Title: Cold and Damp
II [Dead Seoul]
Pairings: Hanchul, Kyumin, Kangteuk
Warnings: non descriptive, badly written smut
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 - but where are Heechul and Sungmin? What happened to Hankyung? Did Youngwoon and Jungsu escape? And is Kyuhyun really
dead?prequel 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13Four days had passed since they’d met Hyukjae and Donghae on the road, and Jungsu had expected the going to be much tougher. They’d spent a whole day passing through a mountain, another clearing the highway enough for them to get the van through. The rest was effortless. There seemed to be very few cars lying around where there should have been much, much more. There should have been fires burning and undead roaming but only smoke and corpses were to be found. Youngwoon’s arm was healing well, but the cuts on his feet were infected. He had to walk on a pair of crutches Donghae had made out of sticks and twigs, but Jungsu made him rest most of the time, anyway. They’d drive all day and make camp at night. At first they were wary and cautious, but they’d grown more comfortable in their environment. Only a few zombies had troubled them on their way and they were easily dealt with, so nobody was feeling especially endangered on the open highway.
Hyukjae had woken them at dawn. They slept in shifts, two people to a watch every four hours. Donghae was asleep, though, and they ate breakfast leisurely as they waited for him to wake up. They drank soda and ate candy, energy bars, and dry cereal - anything they could grab along the way, anything that could boost their energy. Jungsu was tiring of the sweets already, but Hyukjae insisted they would arrive at their destination in a few days. The thought only made his stomach turn even more.
When Donghae woke up, they set off immediately. They had no shortage of petrol; Donghae’s car boot was filled with treasures. Snacks, water, gas, blankets and much more. Jungsu knew they were lucky; they barely needed to scavenge in the shops they passed by, but they did it anyway. Youngwoon’s feet were in bad shape, so he and Hyukjae stayed behind while Jungsu and Donghae went to hunt. He was glad they’d found them, truthfully. Sometimes he didn’t know what to say to fill the silence that always seemed to hang between him and Youngwoon, and the two new additions always had something to talk about.
Donghae and Hyukjae were close, Jungsu saw. Always laughing together or sitting close, whispering. It made him almost jealous. No, not almost, he was very jealous. Though Youngwoon had reached out to him, he was still awkward with him, and Jungsu had never been very self-confident himself. Whenever he thought Youngwoon was going to hug him, he’d stop short and do something else. Sometimes he even avoided Jungsu’s gaze. For some reason, it hurt. It wasn’t as if Youngwoon had admitted to liking him, so why should he feel so rejected? He’d only hugged him, that one time. He hadn’t done it again. They slept with their backs to each other, miles of space between their bodies - or at least that’s what it felt like to Jungsu. While Jungsu enjoyed the company of the younger men, Youngwoon seemed to hate it. Though he was friendly with them and joked around with them, Jungsu could tell he was irritated by their presence. He couldn’t figure out why, though.
He didn’t share his thoughts with Donghae. The teen spoke enough for two and the store was empty. When they returned to where the vehicles were parked, Youngwoon and Hyukjae were sat on the concrete, deep in conversation. He thought he’d heard Youngwoon say his name a few times as they approached, but the two grew silent when they noticed their presence.
‘Nothing again?’ Hyukjae asked miserably, noticing their empty hands.
‘Nothing.’ Jungsu replied. He leant against Donghae’s car. ‘What were you two talking about?’
‘Nothing.’ Youngwoon answered quickly. His tone was hard. He looked up, directing the conversation elsewhere. ‘It’s cloudy. I think it’s going to snow.’
‘Probably…’ Jungsu agreed. He could see a smile spread over Donghae’s face in the corner of his eye, Hyukjae matching the expression, and he sighed. ‘If it snows it’ll take us twice as long to get to this place, stop looking so happy.’ But they carried on smiling nonetheless.
