“You got him?”
“Yeah, I see him. Northeast corner of the alley.With a possible hostage. female, late teens to early 20s. Doesn’t look like she’s moving. Oh gross…shit, I think she’s dead.”
Sungyeol listened to the report from his partner, Sungjong. They have been stuck together for almost 3 years, unwillingly at first. They fought like crazy, argued like there was no tomorrow. They jumped at every chance to try and kill each other, wrestling within their room until someone heard the noise and had to break them up to prevent them from strangling each other. On multiple occasions, they have stormed into headquarters, demanding at the top of their lungs for new partners. And every time, the leader, Kim Sunggyu, refused and threw them out, saying that he put the two of them together because they were total opposites of each other. And it was true. Sungyeol, while seemingly chic and calm on the outside, was actually impulsive and reckless. Doing things before thinking it through. Going on unsanctioned raids and hunts alone, all in the attempt to rescue the victim. He thought with his heart and was emotional. Too emotional. On the other hand, Sungjong, despite being the younger of the two, was more mature. He was the careful one of the partnership, calculating and analyzing every option and possible outcome of a hunt. They begrudgingly accepted each other after about 6 months of being stuck together, when they were just finishing up a nightly hunt and just as Sungyeol was letting his guard down, something had snuck up behind him, grabbing him from behind and bloodlust setting into the creature. Sungjong was the one who saved him from death’s hands, and after that, they have saved the other’s life multiple times. They grew to depend on each other, to have each other’s backs at all times. They knew everything about each other, and would not have it any other way. Of course, it didn’t mean that they stopped bickering and fighting each other. It was just…different. Now, they respected each other and would die for one another without a second thought.
“Ok, I’ll go after the hostile. You, go and block that alley across from him,” and with that, Sungyeol jumped from the rooftop down into the alley, landing softly behind the target, who was hunched over a body, clutching it close to his chest while his face was buried in the victim’s neck. Only the quiet breeze of the wind and sucking could be heard in that dark night. The target felt a presence behind him, and dropping the body onto the pavement with a thud. He turned around to face Sungyeol, and showed his face for the first time. The mouth smeared with blood, the tail swishing back and forth in excitement, the scales up his arms and wicked curved claws at his fingertips. His golden eyes gave off a cruel, dull, glow as he stared at Sungyeol, his face twitching up into a wicked half-smirk.
“Well, what do we have here? A lonely soul. Don’t worry, I have a friend for you. She’s a cutie. But kind of quiet. She won’t talk back to you.” He gave a small chuckle, licking the blood from his fingers. “Tasty… but I’m sure your blood will taste just as good!” And with that and a howl, he ran towards Sungyeol, ready to sink his disgusting teeth into Sungyeol’s flesh. Smirking at the creature’s cockiness, he whipped out his sword, watching it glow as he held it in his hand. The creature came to a screeching halt, hissing at the deadly weapon and whispered menacingly, “Hunter.”
“Yep, and let me tell you one thing. You’re done killing people in my city”
“Maybe, but you’re going to have to catch me first,” and with that, he turned and sprinted towards the alley that led back to the street, only to stop in his tracks. There was another person there, another Hunter, bow and arrow at the ready. The pink bangs covering his forehead moved with the slight breeze; his blue eyes stared at the creature.
“Take another step and you’re dust… not that you already aren’t. You’ll just be dust sooner”
The target’s eyes darted from side to side. “Only two hunters, I see, and you both look like rookies. Today’s my lucky day, I get 3 humans to feast on!” he unleashed a roar and turned to swipe at Sungyeol, who was sneaking up behind him. Sungyeol jumped back to avoid the cruel, curved claws and slashed back with his own sword. Sungjong shoved the arrow back in his quiver and using his bow as a staff, began to attack the creature as well from the other side.
The creature was deft and clever, managing to dodge most of the attacks from both sides and landing a few of his own on the Hunters, but with each punch that he gave the hunters, he became more and more confident, leading to mistakes and sloppy attacks. Sungjong and Sungyeol noticed this, looked at each other, both of them thinking the same thing.
“Yah! Is that all you got? You afraid that you are going to die? I thought you had a bit more to offer. Guess not, you’re just like the rest of them. No wonder you prey on defenseless women. Let me guess, you attack them from behind. Can’t even face them before you kill them. Sad.” Sungjong taunted, clucking and shaking his head in mock pity.
With an annoyed growl, he turned his attention towards Sungjong, swinging and slashing wildly at Sungjong, forcing him to back up to avoid being ripped to shreds by those claws. Eventually his back hit against a brick wall. He closed his eyes and turned his head to the side, his hair covering his face.
Smirking victoriously, the creature slowly and deliberately stalked forward towards his prey. In his mind, he had won.
“Now, who’s the one that’s afraid? Can’t even look at your killer.” He stopped in front of Sungjong, his clawed hands stroking Sungjong’s cheeks. He grasped Sungjong’s cheeks it roughly and turned his face towards himself. Sungjong’s eyes were closed, his face emotionless.
“It’s a pity to kill a beautiful, exquisite face,” the creature sighed. “It makes me feel almost bad” He leaned in, letting go to lick Sungjong’s cheeks. “Almost” And with that, he threw his head back and let out a screeching roar, his two canines growing longer, ready to sink into the soft, tantalizing flesh.
Only to be slashed from behind, a large cut from his right shoulder to his left pelvis. He cried out in pain, and turned. It was Sungyeol, sword with blood dripping grasped tightly in both hands. Dazed with pain, the creature stumbled forward to try and attack when he suddenly stopped in his tracks. He looked down, only to see a sword erupting from his chest. Sungjong got close to the creature’s right ear, with one hand on his shoulder, and whispered, “For the record, I’m not afraid. I’m never afraid of dirt like you.” And with that, he ripped the sword from the chest and the creature, with one last howl, burst into dust that dissipated into the breeze.
