Length: 2,277 words
Summary: and junmyeon- junmyeon always listened, always understood. he improved his korean and junmyeon tried his best with mandarin and they found middle ground.
Notes: inspired by lyrics of different songs of zitao - i've added snippets of the lyrics of each song i used, post zitao leaving fic. just let me have my clichéd angst, sutao is too much for me. also lapslock bc i can't help it, it's past 3 AM, perhaps i'll fix it later. also unbeta'd (not even by myself) so sorry for any mistakes ;; the title means "i have forgotten you" - taken from the song of the same name of the movie 'anjaana anjaani' (here's a vid with eng translated lyrics just in case)
The time I have lost,
The life that can’t be brought back,
The memories of the past,
I don’t want to think about it anymore.
it’s a whisper. soft, quiet, but heard.
junmyeon keeps his eyes closed, not responding. it’s his down time right now. he’s allowed to not react. he’s allowed to stay silent. he’s allowed to-
junmyeon opens his eyes, turns and looks at sehun.
“he…he released a song,” sehun licks his lips, breathing in deeply, shakily. “a music video for it too.”
junmyeon doesn’t respond, just turns to look at the blank wall in front of him instead.
“he looks good.”
junmyeon wants to say much- so much. of course, of course he would look good. he’d look great. his music would be good too. he always talked about how much he wanted to write, wanted to make music and-
“the lyrics are a bit controversial though,” sehun smiles, hesitant as he keeps the ipod on the floor next to junmyeon and then leaves. silent, quiet.
it takes about ten minutes. ten minutes and thirty two, thirty three seconds and junmyeon picks up the ipod. he slowly plugs in the earphones and plays the video. the translation is already available on the video. sehun thought ahead.
junmyeon cracks a smile - a small one, but a smile nonetheless - at the snow leopard, the national geographic-esque graphics. then, then, he starts singing and oh. oh.
junmyeon’s heart skips, he sounds so good, so good. and the lyrics, the lyrics are…controversial. the bitter aftertaste in his mouth after watching the video, after listening to the song isn’t because of them though. there are still those lingering missed calls, pending, unanswered kakaotalk messages on his phone.
so junmyeon replays the video. listens to the song twice, thrice. a few more times.
the memories of the past stay with him that night. and he doesn’t want them to…haunt him anymore.
2. One Heart
Forgetting you is never, having you is better.
You and I are not allowed to say sorry
When the tears fall down to our cheeks and our hearts are broken.
the first song is just the start. there are more songs. more of him singing, rapping, expressing himself through music and junmyeon-
junmyeon’s unable to hold himself back.
even in the tight schedule, the continuous practices and concert preparations, city after city, week after week, junmyeon fits listening to the songs into those little free times he has.
in the next song, he sings a lot more and junmyeon, well, he can’t handle it.
the words, the pain, the memories - it’s all a bit too much. somehow, somehow, he always knows what to say and how to say it - if he has to say it through music. music has always been there for him and junmyeon understands that so well, so well.
gone are they days when he stuttered, cutely tripped over his words and licked the back of his teeth trying to find the right, the most accurate words to convey his ideas and thoughts. gone are also the days when him and junmyeon sat next to each other, his head on junmyeon’s shoulder, their hands clasped and he whispered in a mix of mandarin and korean all that went through his head.
and junmyeon- junmyeon always listened, always understood. he improved his korean and junmyeon tried his best with mandarin and they found middle ground.
but now, now those days are gone. having is not possible, so maybe
(never) forgetting is all that’s left.
At my dazzling moment, you were here.
