by Rana Eros
For the dbsk_flashfic challenge of "Je n'ai jamais su comment te parler." Eliza got to translate that, and then she got to beta. Summary inspired by Octavio Paz.
Yoochun forgets words and grammar in English, loses his train of thought in Korean. In Japanese, both his brain and his tongue stumble, stutter after meaning. Only in music does he feel fluent, notes moving from his head to his mouth effortlessly, flowing out of his pen and onto paper with no fear that something's lost in translation. He stays up just to prove to himself he can still communicate, falls asleep and dreams of bridges, choruses, melodies.
In music, he never has to back up and say, "That's not what I meant," never has to realize with growing embarrassment that the sounds he just made are not, in fact, real words. In music, he knows exactly how to say, "I'm lonely" or, "Touch me." He can come up with a thousand variations on, "I love you," and they're all right.
"You should get some sleep, Yoochunnie," Jaejoong says.
Yunho says, "You still have to get up at 6:30, no matter how late you get to bed."
"I'm not carrying you off set if you pass out," Changmin says.
Junsu says, "You're going to hurt yourself if you keep dancing half-asleep."
And then, finally, four voices tell him something that makes sense. "Play for us, Yoochun."
He does, plays them his part of countless conversations, confesses everything he has no words for in Korean or English or Japanese. He is eloquent on a keyboard, articulate. He can say what he means.
When he's done, he waits. Junsu breaks the rules of Korean with sly wit disguised as charming innocence, masters puns in Japanese, has already learned all the English Yoochun knows to teach him. Changmin speaks English with confidence, Japanese with precision, flawless Korean with a well-bred Seoul accent. Even when he misspeaks, Yunho can get his point across, authority in his voice. Jaejoong alone shares Yoochun's difficulties, but Yoochun's not sure how much he cares about being understood.
Except here, and here they all follow Yoochun's lead, harmonizing on wordless notes of pure communication. No one stumbles or stutters, no one loses their way. They speak to each other with variations of sound, smiling, singing, listening, touching.
The meaning is always clear.