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I Can Be Your Savior

Chapter Text

My head hurts, but the rest of me is feeling numb. My eyes are open, but I can’t see anything, it’s all black. I think there’s something in front of my eyes, a blindfold maybe? What happened again? The memory of what happened earlier appeared in my head and I gasped softly.

I have been kidnapped by the person in front of the castle in the woods, the hacker. My chest tightened at the sudden anxiety of the situation I was in. My eyes are covered, but I felt the familiar stinging in them that means that the tears are flowing. How manly of me once again.

I tried to move my hands up to my face to take away what was blocking my sight, but it seems my hands are tied together behind my back. I feel dizzy, and I don’t know if it’s because I can’t see or maybe I’ve been drugged. The blindfold was starting to feel wet from my tears.

Is Seven alright? I don’t remember. I think he got away; I pray that he got away. I don’t know where I am, but I know it isn’t safe.

”Are you really going to abandon your friend like you did with me?”

“Yoosung I’ll come back, I promise! Stay alive! Please!” Seven yelled desperately as he ran further from us to the running car.

The memory the hacker’s voice came suddenly and left me confused. Does he know Seven? I wiggled my hands a bit more to no avail. The more I tried to escape the more frightened I felt.

Seven didn’t abandon me, I told him to go. I brought the car to get away like in the action movies, but the person we were going to run from had his hands around Seven’s neck. I bolted out the car and threw myself on my friend’s attacker. He let go and fell to the ground with me, I felt like a hero, until he pulled out a gun from seemingly nowhere and pressed the barrel to my temple. The hacker grabbed my wrist roughly with his free hand to subdue me.

I think both me and seven held the same terrified expression. The hacker told Seven that he was going to kill me and then kill him if he made a move for us. I remember screaming after hearing this. I told Seven to leave me behind, to save himself. He did, but I could see his broken expression at knowing it was his only option. That’s when the hacker said what he did about Seven abandoning him. The last thing I remembered was Seven’s car speeding off and the hacker’s grip tightening on my wrist.

I felt a little better now that I remember Seven getting away successfully, but I’m still so scared.

I tried to push myself off of the hard ground that I was sitting on. I shimmied against the wall to stand. My ankles are tied together just like my wrists. When I finally got into a standing position, I tried to move against the wall, but then I heard something. It sounded like a door opening. I stiffened and felt new tears forming already, a sob involuntarily leaving my lips.

I stayed still hoping that maybe they wouldn’t see me, but I heard footsteps getting closer to where I was standing. My nails started to dig into the palms of my hands.

The footsteps stopped, just a little bit in front of me, “What are you doing?”

I gasped at the voice, it was the same voice from outside, but it sounded somewhat calmer. Even more panic was beginning to set in. I opened my mouth to answer my captor, but I couldn’t make words come out. Instead I began to hyperventilate. It’s been a while since I have had a panic attack, but I suppose now would be the right time for one.

All of a sudden I was blinded by light. I closed my teary eyes and squinted them open. When my eyes adjusted to the light I noticed that the room was actually pretty dark, the only light coming from a wall of computer screens.

The hacker was in front of me holding what I’m guessing was the blindfold; there were dark circles on it that must have came from my tears. He smiled at me, however his eyes looked empty. I didn’t notice that I have calmed my breathing until he spoke again, “Our Savior is very happy to have you here.”

I didn’t know what he was talking about. Savior? Like a cult? Oh no, I’ve seen the documentaries about places like these. They’re probably going to use my blood for a ritual. I felt my breathing quicken again. I need to stop crying. I have to be strong for the RFA and for Rika if she’s watching me from heaven.

His smirk fell. “Calm down,” he spoke with annoyance in his voice. I noticed that he wasn’t wearing the black face mask he had on earlier. He actually looks kind of like a normal college student. Why is he doing this?

Despite him ordering me to calm down, it isn’t that easy. My hyperventilating turned into sobs. Through my blurry eyes I could see him looking annoyed. He put his hand on my shoulder and pushed my down until I sat back on the ground.

He turned to face the monitors on the wall and made his way over to them. He sat in the big office chair. “Do not move,” he spoke with a warning tone and then began to type rapidly at the big console in front of the screens.

I obeyed him and stayed where I was. It’s not like I could escape with him there anyway. There are no windows in this room, just a bed, a wardrobe, the big wall of technology, and two doors. We must be in his bedroom or something.

I sat there crying and shaking to myself for what must have been an hour or two until I ran out of tears, or the will to produce them. I sat in silence watching text appear and disappear on the many screens. I wondered what the other members of the RFA are doing. Did Seven tell them about me? Is he busy trying to come up with a plan to save me? Maybe he’s giving Elizabeth 3rd back to Jumin. Then Jumin could let that girl go back to Rika’s apartment and prepare for the party. Will I make it back in time for the party? It’s in two days.

I shifted silently, I really need to pee, and I really don’t want to pee in my pants. I already feel like a child and that would make it twice as bad. Should I ask this dangerous guy to let me go to the bathroom? Maybe he’ll ask me if I need to go eventually. Maybe he doesn’t care if I piss myself. I shifted again, this time the chains on my leg hit the floor and made a noise. I stiffened.

I looked up to my captor to see him pause his typing. The chair turned slightly so he could look at me. “What are you doing?” His voice was neutral; I couldn’t tell if he was mad or annoyed.

I tried to speak but my throat was dry and it came out as a squeak. After a small coughing fit I answered. “I… um, I need to use the restroom,” I spoke like I was at school and he was my professor. I was scared of my professors, but not as much as this guy scares me.

His face remained blank and then he stood. I backed into the wall further; I hope he doesn’t hit me. He made his way over to me and couched down to my level. He glared into my eyes. “Don’t make me regret this.” He then pulled out a small key from his jacket pocket and unlocked my shackles. After tossing the chains to the side he made me stand and turn around so he could get the rope off of my wrists as well.

When I turned back to face the white-haired boy he pointed to the door a few feet from where I was standing, “There is the bathroom. Do not fool around in there.”

I don’t know what he meant by ‘fool around’, but I didn’t plan on finding out because the consequences seemed too scary. “Th-thank you,” my voice shook.

He raised his eyebrow at me before turning around and going back to the screens. I rubbed my now free wrists, they were sore.

The bathroom was unusually clean for being a part of a kidnapper’s room. There were no windows in here either. I noticed in the mirror above the sink that my eyes were still red and my hair was a bit messier than usual, I would fix it, but I don’t know if that counts as ‘fooling around’. After my bathroom break I went back into the dark room. He was still seated there.

I didn’t know what to do so I just stood still. My skills at LOLOL can’t help me now. If only he was a dragon that I could slay, and then I would be the hero like always. But now I don’t have any team members to help me, or items to make the battle easier. Despite this situation being horrifying, it was also boring, not that I would rather be tortured or anything like that.

“Luciel… How do you know him?” The hacker spoke as he typed. I jumped at his sudden question.

It took me a few seconds to process what he said. Should I lie? There’s no use, he probably knows everything about the RFA already. I fidgeted where I stood, “We’re in the RFA together.”

He didn’t say anything for a few seconds, but continued to type at what seemed like light speed. “Are you Yoosung Kim?” He asked suddenly once again.

“Y-yes,” I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

He stopped typing and turned the chair around. He looked at me carefully like he was analyzing me. “You dyed your hair,” I didn’t expect that statement, it seemed more curious than threatening. Did my hair really hide who I was that well?

I nodded nervously.

“You need to relax. Our savior will take care of you,” he said with a smile, like he was welcoming me.

“I don’t want to be here,” I said still shaking. That was probably a dumb thing to say to my kidnapper.

He looked annoyed once again, “You will be happy, it’s paradise here. You will see eventually.”

I shook my head defiantly, finding courage, “You don’t look happy here.”

“I won’t be until Luciel is dead,” his voice lowered threateningly.

I felt my chest tighten from fear, “What do you have against him?” I knew Seven had his secrets, but to have someone want him dead…?

He glared at me. I could see him clench his fists, “I don’t need to tell you anything.”

I held my ground, “If it involves my friend then I deserve to know.”

He laughed maniacally. I immediately regretted saying anything. I’m going to die tonight, “He’s not your friend, and he abandoned you.”

“No he didn’t.”

“Then why isn’t he here? Why did he flee if his ‘friend’ was in danger? He could have ‘saved’ you if he wanted to; the safety was still on,” his voice was growing in volume. He was becoming more visibly agitated. He really didn’t like Seven.

“I told him to go! Don’t make it out like he’s the bad guy. You can’t make me hate him,” if I die tonight defending Seven’s honor he better throw me a giant funeral service. I won’t believe what this guy says; it would be a cliché movie about going to the dark side or something.

The hacker stood from his chair and made his way over to me once more. This is it, if there is a god then I pray that my death is painless. Hacker man stopped in front of me and grabbed the front of my shirt, then yanked me closer to him. He opened his mouth to say something, whatever it was it was going to be pretty aggressive, but then he closed it again. He dropped the part of my shirt that he was holding.

“I need to go. Do not leave this room. I will be back later,” then he turned and made his way to the door that I’m guessing leads to the rest of the cult. He closed the door behind him and I heard a click which probably meant that he was locking the door.

I could finally breathe easy, even if I wasn’t completely out of danger just yet. After a few seconds of catching my breath I stepped slowly over to the man’s bed and sat down cautiously. I slapped my wrist a few times to see if I was dreaming or not. Maybe I’m still at Seven’s house in a Honey Buddha Chip coma. I sighed after realizing I was still awake.

I hope Seven rescues me soon.

Chapter Text

I wonder if my captor plays video games. All of those monitors would make for an amazing gaming experience, and I bet it runs super smooth as well. Using that system for only weird hacking work is a complete waste.

I sighed once more, I’ve lost count how many times I’ve done that. He’s been gone for hours; I don’t know what time it is but it feels like it’s been hours.

For a little while I was leaning against the door that the Hacker left out of. I could hear a few sounds from the other side, but nothing more than occasional footsteps. When that eventually got dull I went to his wardrobe and looked through it. I kind of felt guilty invading his privacy, but he kidnapped me and left me in an empty room so he kind of asked for it. Almost all of his clothes looked like something that a rebellious teenager would wear. He did have some regular-looking plain shirts and sweaters though.

Right now I’m dangling upside-down off of the side of the hacker’s bed. I’ve been seeing how long I could dangle like this; my record is a little more than three minutes before I couldn’t take it anymore. I feel like I’m drowning in how bored I am here, or maybe that’s just the dangling doing it to me. I have counted the ceiling tiles; there are 55 in case anyone was wondering. It hurts how much I feel the need to play LOLOL.

Despite how close I feel to dying of boredom I will not touch the giant computer, if I did that I might actually die if I were caught. Maybe if the hacker comes back I could ask for my phone and promise not to say anything about being captured. Talking to my friends in the RFA would relieve some of this boredom.

Suddenly there was a giant slamming noise, snapping me out of my thoughts and startling me enough to fall off of the bed and land on my back with a thump. I quickly rearranged myself to look at the source of the noise.

There was the man of the hour, my captor. He was glaring and pacing back and forth in front of the door. He had his hands gripping at his white hair and I could hear him grunting and whispering to himself.

My boredom was suddenly replaced with fear. He’s going nuts and it’s frightening. What if he shoots me? Oh my god maybe I should hide in his wardrobe. I sat so I could be ready to run at any moment.

Then I noticed he left the door open in his angered state. I looked past him to focus on the outside. It looked like a dark hallway; I can’t see much other than a few other doors and the end of the hallway where it must split off.

It was tempting to see if I could make it past him while he was like this. It could be my only chance at escape. Suddenly the white haired boy turned and punched the wall. He let out a pained whimper and sat on the floor cradling his knuckles.

Should I ask him what’s wrong? No that’s a horrible idea what am I thinking? I stood up slowly while watching the pained boy hold his hand. He didn’t move. I tiptoed my way over to him, hoping that if I move slowly enough he won’t notice, like in the dinosaur movies. He remained still.

I stood in front of him feeling completely terrified; I could feel the anxiety building up again. I looked to the boy then the door. This is my only chance. The boy on the floor glanced up to me and looked befuddled.

Knowing that I couldn’t wait any longer I bolted for the open doorway. After one step I tripped and it felt like I was being pulled back. I shot a look behind me to see my captor keeping a grip on my pants with his unhurt hand. With the foot that wasn’t captured I reeled it back and kicked him right in the jaw.

“Aw fuck!” My captor whined in pain and let go of my leg to hold his now injured face.

I took the chance to get back up and sprint out of the room. I ran down what seemed like 20 hallways with almost no one in them, the ones who were there just looked confused as to what I was doing. I had to eventually find an exit. I was running out of breath, but I can’t give up.

There was a light at the end of one of the hallways. I immediately thought that this must be the exit. I sprinted to the light and stopped once I reached it. I panted and took in my surroundings. The room was very large and bright. There was a giant skylight illuminating everything and there were pews lining the middle of the giant space. It looked just like a church, but what this place had that a church didn’t was a huge throne-looking seat in front of all of the pews. The room was devoid of people, but there were lit candles lining the walls of the room.

What kind of place is this? I leaned over and panted, unable to control my breathing. I squeezed my eyes shut while trying to regain control of my body.

“Yoosung?” I looked up at the sound of the soft voice with surprise. I knew that voice.

“V?” I looked around the room until I seen him by a large door behind the pews. How did I not see that earlier? And why the hell is V here?

“What are you doing here Yoosung?” He sounded just as surprised as I was and maybe a bit worried? Maybe? He was wearing sunglasses and carrying a cane, is something wrong with his eyes?

“I could ask you the same thing,” I spat out my words between breaths. Why is he here? Is he a part of the cult? Did Rika know about this?

He walked over to me slowly while pointing the cane in front of him. “You need to get out of here,” he said softly.

I stood my ground and glared at him. “Why are you here?” I couldn’t control how angry I sounded; V just always gets me irritated.

V lowered his head, “Do you know who is in charge of this place?” His voice shook as he spoke. I have never heard him sound like this before, not even at Rika’s funeral.

I didn’t care about who ran this place, I just wanted to leave and tell everyone that V is a psycho in a cult. Then the thought hit me, “Is it you?”

He looked back up, “No, but you need to leave right now.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be on a photography trip? Why are you here at a castle in the woods?” I was furious, he was being so vague and he lied to all of us.

V didn’t move at my questions. “I can’t tell you just go home,” he was practically begging.

“Of course you would be here. Our savior doesn’t love you anymore! Leave us alone, this is all your fault!” I was surprised at the new voice that appeared in the room. I knew that voice too. I turned my head to the voice to confirm my suspicions, it was my captor like I expected.

“Saeran…” V sounded upset, like when my mom asks me about my grades, disappointment. What the hell is happening here?

“Shut up! It’s your fault that I can’t kill him anymore, isn’t it?” The hacker sounded furious. I just looked back and forth between V and him. I don’t know who I hate more right now.

V sighed and adjusted his sunglasses, “You don’t really want to kill him. You don’t know what you’re doing Saeran.”

The hacker made a sort of choking, grunting sound, “Don’t you dare say that name.”

I had no clue what to do here, the longer this goes on the more confused I become. They have to be talking about Seven, that’s who the hacker wants to kill, right?

V took a step forward towards the hacker. Then the hacker reached behind him and pulled out a gun, the same gun that was pressed against my head before. I gasped and took a step away from this conflict and into one of the pew sections.

V stopped in his place and held up his hands defensively. “Saeran please calm down, they’ve been doing horrible things to you here,” V sounded desperate.

The hacker didn’t put the gun down, he didn’t react to what V said either. It looked like he was contemplating something.

Then there were loud echoing footsteps that could be heard. These were different sounding then when any of us here took a step, it sounded kind of like the professors who walk with heels. This situation doesn’t need another spectator.

V visibly stiffened, but didn’t lower his hands. “Yoosung you need to get out of here right now,” V spoke quickly and he sounded nervous. It was making me nervous. I took a step back again, but then the hacker pointed his gun in my direction.

“Don’t you dare even think about it,” His voice was low and threatening, like it was outside. I stopped and put my hands up like V was. He smiled, “Thank you.”

The footsteps were coming closer, and then there was a shadow-like figure in the doorway that I came out of. “Put the gun down, my disciple,” The voice was light and smooth, a girl’s voice. I feel like I’ve heard it somewhere before.

The hacker grimaced, but lowered the gun. “Savior, your ex has intruded,” He spat out the word ‘ex’.

Ex? I was confused until the woman revealed herself. I gasped and fell back into one of the pews. I could feel my jaw hanging open. It can’t be, she died months ago. “R-Rika? Is that you?” I squeaked out my words.

She smiled warmly like I remembered she used to do and giggled. She didn’t answer but walked over to the giant throne and sat in it. She was wearing a large robe; it looked like something a priest would wear. Then tens of hooded figures piled into the room with us and kneeled in front of the throne.

I felt tears sting my eyes again. I have to be dreaming. Is this Rika? She isn’t dead? I had to remind myself to breath.

“V why are you in my presence today?” She spoke with a smile and her voice was loud and powerful.

V made his way over to the throne. “Rika you need to stop this please,” He said shakily.

Rika’s smile disappeared, “Stop what?”

V raised his arms to gesture around him. “This, you’re hurting innocent people. Yoosung is here for god’s sake.”

She looked over and locked eyes with me and then looked back to V, “We don’t hurt anyone, V. We only give people their own paradise.”

“Then why can’t I kill Luciel?” In my shock I almost forgot that the hacker was still here.

“My disciple, please do not speak out of turn,” Rika’s voice was suddenly harsh; I’ve never heard her like this before. What happened to her?

“I’m sorry my savior, but you promised me that I could kill Luciel. I even brought your cousin here, like you wanted,” the hacker sounded confused and angry. Rika wanted me here? Why?

Rika brought her fist up and slammed it back on the throne. “I told you to bring the entire RFA here and you have failed me. You should not even have the right to speak right now,” She sounded furious and she shrieked as she talked. I felt myself hyperventilate again as he tears fell from my eyes, this was too much. The hacker grunted and lowered his head.

“Rika why are you here? What is going on?” I cried out. Why didn’t she tell us she was alive? Didn’t she love us like we loved her?

She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Quiet,” that was the only thing said in my direction.

The hacker looked over to me with confusion and then back to Rika. “Aren’t you happy to see your cousin? I brought him here just for you like you wanted, and you’re still not happy?”

Rika clapped twice and the hooded figures raised their heads. “Please take Saeran for another brainwashing, he needs it,” she spoke with no remorse.

The hacker looked shocked, “What?”

I raised my head, “Brainwashing?” I questioned aloud.

“Take my cousin as well please, he needs discipline if he is going to be one of us,” She pointed in my direction.

I shook my head, “Rika no please, I don’t want this, what happened to you?” I sounded so pathetic through my sobbing.

The hooded figures marched towards me and the hacker. “No you stay away from me!” The hacker sounded confused and panicked. He looked back at me. “Stay away from us!” He raised the gun and fired two shots in their direction. I heard one of them cry out. Then the hacker turned around and sprinted to me and held out his hand. “Come on!”

I didn’t even think about it and took his hand. He ran while dragging me behind him until we were in front of the doors. He kicked them open and dragged me outside with him. I could hear Rika shouting and the hooded figures running. I tried to focus on the boy in front of me to distract me from an incoming panic attack.

He let go of me and ran to a building in the distance. I followed him while panting. Before I could reach the door, the garage door on the opened and a sleek black car pulled out. I didn’t wait for him to instruct me and I jumped into the passenger side.

He shifted gears and sped out of the little parking lot and onto the mountain road. “Keep your head down,” He shouted at me.

A whimper left my lips and I tucked my head between my knees. I began to sob once again, I couldn’t help it, and it just came out.

Not very long after, I felt my captor (partner?) poke my shoulder. I lifted my head to look at him. He looked me in the eyes for a split second before tearing his gaze away. “We should be fine now, look in the back and see if my laptop is there,” He spoke much calmer than before.

I nodded and peaked into the back, there was a blanket, a duffel bag, and a laptop. “It’s there,” I spoke quietly.

He sighed. “Good, are you thirsty?” He kept his eyes on the road as he spoke.

“A little,” I tried to stay quiet again as to not annoy him.

“There’s water in the glove compartment,” He was also quiet now.

I nodded and opened the little door in front of me to find two bottles of water and a gun. I ignored the gun and pulled out one of the bottles.”Thank you.” Are we friends now? Is he okay? I’m so tired and I can’t stop bouncing my leg.

My new friend, maybe, rested his head on his hand as he steered. “Get comfortable, it will be a while.”

“Where are we going?” I didn’t know if I should ask, but I think we’re working together now.

“Somewhere safe, don’t worry,” His soft spoken words were actually reassuring. I shouldn’t trust him, but I don’t know who to trust now. Did Seven know about Rika? Did anyone else know about Rika? I want to tell my friends about what happened, or at least get some reassurance that we’re all on the same side. For now I guess me and the guy who wants to kill Seven are friends, but I don’t know for how long.

Chapter Text

When I woke up I didn’t know where I was at first. I thought I might have been in Seven’s car. I was confused to see the white haired boy and not Seven. After a few minutes of processing I remembered what happened. Was the Rika part a dream? It had to be, she died.

“Was that real?” I didn’t mean to say it out loud.

“…It was,” the boy next to me said quietly.

I looked at him for a few seconds blankly. “Are you alright?” That cult might have been his life; to be betrayed and run away must be hurting him in some way.

“Peachy,” he took his head off of his hand and put both hands on the wheel.

I doubt he was ‘peachy’, but I’ll leave his feelings alone for now. I took a chance to get more information. “What is Rika doing in a place like that?” I didn’t even want to think about it, but I just had to know.

“She’s the savior, she wants everyone to be happy,” he said with almost no emotion.

“By… brainwashing people?” That wasn’t the Rika I knew. Something had to have happened to her, maybe she was brainwashed herself. She loved helping people, she wouldn’t do that.

His pupils flicked over to me before going back to the road. “We are not going to talk about that now,” his voice wavered a little.

I didn’t push it, whatever he went through must have been painful, but if we were going to work together I need to know him at least a little. “You didn’t like it when V said your name,” I spoke cautiously. He remained silent. “Is Saeran your name? Can I call you that? If you don’t want me to then I won’t, but I’d rather not call you ‘hacker’ or-“

“I don’t care, do what you want,” he shut me up with his words.

Okay Saeran it is then. “It’s a nice name,” I said trying to perk up the mood.

Saeran didn’t respond.

I coughed nervously. “So uh do you-“

“Saeyoung,” he said suddenly.

I gave him a confused look, “Excuse me?”

His grip on the wheel tightened, “Saeyoung Choi, that is Luciel’s real name.”

My eyes went wide. “You know his name? Wow I thought Luciel was his name!” I almost forgot that he wanted to kill Seven, but now I know his name. “It kind of sounds like your name,” I shut myself up when I seen Saeran stiffen. “I’m sorry,” I apologized.

He looked a little surprised at my apology, but didn’t say anything.

I must have a death wish. “Why do you want to hurt Sev-Saeyoung?”

Saeran leaned back in his chair and took a deep breath. “He left.”

I waited for more, but he didn’t say anything else, “Left?”

“We’ll talk about it later, not now,” Saeran looked uncomfortable and I kind of felt bad for making him like that. I’ve been pushing him too much, especially after such a… situation happened.

I stopped talking and looked out of the window for a bit after taking another sip from the water bottle. The woods here looked a bit familiar; this must be the way Seven took us up. Would Seven be coming back like he said? I felt my heart stop at the thought, he can’t go back, there’s no reason for him to go back. He’d just be putting himself in danger.

“Saeran…” I need to tell Seven not to go back.

He hummed in acknowledgement.

“You hacked into the RFA messenger app, right?”

“I did,” he said monotonously.

“Do you have the phone you used?” I was talking faster and my leg started bouncing again.

He must have noticed my panicked state and turned his head to look at me, “Yes, why?”

“Can I talk to them?” My voice made it sound like I was begging.

“No,” he looked neutral, like usual.

I clasped my hands together to actually beg. “I need to tell them what happened, please. I won’t mention you, I promise,” I felt more tears coming. I hate my stupid eyes for the stupid tears.

He didn’t say anything for a few seconds. Before I could beg again he reached into his pocket and pulled out the phone, and then he tossed it my way, “Do not mention where we are, do not say who is with you, and make it fast,” I swear I saw him smirk at my involuntary happy squeaking noise.

I spoke happily as I turned the phone on. “Thank you so much, Saeran!”

“Whatever,” his monotone voice was back again, but I wasn’t complaining.

I was surprised to see the phone unlocked already, he must be confident that no one would look through it. I looked for the app, but I couldn’t find it.

Saeran said some sort of string of numbers suddenly. I gave him a confused look. He smiled at my reaction. “Put that in the search and it should boot right up,” he said still smiling. I smiled too; I’m glad that we’re getting through this somehow.

He repeated the numbers slowly while I put them in and he was right, it booted right up. I opened the app and logged into the chat, Jumin and Zen were there. The app didn’t notify that I logged in, Saeran could have seen everything and we wouldn’t have known. I didn’t care now, I started typing.

Unknown: Guys!

Zen’s surprised emoji popped up.

Jumin Han: Who is this?

Oh right they don’t know who I am. I could pull some funny pranks, but now isn’t the time.

Unknown: It’s Yoosung! Where is 7?

Zen: Yoosung are you alright? Where are you? What is going on?

Jumin Han: Calm down.

Zen: Calm down? Are you insane? He’s been kidnapped for god’s sake!

Unknown: I’m okay, tell Seven not to come and rescue me!

Zen: Are YOU insane? Why?

Jumin Han: Is this really Yoosung?

Unknown: Yes it’s me! It’s too dangerous there! Weird stuff is going on! V is there too!

I sent a quick selfie to prove it and I think I saw Saeran watching me out of the corner of my eye. I smiled in the picture but it looked more awkward than anything.

Another surprised emoji from Zen.

Jumin Han: V?

Unknown: And… I can’t even say it, it’s too much right now.

-707 has entered the chatroom.

707: Yoosung what is going on?

Unknown: I don’t even know myself. I walked into this big church-looking room and V was there. Someone else was there and they talked about brainwashing and other weird things.

707: Are you okay? I’m so sorry. I didn’t want to leave you. I really didn’t. Please tell me you’re okay. No jokes, I’m sorry.

almost felt like crying again as I read what Seven said. Seven could be cruel with his pranks sometimes, but he really was a good friend. “Wrap it up, I don’t want any chance of us being tracked,” Saeran snapped me out of my thoughts.

I didn’t want to stop talking to my friends, my other family, but I had to. “Oh, right, I’m sorry,” I didn’t want to sound sad, but it came out miserable-sounding. Saeran looked uncomfortable and then averted his gaze away from me after I said I was sorry.

Unknown: I’m okay, I promise. I can’t say anything else right now, but I’m not in danger anymore, I will talk to you guys again when things settle down a bit.

