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.
Kangin was watching a few of his sons practice their archery. Though they were all grown men they still held a fierce pride and sense of competition, all trying to outdo each other and be the best. As he was handed his tea by Kyuhyun, he looked up. “You look like a ghost, what’s wrong? Are you ill?”
“I’m fine, your Majesty.” Kyuhyun spoke lowly with a faintness that showed he wasn’t himself. Kyuhyun was normally confident and sure. Kangin sighed at the response that he would have gotten from anyone. He had to send Leeteuk if he wanted truthful answers.
“You don’t seem like yourself.” Kangin continued, worried about his young servant. The boy had been dedicated and hardworking over the past 2 years he had been serving him. Leeteuk had nothing but praise for the child.
“I suppose I am tired from my horse riding lessons,” Kyuhyun uttered, hoping his excuse would prevent further questioning.
Kangin seemed to accept it as he scolded him lightly, “Even if you enjoy riding you shouldn’t push yourself too hard. You don’t want to wear yourself out.”
Kyuhyun felt slightly guilty for lying to his Emperor, who he knew was genuinely concerned. But he could hardly tell the older man that he had spent the night not being able to sleep due to thinking about the Fourth Prince.
His eyes caught sight of Changmin making his way towards the group. Kyuhyun bowed after his dismissal and headed straight towards his friend. Unable to tell his true feelings in this public place with so many princes as well as the Emperor present, Kyuhyun whispered, “I’ll come to your tent after dinner.”
Changmin eyed Kyuhyun with a look of surprise, Kyuhyun sounded slightly angry but more concerning was his face that seemed strained and pale. Changmin felt a rush of concern and nodded his agreement. He looked over at Siwon who was discretely eying Kyuhyun also as the tea maid walked back to his tent. He watched in curiosity as Siwon wandered over to him, indicating that they should start to walk a little way from their group of laughing brothers.
“Did something happen last night?” Changmin asked as soon as they were out of earshot.
“Weren’t you talking to Kyuhyun earlier?” Siwon asked back evading the question.
“He seemed strange, as if something was bothering him. Did you annoy him last night? Do not know how to do anything but intimidate others?” He knew that something must have happened because there could be no other explanation for the behaviour of Kyuhyun and Siwon, call it intuition but Changmin could always tell with these things.
“Thirteenth Brother, how does Kyuhyun treat me in your eyes?” Siwon asked with a seriousness his younger brother did not anticipate, making him think more carefully before he answered.
“Kyuhyun is very wary around you. He treats you with extra care compared to the other princes, even the Crown Prince. He is meticulous and concerned with every detail about when he serves you yet he never tries to get close to you. He deliberately avoids all interaction with you if he can help it.”
“I won’t teach Kyuhyun in your place anymore,” Siwon stated with his face seemingly perplexed. Changmin released that Siwon must be really confused if was allowing it to show through onto his face. The mask the elder had perfected normally stayed on even in his closest brother’s presence. “But he probably won’t want to learn more anyway.”
Siwon walked back towards the group of raucous princes while Changmin smirked at the elder’s back. Something definitely happened.
Changmin reclined on the wide chair reading a book while waiting for Kyuhyun. He had no idea when the younger would be excused, but he wasn’t going to go searching for anything more interesting even though he wanted to. Just as he was getting to a particularly interesting passage Kyuhyun barged into the tent, sending the elder a deadly look as he headed for the tea pot pouring himself a drink showing no respect for the higher rank of his companion at all. Changmin partly wondered why he put up with this person. Finishing the line, he placed the book down and looked over at his friend who had slumped into the chair opposite him.
“Why are you mad? What did I do to offend you? Your glares are deadly and if I were a lesser man I would perish.”
“What did I do to offend you is the question. You keep missing our dates!” Kyuhyun accused the other, his annoyance clear on his face as he openly scowled.
“I didn’t mean to. I was detained!” Changmin defended himself.
“What were you doing?” Kyuhyun narrowed his eyes, scrutinising his friend.
