woohyun/sunggyu/dongwoo; pg; 2,100w
when sunggyu starts to forget, woohyun and dongwoo stay.
a/n: OH LOOK, MY NOT-SO-SECRET INFINITE OT3. heavily inspired by a moment to remember. gosh, that movie made me cry like a baby, i’m not even kidding. um, this was supposed to be written for dongwoo’s birthday... i don’t even know what happened. i guess i love sunggyu too much that i make him the main character here lmao but yeah. happy birthday, jang dongwoo. you’re one of my bias list ruiners along with wooya, but i love you still. stay awesome. as usual, this fic won't even be here if not for the lovely sunlit, who i love dearly ♥
|the day they realize that sunggyu forgets is during their second tour in japan, when they’re celebrating dongwoo’s twenty fourth birthday. howon is smashing cake onto sungjong’s hair, myungsoo’s busy taking pictures, and woohyun’s singing loudly to the brush sungyeol's pushed into his face.|
dongwoo’s laughing at their antics, a loud cackle, and sunggyu opens the door. his eyebrows furrow into a deep frown. woohyun throws an arm across his shoulder. “sing with us, hyung!”
“no,” sunggyu shakes his head, and though he’s smiling, he pushes woohyun away. “i understand that you guys want to have a party, but we have a concert. are the japanese interviewers here?”
myungsoo puts down his camera. sungjong stops screaming.
the concert ended half an hour ago. they'd finished their interview ten minutes before the staff brought the cake into their room. sunggyu left to say thank you to them and didn’t come back for five long minutes.
“hyung,” sungyeol says, and sunggyu looks confused.
“how’s japan?” there's blitz and high-end glamour everywhere, and the woman who has just tossed them the question smiles brightly. another korean group, making another huge success in japan, finally back after half a year. they can see the headline. she waits.
sunggyu stares at the mic. “um,” he says, looking around helplessly. the manager glares at him.
“it’s fun,” sungjong takes the mic, and answers politely, “japan is awesome, but we miss home.”
sunggyu leans back into dongwoo, who’s standing right behind him. “we’re home?” he looks up expectantly, eyes genuinely lost.
dongwoo’s fist on his shoulder tightens. “yes, hyung,” he replies with a laugh.
the doctor says it’s genetic. it’s a rare case, but it happens. medicine can help to slow it down, but the inevitable will happen. maybe they should consult sunggyu’s parents.
“how about surgery,” their ceo asks quietly. it’s unnerving, really, the fact that the ceo himself is going down with them. dongwoo is almost proud that he cares. “is it possible to fix it?”
she takes off her glasses, the middle part fractured ever-so-slightly. woohyun glances at sunggyu, who’s sitting between him and dongwoo on the couch at the side of the room. he reaches up to stroke his face when the doctor shakes her head, and sunggyu leans into the touch.
to say that none of them are disappointed is a big lie, almost naïve. they can all hear the hushed talk between sungyeol and myungsoo, can make out the slight creaking of howon’s cupboard, can see sungjong’s wet pillow. it doesn’t feel good when their ceo tells them about last album, about a big hit as a closure.
“he said sorry,” woohyun tells his fingers, and dongwoo moves closer to hug him. his shoulder turns damp, but woohyun has always been a crybaby, even more so when it comes to sunggyu. “hyung, he told me he’s sorry.”
dongwoo’s comforting words are at the edge of his tongue, but then sunggyu opens the door and pauses at the doorframe, his eyes on crying woohyun. the younger turns away and wipes his snot. dongwoo clears his throat. “are you hungry, hyung?”
sunggyu stares at them, before he gives them a sad smile and retreats, closing the door softly.
there’s a big ‘we love you, kim sunggyu’ at the audience seat, a big sign made from lightsticks. almost everywhere he turns he sees tears, and the roars during their encore performance of voice of my heart is louder than usual.
sunggyu bows down on stage, and doesn’t stand up for two minutes. “thank you,” he whispers, and the inspirits chants their names. myungsoo, unexpectedly, cries the hardest.
