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Letters From War Chapter 13a

Title: Letters From War
Length: [14a/?]
Author: HolyStarDown
Pairing: Yunjae, Yoosu, Teukchul
Rating: Overall NC-17 
Genre: Romance, angst, drama
Disclaimer: i only own them in my dreams
Summary: In the breaking point of the Korean war, two brothers get drafted into the military and forced to fight for the lives. literally. punishment in camp 409 is just as unforgiving as its officers. attraction? frowned upon. affection? unheard of. love? strickly forbidden. But the training camp they thought they knew gets turned upside down when six of them decide to leave no rule left unbroken
Author's Note: chapter 13 is hella long. like twice the usual length of my chapters. and it's all teukchul for this chapter. but! before you run away screaming in a yunjae-deprived rage, hear me out. it's all leeteuk/heechul's memory except the very end so it's VERY important to the fic. VERY IMPORTANT. so please read it even if you don't like the teukchul.

{Prologue} {Chapter 1} {Chapter 2} {Chapter 3} {Chapter 4} {Chapter 5a} {Chapter 5b} {Chapter 6} {Chapter 7} {Chapter 8} {Chapter 9a} {Chapter 9b} {Chapter 10} {Chapter 11} {Chapter 12}


 

“Teukie-ah! Teukie-ah! Look what I got!” Six year old Heechul screamed as he;’ ran to his best friend. He skidded to a stop and wrapped his skinny arms around the other boy’s waist, squishing his face against the boy’s chest and grinning into the fabric.

 

The slightly older boy giggled and smiled with his friend as he wrapped his arms around Heechul’s small frame in return. “Well whatever it is, it’s stabbing my butt. Now let go.”

 

Heechul furiously shook his head, burying it further into Leeteuk’s shirt. “I don’t wanna,” he protested cutely. He secretly savored the smell that always clung to his best friend and wished he could drown in the scent forever. It was the love, security, and tranquility that he could never get with anyone else and that he knew would always be there when he needed it. Little Heechul was so lost in the other’s essence he almost let the long black velvet box slip out of his hand, defeating the main purpose of his visit. Instead, he forced himself to pull away and stared into Leeteuk’s eyes. “I got this from my Umma’s drawer. Isn’t it pretty?” he asked as he held the black box between them.

 

Leeteuk slowly tucked his hair behind his ear and gazed at the box. “I guess so. What’s in it?”

 

The younger boy’s face lit up even more and he bit his lip to contain his childish excitement. “That’s the best part Teukie,” he nearly squeaked. With a flick of his thin wrist, Heechul opened the box to reveal several gold and silver rings all mixed up together. He glanced up at Leeteuk to gage his reaction and pushed the box closer to the latter. “They’re rings!” he said, answering the unasked question. “I saw Umma and Appa wearing them and asked Umma what they were for. She said that when two people wear ‘um they have to be together forever!” Heechul’s smile stretched from ear to ear, showing off his missing front tooth.

 

Leeteuk shifted his gaze from the glittering rings to Heechul and back again several times before voicing his thoughts. “So?”

 

Little Heechul’s grin quickly slipped away into a serious face, fingers tracing nervously along the black velvet. “I want us to be together forever Teukie. So… I thought if both of us wore a ring then we’d have no other choice.” Heechul paused and stared at Leeteuk with wide and uncertain eyes. “Don’t you want us to be together forever Teukie?” he asked very quietly.

 

The older boy’s response was nothing short of automatic. “Of course I do.”

 

Light instantly returned to Heechul’s eyes and the smile made a reappearance. “Then pick one for me and I’ll pick one for you.”

 

Leeteuk hesitated before pulling a plain silver band out of the box. He wanted the perfect ring for Heechul- diamonds were too flashy, colored stones were too girly, pearls reminded him too much of the old lady that liked to pinch their cheeks every time they saw her. He held up his selection and smiled. “This one.”

 

But Heechul just scrunched up his nose in disapproval. “Silver is icky.” He missed the disappointment that flashed in his best friend’s eyes. “Pick that one.” Heechul pointed to an almost identical gold ring and bounced slightly on his toes.

 

Leeteuk grabbed the gold ring without a second thought and left his chosen silver one behind. Both boys watched intently as Leeteuk slid the ring onto Heechul's finger with sparkling eyes. “It’s kinda big, isn’t it?” Leeteuk questioned, flicking the ring and watching it loosely twirl around the other’s finger.

