Length: One-shot / 3,157
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Pairing: Donghae / Eunhyuk
Synopsis: Hyukjae receives an anonymous letter on Valentine's Day (how original this synopsis is... >_>).
I really wanted to write this for Valentine's Day, but when it actually came around I had writer's block...But it's too fun a prompt to let go, so it's belated. ^^; I had so much fun writing it. Please read and enjoy! ^ ^ /
Thanks to tvxqsocks for betaing it. ^^
Hyukjae couldn't remember a time when he didn't know that the saddest thing in love is unrequited love. Since he was in kindergarten, he had suffered the blows of unrequited playground crushes. In middle school it only got worse, when he started to get crushes on boys. He felt like the main character of a melodramatic tragedy, the shy and slim (not to mention handsome) youth that looked upon his love interests from afar with, almost beautifully, no choice but to abstain from them.
It wasn't much of a surprise that he related so well to the scores of dramas, plays, novels, movies, lyrics and poetry dedicated to the broken heart and irreversible circumstance of sorry, I just don't like you. The result of his fascination with the melodramatic and romantic was that he himself became a bit of a romantic teenager, lost in daydreams where the people he liked confessed their hidden heart palpitations to him, and they lived happily ever after together.
He was by no means a loner, of course. It was nearly impossible for someone as talented and handsome as him to not make friends in a high school where talent and looks alike were valued. He actually knew both sides of the razor-sharp blade known as romance; girls often confessed to him. Really pretty, sweet, smart girls. He went out with one once, but it failed miserably because he couldn't rouse enough interest in her to make dates fun. He just wasn't into girls.
Any time a cute boy walked past him with his top shirt buttons undone during breaks, his bag held casually over his shoulder, his wrist bent just so, it caught his attention and made him blush and more if he wasn't careful. This year was particularly bad; a crazy beautiful boy had transferred into his class from Mokpo and caught his eye as strongly as if he had hooked it. He had such a crush on him that he thanked the universe daily that he wasn't sitting next to him.
Everyone liked this new boy, Lee Donghae. He was like an energetic puppy full of good intentions set loose on the class; just impossible not to like. He had everything and more that made Hyukjae popular, too - good looks, good grades, and he could sing and dance, whereas Hyukjae felt that he could only dance well. Of course, Hyukjae had only heard by word of mouth that he could sing well, because Hyukjae would never allow himself near him for long enough to hear him sing. He was sure that the sound of his beautiful voice singing would be enough to make him die of a broken heart for real.
Girls loved him especially, and as far as Hyukjae could see, he loved girls, too. They flocked to him like birds, and he smiled at all of them and talked with them about...well, he didn't know what they talked about. But it was always very animated, and when he braved glances over at them, it looked a lot like show and tell, girls always bringing things out of their bags and showing him. He had to admire his patience to go along with that - who could care so much about girls' hair clips and photographs of idols? Unless the idols were boys, he thought dreamily, his chin slipping off of his hand.
It was lucky for him that he wasn't forced to interact with him too much. He was only subjected to hearing his friends express their grudging admiration towards him; they couldn't exactly dislike such a likable person just because the girls liked him so much. When they complained about it, Hyukjae morosely reminded them that Donghae couldn't date all of them, and this was usually enough to make them shut up for a while.
Hyukjae dreaded the day that his friends broke the ice with Donghae and became his friends, too. Once that happened, who knew what kind of sledge hammer would crush his heart? A deep blow he wasn't unfamiliar with - being forced to spend time with your crush when they don't like you. Few things would be more awkward, he thought, than being caught staring at him over lunch and asked what his interest was in the way he chewed.
His female friends already knew the boy well. They didn't talk to Hyukjae much about him, though, because that was awkward. Plus, a girl telling a boy she likes about a boy she likes doesn't work when the boy she likes doesn't care that the she likes another boy. He shook his head at the scenarios of the past and blew a kiss to his inability to get jealous.
A day was soon approaching when his feelings would take another plummet: Valentine's Day. Every year it presented him with another opportunity to remember everyone he had ever had a crush, and wallow in self-pity. He would sigh at the bubbling romances going on around him, and huddle in the figurative corner with everyone else who didn't get the valentine they wanted. Then he would damn his genetic makeup and cry on the shoulder of a rejected girl in the back of art class in the afternoon, and together they would feel marginally better about their circumstances.
The worst part, though, was that he would be bombarded with cards and chocolates from admiring girls. Sometimes he thought it would be better if he just removed himself from society - no girls would like him, and he wouldn't see any boys to like, either. Tempting as it was, he had a little more hope for his college days. Full steam ahead through math and science towards those exams.
For a few years, he had thought that Valetine's Day was a brilliant day; he received free chocolate and compliments. Hard not to like, really, but after a while it got old, and he started to feel bad for the purses of the people who bought him gifts. They were wasting their efforts, but he couldn't exactly tell them that he wasn't attracted to girls. He had learned to come up with more creative excuses, like I'm allergic to your perfume, but please don't ever stop wearing it because I know this guy who loves it. Yes, him over there. Go get him, tiger.