“Well, I was with the Crown Prince,” Changmin looked away. “I didn’t lie when I said I couldn’t come.”
“You were with the Crown Prince both nights?” Kyuhyun noticed straight away the omission.
“No,” Changmin still had trouble meeting his friends stare as he started to examine the book he had previously been reading.
“Apart from the Emperor and the Crown Prince, who else can ‘detain’ you?” Kyuhyun walked up to his friend snatching the book.
Changmin smiled guiltily and tried to look pitiful, “I was with Junsu.”
“Prince Junsu?” Kyuhyun looked surprised.
“Prince Junsu, the son of the Mongolian King?”
“Whom you just very casually called ‘Junsu’?”
“Did I?” Changmin blinked in surprise at the slip. At least he had managed to prevent himself from saying the nickname ‘Su’ otherwise Kyuhyun would have some heavy weaponry.
“Yes,” Kyuhyun looked at the slightly embarrassed prince. He was secretly thrilled as the elder was never like this but Kyuhyun had another bone to pick that night. “Oh… I see.”
“What?” Changmin glanced up in surprise.
“You like Prince Junsu more than me,” Kyuhyun sighed in sadness. “Someone you met less than a week ago is more important than one of your closest friends.”
“You know that’s not true,” Changmin protested. “You are very important to me!” Kyuhyun had listened to and supported him for their entire 3 years of friendship. He found it easy to be himself around the other boy and not feel the pressure of maintaining the proper conduct of a Prince of the Qing Dynasty.
“You put him above me last night,” Kyuhyun pouted.
“Of course you are more important,” Changmin placated while poking Kyuhyun’s lower lip that was unnaturally jutted out causing the other to try and stifle a laugh.
“I think you might be important to him, I think he likes you,” Kyuhyun supplied. Though he hadn’t known that Prince Junsu and Changmin were on casual speaking terms he had seen the Mongol Prince blatantly stare at the Thirteenth Prince around the camp and when they all dined together. The Prince seated with his father would spend half his time glancing over at the oblivious Changmin.
“I don’t think so,” Changmin disagreed. “Though I think you fancy Fourth Brother. Therefore I was actually doing you a favour when I sent Fourth Brother to give you lessons.” Changmin spoke teasingly as Kyuhyun was turning pink.
“How do I like the Fourth Prince?!” Kyuhyun practically screeched, throwing the book which he had still been holding down on the chair beside his friend.
“There is no point denying it.” Changmin spoke rather matter-of-factly, causing Kyuhyun to worry. “You had me research his likes and dislikes, you always prepare him his favourite tea and snacks, you design his teacup as his favourite flower, and you are always extra attentive of him. You don’t behave like that to any of the other princes, not even the Crown Prince. If you don’t like him why do you behave like this?” He looked curiously at the silent Kyuhyun, though he didn’t know what sort of reply he had expected.
“I don’t.” Kyuhyun spoke harshly, more harshly than he had intended but he was shocked at his closest friend’s assumption. He didn’t realise that people would think this. Who else had noticed this behaviour towards Siwon? What did they think?
“Are you insecure?” Changmin teased, already anticipating the look of poison the other threw at him. But he turned more serious as he said, “You needn’t be. I think Fourth Brother feels the same. With his personality why else would he teach a servant to ride?”
“With his personality, how could he like a servant? He couldn’t.” Kyuhyun refuted the idea, his voice defensive and disbelieving. He couldn’t think about Siwon and the potential feelings the other could have for him. He sank down onto the padded bench as Changmin sat beside him.
“Everyone has feelings,” Changmin spoke slowly and clearly, his voice firm wanting to make what he said understood, “Including my Fourth Brother.” He sighed as he looked at his friend’s troubled face. “Fourth Brother didn’t say anything today when I tried to talk to him about you. Did he make his feelings known?”
“He-” Kyuhyun stopped and looked in the opposite direction trying to avoid Changmin’s scrutiny. “Let’s talk about something else.”
