GENRE: angst, romance, drama
SUMMARY: Love can be found in the apartment next door
WARNING: character death
A/N: Hello everyone! This is my first time posting on LJ! ^o^
This was originally posted on Asianfanfics and I plan on posting all of my fics from there and putting it up here. I was feeling extremely melancholic when I wrote this so, yeah. I added some minor (pretty pretty minor) stuff so this is technically a revised version.
It all happened on October 19th. It has already been five years yet he still can't get over it. The pool of regret drags him down everytime, completely drowning him. Lu Han knows he's supposed to let go. He knows that that was what he would have wanted, but Lu Han can't. He just can't.
2002, SOPHOMORE YEAR
A young medical technology student sees the height of his building, running as fast as his limbs could take him. He was already late, and the weight of the books, folders, and piles of paper in his arms did not help him one bit. If his groupmates had been helping him with the work then he could have finished earlier. Not only did he not get any sleep at all, but now he also has to face the wrath of the renowned "devil in a lab coat."
He enters the doorway and stops right on his tracks to catch his breath. Running the whole distance from his apartment to the medicine building completely winded him out. The lecture hall was still two floors above. Taking a deep breath, he runs down the hallway and up the flight of stairs that comes to his sight.
He makes it to the second floor, still heavily panting. The lecture hall was on the other side so if he climbed the stairs on the other side of the building he'll get to the lecture hall faster. As he made a turn for the hallway he slipped in front of a whole set of students who were probably having their break time. His hands felt the cold and moist surface of the tiles and it was only then did he realize that the floor in that area had just been mopped. His ears and face were burning bright red, and he could not do anything but bow his head in shame.
Looking down at the floor, he tried to collect the books and papers that fell off from his arms when he slipped. He was too deeply embarrassed that he didn't notice the presence of someone helping him pick up his things. The only time he did notice was when there was nothing left for his hands to pick up and another hand was reaching out papers and folders to him. He looked at the person who helped him and gave a small thank you before standing up and running off to the lecture hall.
By some miracle, the professor was late and his running was not done in vain. He slipped into his chair, trying to catch his breath. Though lethargic, he managed to send glares to the people seated on his right. Said people who just so happened to be his groupmates, and friends seemed to remain oblivious to the fatigued student beside them. He sent daggers with his eyes at every single one of them: Park Chanyeol, Kim Jongdae, Byun Baekhyun, and Kim Jongin. They knew nothing of his struggle the night before and earlier that morning. He just bent his head down in his arms in exhaustion.
After six hours of school on a Monday, Lu Han finally makes it back to his apartment building. He was lucky enough to find an apartment that was just a walk away from the university he went to. Too tired to even make an effort to walk properly, Lu Han dragged his feet across the lobby, the entire school day squeezing out all the energy he had.
When the elevator opened up, Lu Han went in, pressed his floor number and leaned to the side. Before the elevator closed, another person rushed in and entered. Lu Han was silently recollecting all his mishaps for that day when a deep voice suddenly took him out of his thoughts.
"Why are you frowning? Had a bad day? Did the fall still hurt?"
Lu Han's head shot up as he turned to face the person talking to him. He looked at the other person's clothes and looked briefly at his face. It was the guy who helped him earlier that morning.
"I'm alright. Just deprived of sleep, I guess."
Lu Han finally gave himself the chance to look at the other person better. He was a really tall guy. His dark hair was pushed up and sticking out in different places. It would've looked awkward on another person but he managed to pull it off. His blue button down shirt was tucked in dark jeans. He looked built, or maybe it was just because of how he looked in his clothes. Lu Han looked at the other man's face. He had a sharp jaw line, a high bridged nose, a small mouth and thick eyebrows. His piercing eyes were hidden behind thick rimmed glasses, but still projected a strong gaze. Lu Han wordlessly admits to himself that the man next to him was undeniably good looking.
"Oh, I see. I'm Wu Yifan, by the way.", the man said as he turned to Lu Han and smiled.
"My name's Lu Han."
With a ding, the elevator door opened as the number five flashed in front of them.
