The shirt seemed heavy until he saw there was another shirt inside it, the sleeves carefully worked down inside Donghae’s sleeves. It was his own plaid shirt, lost, he’d thought, long ago in some damn laundry, his dirty shirt, the pocket ripped, buttons missing, stolen by Donghae and hidden here inside Donghae’s own shirt, the pair like two skins, one inside the other, two in one. He pressed his face into the fabric and breathed in slowly through his mouth and nose, hoping for the faintest smoke and mountain sage and salty sweet stink of Donghae but there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain of which nothing was left but what he held in his hands.There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can’t fix it you’ve got to stand it..Text is a direct quote (changing names) of Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain short story.
Cho Kyuhyun was weird. There was no way around it. He could no longer explain his reasoning for hiring that oddball as the new chef for his little Italian restaurant, Stella. He had to spend the first couple of weeks convincing the rest of the staff not to kick Cho’s ass for real. He was friendly enough with the customers but disrespectful to his older coworkers and made Sungmin’s job ten times harder than it needed to be. And that wasn’t even the worst part. Cho had creepy eyes. Eyes that seemed to follow him everywhere. And a scary smile. One that almost seemed genuine and bright but Sungmin wouldn’t trust it.How could he trust a guy that left him cute little selcas on his desk? Who made a point of asking him to call him “just Kyuhyun” every day? Who always made sure there was enough of his favourite pasta at the end of the day for a comfortable meal? A guy with cheeks that begged to be poked?Certainly there was some witchcraft afoot. There was no way Sungmin was falling for that demon child. Not when Cho Kyuhyun’s predatory gaze managed to make him feel like a meal on legs every time.
If you love me, come find me…That was the tantalizing sentence he saw scribbled down on a note on the night-stand of his expensive hotel room, the morning after he fell in love.A fancy hotel in Seoul. A wine tasting. A fellow travel book author. It turns out these were the only requirements his heart had to travel out of his ribcage and attach itself to the cutest man in South Korea.The one who was daring him to find him with no idea of where or how. He could be anywhere in the world and no doubt by now Cho Kyuhyun would have planned something to prevent a leak of his whereabouts. Leaving Zhou Mi to only follow the footsteps he left behind. But what sort of promise could a mindblowing night hold? It was crazy. It was ridiculously time consuming. It was a gateway to pain and frustration.Holding the little note to his lips, Zhou Mi smiled. He had always loved a challenge.
They sat next to each other the way they probably wouldn’t be able to from that day on. Neither seemed willing to say a word, but Zhou Mi found himself breaking their silence.
‘Kyuhyun… that woman… the things she knows… My country doesn't want her breathing.’ 'And my country will do everything to keep her breathing.’ 'So… where do we go from here?’ 'I told you long ago, remember? That for me, country and duty come first and I come third.’ 'And what comes second?’ 'You.’
Zhou Mi’s breath caught in his throat with that one word. His chest tightened and his eyes burned. As their time ran out, he couldn’t help but ask one last question.
'And what if those three go against each other? What then?’
As expected of his Kyuhyun, the answer came swift and cool, accompanied only by a small, sad smile.
'Numbers come in order, don’t they? That order can’t be broken. It’s the same for me as it is for you. The first will prevail in the end.’
And Zhou Mi’s heart broke as he couldn’t help but agree.