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
They drove up and down the highway in search of Youngwoon and Jungsu, just in case they were wrong about where they’d left them, but they were nowhere to be found. The car slowed to a stop, the two of them utterly lost. He could see Hyukjae tearing up again, and he knew he was blaming himself. He was right to do that, to blame his stupid self, but Donghae still felt his own tears threatening to tumble down his cheeks. Because when Hyukjae cried, so did he.
Hyukjae shook his head, looking at Donghae, his face all dishevelled. Snot ran from his nose and his eyes and cheeks were raw and red from his tears, and Donghae couldn’t resist the urge to pull him close and embrace him. He sniffed, sobbed against his shoulder. ‘I didn’t mean for this to happen.’ He choked, ‘I just wanted us to be safe.’
‘I know.’ Donghae whispered, and he was crying too, but not from sadness or frustration or anger. He cried from happiness, and he knew it was twisted, but his best friend was back; the soft-hearted cry-baby he loved. He didn’t want to let go, to push him away, but he had to. They needed to move, to get away. This time Donghae was the one taking control. Youngwoon and Jungsu would be fine alone, and so would they. He just needed to drive, far and fast, away from the corpses shambling and moaning as they chased them on broken, bleeding ankles. It didn’t matter where they went; they just had to keep driving, and when they couldn’t drive anymore they’d run until their feet bled and ached, until there was nowhere left to run.
They’d swim if they had to.
They were relieved to find the house still had running water, even if it was icy cold. There was paper strewn about here and there, some possessions lying around on the floor, but it didn’t look like there’d been any desperate battles for survival fought in this house. In fact, from what Jungsu had seen on the drive here, the whole neighbourhood seemed untouched. It seemed as if the people here had packed up their necessities and made a run for it while they still could.
They gathered up the papers and other flammables and Youngwoon let loose on the trees in the backyard, stacking the fireplace up with twigs and small branches and tossing the paper on top before kindling a fire with a lighter they’d found in a kitchen drawer. Youngwoon sat and boiled water in pots and pans over the fire before taking them upstairs and emptying them into the bathtub.
Jungsu scoured the kitchen while Youngwoon was filling the bath, searching through the cupboards. Almost everything had perished, though, turning to goo or dust or going stale and mouldy. His eyes fell upon a rice cooker, and inside he found some leftover rice – if you could still call it rice. It was a thick paste, now, off-white and lumpy, but it made his stomach roar all the same. Youngwoon returned to his side, catching him gazing lustily at the offensive substance. He wrinkled his nose and told him to get in the bath.
He’d almost forgotten about the bath, in truth, but as he peeled off his dirty clothes and stepped into the lukewarm heat of the porcelain tub, he almost mistook this hell they’d found themselves in for heaven. The water turned a murky grey in seconds as the sweat and dirt washed off his skin, and he submerged himself beneath the grey-green darkness, watched bubbles rise to the surface as he exhaled. The water roared in his ears and his eyes stung but he still lay submerged, his lungs screaming for breath. When he rose, he rose dripping wet, panting and blinking the water from his eyes as he ran his fingers through his hair.
He held his knees toward his chest and bit his lip. His mind was a whirlwind of fear and worry and excitement and thrill. Could they escape without the help of Donghae and Hyukjae? And if they did escape, where would they go? What if China’s borders were still closed, or if it was worse there than here? Then where would they go?
But the heaviest thought on his mind, the one that made his heart thrum and the goose pimples rise on his arms and legs, was Youngwoon. Of course it was Youngwoon. Now that they were alone, completely alone, he was frightened and self-conscious. He couldn’t fight the nagging voice at the back of his mind telling him Youngwoon didn’t feel the same, that he’d only touched him, kissed him and held him out of fear and desperation, thinking his life could end at any moment. Where Jungsu had love, he could only imagine Youngwoon feeling lust. Jungsu felt his fair share of lust too, though. He wanted Youngwoon’s rough hands gripping his hips, his lips kissing him, bruising him as he fucked him breathless. But Jungsu was clingy and sappy, he didn’t want Youngwoon to grow tired of him, he wanted him to want him too. He wanted him to long for him as he longed for Youngwoon.
Besides, Youngwoon had never been with a man before. Yes, they’d touched, but it was brief and rushed, a spur of the moment. He didn’t know if he could handle it if Youngwoon should shun him, should he feel appalled by Jungsu’s nakedness, his bare masculinity.
