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A Glitch

Chapter Text

He grabbed Bang Chan’s hand and his sight started to fade. All of his surroundings disappeared, leaving him vulnerable and helpless.

Normally this would unsettle him, but his mate was there to make sure nothing happened. His eyes flickered back and forth under his eyelids.

He could see flashes of the future start to unravel in his mind. He focused on what the images were showing him: a story was unfolding before him, whispers telling him what he needed to know.

He saw minho, at the edge of a cliff, bruised, bleeding, and surrounded by soldiers on all sides. Minho’s head snapped up. A knife was thrown in the air. Minho took one last look at someone in the distance with longing in his gaze, and then dove backward off the cliff to his death.

The vision changed.

He saw seungmin, surrounded by a ring of fire, guarding a pair of steel doors at the end of a corridor. Soldiers cornered him on all sides. Seungmin smiled sadly, before he was suddenly engulfed in water and swept away.

The rooms switched.

He saw changbin, watching in horror as a gun goes off and Felix dropping to the ground in a pool of his own blood. He heard a woman laughing as a pair of laboratory doors slam shut, leaving chan, woojin, jeongin and changbin alone in a dim fluorescent lit room as soldiers surrounded them.

The walls started to crumble, and the ground quaked. Then the lights above shattered one by one, raining glass down on all of them.

And then he saw nothing but darkness.

Returning back to the present, he gasped as he let go of bang chan’s hand, breathing heavily, a cold sweat at the back of his neck. His mate was there to calm him down. it took him a few moments to compose himself before speaking.

“so?” chan asked him. “what did you see?”

He looked up at bang chan and his friends, a feeling of dread in his stomach and pity in his eyes for what was to come.

Chapter Text

Felix covered his head with the white hood of his hoodie and turned away. The crowd cheered, a certain crazed energy erupting from the stands as more violence was being spread.

The prisoner in the arena held up his hands in victory, blood spattered all over his body. He just won a battle to the death against his other half.

Felix walked away towards the facility, utter disgust making his stomach turn. How could these people be so happy about killing their other halves?

According to the legends, everyone that was brought to this agency are descended from ancient beings. No one knows their true names, so they are referred to as The First People, and they were the first beings to inhabit this earth. Apparently, they were gifted with different abilities as well as heightened senses, and it was said that each person born of The First People has another half born as well. They were born in pairs, specifically destined for one another. They complement each other, and if they unite together then they become even stronger.

However, that was just a myth passed down through the generations. At the agency, they were taught that your soulmate weakens you. In order to obtain “true strength” you must train to kill your destined partner somewhere on the earth and harness their abilities for yourself. It was a hunt to the death, and only one will survive.

But felix knew the truth. He knew that they were all being fed lies at the agency, brainwashed for another purpose. His heart broke at the thought of killing his destined person.

Felix was brought to the agency at a young age, being the son of one of the head councilman in charge. His mother was cruel and evil. She had an ulterior motive to what she was doing: collecting and kidnapping descendants of the First People from all over the world and forcing them as prisoners and subjects to train and kill their soulmates. Felix has spent his entire life at facility 9 eavesdropping and sneaking around to figure out why she was collecting everyone with an ability and keeping them as her personal possessions.

Felix would often be forced to go on trips to the other facilities with his mother, holding up the pretense that she actually liked him as a son. It was at these facilities he would notice certain prisoners, people who were just like him. people that defied the corrupt system they were being forced to follow. It was watching these people while growing up that he made a decision:

He had to be careful with who he chose to save. Only the ones who he thought were genuine and different would he secretly let free. If his mother found out that he was going behind her back, and that he was responsible for the accidents that happened in facilities 1, 2, and 7, she would surely kill him without thinking twice. Not even the people he saved knew he let them free. They would just wake up one day, and find their doors unlocked. Even though he would never be free, he was willing to risk everything he had to free everyone else.

***

You would think he has special privileges being related to a person of great authority. But that was not the case. You see, felix was born different than all the other captives at the agency. He never developed any abilities of his own. His mother considered him an omen, a glitch, to the perfect system she spent a lifetime building. She even killed her other half, her mate, and harnessed his energy for herself before she gave birth to Felix. And yet, Felix was a complete disgrace to her. She was ten times harder on him in training than she was to any other captive at the agency. Being handicapped in a way, he ruined her plans of complete control over all of the descendants, and she never let him forget about it.

Periodically, he would be taken into a lab and subjected to many tests and torture. They tried to brainwash him over and over, messing with his mind, trying to get him to kill his mate. Each time, he would refuse. It was a constant battle he was fighting. And after going through all of that, she would lock him up in a dark room for hours, sometimes days. She had the idea in her head that if he was isolated, he would finally give in to what she wanted.

But felix would never give in. he had a secret nobody knew about. A secret he kept hidden deep inside him his whole life. He would rather die then let anyone find out about it.

He could feel his powers, somewhere inside of him locked away, waiting to be released.

And for some reason he could feel his other half. It was an odd feeling at first, and it took felix years to figure out what that feeling meant, finally realizing he was connected somehow to the person he was destined to be with. He wasn’t supposed to be connected with his mate until he met face to face with them and got to know them on a personal level.

Felix found out that you can bond with your mate on a metaphysical level, a level so intimate nobody else in the entire world could understand. In order for this bond to click into place, both people need to accept the other completely and wholeheartedly, willing to sacrifice their life for their mate without hesitation. It sometimes takes years for the bonds to form between mates. But once it does, mates can heal each other, feel each other even though they are miles apart, tap into their emotions, and even give strength to each other when needed. Of course, this was only myth, and Felix has no way of confirming if all of this was true or not. But what he was feeling definitely wasn’t normal:

Sometimes, his heart ached in his chest almost like it was calling out to someone. Sometimes, he felt like he was missing someone important, being overwhelmed by so much loneliness. Sometimes, he could feel another heart beating with his own, echoing inside of him, resonating over and over again. Whenever he felt the other heartbeat echoing in rhythm with his own, he smiled knowing that his most precious person was out there somewhere, alive and well. It helped him get through another day of agony, and made everything he was going through worth it.

***

As he was walking down one of the corridors, he heard whispers. He glanced at the people whispering, but they quickly looked away. He sighed. Being the son of the most important person on the council was a pain. Nobody dared to talk to him, except for one friend he used to have, for fear that all his mother’s anger would be transferred from him to them. He was also an outcast because he couldn’t use his powers. He never understood why they were locked away inside of him, but he would never tell his mother for fear that she would dissect him to find out.

Even though he couldn’t use any abilities, it didn’t stop his mother from forcing him into the same training as the other gifted prisoners in the facility. Each day and night from the moment he could walk and talk, he had to train in various forms of martial arts and fighting. He learned how to use a variety of weapons to kill others. He could do acrobatics, learning to be fast and agile.

The only thing he was not good at was the abilities training portion of the day. Once again, he couldn’t use his own powers, but he still had to train with other prisoners that could use powers. He had no way to defend himself against these types of attacks. Over time, he learned to deflect most attacks at him, but he was still weak in this area of fighting.

Being brought out of his thoughts by the whispering again, he put his hands into his pockets and hunched into his hoodie even more, trying to not draw attention to himself. he had to go see his mother for more “tests” which was just another way of saying more torture and brainwash. Once, he tried to skip and hide from these sessions, but that just made things even worse. He found that it was better to get them over and done with rather than trying to fight it:

2 years ago: felix

About 2 years ago, felix visited facility 2 with his mother. There, he saw a group of 3 boys, laughing and joking while they were training in an arena. felix watched them closely. It was a strange thing for the prisoners to actually be friends and laugh together. Everyone that is captured and taken to the facilities was suspicious of each other, trying to fight for dominance and to be the strongest. Felix never really blamed them for being like mindless minions, he blamed it on the brainwashing his mother orders for everyone to go through.

But these three were different.

One of them looked at his two friends with such kindness in his eyes as he watched the tallest of the three jokingly shove the shortest while they were sparring. The shortest screamed something back at him as he ran and did a flying kick at his face. The taller waved his hand in a circle motion, and a shield of water came up. The shorter of the two moved his foot at the last second, and then a dark energy surrounded his hands. He punched the shield of water and it shattered. Suddenly, the buzzer went off indicating that abilities training was over and everyone was to return to their rooms. As the three boys turned and faced felix’s direction, he got a good look at their faces and their names that were stitched onto their white uniforms. The one that was watching his two friends ran up in the middle of them and threw his arms around them, bringing them into a hug as they walked back to their dorms. He was brightly smiling, showing off two dimples on his cheeks. The shorter pretended to act like he hated it, but felix saw him smirk. The tallest on the other hand loved the attention and laughed, nudging his head into his friend’s shoulder. They walked by felix, not even noticing him watching them. Felix caught himself smiling. He liked what he saw, and immediately thought to himself: home.

Later that day, as he was trailing behind his mother’s entourage through the dorms of facility 2 (she was so controlling that she does a check on each of her prisoners from each facility, making sure everything was going according to ‘schedule’), he made sure to watch carefully for the three rooms he was looking for. Each room had the prisoner’s name carved into it, so all he had to do was match the names from their uniforms to the door of their room. Everyone was retired to bed or quiet time. It was starting to get late. Felix had to be quick to make sure his mother or her guards didn’t notice.

When he spotted the first door with one of the boy’s names, he took out a thin piece of metal from his white uniform sleeve. (he is skilled in many forms of weapons, so breaking off a few pieces of metal and saving them for later was nothing for him) he was the best when it came to weapons. He couldn’t use his abilities, so he made up for it by training in other ways. He hated feeling helpless. Of course, he does have a preferred weapon he uses all the time, but he can actually use all of them to some extent.

Mustering all of his training, he squinted his eyes and aimed the small thin metal at the door’s lock mechanism. with a quick flick of his wrist, and a small swish sound from the metal flying in the air, he hit his mark.  it was an advanced lock mechanism, but what people don’t realize is that there is a small hole in the side of it, and if you hit the hole just right with its key (or in this case, small pieces of metal that act like the key), you can reset that lock. Its useful for when the power goes out, or someone needs to get into a room in an emergency without a key. He figured this little piece of information out awhile ago sitting in his room for all those hours isolated from the outside world. He got bored one day so he would just stare at his lock and play around with it. eventually he taught himself how to lock pick. Hes no expert, but he knows the basics.

The lock on the boy’s door made a small whoosh sound and then a really light ‘ping’. He prayed his mother didn’t hear, too busy talking to her secretary, listing off improvements each prisoner needs to make. He quickly glanced away from the door, pretending like nothing happened. When he arrived at the other two boys’ doors, he did the same thing, satisfied when he heard the same whoosh and a ping. Now everything was up to them. Sooner or later they will figure out that their doors are open. Whether they escape or not, he didn’t know. But he could always hope.

When they arrived back to facility 9, felix was allowed one short hour to eat and get ready for his weekly (and sometimes daily) visits to his mother.

But seeing the three boys together today made him feel lonely. At that time, he wanted so badly to run up to them and hug them. He wanted to spar with the two boys, and he wanted to have a friend watch him with kind eyes and love, like a true leader. The feeling was so strong he wanted to cry. This caused him to make a rash decision:

He decided to run and hide in order to avoid having to go through more tests and ‘mental strengthening’ is what his mother refers to the brainwashing. He just couldn’t take it anymore. But sure enough, his mother ordered soldiers to find him. they dragged him back, kicking and fighting, to her personal laboratory. He was scared as to what was to come.

After hours of being subjected to one mental simulation after another, and then add in a little bit of electrocution, he was exhausted. He was panting so hard. His mother frowned in disapproval from where she was standing, watching her son be tortured.

“if he wont succumb to his mental strengthening or electricity, then bring out the water.” She told her soldiers.

They dragged him to a pool of ice cold water built in the ground, cuffed him with metal chains, and dropped him in the water. He didn’t have time to take a breath. He yanked on his chains, trying to loosen their hold, but the water was quickly weakening his muscles. His lungs needed air. The burning was becoming too much, and he couldn’t help but open his mouth in reflex to breathe in. Water came rushing in instead. He was drowning.

Usually by this time, his mother would let up before trying again. But she didn’t order him to be pulled up. He couldn’t breathe. He started to panic, trying one last time to free himself from the chains. He started to black out. His heart beat was slowing.

His eyes fluttered shut, but not before they briefly flashed a different color. Being at the bottom of a dark pool, nobody noticed. Not even felix himself. He finally let the darkness sink in, giving up.

Back to the present~

Just as Felix was about to knock on the grand doors that opened into his mother’s private lab facility (he likes to call it ‘heaven on earth’ a twisted inside joke between he and his friend from a long time ago), he heard muffled arguing coming from inside. He glanced around, making sure no one could see him eavesdropping, and leaned his ear against the door with his enhanced hearing. He heard his mother arguing with someone.

“Im telling you, we have to do it soon! Within a few months at most!” his mother screeched.

“if we rush into the plan, then it could fail. We must take this one step at a time.”

“I don’t care. We have the DNA that we need. Its not difficult to replicate our powers anymore. With a little more tweaking, we can have a whole army of disposable soldiers at our command. Then we can finally hunt down all of the partners of our worthless subjects at this facility. Think of all the powers we can collect from it!”

“you are letting greed consume your thoughts. We hand picked all of the strongest descendants and gathered them at this facility, so yes, their partners will have incredible strength as well. But there are complications we have to take care of first before we can hunt them down and kill them.”

“you mean that pest bang chan? They are nothing to worry about. I will send one of our squads in a few days to get rid of them.”

“yes bang chan is the biggest threat right now, and we shouldn’t take it lightly. hes already recruited others from facility 1 and 7 with him. they are some of the strongest we had in each of the facilities. hes growing in numbers, and if we aren’t careful, he could really interfere with the plans we have. Remember, he was one of the strongest we had in the system. If he finds his partner and unites with him, he could be even stronger.”

“oh pish posh. Hes nothing I cant handle.” Felix’s mother scoffed at the other person. It sounded like a male, probably another councilman.

“yes, you may be able to handle chan, but not changbin.”

his mother gasped when that name was said. At the same time, felix’s heart did a double beat. He grabbed his chest frowning, but chose to keep listening instead. They are talking about the boys he chose to break out of facility 2 two years ago. He was a little sad that they didn’t mention the third boy. He hoped he made it with the other two. 

“no…he escaped with changbin on his side? Shit.” She muttered. “this complicates things. I was hoping changbin would have perished in the rubble along with the other bodies we couldn’t identify”

“unfortunately we found out that he is very much alive. Changbin is still unstable. If he loses control again, he will do way more damage than destroy a whole facility like he did 2 years ago. To be honest, that just proves my point that chan is not someone to be messed with if he has managed to keep changbin in control all this time.”

“fine, you are right. We have to eliminate chan and the rest of his little escapade before we put our plans into motion. We start the search for him in 5 days, and then eliminate him.”

Felix’s heart was beating really fast. From all of the information he just heard, he finally put all of the puzzle pieces together and realized what his mother was planning. It was way worse than he thought. Everyone he knows will end up as mindless slaves at this point! He has to somehow warn chan that they are coming for him.

Never before has he attempted to escape; he never had a reason to. But now he must in order to save everyone. It was the right thing to do. He wanted to cry at the thought that his mate could be murdered in the near future. He would rather die than let that happen.

“where is my worthless son? He should have been here by now.” He heard his mother say as she got closer to the doors.

Oh no. Felix had to come up with a cover, and quick. If he pretended he just arrived, she would never believe him, and know that he just overheard everything, making saving chan that much harder.

Making up his mind, he quickly ran back the way he came. When he was far enough down the hallway, he sat down on the ground and leaned against the wall, and waited for what was to come.

Sure enough, his mother turned the corner and saw him sitting there.

Uh oh, shes pissed. This is going to be a long night.

“there you are. You think you can just skip on our session whenever you feel like it?! how dare you disobey my orders!” she slapped felix across the face, and then grabbed his hair and yanked his head up so that he was face to face with her.

“im sorry, it wont happen again” he muttered.

“it better not.” She hissed, and dragged him by the hair back to her personal lab.

And as some of her personal soldiers took position to guard the outside and block off any unwanted interruptions, you could hear a small whimper of pain as the doors closed and sealed shut.

Chapter Text

Changbin woke up with a gasp, drenched in sweat. His chest was hurting again and he didn’t know why.

Mustve been just a nightmare. he thought. But it seemed so real to him. in his dreams he could have swore he heard someone crying out, and he always felt ghosts of pain tingle all over his body when he woke up. This happened to him on more than one occasion, but it has been getting more and more frequent.

Chan thought it might be due to stress from when they were at the facility, but changbin doesn’t think that’s what is causing these weird occurrences. All the training he endured at facility 2 didn’t even phase him. some of the others still have bad dreams about what they went through, especially jeongin, but none of that affected changbin. So why do I feel like im suffocating? What am I missing?

He sighed in frustration and got out of bed. Maybe a calming walk outside will help me shake away these feelings. He stretched his body, trying to shake away all of the physical pain he could feel, even though he knows he never went through anything excruciating to cause it.

He walked into the night and felt the cool air on his face. He looked up to the sky, admiring the moon. It was so bright. It was on nights like these where he felt the loneliest. Don’t get him wrong, he found a wonderful family when he ran away with chan and hyunjin. Then they found woojin, jisung, jeongin, and seungmin. Even meeting minho later was nice. They all got along, were there for each other, and trusted each other with their lives.

But he couldn’t shake this feeling that his heart wasn’t complete.

He frowned at the moon, and closed his eyes trying to put his mind at peace. He let the darkness overcome him. he felt most comfortable in the dark, but he was also the most afraid of what lurked in the darkness.

His power was that he could control the dark. This means anything having to do with the dark. This also meant manipulating negative energy around people and objects, such as nightmares or things that haunt people’s minds. He can show them their worst fears, and make them succumb to the most pain and agony. It was hard for him to describe the extent of his dark energy, and nobody can really understand how much control it takes to keep the darkness locked inside of him.

He was scared of letting the darkness out completely. If he loses focus for even a second, he could destroy anything and everything around him. he almost did a few years back when he lost his sanity and blew up the entire facility. His emotions affected his abilities drastically, which is why he tries to not dwell on painful memories.

Thinking back on that day puzzles him. he didn’t really know why he lost control on the day he blew up the facility that kept him, chan, and hyunjin prisoners. He was grateful they were able to escape, but he still feels guilty about what happened. It took chan a whole 4 hours to get him to calm down enough to reign in the dark aura around him. his aura was toxic to those around him, and they could die if they get too close.

He remembers it very clearly.

2 years ago: Facility 2. Changbin, chan, and hyunjin

He was sitting on his bed, exhausted after a day of training with chan and hyunjin. He was just lying there, staring up at the ceiling. He briefly heard a faint murmuring outside his door, meaning one of the councilman, a harsh lady who always came at least once a month to check on each prisoner, was doing her daily routine checks. For what, he had not a clue.

A few hours later, after the councilman lady was long gone, it was almost lights out, meaning everyone had to go to sleep. He did a mental check, and tamped down his strong abilities deep within himself. He was always in control, always checking and rechecking, making sure he wouldn’t hurt anyone when he was most vulnerable. It was at the moments when he was just about to drift asleep that his mind was the most open and calm.

Suddenly he felt uneasy. His eyes started flickering under his eyelids. His whole body broke out into a sweat, like he just ran a marathon. He couldn’t breathe, like he was drowning under water. He tried to gasp for air on reflex. He started to black out, and it caused him to panic. In those seconds of panicking, his first reflex was to defend himself. His eyes shot open, flashing a different color that reflected in the dark, and he let out his dark energy. The whole facility was affected by it, the light bulbs in the hallways shattered one after another. The walls started shaking and caving in on itself. Dark tendrils of energy were swirling around changbin. He looked at his hands, completely emerged in black. He didn’t know why this feeling was happening, he couldn’t stop it. he started hyperventilating, unsure of what to do.

Chan burst through his door, the facility was going to crumble under the pressure changbin was emitting from his body. It was like a great force of gravity was crushing everyone and everything that was unfortunate enough to be close to changbin. Chan tried to get near changbin and grab him by the hand, but instantly pulled back in complete agony when he touched changbin.

Changbin looked up at chan, fear in his eyes. “im so sorry, I don’t know what happened, I don’t- I cant control it.”

Changbins heart was beating so fast, and hurting so much.

What most people don’t realize is that chan was stronger than he let on. People underestimated his strength all the time, which he used as his advantage so that the councilmen wouldn’t take notice of him. he managed to reign in the pain changbin made him feel, controlling it rather than let it take control of him. he sucked in a deep breath, letting sparks form at his fingertips. His ability was lightning, using it and the dark energy surrounding his hand to block whatever changbin was throwing at them. He grabbed changbins hand, biting back on the pain he could feel, and dragged him out of that hellhole before it crushed them. Hyunjin wasn’t too far behind, using his own abilities to get them out of there unnoticed.

Hyunjin decided to act first and ask questions later. Out of all the subjects in their facility, he only trusted chan and changbin the most. If chan wanted to leave, then he would follow him, regardless of what happened to them if they were caught. Hyunjin could control water. He used the water to surround them, and then manipulated its particles to reflect on itself, causing them to look invisible even though they weren’t really invisible. It was a trick of the light, and nobody but changbin and chan knew he could do it. as they lived in the facility, all three of them tried to keep their powers at a minimum so they could blend in better. If the councilmen knew the extent of what they could do, it would be disastrous for them.

“Looks like we cant keep changbins abilities a secret anymore.” He whispered to chan. Chan snorted. “that’s the understatement of the year.” He whispered back.

Once they were outside, the entire building collapsed in a huge pile of rubble, trapping bodies underneath it. Alarms were going off, people were scrambling to avoid it. there was screaming and chaos all around them. They had to get away before soldiers started coming to collect them and take control of the situation.

They ran into the woods, never stopping. Chan glanced over at changbin. He was still shaking all over, but the dark energy was starting to die down a bit. It still exhausted him and hyunjin to be in such close proximity of changbin’s toxic aura for so long.

When chan thought they were far enough to not be detected, he turned and faced changbin.

“what happened? What the hell is going on?” he said calmly. Changbin just fell to the ground looking up at chan with a pleading face. Chan had no idea how to help him. changbin always seemed to keep his powers under control, and this was the first time this ever happened.

“I don’t know chan. I was just lying there in bed, and then I started feeling like I was drowning and I couldn’t breathe. Then I started to black out, and I panicked and I couldn’t control the darkness, and then you know the rest.” He was still hyperventilating a little bit, but it wasn’t as serious. For the next 3 hours, chan calmly talked to him, sat with him even though it caused him pain to be near the dark, and just stayed there with him so that changbin wouldn’t go through this alone. Finally, changbin collapsed from exhaustion and fell asleep. He had complete control over his abilities again, and the night returned to being peaceful. During all of this, hyunjin stayed on watch. He was strong, but not strong enough to stay near changbin for that long like chan was.

That didn’t stop hyunjin from throwing in snarky comments from the distance to lighten the mood, making chan and even changbin chuckle every now and then.

Once he was sure changbin was fast asleep, chan wandered over to hyunjin, and stumbled down next to him, completely leaning on him and dropping his head on his shoulder.

“damn his dark aura is strong. Im completely beat.” Chan mumbled.

Hyunjin laughed quietly. “so what are we going to do now? Its not like we can go back there, not that I wanted to anyways.”

“don’t know. We will think of something in the morning. For now, lets just take a rest.” Chan whispered, already half asleep.

Hyunjin patted chans hair back, and told him “take a rest, ill keep watch for a bit. Gotta make sure our baby changbin over there doesn’t blow us all up again.”

“I heard that, asshole.” Changbin muttered in his sleep as he curled up in a ball on the ground, already going back to sleep.

changbin returned back to the present, smiling at the memory.

That was 2 years ago. As he, chan, and hyunjin were looking for a place to hideout and plan their next moves, they ran into woojin, seungmin, jisung, and jeongin. Oh boy was that a good time. Each group thought they were the enemy, which ended up in them arguing with each other. Woojin against chan, changbin against jisung, hyunjin against seungmin, and jeongin just kind of watched with an amused smirk on his face. It was comical.

It was actually seungmin and hyunjin who started it all. Woojin and chan eyed each other suspiciously as they circled each other, neither one of them making the first move.

2 years ago: a few weeks after changbin, chan, and hyunjin escaped and (accidentally) destroyed facility 2

“oh would you look at that. They are now hiring brainless super models to hunt us down. Must be running low on quality help.” Seungmin said with a sneer at hyunjin.

“excuse fucking me? Did the worthless looking puppy just insult me? Oh hell no. changbin hold me back or im going to beat the shit out of this ginger.” Hyunjin retorted, taking a step towards seungmin with a glare.

“ooo hyung! You finally met your match!” jeongin squealed in delight at seungmin.

Seungmin gave jeongin a death glare, and then turned to hyunjin taking a step towards him, fire dancing at his fingertips. “first of all, that shrimp barely looks like he could hold back jeongin before he could hold you back.”

“hey!” jeongin yelled back.

“and I would think twice before you talk back to me, pretty boy. I can burn you to a crisp in a second.” Seungmin threatened, ignoring jeongins outburst.

“you thought, asshole.”  Hyunjin said as he took another step towards seungmin. They were now face to face, water swirling around his own fingertips. “I can just put your pathetic puny puffs of smoke out with my water.”

“seungmin, leave these worthless guys alone. They aren’t worth our time. I don’t trust people with dimples. They are too deceiving.” Woojin interrupted.

“yeah, none of them aren’t even that cute.” Jisung pouted, looking changbin up and down. “sorry, but im not interested in boys smaller than me.”

Changbin turned to chan, “did they both just fucking insult my height? That’s it, im blowing this place up again.” Changbin said raising his fists ready to fight, dark tendrils of energy already creeping around his body.

“hold up, did he just say he didn’t trust me because of my dimples? Uhm excuse me, but everybody loves my dimples. They are my most charming points.” Chan whined.

“seriously? They’ve been throwing insults at us from the beginning, and that’s what got you pissed?” hyunjin scoffed at chan.

“somebody get me some fucking popcorn, this is gonna be so much fun.” Jeongin said, making himself comfy on a nearby rock swinging his legs playfully back and forth.

“hey, eyes on me, Barbie. Im not done with you yet.” Seungmin said as he flicked hyunjins forehead, smirking.

“did you just hit my face? He totally hit my face.” Hyunjin was pissed. He pulled on seungmins earlobe.

“ouch!”

“seungmin god dammit, stop starting things with that fiery temper of yours.” Woojin warned, the temperature instantly dropping around the area. Ice started to form on the grass.

“oooo woojin hyung is getting angry. You guys better run unless you want to be frozen to death.” Jeongin called out.

Chan laughed mockingly. “ice wont affect me.” And orange sparks started crackling all around chan’s body. Woojin did a double take and looked chan up and down, raising an eyebrow. “interesting.” Was all he said.

“im bored already.” Jisung yawned. He moved his hands in a motion. Chan and changbin tensed up, prepared for an attack. Hyunjin was too busy glaring at seungmin to notice what was going on around him. but what jisung did next surprised them. The wind started to pick up around them, ruffling their hair, and then he jumped really high in the air, making his way over to jeongin in one leap, landing softly. The wind settled back down.

“did he just fucking fly?” changbin asked, surprised. “that’s kind of cool.”

“better get used to it, shrimp. Nobody is as cool as me.” Jisung called back, posing with a peace sign.

“okayyyy then.” Changbin turned away, already losing interest.

“don’t mind him. hes a complete narcissist and flirts with everyone!” jeongin happily told them. “let me introduce us. My name is jeongin, I can manipulate energy around me, causing sonic shock waves and booms. But my main specialty is that I can heal people, using the positive energy that is around me. Woojin is the oldest hyung of the 4 of us. He controls ice. Don’t mind him if hes being especially cold sometimes. As you have already noticed, the red head there is seungmin, and he controls fire. Better watch out! He loses his temper all the time, and loves to blow shit up just because its fun. Next to me here is jisung. Like I said before, he loves to flirt and is completely obsessed with himself. He controls the wind.”

Chan glanced over at woojin, before looking over at jeongin. “oh my god you are the cutest thing in the world!” he squealed. “im chan. I control lightning. This good looking guy here is hyunjin, he controls water. But he is extremely mischievous and is extremely hard to wake up. Over here is our baby changbin. He looks all emo and scary, but will always do aegyo for me. He controls dark energy.”

“I do not do aegyo just whenever you ask!” changbin yelled at chan. “and stop calling me baby changbin you jerks!” changbin huffed, and stomped on the ground.

“hes just so cute!” Chan and jeongin fangirled together, tossing an air high-five at each other.

Hyunjin and seungmin snorted at the look of horror on changbins face. But then they both realized that they laughed at the same time, and they were back to glaring at each other. 

And that’s how changbin met most of his family. It wasn’t until a year later that minho joined them. He smirked at how they were all taken by complete surprise when minho showed up at their doorstep with a loud boom and the ground shaking. This was the first thing that came out of his mouth:

1 year ago: when minho left facility 7

“whats up bitches. I heard chan is trying to fuck shit up with the agency, and im here to help. Please tell me you have food cuz im starving.”

Jisung was the one who opened the door, some of the others crowding behind him. his mouth was slightly ajar when he got a good look at minho.

“what? What are you staring at?” minho said defensively back at him, crossing his arms.

Jisung snapped his mouth shut, smirked, and turned around towards chan and jeongin who were behind him, and called out to everyone: “ok assholes. I know you are all obsessed with me and will be disappointed to hear this, but I call dibs on him. you are just going to have to find someone else to fulfill all your fantasies, because uhm hello? Aint nothing going to stop me from pouncing on him in like 30 seconds.”

“uhm, what the fuck?” minho said. “did he just say he called dibs on me?”

“THANK FUCKING GOD!” seungmin called from the living room.

“I can finally get some peace and quiet.” Jeongin sobbed.

“chan, grab ‘whats his face’s’ ass in here right now, the sooner the better. Jisung was clinging on me yesterday, and I swear my arm is going to fall off. How else do you explain how I lost to seungmin in an arm wrestling match?” hyunjin whined.

“because youre a weak ass bitch that’s why. Quit blaming jisung. Even though him clinging onto you was especially annoying.” Seungmin growled out.

“why would it be annoying to you? You werent the one hanging on me.” Hyunjin asked.

“exactly.” Seungmin muttered quietly.

“what did you say? I didn’t hear you.”

“nothing!” and seungmin went back to watching tv. But changbin and woojin were close enough to hear what he said. They both looked at each other. Woojin smirked, and changbin just shrugged his shoulders not caring.

“alrighttyyy then. Looks like im gonna fit in perfect with you psychos. Im minho by the way. I control earth, hate the agency with a passion, and collapsed the whole north wing of facility 7 before escaping my room. They drew the line when they said I had to fight to the death with some asshole they thought was my other half. Uhm, just because that jerk could manipulate metal doesn’t mean hes my destined partner. And he was ugly as fuck, so I knew he couldn’t be my mate. Like do they even see my face?”

“honey, I see it and you are drop dead gorgeous.” Jisung interjected.

“Plus, maybe I don’t feel like hunting down my mate and murdering them. I don’t know about you guys, but that seems like a lot of effort, and im lazy as fuck.” He continued to rant, completely ignoring jisung.

Jisung pouted as minho shoved his way past without glancing at him and walked into their home. Jisung crossed his arms and turned watching minho walk away. He was staring maybe a little bit longer than he should have. Chan who was still standing near him noticed this.

“whats got you so interested? You are never this interested in someone right away.” he asked jisung.

“I don’t know. Theres just something…about him. I cant explain it channie hyung. and those thighs..” he answered chan, fanning himself.

Chan just smiled, and looked over at woojin, who was introducing everyone to minho. “yeah, I think I know what you mean.” He mumbled. Jisung dragged his eyes away from minho’s thighs and grinned at chan. “want me to flirt with you to make him jealous? I would even go as far as a peck on the lips for good measure.” And waggled his eyebrows up and down.

Chan quickly looked away from woojin and laughed whole heartedly. “im glad to have you as a friend jisung. Seriously. That’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me.” And continued to laugh doubling over.

Jisung playfully punched him and clung to his arm while chan continued to giggle. Jisung was so caught up in giving ideas to chan to make woojin jealous, that they completely missed the look woojin gave them when he heard them cackling over by the door. He frowned at what he saw, and quickly looked away, offering to show minho his room he would be staying in.

Nobody took notice to changbin, who was watching all of this with a smile on his face. He liked this. It felt nice being with everyone. But even after a year from the incident that brought them together, he still felt those episodes of aching every now and then. He learned to ignore it.

It felt like all eight of them were one complete team. He didn’t need anybody else.

Right?

***

Chan walked outside to see changbin sitting in the grass, his brows furrowed in deep thought. This often happened whenever he experienced one of those episodes. Chan had a suspicion as to what it meant, but he didn’t want to talk to changbin about it until he was sure.

Afterall, he somewhat experienced the same things when he first met woojin.

Thinking about his other half made him smile. He remembers how they found out they were born for each other. It happened about 6 months after minho joined them. That would mean chan had been living with woojin and the others for a total of a year and a half.

6 months ago: exactly 1 year and 6 months after chan started living with the other seven boys

They were discussing and drawing up blueprints of all of the facilities the councilmen had control over. Woojin and the others escaped facility 1 before he found chan and the others. Chan, changbin, and hyunjin came from facility 2. Minho later met up with them, damaging half of facility 7.

The plan right now was to map out as many of the facilities they could. They need to learn the layout of the different buildings, and that takes time. They cant just walk in and blow shit up (seungmin didn’t like hearing that). They had to make sure all the councilmen were eliminated first, otherwise they could just run away and start all over again. That would make taking down the agency harder. The main goal was to figure out what the head councilmen had planned for all the prisoners. Chan wanted to know why they captured only specific people that had a power and made them into personal test subjects.

Chan and the others firmly believed that they shouldn’t live trying to murder their other halves, but instead find them and bond with them to become complete again. Chan believed that fate would lead him to his mate one day, and it turns out that fate was on his side.

It was an ordinary scouting mission, they were to get in, run through the layout of the facility, and then get out before anyone noticed them. Mainly that was hyunjin and seungmins job. Hyunjin could make them invisible by reflecting the light off of his water. Chan made seungmin go with him for backup, trusting that the red head would watch hyunjins back. Despite them constantly arguing, they fight extremely well together. It was always a show to watch the two train against each other.

Jeongin would stand by, ready to heal anyone if needed. Chan and woojin protected jeongin because he was very valuable and would surely be the first one captured if they were attacked. It took all of woojins strength to get him and the others out when they escaped their facility. The guards almost succeeded in recapturing jeongin. It was an unspoken rule between Chan and woojin to protect the youngest boy with their lives, and the others as well.

“jisung, keep an eye on the surrounding winds and let us know if anyone is approaching hyunjin and seungmin. Minho stick with jisung and watch the ground. Feel out if there are any vibrations of unwanted soldiers guarding the place. Changbin, back them up. They will be too distracted scanning the sky and ground and watching all of our backs to focus on themselves.” Chan ordered everyone.

They all nodded and left to do as he asked. They may all argue and tease each other, but when it came time to be serious, they would follow chan without hesitation.

Things were going as usual. Hyunjin and seungmin were making their way through the facility, mapping everything out. Jisung was outside one of the facility’s gates, his eyes closed and hands spread out in front of him, a ring of wind swirling at his feet. Minho was near him, eyes also closed in concentration, kneeling with one of his hands pressed to the ground. Changbin was up in a tree, squinting into the darkness at the facility. There was something unsettling about this specific facility. He couldn’t quite place his finger on it.

Changbin calmed his racing thoughts, and felt it: another heartbeat, beating really fast, almost as if someone was running. He put his hand to his chest and felt his heart. Someone was here. He felt the sudden urge to drop down from the tree and enter the building. He felt the urge to protect. He frowned, ignored these feelings, and focused back on his task.

woojin and jeongin jogged up to them and looked at changbin, not wanting to disturb the other two. Changbin shook his head, meaning everything was fine and hyunjin and seungmin were on their way out. Woojin breathed a sigh of relief. It looks like it will be an uneventful night, which was always good news to him.

woojin stared off into the direction chan should be in. chan separated from them earlier to jog the perimeter and meet seungmin and hyunjin at one of the gates. He wanted to go with him, but somebody had to stay and watch the other kids.

Suddenly jisungs eyes flew open. “minho!”

“I know, I felt it too jisungie.”

“what? Whats going on?” jeongin asked. Changbin and woojin were alert.

“somebody must have caught sight of chan. Not hyunjin and seungmin though, but they are still there with him. we have to go now!” jisung was starting to move, the wind in the surrounding area picking up faster, blowing the leaves on the trees, and stirring up dust at their feet.

Sure enough, an alarm rang out indicating intruders. All the doors started to lock down, and the gates were beginning to shut. Chan, hyunjin, and seungmin would be locked in if they didn’t make it in time.

Woojin was already racing towards the southern gate where chan should be. He was panicking, hoping to god chan got out with the others. Changbin and the rest of them weren't too far behind, jisung in the lead.

As woojin approached the gate, he saw hyunjin and seungmin standing there waiting, looking worried. Seungmin was surrounding them with a ring of fire. When he saw woojin approach he dropped the flames a little. “hes still in there!” hyunjin called out.

Woojin paled. “why?!”

“we don’t know! He suddenly saw something, and then ran past us back into the facility, even though the alarms were already going off.” Seungmin answered. “if you want this facility burnt to the ground just say the word” fire started licking the ground, shooting out from where he and hyunjin were standing.

“hey put the flames out sparky, we don’t want to draw attention to us!” jisung yelled.

“already on it.” hyunjin answered, splashing water on the flames snaking the ground.

“ok, whats the plan? We have to get chan back before we are surrounded. We don’t know what kind of powers everyone in that facility has.” Changbin reasoned.

“argh! What the hell was he thinking!” minho said in frustration.

“im sure he had a good reason.” Woojin said, biting his lip and looking for chan. He was so close to letting seungmin blow the place up.

Suddenly, chan emerged from the building, sprinting at full speed, a bunch of soldiers following close behind.

“shit!” minho swore. He stomped into the earth, and raised his hands towards himself and out again. The earth behind chan started to melt, becoming mud, which made it difficult for the soldiers to follow chan.

Jisung flicked his wrist one way, and the other wrist the other way. Wind shot out from either side of the soldiers, huge gusts picking them off one by one making them fly in the air.

Woojin’s ice started crackling around him. the temperature instantly dropped. You could see their breaths in the air even though it was a hot and muggy night. Hyunjin threw water at the soldiers and woojin immediately turned his water into ice, freezing some of them right on the spot.

Chan almost made it to them still sprinting, all of the soldiers following him taken care of by his friends. The gates were about to close shut.

as soon as chan made it back to them panting, woojin saw a glint in the distance, and knew immediately what it was. Before he could register what was happening, he was shoving himself in front of chan, grabbing a hold of him and curling his body around chan. a split second later, a throwing axe attached to a chain hit woojin in the back. It was aimed right at chans heart. He couldn’t let that happen to him. the chain recoiled, dislodging the axe in woojin’s back and returned from where it was thrown.

“woojin? Woojin?!” chan yelled. Woojin lost all feeling in his legs, and started to fall to the ground. Chan grabbed a hold of him and set him on the ground gently. Woojin coughed up some blood, and his eyes started to dim. the pain was unbearable, and he was quickly losing feeling in his body.

Chan’s heart started beating two heart beats at once. He looked at woojin in his arms and felt a horrible ache in his chest. He started to hyperventilate once he realized he was losing woojin. His ears started ringing and he couldn’t hear or see what was happening around him. he just stared at woojin, cradling him in his arms.

“-hyung. Chan hyung! Move!” jeongin yelled, and shoved chan out of the way. He immediately drew in positive energy that was radiating off of the surrounding objects, including his friends, and started to heal woojin. It was a large wound and he didn’t know if he was going to have enough strength to completely heal him.

Chan sat there on the ground in shock. Changbin and the others were all guarding the area to make sure there were no other attacks.

“I don’t understand. How the fuck did I not feel that coming in the air?! I can feel anything that moves in the wind!” jisung was crying.

“its not your fault jisungie. They must have someone with the ability to mask their movements. Its rare, yes, but not impossible. God, have I ever mentioned how much I hate people who can manipulate metal? That goes for metal axes too. I knew I should have killed that fugly metal bending bastard when I had the chance last year, in the arena.” Minho grumbled, ranting in anxiety, rubbing jisungs arm up and down trying to soothe him.

Seungmin snorted. “well we can always blow the place up. In case you were wondering, I would be totally okay with that.”

“you are always ‘incinerate things first, ask questions later’, aren’t you?” hyunjin called to him.

Chan didn’t hear any of this going on. Something deep inside him finally snapped, his eyes changing color and glowing a pale blue. dark clouds started to form above them. The air started becoming charged with electricity. Thunder was sounding in the distance.

“uh-oh” changbin said, and instantly drew up a shield of dark energy above everyone.

“what the fuck?!” minho exclaimed as he looked at the sky. He scooted closer to jisung, who was also staring at the sky with wide eyes. Jisung swiped his hands to the side and added on another wind barrier to changbins dark one.

Suddenly, electric blue lightning started to crash down from the sky all around them, one bolt after another. But these weren't ordinary bolts of lightning. They immediately bounced off the ground and shot up in different directions without control. The whole place was sizzling with electricity.

“seungmin, put out your flames! With all this charge in the air, you are going to really blow us up!” changbin yelled to him.

Hyunjin tried to dampen the air with a heavy fog.

“what the hell has gotten into chan hyung?! Why did he snap? Hes going to kill us with these lightning bolts!” jeongin yelled. He was almost halfway healing woojin. Woojin was going to make it, but jeongin needed a better area to take care of him. they needed to go back to the safety of their home, where jeongin can work properly.

“I don’t know. He just saw woojin and then lost it.” changbin called back. The lightning bolts were bouncing off his barrier. This is the strongest changbin has ever seen chan. If it wasn’t for jisung helping, he wasn’t sure if his barrier would even hold long enough to protect them.

“hyunjin! Jisung! Can you guys somehow settle that storm above us? I think that is whats fueling these deadly bolts. Minho try to calm chan down so that he can disperse the clouds. Honestly, he shouldn’t even be able to do this. How the hell did he become like 20x more powerful anyways? He was only ever able to control lightning around his body, not from the fucking sky.” Changbin ranted.

Minho made his way over to chan. He kneeled in front of him and grabbed him by the shoulders. “its ok hyung. Woojin is okay. He protected you, and now he will be okay.”

Chan looked up at minho, his eyes still glowing.

“uh changbin? Why the fuck are his eyes glowing pale blue? Its creeping the shit out of me!”

“how the hell should I know? do I look like a fucking encyclopedia?! Google it when we get back, im busy trying not to get us barbequed to death. Hyunjin, jisung hurry up!”

Minho grabbed chans face, forcing him to look at him, and continued saying soothing words with a calm voice. Chan seemed to slowly come back to his senses. He glanced over at woojin, and crawled towards him where he was lying on the ground with jeongin.

He looked at woojin and his heart broke. He started to sob uncontrollably. He was crying really hard. “I thought I saw someone in one of the glass windows of this southern wing. I wanted to make sure hyunjin and seungmin werent near the area. Then the person ran past the window, and I don’t know, I just followed them from the outside. But then someone saw me and started chasing me down. I couldn’t leave until I knew that hyunjin and seungmin were safe. I know it was stupid of me, but-“ he hiccupped and covered his face with his hands. He didn’t notice that woojin was beginning to wake up while he was ugly sobbing and telling everyone what happened. Jeongin noticed woojin beginning to stir awake and smiled down at him. “welcome back hyung. I almost got you patched up, so just give me a few more minutes before we take you back home.”

Woojin opened his eyes. They were glowing a bright orange. “what the-“ jeongin gasped.

Woojin grabbed chans arm. Chan’s hands were still covering his face as he tried to calm down, so he didn’t notice woojin’s eyes glowing.

“its ok chan.” Woojin whispered. Chan looked down at woojin, his own eyes glowing ice blue.

“woojin?! Are you okay? Do you hurt anywhere?” he started gently running his hands over woojins body making sure he wasn’t bleeding anywhere else. “what the hell were you thinking woojin?! You almost died! Do you know how scared I am right now?! What if you left us forever? What if you left me?!” chan was panicking again, talking a mile a minute, leaning down facing woojin as he sobbed and yelled at him at the same time.

Woojin chuckled a little, and then coughed. “had to save you no matter what.” He whispered.

“w-what?” chan gazed down softly at woojin. “don’t be silly woojinnie. Im not more important than your own life. Don’t ever do that again.” Woojin just shook his head slightly as chan was saying this.

“you’re the most important person to me. I would do it all over again.” Woojin argued.

“well guess what dumbass. I would do the same for you.” Woojin was still holding onto chans arm. Suddenly, his arm started to tingle, a warmth spreading all throughout his body.  Chan’s arm started to glow, a tattoo carving a curved pattern into a ring around his bicep. Woojins arm started to do the same thing. They both gasped. The curved pattern was colored ice blue and orange, blending together.

“what the-“ chan said. He could feel woojin completely now on a metaphysical level, his heartbeat echoing in sync with his own. It was the same for woojin. They were connected on a level that no one else could understand. Chan took woojins hand and intertwined their fingers, smiling. He had a hunch on what just happened.

“looks like you were mine this whole time. Right in front of me and I didn’t even notice.” Chan muttered, smiling down at woojin.

“thank god. I was worried you and jisung were mates or something.” Woojin smiled back, eyes crinkling.

Jisung ugly coughed into his hand after hearing that. “ok first of all. EW. Second of all, I told you he would get jealous if I clung to you and flirted so you totally owe me big time chan hyung. And third, what the fuck is happening?” He looked up at the sky. He didn’t need to do much with hyunjin because the sky was already calming and the bolts stopped attacking them.

Changbin sighed in relief and shattered his shield, dropping to the ground. “damn chan, never do that again, please? Consider us even, after you saved our asses from myself that night.”

Chan gently lifted his intertwined hand with woojins. Their bonds shining on their arms in the dark. “my friends, I believe I just found my mate, and we are united now for life. You may call me dad of the group now.”

“uhm excuse you? I am the dad.” Woojin interrupted.

“but I wanted to be the dad. I have better arm muscles than you.” Chan argued back.

“says who?! I am going to be the dad.”

“uhm actually, changbin has better arm muscles than the both of you so if we are just going by that then-“ minho started to say.

“and how would you know about changbin’s arms? Were you too busy admiring him from a distance? Is that why you don’t pay more attention to me?” jisung glared at minho.

“well they are hard to miss. He trains more than all of us and he wears sleeveless shirts-“ minho started to explain.

“that’s just your excuse for hitting on changbin. I cant believe you would even like a mean little troll like him.”

“the fuck you just say?! You want to pick a fight chipmunk?!” changbin was already halfway getting up to kick some ass.

“actually I think he looks more like a squirrel.” Hyunjin added in. seungmin was nodding in agreement.

“who the hell asked for your unwanted opinion, bean sprout?” jisung shot back.

“you are just jealous because minho is bigger than you, so you are forced to be the little spoon.” Hyunjin retorted.

“nobody is my fucking spoon.” Minho countered.

“OH MY GOD OKAY GUYS I AM THE MOM OF THE GROUP, JESUS FUCK.” Chan yelled out, ending all arguments.

“channie hyung?” jeongin said.

“yes my sweet child that came from heaven above?” chan answered, swerving his head in jeongins direction.

“nobody here gives a shit who the mom or dad is. Im tired, can we please go home and get something to eat?”

Chan looked dumbfounded. Woojin laughed weakly at jeongin. He started to get up, feeling better already. “wow jeongin, your healing is doing a really good job. I think im like 75% better already.”

“its not me hyung. Im completely dead tired and stopped healing you after your bond formed with chan hyung.” Woojin frowned at this. “then why am I healing so fast?”

“I heard one of the soldiers in my facility say that if you bond with your partner, then you can give each other strength. The same must be for our enhanced healing. I think chan is unintentionally healing you through your bond.” Seungmin piped in. chan smiled at that. Now that seungmin mentioned it, he could feel woojin completely on a whole new level. When he put his focus more on their joined psyches, he realized he is indeed unintentionally healing woojin, the subconscious thought of wanting woojin to be okay taking over, causing him to heal faster. This time, he intentionally added more strength down their bond. Woojin gasped at that, feeling a large surge of energy and strength and a little something more.

“well this is going to get some getting used to.” He said. The others just kind of looked puzzled, not really knowing what was happening. “lets go home guys and eat chicken!”

Everyone groaned, tired of eating chicken whenever it was woojins turn to pick what was for dinner. But the guy literally just got an axe shoved into his back and almost died, so they didn’t complain. Yet.

Chapter Text

“hey hyung? Can I ask you something?” changbin broke the silence in the night.

Chan blinked, focusing back on the present after zoning out in his memories. “yeah what is it changbinnie?” he sat down on the grass next to changbin.

“ive been thinking. Every time I feel these aches and pains, and echoes of a heart beat…I think I am somehow feeling my mate. I cant explain it. I know I shouldn’t feel my mate until we are near each other, but I think its them.” He breathed out.

“ive been considering that too.” Chan admitted. “I just didn’t want to confuse you in case I was wrong, that’s why I didn’t bring it up. But I experienced the same thing when woojin almost died…” he gulped thinking about how broken he would be if woojin died that night.

Changbin gave him a minute to compose himself again. He turned to face chan. “ive been wondering channie hyung…ive been wondering about that night I lost control-“

“I keep telling you changbin, it wasn’t your fault what happened that night. You don’t have to beat yourself up over it.” chan started to lecture. But changbin interrupted him.

“no, not that. I was wondering, how did you get to me so fast? How did you and hyunjin get out of your rooms and get into my room so quickly? All of our rooms had those damn lock mechanisms that didn’t open. I would know, because I always tried to break it open, but I never could.”

Chan tilted his head in thought, trying to remember what exactly happened that night. He remembers hearing the walls start to crumble and shake. The ground started to split all over the place. He panicked and didn’t think, he just shoved against his door to get out. It burst right open, and he ran out into the hall. Hyunjin was already running towards him. he turned and made his way down the other way towards changbin's room. The place was going to collapse, and he just acted on instinct, trying to protect his friends and worry about everything else later.

“now that you mention it, it does seem weird. I was panicking, trying to get to you. I shoved my door. I thought I was just really strong, or the walls were crumbling so bad that it knocked the door off its frame enough for me to get it open. But that seems too easy.” He laughed. “now that I think really hard, your door wasn’t damaged yet. I just reacted and opened it up. I saw you, and looked around at what was happening, and tried to get us out of there.”

Changbin frowned. “why were our doors open? I don’t remember seeing anyone else out in the halls. They were still locked in their rooms. And they would have tried to get out like you did. Its only natural to do that.

“what about woojin and the others? How did they get out of their own doors and facility?” changbin questioned.

Chan frowned, seeing where changbin was going with this. “I remember jisung start to say something about his door awhile back, but then we got distracted arguing and it was never really brought up again. What are you suggesting?”

“what if our doors being opened wasn’t just some sort of strike of luck?” changbin mused.

Chan stood up. “you might be on to something. We need to wake everyone up. I need to know more clearly what happened at each of their facilities.”

***

Chan and changbin started to gather everyone into the kitchen at their huge dining table. Hyunjin was still up since he had horrible sleeping patterns. The boy barely slept, but could never wake up once he did go to sleep. He sat at a chair, playing with his phone. Seungmin shuffled into the kitchen half asleep and grumpy. He sat next to hyunjin and leaned his head on his shoulder, already softly snoring again. Hyunjin was too occupied with his phone to take notice. Either that, or he didn’t care that seungmin was practically using him as a pillow.

Next, jeongin walked in with woojin. Jeongin rubbed his eyes, and woojin yawned. “whats going on channie?”

“just sit down and wait for the others. This is really important woojinnie.” Chan told him softly, trying not to talk too loud. Woojin nodded and lead jeongin to a chair and sat next to him.

Minho walked in grumbling, still pretty much asleep. He plopped down on a chair and just kind of sat there with his eyes partially closed and hands clasped together in his lap. He was too exhausted to complain on why they woke him up at this deathly hour. Jisung followed into the kitchen a few seconds later yawning, spotted minho, and shuffled over to him.

He moved minho’s hands out of the way, climbed into his lap sideways with his feet dangling on the side, and snuggled into minho’s shoulder, a small smile on his lips. Minho was still half asleep and didn’t argue or shove jisung off. Without realizing it, he wrapped his arms around jisung’s waist and leaned his head on him. he was warm, so why would he complain?

Changbin watched this happen, smirking. If the timing wasn’t so serious, he would have taken photos and made fun of minho for secretly giving in to jisung. He acted like jisung bugged the hell out of him, but changbin knew better.

“ok guys. I know you are all tired, but I need you to seriously listen. I need your complete focus.” Chan looked at seungmin who was still snoring softly. He cleared his throat. Hyunjin looked up then, glanced at seungmin still sleeping on his shoulder, and nudged his arm to wake him up. Seungmin sat up startled, realized who shoved him awake, and glared at hyunjin.

“the hell was that for, you ridiculously good looking piece of shit who still looks flawless at 4am?” Seungmin was just waking up, so he was rambling insults and compliments at the same time. Hyunjin just raised his eyebrows at him, and gave seungmin a sexy smirk.

“well now that everyone is awake,” chan interrupted, “I wanted to ask you guys something. Please try to really think hard before you answer. Especially you minho and jisung.”

Minho frowned at that, but jisung perked his head up off minho’s shoulder, interested in what chan wanted to ask.

“woojin, jisung, seungmin, jeongin, minho: how did you guys escape your facilities?” chan questioned them seriously.

“I told you, I collapsed my wing of the facility by destroying the underground structures of the buildings foundation. I was pissed they were going to force me to fight to the death in the arena.” minho answered.

“no, not that.” Chan shook his head. “I mean, how did you get out of your room?”

Minho looked confused. He sat there and thought for a moment while jisung played softly with his hair at the back of his neck. “im-im not sure. It was just-" he paused, not really knowing how his door’s lock opened for him.

Woojin spoke up. “our doors were unlocked.” He said simply.

“how?” chan said turning to face his mate.

“they just were.” Woojin answered. “all four of us. We were laying on our beds. It was almost lights out. Jisung just opened my door and we all barely escaped.”

Seungmin nodded in agreement. “yeah I remember you guys coming to my room and told me to get up because we were leaving that hellhole before the guards made their rounds again. I wanted to blow the place up, but jeongin wouldn’t let me. Said it was not right to blow people up for no reason, or some shit like that.” He grumbled. Changbin chuckled at that.

“because its not!” jeongin defended himself.

“spoil sport.” Seungmin coughed into his hand.

Chan smiled at their antics and turned to jisung. “how did you know your door was open?”

Jisung removed his hand from minho’s hair, and tapped his chin in thought. He shifted to sit more comfortably on minho’s lap as he faced chan. “I heard it unlock.” He said finally.

“what? You heard it?” changbin said.

Jisung nodded. “mm-hmm. I was sitting there on my bed, bored out of my skull. I was sent to bed early because some guy was hitting on me and trying to corner me during training, so I may or may not have broken his nose.” Minho growled when he heard that, tightening his hold on jisungs waist. “I didn’t hear about that.” He said to jisung.

“because I forgot about it. lots of the bigger guys at our facility were always trying to hit on me. I cant blame them though. Its tough being the center of everyone’s wet dreams.” Jisung shrugged. Minho’s face just went blank and he didn’t say anything. Changbin knew that meant the older boy was extremely angry hearing about this. Minho was super protective of jisung.

Jisung continued. “so after I broke his nose, I was sent to my room without food as punishment for potentially starting a conflict among the prisoners. As I was sitting there, one of the councilman was walking by with her guards and secretary, doing the monthly checks and evaluations. It was that mean nasty lady that came. I ignored her, but then-" he paused.

“then what?” changbin said. He was getting impatient, wanting to hear what jisung said. This was exactly like the day he left the facility. Just like jisung, he was also sitting on his bed when he heard her walk by.

“but then I heard it, in the air. You guys know that the wind is like a second skin to me, right? I can feel and hear anything that walks by. I know when something glides through the air. I can manipulate anything having to do with wind.”

Everyone nodded at jisung. They have relied on this ability of his every time they mapped out a facility. He let them know who was coming by the vibrations and patterns the other person makes when they walk. Jisung can be one with the particles that make up the air. It was quite a valuable gift. And also a huge burden if you didn’t know how to control it.

“well, I heard a small whoosh through the air, something small hitting my lock mechanism. when that happened, I perked up, scanning the surrounding area. Then I heard a soft ping. The councilman and her guards didn’t seem to notice because they kept walking and talking without a hesitation.” 

Everyone leaned forward, listening to jisung intently.

“once I knew that bitch was long gone, I got up off my bed, and inspected my door. Then I turned the knob, and bam! It was open. I peaked my head out into the hallway making sure no one saw me, and then closed the door and went back into my room. I waited for lights out, and planned an escape. Then when it was time, I escaped my room, went to woojins and his was open too. I figured the lock mechanisms malfunctioned. Me and woojin gathered up jeongin and seungmin, and we booked it out of there before the alarms went off and they noticed we were missing. Not that it mattered. They still tried to send soldiers after us.” Jisung finished.

“that’s when we met you guys in the forest, right?” hyunjin spoke up.

“yeah, we traveled for a few days after that. We thought someone was tailing us, ready to take us back. That’s when we saw you guys. I was ready to fight, so I approached you first, and well, you know the rest.” Seungmin said. Hyunjin nodded, remembering that day, a small smile on his face.

“so wait, let me get this straight.” Jeongin started to say. “are you telling me that all of our locks just coincidentally malfunctioned allowing us to escape our facilities?”

“at first I didn’t even consider my door to be open, so I didn’t think much about it. I was just so mad and left in a tantrum.” Minho said.

“no, I don’t think it was a coincidence jeongin. Something happened to our doors specifically. Its too easy. Ive been stuck in that place for 7 years and not once did anything like this happen before.” Chan answered.

“what are you thinking happened then?” woojin asked.

“I think someone helped us.” Changbin said. The whole room went quiet.

“who?” whispered seungmin.

“and why?” hyunjin added. “why us? Why would they want to help us?”

“im not sure.” Changbin answered.

“chan, that night I got hurt,” chan flinched when he heard that. “you were saying something about seeing someone in the facility running by. What did you mean by that?” woojin asked gently.

Chan grabbed his hand and leaned into him. “at first I thought it was someone that may have spotted us. I didn’t get a good look at him, but he seemed to be our age maybe? I don’t know woojin. He kind of just saw me, stopped, then whipped his head into the other direction and started taking off. I thought he was going to alert someone. But now that I think about it….”

Everyone waited for him to continue after thinking for a moment.

“guys let me ask first, if you were going to turn someone in for intruding in the middle of the night, what would you do?” chan questioned his friends.

“set the place on fire.” Seungmin said without hesitation.

“ok, someone besides seungmin please answer me.” Chan laughed.

“I would run to the main part of the facility where the guards are, and let them know.” Jisung answered instead.

“or I would go after the intruder while yelling for the soldiers to know where I was so they can come and capture them.” Changbin added in. jeongin nodded in agreement.

“or if they were cowardly, they would run away and stay out of the trouble.” Hyunjin said.

Chan nodded as they were throwing out suggestions. “exactly. That’s what anyone in the facility would do. everyone is selfish and only cares about themselves in that place. But I don’t think that’s what happened that night.”

Woojin furrowed his brows. “what do you mean? What do you think happened?”

“this kid, he didn’t run in the direction of the security office, and he didn’t keep running in the direction he was originally going in. He dead stopped, saw me, and turned directions and ran towards the guards that were coming down the corridor. Like he was on the front line. I swear that’s what he was doing, there's no other explanation. He was wearing the white uniform of the prisoners, so everyone should have been locked in their rooms for the night. If he got caught out of his room, he would be in big trouble. He would have avoided the guards no problem if he kept running in the direction he was heading in. but he turned directions, then the alarm went off.” Chan finished.

“so you're saying the alarm didn’t go off because they spotted you, but because that kid ran right in front of the guards?” changbin said.

“yeah I think so. Once I heard the alarms I took off. If the guards saw me and set the alarms off, I wouldn’t have been able to outrun them like I did. I made it to you guys long before they could catch up. I just didn’t know they had axe throwing psychos in their guard.”

“so…did that kid save you?” changbin asked.

“In a way, he saved us too. Seungmin and I would have still been in the facility with the guards if the alarm didn’t go off. Luckily we were closer to the gate entrance. But still. That was a close call.” Hyunjin said. Seungmin nodded.

“do you think he was the one who opened our doors?” minho spoke.

“I don’t see how that would be possible, hyung. We were all at different facilities. How would he be able to visit them? Nobody is allowed to leave.” Jeongin argued.

“I don’t know you guys. Nothing makes sense. But this is too much for it to be luck. I think we need to make another visit to that facility soon and see if we can find something out.” Chan said.

“but facility 9 is the largest facility out of all of them. What are the chances of finding that kid again? Plus you didn’t get a good look at his face. We wouldn’t know it was him even if we found him. and isn’t that the head quarters of a few of the councilmen? I think that horrible lady lives there. I heard her talking about it when she walked past that day.” Jisung argued, scrunching his nose in distaste.

“all I know is that he was blonde and maybe our age. I wouldn’t be able to recognize him, but he definitely would recognize me.” Chan said.

“I agree with jisung. That’s not a lot to go by. But, I think we should try. This kid may know something to help us take down the agency. Plus he saved us. That’s got to count for something, right?” changbin said.

“how soon do you want to go?” minho asked chan.

“not right away. We should spend the next few days preparing. We don’t want a repeat of what happened 6 months ago.” Woojin squeezed chan’s hand. chan squeezed back and gave him a weak smile.

The eight of them spent the next hour or two talking and coming up with more theories about what is going on. It was nearing 7am in the morning. Jeongin passed out on the table. Woojins eyes were drooping. Hyunjin finally started getting extremely tired and passed out on seungmins shoulder this time. Seungmin looked down, discreetly and gently brushing away some of hyunjins hair off his forehead.

Minho was awake now, but Jisung was completely passed out on minho’s lap, breathing heavily. 

Changbin was still sitting there in thought. Chan looked around at everyone and smiled softly at his friends. He got up and shook woojin. “come on woojin. Lets take jeongin and go back to sleep for a little while. Seungmin could you take hyunjin to bed? I don’t think he slept at all tonight. Him and his crazy sleeping patterns.” Chan shook his head. “minho could you-“ he started to say, but minho was already moving.

“already on it hyung.” He shook jisung gently. “hey, jisungie. Get up we have to go to bed.”

“no.” jisung mumbled. And wrapped his arms around minho’s neck and snuggled closer, with no sign of getting up.

“I cant get up jisungie if youre clinging to me.” Minho chuckled. “don’t care.” He said back, his voice muffled from minho’s shirt.

Minho sighed. He pried jisung off of him, the younger boy whining. Then he wrapped jisungs legs around his waist, and his own arms went around jisung’s waist. He then stood up, jisung clinging to him like a koala. He wordlessly walked into his room with jisung and shut the door.

“everyone saw that, right?” chan said. Seungmin and changbin nodded. “alright just making sure. Totally gonna make fun of minho for that later. C’mon woojin and jeonginie.” He herded them into his and woojin’s room.

Changbin was left at the table, watching seungmin smile down at hyunjin completely passed out. Seungmin spoke quietly “wake up asshole. Im not a pillow. Go to bed already.”

“mmphhh.” Hyunjin muttered. Seungmin prompted him to get up. Hyunjin got up and just kind of stood there sleepily, not moving. Seungmin grabbed the edge of his sleeve, and lead hyunjin into his room. Hyunjin shuffled after him. seungmin then came out of hyunjins room, and went into his own a minute later.

Changbin sat there at the table alone now. He frowned. He didn’t know why he was feeling bothered all of a sudden. He didn’t feel content at all. He shook the thought away, sighed, and headed off to bed.

Chapter Text

Felix was surrounded by fire in a room, chained to the wall. His mother wanted to try something different this time. She thinks that if being under various forms of stress wont get him to give in to brainwash, then she will soon inject him with some kind of terrifying looking liquid.

He honestly didn’t think he would make it after being injected with that. He was sweating, blood dripping down one side of his face from a cut on his forehead. He just wanted to curl in a ball and go to sleep. But even in sleep, he didn’t escape the nightmares of his life. He only had one more day until his mother would send out a squad to hunt and kill chan and the others. He didn’t want that to happen. He had to escape for good and warn chan. He didn’t know how he would find him once he escaped, but he had to try. Chan didn’t know it yet, but they all needed him. his mother was going to murder everyone’s mates and felix couldn’t bare for that to happen. Just because his life was shit, doesn’t mean his mate has to suffer.

“stop the fire. Bring me the syringe. Ill do it myself.” He heard his mother say with a sneer. The fire let up in the room, and he could hear the clicking of her heels as she approached him.

“I honestly don’t know how I gave birth to such a disgrace.” She whispered with venom in her voice. “I thought you would be strong. One of the strongest of the descendants. But instead I got a worthless son who doesn’t even have powers. Im a laughing stock among the councilmen. I wont be anymore once my plan succeeds.” She tapped the syringe and squeezed it, letting some of the dark liquid drip down the needle.

Felix looked at it with wide eyes, unsure how to get out of this one. If he dies here, then no one would be able to warn chan. He struggled uselessly against his chains. He watched the needle get closer to his arm. She was really going to do it. “what is that?” he whispered, trying to hide the fear in his voice.

“just a little something that will paralyze your body, and then enter your mind, causing you to face your worst fears and hopefully allow you to see reason. This drug wont get out of your system unless you finally agree to my way of thinking, like you should have done a long time ago. It took awhile to make this, but its finally finished,” She said with glee.

She started to prick his skin; he could feel the pinch in his arm. It was pointless now. He will never be able to leave. He squeezed his eyes shut as he could feel a little of the drug slowly start to enter in his system.

Suddenly, the alarms went off. His mother stopped what she was doing and looked up at her guards. “whats happening?! “ she hissed in annoyance.

One of the guards from outside ran into the lab. “ma’am its bang chan and his group. They’ve infiltrated the perimeter. They are still outside the facility, but they are coming for us in this area.”

She sneered in pleasure. “well this is unexpected. I haven’t heard a peep out of him since that day 6 months ago. It’s a day early, but it saves me the trouble of looking for him. let's proceed with our plan to kill him and his friends.” She turned and looked at felix. “ill deal with you later,” and she walked off with the syringe still mostly full, closing the doors shut to her lab, leaving felix alone.

Felix could feel what little bit of that drug he received start to paralyze him, but not completely yet. He stretched his fingers into a fist back and forth and ignored the small tingling of numbness. Looks like his time was up. He had to go now.

He yanked on his chains. They were pretty strong. he looked around for something he could use to pick the cuff locks around his wrists. He saw one of the medicine trays close by that they were going to use on him, but he couldn’t reach it with both of his hands chained back. Felix bit his lip, debating what to do. He could use one of the needles or knives on that tray to free himself. It should be thin enough to pick the lock.

He made a rash decision. He gritted his teeth and prepared himself for what he was going to do. At least the drug he received made his hand a little bit numb from the pain he was about to experience. He grabbed the chains with his left fist, and slammed it on the wall and bent his wrist in the other direction until he heard a crack. He cried out in pain, and tried not to bite his tongue. He had to hurry. He could hear shouts outside the doors. It wont be long before there were too many guards in the way for him to get away. He was now able to slip his broken and floppy wrist out of the cuff, wincing in agony when he brushed it against the metal. He stretched as far as he could to reach the tray. He used his injured hand as best he could and grabbed a thin needle, making the tray clatter to the ground.

He brought the needle to his other cuff. It took him longer than he would like since his hand was broken, but he ignored the pain and concentrated as best he could. He heard a click and his other hand was free. He fell to his knees. He was sweaty, bloody, and broken, but he took a deep breath and forced himself to get up. He rushed and disabled the lock mechanism on his door like he has done many times before for all those boys he freed over the years. But before he escaped, he was going to need weapons.

All of the guards were being occupied with where bang chan and his friends were, so it gave felix the perfect chance to run through the hallways without anyone noticing him. he went straight to the training room, and grabbed a pair of guns. He strapped one of them to his thigh since he couldn’t use his one wrist. Then he took a pair of daggers and strapped those to both of his thighs further down from the gun. That’s all he could afford to take, he had to go fast. Felix was ambidextrous, meaning he could use both of his hands for just about anything. This meant he could duel wield swords and shoot guns with both hands separately at the same time. He preferred the guns though. He was a perfect shot, and could hit his target at any distance. He also liked to throw knives, but guns were more fun.

His heart pounding loudly in his chest, he took off down the hall and went straight for the southern gate. He hoped to god that chan would go to that entrance instead of the other ones, like he did on that night 6 months ago. He remembers running through the hallways, eavesdropping late at night when he saw chan outside the glass windows. He recognized chan right away as one of the boys he saved in facility 2, a year and a half before. Chan was the boy that watched the other two boys, hyunjin and changbin, while they sparred in the training arena. felix sighed in relief when he saw that chan made it. he heard that facility 2 blew up with a ton of casualties, and no one could figure out how they did it. well, except his mother. Apparently it was changbin that blew the place up, if he heard correctly a few days ago. Felix was impressed. Just how powerful are these guys to blow a whole facility up?

That night, felix saw chan, and ran right into the guards to distract them from capturing him. He didn’t know if it worked or not as he was dragged away to be punished for being outside his room.

Im glad he made it out alive.

Felix could hear shouts and orders in the distance, then he heard a bunch of explosions outside. The ground started to quake, making him stumble a bit while running. After a few more turns and a full on sprint, finally he made it outside. It was strange, the wind was unnaturally twisting and blowing everything around, but felix ignored it trying to push back some of his hair out of his face. He kept running without looking back, he couldnt afford to be distracted. Just as he neared the gate, he saw the usual two guards that stand watch at the gate entrances during the day. He aimed his gun and shot one of them in the shoulder. The other guard brought up his own gun and started shooting at felix. Felix wasn’t as quick as he should have been because the drug started to paralyze his legs and feet, but he was still quick enough. He dodged most of the bullets, but then the first guy he shot brought up his gun and aimed at felix from his spot on the ground. Shit I should have killed him.

Felix watched the bullet go through his right leg. It hurt like a bitch, but went straight through. He grunted in pain and didn’t slow down. he ran straight at the guy still standing, and kneed him in the chin, making his head snap up. Then he lifted his bad leg in the air, pivoting on his good leg, swinging into a high roundhouse kick at the guy’s temple to knock him out. The guard cried out in pain and then dropped to the ground. Felix kept going, dodging a few more bullets from the first guy on the ground. He turned back, shot both the guys legs so he wouldn’t chase after him, and then passed through the gate into the outside perimeter of the facility.

Please let chan be at this side of the gate like last time. Please please. He silently prayed.

As he neared the trees, he felt a presence near him. he brought his gun up in the direction of the presence, ready to fire. Suddenly, someone came running at him with a black sword that glinted a deep indigo color in the sunlight above his head. Felix used his gun to parry the sword, then jumped backward, ignoring the pain from his bad leg. he was dripping blood onto the ground from his wounds as he moved. He was panting really hard as well from all of the exertion it took to get this far.

The person kept coming at him with a speed and agility that could match felix’s if he wasnt injured so badly. Felix got a good look at the person attacking him. it was changbin. Thank god. He sighed in relief. But he didn’t have time to rejoice for finding them, because currently changbin thought he was an enemy and came at him again.

“who the hell are you?” changbin asked in a threatening raspy voice. Felix didn’t have time to answer. He ran in a circle around changbin to dodge his spinning attack with the sword. Changbin just kept swinging that thing around like a maniac. It would have been impressive if felix wasn’t fighting for his life. He fired off a few warning shots at changbins feet. changbin tapped on the ground and jumped up onto a branch in a nearby tree. Then swung in a circle on the branch and landed back on the ground behind felix. Felix swiftly turned as fast as he could, gun cocked and aimed at the middle of changbins forehead, ready to fire. At the same time, Changbin was already raising the sword above his head to strike felix. It was a draw.

Felix didn’t think, he reacted. He dropped his gun and grabbed the sword’s blade with both of his hands with a clap, before it could slash his shoulder. He tightened his fingers around the dark blade, the sharp edge causing blood to drip down it. then he tugged it, getting closer to changbin to look him straight in the face.

“would you quit attacking me like an angry Chihuahua and listen to me?!” he said frustrated from all the pain he felt at the moment. His head started swimming and he started to feel dizzy. The drug was making its way up to his mind, like his mother promised. He took a deep breath when changbin stopped attacking and looked him in the eyes.

Changbin was speechless. This kid was touching his sword made of his dark energy like it was an ordinary sword. Nobody can touch his dark energy or it would cause them horrible pain. But he wasn’t screaming in agony like he should have been.

***

chan, jeongin and woojin came into the trees where they saw changbin fighting someone. Everyone else was scattered around the facility:

Seungmin was having too much fun causing explosions and blowing the place up near the front entrance to distract the guards from coming to the south entrance where chan, woojin and changbin were going to break in. minho was helping out seungmin, causing havoc on the ground, breaking some of the building’s foundations with the earth, and also to keep seungmin in check.

Jisung and hyunjin were hidden from view, entering the building on the west side to look for the boy they needed to find. Jeongin was to stay close to the southern entrance and get rid of anybody that comes near the gate since that is their getaway exit.

Before chan and woojin could break in, they stopped and watched the battle between changbin and this blonde kid unfold. Chan raised his eyebrows. He was impressed that the blonde was keeping up with changbin almost effortlessly in close combat. He could tell changbin was getting a bit frustrated that he couldn’t land a hit on the kid. “hyung, hes injured. What should we do?” jeongin whispered.

Chan looked closely and noticed jeongin was right. He was even more impressed that the blonde was able to not only keep up with changbin, but also do it while injured. Things just got more interesting. Woojin took a step forward, intending to help changbin. Chan raised his hand up to stop woojin. “wait and lets see what happens. I trust changbin to take care of himself.”

