Title: Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
Pairing: Qmi, HanChul
Category: Magical crack AU.
Summary: Zhou Mi is a fairy who leaves his magical life behind for a mortal one on Earth, and meets two very special people on the way. ~6000 words.
A/N: I apologise for the fail of this fic, I really do. I didn’t actually sign up for the exchange but at 11PM on the 20th, Santa contacted me about a mix-up in which you weren’t going to get any fic, so I volunteered to write it for you. I’ve had literally two days, but I hope you find this okay. :D
Once upon a time, there was a boy called Zhou Mi.
And Zhou Mi was a fairy.
The day Zhou Mi met Heechul was the most important day of his life, although he wouldn’t have thought it at the time. He was fresh out of Fairy Academy, only two weeks since graduation, and he’d tucked all of his Wands safely in the top drawer of his bedside table. His main Wand was still sparking from the last time he’d used it, and oh, it would be the last time – he’d sworn it as he’d whipped it out of his sleeve and produced a pile of money out of thin air. He’d needed an apartment and paying the rent every month was just troublesome so he’d bought it up front, but it was The Last Time. Definitely.
Zhou Mi wasn’t going to be like all of those other fairies who sat around getting obese and disgusting while their magic manipulated the world around them. Heavens no. He’d always tried to rely on himself, because as his mother had always said, a busy wand breeds an idle soul, and besides, it wasn’t like the entire world was completely oblivious or anything. They were bound to notice magic, and getting hunted down and burnt on a stake wasn’t high on Zhou Mi’s list of priorities. Flipping humans and their witch trials.
It was Zhou Mi’s first day of med school when the girl with long red hair sitting next to him started snorting and stifling laughter into her hands. Zhou Mi bit his lip and looked down quickly to check his appearance, but no, he looked fine. Rather dashing really, so he concluded that she had to be laughing at someone else.
It was when she spoke that Zhou Mi realised that she was in fact a he, and he was in fact, laughing at the lecturer. “Look,” said the guy, landing an elbow to Zhou Mi’s solar plexus. Zhou Mi let out an oof and raised a questioning eyebrow, glancing around furtively to make sure nobody knew they were talking. “Look at the lecturer, she’s wearing fucking elf shoes.”
Zhou Mi frowned at the guy and puffed himself up a little. The elves were a proud and noble race, if a bit on the small side, and were not deserving of any mocking—
“Oh goodness,” Zhou Mi said, catching sight of the shoes in question. He deflated, all righteous indignation disappearing because wow, those were elf shoes, almost as if they’d been plucked from the feet from the Elf Princess herself, all buckled and shining and curly-toed. And yellow. Banana yellow.
“Fucking unfortunate, right?” The guy bent over, his shoulders shaking, and a few muffled giggles reached Zhou Mi’s ears.
“Please shush,” Zhou Mi said, but the laughter started getting to him and pretty soon he had his head in his hands, trying desperately to stop the gales of laughter forcing their way out through the gaps of his fingers, but then he’d look at the shoes or he’d look at the other guy’s face and it would start him off again.
At the end of the class (in which Zhou Mi learned approximately nothing), the guy caught Zhou Mi’s arm before he could hurry back to his apartment. “I’m Heechul,” he said, with what he probably thought was a winning smile but was actually more of a deranged grimace. “Future surgeon. Maybe.”
“Zhou Mi. Future—“ Zhou Mi stopped because he hadn’t thought that far ahead yet. “Future anything?”
“It’s been a delight,” Heechul said, his eyes flashing, and Zhou Mi beamed at him.
“The pleasure’s all mine.”
In retrospect, Zhou Mi still couldn’t find anything particularly remarkable about that day. Aside from the nerves and the First-Day-itis, which a nice cup of hot chocolate had cured later on, it had been ordinary. Completely ordinary. He’d made a new friend, and they’d gone to buy a few drinks and Zhou Mi had cracked and sprinkled a few extra chocolate flakes on his hot chocolate using his magic, but Heechul hadn’t seen. Neither had anyone else, and maybe Zhou Mi had overestimated these humans powers of observation because, really, he’d done it in full view of everyone.
