Yesung and Sungmin had turned to Heechul, waiting for a reaction. A fit, or at the very least a scathing retort. Heechul merely leaned against the wall beside the door and stared down the hallway.
For some reason, that was a more frightening reaction.
They shouldn’t have worried, really, because it wasn’t a surprise to the older man. Heechul had known all along about Hangeng. Hangeng had probably never thought of it as spying in the first place. Leeteuk had asked him to keep an eye on him. To tell him if Heechul told him something special about missions.
Leeteuk was a sneaky bastard. And low, to get someone’s lover to do something like that. He’d probably told him something along the lines of, “You’re protecting all of us this way. We’re worried about Heechul too. We need to know what’s going on so we can all help one another.” or some other bullshit. It was something Leeteuk would do…make it sound righteous and just and thoughtful.
And now the entire apartment knew. Yesung would keep it to himself but he was sure Sungmin would tell Siwon and Donghae. And that pissed him off even more. This was his and Hangeng’s problem. Not the rest of the group’s, certainly not the kid’s problem. But Leeteuk loved bringing everything out in the open for happy happy we’re all family and share our secrets fun time.
But he didn’t have time to worry about that. They had Henry’s shit to deal with, and he knew that Leeteuk wasn’t going to forget his promise to explain what was going on. So he had to get all of that out of the way and begin working on the encryptions from the new flashdrive and put it with the old one now that he knew how to break the code—or at least assumed that he could break it—and find out the location of the List.
“Hyung!” Siwon opened the door from the medical room with Henry in tow. “Kibum is patching Shindong hyung up.” Donghae closed the medical room door with a click, eyes lingering on the knob like he wanted to go back in. He and Kibum hadn’t had a talk yet, but he knew that Kibum was angry and was avoiding him by ordering everyone out while he set Shindong’s arm.
Heechul pushed himself off of the wall with a small smile, a sign to Yesung and Sungmin that he was alright—even if he wasn’t—and opened the door and walked inside.
Kyuhyun practically jumped, as if he’d been caught doing something bad. Heechul saw the action out of the corner of his eye and almost smiled. Kyuhyun was such a kid sometimes. He was surprised that Kyuhyun didn’t make a comment about Hangeng, however.
It was Ryeowook who spoke first. “Where’s Shindong?” He eyed them all worriedly, looking for scratches and bruises because Ryeowook cared and Heechul was 100% certain that care was genuine.
Siwon answered, because Siwon was a gentleman and he’d probably seen that no one else looked like they wanted to talk. “He’s in the medical room with Kibum. He broke his arm so Kibum’s setting it.”
“Henry!” Leeteuk had stood and walked over to the younger boy. “Are you alright? What happened?” He began checking him for any wounds, fidgeting and fussing like a mother hen.
Heechul hid a sneer. Of course Leeteuk would be worried more about the boy that had been the cause of all of this rather than the teammates he’d spent years with, the members covered in bruises and scrapes and dust from fallen debris. “His father tried to kill him.” He headed toward his bedroom—he was still only wearing one glove and the last thing he needed was to get in a fight with Leeteuk and forget—and passed Kyuhyun on his way. The younger man opened his mouth as if to speak, but Heechul brushed past him.
He didn’t need Kyuhyun to tell him something he already knew.
He half expected either Kyuhyun or Hangeng to follow him into the bedroom. Neither did, as he hurriedly went through his drawers with his left hand and pulled out a spare glove. He walked back out into the living room to see everyone watching Henry awkwardly, as if they wanted to console him but didn’t know how. Leeteuk had sat him down on the couch.
But even comforting Henry wouldn’t stop Leeteuk from getting what he wanted. “You promised us an explanation. I think it’s time you gave it.”
Heechul eyed him for a moment before he gave a dry laugh. “Yeah hyung. Sure.” He walked over to an empty chair and sat down. “Ask away. I’m feeling rather talkative tonight.”
Leeteuk seemed momentarily taken aback by Heechul’s acceptance, and so it took him a few moments to come up with a coherent question. “Why didn’t you tell us about Henry’s father?”
Henry blinked, drawn out momentarily from his stupor, looking from Heechul to Leeteuk.
“What would you have done if I’d told you?” Heechul shrugged, “You would have tried to keep Henry locked up here and we wouldn’t have found out anything new about the List.”