Chan noticed the kid not using his left wrist. It must be broken. He watched as they came to a draw, the blonde kid spinning and pointing his gun at the space between changbin’s eyes, the click of his gun echoing in the surrounding area, and changbin raising his sword in a motion to cut downward. Just as changbin was going to hit the kid in a final blow, raising his sword above his head intending to strike down on him, the kid dropped his gun. He brought both hands up and caught the sword in-between his hands with a clap.

Chan gasped. “what the fuck?”

Then the kid wrapped his fingers around the sword’s blade, drawing blood from the sharp edge. He tugged on the blade and shoved it closer in-between him and changbin, looking changbin dead in the eyes. Changbin stilled, confusion and shock written on his face.

“would you quit attacking me like an angry Chihuahua and listen to me?!” he said with a deep voice and a slight accent.

Jeongin chuckled when he heard that, breaking the silence. “he does look like an angry Chihuahua. Angry but fierce.” And then burst out laughing.

Changbin glared over at jeongin. Then made eye contact with chan. They both were wondering the same thing. Whats with this kid?

“channie. Didn’t you say that the kid that helped you was blonde that night?” woojin finally spoke.

Chan glanced at the kid and then back at woojin. Could it be..?

Changbin heard what woojin said and looked back at the kid. The younger boy’s eyes were starting to dim, like he was going to pass out soon. When changbin got a closer look at him, he realized he was injured. Like really injured. How the hell was he able to fight me head on like that while being this injured?

Changbin dissipated his sword, letting it vanish into thin air. Now that the sword was gone suddenly, the boy had nothing to grip onto, and fell forward towards changbin. He wrapped his bloody hands around changbin's. Changbin noticed that he didn’t grip hard with his left fist, meaning it was broken. The boy spoke up.

“please, you guys have to get out of here. It’s a trap. She was going to hunt you down tomorrow, but instead you came to her. Shes going to kill you guys.” He pleaded to changbin.

“how can we trust what you say?” changbin asked suspiciously. But as the boy gripped changbin, he couldn’t help but feel a calming warmth from where his hands made contact. He studied the blonde boy closely.

Felix was starting to black out, leaning more heavily on changbin. He lost his temper. “god dammit don’t argue with me. Why the hell did you guys have to come back here? Wasn’t almost getting caught once before enough? Do you guys have a god damn death wish or something? You need to leave right now. If she gets her hands on you, you will die. She wants your powers.” His words were starting to slur. He moved his hands to changbin’s arms to support himself more. Changbin shifted to hold up some of his weight, but then chan spoke up.

“woojin, gather the others. We need to get out of here. I think we found what we came here for. That was surprisingly easy.” He studied felix for a minute longer. Woojin nodded and ran off. Minho and jisung wouldn’t take long to know woojin was looking for them. “whats your name kid?”

“felix” he whispered.

Finally, the drug made its way to all of felix’s body, including his mind. He started breathing more heavily. Changbin looked at him, now almost completely holding felix up. He didn’t know what was wrong with him all of a sudden. Felix’s eyes rolled to the back of his head and he fell completely forwards onto changbin. Changbin’s reflexes kicked in and caught felix before he hit the ground.

“what the fuck is wrong with him? I didn’t even land a blow on him.” changbin asked, looking to chan for help.

Chan frowned at felix. “im not sure.”

“move, let me see him.” jeongin said. Changbin laid felix on the ground so jeongin could take a look at him. changbin inspected felix’s face more closely as jeongin checked him out. It appeared that felix had a cut on his forehead dripping blood down his face. His wrist was broke, he had a bullet through one of his legs, tons of bruises and cuts all over his body, bruises around his wrists from what appeared to be chain cuffs, and worst of all burn marks like he suffered in a pit of fire.

“what the hell happened to him?” changbin whispered, feeling a little bad. Chan was wondering the same thing.

“damn. And he still kept up with you changbin? Hes good.” Was all chan said.

“jesus Christ.” Jeongin hissed. “he was injected with something and it doesn’t look good.” He pointed to a needle prick on felix’s arm. The veins surrounding it were black.

“they’ve never tried to inject us before. Torture and make us train, yes. But never inject us with anything. What are they doing to him?” chan said with anger in his voice.

“can you fix him, jeongin?” changbin asked.

“I can try, but we need to get him out of here. This is going to take me a lot of strength and time to figure out what he was injected with. Then I have to try and draw the poison out. This is what probably made him pass out suddenly. “

“alright, stop his bleeding as best you can. Lets return back home, and fast.” Chan said. “the others are coming. I can feel woojin near from our bond.” his eyes flashed ice blue as his mate came closer.

Changbin could suddenly feel the wind pick up around him, the trees swaying back and forth. “looks like jisung is here.” The ground rumbled soon after. “and minho. Honestly they don’t even try to be subtle at all.”

Jisung landed right in front of them from god knows where. He pops up out of thin air all the time. It used to scare the shit out of everyone if they werent expecting it. “hiya guys! Oooo whos the pretty blonde boy? Damn hes cute.” Jisung leaned over felix’s face and inspected him. changbin leaned a little closer to felix unknowingly.

“hes not that cute.” Minho muttered behind jisung.

“not as pretty as me though.” Hyunjin called out as he approached them.

Seungmin snorted. “keep believing that. whatever makes you sleep better at night,” he said to him, smacking hyunjin upside the head.

“I would sleep even better if you were with me,” he winked at seungmin, shoving him back in retaliation.

Seungmin made puking sounds. “don’t make me barf.” But he looked away, a slight tint to his cheeks. 

“whats wrong with him? changbin did you beat him up like the bully you are?” woojin asked.

“what the fuck, you think this is my fault?” changbin said defensively.

Jeongin interrupted the bickering and turned to seungmin. “hes poisoned with something ive never seen before. I need your help to burn it out of his blood. Do you think you can do it without hurting him?”

Seungmin’s brows furrowed. “im not sure. Ive never done something like that before. Its not impossible, but I would have to concentrate extremely hard not to set him on fire internally. Im worried I might not be able to do that.”

“if anything goes wrong, ill be there to put your fire out.” Hyunjin said confidently. Seungmin stared into hyunjins eyes, grateful he had someone to rely on in times like these when he was unsure of his powers.

He nodded to jeongin. “ok ill give it a shot.”

“uhm guys. We need to go like now.” Minho said. “a group of guards are circling us. I can feel their footsteps on the ground.”

“not just the ground, they are climbing the trees too.” Jisung added.

“alright, someone grab felix. Hes coming with us.” Chan ordered. And they all started moving to retreat.

Minho went to grab him since one of his special heightened abilities was strength. He was extremely strong, the strongest out of all the descendants he met so far. He thinks its because his ability is earth, and he needs to be strong to manipulate whole rocks and the entire ground. But changbin stepped in front of minho, blocking him off.

“I got him.” he called out. He bent down and grabbed felix’s arm, hauling him onto his back. Felix groaned in pain, sweat beading on his forehead. He wasn’t bleeding from his bullet wound anymore, but the poison looked like it was causing him a lot of pain.

Minho just raised his eyebrows in surprise, shrugged, and ran after the others who were starting to leave. Getting off the facility grounds was somewhat difficult. They had to run, hide, run, knock out a few guards, then run some more. It was slow going, and felix looked like he was getting worse.

“we need to hurry if hes going to make it.” changbin called to chan.

“I know, I know.” Chan called back. “go ahead of us with hyunjin so that he can make you guys invisible. We will catch up with you soon.” Changbin nodded and ran off with hyunjin. They made it home first. The others finally walked in 30 minutes later.

They all made room for felix, lying him on the ground. “I need some water, clean cloths, and sorry guys but I gotta steal some of your energy to help me heal him. hes injured worse than I thought, and I cant heal him using my energy alone.” They all nodded. They didn’t mind when jeongin stole some of their energy any time he needed to heal one of them. They were a team, even if they all felt sleepy after he did it.

Seungmin came close to jeongin, nervous about what he has to do. Hes never tried to burn poison out of someone’s blood before. He had to focus on burning the poison and not the blood, otherwise he would unintentionally burn the body from the inside out. His hands started to shake a little, and he took a deep breath. Just then he felt someone grab his hand.

He looked up to see hyunjin holding his hand in reassurance. He instantly felt better, glad that hyunjin was there to help in case things went wrong. He turned back to felix. The boy looked pale, and was whimpering like he was having a bad nightmare.

“alright lets do this,” he told jeongin. Jeongin placed one hand on felix’s forehead and one hand on his arm where the poison was injected. He closed his eyes, feeling felix’s energy. Everyone quietly watched as jeongin assessed the damage.

He finally opened his eyes. “this is worse than I thought. Its some kind of special poison that was hand made. From what I can tell, it paralyzes the body and mind, and it subjects the person to their worst fears. It also seems to try and wipe out the mind’s thoughts and replace those thoughts with something that isn’t real. To put it simple, its brainwashing him while hes paralyzed.”

The room went silent. “jesus.” Woojin whispered.

“changbin im going to need your help after seungmin is done.” Jeongin said.

“me? Why would you need my help with healing?” changbin asked, confused at the younger’s request.

“you can control negative energy, which includes nightmares. His body is deteriorating because hes suffering from his worst nightmares in his mind. Can you somehow lessen his nightmares to give seungmin a chance to get rid of the poison faster?”

“I never thought of it like that. Yeah I can try.” He walked up, and knelt on the other side of felix on the ground. He grabbed felix’s hand and intertwined their fingers. He searched for the source of felix’s nightmares, and tried to absorb some of that negative energy and lessen the boy’s pain.

Seungmin placed his hand at the entrance of the poison. He closed his eyes and started concentrating. He made his fire travel through felix’s blood, small tendrils of heat sifting through and burning any foreign particles which were traces of poison. The arm that seungmin was holding started to turn red from the fire, and Felix cried out in pain and jerked. Seungmin opened his eyes, worried he was harming him, but didn’t stop.

“its going to be painful for him no matter what we do. Keep going and don’t worry about it. try to make it fast.” jeongin reassured seungmin. Seungmin nodded and continued to concentrate, ignoring felix’s cries of pain. “minho hyung, keep him still, hes thrashing too much.” Seungmin asked.

Minho stepped in and pushed his hand on felix’s chest, keeping him pinned to the ground with his strength.

“flex your biceps. you know, to make sure you have a good grip on him.” jisung called over.

Minho looked over at jisung with an amused glint in his eyes. “really? Is now really the time to be a pervert, squirrel?”

Jisung pouted. “what? I was just trying to lighten the mood. You all look like you are sacrificing him to the gods. Plus I like your arms, I gotta take what I can get,” he shrugged.

Minho just sighed and ignored jisung.

After a few more minutes, felix started to calm down. his breathing returned to normal, and he was just softly whimpering. It was working. Minho let go of him. once seungmin was sure all of the poison was gone, he let go of felix’s arm and sat back, sighing in relief and totally drained. Hyunjin squeezed his hand, and seungmin leaned into him. woojin walked over and bent down over felix, grabbing his arm.

“what are you doing?” he asked.

“Im gonna see if I can try and cool him down a bit. Getting poison burned from your blood cant be too comfortable,” he chuckled. The temperature in the room dropped a few degrees as woojin cooled felix’s body down, his eyes flashing bright orange, drawing strength from his bond with chan. It seemed to work because felix stopped whimpering.

“ok move you three. I have to heal the rest of him now.” Jeongin shoved them aside. He drew up energy from the others, letting it travel and tingle his skin like a soft caress. he could feel their energy swirl around him, hugging his body ready to use at his disposal. Each person had their own ‘flavor’ of energy, and he could tell each member’s energy from the other. It left a warm feeling around him, embracing him with their love and good feelings. He placed his hand back on felix’s forehead, and started to channel that energy into the blonde, healing him. “you can let go of him now changbin hyung.” Changbin looked down at his intertwined hand with felix’s and frowned, not even realizing he was still holding it. he began to pull away, but felix unconsciously gripped tighter to his hand. normally changbin would be annoyed at a complete stranger clinging to him, but for some reason he didn’t mind felix’s touch. He furrowed his brows even more in thought. Thats weird.

“ill let go after you’re done with him” he told jeongin. Jeongin just shrugged and kept healing felix. Changbin could feel some of his energy get drained. Looks like jeongin needed a lot to heal the damage done to felix.

Jisung yawned, feeling fatigued from getting his energy literally sucked out of him. he grabbed minho’s arm and leaned into him. minho dragged jisung to the ground in a corner, feeling tired himself. Woojin and chan sat on the couch after getting jeongin the water and clean cloths he asked for. It was sitting next to jeongin for when he needed it. chan laid his head on woojins shoulder, getting sleepy as well. “damn jeongin, this is taking a lot out of us.” He said quietly.

“almost done.” Jeongin heard a pop, meaning felix’s bone in his wrist was set back into place and healed. Thank god he was passed out, otherwise that would have hurt like a bitch. Felix was completely quiet, he looked like he was sleeping. Jeongin breathed out heavily and sat back, totally tired. He needed something to eat and to take a nap. “he will be fine now. Just needs to sleep. The rest is up to him.”

“you’re the best jeonginie.” Chan said, getting up sluggishly and hugging jeongin.

“I know I am.” Jeongin said his voice muffled in chans shirt. “im going to eat a snack and go to bed now. Someone else take care of him.”

“ill help you, my precious maknae. Come on woojin. Changbin, could you take care of felix? Minho and jisung fell asleep, and hyunjin is busy with seungmin.”

Changbin nodded. “yeah go you guys, ill clean up.” He pried his hand out of felix’s iron grip and picked up a cloth, dipped it in the water, and wiped the dry blood off of felix’s face. He looked over to see hyunjin grab a pillow and blanket for seungmin. He picked seungmin up and went over to the couch behind them. Then he lay next to seungmin on the couch with the pillow and blanket, smashing himself next to seungmin because the couch was only so wide. Changbin smirked at hyunjin. “you do know that im going to make fun of you for this later mr. i-hate-seungmin-but-then-cuddle-with-him-on-the-couch-even-though-his-room-is-down-the-hall.”

“piss off.” Hyunjin retorted, not caring that changbin can see him as he snuggled closer into seungmin. “he smells good. And hes warm, obviously.”

“I wish I had that on video for blackmail,” Changbin laughed. “well, at least you're honest, unlike that one over there, practically suffocating jisung in a death grip.” Pointing to minho who was asleep with jisung on the ground, his body completely wrapped around him, his legs intertwined with jisung’s. hyunjin looked up to where changbin was pointing, and snorted. “hes totally whipped for jisung. I don’t know why he keeps denying it.” then he laid his head back into the crook of seungmins neck and went to sleep.  

What was even more impressive was that jisung didn’t even wake up from that, being a somewhat heavy sleeper and jeongin stealing everyone’s energy.

After changbin was done cleaning up felix, he brought a blanket over to him and covered him. he was too tired to get up and go to his bed. He crashed next to felix on the floor and studied his face. Jisung was right. He is really pretty. Changbin thought as he drifted to sleep.

Chapter Text

Felix was running through the dark. Something was chasing him, but he couldn’t see. He couldn’t escape. It was endless darkness and no way out. He started to panic, breathing hard.

Kill him, kill him, kill him. a voice kept whispering.

He covered his ears and crouched on the ground, trying to ignore the voice. No! Go away!

Find him and kill him. kill him. it continued. Felix squeezed his eyes shut.

***

“No! Go away!” felix whimpered in his sleep. He started to thrash around.

Changbin woke up to a kick in the stomach. He looked over and noticed the blonde kid felix whimpering and thrashing in his sleep. Changbin sat up and looked down at him. felix was sweating, and his eyes were flickering back and forth under his eyelids. Is he having a nightmare? I thought jeongin fixed that.

Is it his own personal nightmare instead?

Felix let out a small cry. changbin couldn’t just sit there and watch the poor boy suffer. He grabbed his hand again, and absorbed some of the negative energy, manipulating felix’s nightmare. felix calmed down again, his eyes starting to flutter open.

Felix slowly began to wake up. He looked around the room, then looked over at a boy with dark hair leaning over him. what was his name again?

“changbin.” He whispered. Changbin’s eyebrows lifted in surprise that felix knew his name.

“who were you shouting at in your nightmares?” changbin asked softly, trying not to wake everyone else up in the room.

“they wanted me to kill him.” felix said groggily, still half asleep.

“kill who?” changbin asked.

“my other half. My mate.” Felix slurred, slowly falling back to sleep.

“is that why you were tortured so badly?” changbin asked, trying to get some answers out of the boy.

“I would do it over and over again if I had to….mmm would never kill him. hes mine.” felix mumbled, shutting his eyes and curling onto his side. He started breathing softly. Once again, changbin didn’t even notice he was still holding felix’s hand, and laid back down to go to sleep for a few more hours.

***

Felix woke up again a few hours later to the sounds of talking and dishes clinking in the kitchen. He slowly sat up from his spot in the living room and looked around. Over in one corner was minho and jisung sleeping on the ground. Chan, changbin, woojin, and jeongin were sitting at the kitchen table softly talking to each other. Hyunjin was sleeping on the couch. Seungmin was awake and sitting on one side of the couch, hyunjins legs and feet resting on his lap while he was scrolling through his phone.

Felix started to get up when chan noticed he was awake. The living room and kitchen was all open floor, so you can see into it from either room. He walked over to felix and helped him up. “morning! How are you feeling? You want anything to eat?”

“yes Im starving, thank you.” Felix said in a sleepy voice. He stretched his muscles, squeezing his fist testing it out. Besides it being a bit stiff, it was completely fine. He was surprised. 

Chan thought it was a good time for everyone to wake up so that they could talk to felix and find out what the hell is going on. He walked over to minho and jisung, shaking minho’s shoulder softly. “wake up minho,” he said quietly. Minho mumbled something, and tightened his grip on jisung. “minho if you don’t wake up I swear to god im going to take photos of you practically on top of jisung and then show it to him when he wakes up. By the way, everyone can totally see this, so you aren’t being subtle at all.” Chan threatened, knowing minho could hear him. the boy was just being stubborn and lazy.

Minho shot up from his spot on the ground now fully awake and aware of where he was, shoving jisung off and away from him before jisung woke up. Jisung made an oomph sound, and rolled over, still pretty much asleep. Then minho walked briskly to the bathroom without saying anything to anyone. Chan chuckled at minho’s embarrassment. Seungmin coughed into his hand “whipped” really loudly.

“so, are they like…a thing?” felix started to ask, watching all of this happen.

“they pretend not to be, but jisung pretty much called dibs on minho the first 30 seconds he saw him, and even though minho acts like hes annoyed with him, we all know he totally cares for him.” jeongin answered from the kitchen with a wave of his hand. “we just ignore the two of them.”

“even though jisung annoys the shit out of all of us with his clinginess, hes especially clingy to minho. Don’t be surprised if you see him try to cop a feel on minho any chance he gets. Hes a total pervert.” Seungmin added in.

“I heard that.” Jisung groaned from his spot on the ground. “I don’t know why you guys are talking about me, but im going to hang on hyunjin for the whole day now, and feed him grapes just because you said that seungmin, you little shit.” He slowly sat up and glared at seungmin.

Seungmin’s evil smirk slowly faded, obviously bothered by what jisung said. Felix lifted his eyebrows in interest.

“nobody is feeding me fucking grapes.” Hyunjin mumbled from the couch, obviously waking up from all the talking around him. he rubbed his eyes, and swung his legs off of seungmins lap. He got up and stretched. By now, minho was out of the bathroom, having washed up real quick.

“aw min-min, you showered without me.” Jisung pouted, heading to the kitchen for food.

“uh yeah. Because you are never gonna shower with me.” Minho shrugged and headed to the table. Jeongin was next to minho, so jisung took his chair and smashed it in-between jeongin and minho. Jeongin just sighed and moved over. Jisung grabbed onto minho’s arm, laying his head on his shoulder, satisfied and still sleepy. Minho sighed in defeat, but felix saw him smile slightly at having jisung so close. Chan was starting to put plates on the table for the rest of them to get breakfast, or in this case, almost lunch since it was later in the morning. Felix went over and sat down next to changbin and woojin.

Once everyone was seated and eating, chan finally spoke up. “okay who are you felix and what is going on? The way I see it, you saved our asses twice now.”

Felix swallowed the food he was chewing and looked around hesitantly at each of them. He had to think about how much information he wanted to tell them. The truth was, he was scared. He was scared they would send him back to that place, not after he finally got out. But what he was scared of most of all was for them to hate him. these were the people he risked everything to save. He didn’t want to be alone anymore, he didn’t want to feel like he was lost. If he told them he was the son of a councilman, the worst councilman, they would surely despise him and look at him with disgust. So he would stick to the truth as much as possible, but leave out a few things.

“I was brought to facility 9, as you all were probably brought to all of your own facilities. Ive been there a long time. They tried to train me to kill my mate, but I never agreed with that. I believe uniting with our mates will make us complete. When I refused to kill my mate, the councilmen got angry, and so I was separated from everyone. They tortured me randomly throughout the years, trying to get me to submit, but I never did. last night, I guess they finally lost their patience with me and was going to inject me with a poison that would brainwash me. I would’ve surely died from that, but before they could inject the poison completely, the alarms went off from you guys destroying the facility. That’s when I escaped.” Felix took a breath. That was as close to the truth as he was willing to allow. He wanted them to trust him.

“but when I attacked you, you said that it was a trap and that they were going to hunt us today and kill us.” Changbin said.

“yeah and how did you get out of your room?” hyunjin asked.

Felix gulped. They were more perceptive than they let on. “im really good at picking locks. I learned to pick them when they locked me in my room for days at a time. I would sometimes leave my room and eavesdrop on what the councilmen were doing. I overheard the woman saying she was going to hunt down bang chan and his teammates. I thought I had to warn you guys.”

“ok that makes sense.” Chan nodded. Felix softly released a breath he didn’t know he was holding. Changbin side glanced at him, noticing felix’s distress. “but what about that night 6 months ago? Were you the one who saved me?” chan continued.

Felix looked at chan in surprise. “how did you know I saved you?” he asked.

“once I really thought about it, and how you acted that night, it didn’t make sense that you turned me in to the guards. I wanted to know why you saved me, saved us. Im also extremely grateful for what you did.” chan said simply.

Felix was impressed. nobody has ever tried to understand him before. “I was eavesdropping around the facility, and noticed you running outside the perimeter. I knew the guards usually made their rounds around that time, and you were going to run right into them. So I didn’t think, I just reacted and distracted them,” Felix shrugged. He hoped chan would let it go, and not ask any more questions. The only reason felix helped was because it was chan, one of the boys he saved from facility 2. If it was anybody else, he would have never done something so crazy.

“but..” woojin started to say, “what happened to you after the guards saw you outside your room?” Felix tensed up when woojin asked that.

“its better if you guys don’t know,” he said softly, looking down at the table, playing with the hem of his shirt. He was still in the white uniform the facility makes them wear.

“wait, but I want to know.” Jisung said oblivious. Minho grabbed jisungs knee and shook his head. Jisung looked up at minho confused for a second, and then realized what may have happened to felix. Everyone remained silent at the table, looking at the blonde boy.

“so, what powers do you have felix?!” jeongin said excitedly, trying to break the awkward tension.

“yeah, we want to know!” jisung piped up with a bright smile, bouncing in his seat.

Felix looked up at them, and gave them a sad smile. “I don’t have any powers.” He stated. They all just looked at him.

“Aw, c’mon you can tell us.” Hyunjin said. “we aren’t in the facility anymore, so we don’t have to hide our powers.”

“no, really. I don’t have any. Im still a descendant like everyone else, and I still have a little bit of heightened senses like healing faster than an average human and hearing better. But other than that, I cant do anything else. Instead I trained harder in martial arts and learning to use weapons.”

“damn, you are being serious?” minho asked. Felix nodded.

“so what did you do when we all had abilities training in the arena? each of us had an evaluation each month against another opponent and we would fight using nothing but our powers,” Woojin added in.

Felix bit his lip. “I had to go through the same evaluation, same as everyone else of course.”

“what?! How are you able to fight against someone without any powers of your own?” seungmin yelled out.

“I learned to use my physical abilities. At first it was hard. I got beat up pretty bad. But over the years I found out that with enough training and practice, I don’t need powers to fight against others. Of course, I still failed every single evaluation, which resulted in a punishment. But theres nothing much I could do about it.” felix shrugged nonchalantly. Changbin frowned as he listened to felix talk about his time at facility 9. They all went through their own hell, but it seemed like felix had it the worst.

“well that totally sucks.” Jisung said. Felix laughed at that. “yeah, yeah it does. So tell me a little bit about you guys.” He tried to change the subject.

Jeongin piped in. “ok so this is like the 3rd time im having to do this, but let me introduce everyone. Next to you is changbin, he has control over dark and negative energy, woojin is mated to chan, he likes to freeze chan’s socks in a block of ice if chan pisses him off. But that’s kind of useless since chan can just use his lightning to melt the ice.”

“for the last time woojin, I told you I wasn’t flirting with jisung that time minho came! He was trying to help me make you jealous.” Chan interrupted and whined at woojin. Woojin just sniffed, turning his chin the other way.

“anyways, over there is seungmin. No, he does not have bipolar disorder, that’s his natural personality. He likes to blow stuff up. That’s probably why you heard explosions yesterday. Hyunjin next to him usually keeps him in check by putting his flames of hell out with his water. But sometimes hyunjin is an asshole and lets seungmin burn everything down to the ground just because.”

“what? Its fun watching him lose his temper. Why should I pick a fight, when seungmin can just do it for me?” hyunjin said, looking at his fingernails without a care in the world. Seungmin punched his shoulder, “yah! I don’t always lose my temper!”

“over there is our second unofficial, but totally official couple, minho and jisung.” Jeongin continued.

“Actually, I object to this on every level-“ minho started to interrupt.

“minho hyung can control the earth. Hes super strong too and can lift heavy objects, so if you need boxes to be moved, hes your guy. Jisung controls the wind. Hes as light as a feather.  You will never hear him coming, he barely touches the ground when he walks. It pisses minho off, because minho can feel vibrations through the earth, so he knows where everybody is when they walk around. But since jisung barely needs to touch the ground (no he cant fly, but it’s the next best thing), minho can almost never feel him coming.” Minho squinted his eyes at jisung. He really does hate it when jisung tries to sneak up on him. jisung did a peace sign at felix, smiling smugly.

“and what about you?” felix asked jeongin.

“I control energy waves,” Jeongin answered him. at felix’s look of confusion, he explained further. “unlike changbin hyung, I cant make energy out of nothing. I have to take it from the energy that already exists around us. Kind of like a life force. I can manipulate that energy, but only in certain ways. I can either use it offensively, and create sonic energy waves that destroy things within the distance around me. Or I can use it defensively and heal people, like how I healed you last night.”

Felix leaned forward, totally interested in this. Changbin stiffened when felix got closer and almost bumped shoulders with him. He still doesn’t completely trust him. even though the others seem to be opening up to felix more and more, changbin still was suspicious. He was drawn to felix in a way he didn’t understand. Especially since he smelled really good, and his hair looked really soft, and- what?

“woah that is totally cool! How does it work? Ive never seen anyone do something like that at facility 9.” Felix said excitedly.

Jeongin smiled at felix’s reaction. “like I said before, I can take energy from the life forces around me. Or I can take it from my own life force. Usually, when someone has a minor wound, I can use that person’s own life force and heal their wound. If the person is moderately injured and doesn’t have that much life force or energy for me to use, I will then use my own energy to heal them. This makes me extremely tired though, and I have to sleep afterwards to recharge myself. If the person is on the brink of death and severely injured, I then have to use drastic measures and steal the energy and life forces from the people around me. I usually hate to do this because I feel like it is an intrusion on the people around me, but sometimes it cant be helped. Last night, you were severely injured on top of being poisoned. I would have ended up killing myself using up all my own life force trying to heal you on my own. I asked for everyone’s permission to steal their life forces and help me heal you. Whatever happened to you was really bad, I had to take energy from all 8 of us to fix you up. That’s why they all fell asleep right away, so they could recharge their energy.”

When felix heard this, he felt really bad. Changbin watched closely as his expression changed from excited to sad. “im so sorry, to all of you. I didn’t know I was injured that bad. You guys didn’t have to go to that extent for me.” Felix started to apologize. “I owe you all my life. If there's anything I can do to repay you-“

Chan’s gaze softened when he saw how sincere felix was. He reached across the table and took felix’s hand, causing felix to stop in mid-sentence. Changbin watched as they held hands, and for some reason didn’t like it. “hey. Its ok. You don’t owe us anything. We would gladly help out jeongin if he needed energy to heal someone. Jeongin doesn’t even have to ask us for permission, but the kid is too polite for his own good. If any one of us needed healing we would give up our energy without hesitation. We are a team. We take care of each other.” Everyone nodded at this, agreeing with chan.

Felix started to tear up. Being here, with these people, he realized he made the right decision freeing chan. Chan was a true leader, someone who didn’t ask for respect or loyalty, but earned it without even trying. Felix may have set chan free from the facility, but it was chan who took that opportunity, found these people, and made something great out of it. and without even realizing it, chan saved him when he needed him the most. If it wasn’t for that distraction before felix was injected… felix swallowed back the tears and just whispered “thank you. To all of you.”

“well, as much as this is all sunshine and rainbows, Im still suspicious of one thing felix.” Changbin interrupted, taking his eyes off of chan’s and felix’s hands. He was annoyed as he tapped his fingers on the table and looked at felix straight in the eyes. Felix looked back at the older boy with wide eyes, dreading what he was going to say. “I want to know how you managed to grab my sword without being injured.”

Changbin watched as Felix cutely (no not cutely, stop it changbin) tilted his head in confusion, some of his longer blonde bangs coming untucked from his ear. Out of all the things Felix expected changbin to say, this wasn’t it. “what do you mean I wasn’t injured? I cut my hands on the blade when I grabbed it, remember?”

Changbin shook his head, stopping himself from reaching over and tucking the hair back behind his ear. “no that’s not what I meant. How were you able to even touch my sword?” he asked again.

“what?! Felix touched changbin’s sword and didn’t feel pain?!” jisung yelled, leaning forward.

“bro tell me how you did that, because do you know how annoying that is when you spar with changbin?” hyunjin said.

Felix looked around at everybody’s shocked faces. He looked to chan and pleaded with his eyes for help. “I have no idea what they mean. Isn’t that just a regular sword he made out of his dark energy? All I did was grab it so it didn’t cut me in half. I wasn’t thinking, I just reacted.”

Chan took pity on the boy. “changbin, I think hes being serious. He honestly has no idea what he did.”

Changbin squinted his eyes at felix and continued to explain. “did you hear about what happened at facility 2?” felix nodded. “I heard the whole thing blew up. Some people escaped, but most didn’t. and there were bodies that aren’t identified yet. That was you, wasn’t it?”

Changbin nodded. “that is a night that I would like to not remember. But dark energy is very hard to control because everyone on this earth contains a little darkness within themselves. I can feel that darkness wherever I go. I have to keep a tight lid on it at all times. I don’t know why I lost control that night, but as you heard, that is only a small fraction of what could happen if I release all my powers. I can also manipulate negative energy. When someone comes close to me while I am using my powers, they will be smothered by this negative energy and feel the most soul wrenching excruciating pain imaginable. That being said, I can manipulate and create dark energy in any shape or form that I desire. I can use it offensively or defensively. Yesterday I attacked you with a sword I made out of my dark energy, so anyone who is touched by it would feel horrible pain and agony. But you just grabbed my sword like it was any ordinary weapon.”

Felix was starting to understand where he was going with this. “so just to be clear, it is not normal for someone to just grab you or your sword when you are using your powers?”

“exactly.” Changbin nodded. “until you came along.”

Felix blinked and thought for a minute. He looked around at everyone. They were all waiting for him to say something.

“I honestly don’t know how I was able to touch it, or you. The only thing I can think of is that because I don’t have powers, your powers don’t affect me? Am I neutral to everyone’s ability?”

“lets find out.” Seungmin smirked mischievously, reaching over to grab felix’s hand. changbin saw what seungmin intended to do and almost reached out to stop seungmin from touching felix.

Wait, why do I want to protect him?

when he touched felix’s fingers, felix yelped and pulled back from seungmin. “ouch! What the hell? Did you just burn me?”

“looks like hes not immune to everyone’s powers then.” Minho said.

Woojin looked at felix for a minute. “then what exactly are you?”

Felix started to panic. They don’t trust him afterall. “im not a spy, if that is what you are thinking. I honestly don’t know what is wrong with me, I swear. I was a prisoner just like you guys.” He babbled, waving his hands around in anxiety.

“how can we trust you then?” jeongin said. He wasn’t being mean, it was a genuine question.

“I would like to add you to our team felix, but the safety of everyone here is also important. How can we be positive you wont turn us in to the councilmen? We have worked very hard to blend in and disappear off of their radar.” chan asked calmly. Felix perked up at this. He wanted me to join them and stay here?

“I swear I wont betray you! If-if I do betray you, then ill let seungmin just blow me up into pieces!” he blurted out. Everyone went quiet and just stared at him.

Seungmin broke the silence, “that is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.” wiping away a fake tear. “you assholes should be more like felix.” Hyunjin and chan burst out laughing. Minho snickered.

 “I like him! can we keep him chan? Pweaty pleaseeee?” jisung begged with a big smile on his face. Even woojin cracked up at this. Changbin just looked at felix and smirked.

What a weird kid.

“well, anyone who is willing to get burned alive by seungmin is a trusted friend in my book. Welcome to the team felix!” Chan said. Felix went to thank him and shake hands, but instead chan got up from his chair, made his way to felix, and wrapped him in a huge hug, squishing the life out of him. changbin frowned at this, not liking felix hugging someone else. Which made no sense since chan was already mated, and he just met felix.

“ooph!”

“there he goes again, smothering someone in a hug. Looks like felix is his latest victim.” Woojin sighed with a smile on his face.

“someone needs to show felix his room if hes going to be staying with us.” Minho said.

“ill do it! come on felix, let me tell you all the horror stories we have of when chan gets into cuddly mode and hugs all of us.” Jisung said, grabbing felix by the hand and starting to drag him off.  

“who is he going to stay with?” hyunjin asked. “he has a choice between seungmin and jisung.”

“obviously hes staying with me.” Jisung said. “trust me felix, if you stay with seungmin you will wake up one morning with your alarm clock on fire next to your head. It singed off my eyebrows!”

“its not my fault you are such a heavy sleeper that your alarm clock went off for 30 minutes!” seungmin argued. “and it was only one of your eyebrows, quit being dramatic.”

Jisung rolled his eyes. “anyways, hes with me. Come on pretty boy with a voice like morgan freeman, let me show you everyone's rooms.” He skipped away with felix down the hallway, his voice could still be heard from the kitchen.

“did he just call me morgan freeman?” felix called to them from the hallway.

“did he just call him pretty boy?” minho said to changbin.

Changbin nodded with a smirk on his face. “I mean, he isn’t wrong.” Minho frowned at this, obviously bothered by the attention jisung is giving felix.

“did changbin just admit he thought felix was pretty?” hyunjin said in disbelief. Seungmin also nodded in shock. “the world is coming to an end guys.”

Jeongin squealed in delight. “finally! A ship for changbin hyung to add to my collection!”

“..and so at the end of the hallway is chan and woojin hyungs rooms. Next to them is hyunjin and jeongin’s room. On the opposite side is seungmins. Nobody wants to wake up smelling like barbeque!” jisung called loudly, fully intending for seungmin to hear this.

“fuck off, squirrel! Good luck felix! Jisung clings to everybody and is a complete flirt. I wouldn’t be surprised if you wake up and hes next to you in bed!” seungmin called back from the kitchen. Felix could barely hear minho as he said “wait, nobody said anything about sleeping in each others beds.”

Playing along to make minho more jealous, felix called back “that’s ok seungmin! Im like a koala and love to hug people too! Me and jisung can just cuddle all night.” Jisung turned around to face felix, saw felix’s smirk, and caught on to what felix was doing. “nice one, man.”  They both snickered quietly in the hallway, waiting for a reply.

“did he just say he was going to fucking cuddle jisung all night?! Oh hell no.” minho whisper yelled. Next thing they heard was the sound of one of the kitchen chairs scraping across the floor. Hyunjin and seungmin high fived and cackled like old ladies. Felix heard chan say “minho hes just kidding! I think its cute.”

“don’t mind my minho. He may seem cold sometimes, but hes just very sensitive. you and me are going to be great friends.” Jisung told him.

“I think so too.” Felix said with a smile on his face. “also, I wasn’t kidding. I do like to cling to people like a koala.”

“fine by me. As long as you know minho is mine, we are good.” Jisung shrugged.

“trust me, minho is all yours.” Felix reassured him.

“wait…do you have your eye on one of the others?” jisung whispered excitedly. All felix did was smirk. “oh my god you totally do! We are so having this conversation later!”

Then he said more loudly: “ok so this is changbin and minho hyungs room. Ours is right next to theirs. Minho hates loud noises, so he will often bang on the walls to tell me to shut up. Like I listen to him though.” Jisung then opened up his and now Felix’s room. It was honestly a nice room. Or rather, it would have been nice if his stuff wasn’t flung everywhere all over the place.

“don’t mind the mess.” Jisung said as he flopped onto his bed. Felix went over and sat down on the empty bed on the opposite wall. There was a window, and a huge closet. The room had plenty of space for the both of them to fit comfortably. “I don’t mind.” Felix shrugged, swinging his legs off the edge of his bed.

Jisung sat up from his bed and stared at Felix for a couple minutes. It started to make Felix uncomfortable. “what’s wrong?” he finally asked.

“oh my god! How could I forget!” jisung suddenly exclaimed, and jumped up and started digging through a pile of his clothes in the corner. Felix frowned, quickly understanding that jisung is a very random person, and switches topics constantly. Jisung emerged with a few shirts and pants, and a towel. “you don’t have clothes and you probably want to shower after like, almost dying last night and all. Here, use my stuff until we can go shopping and get you your own things.” He tossed the stuff to felix.

Felix looked at him in surprise. “you are just going to give me your stuff to use?” jisung giggled, “well yeah silly. I mean, seungmins would probably be the next best to fit you, but hes such a clean freak. Changbin is too small, although his hoodie might fit since he wears oversized hoodies. Hyunjin would be too tall for you. Oh! Chan hyung would fit you pretty close-“ he rambled.  Felix laughed, got up and hugged jisung. Jisung stopped talking, shocked by the sudden hug. But of course being affectionate himself, he hugged felix back, understanding that the other boy was thanking him.

Just then, chan walks in to remind jisung to show felix the bathroom and rest of the house, knowing jisung sometimes gets distracted and overly excited. Chan stopped in his tracks when he saw jisung hugging felix, glad that the others are already starting to warm up to him.

“hey chan hyung, im going to-what the hell?” minho said as he walked up behind chan, seeing jisung hugging felix. Changbin was close behind minho as well.

“didn’t realize you guys were so close already,” Changbin simply stated. It almost looked like he was disappointed. Almost. The two boys broke apart, grinning huge grins. Jisung already earned felix’s trust just from that small act of kindness, so naturally he grabbed jisungs arm. Jisung did a peace sign.

“chan hyung, we’re going shopping later!” chan nodded, not paying attention to the two hyper boys. He was looking at minho and changbin. he knew minho would be jealous, he is always territorial when it came to jisung. But changbin had a weird look on his face. Chan decided to talk to woojin about it later.

Jisung grabbed felix’s hand again and dragged him off to show him the bathroom. Minho walked away grumbling, and chan just simply smiled as he went to go find his mate.

Changbin stood there, staring off into the direction jisung and felix went in. you could hear their laughter down the hall. Changbin used to think all eight of them were complete. He thought they didn’t need anyone else in their home, and was upset when chan proposed inviting felix to live with them this morning when they were sitting at the kitchen table while felix was still sleeping.

Changbin didn’t realize just having one more person would make such a huge difference. His whole body felt at peace. Finally, things started clicking into place. Maybe having felix join them was a good thing afterall.

He smiled to himself in the middle of the hallway.

Chapter Text

When felix was done showering and dressed, he came back into the kitchen to get a glass of water. It was already midday, and jisung promised to show him where everybody trained and exercised. He could hear jisung in one of the other rooms bugging seungmin about something. He started to drift off into his thoughts as he looked out the window. The sky was blue, the sun was shining. For once in his life, he started to relax.

“hey, what are you thinking about?” hyunjin asked him as he came into the kitchen.

“nothing much. Just how nice it is here. You guys are lucky.”

“its your place now too.” Hyunjin said matter of factly. Felix turned and grinned at him. even though hyunjin likes to bicker with seungmin all the time, he actually was a very nice guy, not to mention drop dead gorgeous. Felix set down his glass of water, and jumped at hyunjin, hugging the older boy. He couldn’t help himself. This is the happiest he has been in awhile. Hyunjin looked down at him in surprise, but smiled and hugged him back.

Seungmin walked in and frowned seeing felix hugging hyunjin. Hyunjin had his back to seungmin, so he didn’t notice, but felix saw seungmin’s expression over hyunjin’s shoulder. He is so totally whipped for hyunjin. Im starting to think everyone in this household is a bunch of stubborn idiots who wont admit they like each other.

Felix grinned at seungmin and waved him over. Seungmin was shocked at this, but slowly smirked. I think im going to like felix a lot. Putting on a pouty face, he said loudly “hey! I wanna join too!” then ran over and smashed himself onto hyunjin, sandwiching hyunjin between him and felix, taking full advantage of this rare opportunity to cling to hyunjin. Felix laughed at hyunjins oomph!

“what the hell? There will be no cuddles and happy hugging without me!” jisung called, following seungmin, and jumped onto felix and snuggled into him.

Chan came down the corridor hearing a bunch of arguing, getting ready to break apart the fight. But then he saw them in the kitchen. “I don’t know whats happening, but im always down for hugs!” and skipped over and latched onto seungmin, forming a group hug.

Changbin walked in, saw everyone having a bonding moment, and slowly started to turn and walk away, not wanting to be a part of this. But felix saw him, and giggled “aw! Come on and join us~”

Jisung was currently trying to give seungmin a kiss on the cheek, and hyunjin was fighting chan from clinging onto him. Changbin smiled a wide toothy grin, “I think im good, thank you very much.” Felix just blinked and stared at him. Oh my god, his smile is breathtaking. Then felix shrugged “suit yourself.”

Jeongin walked in, not even fazed by what was happening. “hey felix, will you be training with us later today?” felix tilted his head to the side in thought. “im not sure, I don’t have powers, remember?”

“that doesn’t matter!” jeongin reassured him. “what weapons do you use? Maybe you can help us improve our skills.”

“I like to use guns, but im also good with swords and knife throwing.”

“ooo can you show me how to throw knives? Ive always wanted to be good at that.” Jisung pleaded. Everybody ended the group hug.

“yeah and you can spar with changbin with the swords. He loves using those too!” hyunjin added in. “or you could go one on one with seungmin. Seungmin has been trying to shoot small fireballs from his palms, and that’s kind of like shooting a gun.” Seungmin nodded in agreement, “my aim could be better.”

Felix blinked and looked at all of them stunned. “you guys would actually want me to help you train? Even though I cant use any powers? That doesn’t bother you?” he asked incredulously.

Chan walked over and softly moved a piece of felix’s hair out of his eyes and tucked it behind his ear. Changbin frowned at how close everyone was with felix. “of course we would want to train with you. You are part of the team. We don’t discriminate over something like that. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We cover for each other, one’s weakness becoming the other’s strength. Besides, all of us mostly rely on our powers, but what if one day we cant use our powers? How will we defend ourselves? You will actually be doing us a favor, felix.” Chan reassured him.

Minho and woojin were standing at the doorway, hearing the last part of what chan was saying. “I agree with chan hyung. We could all use the practice. Although, I don’t think it would be wise to let felix spar with changbin. I don’t want him to get hurt.”

Changbin scoffed. “I wouldn’t hurt him. at least, not that badly,” he said arrogantly with a smirk. Felix raised his eyebrow at changbin, ready for the challenge. Changbin shrugged his shoulders at him without a care in the world. Damn hes confident. I like it.

“not you, midget. I don’t want felix to hurt you. That would just be embarrassing.” Minho squealed like a girl as he dodged changbin's fist. woojin held him back. “say that again, asshole!”

Felix laughed at changbin’s poor attempt to hit minho. “well, I would love to train with you guys then,” he told them all. Jeongin and jisung yelled in delight. “but first me and jisung are going shopping in a little bit, right?”

“yep! Just give me a sec and we can go now. Then ill finish showing you the training and exercise areas.”

***

Jisung and felix returned a couple of hours later, shopping bags in their hands. They carried them to their room, and dumped everything on the ground. Jisung bounced on felix’s bed, swinging his legs and humming to himself.

During the shopping trip, Felix thought about everything they discussed that morning. “hey jisung?”

“hmm?”

“I was wondering. Jeongin mentioned that chan and woojin hyung were mated. What exactly is that like?”

Jisung stopped swinging his legs, and thought about it. “im not too sure myself, since I haven’t found my mate yet. But from what chan has told us, he and woojin are connected on a metaphysical level. They can feel each other, even when they are miles apart, they can heal each other much faster than our normal healing rates, they can even give each other strength through their bond. Oh! And their eyes glow when they are linked and using their powers.”

Felix let that sink in. “they can feel each other? By how much?”

“from what they’ve told us, they can feel each other’s heart beats synchronizing together, they can sometimes feel each other’s emotions, like if they are happy or sad, or in pain. Stuff like that.”

Felix’s heart started racing. So have I been feeling my mate all this time after all?

“but-“ jisung continued. “chan was only able to start feeling those things when woojin was injured to the point of dying.” Felix’s eyes widened in shock.

“woojin was hurt? What happened?”

“well, long story short. It was the night you helped us escape 6 months ago. Chan was running back, and someone with the ability to mask his movements threw an axe at chan, aiming for his heart. Woojin saw it coming and ran right in front of chan, taking the hit in his back. Chan just snapped I guess. He was panicking so bad. His eyes started glowing ice blue, and his powers got like 50 times stronger. Before, chan was only able to control lightning around his body. But now he can cast lightning from the sky, causing awful storms. And when hes really pissed, his bolts turn electric blue and destroy anything around it. Its quite scary if you think about it.”

“wow.” Felix breathed. “why does his eyes glow ice blue?”

“we think its one of the symbols of their bond. Our theory is that our eyes will glow the color of our mate’s powers. Jeongin healed woojin, and when he woke up his eyes were glowing neon orange. Usually chan’s bolts of lightning are orange. That is only when they are using their powers though. What truly symbolizes your unification with your other half is the physical bond that forms on your body.”

“physical bond? Like what?”

“when we completely connect with our destined partners, a bond will form somewhere on the body. It looks like a tattoo actually. Chan’s and woojin’s look like a design of curves scrawled around their upper arms in the shape of an arm band. But their bonds are two colors that blend together: ice blue symbolizing woojin’s ice powers, and bright orange symbolizing chan’s lightning.”

“that is so cool!” felix got excited. “I want one too!” he sighed, imagining what his would look like.

“me too.” Jisung grinned. “I just hope my mate will accept me for who I am. It upsets me that we cant see chan and woojin’s bond too often because it’s always hidden by their shirt sleeves. I want my bond to be out in the open for everyone to see.” 

“of course your mate will accept you. You are amazing jisung. He would be stupid not to.” Felix grinned over at him. jisung smiled softly after hearing this. Felix waggled his eyebrows, “I bet minho hyung wouldn’t be too happy once you are mated.”

“yah! Don’t forget minho has a mate somewhere out there too. He will forget all about me once he finds his other half.” The corners of jisungs mouth frowned down slightly after he said that. Just the thought of not being able to spend time with minho hurt him deeply.

Sensing that jisung was starting to feel a little down, felix tried to change topics. “so how should we set up hyunjin and seungmin?”

Jisung looked up at felix again, whatever sadness on his face was completely gone. He smirked evilly. “I knew they were being obvious! Even the new kid picked up on their pining for each other after one day with them.” He squealed hopping to his knees on the bed. “oh my gosh, ive been thinking about how to get them to admit they like each other for like, a year now. Jeongin never wants to help.” He whined.

“well im all ears. I love helping people out.” Felix hopped on the bed next to him.

“okay so I was thinking, you could totally flirt with hyunjin. Hyunjin loves cuddles the most. I mean, seungmin does too, but he switches moods too often. That’s why they are perfect for each other. Hyunjin is such a calming presence, he helps cool seungmin down when he loses his temper.” Felix nodded while listening. He loved hearing all the gossip, and jisung had all the gossip on everyone.

“anyways, you could flirt with hyunjin. Just act normal, but hang on him a little more. Try to make seungmin jealous. It will totally work.”

“ok, I can totally do that, no problem.” Felix rubbed his hands together with a mischievous grin on his face. He was going to have so much fun with this. Jisung all of a sudden went quiet, thinking about something.

“but wouldn’t it bother you? Since you like hyunjin and all?” felix dropped his grin, and did a double take at jisung. “I like who now?”

“well ive been thinking about it all day. Jeongin is kind of young, so its not him. you already confirmed minho is mine, and chan and woojin are mated already. Seungmin can sometimes be cold and withdrawn, so the only logical person would be hyunjin. Plus hyunjin likes cuddles and hugs, and after you shouted to everyone that you are like a koala, it makes sense you would have your eye on hyunjin. Plus, his face is an added bonus.” Jisung reasoned out.

Felix coughed into his hand, squirming in place. “Its still too early for me to like someone. I just thought he was cute when he smiled, that’s all. And no it wasn’t hyunjin, even though hyunjin is good looking. Actually all of you are. I just look like a potato next to you guys.”

“honey, you do NOT look like a potato. Trust me on this, I don’t lie. Even changbin hyung admitted you looked pretty. seungmin texted me that he said that earlier and also something about the world ending since changbin never thinks anyone is pretty-wait.” Jisung turned and grabbed onto felix’s shoulders. He had the biggest shit eating grin. Felix gulped, not liking where this was going. “it couldn’t be. If its not hyunjin then…”

Felix looked away, guilt in his eyes. “got you!” jisung yelled. “you totally think changbin hyung is cute! Omgomgomgomgomg I mean, you aren’t wrong, especially when chan makes him do aegyo. But people usually get intimidated around changbin because of the whole ‘i-like-dark’ and ‘i-can-kill-you-just-by-looking-at-you’ and all.” Jisung was babbling a mile a minute, shaking felix’s shoulders in excitement.

Felix pursed his lips, hiding his embarrassment at getting caught. He playfully shoved jisung, laughing. “ok, ok fine! I think he is cute! It doesn’t mean im madly in love with him like you are with minho.” Jisung punched his arm for bringing up minho.

“knew it! ok new plan!” felix rubbed his arm and looked at him curiously.

“what new plan?”

“we are going to make seungmin jealous AND changbin! so you fawn all over hyunjin like we normally had planned, but at the same time I will stick to you like glue, and feed you grapes and shit.” Felix snorted at this.

“I mean, im not totally against this, but what is your obsession with feeding people grapes?”

“yah! That’s not important. It looks sexy that’s why. Especially since changbin will want to be the one feeding you grapes by the time im done flirting with you.”

Felix thought about it. “what the hell, its worth a try. Have you seen changbin’s lips? Especially when he smiles,” he fanned himself.

“nope. I was probably too busy staring at minho like a creep. Have you seen the thighs on that boy? Oh daddy~” he singsonged. Felix snickered and smacked jisung for being so racy.

“yah! Jeongin was right, you totally are a pervert when it comes to minho!”

“jeongin, that brat. Hell yeah I am! Sometimes, when he is just naturally smiling and goofing around, I just have the urge to grab him by the collar and-“

“okay and that’s enough for today.” Felix got up and straightened his shirt, smiling down at jisung. “but changbin in his black tshirt today, oh my~” they both burst out laughing so loud.

Just then, changbin happened to be walking down the hallway, heading to his own room to change into workout clothes. He could hear jisung and felix laughing so loud behind their closed door. Whatever was going on in there, it sounded like they were having a good time. For some reason this bothered him. he wanted to go up to the door and barge in to see what the commotion was all about. Luckily, he didn’t have to, because suddenly their door swung open and changbin was face to face with a smiling felix.

And oh boy did felix look good. I mean, he looked cute before, even though he came back from the dead and all. But now he was showered, changed into workout clothes, and his blonde hair was styled so that his bangs swooped to the side. Changbin wanted so badly to run his hands through his hair. What, no you don’t! bad changbin.

 “heya changbinnie!  Are you going to train with the rest of us?” jisung burst out from behind felix. Changbin blinked for a second. “yeah, I was just heading over to change clothes. Be down in a few minutes.”

Felix clapped his hands playfully. “yay! This is going to be so much fun!” and then he and jisung linked arms and skipped down the hallway.

Changbin’s eyes followed felix as he turned the corner out of sight. He couldn’t help himself.

Shit.

Chapter Text

Jisung showed felix around their entire outside perimeter. The place was huge! There was acres of forest surrounding the huge mansion that was their house. In the backyard of the house, trees were cleared in a huge circle to allow better access for sparring. There was also another small building off to the side that contained exercise equipment and weapons.

“holy shit! You guys are loaded!” felix looked around in awe. Jisung smirked and proudly replied “yep! All of this is chan hyungs, but of course we all helped where we could. He inherited it all from his parents before they died.”

“but isn’t it easy for the councilmen to find you guys? I mean, we are hundreds of miles away from the facilities, but still.” Felix worried his bottom lip.

“nope! Everything is perfectly safe. We spent a few months wandering around until chan found out about his inheritance. We are far enough to stay off the councilman’s radar, and plus we take extra measures to make sure no one can find us.”

“extra measures? Like what?”

“well first of all, changbin hyung has the entire place shielded with his dark energy. You cant see it, but he will know if someone harmful is trying to break through. Second, I control the wind, remember? Trust me, I will know if someone unwanted steps onto our ground. And last, minho hyung is always keeping an eye out. He can feel them coming a mile away through the vibrations in the earth. So we are covered from the sky, ground, AND have a shield in place from any magical attacks.”

“you guys are so amazing.” Felix couldn’t believe how prepared they all were in case something went wrong. He just wished he could help in some way.

As they walked to the clearing in the trees, felix could see hyunjin and seungmin already sparring. Jeongin was sitting on a wooden fence further away with minho, munching happily on some candy and watching them, cheering for seungmin to kick hyunjins ass. Woojin and chan were on the other side of the clearing, practicing martial arts with each other for warm up.

After a few moments, changbin caught up with them and stood next to felix. “hey, so how do you like the place?” he asked him.

Felix looked over at changbin, “I love it! this place is wonderful!” he smiled, his eyes squinting. Changbin nodded and turned to watch hyunjin and seungmin.

Seungmin side stepped and punched hyunjins face. Hyunjin blocked it with his arm, and dropped to the ground side sweeping seungmins legs with his foot. Seungmin tried to dodge, but wasn’t completely quick enough, his one leg getting caught. He stumbled a little. He frowned, and flipped his body in a back hand spring right when hyunjin was about to punch his sternum. Seungmin landed and ran around to hyunjins back, getting ready to high kick the back of his head. Hyunjin sensed this, and ducked just in time to see seungmins foot fly over his head. He then sprang forward and grabbed seungmins foot in mid air, lifted seungmin by his leg and swung him into the ground.

“oomph!” seungmin breathed out, his back bruised from landing on the ground roughly. This just made him angry. He kicked his legs forward and sprung back onto his feet. then ran straight for hyunjin, his hands on fire. Hyunjin just calmly side stepped his attack, and grabbed seungmins burning fist, instantly putting it out with some water. A puff of smoke was all that was left.

“hes letting his anger take control of him, making his moves messy. If he doesn’t calm down soon, then it will be obvious who the winner is.” Felix muttered, studying their fight carefully. Changbin heard this and looked over at felix. He then looked back at the fight, watching more carefully this time.

Sure enough, seungmin gritted his teeth, and used his other fist to punch at hyunjin. Hyunjin used his other hand and caught seungmin’s, pinning both of his hands. He pulled seungmin closer so they were chest to chest, smirking. Both of them were panting from the exertion. “got you,” whispered hyunjin. He had seungmin’s hands in an iron grip. This just made seungmin flustered and more angry. He struggled to get out of hyunjins hold.

“you thought.” And seungmin head butted hyunjin in the chin. “ouch!” hyunjin let go and rubbed his bruising chin. It was already starting to heal. “that fucking hurt. Come here you little shit!” and hyunjin chased after seungmin who just stuck his tongue out and cackled, running away.

Felix smiled after their short sparring session was over.  He expected something like that to happen. “you’re good.” Changbin nodded over to him.

“nah. It was just easy to predict. Seungmin needs to learn to control his temper. Hes using his anger as a weakness and his moves become more aggressive and predictable. Instead, he should learn to harness that anger and use it as a source of strength. Let the anger give him energy to continue to fight.” Felix shrugged.  

Changbin thought about that. When felix put it that way, it made more sense.

“felix come over here and help me learn how to throw knives!” jisung called over, having left after getting bored watching seungmin and hyunjin. “ok, sure!” felix started to walk towards him.

Changbin wasn’t ready to let him go. Jisung was hogging all of felix’s time. He grabbed felix’s wrist and pulled him back. Felix looked down at their connected hands, and then looked up at changbin with a questioning look. “not this time squirrel! I want felix to spar with me next. He can show you another time.”

Jisung pouted, “aw, but you never want anyone to spar with you except for chan.”

“that because all of you guys suck ass!” changbin started to drag felix to the clearing, not that felix was complaining. “go bother minho or something!” Changbin yelled over his shoulder. Minho was now showing jeongin a couple of moves for defense. He looked up after hearing his name.

“yah! Don’t throw the squirrel on me every time he gets annoying.” Minho called back.

“but hyung, you like it when jisung clings to you-“ jeongin started to say, but was cut off by minho clapping a hand to his mouth. Changbin and felix stopped walking and watched minho with knowing eyes. “nothing to see here~” minho sang.

They ignored him and headed to the middle of the clearing. Changbin was still holding felix’s hand, when felix tugged on it. “uhm, im going to be needing this.” He laughed. Changbin looked down, and then dropped felix’s hand instantly. Dammit why do I keep holding his hand unconsciously?

Why wont he hug me as much as the others?

“so, what do you want to start off with? Anything is fine with me,” Felix asked, cracking his knuckles and stretching out his legs to warm up. Changbin did the same.

“I already know you are good with guns. But you also mentioned you can use a sword. I like to use a sword too. So how about that?” changbin suggested. Felix nodded. “sure, works for me.”

“jeongin can you grab us one sword from the armory?” changbin yelled over to him. jeongin and minho were the closest to the building. Jeongin nodded and started to head over.

“wait! Make that two swords!” felix called over. Changbin turned and looked at felix, stunned. “you’re a dual wielder?” he asked incredulously. Felix grinned over at him, “yep! Im ambidextrous. Last time I fought you, I had to break my wrist, so it was useless.”

“wait, you intentionally broke your own wrist?” changbin asked, eyebrows furrowing.

“oh yeah! That’s how I escaped my chain cuffs.” Felix waved the topic off nonchalantly. Changbin went to say something more, but then jeongin came back with the swords. Felix grabbed the swords and swung them around a few times. He lifted them up and down, getting used to their weight. Changbin watched as he expertly spun them in a circle. Once felix was satisfied with the swords, he positioned himself in a ready stance.

Changbin summoned his own sword, made of dark energy and mirrored felix’s stance. Felix lifted his eyebrows, not expecting changbin to use his dark energy since it can cause terrible pain if someone touches it. but if what the others said was true, then felix should be able to touch it like it was an ordinary sword.

Changbin’s style of using his sword was slightly different since he was using it one handed. His sword was also slightly curved on the end, allowing it to be used in close combat. This went well with felix’s dual blades. Dual blades were slightly shorter than both handed blades, because the wielder has to be able to use them in each hand, so it cant be too heavy to swing. Which also meant that they are better used in close combat.

They stared at each other, waiting for the other to make the first move.

Everything went silent as felix focused on his opponent. He opened his senses around him. he learned to use his other senses besides just sight when facing an opponent. It gave him an advantage. Felix also lived by a certain motto: 'always strike first, and always play dirty.' When you are in a real fight, there is no such thing as rules. Only survival. So sure, he could go through his katas and certain motions that he learned in martial arts, but when it came to surviving, they wouldn’t help him.

True to his motto, felix made the first move. Its better to take out your target quickly in one move. He ran straight at changbin, his swords raised at his sides. Changbin was slightly surprised at felix’s bold move, but he quickly recovered and blocked his attack easily. But instead of attacking again, felix feigned to the right and swiped at changbin with his left sword, bringing the right sword up and over his head. Changbin quickly took a step back, blocking the left sword from his side, but then having to dodge quickly again so that the right sword wouldn’t hit him from above. Felix was quick on his feet. he kept coming at changbin relentlessly, causing the older boy to slowly back away as he dodged over and over again.

By this time, the rest of the boys gathered around the clearing, watching in awe as felix and changbin sparred. Chan has never seen changbin break out in a sweat before. Changbin was using all of his skills to focus on the fight. Chan smiled at that. I think changbin has finally met his match.

Jisung, seungmin, and jeongin were cheering on felix. Hyunjin and minho were booing at changbin. but the two boys didn’t hear any of this, completely focused on the other.

Changbin swiped out with his sword, causing felix to parry it with his left sword. Then changbin used his other hand to punch out at felix’s sternum. He hit him right in the middle before felix could dodge it. felix grunted, and back away, then smiled. If that’s how he wants to play…

They both were panting, out of breath, but neither boy was even close to giving in to the other. Felix threw his swords straight up high in the air. Changbin got confused for a split second and watched the swords fly in the air. Felix wasted no time, and ran full on towards changbin. he lifted his right leg into the air and pivoted on his left leg, swinging full on at changbin’s head. Changbin blocked with his free arm, and made to swing at felix with his sword in his other hand, but felix saw this coming, and back flipped out of the way. When he stood back up, he caught his swords in each hand, and came at changbin again. Everyone cheered at the awesome move felix made.

Damn, hes like an energizer bunny. He never quits. He moves so fluidly, its almost as if he is dancing. Changbin had to really strain to keep up with felix’s attacks.

Felix was feeling giddy. This was the most fun he has ever had in a while. Pretty soon he dropped his swords, sticking them into the ground, and made a grab at changbin. but changbin dodged easily, making felix grab his shirt instead. Changbin used his sword to cut the end of his shirt, causing felix to drop his hold on him. changbin stuck his sword into the ground as well. They soon started sparring with their hands and feet. on and on it went. Changbin was starting to get frustrated that he wasn’t winning. Felix grabbed changbin by the shirt again and yanked him, hoping he would lose his footing, but changbin only swayed a little bit, and then brought his knee up to felix’s stomach. felix grunted, and changbin chuckled.

Felix landed on the ground doubled over, gasping in pain. Changbin raised his fists, ready for more. But when felix didn’t get up, he started to worry that he really hurt him. he thought felix would be okay even though he didn’t have powers, but perhaps he overestimated him. he should have been a little gentler. He walked over to felix and knelt down. felix’s face was hidden from view.

“hey felix. Im sorry. I didn’t meant to knee you that hard. I was just caught up in the moment.” He started to rub felix’s shoulders soothingly. Felix was shaking all over.

When felix didn’t look up at him, changbin started to panic. Stupid changbin! you made him cry now. Way to go!

“felix, come here. We can have jeongin take a look at it.” changbin’s hands started to flutter over felix’s body like a mother hen, unsure of what to do. He looked over at chan for help.

Chan watched all of this from the sidelines. He saw changbin knee felix in the stomach, and he saw felix pause and get down on the ground from the blow. But something just wasn’t right. He continued to stare at felix, as changbin started panicking. Chan remembered the other day, when felix was injured and poisoned and shot, but still didn’t back down from his fight. he remembered how fierce felix had been. A puny blow to the stomach should be nothing for felix. Whats he planning?

Chan saw felix shaking all over. But the more he stared, the more it occurred to him. his eyes widened in shock and then chan started chuckling in amusement. “ill be damned. The kid is better than we all realized,” he muttered. Woojin and minho who were next to him, heard this and looked at chan confused.

“what do you mean?” minho asked. “felix is practically sobbing from that blow.”

Chan kept smiling and shook his head at minhos comment. “no, he isn’t crying.” He looked back over at felix, who then peeked his head up slightly. “hes laughing.”

Felix couldn’t keep his snickering quiet anymore. Looks like the charade is up. He peeked his head up slightly, watching changbin fuss over him and look to chan for help. Then felix pounced on an unsuspecting changbin, causing changbin to fall backwards with felix on top of him. felix was laughing out loud now, pinning changbins hands to his sides.

“Got you~” he sang, mimicking hyunjin from earlier.

“what? But I thought I hurt you, and then you-“ changbin started sputtering. Felix smiled down at him, and boldly rubbed his nose playfully against changbin’s back and forth.

“nope~ I was only faking it. as if that pathetic knee to my stomach could make me cry. I wasn’t tortured for years for nothing, you know.”

Changbin blinked, dumbfounded. Did this kid just play me? Did I actually fall for it? “yah! That was a dirty trick you pulled! I thought I seriously hurt you! I thought that maybe my dark energy somehow harmed you, and you were feeling extreme pain.” He whined cutely.

“nope, nope. Im perfectly fine.” Felix lifted his hand and booped changbin’s nose with his finger. He then heard hyunjin and seungmin yucking it up on the sidelines, slapping their knees. Jeongin and jisung were pointing their fingers at changbin and laughing their heads off. Minho snorted. And woojin and chan were smiling over at felix and changbin, looking proud.

“oh my god, changbin. you are such a dumbass! ‘hey, felix im sorry. I didn’t mean to hit your washboard abs with my knee. I just got caught up in the moment looking into your baby doe eyes and didn’t look where I was hitting’” hyunjin mocked him. seungmin ugly snorted at hyunjins comment.

“’oh felix, come here into my arms so I can kiss it better. Then we can have jeongin look at it.’” seungmin continued. They clapped hands and laughed even louder.

Changbin gritted his teeth at them mocking him. That’s it, he was ready to kick some ass. He tried to get up, but felix was still on top of him weighing him down. felix was distracted, laughing over at the others and giving them a peace sign. Changbin was in a predicament. He wanted to go over there and beat the shit out of the others, but he also kind of maybe secretly liked having felix this close to him. he stared at felix, who was busy shouting something to jeongin, when he lifted his hand without thinking and brushed some of felix’s bangs out of his eyes. Felix startled and looked down at changbin again. He tilted his head to the side in thought, and then smiled warmly at the gesture. Changbin’s eyes unconsciously flicked down to felix’s lips.

Felix was lost in changbin’s eyes. His heart started racing and his breath hitched when changbin brushed some of his hair aside. He wanted changbin to run his hands through his hair so badly. He had the urge to just lay down on top of him and bury his head into the crook of his neck. 

Felix snapped out of his trance, and got up off of changbin. he reached down and held out his hand. changbin blinked, and then grabbed felix’s hand, hoisting himself off the ground.

“draw?” felix asked. Changbin nodded. “it was a draw,” he agreed. Felix smiled again and clung onto changbins arm as they walked back. Changbin didn’t mind though. They were instantly swarmed by the others, everyone talking a mile a minute.

“that was the coolest fight yet!” jisung yelled.

“did you see when he threw his swords in the air? I thought he was just tossing them aside-“ hyunjin was saying.

“-but then he fucking caught them!” seungmin finished his sentence.

“I would have never thought to play dirty like that.” Woojin commented.

“yeah that was fucking genius!” minho added in.

Felix high fived jeongin and said “back in the arena, when I was forced to do the evaluations even though I don’t have any powers, I learned you always strike first and always play dirty. There are no rules when it came to survival.” He squeezed changbin’s arm when he remembered the horrible fights he endured during those evaluations. Changbin felt his uneasiness and bumped shoulders with felix.

“alright you two little shits. Lets get one thing cleared up. I know you have perfectly working ears. I did not say felix has washboard abs, and when the hell would I ever kiss someone’s wound better?” he growled, glaring at seungmin and hyunjin.

“uh oh." they both said, and held hands while running away squealing like little girls.

Chan made the sign of the cross, and prayed for the lord to give him the strength. “alright, I think training is done for the day. Felix, changbin, well done. Lets head back to the house and make some dinner.”

Jeongin and jisung started to run towards the house in excitement. At the sound of food, felix dropped changbin’s arm in a heartbeat and yelled “wait for me!” changbin frowned, already missing the warmth of felix clinging to him.

Minho placed a hand on changbin’s shoulders. “don’t worry. He will be back to clinging to you after dinner. Jisung usually gets like this too whenever hes hungry.”

Changbin coughed, looking away. “I don’t know what you mean.” He mumbled.

“sure~” woojin teased, as the older hyungs walked more slowly back to the house.

Chapter Text

The weeks flew by in a blur, and pretty soon Felix completely made a home for himself with chan and the others. He started to let his guard down, believing that his mother either gave up looking for him or she didn’t care at all and was glad he disappeared. Maybe she even thought he was dead.

Felix didn’t mind though. He was happy here. He loved spending his days bantering with the other boys, long talks at night with his roommate jisung, and slyly glancing at changbin every time he thought the older boy wasn’t paying attention.

One day, chan came up to felix and asked him to follow him to his office room. Felix was on the couch with seungmin, playing on his phone. He raised his eyebrows in question, but did as he was told without complaining. Chan looked serious, which only meant it was something extremely important.

When felix entered the room, chan motioned him to sit down at his little circular table he had off to the side. “whats up channie hyung?” felix asked.

Chan stared at felix for a few moments before responding. “now felix, I consider you like family, even though we have only known each other for a few months.” Felix nodded, waiting for him to continue. Chan let out a breath, “so this was a big decision I made, because I have complete trust in you. Just the fact that you saved us twice already earned my trust with you, but I had to make sure 100% that you wouldn’t endanger any of us, I hope you understand.”

Felix had no idea where this was going, but he nodded in understanding anyways. “of course hyung. I would have done the same thing,” he smiled brightly at chan, making chan relax a little more, reassuring him in his decision.

Chan smiled back. Who could ever resist one of felix’s bright smiles? He clapped his hands together, making his silver chain bracelet jingle. “well in that case. How would you like to fight in a series of tests?”

felix blinked, “come again?”

“okay so I know this sounds really medieval and a little barbaric, but I need you to fight in an underground fighting ring for a few rounds to prove yourself. Oh! Don’t worry, no one is allowed to die. Its nothing like what we experienced in the facilities.” Chan rambled on.

Felix sat there, totally lost. “and why exactly do I have to fight in a shady underground fighting ring?” chan’s thought process was sometimes all over the place. He liked to jump subjects and topics without content. Only woojin could almost completely follow along when chan got excited and started talking a mile a minute.

“right, right. I forget that you are new to this side of the world sometimes. So basically, the descendants all around the world formed like a secret nation underground, and in order to become a member and prove yourself that you really are a true descendant and not evil blah blah, you have to make it through at least three rounds of a fight ring.” Felix nodded along, finally understanding where this was going.

Out of curiosity, felix asked. “ok, I can do that for you hyung. Did everyone else have to go through this too?” chan started to get excited again with felix’s quick acceptance. This was a lot easier than he thought it was going to be. At least felix didn’t whine and make a fuss like minho did. and seungmin was all too eager to destroy things that chan was worried that he would burn the whole place down just because he felt like it.

“yes, unfortunately they did. minho was grumpy he even had to do this.” Felix perked up at hearing this. Anything about the other members before meeting them was fascinating to him.

“did he have a hard time passing?” felix asked. Chan snorted at this.

“oh hell no! minho is extremely dangerous, as im sure you’ve noticed.” Felix nodded at this. Minho was a very kind hyung, especially to felix when felix first joined them. He was feeling left out, but minho always made sure to include him until felix started feeling more comfortable and at ease around everyone else.  But when minho got mad…that’s when you run. He doesn’t blow up in anger like seungmin, or thrash things like jisung and changbin. oh no. he gives you the most loving and devilish smile, and waits patiently until he can destroy you. You wont even see it coming. Minho always gets his revenge. Always.

“well,” chan continued, “minho was extremely pissed. the reason he left his facility in the first place was because they were making him fight over and over again. Minho was their champion, it was a fight to the death each time, and he never lost. Finally, they made him go against someone that had an affinity to metal. They believed this was minho’s soulmate, and demanded minho kill him. that was the last straw.”

“oh no! minho must have been devastated to meet his soulmate under those conditions!” felix pressed his hands together, instantly feeling bad for minho. What if he never sees his soulmate again? He set minho free, but he didn’t know minho’s mate was still stuck in that place.

Chan started laughing even more. Confused by his reaction, felix tilted his head cutely with his eyebrows drawn together. “oh im sure hes ok. He has complete faith that the metal wielder wasn’t his mate.”

“how does he know for sure that wasn’t his mate?” felix wanted to know if there was a way to find your mate without having to look. He leaned in closer listening to what chan had to say. Could minho have figured out how to recognize your other half?

“he stated, and I quote ‘there is no way in hell that fugly piece of shit is my mate. I would rather die alone then let that ugly ass annoying squid looking grandpa come 5 feet near me.’ And that was that.” Chan finished. Felix’s shoulders slumped. He should have known it was too good to be true. But then he started laughing his ass off.  Of course minho would say that.

“ok, forget minho hyung. How did the others do in this fighting ring?” felix really wanted to know about changbin, but he didn’t want to be too obvious.

Chan tapped his chin in thought. “well, long story short. Seungmin was more than thrilled to beat the shit out of random people. It just so happens that changbin pissed him off that day by throwing him on his ass in training, so he had a lot to vent. He ended up burning down the entire battleground within the ring, and part of the seats for the audience. They needed to bring in 4 firetrucks and a bunch of water users to put it out. I had to pretend not to know him. but he made the requirements to become a  member, so there was nothing they could do about it. jeongin's opponents all thought he was weak with his cute little baby smile, but then they couldn’t even touch him because of his energy waves. He ended all three required rounds in 5 minutes, the fastest they ever had."