That being said, Zhou Mi liked Heechul. He was catty and bitchy and hilarious, and he had the most gorgeous hair Zhou Mi had ever laid eyes on. He might have felt mean about how much they made fun of Professor Elf Shoes over their drinks if she hadn’t turned out to be such a nasty lady. All the joy in her heart was clearly concentrated in her shoes because she was vicious, and it wasn’t only that: she’d taken an instant dislike to Heechul and Zhou Mi. Heechul swore up and down that it was prejudice but Zhou Mi privately thought she’d seen them hooting with laughter at her. In fairness, it was hard to miss it, especially as the laughter had continued when with each passing day she’d be wearing another pair of monstrosities on her feet.
It took only two weeks for Heechul to introduce Zhou Mi to the rest of his friends. There was Siwon who carried a Bible around with him and was prone to start religious debates with Heechul all the time; there was Hankyung, and Zhou Mi had to wonder if he and Heechul had a thing going on, and there was Kangin. Kangin didn’t really talk much, but he was growing a beard, and would only say that it was a bet he was determined to win. Very mysterious, was Kangin.
Zhou Mi was always tempted to have a snip at that beard with his magic, but he was still trying to uphold the No Magic Vow and it seemed pretty trivial to trim beards with it. It wasn’t important like making really great hot chocolate or floating cats down from trees.
Heechul moved in with Zhou Mi after Zhou Mi had discovered he’d been living in a truly dire apartment with only three rooms and what Zhou Mi strongly suspected was a centipede infestation. Heechul insisted that the centipedes made great companions and he enjoyed talking to them, and also, Hankyung loved centipedes, he couldn’t possibly move out, but Zhou Mi insisted, and Heechul found himself living in a centipede-free apartment. In fact, the entire place was completely free of insects of any species, size or gender, largely thanks to the magical force field Zhou Mi had cast with the Platinum Wand when he’d first moved in.
“Thanks,” Heechul mumbled, so quiet it almost couldn’t be heard.
Zhou Mi picked up Heechul’s bags and started carrying them to his new bedroom. “You’re welcome!”
Heechul didn’t have to pay rent exactly. It was more what he called, paying his way because although Zhou Mi had proclaimed loudly that, “You’re a friend, Heechul! I will not accept monetary tokens from you!” Heechul was not under any circumstances being a freeloader – his words, not Zhou Mi’s – and so Zhou Mi had relented.
It was purely by stunning good luck, and maybe a pinch of Good Luck magic, that Heechul and Zhou Mi had managed to land jobs at the same hospital. Heechul had chosen not to follow the surgery path, because he’d have to deal with blood and gore and mess, which was Not Cool. Instead he’d turned to Oncology, shaking off Kangin and Siwon’s protests: “Your beside manner isn’t good enough, Heechul! You’ll scare all your patients to death!”
Hankyung had said, “You’ll be amazing, Heechul,” and that had been enough. Zhou Mi couldn’t really fathom why they weren’t together when they were practically married, but it wasn’t his place to match make. That was Cupid’s job, but maybe Zhou Mi would send him an angry, yet well structured letter about exactly how he was slacking in his duties anyway.
It was when Heechul introduced Zhou Mi to Kyuhyun that Zhou Mi considered giving every single penny back to him, plus interest, because oh my goodness, Kyuhyun was the most beautiful person he’d ever seen.
“Yo, Zhou Mi,” Heechul called, while Zhou Mi was still collecting his dessert at the end of the lunch line. “I’m at the back of the room. Come meet Kyuhyun.”
Zhou Mi attracted a fair few glares as he wandered to the back – “Could your girlfriend get any louder, Legs?” – which he ignored, shooting an irritated glance at the room at large himself.
