Title: Cold and Damp
II [Dead Seoul]
Pairings: Hanchul, Kyumin, Kangteuk
Warnings: Gore, violence
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
When Jungsu opened his eyes, he opened them to darkness. He lay there still and silent, only the sound of his own breathing filling the utter quiet of the damp cellar he lay in. It was odd not to hear Youngwoon’s deep, rumbling snores beside him. He blinked as his eyes adjusted to the darkness bit by bit. Rolling onto his back he reached slowly, softly, for Youngwoon’s body, only to find cold sheets. In the dim light he could see that the duvet was thrown back, and as his eyes glanced to the edge of the bed he saw a figure, dark and looming, motionless as it stood. ‘Youngwoon?’ he whispered. He tensed beneath the sheets, his tired mind jumping into action as his heart started to race. How ironic it was that all this time he’d been wishing Youngwoon was gone, but now his only instinct was to call for him, scream for him to come and save him from this threat. He edged away, his body tense and strung tight as a bow.
And then it moved, this sinister silhouette. It crouched, and the sound of a match striking was followed by a burst of light, a warm glow illuminating Youngwoon’s face. He stood, a candle lit on the floor, and Jungsu didn’t know whether to feel relief or dread. Something was wrong with Youngwoon’s face. The usually wide, manly face seemed thinner, more drawn and sallow. Veins encroached on his forehead and his short hair was wet, as was his brow and neck, all shimmering in the dim light. Jungsu faked a sigh of relief, forced a small, tight smile. ‘You scared me.’ He uttered softly. ‘What’s wrong? Can’t you sleep?’
Youngwoon shook his head slowly, stiffly. His eyes seemed far away, even as he stared at Jungsu with an unsettling intensity. He sank down to sit on the bed with a softness, a delicacy that was unlike Youngwoon. When he leaned towards Jungsu he shrank away on instinct, closing his eyes tightly and waiting for rough hands to cup his chin, for dry, chapped lips to be pushed against his own. He waited for pain, but it never came. Opening his eyes slowly, fearing some trap would be awaiting him, he was confused to see Youngwoon a few inches away, sad eyes staring back at him. It was disorientating to see such an expression; the only emotion Youngwoon had expressed since they came to this place was anger, desire, but here he saw something he hadn’t seen in nigh a month or more. Hurt, love, maybe even regret.
Youngwoon brought his hand to Jungsu’s face, pausing as he flinched, and he looked at Jungsu for a moment, almost as if he was asking for permission. He found himself nodding softly, and the gentle caress of Youngwoon’s fingers on his skin was like some new, alien sensation. His fingers were cold.
He brought his own hand to Youngwoon’s, and as his face edged closer he let his eyes close, felt a lump form in his throat. Youngwoon’s lips touched his own, and he kissed him back, trembling. His head fell back against the flat, sweat-stained pillow as Youngwoon deepened the kiss, and as his lips trailed down his neck like a moth fluttering against his tortured skin he let his head loll to the side, his lip caught between his teeth as tears spilled from his raw, red eyes.
He was like a ghost, lips icy cold and fingers trailing along his skin like feathers, every breath a shout, every gasp a scream in the sacred silence between them. He sobbed softly into the pillow as Youngwoon’s fingers traced the dip of his hipbones, along his purpled skin, bruised from lust-driven embraces. A soft gasp escaped his parted lips as the larger man whispered apologies against his collarbones; apologies he knew he would never forgive.
Every touch felt like it would be the last, every kiss laced with finality. After all the terrible things Youngwoon had done to his body, it still responded timidly, his nipples pink and hard and his member twitching to stand. A hot tongue traced his nipples, so sudden it made him gasp sharply, and his back arched violently as rough, calloused hands stroked him to hardness. He didn’t want to respond, to feel anything, not after what he’d done to him; but his body thought differently, even as sickness roiled in his stomach and his heart trembled with fear; fear that he might stop hating this terrible man for even a moment.
His abdomen rose and fell as he panted, cheeks flushed as he hid his face in the pillow, overwhelmed by shame and defeat. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, it was supposed to hurt, so much he wanted to scream. It wasn’t supposed to feel good. It had never felt good, not once. His knuckles were white as his fists twisted in the sheets, silent screams falling from his pleasure-slackened mouth.
Youngwoon’s lips were pressed to his ear, and as his toes curled all he could hear was his voice filled with grief, repeating the same thing over and over like a prayer. ‘I’m so sorry.’
