"Everyone is here, except Kyuhyun hyung," Minho replies.
"I know he is not here. He refuses to come," Kyuhyun grunts. He settles into the sofa and takes a sip from the wine glass.
Changmin sits closer to Kyuhyun and asks, "What happened to Kyuhyun? Did he try to avoid me because of Victoria?"
"Nah, he is not at all concerned about that. He is just mad about something else," Kyuhyun answers sourly.
Minho interrupts, "Hyung, you look differently tonight."
“No, I don't! I look the way I usually do," Kyuhyun empties his glass of red wine.
Kyuhyun continues to drink until he starts to feel drunk. He starts to mumble, "Ryeowook-ah, why are you mad at me?" He leans against Minho and falls asleep.
"Kyuhyun hyung!" Minho shouts when Ryeowook walks in. Ryeowook knits his eyebrows and sits next to the sleeping Kyuhyun. He asks, "Why didn't you guys stop him from drinking?"
Changmin says, "We couldn't stop him. He was drinking like crazy. I wonder what is bothering him?"
Ryeowook suggests, "Let me take him back to the dorm." He lifts Kyuhyun up by the shoulder with Changmin's help and walks towards the van...
Ryeowook yells when he kicks opened the door of the dorm. He hauls the drunken Kyuhyun in and closes the door with his back. He shouts, "Is anybody home? Can somebody come and help me? Gosh, I didn't know I am this heavy!"
He stumbled all the way until he and Kyuhyun reached his dark room. He turned on the lights with his elbow and proceeded to put Kyuhyun down on his bed. He panted for air and went out of the room, only to find an empty dorm, besides a hungry cat staring at him intently.
Ryeowook whispers to Heebum, "Heebum-ah, you look hungry. Let me go get you some food, okay?" He walks into the kitchen and brings out some cat food from the cabinet. He pours some into Heebum's bowl.
Heebum continues to stare at Ryeowook, who is in Kyuhyun's body, and as if tries to say something to him. Ryeowook knits his eyebrows and says, "I am Ryeowook. I look a bit different today, but I don't bite. Eat now." He turns around and walks back into his room.
Heebum studies his bowl and starts to eat from it, although he takes a quick glance at Ryeowook's room before indulging in his food.
Ryeowook returns to the bed and finds Kyuhyun has somewhat returned to consciousness. He stares at the maknae and questions, "So why did you drink your life away just now? And you know that getting drunk will get you spill our secret to other Kyuline members."
Kyuhyun slowly sat up and points at the first drawer of the study desk. He says, "Go to fetch the velvet box in the first drawer and bring it back here."
Confused, Ryeowook stares at the drawer. He throws Kyuhyun a skeptical gaze before going to his study desk. He opens the drawer and to his surprise, he finds a box staring back at him. Without questioning, he picks up the box and walks back to the bed. Ryeowook asks, "And?"
"Open it," Kyuhyun lies back down and closes his eyes.
Ryeowook lifts the cover off. He widens his eyes as he sees two identical rings sitting inside the box. He laces his fingers across the rings. He takes one out, and notices the names Ryeowook and Kyuhyun are engraved in the inner rim of the ring. He questions, "What are these for?"
"For our wedding," Kyuhyun answers matter-of-factly.
Ryeowook bites on his lips. His eyes are becoming dangerously red. He laments, "For which it will never happen in our lifetime. Maybe in our next life."
Kyuhyun shakes his head. He announces, "No, it will happen. I will make it happen."
Ryeowook laughs bitterly. He lies down on Kyuhyun, and listens to Kyuhyun's heartbeats. He slowly falls asleep by listening to the rhythmic melody of the one he loves...
When he wakes up the next morning, Kyuhyun is gone from his side. Ryeowook rubs his eyes. He stretches, until he notices he is wearing the ring in a necklace around his neck. He does not recall putting the necklace on. He figures it must have been put on by Kyuhyun while he is sleeping.
He goes out of the room and finds the kitchen buzzing with activities. Kyuhyun is seen standing next to the microwave. Heechul, tapping impatiently, hovers around Kyuhyun and questions, "So why is my Ryeowookie microwaving breakfast now? I want real food! Not fast food!"
Finding it amusing, Ryeowook laughs at the scene before him. Kyuhyun explains, "My arm is not fully healed, Hyung. You guys better get used to it. I have to enter the army sooner or later, so it is better to start taking care of yourself."
