gd/top, pg-13, 3442 words, canon
how to get over somebody, told backwards. for kpop_olymfics
something always brings me back to you, it never takes too long
no matter what i say or do, i'll still feel you till the moment i'm gone
Jiyong wakes up thinking about a song.
There is snow in the ground, and he slides the door to the balcony open, spends most of the morning ankle-deep in fresh powder with a cigarette between his fingers.
"You're insane," Daesung says when he checks on him at around noon, but by then Jiyong has thought it out.
By then, Jiyong is back inside, neck-deep in blankets and lyrics and says, "I'm writing us something new," and then the stupid, red-nosed grin on his face alone is enough to make Daesung shut up and smile back. Daesung can't keep his mouth shut forever though, and soon Seungri is bringing him peppermint hot chocolate from Starbucks, Youngbae pokes his head in to say hi, and Seunghyun stays asleep until the afternoon.
By the time he wakes up, Jiyong is done.
Jiyong can kind of smile at him from across the room now, but he still can't sit next to him. Not in the van, not during interviews where all he and Seunghyun do (at least in Japan) is sit and make stupid hand gestures, not during dinner when Seunghyun suffers through his diet like a martyr and Jiyong wants to hit him.
Somewhere in the midst, their interviewer figures it out after Jiyong purposely switches seats with Youngbae. "Oh," she says, and looks uncomfortable, fidgeting with her skirt. "You two, were. Um." She's cute, Jiyong thinks; more of Seungri's type than his, but he likes the pinkness of her nails and cheeks. He catches himself staring at her legs and wonders if this is it, if this is all.
She's still searching for a graceful way to end her sentence that doesn't result in pointing at Jiyong and Seunghyun like they're in a cage, and after a minute Youngbae decides to save her. "It's okay," he says. "Don't worry about it."
"We used to have sex, if that's what you wanted to know," Jiyong interrupts loudly. "Lots of sex. All night long."
Seungri stares at him wide-eyed.
"Tons. Really rough and shit," Seunghyun says.
There is a minute of horribly awkward silence, but then one of them catches the other's eye and both of them start laughing on their opposite ends of the room and Jiyong can't breathe and he has to tilt his head back and press his hand over his mouth until it hurts. Seungri decidedly switches his stare to somewhere off-camera, but even Youngbae chuckles.
When they get back to their hostel, Seunghyun's laugh has faded into a thoughtful twist of the mouth. He says he's going for samgyupsal around the corner with Daesung, and the two of them slink off, hoodies pulled over their faces and shoving at each other just like old times except Jiyong is just watching this time, and some big part of the memory is displaced, far away from him where he can't touch anymore. Jiyong winds up on the couch with his hands shoved into his pockets, knees drawn up to his chest and watching Youngbae flip idly through channels on the television.
"I don't want samgyupsal," he says, more to his sneakers kicked off on the floor than anything. "I'm not even hungry."
"I know," Youngbae says, his voice low, and nobody talks again for the rest of the night.
Two days later is Seunghyun's birthday. Jiyong is a little drunker than usual when he says, just as a joke with his arms thrown around Seunghyun's shoulders, "happy birthday, TOP-sama!"
And Seunghyun is a little too sober when he sighs and gently holds Jiyong at arm's length and says, "Jiyong, don't."
Seunghyun is away filming again.
Maybe the four years prior has turned this into another bad habit that he (they) too easily fall into, or maybe it's Jiyong's fault, but it's only been a few days when Jiyong's phone rings at a little past midnight.
"Hyung," Jiyong says. "You okay?"
"Yea, I'm fine," Seunghyun says. The line must be faulty because his voice crackles a little too much, sounds a little too far away and tinny and thin. "It's weird being out here for so long," he continues. "By myself, I mean. Is it late over there?"
Jiyong snorts. "You're in China, not across the world. There's only an hour difference."
"Oh," Seunghyun says. "It feels farther than that, though." Jiyong imagines Seunghyun shrugging, mouth quirked upwards; in the background the television is going in a language he doesn't recognize though it feels like only yesterday he was younger and doing his Mandarin homework in the basement of YGE while Seunghyun fell asleep over sheets of half-finished algebra next to him. He should remember something, at least - 'hi', or 'how are you' - but it's all far away, foreign and heavy on his tongue.
"Are you writing yet?" Seunghyun asks. "YG says you started on a few s--"
"Nah," Jiyong says. "Nothing good."
They fall into silence. Jiyong flops down onto his pillow and closes his eyes; after a while the phone starts digging into the side of his face and he puts Seunghyun's breathing on speakerphone, setting it on the pillow next to his.
