Part: Chapter Eight: Black Coffee and Vanilla Ice Cream
Previous Parts: Prologue, Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven
Pairing: Eunhyuk/Donghae, some Yesung/Ryeowook, Henry/Ryeowook.
Rating: PG-13 (sensuality)
Word Count: 4,445
Synopsis: Donghae returns from China and comes to realize his true feelings towards Eunhyuk in a relationship that transcends friendship.
Next Update: Saturday, August 8st (barring no extreme writer's block. You know the deal.)
So I made the crepes. ^w^ With nutella and fruit. I felt soooo sick after eating them, but it was so worth it. Deliciously delicious. So about this chapter, I can't believe I finished it. *O*!! Hardest one to write yet, although I don't really know why...Anyway, please read and enjoy! ^ ^ /
I can't believe I forgot this earlier...Thanks to tvxqsocks for supporting me, reading my drafts and helping me to edit!!! Could not have finished this in time without her.
Black Coffee and Vanilla Ice Cream
Donghae’s heart pounded. What should he say? He looked at Eunhyuk. He looked just as hesitant and surprised as he was. Yesung poured his coffee out in the sink and dropped the cup carelessly onto the counter.
“You don’t need to say anything,” he said, his voice tight, and walked out of the kitchen. “It’s so apparent.”
Donghae watched him leave, open his door, and softly close it behind him. He sat down at the table as soon as he was gone and hid his head in his hands. God. He took a deep breath to calm himself. His heart hurt for them and for Yesung. He dropped his hands and met Eunhyuk’s eyes.
“It wasn’t supposed to happen like this,” he said dejectedly.
“You think he’ll tell anyone? Why was he so angry?” Eunhyuk said quietly, stretching his arms out across the table.
Donghae rested his head on his arms and sighed. “I dunno. I guess because of things with Ryeowook.”
“Why is he angry at us, though?”
Donghae looked at him for a second. “Because they used to be like this.”
Donghae shrugged. “Maybe.”
“What should we do?” Donghae’s heart flew into his throat and he looked at Eunhyuk, telling him with his eyes that he didn’t know what to do. He could see that Eunhyuk didn’t have a clear idea either. Eunhyuk sighed and lightly touched his arm with his fingertips.
“Were we that obvious?” he said after a few seconds.
“I didn’t think so...it’s just...Yesung and Ryeowook have kept it secret for so long.”
“I don’t want him to tell anyone. I want to tell them.”
“He won’t say anything,” Donghae said. Probably. But then again, if Yesung was bitter enough to confront them about it, would he tell anyone else in his anger?
“Donghae,” Eunhyuk said softly, looking at him soberly, “should we tell them?”
“Now?” Donghae’s heart froze for a second.
“We’ve been meaning to, haven’t we?”
“But…” he stalled. Yes, they meant to tell them. No, they didn’t want to keep it a secret. But it would change things irreversibly, and that frightened him. “How do we tell them?” he whispered.
Eunhyuk rubbed his eyes and looked down at the table. “I don’t know. ‘Contrary to what you all thought, I like boys, and this is my boyfriend’?”
“Don’t think they’ll take that very smoothly,” Donghae said and half smiled.
“No,” Eunhyuk agreed.
They slumped on the table in silence for a few minutes. The coffee pot gurgled and fell silent as well, finishing its brewing. Eunhyuk drew patterns on Donghae’s skin with his fingertip. The sun was beginning to rise above Korea, and the room was gradually getting lighter. They had to decide soon.
“Let’s call Eeteuk.”
“Because…” Donghae smiled sadly. “I feel like we should tell him before we tell the rest. We can just talk to him. He’ll be okay with it. He was alright when Ryeowook told him.”
“Ryeowook talked to him?”
Donghae nodded. “I told him to when he told me.”
“And he was really okay?”
“Then...let’s call him,” he said, sighing nervously. Donghae took his phone out of his pocket and held it in his hands for a few seconds, both of them staring at it. Then Donghae filled the spaces between Eunhyuk’s fingers with his own and pressed speed dial for Eeteuk’s cellphone.
After three rings, he answered it.
“Donghae. Why are you calling me so early? I have a hangover,” he moaned.
