Title: Cold and Damp
II [Dead Seoul]
Pairings: Hanchul, Kyumin, Kangteuk (minor eunhae)
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 13-------------------
Hankyung drove through a small residential area, feeling it was safe enough to make a stop at. They parked up in a high-street, close to various shops. Sungmin stayed with the van to keep an eye on things while Kyuhyun made for the small gas station a few streets back. Hankyung had said that the undead probably wouldn’t notice him if he was quiet, so there was no need for anyone else to go with him.
Heechul and Hankyung scoped out a small convenience store to find anything edible. The floor was wet, the freezers all defrosted and leaking, and the shelves were all collapsed and smashed up. Hankyung’s pistol tapped gently against his side as he walked around the store, and Heechul looked at it oddly, though the Chinese man didn’t notice.
‘Why didn’t you get more food if you knew we’d be joining you?’ Heechul asked, looking miserably into the freezer at the submerged ice lollies floating around.
‘There weren’t any stores near the facility; it was hard to keep slipping past all of those armed military guys all the time.’ He shoved some tins into his rucksack. ‘If I tried to get more food I probably would’ve got caught.’
Heechul hummed, not interested in Hankyung’s reply. He leaned over the freezer, dipping his hand into the pool of melted ice absentmindedly. Hankyung took a moment to admire Heechul’s figure, noticing how tight his jeans were. His boots looked a bit loose, too. ‘Are those clothes okay?’ He asked, focusing his attention on something other than Heechul’s backside.
‘No, this shirt stinks, and these jeans make me look fat.’ Heechul grumbled.
‘The jeans look fine.’ Hankyung sighed. They looked more than fine, but Heechul must’ve been terribly uncomfortable in them. ‘There’s a clothes store across the way, we can pop in. Sungmin probably needs something more to his size anyway.’
There was a gentle breeze ruffling Kyuhyun’s tangled, unruly hair, and the air smelled sweet and hot. The gas station loomed ahead, and as much as Kyuhyun listened all he heard was silence. He couldn’t even hear birds, just the wind rustling through the trees. How could this place be so deserted? It seemed almost untouched by the undead panic; the shops and small houses along the road were all intact save for a few broken windows, and cars were still parked along the kerb. A feeling of unease settled over him and his feet moved faster until the gas station was before him. A large petrol jug lay overturned beside a pump, and he picked it up, shook it to see if there were any dregs left behind, but it was empty. He kept it anyway, checking the pump for gas, but that was dry too.
He looked around slowly; saw the vans and trucks parked nearby. Would they be full? Maybe they’d been left behind because they were empty. There was a car parked at a pump behind him, though, and he struck gold. He knelt beside the car and tried to siphon the petrol out into the jug, distracted from the movement in his blind spot.
He froze at the sound of footsteps, heavy breathing, and pressed himself against the side of the car. He peered around the bonnet as a young woman stumbled by, dishevelled and rotting, armless and blind. He wobbled in his unbalanced position, shifted his weight, and clenched his teeth tightly as he knocked the jug over. He caught it deftly, but the noise of his scramble had already reached her ears. When he looked, she was looking back with her empty, blind eyes. Her mouth twitched grotesquely, and she took another step. Kyuhyun was ready to deal with her if she came near, but instead she turned away, continued walking without any interest in Kyuhyun.
He knelt there beside the car for a moment, stunned. Was it his smell? She’d definitely noticed him, but something had turned her off. Could she tell him apart from a human? It made sense; he supposed… they never fought eachother, the undead. They must’ve had some way to tell the living apart from the dead.
Did that mean he was dead, too?
He managed to fill the jug halfway, but that wasn’t enough. The vans and trucks were all dry, and he decided to check inside the gas station for any petrol they might have stashed away. He glanced at the windows of the living space above the station, and frowned as a curtain twitched, swayed. Someone was here.
