Warnings: self-harm, mentions of suicide
Prompt: (i) and (ii)
Summary: luhan takes and takes while sehun glues him back back together, piece by jagged-edged piece until his hands bleed and he can’t tell if the crimson between his fingers is his or luhan’s. it’s the perfect arrangement.
written for aideshou’s 5th challenge.
and you smiled because you knew
all my terrible secrets and you
it’s the quietness of the room that keeps luhan constantly hyper-sensitive and wide-eyed, staring at the swirly patterns the sunlight makes on the carpet as it sifts through the curtains, dancing specks of light reflecting off his pupils. it’s always the quietness, the silence that’s forever present and he knows it’ll never go away.
he’s trapped in this beautiful prison, in the round room with no corners and apple blossom-print wallpaper, iridescent jaundice curtains, and the stench of cruel neglect lingering on the carpets.
the sunlight’s too harsh, too bright, and, quiet as a ghost, luhan turns around slips back under the covers.
his eyes flutter open and it’s nighttime, and when his eyes flick upwards, he sees a corner: two plain white walls meeting in a perfect perpendicular angle. his gaze darts around the room, and sees the window wide open, the sill with chipped white paint glowing from the beams of moonlight streaming in.
luhan lets out a shaky puff of breath, mildly surprised at an arm that’s thrown over his waist. it winds tighter around his body, pulling him back to a warm chest and the scent of cinnamon, mingling with something like aftershave. his heart races, an icy hand of terror gripping his chest tightly until he catches sight of the polaroid taped to the lampshade on the bedside table.
oh, he thinks, suddenly remembering. carefully, he turns around in the arm’s hold, making sure not to wake the other up. when he’s properly facing the other person on the bed, a smile automatically spreads across his face, soft and gentle with affection.
sehun, he mouths, and no sound comes out; no one can hear him, not even himself.
but sehun wakes, eyelashes fluttering against his cheekbones before he opens them halfway, eyes still clouded with fatigue. he’s adorable, luhan thinks, giggling silently to himself. sleepy and confused, and hopelessly perfect in luhan’s eyes. luhan places his hands on either of sehun’s cheeks, cold fingertips drawing in the toasty warmth of sleep, but sehun doesn’t seem to mind.
“luhan,” he says, voice croaky and rough around the edges. sehun’s hands toy with the hem of luhan’s shirt, before finally sliding in to pull him closer by the waist. “why are you awake? was it the nightmares again?”
luhan laughs and shakes his head, the expression soundless but it lights up sehun’s eyes anyway, the smile on his face still present even as luhan pulls him in and presses their mouths together, lips warm and yielding. sehun sighs into the kiss, the arm around luhan tightening and anchoring him down to reality.
luhan thumbs the soft material of the cotton pyjamas he’s wearing, yellow with comical little giraffes printed all over as he sighs and stares dolefully out the barred window. it’s raining lightly, the little light filtering through the gray clouds casting a soft glow over the whole scenery, but it’s unbearably quiet. he hasn’t heard anything real in a while, even his own voice, and his throat is dry and scratchy from disuse but who can he speak to? sing for?
“remember that day i found you?” sehun whispers to his ear as he slides a large hand up luhan’s torso, and luhan lets out a breathy sigh. “you were small and shaking and so thin, sitting among the debris and fallen walls and torn green wallpaper. and you didn’t know me, but you reached out for me anyway, with your eyes, when i walked past.”
yes, luhan turns around and mouths the word, eyes trained on sehun’s lips.
“i wish i had found you sooner,” sehun says again, voice laced with deep regret and self-loathing, and luhan knows he’s punishing himself for not noticing luhan, sitting on the windowsill of the pretty, two-storey house he passes by everyday. the elder frowns, tapping sehun’s nose to catch his attention.
you found me, and we’re together now, and that’s all that matters, he wants to say, but he can’t. so he hopes sehun will understand with his actions.
luhan rolls his hips down to meet sehun’s, and sehun’s choked gasp of his name tells him it’s enough.