“What’s so important about—nevermind.” Leeteuk shook his head. “That isn’t what I want to know. I want to know about the mission where you were hurt. You took something from there and you knew things...you knew the entire layout of the place and didn’t think to tell us? You tricked Hangeng and Eunhyuk into a wild goose chase while Sungmin went off on his own—”
Sungmin bristled, but Heechul raised a hand and answered as calmly as ever.
“The object was important and I knew there was the possibility of it being guarded by powerful Gifted. They would have been a hindrance to Sungmin in that situation.” Heechul fiddled with one of his gloves, gaze trained on the stitching. “And they were there, they just happened to go after me first.” He gave a crooked smile.
“You mean Typhoon?” Leeteuk asked calmly, and the rest of the “useless” looked from Leeteuk to Heechul, wondering who this person was and why the mentioning of his name made Heechul stiffen.
“I don’t think that has anything to do with this right now.” Heechul said tightly.
“It does. If they’re out there looking for us—”
“It’s my problem, not yours.” Heechul cut him off coldly. “They aren’t after you. They won’t go after someone they already think is dead. Or someone useless.” His eyes drifted over the others.
The others bristled at being called “useless” but Leeteuk didn’t seem bothered by it. He seemed more irritated that Heechul was trying to change the subject. “But Typhoon knows that I’m alive. He could have told—”
“Typhoon didn’t tell anyone.” Heechul snapped.
“How can you be so sure?” Leeteuk leaned forward. “Typhoon is our enemy now. He isn’t your lover anymore—”
“I’m tired.” Heechul finally stood. “Hannie.” That’s all he said. His name.
Hangeng stood as well, not meeting anyone’s gaze, as he followed Heechul into the bedroom.
There was a briefly moment of silence before Donghae cleared his throat, “I’m going to go see how Kibum is doing.” He headed toward the door as quickly as he could.
“Do any of you want anything to eat?” Ryeowook took a step toward the kitchen.
“I’m fine.” Yesung murmured softly. “I’m going to take a shower.” Ryeowook stood in the kitchen doorway and watched him leave, eyes trained on the back of Yesung’s head as the other man disappeared down the hallway.
Slowly, one by one, everyone began to trickle out of the living room with one excuse or another (Leeteuk led Henry to his bedroom, Kangin following behind looking as unsatisfied with the outcome as everyone else seemed to feel) until only Kyuhyun was left.
The younger boy stared around the empty room, throat tight. He wanted to go and talk with Heechul but he knew he couldn’t, not now, not when he was in there with Hangeng. A part of him wondered what they were doing. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t right for Hangeng to be touching him when he’d betrayed him and—
Kyuhyun slumped down onto the couch and took a deep breath.
And who was Typhoon? What did Leeteuk mean when he said that Typhoon was Heechul’s lover? Based off of Heechul’s response, he still had some feelings for him, right?
Kyuhyun swallowed. He would wait.
Donghae’s hand rested on the doorknob and for a moment he wondered if he should open it. Kibum was on the other side of that door, angry. Donghae wasn’t afraid of many things (the training facility, Heechul hyung or the others getting hurt) but an angry Kibum was one of them. It wasn’t that he feared Kibum getting violent, but knowing that Kibum was mad at him made his stomach twist in uncomfortable knots.
And now he knew…knew something else. He’d gotten to the door at Henry’s house in time to hear Henry’s father’s words. He’d seen Kibum rush into the room and he’d followed. But he’d stopped at the door to shift back into a human and then he’d heard it. About Henry’s genes.
He’d known in that moment that Kibum was going to do something with that information, because Kibum was an opportunist.
He opened the door and walked into the medical room. Kibum was in the small alcove to the left of the surgery table, bent over a microscope. He didn’t look up when Donghae entered, merely adjusted the magnification and continued his research.
Donghae hoisted himself onto the surgery table and waited. He heard the scraping of something as Kibum continued his research, the beeping of a monitor, and the whirring of some machine (Kibum had told him what it was called at some point but he’d forgotten it). He resisted the urge to kick his feet and finally spoke.
“Are you mad at me?”
“Yes.” Kibum answered, not looking up from the microscope. “Can you open the centrifuge for me and get out one of the tubes marked E45? It’s finished.”
Donghae blinked, looking around helplessly. Kibum looked over at him and seemed to see his confused expression. “The machine that was humming a moment ago.” He said bluntly, before looking down again.
