The songs from a person called human.

p/s: No matter how gifted you are, not everyone is gonna like you.
I Need You
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I'm editing another one-shot again for my birthday. Sad one but it will remind me of them. This is previously TVXQ one-shot and I remake it.



Sunggyu is writing a song for the seven of them when the phone rings.

He picks up the vibrating cell phone, checks the name of the caller (the flashing name reads manager) and answers the call.

"Sunggyu," the manager's voice is thick, barely recognizable. "National Hospital. Come now."

Sunggyu's grip on the phone tightens as he manages to choke out, "What happened?"

"Accident." He sounds dead, monotonous.

Even when Sunggyu runs, time passes too fast for him to race against.

The six of them are in the same hospital room, something Sunggyu thinks they would like - having liked.

All their parents are there, even Sunggyu's – the manager must have found a way to contact them.

Sunggyu wants to ask what happened, how, where, but when he opens his mouth all that comes out is, "Why?"

They all get their turns.

The parents, the siblings, and then finally it is Sunggyu's turn to be left alone in the room with his six dead band members.

There are chairs beside all of their beds, but Sunggyu cannot decide who to sit beside, so he ends up dragging the plastic chair into the centre of the room (like how he always did whenever they held a meeting, the other six of them opposite him waiting for their leader to start talking).

There a million things Sunggyu would have liked to asked, but the knot in his throat grows larger with every beat of his heart and so he can only sit there in silence and stare at their lifeless figures.

For some ironic reason, their beds are lined up in his favourite order – Dongwoo, Hoya, Myungsoo, Sungjong, Woohyun and Sungyeol.

Sunggyu's eyes burn when he realizes that he is the only one left behind, the only one who cannot fit in, no matter how much he tries.

He curls up in the space between Sungjong and Woohyun and lets the tears eat at his heart.

The funeral is filled with an overwhelming amount of people - family, relatives, friends, fans.

Sunggyu's eyes are dulled, and when the funeral speaker invites him to sing an INFINITE song to mourn for his band mates, his blood runs cold.

"There is no INFINITE without them," Sunggyu's voice is soft but deadly serious, echoing around the silent funeral hall.

He walks out, the crowd splitting apart to give him a path to walk through.

The papers the next day write about how Leader Sunggyu is depressed after his band members' death, and Sunggyu throws them away along with all his INFINITE memorabilia.

Sunggyu soon learns that he can pretend INFINITE never existed by clearing his entire house of any hints of their existence, but he cannot forget the simplest things:

Dongwoo's familiar innocent laugh, Woohyun in a polka-dotted apron cooking for them, Sungjong watching him playing the piano with a hint of a smile, Hoya's hair catching the sunlight as he dances, Myungsoo with his eye-smile and choding Sungyeol that talks anything he like.

His manager tells him to go back to their apartment. "Maybe then you can let go," the manager tells him, eyes alight with worry.

How could I ever let go? Sunggyu wants to say, but the manager's rigid stubbornness wins him over anyway.

Sunggyu fits the keys into the lock and holds his breath before opening the door.

In contrary to what he'd expected, the apartment doesn't smell of stale air and unwashed dishes. Instead, there is a slight aroma of... cooking?

Sunggyu's forehead creases with suspicion and he moves towards the kitchen.

"Sunggyu hyung," Woohyun greets him, smile on his face and frying pan in his hand.

Sunggyu tries to tell himself that this is not real, that this is probably one of those made-up hallucinations he always hears about after suffering from severe trauma, but as he shovels down Woohyun's ramyun, he can't help but believe that this is it, this is the truth, Woohyun is here, real.

Woohyun sits down beside him, watching Sunggyu finish his food with a twinkle in his eyes.

"How was it?" Woohyun asks.

"Good," Sunggyu says. "I've missed it ever since you -" He stops, frowns and avoids Woohyun's knowing gaze.

"Died?" Woohyun finishes for Sunggyu.

Sunggyu's head snaps up and he meets Woohyun's eyes. "What exactly are you?"

