Title: Cold and Damp
Pairing: Hanchul, Kyumin, Kangteuk
Warnings: Vomit, and lots of peas. Swearing.
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.intro
Jungsu heard muffled voices as he drifted in and out of consciousness, feeling a little disoriented. He heard footsteps getting closer to him, and he could tell there was someone standing near.
‘Is he okay?’
‘Does he need medicine?’
‘What if he doesn’t wake up?’
‘Heechul, shut up.’ Jungsu croaked, ‘I’m trying to sleep.’
‘Sorry for worrying, jeez.’ Heechul huffed, moving Jungsu’s legs from where they were stretched out on the sofa and sitting down, placing them back onto his lap. Jungsu nuzzled back into the cushion he was lying on, he felt like lead, the sleepless nights catching up with him. Heechul wouldn’t stop talking, either, as usual.
Years of being with the other man gave him a skill most would kill for – simply ignoring him. He felt himself drift off again, feeling a little bit sorry for the Chinese boy – Hankyung was it? – Who’d have to put up with Heechul while he was asleep.
‘What happened to the other guy? You didn’t leave him in there, did you?’ Hankyung asked, standing up and crossing his arms like a parent scolding his child.
Hankyung groaned quietly, sprinting back to the warehouse. ‘Leave him, he deserves to suffer.’ Heechul grumbled from behind.
‘Well, I have no reason to leave him there, and I’m not going to leave those shutters open, either. With the noise that car made on its way in, those things outside will catch on soon enough.’
He found Youngwoon lying on his back, face tensed up as if deep in thought. He jumped when he realised Hankyung was standing there before he sat up and looked at him warily. The Chinese man walked straight past him and closed the shutters before walking back.
Youngwoon half expected him to keep on walking, and tensed a little when he stopped in front of him, crouching down to eye-level. 'You said you hurt your feet?' the stranger smiled, he had an accent and his face looked foreign, Youngwoon noticed. 'Are you okay?' Youngwoon blinked and nodded, stuttering.
'Sorry, I stood on some glass...' he winced as he felt the foreigner touch his left foot, giving him a look of apology when he saw his reaction, 'I think it's infected. Who are you again?' he asked, feeling a little guilty at how rude he must have sounded. The foreigner just smiled at him, though. Youngwoon noticed he was holding something in his free hand, a small first aid kit.
'I used to work here. My name is Hankyung.' he moved Youngwoons foot to a better position on his knee, opening the green box with a click and taking out a small pair of tweezers. Youngwoon clenched his teeth in preparation.
'How long have you been here with Heechul?' Youngwoon asked, eyes trained on the ceiling to distract him from whatever Hankyung was going to do to his foot.
'Just a day. You two don't seem to like each other, why is that?'
Youngwoon chuckled, 'I think it would be more accurate to say we hate each others guts.' he gasped when he felt a shard of glass ripped from his foot, balling his fists and breathing in slow, steady breaths. 'I wouldn't want to be friends with Heechul's type anyway. How did you survive a whole day with him?' another jolt of hot, searing pain ran across his nerves, 'I'll take a wild guess that he's tried it on with you already.'
'Well, I'm not going to judge someone I've only known one day, I think he's rather nice. A little abrupt, maybe, but he means well.' the foreigner replied, eyes trained on the task at hand. He'd never done first aid before, and was surprised it was going so well. He didn't tell Youngwoon that, of course. Youngwoon laughed mirthlessly, shaking his head a little.
'You shouldn't trust him.'
'Who said I do?'
'He does that to people. That's why Jungsu stays with him. He tricks them into liking him, and then he throws himself at you.' his face scrunched up, as if sucking a lemon, 'it's sick.'
'You sound jealous.' Hankyung teased, setting the tweezers aside and taking a bandage from the small first aid kit.
'Of Heechul?' he looked back at the foreigner, seeing him nod as he gently wrapped the thin, stretchy fabric around his foot. 'Why would I be jealous of him?'