Hyukjae and Donghae were lost in a bubbly conversation about the predicted snow within seconds, and Jungsu smiled absent-mindedly at how they could still be so cheerful in such a horrible situation. Youngwoon was smiling too, he saw, but not at the same thing Jungsu was. The moment their eyes met his smile faltered and he looked away, getting painfully to his feet and hobbling away.
‘We should leave.’ He yelled over his shoulder, climbing into the passenger seat of the lorry and slamming the door. Hyukjae and Donghae heaved a sigh in unison before following Youngwoon’s example and leaving Jungsu alone, still leaning against the car. Youngwoon was smiling at him before he’d stormed off so why was he being so grumpy?
Was he shy?
He smiled at the thought, and he only grinned wider when Youngwoon started to thump on the wind-shield. He smiled so wide his dimples made an appearance. He didn’t look at Youngwoon when he got into the lorry, just buckled his seatbelt, twisted the keys and made the lorry rumble to life.
‘What are you smiling at?’ Youngwoon grumbled. Jungsu didn’t say a word.
They drove until it was dark and their hunger had worn them down. They’d left the highway, taking a narrow road with thick woods either side, branches arching overhead and shielding them from the light dusting of snow that had started to fall. Jungsu had dragged one of the mattresses out from the lorry, laying it in-between the cars. The road was too damp to sit on, and the mattress was still in its plastic wrapping. Hyukjae and Donghae were out gathering whatever dry wood they could find, leaving him and Youngwoon alone.
It was deathly silent without the younger men, only the whistling of wind and the soft, wet pitter-patter of snow on the bare branches above. Though the clouds raised the temperature, it was still frightfully cold and Jungsu felt it. He wore two pairs of socks, jeans, two sweaters and a thick coat but underneath it all he sat shivering. Some snow floated down through the branches, melting in his auburn hair almost instantly, and he let out a sigh into the silence. Youngwoon had fallen asleep during the drive, and it seemed he still hadn’t woken up. If he was asleep at all, that is. Jungsu suspected he was just faking it to avoid conversation. It gave him some time alone, though. Time to think. He was always thinking, it seemed, but that was what he was good at, wasn’t it? Jungsu thought about things, Youngwoon and Heechul acted without bothering to think.
Just thinking of Heechul made a lump rise in his throat. He swallowed it down and sighed deeply. A flake of snow landed on his nose and he wiped it off, pulling up the hood on his coat. He still felt guilty about Heechul, though he knew there was nothing he could’ve done. He wondered if he was alive somewhere out there, if he was cold and alone. Or maybe he was with Hankyung. He hoped so, they obviously liked each other. Jungsu couldn’t remember Heechul ever being interested in anyone before, and it was a shame, because there were plenty of people interested in him. At least if he was with Hankyung, even if he was cold and scared, he wouldn’t die alone. That was as much as Jungsu could ask for.
He missed Heechul’s presence sorely. When he thought about it, it felt like a hole had been carved into his heart. But he guessed he was lucky to have been with him that long in the first place. When Heechul ran off the first time that should have been the last time he ever saw him. Heechul had always been full of surprises.
But for all of Heechul’s surprises, Youngwoon surprised him more. To end up with the younger man, out of everyone else he could’ve been stuck with, he didn’t know whether it was luck or a cruel joke. Youngwoon had been homophobic for as long as he’d known him. How could Jungsu have thought he’d reciprocate his feelings? That hug was just a spur of the moment thing, he'd just read too much into it. He had a habit of overthinking things. Youngwoon didn’t love him; he couldn’t even look him in the eye any more. How could someone so clever be so stupid at the same time? He felt like hitting himself.
His toes were getting cold, and he wiggled them around in his shoes, curling them up as if it would make them warmer. He hoped Hyukjae and Donghae came back before Youngwoon woke up. He’d rather be avoided than have to sit here in awkward silence, especially when all he wanted was to throw his arms around the bigger man, breathe in his scent. He wondered if Youngwoon was warm.
