Pairing: Kangteuk (not in this chapter)
Summary: Colors frightened him, so he got rid of them. But can anyone reintroduce the beauty of color to someone who does not wish to see it? (I know, bad summary)
A/N: I tried to get this up earlier but the power went out T_T
Jungsu’s brain had shut off since the red invaded his white surroundings. He remembered seeing the ceiling moving above him and wondering why it was doing that. He remembered faces and people trying to speak to him, but he didn’t show any sign that he had heard. He just stared at the blank ceiling like it was the most fascinating thing he had ever seen in his entire life.
When he was carried out of his house, he no longer saw the ceiling, but the black sky. The dark, foreboding color flooded his vision and his mind awoke to go wild. He thrashed around and those that were holding the stretcher fumbled to keep it steady. A paramedic leaned over him to force his arms down as they carted him into the ambulance. Once inside, he continued to lash out at anything until the medics were forced to restrain him.
“What’s happening to my son?” demanded Mrs. Park as she climbed into the ambulance with them. Mr. Park would be following closely with his own car. She looked at her son with worry and then she turned frightened eyes on the medics. However, they were not allowed to say anything. They did not have the authority to answer her questions until the doctors at the hospital checked him out.
Later, when they were all at the hospital and Jungsu had been tranquilized and taken into a special room to be watched carefully, the doctors sat both of the Parks down to explain to them what was going on. They both impatiently waited for the doctor to speak. But the bubbles of suspicion came from deep in their stomachs and thoughts of the past days seemed to encourage these suspicions. The doctor opened his mouth with an apologetic expression on his face.
“There is nothing wrong with your son…physically.”
They understood the hidden meaning behind those words immediately. Mrs. Park burst into loud sobs.
By the time Jungsu woke up, he was already placed into the proper facilities. When he opened his eyes, he just stared at the ceiling like he had before losing himself. It was white. He breathed easy. But as his eyes moved around in their sockets, he could see the baby blue blanket that someone had laid over his body.
A sharp intake of breath and he threw the material off of himself faster than a jack rabbit could run to its burrow. You would think the covers had burned him by the way he shrank away from them. Then he caught sight of himself. He was not in his plain white clothes anymore. He was in a set of thin pajama like clothes that had a pattern of small flowers all over it.
Jungsu’s head screamed and his arms immediately began tearing the colors from his body until he was stark naked. Why were colors everywhere? Why couldn’t he live in his own white world? He chucked the clothes to the other side of the room and then curled up on himself. The colors of the brown furniture around him scared him more than they did when he was in a familiar environment. Being in an unfamiliar environment scared him even more.
He diverted his eyes to a pure patch of white and put his hands in his bleached hair as an attempt to keep his thoughts from going wild. It wasn’t working. He wanted to cry. But when he opened his mouth, nothing came out. It was the most frustrating thing in the world. Yet, at the same time, in the back of his head there was something telling him it was a good thing he was not making a sound. Something told him that voices had colors too. However, the colors came in so many shades that it made Jungsu’s head spin just thinking about all the voices he had heard throughout his lifetime.
He heard the door open on the other side of the room. He heard the first syllables of a sentence being spoken hurriedly before he moved his hands from his hair down to his ears. He felt someone touch his bare arm and he flung it off without reflection. But the hand was persistent. It kept coming back to grab onto him and he continued to throw it off as quickly as his body would react.
The hands became firmer as they resisted being pushed off as time went on. Finally, they grabbed Jungsu’s arms and forced him to let go of his ears and stop fighting. Jungsu looked up defiantly at the person before him. It was a man with a very muscular build and eyes shown with a will to continue until Jungsu gave up. But the black hair on the top of the man’s head set Jungsu back into his terror driven struggles. He suddenly found the strength to push the man off of him and covered his ears again so he didn’t have to listen to the man’s words.
“Do I seriously have to sedate you on your first day here?” the larger man questioned, half to Jungsu, half to the air. He picked up Jungsu’s clothes and tried to at least get him to put them back on, but Jungsu strongly refused and only pushed or tossed them away as quickly as he could. The man sighed and pulled away for a while. Jungsu was not doing anything violent at least.
