Missile dumped in the World of Exile

With the best of intentions you tried to give an ocean directions

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Standing on the Edge [?/2]
ennxeli
TITLE: Standing on the Edge [2/?]
AUTHOR: ennxeli
RATING: PG - 13
PAIRING: OnTae (Onew/Taemin), MinKey (Minho/Key), Jonghyun, OC
GENRE: Angst, Romance, Psychological, Friendship, Tragedy, Humor
WORD COUNT: 6148
WARNING: Character death
DISCLAIMER: More likely I'd find a pot of gold under my bed than Shinee would ever be mine except in my dreams.
SUMMARY: Common people struggle, but little we know about the pain Shinies carry. In life, there are catchers closer to the edge, very much closer than they themselves cognize. Wish there's a catcher for them.

A/N: I'm so late and I still have no comments what so ever, so nobody's probably not reading it anyway, but i'm still working on it. and the chapter sure is LONG. Naturally there could be errors. I've again read it and read it, but still.. *sigh*.


Chapter 2

"Still lingering"

Although the worry about Jinki's well-being was lingering upon his heart he had some priorities to attend. Key recognized the girl right away as he entered the café and coldly made his way over the table. Well, he almost made it, if not two wankers hadn't been fallowing him, Jonghyun asking questions and naturally when not getting them made them up himself, with loudly singing some nonesense, not worth repeating. 

“Yaah! Kibum! What up? How on earth you think we should get home. It's friggin pouring frogs outside!” Jonghyun loudly whined over the café making people turn their heads. One hand it was good that this was an upgrade café where people didn't make a big fuss celebrities visiting the place, but on the other hand Jonghyun's tactlessness made a bad mark at the reputation of the entire group. Minho just stood, little awkward, little annoyed. Key couldn't understand why he played along with Jonghyun who was a natural blockhead with undeniable charm. Last he had to admit, because he actually had a golden heart which he never spoke of, but nonetheless he had it. But Minho was different. Whenever Jonghyun wasn't around he was suddenly all about politics and science. Not literally, but he had a mind of his own, a mind that wanders and analyses, and most of all has a standing point. This hanger-on he transformed with Jonghyun was sad. Key had a theory about that too, but ignored it. At the moment he was more angry at Minho not stopping Jonghyun acting such a child than Jonghyun being one. He rolled his eyes and let out a sigh as he continued walking towards the girl. He raised his finger motioning for the guys wait for a second. 

The girl stood up as Key stopped at the table. He bowed and spoke: “I must apologize at least on my behalf. I have something to take care of. The inconvenience I must put you through. I must apologize once more. Could you give me a couple of seconds until I take care of this?” The girl was about to say something and it seemed it wasn't anything judgmental as she had a wide rosy smile on her lips, if Jonghyun hadn't barged in. “Why hello there! Key said he had a meeting but this is most positively a date. Kim Jonghyun, may I introduce myself.”

“No, you may not!” Key hissed and turned to the girl. “I'm so sorry Cho Hee.”

“My, what a beautiful name you have. Cho. Hee.” Even Minho blushed as Jonghyun once more butted in and to both Key's and Minho's shock moved towards the side of the table the girl was now standing and touched the chair one chair next to hers as he spoke, “You mind if we join you?” He made the puppy face.

Key was furious. “Yes, absolutely I do mind you joining us! Would you just.. “

Jonghyun stayed calm and didn't pay any attention to Key. “I'm sorry, but I believe this question was addressed to lady Cho Hee here. What do you think miss Cho Hee? You mind us wanting to enjoy the company of a beautiful girl instead of soaking outside? Neglected.” He sighed dramatically.

Cho Hee listened him quietly, quite expressionless. Key and Minho on the other hand were both obviously ashamed by Jonghyun's behavior as they facepalmed. Key was about to say something but Cho Hee beat him and spoke first. “Quite bold aren't we! Wouldn't think of you being such a king bee. But I'm intrigued. Supposed we can't let you get sick out there can we!” She gave Jonghyun a frisky smile.

