Title: Blood Brothers II
Pairing: KyuTeukChul, HanChul, YeWook, EunHae, SiChulfriendship, possible SungMi/MiMin (Is that the name for Zhou Mi x Sungmin pairing?) possible other pairings in the future.
Chapter Rating: PG-13
Genre: romance, action, thriller
Summary: The cycle of revenge is never-ending, unless someone learns to forgive.
Chapter 5 ----- Chapter 7
It was raining.
Heechul kneeled on the wet grass in front of the tombstone, gaze lingering on the name engraved in the marble. He swallowed, before reaching over to his side and pulling out the bottle of Soju he’d brought.
“Umma,” he began calmly, pouring a cup and offering it to her. “Are you doing alright?” The rain was getting heavier, going from a soft sprinkle to a drizzle. The raindrops that had painted his jacket were turning into large, watery splotches.
He didn’t get an answer but he didn’t expect any. “I brought you flowers. Your favorite.” He placed the yellow daffodils at the edge of the stone and watched as the petals were pelted with raindrops. Daffodils. In the US—it was where his mother had fallen in love with the flower—they were symbolic of beauty and vanity—narcissism that led to its other name, the narcissus flower. In China, however, it stood for wealth and good fortune. To his mother it was the perfect flower because it encompassed her entire being.
He wouldn’t lie and say that his mother had been a good one, but she wasn’t bad either. She had simply not been attentive. To her the most important things in the world were money and beauty. She cared more about how her family looked to outsiders than how her family felt. She’d never been the mothering type.
Donghae’s mother had taken over that role.
It was one of his mother’s garden parties, and Heechul didn’t want to be there. He couldn’t leave, however, since the party was at his house, and his mother had paraded him around to all of the other adults to show off her ‘pretty son’. Even at such a young age, Heechul felt he was being used.
He stomped off across the yard, heading for his tree house. At least there he wouldn’t have to worry about all the adults and Donghae would know where to find him when he arrived. He was halfway there when he heard a soft meow. A pitiful sound. He looked up to see a small white cat dangling on a tree limb, looking down at him.
He smiled. “Don’t worry, I’ll come get you!” He called out cheerfully, bracing his foot on the tree’s trunk and beginning his ascent. It took him a while to heft himself up to where the cat was waiting. The kitten scurried further out on the limb as Heechul held out his hand. “Come here little kitty, I won’t hurt you. Come on…” He’d always wanted his own kitten. Maybe his mother would let him keep it if he asked nicely?
He was halfway across the tree limb when it snapped.
He hit the ground with a loud crash and he felt pain in his shoulder. He began crying as he tried to pick himself up out of the leaves and broken twigs that littered the ground beneath him. He looked down at his hand and saw blood.
His eyes widened and he scrambled to his feet, before looking down to see the kitten lying to his left. “Kitten!” he called, kneeling down. The kitten was under the tree limb and it wasn’t moving. Its white fur was tinged crimson and it was covered in mud. He swallowed, pulling the limb off and picking the small creature up in his arms.
“…wake up…I got you down from the tree so you should be happy, right? I’ll get you something to eat.” He hurried back to the party, the kitten held against his chest. He found his mother talking with a group of ladies and stood patiently, waiting to be noticed. He knew better than to tug at her dress—that could wrinkle it or mess with the stitches.
She finally looked down and her face twisted into a visage half-disgusted, half-frightened. The other women put their hands over their mouths and let out muffled shrieks.
“What are you doing? Your outfit is ruined!” His mother gasped out, and looked at the kitten, “What are you holding?”
“He’s sleeping. He fell from the tree and I think he needs to eat something to wake up.” Heechul held the kitten out.
“Get that thing away from me!” His mother grabbed a napkin and pressed it to her nose. “Go, go! And put that thing down and go and wash your hands. You’re filthy!”
Heechul nodded solemnly, tears filling his eyes as he headed toward the house.
He turned to see Donghae run up to him, intent on crashing into him with a big hug. The younger boy stopped, puzzled, as he looked at the kitten and then at Heechul. His eyes widened, “Umma! Hyung is bleeding! Umma!”
Donghae’s mother appeared a second later, looking frantic, “Young master!” She knelt down, grabbing the kitten and putting it on the ground. “Young master, we need to get you inside.”
