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17 April 2010 @ 06:15 pm
[Super Junior] all bets are off (it's a sure thing), PG, ShiHan/HanChul, gen  
This can be read either as gen or as having more romantic overtones: it's up to you how you want to interpret it. :)

all bets are off (it's a sure thing)
Super Junior (M), Siwon/Hankyung, Hankyung/Heechul, PG, 2860 words
Siwon knows that friendships should never be competions. (But if they are, make sure you win.)


It takes Heechul three weeks to forgive Hankyung. During those three weeks, when Hankyung is in China and the rest of them are in Korea (or Thailand or Malaysia, wherever their schedule guides them), Siwon calls Hankyung every day. He has the luxury of privacy at home, without nosy members chancing to overhear, and the luxury of not having been angry at Hankyung in the first place. He has no broken heart to nurse better, no bitterness to swallow before forgiveness can be doled out. Siwon has always been on Hankyung's side.

"He's never going to talk to me again, is he?" Hankyung sighs. "He holds grudges. I knew that."

"He'll come around," Siwon assures, more out of faith than an intimate knowledge of Heechul. Hankyung knows Heechul best out of all of them, but Hankyung's judgment is somewhat impaired. Skewed in bias. You can never be an impartial judge of any situation involving yourself.

"Don't worry too much," Siwon says. "Just focus on getting some rest for now. Did you say you wanted to go visit America?"

Siwon's flipping through the script for the first episode of Oh My Lady, but even multitasking he can hear the smile in Hankyung's voice when he says, "Yeah, I was thinking of visiting LA," and starts to ramble about his future plans.

--


The strange thing is that even though Hankyung probably knows Heechul best of all of them, the reverse isn't true. Heechul loves Hankyung, undeniably, and teases him mercilessly and chooses to pass time with him to the exclusion of the other members - but Heechul has never really understood Hankyung.

It's not exactly Heechul's fault. Hankyung is intensely private in many respects, and it's easy to hide things behind barriers like language and the ease of joking companionship.

--


"Hankyung's suing," Donghae says grimly and Siwon stops midstep to look at him. It's no joke. They pull stunts bordering on cruel for hidden cameras but some things they've agreed to never play around with, not after EHB.

Hyukjae's across the empty studio, slumped back in a folding chair. "I just don't understand," he says, voice soft like the world's been pulled out from under his feet.

Siwon runs a hand over his face and suppresses a sigh. He doesn't know how to say that he knew this was coming.

Donghae wraps a hand around Siwon's arm, blatantly seeking silent comfort. Siwon slips his arm around Donghae's shoulders without thinking and wonders who else knows now. He wonders how Hankyung is holding up. It wasn't an easy decision, he knows. Hankyung didn't confess to him in words, but he didn't need to. Siwon knows how to read the lines with Hankyung better than anyone else: they aren't sworn brothers just because they like each other and because Hankyung lets Siwon practice Chinese with him. There's something more fundamental in that relationship.

"I don't understand," Donghae echoes Hyukjae. They've always been on the same wavelength, reading each other without words. Just the same, Siwon thinks.

"Does he hate us? I mean, this is so--"

"Out of nowhere," finishes Donghae. He's frowning, leaning into Siwon's side. He looks exhausted.

Siwon tries to understand their confusion and their instinctive hurt; he imagines what it would be like and finds something approaching sympathy. But the words melt on his tongue when he thinks of Hankyung's slumped shoulders, exhaustion writ large into every muscle, and the way his lips flatten into a thin line when he is denied - again and again - the time to go see his mother. The way his eyes dart across the audience to find her and can't. The words melt into something bitter-tasting and Siwon frowns.

Hankyung doesn't have to say a word for Siwon to be on his side.

He pulls Donghae close to him and tries for tact. "It's a difficult situation. We should all pray for him."

There's something like betrayal in the gaze Donghae darts up at him and Siwon flashes him a quick smile. "We'll be all right," he promises. "Though I'll pray for us too."

He hopes he's not imagining the slight easing of Donghae's shoulders.

Hyukjae bites his lip, worried.

Siwon thinks about calling Hankyung and hopes he'll still be picking up his phone.

--


Hankyung and Siwon don't fight. That doesn't mean they're never upset with each other or that they always work in harmony; conflicts are a natural part of life. But they don't fight because they always understand where the other one is coming from and they talk: they compromise. Siwon never resents Hankyung for his decisions and Hankyung never complains about Siwon behind his back, not seriously.

