sujuexchange: (3)
sujuexchange ([personal profile] sujuexchange) wrote2012-12-02 12:19 pm

The Pursuit of Normalcy (Kyuhyun/Zhou Mi, PG-13) for ava_lava

Title: The Pursuit of Normalcy
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amalious
Recipient: [livejournal.com profile] ava_lava
Characters/Pairings: Qmi; mentions of Hanchul
Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): AU; romance
Warnings: none
Author's Note: dear [livejournal.com profile] ava_lava, I hope this meets your expectation ^^ Credits for this final product goes to my beta because he is (mind-blowingly) awesome and without him this fic would still be a mess ♥



Kyuhyun woke up with a slightly better mood this morning. This had something to do with the fact that he had finished cleaning the guest bedroom the previous day and that he had managed to put the party incident from the previous week behind him. Having a drunken one night stand with a complete stranger and waking up the next morning not remembering anything, Kyuhyun had decided, was not something worth depressing himself over. That had been far from his first time and the guy he had apparently slept with didn’t look bad at all, though Kyuhyun hadn’t waited for the guy to wake up before Kyuhyun decided he was “not bad”.

The last few months had been quite tough for Kyuhyun. Dealing with heart break in between getting used to his new job and maintaining his new apartment had not only drained him physically but mentally as well. Only because of his friends did Kyuhyun manage to stay sane so far. It was also his friends’ suggestion that he take in a housemate since he was living in a two-bedroom apartment all by himself.

Kyuhyun walked into the kitchen to make himself a cup of tea. Sitting on one of the stools by the counter while waiting for the water to boil, he mentally went over his plan for the day. His new housemate was coming at noon. He could spend a few hours playing games before taking a shower and going out to where Ryeowook works to get some take away for lunch. Kyuhyun wanted to have a good relationship with his new housemate. Having lunch together in their shared apartment would be a good start. He could figure out what to do next after that.

Kyuhyun hadn’t met the guy. He hadn’t had the time. Heechul found him, telling Kyuhyun he was his worker or something; Kyuhyun hadn’t really paid attention since he had been in a hurry to get to his office when Heechul called. He had somehow agreed that the person would move in by the end of the week, which was today. Kyuhyun knew he should probably have asked for a meeting before letting the man move in, but he trusted Heechul’s judgment. Heechul had once mentioned that Kyuhyun’s boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend) was an asshole and Kyuhyun should break it off with him. Kyuhyun still regretted the fact that he hadn’t believed Heechul’s words and ended the relationship sooner; it would have been less emotionally consuming. At least Kyuhyun believed that Heechul wouldn’t send a serial killer or a sexual molester to his doorstep. Kyuhyun doubted he should be concerned about much else.

Kyuhyun hummed the tune of this song he’d been hearing on the radio quite a lot lately under his breath as he made his tea. He never actually figured out the name of the band or the title for that matter but he quite liked the song. After taking a small sip, more out of habit than to check if he’d put the right amount of sugar, Kyuhyun went back to his room, cup in hand. He placed the cup on his nightstand and turned on his laptop, then played StarCraft for about three hours before remembering to check the time only to find out it was almost noon. After quickly turning off his laptop, he took an equally quick shower and rushed to the restaurant his best friend worked at a few blocks from the apartment.

He made his way back half an hour later, a plastic bag containing two take away lunch boxes in hand. Half an hour later Kyuhyun was all set to welcome his new housemate. When the doorbell rang, he almost felt giddy as he made his way to get the door. Only to find himself face to face with the man he had that drunken one night stand with at Heechul’s party the previous week.

Kyuhyun promptly shut the door in the man’s face.

“Shit shit shit. I’m going to kill Heechul. Shit.”

Kyuhyun waited a few moments to calm himself, unconsciously walking back and forth on the small space of his hallway, his hand mussing his already fuzzy hair – a nervous habit he wasn’t actually aware of. When Kyuhyun eventually opened the door once again, he found the man was still in his previous spot standing in front of the door, apparently equally taken by surprise as Kyuhyun had been.

Kyuhyun cleared his throat before speaking. “Sorry about that. So you’re..the new housemate Heechul-hyung told me about?”