Sungyeol burst out laughing, “Oh my god… he… he… HE LICKED YOU!” Sungyeol couldn’t stop, falling onto his butt and clutching his sides, “Holy crap, I thought you were going to lose it! Did you call you girly too?”
Sungjong shot a murderous look towards Sungyeol, angrily wiping his cheek. “No, he didn’t and don’t you start. I swear, what was taking you so long to stab him? God, I’m going to burn my favorite shirt now, or maybe just disinfect it with bleach. And my cheek, I still feel his spit on me… and his stench… GOD DAMN YOU LEE SUNGYEOL!” He began chasing Sungyeol, who was wildly cackling and sticking his tongue out as he ran down the alley back towards the street. They didn’t notice someone watching them from the roof of a building closeby, more specifically focusing on Sungyeol. His narrowed red eyes stared at Sungyeol and his childish antics, licking his lips in anticipation. Sungyeol felt someone behind him and turned, but saw no one. He scanned his surroundings. And there was no one there.
Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear, Sungyeol and Sungjong weren’t just any normal people. They weren’t police officers or FBI agents or anything to do with law enforcement. No, they did something much more dangerous, much more hidden. They killed the creatures that may look human, but preyed on the very thing that kept actual human beings alive. Blood.
“Yah! Sungjong-ah, Sungyeol-ah. Come with me, now” Kim Sunggyu commanded. The two looked up from their physical training, and followed after him.
Sungyeol whispered, “hey, did you say something to him?”
“Funny, I was going to ask you the same thing” was Sungjong’s sassy remark.
“Oh god, what did you do? Pour dye in his shampoo? Why am I getting in trouble? I’m just the innocent partner here.”
“Hah! Innocent my ass. Did you give him a vinegar banana again? It was only funny once, ok?”
“For the last time, I only did it once. Someone stole my genius idea. When I find out who did it, they’re going to regret ever stealing from the amazing Lee Sungyeol!”
“Quiet before I tape your mouth shut!” Kim Sunggyu, their leader, barked. “I only wanted to talk to you guys. You guys are going to be on patrol tonight. Dongwoo and Hoya are having their 3rd anniversary and since you two are the only ones available, you’re on the hunt.”
Sungjong’s jaw dropped and he began complaining, “What?! Hyung, we just patrolled yesterday. I still can’t get that thing’s stench off my face. I scrubbed my face at least 10 times! Showered in hot water for almost 2 hours. I think I used my entire bottle of soap and shampoo…And my shirt… I’m still soaking it in bleach right now. You can’t be serious! Why can’t you?”
“Because I said so”
“Just because you are hyung and our leader does not mean you get to sit back and make us do the dirty work! Now that I think about it, when was the last time you even went out on patrol anyway? Too busy playing around with Woohyun-hyung?”
Sunggyu’s eyes narrowed and he took a step towards Sungjong, “Say that again, I dare you”
Sungjong opened his mouth to repeat what he said, but Sungyeol immediately stepped forward, and clamped his hand over Sungjong’s mouth. He replied, “What Sungjong-ie meant to say was, of course hyung, we can take patrol tonight, isn’t that right?” while glaring at Sungjong, telling him silently to just agree and keep his mouth shut.
With a huff, he threw Sungyeol’s hand off of his face and just nodded before stomping off, probably to his room to punch something. Sungyeol sighed, before turning towards Sunggyu, “I’ll go after him, make sure he doesn’t destroy our room too much. Don’t worry, we’ll be out tonight.” After giving a slight bow, he ran in the direction Sungjong took off in, leaving Sunggyu alone in the room. He pulled out his phone and called someone. It rang twice before a male voice picked up, “Hello?”
“Hey, Namu, clear your schedule. I’m coming over tonight.”
It was night outside when they went on patrol once again. Sungjong was muttering under his breath, something about a lazy and naggy leader. Sungyeol just shook his head and gave a small chuckle.
“Hey, it’s nothing bad. Worst thing that can happen is that you get licked again”
“Shut it, don’t remind me. I still can’t believe you said yes to this. What if I had plans tonight?”
“With who? Your teddy bear? Give your teddy a break. You hit him too much. He would have so many bruises if he could bruise. Besides, it’s good to get some fresh air. We’d probably stay in our room either fighting each other or eating your hidden ramen supply”
“Shut up. And why would we… wait… how do you know about my ramen supply?” Sungjong asked as his eyes narrowed suspiciously at Sungyeol.
“Umm… no reason….” Sungyeol gave a nervous chuckle, and began inching away.
“Have you been…” Sungjong began questioning when a shrill scream interrupted him.
Both of them turned towards the sound, and quickly began running towards it. As demon hunters, they both had gifts that made them the demons’ equals. They could run faster than normal humans, could hear further and quieter sounds, were stronger than the average human, and were well trained in fighting. They healed faster too, which was good because the demon population was growing as the days passed. Naïve people were trading their souls for this…gift, as they called it. The physical advances that came with it: the strength, the speed, the visual acuity, the immortality. But also the emotional rush that demons felt. The sense of being superior to humans, the power, the thrill of feeding off of a person’s fear and terror, the sense of being in control of a person’s life. Yet, the demon hunters were dying off, killed by demons during raids and hunts. And the demon population was on the rise. Staying hidden, but their numbers were increasing.
That being said, Sungjong and Sungyeol could hear the whimpers and pleas of a girl to be left alone. Why or who was scaring her, they couldn’t tell. But they weren’t going to take any chances. Finally, they managed to find her in an abandoned building, her back up against the wall, her face in fear as her eyes darted to the sides, looking of any possible escapes. There was another person dressed in all black, his back towards Sungyeol and Sungjong, slowly stalking towards the girl, almost lightly, as if he was enjoying this.
