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15 February 2011 @ 04:00 pm
judgment [seven]  
seven: continuation
kyuhyun/zhou mi ; pg-13 (3,659 words)
when fate plays games with you, when there is no one for you to trust, when deceit hangs in the air, are you still willing to take love under your wings?
dedicated to doumyoujitsukas

001 | 002 | 003 | 004 | 005 | 006

-

Kyuhyun brought his knees as high as they could go, curling into a little ball at the foot of the gigantic raintree on the school field, as if they could provide him extra protection from the irate glares and the infuriated whispers and murmurs. He willed his eyes to focus on the fine text in his book, willed them to follow every single letter diligently in bold, black ink, trying to force out his surroundings from his mind, to be deaf and blind for a few moments of peace, and failing miserably. Was it just his imagination, he wondered, that it seemed the whispers were increasing in volume, more and more people joining in the conversation. He resisted the temptation to get up and run away, run to wherever offered him refuge, to the pavillions, the library, anywhere, any place that reminded him of Zhou Mi. But he didn’t think he'd have to - he was in Physical Education. The Science students should be on their way by now. He'd never really got a hold of how this class worked; it could've been considered the biggest legal (by society's standards, at least) regular gathering of students from both streams. He'd always attributed this to the fact that Phys Ed was compulsory for all students, regardless of which stream they were from, and it'd just been a coincidence that his and Zhou Mi's classes had been thrown together for one session, but he'd had no idea how things could've worked out peacefully - Art and Science students stood in two different groups from each other, not wanting to go anywhere near the other, some shooting each other revolted expressions.

There was a sudden spike in volume in the hushed discussions held all around him, and in the split second he glanced upwards, Kyuhyun saw the (somewhat glamorous, actually) Science students traipse into the field, and several groups of Art jerking, gesturing towards him. He couldn't care less what they said about him; there was an uncomfortable feeling pooling in the base of his stomach that they'd pick a fight with Zhou Mi. His eyes instinctively searched the vast green expense (he'd always thought Cheonyeong's field looked more like a meadow when he sat down) for the tall Chinese, to find him talking with the librarian he'd seen last week, the one at the counter. It seemed the Science students had yet to find out, because there were still people going up and down past the both of them and greeting them, so he supposed it was fine. But he knew it would leak out, sometime, somehow.

Zhou Mi seemed to catch his stare and stopped talking, and his friend's eyes followed his gaze. It seemed his face dawned with a sense of realization, and Kyuhyun saw him pat Zhou Mi on the back, gesture towards the tree and muttering something unintelligible. Zhou Mi nodded, sent a smile his way that radiated with some sort of promise, then continued talking with the librarian. Despite his curiosity, Kyuhyun made no move to approach him; the last thing he wanted was a scene in the middle of the field. He glanced around him again, belatedly realizing that Chulyong wasn't there, neither was Alexander or Youngsaeng or Yoseop. They'd never really favoured Phys Ed anyway, he figured, and he supposed they must've decided to play truant again. And as his eyes traced the lines in the book, he never really saw any words anymore, just the burning image of Zhou Mi's beautiful face.

-

"The Art students hate him now," Zhou Mi whispered, somewhat mortified at himself, and he stared down at the grass. He could imagine Siwon lifting his eyebrows in his signature style, but the reply that came was soft, very much unlike the normal Siwon, and Zhou Mi felt an urge to brave the Art block again later to thank Hangeng for whatever he's done to the pompous boy, "I know. Heard loads of those gossip girls talking about it. I guess we're just lucky the Science stream hasn't found out about it yet." Siwon chanced a glance at Kyuhyun, his delicate frame so small and fragile, and he was curled up into a timid position by the tree no less, reading a book. Zhou Mi knew Siwon hadn't quite paid attention to him during past Phys Ed lessons; he knew there was always a boy reading there that never played, but he took particular interest now. "He looks so... scared. Not just scared, scarred even. Like he's been living with this pressure all his life. But his looks, really; he could give you a run for your money," Siwon joked, lightening the situation a little. Zhou Mi couldn't help but let out a silent sigh, accompanied by a grin.

