Sometimes Hankyung missed China. Even though he had made fast friends with some of the people at his school, he sometimes felt different- out of sync with the world around him. He felt that way this morning.
He had made friends with Siwon first. He was quiet in his classes, but his eyes that seemed to be a deep and endless tunnel of black took in everything around him. They started talking and from then on nothing could separate them. Through Siwon he met Leeteuk who despite his extremely feminine looks was the one who had been through the most girls. He met Kangin and Heechul who were both kind of odd in there own way but they ment well…most of the time. The previous summer he had given in to their constant pressuring to live together in the dorms. Sometimes Hankyung found himself regretting that decision.
He had woken up to find himself lying half-on half-off his bed, the blankets hopelessly tangled around his legs and his pillow nowhere to be found. He screwed his eyes shut in an attempt to ignore the light that shone red through his eyelids.
Please, just a little bit longer…
Just ignore it. Pretend you don’t understand and he’ll go away.
His cheek brushed something soft and he turned his face into it effectively blocking the light. Unfortunately it could do nothing for his ears.
“Haankyuung! Move your laying on my underwear!”
Hankyung’s eyes shot open as the oh so soft sheet was yanked out from under his face leaving his face to smack nose first into the floor.
“Thanks Hankyung, you should get your stuff ready too. It’s laundry day.”
It was then he realized that what he had thought was a blanket was in fact a pair of Heechul’s white boxers with little winged pigs all over them. The second realization Hankyung had was that this wasn’t going to be a good day at all. The third realization was that Heechul had tried to make himself breakfast which would explain the choking metallic smell in the air.
And where there is smoke, there is usually…
Heechul’s face poked out from around door, a worried crease between his eyebrows.
“Erm, Hankyung-sshi? Do you know where the fire extinguisher is?”
An hour and a half later after opening all of the windows in the dorm and safely discarding of the unidentifiable mass that was to be Heechul’s breakfast Hankyung began making his own breakfast, or rather everyone else’s breakfast to be exact. Everyone seemed to love his Chinese cooking and thought nothing of asking him to whip them up something, and usually he didn’t mind. But for some reason Hankyung found himself becoming irritated at Kangin, Heechul and Leeteuk who were conversing in very fast Korean at the table. A little of what they were saying was lost on him, and his mind wandered. He gazed out the window. The weather lady said it was supposed to be a nice day today, no rain almost eighty degrees.
“I’m going out for a while.” His soft voice was lost on the three in front of him. They didn’t hear him and continued with their conversation. None of them noticed the pot of fried rice that was boiling over. It was only when they heard the solid slamming of the front door that the conversation paused.
Leeteuk glanced at Kangin, “What’s up with him”
The conversation slowly started up again.
People jostled and bumped against him as they moved past in a blur of colors. A cacophony of sound assaulted his ears as he searched for somewhere, anywhere where he could sit in quiet. A glimpse of green that signaled a park, and he cut a path determinedly towards it.
He didn’t notice the figure following in his wake.
Siwon struggled under the weight of the groceries shifting them to one arm trying to fish his key out of his pocket. His searching fingers found nothing. He hefted the bags up again and kicked at the door. The dorm door opened to reveal Kangin with a decidedly relieved look on his face.
“Hankyung! Your-…not Hankyung.”
“Nope. Last time I checked I definitely wasn’t.”
“Aish.” He let Siwon in to the apartment and walked with him to the kitchen. Kangin ran his fingers through his hair, something he only did when he was upset. “Have you seen Hankyung?”
“No why?” Siwon set the bags on the counter. He turned to see the mess of rice oozing over the top of the stove to splatter to the floor. “How long has he been gone?”
“I don’t know three, maybe four hours?”
Siwon turned and walked towards the door. “I’m going out.”
Siwon’s gaze was level and faintly accusatory when he glanced back at Kangin.
“I’m going to find him.”
“Excuse me, but may I sit here?”
Hankyung looked up at the tall handsome man who had spoken to him.
“Of course.” Hankyung moved down on the bench so the younger man might sit.
“My name is Seung Wan.” He held out his hand to Hankyung, who took it shyly.
“Hankyung.” Junsoo smiled and Hankyung felt a funny fluttering feeling in the bottom of his stomach.
“Do you come to this park often then?” He felt a flush coming to his cheeks when his eyes met Seung Wan’s dark brown ones.
“When I want to get away and think I do.” He gestured with his hand, “Sometimes a person needs time to themselves. Don’t you agree?”
Hankyung had forgotten all about his problems and missing his homeland. The two had continued talking animatedly, until Hankyung realized that the sun was setting. The sky had turned a deep blood red and was spreading across the horizon.
Hankyung stood. “I didn’t realize how late it is, I’m sorry but I really have to go.”
Seung Wan clutched his elbow. “We were having such a good time, why don’t I take you to dinner?”
There was that funny feeling in the pit of his stomach again. He smiled
at the handsome man and he was half tempted to accept the offer just for the chance to watch this man speak. He seemed so sure of his place in the world, so confident.
“No thanks I really ought to be getting back.” He didn’t want to worry his friends too much. He turned to walk away and his arm was caught again.
“Why don’t you come with me? You said yourself how it feels like sometimes your roommates don’t appreciate you, we could talk some more and then I’ll take you home myself.”
Something about Sung Wan’s voice unnerved Hankyung. And his eyes had hardened, no longer soft and kind. Hankyung now recognized that feeling in his stomach as apprehension, and most definitely not attraction.
“Look I’ll be fine. It was nice meeting you.” He tried to move away quickly and not give away the fact that he was nervous.
Again he was pulled back by the arm, this time it was painful and he felt the sharp cold edge of a blade at his side.
