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Curse or blessing?

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Jeonghan thought his day couldn’t possibly get any worse. He had woken up late and missed his entire first lesson which had led to him being scolded. Later he had done a test and was pretty sure he had failed it. Now, in the cafeteria, where he was more aware than ever about his lack of friends while trying to find a seat, someone suddenly threw milk at him. The overfull room went quiet as it happened. Jeonghan could feel tears threatening to flow over and quickly turned around and ran out of the room. He could hear someone calling after him but he kept running. He ran through the halls with people staring at him as he passed. His destination was the shed outside of the school where he usually spent his time in between lessons. It was a great place to hide from judging looks. As usual he ignored the sign that said “Keep out” and ran into his safezone.

...

Chan saw it happen perfectly from where he sat. How the tall boy had dropped his glass of milk on Jeonghan who had ran away and also how the boy and his friends had followed him.

Chan turned to his own friends. Seungcheol, Seokmin and Wonwoo had noticed what had happened but hadn’t put much thought in it and kept joking with each other.

“Guys!”

Chan got their attention and they went quiet.

“Did you even see what happened?”

His friends stayed silent until Seungcheol said: 

“Someone dropped their milk?” 

Chan sighed. How had they not noticed? 

“It was Jeonghan that got the milk dropped on him.” 

The others looked like they had no clue what Chan was talking about. Chan knew that he had told them at least a million times about his old friend, that now was in in another class than him. 

“Is that the dude in the other class that always sits alone?” asked Seokmin carefully 

“YES! Wait no, uh, kinda.” Chan sighed again “Anyways, we need to see if he’s okay, he just ran away with that tall boy after him.” 

“Mingyu” Wonwoo said quietly. 

Chan felt like they were missing the point. He got up and hurried after Jeonghan, out of the cantine. He could hear the others tripping over their chairs as they went after him. 

… 

Mingyu felt terrible. He was just about to sit down when he had tripped over Minghao’s bag and accidentally thrown his milk at the boy walking by. Now when the boy, with tears in his eyes, had turned around and ran out of the cantine he didn’t know what to do. He yelled after the boy who just kept running. Mingyu looked at his friends. Minghao and Seungkwan were laughing hysterically while Jihoon was still looking after the boy that just left with a worried expression. He met Mingyu’s eyes and mouthed: 

“Let’s go”

They went after the boy with their two friends asking them where they were going from the table. Mingyu looked back and waved for them to follow.

… 

“Are you scared?” Soonyoung asked Joshua with a grin.

“No I’m just saying that...maybe we shouldn’t go in there” Joshua answered and pointed at the door with the “keep out” note on it. 

Vernon and Jun looked at Soonyoung in agreement. 

“You know there is probably a reason-ouch” Jun got cut off by Vernon hitting him in the arm.

“You know what? Let’s just get it over with” Vernon cut him off. 

Soonyoung smiled. He and his friends always challenged each other to do stuff, even if they were against the school rules. Stealing answer sheets, breaking into the school after closing and even embarrassing themselves in front of the whole school in different ways.(which isn’t against the rules just humiliating). Soonyoung pushed the door open and entered the shed.

To his surprise there was already people in there. He signed to his friends to keep quiet, he didn’t want whoever was in there to notice them. The shed was surprisingly big, and he was sure he could fit at least two cars in there. They sneaked to the opposite wall of the other people in there. Soonyoung couldn’t see who they were and they still hadn’t notice him and his friends entering. He couldn’t hear what they were talking about but catched the word “idiot”. Soonyoung suddenly noticed a huge machine with a big red button on it in the middle of the shed. How in the world did that fit in there? He poked Vernon in the arm and pointed at the machine. He whispered:

“Press the button.” 

Vernon looked terrified. He shook his head and mouthed “No!” 

Soonyoung looked at Jun and Joshua but they were way too interested in the other people in the shed and didn’t see him. Soonyoung looked at Vernon again. Soonyoung sighed. 

“I’ll do anything, please?” he made the biggest puppy eyes he possibly could.

Soonyoung didn’t know why, but he really wanted someone to press the button. Vernon sighed. He carefully snuck up to the machine. When he was about to press the red button somebody yelled:

“Hey! What are you doing here?”’

Soonyoung looked up. To his surprise the other people in the shed were students. He had assumed they were teachers or staff. And they were all staring at him and his friends. Suddenly Vernon punched the button. A bright light blinded Soonyoung as he suddenly got thrown away.

Vernon tried to see. He had screams ringing in his ears and was shocked by the explosion.  He looked around and saw to his horror his friends and the other boys lying on the ground. For a split second he panicked before the lights exploded and he could see lightning before the horrible pain struck. It felt like his chest was ripping apart. With a scream he fell on his knees.

Jeonghan was the first one to wake up. He didn’t know what had happened, but it couldn’t be good. Chan and the others that had followed him to the shed were blacked out. He had refused to talk to them about the incident in the cafeteria and they had started fighting with each other instead. Jeonghan slowly stood up and noticed the four other boys that hadn’t been there before, lying on the opposite side of the shed. Carefully he shook Chan in an attempt to wake him up. The shed was completely dark, since the lights had gone out for some reason. Slowly the others started to wake up as well. Nobody said anything, just checked on their friends.

”What happened” Chan asked as Jeonghan helped him stand up.

“I have no ide-“

A heartbreaking scream filled the shed. Everybody looked at a shaking boy in the opposite corner of the room. He pointed at a pile lying on the floor. The boy cried out loud:

“H-he’s not breathing”

Chapter Text

Soonyoung could barely stand on his feet due to his shaking legs. The others hurried over to Vernon, just as frightened as him. Vernon were not moving nor breathing. Soonyoung knew that this was his fault, he was the one that had pushed his friend to press the button. His vision got blurry as tears started to fall. He could see someone bend over Vernons body.

“He has no pulse” the boy said with a panicked voice.

Soonyoung fell down on his knees. He couldn’t carry his own weight anymore. A sharp pain shot up in his legs as he hit the ground, but he didn’t care anymore.

“Please do something” He whispered desperately.

“We need to get him to a hospital” Joshua voice was steady as he grabbed Soonyoung and helped him stand up again. He was staying strong, for Soonyoung, and for Vernon.

Soonyoung had never felt this breakable before. His best friend was dying and he had no idea how to help him. He tried to stop the tears from streaming down his cheeks but failed terribly.

“It will be too late” someone mumbled from the crowd that had formed around Vernon.

“Chan, do it” the boy that had checked for Vernon’s pulse dragged the boy that had delivered the statement forward.

Soonyoung didn’t understand what they were talking about.

“Can you help him?” he asked followed by a sob.

“It’s risky” Chan looked down at Vernon.

The older boy that had pushed Chan forward spoke up:

“Chan just do it we don’t have that much time”

Everyone was quiet for a second. Chan looked at Soonyoung before he slowly got down on his knees. He clenched his fist over Vernon’s chest. He hesitated for a second before hitting  the lower part of Vernon’s chest with all his strength. There was a new moment of silence. Panic was growing in Soonyoung’s chest but suddenly Vernon inhaled loudly.

Soonyoung let out a screech of relief and fell down on his knees again next to Vernon. He still hadn’t opened his eyes but breathing was enough for now. He gratefully looked at Chan who had lay down on the floor sweating, relieved that his stunt had worked.

“Thank you” Soonyoung whispered and received a small nod.

He took Vernon in his arms and tried to lift him up. He got help from the other boys as his attempt failed. They carried Vernon out of the shed and Joshua ran and got his car. Together they lay him in the backseat with a blanket that Joshua had found in his trunk. Soonyoung insisted that he would go with to the hospital. Joshua didn’t argue. As they drove away from the school Soonyoung took his friend’s hand and whispered:

“I won’t let you die”

Jihoon sat with the other boys on the grass outside of the school building. It was a miracle that nobody had seen them carry Vernon outside. For some reason the whole school was having a black out and they were now waiting instructions from the principal about whether they’ll get to go home or not. All of them had agreed to not tell anyone about what had happened that day. He recognized a majority of the boys that he was sitting with, but he had never talked to them since they were all in different classes. It was weird sitting there with them. A lot of other students were also sitting outside, chatting and joking around while waiting for the power to return. It was a beautiful day, so why not?

After an hour of waiting a teacher went up to them and told them that they could leave the school. Jihoon got Minghao to drive him home despite his whining. Before they left the other boys they all looked at each other in agreement. This never happened.

Jihoon sat quietly in Minghao’s car. Neither of them wanted to talk about what had happened. Jihoon was sure that this would be forgotten tomorrow. Unless Vernon didn’t recover from whatever had happened in the shed. He didn’t even want to think about that. Suddenly Minghao spoke while Jihoon was staring out the window:

“If only Mingyu wasn’t so clumsy”

Jihoon looked at him.

“What?”

Minghao seemed confused

“I didn’t say anything” He told Jihoon

Great! Now he was imagining things. Jihoon thought that he must be in some kind of shock after today’s events.

“Sorry, it was nothing I guess” he mumbled as he went back to staring out the window. 

Mingyu hadn’t been sick in years. Still the thermometer showed that he was way over the normal body temperature. To be completely honest, he was warmer than any human should be able to be. Mingyu stared at the numbers that the thermometer was showing him. 50 degrees celsius (122 fahrenheit). This meant that he was either dead or the thermometer was broken. He decided that the second option was more believable. His mom still thought that he had a fever since his forehead was almost burning, but she agreed to let him go to school anyways since he felt good apart from being extremely warm.

… 

The first period was always the most boring one according to Minghao. As he scrolled through instagram looking for a new hair color for himself the teacher was talking about Global warming or something like that. When the lesson was almost over he found a nice red color that would look so good on him. He closed his eyes and imagined himself with it. When the bell rang he opened his eyes and got ready to leave. He joined his friends on their way out of the classroom when they all suddenly stopped and stared at him.

“Hao, when did you change your haircolor?” Seungkwan asked.

Minghao didn’t understand. It had been a few weeks ago since he dyed his hair the blonde color he had now and so he told his friends. Jihoon and Mingyu looked at each other with slight confusion.

“It’s not blonde.” Mingyu stated.

His friends dragged him to the toilets while Minghao still didn’t understand what they were talking about. The second he looked himself in the mirror he did.

His hair was now a bright red color, exactly like the one he had imagined himself in earlier. His jaw dropped.

“I didn’t dye it.” he told his friends while he examined his now red hair.

“Tell that to your hair dude”

Seungkwan went up to him and took a strand of Minghao’s hair in his hand. This week was just getting more and more weird.

Jun was doodling in his sketchbook. He was thinking about Vernon and had troubles focusing on the lesson. Soonyoung and Joshua had told him that Vernons state was stable, but he still hadn’t woken up. Soonyoung had was completely broken when he arrived to school this morning and his eyes had been swollen. Jun was worried that Soonyoung might break down again. Suddenly the teacher came up to him.

“Junhui, did you hear the question?”

He quickly closed the book and saw that all of his classmates were staring at him. Oh no, he had been asked a question.

“Uh yes, I mean, um, no”

Jun hated when the teachers called him. He always got all nervous and sweaty.

“Listen to me when I’m talking Junhui! I know that your friend is in the hospital, but you need to focus.” the teacher passed on the question to the next student.

Jun wanted to disappear. He could feel his cheeks heating up and hid his face in his arms. He took a few deep breaths. When he looked up again the other students were working in their books. He glanced at the clock, only three minutes left of the first lesson.

When the bell rang he took his stuff and left the classroom before anyone else. Jun leaned against a wall as he waited for his friends to leave the classroom as well. He closed his eyes. Suddenly he could hear Joshua’s and Soonyoung’s voices. As he opened his eyes again they had almost walked past him. He grabbed Joshua's shoulder. What he didn’t expect was Joshua screaming in fear. He jumped into the air and stepped on Soonyoung's foot who complained loudly.

“What are you doing you doofus?” Soonyoung angrily asked Joshua.

Joshua was staring at Jun. He didn’t understand why Joshua was looking so frightened. That is when Jun noticed that Joshua wasn’t staring at him, he was staring past him. Joshua couldn’t see him.

Chapter Text

Jun didn’t understand what was happening. Why couldn’t his friends see him? Joshua was still staring at a spot behind him.

“What are you doing?” Soonyoung asked Joshua again.

“Nothing I just thought...nevermind” He turned to Soonyoung.

“Where did Jun go?”

Jun didn’t know if they were playing a prank on him. They had done stuff like this before but Joshua had seemed genuinely scared when he had touched him.
“Maybe he went to the bathroom.” Soonyoung suggested.
Joshua nodded. Jun followed his friends as they walked towards the bathroom. He couldn’t come up with any reason to why they wouldn’t be able to see him. Deeply in his thoughts he almost crashed into his friends when they suddenly stopped in front of him. They had entered the school’s bathrooms. Jun could hear loud voices arguing but couldn’t see who it was as Joshua and Soonyoung were in the way. He recognized the voices inside the bathroom. Jun snuck past his friends into the corner of the bathroom where he could see the who the others were. Minghao was staring into the mirror and violently pulling his own hair with Mingyu, Jihoon and Seungkwan standing behind him, sharing puzzled looks.

“I told you, I didn’t...” Minghao stopped talking as he had noticed the intruders.

“You didn’t what?” Soonyoung asked.

Minghao hesitated for a second before answering the question.

“I didn’t dye my hair.”

Jun looked at Minghao’s hair. It wasn’t the same dirty blonde color he had yesterday, it was now a very bright red color.

“So you are saying it just turned red?” Joshua asked with a grin.

Minghao gave him a death stare. As Jun was studying Minghao’s hair in the mirror of the bathroom he was suddenly struck with fear. He couldn’t see himself in the mirror. Where he was supposed to be standing was just...nothing. Mingyu sighed and made an attempt to lean against the wall. What Jun realized way too late was that he was standing in the way of Mingyu. He jumped back but was too slow. Mingyu’s hand touched Jun’s arm which lead to a burning pain and Jun screaming out loud. The entire room jumped and Seungkwan made a sound very similar to a mouse squeaking. Mingyu fell flat on the floor in surprise from Jun’s sudden appearance.

“OW! What in the world did you do?” Jun yelled as he looked at his arm.

Where Mingyu’s hand had touched him there was now a red handprint. His skin felt like it was on fire. Soonyoung rushed up to him.

“Where in the world were you?” he asked.

He stopped as he saw the print on Jun’s arm and gasped.

“Wait you can see me?”

Soonyoung looked down at Mingyu who was still lying on the floor and staring at Jun.

“What do you mean?”

Jun looked at the mirror again. This time he could see himself.

“I was here all along you morons” Jun exclaimed. “I grabbed you shoulder Shua, you just couldn’t see me”

Joshua looked shocked.

“I thought I felt something.”

Minghao and Jihoon helped Mingyu, who was still staring at Jun’s arm, to stand up.

“Okay, but we can all agree that there is something strange going on” Jihoon mumbled.

“Is there anyone else that has experienced something weird since yesterday?” Soonyoung asked.

Nobody said anything. Mingyu was the one to cut the silence:

“Uh, my thermometer showed that I had a body temperature of over 50 degrees celsius.”

“Maybe that’s why you burned me!” Jun hissed at him.

Mingyu looked hurt but Jun didn’t care. He rubbed his arm. It felt like his skin was melting off.

“Maybe we should meet up with the others and see if they have noticed anything unusual?” Minghao suggested. “And maybe you should go to the nurse.”

He looked at Jun who just nodded short. They all agreed that they would meet at a café after school and Mingyu messaged Wonwoo the info. Jun didn’t know why Mingyu had Wonwoo’s number, but he was too distracted by the pain in his arm to put more thought into it. The bell that announced that their second lesson was about to start rang.

“Then we’ll see you later” Soonyoung threw a blinding smile at the other boys.

Jun avoided eye contact with the others. They hurried away to not be late to their lesson and left the bathroom behind.


 

Seungcheol and Chan were the first ones to arrive to the café. They jinxed a big table in the corner. Seungcheol thought Chan seemed a bit tense.

“I invited Jeonghan since I know that nobody else would” Chan told Seungcheol.

He nodded.

“Thoughtful of you”

Seungcheol knew that Chan really missed his old friend. They had drifted apart a few years ago and Jeonghan didn’t want to talk to Chan now for some reason. Jeonghan didn’t really have any friends according to Chan. The only thing Seungcheol knew about the boy was that he went to the same class as Soonyoung, Vernon, Joshua and Jun even though he didn’t seem to talk to them that much either. The rest of the boys slowly arrived, one after one. Twenty minutes later everyone had arrived except Mingyu. Jihoon had felt sick and went straight home after school according to Seungkwan. The different friend groups wasn’t talking that much to each other, they just chatted with the ones they already knew. Chan was talking to Jeonghan who seemed a bit shy. Suddenly Seungcheol started to feel lightheaded and everything went a bit blurry.

“Hey guys, I’m sorry I’m late”

It was Mingyu who had just entered the café. He hurried up to the table. What he didn’t notice was Minghao’s bag lying on the floor and tripped. He fell face down on the floor with a grunt. The room started spinning. Seungcheol felt very dizzy. He closed his eyes.

“Hey guys, I’m sorry I’m late”

Seungcheol opened his eyes. It was Mingyu who had walked through the door...again? He rapidly made his way over to the table when Seungcheol stood up and screamed:

“Stop!”

Everyone stopped talking and stared at Seungcheol who took a deep breath. What had just happened?

“Look out for the bag” he quietly told Mingyu who noticed the bag lying on the floor.

“Uh thanks?”

Minghao moved his bag so nobody would fall on it. Seungcheol sat down again. What had he just seen? Mingyu never fell so why had he seen him do so?

“Are you okay?”

Seungcheol looked up and saw Chan staring back at him. He nodded. Seungkwan dramatically stood up and spoke to the rest of the boys:

“So, since you all are here, I guess you are wondering why we have summoned you here today”

Wonwoo sighed.

“Not really”

Mingyu put a hand over his mouth to hide the fact that he was giggling, not succeeding. Seungkwan hissed and sat down again. Chan spoke:

“This is about yesterday, right?”

“Kind of” Minghao sighed

Seungcheol hadn’t noticed the color of his hair until now, and by the look of pure wonder in Chan’s face, neither had he. Minghao and Jun told them about what had happened earlier that morning, how Minghao’s hair had suddenly turned red and how Jun had been invisible. Jun rubbed his bandaged arm when they came to the part where Mingyu burned him. Jun was staring at Mingyu who’s ears had turned red.

Soonyoung finished the story with:

“We think this has something to do with yesterday, I mean, this is impossible, right? Someone doesn’t just go invisible.”

