Part: Chapter Two: Yellow
Previous Parts: Chapter One
Rating: PG-13 (sensuality)
Word Count: 3,394
Synopsis: Colors have always been there in our relationship...from the day I met you. If I were to tell our story, I’d do it with a canvas and paint; vibrant colors of every shade and hue.
Full A/N beneath the cut. ^^
Hey guys! I have something exciting to tell you all - I am 95% sure that I am going on vacation to Brazil for a month starting on October 16th! I'm really excited about it (and a little stressed because I have to apply to college, too. >>;). I don't yet know how much time I will be able too spend on writing (there are beaches everywhere! *w*), but I will have a laptop and internet access while I am there. Hopefully I'll be very inspired and will be able to write a lot of heartfelt stories.
I will try to post Kokoro no Taion chapter 2, Polychromatic Us chapter 3, and Forever chapter 3 before I go. If I can't, it's just because I'm too busy studying and preparing for the trip - but they will be posted as soon as possible. The Chronicles of Jaechul will continue to run normally. After those 3 are posted, I will probably not give any more dates for future updates until I know what it's like in Brazil. I'm sorry... ^^;
Please read and enjoy! ^^/
I’m sitting in an afternoon sunbeam in an empty practice room, absorbing its warmth and relaxing. It feels good on my face, almost like a warm washcloth. Through my eyelashes all I can see is sparkling light reflecting off of the wooden floor like a sea of diamonds. It's almost blinding, like looking at the sun itself. I close my eyes, and through my eyelids it's still bright. I pull my hood down over my eyes and doze until I hear the click of the door, and you come in.
“Hey,” I say, sitting up.
“Hey you,” you say, smiling widely and shutting the door. You gracefully fall to your knees in front of me and look at me with excitement.
“What?” I laugh.
You make a face and then kiss my cheek. I blush hotly, surprised, and you laugh.
“Happy birthday." You sit down next to me. “You’re seventeen today.”
I nod, trying to forget how close your face was to mine, but I can still feel your lips against my cheek acutely.
“How are you today?”
"Fine," I say. "I'm going home to visit my family. They want to celebrate with me...even my sister is coming home, so...thanks for coming to see me."
"Of course." You casually throw your arm around my shoulders. "I wanted to see you on your birthday."
I just look at you and feel lucky to know you, who are so unafraid of friendship. Since you introduced yourself to me, and I introduced you to other people, you've quickly formed bonds with everyone. Everyone likes you. But you've never forgotten about me. I like you more and more, and even though sometimes it's painful for me, I'm happiest when I'm with you. You smile and I smile back.
"Did you get me anything?"
"Nope. It's just me."
"Really?" I tilt my head. "Oh well. I guess that's all I want, really."
"You want me?" Your tone is teasing, but your expression is serious. I blush and quickly say that that wasn't what I meant.
"Then why are you blushing?"
"Yes you are," you laugh.
"Why? It's not embarrassing to want a person. I wanted you on my birthday. And when I turn seventeen, you have to take time for me, too."
"Sure," I say. "If you want me there."
You laugh and say that I just made a promise. I don't challenge it - in my mind, I did promise, even though my words weren't of that nature.
"So you're going home," you say softly and lower your head onto my shoulder. You haven't taken your arm off of me, either. Lately you're like this - affectionate. I don't know what to think about it, and I'm caught between just letting myself enjoy your touch and wishing that you would stop so that I wouldn't be so confused. "How long will you be gone?"
"Just a day. I'll stay the night and then come home early in the morning."
"That's nice...that you can just leave for a day and see your parents."
"I miss mine," you say quietly. "I really miss them."
My eyes had trailed to the sunlit floor, but something about your tone makes me look at you again. You always talk about your father, and how inspirational and supportive he's been. I want to meet him. This isn't the first time you've admitted to missing them.
Without giving it a second thought, I reach across you and hold your hand. Your fingers close around mine, and I suddenly realize what I'm doing. Won't you think that I'm weird? I want to rewind and take my hand back, but before I'm able to, you pull your hand out of mine and wipe your eyes.
