(Phase 5 of the Scarlet Night series.)
Phase Five: To Stay by His Side
Second week of April 20XX
It was like a void.
It felt as if something was missing, something vital. No matter what he did to keep busy, keep his mind on other things, he couldn’t help but feel, think – know – that something was missing. Of course, when he finally succumbed to his feelings, he knew what was missing, knew what had suddenly disappeared from his life… again.
It had been a week since he last had contact with him. He knew he was stupid to throw himself out there, to confess his feelings and yet… he didn’t regret it. He didn’t regret it, but that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt. Every time he replayed the scene in his head, he said different words, said things differently and did things differently. When he replayed the scene in his head, he didn’t walk away after.
He stood at the front of the class, absent-mindedly staring out a window while his students read over their textbooks and the chapters he had assigned. Hands clasped behind his back, he didn’t register at all the way the grounds were still covered in a layer of snow or how the snow glistened beautifully, reflecting the sun’s light like diamonds. So much beauty lay before him on the campus grounds and yet, he saw none of it. All he saw, over and over again, was him. Him, with his battered body; him, with his stubborn beliefs; him, that was the incarnate of everything he went against.
He’s a vampire, Zhou Mi thought bitterly.
His hands clasped tighter, to the point where he was sure the nails of one hand were pressing so hard into the other hand that it was drawing blood. He closed his eyes momentarily, taking in a slow, deep breath. He couldn’t think properly; he could never think properly since school started, since he met Jo Kyuhyun. Slowly, he allowed his eyes to flutter open and, when he turned to face his class again, he had an easy smile on his face,
“It’s such a beautiful day out,” Zhou Mi said brightly, knowing that if anyone paid enough attention, they’d realize his smile didn’t even come close to reaching his eyes; “I know there’s twenty minutes left to class, but it seems such a shame to let a day like this go to waste. You may all leave early, just be quiet and try to avoid the headmaster.”
Without being told twice, the students began to pack up their things immediately and swiftly left with muffled cheers. When the last of them left, Zhou Mi’s eyes fell on a particular desk in the back corner, closest to the door and far from the windows: Kyuhyun’s desk. His eyes had kept being drawn to it over and over again since class began, but said student wasn’t even in attendance that day.
The desk had been empty for the past fifty minutes and somehow, it still managed to drive Zhou Mi insane. His eyes continued to seek it, his heart beat faster every time he saw it and always – always – he remembered the last time he saw him in the nurse’s office.
… “Why, damn it!?”
Their eyes locked and for a moment, Zhou Mi completely forgot everything. He forgot the real reason he was at SJA, forgot what his real job was; he forgot everything except for the young man before him. He forgot everything and felt only the eternal sadness and confusion he saw in those eyes. For a moment, Kyuhyun’s emotions became his own and he could barely breathe.
“Because not drinking human blood is what’s still separating me from being a monster.”
The words had barely registered at first, but then they echoed over and over again as if his head contained no other thoughts. Zhou Mi blinked, startled and yet, somehow he expected Kyuhyun to say those words. He knew Kyuhyun was fighting his vampirism, and even understood his wish to do so. For some reason, however, Zhou Mi forgot the connection of drinking blood and keeping one’s humanity.
“I should go.”
Zhou Mi’s attention was focused suddenly on Kyuhyun, his words and his actions. Zhou Mi couldn’t move and just watched as Kyuhyun slowly slipped away from his hands, stood from the bed and gingerly picked up his shirt. When Kyuhyun tried to manoeuvre his arm through a sleeve, he moved his back in such a way that tugged sharply at the skin and caused it to bunch in some places, eliciting a sharp gasp from him. That gasp, the flinch on the younger man’s face pulled Zhou Mi out of his musings.
“No, you need to rest,” Zhou Mi stated firmly, stilling the arm which was still trying to twist and shimmy into the sleeve,
Kyuhyun avoided his gaze as he shook his head, “No, I need to leave.”
“If you refuse to drink blood, then you need all the rest you can get,” Zhou Mi argued, “I’ll leave… I’ll leave, so just… so just… stay.”