“Hey! You, don’t take a step closer to her” Sungyeol yelled.
The person stopped and without turning his head, replied, “This is none of your business. Leave before I hurt you. She was asking for this. She led me here for ‘something wild and dangerous,’ I’m only giving her what she wants.”
“Well now she’s asking you to stop, you dumb-ass. Leave her alone or you will regret it.” Sungjong snapped.
“Regret? I don’t think I’ve ever felt that before… let’s find out how it feels like” and the person lunged towards the girl.
Sungyeol only saw the male moving towards a vulnerable girl and he snapped. He ran and jumped on the person’s back.
“Run!” He yelled towards the girl while wrapping his arm around the person’s neck in a chokehold. He saw her hesitate, “GO! NOW!” and with that, she took off. The person growled and reached behind him, grabbing Sungyeol by the neck of his shirt. He threw Sungyeol off towards the wall and began to head off to the direction to where the girl was, but was stopped by Sungjong, who had his arrow cocked and aimed at the man.
“One more step, and you’ll have an arrow through your heart” Sungjong warned, a serious look in his eyes.
“Hunter,” he hissed, moving back instinctively.
“And I’m guessing you aren’t human, considering you know what I am.” Sungjong retorted.
“Then I’m guessing that that other cutie is your partner, am I right?” Sungjong stayed silent, and the creature, taking his silence as agreement, immediately ran over to Sungyeol, who was still dazed from the throw, lifted him up from the ground, and encircled his arms around Sungyeol from behind, nuzzling his nose into Sungyeol’s neck and smelling him. “Shoot me, I dare you. Try not to hurt your partner too much,” the creature taunted, his breath tickling Sungyeol’s skin.
“That voice...it couldn’t be…it couldn’t be him… no… he went missing years ago… is it…but that would mean he’s….” Sungyeol thought. “No, it can’t be him. This isn’t him.” The other two were still staring each other down when Sungyeol quietly called out, “Myungsoo?”
Shocked, the creature loosened his grip on Sungyeol, just enough for Sungyeol to jab him in the stomach with his elbow and free himself. He turned around to see the demon recover and lift his head up.
It was him, his best friend since childhood. The one person who stuck by his side. The person that he trusted the most, even more than his own family, who died when he was a child during a hunt. When he went missing six years ago, Sungyeol lost everything in just a day. No, finding out his best friend was probably taken by something that wasn’t from this world was the day he truly was alone. But, Myungsoo was standing just 10 feet away from Sungyeol, yet… it wasn’t him. It had to be a dream, no… it was a nightmare. Sungyeol never wanted Myungsoo to be turned into the very thing he was trained to kill. No, it was better if he was dead. At least… he would have died a human.
The creature in front of the hunters cocked his eyebrows, asking, “Myungsoo? Who’s Myungsoo? No, I am called L.” And with that, Sungyeol’s heart broke even more. His love was gone, only to be replaced by this… thing… that looked exactly like him. From the way he dressed in black to the way he styled his hair so naturally down to the tiny dimple he had when he smiled. Those deep, soulful eyes, that nervous smile that Sungyeol remembered from years ago was gone.But the smile… instead of being gentle and loving, was cruel and almost sadistic. He then continued, “But I can be whoever you want me to be, sweetie”
Sungyeol just stood there silently, in shock and in denial. His best friend was gone, but he was right here. Which reality was worse? He just stared at Myungsoo, no L, blankly, tears falling down his face; he didn’t even notice L stalk over to Sungyeol. But Sungjong did, and he leaped in front of Sungyeol defensively, letting the arrow loose, aimed straight at L. L managed to dodge the arrow and glared murderously, his eyes turning a dark red, at Sungjong, peeling back his lips to reveal 2 large canines. He charged forward, with Sungjong running to meet him. They fought. They leapt at each other, claws and weapons out.
They were well matched opponents. L was taller, and more built in terms of muscle mass. But even though Sungjong was more petite, he was more graceful, his movements connected and controlled. L’s punches were wilder. They both landed brutal jabs and kicks on each other, giving each other multiple cuts and deep gashes. But being a human, and only a human, Sungjong was getting tired, and L knew that. He managed to grab Sungjong by the throat and ram him up against a wall. Sungjong was bleeding from his lips, his face, his arms. He had a long gash on his torso from L’s claws. Sungjong still stared at L, straight in the eyes. “Go ahead, do your worst.”
“Strange, most people would beg for their lives, plead for me not to hurt them, promise that they would not tell. But you…. You still look death straight on.”
“I’m not most people. And I will never be afraid of you, no matter what you do to me.”
L paused, but only for just a moment, before he remembered something. “Well, what about if I do something to your partner?”
Sungjong’s eyes widened, and he cursed. “Don’t you fucking dare you do anything to him, you hear me? Son of a bitch, LEAVE HIM ALONE!”
L only smiled, and whispered, “Watch me” before dropping Sungjong like a bag of rocks and almost lightly skipped over to where Sungyeol was still standing. He hadn’t moved at all. It seemed like he didn’t even notice anything around him, lost in his own thoughts and memories. Sungjong tried to get up and follow him, but was too weak, collapsing onto the ground once again. He could only watch helplessly as L effortlessly lifted up Sungyeol, putting one hand over Sungyeol shoulder’s from behind, almost like a lover’s embrace, and whispered, “Time to say goodbye to everything you love” L didn’t even fight back. The creature’s touch was strangely warm, just like his Myungsoo. He felt more tears stream down his face, landing on the demon’s arm, and he just quietly sobbed, trying hard not to let the creature hear him. He didn’t want to show any weakness, but in front of his best friend, or his doppelganger, it was hard not to let everything down and out. And those words… the day Myungsoo went missing was the day he lost everything he ever loved.
