Shiwon is young and idealistic, born from a line of hardy, ethical, hard working men, but knows first hand, perhaps better than anyone else, how hard it can be to live up to a good name; always reaching, always trying to keep your head above water. He's grown accustomed to his father's constant preaching (a real man excels at everything he does! a good son gives the family good face!), and his mother's subtle, often jealous manipulation of his most personal affairs (I don't know about that girl, Shiwonnie – she seems a bit fast, why don't you date that nice girl from church instead?) He's more than willing to humor them for now, as long as he can sing and dance and act, it doesn't really matter what he pretends to care to do for them.
But when it comes to his Pumpkin, everything matters.
It starts as soon as Sungmin is up and out of bed, a series of unfortunate events that slowly add up to one of the worst days of his week: he wakes up late, the shower is taken, he's forced to leave the house sticky with makeup from the night before still smeared in patches across his cheeks; he misses his entrance during the SUKIRA broadcast and sets the rest of the program behind; he falls behind at dance practice even though he should have known the steps like the back of his hand, much to the dismay of eleven other sweaty, frustrated members; he just can't seem to get the pitch right during the recording of their newest single, and the manager finally yells... and yells and yells and yells, because Sungmin can't seem to do anything right today and how much more useless can he be? Shiwon watches from a distance as Sungmin's very own series of unfortunate events unfold, and finds himself becoming increasingly agitated.
Shiwon is still watching him on the way home, when everyone else has stopped bothering his Pumpkin and all that's left is his hyung's tense shoulders and glistening red eyes staring hard out the window in the seat next to his on the bus. His fingers twitch because he wants to scoop that small body into his arms and kiss the burning hot tears away with promises of a better tomorrow. He wants to poke, prod, tickle those sensitive ribs until Sungmin is smiling that big, glowing smile he always does.
Instead, he snakes his arm around his Pumpkin's shoulders, pulls him into his side, and buries his nose in the soft raven hair he's grown to love so much while the older man dissolves into tears and curses into his sweater, gripping his arms with shaking, angry fingers. He falls asleep only five minutes later with his cheek pressed against Shiwon's cheek and his head tucked gently beneath his chin, breath warm against his collarbone.
Shiwon holds him so hard his arms go numb, but it doesn't matter as long as he can take a little bit of the weight off his Pumpkin's shoulders. He knows better than anyone else how hard it can be living up to a good name.
I wrote this for Eve a while ago, and she's already read it, but I wanted to post it here in case something happens to my computer and I lose my stuff again.