"Oh, Donghae. Don't cry."
"I'm okay." You smile reassuringly. "Sorry."
"It's okay," I reply. I don't mind your tears except that I wish I could that make them go away. I watch as you stand up and open all the blinds, letting in as much sunlight as possible.
"When do you need to go?" you ask, turning around and smiling again.
I glance at my watch. "An hour or so, I guess."
"An hour...not very long."
I shake my head. Morning classes kept us apart until now. It isn't very long, and I wish it were longer.
"What shall we do?" you ask, sitting down next to me again and pouting with your chin in your hands. "We can go out, since you have to go to the station anyway."
"The station..." I say softly. You nod. It isn't that far to my city. There actually isn't any reason that you couldn't go with me past the station. "Are you free tonight?"
"Yeah. I made sure just in case you didn't have any plans for today."
"You're so nice," I say, laughing quietly. I'm always amazed by how kind you are. "Do you want to come with me?"
You bite your lip. "Can I?"
"I have to call my mom and ask, but it should be okay." I smile and you grin and nod enthusiastically. I take out my cellphone and call home. You move your head closer to mine so that you can hear, and before I can tell you not to eavesdrop, my mom picks up.
"Oh, Hyukjae! Happy Birthday!"
"Thanks," I say, smiling at the sound of her voice congratulating me. "Hey, would it be okay if one of my best friends came home with me?"
"No, Lee Donghae."
"Oh! The one you're always talking about." I blush and inch away from you as you cover your mouth with your hands and laugh silently. I catch your eye and start to laugh too, and I almost miss my mother saying that it's okay.
"Thanks," I say, straightening my face. "I'll see you soon, then, okay?"
"Alright. Be careful on your way home."
I put my phone away and you clear your throat. "You talk about me all the time?"
"My mom exaggerates."
"Your face says that you do."
I quietly deny it. I'm really trying my hardest to stop blushing, but I'm too embarrassed. You poke my cheek. "It's okay, I talk about you too."
"Stop." I laugh uncomfortably.
"But I really do."
You nod. I can't help but smile, and you smile at me with amusement. "So I get to come over, huh? Good. I want to see your room."
"My room? Why?"
"So I can see your stuff, of course." You stand up and pull me to my feet. "I'm curious."
"Okay," I say weakly. I'm repeatedly flattered by how interested you are in me. But I'm no less interested in you - I want to see where you've lived, too. I want to know how you decorate your space and what your home feels like.
"Junsu is your best friend, isn't he?" you ask suddenly.
"Since I was a kid."
"Long time...you must have gone to the same schools."
"Yeah. We go to the same school now, too. You didn't notice that we come in together a lot?"
"I noticed...That's nice, spending so much time with your best friend."
I nod slowly. "He's inspiring, I guess. We used to practice together every day before we auditioned."
You look away, smiling. Somehow I think you look sad, and after a few seconds I gently turn your face towards me.
"You okay?" I ask, tilting my head and looking at you searchingly.
"I'm a little jealous," you admit after a moment and look at me apologetically. You're jealous? You wince as if you're expecting me to condemn you for it.
"Don't be." I hug you before I know what I'm doing. You're jealous of my relationship with Junsu. What do I think about that? "You're special."
I'm somehow not surprised to find your arms around me. I'm in no rush to release you, and it seems like you aren't either. But after a minute, I involuntarily think of your body and become too self conscious. I don't want you to be able to feel how quickly my heart is beating, so I let go of you.
You're blushing. It takes me a second to realize it, but you are. It can't be for the reason that I want it to be. It just can't be.
"C'mon," I say quietly, turning away and opening the door quickly. "We need to get your stuff."
"What does your sister do?" you ask, breaking the silence on the train heading towards my home city.
"She's in college."
"Do you want to go to college, too?"
"Yeah." I sigh. "You?"
"I suppose. I think so. Yes."
I laugh. "I just want to go and learn something, I guess."
"I understand." You smile. "I'm excited to meet your family."
"I hope you like them."
