Extinguish the small, Inflame the great ii/ii
Summary: The night before his wedding, Luhan disappears.
Luhan didn’t want to be next to him. He didn’t want to be anywhere near Kai. he hated to admit it but he was almost afraid. He remembered the tears falling down his cheeks uncontrollably the night before and he knew they weren’t tears of hurt.Those weren’t shed in the memory of home. They weren't shed because he was sad.Not because he was scared either. Only because he was afraid,afraid of his own feelings.he didn’t want to let Kai’s words affect him.For all he knew the two could have been executing a well planned out drama just so he could hear. Just so they could confuse him more.But he knew, deep inside, that that wasn't right.
When he thought back on it, Sehun had always been talking about Kai liking him.He had just been far too absorbed in his own distress to notice.
But this would be his first time leaving the room since he got there. He had no idea of how long ago that was. And without meaning to, Luhan found himself nodding.
Kai didn’t trust him one bit. With his behaviour and consistent silence Luhan had made sure of that. It was too late for a change of strategies now, thought , and Luhan told himself it didn’t bother him when Kai took hold of the metal chain hanging off his handcuffs. Of course Kai didn’t trust him. But he did claim he loved him. Knowing that Luhan thought he deserved a little better, if not much. He reminded himself it was the love that had caused him to be taken captive in the first place and the bitterness that had vacated his mind for a few seconds returned back with full force.
Luhan kept his head bowed as Kai pulled him behind him, tugging at the chains and guiding him outside the door. If the drumming of his heart against his ribcage intensified tenfold, Luhan pretended he didn’t notice.
Despite himself, Luhan couldn't hold back the sharp inhale as he looked at the sea for the first time from up close. It was beautiful, to say the least...and he felt tiny in comparison-insignificant.
He followed behind Kai with small baby steps, keeping as much of a distance between them as the chain would allow. He wondered if he’d done something wrong when Kai stopped and turned to him.
“I told you to walk with me, Not to follow me like an obedient puppy.” Kai shouted over the waves, as he pulled Luhan forward, hands travelling higher and higher over the length of the chain,pulling at it , until Luhan was just inches from him.
“Walk with me.” Kai repeated, looking straight into Luhan’s eyes and Luhan acknowledged the excitement he felt at being near the sea in an attempt to ignore how frantic his heartbeat went when he felt Kai’s breath on his face.
He let his head fall forward again, hiding his face behind his hair, before taking a small step, falling into place next to Kai. His efforts at ignoring the strange feeling at the pit of his stomach proved useless as Kai tried to take hold of his hand.He made an effort to seem reluctant, grunting before drawing his hand back half heartedly. The pang he felt when Kai did not persist on it, he told himself, wasn’t disappointment. It couldn’t be.
They continued to walk in silence. Luhan was lost in his own thoughts. Confusion and guilt gnawing at him as he reminded himself of what he was supposed to feel. Not this. Certainly not this. He was supposed to hate the person who had done this to him. His life had practically been
ruined at Kai’s hands. Yet here he was, feeling--he didn't let himself finish the thought, pulling in a deep breath to put a stop to that train of thought. He didn’t want to admit his feelings to himself. Heck he didn’t want to be in his own head.It was confusing to the point of insanity. He concentrated on his feet instead, bare and sinking into the white sand.
Somewhere along the way Kai fell behind Luhan, watching him intently as he walked, lost in thought. He admired his face, committing each arch and every curve to memory. There was an underlying current in the air,like it was charged with electricity- a strange sense of finality hung in the moment. In the meaningless act of watching and remembering, he felt it, he saw what he had done to the very thing he loved and cherished. He saw it in the way way Luhan’s skin stretched tight over his cheekbones.He saw what a monster he was. How much pain he had inflicted on the one person that had become his entire universe, and in that moment, with the sun drowning in the background and the seagulls flying above their heads, he loathed himself.
They found a nice spot down the beach and Kai seated himself against a giant rock, pulling Luhan down next to him. They sat in heavy silence.Save for the loud crashing of the ocean waves and the wind whispering in their ears, not another sound could be heard. Luhan watched pensively as the sun disappeared down the horizon. Kai only watched Luhan, lost in his own thoughts.
Luhan sank his feet into the sand, the grainy feeling helping him clear his mind. He thought and thought and thought.And by the time Kai next spoke up, he had decided that he hated him. He had to get away before the other could mess with his mind any further.
“ I know what I did was wrong Luhan.”Kai began . “ I know I had no right to bring you with me like that.” He said. And Luhan mentally shook his head . No,no no,no no... He was doing it again. Saying all the right things that got to him so easily.