'It seems like Jungsu pays more attention to him than you.'
'That's because Heechul keeps him away from me,' he could feel his anger rising, why was he telling all this to a stranger? He remembered quickly when he felt a sharp pain shoot through his other foot, throwing his head back again and gritting his teeth.
'And why does he do that?'
'That's none of your business, what are you, a therapist?' he growled, 'Anyway, you should stay away from Heechul, his type are like a plague.'
'Type?' Hankyung inquired, taking out another bandage.
'Faggots, gays, homo's, you know.' Youngwoon winced when he felt the bandage tighten more than necessary, Hankyung standing abruptly, pulling Youngwoon roughly to his feet. 'What're you doing, fuck!' he hissed, the pressure of the hard floor against his feet setting his nerves alight.
Hankyung pulled Youngwoon's arm around his neck, letting him rest some of his weight on his shoulder as he walked them out into the department store. His face had gone from calm and friendly to cold and tense in the blink of an eye, his grip tight on Youngwoon's arm.
'I can see why Heechul doesn't like you. If you're going to be staying here, I'd request you change that attitude of yours. There's no place for people like you here – and I only have enough tolerance to let you stay here till your feet are healed. Say things like that again and I'll throw you right back out.' He pushed Youngwoon down onto a bench, away from where the rest of the group were. 'Half the time homophobia is just a sign of deep-rooted denial.' and Youngwoon could only sit, his mouth wide in astonishment.
He hadn't the time to think of a snappy retort before the man was gone, leaving him to seethe and brood over how he'd just been treated.
Obviously, Heechul had worked his poison on Hankyung, too.
Sungmin felt warm, much warmer than he'd felt in a while, and shifting a little he felt the friction of a blanket wrapped tightly around himself. He groaned, clamping his eyes shut against the bright lights and pushing his head back into the soft cushion he was lying on. He didn't feel as sick any more, and his migraine had calmed down, he only felt hungry. Extremely hungry.
'Kyuhyun...' he mumbled, knowing the boy was next to him. He sat up a little when he didn't get a reply, smiling when his eyes focused and revealed the lanky teen with his head tilted back against the headrest of the couch, drool rolling down his chin and a quiet gargling sound coming from his throat.
He didn't know whether it was adorable or disgusting.
He reached out and wiped the line of spit away with the edge of his blanket, gently as to not disturb his sleep; he knew he needed it. Kyuhyun had been carrying him the whole time, only letting him down when he threatened to vomit down his back – and even then he wouldn't let him walk without support.
He'd never seen the other boy care so much; in fact, Sungmin usually found him to be quite ignorant at times. It was almost as if he were in his own world, completely detached from other people. They talked sometimes, when neither of them could sleep and when Kyuhyun got tired of playing that silly game on his laptop, and Sungmin found he was nice - Smarmy, but nice. He was also extremely intelligent, excelling in maths and science – he'd never help Sungmin with his assignments, though.
Like when he’d asked Kyuhyun to help him with his maths assignment, he’d told him to do it himself and ignored him the rest of the night. He'd found neat, concise little revision notes under his pillow when he woke up, and when he'd looked, he'd found Kyuhyun passed out on the floor covered in paper and pink highlighter. He didn’t tell him he knew about it – the boy had too much pride – but he didn’t forget to give him a peck on the cheek before he left. It was no secret that he liked Kyuhyun, somewhere between his indifference and snarky attitude, he’d found someone he thought was endlessly interesting. Sungmin had a soft spot for intelligence.
He could hear voices behind him and sat up weakly to look over the back of the sofa. He saw three men, one looking somewhat comatose curled up on the sofa and the other two apparently deep in conversation. Kyuhyun hadn’t told him there would be other people here, in fact; where was... here?