Woohyun frowns as well. "I don't know, exactly. A ghost? I just suddenly appeared here ten minutes before you arrived."

Sunggyu swallows. "Then um, what were you doing before you came?"

Woohyun hums in thoughtfulness. "I don't know either. The last thing I remember before coming here was -"

Woohyun's breathe catches, his eyes glazing over, and his mouth drawn.

"Was?" Sunggyu prompts, his gaze never leaving Woohyun, burning this strange apparition into his mind.

"It was an accident, wasn't it?" Woohyun says. "I remember Sungjong shouting and everything was so orange."

Sunggyu nods. "I only knew when the manager called."

Woohyun fixes a smile onto his face. "We were on our way to visit you, you know. Everyone missed you."

Sunggyu's heart thumps a little too hard, the ache coiling in his chest.

Woohyun talks about random, crazy, Woohyun’s stuff until the apartment darkens and the lights shine outside the window.

"It's getting late," Woohyun says. "You should be getting to sleep."

Sunggyu gives him a look. "Have you forgotten that I'm the insomniac of the group?"

He still remembers staying up late at night working at his lyrics, the six of them poking their heads out at one-hour intervals to ask him to holy God please get some sleep we have so much work to do tomorrow (Hoya), are you hungry I can make you supper (Woohyun), no amount of make-up will ever be able to cover up your dark circles (Sungjong), hyung the light is really irritating you know (Myungsoo).

"I'll have to go. At midnight."

Sunggyu says, "What, are you freaking Cinderella?"

"That's Sungjong." Woohyun laughs. "Really, Sunggyu-ah, please, go to sleep."

"Since you're leaving," Sunggyu says stubbornly. "All the more I'm not sleeping."

Woohyun is silent; his large, dark eyes filled with an emotion Sunggyu cannot find a name for.

"I don't want you to watch me go." Woohyun murmurs, his voice hoarse.

Sunggyu's eyes flash to the clock on the wall. Eleven twenty-seven PM.

"I want to watch you go to sleep," Woohyun continues. "One last time, Sunggyu, please?"

Sunggyu stares at his soul mate - his eyes so alive, so different from the previous time Sunggyu saw them.

Woohyun's jaw is set, but when Sunggyu finally nods, his mouth melts into a smile.

"Close your eyes," Woohyun orders.

Sunggyu obliges, lying down so that his head is settled on Woohyun's lap.

Woohyun sings quietly, but his voice still stands out amongst the hum of traffic and nightlife.

When Sunggyu hears the beep of the clock, marking twelve AM, he opens his eyes to a world without Woohyun.

After Sunggyu is done crying, he calls the manager.

"Hyungnim," he says. "I'm staying here until Saturday."

Sunday is - was Woohyun's, and Sunggyu guessed Monday to Friday would be the others'. Saturday, he decided, would be for himself.

"CEO says remember to sleep." The manager tells him.

"I know," Sunggyu answers.

After he hangs up, he slips into the bedroom he once shared with Woohyun and onto his bed.

He dreams of Woohyun, and when he wakes up, the taste of Woohyun's ramyun is still on his tongue.

Sunggyu survives on leftover biscuits and coffee for breakfast.

At ten fifty-seven, he goes out to write lyrics by the Han River, Woohyun's singing still clogging up his mind and heart.

At twelve oh-four, he buys a cup of Americano, smiling at the memory of Sungyeol's want-to-be-a-real-man habit.

At twelve thirty-three, a fan stops him, her eyes calm, doe-like as she asks quietly for his signature.

Sunggyu shakes his head politely, says, "There isn't INFINITE anymore, I'm sorry."

"But there is still INFINITE in our hearts," the fan says, inclining her head to meet Sunggyu's eyes. "And in oppa's heart, too."

Sunggyu signs the photo, of the seven of them still caught in teenage adolescence during their BTD days.

"Who was your favourite?" Sunggyu asks, out of curiosity.

"Sungyeol-oppa."