 

“If we’re gunna wear them forever, then we’ll grow into them,” the younger replied matter-of-factly. Heechul had already selected a ring and tried to slide it onto Leeteuk's finger.

 

“Wait a second.”

 

Heechul stopped and looked up at Leeteuk. “What?”

 

“I thought you said silver was icky.”

 

Both of them stared down at the silver ring Leeteuk had originally chosen as it hung on the latter’s left ring finger. “Well… it is to me, but you like it… don’t you Teukie?” Heechul gave his friend the best puppy eyes he could manage, making Leeteuk instantly crumble.

 

“Of course I do Chullie.” The older boy smiled and held his hand up by his face. “Aish… My Heechullie is so sensitive…” In a matter of seconds, the breath was knocked out of his lungs and two skinny arms were squeezing him in a tight hug.

 

“Me and Teukie are going to be together forever!”

 

**~**~**~**~**

 

A blade hit the floor with a soft clink. Life hit the tiles in bright red drops, staining the ceramic and draining away an eight year old boy’s life with every drop of her blood. The boy watched the water around his mother turn red, just like magic.

 

**~**~**~**~**

 

“Leeteuk, hurry up and get dressed. We’re going to Heechul’s house for a little while.”

 

The eight year old boy instantly jumped off his bed and yanked on his clothes at his mother’s words. He couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he rushed to the front door where his parents were waiting for him. “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” Leeteuk pulled at the sleeve of his father’s black suit in attempt to drag him out the door. “Appa let’s-” but the boy’s words stopped short when he saw the solemn expression on his parents’ faces. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

 

His mother spoke first in a hollow tone. “Heechul’s mother died last night sweetie.”

 

Leeteuk heard his own heart shatter. Tears stung his eyes and spilled onto his cheeks as he stared at his mother in disbelief. He stayed silent, lips trembling and hands clenching into little fists to hold back his sobs.

 

His mother kneeled in front of him and wiped away Leeteuk’s tears. “Be strong today Leeteuk. Heechul needs you.”

 

The Park family arrived at their destination twenty minutes later. Heechul’s father stood in the front yard talking to a woman Leeteuk had never seen before. The young boy clung to his mother’s hand, the silver ring that his parents never questioned pressed against her pale skin. He tensed as they got closer to his friend’s father and even more so when the man turned to look at them. The woman was waved off and he approached the family with elegant strides closing the distance between them.

 

Even at eight years old Leeteuk could see just how fake his smile was. The man’s face was void of any emotion but full of an icy bitterness like always, his posture too stiff for any human being, and his eyes fierce. Leeteuk didn’t see Heechul’s father very often since he was constantly away for work, but he had the same cold aura around him every time.

 

Leeteuk stood in front of the said man now looking up into his narrowed eyes with his own wide ones. The young boy could have sworn Heechul's father glared at him for a second before looking at his parents.

 

“We’re very sorry about your loss,” Leeteuk’s father said with a deep bow. Unlike the other, true sorrow poured from his eyes. “How did it happen?”

 

The answer was instant and clipped. “Suicide.”

 

A sharp gasp punctuated the word. Leeteuk scrunched his eyebrows together in confusion. He looked up at his parents, but they seemed to understand the meaning of the unknown word.

 

“Sangmi just didn’t seem like the kind of person to do such a thing…” Leeteuk’s mother said more to herself than to the men around her.

 

The ice in Heechul’s father’s eyes grew even colder and his lips pressed together in a hard line. “It seems there were several things we didn’t know about her.”

 

Leeteuk’s father tilted his head slightly to the side. “What do you mean?”

 

“She was having an affair.”

 

Leeteuk’s father’s mouth dropped and his eyes widened. His mother on the other hand stayed uncomfortably still.

 

Unaware of the tense situation, Leeteuk voiced his only thought. “Where’s Chullie?”

 

Three pairs of eyes stared down at the little boy, shocked out of the tension by his innocent question. Again Leeteuk saw the glare.

 

“That’s a very good question,” his mother said quickly.

 

The glare disappeared as quickly as it came as Heechul’s father lifted his gaze to the woman in front of him. “I left him in his room. He’s been crying like a girl all day.”

 

“His mother just died for God’s sake! Of course he’s upset!” Leeteuk's mother cried. She looked down to say something to her son but he was already running into the house as fast as his eight year old legs would carry him.