Slowly, Zhou Mi removed his hand from Kyuhyun’s arm and forced his body to move, to walk away. As he stood by the opening of the curtains, Zhou Mi paused and, against all judgement, looked back over his shoulder at Kyuhyun. The younger man hadn’t moved an inch since Zhou Mi left him; he didn’t know why that thought made his heart contract painfully. Then, he willed his body to keep walking and before he realized it, he was out in the corridor with the door already closed behind him.
He swallowed hard against the lump forming in his throat as he fought the familiar sting of tears in his eyes. He was stronger than this. He had been in worse situations. He refused to cry, refused to shed a tear for another person who didn’t care. He wanted to leave, to run away, but his body no longer listened to him. He wanted to move, to escape, but instead, he collapsed back against the door and clasped a hand over his mouth…
Zhou Mi blinked; he was staring at that damn desk again. Turning back to his desk, he began to organize through his notes, deciding to think ahead to his next class. However, he couldn’t concentrate. All he could think about was Kyuhyun. When Zhou Mi straightened, he was horrified to realize that his hands had been trembling that entire time.
Against all of his better judgement, against all of his reliable instincts, Zhou Mi began to walk out of the classroom. He was moving fast, determined and with one goal in sight. He had never been weak before, had never been so confused before. Since coming to SJA, since meeting Kyuhyun, his world of black and white had suddenly turned into shades of grey and he couldn’t understand any of it. All he could understand, all that he knew, came down to one thing:
What he felt was more than just protectiveness.
There was fifteen minutes left until class was over when a knock came to the door. Sungmin gestured for the students to continue their work as he strode over to the door. When he opened it, he was startled,
“Can we talk?” Zhou Mi asked,
“It’s the middle of class,” Sungmin said, still confused,
“It’s important.” When Sungmin didn’t say anything, he added quietly, “Please.”
Finally, Sungmin nodded and stepped into the corridor, closing the door firmly behind him. Leaning back against the door, he cocked his head, “Is there a problem?”
“It’s Jo Kyuhyun,” Zhou Mi said,
“Kyuhyun?” Sungmin’s eyes widened, “Why, what happened? Did he get jumped again? Is he alright?”
“He needs to feed,” Zhou Mi replied quietly, firmly.
The other man’s fox-like eyes lit up with comprehension. Slowly, they narrowed, “No.” He turned to the door when Zhou Mi grabbed his shoulder, stopping him,
“You’re his friend, aren’t you? You should be doing everything you can to help him!” Zhou Mi stated,
Sungmin whirled back around to face him, jerking his shoulder away from Zhou Mi’s grasp, “Yes – I should. But who the hell are you? Who are you to say what is best for Kyuhyun? Who are you to tell me what I should do to benefit one of my oldest friends!?” Sungmin demanded, his words a soft growl, “You have a groundless argument.”
“What if I told you I care for him?” Zhou Mi asked, praying his voice remained steady, prayed that no hint of his fear, his desperation showed in his tone or words.
Sungmin froze. He stopped moving, practically stopped breathing as the other man’s words repeated in his mind. All his life, aside from Taeyeon, no one had cared for Kyuhyun; no one had watched out for him, worried about him. All his life, he was one of the only important people in Kyuhyun’s life. But then, just when he had Kyuhyun in his life again, this other man, Zhou Mi came along.
He noticed almost immediately that Zhou Mi was showing interest in Kyuhyun. Granted, he thought it was the worry of a teacher for a student, but he was wrong, apparently. Taeyeon had told him of the way Zhou Mi had stopped a fight Kyuhyun had gotten into and that she helped Kyuhyun when they had both been jumped the other week. There had been one day when Kyuhyun had been gone for the entire day; he remembered it clearly because Taeyeon had come to find him. Where had Kyuhyun been? Why did either of them still not know what happened? Could this literature teacher have anything to do with it?
His gaze locked with Zhou Mi’s and couldn’t find any shadiness, falseness in his words.
He wanted to protect Kyuhyun, but how could he when the person he wanted to protect Kyuhyun from was acting just like him? He could tell Zhou Mi was being completely sincere and he couldn’t help but see himself when he heard of what Zhou Mi had done, thus far, for Kyuhyun.
