(Phase 13 of the Scarlet Night series.)
Phase Thirteen: A Step Forward
Images of what happened twelve hours ago flashed in her mind. She remembered the emptiness, the hollowness she felt in those few moments. She curled beneath the blanket, her arms slowly wrapping around her torso as she tried to make herself smaller and smaller. Her room was dark, the curtains drawn over the windows and yet, that wasn’t dark enough. Her room was cold, even with the heater on and yet, that wasn’t as cold as she felt.
Distantly, she heard the door open and, a few seconds later, close. She didn’t say anything, didn’t move as she felt a second blanket being draped over her. The edges of the blankets lifted and a warm body slipped beneath and the edges fell back down. She felt the solid warmth at her back as an arm curled around her waist, just beneath where hers were.
“I thought you’d be cold.”
She said nothing, but turned around in his arms, burying her face against the material over his chest as she hugged him back.
“You’ve been quiet all day,” Kibum said quietly, “I thought you don’t care about your parents anymore.”
“I don’t, I really don’t,” Kyuri replied, “That entire time my father was there I was completely apathetic towards him. The only time I felt anything was when he directed things towards Kyuhyun. He shows the world he cares about Kyuhyun but we know the truth. How could someone be so… so unfeeling about his own children?”
“I don’t know,” Kibum replied,
“I don’t know how they treated Kyuhyun, but at least they were around. To have them suddenly leave him like that, to admit they’re only around for appearances’ sake,” Kyuri murmured, “I just… for all the resentment I’ve held against Kyuhyun all this time, I never would have wanted that for him.”
“I know,” Kibum held her firmly, “But are you okay?”
“Yeah… yeah… I just remembered what it was like when I was younger. Growing up and realizing my parents sent me away and whenever I did come back to Korea, they didn’t want me around,” She laughed softly, bitterly, “Stupid, I know –”
“It’s not stupid,” Kibum reassured her, “You were young and you were hurt. It’s not stupid to remember that and still feel hurt.”
Kyuri hugged him tighter, “To think he wanted to… hit me.”
Kibum embraced her tightly, protectively, as he pressed his lips to her crown. He said nothing as he felt her slender frame tremble softly in his arms. He could feel the slow penetration of hot, wet tears against his shirt where her face was and he only held her tighter. He could count on one hand the times Kyuri had broken down, had allowed herself to become emotionally weak. It had been years since the last time, but he could still remember; he always remembered.
“If it’s too hard for you to stay in Korea, we can leave in the morning,” Kibum suggested softly, quietly.
However, Kyuri shook her head, “No… no… I’m fine… I can’t let them affect me anymore. Besides, once I’m sure Kyuhyun doesn’t need any treatment, we can leave.”
“You’re sure you’re okay?” Kibum inquired tentatively,
“Yes. Just… just can you not let go?” Kyuri asked quietly, “I just want you to hold me tonight.”
“Of course,” Kibum replied, keeping his mouth kissed against her bowed head, “You never have to ask. Never.”
The next morning; Sunday; Fourth week of April 20XX
“Listen to reason!” Heechul stated,
“I have and I say no,” Kyuri repeated firmly as she stood before Heechul’s desk. She had entered the nurse’s office just minutes ago dressed in dark jeans and a black, fitted, long-sleeved shirt, her hair pulled back into a pony-tail.
“His temperature spiked last night and feeding isn’t doing anything for him,” Heechul said, “He needs a blood transfusion.”
“I told you once, I’ll tell you again: I will not give Kyuhyun a blood transfusion,” Kyuri replied,
“Why the hell not!?” Heechul demanded, jumping to his feet and slamming his palms down on the desktop, “I thought things were better between you two now?”
“They are –”
“Then why are you still refusing a transfusion?” Heechul questioned,
“I refuse to give him the only thing my parents could not take from me,” Kyuri grounded out, her hands fisted at her sides. She shook her head as she turned away, “No, I won’t do a transfusion. I’ll treat him without having to do that.”
“You are his sister – his twin, damn it! Where’s your honour?” Heechul demanded,
“And where is yours!?” Kyuri spun around to face him, “As a nurse you took an oath never to force your own beliefs on any patient – potential or current! You’ve stepped your bounds and you know it, Heechul-sshi.”
“I am not talking to you as a nurse, as your brother’s nurse. I am talk to you as someone who has seen him suffer from the night he was bitten,” Heechul defended, eyes narrowed dangerously as he glared at the younger lady, “I was here the night his body began to go through the motions. He was in that very same room and I was the only one in there with him because I wanted to protect your cousin,” He revealed, pointing across the long room to where Kyuhyun’s door was currently closed.
