title: lessons in saying goodbye (or how seungri leaves kwon jiyong)
pairing: gri, gtop, hints of daeri if you squint
word count: ~ 2 000 words
disclaimer: bigbang doesn't belong to me, sadly.
lessons in saying goodbye
(or how seungri leaves kwon jiyong)
this is how jiyong thinks seungri would leave, if he did.
jiyong knows seungri isn't much for being subtle, what with all the commotion and fanfare wherever he goes, in whatever he does.
jiyong believes he'll know long before seungri decides upon that course of action, and jiyong has time to put a stop to whatever foolish notions the younger has, or let it all play out naturally.
(jiyong thinks and observes and plans, but seungri is the most variable of variables, and jiyong counts on seungri's predictability too much that he forgets that unpredictability is what makes seungri predictable; makes the mistake of labelling seungri 'unsubtle'.)
this is how seungri thinks he'll leave -
this is how they begin:
seungri falls first.
head over heels, heart before mind.
falls and falls and somehow along the way, jiyong falls too.
jiyong's kisses taste like dancing, and freedom, and everything lee seunghyun has given up to become seungri.
this is why seungri leaves.
a friendship so tight there are no spaces any other.
(seungri always wanted to fall in love with his best friend, someone who understood and knew him for him; all his quirks and idiosyncrasies and still be there to hold him in the after, still there.
but his lover has a best friend already, one with a love of music who sings and dances and understands the man even better than himself.
seungri tries, but youngbae is a possessive bastard like that, and seungri backs off.)
a complicit understanding between two people who have suffered and paid for their sins.
(seungri hates it when jiyong pulls out the 'you don't know what it's like card'.
"you don't understand," jiyong tries to explain patiently.
"you don't get it," jiyong fumes.
"you don't know," jiyong snarls.
"it didn't happen to you." jiyong intones quietly -
and seungri wants to shake him, rattle him angrily because seungri has always, always been there to listen and hold and soothe and cry for him but apparently that isn't fucking enough because he didn't directly experience the line of fire.
seungri hates it when jiyong uses that card against him because it's true, it never happened to him.
(but seungri knows and understands because jiyong hurts and he hurts too, but jiyong doesn't understand that, uses that against him)
seungri hates it.)
and the frission of simmering attraction that's slowly being put on boil.
(seungri knows right from the start, that jiyong and seunghyun are special friends in a way that is so different from the camaraderie that jiyong and youngbae have, and yet so similar.
and more, even if at the time seungri didn't recognise it for what it is; brushed it aside.
jiyong's fondness for the eldest goes unnoticed by everyone because it is the maknae that jiyong squashes to death during interviews; kisses on stage and dances around giddily.
so seungri doesn't press jiyong about it, even as jiyong curls into him at night.
but that doesn't mean he doesn't see the spark when both collide, during song-writing and pretty much everything else. the way jiyong who doesn't remember unimportant things (like seungri's exam schedule) and yet remembers that choi seunghyun hates pickles and olives and onions. the quiet contemplation on jiyong's features when he looks at seungri sometimes, like he is someone else -
and the sad, faraway look in jiyong's eyes sometimes when he gazes at the eldest, a look of yearning and wanting that makes seungri sick to his stomach.)
the truth is, there is no space for him, no matter how much he wants.
this is how seungri wants to leave:
(he wants to be remembered)
this is how seungri leaves.
a trainwreck, he is.
he cannot focus, cannot sing or dance or find it within himself to gather himself and paint some semblance of happiness. his academic results plummet, resulting in his parents and the company being worried, but all he wants to do is to curl up in bed and sleep. sometimes, he gets the irrational urge to throw things, or wring someone by their neck.
