Kyuhyun/girl!Sungmin; PG-13 (might change); 4084 words; chaptered
Kyuhyun's best friend will always be his little girl, even when she grows up.
a/n: sorry for bad grammar/typos, feel free to point them out or tell me what you think. I've been too preoccupied to think of my other fics that can continue, but I wanted to share something before I trashed it completely.
part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5
Kyuhyun stares at the young woman standing before him, his mind completely fucked two ways to Sunday, trying to figure out when she had grown up - when she had transitioned from the little girl next door, his closest friend even if she was seven years younger, whom he babysat to start saving for college instead of getting a part-time job, into the petite vixen she was now. Her eyes had always been big and round and the prettiest shade of dark brown he'd ever seen, even if one of his friends had once complained to him about how all the girls in Korea had the same color of eyes - her eyes were different. Now that she was older, a woman, she lined them with smoky coal, and when they fell shut her thick eyelashes brushed the flushed skin of her cheeks. Kyuhyun watches, his heart breaking, as one loan tear forces its way out; it carves a delicate path down her face, bowing around her cheek, flickering in the lamplight before catching on her full lips. It disappears among the moisture of her lip balm, and Kyuhyun looks back up when they part to speak.
"Did you hear me, Kyuhyun?" She asks, her eyes open again, red and watery with unshed tears. Kyuhyun can see her shaking, knows her delicate hands are clenched into fists at her side without even looking to see, because he knows everything about her. He knows her body like the back of his hand; he knows every cut and scrape and bruise and scar she's received since she was three years old and her family had moved in next door. He knows how her body behaves when she's crying, when she's shaking. He knows she probably has a stomach ache right now, anxiety eating away at her, but Kyuhyun can't figure out why the fuck he isn't responding, why he isn't jumping to calm her, to make her feel better. She's everything to him and has been since they first met when she was small and helpless and needed a friend.
"I love you, Kyuhyun," she repeats, her voice breaking and prompting more tears to gush from her swollen eyes. Kyuhyun stares - stares and remembers the day he met her, the day he devoted his life to her, the day she started growing up, and everything in between.
Sungmin is three years old and wearing a little white dress with a pink floral pattern around the trim, with cute little matching white sandals and a pink ribbon in her black hair. Kyuhyun is ten and his parents force him to leave his room sometimes because all he does it study or play video games. They say it's unnatural for a boy to be so pale, and as proud as they are of him for being such a bright, successful student, he needs to get out of the house and play like boys are supposed to at his age. Kyuhyun doesn't know what to do, so he sits on the front steps, watching bugs crawling in his mother's flowerbed, waiting until his mom comes to call him for his afternoon snack.
But there is a new family next door, apparently; their moving truck is almost empty and a woman who Kyuhyun suspects must be the mother is standing with a pretty little girl on her hip, talking to one of the movers. The little girl is peeking over her mother's shoulder with her thumb in her mouth, chubby little legs clinging to her mother's side. Kyuhyun watches her watch him, his fingers digging absently into the dirt, burrowing deep until they pull one of his mother's tulips out of the ground with a harsh tug.
Kyuhyun tries to flick away the moist dirt clumps at the root as he treks across his driveway, beyond the dividing line of their properties. He approaches the woman from behind but she doesn't notice him yet, so he extends his hand out, holding the pink tulip up to the little girl. Her thumb slips out of her mouth and her little fingers reach out, hand flailing to grab the stem and not the delicate petals.
Kyuhyun thinks she's a really smart little girl.
Sungmin is six years old and her parents say that Kyuhyun is old enough to watch her alone and be paid for it. Kyuhyun bows low to the ground at first, refusing their money, but they lift his chin up and serve him another helping of dumpling soup.
"You've come over almost every day for the past year, Kyuhyun-ah. Sungmin really enjoys spending time with you, but if you don't want-"
"Ah!" Kyuhyun interjects, apologizing quickly for interrupting, before continuing. "No, please don't misunderstand. I love looking after Sungmin, it's no trouble at all, I just don't think I deserve to be paid."
