A Time of Rest
It was dark enough that he had to take off his shoes and wander around in his bare feet until he had mapped out where the water edge was with enough accuracy that he could trust the blanket he spread to stay dry when it was down. He spread it carefully over the sand, moving the small cooler closer to the edge of it. It was a shame that they couldn’t be here during the day but not only would the hectic schedule of Super Junior not allow it, the fans would swarm them under. He couldn’t even chance a night with any sort of a moon and he had to wait until the moon was new and not shinning in the sky.
For a while he had been worried that the wait would be too long, that the comeback schedules of the large group would be enough exhaust the man, or worse kill off any of the enthusiasm he had regained from the promotions of M&D. Yet somehow they had made it to the appointed midweek day and nothing untoward had happened, much to his relief.
Up the beach he saw the flash of the headlights of a car along the road, once, twice, and then a third time. It was the signal that they he had worked out and he was relieved to see it. He quickly made a mental note to thank Siwon with something nice in the future and perhaps arrange a time when the man would be able to join them.
The car pulled away and for a moment he worried that things hadn’t worked out as he had been planning, then he saw the glow of a cell phone and heard the familiar voice grumbling out curses as he moved forward. “Here, Heechul,” he called, giving the man direction.
The phone immediately turned towards the sound of his voice and began moving rapidly to it. “Jungmo?” Heechul’s voice called as he neared, a shadow of barely suppressed fear in it.
“Yeah, I’m here,” he repeated, moving beyond the blanket to the light. His fingers touched a too thin arm taking grip of it lightly.
“Bastard,” Heechul cursed, and he supposed he deserved the fist that landed somewhere in the region of his solar plexus. The man could hit a lot harder then he looked like he should be able to, and Jungmo rubbed at the spot lightly. “I could have died coming out onto a dark beach!”
“Not before I did,” Jungmo grumbled. “I’ve been here without a light for half an hour.”
“You’re the moron that decided to do this and I will be killing you and Siwon for this shit! Now take me home.” It was a demand, but not one that Jungmo felt inclined to obey. He knew how to handle the beast.
“Give me that,” he said reaching for the phone. Heechul jerked it away immediately stepping backwards. “If I have to wrestle you for it I will and when I get it, it is going in the water.”
“You wouldn’t dare,” Heechul hissed.
In the soft glow of the phone screen Jungmo met the other man’s eyes evenly. “Try me,” he challenged. Long ago they had gone head to head and pushed each other enough that they had come to an understanding. Jungmo would do what he had threatened and Heechul knew it.
“I don’t need it anyway,” Heechul snapped, slapping it down onto Jungmo’s out stretched hand. He took a moment to shut off the device and then tucked it safely into one of his pockets. “If one of the managers needs me,” Heechul said almost as an afterthought.
“Then they will have to do without you for a few hours,” Jungmo said firmly. “Come on.” His hand slipped into Heechul’s and he tried not to wince when the man dug his nails into his flesh. Heechul never had taken well to surprises but his reluctance to take time for himself willingly made the hated surprise necessary.
Jungmo led them by memory back towards the blanket, his bare feet telling him when they were there. By the time he had reached it, his night vision had returned and he could make out the faint outline of shapes through the darkness. “Here, sit.”
“I’m not sitting on the sand,” Heechul said haughtily.
“There is a blanket,” Jungmo responded, tugging on the other man’s hand lightly.
Slowly, as if he was against the whole idea, Heechul sunk down on the blanket. When he was seated, Jungmo quickly moved to the cooler and pulled out one of the chilled bottles of beer. He pressed it into Heechul’s hand and he swore he could feel the smirk coming off the other man as he passed him a bottle opener as well.
They drank in silence for a while, Jungmo looking up at the stars and occasionally glancing at the man beside him who seemed to be staring at the dark water straight ahead of them. “It’s so still,” Heechul said finally, softly.
Jungmo glanced at the water and listened to the sound of the quietly lapping waves. It really did seem like the night was rather still, as there wasn’t even much of a breeze to stir their hair. “Yeah.”
“I don’t remember when the last time I was still was,” Heechul whispered. Then he laughed bitterly, “but then there are a lot of things that I don’t remember feeling.” Jungmo heard him take a swig of the alcohol and he sipped his own, waiting for the man to continue.
“I don’t remember what it feels like to love being on stage,” Heechul said finally. Jungmo winced. That had been why they had created M&D, so that Heechul could find that joy again and he had, for a while.
“Yes you do,” Jungmo countered, knowing that it was at least partially true.
“Maybe Hangeng had the right idea,” he mused.
That was a discussion they had had on more than one occasion. “Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. It’s a moot point since we both know you can’t leave.”
A sigh and then another drink. “No I can’t. Then they really would die.” He could have been talking about any one of the ten remaining members and it pained Jungmo that he couldn’t do more for them.
“Do you have another one of these?” Heechul asked, waving the now empty bottle.
“Yes, but only one more for you,” Jungmo told him reaching towards the cooler. Heechul grunted and accepted the second bottle without a word sipping it slowly as Jungmo had been his. “I have something else for you,” Jungmo told the man, pulling out a carton from the cooler and fishing out a spoon.
Heechul was curious, he could tell from the questing fingers that accepted the items after having tucked the bottle of beer safely in the sand. “Ice cream?” he asked, popping the top off the carton. “This had better be the good shit,” he warned. Jungmo smiled and knew the moment that Heechul actually tasted the substance by the little moan the man produced. He knew better than to try and buy Heechul anything other than gourmet ice cream. If the man was going to eat the calories, he had always been determined to enjoy every ounce of it.
They sat in silence once more, Heechul slowly working down his pint of melting dessert and Jungmo sipping his beer. The sound of the water was soothing as was the ease of their friendship when everything else was laid aside. Jungmo shifted, resting back on the blanket his head propped on one arm and his drink still held in the other hand. The stars seemed to twinkle overhead, a beautiful display in the night sky and he sighed in contentment. He had done this for Heechul, the only thing he could think of to do for the man, but perhaps he had needed it just as much.
“Jungmo,” he heard his name called softly. Then a dark shape blocked the view of the stars. It was the only warning he got before Heechul’s lips were on his and they were kissing slow and familiar. Jungmo abandoned his bottle to the sand so that his hand could lift and run through the dark hair of the man who was one of his dearest friends as Heechul thanked him in one of the only ways he knew how, with a slow sensual press of lips and teasing flicks of a white chocolate flavored tongue.