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Forest Secrets (2/2)
It was a restless night for Kyuhyun, any time he tried to sleep, his conversation with Yesung would just play back in his mind and all the emotions from both him and Yesung would resurface. It was a lot of pressure on his mind and Kyuhyun wasn't sure what to do about it. He had taken some books from the temple's library hoping something might help him understand these powers of his more and maybe how to block out the forest's energy some, but so far he had no luck. Even in his room, he could still feel the forest even if it was just faintly. This was knew, usually he could only feel it whilst at the temple. He decided he would at least ask Hyunshik about that in the morning.

"You could feel the forest at your apartment? Well I only have one idea as to why that might happen." Hyunshik offered over lunch.


"Well the New Years just passed, which means we had a lot of patrons visit the temple and offer their thoughts and prayers. Now I am not certain of this to be fact, but it's a possibility that these feed the energy of the forest and allow it to grow a remain strong, so when there is a strong influx of energy to the forest, the forest might produce a stronger energy that you feel. Add that to your absence and it might be overwhelming and strong enough to reach you at a further distance."

"Would you have any idea on how I could block it, at least somewhat? You know, make it so I can reduce how much I feel from the forest?"

"Sorry Kyuhyun, that would have been a question for your grandfather. I can only suggest some meditation to focus your mind."

"How will that help?"

"When one meditates they block out everything else and focus only on their mind. Once focused, one disciplined enough can create mental barriers to keep parts of their mind closed off or to block out certain external energies much like that of the forest. There are books on meditation in the library, I suggest you study those if you wish to pursue that option." Kyuhyun did just that. He stayed out of the forest, still not ready to face Yesung again and at home practiced the various meditation techniques found in the books at the temple's library. By the time school started up again, Kyuhyun could block out the forest enough that he no longer felt the energy at the apartment. Though he was still unable to create a barrier strong enough to block the energy while he was at the temple. It wasn't much, but it was a start.

Once school started, Kyuhyun only had to attend work at the temple on the weekends so he was subjected to the forest's energy on those days. However, Kyuhyun couldn't help but wonder about Yesung while he wasn't there. He regretted leaving Yesung with such harsh words, but it was the truth and Yesung was going to hear it eventually. Kyuhyun couldn't help but think that this was the reason he kept all his friends online. If something happened he could just disappear, no questions asked, but now, he still had to be near Yesung on the weekends and he was beginning to tell the difference between the forest's energy and Yesung's. Though he hasn't seen him, Kyuhyun know that Yesung is watching him but Kyuhyun doesn't know if Yesung misses him or just making sure Kyuhyun still protects the forest and doesn't reveal him.

"So should I talk to him or just keep this awkwardness between us and know that I can give up the temple in another twenty one months and never see him again or what? I'm so confused." Kyuhyun asked one evening when he got online to play a few rounds with Kibum and Heechul. Kyuhyun told them a fabricated truth about Yesung, saying he was a worker at the temple who didn't know all the details of Kyuhyun's job situation.

"Well you obviously liked talking to him, so why not talk to him?"

Kibum suggested.

"I don't know. This is why I don't deal with people face to face. I just am not as passionate about the forest as he is and I'm not sure if I could take back everything I said."

"No one has to take back anything. You wouldn't have said it if you didn't mean it, even if you don't consciously think you meant it. Trust me, if you don't say it now and try to work it out, if you give up the temple and leave, you may never have the chance and you'll regret it. Talk to him the first chance you get this weekend, even if he doesn't want to listen, make him. You'll take out all the 'what if's out of the equation."

Heechul added. Kyuhyun felt there was a story behind that, but felt it best not to ask, at least not now.

"But what if he doesn't understand and hates me for it?"

"Then you just avoid him whilst you do your work and when the time comes you give up the temple and never see him again, but you'll know you tried and couldn't do anything more. Eventually you'll forget him and you'll go back to being anti social and keeping all your friends on the other side of a computer like you do us."