"You'll come around to our line of thinking, Kyuhyun-ah," her mother says with a smile. "We know how seriously you take your studies. Your parents are very proud of how hard-working you are, and so are we. If you take this responsibility you won't have to try to balance a part-time job and your studies at the same time."
Kyuhyun looks at his steaming bowl of soup, thinking that Sungmin's parents always sound so smart and he feels excited to grow up and have that experience and intelligence.
Sungmin is ten years old and she and Eunhyuk have taken a liking to a magnifying glass of Kyuhyun's. They play in the backyard, trying to catch the sunrays to burn ants like they saw on a drama once, but they never seem to have much luck.
They tease Kyuhyun who reads his text books by the pool but know better than to splash him lest it damages the books. After their umpteenth unsuccessful attempt to set an innocent ant on fire they grow bored and jump into the pool. Their screaming and laughter is background noise to Kyuhyun who stays on the patio under the umbrella, a gallon of sunscreen coating his pale skin, and dark sunglasses shielding his sensitive eyes.
After the girls tire themselves out, Kyuhyun helps them bundle up in giant beach towels and they all move inside for lunch. He tells them to sit on the bar stools at the counter but somehow Sungmin always ends up following him around, grabbing the ingredients he collects from the fridge, asking 'what is this? What are you making this time? Can we have seconds? Can we have ice cream later?' and Kyuhyun always smiles, kisses her forehead, and says in a low voice 'just don't tell your mother'.
Sungmin is thirteen and Kyuhyun hasn't seen her for six months, not since he left for university. A girl comes running out of Sungmin's house when Kyuhyun comes home for Christmas - she's running through the snow in a pair of red sleep pants and black boots, nothing else but a thin, long sleeve t-shirt on. She has long black hair like Sungmin and it’s billowing behind her in the cold wind. She has a cute, high pitched voice like Sungmin, and she's screaming.
Kyuhyun falls back into a snow drift with his bags when she launches herself at him. He can't believe it but it really is her, this girl whose face has begun to mature, whose body is getting thinner but more feminine, and he doesn't waste a minute, hurriedly wrapping her up inside of his coat as she buries her face in his sweater.
"It's freezing out, Minnie, what do you think you're doing? Your parents will kill you," he scolds, struggling to stand when she refuses to release her iron grip around his waist.
"I don't care," Sungmin whines, as petulant as ever, hanging onto Kyuhyun as he trudges through the snow up to the house, one arm around her shoulders, the other dragging his bags along. "You're not allowed to go this long without visiting again. Promise!"
With a kiss pressed to her forehead, Kyuhyun promises.
Sungmin is sixteen and Kyuhyun hasn't seen her for three months. He's only come home a handful of times since the previous summer when Sungmin was fifteen and Kyuhyun realized that not only was his little girl growing up, but quickly, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to be around her without thinking things he really shouldn't be. Sungmin had developed when he came home that summer, in a way that other girls her age hadn't yet, in a way that Kyuhyun hadn't anticipated or been prepared for. Try as he might to tell himself "she's Sungmin, she's your little girl, just don't think of it," it didn't work for shit, and Kyuhyun had to distance himself - had to make up excuses when Sungmin wanted to game, wanted to go to the movies, wanted to swim in his backyard, wanted to do this and that and everything they'd always done together.
"I have to study, I have an online summer class, I don't feel well today, I'm meeting a friend, I got a part-time job this summer," he'd said.
"Oh," Sungmin had murmured, her voice huskier than he'd remembered, huskier than he wanted to acknowledge as she stood on his porch in cut-off jean shorts and a pink t-shirt that clung to her like a second skin. "I guess since I'm all grown up now and you don't get paid anymore, you can't afford to spend time with me, huh."
It hadn't been a question, and Sungmin hadn't stuck around for an answer when Kyuhyun stared at her in disbelief, jaw hanging open like an idiot.