Warm-ups began, stretching by the rhythm of the whistle, and Zhou Mi vaguely heard something about today's activity being soccer. He wasn't really sure; he was stealing glance after glance at Kyuhyun, wondering if he was alright. Siwon elbowed him, painfully bringing him out his reverie as he whispered through the corner of his mouth, through gritted teeth, "Stop looking at the kid for two seconds, please? Are you playing?" he asked. Zhou Mi gave him an apologetic smile, one that he knew would soften Siwon's heart no matter how displeased he might be, and said, "Nah. I'll wait till everyone's started playing, but I won't play. I want to go talk to him." His best friend raised an eyebrow, but closed his eyes and smiled to himself, then joined the throng of people heading for centerfield. "You aren't playing?" he heard a call, and he squinted to find who it was - ah, his mind rang in realization, Song Joongki, his class' personal professional soccer player. Their sole hope at inter-class competitions. "No, I'm feeling a little under the weather today!" he half-yelled back, and Joongki raised an okay sign with his fingers to indicate he'd heard it. Zhou Mi glanced around - everyone was more or less preoccupied with something, and he figured it was safe enough to talk to Kyuhyun.

-

"No, I'm feeling a little under the weather today!" Kyuhyun's head snapped up at the sentence, unmistakably Zhou Mi's in that velvet-like, baritone voice. A pang of worry sliced through his heart; could it have anything to do with the stupid things the Art students said to him this morning? His heart and mind were both racing, as he considered all the possibilities, and he was so engrossed in thought he barely noticed Zhou Mi cautiously making his way towards him. The Chinese towered over him when he was standing, but his smile was the same soft one that Kyuhyun so loved. He stood still for many moments, as if silently, worriedly asking permission if he could join him. The younger nodded, and Zhou Mi sat down next to him, leaning back against the hard, aged bark. Kyuhyun abruptly closed his book and glanced around the field, blurting, "I-Is this okay? I mean-" he dared not continue, and gazed up at Zhou Mi with concerned eyes. "Will they hate you too?" he asked quietly, like a child lost in the complicated, conditional world of an adult, as Kyuhyun gestured towards the Science students on the field. Zhou Mi didn't answer for many moments, watching as Joongki and Siwon pulled off a perfect double-play combination, completely fooling the opposing team. The goal they made was perfect, and the Science students let out a deafening cheer. Kyuhyun could see a big portion of the Art students were sitting in the pavillion or the terrace. He was safe, for the moment. "Yes, they will," Zhou Mi whispered; the hesitation and pain in his voice enough to drive Kyuhyun to the edge of insanity. "But I don't really care. I mean, they can say what they want. They haven't found out yet though. Siwon knows, but he's fine with it," Zhou Mi finished, smiling.

Kyuhyun instinctively lifted a hand up to Zhou Mi's forehead, praying it didn't feel abnormally hot, and the Chinese seemed surprised at first, but made no move to pull away. "Y-You said, you told that guy you were feeling under the weather. What happened? Are you sick? Did... did it have something to do with what the Art students said this morning?" he asked, his voice trailing off at the last sentence, his hand falling down to his side again as he gazed down at the hard cover of his book, taking in the watercolour illustration of a futuristic empire. He seemed to notice a lot more when he was with Zhou Mi. Then the other answered, "It was just a lie. I-I wanted to talk to you, so I told them I wasn't feeling well. I wouldn't have to play then," he chuckled lightly, and Kyuhyun turned to glance at him. Why is it that he's always smiling? When he has every reason not to, when he should be staying away from me, but Kyuhyun figured he wouldn't unravel the mystery that was Zhou Mi anytime soon. "You've seen the horrible things the Art stream would do to you if they could," he began, gnawing at his bottom lip, "So why is it you keep coming back? I'm... just going to make things worse. You're here on scholarship, why are you screwing yourself up like this?" Kyuhyun almost begged, desperate for an answer. Zhou Mi merely smiled, "Because I want to. I've never had someone care for me in the way you do, as in, really, really care. Well, except Siwon, but he's an entirely different story."

Kyuhyun didn't reply to that, but nodded in acknowledgement, and they didn't talk for a long moment, hearing another roar of applause as the Art stream put in a goal this time, the girls screaming their lungs out by the sidelines. Zhou Mi spoke up again, "I-I just wanted to talk to you a little. I... wanted to ask you, i-if you're okay, after what happened this morning," he whispered. Kyuhyun was contemplating answering, or simply punching him; how could he be asking such a question when he should be the one to not feel okay? "Why?" he asked again, through trembling lips, grasping a handful of grass again, feeling the cold soil press against his fingers. "Why should you care about me, when you're the one who's going to get all the blame? You're going to get it far worse from me, so why do you keep coming back? I'm the one who's causing all this; you should be staying as far away from me as possible, I'm just going to drag you down-" Kyuhyun cut himself off, knowing he's already said too much. He couldn't let himself get too close to Zhou Mi, for both their sakes; he couldn't let Zhou Mi suffer any more than he's already had because of him, and Kyuhyun couldn't lose what he's never had anyway. Zhou Mi gazed at him, gentle yet firm, his fingers intertwining with Kyuhyun's, and Kyuhyun fell silent, revelling in the warm feeling again. "I like being with you. I like talking to you," Zhou Mi breathed, I love you, he wanted to say, but didn't, instead, "I feel really happy being with you. T-That’s why. I-If you want me to stop, that's fine too-" Kyuhyun squeezed his hand tight in response, and shook his head desperately, "Don't," he choked out. He decided he'd had enough of giving in to people, enough of doing what everyone else wanted; he wanted to be selfish for a change, to get what he wanted. And so, for many moments, they merely sat there, smiling small yet hopeless smiles at one another.