Everyone went quiet. Seungcheol thought about what he had just seen. How Mingyu had arrived before it happened. Those kind of things doesn’t happen either.

“Maybe it’s a curse?.” Seokmin suggested.

Everybody stared at him. Seokmin’s face slowly turned red.

“Nevermind, but it could be a shock of some kind.” he continued.

“A shock could be the case” Chan stroke his chin. “Sometimes when someone is experiencing something...that is hard to process they get in a shock and can see strange things. Maybe this will be over tomorrow.”

The boys agreed that this was the case, they were in shock and hallucinating things. Seungcheol could tell that Chan wasn’t so sure about this.

They didn’t talk more about the strange things that that had had happened and just hung out for an hour. But Seungcheol couldn’t get rid of the feeling that this was the beginning of something bigger, something weirder.

Chapter Text

Seungkwan felt like an intruder. He was sitting among Vernon’s best friends in the small room that had been assigned to Vernon. Soonyoung was sitting by the side of the bed with his hands around Vernon’s. He still hadn’t woken up. Soonyoung was whispering to the boy but Seungkwan couldn’t hear what he was saying and he was fine with that. This was something private. Joshua was sitting on the couch next to Seungkwan scrolling on his phone. It was clear he didn’t want to talk. On the other side of the room was Jun talking to Minghao, who Seungkwan had asked to come along to not make Seungkwan alone with Vernon’s friends, but he wasn’t that much help. Seungkwan looked at Vernon. He seemed so peaceful lying there. He didn’t know why he had come with to the hospital. He had just asked if he could join when Soonyoung said that they were going to visit him. Since he had nothing else to do he thought about what they had discussed at the café earlier, and how they were in shock. It all just seemed...off. Suddenly Joshua shivered.

“Why is it so cold?”

Seungkwan shrugged. He couldn’t feel anything. A nurse opened the door and told them that they had to leave due to Vernon’s hourly checkup. Everybody looked at Soonyoung who said goodbye to Vernon. Seungkwan caught his last words: “I’m sorry.”

Seungkwan felt bad for Soonyoung. He was blaming himself for what happened, Seungkwan knew he would have too if he was in Soonyoung’s place. When the boys left the room and started walking through the hallway of the hospital Seungkwan went up to Minghao who was still talking to Jun.

“Can you give me a ride?”

Minghao looked at Jun and then shook his head.

“Sorry.”

“You can ask Joshua.” Jun suggested.

Seungkwan sighed but left the two who had already started talking excitedly again.

Wonwoo woke up from his phone ringing. Still having troubles with keeping his eyes open he answered.

“Wonwoo”

“Can you drive me?” Seokmin answered without even saying hello.

Wonwoo yawned. Where was he going this early on a Saturday?

“Where?”

He looked at the clock. It was already 10 am. With a groan Wonwoo got out of bed and started getting dressed while talking on the phone.

“Didn’t you get Chan’s message?” Seokmin wondered.

“I was asleep” Wonwoo said annoyed.

Seokmin sighed.

“He wanted to talk to us about something important.”

“Us?” Wonwoo wondered if the other boys from school would be there.

“It’s just us two and Cheol and Channie.”

For some reason Wonwoo felt...disappointed? He didn’t understand why since they were his best friends.

“So...are you giving me a ride or do I have to ask mom?”

Wonwoo answered that he would swing by in a few minutes. As they hung up he grabbed his car keys and left the house.

 

Wonwoo and Seokmin entered Chan’s house without knocking, they had been there many times before. Chan met them in the hallway, jumping in excitement. He made them hurry into the living room where Seungcheol and...Jeonghan were already sitting. Wonwoo and Seokmin shared a confused glance.

“Oh, I hope it’s okay that I invited Jeonghan.”

Seokmin raised his eyebrows. Chan sat down on the couch next to Seungcheol. Wonwoo nodded at Jeonghan and they sat down. Chan waited for a few seconds before he started talking.

“So, I don’t think we are in a shock”

Wonwoo knew that was they had agreed on yesterday but even then it had seemed wrong. He hadn’t noticed anything weird except what he had heard from the others.

“I think...something else happened with the machine.”

Chan waited for the others reaction. Nobody said anything. Wonwoo didn’t understand what Chan was trying to say. Finally Seungcheol spoke:

“Like what?”

Chan looked puzzled. The others waited for his answer.

“That’s the thing, I don’t know what it did yet. But we have noticed the...consequences of it.”

Wonwoo felt stupid. He had no idea what his friend was talking about. He glanced at Seokmin who looked none wiser.

“Ugh, you guys are making this so hard, I’m going to say this short. I think we got...powers from the machine. We all got different supernatural powers when Vernon pressed that button.” Chan said.

Wonwoo looked at Chan in disbelief. He hadn’t noticed anything even close to magic powers.

“Have none of you experienced anything at all?” Chan asked and stood up.

No answer. Chan rose his hand into the air. At first nothing happened.

“Chan? What are you doing?” Wonwoo asked.

Suddenly a pen lying on the floor flew straight into Chan’s hand. With a pearl of sweat running down one of his temples, he turned to the others in triumph. Wonwoo’s chin dropped. He looked at the others who seemed just as shocked.

“So” Chan said as he sat down again“Do you believe me now?”

“I believed you from the start.” Seungcheol said quietly.

Everybody looked at him. Chan smiled.

“I don’t know what but something happened yesterday at the café.”

Seungcheol explained how he had seen Mingyu fall and then seen him enter the café again. They all listened in silence. He told them how he had thought that he had just hallucinated.

“I think you looked into the future” Jeonghan spoke for the first time.

Seungcheol made a small “oh”. Chan ran out of the room and came back with a paper seconds later. They watched as he wrote down all of the boys’ names.

“So, what have we got? Future..seeing?” Chan asked while biting on the pen that he had summoned earlier.

He wrote it down next to Seungcheol’s name. Next to his own name he wrote “Object manipulation”.

“Jun went invisible” Seokmin stated.

“Minghao’s hair turned red” Seungcheol added.

Without thinking Wonwoo said:

“Mingyu is hot”

Chan pointed at Wonwoo with the pen.

“That is genetic” he joked with him.

The others laughed as Wonwoo hid his face in his hands. They tried to figure out what kind of other powers the boys might have but they were clueless. What they got was:

 

Seungcheol: Future seeing

Chan: Object manipulation

Jun: Invisibility

Minghao: Hair color changing(?)

Mingyu: Heat

 

When they couldn’t come up with anything more they started to talk about other things. The time passed as they talked and joked with each other. Suddenly Wonwoo got a message. He looked at his phone.

 

-Mingyu

“Heyyy, do you wanna come over?”

 

Wonwoo smiled to himself. He had known who Mingyu was even before the incident in the shed, but had never had enough courage to talk to him. But that afternoon when they had waited for the electricity to return he had finally asked for his number. Seokmin peeked over his shoulder and giggled as Wonwoo hid his phone from him but he had already seen the message.

“You should go” he whispered.

Wonwoo hesitated before standing up and telling the others that he had to leave. Chan frowned but let him. Wonwoo left Chan’s house with a beating heart.

Chapter Text

The first thing Vernon felt as he woke up was a chill going down his spine. He slowly opened his eyes and blinked a few times. A cloud of water vapor came out of his mouth as he breathed. He was freezing. Where was he? All he could see was a white ceiling. Suddenly the memories came rushing back. How his friends had been knocked out by that light in the shed and how he himself had been struck by...lighting? He quickly sat up which he immediately regret when a massive headache kicked in. He groaned and put his hand on his forehead.

“Hey, it’s okay.” said a soft voice.

Vernon looked to his left and saw a boy with round cheeks and worry in his eyes sitting by the side of his bed. Vernon felt like he had seen him earlier but couldn’t remember from where. The boy put his hand on Vernon’s arm, who snatched it away with a yelp the second the boy touched him. The other’s hand was freezing cold. His cheeks turned slightly pink.

“I’m sorry I-”

“VERNON!”

Joshua came rushing into the room.

“OH MY GOD YOU ARE AWAKE!” he screamed while running up to Vernon.

Vernon breathed out another cloud in surprise. Joshua froze in place right before he reached the bed.

“Woah, why is it suddenly so cold in here?”

Joshua went over to the radiator in the corner of the room.

“Uh, it’s on max”

Puzzled he walked back to Vernon’s who was looking at the boy sitting next to him with a raised eyebrow. The boy was still blushing and didn’t meet his eyes.

“So, how are you?” Joshua asked and sat down on his knees to be the same height as Vernon.

“My head feels like it’s going to blow up, but otherwise I’m fine I guess” Vernon gave his friend a vague smile. “What happened? How long was I...asleep?”

“Two days” the boy that had been quiet up until now murmured.

Joshua reached out his hand to Vernon’s forehead to check his temperature but immediately had to pull it back.

“Ow, you gave me an electric shock.” Joshua frowned but didn’t seem to mind.

He looked at the boy who Vernon still didn’t know who it was.

“Seungkwan, can you inform the others that he is awake, Soonyoung will be up in the clouds.” Joshua told him with a smug grin.

So Seungkwan was the name of the boy. Vernon still didn’t know where he recognized him from.

Seungkwan left the room with a nod. Vernon looked after him until the door closed. Joshua sat down on Seungkwan’s seat. He gave Vernon a gentle smile.

“Now I guess you want to know what happened while you were blacked out.”

 

 

Mingyu took a deep breath in an attempt to calm the butterflies in his stomach and fixed the oven gloves. They were really ugly with pink and yellow flowers but were the only ones that he had found. After a second of hesitation, he opened the door.

“Took you long enough” Wonwoo mumbled as he walked past Mingyu into the house.

Mingyu blinked a few times. What? Wonwoo turned around and smiled. Mingyu could feel his heart beating against his ribcage. Maybe this had been a bad idea after all. Just as he was about to say something Wonwoo noticed the gloves. He gave Mingyu questioning look.

“I don’t want to...burn someone again.” Mingyu explained and looked down at his feet as he felt himself blushing.

When he looked up again he saw Wonwoo’s gentle gaze and felt the butterflies once again flapping their wings against the inside of his belly. Not looking stupid had never been Mingyu’s strongest side so he made an attempt to a smile which most likely looked like a weird grimace. Wonwoo chuckled and walked into the living room. Mingyu hurried after and tripped on a pair of shoes on his way. He brushed his hair out of his eyes as he leaned against the doorframe and observed  Wonwoo walking around and examining his living room. Mingyu knew that he had to say something but he didn’t know what.

“Uh, do you, um, do you want to eat something?” he blurted out.

Good job Mingyu, thinking with the stomach, he scolded himself in his head. Wonwoo’s eyes lit up.

”I missed breakfast today so that would be great.”

He mumbled something else under his breath that Mingyu could have sworn was “Damn you Seokmin”. Not going to question it, Mingyu took the lead to the kitchen, sweating. He was very tempted to take off the hot gloves. Wonwoo sat up on a counter and started swinging his feet. Mingyu stared like in trance on the motion. He snapped out of it when Wonwoo’s legs stopped moving and turned to the fridge, cheeks red. He could feel Wonwoo’s eyes burning into his back.

“What do you want?” he hid his face behind the fridge door.

Before Wonwoo could answer Mingyu reached for a bowl standing in the back of the fridge, wondering what it contained. He was inspecting it when the bowl suddenly slipped out of his hands as the gloves made it hard for him to have a hold of it. The bowl shattered against the floor, leading to glass and rice covering the floor.

“Oh my god, are you okay?” Wonwoo asked and jumped off the counter, careful not to step on the glass.

Mingyu could feel his body temperature rising. He had never hated his clumsiness more than now. He could feel his cheeks heating up, as well as the rest of his body.

“I’m fine” Mingyu avoided eye contact with Wonwoo and started picking up the large pieces of glass, which was very hard with the gloves on.

”Isn’t it kind of hot here?” he asked as it felt like the room’s temperature had risen at least 30 degrees.

Mingyu could feel Wonwoo staring at him. He looked at him under his lashes and startled when he saw the surprise in the other’s eyes. Wonwoo cleared his throat.

“Uh, you are on fire.”

Mingyu didn’t know if this was a compliment. He met the boy’s eyes with a confused (attempt to a) smile.

“Um, thanks?”

“No, you are...literally on fire” Wonwoo's voice was soaking in fear now.

Mingyu looked down at himself to see flames licking his pants and the ugly gloves. Panic grew in his chest and he looked up at Wonwoo again who was just as shocked as him. He couldn’t feel the fire even though it should have burnt his skin but he didn’t have time for logical thinking right now. He threw the gloves on the floor and started stomping on them to put out the fire, but had no plans on taking off his pants. Not knowing what to do he stood clueless and watched the flames slowly burning the fabric. Before he could do anything else cold water poured over him and extinguished the fire. He closed his eyes and felt the icing water running down his back, cooling him down.

“Dude, are you okay?” Wonwoo asked.

Mingyu opened his eyes again and was met by Wonwoo. He was holding the bowl that usually stood on the counter containing fruit. The bowl was now dripping with water and the fruit was on the ground.

“I-I think so” Mingyu stuttered.”I g-guess the gloves didn’t work.”

Wonwoo smiled weakly at his attempt to sarcasm and took a deep breath. Mingyu looked at the messy kitchen. A mixture of glass, rice and fruit covered the usually clean floor. There was a moment of awkward silence before Wonwoo’s phone started ringing from the hall. He rushed out of the kitchen, leaving Mingyu behind. What had just happened? There was nothing that could have caused the fire. And why hadn’t it burnt him? His brain felt like slime. Instead of starting to clean up Mingyu remained in the same place until Wonwoo returned, excitedly talking to whoever was on the line.

“Yes, okay, we’ll be there in a few minutes. Bye!”

He hung up and looked Mingyu in the eyes with a relieved smile.

“It was Seungcheol, Vernon is awake.”

Chapter Text

Vernon didn’t know what to say. He was laying in his bed at the hospital while the twelve boys were staring at him, waiting for a reaction. His head was spinning.

“Uh, what?” was all he managed to get out of him.

The rest of them sighed and Joshua tried to explain once again what had happened since he blacked out in the shed. How they had rushed him to the hospital and been in a small coma for three days. Vernon’s mind was cloudy, and he was pretty sure he had never met half of the boys around him. It all felt so surreal.

“Wait who are you people?” he blurted out.

“Oh, right, sorry Vernon, I forgot.” Joshua murmured.

He then managed to point out all of the boys Vernon didn’t recognize and told him their names and what classes they went to. The names melted together after a while. The others had moved chairs from the waiting room into Vernon’s, making the already small room even more claustrophobic. You could now barely walk to the door without tripping over a chair. The boy that had been sitting by his side when he woke up, Seungkwan, had moved to the back of the room to his friends. His cheeks were still bright pink.

Vernon was very confused by all of the new faces. The tall boy next to Seungkwan looked like he had just taken a bath with his clothes on and there was a slightly larger space between his chair and the others, who tried to not get water on themselves. Vernon looked at Soonyoung who was sitting by his side on the floor and watching his every move as he was afraid something might happen to him again. Vernon had personally told him that he didn’t blame him for the accident when he had arrived at the hospital with tears streaming down his face. It was weird though, Soonyoung hadn’t said anything since the other boys had arrived, which was unusual. He gave his friend a small smile but only got a grimace in return.

Vernon took a look at everybody once again. He wanted to ask something but didn’t know what. He opened his mouth in hopes that he would come up with something but another boy, Seungcheol he remembered, cut him off.

“Well, you see...wait” Seungcheol stopped mid-sentence when all of the other boys stared at him. “You never...asked anything”

He turned to the younger boy sitting next to him.

“It happened again” he exclaimed with excitement.

The second boy’s eyes widened. The others in the room started to ask what happened when the younger boy stood up.

“Okay, I know that we agreed that we are hallucinating but-”

“Hallucinating what” everybody ignored Vernon’s question.

Seungcheol poked the younger boy’s arm.

“Tell them Chan”

Chan hesitated for a moment before talking again.

“The machine gave us powers”

The room went quiet. Vernon looked over at his friends. Joshua’s mouth was wide open. Chan broke the silence.

“I don’t know how the machine gave us powers, I still need to investigate in it, but it’s true. Look” he took out a small, wrinkled piece of paper out of his pocket. “We figured out some of your powers...kind of. Seungcheol can see into the future-"

“Wait are you sure about this?” Joshua cut in “I haven't noticed anything strange at all to be honest.”

Chan chewed on his lip.

“Not even when I went invisible?” Jun asked with a grin.

Joshua blushed and nodded.

“Wait you went invisible?” Vernon asked.

“Long story” Jun shrugged.

Vernon tried to give Jun a “tell-me-more-look” but Jun was staring at one of the boys a few chairs away. He fell off his chair with a gasp when the boy suddenly looked back at him.

“HAO YOUR EYES ARE GREEN!” Jun shrieked from the floor.

Vernon had never been more confused in his entire life. He looked at the boy who clearly had green eyes.

“No, I have brown eyes.” Minghao foolishly stated.

“That is what I’m trying to say” Chan cut in. “Minghao is-”

He glanced at his notes with a puzzled expression before looking around the room. As he put out his hand in the air a pen lying on the small bed table next to Vernon flew into it. Vernon gasped. He couldn’t believe his eyes. After a quick look at the others around him he realized neither could they. They were all staring at Chan who was scribbling down stuff on the piece of paper.

“So what I was going to say, Minghao is a shapeshifter...I think” his voice was excited.

When he looked up from the paper he seemed startled. He then realized why they were all staring at him with their jaws dropped.

“Oh, right, I can move objects with my mind” Chan started to blush from all the attention and moved his eyes to the paper again. “Jun can go invisible, Seungcheol can see into the future, and Mingyu...well it’s something with heat.”

“Fire” the tall boy mumbled “I set myself on fire”

The boys around him snickered as Chan wrote it down.

“Anybody else?” he asked.

The room went silent once again. Vernon looked at Seungkwan who was still laughing and teasing his friend about setting himself on fire. The tall boy had hidden his face in his hands. Jun leaned over to Joshua and whispered something in his ear and then pointed at Mingyu. Vernon closed his eyes to gather his thoughts. The room went quiet after a while. This was just so crazy. How could he have missed this much in just three days? Suddenly a scream cut the silence.

“CAN YOU SHUT UP? ALL OF YOU!”

Vernon opened his eyes and saw that the small boy, that he thought was called Jihoon, had stood up. Sweat was running down his temples and he was breathing heavily. Seungkwan put a hand on his shoulder.

“What’s wrong?” he asked in the same calming voice he had used before with Vernon.

Something burned in Vernon’s stomach. The short boy slowly regained his breath but still looked very stressed.