A thin layer of snow coated the ground, now, and Youngwoon’s footsteps crunched loudly in the quiet, so Jungsu knew he was coming even before the lorry door slammed shut. When he looked up, Youngwoon was waddling over with a frown, a blanket in his hands. He practically threw himself down on the mattress, looking stubbornly down at his feet. His eyes didn’t pass over Jungsu even once. Youngwoon clutched the blanket in his hands stiffly, wordlessly, and Jungsu wondered why he even bothered to bring it if he wasn’t going to use it. His face was stoic, tensed and Jungsu suddenly felt guilty. He was in pain. He’d forgotten about Youngwoon’s feet; how he’d cut them to ribbons trying to save Jungsu back at college (even though it was Jungsu who saved him in the end), and though Hankyung had bandaged them up they’d festered all the same. It must’ve been agony to walk on, and he felt absurdly proud of Youngwoon for putting on a brave face and keeping his complaints to himself, but more than that, he was angry that he didn’t tell him he was in pain.
‘Do your feet hurt?’ he asked softly, and Youngwoon gave a slight nod. It must’ve hurt his pride to be doted on by someone as despicable as Jungsu, but Youngwoon had too much pride anyway. ‘I’ll change your bandage.’ He said before getting to his feet and heading back to the van. His own feet were numb, but he cared little. He grabbed a first aid kit, along with some painkillers stashed away in the dashboard, and returned to Youngwoon’s side.
‘Give me your foot.’ He said, and when Youngwoon swung his left foot toward him he rested it on his knee, slipped his shoe and sock off and began to clean the gruesome cuts. Youngwoon stayed silent, though his face showed how he really felt. He dabbed at his foot with antiseptic, cleaned the pus and dried blood from between his toes. ‘What were you and Hyukjae talking about before?’ He asked to distract him from the pain.
‘Nothing important.’ Youngwoon replied gruffly.
‘You said my name.’ Jungsu persisted.
‘I said nothing important.’ Jungsu looked up briefly at the coldness in his voice and faced an expression hard as stone. He tended to Youngwoon’s feet in silence after that, and when the boys came back with wood for the fire he was more than glad of the new company.
The wood was damp but it caught fire soon enough, and Jungsu slipped off his shoes and socks to warm his feet faster. Hyukjae sat on the mattress beside Jungsu while Donghae sat close to the fire, poking it enthusiastically with a branch. They ate lukewarm beans from the tin and Jungsu told the tale of their escape from start to finish; he missed out nothing, and Youngwoon seemed peeved that he included his failure of a rescue in the story. Hyukjae and Donghae listened attentively, but when Jungsu asked how their tale had unfolded, what had happened to Kibum, they were reluctant to answer. In the end it was Donghae who answered his question.
‘Everybody was trying to get away from college at the same time. Hyuk had found us, and we’d got into his car and everything, but there were so many people trying to escape. The traffic was bumper to bumper and at first it was okay, those army guys weren’t following us, or, well, we thought they weren't. But then there were gunshots. Everybody was screaming and I even saw someone’s car explode a few cars in front of us. It was so noisy and we couldn’t move. The gunshots were getting closer and Hyuk was screaming-‘
‘I wasn’t screaming-‘
‘And Kibum was trying to work out what to do but Hyuk just wouldn’t shut up so I had to cover his mouth and everything. People were running past our car and I could see the guns flashing a few cars back. Kibum said we had to leave the car and run but Hyuk didn’t want to leave it behind so we had to pull him out and drag him into the woods…’
‘My dad bought me that car!’ Hyukjae yelled as he ran, but his complaints were ignored. The woods were pitch black, but when he turned to look, Donghae could see the light from the road they’d left behind. He saw the flashing of guns and the sound of screaming. He ran faster. Where was Kibum? He looked left and right wildly but it was too dark. He could hear Hyukjae running breathless just behind him, but not Kibum.
