My name is Kim Myungsoo. I am 17, kinda tall, with really black hair, and what you should know about me is that I’m really awkward. Sure, people have told me that I’m handsome—which, I am—but my lack of grace usually turns people off.
That is why everyone around me is in a relationship and I’m still single.
You know what makes it worse? The fact that there’s this new transfer student who is ridiculously beautiful he’s almost glowing. He probably is glowing, since his skin is so pale too. That jawline could probably cut someone if they got too close. And that nose... That nose. Surely it’s sculpted by the gods.
So I just spent the entire morning looking at him because he’s in Chemistry with me, and good lord, how the hell is anyone that attractive? Is it even humanly possible to look like that? Dreamy sighs for the next hundred years.
I’m conveniently seated at the last row of the class, in the corner, so the only empty seat left was next to me. I’m lucky like that. Okay, no, I’m not. Not even close to being this lucky, so I really ought to thank all my lucky stars. Pretty sure it took twenty million of them to come together to do this.
Yeah, beautiful transfer student is sitting next to me, and damn, his eyes are so lovely, with such an intense gaze, his eyelashes so thick, so long... I can honestly just stare into those eyes forever... Although forever is a long time, but yeah...
Myungsoo blinks. Then he blinks a few more times. He frowns. There is something wrong with this. Unless there is some sort of inception happening in his dream, this should not be happening. The scene has changed—why is he still looking at the transfer student’s gorgeous eyes?
Myungsoo jumps as he turns away rapidly. The chair gives a loud screech and the entire class looks at him, including the teacher. Myungsoo furrows his brows and pretends to be very diligently taking down notes, before looking up with a puzzled look, as if wondering why everyone is looking at him when he’s just being a good student.
It seems to work, because they all look away, and the teacher carries on talking about some chemical equation that Myungsoo had heard none of because he fell asleep earlier and now knows nothing about. Ah, well, he’ll just catch up later, or ask one of his hyungs if he has to. One of them has to know something.
There is a more pressing problem, though. That is, how did the transfer student end up sitting next to him? He wasn’t there in the morning when class started. In fact, he wasn’t even there when Chemistry started. This is very, very puzzling. And disturbing. Because he was staring at Myungsoo when Myungsoo had dozed off, with his face pressed against his opened textbook.
Myungsoo would ask the guy himself, but he’s too scared and embarrassed to, so he just looks at his textbook for the rest of class.
When he subtly sneaks a glance at the transfer student, Myungsoo almost heaves an audible sigh of relief, because he finally isn’t looking anymore. It’s still baffling that he’s there, though. Maybe he’s taking an extra Science than the regular two that most of the Science students have. Or maybe he’s older and he flunked Chemistry so he has to redo it.
Either way, the only time Myungsoo has actually seen him is in the canteen where he and his slightly taller brother—they look nothing like each other and it confuses Myungsoo a lot—have been keeping to themselves in a corner for the past week and still manage to be the talk of the school. That’s the only reason Myungsoo even knows there’re new transfer students. They don’t usually get much attention.
Myungsoo spends the rest of the class trying not to draw attention to himself, slouching so far down in his chair his butt is already at the edge of it as he almost becomes one with the chair. So when class is over and everyone jumps up to leave, Myungsoo falls off the chair and onto his butt.
Way to go, Kim Myungsoo. He silently curses himself in his head as he tries to get up.
At least his chair does not crash on the floor. That would have made it worse.
Then a hand presents itself in front of him. Myungsoo looks up and blushes before he knows he is blushing. He lowers his head and debates with himself for about five seconds before he grabs the hand. The hand is so soft and so beautiful—those long and slender fingers, good lord—and cold. Maybe the air-conditioning is too strong—
Anyway, so transfer student pulls Myungsoo up to his feet, and that is also when Myungsoo realizes it is he who had caught the chair before it tumbled, since he’s still holding onto it with a hand. Myungsoo blinks in slight puzzlement, then mumbles his thanks before running away. He literally runs out of the class, squeezing his way through the doorway with his classmates that are walking through it and earning himself a few curses in response.
So Myungsoo’s day at school ends with him not knowing the name of the person sitting next to him for two hours of class, making a fool of himself more than once in said class and in front of said person, and also not knowing why on earth said person was sitting with him in said class. Myungsoo concludes that he is a failure.
He conveys this very important finding to his best friends at dinner later that day.
Sungjong says nothing and just stares at him blankly.
Dongwoo laughs and pats his back good-naturedly. “It’s okay, Soo, we know—”
“Well...” Sungjong suddenly pipes up.
“Well what?” Myungsoo raises his brows at Sungjong expectantly.
“I heard the one in your class requested to move to your class. Not sure why though.”
“And the taller brother’s name is Sungyeol. No clue on the other one. He evidently keeps to himself a lot. Sungyeol actually talks a lot when he’s not with that one, but the topic of his brother’s name hasn’t come up yet.”
“How do you know all that?”
“Sungyeol’s in his class and they went out—” Dongwoo says before he is rudely cut off by a hand to his mouth.
Sungjong smiles sweetly at Myungsoo.
Myungsoo stares at Sungjong for what seems like ten seconds. “Okay, but why are you wearing a turtleneck in the middle of summer?”
The request to transfer to Myungsoo’s class is real, as Myungsoo finds out the next day. Because transfer student is sitting in the same classroom as him from morning.
Myungsoo does a double take when he enters class and sees the guy already in his seat. He tries to walk casually to his seat, quietly slotting his bag into the drawer under the table and slides into his seat. He needs to talk to this guy today. So he must start now.
But he wouldn’t be Kim Myungsoo if he didn’t start his day with something dumb. Or, something almost dumb. He accidentally smacks his hand into his pencil case and sends several pens flying, and Myungsoo thinks, that’s it, his classmates are going to laugh at him again. What’s new anyway, right?
