Fandom: VIXX (AU, !vampire)
Pairing: leo/n, ravi/hongbin
Word count: 7,159
Rating: R (for language, mostly, and some adult themes)
Summary: "This was a mistake," Hakyeon said.
A/N: And here is fic numbah two in the three day, er, spam? This one makes me cackle as I read it. Jaehwan is arguably the most enjoyable character to write. He's just such a pain in the ass. Enjoy.
Hakyeon didn't know what time it was, but he knew it was approaching dusk. Taekwoon kept snuffling, returning to the world of the living, so to speak. Hakyeon smiled at the top of his head, carding his hands through Taekwoon's hair.
He needed to leave. As much as he wanted to take the night off, play into the conversation he and Sanghyuk had had in the car, he didn't want to be mysteriously missing for a night so soon after they'd been taken off suspension. If he took tonight off he could be sure someone would stop by his apartment, and he wouldn't be there, and it wouldn't be good.
"I have to go," Hakyeon whispered, and Taekwoon clutched Hakyeon tighter, and Hakyeon sighed. "I have to."
"Stay," Taekwoon murmured. "Never go back."
Hakyeon laughed at that, softly. "I can't stay here forever."
"You could," Taekwoon said, very simply.
Hakyeon swallowed. "I—"
"The offer is there," Taekwoon said, so softly Hakyeon almost didn't hear it.
Hakyeon fell silent. Everything around him was so still, the only sound his own breathing. Finally he said, "I've been— thinking about stuff."
"Mm," Taekwoon murmured.
Another pause. "I'm considering the options. Our options."
Taekwoon hummed again, and this time, Hakyeon could tell it was an inquisitive hum.
"I don't have a decision," Hakyeon said. He added, barely above a whisper, "What do you want?"
Taekwoon shifted, scooting up the bed some so he and Hakyeon were at eye level. His face was carefully blank. "What I want doesn't matter. It's your decision to make." Hakyeon huffed, mouth twisting, and Taekwoon touched the side of his face lightly. "But you don't have to make it now."
Hakyeon held Taekwoon's gaze for a moment, and then looked away. He knew what Taekwoon wanted. It should make coming to a final decision easier, but it didn't. "No, now, I need to go."
"And you—" Hakyeon began, then stopped, trying to think how to word this. "You can't follow me around. Wait for another few days, at least. We do have people checking up on us. But I don't want you to just sit in here all night waiting for me to come back." Taekwoon blinked slowly. Hakyeon could tell he wasn't happy. He wasn't going to like this next bit any more. "I want to meet up with Wonshik."
Taekwoon scowled. "Wonshik is still a very new vampire. He's— not under control yet."
"But is he under control enough? He should be, by now," Hakyeon said. "If he could break Hongbin out without attacking any of the humans in HQ, I think he can manage to have a conversation with me." Taekwoon's expression was getting increasingly more surly. "I can't contact him. I'd need you to arrange it."
"You want me to pay Jaehwan a visit," Taekwoon said, voice flat. Forcefully flat.
"Pay Wonshik a visit," Hakyeon amended for him. "Please, Taekwoon."
Taekwoon didn't reply for a long few moments. Finally, he said slowly, "When and where do you want this meeting?"
Jaehwan sat reclined in his big leather armchair, laptop propped open in his lap. Even with the brightness dimmed to its lowest setting, he still had to wear a pair of sunglasses to keep the screen from hurting his eyes.
Wonshik was sitting on the couch across from him, staring at him in disdain as he sipped a blood bag. "I can't believe you watch Keeping Up With the fucking Kardashians."
"Do not deny me my few simple pleasures in my dull little life, Wonshik," Jaehwan drawled. "Some people like watching television, others enjoy cuddling with manic baby vampires and crying." Jaehwan stuck his lower lip out in an exaggerated pout. "We all have our vices."
Wonshik's upper lip curled, baring fangs. "I am realizing why Taekwoon left."
"Your words are like a silver dagger in my— oh, Kim, no that dress is awful—"
Wonshik stood, apparently fed up. "You're ridiculous." He disappeared down the hallway, probably going to check on Hongbin.
"I'm distraught," Jaehwan shouted after him, then huffed when he got no response.
Wonshik had been particularly prickly lately, and honestly, after Jaehwan had had his head bashed into his own marble flooring, he rather thought he deserved to be treated a little nicer. And those stains on the 15th century Chinese rug would never come out.
He knew Wonshik was just worried about Hongbin, but really, Jaehwan had assured him repeatedly that Crazy was absolutely fine. Hongbin had been rather lethargic lately, during the nights, not just the daylight hours, usually sleeping in until well after midnight, waking up just long enough to feed, and then falling back asleep again. Lather, rinse, repeat. It was all par on course for a vampire recovering after a year of being starved. His body had moved on from being desperately hungry, and was now onto conserving and building up energy to restore itself. It was a good thing. But Wonshik was pigheaded and stupid, working himself up over nothing.
Jaehwan glared at the hallway and hiked the volume of his laptop up even higher, so the sound of several of the sisters shouting at one another echoed through the apartment. He'd fallen terribly behind on all his shows ever since he'd turned Wonshik, with all the mentoring and hunting, so much responsibility. He deserved to take a load off.
