Title: Broken Wings PART 1 (of 3)
Genre: angst, drama, romance, friendship
One-shot in 3 parts (because it became way too long) (Maybe we can call it a mini-series)
Warning: It touches some serious topics like depression and desperation. It's more angsty than usual, but you don't have to fear CD.
Summary: We all carry it inside us... some dark corners in our soul. But what if they break out from their cage and fight their way to the surface of our being?
Wearing a bright smile as a masquerade, Ryo is able to act in a perfect role in front of the others... None of them sees his silent cry for help, except one...
Dedicated to lybrint and dorayaki_chan and go_chan2011
@ sweetspicyhot: I know, it sounds similar to what I requested from you, I know. SORRY! But in the end... it's different^^
If I could live my life once more,
in my next life I would try to
make more mistakes.
I wouldn’t want to try to be perfect,
I would relax more,
I would try to be a bit crazier,
in comparison to how I had been before.
I wouldn’t take so many things so serious,
I wouldn’t live that healthy,
I would risk more and travel more,
watch sunsets, climb on mountains,
swim in rivers.
If I could live once more
I would walk barefoot, the whole time, from the beginning of spring
I would play more with children,
if I had my life in front of me again.
But you see… I’m 85 years old now,
and I know I’m going to die soon.*
It felt cold and warm at the same time, producing a strange feeling of pain and relief. Relief, because when he opened his eyes, he knew he was alive. But despite that, there was also this stinging feeling inside him, because he didn’t know why it happened. Why did it turn out like that… he couldn’t answer that. Had there been one turning point? A moment when everything started? If there had been something like that, it wouldn’t have been a clear one. No clear and simple beginning. The lines were blurred. And around them everything was black.
Ryo wasn't sure why he let that happen. All he knew was that it hurt. It. Something deep down inside him, hiding in the dark corners of his soul. Every time when he felt these scattered pieces of his pain crumbling up to the surface, he couldn't help it anymore. It took his breath away, made him shiver during rehearsals, made him toss around in his bed during nights when he couldn't sleep. This whole painful fear lying above, beneath and around him. And he couldn't even say what it was or why it was there, he was simply feeling broken.
He could still pretend though. Show his bandmates a bright smile and some hard-working attitude. Mess around with Pi. Laugh and giggle with Jin. But the more he tried to keep this masquerade going, the more difficult it became... the pain he was carrying inside him. He kept pressing it down, shove it around, ignore it, distract himself from it... but then at one point it wasn't enough. With a loud smash the pain burst to the surface, engulfing him completely. These were the days where he could hardly breath, where he had to hide somewhere in the agency's bathrooms to recollect his senses, where he hardly could open his eyes... where all the noises around him got blurred... as if he was listening to them from far away. It was like a ringing in his ear, as if something was calling him from far away. What was the voice calling? Some begging words to make him get out of this mess? Or a seductive cry to let go from all the strings that were still keeping him in his life?
It was difficult... because though he knew the first one was the right one, the second one seemed to so much easier. One just needed to jump and it would be over. But living with all this pain and these burdens that were pressing him down... Wouldn't it be better to just...
Ryo blinked for a moment in confusion. Jin? How did he find him? Ryo looked around a bit, sliding down from the window sill of the bathroom he was hiding in. It was one of those in the agency’s basement, where hardly ever someone came to... unless there were some bigger rehearsals.
Ryo looked around in panic when he heard Jin's voice from the corridor, before he wrapped the brace around his right hand again. For a moment he felt some pain rushing through his veins... A real pain this time. Not just one that was lying deep beneath his soul. It felt real and for a moment Ryo felt relieved. Until he heard Jin's steps coming closer.
Ryo cleared his throat. “Jin? Wait...I'm coming.” He bit his lips a bit, trying to make the shiver in his voice stop, then he kicked the pen he had been… playing around with… into a corner and walked out of the bathroom. When he saw Jin's face he felt calm for a moment and warm. It was just short though... because soon he felt the anxiety inside him awakening again. But still...he was stronger, so he forced a smile to his lips, beaming at Jin. “Did you already miss me, Jinny?”
Jin frowned at that nickname, glaring at his friend. “Don't call me like that, shrimp!” he wrapped his arms around Ryo, messing around with him. “What did you do here anyway?”
“I forgot something.” Ryo lied. “And got distracted.” He grinned a bit. “But don't worry, no pervy stuff.”
Jin grinned at that and Ryo felt slightly relieved... He still knew how to distract Jin, gladly. And somehow Jin always managed it to distract him. If he just could be with him all the time, maybe it would be easier then.