Donghae opened his mouth and looked at Eunhyuk. Eunhyuk looked back at him nervously, but squeezed his hand reassuringly. The seconds passed as Donghae worked up his courage to speak.
“Sorry. Eunhyuk and I need to talk to you. It’s important.”
A pause. “Where are you?”
“Downstairs. In the others’ dorm.”
“Okay,” Eeteuk sighed. “Be there in a minute…”
“Thanks, hyung. I’m sorry I woke you up.”
“It’s fine. It’s important, right?”
Eeteuk terminated the call and Donghae put his phone onto the table. He took a deep breath and told Eunhyuk that he’d be there in a minute. Donghae stood up and hugged him quickly. Eunhyuk leaned into Donghae’s embrace for the few seconds that it lasted, drawing as much comfort from it as he could.
“Should we really do this?” Donghae said quietly, sitting down in the chair next to him.
“Too late now, right?” Eunhyuk laughed.
“No,” Donghae said, biting his lip. “We can make something up if…”
“Donghae,” he said quietly, leaning forward and hugging him with one arm. “We should tell them if we trust them.”
“It won’t ever be the same,” Donghae whispered. He closed his eyes, feeling tears start to prick at them. “Nothing will.”
“No matter what...nothing will stay the same.” Eunhyuk kissed his forehead and they heard a soft knock from the front door. Donghae stood up and quietly walked over to the door. He opened it and Eeteuk greeted him with a tired smile.
“Thank you,” Donghae whispered, and Eeteuk nodded and walked into the kitchen. Donghae followed him and leaned against the counter.
“Good morning,” Eeteuk said, yawning. He headed straight for the coffee pot and poured himself a cup of it. He set it down on the counter and opened the freezer, moving sluggishly yet with direction. Donghae and Eunhyuk furtively exchanged glances and simultaneously took deep breaths.
“Hyung, it’s important, so when you’re done…” Donghae sat down on the counter, nervously watching Eeteuk. Eeteuk glanced at them with raised eyebrows and brought a tub of vanilla ice cream out of the freezer.
“Fine, then,” he said. He scooped ice cream out and dropped it into his black coffee.
“Is that good, hyung?” Eunhyuk asked. Eeteuk laughed and affirmed that it was. He sat down opposite Eunhyuk with his coffee and ice cream and stirred it around with a spoon.
“Alright?” he smiled at them and sipped his concoction. “Which one of you wants to start?”
Eunhyuk and Donghae looked at each other. You start, Donghae pleaded at him with his eyes. He knew that Eunhyuk was as nervous as he was, but he didn't want to start. He didn't have the courage. Eunhyuk half smiled understandingly at him and turned back to Eeteuk.
“We have something to confess,” he said, folding his hands on the table and looking down at them.
“Ah,” Eeteuk said, stirring the ice cream around in the coffee and looking at it as if the swirls of melted ice cream were especially interesting. After a pause, he looked up and smiled at Eunhyuk.
“So,” he said quietly and motioned at Donghae with his thumb. “Is he your boyfriend?”
Eunhyuk and Donghae exchanged surprised looks and Eeteuk snickered into his coffee cup.
“Yeah,” Eunhyuk said softly, a trace of amazement in his voice. “He is.”
Donghae’s heart beat that much faster hearing him say it to someone else. I am. He slipped forward and sat down next to Eunhyuk. Eeteuk looked at them both and his smile widened with genuine pleasure.
“That’s good,” he said. Donghae’s eyebrows rose and Eeteuk laughed at him. “I’m happy for you. I’ve been waiting for this.”
“Hyung,” Eunhyuk said, laughing. “Are we that transparent?”
Eeteuk looked at them wryly over the rim of his cup. “I’ve known you two for ten years.”
“Thank you,” Donghae said. He shared a smile with Eunhyuk, feeling relieved and uplifted, and then smiled at Eeeteuk. “Really.”
Eeteuk shrugged. “Yesung, Ryeowook, Henry...Now you two.” He sipped his coffee. “You’d better not be as much trouble as them.”
Eunhyuk and Donghae looked at each other. As much trouble? Would they ever break up and be as bitter as them? Donghae didn’t think so. He couldn’t imagine wanting to be with anyone else. No matter what happened, they would work it out. They would listen to each other.