He stopped dead as he saw the guy Heechul was talking to. Almost immediately, any greeting he was about to say hurtled up his throat and became a garbled mess in his mouth, so when Heechul said, “This is Kyuhyun,” all Zhou Mi could reply with was, “… It’s very nice to meet you, Kyuhyun, absolutely wonderful.” Which would have been great except his brain-to-mouth filter failed on him, and he said it all in Chinese.
“Umm,” said Kyuhyun, looking uncomfortable. He turned to Heechul and whispered, “You didn’t tell me he was foreign,” but Zhou Mi heard him loud and clear. Enhanced hearing was both a blessing and a curse.
Zhou Mi coughed to clear his throat of those pesky words. He waved his hand to dispel the stream of tiny pink sparkles flowing out of his mouth, not even bothering to hope that nobody would notice, because they never did.
Except how Kyuhyun was giving him a look that somehow managed to convey, what the hell was that? and you freak all at the same time.
“Hello, Kui Xian,” Zhou Mi said, clearly. Without stuttering even once.
“It’s Kyuhyun, not Kui Xian,” Kyuhyun said, looking pained.
Zhou Mi tried to keep the anguish off his face. “I—sorry?”
Heechul cut in with a loud cough before Zhou Mi could embarrass himself further, and Zhou Mi thanked the heavens that he had such a good friend. “Sit down, Zhou Mi, before you fall down.”
Zhou Mi mentally withdrew that thanks and huffed at Heechul.
“I assure you, my legs are perfectly stable, but thank you for your concern.” He sat down opposite from Kyuhyun, examining the table for graffiti and marks so he didn’t have to make eye contact.
“So…” Heechul said, glancing around the table expectantly. He was met with silence. “Well, don’t all talk at once, you chatty bitches.” He folded his arms and leaned back in his chair. He seemed determined to stay as stubbornly silent as everyone else.
About a minute passed during which time Zhou Mi read about a woman called Sohee and her undying love for a man called Changmin, and he listened to Kyuhyun’s fingers tapping just a few inches outside his line of vision.
“Oh fuck it,” Heechul said finally, tearing a piece off his cake and throwing it at Zhou Mi’s head, which, even though it was impossible to miss at such close range, was diverted with just a thought on Zhou Mi’s part, and it flew past his ear. This earned Zhou Mi another puzzled frown from Kyuhyun, and even though his stomach fluttered pleasantly, he was also struck by the thought that if Heechul decided to keep this one around, Zhou Mi would have to tone down the magic. A lot.
“Zhou Mi, this is Kyuhyun, Kyuhyun this is Zhou Mi. Kyuhyun works in A&E with all the car crash victims, Zhou Mi is in paediatrics with the annoying brats. I hope you two have a beautiful conversation because—“ Heechul grabbed his beeper and shut it up, “—I have to go and administer some emergency treatment. If you’ll excuse me.” With that, he leaped up from the table and sprinted out of the cafeteria. Nobody even lifted their heads, and a few seconds later, someone else ran out after him. It was the norm for people to have to leave immediately at any given time, dropping anything and everything for their patients.
It was why Zhou Mi had wanted to be a doctor after leaving the Academy. What on earth was the use of Wands when you couldn’t even use them in public? How would private magic help anyone?
“Not much of a talker, are you?” Kyuhyun said suddenly, stabbing his food with a chopstick rather sadistically in Zhou Mi’s opinion.
Zhou Mi smiled, eyes down. “I could say the same about you.”
Kyuhyun made a little noise that sounded like snerk and they both continued eating in silence. If Zhou Mi didn’t once look in Kyuhyun’s direction, it wasn’t like they’d ever have to speak to each other again. Zhou Mi could admire him from afar in the corridors or something. Write odes to his good looks in the privacy of his apartment. It was all good.
Later, after he’d finished his shift, Zhou Mi turned on his mobile after he left the hospital. He had only one text and sadly, or maybe not so sadly, it was from Heechul and it read, WE’RE KEEPING HIM.