What he didn't know though was that when they were leaving the cellar, Jin turned around again, looking at the door Ryo come out through. He frowned deeply, his eyes following Ryo's back, trying to catch something of the other...something that was off. It was just a feeling Jin had... something deep inside his mind and though he couldn't put a finger on it yet and though he didn't have any proofs, he felt that something was off. Just what? Had Ryo always been like that? So tired? Always under pressure? His eyes twitching? His hands trembling nervously? His expression almost scared sometimes?
Was this even real? Or did Jin just see too much... was he interpreting too much? He looked back again, trying to diffuse this strange feeling...but it didn't leave him anymore. Something in Ryo's eyes was strange.
“Ryo?” Pi blinked. “Why? He doesn't seem different than usual…”
Jin sighed, rubbing over his temples. “It's a feeling, Pi. I can't tell you what it is...and I don't have any proofs. It's just a simple, bad feeling.”
Pi looked at Jin nervously. Was Jin right? Was something off with Ryo? “Well...” he rubbed over his hair a bit. “He looks more tired and stressed right now.” Pi mused.
“Do you really think that's it?” Jin asked.
“What's the problem guys?”
They both blinked for a moment, when Takki sat down next to them. “You were so pre-occupied with your talk that you didn't even hear me calling your names.”
“Sorry.” Pi smiled a bit.
“So?” Takki wanted to know, smiling warmly. “What's the problem?”
“Jin thinks that there is something seriously off with Ryo.” Pi explained.
“Thanks Pi...” Jin hissed. “How sensitive.”
Pi shrugged helplessly. “Maybe Takki knows a bit more...” he tried to calm the other down.
Takki blinked for a moment. “Ryo?”
“Yes.” Jin looked at him expectantly. “Do you know anything?”
“I'm sorry.” Takki sighed a bit. “Nothing that can help you. I just know that he is more stressed recently... his eyes always looking so...” he was searching for the right word.
“Scared.” Jin helped him.
“Yes.” Takki agreed warily. “Scared and depressed...”
“So you also think that there is something off?” Pi wanted to know, this time feeling really uncomfortable too.
“Well...” Takki smiled helplessly. “I think that Jin's feeling isn't lying to him... If you feel something is seriously off, it might be true...”
“That's it!” Jin hit with his fist on the table, making the other two startle in surprise. “Let's go.”
“Where to?” Pi wanted to know, already heading after Jin as the other was rushing out of the room.
“To the basement.” Jin explained shortly, ignoring Pi's questions. The latter blinked a bit, but followed Jin nevertheless. He rubbed over his arms nervously, hoping that Jin's feeling was wrong and that there was nothing seriously off with Ryo.
When they came down to the basement, Takki looked around in confusion. “What are we doing here?”
“That's where I found him the last time.” Jin explained, rushing to the door of the bathroom. He looked around carefully when he stepped into it, glad that Ryo wasn't here. He bit his lips nervously, not sure what he was searching for.
“I don't think we'll find something that way.” Takki mused. “Especially since we don't know what we are searching for...”
Jin sighed a bit, already wanting to turn around when he suddenly caught a little item, lying in a dark corner of the room. He bent forward a bit to pick it up. It was a pencil... a red one...
“That's Ryo's.” Pi's voice suddenly came from behind. “I saw him with it last time during our rehearsals.”
“Are you sure?” Jin wanted to know, scanning the item properly. What the heck was Ryo doing with a pencil in the bathroom? He couldn't be writing songs right? Jin wished that it would be like that, but he knew it wasn't. Wishing for something like this was simply stupid, because it wouldn't solve anything. He curled the item between his fingers. Just why a pen? Did he take notes? About what?
“You are looking good today!” Pi sounded really happy when he inspected Ryo. He really felt relieved. Maybe Jin had just been too sensitive. He smiled a bit towards his other friend, wondering why Jin wasn't looking happy at all.
Jin sighed when he saw Pi's happy expression. He knew Pi didn't mean it and that he didn't know it better... but it made him feel angry that his friend was so ignorant... or rather: closing his eyes from the reality. Just because Ryo was smiling it didn't mean everything was good. Ryo was always smiling! If he had been the type of guy who came out with a problem, there wouldn't have been one in first place.
Ryo swallowed down too much...keeping everything inside him. It was dangerous for a person to do that. Just...what was he doing with all these sad and gloomy and desperate feelings inside him?
Jin's attention shifted back to Ryo. He did look a bit calmer... true. But he knew that his friend would be stressed again in a few weeks... It was like a pattern and Jin already knew how it worked. From calm and almost happy to a sudden break-down... turning into stressed... then depressive... then desperate... Then it would start from the beginning. Like a vicious circle. Oh Ryo... He looked at the other warmly, feeling the urge to give him some comfort. Hence he smiled, pointing at his friend's brace. “Did you hurt your right arm?”