So Siwon isn't surprised when Hankyung tells him that Siwon's is the only call he's answered so far from the members.

"I just--" he says. "I knew you wouldn't judge me. I mean, the others-- I love them, but... You know how they are. They don't understand. They wouldn't understand." His voice gets quieter, heavier, like it's weighed with guilt. "Heechul, he..."

He doesn't finish the sentence, but he doesn't need to. Siwon can imagine too well their hyung's incredulous laughter, his countless texts, his mounting anger. Heechul lashes out when he's hurt, and no one has the ability to hurt him like the few he lets close to his heart.

Siwon can't hurt Heechul that way, but it's more important to Siwon that Hankyung will never hurt him that way. He can't.

--


It takes Heechul three weeks before he forgives Hankyung. He still doesn't talk to him for another three months.

--


"I'm sorry, Siwon. I didn't mean to make things difficult for you too." Hankyung is apologetic but Siwon shrugs it off. Hankyung doesn't sound tired anymore; he doesn't sound resigned. He sounds happy and rested and confident. Siwon pushes his glasses back up his nose and marks a line in his script he's been having trouble with.

"It's fine, ge. Heechul will come around."

It's like a mantra now, how often he's said that. It's been three months and Heechul looks right past him like he's a ghost. Three months of Heechul playing with Mithra and Jungmo, celebrating Hongki's birthday and sneaking into Kibum's movie premiere. He watches Sungmin and Jongwoon's plays and smiles encouragingly at Jungsu and Hyukjae. He gets himself another radio show and doesn't comment on Siwon's acting. Doesn't mention Hankyung's brief trip to the States.

The other members have noticed it too: Donghee tries to bring it up but Siwon just smiles and says it will pass. Ryeowook gives him concerned looks that only double when Siwon catches them. No one tries to broach Heechul - or if they have, Siwon never heard about it. Nothing has changed.

Hankyung knows Heechul best of all of them and he was right when he said that Heechul holds grudges. Even when he is no longer angry, it becomes the principle of the thing, Hankyung explains. Siwon doesn't understand the attitude and doesn't try to. Heechul, for all that Siwon loves him, has always been like a piece of abstract art - beautiful, creative, and inexplicable.

Siwon shifts his phone and reaches for a glass of water, wishing for Coke. Being in a drama means having to watch his weight even more than usual. "I'm so envious," he sighs. "Gege's at home eating all of Han-mama's delicious foods. I bet you've gained so much weight."

The laughter in his ear has been sorely missed. It's more than a fair trade-off.

"She won't stop feeding me. I can barely walk anymore, Siwon, much less dance. Next time you see me, I'll be waddling."

"I'll let Zhou Mi know. He'll be pleased that your legs will be all bloated and his will reign again."

Hankyung snorts. "Even fat, my legs are longer than his."

Siwon grins. "Don't worry, ge, I will always love your legs best."

"Thanks, I think."

"But I'm still taller."

"Oh fuck you." Laughter, again, and Siwon's given up reading his script, too busy smiling and tapping his pen idly on the table. He misses Hankyung a lot, but it's worth it when Hankyung is this happy. It's worth it when Hankyung knows that Siwon is happy for him - the only one who is genuinely, whole-heartedly glad.

--


Friendships should never be competitions. This is something Siwon once told Hyukjae when he came in, eyes lowered and biting his lip, confessing that he felt like he was losing Donghae. A combination of all that time in China and his newfound friendship with Henry and the fact that Donghae is, well, very much Donghae - brimming with open affection towards just about everyone he meets. Siwon hugs Hyukjae to him, tells him, friendships should never be competitions. It's not about winning. It's about loving and sharing and being honest. Hyukjae leaves smiling again and Siwon cuffs Donghae over the head later. Donghae squeezes his arm and makes a show of supporting «혁재+동해=♥» for the next string of concerts.

Siwon isn't competing for Hankyung's friendship.

--


He doesn't have competition.

--


Kyuhyun was angry too, for different reasons. He came to Siwon with burning eyes, black and displeased. He thought Hankyung was being selfish, that he should have at least told them what he was planning, that to throw them to the curb like this left Super Junior M in limbo, uncertain and unsure. Siwon can't read between Kyuhyun's lines like he can with Hankyung, but he doesn't have to when Kyuhyun is all but shouting: What about Zhou Mi? What about Henry?

