Title: Cold and Damp
Pairing: Hanchul, Kyumin, Kangteuk
Warnings: Violence, swearing
Summary: After Seoul becomes infested with the living dead and the government abandons them; it's only natural that they realise hidden feelings in the midst of disaster.intro
Yawning, Hankyung blinked the sleep from his eyes, his pupils slowly adjusting to the pale morning light flooding through the windows. He felt refreshed, every inch of his body aching from how hard he'd been working the day before. Pulling the soft quilting tighter around himself, he felt it pull taut, stuck under something.
Rolling over, he took a deep breath. And after that, another breath. He blinked. He blinked again. No, it was still there. He wasn't dreaming.
Opposite him lay a boy. Not a zombie, but a boy. He looked like a model resting after a photo-shoot, mud painted onto his pretty features, hair styled to look rough and untamed, plump lips parted in a small 'o', blowing small puffs of air between deep, unattractive snores.
'Excuse me?' he whispered, his voice rough from sleep. 'Excuse me?' reaching across, he shook the boy gently, causing him to let out a grumpy moan and fidget in his sleep. He was still fully clothed, Geng noticed, his silken shirt spotted with blood.
'Hello?' He shook the boy again, raising his voice a little, but keeping his tone soft so as not to scare him. The handsome boys' eyes fluttered open, and he lay there dazed, blinking a few times and looking at Hankyung with vague confusion.
'Who are you?' He mumbled blearily, nuzzling his head back into his pillow, too tired to react properly to the fact he was in bed with a complete stranger.
'Shouldn't I be asking you that?' Hankyung chuckled softly, somehow he didn't feel at all uncomfortable next this guy, which was odd. You should always feel uncomfortable when you wake up in bed with a stranger - for more reasons than one. Maybe it was just the joy of seeing another human being alive and well. 'This is my hiding place, and you've made the sheets dirty.'
The younger looking man sat up at that, looking at his clothes solemnly. 'Are there showers here? I feel disgusting.'
'I'm sorry, what?' Hankyung blurted. Was this guy really only thinking about having a shower after waking up with a complete stranger?
'You deaf? Is there somewhere I can have a shower?'
He obviously wasn't as pretty with his words as he was with his looks.
'Well, no, this is a shopping mall, you'll have to use the sink and soap if you want to freshen up.' Hankyung spoke slowly, completely confused as to why anyone would expect there to be an operational shower in a shopping mall. He saw the boys' face sour at the news, and quickly tried to quell the brewing storm. 'But I'm sure I can set up a shower unit by tonight, I mean, there are showers they're just on display. I just have to connect them to a water supply and stuff...'
A smile spread over the boys' plump lips and he rose to his feet, reaching for the ceiling as he stretched his arms with a groan. Hankyung pretended he wasn't ogling the pale slip of skin the motion revealed, his silk shirt lifting ever so slightly. He heard an arrogant snort, and when he lifted his eyes he met a pair of large, knowing ones staring right back.
He wasn't sure whether he imagined the slightly exaggerated sway in the boys hips as he sauntered away in search of a bathroom.
Heechul freshened up briskly, scrubbing the dirt from his face and body with a soapy, wet towel. It wasn't the best, but it was better than nothing. He thought briefly about the man he'd woken up with. His voice was soft, the Korean words leaving his lips in strange way. He had to be foreign, maybe Chinese. He smirked to himself at that.
He regarded his reflection in the small, dirty mirror, running his tongue over his teeth and wishing he'd grabbed a toothbrush or something on the way there. He smoothed a milky hand over his silk shirt, mourning its previous splendour as his fingers ran over the rough, dry spots of blood.
He ran his fingers through his wet black hair and sighed. How did he end up here? Why was he so rash? Gods, why did he act on impulse instead of thinking things through? He'd left Jungsu to fend for himself out of sheer childish excitement and the guilt hit him like a train. He turned around and leant back against the sink, letting his chin drop to his chest, his eyes cast to his feet. He worried his bottom lip between his teeth, his fingers playing against the material of his back pocket, tracing the bulge of his cell phone. Would it still work? Would Jungsu even answer? He thought back to the events that brought him here. Though he didn’t show it, Heechul really cared for his friends – even if he didn’t have many. He hadn’t had time to worry about Jungsu until now. He knew his friend was intelligent, and he was certain he’d find a way out; but then there was Youngwoon.
Heechul and Jungsu were childhood friends, tackling the hardships of school and adolescence together. They relied on each other; Heechul always saving Jungsu from skirmishes and the likes, and Jungsu always saving Heechul from his apathy towards the educational system and the problems his sharp tongue often got him into.
Heechul had seen Youngwoon around school, always surrounded by the schools less intelligent livestock. He had no idea as of when Jungsu and Youngwoon had become friends, but he noticed the looks they'd give each other when they crossed paths in hallways; Jungsu always offering a smile, where Youngwoon would quickly look away, looking ashamed.