For a moment there was something in Ryo's eyes that made Jin startle. It was just so short sparkle though so that Jin wasn't even sure if he really saw it... Ryo had his guard up again immediately. “Yes.” he smiled. “During rehearsals I stumbled...”
Jin shook his head a bit. “You really should be more careful.” he scolded the other slightly.
Pi grinned at that. “Why are you apologizing to Jin?” he laughed. “You didn't do anything wrong...”
Ryo blushed a bit at that, his heart clenching for a moment. His heart did that every time to him when he looked into Jin's eyes, getting lost in them for a moment, just to remember that Jin would never like him that way, because he had way better guys around him than Ryo. Jin was too good for him, Ryo on the other side felt that he just deserved nothing...
Ryo looked down into his glass, for a moment feeling totally embarrassed and crushed again. But he tried to shove it away, like he did it with almost all his feelings. So he smiled, ordering another drink...
“Oh, Ryo-chan...” Jin grinned a bit, patting his friend's hair. “You are totally spent...”
“I'm okay...” Ryo mumbled.
Pi giggled a bit. “It's okay, I'm also spent...”
“Great.” Jin grumbled, helping Pi to call a taxi. When he turned around again towards Ryo, he paused for a moment. He had planned to also call a taxi for him, but something inside him didn't let him to. He couldn't let go of Ryo right now. Something told him to take his friend home by himself... Again he wasn't sure what it was... again, it was just a feeling. So he called a taxi for the both of them, sitting down next to Ryo while they were driving to Ryo's apartment. He smiled a bit, when Ryo almost fell asleep, his head resting on Jin's shoulder. It was so adorable and for a moment Jin's heart made a jump. He wanted to hug Ryo, wrap his arms around his friend's fragile hips and stop him from breaking apart. He wasn't too confident that he could do that, but rather than let Ryo break, he would try his best to stop the pieces from scattering. He wanted to be there to catch the pieces that were dropping down from Ryo to put them together again. He wanted to grab these wings and make them fly again...
But he was pretty sure that Ryo didn't want him to do that. Most likely he didn't even see him a tiny bit like that. For him Jin was just Jin... his best friend. He stroked a bit over the other's hair, rubbing over his forehead to make the furrows between Ryo's eyes diffuse. They did...for a short moment, but when Jin's hand left Ryo's forehead, the furrows were back, making his face look bothered and sad.
Jin dropped his head back. Why did the others not see it? Why did they ignore the signs? Why? He knew he was being unfair...that many of them didn't know Ryo as well as he did, that Ryo was a good actor and could pretend quite well, that at least Takki was actually feeling suspicious and agreeing with him. But still...in this case Jin felt alone. Or maybe, maybe he felt alone because he was the only one who was able to dig deep enough to get down to the problem. It made him feel alone in this case, because he was the only one who could do that.
His hands were holding Ryo’s hips to lead him to his bed. “Now lay down.” he told his friend firmly. “You are way too over-worked and stressed. Rest properly once in a while.” He grabbed his friend’s arm to help him to lie down comfortably. But then he blinked in surprise when Ryo let go a pained sound, wincing a bit while Jin was holding his arm.
Jin looked down at the other in confusion, loosening his grip. “Are you alright, Ryo?”
“Sure…” Ryo mumbled, already drifting to sleep.
Jin wavered for a moment. He wasn’t sure if he should really do that… Wasn’t that like bumping into Ryo’s privacy? But then he shook his head fiercely. Ryo’s safety and health was more important than anything else… including his own fear. With that he took Ryo’s arm into his hands carefully, opening the brace and checking on the spot that had hurt the other so much.
Jin’s eyes widened in shock, lips shivering slightly. His hands trembled when he let go of the other, pulling a blanket over him. In Ryo’s kitchen he grabbed a glass and some whisky, looking down at the table in shock, tears stinging in his eyes. He didn’t want to let them drip down, but in the end he couldn’t help it but let them search their way over his cheeks, dripping down on his hands. There were no words to describe the feeling he had just felt when he had discovered…it.
* That's quoted from a book I recently read. I loosely translated it in English because I think it's a statement worth to think about... and I think it kinda fits into this story.
A/N That's the first part of 3 ^^ Well... it's angstier than usual, right? But as I said, you don't have to fear CD - otherwise I would have written it as a 'warning'.
I really hope you like it, because I put a lot of work and feeling into it. I will try to update fast!
Note: Hey dear friends and readers! Thanks so much for all your support!! So, I wanted to tell you that my Request Post is open. If you feel like requesting a specific pairing or situation you can do so HERE