“Why m'am!” Jonghyun was amused how downright the girl was. “Here, let me get that.” He moved behind the girl's chair and held it for her to sit and sat right beside her forgetting all about Key and Minho who were looking utterly dumbfounded. Jonghyun started questioning Cho Hee and quite soon they were in a heated conversation about how Idols weren't or were in real life the same as they appeared to the public. Jonghyun bizarrely trying to prove that they were and Cho Hee arguing that they weren't. 

Minho shrugged. “I need a drink!”

Of course that was the selective part that Jonghyun heard and turned to Minho before he could ship to the bar. “Minho! You mind us getting some drinks too? I'll have a whiskey, neat and the lady will have …,” he let the sentence open for Cho Hee to end. “The same.” “And lady will have the same. Thank you very much Minho.” and the conversation took off again. Minho headed to the bar. 

“Two whiskeys, neat and one bottle Soju please.”He leaned on the counter and watched the waiter run between shelves and coolers.

Suddenly Key appeared beside him collapsing his head on the counter. “I know he's a fishy dude, but right now I just wish I could strangle him with the underwear he leaves lying around all over the dorm.” Minho simply blinked foolishly as he watched Key's head as the latter shook it. Just as Minho was about to receive the drinks and started paying Key's head popped up and he was now looking furiously at him. “You. You know. What's your deal! Forever like glued to him, couldn't you like hold him back or something! What kind of a servant you are for him! Could you be even more of a pushover!?” Key felt a little guilty for letting his fume out on Minho and sighed falling on the counter again.

“You like, like that girl, huh?” Minho asked quitely, almost whispering.

Kibum nodded rubbing his forehead against the counter. “I have my reasons.” He now raised his head and looked straight into Minho's currant-black eyes. “She's Jinki's sister.”

Minho was dumbstruck. “Lee Jinki? Onew Jinki? Our Jinki?” he bombarded him with same questions.

“What other Jinkis we know! Honestly, Minho! Sometimes you just ...” He closed his eyes and let out a sigh. “Please. Don't mention this to anyone. I don't know why I'm even telling you this right now. Could you just like, scratch that all. I know how you two are. I don't know why...”

Minho put his hand gently on his shoulder and Key stopped rambling simply looking into oblivion. “I won't tell. I've never told him anything about what we've talked before neither. You see, you can trust me.” Minho seemed sad now. Hurt even. Key didn't see that but he heard the tone and they way Minho spoke. He realized that his assumptions about Minho having some stronger motive to be around Jonghyun may be true. But Jonghyun wasn't gay. Was he? Strike, was Minho?

Key looked up to him just to see that he had drifted away somewhere, unknown and he felt apologetic towards him. “I'm sorry Minho. I didn't want to jump on you like that. Jonghyun is a wanker on his own time and energy. He's not your responsibility.”

“Please. Don't. Don't apologize.”
 
Silence.

“Is it that bad?” Minho broke the tension they both didn't notice had been hung in the air. “How did you even? I mean, I've never thought about Jinki having a family. It had never come up either. How did he even get past the family topic in interviews. Gosh. I haven't even noticed. We don't know nothing about his family, do we? Do you?” 

Key took a deep breath and puffed it with a growl. As soon as he started to say something, a loud whistle came from the table. Of course Jonghyun! “Hey, guys! Stop with the cooing. Lady here must be positively dehydrating by now. See how pale she is! Pace up!”

Key heaved a sigh and stepped few steppes towards the table but stopped, so Minho, who was right behind him, almost tripped on him. He spoke very silently. “Later. Maybe. I need to think.”

Silence confirmed the mutual angreement. And they joined the table. Jonghyun flirting with, as it happens Jinki's sister, Lee Cho Hee, as Minho and Key had only minor part in the conversation.