At my embarrassing moment, you were also here;
So please keep this precious love for me.
junmyeon knows. he knows that the song is for the fans, not for him.
but junmyeon can’t help when the small flame of hope flickers inside him. he can’t blow it out, can’t stop it from burning him down, from inside out.
he sits next to sehun, watches as the younger browses through weibo. the foreign language not really stopping the younger from being able to type out ‘exo’ and look through the different posts.
there is a small hesitation, a shaky thumb that lifts up and doesn’t continue to scroll when there’s a post on the screen from one of their fans, and his fan too. there are two selcas and two other pictures. one of exo’s album, the other of…his song for the fans playing on the iphone, screen-shotted and captured.
cute stickers with HLs, hearts and his name cover the last picture. junmyeon’s heart stutters along with sehun’s thumb just for a second. and then the post is gone, sehun breathing out heavily and moving on.
junmyeon should do it too. his eyes burn as he watches sehun continue to scroll but doesn’t register any other post, any other picture. junmyeon should move on too. accept reality. extinguish the careless, burning hope.
Honestly, it’s fine.
Being alone is not too bad.
If you hear this song,
Then you must stay strong.
Remember to smile for yourself.
when the alarm rings, junmyeon is already awake. he’s silent as he goes over and wakes up sehun, giving into the plea for five more minutes and makes his journey to the bathroom.
brushing his teeth he feels the ghost of him leaning over him, reaching for the toothbrush that’s still not been thrown out. they’re all just a bunch of emotional bastards who have a hard time letting go of things.
after a quick freshen up, junmyeon goes back, insists that sehun has to wake up, they can’t be late, it’s already 6:10 AM. they have a lot to do today and they can’t be late.
the breakfast is quiet, a little bit rushed but not too much. accordingly, they file into the vans, into their own split groups for the scheduled activities and practices today.
and junmyeon’s already memorized and listened to all the lectures today, so he plugs in his earphones, relaxes against the seat and listens, listens to his voice. and this song, this one song. it has lyrics, has words that junmyeon can easily agree along too.
it’s been a few months, and junmyeon, he’s managed. he was always able to manage. it’s been more than a year since yifan, almost a year since luhan. he’ll manage this time too.
a small smile pulls at his lips, he must stay strong. although he can’t himself tell whether the smile is genuine or not, whether he will really be able to manage himself, emotionally, in the long run, for now he can pretend. he can pretend and be strong and smile, if not for himself, then for him.
5. Imperial Crown
Took off the angel’s halo and place a crown on my heart,
My one and only.
Your love gave me everything,
Letting me soar to the clouds and live beautifully.
junmyeon’s heard the rumors. he knows about them. he’s seen them everywhere when he lurks through fan sites and portals, scrolling through the endless threads as the light of his phone screen hurts his eyes during the dark, all consuming nights when sleep escapes him.
he fell in love with a girl while in los angeles. she stole his heart, he was a bit too in deep. music is his outlet, and he expresses his love, his pain through it.
and junmyeon….junmyeon just wants to believe, although what in, he isn’t sure of anymore. does he believe in the rumors or in the stupid little flame of hope ever insistently burning inside of him.
the uncertainty is bitter, it eats him up but he can’t do anything. he can’t just pick up his phone and send out a text, a quick sms, or make a phone call. he just can’t simply ask, he can’t-
junmyeon stumbles over his feet, curses, and empties his mind just until the end of the song.
their choreographer is harsh and relentless. their repackage is coming out soon, they need to have the dance down by then with minimal mistakes - hopefully none. it’s exhausting but as soon as the music stars, junmyeon clears his thoughts and dances.
the sweat falls in his eyes, prickling and for a second, just a second, junmyeon lets a tear slip through, it’s masked as another drop of tear anyway.
6. Cinderella Girl
Now when I open my eyes everyday,
I can’t bear the silence of you not being there.
The three words you’ve always wished to hear…
Is it too late to say them now? Because I still love you.
“hyung,” sehun’s whispering but to junmyeon it’s too loud.
his head’s pounding and he knew, he knew, drinking so much wasn’t a good idea. but it’s only for one night. one night only.
“come on hyung,” sehun carefully helps junmyeon over to their shared dorm room and lays him down on the bed. “just a second hyung, i’ll be right back.”
junmyeon mumbles out some unintelligible response, mushing his face into the pillow. a few moments later, jongdae walks in with a glass of water and some aspirin.