It's summer again now, and even though Kyuhyun had seen her a couple times over the last year, even talked to her like they always used to, he isn't prepared for it. Kyuhyun stops dead in his tracks where he'd been trudging up the driveway, backpack strung on his shoulders, loaded down with textbooks for studying over the summer, and a large duffel dragging along weakly with all his dirty laundry. He's truly the poster boy for graduate students. The dark circles under his eyes become even more apparent when his eyes practically bug out of his skull, watching the teenagers on Sungmin's porch, laughing and playing.
A girl stands in the center of a circle of mostly boys, a few other girls who Kyuhyun can sort-of recognize as Eunhyuk and Ryeowook and friends of Sungmin's that he can't remember the name; she has long hair, long like Sungmin's had been three months ago, but it's a chestnut brown, almost a coppery-red in the setting sunlight instead of black. It hangs over her tanned, bare shoulders and when she turns slightly and a little gap opens in the circle, Kyuhyun feels his throat go completely dry.
It's Sungmin wearing a pair of painfully short white jean shorts and nothing else but a hot pink bikini top. Kyuhyun feels like a pervert, recognizing her for her body, because God knows and will surely punish him one day for all the time he's spent thinking of her. Kyuhyun clenches his fist around the strap of his duffel bag, watching as Sungmin laughs at something one of the boys says; another boy grabs her around the waist from behind and lifts her up, her legs kicking as she laughs and cries, fighting weakly against him. The plastic red cup Sungmin's holding spills against the boy's arms and her stomach, and she yelps as ice touches her bare skin.
"Yah!" Someone shouts, and Kyuhyun jerks his head when he realizes it's Eunhyuk, and she's separated herself from the group, hanging over the porch railing and flailing her arms at him. "Kyuhyun oppa! What are you doing? Home for the summer? Come play with us!" She entreats. "Sungmin, look!" She shouts, pointing to Kyuhyun as if she hasn't alerted the entire neighborhood to his presence, let alone the gathering of teenagers on the porch.
Kyuhyun turns his eyes back to Sungmin who's finally been lowered back to her feet. She stares at him, brushing her long hair from her face, eyes as dark and penetrating as they've ever been - staring inside of him and searching for all of his secrets.
Kyuhyun just lifts a hand in acknowledgement and finishes his trudge up to his house, pretending he can't hear Eunhyuk shouting at him about bad manners.
Kyuhyun flinches three hours later when the doorbell rings. He had shut himself in his bedroom and started working on research that wasn't even due until the end of the next semester. Research was boring. Research would put him to sleep. Research wouldn't stimulate him like Sungmin's body did.
He can hear his mother squealing in delight, shouting 'Sungmin-ah!' gleefully and Kyuhyun slowly falls over onto his desk, his forehead smashing on a thick textbook. God hated him. He can hear everything they're saying through a particularly intrusive vent near his feet under the desk and squeezes his eyes shut tight.
'It's been so long since you came by, sweetie. How is school treating you? You must be working too hard, look how thin you've gotten!'
'I saw you last month for dinner, Mrs. Cho.'
'Never mind that, you need to eat, Minnie! Here, come into the kitchen with me. You're here to see Kyuhyunnie, right? You can take some food up and share with him. He's been up there since he got home, wouldn't even come down for supper - you're both such overachievers with your academics, you both look like you're starving to death - come along, honey.'
Kyuhyun waits, body trembling, sweat breaking out at the nape of his neck when he eventually hears the third step on the stairs creak and his mother's voice.
'Go on, honey, what's the matter?'
'I don't want to bother him. If he's busy with schoolwork-'
'Oh don't be silly, Minnie. Kyuhyunnie always has time for you, and he needs to eat and take a break. You go on up, sweetie.'
Kyuhyun bites his tongue and sits back up, trying to look busy, trying to look like he's actually been doing work for the past three hours and not thinking of how beautiful Sungmin had looked earlier, or how rotten he felt when he saw that boy's hands around her slender waist. He's twenty-three years old; he's a man; he shouldn't be thinking of a sixteen year old girl like this, especially not Sungmin.
"Kyuhyun-ah?" Sungmin's voice is timid, unlike how he remembers. When she was younger, she would burst into his room without asking, already talking a mile a minute about one thing or another that happened at school that day, jumping onto his bed and eating her afternoon snack.
