Thank you for being a door
and not a wall when my voice knocked.
24th-Jun-2012 06:51 pm

Of Sunlight and Bated Breath
Word Count: 1,579
Warnings: In-Patient AU.  Attempted suicide.
Summary: The boy-with-pretty-lips has a voice like a song and, someday, Chanyeol wants to hear him sing. But he’s never been good at sharing, so he waits with bated breath for a day when he can carry the boy in his pocket, whispering sweet songs in his ear, only for him.
A/N: Not my characters.This is unbeta’d. Also, I don’t have any idea how this happened.

**Vietnamese Translation** by cartilage1504

Chanyeol likes to count.

He likes to count the folds in the curtains, the number of cracks in the hard linoleum floor, the number of visitors in the white washed visitation room.  He does it quietly, with a small smile on his face that makes the orderlies pat his shoulders and smooth his hair and tell him what a good, patient boy he’s been even as he bounces in his chair.

He doesn’t know what day it is—the characters on the calendar are foreign, not as curved as his native language, and not as pretty as the other language he recognizes but can’t remember why—but he knows that it is the third week of the month.

He knows because the pills in his cup that morning were blue.  He’d smiled at the morning nurse and she’d beamed right back at him, because she understood.

It is a blue pill week.
Chanyeol loves blue pill weeks.

The door slides open and his bouncing stops.  His smile widens and he wants to stand up and put his arms around the boy-with-pretty-lips as he slides into the seat across from him, but he knows he’s not allowed to. His feet are clasped to the legs of his chair and instead he sprawls forward, stretching his arms across the cool metal of the table, hands reaching, reaching, reaching.

The boy-with-pretty-lips  sets down the sweets he’s brought and laughs—his laughter always sounds like sunshine and bells and warm—and takes Chanyeol’s hands in his own.

“You’re happy today,” his visitor says, his smile and eyes so warm that Chanyeol wants to bathe in them, but he just rests his chin on the table and grins back.

“You came.”


He knows that he and the boy-with-pretty-lips have known each other a long time. He knows because the other boy tells him so, tracing his fingers along the lines on Chanyeol’s palms—and sometimes, after a deep breath, he turns the other boy’s hands at traces down the white lines on his wrists too, but his eyes turn dark and heavy and Chanyeol needs his smile like a flower needs the sun so he’s taken to wearing long sleeves during blue-pill weeks. 

The boy-with-pretty-lips has a voice like a song and, someday, Chanyeol wants to hear him sing. But he’s never been good at sharing, and there are always at least five other visitors, so he waits with bated breath for a day when he can carry the boy in his pocket, whispering sweet songs in his ear, only for him.


It’s a green pill week, and Chanyeol likes those too—but not as much as the blue pill weeks.  The boy-with-angry-eyes comes to visit, and even though his face reminds Chanyeol of a dragon about to spit—Do dragons spit? Or do they breathe? They’d have to spit some sort of ignition fluid in order to create a combustible, but is it considered spitting?— his laugh is melodic and his fingers are broad and familiar when they muss the—slightly—shorter man’s hair.  He likes these visits because the boy-with-angry-eyes lets Chanyeol tell him all about his world.

The first time he’d come, the younger man had been so excited to talk to anyone that he’d carried on a story for half an hour before getting embarrassed at the undivided attention.  The older boy had just patted his hand, and then, with a knowing glint in his eye, asked Chanyeol exactly what violet tasted like—spurring the younger man to continue his story.

The boy-with-angry-eyes always leaves him scraps of paper, smudged ink in characters he can sometimes read—and, seemingly written by other people— and Chanyeol treasures these gifts even after they are taken from him by the orderlies.


Chanyeol hates red pill weeks.

During red pill weeks he receives no visitors, at least, Chanyeol doesn’t consider her a visitor.  She sits in his room, taking out the ceiling tiles, de-seaming his pillows.  She takes the notes from green pill weeks and the sweets from blue pill weeks and throws them in the bin—unlike the other staffers, who hold on to them for Chanyeol and then slip them in his room as he sleeps—Chanyeol thinks they’re like good fairies in the night, but doesn’t tell them so. It was things like that that brought him here in the first place.