“I can hear you. I can hear your thoughts. All of them.” the short boy whispered with a pained voice.”They...I don’t know how to stop it. They are so loud.” he put his hands over his face.

“Are you okay?” Seungcheol carefully asked.

Jihoon shook his head. Vernon felt bad for him, even though he didn’t quite understand what was happening. Suddenly the boy looked up at Vernon with fire in his eyes.

“Don’t!” his voice was dripping with poison. “Don’t feel bad for me. I’m not weak!”

He pushed away Seungkwan’s hand, turned his back against Vernon and rushed out of the room with Seungkwan and the rest of his friends behind him. The burning feeling in Vernon’s stomach faded. The door slammed shut.

“I think we all need to go home and process this.” Seungcheol said as he stood up and started stretching. He had a calm expression on his face despite the event that had just taken place, but Vernon could see a glimpse of worry in his eyes.”If you notice anything that might be a lead to your power, tell us on Monday. Are all of you okay with eating lunch together then?”

They all nodded.

“Anything else?” Chan asked them.

Soonyoung that had been quiet the whole time rose his hand. Vernon’s heart deflated a bit. His friend’s eyes were still red and swollen. He was pretty sure he had never seen him raise his hand, Soonyoung always spoke out loud when he felt like it.

“How do we find our powers? Like, how did you discover your...object thing?”

Chan’s face turned red.

“Uhm, that is a story for later” he stuttered. “You’ll know when you find it. Let’s all go home and rest now.”

Chan made it out of the room first. Slowly the rest of the boys left the room, leaving Vernon behind in his bed. He had to assure Soonyoung that he would be fine alone a few times before he agreed to leave. Or more correctly, got dragged out by Joshua and Jun. When they all had left he noticed something on the floor. Carefully he got out of bed. His legs were a bit numb after laying in bed for three days but he managed to walk over to the object on the floor and pick it up.

Chapter Text

After around an hour of trying to convince Jihoon to get out of the bathroom, they were finally heading towards the parking lot. He had cried a lot but explained that he had randomly heard people’s thoughts since that day in the shed, but in Vernon’s room he had suddenly heard all of the thirteen boys’ thoughts at once which of course must have been very loud. Seungkwan was just about to walk out the door of the hospital when he froze. Mingyu looked back at him.

“What are you doing?” he asked when Seungkwan turned around.

Minghao and Jihoon who were walking a few meters in front of them hadn’t noticed Seungkwan’s halt.

“I forgot my phone”

Mingyu didn’t have time to answer since Seungkwan was already sprinting back towards Vernon’s room. The other boys had already left when he entered. Vernon himself had gone back to sleep which surprised Seungkwan since he had slept for the past three days. Carefully Seungkwan searched the room for his lost phone as he didn’t want to wake him up, but it was nowhere to be found. Maybe he didn’t forget it in here at all? Clueless he spun around one last time with faith that he would magically see his phone somewhere. Disappointed he turned to exit the room when a voice startled him:

“Looking for this?”

Seungkwan quickly spun around to see Vernon sitting on his bed, holding Seungkwan’s phone. Seungkwan's heart skipped a beat.

“I thought you were asleep.” Was all Seungkwan could think of as he tried to calm his beating heart. “You almost gave me a heart attack.” He dramatically put his hand on his chest.

Vernon chuckled. He casually threw the phone at Seungkwan who almost dropped it. He mumbled a small thanks. For some reason Seungkwan found it very hard to meet Vernon’s eyes, just like he had felt when Vernon first woke up. He felt nauseous and wanted to run back to his friends and escape the awkward silence that had appeared.

“So...um...my friends are waiting for me.” He said as he pointed at the door.

He finally looked up and met Vernon’s eyes. Suddenly the lights turned off. Seungkwan let out a small yelp as he almost fell over one of the chairs that had been left behind. It was almost pitch black and Seungkwan could only see the outlines of the other boy.

“You okay?” the other boy’s voice was low.

And the light was back on again. Seungkwan blinked a few times to adjust his eyes.

“Yeah. What happened?”

Vernon shrugged.

“Must have been something wrong with the power or something.” he said and leaned back into his pillow.

Seungkwan nodded. He started walking out of the room when he once again got stopped by the other boy.

“Hey!”

Seungkwan turned around again with a wondering expression. What now? Vernon hesitated for a second before he spoke again

“You’re cute” What? “Mind if I ask you on a date?” WHAT?

Seungkwan stood like frozen. He could feel his cheeks burning once again. This boy that he had almost never met was...asking him on a date? How do you answer to something like this? Vernon waved his hand in the air in front of Seungkwan’s eyes.

“Hey, you still there?”

Seungkwan snapped back to reality and noticed that Vernon’s ears were blood red.

“Yeah, sorry.”

“So that is a yes?” Vernon smiled, but he didn’t seem as confident anymore.

Seungkwan nodded.

“Sure.” What could go wrong?

After a small smile, he turned around for the third time and rushed out of the room and slammed the door behind him. What just happened?

 

 

The weekend had gone by faster than Jeonghan had expected. He was already walking to school again and he still hadn’t heard from anyone since Saturday when they had met in Vernon’s room at the hospital. He wasn’t surprised though, even if something new had happened he doubted somebody would tell him anyways. He was clearly the intruder in the group. They seemed to befriend each other pretty fast while Jeonghan still hid in corners whenever he saw them, which was a little harder for Soonyoung, Jun and Joshua since they were in the same class.

He and Chan had a background that Jeonghan had tried hard to forget, ever since he decided to never talk to Chan again. He sighed. Chan was really friendly to him which made it even harder to keep that promise to himself. Jeonghan pushed back memories that he didn’t want to relive, not today at least, and swallowed down the lump in his throat.

He was still far from school and his lesson started in five minutes. He preferred walking to school instead of going by bus or getting his dad to drive him. It gave him time to think and he also didn’t have to bother others, but today he was going to be late once again and blamed himself since he had left home way too late.

As expected the teacher wasn’t happy with him being 20 minutes late. After her long rant about why it’s important to be on time he sat down. He looked behind his back to see that Vernon still wasn’t back in school which wasn’t a surprise. Soonyoung seemed a lot happier since his friend was okay and was excitedly talking to Joshua who only nodded and kept working on their assignment. It was weird that Jeonghan had never talked to them before since they were in the same class, but to be fair, he almost never talked to anyone at all. A wave of anxiety hit him when he realized that he had agreed to eat lunch with the rest of the boys.

Suddenly Soonyoung looked up and met his eyes and he realized that he had been staring. The cheerful boy gave him one of his blinding smiles and then continued annoying Joshua. Jeonghan turned back to his own work with a small grin on his face and the anxious knot in his stomach dissolved a little.

Lunchtime came by faster than expected and when he entered the cafeteria Chan waved to him from one of the tables. With a bit of hesitation, he sped over to the table with his food and sat down on the opposite side of Chan. He, Seungcheol, Wonwoo and Seokmin were the only ones there at the moment.

“Hi!”

Jeonghan met Chan’s eyes and nodded. He could already feel his palms starting to sweat. Before Chan could say anything else Soonyoung, Joshua and Jun showed up. Soonyoung bounced down next to Jeonghan with a cheery greeting. Jeonghan ate his food while the others started to talk to each other. He was completely fine with just listening and silently observed as Soonyoung managed to stuff his cheeks with enough mashed potatoes to not be able to talk. They were speaking about random things like homework and what they did in their spare time.

After a few minutes Mingyu, Minghao and Seungkwan also joined them. They got to the conclusion that nobody had experienced anything else weird, or “found any powers” as Chan had expressed it. Jeonghan examined all the faces in an attempt to remember all of their names. Wait, weren’t they supposed to be 12 without Vernon?

“Where is Jihoon?” Jeonghan asked so quietly that only Soonyoung could hear him.

Soonyoung quickly looked around the table and also realized that the short boy wasn’t present. He repeated the same question that Jeonghan had asked but loud enough for everyone to hear him.

“We don’t know, we haven’t been able to reach him since we drove him home last Saturday after our meeting.” Mingyu shrugged.

Jeonghan could see the worry hiding in his eyes. He hoped that Jihoon was okay. Jeonghan was relieved that he wasn’t there at the moment though since he didn’t like the thought of Jihoon reading his mind without him knowing. They sat in silence and ate their food for what felt like an hour before Chan spoke up:

“Can we examine the machine?”

 

Chapter Text

Seokmin had no clue why he had agreed to this. He, Chan, Seungkwan and Joshua were standing outside of the ugly school shed. He hadn’t put much thought into it last time he entered since he had been trying to keep up with Chan running after Jeonghan. Now he took a better look at it and was surprised it hadn’t completely fallen apart already. The paint was almost completely gone, with only small stains of paint that hinted of the blue color that it used to have. The planks looked like they would break any second and on the metal door, there was a warning sign telling people to keep out. He understood why people were told to keep out now.

Seokmin searched in his memory but couldn’t find the huge lock that was now on the door handle. It definitely hadn’t been there before, unless Jeonghan somehow had the key.

Chan pulled the door without result, only to hit it with his palm. He turned to the others with a wrinkle between his eyebrows. He inhaled loudly.

“What do we do?” He asked them and started chewing on his lip.

Seungkwan kept quiet while Seokmin shrugged. He regretted not staying with the others inside the cafeteria who were trying to contact Jihoon. Chan put his hands over his eyes and groaned. To Seokmin’s surprise, Joshua walked up to the door. What was he going to do, punch it?

In fact, that was exactly what the boy did. With a clenched fist, Joshua punched the door with all his power only to immediately regret it and whine as his hand hit the metal. Chan gasped, but Seungkwan and Seokmin couldn’t help but laugh.

“Dude, are you stupid?” Seokmin giggled.

Joshua frowned and rubbed his fist. “At least I tried” he mumbled which lead to another burst of laughter from the two other boys.

“Guys!” Chan got the others attention. He pointed at the door that was now open, with the lock laying on the ground. Seungkwan’s jaw dropped.

“Did Joshua really-”

“No you morons, I opened it” Chan sighed. He lifted up his hand with his palm pointing at the puzzled boys.

“So you just broke the lock?” Seokmin asked.

Chan facepalmed and sighed again.

“No, I unlocked it with my power, do you guys even have brains?”

Chan entered the shed before the others answered. Seokmin hadn’t thought about Chan’s ability to move things with his mind, less about the possibility of him being able to unlock doors.

Joshua murmured a “cool” before he followed Chan. When Seokmin and Seungkwan entered, they almost walked into Chan who had stopped right inside the shed, staring at the machine in the middle of the room.

“What happened?” Joshua asked and walked up to it.

The machine was completely broken, with wires pulled out and the metal protecting it heavily dented. The boys examined it in silence.

“There is no way it is still working” Chan finally sighed.

Seokmin picked up a baseball bat lying on the floor and showed it to the others.

“Somebody broke it on purpose.”Seokmin told them.

“Who?” Seungkwan took the baseball bat from him. “The person who built it? Then why was the shed locked if the machine is already broken?”

“Ugh, why is everything so difficult?” Joshua groaned and kicked the machine only to once again yelp in pain.

“You gotta stop doing that Shua.” Seungkwan smiled vaguely.

Chan took a final disappointed look at the machine. “Let’s head back to the others”

 



Jun dropped the book on the ground.

“I’m tired” he whined and pulled a strand of Minghao’s now green hair. Something he had tried to change earlier but not succeeding. Jun kind of liked the green color though.

“Sucks to be you” he replied without even looking up from his own book.

Jun made an attempt to kick Minghao off the couch but failed miserably when Minghao fired back and easily pushed him off instead.

“You are no fun” he whined from the floor.

Minghao finally looked down at him with a smirk.

“You came here to study right?”

Jun groaned and sat up on the floor. It was true that he had come to Minghao’s to study, but they had been doing so for at least two hours now, which he told Minghao whose grin turned even wider.

“I repeat: Sucks to be you.” he chuckled and turned back to his book. “I want to not fail this stupid test.” He sighed.

“Not fair.” Jun picked up his math book from the ground and threw it on the couch. Just when he was about to get up again he felt a weird tingling in his stomach. He paused, waiting for it to stop.

“Jun?”

He looked up at Minghao who was searching the room for something with his eyes. Jun watched as Minghao got up and was about to leave.

“Where are you going?”

Minghao jumped and turned around.

“Jun?” he said carefully, still not looking at the boy. “Are you here?”

Jun felt a shiver go down his spine as he realized that Minghao couldn’t see him, just like neither Joshua nor Soonyoung had been able to a few days earlier.

“Yeah” he stood up and closed his eyes as he tried to focus on turning visible again, even though he had no idea how to. “Ugh, not this again”

Minghao snickered nervously. He was right in front of him as Jun opened his eyes again. He observed the distressed look on the other's face. He resisted the urge to reach out and touch him to calm him down, as he knew it would only startle the boy even more. Instead, he silently backed off so Minghao wouldn’t accidentally walk into him.

“Uh, are you okay? I, like, can’t see you.” Minghao said to the air in front of him.

“Yep, just give it a second.” Jun took a deep breath and tried to relax his body. Why did this have to happen right now? He was getting frustrated by the fact that he couldn’t control when he turned invisible. He had already done it twice, the first time that day in school, the second time when he was at home, fortunately when he was in his room by himself, trying to decide what clothes he wanted to wear but was instead not able to see himself in the mirror. Both those times he had eventually turned visible again after a few minutes. He hadn’t thought that it would have been necessary to take up at their lunch meetup earlier that day, since the others already knew that he could go invisible. “Just, tell me when you can see me again.”

Minghao turned in the direction of Jun’s voice where he thought the boy was, just a bit off to the right, and nodded. The tingling in Jun’s stomach became stronger, and he was feeling slightly light-headed. This was all so stupid.

For what felt like hours Jun stood with his eyes closed waiting for Minghao to tell him that he was back to normal. The weird feeling in his stomach only became stronger and stronger and his head was definitely hurting now. Why did this have to happen to just him? Why did he have this “power” that made him feel so helpless and stupid? The tingling turned into pain, like sharp knives cutting him from the inside.

Just when he felt like he was about to faint a warmth wrapped around him and the pain slowly faded away, only to be replaced by fatigue.

“Are you okay?” Minghao asked softly in his ear.

Jun opened his eyes. Minghao was hugging him tightly which Jun hadn’t even noticed. Minghao slowly let him go and looked at him with worry in his eyes. Jun nodded.

“You sure? You are kind of crying.”

Jun wiped the hot tears from his cheeks in surprise, when had he started crying? Then the fatigue took over his body and his knees gave away, causing him to collapse, and would have hit the floor if Minghao hadn’t catched him.

“Whoa, let’s get you back to the couch.”

Minghao took Jun’s arm over his shoulder to let him lean on him as support. He helped him lay down on the couch again. Jun’s hands were shaking and he felt like he was going to throw up any second.

“What happened?” he asked as Minghao sat down next to him. The latter shrugged.

“You just disappeared so I figured you went invisible. You were gone for…” he looked at the clock on the wall “Around 45 minutes”

Jun’s eyes widened and he sat up to look Minghao in the eyes to make sure he wasn’t joking.

“What?!”

But the boy just nodded and made Jun lay down again by a gentle push to his chest. How? Earlier his episodes of being invisible lasted for a maximum of five minutes.

“Suddenly you appeared again, not replying when I talked to you, and I guess I didn’t know what to do so I just...hugged you.” Minghao glanced at him. “I hope that is okay” he added.

Jun just nodded in response, too tired to do anything else, but thankful for Minghao being there. They stayed like that in silence for a while, Jun decked on the couch and Minghao sitting by his side.

“Were you in pain?” he suddenly asked.

Jun hesitated for a moment and thought back to the weird tingling in his belly that had turned into pain and the horrible headache, but that had disappeared when he had stopped being invisible. Curious to why Minghao would ask he arched his brows. Minghao started fidgeting with the sleeve of his shirt

“You screamed, a lot, and it sounded like it hurt. I got a bit worried when you didn’t answer me.”

Jun felt a pang of guilt in his chest for worrying the boy. His memories of the event were slowly fading away, like it had just been a bad dream. He definitely didn’t remember crying, screaming or hearing Minghao’s calls. He did remember the pain, cutting him from the inside though.

“Yes. It stopped though, but it hurt a lot.” he whispered, too tired to do anything else.

Minghao slowly nodded.

“I don’t think your body could handle using that much energy to keep you invisible for so long, I mean earlier, they only lasted for a few minutes. Right?

Jun’s eyelids felt heavy. He hummed as an answer to Minghao. He heard him say something else but couldn’t make out the words out since his mind was already drifting off and he closed his eyes. He fell asleep while listening to Minghao’s comforting voice.

Chapter Text

Vernon was laying in his bed at the hospital. The doctor had said that he maybe, just maybe got to leave tomorrow. He missed his friends even though they came by at least once a day to check on him.

There was one thing stuck in his mind that he couldn’t stop thinking about though. The fact that he had asked out a stranger.

At the moment it had seemed like a good decision, but judging by how cloudy his mind had been after three days of only sleeping, he now realized how odd he must have been acting. Vernon replayed the scene over and over again in his mind. He groaned and rubbed his eyes. The boy, Seungkwan had seemed fine, he tried to convince himself. But what if he had been acting. What if he thought Vernon was some kind of fuckboy that asked out every pretty boy he saw? Well, that he would have to see when he returned to school.

 

 

Soonyoung looked up as the door to the classroom opened and couldn’t stop himself from letting out a loud shriek. He sprinted over and straight up tackled Vernon who answered with a surprised yelp. They fell to the ground, giggling, in a big hug. Soon Joshua joined them on the floor with the whole class staring at them. But Soonyoung didn’t care, his best friend was back and he couldn’t stop the tears from flowing over.

When they finally got up from the floor they sat down at their desks, Sooyoung next to Joshua with Vernon behind them. Vernon furrowed his brows at the empty seat next to him.

“Where is Jun?” he whispered to them as the teacher started the lesson again after the sudden stop.

“He wasn’t feeling well according to Minghao.” Soonyong answered pretending to listen to the teacher.

Vernon furrowed his brows even further.

“You know the...uh guy with...wait what was his latest hair color?” Soonyoung tried to remember since Minghao had changed hair color a lot by accident in the past few days. “Green? I think? The shapeshifter or whatever.”

Vernon just stared at Soonyoung for a while then nodded slowly.

“Jun’s friend?” he asked.

“Yep” Soonyoung turned to look at the teacher who was getting impatient with them talking in class. "You'll meet him later"



The week went by pretty fast with Vernon back in school, and before Soonyoung knew it, it was already Thursday. Jun had returned the day after Vernon had, happy to see their friend back on his feet, but he had been unusually quiet. Soonyoung was a bit worried but didn’t push Jun to tell them what was wrong since he figured he would tell them eventually if he felt like it.