Zen: You’re leaving already? But we don’t even know what’s going on.

Unknown: I need to I’m sorry, we don’t want to be tracked. Just please don’t trust V for now, please. I have no clue what he was doing there, but I know it wasn’t good.

Jumin Han: … Be safe Yoosung.

I looked for my emojis, but I forgot that I wasn’t using my phone so I was disappointed to not find them.

707: What he said!

Unknown: I will, and you guys stay safe too!

I sighed sadly and handed the phone back to Saeran. He looked at my hand and grabbed the phone from it gently. Then he turned it back on and did something to it before putting it back into his pocket.

We travelled in silence for a little while before Saeran turned the radio on. The music helped calm my nerves a bit, but I can’t stop thinking about Rika. Her angry shouting played back in my mind constantly. I can’t believe I couldn’t bring myself to tell the rest of the RFA about Rika, they deserved to know. I just couldn’t type her name.

Soon we started seeing buildings, and then the buildings got taller the longer we traveled. We were in the city now. The sun was starting to set, it looked beautiful, but I couldn’t fully appreciate it with all of the stuff that I had on my mind.

I think Jumin lives around here somewhere amongst these tall buildings. I groaned as I realized that I forgot to ask about Elizabeth; I think Saeran gave me some sort of confused look, but I wasn’t paying attention. I hope she made it back okay. I wonder if they’ll still hold the party after what happened to me. Jumin’s girlfriend worked really hard to invite guests.

I still don’t have a girlfriend, but at least I didn’t die during my kidnapping so there’s still a chance that I could find someone to love. I snuck a glance over to Saeran; he was still focused on driving. I noticed earlier that he was dangling a lit cigarette out of the window; I almost panicked because I smelt smoke. That’s really not good for him. I wonder if Saeran has someone that he loves. If he hacks as much as Seven, then probably not. How does he even know Seven’s name anyway?

Suddenly we turned into a parking garage. I looked around the dark place curiously. “Are we here?”

He nodded and spun us into a parking space. After he turned the car off he sighed. “Finally, can you get my laptop?” His voice sounded scratchy, he hasn’t talked much on the long ride here.

I nodded and unbuckled my seatbelt. I reached into the back seat and grabbed the heavy piece of technology. “Here you go,” I said trying to sound cheerful.

He took it from me and booted it up. Soon he was rapidly tapping like he was when he was working in his room.

After a few minutes of him tapping I grew impatient. I didn’t want to rush him, but we’ve been driving for what felt like forever and I just want to get out of the car. “Whatcha doing?” I think I did a good job of not sounding annoyed.

He didn’t stop typing. “Turning off all of the cameras in this building,” He replied monotonously, “I also need to turn the security system off so we can get to where we’re going.”

My eyes lit up. “It’s like a spy movie! Are we breaking into a bank or something?”

He let out a breath of a laugh, “Nope, but it has the security of one.”

I smiled at seeing him laugh. It felt good to make him happy. “Is it like a safe house?”

He bit his lip as he continued to type. “Kind of, it’s my sav-Rika’s old apartment,” He stopped smiling when he mentioned Rika. I also felt my smile droop.

I hummed thoughtfully, “Can’t Seven see the cameras to Rika’s apartment? And isn’t Jumin’s girlfriend staying there?”

Saeran finally stopped typing. “Seven? Oh Luciel, yeah he could, but not now.” He shut the laptop and smirked again. “And that girl hasn’t been here in days, so I think we’re alright for now.”

I forgot that she was at Jumin’s ever since Elizabeth 3rd disappeared. I smiled again at Saeran smiling. “Can we go now?”

He nodded and opened the car door. I made the squeaking/squealing noise that I make when I’m happy. I hate it, but I also can’t stop it from happening. I hopped out of the car through my door and leaned back to stretch as soon as I was standing.

When I was done with my stretch I noticed that Saeran had pulled out the duffel bag from the back seat. He hulled it on his shoulder and handed me his laptop. “Hold that,” he spoke in his usual quiet neutral tone.

I nodded and trotted behind him as he led the way to a stairwell. I tried to keep myself from thinking about what happened at the castle, but it’s impossible. I hope Saeran is doing okay. Even though he kidnapped me, I kind of forgive him. However I really don’t want him to get his hands on Seven.

After a few floors of stairs Saeran made his way through a door. I followed him until he stopped at a door with a keypad in front of it. “Do you know the-“

I shut up when he started putting in numbers. “I guess you do,” I giggled.

He raised an eyebrow at me before opening the door. “Welcome home,” he said sarcastically.

I walked in with Saeran and was pleasantly surprised. There was a lot of natural sunlight coming through the windows and it was nicely decorated. It seemed to be only a studio apartment with no bedrooms because there was a bed right next to the kitchen area.

My eyes found Rika’s computer and I felt excited. I turned to Saeran. “Can I play LOLOL?”

“No, too dangerous,” he dropped the duffel bag on the couch and then reached behind himself and pulled out his gun. I flinched after seeing it again. That gun seems to be in a lot of my new bad memories.

Saeran didn’t notice my reaction and laid the weapon on the coffee table in front of the couch. “So uh, what do we do now?” I had no clue what we had to do next.

He didn’t look at me as he walked over to a closet door. “We lay low for a while,” Saeran pulled out a pile of what looked like towels and made his way to a corner of the apartment. I was wondering what he was doing until he tossed one of the towels over what must have been a camera. Is he always this paranoid?

I sat on the side of Rika’s bed and dropped the laptop that I was carrying to the side. Rika used to live here before she became a cult leader. “What do we do after that?”

Saeran made his way to a different corner and did the same thing. “I don’t know,” he whispered. I almost didn’t hear it because it was so soft.

I tried to stay positive. “That’s alright! We can think of something.”

After his third towel-throwing Saeran turned and glared at me. “How are you so positive about this? We could die, or worse. It’s not ‘alright’. My savior told me that she didn’t need me anymore, what purpose do I have now?” he wanted to be angry, but it just came out distressed-sounding.

I felt my smile drop. I felt like crying again. I don’t think that he meant to yell, he’s just had a rough day, we both have. “I… know how you feel, kind of.”

He scoffed and threw the last towel on another camera. “Humor me.”

I gulped. “Rika made me feel like I belonged to something. I dedicated so much of my time to help her with the RFA. I thought she loved me; she didn’t have any siblings so I thought that I was one of the closest people to her. When she died my grades dropped and I felt like I was abandoned,” Saeran stiffened at that word, “I dedicated my studies to become a veterinarian because of her. When I seen her alive and breathing a few hours ago I couldn’t believe it. I actually felt happy seeing her again until… she tried to… Anyway, I really do feel like I’ve been lied to. Is that who Rika really is? Or did something happen to make her that way? I want to, no I have to find out. She meant everything to me.” I started crying again. Why can’t I keep myself together? I held my eyes behind my hands.

I looked up when I felt something touch my shoulder lightly. Saeran retracted his hand from my shoulder like I burned him when I met his eyes. He looked uncomfortable, turned away from me, and walked to a door, probably the bathroom. “I… guess you do know how it feels,” then he went into the room and shut the door behind him. It might have been my blurry vision, but I thought I seen his eyes look watery as well.

Chapter Text

Rika’s shower is very nice. The pressure was perfect and the shower head detaches, it was the best shower ever. Surprisingly we still had towels left after Saeran threw them all over the apartment. The only bad part about the shower was that I had to put my clothes back on from earlier. I was not going to wear Rika’s clothes and I didn’t ask Saeran if he had any to spare. I’ll have to run to the mall tomorrow and pick up some new clothes for the next few days, if Saeran lets me. He may have taken my phone when he kidnapped me, but I still have my wallet.

I looked at myself in the mirror as I brushed my hair; Rika had a lot of brushes. I decided to leave my clips out of my hair for the night. They make sleeping uncomfortable sometimes. I frowned at seeing my roots darker than the rest of my hair. Looks like I have to dye and bleach it again soon. I wonder what Saeran’s natural hair color is. It can’t be white, Zen’s hair is white but it’s really rare for it to naturally occur like that. Saeran also has pinkish tips at the end of his hair, that can’t be natural.

I looked around the sink below the mirror for a spare toothbrush. Of course Rika doesn’t have one and I’m not about to use hers. “Saeran! Do you have another toothbrush by any chance?” I shouted towards the door. I waited a few seconds but didn’t hear anything. I huffed and walked out of the bathroom with my hair still dripping.

I looked around the apartment to find Saeran asleep on the couch. It looks like he took his jacket off and he only had a red tank top underneath. He moved his duffel bag to the floor to make room for himself. I found out before my shower that Saeran kept spare clothes and stuff in there in case something like this happened.

I made my way to the bed and flopped down onto it. This is even more boring than Saeran’s room back at the cult. Well that’s not true, but it certainly feels like it. I reached down to my pocket for my phone and groaned when it wasn’t there. My phone is still at the cult castle somewhere. I wonder what Rika and V are doing right now, plotting the RFA’s demise maybe. Why would they hurt the RFA? It’s a charity organization that Rika made herself. I didn’t want to think about it, but I couldn’t help it.

I sat up and looked around for something to do. I’d watch some TV, but I don’t want to wake Saeran up. My eyes landed on the computer. A little bit of exploring won’t hurt. I hopped off the bed and made my way to the desk with the computer on it.

I sat in the desk chair and turned the computer on. After a few seconds I was met with a picture of Rika and V together on the desktop background. I frowned and clicked the little menu button in the corner of the screen. I clicked on the little icon with the cards on it. Solitaire it is. That’s safe right?

I wasn’t about to play minesweeper, I suck at that. After organizing the cards about 20 times I was bored again. I turned my head to look at Saeran. I sighed at seeing him still asleep.

I exited the solitaire program and decided to snoop through Rika’s files a bit. I wouldn’t usually invade her privacy like this, but now I’m just too curious after what happened.

First I looked through her pictures. Nothing too special, lots of them are V’s pictures and pictures of her with other RFA members. I tried to open her planner, but that required some sort of password. After trying a few different files I have noticed that a lot of them require passwords. Hopefully it’s RFA stuff and not… cult stuff.

I don’t know how looking through classified documents has gotten dull, but it has. I sighed again; I just want to play LOLOL. Solitaire cannot fulfill my LOLOL needs.

I wonder what the RFA is doing right now. Is Seven freaking out because the cameras are blocked by towels? That would be kind of funny to see, payback for all of the practical jokes he played on me. It would give Jumin another excuse to keep his girlfriend at his place for a few more days, I hope she doesn’t mind. Did V show up and try to explain himself?

I yawned and stood up. I’m hungry and it’s time for a snack. I tiptoed past Saeran to the kitchen. I opened every cabinet until I found some form of food. There was an unopened bag of chips, they weren’t Honey Buddha Chips, but they’ll do the trick. I checked the expiration date; they don’t expire until next month. Our new member must have bought them. I hope she doesn’t mind that I’m going to eat her chips.

I sat at the tiny dining table between the kitchen and the couch. I winced as I opened the bag, it was really loud. I looked at Saeran to see he was still asleep, good. I popped the first chip in my mouth and chewed slowly. It tasted like heaven, I haven’t eaten all day. I smiled to myself and had another chip.

After my fifth chip Saeran sat up and rubbed the back of his head. He glared at me. “Could you be any louder?” He sounded grumpy.

I swallowed my chips. “Sorry, I was hungry,” I put my hands up defensively.

Saeran groaned, “Whatever.” He stood up and stretched. “Why aren’t you in bed?” He asked.

I looked at the clock and threw another chip in my mouth, “It’s only 11 o’clock.”

Saeran only rolled his eyes before looking around cautiously. “Why is the computer on?”

“I was bored,” I said matter-of-factly. He glared at me. “Don’t worry I only played some solitaire,” Goodness what does Saeran expect me to do while he naps, nothing? He probably expected me to sleep now that I think about it.

“It could have had an alarm on it,” he spoke in a disapproving tone, but he didn’t scold me any further and went to the bathroom.

I rested my head on my hand and ate another handful of chips. He isn’t my mother, and there was no alarm so jokes on him.

Minutes later he came out of the bathroom and tossed a cigarette butt into the trash. “Those aren’t good for you,” I said mocking his scolding from earlier.

He didn’t change his neutral expression, “You aren’t my mother.” I snorted at the irony and he shot me a confused look. I didn’t explain myself though.

Saeran sat across from me at the dining table and watched me eat the chips. I held the bag to him, but he shook his head ‘no’. He looked a little troubled. I cocked my head perplexed at his sudden show of emotion.

“I…,” he spoke softly, but didn’t look me in the eye. “Yoosung I’m… s-sorry.” His cheeks grew a little pink and he looked humiliated.

I felt my heart skip a beat when he said my name. I stopped eating my chips. “It’s alright, you only did what you were told, right?” I think he’s talking about the kidnapping.

He still didn’t look at me, “Somewhat, I wanted to impress her.” He didn’t say Rika’s name, but I knew that he was talking about her. “She was going to have you join us, and eventually the rest of your group as well.”

I wasn’t excited about where this conversation was going, but I really wanted to know what was happening. “What about… Saeyoung? That’s his name, right?”

He nodded, “I could kill him, like I wanted to, but she told me that I couldn’t anymore.”

He opened his mouth to say something else but I spoke before he could. “I don’t know what you know, but he isn’t a bad person.”

Saeran finally looked at me after I said that, he narrowed his eyes at me. “I know him better than you do,” he said dangerously.

I swallowed nervously, “I know that, but he’s a nice person, he’s done a lot of good things.”

Saeran slammed his fist on the table and I jumped at the noise. “He’s ruined people’s lives, that’s what dirty hackers like him do,” he looked surprised, at what I don’t know, but he leaned back and brought his hands to his face. “I’m… sorry, again,” he dropped his hands and sighed.

Why is he apologizing so much all of a sudden? I shook my head. “You’re going through a lot right now, it’s normal to be angry.”

He didn’t reply to what I said. He’s just staring at me now, I don’t know if he’s thinking or staring through me. This went on long enough for it to become uncomfortable.

I picked at my nails nervously before trying to break the silence. “So uh, how did you meet the… religious people?” Probably not the best think to ask, but I needed to end this staring contest.

He finally tore his eyes off of me and but his lip. I’ve noticed that he does that a lot. “I can’t remember,” he spoke softly.

I raised my eyebrow, “Really?”

He nodded, “I can remember my savior and her ex from before though.” He winced and brought his hand to his lips, when he pulled away there was a smudge of blood on his face.

“Are you okay?” I was kind of worried for his safety; he seems to be the type to put himself in harm’s way, and not just making himself bleed.

He nodded and stuck his lip back in his mouth. I felt my heart beat faster again, why is it doing this? Am I nervous or something? I hope it isn’t a panic attack.

“I think my savior had taken me from my mother, her ex helped as well, but I don’t think he was involved with Mint Eye with her,” He looked up like he was trying to remember.

“She took you from your mom? That’s horrible!” I couldn’t believe Rika could do such a thing. How long ago was that? How long has she been like this?

Saeran smiled and shook his head. “My mother was a bitch; she… did really bad things to us, mostly me, I… never mind.” His smile turned into a scowl. “I’m glad that I joined Mint Eye, I’d rather be… brainwashed than with her,” now this Rika and V thing is getting even more confusing, did they have good intentions? And why is Saeran telling me this if it’s so painful for him? He’s obviously having a hard time telling me these things.

“Hey… you don’t have to talk about it if it hurts,” I would give him a hug, but I don’t think he’d like that.

Saeran stopped scowling and went back to his usual neutral-yet-dangerous looking self. “Why are you trying to make me feel better? I kidnapped you.”

I smiled warmly at him, I knew that if I got upset then nothing here would ever get better, we have to stay positive. “Well we didn’t know each other back then, and I wouldn’t have known about Rika if you didn’t kidnap me, so really I should be thanking you.”

He looked blankly at me for a few seconds before smiling, and then he laughed. I couldn’t help but giggle with him when he snorted. He calmed himself down, “You’re weird, Yoosung.”

I just shrugged, but continued to smile, “Says the guy with white hair and a giant eyeball tattoo.”

Saeran remained smiling as well, “Says the guy who stays awake until the sun comes up playing a video game.”

I snickered at his comeback, “Hey it’s my lifestyle don’t judge me.”

“It’s not healthy,” he said while putting his head on his hand.

I had to keep myself from laughing again, “Says the guy who smokes.”

He shook his head, “We’re not doing this again.”

I smirked playfully, “Says the guy who-“

“Stop.”

I laughed and leaned back in my chair. I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t get to know more about Rika, but at least I could lighten the mood a bit. Hopefully one day this stuff can become just another funny memory, and me and Saeran could be really good friends.

Chapter Text

It’s been about two days since we arrived at Rika’s apartment.

Saeran went to the mall to get me some things to help me survive while we hid like apocalypse survivors. He refused to let me go myself; he said something about ‘getting myself caught’ or whatever. I can’t say that I was disappointed in what he bought me though, A few regular different colored t-shirts and a few pairs of jeans to go with them. He also actually had a spare toothbrush in his emergency bag, so I didn’t need a new one. I told Saeran that I could pay for what he bought, but he refused.

Speaking of Saeran the more time we spend here, the more secluded he gets, the first day we talked a bit and had a sort of good time, but today, our third day, he hardly said a word to me. I don’t know what’s going on with him. Maybe he just can’t stay in one place for very long and he’s getting antsy.

It’s- I paused my thoughts and looked at the alarm clock by the bed, 10:53PM. I am currently lying in Rika’s bed trying to fall asleep. Saeran and I both agreed to switch who gets the bed to every other night, tonight it was my turn to sleep in the bed.

I’m starting to get some form of cabin fever; I’m used to leaving my dorm everyday to go and do some college activities before returning and playing LOLOL for the rest of my day. Now I just sit in various places in the apartment and watch TV or try and do some of Rika’s crossword puzzles.

The RFA party happened yesterday, or at least I think it did. The new member hasn’t come back here yet, so either she decided to move in with Jumin or Seven told her it was too dangerous. I hope they’re all safe. I didn’t ask Saeran to let me talk to them again, I can’t read him yet so I don’t know if this new silence of his is a bad thing or not.

Saeran eats at weird times, must be a cult thing. He eats breakfast at almost five in the morning and then doesn’t eat another meal until eight at night. In between those times he snacks on candies and chews gum. I didn’t expect him to be the type to like sweets; he was so confused at my bewilderment when he popped a giant bubble with his pink gum. He also smokes about three times a day, he told me the other day that he used to smoke more often, but now he just didn’t feel like it anymore. I was also surprised when he said that, because usually people get addicted and smoke more, not get bored with their habit.

I’ll never fall asleep if I keep thinking about things. I took a deep breath and then exhaled before closing my eyes. The sooner I sleep the sooner the next day comes, and the sooner the next day comes the sooner I can leave. I could feel my body relax like it does when I’m about to slip off into unconsciousness. Any moment now and I’ll be dreaming about going on a fun LOLOL quest.

My entire body jumped when I heard thumping. I gasped and then immediately shut my mouth to listen for more sounds. It was quiet and then there was more thumping in the darkness. “…Saeran?” I whispered towards the dark space in front of me.

There was no response. I didn’t want to turn on the light because that would wake up Saeran, but I will never be able to sleep not knowing what is happening in this room. I hope no one got into the apartment… They couldn’t have because I would have seen light coming from where the door is.

There was more thumping, it was getting closer. “Saeran!” I whispered louder, becoming more anxious. I was fidgeting with the blanket.

I couldn’t take it and reached over to start fiddling with the light. Once it was on there was a figure at the end of Rika’s bed. I yelped as my eyes adjusted, but then calmed down when I noticed that it was Saeran. I sighed and held my chest, my heart was beating rapidly. “Why didn’t you answer me, Saeran? You really scared me,” he didn’t answer, just stared half-lidded at me. “Saeran?” Still no answer.

Alright now I was feeling nervous again. Why is he just staring at me? Why isn’t he saying anything? The man in question then turned in a 90 degree angle and walked a few steps before stopping, his steps made the same thumping sound. “Saeran, are you alright?”

He didn’t move. “I can’t find it,” he said quietly and his words were slurred.

I raised my eyebrow curiously. “Can’t find what? Are you drunk or something? Why are you looking for things in the dark?” I hope he doesn’t get mad at the amount of questions I’m asking, but he is being very odd right now.

He made a few more steps before knocking into the wall. I am dumbfounded. “Are you alright?”

“I can’t find it,” he repeated still against the wall.

I watched him completely stupefied for a few minutes before hitting myself in the head at how stupid I am. I threw my legs over the side of the bed and hoisted myself up. After making my way to Saeran, who was now in the kitchen, I waved my hand in front of his face. It was just as I thought, his pupils didn’t move, he has to be sleepwalking.

I sighed in relief. “Saeran, come on let’s go back to bed… or couch I guess.” I gently took a hold of his wrist and dragged him towards the couch. He followed halfway before resisting.

“Saeran, it’s time for sleeping, not walking, you can’t do both.” It was useless arguing to someone who can’t understand, but I couldn’t help myself.

“I need him,” He spoke sleepily.

I groaned and pulled on his wrist a little harder. “You need sleep.”

He pulled against me again and tried to turn back towards the kitchen. “I want ice-cream.”

I had to giggle at his request. “Tomorrow, not now, I’m tired Saeran.”

Finally he turned back around and followed me the rest of the way to the couch. It took a few minutes, but eventually I got him to sit and then lay on the couch. I brought his blanket back off of the floor and covered him with it. “Goodnight, Saeran, please sleep the rest of the night.”

He finally closed his bright green eyes and I let out a breath in relief. As fun as that was I don’t want to go through it again, it was a little nerve-wracking taking care of a sleepwalker.

I went back to my bed and lain down after shutting the light back off. The rest of the night went uninterrupted and I fell asleep shortly after putting Saeran back to bed.

When I woke up the next morning Saeran was sitting at the dining table dangling a cigarette out of the window. I don’t like it when he smokes; it’s not good for him. His eyes flickered over to me and he took his chin off of the hand it was resting in. “Good morning,” he said quietly like he usually does.

I smiled mischievously and hopped out of bed. “Did you find it?” I asked playfully as I made my way to the kitchen.

He cocked his head in my direction. “Find what?”

I continued to smile as I popped some bread into the toaster. “Whatever you were looking for last night.” I hope Saeran is feeling more talkative today.

“…What?” He looked befuddled and annoyed at the same time.

I laughed and closed my eyes. “Sorry, you were sleepwalking last night and you said you were looking for something,” I opened my eyes again got some butter out of the refrigerator.

I looked back to see his face slightly redder. He looked away from me and back out the window. “Oh, sorry to keep you awake,” he put the cigarette to his lips and inhaled before blowing the smoke back out.

I shook my head. “It was alright, I couldn’t sleep anyway… And it was funny.” My toast popped up and I dropped them onto a plate. I waited for a response, but didn’t get one. My smile disappeared as I realized that it was going to be another silent day.

After I ate my breakfast and Saeran finished his cigarette I watched TV… again. Saeran was doing weird hacker things on his laptop…again. I can’t take this for much longer; I can only imagine how much work I have backed up at the university. I’d still probably not do any of it to play LOLOL. I need to play LOLOL, it has been far too long.

“Saeran,” I spoke without thinking.

Of course he didn’t say anything.

“I need to go home,” I said as I stood up. I can’t stay here for another day and not do what I need to do.

That finally got his attention; he turned to face me while still sitting on the floor. His face showed that he had questions. “You can’t yet,” He didn’t sound threatening like he used too.

“I’ll get a body guard from Jumin, I’ll be fine,” I smiled reassuringly to Saeran.

He looked actually scared, “You can’t go.”

I stopped smiling, I was confused, and why is he so worried? “I need to make sure the RFA is alright.”

He stood up and walked over to me, “They’re fine, I have checked countless times, V hasn’t even logged in yet,” this is the most he’s spoken for two days.

I felt surprised. “Why didn’t you tell me?” I think as a member I have a right to know.

He looked away for a second before looking back at me. “You didn’t ask.” He sounded guilty, it seems like every day he’s here, the more he changes his attitude. He sounds more human than he did four or five days ago. He also hasn’t laughed or smiled since the first day, is he alright?

I get sudden flashbacks of Rika in her robes occasionally; it hurts me every time I see it. Saeran must really be hurting as well. “I won’t leave yet, I just really want to play LOLOL. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have thought about leaving my partner,” I smiled in reassurance. Saeran really needs a friend, and maybe I could use a new friend to depend on too.

His eyes widened a bit. “…Partner?”

Oh that probably sounded weird didn’t it? “Oh um… I can word that differently…” I stopped to think.

“No… It’s alright. I like it,” I looked back over to see Saeran smiling at me. His eyes looked even brighter.

I felt my heart beat faster, and I don’t know why. “Oh okay… good.” I’m glad that he’s smiling again. I picked at my fingernails.

He ran his hand through his white hair. “You can play your game on my sav- her computer if you want. I’ll make sure that we’re safe,” he smiled brighter when he seen my excitement.

“Really? Oh my gosh! Thank you Saeran! You are the best partner ever!” I squealed embarrassingly, but I didn’t really care. I jumped and threw my hands in the air.

“I’m not that great, but whatever,” he said quietly before returning to his laptop.

“Yes you are shut up!” I said bouncing over to the computer.

“I kidnapped you and almost forced you to become a part of Mint Eye, that’s pretty shitty,” He sounded like his sad self from earlier again.

I googled the website for LOLOL and hit the download button after putting in my information. “Didn’t Rika do that to you though?” I should have sounded sad or angry after saying that about Rika, but I was currently too excited about LOLOL to care. I was bouncing in my seat.

He laughed, but it sounded kind of empty, “I guess she’s shitty too then.”

I stopped bouncing and frowned at seeing the bar for the download. “Expected time three hours?” I groaned and threw my head back in the chair.

I heard Saeran laugh again, but this time it sounded genuine. I hope I can make him feel happy again, like he was before the cult. I felt my eyes widen, before the cult he was with his abusive mother. Has he ever been truly happy?

Chapter Text

He’s sleepwalking again. It’s the middle of the night and Saeran is on the move. I’m on the couch tonight and I knew that Saeran was sleepwalking because he bumped into the same couch that I’m trying to sleep on. I sighed and tried to ignore it, maybe he’ll wander back to bed and that’ll be it.

The first time I noticed him sleepwalking was last night and I thought that it would be a one-time thing, but here we are, Saeran bumping into things and I can’t sleep. When I heard something fall to the floor I sat up and turned the light on, I didn’t want him to hurt himself, I was annoyed but still worried for my partner.

I looked around the room until my eyes landed on the boy by the front door. He knocked over the coat rack I see. I stood up and groaned, “Saeran why are you doing this again?” I asked anyway knowing that he wouldn’t answer coherently.