 

Leeteuk ran straight to Heechul’s room without thinking about the movement of his feet. His hand automatically reached for the deformed paperclip that always laid in the corner of the closed door and shoved it into the lock, twisting the clip until the lock clicked. He slowly pushed the door open a fraction only to be faced with darkness. Soft sniffling and choked breaths filled the room, clawing at Leeteuk’s heart and ripping it to shreds. He pushed the door open farther, letting light flood into the room. A glint caught Leeteuk’s eye and his attention momentarily diverted to a small knife on the floor, the red blade gleaming in mock innocence. The young boy stepped closer to the crimson-stained metal and only then did he see the other person curled up on the bed beside it.

 

Heechul’s entire body trembled as he stared blankly ahead of him. The front of his shirt, knees of his pants where his arms wrapped around his legs, and the skin of his wrists were all stained an angry red that slowly dripped to the floor along with the young boy’s tears. He saw his mommy in the same state the night before, using his logic to copy her actions and release the pain. Nothing else mattered. His mother was dead. His ears were deaf to the door opening and eyes blind to the light that poured into the room upon his savior’s entrance. A glimmer of golden hope streaked through his dark world as he caught the scent of love and security. His love. His security. Leeteuk.

 

“CHULLIE!!” Leeteuk flung himself onto the tiny bed and wrapped his arms tightly around the smaller boy. He didn’t care at all that his clothes were slowly blooming roses.

 

“She said she’d be with Appa forever Teukie… Umma lied…” Heechul said in a dead voice barely louder than a whisper. He fully leaned his weight against Leeteuk, finding a sliver of comfort in the other’s warmth. His eyes slid closed and his energy trickled away. “Teukie, is forever over yet?”

 

Leeteuk fiercely shook his head as he took Heechul’s hand and held the icy, red-tinted gold band against his cheek. His own tears washed away small bits of the ring’s bloody coating and he held the other boy closer to his body. The person in his arms grew limp as the seconds past, tears warming his shoulder. “Of course it’s not. Why would you ask something like that?”

 

“Because I don’t want to lose you too Teukie…” the young boy’s head slumped against Leeteuk’s chest and darkness consumed him.

 

**~**~**~**~**

 

Four men approached each other in pairs from opposite sides. Two of them well into their adult years, two just barely eleven. Quick smiles were exchanged between the younger two, one of them bright and heartfelt while the other was weak and confined. The elders exchanged bows and tight words. Leeteuk’s smile stayed on his lips as the men carried on their conversation above his head. His eyes sparkled with admiration for his best friend. Heechul’s hair was cut in a mildly short and clean style and his clothes were pressed and spotless, yet still casual. His own attire consisted of choppy hair that stuck out in the back on purpose and his clothes hung dully from his slender body. The older boy reveled in the sight, drinking in the elegant beauty of the other’s face; his wide eyes still held the appearance of innocence, his lips full and deliciously pink, both complimented by flawless pale skin.

 

Heechul wanted Leeteuk to know everything. He wanted more time with his best friend. He wanted to stay with Leeteuk forever. But Heechul knew it was all wrong. He could never get what he desired most- his father made that very clear. He shouldn’t absolutely love Leeteuk’s “sloppy” attire. The carefree look in the older boy’s eyes shouldn’t make him want to run away with him forever. His want to be with his soul’s brother was a vile thing that he could never obtain. Happiness was just a dream.

 

The tears in his heart never fully healed, just patched themselves up with emotionless and unfeeling scar tissue. He still cried often but much less than before. Pain didn’t faze him as much as he knew it should. He’d changed since his mother left and had only his father to blame. He raised his gaze to look into Leeteuk’s all too eager eyes. He missed this boy and they both knew the feeling was mutual. Heechul just wished the longing would go away.

 

Leeteuk’s heart fluttered when Heechul finally locked eyes with him. It had been doing that every time he was in the other’s presence and he just blamed it on their time together being less often as the weeks went by. For the first year after the death of Heechul’s mother, the two had been inseparable. But Heechul’s time spent at home had gotten less and less as his father forced the young boy to travel with him.

 

Leeteuk stepped forward and pulled his friend into his arms and felt the other tense with resistance at the gesture. Before either boy could move an inch farther Heechul’s head violently jerked into Leeteuk’s shoulder and a sharp clap rang in the latter’s ears along with Heechul’s hiss of pain. The younger boy quickly pulled away from Leeteuk’s embrace, biting his lip to hold back his complaints.