They became a threesome of a sort. When Heechul wasn’t off doing whatever he did with Hankyung, that was. Kyuhyun and Heechul’s mutual sarcasm and contempt for pretty much everything except what Heechul termed ‘their favourites’ had brought them together, and Zhou Mi was just going along for the ride. Although Kyuhyun scoffed at Heechul’s terminology, Zhou Mi was surprised to find that he had actually become one of Kyuhyun’s favourites, even with the whole starstruck thing Zhou Mi still had going on. Two years on and he was still pretty much enthralled with Kyuhyun, and no amount of Heechul ragging on him was going to change that.
“You know what, Heechul?” Zhou Mi had raged eventually. “I’m happy being the unrequited lover here, contrary to popular belief. So will you just sod off?”
Heechul’s jaw had dropped at the pseudo-cursing. Usually the worst thing to leave Zhou Mi’s lips would be, ‘oh my good gosh, Heechul,’ and Zhou Mi actually felt quite ashamed. Not ashamed enough to back down though because this had gone on long enough, and Heechul was going to find himself turned into a small animal one of these days.
“Alright, Zhou Mi. I’ll stop it,” he’d said, and Zhou Mi had predictably been able to enjoy a week and a half of peace before it started up again.
It was all Kyuhyun’s fault anyway. If he wasn’t so snarky and unapproachable, maybe Zhou Mi would have told him by now. Maybe. Or maybe he was just doomed to be ridiculously in love with Kyuhyun for the rest of his life. Zhou Mi supposed it wouldn’t be that bad, considering he’d opted for a mortal lifespan when he’d first come to Earth. Sixty years of bittersweet suffering and then death.
“Stop being such an emo shit,” Heechul said distractedly, curled up in the comfiest armchair, reading through a patient’s files. “I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I’m really fucking sick of listening to your Juliette-esque whining. Kyuhyun. Is. Into. You. A blind man could see it, except you’re too busy writing freaking poetry to open your eyes.”
Zhou Mi opened his mouth to defend his poetry, and then closed it with a snap. “What?”
“You heard me,” Heechul said, looking up from his papers with a smirk. “His obsession with your sunshine smile and your forever legs often keeps me awake until the early hours of the morning. I swear to Christ, if he phones me again at 11PM to rant, I’m going to go round his house and stab him right in the neck.”
Zhou Mi promptly imagined Heechul doing just that and shuddered, before the seriousness of the situation impressed itself upon him. “Wait. I—oh goodness. Kui Xian—“
“—is just as much of an idiot as you, yes,” said Heechul. “Now for god’s sake, will you do something about it? I want to move in with Hankyung and I feel now I can without you drowning in your own angst—“
Zhou Mi cut him off by running out of the room and grabbing his coat, but before he left the house he made a flying leap at Heechul and clung to him, hard.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m the best,” Heechul said, patting Zhou Mi on the back. “Who knew betraying Kyuhyun’s trust would have such good results?”
“You’re an awful human being.” Zhou Mi gave Heechul perhaps the biggest smile he’d ever produced before and sprinted into his bedroom. He grabbed the Platinum Wand from the drawer and used it to transport himself outside Kyuhyun’s house, tucking it into his coat pocket, still sparking and humming.
He rang the doorbell once, then once more, and then a final time for good luck. He stood there on Kyuhyun’s doorstep in the middle of winter and felt the warmth of their shared love heating him up from the inside. It was hard to repress embarrassing rounds of giggles, and if Kyuhyun didn’t hurry up, Zhou Mi was going to sing through the letterbox or something.
Finally, Kyuhyun opened the door with a scowl. “It’s pretty fucking late, you know—oh, hey, Zhou Mi.” His expression transformed into a lovesick grin, and Zhou Mi had to wonder how he’d never seen it before.
Unbidden, Heechul’s voice popped into his head, saying, Maybe if you’d actually look at each other at the same time you’d both have realised sooner.
“Come in,” Kyuhyun said, still wearing that same indulgent smile, and Zhou Mi realised his legs weren’t quite working properly and all he could do was gaze in wonder like one of Cupid’s arrows had just landed right in his heart.
