Title: Cold and Damp II [Dead Seoul]
Pairings: Hanchul, Kyumin, Kangteuk, (One Sided) Eunhae
Warnings: mentions of rape/abuse, 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 14As they fled through the woods the smell of death began to mix with something sulphuric, the smell of burning. They continuously had to stop as twigs and debris stabbed at Heechul's sore, bare feet. Eventually, as the sound of branches snapping only a few feet behind them grew more and more insistent, Hankyung had to carry him on his back. When they finally lost the group of undead that had been attracted to the gunshot, Heechul had fallen asleep. Hankyung lay him against a fallen tree trunk, taking the short moment of safety to rest. Running his fingers through Heechul’s tangled hair as he slept, still damp from his shower, he sighed. It wouldn’t be long now; there wasn’t much time left. He knew Heechul was trying to hide his fatigue, his hunger, but it was evident in the limpness of his limbs; the way his arms swung so loosely at his sides when he walked, how he swayed every now and then. He had a slight fever, and Hankyung tore a strip of material from his shirt, dabbing at his wet brow, his upper lip.
He’d never believed in any God, never felt the need to ask for help from a higher being, but in this moment he felt the sudden urge to pray.
Jungsu’s arms felt like lead, and his lungs ached from sobbing. He strove for air as he pulled Youngwoon’s dead-weight up the stairs. They’d argued and argued until Youngwoon had lost the energy to fight. Eventually he'd lay his head in Jungsu’s lap, and Jungsu had run his fingers through his hair until he'd fallen asleep. The way in which he gathered his things was almost mechanical, numbly checking his supplies. He’d checked the house for car keys and found the households family car parked outside. When he’d readied the vehicle, it finally hit him. Youngwoon wouldn’t be coming with him this time. Youngwoon wouldn’t be waking up – not as the same Youngwoon, at least.
Returning to the cellar and looking upon his slumped form where it lay still tangled in bedsheets with his messy hair, he’d tried to make himself believe he really had just fallen asleep, that he’d stir any moment and frown at him and ask him why he was staring. No longer how long he waited he didn’t move. There was no rise and fall of his chest, not a single snore. The tears didn’t come until he was halfway up the stairs and his back was protesting from the weight of the man in his arms. He dragged his body across the living room floor, scattered paper collecting beneath him.
When he was outside he simply stood over Youngwoon’s body and cried until he couldn’t cry any more. From then on, it was a numb blur. He was utterly spent, spiralling into a deeper misery than he thought possible. His body moved without conscious decision as he gathered flammables, found a box of matches.
The smell was terrible, but he found himself frozen to the spot. The smoke would attract unwanted guests, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave. It was hot against his face as he stood there, mesmerised. He just couldn't bring himself to toss Youngwoon's body into the flames. In his mind it was all he could see; visions of Youngwoon's flesh blackened and burnt, sloughing off the bone. He'd see Youngwoon’s eyes open in the haze of smoke, but then his eyes would be gone, trickling down what would have been his face.
He was still there by nightfall, even as the fire was dwindling to cinders. A soft red glow was cast on his devastated face. He was so utterly lost in his misery that he didn’t notice the soft whisper of the grass, the heavy breathing behind him. He jumped as a hand was laid upon his shoulder, a firm grip shaking him from his numbness, and he looked up in a horrified stupor to find himself staring into the eyes of a familiar face.
a/n: ITS BACK!!!!
it's been a while and i'm forgetting what kind of state the characters were supposed to be in at this point argh. Suju are so different to the way they were when I first started writing this - Hankyung was still there! thats how long ago i started writing this thing! I feel a bit odd writing Kyumin now that Sungmin is married, feels disrespectful in a way but alas he won't be reading this trash so I guess we're OK!
Also made some small changes to Jungsu&Youngwoon's story in the previous chapters!
They reeked like rotten meat, cooped up together for almost a week, driving endlessly and aimlessly into the dark. They smelt so bad that they couldn't even smell it anymore, that the air occassionally fluttering through the half-open windows smelt odd and made them lightheaded. Hyukjae couldn't recall the last time he'd tasted the fresh minty sting of too much toothpaste, or the sensation of cold water dripping down his sweat-soaked back. It had been Donghae's idea to head for the mountains - if all else failed, surely there'd be some wildlife to hunt and some natural springs to gather water and bathe in relative safety.