Felix was proud of jeongin. he hated it when people thought jeongin was weak just because he looked young, and he especially hated it when they underestimated himself just because he didnt have any supernatural abilities.

chan continued, "Of course my woojinie was the second fastest, and looked amazing while doing it. theres just something about destroying another person with an ice cold expression that really gets to my heart,” Chan sighed dreamily. Felix coughed. “right! So then hyunjin went. He was pretty much bored the whole time, but a ton of girls and boys were cheering for him. he doesn’t really like to draw attention to himself because of his looks. After it was over he ran away before the crowd could come near him. seungmin and jeongin had a hard time keeping their hands off of hyunjin as they exited the area. Unfortunately for me, jisung likes to play with his opponents, so he dragged his fights out for hours before his opponents finally dropped out of exhaustion. Add in the fact that jisung can jump around never needing to really touch the ground, and you can guess how it went. Plus, he cackled the whole time like a crazy person. Hes also on my list of people I pretend not to know in public.”

chan sighed, remembering all the shit he had to go through. “changbin went last. It wasn’t too long after he lost control of his powers at the facility, so he was really nervous he would hurt someone. He spent days meditating and trying to suppress his dark energy. Luckily, nothing happened. He went about 5 rounds before finally calling it a day and pretending to lose so that he could go home.”

Felix smirked at this. Five rounds? Well he will just have to go six rounds to beat changbins score. He rubbed his hands together evilly, actually excited for this chance to best changbin in something. So far they were at a draw when it came to sparring during training. Some days changbin would win, other days felix won. “okay so when do we leave hyung?”

Chan laughed at felix’s eagerness, taking a guess at why the younger was so excited. “the sooner the better. I actually need to take care of some business with some of my…acquaintances. But I want to go with everybody, and that includes you. So we have to get you registered as a member once you win your fights.”

It pleased felix that chan had no doubt he would win in the fighting ring and gain his membership, even though he technically has no powers to use in the ring. They both stood up and left the office. Felix was curious about what kind of ‘business’ chan does in this office, but he was too polite and respectful to pry into other people’s lives like that. Chan would tell him when he wanted to.

Felix and chan entered the living room, where all of the members were gathered. “okay you guys, get ready. We are going to ‘The Arcade’! felix is going to win and receive his membership, so we need to cheer him on!” a chorus of excited noise erupted from the room.

“yay! Felix my man! You will do great!” jisung yelled.

“oh no, not that crowd again. Sorry felix, but im going to have to sit this one out. Too many people will recognize me.” Hyunjin said in distress. “but I will be waiting for you in the back when you finish!” he added on. Seungmin frowned, “I’m going to sit this one out too. Someone has to keep an eye on hyunjinnie. They almost ripped a big chunk of his hair out last time, the girls kept grabbing at him! a bald spot felix! He almost got a bald spot!” the look of horror on seungmins face made felix and jeongin crack up.

“that’s fine you guys. Ill just get it over with real quick and come meet you afterward.” Hyunjin sighed in relief, glad that felix didn’t feel hurt by him ditching.

Minho blew his bangs off his face. “I got nothing better to do, so yeah I guess I can watch you kick some ass.” Woojin nodded in agreement. Chan clapped his hands to get everyone’s attention.

“ok so now that everyone is on board. Meet back here in ten.” Chan then walked back to his office to gather some of his things he needed for his meeting later. Changbin frowned from where he was standing, and followed chan back to his office. He clicked the door shut and crossed his arms, waiting for chan to turn around.

“I don’t want felix to fight.” He said bluntly. Chan raised an eyebrow, “and why not?” he asked the younger.

Changbin shifted his feet, uncomfortable in the all-knowing gaze chan was giving him. he clenched and unclenched his hands in agitation. “because…felix doesn’t have any abilities, and he might get hurt?” he ended his statement in a question, his excuse sounding fake even to his own ears.

“now, baby changbin, I know you can do better than that. We both know that even though felix doesn’t have any powers, he is just as strong as the rest of us. Might I remind you that you and him are still in a draw over how many wins during training?”

Changbin looked at the ground and muttered, "ten. i think. or maybe it was 12?". Chan ignored him and continued, “and we both know felix is perfectly capable in handling himself in a fight. He is from facility 9, changbin. only the best of the best go to facility 9. Not to mention felix has been there for years. Not just anyone can survive that long on luck alone. The only reason why the rest of us weren't taken to facility 9 was because we pretended we were weak. We hid the full extent of our powers from the councilmen, and they underestimated us. If we showed our full potential in the beginning, we would have been in the same facility with felix. I don’t know what happened to him there, and its not our place to pry, but whatever he endured made him stronger. So that being said, how about you tell me the real reason why you don’t want felix to fight in the fighting ring.”

Changbin chewed on his bottom lip. Chan always saw through everything with a keen eye. Sometimes changbin despised him for that. There was no use lying to chan, ever. Changbin debated telling the truth as he watched chan calmly lean against his desk and fold his hands. Chan was extremely patient. He could wait for hours until you finally cracked and told him what the matter was.

Taking a deep breath, changbin looked down at the ground, avoiding all eye contact with chan. He didn’t want chan to see too much. Not that it made a difference. Chan knew exactly why changbin didn’t want felix to fight, but he was going to make changbin say it anyways. “I don’t want him to get hurt,” Changbin whispered. If changbin was looking up at chan, he would have seen the soft look he gave the younger boy.

“you care for him.”

Changbin shifted again on his feet. he could never stay still, he always had a fight or flight instinct. He laughed nervously. “of course I care for him. I care for all of our members. And they all feel the same way for felix as well.” Chan shook his head softly, chuckling to himself. Oh, how stubborn changbin can be with his feelings. Changbin has no problems acting cute or flirting with the other members. But when he really cared for someone, he was shy, even though he hid that shyness quite well.

“I know you’re worried changbin, but this is not your decision to make. Its felix’s. and felix agreed to go through with this, like the rest of us did. you know he will be upset if he thinks we are babying him. it would mean a lot to him if you came and supported him.” with that, chan leaned off his desk and continued to gather his things. Changbin couldn’t argue with him when he put it that way. With a sigh of defeat, he excused himself and left the office to get ready to go.

***

Felix soon learned that there was more to the world than he thought. Chan had a huge involvement in an underground society that dealt with all sorts of things. It was known as ‘The Arcade.’ Everyone there was a descendant of The First People, and they could all walk around in peace without fearing for their life. To get into ‘The Arcade’ was simple: you simply had to go clubbing.

On a small neighborhood corner situated on a busy street in the lower parts of Seoul, is a popular but discreet club called Circus. It was owned by a descendant, and he went by the name of S.Coups. felix found that the club’s name fit the atmosphere perfectly, because that was what it certainly felt like if you went in at the prime time.

To the unsuspecting eye, club Circus looked like any ordinary club. But what the majority of people didn’t know was that there was an elevator that took you past all the other floors on a level called Cloud 9. Most people that hear of Cloud 9 assume its at the highest level of the building, at the top. But it actually went deep underground.

The metal elevator doors opened up to another world. As far as the eye can see, The Arcade was a paradise for only descendants. It had everything; you name it, they got it. Shops of every kind: tattoo parlors, restaurants, cafes, casinos, weapons stores, pubs, toys stores, cosmetics, shoes, clothes. Felix was so awestruck and overwhelmed with everything he was seeing. Changbin and jeongin smirked at seeing Felix’s face.

“now stay close to us, Felix. Even though this place seems nice, there are still dangerous people out there. Everyone here is a descendant like us, and they can all use a power. Its best to be on your guard at all times.” Woojin lectured. Felix turned to his hyung and smiled, glad he gave a warning in advance. Then he mock saluted and shouted “yes, sir!”

“channie, ive been wanting to get a third piercing on my ear. Can I pleaseee?” jisung begged as he started skipping towards the tattoo and piercings shop. Hyunjin grabbed him by the shirt and dragged him back.

“maybe next time jisungie. you know the reason why we are here today.” Chan replied. Jisung pouted, but didn’t argue. He may be playful, but he knows when to be serious.

“ill go with you next time, jisungie. Ive been meaning to pick out a new signature earring,” Minho told him. jisung beamed at him, and latched onto his arm. “what kind were you thinking of getting, hyung? Maybe we can match!” minho chuckled, “I was thinking of a cool silver dangle, but we’ll see.”

“ok felix, you are scheduled to fight in 30 minutes. I brought a change of clothes. Trust me, you don’t want blood on that white hoodie of yours.” Woojin chuckled. He handed felix a bag with clothes and shoes. “it took forever to get the blood stains out of minho’s pink hoodie last time. And don’t even talk to me about seungmin’s shirt he singed.”

Felix snorted really loud. “minho hyung, you wore a pink hoodie to a blood bath fight?”

“what? It was cold out, how the hell was I supposed to know the guy was going to spurt blood from his nose all over my sleeve? I didn’t punch him that hard.”

“who the fuck you trying to kid? You have like 10 times the strength of the rest of us. And it wasn’t just a punch. You whammed on the guy for like 15 minutes straight until he blacked out. There was blood spurted all over the hoodie, not just the sleeve,” Hyunjin called him out.

Seungmin smirked, twirling his hoodie string around his finger mischievously, “a little birdie told me that the guy minho practically punched to death told his buddy before the fight that he thought jisung was a little cutie and would make a great sex kitten. Then his friend joined in and said he wanted a piece of jisung as well. I guess minho didn’t really like that,” he sing-songed. 

Jisung raised his eyebrows in surprise. He didn’t hear about that. He looked over at minho, who quickly looked away, his fists clenched.

“and do pray tell seungmin, how you found this out.” Chan said in his ‘dad voice.’ Seungmin shrugged. “just happened to walk by.”

“what happened to the guy’s friend?” jeongin asked seungmin. Seungmin shrugged again and smiled sweetly, “its better if you don’t know. But I heard there was a huge mysterious explosion in the parking lot. Apparently, someone’s car caught on fire. The guy just barely managed to escape with his life.”

“what a shame that happened.” Chan said, with a knowing smirk on his face. He chose not to reprimand seungmin this time. If seungmin didn’t do something, minho certainly would, and that would have ended with more blood, a shovel, and chan asking to borrow one of his ‘acquaintance’s’ pickup trucks that can fit multiple bodies.

Felix chose to change the topic by looking into the bag of clothes woojin gave him. they were all black. “I didn’t know if you were going to use swords or guns, so I gave you a more traditional outfit to move freely in.” woojin added helpfully. Felix grinned up at the older. “thanks hyung! Im sure they are perfect. Be right back while I go change.”

Changbin watched as felix jogged over to a restroom to change. He couldn’t help but worry for the younger. How is it that felix can smile so brightly even after all this violence he is a part of? He never wanted to see felix lose that brightness about him. just being in the same room made the whole atmosphere a better place. Woojin patted him on the back, “he’ll be fine changbinnie.” Changbin relaxed a little from his anxiety. “I know.” He softly muttered back to woojin.

“ayyeee felix, you looking fly in that. Damn woojin, you picked out a great outfit.” Jisung said, fanning himself as felix walked back over from changing. Changbin looked over after hearing jisung’s outburst.

He froze immediately at what he saw. Felix was dressed in a traditional Chinese martial arts outfit. A long black sleeveless shirt, silk material clinging to his physique. It had slits on both sides allowing for more movement, and he had loose matching black pants that cinched on the ankles so they don’t get caught on anything. He wore black combat boots with the pants. To put it simply, changbin’s mouth went dry and he couldn’t look away. The black accentuated felix’s blonde hair, and damn were those abs? minho grinned and nudged changbin. he blinked a few times, trying to get his thoughts back to more proper terms, before taking a step towards felix.

Playing it off, he asked him, “so which weapons are you using?” felix tilted his head in that cute way of his when he thinks about something. “hmm, it depends on my opponent, but I take it I don’t know who my opponent is until I get there?” he asked changbin. changbin nodded. “well that’s a bummer,” Felix pouted. Changbin wanted to kiss the pout away. Wait, what? No you don’t! he tried to convince himself as his eyes flickered down to felix’s lips.

“I think ill go with my guns then. Thanks woojinie hyung for the outfit. This is totally cool and really easy to move around in!” felix smiled over at woojin. Changbin was still rooted in place as chan came over and ushered felix away to get ready for the fight.

“alright lover boy. Quit your pining and lets get some seats before they are all taken.” Jisung said as jeongin pulled changbin’s sleeve and lead him to where the audience gathers on bleachers around the arena.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” changbin yelled at jisung. Minho snorted really loud. Hyunjin and seungmin took this as their cue to leave before anyone in the audience could spot or recognize hyunjin. The fangirls were vicious at this time of year.

Changbin was sitting in the crowd with everyone except hyunjin and seungmin. He was smashed between an excited jisung and jeongin. You could feel the buzz of adrenaline and joy all over from the audience. This is pure entertainment for them. Changbin couldn’t help his leg from shaking with anticipation for felix’s upcoming match.

Chapter Text

Felix was in the back, waiting his turn with the rest of the contenders. He took a deep breath to calm his nerves and focused on the task at hand. he suddenly felt a tap at his shoulder, and turned around to face a boy not much taller than him with blue hair.

“oh my god! I cant believe its really you! Felix, I haven’t seen you in forever!” someone exclaimed really loud, and felix was suddenly enveloped in a huge hug. Felix’s eyebrows creased in confusion at this stranger hugging him. the stranger let go, but didn’t take his hands off his shoulders. He looked so happy to see him, and felix was starting to get an idea that the boy looked familiar.

“felix? You don’t remember me? How could you forget your bestest friend in the whole wide world?!” then it dawned on felix. He only ever had one friend before meeting the other 8 members. Back when he was in facility 9, only one boy would talk to him. eric was the only one he truly interacted with at that horrible place. Meeting eric was the only exciting thing that ever really happened to him there.

Felix grinned up at eric. “eric! I cant believe im seeing you again. You changed your hair, dumbass. How the hell am I supposed to recognize a random ass boy with blue hair hugging me all of a sudden?”  eric grinned back, and they hugged again, glad to see each other after so long.

Eric looked over at felix, a warm smile on his face. It certainly has been a long time. “felix, what the hell are you doing here, and why the hell are you about to fight in the arena?” eric asked. Felix cocked his head to the side in thought. Eric noticed he always used to do that whenever he was thinking about something. He was glad to see some things still haven’t changed.

“im earning my membership to The Arcade so that I can enter with channie hyung and the others.” At hearing this, eric’s eyebrows rose in surprise. “wait… ‘Channie hyung?’ as in the bang chan? And his other seven members? You not only know them, but are friends with them?”

at eric’s sudden outburst, felix looked confused. “uhm, yes? We all live together. Eric quit being so dramatic,” he playfully shoved his shoulder laughing.

Eric started squealing like a little girl and dancing around. “oh my god! I cant believe you live with bang chan and the rest of them. Tell me, is hyunjin as good looking up close as he is far away? Does minho really have a resting bitch face, and can jisung really fly? Because if he could that would be so cool. And oh my god jeongin! Have you seen his cute smile and fox-like eyes? Did you know he has the nickname of ‘cunning fox’ around here? His battle was legendary. I laughed my ass off the whole time watching him wipe out each opponent in like 1 minute tops. They didn’t even know what hit them,” Eric kept rambling on and on about chan and the others, felix was totally amazed.

“I take it the others are quite well known around here, huh?” felix inquired to eric. Eric looked taken aback, surprised that felix had no idea about bang chan and his friends.

“duh! What, did you live in a hole your whole life? bang chan formed this group on his own, nobody is allowed to get too close. Him and woojin are the oldest and extremely protective of the entire 8 of them. The fact that you are even allowed to talk to them is incredible, but here you actually joined his group! Its no longer the legendary 8, but instead 9 now! I cant believe I know someone who is a part of Stray Kids!”

Felix frowned at eric’s first comment. “stray what? And yes I kind of did live in a hole my whole life. I just got out of facility 9 a few months ago. Chan and the others were kind enough to take me in with them since I had no where else to go.” Upon hearing this, eric froze and looked at felix.

“wait, a few months ago? You’ve been in facility 9 all these years still?” eric whispered, not wanting to draw any attention to themselves. Talking about the facilities is forbidden in the Arcade, and he made sure felix knew this. Felix lowered his voice and whispered, “yeah, I just barely escaped with my life.”

Eric whistled. After a few moments of silence, save for the constant cheers and noise from the audience and arena, felix finally spoke again. “eric, where did you go? And why are you here now? You left facility 9 when we were younger and I never saw you again.”

Eric sucked in a breath, remembering the day he had to leave facility 9. He was torn between not wanting to leave felix by himself, and wanting to leave that place forever and not look back. In the end, he was glad to leave, even if it meant felix had to suffer alone. “I was transferred. They considered me not strong enough for what they needed at the facility, and so I went to facility 2. As you know, the lower the number of the facility, the weaker the subjects are. I wasn’t a threat to them. I stayed there up until 2 years ago. I don’t know exactly what happened, but one day I was lying in my bed about to go to sleep when the entire building started to rumble. The lights in the hallways went out one by one, shattering. The building was going to collapse! I panicked. Of course you know I can control technology, and the lock mechanisms were malfunctioning from whatever was happening to the building. I managed to crack the lock and ran out into the hallway. What I saw was terrifying Fe.” Eric paused, lost in his thoughts. Felix remembered the nickname eric gave him when they were younger.

Eric continued, “I don’t know how to explain it, but the entire atmosphere was tinged with darkness. It was hard to breathe, move, even be near it! but I escaped from my room, and the building was going down any second. And I left without looking back. A few others managed to get away also, but we all went our separate ways,” Eric finished.

Felix listened to eric carefully. He knew that the incident eric was talking about was when changbin lost control of his powers and collapsed facility 2, destroying the entire building and anyone trapped inside. Felix’s heart ached for changbin. he knew that changbin didn’t mean for that to happen. Felix can see how it sometimes haunts him whenever the topic gets brought up. Fortunately, quite a few people escaped that night, and it put a damper on the councilman’s objectives. So in a way, changbin also saved as many lives. Nobody knows it was changbin who caused that though, and felix would never betray his trust. Not even to his long time friend eric.

“im glad you made it out eric,” was all felix had to say. Eric grinned, and was about to say something more, when suddenly felix’s name was announced on the arena’s speakers. “looks like my time is up. Ill see you around, okay eric?” felix waved as he made his way to the entrance of the arena. eric gave a thumbs up and called, “yeah Fe, ill see you after your fight! Don’t fall on your ass loser!”

Felix didn’t answer eric, too busy looking in the crowd for a familiar face. When his eyes landed on changbin, he let out a breath of nerves he didn’t know he was holding. Felix always felt calm whenever he was with changbin. as if he sensed felix looking at him, changbin locked eyes with him and smirked a confident smirk. Then he made a gesture with his hands, mimicking strangling felix’s neck. Felix chuckled at this, knowing changbin was just joking around about choking felix if felix lost the battle. Basically, changbin was telling him ‘you better win this fight or I wont forgive you.’

After giving a salute to the rest of his members, felix walked onto the battleground confidently. A staff member handed him his guns for the upcoming fight. Those that had any kind of healing powers were on standby, ready to give emergency first aid in case things got too serious. Felix squeezed the familiar handles of his guns in each hand.

Chan sat proudly in the stands, watching the guns glint in the arena’s lights.

They were a beautiful gift given to felix after spending a month with his new family. Chan somehow managed to obtain them, probably from one of his so-called acquaintances. They werent any ordinary guns though. It was crafted out of a rare metal. They could deflect any type of offensive powers thrown at felix, which included seungmin’s fire (after a good training session with seungmin). Chan may be confident in felix’s fighting skills, but he still worries about those magic attacks people can throw at him. felix also has a ribbon made out of an unbreakable material that is attached to the ends of each gun, so that felix can pull them in whenever he needs to. Or if he felt like swinging it around to bash people’s heads in, that was fine by chan. Whatever the kid felt like doing with it. but what was truly beautiful about the guns were the intricate carvings placed in the metal all around. It held a symbol for each member’s powers. For example, woojin has ice and so a snowflake was carved into the metal, a lightning bolt for chan and so on. They werent there at first when chan presented the guns to felix. But felix asked him if he could take them back sometime and have the person who crafted them carve the symbols into the guns. Felix wanted to take a little bit of his family around with him wherever he went.

After hearing that, chan had to calmly excuse himself from the room he was in with felix, and run crying to woojin, who was in the office at the time. Woojin later told felix chan was a mess with snot everywhere, hiccuping as he told woojin: ‘and then-and then he said he wanted to take his family with him wherever he went. His family, woojin! Do you know who that family is. That’s me. That’s us. I barely had the strength to leave with what little dignity I had left! Woojin, go get his bed, hes moving in here with us. I have to take care of him the rest of his life.' it took a whole 45 minutes for woojin to stop chan from marching to the Arcade to get adoption papers for felix. It took another 10 minutes for woojin to remind chan that felix was an adult and couldn’t be adopted anyways.

From the other side of the arena, felix saw his opponent walk out. it was a burly looking man with a beard, and yellow teeth shown in a sleazy grin. One tooth was missing.

“fucking fuck.” Minho hissed from the stands. It was that pain in the ass metal wielder minho had to face a few months back. “he never knows when to quit, does he? Maybe he didn’t learn his lesson the first time around,” Minho seethed under his breath. Upon hearing minho’s continuous cursing, it clicked for the rest of the members. This was the guy that had improper thoughts about jisung! Changbins whole body went cold. If this guy liked pretty boys like jisung, then felix wasn’t safe either. Especially in that sexy as hell martial arts outfit.

Changbin was brought out of his panicking when he heard a dial tone coming from minho. Then seungmins voice as he answered, “whats up minho hyung? Felix is about to start his fight-“

“seungmin, I need you to burn someones house down right now.” Was all minho said into his cellphone to the younger boy.

“just say the word, and ill be there!” seungmin said giddily on the other line, no questions asked. Then, Changbin heard chan’s voice next to him, and he whipped his head in that direction to listen to his leader talking.

“hyunjin do not let seungmin burn anybody’s house down. I repeat, do not let seungmin out of your sight.” Chan said into his cellphone. Hyunjin must have asked what was going on, because then chan said, “felix is about to face that creepy fuck that wanted jisung last time.” Changbin could hear a bunch of muffled cursing on the other end before chan hung up his phone.

Changbin whipped his head back to minho, who was getting up and switching seats with woojin, who was seated on jisung’s other side. Then minho put his arm around the back of jisung’s seat, closing jisung off to the people behind them.

As much as jisung liked the attention, he looked over at minho and argued, “hyung, he doesn’t even know im here. Im perfectly fine in the audience, and besides I can handle any sort of attack. You don’t need to baby me like this.” Minho only frowned and stared at jisung. “it doesn’t matter jisungie, his friend or friends might be here in the crowd. Im not taking any chances.”

Jisung just huffed and crossed his arms, his attention going back to the arena. “well, at least tell me that his missing tooth was from the pounding you gave him last time.”

Minho smiled evilly. “im pretty sure he cant hear that well out of one of his ears either. Hes lucky hes alive.” He then continued to play with jisung’s two dangle earrings, flicking them back and forth making them jingle and clink together. Minho loved how he always knew jisung was near when he heard the chime of his earrings as he walked.

The lights started to dim, indicating felix’s first fight was about to start. A male with brown hair and dimples in both of his cheeks walked to the center. He was the ring master, wearing a typical outfit you would see at a circus. He gave a deep bow with one hand over his chest, and stayed in that position until the crowd died down and it was silent. Then he stood up, and raised his arms to the audience.

“welcome to the circus ring! I am the ring master, Hongbin. Before we begin, let me explain the rules. First, no killing! You guys may laugh at this, but we here at the Arcade take this seriously. Second, you must pass three rounds to be qualified for a membership. Contestants that manage to complete this may go to the administration to receive their tattoos of membership. Third, any style of fighting is permitted, just please keep it in the arena. there have been difficulties in the past where the audience was subjected to a contestant’s fire and we want to minimize any casualties at all costs. Fourth, we have now started awarding contestants that can break the top record of ‘Fastest Person to Win All Three Rounds.’ As of now, the record is held at 5 minutes! So far no one has broken this record. Fifth, due to there being fights that lasted for hours, we now have time limits and the rounds will only last 30 minutes maximum, so you must defeat your opponent in that given time. Last but not least, have fun and enjoy the show!” the crowd started cheering loudly, and the ring master stepped off the arena.

“god dammit seungmin, embarrassing me wherever I go. Now they have to actually tell people not to blow the place up,” Chan muttered under his breath. But changbin saw he had a fond smile on his face, almost as if he was proud. Jeongin slowly slid down into his seat, trying to go unnoticed at the mention of his record of passing all three rounds within 5 minutes. He didn’t want to draw any attention. And jisung just pouted, “Five hours wasn’t that long. They are just a bunch of old men.”

Yes, unfortunately all of chan’s members were memorable in some way at the Arcade. They all left an impression that can not be forgotten. Chan wouldn’t have it any other way, though.

Felix was ushered to the center of the ring, along with the other man. They had to face each other, giving a handshake to encourage ‘good sportsmanship.’ But before the gun could go off indicating the battle has started, the man gripped felix’s small hand tighter and leaned in, his breath foul. “hey there pretty boy. I saw you talking to your friends earlier at the entrance of the Arcade. Didn’t know you were friends with that pretty boy jisung. I guess that makes sense. Anybody as pretty as jisung would have an even prettier friend such as yourself. And you are blonde. Not usually my cup of tea, but I got a buddy that likes blondes.” He grinned a greasy grin at felix. Felix’s eyebrows rose in surprise, and he cringed at the feel of the guy’s breath when he leaned into his ear to whisper.

Shit, this must be that guy minho was angry about earlier. They both finished shaking hands and stood up straight.

Not tolerating any of this disgusting behavior, felix smirked playfully and decided to end this guy’s antics once and for all. It will at least allow minho and himself to sleep better at night knowing scum like this is gone from here.

Still wearing a playful smile on his face, felix motioned for the guy to bend down once more so that he could whisper into his ear. The guy more than happily obliged.

“ill show you just how blonde I can be.” Felix chuckled in his low voice. The guy smirked back, “im glad you see it my way. Maybe bring your little friend jisung along, yeah?”

Felix’s lip curled up, but he kept up the pretense. “of course!” he squeaked out.

***

Meanwhile, changbin and the others watched this take place from the stands. Changbin was at the edge of his seat, gripping and ungripping his arm rests in anger. This asshole just leaned into felix while holding his hand. “chan...” changbin rumbled out in an angry growl.

“I know changbin. I see it too. Just trust in felix. You cant interfere, you know that. If anyone interferes, felix wont get his membership to the Arcade. But if things get too out of hand, we will do something about it. remember, seungmin and hyunjin are still down there in the back behind the arena. im sure they see whats going on as well and will take action.” Chan was trying to calm changbin down.

Everyone else was equally as pissed as changbin. nobody messes with a member of their family. And that’s what felix was to them at this point: family. Woojin was trying to keep his powers in check, but the temperature around them dropped significantly. Someone sneezed behind them from the sudden cold. Jeongin looked like he was about to bolt over the chairs, and minho and jisung were halfway already getting up. Chan was angry too, and it tore at him to sit here and watch. But so far nothing bad has happened, and he motioned for the others to sit. “come on you guys. Felix can handle this. Lets just wait and see what happens.”

Then they all saw felix smirk playfully at the creep, with a devilish look in his eyes. And he motioned for the guy to lean back down. felix said something in his ear. Changbin growled at this. “why the fuck is felix talking to him?!”

Minho recognized that look in felix’s eyes. He smiled and leaned back in his seat, bringing jisung to lean back into him as well. He then relaxed and told changbin, “oh I think this is going to be a fun fight.”

“ok hyung! Ill let them know!” jeongin said into his cellphone. Apparently seungmin called him up really quick. “so seungmin says that they found out the next two contestants are going to be this guy’s friends. Which means felix needs to kick all three of their asses.”

“what? How does seungmin know this?” woojin asked.

“seungmin said its better if you guys don’t know,” Jeongin replied with a giggle, sitting back in his chair, a little calmer now. Chan smacked his forehead. He was never going to get a break.

***

Felix twirled one of his guns on his finger, waiting for the sound to indicate the start of the battle. He eyed his opponent carefully. This guy worked with metal, if he remembered minho’s rant from earlier. His guns were metal, which should concern him since they could be useless if the guy can take them away from him. but, there's a chance he might not be able to. From how the magic that flows through all of the descendant’s blood works, there are different levels to your abilities.

Lets explain: each descendant has a unique ability. That is common knowledge among everyone. No two descendants are alike in how they use their powers. However, many descendants can have the same type of abilities. There can be many descendants that control metal, like the guy in front of felix right now, or chan’s acquaintance that crafted felix’s guns. but it all depends on how strong you are to control your magic. If the guy that crafted felix’s gun is stronger than the guy that is in front of felix right now, then this creep doesn’t have the ability to steal felix’s guns away from him or use it against him. his mother in facility 9 called this ‘classifying subjects.’ Each descendant she brought in as a prisoner was sorted by type, and then classified by how strong they were. So, the guy that made felix’s gun would be Type: Metal, Class I. indicating he is one of the strongest in the metal types. The creep in front of felix would be Type:Metal, Class 4 or 5. Indicating he is one of the weakest of the metal types. So his magic cant overcome felix’s metal guns.

If you knew the type of power a prisoner had, you could find out where their rooms were kept in different wings of the facility. Felix saw that hyunjin and changbin used water and dark energy the day he visited facility 2, so he made sure to look out for their names in the water wing and energy wing when he was passing by with his mother. It made finding them easier. What surprised felix the most though, was finding out that even though hyunjin and changbin, and the rest of his friends were classified as 4 or 5, they emitted the skills of a Class I while training. Felix learned later on that chan and the others hid the extent of their powers, pretending to be weaker than they were. It was a smart move. Eric was a weaker class though, and had to be moved to a different facility. Felix was only in facility 9 because of his mom, not his abilities.

The pop of a gun went off, indicating the timer has started, and felix has 30 minutes to beat his opponent in order to continue on to the next round. Felix stood completely still, staring intently at his opponent. He studied the man’s movements, his build, the way he carried himself, the way he shifted on his feet. all of these were tactics he learned to analyze a person. Once he understood a person, he was able to predict their attacks. This may sound simple, but it was not an easy thing to do at all.

The man started circling felix, making tsking noises and ‘come hither’ motions. Felix ignored him, and followed him with his eyes. He gave nothing away. The man’s weapon of choice was a giant metal hammer. Quite gruesome to fight people with, in felix’s opinion. And it was extremely messy. Felix noticed the guy had a slight limp in his left leg, which indicated an old injury. He also had to cock his head to the side when listening, almost as if he couldn’t hear out of one of his ears. The man was sloppy with his footwork, not bothering to walk lightly on his feet, and he was very bulky when handling his hammer. The size of the hammer was awkward and heavy, causing less movement when in close combat. Once felix processed all of this, he finally made his move.

***

Changbin, chan and the others all watched intently at felix as the battle begun. Felix just stood still, never taking his eyes off of his opponent. Changbin noticed how devoid of emotion felix’s face got once he was serious about his fights. He has never seen felix in action, save for the playful sparring matches they have on a daily basis. But that felix is different, he is always smiling and laughing. This felix isn’t joking around, and it made changbin shiver. Not out of fear, oh no. this just made changbin even more attracted to blonde hair boy. All this time he thought he had to protect felix from the violent part of his world, but he completely forgot that maybe, just maybe, felix’s world was much more violent than his ever was.

“anyone else getting murder vibes from felix hyung?” jeongin whispered. A few of them nodded, and jisung exclaimed, “yeah and its awesome!”

Changbin didn’t take his eyes off of felix the entire time, and he noticed when he saw felix’s facial expression change just ever so slightly. It was almost as if felix made a final decision, and nobody would have noticed this if they weren't looking for it. then suddenly, with a cold expression, so cold it almost looked as if he was bored, felix lifted his gun in his right hand and shot a few bullets effortlessly at the guy’s feet. it was so sudden, a few people in the audience flinched at the abrupt gunfire.

The guy yelped and dodged the bullets. But changbin knows felix never misses. He aimed on purpose to not hit the guy. Then his opponent started advancing towards felix, trying to attack straight on with his hammer held high above his head, and feign to the left. Felix must have seen that coming, and simply turned on his heel and shot a few more warning shots at his feet. he yelped, backed up and tried again.

On and on this went, the guy too cowardly to advance toward felix any farther than a few feet, and felix shooting at his feet making him back up. Changbin could tell the guy was starting to lose it, with his face turning purple in anger.

“what is felix doing?” jeongin whispered. “hes just playing with him this whole time, and hes only got like 15 minutes left.”

Changbin studied felix’s expressionless face. Felix hasn’t once moved from his spot on the ground, with the exception of shifting his feet slightly every time the opponent tried to move in a different direction. What is he doing? Hes not really playing with his opponent like jisung does, but hes also not fighting to his full abilities. The crowd started laughing at felix, saying he was a horrible shot, and to just let the other guy win already if he was too scared to approach him and fight him like a real man. They wanted to see a bloodbath, and this was boring. The guy kept lifting his feet up and off the ground every time felix shot at them. Then felix took a step.

He stepped forward, shooting his gun at the ground in various directions. The guy had to juggle his steps back and forth to keep from getting hit. Then it dawned on changbin.

“hes making him dance. Hes humiliating him.” he said to no one in particular.

All of his friends turned to look at changbin. then they turned back to watch the battle in a different viewpoint. Sure enough, if you stopped looking for a battle plan and just took in the performance for what it was, you can see the guy dance back and forth like a clumsy buffoon. Minho burst out laughing, and chan snickered. “well, ill be damned.”

When the timer hit 20 minutes, felix grew tired of his game and finally decided to end it. felix calmly put his guns back in their holders strapped around his thighs (which was totally hot, but changbin would think about that later), and the crowd started booing, thinking felix was forfeiting.

Forfeiting a fight was one of the most shameful things you could do during the circus fight ring. You either won or lost, but never surrendered.

Then felix flicked some of his bangs out of his eyes, and gave a flirty smile at the creep. “finally seeing it my way, aren’t ya pretty thing?” felix nodded, waiting for the guy to come closer.

When the guy was close enough, felix struck. It was so abrupt and ended so fast, nobody even saw it coming. One minute the crowd was laughing and booing, and the next they were all silent, not sure if they really believed what they saw. If changbin wasn’t watching felix so carefully, he would have missed it as well.

Felix struck his hand out against the guy’s jugular, punched him 1,2,3 times in the face, solar plexus, and abdomen, swiped his feet out from under him while simultaneously grabbing his guns again, had his left gun cocked and ready to blow his chin out and his right gun cocked and already aimed at the temple of his head. All of this occurred in a span of 5 seconds, maybe 6.

“surrender.” Felix commanded in a low and scary tone. The entire crowd was still silent and heard him clear as day.

“are you fucking kidding me? Why would I do such a shameful thing as surrender? I would rather die.” Felix looked down at him with such a cold expression, the guy gulped in nervousness.

“forfeit.” Felix commanded again. The guy was still stubborn and shook his head. Felix dug the barrel of his guns mercilessly into the man’s skin. “forfeit if you know whats good for you,” he tried again. The man just laughed. Then felix tried a different tactic.

Changbin watched as felix bent down and whispered something in his opponent’s ear. The guy turned pale, and nodded. Then he said in a shaky voice, “I surrender.” A gun was popped off and the timer stopped counting down, with 5 minutes to spare.

The ring master, Hongbin, reappeared declaring “we have a winner! Felix will continue to the next round!” and the guy and felix were both ushered out of the arena. the crowd erupted in laughter and glee at the chance to see the first surrender in a very long time. The creep that bothered jisung and felix would no longer be seen at the Arcade, and he will become an outcast for the rest of his time there. Yes it was cruel, but he deserved much worse.

Woojin whistled. “well that was exciting. What do you think he whispered to him to make him forfeit?” chan shook his head, dumbfounded. Felix didn’t even try that hard, and he managed to get his very first opponent to humiliate himself and surrender. Looks like another one of us is going to be memorable in this place.

Chan nudged changbin, “I told you he could handle himself. Felix is much better than he lets on.” changbin smirked at chan. Ok he has to admit it, felix was pretty cool. Chan’s cellphone started ringing, and changbin immediately knew it was either seungmin or hyunjin, having seen the fight closer to the ground. The entire audience was talking about it.

And just like that, felix passed all three of his rounds in the same manner. Making each one of the creep’s friends surrender, inevitably causing them to become outcasts within the Arcade. But what changbin was even more surprised about was that the additional three matches felix fought in, he didn’t make his opponents forfeit. So, that just showed changbin and the others that felix figured out who the guy and his friends were all on his own.

“hes smart too. You got yourself a keeper hyung,” jeongin waggled his eyebrows at changbin. changbin smiled at this and replied, “yeah yeah. Hes not half bad.” The entire group went silent and stared at changbin.

“holy shit, he just inadvertently admitted it!” minho declared. Chan and jeongin squealed like little girls, and woojin smiled fondly at them.

“shut the fuck up minho, you just want felix to be with anyone that isn’t jisung.” Changbin fired back, with a small “hey! Felix is my platonic soulmate!” from jisung in the background.

Minho whipped his head back to jisung, “your platonic what?!”

“platonic soulmate. Like, me and felix would totally marry if we cant find our own soulmates before we are old. You should really get one hyung. What if you cant find your mate in this lifetime? You wouldn’t want to be alone forever. Oh my gosh! I could totally be your platonic soulmate, it would be so much fun!” jisung squealed playfully.

It was supposed to be a lighthearted comment, but Minho’s heart dropped at the thought of finding his soulmate. The truth is, deep down he really wanted jisung. God, he wanted jisung so much. But he holds himself back because he doesn’t want to ruin it for jisung if he ever found his other half. Minho couldn’t give two fucks about his own soulmate, but he had to be strong to spare jisung the inevitable heart break if he was to make a move and then jisung found his. He would never make jisung choose like that.

Despite this, minho still likes to be flirty with jisung replying with, “well, if you are my platonic soulmate I wouldn’t care about finding my real one.” And then he gave jisung a sexy smirk and wink. Jisung’s heart almost stopped, and he sucked in a breath turning the other way.

“alright guys, lets go meet up with felix, seungmin, and hyunjin and congratulate him on making it as a member of the Arcade!” chan yelled, gathering everyone up to head down to level ground. Changbin was excited to see felix again. He hated being away from him for too long.

Chapter Text

Changbin was forcing his small and short body through the hundreds of people gathered at the back of the arena. all of the fights were over with for the day. He could just make out felix’s blonde hair in the distance. He ditched the others behind him, and hurried to where he could see felix standing around awkwardly looking for his friends.

Changbin pushed and elbowed his way through, finally reaching felix. There was more pep in his walk and a huge smile on his face. He approached felix calling out to him, “Lix! Lixseu!”

Felix recognized the nickname changbin gave him, and instantly his heart rate sped up. He turned around with a smile on his face, loving the sound of changbin’s raspy voice as he called out to him. he saw changbin making his way over. Felix was about to take a step to run up and hug changbin, when suddenly eric reappeared and hugged felix abruptly. Felix’s eyes widened in shock, but hugged eric in return. “Fe! I found ya! Those fights were awesome! I see you still have that old fighting spirit still in ya!” eric exclaimed happily. Felix made a mm-hmm noise, patted eric quickly on the back, and detached himself to go back to changbin.

But when felix turned back into changbin’s direction, he noticed the boy stood still watching, smile completely gone and no expression in his eyes. Felix was confused, and a little hurt. He walked up to changbin and gave a crushing hug to changbin.

“binnie! I did it! I became a member of the Arcade. And I even managed six rounds!”

Changbin half heartedly returned the hug, “that’s great felix. That’s one more round than mine, don’t think I didn’t notice.”

Felix frowned. Changbin used his full name. usually, he has been calling him by his nickname for quite some time now. “so who is your friend, felix?” changbin tried to sound natural, but came off as a little aggressive.

Eric held up both his hands in surrender. “woah man, I didn’t mean to offend you or anything. My name is eric, and I am Fe’s best friend!” changbin squinted his eyes at eric. Fe? He even has pet names for him?

Felix’s eyebrows drew together in thought, and he frowned. For some reason, when eric calls him by his nickname, its not the same as when changbin does. And changbin seemed to be in a bad mood, but felix was so relieved to see him after his fights, and the adrenaline rush was starting to wear off, and to be honest he was starting to feel emotionally drained. So he took a risk and latched himself to changbin’s arm, hugging it and drawing comfort from the older boy.

To felix’s surprise, changbin didn’t throw him off, so that was a good sign. “Binnie, this is Eric. We used to be very close back when we were in facility 9 together.” Changbin’s eyebrows rose in surprise. He didn’t know other people from facility 9 managed to get out.

“you two were close?” was all he asked as he looked down at the younger blonde, who was currently bent over rubbing his face on changbin’s shoulder and making himself more comfortable on his arm. Changbin stopped himself from smiling, but his mood certainly improved.

“oh yeah! We were best friends a long time ago. But then we got separated and never kept in touch obviously, ya know? But now we are together again! Right Fe?” eric answered. Felix tensed up at the sound of his nickname, and changbin felt it. he glanced at felix real quick and noticed the look of distraught briefly flash on felix’s face before turning and squinting up at eric. But whatever was on felix’s face soon disappeared, and the blonde smiled wide at eric, “yeah! It was great seeing you again eric. We should totally catch up again. Right now im looking for the rest of my friends, so ill see you around?”

“oh my god! The rest of stray kids are here?! I HAVE to meet them! Introduce us?” eric squealed, jumping up and down. felix was confused again at him referring to chan and the others as ‘stray kids’ but chose to let it go and ask changbin about it later.

“uhm, yeah? This is changbin right here, and chan and the others should be looking for me.” Felix replied. Eric stopped his excited little happy dance and froze in shock. He looked at changbin, and instantly his face was full of fear. He unconsciously took a step away from changbin and felix, as if that small distance would make a difference. “t-this is changbin? oh, um hi changbin-ssi! I heard so much about you. Im sorry if I offended you or anything, I didn’t realize it was you at first.” Eric was rambling, obviously nervous and a bit scared of changbin, which made felix stand up straight and tilt his head to the side in thought. That’s weird. Why is he so afraid of changbin?

Changbin merely nodded his head at the acknowledgement but didn’t say anything more. Just then, seungmin and hyunjin came up from behind eric. “heya felix! Those were some awesome fights! I totally would have set his pants on fire or something, but what you did was just as funny!” seungmin snickered, jumping at felix and crushing him in a huge hug.

Hyunjin walked up, shoved seungmin aside and gave felix and changbin a huge hug. “out of my way loser, its my turn to hug felix,” Hyunjin sassed back. Seungmin grunted at the push. “you thought pretty boy!” and he sandwiched himself between felix and hyunjin. Felix was still hanging onto changbin’s arm, and so changbin almost fell down from all the pushing and fighting. “ya..YA!” changbin started yelling. Felix laughed wholeheartedly, instantly feeling a lot better now that he was surrounded by his friends.

Felix looked over seungmin and hyunjin’s shoulder and could see chan and the others making their way over. He grinned at jeongin, and jisung was already hitting the ground running. “MY TURNNNN!” he tackled them, and then they all fell down on the ground in a huge pile.

“ok, ok you guys. Get the hell up, you are embarrassing me.” Chan started to say. “wait, where’s changbin. changbin? baby changbin?”

“im right here you asshole, don’t try to pretend you didn’t see me,” Changbin sassed back, spitting some of jisungs hair out of his face. He was at the bottom of the pile, Jisung had his arm around changbin’s and felix’s neck, and his legs wrapped around seungmin. Changbin yanked his arm and pushed him off. Then he got up and dusted himself off, both his hands landing at his hips. He gave a fake pissed off glare to chan.  Chan ran up and pinched his cheeks, cooing at him. then he turned to felix and pinched his cheeks too. “look at my fierce little children, acting all violent and shit. Im so proud of you felix, destroying people and beating them up.”

“uhm? Shouldn’t you be scolding them for almost killing people?” minho chuckled.  Woojin looked at minho, “like you are one to talk. You are the most violent out of all of us.” Minho merely shrugged nonchalantly.

“and he still looks gorgeous when hes destructive!” jisung called in the background. “ow! I was being serious hyunjin!”

As the bickering continued, someone cleared their throat to get everyone’s attention. “uhm, hi?” eric waved his hand. chan let go of felix’s cheeks, and the rest of them went quiet, turning their heads in eric’s direction.

“its so great to meet you guys in person! Im eric, Fe’s best friend! And you guys are legendary here at the Arcade.” Eric introduced himself. Felix had an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. Sure, they were good friends once, but that was a long time ago. Eric is acting like nothing has changed. A lot happened to felix, and that’s not something he can simply forget and then pick up where they left off.

“right. This is eric. We used to be friends back in the facility.” Felix lowered his voice and informed chan and everyone the complete story of how eric and felix were at facility 9 together, and then eric was transferred to facility 2, and then eric escaped. Changbin kept a blank face when that part was mentioned. Felix finally finished his story with a sigh,  “and he’s kind of a fan boy of you guys I guess. I didn’t know you were this famous among everyone here.” Chan looked at felix, and then at eric. He smiled and held out a hand to shake with eric.

“im bang chan, its nice to meet you.” Eric was ecstatic.

“oh my gosh! My uh-friends will be so thrilled to hear I met up with the stray kids! To think I know someone that is actually friends with them!” eric gushed.

Woojin frowned, and jisung was about to say something. but then seungmin spoke up “uhm friends? Yeah I guess felix was a friend at first, but he is officially a part of our group now, and so he is considered family.” The rest nodded in agreement. Eric looked a bit dumbfounded. He glanced back and forth between felix, chan, and the other members.

“oh, I, uh, didn’t mean it like that. I just thought, well, since Fe doesn’t have any powers, he doesn’t really-uh fit in? with the rest of you guys. Like, you all are super powerful, and well Fe is a really good fighter too don’t get me wrong, but there's no way he can ever be on the same level as the rest of us, no offense Fe. You know what im saying?” eric looked to felix. Felix nodded, but he couldn’t help but feel bad at what eric was saying, even if it was true. He was completely aware of his lack of skills when compared to the rest of the members, and on most days he is able to forget about it. but on days like these, he is brutally reminded that he is still different, no matter how much chan and the others reassure him.

Eric continued, “and it is extremely rare for descendants with an elemental ability to gather together like this. It is a once in a lifetime occurrence! I haven’t met a group yet that has every single member with an ability of the elements! So I just figured if you were going to accept any other people, it would be someone who can control one of the world’s elements, not felix.”

By this point, felix looked down to the ground. Eric wasn’t trying to be mean, but his words still left him feeling worthless, even more-so than when his own mother told him we was a failure. The entire group was silent, and eric finished talking, obviously catching on that something was off. Felix didn’t want to look into everyone’s faces and see the pity or realization that eric was right and he should leave. He was happy with chan and the others. They made him feel like he was wanted, like he was worth something. but in the end, he was still useless.

Finally, changbin went to speak up. He was furious at the way this so called friend was treating felix. Just when he opened his mouth to tell him exactly how he felt, someone beat him to it.

“can I be the one to call him out on his bullshit, or does someone else want to have the honors?” Jeongin said.

“actually, I have a few choice words to say-“ woojin started to say, but jeongin already snapped and continued talking.

“first of all, who do you think you are, talking as if you know all about us? We don’t let people into our group because of how powerful we are. When we all met, we had no idea about our skills or where we came from. We didn’t form the strongest team like some power ranger shit up in here. Chan made a home for us. We work together as a team, as a family. Second, felix more than fits in with us. We don’t give a rat’s ass what his abilities are. If felix cant use powers, then that’s fine. we will just beat the shit out of people for him, not that he needs us to, but we got yo back felix,” Jeongin pounded his chest in a bro gesture towards felix. “and how dare you talk him down like this in front of people he cares about. Don’t you have any consideration for his feelings at all? And you call yourself his best friend? I don’t think so.”

“yeah! I am his best friend now. Sorry, but there cant be two best friends, that’s just not how the world works,” Jisung piped in.

Jeongin was on a rampage. He wasn’t the only one furious, but the older members decided to stand back and let their maknae take care of this. Chan couldn’t have been prouder. He grabbed woojin’s hand, which was balled up in a fist from his anger towards the slander felix had to go through. Woojin could barely contain his eyes from flashing orange. Chan could feel his agitation through their bond, and soothingly rubbed the back of his hand with his thumb. Woojin tried to relax, but the annoyance was still there.

Eric blinked at jeongin a few times, speechless. Jeongin stepped up in his personal space, making eric take a step back. “I didn’t say it to be mean-“ he started to defend himself, holding his hands up in surrender.

But jeongin wasn’t having any of that. “oh I know exactly what you meant. You think you can prance around us saying you are best friends with felix, just so you can be buddy-buddy with the oh-so-great stray kids, but then turn around and have the audacity to tell us who we can and cant have in our group? Yeah think again. There's a reason we don’t accept people in our friend circle, and you are the complete definition of that. I have a question for you eric. If you were in the same facility as felix, why didn’t you try to help him leave that horrible place as well? Instead, it seems to me like you left him in that hellhole and didn’t even look back. Felix didn’t even know what happened to you!”

Eric was mad at this point when his life at the facility got brought up. “look here, pipsqueak. We all had it hard in there. It was everybody for themselves, am I right? There was no way for me to leave that place alone. What was I supposed to do? Take felix with me?” he snorted like that was a ridiculous idea. “You guys would have done the same thing, even felix.”

Jeongin was so flabbergasted at this, he couldn’t speak. “that’s where you’re wrong,” Minho said in his quiet melodic voice, which meant he was extremely pissed. “if we were in your position, we would have all gone together, or not go at all.” The others nodded in agreement.

“its nine, or none.” Hyunjin said.

“felix wouldn’t have left you.” Changbin said, completely confident. By this point, felix was looking around at everyone with wide eyes, tears threatening to fall. He had no idea what to say. He knew the others cared for him, but he never knew by this much. Changbin continued, “if I was in your position eric, I would never leave felix behind. Never. Even if it meant spending a lifetime in that place.” Felix’s lip quivered, and his heart was pounding really hard.

“as you have noticed, we all came out of our own facilities. Together.” Seungmin spat. “well, except for minho. Nobody wanted to be his friend at his facility.” Seungmin cackled at this, then grunted when minho’s foot hit his ass.

“do you want me to beat the shit out of you?” minho grumbled. seungmin hid behind jeongin and stuck his tongue out.

“you really gotta stop provoking people. Im not helping if they kick your ass.” Jeongin lectured with a smile on his lips. “it was totally worth it.” seungmin said, and then let out a nasally laugh.

After that, the tension let up a bit. Woojin couldn’t help but chuckle, and chan stood back and looked at his members with a fond smile on his face. This is what he was searching for his whole life. these people. and they were finally complete now that they had felix.

Felix was a mess. He was looking down at the ground, a few tears escaping and dropping. How could he not cry after hearing all of that? He just wanted somebody to love him for who he was, and instead he got eight of them. He sniffled a bit loudly. Changbin looked over at him, and his eyes softened. He stepped closer to felix and hugged him by the waist, resting his chin on his shoulder.

“hey now Lix, don’t cry. we will always have your back, yeah?” changbin softly spoke to him. felix nodded, and wiped away some of his tears. He finally looked up at eric, who was standing there awkwardly. Eric felt kind of bad for what he said, realizing that he went too far.

But felix being felix, he had a heart of gold, and forgave eric. “its ok eric. I understand where you were coming from. But times have changed since we were in the facility. People change.”

“im sorry felix. I went too far. Maybe we can still hang out sometime here at the Arcade? Ill make it up to you.” Eric gave a weak smile. Felix beamed at him, “yeah, I would like that. But for now, I think im going to go with these idiots. Catch you later.”

Eric stepped forward to give felix a hug, but then was harshly shoved to the side, almost losing his balance. “out of my way fake-best-friend. Felix may be a saint, but im not. you made my platonic soulmate cry, and as his true best friend, im going to hug him,” jisung announced as he marched over and grabbed felix. “you too, lover boy. Out of my way. Its my turn to comfort him in my manly bosom.” And he pushed changbin off of felix. “YA!”

Eric couldn’t help but stare at jisung like he was from another planet. “did he just say ‘manly bosom’?”

“did I fucking stutter?” jisung sassed back, and then grabbed felix’s head and not so gently pressed it to his chest. “there, there my baby bird. The bad man is gone.” He cooed as he pet felix’s hair.

“actually, im still here-“ eric started to argue but was cut off with “AND THE BAD MAN WAS GONE.” Felix couldn’t help but giggle, and someone else snorted really loud, probably hyunjin.

Eric took that as his cue to leave, turning on his heel and disappearing into the crowd.

“alright jisung, you can let go of the baby bird now,” Changbin snickered. He let go of felix, and felix straightened, looking at all of them. Chan and woojin smiled back at him, and then chan held out his arms. Felix ran over and hugged him, sniffling a little into his shirt. The others crowded around in a circle, blocking anyone from view. They all gave him reassuring touches, and words of encouragement. Or death threats to anyone who dares to insult one of them again.

And felix can honestly say it was one of the happiest days of his life.

Chapter Text

Once all the drama was over with, felix had to go to the Arcade’s registration and receive his free pass into the underground world whenever he wanted. Chan still had business of some kind to take care of, and they had to hurry.

Chan was holding onto felix’s arm, head resting on his shoulder as he lead them down some street-ways and around a corner where felix stood in front of a little office building. They went inside and he could see a few people sitting around waiting. he recognized them as the other winners of the fight ring that managed to get their ticket into the Arcade. Before felix could even walk up to the counter to ask for help, someone approached them from one of the hallways off to the side.

“ah, it seems we have one more that needs to be scented.” The male approached chan and gave him a wide smile, shaking hands.

“this right here is my baby felix. Be gentle with him, will ya?” chan laughed and stepped away from felix. Felix was totally confused. He stared at the male before him. he had silver hair, and when he smiled, his eyes turned to crescents. He looked friendly enough, but had an air of authority around him that you couldn’t miss.

Felix didn’t want to be rude so he bowed, “my name is felix. Nice to me you.” The silver haired male nodded and said “My name is S.Coups, and im the owner of club Circus up on ground level. But I have my mate that watches it for me while I work down here in the Arcade.” Felix’s eyebrows rose. This is the owner of club Circus? But he is so young!

“Wait, did you say mate? There are other mates out there besides channie and woojinie?” felix asked. Scoups chuckled, “of course! Here in the Arcade, you will come across quite a few soulmates that already bonded with each other. It is a rare thing to happen, but not uncommon. Everyone here goes against the beliefs of the council, and come here to one day find their mates and be complete. Ill admit, at first I didn’t believe in eternal soulmates, but when I found mine my whole life changed.” Scoups had a small smile on his face when he talked about his mate. To put it simply, felix was envious. He wanted what scoups and chan had.

“enough about me, are you ready to get scented?” scoups asked. Felix glanced over at changbin and the others, having no idea how to respond to that. “uhm? Scented? Whats that?”

“omo! Chan you bad hyung! You didn’t tell him about me? Im offended!” scoups scolded chan. Chan gave him a sheepish look, rubbing the back of his neck. “sorry scoups. We got a little distracted on the way here. I was going to tell him after the fight, but it slipped my mind. Coming here was kind of a last minute thing. I got a call from Johnny, requesting I come right away, but I couldn’t take felix since he wasn’t an official member yet.”

Scoups nodded in understanding and walked up to felix. He grabbed his chin, angling his face from left to right. Felix tensed up at the contact, but allowed him to touch him. “so chan didn’t tell you my power? It’s a gift that benefits the owners of the Arcade greatly. I can scent people, or in a less animalistic way of putting it, I can track people down. once I meet a person, they can never get away from me. No matter where they are in the world, I can find them. So, once you gain membership to the Arcade, you come to me. If you misbehave or break one of the rules, I will be able to find you, and the authorities of the Arcade will punish you accordingly.” Scoup’s hands were on felix’s neck now, gently rubbing up and down. not in a creepy way though, he was just simply patting him down in a friendly gesture. Felix sees jisung do it all the time with minho when he is being especially clingy.

“ok you are all done!” scoups said. “just warning you. I am a busy man, and I really don’t feel like crawling out of bed on my days off to come hunt down some asshole who cant be a normal human being and follow a few rules around here. Besides, my mate really gets grouchy in the morning when he is disturbed. So please help a guy out and not become a psychopath serial killer that I have to hunt down.” and with that, scoups winked and walked over to the next person to be ‘scented.’

Felix chuckled, and turned to stand next to changbin. “hes a talker, isn’t he? So how exactly does his power work?” felix asked the group. Woojin ran a hand through his hair, “from what I remember, he can see and taste the scent of a person. I don’t really understand how it works, but scoups mentioned that each person has a unique scent and color to him. his sense of smell is obviously the best out of any of us, but if you are too far away for him to smell you, like being across the ocean, he can follow your ‘color.’ I guess we leave traces behind when we walk through a place, and he is able to trace that. How he is able to scent so many people and not get it mixed up is completely beyond me.” Felix nodded. He kind of understood that. That was a useful power to have.

“and what about his mate?” felix was curious about what kind of person would be mated to someone as nice as scoups. Scoups mentioned he got grouchy in the morning. Chan spoke up this time, laughing. “oh dear! How scoups manages jeonghan I will never get. Hes not like my woojinnie that’s for sure. Jeonghan runs the club upstairs when scoups has to scent people after fights down here. He can read minds and use telepathy. He really hates it when he has to watch Circus though because all that noise and people thinking and talking gives him a headache. They are both really valuable here at the Arcade, and everybody knows about them. Jeonghan is super nice and loves to take care of his other members, but don’t get him mad! Many times I see scoups getting a beating from him. when they work together though, it is quite impressive. Jeonghan can read minds from miles away. Once he gets a feel for how your mind works, he can find you. It comes in handy for when they have to send Mark after someone because scoups is too busy. Jeonghan can simply tell mark telepathically where to go and then he hunts them down to bring them back for punishment.”

“wait, who’s mark?” felix asked.

Chan slapped his forehead. “mark is the Runner for the Arcade. He's about your age. Oh my, felix you will meet a lot of people down here. Trust me, it’s a lot to take in at first. I would love to introduce you to everyone, but we are late for my meeting with Johnny.”

Felix wanted to hear about all of the unique people that were members of the Arcade, but he simply nodded and everyone followed chan out of the office building and down a few blocks to what appeared to be a pub. Felix looked at all the buildings and people as they walked by. He found the place truly amazing and beautiful. The Arcade was like an underground city. You would think it would be dark and gloomy being so many feet under the earth, but the entire place was lit up with lights, and there were so many people on the streets. There were vendors, and street dancers, shops and little stands to buy stuff from. There were open food and flea markets. Dress shops and tailors. Everybody was either laughing, or meeting with friends, or doing their own thing. Overall, it was a great atmosphere to be in.

When they entered the pub, felix could see it was well managed. The lights were dim and music was playing on the speakers. There were a few tables and booths to sit at as well as a wet bar. TVs were all around, with a few people watching, and glasses clinked with various drinks.

Chan led everyone over to the wet bar where a male with red hair was bar tending. He was wiping down glasses when he noticed chan. “oh! Chan! Good to see you. Here to see johnny again?”

“yeah man. Its been awhile taeyong,” Chan greeted the red hair male. Does chan know everybody here, what the fuck? Felix thought. Felix looked around the pub. Just then, two younger teens with purple and blue hair ran by laughing and threw themselves at jeongin. “innieeee!!” the purple haired boy screamed in high pitch at the top of his lungs.

“Chenle you piece of shit! I wanted to hug jeongin first!” the blue haired boy yelled, and he pushed chenle to hug onto jeongin’s arms.

“ouch, jisung! No fair!” chenle yelled.

“wait, jisung?” felix started to ask. Jisung sighed, “yes unfortunately this blue haired smurf over here is also named jisung. And about 50 other boys here in the Arcade. Don’t get us confused felix! I am nothing like this little monster!”

Minho snorted, “you're right. You are worse than that blue monster, oof!” jisung swung and smacked minho on the arm. “bad minho!” he pouted.

Meanwhile, jeongin was getting smothered in hugs. He held an arm out, “seungmin! Save me!” but seungmin laughed an obnoxious nasally laugh, and joined in on the fun.

“you traitor.” Jeongin’s voice was muffled under all the love he was getting.

“ok knock it off you two, I mean three. Let jeongin breathe,” Taeyong lectured. “chan, johnny’s in the back if you want to see him. you want me to watch the kids while you go talk to him?”

Chan shook his head. “no, I think johnny is gonna want to see everyone today. We had quite the excitement since we last met. Hes gonna want to take a look at everyone this time and report this back to Leo. Taeyong, I didn’t introduce you yet. This is felix, a newer addition to my family.” Felix quickly bowed at the mention of his name.

Taeyong raised his eyebrows. Felix didn’t notice it before, but one of his eyebrows had a shaved line through it, which gave Taeyong a more edgier look about him. he was still small though. “you added on to your family? I don’t think I have ever seen you do that since we met. You just accepted minho right before I met you, so this is a first for me. He must be a special one, yeah?” chan looked over at felix, then the rest of his members. when he looked back at taeyong, he had a soft smile on his face. “yeah, hes just as special as the other ones. Besides, what’s one more person? You feel me?” he laughed.

Taeyong shook his head. “trust me, I get what you are saying. Kun just brought back 3 more!” Taeyong whined.

“holy shit! You have like 21 members to take care of now!?” hyunjin exclaimed. Chan was laughing out loud, “that fucking sucks. And I thought 13 for scoups was hard to keep track of.”

Taeyong looked into the distance, “if I jump from the roof, you think that would work?”

Jisung snorted, “from only 2 stories high? Yeah you are gonna need a larger building.” Taeyong sighed, “yeah that’s what I thought. Plus jaehyun would just beat the shit out of me once i hit the ground.”

“well, see you around taeyong. Chenle, jisung, please let go of jeongin. Unfortunately, he cant play today.” Chan said.

“aww we will see you again soon, right jeongin?” they whined. “hopefully never again,” Jeongin muttered under his breath.

“what was that?” chenle asked.

“I cant wait to see you guys again!” jeongin quickly said with a big smile on his face.

“Liar” hyunjin coughed into his hand. jeongin stomped on his foot. Changbin took felix’s hand and lead the way. “come on lix, its this way. The sooner we leave the better.” chan walked over and hugged taeyong goodbye, then grabbed woojin’s arm and followed changbin to the back of the pub. Jisung grabbed minho’s hand and swung it as they followed their leader, and hyunjin and seungmin each took jeongins arm and followed last.

Taeyong raised his eyebrows as changbin passed with felix. He knew most people steered clear of changbin, and it wasn’t unknown that he seemed the least friendly of the famous group. Now, taeyong also was pretty close to the stray kids, and he knew most of that was bullshit. Changbin was plenty friendly, and even really outgoing. He was the life of the party. But he only acted that way with people he loved and cared about, and he had to warm up to you first before he showed that side. What really had taeyong surprised was that he openly grabbed someone in the middle of the public, almost as if he was protective of the blonde boy. Taeyong smirked, and made a mental note to see johnny after they leave and get all the juicy gossip from this. Yuta, haechan, and jaemin would love to hear all the details.

As soon as chan and his members left down the back hallway to see johnny, taeyong grabbed out his phone and dialed a number. “renjun, its me. Gather everyone to my house tonight for a sleepover. You guys are gonna wanna hear the latest gossip about stray kids.” He paused listening to the other person on the line. “no, seungmin didn’t burn another house down. apparently theres another addition to stray kids…cute? I mean, I guess hes cute, hes blonde too….no not as blonde as jeno was last year... I don’t know! Hes got like a golden blonde color and puffy lips! I only saw him for a minute…oh my fuck renjun, you literally have two soulmates. You know how pissy jaemin gets….fine I wont tell jaemin if you don’t tell jaehyun that I called him cute even though he could practically be my child. Ok, ok deal.” And with that, taeyong hung up the phone and got back to work, yelling at chenle and jisung to stop standing on his tables singing “I want to swing from the chandeliers!”

 

Chapter Text

Changbin stopped in front of an office door that read ‘info broker’ on a nameplate on the front. His hand was still holding felix’s, their fingers intertwined without him noticing. He seems to do that a lot. Holding his hand felt natural. Felix wasn’t complaining though. Changbin knocked once and waited. Chan stepped up to his other side.

There was no answer, so changbin knocked again. The door creaked open, and it was dark in the room. Not that changbin or chan cared. Chan walked past changbin and entered the room like he owned it.

Once all of his members were crammed into the small room, “uhm, jisung its not that cramped in here, you can back off of minho a bit,” the door suddenly shut, leaving them all in darkness. Chan was at the head, facing a desk with a huge desk chair.

Suddenly, a lampshade flicked on, and a figure in the desk chair swiveled around facing the group.

“I’ve been waiting for you.” They said dramatically, pressing their fingers together on top of the desk. Chan and the others just blink in silence, with hyunjin finally speaking up, “is he for real?”

The door to the office opened again, and a tall figure walked in with a box of papers. “hey Ten, I got the papers we needed for Leo and-" he paused and looked around, taking in the scene. “oh my fucking god ten, are you seriously pulling this shit again? How many times do I have to tell you, you are way too small to be intimidating. Stop watching those crime shows.” The male flicked on a light switch in the room and walked over and dumped the box of papers on ten’s desk.

“aww but johnny! It totally would have worked if you didn’t interrupt!” ten whined. Once the light turned on, felix could get a better look at ten. His face was very delicate, and he had at least seven piercings on each ear, silver and gold glinting in the light. His eyes were slanted, almost like a cat’s. then felix looked over at the tall male named johnny. He had brown hair, and one side of his bangs was grown longer than the other side.

“I am so sorry you had to see that chan. He embarrasses me on a daily basis,” Johnny huffed. Chan just chuckled, “Johnny, this is felix. Hes the newest member to my family, and hes been with us for a few months now.”

“oooo isn’t he a cutie! Its been awhile since ive seen a new face around here. Ever since our latest members Jungwoo and Lucas came, nobody here has been able to top their looks,” Ten gushed. Changbin stepped a little more in front of felix, even though he knew Ten was was just joking. Ten’s eyes flashed over at changbin, and then back to felix. He may seem like an idiot, but nothing escaped the eyes of Ten.

Johnny nodded to felix in greeting, “ok but am I missing something here? And why did you bring everyone with you? Not that it isn’t great seeing you all again, but this was just supposed to be a quick meeting with chan about some of the blueprints of the facility.”

Ten was now leaning over his desk, fixing felix’s hair. Felix didn’t mind though, he could tell this must be a part of ten’s personality. Changbin glared at ten while johnny and chan spoke. The other members knew to keep quiet when chan was doing business, even though jisung couldn’t help but fidget from standing still for so long.

“he’s from facility 9, johnny.” Ten instantly stopped fussing with felix and snapped his head in chan’s direction. Johnny leaned on his desk and crossed his arms.

“well this changes things. And please, pray tell, how you managed something like that? You expect me to believe this soft looking boy came from the deadliest facility out of all of them? Everyone knows once you enter facility 9, it is almost impossible to ever leave that place.”

“I knew you would be skeptical, that’s why I brought everyone here in case you needed to see the whole picture. At first, I was thankful to felix. He saved us twice, but then I was conflicted. With felix’s help, we could get a lot more information we have been needing, but I didn’t want him to think I was just using him. and then over time, we have all come to love him, so hes staying with us for good. If anyone else wants to meet with him, we have to be there because I am not risking anything happening to a member of my family.” Chan firmly stated.

Johnny nodded. “that is understandable. Taeyong is the same way. You did the right thing by waiting, even if the information he has is crucial to our plans.” Felix tilted his head in thought. He honestly had no idea what was happening anymore, and it kind of scared him. even being here, among everyone, he was still different in some way. But he believed in chan, and if he could help him in some way, he would at least try.

At felix’s look of confusion, and fear, ten spoke up. “it would seem I have to explain a little before we jump right into things. Felix, im sure you are well aware of the current situation going on with the councilmen and the facilities.” At felix’s nod, ten continued. “they are kidnapping descendants of the First People and subjecting them to horrible tests. Only the best or most powerful end up staying at facility 9. I am an info broker, I collect information for my boss. This doesn’t mean I collect the information alone. I have people and connections all around the country telling me what I want to know. Each of those people are divided into groups that go by code names. It just so happens that chan is the leader of one of my top groups, and his team is called Stray Kids. I also have Seventeen out there, which is run by Scoups, and of course I am a part of NCT, which is lead by Taeyong. We all do different things around here, everyone has different jobs, each person has different acquaintances they know and are affiliated with. All of these things connect, and a picture can be made out of it. it is my job to collect this information and present it to the higher ups, who own the Arcade.”

Felix was finally starting to understand what is going on. “chan bringing you here shows the utmost trust he has with us, because he would never bring harm to one of his own. If you really are from facility 9, you are extremely valuable to us and can help us greatly.”

“but what could I possibly help you with? I was a prisoner there, just like everybody else,” Felix argued. Johnny straightened from leaning on the desk. “that’s where you are wrong, felix. With my power, I would be able to see everything you have seen.”

“...and you guys lost me again.” Felix said with a frustrated sigh.

“johnny is shit at explaining things. Let me do the talking babe,” Ten said with a wink. Johnny gestured for him to continue. “johnny’s power is to see memories. With the permission of the person, all he has to do is hold their hand or come in contact with them in some way and he can see their most current memories of the past, or the memories that have left the most impact on a person. Don’t worry, its not every memory, just the important ones. If he holds your hand, he would see what you saw in facility 9. He can then use that information he gained from you to help us.”

At the mention of johnny being able to see his memories, felix started to panic. He didn’t want johnny to find out that his mother is one of the councilman. He wasn’t necessarily hiding it from anyone, but his mother has done horrible things, and is involved in almost everyone’s lives in some way. He doesn’t want to be hated for the things his mother does. He will always have that fear that he doesn’t belong.

Ten noticed felix’s hesitation. “of course, johnny would never share anything private that comes up in your memories, only the pertinent information that we need in order to get into the facility.” At this, felix relaxed a little bit. Even if johnny found out about his mother, he wouldn’t tell anyone. Not that felix completely believes that, but his mother never acknowledged felix as a son anyways, so it didn’t matter.

Felix looked over at changbin for reassurance. Changbin grabbed his hand again and squeezed it to remind felix that he and the others were right here. “don’t worry Lix, we all had to have that creep look at our memories at some point. Its kind of what we have to do if we want to keep going on missions. This is how we were able to meet you. If it makes you feel any better, chan can go first, yeah?” felix nodded, “yeah sure. I don’t mind too much I guess. Its just, the thought of being so open like that is kind of weird.”

“believe me, I find it weird too. You think I want to know what everyone does in their life? let me tell you, when I saw minho’s memories…” johnny shivered.

“one word out of your mouth you gigantic baby, and you are gonna find yourself 10 feet under.” Minho threatened. This made felix even more curious, and he felt a little better knowing the others went through the same thing.

Chan stepped forward and held out his hand for johnny to take. Johnny grabbed his hand, and immediately his eyes flashed lime green. Woah! Hes mated! Felix thought. Johnny stood still, his eyes going distant, not staring at anything in particular. After a few minutes, he finally let go and nodded to ten. “hes from facility 9 all right. Chan met him on the last mission a few months ago.”

Ten clapped his hands. “excellent! Felix, could you now let johnny read your memories?” felix held up his hand for johnny to take. “Woah! His hands are so small, oh my god I think they are even smaller than Ten’s!”

“johnny, focus you piece of shit,” Ten retorted. Johnny’s eyes flashed lime green again, and soon he was reading felix’s memories. Because felix was an unknown person to him, it took a little longer to sift through all of the past memories.

Johnny could see it all. Everything felix had to go through. He saw felix visiting the other facilities with the councilman. He saw him risking his life each time he set a person free from their prison, watching the others from his own cage. He saw the sacrifices he made. All of the agonizing pain he had to endure. The time he almost died, drowning in a pool of water. And the time he was burnt with fire. He saw felix getting injected, up until the recent events of him escaping to save chan and the others, and living with them.

Johnny let go of felix’s hand with a gasp, almost as if he experienced it all himself. He clutched his chest, trying to regain his breath and slow down his heart from beating so fast. His head was facing the ground and sweat was beaded on his forehead. Ten was concerned and leaned closer to johnny, “are you okay?” johnny then looked up at felix, tears running down his face.

Changbin and the other members were shocked at this. Felix was oblivious to everything johnny just saw, but he had a vague idea johnny got a good glimpse of his life at the facility.

“johnny, are you crying? Is everything okay?” ten was starting to become frantic. Never has johnny cried after viewing someone’s memories. Hes been doing it for years so johnny is pretty immune to the things he sees. Johnny sucked in another breath and calmed down.

The silence in the room was unbearable. Nobody moved or said anything for what seemed like ages. Felix finally broke the silence. “I take it you saw pretty much everything?”

Changbin’s eyes were wide, and he slowly looked over at felix. Felix’s face was blank, showing no emotion. He then looked over at chan. Chan gave him the same look. Just what happened to him in there?

Johnny nodded. “I have the information we need, perhaps even more than I thought we would get. Thank you felix for sharing that with me. This generosity will not be forgotten. We owe you a favor.” Felix didn’t speak, only nodded back.

Ten’s mind was filling with questions, but chose to let it go for now. He clapped his hands to get everyone’s attention. “ok you guys! My turn! Felix, I will explain again because I know you are new to all of this. My power is to see the future of the person I touch. However, its not as useful as you would think. I can only see glimpses of the future, and it is only the future relating to the person I touch. If a person is strongly connected emotionally to another person, then their futures are intertwined. If I see a future of all people associated with that person, then their futures become connected and I can see the whole puzzle rather than just pieces of the puzzle. I know, I know, it sounds very confusing.”

“that is still better than nothing, right?” felix questioned. Ten nodded. “that’s what makes me one of the best info brokers around here. Johnny is my mate who can also see memories, which makes me the number one guy to go to if you need information. So let me tell you how this is going to work. I am going to touch your hand and see glimpses of your future. That is fine and all, but I cant see the whole picture. Then I will touch every single one of your members afterwards and look at each of their futures. Because you all are very close to one another on a mental and emotional level, I can sift through your futures and see major events that are going to happen.  Now, the future is never clear, and it can be tricky to tell you with confidence what is going to happen. The future is never as it seems, so I make sure my clients know that I am simply telling them what I see, and will not make assumptions about what is going to happen. Too many people have gotten angry at me because the future never turned out quite as what they wished it.”

