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. Also this is betaed by my wonderful friend Miki.
Changmin looked around as he heard a cry of annoyance which surely couldn’t have been directed at him. However he was at the edge of the camp, looking out at the scenery having just been released by his father, and there was no one else around. He saw the shouter the next moment and sighed as he realised who it was. Kyuhyun marched over to him with a face like thunder.
“Me?” Changmin asked, wondering what he could’ve done now to upset his friend. Or maybe it wasn’t him in particular but the younger needed to rant and let off steam about someone else. Either way he was prepared for Kyuhyun’s sharp tongue.
“Do you know who’s teaching me how to ride?”
“Do you know how he’s teaching me how to ride?” Kyuhyun spat the words, clearly having had to bite his tongue to prevent offending anyone and now releasing all his anger onto the presently uncaring prince.
“I saw,” Changmin rolled his eyes.
“He just walked me around the camp! He didn’t let go of the horse! He didn’t let me go faster than a slow walk!” Kyuhyun started pacing while Changmin sighed and wished he was riding somewhere; he’d planned to go find his horse before Kyuhyun had started a conversation. “Is he an idiot? Does he really think I’m going to fall off if he lets go?”
“I’ve told you before, no one wants to get into trouble for causing harm to one of the Emperor’s favourites.”
“You’ll have to teach me,” Kyuhyun whipped around and headed towards the slightly older man.
“What?!” Changmin was startled out of his thoughtful state, eyes wide as he backed away.
“Yes! You promised already.” Kyuhyun advanced while Changmin continued backing away, his mouth hanging open as he tried to formulate a plan to get out of Kyuhyun’s idea.
“When did I promise?”
“When we were travelling here,” Kyuhyun smirked at the slightly panicked expression on his friends face. Changmin stopped as his back hit a tree.
“That wasn’t a promise.”
“You can’t say no now, the Emperor gave me permission.”
“You’re using my Imperial Father against me,” Changmin was gobsmacked at the audacity of the younger.
“So when are you going to teach me?” Kyuhyun eyes narrowed, daring the other to challenge him, especially since he was already in a foul mood.
“Later,” Changmin quickly said, wishing himself to be far away from the incredibly pissed off Kyuhyun. “After dinner. I’ll meet you just over there.” He pointed a little distance from the edge of the camp towards the grassy plains that spread out just beyond the wooded area the camp was situated next to.
“After dinner?” Kyuhyun confirmed.
“I’ll be there,” Changmin nodded eagerly, determined to escape the wrath of his friend. Kyuhyun would calm down later and everything would be fine but he suspected that the Colonel must have really rubbed the other up the wrong way for him to be acting like this.
Kyuhyun was feeling incredibly calm as he waited for Changmin to arrive. He had changed back into his riding gear after dinner and had headed straight out to the field, wanting to arrive before the prince so he didn’t have wait. He walked far enough away from the edge of the camp that no one would be able to hear them chatting; he didn’t want any nosy guardsman to accidently hear them chatting about things that could get one or both of them into bother. His earliness was probably due to slight guilt Kyuhyun felt at nearly biting the other’s head off earlier that day. He had expected being able to gain the permission from the Emperor to start learning to ride properly. What he didn’t expect was a pompous, slightly annoying man who wouldn’t allow him to go beyond a walk. The Colonel had held onto the reins tightly and hadn’t let go, a look of nervousness on his face with every start the horse had made. The horse was only skittish at points because she could feel the nervousness of her leader. Kyuhyun had tried to persuade the Colonel to let go, but the Colonel had responded with vague replies that while incredibly polite seemed to suggest that Kyuhyun was less of a man and only a servant and also not capable. Kyuhyun felt outraged by this man who would swing between superiority and fear of offending one who had direct access to the Emperor. That along with all the stress of the morning, with Jinki accidentally spilling a box of tea and Ryeowook mixing up the princes’ drinks and Kyuhyun having to remake and work out what to do before they wondered what was taking them so long, caused Kyuhyun to explode. He was due a good rant anyway. He had to be perfectly behaved in front of everyone so surely letting off some steam in front of his closest friend was a good option, better than him accidentally snapping in front of someone else and getting into trouble.