Wonshik came back eventually, his hand wrapped around Hongbin's, pulling him along. Hongbin's eyes were half open, and he was moving slowly. He had a bit of blood on his collar, but other than that it seemed Wonshik had cleaned him up.
"We're going for a walk," Wonshik said, and Hongbin cracked a wide yawn, fangs run out just slightly.
Jaehwan raised an eyebrow. "Crazy is dead on his feet." He chuckled at his own joke, but all Wonshik did was frown.
"He wants to go, I think. He hasn't been out in a while," Wonshik said tightly.
Hongbin did, indeed, perk up a bit, looking at Wonshik hopefully. "Out?" he said.
Wonshik smiled, and began pulling him towards the door. "Yes, out." He glanced at Jaehwan before leaving and said, "We'll be back soon."
"Be careful," Jaehwan muttered as the metal door slammed shut behind them.
He turned the volume on his laptop down, suddenly finding the tinny voices grating. They seemed to echo more, when the house was empty.
Jaehwan hated being alone.
He had been watching the screen, barely taking anything in, for a few minutes, when there was a ripple along the house's wards, and Jaehwan sat up a little straighter, muting his computer. There was someone coming, a single set of footsteps, moving at human speed but too silent to be an actual human.
Jaehwan shut his laptop and placed it on his coffee table carefully, then he sat back in his chair, trying to look as regal and relaxed as possible.
The front door swung open once more, and Taekwoon stepped through it. He looked significantly calmer compared to last time, face settled into its usual sullen blankness. Jaehwan wasn't sure if he was relieved or disappointed.
"My dearest brother," Jaehwan said, standing and throwing his arms open, as if Taekwoon would come running into them. "It's been so long since you last came to visit and inflict mortal wounds upon me."
"It's been three weeks," Taekwoon said softly, shoving past Jaehwan so he could perch on the leather armchair. Jaehwan scowled. "And your wounds were not mortal."
"No, because I am not mortal," Jaehwan said easily, moving so he could sprawl across the sofa since Taekwoon had just so rudely claimed his seat. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
"I am here to speak to Wonshik," Taekwoon said, tilting his head to the side and listening for a moment, "but it would seem he is not here."
"He took Crazy for a walk, but they'll be back soon," Jaehwan said. "Is this about your little pet?" Taekwoon didn't reply, simply stared stonily at him. "I can't imagine why else you'd want to talk to Wonshik. Tell me, how is he coping with everything? Better than before?"
Taekwoon's eyes had narrowed. "Be careful," he said softly.
"Or what, you'll bash my head in again?" Jaehwan asked, affecting a wince. "You know you got blood on the rug our master brought back from Beijing. If he was alive, he'd be most displeased."
"It's a good thing he's dead then," Taekwoon said simply, and Jaehwan didn't have to fake a frown then.
"What is this about, Taekwoon?" he said, voice cooling.
"It is none of your business."
"Wonshik is my child, his business is always my business," Jaehwan said sweetly, and for a brief moment, Taekwoon's face rippled into a snarl, and Jaehwan was perversely pleased.
But then Taekwoon's face smoothed out once more. "Hakyeon wishes to see Wonshik. There is much that needs to be said between them."
"Oh," Jaehwan said, perking up. "A reunion? Lovely. Bring him here, I'll make sure Crazy doesn't eat him."
"No," Taekwoon said flatly. "Wonshik will come to Hakyeon's apartment, it is not safe for him here. And Hongbin cannot come. Not until he returns to himself."
"If he returns to himself," Jaehwan corrected, then he hummed. "Fine. That doesn't seem as fun, but we'll leave Hongbin here and go to meet your little human at his home instead. It'll be a party."
Taekwoon's eyes narrowed once more. "You cannot come either," he said, voice dipping dangerously.
"I can, and I am," Jaehwan said silkily. Taekwoon shifted, body tensing, like he was coiling to pounce on Jaehwan, while Jaehwan remained lax. "You can do whatever you want to me, Taekwoon, hurt me, shatter my bones, but Wonshik is my child, my blood, you know the power I have over him, even if he doesn't." Jaehwan leaned forward, staring at Taekwoon intently. "If I forbid Wonshik from ever seeing your little pet, he won't be able to disobey me," he whispered.
Taekwoon was scowling, hands balled into fists, and Jaehwan thought he was in for another bout of intense pain, but it didn't happen. "You can come," Taekwoon finally murmured, "but I cannot promise Hakyeon will allow you into his apartment."
"Of course," Jaehwan said good naturedly, smiling. "That decision is his, we'll leave it up to him." He cocked his head to the side. "From what Wonshik has told me, he seems rather... sweet. I do like sweet things. I'm sure we'll get along quite well."
Taekwoon growled, the sound deep in his chest, and Jaehwan simply grinned wider.
There was no moon out. Hakyeon figured that was a good thing. There tended to be more vamp activity on nights like tonight. It hopefully meant that HQ would be too busy trying to keep the damage to a minimum rather than coming around here, to see what exactly it was that had kept both Sanghyuk and Hakyeon "home" tonight.