"what the fuck is wrong with you," jiyong never says, but these days, when seungri gets into these moods, jiyong schools his expression carefully and leaves. sometimes a vase ends up shattering at the door jiyong has just exited, but jiyong's lips merely purse, and seungri's anger burns and rages.
a severe exhaustion and sadness descends, comparable to those uncertain days before he entered bigbang, when exhaustion and insecurity were a norm.
he pricks himself picking up the shards, but he doesn't feel the pain, just washes it off and leaves the wound to fester.
he also begins to notice seunghyun's pattern of self-destruction - alcohol, sex and erratic moodswings and the way he behaves around jiyong, like maybe he has caught on too late and too slowly. identifies the dark cloud that follows seunghyun everywhere as regret and feels a profound weariness for the elder, coupled with a tinge of dislike.
(and maybe catches onto the way jiyong seems to have caught on.
the sad part is, seungri would believe that his lover and his hyung would go behind his back.
his mind kicks into overdrive; dissecting, analysing and processing all the bits of interaction they have until he is exhausted and angry and disgusted at himself.)
"if you ever find someone you love more than me, you have to tell me," he lightly remarks one day and there is guilt in jiyong's eyes, as well as a sharp wariness but all that disappears when jiyong laughs it all off as if that will never happen, pulls seungri into an empty embrace.
"won't you ask me not to leave?" he murmurs to the night, as jiyong slumbers, back facing him and body curled at the edge of the bed.
(seungri gets up, pulls his sweats on and if he is found sleeping in the guest room the next morning, face streaked with dry tears, jiyong doesn't mention it.)
he sees them one day, jiyong's head resting on seunghyun's shoulder while they compose together, jiyong warm and pliant, pressed to a relaxed seunghyun's side with a softness that seungri has never experienced, and seungri cannot deny the bitterness in him that arises when he admits they look good together.
he turns, and walks away.
jiyong asks him to stay when he finally cottons on, but by that time seungri is drained and tired and so so angry.
"why?" seungri asks, and he doesn't believe it when jiyong says "because i love you."
he figures it's over then.
(he knows that jiyong knows this too)
he makes a big show out of it - moving out. babbles on about independence and being free of jiyong and leading the life of a bachelor he's always dreamed of.
he feels jiyong's heavy stare on his back as he directs the movers, and remembers with vivid clarity the night jiyong asked him to stay. there is a weariness, this heaviness and reluctance to leave, but seungri also knows that if he doesn't leave now, he never will.
he carries the next box out himself.
the next concert, he makes sure he's as far away from jiyong as possible.
seungri reins in his urges to stand next to the leader, to wrap an arm around his waist, to touch, to sing to the pink-haired man.
he sticks to daesung instead. smiley, bright daesung who doesn't comment on anything but daesung does nudge seungri away when seungri gets too close.
(he watches seunghyun hyung do his idiotic dance in front of jiyong; watches as jiyong's face breaks into a smile.
seungri ignores the twinge in his chest and goes back to his singing, and tries to put an arm around daesung, ignoring daesung's elbows poking into his ribs.)
this is really why seungri leaves -
because when it all comes down to it, he just doesn't know how to say goodbye.
because even though he is no longer jiyong's seungri, seungri still finds his feet chasing after the man down the road whose profile looks so much like jiyong's; still stills and reminds himself to breathe whenever he hears the smooth strains of 'missing you' and the warble of jiyong's voice.
still feels something when he sees jiyong's shy smile on old, wobbly, pixelated fancams of concerts even when it isn't directed at him.
still leans forward a little when he feels a phantom warmth pressing against his back.
still spaces his fingers out, as if there are fingers intertwining with his -
as if he could still hold onto someone who isn't there any longer.
(sometimes he remembers with vivid clarity jiyong's kisses, and now they taste like pain and love and everything seungri gave up to become lee seunghyun again.)
this is how seungri leaves.
when the rest begin their solo projects and seunghyun his acting, seungri asks to go to japan.