“Yeah. That’s me. Hi, I’m Zhou Mi.” The man, Zhou Mi, extended his hand to Kyuhyun while smiling a bit nervously.

Refusing the offered hand would just be rude and that was not how Kyuhyun wanted to start this. Though the fact that who his new housemate turned out to be had apparently jeopardized all Kyuhyun’s pre-made plans. Having no other favorable options, Kyuhyun shook Zhou Mi’s hand, putting in his best effort to not wince at the skin contact.

“Cho Kyuhyun. Um. Come in,” he said and added, “Please.” as an afterthought.

Zhou Mi walked in as Kyuhyun moved aside to give him way, dragging his large luggage behind him. Kyuhyun followed the man into the living room, feeling uncharacteristically out of his element and more than a little awkward. Just how on earth did the man he had been determined to erase from his memory end up in his apartment, Kyuhyun really had no idea. Though he believed Heechul had to have something to do with all this. It had been at his party that Kyuhyun had met this man, Zhou Mi, after all.

Kyuhyun watched as Zhou Mi took a look around the apartment, noticing the way the man’s glance turned appreciative at some points and against his better judgment, tried to remember how he had ended up spending the night with this tall and undeniably attractive man the night of the party.

Heehcul had threatened to hunt Kyuhyun down and feed him his own testicles if Kyuhyun remained adamant on burying himself in work and his games and refused to go out just for once. Kyuhyun had only gone because it was Heechul’s birthday, to be honest. He’d never liked parties. And he hated Heechul’s parties the most, solely for the insane amount of people present every time.

All his friends had been there and Kyuhyun had been hanging out with them before wandering off to the bar to get himself a drink. He hadn’t planned on getting drunk. He really hadn’t. But apparently he had forgotten about his non-existent plan and had gotten drunk anyway. Everything was a blur after his fifth or sixth shot and Kyuhyun couldn’t recall how Zhou Mi had come into the picture. He couldn’t even remember if the sex had been good, though Kyuhyun mentally reprimanded himself that this was not the time to think about that, seriously.

The next morning Kyuhyun had woken up with a massive hangover, only to add incredible mortification to his earlier state the moment he realized he was not in his room and he was naked and someone, a stranger, was sleeping next to him. Kyuhyun had never gotten dressed faster and he had left Heechul’s house without a word with his hyung. Besides, he had been sure Heechul would still be sleeping.

Kyuhyun hadn’t told anyone about the incident, not even his best friend Ryeowook whom he would usually tell about the things going on in his life. He had been utterly horrified that he had actually slept with a complete stranger, his being drunk out of his mind aside, and it took days for Kyuhyun to accept that things like that happened and he didn’t need to beat himself up over it. Kyuhyun eventually decided that it would all be alright and he could just go on with his normal life like he’d been trying to these past few months because chances were he wouldn’t ever see the man again.

But boy, how wrong he was. Because now the man was sitting in his living room looking comfortable if not a little nervous, in his apartment that they’d be sharing starting from today. And Kyuhyun was standing by the entryway looking at the man and experiencing all these jumbled feelings he couldn’t even describe. Something was completely wrong about this picture.

When Zhou Mi started looking at Kyuhyun, looking expectant and a little worried, Kyuhyun realized he had been spending too long standing on his spot staring at the man so he pulled himself out of his reverie and moved to sit down across his new housemate.

“Sorry, my mind was a little..preoccupied,” he said in attempt to dispel the awkwardness. “So. Um, is that all you have?” Kyuhyun gestured at Zhou Mi’s luggage.

“Yeah, for now. My other stuff is still at Heechul-hyung’s place. I’m going to get them later after I’ve settled in here,” said Zhou Mi.

Kyuhyun narrowed his eyes hearing that. “You were living with Heechul?”

Zhou Mi nodded. “Yeah. I’ve been staying in his guest bedroom for a few months. You know the room we..” Kyuhyun visibly flinched and Zhou Mi apparently took the hint so he dropped it there. “Well.. I know what you’re thinking. His place is nice and all, but I see him at work all the time – and I don’t mean this is in a rude way, but having to deal with him at home as well kind of gets overwhelming,” he explain a little sheepishly.

“I get what you mean,” said Kyuhyun matter-of-factly.