* * *


Taemin didn't remember when he fell asleep but now when starting to wake up he registered he was moving and completely wet. He remembered he was supposed to be in car but as it appeared he wasn't. It was way too chilly and he felt gouts of rain and wind slipping his freezing blow on his bare back because the blouse was suddenly too short. The pose wasn't comfortable either and soon it dawned to the boy, he was in the arms of someone who was walking, somewhere, taking him somewhere. Hyung? Taemin blinked couple of times to accustom better with the darkness. It tooks some time but soon he saw the features of his hyung's face. The moon was hidden behind the trees and he couldn't see a thing but as soon as they stepped out of the shadow he saw Jinki. The daunt took over every single cell in Taemin's body. His hyung had always been beautiful, for Taemin, perfection in every sense but this wasn't him. Onew looked absolutely beastly and deformed. His eyes were mixed with crazy and tears were falling down on his cheeks. This scared Taemin to his very core. Never ever had Taemin seen Jinki cry. This face and person was made only for laugh and laugh only. Despair was crawling down to Taemin's throat, but despite that, he hooked his arms over Onew's neck, who didn't seem to even notice, and pulled himself closer to his ear as he whispered: “Hyung, where are we going?”

Nothing. Onew didn't even blink or anything. His eyes were watching into the oblivion although the oblivion seemed to hurt, because he was simply trembling with tears. “You scare me hyung, really. Where are we going?” he repeated searching Onew's eyes to meet. And suddenly they did. There were so much sad in them as his black orbs were glistening with tears. Raindrops were fiercely falling down to his cheeks and some got stuck on his eyelashes. He looked drowned, Taemin thought. In the past he was positive Jinki could fly and pull a superhero, so ninja, nobody would stand a chance against his powers. His hyung most definetely could fight it all – he was immune to demons and evil. On the contrary to Taemin who let himself be eaten and abused by his inner satans. Ugly profanation against one self. But now, it was his hero who was ambushed and assaulted by something. This something looked back from his eyes yearning to tell something only if it could. Onew's face was soft, though, as he read the eyes of the other. It wasn't angry or cruel like in the morning. No. He looked defeated but his eyes spoke care. His bipolar actions perplexed Taemin to no end. Tell me, talk to me, I beg you!

It was too dark to confirm where they were, but Taemin had a hunch. The railway-bridge. The place where his hyung hid himself to write lyrics and think over his own stuff. Every now and then he took Taemin with him, simply to fool around in the little shallow creek or other ridiculous games only Onew would think of. Sometimes he sang to him and helped Taemin with his vocals he was always a little struggling with. He made quite a progress then but now he went to a professional teacher who didn't do any justice simply because it wasn't his hyung. Taemin didn't trust anyone in this world as he trusted Jinki and letting his voice flow free as someone was demanding him do so, this he just couldn't do in front of a stranger. Far from improvising. But with Jinki it was all care-free and comfy. Somehow he knew the right buttons to push as required for Taemin to feel himself at ease. The security. 

“You know how people tell singers to imagine the crowd naked? Big joke! Come here, stand there right in front of me, with your back. Yeah, that's right. I'm right behind you, you see. You don't see me but you know, I am right? Now. Sing the gamut.” He sang the C note right behind him. Taemin could feel his breath grazing his neck softly as the note left from his lips making the most beautiful sound a person could feel caressing his body. This was way too overwhealming, so he forgot all about his fear and could only think the way Onew made him feel, how he could touch him without touching and boost him with just his mere presence. “Now, sing to me,” Onew said. And Taemin voiced every note, crawling to upper ones. From time to time, Onew helped him because Taemin was actually a tenor and could reach quite high notes if he only had the confidence. “Very good baby. Now. I take a few steps back.” Taemin felt himself a little panicking. He didn't want the distance; if anything he wanted Onew closer. He was about to turn to see how far his hyung had gone but couldn't as Jinki stopped him. “No, don't turn. Trust me. I'm right here. Now, you give me the last high D major and let yourself fall on your back.” Taemin was boggled and thought if he heard him right. “What did you just? You mean free falling? No way. I can't. What's that got to do with this even?” Jinki hushed him. “Hey. Trust me, huh? I'll catch you. I'm not gonna let you fall. Now, let me hear that D major and as you fall, feel the gravity but let your voice defy it and let it fly higher. Stronger. Reality pulls you down but your voice will fly towards the sky. Clear?” Taemin hesitated for a moment but he wouldn't let himself to doubt in Hyung. This was his person who he knew he needed to have blind faith in. He would let this person take his all. He listened as Onew gave him upper D and sang according to it as he slowly felt himself letting the muscles to relax and feel the pull of the ground. He spread hands as he fell and seriously – his voice felt free, he didn't have time to control it; it just went and flew, full of adrenalin. He almost thought he was going to hit the ground, how far was the ground anyway, but he certainly didn't whilst soon he found himself caught by a firm pair of hands supporting him so he wouldn't strike the ground. Taemin's voice died as soon as he was captured. Now, it was simple bliss and contenment as he was held by his Hyungs hands so sturdy. So compatible. So free. So safe.