He entered slowly, cautiously, the light door closing quietly behind him as his dirty sneakers squeaked on the lino. His eyes followed bloody drag marks, dark and dry, to a pair of corpses lying rotting and swollen, flies buzzing around the dead flesh. He looked them over curiously; they looked like they’d been dead for a long time. There were gunshot wounds in their chests, their legs… and their foreheads. Someone had shot them, and they hadn’t died until that last bullet hit the sweet spot. If they were zombies, then maybe someone – someone alive – was still here, hiding, waiting for more to come. Glass crunched beneath his feet as he stepped over broken milk bottles, past blood smeared freezers and collapsed shelves. He approached the cash register, and with caution he leant across the counter, checking beneath. Nobody was there, yet the unease still gripped him.
Maybe it was just his imagination.
He got back on task, made for the staff door, and tapped it open gently. The hairs on his arms stood to attention at the sound of shuffling, and he listened hard as he stepped into a small hallway. Muffled, fast breathing came from the top of the staircase before him, a dim light swinging back and forth eerily. The door at the top of the stairs was slightly ajar, and he walked up quietly, warily. The breathing grew louder in his ears as he approached the top, and when he twisted the doorknob he heard a whisper, something he couldn’t understand.
He entered a small flat, wrecked and filled with garbage, tatty curtains barely covering the windows. He knew there was someone here, but where? The room was dim despite the light struggling in through the curtains, and garbage bags were everywhere. He walked further into the room, but before he could speak a bag toppled over, the contents spilling out onto the floor followed by a panicked squeak and a heavily accented voice hissing ‘Henry!’
He stepped toward the voices, and when he peered over the tower of garbage he found two young men looking back at him with terror in their eyes. Before he could speak, the smaller man let out a yell, and the skinnier man beside him fumbled around himself. In the blink of an eye Kyuhyun was staring down the barrel of a shotgun, and he twisted away in shock, but it was too late.
He fell to the ground with an agonised grunt, clutching the wound in his chest. They’d shot his heart, and if he hadn’t have moved before, they would’ve shot his head. He wheezed, panicking. The pain was immense, was he going to die? He looked at his hands in his shock, expecting them to be covered with blood, but they were clean. His hands stopped trembling and he let out a shaky breath. It was just a panic attack, his mind telling him to react. Of course he wouldn’t die, nor would he bleed. He had no blood. He had no heartbeat.
The two men stood over him, the skinny, lanky man still pointing the shotgun in his face. If he moved they’d shoot him, and this time he’d die. The smaller man said something, then, quick and strange. Chinese? He took the chance, then, as the taller man was distracted.
‘Wait!’ He yelled, and the two Chinese men looked ready to scream. ‘I’m not going to hurt you.’
They exchanged looks, stunned. The taller man let his gun slacken, but his eyes were still wide and unblinking as he stared at Kyuhyun, even as he readjusted his glasses. The smaller man was the first to speak.
‘Why can you speak?’ he said in a rush. His accent was odd, a western twang to it.
‘It’s complicated.’ Kyuhyun groaned. He pressed his hand to where the bullet tore through his muscles. It was still tender, even if it wasn’t fatal. ‘Could you give me a hand?’ he asked the smaller man, and he was quick to oblige. The lanky man was still staring at him, and Kyuhyun stared back as he got to his feet, making him step back and stumble over a pile of rubbish, falling ungracefully. The smaller man didn’t seem to care about his friend, still cautious about Kyuhyun.
‘What are you here for? We don’t want trouble.’
‘I was looking for some petrol.’ He pulled the lanky Chinese man back to his feet with ease. ‘You two just happened to be here. What about you? Why are you here?’ For some reason, he felt comfortable talking to them – well, the smaller man, anyway. Could the taller man even speak Korean?
‘We’ve been here for a few months hiding. You gave us a shock, nobodies been here for a while so we weren’t ready.’ The smaller man explained. ‘I’m Henry, by the way.’ He gestured to the rumpled Chinese man beside him. ‘This is Zhoumi’
Zhoumi spoke, then, a 1000 watt smile on his face so bright Kyuhyun almost flinched. ‘Are you some sort of superhuman zombie superhero?’
There was a pause, and Henry almost jumped out of his skin as a hearty laugh burst from Kyuhyun’s lungs. ‘Yeah,’ he said, still laughing, ‘something like that.’