L felt something wet drop onto his arm. And he heard it. Sobs. But it didn’t sound like they were from someone who was scared and begging for their life. No, it sounded like the cries of sorrow and anger. The sobs of someone being robbed of something precious. They were the cries of heartbreak. Of missing somebody. Of losing everything. And for some reason, L could relate. And he didn’t want to kill him. No, he wanted to comfort him, to protect him. To make him his. He loosened his grip, and was about to nuzzle his face into Sungyeol’s neck when he felt something rip into the back of his shoulder. Pushing Sungyeol away and down onto the ground, he reached over and felt it. It was an arrow. 2 to be exact. He turned and saw Sungjong who, by some miracle, managed to notch an arrow and aim. He felt himself losing blood and growing weaker. He had to leave, now, and so he did, but not before looking at Sungyeol.
Sungyeol finally noticed just how hurt Sungjong was, bleeding all over the place and was unconscious. He called Sunggyu, who snapped at him at first for calling him when he was out, but after hearing just how severely injured Sungjong was, told him to stay put and he would call Hoya and Dongwoo to meet them. They came soon after, with Dongwoo fussing over Sungjong, applying pressure to his torso, where most of the bleeding was happening. He bandaged the other injuries and cuts as best as he could, and urged Hoya to drive faster. Sungyeol was sitting besides Sungjong, who was lying in the backseat while Dongwoo was sitting on the car floor, and he couldn’t help but feel guilty for what happened to Sungjong. He just stood there, like a useless piece of shit. He wanted to grab his sword, run towards Sungjong and help him during the fight, but he just couldn’t. Because he knew that he would be hurting Myungsoo. But why does that matter? He was a demon. He hurt that girl, and it was likely that she wasn’t his first victim, and wouldn’t be his last. He lost his soul, his sense of right and wrong, his compassion, his humanity. That thing that looked like Myungsoo had none of the qualities that his Myungsoo had. So then why couldn’t he kill him? Why did he cry?
“wow… I never thought I would live to see the day that the great Lee Sungyeol was thinking…” a raspy voice interrupted his thoughts, and he looked down to see Sungjong looking up at him, a small but pained smile on his face.
“Shut…shut up. I’m always thinking”
“Maybe. About what? How to get back at Sunggyu for sending us out today? That’s all you think about. Pranks. More pranks. And… that’s about it actually.” he chuckled, and winced from the pain.
Sungyeol couldn’t help but smile. If Sungjong could sass like that, he was going to be fine.
It was hours later when Woohyun finally came out of the medical room. Sungyeol was just sitting outside, waiting to hear back. When he saw Woohyun, he stood up immediately, the question evident on his face.
“He’s going to be fine. Absolutely fine. He had the nerve to ask me if I was stitching properly. Apparently, he doesn’t have scars on his face because and I quote, ‘hyung, a face like mine is hard to come by.’ I mean, I didn’t know whether to just laugh or slap him. Anyway, he’s sleeping right now, but you can go check up on him if you want. Just don’t wake him up or anything. Oh, and try to keep the room the way it is. I don’t want to stitch up two bodies when I get back.” Woohyun said, a serious expression on his face. “Go and see him.” He urged, pushing Sungyeol towards the door. Sungyeol nodded in thanks, and Woohyun returned that gesture before walking down the hall, probably to visit Sunggyu.
Sungyeol came into the room. Sungjong was lying there, IVs in his forearm, dripping saline and other chemicals. He had electrodes taped on his chest, clips on his fingers to monitor his heartbeat. He looked pale, but there was some color in his cheeks. His eyes were closed, and he looked incredibly peaceful, as if sleep was the only time he could get away from the dark realities of their world. He was just about to leave when a groggy voice called out.
“You’re supposed to knock when you want to enter a room” Sungjong murmured as he opened his eyes.
“You were sleeping. I didn’t want to interrupt.” Sungyeol replied, “How are you?”
“I feel like shit. It hurts everywhere. Sungyeol hyung, help me” Sungjong whined.
“Wait, are you serious? Where does it hurt? Don’t move, I’ll call Woohyun…”
“Chill. I’m just kidding. Besides some cracked ribs and fractured fingers and collarbone, I’m fine. I just can’t move for a bit. That’s all. Oh, and the lost blood, but that’s about it. He didn’t hurt me that much.”
“What about…” he gestured around Sungjong’s neck.
“He didn’t squeeze that hard, so there’s not going to be any marks, if that’s what you’re asking”
They just stayed in silence for a bit before Sungyeol sighed, “Go ahead and ask. Might as well.”
“Ok, good, because it’s been killing me. What the hell hyung? What in the world happened? You know that you can’t just freeze up like that. What if I wasn’t there? What would have happened? Let me tell you, it’ll be you in this bed, or even worse, your deathbed. And when he grabbed you, why in the world didn’t you fight back? That’s what we are trained to do, to fight back and kill demons. That’s our job. We spent years training to do this. And I know you are capable of getting out of it, so… why?” Sungjong finished in a rush and took a deep breath after being able to get the curiosity off his chest.
Sungyeol blinked, not expecting Sungjong to ask so much. “Will you believe me if I say that I don’t know?”
“No. Despite how you look and act, I’ve never seen you give up without a fight. Everyone here would agree that you are one of the best hunters around. You have a reputation in the demon world. You’re one of the most feared demon hunters to them. And now, this… fledgling comes along and manages to charm you into giving up. Into basically surrendering. I’ve seen you take down some of the oldest demons out there, and some of the most known monsters that Headquarters has been after for months. Are you sure you’re ok? Because it didn’t look like it today. I mean… you were crying. I’ve never seen you cry when we are out hunting. Ever. So who was he? Do you know him?”
