: Borrowed VeinsPairing
: Baekhyun/Lu HanRating
: 10,300+ wordsSummary
: Luhan is sick, but Baekhyun is sicker.Part One
|| Part Two
It became a pattern for the two of them, those encounters in the dead of night.
Not in any way, though, one would mistake them as lovers, for tender moments were something they never had. It was always violent fucking, wrist slitting, and the occasional ferocious choking until the other turned blue. After all that – after all that
– as they lie next to each other, breathing in each other’s scent, they’d share the bliss in silence. That was the closest thing to tender moments they would ever have. Baekhyun would always, always
, leave before Lu Han woke up. And always, still, Lu Han would find the man with his endless fix, hunched against the oh-so-familiar brick wall, eyes dark, not giving a fuck in the world.
But with patterns come anomalies, the first of which happened exactly twenty two days after their first encounter. Lu Han had found Baekhyun against that very wall, and they had walked to Lu Han’s place, as was the custom. Baekhyun had been completely silent, as was also the custom. It was what happened afterwards that had caught Lu Han off-guard.
Lu Han should have known there was something odd when Baekhyun didn’t turn against him after the first slash of his blade. In fact, Baekhyun didn’t respond to anything he did. So he kept slashing, and biting, and striking, banging Baekhyun’s head into any surface he managed to reach. But in the end, instead of fucking Lu Han senseless, cutting him open, or choking him blue, Baekhyun cried, clawing his eyes out, because no matter what he did, no matter where he went, no matter whom he met, there was nothing – nothing
– that could reduce the pain. As every bit of his blood dropped to the floor below, it was as if the loss was compensated by more disappointment, and Baekhyun cried even more. Left crawling on the floor was Lu Han, mopping the blood. The white piece of cloth was soaked to the very last strands, soaking Lu Han’s pale hand. With his other hand, trembling, Lu Han wiped the tears cascading down his face. Silently. He couldn’t do anything. He was helpless.
The one time it happened, and all the next times that it did, again, Baekhyun would eventually snap free from the disenchantment, and leave without a word, leaving Lu Han slumped on the floor with a dripping cloth in his hands.
Other times, however, Baekhyun would fuck him so hard, cut him so deep, choke him so bad, his extravagant savagery nipped on Lu Han’s boundaries. Those times, the cuts Lu Han would leave upon Baekhyun’s skin would look vigilantly given, compared to the merciless slashes Baekhyun would force upon Lu Han. Lu Han never thought there would come a day where he would be left in a writhing mess, uttering small whimpers for Baekhyun to just stop, for god’s sake, please stop, please
that only left Baekhyun giving more, and taking more.
Those times, he would come to with his body shredded and the tears dry on his face, his hands balled up into tight fists clutching at nothing, only leaving dents in the shape of crescents. And it disturbed him that he didn’t mind that in the slightest.
But really, the rest of the times, Baekhyun would be just like the person Lu Han met that first time: a perfect partner, in a sense.
To Lu Han, seeing Baekhyun was just like seeing erratic flashes from an old movie, played from a broken roll of film, its scenes jumping back and forth, ending in abruption and starting again, the beginning of the new scene projected no less sudden. Everything was stringed together in a grand jumble, accompanied by the occasional clicks and a constant whirring sound. The leaps left Lu Han in confusion, and somewhere along the line, he felt himself losing all conceptions of who he was and what he was doing, spiralling into an abyss that was a pair of lined eyes. He, who used to take pride in having found the pieces of puzzles in his life, and solved it with aplomb (and accepted all the missing pieces and the ones jutting out of place, leaving the otherwise flawless picture crooked), was left scrambling to recollect all the pieces once more, and he wondered whether they were ever put together in the first place.
But in any event, Lu Han found himself giving in to Baekhyun’s mercurial whims, facing his ever-changing temperament with a poise he didn’t know he had. He let himself be the audience to Baekhyun’s phrenetic tears, and let himself be killed, over, and over, and over again. He didn’t even know what he was doing with Baekhyun anymore – what had seemed so clear in the beginning had started to turn foggy, his intentions only half fulfilled. And there was more. A little something that settled between his stomach and his heart, a perpetual sinking feeling, close to unease, and a tad more than anxiety.