“I think…” Eunhyuk began, looking at Donghae thoughtfully, “that even though it’s different now, we’ll always be good friends, no matter what happens. Because that’s what we’ve been for most of our lives.”
“I’m in love with my best friend,” Donghae laughed. Eeteuk smiled at them and they blushed.
“So what happened? You two share a dream about telling me and were so inspired that you couldn’t wait?”
“No,” Donghae said, biting his lip. “Yesung knows.”
Eeteuk blinked at them, nonplussed. “And?”
Donghae sighed and retold the story of how they’d woken up too early, thought that someone else was up, and were confronted by Yesung.
“So...” Eeteuk said, putting his cup into the sink and sitting down again. “Do you want everyone to know?”
“You do?” Eeteuk smiled. “I think that’s best. So you called me because you’re afraid that Yesung will spill the beans, and you want to know how to confess first?”
“Pretty much,” Eunhyuk said, leaning back in his chair. "Although we've been meaning to tell everyone anyway. Donghae said we should call you.”
“I feel better,” Donghae said quietly, and they laughed.
“Why?” Eeteuk smiled.
“You’re Hyung,” Donghae said simply and Eunhyuk nodded.
Eeteuk accepted this with a mirthful laugh and then folded his hands on the table. “Okay. How do you want to tell them?”
They looked at each other uncertainly. “Maybe it’s like ripping a band aid off,” Eunhyuk said, tilting his head. “The quicker you take it off the less it will hurt.”
“As in, we should tell them all at once?”
Eunhyuk nodded. “What do you think?” Donghae bit his lip and thought about it. If they told them individually, it might take all day, not to mention how tiring that would be. And that way, someone might hear it from someone other than themselves.
“I think we should tell them all at once,” Donghae said.
“Okay,” Eeteuk said, standing up and putting his cup into the sink. “Now we just need to figure out what to tell them. How long have you even been like this?”
“So slow,” Eeteuk whistled. “Well, that makes it easier...you haven’t been keeping this a secret very long, so that should rule out people being hurt by you not confessing sooner.”
“Do you think they’d want us to confess, though?”
“You want to confess, and that’s what matters.”
“Is that all that matters?” He looked at Eunhyuk.
“No...but...this matters more. I don’t want to keep it a secret. I want to be accepted.”
“But what if they don’t…?”
“They will,” Eunhyuk said. “I think...they’ll be shocked, but...they’ll get over it. First and foremost, we’re a team. We’re friends.”
Donghae nodded, hoping that he was right.
“So,” Eeteuk said. “What do you want to tell them?”
Donghae walked up the stairs to his own dorm with Eeteuk, reviewing their plan in his mind. They’d have breakfast separately as they usually did, and then Eeteuk would gather everyone upstairs and give them the chance to speak. Eat first, Eeteuk had said, so that they’ll be in a better mood. And if anyone gets upset, if it’s awkward, you don’t have to stick around and eat a meal with everyone. You guys can escape afterwards if you want to.
Eeteuk unlocked the door and Donghae walked straight in to the bathroom to take a shower. He wanted to be alone, to get clean, and to settle his nerves, and nothing would do that better for him than a hot shower. He didn’t take a long one, because everyone else would be waking up about now, but it was enough. He dressed, dried his hair, and curled up in his bed.
Hyukjae, he thought, I want them to accept us.
His throat caught and he pressed his fingers against his eyes, willing himself not to cry. He flipped his cellphone open and texted him.
He stared at the cellphone, waiting for the reply. He didn’t have to wait long for it to vibrate in his hands and the message to pop up on the screen.
I’m scared too.
Donghae smiled. To him, that was more reassuring than Eunhyuk telling him not to worry. It was more reassuring to know that he felt the same way. He texted him again.
I’m taking a nap. You should too if you can.
Donghae closed the phone and snuggled into his bed. He should try to get as much sleep before they told them, because the more rested he was, the more coherent he would be. And the less upset he would be if…
Don’t expect anything, he told himself. He closed his eyes and drifted into shallow sleep.
He woke up with a start. Shindong was standing over him and poking him. He yawned and swatted at him sleepily.
“C’mon, wake up. Breakfast.”
“Ah!” Donghae sat up and swung out of bed. “Good, I’m starving.”