Donghae headed toward the machine and paused. Kibum was angry, but not really angry. If he’d been really angry he wouldn’t have spoken at all, or he would have told Donghae to leave. It made him feel a little more at ease as he lifted the lid and began pulling out the test tubes to find the one that Kibum had mentioned. “Uh, here.”
He held it out and Kibum took it. He placed it on a test tube rack and pulled out a swab from a drawer. “You wanted to talk to me?”
“I heard Henry’s father.”
Kibum stiffened, before he returned to swabbing one of the test tubes and placing the concoction in a petri dish. “You heard everything?”
“Yeah.” Donghae swallowed. “What are you planning?”
“I suppose you’ve already told Heechul hyung.” Kibum kept his gaze trained on the petri dishes. He never liked to face anyone when he was talking. He didn’t like people in general, and he always seemed to have a hard time meeting people’s eyes, especially when they were talking about something he didn’t wish to talk about.
“No.” Donghae answered truthfully. “Not yet. I want an explanation first.” He’d wanted to tell Heechul, but he’d wanted to do it privately and they hadn’t had time alone…and because he wanted to hear what Kibum had to say. Just like he hadn’t told Heechul about Kibum’s plan to find a cure for GAM, even though he knew that it was important. It was the first time he’d kept something from his hyung.
Kibum put the petri dish down and turned to his hyung. His expression was serious, and it was something that Donghae admired about the younger boy. Kibum respected people’s opinions and questions and treated them seriously. “I already told you that I’m making a cure for GAM.”
“I know.” Donghae swallowed. “I don’t like it.” But it would save lives, wouldn’t it? In case he and the others couldn’t destroy the government.
“With Henry’s blood I might be able to find a way to destroy it completely.”
“…destroy…?” Donghae swallowed.
“I was testing it on the blood samples Heechul hyung gave me, but the sample wasn’t right. Now that I have Henry’s blood I might be able to cure everyone.” Kibum gave a small smile. “We’d all be normal again.”
Normal? As in…no longer having any powers? No. That wasn’t right. They didn’t need to be cured. They were a team! Donghae didn’t want that. He didn’t have anything to go back to. He was…no. He couldn’t do that. “I don’t want to be normal.” He whispered tightly.
Kibum’s brow furrowed. “Why not?”
“Don’t make me.” Donghae ground out. “Don’t make me choose.”
Kibum’s smile had faded and he eyed Donghae coldly. “You’re the one drawing a line in the sand.”
“You don’t understand.” Donghae finally yelled. He walked out, and the door slammed shut behind him.
Kibum listened to the echo of the door fade and let out a soft sigh. Donghae would tell Heechul now, wouldn’t he? And judging from Donghae’s reaction, Heechul wouldn’t take it well either. Why not? Why was it that none of them wanted to live normally again?
Kibum grabbed one of the petri dishes and chucked it across the room. It hit the wall and shattered. He breathed in shakily. No, he was not going to cry. What point was there in crying? He shouldn’t care.
Donghae had always been making the decisions. He was the reason Kibum was here. He never thought about Kibum’s feelings in all of this so why did he have a right to be angry when he was the reason Kibum was here and living in this constant hell anyway?
Wasn’t he allowed to be selfish at least once? Wasn’t he allowed to hope for something different than this constant fight for survival, a fight that he had intended to stay out of completely?
“…fuck…” He ground out, running a hand through his hair.
The door opened and he looked up briefly, imagining it to be Donghae or maybe Eunhyuk coming to see what was wrong.
Henry closed the door softly behind him and leaned against it. He swallowed. “I…I’m sleeping in your room. The one you share with Shindong hyung. Leeteuk hyung said it would be ok.”
“I don’t sleep in there anymore. You can have my bed.” Kibum paused. He didn’t feel like seeing Donghae right now. “It’s fine if you don’t mind sharing. I won’t be there for a few more hours.”
“I’ll wait.” Henry answered quickly, and Kibum looked up at him in question. Henry mumbled a response, “Everyone’s looking at me awkwardly. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to talk about it but they want me to and—” He was crying.
Kibum watched him calmly. So Henry had chosen him because Kibum didn’t get emotional, or curious, and wouldn’t try and “comfort” him. As simple as that. “Alright.” He answered in English. “Could you go get me a cup of coffee?”
Eunhyuk had eaten some of the fried rice Ryeowook had cooked while he waited for Donghae and Kibum. He figured they’d had a fight from the fact that Donghae had been quiet when he’d come in and Kibum had stayed in the medical room. It probably hadn’t escalated to a verbal argument yet, just a lot of glaring. Their fights tended to take a while to get to the yelling part.