This particular Valentine's Day, the Valentine's Day of his second year in high school, he made his way to his classroom, sat down at his desk, and used his arms as a pillow. Pretending to sleep was the perfect way to avoid his classmates as long as possible. He dreaded the rest of the day, dreaded rejecting the girls who would confess to him, dreaded the nervous atmosphere that was already starting to fill the school, but most of all dreaded feeling left out of it all. He wouldn't run back to his friends, overjoyed and smiling, because the person he liked confessed to him. It just wasn't going to happen.
He shifted onto his other cheek, looking up at the clock first and then sneaking a glance at the object of his desire, who was sitting tapping his desk with a nervous energy. Who knows why, Hyukjae thought as he closed his eyes again and dozed until class began.
He carried his gloomy mood through all of his classes until lunch time, when the confessions began from girls who caught him in the corridors and shyly told him how they liked him. He rejected them as graciously as he could, accepting their gifts and thanking them. He hated to make people cry. He passed the day in such a way, viewing the end of the day as the blue sky at the end of a dark and narrow tunnel.
He collapsed on his bed that night, staring at the ceiling blankly for a whole ten minutes before sitting up and retrieving his school bag from the floor. He brought his two boxes of chocolate out from it and set them in a stack on his desk, briefly wondering if he could pass them off as gifts to other people. His eyes filled with tears as he looked at them, and he sniffled and hid his face in a tissue. A mere five seconds later he grimaced and sat down at his desk, reaching in again for his homework.
He paused as his fingers closed over an envelope, and he drew it out and looked at it in horror. Someone must have slipped it into his bag while he wasn't around. He almost moaned as he sat back in his chair and looked at it. It was a plain letter, without any fancy hearts or squiggles drawn over it, and only had his name written on the front. He considered throwing it away, but that seemed disrespectful.
He opened the envelop and drew out a carefully folded piece of ordinary notebook paper. He opened it, and out fell another folded piece of paper onto his lap. He picked it up and looked at it; it was a gift certificate for a local chocolate shop. He glanced between it and the letter and then quickly moved on to reading it.
Happy Valentine's Day, Lee Hyukjae!
I don't know what kind of chocolate you like, so please use this gift certificate to get your favorite kind. If you go out with me I promise I'll make Valentine's Day more original each year.
I think you know who I am, but you would probably never guess who I am from this letter. I thank the technological age for never having had an opportunity to show you my handwriting before. But if, by some special chance, you do figure out who I am, please don't mention this to me unless you think you like me. I mean it would be nice if you were sure you liked me, but thinking you like me is okay too. As long as you don't lead me on, okay? Don't mention it to me if you're just curious or something. I have a sensitive heart. But really, if you do figure out who I am and you do like me, please please please talk to me, because I like you a lot.
He frowned, intrigued by its anonymity, and read it again. It was kind of cute and sweet, he thought sadly, and it set itself apart from the rest he had received by not containing any praise. The person who wrote it didn't want to be known? Strange. It didn't sound as if they were going to approach him later, hands clasped beneath their chin innocently, to ask him if he'd received a letter, and oh yes, it was them, but they were just too shy to write their name. He zoned out. Had that ever happened to him? No, he'd just seen that in anime.
"Girl, girl, girl, girl," he said under his breath as he counted his spoils and remembered the confessions he'd gotten earlier, his eyes coming to rest on the letter again. "Girl...?"
His mind and stomach did a backflip. What if it wasn't a girl, and that was why it was anonymous? What if there was another boy-loving boy hidden in the catacombs of his school, stealing glances at him while he wasn't looking and fantasizing about him during his breaks and history classes? What would he look like? Where would he be? The audacity of putting a letter in his schoolbag!
He scrutinized the handwriting, and it was true that he didn't recognize it. Maybe he could show it to people in his class and ask if they recognized it? But then again, if they did recognize it, that might expose the author when the author didn't want to be known to anyone. But then again, the author clearly wanted to go out with him. But what if he searched for the author only to find out that it was a girl?
He sighed. The odds of it being a boy were slim to say the least. Maybe he should just forget it about it and move on, he thought, and soon decided that forgetting about it would be the best course of action. He folded it back into its envelope and put it in his desk drawer. But it stayed with him during the two weeks that followed, like a gnat, flying around his head and reminding him that somewhere in the school, there was an unknown person that liked him.
One day he was hiding up on the roof, sitting against the wall hunched down into his scarf and jacket and and glaring up at the sky, willing the sun to shine with more warmth. Some days he just wanted to be alone, and the roof was the best place for that in school. Not only could he be alone, he could also breathe in fresh air and feel the sun. It was completely peaceful, he decided, hunkering down into his clothing more. Soon it would be even pleasanter as the weather warmed up.
The door to the roof opened with a bang, and none other than Lee Donghae tumbled through the doorway and stood up out of a somersault, dusting himself off. Hyukjae stared, unsure of whether he should blush or just stare as he closed the door and stretched in the sun. What was he doing? Training to be a ninja?