“I was the one to hear his screams, the first to see his rage,” Heechul grounded out, “I have seen him suffer time and time again. When I returned to campus for this school year, my first day back, he was already in here needing treatment. I still had my coat on and my luggage with me and he was already in here.”
“You talk of his suffering but you know nothing of mine,” Kyuri replied coldly, “I understand that he has suffered greatly the past year, but I have suffered my entire life. I have come back stronger from the trials my parents put me through and I refuse to complete their abuse on me by giving Kyuhyun the last of what is only mine!” With that, Kyuri turned and stormed from the room.
Heechul turned his gaze to Kibum, who sat in a chair before his desk, silent as ever, “Will you talk some sense into her!?”
“I can talk to her, but I won’t tell her to do anything she refuses to do,” Kibum stated as he slowly stood to his full height, “She is not lying about suffering for so long.”
“Well, right now she’s being damnably selfish,” Heechul spat, “Her brother is in there potentially dying and she’s refusing to do the one thing that could bring him back!”
“She has lived a life where all her decisions were made for her, where everything she had was taken from her,” Kibum defended in his even, monotone voice, his eyes the only thing showing his emotions as he narrowed them; “From starving and destitute, she was taken in by the Council and began training immediately. The only time she was able to make her own decisions was when she became a Head Hunter and even then the only decisions afforded to her were who to send on what missions.” Kibum crossed his arms defiantly over his chest, “So if she chooses to be selfish, for once in her life, then I will not take that from her. I apologize to Kyuhyun-sshi, but I will not damn his sister.”
Heechul watched in disbelief as Kibum slowly retreated from the room. Heaving a great sigh, he fell back into his chair. He glanced at his computer screen where Kyuhyun’s file was open. They were running out of time.
Meanwhile, in Kyuhyun’s room, Zhou Mi was sitting in the chair, eyes glued to the younger man’s sleeping face. Kyuhyun’s temperature had been stable during the night, but it stayed high. Zhou Mi had stayed awake all evening, never leaving Kyuhyun’s side. When Heechul came that morning, he was grateful for the coffee he was given.
Zhou Mi never realized how much he had forgotten until the previous night. It had been so long, he had forgotten what it was like to care for someone. He had forgotten the rapid heartbeat, the numbing worry, and the thoughts that grew darker with every passing hour. He had forgotten it all until Kyuhyun had been thrust into his life. Granted, he had Geng and he did care about his friend, but for as long as he could remember, Geng had never been seriously injured or ill.
He saw Kyuhyun’s eyelashes tremble and he immediately sat on the edge of his seat as he waited. Kyuhyun’s head rolled back and forth on his pillow, before his eyes opened slightly, searching and searching. When he turned his head to look up at Zhou Mi, all he murmured was, “Cold.”
Zhou Mi immediately slipped from the chair and onto the bed, stretching his entire length beside Kyuhyun’s. He slipped his arm beneath Kyuhyun’s pillow and the younger man turned towards him, relishing in the warm body.
“Why… cold?” Kyuhyun murmured sleepily as he buried his face in the hollow of Zhou Mi’s shoulder,
“Your temperature is high again,” Zhou Mi answered, “Heechul’s working on what to do, but… but you need to keep feeding, Kyuhyun.”
“Too… tired,” Kyuhyun replied,
Zhou Mi slipped his arm from beneath Kyuhyun’s pillow so he could prop himself on his elbow, his torso slowly rising above Kyuhyun. With his other hand, he brought his wrist to Kyuhyun’s lips, “Then here, there’s less muscle compared to my neck.”
Too tired to argue, Kyuhyun bared his fangs and allowed them to press against the delicate skin of Zhou Mi’s wrist. Sensing his limit, Zhou Mi gently pressed his wrist more against the sharpened incisors, wincing as he felt the sharp, twin penetrations. He watched silently as Kyuhyun sleepily fed from his wrist, a gentler, sloppier feeding than the two times before. Rather than the rhythmic sucking he was used to, Zhou Mi felt Kyuhyun’s lips kissing his skin, the odd feeling of his tongue swishing back and forth over the bite marks.
Kyuhyun felt cold and weak all over. He felt Zhou Mi’s smooth skin against his lips and could feel the slow trickle of warm liquid drip into his mouth, heating his throat. Too weak to even suck, he allowed the red fluid to come to him, his tongue swathing over the two holes. Finally, he bit his lip until he felt the sharp piercing of his fang. With his own blood, he smeared it with a kiss against where he bit to heal the skin and close the holes. He licked the residue away on both Zhou Mi’s wrist and his lips before finally opening his eyes and looking up at Zhou Mi.