Like I expected, he just stood there staring at the wall. I moseyed my way over to the door with him and nudged him towards the bed. I am not in the mood right now, I have been playing LOLOL since it finished downloading and I stayed up for far longer than I should have. I just want to sleep right now; I’m not used to my old LOLOL habits yet.

When I nudged him all the way to the bed and pushed him down he groaned. “Sleep Saeran,” I said after a yawn. I turned back around and began shuffling back to the couch. I felt like I zombie, but instead of brains I want to sleep.

“Don’t leave… not yet,” I stopped everything and looked back towards the white-haired boy. He was still lying down.

I yawned again and turned back around. When I arrived at the couch and turned off the light I heard Saeran speak again, “Don’t leave me.”

For some reason I felt guilty. He isn’t awake, right? I sat on the couch and listened patiently.

Just when I thought he was done he let out an unsteady breath. “My brother… I want my brother,” he sounded like he was about to start crying even in his slurred sleepy voice. I felt uneasy; he’s having a bad dream isn’t he? I closed my eyes and hoped that he would stop dreaming about whatever he was dreaming about.

“Saeyoung come home, mommy is very angry.” I stopped breathing for a second. Saeran sounded like he was imitating a scared child. Isn’t Saeyoung Seven? What is he talking about? Is Seven…?

“Why did you leave me Saeyoung?” Now he really sounded like he was crying and I felt like I could cry too. I can feel my eyes being wide open. Saeyoung… Seven never told us that he had a brother. That’s what Saeran meant a few days ago when he said that Seven abandoned him.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, my mind is blank. I don’t know what to think right now, first Rika is alive, then Rika and V are in a cult, and now Seven has a brother that was also in said cult who also happened to kidnap me. This has all been happening under our noses. I don’t think Seven knew that Saeran was in a cult, because he looked so surprised and scared on the day that I was kidnapped, I just thought that it was because I was in danger. Seven also wanted to catch the hacker, but when he seen the hacker he ended up being strangled and started crying.

I laughed dryly to myself. I hope next we learn that Zen’s an alien, or maybe that Jumin’s actually dead and his ghost has been communicating with us the whole time. No that wouldn’t work, Jaehee sees him constantly… unless she’s in on it, she’s the witch that’s keeping him trapped in this realm. I continued to laugh to myself until a sort of choking sound brought me back to reality. I grimaced at the broken noises that Saeran was making in his sleep.

I stood back up and felt my way around the apartment until I found the bed. I hit my toe on the end of the bed and almost yelped. After turning the light on once again I frowned at seeing Saeran with his eyes squeezed shut and tears running down his cheeks. He may have kidnapped me, but he doesn’t deserve to feel so miserable.

I reached out and shook him gently, “Saeran I know I told you to sleep, but now you should wake up.” He let out a sob, but didn’t open his eyes. “I don’t like seeing you like this,” I spoke softly to him.

After a final hard push his eyes bolted open and he gasped like he was drowning. I took a step back cautiously. After a bit of panting his eyes flicked over to me, “What’s going on?” He sat up and ran a hand through his hair, beads of sweat dropped from his forehead.

I felt guilty for waking him up, but he just looked so hurt. I looked down to my feet, “You… were crying.” I spoke softly like I did when he was still asleep.

His eyes widened briefly and his hand went from his hair to his cheek. Then he scowled and stood up and off of the bed. He tried to leave, probably to the bathroom, but I grabbed his wrist without thinking. He shot me a glare. “Let go of me,” he yanked his hand out of my grip, but I caught up with him again.

“Saeran you don’t have to be embarrassed, we all cry sometimes,” I don’t know where I was going with this.

He didn’t say anything, just staring questioningly and scowling.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“…No,” then he walked swiftly to the bathroom and slammed the door. Why is he mad? I just want to help him.

I reached over to the light and turned it off. Then I felt my way back to the couch and laid down once more, time for bed, I’ll worry about this in the morning.

I must have fallen asleep pretty fast because I don’t remember hearing Saeran leave the bathroom. I woke up with the sun in my face and I groaned. While shutting my eyes as much as I could I rolled further into the couch. After fighting with the sun for about five minutes I gave up and opened my eyes.

I sat up and yawned. The clock on the wall said it was ten in the morning, too early after my night of LOLOL. I perked up and smiled, I have LOLOL now. I can play LOLOL! I stood up and practically skipped to the computer.

After turning it on I rubbed my hands and squeaked happily. I logged in and immediately began playing with my guild; they were pleasantly surprised when I logged in last night. They asked where I was and I told them that I was studying for my final.

In reality I was kidnapped and now I’m in a cult leader’s apartment, also known as my cousin. Oh shit Saeran! I looked behind me to see Saeran at the dining table on his laptop tapping away. I sighed in relief, he’s fine. I turned back around and continued to play.

I tried to focus on gaming, but last night’s events kept playing in my head. Is he really fine? He’s been so calm since we left the castle in the woods, I have been crying and whining the first few days we were here, but he’s done none of that besides last night. He has to be freaking out somehow. I looked back to him again, he was still typing. I looked back to my game.

When the giant warlock smashed me to pieces I just shut off the computer, its useless playing while I’m worrying like this.

I stood up and went to the dining table and next to Saeran. He glanced up to me for a second and then went back to work. “I’m surprised you aren’t hungry,” he spoke quietly.

I just shrugged and leaned forward to lay my head on my palms. “How are you feeling?” I asked him gently.

He glared at the screen before his expressions when back to neutral, “We aren’t going to talk about last night.”

I looked away from him to avoid his glare. “Okay, that’s fine,” I mumbled into my hand.

After a few seconds I looked at him again and watched him work. My gaze moved up to his hair, his white hair. If Seven is his brother then his hair is probably red, right? “Saeran?” I asked as innocently as I could.

He raised his eyebrow but didn’t say anything as he typed.

I took a breath, “Is your natural hair color red?”

He stopped typing and shot me a confused look. He reached up and felt his hair. “Are my roots coming in?” He asked curiously while looking at a strand of his hair in front of his face. He looked kind of cute like this.

I smiled and shook my head, “Not yet.”

He looked even more confused now, “Then how did you know?” He would look nice with red hair, I think.

I stopped smiling and looked down at the table. “Luciel is your brother, right?”

His eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his skull. “How did you…?”

I kept my head down. “It just makes sense…” I looked back up and Saeran shot me a look of disbelief. “…And you mentioned it when you were crying last night.”

Saeran grimaced and looked away from me this time. “…He is my brother; he used to be my brother,” he spat out his words angrily.

I spoke before thinking; it’s a really bad habit of mine. “Do you want a hug?” I did an actual face-palm.

He flicked his eyes back to me, but kept his angry expression. “Are you mocking me?”

I held up my hands defensively, “No! It’s just whenever I feel horrible my mom or my sister would give me a hug to cheer me up! It helps me, and I just thought… never mind.”

Saeran’s expression softened, “…Thank you.”

I lowered my hands again and smiled. “Hey that’s what partners are for! Do you want that hug?” I stood up and outstretched my hands.

He smiled and shook his head, “No, not right now.”

I crept closer to him while still keeping my arms open. “So you want one later?”

He shook his head ‘no’ again.

I lowered my arms and pouted. “Not even my kidnapper accepts my affection; I guess I really am forever alone.”

He scoffed, “I’m not giving you a hug out of pity.” He went back to typing.

I sat back down and sighed. I debated whether or not I should say my next words, but I did anyway. “You’re not really like Luciel,” I watched for Saeran’s expression.

He just looked back to me. “Good, he’s horrible,” he spoke with disgust.

“What did you mean when you said that he left you?” I hope Seven didn’t do anything to hurt him, but it really sounds like he did.

Saeran paused his typing. He looked like he was considering whether he should tell me or not, but then he closed the laptop. He looked down, then back up to me. “I told you that our mother was very… bad to us, right?”

I nodded, I already don’t like where this is going. “Hey you don’t have to tell me if it’ll make you uncomfortable,” I actually really want to hug him; I want to make him feel good.

He softened his gaze. “I want to tell you, you’re my partner, right?”

I smiled and nodded. I also felt my face get warmer, but I don’t know why.

He smiled too, he deserves to be happy despite the things he’s done. I know that what he says will probably hurt him, but if he wants me to know then I’ll let him tell me. He took a breath and his smile dropped. “Saeyoung used to go to church a lot. When my mother would… tie me up he would untie me and feed me the communion bread that he had taken from church that day. Mother would forget to feed us, and she kept us inside to prevent our father from finding us.” He looked back to me before continuing. “One day, Saeyoung left for church and never came back. He never said a word to me about leaving. I thought he died,” He looked down and his voice was cracking. I had no clue that Seven went through something like this.

I felt an urge to just pull Saeran to me and keep him safe. I settled for laying my hand above his, to let him know that I care. He didn’t pull away, but he did stiffen at the contact. “I waited for Saeyoung to come back for months. Mother thought that our father got to him so she tied me up so many more times.” He took a moment to steady his breathing. “I didn’t think that he would just leave me like he did. One day police came by with two people. The police took my mother away and the other people told me that they would take care of me. This was probably…” He paused, “a few years ago maybe. Those people were my savior and her fiancé at the time. I remember that my savior was so nice to me. She promised to take care of me. She said that she would do what my mother couldn’t. She would love me, she would save me.”

He looked like he was struggling for a moment. “I can’t remember what happened after that. It’s very blurry. The very next thing that I can remember is being inducted into Mint Eye.” He looked at my hand on top of his. “When I have seen you at the headquarters I didn’t think much of it, but when I seen him with you… I didn’t know what to do. I tried to kill him, he never came back for me, and he was still alive. I don’t even think that he loves me anymore.”

I squeezed his hand reassuringly. I let out a breath I was holding. “I don’t know why he did that, but you can always count on your partner to be there for you!” My voice was hard to get out for some reason.

He looked at me and his pained expression turned into a smile. He took the hand that wasn’t under my hand and put in on my cheek. “Why are you crying?”

I looked confused, but he took his hand off of my face and I seen the shine that meant he touched something wet. “I don’t know,” I replied. No wonder it was hard to talk.

His smile turned into a mischievous smirk. “Do you want a hug?”

I smiled and nodded. He looked surprised before his face turned red. “O-okay,” He stuttered briefly before standing and holding his arms out like I did.

I just about leaped into his arms. I wrapped my arms around his chest and nuzzled into him. He felt stiff, but soon put his hands around me lightly. It felt oddly comforting; I thought only mom’s hugs could make me feel better. He felt so warm and I smiled even wider. “Thank you Saeran.”

His grip tightened a bit and he whispered, “No problem… partner.”

Chapter Text

I was playing LOLOL like usual when Saeran stepped through the front door holding some stuff-filled plastic bags. He left earlier to run some errands and get us some supplies. I hope he got me the cereal with the marshmallows like I asked. I perked up on the computer chair and shot Saeran a smile, “Hey partner!”

He smiled back and waved before dropping the bags loudly. He exhaled and dropped his smile before groaning. I shot him a confused look as he walked over and collapsed on the couch. He looked like he was in pain.

I frowned before turning back to LOLOL. In the past few days Saeran has been like this a lot lately. I asked him about it yesterday and he responded with, “I don’t have my pills anymore.” He must be going through some form of drug withdrawal. Last night he didn’t sleepwalk, but he ran to the bathroom and started dry heaving in the middle of the night. I’m really worried about him.

What kind of shit happened at that cult? What is happening there right now? I don’t even want to know. What would Saeran need pills for? I didn’t ask him about it because that seems like a personal matter.

After a little while of questing, Saeran coughed. I looked behind me questioningly to see him placing two bowls on the dining table. He looked away and sat down. “I heated up some soup,” he said quietly.

I smiled and turned back around to turn off LOLOL. I skipped over to the table and sat in the seat with a bowl in front of it. “Thank you so much, Saeran!” I must have been too invested in LOLOL to hear him put the groceries away, and make dinner. I looked at the clock on the wall to see it was 7 o’clock; he’s starting to eat at more normal times. This is also the first time we are eating together.

He shrugged and dunked his spoon into his bowl, “It’s from a can.”

I bunched up a napkin and threw it at him. He shot me an annoyed and puzzled look. “Quit putting yourself down!” I said after I ate my own spoonful. It was chicken noodle soup; hopefully it would settle Saeran’s stomach a bit.

He tried to not smile, but he was failing horribly. As we ate we fell into a comfortable silence. This fugitive lifestyle is really starting to feel domestic. This is not how I expected being kidnapped to be like, but I’m happy with it.

After we put our bowls in the sink Saeran took a painkiller. I gave him a look of confusion and pity, “What’s wrong now?”

He looked over to where I was standing, “Headache, it’s horrible.”

I made my way over to him and stretched my hands out, “Hug?”

He let out a breathy laugh and shook his head. “No thank you,” but then his eyes perked up. “Hey I got us something to celebrate.” He looked like he was trying to contain his excitement.

I raised my eyebrows in surprise, “Celebrate? What are we celebrating?”

He smirked, “It’s my birthday.”

I opened my mouth and squealed a bit. “Oh my gosh! Happy birthday! Oh man you should have told me, I would have done something special!”

He laughed a bit and shook his head slowly, “I was kidding. We’ve been here for seven days. That’s something worth celebrating right?”

I scowled at his lie, but then smiled again soon after. “I guess it is, I mean we’re still alive, right?”

He grimaced and covered his head with his hands, “You might be, but I think I’m dying.”

I frowned again, “Is there anything I can do for you?” Saeran in pain was probably one of my least favorite things to see right now.

He shook his head slowly again. He looked back to me and opened his mouth to say something, but closed it again. After a few moments of now awkward silence, he perked up again. “I almost forgot,” He reached down and opened one of the kitchen cabinets.

My eyes widened as he pulled out a large clear bottle, “Is that vodka?”

He nodded and smirked, “I thought we could celebrate our first week of living in fear.”

I gave him a crooked smile, “Is that okay with your… condition?”

I haven’t been out to drink since the last time Zen took me, which was months ago. He likes going out to drink with me, but hates taking care of me afterwards. Once Jumin thought it was a good idea to serve wine at an RFA party. Now we aren’t allowed to serve alcohol because a few of us got too tipsy. Mostly me and Jaehee, but for some reason they always laugh at me for being a lightweight. She got drunk too! That’s not fair.

“It should take this headache away a bit, but I won’t drink a lot. I haven’t had alcohol in a while,” He smiled as he examined the bottle a bit. Then his smile dropped and he looked at me. “Do you drink? I didn’t even ask before I bought it.”

I gave him a reassuring thumbs up. I’ll take it easy tonight. If I drink too much he’ll probably hate me like Zen does right after we get home from the bar.

Saeran smiled once more and set the bottle on the counter. Then he started digging through Rika’s fridge until he pulled out some orange juice. It’s nice seeing that we’re becoming closer, he’s trusting me to drink with him. I think he’s been opening up ever since his last sleepwalking incident. He hasn’t sleepwalked since we hugged so maybe I helped him in some way. I hope I did help him; I want to be there for Saeran now that he’s out of that stupid cult.

I must have gotten lost in my thoughts because soon Saeran was handing me a glass full of orange liquid, “Drink up I spent a lot of money on this stuff.”

I took the glass and smiled. “Where do you get your money anyway?” I asked thoughtfully while eyeing my drink.

He took a sip before answering. “Stole it,” I waited for him to laugh and say he was kidding, but it never happened.

I laughed because I didn’t know how to respond to that. Then I took a sip, I winced at the familiar bitter taste. I never liked the taste of the stuff; I just like how tired it made me. It keeps me distracted from LOLOL enough to sleep. The orange juice did well to hide some of it though.

Saeran smirked at my reaction, but didn’t say anything in response. Saeran made his way to the couch and lounged with his glass. I followed him and sat on the opposite end of the couch.

I took a few more sips and to my surprise the alcohol didn’t immediately hit me like it did last time. Saeran turned on the TV, but he didn’t look too interested in what was on. He probably just wanted some background noise, I can understand that.

After a little while I’ve noticed that I’ve already downed most of my glass. I need to slow down. However I still wasn’t feeling tipsy yet. I knew this trick though; if I drink more I am going to regret it later. I set my glass onto the coffee table and leaned back onto the couch.

I glanced over to Saeran to see him continue to stare blankly at the TV. “How much longer do you think that we’ll need to hide here?” I asked.

He took his eyes away from the TV and moved them over to me. “Not much longer, maybe another week or so. Then we can part ways if you want,” he kept his eyes firm on me, waiting for my response.

I was surprised at what he said. “Why would I want to part ways with you? You’re my partner.” Was this just another way that Saeran was putting himself down, or was he hinting that he was getting tired of me already?

He smiled softly and leaned his head further onto his arm. “I kidnapped you; I wouldn’t think that someone would want to be friends with their kidnapper.”

I was starting to feel it now. The tired fuzzy stuffy feeling was starting to make its way to my head. I’ve only had a few sips, maybe I am a lightweight. “Well you are my friend; you saved me from being brainwashed didn’t you?”

He looked back to the TV. “I guess so,” he mumbled.

I also turned to the TV. I grabbed for my drink again, might as well finish the rest of it, but I better stay quiet before Saeran punches me in the face. I drew my head back and gulped the rest of the drink down. I looked over to see Saeran raising his eyebrow at me, but he was smirking as well.

I gave him an innocent smile and looked back to the TV. “Do you want more?” I heard him ask quietly.

I swiftly shook my head. Anymore and I might do something that I regret.

Maybe an hour later, maybe, the alcohol was really starting to settle. The stuffiness in my head was feeling more intense. How much alcohol is in vodka anyway? I looked over to see if Saeran was feeling the same way, but he looked the exact same as he did a while ago. That isn’t fair, why is it that I can’t hold my drinks but everyone else can? The lightheaded feeling did feel good however.

I looked at Saeran intensely; he looks great in a tank top. He must have noticed me staring because he looked over and gave me a questioning look. Shit I really did it now. Don’t say anything, just look away. Saeran raised his eyebrow, “What’s wrong?”

Shit I forgot to look away. Quick say something, anything. “You look nice… in a shirt.”

He looked down at his torso. Then he looked back up still puzzled, “Thanks?”

I held up one finger at him. I don’t know where I was going with this. I’m too stupid right now. “I would like a drink,” I said as I tried to keep my voice steady. I can’t sound drunk in front of him. I’m not drunk anyway, just tipsy.

He smirked and stood up, but I didn’t see him stand up. He was sitting and now he’s not. What the hell. I held out my hand, “No, it’s alright, I can get it myself,” I said still trying to steady my voice.

He gave me a look that I really can’t describe. I looked around until my eyes landed on the glass at the other end of the couch. I dragged my body to the other side of the couch and grabbed the glass.

“Yoosung that’s… mine,” Saeran said as I started drinking out of the glass.

I stopped sipping and looked down in horror. Oh my god it’s his drink. I messed up. I can’t believe I messed up again. I felt tears prick my eyes. “Why… Why can’t I do anything right?” I spoke in between sad hiccups.

Saeran looked so surprised. He’s going to kick me out. He’s going to shoot me with his gun. I messed up so bad. Then I heard him snicker. I looked up with bewilderment. “I think it’s time for bed, Yoosung,” Saeran said trying to hold back his giggles.

I felt myself fall onto the couch, baffled. “Are you laughing at me?” I asked while wiping my tears with my sleeve.

He shook his head ‘no’ and held out his hand. I looked at it. I studied his hand, what is he trying to tell me?

He rolled his eyes while he reached down and grabbed my hand. He pulled lightly on my hand. I was staring at our hands. I yanked him back. He looked surprised by my actions. I took my hand and linked my fingers between his.

“Yoosung what are you doing?” Saeran asked quietly.

I have no clue actually. “We’re holding hands,” I observed out loud.

Saeran coughed awkwardly and I looked up to see his face getting considerably redder than the rest of him. “Please don’t throw up on me, I just got a shower like two hours ago,” I begged to Saeran, he looked so sick right now.

I felt a sudden strength at seeing him sick and yanked hard on his arm. He must have been caught off guard because he took a few steps forward and almost fell onto me. He gave me enough room to wrap my arms around his legs. I buried my face onto his knees. “My hug will cure you,” I mumbled and then placed a tiny kiss on his kneecap.

He jerked his legs away from me and I fell onto the floor… I looked up confused. I forgot why I was on the floor. I looked up to see Saeran walking away from the couch. Where is he going?

“Saeran… Saeran!” I yelled towards him. “Saeran,” I snorted as I laughed. “Saeran away! Do you get it Saeran? Sae-ran away! Because running is like when you leave. You just left so it’s funny.” I forgot what I was talking about. Where did Saeran go?

The floor is cold. The cold is strangely comforting on my warm face. I snuggled into the floor and closed my eyes. I could die here and be happy.

I must have fallen asleep because I was surprised when Saeran was grabbing my arms and trying to help me up, “Come on let’s go to bed.”

I groaned but stood up with his help. “Oh my gosh does this remind you of something?”

He looked at me with confusion but continued to drag me towards the bed.

I dragged my legs in an attempt to walk to the bed, “When you kidnapped me, didn’t you drag me around like this?” I couldn’t see his reaction from where I was, but he didn’t say anything. I laughed, he was like a ghost, not there, but he was there, like a ghost, oh wait I said that.

When we arrived at the bed he pushed me down and lifted the covers over me. “Goodnight Yoosung,” Saeran mumbled.

I yawned at the word goodnight. “Night Saeran, I love you.”

I seen him stiffen, is he cold? “No you don’t,” he said quietly.

“I don’t what?” I asked curiously.

“You don’t love me, no one can love me, not even my savior,” He sounds so sad.

I sat up and my now clip-less bangs fell into my face. “Pshhhhh… Shut up, you’re so pretty with your white-red hair and your… you.” He was very pretty. “I love you so much… you like, let me play LOLOL and stuff, I love LOLOL, and I love you.” I poked him in the chest as I spoke. God my head was so stuffy.

Saeran stared at me before cracking a smile, “Go to bed Yoosung, you’re drunk,” he began to walk away from the bed.

Oh shit he knows that I’m drunk. That was not part of the plan. “Isn’t it your turn to sleep here?” I asked.

He shook his head, “It’s your turn.”

I reached out to him. “Let’s share the bed, like a real sleepover,” I said sleepily.

He turned around and gave me a bewildered look before shaking his head. “Not now,” He let out a breathy laugh.

I smiled before flopping back down onto the bed, “So we will later?”

I heard him choke on nothing before the lights went out, “Goodnight Yoosung.”

I closed my eyes.

Chapter Text

There were two things that I felt at once, pain and fear. Pain in my head and fear at being woken up so suddenly. I sat up and glared towards where I was pushed. I squinted and put my hand to my head, it hurts so bad.

“Get dressed we have to go,” the words were rushed, but they sounded like needles poking at my already killer headache.

My vision cleared but I kept glaring at Saeran, who woke me up very rudely. “What?” I said grumpily. I must have drunk too much last night. Oh shit I got drunk in front of Saeran, that must have been embarrassing. I don’t even want to remember what I said to him. It’s a little hazy, but the memory of last night will come to me in about an hour or so, it always does.

Saeran looked around quickly before facing me again. He looked nervous about something, “We need to leave; I have everything in the car already we have to go now.”

That woke me up. I straightened myself up and turned my glare into a confused look, “What’s going on? Are we in trouble?”

“No, but Saeyoung is coming here to check the security system and I do not want us here when he arrives,” Saeran sounded distressed so I couldn’t help but feel anxious as well.

“Okay, but where will we go?” I didn’t mean to sound impatient, but I didn’t feel really good right now.

Saeran sighed and reached to grab my wrist, “We’ll figure it out later, we have to leave right now.”

I groaned and let him drag me out of bed. I quickly put on some new clothes while Saeran paced around and bit at his lips. When I was done he led me down the stairs and back into the parking lot. Running this early in the morning is making my head feel worse.

We got into the car and Saeran sped out of the parking complex. The morning light isn’t helping my hangover either. At least I wasn’t nauseas; I usually don’t get nausea when I’m hungover.

After a few seconds of contemplating the situation I turned to Saeran, “What are we doing again?”

Saeran looked like his normal composed self again now that we were out of the apartment. He still didn’t look happy though, “We are leaving the apartment because Saeyoung was going to check it out after he couldn’t get a visual on the cameras.”

I hummed to confirm that I understood. “My head hurts,” I’m hoping that my pain will at least lighten the mood again.

It worked. Saeran smiled and it looked like he was trying to suppress a laugh, “Yeah you were out of it after one glass.”

I frowned in disgust at myself for being such a wuss with alcohol. “Sorry about that,” I mumbled.

He let out a sigh, “No its okay, and you made me laugh… And if it helps my head hurts too.”

My eyes widened and I felt stupid. Saeran has been dealing with hangover-like pain, probably worse, for a few days now and I’m the one complaining. It’s a mystery why Saeran puts up with me, I feel so selfish. “Hey if we need a place to stay we could always go to my apartment, it might not be as safe as Rika’s, but at least it’s something,” I hope that I can help with this in some way, Saeran has been doing all of the work.

He looked puzzled while staring out towards the road, “We might just have to.”

I wonder how Saeran is feeling after last night. I bit at my nails and looked out of my window. “How are you feeling this morning?”

He hummed in thought, “My head hurts and I couldn’t stop shaking earlier, but right now I’m fine. I’ll get us some painkillers at a gas station.”

My brows furrowed, “You were shaking?”

“Mhmm, don’t worry about it though,” he said quietly towards the end.

I kept frowning, but didn’t push the subject. I watched the buildings go by, it looked oddly hypnotic, “Can we talk, Saeran?” I looked at him and away from my window; if I watched it anymore I might fall asleep.

He looked a little nervous at my question; he bit his lip a bit. “About what?”

I had to take a moment to think of the name. “Uh… Mint Eye. If you don’t mind, we don’t have to if you don’t want to,” I have been wanting to ask more about if for a while, but Saeran hasn’t been feeling well lately so I didn’t bother.

Saeran looked uncomfortable and didn’t look at me, “Okay, just… I’ll try.”

I don’t know what he meant by ‘try’. I suddenly felt uncomfortable too, “Never mind.”

He furrowed his eyebrows, “No it’s fine what do you want to know?”

I looked down to my feet, “…What is Mint Eye about?”

There was a moment of complete silence between us for a few seconds before Saeran responded, “It was about an everlasting party that would make the world our own paradise. It was about everyone being happy and ridding the evil in the world… It’s something that I believed in.” He briefly took his arm off of the wheel to rub his arm, the one with the tattoo on it.

I didn’t really know what to say to Saeran. “That sounds really nice, like something the Rika I knew would make,” the mood was getting dark once again.

He let out a sarcastic breath of a laugh, “It seems that it was too good to be true… I knew that some new members had to go through this… process where they were taken to some room and I guess brainwashed, but I didn’t think that they did that to me… It sounded like they did it regularly too. Why? I knew that I was loyal. So why in the fuck did they put me on those god damn pills?” He was getting angry; I could see his grip tighten on the wheel and tears piling up in his eyes.

