Title: The Places Between You and I
Genre: AU, romance, angst(?)
Warning: grammar mistakes
Summary: Hankyung swore to never fall in love. But there’s always an exception.
Author's Notes: Inspired by this line: ‘only a memory away’ and this one: ‘the truth is, love is what keeps us sane.’ also, this song (between you and i by every avenue). My mind suddenly thought of hanchul! :D here’s hannie then hee. <3
The Places Between You and I
They say that with love, you would gain two things. One is a partner, the other is sanity.
“It takes two to make a thing go right,” they said, and who was he to say otherwise? The universe was simple yet unpredictable, that he was sure of.
Still, he never agreed on the former. He always thought that love could only give you half of its promised prizes. Either you choose one, or you lose both. In the end, he chose sanity. He chose what would remain right in this world he survived from. And he prayed he chose the right one.
Mutants were not ‘socially accepted.’ People who were not mutants themselves viewed the former as freaks for having ‘special attention’ from the government. Never did they know that those were the chosen ones that balanced the world they lived in. That without them, they would never exist.
Hankyung was one of those ‘freaks.’ And he was different than those mutants he knew who loved their powers and worshipped it like new hailed Gods. But having power was power, as cliché as it sounded. Yet, he could never love something which had destroyed everything he lived for.
His power was one of those who appeared earlier than the rest. He was only fourteen when he accidentally discovered he was different and had belonged to somewhere else now that he wasn’t the person he used to be. He must leave his family and surrender his life to the black, bulky man who scared the hell out of him when he first saw him. Later on, he learned that the man was a representative of MU Project Facility.
And there his life finally ended.
And then it began again.
Training in the facility had never been an issue to him. He treated it as a psychological treatment—which he probably needed at sixteen. Without them knowing though, he learned every nit and grit of the program and learned everything what the public ought not to know.
“There are two types of mutants: those that the government wants, and those the government rejects.”
Later when he was on a detention for being ‘too curious’, he corrected the statement.
“There are two types of mutants: those that the government thinks it wants, and those the government thinks are rejects.”
He was not permitted to eat until they realized that he belonged to the first category.
And when he finally stepped out of the facility, he thought how stupid it was to live. He went for missions which were perhaps studied by those higher in power. “How could anyone study for somebody else’s death?” he laughed. He laughed because he was still there, following the missions he laughed at like a trained dog partnered with other dogs.
And that was when he hated his power.
And that was when he tried to use it on himself.
But he was not successful. He was still cursing for pity’s sake when he met him.
He planned on coming home late after finishing his latest mission when he decided that he would like to try the newly opened café near his place. He sat on a chair and made himself comfortable before making his order. He was playing on the edges of his gloves when somebody called him.
“Excuse me, mind if I share?” he said, his voice tainted with shyness. Hankyung looked around and saw that the place was crowded and the man was left with nowhere to sit on. He smiled awkwardly and offered a yes.
That was when his life ended again.
Before he began it once more.
Soon, he started asking personal questions Hankyung did not find himself comfortable answering to, but a writer like him, with wild, vast, vast, unpredictable imagination would always understand. They found themselves in the same place, the now deserted coffee shop in downtown, where a vast, vast, unpredictable love lossomed ever so sweetly.
He would asked about him and Hankyung would answer simply: “I told you, I am Hankyung. I am 27, an orphan who owned but a small apartment down the block. What more would you want to know?”
And he would ask about his parents and Hankyung would answer simply (again): “I told you I’m an orphan.”
And he would talk about his parents, words flowing like a river, ever endless and lovely and descriptive and perfect. Hankyung pictured his parents so easily than his. After all, he was only fourteen when he made them forget.
It was also in the same café when Hankyung finally told him what nagged his mind every night.
“I think I love you,” Hankyung said, leathered hands playing at the cookie crumbs scattered on the table.
He smiled, slow and easy and pretty. “It cannot be love if you’re thinking.”
“I love you,” Hankyung tried again and he smiled just as pretty. “So, would you tell me now about your parents?”
Hankyung did not. Ten seconds later, he told him about his power instead. Two minutes later, he said, “I know. I love you too.”
Yet, love and destiny could never co-exist in their world. Hankyung learned that two months later after he was tasked to kill his parents. He did that, that was why he chose sanity instead of a partner which made one crazy and delusional. He was still silent when his voice reached his ears. “But don’t you see? A touch of madness keeps you sane.” And then, he cried after.
The facility was not pleased with his recent state—unstable and uncontrollable—two of the things they hated so much that they locked him up again in the same place they did when they made him steal memories from his parents.
He was silent yet he was feeling chaotic. He was silent because he knew what he did back then was the best decision he had ever made. He searched for them after the night he took their memories, and when he did found them, they were living a happy life with his sister who wasn’t a freak like him—never remembering that they had an older child. He painfully smiled when he passed by them, ignoring the frowns that painted both of their faces.
And he was silent when he faced him, Heechul, the pretty, prettiest, unpredictable Heechul who still spoke of his parents like they were still with him, living, happy and breathing.
“Don’t make me forget. Promise me, you’ll never make me forget,” Heechul cried when Hankyung touched his cheeks, his tears kissing the smooth expanse of his gloves.
“I’m sorry,” he replied, jaw tightening with every utter.
Heechul screamed, his plea forever etched on Hankyung’s ears, when he finally did it. And when Heechul opened his eyes again, he heard him utter ever so mutely, “Who are you?”
“No one,” he whispered, his heart went a thousand beats a minute. And when Hankyung finally left him, he did not shed a tear.
He already lost the right to cry the day he loved him and still chose sanity.