‘Kibum!’ he shouted, but the only response he could hear was the crunching of his feet as they pounded at the leaf-covered ground, the rattling of guns and Hyukjae’s heavy breathing. But then he heard a yell, and he stopped in his tracks immediately. Hyukjae’s reflexes weren’t as sharp and he bumped into Donghae’s frozen form, knocking them both to the floor.
‘Why did you stop so suddenly?’ Hyukjae rolled off Donghae, got to his feet.
‘Kibum… I heard him screaming. Didn’t you hear it?’
‘No-‘ but there it was again, a shout full of agony, and Donghae sped off in the direction of his voice, calling his name all the way. When he found him, he nearly vomited on the spot.
He’d tripped over a tree root. The bone in his ankle jutted out grotesquely and he was groaning from the pain, but Donghae forced him to his feet.
‘It hurts.’ Kibum said weakly, his face twisted in pain, but Donghae was adamant.
‘We have to run, they’ll be coming.’ And he was right, they barely took five steps before he could hear them coming. They couldn’t outrun them. Hyukjae was on the other side of Kibum, and they shared a look. What could they do? Stand there and die?
Or leave Kibum behind.
They were getting closer, he could hear the leaves crunching under their feet, but he was frozen to the spot. How could he leave Kibum? But he could barely walk, and Hyukjae was staring at him with urgency. Before he could blink, though, they were in the clearing. They weren’t from the army, though. Hyukjae heaved a sigh of relief.
‘They’re just students.’ He said, and he even risked a smile, but it left his face as soon as it appeared. He saw them properly, then, as they drew nearer. Bloody and bruised and torn to pieces they reached their arms out weakly, grasping for them, their jaws grinding away. What was this? What was going on? Kibum groaned weakly, and he realised he was crying. ‘I’m sorry Kibum.’ He heard Hyukjae whisper, and in the next moment he was being pulled away, he was running. And when he looked back, he couldn’t see Kibum anymore. All he saw were the backs of those students, all scrabbling on the ground.
Kibum was screaming, but Hyukjae wouldn’t stop running, running and running. They ran for miles. And when they were finally safe, when they finally took a break, Donghae cried. Long and hard he sobbed because in his mind he’d just killed his best friend. Hyukjae wrapped an arm around him. He said it wasn’t his fault, that he should be glad that it was Kibum instead of him.
And after that, they never spoke of Kibum again. They just survived.
Donghae couldn’t finish the story for the tears that spilled down his face, so Hyukjae had ended it for him. Jungsu had been apologetic, Youngwoon silent, and they dampened the fire soon after, bedding down for the night. They’d found their car at the start; a full tank of petrol and the keys hanging in the ignition, they were luckier than they knew. Now it stank of sweat and Donghae’s scent. When they slept, they’d curl up together on the back seat, blankets piled high over their bodies to keep the heat in, and tonight Hyukjae lay awake, listening to Donghae sleep. He was tired from all the crying. They hadn’t spoken of Kibum since that night, and seeing Donghae cry had made him feel a sharp stab of guilt. Because in the end, it was his fault Kibum died. Donghae didn’t know that. And it would stay that way.
When they’d entered the woods beside the road, it had been Hyukjae who’d knocked Kibum over. Donghae didn’t notice. They ran, Kibum lagged behind, and Hyukjae had hoped the darkness would swallow him up. He’d hoped that they’d be well away by the time Donghae realised he was gone, but to his dismay his friend was more perceptive than he’d thought. When they’d found Kibum with his ankle all twisted and mangled he’d felt a sickening feeling of joy. This way he couldn’t even run after them.
It wasn’t as if he didn’t like Kibum. They were good friends. But Donghae liked him too much. Hyukjae was jealous, he could admit it. Donghae was his, and this was his chance to monopolize him, even if it was cruel.
And it had worked out perfectly.