“Yes... I mean no… I mean maybe, I don’t know!” he exclaimed in frustration, grabbing one of the chairs nearby and dragging it over to sit besides Sungjong’s bed. He buried his face in his hands, tears forming once again as he thought about the demon.
Sungjong was silent, but only for a moment. “Was he important to you?” Sungyeol looked up and just nodded. “I see. How important?”
“He was…is…was my best friend. We met in elementary school. He was getting bullied and I stepped in to help. I walked him home that day because I was afraid that the bullies would follow him home or something. Turns out we lived in the same neighborhood, and after walking him home a couple of times, we just became closer. My parents weren’t around much when I was a kid, so I was always alone at home. So I usually stayed at Myungsoo’s place after school until my folks came by to pick me up. My parents liked Myungsoo, so it worked out if they had to work late. We stayed close for years. We had the same classes in middle school. We had lockers next to each other. We would hang out a lot, and we knew everything about each other. Even though he got popular in high school, he still hung out with me whenever he had the chance. He never pretended that he didn’t know me. And to me, he became more than my best friend. He became the person I confided in; I told him everything, to how I was scared of the dark at 13, how lonely I was at home, how I hated my parents for leaving for times on end and even if they were around, they ignored me. But he treated me like I was actually worth something. He made me feel like someone, and overtime, I fell in love with him. I loved him more than just a friend. I loved him like nothing else. I loved him, and when he disappeared 6 years ago, a part of me died inside. Every day, I dreamed of waking up and seeing him at my door, or just anywhere in the street. So that I knew he was alive. I lived with that hope for almost a year and a half.”
“What changed?” Sungjong asked softly.
“My parents came into my room one day, and told me that they found Myungsoo’s body while they were out one night. Of course I wanted to tell Myungsoo’s parents, but they didn’t let me. And that was when they told me the truth. How his body was mangled by something not from this world. They told me that it was demons that killed Myungsoo, and how it was strange for demons to ruthlessly kill random humans. They guessed that it was because he was close to me. I didn’t understand until they told me that they disappeared for period of time, and often at night because they were out hunting. They were on raids with other hunters. They told me how they were part of a secret organization that dedicated their lives to going after the supernatural. I was from a line of well-known, well-respected hunters. Demons feared our family name, and hated us. They told me that Myungsoo was a target, but I would have the opportunity to avenge his death, to bring down the very creatures that took him away. I agreed, and trained day and night. I trained with the intention of fighting for him, to punish the very things who took him away from not only his parents, but from me.”
“So seeing him today… it shocked you.”
“That’s an understatement, but yeah, it did. I’m pissed that my parents lied to me for all those years, about him being dead. Actually, I don’t really care about that. Thing is, I don’t know how to feel. If I should be happy or sad. I don’t know whether I should hug him or kill him. He’s right there in front of me, but… it’s not him,” Sungyeol gave a rueful chuckle.“He’s nothing like the Myungsoo I loved, the one who laughed like a dork and clapped like a seal. The one that volunteered with kids and loved stray animals. The one that refused to let me pay for anything when he went out. That… thing wasn’t him. But, why do I feel so relieved when I see him? To know that he’s actually still alive. How am I supposed to feel? Because I am positive that training did not teach us how to react if our first love went missing for 6 years and then pops up as a demon?!” Sungyeol exclaimed, standing up in anger before walking over to the wall and began punching it in anger. Sungjong just lied there in silence, watching Sungyeol beat the wall and curse furiously. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t know what to say. He just watched Sungyeol hit the wall with so much force that his knuckles began to bleed. For once, he wanted to give Sungyeol a hug and tell him that everything was going to be ok. But that would be a lie. Nothing was ever going to be the same for Sungyeol.
Myungsoo pushed the door to his apartment in and trudged inside. He let the door slam shut as he slowly made his way over to his bathroom. The arrows that that boy had shot were still in there. He had to get them out. He clutched one of the arrows and took a deep breath. One, two…
He let out a roar of pain as he yanked the arrow out, his hand clutching the sink, leaving cracks in it. He didn’t even let himself breathe before he pulled out the second one. His eyes flashed red as he took deep breaths to relieve the pain. He could feel the wounds slowly stitching back together, but he would need blood if he wanted to make the process faster. L walked over to his fridge, flinging the door open and grabbed a blood pack. He didn’t even bother to open the packet; he just stabbed his fangs and drank deeply, squeezing the pack to get every drop in his mouth. Feeling unsatisfied, he grabbed another one from the fridge and drank that one too, albeit a bit more slowly. It was strange, for the past couple of months, he had been living off blood packs. He had been trying to be a demon. He had stalked his “victims” before, usually picking them up in a club, and had been close to killing them. But for some reason, he was never able to deliver the final blow, to actually drink from them. He had tried so many times, but every time ended in failure. Why? He didn’t know. Was it because he didn’t think they were satisfying enough? Were they not good enough for him? He had picked different victims, male, female, blonde, brunette, black-haired, every type of victim he could think up. And still, he just couldn’t do it. His mind drifted back to earlier tonight. He picked someone that he thought was perfect. Long, wavy brunette. An innocent looking face with just the right amount of sexiness. Even her blood smelled delicious. Fruity with a hint spice. But when he got close enough to strike, he found himself hesitating. Actually, he was about to walk away from her when those two hunters showed up.
The hunters. The pink haired one was annoying. He looked like a female, with the soft curves on his face and flawless skin. But then he thought about the other hunter. The tall, lanky one with almost shoulder length light brown hair pulled back. The hair surrounded his long, almost elliptical face. That one interested him. He looked tough, with the multiple piercings in both his ears, his actions suggesting that he was a passionate person. But the way he looked at him; it was an expression that L could never forget. It wasn’t of fear, but of shock, of sadness and grief. And for some reason, L didn’t like that look on his face. It was something that he never wanted to see on that beautiful face again. He wanted to see him smile. And he wanted to be the reason that that hunter would smile. He was going to see him again, but this time, he was going to make him his. Forever.