“you were so small and - ah - scared, and you didn’t let me touch you,” sehun says between gasps as luhan ruts continuously at him. he’s getting hard very quickly, embarrassingly so, cock straining against the front of his jeans almost painfully. luhan’s mouth opens in a soundless moan, breath hot against his neck and sehun kind of wants to collect each exhale and put them in a little jar for him to keep to himself. “and when you did, i - i was so scared i might break you.”
luhan latches his mouth to sehun’s neck and sucks, breath hitching every time sehun thrusts up to meet his hips. he doesn’t want to think of the round room if he can help it, but sehun is persistent, bringing it up whenever the opportunity presents itself and keen on having luhan face his fears. no, don’t, please, just let it go, luhan kisses the words onto sehun’s skin, trying to embed them deep with every lick of his tongue and press of his lips.
sehun keens under him, and he’ll forget about this conversation for now, but luhan knows he can’t evade the topic forever.
sehun likes fixing things. he always had. when he was little he repaired all the toys he damaged while playing himself, glued the limbs back to his little plastic soldiers with superglue and tied the ends of his kite’s broken string together in a neat knot. once, the button-eye of his teddy bear fell off, and sehun stitched that back on by himself, too.
fixing luhan is a little like sewing the eye back onto the stuffed bear, he thinks. he’d pricked his fingers a lot on the point of the needle back then, tiny beads of blood dripping onto his shorts and leaving dark stains on the light blue material. his mother fussed over the mess and wrapped a band-aid around his fingers with slightly trembling hands, and sehun knew he wouldn’t be able to tell anybody, how he felt light and even a little ecstatic when the needle pierced through his skin.
luhan is just that: a broken toy, a broken porcelain doll, dropped carelessly to the ground by a bored child, shattered to pieces
one day, the house sehun passed by everyday, the house where luhan was kept, suddenly crumbled to the ground. and in the midst of dust and the stench of mouldy pipes, between the remains of the bed and an ashen gray wall was luhan, crouching among splintered wood, broken and beautiful. sehun was fascinated by the blank look in his eyes the first time they met, the way the bones of his wrist jutted out and strained against the skin as if to tear right through it, the paleness of his knuckles. and most of all, the words peeking out from under the boy’s collar, inked straight onto his body.
luhan had kept his mouth pressed shut and wrapped his arms around himself, but his eyes screamed for help, and it was all sehun could do to hold on to him. to keep him from drowning in the dust.
looking for the pieces of luhan was hard. they were scattered here and there, sometimes hidden in the most mundane of things; luhan’s smile was kept in the cracked music box in the drawer of the bedside table, the twinkle of his eyes tucked in between in the yellowing letters and old leather bound journal sehun pulled out of the debris.
but now, after getting to know luhan and his thousand silent ways of expressing his affection to sehun, sehun doesn’t really think of luhan as a broken doll anymore.
luhan’s more like a lost piece of a puzzle, left outside the toy box in the dark he sometimes succumbs into. if sehun imagines himself as a piece of puzzle too, he knows they don’t fit. sehun’s all calm curves and gentle slopes while luhan is sharp angles and frayed edges, but if sehun tries hard enough, he can smooth down the torn corners and mold himself into luhan’s shape, and become one with him.
when sehun comes home from work, he instantly knows that luhan is in a bad mood. the elder is sitting curled on the sofa, knees drawn up to his chest as he punches the buttons of the tv remote control. sehun sighs as he takes off his jacket, and drops his bag onto the table nearby.
“what happened, now?” he asks wearily. luhan stays silent, of course he does, but the bitterness in his eyes is hard to miss. sehun feels the air around luhan crackle like it’s been charged with electricity, pulsing a shocking bright blue.
luhan occasionally has these kind of fits, when he would draw into himself and block out the rest of the world, succumbing into the darkness in a corner of his mind. a couple of times sehun comes home to a crying luhan, though he’s not exactly crying either. luhan just sits on the couch and stares at nothing while silent tears stream down his face, he won’t even be sobbing, or shaking, or making any noise at all. but the tears keep falling, streaking across his pale cheeks in tiny rivulets where light bounces off and makes them glimmer like diamonds.
most of the times, it’s trivial things that trigger the tantrums, sometimes nothing at all, and if sehun isn’t careful, he puts himself on the receiving end of the hostility.
sehun thinks luhan is just frustrated with himself.
the younger shuffles closer, pressing right up to luhan’s side but he still doesn’t budge, and he places a hand on luhan’s shoulder, over the shirt that covers the words tattooed to his skin sehun knows by heart now. memorized through many nights of tracing them with his lips and whispering them to luhan’s ear.