Until Jungsu and Youngwoon had caught them, of course. But they were only a minor bother. He liked Jungsu well enough, and he’d had drinks with Youngwoon a few times in the past.
He glanced at Donghae’s sleeping face beside him, and smiled, closed his eyes. He’d sleep well tonight.
Youngwoon reached out across the mattress and tentatively tucked a strand of auburn hair behind Jungsu’s ear; let his hand linger on his skin before he pulled away, tucking his hand between his chest and the mattress and sighing into his pillow. When Jungsu slept he almost made Youngwoon jealous. How anybody could look so peaceful, so content, was beyond him. Jungsu barely made a sound as he slept, breathing softly; his eyes rolling around beneath the skin of his eyelids. Youngwoon knew he wasn’t anywhere near as pleasant to sleep beside. He snored terribly, and he had no doubt Jungsu had suffered through it already. He never said anything about it, though. He was probably too scared of him to complain or wake him up.
He rolled onto his back, looked sullenly at the roof of the van. He brought his hands to his face in frustration. He was such a bastard. He wanted Jungsu more than words could describe, but he couldn’t show it. He’d shout and run away when what he really wanted to do was smile, pull Jungsu close and kiss him senseless. The thought made him feel uncomfortable, though, and it irritated him that he still couldn’t accept the feelings he harboured. He had feelings for Jungsu, he knew it; he could feel it in his heart, and his stomach would flip sickeningly at the sight of the smaller man. Lately his body had been responding in a way he hadn’t anticipated and he’d had to perform miracles just to hide it from Jungsu; sleeping so close to the other man was torture. He was a man; it was natural that he’d have certain… dreams. It was just hard to deal with when those dreams involved the very man he was lying next to. There was no privacy anymore. If Jungsu wasn’t around, Donghae and Hyukjae were. Sometimes he’d lie, saying he needed to take a leak just to get away from the group for some ‘alone time’, but even then one of them would tell him to wait up so they could join him. Jungsu had said it wasn’t safe to take toilet breaks alone because anything could be in the woods. It was best to have someone looking out for you, he’d said.
So Youngwoon was frustrated, to say the least.
How easy it would be to simply reach out and touch him, do the things he’d been fantasising about, but his mind said no. His heart wanted Jungsu, and most of his mind did too, but there was always a voice, loud and nagging, throbbing in his head as it shouted at him. ‘No,’ it would say. ‘Jungsu is a man. He’s the same as Heechul. How could you become like them, so disgusting and wrong?’
Only a few days ago he would’ve agreed with that voice. He would’ve drunk himself into a stupor to forget the shame of even considering intimacy with another man. But now it just made him angry. He wanted to touch Jungsu – he WANTED it. How could he care about petty things when the world had already fallen to pieces, when he could die at any minute sprawled on the concrete with his guts being torn out by the undead? Being with Jungsu seemed like paradise in comparison.
They’d been on the road for nearly a fortnight and Youngwoon had been treating Jungsu like shit, yet the smaller man still had a smile for him, still tried to please him, treated his wounds and made sure he ate. He rolled onto his side, looking at Jungsu’s sleeping face again. The sun was coming up, spilling in through the windshield and lighting the back of the van ever so slightly. Jungsu wasn’t womanly, so to speak. He was gentle and skinny and feminine but never… girly. But with the light falling on his face just-so, Youngwoon thought he looked almost like an angel.
He wondered if Jungsu had ever been with anybody. While Jungsu was friendly and popular, like an older brother to most of his college friends, he’d always been alone; Youngwoon only ever recalled seeing him with Heechul. That relationship was impossible, surely. The thought made doubt fill his mind, though. They were pretty close, and he had no doubt about Heechul’s sexuality. Just thinking about it made him uncomfortable, irritated. Why, though? How could he expect Jungsu to be a saint when Youngwoon was dripping with sins? There was a sick pleasure in the thought of Jungsu being a virgin, though. Youngwoon wanted to be the best he ever had, to have Jungsu completely to himself. He wanted to be the only one to see Jungsu in ecstasy, to hear him moan.
