Pairing: Chansung/Junho, past Chansung/Jinwoon
Summary: Of course the world had to end on a Monday. All 2PM can do is to watch it happen. And have a party.
Author's Note: Inspired by the whole ~fire and brimstone~ part of the MV. Title taken from one of the supplementary prompts.
Prompt Used: TVXQ - Keep Your Head Down
|Of course the world had to end on a Monday.|
You'd think that the world would have had the decency to at least end on a Friday, like it was supposed to. It was supposed to happen on the 21st of December last year, which would in all honesty have been a good day for it. Chansung remembers it; it's not that long ago, after all. Friday night after a long week of work, Friday night after winning awards, Friday night after talking to his parents, Friday night surrounded by friends and with enough alcohol to drown in it. Going out with a bang. Yeah, that would've been pretty good.
But no, it's not that easy. Instead the world ends on a Monday. More specifically the eighth of July; a blistering hot summer day after an equally blistering hot spring and the warmest winter ever recorded. Maybe they should have seen it coming.
Chansung doesn't, however. He's too busy to pay more than fleeting attention to the news, and whenever anyone tries to explain science to him he just kind of... zones out. He doesn't think anyone can blame him for it. He has other things to focus on, and as far as he's concerned, the heat has been pretty nice.
Of course, when there's a sudden and intense flash of light and a sound like a large explosion that sends them all crashing to the floor, even Chansung has to admit that maybe something isn't quite right.
"What's going on?" Chansung's voice comes out as more of a squeak than he had intended, and he grabs a hold of Wooyoung, hiding behind him just in case someone's going to start shooting at them. Not that he thinks anyone has a reason to shoot at them, but you never know what might happen.
Three people turn and stare at him in disbelief. Wooyoung shakes his head and sighs. Only Junho's smiling, even if he's trying to hide it.
It's Junsu who breaks the silence. "Haven't you been paying any attention lately?"
"No? I mean, not any more than usual," Chansung says. He takes the risk of letting go of Wooyoung, but grabs a hold of him again when the building starts to shake. "Is that an earthquake?"
"No, it's the world ending," Junho says. Normally, Chansung would have assumed that he's just joking, but something about the expression on all their faces tells him that that's not the case.
The building keeps trembling for over three minutes. Somewhere in the middle, Chansung makes his way over to Junho; he's a lot more supportive than Wooyoung is right now. "Is the world really ending?"
Junho sighs and curls an arm around Chansung's shoulders, pulling him closer as if to protect him. "Yeah. The world is really ending."
Two hours later they're still there. No other place to go, after all. What would be the point in running around screaming in the street? Better to stay home and stay comfortable. Well. As comfortable as you can possibly be when the world is ending, anyway.
For the first five minutes or so, Chansung considers freaking out. It would be an appropriate reaction - it's not like he wants to die, nor does he want his friends or his family to die. He doesn't want anyone to die. Then he considers crying, because really, he doesn't want to die. He considers cursing the government and God and the universe, because someone has to be responsible for this. For a few minutes, he considers running all the way home, but realizes it's probably a bit too far. He considers reconsidering freaking out.
In the end, he's too tired from considering how to react to have much of a reaction at all. "Do we have any soju?" he asks eventually, and that's why they're sitting in a circle, two hours later, surrounded by empty glasses and empty bottles.
Chansung still doesn't understand just why the world is ending - Taecyeon launched into some long and complicated explanation about solar flares and earth disruption and the polar caps melting; Chansung groaned and told him to shut up after attempting to listen for five minutes - but he's just about drunk enough to not care. Okay, so maybe they don't have a future. At least they've had a pretty good past, and right here and now isn't all that bad either.
They toast to their families and music and 2PM and 2AM and Jaebum and love and girls and just about everything else they can possibly think of, and Chansung thinks that this, this isn't so bad. Even if it's a Monday. If nothing else, the world ending gives them a pretty good excuse to get thoroughly drunk on a weekday. Things could be worse. Of course, things could be a whole lot better as well, but he opts for not really thinking about that. Ignoring serious issues until they blow up in his face has always been his way of dealing with things, so why change it now, even if the thing blowing up in his face this time will be the sun.
"I wish we had a spaceship," Chansung says, "so that we could all get out of here and go live on Mars or something."
"Mars is going to get destroyed too," Taecyeon says.
"As is most of our solar system," Nichkhun adds helpfully. "Besides, even if we had a spaceship, we wouldn't know how to fly it, and if there were one evacuating important people, I don't think they'd pick any of us."
Chansung throws a bottle at them. Fuck their logic; he just wants to escape.