”i thought you were the most beautiful creature, the way you smiled, like you knew all my terrible secrets, and the way you touched my hand anyway, like it was perfectly okay, not to be perfect.”
he hides a small smile of victory when luhan’s muscles relax, bones not scrunching up so tight anymore. sehun continues to murmur the poem to luhan’s shoulders, neck, jawline, voice saccharine though dripping with sincerity. he doesn’t know how those words came to be inked onto luhan’s skin, if anyone’s ever said the same things to him and decided to record them straight down on luhan’s shoulders and upper back in tiny, slanted writing. and, quite honestly, sehun doesn’t care.
”and you were surrounded by so much of me.”
luhan shudders and gasps, fingers curling into the front of sehun’s wrinkled shirt, knuckles straining against the skin and he continues taking and taking from sehun, lets him piece him back together until he’s in a somewhat acceptable form once again.
just before he falls asleep that night, luhan looks at sehun’s peaceful, slumbering face and despairs over how he can never truly express his affection, his adoration, his love to sehun.
love is a big, scary word, luhan thinks, shuddering. but he’ll make an exception, just for sehun.
tomorrow, luhan promises himself. tomorrow, i’ll tell him.
sehun takes the job of fixing luhan at the end of every day very seriously. he chooses his words carefully, plans his actions beforehand and picks out only the prettiest larkspur and pastel pink cosmos from the florist to take home.
but sometimes, luhan thinks he kind of doesn’t want to be fixed.
so he leaves one cold, january morning.
the days that follows are terribly empty, and so quiet. luhan’s world has always been quiet, even after sehun saved him from the rubbles of the house, his days consisting of whispers from the light blue curtains in the morning and the soft whirring of the coffee machine. and sehun’s small, sleepy calls of his name.
but it’s started to snow, the scenery is blanketed by a fluffy layer of white that muffles all sounds even more, and luhan feels miserable. he’s lived off from churches’ charities, gulping down tasteless porridges and clear soups three times a day and wearing moth-eaten, hand-me-downs with the fabric thinning on the elbows and knees.
the volunteers at the church know him as the quiet boy with pretty eyes but then later, when he’s given paper and pencil, xiaolu. he doesn’t give anyone his real name. he doesn’t want to be found.
(though sehun never goes to church anyway, so he thinks he’s relatively safe, here.)
on particularly lonely days luhan likes to sit on the empty pews and think of sehun and all the could have beens, if he didn’t take as much as he did and actually gave something back in return. if he didn’t always have to be so weak just because of the past and crumble so easily no matter what anyone did, if sehun didn’t have to constantly patch him up and sew him back together. he feels like a spiteful, ungrateful person for suddenly leaving sehun without a proper explanation, but at the same time, he knows he’s holding sehun down. pins him to earth when the boy could have been so much more if luhan isn’t there to occupy most of his time gluing him back together. sehun is kind, too kind, and sometimes it gets the better of him.
he stares at the pair of stone angels positioned near the stained windows, gray and weathered as the minuscule motes of dust dances around their beautifully carved forms, and wonders if he can be born a better person in his next life. if he’ll cross paths with sehun again. if there is an afterlife for him, in the first place.
when luhan leaves that morning, when sehun wakes up to and empty bed and finds the little note at the table, beside his cup of morning coffee and a plate of bread with nutella already spread on it, he feels like his world split in two. he feels himself rapidly disintegrating to dust, reduced to nothingness, and sehun desperately tries to reach for the ashes of himself but they slip through his fingers like fine sand as the earth shakes under his feet. or rather, as his knees buckle under his suddenly heavy weight.
sehun’s good at fixing things, but he’s not good at fixing himself, as he’s learned from past experiences. he doesn’t know what to do when the sky suddenly suddenly collapses on his shoulders, when the weight of the sea pushes down on his lungs and drowns his alveoli with water and deprives him of air.
it’s something he’d hoped never to feel again since he first reached out to luhan, on that fateful day so long ago. but he does anyway, and maybe he isn’t as successful at repairing luhan as he’d like to think. and luhan confirms just that by leaving.
there’s so many things he doesn’t know about luhan. how he first came to be trapped in that house, how long he’s been there, why he doesn’t even try to escape. he wonders if luhan ever had a family, brothers or sisters, if he misses them.
and maybe that’s the problem, because sehun’s too afraid to ask, and so he wrecks luhan all over again.