What about the kitten? They needed to get it some food to wake it up. Heechul opened his mouth to tell her than but all that came out was a whimper.
“It hurts…” he sniffled. He didn't know if he was talking about the cuts on his arms or the sight of the helpless, unmoving kitten lying on the grass.
“Come on, I’ll carry you. Shhhhh it’s alright. It’s alright.” She grabbed him in her arms and he smelled cinnamon. The smell was warm and comforting and he found his eyes closing as he was carried back to the house, Donghae trailing behind worriedly, grasping at his mother’s dress.
His mother never babied him or comforted him like Donghae’s mother had. She’d only ever touched him to brush her fingers along his skin or his hair and tell him he was a beautiful boy. Perfect. Definitely her son. As if the title itself meant something. Her son as opposed to anything else.
But she’d cared for him in her own way. She’d taken him with her the night his father died, hadn't she? She’d been shocked and terrified but she had cared enough to save her son. She’d tried to give him a new life in a new place, had tried to live without all the riches in the world.
Because she was strong…and she had always told him they would get it back one day; that she would make it happen. He wondered if maybe that was the reason the directors sent people to China to kill them. Perhaps she had said one word too many.
“I got my revenge…” he paused, “Like you would have wanted right? I hope it makes you happy. I’ve always been told I was more your child than appa’s so…I guess it fits right? He never would have wanted revenge.” He swallowed, closing his eyes briefly. He wasn’t sure if he was crying or not because the rain was pelting his face.
Everyone had always told him he took after his mother.
“So beautiful, just like the madam!”
“His eyes, they’re the exact same shade.”
“Such a proud demeanor…surely he is his mother’s son.”
There were times when he’d wondered if he were illegitimate, but he knew he wasn’t. He’d seen the DNA test his mother had gotten to prove it. He peered back down at the grave stone. He’d tried to forget that time, when he’d been looking through her jewelry box for her favorite necklace. She’d asked him to go and get it for her.
He wondered why his mother needed to get the test taken in the first place. All he knew was that his father had been relieved. He’d spent the entire next day with him, calling him ‘my son’ and ‘my child’ and giving him treats. Heechul, at such a young age, had simply basked in his father’s attention.
But he had never stopped being told he was his mother’s child first and his father’s second.
It was his mother’s blood that made him crave punishment for all the wrongs that had been done to his family, wasn’t it? And it was his father’s blood that made him wallow in self-loathing and guilt after everything was over. If only he’d just been one or the other, it would have made things so much easier.
The rain suddenly ceased, even as the sound of it hitting vinyl reverberated above his head. He turned to the side to see Hangeng holding the umbrella, his own once-dry jacket becoming soaked from lack of protection.
“You’ll catch a cold.” Hangeng murmured.
“I have a class to teach in a few hours.” Heechul stood, ignoring the mud coating his designer shoes. “I’ll head there now to get ready. You can go.”
“I’ll come pick you up.”
“The walk isn’t that long. I have to pick up some prescriptions from the doctor anyway. We’ll go out to dinner tonight, how about that?” Heechul turned with a grin, and Hangeng smiled back softly, hesitantly.
The world was right again, if just for a moment.
It was late morning when they arrived at Hong Kong International Airport. The flight had been spent mostly in silence. Kangin had tried to distract Leeteuk with small talk but the older man had simply stared out the window, gripping the seat tightly as they took off.
Kyuhyun had popped a few nausea pills and taken a nap while Sungmin read an in-flight magazine. Siwon had been going over his notes for his medical lecture, leaving Kangin with no one to talk to. He’d settled for flirting with the flight attendant when she served them drinks.
He was thankful they were back on solid ground again, though he doubted anyone was as happy as Leeteuk. The moment the plane had touched ground the color had slowly returned to his face and he’d let out a relieved sigh, his entire body relaxing.
Kangin and Siwon had gone to get everyone’s luggage while Sungmin stayed with Kyuhyun and Leeteuk at the entrance.
Kyuhyun looked at his watch impatiently. If they were going to scour all of China for Kim Heechul they would need to start as soon as possible. Besides, he’d hired a computer hacker to trace one of the director’s old pay accounts and had tracked down a client who told them an address.