He had to do something.Anything, to stop the words from flowing out of Kai’s mouth. He just sat and watched instead.
“But I fell in love with you, Luhan. It was like my center of gravity had suddenly shifted in that moment I laid my eyes on you. Like the entire world didn't matter. Nothing else did. Only you. I had to bring you with me, Luhan, or I would have never been able to leave at all.” he finished, desperation evident on his face. His eyes shouted out the emotions he couldn’t seem to voice out and Luhan wanted to burrow a hole in the sand and climb in to it, never to see daylight again.
He had an overpowering urge to clasp his hand over the others mouth, block any more words out before they reached his ears. But he had never been one to act out impulses and it didn't look like he was changing anytime soon. So he held his breath and said nothing.
Kai knew he had gone too far, said too much to back off now, so he probed further. He needed to hear the other respond, “ I could do anything in the world for you. Anything. That’s how much you mean to me. You are the world to me.” He said.And Luhan couldn’t hold it in any more. He had to say something. His body was a wind whirl of emotions and he needed to let them out. But his tongue felt so heavy in his mouth. Every muscle in his body had suddenly turned to ice and he felt helpless. He sought out Kai's eyes in panic. And somehow, it felt like he understood.
“Luhan, please talk to me. “ Kai pleaded, hand shooting out without thinking, to tuck back the loose strand of hair that had fallen into Luhan’s eyes and Luhan didn’t know what he was doing.He didn’t know what came over him when, of all the things he could have done, he flinched back, face cringing like he had been burned.
Kai’s body went lifeless again. In his face, Luhan saw a heart shatter for the first time. The world was different suddenly; the air thicker and denser, it felt like breathing water in. He knew it would take a single push to send the other over the edge now. He didn’t want to. He didn’t want to do what he did. But his body wasn’t his own anymore and against all efforts on his part there were tears falling down his cheeks, shudders shaking through his little form and he didn’t know why he did it. But suddenly he was sobbing unrestrained; crying out intelligible words.
“Please....Please, just let me go...Please.” He cried.
He tried to get his tears under control.He didn't want Kai to see. Didn’t want him to know how much it pained him now to ask that of him. And he despised him even more, for making him so pathetic, so weak how couldn't even figure out what he wanted any more. It was the right thing to do, he told himself. It was the right thing to ask.
Maybe if he could see the havoc he had wreaked inside Kai’s heart he would have taken back the words. Maybe if he could see the turmoil he had just sentenced his own heart to, he would have taken back his words. But he couldn't, so he let the tears fall, letting his heart rip into two, as he heard Kai whisper,
“i'm sorry.Let me take you back to your room.”
That night he dreamed he had waxen wings. He dreamed of freedom, of soaring into the air, high, so high. And then he went down, falling freely under the gravity he had tried to defy. He dreamed of flying too close to the sun.
“Luhan is afraid of me. Luhan is scared of me. Every time I’m near him he starts to shiver, starts to shrink away; as if he’s afraid I’ll touch him somehow—hurt him. Do you hear that? Hurt him. Hurt Luhan. My Luhan . He thinks I’ll hurt him. Like I could ever do that. Like I could ever bear to see him hurting.” Kai sobbed, hoarse voice catching in his throat from the overwhelming emotions as he coughed out his words.
Sehun squeezed his shoulder to comfort him but the silent tears soon turned into hitched hiccups and Sehun pulled Kai against his chest roughly, holding him there like he wanted to steal away all of his worries, every last bit of his sadness.
“Shush.” He mumbled against Kai’s ear, his hand cradling Kai’s head, fingers brushing his hair fiercely because he just didn’t know how to make Kai stop hurting. He wanted to punch the wall in front of him. Punch the wall or shoot a hole through it or stab it with a knife till blood started oozing out of its cemented bricks. He didn’t pause to consider how he’d even accomplish that. He didn’t care. He just wanted to let the anger boiling inside him out somehow.
Instead he hugged Kai that much tighter, squeezing him that much harder as he buried his face in Kai’s hair. “ Shush…” He mumbled again, rocking the sobbing mess in his arms back and forth. “It’s going to be fine. Everything’s going to be fine.” He said, and believed not a word of it. “It’s going to be okay.” He whispered, and Kai believed him.
The night was freezing cold and the breeze bit at Luhan, rousing him from his sleep with a start. He shifted on the flattened mattress, feeling something amiss and then realized what it was. He couldn't feel the warmth of another body beside him-That and the light. There was far too much of it flooding in.He struggled into an upright position, eyes scanning for the source. They landed on the door instead. It stood ajar. What was going on?