“You barely fed,” Zhou Mi admonished lightly, his eyes narrowed slightly,
Kyuhyun shook his head as he turned his body towards Zhou Mi’s, “Too tired…”
“Then feed,” Zhou Mi replied,
“Later,” Kyuhyun murmured sleepily, “Seonsaeng-nim is… bossy.”
“I told you to call me Zhou Mi,” he replied as he lowered himself to the flat mattress, his arm slipping beneath the pillow, causing Kyuhyun’s head to be pillowed on his bicep. Then he wrapped his other arm gently, protectively, around the younger man’s waist, holding him flush against his body.
“Zhou… Mi,” Kyuhyun repeated quietly as he snuggled closer against the solid, warm body beside him, “Zhou… Mi… Mi… Mi…”
He sighed heavily as he finally allowed himself to close his eyes, bowing his head until his lips brushed the top of Kyuhyun’s head. Before fatigue overpowered him and sleep overcame him, he quietly whispered, “Kyuhyun…”
After the lunch hour
“I swear, Kyuhyun, you’re going to have so much catching up to do for exams,” Taeyeon yawned as she entered the room, stretching her arms towards the ceiling. She paused just inside the doorway, her arms still extended. She blinked, startled to see Kyuhyun lying flat on his back when, usually, he’d have the bed raised so he was at least sitting. “Are… are you okay?”
Kyuhyun’s head lolled against his pillow. He offered a small smile, “Yeah, just sleepy.”
Taeyeon narrowed her eyes as she approached, “Don’t lie to me, you know I’ll just ask Heechul or Seonsaeng-nim and they’ll tell me anyway.”
Kyuhyun sighed, “Apparently, I have a fever again.”
“Apparently!?” Taeyeon rushed to his side, cupping her hand over his forehead before retracting it immediately, “Damn it, Oppa, you’re burning!”
“Wow, you haven’t called me that in years,” Kyuhyun smiled weakly as he closed his eyes gently,
“Because I only call you that when I’m angry with you,” she muttered as she pulled the chair closer to his bedside. She was about to sit down when she straightened, “We need to cool you down. I’ll just go grab a bowl and some towels –”
“There’s no need,” Kyuhyun murmured as he tugged his blanket up to his chin, “Mi’s getting it.”
Taeyeon blinked, “Who?”
“Mi… MiMi… Zhou Mi,” Kyuhyun muttered as he turned on his side to face her although his eyes remained closed.
“Zhou Mi… the literature teacher? Seonsaeng-nim?” Taeyeon clarified, “Since when are you on a first-name basis with Seonsaeng-nim!?”
“Since he climbed into my bed last night,” Kyuhyun buried his cheek into the pillow, relishing in the softness and warmth.
“HE WHAT!?” Taeyeon exclaimed,
“If you say it like that people will think the wrong things,” Zhou Mi admonished as he entered with a basin and fresh facecloths. He placed both objects on the bedside table before glancing at Taeyeon and noticing her narrowed eyes and sour expression. He sighed, “I did not force myself on your cousin.”
“He tells a different story!” Taeyeon argued, placing her hands on her hips and glaring up at the literature teacher,
“He is fevered and delusional!” Zhou Mi defended,
“You should see what I see when I read his mind,” Kyuhyun murmured, finally opening his eyes, “They should be illegal, Tae.”
Zhou Mi clasped a hand over Kyuhyun’s mouth as he scowled down at him, “I knew you’d bring me nothing but trouble!” Suddenly, he removed his hands, “Has your temperature gone up again!?”
“Why is it whenever my temperature goes up I feel colder?” Kyuhyun asked,
“I’m serious,” Zhou Mi strode to the door, “I’ll go get Heechul.”
Taeyeon pulled back Kyuhyun’s blanket. She submerged one facecloth in the lukewarm water and wringed it out. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she folded the cloth and draped it across Kyuhyun’s forehead after he rolled onto his back,
“Well, that was interesting,” Taeyeon mused,
“What was?” He asked as his eyelids dropped again,
“You were… teasing Seonsaeng-nim,” Taeyeon said,
“It was just… interesting,” Taeyeon replied, “You must really like him, huh?”
“I don’t even know when it started,” Kyuhyun answered, “I just realized I was trusting him with all these things and… and I don’t trust strangers. I don’t understand it, Tae, not a bit. I just remember from the first time I saw him, my body was reacting to him in… in weird ways. My heart would just start to race and it was hard to breathe. It was like I was allergic to just the sight of him.”