"Well, this is my floor. See you around.", the man named Yifan smiled.
"Really? I live on this floor too!", said Lu Han, eyes widening.
The two silently walk out of the elevator together with Lu Han stopping by the door numbered 509. Yifan stopped on his tracks then walked over to the door numbered 508.
Was this fate? Lu Han wondered. "Do you seriously live in that apartment?"
"Yeah. You live in 509? How come I've never seen you around before?", Yifan asked.
"I just moved in this year. When I found out that there was an available apartment near the university I immediately went in for it."
"Oh, I see. Hey, I still gotta finish some papers for biology. Maybe I'll see you again some time soon.", said the taller one.
They bade each other goodbye and Lu Han sinks down on his couch feeling happy that that encounter has been the best thing that has happened to him that day. He made a new friend.
They did see each other again after their encounter in the elevator. He sometimes saw Yifan eating at the café near their apartment building and joined him when he had the chance. Whenever they saw each other during break time, Yifan would always ask him to eat lunch together.
Lu Han found out several things about Yifan the first time that they hungout. It turns out Yifan was also a sophomore and was taking up psychology. He wants to become a doctor eventually, just like Lu Han does. He's been living in apartment 508 since freshman year which explains why he was confused that he never saw Lu Han in their building before.
Over the next few months Yifan and Lu Han were hanging out practically everyday. Sometimes Lu Han would come over to Yifan's place and Yifan would do the same. They'd play gamecube all night when they had no schoolwork to do.
Yifan would sometimes bring Lu Han to the local basketball court and teach him how to play basketball. He even met Yifan's friends; Huang Zitao, Oh Sehun, and Kim Junmyeon. Sometimes Lu Han would bring Yifan to the soccer field and teach him some moves while they hung out with Lu Han's other friends; Kim Minseok, Zhang Yixing, and Do Kyungsoo. There were times when their groups would merge and the school cafeteria would erupt with roaring laughter everytime.
Sometimes Lu Han felt lonely. Three times a week Yifan would travel back to his home in Guangzhou to be with his family. It has already been a habit of theirs to talk with each other every night so even when Yifan was away, he would call Lu Han just for the sake of talking to him. During the days that Yifan was not around, Lu Han would obsessively check his phone every five minutes or so, trying to see if he got a new text from the other or if he might have missed a call.
During those days of absence, Lu Han found himself missing the other so much. He couldn't think of a word to describe what he felt when the other was not around, more so when he was actually there. Lu Han was a smart guy. He easily recognized these kind of emotions and was able to analyze them well when his friends came up to him and poured out their thoughts and feelings. But Lu Han was doubtful of what he was feeling. He needed to confirm it. This was a rare event and having no proof will just drive him insane. That was just how Lu Han did things. He can't accept a hypothesis unless proven true.
VALENTINES DAY, YEAR 2003
Lu Han and Yifan have already known each other for several months. Lu Han thought that it was the perfect time to test his theory. It was now or never. He went over next door and knocked until the man living inside came out. Lu Han looks at him, his nerves starting to shake him, but he knew he had to do it.
"Yifan, there's something that I need to tell you."
"Oh? Sure, come in."
Yifan gestures towards the couch to make Lu Han sit down, but Lu Han didn't. His body won't let him. His theory was spreading throughout his senses. This was a a rare event. He had to know of it was true.
"Han, I thought you were gonna tell me something."
"Spill it out, don't worry. Dude, I won't judge you."
"How do you know that? You don't even know what I have to say." Lu Han suddenly snaps back, his anxiety surfacing and pouring out.
Yifan's features remain calm as he coaxes the other to tell him what he had to say. "Because I am me and you are you. I would never judge you. So do you have anything to tell me?"
Lu Han was starting to become hesitant. He never liked men before. He never did. He only had ex-girlfriends and was never involved with men. To suddenly feel these kind of emotions and attachment to another man is indeed a rare event for Lu Han.
"I-I do... Not... Umm..."
"Lu Han," Yifan's tone was starting to become annoyed. "what is it that you want to tell me?"
"I think I love you."