Hakyeon had tried to talk Sanghyuk into going in without him, but Sanghyuk wouldn't hear of it. Nevermind the fact that it was suspicious, Sanghyuk could barely stand being in the same room as Taekwoon. Hakyeon didn't know how he was going to cope with an additional two vamps. But he was stubborn, like a fucking mule, or like Hakyeon himself, and wouldn't back down. So he was sitting on Hakyeon's couch sipping vodka. Again.
Hakyeon sighed. At least his chain was silent. No one had stopped by to look in on them yet.
"This was a mistake," Hakyeon said.
"Mm," Taekwoon said. He was leaned up against the wall beside the window Hakyeon was staring through. Sanghyuk took another swig of vodka.
"We should have had the meeting at your place," Hakyeon continued. His wards were prickling, just a bit, and they'd been doing this on and off all evening, but now Hakyeon's amulet was perking up some.
"Mm," Taekwoon said again, unblinking.
Hakyeon squinted at him. He was used to Taekwoon's taciturnity, but sometimes, it drove him a little up the wall. "Is grunting the only thing you're going to do tonight?"
Taekwoon nodded, just slightly. "Mm."
Hakyeon inhaled sharply, about to launch into some blistering speech, but then Hakyeon's amulet positively chirped, growing warm. He placed a hand over it. "They're here," he said, and Sanghyuk's hand faltered, making him slop a little of the vodka down his front.
Taekwoon closed his eyes and tipped his head back. "Mm."
Hakyeon shot him a look, but decided he could throttle him later. Instead, he took the glass from Sanghyuk's hand, deciding he'd had enough, and said, "Go into my bedroom." Sanghyuk looked like he might argue, something like despair on his face, but Hakyeon barked out, "Now," and Sanghyuk complied. He didn't look happy about it. "And don't come out until I get you," Hakyeon added.
Sanghyuk slammed the bedroom door shut behind him and Hakyeon sighed. He brought his hand up to eye level, watching as his fingers trembled. "I'm shaking," he said, the words catching. He was trying to smile but it was coming out as more of a grimace.
Taekwoon came over and gently wrapped his arms around Hakyeon, cradling him to his chest. He even pretended to breathe as he pressed his lips to Hakyeon's temple, and Hakyeon let out a little sob.
They stayed like that until the knock came on the door, Hakyeon's house wards rippling like the surface of a pond.
"Little pigs, little pigs, let us come in," an unfamiliar voice sing-songed from the other side of the wood, and Taekwoon growled.
"Jaehwan?" Hakyeon mouthed. Taekwoon nodded, and Hakyeon swallowed nervously. He pulled away from Taekwoon and made his way to the front door. He sensed rather than heard Taekwoon following on his heels, ever protective. For once Hakyeon was glad for it. He put his hand on the doorknob and, after steadying himself with a deep breath, tugged the door open.
Wonshik was standing there, on Hakyeon's welcome mat, as he'd done so many times before. He was dressed in his usual ensemble of a t-shirt and jeans with worn combat boots. He even had a baseball cap on, backwards and slightly tipped. But it wasn't right, something was horrifically off, like Hakyeon was looking at some grotesque imposter that had slipped into Wonshik's clothes and skin but wasn't him.
Hakyeon realized that as he was staring he'd stopped breathing, and he worked to gasp in a few lungfuls of air, swaying a bit. Taekwoon came up behind him to place steadying hands on his shoulders.
"I'm okay," Hakyeon gasped, finding he barely had the air for it. "I'm okay."
"You need to invite us in," that unfamiliar voice said, and then there was a face peeking around Wonshik, grinning widely. Large nose, pointy ears, black hair. Hakyeon's brain was working enough to process that this was Jaehwan.
It took another few moments for the words to sink in. Taekwoon had said he shouldn't let Jaehwan in, but— "Yes," Hakyeon mumbled, "yes, you can come in."
Taekwoon's hands tightened slightly on Hakyeon's shoulders and he pulled him away from the door as Wonshik and Jaehwan stepped over the threshold, and Hakyeon let him, leaning against his chest gratefully. It wasn't right, seeing Wonshik move with that oily grace. It wasn't right.
Hakyeon's house wards weren't happy with any of this. So much vampire traffic was going to wear the poor things out fast, and Kyungsoo would have to come back soon to work on them again. Between them and the tattoos Hakyeon could hardly think.
"Hi, I'm Jaehwan. Good to meet you, Hakyeonnie," Jaehwan said, smiling widely, fangs run out. He was wearing tight black jeans with a crisp, pale blue button down shirt tucked into them. His belt and boots were leather, simple but elegant. He put Hakyeon in mind of a trust fund college kid.
Taekwoon was making a noise deep in his chest that Hakyeon had never heard before. It made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. Hakyeon didn't get a chance to reply.
"Is someone else here?" Wonshik asked, looking everywhere but at Hakyeon's face. Even his voice sounded wrong.