He felt refreshed after his nap and walked out into the kitchen, stretching his arms over his head. When he reached the kitchen, he burst out laughing. Heechul’s head was lying on the table, a sleeping mask pulled over his eyes and a bag of ice lying on his head. Hangeng was in a similar situation, wearing sunglasses and looking as if he was going to puke at any moment, simply hanging over the edge of the table.
“How much did you drink?” Donghae chortled. “See, this is why you shouldn’t drink, hyung.”
Donghae sat down and laughed into his hand.
“It isn’t funny!” Heechul snapped. “Just ‘cause you’ve never had one...Aissh…”
“Sorry,” Donghae said, straightening his face. “What are we eating? Cereal and stuff? See, this is why you shouldn’t be so irresponsible, Hankyu-”
“Shut up. Lower your voice, god.”
“Sheesh…” Donghae stood up poured himself a glass of orange juice. “It’s your own fault…”
“Don’t wanna hear it…”
Eeteuk set a pot of coffee down on the table, and with what looked like a tremendous effort, Heechul poured himself a cup of it and drank it straight. Hangeng made a pathetic sort of noise and reached for the pot weakly. Donghae shook his head and poured himself a bowl of cereal. He sat down with it and watched them drink coffee and moan, trying not to laugh at them.
Alcohol, he thought. What a waste.
Eeteuk tried to get them to eat something, but Heechul just sent him death glares and Hangeng muttered incoherently and refused everything. After Donghae finished eating, Eeteuk met his eyes, a clear question in them. Donghae nodded almost imperceptibly and washed out his bowl.
Here we go.
Eeteuk walked out of the room, raising his phone to his ear, and Donghae’s heart soared into his throat. He bit his lip and shook his head. Have to.
He looked at the clock. It was almost nine o’clock. Want to? Sort of.
“Guys,” Eeteuk poked his head out of his room. “Stay out here, okay?”
They turned their heads and looked at him, nonplussed.
“We need to talk about something together,” he said and disappeared again, calling someone else.
“What’s that about?” Heechul moaned.
Before Donghae felt pressured to say anything, the doorbell rang, and he went to answer it, knowing that it would be Eunhyuk. Eeteuk would call him first.
He opened it and Eunhyuk greeted him normally and walked inside. He caught sight of Heechul and Hangeng and smothered a laugh.
“Why are you here?” Heechul said exasperatedly. “Leave us alone.”
“Sorry,” Eunhyuk said, laughing. “Everyone’s coming up here.”
“Everyone? Why?” Shindong asked as Heechul moaned and covered his head. Hangeng sunk down in his chair and partially disappeared beneath the table.
“Because Eeteuk’s calling us and telling us to get up here.”
“To talk,” Eunhyuk said, sitting down in the living room. “About stuff.”
Shindong sighed as Donghae sat down next to Eunhyuk to wait. They sat in silence until the others came up and they made speculative small talk with them. Eeteuk surfaced from his room again and perched on the armrest of one of the sofas.
“Get over here,” he called to Heechul and Hangeng. They moaned and Heechul spewed off complaints, but they lugged themselves into the room and sat down. Donghae glanced at Eunhyuk, feeling butterflies start to appear in his stomach. Eeteuk motioned for everyone to be quiet, and after a few seconds the noise died down, and Donghae’s nervousness got worse.
“So,” Eeteuk said. “We need to talk, as a group, about something important. Hyukjae and Donghae want and need to tell you all something. They’ll probably surprise you, but try to think openly about this, alright?”
They looked at Donghae and Eunhyuk, and Donghae blushed. “Okay,” they murmured, frowning with confusion or exchanging glances with the others.
“And,” Eeteuk said, “nothing that they say here will leave this room for now, got it? You don’t tell anyone else. Second, nothing is going to change that will affect Super Junior.”
“Hyung,” Sungmin said. “You make it sound so serious.”
Sungmin raised his eyebrows and leaned back into the couch. “So, what is it?” he said, looking at Donghae and then Eunhyuk.
“You want to start?” Eeteuk looked at them. “Who wants to start?”
They looked at each other for a second, and then Eunhyuk looked at them. “I’ll start.”
