hanna (mebeforeyou) wrote in seoulmateu,
hanna
mebeforeyou
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[EXO] our way home (oneshot) (1/2)

OUR WAY HOME (1/2)
Pairing: kaisoo (jongin/kyungsoo)
Genre angst, romance, friendship
Rating PG.
ONE-SHOT / 6654w.
to wonderful Amy (thisismylastlie) because i love her. and many thanks to my beta Ree (astrou) for helping me

(click the title to read!

Jongin was made of nothing but cotton, glass eyes, fur and fabric. He was Kyungsoo's favorite teddy bear




{ If you take my hand }


The first time Jongin was hugged by Kyungsoo’s tiny but warm arms, he thought that Kyungsoo smelled like spring and strawberries. His scent was pure and sweet like an angel’s; like paper and pencils; like the spring rain; like the greenest grass; and like cherry blossoms.

But most of all, Kyungsoo smelled like home.

And if Jongin could talk, he would’ve told Kyungsoo how much the boy meant to him.

--

Jongin was barely three when his new father, a young brown-haired man in a black suit holding a briefcase, picked him up. It was around six or seven, he recalls. The sky was a dark navy blue color with stars shimmering in the distance here and there, and the shop Jongin was living in was about to close for the day. It was winter, in the midst of December, and snow was falling down to ground, melting as soon as it landed.

Jongin’s mother was humming quietly (as she always did when there were no customers) when a car pulled up in front of their shop and a man stepped out. Jongin looked out through the tall glass window from where he sat at the shop's window seat and watched as the man hurried up to their shop. The bell chimed loudly as the door opened and the cold wind found its way into the shop. Jongin thought it smelled like autumn rather than winter.

“Are you closing now?” the man asked with a hopeful smile.

“It’s all right, you can have ten minutes more,” Jongin’s mother said gently, smiling back and gesturing for him to look at the shelves to the right with dolls and bears.

“Thank you.”

Jongin expected nothing. For more than two years, he’d been here. And no one had ever picked him.

But perhaps today was different.

It took a while, but Jongin felt a hand hugging him gently, and before he knew it, someone was picking him up. When this person—that man, Jongin realized—turned Jongin around, he was met by a pair of warm, dark brown eyes.

“I pick him,” the man said.

Jongin could’ve sworn his heart started beating with happiness in his chest. But that was impossible because he was made of nothing but cotton, glass eyes, fur and fabric.

His new father placed Jongin in the backseat with his face turned to the back window. He said, “You are adorable. Kyungsoo will love you.”

Jongin might have been young, but he understood how the humans lived and acted. He understood that he should’ve felt happiness because that was what humans felt when someone told them they were “adorable.”

When Jongin drove away with his new father, he caught the last glimpse of his mother—or rather, his creator—through the back window. She was cleaning the window seat, the place where Jongin had been placed three years ago amongst other dolls and bears. If he were a human, he would probably have felt sorrow through his throat, and pain in his heart. However, he wasn’t. He could only guess that he would miss her, somewhat. She, who tenderly sewed him, stitch by stitch. She, who was the first one to smile at him, the first one to hug him tightly.

(As they drove, his mother and the shop became nothing but a blurred dot that blended in with everything, every color, from blue to white, now far away from Jongin.

Was this what the humans meant by leaving something behind?)

--

When the car stopped in front of a house and his new father brought him inside, Jongin could hear laughter that came out from the kitchen, followed by a baby’s voice. His father looked down at him and smiled, his eyes sparkling.

“He’ll love you,” his father whispered to him, as he went into the kitchen.

The kitchen had painted white walls, light-red curtains and toys lying on the kitchen table. In it sat a middle-aged woman and a child. The woman looked up with surprised eyes at his father, her man, slightly confused when she saw Jongin, although it did not take long before a warm smile graced her lips. She stood up and went to them.

“Welcome back,” she said to her man. Then she looked down at Jongin. “I see you brought someone cute with you. Is this for Kyungsoo?”

Jongin, however, could only stare at the boy in front of him. The boy who stared back at him with big, curious eyes, his mouth slightly open.

“Kyungsoo,” father finally said with a smile. He went up to the boy, whom Jongin assumed was Kyungsoo, his son. “This,” he said and reached out to his son with Jongin in his hands, “is for you, Kyungsoo-yah.”

It all happened a little bit too fast for Jongin.

One second, he was still in his new father’s warm hands. The next second, he watched as Kyungsoo started grinning, as his eyes grew even wider and as his small hands reached out to Jongin. And then Jongin felt tiny arms wrapping themselves around him as he was being crushed against Kyungsoo’s warm chest. Giggles from the little boy were the only things he could hear.

