Romance; AU; PG-13
Leeteuk has vivid dreams, Kangin more often than not makes an appearance in them.
Don't own them
For sycoraxsnow, happy
It's dark, something's amiss. He feels somebody behind, close and pleasant, pressed flush to his back and he can't even muster up the emotion of fear. His subconscious tells him that there are trees all around, unusual trees that aren't coloured brown and green. Hands fold across his torso, tickling the underside of his shirt, a warm breath blowing the chill away from his neck. He reclines into the embrace, finds his place in the body behind him, and just like that, the scene becomes wisps of velvet purple and sapphire coloured crystals - fantasies.
"Need a ride home?" A sleek black car pulls up in front of Leeteuk, windows rolled down. Youngwoon leans out, grinning from ear to ear.
"Rub it in, why don't you," Leeteuk sniffs, before nodding meekly and closing his umbrella, sliding into the passenger seat of the vehicle. "It's not my fault the examiner didn't want to pass me," Leeteuk whines as soon as he's belted to the seat, rubbing his hair dry from the rain.
Youngwoon snorts. "You're a threat to everyone on the road," he mutters, navigating expertly through the traffic.
"If it weren't for the car that got in the way, I would've passed perfectly fine," Leeteuk responds indignantly. Youngwoon chuckles and steps on the accelerator, driving past cars at a speed that would have scared the wits out of Leeteuk, if not for the innumerable amount of times he’s accepted rides from Youngwoon.
"Sure," Youngwoon says agreeably, turning the radio on. Satisfied, Leeteuk turns to his side and curls up on the seat, completely child-like for his age, and looks out at the rain battering down on the windows of Youngwoon's brand new car. He hums along to the music tinkering out of the speakers and finds himself being lulled slowly to sleep, head nodding and breath levelling out.
Leeteuk has the vague notion that he's dreaming again, and would think so too, if not for the fact that he can feel the wind in his face, the breeze fluttering through his hair and dancing waves of air on his neck, right smack in the middle of a meadow of green flowers and pink grass. Shuddering away the sudden chill that plays an icy melody down his spine, Leeteuk turns around to look at the view, blinking his eyes at the stars, a brilliant blue radiance backed by the foreboding black of the sky that takes his breath away.
Leeteuk takes a tentative step, apprehensively knitting his brows, rustling the bright pink grass. Slightly disconcerted, he pauses in his steps and closes his eyes, expecting something… anything. The only sounds he hears are the melodious singing of birds, words that make no sense entering his vision, twirling streaks of rainbows across his closed lids.
When he opens his eyes, Leeteuk finds himself floating leisurely upwards into the sky, blue coloured stars whooshing pass him, sweeping his bangs into his face and blocking his vision. Irritated, Leeteuk pushes his hair away from his face and frowns. A star bobs along at a relatively moderate speed and, leaning closer in inspection, Leeteuk realises it is only the size of his fist.
He reaches out to touch it, fingers extended…
“Don’t touch it.”
Star forgotten, Leeteuk spins around to face the owner of the voice. “Wh-what?” He stutters, as if he had been caught doing something bad.
“I said, don’t touch it," the man in front of him has his arms crossed across his frame, shirt pulling tight around his torso.
“Why not?” Leeteuk asks, taking his fingers back and trying not to stare.
The man glowers. “Are you stupid?” He asks bluntly. “Your fingers will freeze.”
Leeteuk blinks and nods his head slowly.
The other moves forward and leans in, examining Leeteuk. A look of shock flashes across his face "You," he whispers, suddenly. "It's you."
Leeteuk shakes his head quickly and watches the star bob away. "Me?" He asks, flustered, flushing a little under the man's intense stare.
The other bites his bottom lip, successfully distracting Leeteuk, before answering, "Don’t you remember?"
Leeteuk shakes his head once more, glancing away from the man's features and ignoring the pull of attraction he feels with the other in such a close proximity. "Where am I?"
"You don't remember?" the man leans even closer. Leeteuk takes a step back, foot landing on nothing but air. "You disappeared, a few years ago, and you tell me you don't remember?"
"I... I don't, I've never been here before!" Leeteuk cries when the other seizes his wrists, pulling him close enough for him to taste the man's breath on his tongue. "Let me go!"
The other man searches his eyes, and Leeteuk feels a little lost, a little overwhelmed. The other's grip loosens, and a sigh graces his lips. "I've missed you," he says simply, letting Leeteuk go, only to pull him into a warm embrace. "Leeteuk..."
"I don't understand," Leeteuk murmurs to himself, eyes staring listlessly at the egg white ceiling of Kangin’s room. "Aren't I only dreaming?"
"No," the man - Kangin, he'd told Leeteuk - insists, reaching for Leeteuk's wrist. "We were best friends; we were..." he trails off, eyelids sliding close in exasperation.
"We were...?" Leeteuk prompts, curious eyes turned upon Kangin's attractive face. He feels a pang of something, recognition, maybe, but Leeteuk can’t place where he’s seen Kangin before.
"Forget it," Kangin shifts on his mattress and sighs. "Go to sleep."
"I..." I'll wake up back home when I fall asleep, won't I? Leeteuk wants to ask, but stops himself. Kangin's breathing slows and evens out, leaving Leeteuk with his own thoughts.
