It was New Year’s eve, and was supposed to mean a holiday for the members of Super Junior. However, this year, that didn’t happen. This year they were in the studio working on their third album. They had gotten Christmas off, but the day after, they had to be back in the recording studio to continue working on the album.
The hours stretched on as everyone - Super Junior and crew - were growing restless and tired from being in the studio for so long. As the clock neared eleven, Kangin stood up and stretched,
“I’m going to get some ramen,” He said decisively. Several others gave him orders, while others offered to accompany him. He looked over to Eeteuk who sat on one of the couches, “Do you want anything?”
Eeteuk nodded. On any occasion he would have accompanied Kangin, but Sungmin had fallen asleep leaning on him and out of instinct, Eeteuk had wrapped an arm about his shoulders. Eeteuk knew if he moved and inch, Sungmin would wake up immediately. So, to spare his dongsaeng he requested an order, “Just an order of ramen - and one for Sungminnie, he’ll be hungry when he wakes up.”
“If he wakes up,” Kangin teased affectionately, he had been on Sungmin’s other side when he had fallen asleep, “Anything else?”
“Eh…an order of pork belly?” Eeteuk asked,
Kangin nodded as he walked over to Eeteuk and picked his pocket, pulling out a wallet, “Don’t object - you might wake him up,” Kangin said solemnly despite the grin on his face, “You didn’t think I’d pay for all of this myself, did you?”
“Apparently I hoped for too much,” Eeteuk muttered, “I’ll consider it my birthday present for Sungmin… and everyone else.”
“He’ll be happy for food on his birthday. I’ll try to get us back before midnight so we’ll all be here with him,” Kangin promised,
As half of the studio emptied, Kyuhyun exited the recording room, collapsing into a chair in the corner. The producer looked down at his list, “Ah, Sungmin-sshi is next.”
Eeteuk sighed, he could’ve gone with Kangin after all. Reluctantly, he nudged the younger one awake. Sleepily, Sungmin stood up and in a trance-like state, entered the recording room. Putting the headphones on, he leaned against the microphone stand, waiting for instructions.
Kyuhyun, noticing the large space beside Eeteuk on the couch, jumped from his chair to the couch, promptly relaxing into the black leather. “Hyung, how much longer?”
“We’re only half done,” Eeteuk sighed as he went through it in his mind. Why the company wanted to put out the finished product by next week, he never understood.
Kyuhyun sighed as the lights in the studio flickered, “Eh - even the building’s tired.”
At the sight of the light’s flicker, Eeteuk sat up straighter, his gaze suddenly on the window between the room and the recording room. Suddenly, as if on cue, the lights flickered again and shut off completely.
“What’s going on!?” The producer demanded to one of the crew.
“Power outage,” one crew member stated as he got news from the other end of his cell phone, “The whole block’s out.”
The rattling of the door between the two rooms caught everyone’s attention. A fist pounded on the door, shook the handle.
“Why is the door locked!?” Eeteuk cried as he jumped towards the door, also trying out the handle fiercely,
“When the power goes out, all doors are automatically locked - it’s part of the security system set up to protect the building in these situations,” another crew member stated, “even the door from this room to the hallway is locked.”
“Don’t worry Sungmin! I’ll get you out!” Eeteuk exclaimed as he took out his cell phone and ran to the glass barrier. He used the light from his phone to cast some light into the other room.
Sungmin appeared on the other side, pounding against the glass, his voice barely comprehendible to the others. His eyes pleaded with his leader as his eyes filled with tears.
“What’s wrong?” Kyuhyun asked as he reached Eeteuk’s side, also adding to the light with his phone,
“Sungmin’s afraid of the dark,” Eeteuk explained in a quiet, steady voice as he placed his palm against the glass so that it was directly opposite of Sungmin’s.
As he stared into Sungmin’s wet eyes, he remembered days of old. He remembered the night Sungmin was missing from the hostel they shared. He remembered the morning after when Sungmin was brought in by a hyung, explaining his disappearance. At school Sungmin was targeted by jealous students. So, they had locked him in a supposedly haunted classroom overnight. The worst of it all was that he wasn’t just locked inside the classroom, Sungmin had been trapped inside a supplies cupboard until the janitors found him the next morning.
Eeteuk shook his head as he broke free of his dark memories, focusing on the present Sungmin before him, “We have to get him out now- isn’t there any back up power to unlock the door?”
“There is, but it takes a half hour to begin booting up the building again,” a crew member answered.
“Damn it, half an hour is too long,” Eeteuk cursed.
He looked back at Sungmin who had lowered his head, leaning his crown against the glass as his palms remained where they were. He saw the slight tremble in Sungmin’s hands. He had been the first to get Sungmin to talk again after the incident so long ago when they were still trainees and that had taken him three weeks. He pounded against the glass, trying to get Sungmin’s attention, willing him to look up, but he didn’t. Eeteuk swore silently, if he didn’t either get Sungmin to turn his attention away from the encompassing darkness of the recording room or get Sungmin out of there, he knew that his dongsaeng would revert to the dark recesses of his mind again.
Eeteuk looked around the room and quickly wrote something in a text message on his phone. He knocked on the glass, hoping Sungmin would look up. At the sight of light, Sungmin was drawn back, looking up at the words Eeteuk had typed. Sungmin looked over at Eeteuk, shaking his head, his eyes widened with pure unabated fear. Eeteuk typed another message and held it up for Sungmin to read. A moment passed when all was silent and still in both rooms. The crew didn’t know what Eeteuk was saying or thinking, but a look had crossed his usually jovial appearance and none dared question the leader’s decisions.
Then, startling everyone, Sungmin disappeared from view of the window.
Eeteuk knocked against the glass a couple of times, “How thick is this glass?”
“Not that thick if I’m thinking what you’re thinking,” a crew member mentioned.
Eeteuk took hold of the chair Kyuhyun had collapsed in previously. The producer placed a hand on his arm, “Eeteuk-sshi, are you sure you know what you’re doing? You’re breaking property here, is it really dire we do this?”
“It’s either I break that glass and you get it fixed tomorrow; or Sungmin breaks and who knows when he’ll be fixed again,” Eeteuk replied solidly with finality.
There were no arguments he’d allow to stand between him and breaking the window. As if suddenly understanding the gravity of the situation, the producer took away his hand and stepped back for Eeteuk to proceed.
With all the strength he could conjure, Eeteuk whipped the metal chair at the glass. Everyone ducked away as a waterfall of glass scattered everywhere. When all was silent, they slowly began to straighten up again.
Immediately, Eeteuk called for his dongsaeng, “Sungmin-sshi!? Sungminnie! Min!”
As if on cue, Sungmin appeared from the dark room, climbing carefully through the newly-created entrance through the window as everyone opened their phones to light his way. Before anything else could be said, Sungmin ran into Eeteuk’s waiting arms. The moment his hyung’s hold closed around him, he fell into a fit of silent cries, his body trembling uncontrollably in the circle of Eeteuk’s arms.
To give what little privacy they could give in the studio room, the crew looked away, leaving their phones open to give a source of light until the back-up power began working. Kyuhyun, turned his eyes away from his hyungs’ embrace, he felt he were intruding if he did watch. His eyes caught Eeteuk’s phone which lay forgotten on one of the switch boards. He picked it up and saw the last message Eeteuk had written for Sungmin: