yewook | 833 words | pg-13 | angsty
it's late and everyone's asleep on the red-eye back to Seoul, except Ryeowook.
First class was pretty empty. The flight itself was, really. Ryeowook was used to being on empty planes at three in the morning; he usually slept, but, tonight, he couldn’t. Instead, he found himself reading an article on a plane that had crashed the day before.
Jongwoon, who was sitting next to him, blinked open his eyes and tugged one of his headphones out of his ears when he saw Ryeowook awake. He leaned over, raising an eyebrow when he saw Ryeowook’s chosen reading subject.
“Seems like not the best thing to read when you’re thirty five thousand feet in the air,” he said, his voice soft and slightly playful, his breath brushing against Ryeowook’s neck as he yawned.
Ryeowook cast a quick glance at his hyung then raised his shoulders an inch. He held them there for a minute before letting them fall. “I dunno. I’m not scared of dying.”
Jongwoon let his eyes slip closed and his head drooped back against his seat. “Well, I am, so don’t talk about how we’re in a flying metal death trap, okay?” He chuckled softly and was about to drift back to sleep when he heard Ryeowook’s soft voice.
It was dark and late and everyone on the plane was asleep but the two of them. When they got to Seoul, they’d go back to their separate apartments. The nearly daily late night talks they’d used to have when they lived together in the dorms had dwindled after they’d moved out to occasionally to almost never. And just this once, Ryeowook wanted to pretend that they were back there, back in Jongwoon’s room, back wrapped up in blankets with cups of hot tea and Kkoming sleeping between them as they talked about everything and nothing.
“I’m not scared of dying. I’m scared of what happens after that.”
Jongwoon immediately opened his eyes at the tremor in Ryeowook’s voice, searching the younger man’s face for a hint at what was wrong.
“I’m scared that I’m going to die and no one will care. No one will come to the funeral. No one will miss me. That my life won’t have been anything at all and I’ll just fade into the background without meaning anything to anyone.” His voice was barely above a whisper but it rang like a scream in Jongwoon’s ears. Jongwoon sat up fully, turning in his seat so that he was facing Ryeowook and reaching over, running his fingers over his cheek. The plane was quiet for a moment before he spoke.
“It’s very selfish of me, but I want to die before you.”
Ryeowook began to shrink away from Jongwoon, but the older man wrapped his hand around to the back of his neck and gently pulled him back.
“Because I can’t begin to imagine a world without you in it. I have a wonderful family and I’m blessed to be in this band with all of you and I love our fans, but none of it means a thing if I can’t share my life with you.” He smiled softly. “You are absolutely the one thing that keeps me going. You mean more to me than you know, and more than I could ever hope you could understand. But, more than that, you mean so much to so many other people. You are so loved, Kim Ryeowook.” He leaned over, pressing slightly-chapped lips against Ryeowook’s soft skin. “I would rather cease to exist than live without you, because a world without you would be eternally painful.”
The corners of Ryeowook’s lips twitched upwards into a small smile, but his eyes stayed cold and distant as he stared at the back of the seat in front of him. “Thanks, hyung.”
Jongwoon frowned, his fingers fluttering up to twist in Ryeowook’s hair. “I’m not kidding, Ryeowook. And I’m not exaggerating. If you don’t believe anything else, you have to believe in how much I love you.”
A bit of Ryeowook’s facade cracked as his eyes welled up with tears. He shuffled back in his seat, scooting to his left so that he could rest his head on Jongwoon’s shoulder. A tear slid down his cheek and onto the tip of his nose; he normally would have brushed it away, but he let it stay there and it soon mixed with more, dropping to Jongwoon’s sweater.
“I love you, hyung.” He hiccupped.
Jongwoon leaned his head against Ryeowook’s as he took his hand, their fingers twisting together. He squeezed Ryeowook’s hand tightly.
“It’s scary, I know. But I’m here for you, okay? As your friend and your hyung and your boyfriend. You don’t have to deal with everything alone.”
Ryeowook nodded twice, his skin rubbing against the fabric of Jongwoon’s sweater. “Thank you.” And this time he meant it.
It was quiet on the red-eye back to Seoul, but if you listened closely you could hear soft sniffles and gentle murmurs and two hearts slowly beating in time with one another.