He personally thought that no one could stand constantly being in close proximity with Heechul. The man wasn’t a bad person or anything like that. In fact he was quite a good friend, loyal to a fault. But he was also overbearing and kind of intense. The only one who could endure Heechul’s presence any time of the day was Hankyung. But Hankyung was just too tolerant and lenient to be a normal human being. Then again, Kyuhyun supposed that was exactly why he and Heechul were made for each other.

Zhou Mi smiled indulgently at Kyuhyun’s statement and Kyuhyun wasn’t ready for the effect the smile had on his insides. Luckily Zhou Mi didn’t seem aware of what was happening to Kyuhyun’s insides and he went on with his explanation.

“I guess Heechul-hyung was also aware of this and in fact, he was the one who offered me to move out. I’ve been thinking about getting my own place for a while actually, but then last week he told me a friend of his was looking for a housemate. He kind of convinced me that sharing an apartment is more convenient than maintaining one all by myself and I ended up agreeing. So here I am.”

Kyuhyun found himself nodding at Zhou Mi’s word. Then he couldn’t help himself so he said, “Did you know? I mean, at the party, did you know it was me?”

Zhou Mi’s eyes went wide and he sat up straighter, flailing his hands in as a negative response. “No! I mean, Heechul-hyung told me he was going to introduce me to you at the party but then he couldn’t find you and I went to the bar to get some drinks and saw you there but I didn’t know it was you. I mean, I didn’t know you were... Yeah.” Zhou Mi wasn’t quite looking at Kyuhyun, his head turned away, a far away look in his eyes. Then his voice got softer as he spoke, “You looked really sad and beautiful and there were so many people around but you looked so alone. I just couldn’t help it so I approached you and got you to talk to me. I knew you were drunk, and I probably shouldn’t have let things move along so fast, but you were so beautiful.” Zhou Mi actually flushed as he voiced that word for the second time. “I couldn’t resist,” he went on. “I thought I would talk to you in the morning, but then I woke up and – “

“I already left,” Kyuhyun supplied, finishing Zhou Mi’s sentence for him.

Kyuhyun had his head bowed, half in shame and half in mortification. He couldn’t get himself to look at Zhou Mi in the eye after hearing such a confession from the man. And he couldn’t believe Zhou Mi had actually called him beautiful right to his face, twice. The man sounded so sincere and although he still couldn’t remember, Kyuhyun doubted Zhou Mi was making things up to gain his approval. Despite everything he still trusted Heechul’s judgment. He wouldn’t send Zhou Mi to his doorstep if Zhou Mi was anything less than nice. And the man turned out as good looking with clothes on as without, which really didn’t help matters at all. Because Kyuhyun wasn’t ready for this. Not for another relationship. Especially not one that started this way. He had been anticipating a new housemate, someone that maybe could be his friend, not a new love interest.

“You left,” Zhou Mi said in affirmation. Kyuhyun convinced himself he was only imagining the slight distress in Zhou Mi’s voice. “I guess you might only see it as a one time thing, but I don’t do one night stands. I was interested in you. I wanted to know more about you. I still do.”

“I don’t do one night stands either,” Kyuhyun blurted out before he could stop himself.

Zhou Mi’s expression turned hopeful in an instant and Kyuhyun felt a little guilty to crush it shortly thereafter but it wasn’t like he had any other option.

“But I do think we should treat what happened between us as a one time thing.”

Zhou Mi looked ready to protest and had started opening his mouth to speak but Kyuhyun beat him to it.

“Look. I’m sorry, but I was drunk and I can’t remember anything. I felt really ashamed of myself that’s why I left. I honestly didn’t expect to see you ever again. But obviously things didn’t go according to plan,” he said. “I really want this to work. I mean, us sharing an apartment, being housemates. But I am not ready for another relationship. Not really. I don’t even know anything about you. Yet. So can we just let it go and start anew, as friends?”

“But you can get to know me,” Zhou Mi said, sounding both hopeful and hopeless. “I don’t know anything about you either, but I want to. Get to know you, I mean.”