-

Kyuhyun was on the heels of three boys, all slightly taller than him, lanky and slim. They walked curtly and quickly, and it wasn't like anything he'd ever seen before. Normally, Alexander would walk almost gracefully, gliding on the marble floor, radiating refined elegance with each step. Yoseop and Youngsaeng would, he didn't know how to put it, traipse, bounce around. But there was none of that now, only silent, staccato steps, as if urging him to walk a little faster to match their pace. They walked, silence enveloping them like an unwelcome blanket, unlike the usual ruckus that went about with their friendly bickering and petty arguments. He never quite liked walking with the three of them, but this unnerved him to a whole new level. He climbed a flight of stairs, keeping his eyes fixed on their moving backs, wondering where it was they were taking him. He was getting ready to go home, actually, when Alexander had barked - and Alexander never barked - at him to follow the three of them. He'd complied, of course; curiosity nibbling at the side of his brain. They reached a dead end, meeting only a door, a door which Kyuhyun recognized as the one that led to the rooftop open greenhouse. Yoseop yanked it open and waited for everyone to get through, shutting it quietly behind them, quite unlike the normal bang and hyena-like laughter afterward. Kyuhyun pushed his bag further up his shoulder, taking in his surroundings. His nose was met with a choking mix of scents, fragrances from all the flowers that sat in every nook and cranny of the roof. There were beautiful, white clay vases of every shape, some china, even. It was a kaleidoscope of colours, red, white, yellow, all mixing seamlessly with the bright green of the leaves. There were stone benches around there too, and little watering cans that the Environmental Club used to care for the plants. The chilly air of the late afternoon blew against the many species of flora, some whose steams waved dangerously.

Suddenly all of that was no more, and he felt a stabbing sensation, a sharp sort of pain run through his head. He wasn't standing anymore, he was leaning against the white wall - Kyuhyun belatedly realized he'd been pushed against it, so fast he didn't know it was coming - his legs struggling to support his weight. He gazed up at his three friends, his eyes blurring a little, then his vision came back into focus again, to reveal irate faces, scowling at him like he was a beast in the making. "W-What's this all about?" Kyuhyun managed to ask. Alexander grabbed him by the collar, crumpling the crisp white shirt he was wearing, pulling him away from the wall and slamming him against it again, repeatedly, and Kyuhyun was almost in a painful daze when the cycle stopped. "What the hell? What's this all about? Do you even have the slightest idea, you son of a bitch, how much my - our - reputation has been damaged? You and some fucking Chinese Science kid? Get real, man. The girls've been asking why, and we've been losing friends, what the hell is this all of a sudden?"

Kyuhyun felt his vision flicker dangerously between white and his surroundings, almost like he was flipping two channels on TV too quickly; his head was throbbing with pain, an erratic pulse. His eyes managed to meet Alexander's though, "Don't... Don't call him that. His name is Zhou Mi," he whispered. He didn't care what they said about him, only what they said about Zhou Mi, because Zhou Mi deserved all the care the world could give him, which - to Kyuhyun - couldn't possibly rival the care and love he has to give out, pent up in his heart. He bit his lip hard enough to draw blood as he withheld a sharp cry; Youngsaeng reached out and punched him hard in the face, his hard knuckles connecting with Kyuhyun's cheek. That was going to bruise later, for sure. The boy stood, his face furious, his breath coming in slightly heavier pants. He willed himself to say something, anything, as his legs completely gave way, held up only by Alexander's hand on his collar, choking him slightly, "I don't care, what you do to me. He's a really nice guy, and he cares for me, dammit. He cares. None of you ever did anything. He wants to know how I am, he wants to know if I'm okay. None of you ever actually bothered. I'm going to stay with him nevertheless, so-" Alexander's anger seemed to reach a new height, because his long arm reached out to slap him in the face, at exactly the same spot Youngsaeng had punched him, cutting his sentence short. Blood was rising in his face, he could see a vein pulsing at his neck, his normally beautiful, exotic face contorted with overflowing rage, into beastly features.