His hand crept over hesitantly until he was cupping his chin, the roughness of stubble seeming out of place on Jungsu’s skin. He stroked his cheek, traced his lips with a thumb, and Jungsu’s eyelashes twitched, his eyes opening sleepily to see Youngwoon closing the distance. He saw panic in Jungsu’s eyes before they snapped shut, and when his lips touched the smaller mans he wondered why he’d waited so long. He’d kissed girls, even if he’d been drunk most of the time, and they couldn’t even compare to Jungsu. Because Jungsu wasn’t as fragile as he looked, and Youngwoon hadn’t expected him to kiss back so desperately. Jungsu seemed to wake up in a heartbeat, and Youngwoon realised just how long he must’ve been waiting for him to make a move. Jungsu’s fingers dug into Youngwoon’s broad shoulders and in seconds the bigger man was on his back, Jungsu gasping for air against his lips between hungry, wanton kisses.
The sheets tangled around their legs and soft moans filled the small space, though the two had thoughts only for eachother. Hands roamed and teeth clashed and Youngwoon could feel the pressure building between his legs, and Jungsu’s, too. They broke apart, Jungsu straddling Youngwoon’s hips, and the smaller man straightened, slipped his shirt off deftly and looked down at Youngwoon like a man possessed. His lips were bruised and red and his cheeks tinted pink, his auburn hair catching the light, all mussed and dishevelled. But Youngwoon’s eyes drifted downwards at the skin he’d never been lucky enough to see, the milky skin of Jungsu’s chest. He’d always imagined Jungsu to be skinny and unremarkable, but he was wrong. His hipbones were sharp, his waist small enough for Youngwoon to fit his hands around, but he had more muscle to show than Youngwoon, toned and lithe and if Youngwoon wasn’t already hard before, he was then.
He gripped Jungsu’s hips roughly, threw him down onto the mattress and devoured his lips once more, breaking away only to pull his shirt off as well. His body was much less remarkable, stocky and out of shape, but Jungsu didn’t seem to care, pulling him back down the moment the material was off. Hips grinded and legs tangled until they were both completely breathless and impatient. Neither of them had time nor want for words, because words were nothing compared to the feel of their bodies pressed together after tip-toeing around eachother for so long. Youngwoon sucked at the skin of Jungsu’s neck, fingers dancing dangerously above his waistband and the smaller man threw his head back, moaned in frustration.
And Youngwoon delved beneath the material of his boxers, touched him, and gripped him in his rough and calloused hands. He groaned at Jungsu’s enthusiastic response, revelling in the rich notes spilling from Jungsu’s lips as he cried out his name.
So this was what he’d been missing.
Jungsu’s blunt nails drew red lines down Youngwoon’s back as his toes curled and his mouth whispered words he’d have never said in his right mind. Youngwoon had never had someone want him, not like this. It was euphoric. He captured his lips once more; Jungsu’s back arching higher, higher, until they were pressed together, sweaty and panting. Jungsu was close, and even though Youngwoon hadn’t touched himself, he was on the edge too. He felt Jungsu grip his bicep, throw his legs around his hips, and he held him tighter, kissed him deeper.
The sound of banging on the van cut through the atmosphere like a knife, though, and for a moment Youngwoon’s heart seemed to have stopped, until he heard Donghae shout them for breakfast.
Jungsu was too lost in pleasure to notice, but Youngwoon wilted instantly. He watched Jungsu writhe and twist in the sheets as Youngwoon stroked him to climax, watched him cry out in wordless euphoria before falling limp against the mattress.
His hair was a mess and his skin was flushed. He lay there, looking up at Youngwoon with heavy lids and an open mouth looking fucked out and debauched, and as Youngwoon pulled on his shirt, sweaty and frustrated, he thought, not for the first time, that the sooner those two were gone, the better.