"Are you sure you can do this?" Seunghyun asks, sometime later. Jiyong has no idea what he's talking about because he dozed off for a minute, but he figures the safe answer is yes.
Yea, he can listen to Seunghyun tell him about the dog meat restaurant some of his castmates took him to, how shitty the motel he's staying in is with sheets that smell perpetually like smoke and sex, how the sun is red here and the sky is gray and the smog eats up the skyscrapers in the city so nobody can tell how tall they really are. Jiyong shudders and laughs and gives reactions at the right times, and it's as if nothing has happened at all. Maybe this is growing up or going forward or flying to China.
"I can't do this, actually." Jiyong says, three weeks later. "Sorry."
Maybe he forgot Mandarin for a reason.
Seunghyun brings a girl home in the middle of the month, right when it's starting to get chilly out.
She has silky hair down her back, bright eyes, a peacoat from Italy, and no bones that stick awkwardly out of her skin like they're trying to escape. Jiyong hasn't washed his hair and is wearing a pair of Seungri's old shorts.
It's an asshole move, perhaps. Jiyong tries ignoring them for an uncomfortable fifteen minutes until he realizes there is no good way to go about doing this, and besides, Seungri is doing enough scowling for the both of them because 'you're-an-asshole-how-dare-you-do-this-t
Daesung carries his desk chair out to the table so she can sit down. Seunghyun actually helps set the table. And it's like Seunghyun gave her advance lessons on how to do everything right, because she laughs at Daesung's jokes, is interested in Youngbae's solo album, and tells Seungri she likes his shirt. She finishes all her rice and offers to help wash the dishes, but Youngbae pushes her out to the couch with a bucket of ice cream that she scoops up for everyone without even getting her hands sticky.
It's weird, seeing the corners of Seunghyun's eyes crinkling like when he's really happy, his hand resting lightly on her back. Jiyong used to think things like that were one-time-use and thrown away when the relationship ended, but no, it's all just recycling; the expressions, and laughs, and looks, and movements stay the exact same. The only thing different is how he looks at Jiyong: how he looks at Jiyong now is how he looks at Daesung, how he looks at Youngbae, at Seungri, at Chaerin.
Later, she pulls Jiyong into the kitchen under the guise of helping her clear away the dirty ice cream bowls.
"You're Ji," she says.
Jiyong blinks. "Jiyong, actually."
She hooks a piece of hair behind her ear and bites her lip like she doesn't know what to say for the first time that night. "Are you okay with - I don't mean to intrude, and," she begins. Jiyong shrugs.
"It's fine." He doesn't bother to ask how she knows already. "We're friends."
"Okay." A corner of a smile appears on her perfect lips. "I just, I really like him."
"He likes you too," Jiyong says. "I can tell."
She looks surprised, confused - and he feels slightly odd knowing that by the time she figures out how to tell, too, it'll be in retrospect.
Or who knows, maybe Seunghyun will marry her. (Probably not, but Jiyong still feels a little satisfaction at Seungri shooting glares at the back of her head until she leaves.)
Jiyong doesn't cut off all his hair and bleach what's left blond.
Jiyong doesn't stay up until six in the morning in the studio trying to write lyrics just to get up three hours later to record something else.
Jiyong doesn't fill his entire fucking head in the darkness for three hours with Seunghyun's eyes and Seunghyun's lips and Seunghyun's stupid crumbly laugh and Seunghyun's hands on his hands and Seunghyun's breath on his cheek and Seunghyun next to him and underneath him and on top of him and sleeping and awake and running hands through his hair and calling him names and piss-drunk stumbling home and three years ago and now and Seunghyun and Seunghyun and Seunghyunchoiseunghyunchoiseunghyunchois
Jiyong doesn't stare at his blank album cover for five hours and then name it Heartbreaker.
Seungho tells him he needs a day off to regroup. "We're going to a bar tonight," he says over the phone. "You're coming."
"I'm flying back to Tokyo tomorrow morning," Jiyong answers, and he can almost hear Seungho rolling his eyes underneath the static of the line.
"Kwon Jiyong. You've been broken up for five entire months. Jesus."
Jiyong scowls. "I'm hanging up, you asshole."
Ten hours later, it's somehow six a.m. and Jiyong is stumbling his way up the stairs with the contents of an entire pitcher of soju dribbled down the front of his sparkly shirt and his makeup smeared across his face. He isn't entirely sure if he paid the cab driver or threw his credit card at him, and alternates between taking a step and falling down two, take one, fall down two, and then fumbling with his keys and missing the lock seven times before he finally makes it in the door and notices a light is on in Seunghyun's room.