What Kyuhyun just says seems to strike a chord in Ryeowook. He knits his eyebrows as he finds it uncomfortable that Kyuhyun will be serving for him. And he will be taking the easy way out with Kyuhyun's health condition. He takes a seat at the kitchen table and sighs.
"So why are you in the dorm again, Kyuhyun? Shouldn't you be at your house?" Heechul asks, eying Ryeowook suspiciously.
Ryeowook looks up at Heechul and turns around to look at Kyuhyun. He answers, "I took Ryeowook back to the dorm last night, when he was drinking away his life at the Kyuline gathering last night. I was being nice."
"Nice? That is so unheard of from our evil maknae," Heechul scoffs. Ryeowook sinks into his seat and pouts.
Kyuhyun takes out four pancakes from the microwave and put them on a plate. He says, "Here you go, Heechul hyung. And I am leaving now."
"Where are you going?" Ryeowook asks, while noticing Kyuhyun is wearing a necklace similar to the one he is wearing. He figures that Kyuhyun must be wearing the ring as well.
"SM Building. And you," he turns to Ryeowook, who startles him, "You are coming with me." Kyuhyun pulls a dumbfounded Ryeowook from the chair, when Ryeowook tries to argue to no avail.
Ryeowook has almost forgotten that they have a recording that day. They are finally recording their duet together. Ryeowook grins at the thought as his fingers unconsciously play with the ring hanging from his neck.
"You should put that ring back into your clothes. If there are sasaeng fans, they will be able to tell right away that their oppas is wearing a ring, and that will be disastrous," Kyuhyun hisses into Ryeowook's ear.
Ryeowook immediately shoves the ring into his t-shirt. They walk into the recording studio and find Kenzie standing next to the producer. She greets them with a bright smile. She asks, "Are you guys ready? Lets start!"
Quite taken aback by Kenzie's enthusiasm, Ryeowook settles into the studio and throws a curious glance at Kyuhyun. They take their positions inside and music begins. Ryeowook is about to sing when he notices Kyuhyun is singing instead. He hits his head lightly as he forgets that now he is Kyuhyun. The first line belongs to Kim Ryeowook, not Cho Kyuhyun.
They finish singing the song once, in which they find a frowning Kenzie after the song is finished. Kyuhyun asks, "What's wrong?"
Kenzie shakes her head and says, "It sounds different than what I have expected. It is not the feeling that I was expecting." She pauses and looks at the producer. She then turns back at the two confused boys. Something flickers in her eyes and she continues, "Why don't you two switch your parts? Let's try again." She finds a chair and sits down on it.
Ryeowook shares a quick glance with Kyuhyun. He then puts the earphones back on. Music starts to play again, and Ryeowook is the first one to sing this time.
The song finishes a second time. Kenzie is already clapping really hard when Kyuhyun and Ryeowook take off their earphones. Happy tears are lining Kenzie's eyes as she exclaims, "That is exactly what I am talking about! Finally!" She smiles triumphantly. She leaves the room without saying another word.
"Is she on drugs?" Kyuhyun asks when they know that she is out of the earshot.
Ryeowook nods and says, "Maybe."
Yesung has returned from his military services. K.R.Y. is finally making an official comeback in South Korea. Stylist noonas are busily tending to their clothes and make-up when other Super Junior members crash into the waiting room. Heechul is the first, followed by Donghae, Eunhyuk, Henry and Siwon. Siwon gives Ryeowook a bear hug, while Henry is seen pinching Kyuhyun's cheeks. Kyuhyun shoves Henry away and shouts, "Mochi, Hyung doesn't like that. Okay?"
Henry shrugs in response. Donghae is jumping up and down and says, "I am so excited for you guys!"
"Yes finally! K.R.Y. is finally having a real comeback performance. It is such a pity that we are the first sub-unit to debut, yet the last to have a proper Korean album," Yesung voices emphatically.
Ryeowook smiles and is playing with Eunhyuk's hair, when a Music Bank staff comes in and shouts, "Super Junior K.R.Y., you guys are up next!"
The three men walk out of the room with confidence after high-fiving with their other bandmates. They appear on stage, in front of the group of cheering fans. They sing two songs, the prologue song and their comeback song, and leave the stage feeling the greatest ever.
Their promotion schedules have been so packed that Ryeowook feels like he is dying. By the time when they get to become the guests of Shimshimtapa, it has already been a week since their comeback.
And then they are back on Music Bank. They are lucky enough to get to one of the finalists for the number 1 spot of the K-Chart. Ryeowook is shaking when the three of them stand next to their contestants. He suddenly feels Kyuhyun's holding his cold right hand. He hears Kyuhyun whispering, "It is going to be ok."