"Sungyeol would have liked you," Sunggyu tells her. It's the truth - she is small, young-petite, large eyes brightening her slightly-round face. Sungyeol's type.

The fan smiles, her cheeks turning pink. "Thank you, Sunggyu-oppa."

Sunggyu shrugs, waves, and heads home.

At one oh-eight, Sunggyu sits on the swings at the park near their apartment.

At one eleven, Sunggyu runs home.

At one thirteen, Myungsoo opens the door for Sunggyu.

"How have hyung been without us?" Myungsoo says conversationally.

"Fine. Okay. I don't know. Fine?" Sunggyu says.

Myungsoo sighs. "So what are hyung going to do now?"

"Um, I'm talking to you?" Sunggyu raises his eyebrows.

"Not now," Myungsoo touts. "As in, your future without INFINITE."

Sunggyu swallows, forces a smile. "Myungsoo," he says. "INFINITE is still in everyone's hearts."

Myungsoo is still Myungsoo, whether dead or alive, so he sits cross-legged on the couch reading the book.

Sunggyu works on his lyrics, glancing from the memo pad in his hand to Myungsoo every minute or so.

"Our funeral was good, huh." Myungsoo muses, his finger tapping against his chin.

Sunggyu shrugs abashedly. "I kind of missed most of it."

"Depression?" Myungsoo coughs to hide his grin.

Sunggyu glares at him. "Well, I was, until all of you started showing up in my lonely life."

"All of us?" Myungsoo repeats, narrowing his eyes. "Who else?"

"Not all," Sunggyu amends. "Just you and Woohyun visited yesterday."

"So the rest will probably show up over the next few days?" Myungsoo asks.

"Probably, yeah." Sunggyu nods. "Judging from you and Woohyun's rate of showing up," he adds dryly.

"Hyung-ah." Myungsoo says. "Honestly, I'm not sure whether this," he gestures towards himself. "Is good for you."

"I am not depressed, Myungsoo-ah." Sunggyu tells him tiredly.

Myungsoo smiles. "But you have to learn to move on without us, hyung."

Something inside Sunggyu snaps.

"Do you think I haven't tried?" Sunggyu says loudly, close to shouting.

"I've done almost everything to forget you guys! You six have it easy - you're gone without any more burdens, but me? I'm still here! Learning to survive without you!"

Sunggyu hasn't even realized that he's standing up until Myungsoo stands, too, and pats him on the back reassuringly, his touch cool, even through the fabric of Sunggyu's shirt.

"I can't do this," Sunggyu crumples back onto the sofa. "Why? Why am I the only one who's left behind?"

"Believe me, Sunggyu-ah." Myungsoo worries his lip before saying, "If we had a choice, we'd never have left you behind."

The tears burn their way down his cheeks as he curls into a ball, as if doing this can prevent him from falling apart.

"Leader Sunggyu, not always the crybaby." Myungsoo teases gently.

Sunggyu feels like his heart is breaking bit by bit, but he lifts his head up to offer a smile to Myungsoo, because he has to learn to be stronger without his members.

Sunggyu spends the last few hours with Myungsoo, composing.

Sunggyu tells Myungsoo about the song he is writing about the seven of them, INFINITE which has ceased to exist.

Myungsoo insists he has to hear it, sings the lyrics while Sunggyu plays the piano.

"You haven't finished the lyrics?" Myungsoo says while the melody still flows around them.

Sunggyu stops playing. "I've only finished Woohyun's part, you see."

"Six more to go." Myungsoo says, smiling.

"Five." Sunggyu corrects, tugging the paper with scribbled words back from Myungsoo's hands.

Myungsoo doesn't let go. "Have you forgotten yourself?" He demands.

"Myungsoo," Sunggyu says. "I've got myself for a long, long time. It's the six of you I want to remember."

"INFINITE will always be seven." Myungsoo reminds. Then he glances away, points a finger at the bathroom. "I'm going to the toilet."

"Okay," Sunggyu agrees absent-mindedly, turning his gaze back towards the piano.

It takes two and a half minutes and the beep of the clock until Sunggyu wonders if ghosts really need to use the toilet.