She makes him sit straight in his chair and brush his unruly hair and tell him about himself.  But when he tells her about the taste of violet and the way the spider in the corner of his room sings him to sleep, there is no humor in her eyes.  She clicks her heels in the floor exactly forty-two times per meeting.  She looks at him like he’s nothing the entire time.

The worst part of red pill weeks, is the photos.
On the fifth day, she shows him photos.

The room is warm, cast in golden lighting, but the floor and walls are stained red.  Chanyeol feels sick, tries to look away, but she’s too fast. She grabs him, she holds him steady, and he screams. She asks him the same question over and over and he screams and screams for hours and his wrists feel like they’ve been opened all over again.   He sobs, his whole body shaking in his chair—his arms are bound to this one as well as his feet—he sobs until the world turns black.

The last two days he lies in his room, staring at the ceiling.  There are six thousand five hundred and forty three black dots in the white tiles, and Chanyeol has named every one of them.

The spider is gone now, but he’d had a name too.


Yellow pill weeks are okay.

They give him time to sleep and recover from the harpy-of-the-red-pill.  The orderlies laugh when he calls her that, but Chanyeol wonders if they understand what he’s saying at all.  They smile when he smiles (which is often), they pat his head, and rub his shoulders, and always say goodnight—at least he thinks they say good night, his broken understanding of the language makes him about 70% sure that’s what they’re saying.


“You don’t remember my name, do you?”

It’s a blue pill week and the boy-with-pretty-lips pulls his fingers away from where Chanyeol has been toying with them, curling and uncurling—he has calluses on his fingers and three beauty marks on his left wrist.

Chanyeol looks at him with wide eyes—he bites his lip three times every five minutes, he has one hundered seventy eyelashes on his left eye, one hundred seventy six on his right, he makes his heart skip an average of five times per hour and he visits for three hours at a time.

“I…” Chanyeol’s smile falls, and gravity feels like it’s intensified two fold.

The boy-with-pretty-lips is looking at him with those heavy eyes—the same ones he has when he rubs the lines of Chanyeol’s wrists, over and over and over like he can wipe them away with his touch.

The younger boy swallows.

“No,” his heart is pounding and aching and he feels like his throat is closing, “No, I don’t.”

He keeps coming, the rest of the week, but the warmth has left his eyes.


“He misses you,” the boy-with-angry-eyes says bluntly.

Chanyeol stops mid-story—the cracks in the floor run like the veins in his arm, giving life blood to the building and sometimes in the still of the night he hears the heart of the walls and the breath of the windows—and his hands tremble.

“What are you talking about?”

The boy-with-angry-eyes actually, for the first time, looks angry. He looks angry and tired, and… Chanyeol doesn’t know how to name the emotion on his face. He doesn’t leave any notes that day.

He doesn’t come back.


The photos.

She’s showing him the photos, the same scene over and over and Chanyeol is sobbing. He pulls at his restraints and he’s sobbing and he just wants to go home—whatever that means—and bask in the warmth of a smile and a soft pair of eyes.

Her hand is on his chin and her eyes are boring into his and she asks softly—for once she says it soft, and slow, and steady—“Chanyeol, who’s blood is this?”

He lets out a dry sob, shaking and in a whoosh of breath he says.

“Mine. It’s mine. Mine, mine, mine.

She sets the photos on the floor and smooths his hair back. The touch is foreign, strange to him, but the look in her eyes is soothing and calm.

“Yes, good Chanyeol. Good.”


He refuses visitors for the next month.


His next round of red she lets him talk to her from his bed, no restraints, no hard chair. He buries his face in his pillow and tells her everything.


It’s a yellow pill day. 

Chanyeol is laying out in the grass, long limbs sprawling, eyes closed and fingers twining with the green blades.  He wonders briefly what green tastes like, but is too relaxed to move.