"Sanghyuk," Hakyeon said numbly, and Wonshik's expression shifted guiltily. Some rationality filtered back in with the anger that brought, helped the panic at the fringes of Hakyeon's mind recede some. He stumbled forward, his face settling into a scowl. "You owe him such an apology—"
"I know," Wonshik mumbled.
"How could you do that to him? He trusts you— he loves you— he called me, sobbing like a child—"
"I had to get Hongbin out, it was the only way," Wonshik said, voice sharp in a way Hakyeon had never heard before. For a moment Hakyeon's heart was sent hammering, because it was too vampire, too wrong, but then Wonshik was finally looking at him, and his eyes were still— still human. Still Wonshik. "I didn't want to hurt him. But I couldn't think of anything else to do."
Hakyeon got the feeling they weren't just talking about the incident at HQ anymore. "Such an apology," he repeated, still angry but deflating somewhat.
"I will," Wonshik said. "Is he— is he very angry with me?"
"He's not angry at all, because he's Sanghyuk and he's too sweet for his own good," Hakyeon replied unhappily. "He's just worried and he doesn't understand."
"And you?" Wonshik asked softly, shuffling his feet in a way that was at odd with his new nature. At this point, Jaehwan made a noise that was almost a groan, striding across the kitchen to Hakyeon's fridge. Hakyeon blinked and watched him go, but Wonshik ignored him.
"I—" Hakyeon started and then stopped, trying to think through the vampire induced adrenaline rush. "I'm full of complicated emotions."
"Do try to dumb it down for us, dear," Jaehwan said from where he was nosing through Hakyeon's fridge. "Do you have any blood?" he added.
"No," Hakyeon said, blinking.
"Who invites vampires over and doesn't stock up on blood first," Jaehwan asked, dramatically flouncing into the living room. Hakyeon watched as the refrigerator door swung shut agonizingly slowly, letting out a long creak as it did so. The soft noise it made as it finally closed made the silence that followed oddly charged.
After a few beats, Wonshik spoke. "Are you mad at me?"
Hakyeon tried to refocus. "No. I mean, for what you did to Sanghyuk, yes," he mused. "But for everything else, no. I don't have any right to be mad at you for the rest of it, do I? We've both done some stupid shit. I might not— understand, exactly— but I don't— I'm not mad." Hakyeon pressed his lips together, unhappy with how everything he'd wanted to say in this moment had flown out of his head. "I know you did what you thought you had to. And I'm sorry. For everything I did to drive you to that point."
"I'm sorry for making you worry," Wonshik said softly. "I'm sorry for— I shouldn't have— I should have trusted you more, should have listened." He took his cap off, rubbing the back of his head so his hair stuck up even more. "Guess it's too late for any of this, huh?"
"I still want to be friends," Hakyeon said, swallowing thickly. "Can we be friends? Do you still—"
"Yes," Wonshik said quickly before Hakyeon could finish. "Yes, I— I would like that. I've missed you. We're even now, I think. You fucked up. I fucked up. I'm not mad at you either. But— I'm a vampire— I wasn't sure if you'd still want to be friends, with me like this."
Hakyeon glanced at Taekwoon. "I'm not exactly in a position where I can pass judgement on that. You're still Wonshik, still— my partner, my oldest friend, vampire or no. I still love you, Wonshik."
Wonshik's face twisted, like he was about to start crying, and without thinking Hakyeon strode forward and hugged him tightly, the way he always used to. Wonshik stiffened, and he was cold, so cold, and from somewhere behind them Hakyeon heard Taekwoon hiss. But all that happened was Wonshik brought his hands up to pat at Hakyeon's back awkwardly, and it made Hakyeon laugh.
"I'm still not good with the mushy stuff," Wonshik grumbled, voice a little husky with unshed tears.
Hakyeon pulled back and dabbed at his eyes with the back of his hand while Wonshik pretended not to notice. Yes, he was never good with the mushy stuff. "How's Hongbin?" Hakyeon asked softly.
Wonshik frowned, but it was Jaehwan who spoke up from the living room. "Crazy is still crazy. And he doesn't like me."
"Jaehwan thinks that with enough—" Wonshik didn't finish that particular thought. "Well, he thinks it's possible he'll get better."
"Was it worth it?" Hakyeon asked softly, leading both Wonshik and Taekwoon into the living room. Hakyeon sat in the armchair by the sofa, while Taekwoon opted to remain standing.
Wonshik shrugged as he sat on the sofa beside Jaehwan, who promptly laid his legs across Wonshik's lap lazily. "Yes, but it doesn't really matter, it's done either way. I'm— happy. Isn't that sick? Even though he's totally out of it, I'm happy to be with him again."
"Honestly," Jaehwan groaned, head lolling back so he was speaking to the ceiling. "I'm hungry."
"You're annoying," Wonshik snapped. He shoved Jaehwan's legs off his lap. "I knew I should have left you back the apartment. Let us talk."
"I don't think expecting some refreshments is annoying," Jaehwan squawked, shifting so he was sitting up properly with utmost indignation. "A good host would at least offer," he added, a mischievous glint in his eyes as he looked at Hakyeon. "How about it, Hakyeon? Will you offer a wrist?"