The air here was clearer, too fresh for their stuffy lungs. Everything seemed untouched by the horror of Seoul, and at one point, through the haze of a daydream, Donghae had exclaimed suddenly that he swore he'd caught sight of a farmer swinging a cane as he strolled through a steep patch of farmland. Hyukjae hadn't denied it outright, he couldn't crush Donghae's excitement like that, but he didn't believe it. They were clinging to a false, fraying thread of hope now, to hope for humanity here would be foolish. But as the car climbed further and further into the mountains, Hyukjae's conviction started to waver. His eyes were red-rimmed from lack of sleep and sometimes he'd startle as he noticed the car swaying during a sudden bout of drowsiness, his whole body exhausted to the bone and his lips cracked from dehydration. He knew it was impossible, that his health was deteriorating and causing him to hallucinate, but sometime's he'd see things too. Sometimes his eyes would wander to the forest to his side, and he'd swear he'd catch sight of people carrying baskets, of children running through the trees. Figments of his imagination, nothing more. To hope would bring nothing but disappointment.
But in the end, what they came upon couldn't be reasoned away as an hallucination or a fantasy, it was real, before their eyes. The forests and hillsides dropped away until they were on a well-swept dirt road, traditional houses rising up into the hills before them. People. People everywhere, villiagers, young and elderly, going about their daily lives. The markets were open and people were carrying baskets of fruit and vegetables, as if nothing was wrong. As if the country hadn't been reduced to ash and smoke, as if humans weren't feasting on the flesh of their kin.
They didn't look at eachother or say a word, stepping from the car in shock and looking at the scene before them with slack mouths. How could this be real?
A door to their left shut with a slam, and they both jumped at the sudden noise, breaking them from their moment of dumbstruck awe. An Ajumma appeared from within, noticing them with a crinkly smile as she tottered towards them eagerly. She took Donghae's hand with trembling, rough hands and patted it reverently, looking up at him with unabashed joy.
'Ah, it's been so long since we had tourists! We were wondering what on Earth had happened, people just don't seem to be visiting anymore, and the trains aren't running-' Her accent was thick and hard to understand, and she paused, gasping as her scrunched up eyes widened minutely. She cupped Donghae's cheeks abruptly, making him let out a quiet squeak in surprise. The height difference meant she had to stand on her tiptoes. '-Look at you! So thin! So pale! Come with me,' she caught sight of Hyukjae properly as she bustled past the car, Donghae's thin wrist firmly in her strong grip, 'And you! What on Earth has happened in the city, sending you boys here in this state! I won't stand for it, I won't!'
She hobbled furiously to the other side of the street, and the scene caused a few mildly curious stares from the few passersby. All Hyukjae could do was share a mute, awestruck glance with Donghae before he was tugged along too, into a nearby house. Once inside, the old lady didn't relent her grip until she'd ushered them into the sitting room and flailed her hands wildly, indicating they should sit. 'Unbelievable, the second time in just a few months!' She muttered and she bustled around the room, 'Another young man came up not too long ago, covered in filth! Said he climbed the railroad track all the way up the mountain! Poor boy was covered in blood and God knows what else. Sit, Sit! You boys look like you haven't eaten well in months, I won't stand for it.' She finally left the room, muttering as she went.
As soon as their knees touched the cool, comfortable floor, they slumped against eachother, letting out a deep, chesty sigh in unison. It was too much to take in. The house smelt like nuts and spices and old wood, and Hyukjae was suddenly struck with embarrassment at the state they were both in, a longing for a shower stirring in him. He felt Donghae's shoulder trembling against his, and turned to him expecting tears, only to find him laughing softly.
'What's funny?' He asked incredulously, raising an eyebrow.
'I feel like I've just woken up from a ridiculous dream. One of those where it seems so bad while you're asleep but once you wake up it's just so stupid you wonder what all the fuss was about, why it upset you so much.' He shook his head. 'How can this be real? I know it wasn't a dream, I don't think I've had a dream in months...'
'I don't know either.' Hyukjae whispered, leaning his head upon Donghae's shoulder softly. 'I'm too tired to think about it, it's too much to absorb.'
'Yeah. Way too much.'