Kibum explained, ending their conversation since Kyuhyun knew that that was the only what if he could ask that he wouldn't have to talk to Yesung to find out the answer. Even if he remains uneasy about the decision, Kibum and Heechul were always helpful in making it and giving good advice. If he ever decided to meet any of his online friends offline, he would probably start with these two, though that might also be from trying to convince them to get him a job with them.

The weekend arrived much faster than Kyuhyun would have liked because now he knew he had to talk to Yesung and he was scared out of his mind. People, magical people or not, were not his strong suit and neither were dealing with his feelings and this involved both. He knew there was no way to get away from Hyunshik before dinner, so he had to anxiously wait until the evening to sneak into the forest. If ever Kyuhyun needed someone to give him a push, no was the time, but alas there was no one but himself.

"Well the coast is clear, no better time than now I guess." Kyuhyun mumbled to himself just staring at the pathway. Yesung wasn't there, which made it a little easier, he's not sure what he would do if he had to face Yesung before he even made it inside the forest.

The path was as dark as ever and with the addition of the forest's energy surrounding him, if Yesung were to be near, Kyuhyun wasn't sure he'd notice. As he expected the clearing they usually met in was empty so Kyuhyun would no have to wait for Yesung to appear, if he was going to at all.

"Never thought you would enter the forest again. Thought it was too risky for you. Not that it mattered since if you got caught it would just simplify the matter for you. You'd be kicked off the grounds and the temple would go to Hyunshik, right? And that's what you want, isn't it? To be rid of this forest and the temple and everything with it. Two years is an awfully long time to be forced to do something you don't want to do." Every word Yesung spoke when he appeared were like venom. Kyuhyun could easily feel the hurt and anger in each and every syllable. And that was just the voice, his glare as he walked around Kyuhyun just made him feel small and guilty.

"Please Yesung, can I talk?" Kyuhyun cried out weakly.


"Because, I need you to hear me out and at least try to make things better between us. I always screw these things up and I want to try and fix it for once and not hide."

"Fine, I'm listening but you only have ten minutes. I mean that's all you can spare anyways, right?"

"I know. And I know, I should have told you about the will sooner. I honestly wanted to be here for Christmas but I couldn't. Hyunshik was shadowing me all day to see if I had improved in my work. I was told that I was forbidden to enter the forest so there was no way for me to come. I really didn't want to risk the first offline friendship I've had in years. It was better to wait a day than never get to see you again. But the next day, Hyunshik surprised me with a vacation back in the city with my family, apparently I did well when he shadowed me and it was my reward. I was far away so there was no way to visit. But the first chance I had when I came back, I visited, but the damage was already done."

"How was I suppose to know what you were thinking when you said you would visit me on Christmas and you don't and then you up and vanish for a week? When we first met you hid from everything I told you and from what I was, how could I trust that you didn't take the chance to run? I'm alone with just the wildlife in this forest, it's rare that someone is even aware that my kind exists, but someone who could see and communicate with us, they are almost as much a myth as we are to you."

"I'm sorry Yesung. I really didn't know what to do when we first met. Everything was such a shock to me and I couldn't even begin to process it all. Where I grew up, magic only exists in games and fairytales, to find out it's real, and that I posses an ability to feel strong magic energy and see beings like yourself, it's a lot to take in, especially when it all happens within a couple days. I'm still trying to understand and control it. The forest's energy gets so strong sometimes that I can't always think." The two just stared at each other, not really sure what else to say and trying to take in everything that was already said.

"I think you should head back to the temple. Hyunshik might question your disappearance soon and I need time to think."

"Can I come back then?"

"I don't know yet. I'll let you know next week." Yesung was back to his calm husky voice and it no longer carried any anger or venom with it, which relaxed Kyuhyun slightly. He said what he could, now all he could do is wait for Yesung to make a decision. Yesung vanished before Kyuhyun could say any goodbye so he quietly snuck back onto the temple grounds. As he reached for the broom, Hyunshik walked around the corner, eyeing him suspiciously.