We keep up the conversation this way until the awkwardness wears off, and then we're talking normally again. When we arrive, you start expressing curiosity about the city, and I laugh and tell you that it's an ordinary place, but you say that it isn't because it's where I used to live. We ride a bus for a few stops, and when we get off you look around with interest.
"So this is your town..."
"Where's your house?"
"This way. We have to walk for a while."
You take a few quick steps to catch up with me, and we walk to my house. You ask about my neighborhood the entire way. You stop outisde of my house and look at it, and I feel self conscious and tell you that it's nothing special, but you say that you like it. We walk up the steps, I unlock the door, and we go inside.
"I'm home," I call, and my sister comes around the corner and hugs me, gushing birthday congratulations and inquiries about how I'm doing. I'm old enough now that I can hug her without feeling embarrassed. We let go of each other, and I motion to you.
"This is my friend, Lee Donghae." My sister beams and you bow, introducing yourself again. She tells you that she's delighted to meet you, and I smile and take off my shoes. You follow suit, and we walk into the kitchen, where my mother is. On the way, you look at everything, taking in as much as you can.
My mother welcomes me home affectionately, purring over her beloved son. She catches sight of you, and I can tell that she likes you instantly because her face lights up into a genuine smile. You bow respectfully and introduce yourself. My mother ushers you in and asks us if we're hungry.
"We won't eat dinner until your father comes home in an hour. Can you wait?"
"Yeah, no problem," I say. "I'm gonna put my stuff upstairs." I look at you, inviting you to come upstairs silently. You look at the pictures on the walls as we walk upstairs and into my room. I close the door behind us and drop my bag down next to my bed.
You're standing still, just looking from one thing to the next with open curiosity. You catch me looking at you and you smile - it breaks your immobility and you put your things down. I sit down on my bed and continue watching you as walk over to my desk.
"So this is where you studied..." You sit down at it and spin around in the chair twice. Your eyes pass over my walls; posters of H.O.T. and random stuff cover them. I laugh and admit that I didn't study enough at that desk. I was too busy practicing dancing. You pick up a photograph and smile at it.
"This is you as a baby?"
"You were cute."
"Thanks." You look at me and we both laugh over the short exchange, and you put it back and sit down next to me.
"I like your room. It's so clean."
"Your family is nice."
"They're okay." I smile. "They like you."
"Good," you say softly, leaning your head back and looking out of my window. "I want to be liked by them."
"If I like you, they'll like you. If I love you, they'll love you."
"Do you love me?"
"What a weird thing to ask." I laugh, but you don't. Do I love you? I don't know if I do or not. I like you a lot. There's nothing stopping me from loving you...it's just that I haven't known you long enough to say that I do. Or maybe I just don't even know what love is yet.
"Yeah, I guess it is. I guess boys don't..." you trail off, and I wonder what you were going to say. You pick a photograph off of my nightstand and look at it. I wonder if you're embarrassed, or if you've simply moved on already.
"Is this your father?" you ask, pointing at him in the picture. It's a nice photo of my family from when I was little.
"Yeah." I smile. "He looks a lot older now, though."
"How old were you?"
You nod slowly. "You look nice together. You, your sister, your mother, and you father. Complete, you know? Happy. You look a lot like your mom..."
I admit that it's true, and you smile at me and put the photograph back. "You were born in a good month."
"More than any other?"
"April is pretty. Don't you like cherry blossoms?"
I tell you that I do like them. We talk for a few more minutes until I suggest that we go back downstairs, and you agree that we should go. My mother and sister are genuinely curious about you, and they include you in all of our conversations. If they didn't, then I would, but it's nice not having to work to have you be a part of things. My mother and sister start cooking dinner, leaving us alone in the living room, and you turn towards me and talk with me again while they're busy.
My father arrives, and I reunite quickly with him as he steps in through the door. Like the rest of my family, he's pleased to meet you. You get along well with my family - but you get along with everyone, really. We eat dinner together, and it's a cheerful event; we talk and laugh a lot. I'm really happy to be together with my family and you today. I'm glad that I had the courage to ask you to come back with me.