Another couple of empty bottles later, Wooyoung starts to cry. Apparently the combination of imminent death and too much soju isn't working for him. Who would've thought. "I don't want to die," he says, drawing up his knees and leaning his forehead against them.
Chansung knows how he feels. Articulating it seems impossible, however, so he just scoots over to pat Wooyoung's shoulder or maybe give him a hug.
Unfortunately - or maybe fortunately, depending on how you look at it - he's not the only one who has that idea, and since they're all equally uncoordinated, they collapse in a heap, almost burying Wooyoung beneath them.
"Maybe we should try not to kill him quicker," Junsu points out once they have sorted out which limbs belong to whom, and even Wooyoung manages a laugh.
It's Taecyeon who pulls up his phone first. "The lines are gonna be dead," Nichkhun says, but Taec tries anyway. It takes him a while, but he gets through, calling Jaebum and putting him on speaker when he picks up.
"We're having a party," Chansung calls out, and tries to tell him about Wooyoung crying as well, except Wooyoung clasps a hand over his mouth to shut him up.
Jaebum laughs. Something about talking to him like this makes it seem like just another night off when they party together and call Jaebum because for some reason, their collective decision when they get just about drunk enough is to call him and catch up. "So am I," Jaebum admits, but Chansung isn't sure he believes it.
"I bet ours is better," Junho says.
"It is not," Jaebum protests. "I know how to party better than all you guys combined."
They don't talk about what's happening to the world around them. They don't mention the explosions and screams that they can hear in the background on Jaebum's end, nor do they mention it when there's a long, loud rumble going through their building, as if it's about to blow up. Jaebum congratulates them on their comeback, then talks about the song that he's in the middle of recording. They pretend that nothing's wrong, because it's easier that way.
Just like always, their conversation descents into insanity, which is when Taec rolls his eyes and turns off the speaker, getting to his feet and shuffling off to talk to Jaebum in private. Chansung looks after him, contemplating getting up, but it's Nichkhun who follows Taec into one of the bedrooms. Chansung sighs, but lets it go.
He can't imagine never getting to see Jaebum again, never talk to him. Probably better to not try to imagine it.
They put the party on hold to call friends, family, anyone they can think of to call. It's funny, really, the way they scatter all around the apartment to find some peace and quiet for the last conversations they'll ever have with people they care about.
Chansung stays on the living room floor, figuring that if everyone else scurries around, then he might as well stay where he is. He lies back on the floor and closes his eyes, just listening to the chorus of mumbled voices coming from every room in the apartment. He can't make out any words, but he doesn't want to either. These are probably the only conversations he doesn't want to listen in on.
It's almost an afterthought when he picks up his own phone, staring at it for a while as if he can't quite remember what he's supposed to do with it. It's even more of an afterthought when he scrambles to his feet and makes his way to his bedroom, letting himself fall onto the bed as he dials the first and only number he can think of.
Chansung gets through to Jinwoon, right before the phone lines stop working. "Hi," he says when Jinwoon finally picks up, then falls silent because what is he supposed to say? Goodbye? Nice knowing ya? Thanks for all those blowjobs, they were really nice?
"Hi yourself," Jinwoon replies. His voice is shaky, and Chansung feels a sudden urge to get to the hotel 2AM's in just so he can hug the damn idiot. He's supposed to be calm and supportive and reassuring, not shaky and on the verge of tears and making Chansung feel like crying as well.
"How are you doing?" Chansung asks, and cringes because that's probably the stupidest thing he could possibly have asked right about now.
Jinwoon laughs. It's shaky, but at least he doesn't start to cry. "Oh, I'm great. Just great. We're dying in maybe a couple of hours and we don't have any soju like you alcoholics, and do you have any idea how crazy Kwon gets when the world is ending?"
"Can't say that I do," Chansung says, "but I can imagine."
There's a loud crash on Jinwoon's end of the line. "He just threw the TV out the window," Jinwoon says matter-of-factly, as if it's a daily occurrence. Though actually, it has happened a few times before as well. It makes Chansung glad that he's not the one living with Kwon. Sounds a bit too dangerous to him, even now.
"I wish you guys were here," Chansung says when the noise and Kwon's cursing dies down. "We should've been together, right? Just like old times."
Jinwoon sighs, and Chansung imagines all the things he wants to say. "Yeah," is the only thing that Jinwoon actually says, however, so Chansung doesn't bring up any of the things he wants to say either. Maybe it's for the best.
"Say hey to the others for me, okay?"
"You don't want to talk to them, they're right here," Jinwoon says.