Sungjong made a full recovery, and was happy to hear that the only scar that would remain would be the one on his torso. He never asked Sungyeol about Myungsoo again, but made it clear that he would be here to talk if he ever needed it. And Sungyeol appreciated it. If Sungjong had began to treat him any differently out of pity, he would hate it. He would have been even more broken then he already was. Sungjong was about the only thing that kept his life normal. Or at least, as normal as it can be. They still laughed with or at, usually at, one another. They still argued, tussled, and pulled pranks on each other. But at the end of the day, they knew that they could depend on one another.
They still went out on patrol together, and worked well, feeding off of each other’s energies. But Sungjong began noticing how after every hunt, Sungyeol would lag behind, looking around the rooftops, slowing down in alleyways. He was just looking for something, and Sungjong had asked him many times, but Sungyeol always either just ignored him or gave a vague answer. Sungjong wasn’t dumb; he knew that Sungyeol thought with his emotions. At the end of the days, Sungyeol was ruled not by his brain, but by his heart. Clearly, Myungsoo had left a strong impression on Sungyeol. Even after 6 years, he still remembered everything about Myungsoo; it was obvious that 6 years was not enough to heal his heart, to forget his first love. Even if he was a demon, Sungyeol could never hate him much less kill him. He still had, no has, a place in Sungyeol’s heart. He was looking for L. To Sungyeol, L was still Myungsoo. Even tonight, Sungjong could see him watching his surroundings even more closely, looking for anything in the darkness, even though it was clearly empty.
“You know, he’s probably not going to be here”
“Who?” Sungyeol asked.
“Please, don’t play dumb. I know who you are looking for. You’ve been looking for him for the past 3 months”
“What are you talking about? I’m not looking for anyone.” Sungyeol claimed, but the way he avoided Sungjong’s gaze, the way he bit the bottom corner of his lip for every lie, the way he played with his hands, spoke volumes.
“Look. You have feelings for him. I understand that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But you have to understand. The person you fell in love with died the day he went missing. That thing you see now… it’s just an illusion. Sure, it may look like him, but deep down, I know you know. He’s not really there. I realize how hard it is to accept that he is gone, but do you really want to lie to yourself for the rest of time. Myungsoo is gone. If you truly want to honor him, if you truly love him, kill the creature that pretends to be him. Don’t let him taint the image of the person you love.” Sungjong pleaded.
Sungyeol’s eyes began to water, and he almost whimpered, “I know, I know, I know what I have to do. But… that doesn’t make it any easier.”
“I never said it was going to be easy. Doing the right thing is never easy. But it’s what we, no you, it’s what you have to do.” Sungjong whispered as he wrapped his arms around Sungyeol, comforting him as he wept, his tall body shaking. After a couple of minutes, Sungyeol wriggled out of Sungjong’s grip and wiped the remaining tears off his face. He shot Sungjong a watery smile. He knew what he had to do now, and he was going to do it, no matter how much his heart twisted at the mere thought. He owed Myungsoo, the real Myungsoo, that much. A chance to truly rest in peace.
But unbeknownst to them, there was someone watching the two of them. Ever since the encounter, L had been following them, watching the hunter of his interest. He watched him and his partner save victims from death’s grips; he watched him patrol the streets, looking for anything dangerous. He watched the way the hunter would be the first to jump into action in any kind situation. He noticed the way that the hunter would recklessly put himself in harm’s way, and for some reason, it stirred a feeling of…protectiveness in him. He wanted to be that hunter’s shield, his knight in shining armor. Oh, and the smile that he had on his face every time he and his pink haired partner managed to save someone was… indescribable. It was beautiful, and L swore that his dead heart beat whenever he saw it. He wanted to be that person that would bring that smile on his face, the person to bring him… joy… the person to make him feel loved.
He followed him for who knows how long, but always in secret. He used the darkness to his advantage. He never found the courage to approach the hunter and make him his. Until now.
It seemed like fate was on his side. His partner was out with a cold, and he was on patrol alone. It seemed like a quiet night today, which was incredibly rare. Nothing to get in his way. No one to lure what was his away. It was time.
L followed the long haired hunter down the street and around the block, appreciating his long legs, his beautiful caramel colored hair, the piercings going along his ear cartilage, his rather rounded, sexy bottom. Everything about him was just… exquisite. And L’s patience was growing thin. And so, he moved away from the shadows, and made his presence known. The hunter knew he was being followed now. L could tell, the slight tension in his shoulders, the way he straightened up slightly, and now alert. Yet, the hunter continued on his way, briskly walking past the rows of houses, until he rounded around the corner. L followed, and was slightly shocked to see that there was no one there. He glanced around, trying to use his heightened senses to find him. But he couldn’t. Maybe he turned at the next corner. Just as he turned around, he felt something cold and sharp against his neck.
“One wrong move, and you’re dead” It was the hunter with a cold expression, his hard eyes staring at L’s almost black orbs. His thin fingers expertly wrapped around the sword pushed against L’s neck. He continued on, “Why have you been following me? You must really have a death wish.”
L smirked and replied, “Not a death wish. But I do have a wish.”
“Let me humor you. What’s your wish?”
“For you to be mine.” L stated simply with a serious look. And L could have sworn that he saw a look of shock and sadness in the hunter’s eyes, but when L blinked, it was gone. The icy façade was back.
“Well, then I’m sorry to disappoint. But I belong to no body, especially you.”
L flashed a smile, “Oh, but I always get what I want. Always.” And with that, he punched the demonhunter in the stomach, causing him to move backwards and clutch his torso in pain, but only for a moment. The hunter straightened himself and with a yell, threw himself at the demon, sword held high and a look of determination evident in his eyes.