"Where were you? I came out to check on you and you were no where to be found."

"Sorry, I went and found a secluded spot to relax since the forest became a little too much to handle. I will let you know next time I need to take a break like that."

"I would hope so. Anyways, finish your sweeping and then you may go home." Kyuhyun nodded, immediately getting back to work until Hyunshik was gone from sight. Only then did Kyuhyun release a sigh of relief.

"I need to be more careful next time. Should keep my trips a little shorter just in case." He said quietly to himself as he finished his chores.


"Dude, shouldn't you be getting some sleep? Not that I don't mind staying up with you online, don't you work in the morning?"

Heechul asked late on Friday night when it was just him and Kyuhyun online in their group.

"I can't sleep. Too nervous."

"You talked to the guy, right?"

He paused for a moment to let Kyuhyun confirm it. "Then there is nothing you can do but wait. I know it's a difficult thing to do, but there is not use in playing the what if game. All you can do is let it play out. You showed your hand and now you have to wait to see how it plays out."

"But I can't help but think about it all. Any time I stop and allow myself to think about anything in general, anything that doesn't take a lot of concentration, it always ends back on him and what might happen tomorrow."

"You've been practicing meditation recently, right?"

"Yeah, what does that have to do with anything?"

"Well, when you meditate you are putting your body in a relaxed state and easing your mind. If you meditate you can allow your body to rest whilst still keeping your mind focused on something else. Part of many meditation disciplines is to also clear your mind completely which includes riding yourself of your worries. You may just wish to practice that. It will give your body a sense of rest and allow you to practice and possibly ease your worries."

"How do you know all this stuff?"

"I've had more than my fair share of sleepless nights because I'm having panic attacks from worrying about what ifs. No way to stop it, but plenty of ways to try and keep it all under control. I'm getting offline, you have my number, so call or text or something if you start having a panic attack."

That probably wasn't the best good night, but it was nice to know that if things got worse, Kyuhyun had someone to turn to. Some days, Kyuhyun wasn't sure what he would do without Heechul, or Kibum. And now in his worried state, he's wondering what he's going to do if he doesn't have Yesung anymore. It still amazes him how quickly his friendship with Yesung developed to be comparable to the one he has with Heechul and Kibum when he has known them for almost four years now. Kyuhyun decides to blame it on the forest's energy and begins to meditate like Heechul suggested.

It wasn't much, but the meditation did help him fall asleep and even if it was for only a couple hours, it was more than he expected to get in the first place. But now he was awake and trying to force himself through his chores and not think about Yesung. He kept wondering when Yesung would tell him his decision, though the logical part of him reminded him that it would most likely be in the evening when he usually sneaks away. He already told Yesung of the time constraints and Yesung has proven to remember, so he just has to make it through the day. He would know tonight, he told himself repeatedly in his mind.

"Is something on your mind Kyuhyun?" Hyunshik asked over dinner noticing Kyuhyun's nervousness as his restless leg bumped the table for the third time.

"Oh, sorry, I'm just anxious to talk to a friend tonight. We got in a fight and he asked for some time to think things over once we talked again and he said he would let me know tonight if things would be alright between us or if I really screwed it up."

"You explained yourself to him then? The reason for the fight?"

"Yeah I did, at least I tired to, I don't know how well it turned out yet."

"Should I allow you to go home early so you can find out?"

"No!" Kyuhyun shouted, startling Hyunshik. "I mean, it's fine. Working will help keep me distracted, besides he knows I'm here and will wait. I think I would upset him more if I was early."

"Well make sure you do not slack off then."

"I won't. I'm only a nervous wreck right now because I'm sitting still. When I'm up and working, I'll be better." Hyunshik nodded in understanding and allowed Kyuhyun to finish working after he ate. Kyuhyun knew that Hyunshik was keeping an eye on him for the next hour as he continued his chores, but bye the time Kyuhyun got to sweeping, he left to his own job.

