Title: In the beginning: Kangteuk
Pairing: Kangteuk (Heechul also prominent in the story)
Genre: Romance/Drama/Angst (bit not much)
Rating:pg-13/R (language, implied sex)
Summary: Part of a larger work in progress in which the story is told of how my favorite otps all came to be. This is the first chapter/part/installment and of course I had to start with my all time favorite forever Kangteuk.
A/N: So I've been doing the Kangin homecoming challenge, which has been, well challenging. They all are turning out wrong. I'm sorry to say I do not think I will be completing the challenge. So I decided to start this instead. Things went more smoothly. I do intend on completing this with all my favorite pairings. Some author's can write the whole coming out angst so beautifully it breaks my heart. I can't. This is my best attempt. So be warned. I am just proud that I just got this one down on paper because it's been begging to be let out for a long time. Hope you like it and look for more in the future! Comments are love (love me please?)
In the Beginning: Kangteuk
“You know you could at least pretend to be having a good time” Heechul remarked to Kangin from across the table. “It is Sungmin’s Birthday after all.”
Kangin merely growled in response. It was Sungmin’s birthday and the whole group had decided to go to a local club to celebrate. The only problem was Kangin was having a terrible time. It wasn’t that he didn’t love his dongsaeng or that he wanted to intentionally ruin the fun, Kangin was just in a bad mood. As soon as they had arrived Kangin had made a beeline for one of the corner booths bordering the dance floor, and there he had stayed all night. Other members had come and gone, having an uncomfortable drink or too before moving out to the dance floor. No one wanted to stay too close to a grumpy Kangin. Except for Heechul who seemed to revel in Kangin’s bad mood.
Kangin knew he was being a party pooper, but he didn’t seem to know how to stop.
“You’re one to talk” Donghae poked Heechul in the ribs. “You’ve been over here all night just texting on your phone!”
“YAH” Heechul yelped. “I’ve been on my phone inviting other people to come join the fun. Unlike grumpy gills over here” He gestured to Kangin who growled again “I am trying to add to the atmosphere, not take away from it.” He glared at Kangin. Kangin glared right back. It didn’t matter how much Heechul needled him, Kangin was not going to take the bait.
The song in the club changed to something familiar. It was one of Super Junior’s own songs.
“C’mon hyungs! You guys have to dance to this one!” Donghae insisted. The other members were already amassing out on the floor into the formation for their routine.
Heechul shook his head “Sorry Donghae, you know I don’t dance in public” Donghae turned his hopeful eyes to Kangin, who looked like he seriously might bite his dongsaeng. Donghae’s face fell as he realized he would not be able to convince either of his hyungs to dance. He quickly downed his drink and made his way out to the floor to join the massive dance party.
Heechul glared at Kangin and flipped his phone shut violently. “You made him sad.” It was no secret that Donghae was Heechul’s favorite dongsaeng.
“You made him sad too.” Kangin snapped back. Truth be told he did feel guilty. No one made Donghae sad without feeling guilty. But Kangin was too far wrapped up in his own misery and anger to even let it bother him right now.
“Look Kangin, just because Leeteuk ain’t giving you any lately does not give you an excuse to act like a little bitch!”
Kangin’s eyes bulged out of their sockets. He looked remarkably like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming semi truck, which coincidentally is exactly what Kangin felt like.
He realized Heechul was joking. He must’ve been joking, because no one, not even secret master Heechul who could get the dirt on anyone, knew that Kangin and Leeteuk were romantically involved. Sure the members had all at one time or another joked about Kangteuk being real, but they had been able to pass it off as fan service. Kangin and Leeteuk were friends and roommates. They were understandably close. No one knew the truth.
Kangin and Leeteuk had taken great pains to hide their relationship from everyone. It was just safer that way. If the media had somehow gotten wind of the fact that Kangin and Leeteuk were gay the scandal that was sure to follow would mean the end of their careers, and probably spell the end of Super Junior as well. Neither Leeteuk nor Kangin was willing to risk that happening.