Siwon said the right things, promised again to pray for them, and left a dissatisfied Kyuhyun staring after him. Siwon knew Kyuhyun would forgive Hankyung just as Heechul would, though.

The difference between Kyuhyun and Heechul, as Siwon finds out later, is that Kyuhyun is still willing to talk to Hankyung. He's willing to shout and demand answers and snap back, but he's willing to listen when Hankyung explains and apologizes. He bows his head when Hankyung says, soft, I've already talked to Zhou Mi. I worry about him too, you know. But I had to...

Kyuhyun loves Hankyung almost as much as Heechul does. But he doesn't love Hankyung best, and that is why he can let it go.

--


"I guess I can't even go see you," Siwon says wistfully. It's a pipe dream when he's so busy filming the drama, but it would be nice to see Hankyung again.

"You know it's better if I don't see any of the members right now," Hankyung says. "At least not until the whole lawsuit is settled." But Siwon knows that if Siwon had the time, if he went to Beijing, Hankyung would never turn him away.

--


Three months and three weeks after Heechul finds out, he talks to Hankyung again. It's a phone call - brief and superficial, nothing but small talk. "It was the most awkward conversation in the world," Hankyung tells Siwon that night, sounding tired again - tired and conflicted and unhappy. Siwon's chest clenches. "I had no idea what he wanted. God, he's just so frustrating. Why is he like that?"

Siwon doesn't have an answer for him. Heechul hasn't started talking to him again yet.

"I always told you he'd come around," he says instead. He tries to sound warm, pleased. "Heechul-hyung misses you. He's just bad at apologizing."

Hankyung huffs a laugh through the line and Siwon warms without effort this time. "What does he have to apologize for?" His tone is incredulous and self-effacing.

Siwon doesn't know what to say for a moment, losing the words in an onslaught of confusion. "For ignoring you for three months, ge. For punishing you even though he stopped being angry ages ago."

"He had a right to be angry."

"No, he didn't! He wouldn't have been angry if he'd understood you! He should know why you had to do what you did--" Siwon catches his voice rising and stops himself, pinching the bridge of his nose.

Hankyung sighs. "Not everyone is you, Siwon."

That's true. Siwon is the only who understands Hankyung as well as he does. He's the only one Hankyung can trust to always have his back and always support him. Siwon is always on Hankyung's side.

The tension eases out of Siwon and his body relaxes. "I'm sorry," he says quickly, because he should've known to predict Hankyung's feelings towards Heechul. Hankyung will always feel guilty, especially about Heechul, even when it's not his place to. "I just," he starts, thinking I miss you.

Hankyung says, quietly, "I've missed him."

Siwon pauses.

--


Kibum and Ryeowook are close friends and confidants because they are the same age. Donghee and Sungmin are the same way. Siwon has assumed for ages that the same holds true for Heechul and Hankyung - altered for the uniqueness of Heechul being Heechul and Hankyung being foreign, of course, but more or less the same principle. They are close because it is easiest, in a society so divided along age hierarchies. This is why, Siwon thinks, he can get along so well with Donghae and Hyukjae.

But even Donghae has a soft spot for Kibum and Hyukjae is strangely close with Jungsu. They have people they love outside of each other. They have worlds outside of each other.

Hankyung has Siwon. He has all of Super Junior M, of course, but above all he has Siwon.

Siwon always believed that Hankyung knew that as an inherent truth.

--


"Did you know the idiot went to the U.S. just to study dance with Michael Jackson's old teacher?" Heechul demands. "He didn't even leave LA! There is so much over there and that's all he did. He made a milkshake. You can get milkshakes in Seoul! He didn't even go to New York."

Siwon turns up the volume of his iPod and flips through his Bible, looking for a peace that eludes him. Yes, he wants to say. Yes, I knew he went to the U.S. I know what he learned. I know what he saw. I know, hyung, because I've talked to him every day.

Ryeowook is a much more receptive audience to Heechul's storytelling. He's lit up like he's so happy that Hankyung and Heechul are talking again, thrilled to hear news on how Hankyung's doing. As if Siwon couldn't have told him the same things and earlier besides.

But Siwon has been keeping his conversations with Hankyung to himself because he wanted to respect Hankyung's privacy. Hankyung's mentioned talking to the other members occasionally; if there are things he wants to share only with Siwon, Siwon will not disclose them without permission. Anything Hankyung wants the others to know, he can tell them himself. Siwon has never needed to be a megaphone for news the way Heechul does.