Vernon and Soonyoung were now sitting in the audience of the running tracks next to the school, ready to cheer for Joshua. He had asked them to come since this was some final in a competition of some sort, but Jun had already agreed to hang out with Minghao, so it was just him and Vernon.

Soonyoung didn’t know that much about running. Joshua had told him that the track was 1000 meters, but that was all he knew.

The school’s track was formed like a circle with fancy stands around it, with a small door as the only way to get out. In the middle of the track, a flag marked the goal. Soonyoung looked at the audience around him. He was sitting a few steps up in the stand which meant he could see the rest of the audience easily, not that there was a lot of people there. It was clear not that many cared about running.

Vernon pointed out Joshua in the small group of athletes getting ready to run to Soonyoung. He looked professional and was wearing a black running gear. He had started running this semester when the coach of the team spotted him sprinting to a class he was late to. Soonyoung was proud that his friend was in this final, even though he had no idea if it was a big competition.

Some dude tried to talk in a microphone to get everyone’s attention but gave up when it wouldn’t work and just pointed at the start of the tracks and screamed something that Soonyoung couldn’t hear.

The runners lined up and waited for the start signal. Soonyoung squinted his eyes to find Joshua again.

The signal went off and they started running, but he immediately lost Joshua. Desperately trying to find him again he stood up and jumped to get a better view of the runners.

Vernon tugged his shirt and when Soonyoung looked down at him, he was pointing far away from the group of runners, instead, he was pointing at the goal in the middle of the track.

To his surprise, Joshua was already across the finish line, which was impossible since the others weren’t even halfway across the tracks. He was staring at the flag next to him like he didn’t believe it himself.

Soonyoung looked at Vernon who seemed as confused as he felt. The others who were cheering for their own friends hadn’t seemed to notice the boy who was already at the goal, not even the judges of the competition had. When they looked back at the track, Joshua had disappeared.

Soonyoung dragged Vernon with him as he sprinted down the stairs of the stand. They reached ground level only to stop. Puzzled they started walking along the track. Where was Joshua?

Suddenly a motion in the corner of his eye got Soonyoung’s attention. He looked over at the door across the arena, which was open.

“He left”

Vernon looked up at him with disbelief in his eyes. “I’m pretty sure we would have seen if he left.”

Soonyoung pointed at the open door.

“I mean, I don’t think he is hiding in the stands.” Soonyoung grinned.

Vernon agreed and they walked out the door. They immediately saw Joshua sitting against a tree a few meters away. As they rushed up to him he gave them a weak smile. He was pale and sweating.

“Are you okay?” Vernon asked and put his hand on their friend’s forehead but immediately snatching it back as if he was burnt. “Oh my god you are boiling.”

“I-I think I found my power.” Joshua answered half-heartedly.

Chapter Text

Vernon and Soonyoung helped Joshua get up on his feet and they slowly started moving away from the arena, towards Joshua’s car, with both Soonyoung and Vernon holding him up. He was still very pale and shaking.

“What happened?” Vernon asked.

“I don’t...I don’t know. I felt a rush of adrenaline and I just ran. Suddenly I was at the finish line but it was like...time had stopped or something.” he inhaled and thought for a moment. “Then I realized something was wrong and left the arena before anyone saw.”

Soonyoung sighed. “If we are lucky, then nobody-”

He got cut off by someone shouting behind them. Vernon turned around to see… Seungkwan? He was jogging towards them from the arena with his hair flopping around his head. They waited for him to catch up with them where he bent over to catch his breath.

“You stupid idiots.” he then proceeded to say in between heavy breaths.

Vernon avoided his piercing gaze as he said the words. He hadn’t been able to talk to the boy since his embarrassing impulse to ask him out due to a lot of schoolwork to catch up with. Now, when he was standing in front of him he seemed...annoyed.  

“What are you doing here?” Soonyoung asked and let go of Joshua’s arm but had to catch him again as he almost fell.

“I was watching my cousin running, and suddenly, I see this moron,” he pointed at Joshua ”running faster than the speed of light.”

Vernon finally looked up at Seungkwan who had his eyes locked on Joshua with an accusing glare. Why was he so angry?

“Excuse me, but Joshua had no idea he could do...that, right Shua?” Soonyoung looked at Joshua who nodded. Vernon sensed the slight annoyance in his voice. Seungkwan put a hand on his forehead.

“Please tell me nobody saw him.” he sighed.

Soonyoung let go of Joshua’s arm once again, but this time the other boy was prepared and steadied himself. Soonyoung took a step closer to Seungkwan.

“No.”

The other boy gave him an unimpressed glare.

“How do you know?” he spat out. When Soonyoung couldn’t give him an answer he chuckled dryly. “Great! Amazing!” Seungkwan moved even closer to Soonyoung “What if somebody saw him? How will he explain suddenly standing at the goal right after the start signal, huh?”

“We were kind of busy making sure our friend was okay, we didn’t have time to see if somebody saw him!” Soonyoung’s voice gradually turned louder.

Vernon tugged Joshua’s arm, leading them away from the argument. Soonyoung wasn’t the type to fight, but if something happened he didn’t want their already weak friend to join, which he knew he most likely would.

Joshua noticed but didn’t resist as Vernon pulled him towards the parking lot.

“What will you tell the others? They will think you are irresponsible idiots, just like me.” Seungkwan huffed.

Soonyoung decreased the space between them even further, causing Joshua to stop, despite Vernon pulling his arm harder.

“Why didn’t you check if somebody saw him then?” Soonyoung jabbed his finger into Seungkwan’s chest.

Seungkwan blinked a few times before letting out a frustrated scream, making a movement to push away Soonyoung, but to Vernon’s fright, shards of ice as sharp as knives shot out of Seungkwan’s palms towards Soonyoung who instinctively backed away with his arms out to protect his face.

Joshua tripped as he tried to run up to them to protect his friend and facepalmed in the grass. Vernon watched with widened eyes as the shards flew towards his best friend.

Then suddenly the ice shattered in the air, right before it hit Soonyoung, into a million small pieces. It was like the ice hit a wall in front of the boy, and Vernon saw how the air jiggled where the shards hit, like it does above a fire or when it’s hot outside.

He stood as frozen and watched the scene. Soonyoung slowly lowered his arms from his face and stared at the ice in the grass slowly melting away.

“I am so sorry.” Seungkwan’s voice cracked as he fell down on his knees. He was shivering with tears flowing up in his eyes. “I am...I don’t know what...I didn’t mean to-” he flinched as Soonyoung offered him his hand to help him stand up. It hit Vernon why Seungkwan had started crying, he was scared, of either Soonyoung or whatever just happened.

“I know” Soonyoung answered calmly.

“What in the world-” Vernon mumbled as he helped Joshua stand up again, whose face was covered in grass. “Soonyoung, what did you do?” Vernon walked up to the two boys, followed by Joshua.

“I have no idea what just happened” Soonyoung answered and grinned when he saw Joshua’s grass-covered face

“Are you sure that you are okay?” Joshua asked and took Soonyoung’s hands to search for injuries after spitting out a chunk of grass from his mouth.

Vernon glanced at Seungkwan who was standing awkwardly next to Soonyoung, wiping his own tears. “How are you?” he asked as he walked up to the boy.

Seungkwan avoided his eyes and fidgeted with the sleeve of his shirt. “I’m fine.”

“Hey, we need to tell the others that we have found our powers.” Soonyoung suddenly said cheerily.

Seungkwan looked up at him. “You are not mad at me?”

The other boy smiled and shook his head. “I know you didn’t mean any harm, you didn’t know about your power.” he gestured towards Joshua. “Just like Josh.”

Seungkwan’s cheeks turned light pink and he nodded. “I’m sorry, I might have overreacted about that. I was scared I guess,” he mumbled.

Soonyoung chuckled and took Seungkwan’s hand to squeeze it. “It’s all forgotten. Let’s go find the others.”

 

 

Seungkwan entered the café with the three other boys. The car ride had been awkward with him and Vernon sitting in the back. They still hadn’t talked properly. Joshua seemed to be doing better since he was joking and laughing with Soonyoung, which was a relief since Seungkwan still felt guilty about overreacting, and especially after shooting ice at Soonyoung.

It had been scary, he hadn’t even known that he could do that. He could have hurt Soonyoung really bad or even killed him. He shivered and pushed away those thoughts. Vernon noticed and raised an eyebrow but Seungkwan chose to ignore it.

When they looked around the café, they found the other boys sitting at a table in the corner. Soonyoung had texted everyone to gather them here. Seungkwan glanced at Vernon who was now talking to Soonyoung and Joshua.

He left them to sit down next to Minghao and Mingyu but ignored their concerned question. He sank into the chair and tried to avoid the burning eyes of the rest of the boys.

Soonyoung, Joshua, and Vernon told the story of what happened earlier, but Seungkwan couldn’t listen to it. Surprised gasps came from the spectators around the table as they listened to the three boys. He fidgeted with his sleeve and blocked out the rest of the room when he felt someone staring at him. Seungkwan looked up to see Vernon on the other side of the table, who smiled vaguely when he looked up.

A warmth spread in his chest and he smiled back. Vernon laughed at some joke Soonyoung said about “Joshua choosing the right sport.”

Seungkwan looked at everyone around the table. They were listening intensely to the story of that afternoon, with Chan taking notes in a blue notebook. The warmth suddenly disappeared when he realized that Jihoon still wasn’t there. This meant that he had been gone for almost a week.

“So, what exactly are your powers?” Seungcheol asked.

“I guess I have speed or something like that,” Joshua said before he sipped on his coffee. “And Seungkwan has ice.” he continued.

“What about Soonyoung?” Seokmin asked.

Silence. Seungkwan didn’t know either, to be honest. It had been like the air had solidified in front of Soonyoung when the ice flew towards him.

“What about air?” he suggested.

“Like an Airbender?” Vernon giggled and hit Soonyoung on the shoulder who didn’t seem as amused. The others laughed but agreed that it seemed fitting.

“If any of you suckers ever call me Airbender I will kick your ass.” Soonyoung threatened jokingly..

“Soonyoung is officially the Airbender!” Vernon screamed before running out of the café with Soonyoung chasing him and the rest of the boys around the table laughing.

Chapter Text

Chan chewed on the pen while he studied his notes. He had written down everything that had happened since the accident, powers, symptoms, other weird stuff that had happened in an attempt to find out who might have built the machine (even though he doubted the shady lunch lady had anything to do with all of this, Seokmin had made him write her down as a suspect.), and also what powers the rest of his friends might have.

He sighed and closed the blue notebook, giving up on finding any clues that might lead to a breakthrough. Wonwoo glanced at him from his book.

“No luck?”

Chan shook his head and sank into the couch. Seungcheol looked up from his phone, he had probably been playing games.

“Things will probably fix themselves in a while.” he grimaced  “Okay, not even I believe that”

Wonwoo chuckled and returned to his book. They were hanging out at Seungcheol’s, just doing whatever they felt like, which meant that Seokmin was asleep on the floor, using his arms as a pillow. Chan didn’t understand how he could sleep like that.

“Hey” Seungcheol put away his phone, locking eyes with Chan “How are things going with the Jeonghan dude?”

Chan sighed again and sank even further into the couch.

“Bad, he still won’t talk to me.” he pouted which made Seungcheol giggle.

“Why do you want to talk to him so badly anyways?” Wonwoo mumbled without looking away from his book.

Chan thought for a moment. This was all so complicated, so long ago, so...painful.

“I want to be his friend again I guess? I want to know why he left me. I-” Chan’s voice cracked. He inhaled and tried to swallow the lump that had started to form in his throat. Wonwoo put the book down on the couch and looked at him with concerned eyes.

Suddenly Seungcheol rose from the armchair on the opposite side of the room and made his way over to Chan to flop down on the couch next to him. Chan cursed himself for letting out a sob as his friend embraced him.

“We are going to figure this out.” Seungcheol put his chin on Chan’s head. “But I think you’ll have to tell us the story again. From the beginning this time.”

Chan inhaled and nodded against Seungcheol’s chest. Seungcheol smiled at him when they parted, and rose from the couch to wake Seokmin up while Chan wiped his cheeks. Seokmin whined but went to sit down on the floor in front of him, rubbing his eyes.

When they were all ready to listen, he did what was necessary, he started from the beginning.

4 years earlier

Chan entered the classroom with a beating heart. Everybody was staring at him. The teacher told him to sit down wherever, and he plopped down on the only seat that wasn’t taken, next to a boy with shoulder length dark hair.

The teacher introduced him to the class while they all kept staring at him. It was always weird to start a new school in the middle of the semester, and whispers spread like a wildfire around the classroom.

He looked at the boy next to him who was doodling stick figures on a piece of paper. The boy suddenly stopped and met his eyes. With a blush, he put out his hand for Chan to shake.

“Hi, I’m Jeonghan.”

4 months later

Chan and Jeonghan were sitting on the swings at the playground, talking. They had been friends since day one. They giggled at each other’s jokes and talked about anything they could come up with.

Chan had never been this happy in school before. Usually he moved before he could get close to anyone, but his dad had promised that they would stay here for a long time. Even when he didn’t move for a while his so called friends didn’t tend to hang around for long.

“What do you want for your birthday?”

Chan froze. Nobody had asked him that before except for his mom.

“You remembered that?” he asked Jeonghan who giggled.

“Of course I do, silly, you’re my best friend. And a twelfth birthday deserves a good present.”

“You’re my best friend too” Chan answered with a huge grin. “But you don’t need to get me anything.”

Jeobghan huffed: “Of course I do, Silly.”

1 year later

Chan and Jeonghan were sitting in Jeonghan’s room as usual, playing games on his computer.

Suddenly Jeonghan spoke:

“Do you think we will still be friends when we start high school?”

Chan paused the game to look at his best friend.

“Why wouldn’t we?”

“I don’t know, I just, you know, wanna make sure”

Chan thought for a second.

“Jeonghan, you will always be my best friend, no mattet what.”

Jeonghan smiled at him and nodded.

“And you will always be mine.”

“It’s a long time until we start high school anyways.” Chan chuckled as he unpaused the game. “Why worry about that now?”

8 months later

It was only a few month left of 8th grade. Chan was buzzing with excitement to start a new school, something he never would have thought 2 years earlier. But something had changed in him, and he was pretty sure Jeonghan had helped a lot with it. His fear of rejection had gradually faded.

After his last class on a friday, approximately 4 months before graduating, he walked up to Jeonghan as usual.

But something was off. Jeonghan didn’t smile when he saw him. He was pale and fidgeting nervously with his phone. The people who walked past him stared at them and whispered stuff to each other, stuff Chan couldn’t hear.

“Are you okay?” Chan asked his best friend who looked at him with pain in his eyes. It hurt to see him like that, and he got scared. “What’s wrong Han?”

Jeonghan had looked around the room, while getting paler and paler, breathing more heavily by the second. Chan was now really concerned for his friend and reached out to take his hand, but Jeonghan pulled it away.

“Listen to me” Jeonghan’s voice was sharp. “Keep away from me, promise me that. Don’t let anyone see you even close to me, okay?” When Chan started asking what he was talking about he had cut him off “I’m so sorry” That was the last thing Jeonghan had said to him before they graduated.

Chan had stood there, shocked, not knowing what to think. It felt like someone had tied a rope around his chest and was gradually pulling it tighter. He had forced himself to not cry until he had reached the boys’ bathroom.

Until graduation he had isolated himself from everyone. He had tried to contact Jeonghan, but as soon as lesson was over the other left the classroom before Chan could talk to him, and he didn’t answer his calls and text messages.

Chan blamed himself for believing that this time, nobody would leave him behind. This time would be different, that Jeonghan was different.

He was used to this, right? Then why did it hurt so much more than before?

Present

Chan stopped talking since the others probably couldn’t hear him over his sobs. His head was throbbing from crying. He wiped his cheeks, but it didn’t help since new tears kept escaping his eyes. His friends waited patiently for him to gather himself, and he continued.

“Jeonghan and I went to the same high school, but in different classes. He has avoided me since that day he told me to keep away from him. I-I’ve tried to talk to him for around…2 years now. Since the accident in the shed I thought I could finally talk to him, but he still avoids me when I try to talk to him.” Chan looked at the others. “I just want to know why.”

He hid his face in his hands. That day he had promised that he would never trust anyone again, but yet, here he was with new friends that he loved and would do anything for, even though he didn’t know if they would do the same. It had been tough. He hadn’t talked to anyone in his class the first 2 months, but somehow Seungcheol had made his way into Chan’s life, bringing Seokmin and Wonwoo with him.

“Chan”

He looked up to see his friends’ worried faces. He took a deep breath. Before he could react his friends had thrown themselves over him in a big group hug.

“I’m so sorry.”

He didn’t know what he was apologizing for but did it anyways. Seokmin left to get Chan something to drink to keep him hydrated while Wonwoo brought him a blanket since he had started shaking a lot. Chan realized how lucky he was to have his friends.

And for the first time since Jeonghan left him, someone saw him vulnerable. He didn’t hide his feelings or tears from his friends like he usually did, he let them in, and accepted their help and comfort.

Chapter Text

Seungcheol walked around with his hands in front of him to navigate himself. It was pitch black and he was trying to find a door or light switch. He had no idea where he was.

Suddenly he had just been standing in this darkness, not being able to remember what he had been doing before he came here.

He carefully walked a few steps forward, and his fingers touched a cold wall. He blinked a few times in an attempt to get his eyes to focus, but it was impossible to see anything.

Suddenly he was blinded by light surrounding him. He put his hands over his closed eyes and leaned against the wall, biting back the surprised yelp he had almost let out.

Then he heard a scream, and a deep voice cursing. He slowly opened his eyes, and could now see the room he was standing in, bathing in light from a small lamp in the ceiling.

It was a pretty huge room, with working benches and tools against the walls. The walls were gray, as well as the floor and ceiling. In the middle, Seungcheol saw a big machine that reached all the way to the ceiling, which reminded him of something he had seen bef-

Another scream and he turned around to see a man, dragging someone behind him, that someone fighting against with all his power. The man was dragging the boy by the hair and threw him on the floor in the middle of the big room. With a gasp, Seungcheol saw Minghao slowly stand on his feet again, fists in the air trying to protect himself.

The man, who was at least twice as big as Minghao, just chuckled. He had short cut dark hair and ice blue piercing eyes. His grin was nothing like Soonyoung’s which was always full of joy and sometimes mischief, this man exuded evil. Seungcheol felt like he recognized the man from somewhere, but didn’t have time to think about that right now.

Seungcheol watched in fear as the man walked over to a baseball bat leaning against a wall and picked it up.