“The train,” Onew stated and slided Taemin slowly on the ground. Taemin stretched his still asleep and cold-taken muscles. He took a look around himself. There was this little hill upon where the railway ran and between the hills a creek was tightly tipped with raindrops. He hadn't been here so long, after christmas, as he was always under such strict surveillance. Although he had to admit that he didn't want to come here alone, without hyung. It wouldn't be the same he thought. And it was his hyungs place after all, place which he shared with him sometimes but his nonetheless. 

The sight here was breathtaking. Taemin could understand why Jinki loved to hang here. Although they weren't here for that. This wasn't one of these I'm-gonna-pinch-you-until-you-even-croak-singing times. Not only rain washed over Taemin but the way Jinki was flushed him with heartbreak. Elder stared at his feet, looking so very drowned and in pain. The frustration could be heard when he spoke.“You told so much. Why did you leave?” 

Taemin was puzzled. “I-I-I'm sorry hyung. I never thought...” The words and explanations died in his mouth as he could quite say what he wanted to. He cringed towards Onew and received most bitter and violent look. “I really never though ...”

“God dammit Taemin!!” Jinki yelled with tears and rain mixing in the corner of his eyes which were flaming with ire. This made Taemin jump but he didn't move away, he needed to take this. “What the fuck you didn't never thought?! That somebody will not let you disappear?! That you had to endure this fucked up life of yours?! And what?! You fucking love me?! Shit you do! You would not have went that way!” he spat with so much anger. Jinki combed his hair with one of his hand as he was rapidly panting. But he collected him quite fast as he grabbed Taemins hand and pulled himself with him, walking up to the hill where the railway lied and pushed him to stand on it. He himself stood away seeming a little indifferent. “Now here. There's your chance. Take your high road!” He swayed with his hand.

“Hyung,” Taemin pleaded but he didn't continue saying no more hearing a familiar signal from some distance. It didn't take long to soon see the lights that were the train's. Taemin's eyes went wide in shock and his heart dropped as he then understood what Onew was telling him to do. “Hyung,” he breathed as tears found instantly their way down to his cheeks. There he was, on the way of the train that was now coming towards him, making him like a deer in front of the headlights. And his own best friend asking him to do something he was sure he had to do a month ago. Not just his best friend but his savior. The one that was there just in time. The one who prayed towards all gods possible as he held Taemin in his arms when they were driven to the hospital. 

The death had taken him that time so close. It scared Taemin how near it was. He was thankful for his hyung for being there and saving him from his own self. But now. He was asked to do the exact opposite. It was the thing he always wanted and hoped for. That people that cared for him would stop and he could just go without any guilt. He knew he could do that now because the only person he loved and he thought, felt and cared for him too, was asking him to finish his existence was all he ever wanted. Or so he thought. What was he even? Why was he now, that he could go that so called high-road, so confused with not wanting to choose that one. Does it make him a weaker person? Why wasn't he so sure about that? Life without friendship with Jinki wasn't worthwhile anyway. Was it? He did try to disappear even with him being. Was his love that feeble? Maybe it would be for the better. Just to end this. Get it over with. With his approval. That's what he wanted? Didn't he? What the fuck did he want? The train got closer as the questions and thoughts ran through his head and despair washed over him. He searched his hyungs eyes. To confirm. Just to hopelessly find any mark of regretting the previous words. But his face expressed only utter dispise and anger. Taemin felt so little and alone now. Without Onew's support he wasn't sure he could carry on. He wasn't sure he could live. He can't have him looking him like this. It hurt too much to see his hyung hating him. He realized now that all he ever wanted was to be saved. And he was. All he ever wanted is to be loved. And he was. All he ever wanted is to love. And he did. Only thing was that he didn't love himself. Why couldn't he do that? What did he do wrong? Did hyung finally see all the things that were wrong with him and realized that he still couldn't be saved, he still couldn't be loved after all? He needed to confirm that. He had to hear it. 