He hopes Heechul's not spilling secrets and glances down at his lap.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

He closes the Bible.

--


"Ge," he says, after one too many rehearsals for the fourth album with too few members, "ge, won't you at least come and see us?"

"I can't, Siwon. I'm sorry. You know that."

The same apologies, over and over, start leaving Siwon tired and cold and - in a small, buried part inside him - afraid.

--


And then suddenly Super Show II is over and Siwon is facing a brittle reality: Heechul is smiling again, talking fast and furious on Youngstreet, changing his hair and speaking to Siwon again. He knows things about Hankyung's schedule and Hankyung's life that Siwon doesn't find out until later or only finds out secondhand.

Siwon isn't blind and he isn't stupid. Sometimes he wishes he could be.

He runs a hand through his hair and tosses the latest script onto his desk. He has an early filming schedule tomorrow, so he might as well go to bed early. There's no reason to stay up.

The digital clock on his desk reads a bright 23:03. Hankyung's told him before that he gets to bed before midnight every day now, but it's still early enough that Siwon should catch him.

He dials a familiar number and sits down on the edge of his bed as it rings, propping his elbows on his knees.

When Hankyung picks up, he sounds short of breath, laughing and affectionate. "Hey, I thought I told you not to call tonight. I'm out with friends."

He didn't tell Siwon that. But Siwon knows who he did tell.

"Sorry, hyung," he says softly, staring at his hands. "I'll talk to you some other time."

"Later," Hankyung promises cheerfully and hangs up.

Siwon ends the call and stands up. He looks down at the phone in his hand for a moment longer, some undefinable ache pulsing inside his chest. Then he puts the phone down on his desk beside the script and gets ready for bed.

--


Siwon isn't competing for Hankyung's friendship. He never had a chance of winning.




--

Started/Finished: 2010.04.17

Notes: Bible verse is from Luke 6:41 (NIV).
 
 
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{ ha . to . ri ||| マブ達の三人 }: a little closercoyotecolored on April 17th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
.... you're breaking my heart :((((
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: shihanmeiface on April 17th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
:(!! I'm sorry! I totally don't believe this at all, for the record. ShiHan, I ship iiiit. ♥
(no subject) - coyotecolored on April 17th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meiface on April 18th, 2010 12:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
BABY LOVE CRASH (OH MY GOSH!): shihanchul ot3ky_rin on April 18th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
I wish I had something better to say other than 'this hurts ):'
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: ot3meiface on April 18th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
The first time I write ShiHan in something like years and I don't even write a happy one. :( I suck.
(no subject) - ky_rin on April 18th, 2010 12:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meiface on April 18th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ky_rin on April 18th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meiface on April 18th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ky_rin on April 18th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meiface on April 18th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ky_rin on April 18th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meiface on April 18th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
カゼ - 風: HanMi - Don't cry MiMithelovelight on April 18th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
...oh. Oh Siwon...

This was a really, really beautiful read. Even if it did break my heart bit by bit.
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: ot3meiface on April 18th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
I didn't mean for it to end up unhappy for Siwon. ): But I guess it makes up for that one fic I wrote I don't even remember when where both Hankyung and Heechul were in love with Siwon and he was happily oblivious. Karma!
you're never gonna find true love, fuck you!am3thyst on April 18th, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
I think this is the one (and only) time I pick ShiHan over HanChul in a ShiHan/HanChul love triangle (I AM a HanChul shipper). Ouch, I really feel for Siwon, so happy that he can monopolize Han Geng's friendship and love during such a sensitive situation until he realizes he cannot compete after all. And even though I'm no Christian, the Bible verse definitely tugged at my heartstrings. UGH, I'm not even Siwon biased and I don't even ship ShiHan, but GUH. I really love this story.
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: shihanmeiface on April 18th, 2010 01:12 am (UTC)
I have never managed to pick which one I love more, so I usually just go shipping ShiHanChul. :D It usually works out nicely.

Sorry this turned out sad, but thank you so much for the awesome comment!
unschooled to the rules and too gumshoe: sungmin - sleepytime.transitorial on April 18th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
...

...

ow.
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: heechul feels your painmeiface on April 18th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
/patches with a bandage
(no subject) - transitorial on April 18th, 2010 01:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meiface on April 18th, 2010 01:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
ranwae: SiHanranwae on April 18th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
SHISUS WHY IS THIS SAAAAAD T.T *SOBBING*

i hate how subtle the entire thing was until you suckerpunched me in the last line. basically.