It doesn’t happen. Transfer student catches all the pens—every single one of them—and puts them back in Myungsoo’s pencil case wordlessly.
Myungsoo looks at his pens, then looks at the transfer student, then looks at his pens again. His eyes are still widened when he stares at the transfer student with a genuinely shocked expression, only regaining his ability of speech and mumbling his thanks after half a minute. Transfer student merely nods in response and Myungsoo inwardly kicks himself for being lame. He needs to start talking to transfer student right about now.
So Myungsoo clears his throat a bit and starts. “Um.” Good job, Kim Myungsoo.
The transfer student finally turns to look at him.
“Hi... I’m... Kim Myungsoo.” Myungsoo extends his hand towards the guy.
The guy grips it and nods curtly. “Kim Sunggyu.”
“Oh, hello, Sunggyu.” Myungsoo shakes his hand weakly, noticing that it still feels cold.
“I’m actually older than you, you might want to append ‘hyung’ after that.” Sunggyu says as he pulls his hand back.
“Oh... Hello, Sunggyu hyung.”
“I didn’t have to repeat a year for failing any subject, in case you’re wondering. I move around a lot and skipped a couple of years of school.”
“Oh...” And suddenly Myungsoo realizes what he is saying again, and feels dumb. So he’s just going to sit here and keep saying ‘oh’ at everything transfer student says to him. That’s just great, Kim Myungsoo. Wait, no, transfer student has a name now. Sunggyu.
But Sunggyu doesn’t continue, and Myungsoo’s left staring at him like a lovelorn fool for a few seconds before he quickly looks away because holy shit, Sunggyu meets his gaze and holds it for as long as Myungsoo looks. It is really unnerving, as if Sunggyu is looking into his soul.
Myungsoo crosses his arms on the desk and lays his chin on his arm. This is going to be a long, long day.
If Myungsoo was conscious of Sunggyu sitting next to him the day before, he is extra conscious of that fact today, and keeps trying to avoid any form of contact with him, even though their elbows keep brushing against each other’s.
And Myungsoo continues to be this way until the weekend. He spends the past few days attempting to keep out of Sunggyu’s way, yet they almost always end up catching each other’s eye and it results in them just staring quietly for a few moments before Myungsoo—it is always Myungsoo—averts his gaze first, lowering his head with a dark blush.
It is weird, though, because Sunggyu miraculously disappeared right before they had physical education class and they had to go onto the outdoors track for a run, and nobody had said anything about it. The teacher didn’t question it as well. But when they had returned to class, Sunggyu was sitting there all prepared for the next lesson.
Myungsoo wanted to ask him why, but the opportunity didn’t present itself.
And the number of times Sunggyu has saved him from embarrassment is also astounding. Myungsoo counted, and it’s 12 times, give or take. He might have missed some smaller moments.
On Friday, finally, Myungsoo thinks he should maybe attempt to be sociable and be a friendly classmate—also an excuse to find out more about Sunggyu, quite frankly, because he’s starting to get curious. So he turns to Sunggyu after class and tries to ask him if he wants to maybe have dinner together, since Sunggyu always escapes during break time and continues sitting with his brother, but Sunggyu is already gone.
Myungsoo swears Sunggyu was still there before he turned his head because he can feel Sunggyu’s presence next to him. But he’s gone now. Myungsoo looks at the empty seat and blinks. Maybe Sunggyu was in a rush.
Myungsoo ends up at dinner with Sungjong, who’s a year younger than him, and Dongwoo, who’s a year older. The three of them have been best friends since forever, and Myungsoo can’t even remember why.
Sungjong judges him with furrowed brows when Myungsoo tells them his original plan of having dinner with Sunggyu. “So we’re just back-up. We’re second choice. I see how it is now, Kim Myungsoo.”
Myungsoo shakes his head fervently, but judges Sungjong right back for wearing yet another ridiculous turtleneck by eyeing it skeptically. “That’s not what I meant!”
Dongwoo laughs and pats his head.
“If you keep being that cute though, I’m sure that Sunggyu guy will warm up to you. Nobody can resist cutie pie Myungsoo.” Sungjong says once he’s done acting mad.
Myungsoo honestly will never get used to Sungjong being judgmental or know when he’s being serious or not, and sometimes he feels really bad that he can’t tell, especially since they’ve been friends for so long. Then again he’s probably just clueless, as Sungjong always says he is.
“You’ve been talking about him endlessly the past few days, though.” Sungjong adds casually.
“I have?” Myungsoo purses his lips before he puffs out his cheeks in resignation. “Yes, okay, I have. I can’t help it if he’s really hot, though!”
“Attractive transfer student saving the beautiful damsel in distress—”
“You like him.” Dongwoo interrupts, his matter of fact tone making Myungsoo a little uneasy.
“Shush! I— I don’t—”
Dongwoo shakes his head and laughs before he gets distracted by the fries that are just brought to their table and digs in excitedly.
“He’s really hot, okay!”
“Okay, Soo, we get it.” Dongwoo’s voice comes out all muffled because he put too many fries in his mouth. Then he reaches over and stuffs a couple of fries into Myungsoo’s mouth.
Myungsoo whines, but chews on the fries he’s given.
So maybe he does like the guy, but that doesn’t mean the guy likes him back. Even if they gazed into each other’s eyes for countless times. Nah, that definitely doesn’t mean anything. Myungsoo has a habit of staring, so maybe the guy had one too. And Sunggyu’s definitely just being helpful when he saved Myungsoo all those times, that’s what a nice classmate should do, anyway.
Yeah, that has to be it. After all, Sunggyu never made any effort to communicate with Myungsoo otherwise, after the time Myungsoo introduced himself.
