miari: (Default)
miari ([personal profile] miari) wrote2009-09-21 09:57 pm

The Music Man Part 4 (final)

Finally!


Previous: One ~ Two Three

Just fyi for those of you that've seen the Musical...this is where I've really deviated from it.  My apologies. 

~~~~~

Sungmin spent the day after the exhibition making several phone calls to people that he hadn't spoken with in years. Despite what Shindong might have told people, the boy band scheme was not arbitrarily chosen. He did know something about the entertainment industry.

He had actually, at one point in time, worked for it. But due to the frustrating lack of talent and suffocating rules that never seemed to please anyone, he had left.

It was Shindong's fault that he'd become a swindler. Shindong had tried to con Sungmin out of a significant amount of money but the younger had been far too smart. In exchange for not turning Shindong in, the man had taught Sungmin what he knew and Sungmin had perfected it.

Shindong hadn't stuck around for long, and Sungmin had been perfectly happy to do the illegal work all by himself.

And now...now Sungmin had decided that it was time for him to leave it all behind.

He had slid out of Kyuhyun's bed early in the morning before the other man woke to open the library. Sungmin had chuckled a little as Kyuhyun had mumbled something incoherent and folded in on a pillow, wrapping himself around it in Sungmin's absence.

Sungmin left a note only because he knew Kyuhyun would wonder and Leeteuk would fret. And if Leeteuk fretted, Kangin would send out a search party, just to ease his lover's mind. And there was no need for any of that.



~~~~~


"I need to talk to you."

Sungmin pulled Kyuhyun out of the dining room and upstairs, hopefully away from prying ears. Leeteuk and Kangin were giving them both looks as they left and Sungmin hoped that their misinterpretation of the situation would keep anyone from bothering them.

Kyuhyun had apparently made the same assumption because he was hissing into Sungmin's ear about the inappropriateness of it all; the former con man just ignored the voice coach, pulling him resolutely into his room.

"I am going to catch hell from Leeteuk when-"

"I really just need to talk to you," Sungmin said, sitting down at the edge of Kyuhyun's bed, "Not that I'm adverse to what I'm sure you were thinking, but I just...there's something about me that you have to know."

Kyuhyun face settled down to a serious expression and he sat next to Sungmin. "Am I not going to like what you tell me?"

"Probably not," Sungmin admitted, biting his lip. "I sort of...I lied to you. To everyone. Or I did, initially. I'm not anymore."

"Does this have to do with loving me? Or not?" Kyuhyun asked, and Sungmin could tell he was genuinely concerned.

"No. Well yes. I mean...I've always liked you, maybe I love you, and it's sort of related to why I'm not going to lie anymore."

Kyuhyun seemed to relax a little bit and he nodded.

"I...I wasn't...I'm a con man," Sungmin whispered, unable to look Kyuhyun in the eye. "I...I steal people's money by forming fake bands, getting them to give me cash or checks for plane tickets and audition fees and then skip out of town before they can catch me."

There was a quiet moment as Sungmin stared at the carpet before Kyuhyun asked, "You were...this band..."

Sungmin nodded and felt his heart break a little bit as Kyuhyun's hand was pulled out of his own.

"Leeteuk's money?" Kyuhyun asked incredulously, "That was...he pulled that out of his savings, Sungmin, because he thought..."

"I know," Sungmin whispered, "I..." he put his head in his hands, running them through his hair, "I realize that. But Kyuhyun...at the demo...I've made a living lying to people. I tell people they sound good when they don't, encourage them, make them think they can rise to the top of the world. But this...what this town has; I didn't lie."

"How the hell am I supposed to believe that?"

"I used to do this. Before conning, Kyuhyun, I really was a talent scout but I got so depressed by the lack of talent that I just..."

"You stole?"

Sungmin stared at the ground, feeling his cheeks burn with shame.

"I...I spent the last few days giving it back. I know everyone who I stole from and I mailed the last check just before I came to get you today. I'm broke," he said, finally lifting his face, smiling forlornly, "and I own absolutely nothing right now-"

"And Leeteuk's money?" Kyuhyun demanded, ignoring Sungmin's gentle touch to his knee, "Have you given that back? Hangeng's? Yesung's mother?"

"I...I actually did buy tickets for them," Sungmin entreated, "Today. I called a few friends and there are auditions in Seoul in a few months...I guaranteed them all spots. Zhou Mi and his friends as well."