Constantly, he remembered that little kid who would run ahead of him and he would have to grab his hand, pull him back so he could make sure nothing dangerous was up ahead. In their years apart, Kyuhyun had changed, had stopped being impulsive and carefree. However, Sungmin couldn’t help but painfully acknowledge that Kyuhyun was still running ahead of him and he was scared that he couldn’t grab his hand and pull him back this time. He was scared that the only person who could was the foreigner standing before him.
“Why should I care about your feelings?” Sungmin finally asked, keeping to his low, fierce tone,
“If Kim Taeyeon-sshi’s health was at stake, would you not do everything you could think of to help her? If she was the one who needed to feed, wouldn’t you do everything to convince her to do so?” Zhou Mi challenged,
Sungmin didn’t realize he stepped back until his back touched the closed door, “What are you going on about?”
“You think I’m stupid? The way she looks at you is the way I wish Kyuhyun looked at me,” Zhou Mi admitted, stepping back and loosely crossing his arms, “And the way I’ve seen you look at her is exactly the way I know I look at Kyuhyun.”
Sungmin swallowed hard. How? How did a stranger he barely knew for over a month see him so clearly? Analyze him so precisely? How did this stranger see and understand something that someone he knew since she was five never saw or understood? He didn’t know how, but in a situation when he knew Zhou Mi was risking everything just to talk to him, he was the one who was becoming vulnerable and risking everything. He crossed his arms over his chest, clenched his fists tightly and tried to find something to give him an edge, to put him back in control of his emotions and the situation.
“He is a student and you are a teacher,” Sungmin grounded out,
“He is dying!” Zhou Mi exclaimed as loud as he dared in the empty hallway, “Please, Lee-sshi… Please, Sungmin-sshi.”
Sungmin didn’t look away, but he was finding it hard to keep his eyes up. He already felt so vulnerable at being read so clearly, but then being told so bluntly what was happening to his oldest, closest of friends… When he spoke again, he was horrified at how weak, how quiet and how broken he sounded, “I can’t.”
“Why the hell not!?” Zhou Mi demanded, his hands shooting out and shaking his shoulders, “Why? Why not!?”
“Because he only started trusting me again,” Sungmin said, pulling away from Zhou Mi and stepping deeper into the hallway away from the doorway. His gaze dropped as he tried to pull his thoughts together, tried to regain his composure; “I can’t ask anything of him, not now… not so soon after regaining his trust.” Suddenly, his gaze shot up to lock with Zhou Mi’s once more, “You… You have a lot of nerve to ask anything of anyone! I don’t know how you know about Kyuhyun’s health and I will bet my life he did not tell you himself… but I just regained his trust and I refuse to risk that!”
“If you won’t help me, then I’ll ask Kim Taeyeon-sshi,” Zhou Mi stated, turning to leave,
“She’ll refuse you even more readily than me,” Sungmin stated quietly, almost sympathetically; guiltily.
Zhou Mi stopped immediately. He turned back around to face him, “Why? She’s even closer to him than you and I know she hasn’t just recently earned his trust. Surely, she’ll see how desperate his situation is?”
“That’s right, she is the closest to him and she has held his trust completely for years. But she will refuse what you ask for because she’s been with him since this all started,” Sungmin explained simply, his fox-like eyes looking away, unable to continue looking at Zhou Mi’s pleading, determined expression. He closed the distance between himself and his classroom door, his hand grasping the knob; “She knows more than anyone what Kyuhyun has been through. Asking her to side with what you want instead of what Kyuhyun wants is asking for the impossible.”
“He needs to feed to keep living… I won’t… can’t give up,” Zhou Mi insisted,
Sungmin sighed heavily, “And for that, I apologize for not being able to help you.”
Zhou Mi watched as Sungmin opened the door, slipped back into the classroom and the door softly, firmly close after him. He turned away, his stride hesitant, tentative at first before he remembered what his new goal was; his new mission. He gained confidence with each step, and more strength in his resolution to make Kyuhyun feed. As he continued on, he briefly forgot that up until two weeks ago, he hated everything and anyone association with vampires.
Zhou Mi had ended another class early, all in the hopes of catching Taeyeon outside of her mathematics class. During lunch, he had cornered the headmaster and asked to see her class schedule. He was surprised at how accommodating Eeteuk was being, but then the headmaster looked at him knowingly, a slight smug smile on his face and Zhou Mi nearly walked away.
