Rating: PG-13 (may change in future chapters)
Pairing: HyukHae (mainly, various others)
Summary: He'd once been told that his love story was like a fairytale but you don't end up with broken hearts in fairytales.
Comments: Whoo~ Sorry this took over a week for me to spit out! Vacation time and then going back to work kept me busy. To those of you that commented on the prologue! Thanks so much for the support. I'll try to comment back to anyone who comments on this chapter as fast as possible. Enjoy!
I don't remember the exact date that we started living together, HyukJae and I, just the two of us. It had been the plan since six months after we started dating, that once Super Junior had settled down and each of us were doing our own projects, we'd get our own place. I always found it amusing to read how the fans compared us to Jang WooHyuk and Tony Ahn. Well, whatever their relationship was, I had no idea and it wasn't exactly any of my business. HyukJae would generally roll his eyes, in a sense, hating the idea that he was so closely compared to WooHyuk hyung. Could you blame any of the fans? Not really.
We had called reinforcements and that meant KyuHyun and SungMin helped us move all of our stuff from the apartments we'd lived in with the other members and into our own. It wasn't a big place but it was comfortable and had two rooms, one that was obviously a bedroom and the other a place to set up a workstation. It would go without saying that the two of us would be sharing the room.
I remember SungMin pulling me aside, a child-like and almost devilish grin that he'd never gotten rid of dazzling his features. He wrapped his arms around me and cooed like a mother would a child. He'd always been that way with me and even if I never fully understood why, it hadn't bothered me. I enjoyed the sentiment and it made me laugh slightly as he gushed about how his sweet dongsaeng continued to grow up. Of course, he added a little extra snark, proclaiming that moving in with my boyfriend was the equivalent of getting married. I thought that was a little extreme.
And now as I stood leaning against the doorframe that led to our bedroom, I remembered a lot of things. HyukJae was sitting on the edge of the bed, the side opposite to the door and he had his back to me. He spoke quietly despite the fact that he knew I was standing there and could hear every word he said. His voice sounded tight and I shook my head as he reassured his mother that he was just fine.
He was not just fine. Nothing was just fine anymore.
Three years earlier...
"What's going to happen when your parents want you to get married, have kids, follow through with your obligation?"
HyukJae didn't answer my question for a long time and I could see that he was thinking. I always knew when he was thinking hard about something because his brow would knit faintly and a small wrinkle would form over his nose. That's how closely I paid attention to my lover and he never realized it.
"I don't know." He said suddenly and it surprised me.
"You don't know..." I repeated the words slowly and they tasted bitter on my tongue.
An awkward silence fell over the room and I raised my head from his chest to look at him, my eyes searching his for any form of reassurance or even certainty. I found neither.
"What would you have me do?" He asked after a moment and it was so soft that I barely heard him. "Do you know what it would cost me if my parents found out about you? Found out that I was gay?"
I scoffed faintly, shaking my head. "Don't you think it's going to be a little strange to them? That you're choosing to move in with me in the next year? What are they going to think if they come to visit and it seems a little too comfortable for us?"
HyukJae's eyes finally met mine and he shook his head. "Trust me...my parents are so jaded by their own idea of reality that they wouldn't notice a thing. Nuna, on the other hand, she's got ideas but she's not one to hold it against me."
"And if she tells your parents?"
I nodded, because really...I had no choice other then to believe him. He'd never been dishonest with me before. However, the little demon of jealousy was already unfurling within the pit of my stomach and that was never a good sign. I had such a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve and say things before I thought about them.
"I don't want to lose you." I mumbled softly. "I really don't. I can't even stand the thought..."
HyukJae shook his head, sighing softly. "Then don't think about it right now?"
"And what, think about it later? Leave it to go unresolved so that it smacks me in the face a few years down the road?" I'd opened Pandora's box.
"What do you want me to do, DongHae?" HyukJae looked as though he was on the verge of anger.
I sat up straight and shook my head gently. "What I want you do to...is promise not to leave me for someone else. What do you want me to do otherwise? Watch you get married and have kids with someone you don't even really love? Am I supposed to smile at your wedding and pretend that I'm thrilled to see you settling down? Do you want me to play with your future kids and not feel upset over the fact that it should have been me that you committed your life too? I'm sorry I'm a fucking human."
He laid his hand against my back and a shook him off. I was so tired over worrying what would happen between us.
"I promise that I won't leave you." HyukJae sat up and pressed his nose into my cheek in a small nuzzle before kissing it. "I love you and I don't want to leave you...so I won't."
"And your parents?"
He gave me a reassuring smile that held nothing but sincerity and I believe in that sincerity. "We'll worry about that when the time comes. If they disown me...well...at least I have you."
"They won't disown you, HyukJae. You're their only son. How could they?" I gave him a small smile of reassurance in return.
"I hope you're right." He grinned and kissed me.
Once HyukJae snapped his cell phone shut, he tossed it onto the nightstand near the bed and a heavy sigh raised his shoulders and dropped them. Slowly, almost hesitantly I slipped into the room and sat down next to him. I watched him for a few moments without saying anything. I wanted to at least give him some time to get his thoughts in order and he looked as if he was in deep thought. When it didn't seem that he was going to speak anytime soon, I made the initiative to do so.
"HyukJaeah...is everything all right?"
My voice sounded strange, even to me. It sounded strained and almost strangled, as if some invisible hand was threatening to cut off my windpipe. What was I so scared of?
HyukJae took a breath before he finally spoke. "Yes...." He hesitated. "No, not really."
"Yesterday, when I went to see my parents they pulled a small surprise on me." He shook his head, eyes closing for a moment as he took another breath. "When I was younger, there was a family down the street that my parents were very good friends with and they had a daughter my age that I used to play with. I didn't know it until yesterday but the family had promised their daughter to me years ago. Guess what that means."
"An arranged marriage." I could barely get the words past my lips. "Why the hell...that's so old fashioned, HyukJae."
He shrugged. "I know this but my family is old fashioned."
For a long time, neither of us said anything and it was as if the information was impossible to swallow. I didn't know that people still arranged marriages for their kids, at least not in this country but apparently I was wrong. Suddenly, the room felt cold and my skin felt clammy and I still didn't understand why I was so upset. HyukJae had promised me years ago that he wasn't going to leave me for someone that he didn't know or love. So far, he hadn't proved himself to be a liar.
"So...what are you going to tell them? What are you going to do?" I asked.
There was another pregnant pause before he spoke.
"I have no idea."
The pit of my stomach clenched painfully and I swallowed the lump that formed in my throat. "You have no idea?"
"Tell them, HyukJae." I shook my head, brimming on the verge of anger. "Tell them about us, about the fact that you're gay."
"I can't." He turned on me and I saw something in his eyes that I hadn't expected to see. It was anger. "I can't do it, DongHae."
"Why not?" My voice was raising. "Why the hell can't you? You tell me you love me...that you only want to be with me but you can't tell your family?"
HyukJae stood from the bed, his hands moving up and through his hair to brush it away from his face even if it was too short to bother him. I could tell that he was struggling to find an answer for me and when what seemed like an eternity passed and he'd still not said anything, I shook my head.
I stood from the bed, my whole body trembling in a wash of anger and disappointment, sadness and distrust. It was an onslaught of emotion that I had not been ready for and it left me nearly shell-shocked and numb. I left the room, grabbing my car keys off the hook near the door and stormed out, not even bothering to close the door. It was early January and the air was freezing but I barely felt it.