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15 February 2011 @ 04:14 pm
judgment [eight]  
eight: sensation
kyuhyun/zhou mi ; pg-13 (3,205 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 | 007

-

Zhou Mi stepped cautiously past the intricate iron gates of the estate, the soft, barely audible crunch of the neatly-trimmed grass beneath his foot drowned out completely by the clanging close of the metal, as loud in his ears as it probably was to the neighbourhood, reverberating in the silent evening air. He felt a light pull at the sleeve of his shirt, and he met Kyuhyun's still-broken, glossy eyes, red from crying. Zhou Mi reckoned the boy had cried for a good part of a whole hour, back at the school; it was almost six now. When Kyuhyun had stopped crying, he'd asked Zhou Mi to follow him back home, and Zhou Mi was not one to refuse him. They walked silently again; he could feel little bumps on the soles of his feet as he trekked the long cobblestone pavement that led to the sizeable house at the other end. Along both sides, there was grass, then pots of flowers and little plants that gave off a contrasting yet calming aura. Unlike the greenhouse, the scents of the flowers were muted and not too overwhelming, as if it'd been dulled by the smell of fresh grass. Now that he was nearer to the house, Zhou Mi realized that it wasn't sizeable, it was humongous. There were two-and-a-half floors (he supposed the highest was more of an attic or storeroom), and the walls were a pleasant creamish-white. A pair of oak doors waited majestically by the entrance, the golden handles gleaming even in the dimming sunlight. Kyuhyun stopped at the doorstep, turned around and pulled again on his sleeve, pleading eyes meeting his. "Stay for a while? Please?" he asked, and to Zhou Mi, he seemed very much like a child, lost and scared and in need of someone, anyone, to be next to him. Zhou Mi smiled as brightly as possible, ignoring the clenching feeling in his heart, and nodded, "I'd love to."

Kyuhyun smiled back, a little grin, but a smile nevertheless, and Zhou Mi followed him in past the oak doors that opened smoothly with a soft creak. The inside was truly a sight to behold - there was a beautiful floral centerpiece on a white, high-rise table with matching stools that looked like a place to drink and do paperwork on casual days. The living room had soft and posh velvet-red sofas that looked like they might melt under one's touch, a book or two on the coffee table, a huge widescreen TV. There was only a glass panel separating the dining room and kitchen, from what he could see, and both were decked with gorgeous (undoubtedly expensive) furniture and utensils. Above him was a ludicrously high ceiling, a chandelier hanging down from it. The bulbs were bright, the light forming little rainbows in the air as they collided with the crystals hanging from the ornate antique. It seemed a very peaceful place, luxurious yet cozy all the same, home to the rich and famous, he supposed. Kyuhyun led him up the stairs; it formed an arc upwards, it wasn't spiral nor was it straight, just a curve. The railing was freshly-polished metal, so shiny that it seemed almost like a mirror. Their steps were silent against the marble floor, greyish-white with light tinges of pink here and there. Zhou Mi figured that whomever did the layout for this house deserved some serious recognition; tucked neatly in a corner was another smaller flight of stairs that he supposed led up to the attic. There were only two rooms, as far as he could see, each hidden behind a pair of oak doors very much like the front ones, just smaller in size.

Kyuhyun led him through the door on the right, waiting for him to enter and shutting the door quietly behind him. The wall at the far end was mostly occupied by a large pair of white-framed glass doors that led out to a balcony. A queen sized bed neatly made with white sheets blended in nicely with the light green of the wall behind it, the other two a pale shade of cream-white. There was a desk and closet too, and a table set out by the balcony for reading, he guessed. "This is... god, this is gorgeous," Zhou Mi said softly, still taking everything in. Kyuhyun smiled a little to himself, or so it seemed, as he hung his bag on his clothestand. "I spend a little bit of time on home décor," he said softly, seeming a little more relaxed in familiar territory. "I-I can find you clothes, and you can use the shower here; will... you stay for dinner?" he asked, his voice trembling, as if afraid to hear Zhou Mi's answer. The smile he wore when Zhou Mi answered him, though, with a bubbly "Of course! I'd love to," did wonders to his heart; Zhou Mi swears that only Kyuhyun could ever have done that to him.