He felt Youngwoon pressing against his entrance, one finger, and two. It was slow, torturous. His fingers tangled in Youngwoon’s short hair, the other hand clutching at his neck, scraping against his skin. When Youngwoon entered him he felt only pleasure, overwhelmingly so. Every thrust was slow, deep. His knees were hiked around Youngwoon’s hips, his feet locked together as he pushed him deeper with clenched teeth and his name on his tongue. Was this how it was supposed to be? How long had he been telling himself he was only worth pain, that he deserved the abuse Youngwoon dealt him? He spent himself and whispered words of love he didn’t mean to say, and when Youngwoon came inside him he felt bile rise in his throat. They lay beside each other, both staring up at the damp ceiling, blackened with creeping mould. He pulled the sheets around his naked, soiled body as Youngwoon lay exposed, and his head ached with confusion, thousands of thoughts pressing against his bloated skull.
Youngwoon’s cold hand slid into his own, and he looked at them both entwined. How long had it been since he’d really looked at Youngwoon? How long had he looked this way? His hand was a sickly shade of purple, the skin of his arm blackened to the elbow as bulbous veins sprawled upwards to his shoulder and across his chest, creeping up his neck and stretching all down his body. He felt his own body turn cool, a sudden understanding forming in his mind. ‘She bit you,’ he whispered, ‘that girl, she bit you.’
He wanted to laugh at the audacity of it. How could he ask Jungsu for a swift death after the torture he’d been forced to endure all this time? How could he ask Jungsu to kill the only man he could love even after he’d been treated so terribly? ‘I can’t.’
‘I can’t. You've hurt me more than words can express, but I can’t kill you.’
‘You have to.’ Youngwoon squeezed his hand. When Jungsu looked at him he saw he was crying. ‘I don’t want to hurt you any more than I already have.’
‘What gives you the right to decide when you should die? What makes you think you can rape me, make me feel utterly disgusting, and then just die? Just like that, no pain or suffering or punishment for what you’ve done. What makes you think you deserve something so easy?’ Jungsu sat up, tears stinging his eyes. ‘Even after everything you did to me I never once wished you were dead. Death would be too good a fate.’
‘Do you hate me that much?’
‘That’s the worst part. I want to, I desperately want to, but I still can’t hate you.’
Youngwoon’s hand was stiff in Jungsu’s, a block of ice wrapped in skin. ‘You never had it in you to hate.’ A soft smile flickered across Youngwoon’s lips for a second, but it was gone in an instant. ‘If you still love me, kill me. Make sure I never wake up. Burn me, then you escape – you just run and run as far as you can until you’re safe.’
‘Find the others; maybe Heechul is still alive, maybe you can find a boat and sail away. Just don’t die.’
The sound of flesh hitting flesh echoed in the room as Jungsu slapped Youngwoon’s face, his eyes red rimmed and his face a mess of tears; a look of sheer agony stretched across his handsome features. ‘Don’t tell me to kill you and then forbid me from following you.’ He cried. ‘How could I survive on my own? There’s nothing out there but death, why can’t I save myself the trouble?’
Youngwoon reached for Jungsu, and he leaned closer. He brushed his fingers against his reddened cheeks and wiped away his tears with a thumb. ‘Please.’
The van was wrecked. The monitor room was smashed to pieces, metal and glass was strewn everywhere and wires hung down from the walls. Heechul had expected Hankyung to be devastated, all his hard work destroyed, but he didn’t seem fazed at all. Hankyung’s skin was hot, and as he looked at where his hand lay on the Chinese man’s chest, he realised just how pale his own skin had grown. He closed his eyes, breathed in his scent as his chest rose and fell beneath him. Even as he lay there listening to his steady heartbeat all he could think of was how uncomfortable he must feel, having Heechul’s icy, bony body slumped over him, having to look at his pale, bruised skin. He gasped softly as hands, soft as supple leather, cupped one of his buttocks, slid up his back and dipped between his shoulder blades before resting in his hair, stroking his damp locks.
‘We need to get moving’ he whispered, his chest rumbling against Heechul’s ear, and Heechul nodded in acknowledgement. He didn’t want to leave the warm safety of Hankyung’s arms, but they were vulnerable now, out here in the open. There was no time for embraces and moments of passion, not any more.