Hyukjae couldn't recall falling asleep, but when he opened his eyes they'd both slumped to the floor in a tangled heap, Donghae snoring gently against his knee and the scent of hot homecooked food filling his nostrils. His stomach lurched in anticipation, at this point he wasn't sure he'd even be able to keep the food down. He'd never been this hungry in his life, and the idea of throwing up the food so kindly offered to him was horrifying. He tapped Donghae's shoulder gently to rouse him, but the sleeping boy only grumbled grumpily, nuzzling his head further into the nook of Hyukjae's knee. He slapped him heartily on the back, causing him to sit up straight with a shout, a well aimed jab to Hyukjae's gut following only moments afterwards, cutting off his short-lived giggle.
They both startled and sat up stiffly, bowing softly when the Ajumma returned daintily through the doorway with dishes of steaming food. Hyukjae felt his mouth water at the sight, almost forgetting his manners before he stood in an attempt to help her with the following bowls, but the old woman refused, heartily shooing him away and insisting he sit down. 'I have help, you rest! You look like death, both of you.'
She shuffled away again, and Donghae shifted closer to the table, eager to begin his meal but wary of being rude by starting without the host. It was almost torturous to look at the steaming rice and fried pancakes and not be able to dig in. He felt himself let out a breath he hadn't realised he'd been holding when the Ajummah returned with more bowls and dishes, hobbling over with a smile. She sat down nimbly for her age, grinning. Just as Hyukjae was anticipating her to begin the meal, she turned slightly and leaned out to the hallway, calling to someone. 'Young man, why are you hovering about, come and eat! These boys look about your age, introduce yourself!'
Hyukjae inwardly grumbled at the additional visitor halting his meal, but moved to rise in greeting fluidly. He and Donghae only managed to get to their knees before the world seemed to turn upside down.
'Well, I never thought I'd see these two faces again, nonetheless here.'
Donghae gripped Hyukjae's bicep like a vice, fingers trembling.
It was dark in the house, shadows creeping up the walls and stretching across the floor where Heechul cradled Jungsu in his arms, the crackling of the hearth lighting their features and painting everything in sepia. The floorboards creaked as Hankyung wandered around the house, checking for any signs of vulnerabilty and securing the windows and doors. Jungsu hadn't left Heechul's embrace since they'd locked eyes in the garden, and Heechul couldn't bring himself to let go of the skeleton that lay in his arms, barely warmed by the flames. The only sign that Jungsu was even alive was the soft breaths against Heechul's neck, the intermittent tightening of his fingers where they were balled in Heechul's shirt.
Jungsu hadn't surrendered Youngwoon. He'd spent hours watching the flames burn to ash and cinders, his eyes full of smoke whilst his breath made vapour in the crisp autumn night and Youngwoon's lifeless body lay face-down in the damp grass. When Hankyung had stumbled into the garden, blood on his forehead and a rigidity in his posture as if he was ready to fight or flee at a moments notice, Jungsu had felt the tension, the pain and the despair flood out of him in a great sigh; and when Heechul appeared behind, striding towards him with blank disbelief on his face, he felt pure relief, hope, and the fight went out of him at last. Now he could rest, he thought. When Heechuls arms wrapped around his cold, weak body, he'd gone limp, content to let Heechul catch him - content to be cared for, to not be on ege, to no longer be in fear of every touch or glance.
His mouth had lost the ability to make sound, his mind utterly ravaged and laid to waste by the stress of everything, and like a dead weight he'd let them pull him away from Youngwoon, let them warm him and hold him close. He was safe now, he could let go.
Heechul smoothed Jungsu's knotted, greasy hair away from his ghostly face, his cheekbones stark in the shadows cast from the fire and making him look more dead than alive. His heart was breaking, seeing Jungsu like this. Even in the two-tone light, he could see how pale Jungsu was, though he knew he looked much the same. When he'd caught sight of Jungsu through the smoke, sitting there like the world was falling around him, his heart had faltered in its weak rythm and he thought he'd finally succumbed to his hunger, his exhaustion; that he was hallucinating, finally giving in to the toil of their journey or whatever curse was in his blood. It wasn't until he'd laid his hands upon Jungsu's trembling shoulders that he'd allowed himself to believe that, yes, Jungsu was here. Jungsu was alive. His Jungsu.
He hadn't noticed Youngwoon lying only centimetres from him, not until Hankyung had stepped cautiously towards him, palm outstretched and a finger to his lips to signal Heechul to stay still and silent. Then he saw the prone body laid out on the grass, ash in his hair. His heart had jumped into his throat, and he clinged to Jungsu, pulling him away from the corpse, and wildly checking his weak, unresisting body for cuts or scratches or anything to suggest he'd been attacked by the dead man beside him. But there was nothing but bruises on his pale white skin, and a haunted, distant look in his eyes.