-

Kyuhyun craned his neck to peer into the bottom-most drawer in the spacious kitchen; he absolutely couldn't believe that there wasn't a single packet of noodles in there. He readily admitted that he rarely cooked for himself, but he'd expected at least a single packet somewhere, anywhere. He opened cabinet after cabinet, drawer after drawer, but there seemed there was everything-- except noodles. He let out a sigh, kneeling down and opening the biggest cabinet door that contained three (two and a half, on closer inspection) sacks of rice. He'd just eaten rice yesterday, so he was pretty sure it was still edible. He scooped out a serving just enough for two people, and then added a little more as an afterthought, straightening himself with a firm grip on the glass stove. He could vaguely hear the faint sound of water trickling into the pot he was holding, then the clicking of gas as he set the liquid to boil, soon after the slight bubbling noise it made - all dim and muffled compared to the racing blood, the pulsing beat in his ears. It was chaotic, erratic, completely uncoordinated and defying all forms of uniformity. Kyuhyun had no idea why he'd dragged Zhou Mi to his house (he knew he'd always been less than coherent when he was crying); they'd known each other for little more than two months or so, and he had always been a little socially inept anyway, so he hadn't the slightest clue if this was considered too intimate too quickly.

He shook all (most) thoughts aside and concentrated on cooking rice and not scalding himself with the just-boiled water in the pot he was holding, and he set to digging through the freezer for mixed vegetables. He found a packet of green peas, carrots and sweet corn tucked neatly in the back corner of the first compartment and dragged it out to the front, nearly knocking over a box of pizza in the process. He balanced it with one knee while looking for shredded chicken and prawns. Kyuhyun pulled it all out in one go and dumped everything in an unceremonious clump on the glass, then glanced around the rather minimalist-looking kitchen in frustration, somewhat, uttering a silent prayer that this would work out. God knows cooking was not Chou Kyuhyun's forte.

Kyuhyun was well into frying the rice he'd cooked earlier when he realized he'd forgotten about the other ingredients he'd needed, like onion and soy sauce. Throwing them all in at random quantities, he mixed them all together till he felt it was somewhat equal, at least. He turned off the fire and stared almost resolutely at the wok, knowing he could barely trust his own sense of taste when it came to food, even simple dishes like this one. He just about jumped when he felt warm breath against the skin on his neck, sending a wave of pleasure down his spine, as he spun around and was about an inch or two away from knocking headfirst into Zhou Mi. The Chinese sent his signature wide smile his way and asked in his lovely, accented Korean that seemed even more melodious echoing in the spacious kitchen, "What're you cooking? I could smell it all the way from the stairs; it's wonderful!" Kyuhyun gave him a soft grin, smiling at the little childish side of Zhou Mi, his eyes big and wide and curious, sparkling in the light. "Fried rice. It's not much, but yeah. I was going for noodles, but we're completely out, and I don't cook for myself much, so I have no idea what else to make and, um, yeah," he cut himself short from rambling, turning his back on Zhou Mi, ignoring the flushed, hot feeling in his cheeks.

He turned around again, this time slightly slower, when he felt warm fingers curl around his, to meet that enchanting chocolate gaze. "Can I try it?" Zhou Mi asked, cautiously yet in a genuinely interested manner, and Kyuhyun robotically nodded, lifting the spoon he was holding towards the other's fingers. He watched nervously as the older lifted a small spoonful of rice into his mouth and chewed silently. "This is amazing! And you say you don't cook much for yourself," Zhou Mi raved, a brilliant smile crossing his face. Kyuhyun couldn't help but smile with him, the contagious, enlightening feeling reaching him too, as Zhou Mi volunteered to help, setting out the food while Kyuhyun braved the fridge again for ice cubes and some lemon tea (at least, he was pretty sure there was still some left). He swore he hadn't hummed in a really, really long time too.