When they stumbled from the van, their clothes sodden and dishevelled, they just stood there for a moment, staring at the wreckage. Hankyung had salvaged his guns, all wet from the burst pipes, and the bag containing them was slung over his shoulder. He felt a cold hand pushing against his own, and he looked at Heechul as their fingers entwined, his big brown eyes staring straight ahead, brighter than he’d seen in days, and for a moment he started to hope – maybe there was a future here.
They walked the road until the stars came out, until Heechul’s bare feet were raw and red, the torn skin not having sufficient time to heal. He wouldn’t wear Hankyung’s boots no matter how often he offered. He told him it didn’t hurt, but it did, and it comforted him. Pain, pleasure, happiness, sadness – it all meant he was still alive. The night was warm, humid and sticky. Clouds hid the stars above them, and soon they were drenched to the bone, thunder boiling in the sky. Still, they didn’t stop. He wondered if Hankyung was hungry, if he was thirsty. The Chinese man never seemed to complain about such things, and Heechul could only wonder whether it was from discipline or whether he was so engrossed in looking after Heechul that he’d completely forgotten his own needs.
The cries of seagulls resonated as they walked, the sky turning the colour of a blood bruise as the sun disappeared below the horizon. Every now and then a squirrel or a rabbit would scamper out onto the highway, glance at them before continuing into the foliage that grew beyond the steel barrier that lined the road. He wondered if they even noticed what had happened to the world.
They came to a slope, and they sat for a moment on the muddy, wet grass at the side of the highway. It was cool on Heechul’s aching feet, and soon he felt Hankyung slump against him as sleep finally overtook him. Soft breaths blew softly against his neck, and he watched blankly as plumes of smoke twisted up into the cloudy sky from buildings burning far off into the distance, the abandoned skyscrapers of Seoul. He sighed, yawned.
Standing slowly he placed the gun bag beneath Hankyung’s head as his body slumped to the ground. Taking a gun for safe measure he made his way down the slope into the wooded area below. Even though there was nobody around, it still felt necessary to find privacy when it came to relieving his bladder.
As he stood against a tree, he couldn’t ignore the sound of rustling growing louder. He could hear breathing, fast and ragged. Twigs snapped and leaves crunched, and he turned to face the sound. He was alone, only him and the trees to be seen. Maybe he was just paranoid. He finished his business, and as he turned to traverse the slope once more he checked the clip in his pistol, making sure it was loaded. Something wasn’t right.
The slope was steep; the ground muddy from the previous night’s rain, and the going was tough. He saw the barrier before him, and Hankyung was snoring softly from where he lay beside it. He felt himself smile as a warm feeling filled his chest, but it was replaced with a sinking terror, as if his stomach had dropped onto the ground. A cold hand gripped his leg, nails digging into the denim of his tattered jeans and he yelled in surprise as he was pulled down the slope, landing wetly on his backside. He clawed at the wet grass but he couldn’t find purchase, and he gasped in horror as a haggard, decaying face came close to his, virulent breath stinging his nostrils. Gagging, his fingers twitched at the pistol trapped behind his back. He writhed and kicked but the body on top of him was too heavy.
Chipped teeth edged ever closer to his face, and he sucked in a breath. Gathering his strength, he pushed the corpse off him an inch, his hand sliding free. He pressed the gun to the corpses head in one fluid motion, and his eyes closed reflexively as grey matter hit his face, its brains exploding from its head with a bang so loud it made his teeth come crashing together. The zombie slumped against him, dead weight forcing the air from his lungs. He was weak from malnourishment, and he fought to no avail, writhing beneath the mound of rotting flesh.
In a blissful moment the weight was gone, and sweet oxygen filled his lungs. He opened his eyes to see Hankyung looming over him, a look of relief on his face. He was saying something, but all he could hear was a sharp ringing in his ears.
Hankyung pulled him to his feet and came close, speaking clearer. ‘We have to go.’ He said with urgency, ‘something must’ve heard that. We’ll be surrounded soon.’
Heechul nodded, the scent of death still lingering on his skin, and he wiped at his dirty face with his shirt, grimacing when the gore refused to leave his hair. They took the guns and fled through the wood, the smell of death following close behind.