He walked over to examine the clipboard hanging from the door. He skimmed through the little bit of history that had been written in and kept a careful eye on the seemingly very frightened male in the corner. After reading a little bit about the situation Jungsu had gotten himself into, the man walked out for a minute.
“Ryeowook!” he called into the hallways. A head popped out from behind a corner about a minute later.
“Do we have any full white clothes?”
The smaller man – Ryeowook – looked thoughtful for a moment. “I think we do. But they’re never used. What’s wrong with–” Something clicked in Ryeowook’s brain and he looked at his hyung with suspicion. “This wouldn’t have to do with a patient’s condition would it?”
“And what if it does?” challenged Youngwoon.
“We’re supposed to be helping them through their condition. Not enforce it.” Ryeowook pointed out. “You do this all the time and–”
“–and every single one of the patients I have been in charge of have left here with smiles and have never had a recurrence.” Youngwoon said quickly. “That’s a lot more than most of the staff here can say.”
“But the way you go about it is against the rules! You make them worse by giving them what they want.” Ryeowook said in a worried tone.
“But I make them believe that they can trust me. Then I can help them.” reasoned Youngwoon. “You can’t just throw someone into a treatment they didn’t want in the first place. They thought they were absolutely fine. Only a special few people actually know they need help. And right now, there’s a scared, naked man in that room who needs plain white clothes. Do you mind?” Ryeowook frowned and walked into the clothing storage closet. When he came back out a minute later, a clean set of pure white clothes were in his hand. Youngwoon took the clothes with thanks and the younger muttered a little response before going back to whatever he was previously doing.
Quietly, Youngwoon brought the clothes into the room Jungsu was staying in. He was still huddled in a corner with his hands over his ears. Youngwoon tossed the clothes to him and went about picking up the discarded ones without waiting for a reaction.
When he turned around, Jungsu was staring at the clothes intently, but he was not picking them up and putting them on. At least he wasn’t throwing them across the room. Youngwoon took the patterned clothes away and threw them into the laundry a little ways down the hall. When the door closed behind him, Jungsu moved from his stationary position to retrieve the clothes the man had given to him.
He was straightening the white shirt on his torso when the man came back into the room. Jungsu looked up to see that the man was now wearing a white cap to cover his black hair and he had something in his hands. Without a word, the man took the object over to the brown trimmed furniture. Jungsu realized it was white duct tape when the man began covering everything in it. The roll was nearly gone by the time the whole room was finished. The man turned around to face Jungsu and the walked closer to him.
He kneeled down next to him and said, “My name is Youngwoon. I’m going to be taking care of you for your stay here.” As much as he didn’t want to admit it, Jungsu had heard him even though his hands were still firmly placed over his ears. “Would you mind telling me your name?” asked Youngwoon. He could just as easily looked at the clipboard again for the name, but he thought he might as well try to get the other to say it. It was only polite, even if that hospital was not built on etiquette.
Jungsu didn’t answer him. He kept his mouth firmly shut. Youngwoon sighed. “Are you really going to keep up this silence?” Jungsu made no response; not even the nod of a head. So Youngwoon got up and walked over to the clipboard again.
The same day, a different caretaker brought Jungsu’s lunch to his room. There was one soul reason Jungsu drew back from him and the tray in his hands. They both reeked of color. His hair was a dark dyed brown and he was wearing a light blue uniform. The tray was filled with the browns of meat, the greens of veggies, and a rainbow of fruits.
The standing male looked at Jungsu for a moment with pity in his eyes and put the food down in front of him so he could sit next to him. For a while, Jungsu didn’t even look at the food. “Aren’t you hungry?” asked the caretaker. Jungsu responded by clamping his hands over his ears like he had done with Youngwoon. The man frowned. “You have to eat.” he said seriously.
Jungsu didn’t acknowledge the words spoken to him. He closed his eyes away from the food and continued to ignore the man sitting next to him. The man didn’t appear to like that very much as his frown deepened further and he reached towards the bowl of stew. He slowly took the spoon and held it to Jungsu’s mouth.
The instant the spoon and its contents got within five inches of Jungsu, he slapped the hand away and sent the spoon flying across the room. Apparently this man had no patience either, for he stood up in a huff and left quickly. Jungsu heard voices outside his room not long after the man had left.