“Hyung,” he yelled because the train was about minute away and noise too loud. “Hyung! Please! Why are you doing this?” The train got disturbingly close. And Taemin hoped, prayed that Onew would just come already and tell him that it's just a dream. And he would wake up, like, right now!

Jinki didn't show any emotion besides loathe as he spoke back. “Because you're false! You took him away!”

“Took who away?” Taemin got more and more anxious as the train was almost there and loudly signaling.

“That was mine! You had no right to! And you took him away! You! Are! Fucking! False! Fucking! Wrong!” He broke down and his eyes spoke forlorn hope. 

Taemin didn't think he understood what Jinki meant but that last expression was something of a enough for him to stand off the railway, barely even noticing that a second later the train blew past him as he ran to Onew. “No!” he screamed to his face and grasped his shoulders. “I am not false! I'm right here! Tell me! What did I do to make you hate me so much?!”

“Get off!” Jinki roared with repulsion and shoved Taemin away so hard that the younger fell backwards on the dirt. Jinkis' expression turned now compassionless and there was utter loathing as he spoke. “You're late!”

“No! Please, I can't be. This is just...” He was cut off.

“He's too weak to live or die. He's good for nothing. Take him away already,” the elder said words not to Taemin but to somebody, as it seemed, behind him. And after a split second Taemin heared clattering in the woods and the next he was helped to be stood up. 

“What on earth!! What are you doing?” Taemin recognized Key's voice yell in disbelief and felt himself being pulled into arms that he somehow just knew were Minho's. 

“Fuckin' Shakespeare is happening, isn't it obvious?!” Jinki laughed cold bloodedly. 

“Jinki!” Key hissed dangerously before leaning down to Taemin and asked if he was alright. After getting a too eager nod from the little one he turned back to Jinki and demanded, “Why are you like this?” Taeming couldn't but hold his breath as he feared what Onew might answer.

But Jinki simply shrugged his shoulders, “No special reason.”

“Are you blind, man! See him?! We saw you push Taemin. What is the meaning of this?”

Onew stayed expressionless. “Leave,” he stated icily. “Don't waste your breath with questions,” he added as soon as he saw Key wanting to argue. “Take the boy out of here. Leave! This is ridicculous!” And he walked away in to the woods. 

“Hyung!” Taemin suddenly found his voice and screamed after him. “Hyung!” No answer of course. He tried to escape Minho's grasp but the latter didn't let go. “Minho-hyung! Lemme'! 

“There-there now. Calm down, Minnie.” Key's voice had this mother-like sound or influence that made you listen from the spot even if all you wanted to do was rebel. That skinny elf-like guy had parental authority like none other. “Here's what we're going to do. You're stark soaked, you're going to the car with Minho-hyung and warm you up a little. So. You won't get sick. I'll take care of this.”

“No, you can't!” Taemin fought back and started sobbing. “He hates me! I mean.. You can't take care of this! This is all my doing!”

Just when Kibum started saying something they heard a car engine starting and drive to a distant. 

Kibum sighed, “At least then, let's take this to somewhere a little less wet,” and motioned Minho to follow him as he searched for the tiny road to where they had parked the car.

* * *


As soon as the got home Taemin locked himself in his room and was now probably, and as the sounds itself witnessed, crying his heart out. Both Minho and Key were on the other side of the door, Key sitting his knees pulled on his chest on the corridor while Minho leaned on a wall and tapped it nervously with his heel. 

Taemin hadn't told them anything about what happened. Half time on the road he spent on phone, calling, with no answer, to Jinki and the other half weeping and repeating that they wouldn't understand even if they wanted to. Key tried probably every calm-a-person-down tactic that a he had always had working for his favor but this really seemed to slip out of his hands. Minho knew only to drive and send pittyful glances to the mirror as he checked them from the driver seat. He went through the whole story he knew in his head like million times but this all matter didn't make sense. Did Cho Hee fit in this picture? She didn't seem that acknowledged about the what-the-actual-duck situation Onew seemed to be in? Did she? They left Cho Hee with Jonghyun who didn't have any arguments to spend more time with the named girl. They had no difficulties sneaking their way out of the company as they were having their own already whiskey-drunken fun! Minho, couldn't though, get out of his mind the real reason Key had managed the date. As far as he understood it had not much to do with Kibum having hots for the girl but something revolving Jinki, or so he wondered. 

“Kibum,” ha caught guy's wandering eyes and held a hand out for him to take. “Look. Let him just have his peace and his thoughts. We can't do anything now.”

Key protested. “He doesn't have anyone. He may want to talk. And last time.. you know.. What the fuck happened there!”
“I know. But he's right there. And you're right here, nothing's gonna happen. I'll make you some tea. You can't freak out just now, not here at least. Come. We can talk. In the kitchen.” Key took few seconds to adjust with the thought leaving the spot he had claimed to wait until Taemin would calm and have arms to run into. Finally he grabbed the hand nonetheless and made way to the kitchen with Minho following him. 

“Best in this case would be probably camomile or peppermint. And you prefer?” Minho asked peeking over the counter as he searched for the promised tea. Key was sitting on a chair at the table and was alert like a soldier. 
 
“I should text him that I'm here when he's ready to talk,” Key ignored Minho and started to fish his phone out of his pocket. 

“Camomile it is,” Minho side-eyed sarcastically. He put the tea bags into the cups and walked over to Kibum, just to motion him to stop with a hand on other man's shoulder. “Enough.” He took Key's phone and sat across him at the table. “You've done enough. For now. Let the boy digest the stuff. We.. we just have to be quicker and watch out for catching diarrhea later.” Key laughed bitterly.

“Don't let all those plots you have battling in your head take over and just, stick with the reality. Understand?” Minho added as he walked over to the counter and got the teas. “After all. We know the worst that can happen. We are prepared. This shit has been hoovering on us for Some-Friggin-Time and trust me there's not one person in this very dorm who hasn't thought through every possible scenario. But don't heavy yourself with guessing what's going on. It's going on one way or other. A badger shits when it's ought to. You just be there if you wanna watch. Right?”

Kibum's face softened at the speech Minho was making. “You're a confusing guy Minho. You know you're right. I know.. I know.. I know this tea is excellent!” and Kibum went along inspired by Minho to make the emotional air in the room more easy. It wasn't the first time he remembered. 
They had always got along reasonably well from the start. Getting along reasonably well for Key was a piece of cake. It was like a profession. That's because as usual for Key he made Minho, who at first was a person, into people. This meant that he cared, but the care involved strictly ONLY People, in plural that is, never a person. Keeping people in some safe distance. Not in a way that he was afraid to get hurt or any of that kind, it was in that degree where he can be the care-taker, loving people but not loving a person. This kind of behavior brought him platonic relationships where he probably sincerely wanted to help and for his selfish self needed the thankful praise. He appeared as a psychologist, nursing mom and a leader in many ways. People turned to him and Kibum never turned them down. And he did it with pleasure, with no resentment. But at bottom it was lonely role to play. And for some unreasonable exception he had let Minho closer, after so long time what the round-eyed guy spent among with the people, he let him see a bit of Key's self. And half of the time he was angry at himself for being weak, because the guy, really, was half the time so stupid that Key wish he could strangle him but half of the times, similar to this, were sort of better than just endurable. And it's not like he's pouring his heart out the all of the time. Nothing like it. He just feels a little closer to the guy because of that one time when the horrendous events took place. The time when Taemin decided to end everything what he had and what he could have. For Kibum, it was giving away more than he had ever.

Key crouched on a bed in one of the private rooms the hospital had provided them. Again, Kibum had made one call and everything was arranged to keep it behind closed doors. But now, after managing work, the reality creeped in. Onew disappeared shortly after he drove here with Taemin on a emergency bus with not many words. Jonghyun didn't even know about this whilst he was on a MV-shooting in Malaysia for a duet andwas clearly too busy to pick up his phone. And Minho was probably..

“Lord! Key! The doctor came to me on the hallway and told me, that.. What happened?” Minho stormed in and was now standing in the doorway, worry painted on his face. But as soon as he saw Kibum on the edge of breaking down, tears in his eyes warning to break free and the mouth trembling with pain, he flew to him, squatted down on the side of his bed and whispered: “What happened?”
And then Kibum DID break down. “He didn't even leave me a letter!” He threw hands to hide his face and sobbed.
“What do you mean he didn't leave you a letter?”