Chansung shakes his head, has to clear his throat a couple of times before he manages to speak. "No, it's okay, I think I--"
"I get it," Jinwoon interrupts, and Chansung sighs in relief, thankful that Jinwoon gets what he can't say, even now. "I'll see you in heaven," Jinwoon says, but there's something about the brightness of his voice that makes Chansung want to cry.
He opens his mouth to reply, but the phone cuts out, the line going as dead as they'll all be soon. "Jinwoon," Chansung whispers, sitting still on his bed for a few minutes before he goes out to the others.
It's depressing how sober they all look by the time they're all gathered in the living room again. "We need more alcohol," Junsu states, then groans when they all look at him expectantly. But he knows there's no choice - the one who mentions that they need more alcohol is the one to go get it - so he gets to his feet and disappears outside, slamming the door demonstratively behind him.
"You sure it's safe to let him go alone? Something might fall on his head," Junho says, looking at the closed door.
"Or something might blow up on his head," Nichkhun adds, but he doesn't look anywhere near as concerned as he probably should, considering how likely it is that it'll actually happen.
"I don't see either of you hurrying to catch up with him," Taecyeon points out. "If he's not back in an hour, we'll assume he's dead, and then you two will go get our soju."
Wooyoung shakes his head, looking like he wants nothing more than to smack all of them right now. "Your priorities are fucked up; you do realize that, right?"
"Alcohol is more important than Junsu's safety," Khun says, and Junho and Taec nods in agreement. Wooyoung glances at Chansung, apparently wanting him to pick a side, but honestly, Chansung would like to have both Junsu and their alcohol, along with the option of being alive in the morning, thank you very much.
If nothing else, Chansung gets two out of three - Junsu gets back just as they've convinced themselves that he's probably dead. "It's crazy out there," he pants, almost crashing down to the floor with the bags filled with bottles.
"Is it bad?" Wooyoung asks, straightening Junsu's crumpled clothes and looking him over, making sure he's not hurt too badly. The rest of them just get back to drinking. Priorities and all that.
Junsu puts up with the treatment for a few moments before he pushes Wooyoung away and gets a drink of his own, foregoing glasses altogether and grabbing an entire bottle instead, downing far too much of it in one go and ending up coughing. "Yeah, it's bad," he says when he catches his breath again. "I don't wanna talk about it."
So they don't. As far as Chansung is concerned, nothing exists anymore except this apartment, this living room.
"This is the part where we're supposed to reflect on our lives," Junho says solemnly when they're about halfway through the second batch of bottles.
Chansung stares at him, but can't quite manage to figure out what he's talking about.
"I think our lives have been pretty good," Nichkhun says. "In the, you know, grand scheme of things."
Junho waves his hands, apparently trying to make some kind of point. Chansung just keeps staring at him. Seems like a better option than trying to understand him. "But I mean," Junho says, then pauses to sort out his words. "We've had good lives, yeah, but if some alien race came to chronicle our entire existence, I mean the entire earth's existence, not just ours, then would we be mentioned at all? Have we done anything important? Don't you think we should've, I dunno, done more with our lives?"
By this point, they're all staring at him. Good thing. Makes Chansung feel less weird for staring. "Alien race?" Taec asks. "There's no such thing as aliens."
"Not the point," Junho says, flailing his hands again in exasperation. "This is the last night of our lives and we're just sitting here drinking like it's just another night. Don't you think we should be doing something more important?"
"Like what?" Khun asks. "Think it's a bit too late to cure cancer or to learn how to fly a plane or bring about world peace."
"Though you could say that we're helping to bring about world peace by dying," Taecyeon says.
Wooyoung snorts. "Yeah, the world will be real peaceful in the morning; there won't be anything left of it."
Junho throws his drink in their faces. "You're not helping," he complains, being dangerously close to pouting. Nothing good ever comes out of Junho pouting.
"I'm gay," Chansung blurts out. After all, this is probably a pretty good time to confess the secret that only one person has known about. In the spirit of reflecting on his life and making this night special and all that. Not to mention that it will probably stop Junho's mood from deteriorating.
He's not quite sure what kind of reaction he expects - probably a cross between sympathy and endless mocking - but he can't help but feel vaguely offended when all of them just look at him and shrug, as if it doesn't matter.
"Guys," he whines, "I'm revealing my life secret here, the least you could do is have a reaction."
"Jinwoon told us about it years ago," Wooyoung says. He sounds partly tired, partly sad, and partly like he's about to burst out laughing.
Chansung just stares at him.
Figures. If Jinwoon wasn't dead by tomorrow just like the rest of them, Chansung would have personally killed him.
"I am too," Junho says. He looks confused, but it's nothing compared to the look on the other guys' faces.