Then Jaehwan leaned over and reached for Hakyeon's hand.
He didn't make it that far. Hakyeon wasn't fully sure of what happened. One moment Jaehwan was sitting on the couch, leaning over, then there was a blur, a very loud crack, and Jaehwan was on the floor, screaming, his arm bent the wrong way. "It was a joke, you temperamental neanderthal!" Jaehwan shrieked at Taekwoon, who was looming over him looking murderous.
"I'll do worse, if you try to touch him again," Taekwoon said, dangerously intent, and Jaehwan gurgled in outrage.
"Fine," he snapped, "I won't touch your little pet." He bit his bottom lip and put his arm back into place, the bones grinding together audibly. It make Hakyeon shiver. He stood so he could plop back onto the couch, leaning against the far armrest. "Go, have your heart to heart, I'll stay quiet as my humor goes unappreciated here apparently."
"Your humor goes unappreciated everywhere," Wonshik said, and Jaehwan blew a raspberry at him. Hakyeon wasn't sure what he'd been expecting Jaehwan to be like, but it wasn't this, exactly.
Hakyeon looked between the two of them. "How did you two meet, anyway?" Taekwoon shifted, just slightly, showing Hakyeon that he was listening.
"He sought me out," Jaehwan said.
"We've— you've got quite a bit of info about Jaehwan on file at HQ," Wonshik added quietly. "I knew if I wanted to be turned, I'd be better off with an Elimia. Less chance of betrayal." He shrugged. "And I thought he'd be easier to find."
"I heard through the grapevine, as you humans say, that Wonshik was searching for me," Jaehwan said, picking at his nails. "And I was intrigued, so I graced him with an opportunity to converse with me."
Wonshik side-eyed him. "Yes. I'm so very fortunate."
"You got what you wanted, didn't you?" Jaehwan asked idly.
"I suppose." Wonshik's eyes flickered to the floor.
Hakyeon stared long and hard at Wonshik, feeling none of his earlier anger. Now he was just— sad. "I hope Hongbin gets better."
Wonshik opened his mouth to speak, but Jaehwan beat him to it. "I hope so as well," he said. "I haven't had to hunt this much since I was freshly turned. Crazy's a bottomless pit."
"You hunt for him?" Hakyeon said numbly. He wasn't sure why that's the part he'd fixated on. Maybe it was because the rest of it was too awful to linger over.
"Yes. For a hunter — well, ex-hunter — Wonshik is surprisingly weak stomached," Jaehwan said, lopsided grin on his face.
Hakyeon sighed, staring at his best friend, who was determinately picking at his jeans. More incongruities. But of course Wonshik would be a fidgety vampire. "Well," Hakyeon said, voice somewhat crisp, "I think I'll go get Sanghyuk." Hakyeon stood, and then paused a moment to say, "Don't say anything about eating people around him. He's still getting used to all this." Hakyeon gave Jaehwan a look that he hoped was intimidating.
"Ah, yes, the teeny bopper trainee hunter," Jaehwan said, laughingly. "Bless him. Yes, bring on the kindergartener."
Hakyeon's face twisted but he stomped off down the hall, vaguely hearing Wonshik threatening to punch Jaehwan's face in if he traumatized Sanghyuk.
Hakyeon knocked lightly on his bedroom door before opening it a crack. "Sanghyuk? It's me." He poked his head in. Sanghyuk was sitting on the edge of the bed, arms crossed, looking tense. "Are you ready?"
Sanghyuk inhaled deeply, then stood, very slowly. "As ready as I'm going to be, I think."
Hakyeon held out his hand, and Sanghyuk stepped forward to take it. His hand was warm, and callused a little. Hakyeon gave it a reassuring squeeze as he led him down the hall.
Sanghyuk stayed a little behind Hakyeon, half hiding behind him, holding his hand maybe a little too tightly before he let go in favor of clutching at the back of Hakyeon's shirt. Hakyeon walked slowly, giving Sanghyuk time to stop, to go back, if he couldn't handle the oppressive feeling of vampire in the air. It was bad. Hakyeon was used to the feeling by now, but even for him, it was bad. It must be hell, for Sanghyuk.
Then they were in the living room, and Hakyeon stopped on the fringes. Sanghyuk bumped into his back a little. In the center of the room, Wonshik had been pacing, and he stopped, looking at them. Taekwoon and Jaehwan were where they'd been before, Taekwoon leaning against the wall and Jaehwan lounging across the couch.
Sanghyuk peeked over Hakyeon's shoulder tentatively, looking at all the vampires in turn. He swallowed audibly.
Wonshik fidgeted. "Hey, kiddo," he said softly, trying to smile a little.
Hakyeon heard Sanghyuk take a bracing breath, and then Sanghyuk ducked around him, coming to stand by Hakyeon's side. His arms were held close to his body, elbows tucked in and hands clasped over his racing heart. Hakyeon gently put his arm around his shoulders, steady.
After another deep breath, Sanghyuk replied, "Hey, Wonshik." He smiled, weakly, but the warmth there was genuine, shining through. Hakyeon looked at him fondly.