Eunhyuk didn’t know what it was about—or maybe he did. Even if he didn’t know the details, it was always about the differences between the usefuls and the useless. Perhaps something had happened while they’d been rescuing Henry. Kibum would tell him later if he asked…
He’d begun wondering if he should have grabbed some rice for Donghae and Kibum when the door opened and Donghae trudged in. Eunhyuk sat up—he’d been leaning back on his bed—and gave an awkward, gummy smile. “Hey.”
Donghae looked over at him and “hey”d back halfheartedly before he grabbed his pajamas and began changing. So…the fight had probably escalated to yelling by this point...Eunhyuk never knew which side to take, except he always found himself taking Kibum’s.
Of course, it had always been like that. He and Donghae hadn’t even liked each other in the beginning, so it only made sense that he’d choose Kibum over Donghae in a fight.
By this point Donghae had changed and flopped down onto his bed, staring up at the ceiling. “Why is Kibum so angry? There’s no reason to be. We just did what we had to do…”
Eunhyuk knew that he was missing something and that this wasn’t just about the useful’s keeping information from Leeteuk hyung and the others, but that was the only thing he could connect it with at the moment. “…you guys kept a lot from us.”
“It wasn’t necessary to tell you.” Donghae grumbled back, his back still turned. “It was fine. Leeteuk hyung would have said no if we’d told him.”
“Not all of us think like Leeteuk hyung.” Eunhyuk remembered when he’d gone with Heechul, Sungmin, and Yesung to kill the GAM user. He’d thought it was horrible but at the same time, he realized that he’d probably help them do it again if the situation arose. They were the enemy, right? It only made sense to work together to get rid of the enemy.
“But you’ll all listen to him in the end.” Donghae murmured.
Eunhyuk was starting to get annoyed. There were times when Donghae’s childishness became too much. He always thought he was right and that there was no reason for anyone to be angry at him. Eunhyuk turned over so that his back was to Donghae’s. “…like how all of you listen to Heechul hyung.”
“We don’t just listen to him because we have to.” Donghae’s voice was soft. “We do it because we believe it too. It’s the right thing.”
And that was the problem. Because most of the useless thought the same as Leeteuk.
They went straight to bed. Or rather, Heechul had gone straight to bed. He’d walked in, turned off the light, and climbed to the top bunk. Hangeng made no move to stop him or speak. He simply slipped into the bottom bunk and the two laid there, listening to the whir of the ceiling fan.
It felt like it had been hours since then. He heard people talking outside in the living room, the clinking of plates in the kitchen, but soon it died out. The sounds lessened until it became silent and Heechul figured everyone had gone to bed.
The door hadn’t opened, so he wondered where Kyuhyun was. The younger boy was probably taking a shower…or maybe he’d gone to the computer room. He’d obviously read into the situation enough to know that Heechul didn’t want him there at the moment.
Truthfully, Heechul didn’t know if he wanted Hangeng there at the moment either, but he didn’t want to be alone.
He’d always been afraid of being alone.
Finally he heard a soft sigh and then shuffling underneath him. Hangeng got out of bed and headed toward the door. Fifteen footsteps. The door creaked open and then shut with a soft click and Heechul continued to stare at the ceiling.
Heechul leaned over the side of the toilet and vomited.
“Aish, I told you not to eat before training.” A gentle hand on his back, rubbing up and down.
Heechul didn’t reply, biting back an angry retort as he swallowed some bile left in his mouth. It tasted sour and ran sluggishly down his throat, clinging like snot. He puked again.
If he hadn’t eaten then it would have been three days without food. He hadn’t wanted to eat, because food tasted disgusting now that he had his power. Anything that touched his lips would rot. But he was getting weak without food, and they would begin more advanced training in the next week…
He didn’t want it. He didn’t want to do anything. He hated it here.
“Are you done?”
There was nothing left in his stomach to throw up. Heechul reached up and wiped his mouth with his sleeve and paused. “Shit.” The cloth began to deteriorate until it turned to an ashy powder. He brushed it off of his skin with a glare.
A laugh, and Heechul sent his companion a level look. “Ya, Jay, who said you could laugh?”
“You should just go around in the nude.” Jay commented with a grin. He held up a Styrofoam cup. “Here’s some water. I’ll go get you a shirt.” He handed the glass to Heechul and made to stand, but Heechul reached out and grasped his sleeve.