Silence filled the air. No one spoke for God knows how long. Lu Han's hand unconsciously wrapped around his own arm, surprised of what he said. Yifan just stares at him, jaw dropped.
"What did you just say?"
Lu Han shuts his eyes tightly. He didn't want to have to repeat himself all over again, but he still had to get through with it or else he'll never know the answer.
"I think that I love you, or might be in love with you."
"Are you serious? Are you joking?"
"No I'm not."
"Are you serious right now? Because I've been in love with you the entire time."
Lu Han's head shot up and he gapes at a smiling Yifan. It was his turn to question what he just heard. But the truth was laid in front of him. Yifan loved him all this time too.
Lu Han lost his control at that moment and immediately ran into Yifan's arms. Yifan held him close in a warm embrace, stroking the other's hair, nuzzling his head on the other's neck. They stayed like that for a while before Yifan finally spoke.
"How long have you known?"
"For quite some time now, but I was never really sure of what it was until now. How about you?"
"Same. Although the moment that I realized that I was looking at you in a different way I already knew what it was."
Lu Han moved his head to look at Yifan, uncertainty suddenly starting to fill his eyes.
"Is this right though? Is it right for us to feel this way? We're both guys."
Yifan cupped Lu Han's face, his thumb grazing the other's cheek. He bit his lip, staring at the pair of doe eyes looking right at him.
"Does it really matter? I like you... No, I love you and you love me too. Isn't that what matters?"
Before doubt and hesitance could even invade Lu Han's thoughts again, they were stopped the moment Yifan pressed his lips against his. Lu Han always thought kissing another man was a weird idea. There was nothing wrong with it but the idea always seemed foreign to him. Now here he was kissing Yifan. It did not feel weird nor foreign. It felt right, safe and warm. It felt sweet, bright and addictive. It felt perfect.
As their lips parted and eyes met anew, they both knew that everything will never be the same.
They began exclusively dating after Valentine's day. Their routine was still the same, but with several additions. There were kisses here and there. Legs would entwine under the table at lunch time when their friends were busy laughing at each other. They'd sleepover at either one's apartment. Sometimes there was no sleeping involved at all.
Once, Minseok texted Lu Han to go out for a soccer rematch. Lu Han's five word reply: "Busy studying the human anatomy."
Yifan gave Lu Han a duplicate key to his apartment and Lu Han did the same. Sometimes Lu Han would wake up to the scent of bacon being fried only to find Yifan in his kitchen preparing breakfast for him. He would sometimes find a flower or a lovely post it message by his pillow the moment he opens his eyes. Every time that happened, he'd pull Yifan by the waist and kiss him sloppily as a sign of gratitude.
Receiving this kind of treatment was new to Lu Han. He was used to being the one doing those simple romantic gestures to his past girlfriends. But he didn't complain. In fact, he enjoyed himself.
It was then that he realized that this was the first time he ever felt that much love for another person before. He never felt his heart feel so at home with anyone. He never felt it beat so much that it felt like it would literally jump out of his chest. He never felt himself feel exactly opposite extremes emotionally. All of this had one cause and that was Wu Yifan.
The rain was pouring one day and Lu Han came in to Yifan's apartment soaking wet. The news already foretold heavy rains and a possible storm. Yifan looked angrily at the soaked man in front of him.
"What the fuck Han?! You already know that it was gonna rain hard today! Why the fuck did you even go outside?!"
Lu Han's eyes squint with cheekiness and his shit-eating grin makes Yifan want to punch him but he held back.
"There was something that I really needed to buy! It was on sale only for today!"
"What on earth could possibly be that important for you to go out on your way and brave the pouring rain like an idiot?"
Lu Han's shit-eating grin is still unwavering as he took out a black box from the pocket inside his jacket.
He opened it to reveal two golden bracelets that looked like a bent nail. Yifan's eyes widened like saucers as he stared at the object in Lu Han's hand.
"Couple bracelets! One for you and one for me."
Lu Han took out the bracelets from their case and put the first one on Yifan's wrist. He gestured for Yifan to do the same to which the latter absent-mindedly complied. Yifan was still at a loss for words from Lu Han's surprise.