Kangin knew there was no conceivable way that Heechul could have found out about them. Just like there was no conceivable way that Heechul could have known that earlier that week Kangin and Leeteuk had had an argument, and that Kangin was in fact not currently “getting any”. Kangin realized there was no way for Heechul to know these things and that he was joking.
But Kangin also realized he had been silent too long when Heechul said – “Oh. My. God.” There was ice in his voice, and Kangin realized it was already too late. He felt the bottom of his stomach drop out.
Adrenaline flooded Kangin’s veins as his body went hot, then cold, then hot again. His whole world was shattering. Because Heechul was piecing it together.
He still met Heechul’s hardened gaze squarely though. Kangin was many things, but he was not a coward.
“I’m right aren’t I? Holy Shit. Holy Fucking Shit!” Heechul was about to lose it and Kangin did not want that to happen. Not here in the busy club where even the pounding bass was probably not enough to stop someone from overhearing.
“Heechul.” Kangin said with gritted teeth. “Please calm down.” He didn’t try to deny it. He already knew it was too late. Heechul was putting two and two together to make four and it didn’t matter now what Kangin said.
“Calm down? CALM DOWN?!” Heechul yelped. “You calm down!” Kangin blinked in surprise, but he forgave Heechul’s lack of logic considering the situation.
Heechul rounded on Kangin. “How long?” He demanded.
“What?” Kangin had not been expecting this line of questioning. Tears, frustration, disgust, sure, but this was unexpected.
“How. Long.” Heechul demanded again, the ice in his voice replaced with iron.
Kangin thought back.
“I love you.” Kangin said, brushing the hair back from Leeteuk’s face. Leeteuk turned away.
“Kangin you know boys can’t love one another like that.”
“I don’t care. I love you and I know you love me.” He wasn’t kidding around. Leeteuk’s eyes filled with tears. Kangin continued “I don’t care if you think it’s wrong. I don’t care if THEY think it’s wrong. I love you and I know that you are going to be amazing tomorrow.”
“Thank you” Leeteuk said in a very small voice. “I think you will do an amazing job too.”
“And?” Kangin prompted grinning cheekily. Leeteuk chuckled, albeit a very watery chuckle. “And I love you too.”
That had been two years ago right before Super Junior’s first public performance, but Kangin knew it was earlier than that. There had been the months of flirting, desperate kisses, and even sex before the L-word had ever been mentioned.
“Youngwoon- ah” Jungsu cried out. “Right there-oh god oh god oh god oh god”
If Youngwoon hadn’t been trying so hard to rein himself in he might’ve echoed that sentiment. As it was it was all he could do to keep his hips from pounding Jungsu within an inch of his life. Oh god. He thought to himself as Jungsu squeezed around him.
But even before that had been the terrible months of ignoring the elephant in the room. The weeks filled with the depression and self doubt that came with questioning your sexual orientation.
“Hey Jungsu” Youngwoon called into their shared dorm room “Some of the other trainees are going to go grab some patbingsu. Wanna come?”
“No *sniffle* that’s ok” Was Jungsu crying again? Youngwoon wondered. The boy cried an awful lot and each time he did it did funny things to Youngwoon’s stomach.
“What’s wrong?” He asked coming into the room. Jungsu was curled up on the bed with his back towards the door. “N-nothing” He stammered.
Youngwoon rolled his eyes. “That was far from convincing hyung. Spill.” He sat on the edge of the bed and gently laid a hand on Jungsu’s shoulder.
Jungsu shrugged it off.
“Hyung?” He asked even more gently.
“Don’t touch me!” Jungsu yelled violently. He sat up and glared at Youngwoon. “Don’t touch me I’m poison! I ruin everything I touch! So just stay away!” He gave up and just dissolved into tears.