I felt bad, but also nervous at his mood now while he was driving. I want to cry with him, but that’s all I do is cry. I don’t want to cry anymore. “Saeran pull over,” I said quietly.

“I put this ink on my arm. It’s here forever now; I can’t look at my own arm without feeling betrayed!” He was shouting now and punching the wheel.

“Saeran it’s too dangerous to drive while feeling like this, pull over!” I begged, but it was like he was in his own world right now.

I seen a tear leave his eye and trail down his cheek. “Everyone betrays me in the end! I have no one I can trust! Not even you. You will leave me eventually, just like him, or you’ll hurt me just like her.”

“I’m here Saeran and I won’t hurt you, just please calm down,” I could feel my breathing quicken at how nervous I was becoming.

“I thought she loved me, she was my savior. If we never left then she would have just brainwashed me again, upped my pills, and put me back to work. We must have gone through that cycle for the entire five fucking years that I was there. I wish that I was dead! I should have died after Saeyoung left. I wish I would have starved to death!” I screeched as we swerved into the opposing lane before Saeran swore and returned us back to our lane. There was angry honking coming from the lane we were just in.

I was hyperventilating as he finally pulled over and put his head in his hands, “Yoosung I’m so sorry… I could have killed you.” He let out a sob, “I’m so sorry.”

I calmed my breathing after a few minutes of regulating my breaths. Saeran was a mess right now. At least I wasn’t crying… yet. I reached over and put my hand lightly on his shoulder. He tensed and I took it back off. “It’s alright, you’re just upset. It happens,” I said while trying to make Saeran feel better. This is so much weirder than how my life used to be, two weeks ago I was studying and now I’m comforting my kidnapper-turned friend.

He looked up and snapped at me, “Quit defending me Yoosung! You almost just fucking died because of me, you’re in this situation because of me, and everything in the past week that has made you miserable was because of me. There is no reason for you to like me, or even just tolerate me.” Then he turned and just stared blankly out of the windshield as tears fell out of his bright green eyes.

I was taken aback, why is he trying to get me to hate him? I shook the thoughts out of my head, he’s just upset. He’s trying to blame himself for everything, but it’s not his fault. “You’re not the problem here Saeran…” I gulped and fought back my own tears successfully, “Rika is the problem. I never thought in a million years that I would say that, but Rika hurt you so much… and she was going to hurt me too, and the rest of the RFA.” It might be horrible of me to say, but I was proud at how mature I sounded right now.

Saeran sighed and leaned back in his chair, “I’m sorry, you’re right. Sorry for being a little bitch.” He looked embarrassed while tears still fell occasionally out of his eyes.

I shook my head and smiled, “Quit saying you’re sorry, and you’re not a little bitch. I cry so much more than you.”

Saeran stopped sulking for a moment and chuckled.

I raised my eyebrows curiously, “What are you laughing at?”

“You cried last night after accidentally drinking my drink.”

I felt my face go red and I leaned back in my chair just like he was, “Ugh seriously?” I am so embarrassing when I drink. Speaking of which, this whole situation made me forget about my headache.

He was still smiling as he nodded, “Don’t tell me that you’re so much of a lightweight that you don’t remember last night?”

I groaned, “I do remember, I just refuse to look back on it.” It’ll make me cringe.

He laughed again and covered his mouth to try to suppress it, but he was failing miserably. I like him a lot more when he’s happy and laughing like this. “You’re just Sae-running away from your problems,” he said between laughs.

I was confused until I remembered my shitty joke about him running away. I groaned again and sunk lower into my seat. I thought about why he ‘ran away’ and smiled to myself.

I turned back towards Saeran, reached out, and grabbed his hand. He gave me a confused look when he stopped his laughing. I interlaced our fingers, “We’re holding hands.”

He giggled, but looked away from me. His hands are so cold. His hands were also just a little bigger than mine, but they were also paler. He didn’t pull his hand away like he did last night. Why does this feel so nice? Isn’t this what couples do? I guess friends can hold hands too… maybe?

I was surprised when his thumb rubbed against my hand softly, like he was testing to see if I was still here. He awkwardly pulled away after a few seconds and put his hands back on the wheel. “Hey let’s go find a fast food place. You can get whatever, but I want a milkshake. I’ll pay for almost killing us.”

I laughed and straightened myself back up. “Deal, I want fries, lots of fries.” I was feeling pretty hungry, and the food in the apartment was starting to get dull as well.

He smiled and put the car into drive and made his way back onto the road. “Hey Yoosung?” He said quietly.

“Hmm?”

“…Never mind,” he said after a few seconds of silence.

“No come on, you can’t do that! Tell me!” I said while pouting.

He looked at me and smiled before turning his head back to the road ahead, “It’s just… promise me that you won’t leave me. Sorry that sounds stupid.”

I pat his shoulder reassuringly, “I promise Saeran, you’re one of my best friends after all, and that doesn’t sound stupid at all.” He really was starting to become someone that I could trust, despite everything that he did.

Chapter Text

I opened the door giddily and beckoned Saeran to come inside with me. I was smiling so hard that it hurt. My guest walked in cautiously and looked around. “Welcome home!” I said raising my hands and dropping all of the garbage that I was carrying.

Saeran smiled with me and dropped what he was holding as well, “This is… nice,” he said slowly, almost sounding unsure.

I laughed quietly and bent over to pick up what I dropped, “You don’t have to lie to me, and I know it’s small.” I picked up the bag full of the remains of our fast food binge and tossed it in the trash can that was in my very small kitchen. My smile dropped at the reminder that all of my food in the fridge was probably stale and I needed to take out the trash. Oh shit I probably have to pay my rent soon too.

Saeran shook his head and took off his shoes, “Sorry if I’m being rude, but may I look around?”

I almost laughed again at how formal Saeran was sounding, “Sure, you’re going to be living here too anyway, right?”

He looked around the space we were in once more, “Just until I’m sure that we’re safe,” he replied softly before making his way down the hallway to my bedroom.

I wanted to tell him that he could stay as long as he wanted, but he already left before I could reply. Instead I scowled and opened my fridge. It took all of my will power to not gag at the smell of spoiled milk. I held my breath and picked up the carton with my thumb and pointer finger before turning and depositing the foul-smelling thing into the trash. When I breathed in again the smell was still there and this time I did gag.

With tears in my eyes I groaned and half-ran to my kitchen closet. I dug through my cleaning supplies until I put on a surgical mask that I have for when I use bleach. It helped a bit, but I could still smell the grossness coming out of my fridge. I grabbed every cleaning product that I could carry and brought it with me to the fridge, might as well clean the house while I’m at it.

I almost forgot that Saeran was in my house until he returned to the kitchen to see me mopping the tiled floor. I stopped and looked at Saeran. He has been gone for a while and the only other rooms are my bedroom and the bathroom. I can see the living room from where I’m standing and that’s where the dining table is too.

“I’m sorry I took so long, do you want me to help?” He asked while his face remained neutral.

I waved him off and went back to my last bit of mopping; I already mopped the living room while he was doing whatever he was doing. “No you’re my guest after all, what were you doing anyway?”

He slipped past me to where I haven’t mopped and picked up some window cleaner and a rag. I scowled at him as he walked by me and towards the windows in the living room, “I was putting in some extra security on your computer to make sure we can’t be followed.”

“I told you that I didn’t want you to clean,” I said as he sprayed the cleaner onto the window. I puffed out my cheeks in defiance.

He smirked and wiped the window down, “Maybe I want to, it’s dirty in here.”

I felt my cheeks go red in embarrassment, “Sorry…”

He shook his head, “It’s alright, the dust has built up over the week and you weren’t here.”

I didn’t comment on what he said and scrubbed the last of the floor.

As we cleaned I introduced Saeran to the things around my apartment, it may not be a luxurious as Rika’s, but it was still decent to live in. I mostly just pointed out the important stuff, like where I kept the toilet paper and how to work the shower and air conditioner. He listened without protest, but I’m sure a pro-hacker like him could’ve figured out everything by himself; however it never hurts to be helpful!

It turns out that cleaning with someone really speeds things up! With Saeran’s help I cut down my three hours of cleaning into about two. During our cleaning session I almost forgot all of the stuff that happened in the previous week, not seeing Rika’s stuff every hour of the day will hopefully make me forget about seeing her faster.

After cleaning I sprawled myself out on the couch in front of my small TV and invited Saeran to join me by patting the empty spot next to my head. He ignored my invitation and instead made himself at home by digging through my medicine cabinet, which I so happened to have shown him.

I watched him from my spot on the couch. He suddenly stopped and turned around with a pill bottle in his hand, “Can I have these?” He sounded agitated.

I didn’t bother asking him what they were because I have a good guess that they’re pain killers. “Uh yeah sure,” I spoke with uncertainty, he looked horrible and I thought it was just from cleaning with me.

Saeran sighed and moved himself to the next cabinet over to grab a glass; he then filled the glass with water and took a few pills. I continued to watch him gulp the water and then grab his laptop off of the kitchen counter and move to sit at the dining table. He opened his laptop and winced at the light coming off of the screen.

I finally spoke up, “Hey Saeran you can go nap on my bed or something while you wait for the medicine to work.”

He glanced up at me while still trying to keep a neutral expression, but he just looked pained, like a puppy that was just kicked. “I can’t,” he said tiredly.

I shot him a confused look, “Why not?”

“I have work I need to do,” he replied.

“You can’t do it later?” I blew a strand of blonde hair out of my face; I forgot my clips at the apartment. It was very annoying trying to clean with hair in my face.

“I could, but I want it to be done as soon as possible.”

I groaned and stood up from the couch. After stretching I walked over to my partner and peeked over his shoulder, the screen was just black with green text spewed over it, it looked incredible dull to me. “Looks to me like a problem with the mainframe,” I said feigning intelligence.

Saeran raised an eyebrow and smiled, “Oh yeah?”

I hummed with approval, “Yeah it seems pretty serious.”

“How do you suppose we fix it, tech genius?” He said with sarcasm.

I rubbed my chin in thought, “Try pressing backspace.”

He used his pointer finger and hit the backspace key… nothing happened. Saeran turned and gave me a look, “Yoosung, I don’t think it did anything.”

I shook my head, “No, no, no, you have to wait a few hours now. After a few hours it reboots itself and everything will be good as new.” I don’t know how I haven’t burst out laughing by now.

He laughed before putting a serious face back on, “What are we going to do while it fixes itself?”

I rubbed my chin once more, “If I had free time I would take a nap, but since I’m such a smart hacker I have other things to fix.” This time I did snicker a bit in the middle of my sentence.

Saeran smiled again, “Wow Yoosung, you’re such a smart guy I think I might just take a nap.” He stood up and looked me in the eye, “Wake me up in two hours… I mean it.”

In response I nodded and watched him leave to my bedroom. I need a nap too, but the couch is so uncomfortable. I’ll just wait until he gets up.

I made my way back to the couch and turned on the TV. After changing the channel to the one with the animals I went to grab for my phone before realizing that I still don’t have a phone anymore. I groaned and leaned into the couch more. I’d play LOLOL but the computer is in my room and I want Saeran to rest.

This is going to be the most boring two hours ever.

After the first half-hour I decided I was hungry. The kitchen was now empty of fresh food for meals, so now I only have snacks and… peanut butter. Well I don’t really want chips right now so…

I made my way back to the couch with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon, not the healthiest snack I’ve ever had, but it has plenty of protein. I put a small amount of the smooth topping on the spoon and then into my mouth. It was pleasantly different enough from what I’ve been eating the past few days so I was satisfied.

Unexpectedly there was a knock on my door during my next spoonful. I paused with the spoon in my mouth in fear. Who the hell is that? What if it’s V? I stood up in defense, spoon still in my mouth and backed towards my bedroom door.

There were a few more knocks and then the knob jiggled noisily, whoever was here was trying to get in. I started to breath heavier and reached for the knob on the bedroom door. I was scared, I don’t want to be brainwashed, I don’t want to be in a cult, I don’t want to see Rika again, I don’t want them to get to Saeran again.

“Yoosung?” The voice behind the door said. I stopped my panicked thoughts at the sudden realization at who was here. Then I let the spoon fall out of my mouth with a clanking sound when it hit the floor.

I stepped away from the bedroom door and ran towards the front door, “Seven?” I said hopefully.

“Yoosung!” He said suddenly louder.

“Seven!” I replied before unlocking the door and throwing it open.

The redhead leaped forward and grabbed me into a tight hug. I hugged him back and laughed at finally seeing a familiar face. I didn’t realize how much I really loved the members of the RFA. “Yoosung I’m so sorry! I’ve been having nightmares about what happened and I can’t believe you’re okay!”

I let go of Seven and he released me and took a step back. “It’s alright, seven. I’m alright.”

He suddenly went serious, kind of like Saeran does, well I guess they are brothers after all… Oh shit. Saeran is here and I’m pretty sure he still hates his brother. “You said you would message the chat back when you were safe and you never did, I was so worried, everyone was.”

I don’t like it when Seven is serious, it doesn’t suit him. “I’m sorry; I don’t have a phone anymore so I had no way to talk to you guys.”

His features relaxed and he ran a hand through his bright hair, I wonder if Saeran’s hair was as bright as his. “I can get you one, I owe you so much after all,” he tried to perk back up, “I’ll even make the ringtone my singing voice saying how thankful I am that you saved my life.”

I laughed nervously. Little did he know was that his life was still in danger by just being here. “Can we talk outside, I haven’t had fresh air in a while and I just cleaned.”

His expression was suddenly surprised and I stiffened, please tell me Saeran isn’t awake. “Yoosung has cleaned? Did they replace you with a robot?”

I sighed in relief before walked past him to the outside. He followed me while laughing at his own joke and closed the door behind him. He joined me as I sat on the concrete step outside of my door.

He turned towards me and rested his head on his knees, “Tell me what happened after I left.” Saeyoung… Seven was suddenly serious again. “Every day after you messaged the RFA chat I came here to see you not here, and now suddenly today you’re back.”

I thought carefully about my words, it looked like Seven was watching my expression closely. “How much do you know about Mint Eye?”

He looked a little puzzled, “Nothing other than what you said, it’s a cult, right?”

I looked at him with concern, “Why are you lying to me?”

Seven looked surprised now, “Huh?”

“You know him,” was the only thing I said.

Seven flinched but still didn’t say anything and looked down.

“Saeyoung,” I said softly.

He looked back up to me quickly and his eyes widened, “Yoosung… how…?” It seemed like he couldn’t wrap his head around me knowing about him and Saeran.

This time I looked down, “Saeran and I escaped.”

If it was possible Seven’s eyes widened even more. He sat up and removed his glasses before turning his entire body towards me, “Saeran?”

I nodded.

“Is he okay?”

I nodded again.

“Where is he?”

I paused and looked down, “I can’t tell you.”

His mouth fell open, “What? Why?”

I winced at seeing Seven’s hurt expression, “He wouldn’t want me to tell you.”

His facial features tightened angrily, “Yoosung, you are one of my closest friends, one of my only friends, but he is my brother, my twin brother, and you will tell me where my brother is.”

I winced again at his now aggressive tone, but I was doing this for Saeran and Saeyoung’s own good, “No.”

Seven unexpectedly grabbed the front of my shirt and pulled me forward. I gasped as he looked me in the eye, “He is my family Yoosung.”

I grabbed his hand to yank it off, but he wouldn’t move, “Please let go.”

He shook me once, “Tell me!” He shook me again, “Yoosung!” He shook me once more and I started hyperventilating, why is he being so violent? “He needs me!” He ignored my breathing and this time started continuously shaking me by the collar back and forth; then he stood up bringing me with him, “Yoosung you better tell me right now!”

My breathing was getting fast the more he shook me and my vision started getting blurry. Seven’s yelling was suddenly unintelligible to me. However then suddenly the shaking stopped, Seven let me go.

I fell onto my knees and took in deep breaths. I heard muffled yelling while my body was getting control of itself again. I looked up to the sound to see a blurry figure push another blurry figure. Then there was more yelling.

I closed my eyes, but then opened them again when I felt hands grab my shoulders. I tried to fight the figure but then the scene came into focus. It wasn’t Seven grabbing me now, it was Saeran, “Yoosung, take slow deep breaths, are you alright?”

I tried to follow what he said and took slow breaths and closed my eyes. “Saeran!” I heard Seven yelling.

“Don’t you dare talk to me!” I heard Saeran yell as well.

“What happened to you, Saeran?” Seven said.

I felt one of the hands leave me shoulders and jerk forcibly, “Don’t touch me!” That was Saeran.

After calming down I opened my eyes again to see Saeran glaring at Seven before looking back to me, “Yoosung, did he do anything to you?”

Seven looked guilty and confused at the same time. I shook my head “no”.

Saeran didn’t calm down after hearing my answer, “I knew it was too dangerous here, we need to find somewhere else.”

“I’m not a danger to you,” Seven said looking taken aback by seeing his brother.

“Then what the hell did I walk in on?” Saeran shouted at him.

“I… I lost my temper, Yoosung I’m so sorry,” Seven said looking past Saeran to me, “I was just trying to find you.”

“I don’t want to see you.”

“But Saeran-“

“I want you dead.”

“Huh?” Seven looked confused and hurt.

“I. Want. You. To. Die.” Saeran said slowly, “And you’d be dead if I had my gun.”

Seven took a step back, “Why?”

Saeran laughed bitterly, “Sorry would it be better if I said that I wish you were tied to a bedpost for 15 fucking years while I went to church and had a good life?”

Seven looked even worse now, “I’m sorry… I’m so sorry, they promised…”

“Who promised?” Saeran said.

“Rika and V,” Seven said as a tear fell from his eye.

Saeran showed no remorse for his tears, “What did they promise?”

“That if V could get me a hacking job then you would be happy as long as I didn’t see you again.”

Saeran looked at Seven in disbelief. I feel like I really shouldn’t be hearing this stuff.

Chapter Text

“I don’t want to hear your excuses,” Saeran said bitterly to the distraught-looking Seven.

Seven took a step towards Saeran and in response Saeran look a step back, but still in front of me. “Saeran, I promise that I thought that you were okay… She sent me pictures of you looking happy,” Seven pleaded.

“Are you fucking stupid? I was never happy! If anything you made my life worse!” Seven winced at the words, “Our psycho mother just got even more paranoid after you left!”

“Saeran I-“

“Shut the hell up! If Yoosung wasn’t here then you wouldn’t be able to breathe right now,” Saeran spat at him.

I watched the two shout at each other from the spot in front of my house that I fell on. I don’t know what to do. I can’t interrupt them because this isn’t something that I should even be hearing in the first place, but the shouting might alarm my neighbors. I coughed awkwardly and looked around to see if any of the public is watching, thankfully no one was around as far as I can see.

“I know your upset and you have every right to be; I'm so sorry.“ Seven said, his childish demeanor has been long gone for a while now.

Saeran clenched his fists, I could see it from behind him, “If you are really sorry and want my forgiveness for all that you have done... then kill yourself.”

My eyes widened, Seven’s did too. “W-what?” Seven stuttered out.

“I’ll forgive you if you kill yourself,” Saeran said heartlessly.

Seven stood still staring at him with his mouth hanging open.

“Saeran… Don’t say stuff like that.” I said quietly. I was kind of frightened at Saeran’s serious and scary mood.

He looked down towards me and shot me a glare before looking back towards his brother, “Will you do it?”

Seven finally seemed to get a hold of himself and closed his mouth, he shot me a nervous look, “I can’t kill myself, but if you were in danger and I had to die to protect you… I would, but to kill myself because you asked me to… Saeran, we used to be so close.” I could see seven tensing up as he spoke, he’s trying hard to keep it together, I kind of envy how strong he is.

Saeran closed his eyes and took a deep breath, “We did use to be close, and we used to be the only things keeping each other going,” he opened his eyes, “Then you abandoned me and I had no one left to turn to but Mint Eye and my savior, but now she abandoned me too. I don’t think there is anyone in this world that I can rely on.”

I felt selfish for feeling offended at what he said, of course he couldn’t trust me, we only have known each other for a week or so after all.

“Why did you join a…” Seven started after shaking his head.

“A cult?” Saeran said with agitation, “Because I had no where left to go, like I said, unless I wanted to almost starve again.”

Seven winced again, I know that he has done some wrong things by leaving Saeran, but to be told to kill himself and be degraded like this when it obviously hurt him… It just doesn’t seem right.

Seven looked down ashamedly, “But… V and Rika promised to help you.”

Saeran laughed bitterly, “Oh yeah they helped me a ton, I loved the part where I was inaugurated into Mint Eye and was apparently brainwashed to the point where I can’t remember half of my time there.”

Seven looked up surprised, “They did what to you?”

“I’m not going to repeat myself,” Saeran said before turning around to face me and away from Seven. He looked me in the eye and I could see him struggling, I could see it in the way his green eyes looked at the moment.

“Did… did V and Rika do that?” Seven asked cautiously, he looked a mix between disbelief and anger.

Saeran didn’t say anything, just kept looking down at me. Why is he looking at me? I could feel my lips twitch, I want this to stop. I just can’t say anything.

I could see Seven in the corner of my eye shift from one foot to the other, “Why would they do that? How could they manipulate me like that?”

Saeran looked up angrily at that, but he didn’t turn around, “You’re the one that was manipulated, huh?” Saeran finally turned back around and this time stepped towards Seven. Seven didn’t back up like Saeran did earlier though. “They promised me paradise,” he took another step towards Seven, “But I didn’t get a paradise. I thought that maybe if I worked for them a bit then I would get my paradise, but that never happened. And now” Saeran gestured around him, “I’m in hiding for the rest of my life from a group of people that promised me eternal happiness.”

“Saeran I’m so sorry,” Seven said and reached out for Saeran’s hand.

Saeran suddenly reeled back and punched Seven in the jaw. I gasped and lurched forward to grab his leg. When I grabbed his pant leg he didn’t even react. “Don’t fucking touch me!” Saeran shouted; I’m not sure if it was to me or Seven, but it looked to be to Seven.

Seven stumbled back and grabbed his jaw, “I deserved that, but warn me first next time.” I sighed in relief that he was alright and released Saeran’s jeans.

After releasing Saeran I stood up with a little difficulty from the adrenaline.

When Seven was done cradling his face he put his hands back in his jacket pockets and just watched Saeran and I in silence. Saeran glared back.

I shifted awkwardly where I was standing, “Did uh… Did Elizabeth 3rd get back to Jumin okay?” I said trying to change the subject.

Both of the brothers paused and then Seven laughed quietly, “Yeah she’s alright.”

Saeran looked confused, but didn’t say anything.

I nodded because I had no clue what else to do. It was suddenly awkwardly silent again. I coughed and spoke up once more, feeling more confident, “Can we take this, whatever this is, inside? I don’t want the neighbors to call the cops.” I gestured to the front door after speaking.

Seven looked towards the door but Saeran kept his glare at Seven, “No, I don’t know what I would do to him in an enclosed space away from the public,” Saeran said.

Seven looked out towards the street and sighed sort of nervously, “How long will you be here with Yoosung?”

Saeran looked out to the street with him and squinted in thought, maybe deciding whether or not to answer him, or maybe thinking about the answer himself, “Until I’m sure he’s safe, then I’ll leave.”

I felt my chest bundle up in a sort of painful way. I looked down without thinking, “How long do you think that will be?” I asked softly.

I waited but I didn’t hear an answer.

I heard Seven clear his voice, “Saeran I know that you hate me, but…” I looked up to see seven fidgeting with his phone. He then showed the screen to his brother and Saeran’s eyes flickered to it, but he still held his glare. “Here is my number, please contact me if you need me, or if you want to just talk. I’ll be there as soon as you need me,” Seven said with desperation on his face.

Saeran looked at the phone for a few moments in thought, “I don’t want your number… but if I really and I mean really really need you for something, like to use you for my benefit like my safety pertaining to Mint Eye… I might ask Yoosung to get to you.”

Seven’s face lit up for the first time since he first got here and pulled his phone back, “Thank you! Thank you for just even considering it.”

Saeran ignored him and looked away.

“I don’t mean to intrude, but I still don’t have a phone,” I said with my voice wavering slightly.

Seven with a smile still on his face looked over in my direction, “I told you I’d get you one, I promise I’ll get it to you ASAP,” he redirected his gaze to his brother, “I’ll leave you both alone for now, but this isn’t the last of me!” He said showing that his usual demeanor has returned, “I won’t give up until we are even closer than before, brother!” With that Seven ran off of my doorstep and into the street towards the sports car that looked out of place for my street, while waving back towards us.

Saeran sighed with agitation before grabbing my wrist gently, “What a loser,” he walked towards my still-open door and took me with him.

After following him into the house he let me go and stood in the middle of my living room awkwardly, he looked to the floor and remained silent.

“Are you alright, Saeran?” I asked finally getting the courage up after such a tense moment just moments ago.

He said nothing for a few seconds before tearing his gaze off of the floor and into my eyes, “I don’t know… Are you?”

I shrugged, “I think so.”

He shook his head and reached into his pocket for something. After a second he pulled out a pack of cigarettes and walked over towards the window in my dining area and opened it, “It was hard not hurting him when I seen his hands on you.”

I walked over and sat with him at the dining room and played with the sleeve of my hoodie. “He wouldn’t have actually hurt me,” I said towards my sleeve.

I heard the clicking noise of the lighter, “I never thought that he’d hurt me either.”

I stayed quiet for a few moments as he smoked his cigarette, “Why did you tell him to… kill himself?” I took my gaze off of my arm and looked at Saeran.

He looked away and shrugged, “Maybe I wanted to see if he would do it.”

“What if he said he would?” I asked curiously. I have no real clue as to what goes through Saeran’s head.

He tapped his cigarette against the open windowsill, “I don’t really know what I’d do, maybe I’d watch him do it, and maybe I would stop him.”

“I still don’t want him to die.”

“I know you don’t, that’s why I didn’t kill him,” he replied.

“Do you care about what I think?” I said without really thinking about it.

He looked away from his cigarette and into my eyes, “I do.”

“Why?”

“…” He took a drag of his cigarette, “You’re my friend I guess.”

His uncertainty hurt me a bit, “You don’t trust me.” I said feeling a lump in my throat, this shouldn’t hurt me.

He paused once more, “I can’t trust anyone.”

“I want you to trust me,” I said after trying to swallow the lump, “We’re hiding together and we're supposed to trust each other with our lives.”

“Yoosung, I just…”

“Would you trust me if I killed myself?” I was surprised at my own statement. My eyes widened and a tear fell out of one of them.

Saeran’s eyes widened as well with his cigarette still dangling between his painted nails, “Yoosung-“

“I’m sorry Saeran, I… I don’t know why I said that,” Another tear rolled down my face. I looked up suddenly and my hair fell out from behind my ear and in front of my face.

He looked guilty before flicking the cigarette out of my window and stood up.