“that’s fair enough. But why do you need to see our futures?”

“it helps for when we have upcoming missions for you guys. The higher ups want to keep everyone safe.”

“Because of Ten, I knew minho was going to come to us at some point, and so I was expecting it,” chan added in. “that’s why I let him into my home so easily. Remember, we don’t just accept anybody into our group.”

Hyunjin looked to chan, “I never knew that was why you accepted minho.” Seungmin nodded in agreement. Chan swiped the back of his neck, looking guilty. “actually, I didn’t want to tell anyone, because the more people that know a future, the less likely it will happen. Ten said that if I kept quiet about it, it would happen sooner. He also said this was a member I really needed to add to my group, and if I told you guys about it, we may have never met minho. Too many people knowing the future increases the likelihood of changing the future completely.”

“well, I for one am glad you kept that a secret channie. I would be devastated if I never got to wake up and see this gorgeous face first thing every morning,” Jisung bluntly said. Minho nudged jisung in the side, “ow! Hyung, what the hell! It’s the truth!”

“but you guys are in different rooms, so his face isn’t the first thing you see in the morning.” Jeongin argued.

"Uhhh..." was all jisung said in reply.

Ten watched them argue, a knowing smile on his face. Then he cut in, “luckily for me, I only need to see channie’s future today. Because chan is so emotionally close to all of you, hes the only one I need to see. This is a very rare thing to happen, but I know of a few other leaders that are just like chan with his members.” Ten smiled fondly, thinking of his own leader.

Chan handed ten his hand, “sure thing ten. Im ready when you are.”

Ten reached out and grabbed bang Chan’s hand, and his eyes flashed a bright peach color. His sight then started to fade. All of his surroundings disappeared, leaving him vulnerable and helpless.

Normally this would unsettle Ten, but his mate was there to make sure nothing happened to him while he sifted through the future. His eyes flickered back and forth under his eyelids.

He could see flashes of the future start to unravel in his mind. He focused on what the images were showing him: a story was unfolding before him, whispers telling him what he needed to know.

He saw minho, at the edge of a cliff, bruised, bleeding, and surrounded by soldiers on all sides. Minho’s head snapped up. A knife was thrown in the air. Minho took one last look at someone in the distance with longing in his gaze, and then dove backward off the cliff to his death.

The vision changed.

He saw seungmin, surrounded by a ring of fire, guarding a pair of steel doors at the end of a corridor. Soldiers cornered him on all sides. Seungmin smiled sadly, before he was suddenly engulfed in water and swept away.

The rooms switched.

He saw changbin, watching in horror as a gun goes off and Felix dropping to the ground in a pool of his own blood. He heard a woman laughing as a pair of laboratory doors slam shut, leaving chan, woojin, jeongin and changbin alone in a dim fluorescent lit room as soldiers surrounded them.

The walls started to crumble, and the ground quaked. Then the lights above shattered one by one, raining glass down on all of them.

And then he saw nothing but darkness.

Returning back to the present, he gasped as he let go of bang chan’s hand, breathing heavily, a cold sweat at the back of his neck. His mate was there to calm him down. it took him a few moments to compose himself before speaking.

“so?” chan asked him. “what did you see?”

Ten looked up at bang chan and his friends, a feeling of dread in his stomach and pity in his eyes for what was to come.

Chapter Text

“so?” chan asked him. “what did you see?”

Chan watched as ten looked up at him with fear in his eyes. His eyes were dimming back to their normal brown color, which meant the visions Ten was seeing were ending. Chan frowned when ten didn’t answer him right away. This cant be good. He thought. He looked behind him at his other members, and could see they all thought the same thing.

“War.” Ten simply said. “War is coming. For all of us.”

But it was protocol to never ask for more information than what Ten was willing to give. Ten has a delicate power within him, and he has to balance what he tells people, otherwise even worse things could happen or the future could change entirely. Chan knows its more of a burden than a gift for Ten. 

So, being the kind person that he is, he spared Ten from having to answer him and said, “now that you both are caught up with what's going on, we will take our leave until the next mission. I hope this information will be useful to Leo and the others.”

Johnny nodded, more worried for his mate at the moment, who still looked pale and sick. “sure, ill let jeonghan know if theres anything more we need from you guys. He can contact you right away. Until then, just lay low.”

Chan bowed, and started to lead his members out of the office. Minho was the last one to leave, lingering by the door. Jisung was curious, and waited in the hallway for him. he heard minho say, “johnny, I hate to bother you right now, but did you guys find out anything?”

johnny simply shook his head. “we have a lead, but not enough information to tell you. Ill let you know when we find anything out. don’t worry, we always find what we are looking for. Just wait a little bit longer.” Minho bowed and exited the room. He saw jisung’s questioning look, but chose to ignore it and kept walking.

Jisung was a little hurt from being brushed off by minho, but he chose to respect minho’s wishes and not bother him about it. it looked like it was something serious.

Once the door closed behind minho, Ten collapsed into the desk chair. Johnny was there, kneeling down next to him. if he touched ten right after a vision, he would accidentally see the vision himself. “may i?” johnny whispered. He knew ten saw something awful. It must have been really bad if he didn’t want to share it with chan and the others. Ten weakly nodded.

Johnny intertwined their fingers and prepared for what ten saw. His eyes flashed color again, and he sifted through ten’s recent memories.

When he finished, he leaned back against the wall on the floor, his hand still holding ten’s.

“well shit.” He said. Ten slipped off the chair and hugged johnny, burying his face into his neck. Johnny’s arms wrapped around Ten’s smaller frame, his chin resting on top of his head.

“what do I tell them?” he whispered. “they are still young. How do I tell them some of them may or may not die?” he sobbed slightly. “I wasn’t lying when I said we were going to war. Once chan finds out what happens to some of his members, his family, he will stop at nothing to destroy whoever did that to them. Of course we are going to help chan, we are his allies after all. Taeyong wouldn’t hesitate to help, you know that johnny.”  

Johnny nodded. “there has to be more to the story ten. You didn’t see all the pieces of the puzzle, you know that.” Ten started to calm down a bit, releasing a shaky breath. “you’re right. Ill let leo know. Maybe I can bring chan and the others back next week and try again. Maybe ill be able to see more of the story. They are so close to bonding johnny.”

“we will figure something out. everybody loves chan. If we go to war, everybody will help out." and with that, johnny brought out his cell phone. “leo, we just met up with chan. You aren’t going to like this…”

***

Back at home, everyone was silent, thinking heavily about what ten told them.  Surprisingly, felix was the most calm. After all, chaos was a part of his every day life up until a few months ago. Everyone else has been living peacefully for awhile now.

“ill make some tea, and maybe we can all watch a movie in our pajamas?” felix asked everyone.

“yeah, thanks felix. That would be nice.” Woojin answered him. “we can all take a shower and go to bed afterwards. We will discuss this in the morning.” The other members just nodded.

“I call going in the shower first!” jisung hopped up from his seat and ran down the hallway, “we should think about the environment and conserve water, so Minho can share with me!”

“Every day. Every day he tries to hit on me.” Minho leaned his head on his hand, sighing.

“oh don’t act like you don’t like it.” hyunjin teased. Minho flipped him off, but smiled anyways.

Once they were all settled with a steaming mug in their hands, they were all able to finally calm down and try to relax.

***

A few weeks passed since they met with Ten and his visions of war. It didn’t sit well with everyone, but there was nothing they could do about it. they can only stay aware, and continue living their days normally.

Felix woke up to the sound of whimpering in their room for the fourth night in a row. He sat up and rubbed his eyes. He could hear jisung breathing heavily. He must be having a nightmare. this happened sometimes with him. felix never complained though, because he himself has nightmares too. Everyone has their own fears they are struggling with. He got up and softly walked over to jisung’s sleeping form.

He shook his shoulder gently. “jisung, wake up,” he whispered. Jisung merely rolled over, sweat beading on his forehead. Felix bit his lip debating what to do. He knows changbin can lessen the nightmares without waking the person from sleep, like he did to help him all those months ago.

After debating for a few seconds and hearing jisung whimper again, he decided to get changbin. he left the room quietly and went next door to minho and changbin’s room. He walked over to changbin’s bed as quietly as he could. But no matter how quiet he was, he could never get past minho being able to feel the vibrations of his feet on the ground.

“felix? What’s the matter?” minho said groggily, sitting up. Felix looked to minho, and then to changbin who was sleeping soundly. He turned and headed to minho’s bed instead so he wouldn’t have to talk loudly across the room.

“jisung is having a nightmare again. He hasn’t been getting much sleep. I thought maybe binnie can lessen his nightmares for tonight to finally let him have a few hours of peace.” Felix told him.

minho frowned. “how many times has this happened?” he asked worriedly. “uhm, just this week? I would say about 4 or 5 times in a row now.” Felix answered him. “I tried waking him up, but it doesn’t really work, I don’t know what to do hyung.”

Minho got up out of bed. “damn it, why didn’t he tell me?” he grumbled. “felix, would you mind taking my bed tonight? Ill go and help jisung.”

“sure, hyung. You can have my bed if you want.”

Minho headed towards the door, the hallway light illuminating his face slightly. He looked back and smirked, “thanks, but I don’t think ill be needing it.” and then he shut the door, leaving felix in the same room with changbin, who was still sleeping away. Once changbin is out, he sleeps through everything. Felix chuckled at minho’s response. He just shook his head and crawled into minho’s bed, still warm. He fell back asleep right away, knowing jisung was in good hands and the sound of changbin’s soft breathing calming him.

***

“jisungie, wake up. Jisungie?” minho’s soft melodic voice filled the room. Jisung whined a little, but didn’t wake. Minho released a worried breath. He hated it when jisung was hurting. His back was to minho, and he was curled in on himself. minho used his strength to gently push jisung over so there was enough room for him to crawl into the bed and lay next to jisung. Once he was comfortable, he brought the blanket up to cover both of them, then forcefully rolled jisung over so that he was facing him. jisung started to stir a bit.

Minho pushed back some of jisungs hair off his forehead and tried again, “jisungie, wake up please.”

Jisung was trapped in darkness, he couldn’t get out. there was steel and metal all around him, and he couldn’t see the sky for weeks, maybe months. Voices in his head tried to tell him what to do, tried to get him to kill and hurt people. He covered his ears trying to block out the noise.

Just when he couldn’t take it anymore, he heard a soft melodic voice calling for him. slowly but surely he started to come out of his dreams. He woke with a gasp, coming to the realization that none of that was real anymore. He was out of that place, and he was safe.

“there you are. Took you awhile to come back to me,” someone next to him chuckled. Jisung looked up and could just barely make out the shape of minho’s face. His heart started beating hard; minho always had that effect on him.

“did I sleep walk into your bed again, hyung?” jisung asked groggily, his voice still weak from sleep.

Minho laughed, “don’t even try to act like you do that by accident. I know you purposely come into my bed at night.” Jisung just huffed at the accusation, but didn’t deny it. it was silent for a few seconds, before minho spoke again, “do you want to tell me about it?”

Jisung shook his head. “its okay, just memories of the past. We all have them.” Minho swiped his fingers gently under jisung’s eyes. “you have dark circles. Felix said this isn’t the first time this week. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I didn’t want to bother you, or anyone else. Its fine, just a dream. Nothing to worry about.” Minho stared at jisung in the dark.

“its not just a dream jisungie. I can get changbin if you want. He can help.” Minho started to move, as if he was going to leave. Jisung panicked and grabbed minho’s shirt.

“no! you don’t have to go get changbin. just stay with me. That is more than enough.”

“you sure?” jisung nodded. He was hesitant to say or do anything more. He didn’t want to cross any lines with minho. He didn’t want to be annoying and burden the older. He hated being vulnerable like he was in this moment.

But minho wasn’t having any of that. He scooted closer to jisung so they were only a few centimeters apart, face to face. Jisung could feel his breath on his skin. He curled into minho and tried to go back to sleep.

“I have a song stuck in my head,” Minho said in the silence. “sing it for me, then.” Jisung answered back, half asleep. “but I suck at singing,” Minho argued.

“say that again hyung and ill kick you. Your voice is beautiful.” Jisung reprimanded him.

Minho ran his hand through jisung's hair, and started to hum. Jisung was thrilled at the touch, and stayed very still so he wouldn’t ruin the moment. It was stolen moments like these that were his favorite. He wanted to stay awake longer with minho, but four nights of no sleep, and the sound of minho’s voice softly humming a pretty tune along with the feel of his warmth made him fall into a peaceful sleep.

After a few minutes, minho noticed jisung finally went back to sleep. He let out a shaky breath. He shouldn’t be here, so close to jisung. He should stay away from him. jisung cant know about his feelings. But when felix came in and told him jisung was in pain, all of those careful thoughts went out the window and he didn’t even hesitate to come running to jisung. If only jisung knew the power he held over minho.

He ran a thumb over jisung’s cheek, staring at his face in the dark. Jisung unconsciously leaned into the touch. Fuck it. minho thought.

He wrapped both his arms around jisung’s waist pulling him even closer so that they were flush against each other. Jisung was a heavy sleeper, so he didn’t wake up. Minho kicked jisung’s legs apart so that he could intertwine them with his. He adjusted himself so that jisung was slightly laying on his chest. Jisung gave a soft sigh of content.

There. That’s better. And with that, minho fell into a peaceful sleep, letting himself have these few precious moments before reality comes crashing down on him again.

***

Well, this is a surprise. Not that its unwelcome, and now I kind of wish I saw this every morning.

Changbin blinked and stared down at a sleeping felix in minho’s bed. I feel like I missed something important last night.

He woke up really early that morning, almost 6am. It was still dark out, but sometimes changbin cant sleep for long periods of time. He gets restless, so he wakes up and goes on a run to tire himself out so he could go back to sleep again. But while he was about to get dressed, he spotted familiar blonde hair.

Which brings him to this moment, watching felix sleep-hugging the blanket like it was a person, one leg uncovered.

He’s beautiful.

Changbin walked to his desk, and sat down in the chair. He then banged his head on the desk. Shit, I kind of want to sneak in his bed and go back to sleep with him now.

He lifted his head and turned towards felix again, glaring at the gorgeous boy in his room. He was having an internal crisis. He knows felix wouldn’t mind, felix was a touchy person and clings to everyone. But changbin was kind of shy, and just plopping himself into the same bed was surely crossing a line, right?

I wish I had as much confidence as jisung. Being minho’s roommate, changbin knows about jisung sneaking into their room and cuddling with minho in his bed. Minho always pretends he’s asleep, but minho is a light sleeper and changbin knows the truth.

Changbin banged his head back on the desk. He was so tired still, but couldn’t fall back to sleep. His insomnia was annoying sometimes. And felix’s bed looks really warm and comfy. And changbin really wouldn’t mind being that blanket right now, wanting to be hugged instead.

Fuck my life, and fuck you jisung, even though he didn’t do anything wrong, and shit. Should I? No, I shouldn’t. Crap but im so tired. And running and exercising so early in the morning sucks. Maybe I could claim I was sleep walking from the bathroom and got into the wrong bed? Yeah felix is kind of dumb, he will surely fall for that.

Decision made, changbin lifted his head again and walked back over to felix. He didn’t change clothes yet, so he was still in his tshirt and pajama pants. He chewed on his thumb nail, hesitating. Then he very carefully and slowly lifted the blanket felix was attached to. Felix started to stir, and changbin froze in mid air, the blanket slightly lifted off of felix. After a few beats of silence, he deemed it safe to move again and leaned onto the mattress as best he could without placing too much pressure. But there was only so much he could do before he jostled felix so that he could get into the bed.

Felix was a normal sleeper, and woke up to the feeling of someone lifting off his blanket and the mattress dipping. He could tell someone was next to him. he opened his eyes and yawned. Then he noticed changbin getting into the bed next to him. he had no idea what was happening, but he wasn’t about to complain. Changbin was staring down at him, frozen in place. “binnie? Is everything okay?” he mumbled scooching closer to the wall to make more room for the older.

“yeah, I just couldn’t sleep, and its almost 6am. And I don’t know why you are here instead of minho…” he trailed off. Felix struggled to keep his eyes open as he listened to changbin talk. He nodded, “jisung had a nightmare. I went to get you, but minho went instead, so I took his bed.”

Well that explains what happened while I was sleeping.

Changbin started to discreetly resume scooting more into the bed and lifting the blanket onto himself. “and why are you sneaking into my bed instead of your own?” felix muttered with a chuckle. Changbin froze again like a deer in headlights. Maybe if he stayed still enough, felix would go back to sleep.

“binnie?” Or maybe not.

“uhm, well you know I sometimes have insomnia, and I couldn’t sleep. And usually I go for a run, but I didn’t feel like it, and uhm im cold?” he tried to stutter out any excuse he could think of, but he was so tired and it was too early for his brain to work properly. He cringed at his own excuse. But felix didn’t make fun of him, or push him out.

Instead felix chuckled, “well why didn’t you say so sooner binnie?” and he grabbed changbin by the waist making him plop next to him on the bed, readjusted the blanket so that it was on both of them, and curled into changbin, resting his head into the crook of changbin’s neck. “that’s better.” And then he went back to sleep within a minute.

Changbin was speechless. Well that was easier than I thought it was going to be. He breathed in content, and snuggled into felix. His eyelids drooped, and soon his breathing matched felix’s and he was finally able to sleep easily. He doesn’t ever remember being able to sleep this soundly.

***

Chan walked into changbin’s and minho’s room first, planning to ask changbin his opinion on something. but what he saw surprised the hell out of him. there, in minho’s bed, was felix and changbin sleeping together practically on top of each other.

Well, I can honestly say I didn’t see this coming. And also, I thought felix would be the little spoon. Guess you learn something new every day.

Chan was about to quietly close the door, not wanting to disturb the two sleeping boys. But then he remembered woojin would never believe him without proof. ‘Pics or it didn’t happen’ he would tell chan. So chan pulled out his phone, made sure it was on silent, and snapped like 1000 pictures before closing the door and leaving. He was giddy with this new information and couldn’t wait to skip to his and woojin’s room to fangirl about this. But first, he had to visit minho. If changbin was his right hand man, minho was almost like his left hand. woojin didn’t count since he was practically an extension to chan, them being mates and all.

Where the fuck is minho anyways? I know for a fact he isn’t awake. That asshole sleeps every chance he gets.

He peeked into seungmin’s room, which was slightly ajar. Nope, not there. He moved to hyunjin’s and jeongin’s room. They were both usually early risers, so the room was empty. Not there either. Theres only one room left. Maybe him and felix switched rooms?

He opened the door slowly, and just stood there staring. Ok, obviously I missed something important here. Im going to need to do a family intervention later.

Chan stayed a few seconds, watching minho sleep with a peaceful expression on his face. His hand was tangled in jisung’s hair, and jisung was curled into minho completely. Some of the covers were kicked off, and their legs were interlaced together. One of jisung’s hands was wrapped around minho’s waist causing his shirt to ride up a bit. Chan started to back away slowly.

Right, shit. ‘pictures or it didn’t happen. Pics or it didn’t happen.’ He muttered to himself. he smirked evilly as he snapped another 1000 pictures. He very carefully closed the door, knowing that minho could wake any second. Then he skipped down the hallway towards his room waving his arms around in a giddy dance.

Hyunjin walked out of the bathroom, freshly showered, and watched as he saw chan skipping in his socks past the bathroom. He was giggling like a creep, and almost slipped on the wood floors in his excitement to get back to his room. Hyunjin smirked, knowing something good was going on. He rushed to seungmin’s room, “get up whore, chan’s got some juicy gossip,” he said, throwing the blanket off of seungmin. He grabbed seungmin’s arms and yanked him off the bed.

“this better be fucking good, or im burning all of your underwear.” Seungmin muttered evilly, half asleep.

“yeah, yeah. You can burn all of my clothes if you want. But listen, oh my god, I just saw chan run by skipping and giggling, waving his phone around and rushing to his and woojin’s room. You know that could only mean one thing.”

Seungmin was completely awake now, hair sticking up and messy, getting up off the floor. “well why didn’t you fucking say so sooner, hurry before we are too late!” he grabbed hyunjins hand and they jogged to chan’s room. Jeongin was in the kitchen and saw everyone acting like freaks. He shrugged and continued to sip his tea, not really wanting to know what was going on. Honestly, these hyungs have nothing better to do with their lives.

“Woojin, the love of my life, you need to wake up and fucking look at this.” Woojin grunted and rolled over. “come on babe, look at these pictures!” chan jumped on the bed and shook woojin awake. Woojin slammed the covers back and glared at chan. “it is 8:30 in the fucking morning, this better be life or death.”

Chan ignored his grumpy mate and pushed the first picture of changbin and felix into his face. Woojin squinted at the brightness of the screen. Once he processed what he was looking at, he sat up and grabbed the phone out of chan’s hand. “holy shit! Oh my god its happening!”

Just as he shouted that, their room door slams open, with a grumpy seungmin and hyunjin holding hands. “hold it right there bitches. There isn’t going to be good gossip happening without us you pieces of shit.” Hyunjin announced.

“SHHHH!” chan hushed them. “You know jisung can hear well, even if hes a heavy sleeper. Shut the door and come here you idiots. Climb into bed and see what I got pictures of.”

Curious, seungmin shut the door, and they headed over to chan and woojin’s huge bed. Seungmin crawled in next to chan and curled under the blankets. Hyunjin plopped on his stomach, his feet hanging off the bed.

Woojin furrowed his brows, “why would we care if jisung wakes up?”

“because of this, bitches!” and chan swiped to a few pictures over, revealing jisung and minho.

“oh my fucking god!” hyunjin laughed. “that isn’t all” chan told him, and swiped back to the pictures of changbin and felix.  Seungmin cackled, “you have got to send those to me.”

“oh my god im going to go make fun of them right now. Are they still sleeping?” hyunjin started to get up off the bed. Chan yanked him back down. “no don’t. jisung hasn’t been looking well the past few days, and changbin is finally manning up. We can make fun of them later.” Hyunjin pouted, but layed back onto the bed.

And so they stayed like that for 20 more minutes, fangirling over the pictures, before jeongin’s curiosity finally got the best of him, and he opened the door asking what was going on.

They all looked up at jeongin and smiled creepy smiles. Jeongin was going to slowly walk back out of the room, until chan held up his phone with a picture on it. jeongin squinted at the phone and then squealed, slamming the door shut and jumping onto hyunjin on the bed. Woojin was nodding in agreement at jeongins excitement.

***

Felix woke up, feeling warmer than usual. Once his eyes focused, he looked around. Oh right, im in minho’s bed. He then went to move his arm to rub his face, but realized he couldnt move it. he looked down in confusion, and saw changbin sleeping soundly on his arm. His entire body was curled around felix and his head was buried into the crook of felix’s neck.

Be still my heart.

Felix used his other hand to brush away some stray hairs that fanned across changbin’s forehead. The light touch made changbin wake slightly. Felix continued to stare at his sleeping face, his gaze lingering on his lips that were slightly parted. Felix gulped. Friends don’t make out with each other in the morning after sleeping practically joined at the hip, right? Right.

After some time, changbin slowly stirred awake at the light sound of squealing sounds somewhere else in the house. Felix smiled down at him, “morning sunshine. I see you are finally awake. Im going to be needing my arm back sometime soon.”

Changbin looked around, then back at felix. “oh shit, sorry. I didn’t mean to-“

“its fine hyung, I was just teasing you.” Felix chuckled quietly. Changbin started to get back up and move off the bed.

“where do you think you’re going binnie? Im not ready to get up yet,” Felix said, grabbing changbin and pulling him back down next to him. he adjusted himself so that they were facing each other and felix could use his arm again. Changbin simply blinked at felix, not really knowing what to do or say. Eventually, he chose to just forget his shyness and relax, not caring anymore.

Changbin stared at felix’s beautiful face and liked the fact that this was the first thing he saw in the morning. His thoughts were swirling in his head, until a few minutes later felix spoke up.

“so jisung was having another nightmare last night. This would be the 5th night in a row. I came to get you, but minho went instead.” Changbin nodded. “yeah, you told me all of that.” Felix nodded, and the room went silent again.

Then felix spoke again. “do you get insomnia often, binnie?”

changbin nodded. “its been like that for a while now. Sometimes my heart would race really fast, and my chest would hurt. Sometimes, it felt like I was suffocating or drowning. And I would hear a voice in my head. I would wake up drenched in sweat, or have aches and pains from injuries I never even had before. And most of the time, I just cant sleep. So I would often go on a run in the middle of the night to try and tire myself out.”

Felix frowned, not liking the thought of changbin suffering like that. “I didn’t know you went through that. what causes it?” he asked the older. Changbin shook his head, “im not sure. But recently, it hasn’t been happening as much, which is weird." Changbin paused in his thoughts, “actually, now that I really think about it, I haven’t felt pain in a few months now. Huh.”

Felix nodded his head, “well whatever it is, im glad its not as bad as before. I don’t like it when you are hurting.” Changbin smiled at him and pushed some of felix’s bangs out of the way until they were in place.

There was another comfortable silence in the room. “binnie?” felix softly called to changbin. changbin hummed in response. “you help people make their nightmares go away, right?”

changbin hummed again in confirmation. “I actually don’t take away or control their nightmares. There are other people with powers that can do that. I simply lessen the negative energy that surrounds a person while they are having a nightmare. once the negative energy is lessened, it kind of helps the person along so that they can come out of their dreams on their own.” He clarified for the younger boy.

Felix shifted so that he was staring changbin straight in the eyes. “that’s great and all hyung. You help people take away their nightmares so they can sleep better. But binnie… who helps you take away your nightmares?”

Changbin blinked, staring at felix. Then he blinked again, completely silent. He was dumbfounded, he didn’t know what to say. Nobody has asked that question to him before. Nobody really thought that much into how he may be feeling when he has a nightmare, not even himself. It was a strange feeling changbin was experiencing in that moment, he wasn’t used to it. Nobody has ever asked the most important questions about himself. He didn’t even know he needed those questions answered.

Not until felix asked.

“im not sure-I don’t need anyone-i… I don’t know.” He finally answered. “I cant use my powers on myself while im sleeping, obviously. And I just go for runs. And chan listens when I tell him about them, but that’s not necessarily getting rid of my nightmares, I just accept it and…” he trailed off not knowing what to say, and the intense stare felix was giving him was unnerving. Nobody looked at him like that before. He was staring at changbin like he was an open book, and it made changbin feel small and vulnerable.

Felix’s hand lifted up, and he cupped changbin’s face. “well, from now on I will help you get rid of your nightmares. You don’t need to go through that alone. You’ve helped me and everyone else, now its my turn to help you. If you can’t sleep, or you are feeling uneasy at night, you better come to me,” he lectured the older boy.

Changbin continued to stare at the blonde boy lying next to him. he was feeling a mix of emotions. He was feeling glad, and then he felt like he wanted to cry, and most of all he felt the need to just grab and kiss felix like there was no tomorrow.

At changbin’s silence, felix started to feel uneasy, like he did something wrong. “or, uhm, you don’t have to get me if you don’t want to. You can get any member you want, I just don’t want you to go through anything alone and-“ he rambled on. But changbin shut him up by hugging him really tight, surprising felix.

“thank you.” He whispered.

“for what?” felix asked, his voice muffled in changbin’s shoulder.

“For caring.”

Chapter Text

Jisung woke up feeling well rested for once in a long time. He slowly realized he was tangled completely with minho, and shifted his head carefully to look up at the beautiful boy. Minho’s eyes were still closed, and his breathing was even. Jisung stretched slightly. His hand was on minho’s chest, but under his shirt, making it ride up a bit. Oh my god, I am perverted for this boy even in my sleep.

He slowly removed his hand before minho could wake up and kick him off the bed. Just then, he felt a hand combing through his messy hair. He looked back up at minho’s face. His eyes were still closed, but minho said in a husky morning voice, “don’t think I didn’t notice that, you perverted squirrel.”

Jisung chuckled nervously, but minho was still running his fingers through jisung’s hair which was a good sign. Jisung leaned into the touch, and tried to cuddle closer into minho and go back to sleep. “we have to get up eventually, you know.” Minho told him.

“mmm-hmm. 5 more minutes, promise.” Jisung muttered against minho’s chest.

Just then, minho’s phone started ringing. He was going to ignore it so that he could have just a few more stolen moments with jisung like this, but once he saw the name on his screen, he sat up suddenly, abruptly bringing jisung with him. jisung whined, and rubbed his eyes. Minho swiped his phone and answered.

“yeah? Got any good news for me?” jisung cocked his head to the side, trying to listen to the voice on the other end. He could just barely make out that it belonged to johnny.

“we have news, but its not exactly good.” Johnny said. Minho frowned, got up and padded out the door and down the hall to chan’s office. Jisung felt a little hurt. He wanted to go after minho, but he stayed where he was, slowly getting off the bed. Obviously it was something important, and if minho didn’t want to tell him, then that wasn’t his place to argue.

Jisung chewed his lip, debating what to do. He didn’t want to pry, he respected all of the member’s privacy to a certain extent. But this was minho, and he cared about minho more than anything.

Ill just ask if things are okay, and if he doesn’t want to tell me, then that’s that. He walked out of his room and headed towards chan’s office after minho. He used his good hearing, not to eavesdrop, but just to scope out the situation in case it was really serious. He honestly didn’t mean to overhear some of the conversation.

***

“ah I see you are finally awake-oh,” Chan started to say when he saw minho enter his office, but then he noticed he was on the phone and didn’t look happy.

Chan waited patiently as minho nodded, thanked whoever was on the phone, and hung up. He looked distraught. “take a seat minho. Do you want to tell me what that was about?”

Minho slumped in a chair near his desk, and rubbed his face with his hands. “they found my aunt. Shes out of the country, living a great life. has been for years now.” He leaned forward, with his head in his hands. Chan frowned worriedly, got up, and walked around his desk to minho, rubbing his back.

“im sorry to hear that.”

Minho just shrugged. He had hope that one day he would be reunited with the only family he had left.

He was taken away one stormy night. They were just having dinner in silence like usual. He and his aunt weren't exactly close, but they got a long well enough. His aunt was acting weird, fidgeting and rubbing her hands together nervously. She knew minho was a descendant of The First People. He got it from his mother’s side of the family, and his aunt was from his father’s side. They never really got along, but she was the only one left to take care of him. she wasn’t a descendant like minho, and feared their powers. He kept himself hidden since he was young, but she accidentally found out a week prior to that night.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Minho was confused, since they normally didn’t have guests so late at night. But his young mind didn’t process what was really going on. His aunt told him to stay put, she would answer the door. Suddenly, soldiers entered the house and dragged minho away. He tried to fight them, the earth shattered under their feet, and his strength was enough to shake off two of the soldiers. But he was only a boy, and they had enchanted metal chains that blocked a person’s abilities once they were in contact with a descendant. He couldn’t use his earth anymore. the rain soaked through his clothes and he never saw his aunt again.

He has been trying to find her since chan introduced him to Johnny and Ten. They could find out anything, no matter how long it took. They were kind friends, and told minho they would find out the information he wanted for free. Plus, minho was a part of stray kids, so it had its benefits.

There wasn’t anything chan could do to make minho feel better except be there for him. its one thing to lose your parents or family, but another to find out that they sold you as merchandise to a research facility and then live the high life with all of the money.

After a few moments, minho stood up. His eyes were glued to the floor. “I think im going to take a walk. Ill be gone for awhile.” Chan nodded, understanding minho needed some space and time alone.

Jisung was outside chan’s office, his hand raised about to knock. But then the door suddenly opened, almost hitting his face. Minho came out, glancing at jisung, but he kept walking without saying anything. Jisung stepped out of the way, about to say something, anything, but he had no idea what to do. He didn’t understand the situation. When minho passed and went out the door, he turned and faced chan in his office.

“hyung…whats wrong with minho?” he asked chan worriedly. Chan stared at jisung for a few moments, debating how much he should tell him. jisung understood chan’s conflict. As the leader of stray kids, he had to respect everyone’s wishes. He can't ask chan to break his promises to minho.

“I cant say much jisungie. You should ask minho directly. But im also worried about him, this isn’t something he should go through alone. I would feel better if someone was there with him, no matter how much he tries to push us away and make us believe he's fine. I think you of all people know that best about minho.” Jisung nodded, eyes widening.

“don’t worry hyung, ill find him in no time. He cant have gone far.” Chan smiled a sad smile. He sat in a desk chair and sighed. “thanks sungie. Take good care of him would you? I was going to tease you guys about the pictures I took this morning, but I guess ill have to do that another time.” Jisung’s face started to turn a little pink. He looked away and headed to the door, “I don’t know what you mean.” He coughed into his hand.

“sure you don’t.” chan laughed. “go, find him. I know you heard some of the conversation anyways.” Jisung was out the door and down the hall in an instant, putting some wind in his step.

Changbin and felix walked out of their room to find jisung flash by in an instant, leaving a gust of wind trailing behind him and the sound of his earrings tinkling. felix blew his bangs out of his face, “what do you think is going on binnie?” changbin shook his head, not having a clue. “whatever it is, it cant be good if jisung is in a hurry.”

Changbin saw chan walk out of his office. “help me gather everyone to the kitchen. Ill explain the best I can,” was all he said. Changbin and felix nodded their heads and ran to do what he asked.

***

Minho learns about his aunt moving away, abandoning him. he sits outside alone against a tree, far enough away from the house so the others won't see him.

not that it mattered, jisung found him anyways. he sees minho sitting there, his head in his hands, his shoulders slightly shaking with silent sobs, and it felt like jisung's whole world just shattered. Jisung slowly approaches him, making a note to drag his feet on the ground for once so minho would know it was him and not get startled.

Minho felt the vibrations, and paused. He still kept his head in his hands, refusing to look up or acknowledge the other presence.

Jisung bites his bottom lip, worried he may have gone too far. He still has this small fear that he really does annoy minho, and that minho doesn’t really like him. but even with that constant fear inside him, he still chased after minho when he overheard some of what happened. He stops in front of minho, staring down at the boy he has come to care about so much. It was breaking his heart to see his confident and fearless minho cry like this.

When minho still hasn’t yelled at him for coming too close, jisung becomes a little bold. He reached down and sifted his fingers softly through minhos hair, patting his head.

“go away” he heard minho say softly, but rough.

He didn’t let that stop him yet though. He knows minho, knows that it is a part of his personality to say the opposite of what he actually feels. Minho may act like a very cold person, but it is just a playful and twisted part of him that loves to tease and torture the people he cares about the most.

So jisung knows that when minho says “go away,” he is really trying to say “stay with me.” When minho says “im fine,” he means “im not okay.”

Jisung ignores him, and gently grabs his hands and pulls them away from his face. Minho glares up at him with red eyes and a miserable look on his face. He just wanted to cry in peace, is that so hard to ask for?

“what do you think you’re doing?” he hisses at jisung. Jisung still ignores him, understanding he is in pain right now and doesn’t really mean any of it.

jisung felt the wind shift, and he looked up at the sky. It was going to rain soon. He looked back down at minho, his gaze softly roaming the older boy’s face.

He’s even more beautiful when he cries.

He crouched down in front of minho. “come here,” he said. When minho didn’t move, jisung forcefully climbed into minho’s lap. He half expected minho to shove him away, or get angry. But to his surprise, minho just stared at him, not moving. Jisung clung even closer, their noses almost bumping, moving his legs to either side of minho, straddling him.

“whats wrong?” he softly asks the older boy. He smooths back minho’s hair away from his face, loving the feeling of his soft locks through his fingers. It starts to drizzle. Jisung holds minho’s face gently, his metal bracelet cold against his cheek. The wind was blowing, making his earrings jingle when they hit each other. “what happened minho?”

“nothing happened. I'm perfectly fine.” He stubbornly lied.

“then why were you crying, hmm?” jisung swiped his thumbs across minho’s cheeks, wiping away what was left of his tears. He frowned, not liking his minho crying. “tell me.”

Minho let out a shuddering breath, finally giving in and leaning into jisung’s touch. “she left me. Ten and Johnny found out she took the money she received from willingly trading me into the facility, and moved to another country. she already had the plane tickets before they even showed up at our doorstep to take me. Shes living the good life now, with no regrets. She doesn’t even care what happened to me. Nobody cares about me. Maybe I should just leave. Its not like it would matter to anyone anyways.” He glanced away from jisung, his voice quivering and eyes starting to water again.

Jisung got angry at this. He huffed at minho. “I care about you.”

“you’re just saying that to be nice to me. You always have to be nice to everybody, no matter who they are.” Minho looked back at jisung with hopeless eyes.

Jisung frowned. Is he for real? Does he really not believe me every time I tried to make a move on him? can he really not see how much I care about him with every single fiber of my being?

Jisung didn’t like this. He tugged on minho’s hair roughly, glaring into minho’s sad eyes. “you listen here you beautiful boy who pretends to be cold-hearted but secretly loves us all with all of your heart, probably just as much as chan does which is a hella lot of love. I do not say things just to be nice. I actually mean my words, especially when it comes to all of the members here. I don’t play around like that, so get it into your thick skull. We are family. If you EVER run away, I will have no problems hunting you down and dragging your gorgeous ass back here.” Minho just stared into jisungs eyes while listening to him rant. He could hear the sincerity in his words.

Jisung was panicking. If minho ever left, he didn’t know what he would do. It wasn’t just infatuation with him. He sincerely cared about minho. He needed him as much as he needed oxygen to breathe. He shifted in minho’s lap, loving the way minho fit perfectly against him. “now come on. You finally have your answers after all of these years. You don’t need your aunt anymore. She was never nice to you anyways. We are your family now. You don’t need her, but we need you. We would be heart broken if you ever left us…” jisung leaned forward and rested his forehead against minho’s. “I would be devastated,” he whispered with a shaky breath.

Then jisung leaned away embarrassed, and started to move, getting up from minho’s lap. Minho frowned at this, already missing jisung’s warmth. He didn’t want jisung to leave yet. He needed him now more than ever. So he grabbed jisung’s wrist and pulled him back down into his lap.

“hey what-“ jisung started to protest, but was cut off when minho wrapped his arms around jisung’s waist and buried his head into jisung’s chest, breathing him in deeply. He loved the smell of jisung. He smelled like wildflowers and the scent of rain on the wind.

Jisung was stunned for only a second, and then made himself more comfortable on minho’s lap again and wrapped his arms around minho’s shoulders, pulling him closer. Minho was feeling desperate. His heart was beating so fast. This moment was more intimate then he has ever had with jisung, not even the moments from last night and this morning. He was finally starting to let his walls come down with the younger boy, and it scared him.

He wanted someone to love him, someone to accept him for who he truly was. But finding someone to accept every single part of you, both the good and the bad, and still love you despite your flaws was next to impossible. At least, that’s what minho used to believe.

Until now.

Emotionally drained from all of the stress he has endured all these years of worrying and wondering, he finally let go and cried into jisungs chest, wetting his shirt. He would never cry in front of others, that’s why he came out here by this tree. But being here, close to jisung, the person he trusted the most, he finally gave in.

Jisung’s heart was doing palpitations, and he was sure minho could hear it. not that minho was paying attention, because he started to hear soft sniffles coming from the older boy, and felt his shirt getting wet with tears. Warm rain was still drizzling down from the sky, dampening their hair. He was glad minho was finally letting go of all those emotions he constantly bottled up inside. He rested his chin on top of minho’s head, and softly ran his fingers back through minho’s hair once again. He would never get tired of doing that. Minho leaned into the touch, and started to calm down.

Minho would never admit it out loud, but jisung figured out that he secretly likes it when someone plays with his hair.

After some time, minho was completely calm and composed again. He breathed in jisung’s scent one more time and lifted his head, looking into his eyes.

“you okay?” jisung asked.

“yeah im okay. Better now because of you,” he mumbled back, embarrassed at the admission. Jisung gave him a huge smile. “excellent! Because I was thinking, since im already in this position and on top of you, and we are going to get married anyways-ow! Hey!”

Minho laughed, smacking jisung upside the head, and pushed jisung off of him. then he got up. “not in your wildest dreams, you perverted squirrel.” He giggled, but held out a hand for jisung anyways. Jisung took his hand and hoisted himself up from the grass. He was glad minho was back to smiling and being his mischievous self again.

Jisung didn’t know it, but deep down, way deep deep down in the back of minho’s mind, he secretly liked the thought of jisung on him with his legs wrapped around his waist and his fingers tugging on his hair as their lips connected, and neither of them could breathe-

Minho shook the thought away. Oh this squirrel has no idea whats coming. He smiled to himself as they walked back to the house, jisung completely oblivious.

***

A few days went by after minho found out about his aunt.

Johnny asked chan to tell minho that they have all the paperwork regarding his aunt: her location, her new name, how much money she has and so on. He just had to come down to the Arcade to receive all of it, if he wanted it.

Chan called minho into his office, and was surprised to see minho walk in holding hands with jisung.

Its for moral support only. Minho told himself. Nothing more.

Jisung closed the door, and they listened as chan explained the situation. He could feel minho tense up, and he squeezed his hand reassuringly. Minho relaxed somewhat, knowing jisung was there with him and will continue to be with him.

“we will all go with you minho. The other members are just as worried.” Minho swallowed and nodded. “thanks you guys,” he said softly with a weak smile, looking down at the ground.

After a few moments of composing himself, minho looked back up and breathed in a deep breath. He then turned abruptly and opened the door, a bunch of bodies falling into the room.

“ouch! Hey, that was uncalled for.”

“jeongin I think one of your braces got stuck in my hair.”

“eww you have jeongins spit in your hair.”

“god dammit, seungmin, your elbow is in my ribs.”

Woojin was looking into the room from the hallway, laughing his ass off at the younger members tangled in a mess on the floor in front of minho, jisung, and chan’s feet.

“what the fuck you guys? There’s literally no privacy in this place,” Minho huffed, but he had a smile on his face.

“lets go party at Circus after you’re done with your business!” hyunjin shouted, not caring that they all got caught eavesdropping. “YAHHHH!” the others screamed in unison, and soon everybody was stomping through the house getting ready for a good time out.

“felix!” jisung screeched. “help me with my eye liner, NOW!” “alright, alright, as long as you help style my hair,” Felix laughed going into their room.

“seungmin, you are not going out looking like a school boy coming home from the library. Jeongin, he needs help asap,” Hyunjin said, and dragged seungmin into his and jeongin’s room.

“im so gorgeous I don’t even need to get ready.” Minho said with full confidence.

“you got that right!” someone yelled in the distance.

“stupid squirrel and his damn hearing.”

“I heard that!” minho tsked and walked into his and changbin’s room, changing clothes. Changbin snickered and followed after him.

Chan and woojin watched from their doorway. “you think if I go looking as I am now, it would be fine?” chan asked woojin. “chan, you look like an old man ready to go to church. But its fine by me, that just means less people will look at you.”

“hmm, maybe wearing khaki shorts and a polo isn’t the best thing at a club. ill wear my black silk dress shirt.” Chan said, heading to his closet.

“wait, the v-neck one that shows some of your neck and collarbone?” woojin called after him.

“yeah why?”

“I changed my mind, you look great in your polo shirt honey! Who cares about fashionable clothes nowadays anyways?”

Chapter Text

For any of you wondering what exactly Johnny saw in Ch 13 when he mentioned the time he sifted through Minho's recent past memories, I'm including it in here.

 

Johnny saw all of the memories of Minho pretending to be asleep, and then cuddling with Jisung every time Jisung snuck into his bed while 'sleep walking.'

Jisung would only sneak into his and Changbin's room when he thought the rest of the members were sleeping. 

 

I never actually wrote this into the story, but that was what I was thinking of when writing the scene of Minho threatening to bury Johnny 10 feet under if he said anything to the rest of the members in the room.

 

Chapter Text

When they entered club Circus, it was late at night and the party was just getting started.

“Welcome to club Circus! Tonight is dance till you drop! The longer you dance, the more free drinks you can earn!” A boy with light blonde hair yelled to them over the music, a wide smile on his face. He was greeting people at the door, stamping little stars onto the hands of all the members that come through the entrance.

“Hoshi, get back over here and help pass out drinks! Dino abandoned me again to break dance on the stage.” Jeonghan yelled from the bar.

“coming~” hoshi called over, and then handed the stamper to a really small male who looked like he would rather jump off a roof than be there. Hoshi skipped away, his excitement obvious to everyone near him.

Chan lead the others to the bar, as minho headed to the elevator that went down to the Arcade.

“anyone want to come with me?” he asked his members. He really didn’t want to go alone to gather his aunt’s information. He still doesn’t know what he will do with it once he retrieves the papers. He will cross that bridge when he gets to it. One step at a time.

“I will go with you. This loud club isn’t really my style anyways.” Changbin answered.

“me too.” Seungmin also agreed. Minho nodded to them, grateful for the help.

“alright, we will be right back,” chan said to woojin and felix. “jeongin, watch jisung, you know how crazy he can get when a good party is going on.”

“ugh yeah don’t even remind me.” Jeongin grumbled.

“This is going to be so much fun!” felix clapped his hands, taking in the club’s atmosphere in full swing. There were black lights all around, making anything that was a light color glow up in neon colors, and the DJ was playing some amazing mixes. There was a male near the stage with light pink hair dancing some awesome moves to the beats that were being played.

Felix was admiring his dancing, when woojin walked up and shouted in his ear above the base. “that’s dino, one of Scoups’ members. He and hoshi are really good at dancing. Anytime both of them are at the club, it gets pretty lit in here. The DJ is hyungwon. He’s from Monsta X. Their leader is shownu.” Felix nodded as woojin pointed out more people he will eventually get to know.

Jisung was already running off into the edge of the crowd, swaying his hips to the beat. Felix laughed, but was impressed. He waved to woojin and took off next to jisung, joining him.

“should we go for a cute, funny, or sexy concept?” felix shouted to his friend.

“what are you good at?!” jisung shouted back.

“anything! I love to dance!”

“well in that case, make it sexy! I see a familiar face over there eyeing you up, so we should tease them a little bit, yeah?” jisung winked at felix, and jerked his head in the direction to Felix’s right. Felix looked over, puzzled by who he means, until he catches a glimpse of blue hair and instantly recognizes eric. Felix turns back to jisung, his eyes raised in surprise.

“I honestly didn’t think he would still want to be my friend after you guys pretty much yelled at him.” jisung shrugged, not regretting a thing.

“you gonna dance with him?” he asked felix.

This time, felix shrugged. He wasn’t one to hold grudges for very long, and he already got over the little incident with Eric. Besides, eric apologized. That’s all he could ask for. “yeah I guess. Only as long time acquaintances though.”

Jisung smiled a devilish smile, and grabbed felix’s chin and pulled him closer. They were still swaying to the upbeat music. “well in that case, let’s put on a show for everyone to see. Im feeling playful tonight.”

Felix grinned back. “minho hyung isn’t going to like that you know.”

“what he doesn’t see, wont hurt him.” and with that, jisung grabbed felix’s hips, pulled them flush against his, and started swaying to the beat seductively. Felix happily joined in, that’s what best friends were for after all.

And boy did they put on a show. Pretty soon a small crowd surrounded them. It was inevitable, with jisung’s flirtiness and felix’s beautiful face and dance moves.

“we are drawing a little unwanted attention to ourselves don’t you think?” felix yelled in jisung’s ear. Jisung turned his body so that his back was to felix, and he brought his arm up, cupping the side of felix’s face as he grinded on the blonde.

“so what?” he replied. “I like dancing, and we look great! They just want a piece of us. Should we ask hyunjin to join? We would be unstoppable! I am so glad you joined our group felix, this is the most fun ive had at a club in awhile.” Felix laughed, nuzzling his face into the back of jisung’s shoulder at the genuine excitement jisung was giving off.

Felix looked over to where hyunjin was, dancing in his own crowd of people. “I think hyunjin is good.”

Just then, eric came over, drink in his hand. “hey Fe! Mind if I join you guys? You look hot by the way, and im bored.” Felix shrugged, turning so his back was to jisung, and grabbed eric by the shoulders, dancing with him too. It was a fun night out, and he didn’t want to let anything dampen his mood.

Eric was surprisingly a good dancer too. And even though him, felix, and jisung were all dancing sexy on each other, it was strictly platonic with no other intentions. They honestly were just having a fun time among everyone in the crowd.

Meanwhile, woojin was completely taking advantage of “the longer you dance, the more free drinks you will get” part of the night. He simply told jeonghan who was bartending that hyunjin, felix and jisung (and then eric) were with him, and to send all the drinks his way. He took advantage of eric’s portion too, it’s the least the little shit could do after what he said to felix a few weeks ago.

Jeongin was sipping some coca-cola and got bored of watching jisung. He decided to go down into the Arcade and (he cant believe he’s saying this) talk to jisung and chenle from NCT. At least they would pass the time faster.

***

“I blame you for this.” Minho growled out in annoyance. he was standing at the edge of the club, by the walls with Changbin. Chan went to go join woojin at the bar, and seungmin stomped through the crowd in search of hyunjin.

“me? Why is this my fault?” changbin said, equally as annoyed. He silently watched a hot as hell felix gripping (a not so hot as hell) eric (that was strictly his opinion, eric isn’t his type) by the waist, grinding on him. jisung was on his other side, sweat making his honey-like skin glisten in the lights. Eric bent down to say something to felix, making felix throw his head back in a throaty laugh, flicking his bangs out of his eyes. Changbin squinted his eyes at eric.

“well its your boyfriend that made him look drop dead gorgeous, and now this happened.” Minho complained waving his hands at the image in front of them. Changbin reluctantly took his eyes off of felix and the way he was moving his hips, and glanced up at Minho.

“yeah well if your boyfriend didn’t style his hair in that sexy wavy look, I wouldn’t have the urge to murder and bury the dead body. I completely forgot he existed.” Changbin looked back in felix’s direction and glared at eric for good measure.

“im pretty sure woojin’s got a shovel in the weapons shed somewhere,” Minho thought out loud, fingers tapping his chin.

“ok, so here's the plan. Ill steal the keys from chan’s car, you grab the shovels. Maybe we can even get seungmin in on this. He loves violence.”

Minho nodded in agreement. “deal. But first things first. Jisung needs to stop dancing with everything that breathes, and he needs to stop now. Honestly, if he was just dancing with felix, I would be totally okay with this. Maybe even enjoy the show. I aint gonna lie, felix is hot as fuck too (changbin nodded in agreement). Im only okay with him grinding on other members of stray kids, but that piece of shit is not a member of stray kids.” Minho glared at another boy with light blonde-pink hair who was having a little too much fun with jisung, and started to stomp over to where jisung was, watching intently as jisung took his hand and swiped it through his sweaty hair. Minho licked his lips.

“im right behind you. Stupid felix and his stupid pouty lips and stupid beautiful freckles. Of course that jackass would want to grind on felix. Hes the most beautiful person in the club…” changbin ranted under his breath, following minho through the crowd. Minho was too preoccupied in getting to jisung to care about changbin’s admissions.

***

Chan watched from his seat, his back to the bar, taking in the crowd at the club. “hey babe, I think minho and changbin are going to cause a ruckus. Should I intervene or just let things play out?”

woojin was currently fumbling with chan's black dress shirt, buttoning the buttons all the way to the neck so no skin was showing. he paused and looked to where chan was staring. “aw let them have their fun. Its seungmin you gotta be careful for. Where is he anyways?”

Chan looked around, trying to find the red head in the crowd. He soon gave that up, instead looking for hyunjin. Wherever hyunjin was, seungmin was close by. Especially in a crowd this big, the younger was very protective of his hyung.

“not sure, probably with hyunjin though. You know how the fangirls and fanboys get whenever he stops by the club.” Woojin nodded, knowing it wasn’t going to be pretty if someone tried to hit on hyunjin.

***

Back on the dance floor, changbin grabbed felix’s arm and pulled him away from eric, minho doing the same to the light haired male on jisung.

“binnie?” felix looked at changbin, laughter in his eyes and the brightest smile on his face. He was panting heavily from all of the dancing he was doing and his hair was a hot mess.

Which would have been totally fucking hot to changbin, except felix wasn’t dancing with him, so changbin was not okay with the state felix was in right now.

“im hungry Lix, lets go get something to eat.” He said as an excuse, anything to get him away from the other boy. Felix nodded, latching onto changbin’s arm without hesitation. “sure! I could use a break!”

Felix waved bye to eric, who looked a little disappointed that Felix was leaving so soon. Changbin glanced at felix nudging his head into his shoulders, and smiled evilly at eric. He unlatched his arm from felix’s death grip and swung it around the boy’s waist, pulling him closer into his side. He raised his eyebrows in challenge at eric, who simply looked away and joined his other friends on the opposite side of the club.

Chan watched as changbin brought felix to the elevator and went down into the Arcade to go get something to eat. He then turned his head in Minho and jisung’s direction.

“Aw but hyung, I was just about to find my groove. Plus that Isaac guy was a great dancer!” jisung complained as he was being dragged off the dance floor by an angry Minho.

Minho simply gave the younger boy a blank look, meaning he was really irritated. “I don’t care who the fuck that Isaac guy is. If anyone is going to help you find your groove, its going to be me. You know im one of the best dancers in stray kids.”

Jisung looked up at the older with a pout on his face, a little sad that minho had to ruin his fun like that. but when his eyes met minho’s, and the intensity he saw in them, he thought that maybe, just maybe, minho might be jealous.

He decided to test that little theory out.

With a lopsided grin, he stopped struggling against minho’s hold. He intertwined their fingers together, yanking on minho’s hand to bring him closer, staring into his eyes. He then linked his arms around minho’s neck, threading his fingers through minho’s hair, tugging a little. Minho’s eyes widened and dilated, but he didn’t stop jisung.

“fine, mr. im-one-of-the-best-dancers. Dance with me then,” he whispered in minho’s ear to be heard above the music. Jisung purposely ghosted his lips on the side of minho’s neck, and minho held his breath, a shiver running through his body.

Minho was losing his mind. Maybe grabbing jisung in a fit of rage was a bad idea, because now he was centimeters away from jisung and the younger was making him slowly lose his control. He blinked a few times to get his bearings straight again. Then he flicked his eyes down to jisung’s now smiling lips and back up to his eyes, and then back down to his lips. Minho was experiencing an inner turmoil, and jisung knew it.

He’ll be damned if he lets jisung get the best of him in this game of cat and mouse. He snapped out of his trance, and then gave jisung a very sexy smirk he knew the younger wouldn’t be able to resist. Jisung’s smile started to slowly fade, regretting teasing minho.

Minho grabbed onto jisung’s hips harshly and pulled them together so that there was no more room between them. He was not gentle at all, and jisung loved every second of it. then minho started to sway their hips to the rhythm of the music, making sure jisung felt every little movement.

Jisung was breathing heavily, not being able to hold back any longer. By this time, all he wanted to do was grab minho by the shirt, push him up against one of the walls and-

Suddenly, they both snapped their heads up, jisung hearing the cry for help despite the loud music thumping around them.

“somethings wrong.” Jisung said. and minho started to drag them through the crowd, a look on his face telling everyone around them to move the fuck out of the way now.

***

Hyunjin was enjoying his time dancing in the crowd. He was never one to be without a partner, people literally falling at his feet to get a chance to dance with him. he loved the attention, but he loved to just dance even more. he lost himself completely to the beat, the DJ hyungwon doing an excellent job picking out songs that really livened the place up. Hyunjin was so into the music, he completely missed the pair of eyes watching his every move.

Seungmin stayed back out of the crowd, watching as hyunjin completely enjoyed himself. he was mesmerized whenever hyunjin danced. He wasn’t the only one though. He really did hate going to the club, not because of the atmosphere, but because of the attention hyunjin always got. Most of it was unwanted, and seungmin had to keep his temper in check.

He isn’t yours. He’s allowed to dance with whoever he wants. He chanted in his head like a mantra.

That’s how it always was. Hyunjin shown so bright in the spotlight. Everyone loved him; for his looks, for his dancing, for his bright smile, and kind and calm personality. Seungmin was the complete opposite. He had a nasally laugh, and he was a clean freak, and he lost his temper sometimes (okay a lot of times), and if he didn’t have the members of stray kids he probably wouldn’t have any friends at all. hell, he didn’t have any friends until woojin and jeongin approached him, with jisung showing up later. He honestly doesn’t know how they are able to put up with him, and he especially cant comprehend how they even go as far as liking him. seungmin frowned.

As hyunjin spun around, giggling while dancing, he noticed seungmin leaning against one of the walls, away from the crowd. Seungmin was just standing there, fists at his sides, staring into space with a frown on his face. His brows were furrowed in annoyance and hyunjin saw that something wasn’t quite right with the younger. Sure he was grumpy, but never spaced out like this. for some reason, he hated seeing seungmin like that. he loved and admired his fiery personality, always quick with a comeback, and fiercely loyal to everyone in stray kids. If seungmin wasn’t roasting someone (sometimes quite literally), or if he wasn’t cackling mischievously with his obnoxious yet beautiful laugh, then hyunjin couldn’t help himself but worry for the red head. It just wasn’t natural, and he missed bickering and teasing with seungmin.

He bopped along to the music, making his way to the younger, getting ready to annoy the shit out of him or get some kind of reaction and much needed attention, when suddenly someone random stepped in front of him blocking his view of seungmin. Hyunjin was annoyed at this. he looked over the stranger’s shoulder, mumbling an apology as he tried to steer past them. The guy grabbed hyunjin’s hand, stopping him.

“hey gorgeous, want to dance with me? I noticed you a while ago, and I like what I see.” Hyunjin cringed at the feeling of his hand in this stranger’s, but politely declined and tried to break free from his hold.

But the guy had other plans. “where do you think you’re going? I said you wanna dance?”

Hyunjin by this time was pissed. He spun facing the guy, and harshly yanked his hand free. “sorry, but I said no. now back off!” the other guy growled at the threat, and obviously was angry.

“hey! I just wanted to have a good time! No need to be an asshole about it.”

“actually, you are the one being an asshole, and you better back the fuck up before you get smacked the fuck up.” Seungmin said in an obnoxious tone, coming up beside hyunjin. He snapped out of his depressing thoughts the moment he saw hyunjin struggling to get away from this creep. This always seemed to happen one way or another whenever hyunjin unintentionally drew too much attention to himself. this is what worried seungmin the most whenever they were out and about on their own. Nobody dared approach hyunjin when chan or woojin was around, they knew the two eldest never let anybody come near their members. but the moment they were out of the picture, people decided to take their chance.

“and who are you?” the guy sneered at seungmin. “the way I see it, this gorgeous boy is free, so he’s fair game and you have no say in this. Now run along and let us continue our chat.”

This infuriated seungmin. not only because the guy is being difficult, but because he was right. Seungmin shouldn’t be butting into hyunjin’s business. Hyunjin can take care of himself, he was older for god’s sake. Maybe he should walk away right now before starting a fight. He doesn’t even know if hyunjin was okay with him interfering all of the time. He never asked for seungmin’s help. But then, he never told seungmin he didn’t want it.

Seungmin remained quiet, and so the guy took this advantage to grab for hyunjin’s hand again. Hyunjin flinched, and unconsciously stepped a little behind seungmin. he hates being manhandled. He got enough of that in the facility for all those years.

Seungmin saw hyunjin flinch, and just lost it, seeing red. It took all of his control to keep himself from setting the place on fire.

And so there was no self control left to stop him from doing what he was going to do next.

He slapped the guy’s hand harshly out of the way and took hyunjin’s hand instead, intertwining their fingers. Hyunjin didn’t protest at the touch.

“actually,” seungmin glared at the guy, “he is taken. He’s my boyfriend, and I would back off if you know what’s good for you. I don’t like it when people want what’s mine.” Hyunjin raised his eyebrows at seungmin’s declaration and looked at the younger.

But he didn’t deny it or correct seungmin.

However, the guy laughed. “yeah sure. Like I believe that. nice try, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to convince me.” He stepped closer to hyunjin, slowly getting in his face.

“you obviously don’t know what personal space means. And if you want proof, then fine by me. I was just trying to be decent in public, but fuck it,” seungmin shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly, rational thought completely gone. No turning back now.

Hyunjin had no idea what seungmin was going to do, but he honestly didn’t see this coming. Seungmin turned and grabbed him by his shirt, yanked him down so that they were only centimeters apart, and dove right in, kissing hyunjin full on the lips without hesitation.

Hyunjin didn't move a muscle for a split second in shock. seungmin thought for sure hyunjin would kick his ass. He squeezed his eyes shut, prepared to be shoved away or yelled at, or even bitten. He was prepared for hyunjin to gag in disgust or wipe his mouth.

But then hyunjin kissed back. Like, really kissed back.

The guy merely growled in annoyance, but left without making any further commotion. Not that hyunjin and seungmin noticed.

This time, seungmin was shocked. Hyunjin separated seungmin’s lips with his own puffy ones, causing seungmin to open his mouth wider unintentionally giving the older better access. Seungmin was still holding onto hyunjin’s shirt, melting into him and hanging on for dear life. hyunjin’s arms went around seungmin’s waist, pressing them together. His tongue slid across seugmin’s top lip, and he was about to throw everything out the window and dive in deeper, when a voice rang in his head.

“seungmin! hyunjin! You two are the closest to the elevator to the Arcade. Minho and Jisung think something is wrong with jeongin. Go now! They will be right behind you. Im contacting everyone else.” jeonghan screamed in their heads through his telepathy.

They immediately broke apart, panting for breath, and hit the ground running. Whatever happened between them will have to wait. Seungmin made it to the elevator door first, pressing the down button over and over, impatiently waiting for the elevator to take them underground.

He glanced at the light above the elevator, watching the numbers count down, indicating it was almost on their floor.

“come on dammit.” Hyunjin mumbled, jogging in place, ready to bolt.

Chapter Text

Jeongin was hanging out at taeyong’s pub, finishing up his drink. Unfortunately chenle and jisung were with the rest of NCT Dream on a mission for Leo, so he was all by himself, save for a few NCT members and Monsta X members scattered in the crowd. He took this as a blissful moment of peace from his usually rowdy lifestyle with the rest of stray kids.

Just then, a boy with dark hair runs by, bumping and crashing into jeongin. They fall to floor causing him to drop his drink and shatter the glass. Jeongin shakes his head at the hard landing he took, then he looks over to the boy. “hey are you okay?” he says to him, hand reaching out to check on the other.

“don’t touch me!” he shrieked. “watch where you are going asshole!” jeongin frowned at the hostility he was receiving.

“uhm, excuse me but you were the one who kinda bumped into me first. I was just checking to see if you were ok. I think you scratched your elbow on some of the glass. I can heal that if you want?”

The boy snarled at him, and jerked his head. He started to get up, so jeongin did the same. Jeongin held out a hand to him, but the boy smacked it away.  “im fine.” he said, and then started to turn away.

“wait!” jeongin reached out and grabbed his elbow. “you’re bleeding on your elbow, let me heal it. it will only take a minute I promise.” Before the boy could answer or run off, jeongin grabbed him in a tight grip and used some of his energy to heal the boy. his bloody scrape instantly vanished. The boy’s eyes widened. He looked at jeongin with fear and a little something else.

“there, all better now. Now you can go and be an asshole somewhere else, but at least I will feel better knowing you aren’t hurt. Even though it wasn’t entirely my fault.” Jeongin said, grinning at the boy and sticking his tongue out in a childish manner.

But the boy noticed that jeongin’s face was a little pale, and had a bead of sweat on his forehead. Jeongin stepped away, but staggered a little. He just needed to sit down for a few minutes and eat or drink something while he waited for his energy to return. He used a bit more of his energy by accident, but he didn’t want to be rude and use the boy’s energy for something as minor as a nasty scrape.

The boy’s brows furrowed slightly. “hey, are you okay..uhm?”

“jeongin. My name is jeongin. Don’t worry im fine. I just need a minute.” he waved the boy off. The boy looked around nervously, chewing his lip and debating what to do. He felt bad leaving this nice person alone, but he had to go before-

“there he is! Get him!” the boy glanced back into the crowd of the pub. “shit. They found me.” With one last glance at jeongin, he was about to take off running again, but jeongin grabbed him by his arm again, worry etched on his face.

“hey are you okay? Is someone after you? I can help, I am a part of stray kids and we can help you if-“

The boy tried to snatch his arm back aggressively, but jeongin was stronger than he looked. “if you are a part of stray kids, that means you work for VIXX, right? That’s even worse. You cant associate yourself with me. If they see you helping me, they might be after you as well.”

“what are you talking about? Who will come after me?” jeongin questioned him. the boy shook his head. “I have to go. Thanks jeongin for being nice to me, but I hope I never see you again.”

“found you! Thought you could get away from us, did ya?” two men approached, one with a whip in his hands, the other carrying a metal chain that was enchanted to block the powers of a descendant when it came in contact with their skin.

The boy with dark hair backed up, he looked back and forth between jeongin and the two men. Jeongin didn’t know what was going on, but he stepped in front of the boy. he didn’t care who he was, he wasn’t going to just stand by while two grown men picked on someone half their age. It just wasn’t right.

One of the men raised his eyebrows, “oh? And who do we have here? If my memory serves me right, you must be the little baby of stray kids.”

“im warning you to leave this boy alone right now.” Jeongin said with a serious expression on his face. The taller of the two men laughed. “yeah, I don’t think so. Look at this, the little brat allied himself with VIXX! You think Shownu is going to like this?”

Jeongin’s heart sped up at the sound of shownu’s name. Shownu? Oh shit, are they a part of Monsta X? the kid wasn’t kidding. If im accidentally getting in the middle of Monsta X business, then this really will start trouble between the two most powerful owners of the Arcade.

Still, jeongin didn’t move. He knew it was against customs to associate with official monsta x business unless they were strictly on a mission, but the look of those two men left him uneasy, and who the fuck carries a whip and chains for one of their own members? N and Leo would never do such a thing to one of their members.

The men slowly approached jeongin, “looks like we will just have to take both of you as a prize to shownu. Then we will surely get our money's worth!”

So they aren’t members of Monsta X? that means shownu and his members aren’t a part of this!

Jeongin took a step back, protecting the boy, even more determined now. “I warned you.” He said, and then clapped his hands together harshly. An energy wave resonated from his hands and the men flew back a few feet. jeongin lifted his hands to the ceiling, palms facing up, and then turned them over into a downward motion. He manipulated the gravity around them, crushing the men with a strong force. They held their heads in a silent scream, not being able to withstand the pressure change.

Jeongin was about to grab the boy’s hand to tell him to run so that he could find chan and the others, but suddenly the man with the whip flicked his wrist, and the whip wrapped around jeongin’s ankle. The other man flung the chain at the boy, and he screamed as the spells woven into the chain activated, cutting him off from his power. Jeongin took a knee, trying to yank off the chain from the boy, but then the man started pulling the whip towards himself, dragging jeongin closer to him.

“oof!” jeongin breathed out, and he started sliding towards the man with the whip. He held on tighter to the chains that trapped the boy. if jeongin let go, the boy was going to be taken away. Jeongin’s eyes widened as he was yanked even further away from the boy. the boy was too busy sitting in agony all chained up, stuck in a silent scream as the enchantments burned his skin. jeongin made eye contact with him, and was suddenly filled with fear. Not for himself, but for the boy. he used his other hand to grab the chain tighter, but it was no good. One more yank, and jeongin could barely hang on to the boy.

He kicked his leg, trying to loosen the whip around his ankle. Oh how he wished he was as strong as minho. Minho would’ve been able to rip the whip right off his leg, or seungmin with his fire. Even felix carried knives and could have cut himself free from the whip.

Jeongin’s fingertips eventually slid off the chains and he was dragged backwards across the floor, hand still outstretched to the boy. The man was up and somewhat recovered by now. He flicked his whip, freeing jeongin’s ankle, but then brought it back down on jeongin. He cried out in pain. The boy’s eyes widened at that, and tried to fight his chains, but the other man holding his chain was also recovered and started taking the boy away. The boy looked back at jeongin on the ground, his heart beating really fast. Jeongin looked back up, making eye contact one last time. The boy didn’t know what happened, but he could feel a heart beat echo with his, just slightly. But then it was gone as soon as it came.

The man with the whip was laughing manically. He brought the whip up high above his head, and then brought it back down. the boy squeezed his eyes shut, not wanting to see jeongin get hurt once again. But he didn’t hear anything after that, no crack of the whip or a cry of pain. He opened his eyes again, and couldn’t believe what he saw.

There, above jeongin, was seungmin. He caught the whip with his bare hands, fire radiating off his body.
“what the fuck do you think you’re doing?” he growled out at the man. The man didn’t have time to answer though, and as he tried to yank his whip out of seungmin’s hands, seungmin grabbed on tighter and gave an evil smirk. “I don’t think so~” He sing-songed.

The end of the whip that was connected to seungmin’s hand started to catch on fire, and then the fire trailed up the whip at an alarming speed. The man screamed out as he let go of the burning whip, but the flames already traveled from the whip to his hands, lighting them on fire.

“aww, I wanted to be the one to destroy him.” hyunjin whined, as he came running to the scene.

“hyunjin! Seungmin!” jeongin cried out. “the boy! help him, hes chained up with an enchanted chain. They are going to take him away!”

They both looked over, watching as the man dragged the boy into the crowd.

“already on it.” they heard a voice come up from the other direction. Chan grabbed the man with the chains and punched him in the face, sending him crashing to the ground. “minho!” he ordered.

“yes sir!” minho smirked, as he mock saluted chan, and grabbed the chains around the boy. he pulled and pulled, trying not to hurt the boy, but the chains were enchanted and were draining minho of his powers as he tried to help. “damn, these are strong.”

“let me.” Woojin said, coming up from behind. He took the chains and started to freeze them. Once they were frozen at a subzero temperature, minho yanked again and was able to break off that one section. They continued to work on the chains surrounding the boy, when the man called out, “you guys are going to be in big trouble once monsta x find out!”

Chan’s brows furrowed as he held the man by the shirt collar. “I didn’t hear anything about monsta x acquiring new members.” He looked to hyunjin and seungmin. They simply shrugged just as lost as chan was.

***

Taeyong was watching the fight unfurl, already dialing numbers. He was relieved chan and the others came, but he knew this wasn’t going to end well if chan happened to interfere in monsta x business.

Taeyong’s pub was neutral territory, which meant he wasn’t allowed to get himself involved in fights among monsta x and vixx, both being his bosses. Because it was neutral territory, that also meant there were other members of monsta x and vixx among the crowd, and they just so happened to hear their names being tossed around.

***

“lookie here kihyunie. Seems like someone is talking about us.” Minhyuk giggled, swinging a pair of metal hand axes that were connected together by a chain.

“shut up minhyuk, you are always the first one at the scene as soon as anything violent happens.” Kihyun scolded him.

“you’re always lecturing me,” Minhyuk pouted.

Chan watched as the two boys approached them. His hands were still collaring the man’s shirt. Chan squinted at the metal axes minhyuk was swinging around by the chains. “Minhyuk, good to see you again. Is this your enchanted chains that are being used to imprison this boy?” chan said in a cold voice.

Minhyuk was chewing gum, letting a bubble pop. He bent forwards and took a closer look at the chains chan was referring to. His eyebrows rose in surprise. “well ill be damned, look kihyun! I told you someone stole them! I don’t always lose my stuff.”

Chan scoffed. “don’t try to play dumb. If these are your chains, then you must be selling them illegally or something. otherwise we wouldn’t be seeing them in the hands of someone else. afterall, you sold me felix's guns did you not?”

“woah now. I may or may not have lost them, and i don't sell my metal works to just anybody. Don’t start accusing me just because some kid got stuck in them.” Minhyuk defended himself, getting slightly angry.

“who’s the kid?” kihyun asked.

“shouldn’t you know that, since you were the low lives that hired mercenaries to kidnap him? typical of monsta x.” seungmin scoffed.

“excuse me?” kihyun said, warning in his voice. “we don’t hire mercenaries. And we definitely don’t kidnap random ass kids.” With kihyun’s anger came a scorching breeze that blew through the room, leaving the place hot and dry like the wind in a desert.

“well someone wanted him.” hyunjin said, taking a step towards kihyun. Suddenly, an axe implanted into the wooden floor by hyunjins foot. “I would watch where you are stepping if you know whats good for you.” Minhyuk said, yanking his chain and bringing the axe back to his hand.

“and I would watch where you throw that, you piece of shit.” Seungmin said, his hands glowing, a trail of fire wrapping around his body with a life of its own.

“I think it would be wise not to touch my members.” Chan threatened, his eyes flashing pale blue out of anger.

Suddenly, reinforcements came to the pub. There were a mix of people with powers and bodyguards with guns, all wearing the official uniform of the soldiers that guard the monsta x members. They all pointed their guns at chan, since he was obviously the leader of the rival group within vixx.

***

Taeyong watched as everything happened all at once. One second chan was threatening two of the monsta x members, then the next second he was surrounded by guns and weapons, people with powers aiming their hands at chan, ready to hurt or even kill. They all wore the uniform from monsta x. it seemed like they were the first group to arrive. Taeyong squeezed his hand, wanting to interfere and help his friends, but he couldn’t. he only hoped help would arrive soon and this misunderstanding will be cleared.

***

Chan looked around, completely surrounded. There wasn’t a sound in the pub, everyone holding their breath.

Nobody knew who started it, but a punch was thrown and then suddenly the fight completely erupted. Drinking glasses were shattered, chairs and tables were broken. Shouts could be heard. Gunshots were fired, and there was mayhem everywhere.

The man with the whip who was almost burnt to death from seungmin’s flames managed to crawl on the ground in the fight and grab a gun lying on the ground. He struggled to stand, and took a step forward, ready to aim his gun at chan’s forehead while he was distracted. chan unknowingly turned his head in his direction and the man was about to pull the trigger and send a bullet straight into chan’s brain. But then he suddenly stopped his movements before he could fire. the man halted.

“I would rethink that move if I were you,” a deep voice said in his ear. The man shivered in fear. He heard two guns click, and felt the press of metal into his chin and the back of his head.

Chan, realizing what almost happened to him, looked at felix in relief, then he watched jisung and changbin step in front of him. he then turned and looked behind him, noticing seungmin, hyunjin, and minho at his back. Jeongin and woojin were at his sides. All of them were surrounding him, protecting him from the fight. Chan gulped with emotion. If they weren't in such a serious situation, he would have teared up.

He didn’t ask for this much loyalty, but here he was, being protected by his family.