‘Excuse me?’ he chirped, sitting up properly and resting his forearms on the back of the couch. The men didn’t notice him at first, facing in the opposite direction, so he called again a little louder, wincing when the words scratched at his sore throat. He recognised them instantly when they turned towards him. The taller boys name escaped him, but he’d seen him around campus – and everyone knew Kim Heechul. The figure on the couch shifted a bit, and Sungmin recognised him as the guy next door, Park Jungsu.
‘Oh,’ the taller boy exclaimed, ‘I almost forgot about you two. Are you hungry?’
‘Are you gonna make more rice?’ Heechul jumped up, clutching his arm like a starving man.
‘I don’t think it has the correct nutritional values for someone who is obviously malnourished and suffering from-‘
‘Don’t talk like that, you sound dull.’
‘I’ll just find something to eat…’ Sungmin mumbled, the two not even acknowledging him as he skulked off in search of food.
And that’s how Sungmin found himself in the food aisle, vomiting the world and all of its wonders into a freezer full of peas.
‘I’ve never seen so much vomit.’
‘I’ve never seen so many peas.’
It had been two hours since they’d realised just how long the smaller stranger from earlier had been gone, finding him lying in a pool of his own stomach content, resulting in Heechul spilling his own at the sight. Hankyung decided to name it mass regurgitation, and thanked the Gods he had a stomach of steel.
He'd tried to carry the boy upstairs and clean him up, only to be met with his companion - his extremely angry companion. He'd practically snatched the boy out of Hankyung's arms and walked away, not forgetting to throw one last glare over his shoulder before getting into the elevator Hankyung was headed towards. He seemed really friendly.
Heechul, quite obviously, made a huge drama out of the incident and demanded he get started on fixing up a shower like he'd promised that morning.
'I stink' whined Heechul, punching Hankyung hard in the shoulder when the latter nodded at his observation. He'd changed his clothes but the smell still clung to him. 'Where are we going, anyway? Why is it so dark?'
'Scared?' another punch and a look to kill told Hankyung not to push it, 'We're going to the basement' he replied, 'the building has a propane system, I have to turn it on.'
'Oh.' they walked a few more paces, the stairwell growing darker as they went, before Heechul's head snapped up again, 'Why didn't you turn it on this morning?'
'Bullshit, that tap water was fucking freezing, I could've caught hypothermia or someth-'
'Watch your step.'
'It's fine saying that after I've fallen.' Heechul spat, patting himself off, but still keeping his pace matched with Hankyung's, the latter only smiling at the obviously disgruntled man beside him, chuckling under his breath when they walked further into the darkness and he felt Heechul's hand find his and grip it tightly. 'Didn't you bring a flash-light or something?'
'Keep your voice down, I don't know what's down here.' He pulled a small torch from his belt, flicking a button on the side and squinting as the bright light strained his eyes, barely illuminating five feet in front of them.
They were in a large, damp room; boilers lined up along the far right hand wall and hardware tools stacked high on racks throughout the wide space. Hankyung didn't tell Heechul he'd never actually seen the propane system before, and that he actually had no idea where he was going to find it.
'Hankyung' Heechul whispered, gripping his hand a little tighter all of a sudden.
'Can you hear that?' their voices echoed in the room, a thick silence dragging out as Hankyung listened, only hearing the rhythmic drip-dropping of the boilers and a slow shuffling far to his left.
'Shit,' he span, pulling Heechul close as he shone his small torch quickly from side to side, eyes searching wildly for anything unusual, lurking in the darkness. There were too many racks and shelves around them, obscuring his view and making him panic a little.
'Hankyung, the fuck is going on?' Heechul hissed into his ear, 'You said you'd secured the building.'
'I forgot about the basement. he returned the tight grip on Heechul's hand, eyes still scrutinising the room for any slight movement, straining in the dim light, 'Stay close, we're going back up.'
'Well, I'm not exactly going to wander off now, am I?' Heechul muttered under his breath, fisting his other hand in the back of Hankyung's shirt as they slowly retreated back up the steps, Hankyung not once peeling his gaze from the darkness, walking backwards with Heechul tugging at his hand as they went.