I rubbed my face and reached out to him with my free hand, I hate that I cry so much, “Saeran, please don’t leave.”

“I’m not,” he took a step and then he was in front of me and held out his hand to me.

I took it and stood up to stand face to face with him, “But you will eventually.”

He continued to hold my hand and looked at my eyes through the hair hiding them, “Why wouldn’t you want me to leave?” He asked calmly, “I kidnapped you.”

I let out a sob, “I don’t care about that anymore. I want you to be happy; I want to make you happy.”

He looked surprised through my blurred vision and took his free hand to cautiously lift the hair out of my eyes, and I let him, “I don’t deserve it.”

I looked at his green eyes as tears fell from my face, “Just let yourself be happy for once.”

He looked away briefly before returning to my face and gave a small smile and put the strand of hair behind my ear again, “I am happy when I’m with you.”

“Is that why you want to leave, because you don’t want to be happy?” I squeezed the hand that was holding mine.

“Basically,” Saeran said.

I pulled his hand towards me until he stumbled forward and gave me a confused look. I rested my head on his shoulder and wrapped my arms around him. I felt him tense before relaxing slightly after a few seconds.

“Why are you hugging me?” He mumbled before loosely putting his arms around me as well, he gave off an awkward air as he did this.

I rubbed my wet eyes onto his jacket and I heard him sigh, “You’re my partner.”

He slowly and shakily moved one of his hands to hold the back of my head, “Oh.” Then he stroked the hair that fell onto my neck, it was oddly comforting and I could feel myself closing my eyes and sighing in response.

“Saeran,” I said quietly.

“Hmm?”

I squeezed him a little tighter, “Please trust me.”

He paused his stroking and said nothing.

“Please…” I begged feeling more tears welling up.

His grip tightened a little.

“I’ll never leave you, Saeran. I promise,” I said with a sob. I met him a week ago so why do I feel so attached to him already? Him saving my life might be one reason.

Saeran tensed again, but didn’t say anything.

Chapter Text

Two days ago, that’s how long we’ve been at my apartment. Despite what Saeran said about it being unsafe here, we stayed anyway. I still haven’t been back to my classes, but I have been in contact with my professors online and have been doing some online work when not playing LOLOL. Right now my professors think that I am home due to a family emergency. This has given me another excuse to play LOLOL though.

Seven hasn’t gotten a new phone for me yet, but he promised two days ago that I would be getting one ASAP. I hope that when he comes here it isn’t as awkward between him and Saeran as it was the other day. Or at least maybe Saeran can just not be around when Seven comes.

It felt nice to be out in public yesterday. Saeran and I went grocery shopping for more food. I also picked up some more blonde hair dye and clips to keep the hair out of my face like usual. Saeran wouldn’t let go of my wrist and kept looking around as we shopped, but it was still nice to get fresh air. He also paid for all of the groceries which I argued with him for but he wouldn’t even let me take out my wallet.

Saeran also refuses to sleep in my bed; he always sleeps on the couch despite how much I protest. I know how that couch feels and it’s not the best for sleeping on. I suggested that we take turns like we did at Rika’s apartment, but Saeran said that my bed was my bed and he had no right to sleep in it.

Another problem with Saeran is that his headaches still haven’t gone away, in fact I’m worried that maybe he should see a doctor instead of taking pain medicine every morning and night.

And… I guess I have been avoiding talking about my breakdown the other day. The whole “Please trust me Saeran” breakdown to be specific. We haven’t talked about it and I think it kind of... I don’t know, pushed him away from me maybe. He hasn’t been speaking to me as much as he did at Rika’s and he hasn’t been smiling as much either. Why am I such a crybaby?

All of a sudden there was a loud slamming noise that made me jump. I sat up on my bed and clutched my chest as I manually slowed my breathing. “Uhh… Saeran?” I yelled towards the door.

I waited for a few seconds in silence. I scrunched my face up in confusion. Then there was loud screaming that cut through the silence like scissors. I involuntarily let out a yelp with the screaming in fear. The screaming sounded like it was coming from my living room and from a young man’s voice.

Without a second thought I got up and ran to the door to my living room and threw it open, “Saeran, are you-!”

I could see Saeran look over towards me in shock through the streetlight coming through the window. He stopped his screaming as soon as he seen me and then looked down to his arm; his arm was half in my wall. He then looked back up to me in confusion. “Did you just punch my wall?” I asked still shaken from fear.

We both looked at each other in silence. He didn’t answer.

After a moment I felt my mouth fall open before closing it and covering it with my hand. What the hell just happened? “I d-don’t know what happened, but I do rent this place.” Saeran just looked back at his hand, still in the wall as I said that.

Saeran shakily pulled his hand out of the wall and some foundation came with it and landed on the wooden floor. It was dark but I could see that his hand was stained with something dark. At seeing that I felt my muscles tense and I sprang into action again and half-jogged half-ran over to him, “Saeran, you’re bleeding!”

I reached for his wrist but he stepped away from my arm. He looked almost scared as he held his hurt hand by his chest.

I looked up to him with concern before reaching to him again; once again he pulled away, “Why aren’t you letting me help you?” I could feel the familiar lump in my throat, but this time I’m not going to let it out. I refuse to give into the tears.

“I… I don’t know what happened,” Saeran finally said quietly.

I felt my eyebrows furrow in confusion, “What do you mean?”

I could see a drop of the dark substance fall from his hand and onto his shirt, “I think I blacked out…”

My confused expression turned into surprise, “You don’t remember doing that?”

He shook his head ‘no’.

I didn’t reach out to him despite how much I wanted to. “Can I at least put some bandages on your hand?”

After a few seconds of Saeran silently debating with himself he gave me his hand. I took it gently and walked him over to the kitchen counter. I reached over and flicked on the light, blinding us both in the process. I could hear his quiet groan as my eyes adjusted to the light.

I reached up to the cabinet with the medicine and pulled out some bandages; after placing them on the counter I finally looked at Saeran’s wound and gasped silently. I could see him look away from my surprised expression. It’s deeper than I expected.

“I-It’s alright I’m level fifty in healing magic in LOLOL,” I told him with a fake smile on my face.

He didn’t look back over but I could see his cheeks rise, he was smiling.

This time I held a genuine smile and reached up for some hydrogen peroxide. I poured a decent amount on a paper towel before reaching for his hand again, “Now my potion making level is only I think 26 right now so this will probably hurt a bit.”

He let out a breathy laugh before I started cleaning his knuckles, his laugh then turned into a pained hiss.

Saeran turned his head to me again, “That hurts.”

I tried to clean his wound as quickly as possible, “I know, I know, I’m a warrior not a healer.”

“Quit making LOLOL references,” he said with annoyance.

I took away the cloth, now covered in red, “You laughed the first few times.”

I could swear his face got a little red as I reached for the bandages, “I can do this by myself.”

I unwrapped a few band-aids and placed them on each sort of deep cut on his hand, “Then why aren’t you?” I teased.

He shot me a glare before softening his features, “You asked me to let you.”

After finishing up my doctor duties Saeran looked over my handiwork and seemed satisfied, “You can go back to bed, sorry about whatever happened.”

“Hang on…” I said suddenly. Saeran raised an eyebrow in question. “It’s just, can we talk about stuff?”

Saeran didn’t change his puzzled expression and sat on the couch that had his bedspread on it, “About what kind of stuff?”

I shrugged and joined him on the couch, “Anything.”

He looked up onto the wall about my small TV, “It’s past midnight.”

“Do you want to go back to bed?” I asked.

“I don’t mind talking to you, just thought you would want to sleep. I woke you up after all,” Saeran said leaning back.

“I wasn’t sleeping yet anyway,” I replied shaking off his concern.

He smirked in my direction, “LOLOL again?”

I smiled with him and shook my head, “Nah not tonight, just thinking.”

He kept his smirk and looked forward at nothing in particular, “I figured that you weren’t, usually I can hear the sound effects… Can you turn off the light? My head hurts.”

I nodded and got up, “Didn’t you take a Tiaranol tonight?”

“Not tonight, I heard if you take too many pain killers they lose their effect,” He said in my direction.

I hummed in thought and flipped the light switch, everything became dark, but not dark enough to where I can’t see anything, there was still the streetlights outside sort of lighting my apartment.

When I sat back on the couch with Saeran I heard him sigh, “Thank you, Yoosung.”

“You’re welcome, partner,” I replied with a smile.

After a little bit of silence I asked him a question that’s been on my mind, “Why did you punch my wall?”

He looked uncomfortable for a moment before answering, “I don’t really know… I think I was having a bad dream.”

I nodded as I followed what he was saying, “Were you sleepwalking?”

He looked embarrassed for a moment, “I don’t know… maybe.”

I gave him a smile, “It’s alright, and you can’t help it after all.”

He shrugged, “But I put a hole in your wall.”

I looked over the couch to the hole in the wall, it was still very noticeable despite it being a bit darker in here, “Maybe we can put a picture over it or something.”

He gave me a confused look and laughed a bit, “It’s the same height as my arm.”

I remained hopeful, “Maybe my landlord won’t notice?”

Saeran laughed once more and shook his head.

I kept my eyes on Saeran, but he kept his eyes forward and ran a hand through his white hair as his smile faded, his hair seems to glow in this lighting, “Where do you think you would be right now if I hadn’t kidnapped you?” He asked suddenly.

I laughed slightly in confusion, “Probably still here in my apartment, but maybe sleeping.”

He finally moved his head to face me, “Right, I’m stupid.”

I laughed again, “You’re not stupid, Saeran.”

He didn’t reply to that, “…Would you hate it if I stayed here forever?”

I looked up to the ceiling in thought, it’s been a while since I had a sleepover talking session like this, last time was probably with Rika… I shook my head at the thought and directed my attention back to Saeran, “Of course not.”

He looked into my eyes and I could feel a shiver in my spine, but it wasn’t a bad feeling, “What if you get a girlfriend?”

I let out a small laugh that sounded too much like a giggle, “I’m forever alone, Saeran.”

He smiled at my laugh, there’s something so appealing about his smile, “You’re not alone right now.”

“No I mean like I’ll never get a girlfriend,” I corrected myself.

“Guess I’m forever alone too,” Saeran replied and folded his hands together on his lap.

I smiled to him and pushed his shoulder playfully, “Don’t say that, Saeran! You’re an attractive punk-looking guy, girls like that stuff!”

He gave me a puzzled look before bursting out laughing, it was so sudden that it made me jump a bit, and causing my hair to fall in front of my face again, “There is so much wrong with what you just said that I don’t even know where to start.”

I scowled in annoyance, “Hey, I was just being nice and now you’re making fun of me!”

He let out another laugh and reached over to move the hair out of my face. I felt some heat piling up in my cheeks and I’m glad that it’s too dark for Saeran to see it, “Don’t puff out your cheeks at me, it’s not intimidating, it’s just cute.” He let his hand linger on my face for a moment before dropping it back at his side; his hands are strangely soft for a once-kidnapper.

I felt even more heat in my cheeks, “I’m not cute, I’m manly.”

“Alright sure whatever you say,” Saeran said with a roll of his eyes.

I relaxed further into the couch before I thought about what Saeran said earlier, “How much did I get wrong?”

“Hmm?” He asked inquisitively.

“When you laughed at me,” I replied.

“Oh alright I see, well first,” He held up one finger, “You said attractive-“

“You are attractive,” I said cutting him off.

He held up another finger, ignoring me as he did so, “Second, you said I was punk-looking-“

“You are. You’re hair is white with pink tips for god’s sake!”

He held up a third finger, “And lastly you said that girls would like the way I look,” he finished clearly looking amused at my frustration.

“They would!”

“Would the secretary-type lady in the RFA chat be attracted to me?” Saeran asked with his smirk still on his face.

I gave him a glare, “That’s not fair she likes Zen! And he has white hair too!”

He laughed, “Yeah but you know that he is nothing like me.”

“That’s just Jaehee, I bet Jumin’s new girlfriend would totally be into you,” I said, but then I kind of felt bad for assuming things like this about her.

“Yeah a girl who’s attracted to a guy in a suit would totally love a punk-looking guy like me,” Saeran said sarcastically.

“She might, you can have more than one type,” I argued. Despite how much I was fighting, this conversation was oddly fun.

“When I first hacked into you and your friends’ chat she told me that I was creepy,” he said.

I just looked at him for a moment before crossing my arms and looking away.

Saeran laughed and grabbed one of my wrists, “Hey don’t pout just because you were wrong.”

I let him take my arm away from me and he just kept a hold of my wrist, “There we go, smile Yoosung, you look so much better smiling than pouting.”

I hate myself for smiling without thinking about it to his compliment, “Shut up.”

“Don’t be like that, it’s not your problem that girls don’t like me,” He said still teasing me as he degraded himself.

“There’s got to be some girls out there who would be interested in you!” I said as he moved his hand from my wrist to my hand.

“Yeah probably,” He said before laughing out loud again at my baffled expression.

I moved my fingers so that we were properly holding hands, “Then why did you argue with me?”

Saeran stopped his quiet laughing, “It was funny.”

This time I laughed at his response and put my forehead on his shoulder, “You’re… something else.”

He squeezed my hand, “Were you about to insult me?”

“No,” I said against his shoulder.

“You are the worst liar I have ever met,” Saeran said and then put his chin on top of my head.

“What is this? Make fun of Yoosung night?” I asked in annoyance.

He hummed and I could feel the vibration from it, “You can make fun of me too if you want.”

I pulled back from our weird embrace and hand holding and then laid down on my couch, Saeran followed suit and we were laying side-by-side like we were in a bed, a very small bed, we were about 3 inches away from each other, “I can’t make fun of you, I’d feel bad.”

Saeran rested his head on his hand and I did the same, “You’re such a saint, maybe you should go to church with Saeyoung,” Saeran smiled teasingly at me again.

I smiled at his playful attitude as he mentioned his brother for the first time without scowling, “Maybe you should… ride motorcycles with Zen!”

He snorted and I smiled wider at the noise, “Wow Yoosung, nice job you really got me.”

I sighed and laid my head back down onto the couch, “Quit bullying me.”

He took his other hand and put it on my back, I jumped a little at his unexpected gesture and he just let out a breath of a laugh, “Is this alright?” He asked as he rubbed my back comfortingly.

I nodded into the couch and sighed in content. Why is it that whenever I think Saeran is avoiding me immediately after we get a little closer?

I felt the pressure on the couch shift a bit and I moved to look beside me to see Saeran now laying with his face in front of me, but he still has his hand now tracing lines on my back.

He gave me a small smile and I smiled back, “I don’t know why you don’t have a girlfriend.” Saeran said suddenly and quietly. He then yawned and closed his eyes, it was oddly cute.

I shrugged the best I could while laying on my side, “You and me both.”

“You’re so cute,” He said after opening his eyes again.

I don’t know why, but what he said made my chest tighten in a sort of nice-feeling way, “I told you not to say that.”

He stopped drawing with his hand on my back and just held it there, “Sorry, couldn’t help it.” He said sleepily and closed his eyes.

I waited for him to open his eyes for a bit, but then realized that he probably wasn’t going to. I sighed and decided that I’m going to sleep here too, even though I’d probably regret it in the morning and closed my eyes.

Chapter Text

I knew that this was a bad idea. Waking up with a horrible pain in my neck is not the most pleasant feeling in the world. Cracking my eyes open I could see that the room was lighter than when I fell asleep. I have also noticed that some other things have changed since I fell asleep.

Like the blanket now covering most of my body, that wasn’t there before, last I checked we were both on top of the blanket. Speaking of we, that’s another thing that is different. Saeran is no longer next to me. I yawned and sat up; the blanket fell from my chest to my waist as I did so.

I looked around to find Saeran sitting by my window. He looked over to me and pressed his cigarette butt into the ashtray that I have for when Zen comes over, “Morning’,” he said almost too quietly for me to hear.

I gave him a smile and put my arms up to stretch, “Good morning.”

After groaning at the feeling of my muscles stretching, I threw the blanket off of me and placed my feet on the floor. I shuddered at how cold the wooden floor was, “Would you like some breakfast, Saeran?”

He didn’t say anything and kept staring out of the window, but he did shake his head to tell me no.

I scowled at him playfully, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day though!”

Saeran didn’t even look at me, and that made me feel a little dejected. He gets like this sometimes and I can’t get myself down because of it. I took a deep breath and picked myself up, mentally, I’m not on the floor or anything.

“Well I’m going to make pancakes if you change your mind,” I said towards his direction. I still have gotten no reaction from him.

Ignoring Saeran’s unhappy mood, I trotted over to the kitchen to begin my magic, not LOLOL magic, but cooking magic. I’d like to thank my mom for teaching me this kind of magic.

I went to and from each cabinet getting what I needed from each of them. Once I had everything I put on the apron hanging on the coat rack. I reached into the pocket of the apron and pulled out a hair tie. I tied my hair into a not-too tight ponytail and began pouring each ingredient into a bowl.

When all of the ingredients turned into batter I stopped and pondered over the bowl. I looked up and over the counter to Saeran still sitting at the dining table and now looking at his phone, “Should I add chocolate chips?” I asked in his direction.

He looked up for a second and I could see his eyes widen. Seeing his eyes widen I instinctively tensed up and looked behind me. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. I turned back around, “What?”

His eyes softened again and he shook his head, “I didn’t… never mind. It’s your breakfast I don’t care.”

I gave him a confused look and he just looked back down to his phone.

I sighed and went back to mixing, what’s wrong with him this morning?

When I finished cooking up a stack of pancakes I took half of them and made my way to Saeran at the table. I set the plate down at the chair across from him and went back to the kitchen to hang up my apron and untie my hair.

I grabbed a fork and some syrup before making my way back to my spot at the table. After sitting down Saeran looked back up to me. I gave him a small smile, but he looked back down to his phone, “I made extra pancakes if you want some.”

“I feel like I’m going to throw up,” he said towards his phone.

I was a bit taken aback, “Oh I’m sorry, you could have said something and I would have waited to cook until you felt better.”

He scowled at his phone before standing up and walking past me to my bedroom without saying another word.

I glanced down to my breakfast and felt like crying. I know he’s just not feeling well, but for some reason it still hurts.

I tried to hold back my tears and poured syrup onto the pancakes. Taking the first bite made me feel a bit better, mom taught me well. I think that they could have been cooking a bit longer, but I like them a bit gooey anyway.

When I finished up I put the dishes in the sink for later. I suddenly had a good idea; I could give Saeran some antacid tablets to help soothe his stomach. Smiling to myself, I got up onto my tippy toes and grabbed the bottle of antacids from the medicine cabinet. Then I filled up a glass of water and made my way to my bedroom.

I stopped myself from just bursting in and knocked softly on the door with the hand that held the bottle of medicine. I listened closely, but I didn’t hear anything from the other side.

Since he didn’t tell me to go away I’m just going to assume that I can go in. I opened the door slowly and peeked in.

Saeran was sitting at my computer desk and looking at his laptop that was placed in front of my computer. He’s sitting in the dark; I know playing LOLOL in the dark hurts my eyes so I hope he isn’t hurting himself, “Saeran?” I said softly, but loud enough so he’d hear me.

“What?” He asked without even looking over his shoulder.

I felt a little deterred, but kept my head up high anyway, “I brought you some medicine for your stomach,” I said trying to keep my tone positive. Then I shut the door behind me as I stepped into the room.

He paused his scrolling and his hands fell onto his lap. I could feel a sudden change in the air, like the mood just changed or something, “Why?”

I shifted my weight from one foot to another, “You said that you thought you were going to throw up, right?”

He shook his head and looked down to where his hands were, “No… I mean why are you doing this for me?”

I felt my eyebrows rise in confusion, “What do you mean?”

He finally looked back up and turns the desk chair around to face me, “I’ve been awful to you all morning.”

Despite the horrible atmosphere I felt a little more comfortable talking to him face-to-face. I laughed awkwardly, “You’re just having a bad day, everyone has days like that.”

He looked somewhat angry and I have no idea why. Did I say something that offended him? “What if I hit you?”

I looked even more confused than I did before, “Why would you do that?”

He looked down and his pupils moved back and forth like he was reading or looking for something, “Because I don’t… I don’t…” He looked like he was in pain.

I moved over to him and put the medicine and water on the desk before putting a hand on his shoulder, “Saeran, are you alright?”

“I… don’t-“ He kept trying to say something, but he was struggling. What if he has a seizure or something? I’d have to take him to the hospital, but he hates hospitals. Should I tell the doctors his real name? I don’t even know his last name.

“You don’t what?” I asked.

He looked me in the eyes and swallowed, “I don’t like you.”

I opened my mouth in befuddlement, “W-What?”

He scowled at me and shook my arm off of him, “I hate you.”

I took a step back and my hands came up to cover my mouth. Tears immediately spilled out of my eyes without warning.

Saeran looked away and winced, like I was physically causing him pain.

I closed my eyes and tried to keep a sob from escaping. At the moment I just wanted to leave my apartment, but I couldn’t bring myself to move my legs. What did I do to Saeran? Was I not a good enough friend? Was I not a good enough partner?

I could feel my legs shaking slightly. Without even thinking about it I choked out a word, “Why?”

I hated how broken I sounded, I just became this way three seconds ago and I’m already a sobbing mess. No wonder he hates me. He’s so tough and I just cry at everything.

I kept staring at him thinking that maybe he’d disappear and I’d wake up still beside him. Then I could make us some more pancakes and maybe watch some TV.

He glanced back over to me and locked eyes with me, he looked so guilty, but why? He shouldn’t care if he hates me. I thought after everything we’ve been through that we were friends.

He closed his eyes tightly before standing and taking a step towards me. Then he wrapped his arms around my small shaking form and pulled me close, “I’m so sorry… I didn’t mean it,” he said with his voice shaking slightly.

My eyes widened and I wrapped my arms around him too, “Why would you say that? That wasn’t funny, it was just mean.”

He took in a deep breath and reached his hands up to pet my hair, “I… I think we’re getting too close”

I rubbed my wet face into his black t-shirt, “What are you talking about?”

“We fucking slept on the couch together last night, Yoosung,” he spoke like I would understand, but why wouldn’t he want us to be closer?

I pulled back slightly and looked him in the eyes, he still looked guilty, “So? Why is that a problem?”

He scanned my face briefly, “I don’t deserve it.”

I shot him a glare and pulled away from his embrace, he let go and stumbled back, “Shut the hell up Saeran, I’ve told you so many times that I want you to be happy.”

“You want me to be happy but I don’t-“

I cut him off, “I don’t care if you think you don’t deserve someone to like you, but I like you, and I don’t care who in your life told you that you don’t deserve anything. I don’t care if it’s you telling yourself that-“

“Yoosung-“

“I don’t care if your mom told you that,” Saeran flinched, “I don’t care if Seven told you that, and I don’t even care if Rika told you that!”

He looked like he was about to cry at my words, but I didn’t want to stop.

“You are someone who deserves happiness, whether I give it to you or you find it in some other way, you deserve to be happy,” I said almost out of breath. This felt almost empowering.

He looked at me with surprise; he opened his mouth, but closed it shortly after. His eyes have also remained wide, like a deer in headlight throughout my speech.

I pointed at him as I thought of even more thoughtful stuff to say, “And if that isn’t enough to convince you to let yourself be happy,” I took a pause, “Just do it for me, when I see you happy, then I’m happy too.”

After a few minutes of staring each other down Saeran exhaled a breath he must have been holding and sat on the end of my bed. Then he flopped back onto his back and put his hands on his face, “You’re killing me, Yoosung.”

I didn’t even laugh at his joke and made my way over to sit on the edge of the bed beside him. Then I flopped on my back like he did. He let his arms fall to his side.

We laid like that for what had to be a couple of minutes before he sighed and turned his head towards me, “I’m not… hating myself here, but why do you like me?”

I looked over to him and thought about it while looking into his eyes, “I guess… I don’t know, you just seemed to be a cool guy when you weren’t kidnapping people.”

He smiled and I smiled with him, “Can I tell you a secret and can you promise to tell me the truth if you hate me afterwards?”

I gave him a confused look, “Why would I hate you?”

He looked up to the ceiling and bit his lip before looking back to me, “Do you promise?”

I nodded.

“I’ve done some bad things… more than just kidnapping people,” he looked and sounded nervous.

“What do you mean?” I asked the question quieter than intended.

He was silent for a few seconds before answering, “I’ve… I’ve killed someone.”

I heard myself gasp and he flinched at the noise. We were quiet for a moment before I gathered my racing thoughts, “Why?”

“…She hurt me,” Saeran said softly.

My heartbeat was racing, but I managed to calm it down, “You mean your mom?”

He looked away and nodded.

“Does anyone know?” For some reason I was more concerned for his safety than why he decided to kill her.

“Just my…Rika,” He said with a shaky breath.

“I don’t hate you,” I said after even more moments of silence.

He turned his head back to me, “I killed someone,” He said, almost making sure that I was serious.

I picked at my nails while still looking at his face, “It… certainly wasn’t the right thing to do, but you made that choice and you can’t go back to change it… When did you… do it?” I asked with caution.

“Two years ago,” he answered.

I stopped picking at my nails and reached over to grab his hand. He accepted my gesture and linked our fingers together, “Stop being nice to me, I just told you-“

“I told you to shut up, I know that you… killed someone, but your brother probably has too, and I’m still friends with him,” for some reason it was hard to talk during that sentence, but I know that Seven has done something like that too, probably to people that he didn’t even know.

He looked at me thoughtfully for a moment before sighing, “You’re right. Sorry I was being dumb again.”

I squeezed his hand, I guess that’s our little way of showing affection, “You’re not dumb; I’m glad that you trusted me enough to tell me.”

He smiled and squeezed my hand back, “You’re my partner.”

I smiled back at him.

We sat there for what must have been an hour or so until somehow we ended up in a similar position as we were in last night, We both had our heads on my pillow and we were facing each other on our side, the only difference was the Saeran wasn’t rubbing my back, which I kind of missed if I’m being honest. It was oddly calming.

“Hey remember when you said that you had no right to lay in my bed?” I said with a smirk.

“I meant that you shouldn’t sleep on the couch,” Saeran said with slight agitation, but then a smile quickly replaced that, “Remember when you told me that I looked nice in a shirt?”

I gave him a confused look, “When?”

“Vodka,” was his simple reply.

“Oh… oh” I said disgusted with myself.

He laughed at my reaction and I glared at him. “I was so afraid to drink in front of you,” I admitted.

He stopped laughing and ruffled my hair, “Aww, why?” His green eyes sparkle when he laughs.

“Because I get like that,” I replied before swatting his hands away, “Why do you keep touching my hair?”

His smile faded a bit, “Do you want me to stop?”

I looked to the side and felt my cheeks heat up in embarrassment, “No, I was just wondering.”

His smile lit up once more and he reached up again and fixed my hair, “Good, and I like it because it’s soft.”

“Thanks… I use shampoo,” I said with an awkward smile.