Thank you, Donghae thought. He looked at the other members. They were all looking at them. Everyone was there except for Siwon and Kibum. The only one who was looking at them with anything other than curiosity was Yesung, and Donghae quickly looked away. He didn’t know, and didn’t want to think about, how he would react. Eunhyuk took a deep breath.
“We’ve thought about this for a long time - whether to tell you or not - and as you can see, we’ve decided to tell you. We’ve wanted to tell you, but we thought we should give it some time and wait. The point is, we haven’t lied to you, and we’re telling you now because we don’t want to.”
He paused and drew breath. “Honestly, we’re both scared to death telling you this. But we think it’s right to tell you...so...Donghae and I...aren’t just friends. To put it simply, we’re dating.”
Silence. Everyone stared at them for a few seconds, and Donghae blushed, feeling like his heartbeat was much too loud.
“That’s a joke, right?” Kangin said.
“No,” Donghae said. Eunhyuk affirmed that it wasn’t, and the silence continued for a few more seconds.
“You’re gay? Donghae, I thought you liked girls,” Sungmin said.
“I still like girls...It’s...I like both,” Donghae said, blushing.
“Wait, wait,” Sungmin said, sitting up. “You don’t like any of us, do you?”
Eunhyuk almost laughed. “No. I haven’t liked any of you. Just him.” He motioned at Donghae. Donghae said that it was the same way.
“Oh,” Sungmin said, sinking back into the couch. “Okay.”
“It doesn’t bother you? Any of you?” Eunhyuk said, looking from one face to the next.
Heechul laughed suddenly. “Doesn’t bother me. I get drunk and kiss Hankyung.”
Hankyung moaned and slapped Heechul. “Don’t say that, it’s embarrassing,” he slurred.
“Hyung,” Ryewook said, looking directly at Donghae with a hurt expression. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Donghae bit his lip. “Because we agreed to not say anything until now...Back then, I didn’t...I hadn’t realized. I wasn’t trying to keep secrets from you.”
“Back then? What do you mean?”
“I only realized that I liked him that way about a month ago,” he said, blushing, hoping that Ryeowook understood. “I’m sorry.”
“So, what? You guys are so quiet,” Eunhyuk said softly. “If it bothers you, say something.”
“It doesn’t bother me,” Sungmin said, fiddling with a lock of his hair. “I think you guys...I mean, it’s weird, right? Men don’t usually...but...I don’t know, I think it’s nice.”
They blushed. “Thank you,” they mumbled.
“It bothers me.”
They looked up at Yesung, who was looking at them with his head tilted to the side. Ryeowook’s eyes widened and he looked behind him at Yesung.
“I don’t want to see you guys together. If you think it’s okay now that you’ve come clean to everyone, think again. I don’t want to see it.”
“We hadn’t...we wouldn’t do anything in front of you guys.”
“Really? You wouldn’t even hold hands, you wouldn’t even lean against each other and whisper things around us? You don’t think we’ll notice it now? You don’t think it’ll make us sick?”
Donghae’s heart hammered. Kyuhyun looked up at Yesung and frowned. “What’s sick about it? If it’s love, it’s love. It doesn’t bother me,” he said, looking back at Eunhyuk and Donghae and smiling.
“I don’t want to see it,” Yesung said again. “Any of it.”
“Honestly,” Kangin said, “I don’t want to either.”
Eunhyuk sighed and glanced at Donghae. “We understand.”
“I think it’s okay,” Ryeowook said quietly. “I think it’s okay for you to show your affection.”
Eunhyuk looked at Shindong. “What about you?”
Shindong looked at him and sighed. After a minute he answered. “It won’t change us as work friends.”
“What about...as just friends?”
Shindong just looked at him, and Donghae slipped his hand into Eunhyuk’s. Eunhyuk met Shindong’s gaze evenly, but Donghae knew that he wasn’t that calm on the inside. Shindong opened his mouth to answer, but was cut off by Yesung abruptly walking towards the door and slamming it shut after him. They stared at the door for a few seconds as a group, and then Ryeowook stood up and went after him.
“What’s up with them, seriously?” Heechul said, lifting a corner of his mask and then quickly dropping it.
Kyuhyun shrugged. "They've been fighting since Ryeowook got back. Passive aggressive stuff. Anyway..." He looked back to Eunhyuk and Donghae. Everyone was looking at them again, looking as if they were unsure of what to say. Donghae looked down at his hands to avoid making eye contact. He felt like the tension in the room could be cut with a knife.