It was the closest Heechul would come to asking someone to stay, even at the age of fifteen.
Jay lowered himself back down and the stood back to back. Heechul closed his eyes and tried not to puke again. He hated his new power. He hated living here. He hated what they’d done to his—
“I wasn’t lying.” Jay murmured softly. “You should just go around in the nude. I like you better when you’re not wearing anything, princess.”
Heechul reached back to hit him, but Jay twisted around and to his feet. He grinned as he watched Heechul try to right himself to keep from spilling his water. “I’ll go and get some nausea medication from the medical staff.”
“Whatever.” Heechul grumbled.
“I’ll be back.” I’m not leaving. The unspoken promise made the nausea a bit easier to endure.
Heechul’s eyes snapped opened. He turned his head slightly to see the tall shadow hovering beside his bed, uncertain. “Hyung?”
“What do you want?” Heechul sat up. It was just Kyuhyun…why had he been expecting something different?
“Hyung,” Kyuhyun began again, as if he’d been summoning up the courage to speak. He’d probably been giving himself some kind of pep talk in the living room. “Hankyung—”
“Shut up and go to bed, Kyu.” Heechul rolled out of bed and headed for the door.
Ryeowook hadn’t had a chance to talk to Yesung until later that night, after he’d washed the dishes—with Kangin’s help, oddly, because the older man seemed to be distracted and thinking about something that only rinsing soapy plates seemed to cure—that he found himself sitting on the bed, waiting for Yesung to finish his shower.
Yesung was taking a long time.
“You took a while.” Was Ryeowook’s only answer.
Yesung nodded absently and squeezed his waterlogged bangs. The droplets hit the carpet, staining them briefly before they began to fade. Neither of them spoke, as Yesung tried to finish as quickly as possible so he could slip into bed without being interrogated and Ryeowook tried to muster up the courage to speak.
“…is there…is there a reason that Heechul hyung walked away earlier?”
“Is there a reason that Leeteuk hyung had Hankyung spy on him?” Yesung asked directly, because Yesung was blunt and forward, watching Ryeowook earnestly for an answer from behind a shield of sopping wet hair and a towel.
Ryeowook bristled a bit in defense. “Because you wouldn’t tell us anything!” He hadn’t agreed to it, had voiced his own thoughts on the matter when Leeteuk and Kangin had brought it up. Why should they try and foster more distrust? It would just blow up in their faces later and make it even harder for them to work together. But that didn’t stop him from defending the choice now that it had been made.
He saw that Yesung wasn’t going to respond to that; the older man had turned his back to him as he continued to dry his hair.
Ryeowook let out a soft sigh. “…why can’t we all trust each other and get along? We’re all in this together!”
“You wouldn’t understand.” Yesung replied. Simple, and with a tone that meant he was telling the truth and trying to be as sincere as possible. Yesung rarely got angry or snippy. It just wasn’t in his nature.
“Why can’t we just stop fighting?” Ryeowook asked softly. “We’re all on the same side, aren’t we?”
Yesung was silent for a moment as he mulled over his answer. He continued to dry his hair before he let the towel drop to his shoulders. “I want us to all be on the same side.”
“But why aren’t we?” It should have been simple. If they all just shared their information and stopped hiding things and trusted each other than it would be fine.
“Leeteuk hyung wants us to forget that all of this happened.” Yesung began rummaging around in his dresser for some boxers.
“I want to forget.” Ryeowook replied. “Everything I’ve seen, I want to forget it.” The blood, the death, the killing. He wished he could make it all disappear.
Yesung found his boxers and dropped his towel as he began putting them on. “I lived at the facility for 10 years, Wookie. There’s no way I could forget that.”
“But you could try.” Ryeowook gripped one of his pillows tightly. “You could talk to a psychologist or—”
“No amount of therapy is going to help. And who would I talk to? No one would believe me if I told them. They’d think I was crazy.” Yesung sent him a level look that wasn’t condescending, but there was a hint of some latent irritation that Yesung rarely showed. But the training facility had always been a touchy subject.
10 years? Yesung had never told him how long he’d been there. Ryeowook had always expected to feel happy about Yesung finally opening up to him. But right now he felt sick to his stomach from worry.
Ryeowook dropped the pillow and pulled his knees up to his chest as he watched Yesung grab an old shirt and pull it over his head. “Why are we doing this in the first place? Why didn’t we all run away to live normal lives? We could have done it. We could have lived together like a family and never worried about revenge or killing anyone.”