He never figured out what it was, until one day he woke up from a dream he had. This wasn’t the usual dream he had had countless of times, of Baekhyun drowning him in his own blood, waking him up with an uncomfortable boner he had to deal with. No, this was different. In this one, Baekhyun stabbed a big hole in his chest and fucked into it so forcefully the latter’s dick hit his heart so hard, it cracked bit by bit until he bled from the inside out. In this one, Lu Han died. Lu Han woke up that one time with a jolt, and was blinded by the sun. This was the first time in a very long time that he woke up while the sun was still hanging in the air.
The cold sweat trickling down his skin let him know that something had shifted. Lu Han was afraid of Baekhyun.
But it was too late.
He was already addicted.
They lay on their backs, naked and spent, bodies sprawled ungracefully on the filthy tiled floor. This one wasn’t as violent
, Lu Han pondered after his lungs filled with air once again, colour returning to his face. The only marks left behind were bruises of purple and blue around their thighs, arms, necks – their drying scars were left undisturbed.
Lu Han rolled onto his side, his nose almost touching the ground, and lightly – contemplatively, even – placed one of his palms over the floor, as if trying to find a pulse, or an understanding. Trying to empathise.
“I think they’re supposed to be white,” he said to no one in particular, knowing Baekhyun would be in his near-catatonic state. He was never responsive at times like this, and Lu Han had stopped questioning whether he could hear him a countless number of fucks back.
“I think once upon a time, they were
white. And clean. Untainted,” he continued to muse, voice wistful and longing. His fingers drew patterns on the said white floor, dust collecting on his fingertips.
A spark that flashed over Baekhyun’s eyes acted as a giveaway, a sign that he understood Lu Han was referring to something more than the dirty tiled floor. But the spark was forever lost as he closed his eyes and slipped into a deep sleep.
Hours later, when Lu Han opened his eyes, two unusual things greeted him. The first was the faint hints of sunlight. The second was Baekhyun, who was still there, lying next to him, absorbedly looking at the window on the wall. Lu Han directed his eyes to where Baekhyun was staring, and he saw it.
Freefalling from the heavens were endless tiny droplets of water, the droplets themselves so miniscule they only looked like haze against the view outside. The slowly lightening sky, visible from Lu Han’s sole window, served as a bleak, beautiful backdrop. Baekhyun let out a sigh so soft, it could have been Lu Han’s imagination. But as Lu Han looked again to the half-clothed body next to him, now with his head facing the spider-webbed ceiling, Baekhyun let out another gentle sigh. Lu Han closed his eyes, letting himself be lulled by the soft shushing sound of the rain hitting the ground. This was a first, Baekhyun staying put at Lu Han’s until the sun threatens to come out from its hiding. Nothing was said, as any words would only get lost in the stale, bitter air.
The silence that ensued wasn’t entirely uncomfortable, but it wasn’t the most pleasant thing to ever happen to Lu Han either. It was a dulcet limbo, nonetheless, the kind where sentimental thoughts blossom, and thrive, and would have, if it hadn’t been for the exhaustion still nagging at their bodies and minds.
When the sound of rain started to cease, Baekhyun stirred, and placed a hand on his bare stomach attentively.
“I’m hungry,” he said.
For some reason, Lu Han couldn’t help but smile at this, and he stood up to get dressed, unintentionally crushing things under his steps as he got on his feet. Baekhyun followed suit, eager in his quest to find daylight sustenance. He was still half-way in pulling down a shirt over his head when Lu Han started moving towards the door.
The stairs creaked as loud during the day as they did during the night, while the chipping cheap plaster on the walls leading to the exit was more visible under the thin sunlight. Both men hesitated to step down to the street, hanging by the doorframe, silently willing the sun to set so that the moon could light down their path instead. But no such thing happened, except that the clouds drifted and the sky continued to lighten in the morning’s wake. The rain that fell mercilessly minutes before was now only a light drizzle, the only evidence of its existence the dots that disappear and reappear on the shallow puddles on the street.
“Come,” Baekhyun said in invitation, taking off his jacket and spreading it over their heads as together they step outside. Lu Han took over the jacket and held it higher above them.
“I’m taller than you,” he explained. Baekhyun scoffed at the taller guy.
As they walked down the street, bright ray of lights started peeking through wisps of grey clouds that decorated the clearing sky. Though the sky was still a bleak grey colour, it was shaded by the colour of light, startlingly fitting for the two dark figures so used to the moon. Lu Han lifted his face, eyeing the vast space above him from beneath the jacket, basking in the slivers of sunlight he had maybe missed.