He laughed quietly at that, “That’s good; it’s nice to be hygienic.”

I laughed before jumping at the sound of shouting, “Yoosung!”

Saeran groaned before I realized what’s going on, “Saeyoung.”

“Oh,” I moved to sit up, but Saeran grabbed my wrist gently.

“Maybe he’ll go away,” He said pulling me back.

I smiled and pulled my arm back, “It’s probably my new phone!”

Saeran kept pulling, “Stay here, he can leave it in the mailbox. I don’t want to see him.”

I looked down at him and scowled, “Quit it. You don’t have to talk to him.”

He laughed but didn’t let go, “What did I tell you about pouting?”

I blushed and scowled even more, “Quit avoiding the problem.”

He yanked me down; I fell on top of him and ended up head-butting him in the stomach. He took in a sharp breath and coughed, “Okay this is not… What I intended,” he said after a coughing fit. I put my arms on either side of the green-eyed boy and lifted myself up. Saeran looked uncomfortable and was looking to the side.

“Saeran, are you alright?” I asked with brief worry.

He looked up to me and I could see that his cheeks were tinted pink, “Yeah, just didn’t expect you to retaliate.”

I sighed and smiled in relief, “It was your fault anyway.”

I jumped again at the noise of the door slamming open. Before I could look behind me, Saeran pushed me over to the side and looked at the noise before scowling.

I sat up and looked behind me to see Seven clutching the door, “What… What were you two doing?” He said with a mix of fear and maybe surprise.

I looked over to Saeran to see him still scowling, but his cheeks were even pinker now. It took me a moment to realize why Seven was so confused. Oh, I’m dumb; he just seen me leaning over his brother…

Chapter Text

I scrambled my way to the end of my bed while Seven was still gawking at us. Saeran didn’t move as I almost tripped off of the bed before getting my feet planted on the ground. I stood up straight and coughed nervously, “We weren’t doing anything like that!” I said suddenly with the blood still tinting my face, “I promise.”

Seven just looked at me and then to his brother. “I didn’t think that you were... doing anything I mean,” His face starting turning red as well. This is way too awkward.

“Maybe if you didn’t want to be embarrassed like this, you wouldn’t have barged into your friend’s bedroom,” I heard Saeran say behind me.

Seven looked down before raising his head back up to look past me to his brother. I followed his eyes and looked at Saeran as well, “I’m sorry it’s just that Yoosung didn’t answer and I was worried-“

“Maybe he didn’t want to see you,” Saeran spat in his brother’s direction. He sat up on the bed, but didn’t move to get up.

I felt myself frown in distress a bit. “That’s not true,” I said turning around to face Seven again.

Seven looked a bit hurt, but I don’t think it’s from me; he’s not even looking at me. “I didn’t come here to visit Yoosung,” He said to his brother. I gave him a puzzled look, but he didn’t even take notice of me.

I looked at Saeran to see what he thought about this and he looked just as confused as I was, “I don’t want to see you either, don’t waste your time.” Saeran flicked his eyes over to me briefly after he spoke. I shrugged and he looked back over to his brother.

Seven shifted in the doorway, “I know you don’t, but I’ve been thinking about a lot of things and I need to talk to you.”

Saeran’s expression was certainly not a positive one, “No.”

Seven’s shoulders fell as he was rejected. He picked himself back up quickly however, “This isn’t up for debate. We are brothers, and I want to make up for what I’ve done.”

Saeran hauled his legs over the side of the bed and stood up, “Were brothers, we aren’t brothers anymore.”

Seven’s hands that were stiff at his sides and balled into fists before taking a long stride towards Saeran and past me. I was almost afraid that he was going to punch Saeran or something, but he just gripped at his jeans, “You can’t just say that we aren’t brothers anymore, it doesn’t work like that. I’ve missed you so much, Saeran.”

Saeran’s eyes fell dangerously, “I missed you too before I realized-“

“That I’m horrible, I know, just please… listen to me,” Seven pleaded. I felt very out of place, I know that I said that this whole situation was too awkward, but now this is even worse.

Saeran looked back up and seemed furious, “I hate you.”

I almost thought that he was talking to me again; the way he said it is almost exactly how he said those words to me earlier. ”I don’t like you… I hate you.” The memory made my chest hurt.

I couldn’t see Seven’s face, but I could only imagine what he might be feeling. I thought about Rika telling me that she hated me, the thought hurt and she’s only my cousin.

“Saeran…” Seven said softly. It sounded like he didn’t even mean to say his name.

Saeran stood his ground, “I regret even letting you be a part of my life from the start.” You wouldn’t notice it if you’ve never heard Saeran talk, but he sounded more shaky than usual. Not because he’s mad, upset, or even distressed, I’ve heard him like that before, but this is different.

Seven tensed, but Saeran didn’t let up, “You haven’t done anything but make me miserable!” It’s still different, it’s like he’s unsure of what he’s saying. The only way that I can compare it is when he told me that he hated me, it sounds like that.

Without warning I felt something fall from my face. I reached up and felt my cheek, it was wet. I scowled at myself for getting emotional over family problems that aren’t even my own.

“If I could change one thing about myself, it would be to not be related to you,” Saeran was getting louder and even shakier. I wanted to calm him down, but I couldn’t bring myself to take action.

Seven just looked forward, and just kept staring at his brother. I still can’t see his face, but he hasn’t moved. He couldn’t have hurt Saeran so badly that he wants him dead; Seven just isn’t capable of doing that to someone like his brother. It’s not that I don’t believe Saeran when he said that Seven betrayed him, but I know Seven and he’s one of my best friends.

“In fact I like our mother more than I like you,” I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Saeran, stop it!” I shouted even louder than his shouting.

Seven turned around and looked at me with surprise and even confusion. His eyes were watery, but tears have yet to fall. Funny enough Saeran had the same expression as Seven; their faces looked almost identical, watery eyes and everything.

I felt a bit nervous at the sudden attention, but held my ground, “You… You don’t really mean it do you?” It sounded more like an accusation than a question.

Seven held the same expression but turned to face Saeran again. Saeran’s face morphed into more confusion now than surprise, “What?”

Another tear fell from my face. I’m supposed to look cool here and crying isn’t helping. “You said that you hated me too. You said that to push me away, right?”

Saeran looked guilty for a moment before putting his confused expression back on. He looked everywhere it seemed, but my face.

“You’re just trying to push Sev- Saeyoung away too, because you don’t think that you deserve a family or something, right?”

Seven looked back over to me. He still looked upset, but now his eyes shone with something, hope maybe?

Saeran closed his eyes and shook his head, “No, Yoosung… “ He struggled to find what he wanted to say, “It’s not…” His breathing was getting ragged.

I felt my brows furrow in confusion, did I hurt him now? Am I wrong? Does it seem like I’m taking a side in this one-sided fight? “Am I… Am I wrong? Are you just trying to protect yourself from being hurt again then?” I was afraid that Saeran might be mad at me, but I just want the fighting to stop.

Saeran balled his hands into fists and kept his eyes closed.

“Saeran… Saeran are you okay?” Seven asked cautiously. I think that Seven and I might be silently working together here.

Saeran opened his eyes and then just shouted. It was so loud and sudden that I jumped off of the ground; I think Seven did the same.

When Saeran’s shouting started to get quieter he picked up an empty glass off of my nightstand and held it above his head; he was about to throw it at Seven.

Seven ducked out of the way just in time as the glass flew past his head.

I gasped and closed my eyes to avoid seeing Seven get hurt. I opened them again when I heard the glass shatter behind me.

Seven slowly moved towards Saeran. He had his hands in front of him defensively as he moved, “Saeran, please calm down,” Seven’s voice sounded like he was trying to remain calm, but he wasn’t doing a great job.

Saeran took a step back and inhaled deeply before letting out some sort of distressed noise. “Stay away from me!” If I didn’t know better I’d say that he was delusional, the only time I’ve seen him even a little like this was when he swerved into oncoming traffic a couple of days ago.

Seven didn’t look back to me, but he spoke loud enough for me to hear, “Yoosung, go wait in the living room.”

I felt nauseas, “What? Why?” My voice was shaking, kind of like Saeran’s was a minute ago.

“It’s… too dangerous here right now and you’ve been through enough I think,” He said as his speech grew increasingly nervous-sounding.

I thought about taking up his offer for a moment, but the thought quickly left my head when a different one came, “I can’t.”

Seven stopped his careful tread to his brother, “Yoosung, please.”

“He’s not an animal,” I said carefully, “Don’t treat him like one.”

Seven’s eyes went wide for a moment before relaxing once more. He took a step back from Saeran and faced me, “Y-You’re right, I’m sorry.”

Saeran, with his back against the wall, slid down until he hit the floor. He wasn’t saying anything, but his breathing was still ragged.

Seven walked slowly to stand beside me, he looked back over to Saeran and sighed, “I’m jealous.”

I glanced up to Seven, “Of what?”

He brought a hand up and rubbed his eyes under his glasses, “You’re… closer to him than I am… I feel like I’ll never get his trust back.”

As Seven spoke Saeran curled himself into the fetal position and rocked himself back and forth.

I didn’t know what to think here, everything that happened today was so sudden. I just want to go back to bed. I want Saeran to be happy, “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know what?” Seven asked.

“Anything,” I replied. This was a moment where everything in my head just kind of settled. It’s one of those moments where you kind of feel crazy and want to cry. I want everything to start over. I should have never gone on a stupid ‘picnic’ with Seven two or however many weeks ago now. But if I didn’t go on the picnic then Saeran would still be with Rika.

I feel selfish but I just want everything to be better. I really want to play LOLOL right now. Shaking myself out of my self-loathing and zoned-out state, I flicked my eyes back to the curled up body that was Saeran. He wasn’t screaming or throwing things.

I looked up to Seven, he looks agitated and depressed, but otherwise calm.

And finally I looked over to my desk; Saeran’s computer was still on.

I dragged myself over to my desk and sat down in the big office chair. I didn’t look behind me to see the brother’s probable questioning looks; I know that at least Seven is gawking at me. I closed Saeran’s laptop carefully and moved it off to the side. Then I clicked my mouse a few times to wake my desktop computer up.

When it booted up I moved the mouse over and double-clicked on the LOLOL logo. After a few seconds of waiting the program launched and I reached over to put on my headphones. I logged into my server and waited for it to load.

“Are you serious right now?” I heard Seven say behind me.

I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear him, I’m not in my room at the moment, I’m getting ready for battle.

The digital field appeared on the screen and I placed my fingers on the proper keys on my keyboard to move. One of my online friends happened to be online and I heard him greet me through my headphones.

I reached up and flipped the mic on my headphones down to my mouth, “Hey, Kyung.” I said after a sigh. He was a nice guy, quiet usually, I like that about him. When my louder friends are online I tend to get a bit distracted.

“How have you been today?” I heard him ask in his usual monotone voice.

“Stressed,” That was all I felt like telling him.

“Oh, not good,” He replied.

I just hummed as a way of agreeing with him. He didn’t ask me to elaborate or anything, which is fine because I would have lied anyway. More voices filled my ears from random players chatting with each other. I hate it when players do that; just talk on the private mic to each other.

I ignored the voice and continued to swing my sword at an ogre. I focused on watching the life bar drain.

After maybe a few minutes of me hunting enemies on the field, the voice behind me was closer, “I’m going to go sit in the living room… Are you alright?”

I ignored the voice of Seven once more. I have more important things to do than worry about him, like collecting this loot.

A while later I heard footsteps leaving my room.

I must have been playing for a little while now because some of my other friends have joined the server. We decided to take on a dungeon together as a team. There are five of us, not including me.

Since I’m ranked second on the server that we play on I lead the guild through the dungeon. I have the most HP and usually the lead gets attacked the most by enemies. This is fine by me; I have plenty of healing magic and potions.

After finishing another layer of the dungeon we divided some of the loot amongst ourselves. Two of my guild members began arguing over a rare bow, this isn’t uncommon for our guild.

As they were going back and forth on why they each deserved it I sighed. Soon after I received a private message from Kyung, “Annoying?” Was the only word there.

I bit my lip and typed a response, “Just tired.”

A third guild member joined in to try and be a mediator, but then they ended up arguing with them as well.

Another message came from Kyung, “You can log off if you want.”

I thought about it, but then I remembered why I started playing LOLOL in the first place. I need a distraction from life right now. I replied to Kyung, “LOL nah.”

He didn’t send another message. Kyung was a man of few words after all.

The fighting ended when the last guild member that wasn’t me or Kyung shot a fireball at them, “Shut up, nerds.” The mage said over the mic.

I laughed a bit at their antics and we continued on to the next level of the dungeon.

After a few more floors of the dungeon we found the boss room. I didn’t take long to take down the boss, a giant ghost dragon. You’d be surprised at how well a sword works on a ghost. I smiled at our group accomplishment.

We celebrated and split the loot, with less arguing this time. Some of us gained a new level, but I’m at a high enough level to where I still need more exp to gain a new one.

As we begun planning our next dungeon raid I felt some pressure on my shoulder. I jumped and looked behind me. Saeran had his hand on my shoulder and looked at me with a blank look.

I stuttered for a second and told my friends to go without me and I’d join them in a little while, they did without much protest.

I reached up and put my headphones down around my neck, “Hey… how are you feeling?” I asked a bit too nervously than I would have liked.

Saeran wordlessly spun my chair around to face him, “Fine, are you busy?” He asked me like nothing had happened.

“I can log off, do you need something?” I looked up at him with concern.

He looked down briefly before looking me back in the eyes, “…I need you.”

I gave him a blank stare before turning back around and logging off without a word to my friends. I turned back around and stood up. Saeran took my hand and lead me out to the living room, it was weirdly orange outside.

I then made the realization, “What time is it?”

“6:30 I think,” He replied.

I felt myself cringe at spending most of my day playing LOLOL without even realizing it. I looked around the room as Saeran dragged me along. “Where’s Seven?”

We made it to the front door. I had no clue what was going on, “He went home.”

“When?” Did I seriously ignore reality long enough to where I had no clue what was going on in my own home?

“Maybe two hours ago,” Saeran replied without much emotion.

Saeran lead me out the front door and I closed it behind me, “Where are we going?”

We walked hand in hand to where Saeran had parked the dark car that we escaped in, “I ordered pizza, and we’re going to pick it up.”

I felt my stomach growl at the thought of pizza. Saeran let go of my hand to get to the driver’s side of the car. I sat in the front seat and buckled up. Saeran brought a cigarette up to his lips and lit the end of it.

He started the car and drove silently on the road. He rolled the window down a little and held his cigarette towards it. I couldn’t help but feel guilty at leaving him sitting on the floor and having a breakdown while I played LOLOL. It wasn’t one of my best moments and I should have been there for him. I feel so selfish, “Saeran, I’m so sorry.” I said breaking the silence.

He brought the cigarette to his mouth and inhaled. I watched the smoke roll past his lips, it was weirdly mesmerizing, “Let’s not talk about it. It doesn’t matter now.”

I was confused, did something happen between them while I was playing LOLOL? I hope that nobody got hurt, “Did something happen?” I picked at my nails nervously.

Saeran took a glance in my direction, “Somewhat.”

He put on the turn signal and swerved into the parking lot of a local pizza place. We sat in the car while Saeran finished his cigarette, “Are you okay?” I asked. I couldn’t stand not knowing what happened.

“Yoosung, I said to not worry about it,” Saeran flicked the now short cigarette out the window and unbuckled his seat belt.

“I am worrying about it, Saeran.” I said with mild agitation.

He gave me a small smile and opened the car door, “Stay here, I’m going to get our food.”

I groaned at his diversion and sat back in the seat. I watched him walk into the building with a blank look on my face.

After a little while of fiddling with the radio Saeran startled me when he opened the door. He laughed a bit at my jump, “Sorry, hope you like pepperoni.”

I smiled despite worrying about him greatly, “I do, thank you, Saeran.”

He handed me the box and put his seat-belt back on, “We’re going to the lookout,” He said suddenly.

I was already digging into the box and he swatted my hand away. I whined, “Why?”

“Why the lookout? Or why did I hit you?” He said with a smirk.

“Lookout,” I replied and closed the box again. The smell was killing me.

“Just tired of being inside,” He responded.

I nodded in agreement. The apartment is too small to stay inside for days at a time. I could probably do that and play LOLOL, but for Saeran he’s probably going stir crazy.

We made our way up a small mountain pass until we came to our destination. We exited the car and sat on a park bench overlooking the city. The sun was setting and the sky was beautiful with mixes of pinks, oranges, and blues.

We sat side by side with the pizza box between us, “It’s nice out tonight,” I said after finally being able to grab a slice of pizza.

Saeran nodded and nibbled on his slice.

We ate in silence for a bit until we were full. Saeran closed the box when we were done and put it on his side. Then he scooted a bit closer to me and looked up.

I followed his gaze and looked up at the sky.

We sat like that for a bit before he spoke, “I love the clouds,” He said contently.

I looked down from the clouds and to Saeran, “They are very pretty.”

Saeran put his hand on top of mine without even looking and squeezed gently. “The sky is something very important to me,” He said softly. He had a faint smile on his face. His eyes shone in this lighting. It wasn’t just his eyes, his everything shone right now. He looked so at peace.

I closed my mouth after realizing that it was hanging open, “Why is it important?”

He glanced back down to me and smiled a bit brighter, “All of my good memories have the sky in it.”

I smiled and leaned onto his shoulder, but kept my eyes on his, “Will this be a good memory?”

He looked into my eyes, “Yeah, it will be as long as you’re here.”

I felt my cheeks begin to heat up.

Saeran’s smile faltered a bit before he leaned down and put his forehead against mine. I could feel his hair tickle the sides of my face. I could feel my face getting an even brighter shade of red, “What’s wrong, Saeran?”

He sighed and I could feel his breath against my nose, he still smelled like pizza which isn't a bad thing. “Absolutely nothing, and that’s exactly what’s wrong,” He whispered.

I leaned back and shot him a confused look, “What do you mean?”

He scowled a bit after I pulled away, “I’m not used to this.”

He was being too vague; however I think I understand what he meant. “Well get used to it,” I replied with a smile.

He smiled back, “Am I dead?”

I laughed at his question, “I don’t think so.”

He looked back to the sunset and sighed once more, this time it was more content than frustrated, “When I was small I thought that the clouds were little planes to heaven, and I thought that birds were angels.”

He looked back at me and laughed at my baffled expression, “Sorry, too weird?”

I laughed with him and shook my head, “No, I just didn’t know what to say. I think that’s pretty cute, Saeran.”

“It’s not cute,” He said.

“Why not?” I asked as he squeezed my hand once more.

“Because you’re cute,” He said quietly.

Just when I thought that I was done blushing he goes and says that, “First of all-“

He laughed, “Save it for later, I don’t feel like arguing.”

I stopped and glared at him, “Thanks for interrupting me, asshole.”

He kept his smirk on his face and once more looked up. The sun was starting to go below the horizon. The colors were starting to fade and I felt disappointed that they would be gone soon.

As we watched the sun set I felt him rest his knee against mine, “Do you like me still?” He asked suddenly.

I looked away from the sky and back to his face, “Of course I do.”

He didn’t take his eyes off of the sky; his face looked like he was concentrating on something, “Even with my flaws?”

I nodded before realizing he couldn’t see me, “I do, and everyone has flaws.”

“You don’t think that you’ll leave me anytime soon?”

“Of course not, Saeran why are you-?”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m one hundred percent sure. I won’t leave you,” I said and shook his hand off of mine so that I could grab his as well.

“Good,” He took a breath, “Good,” He said more quietly.

As the edge of the sun hit the horizon Saeran turned to me sort of quickly.

I looked at him in slight alarm. He looked nervous but before I could say anything he grabbed my chin.

He leaned close to me and put his forehead on mine once again.

I searched his eyes for a clue as to what he was doing. If I didn’t know any better I’d think that he was going to kiss me, “Saeran, what are-“

As I spoke he leaned back and then leaned back in. I felt my eyes widen.

He placed his lips softly against mine, hardly putting any pressure on them at all. I felt myself go stiff. Is this a kiss?

He looked at my eyes as he did so before closing them tightly. I didn’t know what to do, He’s just pressing his lips against me, but I feel my chest getting so tight. It’s not a bad tightness, I think it might be the opposite.

Chapter Text

Before I could finish comprehending what was actually happening, Saeran let go of me and pulled back. His pupils moved to scan my face for what I assume would be my reaction.

I almost felt like gagging, not because of what happened… well yeah sort of because of what happened, but my chest has so much pressure in it that I can hardly stand it. I felt my mouth fall open and my eyes widen as I processed what was going on.

Saeran’s mouth twitched and he frowned, “Yoosung I…” He looked away nervously, “Forget about that.”

I started mouthing his name, but no words came out of my throat. There was just awkward silence for a few moments and Saeran was fidgeting more as time passed.

Finally as I was sitting still with my mouth still open, Saeran stood up and bit his lip, “Let’s… go home.”

I stood up with him and gave him a confused look, I think I was now catching up with reality, “Was… was that a kiss?” I said and my voice cracked towards the end.

He gave me a guilty look, “No?” He wasn’t very convincing.

I dug one of my hands in my hair in thought, “I think it was.”

He didn’t say anything and looked towards the car. He was fidgeting with his jeans.

My voice squeaked, “Why did you do that?”

He just shrugged and refused to look at me.

I looked up to see that it was getting dark out, but I didn’t really care about that right now, how could I?

“Do you still like me?” I heard him say almost too quietly.

“Yeah? Saeran, what’s going on?” I asked.

He turned back around to face me and bit his lip before speaking, “I just… wasn’t thinking right.”

I took a step closer to him and grabbed his hand with a little hesitation, “What were you thinking about?” I was very interested in what he could possibly say right now.

He looked into my eyes briefly before turning his head to the side. He was blushing slightly, “Forget about it, I’m really dumb.”

I glared at him. That was my first kiss and I’d love to know why Saeran decided to take that from me. I don’t even know what to think about this. I wasn’t really mad, but I felt like I should be, he took my first kiss. My first kiss wasn’t even with a girl. “No tell me, Saeran,” I said with mild agitation.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them again, “For some reason… I really wanted to do that. Almost like… I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” He suddenly looked angry, “And I’m stupid because I did that to you and I really shouldn’t have. I trust you too much… just because you’re nice to me.”

I felt my face soften before releasing his hand, “I think…” I sighed, “It’s my fault too. We hold hands all the time, and like you said earlier, we slept together last night… Not in that way.” I smiled lightly. Does this mean that we’re going to stop doing these things? I don’t know if I really want them to stop, but I don’t want to lead him on if I don’t want to be… romantic with him. I’m kind of surprised that he likes me in that way. I don’t care if he likes guys, it’s just unexpected.

He kept his hand in place where mine once was before letting it drop to his side. He turned around to the car again and started walking towards it, “Come on.” He said monotonously. For some reason it hurt to hear him speak like that.

I frowned and followed him. The air around us was suddenly awkward and I really don’t like it, “Saeran, I’m sorry.” I shouldn’t have to apologize, but I felt like I need to.

He paused with his hand on the car door, “Don’t say you’re sorry. There’s nothing to be sorry for.” He sounded emotionless, but I know that he’s probably hurting.

He opened the door and got in. I looked down and did the same. He started the car and we took off in silence. I fiddled with my hands anxiously. I felt the need to make Saeran feel better, but I don’t know how to do that. It was now dark enough outside so that the street lights were on.

The very awkward ride ended after a while and we were then stopped in front of my apartment. We stepped out of the vehicle wordlessly and went to the front door. I fiddled with my keys before finding the right one and putting it in the lock.

Saeran stood behind me as I walked in before separating from where I was standing and headed to the bathroom. I watched him go but he didn’t look back at me. Why do I feel so guilty? I know that if I don’t have feelings for him then I shouldn’t force myself to like him to make him feel better.

It’s been about two hours since we got home. Saeran hasn’t said a word to me. Right now he’s sitting at the dining room table and doing something on his laptop.

I’m watching TV right now. One of those cooking competition shows is on, but I’m not really paying much attention to it. I’m too busy thinking about the kiss. Out of all of the surprising and confusing things that happened today, I can only think about the kiss.

He kissed me because he likes me, right? Like how Jumin likes his girlfriend, maybe? I looked up at the ceiling in thought. He said that he likes me because I’m nice to him. Does that mean if someone else was nice to him then he would want to kiss them too, or am I different? Why do I feel upset at the thought of him kissing someone else?

I’ve tried for so long to get my first kiss, so why don’t I feel angry that it’s been taken from me? This is way too confusing. I’d go play LOLOL again, but I’ve already played it so much today. I sighed and turned on the couch so I could watch Saeran type. He didn’t look over to return my gaze.

Is he just as confused as I am? I kind of hope so, I’d feel a bit dumb if I was the only one who didn’t understand the situation. Maybe I am dumb, I know nothing about relationships. I’ve never had a girlfriend.

I hope he isn’t mad at me for rejecting him. I turned back around on the couch and stood up. After a small pause I walked over and sat with him at the dining table. He gave me a look before his eyes went back to his laptop. He looked slightly uncomfortable; I think he knows that I’m here to talk.

“Saeran?” I asked cautiously.

“Yeah?” He bit his lip and continued typing. He bites his lips a lot I’ve noticed, but his lips felt weirdly soft when he kissed me.

I thought for a moment before asking what was on my mind, “Have you ever had a girlfriend?”

He stopped typing and looked up. He smiled and gave me a puzzled look, “No?” He didn’t sound unsure of his answer, but unsure of what I was asking.

I bit the inside of my mouth anxiously; maybe I shouldn’t ask this, “A boyfriend?” But I did anyway.

He stopped looking confused, and now he was just smiling lightly, “No.”

I looked down and played with my nails, “Oh.”

“Are you alright?” Saeran asked quietly.

I nodded.

His hand came into my range of vision and he put it lightly on top my hand, “Is this okay?”

I looked up and smiled awkwardly, “Yeah.”

He frowned and took his hand away, “You don’t have to lie to me.”

I took his hand back in mine and held it firmly, “I’m not lying… I’m just confused.”

His bright green eyes looked into mine. He was silent for a moment before speaking again, “What are you confused about?”

I groaned and scooted my chair closer to him. When I was satisfied with where I was I laid my head on his shoulder. I could feel him tense but I didn’t move, “You, you make me confused,” I mumbled into his shoulder. He smells like shampoo.

He sighed and I could feel him relax little by little, “I’m sorry.”

I just groaned into his shirt. After a moment I could feel him shift and then felt his unoccupied hand in my hair. He twirled a piece between his fingers. I sighed softly without even thinking about it, it’s soothing for some reason.

“I hate it when you’re nice to me,” He whispered.

“Shut up,” I mumbled still against him. If he starts hating himself again I’ll punch him.

He moved the hand in my hair and pulled out the clips that hold my bangs back. I huffed against him in protest. “Even after you rejected me, you’re still here,” He whispered once more.