Just as Kyuhyun suspected, Yesung made himself known about halfway through Kyuhyun's sweeping. Kyuhyun allowed him to watch for a few minutes while he checked that the coast was clear and got to an appropriate pausing point. Yesung had waited patiently for him and guided him back to the clearing without a word. Kyuhyun spent the short walk staring at the ground, playing with his hands, just waiting for Yesung to say something first. He was so focused on his hands that when Yesung finally spoke, he jumped,

"I suppose I owe you an apology. I overreacted and didn't allow you to properly explain before I judged. So I am sorry. I finally found someone who I could talk to and call a friend after being alone for so long and the thought that it might not have been what I thought it was, scared me in a way. So I figured, that if it wasn't what I thought, then I would get rid of it quickly and allow myself to focus on the forest as I've always done. But then you came back and explained everything and wanted to stay and I can't help but not want to be alone anymore. Even if I stay a guardian longer than you keep the temple."

"Thank you. I really never wanted to worry you and I didn't want you to think that I might be giving away the temple and worse thinking you were the reason for it. But I want to say that even after my two years are over and if I decide to pass the temple to Hyunshik, it will be because I think he would be better for the temple and the forest and not because I want to leave. I would come back and maybe still work at the temple part time, but I don't know if I could be the one who owns it and eventually be in charge fully."

"I understand. Thank you for telling me this now and not in two years. Now you said you are having problems with the forest's energy?" Yesung successfully changed the subject since they had a little bit of time left and neither wanted to continue their emotional conversation.

"Yeah, since the new year the energy has gotten much stronger and it's hard to focus. I can still feel it when I get home. It was suggested that I meditate and learn to block it but I can only slightly block it out when I'm at home."

"Then I shall teach you when you visit. As a guardian I have learned to block out certain energies and focus on others so I can properly protect the forest. Hyunshik does not have this ability and is incapable of teaching you."

"Really? I've been trying some different methods from the books in the temple library but none have been entirely successful. Even an online friend of mine has tried giving me a couple tips."

"We can begin tomorrow." Yesung suggested noting that their time was up and knew that if Kyuhyun was caught, he probably would never be allowed back. Kyuhyun left the forest much more relaxed and happily finished his work. He avoided Hyunshik so he would not become suspicious of Kyuhyun's sudden mood change and rushed home when he finished his chores.

Yesung and Kyuhyun decided that every Sunday they would focus on training Kyuhyun and leave Saturdays to just talking and enjoying the other's company. As Kyuhyun learned the temple's schedule better and when Hyunshik would examine him, they left those days alone, reducing the risk of Kyuhyun being caught. If Hyunshik had the same abilities as Kyuhyun, or if his grandfather was still alive, maybe they wouldn't have to be so secretive about it but neither are the case.

Their routine went on for a few months and past Kyuhyun's spring break. By the time summer rolled around, Kyuhyun could completely block out the forest's energy at will, or any other energy for that matter. Yesung had him practicing blocking out Yesung's energy so that Kyuhyun could also completely differentiate between different types of energy and block more than one at a time. By the end, Kyuhyun could even pick up on the energies he didn't even notice before like regular people on the streets. But blocking out those didn't matter since he had to focus to pick them up. Regular people tend to have softer energies that don't overwhelm anyone unlike the energy coming from the forest or Yesung since both were much stronger magic based energies.

In the middle of the summer, Kyuhyun entered the forest at their usual meeting time, the path being much brighter than it is in the winter. Even so, Kyuhyun is certain that he could still lose Yesung in the dense trees if he wasn't looking for his energy to follow. However, usually when Kyuhyun enters the forest, Yesung's energy greets him quickly if he wasn't already waiting by the entrance, but this time Kyuhyun could not locate Yesung at all. He waited patiently in the clearing for the entire time he had free, constantly checking to see him Yesung's energy reappeared. It never did. For days Kyuhyun constantly search the forest for Yesung's energy, waiting in the clearing for him to show up.