Jungsu gradually spent less time with Heechul out of school, always making petty excuses. Heechul knew Jungsu was a pushover, his endless amounts of kindness always ended up leading him into trouble. Youngwoon was trouble. Heechul noticed the bruises marring his best friends usually flawless skin. He noticed how he'd started wearing baggy clothing, leaving no skin uncovered, only his face left to reveal small cuts and grazes from Youngwoon's drunken mood swings.
Heechul would always tell Jungsu to stay away from Youngwoon, he was no good; only speaking to him when it suited his needs, treating him like filth when his mood called for it. Jungsu told Heechul not to start trouble with Youngwoon; and despite his inner protests, he heeded his best friends wishes - he owed him that much.
Yet, needless to say, Youngwoon was positively terrified of Heechul. He didn't need to thump him to scare him off; one glare from those big, brown eyes was enough to keep anyone away.
Jungsu was blind, blind with love and stupidity. He only hoped he'd left that burden behind, saving himself and leaving Youngwoon behind as a nice meal for the infected populace
Thinking about it, he was brought back to the reality of his present situation. He'd just wandered into this building, not even thinking twice before collapsing; waking up and finding himself lying in bed with a complete stranger. Even if the stranger was mighty handsome this was obviously not the way to go about keeping yourself alive at the end of the world. This man could be a rapist, a murderer, anything.
He jumped out of his inner monologue as his left buttock started to vibrate frantically, his hands flying to his back pocket, barely fishing his cell phone out in time to answer the call.
'Heechul! Where are you? Are you safe?' came a familiar voice, high pitched and urgent, shouting down the phone and making Heechul grimace and recoil from the receiver before practically smacking the small piece of plastic back against his ear.
'Jungsu? I'm in town, I'm fine; but what about you? You're not driving, are you?' Heechul knew just how awful his friend was when it came to cars. Many a time he'd considered simply jumping out of the passenger window when he'd foolishly accepted a ride. Letting Jungsu drive was like signing your life away.
'I'm fine, of course I'm driving! There are abandoned cars everywhere, though. I haven't seen anyone since I left college, what happened? Why has everything stopped? Everything's on fire, half of the roads are either closed or filled with wreckage. I've been driving three days straight. I tried to go back to my parents house but there were barricades everywhere; and it looks like those soldiers didn't only come for us, they were all over the streets about two days ago. Where in the town are you? I'm close to the precinct and I'm running out of gas.'
For someone so intelligent, Jungsu was an idiot. Heechul was surprised he was still alive – three days without sleep and driving; that was an accident waiting to happen.
'I'm in the Galleria. Go to the parking lot, I'll find a way to let you in. Be careful, don't talk to anyone – I'm pretty sure they won't be approaching you to compliment your super cool 90's haircut. Hurry up or I'll leave you out there.' Heechul didn't bother to wait for a response, pressing the 'end call' button before standing and checking his reflection once more in the mirrors.
It would probably be wise to tell the Chinese man about the newcomer, this being his hidey-hole and everything, but then again...
...when had Kim Heechul ever been polite?
Hankyung turned off the cooker, setting out a plate and scooping a handsome amount of egg fried rice onto it. He fished out some sauces from the spice cupboard, wishing he'd taken some sort of cooking class. He was never good in the kitchen, and it was hard coming to terms with the fact he'd be living off egg fried rice for the rest of his days.
'What're you cookin'?' came a voice from over his shoulder, and Hankyung squeezed the bottle of sauce in his hands a little tighter as he jumped, drenching the rice in the thick, spicy solution. He heard a soft chuckle as the boy came to lean against the counter. 'Gods, you're jumpy. Well, I suppose it's reasonable with those... things outside.' Hankyung watched as he scooped a stray blob of sauce off the counter, sucking the tip of his finger with a soft 'pop'. Hankyung sucked in a breath - whipping his head in the opposite direction.
'You shouldn't creep up on people.' He grumbled, fetching another plate and scooping the remaining rice out, subtly sliding the plate towards the boy. 'Want some? You looked pretty rough this morning so I'm assuming you've been out there a little while, and I made enough for two...'
He watched the handsome man's eyes light up (definitely didn't watch his tongue flick out to swipe against his lower lip) and laughed softly at the sound of his growling stomach. He watched him press a hand to his gut, an expression of betrayal on his features before he broke out into laughter too.
'I think I woke up in the right place this morning.' He grinned before taking his plate and taking a seat.
Hankyung felt dizzy.
Heechul glanced up from his food as a chair was pulled up to the table he was seated at, the Chinese man taking a sitting down opposite him.
'Where did you learn to cook this?' he mumbled through a mouthful of rice, ungraciously spitting a few grains over the table, sauce running down his chin.