“I told you that I wouldn’t leave you,” I replied.

“Yes you did,” I could hear the smile in his voice.

I felt his hand leave my head. Then I heard a small click, probably him putting my clips on the table. Then his hand was back to my head and he resumed his stroking.

I felt my neck getting stiff, but I didn’t really want to move. When the hell did we get like this? I used to fear Saeran, and now he’s comforting to me. Life has been so weird lately.

Finally I moved back, not being able to take the pain in my neck anymore. I still held onto his hand, but Saeran took his hand off of my head. “You’re such a tease, do you know that?” Saeran said with a small smirk.

I sputtered a bit, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

He used his now free hand to gesture around him, “Here you are holding my hand, you let me run my hand through your hair, and you purposely came over here just to talk to me. You know how I feel about you, and you still do things like that.” He was still smiling so he wasn’t really mad.

I pouted before even noticing and crossed my arms defiantly, “To be honest, I don’t know how you feel about me.”

He burst out laughing and I pouted even more, “You are the least intimidating person that I have ever met.” He calmed down after hearing me groan. “And you do know how I feel about you, I kissed you, Yoosung.”

I felt my cheeks heat up at hearing him admit to it being a kiss. I’m not used to someone feeling that way about me, it’s oddly flattering, “Can you be more specific?”

He closed his eyes in thought for a moment before opening them again, “I made a mistake. I let myself become attached to you.”

I scowled, “That’s not what I asked, and it sound like you’re talking about a goldfish or something.”

He laughed softly, “Sorry, what I meant was that I like you, but I shouldn’t. I don’t know how long you’ll want me around.”

I kept my scowl, “I already told you that I wouldn’t leave you, Saeran.”

His smile fell a bit, “Do you really want me here until you’re in a wheelchair and can’t remember your own name?” That question kind of took me by surprise. Well that’s what friends forever means, right?

I gave him a confused look, “Only if you push me around.”

He snorted and I smiled with him, “I don’t know if I’ll live that long.”

I pushed him playfully, “Don’t say stuff like that! It’s not nice.”

“I get sick pretty easily,” He said still smiling despite the theme of our conversation.

“Then we can both be in a wheelchair.”

“The same wheelchair?” He asked playfully.

“No, stupid,” But I laughed anyway. This Saeran is my favorite Saeran, the happy Saeran.

As much as I was enjoying this conversation, I’ve noticed that I kept looking at his lips. I was curious as to if it would feel the same as it did the first time, would the tightness in my chest come back? I could still kind of feel it again just thinking about it. Would it feel the same if I kissed a girl? Or would it be better?

I don’t want to keep teasing him however, that would be just mean.

Chapter Text

My eyes opened slowly and I felt the uncomfortable crusty stuff in the corners of them. I groaned softly before bringing my hands up and wiping them away. The alarm clock next to my bed said 6:47 AM. I sighed in defeat, beat the alarm again.

I decided that the extra 13 minutes wasn’t worth the struggle of falling back asleep and sat up. The blanket fell off my bare chest a bit and I could feel how cold my room was this morning. I shivered and turned the alarm off before it could blare the loud noise later. I shimmied out of my blanket cocoon and dragged my feet over to my dresser. The big mirror on the dresser reflected me and how messy my freshly dyed blonde hair was this morning. I frowned and began brushing the knots out, wincing as I did so.

I heard something shift behind me and I glanced to the area behind me in the mirror. “You’re up early,” the tired voice of Saeran said. I smiled when I seen him sit up in my bed next to where I had been previously laying; his hair was equally as messy as mine.

I brushed the last knot out and put my clips in place, “I woke up before the alarm, sorry if I woke you too.”

He rubbed his head and yawned, “It’s okay, want me to make you breakfast or something?”

I laughed lightly and shook my head, “Go back to bed; I’m the one that has class, not you.”

He frowned and flopped back down, “I’m not arguing with that.”

I smirked and pulled my pajama pants down, “Actually now that I think about it breakfast would be nice.”

“Fuck you,” He groaned.

I laughed once more and put my clothes on. About two weeks ago I convinced Saeran to start sleeping in my bed with me; about the same time he said I should be able to go back to class safely. When Saeran began sleeping in my bed he stopped sleepwalking. He also hasn’t been having as many nightmare, and when he does have one I can be there to wake him up.

Three weeks ago Seven gave me a new phone, one that can’t be traced. It’s nice to be back in my old routine. I can talk to my friends and I have a new friend/roommate. The RFA still does not know about Rika and V hasn’t come to the RFA chat since I’ve seen him in person.

One thing that I do not know about is what happened between Saeran and Seven on the day Saeran and I kissed. Oh and we haven’t kissed or even talked about it since it happened like a month ago. I think about it often, and think about kissing him again. I don’t know how to bring it up to Saeran that I liked the kiss. I liked it a lot. It’s hard to study for tests when Saeran is sitting ten feet away from me and I can’t stop thinking about smashing our faces together.

I talked to Zen about it, which turned out to be a horrible idea. The RFA knows about Saeran and how he was ‘Unknown’, but they don’t know that he’s Seven’s twin brother or that he was brainwashed at the cult. I told Zen to promise not to tell anyone about what I told him and he agreed, but that didn’t stop him from freaking out.

I told Zen that I had an uncontrollable urge to kiss Saeran again after he initially kissed me and he responded with, ”You have to tame your beast, Yoosung! No girl likes it when you throw yourself on them… Oh wait Saeran is a man isn’t he?” That was one of the most uncomfortable conversations I have ever had.

I arrived at my class and sat down in my seat, I’ve been thinking on the entire walk here. It’s going to be one of those days again. I felt my phone vibrate and I took it out to see a message from Saeran.

Saeran: I couldn’t go back to sleep.

I smiled as the warm feeling overtook my body; it does that when Saeran talks to me sometimes.

Yoosung: Make me breakfast.

I sent my smiling emoji right after.

Saeran: You’re not here.

Yoosung: Bring it to class.

Saeran: How about I meet you for lunch instead?

I smiled even wider at the thought of Saeran eating with me after my classes.

Yoosung: YES! Yes!!!! Come eat with me!!!!!

Saeran: Alright, Stockholm syndrome.

I sent my angry emoji.

Yoosung: Quit calling me that!

Saeran: lol How about SS for short?

Yoosung: Never mind I don’t want you to come anymore.

Saeran: Is the Stockholm syndrome finally wearing off?

Yoosung: Don’t disrespect me in my own home while I’m not even there!

Saeran: I’ll meet you at the college cafeteria around noon.

Yoosung: Do you even know where that is? And don’t change the subject!

Saeran: I’m way better at hacking than my shitty brother, I can figure it out.

Yoosung: That has nothing to do with directions.

Saeran sent his shrugging emoji. I always smile when I see him use his little emojis, which is pretty rare.

I looked up and frowned at seeing my professor walk in.

Yoosung: Prof’s here gotta go! See you soon!

Saeran: Bye, SS.

I sent a final angry emoji before putting my phone away.

Once class has started I zoned out once more. I can’t help but feel like there’s no point in studying anymore. I wanted to be a veterinarian for Rika. Now I don’t really see the point. Rika has hurt me and Saeran immensely so why should I do anything for her sake? But then what would be the reason for college? I want to finish college, but I feel like if I were to become a vet then I would just be thinking about Rika constantly.

I didn’t want to think about Rika any longer so I switched my thoughts. My thoughts went to the next thing that they obsess over, Saeran. Despite everything that has happened, he has become one of my best friends. Maybe I want him to be even more than that. He would probably protest, tell me he isn’t worth it, and I would argue with him like usual. Then we would kiss and he would take my hands in his. He would hold them tightly, like he never wanted to let go.

I rested my head on my hand and continued my fantasy. Before bed he would lay down and I would lay with him, not like we do every night where we face away and try not to touch each other. I would lay with him like we did that night on the couch. I would put my head on his bare chest and he would hum approvingly and play with my hair. In the real world I smiled and sighed. In my fantasy I did the same thing and Saeran leaned down to press a kiss on my forehead. I felt so loved and I would hope the Saeran would feel the same thing, love like he has never felt before.

I put the end of my pen in my mouth absentmindedly. I’ve got it bad, don’t I? I don’t even care that he’s a dude anymore; I had that crisis weeks ago. I wonder what Seven would think if I suddenly started dating his brother. He might be upset. Saeran wouldn’t give a shit though; as far as I know he still hates his brother.

I snapped out of my trance when I noticed the other students leaving the room. Class was over. I quickly shoved all of my things in my bag and left to go to my next class. After that one I can see Saeran again.

In the classroom for my next class I took my seat by the window and resumed my previous position. I put my head on my hand, but this time my eyes trailed to the window. Not soon after, Saeran found his way back into my head. When Saeran started sleeping in my bed I found out that green wasn’t his actual eye color, it’s the same golden color that Seven has, which shouldn’t have been nearly as surprising as it was to me at the time. Saeran prefers the colored contacts though for some reason. I thought it was rude to ask why so I didn’t.

Saeran has started to go back to his natural red hair color. I think in the end it will look nice, but right now his hair goes from pink to white to red. It looks kind of funny but I’m not going to hurt his feelings by laughing at it. His hair is also a bit longer than I’m used to it being, it almost touches his shoulders. It weirdly suits him, but I know that as soon as it’s long enough he’s going to chop off all of the white. Sometimes when he helps me cook he’ll put his hair into a ponytail like I do and it looks very cute. Saeran told me that once his hair is completely red he can leave if I want him to. I told him that wasn’t going to happen. Where else could he go? He just laughed and held my hand.

After paying attention for the last ten minutes of class I almost cheered when it was over. I practically hopped down the stairs and ran to the cafeteria. I stopped in the middle of the giant room and looked all around. I frowned in confusion when I didn’t find any bright hair around. I scanned the room once more and still didn’t see Saeran. I took my phone out of my pocket and there were no messages from Saeran either.

I bit my lip and opened the messenger app.

Yoosung: Hey Saeran, are you here yet?

I waited for about a minute but didn’t get a reply. I half-jogged to the entrance again and peeked out, no Saeran. Maybe he fell back asleep.

Is he walking here or driving? If he’s driving then that would explain why he can’t text me. This will be the first time that Saeran has come outside in a few days; it would be good for him to get some fresh air. I know that I got really antsy when we were at Rika’s apartment for a week.

What if Mint Eye found him? No idiot, stop thinking like that. I shook my head like it might actually shake the thoughts away. I could feel my heartbeat getting faster. Stop getting worried for no reason. Saeran is a grown man he can walk down a few blocks.

“Yoosung,” My head shot up and turned to face Saeran’s questioning look.

I immediately replaced my anxiety with a smile on my face, “Saeran, where were you?” I took his hand in mine.

He smiled and rubbed the back of his colorful head with his unoccupied hand, “I got lost.”

I laughed outwardly, “A brilliant hacker like you?”

Saeran blushed and nodded, “Shut up and take me to get food.”

I laughed once more and pulled him in the direction to the food stands.

Once we picked out what we wanted we found a booth in the back of the cafeteria to eat. “I missed you!” I said after a bite of my burger.

He smiled and huffed out a small laugh, “Stockholm syndrome.”

I frowned and sipped my drink.

“You were gone for only two and a half hours, Yoosung,” Saeran said after eating one of his fries.

“Partners shouldn’t be separated for too long, they die or something in the animal kingdom,” I said.

He blushed but raised an eyebrow at me, “Yeah but that’s months, not hours.”

I smirked, “Are you saying that you didn’t miss me?”

Saeran threw a fry at me, “Who wouldn’t miss a cute face like yours?”

Now it was my turn to blush. I frowned and ate the fry that landed on my thighs, “Is that the only thing that you like about me?”

“Are you asking for compliments?” Saeran asked smugly.

I pondered my response to try and come up with something witty, “I’ll give you some compliments in return.”

He shook his head, “I don’t need any.”

“You better not be saying that because you don’t think you deserve them,” I said sternly.

“…How was class today?” He asked after a while.

I was about to question the change in subject when I realized that I probably made him uncomfortable. “Boring and uneventful,” I said taking another sip of my drink.

Saeran seemed relieved that I went with it, “Is it always like that?”

I nodded and finished my burger.

After a while of kind of awkward silence we stood up and walked back towards the entrance. “Do you have any more classes today?” Saeran asked after we went through the doors.

“Nope,” I said probably a little too cheerfully.

Saeran smiled and took my hand, “I’ll drive you home.”

I smiled and intertwined our fingers, “I’d be offended if you didn’t.”

Saeran was kind of quiet on the car ride back, but I didn’t ask him about it. I hope I didn’t hurt his feelings at lunch.

I unlocked the door to let us both in; I’ll have to make a spare key for Saeran soon if he’ll be here for a while.

I turned to face Saeran, I had to figure out if he was mad at me, “Did you enjoy lunch?”

He was silent for a few seconds and he looked to the floor. I felt the anxiety creeping back into my system, “Uh, Saeran?”

He took a step forward. He looked back into my eyes before wrapping his arms around waist and pulling me into him.

I gasped way too loudly, “Saeran?”

“Are you alright?” He asked into my ear. A shiver went down my spine.

What has gotten into him all of a sudden? I felt my face heat up, “Yeah?”

One of his hands rubbed my back soothingly, “Do you hate this?”

I could feel my body slowly relaxing into his touch, “Hate what, Saeran?”

“Me touching you like this… Do I scare you now that I’ve revealed my feelings to you?” He was almost mumbling into my shoulder, but he sounded so serious.

I shook my head ‘no’. “Nothing has changed, Saeran.”

“You touch me about half as much as you used to,” He squeezed me a little harder, but not enough to hurt.

I put my arms around him now, “I didn’t want to tease you.” It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who’s frustrated.

Suddenly Saeran started walking and backing me up until I was against the wall. He untangled our bodies from each other until we were just facing each other. I was against the wall and he was less than a foot away from me. I gave him a puzzled look.

He leaned in and whispered in my ear, “I like it when you tease me.”

I felt my blush getting deeper and I almost squeaked.

He leaned away and took a step back, he was blushing too, “Sorry, too much?”

I coughed, “What was that?”

He shrugged and bit his lip, “I… I don’t know.”

“You didn’t even kiss me,” I said without thinking.

His eyes went wide, “Did you expect me to?”

I stuttered and looked away, “Um… Well I just…” In the end I just shrugged.

“Did you want me to?”

I actually did squeak this time. I looked over to see Saeran a little confused, but also flustered. “I uh… Maybe?”

He just looked at me and bit his lip again. I could see that his eyes were directed towards my lips. I could feel my own lips quiver in maybe anticipation?

I cough and straightened myself, “I mean… Please kiss me again?”

Saeran blushed and looked away from me, “Stockholm syndrome?”

I groaned, “No, stupid.”

He laughed and seemed to relax a bit, “Sorry.”

I shifted from one foot to another, “If you won’t kiss me then I’ll kiss you.”

Saeran looked back down in thought for a second before looking back up, “I was going to kiss you anyways, but that sounds better.”

I took a moment to process what he said. He looked at me anxiously. Oh he wants me to kiss him. I swallowed and took a shaky step towards him, “Uh… close your eyes please.”

He did so after a moment. I tried to analyze his face for the best angle. I haven’t realized just how short I am. “Did you leave?” Saeran asked quietly.

“N-No just give me a minute,” I said.

“Are you sure you want this?” He asked, still with his eyes closed.

“I’ve wanted it for days… maybe weeks now.” I replied.

I could see his eyelid twitch. Suddenly his eyes opened again. I was about to complain but then he leaned down and pressed his lips against mine.

I felt a sudden intake of air go through my nose before I closed my eyes.

In a few short seconds Saeran pulled away. I opened my eyes once more.

We looked at each other in silence before I pulled him back down onto my lips. He hummed onto my lips and I really liked that sound. Saeran pulled me into a hug with our kiss still going. I sighed and he started to move his lips experimentally. I felt myself blush harder than I was and tried to follow him. It was messy and very uncoordinated, no tongue though, I might have fainted if we went that far. We pulled away after a few seconds of our amateur kiss.

“That was shit,” Saeran said after some awkward silence.

I laughed and dug my head into his shoulder.

Chapter Text

After our kiss, Saeran pulled away and left my side to take a shower. I was worried when he pulled away and asked him if he regretted kissing me. He reassured me that he didn’t. He gave me one of his genuine smiles that take my breath away. He’s so attractive and doesn’t even try to be.

He’s still in the shower right now and I’m on the couch watching television. It’s almost 3 o’clock in the afternoon and the midday sun is shining through my windows, however I already feel like I’m ready for bed. I can’t stop fidgeting into the soft plush couch. I’m not sure if it’s from excitement or nervousness, probably both. In a way I just confessed to Saeran that I liked him as well. I’m not sure what will happen from here but whatever does happen better involve more kissing. I felt my face get warmer at the thought of us being in an actual loving relationship, does he love me? I wonder if we’ll talk about the kisses and what happens later or just pretend like nothing happened. I might have to initiate that conversation because I have a feeling that Saeran will not.

My phone buzzing and high-pitched dinging tore me away from my thoughts. I picked it up from my coffee table and stilled instantly. I reread the notification three times before fully comprehending it. It was a message from the RFA app directed towards just me. It says on the phone that the message was from Rika.

I almost felt like crying or throwing the phone, but I didn’t. I just kept staring at the screen with my eyes wide. Should I ignore it? Probably. I gently put my phone back onto the coffee table and leaned back into the couch. I looked at the clock above my television and counted in my head. If I don’t read it then nothing bad can happen, right? There is something weirdly ominous about someone who everyone thinks is dead is messaging you.

I heard the shower turn off from the other room. I straightened myself up and tried my best to look as casual as possible. I almost grabbed my phone to make it look like I was scrolling through my notifications to look more natural, but I stopped half way and hit myself on the forehead for being dumb. I did my best to will my leg to stop bouncing anxiously.

Saeran will flip his shit if he knows that Rika messaged me. I’m internally flipping my shit knowing that Rika messaged me. What does she want? Maybe she’s just saying sorry. That’s very unrealistic, but a nice thought. Maybe she said that she’s coming for me. My leg started bouncing again.

I heard the bathroom door open and I stopped my leg once more. My fingers started to dig into the fabric of my jeans. He’s totally going to notice that I’m freaking out. I took deep breaths.

I stared straight ahead at the television as I listened to Saeran walk by. His steps passed me and went towards the kitchen, “Yoosung, what would you like for dinner?” He asked in my direction.

I took a deep breath to steady my voice, “Didn’t we just eat?” I kept my eyes on the newscaster on TV.

“Yes, but we still need to eat something later,” He replied.

I heard the fridge door shut before hearing more footsteps coming in my direction. I kept my eyes on the TV and Saeran dropped himself on the couch. I could feel his stare on me. He totally knows.

“I’m sorry,” He said gently. He reached out for me but took his hand away before he could touch me.

I felt my face morph into confusion and I turned to face him. My eyes trailed down to his waist, he’s not wearing a shirt. My confused look was gone just like that.

He laughed a little, “I shouldn’t have kissed you again is what I meant.” He didn’t sound as serious as he probably wanted to.

“Shut up. I liked it, you could tell, couldn’t you?” I asked knowing exactly what he was getting at.

He gave me a gentle smile and put his hand onto one of mine. I intertwined our finger and smiled back at him. His multicolored hair stuck to his face, still wet from his shower. He’s gorgeous. I brought our hands up to my face and kissed the back of his hand softly.

Saeran snorted and then laughed.

I frowned and tore my hand away from his, “If you’re going to be mean then I take back that compliment I gave you in my head,” I said with a huff.

He calmed down his giggles, “Sorry, you’re just stupidly cute.”

I felt my face heat up and I looked back at the TV.

A few seconds went by. “What did you say about me in your head?” Saeran asked playfully.

I crossed my arms, “Nothing.”

He leaned forward and put his chin on my shoulder, “Pretty please?”

I groaned and opened my mouth to tell him off and then closed it again. I was interrupted by my phone buzzing and dinging once more.

He took his head off of me after feeling me stiffen. I didn’t pick up the phone, but leaned to the coffee table to see that I received another message. It was from the same person as before.

“What’s wrong?” Saeran must have noticed my disturbed expression.

I almost forgot about the stupid text message. I opened my phone, being careful to not let Saeran see. What was on the screen was certainly not what I expected. Just three words from Rika:

Rika: Help me

Rika: Please

I felt my eyes widen once more and my vision was going blurry. She needs help? Is she in trouble? Is she hurt?

I felt a hand on my shoulder, but I couldn’t help but ignore it. Rika is in danger and she needs me. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the words on the screen. I shouldn’t have ignored her.

My head was forced away from the screen as Saeran put both of his hands on the side of my face and turned me to face him, “Yoosung listen to me, you have to take deep breaths alright? Follow me, Yoosung.”

He breathed in deeply and I did the same. Then he breathed out and I did the same again. Then he breathed in. I choked on nothing and let out a sob. My pupils moved down towards Saeran’s lap. “Yoosung look at me.”

I felt my leg begin to bounce again. “She’s going to die!” I choked out. Tears were beginning to fall from my eyes. I tried to escape Saeran’s hands, but he held me firmly.

“Yoosung you’re having a panic attack, we have to calm you down. Look at me,” His words reached me and I looked back up.

His thumb stroked my face, “Good now breathe in.” He breathed in and I followed. He breathed out and I followed again. He breathed in and so did I. He breathed out and so did I. He breathed in and I leaned in. He breathed out and I put my lips on his.

I breathed in through my nose and he pushed me off of him. I breathed out through my mouth and gave him a confused look. He returned my confused look and breathed in through his mouth, “What are you doing?” He asked.

“Don’t you want to kiss me?” I asked with tears still coming down my face.

“Not while you’re like this,” He said. He looked scared, like he didn’t know what was happening.

I then realized why he’s scared and then remember why I was scared. “She messaged me,” I said suddenly feeling out of breath again.

“Who?” Saeran asked still looking frightened.

“Rika, she said she needs my help,” I breathed out.

His eyes widened in alarm, “What?”

I unlocked my phone and gave it to him while trying to slow my breathing.

Saeran took my phone hurriedly and stared at the screen for a second. Then he relaxed his shoulders and threw the phone back my way.

I fumbled to catch it. “What should we do?” I asked a little desperately.

He shrugged, “Tell her to go fuck herself.”

My mouth fell open, “But she might be dying!”

He raised his eyebrow at me, “So? She’s a bitch.”

I furrowed my eyebrows at him, “She doesn’t deserve to die.”

“That’s debatable,” He replied.

Without consulting my partner I opened the messenger app and replied to her cries for help.

Yoosung: What’s wrong????

“What the hell did you just say to her?” Saeran said quickly and loudly.

I flinched at the volume of his voice, “I asked her what she needs help with.”

“Why?” He looked almost betrayed and I couldn’t help but feel guilty.

“I just have to know, alright? She’s my cousin!” I said probably too loudly in his direction.

“She was going to hurt you, Yoosung! She’s actually killed people!” He yelled back. It was like he couldn’t understand why I still get emotional over her, she was my world. She put me in the right direction.

I clenched my hands into a fist on my lap, “Maybe it’s not her fault! Maybe she was tricked into doing this stuff.”

“She is the highest on the food chain in that place; she’s the one doing the tricking. I thought you knew by now that she’s a horrible person!” Saeran said and stood up. He looks so frustrated. I just want to know if she’s alright.

I put my head down to hide the new tears now forming in my eyes, “Please stop saying that about her.”

“She hurt me!” He yelled weakly.

I choked out a sob. I hated being so emotional all the time. “I’m sorry! Please stop yelling!” I shouted towards the floor.

Saeran did stop yelling. He waited a few seconds before speaking in a softer voice, “Yoosung… Please don’t cry I didn’t mean to yell at you. It’s just… I’m sorry.”

I didn’t respond to him and just kept looking at the floor. An occasional noise would leave my throat here and there.

Eventually I could feel a dip in the couch. Then there was a hand on my back. Saeran moved his hand soothingly up and down my back. I wish I could shrug him off; I’m still kind of mad at him. However his comforting presence was too nice right now to get rid of.

Soon the tears stopped coming and I leaned back up and to the left of me to look at Saeran. He looked what could only be described as guilty. I sighed and leaned down to put my head on his shoulder. He continued to rub my back even though I was done crying.

Saeran slowly moved his hand up my back and then around to the side of my head. Then he ran his hand through my hair until he reached the clips and then pulled them out. He flicked his wrist to toss them onto the coffee table. His face moved closer to my head before placing his lips on my temple. He brought his hand back over to play with my hair and pulled his face back to where he originally was.

I sighed against his shoulder and closed my eyes. I don’t like arguing with my partner and I’m glad it’s over. As soon as the thought left my head I heard the familiar dinging of my phone. I tensed back up. Saeran’s hand paused in my hair. “C-Can I look at it?” I asked quietly.

“Go ahead.”

I pulled away from Saeran and leaned down to grab my phone. I took a moment to collect myself before reading the new message.

Rika: She’s hurting me

I gulped audibly and showed Saeran. He hummed in thought, “I don’t know a girl who would hurt her, ask her who is hurting her.”

I felt relieved that Saeran didn’t laugh or comment on how she’s getting what’s coming to her. I nodded before replying to the message.

Yoosung: Who is hurting you?

After I sent the message Saeran and I waited while hovering over the small screen on my phone. When the next message dinged we were both confused and surprised with what was written on the screen.

Rika: Rika

Chapter Text

Saeran and I looked at the screen in silence for about five seconds. The words on the phone stopped making sense to me, “Rika is hurting Rika?” I spoke more to myself than to the slouching man next to me.

“No… I don’t think so,” Saeran replied to my thought. He sounded rather calm about the situation, which is more than what I could say about myself. I did just get done having a nervous breakdown after all.

I took my puzzled gaze from the phone and towards Saeran, “Then who is it?”

He paused for a second and then looked at me, he looked a little puzzled himself, but not nearly as much as I most likely do, “Someone who has access to The Savior’s phone.” Saeran cringed as he called Rika ‘The Savior’. “I could be wrong though, she might be having some sort of breakdown and hurt herself, but I’ve never personally seen her do that.”

I was a bit surprised and Saeran must have seen it in my expression because he gave me a questioning look. “Is she… known to have breakdowns?”

Saeran’s frown deepened and he looked off to the side, avoiding my eyes, “Yeah… But like I said, I’ve never seen one.”

I can tell he’s uncomfortable thinking about Rika and what is going on at Mint Eye. I decided to change the subject somewhat and perked up a little, trying to get Saeran to do the same, “Well can’t we just ask them?”

Saeran shrugged and looked back into my eyes, “I wouldn’t say it’s the safest option, but if you want to then I won’t stop you.” He gave a small smile when he finished speaking. He seems to be trying to say things that I’ll agree with rather then what he might actually be feeling; he might feel bad after making me cry earlier.

I returned his smile despite suspecting it isn’t genuine, “Seven said that my phone can’t be tracked so I think we’re going to be okay.”