When he races down the hallway and flings open the door, Myungsoo is gone.

Sunggyu cries to sleep with his head against the door, breathing in the last vestiges of Kim Myungsoo.

Sunggyu realizes it when a soccer ball rolls into his room.

He glances up, meeting a pair of twinkling eyes and a bright smile.

"Sunggyu hyung!" Dongwoo shouts, his voice high as he rushes in and hugs Sunggyu.

Sunggyu breathes in the familiar scent of Dongwoo, fingers bunching up Dongwoo's shirt.

Dongwoo pulls away, runs to get the ball and asks, "Want to have a match?"

They have a match, in the empty grass patch near their apartment.

Dongwoo wins, as expected, and when they lie on the grass panting, Dongwoo laughs.

"What?" Sunggyu says suspiciously, turning his head to look at Dongwoo.

"I remember the last time we were here, Sungyeollie slipped and fell."

"And Woohyun said that long legs weren't much of a help to prevent you from falling," Sunggyu recalls.

"And they started fighting." Dongwoo says, beaming. "As usual."

They lie in silence after that, the clouds floating above them in the too-blue sky.

"Do you think," Sunggyu says. "All seven of us will ever be able to come here again?"

Dongwoo shrugs, his earring catching the Sun's glow and sparkling. "Stop wallowing, hyung."

"I'm not wallowing," Sunggyu defends himself. "Just wondering."

Dongwoo says, "You'll be fine without us, I know you will."

Sunggyu says, "I know I won't."

Dongwoo sits up, his head nearly colliding with a bright-yellow butterfly. He looks down at Sunggyu, and says, "You will."

"I don't think I can do this." Sunggyu closes his eyes, his voice shaking audibly. His heart feels like it's shriveling up, and he wonders if it's scientifically possible to feel your heart breaking, because he thinks he can.

A tear slips out of the corner of his eye, and Dongwoo's answering touch is as light as the wind.

Dongwoo begs for ice cream at eleven forty-two.

"Then go and get it yourself." Sunggyu says, annoyed.

"There's none left in the fridge, leader."

"Then go out and buy some."

"Do you think I can?" Dongwoo gives him a look.

Sunggyu throws his pillow at Dongwoo and goes downstairs.

The mini-mart is empty, and Sunggyu grabs a carton of strawberry ice cream, Dongwoo's favourite flavor.

When he goes to pay, the cashier gives him a tiny smile and asks, "Are you Sunggyu-oppa?"

Sunggyu nods, accepting his change from the girl.

"Fighting!" She says, and Sunggyu walks out with a polite nod.

The apartment is strangely quiet when he gets back, and a note is sitting on their coffee table.

"Sunggyu hyung, fighting! We love you!" It says, in Dongwoo's familiar handwriting.

Sunggyu sits on the floor for twelve minutes before he realizes that the ice cream is melting.

He opens the refrigerator, and sets the carton he just bought with another three tubs of ice cream.

"Stupid dumbass liar," Sunggyu says to the air, and this time when he cries, there isn't Dongwoo to wipe away his tears anymore.

Sunggyu found his pillow drenched again when he opened his eyes.

A nightmare again but now it does not seem to be a faked one.

He decided to clean the house and heard a hip-hop song in the room.

“Oh hyung. You are here?” Hoya greets him with a smile while finishing his last step.

Without hesitant, Sunggyu grabs him and hugs without any thought. Cold.

“Don’t be like this, hyung. You can get sick not me,” Hoya sighs.

“I miss you, I need you.” Sunggyu sobs in silent.

“Seriously, we never want to leave you. Never. But it is not we that decide it. So, hyung, please live for us, for INFINITE.” Hoya pats him in the shoulder, the right way the he always did when they finish their performance.

“Do you regret, leaving this world, leaving…” Sunggyu stops, trying to control his emotion.

“Leaving you?” Hoya blinks a while than smiles.

“Regrets, I had a few. But then again, too few to mention.” Hoya mimicking an old English song.