Sungmin swivelled around lazily on Hankyung’s chair, his head lolling back, wishing he was outside too. He’d been in the van for two hours now, and he was beyond fed up. What was his part in all this anyway? Heechul and Hankyung were weirder than before, and Kyuhyun wasn’t even human – so what about him? He felt exactly the same, useless. Was he just Kyuhyun’s meat, now, or was there something else Hankyung was keeping him for? He hated feeling useless. He still felt tired from the blood loss of last night, and he knew Kyuhyun would want more soon. Would he be this weak every time?
He hated being treated like a piece of delicate china. Ever since that night of college he’d been doted on by everybody, weak and useless. He was strong and quick; he’d even dabbled in martial arts back in school. When would he get the chance to be of use?
He puffed out his cheeks, cursing his cuteness for misleading people. He rested his legs on the desk before him, wondering if Kyuhyun was okay. He’d been gone for a while now; it shouldn’t be taking him so long just to find gas, surely? Heechul and Hankyung were so lucky, he thought. He had no idea what Kyuhyun was, now. He had no idea what he was thinking.
He glanced briefly at the screens to see if anybody was around, but his quick glance changed to a closer look. Panic settled in his chest for a moment, but it dissipated. There was a small group of undead passing by one of the cameras, and even then they were in the distance. He leaned back in the chair again. They wouldn’t be much trouble, they’d probably go right past.
But as he watched the screen, panic filled him once again. There were more, and more after that. They were spread apart at first, but then the crowd started to thicken. In seconds every screen showed a horde writhing past the cameras, he could hear them outside moaning, brushing against the van.
He gripped the chairs armrests in terror. He needed to warn everybody, but how? The van felt safe enough, but what if they somehow managed to get in? Did they know he was inside?
He looked at the screens in despair, and silently he prayed Kyuhyun came back alive.
Heechul groaned as the door closed behind him, taking in the sight of the drab, plain clothes. ‘This isn’t my style…’ he grumbled moodily, taking a shirt off a rack and pulling a face. Hankyung just sighed. ‘Hurry up and get something,’ he said. ‘We need to get going.’
‘Hey, fashion takes time, don’t rush me.’ Heechul picked out a few items of clothing with care. ‘Especially when this is what I have to work with.’ He disappeared into the small changing room at the back of the modest clothing store, and Hankyung wandered around, keeping watch.
He undressed quickly, buying clothes (well, a lot of the time he didn’t actually buy them) was his favourite pastime; but when he caught his nude reflection in the mirror he flinched. He was so thin, pale. He noticed how his ribs were showing, how sharp his hip bones seemed. His skin was bruised from Hankyung’s strong grip, and he touched the marks gently. He was cold, though he didn’t feel it himself. Maybe he was ill? He heard Hankyung shuffling about outside the dressing room. ‘We don’t have all day, Heechul.’ He moaned impatiently, and Heechul smiled.
‘Come in and tell me what you think of this outfit.’
‘I don’t care about your clothes just hurry up.’
He heard Hankyung huff from the other side of the curtain before he pulled it back, his eyes widening at Heechul’s nakedness. Heechul smirked wickedly, but Hankyung just looked away. ‘It’s terrible, you should try something else.’
Heechul laughed, pulling Hankyung into the cubicle by his shirt collar, and he kissed him with a smile. Hankyung pushed him back until his skin was against the cold glass of the mirror, and Heechul quickly got to undressing the taller man between wet kisses and gasps for air.
Large hands cupped his buttocks, lifting him and pressing him hard against the cool glass of the mirror, grinding against him. He sighed against Hankyung’s insistent mouth, gasped at the sensation of deft fingers filling him, stretching him. Hankyung whispered an apology against his neck. ‘We should really try this with lubrication some time; it’s probably a lot more pleasant.’ Heechul only grinned in response, gripping Hankyung’s shoulders as he slowly filled him. He cried out for him to move, throwing his head back as he built up a toe-curling rhythm.
