Title: Bu Bu Jing Xin (Startling By Each Step)
Pairings: Kyuhyun centric, there will be various pairing/friendships, main wonkyu though hankyu, eunkyu, kyumin, changkyu also present. Also Hanchul, Eunhae, Minsu, and so many others I can't actually remember them all.
Genre: Historical, humour, angst, romance
Warnings: There will be character death (near the end though), plus some characters will have really sad endings (for spoilers watch the drama!) and also will probably add smut sometime.
Summary: Kyuhyun gets hit by a car and wakes up not in the the body of a 25 year old computer analyst like he expected but in the body of a 16 year old noble boy in the Qing dynasty. Confused and annoyed he then ends up entangled in the lives of the Princes he had learnt about in history class, as well as one of the messiest battles for the throne in China's history.
A/N: This is a SuJu version of the drama Bu Bu Jing Xin. I don't know whether anyone has written one before, if they have let me know, I'd love to read it! I will be sticking to the plot quite closely, I am in no way amazing enough to think up all this, I will change some stuff and add side stories of some characters that I love to bits and wanted developing more. I have no idea why I decided to post this. I think my love for this drama and Kyuhyun one day decided to drive me crazy.
Later that evening when darkness had fallen over the prairie, Kyuhyun sent Sungmin to a small clearing to the west of the camp, and he made his way to Hangeng’s tent. Xiumin let him enter with a small announcement and he hurried over to the rising prince.
Before he could say anything Hangeng raised his hands to look at them, “Did you use the medicine? Are they painful?”
“There are fine.” Kyuhyun left his hands in Hangeng’s as he asked, “Is it safe to talk?”
“I had guards put outside because I knew you would be visiting. Minseok is trustworthy.”
He still didn’t want to speak any louder than he needed to, so Kyuhyun moved to whisper into the other’s ear, “Fourteenth Prince is here.” Hangeng stilled as Kyuhyun continued. They were close enough to be hugging, though it was a strange sort of closeness, both tense with apprehension. “I told him to wait in the small clearing in the forest just to the west of the camp.”
“Do you know why he is here?” Hangeng’s voice was filled with worry.
“No, he just said he needed to talk to you.”
“I will go to him. You should go back to your tent and stay there.”
Kyuhyun nodded, drawing away from the bizarre embrace. He turned to leave before speaking a little louder but still incredibly softly, “Please be safe.”
“It makes me happy that you worry about me,” Hangeng smiled gently.
“I am always worried about you,” Kyuhyun said softly before withdrawing from the tent. Minseok looked up in surprise from his post, obviously thinking that he would be staying for longer. Kyuhyun muttered a goodbye as he hurried back to his tent where he thought that he would be anxiously waiting until he heard any news.
Hangeng waited a little while until he knew that Kyuhyun would have reached his tent before donning a cloak and slipping out the back of his tent and into the surrounding forest. Unknown to him 2 men were closely monitoring him and saw him as he left, both quietly following him as he tread equally as silently through the trees.
On arriving at the clearing he saw it empty but knew that Sungmin wouldn’t be standing out in the open, he anticipated the low call of his name from a thicket to his right as Sungmin stood up and revealed himself.
He rushed over and whispered harshly, “Fourteenth Brother! You defied an Imperial Edict. You know that if Imperial Father or the Crown Prince found out you would be punished harshly.”
“But Eighth Brother there was much I needed to discuss with you,” Sungmin spoke with frustration.
“Why? What is happening at court?”
“Fourth Brother has been using Imperial Fathers orders to move all the ministers that we have ties with around. They have all been moved far from the capital or to less powerful posts. He’s deliberately reducing our power.” Sungmin’s voice was tight while Hangeng started to pace. “I needed to come here, even if I was risking my life, so we could talk. If you don’t think of something your power in court will be gone when you return to the capital!”
Hangeng nodded and said, “Calmly tell me everything you know.”
As Sungmin started to detail all the movements that Siwon had ordered, a shadow peeled away from one of the trees and sneaked back to the camp, towards the tent of the Crown Prince.
“Reporting to you, Master,” the guard intoned before approaching Yoochun.
Yoochun looked up in interest at the one of men he had assigned to monitor the Eighth Prince. He was sure his brother would try and get into contact with his cohorts at some point. Maybe that time had come already. He beckoned the guard closer.
“Master, we followed the Eighth Prince to a clearing. It seemed that he was meeting with a Mongol but upon listening it seems that it is the Fourteenth Prince in disguise.”
Yoochun smirked; this was exactly what he was hoping for.
Kyuhyun entered his tent to discover Junsu standing in the centre examining one of the Emperor’s teapots. He put it down hastily, causing Kyuhyun to wince in concern; that was one rare teapot.
“How are you? I came to check that you were okay. I’m sorry I left you. I hope Eighth Prince looked after you. It seemed like he would, but I didn’t want to seem like I didn’t care that you had fainted!”
Kyuhyun blinked at the rush of conversation from the man in front of him, who was now looking at him expectantly.
“I’m perfectly fine, Your Highness.”
“Are you sure? Your hands are bandaged,” Junsu pointed out.
“I applied some medicine and all should be healed soon.” Kyuhyun smiled trying to ease the guilty face.
“Would you accompany me for a walk? I wanted to talk to you some more.” Junsu seemed to be back to his normal happiness.
Kyuhyun thought of the nervousness and worry that would eat at him if he stayed in thinking about Hangeng and Sungmin. Maybe Junsu would distract him until he heard anything. Besides the two princes would need to talk so he had plenty of time.
