[Super Junior] Hangkyung/Heechul drabbles
[Notes] Hankyung/Heechul of Super Junior. I like these two. A lot. ♥
Heechul as a child was very much like Heechul the adult; witty and obnoxious and weird, just enough to make him impossible to ignore, impossible to forget. You didn’t have to like Heechul to recognize that he wormed his way into people’s minds and lives in a remarkable way. He was made for entertainment, soaking up attention and thriving under it. Part of him genuinely loved people’s eyes locked on him; part of him just want to be liked.
It’s easier to like yourself if other people like you too, Heechul admitted to thinking.
SM Entertainment was a new world, a new place to fill up with his presence. He spent his trainee years floating between groups of friends, close with many but never quite needed. Then Super Junior ’05 came, and Heechul stopped trying to be unforgettable and threw himself in to just remembering everyone’s faces and names. He wanted to stick out, wanted to be remembered, but 12 boys was a big crowd and Heechul spent days just trying to think up new ways to be an individual in such a group.
Hankyung watched him, sometimes, as Heechul stood in front of the mirror and practiced expressions until he thought one looked striking, or recited new, clever answers to the same old questions. Hours were spent, Hankyung watching Heechul watching himself and all Hankyung could think was that he didn’t know the right words in Korean to reassure Heechul that he’s just not that easy to forget.
In Chinese, Hankyung was well-worded and well-spoken. He was eloquent and poignant and perfectly able to express himself clearly. In Korean, he found he only knew how to say things in a slightly off-kilter way, the meaning close, but not quite what he really meant. He tried to listen to Heechul, tried to learn the way skillful speaking sounded in Korean, but Heechul’s speech wasn’t something that could be learned anymore than one could learn to be Kim Heechul.
Heechul never fought with words unless he was scared. When he was scared, syllables tumbled over themselves and he got tones wrong and slipped into a slightly-country dialect from his hometown that made Hankyung frown in confusion. But Heechul was almost never scared, and Hankyung was glad that he wouldn’t have to learn how to decipher such speech. Instead, Heechul talked circles around him and laughed when Hankyung got dizzy from it all.
When Heechul was in the car accident, Hankyung was terrified he would die and take all of the words with him. Irrational, illogical, but ever present in his mind. He visited Heechul in the hospital and stumbled over the simple greetings.
Heechul, to his surprise, tripped over words. He was amazed to see Hankyung, amazed anyone had come, amazed anyone would have remembered to come. And Hankyung could see the relief in Heechul’s wide eyes more clearly than ever.
“Hyung,” Hankyung said, willing the Korean to flow smoothly from his brain to his mouth for once. “Hyung, here. I’m here.”
Heechul held his hand tightly, like letting go today would be letting go forever.
“Don’t forget about me,” Heechul murmured, quiet for perhaps the first time Hankyung could recall. But the Korean wouldn’t come, wouldn’t escape, and all he could do was promise Heechul in lilting Chinese that everything would be okay.
That he wouldn’t forget Heechul, couldn’t forget Heechul.
Hankyung liked living with Heechul, for all the teasing and bossing around and general energy the Korean boy emitted. Kibum kept things calm and sane as often as he could, but even when Heechul’s excitement went out of control, Hankyung still liked him. Heechul was pretty, but he was still very much a boy, one you could make dirty jokes with and wrestle with and accuse of having smelly feet. Heechul taught Hankyung all the curse words he knew, and regularly tried to goad him into using them.
Sometimes Hankyung had days at a time where his Korean made perfect clear sense, and there wasn’t a single error for Heechul to laugh at him for. Sometimes Hankyung couldn’t make anything come out of his mouth correctly. Heechul would giggle and correct, gleeful.
And even when Hankyung couldn’t work his mouth around the sounds of Korean after a long day of being stared at when he spoke, misunderstood, talked down to, Heechul still always knew what he meant.
“Why are you leaving again?”
“I’m visiting. I miss them, hyung.”
“You don’t miss me?”
“No, that’s not—they miss me.”
“I miss you more.”
Truthfully, to Heechul, Hankyung had long since stopped being “the Chinese member”. He didn’t like labels when they were applied to him and he didn’t like them when applied to his friends, either. Hankyung was so much more than a language, an ethnicity, a country’s representative; it felt cheap every time he was referred to as such. There were things expected of Hankyung, both good and bad, that Heechul knew he fought to shake.
Siwon had taken to calling Hankyung (quietly, privately, when the cameras were gone and no one was around to give him strange looks for it) ‘Han Geng’; an acknowledgement perhaps that he was more than ‘the foreigner’. But Heechul never called him that, never looked at him that way, and never felt the need to clarify. Hankyung was his friend, his roommate, a fellow member. The name he went by didn’t make a damn bit of difference; he was still the same person. It was a stage name for life in Korea, in his mind.
Heechul teased Hankyung about his Korean, but not to be mean. He genuinely wanted Hankyung to learn not to make those kinds of mistakes anymore; he hoped people would point out the fact that he wasn’t from Here less often that way. If Hankyung spoke Korean, ate Korean foods, had Korean friends, was on Korean shows, sang Korean songs, wore Korean clothes, then it wouldn’t matter anymore. At that point, he would be Korean as much as anyone could be, and they would finally just leave him alone about his birthplace.
Hankyung was proud of being Chinese, proud of his language and culture and heritage, and Heechul never wanted to take that from him. But he did want to add to it; things would be easier for Hankyung if he was Chinese and Korean.
And maybe when he quoted bits of classic poetry randomly at Hankyung, he would understand a love confession when he heard one.