“You are coming with me. Now. You are not going to scream. You are not going to run, because then I would have to cut your pretty face and that would ruin our fun.”
Hankyung had never felt so helpless in his life.
Where is he?
Siwon had a right to be frustrated. He had been searching for his friend for two hours now. Two hours and nothing had turned up.
His stomach growled painfully. He had forgotten to eat lunch.
Another person passed him, and he tried to stop him and succeeded for a moment.
“Excuse me have you seen-“ and the man moved on.
“Damn it.” Siwon growled under his breath. “Where the hell are you Hankyung?”
He didn’t have time to think about where he would look next. His thoughts were interrupted by a scream coming from the park across the street. Any other logical person probably would have called the police, but Siwon wasn’t thinking logically at the moment and he ran to help whoever it was that was in trouble.
“Help! Help! He has a knife!”
Hankyung was thankful for the other voice that rose in his defence when he had most assuredly lost his own. The old woman had guts thats for sure.
Seung Wan strode across the path dragging Hankyung with him.
“You shouldn’t have done that old woman. You should have read the sign. This part of the park is closed.”
Seung Wan had brought Hankyung to a part of the park that looked to be deserted because of the explosion of a gas line that ran under the park a few days ago. Nevertheless some people continued to cut through this section of the park on their way home, to work or wherever else they were going.
The woman cowered near a large tree clutching the remains of her shopping bag, her face as wrinkled as a raisin. Sweet buns and ingredients for Kimchi had scattered when she had turned wildly to scream for help.
The light from the setting sun glinted off of the blade Seung Wan held out threateningly.
“Seung wan, Seung- whatever your thinking, don’t do it okay?” Hankyung tried to reason with the young man.
The older boy turned and before Hankyung knew what was happening he was on the ground and his jaw was throbbing. He reached up and his fingers came away covered in blood.
“Well this is not how I planned this at all. Now I’m going to have to kill you. Why did you have to go and make things so complicated? Stupid old woman. Don’t make me come after you. Damn it! Come here!”
All Hankyung could see was red. Rivers of it, waves of it. Flooding the ground, soaking the earth beneath the tree. Blood. He was drowning in it. There was silence now.
There was silence.
It was growing darker now and it was harder to see in the shadow of the trees. Still Siwon ran on in the direction the scream came from.
Seung Wan was still bent over the woman’s body.
Hankyung’s hands sought purchase on the rough ground to push himself up as quietly as he could, his fingers brushed a rock roughly the size of his fist and he grasped it tightly. The sinews of his arm stood out and his knuckles whitened as he stood.
A twig cracked some feet away and Seung Wan spun to face it. No one was there.
Hankyung took his chance and threw the rock praying to the gods that it would hit him.
The gods weren’t listening. The rock grazed the man’s temple. Dazing him for a moment.
“Stupid! That was a very, very stupid thing for you to do.” Seung Wan’s face was cruelly distorted and started walking towards the young man who stared at him with the eyes of a deer caught in headlights.
He was coming closer.
His legs finally cooperated with him and he took off running, afraid to look back. He could hear Seung Wan behind him breathing hard and shouting.
”Damn it Hankyung hold still! I promise it’ll be easier for you than that old bitch!”
Hankyung gave into temptation and looked back to see the crazed face of the man following him. He didn’t see the root that had wormed its way up from the earth before it was too late and he was face down in the hard ground.
The heavy footsteps were closer.
“I thought you were different. I saw you with the others, you know. They were all pretty young things with not a thought in their head. But you-you were special.”
A boot stood near his ear, a squelching of leather as Seung Wan bent down.
“Was I wrong?”
He ran the bloody blade along Hankyung’s jaw. He flinched
“You’re shaking. You certainly are pretty. It’s too bad. We could’ve had fun.”
“No we couldn’t. Your sick, you know that?”
The leather squelched again and the boot disappeared from view. He relaxed.
Then the pain at his side. It spread like fire, and he screamed. Sung Wan smothered his screams beneath his hands.
“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” He beat at Hankyung’s face again and again.
“P-please-“ Hankyung coughed blood on to the ground.
Stall him. Think of something. Anything. Think!
“S-Sung Wan-sshi why are you doing this?”
The younger man paused and stared at him as though it should be completely obvious. It was getting harder for Hankyung to breath with Seung Wan sitting on his chest. The world was starting to spin. His stomach turned when he felt Seung Wan’s bloody hand caress his cheek.
“Isn’t it obvious? I care for you. Ever since I first saw you I knew that we were going to be together forever.” His breath was sour and harsh on Hankyung’s ear. “I wanted you to dance for me. Only me. Every time I would see you with your so-called friends, it made me sick. And now we will be together forever, just in a different way. Don’t worry though, you won’t be alone long.” He pressed his lips to Hankyung's forehead in an ironic gesture of affection.
Please let it end soon. Please.
The knife flashed and sliced again. This time at his thigh.
Siwon could see them.
He could see the red that shone bright in the moonlight.
The rage was building. His eyes dilated, he couldn’t think. He grabbed a thick branch that had been left behind when the landscapers had come through the park. He moved like an animal. Silent. Deadly. He smelled blood and it drove him into a rage.
Seung Wan didn’t see it coming.
The huge branch hit his head with a hollow thunk. He screamed and turned enraged to face his attacker. His mouth caught the rough edge of the branch. The large piece of wood came down again and again and again. His face was reduced to a mass of red pulp. He lay still and Siwon could not stop hitting him. He fell to his knees exhausted and realized that he was crying.
He was an angel. Surrounded by silver light. That’s what Hankyung thought.
But then again his vision was fuzzy, so he couldn’t really be sure.
The angel spoke in a gruff voice that broke.
“Hankyung-sshi? I’m going to take care of you from now on.”
And then there was darkness.