“hiya channie! Sorry we were late.” Felix called over to chan with a bright smile on his face. “changbin just had to have the chicken tacos, but obviously steak is much better. Woojin don’t even say a word, I know you were going to argue with me. Oh by the way, should I kill this guy now, later, or let seungmin blow him up?”

“always thinking of me. Felix you are too good to me.” Seungmin sniffed. Hyunjin cuffed him on the back of the head for being a dramatic idiot.

Just then, everyone heard someone whining in the distance, approaching the pub.

“Aw come on Leo~ let me hold on to your arm. We have to look like a united pair in front of everyone. I know you like my hugs, don’t try to pretend otherwise.”

“N, Leo is going to beat the shit out of you if you keep embarrassing him like that. you know how shy he can be in front of strangers,” Ravi softly chastised his leader.

“but Ravi~ im only asking for an arm. Its not like I asked him to pick me up princess style and walk in all dramatic and shit.” N whined back.

“hey that’s a great idea! Hongbin get your pretty ass over here! Quick, before they see us come in!” hyuk yelled to hongbin.

“hell to the no!” hongbin shot back.

“uhm, you guys?” chan said to his bosses.

“if anybody is going to be carrying someone, its going to be Ravi carrying me bridal style.” Ken interrupted.

“uh…” chan tried to clear his throat, a gun still aimed at his head, two guns still pointed at the other guy’s head, minhyuk still swinging one of his axes around bored, and the rest of the fighters all staring at an arguing VIXX entering the pub like they just came back from a picnic. Of course, knowing VIXX, they probably did. N would make them.

“hate to interrupt this wonderful moment, but we can all hear you, and see you for that matter.” Kihyun said.

“great Leo, this is all your fault. If you would quit playing hard to get we wouldn’t be looking like idiots right now.” N scolded Leo.

“actually, you do that all on your own N,” Leo retorted.

Kihyun rolled his eyes, and minhyuk popped another bubble.

“so,” chan said to minhyuk and kihyun of monsta x. since stray kids was allied with VIXX and works under them, they were rivals with Monsta X and anyone allied with them. VIXX and Monsta X each owned half of the Arcade. They split the earnings 50/50, but they were always trying to outdo the other in hopes of gaining more profits. “who’s the kid and why are mercenaries claiming to be a part of monsta x?”

“they aren’t from us, I promise you that.” minhyuk said.

N turned to minhyuk, his eyebrows raised. “I don’t know who the kid is, but haven’t you heard whats going on the past few weeks?”

Chan, kihyun, and everyone else turned their heads in N’s direction, clearly having no idea what N is talking about.

Chapter Text

“care to enlighten us?” kihyun said impatiently. Minhyuk nodded behind him.

Taking care of the Arcade and all of its people was a huge burden for only one group of people to handle. So monsta X and VIXX split the missions according to their specialties. VIXX employed descendants under them to scout areas and acquire all kinds of information. Descendants that were employed under Monsta X were trained in protecting. They worked on being more of body guards and soldiers. They were the security of the Arcade.

If someone were to ever break the rules and laws that were enforced in the underground society, it would be Vixx’s job to track them down, and Monsta x’s job to carry out the proper punishments. They worked as a team, but separate, and that included anyone that was employed under them as well. Stray Kids, NCT, and Seventeen so far work for VIXX. Those that work for Monsta X include The Boyz, among others.

“well,” N continued, “apparently our little friends over at the facility are starting to cause quite the commotion. They are hunting descendants left and right at an alarming rate. More and more people are going missing. Ive had multiple complaints from a lot of members in the Arcade that their loved ones are gone. SCoups is trying his best to track them down before they are taken to the facilities for good, but its of no use.” N clenched his fist in annoyance.

“what?! Why didn’t you tell us sooner?! We can accompany SCoups and help bring the people back!” minhyuk yelled out.

N shook his head. “Right now, we have no idea where to even start looking. Don’t worry, Shownu knows of the situation and once we find some of the people we will send them your way for protecting.”

Kihyun nodded his head. As long as shownu is aware, he wont argue. Monsta X doesn’t stay underground at the Arcade like Vixx does. They have a home base back on Jeju island where they either hide away people that need protecting, or they punish people that have broken the laws. Its best to do these types of things away from the calm atmosphere of the Arcade.

N clapped his hands, “we will discuss this more later. Now! To get back to matters at hand. whats your name kid, and why were these bad men chasing after you?” N glared at the man that felix currently had at gunpoint. He almost lost one of his best leaders because of this mercenary, and he was not happy about that.

The dark haired boy, who was currently on the floor near chan with broken pieces of chain links all around him, cringed and tried to scoot away from all of the attention that was suddenly on him. he gulped in a breath.

“th-they wanted my gifts. Said something about trading me in for membership with Monsta X.” he breathed out, refusing to give his name to these strangers. “I guess im valuable.”

Minhyuk looked over at the men in disgust, just barely holding himself back from beating the shit out of them. “hate to burst your bubbles, but we don’t do that type of business, jesus Christ. If you want membership to monsta x, we come to you. Shownu doesn’t accept just anyone.”

The man at felix’s gunpoint sneered, “he might change his mind once he finds out where we found this little twerp. Apparently he escaped one of the facilities and is on the run. We thought we would be good Samaritans is all.”

Seungmin scoffed, “yeah, like trading people like they are objects is oh so saintly.” The man glared at seungmin. he was going to have nasty scars on his body because of the burns he received. Seungmin yawned in boredom.

“which facility?” chan asked him.

The boy looked around nervously. “facility 8.” He whispered.

Felix sucked in a breath. Facility 8 was the next best facility after facility 9 with some of the most strongest descendants. Only the really powerful go to facility 9, but the second most powerful are assigned to facility 8. Felix didn’t get to visit facility 8 as much during his times of captivity.

“how did you get out?” felix asked him. the boy turned in felix’s direction.

“a few months ago, something major happened at facility 9. One of the head councilman, a lady, was furious. She ordered all of the strongest in each facility to be transported to a special place. I don’t know where it is. I was scared of what was going to happen to me. During my transport, I saw an opportunity. I gathered all of my strength that I could, and escaped. I was willing to risk it, or die trying.”

Felix flinched at what the boy said. it was because of his mother that everyone is suffering like this. he started to feel guilty. Here he was, safe and warm, when people out there are still imprisoned.

“so whats your power kid? Just how strong are you to be able to escape something like that so easily?” Leo finally spoke up and asked the boy.

“i-I can steal the energy from people.”

Jeongin perked up at this. he actually met someone with the same type as him. “really?! Me too!”

The guy at gunpoint snorted in amusement. “he doesn’t just steal energy, he takes it from others and uses it to kill people.”

The boy flinched at the mercenary’s words. He looked around him, fearing what everyone would think of him. if they thought him too dangerous, would they send him back?

“ooohh. Yeahhh, I cant do that.” jeongin laughed.

“I see why he was placed in facility 8. What do you want us to do with him?” kihyun asked N and Leo.

The boy bit his lip. He didn’t want to go back. He was tired of running.

N crossed his arms and blew his bangs out of his face, thinking hard. “hmm, send him to shownu on jeju island for now. If he just recently escaped, the councilmen might still be after him. I don’t know how valuable he was, but it was obviously enough to transport him to a more secure place with the others.”

Kihyun and minhyuk nodded. “ill let shownu know we are coming,” minhyuk took out his phone and dialed shownu’s number.

N turned to the dark haired boy. “that ok with you?”

The boy looked around at everyone. He eyed jeongin but then quickly looked away. He nodded to N, and made to stand up from the ground. He was still a little wobbly from getting his powers drained from minhyuk’s enchanted chains, and the burns were still visible on some parts of his skin. He had a raging headache also.

Jeongin noticed him wincing and struggling to slowly stand up. “oh! How could I forget! You really took a beating there with those chains. Let me help with that.” he walked towards the boy and reached his arm out towards his forehead.

The boy flinched and backed away before jeongin could touch him. “no don’t! I don’t want to hurt you.” He said with fear in his voice.

Jeongin looked confused. “how will you hurt me? Im just going to heal you really quick. Don’t worry, I wont steal your energy, I will use my own or seungmin’s.”

“YAH! Why just mine?!” seungmin shouted out in the background.

Jeongin ignored seungmin, and made to reach out towards the boy again. Again, he backed up.

Jeongin got irritated at this. “yah! Quit moving away.” He huffed.

“no, you don’t understand. I don’t completely have my powers under control. I could accidentally hurt you, or even worse, kill you.”

Jeongin waved his hand, dismissing his concerns. “I may look young, but im not some amateur. Trust me, ill be fine. now quit arguing.” And with that, he slapped his hand not so gently on the boy’s forehead. Instantly the boy could feel jeongin’s energy radiate around him, clinging to him like a second skin. He closed his eyes, basking in a warmth he’s never felt before. The energy he deals with is always cold and lifeless. His gift forces him to always take, but this time he’s receiving.

Unintentionally, he started to take more than jeongin was willingly giving him. It was his body’s natural defense mechanism. his body was injured, so it snatched the closest thing it could in order to survive, and that happened to be jeongin’s healing energy.  

Jeongin started to feel a bit drained, more-so than he was supposed to. But instead of freaking out, he thought, Ah this is what he meant about stealing energy to kill. He widened his eyes, and then abruptly removed his hand before the kid accidentally did something he was going to regret.

The boy chased after the warmth, not realizing his eyes were closed. He felt great, alive even. It was the best he has felt in a long time. His heart was racing a mile a minute.

His eyes snapped back open when he heard a grunt from jeongin. He saw him stagger a bit, and his face looked pale with cold sweat shimmering on his forehead. He looked way worse now than he did a little while ago after healing his scrape on his arm.

“dammit jeongin, you gave him too much of your energy. I told you, either take from us before you drain yourself completely, or don’t heal people at all.” Chan lectured his youngest member, worried that one day jeongin will end up going too far.

“im fine hyung, don’t worry. Just need to rest for a bit.” The boy felt bad, it was his fault after all. He didn’t know what to say, and there was nothing he could do to help. He simply just watched minho walk over and pick jeongin up effortlessly. He then started to head out of the Arcade, woojin and hyunjin trailing behind.

The rest stayed where they were.

N gathered the attention back to him. “alright, hyuk and I will escort the kid back to jeju island for shownu. Leo and my other members will handle everything back over here with these two mercenaries. Kihyun, minhyuk, if you wouldn’t mind staying behind and…helping acquire certain information would you? They might need some ‘persuasion.’”

Minhyuk snapped his phone shut. “not a problem. I just spoke with shownu, hes expecting you guys. He wants hyungwon and kihyun to return, and will send jooheon instead to help me. He said something about us being perfect for the job since we are the most psychotic and crazy, whatever that means.” He shrugged his shoulders and then yanked his chain, causing both metal hand axes to return to his hands effortlessly. “good thing I just sharpened these yesterday,” Minhyuk giggled with glee.

The mercenaries saw minhyuk’s serial killer smile and the lights glinting off his hand axes, and they started to struggle, trying to get away.

“i think im starting to get an idea on what shownu meant.” Changbin said sarcastically.

“seungmin, I have learned to appreciate you even more. you may be crazy, but at least you aren’t psychotic.” chan called over.

“damn right, you better appreciate me.”

Just then, a tall male with silver hair sauntered over to them. “heya hyungwon, can you help us out a second before leaving back to jeju? These two are being difficult, and I really want to know how they managed to get ahold of one of my enchanted chains.” Minhyuk called over, sharpening the left axe against the right one making clinking noises.

“how long you want them knocked out for?” hyungwon asked lazily, totally unfazed about what is going on.

“oh an hour or two should be fine. I need them quiet until jooheon gets here. I mean, I could always make them quiet by other ways, but its less messy when you do it. you know how kihyun hates sloppy things.” Kihyun nodded in agreement.

“will do.” And with that, hyungwon snapped his fingers, instantly putting the mercenaries to sleep. “that should do the trick. I just got the call from shownu. Let me know how things go.” Then he spun on his heel and hyungwon was out the door. He didn’t like wasting his time on useless things.

N turned to the monsta x members. “lead the way.” Then he turned to the boy, “come on kid, I have a lot of questions for you. But now isn’t the time or place. Don’t worry about a thing. Shownu and his members will protect you. That’s what they do best.”

But just before N left, he felt a light tug on his sleeve. he raised his eyebrows in question.

“Be careful N. the councilmen wont be happy losing so many powerful descendants all in a short amount of time. Its dangerous out there. Promise me you wont do anything rash, I know you like to be overprotective.” Leo quietly said to his closest friend.

N smiled warmly at the warning. It may seem like Leo is lecturing him, but this was Leo’s way of showing concern. He grabbed Leo’s hand on his sleeve, and intertwined their fingertips briefly. He gave a warm squeeze, and then let go. “don’t worry about a thing. Me and hyuk will be back in no time. I just need to straighten some things out.”

Leo reluctantly let go, instantly regretting not being able to go with him. he always felt uneasy whenever N was away from his side.

“bye hyungs!” hyuk waved. “see you guys whenevs. Hongbin, don’t let anybody touch that pretty face of yours while im gone,” he purred.

Hongbin rolled his eyes, but smiled anyways with dimples showing in his cheeks. “yeah yeah. Hurry your furry ass back so I can beat you in that new video game we got.”

Hyuk scoffed, “like you could ever beat my score.”

And then N and hyuk followed the boy and Monsta X members out of the Arcade, heading to a ferry to take to Jeju island.

Leo frowned as he watched them go. Ravi put a hand on Leo’s shoulder. “don’t worry hyung. This is N we are talking about. I almost feel bad for all of them. Its at least a 2 hour ferry ride across the ocean, and you know how N never shuts up.”

Leo chuckled, relaxing a little after hearing that. its true that N talks a lot and it annoys most people. But no matter how much Leo complains, he secretly likes listening to N babble on and on about his day and every little mundane thing that happens to him. he hates interacting with people, and with N he never has to force himself to be somebody that he is not.

Chan turned to his remaining members. “felix, let the guy go. Minhyuk will handle it from here,” he ordered. Then he turned to minhyuk, “you sure you guys don’t need any help?”

Minhyuk shook his head, “nah, we got this. don’t worry about it.”

Chan nodded his head, and then frowned. “hey, im sorry about accusing you guys back there. I didn’t know your chains were stolen. I shouldn’t have assumed so quickly. Not after you made those guns for felix as a favor.”

Felix quirked his head at hearing that. he didn’t know minhyuk was the one who crafted his guns. They were really well made.

Minhyuk smiled a big grin, “no sweat, I would’ve assumed the same thing if I was in your position. felix better be causing a lot of havoc with those beauties. They took a hell of a lot of energy to make, and no metal work of mine is just going to sit around and collect dust on a shelf.”

Felix grinned to minhyuk, “don’t worry, I will make sure they see a lot of violence when im done with them.”

Minhyuk chuckled and pointed finger guns at felix. “as IM would say, ‘two fingers thumbs up’.” he said to no one in particular.

“what did you say?” felix called over.

“nothing! Just an inside joke we have in monsta x. you wouldn’t get it.” minhyuk laughed.

“I don’t even want to know,” Jisung said while shaking his head.

“alrighty ho! Time to take care of some business!” minhyuk walked over to the broken chain links that littered the floor from where the boy was sitting, and waved his hand over it. instantly, the chain links responded to his command and moved at an incredible speed to re-link themselves together again, forming a complete chain. “now let’s see how these jerks like to be on the receiving end of my chains.” He muttered under his breath.

Chan decided not to stay and watch, instead gathering his remaining members. He nodded his head, and they instantly followed in step behind him out of the Arcade. “I think that’s enough excitement for one day.” He said quietly to them. He was really tired, and could use a nap.

Felix stepped over the mercenary’s sleeping body, and skipped over to changbin, leaning into him as they made their way back home.

Chapter Text

Its been a few weeks after the incident with jeongin, and still no word on how the mercenaries or N and hyuk are doing. Changbin knows chan hates it when hes out of the loop on whats going on.

Changbin walked back to his bed, after spending some time outside looking at the sky because he couldn’t sleep. It was starting to get colder out. hes surprised he was even able to go outside for so long. After finding out about the descendants getting taken more aggressively, chan and woojin went into protective mode, and is keeping a close eye on all of their members.

Especially felix. Felix was from facility 9, so his absence was definitely noticeable. Chan has been anticipating for the day they might try to come and take felix away, and asked changbin to personally watch out for felix.

The very first few weeks felix came to live with them, changbin was wary of him. he did as chan instructed and kept an eye on him. but somewhere along the way, things changed. Instead of finding it tiresome to go look for felix when he was gone for long periods of time, he started to worry. And when he couldn’t find him right away, he panicked.

Where was felix? What was he doing? They didn’t get him did they? Of course they didn’t, their home was well protected.

But then felix would pop out of nowhere, a big smile on his face laughing at something stupid,and changbin could finally breathe again. Then felix would skip over and give him a hug, or cling to him, or fix his hair, and then he really couldn’t breathe. He didn’t dare think about what this could mean, even though somewhere deep down he knew.

The clock on the wall ticked as the seconds went by. Changbin lay awake at night, staring at the ceiling in the darkness of his room. Hes been trying to sleep for a few hours now, but nothing is working. Minho is nowhere to be found, as usual. He probably snuck in jisung and felix’s room again once everyone was asleep.

He sighed, growing more agitated as the minutes passed by. He honestly feels like shit. He hates when this happens. Either he has a nightmare, or he has insomnia, or on days like this he ends up having both. And he has a horrible headache, his body aches like he just worked out for 12 hours, and he feels all stuffy.

“If you can’t sleep, or you are feeling uneasy at night, you better come to me.” He heard a voice in the back of his mind. He huffed again in frustration. He knows he should go to felix, after all the younger would be upset to find out he didn’t. but he just cant bring himself to do it. he feels so weak. He should be the older one, the one that has it together. He shouldn’t need to rely on anyone, instead everyone should rely on him.

He knows these are useless thoughts. When it comes to chan’s family, they all rely on each other. each and every one of them have their own weaknesses, and chan always lectures them to never suffer through their problems alone no matter how small it may seem.

With that in mind, he sucked in a breath and slowly with much effort got out of bed.

When he entered jisung and felix’s room, he tried to be as quiet as possible knowing minho was probably somewhere in there. He took as few steps as was necessary, and made his way to felix’s bed. He could just barely make out his silhouette in the dark.

Luckily, felix isn’t a deep sleeper like jisung and hyunjin. And he isn’t cranky when hes woken up unexpectedly like seungmin and woojin. But hes also not an extremely light sleeper like chan, minho, or jeongin, so changbin had to put some effort into shaking him awake.

“felix,” he whispered as softly as he could. Felix mumbled something and shifted in his sleep. Changbin tried again, shaking him gently on the shoulder. “felix?”

“hmm?” felix hummed half asleep, but he still wasn’t getting up.

“c-can you come with me?” changbin whispered, somewhat nervously.

Felix didn’t know if it was his tone of voice or just the fact that it was changbin, but he snapped out of his sleepy haze and sat up abruptly. He was about to question what was happening, but then caught himself and thought better of it. he blinked the sleep away from his eyes a few times, and then looked more closely at changbin in front of him. he was shifting slightly on his feet like he was ready to run away, and he rubbed his hands together. He also seemed to be shivering slightly.

Felix stood up softly, and grabbed his blanket and wrapped it around his shoulders. Changbin was already turning and ready to get the hell out of there before minho could wake up. He glanced at minho in jisung’s bed, not even fazed by what he saw and scooted out of there. Felix raised his eyebrows at the two tangled in jisung’s bed, but followed changbin out of the room, letting their door shut with a click.

Once they were next door in changbin and minho’s room, felix finally spoke up. “binnie?” he was worried something was wrong. He waddled closer to the older, his blanket dragging on the ground.

Changbin’s back was facing felix, and he was looking slightly to the ground. Now that he got felix here, he honestly doesn’t know what to do next.

Luckily for him, felix is more perceptive than he lets on. He tilted his head to the side and said in a calming voice, “are you having trouble sleeping again binnie?”

Changbin turned around facing him, and nodded, still not making eye contact with the younger. He missed it when felix smiled softly at him in the dark.

“im surprised you actually listened and came and got me. So should we set our alarm for like 6am and take secret pictures of minho and jisung? Because they aren’t being subtle at all.” He said sarcastically with a grin on his face.

Changbin instantly relaxed, he can always count on felix to never be awkward in the moments he feels most uneasy.

Changbin snorted, “its like you read my mind. Should we send it to just chan, or in the entire group chat?”

Felix excitedly flopped onto changbin’s bed, opening his blanket from around him, inviting changbin in all while laughing under his breath, “we send it to chan first.” He smiled evilly.

Changbin walked over and joined him on his bed. Felix instantly went into mother hen mode, fussing with the blankets, making sure changbin was tucked in and comfortable. He secretly smiled, liking it when felix took care of him unintentionally. He cuddled in closer to the younger boy, instantly feeling calmer.

Felix reached over and set his phone alarm. He was dead serious about the pictures. He placed his phone onto the nightstand beside the bed, and then settled in for the rest of the night.

As he lay there in the silence, changbin’s soft voice spoke up. “lix, can I ask you something? you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”

Felix turned his face towards the older, “sure, what is it? you can always ask me anything.”

“what was it like? In facility 9, I mean. You never mention your time there.” He whispered.

Felix tensed up and went still. But then after a few moments of thinking about it, he relaxed again into changbin’s side. He doesn’t want changbin to know just how related he is to the facilities, but he also doesn’t ever want to lie to changbin.

Changbin waited patiently, he honestly didn’t think felix would answer. And for some reason that bothered him. he wanted to help him as much as possible. Here felix was, helping him with his childish problem of having trouble sleeping, but he doesn’t know how to do the same for felix with his worries.

Felix shifted and wrapped one of his arms around changbin’s waist, and buried his head into changbin’s shoulder. “honestly? It wasn’t a very pleasant time. We all had it pretty rough in there in our own ways. Of course, me not having any abilities like the rest of you caused a lot of problems. Unfortunately I was picked on a little more than was necessary.” Felix was being vague, and changbin knew it.

“Lix, you know you can tell me anything, right? No matter how bad it is, we will never judge you for it.”

Felix smiled into his shirt, loving the way changbin smells. “I know. But what was in the past is in the past. Its thanks to you guys that im here right now. Now lets go to sleep, yeah?” he touched underneath changbin’s eyes. “Ive noticed you haven’t been looking well these past few days. You are stressing yourself too much again aren’t you?”

Changbin grunted, not really having a reply to that.

“I sleep better when you are here,” he muttered with droopy eyes. “plus you are warm. Its getting cold out, and im freezing.”

Felix smiled at that, and shifted so changbin was laying on his arm like a pillow. “but binnie, you feel as hot as an inferno. Its me that was cold.” Changbin was slowly drifting to sleep so he didn’t answer. Then felix brought his hand up and started carding his fingers through changbin’s hair.

“don’t tell him I told you this, but jisung told me this helps calm minho down.”

Changbin snorted while half asleep. “it feels nice. And I think its working.” His breathing started to even out, and within a few minutes felix could tell he was completely asleep. Finally, hes getting the rest that he deserves.

He honestly overworks himself too much.

It wasn’t until a little while later that felix began to worry. He could see the sky just starting to lighten outside, but it was still well before dawn. What worried him was changbin.

There, next to felix, changbin was curled in a ball shivering. Sweat beaded his forehead, and his tshirt was drenched. Felix moved his hand and felt his forehead. It was burning hot! He should have noticed sooner when he realized changbin was unnaturally warmer than usual, but he didn’t think anything of it at the time.

He shifted out of bed and made to get up. But then changbin whimpered grabbing onto the end of his tshirt, “no, don’t leave me.” He mumbled.

“binnie, I think you are sick and running a fever. Im going to go get chan and some water. Ill be right back, ok?” Changbin shook his head, eyes still closed. Felix had to pry his clammy hand off his shirt, and then he walked fast down the hall to chan and woojin’s room.

He approached chan, who was softly snoring, curly hair sticking up all over the place, and shook him awake. “hyung, I think changbin is sick.”

Being a light sleeper, chan grunted and sat up. He rubbed his face with his hands, “huh? What about changbin?” he said in a raspy morning voice.

“I think he’s sick. Hes drenched in sweat and running a fever. Im just going to go get him some water, maybe some medicine and extra blankets too. And I gotta change his pajamas.”

Chan was fully awake now. “oh no. changbin is sick? This isn’t good at all. How long has he been sick for?” he said in a worried tone.

Felix looked at the clock. 5am. “not long. A few hours at most I think.”

Chan hastily swung his feet to the floor, and gently shook woojin awake. “wooj wake up. Hurry. Changbin is sick and we have to get everybody to the other side of the house as soon as possible.” Felix looked at chan funny when he said that. woojin instantly got up and started heading to the door.

“uhm am I missing something? I know hes sick and we should be worried and all, but aren’t you overreacting a little by getting everyone else up?”

Chan shook his head. “you don’t understand felix. Changbin has a tight lid on his powers 24/7. Not once does he ever lose focus of it. but when he’s sick he cant control himself. its happened three times total since ive known him for a few years. At first it starts off as a normal cold or flu or whatever. But then he becomes delirious from the fever as his body fights the infection. Then he slowly leaks out dark toxic energy in the surrounding area.”

Felix’s mouth dropped in an “oh” form. “then what do you guys do?”

“Well, the last time changbin got sick, minho was sleeping in their room. All of a sudden his dark energy filled the room and minho woke up gasping and not able to breathe. He had to crawl to the door. Luckily by some miracle, jisung heard this in his sleep and came running into the hallway.”

“im sorry about minho, but what about changbin hyung? How is he supposed to get better if we cant be near him?” felix was starting to panic a little.

Chan looked at felix sadly. “I can withstand his dark aura for a few hours at a time, but I cant be with him entirely, and jeongin has to constantly heal me so that i can see him more often. I check up on him, but for the most part he just fights his cold off by himself in his room. it takes a few days at most.”

Felix’s face looked crushed, and chan instantly felt helpless. “we all would gladly help him while hes sick. God, he does it for us all the time. But no one besides me or woojin can get close enough without getting hurt. The most I can last is about 4 hours.” Chan looked down at his hands. Somewhere in the house he can hear the other members stirring awake.

Chan then looked up at felix. “did he start to leak his toxic energy yet? It usually happens within an hour or two.”

Felix shook his head, “I don’t know, I didn’t notice. He was having trouble sleeping, so I joined him sometime last night. But then I woke up to him shivering and sweating.”

Chan looked at felix with gratitude. He doesn’t exactly know why felix’s presence calms changbin down enough to sleep, but he wasn’t going to complain. Then a thought struck him. “wait…felix. Aren’t you immune to changbin’s powers? You grabbed his sword when we met.”

Felix cocked his head to the side in thought. “oh yeah! That was the only time changbin really used his full powers on me, but yeah I didn’t feel anything.”

Chan opened his mouth starting to ask, but felix beat him to it. “of course I will stay with him while hes sick. I was going to anyways. I only left him to get you and to get some water and medicine for him.”

Chan got up and hugged felix, “thank you so much. I always worry about changbin. I hate leaving him alone. But now he has you when I cant be there for him.”

Felix hugged chan back. “you know I would do anything for him hyung,” he whispered to chan, the words he was implying drifting unsaid in the room.

Chan smiled, “yeah, I know,” he whispered back.

***

Felix walked to the doorway of changbin’s room and watched the dark aura filling the surrounding space. He could still see, but it was like everything had a darker filter applied to it. according to the others, they could feel its affects even from the other rooms. But felix felt nothing. It was just a bit stuffy and sticky feeling.

He grabbed his things he would need for the next few hours and walked inside. Chan told him to leave as soon as he started to feel pain or like he couldn’t breathe, and he made felix promise not to try and tough it out. he assured him that changbin would understand and wish the same things.

Felix made changbin sit up and drink some water. Surprisingly, changbin was very compliant and did as he was told without much fuss. Then felix changed changbin’s shirt and shorts (while internally freaking out, but he will deal with that later), and tucked him back into bed. He made a note to change the sheets later.

Changbin was awake and kind of just stared at him with a glazed look in his eyes.

Felix smiled down at him and moved some of his sweaty hair off his face. Then he placed a cool cloth on his forehead. “there you go binnie. This should help a little.”

Changbin swallowed, “why are you still here? You have to go before you start to get hurt.”

Felix ignored him and moved to lay next to changbin again on the bed. “im not going anywhere silly. Did you forget that your cloud of pain cant hurt me? Im staying right here the whole time until you get better, and theres nothing you can say that will stop me.”

Changbin remained silent for a few minutes, not having the energy to speak or even breathe. “does it really not hurt you? My powers?”

Felix turned to him. “of course. Im here right now, perfectly fine aren’t i?”

“well, yeah. But chan can be here for a few hours at most, with great effort though.”

“speaking of chan hyung. He said for me to tell you that as soon as you are better he is going to beat you with his slipper.”

Changbin chuckled, then coughed a little. “beat me with his slipper? What the fuck for?”

Felix giggled, swinging his feet off the edge of the bed as he rolled on his stomach and started playing with his phone to pass the time. “well apparently, hyung knows about you staying outside, in the cold might I add, for hours when you cant sleep. He thinks that plus the stress from the past few weeks and everything that is happening at the Arcade and stuff all added up to you getting this nasty cold. And so now you are going to get the shit beat out of you with his slipper.”

Changbin grunted. “at least it isn’t seungmin’s slipper. The bastard would light it on fire first before swinging with it.”

Felix laughed, “I find it cute.”

“there is something seriously wrong with you if you find a dork like that cute.”

“well I find you cute, so that’s gotta count for something.”

Changbin stayed quiet for a few moments. If his cheeks weren't already flushed from the fever, he would’ve blushed at that. then he covered it up with, “you can try to be smooth all you want, its not going to work.” Then he turned his face away, pretending to go to sleep.

“aw but hyung, I wasn’t joking! Yah! Don’t try to pretend you are sleeping you insomniac! And its your fault we couldn’t get pictures of minho and jisung.”

Changbin looked back at felix and grinned. “they do this like almost every night. We can just sneak back in there another time.”

Felix raised his eyebrows in mock surprise. “so are you implying that I will be in your room with you every night, then?”

Changbin’s grin slipped from his face. In his mind he automatically assumed felix was going to be here with him from now on, and might have forgot to actually ask the younger.

If anyone would have told changbin more than five months ago that a beautiful blonde boy from facility 9 was going to come live with them and cuddle changbin every night as he tries to go to sleep, he would’ve laughed in their face like they were crazy.

Felix took in changbin’s panicked expression and laughed softly, poking his cheek. “of course I will stay with you binnie. Took you long enough to finally ask for help with your insomnia. Plus the nights are getting colder, I could use the extra body heat. From where I was from before living at facility 9, it was scorching hot every day of the year.” changbin smiled. felix loves it when he smiles.

It was quiet for a while, and felix gave up playing on his phone. He curled into changbin’s side, occasionally checking his cool cloth in case he needed to change it soon. Changbin’s eyes were closed and he was breathing kind of heavily from the fever.

Changbin spoke up again. “sometimes I wish I didn’t have this dark power,” he admitted in the room. Felix looked around and could see his aura still lingering in the air. “it sometimes separates me from the others, and I hate it. I hate worrying if I will accidentally hurt someone.”

Felix studied changbin’s face. His eyes were still closed while he talked.

“I think its pretty,” he finally said. changbin’s eyes snapped open and looked at felix like he was crazy.

“im sorry, a what now? Who would ever like this inky black darkness where not a single shred of light can be seen?”

“you haven’t noticed? Your sword and aura, it’s a really pretty violet color when the sun shines on it, not black. your control is amazing. When you fight, you manage to not hurt the people you care about with your powers. Instead of hurting us, it feels like a warm blanket is covering us. Jisung mentioned once that he can feel your shield over the entire house, and instantly feels safe. You did that all on your own hyung.”

Changbin argued, “I still unintentionally hurt people with it though. Like right now when im sick. I will always be considered dark and gloomy inside.”

Felix shook his head. “you dont hurt people with your powers, you protect them. Not everybody is perfect hyung. You aren’t dark and gloomy inside, instead the light inside of you is brighter than ever before. Don’t listen to anybody that says otherwise.”

Just then from down the hall, jisung yelled “it wasn’t much light, but I guess its brighter!” and seungmin and jeongin snickered at that. “ow! Chan hyung I was just trying to lighten the mood! I cant help but overhear things!”

Felix laughed at jisung, but then faked being mad. “shut the fuck up jisung and go jump off a bridge! Here I was, trying to have a heart to heart and spread my words of wisdom, and your dumb ass goes and ruins the mood!”

“uh oh, you made felix mad. This rarely happens so you better be careful.” Hyunjin laughed at jisung.

Felix turned to changbin, smiling. “I hate them so much.”

“love you too!”

“god dammit jisung!”

Changbin grunted while closing his eyes, settling into the bed still feeling like shit. “admit it, you love them.”

“yeah I love them. You love them too binnie.” Changbin grunted again, but didn’t deny it.

“now go to sleep so you can fight off this cold. I know chan is secretly wearing a hole into the flooring while pacing back and forth worrying about you. And woojin is probably losing his mind trying to keep chan from coming in here and giving you smooches all over your face.” Felix fussed with his blankets some more, and settled once again into the bed.

Changbin scrunched up his nose in distaste while smirking, his eyes still closed. “well when you put it that way…”

Chapter Text

A week later, changbin was fully recovered again. He felt especially grateful to felix; the younger didn’t leave his side for a single second. Changbin had to practically pry him off of him when he was feeling better.

Felix pouted at this, taking full advantage to cling to changbin as much as possible. In fact, him getting sick and the others not being able to approach them was more of a blessing than a misfortune. Of course he would never want binnie to get sick, but having all that time with changbin was really fun.

The next thing felix and changbin knew, chan was stomping through the house with a slipper. “we gotta go! Everyone get ready. Leo wants to gather everyone again. I was going to finally beat the shit out of you, im a man of my word afterall. But I was interrupted, so you’re safe this time changbinnie.” Changbin looked at felix and grinned.

“wipe that smug grin off your face before I change my mind!” chan yelled at him as he hustled away waving the slipper around, gathering everyone.

All of them have been getting anxious just sitting around doing nothing, not knowing what has been going on for almost the past month. They just want to do something, anything to help. The situation was getting worse by the day, and they knew it.

***

“N and hyuk say things are going fine on jeju, but some of the descendants are still missing. Scoups hasn’t contacted us yet, but no news is good news when it comes to him. his mate jeonghan will let us know as soon as something happens. Wherever they are hiding them, they are doing a damn good job of it.” Leo told the group in front of him. among the crowd was a few members of NCT and Seventeen, as well as Stray Kids.

“I want you all to be ready at a moment’s notice, just in case. Each leader needs to keep an eye on their members at all times, and no one is to go out somewhere alone. You guys are the best of the best, and half of you have come from the facilities. If they are going to want to take anyone, you will be first on their list.” Leo continued. “that is all. You are dismissed until further notice.”

Chan huffed in frustration. He hates waiting around. He was more of a proactive type of person, always taking action.

As everyone was shuffling out of Leo’s huge meeting room, Ten accidentally bumped hard into jeongin. Instantly his eyes flashed peach and his sight faded. Jeongin turned to apologize for bumping into Ten when he saw his eyes change color.

“uh johnny? I think Ten is having a vision, and I don’t want to accidentally touch him again in case I mess things up.” He said worriedly over the crowd. Johnny snapped his head up from across the room and everyone immediately moved out of his way so he could get to Ten sooner. He gently pulled Ten closer to him, and patiently waited until Ten was back in the present.

After a few moments, Ten gasped. Johnny rubbed his back, trying to calm him down. “everything ok? What did you see?”

Ten shook his head. “I don’t know. It was unclear. just flashes of jeju island, monsta x, and the boy. But I have a deep feeling like something bad is going to happen on jeju island soon. Someone needs to go right now and check up on things.”

Leo raised his eyebrows, worry etched on his face. He turned to Jun, one of the members of Seventeen that was present. “can you glean anything more about what Ten is referring to?”

Jun smirked. At his command, a deck of cards appeared in Jun’s hand from thin air. They weren't just any cards though. It was a beautiful violet-red deck of Tarot cards.

He shuffled them expertly, and then he flung his arm, scattering them into the air. Rather than dropping to the ground, they instantly floated face down in front of him. Jun was of the same type as Ten, being able to read the future. But instead of seeing predictions of the future in his mind, he reads what the Tarot cards show him. His readings are a little less specific than Ten’s images of the future, but they help when Ten cant understand what he is seeing.

“pick a card, any card,” he said to jeongin, his eyes flashing a blue-green color.

“don’t I need to pick more than one to get a reading?” jeongin said.

Jun shook his head. “I don’t read the Tarot cards the traditional way. Trust me, just pick a card.”

Jeongin reached out to the cards floating in mid air in front of Jun. he went to grab a card to his right, but then hyunjin said “wait no, not that one, pick the other side. Ow! Hyung, what the hell?”

Woojin smacked hyunjin up side the head, “would you shut up, jun just wanted jeongin to pick, not you.”

“but it seems like fun!” he whined.

Jeongin ignored hyunjin, and went for the card he was originally going to pick. He touched the card intending to turn it over, but as soon as he made contact with it, it immediately turned itself over in midair.

Jun waved his hand over the line of cards in midair, and they bowed to his unspoken command. The one that jeongin selected moved in the air towards Jun, spinning round and round waiting for its master, and the others all turned themselves face up again at rapid speed as Jun’s hand passed over them.

“ah, The Moon. Upright.” Jun spoke to the members in the room as the card gently flew to his waiting hand.

“uhm, English please you idiot.” Minghao spoke up, rolling his eyes at his mate.

Jun’s eyes were still blue-green as he explained, “The Moon, in its upright position, symbolizes the dark side of the moon. It is of unconscious realms; the dark night of the soul. A card of fear and facing the unknown.”

“well that sounds pleasant.” Seungmin interrupted and snorted.

Jun continued, “but have faith and trust, knowing there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Rely on your intuition and working with your dreams rather than against them. If not, nightmares can consume you.”

"wow, real helpful there." minghao said sarcastically. "this is why you can only rely on science and calculations. math never tells you pretty words bottled up into meaningless sentences."

Jun ignored his mate, his eyes returning to their normal color. His cards began to float and stack themselves neatly into his waiting hand, and then they disappeared.

At the mention of nightmares, Leo moved his head in changbin’s direction, worry flashing in his eyes briefly. Changbin tensed up, and felix noticed. Of course they would assume anything bad happening with dark energy was changbin’s fault. Felix got annoyed at this.

“if Ten and Jun think something bad is going to happen on Jeju, then I want Chan and his group to head over there immediately. It will take a few hours by ferry across the ocean. I want you to report back to me as soon as you can on what’s happening.” Leo ordered.

Taeyong spoke up, “how about we go instead?” he asked the older.

Leo shook his head. “chan’s group is the only one with all members present at the moment. And almost all of them can use some type of elemental power, which will help on an island in the middle of the ocean. Im sorry taeyong, but I need you guys on standby just in case.”

Taeyong merely nodded his head. He wasn’t mad, and he understood perfectly what Leo was saying. That’s what he respected the most about Leo and N. They never used their power to demand obedience. Instead, they explained their decisions logically. And he couldn’t argue, since some of his members of NCT 127 and Dream are still out and about scouting information for Vixx.

“you got it, Leo. We will leave within the hour.” Chan answered to the command. He marched out of the Arcade, his members in step behind him.

Chapter Text

Back at the house, the members were getting ready for their trip to Jeju island. Everyone was bustling about, bringing fighting clothes and any kind of gear they would need, just in case.

Hyunjin walked up to seungmin, who was tightening a strap on one of his sleeves. He always made sure his clothes were tied close to his body on serious missions. In case he ever lost control of his fire, he didn’t want to unintentionally burn himself. hyunjin thought it was a pretty useless precaution since seungmin has always been in control, but if it made him feel better, he wasn’t going to argue with the younger.

“you’ve been avoiding me.” Hyunjin spoke quietly behind him. seungmin jumped at the sound of his voice.

However, he tried to play it off. “I don’t know what you mean,” he said while pretending to continue tying his sleeves. Then he turned facing the older, and wordlessly tried to walk past out of the room.

Hyunjin finally lost his temper for real. Ever since that night in the club, hes been trying to talk to the younger, but the stubborn idiot has done an excellent job evading him for a whole month while all this shit was happening.

As seungmin passed by, he grabbed his hand and slammed the door shut so he couldn’t leave. Then he backed seungmin into the wall. Seungmin was surprised, but then glared up at hyunjin. “do you mind?”

“yes, I do mind. Want to tell me what happened back at the club? I'm done playing this game,” he growled out in frustration, his face just centimeters away from the other.

Seungmin sniffed, turning his face away, avoiding eye contact. “nothing happened, don’t worry about it.”

“really? Are you seriously going to act like that kiss meant nothing to you?” hyunjin said in a quiet rage.

“of course. I saw that guy messing with you and not leaving you alone. So I did what any best friend would do. I pretended to be your boyfriend, and had to prove it, so I pecked you on the lips.” Seungmin shrugged matter of factly, and made to move away from hyunjin again.

Hyunjin slammed his arm onto the wall near seungmin’s head, stopping him from leaving. Seungmin glared in annoyance, and made to go around the other way, but hyunjin just simply slammed his other arm on the wall, caging in seungmin. “really? You call that a peck? Because last I checked, best friends don’t almost shove their tongues down their friend’s throats.”

Seungmin lifted his chin in defiance at hyunjin. “you are just exaggerating,” he desperately lied through his teeth. Hyunjin gave seungmin a sexy smirk he knew the younger wouldn’t be able to resist, knowing he’s got him right where he wants him. then he lifted his hand to grab seungmin’s chin, forcing him to keep eye contact.

“hmm, maybe I should show you what a real peck on the lips is like. Apparently you are confused and don’t know the difference.” He said in a husky voice, leaning closer. Seungmin licked his lips, not being able to break eye contact with the older. His heart was pounding really hard, and his skin burned where hyunjin was touching it.

Just as hyunjin’s lips brushed seungmin’s, barely ghosting over them, chan yelled throughout the house “come on people! We are leaving right now! Get your asses down here and out the door!”

Hyunjin groaned in annoyance, and let go of seungmin’s chin. Seungmin gasped a breath of air he didn’t know he was holding, and quickly sidestepped hyunjin, rushing out the door.

“just my luck.” Hyunjin grumbled to the empty room. And then made his way downstairs to get ready to leave.

***

Seungmin was panicking. He stepped onto the ferry boat and took a shaky gulp of air. Yes, he almost let hyunjin kiss him, but that wasn’t why he was freaking out at this moment.

In a few minutes, he will be surrounded by an endless body of water with no way out.

How deep is it? What if I fall in? what if I drown? Its dark down there. Can anyone hear me if i cry out?

He whimpered quietly, catching the attention of chan. Chan walked over, hand gently grabbing seungmin’s arm. “you ok?” he asked him.

Seungmin took another gulp of air, like he was ready to go under water at any minute, and nodded his head at chan. “yeah, just give me a minute to adjust. I don’t really like big bodies of water that much.”

“you sure? Because you can stay behind if it makes you feel better.” chan said worriedly. He knew seungmin was uncomfortable with water, but he didn’t think it was this big of a deal. The younger never mentioned anything to him in all the years they’ve known each other.

Seungmin shook his head. “no, really. Its just a short amount of time on the boat, and you need all of your members with you.” Then he bravely forced himself to walk onto the ship. Chan was going to argue, but decided to respect the younger’s wishes.

But just as a precaution, he called hyunjin over.

“whats up hyung?” hyunjin said, a light step to his walk. He loved being close to water, it was his natural element afterall.

“its seungmin. he doesn’t like big oceans of water, and he doesn’t look too good. Im worried about him. can you keep an eye on him for me? If anyone can calm him down around water, I know its you.”

Hyunjin frowned at what chan was saying. He didn’t know seungmin was scared of water, and he was extremely annoyed he had to find out this way. “of course hyung.” And then he turned on his foot to march and find the younger immediately.

As he approached seungmin, he noticed he looked a little more pale than usual. And he wasn’t his normal feisty self. “hey.” he greeted him. “chan hyung told me to come find you. He’s worried you know.”

Seungmin frowned at him. “I told him im fine. its nothing. Just lots of water makes me uneasy is all.” And with that, seungmin tried to brush past him. he didn’t want to deal with hyunjin right now, especially after what just happened not too long ago.

Hyunjin grabbed seungmin’s arm again, causing his fiery self to snap. “would you stop doing that?!”

Hyunjin ignored his outburst and said, “we have to talk, and you keep brushing me off like im dirt.”

Seungmin wasn’t feeling well, he had a horrible headache, and as the ferry boat took off with the huge ocean looming closer, he couldn’t help but go into defense mode. “look, there's nothing more to talk about. It was just a platonic kiss, that’s all. it meant nothing to me, so lets just pretend it never happened. Okay?” and he yanked his arm free and stomped off to one of the rooms down the hall for passengers to rest during the ferry ride, slamming the door.

Hyunjin just stood there in the hall, dumbfounded.

He wants me to just forget? Pretend it never happened?

It meant absolutely nothing to him, when it meant the world to me?

He was devastated and disappointed. He thought he would be angry at how seungmin was talking to him, but instead he just felt crushed inside. Instead of watching over him like chan wanted, he simply shuffled to the end of the hallway and looked out over the side of the ship. He sucked in a deep breath, letting the water around him calm him down. the wind tousled his hair and every now and then a spray of sea water would mist his face.

He stayed there for some time when woojin walked up quietly next to him. hyunjin glanced at his hyung, and then continued to look out over the sea again. “hey hyung.” He said quietly.

“I thought you would be with seungmin. whats up? Why the long face?”

“seungmin yelled at me, and I don’t think he wants to talk to me anytime soon.” He sighed.

“why?”

“we had an argument, and seungmin snapped at me. You know, the usual.” Hyunjin looked down at his hands, trying to not let woojin see the hurt on his face that he knows is there.

Woojin didn’t really know what was going on between the two of them, but he did know why seungmin was snappier than usual towards everyone. He debated saying anything, but he knows seungmin is too prideful to say he needs help.

“he’s scared of water.” Woojin finally spoke up.

Hyunjin lifted his head to look at the older. “well yeah, I gathered that much by how chan hyung is worried for him. and seungmin admitted himself that hes uneasy around large bodies of water.” Hyunjin didn’t know where this was going.

Woojin remained silent for a few moments, looking into hyunjin’s eyes.

“he was tortured with water you know. Back in the facility.”

Hyunjin sucked in a breath, a small squeaky “what?” coming out of his mouth.

“seungmin is strong, and prideful. His anger fuels his determination and his fire. Small amounts of water didn’t faze him. so they stepped it up a bit to demand obedience from him. I don’t know exactly what happened, but it involved large pools of water. he hasn't been the same around lakes and rivers, and especially oceans, ever since.”

Hyunjin gripped onto the railing of the ship. To say he was angry was an understatement. The sea misting in the air started to rise slowly, water droplets falling in reverse around his body, indicating he was pissed. “why didn’t he tell us? Why didn’t he tell me?”

Woojin shook his head. “you know how he is. We all are stubborn, not just him.”

Hyunjin looked at his hand gripping the railing, and forced himself to relax. The water droplets instantly returned to the ocean. “shit.” He left seungmin alone to deal with this, all because of what? His feelings got a little hurt?

He looked at woojin with a determination in his eyes, and then marched back down the hallway to the room that seungmin escaped into.

Woojin secretly smiled, looking out at the beautiful sea. The sky was bright, and the sun was shining. He was relieved that someone came into their lives that could help seungmin. to be honest, if he never met chan and the others he would have been entirely lost as to what to do. He was the oldest, but that didn’t mean he had all the answers. Together with chan, they made it work.

***

Hyunjin slammed open seungmin’s door letting it bash into the wall obnoxiously. “knock knock bitch.”

The sight he saw before him broke his heart, and he almost wanted to cry. his lips quivered and his eyes started to water.

There, huddled on the bed in a corner was seungmin, his knees brought up to his chest with his arms wrapped around them. He was just staring blankly at the wall, sweat on his forehead and his breathing erratic.

Hyunjin shut the door and hurried to the bed, crawling to seungmin. he kneeled in front of the younger, speaking in his calming voice “hey, its ok. You are fine. why didn’t you tell me sooner dumbass?”

Seungmin was slightly shaking, and hyunjin rubbed his arms trying his best to calm him down. he didn’t know much about anxiety or panic attacks, but he can tell seungmin was close to having one.

he pried seungmin’s arms apart causing seungmin to finally give him eye contact. The boat rocked, and seungmin whimpered a little, eyes pleading for help.

Hyunjin gently pushed seungmin to lay back on the bed. He lay next to him, and hugged him around the waist tightly. Seungmin clutched to his shirt and buried his head in hyunjin’s chest squeezing his eyes shut, trying to not think about the ocean just mere feet away on all sides.

“I need you to breathe seungminnie. Can you do that for me? Match my breathing.” Seungmin nodded his head, and tried to do as he was told. Hyunjin tightened his hold and brought seungmin even closer, rubbing circles on his back soothingly.

After 20 minutes, seungmin seemed to calm down slightly. Hyunjin brought his hand up and started brushing his fingers lightly through his hair.

“don’t tell him I told you this, but felix told me that jisung told him that this helps minho calm down. and changbin too apparently.”

Seungmin snorted obnoxiously into hyunjins chest, briefly forgetting his worries. “minho is going to beat the shit out of jisung.”

“so I was thinking…” hyunjin started.

“uh oh. This cant be good. I'm totally in.” seungmin mumbled into his shirt.

“next time we see minho being a lazy shit on the couch, we should sit next to him and start playing with his hair. You think he will beat the crap out of us?”

“you know he would. Hes too damn smart. But it would be totally worth it.”

“and this is why we make the perfect team.” Hyunjin chuckled.

After a few more silent minutes of just lying there, seungmin finally calmed down back to somewhat normal. Hyunjin was still stroking his hair, and it made him sleepy. “it does feel nice though.” he mumbled.

“hmm?” hyunjin hummed.

“my hair. Minho and changbin are on to something. it does calm me down a bit.” He admitted shamelessly.

“im still mad at you. Why didn’t you tell us sooner about what happened to you at the facility? I don’t even know everything, just that you are afraid of excessive amounts of water.”

“because im never going back there, and I wanted to leave those memories behind. All of us have our own problems. I didn’t need to add mine to the rest of yours.” Seungmin looked up at hyunjin, his breath fanning his face. “don’t even start to lecture me. I know you didn’t share everything either. Or felix, or jisung, or any of us for that matter. Lets face it hyunjin, you have a pretty face. In the facility, I know they probably tried to grab at you or force you to be a pretty doll for them. I can see it in the way you flinch when unwanted people try to touch you. I can see it when disgusting people try to flirt with jisung. We are shit at hiding our true feelings from each other, that’s how close we are with one another.”

Hyunjin blinked at seungmin, not knowing what to say. He was right about everything. They all have been on their own for so long that they sometimes forget there are 8 other people with them, willing to comfort them. They just simply have to reach a hand out for help.

Hyunjin smirked at seungmin. “you think I have a pretty face?”

“oh my fuck. I literally gave the world’s best speech, and that’s what you got out of it? we are done with this conversation.” Seungmin buried his embarrassed face back into hyunjin’s chest, refusing to look at him any longer.

Hyunjin decided to let him off the hook this time, instead cuddling into him some more, ready to spend the next hour or so just tangled together. No more arguments, no sarcastic comebacks, and no more empty ‘I hate yous.’

When he thought seungmin was just about to drift to sleep, he spoke in the quiet room with his soothing voice. “I would never let you drown, by the way. When you are with me you never have to fear water ever again.”

Seungmin squeezed hyunjin, acknowledging that he heard. “mmm good. You better.” And then went quiet as he took a small nap, trying to tune out the sound of the waves crashing around the boat and focus only on hyunjin’s steady heartbeat and gentle breathing.

Chapter Text

Felix was running through the ship, gathering everyone together. He opened the door to the room seungmin was in and stopped dead in his tracks.

He blinked as he watched hyunjin tangled with seungmin, rubbing his back and playing with his hair. Hyunjin brought one of his fingers to his lips, “shhh, I finally got him to calm down and go to sleep.”

At felix’s questioning look, hyunjin explained “he’s afraid of water. All thanks to the facility might I add.” Felix looked at seungmin sadly and nodded his head in understanding. He wasn’t going to pry any further, but he got the gist. “chan wants everybody on deck. We’ve almost arrived to the island.”

Hyunjin nodded, “thanks felix. We’ll be up in a few minutes.” Felix gave him a blinding grin, and shut the door softly, returning to his search for the other members.

***

When hyunjin and seungmin walked on the deck, the sky was starting to darken. Hyunjin glanced up and frowned. It was sunny just a few minutes ago. “well that doesn’t look good.” He stated simply.

The wind sped up, causing the waves to crash against the boat. Seungmin reached out and gripped onto hyunjin’s hand like a life line.

“this wind isn't natural, I can feel it.” jisung said, worry laced in his voice.

“shit, you mean someone is causing this storm?” jeongin swore.

Just as he said that, thunder boomed in the distance and the sky was completely black. Rain started pelting down on them in sheets. They were drenched within seconds.

“hyunjin, jisung can you do anything about the rain and wind? We are almost to shore.” Chan asked.

“I can keep the wind to a minimum from blowing at us, but it wont do much. This isn’t natural wind that I can control completely.” Jisung said in annoyance.

Hyunjin nodded. “same with the rain. And for some reason the sea isn’t listening to my commands, which means someone is controlling that as well.” He swung his hand in a circle in front of him and clenched it in a tight fist. The rain immediately stopped in mid air, droplets frozen in place around them.

Everything was calm for a minute, but then whatever spell hyunjin had on the rain was suddenly broken, and the rain continued to harshly fall on them. The wind picked up tenfold, tossing the boat right and left.

“we might have to abandon ship at this rate. Otherwise we might get tossed out further to sea!” Changbin yelled above the rain.

Just then, lightning struck the other end of the ferry boat. Everyone turned their heads to chan. “don’t look at me dumbasses! Why the hell would I summon lightning in this shit storm? It isn’t mine!”

Another strike of lightning crashed the boat, and everyone dropped to their knees at the impact.

“uh oh. Looks like we are out of time.” Minho said, as he watched a lightning bolt head straight for them.

“you think?!” was all woojin could get out before the massive bolt came crashing down on them.

In that split second, a multiple of things happened at once. Changbin drew up a massive shield of dark energy. Jeongin clapped his hands together, trying to send the bolt the other way with an energy wave. Chan’s eyes glowed pale blue as he tried to help jeongin and take control over the unnatural lightning. Jisung calmed the wind enough for hyunjin to calm the waves, and minho, felix, woojin, and seungmin were completely out of their elements with this one.

But their efforts didn’t last long. Another bolt of lightning was coming their way. Hyunjin had a swirl of water surrounding his body, the rain missing him completely. “everybody I want you to trust me and jump in the water! Now!”

They all listened, and didn’t hesitate to abandon the ferry boat. Hyunjin took special care for seungmin and grabbed him. “you stay by my side, okay? Close your eyes and it will be over soon enough.”

Seungmin gulped a breath of air watching the waves crashing below him, but then glared up at hyunjin with fire dancing at his fingertips. “im not a baby, and im not weak. Lets go.” And he dove feet first into the water. A split second later hyunjin joined him.

***

With great effort and the help of hyunjin and jisung, they swam to shore.

“any of you dead?” chan asked his members, panting.

Minho was crawling on his knees in the sand, coughing and hacking obnoxiously. “ugh I wish. I hate salt water almost as much as metal. No offense hyunjin.”

“none taken.”

The storm above them immediately dissipated and turned to its natural blue again. The sun shone down on them.

“typical of monsta x. cant even greet us properly.” Seungmin spat at the sand, back to his normal self now that he was on land.

Felix was shaking some water and rocks out of his shoe, and woojin was picking debris out of chan’s hair. They were all completely soaked and miserable.

“alright gather around you little shits. Not you jeongin, you’re an angel and we are thrilled to have you here.”

“hey!” jisung complained. Jeongin stuck his tongue out at him.

“surely you are glad to have binnie changbinnie here also, right hyung?” changbin said in his aegyo voice, finger poking into his cheek cutely.

“I cant believe he just pulled this shit right after we were almost drowned to death.” Minho said as he shook the water out of his hair. Jisung immediately began fixing his bangs and minho let him.

"i find it cute." felix laughed.

"you dont count. you find everything changbin does cute," minho shot back at him.

"im not even going to deny it. chan finds it cute too! dont be salty just because jisung's aegyo is awkward."

"hey!" jisung yelled again. "and dont think i didnt notice that pathetic pun you just tried to pull there."

“so now what?” hyunjin asked.

“now I guess we make our way to monsta x’s hideout and find out what the hell is going on.” Chan answered him. they all nodded and headed more inland where there was more forest and grass rather than sand.

***

After about an hour of walking and trudging through the forest, they were all kind of tired and sticky from the humid air. The only good thing that came out of it was that they were almost completely dry now.

“are we there yet?” jeongin whined.

They stopped in a grassy clearing, chan and woojin looking around. “I don’t understand. It should be somewhere around here if Leo’s directions are right.”

Just then, a thick black inky fog rolled over the land around them.

“what the…” felix said.

“what the hell is this shit?” minho swore. All of them stepped back into a circle, each with their backs to each other and watching on all sides around them. Changbin’s dark blade materialized in his hand, violet glinting off of it. seungmin’s fire was already swirling around his body, and chan’s fingertips were sparking on the ends.

The fog loomed closer to them, there was no exit unless they walked through it. just a few more feet and their legs will be emerged completely.

“is it ok to breathe it in?” jeongin asked worriedly.

“well lets think about this. Thick fog of death, and you're asking if we can breathe in it. im gonna go with a no on that one.” Woojin answered snarkily.

“jisung?” felix asked and turned his head in jisung’s direction. Jisung shook his head. “I already tried to get rid of it the moment it popped up. Whatever this is, it cant be blown away by wind. Someone is obviously controlling it.”

Then jisung perked his head up real fast. “did you guys hear that?”

“as I am not part bat, what do you fucking think?” hyunjin answered, getting irritated about being attacked for the second time that day.

“shh!” jisung said. the rest of the members listened carefully, each of them stepping backward closer and closer to each other to avoid the slow rolling of the thick fog coming nearer.

There, in the fog, was a cheerful giggle.

“oh fuck no. I can deal with all kinds of bullshit, but creepy ass ghost children coming to take our souls is not one of them. Fuck this shit im out.” changbin said, swishing his sword at the fog.

“cant you, like, suck the dark fog back up or something?” seungmin asked changbin.

“Bitch, do I look like a fucking vacuum? I cant just suck up anything that looks remotely dark.” changbin shot back at him.

“binnie?” felix said, widening his eyes as he watched the fog creep around changbin’s body. Changbin tensed up, not moving.

“ok, um seungmin can you burn it? jeongin can you blast it away. Fuck, I don’t know, woojin can you freeze it? anyone here?” chan pleaded as the fog started to swirl around one of his arms.

They all shook their heads, already trying that.

“jisung!” jeongin whined, watching the fog creep around jisung’s neck. Minho snapped his head in jisung’s direction, starting to panic.

“seungmin!” hyunjin cried out.

“I know, I see it,” seungmin said calmly as the fog climbed his legs and arms.

The giggling continued.

“alright, some bastard is out there and im ready to freeze him, break off his arm, and beat the shit out of him with it.” woojin growled, clearly agitated, his eyes flashing orange.

“oh really?” it echoed. And then giggled again. “I don’t think so.” The voice tsked.

“minho, where the fuck is he?” chan called out.

“Im searching, hes not on the ground.” Minho said in frustration, running his hands through his hair.

“uhm, guys? Where are you? I cant see.” Changbin said. felix whipped his head back to changbin’s direction. The fog completely covered his body.

“why the hell is it only targeting some of us and not all of us?” felix hissed out. his guns clicked in his hands, his fingers itching to shoot something.

Once jisung, seungmin, changbin, and chan were almost all completely covered in the thick black fog, it stopped moving. The black ink froze in midair, remaining stagnant. If they wanted to, they could reach out and touch it.

Then all of a sudden the fog that swirled on the ground in the surrounding area retracted back from the other members and moved at lightning speed towards the four it was clinging to.

Jisung screamed, chan grunted and fell to the ground on his knees, seungmin covered his head, and changbin’s eyes widened at the impact. Their eyes turned a thick black, the whites completely being colored out.

Chaos erupted all around them.

“jisung? Jisung?! Whats wrong? What the hell is happening?” minho panicked and moved towards jisung, grabbing his shoulders.

Everyone was talking at once, running to one of the members that was covered in the fog that clung to them like a second clothing.

“channie? You're scaring me. Say something.” woojin said, kneeling beside chan. jeongin was behind him, worriedly biting his thumb not knowing what to do.

“seungmin?” hyunjin caught seungmin in his arms and brought him to the ground.

“binnie?” felix muttered to changbin.

“felix?” changbin moved his hand around in the air, searching. Felix grabbed his hands in his. “im here binnie. We’ll get that bastard that is doing this. Can you hold on for a minute, and try not to move?”

“felix I feel funny. I cant see. Lix…” changbin gripped felix’s arm tight in a death grip. Felix didn’t pay any mind to it, too worried for changbin. changbins hands searched felix, moving from his arms to his chest, to his face. Then back down to his neck…

Chan shook his head, trying to fight the whispers in his ears. His mind was muddled, he couldn’t think straight. He knows this feeling. The black fog, the loss of eyesight. He heard rumors about someone with a power being able to do this. What exactly was it…?

He was trapped in his mind. It was dark and cold. He heard whispers like a white noise. He tried to focus on what they were saying, but something in him told himself not to listen.

“you are nobody. Nobody loves you. Who would ever want to be with you? Who are you? Who do you think you are? You are worthless. You are nothing.” Over and over the words repeated, filling his head with useless and toxic thoughts. Chan choked on a sob, trying not to listen to what they were saying.

From the outside, woojin was watching helplessly.

“get me out of this nightmare!” chan screamed inside his head. Then a thought occurred to him. that’s it! nightmares!

In an instant, Chan’s eyes glowed pale blue, and the darkness that took over his eyes vanished. Woojin could feel him draw strength through their bond.

The fog around him froze and crackled, breaking and shattering, then dropping to the ground in broken pieces and disappearing. Chan came back to his senses, and started choking, trying to catch his breath.

“woojin,” he rasped out. “nightmares. They are controlling nightmares. Tell them to get away from the others.” Woojins eyes, which were still glowing orange, widened at what chan said.

“shit, they are a dream walker?! Fuck!” still holding on to chan, he whipped his head to hyunjin, minho, and felix. “back away you guys! They are being controlled by a dream walker! They aren’t themselves! Its too dangerous.”

Jeongin was healing chan, taking some of woojin’s energy to speed up the process. “where is he? Ill take him out.”

Felix was still holding on to changbin as he turned his head and listened to what woojin had to say. He felt changbin’s hands wrap around his neck, and then tighten. He turned back to face changbin, his eyes a pitch black and unseeing. “binnie?” he breathed out, holding onto changbins wrists that were around his neck.

“too late.” Changbin whispered, and then grinned a wide grin that would never come from the older boy. felix shivered.

Changbin’s hands tightened, cutting off felix’s air supply. Felix gasped out, fighting changbin’s hands. Dark energy started pouring out everywhere around them and into the atmosphere.

“shit!” minho yelled out, doing a series of back handed flips away from jisung. Then he landed on his feet in a fighting stance, facing the younger boy. jisung staggered up slowly, his eyes black and wind whipping around him in a tornado. His head snapped towards minho, he giggled, and then ran straight at the older boy.

minho didn’t hesitate. He met jisung head on in a full collision. The ground cracked at his feet where he implanted them.

He tried to melt the ground jisung was standing on, but jisung simply jumped up into the air. Jisung summoned a pair of his Chinese metal fighting fans, one in each hand, opened them, and flicked them at minho. They were deadly sharp and could cut just about anything. Add into the fact that jisung can control them with the wind and throw them around like flying disks, and it was a problem for minho. Jisung never used them in practice, and he rarely summoned them. They glinted a bright emerald green in the sunlight.

Minho ducked, dodging one of them, and then flung himself backward dodging the other one. He immediately kicked his legs forward, landing back on his feet. Jisung landed behind minho, and as minho spun around, jisung threw wind at him in spurts, slicing one of minho’s cheeks.

He held up both of his hands, catching his fans in midair effortlessly. He closed his fans with a ‘cling’ as blood trickled down minho’s cheek. minho grinded his teeth. He didn’t want to fight jisung, but had no choice. jisung was out of control. He had to think of something quick.

Wind was flying everywhere. Swirls of fire mixed in with dark tendrils. The others were affected by it too, but they were preoccupied.

“ok we need a plan.” Chan called out through the wind. “hyunjin, get seungmin under control. Or at least put out some of his flames. Its getting hard to move around with flames mixed with all this wind from jisung. Fuck, changbin’s dark energy added to this just makes things a million times better.” He said sarcastically. “Felix? How are you holding up over there?”

“just peachy, chan!” felix gasped out. he managed to pry changbin’s cold fingers from suffocating him, leaving bruises on his neck, and was wrestling changbin onto the ground. “shit, hes strong. a little help?”

“I would help, but his dark energy is too toxic. Nobody but you can get near him.” jeongin replied.

“great.” Felix muttered. Then grunted as changbin landed a kick to his stomach, rolling them over so that changbin was on top of felix. “oh sure, I finally get him on top of me, and its when hes trying to kill me.” Felix grumbled.

“what was that?” jeongin called over.

“nothing! I love you!” felix replied, with sweat trickling down his neck as he blocked changbins sword from stabbing him in the chest.

“I cant believe you just lied to my face.” Jeongin said.

“ok, looks like felix has things under control over there.”

“what part of ‘under control’ does this look like to you?!”

Chan continued, “Minho, I would love to be able to stand up but jisungs wind is all over the place and…” chan glanced in minho’s direction and then whipped his head back. “ok nevermind, minho has things under control.”

“what do you mean by that channie…oh.” Woojin said. “I always knew he was a kinky pretty boy.”

“fuck off both of you, do you know how much this squirrel moves around? Getting this far has exhausted me.” Minho called over, flipping them off. He was currently pinning jisung to a rock wall he created. Jisung was flailing around, screaming and trying to fight and get free.

“whatever you say,” Hyunjin huffed, trying to catch his breath. He had seungmin in a back hug, pinning him to his chest. Water was swirling around hyunjin in the air, trying to put out spurts of fire that seungmin couldn’t control. Seungmin was whimpering, trying to fight back. “shhh, Minnie I got you. Its ok. You aren’t going to drown. You aren’t in that place anymore.” Hyunjin was trying to get seungmin to snap out of it. his eyes were flashing back and forth between black and his normal chocolate brown.

“hey chan! How did you get out of these nightmares and dream control? I cant snap seungmin out of it.” hyunjin called over.

“yeah I would like to know too. If you haven’t noticed, im about TO DIE!” felix yelled. He rolled changbin over on the ground, and then changbin rolled them back over gaining the upper hand. “oof!” felix clocked changbin in the head with his gun, but it did absolutely nothing. “his head is like a brick, what the fuck? He didn’t even flinch.” Felix muttered.

“always knew he didn’t have a lot going on up there.” Jeongin called over.

Chan shook his head. “it didn’t work that well on me to begin with because I am bonded to woojin. Woojin kept me grounded, and I was able to snap out of it myself within a few minutes. You have to tell them to not listen to the whispers. Its easier said than done. They are experiencing their worst fears and nightmares inside their minds. You have to reach out to them somehow.”

“or we kill whoever is controlling them.” Jeongin joined in happily.

“Come on jeongin, woojin. Lets get a head start. We are just sitting ducks while the others are still under the dream walker’s control.” They nodded and followed chan. Chan looked over at felix and minho struggling to keep changbin and jisung from going berserk. Then he glanced at hyunjin trying to soothe and calmly talk in seungmin’s ear as he pinned him to himself, occasionally taking a blow from seungmin who kept resisting him.

Chan was furious at seeing his family have to fight each other. His body started sparking with blue lightning around him. “come out come out wherever you are.” He muttered. It was rare for chan to lose his temper, but he was done playing around.

Meanwhile, hyunjin managed to calm seungmin down a bit. Seungmin always was the more sensible one, even if he lost his temper all the time. Seungmin was crying, as his eyes flickered back and forth from normal to black again. “hey there seungminnie. You can do it. snap out of it, it isn’t real. Come on. Come back to me.” Hyunjin whispered over and over in his ear, desperately holding onto seungmin.

“but there is so much water. What if I drown?” seungmin answered him with fear in his voice. whatever hyunjin was doing, it seemed to be working.

“hey now. Im here, you know you will never drown when im around. I would never let something like that happen. You trust me don’t you?”

Seungmin nodded his head, tears flowing down his cheeks as he started to come back from his nightmares. Hyunjin spun him around so they were face to face, and crushed him to his chest. He still kept a tight grip on him, but that was more out of fear of losing seungmin to his own mind than it was to keep him in place.

“I trust you.” Seungmin whispered. He blinked once, then twice, letting more tears fall down his face. Hyunjin leaned back, looking down at seungmin. He cupped his face, swiping the tears away. He kissed one cheek and then the other. Seungmin closed his eyes at the feel of hyunjin’s lips on his cheeks, and then he fell forward, passing out. hyunjin caught him, relieved that seungmin seemed to be ok.

***

Wind was still whipping all around, tossing everyone’s hair across their face. Minho just barely managed to pin jisung to a rock wall he formed, using all his strength to keep jisung in place. Jisung was fluid like wind, and can always escape.

Jisung was screaming and whining. In his mind, he was running as fast as he could. Not to get away. Oh no, it was nothing like that. He was running towards his nightmare. but jisung wasn’t aware that he was trapped in his fears. He wasn’t able to distinguish what was real and what was not. in his mind, at the end of a dark and endless hallway, was minho, chained and hurt, dying right in front of him. jisung tried to get to him, but no matter how far he ran, it was never ending.

Back in the present, minho heard what chan had to say, and tried talking to jisung. “jisung come on. Snap out of it!” he yelled over the wind.

In jisung’s mind, he heard a voice. It was minho’s voice. But minho was right in front of him, still chained and dying. Jisung shook his head in confusion.

“you aren’t real. Stop trying to distract me. I have to get to him.”

“but jisung, its me, minho! Come on, its not real. Whatever you are seeing, it’s a trap.” Jisung shook his head.

“how can I be sure it’s a trap? What is real and what isn’t? I have to save him.” he started breathing really hard, almost as if he was hyperventilating.

Minho was confused. He had no idea what jisung was seeing in his nightmares. He knew it was his worst fears, and he had no way of convincing jisung it wasn’t real. “jisungie…who do you have to save?”

“you,” Jisung whispered. His eyes were still black, and tears were falling down his face. Minho frowned, not understanding what he meant by that.

“me? But im right here, holding onto you.”

Jisung shook his head. He cried out, “you are there! I can see you. You are hurt and dying and I cant get to you. I have to save you, dammit!” he struggled against minho’s grip again.

Is his worst fears…of me dying? Minho thought. To jisung he said, “you have to leave that minho behind. He isn’t real, hes just a nightmare. im the real minho.” He pleaded in jisungs ear, tightening his grip on the smaller boy’s shoulders.

Jisung shook his head. “you want me to just abandon you? Even if it is a trap, even if it is a nightmare, that’s not a risk im willing to take. I don’t care what happens to me,” Jisung whispered on a shaky breath. Minho sucked in a breath. Nobody has ever cared about him this much before. He leaned his forehead against jisung’s.

“what can I do to convince you he isn’t real? Im the real minho. Right here, me. I want you to look only at me. Please jisung, come back to me.” His voice broke a little.

Jisung, being stubborn, shook his head again, “I cant, you are everything to me, I wont leave you-" but his sentence was broken off by minho’s lips. Minho brought his hands up to cup jisungs jaw and neck, keeping him in place. At first it was just a light kiss to get him to stop arguing because minho was out of ideas, but then he stepped closer, leaning into jisung so there was no more space between them.

Jisung whimpered, trying to fight minho off of him, still trapped in his mind’s nightmare. but then minho lost all self control. He promised himself he wouldn’t get closer to jisung. He promised he would keep his feelings buried deep within him. he wanted to let jisung go, he didn’t want to shackle him to the ground where he didn’t belong. But all of that was pointless, because the moment his lips touched jisung’s, he was gone. He smashed his mouth to the younger boy in desperation and deepened the kiss.

Jisung tried to fight him off at first, punching at him, and moving his head away. but then eventually he gave in, kissing back. Minho’s hands moved to jisung’s waist, pulling them closer, if that was even possible. He couldn’t breathe, but he couldn’t live without jisung even more and so he didn’t hold back. He breathed in when jisung exhaled.

Jisungs eyes started to change from black to his normal color and the wind settled around them. The minho in his mind shattered with the rest of the dream, and soon he was face to face with the real minho.

Wait, minho is kissing me? What the hell? Please, if this is another nightmare, I don’t want it to end.

He wrapped his hands around minho’s neck, and kissed him even harder, bruising minho’s lips. Minho was the first to break away, jisung chasing after his lips not even close to ending whatever it was that was happening.

Jisung whined at the absence of minho, “I don’t think so pretty boy.” and he grabbed minho’s shirt and pulled him towards him again, reconnecting their lips. “oof!” minho exhaled as he was shoved back down, but didn’t hesitate to kiss jisung again, his hands rubbing his hips.

Suddenly, jisung lost consciousness and passed out mid-kiss. Minho caught him against his chest instinctively.

Minho looked around, breathing heavily and assessing the situation. He locked eyes with hyunjin from across the field. “I saw that,” Hyunjin grinned, letting a passed out seungmin rest in his lap.

Minho smirked and winked at hyunjin. Then he frowned down at jisung. “you think he will remember this? That wasn’t supposed to happen, shit.” He ran a hand through his hair in distress. Hyunjin shrugged. “same over here. Seungmin is going to be so pissed when he wakes up.”