He stood there, as casual a teacher could, leaning against the wall, hands in his pockets when the bell rang. A few short seconds passed and the corridor began to fill with students moving to their next class. Zhou Mi swiftly slipped into the classroom, just in time to see the students put away their pencils and calculators and begin to stand from their seats. He headed towards the front of the classroom where Hankyung stood holding a stack of papers. On his way there, he passed a particular female student and he murmured,
“Stay after class.”
Once he reached the front of the classroom, he saw the questioning look in his friend’s eyes,
“What do I owe this pleasure?” Hankyung asked casually as he walked to his desk and gestured for Zhou Mi to follow,
“I have to talk to a particular student,” Zhou Mi explained,
“He’s in my second period class,” Hankyung said knowingly, “But he was absent today,”
“Not him,” Zhou Mi murmured, rolling his eyes, “Did you just give a test?”
“Were you nice?” Zhou Mi inquired,
“If they’ve studied and know the material, then it doesn’t matter if I’m being nice or not,” Hankyung scoffed as he put the tests down on his desk, leaned his hips against his desk and crossed his arms, his eyes sweeping over the students as the last of them scurried out. His gaze landed on one student who stood by her desk, her backpack already on. “I’m assuming Kim-sshi’s the one you want to talk with?”
Zhou Mi nodded, “And no, I am not pursuing two students.”
“I didn’t say anything,” Hankyung said despite smiling. Then, his smile faded and he said more seriously, “Is Jo-sshi okay, though?”
Zhou Mi shrugged, “I honestly don’t know, but I’m going to find out and I’m going to make sure he gets better.”
Hankyung said nothing as Zhou Mi crossed the classroom to Taeyeon. They spoke briefly and he watched as they left together. Hankyung sighed heavily, ran both hands through his hair and then proceeded to lay another set of tests on the desks for his next class.
Taeyeon followed the literature teacher back to his classroom, not worried at all about missing class; her thoughts had been distracted all day due to the obvious absence of a certain person by her side. Once in the classroom, she slipped off her backpack and hopped onto the desk where Kyuhyun usually sat. Clasping her hands in her lap, she looked at Zhou Mi expectantly,
“You saw how bad your cousin was injured last week… You saw the bruises, the burning on his back,” Zhou Mi stated as he absent-mindedly began to pace before her, “You also cannot deny how thin he is, how his bones are practically sticking out from his body.”
“Yes…” Taeyeon agreed.
“All of that can be reversed. The next time Kyuhyun gets jumped – we know those who attack him aren’t going to stop – he can heal better, faster,” Zhou Mi stated,
Taeyeon’s bright eyes widened hopefully, “How!?”
“He needs to feed properly,” Zhou Mi said, “He needs to drink human blood.”
“No.” The word was short, concise and firm. She bent to pick up her backpack once more,
“He needs to feed if he’s to keep living,” Zhou Mi stated,
Taeyeon straightened, eyes narrowing exponentially, “You think I don’t know that? I’m not stupid, Seonsaeng-nim.”
“Then talk to him! Tell him he needs to feed! He’ll listen to you, Kim-sshi. You, before all others, he’ll listen to,” Zhou Mi insisted,
Taeyeon laughed bitterly as she hopped off the desk and paced a few steps away, “You think I haven’t done that already? You think you’re the first one to offer him blood!?” She threw him a glare over her shoulder, “I’ve been there all before and it’s never worked.” She turned fully to face him, one fist clenched over her heart, “I have been with him since it began and I had no success. You have known him barely over a month and you think you have the right to demand such a thing of him!?”
“Then you do it! Why don’t you do it again? Keep pushing, keep talking to him –”
Taeyeon’s gaze dropped to the ground, her voice low, “I offered myself to him when he first became a vampire. When his body began to reject animal blood, I offered again but he refused – again. I have tried all I can to help him,” she looked up at him, her eyes fierce, “So don’t you DARE presume that I haven’t tried, Seonsaeng-nim!”
“Then keep trying!” Zhou Mi insisted, knew he was practically pleading with her, “Why don’t you just keep trying?”