Hankyung was methodical and calm, shifting his weight to kneel slowly, pulling a pistol from his back pocket - the gun Heechul had shot only minutes before - and aiming it steadily at the corpses head, using his other hand to roughly push the heavy body onto its back before shifting away cautiously. The air left Heechul's lungs in a rush as Youngwoon's head lolled towards him. He was frightening to behold, truly. Human skin shouldn't be that colour, and veins ran over every inch of exposed flesh, his lips a deep purple. For a long moment Heechul could only think of how different Youngwoon looked now that he was slimmer, barely recognisable under the chubby cheeks that had defined him for as long as he'd known him.
Hankyung moved, the grass whispering and breaking the short, tense silence that had fallen. He adressed Jungsu when he spoke, clearly and calmly but softly enough that he wouldn't startle the obviously traumatised man before him.
'How long has he been dead?' Jungsu only shook his head in response, a beat too late as his eyes focused on a patch of grass, glassy and distant. Hankyung frowned at Heechul, grimacing as he turned his attention back to Youngwoon's body. 'It looks like he was going to burn him, but I suppose he couldn't bring himself to do it.' Hankyung assessed, speaking as if Jungsu wasn't there.
Heechul wondered for a moment if Hankyung would be able to do the same when the time came, when Heechul would turn for good and nothing could be done. Would Hankyung kill him calmly, burn him until nothing was left? It made him feel cold, goosebumps rising on his skin. Hankyung turned his gaze toward him, and Heechul's thoughts felt sour, the questions burning on his tongue, but he swallowed the flame and directed his bitterness towards Youngwoon's memory instead. 'I should've killed the bastard when I had the chance.' He muttered disdainfully, unable to meet Hankyung's steady gaze and instead focusing on Jungsu.
Hankyung shifted, getting to his feet in a fluid motion as he studied their surroundings with scrutiny. He looked back and forth between Jungsu and Youngwoon for a moment before crouching once again, thoughtfully, and slowly pressing his fingers to Youngwoon's pulse point. His shoulders jumped slightly, enough to catch Heechul's eye from the corner of his vision, and he met Hankyung's bewildered expression. 'Heechul,' he started carefully, seriously, 'He has a pulse.'
Hankyung was sitting on the sofa, elbows resting on his knees and hands clasped before him as if deep in thought. He probably was. Bastard was always thinking about something. Sometime's he wanted to be in on whatever plans were formulating in his mind instead of always following behind.
'What should we do about him?' Heechul asked distantly, seeing Hankyung jump slightly at the sudden question. It had been a while since either of them had spoken so much as a word.
He took a moment before answering. 'Youngwoon or Jungsu?'
'-Youngwoon, obviously!' Heechul snapped irritably, voice still low so as not to startle Jungsu from his delicate slumber. He hadn't meant to be so brittle, but his nerves were on edge and he was bone tired, the tediosity of the situation grinding him to the bone.
Hankyung didn't flinch away from Heechul's foul mood, simply sighing wearily and shifting in his seat. 'All we can do is wait, unless you want me go out there and seal the deal right now?' It was a rhetorical question, and Heechul scoffed. 'Jungsu's too weak to go anywhere for a while, and there's no food in the house so I'll have to hop over a few fences to scout around and see what I can find in the neighbourhood.' Hankyung paused, raking a hand through his short hair. 'The house seems secure, it'll be good for us to rest for a while... regroup and get our thoughts together. We can't run around aimlessly now, we need a plan.'
Heechul heard the unspoken words, that they needed a plan because there was no time left. 'How can you be so calm, you bastard, I feel like I'm dying over here.' The words hadn't sounded so dark in his head, but as they rolled off his tongue he recoiled from them like a gunshot. He thought he saw Hankyung frown briefly, but he suddenly let out a short breath, almost a laugh.
'If you recall, I had a gun pointed at Sungmin not too long ago. I wouldn't call that calm.' He said wryly, avoiding the awkwardness that should have followed Heechul's remark. Heechul was happy to avoid it, too.
'You made a decision and followed it through, it wasn't a rash decision. I have no idea what I'm doing, where we're going. Why we're even bothering.' He looked away, tired of his train of thought. His shoulders slumped as he watched Jungsu sleep against his shoulder. 'I don't want Jungsu to see me like this, to see what I'm turning into.'