Taeyeon laughed softly as she reached out and brushed hair from his forehead, “Sounds like you were attracted to Seonsaeng-nim from the very beginning.”
“You seemed more upset when he was here,” Kyuhyun noticed,
“Well, I shouldn’t accept him so readily, right? Give him a challenge to gain my approval?” Taeyeon grinned, “But I trust your judgement, Kyu. If you’ve decided to trust Seonsaeng-nim, then I’m fine with that. Heck, he even convinced you to feed two Fridays ago; I can’t begrudge him too much.”
“I’ve… I’ve actually been feeding more regularly,” Kyuhyun admitted quietly,
“That’s great!” Taeyeon exclaimed, “I’ve been fighting with you about it for months and you’ve finally relented.” She sighed softly, “Kyuhyun, you have no idea how happy I am to hear that. Now you won’t be starving yourself. How many times since last time? Wait – does that mean you can see more colours?”
“Just two more times since I last told you. And I can see yellow now too, but that’s it,” Kyuhyun smiled up at her, “But two colours are better than no colours right?”
Taeyeon nodded as she took the compress from his forehead, wet and wringed it out again before replacing it on his forehead; “When you realized you couldn’t see colour, Kyuhyun… I thought you would never smile again.”
“Trust me, I didn’t think I would either,” Kyuhyun admitted. After a moment, he began, “Hey, Tae…”
“If I ever get to see more colours… do you think you can help me see outside when there’s daylight?” Kyuhyun asked tentatively, “It’s hard to see colours with no light.”
Taeyeon felt her heart constrict painfully. She smiled as brightly as she could, “Of course, Oppa.”
“Oppa? Angry again?” He offered lightly,
“I can say it when I’m not angry,” she laughed gently.
Zhou Mi entered again, sitting down in the chair with his arms crossed, “Heechul’s retreated to the library.”
“The library?” Taeyeon blinked, “Why?”
“He doesn’t know what else to do,” Zhou Mi answered, “Kyuhyun can’t take medicine, feeding isn’t helping… the only thing he has left is a blood transfusion, but that’s impossible.”
“I blame that on my parents too,” Kyuhyun muttered as he pulled his blanket back up to his chin, “Seriously, they could’ve at least given me A positive blood.”
“Wait, but Kyuri has the same blood type as you,” Taeyeon stated, “If Kyuhyun needs a blood transfusion, his sister is here and she fortunately has the same blood type!”
“I could never ask that of her,” Kyuhyun argued,
“But, Kyu –”
“No, Taeyeon,” Kyuhyun replied sternly, strongly despite his weak constitution. “Kyuri’s only started warming up to me yesterday, I’m not going to ask such a big thing from her; it’ll look like I just want her for her blood and… and I won’t let that happen again.”
“Damn it, I told you I never thought that,” Zhou Mi scowled,
“Still,” Kyuhyun murmured, turning his head away, “Just… leave Kyuri alone.”
Taeyeon slowly rose from the bed, “Well, I should get back to studying. I’ll come back before dinner. Or, I can bring my books here?”
Kyuhyun shook his head as he closed his eyes again, “I’ll just be sleeping the entire time. So tired.”
Taeyeon sighed as she bent down and brushed her lips over his warm cheek, “Fine, but actually rest, okay?” She glanced at Zhou Mi, “No strenuous activities.”
Zhou Mi rolled his eyes, “As if he’d let me.”
Taeyeon shook her head as she turned to leave.
“I’ll be back,” Zhou Mi said, “I’m just going to grab more facecloths.” He quickly sprinted after Taeyeon into the main part of the nurse’s office, “Kim-sshi, wait.”
She turned around, “Seonsaeng-nim?”
“I didn’t want to say anything but even if Kyuhyun didn’t say anything, he wouldn’t be able to get a blood transfusion,” Zhou Mi explained, “Kyuri refuses to give him her blood. Something about giving him the last thing she was able to keep from her parents.”
Taeyeon’s eyes narrowed, “How can she be so selfish? Kyuhyun’s been suffering for days and she can’t give a bit of her blood to help him?”
“I don’t know, but her feelings behind her reasoning are very concrete,” Zhou Mi said, “I’m only saying this to you because you’re her cousin… you might have more leeway in convincing her.”
“Cousin or not, Kyuri and I haven’t spoken since I was ten and things went bad,” Taeyeon replied,
“Just… talk to her,” Zhou Mi pleaded softly, “I don’t have any right to ask that of her and if I ask her, Kyuhyun will get mad.”