He was disturbed from his thoughts as the bathroom door swung open, Youngwoon entering with two bowls in hand. When he saw Jungsu in the bath, though, he turned away. ‘Sorry.’ He said.
‘Why?’ asked Jungsu incredulously. ‘We’re both men, the water is too disgusting to see anything anyway.’
Youngwoon turned back towards him, his face a shade redder than before. He grunted, seemingly embarrassed by his overly dramatic reaction. He walked stiffly over to Jungsu and offered him a bowl. ‘I brought some rice.’ He stated stiffly. ‘Eat.’
‘In the bath?’
Jungsu didn’t bother arguing. To his surprise it tasted alright, considering it was a bowl of plain, porridge-like rice. As he spooned up the sludge, Youngwoon stepped away. He watched, confused, but his confusion melted away as Youngwoon proceeded to undress. There was nothing special about Youngwoon’s body, but the fact that it was Youngwoon’s body was enough to add a small sparkle to his eyes as they raked up and down his physique unabashedly.
‘Why are you getting undressed?’ he asked through a mouthful of runny rice.
‘There’s room for two.’
‘But the water is disgusting…’ Youngwoon, ignoring his protests, climbed into the bath and Jungsu felt the heat rise in his cheeks. Something else may have started to rise too. He shifted awkwardly in the small tub to give Youngwoon room and they ended up crushed together, knee against knee. The water spilled over the edge of the bath in a wave at the added mass, and a moment of silence passed between them as they contemplated the situation.
‘The water’s cold.’ Youngwoon stated after a pause.
‘This was a bad idea.’
Youngwoon’s lower lip curled up in a smirk, trembling slightly before they both erupted in laughter at the mess they’d made. It was the end of the world and here they were: in a stranger’s house in a cold bath, eating rice.
Hankyung sat hunched over in the corner of the small storage closet at the back of the store, breathless as Heechul pounded on a narrow glass window with bloody fists. His shirt was pulled up and he watched the scratches on his chest swell and turn pink and pale as they healed. The glass shattered, small pieces falling inwards and landing by his feet. Heechul stood above him, blood dripping from his disfigured knuckles. The light shone in through the window behind him turning him into a dark silhouette, but he could see his blue-black eyes clearly, filled with betrayal, with pain. Heechul turned away. ‘Come.’ He said. He placed his hands flat on the windowsill and hoisted himself up, dropping to the floor outside.
Hankyung got to his feet, grimacing at the sting. He felt heavy, disheartened; guilty for letting Heechul’s condition get so far, for lying to him. In fact, he hadn’t even lied – he was just too much of a coward to have told the truth. His feet hit the dirty concrete of the narrow alleyway outside, and when he found his bearings he saw Heechul storming off.
He caught up to him, grabbed his hand and turned him roughly, pressing him against the wall. He wouldn’t look at him, refusing to meet his eyes. His mouth was pinched and his jaw was clenched tight. Hankyung grabbed his chin and tugged his face toward him roughly, but Heechul only stared blankly back at him, his eyes slowly swirling with chestnut brown. Hankyung loosened his grip and Heechul shrugged him off.
For all the years he’d watched Heechul walk away from him, it had never felt so painful.
Kyuhyun made his way through the pressing throng of undead, the smell of them pungent in his nostrils. Flies crawled across his brow and beads of sweat dripped into his eyes; his shirt was drenched and glued to his skin. An ache spread through his chest, raw hot pain that left him gasping for breath. The undead walked in the opposite direction to him, and he felt their cold, dead eyes on him as he struggled to suppress his heavy, agonised breathing. Even the ones whose eyes were long rotted away still seemed to stare at him and the pain in his chest only grew worse with his anxiety.
Moments passed but to Kyuhyun they felt like hours, days. The van was in sight and all of a sudden he was running, his mouth open and saliva running down his chin. The petrol sloshed about in the jug and the soles of his shoes thumped loudly against the road. He could barely see the undead around him; they were a blur, a mess of screaming faces and muffled moans. The pain in his chest was loudest of all, throbbing and throbbing until he thought his chest would explode. It was his heart, he realised, but how could it cause him so much pain when it was dead and dry and broken?
He felt a hand on his shoulder, the buzzing of a fly in his ear, and when he looked at the hand he saw it was missing two fingers, the gaps where they used to be were mangled and grotesque all crusted with puss and blood and it pulled him back, a dead face leering at him over his shoulder. He heard himself scream, somewhere in the myriad of sounds howling in his ears.
