Lost in the Sound
by Rana Eros

For the dbsk_flashfic challenge of "(Becoming) Real." Dedicated to Eliza, and I wrote it on the sly while she was in the same room. Of course, then I made her beta it. Title, summary, and subtitles from the Regina Spektor song, "Fidelity."

Kept on Singing Love Songs

Yoochun hides in two languages, two countries. In Virginia, he keeps friends who don't even know he's Korean and composes music in his head to the sound of his brother breathing beside him in bed, his mother crying softly in the next room. In Korea, in the SM dorms, he composes music to the stillness and tries not to notice how the media refers to him as "the American."

He's not what his family needs, just a stand-in for the strong son and brother who should be there. He loves them, though, and he's all they have, so he tries to give them what he lacks.

He's not what SM wants, old for a trainee, able to sing and dance for the competition only after a lot of practice. He practices just as hard in Korea, though; harder. Success here means money for his mother and brother. He will succeed.

Always One Foot on the Ground

Junsu feels he's a secret inside his skin. He's his mother's doll, his brother's shadow, his father's joy. He's a sweet smile and a loud laugh and a soaring voice, and he can make his body move, but that's not him. It's a mask he wears, a puppet he plays with, posing it however he's told to do so. He wonders if anybody knows.

Then his voice breaks, and he thinks maybe there's nothing to know, thinks maybe there won't be ever again. Just the mask, just the puppet, just the ghost of everybody's hopes.

When his voice comes back, he's warned to be careful, not to strain it, not to push. Not to force it.

"But it's me," he doesn't say, just belts out a note that makes everybody in the practice room stop and stare, wide-eyed, stop and listen, all ears.

In their collective silence, he hears, "You."

Protecting My Heart Truly

Yoochun officially meets Junsu when management announces the formation of their group, but he knows who Junsu is. He's been in the practice room, waiting his turn and writing silent music, when Junsu's opened his mouth to let heaven pour out. Since then, Yoochun's found himself scribbling scores for a specific voice, smiling at an emptiness that has never been to Virginia.

Jaejoong hugs him, the first of the trainees to befriend him. Then Jaejoong's pulling Yunho forward to bow and shake hands, insisting that everyone do the same. Yunho's fingers are long, as are Changmin's, his grip careful, and Yoochun thinks it's a shame they probably won't be playing their own instruments for a while, if at all. He lets the touches linger as long as the others do; he's not ashamed to admit he likes touching, and he hasn't gotten much of this kind since he had to leave his mother and brother.

Then he's touching Junsu, hand small and delicate and warm, and Junsu's eyes widen. Yoochun wonders what's startled him, automatically attempts to put him at ease.

"Hi, Junsu-yah." It's a little teasing. Management wants them to get really close. "I'm Yoochunnie."

"You," Junsu says, then falls silent. He narrows his eyes, and Yoochun keeps his smile in place by sheer force of will, doesn't shift his feet so as not to remind Junsu they're still holding hands. He meets Junsu's gaze and waits, and what he sees is the secret at Junsu's heart.

Then Junsu smiles, and through the light, Yoochun hears him repeat, deliberately, "You."

Like that, Yoochun knows he can't hide from Junsu any more than he can from Jaejoong. What's surprising is that he doesn't mind. He wants them to know him, the way he wants to know them, the way he wants them all to succeed.

He blinks, sees again Junsu's secret, and answers in kind. "You."


Dong Bang Shin Ki
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