Kyungsoo, four years at that time, was a small kid with big, round eyes and a wide smile. His short, soft hair was pitch black and his skin was as white as milk.

Jongin thought Kyungsoo smelled like spring, dreams, strawberries—and he thought perhaps, he would smell like home to Jongin soon enough, too. 

(That night, Kyungsoo fell asleep while holding his new teddy bear close, his nose buried in Jongin’s soft fur.)

--

Kyungsoo was now a bright five years old with the same big, round eyes and soft hair. Except, his hair was now brown when under the sunlight, which Jongin found incredibly beautiful. The boy’s smile was beautiful too.

For Kyungsoo, Jongin was everything. And although he could never say it, Kyungsoo was everything for Jongin too.

The two of them were inseparable.

Kyungsoo dragged Jongin with him everywhere he went. To the playground, to the grocery store, to his mother or dad’s work and just everywhere. When they ate dinner, Kyungsoo would pretend to feed him—“If you don’t eat, teddy bear, you won’t grow!”—and when they were watching TV, Kyungsoo would always laugh and ask if Jongin thought it was funny too.

But of course, Jongin couldn’t answer. He wished he could, though.

Jongin didn’t have a name yet, at that time. However, he was fine, because whenever he looked into Kyungsoo’s eyes, he saw only himself, so it didn’t matter to him at all if Kyungsoo called him by a name or just a simple ‘teddy bear’. Kyungsoo loved him and that was enough.

His mother had named him Jongin. And that was all he had.

(But then later that night when Kyungsoo pressed his lips against Jongin’s forehead and sleepily whispered “good night, my favorite teddy bear,” it finally hit Jongin that ‘teddy bear’ was not only his name he had.

He had a ‘Kyungsoo,’ too. A Kyungsoo he wanted to protect, even if he obviously couldn’t.)

                                                                                                         --

Kyungsoo was six when he began school. Kyungsoo placed Jongin on the bookshelf every morning and he sat there until Kyungsoo got back from school. Sitting there, Jongin could look out through the window, to the street and the sky.

On those days, Jongin would dream about being human; he would dream about being able to touch Kyungsoo’s warm skin, being able to hug the human boy back, being able to wrap his arms around Kyungsoo. He wished he could smile back at Kyungsoo, and he wished he could laugh together with him and talk to him.

But Jongin was just a teddy bear.

(When Kyungsoo came home from school that day, and took Jongin down to hug him tightly and whisper in the teddy bear’s ear about how much he had missed him, Jongin told himself that this was enough.

This would always be enough.)

--

“Are you not going to name it?” Kyungsoo’s mother asked, her eyebrows a little bit furrowed when she heard her six-year-old son call Jongin ‘teddy bear’.

Kyungsoo stopped drawing for a second and glanced at Jongin, the big, brown, fluffy bear that his father had given him for two years ago. He reached out for his teddy bear and pulled it close to his chest.

“Are you sad because you don’t have a name?” he asked in a whisper, sad eyes looking at Jongin. “I’m sorry, I’ll think of something, okay?”

Kyungsoo’s mother could only laugh and ruffle her son’s hair. He was an adorable kid.

(It was before dinner when Kyungsoo looked at Jongin with excited eyes and a wide smile and said, loudly, “Your name will be Kai. And you’re my favorite teddy bear.”

Jongin felt happy.

Kai.

And he was still Kyungsoo’s favorite.)

--

Kyungsoo was eight when he brought home a friend from school whose name was Joonmyun. It was a rather cold autumn day in October and the rain had just stopped. Kyungsoo opened the door to his room with a rather nervous smile and carefully showed it to Joonmyun. Jongin watched from the bookshelf as Kyungsoo showed the new boy around. He picked up photo frames and let Joonmyun look at them; he showed Joonmyun his favorite games and his new baseball bat.

Much to Jongin’s surprise, Kyungsoo didn’t even pick him up from the bookshelf to show Joonmyun, like he always did when his other friends came by.

But then again, Joonmyun wasn’t just any friend for Kyungsoo. Jongin realized this as time passed by, as Joonmyun visited more often. Kyungsoo never picked Jongin up to show Joonmyun, and the latter never asked, either. When Joonmyun was around, they would play videogames or talk about football and baseball, and Jongin could only watch from the bookshelf, wondering why Kyungsoo was ignoring him.