Always quick on the uptake, realisation dawned on Kyuhyun’s face. “Oh, no,” he said, his eyebrows drawing together in an angry sulk. “That bastard Heechul told you, didn’t he? He did, didn’t he? I’m going to fucking stab him in the neck.” And he actually cracked his knuckles.
“Is it true?” Zhou Mi asked, turning imploring eyes on Kyuhyun. His voice cracked on the last word against his will, and he put his hand in his pocket, held onto the Platinum Wand for assurance or luck or something; he didn’t know.
Kyuhyun visibly softened, relaxing against the doorframe. He rubbed a hand across his face and said, “Yeah, Zhou Mi, it’s true. But you don’t have to—you know, pretend like you feel the same, because I can deal, really, and—“
“Oh my gosh, shut up, Kyuhyun,” Zhou Mi said, pushing his way into the house, closing the door behind him. It was warm inside, but Kyuhyun’s body was warmer as Zhou Mi pressed close to him. “Heechul’s right, we’re both idiots.”
“Heechul’s always right,” Kyuhyun said, blinking up at him. “Does this mean—“
“Would you just shut up and fucking kiss me?” Zhou Mi hoped against hope and waited for Kyuhyun to recover from the shock of his cursing. Kyuhyun only took a moment before he slammed Zhou Mi against the opposite wall, kissing him harsh and wet and needy, and Zhou Mi had to cup his face and slow him down.
“It’s like you’ve ensorcelled me or something,” Kyuhyun said, mouthing up Zhou Mi’s neck. “I can’t think around you.” Zhou Mi ignored the painful ache in his chest and brought Kyuhyun’s mouth back up to his.
“Bedroom now,” he said, and Kyuhyun almost broke his legs trying to get them both up the stairs as one collective being.
Later, lying satiated in Kyuhyun’s bed, Zhou Mi sent out love-soaked telepathic messages to his mother and a few of his old friends in the Fairy Academy.
Next to him, Kyuhyun said, “Zhou Mi, your come tastes like sugar. Do you shoot rainbows out of your ass too?” Zhou Mi smothered a laugh and rolled over and kissed all the words out of Kyuhyun’s mouth before he could say anything else.
And to stop himself from confessing all to Kyuhyun just a few minutes after they’d made it to fourth base.
Heechul moved out only a few weeks later. It was a Saturday and the doorbell rang, and when Zhou Mi answered it Hankyung was on the doorstep wearing the most ridiculously fluffy coat Zhou Mi had ever seen and a ridiculously large smile.
There was the sound of things smashing and heavy objects hitting the walls, and then Heechul bustled past carrying approximately twenty bags and suitcases. “Out of my way, Legs,” he said self-importantly, using that silly nickname he’d picked up from the hospital, which Zhou Mi absolutely abhorred.
“Where are you going, Heechul?” Zhou Mi asked, even though it wasn’t necessary. Heechul thrived on those type of questions.
“Hankyung and I are eloping to Canada,” he announced, as though declaring that it was going to be bright with cloudy spells today, and Zhou Mi felt like his eyes were going to protrude a solid inch from his skull he’d widened them so much. “We’ll be back in two weeks, after the honeymoon in Mauritius.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Zhou Mi said, feeling mildly offended and more than a little upset.
Heechul sighed and dropped his bags into Hankyung’s arms, ignoring Hankyung’s resulting stagger so he could use his now free arms to wrap Zhou Mi in a tight hug. “I’d love to have you there, Zhou Mi. You and Kyuhyun are my best friends, but we could only afford three tickets.”
Zhou Mi sniffled into Heechul’s shoulder. “Three?”
“One for me, one for Hankyung, and one for Henry.”
“Little Chinese kid, he’s doing his work experience at the hospital. Did you know he’s also an ordained minister?”
Zhou Mi pulled away just so he could give Heechul a look of awe, straight on. “I don’t know how you do it.”
“I’m magic,” Heechul said, breaking away, heaving half his bags up and staggering down the stairs of their apartment building.