"Oh, hello," Jaehwan whispered, and the smile on Hakyeon's face slid off as he looked over and saw Jaehwan eyeing Sanghyuk up and down intensely like— no. No no no.
Sanghyuk jumped, a little, at the sound of Jaehwan's voice. "Hi," he said, a nervous stutter in his voice. He gave a little wave, shy and awkward.
"Oh, this one's precious," Jaehwan said laughingly. His fangs had run out again. "Sanghyuk, yes? Cute." Hakyeon didn't like the way he drew Sanghyuk's name out, didn't like the way his eyes lingered on Sanghyuk's thighs, moving up to where his pulse was jumping in his neck. Sanghyuk blushed at his tone, shifting under his gaze.
"You're Jaehwan, Wonshik's— the one who turned Wonshik?" Sanghyuk asked, tripping over his words a little. Jaehwan was staring at him, unblinking, like a cat stalking prey, and it was making Sanghyuk even more nervous.
As it should. It was making Hakyeon nervous. And angry.
"Mm," Jaehwan said, drawing the sound out, almost contemplating. He addressed his next words to Wonshik, but he didn't take his eyes off Sanghyuk. "Whenever you talked about him, you made it sound like he was pre-pubescent."
"He basically is," Wonshik said shortly.
"No," Jaehwan murmured. His next words were so quiet it was almost as if he was talking to himself. "He's practically grown."
"He's seventeen," Hakyeon hissed, without even meaning to. He pulled Sanghyuk nearer to him, tucking him in against his side.
Sanghyuk looked up at Hakyeon, pulling away a little. "I'll be eighteen in a few months," he said indignantly. Hakyeon closed his eyes. Sanghyuk was afraid, but not nearly as afraid as he should be. From his face, he seemed to think Jaehwan was making fun of him, was registering his predatoriness as a fact of simply his vampirism. He hadn't been around vamps enough to be able to tell their nuances apart yet.
"There, see?" Jaehwan said, gesturing up and down Sanghyuk's form. "He's almost eighteen." He laughed again, like that was a particularly funny joke.
Sanghyuk seemed disgruntled. He pushed away from Hakyeon's side, standing up straighter, like he was trying to look older. He was a bit pink around the cheeks. "Once I'm eighteen, I'll be a proper hunter," he muttered.
Jaehwan laughed harder, and Hakyeon considered rescinding his invitation.
"Don't mind Jaehwan, no one ever does," Wonshik said. His tone was light, but Hakyeon could tell he was tense, eyebrows drawn into a frown. At least Hakyeon wasn't hallucinating, wasn't reading too much into Jaehwan's behavior.
Jaehwan sighed dramatically, but blessedly, he fell silent.
"I— alright," Sanghyuk said, a bit hesitant. But when he shifted his gaze back to Wonshik, the warmth returned to his features, and he didn't seem so frightened now. "It really is good to see you. I was— we were— worried."
"I know, Hakyeon told me," Wonshik said, no longer frowning but still sober. "I'm really sorry, for what I did to you back at HQ. I should have— I shouldn't have involved you, like that. I know I scared the shit out of you."
"It's alright," Sanghyuk mumbled, shuffling his feet. "It's not a big deal."
"It is," Wonshik said seriously. "I jeopardized your hunting prospects, and I— I betrayed your trust, Sanghyuk. I knew you loved me and trusted me and I used that. It's arguably the shittiest decision I've ever made."
"Shittier than turning yourself?" Sanghyuk asked, cocking an eyebrow, and Wonshik nodded.
Sanghyuk seemed a little taken aback by that. "I— oh—" He blushed. "It's okay, Wonshik. It is." He smiled weakly. "Just don't even give me a fright like that again."
"I won't," Wonshik promised.
Sanghyuk and Wonshik stared at one another for a moment, then Sanghyuk took a careful step forward, and another, and another, until he was rushing forward. He hugged Wonshik, much the same way Hakyeon had. "I've missed you," he said, muffled against Wonshik's shoulder.
"I am not good with mushy stuff," Wonshik fairly wailed, and Hakyeon smothered a laugh behind his hand.
He'd missed Wonshik too. He'd missed this. Missed them.
"Haven't you missed me too?" Sanghyuk asked, a little teasingly. He pulled back so he could peer up into Wonshik's face.
"I— yeah," Wonshik said lamely. "What have you been up to?"
Sanghyuk launched into a stream of chatter, talking about HQ, about training, sparring, getting a new tattoo. Wonshik looked a little overloaded, but he wasn't new to this, and knew where to nod and when to grunt. Mostly he was just staring down at Sanghyuk like he was seeing the sun again.
Hakyeon took the opportunity to casually walk over to the sofa. Wonshik caught the movement, but Sanghyuk was too distracted, so he didn't notice when Hakyeon took a seat beside Jaehwan. His wards prickled uncomfortably, and his amulet gurgled at him a bit. Taekwoon had his eyes trained on Wonshik, but Hakyeon could tell he was paying attention to Jaehwan as well.
Jaehwan, for his part, was still watching Sanghyuk intently, almost like he was studying him. "If you hurt him—" Hakyeon began hotly, trying to keep his voice down, but Jaehwan cut him off by snorting.