“You do sing ballad,” Sunggyu said while wiping his tears.

“Are you composing a song for us now? There are some papers flying over with some lyrics on it.” Hoya picks up a paper.

“Sing a little for me, I can create a dance then.”

“Will you?” Sunggyu starts to sound the first note and Hoya already gliding slowly on the floor.

At a flash of the sunlight, Sunggyu sees a glittering figure dancing slowing, making him stops and stares for a while.

“He is going to go.”

“Hyung, I love you.” Hoya smiles and Sunggyu notices that there are tears in those eyes before they disappeared in the light.

60 seconds and Sungyeol opens the fridge yelling that there is a lot of ice-cream in it.

“Is it for me, hyung?” Sungyeol takes one tube out.

“Dongwoo asks for it before.” Sunggyu wipes his eyes to see clearly the tall man Sungyeol.

“Dongwoo hyung had been here before? So I will just go for now.” He wakes up from the couch and tries to get out.

“No, stay…” Sunggyu grabs him.

“I’m just kidding, hyung.” He chuckles.

Sunggyu stares at him, a long stare.

“Do miss me to that extent to stare at me until you drop your eyeballs?” Sungyeol sits beside him and scope a spoonful of ice cream into his mouth.

“Why do you come here? To leave me again?” Sunggyu changes the direction of his eyes to the window.

“You know what? I miss you, hyung.” He says, always the obvious one.

Sunggyu looks at him and cries. “Then why did you go?”

“It is taking a toll on everyone, is it?” he ends it in a tone.

“The only thing I hope is you will cherish us in your heart forever. Not only during this time but until you come join us.” He is the choding Sungyeol.

“I will.”

“Do you want some coffee? This one is special because a ghost make it.” He stands up and goes to the kitchen.

After a while, he realizes that the coffee maker machine does not make any sound anymore and Sunggyu sees the smoke come from a cup of Americano on the table with a note “I love you, hyung. Keep your faith together!”

Sungjong is his last visitor.

Sungjong sits on the park swing; Sunggyu sits on the ground amongst the red maple leaves.

Autumn has always spelled loneliness of Sunggyu. He remembers autumns in Jeju; the other kids playing, jumping into the piles of leaves and giggling. He never joined in, just sat on the porch watching the burnt-red leaves drift slowly to meet the ground.

He'd told a single leaf, the only one left on the entire tree to hang in there, once, when he'd believed that it was clinging onto the branch with all its might.

Now, he wonders if the leaf had liked staying on the tree. Maybe, maybe it'd wanted to join the others on the ground - death meant nothing compared to being alone, being the only one left behind and watching everyone else walk away from you while you can only stand and stare, unable to move, to chase them and yell, "Wait for me!"

"Do you miss us?" Sungjong asks, never the subtle one.

Sunggyu's laugh is hollow. "How could I not, Sungjong-ah?"

"I'm sorry."

Sunggyu doesn't know if Sungjong is apologizing for his lack of tack, or for abandoning him, so he shrugs and lets it go.

Sunggyu falls asleep not long after that, the light breeze and the taste of autumn on his tongue having some sort of effect on his eyelids.

When he wakes up, the sky is dark and a glance at his watch tells him that it is eleven PM.

He stands up, brushing leaves off his jeans, and then he registers that Sungjong is gone, Sungjong isn't there anymore.

There is a strange jerking sensation at his heart - it feels like its falling, the kind of feeling you get when you sit on roller-coasters.

He wanders the streets until he finds a familiar shadow lurking at the steps leading to the underground passage near their apartment.

"Sungjong-ah!" Sunggyu yells.

Sungjong turns, his eyes bright in the dark.

Sunggyu runs and so does Sungjong, the youngest band member's long legs sprinting down the steps.

"Stay there, hyung!" Sungjong shouts back, his voice echoing around the passageway.

"Why?" Sunggyu asks, his throat tight and fingers clenched.

"Hyung, I don't want you to see me go." Sungjong's voice is quiet, but for some reason Sunggyu can still hear him.