“Kyuhyun,” Changmin continued with the gentle tone he had adopted before. “Though Fourth Brother looks cold and distant, he is warm and loyal. Look at my own relationship with him. Ac-”
“I’m going,” Kyuhyun held up his hands and raised himself up. Turning he spat out, “Stop playing matchmaker!”
Not looking properly chastised in the least Changmin held up his hand with his fingers in an okay circle, “Okay!”
Rolling his eyes, Kyuhyun propelled forward out of the tent and away from the Thirteenth Prince. He couldn’t sit and listen to Changmin tell him how wonderful Siwon was. He wasn’t able to reconcile the man he was starting to get to know bits about and the man he had read about in the history books. He struggled to deal with his confused feelings about Siwon and also to a degree Hangeng. To have such confusing feelings about one man was normal, to have it for two men was a problem, for have strange feelings for two men who happened to be brothers and would fight to gain control of the throne for the next 20 years was incredibly bad luck. What was worse was that he knew the outcome of all of it and he had no idea how or if he could prevent it from happening. If he was back in the 21st century he might have dated Siwon, seen whether they were a good match, worked out his feelings, but he wasn’t in the 21st century, he was at the turn of the 18th. And you couldn’t casually date someone. Especially a prince when you were a servant. Especially when you knew that they would one day cause the death of your brother-in-law, who you also happen to have rather complicated non-brother-in-law-like feelings for. Kyuhyun started to get incredibly angry at himself and his stupidity as he rushed back to his tent.
Maybe he could’ve controlled this more if he had been less attentive to Siwon, but he couldn’t help it. He knew that the Fourth Prince would be the next Emperor, not the smarmy Crown Prince who would be the last Crown Prince in China’s history. After the messy succession battle, every Emperor in the future would create a secret will with the name of the next Emperor on. It would be recorded in 2 separate locations to prevent forgeries and kept under lock and key. No Emperor wanted to see their children to be torn apart by greed, distrust and dishonesty the way these brothers would be. It was his own fault that Changmin was like that Kyuhyun thought as he stormed into the tent. He shouldn’t be so obvious in his attentiveness of the Fourth Prince. He wondered how many others have assumed that he was interested in the prince as he headed for the teapot. He cursed at his bad fortune as he spilt the scalding water over his hand. Feeling like the world was against him and upon the brink of tears that he hated already Kyuhyun tossed the kettle onto the floor causing an almighty clatter. He hated his stupidity. Why didn’t he think about how he would be perceived? He believed that he had himself covered but he was creating a huge misunderstanding that had been building for years. Hangeng warned him to be careful and yet he wasn’t. His mind flashed as his anger at himself caused him to lash out at the objects around him. Grabbing the nearest tea set he started to systematically smash each cup by chucking it on to the floor. He felt a bizarre sense of satisfaction at seeing the damage he was causing before Ryeowook and Jinki ran into the tent in a panic.
“Gege,” Both of them pleaded as they rushed over to grab his arms and save the cup in his hand from being smashed to the ground. He felt something inside him calm as he felt the reassuring hands of his two Didi’s guiding him to sit down and rest. They left Kyuhyun staring in nothingness as they started to pick up the smashed china, neither of them scolding him, just sending him concerned glances.
“I’m sorry,” Kyuhyun whispered, his voice feeling hoarse from the amount of emotions he was feeling. He cradled his hand where it had been scalded and become red and raised. Ryeowook upon noticing Kyuhyun’s strange position of his hands rushed to his Gege’s side.
“What happened?” He asked worriedly.
“Just a little burn, don’t worry about it.”
“You can’t have sore hands.” Ryeowook stated. “I will go get some medicine. Carry on cleaning up.” He directed the hovering Jinki before hurrying out of the tent.
Kyuhyun stroked the bangle of blood phoenix jade that was permanently wrapped around his wrist. He thought back to the day nearly two and a half years ago when he received it and how he had never removed it once. He didn’t know why but it felt wrong whenever he had moved to take it off. He thought about the man that put it there and hoped that Hangeng was being more cautious than he was while staying in the capital.