He looked up at the stars and decided that the night was one of the most beautiful and peaceful he’d ever seen. He lay down on the grass, thinking about how nothing could go wrong on a night like this. The stars were so clear and the moon seemed bigger than ever in the cloudless sky. He wished he could name the stars. Maybe he should read a book on them; he often had nothing else to do so he often read. Some the books were ones that would be lost over the years and Kyuhyun found that his love of learning new things had only seemed to grow since he had arrive in this century.
Kyuhyun continued laying and looking at the stars when he heard the sound of the horses approaching from the camp. He spoke softly but knew that his voice would carry in the night’s air, “I think the night is too nice to mess around with you teaching me to ride, I’m feeling tired anyway. Let’s just sit and gaze at the stars.” He patted beside him, not looking up.
He expected the sudden feeling of a warm body sitting beside him but he didn’t expect the deep voice of someone who was not Changmin say, “I suppose that could work.”
He jolted in shock, sitting up and staring at Siwon who was sitting next to him. It wasn’t Changmin! Obviously it wasn’t Changmin. He had no idea what to say, so he just sat with his mouth open for a couple of seconds before he realised he probably looked like an idiot so he jumped to his feet, the Fourth Prince just sat and looked up at him with an unreadable expression.
“Greetings Fourth Prince,” Kyuhyun bowed and blushed at the prince having caught him at such a moment and the prince’s response to his casual suggestion, which he would never have said if he had known it was Siwon and not Changmin. “Where’s the Thirteenth Prince?” Siwon slowly got to his feet after sighing at the question.
“Thirteenth Brother was detained by the Crown Prince, he sent me in his place.”
Kyuhyun felt intensely uncomfortable with the Fourth Prince standing in front of him, far away from the camp. He didn’t like how bothered he felt and wanted to flee straight away. The tension that built up in him whenever he was with the taller man was something he tried to wish away but it never worked. He smiled awkwardly and tried to politely escape, “I’ll go back then. Thirteenth Prince can teach me another time.”
“You think I’m not a good enough teacher?” Siwon’s eyes were sphinx-like and sharp.
“No! I’m sure you’re a good teacher, I’m just tired.” Kyuhyun tried to disentangle himself from the situation. He really didn’t like how he couldn’t read the other man. He knew what to say to get what he wanted from others, but with the Fourth Prince, it was as if he was a closed book.
“We can just lay and watch the stars then.” The prince sat down where Kyuhyun had been previously laying, looking up in expectation. Kyuhyun’s eyes widened, there was no way he was going to lay down next to Siwon under the stars, that was probably an incredibly stupid thing to do. He knew it was an incredibly stupid thing to do.
Grasping at straws, he spluttered out, “I’m not sleepy anymore.”
The prince stood and looked at the boy before him with hard eyes before tilting his head towards the horses, “Get on the horse.”
Kyuhyun gulped in relief. At least on a horse there was plenty of distance between the two. Why did Changmin send Siwon? He would punish his friend later, all the guilt he felt at his anger before was washed away by a new anger. The icy prince was someone he just wanted to avoid and yet no one seemed to realise this, except the man himself, who seemed determined to pop up everywhere just to fluster him.
Siwon was a harsh teacher, constantly telling him instructions and demanding his full attention. Kyuhyun had to focus all his attention on the lesson and had no chance to think of what he would do to his friend tomorrow or anything other than Siwon’s voice guiding him while he steered the horse.
He hobbled into his tent, wincing as his thighs were chaffed from the saddle and his calves ached from supporting his weight in the stirrups. It reminded him of how he felt after a physical education lesson at school, he had tried to avoid or skip as many as possible but whenever he had been discovered and forced into attending, he always felt so stiff and sore after.