Minho raised a brow at hyunjin. Then they both heard grunting and fighting from the other direction. “shit I forgot about changbin and felix.” Hyunjin said.

“changbin still has them surrounded in dark energy. We cant even get close.”

“woah look at them go at each other. this is like some epic showdown. Why are we paying for cable when we can just watch a rabid changbin try to beat the shit out of felix?”

“I heard that hyunjin you jackass. Argh!” felix yelled over, dodging another blow from changbin.

“why do you think felix is immune to changbin’s dark energy?” hyunjin inquired. Minho shook his head. “no idea, but im glad its just felix and not some psycho serialkiller.”

***

Felix punched changbin in the face, wincing as he did. hes going to feel that in the morning.

Changbin took the hilt of his sword and jammed it into felix’s arm. “ow, dammit!” felix kicked changbin in the leg, shuffling back quickly. Changbin stumbled, but then ran towards felix. Felix met him head on, elbowing him in the jaw. Changbin ducked and swept felix’s legs from under him. he materialized his sword again and stabbed downwards.

Felix clapped his hands on the sword and caught it. then he wrapped his hands around it, and flung it out of changbins grip, slicing his hands again, like the very first time they met. Felix only had a few seconds before changbin rematerialized another sword in his hands.

Changbin pushed felix to the ground on his back, both knees on either side of his hips. He curled a fist and aimed at felix’s face. Felix shifted his head, just barely missing changbin’s punch. Felix gripped changbin’s thighs on either side of him, and flipped them over again, this time he was on top straddling changbin. He pinned changbin to the ground, which wasn’t easy. Changbin was releasing a ton of dark energy, coating the air and making it hard to breathe. The grass and plants around them started to wither and die. Felix was immune to an extent, but not even he would last much longer with all of this negative energy being thrown at him.

“come on binnie! Quit it! its me, Felix!” he shouted at the boy under him. changbin just stared back at him, unblinking. His eyes were completely black. He tried to shove felix off of him, but felix tightened his grip. He aimed his gun at changbin. “I swear ill shoot. Now snap out of it!” of course he was bluffing, but he cocked the gun and pressed the barrel to changbin’s forehead.

Changbin stilled at the feel of cold metal on his forehead.

In his mind, whispers were talking to him. he couldn’t help but listen to them. “wouldn’t it be better if you were alone? You wouldn’t hurt the ones you love, nor would you get hurt.” Over and over it repeated.

“wouldn’t it be better if you were alone? wouldn’t it be better if you were alone? wouldn’t it be-“

Changbin whimpered, fighting to let loose his powers in self defense. “I don’t want to be alone.” He whispered out loud. Felix looked into changbin’s eyes that were unseeing without emotion. He tossed his gun aside and gently traced changbin’s face, resting one of his hands on his cheeks.

“come back to me binnie. I don’t want to be alone either. You don’t have to be alone, because im here with you. Ill never leave you.” He whispered to changbin. his face was centimeters from changbin’s and he could feel changbin’s breath as he breathed in and out rapidly.

Somewhere, deep in changbin’s mind, he heard those words. The darkness around him began to bleed to golden yellow. His eyes started to come into focus, flickering back and forth between black and his normal dark brown color. Changbin calmed down and stopped fighting.

“that’s it binnie. Im right here. Its okay, ill always be here.” Felix pushed back some of changbin’s hair. He was lying completely on top of changbin now, their legs entangled in each other. Changbin’s eyes came back into focus, the nightmare shattering completely. His eyes focused on a blonde haired boy above him.

“felix.” He sighed in relief, smiling weakly.

“hey there. You're back.” Felix soothed changbin, running his hands through his hair. Changbin closed his eyes at the touch, letting his racing heart calm down and match felix's. He loved it when felix played with his hair. His powers were back in control, and he felt extremely sleepy.

“mmm, im back.” Changbin slurred, losing consciousness. His head lolled gently to the side. Felix stared at changbin’s beautiful sleeping face, finally able to calm down knowing changbin was back to his senses and safe. He traced his finger along the side of changbin’s jaw, changbin unconsciously leaning into the touch.

Should I? would it be weird to kiss your best friend after he almost tried to kill you and then fall asleep under you? Yes it is…fuck it.

Felix leaned down and pressed his lips softly to changbin’s and changbin exhaled in his sleep. Felix heard footsteps approaching him. his lips left changbin’s and he whipped his head up, instantly flushing red as hyunjin and minho walked closer, carrying a sleeping jisung and seungmin on their backs.

“we saw that.” Minho smirked evilly. “im telling changbin when he wakes up.”

“at least felix didn’t eat his face off like you did to jisung.” Hyunjin shot back.

Minho sniffed, lifting his chin in the air, “I have no idea what you are talking about. But i know you still put a move on seungmin.”

Felix grinned up at them. “we pretend this never happened?”

“deal.” They said, and all burst out laughing. Felix carried changbin on his back, and they made their way to find chan, woojin, and jeongin. Minho knew exactly where they were.

Chapter Text

Minho lead the others to the opposite side of the grassy clearing they were just in, coming to a dead stop. There in the distance was a huge warehouse with more of that thick black fog surrounding it. a few meters away from the warehouse was chan, woojin and jeongin being surrounded by a whirlpool of sea water and fog at least 50 feet high.

Woojin’s orange eyes could be seen from where minho, felix, and hyunjin were standing, and he was freezing the water left and right. He made huge ice walls that blocked out the hurricane surrounding them, preventing them from being washed away completely. Chan’s blue lightning was dancing across the ice, searching for a way out of the water engulfing them.

“we should hurry and help them.” Hyunjin said, gently placing seungmin on the grass away from the fighting. Felix and minho did the same with changbin and jisung.

“I know, but all three of them can take care of themselves at the moment. We need to find who is controlling the water and fog.” Minho answered, his eyes flickering back and forth, assessing the area. “come on, where are you?” he muttered to himself.

“they must not be touching the ground. Then that means they are in the sky or high on top of something right?” felix asked minho.

Minho shook his head, “it doesn’t just have to be in the sky. That’s not how my power works. I also cant feel vibrations when someone is in the water, the footsteps feel funny and are too distorted…” his eyes suddenly widened and flashed to hyunjin. “wait, hyunjin! The water. Where is the water coming from?”

Hyunjin shook his head. “its not normal water that I can usually call upon from the water molecules in the air. This is all sea water man. If anything, someone is near the sea bringing in the water from that way.”

“then that’s where you will look. Felix, can you do anything about that thick fog of doom over there?”

Felix snorted. “of course. After what they did to binnie, im ready to tear them apart.”

Minho nodded his head, satisfied. “alright, good luck.” He glanced one more time over at jisung and the others, and then took off to help chan, woojin, and jeongin.

Hyunjin ran the other way, backtracking his footsteps in search of a source of sea water that was close by. Its an island after all, there has to be an opening somewhere from the ocean.

Felix scanned the warehouse creeping with the fog. If minho couldn’t find the person controlling the fog earlier, then that means they were up high on something. the only thing higher than the trees is that warehouse over there, which might give the person enough of a vantage point to see us in the clearing we were just in and control the fog. Ill start there.

Felix sprinted through the forest, making his way around the warehouse to the other side. At the back, there was a fire escape with metal stairs leading to the roof. The only problem is he would have to go through the fog to get to it. he danced on his feet, debating what to do.

If he went through the fog, he would experience some of his worst fears. But if he didn’t go through the fog and find whoever is controlling it, then the rest of his friends will be hurt.

He gulped in a breath of air (as if that would help), and grabbed onto the metal railing of the steps, swinging himself up on the first landing with a soft ‘tink’ sound.

He squeezed his eyes shut for a moment, trying to tune out the whispers that started to fill his head. He couldn’t help but hear a small bit of what they were saying.

Why would anyone want to be with a freak like you? You could never fit in with the others. Nobody will love you for who you truly are.

Felix closed his mind, and continued to press on. He ran up the stairs, swinging from landing to landing, until he made it to the roof. He was panting really hard, not from the exertion of running, but from the concentration it took to not listen to the voices inside his head.

Sitting on the edge of the roof swinging his legs back and forth playfully was a boy around felix’s age, maybe older, with blonde hair at the roots that faded into a deep purple color at his tips. His back was turned to felix, and the black fog was swirling around his body in a soft caress. felix walked up to him as quietly as possible and clicked his gun to the back of the kid’s head.

“For Binnie!” he declared, and was going to press the trigger.

The kid turned at the feel of the barrel digging into his head, and giggled.

“oops, I was found~” he sing-songed. “Took you long enough, dumbass. You guys are better than I thought though. I can see why N considers Chan with high regards.”

“and how would you know?” felix hissed back.

The boy ignored him, and got up from the edge of the warehouse not even worried about being shot. “we weren’t going to kill them you know. Just wanted to test you guys out for fun to see how strong you were.”

“for fun? You call this fun?” felix pointed out to chan and the others struggling down below.

“uh yes?” and the boy headed to the fire escape. Felix let him walk by, but was wary and kept an eye on him.

“come on,” he motioned for felix. “shownu is probably waiting for you. I think by now byeongkwan and sehyoon got caught also by your other friends. the tall and pretty one was rampaging through the forest a moment ago like a mad man and found the underground water cave where sehyoon was. In record time might I add.”

Felix looked over the edge of the roof and saw that the water surrounding his members became considerably smaller, almost disappearing.

He must mean hyunjin. Who the hell are these guys?

Felix unwillingly followed the kid back down to the ground.

“oh by the way, my name is Yuchan. Nice to meet you! Whats your name?” he smiled at felix, and dropped to a few landings on the stairs below them effortlessly. Felix followed with eyes squinting suspiciously, but answered anyways. “Felix.”

***

Felix was forced to wait inside the warehouse, which actually had an awesome modern interior to it, with some of the members of monsta x, N and hyuk. He wanted so badly to go back to chan and the others, and he was especially still worried about changbin being passed out, but he stayed put. Shownu and a few other people he had never seen before (including the fog of death boy) was among them, discussing something with N.

all of a sudden the ground quaked and rumbled, rattling the whole building causing some picture frames to drop to the floor, the tables to crash against each other, and the glass window panes to crack. And then the front door slammed open.

Minho kicked the door so hard it slammed back into the wall leaving an indent and cracking the plaster. He was soaked and cradling a still-passed-out jisung in his arms, his face blank. He immediately moved to the side, making way.

A very pissed and very drenched Chan walked in, wearing a tank top and carrying his soaked tshirt, wringing it together like he was gonna start swinging with it. His bonded tattoo on his upper arm was glowing, and his eyes were flickering back and forth between pale blue and his normal brown. He was trying like hell to rein in his temper and present himself as a decent person in front of his sunbaes, but he honestly was not feeling so nice anymore. His members were put through hell for nothing!

Following chan came woojin carrying changbin and hyunjin carrying seungmin, with a drenched jeongin. At the end of the group was a tall male with dirty blonde hair and a really short male with light grey-pink hair. They closed the door behind them, or rather, they tried to close it as decently as they could since minho practically ripped it off its hinges.

“good, im glad you all could make it.” shownu addressed the crowd in front of him. “mind telling me what exactly you are doing here?”

“firstly, I want you guys to know that I had nothing to do with them attacking you when you arrived on the island. They just said it was a simple test to make sure they woudn't be compromised in case an ambush came. They wanted to evaluate your ‘strength’ or some shit to see how strong and reliable you would be in a battle.” N interrupted and explained to chan and his members. He flicked his bangs out of his face. “pshh how barbaric in my opinion. as if they needed to test you guys. Of course you are some of the best of the best, I was the one that appointed chan the leader after all. My judgement is impeccable.” he continued, rambling and praising himself.  

Chan ignored his boss with his nonstop talking and turned to shownu. Behind shownu was hyungwon and kihyun, along with IM and wonho. And next to them was the extended members of shownu’s group. Chan wasn’t too familiar with them because they rarely leave the island.

“Ten and Jun both saw something bad happening on this island, and Leo sent us to warn you and help in case anything happens. There wasn’t any specific details, I’m sorry.” He told shownu. Shownu assessed the stray kids leader for a moment, and then nodded his head.

“thank you for letting me know. Im sure we could have handled it ourselves, but we appreciate the notion,” he told chan. Chan was slightly annoyed at this. thank goodness seungmin wasn’t awake, he would surely have a remark to say after hearing that.

“not to be rude, but I do not appreciate you ‘testing’ us. Especially if we were sent here at the last minute in case we had to fight. Three of my members are knocked out, no thanks to your dream walker over there,” yuchan waved with a cute smile on his face at the mention of him, “and the rest of my members are exhausted, wet, and miserable.” Chan continued, chewing out shownu despite him being much older than him. chan’s gaze was unwavering. He didn’t take the lives of his family for granted, even if it was just a ‘test’.

Shownu just stood there staring back at chan. Then he turned to N with a small smile on his face. “I like him.”

N scoffed, “of course you do. I chose him afterall.”  Then N clapped his hands, immediately taking charge like he always does. “okay. Time to play catch up. Chan, this is shownu and his group as you already know. Behind them over there is some of Junhee’s group, A.C.E. Sehyoon is the one with the dirty blonde hair, he controls the sea. Byeongkwan is his mate and can summon storms. Over there is their maknae, Yuchan, and he is the dream walker. Junhee and Donghun are busy setting up your rooms. I made shownu prepare them ahead of time when I got the call from Leo that you guys are on your way.”

Chan nodded his head in their direction at the introductions. “before we discuss anything, I want seungmin, changbin, and jisung in a warm bed. How much longer until they wake up?” he turned to yuchan.

Someone in the room gasped. “that’s changbin?!” they exclaimed warily. Felix glanced over, noting it was byeongkwan who made the remark. His soulmate, sehyoon, nudged him in the shoulder to keep quiet.

Yuchan fixed some of his purple-blonde hair as he answered, “maybe in a few hours? It depends on the person. Im honestly quite impressed with them. Usually, a person is not able to escape my dreams I put them under, but all three of them did. if they waited a little bit longer I would have released them from the dreams and they would be fine. but because they broke the spell themselves, they put a lot of strain on their mental capabilities causing them to pass out like that. not to worry, after some rest they will be fine.” he reassured chan. The others sighed in relief, glad to know changbin, jisung, and seungmin were alright.

“ah! But just warning you. Everything they said or did while under my dream spell will be forgotten. They weren't themselves, so don’t blame them if they attacked or hurt you in any kind of way.”

Felix, hyunjin, and minho all glanced at each other and shifted on their feet guiltily, an unspoken promise passing between them: What happened in the field, stays in the field.

“sehyoon, show them to the rooms.” Shownu asked. Sehyoon, not much of a talker, simply nodded and started heading down a hall and to one of the staircases. Woojin, minho, and hyunjin followed carrying the others. Felix slowly and quietly made his way across the room to stand next to chan and jeongin, instantly relaxing.

“I want to know everything you know.” Chan said through gritted teeth. He hated being left out of the loop on information. He was a careful planner, and right now there are too many gaps to fill in order to figure out a proper course of action.

Hyuk, who was leaning against a wall in the back of the room, nodded and spoke up. “that’s understandable. So far, we heard back from minhyuk and jooheon some time ago. The mercenaries were the ones who entered the Arcade with their ‘human package’ as they so decently put it. they were going to try and bargain their way into gaining exclusive membership. They honestly had no other useful information for us, so minhyuk reluctantly had to let them go. He revoked their memberships though, and they aren’t allowed back into the Arcade, we will make sure of it.”

Chan nodded. That made sense. Sometimes people like that pop up all over the place. The world wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and everybody does what they can to make a decent buck and get by.

At the mention of the mercenaries, jeongin perked up. “wait, how is that kid doing? Is he alright?” chan turned to jeongin, lifting an eyebrow. It was rare for him to speak out so animatedly in front of authority figures.

Hyungwon, who was sitting at one of the tables now, propped his combat boots up on the table next to him and answered lazily with a wave of his hand, “yeah hes somewhere on our grounds. We decided to let him join one of our ranks under us. He’s training right now; we cant let a power like his go to waste. The kid is good, I can see why they wanted to keep him so badly.”

N sat down tiredly, sighing in his seat. As he spent the last month here on the island, he was growing more agitated. The situation was completely out of control, and he hated being away from Leo and his other members for too long. “we are doing the best we can to find out where they are taking the descendants. They aren’t keeping them at the facilities anymore, and we have no idea how they are kidnapping them. Not a single descendant was able to escape or even have a chance to fight back. Their loved ones just wake up one day to find them missing without a trace. And they never take someone who is bonded, I don’t know why.”

Felix bit his lip, then spoke up. “they want your powers.” Everyone turned to him. Felix felt uneasy with so many eyes on him.

N, having received a report from Johnny a while back about Felix’s memories he gathered, turned to felix with knowing eyes. “yes I know that, but why?”

“im not too sure, I wasn’t able to gather that much information at my time in facility 9-“

“woah! Hes from facility 9?!” IM shot out in the background.

“-but I do know that they want to gather the powers of everyone’s mates. Only the strong ones though. They trained us to kill our mate in a death match, and the survivor gets to keep their soulmate’s abilities for themselves in order to acquire ‘true strength.’ But I overheard that we don’t actually get to keep those abilities for ourselves. They are simply using us to draw out our other half and kill them, and then take whatever energy we gather for another purpose.”

“ so in other words, if you aren’t bonded, you aren’t safe.” Kihyun reasoned. Felix nodded to him.

“well great. Nothing like getting captured and being forced into a match to the death to remind myself that I’m single and ready to mingle.” Wonho snorted.

“damn. All this talk of killing really puts a damper on my ‘forever alone’ status I try so hard to maintain.” Hyungwon said sarcastically. Hyuk and byeongkwan coughed out a snicker in the back.

“This new information we’ve been gathering changes things. Leo and I, as well as Shownu and the others have been trying for years to take down the facilities. All we could do was gather people like us underground and hideaway until a day would come where we can stop this. but things are changing. We are starting to get more desperate.” N complained.

Everyone in the room nodded in agreement and the air went silent.

N looked over at chan, felix, and jeongin, and smiled sadly. They were all so young, but had to grow up in this kind of world. He put his thoughts aside and stood up. “go and take a rest. One day at time, am I right?”

Chan nodded, and headed in the direction woojin and the others went into. He knew exactly where woojin was through their bonds.

“you completely destroyed my common area here.” Shownu said, referring to the disaster that the front of his warehouse was in.

“yeah! Its going to take the whole day cleaning this up!” yuchan whined.

Chan smiled arrogantly. “Sorry, but im not sorry. You pissed off minho by knocking out jisung and the rest of my members. He’s very possessive of us, you see. You’re lucky that’s all he did. quite frankly, I don’t think I would have stopped him if he went further.” Chan chuckled, still pretty pissed off himself. and with that, he turned on his heel and walked out of the room, felix and jeongin close behind him. jeongin stuck his tongue out at yuchan and byeongkwan. Yuchan let out an exaggerated gasp.

“you got your hands full with that one.” Shownu said to N, lightly laughing.

“are you kidding me? Have you seen taeyong and his members? There’s like 25 of them now. And don’t even get me started on hoshi.” N complained, rubbing the sides of his head.

“like you and your group are any better.” Kihyun scoffed crossing his arms.

N grinned up at kihyun, a mischievous glint to his eyes. “i separated hongbin and hyuk for a reason, you know.”

 

Chapter Text

It wasn’t until many hours later that jisung woke up. It was dark out now, around 1 am in the morning.

Jisung got up out of bed, confused as to where he was. His head kind of hurt, and his memory was hazy.

What the hell happened to me?

He padded lightly on the hardwood floors, making his way to the door. He looked around carefully, tense and ready to fight at any moment. The last thing he remembers was being surrounded by a thick fog in the grassy clearing.

He carefully opened his door, and made his way down the dark hallway, listening intently with his heightened hearing.

At the end of the hallway, he saw a closed room with light peeking under the door. He made his way closer, hearing familiar muffles from inside. He barely touched the ground, and oh so carefully brought his ear close to the door, eavesdropping on the conversation. Its what he does best afterall.

From the room, he could hear minho talking to someone.

Should I leave? Minho would kill me if I overhear his conversation again. He debated back and forth, and decided to turn around and go back the way he came when he suddenly heard minho say his name. all thoughts of being a decent person and retreating flew out of his head.

“still minho, I hate seeing you torture yourself just because you are trying to do the right thing. You deserve to be happy too. Why do you keep holding yourself back?” chan asked him softly.

“…because chan. Jisung is a free spirit. He’s like the wind, he doesn’t need to rely on anyone. But me…I need him like I need oxygen to breathe. I would just end up tying him down. wind always flows, is always living. Earth is stuck in one place. Even if im gone, jisung will move on.”

Jisung heard this last part through the door and couldn't understand what minho was trying to say. Was he leaving? What does he mean minho would tie him down?

Jisung processed the thought of minho disappearing out of his life, leaving him alone. He suddenly couldn’t breathe, taking shallow breaths. Memories resurfaced in his mind: of a time where everyone he loved left him from this world, and he started to shake.

Minho was more than just earth stuck in one place. He was jisung’s foundation, keeping him grounded, keeping him from wandering lost and alone. He towers over him, protecting him. he is the stable constant in his otherwise chaotic life. why does minho believe he needs jisung? What has jisung ever done for him? he always thought he was annoying, and clingy, and whiny. Who would ever like someone like that?

Jisung accidentally took a step back and his foot thumped on the ground. He quickly realized his mistake and snapped himself out of his thoughts. Oh shit.

He immediately retreated before minho opened the door

Chapter Text

“Say, changbin?” felix asked the older.

“hmm?” he replied, staring out into the dawn morning light.

Earlier, Changbin woke up with a gasp around 4 in the morning and frantically felt around beside him on the bed. he let out a sigh of relief when he felt felix lying next to him sound asleep. This was routine for them now, felix never leaving his side during the night so that he could sleep better.

Felix ended up waking up, too worried for changbin to truly get any proper rest. After explaining to changbin what happened while he was knocked out, they were now outside on the rooftop, getting some fresh air.

“why does everyone run away from you? I've noticed this a few times.” Felix looked out over the horizon also, admiring the hues of blue and pink starting to form in the sky. He sat there in silence, waiting for changbin to answer. He wasn’t even sure if he would.

For what seemed like a long time, changbin finally spoke. “its because of my looks I guess. I'm not overly friendly to new people, hell I almost killed you the first time we met Lix.” Changbin chuckled bitterly at that.

Felix scoffed, “hyung, that doesn’t count and you know it. you were in enemy territory, and some random kid from the facility starts running towards you. Of course you would be on your guard and attack.” Felix laughed and continued, “I would’ve done the same thing. And don’t give me that crap about your looks. You are really handsome and manly.”

Changbin’s heart pounded slightly at the compliment. He sat there debating what to say to that.

After a few more moments, he answered the younger boy’s question full heartedly. “its because im darkness. When people see my powers they become afraid. They should be, after I lost control like that in the facility over two years ago. They think I should be locked up, or isolated. They think I should be alone, and they are right. I don’t belong with other people, and I especially shouldn’t get too close.”

Felix frowned and turned his head, facing changbin. “that’s bullshit. Don’t listen to them, you belong here with us and no where else. I'm sorry people have made you feel like this.” Felix was angry that others have hurt changbin in this kind of way, but he was even angrier that he couldn’t protect him from his own thoughts.

Changbin looked down at his hands in his lap and muttered, “but im dangerous Lix. Even the other members outside of stray kids are wary sometimes, always keeping an eye on me just in case something goes wrong. Don’t think I didn’t notice. Everybody carries a little bit of fear in their hearts. I don’t blame them and im not angry at them. Its just the way it is.”

Felix remained quiet, not knowing what to say. He couldn’t find the words to reassure changbin of his fears.

Deep down changbin knew the others were careful of him, but the thought of felix not wanting to be around him hurt more than any other thought. He looked up at felix and asked what he was most afraid to ask.

“you’ve seen my powers, you know what I can do. Aren’t you scared of me too?”

Felix tilted his head to the side in confusion, his brows furrowing slightly. He looked changbin dead in the eyes.

“Should I be?”

Changbin’s eyes widened. He continued to stare at felix, lost in his eyes, searching for any hint of fear, or wariness, or even disgust. But all he found was felix’s unwavering stare, and he couldn’t look away. It was almost as if Felix could see through him. changbin felt vulnerable, and he felt small. He didn’t know how to process this feeling in his chest. He felt his heart racing, beating in time with an echo of another heart beat.

In this moment, with the sun rising above the horizon and felix’s hair shining a reddish gold, he felt like he could finally breathe.

Felix continued to stare at changbin with wide and innocent eyes, and changbin thought he was utterly gorgeous, both inside and out. Changbin blinked a few times, his mouth opened and closed, unsure of what to say back. Felix was beautiful. In felix’s presence he felt comfortable, he felt safe.

Felix felt like home.

Felix felt his heart racing, a strong pounding in his chest. He brought his hand up to the spot and rubbed gently over his heart to soothe the feeling. He looked down at his chest and frowned, and then looked back up at changbin. but just as he was going to say something to the older boy, he stopped.

There, in the morning’s first light, he saw changbin’s beautiful dark eyes reflect golden, perhaps from the red-orange glow of the sun starting to rise. But as soon as he saw it, it was gone in an instant. Felix blinked a few times completely missing the sunrise, too busy looking at changbin.

He bumped shoulders with the dark haired boy, “what is it binnie? You’re staring,” he chuckled, trying to play it off nonchalantly.

Changbin reached up, brushing a stray hair off felix’s forehead. He gulped, swallowing the bit of emotion that stuck to the back of his throat. “nothing. Just, im glad you are with us now.”

Felix relaxed into changbin’s touch, almost whining when the older boy dropped his arm after fixing his hair. “really? You mean that? Even if im different?” he quietly whispered.

“especially because you are different. We all are. We all have our fears, we all have our problems. By ourselves, we don’t fit in with the general population. but when we are together, the puzzle is complete. We were once strays, living our own way. That’s how chan got the name by the way. ‘Stray Kids’ who don’t want to be lost anymore, but instead find our own way in life. Together.”

Felix crinkled his eyes and gave changbin the brightest smile. “I like that. I like that a lot.”

Chapter Text

“here, I brought you some tea. Figured you could use some after the shit we went through.” Hyunjin said, handing seungmin a warm cup while he was propped in bed. It was early morning after hyunjin caught seungmin up on what happened, and all nine of them felt groggy.

“ugh, I smell gross.” Seungmin complained, pulling up his shirt and sniffing it with disgust.

Hyunjin chuckled. “yeah getting tossed around in the ocean like we were on a shrimp boat and then rolling around in a forest, and then I had to hike like a thousand miles with you on my back. Its no wonder you look and smell like death.”

Seungmin snorted, and took the mug of tea gratefully. He hasn’t eaten in almost a day. “im gonna need a shower after this.”

“if you need any help, just let me know,” hyunjin winked. Seungmin gave him a sarcastic look of disgust and ignored him, drinking from his cup.

“im going to pretend you didn’t say that. got any clothes I can borrow? I honestly don’t think my stuff survived.”

“honey, I’d like to see you in my shirts every day.” Hyunjin continued to flirt.

“first of all, that was the dumbest thing I’ve heard, and trust me when I say that because one time I was stuck home alone with jisung making moves on minho all day. I honestly don’t know how minho hasn’t stabbed himself with changbin’s sword yet just to end his misery. And second, we practically share clothes, so you have seen me in your tshirts like a thousand times by now. So im taking that as a yes, you have clothes I can borrow.” Seungmin made his point.

Hyunjin pouted, “you are always so nerdy. You’re no fun, why do I even bother hanging out with you?”

“because you love me anyways,” Seungmin retorted. Hyunjin gave him a side smirk not denying it, and then got up and went over to his bag to get the younger some clothes. He had to wash all of his stuff yesterday after they settled into their rooms, because no matter how beautiful you think the ocean looks, its actually really disgusting.

***

Jisung sat there in bed, listening to the house wake up. He can hear hyunjin and seungmin’s muffled voices through the walls next door, and some people were clinking around downstairs in the kitchen. He didn’t get a wink of sleep after what he overheard yesterday from chan and minho. He was confused, and just so tired.

He and minho are extremely close. At least, that’s what he thought. But then minho always pushes him away, and never takes him seriously when he flirts (okay he can admit he doesn't blame minho for that one).

And why does he care so much when minho acts hot one moment and then cold the next? What does minho truly mean to him?

Everything.

What does he like so much about minho? His looks? His smile? The way he acts like he doesn’t care about any of the members, but is always the first one to get revenge as soon as someone messes with one of them?

All of it.

He has no specific reasons on why he likes minho so much. And isn’t that the point anyways? When you cherish someone more than you care about yourself, you don’t need any superficial reasons to like them. Just them existing is enough, and when they are suddenly taken away from you it feels like your world is shattering.

His heart was hurting and he didn’t know why.

Just then, the room door opened. Jisung snapped out of his thoughts and watched as minho walked in with woojin, a glass of water in his hand.

“hey, you slept awhile huh? Here, I figured you probably feel like trash right now,” he said as he handed jisung the glass with a smile.

Jisung frowned at the gesture of kindness. He doesn’t want to feel this way around minho if it would just end up being pointless. Maybe minho was finally sick of him? Was he too clingy and annoying? Should he give him some space?

Jisung may be confident about his looks and abilities, but deep down he was insecure.

Will anyone ever like me for me? Will anyone ever notice the little things about me? Will anyone learn to love me despite my flaws?

In times like these, he has never felt more lonely.

He reluctantly took the glass from minho’s hand, smiling weakly in return. “thanks.” he said coolly, and took a sip. Satisfied, minho sat on top of the blanket jisung was cuddled under, unknowingly grabbing jisung’s ankle and rubbing it. jisung glanced down at the gesture, not realizing until now how comfortable enough they were around each other to do small reassuring touches like this. maybe this is where it all really started: feeling comfortable with each other.

if he was going to give minho distance, then that needs to be put to a minimum.

He scooted his feet away from minho and propped himself up more on the bed. Minho looked down at the sudden movement and frowned at the empty spot where jisung’s legs were under the covers.

“anyways, we have a big day ahead of us. How are you feeling?” woojin asked from the doorway.

Jisung looked over at the older, “better, but I don’t remember much on what happened to me, which is frustrating.” Minho coughed at that.

“ah, yuchan explained that. don’t worry, that’s normal.” Minho said. jisung looked at him confused. Yuchan, who now?

“why don’t you shower and then come downstairs while we explain everything. You missed a whole half a day of events.” Woojin told him. jisung nodded, and then minho and woojin got up and left the room.

Jisung sighed loudly. This was the right decision by giving minho room to breathe.

Or was it?

***

“I really don’t get the point of them being here. We can take care of ourselves.” Yuchan huffed a few days later, sitting at the table. “And besides, whatever jun mentioned about nightmares was obviously referring to me, so you can all go home now.” He waved his hand in a ‘shooing’ motion.

“please, we didn’t come for you by choice. Leo only said to go and check things out and warn you that something may happen. He didn’t say anything about staying and helping your sorry asses,” seungmin shot back.

“the hell you just say?!” yuchan stood up.

“did I mutter it? want me to repeat it?!” seungmin glared back. “typical of monsta x and anyone working for them. Cant even recognize when someone is helping out of the goodness of their heart.”

“you have to have a heart first,” hyungwon called out, sounding bored.

“alright, enough you guys,” junhee said calmly, putting the petty argument to an end. “It’s been a few days now, and everything seems calm. Besides, nobody even knows we live here on this island.”

“what I want to know is where the hell they are keeping everyone,” wonho said.

“any word from scoups? He’s been gone for a month now.” Chan asked N.

N shook his head sadly. “you know how hard it was to locate their facilities. Hell it took us a whole year just to find facility 9 for you guys. Whoever is masking their location, they are damn good at it.”

“my question is, where the hell are they getting so many soldiers and people on their side? They have a ton! There cant be that many people that believe in their cause, right?” kihyun thought out loud.

“bitch, you don’t need people to believe in your cause if you have a poison of doom brainwashing you. Just ask felix,” minho said, crossing his arms. He sat next to jisung and leaned into his shoulder, missing jisung’s touch. Jisung tensed up at that and leaned away.

N perked up at this. “Poisons? What kind of poison was it? there isn’t any poison that I don’t know about.”

“well you don’t know about this one. They made it themselves and decided to shoot up felix with it before we brought half of facility 9 crashing down.” hyunjin answered.

“aww why cant we be cool like that for once?” donghun complained. “out here, I just spend my days watching sehyoon talk to starfish and shit when he thinks no one is around.”

Sehyoon gasped at that. “at least I don’t send people walking in circles,” he spat back.

“its called ‘confusion’ and its very helpful, thank you very mu-.” Donghun slumped over in mid-sentence, almost falling out of his chair.

“god dammit hyungwon, stop putting people to sleep randomly.” Shownu lectured his member.

“what? He kept yapping and it was annoying,” he shrugged without regrets. But then snapped his fingers, and donghun woke back up finishing his sentence like nothing happened.

“-much. What? Why is everyone looking at me like that?” donghun continued.  

“I can see why nobody wants them back on the mainland,” jeongin smirked. He and seungmin high fived each other.

“I swear to god, every day this goes on. I'm losing my mind,” shownu muttered to chan.

“yeah well at least you don’t have a seungmin and a minho in your group.” Chan muttered back.

“YAH!” they heard in the background.

“try keeping byeongkwan and yuchan out of trouble, and then come and tell me your problems,” junhee joined in the circle.

“yeah well have you seen Leo and hyuk go at it? leo is such a drama queen,” N added in, forming a small huddle of leaders in the corner.

“you know we can hear you, you pieces of shit,” hyungwon called over.

“there was a reason I sent minhyuk and jooheon to the mainland. This has been the best month ive had in awhile. Its almost like a vacation,” shownu continued as if hyungwon didn’t exist.

“I was wondering why you stayed on the island where your abilities are not as useful,” N said to him.

“so anyways, what are the trainees on the island doing right now?” jeongin asked, changing the topic. Changbin noticed jeongin’s failed attempt at seeming nonchalant and smirked at him.

“training.” Hyungwon answered back. Wonho rolled his eyes and smacked hyungwon. Hyungwon just shrugged again.

“maybe we should go and check it out?” minho suggested, throwing his arm over jisung’s shoulders. Jisung immediately stood up. “I think I will pass on that one and just chill in my room.”

“oh, ill come and hang out with you then,” minho said while standing up also.

“no, that’s ok hyung. Ill just be lying down or something.” and then jisung turned on his heel and went upstairs to his borrowed guest room. Minho blinked a few times, watching jisung leave.

“woah, what the fuck did minho do to jisung?” woojin said bluntly.

“everyone else noticed that too? its been going on for a few days now.” minho asked around, looking at his members with a confused expression and eyes pleading for help. Chan gave minho a hard look, an unspoken word passing between the two.

Felix, who was hanging on changbin’s arm, slowly let go and stood up. Changbin grabbed onto felix and gave him a questioning look, and felix said to the group “I think ill go hang out with jisung this afternoon.” Changbin reluctantly let go of felix, watching him leave his side.

He then snapped his head and glared over at minho for making jisung mad and causing felix to go after him, which all resulted in felix not hanging onto him anymore. Minho just shrugged, biting his lip in worry.

***

“mind telling me whats going on?” felix asked softly, shutting jisung’s door behind him.

Jisung was buried under his covers curled in a ball dramatically. “I seem desperate don’t I?” he mumbled.

Felix laughed, “uh, what?”

“with minho. I'm desperate aren’t i?”

“I would say more like you are thirsty, but yeah you are desperate. We already knew this and accepted it without shame, so why is it bothering you right now all of a sudden?”

“wow, thanks for having my back.” Jisung spat sarcastically and threw a pillow at felix.

“hey, I just told you like it is.” Felix blocked jisung's throw and ran and jumped on the bed. “but seriously man, whats up? Last I checked, you would kill to get attention from minho.”

“I overheard him talking to chan-“

“you really have to stop eavesdropping,” felix lectured.

“-and he said he didn’t want to tie me down, whatever the fuck that means.” Jisung continued, ignoring felix’s interruption.  Felix cocked his head to the side in thought.

“I got nothing man. Did you ask minho? Or maybe chan?” felix suggested.

“yeah great idea felix. Ill just go up to him, ask what it means to be wind that is always flowing like free-willy up in here, and ‘oh by the way I want to push you up against a wall and-‘ what the fuck is so funny?” he ended his rant at the sound of felix’s muffled laughter.

“yeah pretty much do it exactly like that.” jisung shoved felix at the ridiculous suggestion.

“im serious man! Help me out here!”

“honesty is the best policy. Just say you overheard them talking and want to know what its about.”

“ugh you are no help!” jisung buried his face into his pillow. “im just going to watch from a distance. I decided to leave him alone like he’s always wanted.”

Felix frowned down at jisung. Obviously he was more stressed about this than he let on. Felix rubbed his back soothingly. “want me to flirt with you in front of him?” he grinned. “or better yet, lets ask hyunjin.”

“no it cant be hyunjin. All of us already noticed something is up between him and seungmin. minho would never fall for it.”

“damn you’re right. then what about a member of monsta x, or perhaps ACE? You can flirt with one of them.”

Jisung perked up at that, “felix that’s genius!” but then instantly deflated. “but I would rather not. flirting isn’t fun anymore, not when my heart aches this much.” He rubbed his chest in annoyance. He cant seem to get rid of this dull ache for awhile now.

“well, I still think you should talk to minho.”

“ill talk to minho when you finally throw yourself at changbin,” jisung teased. Felix gasped.

“we are just really good friends!”

“you know I love watching you lie to yourself on a daily basis.” Jisung laughed, starting to tickle felix.

Felix kicked at him, trying to fight off jisung, rolling off the bed to the floor with a thud. “jisung? I think im falling for changbin hyung.” he said in-between giggles and gasps.

“congratulations, you are officially the last one to know.” Jisung rolled his eyes sarcastically, still tickling felix without remorse.Then jisung stopped abruptly.

“did you hear that?”

***

“you got to talk to jisung man.” Chan glared down at minho who was sitting on chan’s bed, woojin at his side.

Minho looked like a child getting scolded for doing something bad. “but why?”

“seriously? Even I can tell you did something wrong. Jisung never ignores you, no matter what you do or say. Honestly he’s the only one who can tolerate you the most. I don’t even envy him, someone’s gotta love you. I don’t mean that in a bad way.”

“ouch.” Minho said to woojin. “but I don’t know what I did wrong?” looking between his two hyungs.

“how about the fact that you constantly lead him on and give him mixed signals, but then ignore him. maybe hes finally grown tired of waiting around and decided to move on,” chan lectured. “why don’t you stop being a chicken shit and just accept your feelings for him.”

Minho looked frightened at the idea.

“I don’t understand why you don’t just be with him. you obviously like him,” woojin stated as a fact.

“because.” Minho whispered, giving up the pretense in front of chan and woojin. “we aren’t soulmates. What happens when he finds his one day, and then he has to end up choosing? I don’t want to put him through that.”

“that’s bullshit.” Chan declared. Minho startled at that, looking up at chan.

“what do you mean bullshit? Im doing it for jisung’s sake!”

Chan took a step closer to minho, pointing a finger at his chest. “no, you may think you are, but that’s not the case. Don’t try to kid yourself. You don’t want to initiate anything with jisung because you are scared. You don’t want to give your heart away and then wake up one day with jisung abandoning you all alone, just like your aunt did.” minho sucked in a breath at the accusation.

“don’t even try to come up with excuses, I know you just like I know every single one of the rest of my members. If you want something, you always go for it. I admire that selfish and possessive part of you. you just don’t want to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. You don’t want to go through the same thing you did as a child.”

“easy for you to say. You found your destined partner.” Minho sneered, going on the defense.

“yeah after he almost fucking died right in my arms. What a wonderful and romantic way to find my soulmate, only to realize I was losing him by the second. A whole 10 seconds of happiness I could’ve had going on there, but oh wait, I was too busy crying my eyes out and barely breathing from the heartbreak.” Chan shot back sarcastically. Woojin grabbed his hand to calm him down, feeling how agitated he was.

Minho looked down in defeat. Chan always did end up winning an argument, because he was usually right.

“Everyday I hoped,” he whispered after a minute of silence.

Chan leaned closer to minho, softening his gaze. “hoping for what?” he asked him. minho was one of his strongest friends and rarely shared his true feelings.

“every time they made me fight in the arena, thinking each opponent was my mate. I hoped it wasn’t. I prayed. Because what if I did end up killing them? Would I have even known? Or will I just go on living, wondering?”

“you would have known.” Chan reassured him firmly without a doubt. “trust me.”

Just then minho shot his head up, feeling it before knowing it.

***

Jeongin decided to go for a walk through the forest. Somewhere in the distance he could hear hyuk running through the brush, probably terrorizing a bird or something out of boredom.

He wanted to climb a tree and take a good look out over the island. There weren't many chances he got to see the world. He found a nice tall one, and made it to the top effortlessly. He may be the maknae of stray kids, but he was fully capable of fighting like the rest of them, and that also included physical ability. They just overprotected him too much, which he wasn’t complaining about.

He stayed up there for a long while, looking all around him. there was forest, and then sand and ocean. This part of the island was apparently really isolated, for obvious reasons, so he didn’t get to see much of the city or people on the other side of the island. But everything was quiet and calm, and it was very refreshing.

It almost made him believe that everything was normal in the world. What would it have been like if there weren't evil cults running around kidnapping people? Or sending them to facilities to train them to kill their soulmates? Would his life be different?

He thought about it, and then frowned. Even if there was suffering in the world, and pain and despair, there was also something good that came out of it. he met woojin first. And then they ended up living with chan and the others. And he wouldn’t trade any of that no matter how much they went through. Because they did it together.

He was brought out of his thoughts when he heard rustling down below him on the ground. At first he thought it was hyuk, but these sounds were clearly footsteps. And besides, hyuk could be quiet when he wanted to be.

He leaned down the branch, moving some leaves aside to watch and see who was approaching him. then he saw familiar dark hair. He grinned.

Jeongin hopped into a crouch on the branch, and then swung down and dropped to the ground.

“incoming!” he shouted, and then landed not so gracefully on the dark haired boy with a loud thud.

“ow, dammit, why do we keep bumping into each other like this?!” the boy cursed. He rubbed his face with one of his hands, and then finally looked up. Jeongin was right on top of him, his face inches from his own. And then jeongin smiled at him, “hi.” he breathed.

The boy’s heart started racing and his breath hitched. “mind getting off of me?” he glared, ignoring the feeling.

“nope!” jeongin cheerfully declared.

“ugh, you are so annoying!”

“aw, don’t be mean. I was just trying to say hello-“ but jeongin never got to finish his sentence.

Both him and the boy looked up into the sky, sensing a shift in energy.

“do you feel that?” jeongin asked, looking back down with wide eyes.

The boy nodded and sat up, jeongin still on him resting his hands on his shoulders, “yeah, something’s not right. It feels like the world’s energy went off balance for a quick second there.”

“it feels like the gravity is somehow distorted. Is that normal on the island?”

The boy shook his head. “not at all. I don’t think that’s normal any where.”  

Chapter Text

Seungmin and hyunjin were relaxing in the living room when they suddenly felt a rumble spread through the ground. It caused their water glasses and dishes to rattle on the small table in front of them.

“yah! Minho! You mind toning it down a bit, im trying to eat my soup over here!” seungmin shouted in the direction of the stairs.

Another rumble, this time much stronger, shook the whole warehouse.

“uhh, I don’t think that’s minho.” Hyunjin said as he was standing up.

“what the hell was that?” they heard yuchan in the other room say.

“maybe it was your fat ass finally bringing the whole house down.” seungmin cackled at him.

“really? Is now really the right time to be a jerk?” yuchan came into the room and glared at seungmin hands on his hips.

“sweetheart, im a jerk 25/8 to anyone who attacks us. Any time is the right time,” he winked at him.

“I cant believe you are still mad about that. I told you, it was just a test! We weren't going to actually do anything to you!” yuchan rolled his eyes. Hyungwon and changkyun started laughing at their stupid argument.

But then the ground shook some more. seungmin immediately got up with worry. “where's chan?

“changkyun, find shownu.” Hyungwon told the younger.

“already on it. be right back!” changkyun said, disappearing in the shadows.

“ok, that was kinda creepy.” Hyunjin said, watching changkyun melt into the darkness. “does he have a similar power to changbin?”

Hyungwon shook his head, “no, he shadow jumps. Anywhere there is a shadow he can teleport himself around. Unfortunately he cant take people with him, so he’s more like our messenger. Plus hes quick when he fights, its hard to keep track where he will end up next.”

“that’s awesome! I wish changbin was cool like that.” seungmin exclaimed.

“hey! I heard that!” changbin said, running into the room and kept on going taking the stairs two at a time, heading to find felix.

***

Changbin literally ran into jisung and felix on his way up to the second floor. “oof!” he bashed into felix, but then felix caught him before he stumbled to the ground.

“what the hell is going on?” jisung yelled. “I can hear things all around us but I don’t see anything! They are everywhere, but nothing is there!” he ran his hands through his hair in distress.

“we were just about to go find chan and the others.” Felix told changbin.

“well I was just coming to find you.”

Just then chan came barging down the hallway with woojin and minho. “everybody to the roof! Now!”

Jisung ran past; felix, woojin and changbin on his heels. Seungmin and hyunjin were just making it to the top of the steps when they heard his order. They kept going without question, following them to the roof.

“..7..8..where’s jeongin?” chan did a head count of his members as they passed by.

“he’s with hyuk in the woods somewhere. I'm heading there right now, don’t worry ill take care of him. find out what’s going on.” N said at the bottom of the stairs. Chan bit his lip in worry, but then nodded.

***

Everyone gathered on the roof, looking out over the island. All around in the distance were strange warps of energy, disappearing and reappearing. “this island is a piece of shit, did I ever mention that?” minho complained in frustration.

“are those time warps?” woojin asked chan.

Chan just shook his head, not knowing for sure. “if it is, we are so screwed. Who knows what could come out of one of those. I didn’t think anybody had an ability to actually do that to this extent.”

“they don’t, but with all the energy and abilities they are collecting from the descendants massacring each other, this would be nothing.” Felix hissed out.

“is that how they are kidnapping us? Distorting time space, snatching us out of thin air, and then disappearing without a trace?” jisung asked.

“looks to be that way.” Hyunjin confirmed.

“we are just shark bait for them if we cower here on the roof. We need to split up and go to each of the time warps. Since these are purely energy based time warps and not natural occurring ones, I can close off some of them, but not all of them. Wheres jeongin? hes the only other one of us that can manipulate energy, and hes damn good at it too. Much better than me.” Changbin said.

Just then, an energy wave pulsed through the entire island, causing the ground to quake again.

Everyone tried to keep their balance as the whole building shook. “hes out there somewhere with hyuk. N is going to find him. until then, jisung follow the farthest one out there in the west. You are the only one right now that can get there fast enough before the time warps open.” Chan told him while pointing.

“no problem!” jisung then ran straight towards the edge of the roof, saluted his members with a smirk, and tipped off the roof without looking, free-falling to the ground. A moment later he landed gracefully on both of his feet and took off.

“I really hate it when he does that,” minho grumbled, clutching his heart from the almost heart-attack he just had.

“changbin, minho I want you to head to the next closest one to jisung in the east around the back of the warehouse.”

“you got it!” minho said, and he and changbin ran off, taking the stairs like normal human beings.

Just then, changkyun reappeared from the shadows. “holy shit! That scared me,” Woojin exclaimed.

Changkyun chuckled, used to these reactions and turned to chan, “shownu wants some of your members and ours to stay close to home base here and take out whatever is coming through those warps. He also said he can give anyone that needs a ride to the farther ones. They are all over the place and they keep moving!”

“seungmin, hyunjin, head over with changkyun and assist shownu. Ill be right behind you in a little bit. Most of the warps are showing up near here. I have a feeling these aren’t random placements.”

“you got it!” seungmin rubbed his hands excitedly.

“yuchan and hyungwon are going with you guys,” Changkyun told them as he lead them back down the stairs, forced to walk instead of shadow jump because of the others.

“aww yuchan will be there? you just ruined my mood!” chan heard seungmin whine.

“what about us?” felix asked chan, referring to him and woojin.

“felix, you are the best shooter here. You can use a bow and arrow too, right?” chan asked him. felix nodded with a confident smirk. “I never miss my mark, hyung!”

“excellent. I want you and woojin to stay here on the roof and pick off anything you can see coming out of those warps. You guys are the only ones who can watch our backs from above. Use bullets, arrows, crossbows, I don’t care.”

Felix grinned, “you got it!”

Woojin walked up to chan, holding his arm. “be careful, yeah? I kind of want you in one piece when this is over.”

Chan smiled, gently tucking some of woojin’s hair behind his ear. “you too. I already almost lost you once. I think I used up all of my luck in this lifetime.”

***

Woojin summoned his longbow into his waiting hand. it was a massive bow that glistened like ice frozen on a lake during a winter’s day. He only used it when he needed to shoot long distances, but he can also change the shape of his bow depending on what he needed it for. It worked out great for him, because he never needed arrows. Instead, he used arrows made from his ice: an unlimited supply.

“woah! This is the first time im really seeing it up close!” felix exclaimed.

“I haven’t had a use for it in a while. And I never summoned it in the facility. Only those with really strong Classes can summon weapons of their choosing.” Woojin explained.

“you guys were smart to hide that bit of knowledge. The councilmen would never let you go if they knew.” Felix nodded knowingly while setting up his own spot. He had a variety of bows and arrows, along with a long range rifle. Shownu had the whole place stocked with all kinds of weapons.

“don’t you need a scope to go with your rifle?” woojin asked.

Felix tilted his head to the side in question. “no, I never needed one.”

Woojin raised his eyes in shock at that. “that’s impressive. You can see naturally from this far away?”

“yep!” felix grinned up with such an innocent smile, but then loaded and clicked the gun into place harshly. Woojin chuckled at the irony of it.

“alright, when you are out of arrows or ammo let me know. That’s when we are going to need you to go old school and whip out those twin swords of yours and join the others down below.”

“fine by me.” Felix hummed, standing on the edge of the roof assessing the ground below, and then he got ready to wait.

***

The ground pulsed again, and with each pulse of energy, the warps moved places, teleporting around the island. Jisung was on a wild goose chase, keeping an eye on two of them. They moved around so much that he ended up abandoning chan’s orders and running into seungmin, hyunjin, hyungwon, and yuchan.

“what the hell? I was definitely at least a half a mile away from the home base here. They make no sense!” Jisung panted, hands on his knees.

The pulsing around the island intensified, causing everyone to lose their sense of balance.

“I think whatever this is, its finally getting closer,” hyungwon said.

Then suddenly it stopped. Everything went dead quiet, not even the rustle of the wind or the brushing of the trees could be heard.

Jisung held his breath, listening intently. Then he heard it. A strong buzzing sound that started off softly but magnified into a loud ringing. They all covered their ears at the noise, not that it did much good. And suddenly, the warps opened revealing a pitch black endless abyss.

“yuchan, why don’t you go check it out first?” seungmin innocently suggested.

“ladies first.” Yuchan retorted.

“perfect, that still applies to you then.” Seungmin shot back, enjoying himself despite the black holes of death looming in front of them and all over the island.

Then jisung heard footsteps coming closer from the black space. “stay behind me you guys. They are coming.” He told the others.

Hyungwon scoffed, “like hell im hiding behind a baby chipmunk.”

“we actually decided he looks more like a squirrel, it was a unanimous vote.” Seungmin clarified.

“like I care.” Hyungwon shot back.

“watch the tone, you giant bamboo shoot.” Hyunjin glared at hyungwon.

“same goes to you, baby bamboo shoot.” Hyungwon snarkily replied.

“damn, if we weren't all about to die, this would’ve been great with some popcorn.” yuchan said in the background.

The sounds of fighting came closer, and instantly all the jokes were put aside. They all stood in a circle, watching each other’s backs, ready for whatever was coming. Seungmin called on his red whip, flames instantly running the length of it. hyunjin summoned his blue 3-part staff that he can connect and disconnect depending on how he wanted to use it. he disconnected it into its three parts, spinning it around his body before gathering it in his hand.

“woah! Careful there with those things!” hyungwon said.

Then the sounds of gunshots rang through the warehouse and echoed across the island.

“looks like felix and woojin have started the party!” jisung said while snapping his fighting fans open with a loud ‘clang’ and flicking them randomly into the air. They disappeared without a trace, but he paid no mind to it. The wind around him started to softly swirl at his feet, ruffling the clothes and hair of the others.

And then an army of soldiers, all wearing the white uniforms of the facility and white masks to cover their faces, stormed out of the black spaces around them ready to attack.

***

The warehouse was surrounded by soldiers, all wearing the official white uniform of the agency. They wore white masks on their faces too. Chan glanced around trying to locate each of his members. Some of them were scattered throughout the warehouse and others were still outside in the forest, along with members of ACE and Monsta X.

Chan started to worry. There were too many soldiers, it was never-ending. He decided to regroup everyone instead.

“Pair up!” chan yelled to whoever was around. and then he started making his way through the army, heading to each of his members.

“do as he says!” shownu yelled to his own members.

***

minho was running through the warehouse heading towards the other side where there were more warps, feet pounding loud on the floor, ducking and sliding through the soldiers trying to take out as many as he could. He slowly made his way through the army, briefly registering changbin near him, flipping through his share of soldiers. His dark energy was leaking out, hitting them one by one making them drop like flies, his violet dark sword materializing and disappearing whenever he needed it.

minho needed more earth he could manipulate so it would be easier to fight. He can materialize his own earth, but it took a lot of effort.

When he approached the back side of the warehouse, he clasped his hands together in front of him interlocking his fingers making a fist, and then swung his whole fist and arms to the left. “Get. Out. Of. My. Way!” he shouted, bringing the doors to the outside crashing down, along with the whole wall. He ran outside heading towards the beach, earth shooting up around him and crashing in every direction. He called on his glaive and slammed the blunt end into the earth, cracking the ground in front of him and separating him from the onslaught of white soldiers.

“woah! Watch it!” shouted byungkwan from the beach, his eyes lighting up in a sea green color. Storm clouds were gathering above him as he concentrated. Not too far from him was Sehyoon, his own eyes flashing a storm grey. He was standing in the middle of the sea humming a soft tune on his breath that drifted out and died on the wind, his hands held in front of him like he was praying. The sea started to become agitated, crashing and spraying against his legs. The air around him was foggy and smelled of salt water.

Chaos was forming where the sky met the sea.

***

“no, please don’t hurt me! I’m too young to die! Think of the future!” yuchan whined dramatically as black fog surrounded him and creeped towards the soldiers. The first of the soldiers dropped to the ground, holding their head and eyes turning black.

“on second thought, they are thinking of the future. Any future is better when you aren’t in it.” seungmin cackled, flicking his whip around two soldiers. They instantly lit up in flames.

“I hope you burn in the flames of hell!” yuchan sneered at him.

“honey, I am the flames of hell. Nice try though.”

“oof!” yuchan breathed out, getting kicked in the abdomen.

“heh.” Seungmin snickered. But then seungmin heard chan calling for him.

“seungmin are you here? Are you busy at the moment?” chan yelled to him.

“of course not channie-hyung!” seungmin answered in a sweet angelic voice. “im just telling yuchan over here that teamwork makes the dream work. Its important to believe in each other!” he then skipped over to where chan was.

Yuchan’s mouth dropped open in shock. “I cant believe…”

“yuchan, are you not playing nice again?” shownu chastised him, following chan around the building to where seungmin and the others were fighting.

“I like him.” hyungwon said to hyunjin, chuckling at seungmin’s sarcasm. yuchan snapped his mouth shut and glared at hyungwon for not backing him up.

“you better be joking.” Hyunjin warned. Hyungwon lifted his hands up in surrender.

“hey shownu, how much do you care about this warehouse?” chan shouted to the monsta x leader once seungmin made it to chan’s side.

“uhm, now that they found the place, not much anymore. I'm probably going to have to trash it now and move to a new hideout.” Shownu replied back. Chan grinned from ear to ear at the leader. Shownu quirked an eyebrow in interest. “and why do you want to know that?”

“seungmin, you know what to do.” Chan called over.

Seungmin laughed an obnoxious nasally laugh, a cute puppy smile on his face. “on a scale of 1 to 10?”

“I cant believe im saying this, but I need you to be a 15.” Chan sighed.

Seungmin gasped dramatically. “yes sir!” he called out with glee, making his whip disappear and fire already forming at his hands.

“A 15? What the hell is a 15?” hyungwon turned and asked hyunjin. He clapped his hands together loudly making the soldiers near him fall instantly to sleep.

Hyunjin smirked and giggled. “its been a while since i've seen him really be destructive,” he sighed dreamily, remembering the first day they met. He swung his staff, extending it around him and hyungwon taking out soldiers in a row, water swirling around them.

Hyungwon looked over at him like he was crazy, “uhh, nevermind. I don’t think I want to know.”

“hes going to blow the place up, isn’t he?” shownu asked chan.

“oh you bet! That’s his specialty.” Chan declared, with pride in his voice.

Shownu shook his head with a chuckle. “in that case, allow my members to help. Changkyun!”

“right here!” changkyun appeared from jisung’s shadow.

“ew gross.” Jisung said, and then caught his fans that finally came back. He flung them again in the air, sharp edges taking down anything in their path.

“get the others and leave quickly! Destroy anything you can on the way out!” shownu ordered.

Chan’s body started sparking, his lightning coming to the surface. His eyes flashed pale blue, and his lightning turned the same color. He couldn’t close off the energy portals, but he sure as hell wasn’t letting anyone get recaptured.

“I cant believe im saying this, but im calling reinforcements from vixx. Can anyone get here on a remote part of jeju island in like 5 minutes?” shownu asked chan.

Chan laughed, “are you kidding me? Taeyong has like 30 members under him. I think he has someone who can teleport.” Shownu was already pulling out his phone, ready to call Leo and ask for help, all his pride be damned. He wouldn’t risk his members like this.

***

“haechan!” taeyong shouted. The red-pink haired boy instantly popped in front of taeyong at the bar at the sound of his name. “you called?” he said, chewing on some gum obnoxiously.

“gather mark and some of the others. Monsta x, stray kids, and ACE are under attack on jeju right now and need help asap. You know its serious if shownu called Leo personally.”

“aww, do I have to take mark with me? He’s such a bother.” Taeyong quirked an eyebrow at the younger.

“but you guys work so well together.”

Haechan blew a bubble and popped it in annoyance. “he annoys the shit out of me. I cant stand working with him!”

“speak for yourself, asshole. You think I like being tossed around like a ragdoll? Going through your portals, popping up in random places constantly gives me such bad headaches.” Mark complained, as he ran into the room super fast, leaving a breeze blowing past the two boys at the bar.

“aww you messed up my hair!” haechan whined. Mark scoffed at him, “you will live.”

“enough you two, gather some of the others. Not everybody though, I need some people back here just in case. Apparently they can distort space and time and drag people through portals.” Taeyong instructed them.

“yeah, yeah, I got it.” haechan giggled as he disappeared in an instant, his voice echoing in the air.

Mark just sighed, “I really hate it when he does that.” and then mark was gone, racing through the Arcade to find his members of NCT Dream.

In an instant, Taeyong heard chenle shriek, “jeongin is getting attacked, and you tell us NOW!”

“actually, its monsta x, ace, and stray kids, not just jeongin-“ he heard haechan explain.

“Jisung, get your fat ass up, jeongin is in trouble!”

taeyong chuckled at the commotion from the other room. He pulled out his phone and rang jeonghan. More people may be needed, and scoups has a few members who can help right away.

Chapter Text

“aright, im ready to kick some ass. Nobody messes with jeongin.” chenle huffed, marching towards the woods. Jisung had to grab the neck of his collar to keep him in place before he does something stupid.”

Haechan huffed. “hold on, I have to go back and get renjun, jeno, and jaemin.” And then haechan was gone in a blink. He could only transport a few people at a time across long distances, so he already brought jisung, chenle, and mark to the island.  

Mark assessed all of the commotion around him while he waited for the rest of his members. they were on the sandy beach facing the woods. He could hear fighting going on all around him. in one direction he could see storm clouds in the sky. He felt the earth quake under his feet and a dark aura surround the area. In another direction he saw the trees whipping super fast from the wind, an inky black fog mixed with it.

Just then, a distortion appeared in the air in front of them and he could see a dark black space.

“the fuck is this?” jisung swore. Then all of a sudden a loud ‘swoosh’ sound could be heard coming right for them, and a metal flying fan passed over their heads, spinning really fast and kept on going until it was gone. “the fuck is that?” jisung looked up watching it go.

“anyways, that isn’t haechan’s portal, I can assure you that.” mark confirmed, looking at the portal with worry. “this must be what taeyong was referring to. Any minute now enemies could be coming out of that, so prepare yourselves.”

“guys I swear, that looked like someone took a saw-blade and decided to throw it like a Frisbee just for shits and giggles. Chenle back me up here.” Jisung continued talking.

Chenle just huffed, inpatient to get moving.

Then four shimmering figures started to appear all around them. “looks like haechan is back with renjun, jaemin, and jeno.” Mark announced.

Jaemin was coughing when he reappeared. “ugh, that feels so weird traveling in your portals,” he complained.

“tell me about it.” mark grumbled.

“yah! Go take the boat like everyone else then!” haechan defended himself.

“we have to find shownu or someone, so let’s go before we are face to face with whatever is coming out of the black hole over here.” Mark ordered them, trying to organize them as best he could. And then he started running real fast through the woods at an incredible speed.

“ugh this is why I hate going places with him. its hard enough to get my lazy ass up regular stairs, but trying to follow his pace? Impossible.” Haechan bitched as he teleported small distances, disappearing and reappearing as he followed mark.

“speak for yourself asshole, at least you can teleport.” Renjun yelled to him as the distance between them increased.

Jeno linked his arms with his mates, preparing to head into the woods. “my abilities aren’t much help over here, but at least I have you two with me.” He smiled at jaemin and renjun. They both leaned their heads on jeno’s shoulders, walking with him after haechan and mark.

“ew, gag me. Chenle I swear to god if we ever act like that, just shove me into the middle of traffic.” Jisung turned to his mate. Chenle nodded in agreement.

***

“guys, can you hear me?” jeonghan talked to everyone through his telepathy.

“oh my fuck, I finally cracked. Hyunjin I see dead people and hear voices.” Seungmin complained.

“time to take you to the crack house.” Jisung chuckled. “yeah jeonghan we hear you loud and clear. Hows the weather over there?”

“really jisung? That’s the first thing you ask as we all are fighting for our lives?” minho yelled at him through jeonghan’s telepathy.

“uh..good I guess. Anyways, ill be your communication among each other since you all are scattered around the island.” Jeonghan continued. “I cant link everyone for a long period of time though, so this will last for like 10 minutes tops.” He explained.

“sounds good to me. Has anyone seen N, hyuk, or jeongin?” chan asked his members through telepathy, still worried.

“binnie, behind you!” felix said in his mind, shooting down a soldier who was trying to go for the kill behind changbin.

“thanks lix,” changbin said.

 “no I haven’t seen them.” Woojin answered him, knocking another three arrows at once to his bow and releasing all of them at the same time.

“everybody stay away from the warehouse, seungmin is about to destroy everything. Felix, woojin, get off the roof right now and join the rest of us down below!” chan ordered through the telepathy again.

“already started moving as soon as you mentioned seungmin blowing the place up!” felix said, skidding down the metal stairs from the fire escape, woojin not far behind him. He grabbed his dual blades on his way down and hit the ground running into the surrounding area, getting as far away as he could from the warehouse.

“dammit, wish you could have given me a little more warning!” minho complained, swinging his glaive up and around his head.

“minho has got a point. Seungmin I need you to coordinate where you are going to blow up the parts of the warehouse and when you are going to do it.”

“how the hell am I supposed to do that?” seungmin said.

“ill link your minds with minghao. He should be able to help.”

“ok, cool. But I have another problem. How am I supposed to get around the building fast enough to make sure I destroy everything relatively at the same time? The place is huge! I will be too tired out before I make it around the entire perimeter.”

“I think me and hyunjin can help with that.” woojin told him, running to meet up with seungmin.

“and how are you going to do that?” seungmin asked curiously.

“do you like ice skating?” woojin asked.

“I don’t see how that has anything to do with-ohhh.” Seungmin smiled. “yeah, I love ice skating!”

“I have no idea whats going on.” Jisung said, and caught his metal fan in the air that returned to him once more.

“ok, im switching with minghao now.” Jeonghan informed them.

“seungmin, are you sure you will be ok destroying something of that size in such a small amount of time?” chan asked, worried for seungmin. all of those flames at once takes an extreme amount of control, and seungmin always has been wary in the past of losing that control. Its part of the reason why chan made sure to stick him with hyunjin when they went and scouted the facilities together.

“of course hyung. Ill try to be careful. Ill let you know if something goes wrong,” he answered back honestly.

“sup.” Minghao then said in their minds. “seungmin if you head towards the northern part of the warehouse approximately five meters from where you are standing you can see the main foundation of the building’s structure. Start there.” He ordered.

“got it!” seungmin shouted, heading to where minghao instructed.

Fire started swirling around his entire body at impossibly high temperatures. “everyone back away!” he slapped his hands to the wall and continued running the northern side of the building, caressing the wall as he went. Flames erupted everywhere he touched.

“im getting to the end of the north side of the building!” he panted.

“lets move this along!” hyunjin shouted. He summoned all of the water he could and swung it at seungmin, controlling it so it went around and in front of him. woojin’s eyes flashed orange and he instantly froze hyunjin’s water. Together they made a huge ice path in mid air, twisting and turning around seungmin and the building.

Seungmin jumped onto the ice path in mid-air, his body so hot that he started to melt it immediately. He started running, gaining momentum until he was sliding on the path at an incredible speed. He didn’t even have to think about where he was going as long as he followed the ice path around the building, trusting woojin and hyunjin completely to lead him in the right direction.

“in exactly 12.33 seconds you will be turning to the east side of the building. Minho and changbin are 4.59 meters in the northeast direction. This side is weaker due to unstable wall structure. It seems the wall was broken exactly 17 minutes ago by an unknown force.” Minghao informed seungmin.

“oh yeah, my bad.” Minho said. “I got a little crazy there.”

“not a problem. That just makes it easier for my fire to get into the building and destroy it from within,” Seungmin told them. He summoned his whip again, and lashed it at the cracks in the wall that minho destroyed. He yanked, crumbling it even further, setting it afire.

He skidded past changbin and minho, “hi guys!” then he flew past them around the building, “bye guys!” leaving embers in his path.

They just blinked at him and then continued fighting the warps around them. Changbin was running towards one to try and close it.

“you are coming to the southern side of the building in 11.89 seconds. There are 7 figures approximately 3.31 meters out into the forest.” Minghao warned.

“good. They can blow up with the rest of them!” seungmin cackled.

***

“guys, do you hear some kind of manic laughter in the distance or is it just me?” jisung complained for the thousandth time in the 10 minutes they’ve been on the island.

“jisung would you quit it. its obviously your imagination.” Haechan rolled his eyes.

Mark was running straight for the warehouse, finally locating it. just as he approached the building, he could see it was on fire. He was going to enter inside until something flew right past him. he backed up abruptly, landing on his ass, watching someone laughing and blowing the side of the building up, a whip swinging in all directions. Wait is that seungmin?

“watch it seungmin!” renjun shouted, obviously realizing what just happened.

“huh?” seungmin looked down below as he continued to skate around the building, passing NCT Dream. “oh, hey guys!” and then he started to disappear around the corner of the building.

“where’s jeongin you piece of trash!” chenle waved his fist at seungmin.

“don’t know!” you could hear seungmin’s voice echo as it got farther and farther away.

“see jisung, this is why we are here. They cant even take care of their maknae properly.” Chenle whined.

***

“approximately 83.7% of the warehouse has been lit by your fire. In about 185 seconds it will be almost complete. Do you wish to continue destroying the foundation of the building?” minghao questioned.

“hell yeah I do! I never get to blow shit up to this extent without holding back. How much farther until the last side?”

“at the pace you are going and the length of hyunjin and woojins frozen water path, you will reach the final side of the building in 2 meters. I take it you don’t need me to tell you that after you set this side afire, the entire building will begin to crumble, correct?”

“yep! How long until my flames bring the building to rubble and ashes?” seungmin asked. His entire body was getting hotter and hotter, the flames crashing all around him in a blur of fire.

“at the temperature you are at right now, it will take 5 minutes. But that is rapidly changing as your body temperature is constantly increasing. Will you be alright?”

Seungmin bit his lip, his forehead beading with sweat that shouldn’t be forming when he’s using his powers. “yeah ill be fine. I hope.” He whispered.

The flames that engulfed his body were at an impossible temperature, completely melting even woojin’s ice. He stopped sliding around the building and jumped to the ground, burning the grass around him in a ring of fire. Seungmin slapped his hands to the last wall, part of it already flaming. He put all he had into the building, the fire rising high into the sky at a dangerous height. It was necessary to get it to burn as quickly as possible, but at this point seungmin was losing control of his fire and he knew it.

He started panting with exhaustion, and dropped to his knees by the wall. The flames were all around him, he was the only one who could touch it without becoming harmed. He still had to contain his flames within a small perimeter around the burning warehouse, otherwise the rest of the forest and island along with his friends will perish with it.

Uh oh, this warehouse was bigger than I thought. I don’t think im strong enough to control everything afterall.

“minghao, how much longer until the warehouse is burned down?” he asked again warily, holding back his fire from spreading.

“According to my calculations, 3 minutes should do the trick. We have 30 seconds left until our telepathic connection to the rest of your members is disconnected.”

Seungmin started to see black spots cloud his vision. At this rate, he wasn’t going to make it, he was beginning to panic. “minghao, tell hyunjin to come here. And fast. I don’t think im going to be able to stay conscious long enough to keep my fire in check.”

“if you think he can help, then consider it done.”

By this point, seungmin was sitting on the ground in the middle of a sea of fire, barely breathing, for every breath he took his concentration would dwindle.

He started to become dizzy, his surroundings swaying all in a blur. The flames slowly spread little by little towards the forest around it.

His world was becoming black, and he tipped forwards face first into the ground. Just before he hit the dry dirt in front of him, he felt cool hands catch his fall. The air began to dampen with moisture and mist, and his fire was going out in small increments.

“honestly, if burning the warehouse was going to be too much for you, you should have let us know. Fire isn’t the only way to destroy something you idiot,” he heard a soothing voice chastise him. strong arms engulfed his waist and lifted up his shirt a bit. He felt someone press a cold hand to the bare skin over his heart, and his body temperature started to return to normal. Then a gentle and cool hand pressed itself to his forehead, and Seungmin closed his eyes completely at the sheer bliss of it.

He breathed in and out for several minutes, his head lying on someone’s lap. For some reason, this felt familiar but he couldn’t quite place his finger on it. He felt the hand lift from his forehead and heart and opened his eyes slowly. “welcome back hothead.” He saw hyunjin smile down at him. his heart started racing at his beautiful smile, and in that moment he wanted so bad to lean up and kiss him again.

“how long was I out for?” he asked instead, groaning as he tried to get up.

“just a couple minutes. Good news is, you burnt the entire place to nothing. Bad news, you almost lost control of your fire and overheated your body. Once I heard minghao say in my mind that you needed help, I swear I lost 20 years off my life. so I ran to this side of the building and you know what I find? You almost passed out in a field of fire. Trust me, that’s not as majestic as it sounds. Don’t worry, I made sure the flames didn’t spread, and I cooled you down a bit.”

“by feeling me up?”

Hyunjin smirked, “cant say I didn’t enjoy it,” he shrugged. Seungmin blushed and looked away. He struggled to stand, completely tired. His muscles and entire body ached, and it hurt just to breathe. Hyunjin noticed, and moved to support him, “here let me help.”

Seungmin leaned into him, “thanks” he whispered, limping in the direction of chan and the others.

Chapter Text

Minho swung his glaive in one direction, and then in another. The ground was constantly moving and changing shape to minho’s will. Above him were storm clouds, unnatural lightning beginning to crash down all around him. “yah! Byeongkwan! Do you mind? Its hard to control the earth if lightning keeps striking everywhere I need to go!”

“sorry, but maybe you should move off to the side real quick?” byeongkwan called over. Minho grumbled in frustration. Over in the distance he could see changbin dashing between waves of sea water that sehyoon was forming and throwing at the soldiers coming out of the warp. Kihyun joined them not too long ago, manipulating the sand all around them. An uncomfortable scorching wind was blowing the sand, mixing with the salty air. The whole atmosphere around them felt gross, hot, and sticky making it difficult to breathe.

Changbin just got some sand poked in his eye from the winds and the storm swirling around him. he glared in frustration and stopped running towards the soldiers. Instead, he changed course and ran towards minho.

“this is aggravating.” He rasped out in anger.

“tell me about it,” minho agreed, stabbing his glaive into the ground. They both were extremely annoyed with how things were going.

Everyone here were extremely great fighters, there was no doubt about it. but they weren't a team. Minho and changbin were used to fighting with the rest of the members of stray kids only, including felix now. Everybody in their tight and close group knew everything about each other. they don’t get in each other’s way, and they rarely have to speak to know what the other is thinking. They all work together like a well-oiled machine. If changbin so much as moves his foot to the left, woojin is already there with him, heading in that direction to back him up. If minho starts bringing up the earth, jeongin is already running across it, ready to charge forward. Changbin’s dark energy almost never gets in the way, chan’s lightning always blends with seungmin’s fire and jisung’s wind together perfectly, hyunjin and felix backing each other up in close combat. No matter what combination it is with the members, they always fight better together than by themselves.

So standing there trying to fight among unknown waves, sand and unnatural storms is confusing and frustrating for them to say the least. Minho ran his hand through his hair and sighed.  Just then, felix started running towards them, past the rubble that was left after seungmin destroyed the entire warehouse. Minho watched him approach in relief. He would much rather fight with his family than with the members of monsta x.

“hiya minho hyung! Binnie!” felix shouted over with a grin on his face, waving as he got closer. Changbin whipped his head at the sound of felix’s voice, spun his sword in his hand and made it disappear. There were soldiers all around them, looking at them with blank stares. Now that he really thinks about it, none of them made a single sound, and they just kept coming in never-ending waves. Almost as if they weren't real.