Just like that his faux smile was gone. Saeran raked his hands through his hair, “Right… Seven said that.”

I laughed nervously to myself and picked my phone up from the coffee table.

Yoosung: …Who is this?

I sent the message and watched the screen for a response.

“He also said that the RFA chat was 100% secure and I hacked into it,” Saeran said dryly.

I snorted and stifled a laugh, “Yeah I guess you’re right.” My hair fell in front of my face while trying to hide my giggles.

I could almost feel how intensely Saeran was watching me, “Why are you laughing?”

I tore my eyes off the screen to look at Saeran then laughed a bit again and I didn’t bother to hide it this time. His reaction shows that he’s confused, and he also has his arms folded around himself defensively, “You’re a grumpy guy.” I answered.

“You’re laughing because I’m grumpy?” He asked and tilted his head to the side. His multi-colored hair moved with him. It’s so long now he should be able to cut it soon.

I nodded, “Did you know that dogs can’t eat grapes?”

I almost started laughing again at his new expression. Saeran scrunched his face up in almost disbelief, “Where did that come from?”

“When LOLOL is loading, random facts run across the screen,” I replied with a small smile.

“And that was one of them?”

I nodded while still holding the smile on my face.

“What possibly made you think of that at this moment?” He said now chuckling a bit himself now.

“Well earlier today in the cafeteria didn’t you notice that they had raisin cookies out today?” I asked quizzically.

He nodded affirmatively, his face going back to confusion.

“Raisins are just dried out grapes.” I answered.

Saeran’s face was now blank “…That still doesn’t answer my question, Yoosung.”

I couldn’t help myself and I laughed a little more.

Saeran huffed beside me, “What now?”

“I really like it when you say my name,” I said while feeling a familiar tickle in my chest.

He looked away from me for a moment but I could see his smile, “Oh… I’ll have to remember that.”

I could hardly control the blush that followed with what he said. I reached up and put the hair that was in my face behind my ear. Just as I was about to grab his hand there was the familiar noise that came from where my phone was.

Both of us seemed to simultaneously slump out shoulders at the sound.

“If it’s not her can we forget that this even happened?” Saeran mumbled beside me.

I bit my lip without thinking and looked at him, “What would we even do if it is her?”

Saeran looked to the floor and put his head on both of his hands. I felt the urge to run my hand through his now mostly red hair to comfort him but I suppressed it. “I will never forgive her, Yoosung.”

I nodded even though he couldn’t see it. “I know. You don’t have to forgive her.”

The phone buzzed again.

“Will you choose her?” He asked so softly that I almost didn’t catch it.

My eyes widened a little out of curiosity, “What do you mean?”

He moved one of his hands and snuck a glance at me before looking forward, “If it is her who is in danger, would you leave me to save her?”

I put my hand on his shoulder and rubbed in a way that I thought was comforting, “No, Saeran you have been here with me since you pulled me out of that awful building. You didn’t even have to take me with you that day. What kind of friend would I be if I just left to rescue someone who has hurt you so much?”

“You still love her though,” Saeran murmured as he sat up again. I hate how fragile he looked right now.

“I love… I loved the person who gave my life a purpose. I don’t know what happened to her, but she isn’t here right now. I wouldn’t…” I had to pause to take in a shaky breath, “I wouldn’t risk our lives to put you in more pain because I miss my Rika.

Saeran stopped me before I could spill any tears by putting his lips against my forehead. I took my hand that was on his shoulder and hooked it around his back in a sort of awkward embrace. “I’m sorry for being an asshole all of the time. I feel like I’m always making you cry,” Saeran mumbled against my face.

I smiled at his smooshed words coming from my forehead. “You always make me smile too.”

“I’m still an asshole though.”

“Not as much as you think you are.”

He moved his lips down to my cheek and gave me a soft peck.

“Hmmmm…”

I laughed a little at the sound and cocked my head, “What was that?”

Saeran looked down at me and just stared.

I laughed again, but this time I was a bit confused.

“Uunggg.”

I tensed as I realized that Saeran wasn’t making the noise. I looked around my living room quickly. “Did you hear that?” I asked Saeran.

He was just looking at me, he wasn’t even blinking.

I felt my chest tighten in fear, “Saeran?”

“Oosung.”

My breath quickened and I stood off of the couch. “What’s going on?!” I shouted towards the ceiling. That’s where the sound was coming from, above me.

“Yoosung, please.”

Suddenly my head was pounding and it felt like the pressure could pop my eyes out of my skull. I screamed in pain and fear, I had no idea what was happening.

My living room was getting darker, like the day was going by very quickly. All of my furniture was blending together and Saeran looked like he was melting. In my pained state I reached out to Saeran in hopes to stop him from disappearing. Before I could reach him, I collapsed onto my knees and everything went dark.

Chapter Text

“Yoosung, oh thank god! Please… Yoosung, you need to… to get up now.”

I could hardly hear the voice over the pain in my head. It hurts worse than any migraine I have ever had. I opened my eyes and then closed them again, it’s too bright, but I know this room is darker than my living room. The next thing I noticed is how dry my mouth was. I must not have drunk anything in hours.

“Yoosung?” The voice was familiar, but I couldn’t remember who has that voice. The voice also sounded worried or maybe even scared.

I opened my eyes again and blinked a few times to get them to adjust to the light. While my eyes were still adjusting I put my hands on the ground to push myself up. The floor feels cold like concrete.

“Yoosung!” The voice was here again.

I groaned in pain at the noise. I squinted and looked around, the room was dark like I thought, only being lit by candles on a large wooden table. Finally, my eyes landed on a slumped figure in a chair.

After a second of looking at him I sat up quickly, ignoring my pain, now remembering who this person is, “V?”

He sighed and nodded slowly, his light blue hair was in from of his face so I couldn’t see his eyes, but I knew it was him. “Yoosung… are you… okay?” He sounded like he was in pain. Then I noticed he wasn’t just sitting in the chair, his limbs were bolted to it. Looking down, I saw that I was not restrained in any way, I was just lying on the floor. I was also just wearing a large white T-shirt and my boxers.

I looked around the room again. We were the only two people in this room. There was a closed door behind me and multiple tool-looking objects on the table. V looked as bad as I felt. I couldn’t make out the details from the dark, but his hair was sticking to his face. V was also slightly trembling and his hands would twitch every once in a while. He also wasn’t wearing a shirt and his pants had dark stains in various areas. Isn’t he supposed to be the bad guy? Why does he look like this? I huffed out a breath when I tried to speak. I swallowed and tried again, “Where are we?”

V shuddered, “What’s the last thing… you remember?”

I paused and thought to myself. We were in my living room, Saeran was kissing my cheek. I stopped breathing for a second, “Where’s Saeran?”

“You need to find him… he’s here… he’s here somewhere. What do you remember?” V sounded to be in pain with every word he spoke. I can’t be mad at him like this. Not when something terribly wrong must have happened.

I took a deep breath to try and calm myself before I got a panic attack, “Me and Saeran were in my living room. I got a message from Rika asking for help. That’s the last thing I remember.” I let out a shaky breath and ran my hand through my hair, my clips were gone.

V inhaled and exhaled loudly, “Okay… I’ll try to explain a little bit… but I need to be quick. Then… Then you need to leave… and find… Saeran.

I couldn’t say anything but look at him.

“What you remember was three days ago.” I felt my eyes widen in shock, but let him continue. “I sent you the message… not Rika. You and Saeran came here… They found you and Rika… Rika separated you two. I can… oh god… the screams.” I heard him sob. “It’s my fault, you shouldn’t… have come… I shouldn’t have… contacted you.”

I pushed myself up onto my wobbly legs and held onto the table for support. My other hand cradled my aching skull. I counted to 10 in my head and breathed with each number. I need to stay calm. Please just stay calm. I pushed myself forward against the tabled and walked towards V.

“Yoosung… You need to go find him… I don’t want to know what she did to him.” V sobbed again.

I closed my eyes for a second to try and forget what he said. I need to stay focused. If I think about Saeran or where we are or anything else I will panic.

I opened my eyes again and shimmied against the table. I made the mistake of looking at the contents of the table. The tools looked like torture objects, knives, clamps, needles, and a whole bunch of other scary shit made of metal. I looked away and started counting again, this time out loud.

“One, Two, Three…”

I heard more shaky breaths, “Yoosung go... find Saeran.”

“Four, Five…”

“Don’t bother with me… I deserve everything I get here.”

“Six, Seven, Eight…” I pushed myself off of the table and limped towards the chair V was bolted to.

“Yoosung…”

“Shut up, Nine, Ten.” I exhaled and forced my body to relax. We’ve been kidnapped before Yoosung, we can escape again.

I dropped slowly onto my knees and examined each limb. I could smell the blood on his pants… No! Stop thinking about that. I was relieved to find that the hooks around V don’t have a lock on them. Does our kidnapper actually… Who am I kidding? Does Rika actually want us to escape? I pried open the first latch with my hands. It came open a bit harder than I was hoping it would. The next one came open a little easier. I used one of the chair’s arms to hoist myself back up. I winced at the pressure in my head once again.

“Saeran could be hurt… Yoosung.”

I snapped my head to be level with V’s face. “Shut the fuck up, V. I know he could be hurt. I know that we’re in danger. I know that I need to leave. We came here to save you I guess, so that’s what I’m going to do. Then we are going to find Saeran together and leave together.”

“But Yoosung…”

I pried open the next latch in one quick movement. “I just said shut up. Holy shit, do you know how hard I’m trying to not freak out right now? You are not helping me, you are doing the opposite of helping me. Just be quiet and you can tell me how you are as unimportant as an innkeeper in LOLOL later. Seriously they are so useless I don’t need to fucking sleep in LOLOL.” I finally pulled off the last latch. “Do you understand, V?”

V coughed and looked at my face with wide eyes, “Yes?”

“Good,” God even like this, V ends up pissing me off. Why won’t he look me in the eyes? I grabbed one of his hands.

He let out a loud grunt and I let go instinctively. Wondering how I hurt him I looked at his hand and gasped. “Oh my god V… Did Rika-“

“Yes, just please don’t… don’t remind me.” I gulped and grabbed his wrist instead. His fingers have dried blood on them. I didn’t notice at first from how dark it is, but his fingernails are missing. Rika ripped off all of his fingernails, my cousin and his fiancée. I stopped thinking as I felt my breathing pick up and pulled on his arm.

I pulled a little harder when he didn’t move and this time he slowly gets into a standing position. Before I can let go of his wrist he falls forward onto my shoulder and I have to hold him up, he’s lucky this headache is going away somewhat. “I’m sorry… I haven’t walked by myself in weeks.”

I had to stop myself from thinking that it was my fault for leaving him here. “It’s okay, just stay with me.” It was obvious that he couldn’t walk without me, but I felt that I had to say it anyway.

“I’m going to slow you down,” V said softly.

I grunted and shifted him so he was on my side with my arm under his, “I told you to save it for later.”

V only nodded in response.

I walked with him to the door, but stopped before I could open it. “When was the last time Rika was here?”

“Hours ago… I’m pretty sure she’s sleeping now.”

I felt myself shiver at the thought that she was in this room doing things to either me or V just hours ago.

I gripped the doorknob and it opened without any resistance. She didn’t even lock the door. “Do you have any idea where Saeran is?” It was unlikely but I had to try.

V shook his head no, “However… I helped build this place, I can give… I can give you a place to start.”

V is so weak right now, I doubt he can stay awake if we walk through this whole building. “His room, maybe?” I said quietly.

V nodded and pointed me in the right direction. It felt like forever until we got there and V couldn’t stop himself from moaning in pain every once in a while. I hated looking at him because every time I do I find another injury on him. I tried my very best to just focus on the halls in front of us and not think about anything else. When we finally did get to Saeran’s old room V had to tell me to stop because all of the doors looked the same.

I pushed the door open, surprised it was unlocked. I quickly scanned the room. I walked with V into the room and set him gently on Saeran’s old bed. He isn’t here. My partner isn’t here. I walked over to the wall and punched the dent where Saeran punched so long ago. I didn’t have the strength to punch it that hard so it didn’t bleed, but still hurt.

V was silent as I finally let some tears out. I put my forehead onto the wall and wept. The worst part is that I don’t even know how this happened. I only remember telling Saeran that this exact thing wouldn’t happen. I told him we would never come back, now here we are. I wish I could blame V, but he called for help, he’s a victim like us. If he was on Rika’s side why would she rip his nails out? Why would she break his leg? Why would she carve patterns into his skin with a knife?

I sniffled and stood straight, I have got to pull myself together. I’ll cry later. V needs to go to a hospital as soon as we leave.

I turned and walked over to where V was standing but stopped before him suddenly. “Where did you get that?” I asked with my voice still sounding like I just got done crying.

V was holding a pistol out to me. He wasn’t pointing it at me but held it in the palm of his hand, “It was under Saeran’s mattress. We might need it just in case.”

All those weeks ago when I was stuck in this room I had a gun right there and didn’t even know. I’m glad I didn’t find it though, I might have done something stupid.

I gently took the gun from V’s bloody fingers and held the handle without touching the trigger. The gun was heavier than I thought it would be. I didn’t know where to put it so I just held it out while I picked V back up. I would suggest V hold the gun, but I still can’t fully trust him yet. I don’t know the full story on what happened and I don’t care about it right now. He also would have trouble holding it with how much pain his fingers are in.

“Where should we try next?” I asked trying to stay hopeful.

“I didn’t want to think about it… But maybe where they do the brainwashing.” V said slowly and somberly.

I gasped at his words without thinking. I want to find Saeran, but I don’t want to find him there. If Rika hurt Saeran again I don’t know what I’d do. I don’t care about what happens anymore, after we get out I’m telling everyone what happened here. I’ll call the police. I’ll call my family. And most importantly I’ll tell the RFA, my other family.

Feeling more determined than ever I hoisted V further up and listened to his directions.

Chapter Text

One thing I didn’t understand about this place is how empty the halls were. I know it’s late and every normal person would be in bed, but shouldn’t there be cult people patrolling these halls or something? We’re prisoners after all, why aren’t they keeping us from escaping? Maybe Rika feels guilty about what she’s doing, or maybe she really is doing this against her will.

I stopped walking and shifted V to get a better grip on him. “Sorry,” he says quietly onto my shoulder. He’s getting weaker, we need to find Saeran soon.

I take a deep breath, “It’s fine, don’t apologize for something you can’t help.”

I look over to the man I’m hoisting and he meets my eyes, but looks unfocused, like he’s staring through me. “Yoosung, you’re so much stronger than anyone I’ve ever met,” he says. At least he’s speaking clearly now.

I look forward again. “I’m trying to hold on for Saeran. If I lose it now then I might not get to him in time.” My grip on the gun handle tightens, I hope I can just throw this away when we’re done.

V gives a slight nod against my shoulder, “He might try to kill me.”

I bit my lip in thought, “But didn’t he drive us up here to save you?”

“I’m not sure, is that what you remember?”

I squeezed my eyes shut for a moment, “I still can’t remember anything.”

V didn’t say anything else after that.

After maneuvering through what seems like 100 hallways V tells me to stop and points at a door, “Does that door have a window?”

He’s been asking me these questions a lot, like he can’t see it with his own two eyes, but I play along anyway. Maybe his vision is just blurry from exhaustion. “Yes, a small one.”

V takes in a shaky breath and nods, “We’re here. Do you want me to keep watch out here?”

I thought about it briefly before shaking my head. I’d be less likely to freak out with V there, I’ve always hated him, however his presence is weirdly calming. Also, he could pass out and I don’t know if I would be able to wake him up.

“Okay, I’ll come with you.”

I shifted V so I could grab the door with my hand that isn’t holding a gun. I reached for the door handle but V reached out and stopped me before I could turn it, “Just… It’s going to be a lot to take in and it’s hard to look at, so let’s be quick about it.”

I could feel my heart rate spiking even more than it already was. I appreciate the warning, but it’s just making me more nervous. I swallowed and nodded.

As soon as the door opened just a crack I heard shrieking, screaming, and moaning. I jumped and let go of the handle. The door swung open as a result and smacked against the wall. The room was completely sound proof, I couldn’t hear any of this in the hallway.

I gripped the doorway in fear. I hope to all the gods that Saeran isn’t in here.

I felt V tense as well. He dug his face into my shoulder. “Do… do you want to wait outside?” I asked just loud enough over the screams. The longer I’m here the more anxious and scared I get. I now know why V wanted to keep watch.

He shook his head no against my shoulder. “It’s partially my fault they’re here. I… I need to face this.”

I would have fought with him, but I just want to look for Saeran and get out. Slowly I dragged V with me into the semi-lit room. The room was also lit by candles, but more so then the room that I woke up in. This place was just a long hallway like the rest of this place, but there were glass cells lining the walls. It was like a prison, but everyone could see each prisoner.

As we shuffled down the aisle I glanced into each glass room to look for my partner. Some of those in the cells were just screaming. Others cried and reached out to us for help. Most didn’t even notice us and were lying motionless in various positions in their cells. I felt tears stream down my face. All I could think about was how Saeran went through this.

I flinched as one suddenly jumped up and began banging on the door. We were half way down the hallway and I still couldn’t find Saeran. V would glance up and look around occasionally, but he preferred to keep his head down. I would be doing the same if I were alone in this place.

I looked into the next room and saw streaks of blood against the wall. The prisoner was face down on the floor and his hands were covered in blood. I felt myself gag without warning and I had to fight to keep my bile down.

We approached the end of the hallway and there were a few empty cells, but no Saeran. The screams seemed to only be getting louder. The tears exited my eyes even quicker. We came in here for nothing. I had to see this fucked up mess with my own two eyes… for nothing. I shook my head. No, it’s good that I saw this, just the more reason to hate this place.

V lifted his head up again, “Is he not here?”

I felt my face contort into anger, “Take a look asshole! No, he’s not here you...” I sighed and tried to get ahold of myself.

V winced at my tone; it’s a wonder how I can still scare him with all of these people already screaming. “I’m sorry, Yoosung. I can’t see very well.”

I didn’t reply to him. I nudged V a bit to turn him back around. I needed to get out of here before I start completely bawling or vomiting.

As we made our way back to the entrance one of the people in the cell must have seen the gun. He begged us to kill him. I walked faster.

We walked back through the doorway and I used my foot to kick the door shut. The screaming immediately was gone. I let out a deep breath.

“I’m sorry.” V said, breaking the silence.

I looked at him briefly, “Is there anything else you can actually say?”

V ignored my jab at him, “The only other place I could think of Saeran being is the front, the altar.”

I remember that place very vividly, the pews, the light, the throne, and of course Rika. I also remember Saeran’s first act of kindness to me, taking my hand and leading me out of this hellish place. “Okay V, let’s go.”

He nodded and pointed down the hallway. I have no idea how much more of this we can take. V is struggling physically, he’s becoming heavier on my shoulder which probably means that he’s losing strength. My pounding headache comes in waves, I try to focus on that rather than my obvious fear.

What are we even going to do when we find Saeran? I have a sinking feeling that he isn’t doing well. He has severe PTSD from this place even if he can’t remember half of it. What if they forced those pills down his throat again? He’s been trying so hard to deal with the withdrawal, he’s been doing so well lately. I don’t want him to go through the pain and sickness again.

The walk to the front was much closer than any of our other paths. The brainwashing room must be one of the first stops when you enter the building. I could see the familiar light of the altar. I let out a nervous breath and guided V to the entrance.

I stopped briefly outside of the doorway and looked around. My heart sunk. He isn’t here either. I clenched my teeth. “V,” I practically growled.

He flinched, “Is… he not here?” V sounded genuinely upset, like he was about to cry.

“Nope,” I said quickly, afraid of spilling more tears or shouting at V.

“I… Can we…” V sounded very nervous now.

“What?” I asked with concern.

“I need to sit down,” he said softly, like he was expecting to be denied.

I nodded and lead him to one of the pews. He groaned as I let him down gently. “Are you alright?” I asked before sitting next to him. I put the gun on the pew next to me, but away from V.

“I just need a moment, then we can go again,” V spoke with guilt evident in his voice.

“It’s okay. Take your time, you need your energy.” I tried to comfort him, but I could tell it came out strained.

V put his head in his hands. I could see his arms shaking. “You should have left me,” he said quietly.

One of his cuts on his chest is bleeding. I can’t imagine the pain he’s in, physically and emotionally. “Can I ask you something?” I asked with uncertainty.

He kept his head down. “Go ahead.”

“Why did you get involved with this stuff?” I have been very eager to know this for months now and I was going to hold off on this question until we got out, but I don’t know if we’ll get out. I’m not leaving without Saeran, without my partner.

V was quiet for a moment before he spoke, “I couldn’t change her mind about starting Mint Eye. I tried to tell her that this isn’t how things get better and that she should return to therapy. She… she told me that I didn’t love her. She said that I was like her parents.”

My eyes widened at that. My aunt and uncle didn’t love her? Is that true?

“I followed her here. She told me her plans and I pretended to go along with them. I didn’t want the rest of the RFA to get hurt. She was already hurting a lot of people. I couldn’t stand to watch it.”

I knew immediately that he was talking about Saeran.

“I helped her fake her death. I didn’t… I know I shouldn’t have, but I didn’t want anyone to know who she had become. Everyone loved her and I wanted it to stay that way.” V took in a shaky breath, he was crying. “When I told her that I didn’t want her to start Mint Eye she took most of my sight.”

That’s why he can’t see… Rika blinded him. Yet he still followed her… for us?

“I don’t know why, but I still love her. She was my light, now she’s my regret, but I still love her. I don’t know if I can let her go, Yoosung.” He looked up with tears staining his cheeks.

I don’t know how to respond to all of this additional information. Of course, I feel heartbroken, but I’ve felt heartbroken since I saw her in this room a few months ago. I also feel bad for how I’ve been treating V, he was trying to protect us. I squinted my eyes shut. He also refused to tell us anything, we could have helped him and Rika if he just said something. Saeran might have been fine if he just told Jumin or someone about her. I can’t help but still feel mad at V, but at least I know why he did what he did.

I sat there with my eyes closed for a little bit. I took some breaths in and out to keep calm. Should I leave V here while I go back in to look for Saeran? I’m afraid if I do someone will find him. However, V also needs to stop moving as much as I’ve been making him. One of his legs are broken and this is certainly not helping. I heard V quietly sniff the snot back into his nose.

I opened my eyes again. That was a mistake.

My eyes immediately trailed to the yellowish silhouette in the doorway. I swallowed and opened my mouth, but no words came out.

Rika looked me in the eyes. She was in her robe like last time, but her hair was more out of place than it was last time. She wasn’t smiling, she held more of a neutral expression. I was frozen in fear.

Rika crossed her arms over her chest. I expected hooded figures to come piling out, but they didn’t come.

Why wasn’t she saying anything? I looked at V who was still crying, now with his head back on his hands. He couldn’t see her.

We were both still and seemed to be having a staring contest. When I found my voice again I spoke to her first, “Where is he, Rika?”

V’s head shot up immediately, “Rika?”

Rika broke her gaze on my and looked at the floor, “Who?”

I growled without warning, “You know who!”

Rika’s mouth made a tight line, “He left.”

I squinted in disbelief at her and stood up, “What? Where?”

Rika didn’t answer, she looked me back in the eyes.

V looked around, but his eyes couldn’t land on her, “Please, Rika, tell us where Saeran is.”

Rika let out a sigh and started walking over to where we were sitting. V seemed to see her somewhat now because his head is staying in one spot.

My eyes looked down to the gun and I quickly picked it up.

Rika stopped where she was. “Yoosung…” She said calmly.

I felt my shoulders tense, I haven’t heard her voice say my name in a long time. “Just tell me where he is.”

“You two seem to have gotten close…” She responded with a tilt of her head, her blond locks following her.

I scrunched my face up in anger and pointed the barrel of the gun at her.

Rika’s eyes widened in response, “He’s not here. He left in the same car you came in.”

I lowered the gun slightly and my features softened, “Wha… what?”

Rika moved a lock of hair behind her ear, “I told him I didn’t want him anymore and he left.”

Out of the corner of my eye I could see V shake his head. “I saw you tear those two apart, I heard the shouting,” V said now including himself in the discussion we were having.

Rika looked to the side, “You saw it? With what?”

V winced at that.

“But seriously it may have taken some convincing, however he eventually left,” Rika said bringing her gaze back to us.

While keeping the gun on Rika I looked at V, “Is that right?”

“I… I don’t know. I was escorted away before I could see what happened to you two,” V said cautiously.

Rika took a few more steps, and I didn’t do anything. “I didn’t want him in our paradise, he was being too negative, but I want you here, Yoosung,” Her words were weirdly comforting to me despite it being fucked up.

“Don’t make Yoosung stay here,” V said fearfully.

She stopped when she was just a few steps away from me.

My both of my hands were shaking against the gun, “This isn’t paradise, Rika, people are being hurt here.”

She frowned slightly, “I saw you go into that room. I promise that they’re happy when they come out.”

“They’re being brainwashed Rika! It’s not happiness if you’re forcing it on them!” I shouted at her despite her being so close.

“How else can I make them happy then?” Rika asked genuinely curious. I didn’t know why but she made me feel kind of happy even when like this.

“You made us happy in the RFA. Why couldn’t you keep doing that instead of this?” More tears dripped off of my face.

She was quiet for a moment before speaking, “I can’t stop now, I’ve come so far here.” I can’t believe I actually still feel bad for her. I can’t believe I still wanted to be closer to her.

I shook my head, “Yes you can, Rika! We can get you help, it’s not too late!”

She looked me in the eyes and gave me a soft smile. I felt my heart melt, “How about instead you and V help me make my Mint Eye a better place. I want you to cheer me up with your lovely smile Yoosung.” I want to stay with her. She is my everything. I felt myself drop my gun to my side.

V shook his head and spoke quietly, but loud enough to hear, “No Rika, I can’t do this anymore… I-“

“Well my dear cousin… please help me. Help me make these people happy. Help me make my paradise!” She opened her arms to welcome me, just like the good old days.

I smiled with her and felt my heartbeat quicken. I took a step and let her engulf me in her arms, “Okay, Rika, I love you, Rika.” She smelled so good, and she felt so warm.

I heard V sob.

I heard Rika laugh quietly.

I felt the pain in my head.

I felt my finger on the trigger.

I heard a gunshot.

I heard a scream.

I heard a shout.

I saw Rika let go of me and fall on the floor.

I saw the blood pooling by her waist.

I saw the tears in Rika’s eyes.

“Yoosung why!?” She screeched “You... you don’t really love me!”

“Did you brainwash me!?” I shouted back at her without thinking.

She held her wound and her face sunk. Blood seeped between her fingers. “I… I…” She screamed again.

V threw himself off of the pew and to her side. Rika let him hold her wound with him, “Yoosung… We need to get her to a hospital, please!”

I was frozen in shock. I shot Rika.