“Yes,” Zhou Mi said quietly as he waved Heechul goodbye, making a mental note to use a Wand to make his marriage as smooth and perfect as possible. “You’re one of the most magical people I’ve ever known.”
In retrospect, Zhou Mi should have known Heechul would arrange something like this for when he moved out, whether it was to get married or just to live elsewhere with the person he loved. The fact was, he wasn’t going to leave Zhou Mi alone - not ever - and that was how Zhou Mi ended up sharing a house with Kyuhyun, as though he’d been living there all his life.
“Heechul bullied me into it,” Kyuhyun said, putting his toothbrush next to Zhou Mi’s so the heads touched, but Zhou Mi knew it would take more than Heechul’s particular brand of persuasion to convince Kyuhyun to coexist with someone.
Which meant that Zhou Mi was very special to Kyuhyun indeed, and that thought alone made his heart sing. Zhou Mi told it to shush before Kyuhyun heard something.
It took only a few days for Kyuhyun’s stuff to mingle with Zhou Mi’s. And wasn’t that weird? Stuff. Random people stuff that everyone had and it all seemed useless but really wasn’t. Like how Heechul took all the floss when he left and Zhou Mi didn’t realise how much he depended on that floss before he ate a peach and got some of it stuck in his teeth. Or how Heechul had taken his exercise DVDs out of the cabinet when Zhou Mi went on a two-day get-fit kick and hadn’t wanted to use his magic to pay for gym equipment.
It was okay though, because Kyuhyun had toothpicks and he also had one of those fold-up non-electrical treadmills that Zhou Mi found fascinating. He was filling in all the gaps in Zhou Mi’s life that could only be filled by another person, including the one on the right-hand side of his bed.
Lying on the left with Kyuhyun tucked under his arm on the right, Zhou Mi thought it was fate that neither of them could manage to sleep any other way.
After a few days of this, it became apparent to Zhou Mi that he’d have to tell Kyuhyun about the magic soon. He was sharing a bed with the guy. They ate every meal together. After every shift, Kyuhyun would be there to pick up his phone and talk about the day no matter what time it was. They hadn’t said ‘I love you’ but it was understood.
It was just hard. Every time Zhou Mi opened his mouth, he imagined a few outcomes, and each of them were just as unfavourable as the last. Kyuhyun calling him a liar, Kyuhyun calling him a freak. Kyuhyun calling him a freakish liar.
Zhou Mi wanted to imagine that Kyuhyun would clap his hands and ask for a demonstration, but that seems to be so far out of the realms of possibility that his brain was point-black refusing to cooperate.
It just so happened that Kyuhyun did not need Zhou Mi to tell him about the whole fairy thing, that he was not actually an idiot, and that Zhou Mi really needed to start locking his drawers. Especially when he was keeping flipping Wands in there.
The first indicator was the coffee. Zhou Mi came home from work on one very unsuspecting, average day during which he sent two healthy children back home and floated one cat down from a tree, only to find Kyuhyun sitting on the sofa, head down. The TV wasn’t on. Kyuhyun was nursing a cup of coffee, even though he hated coffee; said it gave him the jitters and he was already wired enough.
“I—Kyuhyun?” Zhou Mi dumped his coat on the spare armchair; hovered in the middle of the room, worrying at his bottom lip.
“When were you going to tell me?” Kyuhyun said, so low Zhou Mi almost couldn’t hear him.
Zhou Mi swallowed as his heartbeat thundered in his ears. “Tell you what?”
“About the fucking magic, Zhou Mi.” Kyuhyun sat up, slamming his coffee mug on the table so hard that little brown drops splashed over the surface. Zhou Mi thought wildly that if he didn’t clean it up soon it would leave a ring on the wood.
“There’s no such thing—“
Kyuhyun stood up, making vague motions in the air in front of him. “I found fucking wands in your bedside table, Zhou Mi! Wands!”
Something on the sofa caught Zhou Mi’s eye, and he saw it, that silly, silly drawer filled with silly, silly Wands. There was a plummeting sensation in his chest that Zhou Mi had never felt before. “They’re fake,” he said firmly. “They’re sex toys.”