“That’s a little selfish, isn’t it?”
Ryeowook blinked, before clenching his fists and shooting back, “And revenge isn’t?”
Yesung blinked before giving a small shrug. “You could think of it that way…but if hyung was really selfish, he never would have saved Leeteuk hyung in the first place.”
“Are you trying to tell me Heechul hyung doesn’t want revenge?” Because that was a lie and they both knew it.
“No,” Yesung said simply, because Yesung rarely got angry or defensive. “He wants revenge and so do the rest of us. But that makes us human. Maybe it makes us monsters too, but I’d rather be a monster than a coward. I won’t run away from everything.”
There was nothing more to say and Ryeowook didn’t think Yesung would answer anyway. He felt the distance between them and he also felt a little ashamed of himself. All he wanted was for everyone to be happy and that was obviously impossible. He didn’t understand what the “usefuls” had gone through at the facility—but none of them would tell the useless even if they asked. And a small part of him wondered if maybe if the others pushed enough, Heechul hyung would tell them what it was like…but they were all too scared to find out.
Maybe they didn’t want to know how horrible it was and so they didn’t try hard enough.
Maybe they were all cowards.
Hangeng hit the sandbag once more and watched it swing lazily backwards. Sweat dripped down his nose and he angrily punched the bag again. His heart wasn’t in it, and he was too tired to continue. He found himself leaning against the bag as he pressed his forehead to it.
Dammit…this was all wrong.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way and he knew, he knew that Heechul had heard. And no matter what he said, he wouldn’t be able to fix it. Heechul had trusted him enough once to let him go, even after he’d learned that Hangeng was telling Leeteuk anything he found out. After that Heechul had stopped talking to him freely, but he hadn’t hated him.
He couldn’t say the same now. Hangeng had expected Heechul to yell at him after he’d called him into the bedroom. He hadn’t expected him to climb into his bed and ignore him. Was it because he wanted Hangeng to apologize? It wouldn’t have mattered. Heechul didn’t accept apologies anyway.
“Oh! I didn’t know that hyung was in here.”
Hangeng blinked, pushing himself off of the sandbag to see Siwon walking toward him. Siwon smiled his usual good-natured grin as he stopped a few feet away. “I thought you were with hyung.”
“He went to sleep.” Hangeng replied tiredly, not meeting his eyes. Had Heechul told Siwon yet? Did he know?
“Oh.” Siwon seemed to accept the answer readily. He headed toward the second sand bag as he tightened the wraps on his hands. “I just figured he’d want to talk to you. He’s been pretty stressed out lately.”
“I know.” He isn’t the only one.
“…you remember Typhoon, don’t you hyung?”
Hangeng nodded slowly. Typhoon…Leeteuk had almost mentioned him before Heechul had cut him off. He remembered Jay all too clearly. His fists clenched and he punched the bag again. Siwon came up behind it to hold it in place as Hangeng continued his barrage. “Why do you ask?”
“Hyung and Typhoon were really good friends.” Friends. He said friends because he was Siwon and saying “lovers” was too much for him. He was like that now, too. He turned a blind eye to whatever anyone did here, but he was uncomfortable with it. “He doesn’t want to fight him.”
“Well we’ll have to.” Hangeng shot back angrily, not looking Siwon in the face. “They want to kill us. They’re evil.” Evil wasn’t the word he was looking for, but he couldn’t find the appropriate one in Korean.
“Typhoon and the others were just doing what they had to.” Siwon defended. “They just haven’t realized that the Training Facility is using them.”
“You never have anything mean to say about anyone, do you?” Hangeng gave a crooked grin and punched the bag. Siwon didn’t budge at the impact, simply gave a small smile in return. “Of course I do. But they deserve it.”
Someone who deserved Siwon’s anger…it didn’t seem like it was possible for Siwon to hate anyone or anything.
“I was there.” Hangeng bit out. “I should be one of you.” He clenched his fists. Why did this happen to me? Why me? Why couldn’t I have been like everyone else? Why is Kyuhyun like you?
Siwon was quiet, but his grip on the bag tightened. “It’s better that you’re not. Hyung…hyung is probably really happy that you’re not.” He gave a small smile. “I’m jealous of you, you know?”
“Why?” Hangeng couldn’t understand why Siwon would be jealous of anyone. He was, after all, the paradigm of male perfection that everyone strived to achieve.