Kyuhyun released a breath.

"You can call and confirm that if you don't believe me. I have the numbers of agents and managers and venues and whatever else you want. I just...this town, you, everyone here...it did something to me. Filled something in me that was missing. I fell in love. With you, yes, but also with them. With how they are together and I...I want this. I want to be like all of you. I want you."

Kyuhyun let out another breath and fell back against his covers and Sungmin took his hand. He decided that Kyuhyun not letting go was a very good sign.

"I knew there was something amiss," Kyuhyun murmured, staring at the ceiling, "Especially after finding out that your alma mater didn't exist."

Sungmin stayed quiet, aware that the other man was formulating something in his brain.

"I...I said I didn't care back then," Kyuhyun whispered, "That I trusted you."

"You shouldn't have," Sungmin replied, "But I'm glad you did. I wouldn't have come to the conclusion I have and I would have skipped town, probably doing this for the rest of my life until I got too old and someone caught me."

Kyuhyun nodded, "Probably." He sat back up and pulled Sungmin's other hand into the knot of fingers and palms already resting in his lap. "I...I'm hurt, a little. Because I love everyone here so much, as stupid and silly and ridiculous as they can be."

"I know."

"I love you, Sungmin, so I'll trust you. My brother deserves a chance to sing. But I swear if I find out that you're lying again, I'll kill you. I can't see the people I love get hurt."

"I won't hurt them," Sungmin promised, squeezing Kyuhyun's fingers tightly, "I love you and I don't...I'm done with making people's lives miserable."

Sungmin knew he was crying when his vision blurred and he felt Kyuhyun pull him close. "Promise," he mumbled through tears, "no more lying, no more stealing. Just loving. Living."

"I like the sound of that," Kyuhyun whispered into his ear.


~~~~


They were still cuddled together on the bed when Leeteuk came looking for them.

"You missed dinner," he informed them, casting suspicious glances over their forms, "Ryeowook came looking for you earlier and heard angry voices. You should go talk to him because he's very worried that you're upset with each other and that he's going to lose the two of you like he lost his parents."

The two lovers on the bed exchanged wary looks and Sungmin asked, "Did he hear the whole conversation?"

"I don't know," Leeteuk admitted, "But he's locked himself up in his room and is very distressed. He won't let anyone in. Yesung even tried to talk to him; the boy dragged Henry over and they're both sitting outside his door trying to get Ryeowook to come out."

"Oh dear," Sungmin muttered.

They rose from the bed and made their way to Ryeowook's room, Kyuhyun patting Leeteuk's head gently and assuring the older man that they would sort everything out.

Yesung looked ready to pull his hair out and Henry's bottom lip was trembling dangerously. "He won't come out," the boy said, looking panicked.

Sungmin knocked gently on Ryeowook's door and when there was no answer, Kyuhyun produced a key and all four of them tumbled into the room.

"Go away."

Yesung crawled onto Ryeowook's bed, "What's wrong, Wookie?"

"Go. Away."

"Can I sing it away?" Yesung asked desperately, "You said my voice made you forget all the bad things in your life. What do you want me sing? Do you want to sing with me?"

"I'm not going to sing with you ever again," Ryeowook said angrily, "Now leave."

Yesung pulled away uncertainly and Henry hung onto Sungmin's arm in a way that was suspiciously characteristic of Heechul.

Kyuhyun sat down beside his brother and laid a careful hand on the bundle wrapped in blankets. "Ryeowook, what's wrong."

"He lied to you...about the audition."

Kyuhyun waved Sungmin away as the former con man opened his mouth. "Did you hear our conversation, Ryeowook?"

The bundle nodded, “He said he lied. There’s no audition, I won’t get to sing, no one will...”

“What?” Yesung asked, confused.

Sungmin sighed.

There was no movement from the blanket so Kyuhyun pressed forward. "Sungmin got all six of you auditions."

A bit of tousled hair appeared from underneath the blanket and eyes peered out over the edge of it. "But he said he lied."

"Not about this," Sungmin whispered, sitting next to Kyuhyun, "Ryeowook, I promise you that there are auditions in two months and that you will attend them. Cross my heart."

"But why...why were you..."

Sungmin sighed, "I used to lie. I used to tell people that there were auditions when there weren't, I used to steal their money, but I'm not now. I'm telling the truth. I even got in touch with some of my former friends and they're all very excited to hear you sing."

The rest of Ryeowook's face appeared and he sniffed. "Really?"

Sugmin nodded seriously.

"Yesung too?" The boy asked, glancing to where his friends stood, "and Henry?"

"And Zhou Mi and Donghae and Eunhyuk," Sungmin confirmed, "All six of you."

"And you're not angry at each other?" Ryeowook whispered.

"No," Kyuhyun said, "No one's angry anymore. I was confused and a little hurt, but we talked about it and we're okay now. Promise."

Ryeowook sat up. "Okay." He turned shyly to Yesung and quietly apologized, "I'm sorry I yelled at you. I didn't mean it; I still want to sing."

Yesung pounced with a cry of happiness and Sungmin had to latch onto Ryeowook legs so that he wouldn't be tackled off of the bed.

When Yesung's lips attached themselves to Ryeowook's, Sungmin stood up and ushered Henry out, pulling a spluttering Kyuhyun behind him.

"But-but he's young!" Kyuhyun insisted.

"Not as young as me," Henry said, "And you're fine with Zhou Mi and I!”

"But-"

"Come on," Sungmin urged, "Let's go eat some food, I'm starving. And you," he directed his gaze to Henry, "you can tell me what you talked about with Heechul and your appa after the demo. Your relationship seemed to change and I'm curious."

Henry grinned delightedly as they trudged down the stairs.

“He apologized!”

Sungmin paused on the bottom step, Kyuhyun almost bumping into him.

“Are we going back up? Good.” Kyuhyun turned and tried to trudge his way up the stairs.

“We are not going back up,” Sungmin grasped tightly to Kyuhyun’s wrist, “...he apologized?”

“He said that he wanted me to see him like a parent. He was tired of having to compete with everyone,” Sungmin rolled his eyes inwardly, “and he said he loved me. And he really meant it.”

Sungmin ruffled Henry’s hair as the boy blushed, obviously terribly happy.

“That’s good. That’s really good Henry.”

The boy beamed.