*sobbing forever*

u destroyed my ship sobs

some very beautiful insights about geng's situation though. if only for those, thank you *still sobbing*
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: >|meiface on April 18th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
I am so mean to Siwon, it is quite unfair. :( Still, thank you for your lovely comment! /hands you tissues in the meantime ♥
thedeal18 on April 18th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. Poor Siwon, heartbreaking really. I still remember what Siwon said about Hankyung when he first went back to HCina and Siwon surpised him on stage - that he will protect him forever as a brother.

Thinking about all that and then whole lawsuit thing...I feel so lost. You're story brings so much emotions in me that makes me tear up AGAIN.

It was lovely to read. Thank you.
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: shihanmeiface on April 18th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
I don't at all believe what I wrote here, which is perhaps terrible. I believe in epic unending ShiHan friendship. ♥ They are so close and it's so lovely to see how much they care for each other - I think that will always be true even despite all the current drama. :)

Thanks for the comment!
sirhinsirhin on April 18th, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
It was so beautiful! ...But with every new sentence, it kept on giving me a sense of complete depression. :/
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: >|meiface on April 18th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry to be depressing! :[ But thank you all the same!
{{ a y a m e | mabudachi trio }}hoyah on April 18th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
;________________________________; Mei~
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: pride of a nationmeiface on April 18th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
/distributes bandages and tissues ):
(no subject) - hoyah on April 18th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meiface on April 18th, 2010 01:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hoyah on April 18th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
{ howling at the autumn moon  }+{ s h i g u r e }hyperballad on April 18th, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)
Ouch.

;-;
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: hold my handmeiface on April 18th, 2010 02:53 am (UTC)
/hugs! I'm sorry it is not the happy. I knew you were looking for happy. ;_;
(no subject) - hyperballad on April 18th, 2010 04:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
fuzzymogwaifuzzymogwai on April 18th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC)
guh my heart hurts.

so much.

Shihan <3

i hope this is true (the talking every night part) but not the heartache of always being second best part...for shiwonnie anyway

it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: pride of a nationmeiface on April 18th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
Hankyung's said that he still does stay in contact with the members, so hopefully that part is at least working out well. :) ShiHan friendship is epic. ♥
earenya_berylearenya_beryl on April 18th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
Gah The one sided-ness of it all~~~ T-T
I was hoping Geng would get back with Chul ah but then..in the end it made Siwonnie ....
God I'm incoherent.
But as usual, your fics kinda made me feel awesome in its sadness.
You do that..the Awesome...
thanks for sharing :)
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: hanchulmeiface on April 18th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, this is only from Siwon's perspective! Geng actually loves him a lot and probably doesn't see it as a competition between Siwon and Heechul - he just misses Heechul because he at least gets to talk to Siwon every day. :)

But thank you for the lovely comment!
i enjoy wookgasms!: SiHanChulthundersquall on April 18th, 2010 04:23 am (UTC)
... TEAR MY HEART INTO PIECES WITH YOUR BARE HANDS, WHY DON'T YOU. ;______;

I love how slow and wonderfully paced and subtle this was, as I was reading it I just felt like someone (I.E. YOU, MEI) was putting their hand around my heart and just squeezing, slowly squeezing.

But I think the best part of this was the way you explored and described the dynamics between SiHanChul - just absolutely spot-on characterisation and it is so perfect, idek. This was SUCH a beautiful piece, Mei, even if it hurts. ;___;
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: ot3meiface on April 18th, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
I don't even know what to say, Sheena. ;___; I didn't mean for this to end up so depressing for Siwon. I will just leave you with the comment that your ShiHanChul icon is equally exclusive of Siwon as mine is! NOT MY FAULT.
没有你日子很黑白papered on April 18th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC)
oh mei. mei. I think my heart is breaking, ;_________;\\\\
it's weird to have a vibrating cat on your head: deliciousmeiface on April 18th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
/gives you a Hello Kitty bandage :3
cynthiadreamsbytheedge on April 18th, 2010 06:30 am (UTC)
Omg this hurts. ;_____;
cynthiadreamsbytheedge on April 18th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC)
poor siwon. ;__;
(no subject) - dreamsbytheedge on April 18th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meiface on April 18th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)