(“i’m so sorry,” sunggyu sobs into their clothes, and none of them are strong enough to say ‘it’s okay’.)
they leave. one by one. the gifts entrusted to the receptionist of their dorm building lessen every day, to the point where woohyun comes back from his afternoon walk to find that there are no packages or letters to bring upstairs.
this takes four months. woohyun understands, to be honest, but that doesn’t mean he means the smile he gives to the apologetic desk man.
myungsoo takes up modeling three weeks after the last concert, and sungjong follows him almost immediately. sungyeol packs his bag and goes back to sm, stars in two dramas in a week. howon grins at dongwoo and gives him a tight hug, an acceptance letter to a famous dance academy somewhere in canada in his hand.
“are you sure,” he asks, a moment before dongwoo closes the door to his taxi.
dongwoo remembers his own letter, abandoned in his bag at the corner of his room, because howon has sent their dancing videos, has sent their applications. but then he turns to the door, and sunggyu is there, holding the handle as if it’s his lifeline, his eyes melancholic, but his smile is proud. he catches dongwoo’s eyes and waves.
“yep,” he replies, and howon understands. they’ve been best friends for almost five years after all. it’s not that hard. the younger gives him a light punch. “pretty sure i’ll stay here.”
when dongwoo reaches him, sunggyu grins widely. “hello,” he says timidly, despite his expectant eyes. dongwoo cradles his head.
the company offers him an opportunity to be a ballad singer, but when woohyun insists on staying, it’s not like none of them expected it. woohyun is sunggyu’s right-hand man, most trusted member, most valuable brother. sunggyu is woohyun’s everything. dongwoo is not even sure what he’s doing with sunggyu when woohyun’s there, ready to be anything sunggyu wants him to be.
but during the night, when sunggyu’s sound asleep between them, fingers tight against woohyun’s front shirt, dongwoo can feel woohyun’s fingers searching for his, needy for assurance—something he’s always ready to give when woohyun falters. because they’re both scared, and they’re both unsure, and sunggyu’s important.
he’s way too important to give up on.
it takes the company three months to kick them out, because there’s a new boyband they’re going to train vigorously, new boys they’re going to shape into the new infinite, maybe even better, harsher. it’s not surprising in the least, because the world moves on. the industry moves on. others move on.
they have to, too.
woohyun asks for money from his parents, and dongwoo cashes all the money he has in his bank account. they end up at a small apartment on top of a dukbokki restaurant, fourteen stations away from the main city. the kitchen is only big enough for one person, there’s no television, it only has one bathroom, and the bedroom is a futon spread out in the living room.
sunggyu takes off his shoes and looks around, his eyes bright. “this is nice,” he tells them with a crinkled eye-smile, and it’s enough.
sometimes sunggyu jerks awake at five in the morning and kicks dongwoo in the process, nagging about how they are late for practice, panicking about how the vocal trainer will beat them up if they don’t get in the bathroom right this instant. woohyun usually catches his elbow and calms him down, and dongwoo goes to the bathroom to pretend he’s showering.
it always takes sunggyu ten minutes to realize and cry into woohyun’s arms, dongwoo’s comforting hand against the back of his neck. “it’s okay,” they always say when sunggyu apologizes, but both of them know sunggyu doesn’t believe it. it's hard for them, but sunggyu always makes it harder for himself. too hard.
when money is tight, woohyun goes back to where they came from and takes up modeling gigs, sometimes giving vocal practice to woollim trainees too. dongwoo works at the dukbokki restaurant and instantly becomes the owner’s golden child, because his bright smile and funny laugh attract people, and people are exactly what they need. besides, he doesn't hurt anyone – his too-nice heart wouldn't allow that.
most of the time, they lay down with sunggyu in the middle of the room, counting the glowing star stickers they stick on the ceiling and giggling loudly when sunggyu’s confused by the numbers.
their parents call. they wonder and ask and please, come home, son, but most phone calls end up with woohyun sighing or dongwoo crying. either way, sunggyu’s always there, his arms around their waists, sighing assurance and apologies into their shoulders.
the members do, too. “how is he,” is always the quiet question, pressed between casual conversations and static. they sound genuine, but the fact that they’ve never bother to come down to their place speak louder. it aches.