He tried to spring to his feet but the world began; to wobble-or maybe it was just his body- and he fought to keep his balance, sitting on the floor crouched on his knees. Steady, now. he told himself.
Tentatively, made his way over to the door, his legs still a little shaky. It had to be a mistake. His mind was playing tricks on him. Or was he still dreaming. Luhan rubbed away the sleep from his eyes, willing himself to wake up from the beautiful dream; nothing changed. No crash from fantasy into reality. Everything was still the same, the naked brick wall, the low hanging light bulb, the slow swinging door that creaked ever so lightly each time the wind pushed at it.
He felt his heart drumming against his chest, adrenaline rushing through his veins. If it wasn’t a dream then it had to be a test. Definitely a test. Kai would certainly never make such a careless mistake. Or maybe they were just toying with him. Whatever the case, he had to make sure. He had to take this chance.
He peeked out the door, holding his breath, and scanned the area. It was dark and he could barely make anything out. Anyone could be out there, lurking in the shadows, waiting for him, but he didn’t care. He was far too close, so close he could almost taste the freedom. He wasn’t backing out now. So he started walking, his steps slow and hesitant at first becoming bolder with each passing second.
He was out in the open before he knew it, the light from the stars the only illumination that guided his way. He didn’t know what happened next. He didn’t care. As soon as his feet touched the asphalt he started running. Everything else was a blur. He didn't know where he was headed; He didn't know how he knew what way to go. All he knew was that when his feet stopped, it was at his front gate of his house. He was home.
Luhan’s mother sensed his presence before she really saw him. It was like she could smell him there. She turned around before he had the chance to utter a word. In her embrace all words fled him anyway. He rambled on and on, all that flew out was a mumble of incoherent words and a half formed sentences with a lot of recurring “mom”. He cried and cried and he sobbed like a broken mess. She only held him a little tighter.
Luhan didn't notice how she said nothing. No words of grief, nor relief. No words of love, none of gratitude.
A good hour into the reunion she just smoothed back the hair at Luhan’s head, patting him lightly before nudging,”go take a shower and freshen up Luhan. Take a bath and change out of those clothes. You stink.”
Luhan did exactly that, following his mother's words without question and washing up before changing into clean clothes. He practically hopped down the stairs to the kitchen where his mom was. Still she said nothing to him. She continued stirring the curry.
“Mom, where is dad?” Luhan asked as he took a seat by the dining table smelling freshly of lemon oil. He took a long slow whiff...ah, how he missed home.
“He’s not here.” his mother stated, eyes trained at the onions she was peeling.
“Yeah I can see he hasn’t been around ever since I returned but where is he?” Luhan repeated.
He watched his mother draw in a long breath, sensing something wasn't right. “Your dad, he really loved you Luhan.” his mother began.
“Why are you talking like that?” Luhan demanded.
“Like what, huh?”
“Like he’s not here at all any more…” Luhan trailed off, afraid to say anymore. “Like he is—“he whispered as reality started to dawn on him.
“dead?” his mother completed for him. “Oh, but he is dead, you see. My husband died the day my son eloped with his bastard lover. He died!” His mother screeched, her words, the accusations, the knowledge of his father’ death, all of it weighed Luhan down so that he couldn't even move, couldn't make any sound of protest. “Only I was too unfortunate. Left to bear the burden all alone for my breathing won't stop. The beating of my heart won't halt.” she sobbed, broken suddenly. She started to sink to the floor, shivering and panting as her sobbing filled the entire house.
Luhan stayed still, not moving a muscle when he knew he should be down there helping his mother, hugging her, being someone she could rely on but it was like his body had turned to stone. he couldn't move a muscle. There were too many thoughts on his mind, too many words for his tongue to function properly. He never had a lover. He’d never do that. Never bring that disgrace upon his family. He would never betray his parents like that…his father…his dad, dead…
It had never occurred to him before now, how his family would react. Never occurred to him how he’d be blamed. Just like they were always blamed, the innocent. And now, he had no way to prove his innocence. He couldn’t prove anything.
“I didn’t do it…” He whispered silently “ I never ran away mom.” He murmured, knowing full well that his words would fall on deaf ears.
“How I wish he would have taken me along…how I wish I were dead as well…” his mother continued sobbing.
Luhan got up, the chair scraping across the floor, “Mother.” he called, standing by her side.
“Leave me alone for now Luhan. My heart is not strong enough to take so much in a stride.”
“But mother, I— “
“Your mother is dead Luhan. You killed her that day,too. You sucked the life out of her with one blow.”