More soldiers came out of the warp behind them that changbin was in the middle of trying to seal off. “felix!” minho gestured, and held out his hands cupped together. He didn’t even have to explain it, but Felix got the hint and started to hit the ground running at a faster pace towards minho. He grabbed his dual blades and stepped on minho’s waiting hands. In an instant, minho gathered all of his strength and launched felix up in the air above all of their heads towards the warp.

Changbin’s sword came back and he glared over at minho, “hey, be careful with him. I would like what’s mine in one piece thank you very much.”

Minho smirked at changbin, “you’re next binnie.” And changbin looked at him clueless until minho stretched out his hand towards him. changbin just sighed, but backed up a few steps and then ran towards minho, grabbing his hand with his free one, and then minho swung changbin sideways in a circle around them. Changbin kicked anything that was moving around him, until minho let go letting him fly in the air again towards the warp that felix was at.

Changbin dropped to the ground and landed in a roll, getting back up in an instant, ready to fight some more. he slashed his sword all around, until he made it side by side with felix at the warp.

“you can close this thing?” felix asked him.

“im sure as hell going to try.”

“ok, ill leave it to you then. I'm gonna go and find another warp to help fight at until you can get your ass over there.” Felix told him, preparing to take off again. Before felix could turn completely away, changbin grabbed him by the waist and spun him so they were chest to chest, panting from all of the fighting.

“be careful, yeah? It makes me uneasy when i'm not by your side.” he whispered to the younger.

“hyung, im not fragile, ill be completely fine,” felix laughed, but he put his arms around changbin anyways and hugged him closer.

Changbin shook his head, “I don’t care even if you were the strongest here. I would still feel uneasy.”

Felix smirked at him, “why am I the only one who gets the special treatment? so that means you don’t care about what happens to minho right now?”

“minho who?” changbin blinked innocently.

Felix laughed even more, squeezed changbin one last time, and then let go. Changbin reluctantly let his arms drop and stepped away.

“ill see you soon binnie.” And then felix began running towards another warp to help with the fight.

Changbin watched him go, and then turned towards the black portal. He summoned all of his strength, letting the tight control he had on his powers let loose just a tiny bit. Dark wind started whipping around him and the warp, and then he directed that wind straight at the portal, trying to seal it off.

***

Felix was already meters away from changbin when he slowed down, clutching his chest. His heart was racing at an impossible rate. What the hell? Its been awhile since ive felt this kind of feeling.

He ignored it and focused on what was ahead of him. as he was running through the woods back towards what used to be the south side of the warehouse, he heard arguing up ahead.

“im telling you haechan, I saw a creepy black fog stroll by, almost hitting my feet!” jisung complained.

“it was probably just the shadow of an animal running away and hiding from all of this commotion,” haechan nonchalantly brushed off jisung’s whining.

“oh my fuck, if you two don’t stop it im erasing all of your memories,” jeno calmly told them.

“listen to jeno, you guys. We are literally such failures right now. We should have made it to chan or shownu already,” renjun lectured.

“are you guys a part of taeyong’s group? I recognize the blue and purple haired boys over there,” felix asked as he ran up to them, pointing to jisung and chenle.

Renjun turned at the sound of felix’s voice. He looked him up and down, and then gasped. Then he latched onto jaemin’s arm with a death grip and dragged the younger down so that renjun can whisper in his ear. “that’s the cute blonde taeyong told me about on the phone a few months ago!” he hissed. Jaemin examined felix from head to toe and snorted.

“hes not half bad. Still not as cute as jeno though.”

Renjun hit his arm in excitement, “of course he isn’t as cute as jeno, but im saying hes blonde. What if we made jeno dye his hair that color, almost like the silver color he had last year?”

Jaemin’s mouth dropped in an ‘oh.’ “well now that you mention it…damn jeno would look totally hot as that golden blonde color.”

“right?! I fucking told you!”

“uh guys? I can totally hear every word you are saying,” jeno said to them with a chuckle.

“yeah, I can kinda hear you too, you aren’t as quiet as you think,” felix laughed giving them a blinding smile.

Jaemin held up his hand to block out felix’s face, “oh no renjun! His smile! I'm starting to like him! this is a disaster! Someone quick, push jeno in front of him!”

“I mean, jeno is cute and all, but I hate to say he isn’t changbin so…” felix shrugged at them.

Renjun and jaemin squealed and jumped up and down, “I fucking knew changbin got himself someone! Jeno call yuta right now and tell him-"

Renjun and jaemin, who were still attached to each other, were harshly pushed to the side, falling to the ground. “sorry about these worthless embarrassments. I'm haechan, over there is Markie poo, and chensung wandering off over there.” Haechan pointed to everyone as he introduced them.

“Markie poo? Seriously haechan, I cant believe-“

Haechan cut mark off and continued, “and this is norenmin. Jeno, jaemin, and renjun. They are mated. chenle and jisung are mated also.”

Felix nodded, then widened his eyes. “wait three people are mated?!”

Jeno helped his two mates up and smiled over at felix, his eyes scrunching up. “yeah, I know its extremely rare, but not impossible. We were all lucky to find each other as quick as we did. chenle and jisung found each other pretty quickly too. I still believe there is hope for haechan and mark though.”

“pshh, nobody can handle all of this,” haechan pointed to his body.

“like anybody would want to,” mark threw at him.

“you take that back, Canada!”

“why don’t you make me?” mark stuck his tongue out.

Jeno continued smiling at felix as mark and haechan continued arguing. “don’t mind them, they bicker all of the time. This is actually them getting along. Back when we all first met, they fought so bad that mark almost ended up leaving the group altogether because of haechan.”

“the door is still wide open!” haechan shouted out in the background.

“lets hope it hits you on your ass as you leave!” mark shouted back.

Felix chuckled. Then chenle shouted over, “wheres jeongin? do any of you know what the hell is going on here?” jisung rolled his eyes at his mate for being so dramatic.

Felix turned to chenle and frowned. “it was a couple of hours ago when we started to feel the whole island turn to shit. Then these time-warps started appearing all over the place. Once they opened up, a ton of white soldiers came out of them and attacked us. But the thing is, they aren’t all that hard to fight off, they just never stop coming. Its annoying to say the least. We think they are from the facility and this is how they are kidnapping descendants. Jeongin was in the woods with hyuk when everything started happening. N went to find him. we haven’t heard from him yet though.”

Mark and haechan ended their argument and got serious again. “wheres chan or shownu? We are here to help on behalf of taeyong and his group.” Mark informed him.

“They are just over in the northern side of what used to be the warehouse here. Keep heading in that direction and you should see them. Head anywhere where there is a warp with soldiers. Changbin is trying to close some of them off, but we really need jeongin to close off the rest.”

Haechan perked up. “hmm if its messing with portals, I may be able to help. I can teleport myself and other people anywhere I want to, so im used to dealing with time-space. But I cant close off another person’s portal, especially to this magnitude. However, I can block them so that nothing can come out of them until its sealed by changbin or jeongin.”

Felix smiled over at haechan. “that would be perfect! Let chan know immediately. I'm sure he will have you go around the island blocking them off.”

“sounds like a plan you guys.” renjun said.

Suddenly, echoes of growling could be heard in the distance, and a purple miasma was spreading above the trees for everyone to see.

“now the fuck is that?” jisung said.  

Chapter Text

“did you hear that?” jisung asked the others, throwing one of his fans in a circle around them, and catching it, only to throw the other one the other way, also catching it.

“no? there are a ton of soldiers! I don’t think we can keep this up!” woojin panted, exhaustion starting to wear on him.

“I know! But changbin is finishing up the warps on the east. He should be here soon enough!” Chan called over to him.

“well tell him to get his tiny legs to move faster! These soldiers are weird and starting to freak me out.” yuchan called over.

Just then, felix came charging through with seven members of NCT behind him. mark slowed his pace down to let felix take the lead.

“guys look! In the direction deep in the forest! What the hell is that?” felix said, pointing.

Chan and shownu turned their heads in that direction. “holy shit! That’s N!” shownu called out.

“what is he doing? Why is there a purple cloud over the trees?” hyungwon asked.

“he can emit a ton of poison from his body, causing the air to turn toxic and purple. If hes using that much, then that cant be a good sign.” Chan explained.

“I hear growling,” jisung said.

“that would be hyuk. He can shift into a black panther, jaguar, leopard, whatever you want to call it. his animal side is kind of wild and untamed, but he protects members he’s familiar with, especially young ones like jeongin. And only Hongbin, N, and Leo can control him if he gets out of hand.” shownu told everyone.

Just then, the warps that were still open started to expand and get bigger. The island was saturated with lifeless soldiers just standing still like statues. Everyone stared at them in wary.

“uh, why aren’t they moving anymore?” woojin asked.

“this isn’t good.” Chan said. “we all need to group together.”

“wheres wonho and changkyun?” shownu called out. everybody shook their heads, not knowing.

“haechan, can you block that portal?” mark asked the younger.

“already did, but I cant do much about what already came out of it, and I cant control how big it gets.”

There was a moment of silence, and everything was still on the island. And then the frozen soldiers reanimated themselves and started to attack again.

“haechan!” mark called over, running straight at haechan.

“I got you Canada!” haechan brought his hands together, using his thumbs and index fingers to form a square, framing mark. Suddenly, mark was gone and then reappeared behind some of the soldiers. Mark was a master of hand-to-hand combat, and took out a few soldiers before disappearing again. He reappeared on the other side of the on-slaughter within milliseconds, ran extremely fast through them, and disappeared again.

“damn, im getting dizzy just trying to keep track of him.” jisung said, using one of his fans to form a huge sweep of wind, knocking out at least 50 soldiers in one direction.

“don’t even bother, him and haechan work so well together its scary, despite them bickering all of the time. That’s why taeyong always partners them up.” Jaemin said, one eye glowing blue-violet, the other eye glowing burgundy. as he ran up in front of one of the soldiers, he slapped his hand on their forehead and smirked. The soldier lifted up his hand at jaemin, and jaemin copied the move instantaneously. over and over jaemin fought with various soldiers, but every time a soldier made a move, jaemin was a step ahead of them making the same move against them.

“what the hell?” felix said. he looked to jeno to explain.

“jaemin can use muscle memory. Or in better terms, he can copy the moves of combat and use it against you. All he has to do is touch you, and everything you know about combat is instantly copied into his genetics. After fighting for years, there isn’t any form of fighting he doesn’t know. He's the offense of the three of us, and does most of the fighting. Renjunnie is our defense. Anything he draws comes to life. he protects us mostly. Me on the other hand, I am clean up. I can manipulate and erase memories. Not very useful in this moment, I know.”  He smiled warmly over at felix.

“everyone, im going to close off your hearing briefly. Chenle is going to scream!” jisung called over, his eyes glowing lavender.

Chan and woojin looked over confused, and then everybody lost their hearing. They saw chenle take a breath and open his mouth, but had no idea what was happening until all of the soldiers in a small distance around them dropped to the ground.

Suddenly their hearing came back in a whoosh sound.

“the hell?” yuchan said.

“chenle can shriek at ear shattering decibels, and jisung can close off any one of the five senses. He just closed off our hearing so that we wouldn’t go deaf from chenle.” Renjun explained, bringing out a sketchpad he brought with him, and started drawing at an inhuman speed.

“damn, taeyong doesn’t mess around with his members.” Chan said, shaking his head to shake away the weird feeling of losing his hearing.

Suddenly, another warp popped open in front of them and started engulfing the surrounding area in a black space.

“ugh this is getting so annoying,” hyungwon complained.

“they are obviously after something if they are conjuring more warps. This time it looks like its sucking its surroundings into it like some black hole. Maybe we should retreat?” chan said, swinging his head over to shownu.

Shownu nodded, “but how will we get off the island quickly?”

“leave that to me you guys!” haechan called over. “I can take only a few people at a time though, and I need a few seconds to send each group back home.”

“fine by us. Can you get the younger ones first though? I don’t think seungmin is up to fight for very much longer.” Chan asked the younger. Haechan nodded.

“ok, first up is half of you guys!” he brought his fingers up again, and instantly hyungwon, yuchan, renjun and jeno started to glow, their bodies shimmering.

“stay safe love.” Jeno said to jaemin. Renjun touched jaemin’s cheek, and then they disappeared back in Leo’s office on the mainland.

Haechan panted a little from the exertion of transporting so many people. “who’s next?” he asked.

“go find the others first. We will go last.” Shownu said.

“ill have to run around to locate the others,” haechan informed him. “that means leaving you alone here with all of these soldiers to fight off.”

Chan smirked, his eyes flickering pale blue. “that wont be a problem,” he said as electric sparks crawled across the ground and wrapped themselves around the soldiers, electrocuting them. “changbin and minho are somewhere in the east along with byeongkwan, kihyun, and sehyoon. Seungmin and hyunjin should be very close by in the west. Jeongin, hyuk, and N are obviously over in the toxic cloud further out. wonho and changkyun shouldn't be too far off as well with junhee and donghun, im guessing.”

“okie dokie! Be back in a few minutes!”

“ill go find jeongin, N, and hyuk while hes at it!” felix called over, starting to run in the direction he saw N’s poisonous gas earlier.

“be careful.” Woojin called to him, getting ready to take on the brunt of what was coming at them.

“don’t worry, I will!” felix shouted as he left into the woods.

***

“hi there, im here to take you guys back.” Haechan said to minho, changbin, byeongkwan, sehyoon, and kihyun. He already transported wonho, changkyun, junhee, and donghun back. He was wearing down fast, but he will make sure to get everybody before he collapses.

Minho quirked an eyebrow at the younger. “take the others first, im not going back without jisungie.”

“same here, I cant leave until I close off the warps.” Changbin told him.

Haechan just shrugged, “suit yourselves. But it would be best to regroup back where chan and shownu are with the others. Most of the fighting is going on over there.”

“sounds good to me,” and then minho and changbin took off towards chan and woojin.

Haechan transported the others immediately back to Leo’s place, panting in exhaustion. Once he was alone in the area, he sucked in a deep breath and continued on, sweat forming at his forehead and face going pale.

***

Haechan returned back to the main group, “alright jaemin, its time to go!” and then haechan transported him without jaemin having a say in it. he staggered a bit, breathing heavy.

Mark ran over to him, lifting him up a bit by the waist in worry. “you okay?”

haechan waved him off. “yeah, yeah ill be fine.”

By this time, hyunjin and seungmin made their way over to the main group, seungmin barely keeping awake. Chan hurried over, checking the younger.

“he will be fine,” hyunjin reassured him. “hes just a bit tired from using so much energy on the warehouse.”

Chan nodded, “we are retreating. Haechan is transporting everybody back. Felix went to go check on jeongin, N, and hyuk.”

Hyunjin just shook his head. “I can still go on for a while more, ill go help felix out.” and then hyunjin passed seungmin to chan and headed into the direction chan indicated.

Chan watched him go in worry, but focused on the members in front of him.

“don’t worry hyung, ill go help out also.” Jisung said, and then jumped up into the air, leaving a gust of wind behind. Just then, the island started to pulse with energy again, making the members lose their balance.

“oh my god, what now?” woojin complained.

“looks like I need to pick up the pace,” haechan smiled weakly. And then he started to send seungmin, woojin, and shownu back to the mainland.

“wait no! im staying!” woojin and shownu called out at the same time, but a few seconds later they were gone.

Chan sighed in relief, “I hate to say it, but im glad you sent my mate back. Come on, lets get the others and then get the hell out of here.”

The island rumbled again, and the warps started to become huge black holes all around them.

Haechan, jisung, chenle, and mark all nodded, following chan in the direction of jeongin.

“don’t forget about us!” minho and changbin called over. Minho slowed down when he approached chan, but changbin kept running past in the direction felix and the others went in.

Haechan started to teleport ahead of them with mark on his heels.

***

Jeongin was slamming on a huge dome of energy that formed around them, blocking him off from the outside world and whatever was happening. On the other side he could see N with his hands pressed against the dome, trying to melt an opening with his toxic poison.

Hyuk was in panther form, prowling around N, Jeongin, and the boy, guarding them from soldiers while N tried to free the younger boys.

“why the hell is this so strong? usually I can break anything that involves energy!” jeongin whined. earlier, as soon as he felt the gravity and energy of the island distort, this massive dome started to form around them, trapping them inside. Hyuk was already there with him, trying to tear it down when N came to help out.

“its probably like 500 times stronger than what you are used to because they stole powers and energy from the descendants. You need to calm down.” The boy informed jeongin from behind him.

Jeongin turned around and stepped in front of the boy, away from the dome shield. “how the hell can I be calm when my friends and family are out there somewhere worried about me?” jeongin asked him in frustration. “and why the hell aren’t you freaking out? and for god’s sake I don’t even know your name!”

“first, I just escaped facility 8 not too long ago, so im not surprised to see this happening. Second, im not going to ever tell you my name, so quit asking.”

“urgh! Why not?! you just want me to call you ‘hey you’ and ‘yo!’ for the rest of your life?!” jeongin angrily argued with him.

“as we will probably either die in like 5 minutes, or never see each other again when we get out of this force field of doom, I don’t see a problem with you referring me to that.”

“you are so aggravating!” and then jeongin turned back around towards N still trying to break through the dome.

The boy smirked, finding jeongin’s reactions amusing.

As he was admiring the back of jeongin’s head, he saw the ground under jeongin start to ripple and distort. His smirk instantly faded, and he reacted without even thinking about it. he ran up behind jeongin and shoved him extremely hard out of the way.

Normally he was distant to people. Normally he would never care about someone else’s well-being. But for some unknown reason he cant come to terms with, the thought of jeongin being harmed hurt him.

“oof! Hey! What was that for?!” jeongin yelled as he staggered a few feet forward from being pushed in his back.

“Bang Yedam.” The boy said as the ground rippled under him, watching jeongin.

Jeongin turned around facing him. “huh?”

“my name. its yedam.”

“yedam huh?” jeongin smiled a huge smile at him, not realizing the ground under yedam, where he was standing just moments before, start to change. “now I can finally call you by name, yedam.”

Yedam’s heart sped up at the sound of jeongin using his name. jeongin heard footsteps approach them, and turned back around facing forward, seeing some of his members in the distance approach them.

The dome around them vanished. Jeongin looked up at it in confusion. “that’s weird.” he mused.

Suddenly, a glass wall shot up from the ground yedam was standing on and appeared in-between them. Jeongin felt the loss of Yedam’s energy next to him and whipped his head back behind him, his eyes widening. “yedam?”

Yedam was tossed to the ground from the force, staring at the glass wall in disbelief, his face going pale. Jeongin ran forward and kneeled on the dirt ground in front of him on the other side of the wall.

The next few seconds happened in a blur.

“Go! Run!” he saw yedam mouth in desperation at him. jeongin shook  his head and started to slam his hands on the glass, trying to distort the energy field.

It was no use.

Yedam kneeled closer in front of jeongin, and pounded on the other side of the wall matching jeongin’s hand movements.

Jeongin heard the footsteps behind him get louder. Without moving his hands that mirrored yedam’s on the glass, he turned and saw changbin panting, running to jeongin through the forest. N and hyuk were busy fighting off more soldiers that appeared without jeongin noticing, too preoccupied with what was happening to yedam. “Hyung!” he called to changbin. “It won’t budge! I can’t-I can’t break it!”

He was suddenly so, so afraid.

He quickly turned back, facing yedam. He pounded harder, putting more force and everything he had into the wall. It rippled but didn’t budge. The ground below yedam started to turn black. Yedam looked down and then looked back up at jeongin sadly, knowing there was no use. They were out of time.

He slowly started to sink through the portal. A space in time was opened and the warp was taking him away, just like all of the other descendants before him.

Changbin made it just as yedam fell through the ground in the darkness, holding out his hand with nothing to grab on to. Yedam could tell jeongin was yelling his name over and over on the other side of the wall. He continued to make eye contact with jeongin as he fell through time-space, his eyes flashing silver the last thing jeongin saw before he was swallowed completely.

The ground returned to normal and the wall shattered.

Jeongin and changbin were suddenly transported back to Leo’s office, jeongin still kneeling on the floor looking at the ground, his heart aching.

***

Haechan, mark, felix, jisung, and hyunjin were the next to arrive where jeongin and changbin just were. Felix kicked a soldier in the chin. Hyuk ran and growled, grabbing a soldier with his claws.

Chan and minho were a few seconds behind.

Felix did a spinning kick to a soldier’s face, and then assessed the chaos around him. Black holes were appearing everywhere, trying to take descendants with them.

“haechan, more and more are coming. We aren’t going to make it in time.” Felix said calmly.

“I know! Im trying, but there’s still mark, you, me, chan, minho, jisung, other jisung, chenle, N, hyuk, there’s too many!” he started to panic, his head spinning.

“haechan, look at me. Give up my place for someone else.” Felix told him.

“As long as seungmin is safe, I don’t care what happens to me. I don’t want him to ever have to go back there.” Hyunjin said.

N approached the younger, and placed a gentle hand on the panicking boy. “what kind of leaders would hyuk and I be if we let our precious dongsaengs sacrifice themselves for us?!” N argued with a huff and a laugh.

“you aren’t the only ones who get to play martyr!” chenle yelled over. Him and jisung nodded at each other in understanding, and stuck together, continuing to fight.

“send minho back.” Jisung said quietly to haechan. “they will just make him fight again to the death. I cant bare to see him like that.”

Haechan teared up at everyone surrounding him, and nodded in understanding.

“haechan, times up!” mark called over from a distance, punching a soldier in the face. Black spaces were appearing all around him, just like they did to yedam. He was going to be taken in just a few seconds.

Haechan looked sadly at mark, and nodded. He instantly ticked off the remaining members and started to transport them. If he gave up his spot, there would be one more place for mark.

When mark saw his hands start to glow, he knew he was being transported a long distance back to the mainland. He looked to haechan to make sure everything was alright, but then noticed that haechan wasn’t glowing.

Mark started to panic and he began to run up to haechan.

“ill be right behind you, I promise.” Haechan lied to him.

“what?! No! we always fight together side by side. That’s how its always been. I'm staying right here with-“

But haechan didn’t get to hear the rest of what mark was saying, because the soldiers were upon them, and a glass wall shot up, separating mark, chan, and minho from haechan and the others.

And then mark, chan, and minho disappeared back home.

Haechan turned towards the soldiers, a smile on his face and heartbreak in his eyes. Suddenly darkness enveloped him, and he and the others slowly sank through the ground into a black abyss.

***

Back in Leo’s office, mark, chan, and the others paced around freaking out, waiting for the rest of their members to return.

Suddenly, mark falls to his knees on the ground, clutching his chest in agony, breathing heavily. His eyes were flickering back and forth between red-orange and his normal deep brown color. “something’s wrong.” He says to no one in particular. “where are they?”

“its already been two minutes. That’s more than enough time for the rest of them to return! Are they not coming?!” jaemin shouted in worry.

Mark widened his eyes with fear and looked up at taeyong in disbelief of what was happening, shaking his head in denial, still clutching his chest.

“But he promised.” he breathed out on a desperate whisper.

Chapter Text

“dammit ten, what did you see all those months ago? Because if this is the war you are talking about then you can bet your tiny ass its going to happen, and im going to be right in the middle of it. Where are my members?!” chan growled out, slamming the door open to Ten’s office.

Ten abruptly stood up. “what happened?!” he said with fear in his voice.

“you know exactly what happened, don’t you?” chan’s eyes started flashing colors back and forth out of anger.

Ten shook his head. “I only saw parts of it. I don’t know what is going on anymore. The future I saw hasn’t happened yet.”

Changbin bumped chan’s shoulder as he passed by him in anger, his eyes flickering back and forth between gold and his normal dark brown.

“I'm cashing in that favor you owe felix, right here right now. I don’t care about some dumbass ‘im going to change history and create a paradox if I mess with the future’ rules!” changbin stormed into the room, getting up in johnny’s face, the height difference not even fazing him.

“you don’t have to cash in the favor. I agree completely with you. But I need to read your memories again. Nothing is making sense anymore, and Ten and Jun have meddled with the future too many times to be of any help.” Johnny told them, pleading for them to understand.

“fine, read all of them, I don’t care. Just please, try to find something, anything, that will help lead us to them.” Changbin said desperately, stepping forward.

“this isn’t going to be pleasant. I will be invading your mind entirely.” Johnny warned him while grabbing his hand, and his eyes flashed lime green.

He tried to sift through everything in changbin’s memories, going back years ago, searching for the missing puzzle pieces that Ten tried so desperately to find and put together.

He closed his eyes concentrating. He shuffled through every single memory changbin has ever had with the utmost precision and care. Beads of sweat were forming on changbin’s forehead, and his head started to hurt. He ignored it, and stayed still.

Johnny pursed his lips. Through changbin’s memories he can see felix helping them. All of them. Of course he knew about this since the day he read felix’s memories, but nothing was giving him a clue to locate felix and the others.  

He let go of changbin’s hand, breathing heavily. Changbin swayed a little on his feet, but determination made him stay put. “well?”

Johnny shook his head sadly, and they all drooped in utter defeat. Time was running out. the longer they were gone, the less chance of finding them.

“but I think there’s something you need to see. It was never my place to share another person’s memories, but this is an emergency situation and it may help you understand felix a little better. You all experienced what it was like in the facilities along with felix, maybe you can find a clue I am missing.”

Changbin and the others looked at johnny with confused expressions.

“understand felix better? What does he mean?” woojin asked chan. Chan just shook his head, the same question on the tip of his tongue.

Johnny brought his phone to his ear, and spoke into the receiver. “jeno I need you to come to my office right away. Your skills are needed.”

***

Once jeno was in the office, he looked around. “so what do you need help with? Did you find haechan, jisung and chenle and the others?” he asked hopefully.

Johnny shook his head. “its about felix. I need you to show them what I’ve gleaned from their minds. I know its an invasion of privacy, but I think its important that they know.”

Jeno nodded in understanding.

Jeno could manipulate the memories of a person. More specifically, he uses his gifts to erase the memories from a person’s mind. It helps when they are on missions and someone finds out too much information that they are not supposed to know. But besides erasing memories, jeno can live in them. He can take a person inside their own mind, and manipulate the memories they see. He can change what happens to the memories, he can slow the memories down, he can replay the memories, and he can fast forward the memories. It’s a very delicate gift, and jeno only uses it when he has to. He doesn’t want to accidentally ruin a person’s mind if he ever loses control.

Jeno touched johnny’s forehead, and instantly one of his eyes flashed a blue-violet, and the other eye flashed a yellow-green. After a moment, he let go of johnny’s forehead, finished collecting the memories that were passed to him from changbin, and felix, and everyone else that was connected to them that johnny has read in the past.

He then turned to changbin, his eyes still glowing. “you ready?” he asked the older.

Changbin hesitated not really sure what he had to be ready for, but then stepped forward, allowing jeno to touch him.

Instantly changbin was sucked up into a world of his memories, everything in johnny’s office fading. It was like he was walking backward in time through his mind, the images distorted and beautiful.

He felt as though he was watching himself through a looking glass. Everything was in a different perspective and vivid.

“im going to take you to the important parts only.” Jeno said, his voice splintering and echoing all around him. changbin nodded, and then images flashed before him at a rapid speed. They were the fragmented moments of his life playing out before him.

Changbin was starting to get dizzy, the images blurring in his mind.

And then suddenly they stopped, and he was taken back to a day in facility 2, almost three years ago. It started off as an uneventful day, if he remembers correctly, but ended up changing his life completely.

He watched himself play-sparring with hyunjin in the arena. they were wearing those ugly white uniforms with their names stitched onto the front shirt pockets.

“come back here you jackass!” he screamed at hyunjin, and then ran and did a flying kick to the taller boy’s face.

Hyunjin waved his hand in a circle motion, and a shield of water came up. Changbin moved his foot at the last second, and then a dark energy surrounded his hands. He punched the shield of water and it shattered. Suddenly, the buzzer went off indicating that abilities training was over and everyone was to return to their rooms. Changbin and hyunjin turned to leave the arena.

Chan ran up to them and sandwiched himself in the middle, throwing his arms around them, bringing them into a hug as they walked back to their dorms. He was brightly smiling, showing off two dimples on his cheeks. Changbin pretended to hate it, but smirked anyways. Hyunjin on the other hand loved the attention and laughed, nudging chan’s shoulder with his head. They walked out of the arena still linked together.

Jeno froze the memory.

“I don’t understand…” changbin trailed off. “this wasn’t a really important memory. Why are you showing me this?”

“It seems you missed it. You are only focusing on what you see in this moment of time.”

“ok, and which moment exactly am I supposed to be watching?” changbin questioned him further.

“Sometimes the most important things in our lives are right there in front of us, and we don’t even realize it." Jeno's voice echoed all around.

Then jeno rewound the memory, and it replayed itself. “look harder. The answers we need are the ones buried in the shadows.”

Changbin watched the memory unfold more closely. He concentrated harder. What does he want me to see? What am I missing that is so important to me?

He continued to focus on everything he was seeing, trying not to miss a single detail.

He watched him jump at hyunjin while sparring, and then he heard the buzzer indicate the end of the training. And then he saw him and hyunjin turn to leave, facing the exit, and then chan-

There.

In the distance.

Familiar blonde hair and a blinding smile. Changbin would be able to recognize him anywhere.

From his spot where he stood, right there in the middle of a meaningless memory from long ago, he can see him.

“Felix?” he choked out.

Jeno continued the memory. Changbin watched as chan ran up and hugged them, and they made their way out of the arena, walking right past felix.

Changbin’s lip quivered, and his heart ached. He tried to watch felix as long as possible, but the memory changed.

Jeno fast forwarded his memories to later that day.

Changbin was sitting on his bed just lying there, staring up at the ceiling. He briefly heard a faint murmuring outside his door, meaning one of the councilman, a harsh lady who always came at least once a month to check on each prisoner, was doing her daily routine checks.

Jeno stopped the memory. Changbin was confused, “uh jeno, I definitely don’t know what im supposed to look for. All I see is the small room I used to stay in and nothing more.”

“I know.” Jeno said. “im switching the perspectives of this memory. Instead of your perspective from the room, you will now be able to see what happened in the hallway at this exact moment in time from someone else’s perspective.”

“holy shit, you can actually do that?” changbin asked.

Jeno ignored him, and then changbin was taken from the room and placed into the hallway facing his room’s door. Changbin planted himself against the wall, and watched his closed door very carefully.

It turns out he didn’t need to watch his room door. Jeno played the memory again, but this time from the hallway’s perspective.

Changbin turned his head as he saw a group of people walk down the hallway past his room. It was the horrible lady councilman with an entourage of soldiers and important looking men. She was rambling something off that changbin didn’t care about at the moment.

He was going to ignore her, until they suddenly walked right past him.

And then his breathing hitched and stopped at what he saw.

He watched felix trail behind all the others in the group, his eyes shifting from room to room. And then felix’s eyes widened when it came in contact with changbin’s room.

Changbin watched felix closely, heart racing a mile a minute.

He took out a thin piece of metal from his white uniform sleeve. he squinted his eyes and aimed the small thin metal at the door’s lock mechanism. with a quick flick of his wrist, and a small swish sound from the metal flying in the air, he hit his mark. He quickly glanced away from the door, pretending like nothing happened.

Jeno froze the memory.

In this mirror that only changbin existed in, he saw felix save him. All those years ago.

The memories slowly started to fade away. Changbin turned his head back and forth looking around him frantically, eyes watering and blurring everything into colors. He longed for felix so much, his heart was hurting.

He reluctantly watched as the image of felix disappeared in front of him, wanting desperately to reach out and stay in this moment for a little while longer.

He closed his eyes at the broken memories surrounding him, letting his tears fall down his face.

Jeno brought him back to reality, and he crashed to the floor onto his knees.

“what did I just see?” he whispered on a sob.

Chapter Text

“What did I just see?” changbin whispered on a sob.

Chan looked over at him, “what is it? what happened? Do you know where felix and the rest are?”

Changbin just stared at nothing, tears silently flowing down his face. Chan leaned over and shook his arm, but changbin didn’t budge.

“felix saved you from the facilities. All of you.” Johnny spoke up.

“what?” chan choked out. “but how?”

“he can lock pick, he once told us that. All of our doors didn’t malfunction. He helped us escape, while he stayed in a prison that he built himself.” changbin whispered out.

“I don’t know where they took them, and I don’t know how felix was able to visit all of the facilities, but it was no coincidence that they found us on that island.” Woojin said.

Chan looked around at his members. Changbin was still on the floor, seungmin was unnaturally quiet and looked broken inside, minho had an emptiness in his eyes that was never there before, and jeongin looked angry.

This wasn’t right. He was done playing games.

He needed information. He needed facts.

“everyone follow me,” he commanded with such authority that the others snapped out of their hopelessness.

He walked out of Ten and Johnny’s office and headed straight for minghao.

***

“tell me. What are the chances they are still alive? What are the chances of getting them back?” chan yelled at his friend.

Minghao didn’t take offense to the state the young stray kids leader was in. his eyes instantly flashed violet-red glazing like glass, and he stared blankly into the abyss of his mind.

His voice became cold and monotone. “The probability that they are still alive at this moment is 92%. The probability that they will remain alive within the next week is 86%. The probability that they are completely unharmed is 34%.”

“that’s good news, right?” jeongin said, with hope in his voice.

“they will live, but others will die in their place.” Minghao finished, his eyes unblinking.

“and now that’s not so good.” Jeongin said, his voice quivering.

“what are the odds?” chan asked, determination in his eyes and voice.

“All paradoxical paths have been configured and it’s relative frequency calculated. The occurrence of the event has been observed and its true frequency was determined.”

“uhhh what?” woojin mumbled in the background.

“in other words, I have mapped out all possible outcomes. Even if you were to go back in time and repeat your actions over and over, the probability of changing the results of that fated outcome is 1%. To put it in better terms, there is a 99% probability you will die. According to my calculations, there are no other paths that I can determine allowing you to avoid what will come. There is nothing you or anyone else can do to change things. I can assure you, if you go to them, the future that was set out for you will come true.”

Chan looked like he was going to break down crying. He blinked back the tears, forcing himself to be strong for the others.

“but…” minghao continued, his voice going gentle and slightly warmer.

Before he met jun, he wouldn’t even consider letting his next words leave his lips. His world was set firmly on the known and what has been proven. But now…now his perspective of the world changed when he met his mate, opening up possibilities that even science can’t explain.

His eyes flashed an even brighter violet-red. “there is still a 1% chance everything could change. Like every math equation, there are variables. The variable that is found in this world’s formulation isn’t something I can calculate or predict. Its not something I have control over.”

“and that would be…?” woojin asked.

“human error. Or in this case, your unending determination to achieve the impossible.”

“we can just leave it all to chance, cant we? Coincidences happen all the time.” Minho said weakly.

Minghao shook his head. “there are no such things as coincidences. Only the inevitable.”

His glassy violet-red eyes continued to stare unemotionally at chan, a world incomprehensible to everyone but minghao.

“So tell me bang chan. Will you risk it all for that 1%?”

Chan looked at his other members, all of them silently agreeing without hesitation. He then turned to minghao, smiling a sad smile. “we will risk everything, even if our odds were 0%. we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

And with that, he turned abruptly on his heel and marched out of the office with purpose, nobody daring to stop him.

“The future be damned.”

Chapter Text

1 week later:

“I feel like im not good enough, that i've failed them.” Chan whispers in the dark, sitting on the edge of his bed. it was another sleepless night for him.

despite his determination to get his family back, he still has no idea what to do. There is no trace of them, no clues to where they went. The anxiety and panic continues to grow each day they are gone. Chan knows full well that each second that passes could be their last, and he wouldn’t even notice. He has barely slept, going over possible locations and utilizing every thing he could to find them.

The others aren’t doing so well either. After that day, a week ago, when they all realized felix, jisung, and hyunjin weren't coming back…that was an excruciating experience for all of them. Chan couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t think.

And he was angry. So, so angry. At the people who took them, at this shitty situation, but especially at himself.

Woojin crouched down on the floor in front of chan, and grabbed his hands in the dark. “chan do you hear yourself? You are one of the best leaders out there. You cant blame yourself for what happened. Nothing you could have done would have changed things.”

Chan just shook his head, refusing to listen to woojin. “im not a good leader. It should’ve been me. Instead I let our little ones get taken. They probably hate me now. They are probably cursing at me from wherever they are, disappointed and disgusted.”

Woojin looked sadly at chan. No matter what he says, chan wont hear it. still, he continued to try anyways. chan's worst fear is not being good enough, thinking he was worthless and people not loving him because of it. He reached for chan’s face and brought his chin up to look at woojin, despite there being barely any light to see.

“why do you think im not the leader even though im the oldest? You have charisma, and inner strength, and you are just so good. Even if I was leader, the kids would never listen to me. You cant help but take care of people, it’s a part of who you are. I can feel it through our connection every day. We are all drawn to that side of you like moths to a flame. You have something we all crave: morals, values, kindness, selflessness, and what makes a person human. We will all follow you to the ends of the earth without a second thought. We will protect you with our lives, not because you are weak and need us, but because we want to.”

Chan’s eyes started to water and he sniffled in the quiet room. “I don’t get it, I never asked for that kind of loyalty. I never asked for that kind of love. Why would you guys put so much blind faith in me?”

Woojin gave him a soft smile, and caressed the backs of his fingers lovingly across chan’s cheek. “you didn’t have to ask for our loyalty because you already earned it without even trying. The fact that you don’t see all that you have done further proves how blind you are to the impact you make in our lives.”

Woojin smacked his cheek lightly and playfully to snap chan out of his stupor and hopelessness. He needs the fierce and confident chan back, the man he has admired since the first day he met him.

“so tell me bang chan, do you have a well thought out plan to get our children back? Well, probably just felix and hyunjin. Our little jisungie is such a trouble maker, I give them another couple days before they are begging for us to take him back.” he said with a light chuckle to try and cheer chan up.  

Chan smiled weakly, despite the situation. “A well thought out plan? No, not this time. I'm done calculating and always taking careful steps, trying to do the right thing, the responsible thing. This time im charging right through their front door. They took my family, and now its not only changbin they need to be wary of. I'm so angry, its hard to keep my electricity in check. Ive short circuited three hair dryers already.”

***

Changbin gasps awake from his sleep. He reaches over to the familiar warmth next to him, only for his hand to come up empty. He pats around the sheets, half asleep. Then it all comes crashing back to him once again. Felix is gone. He's been gone now for a week. Changbin isn’t handling it well at all and starts panicking all over again.

Trying to remain calm, he plants his feet onto the soft carpet, sitting on the edge of the bed, breathing in and out slowly, his hands holding his head. Hes a mess, and he knows it. then he hears soft sobs in the corner of his room. He squints in the dark.

He gets up and walks over to the corner, to find minho sitting against the wall on the floor, arms hugging his knees. He bends down to get a better look. He can see minho crying in his sleep. Minho was no better than changbin now that jisung was gone. He blames himself for jisung getting caught, thinking its somehow his fault. If he would have just told him how he felt, maybe watch over him more carefully while they were fighting, maybe listen to chan and hold onto him when he had the chance, then he would still be here. of course this was ridiculous thinking.

Changbin grabbed minho’s arm, gently shaking him to wake up. Changbin noticed the hoodie minho was wearing.

It was jisung’s.

“hyung, you cant sleep on the floor like this. Come on, lets go back to bed. You aren’t going to be of any help if you don’t get proper rest.”

Minho grumbled in his sleep. “I told you jisung, no cuddling until the others are gone.”

Changbin looked at minho sadly in the dark. He felt like crying too. There was this hollow feeling in his chest, and he doesn’t know how much longer he can handle this. With his lip quivering and blinking back the tears, he shook minho more forcefully, pulling him up. He decided he didn’t want to suffer alone anymore.

He knows damn well seungmin was probably breaking apart in the other room as well. Minho finally woke up, and looked around confused. He blinked, and felt his face. He wiped away the wet tears that trailed down his cheeks. “dammit.” was all he said in the dark.

“come on hyung, lets go.”

“go where?”

“to the living room. We are gathering the others.”

Minho didn’t question it. he didn’t want to be alone either. They were all miserable with the three gone.

Changbin quietly walked into chan’s room, surprised to see him and woojin already up. “cant sleep.” was all chan said. Changbin nodded. Chan then looked up at changbin, noticing the dark circles and watery eyes. “another nightmare?”

Changbin’s face crumpled in despair. With chan and woojin, he is always willing to revert to his vulnerable self, dropping his guard completely. With a shaky breath he answered, “in my dreams, I watched as Felix disappeared into thin air. One minute I was holding him, the next he was gone. What if they-“

Chan shushed him before he could finish that thought. “they are alive. I know it. we will get them back.” Changbin nodded again, choosing to believe these words.

“minho and I are a wreck. I cant sleep without felix, the nightmares are too much. I know seungmin is a mess too, even though he wont say it. lets all sleep together in the living room?” changbin was almost begging. “please.” he added quietly.

“you don’t even need to ask, changbinnie.” Woojin finally spoke up. They gathered everyone into the living room. Seungmin had been oddly quiet this whole week, his lively and fiery self completely gone. He didn’t react to anything, moping around like a zombie. Chan found jeongin asleep in his and hyunjin’s room, sleeping on hyunjins bed, hugging his pillow. Chan frowned. Even jeongin wasn’t taking this all too well.

When jeongin sleepily asked what was going on, woojin replied “family healing time. Nobody stays alone. Not until we are all together again.”

Minho let a tear run down his face silently, wiped it away, and leaned into chan. Chan wrapped an arm around his shoulders. Changbin was worried about seungmin, so he lay next to him and grabbed his hand. he squeezed gently, and was surprised when seungmin squeezed back. “we can burn all those bastards to the ground when we find them, yeah?” changbin bumped his shoulder into seungmin's.

Seungmin gave a weak smile “you bet your ass that whole place is going up in flames the second I step foot in there.” he muttered.

The others chuckled, grateful seungmin actually said something finally. Jeongin sandwiched himself on the other side of seungmin, wrapping an arm around his waist.

“we will find them,” chan said to them in the dark.

***

***

Meanwhile, five days later:

Felix clicked his gun, and aimed it perfectly in between jisung’s eyes from across the arena. He smiled a cynical smirk. “what are you waiting for? Don’t tell me you are too scared to attack me.”

The wind softly swirled around their feet, the cheers and screams echoing all around them from the stands.

Jisung glared up at felix. He technically didn’t have a weapon with him, which was just unfair in his opinion, because he didn’t want the councilmen to know he can summon his own weapon.

“of course im fucking scared to attack you.” He spat out with a harsh voice at felix. “have you seen changbin when someone so much as touches a hair on your head? The moment he finds out I kicked your ass in front of hundreds of people, he will kill me.”

Felix quirked an eyebrow up at jisung in amusement, “oh, so you think you can kick my ass?”

Jisung laughed an obnoxious laugh. To everyone watching from above, it looks like they are arguing with hatred at each other. “of course I do. But I would rather risk getting my brains blown out than have changbin after me till the day I die.”

Felix sighed dramatically, holding his hand to his cheek as he stared off into the distance with a dreamy look on his face, his gun still aimed at jisung in the other hand. “I do love me a small and violent binnie.”

Jisung scrunched up his nose in distaste, “please, shoot me now and end my suffering.”

Felix snapped out of his daydream and glared at jisung. “yeah, well im risking my life too, you know! If someone so much as gives you a look, they are at the top of minho’s list!”

“look, felix. I love you and all, but I really don’t want to embarrass myself in front of everyone here. I have an image to uphold you know. We both know I would win this if I tried, so cant you like, fake a limp or something?”

Felix’s mouth dropped dramatically in shock. “I cant believe you have the audacity to say you could win this fight… cant you pretend to fall off a building and impale yourself on something? maybe it would end this quicker.”

The crowd started to grow restless, booing and complaining to see a fight to the death.

“yeah, get him felix! Beat the shit out of him!” someone shouted among the hundreds of people watching them.

Jisung snapped his head up at the sound of the voice and scanned the crowd, squinting at the unfamiliar faces.

“did you hear that?”

Chapter Text

Five days ago:

“we will find them.” Chan said to them in the dark.

Chan continued to watch as the darkness faded and the dawn slowly filtered into the room. He only managed a few more hours of sleep, but nothing more. so he chose to prop himself up against the couch while on the floor. Woojin must have unconsciously felt him move in the middle of the night, and rolled over to cling to chans waist, both of his arms wrapping around the leader. He dozed back off while chan smiled down at him, carding his fingers through his dark brown locks.

He saw the sunlight start to shine on some of the others as it got brighter in the room. He chuckled lightly as seungmin groaned half asleep and pulled the blanket over his face blocking out the light, causing the blanket to fall off of jeongin, who yanked it back onto himself.

But his amusement stopped there. There was too much empty space in the living room. Normally it would be crowded, everyone bumping into each other or rolling on someone by accident.

Chan's smile faded. He just stared into the room, feeling numb and hopeless.

All his life, he wished for one thing: a family. People he could take care of, and in return take care of him. he wants to share his days with them, relishing in the love and adoration they give and take from each other, the reassurance he needs that he wasn’t lonely. He craved it with his whole heart for years.

He was always on his own, trying to ignore the feeling of wanting to belong. But even as subjects from facility 2 came and went, he was still by himself. nobody he met left any impression on him; they didn’t want anything to do with him, losing themselves to the years of brainwashing and torture.

In the facility, he spent his days in a daze: waking, eating, training, sleeping, and repeat. The faces started to blur, and soon chan gave up and didn’t recognize anyone anymore.

Then one day, he saw a small boy around his age, sitting by himself with a frown permanently etched on his face. Chan has been there for years and gave up trying to make friends. nobody wanted friendship in this hellhole.

However, the more he watched, the more his interest was piqued. He saw the boy was clever and talented. He had a knack for fighting and was extremely strong, but never used his powers to his full capabilities. He was wary of those who approached him, so it wasn’t a surprise when he glared as chan finally made his move and walked up to him.

After getting close to changbin, it just went further from there. They met hyunjin, who was getting picked on for being too pretty. And then he met woojin and the others.

Then one day, Ten told him not to be alarmed. If chan wakes up one morning and feels the ground rumble and the house shake, to instead welcome the person at his doorstep with open arms. Ten didn’t have the specifics, but he knew that this person was another addition to what chan secretly wanted. He never told ten his hidden feelings of desperation for companionship, but somehow ten knew and never questioned it, helping him instead.

Chan snapped out of his thoughts, looking at the brightly lit room filled with the others. It was a safe place he built for himself. He saw changbin, seungmin, and jeongin squashed together, minho not too far on his other side curled into himself. his fingers, which were still absentmindedly sifting through woojin’s hair, abruptly stilled. Woojin mumbled something in his sleep and shifted a little away from chan.

Chan looked around at everyone. This is what he always wanted, but now it was taken from him again. His anger came back to him, the light bulbs flickering in answer to his growing emotions. Woojin softly stirred awake, feeling chan’s anger through their bond. He sat up sleepily and reached for chan’s face, cupping his cheeks and forcing him to give him eye contact.

“its ok. There is still hope. They are too valuable to get rid of right away, you know that,” he muttered calmly with a sleepy voice in the quiet room.

Chan glanced at woojin and tried to calm himself down. he needed to think rationally, not with his emotions. He needs to let his emotions be a source of strength, not a weakness.

He wanted so badly to just go out there and hunt down those that took them. But even he knew it was a futile act. He was useless when it came to this sort of stuff. He wasn’t a tracker, he knows that. he had to learn to trust those that were capable of this area of specialty, particularly scoups. So all he can do is wait and be ready.

Twenty minutes went by of chan sitting there, calming down under woojin’s touch. Woojin has had to do this almost daily, otherwise chan would let the panic and anxiety creep in on him.

And then, on this bright and sunny morning, surrounded by almost all of the people he loves the most, it almost seemed like his prayers were answered.

His phone rang.

Chan grabbed it at the speed of light and pressed it to his ear. He didn’t say anything, just listened.

It was taeyong.

Chan hung up and stood abruptly, letting the blankets fall to the floor. Woojin was already up and getting ready, having heard taeyong through the silence in the room.

“changbin, seungmin, jeongin, minho.” Chan called loudly but deathly calm, his anger wiping out all emotion from his voice.

The others snapped their eyes open in alarm, having heard the seriousness in chan’s voice even in their half asleep induced states. They sat up, rubbing their eyes, looking at their leader in question.

Chan gave each of them eye contact before he spoke.

“Get ready. They found them.”

Chapter Text

Four days ago:

Every member of both Shownu’s team and N’s team were gathered together, hidden underground in their safe haven. They all got the news, and made it there within the hour. Each of them were experiencing different emotions at the moment.

Some were angry, some were anxious, some were impatient. The list went on and on. But one thing was for sure: they had a very large group of very pissed off descendants gathered in one place.

It was quiet in the room, except for the tapping noise from jeongin’s foot, and the continuous sound of jaemin cracking his knuckles in anger, soft murmurs from jeno to calm him down. Mark was pacing back and forth at an unreasonable speed around the room, making Yuta who was sitting on Sicheng’s lap, very dizzy watching him. chan was doing breathing exercises in the corner with woojin so he wouldn’t blow the power out on the entire block of the underground city, and changbin was running his hands desperately through his hair trying to restrain himself from going out there and wreaking havoc on everything. Meanwhile, seungmin was distracting himself by lighting his fingers on fire with a snap, and then putting it out with a puff of smoke over and over. Minho was biting his lip, a complete wreck. Jun started shuffling his cards back and forth, desperate to see something but knowing it was useless. Minghao’s eyes were glowing violet-red again, silently calculating and re-evaluating anything that could be worthwhile.

Jeonghan was silently sitting on a chair, his leg crossed over the other and his eyes shut. He was perfectly calm, silently communicating with his mate and other members through telepathy. Suddenly his eyes snapped open and he stood up, a smile forming on his face.

The doors slammed open, and everyone turned in the direction of the newcomers.

Chan watched as scoups walked briskly into the room, two of his members, Mingyu and Wonwoo, at each of his sides.

“Well?”

“Where are they?”

“How did you find them?”

“what took you so long?”

“whats happening?”

Scoups was bombarded with a hundred questions being thrown his way. He tried to speak, but everyone was such a mess he couldn’t get a word in. the emotions floating through the room went off the charts, and scoups looked helplessly to hongbin.

Hongbin cleared his throat, and immediately forced everyone to calm down. he was an empath, and could control the emotions of anyone around him. its part of the reason why he was the ringmaster for the fights to gain entrance into the Arcade. He could hype up the crowd around him, or calm them down when things get too out of hand. he was also one of the only ones who could handle hyuk in his animal form, keeping him under control when he gets too wild. Hyuk only listens to hongbin the most, but will also partially listen to leo and N because they are his leaders, caretakers, and hyungs.

Once everyone was quiet, scoups faced everyone.

“let me explain. As you all know, ive been desperately searching now for almost 8 days since the others were taken on jeju. Up until a few hours ago, it was useless. Obviously the agency has a very strong descendant working for them, able to mask their whereabouts. For some reason, they are immune to everyone’s powers as well as able to block or cancel them out.”

“But if they are that powerful, how were you able to find their location?” leo asked quietly from the side of the room, his arms crossed.

“that’s where it gets weird. I was searching the country, hoping they were still on this continent for god’s sake. those portals could have taken them anywhere on this planet, depending on how strong the person is who created them. But all this time, I found nothing. I couldn’t track a single one of them. Hell, they were masked so good, I bet if jeonghan was taken I wouldn’t even be able to track him even though he is my mate and we are bonded closely.”

Jeonghan frowned at that, not liking they had someone just as powerful as almost half the people in this room on their side.

“but then a few hours ago, it was almost as if that person blocking their location disappeared. Their powers completely stopped, and everything was so clear to me. I could feel everyone, and I immediately locked on their location. It lasted for maybe 30 minutes. And then almost as if it never happened, their location was gone again, blocked out by the person masking their powers from us. I have no idea what happened, but I wasn’t about to question it. thirty minutes was long enough for me to get their exact whereabouts. I immediately contacted jeonghan, who contacted everyone else, and you guys know the rest.” Scoups finally finished.

“did you feel felix, was he okay?” changbin asked right away.

“and jisung and hyunjin?” minho added in.

“what about haechan, chenle, and jisung?” mark added in.

“and N and hyuk.” Leo muttered.

“and yedam.” Jeongin whispered, not even sure if scoups heard him.

They all said this at the same time, and scoups held up his hand to quiet their nervousness at the answers to their questions.

“yes, I felt every single one of them in those 30 minutes when the barrier was down. however, whether they were uninjured or not is not something im capable of knowing. Only their location. Luckily, they were all in the same place so that is good news, meaning at this moment there are no other hideouts the agency has. That doesn’t mean they don’t have other places to run to. They just must be desperate for descendants and in short supply. It explains why they are snatching people at an alarming rate.”

“that’s another matter we have to deal with.” Leo interrupted. “its one thing to mask and be immune to the powers of the descendants, but from what I can tell, someone else is the one causing the rifts in time-space and teleporting everyone back to the agency. Which means they have more than one powerful descendant on their side.”

“so we have to wipe out the ones doing that?” taeyong asked.

“but what if its not by choice? Half of us here have been a part of the facilities, and I can tell you that I certainly did not want to do everything they told me to do.” Chan reasoned. Taeyong nodded, taking that into consideration.

“I say lets go already and get rid of them!” mark announced, keeping still long enough to make a statement. Seungmin nodded in agreement.

Shownu shook his head, “we cant just barge in there without a plan. We need to think about this calmly.”

“easy for you to say. None of your members were taken.” Minho lashed out, not meaning to sound hostile, but too worried for his members.

“yah! Watch it!” someone from the boyz yelled from the back of the room.

“I understand your worry, but it would be stupid if we go in there wanting to save them, and then getting captured right along with them. Then what?” shownu addressed minho calmly. Minho knew he was right, but was still impatient.

“at any rate, if they have someone that can mask the powers of others, then that would explain why jisungie never caught on about the axe flying towards chan that one time we were at facility 9.” Woojin cut in.

“lets not talk about that right now,” chan whispered to his soulmate. Woojin merely shrugged, stating the facts.

“ok guys, we need a plan, and we need one fast. Every second they are gone brings them that closer to danger.” Renjun told everyone.

“scoups, did you guys get a good look at the place they are being kept at?” johnny asked them.

Mingyu, scoups, and wonwoo all nodded. “good, then I need to read your memories.” Johnny said.

“perfect. Nana, can you get me my sketchpad from my room? Ill draw the layout of the place as johnny, wonwoo, scoups, and mingyu describe the place to me.” Renjun asked jaemin.

“I got it!” mark chirped, already leaving the place in a blur, desperate to do something.

They gathered around renjun as they started describing the hideout to him while he waited for his sketchpad.

“well,” scoups began, as mingyu was holding johnny’s hand. “it was located on a cliff, surrounded by the ocean towards the east side of the country…”

***

Three days ago:

“guess what I saw?!” ten barged into the room. They have been planning for the great rescue since yesterday. Everyone gathered to one of the huge empty conference rooms, clearing enough space for the large number of descendants gathered.

“what?” jeno being the first to ask.

“well, I accidentally bumped into minhyuk since we are all crammed in here, and I had a vision.” The others jerked their heads up, looking at minhyuk for answers. Minhyuk shrugged, following ten right after he came back to the present from his vision.

“it explains how they knew of our hideout on jeju. This is how they were able to capture us to begin with!” ten seethed in anger.

“well?” woozi asked with impatience, clicking at a laptop. Like eric, he was great at manipulating technology, but not quite in the same way. He was currently working with eric to try and hack his way into their technology. If they cant find them using their abilities and magical means, then they might as well try going old school.

“those two mercenaries we kicked out of the Arcade and let go? Yeah well it looks like they did something unforgivable and jumped ship. My guess is they were pissed at what chan’s group did to them, and then later what minhyuk and jooheon did to them that they turned on us to the agency!” ten shouted loudly, catching the attention of the others from different rooms.

“god fucking dammit!” someone shouted across the hallway.

“minho, find them and take care of those assholes.” Chan ordered him, seething. Minho was more then happy to comply, but woojin grabbed his shoulder, shaking his head.

“we can deal with them later. Right now its best to stay together.” Minho’s shoulders sagged, and nodded in understanding.

“but how did they even know about shownus place on jeju?” hoshi, who was sitting next to woozi and eric, asked no one in particular.

“someone must have ratted us out.” Vernon said.

“the newest addition to our exclusive group is felix. Could it have been him?” sicheng suggested.

“what the hell did you just say? Felix may have been from facility 9, but there's no way he betrayed us!” changbin said in anger, slowly standing up, ready to fight anyone to say otherwise.

Sicheng held up his hands in calm surrender. “I wasn’t blaming him, just trying to cover all of the angles here. Its possible it slipped out of his mouth within earshot of the mercenaries or something. accidents can happen.”

Eric shook his head, eyes still trained on his own laptop, clicking away at something. he interrupted sicheng. “no, felix is one of the best of the best at facility 9. He wouldn’t make a rookie mistake like that. its part of the reason why the councilmen kept him so close to them despite not having abilities.” He rambled on, still clicking away at his computer and scanning limitless amounts of codes at an inhuman speed.

Changbin paled and looked to eric. He almost forgot him and felix used to be really close when they were younger. “what did you just say?” he asked the younger boy.

Eric stopped his typing, poising his fingers in the air above the keyboard, and flicked his eyes up at changbin in confusion. “that felix was close to the councilmen?”

“why?” changbin asked.

Eric shrugged. “im not really sure. I wasn’t as strong as the others. That’s part of the reason why I was transferred to facility 2. Felix taught me how to lock pick though.” At this, changbin nodded, already knowing it was felix who unlocked all of their doors throughout the years.

Eric continued, “but felix was always the favorite of the council lady. She often took him with her to her trips to the other facilities.”

At this, everyone around snapped their heads up, paying full attention to eric now.

“why?” minhyuk asked.

“again, I don’t know. But he always was taken to her lab for special tests. He was an outcast at the facility, nobody daring to talk to him or be near him.” changbin frowned at what eric was saying.

“so its possible he has some loyalty to the agency?” jaehyun asked, walking into the room.

Eric looked to jaehyun, “it is possible, but I highly doubt it. felix has a heart of gold. He was always running around, eavesdropping on the council, finding ways to help. He got you guys out of your facilities, didn’t he?” he directed his question at changbin.

“I don’t care if felix betrayed us. That will just give me even more reason to get his pretty ass back here. If he did betray us, which I strongly disagree with, then ill just beat the shit out of him.”

“with your lips.” Jeongin waggled his eyebrows at changbin, trying to lighten the mood.

“im so pissed and worried about felix and the others, that im not even going to try and deny that.” changbin said, pacing back and forth in the room. A couple people around him chuckled, but they were too worried for the other members to make fun of him at the moment.

***

Two days ago:

Haechan glared up at the doctors with hatred in his eyes, bewitched chains keeping him in place.

“hey, looks like we got a fighter in this one. I know there are more of them just like him.” one of them said with a mocking tone.

“hes a stubborn one, that’s for sure. And cunning too. We gotta keep an eye on him. he isn’t going to talk any time soon.” The other said.

“well I can fix that.” and the last thing haechan saw was a fist flying at his face before everything went dark.

Back at the conference room at the same time~

“Ow!” mark called out suddenly, clutching his chest. His eyes flickered red-orange again. “what the hell?” he looked up at taeyong, breathing heavily against the pain, confusion written on his face.

Taeyong finally spoke what he has been suspecting for over a week now since haechan was captured.

“mark…” he began calmly. He knows how touchy their relationship has been since the beginning. “do you think that maybe perhaps haechan is your soulmate?”

Mark’s eyes widened, beginning to shake his head in denial. But secretly, hope fluttered in his chest. Of course he would never admit that out loud.

But then his eyes furrowed in worry. “if that’s true, then that means im feeling his pain and that is not okay at all.” He gritted his teeth in anger, clenching his fist.

Taeyong looked sadly at mark, also worried for the younger boy trapped at the agency.

***

One day ago:

Hyunjin was tied down by enchanted chains, facing the doctors in the room with him. he was in a glass room underground, surrounded by the ocean. Endless water around him, and he was unable to call upon it to help him. so close, but yet so far.

How long he has been taken, he doesn’t know. He has been drifting in and out of consciousness from their beatings quite a few times now.

He finally tuned in to what the doctors have been saying to him.

“you are too loving, too caring. You need to experience hatred. Only then will you be able to have the emotional capability to kill your soulmate. We wont stop until you see eye to eye with us.”

“but I do feel hatred.” Hyunjin sneered at them, spitting some blood from his mouth onto the ground. “im capable of hating you.”

“that’s not the answer we are looking for. There must be one person in this world you have harsh feelings for.” The doctors said to him calmly.

“well guess again. There isn’t anybody like that in my life.” hyunjin said confidently.

“what about kim seungmin? subject number 922 from facility 1. we have information that you two were seen arguing quite often.” One of them replied coolly.

Once he heard them mention seungmin’s name, he didn’t register the pain from the chains burning his skin anymore. Hyunjin thought he felt fear before, but this fear was on a whole new level.

“seungmin?” he scoffed nonchalantly. At least, he tried to. “I barely know the guy. So what if we argued a bit? He means nothing to me,” he lied. “he’s more of an acquaintance. a nuisance, kind of like a pest.”

“well that’s good then,” one of them replied with glee. “we need you to kill him first. As a test run.” And then the second doctor pushed a syringe into hyunjin with some of the dark drug that they injected felix with all those months ago.

Hyunjin winced as he felt the drug run through his veins. It felt like his body was tearing apart from the inside out. he started to sweat, and his mind was going fuzzy. Multiple voices were all talking to him at once. “kill who?” he muffled out after a few seconds of trying to fight the drug.

“seungmin.” they answered, their voices distorted. “hes the one you hate the most.”

“the one I hate the most?” hyunjin’s words were sticky in his mouth, and he blinked a few times trying to grab his bearings.

“yes, the one you despise more than anything in this world.” By this point hyunjin couldn’t tell who was talking: the people around him, or his own thoughts.

He furrowed his brows, shaking his head trying to push through the thick feeling in his mind. “right. Seungmin is the one I hate the most?” he said as a question, unsure of himself.

“don’t you want to kill him? hes such a nuisance. Wouldn’t it be better if he didn’t exist?” they coaxed with a honey voice.

He nodded aimlessly as the drug made its way to his heart. His eyelids were half shut.

Why did he hate seungmin again?

After what felt like an eternity, someone snapped their fingers in front of his face, trying to get him to focus. He stared at the fingertips, seeing double.

“will you kill him?” they asked again.

“hmm?” he slurred, unable to focus.

“once you have the emotional capability to get rid of someone you hate, it will be easier for you to eliminate someone you don’t hate, like your soulmate. Do you think you can do that?” they continued to try and control his mind.

Hyunjin’s head lolled to the side, his eyes glassy, meeting the eyes of his captors. He attempted to make a noise that sounded like an agreement.

They continued with their endless chattering, “you are too kind, too gentle. Right now you are like a calm pond on a clear summer day. We need you to be like a tsunami, a monsoon. We need you to feel hatred and anger, like the raging ocean during a storm. Only then will you be able to hunt and kill your soulmate. We need you to tap into your true power. Do you think you can do that?”

“my soulmate?” he whispered. Something was nagging at the back of his mind, but he couldn’t figure out what.

One of them sighed, “yes. Kill seungmin first. After you can achieve that small task, you will be ready to kill anyone. Especially your soulmate. Think of it as light training to prepare you for the hunt.”

Hyunjin was having a hard time following what they were saying. Why did that name sound so familiar?

“seungmin?” he questioned, letting the name roll off his tongue.

The other doctor huffed in annoyance, growing impatient at this endless round-about they were doing. “this isn’t working,” he said. “give him more.”

With a nod, the other captor nodded her head, and injected more of the drug into hyunjin. Hyunjin’s eyes snapped up, and he jerked at the feel of it entering his system for a second time. It was getting harder to breathe, and his head was pounding so hard he wanted to scream.

Then he slumped forward against his chains, and lost consciousness.

***

Hyunjin awoke again, his mind feeling like fog and his thoughts a mess. He couldn’t even form a single coherent sentence.

“glad you could join us. You have a lot of work to do.” A female said to him.

He tried to move his arm, but realized it was chained up, burning his skin. “I do?” he asked.

“yes, you are going to kill the person you hate the most. Do you remember who that is?” she answered him. he shook his head at her question.

“think a little harder,” she continued. “once you kill him, you can be free of this place. You want that don’t you? You will have limitless power.” Of course this wasn’t true, but hyunjin wasn’t in his right mind to be able to tell the difference.

Hyunjin tried to do as she asked, thinking back as hard as he could. He searched his memories, trying to find a face among the empty thoughts.

Who is it I am looking for again? He squeezed his eyes shut to help him make sense of what was going on.

“you hate him. kill him.” a male said in the room. “who is it you hate the most?”

Hyunjin was getting frustrated at their constant talking. He yanked on his chains again, with no use. His eyes were still shut as he tried to tune everything out.

“I don’t understand.” The female said. “why isn’t it working? We should be able to transfer his emotions of hatred for subject 922 over and make him hate his soulmate. Once we tap into that power, we can control how he uses it. he will be able to kill his soulmate effortlessly, but nothing is happening. If we inject him anymore, he wont have enough consciousness to even function.”

“I know.” The male answered her. “we would be killing two birds with one stone if he killed subject 922. he was one of the subjects that escaped. Besides, fire and water never mix anyways. We would be doing everybody a favor getting rid of that pyromaniac brat.”

Just then, the female got a call from her pager. “I have to take care of the other one. Something is obviously holding hyunjin back. Find out what it is and get rid of it.” and she left the lab room, the doors sealing shut behind her.

The male turned to hyunjin and continued to try again with the brainwashing. “you are too passive and calm. We need to start a fire within you, get you to tap into your true strength. You want that don’t you? True power?”

Hyunjin started to nod in agreement, but then he stopped, snapping his head up to look at the male doctor. Something he said made him focus a little more.

A fire?

His heart started to beat rapidly, kick starting him out of his drug induced sleep. His head was spinning in endless circles, trying to find something that was lost.

“and I would think twice before you talk back to me, pretty boy. I can burn you to a crisp in a second.”

“but there is so much water, what if I drown?” someone asked him, with fear in his voice.

“hey now. Im here, you know you will never drown when im around. I would never let something like that happen. You trust me don’t you?”

Who did he say that to?

“I trust you.” A voice answered him, ringing through his head.

Who said that to him? who was he forgetting?

Why is he so important to me?

In his crumbling memories, he saw glimpses of dark red hair and fierce eyes that burned into his thoughts. He remembers lips against his that scorched him from the inside out, making him desperate for more. he craved that heat, wanting it to consume and ruin him.

The drug started to burn away from his blood, from the inside out.

***

Jisung sat there bruised and battered, shackled to the floor with monitors connected to him that lead to a computer the doctors were using. He was lost to his own mind, not able to think or concentrate.

A female talked to him, her endless muttering irritating the hell out of him.

“if you had your soulmate, you would be able to escape from here,” she lied. “The power you would wield would be unimaginable. Don’t you want that?”

He nodded his head, not really sure what he was agreeing to, his eyes drooping in exhaustion.

“you need to kill your soulmate. Can you feel them? Deep down within you?” she continued to drone on.

Jisung nodded again, searching deep within himself. he could feel a soft heartbeat gently fluttering next to his own.

“will you kill them? Remember, you will be the most powerful there ever was if they were gone.”

Jisung furrowed his brows, not following her words. Something in him told him it wasn’t right. He bit his lip, lazily shaking his head, trying to mumble a denial at the tip of his tongue.

Did he want that? did he truly want power and strength, and to be bonded to his soulmate?

Something seemed off. He blinked over and over again, swinging his head staring at the metal walls, trying to avoid eye contact with the female.

“if you are still unsure, just think of the most important thing to you. With that kind of power, you can obtain what matters most in the palm of your hand. don’t you want to know what that feels like?” she cooed, trying to plant a seed of doubt into his thoughts.

Jisung listened to her words, nodding again in agreement. But then he frowned, his sluggish mind finally processing her words completely.

The most important thing to him?

What was it?

He saw glimpses of dark brown hair, hazel eyes that crinkle when he laughs, and echoes of a soft melodic voice. He could hear seductive whispers spoken from beautiful lips close to his ear, blanketed by darkness when everyone else was sleeping.

He could almost feel ghosts of a heated touch that used to caress him, holding him close, his legs intertwining with someone else’s while he pretended to be asleep.

Cherished memories that were almost forgotten started to flash back and forth in his mind.

“I have a song stuck in my head.” Someone whispered to him in the dark.

“sing it for me then.”

“but I suck at singing.”

He remembered the feel of the wind on a rainy day.

He’s even more beautiful when he cries. he remembers thinking, brushing away tear stains on a face he cant quite recall.

In his stupor, jisung unknowingly smiled and let out a soft sigh of content and longing, his eyes flickering color slightly. Nothing else that was said or done to him mattered in that moment.

Then he heard another female voice talking to him, interrupting his memories and telling him things he didn’t want to hear.

Power? Control?

In his haze, he decided he didn’t want any of that. he shook his head, trying to clear his mind. He was desperately grasping for something at the edge of his consciousness, he just didn’t know what it was.

After a few more minutes of a constant internal battle, jisung’s mind continued to wander, going back to his first thoughts.

The most important thing to him? he didn’t care about his soulmate, he didn’t care about being bonded or having limitless power. He would gladly give all of that up if he could just see him once more.

Who was he trying to remember again?

And then it was suddenly all so clear to him.

He didn’t want his soulmate. He wanted minho.

The female hissed, looking at the computer monitors hooked to jisung, the beeping indicating there was a problem. “I don’t understand. Why isn’t it working? Surely he would answer to this. what's keeping him grounded? Air types are always flighty, willing to betray anyone if it suits them best. What is so important to him that he wouldn’t even consider all that i've offered?”

Chapter Text

Happy holidays everyone! christmas time is my favorite season of the year!

this is actually not a bonus for my current story 'a glitch' (that will come veryyyy soon),

but instead, since i am in such a good mood and super excited for christmas day coming up in a few hours and you all are really nice to me, i thought i would give you guys a special treat!

 

so here's how it goes: back in early november i was watching a drama, and then another drama because i binge watch like 50 at the same time, and then i was watching a tv show thats on netflix that i love and then i was listening to a couple songs and bam! i had a really good idea to add to my next story!

you heard right, ive had this idea in my head for awhile now, but really wanted to only focus on one thing at a time, so i pushed it aside until i had a good chunk of my current fanfic written. and that time has come!

so in honor of the festive season, i am giving an exclusive sneak peak to another stray kids fanfic that i will start up sometime this winter break. this update will officially be deleted once i get those chapters officially posted. i dont want to reveal toooo much, but i am the queen of spoilers, so why not? trust me, there is more to the story. and as always, it will have a bit of supernatural elements in it, but slightly different. 

note: none of this was proofread and im sorry for any mistakes. also, this is just the roughest draft imaginable, so some things may change by the time i post the final copy.

***

Jisung coughed, his breath fanning out in the cold mountain air. He tried to take another deep breath but couldn’t, his lungs constricting painfully and chest rising and falling at a rapid pace.

He was going to die, he already knows it. but still, some part of his brain refuses to accept this fact, forcing his body to continue working to keep him alive.

Jisung is lying on his back in the white snow with his arms and legs spread out, his blonde hair fanning around him. his own blood tainted the beautiful perfection that surrounds him. Dark crimson red splattered across a white background, almost like a child trying to finger paint for the first time.

Red continues to flow from the knife wounds in his stomach while white flakes softly land on him like flower petals in the spring. Instead of watching the red bleed through the white, he forces his eyes to look up into the night sky. dark hues of purple, indigo, and violet clash with the snowflakes, calming down his beating heart that was just barely fluttering in his chest.

He lets a single tear roll down his face from each of his eyes, the fleeting thought of wanting to stay alive overtaking what’s left of his consciousness.

Nobody is even here to see him take his last breath. He’s going to spend his last seconds here on this earth alone.

He’s always been alone.

After several more minutes of trying to gasp for air, the blood continuing to seep out of his fatal wounds, jisung’s vision starts to go blurry and then turn black. It was slowly going dark from the outer edges of his vision, creeping in on him until he could barely see anything in the center.

Just before he couldn’t see anything anymore, someone he thought seemed familiar came into his line of sight, looking down at him. jisung’s eyesight was too blurry so that he couldn’t make out a clear face. All he could tell was that this person was young, a male, and had brown hair.

In the back of jisung’s mind, something pricked at his psyche, telling him he should know this boy well.

The person continued to watch jisung as his body was shutting down, his head tilted to the side in thought. It was almost as if this mysterious boy was debating something, an internal conflict jisung didn’t have the time left to contemplate.

Jisung’s eyelids drooped a fraction of a centimeter lower, so the figure was almost completely gone out of sight. He knew his blood pressure was tanking. He was out of time.

Jisung smiled, or rather, he thought he managed to smile. At least someone was there to see him go. Its better than being by himself.

And then jisung’s eyes closed completely, his heart giving a few more useless beats, trying to kick start itself in one last attempt at life.

***

Guns were going off in the hospital, people screaming and running around to get out of the way. Hyunjin was searching frantically through the mix of medical professionals trying to patch up wounds, and patients scattered throughout the chaos. His focus was only on one person.

“guys, I think I lost seungmin, I cant get a location on him. there's bullets flying everywhere! Are we sure he's the target?” he said worriedly into his ear piece.

He didn’t bother to listen to the response coming on the other end though, because suddenly he caught a glimpse of a familiar long white coat and someone going down hitting the ground hard.

Hyunjin wasted no time. He hit the ground running, his black combat boots pounding on the white flooring. He was running at an inhuman speed, not even bothering trying to hide it in the pandemonium happening around him.

He jumped over medical equipment and dodged more bullets firing into the hospital. Only a long black nurse’s desk separated him from seungmin. with one hand, he hoisted himself onto the desk and started running across it at top speed, hopping over computer monitors and phones. But he was a perfect target for the shooters being up that high, so towards the end of the desk he ducked down and slid the rest of the way, knocking wire baskets off the sides letting papers fly everywhere.