“Youngwoon-hyung, he refuses to eat.”
“Well, there would be two reasons for that, Kyuhyun. One: you were in there for less than five minutes. And two: you didn’t read the notes I took earlier.”
A loud annoyed groan. “I left a bunch of notes on how to deal with his condition for the time being. You broke one of the biggest rules the instant you walked in, dressed in that blue uniform of yours. And what did you give him to eat?”
“Soup. Veggies. Fruits.”
The door opened again and Youngwoon came in with his white uniform on and the white cap he wore especially for Jungsu. Without a word, he took the tray away and picked up the spoon that lay next to the wall. He took the napkin from the tray and used it to wipe up the soup that had splattered on the ground. Then he was gone and Jungsu could breathe easy again.
Youngwoon came back in a few minutes later with a different tray in hand. From the open door, Jungsu could see the young caretaker outside, reading over the notes that Youngwoon had talked about. The young man – Kyuhyun was it? – glancing at the notes with a curious look on his face.
Youngwoon placed the tray before Jungsu and handed him a white plastic fork. The tray contained rice, mashed potatoes, white cheese, tofu, mushrooms and milk. Youngwoon thought it was a bit of an odd selection of food, but it was perfect for Jungsu. He stuck his fork into the mashed potatoes and brought them to his mouth. When he swallowed, Jungsu felt safe and he couldn’t help but smile into the air.
“I have something else for you.” Youngwoon said next to him. Jungsu ignored him and continued eating. “I may not be able to keep myself quiet around you, but for the time being, you don’t have to talk if you use this.” That interested Jungsu a little. Just a little. “I just ran out and got you this invisible ink pen so you can tell me when you need something.” He pulled the pen out of his pocket as he spoke and he had a small packet of paper under his arm that Jungsu hadn’t noticed before.
Hesitantly, Jungsu put down his fork and took the pen and paper. He thought for a minute but didn’t write anything. He put the pen and paper to the side and finished his lunch. Youngwoon sighed and got up from his seat. He had to check on his other patients. He would be back later.
A while later, Kyuhyun came to take the tray away. He was wearing a white uniform and a cap to cover his hair.
It was about a month later when Jungsu looked into the mirror and saw black on his head again. His roots were growing out. The moment he realized that color was fighting for a way back into his life, he grew frightened. His first reaction was to smash the mirror he was looking into. But as soon as his reflection was gone, he began to feel the black on his head. That frightened him even more.
He pulled at his hair in an attempt to get it off his head, but there was always more, and the feeling of black on his head remained. He kept pulling and tried his best not to yell and scream. He only stopped when he felt a warm liquid fall down the side of his face. His eyes widen in horror. He didn’t need a mirror to know what it was.
“Jungsu!” a voice called to him. He didn’t know who had spoken until Youngwoon was next to him. “Jungsu, what are you doing?” demanded Youngwoon worriedly. He tried to pry Jungsu’s hands away from his hair, but Jungsu threw a fit and threw Youngwoon off before making to get rid of the dense red liquid that came from cuts on his head from the ripping of hair and the cuts on his hand from broken glass. But the more he wiped it from the wounds, the more it spread on his hands.
Youngwoon took Jungsu’s shoulders and forced him to look at him. “Jungsu, you need to calm down.” he said in as calm a voice as he could. But Jungsu was too preoccupied by the red that covered his hands to hear. “Jungsu, stop looking at it.” Youngwoon ordered. Again, his words were unheard. Jungsu became even more uncontrollable as time dragged on and finally, Youngwoon had to sedate him before he hurt himself further.
He cleaned Jungsu’s hands of the blood when he was asleep. He also cleaned the cuts on Jungsu’s head. That was when he saw the black hair roots. Sighing, Youngwoon sat back from Jungsu and stared at the poor man who didn’t look peaceful even when sleeping. It was times like that that made it hard to continue his profession. At the very beginning, there was always little or no hope in sight.
Jungsu woke up with his head pounding and his mind still racing. He looked at his hands and let out the breath he had apparently been holding. There was a white bandage on his hand and the red was gone. Something made Jungsu look around for something. He didn’t know what exactly, but it felt like something was missing.