~~~~


Sungmin soon realized that Ryeowook got his eavesdropping tendencies from Leeteuk. And he also realized that Leeteuk’s lover having the biggest mouth on the face of the planet was not at all advantageous. Sungmin’s stomach did a backflip as he saw Heechul and Hangeng standing in Leeteuk’s kitchen looking terribly upset. Siwon was also present which Sungmin took as a Very Bad Thing.

“I ought to arrest you,” Siwon said.

“But you won’t,” Kyuhyun argued.

“Heechul-ah!” Henry looked positively delighted, oblivious to the heavy atmosphere around him.

Heechul held out his hand and Henry took it, almost tripping over his violin case which was lying open on the floor (with the violin suspiciously missing.) “Sungmin-ah said our audition is in two months!”

Heechul gave Sungmin a hard look; Sungmin moved further behind Kyuhyun, swallowing.

“That’s funny,” Heechul said, “Because Leeteuk was just telling me something very different.”

“As much as I love you Leeteuk,” Kyuhyun said carefully, “You tend to jump to conclusions.”

“I know what I heard,” Leeteuk whispered, sounding terribly hurt. Kangin tugged Leeteuk closer and planted a gentle kiss to the side of his head.

“But did you hear all of it?” Kyuhyun questioned.

“Look, the fact of the matter is,” Siwon stepped forward, pointing handcuffs at Sungmin, “you’re a swindler.”

“I remember reading about you in the paper,” Heechul said.

“We should have paid attention,” Hangeng muttered.

“And,” Siwon continued, unfazed by the interruptions, “You stole a lot of money.”

“Which he already paid back,” Kyuhyun argued, trying to cover more of Sungmin’s body with his own, “he has nothing now. Nothing but me. All of us.”

There was a collective silence before Heechul said, “Excuse me if I don’t immediately believe you.”

Henry’s cheerful mood seem to have evaporated. He was frowning, looking carefully back and forth between all of the adults. “I believe him,” he said after a minute. “I want to. If he and Kyuhyun say that I have an audition, then I do.”

“Henry,” Hangeng said gently, in a the way of a father trying to break bad news easily.

“No,” Henry said, “He said he wasn’t lying. I believe him.”

Sungmin managed to smile weakly at Henry.