Kyuhyun felt a strong iron taste at the side of his mouth, but ignored it, and Alexander completely snapped in that one moment their eyes met. Sharp, strong kicks reached his stomach; he felt like he was going to throw up today's lunch, but he said nothing, merely taking in the pain and whimpering it away. He slid to the ground, his abdomen throbbing with a sore, painful sensation. "You know full well," it was Yoseop's turn to snarl, "That we came to this school because of business. We get business partners for our families by making friends with other people with businesses. We keep ourselves alive that way. At the stupid rate you're going, we'll be fucking bankrupt! You are all sorts of mindblowingly ridiculous. I have absolutely no idea how we became friends. Or do you not care about how we're going to live in the future, without business deals for money?" And Kyuhyun forced his eyes up to meet theirs, coughing weakly as he clutched at his stomach. "But you never cared about me."

-

Zhou Mi'd never heard of a dancer with environmental causes before. Siwon had come up to him just as he was leaving saying he'd had to go home early because of an emergency, and Hangeng had to leave even earlier for a performance somewhere, and asked Siwon to water the plants in the open greenhouse in his place, who in turn asked Zhou Mi. He'd sighed and waved the boy off; he knew how much Siwon prized Hangeng's interests and requests, and so he found himself climbing the white stairs that led to the roof. The white sickened him, almost, it was dark and gloomy now that it was in the evening, and the lights were dim too; it seemed like an asylum, a hospital, where the white was almost a familiar evil to its patients. His footsteps rang loud as it echoed off the enclosed space, ringing in his ears a little louder than he would've liked. It sent chills up his spine, but he focused on the door ahead and opened it, sliding through it and shutting the door almost soundlessly. Admittedly, the first thing he noticed was the insane mixture of scents that could've produced the world's most choking and overwhelming perfume, and the cold late-autumn breeze. It was going to be winter soon, he realized, maybe in a week or two more. He wondered if Korea's winter was as cold as China's, and made it a point to ask Siwon the next day. He peeked at the checklist sitting on the table right under the installed awning, and he saw that someone had come up and done it already. He turned around, heaving his bag tighter around his shoulder, when he saw a frail boy sitting a couple of feet away from the door he'd just come from, his head in between his knees. His body trembled somewhat, it seemed like it was racked in sobs, soft sniffling noises coming from him. He was small, curled up into a little ball, his hair a ruffled mess.

Zhou Mi took cautious steps towards him, wondering who it was and what was wrong, and he knelt down silently before him. Zhou Mi figured the boy hadn't heard or noticed him yet, because he continued sobbing without words, or maybe he was just blatantly ignoring him. He placed a hand on the stranger's shoulder, as softly and gently as possible, "Um, hey. Are you okay? Do you need help?" The boy froze in place, his sobs stopping abruptly, but returning a while later, as he lifted his head off his knees. Zhou Mi could've recoiled, at so many things, at the tears that flowed endlessly down the boy's face, at the overwhelmingly beautiful features of his face, at the fact that the person was Chou Kyuhyun. "K-Kui Xian? W-What-?" He couldn't continue, staring in shock and horror at the pain that radiated in Kyuhyun's now-broken dark eyes, not just physical pain, but spiritual too. "Zhou... Mi," Kyuhyun whispered, his voice barely louder than a weak croak, his eyes wide with surprise yet still teary. Kyuhyun leaned forward, wrapping both arms around Zhou Mi's torso, pulling them close together, burying his face in the other's chest, and simply crying. This round came in loud sobs, cries that Zhou Mi suspected Kyuhyun had been holding in. He felt the front of his newly-bought shirt getting wet, the fabric sticking to his skin, but he couldn't care less. All that mattered, he decided, as he stroked Kyuhyun's back gently, whispering quiet words of comfort, taking in the subtle, sweet scent of his hair, was that he was going to find out who had done this to him, who had made him cry, and that he made Kyuhyun feel as loved and appreciated as possible. All that mattered, was that he never cried again, not like this. All that mattered, was that Zhou Mi returned the tears Kyuhyun had wastefully shed, because his tears were purer than the most sacred spring in the world. All that mattered, was that Zhou Mi saw that smile he loved so much again.



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