“I'm so selfish. I hate it how selfish I am. But I can't just but feel this way. This fucking dreadful way I feel. This, that he didn't even leave me a letter,” he spoke in his hands, looking like a kindergardner desperately trying to hide himself from a ghost, haunting in every corner of his eyes if he ever dared to look.

Although Kibum wasn't present sight to see it, but Minho nodded understandingly. He reached his hand upon the other's shoulder and squeezed it tenderly, making a gesture and marking his being before he climbed upon the bed to sit right beside him before he spoke.
 
“When I was six or so, it was the first snow I remember, eomma and I made a snowman. Not a big one. Just the size it would fit on my both palms put together. It had a blue scarf wrapped around its head, a crooked stick for a nose, huge eyes of coal and shawl that looked exactly like mine, and that's because I cut a strip out of mine. That made me think like we were something secret and unbreakable. Entire winter I dragged it with me everywhere. Of course, I made other snowmen. They were all as cold, as white and as lifeless as the first one. But still, for some reason, it wasn't a problem to knock those down to make more room for fortresses. Marcello on the other hand, oh yes that was its name, I didn't let anything happen to him. I don't know why, but I remember him so visibly and he was my first friend, really.”

Minho sighed before he continued. “And then came spring.” 

Kibum raised his head and let his knees's in between cup it. His eyes were, Minho could only assume, swollen red and still wet but he wasn't crying anymore. It was like he really was listening. Noticing that Minho stopped telling the story Kibum turned his face to him with the most sincere interest reflecting on his face he had ever seen. “What happened?” Key whispered.

Minho smiled sadly. “I kept it in the fridge for many years. But one time. It was ending of the winter season. Me and Marcello were making snowmen because we knew the snow's gonna melt soon and I wanted to make Marcello happy by making him some friends of his kind. There were at least thirty of them. And Marcello was their king. He always stood out from the crowd, with my shawl and all. Later albeit, I just had to go ice-skating. I just had to break my ankle. And I had to stay in the hospital for the night. And just as it happens, Marcello was left outside and, if you're thinking it then, yes, the spring decided to come fastidiously next morning with that darn flaming sun and end Marcello. By the time I got back I limped to the ice-skating field and saw only a puddle in the midst lay the blue scarf and Marcello's share of my shawl. The end.”

Key wiped a tear away and turned his head away. “A snowman,” he chuckled bitterly. “Neat story Minho-ssi. Next time, though, choose your audience.”

Minho elbowed him slightly in the ribs. “There's nothing wrong with my ability to pick audience. Maybe the audience should.. 'kay.. Look. I was inconsolable. I had all the snow in the world. I made many Marcellos. Looking quite similar to the first one. But they weren't the same. I got also more careless with the duplicates. I had to make quite amount of them later because they tended to be left unguarded more those days. Kibum, look. You're not selfish. Sometimes things happen even with out preservation. You think you're selfish but you care. I know, you're used to make everything all alright. But everything isn't up to you. Let the snow go by its own course, and you, just be there to pray that the winter would last longer and snow would use its own magic to stay.”

Key leaned his back to the wall, seeming a little more relaxed. “This is most load of crap that has some sense to it I've heard my whole life.” His heartbreak was still written on his face but they spoke nothing more; just stayed there, side by side and waited. Key's blame slightly smaller, he couldn't explain how, thanks to the tall guy next to him.

Kim Kibum knew Minho had never understood what he fully meant with being selfish but he was certainly the only person trying. He always came up with some strange story that didn't make Key too uncomfortable. Talking through metaphores and puzzles suited him. He wasn't sure if Minho was aware of it or it was just his personality. It suited him one way or other.

His thoughts were interrupted by his phone ringing which was laid across the table in front of Minho who was just about to take a sip of his tea. With not much of thought Key grabbed the phone which screened an text message from...

From: Lee Jicken
 Text: Forgive me. I quit. 

I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone 
But though you're still with me 
I've been alone all along 

                                             (Evanescence – "My Immortal")


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