Myungsoo wishes he had it as easy as Sungjong. Speaking of—
“Are you still going out with the Sungyeol guy?”
Sungjong purses his lips and shrugs. “We went out a couple of times. That’s all.”
“Does he say anything about Sunggyu?”
Sungjong frowns and pokes Myungsoo’s forehead with a slender finger that makes Myungsoo think of Sunggyu’s. “If you want to know about Sunggyu, go and talk to him.”
Dongwoo nods in complete agreement.
“Oh, look, speak of the devil. He’s over there.” Sungjong suddenly pipes up.
Myungsoo follows his gaze and whips his head back immediately.
“And he seems to be alone.” Sungjong adds for good measure.
Dongwoo nudges Myungsoo.
“There’s your chance!”
“What am I going to say to him?”
“‘Hi, I’m Myungsoo and I believe we have chemistry together.’” Sungjong says in his best imitation of Myungsoo’s nasal anime voice.
Dongwoo starts guffawing after a moment and he exchanges a high-five with Sungjong, who merely grins at Myungsoo, now glaring at both of them. Honestly, he doesn’t even know why he is even best friends with such horrible people.
“Okay,” Dongwoo manages to say while still wheezing from laughter, “Don’t say that but go over to him anyway.”
“Buy him a coffee or something.”
Sungjong and Dongwoo very rudely do not even give Myungsoo a chance to consider this before they just stand up from their seats, taking their iced lattes with them, and leave after waving to Myungsoo. Sungjong mouths ‘good luck’ at him and Dongwoo blows him a kiss.
Myungsoo slumps over the table, covering his face with his hands. Nah, he’s never going to make it. If he even tried going up to Sunggyu, Myungsoo is so sure something bad will happen. For example, he might trip and fall onto Sunggyu (which may actually not turn out to be a bad thing, possibly), or some girl might magically appear the moment Myungsoo tries to speak to Sunggyu because there’s no reason for Sunggyu to be alone at a coffee place on a Friday night, is there?
It turns out there is, because when Myungsoo finally looks up, Sunggyu’s in front of him. Myungsoo yelps in surprise before he can stop himself. Then he puts a hand on his heart and tries to calm himself.
“Sorry, did I scare you?”
“Uh, no.” Myungsoo lies. It’s such a blatant lie that Myungsoo regrets saying it the moment the word leaves his lips.
But, it brings out just a hint of a smile on Sunggyu’s face, a slight upturned corner of his lips, and Myungsoo doesn’t regret it anymore. Sunggyu keeps quiet after that.
“So... you’re here by yourself?”
“Where’s your brother?”
“If you’re going to just sit there and not say anything, why did you come and sit with me in the first place?”
Sunggyu raises his brows, blinking a couple of times as his eyes widen a little, just enough to make him look taken aback, which he probably is.
Myungsoo bites on his lip and looks elsewhere. Maybe that came out sounding more harsh than he intended to be. He is genuinely starting to get annoyed, though. As much as Myungsoo is attracted to him, Myungsoo isn’t going to swoon just because Sunggyu is being cold and mysterious. (Even if Myungsoo finds that part of him swoon-worthy indeed. But— No.)
“I’m sorry. I saw your friends leave so I thought I’d come over. I don’t really know what to say to you, but that’s not much of a reason to not say anything to you, either, so I apologize for that.”
Myungsoo shakes his head, now feeling a little bad, then he realizes what else Sunggyu has said. “You saw my friends leave? You knew I was here? Were you watching me?”
“Yes, not initially, and only just.”
Okay, so maybe Sunggyu may be in the same situation as he is somehow, but this is going to be really awkward if both of them are just going to go around in circles and perhaps just end up staring at each other.
“I’ll uh, buy you coffee and maybe we can go and take a walk. I can show you around, you haven’t had much chance to explore yet, have you?”
“I haven’t, yeah.”
“Then let’s go!” Myungsoo beams. This may turn out better than he had thought.
Sunggyu has a beautiful smile, Myungsoo notices, as they walk side by side down the street, both of them each with an iced Americano in hand. Their free hands are coincidentally the ones closer to each other, and Myungsoo notices that too.
He watches Sunggyu a lot, because he’s incapable of tearing his eyes away. It kind of makes him feel like a teenage girl who hasn’t been in love before. Well, yes, he’s still a teenager and he hasn’t really, really been in love before, if you don’t count the crushes, so that’s actually quite true.
But he seems to be doing a pretty good job at making Sunggyu smile, so there’s that. He doesn’t even need to try, because he definitely isn’t trying. Myungsoo’s being his usual self, as usual as can be with someone who isn’t Sungjong or Dongwoo, but it’s working out.
“So Dongwoo hyung was like—”
“You spend the most time with this Dongwoo guy and Sungjong, don’t you?”
Myungsoo rubs at the nape of his neck sheepishly. “They’re kind of the only real friends I have.”
Sunggyu nods. “They’re nice people.”
“They are the best. Well, Dongwoo hyung is, anyway.” Myungsoo glances at Sunggyu. “I’ve been talking the whole night but you haven’t said much about yourself..?”
Sunggyu shrugs and offers a small smile. “My life’s pretty boring.”
Myungsoo frowns and is about to ask why when the loud blaring of sirens renders him deaf for a moment, and he watches as two police cars speed past, followed by an ambulance.
Sunggyu looks at the vehicles pass them, his jaw clenching as he grits his teeth. Myungsoo’s voice brings him back.
“It’s strange, we’ve been having a lot of wild animal kills since two weeks ago. And they all happen in the middle of the city, not even near the outskirts or forests or hills. Nobody’s caught the supposed animal yet.”
Sunggyu fixes his gaze intently on Myungsoo, which makes him blush and look away.
“I don’t think it’s an animal though.”
“Then what do you think it is?”