Their gaits were still visibly apprehensive when they reached the more crowded part of the city, where the air was clear, the buildings tall, and the people carelessly happy. Even in all his nonchalance, Lu Han had it in him to think that he must have stuck out there like a sore thumb with his dishevelled hair, all-black attire, and an all over unkempt feel about him. It didn’t help that his company was in a no better state, if not worse. The thought made him second-guess his whim to be out in the open, to put himself under the scrutiny of judging, or pitying eyes; together with Baekhyun, at that. But the unease wasn’t enough to make him turn back around. He only pulled up the collar of his jacket out of habit, and vaguely wondered whether Baekhyun was battling the same thoughts in his head.
When countless people had passed them by, and not one strange look, or snicker, or snide remark ever came their way, something clicked in Lu Han’s head.
They were ghosts in the light of day.
They didn’t need to hide under the moonlight to escape judgements. They didn’t need to prowl under the ground to feel safe. Because in reality, nobody cared. Nobody cared about them, or how they looked like, or who they were with. Nobody ever cared about whatever they chose to do. Finding the realisation so ironic, Lu Han let out a chuckle that soon turned into a frenzied laugh. But before Baekhyun could ask what had hit him, as sudden as Lu Han’s realisation, the rain started pouring ruthlessly over their heads once more, its arrival so out of place when the sky was still so bright.
Before they ran to safety, Lu Han didn’t miss how Baekhyun curled an arm around his waist as his shout of “Come on!” got lost in the sudden, heavy rain.
Lu Han staggered through his apartment door alone after having dragged himself home hours later, and the first things he did were closing the door shut and letting his back lean into it, his hand jingling his keys unconsciously. All of a sudden, a single thought flashed to the forefront of his mind, and the feel it brought to him made him run to the bathroom and violently retch stomach acid with bits of his breakfast into the unscrubbed toilet bowl. His hand pulled up the lever to let his liquid vomit swirl with water into the drain, and he struggled to breathe in and out, in and out
, calming himself down at the intrusion of the peculiar feeling. But that didn’t work so well, because he would be lying to himself if he said that the feel of Baekhyun’s arm around him, free from lust, free from madness, wasn’t still lingering on his shaking body.
As he flung himself down on his shabby mattress, Lu Han thought that maybe normalcy wasn’t so bad after all.
Lu Han wondered why he didn’t try it a long time ago.
When Lu Han laid his eyes on Baekhyun the next evening, he decided that things should be different this time.
be different this time.
“Hey, Baekhyun?” he called out as soon as he reached Baekhyun’s hearing distance.
The brunette only brought his eyes up to meet Lu Han’s determined stare and raised his eyebrows to acknowledge him.
“I want to catch a glimpse of your world,” he said slowly.
For several long seconds, Baekhyun didn’t make any kind of response. He just stood there, hands in his pockets, eyes looking questioningly at Lu Han. Lu Han’s heart thudded fast and loud in his chest, and he breathed a sigh of relief when Baekhyun nooded and took a step forward. Tonight, it was Lu Han’s turn to follow Baekhyun around the neighbourhood, making turns here and there, crossing the empty streets before the lights turned green.
The journey didn’t last long. Lu Han knew they were close to their destination when an old building loomed into view. It must have been beautiful once; the shadows of grandeur was evident in its facade. But like any other things abandoned, it’s a dark and ugly thing now, with its chipped and flaking paint. The interior of the building wasn’t unlike the sight Lu Han saw everyday in his own, despite a few remnants here and there telling him that it could
be beautiful. No one, not even Lu Han, would deny that the place was in a sorry state. Pity.
Nothing surprised Lu Han, until he saw the room where Baekhyun lived.
It was a loft. A spacious loft with large windows and concrete floors that left Lu Han wondering whether the place was ever finished being built. Pipe works partly obscured the ceiling, and there were random pools of water across the barren room; but it was splendid, in a way. The room was lit up by the moonlight and glittering city lights making their way through the window – a large piece of glass taking the entire space of one wall. Even beneath all the layers of dirt and grime, Lu Han thought Baekhyun had quite a view.
Lu Han turned around to find Baekhyun right in front of him with mere inches separating their faces. He didn’t notice this before from a distance, but now he could see that there was… manic
in Baekhyun’s eyes, a contrast to his stoic manner. Not wanting to waste any second, Lu Han brought a hand to Baekhyun’s cheek, stroking it gently, and he could’ve sworn Baekhyun leaned
into his touch.