“he’s fine,” is always the answer they give, and they try to believe the sound of relief the others let out across the line.
(“who is it,” sunggyu asks between woohyun’s kisses across his torso and dongwoo’s fingers against the inside of his thigh. “the one on the phone just now?”
“sungyeol,” dongwoo answers against his neck, somber.
sunggyu sighs in content at that. “your friend?”
woohyun pauses. dongwoo straightens his back. sunggyu looks at them with curious eyes, still smiling, hands up and down their skins.
woohyun closes his eyes. “yes.”)
“i think i’m forgetting you guys,” sunggyu says one morning over a cup of coffee, when dongwoo wakes up too early and woohyun has left for work. he has this sad smile on his face, and his eyes are teary. dongwoo knows he’s trying hard to be strong. dongwoo knows he’s crumbling down.
he reaches over the small table they’re sitting at and links their fingers. “it’s okay,” he tells him, and sunggyu looks up, “we won’t go anywhere.”
they stick the notes everywhere, just in case. don’t touch this. this button is for light. this button is for the stove. dongwoo is downstairs. this is woohyun’s cup. food is here. phone is there.
sunggyu takes off the post-it note against the picture of seven boys cramped up together into one frame, wide smiles and dripping sweat and sparkling teeth. infinite. sunggyu knows they’re important, but he has no idea who the other four boys besides him, woohyun, and dongwoo are.
there are times when woohyun comes home to a letter on the coffee table, messy handwriting with tearstains all over the crumpled paper, repeated ‘i’m sorry i’m sorry i’m sorry’s scrawled out in black ink. dongwoo always panics and runs out in a second, hoping to catch sunggyu before he’s lost and terrified on the street, lying helpless in an alley. woohyun always bites his lower lip and worries, but tries to breathe calmly.
in the end, they always end up finding sunggyu curled up at the corner of the bathroom, sobbing into his knees, telling them not to leave him alone. “i don’t know where i am,” he always cries to them, and woohyun pulls him into a hug. dongwoo falls to the floor and breaks.
“you’re home, hyung,” dongwoo tells him, tells them, “you’re home with us.”
in the end, they end up sadder, but together.
the drugs slow it down.
they make sure sunggyu has them every morning, afternoon, and night, four different kinds of medicine from four different bottles with three different colors. sunggyu always jokes around about how he remembers more every time he gulps down a pill, and tells them their birthdays when they laugh at him.
(even when he gets them mixed up, november to april to october to march.)
but the inevitable will happen.
“woohyun-ah,” sunggyu groans from the futon on the floor, hiding under the blanket, “can you close the curtain? the sun hurts my eyes.”
dongwoo freezes. woohyun has just left for the store nearby, buying food that is not instant ramen. sunggyu sent him downstairs.
his fingers tremble. “sure, hyung,” dongwoo says, and closes the curtain.
(woohyun holds his hand when dongwoo tells him, and they look at sunggyu’s sleeping figure solemnly. no, not yet.)
six months. seven. eight. ten.
sunggyu wakes up from his nap to find two guys in his living room. they are leaning against each other, and one of them is crying. sunggyu has a feeling it’s his fault. he knows it is. he doesn’t know who they are. “i’m sorry,” he says, his voice hoarse from sleep, and his finger unconsciously traces the tears across the stranger’s cheek. “i’m really sorry.”
the stranger chuckles. “why?”
“i made you cry,” he whispers, unsure, “didn’t i?”
the other one takes his hand and grips it tight, before sunggyu starts to feel wetness against his skin. he’s crying. he’s made them cry. crying is bad. it means they’re sad. he made them sad. didn't he?
“no, hyung,” the other stranger tells him (and it’s so familiar, but who?), “you’ve made us really happy.”
sunggyu doesn’t ask for their names.