Myungsoo shrugs. “I’d like to know what it is, too.”
Sunggyu leaves in haste afterwards, but not before making plans for dinner the following night and repeating to Myungsoo about three times to go straight home and not take any shortcuts because it’s dangerous. So Myungsoo’s going to get his dinner date with him after all, though Sunggyu’s warning leaves him confused. After all, Myungsoo’s the one who’s been living here for years, if anything, he should know better than Sunggyu would.
So Myungsoo watches Sunggyu leave, but it feels like Sunggyu is just up ahead one moment, and then he completely vanishes into thin air the next. Myungsoo blinks. Maybe his vision is still clouded by the flashing lights and hasn’t quite recovered yet. In any case, he’s going for dinner with Sunggyu tomorrow and that’s all that matters.
The sun has long set. Myungsoo is ridiculously early for their date... dinner... dinner date... whichever it is, so he leans against a lamp post outside their dinner place to wait for Sunggyu.
Sunggyu isn’t late, so he’s surprised to see Myungsoo already there.
Myungsoo looks up from his phone and in his fluster, drops it on the floor. He inwardly curses himself and starts bending over to pick it up but Sunggyu’s already there and Myungsoo takes his phone back and slips it into his pocket with an embarrassed “thanks”. He finally gets a chance to look at Sunggyu’s face properly for the first time today after that, and the sheepish smile gives way almost immediately to a frown.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Are you okay, hyung?”
“I’m perfectly fine, thank you. Why do you ask?”
“You look... really pale. As in, paler than you usually are.”
“Oh. I’m just tired. Had to deal with some family issues.”
Myungsoo reaches out and grabs Sunggyu by his wrist. “Come on. Let’s go in and get you some food.”
“Thanks.” Sunggyu says after a pause.
Myungsoo thinks Sunggyu’s skin feels even icier today. “Are you really okay, hyung?”
Sunggyu nods slowly.
Then he passes out.
When Sunggyu opens his eyes, the first thing he sees is Myungsoo’s face.
“Hyung!” Myungsoo squeaks, his hand reaching over to try and help Sunggyu up. They’re no longer in the middle of the streets, instead they’re on a bench somewhere in the nearby park.
But the moment Sunggyu sees Myungsoo’s hand he grabs his wrist without any warning, the movement too fast for Myungsoo to even see before it happens.
Myungsoo goes about as pale as Sunggyu, which says a lot because Sunggyu is almost as white as snow now. Except for his eyes. His eyes have red streaks discoloring the white, and Myungsoo swears they’re growing redder by the second and Sunggyu’s pupils are narrowing— But what scares Myungsoo more is the reddening of the veins around Sunggyu’s eyes, and the grip on his wrist that is gradually tightening.
“Sunggyu hyung?” Myungsoo manages in a small voice.
The next moment, Sunggyu shuts his eyes, his brows etched in a deep furrow. Then he releases Myungsoo’s wrist and pulls himself up, sliding to the edge of the bench away from Myungsoo.
Myungsoo is scared and nervous and worried all at once, and he knows his heart is racing. He can’t stop it, though.
“I... I have to go.” Sunggyu says. It comes out in a hushed whisper, like it’s taking a lot of effort to speak.
“Or you have to leave.”
Of all the weird things Myungsoo has thought about, this one has to be the weirdest.
To be completely honest, Myungsoo probably already knows, somehow, that he couldn’t call the ambulance when Sunggyu passed out. That’s why he half-carried and half-dragged Sunggyu away. But now Myungsoo also knows that he had done the right thing. Anyone who had seen Sunggyu the way he was when he had regained his consciousness would be scared shitless, and who knew what would have happened after that.
Of course Myungsoo was terrified, too, but he didn’t even think about yelling for help. Myungsoo supposes that counts as stupidity, but there is something about Sunggyu that makes Myungsoo less afraid than he is worried.
Usually, Myungsoo would have called Dongwoo or Sungjong for help by now, as he always does when he runs into a problem he can’t solve.
Sungjong’s been acting a little strange lately. Or, more accurately, ever since Sunggyu and his brother started appearing in school. Sungjong is always tight-lipped about whom he’s dating or going out with, but with that Sungyeol guy, Sungjong seems to be extra careful about what he says about him. And the turtlenecks. The turtlenecks have been bugging Myungsoo so much but he didn’t dare bring it up again after that one time he did and got killed by Sungjong’s death stare.
But who wears turtlenecks in the middle of summer, really? Definitely not Sungjong, ever the style icon.
Myungsoo hugs his legs as he rocks back and forth on the edge of his bed, frowning as he thinks. Nothing makes sense.
He needs to talk to Sunggyu again.
Myungsoo finally convinces Sunggyu to meet up with him again, although Sunggyu insists that they only meet in the morning. So Myungsoo has to wait.
And when he sleeps, he dreams of the creatures that lurk in the dark.
When Myungsoo wakes at the crack of dawn, he’s covered in sweat. His dreams had been vivid, even though he had known they weren’t real. Ghouls and zombies only exist in stories, after all. Or, Myungsoo wishes they do.
The sudden spate of animal attacks can’t just be a coincidence either.
Sunggyu turns up in the same park, at a particularly shady place, after Myungsoo has been waiting anxiously for a while. He just seats himself down on the bench and Myungsoo has to walk over from his original spot.
“You have questions.” Sunggyu states.
Myungsoo blinks at him.
Sunggyu is all bundled up from head to toe. His hoodie is tucked over his head snugly, which is already covered by a cap that effectively shrouded half his face in more shadows, and only the tips of his fingers are showing from the ends of his sleeves. The jeans and high cut sneakers leave no inch of his skin exposed too.
Myungsoo supposes he might be feeling cold because he is still unwell. That’s the more logical explanation, anyway. He doesn’t want to think about illogical ones yet.
