|casting shadows & the art of subtlety |
When Ryeowook is given an assignment, it is always a quiet affair. Subtle murders are his speciality: he does not draw attention to his kills, doesn’t make it obvious that they are intentional and not the accidents that they are passed off as. One of his marks allegedly dies of cardiac failure after reporting a splitting headache the day before. He was an aging man, neither healthy nor happy, and the doctors put cause of death as “heart attack” without even bothering to do any tests, or else they might have detected trace amounts of poison still running through his system. Another is, sadly, run over when his car unexpectedly stalls on a railroad crossing - any evidence that his vehicle had been tampered with is decimated by the train that also takes his life. A third is considered a suicide, because Ryeowook threatens to break her bones one by one if she does not write a farewell note to leave behind. After she pens out her final thoughts, he brings her to her apartment’s rooftop and forces her to jump.
He does not leave behind evidence, always careful to erase anything that might suggest another person is even remotely involved in any of these incidents. Like so, he passes under the radar of not only the eye of the law but that of the underground world as well - his job title is only given out on a need-to-know basis, and when anybody else asks he merely gives a half-smile and shrugs. Even members who have known him for years have no idea how deadly he can be when he puts his mind to it and only praise him for being so kind, so gentle with them.
It’s amazing, he thinks, that people can believe he is still good just because he smiles and never argues. He does not think he is good. He thinks he is the worst kind of murderer: one who doesn’t even have the courage to put his own name to his crimes.
Before the schism, K.R.Y. is one of the most well-known subunits operating out of SJ. Kyuhyun is in charge of information acquisition while Yesung takes care of reconnaissance and retrieval, and Ryeowook is the one who primarily carries out any hits they are assigned. Their success rate is unmatched because their teamwork is impeccable, and even though their personalities and styles are all wildly different, they bring out the best in each other, and any friction between them is smoothed out with experience.
Ryeowook does not like being part of SJ sometimes, but he never dislikes being a part of K.R.Y. - Kyuhyun and Yesung become a part of his existence, a part of his identity: they bleed into each other so their edges are not quite so clear, and as far as Ryeowook is concerned that is perfectly fine with him. He’s not happy (he never planned for his life to be like this, never wanted it, wouldn’t want to be a part of it if it weren’t for the fact that he’s already in so deep and everywhere he looks around him all he sees is darkness) but when they are K.R.Y., he thinks that he is, at least, content, and that’s good enough for him.
Then the schism happens. Everybody chooses sides - is forced to, really - and Kyuhyun decides to leave with Han Geng so quickly that Ryeowook decides to follow, naively believing that Yesung will follow behind sooner or later. Yesung had to, he thought, because if they are not together then they have to be individuals again, and to him that is frightening.
A year passes. Yesung does not come.
He does not stop believing that they will be whole again until the day comes that Han Geng comes to him and says, “I don’t think you will ever forgive me for asking this for you, but I have to,” and slides him a file with an all-too-familiar photo in it.
Ryeowook closes his eyes and exhales.
October XX, 202X: A local man was found dead in a hotel room last night; police have not yet released his name. A primary test done at the scene shows that the cause of death is asphyxiation. Authorities suspect foul play, as evidence suggests there may have been another person in the room before death. Anybody with any information relating to this case is encouraged to contact the police with any details.
fandom: Super Junior
description: The rise and fall of K.R.Y. and how Ryeowook is undone. Originally posted here; edited version.
|a bomb & its fragmentation|
Seven weeks after he nearly dies, Kyuhyun is still bedridden. His body is a recovering wreck: half the skin on the left side of his torso is a mass of burned tissue, one of his leg bones is not just broken but shattered, and the rest of his body is covered in bruises and cuts. All he can do is occupy himself with his thoughts, and the only thing he can think about is the incident, so replays the memories in his head over and over again. Each time, he sees the gunman raise his arm to aim his weapon very clearly. He knows, in hindsight, that there is a person just behind the gunman, though, holding a trigger to remotely detonate the explosives planted in the building behind them, but at that moment all he could see was the gunman and so he raises his weapon too -
He remembers a flash of light, heat flooding his body, the sound of his body making impact with concrete and a sharp wrench of pain in his ribs - then nothing.
After every time, he stares up at the ceiling and has to remind himself that he is grateful to be alive.
He’s glad, at least, that Yesung and Ryeowook did not go with him this time. He’d been the one who’d gotten hold of a tip that a particular transaction would go down at a certain warehouse, and He’d been the one who insisted to Leeteuk to let him at least go and confirm the location, pushing against Leeteuk’s reluctance by pointing out that the information was time-sensitive - it could be there one minute, gone the next, he’d insisted. He’d rushed off by himself, and he’d gotten ambushed by himself, and now he was in misery by himself.
“They’re never going to let me back out on the field again, are they,” he says one day when Ryeowook visits his bedside.
“That’s not true,” Ryeowook replies, a little too quickly. “You’re a part of us, there’s no way they’re going to impose that kind of limit on K.R.Y.”
“Not on us - on me,” Kyuhyun says, and he realizes a second too late it must have come out a little too bitterly because Ryeowook is suddenly staring down uncomfortably. He sighs, and adds, “But you’re probably right. I hope you’re right.”
Of course he’s not right.
Information extraction is Kyuhyun’s specialty, but what he really loves is the field work. The outside is exhilarating and dangerous and he just feels so much more alive. but as expected when he’s finally allowed back on the job, he is no longer assigned any of those missions, and he knows that he will never be forgiven for his mistake.
For K.R.Y.’s sake, though, he grits his teeth and forces himself to be compliant and pretend like he doesn’t care in the least. He throws himself into his work, even though he’s secretly starting to hate it, and K.R.Y.’s infamy rises as Kyuhyun’s resentment smoulders.
When Han Geng defects, he approaches Kyuhyun first. “I want you to join me,” he says. “Because I know you’re not happy here, either, and you could do so much more if you were.”
Kyuhyun considers it for a few moments: he has no personal loyalty to any particular person in sj, except K.R.Y. and perhaps Sungmin. “If you want me to risk everything and follow you,” he says, “then you let me take on field work again.”
It is a deal. Kyuhyun flies to China within the next twelve hours and finally feels free again.
fandom: Super Junior
description: your resentment smolders until a spark is there to ignite it. Originally posted here, edited version.