Still unconvinced, Leeteuk waits for Kangin to start snoring - a disconcerting but familiar sound (that almost sounds like home) - before sliding off Kangin’s bed smoothly and creeping out of the room. He wanders through the house, edging curtains from the windows and peering out, straightening table cloths and kitchen ware. He steps into the living room and glances at the dark lengths of wood framing the velvety sky outside.
In front of the window are several photo frames. Curious, Leeteuk bends down so he can see the photos without having to squint, smearing dust away from the glass. It's a picture of Kangin and his family - a middle aged woman with youthful black hair and wrinkles that give away her age, a man whose hairline is receding and looks exactly like Kangin, minus the crescent eyed smile, and a small dog the size of Kangin's foot. He wonders idly why Kangin lives alone now.
His eyes flit over to the next frame, flipped down so that its back is facing up. Fingers of one hand playing with the hem of Kangin's shirt, Leeteuk turns the photo frame the right side up, eyes widening in bewilderment as his gaze meets those from inside the picture.
"What're you doing up?"
Leeteuk jumps, startled, and flips the frame back to its original position. "Nothing," he says with the slightest waver in his voice, turning around slowly, keeping his hands carefully folded behind his back.
Kangin shrugs and walks toward Leeteuk, stretching his hand out. The hand of the clock in the kitchen moves a tick. Kangin brings his hand back to his side, and stretches the kinks out of his neck. "Go to sleep," he tells Leeteuk gruffly, brushing past him and making his way into the kitchen.
Leeteuk lets his eyes rest on the broad shoulders of the man for a second longer than need be, before turning and making his way back to Kangin's room, gingerly sliding the picture of both him and Kangin into the pocket of his oversized pants.
When Kangin first takes Leeteuk's hand in his he doesn't think much of it, except for that sudden jolt of awareness that runs up and down his arm. Leeteuk still wonders, occasionally, when he'll wake up (and tries to push away the nagging feeling that he can't remember much about the world he's supposed to wake up in.)
The air is fresh and cool, cutting through the fog in Leeteuk's mind. Kangin swings his arm a little, hand still holding him tightly, as they walk through the forest, dark purple sky lit up with the crystal blue lights above. Leeteuk suspects that Kangin is bringing him to the same place he'd seen in his dreams.
Leeteuk has long given up asking Kangin where they're going, choosing only to follow Kangin blindly, matching his pace to Kangin's strides. Dawn has barely arrived, and Leeteuk can still feel exhaustion deep within him, fading with every step he takes. He's so busy being caught up amidst his thoughts of surprise and confusion that he doesn't realise Kangin has stopped until he bumps into him.
Caught off guard, Leeteuk jumps back in alarm, apologies escaping his lips and arms flailing wildly in an attempt for balance. Kangin laughs with mirth, reaching for Leeteuk's shoulders to steady him and just like that, a shock of excitement skitters through Leeteuk’s body, reacting wildly to Kangin’s touch.
Kangin, noticing the frantic look in Leeteuk's eyes, releases his shoulders and takes a deliberate step back. Taking in a big gulp of air, Leeteuk turns around and stills. Before he can say a word, Kangin has already closed in, arms forcibly sliding around Leeteuk's waist. In spite of his struggling, Kangin holds on, pressing Leeteuk to him and Leeteuk can feel every inch of Kangin, his warm skin, the rough patches of where his clothes have been stitched up.
They stay like that for a moment longer, Leeteuk relaxing against Kangin, gazing up at the sky of brilliant sapphire stars, flickering and dancing a million dances of grace and beauty. His legs give out and he crumples to the ground, Kangin following suit to protect Leeteuk from the forest leaves and roots that stick out, perilously sharp. He turns his head, and Leeteuk knows, knows, Kangin is going to kiss him. Exchanging quick breaths of hesitance and tension, anticipation and agonising thrills of excitement, Leeteuk almost closes his eyes, but something in him tells him he can't miss this.
Just as Leeteuk feels the slightest touch of Kangin's lips, rough from impatience, he's pulled away from Kangin's arms, tendrils of black wrapped around his arms and body, and Leeteuk only has the time to reach his hand out towards Kangin - whether in a gesture of goodbye or come with me, he doesn't know - before the entire forest disappears from his view. He's plunged into darkness again, and before he can come to terms with anything, he's back in his bed.
White blankets scattered at the bottom of his bed and on the floor, pillows stranded everywhere, Leeteuk awakes in confusion and the feeling of terror and panic in his gut. He grabs at the slowly disappearing wisps of his dream, locking them up in his heart, trying his best not to forget anything.
He can't afford to.
He searches himself for miracles, perhaps a leftover leaf or flower, anything that proves that it wasn’t a dream. Almost crying out in despair and disappointment, Leeteuk rolls around on his bed and kicks the mattress with his legs. He comes face to face with his bedside table and there it is - the photo he'd snuck into his borrowed pants pocket on the first day he'd spent with Kangin. Except that they aren't smiling in front of a background of trees and blue coloured balls of light, but the blue sky and white clouds of Earth, smiles echoing the ones Leeteuk remembers sharing with Kangin.
Kangin - no, Youngwoon, Leeteuk realises with a jolt, his best friend of sixteen years, his colleague, has his arm around Leeteuk, and only then does Leeteuk recognise the look of love and affection in his eyes.
The next thing he knows, he's punching Youngwoon's digits into his cell phone, heart thundering loudly in his ears.
Notes: Not my favourite piece of work, it doesn't flow as much as I'd imagined it to be. :/
And Issey my beta-to-be, WHERE DID YOU DISAPPEAR TO? ;_______;