Taeyeon crossed her arms, raising a single eyebrow, “First of all, you didn’t have any right to ask me to talk to Kyuhyun about feeding, yet you did. Second of all, is it really that important that Kyuhyun not get mad at you? Third of all – HE’LL GET MAD AT ME!”
Zhou Mi clamped a hand over her mouth immediately, “Shh!” When he knew she would stay quiet, he lowered his hand, “I asked you and you said no anyway, so no good that did. And, yes, it’s important that Kyuhyun not get mad at me because he finally trusts me. And lastly, you and I both know he can’t get mad at you and if he does, it’s not for long.”
Taeyeon glared at him for a moment before sighing, “Fine… but I’m only doing this because I want to give her a piece of my mind anyway. How can anyone be that selfish!?”
Zhou Mi watched as she stormed away. Silently praying, he turned and retreated back to Kyuhyun’s room. He pulled the chair right up to the side of the bed and sat down, propping his arms on the mattress. He slowly and gently took off the compress from Kyuhyun’s forehead, tossing it into the basin.
“Mi?” Kyuhyun murmured,
“Go back to sleep,” Zhou Mi replied, “I just didn’t want the compress to get cold and make you sicker.”
“I’m… I’m…” Kyuhyun sighed as he turned his face away.
Zhou Mi grabbed a dry cloth and leaned his arms onto the mattress so he could dry Kyuhyun’s forehead, “You’re what? Too hot? Too cold?” Kyuhyun shook his head. He placed the cloth down beside the pillow and brought his hand to cup his cheek and turn his face towards his own, “Kyuhyun, what is it?”
Kyuhyun turned his face away from Zhou Mi’s hand but before the other could withdraw his arm, Kyuhyun brushed his lips against the inner face of the other’s wrist.
Zhou Mi stilled, “Kyuhyun, are you trying to tell me that you’re hungry?”
“Don’t make me say it,” Kyuhyun whispered, “Please…”
“Then just take what you need,” Zhou Mi insisted quietly, holding his wrist still. He barely blinked when he felt the twin pricks of Kyuhyun’s fangs into his wrist. As he watched, he was satisfied that this time, Kyuhyun was actively feeding as compared to earlier when after he bit, he just waited.
Kyuhyun felt ravenous, had never understood such gluttonous insatiability until that moment. He tasted the sweet nectar of Zhou Mi’s blood and he couldn’t get enough. His body relished in the spreading warmth from feeding and slowly, he could feel himself growing greedy. His heart was beating powerfully as he sucked rhythmically, hungrily. He wanted more and more and –
Kyuhyun immediately turned his face away from Zhou Mi’s wrist. The literature teacher immediately retracted his arm, grabbing the forgotten, dry cloth and pressing it against his wrist to stunt the flow,
“What is it? What’s wrong?” Zhou Mi asked immediately,
“I was beginning to have blood lust,” Kyuhyun explained, keeping his gaze turned away, “If I kept going, I wouldn’t have been able to stop.”
“I would have stopped you if I got too weak,” Zhou Mi insisted, “Kyuhyun, you know when you’re hungry and when your blood lust takes over, so if you still want more, then take.” He slowly lowered the cloth from his wrist, exposing the bloody bite to him, “I’ll stop you if I need to, okay?”
Reluctantly, Kyuhyun nodded, turning his head back and licking the red residue from his skin. Then he opened his mouth against his wrist and began to feed once more. His eyelids slid shut as all his thoughts focused on feeding. He felt the liquid fill his mouth and thought he had never tasted anything better than that. He was still repulsed by the idea of what he was doing, of what he was drinking and yet, his body relished in it, craved it as his senses were overwhelmed by the taste and smell of Zhou Mi’s blood.
Kyuhyun wasn’t sure how much time passed, but he was distantly aware of the brush of softness by his left temple. He felt the gently whisper of lips until they reached his ear, “If you’re still hungry, keep feeding. If not, stop now.” He felt those lips return to his temple and they pressed a kiss against the sensitive skin there.
Kyuhyun bit his lip again until he knew it bled before kissing his own blood against the bite. He licked the remnants of scarlet away before pressing a final kiss against the healed skin. Knowingly, he turned his head, his lips seeking the other’s.
“Are you trying to have your cake and eat it too?” Zhou Mi whispered as he moved his head so his mouth was on level with the younger man’s,
“No,” Kyuhyun lied as he turned his head away,
“Mhmm,” Zhou Mi murmured as he stood from the chair. He leaned over, propping a hand on the mattress on the other side of Kyuhyun as he bowed over the younger man. He lowered his head until his lips brushed against the others, “You can’t just start and stop like that. That’s just mean.”