Ryeowook throws him an assuring smile.
The screen shows the scores. The number continues to increase, until finally stopping. It shows: 2 AM - 9806; K.R.Y. - 14419.
Ryeowook widens his eyes as he stares at the screen in disbelief. He is already in Yesung's arms when he realizes they have won. Yes, K.R.Y. has won!
Yesung pulls away and begins to say the thank you speech. Ryeowook finds Kyuhyun in front of him as Kyuhyun pulls them into a tight embrace. Tears are already rolling down when Ryeowook rounds his arms around Kyuhyun's waist. He finds it uncanny that he is taller than Kyuhyun, but he enjoys the hug equally. He whispers, "We did it."
He pulls away, and takes the microphone from Yesung. He thanks his parents, and other boys' parents. He also thanks the company, the fans, and other artistes of SM Entertainment.
Kyuhyun wraps up with thanking the producers of the song. The three of them link their hands and bow to the audience. They finish the encore with grace.
At the end, they have earned nine wins from the various music charts. They really don't know what else to ask for with this result. They are so content.
Super Junior members are celebrating in a small bar with EXO members after K.R.Y. finish their goodbye stage. D.O., Chen, and Baekhyun are chatting happily with Kyuhyun, although Kyuhyun is hardly paying attention to what his hoobaes are saying half of the time. Ryeowook is talking with Suho and Donghae on the other hand, and he will take occasional glances at Kyuhyun from time to time.
Later back at the dorm, Kyuhyun and Ryeowook sit quietly at the balcony. Holding a bottle of soju in his hand, Kyuhyun smiles as he stares at Ryeowook who is sleeping soundlessly beside him. The moonlight shining on Ryeowook is highlighting his delicate features.
Slowly, Kyuhyun lowers the bottle and puts it on the ground. He moves closer to Ryeowook and kisses Ryeowook on the lips lightly. It feels weird to be kissing himself, Kyuhyun notes. He thinks they have to fix the problem before they can do anything more than kissing.
Kyuhyun sits back down and takes out the ring. He studies the ring, tracing his fingers on his and Ryeowook's names. He says, "It will happen, eventually."
Ryeowook is playing with his phone on the plane when Kyuhyun suddenly shoots up from his seat. Tears are lining his eyes as Kyuhyun tries to catch his breath. Ryeowook asks with concern, "Are you okay? Did you have a nightmare?"
Kyuhyun nods and pulls Ryeowook into a hug. Ryeowook feels himself suffocating in Kyuhyun's embrace. He pulls away while looking around. Luckily, no one on the plane is looking at them. He whispers, "What do you think you are doing? You can get us killed!"
Kyuhyun begs as he holds Ryeowook's hands, "Don't ever leave me. Do you understand?"
Kyuhyun sounds so genuine that Ryeowook is touched by his words. He grips Kyuhyun's hands lightly and says, "Yes." Ryeowook has never found Kyuhyun to be so vulnerable in front of him. He wonders what did Kyuhyun dream about just now. He does not have a chance to ask as flight attendants have arrived with their dinner.
They get to share a room when they arrive at the hotel. K.R.Y. will be performing at the China-Korea friendship concert in Beijing tomorrow. Ryeowook is going to ask Kyuhyun about his nightmare, but is once again deterred when Kyuhyun has already fallen asleep on the bed. Ryeowook stares at the sleeping Kyuhyun. He brushes Kyuhyun's forehead with a kiss. He whispers, "I love you, Kyuhyun-ah."
Ryeowook waves happily at the audience. He is joined by Xiumin and Chen. Kris is standing behind them. Out of nowhere, Kyuhyun appears beside Ryeowook. He smiles at him and says, "You almost took my line again. Remember you are not supposed to sing the last line of our duet."
Ryeowook laughs and answers, "Yes. I tend to forget." They just finished performing their duet live for the first time. He looks around and finds Kyuhyun has disappeared already. He turns around and sees Kyuhyun is chatting with D.O. at the back.
"I will go to the convenient store to buy some gum, are you coming?" Kyuhyun asks.
Ryeowook, who is busy checking his twitter account, says without looking up, "No I am not. You be safe."