"I really wanted something that would always remind us of each other no matter how far apart we are. Rings are too cliché and I'm not a necklace kind of guy so I thought, 'why not bracelets?'. Pretty cool right?"
Yifan could only smile as he took Lu Han's hands and kissed them.
He stepped closer to the smaller one and kissed him sweetly on the mouth. The latter kissed back with just as much lovingness.
"Wu Yifan, I love you so much."
"I love you too Lu han, more than you'll ever know."
Things went well for Yifan and Lu Han. They both revealed their relationship to their families when they graduated from college. Lu Han's parents were surprisingly very accepting of their relationship. However, Yifan's parents were not. Yifan's mother still kept in contact with him, supporting her son in every possible way, but she could not bring herself to accept Lu Han as her son's lover. Yifan's father ultimately cut off connections with him. Yifan didn't mind. He was never close to his father anyway.
After graduation, the two decided to buy a condominium and move in together. They both entered medical school and everything felt like nothing could go wrong.
They were seated on the couch watching tv like any other night when all of a sudden Yifan felt sick and ran to the bathroom. Lu Han looked over at the door from where he was sitting, worry painted in his face. Lu Han heard a loud thud and he immediately ran over to see what happened to Yifan. Eyes widening in horror, Lu Han found him unconscious on the bathroom floor.
Yifan was immediately rushed to the hospital. The doctors were not able to fully figure out what was wrong with him but did give him a medication for his fever. They told the couple to immediately come back to the hospital the moment Yifan feels something wrong.
After two more incidents of vomiting and fainting, the doctors admitted Yifan to the hospital for further examinations. On the second week Lu Han was given the diagnosis. Yifan had stage three cancer.
Lu Han felt the floor of the hospital fall through. He had to hold onto the walls for support. It was impossible. Yifan was an extremely healthy person. Lu Han knew the probability of survival for stage three patients but he wanted to give it the benefit of a doubt. He asked the doctor about the chances of Yifan recovering. The doctor looked so sorry as he answered the pained man in front of him.
"There have been some cases of recovery but those are very rare. Seeing Mr. Wu's condition right now, and after running the tests, I'd say that he has about a year or two left."
It was the first time Lu Han felt like his world was crumbling from underneath his feet. His heart was in pain. His eyes began to blur as hot tears trickled down his cheeks. He was angry and in pain. There were a lot of other people in this world who could've been befallen by this mad disease, why did it have to be the only person he loved so dearly?
Dragging his feet along, Lu Han silently entered Yifan's private room. He found his lover still sleeping. He looked so peaceful and beautiful Lu Han found it hard to believe that this was the image of someone whose days were numbered. He sat down next to Yifan's bed, took his hand, and cried his heart out. He thought that the world wasn't fair. Yifan didn't deserve any of this.
Two days later, Yifan found out. He calmly accepted his fate but was more concerned about Lu Han. He knew that the other one would never take it well. He wanted to live for Lu Han.
A week aftter, Lu Han informed Yifan's mother about it. Yifan's parents went to the hospital immediately and Lu Han gave them enough privacy with their son. When they came out of the room, Yifan's mother held Lu Han in an embrace and apologized for ever hurting Lu Han and asked him to always be by her son's side. She thanked him so much her words began to slur because of her sobbing. Yifan's father held Lu Han by the shoulder, refusing to look him in the eye. Lu Han noticed that tears streaked down his face. He thanked Lu Han for being a part of Yifan's life and that he should take care of him and love him more than he ever could. Lu Han knew that his parents' acceptance was the only thing that Yifan could ask for and at that moment Lu Han was overflowing with happiness for his lover.
The next few months were spent with all of their friends coming over even though they were now busy with their own careers. It felt like those days when they would all hang out together at school, in the field or at the court. Although Yifan's state was slowly deteriorating, being with people he felt at home with made him forget everything else. Sometimes the others would leave the room, not wanting to let Yifan see the pain they felt because of this cruel fate.
Yifan's parents looked after their son every single day and Yifan felt like he was back to his childhood days when their family felt whole and happy. Lu Han's parents also came every now and then to help in any way they can.