“Oh, really,” said Kyuhyun, nodding in a quick, exaggerated fashion. “Sex toys that spark when you touch them. Sex toys made out of china and wood and fucking gold. Sex toys with very official looking documents in a folder underneath them that have your name on them.” Kyuhyun paused and considered Zhou Mi. “I’m not an idiot, even though it feels like I am, or like I’m going crazy half the time around you. You’ve got some sort of—trickery or power, I don’t know, but I’ve felt it ever since we first met, and Zhou Mi… I need to know if you’ve put a spell on me.”
And Zhou Mi felt for the first time that Kyuhyun had gone too far.
“So that’s what you think of me, is it?” Zhou Mi took a step forward. Turned around and stepped back into place; an awkward little dance. “You honestly believe that I’d fucking mindrape you like that?” he said, his voice reaching dizzying volume.
“I—“ Kyuhyun let his head drop into his hands. “You lied to me, Zhou Mi.” His voice sounded brittle and Zhou Mi wished he’d had the courage to tell Kyuhyun before it all hit the fan like this. Wished he hadn’t been such a coward.
“To stop this from happening,” he croaked, fighting the urge to pull Kyuhyun’s hands from his face and envelop him in a hug. “I’m a fairy, Kyuhyun. Tell me you wouldn’t have thought I was insane, or you were, or both of us, even with me conjuring objects out of nowhere just to prove it to you.”
“I sort of think I’ve gone mad already,” Kyuhyun said with a laugh that didn’t really sound like a laugh at all. “The hot chocolate.” Kyuhyun finally lifted his head, looking at Zhou Mi with new understanding. “The hot chocolate and how even in places that don’t serve it with chocolate flakes, you always have some.”
“Chocolate flakes are important.”
Kyuhyun snorted. “And saving cats from trees?”
“And saving cats from trees.”
“Zhou Mi,” Kyuhyun said, and his eyes seemed to clear, as though they’d been concealed by clouds of magic and only now was he finally seeing Zhou Mi again. “Show me?”
Zhou Mi knew it was the wonder temporarily taking over the anger, but he wasn’t about to spoil it. “I’ll need the Platinum Wand if you want anything big,” he said, picking up the Wand from the drawer.
“Why?” Kyuhyun eyed the Wand warily. “I’ve seen you summon remote controls and shit, although it was out of the corner of my eye. I’m pretty sure there was no inconspicuous wand-waving.”
“In the Fairy Academy—“ Zhou Mi paused to allow Kyuhyun to scoff, “—with each year that passes you earn a new and better wand, with the capacity to perform greater feats than the last. There’s the Wooden Wand, and the Plastic Wand, and… I think the Aluminium Wand is next? Anyway, you get to the Platinum Wand in the end. I was eighteen when I got it, and a few days later I locked it in that very drawer and told myself it was The Last Time.”
“And was it?”
Zhou Mi sighed, and ran a finger up the side of the Platinum Wand. “I’ve had so many Last Times, Kyuhyun, but there’d always be that lacking cup of hot chocolate, you know?”
“There’s always going to be something lacking in the world. There’s a reason why we—most of us can’t just magic things perfect.” There was a strange look in Kyuhyun’s eyes and Zhou Mi couldn’t decipher it.
“I know. It’s why I keep them tucked away.” Zhou Mi considered the matter. “I probably should have tucked them away a bit more securely.”
Kyuhyun sat down on the sofa, resting his head on the cushions, his eyes closing. “I’m not sure I want to see magic anymore. Not right now.”
Zhou Mi gingerly sat down next to him. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah. Fuck, this is just— weird. It’s very weird. I’m going to need some time.”
The plummeting feeling in Zhou Mi’s chest turned into more of a skydive. “Oh. Oh, I see. Well, I’ll help you pack your stuff—“
Kyuhyun grabbed him by the arm. “What? No! No, you idiot, no! I’m not going anywhere.” He trailed his hand up Zhou Mi’s arm until it was resting on his shoulder. “This… doesn’t have to change anything.”
