清香 (harujongin) wrote in writetomyheart,

[TEAM ONE] like the first snow

this is unbetaed and the title is more or less random. i might or might not explain it in a full fic later, but i'm not making any promises.

Try harder, he said, so Sehun does, in all moments of his life.

He can't quite remember when it has become his life motto, but whenever he hits an all time low, he remembers that voice - a deep baritone, words permeated with underlying tones of disappointment. It has kept Sehun going, the little boy inside of him wanting nothing more than words of praise, acknowledgement, and possibly a smile. He can't remember the last time his father had looked proud when standing next to him. When he looks at his father now, he only sees fatigue, barely concealed behind a fake smile and even faker words of satisfaction.

Being second is not good enough, Oh Sejun has always preached, and five year old Sehun has gladly soaked up every word his father, a renowned ice skater – and his idol – has said.

"Being second is no good," Oh Sejun says later that night when they're on their way home, away from cameras and flashlights, photographers and journalists. Mr. Oh is driving, eyes never straying from the road, but that doesn't keep him from talking, one word spurring another.

"I know," Sehun whispers in reply, more to himself than to anyone. His eyes are closed, lest he would start crying. He's tired, but most of all, he is frustrated with himself. Why did things turn out like this?

At the age of five, Sehun stood on the ice rink for the first time in his life, although he fell in love with the sports earlier. When people ask him what makes him love what he is doing so much, all Sehun can do is shrug. He doesn’t know either. The only thing he knows for sure is his profound love for this sports. He loves the exertion, the feeling of satisfaction that comes after perfecting a new jump or figure, and most of all, he loves being one with the music, a moment that makes him forget everything around him, both the good things and the things that weigh him down.

But maybe, the answer to that question is much simpler. He might just be craving for some attention from his constantly busy father who had started training new talents so he wouldn’t have to part from the ice rink after spending dozens of years on it.

His performances lately have lost all their glamor. Sehun doesn’t need to look at the reports and news coverage to know that, neither does he need to look at his father. He can feel it. Something is amiss, causing him to struggle. It’s not so much the different elements that make him stumble for he manages to execute them and land perfectly after a jump, never losing his balance, but when put together into a choreography he can’t cast a spell over the audience anymore.

“Must be your age,” his father tells him. Sehun just nods. He’s only twenty-three and those words sting, but that must be it. The media is saying the same: Sehun has lost his magic. After years on ice, there is not so much he can do to surprise the people anymore. Everyone knows him, knows his abilities and his few weaknesses. And once people know someone or something really well, they usually don’t linger. They like to turn towards new things and experience excitement with a new discovery, in this case Kim Jongin.

“I think you should retire.”

If Sehun thought that nothing his father says could shock him anymore, then he had been wrong. It’s only one sentence, expressed as a suggestion, a piece of advice, but meaning so much more. It contains resignation, disappointment, hopelessness. Oh Sejun doesn’t think his son could improve anymore, and along with that, he doesn’t think his son is worth his time anymore. There is this rookie that he has started to work with only a few months, but it is clear that Mr. Oh wants to focus on the rookie more so than on Sehun, his own flesh and blood.

“Maybe I should,” Sehun whispers and stares down at his feet. No more words are being exchanged. He listens to the sound of footsteps growing distant and closes his eyes. They are brimming with tears, but he refuses to let them fall now. He is still backstage with people rushing past him, some stopping to pat him on the back and congratulate him for a wonderful second place.

“Hey, Sehun?”

Sehun wipes at his eyes. He recognizes the voice. It’s Kim Jongin, his greatest rival, and currently South Korea’s number one ice skater.

“Great performance. I loved it. Honestly, they should’ve given you first place. I still need to learn lots from you,” Jongin rambles on, but is quickly interrupted by his manager. Sehun knows the person by Jongin’s side is his older brother Junmyeon, a friendly, always smiling young man.

“Take a shower and get ready for a feast,” Junmyeon says, his arms full of bouquets. Sehun envies Jongin a bit. He has never taken flowers home, most of them being given to other people, family and friends since his father is allergic to pollen.

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Jongin laughs. “Mom and dad are waiting.”

When Jongin disappears around the corner, Sehun fully expects Junmyeon to leave as well, but he is staying there, smiling softly at him.

“I know that eavesdropping isn’t good manners,” Junmyeon says. “But it was hard to overhear.”

“It’s fine,” Sehun whispers, surprised at how hoarse his voice is. His eyes get moist.

“But I think you shouldn’t retire,” Junmyeon continues. ”You’re still shining, and your performance is what so many people look forward to, including Jongin and me. We’d like to see you around for longer.”

Sehun shakes his head. He wants to laugh bitterly at the irony. His rival and the team behind him are his supporters? It’s hard to believe. But maybe he’s only getting kind words because Junmyeon knows that he will never be able to beat Jongin who might not get the full scores for his technique, but who sweeps the audience and the jury off their feet, making them fall for him because of the raw emotion he showcases, his facial expressions and his body language always on point.

“I can’t,” Sehun says, pained. “I already did my best and it wasn’t enough.”

“It was enough, more than enough. The only thing you lack – no, lacking is not the right word. The one thing you have lost is your love for ice skating. You need to stop skating for your father and start doing it for yourself.”

Impossible, Sehun thinks. He has only started ice skating because of his father. If it weren’t for his father, he wouldn’t have started with this sports. Sehun doesn’t think he has ever truly loved the ice rink the way Oh Sejun did, or the way Kim Jongin is doing now.

“You can do it, Sehun. Do you want to try with me? A fresh start instead of an end?”

It only takes one glance at Junmyeon’s face for Sehun to make a decision. The eyes that are gazing at him are intense but clear, showing belief and determination, a look similar to the one he had been searching in his father’s face.


Junmyeon beams. He quickly exchanges numbers with Sehun, just in time before he has to go and take his younger brother back home to their family where everyone must be waiting to celebrate their champion, while Sehun will head home to lock himself into his room to think everything over.

A fresh start sounds nice, but he’s not too sure if he can do it.

eoryndal, you're up next :)
Tags: *team one, fandom: exo, love ranger: kaiohtic/harujongin
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