He stumbled, fell, and the jug of petrol crashed beside him, the brown-black liquid oozing out thickly onto the ground beside him like congealed blood. He rolled over, panicking, and found himself gazing up at mangled faces and outstretched hands closing in around him. He felt a hand grip his arm, a firm, tight grasp, and he flinched, screamed, but he couldn’t fight it off no matter how he wriggled and before he knew it he was on his feet being pulled through the press of walking corpses. When he blinked away the haze that had fallen over his eyes he saw a man before him pulling him along, black haired and short. Alive. He pulled Kyuhyun into the van and they collapsed to the floor before the smaller man slammed the door behind them and got to his knees.
The door started to tremble as the undead pressed against it from outside, dead hands pounding on the small glass window. Sungmin was close, breathing almost as heavily as he was. He wanted to kiss him until he was even more breathless, but the pain in his chest grew more unbearable by the second. He gripped his shirt, clawed at the material, gasping. His skin was scalding to the touch and in his ears thrummed a deep, halting, thundering noise like a thousand drums and it felt as if his entire body was shaking, trembling to the beat. Sungmin was watching him, terrified. His mouth was moving but Kyuhyun couldn’t hear the words, the noise so loud in his ears he thought his eardrums would burst. Moments of agony passed like centuries until the pain became a dull blur, his body going into shock from the sheer agony. His skin felt like an inferno, the tears rolling as cold as ice over his inflamed cheeks. His senses had returned, though, his eyesight clear as crystal. His tongue was hot and heavy in his mouth and he licked his lips over and over again. His head was in Sungmin’s lap, he realised dimly, the smaller man’s fingers sliding softly through his matted and sweat soaked hair as he looked blankly at the door. How long had he been lying here like this? He drew in a breath to speak, and Sungmin looked at him as he whispered weary words.
‘My heart,’ he paused, ‘It’s... It's beating.’
The door shook on its hinges, mouths pressed against the frosted, bloody glass. Kyuhyun trembled in his arms, and it was terrifying. He’d never seen Kyuhyun look so weak; he’d always been cold and stoic, the only time he’d smile would be at someone else’s expense. When Kyuhyun had whispered in that odd, frail voice, telling him his heart had started to beat, Sungmin’s must’ve stopped. Kyuhyun fell silent again after that, staring at the roof of the van with chocolate brown eyes all glazed and distant. Sungmin felt disconnected, as if none of this was real, and he could only stare numbly as the colour returned to Kyuhyun’s lips, to his cheeks. His eyes wandered slowly, taking in his whereabouts as if waking from a dream. A bead of sweat ran down his forehead, a quiet gasp from his lips. When Kyuhyun looked up at him Sungmin could only stare back dumbly, even as his face drew nearer and nearer, a hand pulling him closer. Kyuhyun’s lips were hot and insistent, different to the first time he’d tasted them. He threw his arms around Kyuhyun’s neck as the skinny teen got to his knees, pushed Sungmin down on the floor. He worked Sungmin’s mouth open with a nimble tongue, drawing soft moans from between his bow-shaped lips. How many times had he dreamed of this? How many times had he writhed silently beneath his sheets, one hand between his thighs and the other pressed tightly to his mouth so as not to wake Kyuhyun, sleeping so unknowingly in the bed beside him? The kiss they’d shared before was nothing, an act of desperation on Kyuhyun’s part, rushed touches in the panic and fear of imminent death. But this time Kyuhyun wanted him, truly, and he let him take him.
Bloody hands pounded on the door the lay beside and they kissed to the rhythm, Kyuhyun’s impatient hands slipping beneath Sungmin’s shirt, long fingers digging into his soft skin with bruising force. His lips were sore from Kyuhyun’s kisses but he wanted more than just touches. He let Kyuhyun nudge his legs apart, gasped at the sensation as he ground their hips together. They lay there in a mess on the floor, squirming and scratching and lost in the feel of each other’s bodies.