Without a word, Kyuhyun turned his head completely to face Zhou Mi’s so the other didn’t have to reach so far. If his body delighted in the taste of the other’s blood, it gloried in Zhou Mi’s kiss. Slowly, weakly, his arms slipped from beneath the covers, only able to raise his right hand enough to slide around Zhou Mi’s neck and rest at the nape. With his left arm, Kyuhyun slowly hooked his elbow over his hand since his left hand was still injured. His arms, although weak, held Zhou Mi still, holding his lips firmly against his own.
Zhou Mi had to prop one knee on the mattress to keep himself balanced. His tongue traced the seam of the other’s lips until Kyuhyun parted them. He slipped his tongue into Kyuhyun’s mouth, deepening the kiss. He tasted the tangy sweetness of the younger man’s mouth and the slight tinge of copper from his own blood. He felt the slow, tentative prodding of the other’s tongue and he felt his heart contract at how endearing it was to him. He knew it was difficult for Kyuhyun to trust, but to show such an attempt at intimacy touched him deeply.
Slowly, he withdrew from the kiss, his lips but a whisper on the other’s lips. He turned his head slightly to the left, brushing his lips against Kyuhyun’s bandaged hand, which was nearby. When he looked back down at the other, his eyes were open in silent questioning.
“You’re still sick, Kyuhyun, and still injured,” Zhou Mi said softly, “I don’t want to exhaust you or hurt you more than you already are.”
“But we’re just kissing. I can’t get that tired or hurt from kissing,” Kyuhyun blinked, “Can I?”
Zhou Mi laughed softly, “Not from just kissing… but if we kept kissing, I’d want to keep going and… well, you’ve seen my thoughts.”
“Yes, and I see them now,” Kyuhyun admitted, an accusatory light in his dark eyes, “Well, can you hold me again like this morning? That… that felt nice.”
“Of course,” Zhou Mi replied swiftly as he slowly slipped onto the bed, lying beside the younger man, his arm slipping beneath Kyuhyun’s head so it was pillowed in the hollow of his shoulder; “You’re lucky I was planning on sleeping the day away.”
“Otherwise you wouldn’t do this?” Kyuhyun asked tentatively as he loosely crossed his arms around his torso, his left hand cradled in his right arm,
“Oh, I would, but I would be lying here awake with nothing to do and then your dreams would be filled with my active thoughts,” Zhou Mi teased lightly as he gently pulled the other flush against him,
“They already are,” Kyuhyun murmured as he allowed his body to relax alongside Zhou Mi’s, his eyes fluttering close. Suddenly, he raised his head from Zhou Mi’s shoulder, his eyes wide, alarmed and locked with the others, “Will you get in trouble for this? What if Heechul comes in?”
“Whatever happens in the nurse’s office, Heechul knows about,” Zhou Mi insisted as he reached over and gently pushed Kyuhyun’s head back against his shoulder, “And other than your cousin – and perhaps Sungmin-sshi – no one else has a reason to come in here.”
“What about my sister?” Kyuhyun prompted, his fatigue sweeping through him despite feeding just moments ago,
“Kibum-sshi will hold her back,” Zhou Mi replied, “Just rest.”
“You’ll wake me up if you have to leave?” Kyuhyun muttered,
“Of course,” Zhou Mi promised, “Just rest, okay? Just rest.”
Kyuhyun slightly, sleepily nodded his head against the other’s shoulder. A silence fell upon them as Zhou Mi awaited to hear the even breathing of the other. He could feel his own tiredness threading through his body and, before he surrendered to its sweet call, he heard a few whispered words, which were infinitely sweeter:
“Thank you, Mi.”
The knock at the door pulled her out of her reverie. She was sitting at the desk in her room on her laptop trying to think up treatments for Kyuhyun. Curiously, she slowly rose from her chair and walked over to the door. Who could it be? If it had been Kibum, he wouldn’t have wasted with such pleasantries. She opened the door and she could swear that her heart had stopped.
“Taeyeon… what are you doing here?”
“How can you be so selfish?” Taeyeon demanded, her hands fisted at her sides,
“Excuse me?” Kyuri replied,
“Kyuhyun is suffering and all you need to do is give a litre of your blood and you’re refusing? Because of some childish selfishness to keep everything to yourself?” Taeyeon demanded,
“Don’t talk about what you don’t understand,” Kyuri grounded out,
“Oh, I understand just fine,” Taeyeon replied, “You’re angry at Kyuhyun because of what happened to you and now you’re withholding your blood even though you know it will save him!”