“Of course, Your Highness,” Kyuhyun bowed slightly and followed the Mongolian prince out of the tent.
“I know I am being rather abrupt and my visit was unexpected, I am sorry if I offend you. I know the ways of those from the city differ from those on the plains.” Junsu spoke stilted and formally as if he had just remembered that Kyuhyun wasn’t one of his compatriots.
“Why are suddenly apologising? You have always been so relaxed,” Kyuhyun asked confused.
“Well my mother told me that you were a favourite of the Emperor’s and that I shouldn’t push myself on you,” Junsu admitted.
“Your mother is with you? I thought that only your father and his officials were with you.” Kyuhyun hadn’t seen any noble Mongol ladies, surely there would have been some indication if one of Yunho’s wives were in the camp. They hadn’t even been to see the Emperor, if they had Kyuhyun would know.
“Well,” Junsu paused and started mumbling in his own tongue, Kyuhyun thought they were probably cursing his own stupidity, before switching back to Chinese. “My mother isn’t like the ladies of Qing, or even the other wives of my father. He is a general in my father’s personal guard.”
“What?!” Kyuhyun exclaimed. He had seem the general, who seemed to have the ear of Yunho as well as the respect of Kangin, he just hadn’t realised that there was another reason for Kangin’s deference and Yunho’s closeness. “How did that happen?” He then bit his tongue at speaking out of turn as the young prince grinned in amusement.
“My grandfather didn’t have any children apart from my mother, so he raised him to be his successor, the next general of his small but elite company, rather than let my mother learn to be a proper lady. My grandmother had died when my mother was young so he naturally followed my grandfather everywhere. No one knew that my mother wasn’t a true man apart from a few of my grandparents’ closest acquaintances.” Junsu derisively uttered the words, seemingly angry at his sex. “My father, he was told after my grandfather died. He went to visit to see exactly who had been put in charge of one of his most powerful units. Apparently my father fell in love… my mother took some convincing.” Junsu laughed while Kyuhyun listened in awe. Junsu’s mother had gone against all social conventions, was a well-known warrior, a trusted leader of Yunho’s personal guard. And he had a child…
“Are they married? Why isn’t he with the other wives?” Kyuhyun questioned, intensely curious as he followed the other up a small knoll.
Junsu smirked, “Apparently, my mother only consented to marry when he became pregnant. And even then as soon as I was born he left to re-join his regiment, taking me with him. My father couldn’t even stop him. It was only when he ordered that my mother become head of his personal guard that he returned to my father’s home.”
“Your mother sounds like a powerful character.” Kyuhyun spoke admiringly.
“He is,” Junsu sighed. “He worries for me. Especially since I am of age to be married. My father has said he will wait until I meet a man I admire. But…” The prince sighed deeply looking forlornly out from the top of the hill down onto the camp. “Why didn’t Changmin come this time?”
Kyuhyun understood now why he was asked on this walk. “The Thirteenth Prince was ordered to stay to help the Fourth Prince. He had no choice in the matter. The Princes do as their father orders them.”
“Is his wife beautiful? And accomplished? And everything a noble lady of the city should be?” Kyuhyun felt empathy for the boy who was so obvious but didn’t feel embarrassed to ask this of him.
“She is certainly considered a beauty and she is cultured. But remember she was not married to the Prince out of love or affection, they were married due to politics and the Emperor’s will.”
Junsu looked more troubled by this than pleased. “My parents told me that Qing ladies had no choice, that they are never happy.” His eyes pleaded with Kyuhyun to refute what he said but Kyuhyun couldn’t. He had yet to meet someone who was happy with their life or their position. No one, not even the princes, or the officials, or even the Emperor, were happy. Everyone was stuck in place by laws, responsibilities, tradition and expectation. If you deviated from the path, fell from the precarious knife edge that was the life in court, you risked your life. There were always people watching, waiting, for a mistake, for a chance to report another. How could he explain this life to someone who lived so freely? Who had been treated as an honoured child and whose mother lived so differently to all the wives he had ever encountered?
“Your silence tells me more than your words would,” Junsu said gloomly. “But, is there no freedom, no choice at all?”
Kyuhyun sighed and couldn’t bring himself to defend or abolish the society that he was trapped in. It was just too difficult to put into words everything that was expected of him and everyone else. That no one had friends, just other people all waiting for you to misstep. If he said something now, he may regret it later. Who knew what would happen if he poisoned this prince’s ears against the life in the Qing capital? No doubt Junsu would tell someone, it would probably be a meaningless comment or a slip of the tongue. That would then be reported to Lord Yunho, and that could colour his view of Kyuhyun, his friends, Prince Changmin, anyone really. Or he could mention it to Kangin, which would endanger his life, and not just his, the moment a slur was mentioned against him everyone he had contact with would be contaminated.
“I won’t ask anymore, you clearly do not want to answer. I can guess from your quietness that the answers will not be ones I want to hear.”
“We cannot always be ourselves in the palace,” Kyuhyun admitted softly. “I do not know how to counsel you in regards to the Thirteenth Prince.”
“My parents have told me not to think of him. My father told me that he would never allow the match as it would take me away from here. And yet he says he will not force me to marry someone I do not care for.”
“Your father cares for you deeply. He doesn’t want to see you unhappy.”
“Why is it so difficult to like someone? Why can’t it be simple?” Junsu huffed as he linked arms with the other boy and started to drag him back towards the camp, his good mood on the risk again. The prince was not one to stay upset for long, no matter what the discussion.
Kyuhyun inwardly agree with his last sentiment in any rate. Why was it so complicated when you liked someone?