Ryeowook gasped and ran up to him as he saw his friend trudge into the tent. “You look exhausted Gege!”
“I am exhausted,” Kyuhyun pouted as he collapsed face first on his bed in the corner of the room. He wished it was a soft mattress and a duvet and pillows and all the softness of a bed in the 21st century, but it would have to do.
“You can’t go to bed now.” Ryeowook tutted as he pulled the older boy up. He started to undo the outer garments as Kyuhyun stood there with a sulky look on his face. After unfastening the clothes, he started on the elaborate hair piece all the higher palace maidens wore, signifying their difference to the eunuchs and lower maids. Removing the pins and the wooden fillet, he placed them carefully on the sides as Kyuhyun continued to be unhelpful. “I’d have thought you’d be happier, you were so excited earlier and you have so desperately wanted to learn to ride.”
“Having a harsh teacher can make the most fun lesson a nightmare,” Kyuhyun sighed, grumbling more than he probably should. He just wanted to be babied for a little bit and Ryeowook was good at that.
“Was the Thirteenth Prince too harsh then? I thought you were both friends.” Ryeowook looked confused as he folded the elder’s clothes.
“It was Fourth Prince who taught me.” Kyuhyun confessed as he crawled back into the bed and snuggled into the pillow as he was now in his underclothes.
“The Fourth Prince does seem like a serious teacher,” the smaller added as he poured a small cup of tea and presented it to the other. “He has excellent horsemanship though, one of the best.”
“Even if I was a genius I doubt I could please that man,” Kyuhyun moaned as he sat up slightly to drink.
“Gege, you are one who even impresses and pleases the Emperor. I’m sure the Fourth Prince is as well,” Ryeowook giggled at the annoyed face the other had pulled as he complained about the stoic prince.
“I don’t think so. You should go to bed as well,” Kyuhyun spoke to the younger. Ryeowook’s pallet was made up beside Kyuhyun’s. They shared the tent while Jinki was placed in a smaller tent with a one of the general maids.
“I will in a moment. I will check that no one is needed and that Jinki is sleeping. That boy gets into trouble just by breathing sometimes.” Ryeowook muttered as he pulled the blanket over his Gege and wandered out of the tent.
Kyuhyun stood before Kangin as the Emperor examined the few teacups that his tea maid had carefully packed to accompany them on the trip. Leeteuk stood at the Emperor’s side as he constantly did, he rarely left except to go and do as the Emperor bid. Wherever Kangin was, Leeteuk followed as his shadow, anticipating his needs before he even thought of them.
Kangin picked up the Crown Prince’s cup. “Peony, precious and royal, the King of flowers. Fitting for my Crown Prince.”
He placed it down and picked up the next one, the Fourth Prince’s. “Magnolia is white, cool and refreshing. It is also elegant and clean, just like my Fourth Son.”
He smiled a little wider as he continued scrutinising the others, coming to rest on Changmin’s cup. “Plum blossom can survive through the harshest of conditions and start anew. It also shows humble perseverance. Perfectly matches my Thirteenth Son.” He laughed as Leeteuk nodded his agreement. He addressed Kyuhyun this time, rather than making general observations, “Kyuhyun, you really are good at observing and reading other’s personalities.”
“Thank you, my Lord.” Kyuhyun bowed slightly as Kangin continued to gaze at the selected cups.
“What do you think of my children?” Kangin asked, his face showing his interest in Kyuhyun’s answer.
“A father knows his son best.” Kyuhyun answered diplomatically. There was no way he was going to describe how he really felt about certain princes to anyone, not even himself. “Each of the prince’s has a distinctive personality and character. They are just as varied as the number of flowers.”
“Yes, all my sons have a unique character of their own,” Kangin stated pleasantly. He loved all his children and wished he could’ve been closer to them, but Imperial protocol and the life of an Emperor can prevent even the most loving of fathers. “All of their temperaments and outlooks are different.” He looked down at the little tea cups and considered his children. His one wish was for them all to be united in spirit and to work together for the sake of their dynasty.