“Are you feeling okay?”
“Myungsoo...” Sunggyu sighs softly and lifts his head to look at him. “You didn’t ask to meet me just for that.”
And Myungsoo sees how bloodshot Sunggyu’s eyes are. At least the scary reddened veins around his eyes aren’t there. But Sunggyu’s still frightfully pale, and he holds Myungsoo’s gaze for as long as Myungsoo stares at him.
It takes a while, then Myungsoo freezes up slowly as he watches a ring of red gradually spread from the circumference of Sunggyu’s pupils, and then— the reddening of the veins around Sunggyu’s eyes that Myungsoo was relieved to not see earlier is happening again. This time, it feels like Sunggyu is doing it on purpose, like he is trying to show Myungsoo, and Myungsoo sees everything clearly.
Maybe the right question for Myungsoo to ask here is “what’s wrong with your eyes”, but it sounds too easy.
“You’re not... like us, are you?”
Sunggyu doesn’t say anything.
“Your brother is the one who killed all those people.” Myungsoo utters in a hushed whisper.
“You’re a ghoul.”
Sunggyu cocks his head slightly with a confused expression.
Okay, maybe he isn’t a ghoul. Myungsoo probably read too much Tokyo Ghoul, which he now supposes is most definitely fictional if Sunggyu doesn’t turn out to be one.
“You’re not a ghoul.”
Sunggyu shakes his head. Then he parts his lips a little, and Myungsoo thinks—and knows—that he’ll definitely be fixated on them if Sunggyu isn’t looking as scary as he is now. Sunggyu reveals the tips of his canines, which are abnormally sharp and exceptionally white.
Myungsoo gasps as it dawns on him. “I know what you are.”
“Go on, say it.”
“You’re a werewolf!”
Sunggyu purses his lips and clenches his jaw as his expression sours and he just stares blankly at Myungsoo. Then he closes his eyes briefly as he takes a deep breath. “Damn it, Myungsoo,” he mutters, fixing his gaze on Myungsoo again and opening his mouth wider this time, showing his canines that are elongating into fangs as Myungsoo watches.
“I’m a vampire.” Sunggyu says, as a matter of fact, before he retracts the fangs. The red in and around his eyes fade quickly after that.
Myungsoo looks at Sunggyu skeptically.
Sunggyu rolls his eyes. “Really? Ghoul and werewolf but you don’t want to believe I’m a vampire?” He glowers at Myungsoo and slumps against the back of the bench. “Why would a werewolf be pale, anyway?”
“Because they’re not feeling well?” Myungsoo replies with a frown. “Ghouls and werewolves just seem more plausible! I mean, it’s not like you’re sparkling in the sun or anything!”
“Do you honestly think that’s what happens when vampires are in the sun?”
Myungsoo stutters and fumbles with his words for all of five seconds before he gives up and shakes his head slowly. The idea of vampires does sound more incredulous to him, probably because they’re way too romanticized in popular culture.
“Exactly. I’ll go up in flames if my skin is in direct sunlight.”
“Then let’s go some place else. It might not be this cloudy all day.”
Fortunately for Sunggyu, it isn’t that hard to think of an alternative safe place to go since Myungsoo’s parents are working overseas and he has the entire apartment to himself most of the time. Sunggyu, however, is moving really slowly and it takes a while for them to get there.
“But if you’re a vampire, that means you have that super speed thing, right?”
“You do know most things about us aren’t true, right?”
Myungsoo shrugs. At this point he isn’t quite sure what is true and what isn’t anymore. Quite frankly, it hasn’t even sunk in that Sunggyu isn’t human. He might freak out more later when it does.
“Although, that part is. I’m just really tired because I’m hungry.”
Myungsoo blanches. According to what he thinks he knows about vampires, they survive on blood. And in this enclosed space with no other witnesses, Myungsoo is the only living thing with blood pumping through his veins. “When was the last time you ate?”
“I finished my last blood bag last week, and I’ve been straining myself quite a lot this past week because of my brother so it’s getting pretty bad. That’s why I almost lost control last night when I came to after I passed out and you were there. It’s taking a lot out of me to be sitting here next to you now, too.”
“If it doesn’t hurt too much and I won’t die from it, you can have some of my blood?” Myungsoo doesn’t know where the courage to say that comes from, but since he has already said it then he won’t take it back.
“I haven’t eaten from a live source for years. I’m not sure if I want to risk it.” Sunggyu admits, glancing at Myungsoo’s neck with a regretful expression.
It makes Myungsoo blush instead and he tries to draw the attention away. “But your brother has, right? I’m sure he’s also feeding on my friend and...”
“He is. But I’m no match for him right now, with all the fresh blood he has been having since we came here...”
Myungsoo reaches for Sunggyu’s hand, now already knowing that it will be icy and expecting it, and holds it tightly. “Okay, so I barely even know you, but I also have no way of getting any blood bags for you, and I am pretty sure that if there’s anyone who can stop this, it’s you. So... It probably is the dumbest thing to do, but I’m not going to take back my offer. If you need blood to get stronger, you can have mine. I’m not sure how much it’s going to help but it’s something, right?”
It’s easier to look at Sunggyu now that his face isn’t half obscured by his cap and hoodie anymore, and somehow Sunggyu looks so vulnerable to Myungsoo. Maybe that’s why Myungsoo wants to help him, even though he will also need to help him so that Sunggyu can help him in return. But Myungsoo definitely doesn’t want Sunggyu to pass out again, if anything. It worried him—terrified him quite a bit, even.
Sunggyu tugs Myungsoo closer by his hand, leaning forward.
