sessho08: (a14 so)
[personal profile] sessho08
Title: with your heart on the sleeve
Fandom: TVXQ
Pairing: Homin
Rating: G
Words: 1236
A/N: AU inspired by this edit. Written in lapslock? Slightly odd as my fics tend to be.



shim changmin pawns his heart at the local pawnshop for a handful of wrinkled notes and a slightly worn out simplified mechanical equivalent. it doesn't make much of a difference - he always used his heart rather sparsely anyway.

it makes no difference at all.


==



"changmin-ah, i'm a bit cold," yunho mumbles, his words slurred with sleep, his eyes still closed.

changminnie, lie down with me, he means. it's sneaky, ingenious. they both know that changmin can't reject the plea when worded like this, when it's coming from a bed-ridden yunho lying under their thin blanket, surrounded by graying sheets. they should be washed already but there's only one set in the flat and with yunho sick and constantly in bed it's just not possible.

they rarely share the bed, usually working on different shifts and using for sleep the time when the other's not home. it's a narrow, barely long piece of old furniture but they worked out long ago how to adjust their positions to accommodate the other man, how to entangle their limbs as to save space and make it comfortable. it probably helps that changmin's innately clingy and yunho doesn't mind. it probably helps that it doesn't mean anything. that they made sure for it not to. but changmin recognises the precariousness of the balance they achieved and doesn't want to risk it.

tonight he has yet another reason to reject the sensible, deceitfully innocent request. he doesn't act on it though. he's not afraid of yunho finding out.

and yet he takes his time shedding his clothes, waits for yunho's breath to even out again as he shivers standing in his boxers and a thin undershirt only in the cold room. when he finally lies down his movements are stilted and cautious as not to jolt yunho out of his shallow slumber. it's not enough, he knows right away as yunho shifts anyway and his fingers wander lightly over the expanse of changmin's chest to fasten at his bicep. as yunho's head follows in their trace to rest over the(concealed with layers of skin and muscles and bones) gaping hole where changmin's heart used to be.

"it makes me feel safe," "it helps me fall asleep," yunho has never said either of these but they were both aware of this need of his and changmin sometimes indulged him in it, especially when he was sick. (how lucky of them that, like now, it usually was caused by exhaustion and as such wasn't contagious.)

the device that's now pumping the blood through his veins instead of his heart is old and had many different owners before but it still works fine and mostly without glitches. the device sounds nowhere close to what his heartbeats used to be like.

yunho's too gone to notice.


===

yunho feels better in the morning. when unwelcoming harsh rays of dawn hit changmin's eyelids and force him to open his eyes, the other man's already made the connection.

changmin wakes up to the expression of betrayal etched deep on yunho's face.

"changmin. what did you do," he demands instantaneously when changmin props himself easily with his elbows on the dented pillow, no burdens resting at his chest weighing him down anymore.

"i brought money. and bought your medicine." he's not having this conversation while in bed, barely dressed and vulnerable. he's not having this conversation at all, certainly not now. "i'm going to work now," he puts the distance between them, entangling quickly from the sheets and out of the bed before yunho manages to say anything more.

"changmin."

he dresses in the record time. "i'll eat something at work. will be back in the evening," he drops over his shoulder in lieu of both acknowledgment and good-bye.

"changmin!" judging by the sounds yunho tries to get up but he's still too weak which means he won't manage to try anything too stupid. changmin doesn't look back as he leaves.


===


"why," is the first word that greets him in the evening. yunho's face is deceptively blank but the sounds leaving his lips jarringly flat.

"you know why, yunho," his own words are calm and devoid of any inflection.

"it's okay. i've got a mechanical equivalent from the pawnshop, i'm not going to die," he lets some colour to bleed into what he says, making his tone light and cheerful. it's low of him and yunho blanches, no doubts recognising the words for what they are - but an echo of his own explanation from not that long ago.

"yunho, it's your fucking /kidney/," he shouted then.
"it's okay, changminnie! i had two of these after all!" yunho beamed at him, as if that made everything alright, as if he didn't just pawn a part of his body just so he could buy them some rice.



he's being cruel, he's well aware of it. he also knows it's not enough. yunho proves him right as he continues, his voice tinted with just the slightest hint of hurt.

"but this is your heart, your heart, changmin." (it's not enough.)

"and exactly because it was a heart, i got much more money than i'd have if i had pawned anything else. and i told you already - i've got a more than functional spare," he smiles slightly. "besides, it's not like i had any use for it," he adds for a good measure, knowing it's going to hurt, hoping the pain's going to be sufficient.

with yunho, no amount of it ever is.

"what, did you have something on mind?" it's wonderful, this friendship of theirs. childhood friends, co-workers, roommates that understand each other without words. forever too stubborn to voice out the dangerous things, the things that matter, to be the first one to say them. right now, it gives changmin a huge advantage.


normally, they're good at toeing the line. years of experience - first drawing the line and then trying out how much they can bend it, how far they can go without actually crossing it. what's permissible and what's too much - they never talked about it but they know the boundaries.
the never voiced nor acted upon desires - they feel them instinctively too. and so, changmin knows. yunho would never hazard what was(n't) between them so he never mentioned it. changmin knows anyway. of yunho's secret silly—impossible—dream of their hearts being officially exchanged, the pointless act written down in their files.

yunho's pale with anger and hurt now, "how could you" visible in the slight glassiness of his eyes.

"anyway, i bought some rice today. you need to eat to get better for real," changmin doesn't give him a chance to recover. "i'll fix you something nutritious. maybe porridge," he muses aloud and it marks the end of the conversation.


===


yunho eventually recovers, as he always does. the additional supply of food probably plays quite a role in it but neither mentions it, although yunho does take upon himself a half-shift more at work.

they don't talk about it. they talk about many other things, they crack jokes and sometimes they even laugh. they still share the bed every now and then like they did before, they still share the tiny living space of their flat and the hours that they get between their two alternative shifts.

shim changmin no longer has a heart. and shim changmin, he lives on.




A/N: If anyone's interested - this fic is actually a bit expanded/altered version of this idea (that had a sligtly different vibe to it, I guess).


Comments and criticism as always much appreciated ♥
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