Minghao looked around the room, trying to find a way out, but man was blocking the only exit, which Seungcheol couldn’t see for some reason, it was all just a blur behind the man. When Minghao’s search was resultless, he backed away from the man who was now coming closer.

Seungcheol knew he had to do something but his feet were stuck. He tried to scream something, he wanted to help Minghao from whoever this man was who was hurting him, but not a single sound left his throat.

Suddenly Minghao tripped while walking backwards and fell. The man chuckled again and bent down to forcefully take a hold of the boy’s chin and forced Minghao to look up at him. Seungcheol could only watch as Minghao tried to escape the hold which resulted in a kick to his stomach. He made a small whining sound but that was it, if it hurt a lot Minghao didn’t show it.

“Hm, let’s see if you’ll talk this time,” he man said casually as he took hold of Minghao’s face again, this time not getting any resistance. “Why did you follow me?”

A moment of silence. Seungcheol held his breath.

Minghao met the big man’s eyes with anger. Then, to both the man and Seungcheol’s surprise, Minghao spit in the others face.

Without missing a beat the man let go of him and stepped back. To Seungcheol’s fright, he raised the baseball bat.

“Wrong answer kiddo.”

Seungcheol closed his eyes as he swung, not wanting to see what was going to happen next, but he could still hear the hit.

He was too scared to open his eyes again, but he needed to know what was happening to his friend.

He opened them to see Minghao laying lifeless on the floor while the man threw away the bat. Seungcheol stared at Minghao, looking for any signs of him being alive, but it was hard considering tears had started to form in his eyes and his vision had gone blurry.

Once again he tried to scream or move or do something but it was worthless, his feet were stuck. The man lifted Minghao and laid him in one of the corners of the room on the floor. He chuckled to himself one last time before Seungcheol’s vision got blurrier and blurrier. The room started spinning and a massive headache kicked in. He put his hands against his head and couldn’t hold back a scream-

He sat up in his bed, with a thick layer of sweat on his body. Seungcheol tried to calm his racing heart. He cried out loud as the pain hit his head again and put his face in his hands.

Something about the dream had been so off, it had felt so real, he had never experienced anything like it before. To be honest, he almost never dreamed at all.

Who was that man and why had he attacked Minghao? He had to talk to Minghao about it tomorrow.

Seungcheol laid down again and closed his eyes to go back to sleep. He tried to not think about the dream again, cause dreams are just dreams, right?

Chapter Text

Minghao jogged towards the school from the parking lot. He was late. Again. His stupid alarm hadn’t gone off, and it wasn’t the first time it had happened.

He cursed under his breath as he saw the giant clock on the school wall. He was almost 20 minutes late.

He rounded the corner of the school and saw the creepy shed on the other side of the yard in the corner of his eye. Just as he was about to walk up to the school entrance and run to class, he heard a slam and froze on the spot.

Was that the door to the shed? Had it been open? But Chan had told them that there was a lock on the door. Then how could the door possibly slam shut?

Minghao slowly approached the shed, already forgotten about being in a hurry. There was no lock on the door, and he couldn’t hear any signs of someone being inside the shed.

Just when he was about to let it go and go back to the school and believe that he just imagined hearing the door slam, a big crash was heard from the inside, followed by a series of very creative curses.

Minghao’s mind raced. What if it was the person who built the machine inside? Chan had been trying to figure out who it was for a while, and now the person might be right in front of him. He had to tell the others!

He turned around but didn’t move towards the school again. What if the person disappeared while he got the others? This could be his only chance to see who the person was.

He faced the shed once again. It would be fine, he would just take a small peek and see who it was and then leave. The person inside wouldn’t even see him.

It would have helped a lot if the shed would have had windows, but unfortunately, it didn’t, which meant that Minghao had to open the door to see anything. But when he opened a small crack in the door, it was pitch black inside.

Was there someone in there in the dark? It was now completely silent inside, but Minghao would have seen if somebody would have left the shed.

All of Minghao’s instincts said no, but he opened the door a little more and sneaked inside the shed, using his phone as a flashlight. The darkness almost swallowed him except for the small light his phone provided.

Unfortunately, the shed was empty. He checked in every corner of the room but nobody was there. Puzzled and disappointed he started to walk towards the door of the shed to return to the school. He was now at least half an hour late.

Just before he reached the door he heard wood creak behind him. He turned on his heel and was met by icy blue eyes and a knuckle to the face.

 

-

 

Jun put down his tray on the table in between Seokmin and Seungkwan, on the opposite side of Mingyu. He gave them a quick greeting before he looked around the table once again. All of the boys were there, except for Jihoon who had been gone for the whole week, and Minghao. Soonyoung, who had had came to the cafeteria with sat down a few seats away, next to Vernon. Jun hesitated for a second while he put his question into words, repeating it twice in his head before saying it out loud.

“So, where is Hao?” he tried to sound casual but cringed at himself for failing and sounding more worried than intended.

Mingyu and Seungkwan, Minghao’s classmates, exchanged a look before Seungkwan turned to him.

“We don’t know. He didn’t show up for class this morning.”

Seungcheol on the other side of the table tensed up, and Jun glanced at him. Before he could ask what was wrong the other shook his head and relaxed his shoulders with an apologetic smile on his face. Must have been nothing.

Jun turned back to Seungkwan.

“I can call him and see where he is."

Mingyu scoffed and put down his fork on the tray.

“You don’t think we’ve tried?”

A sudden rage appeared in Jun’s chest and he gave Mingyu an unimpressed glare.

“I don’t know, I didn’t think you’d be smart enough to come up with that.” he spat at him.

Mingyu blinked once. Then twice. The conversations around the table had died and everyone was looking at the two of them, which gave Jun an uneasy feeling in his stomach. He did not like attention.

Then suddenly a memory of Mingyu burning his arm flashed in his mind and more rage built up in his chest. He pointed at Mingyu.

“You are losing people each day Mingyu, first Jihoon and now Minghao. Maybe you managed to burn them with the help of your stupid clumsiness and that power of yours.”

Jun was going too far, but all the stress that had piled up on him was too much. Mingyu stared at him with a hurt expression. He knew he was unfair to Mingyu, but somehow he couldn’t stop.

Wonwoo who was sitting next to Mingyu put his hand on Mingyu’s arm but snatched it away immediately. He looked at his burnt fingers and bit his lip to bite back the pain.

Mingyu stood up and leaned closer to Jun, ignoring what just happened to Wonwoo. A wave of heat hit Jun in the face and he blinked a few times as tears formed in his eyes.

“You have no right to say that to me, it’s not like you can control your power either!" Mingyu growled back at Jun.

Just when he was going to reply, Mingyu’s ears caught on fire and instead he let out a frightened yelp. Impressive Jun.

He took his glass of water and splashed it in Mingyu’s face, successfully extinguishing the fire. The water evaporated and Mingyu stared at it with a confused expression.

Suddenly Jun became aware of his surroundings. The whole table was staring at him and Mingyu and had been watching their argument. He could feel his cheeks heating up. His friends, Soonyoung, Joshua and Vernon looked like they didn’t know what to do, while Jeonghan seemed to be making sure nobody had seen the vapor that had now disappeared. Wonwoo had left the table together with Chan and Seokmin. The weird tingling feeling in his stomach appeared, the one that he had now associated with invisibility.

Desperate to not go invisible in school, he shut his eyes and started counting to 10, trying to ignore the rest of the world. He then somehow started to think about Minghao, how he had told him to just calm down when his power was about to take over.

When he opened his eyes again, the feeling was gone. Vernon had stolen Seokmin’s seat on his left and was holding his hand under the table, probably to help Jun calm down. Of course his friends would notice what just happened. When Vernon saw that Jun was looking at him he let go of his hand and smiled.

“We need to focus on finding Minghao, and you idiots are here fighting over nothing.” Seungkwan scolded him and Mingyu.

Jun knew he shouldn’t have picked a fight with Mingyu, but it had all been too much. He stared at his hands in his lap. Vernon patted his shoulder in an attempt to make him feel better. Of course not succeeding.

“Oh my god,” Jun looked up at Mingyu who was staring at the other side of the room. “JIHOON!”

The whole table turned around to indeed see the boy walking towards them. He made an awkward peace sign when he saw that they were all looking.

Mingyu and Seungkwan rose and threw themselves over poor Jihoon, who tried to avoid being crushed. Jun could see him smile though when his friends hugged him, something he had never witnessed before.

He sneaked out his phone from his pocket while the rest of the boys were busy. Nervously he found Minghao’s contact and called.

Direct to voice message.

 

Crap.

 

He put away the phone to see the three friends sit down again. The boys around the table greeted Jihoon happily. Soonyoung even came up to him and gave him a friendly hug, patting Jun on the head on his way back to his seat.

“How are you? You’ve been gone for almost a week.” Seungcheol asked, definitely talking about Jihoon’s power.

Jihoon thought for a bit before he nodded.

“I’m fine I think. I have been trying to figure out how to...not hear people’s thoughts.” He snatched Mingyu’s water bottle and took a sip, ignoring Mingyu’s complaints. “I think I’ve figured it out now.”

“That’s good, it’s nice to have you back" Seungkwan sat down again next to Jun who tried to not look at Mingyu. “We might need help finding Minghao.”

Jun noticed Jihoon wincing a little and then looking at Seungcheol who seemed to be sitting on pins. He kept twisting in his seat. Mingyu sat down on the opposite side of Jun, and Jihoon took Wonwoo’s place on the side of Mingyu.

Jihoon looked back at Seungkwan with a small wrinkle between his eyebrows.

“What do you mean finding Minghao?”

Chapter Text

“What do you mean finding Minghao?” Jihoon asked Seungkwan.

He concentrated even harder on trying to keep the worried thoughts from around the table out of his own head, but he had noticed that thoughts connected with strong emotions were harder to not hear. Why were his friends so worried? He could just listen to what they were thinking to find out but resisted the temptation.

Jihoon had spent the entire week training on keeping his power away as much as possible by going to places with a lot of people and focusing on not hearing a single thought. He must have seemed crazy, but it was worth it if he could manage to prevent others thoughts from invading him. He really hated this mind-reading thing.

Seungkwan sighed and took a sip from his water bottle. Jihoon felt a wave of worry wash over him from the boy. Feeling others emotions like they were his own had only happened a few times earlier, and Jihoon still didn’t know how to stop it, but he was definitely feeling Seungkwan’s right now. It was the kind of worry that feels like it’s going to tear you apart.

“He didn’t show up for class this morning and we can’t contact him,” Seungkwan said nervously and started fidgeting with his sleeve.

So that was why his friends were so worried, Minghao was gone. Jihoon tensed up, what could have happened?

He glanced at Seungcheol who couldn’t sit still for anything in the world. Suddenly one of his thoughts slipped through Jihoon’s defenses. What if he gets hurt because of me.

Jihoon blinked a few times in an attempt to understand what he just heard. It wasn’t his place to mess around in other people’s heads, but sometimes he could still hear people’s thoughts against his will.  

What do you mean Seungcheol? Jihoon wondered, looking at him.

Seungcheol’s eyes snapped up to his with a surprised look. Wait. Had Seungcheol heard Jihoon’s thought?

“What?” Seungcheol asked out loud.

Mingyu, Seungkwan, and Jun looked at him, of course not hearing their mental conversation.

“What?” Seungkwan echoed.

Can you hear this? Jihoon thought, looking at Seungcheol, who jumped in his chair.

Yes? Jihoon heard the answer in his head.

Seungkwan stared at them, still waiting for an answer.

“Nothing.” Jihoon quickly smiled and turned back to Seungcheol.

Who is hurt because of you?

Seungcheol jumped again and almost spilled out his milk. Suddenly an image flashed through Jihoon’s mind, where a man was kicking Minghao in the stomach. As fast as the image had appeared, it was gone again. Apparently, his power had more aspects than he knew, that must have been one of Seungcheol’s thoughts, it looked like some kind of memory.

He inhaled sharply. What was that? He looked at Seungcheol again.

Before Jihoon could get an answer, he lost control and hundreds of thoughts crashed into his mind. His power had taken over again and he heard the whole school’s thoughts as if they were talking, only a few times louder. He bit back a scream when pain drilled through his head. His vision blurred and he stood up to immediately fall down on his knees.

Calm down Jihoon, you need to get in control again. One by one he shut the voices, or thoughts, out of his head, the pain fading as the thoughts disappeared.

In a while, the voices were all gone and Jihoon was finally able to open his eyes again. He was surrounded by Mingyu, Seungkwan, and Seungcheol who were staring at him with fear in their eyes.

“Oh my god Jihoon, are you okay?” Mingyu asked and helped him stand up again.

Just as he was about to answer, a weak voice reached his mind, even though he had rebuilt his defenses and couldn’t hear anybody else's thoughts.

“Jihoon.” was all it said.

Jihoon froze and looked at his friends, who were still worrying about him.

“Minghao" he whispered.

The others stared at him, unsure how to react. Now the rest of the table had noticed that something was going on and was looking at him as well.

“He is somewhere close! I could hear him!” Jihoon tried to run away to desperately search the whole school for his friend but got stopped by Seungkwan holding him back.

“Hey stop! Are you sure that you are okay? Maybe you should sit down for a bit.” Seungkwan gently pushed Jihoon down onto a chair.

Jihoon started whining but stopped immediately when Seungkwan gave him a tired look. His friend was already stressed enough.

“Oh no,” Mingyu whispered. All color in his face was gone.

“What?” Seungcheol asked him.

“Um, I need to go, I just remembered something," Mingyu told them and then turned around and ran out of the caféteria before anyone could stop him.

“But...Mingyu?” Seungkwan shouted after him but he was already gone. He sighed and sat down next to Jihoon. “So tell us what you heard.”

 

 

Wonwoo turned off the bathroom sink and dried his hands. He looked at his fingers. They were still very red and hurting. He sighed and faced Seokmin, Chan and Mingyu.

“The cold water didn’t work," he told them.

Mingyu twisted his hands and glanced at him. He was standing far away from the others.

“I’m so sorry I didn’t even notice what happened, I was so angr-"

“I told you it’s fine” Wonwoo interrupted him with a soft voice. He knew Mingyu felt really bad about burning him, but Wonwoo also knew that it wasn’t his fault. Mingyu had problems with controlling his powers, which he had already proved when he set himself on fire.

He walked up to him to put a hand on his shoulder to prove it, but Mingyu jumped away, out of reach from Wonwoo.

“No!” Mingyu shrieked. He started blushing when he realized how loud he had been and rubbed his neck. “Sorry, I don’t want to burn you again,” he mumbled.

For some reason, this pulled Wonwoo’s heartstrings. He nodded, a bit disappointed for some reason.

Mingyu must have noticed because guilt flashed in his eyes. He looked at the ground.

“I’m going to leave you alone now and help the others on finding Hao.”

He left the bathroom without meeting any of their eyes. When the door closed Chan and Seokmin looked at Wonwoo.

“Interesting,” Seokmin said with a smirk, making Wonwoo blush.

“What?” he brushed off some nonexistent dust from his shirt to avoid his friends’ glares.

Seokmin chuckled which made Wonwoo look at him anyways. Dammit!

Chan leaned against a sink and observed the scene with obvious amusement.

“Nothing, nothing, I’m just saying, if I would have burnt your fingers off you would have killed me and then revived me so you could kill me again. At least 10 times.” Seokmin teased.

Wonwoo rolled his eyes and punched Seokmin on the shoulder. Seokmin pouted and pushed Wonwoo away.

 “Chill" Chan giggled “We all know Wonwoo would have killed you at least 30 times”

 Wonwoo couldn’t hold back a smile but turned around so they wouldn’t see it.

 "Whatever guys,” he mumbled and left the bathroom, where his friends were now laughing their asses off.

Chapter Text

The last few days it had been hot outside, too hot for fall to be just around the corner. The grass was brown and almost all of it had died, the trees were looking incredibly depressing since the leaves were turning brown instead of red and orange, and the flowers that once had grown around the school were all dead, all since it hadn’t rained in a long time along with the extreme warmth.

Chan strolled along with Wonwoo, Seokmin, and Seungcheol across the grass-covered schoolyard towards the parking lot. When they had left the school restrooms earlier, Seungcheol had found them before they got back to the caféteria and had told them that they needed to search the school grounds for signs of Minghao before their lunch break was over. They had also been updated on the whole Jihoon-being-back-thing.

The grass crunched underneath their feet as they walked. Seokmin was poking Wonwoo’s arm repeatedly with a sly smile plastered on his face, while the latter stubbornly refused to look at him. Chan glanced at Seungcheol who rolled his eyes, but the corners of his lips were twitching slightly.

“Come ooon Won, you like him, right? Right? Right? And it’s obvious he likes you, so why don’t you just ask him out?” Seokmin teased and continued poking Wonwoo’s arm.

“Stop asking already!” Wonwoo scoffed and stopped walking to finally look at the other. His cheeks had turned light pink. “I am not going to ask out Mingyu. For the record, I don’t even know if he likes guys.”

Chan and Seungcheol stopped as well to watch the scene in amusement. Seokmin’s smile grew wider.

“Ha! You didn’t deny that you like him!” he cheered victoriously. “I knew that I had done the right thing when I told you to meet him earlier. I mean it ended with Mingyu setting himself on fire but-”

“Shut up” Wonwoo mumbled, noticeably flustered. The tips of his ears had turned a bright red.

Chan snickered and the friends continued walking at a comfortable pace while they ignored Seokmin’s rant about how he should be a matchmaker and how Wonwoo and Mingyu definitely should be together. The sun shone on Chan’s face, and the warmth felt nice against his skin.

Suddenly he tripped on his own shoelaces and noticed that they had escaped from the perfect knot he had tied them in earlier. He bent down to fix it, while his friends continued walking, still bickering.

Just as he was about to stand up again and hurry after them, he noticed that something was off.

Hesitantly he plucked the flower that was in front of his nose. It was just a normal dandelion, but something in his gut told him something about it was weird.

Wait. Wasn’t it too dry for flowers to grow?

Chan turned to look back at where they had just come from and saw a path of green grass, covered in different kinds of flowers, who looked like they belonged in a flower store.

“Guys…” He stood up and stared at the path of growth, and compared it to the brown and dead grass that surrounded it.

His friends stopped and he pointed at the ground. Seungcheol let out a confused sound and bent down to touch the grass as if to see if it was real. Chan followed the path with his eyes and it lead to-

“Wonwoo” He exclaimed and bent down to rip out a handful of the very sad dried out grass next to the beautiful green grass. Like a child, he skipped over to the others and put the grass in his puzzled friend’s hands, and then stared at it expectantly. If his theory was right then-

“What are you doing?” Wonwoo asked and stared at the flourishing grass that followed him, all the way from the beginning of the lawn. “Why are there flowers? Am I going crazy? There were no flowers earlier...I think?”