“Because he thinks drinking human blood is the last thing keeping him from turning completely into a monster. That it’s the last thing keeping him a part of our world,” Taeyeon replied,
“I know that, but –”
“When Kyuhyun became a vampire, he lost the ability to do things he normally could,” Taeyeon interrupted, holding a hand to silence the literature teacher; “He lost the ability to graduate with his so-called friends, to hang out with those ingrates normally. He lost the ability to see the sun rise or set… he lost the ability to step out into the daylight. He even lost the ability to see colour,” Taeyeon’s hand wavered in the air until it slowly dropped to her side, “Kyuhyun lost his freedom the night he got bitten and not drinking human blood is the last thing keeping him from completely submitting to his vampirism.”
“I know all that,” Zhou Mi insisted, “But he’s getting thinner.”
“I know that,” Taeyeon replied, turning away from him,
“He’s getting weaker,” Zhou Mi continued, following her,
“I know that,” she insisted, still not facing him,
“The next time he gets jumped, they could go too far and he won’t be able to recuperate properly; he could die –”
“I KNOW ALL THAT!” Taeyeon exclaimed, whirling around to face him.
Zhou Mi was momentarily taken aback when he saw her tear-filled eyes, but she ruthlessly pressed on, “Then help me do something about it!”
“I CAN’T!” She argued, not caring that her tears were now trickling down the sides of her face. She turned so she was perpendicular to him, fisting her hands on a desk to stop herself from falling.
Her heart was pounding like crazy and it physically hurt. Everything the teacher told her was nothing new, was something she knew for some time. She didn’t ignore it, but what else could she do when Kyuhyun was being so stubborn? She knew what risks he was putting himself in, knew that he had to feed; she offered herself so many times, after all. She swallowed hard as the backs of her hands were splashed with hot, fat tears.
Zhou Mi watched her, confused. She understood just as well as he did what danger Kyuhyun was in by refusing to feed. She understood and obviously felt just as frustrated as he did, but still she refused. Could it be that she refused because she saw it as taking sides? No, she was too emotional to be like that; she didn’t see the world as black and white as he often did. Then, why? Why did she allow Kyuhyun to go on as he did when she knew the repercussions?
“There’s more, isn’t there?” Zhou Mi asked quietly, “It’s more than just your fear of offending Kyuhyun. I don’t know your reasons, Kim-sshi, but his life is at stake –”
“I won’t lose him!” Taeyeon exclaimed as she stared down at her fists which were now trembling. “I… I won’t lose him.”
Taeyeon could feel her tears, her breath, her words well up in her throat, lodging there and refusing to move. She felt herself suffocating slowly, slowly as her vision blurred more and more from the thick veil of stinging tears. Her heart was trembling now, shaking weakly as she concentrated all her strength into not falling to the ground.
“Growing up, Kyuhyun and I were always pushed together. He came to look out for me because I was an only child. He always had trouble relating to anyone outside of the family. If he hadn’t known them since he was a young child, it was hard for him to be friends with them,” Taeyeon said quietly, her voice losing all confidence and strength.
She swallowed hard as she remembered the first time she met her cousin; remembered how she was always playing with him and Sungmin. All of her earliest memories contained Kyuhyun and she held all of them dearly and protectively.
“Kyuhyun’s only solid relationships were all focused around family, with the exception for Sungmin,” Taeyeon explained, “His parents were never particular close to him and since I met him, I’ve only seen his sister a few times because they sent her to a boarding school in Japan. Despite the instability of his home life, the only relationships he had were with his parents, Sungmin and myself. I… I honestly don’t know what his relationship is with his sister, but considering I can count on one hand how many times she’s been back to Korea, I don’t think they’re that close.”
Weakly, Taeyeon raised one hand and wiped at her tears, but they just kept coming. Her head was overwhelmed with thoughts, emotions and memories. They crammed and clashed trying to gain importance, focus and she was sure that if she lightened her concentration, even just a fraction, she would faint immediately.
She focused at the task at hand, focused her thoughts into comprehensible words and sentences, but that only emphasized her emotions and memories. They bore into her painfully, twisting her heart cruelly as she remembered the way that Kyuhyun was always reluctant to go home.
