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Of Why and How - OnKey

Title: Of Why and How
Author: hyngurl_24
Pairings: OnKey
Rating: PG-13, minute-inner turmoil and some fluffy goodness
Summary: "He who has a why to live can bear almost any how" - Friedrich Nietzsche
*~*


A/N: Sort of working on a 10 song meme and this is what came out when I was listening to Almost - Jessica(SNSD). I do realize that it really has nothing to do with the song, but that's how my ADD works, so deal :p. I hope that I'll be able to actually make an effort to write regularly instead of sporadically, but I promise nothing ^_^. This one-shot isn't were I'd like it to be but I was sick of tweaking/looking at it over and over again. Either way, please enjoy!

*~*


When did life get so complicated? And why was he so stupid?

The laughter that traveled in from the living room grated on his nerves so he turned his attention back to the dishes that he was supposed to be doing. Go figure that he would do the dishes on the eve of their only day off, but he was the group’s Umma after all. He finished rinsing the last dish when there was a crash from the other room. Kibum dropped the dish into the drainer and ran to the other room where he was greeted with the sight of Minho and Taemin picking up what used to be a mug. Onew just sat there with his newspaper lowered, looking between the maknaes and the diva.

Taemin spoke first, placing his hands behind his back like a schoolboy waiting to be punished, “I’m sorry Key-Umma. Minho and I got a little carried away play wrestling and we didn’t mean to break your favorite mug.”

Kibum frowned, as his chest tightened uncomfortably. That mug had been his birthday present from Onew the year after they had debuted, not like their leader would have remembered that fact.

It wasn’t his fault. Not completely, at least.

Kibum had never let his feelings show, especially not in front of his group members and he never gave Jinki any special treatment. So he couldn’t fault Jinki for not knowing how he felt, right?

He was brought back to the present by Taemin’s hand on his arm. “I’ll buy you a new one, I promise. Just please don’t be too mad,” the maknae said, wide-eyed and pleading, complete with lower lip quiver.

Kibum sighed as he looked over Taemin’s shoulder to watch the smile form on his leader’s face at the sight of the maknae’s adorable aegyo. Onew was always like that, happy-go-lucky and always looking for the little joys that life would gift him with each day. And it was easier for Kibum to watch from the sideline, where that dazzling smile wouldn’t burn itself into his retinas, blinding him into doing something stupid, like confess to their dubu leader. The tell-tale butterflies rioting in his stomach were telling him that he needed to get out of there, fast.

Maybe he was the stupid one, hiding his feeling like it was a dirty secret, but it was his secret to keep.

Ignoring the burning in his chest, he patted Taemin on the head halfheartedly, “It was an old mug any way. Just give me those pieces, Minho, and make sure to dry off the rug.”

The two youngest smiled at each other excited for the unusual, non-punishment that they were receiving, before Minho handed Key the remnants of the mug. Wordlessly, Kibum took the pieces back to the kitchen and laid them out on the table, the black and white quote that was on its face no longer coherent. He felt tears prickling at the corners of his eyes and he forced himself to swallow them down.

“’He who has a why to live can bear almost any how’ – Friedrich Nietzsche. I remember that cup, but I didn’t know it was your favorite,” said a voice from the doorway. Key turned to see Onew leaning casually against the doorjamb.

Despite the painful, fluttering beats in his chest, he managed to shrug nonchalantly, “I liked that quote but it’s just a mug. I’ll just take Taemin up on that offer to get another one.” Kibum swept the pieces into his hand and threw them into the wastebasket before brushing past Jinki, “I’m going to wash up first. Goodnight.”

He made his way into his room, ignoring the concerned look that the elder was giving him and closed the door before leaning against it, the strange pain in his chest increasing as he thought about the broken mug. It was the first present that Jinki had ever gotten him, and though his feelings hadn’t been this strong back then, it still meant something. Kibum stamped down the feelings of disappointment and changed into his sleep clothes before making his way the bathroom to wash his face and brush his teeth.

After finishing up in the bathroom, Kibum made his way back to the room that he shared with Jonghyun, crawled beneath his covers and tried to bury the persistent throb of regret that thrummed through his body at the thought of his treasured mug.

~~*~~

Kibum glanced at the glowing red numbers on his bedside table once again and sighed into the darkness as he realized that yet another hour had past, but he was no closer to sleep.

He pulled the covers from his body, sighing heavily and quietly crept out of the room, shooting an envious glare towards the other bed at the humming singer lost in dreamland. Though frustrated at his inability to fall asleep on this rare occasion of free time, Key couldn’t begrudge the others their rest. He made his way down the darkened corridor only to find a bright light from the kitchen spilling into the hallway.

I’m going to kill those guys! They know not to leave that overhead light on overnight.

As he got closer to the doorway, his huffy footsteps slowed as the low hum of a voice made itself known.

Who’s still up at this time? It’s almost 3a! And who are they talking to?

Key silently peeked into the kitchen and swallowed a gasp as he recognized those broad shoulders and caramel streaked chocolate brown locks.

Jinki was still awake and he was doing something, Kibum thought, ignoring his heart as it thumped wildly in his chest, like it usually did when he was around the elder. But as Key watched from behind the seated boy, the leader bent over something on the table and from his angle, the rapper couldn’t exactly see what Jinki was doing.

It was Jinki who broke the silence. “There! That was the last piece,” he said triumphantly as he leaned back in his chair, lifting his linked hands in a stretch.