It takes a minute for his eyes to adjust, but he's there. A suitcase is on the floor half-unpacked and a bottle of wine is opened on the windowsill. Seunghyun looks thinner and his hair is a quarter of an inch longer, but it's Seunghyun. He turns when Jiyong knocks his shin against his nightstand, initial surprise melting into amusement as Jiyong all but trips over his Louboutins.
"Hey," he says, then wrinkles his nose. "I can smell you from all the way over here."
"I'm not that far away," Jiyong slurs indignantly. "I missed you, though."
Seunghyun sighs. "Yea," he says, and he looks a little somber, or maybe it's just the alcohol in Jiyong's system. "Yea," Seunghyun says. "Me too."
And then Jiyong pushes past the bed and falls into him and kisses him and they pick up where they left off, like during his month-long absence Seunghyun has forgotten everything but the scripted lines he's been filming and they're okay and Jiyong just doesn't give a shit anymore. Everything is all right. Seunghyun is just the same, pushing him backwards into bed before he crawls over him, wine in his breath and quarter-of-an-inch longer hair brushing against Jiyong's forehead.
Take a step, fall down two.
When Jaejoong tells Jiyong he's here for him, call him anytime he wants, Jiyong thinks that he's about a month too late to play the role of 'helpful-older-brother' but can't resist calling him out on his offer.
"Anytime." He repeats flatly.
"Anytime," Jaejoong affirms.
"Even if it's five a.m. and all I want is a pint of ice cream or something."
"Even if I'm in Gwangju and I've just fallen asleep," Jaejoong says confidently.
He sounds far less confident and more on the cranky side, however, when Jiyong dials his number three days later and says Ben and Jerry's, Cherry Garcia, asap. And bring Yoochun.
Jiyong is waiting at the door to his apartment so he won't wake Seungri when Jaejoong pounds on his door; when he opens it, Jaejoong is standing there with his hair in a bandanna lugging a Family Mart plastic shopping bag in one hand and Yoochun, swaying on his feet and looking as if he's three seconds away from passing out in the hallway, in the other.
"This better be good," Jaejoong snarls. "I better see tears." He pushes past him to rummage around in the wet bar while Yoochun drifts to his couch and sprawls out on it without a word.
Jiyong reaches over Jaejoong to pull out the good vodka and gets him a glass. "I just wanted ice cream," he says, "but I can cry if you want."
Jaejoong stares at him. "You little bastard," he says. After a second, he seems to have worked something out in his early-morning frame of mind and suspiciously jabs a finger at Jiyong's chest. "Wait. Ice cream? You don't like ice cream. Seunghyun is the one who likes ice cream. And Yoochun. ... You're not... Jiyongie, this isn't, like, some twisted--"
"Your brain is twisted," Jiyong scoffs, and flops on the couch on top of Yoochun's legs. "I'm fine."
"What about your lyrics?" Jaejoong asks immediately. "What are they saying?"
"What are you, my psychotherapist?" Jiyong says irritably. "I've moved on, okay?"
"Good," Yoochun mumbles, "so's Seunghyun."
And Jiyong can laugh it off and pretend like that little scrape doesn't hurt, but it'd be nice if Jaejoong told him Seunghyun is still crying into his shoulder and asking him how to get Jiyong back.
Instead, Jiyong pours himself a shot and falls asleep tangled between Yoochun, Jaejoong, a half-empty bottle of alcohol, and a puddle of melted Cherry Garcia (because Jaejoong is right, Jiyong doesn't actually like ice cream).
Nothing happens in May. Youngbae makes a comment about Jiyong's hair getting long, YG gives them an itinerary, and Seunghyun still doesn't look at him, Jiyong still can't smile.
He packs a bag and hides his hair under a beanie, figuring he can deal with it tomorrow, and then they're in Japan and the air is changed, a little sharper and more metallic, like the snow hasn't stopped falling here yet and this is a warning. Jiyong listens to the static of the white noise below them from his skyrise and thinks that this is it.
He's sixty floors above sea level; he's finally done.
Welcome to Paris, the sign over the airport terminal says.
Fuck YG, Jiyong thinks, and hoists his bag over his shoulder as he tries thinking that maybe he does need this vacation. Everything sounds better in French. He can be French. If he likes it enough, maybe he'll just rip apart his return ticket and stay.
Daul is there when he pulls up to her apartment, and her hair is a flippant shade of blonde that hurts Jiyong's eyes when it's under the sun. "Just broke up with my douchebag boyfriend," she tells him as she's helping him hoist his luggage up the stairs, cigarette stained pink from her lipstick. "Figured it'd help bleach my brain or something. How are you, Jiyongie? I haven't talked to you in forever."