"You're what?" Nichkhun asks. The expression on his face is unreadable, but hilarious, and Chansung stifles a giggle. A giggle. He really needs to stop drinking.
"Just sometimes," Junho adds, as if that makes all the difference. He's blushing and staring at the empty glass in his hands like it's the most interesting thing in the world right now.
"You're cute," Chansung says, and almost falls over when all heads suddenly snap to focus on him instead. Crap. That wasn't what he meant to say. Really. Probably. "I mean..." He frowns and tries to figure out what else to say, but in the end it's far too difficult to come up with a convincing lie, or even a ridiculous one, so he just shakes his head and lets himself fall back onto the floor. "No, that's exactly what I meant."
There's a moment's pause, before someone lies down next to him. "I think you're cute too," Junho says. Quietly, sure, and he probably means for just Chansung to hear, but it's impossible to have private conversations when there are guys practically leaning over you to hear what you're saying.
"Eww," Nichkhun says, "if you two are going to start making out, I'm throwing you out."
"Yeah," Taec agrees, even if he does sound more amused than disgusted. "No messing with our party by being too gay, okay."
Junho snorts. "Says the guy who tried to jerk me off just three weeks ago."
The sounds coming out of Taecyeon's mouth in response don't even begin to resemble actual words, but it's pretty interesting to listen to nonetheless.
Somehow, it's nowhere as big of a deal that Chansung would have thought it would be. Five minutes of mocking and then the rest of them are back to lame drinking games. Typical. If he had known, he wouldn't have tried so hard to keep his secret a secret. Of course, his secret apparently wasn't secret at all, but Chansung's head would start hurting too much if he tried to figure out how long everyone has known, so instead he just turns his head, focusing on Junho instead of himself.
He has to stare for several minutes before Junho finally acknowledges him. "What?"
"You stole my thunder," Chansung says.
Junho chuckles and doesn't look in the least bit apologetic. Bastard. "Sorry. Just seemed like a good time to say it. Won't have many other chances, you know?"
There's a shriek from Wooyoung as he practically leaps over Chansung and Junho, disappearing into the bathroom and locking the door. It never ends well when drinking games turn into drunken Truth Or Dare, especially not when the world is ending. There are no limits when the world is ending.
"Wanna get out of here?" Chansung asks, even if he doesn't actually mean that they should go outside. He doesn't exactly want to die quicker, after all.
Thankfully, Junho gets what he means. Of course he does. "Come on," he says and gets to his feet, helping Chansung up as well, even if he nearly topples over from the sudden weight when Chansung stumbles and crashes against him. Soju and coordination don't go well together. Junho grins and takes Chansung's hand, pulling him along into the nearest bedroom and doing an incredible job of ignoring the whistles from the other guys.
Junho flops down onto the bed, but sits up when Chansung sits down on it as well, looking at Chansung almost expectantly. As if he expects Chansung to know what to say or do.
As if Chansung has ever known what to say or do. He shrugs helplessly, and thinks about what he should say. He thinks about telling Junho that he wishes he knew earlier, because then maybe this wouldn't be awkward. He thinks about telling Junho how much he cares about him and how much Junho means to him, as a friend. He thinks about saying something smart and deep about this being their last night alive and how he wants it to be special and it'd be special if he could spend it with Junho, no matter what they do.
Unfortunately, what Chansung thinks and what actually comes out of his mouth are rarely the same things. "It's our last night on earth, we should get laid."
"You're not getting anywhere near my ass," Junho says. He sounds stern enough, but his shoulders are shaking with laughter.
Chansung pouts. "But your ass is so nice," he tries, only to be shushed before he has the chance to come up with something to say that will make him irresistible.
"Sorry," Junho says, patting Chansung's shoulder. "If we had more time, then maybe. But I'm not letting you fuck me just 'cause we're dying soon."
"You could at least give me a blowjob," Chansung whines. He feels like pointing out that if Jinwoon was here, he'd do it, but he comes to the conclusion that it's probably not the best thing to say when you're trying to seduce someone. Never mind that Chansung doesn't really know anything about seducing guys in the first place - he's only ever been with Jinwoon, after all, and that was more of an accident than anything else; a bit of a whoops, I tripped and my lips just sort of happened to land on yours kind of thing.
Junho glances at Chansung and tilts his head, pausing just long enough for Chansung to get his hopes up, but then he shakes his head. "Nope, sorry. I don't put out that easy."
"But I don't have time for you to be difficult," Chansung complains. Considering the end of the world and the amount of alcohol they've both had, this really shouldn't be this problematic. Maybe he should've tried to seduce Taec instead. Except he'd rather seduce Junho.