Seokmin stared at the grass in wonder as well while Seungcheol softly whispered ‘What the hell’. Chan snickered at their reactions but focused on the grass in Wonwoo’s palm. When nothing happened after a few seconds he let out a disappointed sigh. Maybe he had been wrong after all.

Seokmin snapped out of his amazed state and looked at the grass in his friend’s cupped hands as well.

“Why are you holding that grass?” he asked and poked Wonwoo’s arm again.

“I don’t know, why am I?” Wonwoo looked at Chan with his eyebrows knitted together. Just as Chan was about to say something he saw mischief flashing Seokmin’s eyes, and he honestly feared the worst but didn’t stop him.

“Why are you holding grass Wonwoo?” he asked his friend with an innocent smile once again “When you could be holding Mingyu’s hand.”

Wonwoo froze and Chan prayed that Seokmin’s death wouldn’t be too painful. Wonwoo started blushing intensely and looked like he was just about to commit cold-blooded murder while staring at Seokmin with dark eyes when Chan saw the grass in his hands slowly moving.

“AAHH LOOK” He screeched, way too excited to keep his voice down. “LOOK AT IT LOOK!

Wonwoo jumped at the sudden scream but stared in wonder when he saw the grass in his hands. Slowly it was turning greener and growing as if it was rooted in Wonwoo’s hands.

The four of them stared in both amazement and confusion as the grass grew taller and taller until it almost reached Wonwoo’s chin. Then it stopped. There was a long silence before Seungcheol said:

“I guess we have one more power on the list.” He smirked at them.

Chan had been right after all. Wonwoo dropped the grass on the ground, where it stayed, just as green as in his hands. His eyes were sparkling, with a dorky smile on his face that made it hard for Chan to not smile as well.

“That’s so cool dude!” Seokmin exclaimed and jumped onto Wonwoo’s back, who almost fell over before he regained his balance. “You are the flower god! The earth man! Wonwoo the grasslord!”

Chan thought Wonwoo was going to get grumpy again, but instead, he laughed at Seokmin, still seeming a bit hesitant, but mostly happy. He mumbled something along the lines of “I’ll kill you if you use any of those names”, but it was hard to believe since he had a very soft expression.

Seungcheol ruffled Wonwoo’s hair and grinned at him, to which the other whined and tried to blow the hair out of his eyes.

“We should get going if we wanna cover some ground before the break is over,” Seungcheol told them after checking the time on his watch. “We still have a friend to find.”

 

-



Mingyu moved his chair even further away from the others’. He was not risking accidentally burning anyone ever again. When he had returned home after school he had tried to put mittens on his hands again, but they had burnt up like the rest of all his gloves in the house, so instead, he had decided that it was the best if he stayed as far away as possible from any human being.

The gang had decided on meeting up again after school in case anybody had found out anything about Minghao, or even better, had found the boy himself, which was why they were now sitting in the café that they had met up at a while back. They were sitting in the corner of the room so nobody would hear what they were talking about. Mingyu hadn’t ordered anything in case he like, melted a cup or something. You never know.

Wonwoo was sitting a few seats away, clearly confused to why Mingyu was sitting so far away from the table, but Mingyu tried to ignore his gaze. Even though Wonwoo had told him that everything was fine he couldn’t help the guilt in his chest. He can’t believe he burned him and hadn’t even noticed it. Typical Mingyu. He was always messing things up.

All of the boys, except for Minghao, were there. Soonyoung and Seokmin were joking around with Seungkwan and Vernon and Mingyu could swear that Seungkwan was blushing slightly everytime Vernon laughed at something he said. (Seungkwan had also somehow managed to turn his coffee into ice once, needing help from Mingyu to melt it.)  Jun was sitting at the end of the table, face buried in his phone while talking to Joshua. Jeonghan seemed to be studying or something, trying to hide his face in a book that could be some kind of textbook, with Chan sometimes asking him something, smiling friendly, but only giving him short answers. Seungcheol and Wonwoo were talking quietly with Jihoon, and everytime Wonwoo glanced at Mingyu he felt like his organs were melting and quickly looked away to avoid showing his burning cheeks.

When they had all been at the café for around 20 minutes, Seungcheol stood up to get everyone's attention and the laughing and buzzing around the table died out.

“Okay hi, first of all, we,” he gestured towards himself, Wonwoo, Seokmin and Chan. “would like to tell you that we have discovered another power.” he grinned at them, receiving a couple of ‘o’s from around the table.

He turned to Wonwoo who, with a slight blush, told them about how he had accidentally turned a part of the school’s lawn into a flower path, and Mingyu smiled the whole time, with a weird warm feeling in his chest. When Wonwoo was done with the story he managed to meet Mingyu’s eyes and smiled slightly before Mingyu looked away, at anything but him.

“So now, um, news about Minghao?” Seungcheol asked them when Wonwoo had told them the story, clearly uncomfortable with being the one to bring the subject up.

Mingyu’s group that had consisted of himself, Jihoon and Seungkwan hadn’t had any luck at all, the only thing they found was a group of students smoking behind the school, who they had quickly avoided.

His heart sank when nobody else seemed to have found anything either. He exchanged a nervous look with Jihoon. Where could Minghao be?

Seungcheol cleared his throat to gain everybody’s attention again, since the whole group had started quietly mumbling with each other, except for maybe Jeonghan who had just stayed quiet and hid behind the book again. Mingyu wasn’t sure if he was even reading it since it was upside down.

“We found his car. In the parking lot.” Seungcheol announced.“He must have come to school this morning.”

Mingyu felt a mix of emotions, hope and relief, but also anxiety and fear. What could have happened to his friend between his car and the classroom? He had a very uneasy feeling about all of this.

There was a moment of silence when only the other customers in the café were heard. Mingyu watched Wonwoo pull his croissant into small pieces without eating any of it.

“So what do we do? He is not at home, I checked to be sure, so something must have happened after he left his car.” Jun broke the silence after a while, nervously fiddling with his cup of hot chocolate and almost tipping it over, something Joshua seemed very concerned about.

Jihoon turned around and stared at Seungcheol. He didn’t say anything but the other seemed to understand anyway. Seungcheol sighed and rubbed his face. When he removed his hands he looked tired and anxious.

“I have to tell you guys something.” he finally said, making the whole table turn towards him. “So last night I had this dream…” He inhaled deeply before he began telling them about his dream.

Mingyu and the rest listened intensively as Seungcheol slowly told the story, clearly having troubles telling it as he took a lot of pauses just to breathe. He told them about the big man dragging Minghao into some weird cellar and hitting him with a bat. The whole thing broke Mingyu’s heart, having to listen to how one of his best friends had gotten hurt, even though it might have just been a dream. Please let it just be a dream.

When Seungcheol was done Mingyu realized that he had been holding his breath the entire time. He felt like all of his bones in his body had melted, like he was all slime.

“So y-you don’t know where Ming… where he was in your dream?” Seungkwan’s voice cracked on the name, making Vernon visibly wince.

Seungcheol sat down again as if all his energy was drained, and stared at his hands in his lap.

“No, unfortunately not” his voice was close to a whisper.

A heavy silence laid over the table. Tears were burning behind Mingyu’s eyes, but he tried to blink them back.

“This sounds an awful lot like a vision,” Chan said with a shaky voice after a while. “A vision in the form of a dream. Like you saw what was going to happen to Minghao.”

Seungcheol nodded, still avoiding everyone's eyes.

“We need to get to know our powers” he spoke up. “We need to practice on using our powers so we can defend ourselves, but also so we won’t accidentally expose our powers to someone outside of this group.” Seungcheol looked up at them with determination in his eyes. “And we need to rescue Minghao.”

The boys around the table mumbled in agreement.

They didn’t stay at the café for so much longer. All of them were frightened, confused and tired, but nobody showed it. Mingyu knew that Minghao was strong, but he really hoped that his friend would be able to hold on until they found him.

Chapter Text

Jun flopped down on his bed and sighed. He stayed there for a second with his eyes closed, he was exhausted. After a while he rolled over to his stomach and unlocked his phone, opening up his text conversation with Minghao. All of his texts from today were unseen and unanswered.

He quickly typed a new one, asking if he was okay and sent it. Jun scrolled up to the texts from yesterday to read through all of them. They were mostly about school and their friends. He read through all of them carefully, as if they might reveal where Minghao could be. The last message Minghao had answered to was from yesterday evening when they had said goodnight to each other before going to bed.

When he had analyzed all of the texts twice he sighed again and rested his forehead against the bed. Jun knew that this would never have happened if they hadn’t gotten these godforsaken powers. Then things would be exactly like before they even entered the shed.

But, then Jun would never have talked to Minghao in the first place he realized. Or any of the other guys from the other classes for that part. Because if they hadn’t gotten their powers they most likely wouldn’t have stuck together, even if they had entered the shed together. He buried his head in his pillow.

But if that had been the case Minghao would at least be safe right now, right? He would still be with his friends and laugh and joke around and he would never even know Jun existed.

And Jun would still stare at Minghao when nobody saw in the hallway. He would still get nervous every time he was in the same room as Minghao and get self-conscious. Jun would still wish that he had enough courage to talk to the boy that had crazy hair colors and big pretty eyes.

Jun rolled off the bed onto the floor. If he could would he go back to that? Would he make himself unknown to Minghao, just so he would be safe?

He didn’t even know himself. Did that make him a bad person?

If it had been about his power, if he could give them up for Minghao’s sake, he would without a doubt do it. Jun hated his powers. Anytime he could go invisible without a warning and it was exhausting. He saw his powers as some kind of curse. They just made his life so much harder.

But it had been bearable when Minghao was there. He could handle when he thought about Minghao, when Minghao helped him get through it with comforting words.

But what if this would have still happened even if they hadn’t gotten their powers? Jun froze on the realization. What if this weird kidnapping thing had nothing to do with their powers and Minghao would still have been gone even if he didn’t know Jun. Jun had just assumed that the scary man had kidnapped Minghao because of his powers or something. But no, that made no sense, nobody knew about their powers. That’s just stupid Jun. So Minghao was still gone for unknown reasons, great.

He sat up on the floor. Why was he even on the floor? It didn’t matter.

Seungcheol had told them that they shouldn’t tell the police about this because they technically aren’t supposed to know about the cellar and the man that had hit Minghao with a bat since normal people don’t dream about their friends getting beat up. It would only look suspicious if they talked to the police. They were lucky that Minghao lived alone so his parents wouldn’t notice that he was gone unless they tried to call him, but even then they would probably just assume that he was in school or busy if he didn’t answer.

But what if Minghao wasn’t actually kidnapped, but he had gotten tired of Jun and the rest and just decided to leave. Wait that was also stupid, his car was still at the school.

Jun groaned. He was just overthinking everything right now. He couldn’t change how things were, not even his feelings for Minghao.

Wait.

His feelings for Minghao? Nope.

He scolded himself in his head for thinking those thoughts, he didn’t have any feelings for Minghao. He stood up and walked out of his room to take his mind off of everything. He left his phone with the unanswered texts behind in the room.

 

-

 

Jihoon was laying in bed with his laptop on top of him, but he had troubles focusing on doing the schoolwork he was supposed to do. Being gone for a week doesn’t come without a price.

He and the rest had been looking for Minghao today again but it felt helpless since they didn’t have a clue where he might be. The only clue they had was that Seungcheol had seen a machine similar to the one in the shed in his dream, but that had proved to be a false lead when Mingyu and Seungkwan had broken into the shed again. Mingyu had told them that the only thing he had managed to do was melt the lock to the shed, but hadn't found anything inside. Seungkwan had also exposed to Jihoon that Mingyu somehow had managed to walk into a working bench in between the wall and the machine.

Jihoon wondered if he maybe had imagined hearing Minghao’s voice in the caféteria yesterday after all. He sighed and closed the laptop. He wasn’t getting anything done anyways.

He glanced at his phone. It was already 3 am. Whatever, it was Saturday tomorrow.

He put down the laptop on the floor and got out of bed to brush his teeth. When he pulled the door handle to his room he froze on the spot. Had he really just heard that? No, he must be imagining things because he was pretty sure he had just heard-

“Jihoon”

Jihoon’s eyes widened and he spun around. It was the same voice as the one he had heard in the cantine, the one that he had immediately recognized as Minghao’s. But his room was empty except for himself. He must have heard it in his mind, from someone outside. He crossed the room and threw the window open. Outside standing in front of the house was-

“Jun?”

Jihoon stared at the boy in front of him. His room was on the first floor so it was only like a meter up to his window. He didn’t understand how Jun had found his way to Jihoon’s house, and he understood even less why he had sounded like Minghao in his head. Jun looked behind his shoulder as if to see if anyone was watching.

“Jun what are you doing here? How did you even know where I live, and it’s like 3 am right now why-”

Jihoon got pushed aside by Jun who threw himself into the room and landed in a pile on the floor. This just got weirder and weirder.

“Uh, okay come in I guess.” Jihoon said sarcastically but his voice softened when he saw that the boy was shaking.”Hey, are you okay?”

He kneeled down beside him and helped him sit up on the floor. Now when Jun was inside in the light, Jihoon discovered the cuts and bruises that covered the other's body, and the tears that were filling up in his eyes as he stared at Jihoon with big eyes.

“Oh my god, what happened?” Jihoon kept his voice calm to not upset the boy even more but could feel himself starting to panic. The injuries went all the way from Jun’s hands to his face and neck, and maybe further where Jihoon couldn’t see.

“Jun what happened?”

The other pointed at the window with a shaking hand and Jihoon felt as if he had swallowed a bag of ice. Was there someone out there? Someone who had done this to Jun?

Without a second thought, he turned around and slammed the window shut. He peeked outside to look for movements, he even put down his mental defenses for a short while to search for thoughts outside, but got a wave of feelings from the boy behind him instead, mostly relief but also a bit of fear. When he was sure that nobody was outside he sighed and turned around to face Jun again.

“There is nobody-”

He stared at the boy sitting in front of him on the floor and inhaled sharply. His dark brown hair had turned a light green and Jihoon was no longer looking at Jun.

“M-Minghao?!” Jihoon stuttered.

Minghao looked up at him and Jihoon felt a wave of relief wash over him.

“Surprise?” the boy smiled weakly and made an attempt to do jazz hands but grimaced when he lifted one on his arms.

Jihoon was tempted to throw himself over Minghao in a hug, but the other was still shaking and he was obviously hurt. Instead, he took Minghao’s hands and basically dragged him off of the floor and onto his bed, making him sit on the edge. It seemed like Minghao’s limbs had given up entirely after throwing himself inside Jihoon’s room.

“Where are you hurt? Oh my god, Minghao you’ve been gone for two days, what happened?” Jihoon said with a soft voice while trying to inspect the others injuries further without hurting him.

The other grimaced and he took a few deep breaths. Jihoon blinked back the tears that were appearing in his eyes. He couldn’t believe his friend was back. He waited patiently for Minghao to start talking.

“I, uh, I was stupid, I’m sorry.” Minghao’s said quietly. His voice was hoarse and strained. Jihoon nodded at him, telling him to continue. “I wanted to f-find whoever built the machine” his voice cracked.

What? Jihoon’s eyebrows knitted together. Minghao stared down at his own hands that had almost stopped shaking.

“It’s okay, it’s going to be alright.” Jihoon told him in a soft voice.”Let’s get you cleaned up okay? We are going to fix this.”

Jihoon helped him stand up and had to put all his strength into holding Minghao up since his legs didn’t seem to cooperate, and the fact that Minghao was taller than Jihoon didn’t help. Carefully he led him to the bathroom on the same floor, trying to make as little noise as possible to not wake his parents up. He sat Minghao down on the toilet and gathered medical supplies from a cabinet.

He kneeled down in front of Minghao and started to disinfect the cuts on his arms, with Minghao wincing everytime the stinging liquid touched his skin. His face was pale and he looked like he could fall asleep anytime, but his eyes were alert as he stared at the bathroom door.

“My guess is that you might have a pretty big concussion getting hit by that bat. It’s just a guess but you might feel a bit lightheaded or like, nauseous sometimes. It will get better.” Jihoon mumbled while bandaging Minghao’s arm. Minghao’s eyes snapped down to him but he nodded.

 

“How did you know?” he asked, “about the...bat?” Minghao continued when Jihoon looked at him confused.

“Oh, right.” Jihoon had forgotten that Minghao didn’t know about Seungcheol’s dream. He switched position to be able to inspect the others injuries on the face and he could see a bump on the side of his head where the bat must have hit. “Well, I saw it. Or more like Seungcheol saw it and then I saw it in his mind…”

Minghao stared at him with a puzzled expression. Jihoon stopped cleaning his wounds and leaned back.

“Seungcheol saw you. In a dream. He saw that...man and what he did to you.” he paused for a second to let Minghao take it in. “We tried to find you but you were completely gone.”

Minghao nodded. They sat in silence while Jihoon patched him up as good as he possibly could. He wasn’t exactly a doctor. When he was done Jihoon was struck with a realization.

“Wait, how did you get out of there? And how did you get here? Wait, wait, where were you even? Who was that man?” Jihoon showered Minghao with questions.

The boy twisted uncomfortably and opened his mouth to answer but Jihoon stopped him by shaking his head. He realized that this was too much to ask from the boy right now.

“You know what, this can wait until tomorrow, you must be extremely tired.” he smiled reassuring at Minghao.

The boy exhaled and nodded. Jihoon helped him get back to his room again and let him sit down on the side of the bed again.

“Do you want anything? Have you eaten? Have you drank anything since you disappeared?” Jihoon asked even though he was pretty sure he already knew the answer.

Minghao shook his head as he leaned back on the bed and sank into the covers. Jihoon felt bad for not thinking about that earlier. He walked up to his dresser and searched for the biggest clothes he could find. Jihoon and Minghao’s weren’t exactly the same size. He managed to find an oversized T-shirt that clearly wouldn’t fit Minghao that great but it was the best he could find. He threw it at the boy on the bed and told him to change while he got him something to eat.

Jihoon sneaked to the kitchen and dragged out his phone. He typed a message and sent it to 11 people before trying to find something eatable without making too much noise.

 

-

 

Why was Seokmin awake at 4 am? Well, that didn’t even Seokmin know. It just happened, time flies by fast when you are watching meme videos. Soonyoung had sent him a lot of them. He put his foot on the first step of the stairs to go up to his room and get ready for bed but stopped when his phone vibrated in his pocket. He whipped it out and saw a message from Jihoon. Weird, why would he send something this late?