Siwon didn’t answer. He let go of the bag and took a step back. “I’m going to go lift some weights hyung. See you tomorrow.”
Hangeng watched him go in confusion. Why would Siwon be envious of anyone?
The roof was cold. Heechul often went there to think and found himself needing that time alone right now.
Even though he’d known about Hangeng’s “betrayal” all along, it didn’t make it any easier to swallow now that it was out in the open. Heechul didn’t like his business being made public and this was certainly his business.
He didn’t want to look at Hangeng right now. It wasn’t that he was angry so much as disappointed that perhaps he had continued his spying even though Heechul had caught him years ago. Inwardly he knew he couldn’t be angry. He was keeping secrets as well—but they were his to keep! It wouldn’t help the “useless” to know what was really going on anyway. What could they do?
In a way, it wasn’t that Heechul didn’t consider most of them useless. But they had survived GAM, they had been changed, and they were the same. And Heechul took care of his own, even if they hadn’t realized it yet.
Why couldn’t they see that they were all in this together? No matter what happened they would all be either blessed or damned. Napoleon said God spoke through the mouth of the biggest cannon. Heechul was going to make sure their firepower was sufficient for his grace.
God, it was freezing. He blew on his hands, but he could barely feel it through his leather gloves. The fabric seemed to only make him colder, the leather chilly against his skin. Dammit, why hadn’t he asked for wool gloves?
The door creaked as it opened and Leeteuk stepped out, holding two blankets. He walked over to where Heechul stood and held out one of them. Heechul took it, but didn’t say thank you. Leeteuk hadn’t expected one anyway.
He lowered himself down beside the younger man with a tired sigh. The two sat in silence for what seemed like hours. Heechul’s mental clock told him it had been three and a half minutes.
“Gym.” When Heechul had walked out there’d been no sounds from the showers or kitchen, so the gym was the next obvious choice.
“How should I know? I’m not his keeper.” He knew exactly where Kyuhyun was because he’d told him to sleep and Kyuhyun would do what he told him to do. Heechul wished the others would be just as compliant. But it wasn’t in their nature to just do what they were told. It didn’t seem to be in Kyuhyun’s either, but love had blinded him. Or lust, or whatever Kyuhyun believed it to be.
Heechul needed him right now, so it was best to ignore it.
Leeteuk picked up a small pebble and tossed it at the greenhouse. It hit the wall with a soft ‘tnk’ before falling to the ground. “You haven’t told me to kill Henry yet.”
“There isn’t a reason to. Now that he has nowhere else to go he won’t be a problem. You’d better keep an eye on him. He’s your responsibility. Because if he does become a hindrance I will kill him.” Heechul pulled the blanket tighter around his body and paused, taking a whiff. “This blanket smells like sweat.”
Leeteuk rolled his eyes and didn’t comment. He wasn’t going to let Heechul continue to dodge his questions. “What makes you so sure that Jay hasn’t told anyone about us?”
Because Jay is like Kyuhyun. He’ll do anything I say because he loves me. Loves? Or was it loved? Heechul’s grip tightened on the blanket. He didn’t know why he still believed that Jay loved him. After all, he’d refused to come with him. He’d stayed with his team, with the GAM project. He was the enemy and he’d made it clear that he was the enemy.
But for some reason, Heechul didn’t think he’d betrayed him and told the government about Leeteuk and Shindong. He throat tightened. But what about Hangeng? He hated Hangeng. And the others? After their last encounter, when he’d asked Jay to come with them and then Xmas had attacked…surely after that he’d told.
But obviously he hadn’t, if what Henry had said was correct.
“What about Xmas? Or Rose? Or Attack? They knew.”
Heechul sent him an irritated glare. “I don’t know, alright? But they didn’t know so why are you still talking about it?”
“I think you should tell everyone else about Jay and the others.”
“Don’t call him Jay.” He’d been the only one to call him that. It didn’t feel right to let others do it. “And I don’t see why the hell that’s anyone else’s business.”
“I think it would help them to trust you.” Leeteuk answered truthfully.
“Well I don’t need them to trust me.” Heechul snapped back. “I don’t care what yours decide to do or who they decide to follow, so long as it doesn’t interfere with my plans.”
Leeteuk gritted his teeth. “You can’t mean that. Stop making this about you! This isn’t about revenge, it’s about saving lives.”