Junho just shrugs. "We can kiss for a while," he offers.
Chansung figures it's a fairly decent compromise.
As it turns out, it's pretty nice, too. Even if it's awkward and there's something really weird about suddenly having your tongue in one of your best friends' mouths, and even if Junho tastes of the cigarettes he smoked earlier and Chansung really doesn't like that taste. "Don't tug so hard on my hair," Chansung mumbles against Junho's lips, but he's not so uncomfortable that he's going to pull away.
"It's payback for biting my tongue," Junho mutters back.
Chansung considers pointing out that it was an accident, damnit, but then Junho nibbles on his lower lip and he decides that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter all that much.
His head is spinning by the time they break apart, and Chansung lets himself fall back onto the bed, closing his eyes. "You're a pretty good kisser," he admits.
"So are you," Junho says, shoving Chansung out of the way enough to lie down as well, his head pillowed on Chansung's arm. "Even if you bite too much. But I kinda expected that."
"Shut up," Chansung says, but he's a bit too content to bitch right now, so he just turns his head and kisses Junho's forehead in the hopes that it'll shut him up for a while.
Amazingly enough, it does.
They stay there, in the stillness of a bedroom that doesn't belong to either of them, until the tremors running through the building become too violent to ignore. Not to mention the loud voices from the living room, which have just gotten louder and more panicked as time goes on.
"I guess we should go out there," Junho says and stretches. He presses against Chansung for a moment and kisses him; a promise of all the things they'll never get to experience.
Chansung nods, but instead of getting up he pulls Junho closer, holding him still for a few more moments. Just the two of them, for a few more moments. He's scared, so scared, and it's finally sinking in that they're going to die and that it's going to hurt and that he's never going to see another sunrise or sing another song or kiss anyone ever again.
"I know," Junho mutters, pressing light kisses to Chansung's face. "I know."
"Well," Taec says, looking around at the rest of them, standing in a circle on the living room floor. It's four in the morning, but it's as light as if it was in the middle of the day, and far too hot, even for a summer night. "The alcohol is gone, the phone lines are dead, the TV isn't working, and the power is out. I guess this is it."
Chansung takes Junho's hand. After a moment's thought, he decides to take Junsu's as well, and hides a smile when he sees that the rest of them follow his example. They might be dying, but at least they're together. "So what do we do now?"
Taecyeon nudges Junsu's shoulder. "You say something."
"Like what? 'Sorry we're all gonna die, it's been fun?' I don't have any prepared speeches for the end of the world," Junsu says.
"You've had all night to come up with one, what's your problem," Khun says, and half ducks behind Wooyoung when Junsu glares at him.
"I'm glad we've been together tonight," Junho says, cutting any bickering short. "I can't think of any better way of spending my last night alive than with you guys."
They all nod in agreement; probably one of the first times they've ever all agreed on anything.
Junho grins. "Even if you're all idiots," he adds, and jumps out of the way when they all lunge at him. He runs out onto the balcony, laughing, though he stops quickly once he's outside. They follow him, one by one. There's nothing left inside the apartment for them anymore. Chansung is the last to follow, hesitant and unsure. He can think of better places to be right now. Like in a different solar system. Or in bed with Junho on one side and Jinwoon on the other. Now there's a fantasy, Chansung thinks as he slips outside and stands next to Junho.
There's nothing to see other than flames, smoke and rubble. The glare of sunlight and flames is almost too much, and Chansung feels like he's boiling because of the sheer heat. It's difficult to even breathe. A building across the street collapses into ruins, and Chansung steps closer to Junho, seeking protection even if he knows there's no protection from this.
"At least we don't have to worry about working with a hangover tomorrow," Junho jokes, and they laugh, even if it comes out rather strained. It's hard to laugh when you know you'll be dying in a few minutes.
There's another explosion, so violent that they're all knocked backwards, struggling to keep their balance. Buildings collapse in front of their eyes, and Junho turns, pressing his forehead against Chansung's shoulder so that he doesn't have to watch. This is Seoul, being destroyed. These are people, dying. Erased, disappeared, all of humanity wiped out in a series of solar storms and raging fires. Chansung thinks he should be sad. He thinks he should be screaming in protest or trying to find a way to survive. He thinks he should be panicking and running around in circles like a headless chicken. He thinks he should be eating; even convicts get a proper final meal. He thinks he should be crying. He thinks his heart should be breaking.
Instead, he focuses on Junho; curls his arms around Junho's waist and holds him tight, watching as the solar flares become brighter and hotter until nothing exists but burning light.
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