Kyuhyun ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “Look. I’d really appreciate it if you tried to understand. Please. I want us to be just housemates. Nothing more. Alright?” Then he got up and pointed toward the second bedroom that he had finished cleaning the previous day. “Well, that is your room,” he said. “The bathroom is next door. You can use anything in the kitchen, I don’t mind. I don’t cook all that often.” Well, Kyuhyun couldn’t cook, but Zhou Mi didn’t need to know that, yet.

He pretended he didn’t notice the disappointment on Zhou Mi’s face. Kyuhyun was determined to make things work his way. If Zhou Mi didn’t feel inclined to cooperate, he could always move back out. He ignored the strange tightness in his chest that appeared as he thought of Zhou Mi going back to Heechul’s place. He really didn’t want things to take that turn, he convinced himself.

Fortunately Zhou Mi decided not to argue with Kyuhyun as he went on explaining things about the apartment and everything else Zhou Mi needed to know when living in the building. After handing Zhou Mi his keys, Kyuhyun excused himself to his room and locked himself in.

He let out a huge sigh. Well, he inwardly told himself, that could have gone a lot worse.

Kyuhyun then went to get his phone from the nightstand and called Heechul.

“Hyung,” he said the moment Heechul picked up. “Please tell me you didn’t send Zhou Mi to my apartment on purpose, knowing he would be interested in me in that way.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” demanded Heechul from across the line.

Kyuhyun messed his already chaotic hair in frustration and actually let out a frustrated groan. He figured he would end up telling Heechul after all.

“Hyung, actually, something happened at your party last week.”

“Well of course something happened at my party. Things always happen at my parties.”

“Listen Hyung, I mean something happened between me and Zhou Mi at your party, alright. I was drunk, I really can’t remember. But I woke up next to him in bed in your guest bedroom. Apparently we had sex.”

“Holy shit. And how on earth did I not know this?! It was my party.”

“I don’t know. I have no idea how we ended up in bed but I left as soon as I woke up. He was still asleep. And yesterday I was ready to let it all go and forget all that ever happened. But then he showed up and he said he didn’t mean it to be a one time thing. He wanted to get to know me, he said. I really can’t do this, Hyung,” Kyuhyun said. “I declined, as politely as I could. And it seemed like he decided to humor me for now. Now tell me, what should I do?”

Heechul didn’t reply for a moment. Then he said, “What do you think about Zhou Mi?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I mean exactly that. What do you think about him? I personally like the kid. He’s Geng’s second cousin, by the way. We co-own several shops around the city, you know.”

No, Kyuhyun didn’t know. And he supposed he should be outraged that Heechul reacted the way he did. Heechul should be helping Kyuhyun out with this matter and not rooting for Zhou Mi instead.

“What the hell, Hyung? You of all people should have known the last thing I need right now is to get into another relationship.”

“Bullshit. You told me a few weeks ago you are okay with seeing another guy. It’s been eight months. You agreed with me that it’s time to move on and you won’t say no if you meet someone nice enough. And I’m telling you, Kyuhyun, few guys are nicer than the one you have in your apartment right now.”

Well, Kyuhyun remembered that particular conversation. Heechul had gone to meet him at his office just around the time he was about to go home. Heechul did that sometimes. Sometimes Ryeowook and Donghae went with him. Sometimes it was just Ryeowook and Donghae. Sometimes it was one or two of his other friends. The point was, Kyuhyun’s friends made it their personal mission to make sure Kyuhyun was alive and functioning like a capable human being. They saw it fit to ambush him on his way from work and drag him to get a cup of coffee because Kyuhyun always refused to go out on weekends and visiting Kyuhyun’s place got boring. Kyuhyun didn’t really resent them for that, but he never stated otherwise.

“But I didn’t mean it like this, Hyung. I wouldn’t say no if we met somewhere conventional. Maybe on the streets on my way from work, or even in the subway. Or you could introduce him to me like friends do to their single friend. Then we could get to know each other and start a real relationship when we were sure about each other. That’s what I want, something normal. Not like this. I said I’m okay with seeing another guy, but I didn’t mean a guy I met when I was drunk and had a drunken one night stand with.”