The sofa squeaked and Hankyung walked softly over to him, crouching beside him briefly to wrap a strong arm around his waist and squeeze. 'You haven't become anything,' Heechul felt the word yet ache to leave his tongue, 'and you never will. That's the plan, and it's a plan I intend on seeing through.' He released his comforting hold on Heechul's waist and Heechul felt the warmth of it tingling on his skin. A strong hand ruffled his hair and he let out an irritated whine. 'Stop thinking, you're not very good at it.' The Chinese man punctuated the statement with a quick, chaste kiss to Heechul's cheek before dodging out of the way of the lazy punch Heechul threw, careful not to jolt Jungsu. He danced up and away lightly, a quiet smile on his face as he wandered into the kitchen, bypassing the bag of guns and instead searching around for blunt and sharp utensils. When he returned he stopped in the doorway, letting a beat pass before speaking again. 'I'm going to check the houses around here, I won't be long. If you hear something, don't do anything stupid. I'll tap the window four times when I come back, don't open it for any other reason, no matter what.'
Heechul scoffed half-heartedly, sticking his nose in the air and muttering under his breath as Hankyung opened the back door, 'When have I ever done anything stupid.'
Hankyung caught his grumble, though, laughing quietly without turning around, 'If you search your name on Google, it gives you synonyms for short-tempered, abrupt and dumbass.' He quipped before closing the door quietly behind him.
The darkness seemed to close in around Heechul, then. Any other time an exhange of that type between them would have lifted his spirits, made something burn in his chest, but now he couldn't seem to fight the despair boiling away in his mind. He gently detached Jungsu from his shoulder, setting him down on the wooden floor, warmed by the fire. Standing, he stretched his wobbly legs before pulling a throw from the sofa and wrapping it tightly around Jungsu's curled up body. The man was thin as a rake.
He gave Jungsu a lingering look before stepping over to the patio door, pulling the curtain aside gently. Hankyung was no longer in sight, and his eyes fell upon Youngwoon's body, still lying there on the damp ground. A thin sheet of rain had started to fall, and his clothes were plastered to him now, droplets running down his face like tears. They'd decided to leave him out there, even if he had a pulse there was no telling when he'd finally turn. If he turned out there, at least they'd have walls and glass between them, or he'd wander into the night and out of thought, joining the rest of the undead. Killing him would destroy Jungsu, he was sure, and he couldn't do that to his friend. If Youngwoon had to die, it had to be by Jungsu's hand, or he'd never have closure.
Heechul stood there for a while in silence, thoughts lingering on what remained of the man who lay out there like an offering to whatever cruel Gods were up there watching them. There had been times he'd gotten along with Youngwoon, though they were few and far between, short and fleeting. He could be funny at times, teasing like a rough older brother, but Heechul couldn't forgive him for the way he'd treated Jungsu. It was always at the front of his mind whenever they interacted, always souring whatever semblance of acquaintance they could have reached.
How many times had he wished death upon him, and now he was exactly where he'd always thought he'd wanted him. And he found he didn't feel anything like he'd thought he would, feelings like relief, gratification or a sense of justification. Now, if anything, he felt regret, disappointment. He felt cheated out of his revenge.
He let the curtain fall shut, turning back to where Jungsu was curled up on the laminate looking frail and vulnerable in the glow of the fireplace. He took his seat beside him again, watching him sleep for a moment. He looked peaceful, more peaceful than he'd been even before all this crazy shit had happened. He'd always been a restless sleeper, frown lines in place and hands balled up in the sheets from whatever stress plagued his dreams, but now he looked the complete opposite.
Heechul picked absently at the flaking blood left in his hair, caked around his neck. He was too tired to feel grimy and his body felt like a lead weight, the strength completely gone from him. Hankyung had carried him all the way to the house, but he'd forgotten his exhaustion when he'd seen Jungsu, a blaze of energy burning through him. But the flame he'd felt burning then was burnt to embers now, cooling in his chest like a lump of smouldering coal. His feet were blistered and he stretched them closer to the fire, bending his toes with a grimace. Whatever food Hankyung was looking for... it wasn't for Heechul. He knew that, though it went unspoken. It was to restore Hankyung's strength, Jungsu's strength, so they could keep Heechul going for as long as they could. It made his stomach turn, the thought of feeding on Jungsu. Would he lose his rationality in the end, going for any victim he could find? The thought was too much to bear. Jungsu would offer himself freely to save Heechul, but Heechul, for as long as he could, would never take the invitation. Not as long as he drew breath.