One time, he wondered if Kyungsoo forgot about him completely when Joonmyun was around.

(But at nights, when Joonmyun had gone home, Kyungsoo would always—always—reach for Jongin on the bookshelf. He would whisper a ‘good night’ to Jongin, tuck them both in, and beneath the duvet, he would press Jongin close to his chest, bury his nose in Jongin’s fur and kiss the teddy bear, which smelled like home for Kyungsoo. Something he once told Jongin.

When Jongin heard this, he thought that, maybe, Kyungsoo wouldn’t forget about him ever after all.

Because Jongin was, in one way or another, Kyungsoo’s home.

And a home was not something you could just forget.)

--

“Kai.”

Yes?

“Joonmyun is really a good friend.”

I’m glad you found a friend like him.

“The teacher told me that I needed a friend like him, so they told him to spend more time with me. I didn’t like him at first, but he’s nice. He plays football really good and the others really like him, but he’s shy sometimes.”

Is that so? But why do you need a friend like him, though? Is he special?

“Kai-yah.”

What is it, Kyungsoo?

“Joonmyun is nice. He doesn’t hate me.”

But no one hates you, right?

“He doesn’t make fun of me like the others. He doesn’t steal my things to make me cry.”

Oh. Kyungsoo, I didn’t know. I’m so sorry.

“Joonmyun is a mature person, teacher said. He doesn’t play with teddy bears, and he can live just fine and smile even when his parents are both gone. He lives with his grandma, Kai.”

I’m sorry to hear.

“But Kai, he doesn’t seem like he’s happy, after all.”

Why?

“And I think he likes teddy bears. He looks at you all the time when he thinks that I don’t notice. I think he likes you. Maybe I should let him play with you next time because Joonmyun is a really good friend. I am sorry. I’m so selfish for hiding you from him. Now I know he’s nice. He’ll take  good care of you.”

I’m glad to hear, Kyungsoo.

(So when Joonmyun came home to Kyungsoo again one week after, Jongin was taken down from the bookshelf and for the first time, he saw Joonmyun smile sincerely as he looked at him.

Joonmyun smelled like beautiful flowers in summer. Jongin noticed this when the boy hugged him tightly.)

--

At ten years old, Kyungsoo started singing.

His voice was beautiful and angelic. Jongin liked listening to it at night, when Kyungsoo often sang lullabies in his, no, the teddy bear’s ear. Joonmyun, who became Kyungsoo’s “best friend that no one could ever replace”, (that was what Kyungsoo told Jongin one time) slept over sometimes. Jongin was happy at those times, too, because either Kyungsoo or Joonmyun would always embrace him as the boys whispered and giggled in the dark. He felt safe to have both Joonmyun and Kyungsoo.

Joonmyun sang, too, and Jongin assumed that was why Kyungsoo started singing in the first place. On school days, Jongin knew that the boys went to school, learned things, and played football or baseball. He knew that if Joonmyun had time, he would always come over to Kyungsoo’s place (and pick Jongin up to hug, because Joonmyun once told Kyungsoo he liked Kai really much), and sometimes Kyungsoo would go over to Joonmyun’s house instead. They would sing along to songs while doing homework, eat sweets while joking around, or play games.

Jongin knew that Kyungsoo liked to hear Joonmyun sing, that he liked the latter’s voice more than his own.

Jongin knew that Kyungsoo liked a girl named Minyoung in class.

Jongin knew that Kyungsoo was too shy to talk to her.

Jongin knew that Kyungsoo’s favorite teacher was Mrs. Lee, because she was always nice to him.

Jongin knew that Kyungsoo’s favorite food was, still, his mother’s kimchi soup.

Jongin knew that Kyungsoo missed his father terribly, who passed away in a car accident when Kyungsoo was nine.

Jongin knew all of this and much more, because Kyungsoo never forgot to tell him about his day at night.

(Jongin couldn't avoid the fact that Kyungsoo was growing older and that he was getting a little too old for teddy bears. However, Kyungsoo still loved him, so Jongin was lucky. Kyungsoo still hugged him tightly at nights, even though he was busy with friends, TV, and homework on those days.

Jongin was maybe forgotten throughout those days, but he was always remembered when it was time to sleep and he thought that was enough.

As long as Kyungsoo would not forget him entirely, everything would be fine.)

--

“You remind me so much of father, Kai,” an eleven-year-old Kyungsoo said quietly one afternoon, voice trembling as he looked up from his homework on the desk and  to Kai on the bookshelf.

I do? Why?