“Okay, Kyuhyun. Calm down,” said Heechul. “No one can force you to get into a relationship with Mimi, okay? Not even the guy himself. Look, why don’t you just see how things go and just get to know him? You don’t have to like him or anything. Maybe you two will end up being friends, and that’s cool. But who knows maybe you’ll actually see him as something more. What I mean is just leave everything the way it is. Things will resolve themselves. Just give it time, okay?”

“Okay..”

“Good. Now go get yourself food or something. I’m having lunch with Geng and you’re making me late.”

“Okay. Thanks, Hyung.”

“Yeah. Sure. Bye.”

And Heechul hung up.

Kyuhyun sighed and put his phone back on his nightstand. Heechul has actually got a point. Maybe he was overreacting. He should just see how things go. He couldn’t blame Zhou Mi for being interested despite only meeting him for one night, while he was drunk, of all things. But if Kyuhyun was to be honest with himself, he was also kind of intrigued by the man. And if he was to be even more honest, he was a little disappointed that he’d forgotten most things that happened that night at the party.

Kyuhyun threw himself face first into the bed with a groan. He hadn’t been lying when he said he wanted a normal relationship. His previous relationship had been far from normal. His ex-boyfriend had been from a very religious and prominent family, raised to be the prefect heir to billions won worth of a family business. They had to meet in secret, and pretend they weren’t lovers in public. It was kind of hard considering they worked in the same company, the family’s company that was. For a while, all the sneaking around behind people’s backs thrilled Kyuhyun since it complied with his reckless nature.

The man indulged Kyuhyun, knowing he secretly enjoyed being pampered no matter how adamant he was at pretending otherwise. He got Kyuhyun a penthouse in the heart of the city and Kyuhyun was secretly pleased despite his mortification that someone had actually bought him a house. His ex-boyfriend would sometimes spend the night with him and on those nights Kyuhyun would forget about all the hard stuff. All the pretense and sneaking around and jealousy when seeing his boyfriend take a woman to business functions. And for a while things were alright in Kyuhyun’s little world.

But things changed when the family found out. Apparently even the best ones would fall sometimes. No matter how clever they were at being subtle someone ended up putting all the pieces together after all, and word got to the higher ups, which were the parents and uncles and other family relatives. Things got really bad, and it turned out that Kyuhyun had lulled himself into a false security after all. Of course no one would leave their awfully loaded family for him.

It had hit him hard at first, but Kyuhyun had soon come to his senses and pulled himself together. The next morning he had submitted his resignation letter, then packed his stuff and left the penthouse immediately afterwards. He bunked on Ryeowook’s couch for a few nights, changed his phone number and blocked the ex from all his online contacts, and got himself an apartment. He got a job at another company in the other side of the city. It wasn’t as big as his previous company, but he got a decent salary and they dealt with a different kind of business so it served Kyuhyun’s purpose.

That had been eight months ago. Kyuhyun had been trying to put his life back together from scratch ever since and he’d finally gotten some semblance of normalcy although he still found it hard to go out and meet new people.

Kyuhyun really couldn’t let his life fall apart for the second time just because of a one night stand. And he shouldn’t get ahead of himself by over thinking things and rob himself of his second chance of being happy either.

Having finally settled his mind, Kyuhyun got up and walked out of his room, and went to the kitchen. He caught Zhou Mi making his way to the front door and felt relief he hadn’t waited longer to come out.

“Um. You’re going out?” he asked after gathering some of his notorious courage.

Zhou Mi smiled at him before nodding and Kyuhyun felt guilty for being the reason why the smile was a little strained. “I forgot to get lunch on my way,” he said.

“Oh. Um..” Kyuhyun bit his lips, feeling more nervous than he allowed himself to appear on the surface. “I got some take away earlier. From the restaurant a few blocks down. There’s enough food for two. You could have some. I mean, if you don’t mind. We can have lunch together.”

The grin that broke out on Zhou Mi’s face was worth all the effort Kyuhyun put into asking him and Kyuhyun found himself smiling openly as he led Zhou Mi to the kitchen. Kyuhyun let Zhou Mi get the plates as he reheated the food in the microwave and silently felt glad that the food wouldn’t go to waste. He hated eating leftover food despite not knowing how to cook.