Their lips met, and Lu Han shuddered. They fell back into their old pattern in no time at all, but this time, Lu Han brought with him a sense of urgency that Baekhyun just
may reciprocate. Before long, the cuts start to appear on Lu Han’s thin body, now laying hopelessly on the smooth, cold, concrete floor, and Lu Han relished every single second of it.
From beneath heavy lids, Baekhyun asked. “Life or death?”
Lu Han looked up from the floor, his back wet and cold from the puddle of water against his skin. But the sensation was vague, overcame by the sight before his eyes. He was intently focused on the pipes above him, the ceiling surrounding them a mere grey haze, and Baekhyun’s face, ridiculously close to his own, was even hazier.
The sudden sharp pain right below his left jaw line was also quite hazy.
“Life, or death?”
He wasn’t sure whether it was the substance meddling with his mind, or whether he was just simply too fucked up – inside and out, metaphorically, figuratively, literally – but he found it easy to find the humour in that question. So he chuckled.
“You think you’re the first person who’s ever asked me that? You think I’ve never asked that question to myself?”
He must have spoken too fast, or too slurred, or too softly, for Baekhyun didn’t seem to realise what Lu Han had said.
Something warm trickled down Lu Han’s neck, and all Baekhyun did was ask again.
“Life… or death?”
Even from under all the illusions, Lu Han knew another answer wouldn’t do anyone any good. So instead of repeating his answer – or rather, questions – he gripped Baekhyun’s arms, crashing their lips back together and, panting, mumbled a simple,
Lu Han knew there was something different this time the moment he gave in under Baekhyun’s carvings. The depths that the knives reached were deeper, the thin lines it drew longer, the red blossoming on his skin darker, creeping slower than he ever remembered.
Lu Han knew this was the end.
He struggled hard to summon enough air in his lungs to speak out, to make himself be heard, because this time, he needs
Baekhyun to hear him. To listen
to what he had to say. He found it increasingly hard to think, as red continued to pool under him, and surround him, the dark thick liquid mingling with the puddle of water on Baekhyun’s cold floor. When he finally managed to speak out, the words that came out of his trembling lips were not what he had wanted to say. And he realised that the time may never come for him to make Baekhyun understand. To make Baekhyun see him. To make Baekhyun want
“Please,” he begged in a raspy voice. “If I die, please live.”
The words, uttered repeatedly like an old broken record, echoed sadly throughout the room. Baekhyun hovered still over the broken, bleeding, begging body, and stayed that way. Lu Han thought he had lost all hope when Baekhyun gave him a smile, so sincere, and gentle, and understanding
, and walked away to disappear from Lu Han’s line of sight. The only sign of his presence in the room was the sound of slow footsteps, then the sound of a drawer opening, and there he was back within Lu Han’s view, his hand clutching a metal object that glinted under the moonlight.
“I have a gift for you,” he said with another smile.
To Lu Han, it all happened in slow motion. Baekhyun’s smile, Baekhyun’s raise of the arm towards his own head, Baekhyun’s pull on the trigger, Baekhyun’s fall from grace – they were clear as day as they were seen through Lu Han’s widened eyes. The consequential sputter was magnificent, momentarily leaving sangria Rorschach patterns in the air, creating a breathtaking scene, frozen to be etched onto Lu Han’s mind forevermore.
In a sense, it really was a gift.
By the time he was only halfway crawling to the body, the steady stream of blood staining the floor had already reached his own puddle of mess, leaving him scrambling on the now slippery floor with what little was left in him. He didn’t have long, he knew, and he could only thank the heavens when he could finally slide besides the cold body that was once Baekhyun before he drained completely.
Baekhyun’s eyes were beautiful, Lu Han thought as he memorised Baekhyun’s face. Baekhyun’s profile was exquisite, Lu Han thought as he traced a finger down Baekhyun’s nose. Baekhyun was perfect, Lu Han thought as he circled an arm around Baekhyun’s waist and nestled his head into the junction between Baekhyun’s neck and shoulder.Baekhyun was perfectly mine
, Lu Han thought.
Even in his last moments, Lu Han wasn’t a fool – he was never one, and never will be, not even when death was about to greet him so readily. He knew this was all pretend; he knew this would never be. But for this one time, this one very last time, he could live with it, because pretending is better than nothing. Baekhyun was with him, and he was content.
So he closed his eyes, and smiled, and waited for his heart to stop.