but he does know that luhan’s favorite color is yellow, from the way his eyes light up every time he catches sight of the color, and that he really likes spicy food, and children playing kites at the park and dogs running around his legs. he’s never heard luhan’s voice but he can almost imagine the sound, sweet and clear, his lilting laughter when he’s amused, the way luhan would pronounce sehun’s name, voice soft around the edges. sehun doesn’t know why there are tattoos across luhan’s shoulder blades, but he does know that luhan likes it when he recites the words to him with reverence in every syllable, with fingertips skirting along the small of his back and then pulling him close.
sehun hears luhan through his smiles, through the flutters of his eyelashes when he sleeps and the comforting touches when sehun finds the burden on his shoulders too heavy. he hears luhan in his dreams, where he can spin tales for the two of them as he wishes, a world where luhan can shine his brightest and laugh the loudest, somewhere where the clock stops and it’s just the two of them dancing among immobile objects suspended in time, until the sun rises once again.
his world is silent.
luhan enjoys toying with the idea of death. it’s something he does every once in a while, since before sehun. for as far back as his memory can go, he’s always been trapped inside the house, alone in a serene, beautiful prison he doesn’t know how to escape from. he doesn’t know if he even wants to escape. this round room and its old, antique furnitures are all he’s ever known.
but then a skinny boy with caramel colored hair and a grumpy face starts passing by the house every day, cycling on the dirt track with a bag filled with the morning papers bouncing on his hip. luhan had smiled to himself then, at the ridiculously intense look of concentration on his face and the way he pushed the bicycle onward uphill.
luhan pondered to himself, if he couldn’t meet the boy in this lifetime, would he be able to meet him in the next?
he started playing with the knife he found on one of the drawers, and until today, the scars still stand out brightly against the skin of his arms, a shade lighter than the rest of his skin. sometimes he’d try starving himself to death, but when night came his wish to see the boy with the newspapers again would be greater than his will to die. and when he did meet sehun, when the house crumbled down with age and brought luhan down with it, he thanked whichever deity up there that saved him from the numerous times he had danced too close to death’s arms.
but now that sehun isn’t here, luhan can die peacefully by himself, float out of his thin body quietly and without fuss, like snow melting soundlessly at the start of spring. he hasn’t let any food pass his lips in two days, almost three, and he feels faint, he can’t even feel the coldness of the snow, like he’s going to sprout feathery wings and take off through the clouds anytime soon. if that really happens, he’s going to twirl through the gently falling snowflakes and fly by sehun’s window on his way to heaven, and blow him one last kiss.
no one will miss him.
he’s sitting on the steps at the back of the church, leaning his shoulders and head on the railing as the clock inside the church dings again, signalling the passing of another hour. luhan sighs impatiently, and he winces as the breath he takes stings his freezing esophagus.
his eyes dart weakly around the deserted graveyard. there are stone angels here too, not as prettily carved as the ones inside the church, but they’re still beautiful, the ones made of marble glowing ethereally in the moonlight. their arms reach out to him, snow resting on the ringlets of flowers in their hair like ash.
luhan’s eyes fall shut. he’s too tired to keep them open anymore.
his senses dull as the world begins fading to black around the edges, but suddenly he feels cold fingertips against his cheek, stroking his jaw softly until he’s coaxed back to consciousness again. each breath he takes is painful, the chilly air mercilessly scratching at his lungs and threatening to tear at the delicate tissues. but he keeps breathing, for sehun, who smiles down at him and takes his hand in his. their hands are cold, but sehun’s chest is warm, and luhan wants to cry because he knows he was almost lost but sehun pulled him back from the edge of the cliff luhan had wanted to leap off of just minutes before.
maybe luhan just wants to be found.
he looks up at sehun, who’s studying him intently like he wants to commit the contours of luhan’s face to mind and all he can think of is thank you thank you thank you thank you.
so he opens his mouth to say just that.
notes: THIS. THING. :|a lapslock because lazy pim is lazy hur hur c:< anyway, i’ve always wanted to write for aideshou because the prompts are just beautiful but i never had time because school. also, you wouldn’t even be reading this if it weren’t for the_maknae because she is a lifesaver, my grammar nazi, my wonderful, wonderful hand-hold. ilu rui ;u;
this is for the hunhan shippers in my tlist whO KEEPS SHOVING HUNHAN TO MY FACE AND MAKING ME WANT TO WRITE HUNHAN I CAN’T EVEN WITH YOU ALL. UR ALL HORRIBLE ENABLERS IHU, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. >(
also, i made a writing blog hurr. so from now on drabbles will be posted there because this comm is getting too cluttered and messy. do take a look when you have time. it's still very new so please feed it with lots of love and support ;u;