He took one step while staring at his phone and opened the message:

Jihoon

Found Minghao. Get your asses over here tomorrow at 11.

Seokmin read the message three times before he realized what the words meant. He smiled at the phone. Minghao was back, he was with Jihoon and he was safe. Seokmin felt relieved that all of this was solved.

He turned off his phone och looked up the stairs to continue walking to his room when he suddenly felt a weird tugging in his stomach. He blinked. The next second he was standing on the second floor.

He turned around and looked down at the stairs. Wait what? He hadn’t walked up the stairs how was he up here suddenly?

He reached for his phone when he suddenly felt dizzy and black dots starting dancing in front of his eyes.

The next second he blacked out.



Chapter Text

Seungcheol and Chan stepped into Jihoon’s hall when said boy opened the door to the house. Shoes and jackets were littered all over the floor and Chan almost tripped on a pile of them while entering.

“Just put your stuff wherever.” Jihoon gestured towards the floor and leaned against a wall, seemingly uninterested.

Seungcheol neatly put his shoes next to each other in the middle of the mess while Chan just dumped his on the floor.

“How is he?” Seungcheol asked Jihoon as Chan struggled with his thin jacket.

Jihoon shrugged and started picking under his nails instead of meeting Seungcheol’s eyes.

“He is fine. He was pretty hurt when he came here. We will probably have to get him to a hospital later though” he answered stiffly. “He refused to go before he had told us what happened. Uh, also just so you know” Jihoon’s voice cracked a little. “I know Minghao, okay? He’s pretending to be fine right now. He is not.”

Seungcheol nodded seriously and followed Jihoon when he turned around and started walking into the house. Chan hurried after them and caught up with Seungcheol.

“He seems tense,” Chan whispered to him.

He was right. Jihoon’s steps were almost mechanical and he hadn’t even greeted them when they had knocked on the door. Seungcheol nodded at Chan. Maybe Jihoon just wasn’t good with people.

They followed the short boy into a big room which must have been his bedroom, where a few of their friends had spread out in the room. Wonwoo, Vernon, and Seungkwan were sitting on a desk, while Mingyu had plopped himself down on the floor with his long limbs spread out in all directions as he was talking to someone on the phone. Jun was sitting in a chair next to the bed talking to Minghao.

Their heads turned towards Seungcheol and Chan as they entered, and greeted them happily. Seungcheol stared at the bed, where Minghao was sitting against the wall with the covers thrown over his legs.

Seungcheol thought about his dream, how he had seen Minghao getting beaten with a bat. Was this really him in front of him? It was a weird thought to grasp.

“Hi, Minghao” Chan grinned and walked up to the bed. “How are you feeling?”

Slowly Seungcheol followed Chan. He checked Minghao for injuries. He was wearing at least a doussin of bandages and his arm was wrapped in a white T-shirt. He noticed the bump on Minghao’s head and drew a breath. The bat. That’s where it hit.

Minghao looked at him with curious eyes. Seungcheol had stopped walking and was just staring at Minghao as if he had just seen a ghost.

“I’m okay. Jihoon patched me up pretty good. Except for my arm,” he looked down at the arm in the T-shirt. ”I think it might be broken.”

Chan patted him on the shoulder carefully as if he was afraid that he might hurt him even more. Okay Chan, Seungcheol thought when he saw the cute gesture, Minghao isn’t that fragile.

“I’m glad you’re back.” Chan smiled at Minghao and then turned around to look expectantly at Seungcheol.

Seungcheol awkwardly shuffled over to the bed and tried to not stare too much at Minghao’s injuries.

“Glad that you are safe,” he mumbled and scratches his neck. Minghao smiled back at him and Chan.

Seungcheol looked around the room. There was a lot of people missing, they’d have to wait for them to show up. He walked over to Wonwoo, Vernon, and Seungkwan on the desk.

“Where’s Seokmin?” he asked Wonwoo when he realized that the boy wasn’t there.

Wonwoo shrugged and stood up, giving Seungcheol an anxious look.

“I thought he was with you two,” he said and gestured at him and Chan. “He usually calls me when he needs a ride.”

“Weird. He must have overslept or something.” Seungcheol guessed.

Wonwoo nodded and looked at the door as it opened.



Minghao was sitting quietly against the wall while the others waited for him to start. Everybody had joined them at Jihoon’s house - well everyone except for Seokmin who they still hadn’t managed to contact. Seungcheol was a bit worried about that. He checked his phone one last time to see if Seokmin had messaged him. Nothing. Where could he be?

Minghao drew a deep breath and started fiddling with his hands. Soonyoung, Mingyu, Joshua and Jeonghan were sitting on the floor around Jihoon’s bed while the rest had borrowed chairs from the dining room. Wonwoo had stayed on the desk, swinging his feet back and forth.

“Okay so I arrived at school a few minutes late when I saw someone enter the shed and I was like ‘Hey, why not be stupid and see who it is? All alone. When nobody knows where I am.’ and followed them and this really huge dude knocked me out,” Minghao said in one breath, making it hard to make out the words. He paused and looked anxiously at the others to see their reactions. Wonwoo stopped swinging his leg while Seungcheol waited patiently for Minghao to keep talking. After a few seconds of awkward silence, he continued while the rest of the room listened intensely.

 

2 days earlier

Minghao woke up on the freezing floor with a throbbing headache. He slowly opened his eyes but couldn’t see anything in the pitch black room. What had happened? He tried to remember but it was pointless.

He sat up and had to wait a few seconds for the dizziness that appeared to go away. What the heck was going on?

Minghao wiped some sweat that had formed on the side of his head with his hand and felt a weird bump under his fingers. Suddenly he remembered, how that man had dragged him to the back of the shed and into a secret area under the floor, to later knock him out with a bat. He winced when he touched the bump again and the headache worsened. He must be under the school right now, with his friends just a little bit away.

He searched for his phone in his jeans pocket, and oddly enough he found it. He figured that the man that had knocked him out might have taken it to prevent him from getting help, but apparently not.

He pressed the home button but nothing happened. Dang it. That’s why the man hadn’t bothered to take it. Out of battery.

Minghao sighed and sunk into a pile again. What had he gotten himself into? His friends wouldn’t know where he was nor how to find him.

He closed his eyes - not that it made a huge difference, and tried to remember what the room he was in looked like. All that he had focused on earlier was trying to protect himself from his attacker, not the room.

The light switch must be close to the entrance since the lights had turned on when they came downstairs. The problem was that 1) Minghao didn’t know where in the room he was and 2) he didn’t know where the entrance was. Great.

If he could find a wall, he would eventually be able to find his way out though, right? It was the only plan he had, so he might as well try. He got up on his feet. It was a bit scary to be completely swallowed by the darkness. He put out his arms in front of him in case he was about to walk into something and cautiously made his way forwards.

Eventually, his fingers touched the bare cement wall, and he started following it, carefully tracing it in search of a light switch. He had to walk around a few tables in order to follow the wall, but after a few minutes, he felt something under his fingers that felt suspiciously similar to what he was looking for.

He slammed the switch and was immediately blinded by the strong light from the ceiling. He blinked a few times to make his eyes adjust and looked at the room in front of him. It was very bare, and the thing that first caught his eyes was the machine taking up one-third of the whole room. It was similar to the one that had gotten destroyed in the shed, only a few times bigger.

So that man must have been the one who built the machine Minghao figured. He inspected the benches filled with tools that were standing against the walls.

Wait, he didn’t have time to explore. He turned around and looked for a way out. The exit was a hatch in the ceiling with a wooden ladder leading up to it. The hatch seemed heavy and he had no idea if he would be able to open it.

He had to try anyway, who knew when the man was coming back. He did not want to be here when that happened.

Quickly he climbed up the ladder. Maybe he would be able to escape after all. He reached up to the hatch with his right hand and held himself against the ladder with the other. It wasn’t too far to the ground even if he was about to fall, but he preferred being on the safe side. He tried pushing the hatch open but nothing happened. He put all his strength into getting it to budge but it was stuck. Except for an unlocked padlock, there was nothing that could keep the hatch from opening on the inside, meaning there must be something holding it closed on the other side. How annoying.

Disappointed he climbed down again and looked around the room to see if there was anything that he could use to get the hatch open. He walked around and looked at the contents on the benches.

Suddenly he heard a scraping sound from the other side of the hatch and spun around. Someone was coming downstairs.

Minghao panicked and looked around for anything to protect himself with and snatched a hammer from one of the tables. There was nowhere to hide in the room since there were mainly open spaces, so he just stood there clueless on what to do.

The hatch opened and the man that had dragged Minghao down here climbed down while Minghao stood there frozen. What was he going to do? When the man reached the floor he turned around and visibly flinched when he saw Minghao.

“Oh right, I forgot that you were here” he mumbled and stared at Minghao, who shivered under the man’s ice cold gaze. “I can see that you are awake.” he continued a bit louder. Minghao winced at his hoarse voice and hid the hammer behind his back in case he would notice him holding it. The man noticed the movement and furrowed his eyebrows. “What do you have there?”

Minghao swallowed and starting walking backward. Could he really hit someone with a hammer if needed?

Before Minghao even had a chance to react, the man marched up to Minghao and grabbed him by the collar. He was at least twice the size of the boy and could probably easily squish him. The only advantage Minghao had was that he was possibly a little bit faster since he wasn’t as big.

Minghao stared the other in the eyes and shivered again, it was like the man was staring straight into Minghao’s soul. If he was going to use the hammer, he better do it right now when the man was close.

Right as he was about to swing the hammer, the man lifted Minghao by the shirt and he dropped it. He closed his eyes when he heard the hammer hit the floor. This was not going too well.

He was thrown to the floor and felt an extremely sharp pain in his arm as he caught himself with one hand. He bit back a scream when tears formed in his eyes. He waited for the pain to fade away a little as he stared at the man, but it kept pulsating through his arm.

Meanwhile, the man took the hammer from the floor and threw it onto a table with a small chuckle.

“That was stupid. Don’t try that again or you’re dead.” he huffed and crouched next to Minghao who was still trying not to let tears fall as he could barely move his arm. “Are you finally gonna tell me why you followed me into the shed this morning?”

Minghao didn’t have any intentions of doing that. If he wanted to protect his friends it would be best if he kept quiet since he might accidentally slip about their powers.

When Minghao didn’t answer, the man sighed and stood up. He looked around the room searching for something.

“Didn’t think so either. You are way too stubborn for your own good.” he went over to one of the tables and started searching through the tools.

With the man’s back against Minghao, he could attempt to attack him again, but he didn’t see that ending that great, especially since one of his arms were out of function. How the hell was he going to get out of this? Maybe if someone on the other side of the hatch could hear him…

“Help!” Minghao shuffled towards the hatch while screaming as loud as possible in case anyone would be close enough to hear him. He was desperate now. “HELP!”

“Hey!” the man turned around.

“HELP!”

“Hey! Stop it.”

Minghao didn’t want to stop, Minghao wanted to get away from this man.

“HE-”

A hand against his mouth cut him off. Oh shit.

“Shut up!” The man hissed through his teeth. “You stupid little- OUCH what the-”

Minghao bit into the others hand and took the second when the man was in shock to stand up and try to reach the hatch. He touched the ladder but was stopped by the man grabbing the back of his shirt and yanking him back onto the floor.

“You’re going to regret that.”

12 hours later

Minghao tried to pull his hand out of the handcuffs once again without result. The man had handcuffed him to the machine in case he “thought about trying something else”. Minghao was wondering why the man just had handcuffs laying around but didn’t have time to think about that. He changed his sitting position in an attempt to make it more comfortable, but it was difficult since the floor wasn’t exactly soft. His energy was drained and his throat was begging for water.

Minghao had tried to figure out how long he had been in this cellar but it was hard to know since he had no idea for how long he had been out earlier. He wondered if his friends were looking for him, or if they hadn’t even noticed that he was gone.

He shook his head to get his hair out of his eyes. He had a feeling he wasn’t going to get out of here unless he tried to escape. Something that was impossible now with these handcuffs and also the gag that had been put over his mouth so he wouldn’t scream for help.

His whole body was burning after multiple beatings, but the arm was the worst. He could barely even lift it without it feeling like it was on fire.

A sound was heard from the other side of the hatch and Minghao froze, listening carefully. Was it the man coming back? He pulled his arm desperately to get out of the handcuffs.

He listened quietly to see if whoever was up there was going to come down here. He heard a muffled voice from the room over him.

“Wow, maybe a little extreme to melt the lock you dofus.”

Minghao’s eyes widened. Seungkwan.

“I’m sorry I was just…”

The rest of Mingyu's sentence disappeared, probably due to his friends being too far away from Minghao for him to hear them clearly. Minghao tried to scream “I’m down here” but it just came out as a muffled mess of letters through the gag. There was no way they were going to hear him. Instead, he listened to their voices as tears began to fall down his cheeks. They were so close, yet so far away.

They were talking about normal stuff like school, while he was just a few meters away from them. It was the most frustrating feeling ever. Minghao hoped that his friends would somehow find the hidden hatch and get down here to find him.

What were they even doing in the shed anyway? Maybe they were looking for him after all. It was an uplifting thought, but it still didn’t change the fact that he was down here handcuffed to a machine without any way to signal to his friends were he was.

Minghao jumped when a loud scraping noise echoed through the room followed by a crash.

“Oh my- Mingyu are you alright?” Seungkwan’s voice cut through the hatch. “Why can’t you just watch where you are going for once, you klutz?” he sighed upstairs.

Mingyu had probably tripped over something, nothing new. What made Minghao’s mind race was that sound, the scraping sound, like wood against wood. It was the exact same one as the one he had heard both when the man came down into the cellar and when he had left after handcuffing Minghao. Minghao had figured out that the man had put something heavy over the hatch so it would be impossible for Minghao to escape which was why he couldn’t open it earlier, but what if Mingyu had accidentally moved whatever was on top of the hatch while falling over it?

“Come on let’s go back to the others. There is nothing here” he heard Seungkwan tell Mingyu. There were footsteps walking away and suddenly Minghao’s friends were gone again. They had been wrong. There was something, or somebody, there.

He stared at his arm stuck to the machine. Damn you arm, why did you have to get yourself into these handcuffs?

4 hours later

Minghao was out of ideas on ways to get rid of the handcuffs. He had tried to reach tools from the benches but had been unsuccessful since he was just a little bit too far away from them to be able to grab anything, and they would have been useless anyway since he couldn't use his right hand. He had also tried to just pull out his arm out from the handcuffs for a ridiculous amount of time.

He was now sitting on the cold floor with his legs crossed, desperately trying to come up with a new plan but his mind was blank. The pain in his arm made it even harder to focus on the problem and his head felt fuzzy.

He was very tempted to just lie down and sleep by this point. He stared at his arm and wished that he could shrink it or something.

Wait, maybe he could? He was a shapeshifter after all. What if he could make his hand smaller and get it out of the handcuffs? Earlier he had just been changing small things about himself, like his hair and eye color, and even that was hard to control.

He might as well try since he didn’t have any other ideas. He closed his eyes and imagined himself, but with really small hands. It was kind of dumb he realized but concentrated on making it reality.

He actually had no idea on how to control his powers after all, so he just tried to focus as hard as possible on the mental image. A weird tingling feeling bloomed in his stomach.

After what felt like an eternity he realized that this was definitely not working.

Defeated he leaned backward, expecting the handcuffs to prevent him from falling to the ground, but to his surprise, his back slammed into the stone and he lost his breath.

“Ouch,” he whined to himself and opened his eyes.

Terrified he put his hands in front of him, but luckily they were their usual size. He looked at the handcuffs that were now hanging from the machine by themselves.

It actually worked? He couldn’t believe it. Minghao tried to sit up by using his hand but fell down again as he leaned on his broken arm. Dangit.

Finally free from the handcuffs he wasted no time and rushed to the ladder under the hatch, after ripping off the gag and leaving it behind. Now he just had to get out of this horrible place. Carefully he used his only working hand to climb the ladder.

He balanced on the steps as he let go of the ladder with his hand to use it to push the hatch open. This time it swung open without Minghao having to use a lot of force and he victoriously climbed up into the familiar shed.

He closed the hatch behind him and saw the heavy bench that must have been standing on the hatch before Mingyu moved it.

He walked out of the shed and saw that the rusty padlock that had been on the door of the shed earlier was now on the ground. It was almost entirely melted. Thank you Mingyu, Minghao thought.

It was almost pitch black outside, with only the outdoor lights from the school making it possible for him to see. The cool air hit him in the face as he started to make his way towards the parking lot at a fast pace, eager to get out of this place. He tapped at his pocket and could feel his car keys. Good, the man hadn’t taken them. Would he be able to drive with only one hand though? His injured arm was pressed against his body to hurt as little as possible.

He abruptly stopped when he heard a car door slam shut. Crap. Who might be out here in the middle of the night? It could only be the man unless some students had decided that the school would be a great place for a party.

Slowly he started walking backward again. He stared into the dark. Why didn’t the school invest in better lighting?

Suddenly he heard heavy footsteps and he froze. After a second of hesitation, he turned around and started running. He didn’t know where he was going but he pushed his already tired legs to the limits.

Present

“...so I ran the whole way home to Jihoon since he lives the closest to the school.” Minghao finished the story. He tried to catch his breath again.

Seungcheol took a few seconds to take the whole event in. Halfway through the story, Minghao had started crying, but he had continued talking anyway. Everybody had stayed quiet the entire time, letting Minghao take his time.

Now he was silently sitting on the bed, staring at his own hands. Jun put his hand on his arm as a calming gesture and Seungcheol could see a faint tug in the corner of Minghao’s mouth.

“Wait,” Jihoon broke the silence.”Then why were you Jun?” he asked with a confused laugh.

Minghao eyes widened. Seungcheol hadn’t heard about this, what did Jihoon mean? The boys showered Jihoon and Minghao with questions, all their patience from earlier gone.

“Hey, quiet! Minghao just showed up outside but I thought it was Jun at first since he had shapeshifted into him or something.” Jihoon put his hands into the air as if he was surrendering. “After a while he was Minghao again.”

Jun’s face had turned red and Minghao was hiding his face behind his hands.

“I just didn’t want...that man to know it was me in case it was him in the parking lot.” Minghao’s voice was heard muffled through his hands. “I didn’t even know if it was going to work.” He finally peeked up from his palms at the boys around him.

Seungcheol chuckled at the flustered Minghao. Jun was smiling shyly at the boy while Minghao tried his best to not meet his eyes.

“Wait, so I actually did something good? While being clumsy?” Mingyu asked proudly with a huge grin, completely mesmerized.

“Yeah, for once” Jun mumbled under his breath, but everybody could still hear it.