“There are other ways to treat him without a blood transfusion,” Kyuri argued,
“But that takes time that Kyuhyun may not have,” Taeyeon replied, “I know you were hurt by Kyuhyun in the past –”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Kyuri replied, turning away,
“Yes, you do. You know exactly what I’m talking about because it happened right before we fought seven years ago,” Taeyeon stated, “You came back and you tried to talk to Kyuhyun but he walked away and that hurt you. And because of that, you still can’t forgive him, even when he’s half-way to death!”
“I don’t care about what happened, because,” Kyuri insisted, “I don’t care about Kyuhyun. But, I will not let him die. I will find a way to help him, but I will not use my blood to do so.”
“It’s obvious you still care about him,” Taeyeon argued,
“What?” Kyuri spun around to face her again,
“He still means something to you and that’s why he still has the ability to hurt you. If he truly didn’t mean anything to you – as you claim – then you wouldn’t ever spare any emotions on him,” Taeyeon countered, “You wouldn’t fight with him or get angry at him or defend him like I heard you did when your father came.
“I know your life was hard, and when you did visit – no, when you came home, that it was hard because Kyuhyun never spoke to you and I never tried and for that, I’m sorry. I was naïve and selfish and the last thing I wanted was to share Kyuhyun with one more person. But don’t let Kyuhyun suffer because of the mistakes we all made when we were children,” Taeyeon begged, her big eyes filling with tears, “He is your brother. He is your twin. And he needs you.”
Kyuri gritted her teeth to stop her jaw from trembling with the cries she was withholding. Her hands slowly curled into fists as she tried to keep strong, tried to keep still. She swallowed hard, feeling a lump form in her throat as her heart pounded against her ribcage. She had spoken to her cousin once in her life before and it had ended in yelling and tears on both sides. However, seven years later, her cousin was able to pinpoint exactly what had been burning in the back of her mind since the moment she laid eyes on her twin once again.
Taeyeon, frustrated, turned to leave,
“T-Taeyeon,” Kyuri called out hesitantly, “I’m sorry for hurting you all those years ago.”
Taeyeon’s eyes widened slightly before she nodded, “Same… just… just help Kyuhyun.”
Kyuri slowly walked to the door as Taeyeon walked away. She leaned her back against the doorframe as her cousin disappeared down the hallway and then into a stairwell. The door opposite hers opened and Kibum filled the doorway,
“I heard some angry voices,” he said as he strode over, leaning his back against the other side of the doorframe, “Who was here?”
“My cousin,” Kyuri answered, her eyes pulling away from where she last saw her,
Kibum raised an eyebrow, “Your cousin? Any other family members I should know about?”
Kyuri shook her head, “My cousin, Taeyeon, is an only child and then my aunt and uncle… my aunt is my mother’s sister.”
“For someone who claimed to be like me, you have quite a lot of family,” Kibum said lightly as he reached out, took her hand and pulled her across the doorway to him.
Kyuri fell into his arms, leaning her head against the hollow of his shoulder, she said quietly, “I never thought I’d ever willingly give my blood to a vampire.”
“He’s your brother,” Kibum stated,
“I never thought I’d ever willingly give my blood to my brother, either,” Kyuri stated, tilting her head to look up at him,
“So, you admit he’s your brother?” Kibum smiled down at her,
“Well, I’m giving him one-fifth of my blood, so I might as well own up to our relationship,” Kyuri replied lightly, “He’ll be okay after that, so we can prepare to go back to Japan in a day or two.”
Kibum blinked but said nothing.
“I told you both to leave her alone,” Kyuhyun stated, sitting in a bed in the main part of the nurse’s office. Kyuhyun, too tired from the entire day to sit, remained lying supine in the bed. Zhou Mi sat in a chair at his bedside while Taeyeon sat on the edge of his bed,
“How could I have done anything?” Zhou Mi asked, “I was with you this entire time.”
Taeyeon threw him a glare before looking at her cousin, “Kyuhyun, you know I love you, right?”
Kyuhyun looked up at her, slanting her a look, “Yes… what’s your angle?”
“And you know I would never do anything if I thought it could hurt you, right?” Taeyeon said lightly,
“You said that before, you can’t use it every time you do something I don’t like,” Kyuhyun replied.
“I’m just saying, would I deliberately go against your will?” Taeyeon asked innocently as Zhou Mi’s jaw dropped,
He paused and looked over as his sister walked over, silent, arms crossed and her eyes on the other side of him. Kibum and Heechul pushed the bed next to his own closer so they could take the blood from Kyuri and then just transfer the blood directly without having to move the litre bag.