Kyuhyun shrugs and leaves their hotel room. He exits the hotel and walks aimlessly along the busy Beijing streets. He makes his way to the convenient store at the street corner. He picks up a few packs of gum and candies, and pays for the items. He turns around and goes back. He casually glances out at the intersection and notices a young boy is holding a cat, standing in the middle of the street. A car is about to hit the boy when Kyuhyun rushes forward and pushes the boy and the cat away.
A lifeless Kyuhyun falls on the ground, resulting in a small thud and a clinking sound from his ring.
Coldness jolts through Ryeowook's body. He gasps for air as he realizes something bad has happened. He quickly dashes out of the room and is greeted by a solemn manager. Ryeowook grabs the manager's collar and demands, "What happened?"
"Ryeowookie was hit a car. He is in the hospital right now," the manager replies sadly.
Ryeowook collapses onto the ground. He feels his heart stops for a moment. And pain is what follows.
He doesn't know how he gets to the hospital. It is a whole blur. He regains his consciousness when he is sitting besides Kyuhyun's bed. Ryeowook holds onto Kyuhyun's cold hand. Tears have dried up from his eyes, for tears are not longer pouring after crying for so long. He stares blankly at his own body, only to know that his soul is not in there.
Yesung puts a warm hand on Ryeowook's hand. He whispers, "Kyuhyunnie, I am sorry, but you have to be strong in times like this."
Ryeowook remains silent. He shakes his head and finally says, "I am Ryeowook, not Kyuhyun. The one that is lying there is Kyuhyun."
"Are you alright? What are you talking about?" Yesung asks concernedly.
Ryeowook turns around and looks into Yesung's confused eyes. He continues, "We have switched our souls. It has been almost two months." Tears are starting to form again. He sobs, "It should have been me on the bed, not Kyuhyun. He does not have to go through this whole car accident again. Not again!" He is a sobbing mess. He holds onto the bed for support as tears continue to flow.
Yesung is speechless. He is not sure if Kyuhyun is in his right mind, but he has a feeling that what he has just told is right. He finally says, "I will go get something for you to eat. It has been a long night." He disappears out of the room.
"Why? Kyuhyun-ah, why are you doing this me? You were the one to tell me never leave you, yet you are the one that is doing exactly that. You said we are going to get married, remember? You said you will make it happen. But now, what do I do without you?" Ryeowook takes out the ring and kisses it.
Some of the Super Junior members have flown to Beijing the next morning. They are greeted by a worried Yesung at the waiting room. Donghae is the first to speak up, "Yesung Hyung, how is Ryeowookie?"
Yesung shakes his head and says, "Not good. He is on the edge to go to vegetative state. The doctor just announces this morning."
"No! That can't be!" Eunhyuk exclaims. He bites his lips and punches the wall with his hand.
Yesung looks up and continues, "And the worst part is, Kyuhyun told me that he is not Kyuhyun. The one lying on the bed is not Ryeowook. They have somehow switched their souls."
"What?" Heechul spits out, "How is this even possible? We are not in a Korean drama?"
"I know! But not only me, you guys must have noticed differences in their behaviors these past months. Ryeowook doesn't cook anymore, and Kyuhyun is being more polite. That's not the maknaes that we are accustomed to have. There is something going on," Yesung explains.
Siwon nods, "You are right."
"Let's go in," Donghae suggests out of desperation.
When they walk into the room, Ryeowook has fallen asleep beside the bed. However, his hand never leaves Kyuhyun's. The other Super Junior members sigh at the sight.
Ryeowook turns around and notices Kyuhyun waving at him. He quickly runs forward and is greeted by Kyuhyun's embrace. He pulls himself away and says, "Kyuhyun-ah, where are we? Why are you awake? And why are you back in your body? We have switched back!"
"Yes, we are in your dreams," Kyuhyun whispers.
Ryeowook widens his eyes. He looks around and sees plain whiteness around them. He replies, "No wonder."
Kyuhyun inhales deeply. He slowly asks, "Ryeowook-ah, do you know why we have switched bodies?"
He shakes his head as reply.
Kyuhyun smiles and replies, "Do you remember when we were in Tokyo for our Super Show 4? We went to the temple right across from our hotel. I have made a wish. The wish is simple. If you were ever in danger, I will be the one who will suffer for you. And my wish has come true. I didn't realize until the car hit me. Then everything became clear."
Ryeowook is stunned by Kyuhyun's revelation. He recalls the temple visit, and is reminded that during that time, Kyuhyun is still dating Victoria. He knits his eyebrows and answers, "But I thought-" He trails off as he sees the determination in Kyuhyun's eyes.