“After he was bitten, Kyuhyun’s parents abandoned him. They even sold the house, moved out of Seoul and he, nor my parents have heard from them since,” Taeyeon continued, her voice wavering dangerously, “When that happened, he lost the basic structure of his life. I was the only one to stay with him. I was the one to talk to my parents and ease them to his new way of life. Kyuhyun needs someone to depend on – we all do… but if I push and push,” one fist emphasizing her words by hitting the desk, “One day, I’ll end up pushing him away and he’ll leave.”
“Surely, you’re being over sensitive?” Zhou Mi asked, hoped, softly,
Taeyeon turned back to face the teacher, looking him directly in the eyes despite her ceaseless tears; “I’m being honest, Seonsaeng-nim. Kyuhyun has always been sensitive in his relationships with other people. Because of the way his parents were to him, he doesn’t like to cause problems for other people; doesn’t like to be a burden. If he believes for even a moment that my life would be easier if he were gone, he would not hesitate to leave.”
“I know you’re scared of pushing him away, but Kim-sshi, he could die,” Zhou Mi reiterated himself, gently, quietly, hoping she would sense the desperation in his voice,
“I’ve done all I can do,” Taeyeon shook her head, “I stay by his side throughout the day because I am constantly scared he’ll die or, worse, he’ll just disappear without a word. I stay by his side throughout the day because I’m scared the moment I leave him, he’ll leave me forever. He thinks I’m always with him at school because I don’t want guys to approach me and confess, but that’s all a lie. I’m always with him because if something happens, at least I’m there.”
She raised a hand again to silence him. This time, her hand was shaking violently. “Every time I’m not with him, something bad has happened. The only reason I’ve ever found him is because I look for him and I fortunately find him. There’s going to be a time when my luck runs out and I won’t find him. So, I stay with him as much as I can. I stay with him because that’s the most he’ll let me do.”
She stared at the teacher, silently begging him to stop. He had done nothing, said nothing that made her reveal anything about herself and yet, she still felt her defences stripped raw. She was forced to remember memories that caused her pain because they were from a happier time; a simpler time.
She remembered a hand only slightly bigger than her own, grabbing hers and pulling her to run. She remembered when it was raining and a sweater was suddenly draped over her head. She remembered when she had tripped and scraped her knee and, without question or hesitation, she was pulled onto his back and he carried her home. She remembered that throughout their childhood, he was constantly there for her, protecting her and the only times she was able to reciprocate the sentiments was when they were together during a thunderstorm.
He had done so much for her and now, when he needed her most, she couldn’t do anything; wasn’t allowed to do anything. She hated it.
Taeyeon pushed past Zhou Mi and grabbed her backpack, “The most he’ll allow is for me to stay by his side. I can’t ask for more,” she muttered as she walked to the door, her hand shaking as she tried to grip the door knob firmly, “I can’t… I can’t… I will not give him a reason to push me away and disappear.”
Night had fallen and Zhou Mi knew it was stupid to opt out of dinner, but he had a feeling he’d see Kyuhyun. He stood in the shadows of the small corridor where his room was located and waited. If Kyuhyun’s blood lust was going to act up, Zhou Mi was hoping it would happen so that Kyuhyun was forced to seek out the haven of Sungmin’s room.
He leaned a shoulder against the wall, hands shoved in his pockets. What was he doing? Years ago, he promised himself never to care about someone who didn’t care about him. Years ago, he promised himself to be careful, to be wary, to not trust everyone. So why? Why had he come to care about this younger man who was, for all intents and purposes, forbidden to him? Why did he continue to care about this younger man who not only didn’t care about him, but didn’t even want to trust him?
More importantly, why did he trust him? After years and numerous amounts of vampires, why did he suddenly trust this one? Because he was fighting his nature? Because he was more vulnerable, more damaged than other vampires? Because since the moment he first saw him, his heart…
Footsteps in the east wing’s fourth floor’s main corridor alerted Zhou Mi’s instincts. He pushed away from the wall, straightening immediately. He waited, barely breathed as the soft fall of footsteps hurried to a quicker pace and then, into an almost-sprint.
Kyuhyun froze, glanced to his right before he could slip down the small corridor to his left, “Seonsaeng-nim?”