If someone in the neighborhood there remembered Heechul or his companions then they might get another lead. There was also Hong Kong Trading, but they’d learned that the company had changed its name and was shifting its location of central business. Any information about the transaction was being kept under wraps and with Yumyeong’s fading influence they hadn’t been able to glean anything from it.
If all else failed they’d have to head to the old Hong Kong Trading company building and try and find something out. But that would alert Heechul and the others to their presence, and Kyuhyun wanted to catch Kim Heechul by surprise.
He couldn’t let him run away again.
“Oh…it’s raining…” Leeteuk murmured softly as they stepped out into the downpour.
“You’re heading to the hotel, right?” Siwon asked as he fiddled with his cell phone. “I’ll meet you there. I have to go and check with the University, ok?” He’d hailed a taxi for himself after making sure that the rental car that they’d ordered was there and waiting for the others. “Don’t get into any trouble, and you have the dictionary I gave you, right?”
Kyuhyun nodded, “We’ll be at the hotel, hyung. Don’t worry. You said they speak Korean there?”
Siwon flashed them a smile as he nodded before he slipped into the taxi. Kyuhyun waved enthusiastically as he watched the taxi turn a corner. As soon as he was out of sight in the busy traffic, Kyuhyun’s smile dropped. “Now that Mr. Conscience is gone, let’s go.”
“What?” Leeteuk turned from where he’d been arguing with Kangin over who was going to drive—Sungmin and Kangin had absolutely refused to let him behind the wheel—at Kyuhyun’s statement.
“I found an address for us to look into.”
Siwon stared in awe at the front gate of the University of Hong Kong. He wasn’t quite certain where to begin as he surveyed the flow of students from one large building to another. He wasn’t even sure where the conference room where he’d be giving his lecture was situated. The entire school covered 160,000 acres of land. He knew that he would probably lecture at the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, but he wasn’t quite sure how to get there…and he was supposed to check in at one of the main buildings first.
He supposed that he should head to the main faculty building and try and get directions—or a map. As he walked up the multitude of stairs a group of girls came around a corner, chatting loudly. Usually he would have paid very little attention, except that the girls mentioned a very familiar name.
“I want to change my major.”
“So that Professor Gam Xi Che can be my advisor!”
Gam Xi Che? Siwon paused. Surely it was a coincidence. But he found himself walking up to the girls and smiling. “Hello,” He began in Mandarin, and the light chatter ceased as the girls all turned to look him over. A few giggled and blushed as they eyed him, while the others stared warily.
“I’m sorry, my Chinese is very bad.” He bowed his head and tried to look as charming as possible. It wasn’t that difficult. “I was heading to the main building, could you perhaps point me in the right direction?”
“Lok Yew Hall?” One of the girls ventured, “It’s right over there.” The pointed to a towering beige brick building built in a western style.
“Ah, thank you.” He bowed his head again in thanks, before venturing with his second question. “I heard you speaking about Gam Xi Che…?”
“Gam Xi Che?” The girl looked confused before a bright blush spread over her face and a glazed look filled her eyes. “You mean Professor Gam?”
“The assistant literature professor.” She giggled, and the other girls with her joined in.
“He’s so handsome—”
“—yes, beautiful.” The girl sighed wistfully. “And that soft air of despair—it’s so sexy!”
Siwon gave a small, strained smile. Was it him? He simpy nodded again, “Yes, he is an old friend of mine. Could you tell me where he is, currently?”
“He lectures in Lok Yew Hall.” One of the girls supplied. “That’s where most of the English classes are taught. We just came from there.”
Siwon nodded his thanks once more before hurrying toward the large building, hearing the girls giggling behind him.
“What if Professor Gam is gay? Is that his boyfriend?”
Mama Han stared at the impeccably dressed men at her doorstep. She eyed them warily, mouth pursed in a tight line. Were they loan sharks? Insurance salesmen? Mafia? She tightened her hold on the doorknob and was thankful that Rider stood behind her, ready to attack if he sensed his master in danger.