Kyuhyun leans closer and brushes Ryeowook's forehead with a kiss. He whispers, "It has always been you. You have pushed me away once, pushed me to Victoria while throwing yourself to your trainer hyung. No matter how convincing you sound, I am not buying it Kim Ryeowook anymore. You are mine, and forever mine only."
Ryeowook shivers at Kyuhyun's intense gaze. He knows deeply inside him that what Kyuhyun just says are true. He is the coward all along. He has been avoiding his true feelings. He has been hiding from his demons. He has nothing else to offer, except three words, "I love you."
Then, Ryeowook pulls Kyuhyun into a tight embrace. He wishes aloud, "Then please let me have the wounds back. Please let me be the one who was hit by the car, not Kyuhyun."
"No!" Kyuhyun shouts. He hugs Ryeowook tightly, but Ryeowook is beginning to slip from him. Before he knows it, Ryeowook has disappeared from his arms...
"No!" Kyuhyun wakes up. He sits up and notices Ryeowook lying silently on the bed. He touches his face and finds himself back into his body. He mumbles, "This can't happen. No way!"
"Ryeowook-ah, you are finally awake! You have been sleeping for two days!" Heechul shouts from the back.
Kyuhyun looks back. He says, "I am Kyuhyun, not Ryeowook."
"What? You guys are confusing me. I thought Yesung said you are-"
"Yes, I was Ryeowook, but now I am Kyuhyun again," Kyuhyun tries to explain. He looks at Ryeowook and feels a stabbing pain in his heart. He grabs his chest and continues, "My soul has returned to this body since Ryeowook wishes it."
Defeated, Heechul shakes his head and yells, "I don't know anymore! You two are crazy!" He walks out and slams the door to the room.
"Kim Ryeowook, what is going to happen now?" Kyuhyun touches Ryeowook's hair. He takes out Ryeowook's ring and slips it into Ryeowook's fourth finger. He does the same to himself. He links their hands together and says, "You are not getting away this time."
A beeping sound suddenly comes from the heart rate monitor. Kyuhyun gasps and shouts, "No! You are going to leave me!" He presses a red button. He shakes Ryeowook and continues to yell his name.
The doctor rushes into the room. Kyuhyun is being pulled back by the nurses. He continues to shout and shout. He feels a sharp pain strikes through his heart as darkness claims him...
Kyuhyun is sitting on a bench under a tree named Swiss Pine. He lets the soft breeze messes his hair as a couple of strands touch his face. He looks around solemnly despite the beautiful landscape surrounding him. Tears slowly form in the corners of his eyes. Slowly, he mutters the name "Ryeowook" from his mouth. He looks at the empty seat beside him.
He wonders how things will be if the incident did not happen three years ago. If Ryeowook and his souls are not switched, will Ryeowook be able to sustain the military life? Will he and Ryeowook be able to get together?
He does not know, but he prefers not to find out. He is content with what he has already.
Kyuhyun looks up. His mouth immediately curves into a small grin when Ryeowook comes running to him. Ryeowook takes a seat beside Kyuhyun and stretches. He says, "The plane ride took too long. And Donghae was nagging me throughout the ride. I am so glad to be here."
The small grin slowly transforms into a bright smile. Kyuhyun stays still as he takes in the sight before him. He finally says, "And I am so glad to have you here."
Ryeowook returns an even brighter smile at his lover. He pinches Kyuhyun's cheeks, earning himself a disapproved look. Kyuhyun says, "I would appreciate if you would kiss me instead of pinching in the face."
Ryeowook laughs at the pissed Kyuhyun. Before he can grants Kyuhyun his wish, he is being stopped midway when Donghae comes hopping at them. Donghae shouts, "Hey lovebirds, save the kisses for tonight! We have a lot to do before the guests arrive."
Annoyed, Kyuhyun stands up and taps his foot impatiently. Ryeowook quickly kisses on Kyuhyun's right cheek. He then follows Donghae and says, "Is Siwon hyung here yet?"
"No. It is not easy to ship half of SM artistes across the globe, and not let the fans and media know about it. I just don't understand how you can get five managers to agree to this," Donghae shakes his head in disbelief.
Ryeowook shrugs. He turns around and finds Kyuhyun following them.
Nothing matters to Ryeowook now that he is finally getting married to Kyuhyun. He smiles back at Kyuhyun and knows that everything is alright.
And Kyuhyun smiles back knowingly.
This story has been on my mind for two years ever since I saw the Korean drama "Secret Garden". Glad to finally get it off my chest. ;)