He hears footsteps close to him, too light to be an orderly.  Shadows fall across his face as the newcomer stands over him, blocking the sun, but he feels the warmth anyway.  A smile stretches across his face when he opens his eyes, fingers already reaching.


25th-Jun-2012 04:28 am (UTC) - this was just.
okay this is like my first comment ever on a fanfic on lj LOL and seriously agh i can't even it was so good. as a writer myself, i totally commend your use of one liners and the little description you use to explain what's happening. it's suspenseful like that. and not to mention the lovely number + pills idea, aghh fuuu- so perf. loveeee it! please continue writing and thank for sharing! <3

p.s baekyeol feels /dead
25th-Jun-2012 04:31 am (UTC) - Re: this was just.
This is my first ever EXO fic, so we have firsts together! <3<3<3
Thank you so much. ^////^

25th-Jun-2012 07:23 am (UTC) - dear jesus christ.
sobs this.
sobs my feels okay.
you are amazinggg. this is also my first comment on a lj fic, ever.
this. djghlasjfha;slfjh the feels dghlskjfh;asklfhasf.

keep doing this because wow just w0w
amazing. i can't say that enough.
i aspire to write like you one day. i'm far from it, but hopefully i'll get there before i die /shot
thank you for writing this beautiful piece of jkfsd;fkjlh i dont even know anymore i've lost my mind ok.
gull, i can't explain what i feel.

<3 baekyeol djgfhlskdj.
<3 <3
25th-Jun-2012 02:26 pm (UTC) - Re: dear jesus christ.
Really?! You Too?
This is my first EXO fic, so, we both have firsts!

Whaaa? Wow, thank you so much.

((I kind of wish I'd written a part in with Chanyeol laying his head on the table and singing 'I lost my mind' really quietly. Maybe in the future.))

Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
25th-Jun-2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
You have no idea where my mind was heading while I was writing this. o.o I may just keep doing this verse, because insane!Chanyeol makes my heart get squishy and I love him. I try to keep the dark/fluff balance. ^^

Thank you so much. ^^
25th-Jun-2012 02:32 pm (UTC)
This is just so touching
I don't even know what to comment, because I'm not exactly spazzing, I'm actually pretty shocked.I didn't expected to read something like this when I first read the summary, and still I love it. Really touching. And beautiful in some sort of way.
25th-Jun-2012 02:35 pm (UTC)
Was it a bad unexpected? >>;;
I didn't want to give away the whole thing in the summary, but if it's too jarring I'll change it!

Thank you for reading!
25th-Jun-2012 02:36 pm (UTC)
it was a good unexpected, really
it's unique and beautiful and i like it
i like it really much
25th-Jun-2012 02:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, good. ^^
Thank you, again.
26th-Jun-2012 12:55 am (UTC)
oh my goodness i am sobbing okay? i am sobbing this was so wonderfully sad oh it was. you did such a great job and you really just know where to tug at the reader's heart ugh this was just great. i loved all the details, the way you described everything was just lovely omg i really enjoyed this, it was all sorts of perfect.

and stalking your comments this is your first exo fic omg may i just please bake you brownies and welcome you to the fandom <3
26th-Jun-2012 02:46 am (UTC)

Thank you so much, really.
26th-Jun-2012 11:48 pm (UTC)
Oh my goshh this was just such a breathtaking piece.
I love the slightly vague references to chanyeol's insanity such as the spider in the corner, you weren't outright with it and the subtlety and softness of it carried through the whole fic. Like the baekyeol *^* gaah and how everything was categorized and counted really gave this good flow.
Definite A++ lol, thank you for writing!! I'd love to see more exo fic from you!
27th-Jun-2012 01:50 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I fully intend to write EXO again in the future! ^^
((Maybe after I get my next Bigbang fic out of the way!))