 

“I don’t ever want to see you doing that again, do you understand me?!” Heechul’s father yelled, his hand still in the air ready to strike again. Leeteuk could have sworn he heard the man mutter ‘disgusting’ under his breath.

 

“Yes sir,” Heechul replied with feigned strength. “I’m sorry...” He lowered his head and raised a hand to fix his tousled hair.

 

Heechul’s father glared at the two boys from above. “Don’t apologize, just listen.”

 

Leeteuk was about to retaliate for his friend, but a hand on his shoulder held him back. He looked up at his own father who gently shook his head as if he knew that Leeteuk wanted to hit Heechul’s father right back. The boy settled for watching Heechul fix the silky black hair he loved to see so much. But with every brush of Heechul’s hand his smile gave away to a slight frown. He kept his eyes glued to that hand until their little meeting came to a close and again the older men exchanged bows. As Leeteuk walked away with his father, he stared at the silver band on his finger and couldn’t help wondering when Heechul had replaced his ring of gold with bracelets of rose-petaled gauze.

 

**~**~**~**~**

 

Heechul took a long drag on the tight paper roll hanging from his lips and watched the exhaled smoke twist into intricate spirals his brain couldn’t quite process. A dull buzz of numbness relieved his fifteen year old mind and body from their pain- for once in a very long time he didn’t feel the weight of the world on his shoulders. He tilted his head back to stare at the ceiling that rocked like small ocean waves, hypnotized by their gentle movement. This was his freedom, and more importantly it was what he looked forward to most when he was with his best friend. He passed their secret drug to his right and it was gratefully taken.

 

“Hey Chullie, how long do you think we can pull this off before we get caught?” Leeteuk asked in a dreamy voice before he put the indirect kiss to his lips.

 

“Forever,” Heechul replied lazily. He already knew forever was a lie but still he said it to fool himself into believing they really could keep going on for the rest of time.

 

“Forever huh? That’s a long time,” Leeteuk said, swaying slightly from side to side as he blew into the air. The wisps of smoke twisted into hearts and he giggled when they began to circle Heechul’s face. In his state of bliss, he didn’t notice that Heechul had taken hold of his hand, not allowing him to bring the drug up for another hit.

 

The younger boy thumbed the silver band encircling Leeteuk’s left middle finger, breathing slowly as he watched the metal shine in the dull light. He vaguely remembered that the elder used to wear it on his ring finger, but the memory vanished as soon as it came. The ring felt like a cool liquid under his touch, and for some unknown reason, he had the fleeting desire to lick it off. “Why do you still wear this?”

 

Leeteuk spared a glance at their hands and a smirk pulled at his lips. “Why don’t you wear yours?” he shot back. Just below his drug haze was real longing to know the answer that would extinguish the burning curiosity he’d held since he first saw the ring absent from Heechul’s finger four years ago. He easily slipped his hand out of Heechul’s weak hold and brought the drug to his smirking lips.

 

“I’m not six anymore.” Heechul closed his eyes and let the buzz in his fingers consume his arms and dance under his skin. “Besides, only girls wear jewelry Leeteukie. Despite what some people think, I am most defiantly not a girl.” He leaned in toward Leeteuk, his lips dangerously close to the smooth skin on the other’s cheek, and took the paper roll out of Leeteuk’s slipping grasp. He inhaled the last of their sweet escape and laid himself back onto the soft sheets of his bed. They wrapped their silky warmth around him, caressing his humming skin and making him fall deeper. “Forty six minutes left…” he said to no one in particular. All of his pain would come flooding back in just forty six minutes. It wasn’t nearly long enough. He let the burnt-out roll fall to the floor and his hand returned to his side. “What would you do if I died?” Heechul asked after a long silence. He expected a snarky answer, wanted a snarky answer, not the one he got.

 

“I’d die too.”

 

Silence consumed them again while they breathed in the smoke that lingered in the air. Leeteuk was content with his answer; it came out automatically and the words felt so right on his tongue. He lay beside Heechul on the latter’s small bed, gazing at him with dilated eyes. “Forever is forever…” He buried his face in a pillow only inches away from Heechul’s silky raven-colored hair and breathed in the scent he preferred high above the smell of their drug. “I always want to be where you are…” he breathed out without even thinking about the words.

 

Something in Heechul’s body twinged at the statement. Hate, rage, annoyance, or something else he couldn’t tell. “Stop acting like a queer,” he said, mirroring another’s words as he shut his eyes. No one could possibly care about him that much unless they wanted something out of it.