“Why weren’t you in any of your classes today?” Zhou Mi questioned,
“Did you not see how bright it was outside?” Kyuhyun countered, “I wouldn’t be able to walk down many hallways, let alone sit in a classroom drenched in sunlight.”
“What are you doing here?” Zhou Mi asked,
“I was going down to the dining hall so Taeyeon could see I was alright when…” He looked away, “Why are you asking when you already know why I’m here?”
Why was he suddenly telling all to this teacher? He had been avoiding Zhou Mi adamantly for the past week and yet, the moment the older man asked him a question, the words flowed freely without any restraint, hesitation or wariness. How had he become so comfortable in this man’s presence? How had he become so trusting of him?
Before Kyuhyun could sort out his thoughts, Zhou Mi lunged towards him, grabbing his wrist. Suddenly, he was being dragged down the small hallway to the right and practically pushed into Zhou Mi’s room. He heard the door close behind him and then Zhou Mi was before him. He pressed his back against the door, startled as Zhou Mi planted his palms on either side of Kyuhyun’s shoulders, trapping him against the door.
“Jo-sshi… Kyuhyun… I am freely offering you my blood. Will you please feed – eat, I mean eat?” Zhou Mi asked seriously, knowing there was a slight plead in his tone.
“No,” Kyuhyun argued, “I told you –”
“Yes, I know your feelings about it, but I also know you want to survive, that you want to beat your vampirism,” Zhou Mi stated, “If you don’t feed, if you let yourself waste away and die, you are still surrendering to your vampirism, don’t you see? If you die, you’re still letting it take over and win.”
“What?” Kyuhyun managed, his mouth suddenly dry as his eyes were locked with Zhou Mi’s;
“You’re so adamant about beating your vampirism, but if you allow yourself to die, you lose,” Zhou Mi stated,
“That sounds like a whole lot of bull –”
He wouldn’t shut up and that’s why he did it. At least, that’s what Zhou Mi kept telling himself after he pressed his lips against Kyuhyun’s. There was no rationality to it; it was pure instinct and pure desire. He had wanted to kiss Kyuhyun for as long as he had known the younger man. He had seen his lips and wondered how soft they were and how they’d feel, taste. He hadn’t meant to kiss him, but he was trying to reason with him, make him listen and the younger man was just so damn stubborn.
When Zhou Mi pulled his head back, Kyuhyun was effectively startled into silence. Assured that Kyuhyun wouldn’t interrupt him again, Zhou Mi said firmly, “If you can drink blood and still fight all your other vampiric instincts, you’ll win. If you drink blood, you can fight your blood lust and you can fight off your vampiric nature. If you do that, you win. If you don’t drink, you’ll die and that’s how you’ll lose.”
Kyuhyun had been completely frozen when Zhou Mi’s warm, soft lips pressed against his. He had been forced to listen to him and, for once, he couldn’t find any fault with his words. He watched as Zhou Mi used one hand and unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt. He watched as that delicious, beautiful expanse of neck was exposed to him once more. He watched as Zhou Mi did all of this and never took his eyes off of him.
His mouth felt dry, his heart was pounding frantically in anticipation. His body practically thrummed with excitement as he pressed himself firmly back against the door, trying to stop himself from moving forward, from grabbing Zhou Mi and…
“Please,” his voice was barely above a whisper and it trembled weakly, “Please don’t do this.”
“I need to,” Zhou Mi said quietly, “If I don’t, you could die and if that happened… if that happened, I could never forgive myself.”
Kyuhyun could feel his heart twisting, pulling in two different directions. One half of him wanted to fight his vampirism, wanted to keep the last of his humanity by not drinking human blood. However, the other half of him wanted to give in, wanted at least one taste of Zhou Mi’s blood.
Just. One. Drop.
He practically slammed his skull back against the door as he tried to break the spell slowly descending up on him. His head was throbbing now and his body was itching to take, to seize, to taste. Zhou Mi slipped his hands behind Kyuhyun’s head, cradling it gently,
“Are you okay?” He asked softly,
“Yes, but please… please stop,” Kyuhyun was begging now, “Please don’t make me choose… please don’t make me do this.”