Edited at 2012-06-27 01:54 am (UTC)
18th-Jul-2012 10:45 am (UTC)
Perfect. Absolute perfection.
This is the Chanyeol I've tried and failed to write in my head come to life in a beautiful fic.
I love the references to pills, numbers: you know Chanyeol is there because he tried to hurt himself, but you never directly say it, which adds more mystery (that's not the word I want but it'll do ^^;).

Now, time to roll around my floor, sobbing Baekyeol feels.
18th-Jul-2012 02:31 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, thank you so much!

I love this Chanyeol that lives in my head, even if he breaks my heart.
I think mystery is a great word for every situation. ^^

Don't sob too hard, I know I'm personally saving most of my tears for the B.A.P comeback in a half hour!

(Deleted comment)
20th-Jul-2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, you're so sweet!
I'm actually considering a companion piece, but I'm not sure if I'll really have the time. I'll see what I can do, since I really like writing these boys!
1st-Aug-2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
This was so wonderful ;; You're an amazing writer and I liked the simplicity of your style. I like how the weeks were broken up according to pill and each pill signified something different. The BaekYeol made it all the better, even though there wasn't that much <3
1st-Aug-2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
; A ;
Thank you so much!!!!
3rd-Aug-2012 04:08 pm (UTC)
I'm so confused >.<

Could you explain to me exactly what this is about? Lol
4th-Aug-2012 04:38 am (UTC)
Okay, so this is meant to be pretty abstract and I left it open to a lot of interpretation. But the way I saw it was this.

Chanyeol had begun displaying irrational behaviors, talking to himself, hearing voices, seeing things, and it got to a point where he felt so out of control that he tried to take his own life--but he tries to forget that it happened. So he's committed to an in-patient facility for mental disorders in a foreign country (I was thinking either Great Britian or the U.S.A). His weeks are split up into the types of medication he receives, and that's how he keeps track of time. When the pills are a certain color it signifies what he's doing that week. A visit from Baekhyun, a visit from Kris, a full session with the therapist (where he struggles with trying not to remember his suicide attempt), and a down period. He's so wrapped up in his delusions that while he recognizes the people in his life, he doesn't actually remember them, instead choosing to only think about this protective, safe world he's created in his mind. Eventually he has a breakdown/through with the therapist and accepts what had happened, accepts that he is having psychiatric issues, accepts that he had tried to kill himself. The final scene, with him remembering Baekhyun's name is supposed to be a small signifier that he's begun the road to recovery.

I hope that makes sense?

Edited at 2012-08-04 04:38 am (UTC)
7th-Aug-2012 01:26 pm (UTC)
It does make perfect sense!

12th-Aug-2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
i got here through tumblr (this post) and woaahh good job, no words
13th-Aug-2012 04:07 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!!!!
And I love that edit so much T.T I reblog it every time.
12th-Aug-2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
(my comment got marked as spam? ;~;)
13th-Aug-2012 04:07 am (UTC)
I think it was b/c of the link ; A ; but I've unmarked it now. ^^
13th-Aug-2012 08:50 am (UTC)
(I KNOW RIGHT chanyeol is gorgeous ;~;)
13th-Aug-2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
(He and Yixing are my top two EXO life ruiners, for sure.)
13th-Aug-2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
(haha i gave up on ranking exo tbh ;~; all i know is that kyungsoo is my baby and chanyeol is the most gorgeous creature ever~ so i guess kyungsoo is at 1 and chanyeol would be 1.5 - well he'd be number 1 looks wise - and then everybody else at 2 lol)
12th-Aug-2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
That was... amazing. I feel kind of empty right now, I don't really know what to say ... ;_; I'd like to thank you for writing this, I really liked it and I enjoyed reading it, even if I cried xD
I love the fact that Chanyeol associate weeks with the color of the pills and with what happens during this week (Kris, Baekhyun or the therapist's visit). And the fact that he likes number... That was kind of cute, but really sad too, especially this part "There are six thousand five hundred and forty three black dots in the white tiles, and Chanyeol has named every one of them", it gave me a melancholic feeling (I don't really know how to explain myself xD). And this part "he bites his lip three times every five minutes, he has one hundered seventy eyelashes on his left eye, one hundred seventy six on his right, he makes his heart skip an average of five times per hour and he visits for three hours at a time" ... The fact that he knows all that stuff but can't remember Baekhyun's name, it's quite heartbreaking to me, but I really liked it.
Anyway, this was a really beautiful OS, yet sad. But the end lets the reader know that things will get better, right ? :)
Once again, thank you ! I really liked it ♥ it was quite light and deep at the same time (how to explain... xD). But it was really pleasant to read. Thanks a lot. ♥ and sorry for my long/useless comment ;_;
13th-Aug-2012 04:09 am (UTC)
omg omg omg


