I had other plans for Yixing's birthday, but I've been emotional and thinking, causing this word vomit that makes no sense to come out. Sorry? Happy Birthday Yixing. Work hard and smile, my precious son ~
Yixing is a lot of things.
Calm, logical, caring, peaceful, forward and emotionally strong. He's known for not giving up, for being invested -- too invested -- in the things he loves, the people he loves. And to him, that's okay. It's just how he is, how he wants to be.
He wants to be selfless, lives off seeing other people happy, seeing them smile, laugh, cry tears of happiness, all from his own doing. And that's all that matters to him, really. He doesn't mind if he doesn't get the same love in return, doesn't mind if occasionally they misread, if they throw it back in his face.
But sometimes, sometimes it gets too much. Sometimes, Yixing can't quite grasp the idea that he can't please everyone, that eventually his body is going to give out, and his knees are going to buckle beneath the physical, emotional, spiritual weariness of his bones.
And sometimes, sometimes he breaks. Literally, figuratively; alone in a bathroom, alone in a basement practice room, far past closing hours, flight early the next morning. He's always flying now, and he should be grateful that he's not scared, can walk up the steps with a bravery certain others cannot.
He forgets it's his birthday.
This is common; Yixing forgetting things. Its always been treated as a joke, some silly thing that happens, dopey Zhang Yixing, lost in the clouds again.
He doesn't mean to get that way, its just that his thoughts are so full. He's not in the clouds, he's trapped in his own mind, struggling to get his way through the tangents, the insecurities, the tangled cord of what the fuck is this.
And his birthday, it comes at a rather inconvenient time. Two days after the 7th, comes the 9th, and Yixing gets preoccupied, reflects, spends over time sitting still, untangling his complex web of emotion, turning the negative thoughts over to their positive side.
It's nothing dramatic, just a heavy nostalgia that settles in Yixing's stomach. They all feel it, but its been a year now, and they're not used to this weird feeling, this emptiness. Not that Yixing knows properly; he's in China right now, has been here sparingly, back and forth and back and forth, one armed hugs, short conversations in between schedules his only proper interaction, strings of friendship held together by their promises.
And in China Yixing isn't really alone, he's just lonely. His best friend; the reason for all this melancholy, this nostalgia has been too busy with his own life, own future, promises that are separate from the ones Yixing makes everyday to those around him (and those not around him, but Lu Han doesn't really need to know that).
Maybe Yixing is being dramatic though; because its not like he doesn't see Lu Han a lot, has seen him more than his own group lately, honestly. Its just not the same, meeting up in a quiet private restaurant away from prying eyes, smiles too tender for regular friendship rulebooks to describe.
And Yixing hates when they have nothing to talk about, when Yixing's words are filled with something that is the past for Lu Han, but a future he's trapped within. Lu Han will get this look, the one Yixing knows too well; the look reserved for when he's overwhelmed, for when he needs to remove himself from situations and keep his image, thoughts, calm.
Today Yixing wants their lunch to be happy, ignores the texts from his group, not realizing why he's getting so many until Lu Han gives him an entirely different look across the table, eyebrows raised.
"Just because you're alone in China doesn't mean you have to ignore Korea," Lu Han says with a small laugh, the kind that doesn't crinkle his eyes.
Yixing just blinks, confused, lack of sleep spurring his brain into overdrive, creating agonies that don't exist. Because if there's one thing about Zhang Yixing is he cannot handle the thought of his selflessness, of his actions in being good to hurt someone.
"I always ignore my phone when I'm with you," He frowns, lips pursed around a green straw, cold against his lips.
"Minseok is offended," Lu Han comments, and his eyes finally crinkle, a kind of playful and yet serious glint. "You ignored his birthday text. He even called me earlier, tried to write it in Chinese. Cute."
"It's my birthday," Yixing says, and then he pauses, before it sinks in. "Oh. Oh."
"It's amazing isn't it?" Lu Han jokes, and its hollow, a cover up for the confusion and guilt Yixing suddenly feels. He's forgotten his own birthday, ignored well-wishes just for the sake of making Lu Han comfortable. It's his birthday and that means in two days it will be another, sadder day.
Not that it was the day they knew. Lu Han isn't heartless enough, is possibly more selfless than Yixing himself (by possibly he means, yes. Because calling oneself selfless is not selfless). They'd known, for months, without being able to do anything but support.
But that was the day everyone else knew, the day the fans sent off his best friend, watched him go back home, some with hatred, most with love. Always with love.
Yixing remembers when Lu Han had been scared, had cornered Yixing and touched his face in an intimate way -- not romantic, and yet not quite best friends either -- had asked, no begged him not to hate him.
And Yixing had been shocked that Lu Han would even think, would even suggest such a thing. But he'd smiled, nodded, hugged his best friend, and Lu Han had told him, in a characteristically Lu Han way.
"Take care of Minseok for me when I leave, cuddle him or something," A pause, followed by, "Just don't like, suck his dick. That's my job."
Yixing grins at that memory, fishing out his phone and responding; only to Minseok's though. Jongdae's too; an afterthought but not forgetfulness. The others can wait.
"You need to go, don't you?" Lu Han asks suddenly, eyes on the clock on his phone, frowning slightly. "You have a birthday event to go to."
"I'd forgotten," Yixing mutters, eyebrows furrowed in a way that doesn't make him look angry, just silly. "I'd forgotten about that also."
"You always do," Lu Han says, and he's smiling gently. "I have schedules too, so I'm not too upset."
Yixing hums, suddenly not feeling quite talkative. He's happy; just tired.
"Thank you," He says, turning back to Lu Han once they've left the quiet restaurant, once he's ready to climb into a colourless, nameless car and go to whatever city his events in; he's forgotten that too. He goes to so many cities, so many countries, does so much -- too much -- and sometimes, a lot of the time now Yixing's organization fails, webs tangled too tight, and someone has to tell him where he is, what he's doing, how long it will take before he can sleep.
"For what?" Lu Han says, confused, head tilted in question, puppy-like. "You paid."
"I thought I was going to be alone on my birthday this year," Yixing says with a shrug, like it's not a big deal. "And even if i forgot you were still here, like always."
"That's what best friends are for," Lu Han with a grin; one of his ugly ones. Yixing nods, watching his retreating back for a heartbeat too long before climbing into the backseat of the car, autopilot set into motion to go where he needs to go next.
He'll argue with you, if you say it's not worth it. He's argued with Minseok, sat silent through quiet lectures. He's argued with Jongdae, only to have his hand squeezed, so tight it might break.
It's worth it though, because Yixing is happy.
He's tired, constantly, alone, constantly, but he's realizing, scrolling through texts, that one doesn't have to be lonely; not on their birthday at least.</i>