Hope bloomed sudden and bright in Zhou Mi’s world. “It doesn’t?”
Kyuhyun grinned. “Well, I’m going to be expecting more extras in my beverages from now on but—“
“You’re amazing, you know that?” Zhou Mi dropped his head so Kyuhyun wouldn’t see him blinking back the tears, but then there was a hand underneath his chin, tilting Zhou Mi’s face up and Kyuhyun had never looked so magical before.
“You’re an amazing sap,” he whispered, leaning in, “but I guess I love you anyway.”
There was a blinding flash, and confetti and flower petals started falling from the ceiling, rainbow lights flickering all over the walls and Kyuhyun let out a loud cry, almost flailing out of his seat.
Zhou Mi realised he still had the Platinum Wand in his hand.
“Oh my fucking god,” Kyuhyun said, breathing hard. He started to laugh, bending double; he laughed in high-pitched giggles and choked gasps, and then groaned as his stomach began cramping. Zhou Mi just watched him with what he imagined was probably the sappiest smile the world had ever seen, but oh gosh, who cared?
After a while, Kyuhyun’s laughter faded. He straightened up and took Zhou Mi’s hand, looking as though he was going to say something, but then frowned and tilted his head every which way.
“Zhou Mi,” he said, “do you hear anything?”
“Oh, that,” Zhou Mi said, squeezing Kyuhyun’s hand. “That’s just the sound of my heart singing.”
Zhou Mi woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. He rolled over to look at the alarm clock, then said, “Oh goodness,” and jammed his head under the pillow.
Kyuhyun let out an unintelligible grunt and grabbed the phone. “Who the fuck is this and why are you calling at 4AM?”
Something clicked in Zhou Mi’s brain. There was only one person who would call them at that time of the morning.
There was a sudden flurry at the other side of the bed, as Kyuhyun struggled up out of the covers, flapping his hand at Zhou Mi to shush him. “Heechul?”
Zhou Mi vibrated in place as the indistinguishable telephone voice buzzed in Kyuhyun’s ear.
“He wants to speak to you,” Kyuhyun said, pushing the phone into Zhou Mi’s hands. “Fucking favouritism.”
“Shut up, Kyuhyun,” Heechul said into Zhou Mi’s ear. He sounded happier than Zhou Mi had ever heard him.
“How’s married life?” he asked, unable to hold back the goofy grin at the thought of Heechul in an apron, all domestic bliss and loving household.
“Zhou Mi!” Zhou Mi could practically hear Heechul beaming down the phone, and wow, he knew he was one of Heechul’s favourites, but this… Suddenly, Zhou Mi missed his best friend. They hadn’t gone this long without talking since they’d met, but with all the drama with Kyuhyun he hadn’t really thought about Heechul marrying the love of his life in a tiny church in Canada.
“How was the wedding?” he said, feeling guilty. “Don’t skive on the details.”
Kyuhyun scrambled over, pressing his ear to the other side of the phone. ‘What?’ he mouthed when Zhou Mi gave him a look.
Heechul let out a long, contended sigh down the phone. “It was… perfect. Almost magical, actually. Flawless. I don’t know. I wish you both could have been there.”
Kyuhyun’s mouth dropped open slightly, then turned into a positively gleeful grin. “You didn’t,” he said, laughing slightly. “You didn’t.”
“I did,” Zhou Mi said, ignoring Heechul saying, did what? over and over.
“Oh my god,” Kyuhyun said, lunging for Zhou Mi, bestowing a long, drawn-out kiss on his lips. “You are something else.”
Once upon a time there was a man called Zhou Mi, and he was a fairy, and he met the two best friends he’d ever have and they were called Heechul and Kyuhyun. Heechul ran off to Canada with his One True Love Hankyung, and Kyuhyun stayed behind with Zhou Mi. Zhou Mi found someone to trust completely, with all his secrets and all his magic, and finally, everything was perfect.
And they all lived happily ever after.