Donghae spotted him mid-stretch and dropped his arms quickly. Hyukjae felt his heart explode; was Donghae blushing? Of course he was, he answered himself, blushing in turn. He had just been caught pulling off a silly stunt like catapulting through a doorway. Really, what had he expected? It wasn't impossible that more people would be up here. Hyukjae narrowed his eyes for a second and then gave a little wave. Donghae waved back and then shoved his hands into his pockets.
Why was he acting so weirdly? Hyukjae looked away for a second, and when he looked back, Donghae was still standing there like a statue, his cheeks burning, staring directly at Hyukjae. The look on his face made Hyukjae want to disappear.
"Hi," he said shyly, taking a hesitant step forward. "What are you doing up here?"
"Practicing invisibility," Hyukjae answered.
"Ah." Donghae paused, wavering between another step. "How's that going?"
"Not well, as you can see." Hyukjae giggled in his head. Get it? As you can see?
Donghae laughed. "That's funny."
Is it? Hyukjae wanted to ask, followed by a sudden desire to leap into Donghae's arms and be spun around. If Donghae thought he was funny, they must be perfect for each other.
"Yeah?" Hyukjae debated whether he should stand up or not. But as it was, his scarf was conveniently covering his cheeks.
"Nothing." Donghae shrugged. "Aren't you kind of cold?"
"Cold?" Hyukjae blinked. "I guess. A little bit."
Donghae blushed even more, fueling the fire of Hyukjae's cheeks again. What is this? Hyukjae wondered, his head spinning. They were just saying awkward things and blushing at each other up here on the roof. Oh my god. This is perfect. What a perfect setting in which Donghae could confess his feelings and drop to his knees before him and tenderly warm his hands with his own! What a romantic gesture it would be, so early in their relationship. No, at any time! He could do that any time, and it would make Hyukjae love him.
"I just came up here to get some air," Donghae said, nodding quickly. "I didn't...I mean, I didn't know...you were here."
Hyukjae's heart shot to the floor. He opened his mouth to apologize or tell him he could leave - he hadn't actually decided which he should say - but was cut short by Donghae suddenly turning around and grabbing the door handle.
"Wait!" Hyukjae called, scrambling to his feet.
Donghae looked over his shoulder, his hand frozen, holding the handle tightly.
"Um. You don't have to leave."
"It's okay," Donghae said in what Hyukjae imagined to be a pained tone. My god, he thought, he must either love me or hate me!
"Did you..." Hyukjae blushed and ran a hand through his hair, caught by a sudden inspiration. "Did you write me a letter?"
"A-a-a l-letter?" Donghae stammered, his hand slipping off of the handle.
"Yes," Hyukjae answered, feeling suddenly more confident. If he hadn't, why would he answer so nervously?
"You did, didn't you?" Oh please let him say yes.
"Well..." He took in a huge breath of air and turned around. "Yes."
"You did?" Hyukjae almost squeaked. "I don't believe this!"
Donghae nodded, covering his cheeks with his hands.
"I only did it because everyone encouraged me to," he said quickly. "You know, because you never go out with anyone, some of the girls in our class figured that you might like boys, and since they know I like you...I mean, if you don't, it's okay, but...Oh my god, did you just ask me if I wrote you a letter?"
"I like you," Hyukjae said, quickly running what Donghae had said through his mind a few times. Some of the girls thought he was gay? Wait - people knew Donghae was gay?
"I like you too," Donghae said quietly, staring at his feet. "A lot."
Hyukjae bit his lip and quickly wiped away a few tears. "Really?"
"Really." He nodded shallowly.
"Well, maybe we should, uh..." Hyukjae blinked a few times. "What should we do?"
"We could...kiss...or something."
"Well, uh..." Hyukjae almost slapped himself. What was he stalling for? "Okay."
Hyukjae half expected Donghae to cartwheel over to him or something, but he just walked over to him after a few awkward seconds of silence in which both of them were frantically wondering who was supposed to make the first move. Hyukjae thought his heart would crack his ribs as Donghae stood in front of him and tilted his head, waiting just one more second for Hyukjae to shriek and run away. He kissed him, lightly and shyly. Hyukjae thought he would die right there, his life complete. A boy he liked kissed him.
"Um, you...you write really cute letters," Hyukjae said quietly after a few seconds, breaking the silence.
"Thanks." Donghae smiled shyly at first, and then it turned into a grin. Hyukjae couldn't help but smile back. "Did you use the certificate?"
"No," Hyukjae answered, really regretting that he hadn't now.
"We could go after school," he said pointedly.
What a fantastic idea.
"Absolutely," Hyukjae replied, feeling suddenly giddy. "A date?"
"Something like that." Donghae laughed, grabbed both of his hands, kissed him, and then positively skipped to the door. He looked back as he opened it. "Meet me outside school later!"
Hyukjae waited until he was sure that Donghae was gone, and then let out a silent scream of glee.