“You can at least just trust me,” Henry pleaded, looking up at Heechul earnestly, “Trust me that I’m believing in the right thing.”

“How are we supposed to do that?” Leeteuk asked, “How are we supposed to trust you when we know you’re making a stupid decision?”

“Are you?” Kyuhyun asked.

“Okay look,” Sungmin finally whispered, “Yes, I cheated a lot of people out of their money. I stole. I squandered. I was a terrible person. And yes, I planned on cheating all of you. But...these kids...your kids,” he corrected, “all of you...touched something inside me. I couldn’t...I wanted to give you what I was offering. I can do that.”

“He is doing that.” Kyuhyun corrected.

If Sungmin hadn’t been so frightened, he would have found Kyuhyun’s low, dangerous rumble rather sexy.

“I’m sorry,” Hangeng said quietly, “But I really don’t know if you can say anything to convince me of that.”

“Have you seen anything to exhibit the contrary?” Kyuhyun argued. “Look at everything he’s done since he’s been here! He’s glued this town together, made us appreciate each other in ways I thought we’d never be able to!”

“That’s true!” Henry insisted, “I actually saw Kibummie hyung at the exhibition yesterday! And he was grinning. And,” Henry continued staring at Heechul imploringly, “If it wasn’t for Sungmin, we wouldn’t be like we are. We wouldn’t be as close. And...and you wouldn’t have gotten Zhou Mi to promise to behave himself.”

“And Ryeowook,” Kyuhyun reminded Leeteuk, “Ryeowook would never have sung in front of other people. Yesung wouldn’t have any place to showcase his talent...and you wouldn’t have had so much time with Kangin. That, I imagine, is also a plus.”

Leeteuk blushed gracefully and hung his head.

“Hey now,” Kangin started.

“I even noticed it,” Henry added, “and I’m hardly ever here.”

Sungmin decided right then and there that he was most likely about to owe Henry his life. Or a new violin. Something.

“That does not discount what he has already done,” Siwon said quietly, taking a step closer, handcuffs still raised menacingly.

Henry let out an agitated huff, wriggling out of Heechul’s hold and storming up the stairs.

Hangeng let out a sigh. “And now, also because of you, the rift in our family is back. I’m sorry Sungmin-ssi, but I can’t let this go on. Something has to be done.”

“I’ll do whatever you ask,” Sungmin said, and he didn’t know if he was pleading against or acquiescing to Hangeng’s demands.

Before Hangeng could respond, the sounds of a violin started to leak down into the kitchen. After a moment or two of absorbing the emotions being poured from the instrument, Ryeowook and Yesung’s voices were heard joining in, singing softly at first before raising to a tremendous pitch. Sungmin looked up in time to see Leeteuk struggling to hold back his tears.

“Give them this chance,” Kyuhyun whispered, pleading, “Let them show the world what they have. You can even put Sungmin under guard if you have to; it’s not like this town is big enough for him to do anything without someone noticing. You don’t have to trust Sungmin; you know me,” Kyuhyun entreated over the music, “Trust me.”

It was only into the second song that Hangeng turned to Heechul who was looking terribly torn.

“Why should we trust you?” Siwon asked, “How do I know that he hasn’t whispered poison into your ear?”

“Because I love him and I don’t want to lose him.”

“We don’t want to lose each other,” Sungmin corrected, earning a fierce hand squeeze.

Yesung’s voice cracked a little as he tried to reach a note that was too high for his range and laughter erupted from both Henry and Ryeowook as Yesung continued his attempt to reach the pitch.

“Okay,” Leeteuk said, nodding like he was reassuring himself, “I’ll trust you. But I swear,” he gave Sungmin a look that made the former con man’s stomach turn to ice, “if you hurt any of them, I will hunt you down and skin you alive.”

“I don’t like you much,” Heechul said, “But...I will also trust you, if only because of Henry.”

Sungmin smiled; Heechul rolled his eyes.

There was a thump and Henry appeared behind Sungmin and Kyuhyun, violin in hand. He passed the instrument to the voice coach before throwing himself into Heechul’s arms. “I knew you’d agree. It was because you heard me playing, right? I knew it.”

“You’re ruining your hair,” Heechul sniffed.

Henry just grinned as Heechul reached out to fix it.

“Why are you not worried about me agreeing?” Hangeng grumbled.