 

But Leeteuk did care. Despite the offensive accusation, he wanted to reach out and take Heechul’s hand in his own and never let go.

 

“Would you even go with me to the military?” Heechul asked.

 

“…You’re going, aren’t you?” The dull tone in Leeteuk’s voice wasn’t even brightened by their high. It was just flat and disappointed.

 

“Will you go with me?”

 

Again, Leeteuk’s answer was automatic. “Yes.” Their fingers finally laced together for the first time in five years. Leeteuk felt like that was were his hand belonged, where it needed to be. He gazed at the silver ring pushing against where the golden match should have been longingly and closed his eyes. Their normal high was nothing compared to this.

 

Before Leeteuk could soak in the moment the door burst open and he was pushed to the floor with a hand clasped around his neck. None of it hurt but he knew it should have. The tainted breath was forced from his lungs and his vision momentarily blacked out before sound boomed in his ears. “GET THE HELL AWAY FROM MY SON!!” he heard a familiar voice bellow right in front of his face. When his vision returned, the features only inches away from his eyes were even more wavy and unfocused than the drug could ever accomplish on its own. Pressure pushed against his side from a force he couldn’t comprehend and a metallic ringing pattered away from him, leaving his left hand feeling completely naked.

 

The intrusion didn’t register in Heechul’s mind until Leeteuk had already hit the floor. He jumped away from his father and stared at the man in horror. This wasn’t supposed to happen; his father was supposed to be gone for another three weeks, they weren’t supposed to get caught. A sudden pressure assaulted his face and he fell to the side off balance and majorly disoriented. A second wave of pressure slammed into the other side of his face, forcing him back against the wall. Raw fear pulsed through his veins as his father towered over Leeteuk and pulled the shocked boy off the ground by his shirt. Words were shouted and Heechul squeezed his eyes shut to block out the scene. “Don’t hurt him,” he tried to command through his clenched teeth. Even behind his closed eyelids the world was swimming with loose movement and threw his consciousness even further out of wack. “Don’t hurt him,” he said again.

 

The shouting came to an abrupt halt. Only Leeteuk’s heavy breathing corrupted the thick silence that lingered in the air until Heechul’s father spoke. “What did you just say to me?” he said in an icy voice.

 

“Don’t hurt Leeteuk. It was my fault,” Heechul knew his voice sounded pathetic mixed with the slur of drugs and the wavering of fear clearly evident. He hated it.

 

“How many times have I told you not to act like one of those disgusting fags only to have you deliberately disobeyed me?” They all knew it was a rhetorical question. “Exactly. It makes me sick Heechul. Sick of you and sick of him. I think you know damn well that it’s not a coincidence you only act like that when he’s around.”

 

Heechul didn’t dare open his eyes to look at the boy his father was ranting about. His best friend wasn’t that way and neither was he.

 

The eldest turned back to glare at Leeteuk’s offended face with a sickening sneer. “I don’t ever want to see you anywhere near my son again, got that? Now get out of my sight!!”

 

All of them knew Heechul would have cried his heart out, begging on his knees at his father’s feet for him to let Leeteuk stay. He would have clung to his best friend for comfort and never let him leave. Above all else, he would have been heartbroken if he could never see Leeteuk again. But that was five years ago. Heechul stood frozen in his room with his eyes still closed and nails digging into his skin. Not a word passed through his tightly pressed lips.

 

Leeteuk stared at the younger boy for only a few seconds before picking up his bag and heading for the door. He felt a cold pair of eyes on his back just watching his departure and shooting daggers into his heart.

 

“Leave it here Leeteuk.”

 

A deep sigh left his mouth and the bag slid from his shoulder, landing on the floor with a solid thud. He twisted his head to look over his shoulder at the two behind him. “Anything else?” His voice slightly cracked and he sucked in his breath in anticipation. The few seconds between his words and the response seemed like hours.

 

“You’re parents will be hearing from me about this. All of this.” Ragged breathing came from two separate bodies, one more controlled than the other yet both painful to take. Leeteuk left the room without another word and a shattered heart.

 

Heechul arrived at Camp 409 three days later. Two best friends were left alone miles and miles apart, craving for something more than long days of silence. Heechul went away, Leeteuk didn’t follow and both wound up broken. One silently cried in rage every night while the other shielded himself from the pain of another discontinued forever with a sheet of prestige and ice.


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