Hankyung watched the unveiled pleasure on Heechul’s face, his red lips parted sinfully. He felt his thighs tighten around his hips with every thrust, his hips rolling to meet him. But as he watched, he also saw Heechul change. He breathed heavily against Hankyung’s lips, his fingers running up and down his back. And when he looked at Heechul’s half-lidded eyes, he felt cold. Blue. Hankyung hissed as Heechul’s nails scraped at his skin, harder, harder, until he ripped at his very flesh. He threw his head back, groaning in pain; but Heechul was ignorant to his agony, pressing his lips to Hankyung’s neck, grazing the skin with his teeth. He sunk lower, drawing a path of sore red down Hankyung’s chest.
Hankyung tangled his fingers in Heechul’s hair, gasping from the pain, and with a sharp tug Heechul seemed to snap out of his insanity. A sharp, shuddering breath left Hankyung’s lips in relief, but Heechul’s hand shot up to cover his mouth. ‘Be quiet,’ he whispered, a tinge of blue still coating his pupils. For a moment Hankyung was confused, until he heard the door squeak outside, the sound of footsteps, and flesh against glass.
Heechul let him go and dressed himself in a rush, and Hankyung followed suit, though he was slower, his face pinched in pain. Heechul turned to open the curtain, but Hankyung grabbed his arm and stole a kiss before he could go. The kiss was deep even though he could taste his own blood on Heechul’s lips, and when they broke apart the look on his face was one that made Heechul hesitate for a second.
He had no time to see what was wrong with Hankyung, though, and upon opening the curtain he gasped. There were five of them, their sights set on him. Hankyung groaned behind him, but when he turned to see if he was okay he found himself stepping away instead.
A single, ear-shattering gunshot pierced the air and an undead fell beside him. Hankyung stood hunched over, leaning heavily against the dressing room wall with his pistol in hand. ‘I’m fine.’ He mumbled. Heechul could see that he wasn’t, but he nodded and turned away. Another gunshot sounded, another undead fell, and Heechul turned to the closest ghoul, his hands gripping its clammy neck hard as he twisted sharply, the bone jutting out as its body went limp. He let it fall to the ground, marvelling at how easy it seemed. The next came lumbering up behind him, and he turned quickly, grabbing it by the collar and pushing it backwards until it came up against the counter, and he smashed its head against the thick glass until it turned red.
‘Heechul!’ Hankyung shouted, but he already knew what he was shouting for. He turned, and in a flash his leg lashed out, kicking hard and impaling the corpse on a clothes rack. It writhed, walking itself off the rack towards Heechul, and he grimaced, looking left and right for something blunt or sharp. His hand found a clothes hanger, and he drove it hard into the undead’s skull. He let out a shaky breath, looked at his hands, the flesh beneath his nails. Hankyung.
He was collapsed in the changing room, clutching his chest. His shirt was bloody and a bright stain was smeared on the wall behind him from where he’d leant against it and slid to the floor. Heechul felt faint all of a sudden. He’d done this. He walked over to him in panic, knelt beside him. ‘Are you okay?’
Hankyung nodded. ‘It stings.’ He smiled, though it didn’t reach his eyes. ‘You should cut your nails, it’s not sexy.’ He saw the look on Heechul’s face, though, and added sombrely, ‘It’ll heal quickly, you only scratched me. There are more important things to focus on than me right now.’
Heechul wanted to ask him what he meant by more important things, because the most important thing he could think of right then was Hankyung, but the door squeaked and he understood. He got to his feet in a flash and saw the gathering, the mass outside the store. They must’ve been attracted by the scuffle, but where were they all coming from? Had something happened to Sungmin? They were slow, though, and only one was making its way into the shop. He pushed it back out of the door with brute strength and closed it behind him, panting. What could he do? He had to barricade them in, but that would trap them – unless there was a back door. There had to be a staff room or something, right? Hands slapped against the door behind him, a gruesome face pressed against the glass. He quickly moved away from the door, pushing a clothes rail against it before anything could get through. He moved them all until they were completely barricaded. How long would it take them to break the glass? To push the flimsy rails over? It would buy them some time, at least.
He walked back over to Hankyung, a sick sensation in his stomach. Whenever he touched Hankyung he turned into a monster. What was happening to him? How did he kill three undead so effortlessly? He looked at Hankyung with eyes full of fear, but Hankyung looked back with something else. Something that made him realise Hankyung knew something Heechul didn’t.