"You'll what? Stake me?" Jaehwan rolled his eyes, looking at Hakyeon for a moment before his eyes flicked back to Sanghyuk. "I'm not afraid of you."
Hakyeon's nostrils flared. "If you hurt him," he ground out, not one to be deterred, "I will have Taekwoon pull out your entrails and shove them up your ass."
Jaehwan chuckled at that. "Don't worry, hurting him," he said slowly, still staring, "is the last thing on my mind."
Hakyeon was not reassured. At all. "Fine then, if you touch him at all, I will have Taekwoon pull out your entrails and shove them up your ass."
"He's good at that," Jaehwan mused. "Taekwoon, violence." He finally took his eyes away from Sanghyuk so he could look at Hakyeon slyly. "Speaking of, I can't help but wonder about how you're still in one piece."
Hakyeon frowned, unsure what exactly Jaehwan was implying. Barring their first encounter, Taekwoon had always been painfully gentle with him. "What?"
A grin spread across Jaehwan's face, slow and unsettling. "I just mean, I'm unsure how your frail human body can take fucking him, considering how rough he likes it. Your broken bones don't heal as fast as mine do. I thought you'd be a bit more mangled."
Hakyeon blinked, and he was so shocked he spoke before he could think better of it. "He's never been rough with me."
Jaehwan found that exceedingly funny, throwing his head back as he laughed. His fangs were run out, and Hakyeon found himself getting chills. He'd grown used to Taekwoon, and Wonshik wasn't a threat, even for a vampire, but Jaehwan— he was someone to worry about. Hakyeon found himself regretting that he'd agreed to let him tag along with Wonshik, that he'd let him in. He didn't like that Jaehwan knew where he lived now, knew what Sanghyuk looked and smelled like—
Taekwoon was there, suddenly, and Jaehwan subsided, still chortling some. Wonshik and Sanghyuk had stopped talking to look at the three of them.
"I think it's time for you to leave," Taekwoon said softly.
"Oh, we're being evicted," Jaehwan said, mockingly disappointed. He rose, fluidly, brushing against Taekwoon's front as he did so. Sanghyuk took a nervous step back, even though Jaehwan wasn't really near him, and then he blushed a little when he caught himself. "Come then, we'll go home."
"Not Wonshik," Taekwoon murmured, "just you."
Jaehwan's eyes flashed, and Hakyeon could recognize danger when he saw it, but apparently, so could Wonshik, because he spoke up. "Ah, actually— it's alright. I wasn't planning on staying long anyway."
Sanghyuk had been watching Jaehwan nervously, but then his eyes snapped to Wonshik's face. "Why?" he asked, sounding a little crushed.
"We left Hongbin alone," Wonshik said. "We couldn't bring him, obviously, so we put him in one of the rooms and stuck a charm to the door to keep him there. But I don't— I don't like it." He pat Sanghyuk's head carefully. "But we'll see one another again soon, I promise."
Hakyeon stood. "You'll have to come by some point in the near future and take all this off my hands anyway." He gestured at the boxes in his living room.
"This is all mine?" Wonshik asked, peering around.
"Yours and Hongbin's," Hakyeon amended for him.
"Ah, yes, I'll take it," Wonshik said, then he smiled at Sanghyuk. "See? I'll be back soon, kiddo."
"Okay," Sanghyuk said softly.
"It was so very nice to meet you, Hakyeonnie," Jaehwan said, sticking his hand out, and Taekwoon flicked it away before Hakyeon could shake it. Not that he'd planned to. Jaehwan sniffed indignantly. "And it was nice to see you again, brother. Thank you, for not bashing my skull in again."
Jaehwan sighed, like he was utterly put upon, and he glided across the room. "Come, Wonshik, into the night we go." He paused to toss a grin over his shoulder in Sanghyuk's direction, fangs still out. "Oh, and it was nice to meet you as well, little Sanghyuk."
And then he was gone, flitting away faster than Hakyeon's eyes could follow.
There was a pause, for a moment, then Sanghyuk said, "Little?" His color was rising, and his voice was the very definition of indignant.
"Like I said," Wonshik mumbled, "ignore him."
Sanghyuk was scowling furiously. "He kept looking at me like he wanted to eat me," he said. "And I mean, maybe he did, he's a vampire and I guess— they all want to eat people, but still—"
For some reason, that made Hakyeon laugh. It wasn't really a happy laugh though. "Oh, Sanghyuk," he said, exasperated.
"What?" Sanghyuk grumbled.
Hakyeon met his eyes for a moment and then shook his head. Sanghyuk really didn't know. "Nothing, kiddo. It's nothing."
"I really don't appreciate you eye-fucking my protege, Jaehwan," Wonshik snapped, once he was sure they were far enough from the grate to not be heard. His voice echoed in the tunnels, off the damp cement walls. They were beneath the city, heading home.
"Alright, one, you're a vampire now, so he's not your protege anymore," Jaehwan pointed out. "And two, you failed to give me proper warning about him. He's absolutely darling, an ickle little hunter." They turned a corner and flit down three flights of stairs, into utter darkness.