(and to his surprise, yg says yes, with a stern warning not to get into any scandals again.)
he leaves on a quiet tuesday morning, just before dawn breaks.
japan is different.
seungri doesn't quite grasp this until he really settles down in a little apartment at shinjuku.
like days he craves kimchi, where there is none -
or the familiarity of hangul and korean words, to ease his homesickness a little.
his mother, and the warmth of home that bright, fluorescent japan somehow lacks.
he may sort of miss the rest of bigbang too, but he'll never really admit it to them.
and yet, japan is familiar.
no kimchi, but seungri learns to make his own. it isn't as good as the one his mother makes, but it's enough to sustain him. other times he goes to the little shop two streets away for sukiyaki and pickled radish which is enough to warm him.
and japanese, once so difficult in the beginning, especially the with hiragana and kanji and katakana characters, suddenly seems to click for him. the words spill easily, and he lets himself be at ease with the fluidity of which he speaks these foreign words.
he moves in trinkets from here and there. little porcelain sculptures from around japan, a sand sculpture from okinawa. he hangs up photographs of home, and some indie art pieces he finds from here and there as well as the better-quality fanmade paintings. he buys all the books he has always wanted to read, not just the books on business or the motivational books but also some pieces of fiction. he stocks his fridge with kimbap and jiggae, and makes sure there's always a tub of kimchi in stock.
and when daesung releases his solo album covering japanese songs, seungri finds that he has a new apartment-mate and makes space for daesung's books and cds and doraemon plushies.
and seungri is content.
seungri gets into the habit of taking walks when he is in japan. the country is beautiful, in a way different yet similar to korea.
sometimes, on his off days, he takes the train down to different regions of japan.
he takes the train down to osaka to visit dotonburi and puts on weight as he goes around nibbling on takoyaki and crab legs and japanese snacks. takes a photo with the glico man when he walks past ebisubashi and uploads it to twitter. visits the kaiyukan and gapes in awe to see the penguins and whales and the massive stingray residing within.
other times he makes his way down to kyoto, which he really loves. the ancient city reveals new wonders for him each time he visits, whether in the form of its splendours (the magnificence of kinkakuji and the shogun palace) or its quieter intricacies (a small eatery serving the best octopus legs he has ever eaten or a shinto shrine concealing a rock garden and a bamboo forest within).
seungri travels, and learns to live again.
sometimes he asks daesung to come along as well.
daesung jets between seoul and tokyo for his promotional activities, so he hardly gets a breather.
so seungri, when daesung has longer stretches of much wanted downtime, takes daeung around.
they walk around tokyo; shinjuku, shibuya and ginza at first but then seungri suggests that they get off at a random station and just explore the place.
it rains, the first time they try it out, and seungri thinks that daesung will never do this again with him. but daesung merely laughs and takes out the bright yellow umbrella he had packed and they wander around aimlessly in the rain, pressed together under the too-small umbrella as they appreciate the lush scenery unfolding before them.
when they tire, they find a small wooden eatery and sit, warming their hands on the hot glasses of ocha before sharing a huge portion of sukiyaki and ramen between them. they talk about things (and seungri realises that daesung is a really good listener) until the sun goes down and they've to seek accommodation from a ryokan that the kindly proprietor points them to.
"thank you," daesung says as they settle on the futon that night, sharing a comfortable room.
"glad you enjoyed it," seungri replies, and seungri can feel daesung's smile in the darkness, less than a foot away.
the next morning after breakfast, they walk around the town a little and seungri breathes in fresh air, utterly content.
he thinks about jiyong, and how jiyong might love this place, and how maybe seungri will bring him here next time, if jiyong wishes. and realises then, that these days the thought of jiyong doesn't cause a pang in his heart anymore, although there is still a quiet sense of loss.
daesung nudges his shoulder and asks if seungri is happy, and seungri tells him the truth.
"i am," seungri says, and he means it.
This fic is dedicated to the one and only Lee Seungri, for being the most embarrassingly adorkable, handsome maknae of BIGBANG. Happy birthday, you crazy man-boy. This year has been spent rediscovering you, laughing at you and with you, crying for you and most of all, loving you. I cannot express how absolutely wonderful you have been and how your existence continues to be the permanent rainbow in my life. Here's to you, maknae, and here's hoping that wherever you are and whatever you do, you're happy and contented.
And a biggggg 'thank you' to my wifey, twelvemornings, for the constant encouragement and betawork, even though bigbang is not her fandom. This piece would never have been written like this (or even published at all!) if not for her. Thank you so much, wifey! <3 /huggles