Sunggyu takes a step forward, eyes desperate, mouth dry.

"Close your eyes, hyung."

Sunggyu obeys with something that feels like trepidation (like he doesn't want to let go).

The wind is harsh, cold, biting into his skin, and when he opens his eyes again, there is nothing left in the passageway to mark the fact that Lee Sungjong had once been there.

Sunggyu makes his way back to the apartment slowly, feet tripping over invisible obstacles and eyes swollen.

Seoul at midnight is still busy, noisy music drifting to his ears whenever a drunken person stumbles out of a club.

When he finally reaches the door, his hand pausing on the doorknob, he realizes that there's nothing inside the apartment left waiting for, and he ends up curling on the doorstep and waiting for morning to arrive.

Something hard hits his head, and Sunggyu wakes up.

"Good morning, sleepyhead." Woohyun says, smiling.

Myungsoo tots, "Why didn't hyung go in? It isn't safe for you to sleep outside!"

Dongwoo picks up the soccer ball he'd thrown at Sunggyu's head and whispers something to Sungjong, who cracks up.

Myungsoo unlocks the door, pushes Sunggyu inside. Woohyun grabs Sunggyu's hand and steers him to sit on the couch. Hoya welcomes him with a big hug.

Sungjong and Sungyeol sit at both sides of Sunggyu, while Myungsoo and Woohyun go into the kitchen. Hoya keeps playing his tablet.

"Why are you guys here?" Sunggyu says in mock-anger.

"Because we miss you," Myungsoo says at the same time as Sungjong says, "Because you're an idiot and we thought you were going to off yourself."

Myungsoo clamps a head over Sungjong's mouth. Sungjong bites Myungsoo, who lets go immediately and yelps, wiping his hand on the couch.

"Now there's Jong's saliva on the couch, you dumbass." Sunggyu complains.

"Stop fighting!" Myungsoo sticks his head out of the kitchen with a glare.

"Yes, hyung." Sungjong says, an innocent look on his face.

Myungsoo nods, satisfied, and goes back to talking to Woohyun.

"Devil," Sungyeol admonishes Sungjong.

"Like you're incredibly pure, my Sungyeol hyung." Sungjong pokes Sungyeol's ribs.

Sungyeol does his trademark angel pose. Sungjong clobbers his head with a cushion. Sunggyu watches them fight with the biggest grin on his face.

"Breakfast!" Woohyun shouts as he brings a plate of pancakes from the kitchen.

There is a mad scramble for the dining table and Woohyun hits all their hands trying to reach for their food.

"Be patient." Woohyun says, as he serves all of them an equal portion.

They talk while eating, slipping back into their normal routine as if this is normal - six ghosts and a human sitting around eating pancakes.

Sunggyu says Woohyun's cooking is the best in the world, Woohyun tells him not to let his mom hear that.

Sungyeol and Sungjong have a squabble over the maple syrup, and Hoya tells them to take their one-touches somewhere far away from the dining table. Dongwoo and Myungsoo just really enjoying their breakfast in their own world.

Dongwoo and Sunggyu share a smile, and Sunggyu wishes this could last forever.

Their manager calls in the middle of their game of Monopoly.

"Yeah, hyung?" Sunggyu says into the phone.

"You're bankrupt!" Sungjong announces gleefully to Myungsoo.

"Did I hear Sungjong's voice?" he asks suspiciously.

Sunggyu says hastily, "I was um... watching some of our old home videos."

"You're coming back tonight, right?" the manager says.

"Yeah. After midnight."

"Couldn't you come back earlier? Your mom wants you home for dinner. It's New Year's tomorrow."

Sunggyu winces. He'd been so caught up with everything he'd forgotten the dates. "Tell her I have some things to... take care of."

He agrees and hangs up.

"Myungsoo-hyung's broke!" Sungjong tells Sunggyu after he puts down the phone.

Hoya and Dongwoo are both busy counting their saving.

"I'm the richest so far!" Woohyun grins.