Mingyu’s face fell and he visibly shrunk. Seungkwan put his hand on his back but Mingyu jumped at the touch and wiggled away. Seungcheol saw Minghao looking confused at Jun and Mingyu.

Suddenly Seungcheol’s phone started ringing and he fished it out of his pocket. On the display, he read Seokmin’s name and let out a relieved sigh.

The second he answered Seokmin started babbling uncontrollably, making it impossible to make out words.

“Seokmin, chill,” Seungcheol laughed and put him on speaker for the rest to hear. “What’s up, why didn’t you answer earlier.”

“I’ve found my power!”

Chapter Text

Before Seokmin rushed into Jihoon’s room nobody knew what to expect, but it wasn’t him being in his pajamas at least. Soonyoung immediately fell onto the floor in a laughing fit, a fall that wasn’t too critical since he was already sitting on the floor when Seokmin entered with his hair looking like a birds nest. Jeonghan didn’t know if this was something regular for the boy but liked to assume that it wasn’t. Wonwoo got up and harshly poked a finger into Seokmin’s chest.

“I swear on Seungcheol’s ugly striped pants, if you went on the bus like that I’ll never talk to you again.” he spat in the others face. Jeonghan did not know what pants Wonwoo was talking about, but could only imagine the worst.

“Hey” Seungcheol complained from the back of the room with a pout. ”I like those pants.”

Wonwoo whipped around and stared at him in disbelief. Jeonghan jumped a little in his place on the floor by the sudden movement. He could clearly see the fire that was burning in Wonwoo’s eyes.

“Dang, remind me to never mess with Wonwoo” Jeonghan heard Joshua mumble behind him.

“They are ugly and you know it!” Wonwoo exclaimed with a hopeless gesture.

“Okay, whatever Won, my dad drove me over here you can calm down.” Seokmin interrupted him and went up to Minghao in the bed while Wonwoo looked like he wanted to say something more but decided to just give up and sit down again. “Sup.” Seokmin greeted Minghao.

Minghao gave him a twisted smile. His cheeks were still streamy from crying, but it didn’t seem like Seokmin noticed that. Or he simply just didn’t care, Jeonghan thought.

“Could be better,” Minghao admitted.

“Niiice” Seokmin gave him finger guns, “I think” he added with a confused grin that made his eyes smile. Minghao offered him a kind smile and a small nod.

Jeonghan cringed at the awkwardness but Seokmin didn’t even seem to notice it since he decided to flop down on the floor next to Soonyoung who had finally calmed down from the shock of the magnificent entrance of the boy who looks like he just got out of bed. He wiped away a tear that had formed in one of his eyes from laughing.

“So what’s going on here?” Seokmin asked as he put his chin in his hands. “I wanna know the tea.”

“Um, do you mind telling us where you were?” Chan asked with a lot of patience. He seemed used to this. “We tried calling you like ten times.”

“Hrm, right.” Seokmin seemed uncomfortable for the first time since he joined them, and that was saying something since Jeonghan had gotten like three strong second-hand embarrassment attacks since Seokmin had walked through the door. “So yesterday I was basically about to walk up some stairs, you know, and suddenly I was just-” he gestured in the air in front of him. Jeonghan did not know what that meant. “Suddenly I was on the second floor. As in, I teleported.” he finished with a nervous glance at the people around him.

“That’s so cool dude” Soonyoung exclaimed excitedly and poked Seokmin in the cheek.

Chan reached for his notebook and quickly wrote the discovery down. Jihoon who had left the room before Seokmin had entered returned, but abruptly stopped in the doorframe.

“For the love of god Seokmin, can you please like calm down your brain or something. I could hear your thoughts from the other side of the house.” he groaned as he sat down.

“Sorry” Seokmin’s eyes nervously flickered to Jihoon.

Jeonghan felt a shiver go down his spine. He still wasn't used to Jihoon being around and being able to hear their thoughts. It was...unsettling.

“Okay so do you wanna hear the list?” Chan asked, talking about the list he had made in his notebook for their powers.

Jeonghan already knew all of their powers, it's not like it was that hard to remember, but all of the other boys nodded.

“Seungcheol: future sight, Joshua: Speed, Jun: invisibility, Soonyoung: air,-”

Jeonghan shifted his position. He already knew this, why did they have to repeat it so much? Next, it would be Wonwoo with growth, Jihoon with telekinesis, Minghao, Mingyu, Seungkwan, and lastly Chan himself.

“-Wonwoo: growth, Jihoon: mind reading, Minghao: shapeshifting, Mingyu: fire, Seungkwan: ice and me with telekinesis.” Chan finished with a confident nod.

Jeonghan mentally high fived himself for already knowing the entire list. Chan put away the notebook again in his backpack.

“So now we just need to know Vernon’s power and we have them all.” Seungkwan piped up as he lightly kicked said boy on his calf.

Jeonghan froze. What had he expected? Of course they were going to forget about him, the boy that never said anything or took any space. It was stupid to think anything different.

Vernon glanced at Jeonghan and added: “And Jeonghan’s power”

“If I have one” he mumbled to himself, quiet enough for no one to hear him. All of the others had experienced weird stuff since the beginning, but Jeonghan just didn’t seem to get it. He was pretty sure he didn’t even have a power. He was the odd one out like always. He stared at his feet as silence spread across the room.

“Guys, I think we really need to start learning how to use our powers.” Seungcheol was the first one to speak. “With what happened to Minghao we know that we are not safe, and we need to be able to defend ourselves and each other. Or at least hide our powers.” his eyes flickered to Jun.

“Wait a minute what did I miss?” Seokmin asked suddenly.

“We’ll tell you later” Wonwoo sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

“I might know a place where we can practice,” Soonyoung said thoughtfully. “I’ll send all of you the address.”

Jeonghan could read between the lines. ‘All of you except Jeonghan.’ He really felt like going home right now. Suddenly Soonyoung started jumping excitedly on the floor.

“Guys, guys, guys we need a name. Like a group name so we can talk about us without anyone knowing who we are. Uhm for example…” Soonyoung's eyebrows knitted together. “The Flying Tigers.”

“Why in the world would we call ourselves The Flying Tigers?” Jihoon asked tiredly.

“I dunno, cool.” Soonyoung shrugged.

“What about Seventeen?” Seungcheol suggested. “Like, we are 13 people, but we go to three different classes, and we are one team.”

“That,” Wonwoo pointed at Seungcheol “Is ridiculous. Why not just Thirteen?”

“Because thirteen is lame” Seungcheol whined. Jeonghan couldn’t believe he was the oldest in the room, considering how childish he was acting.

“Whatever let’s just go with Seventeen. Is everyone alright with that?” Chan asked the rest of the boys. Nobody answered “Okay, Seventeen it is.”

A comfortable buzz laid over the room as Wonwoo and Soonyoung started telling Seokmin about what happened to Minghao while the rest chatted with each other. Jeonghan sat on the floor observing the rest. He felt like he was in another world than them. He wondered if anyone would notice if he sneaked out of the room and went home. He looked at the door on the other side of the room.

Suddenly Chan flopped down on the floor next to him with an uncertain smile. Jeonghan’s brain started dysfunctioning and he decided to stare at his hands in his lap. Oh no.

“Hi,” Chan said quietly.

“Hi,” Jeonghan mumbled back and felt the sweat starting to form on his palms. He dried it off on his jeans while waiting for Chan to say something.

“H-how are you?”

A memory flashed through Jeonghan’s mind and he felt like throwing up. He was back in middle school again with people staring accusingly at him wherever he went. He blinked a few times to get rid of the memory. Pull it together Jeonghan.

“Yeah, I’m fine” Jeonghan answered, still avoiding Chan’s eyes.

“Are you sure? You are very pale. Should I get you something to drink?”

Jeonghan couldn’t breathe anymore. Panicked, he stood up while the confused Chan remained on the floor.

“I need to leave.” he threw at Chan and rushed out of the room, past the rest of the boys who glanced at him. He saw the kids from middle school staring at him, whispering.

As he was hurrying towards the exit he got stopped in the hallway by someone grabbing his hand from behind. Jeonghan whipped around to see Seungcheol.

“Where are you going?” he asked Jeonghan harshly.

Jeonghan tried to answer but only managed to make a weird sound similar to a cat meowing. He drew a breath but it made no difference. His voice wouldn’t obey him.

“Why did you just leave Chan? He is trying to talk to you again but you are ignoring him big time here and-” Seungcheol stopped his rant and stared at Jeonghan who felt like he was suffocating “Hey, are you okay?”

Jeonghan snatched his hand out of Seungcheol’s hold and ran out of the house. He didn’t know where he was going but he didn’t care. He ran as tears rolled down his cheeks, past identical small houses with people and children and dogs. He ran until his legs felt like they were falling off and his feet were burning.

When he stopped he was in a small park with a pond. He bent over a bush and let his breakfast leave his body. It hadn’t been that good anyways.

He found a bench next to the pond and sat down, still trying to catch his breath. Images of a familiar woman with dark, long hair and a kind expression flashed through his mind and he curled up on the bench. He had left his shoes at Jihoon’s house and his feet were aching from running on the pavement.

Jeonghan wiped away some tears. He tried to hold back another sob. He couldn’t keep the truth away from Chan forever, but he just couldn’t make himself tell it to him. He buried his face in his arms and imagined the woman standing in front of him, trying to comfort him.

“I miss you,” he whispered.

Footsteps made him look up and for a second he thought that it would be Chan or Seungcheol. Instead, a man with a dirty bag walked past him. Jeonghan looked after him until the man turned around and Jeonghan froze. He recognized the man as the old janitor of the school and avoided his gaze. His eyes were piercing blue.

When the man had spun around again and left, Jeonghan got up from the bench. His breath was back to normal and he wasn’t crying anymore. He considered calling his dad to pick him up but didn’t want to disturb him so he settled on walking, and slowly he started to make his way home.

 

 

Chan made his way past the bed for what felt like the hundredth time since Jeonghan had left. Jun watched as he stopped again and started fidgeting with his hair.

“I mean he has to come back if he left without his shoes, right?” He argued impatiently with himself. “Otherwise he would have to make his way home without shoes and that’d be crazy right?”

Chan spun around to look at the rest of the boys who mostly had no idea what was going on, Jun included.The only thing he knew was that Jeonghan had rushed out of the house without telling them why.

“Listen, Chan, I’m sure he’s okay. Just give the boy some space.” Mingyu said calmingly and put a hand on his shoulder.

Jun scoffed at this which made Mingyu throw an annoyed glance at him.

“Hey man, I'm just trying to help, I don’t see you doing anything at all.” Mingyu spat at him.

“Okay enough.” Seungcheol groaned. “Chan, Jeonghan isn’t a baby, he’ll manage by himself. Sit down, you are giving me anxiety by walking around like that.”

Minghao tapped Jun’s arm to gain his attention, who looked at him and was surprised when he saw the boy’s serious and concerned face. Minghao pulled him closer so he could whisper in his ear.

“Can you help me get to the bathroom?” he asked as Chan continued his nervous rant while sitting down next to Seungcheol, who looked like he was trying really hard to keep his cool. Jun nodded and stood up to help Minghao.

It took some effort but eventually, Jun managed to get Minghao out of bed and out of the room. He was limping a little bit but walked fine otherwise, even though he did put some of his weight on Jun’s shoulder. Before they reached Jihoon’s bathroom Minghao stopped him and leaned against the wall with his uninjured hand for support.

“Hey uh, can I ask you something?” Minghao asked Jun.

“You just did,” Jun said nervously. It felt like he had a knot in his stomach. Why was he so nervous?

“Haha, very funny,” Minghao said sarcastically, but he had a smile on his lips. “I’ll take that as a yes.” He continued and looked back at Jihoon’s room before meeting Jun’s eyes. His smile dropped and was replaced by a worried grimace. “What’s going on? Between you and Mingyu?”

Oh. Jun was at a loss of words and just stared down at his feet. He had known that this was coming sooner or later. Minghao let go of the wall and put two fingers under Jun’s chin to tilt his head up again and make him meet his eyes.

“Please tell me. I don’t want one of my best friends fighting my-” Minghao paused and a faint blush spread across his face “uh, you.”

Jun closed his eyes in an attempt to calm his racing heart and also figure out what the fuck he was supposed to say.

“I..I don’t know.” Jun breathed out and opened his eyes to see Minghao’s confused expression. “I don’t know why we are fighting.”

Minghao removed his hand from his chin to brush away a few strands of hair from Jun’s face, whose hands had started shaking but he was desperately trying to hide it by clinging onto his own shirt. Minghao nodded encouragingly for Jun to continue.

“I just kept going, I don’t know why. I’m sorry. I just can’t stand this power thing. It’s exhausting to keep fighting it.” Jun started rambling. “It’s so stressful and I am taking it out on Mingyu, I don’t want him to hate me. Oh god does he hate me? Oh my-”

“Jun. Stop it.” Minghao chuckled. He took one of Jun’s hands that were trembling and desperately trying to find something to grasp. Minghao’s hand was warm against Jun’s shaking one. “I don’t think Mingyu hates you. Have you even met the guy? He is like a puppy in a human body.” Minghao said assuringly. “I don’t think he is capable of hating someone.”

Jun’s bones felt like slime, as if he could become a puddle whenever. Guilt built up in his stomach. He took a deep breath.

“Are you sure?” Jun asked, voice shaking.

“Positive” Minghao smiled back as he rubbed small circles into Jun’s hand. “Once he apologized to someone who drove over his foot with a bike.”

Jun let out a relieved giggle. Minghao looked fondly at him and he could feel the blood rushing to his face.

“You should have told me about the invisible thing. I didn’t know that it bothered you that much.” Minghao said in a soft voice “Are you doing it right now?”

“Doing what?” Jun asked dumbly.

“Fighting it.”

Jun’s body was extremely tense and his head was hurting a little. He was fighting it.

“Yeah,” he admitted and subconsciously started swinging their hands back and forth. “I’m always fighting it.”

Minghao let go of Jun’s hands to once again brush away some hair from his eyes. Jun’s hand felt cold without Minghao’s.

“That must be draining your energy a lot,” he said with a worried face. “You need to rest too.”

“I don’t want to go invisible,” Jun whined, “It’s super hard to go back.”

“And I don’t want you to be tired all the time.” Minghao chuckled and put his working hand on Jun’s shoulder. “I’m right here if something happens. Just relax.”

Jun’s shoulders tensed up and he felt panic starting to grow in his stomach.

“Calm down Jun, it’s okay,” Minghao whispered and took a small step closer. “I’m right here.”

Slowly Jun’s muscles started relaxing and he felt the headache fading away. He was terrified that he would go invisible but Minghao being there with him made it a little less scary. Minghao rubbed his shoulder slowly while humming some song Jun didn’t recognize.

Just when Jun thought that maybe he wouldn’t go invisible he felt the familiar tug in his stomach and Minghao’s eyes widened. Jun knew that this was going to happen.

“It’s okay. Keep calm Jun” Minghao mumbled and kept making circles in his shoulder. “Don’t panic this time.”

Jun trusted Minghao and did as he said. It hurt to see that Minghao’s eyes weren’t looking at him, but somewhere behind him. He focused on Minghao, on his eyes, on his round nose, on his ridiculous green hair. Suddenly Minghao’s eyes focused on him again instead of behind him and the tugging in his stomach was gone.

“See,” Minghao said slowly with a sly smile. “It wasn’t that bad, right”

Jun smiled weakly at him and fidgeted with his sleeve as Minghao placed his hand on the side of Jun’s head, cupping his cheek. It felt like time froze as he leaned forward and gently placed his lips against Jun’s with closed eyelids. Jun yelped in surprise before he closed his eyes as well and wrapped his arms around Minghao’s waist, pulling him closer. Minghao’s lips were soft and tasted like coffee, something that Jun wasn’t complaining about. Minghao’s broken arm was placed in between them, and the only thing preventing their chests from touching. Jun placed his hands on Minghao’s hips as they pulled away, and he looked into his sparkling eyes. Minghao’s cheeks were bright red and he had a big smile on his face.

“Thanks.” Jun stuttered with a sheepish grin.

Minghao lightly hit his shoulder and giggled. It felt like butterflies flew around in Jun’s stomach.

“What do you mean ‘thanks’ you idiot?” he beamed but leaned against Jun’s chest who put his chin on the top of his head.

“I dunno. Thanks.” Jun answered. “For helping me I guess. And maybe the kiss. Just maybe.”

Jun’s stomach was making summersaults when Minghao looked up at him with a content smile on his lips.

Suddenly the door to Jihoon’s room threw open and they jumped apart. Minghao tripped on his own foot and would have fallen if it wasn’t for the wall. Seungkwan’s head popped out from behind the door with a surprised expression when he saw them.

“Oh my god. I’m sorry bye I’m just going to erase my existence,” he whined with bright pink cheeks. “Sorry, bye”

He slammed the door shut and a silence laid over the hallway. Minghao and Jun stared at each other, both blushing heavily. Then Minghao started giggling and it wasn’t long until they were both laughing their lungs out.

“Oh my god, did you see his face?” Minghao cried while covering his face with his hand. “I’ll never be able to talk to him again.”

When they had calmed down Minghao’s smile became a little twisted.

“You know that he is not going to shut up right? He can’t keep a secret for anything in the world. Trust me, I would know.” He reached after Jun’s hand who hesitated before taking it. “Unless we like kill him or something and hide his body in a ditch.” Minghao joked.

“I thought I wouldn’t have to kill anyone until I was like 18 at least.” Jun continued sarcastically. “Do you think he even saw anything?”

Minghao shrugged. “I think he can put two and two together. He may be stupid but he is not dumb.”

“Uh, right.” Jun smiled.

Minghao looked back at the door, while Jun looked at Minghao instead. His cheeks were slightly pink and his hair was messy.

“Maybe we should go back to the others” Minghao suggested. “Before Seungkwan convinces them that we are out here making out or something.”

Jun leaned forward with a smug grin on his face. Minghao glanced at him suspiciously.

“I wouldn’t have anything against that,” he said boldly. Wow, Jun this is so not like you.

Minghao flicked his forehead but Jun could see him getting flustered. Suddenly his hair shifted from green into a shade of dark brown. Jun took a strand of it in his hand.

“Hey, new color” he mumbled.

“Finally. I was getting tired of looking like a lime.” Minghao sighed relieved. “Seriously though, let’s go back.”

Jun looked down at his hand that was tangled together with Minghao’s. He glanced at Minghao questioningly.

“Let it be,” Minghao said thoughtfully. His eyes flickered to Jun’s face  “If that’s okay with you?”

Jun grinned contently and nodded. Together they made their way back to Jihoon’s room, hand in hand.