Afterward my sister helps my mother clean up, and I talk with my father and you. My father takes the opportunity to ask me about school and training, and I supply him with an update. Only now that I'm not living here do I miss having my family there every day, always wanting to know how I am and what I'm doing.
My mother turns out the light and presents me with my birthday cake; a yellow cake layered and topped with strawberries and seventeen candles. My face splits into a huge smile as they sing me happy birthday. I can't help but notice that your voice is pretty. I like hearing you sing to me. I look at the candle flames, shimmering happily in the dim light. What should I wish for?
The answer is obvious.
I wish that you like me.
I blow out all of the candles in one breath. Supposedly that means that it will come true, but I realized as a child that wishes often don't. It's just a traditional form of hoping.
The lights come back on, and you and my parents clap as my sister hugs me and squeals over how old her baby brother is getting. My mother gets the camera and sets it on the countertop facing us. You try to move away as she sets it up for a photo, but I pull you back, and my family chides you, telling you that you're my friend and will absolutely take a photo with us.
You and my family gather around me and smile at the camera, anticipating the flash. You lean in and put an arm around my neck and throw up the peace sign. I smile helplessly at the camera and enjoy myself. The flash goes off, and we relax. My mother cuts the cake and gives me the first slice. I've always loved strawberries, and strawberry cake is my favorite kind of cake.
An hour later, my sister says that she has to leave and get back to her college. She hugs us goodbye and hands me a small wrapped gift before she goes. I thank her, and she wishes me a happy year. She says she'll call me and my parents tell her to be safe on her way home. My mother turns to us after she's gone and tells us to go to bed because we have to get up early to return to Seoul. She offers you the guest bedroom, and you accept it.
I show you where the guest room is, and then we go back to my room to get your things. You shut the door behind you and lean against it.
"Are you really going to sleep now?" you ask.
I shrug and sit down on my bed, holding my sister's present in my hands. "Yeah."
"When are we waking up?"
"Six or so."
"So early..." you wince. "Ah, well. I guess we have to sleep, then."
"Unfortunately." You pick up your backpack and stand in front of me. I look up at you, and you meet my eyes, an expression on your face that I can't quite place.
"How do you feel?" you ask. "Do you feel different?"
"Not really," I admit. "I think I stopped feeling a difference when I turned fourteen..."
"Yeah, I guess the more birthdays you have, the less special they are." You nod slowly. "Your parents...do they have gifts for you?"
I smile. "They'll give them to me later. They didn't want to in front of a guest."
"You should open that," you say, nodding at the present from my sister. "Do you mind? I want to see what she got you."
I hope that it isn't something embarrassing and open part of the wrapping. I think sometimes you influence me too much. I find your suggestions too easy to follow, even when they make me uncomfortable. I can't help it - I just want to please you. I don't want to disappoint you.
I nod and look at the cover art. It's a foreign CD - Parachutes by Coldplay. You lean forward and look at it with me. You turn the CD over in my hands and I blush a little as your fingers touch mine.
"Yellow," you say softly, picking the song title that you most immediately recognize and understand. "She likes English music?"
"I guess so. That's nice of her." I put the CD down on my nightstand. "I'll take it back with me and listen to it."
"If it's good, can I borrow it sometime?"
"No problem." I smile.
"Thanks." You're lingering as if you're reluctant to go. As I'm thinking of saying good night, you raise your hand and touch my cheek, your fingers gentle and light against it. You open your mouth with a small, sharp intake of breath as if you're going to say something, but you bite your lip instead. You cup the side of my face for a second, and then your hand drops.
"Happy seventeenth birthday, Hyukjae!" you say quietly, your voice tense and almost embarrassed. You quickly turn and leave, leaving me blushing and staring at the door after you're gone.
What was that?
What were you going to say?
I can't believe how fast my heart is pounding. I touch my cheek where you touched it, and the skin feels hot to me. My god. I put my hand over my heart gingerly. My pace won't slow down at all. I quickly turn off the light and climb into bed and hug myself, curling into a ball. I almost feel like crying. I want to hide.
Do you like me, or are you just affectionate?
[Next Part] Chapter Three: Blue