A week and a half later Kyuhyun felt an unusual energy appear in the forest and took his first chance to find out what it was. Not far from the clearing is where the energy was strongest and where Kyuhyun found a boy that was around his age and the age Yesung appeared to be, but it was not Yesung. Kyuhyun knew the person wasn't human since the energy was magic based, but other than that Kyuhyun had no idea who this person was. He was just slightly shorter than Yesung and had much lighter hair that made him stand out from the dark areas in the forest. Although he was a dark blonde to Yesung's black hair, the style was about the same length and layered, though they wore it differently enough to not look the same. He was still dressed in all black that Kyuhyun was certain that even as a blonde, this boy would blend into the dark the same as Yesung did.

"Excuse me? Can I ask what you are doing in this forest?" Kyuhyun was hesitant to ask, but knew he needed to eventually.

"I have been made the guardian of this forest. And as guardian I must ask what you are doing here."

"I am part of the temple that looks over this forest and I knew Yesung. What happened to him? Why are you here instead?"

"I take it Yesung was the previous guardian. We don't really know each other unless we work together. But I was told the previous guardian was removed from his position for becoming too close to a human and not focusing solely on his duty as a guardian. I am Jaejoong and this is my forest now. I will not allow a human entry unless it is necessary for aid in removing humans from this place." Jaejoong was stern in his orders but Kyuhyun almost missed them from the shock of Yesung's removal. All he could think was that it was his fault and he was never going to see Yesung again. Jaejoong's energy seemed to flare up, bringing Kyuhyun out of his shock enough to leave the forest and finish his chores.

Kyuhyun was depressed. For just over half a year, he had been close friends with Yesung and now Yesung was fired because of him. Though he wasn't sure if fired was the right word since he doesn't know what happens to guardians if they don't do their job properly. Never did Kyuhyun think Yesung wasn't focused on the forest, Yesung would never have ignored the needs of the forest or put Kyuhyun above them. They kept their time together short since they knew they had other jobs to do. They were so careful not to lose Kyuhyun's job that they didn't even realize that Yesung's was in danger as well.

The energy in the forest was much more serious and heavier than it was when Yesung guarded it, though even in all of Kyuhyun's studies, he wasn't sure if that counted as a good thing or not. Kyuhyun just hoped that the forest's energy was reflected slightly by the energy of the guardian in charge of it and that it was Jaejoong's serious nature that made the forest as such. Kyuhyun was glad that he had finally learned to block it out because he wasn't sure how much of it he could actually take.

Kyuhyun constantly scanned the surrounding area like Yesung taught him, searching for any signs of Yesung. Even as winter came and another Christmas passed, Kyuhyun kept hoping that one day Yesung would return as guardian.

Heechul and Kibum worried about him since he gave them the altered version of what happened and he became much more muted in their gaming sessions. Heechul often stayed on later to talk with him, sharing all sorts of stories about his past, many of which explained why Heechul knew so much about unusual topics. Heechul had become so worried that he tracked Kyuhyun down for Chuseok, stopping to offer prayers since he wouldn't be able to make it home for the holiday anyways. As happy as Kyuhyun was meeting his closest internet friend, something was still missing since Yesung left. Of course, Heechul's in person visit made him even more worried and constantly checking in on him when he had days off of work.

"Kyuhyun, how are you feeling today?" Hyunshik asked the same as he did every morning since his depression started. Kyuhyun told him another altered version that Yesung had to move away and they had no way of seeing each other again, he was tempted to say Yesung died, but that hurt to much to even say as a possible lie, even if he didn't know exactly what happened to him.