“Ah, hello.” The eldest looking one spoke with a cheerful smile. He was the only one smiling. His Chinese was heavily accented and when she didn’t reply he looked uneasily to the bulky man behind him who pulled out a book and began skimming pages quickly. Mrs. Han figured it was a Chinese dictionary of some sort. Standing beside him was a man who—beneath his designer gray jacket—wore a bright pink shirt…and pink-tinted sunglasses.
If there were ever a gay mafia grunt, she supposed it would look like this.
The youngest looking one—as well as the most angry looking—leaned in and snapped out, “Kim Heechul.”
Mrs. Han paused. What did they want with Xi Che? She was now more on edge than ever. These men reminded her of the ones that had come when Heechul was in grade school. Dangerous men in perfect suits who wanted to know where Heechul was. She’d made the mistake once of telling these men with their charming smiles where Heechul went to school.
He’d almost been killed.
She wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. She had to protect the Korean boy that she’d adopted as her own son. His biological mother may have been dead, but Mama Han was alive and kicking and very capable of pretending she didn’t know any Korean. “Who?” She asked in Chinese, smiling brightly.
“Gam Xi Che.” The cheerful one replied, looking honest and sincere. Even with all his sincerity, she didn’t trust him.
They knew his Chinese name. They knew that she knew him. What else did they know about Heechul? Were these men responsible for the bullet in Heechul’s chest? She continued to smile at the men in front of her, playing the role of an old, senile woman. “You don’t speak Chinese?” She asked. If they were hitmen, they were certainly badly trained. What kind of hitman came to a country and didn’t speak the language? Wouldn’t it make finding a target difficult?
Maybe she’d watched one too many action thriller movies…
“Hold on.” The burly man replied in butchered Mandarin. He began looking through the book and finally landed on something. “Where is he?” He managed to get out, as if waiting for her to miraculously answer in understandable Korean. He wouldn’t be able to understand her even if she’d told him.
“Where you will never find him.” She replied cheerfully before shutting the door in their faces. The moment the door closed behind her she pulled out her phone and dialed. “Xi Che, er zi…Men are looking for you at the house.”
Heechul had been taking his lunch break in the main lounge near his office when he’d gotten his call. He paused halfway in bringing the instant ramen to his lips when he heard the familiar ring. He let out a small sigh before he reached for his phone from inside his jacket that hung over the back of a nearby chair.
When he saw the caller ID he quickly answered, “Mama Han?” He stood, throwing the ramen into the trashcan and heading for the door with his bag. He had ten minutes to get to his next class. The hallway was relatively empty.
“Xi Che, er zi…men are looking for you at the house.”
Heechul paused in the hallway. “Men came to the house? Are you alright?” he stepped back into the empty lounge he’d just left and shut the door behind him.
“I’m fine. They left when I closed the door on them, but I think they’re watching the house. It would be safer it you didn’t come home anytime soon.”
“You should call the police if they stay.” Heechul swallowed, “You can’t let them stay. It isn’t safe. Should I send Hangeng home?” But he knew if it was who he thought it was then they’d recognize Hangeng instantly and it would only worsen matters. But Mama Han could be in danger…and no one hurt Mama Han.
“I’m fine. I have Rider you know, and I can take care of myself. No one is going to hurt a senile old lady.” She teased on the other end. “I will call you if something happens, alright? But don’t come over tonight.”
Heechul nodded, albeit reluctantly. “What did they look like?”
“There were four of them. A tall, stupid looking one, one with a cheerful dorkish smile, a third who wore pink, and a fourth who just looked angry.”
Heechul’s fears had been confirmed, but he asked anyway. “Anything else?”
“They were all handsome, and richly dressed. They didn’t speak Chinese.”
Heechul scoffed. Really, they’d come to China without knowing a word of it? Idiots. “Alright, thank you Mama Han. I’ll be carefully. Don’t tell Hangeng or the others—” Heechul opened the door to head back into the hallway and paused at the sight of the person standing in front of him. “Mama Han, I have to go.” He hung up the phone and swallowed.
“Kim Heechul.” The tall man greeted.
“Choi Siwon.” Heechul nodded back solemnly.
“…you’re alive…” Siwon swallowed, as if he couldn’t believe it, even after doing the surgery himself. Because at this point it wasn’t Gam Xi Che that he’d saved. It was his hyung, back from the dead and standing right in front of him.