"I'm," Jiyong says, and runs out of things to say.
Daul sighs and says don't worry, mon frere, she'll take him bar-hopping and they'll drink their brains out.
And they do, so much so that Jiyong kisses a random stranger with hooded eyes and a patterned hoodie until Daul drags him away, and then he's comatose on her couch until the next afternoon. Shopping (the majority of which is at a Fendi store that has a partnership with Bearbrick), eating at a small restaurant right below the Eiffel Tower (ice cream, Daul says, you have to try their ice cream), clubbing at one of the best places in France (another stranger, this time with a gravelly voice and awkward hand gestures). Even Daul, even their bored mornings when they're just selca-ing in her bedroom and she's pulling faces, because she makes the same faces, and Jiyong starts wondering if this is a conspiracy or if he's truly going nuts.
After five days, Jiyong decides to get out while he still can.
"Love ya, Jiyong," she says when she kisses him goodbye at the airport. "Come back soon, okay? If you see that asshole tell him I don't give a shit."
Farewell, Paris, Welcome to Prague. Welcome to Zurich. To Glasgow. They're all the same.
It feels like he sleeps the entire month away.
It's four in the morning and Jiyong is outside Seunghyun's room until he opens the door. He looks like he hasn't slept at all.
"I'm sorry," Jiyong says, and he reaches for him and touches Seunghyun's shirt, his collarbones, his neck. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
"Ji," Seunghyun says, and Jiyong thinks that maybe he was sleeping after all, because his voice is edged with sandpaper and gravel, like he hasn't used it in a while, like it is when he's on stage except not on purpose.
"Another day," Jiyong says. "Just another day. Please, please, god, just. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Please."
Seunghyun sighs. "Jiyong, I can't," he says.
Jiyong presses his face into Seunghyun's chest and Seunghyun lets him and Seunghyun holds him and Seunghyun brushes a hand through Jiyong's hair but he's a million miles away separated by a wall and an ocean and it's not the same, not the same. Jiyong can't breathe.
He wakes up in his own bed and doesn't remember how he got there, sun shining in his face and hurting his eyes.
He accidentally knocks things over, tells his mom everything is fine, and doesn't eat dinner when Seunghyun is home. Five stages of grief, but he's Kwon Jiyong and he cycles through them so fast he's left with nothing to do by day three. Seungri tries tempting him with coffee but Jiyong slams the door in his face and continues scribbling nonsense down on his notepad. Daesung and Youngbae start exchanging Looks like this is some big dramatic thing and they are the parents except they have no fucking clue how to take care of things.
It's almost the end of the month when Teddy catches Jiyong swinging aimless circles in his studio chair on a Sunday with a pen in his hand when everybody else is sleeping in.
"Jiyong," he says, and stops the chair. "Jiyong, go home."
"I don't want to," Jiyong says. He shoves Teddy's hand away and continues en route to dizziness, but Teddy hoists him up onto his feet and slaps at his face.
"Jiyong, wake the fuck up."
Jiyong walks home and goes to bed.
It's a day when it should be snowing but it's like the sky is waiting for something and holds it in instead.
Jiyong has barely woken up when Seunghyun steps into his room and shuts the door, but he knows enough that he's still annoyed at him, and rolls over to face the wall. A hand presses softly against his back.
"Ji, I need to talk to you."
"Ji." Seunghyun pauses, takes a breath. "Jiyong, I can't do this anymore."
Another pause. "I'm gonna leave, okay?"
And he does.
"I'm writing us something new," Jiyong tells Daesung, boots melting puddles onto his wood paneling and he doesn't care. Seungri brings him hot chocolate and Youngbae comes in to say hi and Daesung smiles at him.
Seunghyun is the last to wake up, well when the December sun is stretching lines of light across their living room, and Jiyong shoves his notebook at him and tells him to read.
It takes him the better part of an hour. "This is good," he says, and the smile on his face, in the corners of his eyes, is something Jiyong hasn't seen in almost a year.
"Are you sure?" Jiyong says.
"Yea." Seunghyun says. He smiles wider and drapes an arm around his shoulders, says, "You're always good, Ji," and that's all it takes (all it ever takes) for Jiyong's heart to start all over again.
note: originally posted at kpop_olymfics with song prompt of 2pm's heartbeat and a secondary prompt of "you keep telling me to be glad for what we had while we had it. that the brightest flame burns quickest. which means you saw us as a candle. and i saw us as the sun."