“Why don’t you go outside?” Eeteuk said to Eunhyuk and Donghae. “Give us some time to talk, alone, okay?”
“Okay,” Donghae said immediately. They stood up and left, glancing behind them as they went. They closed the front door behind them and Eunhyuk leaned against the wall. Donghae leaned his head against Eunhyuk’s neck and closed his eyes.
“You’re brave,” he said quietly. “I would have gaped like a fish at them for at least a minute.”
“I’m not,” Eunhyuk said. “I just…”
“Didn’t it go well?”
“It could have gone worse. I don’t know if...” He trailed off and stepped over to the railing, frowning slightly. He motioned Donghae over, and they looked down. Yesung and Ryeowook were standing on the stairs a story below, talking in low voices. It was hard to hear, and Donghae felt that they shouldn’t listen, but he was too curious to move away.
“-I’m suffering,” Ryeowook was saying tearfully. “I know you suffer too. I know it’s partially my fault. I know.”
“Call him and tell him you don’t need him. You don’t, Ryeowook. I made a mistake. I still want you.”
Ryeowook sobbed and looked away, crossing his arms. “For how long? Long enough for you to grow tired of me again?”
“You think he won’t grow tired of you?”
Eunhyuk glanced at Donghae. Donghae just shook his head slowly.
“Go to hell,” Ryeowook said. “We’re over. It’s too late. I’m not doing this with you anymore. You need to move on, too. We have to be friends.”
“You’re rejecting me?”
Eunhyuk moved away from the railing and Donghae followed him. Eunhyuk sat down against the wall and Donghae slid down next to him. They held hands for a few seconds in silence and Eunhyuk murmured that he didn't want to hear any more. Donghae sobbed once, breaking the tension, and their tears began to fall. They held each other's hands so tightly that it was painful, but neither of them relaxed their grip at all. Donghae roughly wiped his tears away and looked at Eunhyuk. He was biting his lip and crying, looking at the space in front of them despairingly.
"I don't want this," Eunhyuk whispered. "I don't want them to fight. I don't want us to lose friends. I don't want them to view us differently."
"Do you regret telling them?" Donghae said, reaching over and brushing Eunhyuk's tears.
Eunhyuk looked at him, turning his face towards him and leaning his cheek into Donghae's palm.
"No," he whispered. "I want to be honest about you."
"It'll be okay," Donghae said, sniffing. "It will. We aren't different, and they'll see that."
"I hope so," Eunhyuk said, hugging Donghae with one arm. "But you're more important. You're always going to be more important."
Donghae hugged him, wanting to comfort him and make it so that he didn't have a reason to cry. He held him tightly, protectively, as they both cried out their stress and sorrow. He imagined having to live in the dorms with them after today and dreaded it. He didn’t want to see the others’ expressions of hidden disgust and suspicion. They would accept them with time, he believed, he knew, but it would take a long time. It wouldn’t be today or tomorrow or the next day. Even if they say it's okay, he thought, it's not yet.
And perhaps especially now that they knew, it would be impossible to see Eunhyuk, and he wanted to see him. Now that he’d tasted what life was like with him, it would never be the same without him. He couldn’t go back; he could only go forward. His best friend, his partner, his lover. His everything. He pulled back slightly and caressed Eunhyuk's face with his hand, keeping the other around him.
"I want to live with you."
They just looked at each other, and Donghae stroked his face slowly, occasionally wiping away a tear with his thumb. Eunhyuk’s expression turned to surprise as he comprehended what Donghae meant, and Donghae looked at him questioningly, his heart pounding with hope and uncertainty.
“Hyukjae,” he said, swallowing his tears. “Do you want that too?”
Eunhyuk nodded deliberately and unsmilingly. Tears rolled down his cheeks and he nodded again. He hugged him and whispered that he did. Donghae smiled, feeling a mixture of joy and sorrow. It would be better for everyone if they moved out. It would enable them to be alone together without making anyone uncomfortable. It would give the others some space to adjust to their relationship, and Donghae wanted to live with him regardless of what had just happened.
[Next Part] Chapter Nine: No Reason to Cry