“I did not do anything! Why won’t you listen to me already?” Luhan asked, desperate now.
“You are your family’s murderer Luhan, I hope you know that. I hope you understand “his mother said simply, staring straight into his eyes as she pulled herself to her feet. “Now if you will, please, leave me alone.” she said and Luhan squeezed his eyes shut, pretending he didn’t hear the venom in her voice as tears started streaming down his face.
“I’ve always told my son to keep away from him. God forbid, lads like him! eating away honorable men like that. Luring them in with cheap tactics, flirtatious glances and dirty words.” A Woman murmured in the marketplace when Luhan passed by a group of them, only loud enough so that he could hear. “I always knew there was something fishy about the way he talked and the way he looked. Everything about him screams trouble.” Another spat in spite.
Luhan tried to duck his head as he walked, appear as inconspicuous as he could manage but he voices followed him everywhere he went.
At a loss for things to do Luhan walked up to his childhood friend’s house, only to have Minseok’s mother snap at him for even setting foot on their property, practically shoving him away like he would contaminate the air they were breathing as she told him he couldn't meet her son anymore.
That night Luhan decided what he needed to do. He didn't have to make his choice. It was already made for him. He had no other option. Sniffing back tears, in the pale moon light, he let his feet carry him home.
This can’t be, Luhan thought as he pushed at the rusting metal door with staggering force. This can’t be.
His heart threatened to jump out of his chest at the any given moment and his hands felt lifeless, turning cold. He tried to calm his frantic breathing down, relax his hysterical shaking as his breathing began to grow irregular. He didn’t know when the tears started pouring out of his eyes as he ran from room to room in the wreckage that had been his restraining cell for so long. But there was nothing there. Not another being.
He called out, shouting Kai’s name at the top of his lungs. He had to be there, somewhere. He couldn’t have left. Not so soon. Like a madman on a fit of insanity he threw open closed doors, kicking at rubble and punching in vain at naked walls, crying out the name he had been convinced he hated. He cried it like a dead man’s last words. Chanted it like a hymn.
He shouted it at the doors and at the walls and when there came no reply, at the wide night sky. He howled it at the heavens, cried it in dismal pleas. And then he saw it. He saw him; Far away, so far away. He saw him, a brilliant radiance, right before it went under and there was only so much he could do.
“No!” He screeched. Nothing changed.
The night smelled of damp sand,salt water and perspiration as his feet sank deeper into the sand with every step he took,clouds of soft, white pouring over tanned skin. Above his head a thousand tiny stars twinkled, blinking down at him as starlight washed over his tear streaked face.
Despair gnawed at him, sneaking up at him from somewhere deep inside his heart as he took another step. Everything had gone grim: the wheezing breeze, the weeping ocean, the lonely stars looking back at him from so far away; it was all gray,a million different shades of it. The entire universe seemed to grow in ‘sync with his growing misery as his heart ached, body begging for release, a distraction. Anything to make the growing ache in his heart go away. So he let his legs take him forth. Move another step closer. Then another. The water slapped against his skin, rapping at his body. He continued on. It was almost up to his chest now, his upper torso immersed in the welcoming cold.
The water was freezing but he couldn’t bring himself to care. His brain hardly registered the bite as the cold continued to burn into his skin, the shivers running down his naked spine meeting resolute disregard.
He wanted it to overpower him, take control so that his heart would stop ripping open in his chest. But the pain from within continued to ride over his mind. Breathing inside him, growing, consuming. So he took another step and another.
He was neck deep in the water now, the weeping ocean welcoming the warmth his shivering body provided with arms wide open.
He drew in a breath. A long one. A deep one. He could make it go away, he knew it. Just one more step and he could put an end to it. Stop it from eating him whole. Just one step away lay his cure.
But in that final moment, right before the curtain fell, before the show ended, the wind changed direction, and there, broken and desperate, almost as much as his own barren heart,it reached him. A wrenched cry calling out his name.
He turned around. Luhan!It was Luhan.His Luhan. Crying out for him,the sound of his tattered cries breathing new life into him.
In that brief moment his heart felt whole again.Complete. He turned in time to watch Luhan fall to his knees , clutching his head in his arms.In time for him to bark out a desperate cry, NO! He heard it. Heard it before the world fell into eternal silence, time slowing down to a crawl as a huge wave hit him, the welcoming ocean turning unforgiving as the waves pulled him down, taking him under. After that, he heard no more.
Inspired by a local drama I saw a very long time ago.But since that was ages ago I can't even recall its name and it didn't show up anywhere on the internet when I tried searching for it, i have nothing to link this to.
Also, no beta so...