Pairing: Kangin centric, some Kangteuk
Word Count: 1 020
Notes: Centered around those 10 days that Kangin pushed himself into hospitalization for exhaustion, using a lot of idioms/sayings and slightly Kangteuk-tastic because I can't help but put it into everything I write. Not fluffy like I said my next fic would be, but it's not completely depressing?
Idle hands are the devil’s playground.
He tells himself this with a curling smile and lets himself be ushered off
to the next performance, sweat still coating his neck from the white hot
stage lights, the taste of coffee and adrenalin still thick on his tongue.
Life is always hectic in this line of business, it has to be to stay on top,
so what good would come if he where to be lazing about? He is an object,
an idol, a product, and that just the way his job works.
No pain, no gain.
The hours start to affect him, but he augments his weariness with caffeine
and tries to remember anecdotes that fit with any concept he can come up
with so he can be prepared for the long day of filming. He ignores the soft
pangs that slowly creep over his body as he flutters from one engagement
to the next. This is what I’ve worked so hard for he remembers, but he
still lets out a groan of happiness when he falls into bed, arm slug around a
warm body, feeling the light brush of lips against his temple, even if it’s
only for a couple hours before he’s got to be up and out again.
Diligence is the mother of good fortune.
So he works well into the morning, bright smiles lasting from dawn until dusk
and voice hiding the small cracks of work and wear with resounding laughs. He
lets the makeup artists pat powder under his eyes, use their skills to make
him look young and fresh, his skin glow despite the ever darkening shadows
under his eyes and the slowly dulling pallor of his skin. But every appearance
brings good new, good reactions, and he lets that thought fuel his smiles even
if all he can feel is the strain of his muscles.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
He whispers to Eeteuk, lips brushing against the leaders temple while thumbs
trace lazy circles under the stiff shirtsleeve. His arms are tight around
Eeteuk’s waist, drawing him closer, but each embrace feels weaker and weaker,
and the older boy can’t help but worry that soon those arms won’t have the
strength to hold him at all. He tries to kiss away those fears, to pull those
doubts from the leader and onto his own tired shoulders because Eeteuk has
enough to worry about, and Eeteuk smiles, but the warmth doesn’t light his
eyes and they stay tainted with worry and unspoken questions.
Burning the candle at both ends.
There’s talk that he’s doing too much, not getting enough rest, but he ignores
it as he throws himself into whatever he can. He speaks quicker, smiles wider,
laughs louder, but the cracks are beginning to show when even the makeup
can’t hide his fatigue. He’s starts to rely on centripetal force to carry him along,
but he still ends up having to do retake after retake to get his words right,
camera shots being dropped out when he turns wrong or takes a step out of
place in the choreography he had memorized just days ago, but his body
doesn’t seem to remember that.
Ask no questions, hear no lies.
Eeteuk is giving him that piercing look he only reserves for when something’s
really wrong, only this time it looks like the shorter boy is on the verge of tears,
and he can’t seem to understand why he’s on the receiving end. They stand for
a full minute, neither speaking, before his knees tremble and threaten to give
out. Eeteuk shows compassion, helping him lay down. A soft hand brushes
his hair out of his eyes, but he was already asleep before the older boy had
even sat down on the bed.
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
Practices have become frustrating, feet simply not responding properly, and he
tries to find ways out of them. His knee aches, he lies sweetly, and what would
happen if he were to fall during a performance again, and the managers take pity
and let him skip for the day, but they fill the two hour block with something else.
He forgets the ride or how he stumbled out of the car and can only remember to
paste on his brightest smile because smile, smile, remember to smile has
become the mantra the beats in time with his pulsing headache.
Out of sight, out of mind.
He skips a meal and thinks nothing of it; he hardly remembers missing it anyways,
rumbles of an empty stomach are forgotten under the pangs of pain as his muscles
protest what he puts his body through. He skips reading over the outline of the
show to be filmed in the empty half hour he has before filming, his eyes unable
to stay open a second longer. These breaks have become more and more often, usually
only five minutes at a time with a set change or a camera adjustment, but he finds
the second he stops, the second his eyes close, he’s dozing. He wipes his clammy
hand on his pants as he ignores the signs his body sends out, brain too stubborn
to take notice.
They that dance must pay the fiddler.
The room swims and he can feel the bile rise in his throat. He tries to fight his body,
tries to get up and get ready, because he’s got a schedule dammit, but the body
wins out, and the waves of nausea finally succeeding as he retches again and again
and again, despite his empty stomach. There are hands and cool cloths and jumbled,
worried words sounding above him before he ultimately succumbs to the exhaustion
and fever. He hears someone whisper to him, wavering tones wrapt with emotion as
fingers threading through his hair while lips brush lightly against his feverish brow as
he lays in that half conscious dreamland. The feeling of comfort fills his thoughts at
the simple tough and he finally lets himself truly relax for the first time in what seems
like a lifetime.
To err is human.