“hyung,” he sits down on the bed next to junmyeon. “drink up.”
junmyeon likes this about jongdae, this quite authority, no nonsense attitude that still has care lacing through it. when jongdae takes care, he does it well. so junmyeon swallows two pills and empties the whole glass, gives jondae the best smile he can manage - which is, at best, a grimace.
jongdae shakes his head and lets junmyeon lie down again. he waits, stays, for quite a while, softly petting junmyeon’s hair and then placing a soft kiss on top of his forehead before leaving. sehun’s sleeping in jongin’s room tonight, jongdae tells him before he leaves, you need this moment of privacy, take it hyung. and joonmyun listens.
his sobering mind is fogged with thoughts of him, of him and whether he’s moved on. whether he’s already fallen in love. whether he’s already forgotten junmyeon’s love or whether he’s still using the love junmyeon and he shared to write his songs now.
I don’t regret loving you,
I don’t want you to become sad.
My heart keeps longing for you,
No matter how far it is, I wish to go there.
How I wish to return to the day when I first met you,
But I can only look at the preserved memories.
junmyeon’s been unsure and uncertain for months.
he’s been guessing, worrying his bottom lip, thinking and rethinking and tiring himself out mentally when the physical exhaustion from his schedules doesn’t tire him out.
but when the new song comes out, after weeks - months - of him leaving, junmyeon knows, he just knows.
he knows now that things are perhaps not as bad as they seem, that perhaps, maybe, just maybe, in the future there is some light. for now maybe he only has memories to rely on, to go back to and try and relive in his dreams. only memories to display on the back of his eyelids when he tries to catch some sleep, some rest.
but in the future, near or far, there is some hope, there is some light. he understand’s zitao’s heart, he always understood his intentions, maybe doubted the love for a moment after his leave, but now he doesn’t. he never doubted the intentions and the reasons, and now he doesn’t doubt the love either.
it’s still so strong, so present and obvious and just there. junmyeon doesn’t want to overlook it or forget it, but he’s not going to let it consume him and render him hopeless either.
it’s not what zitao would want, and it’s not what junmyeon wants either.
they’ll both chase their dreams and try to reach it, one step at a time. when the time is right, they’ll meet. it’ll happen, junmyeon’s sure of that if he’s sure of anything.
each lyric, each line of the new song speaks out to junmyeon, it sings to him and junmyeon knows and believes, that this song, this song is for him. zitao wrote it for him, sang it for him and when he listens, he smiles - genuine and bright, even if tears gather in his eyes and threaten to fall. he smiles, soft and so in love.
at night, there’s no restless nights because of this doubt, this hovering uncertainty anymore. now, junmyeon’s sure even as schedules tire him out, he can rely on jongdae’s firm hand on his back and jongin’s strong arm pulling him close and hanging on his shoulder. he can rely on minseok hyung’s soft gaze and baekhyun’s twinkling eyes, he can rely on kyungsoo’s reassuring squeeze when they hold hands and chanyeol’s small smile.
most of all, when yixing looks at him, with a look that reads “finally,” junmyeon can grin back, equally genuine to yixing’s smile and believe and move on.
at night, his thumb brushes over zitao’s name on his contacts list, the ‘taozi’ surrounded with cute hearts - the name’s left untouched, kept just the way zitao had entered it on his phone. junmyeon remembers the cute and excited giggles zitao had let out as he’d played around on junmyeon’s phone that day. junmyeon remembers the feeling of zitao’s fingers entwining in his and the gentle but assured way they held hands.
and junmyeon keeps these memories close to his heart, he uses them to continue on and gain the courage to send the little message that’s been left waiting in his drafts forever.
i’m here for you taozi, always have been. always will be.
end notes: ok negl 'reluctantly' is completely about and for junmyeon and no one can convince me otherwise