"Yeah," Kyuhyun murmurs, clearing his throat. He scratches at the back of his neck and looks over his shoulder to see her standing in his partially open doorway, a bowl of spicy noodles with chicken and vegetables clutched tightly in her slender little fingers. Kyuhyun looks down at the carpet for a moment, trying to banish the image of her tan skin contrasting with the white porcelain of the bowl, then looks back up with a weak smile. "Hey little girl," he says, turning in his chair when she steps into the room.
Lucky for him she'd put on a t-shirt, but Kyuhyun can see the hot pink ties of her bikini top sticking out of the collar. She was wearing more modest jean shorts, too, probably to keep his mother believing she was a perfect little angel.
"Wow," Sungmin says, eyes wide as they travel down Kyuhyun's body. His face flushes and he scowls, stuffing his arms across his chest. "You really haven't been eating, huh," she observes while approaching him with the bowl of food. Kyuhyun wants to tell her to stop - please, don't come any closer - but she's there by his side, pulling a pair of chopsticks out of her back pocket. "Your mum wants you to eat this whole thing, so you'd better do it, or else," she says in a kind voice, but the loud crack when she snaps the chopsticks apart make Kyuhyun flinch. Sungmin smiles.
"You're a liar," Kyuhyun grumbles, pushing the bowl of food back toward her. "And you're one to talk; you're looking thinner every time I see you," he accuses, and they push the bowl of food back and forth across the desk.
"Stop acting immature, Kyu," Sungmin whines, pushing the bowl back toward him with one hand and poking him in the chest with the chopsticks in the other. "You're going to eat this meal by yourself or I'm going to force it down your throat," she threatens, pushing a bit harder with the chopsticks for emphasis.
Kyuhyun whines and twists the chopsticks out of her hand, rubbing at his chest where surely a bruise is developing. "I won't. We can share it like mum said, but I'm not very hungry, so you'll eat most of it," he declares, glaring when Sungmin saunters away toward his bed. "Where are you going? Get back here and eat this, little girl," he says sternly, stabbing a piece of chicken with a chopstick.
"No," Sungmin sniffs, pushing herself up onto his bed and crossing her legs. Kyuhyun doesn't look at her thighs; no, he doesn't. "Just eat and be quiet until you're finished, then you can tell me about how life is at university." Sungmin has always talked about college with a dreamy sigh; Kyuhyun has never known anyone who so badly wanted to grow up and become independent. Sure, plenty of teenagers wanted to get out from under their parents' thumb, but Sungmin loved her parents and even though they adored her they never suffocated her. They had struck the perfect balance in the parent-child relationship: Sungmin was obedient, so she was rewarded with freedom. Sungmin got top marks in school, so her parents trusted her to make good decisions in life.
"I still don't know why you're so excited to graduate. I'd give anything to be a kid again. Get over here and eat your food," Kyuhyun growls, stuffing some noodles into his mouth reluctantly. He slurps a bean sprout into his mouth and munches moodily, glaring when Sungmin starts laughing, covering her mouth with one hand and clutching her stomach with the other. "Stop laughing at me," Kyuhyun complains through his mouthful.
"You are so hopeless," Sungmin sighs airily, trying to calm her giggling when she pushes herself off his bed. "I think I should have done a better job of raising you," she teases while pulling a tissue from the box. Kyuhyun's eyes widen when she takes his chin into her delicate hand and dabs at what is probably splattered sauce and sesame seeds on his cheek and jaw. Her fingertips are cold on his skin but he doesn't think they're what cause the shiver crawling up his spine.
"I think you're mistaken," he answers, voice slightly cracking. Kyuhyun busies himself with picking a decent mouthful of noodles, chicken and vegetables, before lifting it up over the bowl toward her face as she tosses the napkin into the trash. "Be a good girl and eat this," he demands. The scene is the polar opposite of years before; he never had trouble getting Sungmin to eat anything when she was younger. Like any child, there were foods she initially disliked, but if she saw Kyuhyun eat them, then suddenly she wanted to eat them, too.