He was trying to pull away from Zhou Mi’s gentle hold, but he was still trapped against the door. He was trying so hard to fight all his bodily instincts, tried to escape Zhou Mi’s comfortingly, firm hold and his head was pounding from hitting it earlier. Harder, and harder his head was practically splitting and yet, he still couldn’t look away from Zhou Mi’s dark eyes which always seemed to see too much.
“Please,” he murmured, the hot sting of tears piercing his eyes as they brimmed his eyelashes; everything just hurt so much. “Please…”
“I’m sorry,” Zhou Mi murmured, “I’m sorry, but you need this.” Slowly, he moved closer until his body sandwiched Kyuhyun’s against the door and his hands gently, ever so gently, brought the younger man’s head to the left side of his neck. “Please… forgive me,” he whispered, his voice a soft caress as he brought Kyuhyun’s head closer until he could feel the tickle of his warm breath against his neck. “Forgive me, Kyuhyun.”
“No…” he breathed as he felt the hot trail of tears down the sides of his face.
His heart was pounding fiercely now, slamming against his rib cage. His body was warm, hot, burning sweetly from the other body pressed against his. His senses were completely doused in the other man. He could hear him breathing heavily, could feel his body gently trembling and could smell the sweet saltiness of his skin. He closed his eyes, inhaled slowly, deeply and wondered if Kyuhyun felt the same. Then, Zhou Mi let his arms drop until he held Kyuhyun to him; embracing.
Kyuhyun could feel his head pounding again, but now, his entire body was pulsating with need. He could feel it creeping up like an old, hated friend. His body was itching, practically twitching, and his blood was pumping anxiously, furiously. He craved, he wanted, he desired… He was hungry.
He was shaking, trembling as his mouth slowly opened. His jaw ached as it opened and he tried to fight it. He was crying harder, vocalizing his whimpers as he felt the odd, familiar feeling of his fangs extending, lengthening and sharpening. He closed his eyes, clenched them close as he felt his fangs graze the soft, smooth skin of Zhou Mi’s neck. He tried desperately to stop when he felt Zhou Mi’s hands fall away from his pounding skull, felt slender, firm arms wrap around him and just hold him. He felt warm and protected and then he gave up to his blood lust.
Zhou Mi inhaled sharply as a painful jolt stabbed him on the left side of his neck. He gritted his teeth to stop from crying out, to stop from begging Kyuhyun to stop. Every instinct, every muscle and fibre of his being wanted nothing more than to push Kyuhyun away, but something else, something deeper and more essential wanted nothing more than to hold Kyuhyun tighter. Suddenly, his thoughts were even more confused than before; everything he ever believed in completely clashing with everything he had been doing.
Suddenly, the piercing pain dulled and then smothered into a different feeling. He felt the gentle sucking, undulation of Kyuhyun’s mouth against his neck. It felt different, it felt weird, but it also felt soothing. Despite everything, Zhou Mi couldn’t deny how it felt… right.
He felt Kyuhyun’s arms wrap around him, holding him and it was then that Zhou Mi realized how weak he felt. Then, as soon as it began, it ended and Kyuhyun’s head was slowly pulling away. Zhou Mi slipped his arms away from Kyuhyun’s body as he dropped to his knees on the ground. Kyuhyun knelt before him and then bit into his own thumb with a fang. Zhou Mi barely registered the appearance of a small, scarlet drop of blood on Kyuhyun’s thumb. Then, Kyuhyun brushed his thumb against Zhou Mi’s neck.
When Kyuhyun was pulling his hand away, Zhou Mi grabbed it, searching for Kyuhyun’s gaze and when he found it, he held it. Their dark eyes locked. Kyuhyun pulled his hand away, scrambling to his feet and backing away.
The door slammed after Kyuhyun, but Zhou Mi didn’t move, didn’t go after him. Instead, one hand clasped over his mouth tightly as his back slowly arched, his body curling towards the ground. He felt an odd, stinging feeling in his eyes – tears?
He did what he had to do to save Kyuhyun, but at what price to Kyuhyun or himself?
(Phase 6: Silent Chaos)
A/N: Just thought I should mention, if you thought that the Sungmin/Taeyeon thing was random, I did leave little hints here and there. Check out Phase 2 & Phase 4 for the hints! ^_~