Kyuri blinked and then looked down at her brother, as if sensing his gaze, “What?”
“Which of them asked you to do this?” Kyuhyun questioned, “They’re both blaming the other because I asked them to leave you alone.”
Kyuri blinked before narrowing her eyes, “And why do you think I’m not doing this out of the goodness of my heart!?”
Kyuhyun slanted a look, “You’ve only acknowledged our relationship once – yesterday when you called me ‘oppa’ – and why would you willingly give a vampire your blood? That’s a bit hypocritical, isn’t it?”
“Well maybe I’m a hypocrite then!” She exclaimed angrily, “And for the record, I am NOT giving my blood to a vampire, I’m giving it to my brother.” She began to storm around the room towards the other bed that Kibum and Heechul had finished moving, “Ungrateful brat… won’t take things that are given to him.”
“Kyuri,” Kyuhyun waited until his twin looked over at him, “Thank you.”
She blinked and then turned away so she could sit on the bed and kick off her shoes, “Yes… well… don’t look too much into it.”
“I’m going to have to ask those who don’t need to be here to leave,” Heechul stated as he pulled back his long hair into a ponytail, “So, anyone who isn’t giving or receiving blood – leave.”
Kibum stood by Kyuri’s bedside, arms crossed and silently unrelenting. Kyuri swung her legs onto the mattress and laid down. She looked up at him, “Kibum, you don’t have to stay.” When he looked at her, saying nothing, she sighed, “Okay, stupid comment.”
“I’m not –”
“Staying,” Kyuhyun interjected. When Taeyeon swung her gaze to him accusatorily, he said swiftly, “Exams start tomorrow. Go study.”
“I can bring my books here,” Taeyeon grounded out,
“You and I both know you won’t be able to concentrate if you study here,” Kyuhyun said sternly before adding softly, “I’ll be fine.”
Taeyeon hopped off the bed, narrowing her eyes, “Fine, but I’ll come visit you before I go to bed.”
“As if I could stop you,” Kyuhyun muttered with a roll of his eyes.
Heechul turned his eyes to the literature teacher who stared simple back, “No.”
“You were up all last night, go sleep,” Heechul crossed his arms,
“I’m fully rested, I assure you,” Zhou Mi stated, his gaze slowly drifting back to Kyuhyun, who reddened immediately.
“Fine,” Heechul’s eyes drifted back and forth between the twins, “I’ll begin by extracting the blood from Kyuri, measuring out a litre. I don’t want to take out too much, that’s the standard and – hopefully – that’ll be enough to jumpstart Kyuhyun’s self-rehabilitation. Afterwards, I’ll begin the transfusion. The transfusion itself will take a few hours because we don’t want to be pumping a litre into your body because that will put a stress on your heart and your vessels. Any questions?”
When no one said anything, Heechul walked off to gather the materials. The four people remained silent as Heechul returned and began the process of extracting the blood from Kyuri. He placed a small machine on the ground between the beds, which weighed the litre bag and gently rocked back and forth to keep the blood mixed. Using Kyuri’s left arm, he inserted the cannula and attached a tub to the litre bag. Slowly, the bag began to gain dark liquid.
“Kyuri, after this is done I want you to stay for at least a quarter hour okay?” She nodded in silent response, “Zhou Mi, can you grab something from the kitchens? Fruit, water, juice – something that will keep Kyuri from fainting afterwards; she’ll need nourishment to replace her drop in fluid volume.”
Zhou Mi nodded as he rose from his chair. He reached over, brushing his finger tips over Kyuhyun’s forehead. He pulled out a facecloth from a basin, which was on the bedside table, wringed it out, and then, folded and draped it on the younger man’s forehead, “If I get sick, I’m blaming you.” And with that, he walked out.
Heechul grabbed the now-empty chair, pulling it so it was between the two beds. Sitting down, he sat back, loosely folding his arms and crossing one knee over the other, “Ah, you’re a slow bleeder.”
“It helps when I’m on the field,” Kyuri replied dryly. She turned her head on the pillow to glare at her brother, “Damn vampire, you better appreciate this.”
“I was your brother a few moments ago,” Kyuhyun argued,
“You’ve been demoted,” Kyuri replied,
“Kyuri,” Kibum said simply, plainly, his eyes casting a silent warning.
She said nothing, but looked away, allowing her eyes to close as the blood slowly left her arm. Kyuhyun and Heechul watched with silent wonder. Finally, Kyuhyun broke the silence,
“You need to show me how you do that, sometime.”
(Phase 14: My Wish for You)