Lu Han never left Yifan's side. When they had nothing else to do, Lu Han would take Yifan's hand and they'd just talk like everything was normal. Lu Han laughed at Yifan for arguing with the nurses and doctors whenever they asked him to take off his couple bracelet. Yifan said it was a reminder of their love and everything he believed in. Even in his frail condition, Yifan was as authoritative and stubborn as ever. Lu Han liked it because despite all the drastic changes Yifan was still Yifan.
Sometimes Lu Han and Yifan would talk about a positive future ahead of them. They talk of graduating from med school and working abroad, maybe helping around in less fortunate areas. After a couple of years they will adopt a child or two. Their eyes would glisten and their smiles would stretch so wide in their animated conversations. They both liked that kind of future.
But sometimes Yifan would tighten his grip on Lu Han's hand and fight back the tears.
"When I'm gone, I don't want that to be the end of you too. I want you to be happy, even without me. I want you to become what you want to be. Be one of the greatest doctors the world has ever seen. If you meet someone new... It hurts to even think of that possibility, but if you do meet someone new, then I will give you my blessing wherever I am. I just don't want your world to stop turning the moment I leave this world. I love you. I love you. All I want is for you to be happy."
Whenever Yifan speaks of those words, Lu Han always feels the urge to argue back, but he would always hold back and just silently cry.
OCTOBER 19, 2009
Lu Han wakes up to the sounds of doctors and nurses rushing into the room. He looks over at Yifan, whose face has gone pale and looked like marble. The hand he was holding was extremely cold and starting to turn blue. He heard the wailing of Yifan's mother from the doorway. Lu Han was frozen in place. He couldn't move.
They pulled up the white sheet over Yifan's head and took him away. Even then Lu Han did not move a muscle. When the only things left in the room were Yifan's empty bed, a nurse fixing the equipment and the wails and sobs of Yifan's mother, everything finally sunk in to Lu Han. Tears were streaming down his face. He looked over at the empty bed and started screaming. He screamed out his lungs until it felt raw. He kicked and threw everything in sight. He clutched at his heart which was now broken and impossible to mend. Everyone in the hospital who heard of Lu Han's cries felt the extreme sadness and desperation of the man who was now nothing but a defeated creature on the cold hospital floor. Yifan was gone. The love of his life was gone. The only person he ever truly loved and loved only him was gone. Half of his life died along with the man named Wu Yifan.
OCTOBER 19, 2014
It has been five years since Yifan left. Lu Han is sitting down on the ground, leaning beside a headstone. The scenerey was bathing in the remnants of the sunrays. Lu Han thought the sunset looked so beautiful from this spot. He knew Yifan would have loved it. He pats the fresh flowers laid down in front of the headstone as his calm and peaceful face emerges as he talks to no one in particular.
"Yifan... Fanfan... How have you been lately? The chief doctor in my department is very pleased with me. I'll become a resident doctor soon. Then I'll work my ass off and focus on specialization. What do you think I should pick? I'm still undecided."
The cool wind softly blows Lu Han's hair as he exhales in satisfaction.
"Fanfan... I miss you so much." Lu Han's fingers glide against the cold marble of the headstone as the tears he's been holding back finally stream down.
"Fanfan, I'm so sorry. It's already been five years and I still haven't fulfilled your wish. I became a doctor, just like you wanted. I'm going to be one of the best this world has ever seen, I'll make sure of that. But I don't think I can ever be as happy as you wanted me to be. How can I possibly be that happy again when the happiest I have ever been was when I was with you."
Lu Han caresses his bracelet, the one identical to Yifan's. With a deep sigh, he closes his eyes.
"Yifan, I'm sorry. I could never be as happy because the happiest I have ever been was when I was with you. I could never meet and love someone again because I have never loved anyone the way I loved you. You were my sun and moon. You were my person. You still are. You always will be."
The cool wind softly blows the fallen leaves upon Lu Han's feet, the man still leaning upon the cold headstone. The leaves danced along to the paths of the wind, dancing away until it can be seen no longer.