Myungso’s heart begins to pound in his chest, though it isn’t because he is scared. The close proximity unnerves him for other reasons. These other reasons being that Myungsoo still finds Sunggyu ridiculously attractive and now that they’re actually alone, together, in a very alone place... Myungsoo swallows nervously and closes his eyes.
He feels Sunggyu’s breath on his face for a brief moment, then it is gone again. Suddenly Sunggyu’s hands are on his shoulders, and Myungsoo braces himself. But he doesn’t feel pain at all after the initial pricks to break his skin, yet he knows Sunggyu’s fangs are piercing into his neck.
Sunggyu is a vampire.
Myungsoo allows that fact to sink into him like Sunggyu’s fangs are.
So Sunggyu is a vampire. But the stories are all lies. This is hardly romantic at all. Sunggyu’s lips are on Myungsoo’s neck, but Myungsoo just feels really awkward and helpless and maybe also a little afraid because he doesn’t know how much Sunggyu’s going to drink and if he’s even going to stop. Luckily for him, Sunggyu eventually does, and Myungsoo is surprised he doesn’t feel anything different. Hell, he isn’t even bleeding.
“So you’re really a vampire.” Myungsoo says.
Sunggyu doesn’t take his hands off Myungsoo yet as he nods. The colour is returning to his cheeks, even though Sunggyu still remains rather pale. Myungsoo assumes Sunggyu is just naturally pale anyway. At least he doesn’t look like he’s about to pass out any moment now.
“It didn’t hurt—”
“It shouldn’t.” Sunggyu says simply as he keeps his face close to Myungsoo’s. “I can hear your heartbeat, you know? Right now it’s at an even faster rate then all of those times we were in class together, possibly only matching last night.”
Myungsoo looks away, cheeks flushed, and grabs Sunggyu’s wrists to pull his hands away. “Shut up, who wouldn’t be scared?”
“You’re not as scared as you are nervous about being around me.”
“Stop being so smug.” Myungsoo mutters, “I’m going to regret giving you my blood, aren’t I?”
Sunggyu laughs lightly.
Myungsoo refrains from swooning at the sound. “Don’t laugh at me!”
“I’m laughing because you’re cute.”
Sunggyu reaches for Myungsoo’s hands and holds them. “Thank you, anyway, you’re really brave for not even pushing me away even when you started suspecting I was something else,” he says softly.
That makes Myungsoo finally turn back to face him. “I don’t know about that, some people might think I’m stupid.”
Sunggyu chuckles. “That, too. Most people would run if they were you.”
“You’ve never hurt me in any way, and you didn’t even hurt me just now. I don’t really have much reason to be afraid of you, do I?” Myungsoo grips Sunggyu’s hands back as he studies Sunggyu’s face quietly. “I’ll admit that the thing you do with your eyes is scary, though.”
“That happens when we go into vampire mode. You might want to get used to it since I have a feeling you’ll be seeing quite a lot of it.”
“What do you mean I’ll be seeing quite a lot of it?” Myungsoo stammers.
“If we’re going to be friends, you will probably see it again. I don’t often lose control, though, so you don’t have to worry.”
“Oh.” If we’re going to be friends— “What if we—” Myungsoo blushes darkly when he realizes he’s said that out loud, and immediately goes quiet, clearing his throat and pretending nothing happened.
Myungsoo shakes his head.
“Okay. You may want to get a band-aid for your neck… or something to cover it up when you head out.”
“I’ll find something less ridiculous than Sungjong’s turtlenecks.”
Sunggyu laughs and leans back in the cosy couch, crossing his arms before his tone turns serious. “Then let’s talk about how to stop my brother.”
They come to a conclusion that there’s no other way to stop Sunggyu’s brother besides trapping him in one of those enchanted coffins they had brought along with them when they had moved to this city. A witch Sunggyu used to know was the one who cast the spell on the coffins, because Sungyeol has a notorious history, and while he always claims he has changed, Sunggyu knows that’s never the case. Hence the coffins.
Sungyeol can’t even touch the coffins without being burned because they are bewitched to resist him, so Sunggyu uses them as a warning for Sungyeol, and a reminder that if he steps out of line, Sunggyu will put him back in there. But Sunggyu has been showing signs of weakness ever since a year ago when he lost in a fight for territory against a younger vampire. He attributed it to losing whom he had thought was the love of his life, the same witch who spelled the coffins, to a sacrificial rite she had thought could protect him. It failed. And he lost everything.
“I’m not sure if I can do this.” Sunggyu says once he tells his story, looking down at his hands to avoid Myungsoo’s gaze.
But Myungsoo isn’t even the least bit judgmental. Losing isn’t a sign of weakness, being physically weak isn’t a sign of weakness either. Thinking that you’re weak is. “I know Sungyeol seems stronger than you are now, but you have to believe in yourself, hyung.”
Sunggyu stares at his hands like they’re suddenly really interesting.
“From what you’ve told me… I’m sure you have what it takes to subdue your brother.” Myungsoo says.
“I’m not half as strong as I was anymore.”
“So do you intend to let him continue?”
“I’d prefer not to.”
“Then, let’s try. I’ll help you in whatever way I can.”
The first step in their plan is to get into a morgue to obtain the only known substance that can slow a vampire down—dead man’s blood. The idea is to have Myungsoo distract the people in there to clear a path for Sunggyu, so he can get in and out in the shortest time possible. Super speed or not, there’s still a risk in getting slowed by sudden movements, which may end up in him getting caught.
They turn out to be a pretty good team.
Myungsoo makes a racket near the entrance of the morgue once he’s in through the doors, yelling about how someone he knows is dead and wailing about how he needs to see them again. He successfully gets the attention of the guards, who are basically the only people left in the place this late at night, as they try to calm him down and get him out of the place.