A moment later, the door opened and Youngwoon came in. “Oh, you’re awake!” He sounded surprised but nonetheless somewhat happy. He walked over and sat in the chair next to Jungsu’s bed. Jungsu turned his gaze away to make it seem like he wasn’t listening. “Hey, do you want me to dye your roots again for you?” Youngwoon asked. Jungsu’s head spun around to face Youngwoon. He had clearly gotten his attention. Jungsu nodded in answer to the question. One of the only real reactions Youngwoon had gotten from Jungsu the entire month.
Youngwoon smiled a little and pulled Jungsu from his bed. He led the barely resisting man to the connected bathroom and pulled a tube of hair bleach from his pocket and began following the instructions of application. When everything was set, he began applying it to Jungsu’s scalp. Jungsu was bent over the sink so that nothing if any of the dye fell, it would go into the sink instead of making a mess of the floor and clothes. Youngwoon worked silently for a while, and Jungsu was as silent as ever.
“You know,” Youngwoon began suddenly. “I wish I knew why you didn’t like colors. Maybe then I could help you easier.” He knew very well that Jungsu wouldn’t answer him. He just felt that the silence was getting to be too much. “I wish I knew why you don’t like hearing others talk. I wish I knew why you became like this. But maybe there is no real reason, maybe nothing happened and I’m just thinking too much.” Youngwoon kept rambling until he was done with Jungsu’s hair.
The whole time Youngwoon’s voice flowed from his mouth, Jungsu was in a trancelike state. He thought about the night he got home late. He would never have the courage to tell anyone about what happened. Even when he would still speak to people, if he ever had thoughts of telling anyone, his words would dry up in his throat.
Youngwoon let Jungsu stand up straight from over the sink. “Let that sit in your hair for a while. Then take a shower to clean it out.” Then he left Jungsu by himself. Jungsu did as he was told and waited for about an hour (that’s how long he waited last time). Then he took his shower and got back into bed.
When he was under the covers, he saw the invisible ink pen and pad of paper next to his bed. Without really thinking about it, he reached for them and brought him to himself. He spent about another half hour just staring at them like they were the most interesting two things in the entire universe. Finally, Jungsu removed the cap and wrote on the page. Nothing showed up and he was happy about that. He tore the page loose from the pad and placed it alone on the bedside table and placed the pen and pad down on the floor.
Hours later when Youngwoon peeked into Jungsu’s room, Jungsu was already asleep. Seeing the lone piece of paper on the table and the pen and pad on the floor, Youngwoon smiled. He took the piece of paper, folded it and put it in his pocket. Then he put the pen and paper back on the table.
Once he was out of the room, he brought out the black light that came with the pen. When he switched it on, the message Jungsu had written came into view. Jungsu had answered one of his questions.
Voices have colors too.
The next day, Youngwoon came back to Jungsu’s room after Kyuhyun had brought breakfast to him already. Jungsu was still scooping yogurt into his mouth when Youngwoon sat down. “Can I ask you a question?” Jungsu just nodded without looking from the tray of food.
“What color is my voice?”
This question caused Jungsu to stall his movements and think for a moment. What was the color of Youngwoon’s voice? A color popped into his mind and Jungsu shivered with unease. He took the pen and paper and wrote down his answer for Youngwoon.
Youngwoon took the paper and turned around so that when he turned on the black light, Jungsu couldn’t see it and start to freak out. The words he found on the paper said, Light lavender. Makes me only slightly uneasy compared to dark purple. Unusual and makes me curious. Youngwoon turned himself back to Jungsu when he was done reading.
“I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.” chuckled Youngwoon. Jungsu wrote something else down.
It’s better than Kyuhyun’s. His voice is blue. Sadness.
After reading that message, Youngwoon looked at Jungsu with great curiosity of his own. Jungsu went back to eating the rest of his meal. When Kyuhyun came back to get the tray, Youngwoon left with him. Jungsu was left to himself for the rest of the day. He found himself thinking a lot about many things. The night it happened. His parents. His friends. The people in that hospital. Colors (much to his displeasure). Music.
Strangely enough, he found himself fingering invisible piano keys. But thoughts of the black keys stopped the movement and he shut off the rest of his thoughts and stared at the blank wall.