Youngwoon moved to embrace his friend. “Hyung. I don’t think you’re poison. I think you are wonderful, and nice, and funny.” Youngwoon knew Jungsu struggled with his self esteem. They all did at one point or another; it was a natural consequence of working in an industry based solely on how talented and good looking a person was. Usually Youngwoon could just reassure Jungsu with a few kind words and a hug. Not this time though.
“Stop being nice to me!” Jungsu demanded tearfully. “I don’t deserve it. If you knew the truth about me you wouldn’t say things like that.”
Youngwoon held his friend tighter, silently lamenting the fact that he would not be able to get any patbingsu with the other trainees, but he really couldn’t leave Jungsu in this state.
“Whatever it is you’ve done hyung. I’m sure it’ll all be okay.”He tried to comfort Jungsu again.
Jungsu sobbed. “What if it’s not something I’ve done, Youngwoon? What if it’s who I am?” He asked.
Youngwoon wasn’t sure if this was a rhetorical question or not.
“C’mon Hyung, please tell me what’s the matter.” Youngwoon pleaded.
“I-I can’t” Jungsu sniffled. “You’ll hate me.”
“Jungsu, speaking as your friend, I can honestly say there is nothing you could do or say or be that would make me think any less of you.” Youngwoon replied.
This just made Jungsu cry harder.
“I-I like someone” Jungsu finally confessed after several minutes.
Youngwoon was a bit taken aback. Usually liking someone did not make a person break down into tears. Also hearing Jungsu say that he liked someone made Youngwoon unconsciously bristle and he didn’t know why.
“So what’s the problem?” Youngwoon asked. He was still young and knew next to nothing about romance apart from what he had seen in the movies. If you liked someone you told them so. End of story.
“The problem is they can’t like me back.”
“Nonsense Hyung!” Youngwoon said still thinking this was a problem of Jungsu’s low self esteem. “What’s not to like? You’re a great guy! Any girl would be lucky to have you.”
Jungsu sobbed again. “What if- What if it’s not a girl?”
Youngwoon jerked back without thinking. “What you mean like a guy?” Jungsu nodded miserably. Youngwoon’s mind went into overdrive. This was not something he had any experience in at all. He had been taught from a very early age that being homosexual was wrong, that it was bad. He knew it was wrong, but he didn’t want to make Jungsu feel worse than he clearly already did.
“Youngwoon-“Jungsu said very quietly. “That’s not all.” Youngwoon furrowed his brows because what Jungsu just said was about all that he could handle right now.
Youngwoon scrambled off the bed. What he did next he was not particularly proud of- he ran. He ran out of the room and down the hall. He ran out of the building, passed his friends who were still waiting for him to go get patbingsu. He ran until he couldn’t run anymore. He ran away so he didn’t see Jungsu collapse back on the bed in silent desperate tears, but Youngwoon knew that was what happened.
Youngwoon collapsed onto a nearby park bench and cradled his head in his hands. He desperately tried to get his head around what had just happened, but he couldn’t hear himself think over the sound of his heart pounding in his chest.
Later that night after his heart had stopped trying to kill him, Youngwoon returned to his room. He was partially relieved to see Jungsu sitting up at his desk using the computer.
“Hey” Youngwoon said awkwardly.
“Hey” Jungsu replied, not looking at him.
“I-uh-I think I’m going to crash in Heechul and Yunho’s room for the night if that’s ok…”
Jungsu nodded. Like he had expected nothing more. “Yeah that’s fine. We can maybe ask Manager-hyung tomorrow about switching rooms or something-“Jungsu said bravely. His voice barely shaking.
Youngwoon’s heart palpitations returned with a vengeance. He felt like the lowest person on the planet. He knew what Jungsu was going through must be tough, but Youngwoon really couldn’t see passed his own discomfort.
“Don’t” Jungsu cut him off. “It’s ok. I understand.”
No you don’t! Youngwoon thought to himself. Because I don’t fully understand myself. “O-ok. I’ll just uh go.” Youngwoon quickly gathered his stuff and for the second time that day he fled.