Jungsu's hand was light when he held it in his own, the veins stark through his almost translucent skin. He traced his thumb down Jungsu's bony wrist, following his skin to the elbow, his frown deepening and a bad taste settling at the back of his tongue with every inch of skin he revealed. The white faded into blue, blossomed into purple, finger prints in his flesh from rough, angry hands. His grip tightened for a second, and he heard Jungsu groan weakly before pulling his hand away too quickly, his body recoiling from the contact as he sat up with an animalistic wariness in his eyes. It was as if he didn't recognise Heechul for a moment, his eyes roaming his face for a beat too long before defeat and sadness over came his features. His eyes were wet when he asked with a scratchy, rough voice, 'Are you real? Is it really you?'
Heechul nodded dumbly, not trusting his voice for a moment. It was only a while ago that Heechul had felt the same emotions Jungsu was currently experiencing, the overwhelming feeling that you're not as alone as you thought you were, that things might not be so awful after all. Jungsu turned his face to the flames for a moment, the light catching in his eyes and turning them gold. They were wet with fresh, unshed tears, and his lip quivered where he held it tightly with his teeth.
When Heechul reached out a hand, Jungsu's instinctive flinch didn't go unnoticed, and he gently turned Jungsu's face toward him, looking into his eyes with worry. His teeth were clenched tightly together, desperately trying to hold in a sob, and his shoulders trembled like a growing storm. It was only when Heechul dragged him into a tight embrace that Jungsu let his wounds lay bare, tears spilling down his cheeks as he balled his fists in the back of Heechul's shirt. His sobs came out like wails, and Heechul had to rock him gently to calm him, quiet the agony that was spilling from Jungsu's lips in case someone - something - heard them.
'What happened, Jungsu?' He whispered hoarsely, his shoulder growing damper by the second. 'What did he do to you this time?'
How many times had they been in this exact position back at college? Jungsu sobbing about whatever Youngwoon had done to hurt him, Heechul not knowing the right words to say to ease the heartache. Even with the world burning around them, their problems were still the same. Tiny and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but glaringly difficult to overcome even when their lives were at stake.
Jungsu's reply came so slowly and quietly, Heechul had stopped expecting a reply, content to hold him as he wept, clutching the pieces of Jungsu to his chest as if he was broken china. But the sobs slowly subsided, Jungsu's breaths becoming hiccups, his wails turning to sniffles. When the words left Jungsu's mouth, softly whispered against his ear, Heechul felt himself go weak with the pain in Jungsu's voice, the horror of the reality Jungsu had been living, the hell Heechul hadn't been there to save him from.
'He raped me.' He rasped, 'Over and over again, and I did nothing. He was so kind to me before, so gentle, I didn't know what I'd done wrong, why he was treating me this way. But last night he was different, he was gentle and I was so confused. The soft touches hurt more than the rough ones, and I hated him so much. I can't explain it... I still can't stop loving him, even after what he's done. He was so different last night, I hadn't noticed until the last moment what he'd become, how he looked...' He choked, shaking his head against Heechul's shoulder, 'He wasn't the same Youngwoon I've known, not these past few weeks. Not since he was bitten. It wasn't him hurting me, I know it.'
Heechul felt bitterness rising in him, his black hatred for Youngwoon and the urge to slap the naivety out of Jungsu burning in his chest, but he let Jungsu continue.
'If he stood up in that garden right now, I'd go with him. Dead or alive. I wouldn't hesitate.'
'I wouldn't let you.' Heechul whispered sternly. He wouldn't, even if it killed him. Jungsu had seen too much pain already, Heechul would never let him feel it again, not for as long as he still drew breath. He'd never let him out of his sight again. 'You're with me and Hankyung now, we're going to think of a plan or something. We'll fix everything, we have to fix everything.'
He felt Jungsu's grip on his shirt loosen, detaching himself from Heechul slowly until they sat face to face. His eyes were swollen red and he sniffed weakly, a wry smile on his lips. 'You look like shit, Heechul.' He croaked, a spark of life reaching his eyes again, the old Jungsu alive somewhere in this husk of a man, and Heechul felt a smile bloom on his own lips in return.
'Don't we all?'