"No," Sungmin says again, and turns back to his bed.
"Sungmin," Kyuhyun says in a warning tone, like a scolding father. "If you sit on that bed, I'll-"
Sungmin sits back down on his bed, crossing one leg over the other, leaning back slightly on her palms while swinging her bare foot around leisurely.
"You'll what? Interrupt your own sentence?" She asks playfully. Kyuhyun's eyes narrow and he lowers the helping back into the bowl, sighing.
"When did you become so difficult?" He mutters, stuffing more food into his mouth while slumping back into his desk chair. When Sungmin is silent for some time he looks back up; Kyuhyun stops chewing when he sees her staring at the smattering of photographs tacked, taped, or otherwise surgically attached to his wall around his window. When Sungmin was eleven and she'd received her first camera, she begged Kyuhyun to teach her to use it, instead of asking her parents to help her. They had started documenting their adventures together - or rather, Sungmin took hundreds of pictures of everything they did, making two copies when her mother would take her to get the film developed: one for herself, and one for Kyuhyun.
The last time Kyuhyun had seen Sungmin's bedroom was when she had been fourteen, and he could still remember that virtually every visible square inch of her walls had been covered with photographs. Sungmin had always had a lot of friends, some closer than others, so there was no shortage of other people in the photographs... but Kyuhyun had felt his eyes burning when he realized just how present he'd always been in her life. He would estimate that his face was in half of the pictures, and wherever he was smiling, so was little Sungmin.
Kyuhyun had let her pick some of her favorites and put them up on his wall. He remembered lifting her onto his shoulders so she could reach higher, giggling and squirming when he'd tickled her sides while she tried to focus on taping them up.
The photos collected dust while he was away at college, he knew. But his mother always came through and cleaned his room just before he returned home for breaks.
"Am I really any different, Kyu?" Sungmin murmurs, voice sounding distant and far away; Kyuhyun has the urge to roll his chair the few feet between them to be closer, to assure himself that she's real.
"Yes?" He answers hesitantly, sounding slightly confused. He swallows his half-chewed food and winces when the big lump goes down his throat.
"You still treat me like I'm seven years old," she says quietly; her tone isn’t accusing but she turns her dark eyes on him regardless.
Kyuhyun purses his lips slightly, fingers clenching around the edge of the bowl. Sungmin is clearly not seven years old anymore - no one knows that better than Kyuhyun, who feels like a rotten pervert for every indecent thought he's ever had about her. It's frustrating for him; he understands some of the most abstract facets of sciences and yet cannot comprehend this problem he has - cannot figure out a way to just stop looking at Sungmin in ways he shouldn't. This is a problem for a teenage boy who's just realizing that the special feeling he gets when he sees a girl isn't fear for his health due to cooties but rather the raging inferno of desire to do things to her that are probably illegal.
Kyuhyun isn't sure what Sungmin wants to hear him say, but his mouth opens anyway.
"You'll always be my little girl, Sungmin," he says, brows furrowing when he looks at her.
Sungmin turns away almost immediately, a small smile tugging at her lips, but it doesn't look genuine or pleased. She looks pained, like she's hurting, and Kyuhyun stands up, the bowl of noodles still in his hands but forgotten, and goes to her.
"You should finish your dinner," Sungmin says, suddenly standing up too and moving to leave, but Kyuhyun steps in her way. Sungmin looks up at him, eyes hard, before glancing down at the bowl he's holding out between them.
"Share with me. Then you can leave if you really want to," he compromises.
They sit together against the headboard of Kyuhyun's bed, the bowl of noodles resting on a fat pillow Sungmin placed on top of their thighs - their thighs that are touching, Kyuhyun notes. Sungmin's skin is hot to the touch, even through his thin, worn out jeans. He tries to focus on not making a mess when he brings the chopsticks to his or her mouth; he can't believe he's feeding her, but she refuses to eat on her own, and only reluctantly accepts the food when he threatens to drop it on her white t-shirt. Kyuhyun doesn't stare at her lips when they suckle the noodles into her mouth. No, he doesn't.