“Because if Heechul agrees than so will you,” Henry said matter of factly and Siwon coughed into his hand.

Hangeng shot him a glare.

“You’re a vixen, Henry, you really know how to manipulate people.”

“Something which he learned from you,” Kyuhyun said, not bothering to hide his smirk.

“We’re leaving,” Heechul announced, “Hangeng! Come.”

“I’m not a dog,” Hangeng complained, but he accepted Heechul’s offered hand and all three of them left, Siwon following them, shaking his head.

Five seconds later, Henry dashed back inside. “Violin!” he said, and took it from Kyuhyun, laughing at his forgetfulness, carefully laying it in the case. It had most likely been lying there since the boy had been dragged over by Yesung.

“Henry!” Sungmin called, and the boy turned. “Thank you.”

Henry just grinned. “Now we’re even,” he said.

“We’re not,” Sungmin said, intent on wiping everything off his slate, “Henry...I lied to you.”

“I know. It’s okay.”

“No...I told your parents about Zhou Mi...so that...they would be okay with you joining the band. To get Zhou Mi and you to join.”

Henry just smiled. “I figured you did, and I’m not upset. I’m glad. We don’t have to sneak around anymore, and we both get to showcase our talent. It’s all for the best.”

Sungmin narrowed his eyes. “How old are you again?”

Henry grinned. “Bye!” He said cheerfully, and flew back outside, violin case swinging with excitement. There was a collective chuckle that ran through the room as they heard him yelling halfway down the street. (“Heechul! Can I see Zhou Mi tonight!” “No.” “Please? We can all play a game or something, I promise I won’t complain!” “No.” “Please?” “Henry! Do not give me puppy dog eyes!”)

Leeteuk let out a sigh, and finally offered Sungmin a smile. “I suppose this means I still have to feed you, right?”


~~~~


“So I’m pretty much in love with you,” Sungmin said later on in the evening, clambering onto Kyuhyun’s bed as he watched the other man undress.

“That’s good,” Kyuhyun laughed, “Because I pretty much staked my reputation on you.”

“I won’t let you down,” Sungmin promised.

Kyuhyun worked his upper body into t-shirt before turning to stare back at his lover seriously. “I know.”

“Come here,” Sungmin held out a hand, breathing Kyuhyun in as they wrapped their arms around each other.

“You’re a ridiculously awesome person,” Kyuhyun whispered, “You know that, right?”

“I’m glad you think so,” Sungmin said, “I’m sure I have a long way to go...a lot to make up for.”

“I think you’re doing pretty well.”

Sungmin sighed as Kyuhyun laid a kiss on his cheek. “They’re going to be awesome.”

“Do you think so?” Sungmin asked.

“Yes.”

Sungmin turned on his side, allowing him a perfect view of Kyuhyun’s eyes. “Kyuhyun...I have nothing,” he whispered, “Nothing to give you or Leetuek or Ryeowook-“

“You have yourself. That’s all I care about...stop looking so dubious! I’m being serious. I love you. I care about you and what you do and everyone else will relearn to care for it as well. I promise. Sungmin,” Kyuhyun cradled Sungmin’s face with his hands, “Do you really need to know anything other than the fact that I love you?”

“No,” Sungmin let his hands slide down to Kyuhyun’s waist, “but the reassurance is nice.”

“Reassurance,” Kyuhyun snorted, “Come here, let me show you reassurance.”

Sungmin laughed as Kyuhyun pulled him in closer, remembering to mumble “I love you too” before Kyuhyun’s kisses made him incoherent.


~~~~


Get on the Bus; You Won’t Be Disappointed

The fan club has already been organized, the fans are already lining the streets, and we heard the mysterious group singing from behind the curtain last week on SBS. We’re not sure who they are, but we’ve already decided that they’re fantastic. They can sing, they can dance, and and there is some ridiculous instrumental talent being spoken about in the netizen circles that promises to be mind blowing.

We spoke with one lady yesterday who has already decided to join the fan club...buy their cds...go to their concerts...in fact, most everyone already has.

What are you waiting for?

Get on the bus already.

It will be like nothing you've seen before.


~~~~~

Phew~

*feels very accomplished*

I hope this ending wasn't lame. I have a hard time with them because I always want to story to continue. :(

Thanks to all who read! And esp. to those to read and commented, I really appreciated your encouragement  <3 you forever.

 


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