Seoul, too, so he could never understand the strain that distance put on the ever filial Hankyung.
The night that Hankyung left, neither of them were around to see him go. Everyone had sort of figured that he was going out for a while and would be back later. When he didn't show up the next day, Leeteuk had reassured the members that he was probably fine. After two days, he started to panic and called their manager. A week after he had disappeared, they had all sat down in the living room to talk about where Hankyung had gone.
Heechul had stormed out of the room, throwing the pillow he'd been clinging to and breaking a lamp. When Siwon had tried to rush after him, he'd gotten a door slammed in his face. He had leaned against the cool wood to calm down and listen to Heechul madly dialing number after number as he tried to contact Hankyung. While Heechul refused to leave his room the following two days, Siwon begged him to come out, promising that they didn't have to talk or even look at each other, but that he needed to eat something or he'd waste away. Heechul had just laughed and said "I wish" before he stopped talking altogether.
The shock came when they found out the exact terms under which Hankyung had left. Rumors were flying that he wanted to leave the band completely and start a solo career while others held on to the hope that he simply wanted to renegotiate his contract. Some shrugged and suggested that it was simply a publicity stunt, something Leeteuk always denied when he was questioned.
Things died down, and still Heechul stayed locked in his room for most of the day, only coming out for meals and go to schedules. He got thinner, grew his bangs longer to hide his red-rimmed eyes. Sunglasses began a constant fashion staple for him, even when he was inside. People began to comment on his more relaxed style of baggy shirts, but in truth he was just losing weight and shopping no longer held an interest for him.
Siwon did the best he could to support both friends. With Hankyung it was easy, because they weren't allowed to talk to him. Though he wished he could question him, ask him why he'd left them like that and when he was going to come to his senses and come back, come home, Siwon could only hope that Hankyung was happy with his decision. His attention turned to Heechul, his best friend since the beginning when they were naive trainees. They had lost three members already; he didn't want to add a fourth.
He constantly turned to God, sometimes in thanks for the support of other members, sometimes in prayer for strength and health, sometimes in anger for what was happening to them, for the unwanted and unneeded change. He went to church and Bible readings more and more, searching for comfort in the only thing left in his life that was immovable, something that would never abandon him. Even if he lost the love of the two people closest to him, he would still have his faith.
Heechul folded in on himself more and more, closing himself to both the hurt and the help. He drank daily, the burn of soju first reminding him of nights spent with Hankyung and then washing away the memories under waves of nausea and sleep. He pushed Siwon away, and Siwon stopped resisting. Heechul wasn't interested in having friends, in being close to anyone after the person closest to him had left. There was a void left in him, and the only way to fix it was to push everything out of him and be completely empty instead of half-full.
As the months passed, Siwon put more focus on himself in an effort to ignore the broken thing that Heechul had become. His increased interest in acting brought him Oh My Lady, and he sought comfort in his costars and on-screen daughter. He spent more and more time with family and his church friends. He started learning more English, the foreign words muddling his mind and replacing the Mandarin he'd learned for Hankyung bit by bit. Whenever he had freetime, he went to the gym, the burn of muscles tearing and rebuilding keeping his mind off the tattered friendships that would never be completely healed.
He withdrew further and further from Heechul, no longer carefully placing himself next to him at all times to sneak a reassuring hand around his waist. They practiced together with the band, but they didn't spend any time alone together. It started to be awkward whenever they accidentally met eyes while passing in the hall, and Siwon was no longer there to carry a drunken Heechul to his room.
Siwon got closer and closer to Donghae and Eunhyuk, making friends with those in his age group as he should have from the start. It had always been a stretch being friends with Heechul and Hankyung, both of them so much older and going through things he couldn’t relate to yet. In Donghae and Eunhyuk, he found friends that cared just as much about God and working out as he did. Donghae knew what it was like to lose a close friend, and he’d been just as shunned by Heechul as Siwon. They became the new threesome of the new Super Junior, always together in and out of the public eye. It wasn’t the same, but it was close enough to hide the old memories under new ones.
It was with the announcement of Hankyung’s solo career that Heechul and Siwon were thrown back together, colliding with an explosive force.
Heechul had just finished watching one of the latest interviews to surface online. He switched off his computer with shaking hands, getting up slowly from his bed and walking down the hall to Siwon’s room.
“You let him leave,” he said softly from the doorway, not looking at Siwon as he lounged casually on his bed.
“What, hyung?” Siwon asked, sitting up straighter and setting his book to one side. Heechul was being frighteningly calm, though he’d hardly showed any emotion except bitter emptiness since Hankyung had left.
“You let him leave,” Heechul said louder, stepping into the room and meeting Siwon’s eyes for the first time in weeks. “You could have stopped him, but you didn’t even try.”
Getting up from his bed slowly as if Heechul were a trapped animal that could be startled into as attack at any moment, Siwon took a couple steps closer. “I don’t understand, hyung. I miss him just as much as you do.”
Heechul suddenly lashed out, slapping Siwon hard across the cheek and leaving an angry red mark. “Don’t you dare fucking say that,” he screamed, tears brimming in his red eyes. “You were probably the one that told him to leave, weren’t you?”
Siwon staggered back, holding a hand to his burning cheek and looking at Heechul in disbelief. “What gave you that stupid idea?” he asked, done with the niceties. He was sick of being nice and just earning cruelty from the man that was supposed to be his best friend.
“In his latest interview he talked about all the horrible things that SM has put him through. He talked about when you both went to the hospital. Why didn’t you stop him?”
Siwon suddenly snapped lashed out, pushing Heechul against the nearest wall with bruising force. “You think I didn’t try?” Siwon growled lowly, the softness of his tone just making it all the more frightening. “You think you’re the only person that missed him? Look around, you selfish bitch. This group is falling apart, and the last thing we need is you accusing us of driving him away. He left of his own accord, and you’re just going to have to come to terms with that sooner or later. You act like you’re the only one who’s lost a friend. Kibum and Kangin are gone, too, and you weren’t Hankyung’s only friend.”
He glared down at the older man, looking past the bleached blond hair that hid his empty black eyes. Letting go of Heechul’s upper arm where he’d been gripping him tightly, Siwon turned his back to him and ran a hand through his short hair. He knew snapping at Heechul wasn’t going to help in the long run, and he was already regretting it, but it had sure felt good in the moment. Waiting for Heechul to leave before turning around, he was surprised when he spoke softly instead of just running away.
“They’re no use calling him Hankyung anymore now that’s he’s staying in China,” was all Heechul said before quietly leaving the room.
They were something broken, shattered, untouchable because they would surely cut their fingers on the jagged shards if they tried to pick up the pieces.