Sungmin let his head fall against the cold glass of the passenger window, closing his eyes as the driver door shut and the car rumbled to life. He wondered if they’d talk tonight. As the days had passed they’d had less and less to say to each other. Now, finally, there seemed to be nothing left to talk about. The only interaction he’d had with Kyuhyun the past few days had been glances and meaningless mutterings, grumblings about wanting a shower and how bad the car smelt. His hair was greasy and his stubble was quickly turning into something more than a 5 o’clock shadow. They all looked to be in the same state of disarray, though, yet he and Kyuhyun seemed to be the only two in the car that cared. Henry and Zhoumi were endlessly cheerful, and it agitated him slightly. Where did they get the energy? He longed to stretch his legs, to sleep in a real bed.
He cleared his throat. It was slightly sore, and he absent-mindedly wondered whether he was growing ill. ‘Can we stop the car for a moment, I’m cramping up.’
The car slowed slightly, and Kyuhyun’s dry voice rumbled beside him. ‘Yeah, me too.’
It was humid and sticky outside the car and gnats flew at them as soon as they opened their doors, but it felt good to stand on the ground for a while; to stretch his wasted muscles. He’d never enjoyed road trips.
He sat on the car bonnet, and Kyuhyun joined him after rummaging around in the boot. He handed him a can of warm soda, but when it met his lips it could have come straight from a refrigerator for all he cared. He scratched at his skin from where a bug had bitten him, turning his attention to his feet as they swung a few inches from the ground. There was no wind, and soon a thin film of sweat covered his brow. ‘I wonder if Zhoumi has the right idea.’ He mused aloud, and Kyuhyun seemed startled when the words left his mouth, dispersing the uncomfortable quiet that had slowly thickened between them.
‘I think he made a good decision. It’s what I would’ve done.’ He assured him. When he turned to look at Kyuhyun, he saw him smiling back.
‘I still can’t believe everything that’s happened to us. It feels like a bad dream.’
‘Me neither. But we’re safe now, I suppose. Besides, how can it be a bad dream if I’m here?’
‘That’s exactly why.’ He added sarcastically, laughing softly before sipping from his drink. He played with the ring-pull and looked at the sky. ‘It’s been a while since we left Hankyung and Heechul, hasn’t it? I wonder if they’re okay.’
Kyuhyun took a pause before replying in a defensive tone. ‘Why should we care if they’re okay? Hankyung tried to shoot us.’
‘Wouldn’t you do the same?’ Sungmin asked sharply, and by the look on Kyuhyun’s face it seemed like he knew he'd ask that exact question. He reddened. ‘I mean, Heechul is dying. Hankyung was just trying to protect him… you’d do the same if…’ he quietened slightly, ending in a mumble. ‘…if it was me, wouldn’t you?’
He met Kyuhyun’s eyes awkwardly, and saw them widen before he looked away, the tendons in his long neck growing taught.
‘We never talked about what happened before they came back… when we were in the van-‘
‘Did you hate it?’ Kyuhyun interjected, and he sounded almost nervous.
‘No.’ Sungmin caught the metal of the ring pull between his teeth and let his words become muffled when he spoke. ‘I didn’t want it to stop.’
He heard Kyuhyun take a breath while he held his own, and soon he felt long fingers on his skin, cupping his jaw and pulling his face closer. His head collided with the car bonnet as his body slid further down, Kyuhyun’s lips against his own, and his hand pulling at his knotted hair. Kyuhyun rolled on top of him, his knee pressing between his thighs and he gasped. He opened his eyes for a second, barely catching the smirk that passed over Kyuhyun’s lips before they were against his own again, hot and insistent.
A moan struggled to escape his throat, his erection trapped by his jeans. God, he wanted Kyuhyun inside him, so much he couldn't find the words to articulate it. Instead, he spread his legs wider, arching upwards with every kiss. He caught one of Kyuhyun's hands as they journeyed beneath his shirt and pressed it against the hardness in his jeans, watching the taller man's eyes cloud with arousal.
A wolf whistle made his heart stop in his chest, and they straightened awkwardly, jumping off the bonnet and grimacing at the two Chinese men laughing hysterically from the back seat. 'Keep going, guys,' laughed Zhoumi, 'this is as close as we'll get to television for a good long while.' Henry didn't seem to understand the situation but smiled along nonetheless.
Embarrassment flooded him, but the hilarity of the situation quickly overtook the emotion, and at the sound of Kyuhyun’s restrained chuckles he simply broke down, hiding his red face in his hands as laughter shook him.
Even when half the world was dead you just couldn’t get any privacy.