Sparks flew as the hunter’s sword clashed with L’s claws. The hunter was strong, quick, agile. He was an experienced fighter, able to defend and then land a successful blow on L immediately after. He slashed at L’s arms, and L raised his arm defensively, and the sword cut through his leather jacket and injured skin. A thin stream of dark red, almost black blood, oozed from the wound. Then, the hunter whirled around, punching L’s left cheek and pushed him down with his foot. L fell to the ground, and rolled away, just in time to avoid the tip of the deadly weapon. He jumped back up again, and crouched down, analyzing the hunter, the way he walked, where he looked, trying to guess the hunter’s moves and fight back accordingly.
And of course, being a demon meant that his stamina was able to last longer. And just like before, with his partner, the hunter began to tire. His movements were not as connected, with him taking a few milliseconds to catch his breath. His hand grew heavy with weariness from holding the sword and swinging it back and forth. Sweat covered his forehead and ran down his face to his chin, where drops of it fell.
L saw his chance and managed to get close to the hunter, ignoring the stinging pain from the new cut on his shoulder. He grabbed the sword with one hand, and with the other hand wrapped around the hunter’s throat, pushed him up against the wall. He moved his arm down the sword’s blade towards the hunter’s wrist. He pushed that arm to the hunter’s side and dug his claws into the soft flesh of the wrist. The sword fell from the demon hunter’s hand with a clang. Blood from both L’s hand and the hunter’s wrist mixed together before dripping to the ground. It was completely silent, the both of them breathing heavily and staring at one another. Dark brown eyes staring at bright ruby red slits. They just gazed at one another.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Just get on with it. DO IT!” The hunter spat out bitterly, “I’m already at your mercy; I have nothing left.”
L felt a spark go through his body. He moved his face to the hunter’s ear and responded quietly, “I will protect you. I will make you mine for the rest of time. I’ll give you everything you ever wanted. You won’t have to cry anymore… not with me.”
The hunter gave a wry chuckle, “Give me everything I ever wanted? Give me whatever I want in the world.” His eyes bored into L’s. “Can you turn back time? Take me back to when I wasn’t dragged into this mess. Back to when I was just a normal person in high school? Back to when you were alive and with me, even if it was just as a friend?”
L wrinkled his brow in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
The hunter closed his eyes and turned his face as far as he could away, almost as if those 5 simple words brought all the pain in the world. “You don’t remember, do you? When you were the only friend, no, the only person I ever felt safe with. The only person that actually gave a shit about me for almost 10 years. The one who made me smile, who made me laugh at his stupid jokes and naïve fascination with udon. The same one who managed to make my heart skip a beat every time he smiled at me. You don’t remember any of it. Well, I do! I remember everything we did together, how we played superheroes when we were in kindergarten, how we took in the Byeol and Agha from the streets and raised them together, how we almost burned your mom’s house down trying to make ramen. I remember it all! I remember everything I felt whenever I was around you, the joy, the nervousness every time you came close. How I wanted to confess to you, to hug you, to kiss you. I loved you. You killed me the day you disappeared! And now, you’re here, but as everything I hate. I know that you aren’t the Myungsoo I fell in love with, and I know that I am supposed to kill you. But how?!? How am I supposed to do that, when you look exactly like…” he broke off with a sob and calmed down a bit before continuing, “You said you can give me everything I ever wanted. Well, I had everything I wanted! I had you, even if it was only as a friend. It was enough! I thought that everything was ok in the world, as long as I had you. And now… you want me to belong to you? Do you have any idea how much I want that? I want to belong to you so badly, but… it’s not you. It’s not you. You’re not him. You’re not him…” he blubbered and let out a wail of grief, of rage to the world, to the sky, cursing the heavens for taking away the one person that meant everything to him before dropping his head and crying his heart out. Crying for the one that he lost.
L just stood there, reeling from the hunter’s passionate confession. He knew him? They were friends? He was a human? When? For how long? Why couldn’t he remember that? Why couldn’t he remember anything? He listened to the hunter’s heart-wrenching sobs. His hands loosened their grip on the hunter, and without any support, the hunter slid down the wall and just sat there, bringing his knees close and wrapping his arms around them. L didn’t know what to do, but he knew one thing: he wasn’t going to leave the hunter alone. He found himself kneeling with the hunter and enveloping in the tentative hug. The hunter didn’t resist, but instead pulled L closer and holding him tightly. L was shocked at first, but then gradually found himself relaxing into those arms. He wrapped his arms around the hunter’s shoulders more willingly. But… what was this sensation he was feeling in his dead heart? Why was it so comforting, so beautiful? And more importantly, why was it so familiar? He slowly put his chin on the hunter’s right shoulder and slowly, carefully turned his face towards the hunter’s neck, breathing in his scent. Vanilla with a hint of cinnamon.
And suddenly, images started flashing in L’s mind, blurs of colors and tones smushed together, but L could pick out some scenes. Pictures of two little boys playing in mud together, chasing each other around a field. Of two boys playing at the beach, pushing each other into the waves. Then, it was a picture of the same two boys, this time when they were around 8 or 9. The black, curly haired one had fallen down from skating, and the other honey colored one was caring for him, putting a bandage on his knee and helping him up. Then, it was a snippet of the two boys in middle school, one of them awkward and nervous, the other one grabbing his hand and pulling him along, clearly excited. He turned around to the other boy. It was him. L could clearly see his face, and told the other boy, “Come on! Let’s go! I won’t let you go! I promise.” And then it flashed by, and then, it was them in high school, with lockers next to one another. He poked the other boy in the ribs, earning a howl and a quick but intense game of poking followed. And then, it was the two of them at the beach again, but this time, they were much older. The other boy was flying a remote helicopter, and L was staring not at the helicopter, but at him. In L’s eyes, he was the most beautiful thing in the world, the most precious. Then, the other boy turned towards him, catching L’s gaze and yelled, “Yah! What? Is there something on my face? Oh my god… AHHH! My plane! It’s going to crash into the waves!” With that, he carelessly threw his remote down and furiously ran towards the ocean, trying to save his helicopter from a watery death, leaving L behind. L just laughed at the other’s antics, and ran out to join him, but not before quietly murmured, “Yes… yes there is… Sungyeol.”