His one night of crashing on Heechul and Yunho’s floor turned into two, then three, then four and before he knew it a week had gone by.
He hadn’t talked to Jungsu since that night. But neither had he gone to ask about different room arrangements and he knew Jungsu hadn’t either.
Youngwoon wasn’t sure why.
They avoided each other. Their other friends just thought they were having a rather intense roommate feud, it had happened before just never this bad. Youngwoon didn’t feel the need to disillusion them.
He knew he and Jungsu couldn’t keep this up forever, and sooner or later things would come to a head. He had heard from Sungmin that Jungsu wasn’t eating at meals. From what Youngwoon could see from practice Jungsu wasn’t sleeping either.
Youngwoon also couldn’t sleep at night and he knew it wasn’t due entirely to the fact that he was sleeping on the cold hard floor. He was too wrapped up in his own guilt and doubt to fully realize the toll this was taking on Jungsu- until the day Jungsu collapsed, right in the middle of dance class.
They took him to the hospital to recover and Youngwoon knew he had to be there when Jungsu woke up.
“You are stupid” Was the first thing out of his mouth when Jungsu opened his eyes. It was not what Youngwoon had planned to say but it was what came out so he decided just to roll with it.
“You are so stupid. You can’t even take care of yourself properly!” Youngwoon wasn’t angry as much as worried. He sighed. “But then I guess I’m pretty stupid too”
Jungsu just watched him with eyes wide “Youngwoon you don’t have to-“
“No. I really think I do.” Youngwoon took a deep breath. Now came the hard part. “I’m sorry I’m such an idiot. I didn’t mean to react like that- it just happened and then it was too late for me to take it back”
“I meant what I said, even if I didn’t act like it. You’re my best friend Jungsu- there is nothing, nothing, you could ever do that would ever change that.”
Jungsu was openly crying now. Youngwoon could feel tears pricking at the corners of his own eyes. “I was just being stupid, and scared because-“And now for the part Youngwoon had been dreading the most. “Because I feel the same way. About you.” There he had said it.
Jungsu looked stunned. “What are you saying?”
Youngwoon took another deep breath. “I’m saying that I, Youngwoon, like you, Jungsu, in a way that is definitely more than friends, and is definitely not ok, but I do. I wasn’t sure what to do when you told me that you liked me, and I’m still not sure what to do now.”
Jungsu reached out a hand and Youngwoon took it. “I’m not sure either.” He admitted, giving Youngwoon’s hand a squeeze. “But let’s figure it out together.”
At that point Kangin had leaned in and brushed the tears from Leeteuk’s face, taking the time to study the beautiful brown eyes of an angel before stealing their first kiss. It had been scary, and wonderful, and heartbreaking and perfect. But Kangin knew that wasn’t the real beginning either.
“Hi I’m Jungsu” The thin boy held out a hand for Youngwoon to shake. “Youngwoon” he replied.
“Guess we’re new roommates huh?” Youngwoon hoped that Jungsu wasn’t as chatty as his last roommate Jaejoong. “Yeah” He replied. It was then he tripped over his own feet hauling in his two duffle bags of clothes.
Jungsu giggled a high pitched infectious laugh. And Youngwoon knew.
“Since… Since the beginning” Kangin answered Heechul.
Heechul gripped the edge of the table so hard his knuckles turned white. “You mean to tell me” He said with gritted teeth “That you and Leeteuk have been together for two whole fucking years and you never told anyone.”
Kangin shook his head. “No Heechul. The very beginning.” Before there had been a Leeteuk or a Kangin, before they had ever even been a project group called Super Junior.
“Five years? FIVE FUCKING YEARS?!” Heechul yelled. Kangin hastily shushed him. “Five years and you haven’t told anyone?”
Kangin nodded (Had it really been 5 years?). He didn’t really understand why Heechul was upset about the fact that it had been five years, but at least he wasn’t cursing them out just yet.
“Give or take. And who would we have told anyways Heechul?” Kangin asked rhetorically. “Neither one of us is really too eager to become a netizen’s martyr.”