"I'm fine Hyunshik. It's a little easier every day but I don't think I'll stop missing him even if it's no longer a conscious feeling, I think it will still be there." Kyuhyun explained moving out to start his chores. He moved sweeping to the beginning of the list especially since Hyunshik has given him more none cleaning responsibilities.

"I understand. You know I still feel the same about your grandfather. He was a great man and looked after me for so long, it's hard not to miss someone who made an impact on your life. But you're only three weeks away from decision time, have you decided what you are going to do?"

"Not yet." They decided that Kyuhyun would make his decision on Christmas day since his two years would be up and it was an easy day to remember.

"You know, even after your time is up, you can still change your mind. If you decide in three years or something that you want the temple back, I would give it up as long as I keep my job that is. Your grandfather would want it to stay in the family but he also wants you to keep it because you love and not because you feel pressure to keep it."

"I can't get rid of you, it was in the will that you remain here unless you leave of your own choice. But thank you Hyunshik, that makes what every decision I make a little easier to commit to. Knowing that if I regret it for whatever reason, I can change it and make it all right." Hyunshik just gave Kyuhyun a smile and reassuring squeeze on the shoulder before leaving Kyuhyun to his sweeping.

It still felt odd to sweep in the morning as he was more likely to see the occasionally visitor come up the steps where usually he was sweeping after all the visitors left for the day. Kyuhyun was a little surprised this morning when he felt the energy of the person walking up to the steps before he saw him. The energy was slightly familiar but was human and he did recognize it as anyone in the town. He waited patiently for the person to finish ascending the stairs and actually enter the temple grounds just to find out the answer. He was almost taken back by what he saw. The man was almost identical to Yesung and Kyuhyun couldn't help but breathe out the name when he first saw him.

"I'm sorry, did you say something?" The man asked the voice eerily similar to Yesung's as Kyuhyun remembers it.

"Sorry, you look a lot like someone I knew. I'm Kyuhyun, welcome to the temple." Kyuhyun politely greeted, not sure what else to do.

"Really? That's interesting. I'm Jongwoon, I just moved into town and thought I would pay my respects to the temple and forest. I've always been drawn to sacred places like this and I'm glad when I see one so well taken care of." Jongwoon said and Kyuhyun was in awe. The similarities between the two were endless but Kyuhyun had to remind himself that there was no way that it could be the same person.

"Yeah, my grandfather really loved it and made sure that it's in good hands. It's mine in three weeks if I choose to take it."

"I would take it. I would love to just say that I'm in charge of keeping such a place sacred and cared for. In charge of protecting it, you know?"

"Yeah, I do. So have you been shown around town yet?" Jongwoon shook his head as Kyuhyun lead him to the temple.

"If you can wait, I'm free tomorrow. I could show you everything I know. Though I will say I only know where the main important stuff is since I'm usually here or at school."

"That would be great. I still have a lot of unpacking to do so it wouldn't be the worse idea to wait a day before sight seeing."

"Great, then I'll see you here tomorrow morning? I'd say it's a could place to start and obviously you know how to get here."

"Yeah, thanks, I'll see you tomorrow then, Kyuhyun. You know, it's kind of nice to have made a friend so quickly, I've never really had any before, moved around too much." Jongwoon gave him one last bright smile that Kyuhyun couldn't help but find contagious as he let Kyuhyun go back to his chores and he went on to give a prayer. For the first time in over a year and a half, Kyuhyun actually felt relaxed and happy. Maybe he could keep the temple, especially if it made Jongwoon happy, because then maybe that meant Yesung was happy too.

A/N: Okay so LJ thought it was too big so it's had to go in two parts. Which it really is too big since it was suppose to be a short oneshot in time for christmas or at least New years, but between it deciding to be much larger than planned and my getting sick, it's a couple weeks late.
I know this is practically begging to have a sequel and I'll probably write one eventually if I get enough interest in it.
Thanks for reading as always. Comments make the writter extra happy.^^


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I totally understand u_u

Yeah \0/ Can't wait !

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