Then Myungsoo goes to the door, pretending to leave, but merely holds it open instead. Fifteen seconds of mumbling to himself later, with the guards looking exasperatedly at him, Myungsoo feels something brushing against his arm. That’s his cue to act all apologetic about getting the wrong place and escaping.
They meet up again a short way down the street, with Myungsoo falling into step alongside Sunggyu naturally.
“I only managed to get four vials, but one should be enough to knock him out. I’m not sure exactly how strong he is now, but dead man’s blood is very toxic to us. It definitely shouldn’t take more than two.”
Myungsoo nods. “But how are you feeling?”
“Do you need to drink more?”
“Maybe tomorrow. I don’t want to drain you either.”
“It’s a temporary solution until we can get you a supply of blood bags. You need your strength.”
“And you need yours too, Soo.” Sunggyu says pointedly.
Myungsoo chews on the inside of his cheek, not saying a word, when Sunggyu shortens his name to one syllable. It’s what his friends call him sometimes, but hearing Sunggyu say his name that way is giving him butterflies. He nods somewhat meekly in response.
“Stop doing that with your teeth.”
“Oh.” Myungsoo says lamely.
“Just because I can control my blood cravings doesn’t mean you should test it.”
Myungsoo glances at Sunggyu when he feels Sunggyu’s gaze on him.
“Your blood tastes really good.”
Myungsoo blanches and looks away. The next thing he feels now is Sunggyu’s breath ghosting past his ear.
“Also, you’re really cute.”
Myungsoo wishes his heart would stop racing, because Sunggyu can hear it and he is most definitely listening to it and knowing full well how much he’s affecting Myungsoo. He wants to yell at Sunggyu to go away, which is the complete opposite of what he really wants, of course, but Myungsoo just keeps quiet, cheeks puffed out as he attempts to ignore Sunggyu.
His efforts are in vain because Sunggyu very slowly and gently reaches for his hand, and Myungsoo almost combusts spontaneously. He freezes up for a good minute, before gripping Sunggyu’s hand back. This actually feels even more unreal than Sunggyu being a vampire.
Myungsoo still avoids looking at Sunggyu, but he has given up on willing his heart to slow down. After all, Sunggyu has already known, from the very first day they met, that his presence makes Myungsoo’s heartbeat go haywire. There isn’t even any point in trying to hide.
“You’re mean.” Myungsoo suddenly says.
Sunggyu looks at him questioningly.
Myungsoo purses his lips. “For pretending to be oblivious.”
Sunggyu smiles a little wistfully. “It would have gone on longer if you haven’t found out about what I am.” He pauses hesitantly, then adds, “In fact, I would never have done anything about it, ever, because I’m not ready for anyone to know the real me.”
“There’s nothing bad about the real you,” Myungsoo says quietly. “Besides being aloof... You’ve been really nice and helpful to me since the first day. That has to count for something.”
Sunggyu shrugs. “You probably have a biased opinion of me. I don’t think most people would take kindly to a monster like me.”
“It’s not your choice to be one, but it’s your choice how to live, and you’re not a bad person.”
“You’re only the second person to say something like that to me in my entire life, so, thank you. It means a lot.”
Myungsoo squeezes Sunggyu’s hand and smiles as he looks up at him, though his brows are raised in curiosity. “How old are you?”
“20, and also 127.”
“Maybe I should call you grandpa instead of hyung.”
Sunggyu looks at Myungsoo dryly.
They hang out together the next few days until their scheduled day for executing their plan arrives.
Sungjong is bait. He didn’t take long to agree to that plan, because he is getting scared of Sungyeol. He started out intrigued about the things Sungyeol can do, then he found out about the things that Sungyeol was really doing. That, coupled with the fact that Sungyeol was progressively becoming more violent with him when sucking his blood, was enough. Sungjong just hasn’t said anything before because Sungyeol had warned there would be consequences.
So Sungjong is still scared, but it’s a risk he has to take, he tells Myungsoo.
Myungsoo reassures him that everything will be alright, because that’s what Myungsoo believes.
Dongwoo’s in on the plan as well, and he’ll be with Myungsoo as backup.
They’re ambushing Sungyeol at the far end of the city, almost on the outskirts, where there are less people at night. Sunggyu is in charge of the first shot of dead man’s blood into Sungyeol to incapacitate him. And Myungsoo will be on standby with extra shots if anything happens to Sunggyu and he isn’t able to get enough of the blood into Sungyeol to knock him out.
Sunggyu drives Myungsoo and Dongwoo there, though he stops halfway, pulling up on an empty street before turning to Myungsoo.
Myungsoo nods at him slowly, then glances at Dongwoo in the backseat. “You might want to look away for a bit. I don’t want you to get all grossed out because of the blood... even though you probably won’t see any.”
Dongwoo narrows his eyes. “This isn’t some kinky thing, is it?”
Myungsoo squints back at Dongwoo. “Far from it, trust me.”
Dongwoo still looks skeptical as he turns away, putting on his earphones and distracting himself by jamming to his music.
Sunggyu cups the back of Myungsoo’s neck, and leans forward as his eyes turn red, fangs sinking into the soft skin rapidly.
It’s still hardly a sexy thing, Myungsoo thinks, but the sound of Sunggyu lapping up his blood and swallowing is exceptionally loud in the enclosed air of the interior of the car, and suddenly Myungsoo finds it really hot. Really stuffy kind of hot. Is it hot in here or is it just you kind of hot.
This time, Sunggyu licks the teeth puncture marks before leaning away.
Myungsoo says nothing, just clears his throat and settles back into his seat. He doesn’t speak for the rest of the journey, but his knuckles are a tell-tale sign of how he’s feeling, since his hands are balled into tight fists.
The mission begins with Sungjong thoroughly distracting Sungyeol with kisses.
Myungsoo’s a little creeped out by the image, though it doesn’t last long because Sunggyu has also begun.