'My mother cooked it a lot when I still lived with her. It's just egg fried rice, it's the sauce that makes it taste fancy,' the Chinese man replied quietly, a small smile gracing his handsome face, 'but more importantly, who are you and why were you in bed with me?'
'You make it sound as though I drugged and seduced you' Heechul scoffed, setting his chopsticks aside. 'I was exhausted. I came in through the staff entrance and collapsed when I saw the bed, I was just as shocked as you when I woke with you shouting in my face. I'm Heechul. Kim Heechul.'
'Kim Heechul?' The Chinese boy repeated, 'third year, studying English and psychology?'
Heechul eyed him suspiciously. 'You went to my college?'
'Briefly. I had to leave to take up full time work. I recognise your name,' he smiled, making Heechul blink and relax his intense glare on the other boy, 'I remember overhearing people talking about you now and then.'
'I don't really remember seeing you around college,' Heechul shrugged, 'What did people talk about, then? I don't remember being all that popular.' Heechul pulled his seat closer to the table, picking his chopsticks back up and digging into the remnants of the now not-so-warm rice.
'Well, if you don't know about it yourself, I don't think I should tell you,' mumbled the Chinese boy, sounding slightly insecure, 'it's not nice.' This, of course, made Heechul even more intrigued, and he beckoned the taller boy to continue with a not-so-gentle kick to his shin and a sharp nod of his head.
'It was just general gossip and rumours. Silly stuff. Guys were always talking about your 'sleeping habits' - to put it nicely. The girls didn't seem to like you much, either.' Heechul watched as the boy opposite him fidgeted awkwardly in his seat, his eyes looking anywhere but at Heechul.
Heechul let out an ungraceful snort, clapping his hands together - somewhat resembling a seal - and rocking back and forth in his chair. The other boy looked positively terrified.
'Oh my God, people are so pathetic,' Heechul croaked out, taking in a deep breath and clutching his stomach, 'I kissed a guy when I was like, 17, and they've gone crazy with it, gosh.'
'Why would they make up so many hurtful things, then?' The boy frowned, looking down at the table.
'Because I'm gorgeous and they couldn't get in my pants? Girls didn't like me because they just didn't quite understand the fact that I'm gay and I wasn't delicate about rejecting them. What, you believed them?' Heechul inquired, regaining his composure - well, whatever composure he had - and leaning over the table, a smirk playing over his lips.
'No.' The boy looked up again, dark brown eyes staring straight into Heechul's. His smirk dropped. 'Who am I to judge you on petty rumours? I think I only ever saw you once, walking past me in a corridor. And even if it were true, what difference does your sexual reputation make to you as a person?'
Heechul leaned back in his seat, fighting away the soft smile that was twitching at his lips. He scraped his chair back against the floor and stood up, turning and walking out of the restaurant.
Hankyung could only watch as Heechul walked away, his eyebrows raised to the heavens. He disappeared around the corner, popping his head back around only a few seconds later. 'What's your name, China?' he shouted from behind the wall, cheeks puffed out as if he was doing something painfully humiliating.
'Hankyung.' Geng smiled back at him, resting an arm on the back of his chair as he turned in his seat.
'That doesn't sound very Chinese.'
'It's Geng. Han Geng. It's hard to pronounce.'
'Hm.' And with that the boy disappeared around the corner, the sound of his shoes echoing as they squeaked across the laminate flooring.
'Wow.' he mumbled to himself, picking up the plates and washing them before heading up to the roof.
He breathed in the cold February air as he stepped out onto the concrete, walking to the edge and leaning over the railing. The air smelled foul and thick with smoke. He took in the skyline; buildings still burning away, dark wisps of smoke curling away into the dark, grey sky. There were cars piled up on top of one another, roads filled with wreckage and the crumbled remains of buildings littering the sidewalks.
Hankyung sighed, turning his attention to the shopping centre below and taking out a pair of binoculars from his belt loop.
There wasn't much going on down in the precinct, a few slower creatures were flailing their wobbly limbs at pigeons, obviously not picky with their meat. He watched passively as one of the undead dragged a limp leg behind his decaying body, clothes torn and stained with dry blood. Its eyes were pale and red around the lids, unblinking, dry and dirty, jaw clenching and unclenching in a slow rhythm.
He caught something moving fast in his peripheral and quickly turned his gaze, seeing two boys, maybe nineteen or twenty years old, walking hastily through the precinct, the taller teen had his small companions arm slung over his shoulder and seemed to be struggling with the weight, a large black duffel bag hanging off his other shoulder.
He didn't know why he did it, but he did. He hooked two fingers over his bottom lip and let out a long, sharp whistle. The taller boys head whipped around frantically, searching for the origin of the sound before finally noticing Hankyung's position. Sadly, he wasn't the only one who noticed. Hankyung sprinted back into the building and down the stairs, running to let the boys in before the undead suddenly learned how to run.
'And here I was thinking I was the last person alive...'