Kyungsoo got up from the desk chair and reached up to take Jongin down. Jongin probably would’ve smiled with happiness if he could because it had been awhile since Kyungsoo last took him down from the bookshelf. Recently, Jongin could only feel Kyungsoo’s warmth and smell his scent when it was midnight and the boy was deep in sleep. Sometimes, Kyungsoo was too tired from football practice that he would forget to hug Jongin, but it was all right—Jongin understood.

“Dad gave you to me when I was four, I think,” Kyungsoo said, now smiling a little as he smoothed Jongin’s fur. “You remind me of him. I miss him, Kai.”

I’m sorry, Kyungsoo.

Then, he put Kai aside again and began to do his homework. Jongin watched as the boy tried to concentrate on the math. One hour went by and when Kyungsoo went to sleep, Jongin was left alone on the desk, disappointed when Kyungsoo forgot to hug him tonight again.

(He won't forget me again tomorrow, Jongin told himself. And he was right. Kyungsoo didn’t forget the next day. Because Kyungsoo still cared and still remembered about that old teddy bear that his father gave him a long time ago.

Jongin was still happy.)

--

Kyungsoo was now twelve and one handsome, brown-haired boy with big, round eyes, a bright smile, and a singing voice that was still beautiful. Kyungsoo was twelve and he quit with football. Instead, he started playing piano, while Joonmyun, still his best friend, took lessons in guitar. Kyungsoo was twelve and he spent most of his time outside the house with his friends, playing football or baseball, singing with Joonmyun, or playing the piano. Kyungsoo was twelve and he spent less time inside with his family—with Jongin.

Kyungsoo was twelve and it was only sometimes he took Jongin down from the shelf to hug him. It didn’t happen all too often, really, and Jongin was mostly on the bookshelf now. However, Kyungsoo would always murmur ‘I’m sorry, you were lonely, right?’ to the teddy bear every time he actually remembered.

For Jongin, it was enough to prove that he hadn’t completely faded from the boy’s memory.

(Jongin was lonely at times, but he was happy, still, because he could watch as his most precious person grew up to be a wonderful person.)

--

When Kyungsoo was thirteen, he stopped telling Jongin about his day and instead just hugged the bear faintly before falling into deep sleep. And that was still only on days he actually remembered that he had a teddy bear named Kai that he loved.

(Jongin told himself he didn’t mind. As long as he could feel Kyungsoo’s arms around him at night, he was fine.)

--

Kyungsoo brought Minyoung home one day in the spring when he was fourteen, and Jongin could only smile sadly as Kyungsoo showed her around his room with red cheeks and trembling hands.

Minyoung was no surprise for Jongin, honestly, because everyone fell in love eventually and he knew that Kyungsoo had been in love with her since he was ten.

Jongin could only watch because hey, he was only a teddy bear, remember? In fact, he was only a teddy bear that Kyungsoo remembered once or twice in a span of two weeks.

(Kyungsoo was getting older. He would eventually completely leave toys and teddy bears behind one day. Jongin understood this.

So Jongin tried not to be sad when Kyungsoo didn’t even throw him one glance when Minyoung was around.)

--

Sometimes, Jongin liked to be selfish. He liked to wish for time to stop so that Kyungsoo wouldn’t be able to grow older, so that Kyungsoo wouldn’t be able to forget more and more about Jongin.

--

When Kyungsoo turned fifteen, his life was all about school, Joonmyun and other friends, singing, piano—and of course, Minyoung.

Jongin thought she was a nice girl who was pretty with her brown eyes and black, silky hair. She treated Kyungsoo well, too, and helped him a lot. She helped him in ways Jongin would never be able to. She hugged Kyungsoo whenever he was sad; she whispered comforting words into Kyungsoo’s ear; she also bought him presents on his birthday and Christmas.

Minyoung did all the things Jongin wished he could do.

(Jongin tried not to think about how Kyungsoo only remembered him and took him down from the bookshelf when it was time to clean the room.

But he loved how Kyungsoo would always smile faintly upon seeing Jongin there on the bookshelf with layers of dust on him. Jongin loved it when Kyungsoo remembered his old teddy bear. Jongin loved it when Kyungsoo washed him so that he smelled like lemons and summer. Jongin loved how the fifteen-year-old Kyungsoo would hug him when it was time to sleep, just like old times.

He hated, however, how he would still be placed on the bookshelf the next day, forgotten by Kyungsoo once again until it was time to clean the room next month.)



--

PART 2

Tags: genre: friendship, genre: romance, pairing: jongin/kyungsoo, rating: pg
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