"I didn't think there was anything to give warning about," Wonshik said truthfully. "I love the kid but his face looks like someone's stepped on it."
Jaehwan shot him a look that Wonshik couldn't decipher. "He's lovely," Jaehwan murmured, then he smirked. "Like you have room to say anyone looks like they've had their faces stepped on. I live in constant confusion as to how you managed to bag someone as good looking as Crazy."
"Coming from you, you pointy eared little—" Wonshik cut off, because they'd arrived at the metal door of their home. Everything was quiet, even as Jaehwan opened the door, there was only silence coming from within.
The silence was eerie, heavy, and Wonshik found the hairs on the back of his neck prickling. Maybe because he'd expected Hongbin to be shouting, unhappy with being locked up, but the silence made Wonshik feel sick with nerves. He shoved past Jaehwan, who said indignantly, "He's fine, Wonshik, I can still sense him here."
Wonshik paid him no mind, flitting from the entrance hall through the living room, and down the hallway to the spare bedroom they used to feed Hongbin. The door was still in one piece and the warded charm was hanging on the knob, looking small and harmless. Jaehwan had said it would prevent Hongbin from being able to touch the door, as well as the walls. It wouldn't hurt him, he had said, would just create a barrier Hongbin couldn't pass through.
Jaehwan was by his side then, reaching out and taking the charm off the knob. There was still silence coming from the other side of the door, even though Wonshik knew that Hongbin could hear them outside of it. He had such a bad feeling. He grasped the doorknob and twisted, pulling the door open swiftly.
He'd been expecting a mess, had thought that, once Hongbin finished feeding, he'd try the door and, upon being unable to open it, would fly into a rage, breaking furniture, clawing at the walls. It was what he'd done when they'd tossed him into the cells at HQ.
But no mess greeted Wonshik's eyes. The body of the man they'd brought Hongbin to feed from while they left lay still on the floor, and beside him sat Hongbin, back slouched and arms hugging himself. When the door opened his head turned so he could look at Wonshik. His face was a bloody mess from crying, and as Wonshik watched, he gave a hiccuping sob, face crumpling anew. He raised his hands towards Wonshik, crying out something nonsensical.
"Hongbin," Wonshik choked out, and then he was beside him, kneeling down to hold him to his chest. Hongbin began to cry again in earnest, holding Wonshik to him, babbling a little as he did so. "It's alright, I'm here," Wonshik said soothingly, stroking Hongbin's hair.
Hongbin pulled back a little, so he could stare at the open doorway in fear, and he gestured at it, mumbling fervently. He was getting more and more agitated.
"Okay," Wonshik said, giving him a gentle shake, so Hongbin would look at him. "Okay. We won't do it again, I promise." Wonshik fought to keep his voice steady, wanting so badly to fix this. He'd hurt him. He hadn't— expected this, had anticipated rage, not sadness. Hongbin stopped babbling, sniffling instead. "Come on, come out, you'll need a blood bag after all that crying."
He helped Hongbin up. He wasn't particularly weak, but he was clutching onto Wonshik like a barnacle, like he never wanted to let him go. Wonshik's heart ached, and he slowly led Hongbin out of the room. Hongbin eyed the door warily as they passed it.
"It's okay," Wonshik repeated, tugging him into the hallway. "I'll remove every damn door in this place if that's what it takes to show you."
"You will not," Jaehwan huffed. He'd remained in the hallway, watching Hongbin with a strange expression on his face.
"Fuck off," Wonshik said harshly, and Hongbin startled, mumbling. Wonshik tugged him closer, running a hand down his back soothingly.
Jaehwan raised an eyebrow. "You're rather upset over this, aren't you?" He gave Hongbin an assessing look. "This is a good thing, you fool."
Wonshik felt like he might choke on his anger, and Hongbin began mumbling fervently, patting at Wonshik's shoulders, like that would distract him. "A good thing?" Wonshik hissed. "He's terrified, has probably been crying since we left—"
Hongbin grabbed Wonshik's face in both his hands, leaned up on his tiptoes, and pressed his mouth to Wonshik's.
That sufficiently shut Wonshik up. Hongbin's mouth was closed, the kiss firm and chaste. Wonshik could do nothing but stand there, frozen in shock. Hongbin pulled away, eyes shining as he looked up at Wonshik's face. One of the hands that was cupping his face drifted over slightly, so he could gently stroke his fingertips over Wonshik's lips. He mumbled something, softly, thumb on Wonshik's lower lip.
How many times since Wonshik had broken Hongbin out had he cupped Hongbin's face in his hands and kissed him, his forehead, the tip of his nose, his eyelids. Hongbin must have pieced together that it was an expression of affection, a gesture he associated with good feeling. But Wonshik hadn't— hadn't kissed him properly—
"A good thing," Jaehwan repeated, and Wonshik blinked at him numbly. "He's getting better."
2. I should post the next fic tmr, bUT I might not. I haven't finished it, I have one and a half scenes left to write ^^;;;; and I've got work. But I will try my best /bows
3. As usual, thank you for reading ♥♥♥