-

Zhou Mi recognized the tune Kyuhyun was humming, that song from the new drama on TV that even the Science students were talking about. Something about scholars in previous times, he remembered, and a couple of famous idols were acting in it too; he couldn't exactly pinpoint the title. He couldn't help the little grin he wore as he carefully balanced two glass plates loaded with the rice Kyuhyun'd cooked earlier and placing them on the small yet prestigious glass dining table, infused with the same classy, minimalist feel as the entire house. Everything - from the mostly glass-based furniture to the wall-size window in the foyer - reminded him of spring, which was fast coming; how he'd missed the little pink buds that would bloom into gorgeous flowers, buds he'd last seen almost a year ago. Of course, he decided, no flower would compare to the beautiful one that sauntered out of the kitchen just then, his dark hair framing his face - it'd gotten a little longer from what Zhou Mi remembered.

Setting up dinner was a silent affair, but it was much easier with two people, and they sat down to eat in less than ten minutes. There wasn't much sound that echoed in the dining area, with the exception of metal occasionally clanging against glass and their soft chewing. Then there was sipping, and Zhou Mi decided he needed more noise - he'd had enough with the silence he faced everyday at the library anyway. "Tell me, something, anything about you," he said, after a gulp of orange juice, and Kyuhyun gazed up with surprised eyes at him and chewing a mouthful of rice. He swallowed it hurriedly and almost choked, but recovered quickly and asked, "Me? There's... nothing, really. I'm boring. There's nothing about me that would interest anyone," he said, his face and frame falling. Everything about you interests me. I don't care if you tell me where you were born or what you wear most. I just want to hear you tell me something that you don't tell anyone else, Zhou Mi was tempted like nothing else to say exactly that, but it seemed he needn't, because Kyuhyun seemed to rethink his words, and took it all back in.

"I... don't know. I don't know if you want to hear any of these," he whispered, placing his spoon gently down on his now-empty plate. He took of a sip of the can of soda on the table; his eyes flickered downwards, up to meet Zhou Mi's and back down again. "I-I'm scared of the dark. I hate elevators because it feels like I'm slowly being boxed in, especially rides to high floors. I like green, because it reminds me of leaves and morning. I used to play the piano, but I gave up, and now I play the clarinet, but not very well. I actually wanted to be the in the Music stream in school. I hate my handwriting," he continued to ramble, but Zhou Mi didn't mind in the slightest - from what he could hear, it sounded very much like he'd never told any of this to anyone, keeping it bottled up in his heart. Kyuhyun paused for breath, his eyes glimpsing their empty plates, then stopped altogether, pursing his lips together in a tight line. He stood up abruptly and took everything to the kitchen, surprisingly managing to hold everything with his small frame; through the glass panel, Zhou Mi saw him stuff everything into the dishwasher and letting the machine do the job. He came back out to the dining table again, stopping in his tracks, his actions stiff and robotic, drenched in awkwardness and anxiety. But then Kyuhyun spoke in the same gentle voice, "Will you come up with me?" he breathed, reaching down to grab Zhou Mi's wrist. "Please?" he added, almost as an afterthought, his eyes pleading and uncertain. But Zhou Mi wiped all traces of that away when he returned the grip on Kyuhyun's hand and smiled, "Of course." Anything you ask.