It was then that Kibum caught a glimpse of what the other boy had been working on. The broken mug that he had swept into the trashcan with a heavy heart earlier that evening, was now back in one piece, though crack lines now wove themselves within the pattern of the quote on it’s surface. Tears prickled the corners of Kibum’s eyes and he silently pressed a shaking hand to his lips, overwhelmed at his crush’s thoughtfulness.

It’s things like this that makes everyone fall in love with him. But why would he do that for me?

And as if Onew knew he was there, he began to speak, “Kibummie, this is for you, though you’ll never know that it was me. I almost confessed to you dozens of times, but I didn’t want to risk you hating me.”

What?!? Jinki was going to confess to me??? Kibum was at a loss of words as the singer kept talking, “Plus, I’m not handsome like Minho, or your confidante like JJong or your cute kid like Taemin. I’m only me, clumsy and awkward. And you’re so you… Everything about you screams fashionable perfection and it scares me.”

Does he really think all those things about himself and about me? Kibum pouted.

As much as Key wanted to interrupt Onew, he knew that he’d never get another chance like the one that had just landed in his lap, so he kept silent as Jinki went on, “You know, I got that mug for you because that was how I felt, even back then. I knew that you wouldn’t think much of it, I mean it’s only a mug after all, but I never knew it was your favorite.”

Of course it’s my favorite. You gave it to me, blushed Kibum as he bit his lower lip.

Jinki smiled ruefully, gently picking up the mug and turning it slowly to read the quote, “Nietzsche was right. ‘He who has a why to live can bear almost any how’ and since you joined SHINee, you have always been my ‘why’, Kibum. And I will bear the pain of being so close to you and never being able to touch you, because that is the ‘how’ I have been dealt.”

“Are you crazy?!?” yelled Key, unable to stand there any longer and hear Jinki say that they could never be together.

Jinki spun so fast, hitting the table and sending both the chair and repaired mug crashing to the floor as he sputtered out a “ K-K-Kibum.”

“Don’t you dare, Jinki!!!” screeched Key as he stomped into the kitchen, cheeks red with anger and Almighty Diva in full effect, “You don’t get to take ANY of those words back!!!”

They now stood face to face in the kitchen, Jinki silently taking in the sight of a beautiful, but very irritated Kibum as his shoulders fell under the weight of the younger boy’s glare.

Onew sighed, lowering his head dejectedly, “You were never supposed to hear any of that.”

“So, you were just going to keep this to yourself forever, then” Kibum snapped as he crossed his arms over his chest, “Do you have any idea what that would do to me?”

Jinki just shook his head again, “No and I’m sorry. You can just ignore my feelings if that would be easier for you.”

“I can’t just ignore your feelings, Jinki!” exclaimed the rapper as his eyes flared brightly while tears formed at the corners of the leader’s eyes.

Kibum knew that he wasn’t helping his case and his mind was a swirling mass of racing thoughts and emotion, ranging from giddy to rage, so he took a deep breath to try and calm himself.

Stop thinking so hard and just go with your gut, he heard in his grandmother’s voice, as if she had whispered it into his ear.

“You still don’t get it, do you?” Key tried again, voice soft and soothing. It was the unusual calm in his voice that caused Onew to raise his head and look up at the rapper, only to have his plump lips captured by the younger’s hesitant ones.

Kibum watched Jinki’s eyes widen for a split second before closing as the singer pulled the rapper closer to him, deepening the kiss and pouring all of his pent up feelings into it. The butterflies went full riot as Kibum followed suit, closing his eyes and wrapping his arms around the older male, letting himself get lost in the delicious sensations coursing through his veins.

When they pulled apart for air, Key looked up into Onew’s gentle yet guarded face, “that was an amazing kiss, Kibum, but I need to know, why?

“Well when you were talking to that cup,” the younger boy gestured to the re-broken mug, causing Jinki to blush, “you said that you’d bear being near me and never being able to touch me because that was the how you were dealt, right?”

Jinki nodded slowly before Key continued, “well, I’ve be forcing myself to bear that same how, Jinki, and I won’t do it any more, not after this.”

“If you’re saying what I think you are saying, I must be dreaming,” said Onew, sighing, looking at the kitchen clock that read 3a, “I mean, I’ve kissed you dozens of times in my dreams, each one seemed just as real, but things this amazing don’t happen to me in real life.”

Key glares at the leader and pinching him hard, “was that painful enough, for you?!?”

“Yes” Jinki yelped, rubbing his arm before looking at the younger man hopefully, “But how in the world did you choose me?”

“Can’t you guess?” Kibum smiled gently, reaching up to caress Jinki’s cheek, “You are my why.

The older boy smiles in wonder before pulling the diva closer, “I can deal with that. Now, how about we get some sleep so I can take you out on a real date later today?”

Kibum wraps his arms around his leader and smirks, “How about we fix this cup one last time; it happens to be may favorite. Then, we can go to sleep so you can take me out on a real date later today.”

Onew captures Key’s lips in a tender kiss, “what ever you want, where ever you want and when ever you’ll have me.”

Key lets out a girly giggle as they gather the mug pieces, “you’re going to be a wonderful boyfriend, aren’t you?”

Jinki grins cheekily as they glue the pieces back together, “why? Can’t bear it?”

Kibum grins right back, “Shut up, you Nietzsche wannabe! Let’s just finish this so I can cuddle with you in a warm bed instead of being awake at 4am.”

Their laughter filled the air as they worked together, stringing the words of Nietzsche back together, grateful that their why created a brand new how. One that was a joy to bear.

*~*

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