Thank you so much, I love that you liked it, and I love that you shared your thoughts with me. I was hoping that this would have a sort of quiet melancholy to it and your comments make me feel like it turned out how I wanted it to!

13th-Aug-2012 09:54 am (UTC)
Haaw don't worry about it, it totally has this quiet, beautiful melancholy ! And I think I loved it so much because of this melancholy ;_; I mean, this is not sad like the other sad fics I've read so far, but this is beautifully sad ♥
I'm glad you likedmy comment :)
21st-Aug-2012 03:38 pm (UTC)
Your fic is amazing and extremely good . Keep writting. I think you've succeeded in writting fanfic.
Btw, can I translate your fic into Vietnamese? I promise I will update it with full links.
If you let me do it, it'll be my pleasure.
21st-Aug-2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

You may translate it, just link back to my original and please send me the link of the translation once you've finished!
5th-Sep-2012 11:02 am (UTC)
Hello author-nim :)

I've read your piece of work a few weeks ago, and I just have to say I really love it.
I like the way you use the colors here, it's so unexpected and new and I've never ever seen it before and it really really really impressed me :") You're such an imaginative writer :)
It's short, but, there's something that keeps running through my mind for a long time after reading it, like some emotions, some thoughts which I can't really put down in words, but there's that feeling.
Please keep on writing more beautiful stories, kay? :")

And, I'd really appreciate it if you could give me the permission to translate your work into Vietnamese (we VNese translators are very active, aren't we? XD)
Waiting for your reply :x

P/S: I love the spider too >///
6th-Sep-2012 02:34 am (UTC)

This is really just, such a gorgeous compliment, thank you.

You absolutely have my permission, I would prefer if 1) you link to the original English piece, and 2) you message me the link to your translation so I can promo it! (Very active, I think this is the third or fourth translation ask I've gotten, not all in Vietnamese but still!)

P.S. I really liked him too!
7th-Sep-2012 02:00 pm (UTC)
omg thank you so so so so muchhhh *sending thousands of hugs and kisses*

Here is the link to my translation:

And I linked to your original piece in English, the link is right next to your name in the second line XD

Thank you again x 1000n times <3

Edited at 2012-09-07 04:26 pm (UTC)
7th-Sep-2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
Wow you're so fast!

Alright I'll link it!

9th-Sep-2012 08:42 am (UTC)
thank you XD <3 <3 <3
7th-Jan-2013 04:28 pm (UTC)
legit crying ;;;;;;;;
7th-Jan-2013 04:38 pm (UTC)
please don't cry!!!! >>;;
24th-Apr-2013 08:33 am (UTC)
6th-May-2013 12:38 am (UTC)
1st-May-2014 01:42 pm (UTC)
goodness gracious, i don't know whether to feel relieved, happy, sad or what
. . .
but what i do know is, this is very beautiful and you wrote it wonderfully.

The way you portrayed the days of the week through the colors of the pills and the description of baekhyun (boy-with-pretty-lips) and kris(boy-with-angry-eyes) .. .. magnificent~ but i know you know that already (≧∇≦)

and the thought and process of this, i just-- idk you're awesome

continue to be an awesome writer *・゜゚・*☆
2nd-May-2014 03:45 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading ~
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