“It was always about revenge.” Heechul hissed back, before making to stand. “Fuck, talking to you is like talking to a brick wall. You just don’t get it.”
Leeteuk wanted to say something in response, to yell back that Heechul was the one acting like an obstinate child. But that wasn’t what he wanted. He didn’t want another fight. He sighed softly. “…sit back down.”
Heechul didn’t take orders from anyone. He didn’t turn to leave, but he continued standing.
“I don’t mean to be like this.” Leeteuk finally spoke. “I just want all of us to get along. I want us to leave here and live normal lives.”
“Do you think it’ll end just like that? That we’ll grow old and write each other Christmas cards and send each other pictures of our families and our kids.” Heechul snorted. He rubbed his arms under the shelter of the blanket.
Yes. That was exactly what Leeteuk wanted. Why couldn’t they do that? Why didn’t Heechul see that they could all stop this? “What if they find a cure for GAM one day? We could all live normally again.”
Heechul sent him a look that bordered on disgust. “A cure? I’m not diseased. This isn’t cancer or tuberculosis, Jungsu. We can’t be fixed, we just adapt.”
“If you could.” Leeteuk spoke softly. “If you could…wouldn’t you like to kiss Hankyung just once? If you didn’t have your power, you could do that. You could touch him.”
“If I didn’t have my power, hyung, I wouldn’t have met him at all.”
Kyuhyun had been sleeping soundly when a hand grabbed his shoulder and shook roughly. He momentarily panicked, scrambling to attack back to find himself pinned by a pair of strong arms and an annoyed glare. A pair of pink ear buds dangled a few centimeters from his nose.
“Get up.” Sungmin ordered, leaning back and letting go. It was still dark outside, and Sungmin hadn’t turned the lights on.
“What’s going on?” Had something happened? Were they under attack? Had someone followed Henry? No, that was unlikely, because Sungmin was probably the last person that would come to save him, despite the fact that the two were on better terms now.
“We need to decode the data we received from the flashdrive.”
“But it was blank—”
“That’s because we only had half the data. Kibum found the other half at Dr. Lau’s.”
Kyuhyun was pretty sure that Kibum wouldn’t give them the new information without looking at it first. As if reading his mind, Sungmin gave a small smirk, “He doesn’t know I took it, so we have to hurry.”
Kyuhyun was pretty sure that if Kibum caught them, there’d be a fight. He knew Sungmin would be fine, but among the useless, Kibum was the most terrifying in his opinion, and he didn’t want to have to defend himself when he knew it was rather hopeless.
After arriving at the other apartment, he kept glancing toward the front door and to the medical room, even though Sungmin assured him that Kibum and everyone else was either asleep or preoccupied. Also, Sungmin had locked the door to the computer room and silence it, so no one would know they were there.
That didn’t stop Kyuhyun from nearly pissing his pants at every little sound. The creaking of the swivel chair and the beeping of monitors were all Kibum coming in to blow his brains out with whatever gun he’d grabbed from the shooting range cabinet.
The two sat down at adjoining computers. As Kyuhyun settled down uncomfortably, Sungmin pulled out both the old flashdrive and one that Kyuhyun hadn’t seen before. He handed them both to Kyuhyun, “You have to hold them both at the same time to get the code we need. Or well, that’s what hyung figures.”
So Heechul had been thinking this through for a while now…that meant he’d had a hunch that the second half of the data was with Dr. Lau and that was why he’d let Henry go back, right? That made sense.
Kyuhyun placed the two flashdrives down and pulled off one of his gloves, before doing the same to the other. He took a deep breath, steadied himself for an influx of information, and touched both.
The flood of data he expected did not come. Instead, a series of numbers and letters that he knew immediately was a password. He dropped them and placed on his gloves, before he stuck both flashdrives into the computer and a dialogue box popped onto the screen. He reached over and typed in the password.
The dialogue box disappeared, and for a moment Kyuhyun wondered if he’d put in the wrong code. Then the screen went black, before several windows opened up and Kyuhyun blinked. Sungmin leaned over him and began typing away, gaze glued to the screen.
“…this…” Sungmin blinked, eyeing a blueprint. “Kyuhyun.”
“Go get Heechul hyung.”
“On the roof.” Sungmin bit out, and there was a crazed look in his eyes. He didn’t look angry at whatever this blueprint was, but there was an edge to his voice that made Kyuhyun uncomfortable as he scrambled out of his chair and toward the door.