They ate in companionable silence and although Kyuhyun supposed he shouldn’t feel surprised that he felt this comfortable just eating with Zhou Mi and not talking, he still did. Kyuhyun did the dishes afterwards and Zhou Mi helped him dry them.

If Zhou Mi wondered why Kyuhyun had seemingly changed his mind so instantly he didn’t voice it out, and Kyuhyun appreciated him more for that.

*

They didn’t immediately go and have mindless sex with each other. In fact, it was weeks before they ended up in bed together for the second time and not without a few days worth of careful scheming on Kyuhyun’s part. Because apparently Zhou Mi was dead set on doing things right this time. The nickname gentleman Mimi he got from Kyuhyun’s friends was not unjustified after all. But there was only so much self-restraint a normal young adult male with a healthy sexual drive like Kyuhyun could put up with and he finally decided to take matters into his own hands.

Zhou Mi didn’t take Kyuhyun on an expensive cruise for their date; he preferred walking down the streets and window shopping. They didn’t have dinner at a high class French restaurant. Zhou Mi cooked for Kyuhyun instead. Zhou Mi loved cooking, which suited Kyuhyun just fine. Kyuhyun would wake up to Zhou Mi preparing breakfast in the morning. He would give the taller man a kiss in exchange for some pancakes or scrambled eggs with bacon. Then he would make himself a cup of tea and coffee with lots of milk and no sugar for Zhou Mi.

They would have breakfast and bicker about what movie they should watch later in the evening, though in the end Zhou Mi would always give in and let Kyuhyun pick whichever movie he wanted. Which usually turned out to be one of those insanely long historical dramas that would take them a few nights to finish watching. Zhou Mi would send Kyuhyun off to work, but not before fixing his crooked tie (he never really got around to learning how to do his tie right) and handing him a packed lunch which made Kyuhyun feel like one of those ridiculously happy newly weds.

Zhou Mi didn’t really have a fixed working time, since he and Heechul co-owned the shops, which Kyuhyun had found out sold clothes and accessories Zhou Mi had designed himself. But sometimes Kyuhyun would come home from work while Zhou Mi was still at one of the shops, because Zhou Mi was nothing but a responsible employer. On those occasions Kyuhyun would go and get take away for dinner because Zhou Mi would be too tired to cook. Later in the evening they would sit side by side or, more often that not, back to chest on the rug covered floor before the couch and watched the drama Kyuhyun had picked beforehand.

Sometimes Kyuhyun would fall asleep after an hour into the drama and Zhou Mi had to wake him up and then lead him into their room (the second bedroom had been gradually transformed into a library and a study a few days after Kyuhyun managed to get Zhou Mi into bed with him). Zhou Mi had tried picking Kyuhyun up once and that hadn’t gone too well, Zhou Mi hadn’t been able to stop laughing for ten minutes and Kyuhyun had angrily grumbled that he was not fat while rubbing his evidently bruised shoulder. When Kyuhyun began to get really upset because of Zhou Mi calling him fat made him silently wonder if he was indeed a little fat, Zhou Mi pulled him into his arms and kissed him upside his head while whispering that he wasn’t fat at all, and even if he were Zhou Mi wouldn’t mind one bit.

Their relationship was not perfect. They had fights, so many of those. And sometimes it would get nasty and Kyuhyun would say spiteful things that he didn’t mean at all because he tended to speak first and think later when he was mad. Those words hurt Zhou Mi the most, and Kyuhyun knew because his eyes would get clouded and he would be really silent and leave without a word after Kyuhyun finished his tirade. Kyuhyun hated those times waiting for Zhou Mi to get back because despite knowing Zhou Mi would definitely come back to him anxiety still snuck into his heart and gripped it tight. But then Zhou Mi would come home, he always did, and Kyuhyun would pull him down to their bed and hold him there and whispered the word sorry over and over again until Zhou Mi shut him up with a kiss.

It was far from perfect, because Kyuhyun had his flaws just like Zhou Mi had his and they were just two normal people trying to work things out together. But it was okay, because they bickered like all normal couples did, went on dates like all normal couples did. And at night, they would hold each other and express their feelings the way words couldn’t convey, like all normal couples did.

It was okay, because normal things were usually the best things. And Kyuhyun wouldn’t have it any other way.


-fin