Sunggyu’s fast, but so is Sungyeol. Sunggyu only manages to get within five metres of Sungyeol before Sungyeol shoves Sungjong away to fend himself from Sunggyu’s attack.
Both of them are in full vampire mode now, their eyes all dark and red and scary, as are the veins around their eyes. They stand glaring at each other with their fangs bared for a moment before Sungyeol laughs. It sounds obnoxious.
“You can’t beat me anymore, hyung.”
“Don’t call me that.” Sunggyu snarls.
Sungjong has taken the opportunity to run away, towards Myungsoo, who tells him to get in the car with Dongwoo. Myungsoo’s by a tree, watching and waiting to see if he needs to help Sunggyu.
“You’ve been my brother for so many years, you should’ve gotten used to it by now.”
“No, I don’t have a brother like you.”
“That’s too bad.” Sungyeol smirks.
Sunggyu lunges forward, and suddenly all Myungsoo sees is a blur. He can roughly make out two figures in that blur, only because Sunggyu’s in white and black, whereas Sungyeol is an interesting combination of yellow, blue, and orange.
Myungsoo hears a yell, and then the splatter of blood on the grass. He panics, desperately hoping it isn’t Sunggyu. But he sees now that it is, as the both of them slow down again and circle each other. Sunggyu is wincing, and there’s blood gushing down from his arm. It takes a while to stop, and Myungsoo realizes it’s because his arm healed itself.
Being a vampire seems pretty cool...
But that thought disappears immediately when Sunggyu makes his move again, fangs gleaming in the moonlight, and Myungsoo remembers the look on Sunggyu’s face when he had said that he is a monster. Myungsoo accidentally fumbles and drops the syringe he has been holding on to, and he gasps.
That is all it takes to draw Sungyeol’s attention away. Myungsoo stops breathing. But Sungyeol has already spotted him, and in the faint light, Myungsoo sees his vamped out face. Myungsoo supposes if he dies now, his only regret is that he hasn’t tried kissing Sunggyu yet.
So it’s probably fortunate for him that he doesn’t die yet, because the moment Sungyeol takes off towards him, so does Sunggyu.
“Oh, no, you don’t.” Sunggyu puts himself between Myungsoo and Sungyeol, and with a growl he stabs the syringe’s needle into Sungyeol’s arm and pushes the plunger in so fast that Sungyeol doesn’t even see it coming.
Once Sungyeol is safely shut away, immobilized, in the bewitched coffin. Sungjong drags Dongwoo off for a drink. Not the alcoholic type, obviously. But the occasion definitely calls for a celebration. They don’t even bother asking Myungsoo and Sunggyu along—they just announce loudly they are leaving and disappear out of Sunggyu’s front door.
Myungsoo scratches his head sheepishly. “Yeah, my friends are like that.”
Sunggyu smiles. “I kind of like them.”
“So, do you maybe want to...?”
“Sure, give me a minute, I need to change my shirt.” Sunggyu looks regretful at the state of his bloodied white shirt.
And he takes three seconds.
Myungsoo hasn’t even finished taking one breath and he is already back. “That’s not a minute. You’re pretty fast for a grandpa.”
“Do you want me to bite you?” Sunggyu glares at him.
Myungsoo laughs. “Sure.” Then he leans forward and grabs Sunggyu’s hand to pull him closer, hooking their arms together before dragging him out.
They end up strolling in the park, Myungsoo clinging to Sunggyu’s arm and leaning into him.
“See, it wasn’t that hard.”
“But only thanks to you, though.” Sunggyu says as he pats Myungsoo’s head.
Myungsoo grimaces and shakes his head to get Sunggyu’s hand away. “Yeah, yeah, I didn’t even do anything besides drop the syringe.”
“If you didn’t, I might not have got him so fast. So it helped.”
“You’re just saying that to make me feel better.”
Sunggyu chuckles softly. “You’ve been saying a lot of things to make me feel better, too. I’m only returning the favour.”
“Is that all it is, returning the favour?” Myungsoo says before he has time to run that through his head, and pauses abruptly in his tracks as he mentally hits himself for saying that.
“No, I genuinely think, and know, that you helped a lot. Not just this time, but from the beginning.” Sunggyu half-turns so he’s standing in front of Myungsoo, reaching for his hands and holding them gently. “And you’re really kind, very brave, and you’re adorable. I must admit you’ve added a lot of life into my undead heart right from the first day I sat next to you in Chemistry class.”
“Stop.” Myungsoo mumbles, looking down to hide his darkening blush.
Myungsoo still refuses to look up.
“I’m not asking you to live forever with me right now. But I’m asking you to go on dates with me for as long as this thing between us lasts.”
It takes almost five seconds, but Myungsoo eventually speaks up. “This thing between us... I kind of like it.”
“I’m taking that as a yes.”
Myungsoo glances up shyly and grins, shrugging playfully. “It may be.”
“Make it be.”
Myungsoo hums softly as he ponders.
“I promise your blood isn’t everything I want from you—”
“I know, but even if you still wanted it I’m not going to say no.”
It takes a while for all the implications of that sentence to sink in, then Sunggyu pulls Myungsoo towards him and kisses him.
Myungsoo freezes up for a second before he pulls away and gasps at Sunggyu. “That— That was my first kiss, how could you?”
Sunggyu blinks. “I’m sorry? I’ll give you more to make up for it?”
“Okay, it’s a deal.” Myungsoo grins and throws his arms around Sunggyu’s neck to kiss him properly.
So Myungsoo and Sunggyu have chemistry together.
And that’s how the lion falls in love with the lamb— Okay, no, Sunggyu’s nothing like a lion and Myungsoo refuses to be a lamb...
So, Myungsoo and Sunggyu have chemistry together.
And that’s how forever begins.