Sungyeol…Sungyeol… that was the other person’s name. That was… the name of the person in his arms. That was the person who was crying his heart out right now. It all came back. Everything the hunter said made sense. He wasn’t L; he was Myungsoo. He was Sungyeol’s best friend, his confidant, but he wanted to be more than just his friend, he wanted to be Sungyeol’s first love, Sungyeol’s everything. Even when he was captured by demons that night, right until they drained him and injected venom into his body, all he thought about was Sungyeol, his face, his smoldering eyes, his cheeks, his beautiful, angelic smile. For the first time ever since becoming a demon, he felt something wet slip from his eyes and drip onto the hunter’s… Sungyeol’s shoulder. “Sungyeol, you’re Sungyeol. Sungyeol. Yeol. Yeollie….” Myungsoo repeated softly.
Sungyeol heard someone call his name, and looked around, but then realized that it was coming from the person in front of him…. It was L. But he called him Yeollie. No one called him that. No one except…
“Myungsoo?” he quietly asked, a small bubble of hope filling his heart. The demon looked up, and with tears of blood running down his face, he cried “Oh my god, Sungyeol. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I almost… I almost killed you. What have I done? I… I…” Myungsoo quickly pushed Sungyeol away from him and scurried back, “Please, don’t come any closer. I might…”
“Oh my god… Myungsoo!” He threw himself at Myungsoo, ignoring the other’s previous plea. He hugged him tightly. “Please don’t leave me. Not again. Never again. I don’t know if I can live if you go again. Please, don’t leave me alone. I won’t be able to stand it.” Myungsoo just nodded and squeezed Sungyeol. They just sat there, arms around one another, overcome with joy. Finally, after 6 years, they were together. They released their iron grip on one another, and stared at each other. Myungsoo made the first move, pushing his lips on Sungyeol’s soft, warm, plush ones. He closed his eyes. How long had he dreamed of this? The day he would be able to kiss Sungyeol. Sungyeol went stiff with shock, but only for a moment, before he too closed his eyes and began to kiss back. The kiss was tentative, full of innocent love at first, but then, it grew intense. Myungsoo licked Sungyeol’s lips, asking for entrance, one that Sungyeol was all too willing to comply, and Myungsoo began exploring Sungyeol’s mouth. The kiss was beautiful, sinful; their hidden love for one another finally coming to the surface. Finally, when the need for air became too great, Sungyeol reluctantly pushed Myungsoo off of him, his cheeks flushed red, his chest heaving up and down with effort. But he still kept his eyes on Myungsoo, a small smile on his face. “That was…”
“Beyond what I imagined.” Myungsoo finished for him. He scooted closer to Sungyeol, and after giving a quick peck on Sungyeol’s cheek, grabbed both of Sungyeol’s hands and his finger began playing to the top of Sungyeol’s hands. He stared at Sungyeol's hands, and Sungyeol swore that his heart raced as those dull red eyes, characteristic of a demon, but still beautiful to Sungyeol bore holes in Sungyeol's hands. “I… I really missed you. Even when I didn’t remember you, something was pulling me towards you. That first night that I saw you with your partner, I knew that you were the one.”
Sungyeol brought Myungsoo’s hand up and gave him a kiss. “What are we now?”
“I… I want to be… your love. I hope I was your first kiss.” he replied quickly, and then nervously looked up at Sungyeol, flashing a shy smile, his dimple appearing. The smile that Sungyeol fell in love with. "Can I?"
“You were… and I want to be that as well. But… me being a hunter and you being a demon…”
“Means nothing. You still are the same person that I fell in love with freshman year of high school. The same Yeollie that’s scared of ghosts and loves to make crow noises. You’re still him. Nothing changed, and nothing will change.”
“I know, but… my partner, my friends. They’re all demon hunters, you know. What will they…”
“If they really care for you, they may not like me. They don’t have too, but at least, I hope they understand how you feel.”
Satisfied with the answer, he snuggled up against Myungsoo’s broad chest, and began stroking his hand on his torso, feeling the abs under the black shirt. “Ok, we’ll go talk to them, just… let me stay here for a minute.”
“For as long as you need.” Myungsoo stated simply, and planted a kiss on the top of Sungyeol’s head. And so they sat, in the middle of some alley, with broken boxes, crates, and probably a bunch of rats and cockroaches hiding near the walls. But it was still a beautiful sight. The two finally being reunited after so many years, and their hidden love for one another finally recognized. And even if they were from two… species that were destined to be enemies, if you just randomly walked by that alley and saw the two of them hugging one another in some dirty and slightly smelly alley, you would probably assume that they were human. You would have never known that they were part of a world that not a lot of people knew about, And you most certainly would have never guessed their kinds were meant to kill each other, seeing the way that the one holding the other tightly and looking at him with such love and care while the other slept peacefully in his embrace. As they sat there, in each other’s embrace, the sun came up, the first time in many weeks because it had been rained on and off. I guess, you can interpret it as with the sun came hope, a chance for the two of them to write a new chapter in their lives, in their journey. That they finally had the chance to explore their love for one another, to show their true affections and feelings for one another, despite what others may think.
Or you can just see it as it was finally morning.