-

Kyuhyun only vaguely realized he was leading Zhou Mi up the stairs and back to his room, as if his legs moved of their own accord, and right after dinner, no less; his senses were pretty much numbed by the other's warm, comforting presence, somehow managing to tell everyone that whatever worries they had would be solved in due time. He realized Zhou Mi was gripping his hand rather tightly, almost as if he never wanted to let go (or so Kyuhyun wished). He opened the familiar oak doors again, completely unaware that they'd just ascended the huge marble stairs that normally took a while to finish climbing, closing them silently behind him. He led the Chinese to the doors that opened out to the balcony, opening them gently and leaving them parted, pulling Zhou Mi through them and out onto the platform, soaking in the chilly night air of late winter. The snow had already dried up since last week, but the flowers had yet to bloom and spring had yet to come, and it was cold all the same. Kyuhyun let go of Zhou Mi's hand (much as he didn't want to) and moved over to the railing, polished metal that gleamed from the light coming from inside his room and from the small chandelier hanging above them. It was close to half past seven, Kyuhyun guessed, but it was the time of the year where the sun set late; it was still rather bright outside, the sky a swirl of purple and pink and orange. He wished his art looked as beautiful as that. Zhou Mi joined him, standing next to him a few moments later, his fingers tight around the metal bar. "And you?" Kyuhyun whispered, "What about you? Tell me about you." I want to know, like nothing else I've ever wanted to know before.

Zhou Mi turned to face him, wearing a startled look, then settled into a smile again. "You weren't boring, Kui Xian, but I might be. Well... I like white; it's pure and sweet and goes with just about any colour. I've never experienced air-conditioning before I came to Korea, because we were really poor back in Wuhan. I read sci-fi books in my spare time. I've always wanted to learn the piano. I write poems and songs when I don't feel like looking at books anymore. I've always wanted to see a shooting star. I really love clothes, fashion. I really wanted to join the Fashion stream when I found out there was one in Cheonyeong, but my scholarship was for Science. I really want to go see America and how it's like. I..." he trailed off, his eyes meeting Kyuhyun's gaze. It seemed as if he was trying to grasp something, or brace himself for something, but Kyuhyun couldn't quite figure out what. The younger placed his fingers gingerly on top of the other's and nodded, telling Zhou Mi silently that it was okay to go on, whatever it may be. "I-I've only been in Korea for about three months, and I've lived in China for close to two decades. But I fell pretty much helplessly in love with someone that I met here; I've never felt anything like it anywhere else. And... the person isn't a girl," he let out a nervous, forced laugh, "It's a guy. I don't know... I've never thought it was possible for me to fall in love with someone of the same gender. But I can't help it now. I'm not sure if he knows, but I don't think he does. I've thought of telling him, so many times, but I'm not sure what he'll do or say. I'm worried I might push him away, because he deserves someone so much better than me. He worries about everyone but himself, withholds his overflowing gentility only from himself. He's beautiful."

Kyuhyun dropped his gaze down to the floor, faintly aware of the prickling presence of tears welling up in his eyes. He'd knew it anyway; who was I trying to kid? There was absolutely no chance that someone like Zhou Mi wasn't already taken, even if it was with another boy. He was tempted, to ask who it was (he wished like the world it was him, but nothing Zhou Mi said sounded like him at all), but he remained silent, fighting to keep his breath steady, his tears in, and his feelings locked up in his heart. Kyuhyun was never one that excelled at expressing, he knew that flaw about himself. Then Zhou Mi continued to talk again, as if changing the subject, "There's one... one last thing you should know about me. Something I think I've been wrongfully hiding from you, something you should've known from the start," his voice the gentlest Kyuhyun's ever heard. Zhou Mi's fingers intertwined with his, tight yet soft all the same, and Kyuhyun felt warm fingers lift his chin so that their eyes met directly, chocolate and mahogany, the same colour yet completely different; he could see Zhou Mi's eyes were clouded with emotions. Kyuhyun felt the other pull at his fingers, bringing him a little closer.

"I'm in love. In love with someone I don't deserve. In love with someone I can only pray will feel the same. In love... with you," he said tenderly, his voice and eyes and everything about him sincere. And as Zhou Mi slowly brought their lips together, meeting softly, Kyuhyun wasn't exactly sure he knew what was happening.



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