"How about you donate some of that pile to me?" Myungsoo tries to grab a note from Woohyun's colourful stack.

Woohyun shoves his hand away, and Myungsoo pouts.

Woohyun wins the game, and suggests they go to the beach for the day.

If you put the seven members of INFINITE together, their childishness can win seven pre-school kids.

They play catching on a secluded beach, toes slipping in the sand and laughter filling the air and Sunggyu's heart.

Sunggyu shoves Woohyun into the salty water, and Woohyun drags him into the sea as well, the cold water making the two of them shiver and race out of the sea as the other five laughs until they collapse onto the sand.

Woohyun's eyes have a wicked glint, and when he mouths "get them", they tug and pull and push until all seven of them are soaking wet and laughing even though their teeth are chattering in the icy-cold breeze.

The rest force Sunggyu to get changed out of his wet clothes ("we can't get sick anyway," Dongwoo said logically).

They sit on the sand watching the Sun disappear into the sea, the sky painted with all sorts of colourful shades.

"Before the dawn," Sungyeol comments.

They sing Nothing’s Over together. Sunggyu is reminded of pre-debut days, of walking into a meeting room with six complete strangers and flashing a nervous smile. Of clinging to each other's hands, sweaty and shaking, before their debut performance. Of winning their first award, tears of happiness.

They've walked so far together, and Sunggyu wants to ask God, if you're really there, why are you doing this to me, to us, to everyone out there?

Sunggyu wonders if this is the last time they get to sing this song together. Sunggyu wonders if he will ever sing this song again.

"INFINITE Survival Quiz." Hoya says, his voice a little strange due to his blocked-up nose. "Who was the first one to cry the last day INFINITE was together?"

They all write Jang Dongwoo into the sand except Woohyun, who argues that he was crying in the heart once again, and earns tearful whacks from the others.

Hoya had thought to bring sparklers, and they stick them into the sand to form INFINITE and set the beach ablaze with light.

When the sparklers die out, and the beach dims again, Sunggyu thinks that this is the exact representation of his life before, during, and after INFINITE.

I can't live without you, Sunggyu writes on the sand.

Sungjong is the only one who sees, and he holds Sunggyu's hand while Sunggyu's tears drip onto the sand.

"Someone said, 'the point of meeting is for the eventual goodbye'."

"Who said that?" Dongwoo asks, looking at Sungjong.

"Me." Sungjong says loftily.

Sunggyu throws sand into his hair.

"Well," Woohyun says. "I say, 'goodbyes mark new beginnings, which means we'll meet again'."

Love, Sunggyu thinks, is like a drug. You get a dose of it and you crave more and more, your world brimming over with explosions of colour. And when you lose it, when you can't get any more of it, your world reverts back to its black-and-white like before.

Except that this time, you've gotten so used to the Technicolor the black-and-white is even worse, leaving your world even duller than before.

Sunggyu wonders if he can smash all the clocks in the world, just to stop time, just so the six of them won't leave, leave him alone all over again.

Midnight is inching closer with every tear, every smile, every laugh, and every beat of Sunggyu's heart.

"Don't go." Sunggyu whispers finally.

"Do you think we don't want to stay?" Myungsoo says, eyes worried.

"Then stay!"

"We can't, Sunggyu, we just can't." Hoya's voice cracks.

"I hate all of you." Sunggyu says.

"We love you." Sungjong says.

Sunggyu cries, clinging onto all their shirts like an abandoned puppy, desperate for them to take him along, wherever they go to, whenever, forever.

When fireworks explode on the other end of the beach, the bright sparks shooting up into the sky and then tumbling down again, Sunggyu's breathing stops.

He's holding onto nothing but air, but when he opens his hand, a sheet of paper flutters out.

"Take care, we love you! 6/7 of INFINITE!"

"Happy New Year." Sunggyu says.

Happy New Year to another year with INFINITE (except this time, their existence is in your hearts).

Sunggyu finishes the song.

He throws away all his drafts, every copy of his lyrics and notes until all that's left of the music is in his mind.

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