“You should have said something.” Heechul said his voice hard. “You need to say something.”
“Heechul-“Kangin protested. Leeteuk was really going to kill him now.
“No Kangin. You tell them. Or I will.” Kangin knew it was not an empty threat. This information in the hands of someone as dangerous as Heechul could result in nothing short of catastrophe.
“Tell who Heechul? Cause we sure as hell are not telling the fans!” Kangin fear was being replaced with anger.
Heechul flipped his hair. “Not the fans. Not even management. But the other members. You’re potentially putting their careers at risk. You owe them an explanation at least.”
Kangin knew Heechul was right, he just couldn’t figure out Heechul’s motivation. Heechul hadn’t reacted in any of the ways Kangin had thought he would. He hadn’t said a word of disgust or disapproval for being gay. Heechul had only expressed disapproval for the secrecy from the other members. Kangin knew Heechul was not noble or idealistic enough to be upset just because Kangin and Leeteuk had hid their relationship from the band for 5 years. But Kangin also knew he would never figure Heechul out, and it was useless to try now. He had bigger problems on his hands.
“Ok ok we’ll tell them. Just don’t say anything ok? We’ll do it just give us some time alright?” Heechul looked away.
“Fine. But do it. And do it soon. God I need a drink.” Heechul slipped out of the booth and made his way to the bar. Kangin watched him go, feeling the same way.
He needed a strong drink, because the song was ending and Leeteuk was on his way back to the table.
Heechul glared at Leeteuk as they passed each other.
“What was that about?” Leeteuk asked, sliding into the seat next to Kangin. Kangin just shrugged.
“Baby?” Leeteuk said pitching his voice low enough that there was no risk of them being overheard. “I’m sorry about before. I was just being stupid. Forgive me?” He leaned in and pressed a soft open mouthed kiss to the side of Kangin’s neck.
Kangin knew Leeteuk had to be more than a little drunk to be acting like that here. “Leeteuk.” Kangin said warningly. Leeteuk didn’t seem to hear. “Jungsu.” He tried again, that got Leeteuk’s attention. “Heechul knows.”
Leeteuk sat up straight as a rod. “He knows? What do you mean he knows?”
Kangin sighed. “I mean he knows knows”
“He know knows?” Leeteuk asked. He smacked Kangin painfully across the arm. “You TOLD him?!” Leeteuk’s face mirrored the expression Kangin had earlier, a deer in the headlights.
“I didn’t tell him!” Kangin defended himself. He hadn’t, not in so many words. “He guessed!”
“You must have said something!” Leeteuk pointed out shrilly. Kangin could tell from experience that Leeteuk was going into panic mode. “How else could he have guessed?”
Kangin gestured wildly “I don’t know. He’s HEECHUL!” That was explanation enough.
“Oh my god what are we going to do?” Leeteuk asked, sounding lost. If Kangin hadn’t actually been afraid of getting murdered right then and there he might have reached out, gathered Leeteuk into his arms and held his lover close until he had calmed down- Just like old times. But Kangin didn’t have time for that, there was more that Leeteuk had to know.
“Er- Leeteuk? There’s more”
Leeteuk furrowed his brow. He was still trying to process the fact that after so long, Kangin had slipped up and spilled the beans.
“More? What more could there possibly be Kangin? It’s over! We’re ruined. You know Heechul is going to tell everyone! We’re dead men”
Kangin grimaced, “Well, I did manage to convince him not to tell anyone just yet on one condition-“
“And that is?” Leeteuk prompted. He was not happy.
“That we ah- that we tell everyone- just the members that is” Kangin amended quickly. “Ourselves. Soon.”
“WHAT?!” Leeteuk exploded.
Kangin took was he was sure was his last breath, because he knew Leeteuk was actually going to kill him now.
A/N: Next up: Hanchul, and a bit more Kangteuk if Leeteuk doesn't actually kill Kangin :)