Kyuhyun’s kisses were hard, dark marks on Sungmin’s skin, and Sungmin tangled his fingers in his brittle, untamed hair, gasping as his tongue traced his collarbones, his teeth nipping at his soft flesh. Kyuhyun sat back on his heels as he pulled Sungmin’s shirt off roughly, and he stared down at him, at his sore, red lips and hardened nipples, his legs parted, willing and wanton. He smirked, then, unzipping Sungmin’s jeans and palming the stiffness in his boxers, revelling in Sungmin’s enthusiastic response. The smaller teen whined in frustration at Kyuhyun’s teasing touches and in moments he swapped their positions, a triumphant smile on his face at his small show of domination. Kyuhyun looked him up and down like a hot meal and Sungmin understood his impatience.
When he felt Kyuhyun cup his backside, he didn’t hesitate, unzipping the taller man’s jeans and biting his lip as Kyuhyun’s erection sprang free, unrestrained by his lack of underwear. A sharp hiss passed through his clenched teeth as the cool air kissed his bare skin, and his teeth clenched impossibly tighter when Sungmin took him into his mouth.
He was clumsy, sloppy, inexperienced, and Kyuhyun made his mouth ache with his shaking thrusts, his hips snapping up every few seconds even with Sungmin’s hands trying to push them back down. He barely lasted five minutes, and Sungmin felt tears prick his eyes as Kyuhyun pulled on his hair, as he released without warning in his mouth. He choked, got to his knees, swallowed the offensive fluid in a rush. He caught his breath, and Kyuhyun leaned against the kitchen counter boneless and satisfied. He felt wetness on his thighs and grimaced at the sensation; when had he climaxed? He hadn’t even felt it.
He lay back down, resting his head on Kyuhyun’s thigh. His mouth ached and he felt awkward and embarrassed, but his words tumbled out nonetheless. ‘I thought you’d all abandoned me. I was terrified.’ His lower lip trembled, tears blurring his eyes. Kyuhyun moved to comfort him, but he sat up, moved away. ‘It’s fine.’ He said. ‘You came ba-‘
Glass rained down over them, gnarled, blackened hands reaching for Sungmin, grasping him, yanking him towards the door. More hands pulled at his face, at his hair, his neck, scratching and tearing. Kyuhyun felt his heart leap, and before he knew what he was doing he had Sungmin in his arms again, and he crawled away with him, to the back of the small kitchen. He could see the hands from here; see the faces pressed against the windscreen. Sungmin’s face was a bloody mess, cuts and scratches all over his cheeks and forehead. His neck was torn to shreds. He left Sungmin a moment, crawled to grab the shirt that had been thrown astray, and he dabbed at his face, at his neck, gentle but insistent. When the blood was gone, the damage didn’t seem quite as bad, but that didn’t make it any better. Sungmin was staring at him, he realised, and when he met his gaze he asked, ‘Do I really look that terrible?’
His mouth ran dry. He touched Sungmin’s face with shaky hands.
A bang. Two bangs. His head turned towards the sound. The hands were gone, the faces on the windscreen just a mess of blood and pulp. The bangs continued - gunfire. The door flew open, and Kyuhyun shrunk away, but when Hankyung stepped through he relaxed. He’d never felt so relieved to see the two of them. Heechul spotted them before Hankyung, and his eyes went wide – wider than usual. ‘Is he okay?’
Kyuhyun shook his head. ‘He’s hurt.’
‘What happened?’ Asked Hankyung as Heechul knelt beside the two of them, pulling Kyuhyun’s hand away from Sungmin’s bloody cheek.
‘They got through, they scratched him.’
‘He’ll be fine.’ Hankyung turned away from them, sat calmly in the driver’s seat. Frustration boiled up inside Kyuhyun the moment the words left his lips.
‘How do you know that?’ He growled. He saw Hankyung’s shoulders rise and fall in a shrug.
‘I just know.’
He opened his mouth to argue, but Sungmin interrupted him. ‘How did you manage to get back?’
Heechul smirked. He pulled his short sleeve back and flexed his skinny, unremarkable bicep. ‘I’m not as puny as I look. We fought our way through.’ He leaned closer to Sungmin and whispered teasingly, ‘And what were you two doing while we were gone?’ A moment passed before he added as an afterthought, ‘apart from nearly dying.’
He blushed crimson. The stinging in his face and neck was forgotten for a moment, his eyes darting from himself to Kyuhyun. He was still shirtless, and both of them had their jeans unzipped. He could still feel the sticky warmth on his thighs. He looked away, abashed. He couldn’t help but revel in the thought that Kyuhyun was back in his right mind, with a beating heart and warm lips and he wanted Sungmin as much as Sungmin wanted him.