He made it to the edge and jumped down into the large aisle between one nurse’s desk and another. He saw dress shoes peeking out from behind the other long nurse’s desk on the other side of the aisle, and then he saw smears of blood.

“oh no. oh no, oh no, oh no.” he muttered as he hurriedly made his way behind the desk, half in a crouch half in a crawl.

More people were screaming around him, but in that moment they meant nothing to him.

Seungmin was huddled under the desk shaking, his bloody hands covering his face. He was whispering to himself and hyunjin had to lean in closer to hear what he was saying.

“I tried to warn them,” his voice quivered. “I tried to warn them, but they didn’t listen. why does nobody ever listen? I saw it happen. I knew it was going to happen. If I only I had more time! I couldn’t save them. Any of them.” He sobbed.

“seungmin, are you hurt anywhere? I need to make sure you aren’t injured. Is that your blood all over you?” hyunjin was quickly assessing the damage. Seungmin had blood covering his hands and wrists, and more blood spattered his white coat, especially in the chest area. Hyunjin was going to have a heart attack if he found out seungmin was shot.

Hyunjin tried to gently pry seungmin’s bloody hands away from his face, but seungmin refused to budge. “seungmin, I need to make sure you are okay,” he said as he forced seungmin’s hands again, this time succeeding.

“No! don’t look at me!” but it was too late. Seungmin looked up at hyunjin, his eyes glowing a wine red color.

Hyunjin sucked in a breath. “damn, you really are one of the cherished, aren’t you?” he whispered.

***

Felix carefully picked past the debris around him, heading to the back room of the music store. the door was hanging off it’s hinges, and he had to pick the whole thing up and yank it completely off the frame and toss it aside. He didn’t bother caring if someone saw him use inhuman strength. He was positive no one else was here.

“changbin?” he called out. but there was no reply. Felix stepped into the back room, searching all around him. picture frames flew off the walls, and a printer was tossed against one of the chairs. He heard heavy breathing coming from behind some of the huge metal filing cabinets, and slowly toed his way past scattered papers and books.

“changbin, are you okay?” felix asked quietly. He finally found changbin on the ground with his knees brought to his chest and his hands cradling his head. He was shaking all over.

Felix went to touch his arm, but changbin jerked away suddenly.

“don’t come near me! You aren’t meant to see me like this. nobody is meant to see me like this. im sorry. Im so sorry.” He repeated apologies over and over as the window panes started to crack and a flower vase shattered into a hundred pieces.

Felix took everything in with wide eyes, but not out of fear. It would take a lot to make felix afraid.

“don’t touch me. You might get hurt. I don’t want to hurt you. I never mean to hurt them.” He then looked up at felix with fear in his wine colored eyes.

***

Woojin snapped his head up, lacing his fingers together at the head of the metal conference desk, ready for serious business. “I was getting to that. they are what is known as ‘the cherished.’ which is pretty much short for ‘god’s cherished ones.’ They are special individuals with extraordinary abilities…”

Chapter Text

“But he promised.” He breathed out on a whisper.

Taeyong looked helplessly down at mark then back up at the rest of his youngest members.

Minho crumpled to a chair, starting to hyperventilate. “my jisungie is gone? They took him?”

Changbin looked around frantically at minho, chan, and mark. He walked up to chan and held onto his arms, shaking his head at what everyone was implying. “please tell me it isn’t true. Please tell me they are just late in coming back.”

Chan looked through changbin, not processing what his mind told him was obviously going on. Changbin shook his arms, “hyung! What happened?! Where’s felix? They will be back any second, right? Right?!”

Mark started crying, holding his chest. The red-orange glow from his eyes lost in the tears. “haechan's portals only take a few seconds each trip he makes. 30 seconds at the most. If he was transporting them, he would be back by now.” He managed to choke out in-between sobs.

Changbin crashed to the ground, still hanging onto chan’s arms. Chan wordlessly bent down with him, crouching. Changbin’s face looked so broken. The realization that felix was captured and never coming back was finally starting to sink in. an unbearable grief took over his heart and mind, a pain he has never felt before. His ears began to ring, tuning out mark’s sobs and endless chatter.

“and then he-he told me he would be right behind me. He promised. I saw his hands not glowing, and i-i ran to him. I tried to stay, we always fight together. Its always been just the two of us, taeyong. But then he ignored me and transported us back. There was nothing I could do. What do I do? Why did he do that? Why did he leave me? Why would he do something like that?” mark was freaking out, sobbing and talking non-stop, voice cracking. He brought his hands to his face, and rocked back and forth on the floor.

Renjun, jeno, and jaemin were crying in the corner.

Seungmin felt sick. His mouth went dry, but he marched to mark and chan. “you guys were the last ones to see them. Where were felix, and hyunjin and jisung? Were they okay?” he looked at them, but chan shook his head, still clutching to changbin.

“me and minho were too far away, not paying attention. Mark was the last one to see them.”

Mark rubbed his face, smearing the tears away. “they were behind him. I don’t think they were surprised by what was happening. They just all watched as we were transported back. I don’t know. It happened so fast, and I was trying to get to haechan and…I don’t know.”

Seungmin squeezed his fists, nails digging in deep leaving marks. He was angry. Not at the others, but at the situation in general. He turned and punched the wall. “dammit! That bastard probably chose to stay and help! He and felix and jisung probably willingly fought to the very end! You know how they don’t have a mean bone in their body! You know how they are the most selfless of all of us!” he punched the wall again, this time harder. He was trying so hard to keep his emotions in control, to keep his fire within. But all of the fight was drained out of him. he felt numb. His lively self was gone the moment he realized hyunjin wasn’t coming back. He scooched to the ground, facing the wall away from the others, still pounding his fist lightly occasionally. He didn’t want to face the others. Woojin came up behind him and laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder, and that’s when seungmin finally broke down crying.

After seungmin’s outburst, changbin started to have a panic attack. He felt like he was drowning, that horrible feeling of needing air. He started to shake, feeling cold despite the office being warm. Chan snapped back to reality and looked down at changbin with worry.

Changbin was muttering felix’s name over and over under his breath. Darkness started to swirl around him, protecting him from his fears. His eyes glowed a brilliant golden, but then it blinked out just as fast. chan was the only one who noticed.

changbin took shallow breaths, fighting the urge of darkness welling up within him. he tried to think rationally through this newfound pain.

With a deep breath, he remembered something: Changbin once was taught that it is always important to love yourself the most of all. You should always keep yourself as the number one priority.

But when a day comes that you unknowingly put someone else before you, that’s when you know you truly love them. Suddenly your own well-being doesn’t matter to you anymore, because what’s the point of being happy if you cant share that happiness with the other?

What does it mean when you sacrifice the most important thing in your life for that other person? when you willingly sacrifice the one thing you are supposed to love and cherish above anything else?

Changbin would have gladly switched places with felix, risking his life, if it meant he would be safe. Even if he never saw him again.

Without changbin knowing, that is exactly what felix did in the small seconds after he realized there was no escape.

Chapter Text

Zero days ago:

Chan and the others donned on their white uniforms they still kept from the facilities.

“remember you guys. The plan is to blend in and act like everyone else. don’t draw attention to yourselves, and hopefully nobody recognizes you. We need to see where they are keeping the others before we can break them out.”

Woojin continued, “today is one of the few days they are having a fight in the arena, which means the crowd in that place will be chaotic and easy to slip in unnoticed.”

“damn, I wish we had hyunjin with us. He could trick the light and make us slightly unseeable.” Minho muttered, anxious to get going. He hated arenas with a passion.

The other day, woozi and eric with the help of minghao were able to hack into their computer system and get the weekly schedule. They noticed the arena fight that was to occur all day, and they moved fast to make it in time. They still had to travel somewhat far to get there, and then there was the little hard part of getting past the lookouts.

But they managed. Chan assumes it was somewhat easy because they let their guards down. the councilmen are too confident that no one can find them due to whoever is masking their location.

Chan and the others kept their heads down, joining the constant flow of people heading in and out of the arena.

“remember to blend in.” chan said again out of nervousness, making the others groan in irritation.

They situated themselves into the seats about midway up from the arena. they had a perfect view looking down. chan was too distracted assessing the arena when he heard seungmin gasp in shock.

“oh sure.” He grumbled, tears almost threatening to spill. “here I am, breaking apart into a million pieces, and he’s over there dancing and showing off?! As soon as I get my hands on him again, im gonna attack him!! preferably with my lips, but im not above murder.”

“what the fuck are you talking about?” changbin whispered to seungmin, and then followed seungmin’s line of sight up to one of the spectator boxes. “well shit.”

“uh guys? Isn’t that felix?” jeongin said, looking down at the person walking onto the arena’s grounds.

***

The lock on felix’s door opened, and in walked a bunch of soldiers. They had masks on, and never talked. It creeped felix the hell out, if he was being honest with himself. he could have just escaped again like last time, but he would never leave jisung and hyunjin behind, as well as the others.

Felix followed them out into one of the hallways. He was back in that god awful white uniform they give all of the subjects. Surprisingly, in the two weeks he has been captured, not once has his mother paid him a visit. It made him suspicious and dreading what she was planning.

He also hasn’t been able to see jisung at all. He caught a glimpse of hyunjin in passing one of the days, and managed to see hyuk and N, but that was it. there weren't many descendants in this prison, but there was still enough to make getting out without being seen difficult.

Rule number one in this place: trust no one. Felix hates to say it, but that also goes for hyunjin and jisung because who knows what types of brainwashing methods they managed to come up with in the months felix has been gone?

Even if jisung and hyunjin turn on him, hes still going to drag their asses back with him, though.

Felix raised his brows at the archway he passed through. It lead to another arena.

Oh great. My favorite place in the world.

He was taken to the back, his guns shoved into his face. He was again surprised that they kept them and are giving them back. Then he was pushed in line, waiting for the signal to enter the arena.

It made felix nervous. He had no idea who he was going to have to fight. He didn’t even know if this was simply a test or if they were going to make him fight to the death. Apparently his mother was notorious for matching descendants together who have a high probability of being soulmates. And then she makes them fight to the death to try and lessen the chance of soulmates meeting and bonding. Obviously this happens quite often since minho had to do something like that at least once a week.

Felix walked out into the arena, his eyes squinting up at the crowd. It made him sad to see so many of his kind bloodthirsty for violence. What is wrong with people these days?

And then his opponent walked out from the other archway opposite him on the arena. felix raised his eyebrows in shock.

“what the fuck jisung?”

Jisung waved over, jumping up and down. felix facepalmed his forehead, shaking his head at jisung to stop.

“cant you at least try to look a little bit intimidating?” felix called over to his best friend.

Jisung stopped jumping like a puppy with a new toy, and pouted.

“seriously? Have you seen my cheeks? for your information, I am the most popular guy here. I mean, I cant blame everyone for loving me. I'm pretty great, and people just drop at my feet for my attention.” He posed, swiping his hair dramatically. Some members of the crowd cheered.

Felix pinched the bridge of his nose. He should’ve known this was going to happen. Jeongin warned him of jisung’s narcissism in the facility back when they first met.

“jisung quit being a piece of shit and think of something to get us out of this situation. I really don’t want to fight you. You look like crap by the way. What did they do to you?”

“ive tried felix! I whined and complained and caused problems for days! Also, they have been nonstop on the constant brainwashing. I fought tooth and nail, trust me. But in the end, they gave me a choice: either dress pretty and prance around the crowd entertaining people for all the wrong reasons, or fight in the arena with an opponent of their choosing. Of course I would rather fight. Hyunjin over there didn’t get to be so lucky.” He nodded his head towards one of the spectator boxes.

Felix looked up, and sure enough saw hyunjin. He was dressed in colorful garments that contrasted with all of the white uniforms everyone else was forced to wear. At the moment, he was serving drinks to the small crowd around him. felix had to admit, he looked gorgeous. Which was a really bad thing in this place. He even got his own fair share of inappropriate looks, so he could only imagine what hyunjin and jisung had to go through. He also frowned at the thought of haechan, N, and chenle. They were all too pretty and more feminine than the others for their own good.

Well, at least chenle has jisung with him.

Which was another worry of felix’s. only unmated descendants were brought here, but chenle and jisung accidentally got caught up in the time-space warp. It worried him on what they would do to them since it made stealing their powers useless from them being bonded already.  

The crowd started growing restless when jisung and felix didn’t move.

“so whats the plan? Do we try and bust out, right here right now? Or do we actually fight each other?” felix muttered over to jisung.

Jisung shrugged. “maybe fake it, but try and make it look believable?  I honestly got nothing.”

“fine by me.” And then felix went and ran towards jisung, kicking his foot up with his right leg. Jisung blocked and dodged to the side.

Felix ran in his direction and tried again. And then again. Felix rolled his eyes, panting and knowing exactly what jisung was doing: trying to tire him out. he got bored and quite frankly, didn’t really feel like running around cause hes lazy as fuck. So he unstrapped one of his guns from his thigh.

Jisung raised his eyes in surprise, but smirked knowing felix wouldn’t actually shoot.

He thinks.

They stood there in silence for several more minutes, neither of them making a move.

Felix clicked his gun, and aimed it perfectly in between jisung’s eyes. He smiled a cynical smirk. “what are you waiting for? Don’t tell me you are too scared to attack me.”

The wind softly swirled around their feet, the cheers and screams echoing all around them from the stands.

Jisung glared up at felix. He technically didn’t have a weapon with him, which was just unfair in his opinion, because he didn’t want the councilmen to know he can summon his own weapon.

“of course im fucking scared to attack you.” He spat out with a harsh voice at felix. “have you seen changbin when someone so much as touches a hair on your head? The moment he finds out I kicked your ass in front of hundreds of people, he will kill me.”

Felix quirked an eyebrow up at jisung in amusement, “oh, so you think you can kick my ass?”

Jisung laughed an obnoxious laugh. To everyone watching from above, it looks like they are arguing with hatred at each other. “of course I do. But I would rather risk getting my brains blown out than have changbin on my ass till the day I die.”

Felix sighed dramatically, holding his hand to his cheek as he stared off into the distance with a dreamy look on his face. “I do love me a small and violent binnie.”

Jisung scrunched up his nose in distaste, “please, shoot me now and end my suffering.”

Felix snapped out of his daydream and glared at jisung. “yeah, well im risking my life too, you know! If someone so much as gives you a look, they are at the top of minho’s list!”

“look, felix. I love you and all, but I really don’t want to embarrass myself in front of everyone here. I have an image to uphold you know. We both know I would win this if I tried, so cant you like, fake a limp or something?”

Felix’s mouth dropped dramatically in shock. “I cant believe you have the audacity to say you could win this fight… cant you pretend to fall off a building and impale yourself on something? maybe it would end this quicker.”

The crowd started to grow restless, booing and complaining to see a fight to the death.

“yeah, get him felix! Beat the shit out of him!” someone shouted among the hundreds of people watching them.

Jisung snapped his head up and scanned the crowd, squinting at the unfamiliar faces.

“did you hear that?”

***

“yeah, get him felix! Beat the shit out of him!”

Woojin turned to look at his youngest member. “what the fuck jeongin?”

Jeongin looked up at him innocently. “what? Chan hyung said we had to blend in. right now im on team felix.”

Woojin glared in chan’s direction. “look what you started.”

“is nobody going to stop seungmin from launching over this crowd here and ripping out the eyes that are ogling hyunjin right now? Because im pretty sure we are like two seconds away from being cremated.” Changbin said worriedly, glancing back and forth between seungmin and the fight.

“uhm hello? Felix is pointing his gun at my jisungie!” minho ran his hands through his hair in anxiousness.

“oh relax minho. Felix wont shoot jisung. I think.” Woojin told him.

“uh I don’t know about that. they look like they are arguing about something pretty bad down there.” Chan pointed out, only to grunt when woojin jabbed him in the side with his elbow.

***

“eyes on me jisung.” Felix pointed out. jisung was still scanning the crowd with a frown on his face. He could have swore that voice sounded familiar. But then he glanced back at felix.

“we need to end this felix.” Jisung said.

Felix sighed, “yeah yeah I know.” He then fired a warning shot to the left of jisungs feet, making jisung jump.

“if you so much as graze a single millimeter of his beautiful golden skin I swear to god felix…” someone was shouting from the crowd.

“what the fuck? Felix I think im going through minho withdrawals because I swear that sounded just like him.” jisung whined, dancing back and forth on his feet.

“I didn’t hear anything.” Felix told his friend, ignoring his outburst. “jisung I need you to punch me really hard in the face. Try to knock me out if you can.”

Jisung snapped out of his whining and looked at felix with widened eyes. “what? No! I don’t want to do that!”

“come on jisung. We both know it will be believable if the kid without any abilities gets hit in the face by a super fast wind wielder. It doesn’t have to be that hard. Ill try to pretend to be knocked out as best I can.” Felix reasoned.

Jisung bit his bottom lip for a minute. He knows felix is right. “fine.” and then he came at felix so fast, felix almost didn’t see it coming. It was more realistic this way.

***

Changbin watched as jisung debated something for a minute, looking distraught. And then jisung ran at felix so fast changbin missed some of what was happening. Jisung’s fist was poised in the air and he landed a hard blow, clipping his chin.

Everybody watched as felix’s head snapped back, and he fell backwards on the ground with a loud thud. The crowd cheered, but also was a little disappointed that there wasn’t much action that took place. Some people were booing felix for being so ‘weak.’

Changbin winced and gritted his teeth. He knew that jisung and felix planned it. It was pretty obvious, they are a perfect team after all. But that didn’t mean he had to like it.

“he didn’t have to hit the face though.”

Chapter Text

Felix woke up several hours later to a raging headache and his jaw throbbing.

Damn, jisung sure can punch. Remind me to never piss him off.

He blinked a few times to clear his head, and then noticed he was in a laboratory. He rolled his eyes, getting real tired of this happening. He was no longer afraid of his mother anymore, just extremely annoyed and pissed, and he just wanted things to end.

He was cuffed to a chain on the wall, probably one that is supposed to block a descendant’s power, if he had any.

He waited patiently for whatever was going to happen next. he knows he might not come out of this alive. However, he didn’t care about himself anymore as long as he knows changbin and the others were safe.

His mother probably wont pay too much attention to hyunjin and jisung, and he knows without a doubt that N or hyuk can get the others out eventually.

After what seemed like an hour later, the doors to the lab opened up. He heard the obnoxious click of her heels before he could see her face. Felix looked up at his mother with an unamused facial expression.

She gave him a wide smile, before stopping in front of felix and caressing his semi-swollen jaw.

“I see you are still useless as ever.” She sneered, referring to his loss in the arena against jisung.

“and I see you are still bat-shit crazy.” He quipped back. That earned him a slap to the cheek. He spit out some blood. It was totally worth it.

“oh, you are talking back to me now, aren’t you? What changed in the months we haven’t seen each other?” she mused. “quite frankly, I miss the old you.”

“the only thing that changed was that I escaped from your psychopathic self.” Felix replied lazily. The less fear he showed, the angrier she will get. He smirked at the thought.

She frowned at the comment, choosing to ignore it. but then she smiled wide. Felix felt uneasy with that smile.

“I was upset you left me, you know.” She began. She was such a good actor, felix would’ve believed her if he was younger.

But he decided to amuse her and play along. “and why is that? did you miss me?” he asked with a bored voice.

“don’t be ridiculous. not long after you were gone, I finally found a way to make you useful. I was not happy at your disappearance.” She replied.

He sighed in annoyance, “and please, pray tell, why you were not happy.” He tested out the strength of his chains, almost frowning at how strong they were. Getting out was not an option.

She smirked. “I am so glad you asked. Well you see, you have a very important role now. Before, you ruined my plans. But now you can make up for that, isn’t that great?!” she said joyously.

“I still have no idea what you are saying.” Felix said with impatience. His mother was always one for the dramatics.

She walked a little around the lab, looking for something. as she walked, she continued to talk. Felix watched her, his head tilting to the side in wonder.

“I needed a blank slate to harness the powers I collected. A puppet is a better term for it. so I made copies of empty soldiers and inserted any power I could collect into them. But they never lasted long, rendering them useless. That’s when I came up with the answer. I need a real living person that I can transfer and insert any power of my choosing into. It sounds simple, but believe me its not. I needed a blank canvas, and as you know, everyone born as a descendant has a special ability.” She paused, looking through a few metal drawers for something. then she continued.

Felix didn’t like where this was going.

“and then I remembered my worthless son is like an empty shell, he has no powers. I got excited, perhaps you could be of use to me after all. But then you disappeared and I was back to square one. I searched and searched for you, almost giving up hope. Until one day, two men, mercenaries they called themselves, found me and gave me some interesting information. They told me about a little safe haven underground that holds thousands of descendants. They had some useful information about you and your little friends. But finding you would be difficult. I asked about you of course. But they didn’t know anything about a boy with no abilities, you must have hid yourself pretty well. So then I was stumped again. What will I do? How will I be able to control all of the powers ive gathered?”

She turned to felix, and smiled prettily. A cold sweat started to form at the back of his neck.

“And then a thought occurred to me. Inside all of us is a little bit of darkness.”

Felix’s face paled at what she was saying. Hes heard those words before.

“But dark energy is very hard to control because everyone on this earth contains a little darkness within themselves. I can feel that darkness wherever I go. I have to keep a tight lid on it at all times.”

Felix remained silent, and her laugh began to ring throughout the lab.

“I see you know what im referring to. Yes, everything in this world has to be created with a delicate balance. The Chinese refer to it as yin and yang. Where there is life, there is death. Where there is air, there is earth. Where there is water, there is fire. And where there is light, darkness can exist. Unfortunately, I don’t have a descendant powerful enough that can control any of the other elements woven into this world’s existence. But I do know of someone who was born from the dark.”

“I swear to god if you touch him, I will personally end you with my own two hands.” Felix growled out.

“now now. No need to get violent.” She said patronizingly. “at first, I thought little changbin was a nuisance, and ill admit I was wary of him. hes impossible to control and he lets his emotions get in the way. I thought I needed to destroy him.” she tapped her chin in thought.

“but then I thought, what if I harnessed that power for myself? If I can control changbin, I can control everything! And then I thought of something even better. If I can have changbin and his darkness, then I will one day find his soulmate. They must be hidden somewhere I haven’t looked yet. Can you imagine all of the power that will be held within my hands?!”

Felix struggled against his chains, escape was very important now. “you’re insane! I will never let you so much as lay a single finger on him!”

“and what is it you can do to stop me? My poor pathetic son who wasn’t even born with a power.” She taunted, walking back over to felix, something glinting in her hand.

Felix gritted his teeth. Shes right. Hes weak, and useless, and powerless. But even so, he will never be able to live if she takes changbin away from him.

She brought the gun up and traced his throbbing jaw with it. “I needed to get changbin to come here of his own will. Catching him would be too hard. But it turns out all I needed was bait.” She chuckled at that, digging the barrel of the gun into felix’s upper arm.

“I never would have guessed his infatuation for you and your friends. I also get to take care of that pest bang chan. Its like killing two birds with one stone. They walked right to me. Once hes under my control, there isn’t anything stopping me. I wonder how changbin will feel, knowing it was his fault all of his friends and every innocent life in this place died because of him.”

Then the alarms went off in the building. She hissed in annoyance. “looks like things are about to get started.”

She shoots felix in his leg without remorse. Felix grunts loudly in pain and glares up at her with hatred as his vision starts to blur. Then she unlocks his cuffs, grabs felix harshly and drags him half unconscious out of her personal lab. she enters a new room connected to her lab, and she sneers down at changbin and chan, felix dripping blood behind them.

Chapter Text

Several hours later, chan and the others slipped through the waning crowd out of the arena. after felix passed out and was taken away, jisung and hyunjin had to go back to god knows where.

They wandered down some corridors, scanning the doors for names like they used to have in their old facilities. But there was no such luck. Seungmin and chan turned a corner ahead of everyone else, when they almost literally ran into a soldier on patrol.

“Shit.” Chan cursed.

Before the soldier could process what was happening, seungmin grabbed him by the collar, “you will tell me where they keep the water and wind wielders, and you will tell me now. and felix.”

The soldier’s eyes widened at the name, but kept his mouth shut. It wasn’t a puppet soldier that felix’s mom likes to use to capture people.

“I don’t think he wants to talk to us,” minho said, coming up behind them.

“wheres hyunjin?!” seungmin shook the guy, his eyes glinting a new color. His hands started to singe the soldier’s uniform.

Chan’s eyes glowed a pale blue, “if you value your life, I suggest you talk.”

And he did. for several minutes.

When the soldier was done, everyone erupted in mayhem, talking at once and wanting to take action. Chan had to silence everyone immediately or they would be found out again.

Seungmin looked to chan, his eyes glowing in anger, asking silent permission.

Chan sighed, knowing there was no stopping seungmin even if he tried. He nodded to seungmin, and seungmin took off in the opposite direction where they keep those with an affinity to water.

Minho was about to do the same, but chan stopped him. “I know you want to go to jisung, I get it. but I need you outside where there is more earth. You are probably the only thing able to get us out of here if something goes wrong. I need you to trash the place in case they find us. You know im not leaving without all of them, so don’t worry.”

Minho gritted his teeth, but nodded and obeyed chan. “get him back for me.” He muttered to his leader.

“you don’t even have to ask.” Chan told him, patting his shoulder. “stay safe.”

And then minho started running towards the nearest exit, ready to bring the whole place down if he has to.

“come on guys, we need to go find jisung and felix before seungmin lets all hell break loose.”

***

Hyunjin was back in the dark room deep underground, surrounded by water. There were glass panels all around him, the water glistening behind it and leaving shadows on his face. He has been trapped in here for so long, only his thoughts to keep him company. You would think being surrounded by water would be a blessing, but it was only torture to him. The chains covering his arms, legs, waist, and neck glued him to the wall and were bewitched, preventing him from accessing his powers of water.

They tormented him, both physically and mentally. They kept messing with his mind, whispering lies, trying to get him to do things he didn’t want to do. They tried to brainwash him. I’m sure they tried it on Jisung and Felix too. But he knew without a doubt that Felix and jisung would never succumb. He wasn’t sure how much longer he would last, and he wasn’t even sure if they were okay.

In those moments when his captors left him, Hyunjin couldn’t help but think about him. He wanted to see him so bad. He longed for it so much that his heart ached. He was grateful seungmin didn’t have to go through this agony. Knowing that he was safe and far away gave hyunjin the strength to hold on, to live another day to see him again.

A few more hours went by and hyunjin was beaten so bad that his head just lolled to the side as he chuckled to himself. Just when he was about to give up all hope, his heart thumped and started to ache.

What? What was that?

Then it happened again. He picked up his head and looked at the doctors. What are they doing?

“Are you ready to do as we tell you?” One of them asked, oblivious to what hyunjin was feeling. Hyunjin just shook his head. He would never do as they asked. They wanted him to kill his other half. He doesn’t even know who his other half is, but there was no way he was going to murder him. Chan always taught them that they were all lied to. That their mates wouldn’t weaken them, but instead make them stronger. He had to remind himself of this over and over like a mantra.

Chan said they would be complete in a way no one could understand. He experienced it with woojin. They have the marks on their bodies to prove it. They both have tattooed rings of an intricate pattern around their biceps on their arms, a mix of orange and pale blue wrapping around each other. This symbolizes their powers: orange for Chan’s lightning and pale blue for woojins ice. It was beautiful and hyunjin was envious of them. He wanted that too. He wanted someone that would be completely his. Why he thought of seungmin in that moment, he didn’t know. He missed him so much he wanted to cry.

His heart resonated again, louder this time. Hyunjin gasped for air. He could feel a warm fire start to burn under his skin. It was hard to describe how it felt, but it felt like love. It felt like home.

The doctors then tried to go into his head again. It was like living in a virtual simulation. Hyunjin knew it was fake, but it felt so real. In this world, he was confronted with his worst fears. They were trying to brainwash him to get him to kill the one that is most important to him. He fought against it so many times. Each time they submerged his mind to this, seungmin would appear before him. Whispers encouraged him to kill seungmin in the worst ways imaginable. Despite that, the fake image of seungmin his mind conjured up was still so beautiful to look at. Hyunjin smiled, grateful to see what he looks like one last time.

He mentally fought the simulation, and was abruptly brought back to reality. He gasped for air and coughed out more blood. They went to beat him some more. He really didn’t know how much more his body could take.

And then everything in the room went still.

“What was that?” one of them said.

Suddenly there were screams outside the heavy doors. Hyunjin was too weak to look up. His heart started beating over and over, but he could feel something else beat with his heart. No, not something else, someone else. It was burning so hot, but it didn’t harm him. It seemed to be giving him strength.

What the hell?

BOOM!

The doors flew open. There was so much fire; it was too bright for hyunjins eyes, which have been in the dark for too long. Fire licked the floors and walls, and there, emerging from the fire completely unharmed was seungmin. His hands were lifted halfway in the air, a trail of flame jumping from one outstretched palm to the other.

But what surprised hyunjin the most was his eyes. They glowed the most brilliant blue. As blue as the waters he loved so much. His hair was burning as red as the fire surrounding him. His footprints left rings of fire where he stepped. He was completely calm, it was almost scary. He stopped and smiled devilishly.

Oh no, he’s really pissed. Like really, really pissed.

The doctors tried to attack seungmin, but he just flicked his wrists, and they burned alive. It happened so fast, they couldn’t even scream, and then they became ash.

“Hey bitch, I came to save your sorry ass.” Seungmin said, although hyunjin thought he could hear a small quiver in his voice. Hyunjin chuckled.

“Hey asshole. Glad you could make it to the party.” At this moment, hyunjin was so glad to see him, his eyes started to water.

“don’t you dare cry like a sissy girl.” Seungmin warned, as he walked over and tugged on the chains holding hyunjin against the wall. They immediately crackled and sparked, trying to burn seungmin’s hands.

“Damn, these are strong. What the hell?”

“They are bewitched. Otherwise I would’ve gotten out of this hellhole like 50 years ago. Be careful, they will burn your hands off. As you can see, I’ve already tried.”

Seungmin looked down and saw the burn scars covering hyunjins beautiful skin. That just made him angrier, fueling the fire already burning around them. His eyes flashed even brighter blue.

He just smirked. “Are you forgetting that fire is a part of me? This won’t hurt me, but it’s still strong as fuck. I wish Minho went with me, he could probably snap these like they were toothpicks. But nooo he just had to go all ‘where’s my jisung? Who the hell dares to touch what is mine? ill bury them so far down in the ground nobody will even remember them.’ Blahblah on me. And don’t even get me started on changbin. Chan is trying like hell to keep him under control before he blows all our asses back to the big bang theory or whatever,” seungmin was ranting so fast, back to his fiery self like usual. Hyunjin was having a hard time keeping up with what he was saying.

Seungmin was finally so close, and he smelled so good, and hyunjin just wanted to curl up in his arms and cry and go to sleep, and pretend none of this happened. Seungmin stopped ranting long enough for him to notice hyunjin starting to lean his head on his shoulder. He smiled and rubbed his chin on his head, while still working on the chains.

“Now hold on, this might take me awhile,” he grabbed the chain on one of hyunjins arms and started to burn it. He was pouring his complete power of fire into it, trying to melt the chains enough to snap it in two at the same time trying to not hurt hyunjin. It worked! He moved to the chain around hyunjins neck. Once that snapped he went to the other arm.

After breaking three very powerful bewitched chains, he was sweating and panting. This is taking a lot out of me. But I’ll be damned if my hyunjin is going to stay chained up like some kind of china doll.

While seungmin was distracted working on the chains, hyunjin heard an alarm go off. Looks like time is up. He could hear footsteps from outside the doors.

He suddenly became afraid. Not for him, but for seungmin. “Shit, Minnie, leave me here. They are coming.”

“Hell no! im not leaving after I just got you back!”

“seungmin leave! You cant get captured. I couldn’t bear it if they do to you what they did to us. Please, im begging. You wont finish the chains in time, just go.” hyunjin said. He was on the verge of tears.

Seungmin stopped and looked into hyunjins eyes. He was only a few inches away from his face. He brought his hand up to hyunjin’s cheek.

“youre right. I cant finish the chains in time.” He then smiled, took his hand away, and turned around, facing the oncoming army of lifeless soldiers. He brought his hands up again, fire blazing from one hand to another. His eyes shone blue, and his whole body became engulfed in golden fire. He started to walk towards the onslaughter.

Hyunjin started to panic once he realized what he was going to do. “No! don’t try to fight them alone! Please!” he struggled against the chains with what little strength he had left. His heart was hurting so bad.

Seungmin turned back to hyunjin, and just gave him this look. It was a look of want. Of love. “Im sorry hyunjinnie. Looks like you will have to find someone else to argue and fight with from now on.” And then the doors slammed shut, separating hyunjin from the battle that was about to happen.

Hyunjin kept trying to strain and fight against the chains, sobs choking his throat. He couldn’t even scream for him. The tears kept falling down his face. He was breaking. Nothing he endured these past two weeks was as painful as this. The thought of not being able to see him ever again was unbearable.

Hyunjin could hear explosions and fighting outside the door. He was still in this glass room with water surrounding him, and no way to use it. He wanted more power. He wanted strength. Not to save himself. He never gave two fucks about himself this whole time he was here. He wanted to save him.

Please let me save him. Save him. Save him. SOMEBODY SAVE HIM DAMMIT.

 ‘why do you want this power?’ a voice in his mind echoed.

“to save him,” hyunjin sobbed.

‘why?’

Hyunjin didn’t know how to reply to that. Why did he care so much for seungmin, to the point of breaking? He hated him. At least…he used to.

"because it’s the right thing to do." He answered out loud.

‘why?’ the voice within him ignored his first answer.

 "I said I have to save him!" hyunjin argued.

‘why do you want to save him so badly? I thought he meant nothing to you’

“no! that’s not it. I want to save him because….because” hyunjin was breathing hard. He squeezed his eyes shut. He saw seungmin’s face, how his heart raced every time seungmin looked at him. How hot his cheek burned when seungmin touched it. The look in his eyes every time hyunjin got close to him. His heart yearned for him.

"because I love him dammit!" he sobbed out, finally admitting it to himself and accepting it completely. "I love him so damn much. I never hated him. I could never hate him. He completes me.” hyunjin opened his eyes in understanding.

Is seungmin my other half? Please tell me he his. he prayed.

Suddenly his eyes shone the brightest red, illuminating the dark room and reflecting off of the glass. Hyunjin smiled to himself. He could feel his true power radiating through him. He could feel seungmin completely, now understanding that the resonating heartbeat he felt earlier was echoes of seungmin coming to find him. His soulmate has been right there in front of him this whole time, he was just too stupid to realize it. The chains started to crumble into dust, no longer able to keep his power in check. The glass started to crack.

Hyunjin fell to floor. Seungmin’s heartbeat was starting to get weaker. He panicked, worried he might be too late. He stood up, just barely. He lifted his arms out, calling on all the water around him. The glass shattered completely, water engulfing his body, and the doors slammed back open.

***

Seungmin was panting so hard. He wouldn’t last much longer, but these guys just kept on coming. the alarms were blaring all over the entire facility. Damn how many of them were there?

He kneeled on one knee, guarding the steel doors that lead to hyunjin, a ring of fire surrounding him with soldiers on all sides. He smiled sadly, knowing he tried his best to protect hyunjin, but not having the strength to keep going. He’s loved him since the day he met him. he accepted that fact the day hyunjin was taken from him.

Hyunjin means everything to him. He would gladly give up his life for him. Just as one of the soldiers was raising a knife above his head, the doors slammed open and seungmin was engulfed in water, being swept away. He tried to hold his breath, but it was too much pressure all at once. in that split second, he was reliving his worst nightmares.

Just before he was going to run out of oxygen, he suddenly felt strong hands reach for him, and found himself in a warm embrace. He knew at once that it was hyunjin, and relaxed into his touch. Hyunjin buried his face in seungmins neck as the water flowed around them.

“thought I almost lost you there.” He mumbled. “Don’t ever fucking do that again, you piece of shit.”

Seungmin laughed and ran his hands through hyunjins wet hair. All of the water was forming a massive whirlpool around them, annihilating all of the puppet soldiers. Hyunjin looked up at seungmin, his eyes still shining a bright red. Seungmin gasped, now realizing he could hear hyunjins heart beat with his.

“took you long enough to realize you're mine, asshole.” Seungmin said with a devil smile.

“shut up.” Hyunjin muttered. But then he lost all his strength and started to collapse. Seungmin caught him, and fell into the huge pool of water that was now settling on the ground in the facility. They just layed there on their backs looking up at the ceiling of the hallway, holding on to each other, glad that they were once again together.

After a few minutes of silence, they had a chance to calm down. “so..minho and jisung, huh?” hyunjin said.

“oh my god. That’s what you have to say after all this shit we went through?!” seungmin lost his temper and lightly nudged hyunjin.

“ouch! I'm like a delicate petal. Be careful!” he whined. Seungmin just chuckled.

“hey hyunjinnie?”

“yeah?” hyunjin answered, turning his head to face seungmin.

Seungmin leaned in and kissed his lips. And it was hotter than any fire he’s ever touched.

They both could feel their wrists tingling, but didn’t want to end the kiss to bother checking. Hyunjin deepened the kiss, and tried to cup seungmins cheek. That’s when he glanced at the wrist that was burning. He broke the kiss, seungmin trying to chase his lips, whining when he stopped kissing him.

“what the fuck?” hyunjin said.

Seungmin brought his own wrist up to look at it. There on both of their wrists, was a tattooed ring pattern, a mix of red and royal blue in swirls: red for seungmins fire, and royal blue for hyunjins water.

They both looked at each other and grinned.

“well…I think ours is better than chan hyungs and woojin hyungs.” Seungmin said.

“damn right it is.”

And hyunjin grabbed seungmins shirt to connect their lips once again, but seungmin wasn’t complaining this time.

Chapter Text

Jisung was running as fast as he could. After being tortured in a room deep underground, he was weak and tired. He was so very far from the beautiful sky that he loves, it was agonizing. He misses being free. It wasn’t the fact that he was underground that bothered him.

What really bothered him was that he was in a clean metal room, all white and sleek. It was cold and lifeless in this room. If it was a room made of earth and soil he would have been calmer. Afterall, earth reminded jisung of him. Wherever he went, all he could think about was minho. How much he missed him, wanted him, yearned for him. He missed his smell of clean earth and grass, and everything good in this world.

Jisung was being tortured yet again 20 minutes ago when he heard the alarms go off. He didn’t know what happened, but it must have been something serious if his captors abandoned him in the room by himself to go help their comrades.

Then he heard it: BOOM! CRASH! BOOM!

What the hell is going on out there?

There were a series of explosions, and glass shattering in the next wing over.

Wait, that’s the section of the building where I think they are keeping hyunjin.

Jisung wasn’t going to miss his chance. He mustered up all the strength he could, and sliced the doors with wind coming out of his hands. He dropped to the ground panting. That took a lot out of him, but he cant give up now. Hes got to find hyunjin and felix. He hoped to god no one else was captured in this hellhole.

As he turned a corner abruptly, he started running through like two feet of water all over the place.

he looked down at the water swirling at his feet. What the fuck?

When he came closer to the room that was hopefully holding hyunjin, he noticed two people on the ground making out with each other, like neither of them had enough oxygen.

“WAIT?! HYUNJIN? SEUNGMIN? I TRY TO SAVE YOUR SORRY ASS HYUNJIN, BUT INSTEAD YOU ARE SUCKING FACE WITH SEUNGMIN, WHAT THE FUCK EVEN?!”

“Shut the hell up jisung, you're too noisy. What if some more of those assholes come back?” seungmin replied, breaking away from hyunjin without a regret in the world.

“Okay but seriously. What is happening? Is my ship actually sailing on smooth waters? Yes, that was a pun intended for hyunjin.”

“ok first, don’t ever say that again. And second, Minnie is my other half, so hands off.”

“ew. You can have seungmin all you want. Just because I flirt with everybody doesn’t mean I want my tongue down their throats like a certain someone was doing in THE MIDDLE OF FUCKING ENEMY BASE.”

“you're just jealous its not minho hyungs tongue down your throat,” seungmin retorted back, raising his chin in defiance.

Jisung blushed and looked away with a muttered “you right.” He got over his embarrassment really quick though. “uhm, so I take it the explosions I heard was seungmin losing his shit and going on a rampage again, and the glass breaking was probably hyunjin also losing his shit and going on a rampage. So in conclusion, you guys fucked shit up and now you are too exhausted to move, but not exhausted enough to make out on the ground in the middle of a fucking hallway where anyone can see you and start attacking again. Did I miss anything?”

“nope, sounds about right.” hyunjin said as he pecked seungmins lips.

“seriously though, the two of you together is probably the worst combination ever. Chan hyung has his hands full with the both of you. You guys should never combine forces.”

They both looked up at jisung from the ground and grinned mischievous grins, promising many days of pranks if they ever managed to get out of there. Jisung grinned back, loving the both of them anyways.

“okay, do you guys need help? What is going on?”

Seungmin shook his head. “no we will be fine. I'm healing hyunjin right now through touch, that’s why we have been stuck like glue here on the floor. Once I get him in okay shape, we will make our way back to the meeting point chan hyung made for us. As to what is going on, here is what you missed:

“basically, mark, chan, and minho were transported back. But when you guys never showed up after a few minutes, everyone started losing their shit.” Seungmin shivered, not wanting to remember how he felt that day two weeks ago. Hyunjin snuggled closer to seungmin to calm him down. “First, mark started babbling telling us what happened. Then Minho hyung he-“ seungmin paused and looked at jisung.

“He what?” jisung asked. His heart raced when he heard minhos name, and he held his breath waiting for seungmin to continue.

“He looked devastated. He just crumpled on a chair and whispered ‘my jisungie is gone? They took him?’ it would have been cute if we weren’t all freaking the fuck out. But the worst part hyung...the worst part was changbin. Once it was confirmed that you guys were taken, he just crashed to the ground. His face, shit jisung I cant even describe it. His face was so broken. We all suspected he cared for felix a little more than the rest of us, but I never knew by how much. He started having a panic attack, muttering felix’s name over and over. Then his eyes started to glow a brilliant gold, like sunshine. Which didn’t make sense because our eyes only glow the color of our partner’s power when we find our other half. And felix doesn’t have any powers, so we have no idea what the fuck was happening. But his eyes just shown so bright, and then he started losing his shit, which is very very bad. All this dark energy started to surround him. He was gonna blow us all up, but chan and woojin managed to calm him down. Then we spent two weeks looking for you guys and plotting to get you out of here. I beat the shit out of one of the guards to find out where hyunjin was, and once I found out, chan hyung let me take off on my own. But then I found out what they did to you guys and how you were being brainwashed, and I got so so angry, and I thought I lost my hyunjin forever, and I don’t know man. I just snapped, and my eyes starting glowing blue. And I just knew that hyunjin was meant to be mine, and I could faintly hear his heart beat echoing in my chest, and then my fire starting surrounding me, and well…you know the rest.”

Seungmin took a deep, quivering breath after remembering the utter fear he went through without hyunjin for two weeks.

“damn..” was all jisung could say. “okay, im gonna go find felix and the others. Are you guys sure you don’t need help?”

“nah we’re good. Go find felix and make sure we all don’t die in a black hole of doom because changbin is too chicken shit to admit that he loves felix with every dark but smol fiber of his being.” Hyunjin replied.

Jisung burst out laughing. “damn right he does. Changlix is happening bitches. Grab your row boats because this ship is sailing. Pun intended hyunjin you fuckface.”

“screw off.” Hyunjin chuckled, and buried his face into the crook of seungmins neck.

Jisung gagged. “im gonna go find my man while im at it. After watching you two being all lovey dovey, I really have the urge to push him up against a wall and kiss the shit out of him until we are both out of breath.”

“ew too much information asshole. But I hope you find him on the way. Remember, preventing black hole of doom first, minho hyung second.” Seungmin lectured him. “I would like to be alive and able to shove my tongue down jinnies throat for a few more years, thank you very much.”

“Seungmin what the fuck!” hyunjin whined, while turning red.

“just telling it like it is. I have no regrets now. Not after the shit I went through without you.” And he intertwined their hands so that their wrists were showing, their bonds slightly glowing.

“woah, holy fuck! You guys even got your bonds!” jisung exclaimed, jumping up and down. “That’s so cool, oh my god, oh my god I hope mine is just as beautiful as yours and woochans.”

“yeah we know. Now go already!” hyunjin yelled.

“okay okay” and with that, jisung ran back down the corridor, leaving a breeze in the air as he left.

“minho has his hands full with that one.” Seungmin sighed. Hyunjin grunted in agreement.

Chapter Text

Jisung finally made it outside of the facility. He needed to get his bearings of the place since he was trapped in there for so long. It turns out the facility was built on some kind of cliff, and if you ran far enough you could make it to the edge and fall to your impending doom. Jisung tested the wind to see if there were any more soldier assholes around. Turns out, shit was happening all over the place, he couldn’t process it all.

From a distance he could see blue lightning striking down in massive bolts. Okay that must be chan hyung.

From the same side he could see a dark ominous presence in the air. Alrighty, that’s changbin. Gonna steer clear of that area for awhile.

He was sure wherever woojin hyung was at, jeongin must be close by ready to heal anyone if needed. Chan hyung would never leave him by himself.

Jisung’s heart started to thump really hard. He grabbed his chest as it ached. If what seungmin said was true, then his other half was nearby. Then he heard fighting over by the edge of the cliff, and he felt the ground quake, crack, and split open in long fissures. Minho.

Jisung wasted no time. He ran so fast. All this time he wanted his soulmate more than anything else in this world. He wanted someone to love and love him back.

He portrayed those feelings of wanting a soulmate onto minho. He knew it was a desperate and selfish wish. A wish that was unknowingly holding him back. it wasn't fair to minho, either.

But now, soulmates be damned. he felt fully free, finally completely one hundred percent sure of himself.

He didn’t care about a soulmate, he didn’t care about destiny or fate. Because all of this time, his heart chose minho even if he found his soulmate later on. He would gladly give up that soul piercing connection everyone so desperately craves. That connection even chan and woojin, and now seungmin and hyunjin share. Because even if he had that connection with his other half, he still wouldn’t be whole without minho. And that means more to him than some random person destined to be with him.

But yet, even after coming to this conclusion, he can feel it. the feeling was growing stronger and stronger. He sucked in a breath and clutched his chest. His legs took him to a place unknown.

He didn’t know where he was going, but still he ran. He ran so fast, anxiety and impatience overtaking him, completely allowing his instincts to navigate a path only he can see.

The resonating in his heart got louder. When he broke through some trees and made it to the edge of the cliff, he was horrified.

There, at the very edge, was minho fighting at least 10 people, leaning on his glaive that was dug into the earth. He was so dangerously close to falling. Blood was trailing down his face, and he was holding his arm like it was hurt or broken. He was panting very hard, and looked ready to collapse, but there was a determination in his eyes. Jisung sobbed, and shifted his feet on the ground, not even trying to be graceful with his steps. He started to run towards minho.

Minho felt a soft vibration on the earth and snapped his head up. He would know that feeling anywhere. Nobody walks that lightly except for jisung. He searched quickly, and locked eyes with him. He breathed a sigh of relief. Jisung was alive.

Jisung's breath hitched at the intensity in minho’s face when he locked eyes with him. He has never wanted something so badly in his whole life as much as he wanted minho in that moment.

The slight distraction of jisung's presence caused minho to miss what was coming. Jisung could feel the knife flying in the wind, and started to move. But it was too late. It hit minhos side. He grunted and almost lost his footing. The soldiers were coming closer to him and minho was in deep trouble. His grip tightened on his glaive, and he had to make a choice: take them down with him, or let them kill him right in front of jisung and possibly kill jisung too.

Making up his mind without hesitation, he chose the former.

He brought his glaive up and slammed it into the edge of the cliff. The earth around minho and the soldiers started to crack at a rapid pace, separating jisung from them. The edge of the cliff started to break off, the soldiers losing their footing around minho.

With one last look at the boy he loved the most, and about a million regrets of never acting on that love, minho dove backwards off the cliff to his death, taking everyone with him.

jisung lost it. he watched in slow motion as the boy he’s wanted for years fall to his death from the cliff.

He wasted no time.

He ran to the edge of the cliff and looked down.

Jisung cursed minho, “Oh hell no. I can’t believe he tried to pull this Romeo and Juliet bullshit right in front of me.”

and then he dove face first off of the cliff without hesitation. If he cant save minho, then the least he could do was join him. there was no way in hell he would live another day without seeing him.

He flew through the air, his hands at his sides. He could see minho unconscious falling a few meters down in front of him. he was so close. He reached a hand out...Just a little bit further.

He managed to grab minhos shirt, and pulled him into an embrace as they were still falling to the earth. He had no more strength to manipulate the wind and get them to land safely. They were going to crash to the ground in like 10 seconds and there was nothing jisung could do to prevent it.

he hugged minho tighter, trying to protect him from the fall the best he could. He didn’t care if he died, as long as minho was safe.

Please be safe. I love you.

After he came to that final realization, he felt someone else’s heart beat along with his. He looked down at minho. Could it be…

“min-min wake up! Come on please. Minho!” jisung tried shaking him. if minho was awake, he might be able to tap into his true power. He was almost positive minho was his soulmate, but minho was completely knocked out from blood loss. As they raced down to the earth, and completely out of options, jisung grabbed minhos face and kissed him as hard as he could.

He didn’t know exactly how seungmin was able to heal hyunjin, but if minho was his other half then he should be able to heal him as well. He breathed everything he had left into minho, hoping it would work even though they weren’t bonded yet, and then he lost his vision and strength and blacked out.

Just then, Minho’s eyes shot open, blazing with the most brilliant shade of green. He could feel jisung’s arms still wrapped around him protectively. He smiled, the wind whipping his hair everywhere.

Time was up.

As they crashed, minho managed to soften the earth at the last millisecond so that their fall wouldn’t completely kill them. They landed with a hard thud, minho shifting and taking the brunt of the harsh landing. with his strength and having the elemental power of earth, it didn’t kill him. jisung was lying on top of him, his arms still wrapped around minho, completely out of it. they formed a huge crater in the earth, lying in the center of it. cracks and breaks formed around them, and the crater was a solid 20 feet deep.

Minho breathed in relief and looked up into the sky, his eyes still glowing. He could feel jisung completely. He ran his hands through jisungs hair and down his body, making sure he didn’t have any broken bones. Jisung sighed unconsciously at minho’s touch, and snuggled into minho’s warmth.

Good, I don’t think he's hurt. That was a fucking close one.

After some time, they were both healed enough to move. “hey, jisungie. Wake up. We have to get moving to the meeting point with chan hyung.”

“mmmhmm,” jisung mumbled. He slowly opened his eyes. They were glowing hazel. He saw minho’s eyes glowing green, and grinned. “looks like you’re stuck with me for awhile.” He teased.

“whatever.” Minho replied, and cupped jisungs face as he kissed the living shit out of him. he almost lost jisung forever, and he still isn’t okay with that.

“when we get back home, im pushing you up against a wall and shoving my tongue down your throat.” Jisung heavily panted after they broke apart, his lids lifting up in lust.

“what the fuck?” minho looked at jisung like he was crazy.

Jisung pouted “you don’t want me to?” he whined.

“I mean, I didn’t say I didn’t want you to, but that was so random while we are possibly going to die any second.” Minho mumbled. Jisung had the brightest smile on his face, minho could look at it forever.

Suddenly, both of their faces started to tingle with warmth on one side. Jisung looked confused, and brought his hand up against his cheek. Minho did the same thing to his own cheek.

Their cheeks started glowing, and when they removed their hands, an intricate thin tattooed swirling pattern was formed. It started from the eyebrow and ran down the cheek to the jawline. Both jisung and minho had the same pattern. It was a mix of green and hazel: green for jisung's wind, and hazel for minho's earth. The only difference was that jisung's swirled pattern started with the color hazel at the top of his brow and blended to green at the bottom of his jaw. And minho's started with green and blended to hazel at the bottom of his own jaw.

Minho traced jisungs bond lovingly down his cheek, and jisung did the same to minho’s bond. This was the symbol of their union. The proof that they were meant to be together.

“are you mad that your bond is covering some of your pretty face permanently?” minho asked. He didn’t know why, but he was worried jisung wouldn’t like it.

“are you kidding me?!” jisung exclaimed. “I love it! first of all, I just KNOW it accents my eyes perfectly. Second, now everybody who tries to flirt with you will know you are taken and that you are mine. There is no escaping me now minho.”

Minho’s heart raced, and he couldn’t help but laugh at jisung's reasoning.

Jisung just stared at him while he laughed. “whats wrong, why are you staring at me like that?” he asked him.

“min-min…I need to find a wall, like right now. OW! Hey! I'm serious! Don’t ever laugh like that in front of other people, you hear me? You're too gorgeous, they wont be able to resist you. And nobody wants a grumpy and jealous jisung!” 

“jisung, stop talking.” And minho grabbed jisung’s chin and angled his face so he can have better access. Jisung happily complied, opening his lips for minho. There was a clash of teeth and swirl of tongues.

When they broke up apart, jisung grinned up at minho, trailing his fingers up his arm. “that was the best first kiss ever!” he told the older.

Minho coughed and looked away guiltily. “first kiss? yeah, about that…”

Chapter Text

Shit! Chan was running as fast as he could, trying to keep up with changbin. That guy is on a mission.

They were passing through corridors and rooms. Changbin didn’t even glance at any of them, obviously knowing where he was going without realizing it.

Woojin and jeongin were not too far behind, able to figure out where they were going only because woojin could sense chan and follow anywhere he goes due to how strong their bond is.

Suddenly, an alarm went off and soldiers were coming down the hallway behind jeongin and woojin. Woojin turned around, hands already raised and mist flowing around him. The temperature started to drop, ice crystals slowly forming around the walls.

Chan stopped running to look back at woojin and jeongin, torn between helping them and following changbin.

“go!” woojin yelled. “we got this! Make sure felix is okay.”

“yeah hyung! We got this. We will be right behind you.” Added jeongin.

Chan nodded and started running double time to keep up with changbin. he trusted woojin to make it back to him.

Woojin’s eyes started to glow orange. He waved one hand in a circle motion, forming a wall of ice to block the path where chan ran. They needed to find felix and get the hell out of there. At the same time with the other hand he started to form long icicles on the ceiling and floor. They were sharp and piercing, crashing through the oncoming soldiers. Some of them silently screamed as they were pierced. Easily half of them were taken care of.

“nice hyung!” jeongin squealed in delight.

“boy, you are spending too much time with changbin if all this violence delights you.” Woojin chuckled. “your turn.”

Jeongin stepped forward. He raised his arms and loudly clapped his hands together. A massive energy wave was sent through the remaining soldiers. They all grabbed their heads in agony and fell to the floor. Woojin was already dropping the temperature around them, freezing them on the spot. One can never be too sure.

***

Chan was panting by the time he caught up with changbin.

Damn I need to start running more often and lay off the chicken woojin insists on eating at least 3 times a week.

Changbin started to slow down as he approached a large pair of fancy lab doors. It looked like someone’s personal quarters, and there were guards everywhere. Changbin’s eyes glowed golden slightly for a quick second, then flickered out and returned to normal.

Huh, that’s weird. Its almost like his other half is close, but not...chan thought.

Changbin started radiating his dark aura around him again and merely flicked his wrist, making the guards crash to the walls as they were going to attack.

Chan glanced worriedly at him, making sure he was still sane. He was. Chan summoned his staff for the first time in forever. Usually he never needs it since he has more strength being bonded to woojin, but today was different. It was golden, with rings at the top that jingled when he swung it. he uses it in small spaces to keep his lightning in a more concentrated place so he doesn’t accidentally blow something up. Sweeping it to the right, he then threw a bolt of blue lightning at the doors and blew them up for changbin.

Changbin stepped into the room, unearrily calm. His eyes kept flashing back and forth between gold and his normal dark brown eye color. Chan didn’t have time to ponder this, instead focusing on the room of over one hundred guards.

They were in what seemed to be a huge metal lab. There were devices everywhere, chan didn’t want to even imagine what they were used for. He just hoped his friends weren’t subjected to any of that, not realizing that it was felix’s mother’s lab.

Chan’s eyes started to glow a pale blue. He raised his staff straight above his head and brought it down quickly, slamming it into the ground. Massive blue lightning bolts raced across the floor all throughout the room and ceiling, one after another. The sparks were bouncing off all the surfaces, like they had a life of their own. Fighting started to erupt all over the place.

Changbin’s presence started turning the place into a dark shadow, suffocating anyone that wasn’t a friend. Soldiers were dropping all over, but more kept coming.

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! Chans bolts were crashing nonstop over and over as he also used his staff as a weapon at the same time. Nobody could touch him. chan was extremely skilled in staff fighting, and preferred to use it compared to other forms of fighting. He reasoned, you can make a staff out of anything. One time he whipped out his broom stick in the kitchen and started swinging it around like a maniac when jeongin and changbin were arguing and wouldn’t shut up while he was trying to sleep.

 Damn, changbin thought. He’s way stronger than he lets on. He was proud of his leader. Chan spun and flung lightning from his fingertips from one hand, grabbing onto a soldier near him and electrocuting him.

Changbin formed his dark sword with his energy in one of his hands, and ran to the nearest wall. He ran up the wall and flipped in the air, slashing everyone near him as light as a feather.

After only a few minutes of fighting, almost all the soldiers were annihilated.

“stop!” a female voice yelled.

Changbin and chan looked up. Changbin dropped the unconscious soldier in his hand, letting him fall to the ground and kicked him for good measure, smiling evilly when he heard a grunt of pain.

Changbin focused on the female at the end of the lab. She came out of some door in the wall. She was dragging an unconscious felix by the neck, a gun pointed to his head. Changbin’s eyes started flickering gold again, and he growled in anger at the sight of felix harmed. There was blood and bruises all over him, and a massive wound in his thigh, making blood trail behind as he was being dragged.

Chan gasped, and his body started sparking in anger when he noticed another male councilman join the female at the front of the room, ready to assist her.

“I would rethink that move.” Changbin said in a calm voice. The surrounding atmosphere started getting very dark.

The female laughed in amusement. “oh my, do you actually care for my useless son? He’s nothing. An abomination!”

“your son?” chan choked out. he was surprised at what he heard, but now that he thought about it, it all made sense. All the puzzle pieces that were missing fell into place.

Changbin was shocked at what he heard. He never would have guessed felix was strongly associated with the councilmen like this. But he never would believe felix would betray them. And even if he did, he didn’t care. He can kick felix’s ass later, after he was safe in his arms. “am I seeing this right? You are actually going to shoot your own son?” he growled out.

“hes worthless. He doesn’t even have any powers! I pity the fool that would be his mate. It would have been better if he wasn’t even born.” And she punched his stomach, making felix unconsciously groan.

Changbin gritted his teeth. Nobody touches what is his. Nobody. “you are no mother to him. you may have given birth to him, but we are his family now. Now remove your hands on what is mine.” The male councilman next to her took a step forward, ready to reprimand changbin for talking back. But she simply held up a hand, halting his movement.

“mine?” she laughed again. “if you want him so bad then come and take him.” she moved the gun from his head down to the side of his torso.

Changbin’s eyes widened at what she was about to do. “NO!” he started running to the other side of the room, but he knew he wasn’t going to make it in time. The male councilman stepped forward in front of them, acting almost as a guard.

BANG! She shot felixs stomach without regret. Not a fatal wound, but it will be if he keeps bleeding. Felix cried out in pain. His mother dropped him to the ground without even a glance.

Changbin watched in horror as felix fell to the ground in a pool of his own blood. He stopped in his tracks, not processing the other councilman coming closer. The emotions he was feeling were indescribable. What he felt as he watched felix slowly dying right in front of him was more agonizing than any pain he has ever felt in his life. he tried to make his way towards felix but the room started filling with more soldiers. However, these soldiers actually had powers as well, but their powers weren’t…natural. Not like chan and his friends’ powers.

The bitch started laughing and escaped through the door in the wall, shouting to the male councilman and all of the soldiers, “Capture him! I want only him! do whatever is necessary.”

A few of the soldiers made their way over, trying to block chan from helping changbin. Chan’s eyes glowed pale blue again, ready to fight his way out and get to felix. He grabbed the arm of the soldier nearest to him, and bent it at an odd angle.

He looked over at changbin, ready to fight side by side with his friend.

But changbin was just staring at felix, his face lifeless. His heart started beating strongly, and echoes of a heart beat resonated inside of him once again, like it used to all those months ago. but it was weak, and dying out quickly. His ears started ringing, and he had tunnel vision. He didn’t realize that a tear was falling down his cheek.

Suddenly the air around them felt like they were breathing in sludge. Chan and everyone dropped to their knees, holding their heads in agony.

When he looked at changbin again, he was scared at what he saw.

The soldiers obeyed their creator’s command, circling changbin, chains ready to be used and block his powers. Some succeeded, wrapping them around his ankles making him drop to the ground, cuffed in place to the hinges in the floor.

Changbin looked around frantically, his eyes wide and glowing golden. He tried to fight off the soldiers, but there were too many, and his power was out of control making him sloppy and vulnerable.

Changbin was completely losing it. and when he loses control, nobody can stop him.

Fuck. was chans last thought before he made his way to felix and grabbed the dying boy, protecting the both of them as best he could as he made his way through the dark energy.

The councilman blocked chan from getting to changbin. “you need to get out of my way right now, or all of us will be killed. Well, im hoping just you guys will die, but that’s wishful thinking right now.” Chan hissed out, looking down at felix. The pool of blood was slowly getting bigger.

a heavy laugh came from the councilman. “helping him is futile. Changbin is afraid of his powers. He could never harm someone intentionally. He doesn’t have it in him. theres no way he will kill any of us.”

Quick as lightning, chan grabbed the guy’s face, placing his hand on his forehead. “changbin doesn’t have to kill any of you on his own. Because ill do it for him.”

And then the last thing the councilman saw was pale blue eyes and electric blue lightning.

***

Woojin and jeongin made it to the place that chan and changbin were at. The place was a disaster.

The walls started to crumble, and the ground quaked. Then the lights above shattered one by one, raining glass down on all of them.

Dark energy and wind whipped around them, the entire facility crumbling into pieces, slowly exposing them to the outside. Everyone from the whole cliff could see the atmosphere in chaos.

And then there was nothing but darkness.

Chapter Text

Woojin saw chan, his eyes glowing a pale blue. He was holding his hands up to block changbins never ending dark energy pouring out. Next to him was a lifeless felix, bleeding on the ground.

Woojin could sense chan was losing strength fast from trying to block changbin's onslaughter of power. They ran up to chan, panicking. “jeongin please! Heal felix! He’s dying, and changbin lost control when felix’s own mother shot him in the stomach.” Chan gasped weakly. “they are going to take him away!”

“already on it.” jeongin said, hands glowing, starting to heal felix.

“woojin I need help. I cant hold on for much longer. He's too powerful. But they want to use his powers for god knows what. I cant get to him to help!” chan pleaded. Woojin grabbed chans shoulder, their bonds on their arms glowing.

Changbin managed to get most of the soldiers away from him, but the chains still held, keeping him tied to the ground. His head was slumped forward, his bangs covering his face as the black wind continued to swirl around him. The chains were glowing bright red, burning his skin trying to contain his powers enough for the soldiers to approach him.

“how the fuck do we calm him down enough to get to him and those bastards?” woojin asked.

“im hoping if felix is healed and he sees that he’s okay, then he will calm down. Its just a hunch though. He's only calm when felix is with him.”

Just then, seungmin and hyunjin ran in, soon followed by jisung and minho.

“woah, what the actual fuck?” jisung exclaimed.

“same.” seungmin and hyunjin said at the same time.

The whirlpool of dark energy started getting bigger and bigger, changbin in the middle of it. all of the soldiers weren’t powerful enough to withstand it, and disintegrated into nothingness.

“look at his eyes” minho whispered. They were glowing the brightest gold any of them have seen.

“how can that be? His other half has to be near for that to happen.” Jisung pointed out.

They all ran over to chan as jeongin was healing felix, sweat beading on his forehead. Healing this many wounds was taking its toll on him. since jeongin wasn’t bonded yet, he couldn’t draw strength from his soulmate, and the others were already physically drained of their own energy to be of any help.

“shit, he looks bad.” Hyunjin sobbed, looking down at felix. Seungmin intertwined their fingers, sensing hyunjins anger.

Suddenly, the tornado of energy around them got even more massive. Some of them were being tossed around. Seungmin and hyunjin got flown 10 feet away from chan, still together because they were holding hands. Minho got tossed to the other side. Since the floor blew up long ago from changbins power, he was able to slam his hand into the earth and hold on. Jisung skidded across the ground, grunting. He controlled some of the wind around him as best he could, and made his way back to minho. He crouched down, hand on minho’s back.

Everyone still wasn’t fully healed.

“jisung, I cant hold on from blocking his power! Hes too damn strong! Can you do something about it? jeongin is losing strength, so hes out.” Chan begged.

Jisung shook his head. “I can manipulate the wind a bit and form a shield blocking it out, but it wont last long. A few minutes at best. We gotta get him under control!”

“I’ll think of something, just do it!” chan yelled back. “seungmin, hyunjin, you guys okay over there?”

Hyunjin was still a little weak, but seungmin's eyes glowed blue once more and managed to bring up a ring of fire around him and hyunjin. “we wont last long either!” he called back.

“shit.” Chan said. “ok fuck, fuck. Jeongin please tell me felix will live”

“almost done hyung! He wont be fully healed, but he wont die.” he panted.

Jisung's eyes glowed bright hazel, and brought his hands from the ground and raised them up, then crossed his arms above his head, forming a dome around them as best he could. “fuck hes strong. Chan how the hell did you manage to block this for so long?”

Jisung started sweating with the pressure of holding back such dark energy. Minho’s eyes glowed green and held jisungs shoulder. Jisung melted into the touch, glad he had someone to lean on.

***

Changbin was lost. He was alone. Always alone.

Inside his mind, he could see his friends trying to get to him. but there's nothing he could do about it. it was almost as if he lost control of his entire body, and he didn’t care.

He was broken. Nobody understood him. sure, he had a good time with his friends. With his family. But that same feeling of emptiness was always there, a constant ache that tortured him from the inside out. It only started to go away when he was with felix.

But now felix was slipping away from him. when felix was shot, he couldn’t think. He couldn’t speak. He just stopped fighting the darkness within himself. he stopped trying to keep a tight lid on it. He succumbed to it, gladly. If he cant have felix, then nobody can have him. he knows this is selfish of him, but he didn’t care.

Why do you care about him? a voice asked.

Because hes my friend. Changbin answered back.

Is that really all there is to it?

No…

Why do you care about him? it asked again

Because I love him. changbin admitted to himself.

Why?

Hes my everything. And now hes gone. he sobbed. He closed his eyes, letting the darkness take over.

***

Felix’s heart started to beat louder, and louder. He could feel it, changbin’s heart with his.

Jeongin was almost finishing up healing felix, who was lying flat on the ground. Suddenly, felix's eyes snapped open, glowing a beautiful violet.

“HOLY SHIT! FELIX! That scared the shit out of me. One second you’re dead to the world and the next your eyes just open all creepy like, holy fuck.” Jeongin exclaimed, holding his chest.

Chan looked over at jeongin's yelling. He smiled weakly. “hey felix, glad you could be here with us.” But then his smile went away as he watched felix get up without a word. “felix?”

Felix started heading to where changbin was. “felix! Get back here! You will be disintegrated to ash if you get close to him! hes too powerful this time!”

“yah felix, I don’t really feel like searching the wind for your sorry ass ashes because you were stupid enough to approach a psycho dark ball of fluff without powers!” jisung yelled to him.

“don’t worry guys. I got this.” Felix looked back to them with a smile, his eyes burning a deep violet still.

They all gasped.

“holy fuck” seungmin and hyunjin said at the same time.

“what the- felix I thought you didn’t have any abilities?” chan asked.

“I didn’t. but it was always there, deep inside of me. I could feel it, but couldn’t use it. all my life, I could feel someone calling. I could feel their pain as if it was my own. I could feel how lonely they were. So I escaped, and found you guys.”

“wait, were you feeling your soulmate?” chan confirmed.

Felix nodded, with a grin as bright as the sun. “I knew he was out there, somewhere. Now that he has completely awakened without holding himself back, I can claim him as mine.”

“wait, who is he talking about?” jisung asked.

“seriously? Are you seriously this dumb as fuck?” minho looked at him incredulously. “what do I even see in you? Thank god you have a pretty face.”

“obviously its changbin you dumbass,” jeongin added.

“fuck off maknae! It was a valid question.”

“not really.” hyunjin mumbled.

“the fuck you say percy jackson?” jisung glared over at hyunjin.

“oh hell naw!” hyunjin started to get up.

Seungmin pulled him back down. “shut up both of you!” he panted. He couldn’t hold on much longer.

Felix chuckled and ignored his friends. He turned back to where changbin was, his blonde hair whipping in the wind. he struggled walking through the dark energy swirling around him.

He reached out his hand slowly. Just a little bit closer, come on….

After fighting through the wind, he knelt down on the ground and grabbed changbin's hand. changbin's head snapped up, his eyes glowing as golden as the sun. he fought against his chains, trying to get to felix.

Felix interlaced their fingers and started to pull changbin towards him gently so that they were chest to chest. Changbin started crying without blinking, tears running down his cheeks.

“binnie? Hey binnie. I'm here, its ok. You can stop now. I've got you now.” Felix cooed to him in a gentle voice.

“f-felix?” changbin sobbed. they were both crouching on the ground. The dark energy and winds started to die down a bit, but not completely yet.

Felix ran his hands through changbin's hair, cupping his face. “you’ve got to stop binnie. You’re about to blow us all up.” He chuckled softly.

“i-i cant. I cant stop it. I cant lock away my powers.” changbin said with fear in his voice.

“No, binnie. Don’t lock them away. Don’t be afraid of them anymore. There's nothing to fear because I'm with you now.” Felix lightly caressed his face. “In order to control it, you need to embrace it. it’s a part of you. You were born in darkness, but you shouldn’t fear it.” Changbin’s tears continued to flow down his face as he let those words sink in. How did he know he was scared? Even though felix seemed naïve, he was always able to see right through him. Changbin loved him so much it hurt.

“Lix, I cant see you.”

“here, let me help.” Felix gently pressed his hand to changbin’s eyes, blocking out the chaotic world around them. His eyes burned a beautiful violet, with swirls of purple and dark blue like a clear sky at midnight.

Once changbin’s eyes were closed, he softly trailed his fingertips down his cheek, and then reached his neck. Changbin shuddered at the touch.

felix touched the space between changbin's neck and collarbone, rubbing his thumb in soothing circles on his skin. Then he pulled him closer, and kissed him without hesitation. light erupted around felix’s body the moment their lips met. It was so bright in contrast to the dark.

the chains around changbin broke and scattered itself in the surrounding area. Chan and the others had to shield their eyes from the brightness.

“ohhh I get it now. Felix is light and changbin is dark. That makes sense!” jeongin squealed.

The light and dark combined, mixing together until it slowly dissipated, and then eventually disappeared with a blink.

Underneath felix’s hand that was resting on changbin's neck, was a tattooed necklace of swirls. when changbin kissed felix back, the same started to form on felixs neck as well.

When the tingling stopped, they each had a very cool looking tattooed choker around their throats, a mix of shimmering dark violet and bright gold. The violet was so dark it almost looked black, and you could only see it was violet if the light shone on it just right. Violet for changbin's dark energy, and gold for felix’s light.

Felix ended the kiss, satisfied that he finally bonded with his soulmate. Changbin rested his head into the crook of felix’s neck, hugging him and crying. “all of that time, it was you. I could feel you and your pain as if it was my own. I thought I was going crazy, I thought I was losing my mind. Sometimes I couldn’t control my powers. I thought I was dangerous because of it.” changbin touched the choker around felix’s neck, examining it. “but that wasn’t the case at all.”

Felix tilted his head to the side in confusion.

Changbin continued. “its all making sense to me now. I felt you. That night in my room. It felt like I was drowning and I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe. I was blacking out and panicked. My body tried to protect itself in reflex. I was scared and had no idea what was happening.” He looked back up into felix’s glowing eyes. “what did they do to you?” he whispered, stroking felix’s face, making sure he was okay even though that happened almost three years ago.

Felix smiled at changbin’s touch, like he was made of glass and he was worried he would hurt him. “it was a long time ago. The only time she tried drowning me that badly was the day I set you free. Thank god I did, because otherwise your doors wouldn’t have been unlocked and you might have been stuck in there.”

Changbin let out a breath, remembering that day. Felix continued, “I was so tired and lonely in that place. I saw you, chan, and hyunjin and envied what you had with them. I wanted a friend to laugh with, a family to go home to. So that day, I made a rash decision and tried to run away from my problems. She punished me for it. I didn’t realize I affected you that badly, im so sorry.” He gently ran his hands down changbin’s arms, apologizing with gestures.

Changbin shook his head and cupped felix’s cheeks, bringing his face closer. “don’t you dare be sorry for the pain she caused you. If I would have known it was your pain I was feeling all this time, I would gladly take that away from you. I would endure a hundred, no a thousand times the pain if it meant you were safe.”

Felix’s eyes watered and he smiled at changbin, hitting his arm playfully. “that’s so cheesy, but I would do the same. I could always feel you, even when we were miles apart. All these years, I knew you were out there, somewhere. My whole life, they tried to brainwash me. They kept telling me to kill my soulmate. They trained me to one day hunt him down and get rid of him. I refused each and every time. I held on all these years, waiting. For you.”

Changbin looked up into felix’s eyes, which were still a violet shade. felix gently ran his fingers down changbins face, his eyes softened with affection. “all that torture, all that mental abuse. It was worth it.” he whispered. “im glad it was you. I would willingly do it all over again if it meant I could be with you, even if it was only for a second.”

Changbins eyes started to tear up again. He looked down at felix's lips, then looked back up at his eyes. “I love you.” he told felix bluntly, before crashing their lips together again.

***

It was at least five minutes before changbin and felix broke apart, gasping for air.

Chan let them have their moment as he took a breather from the beating he just endured when changbin lost his shit.

“uhm guys…what the fuck are we wearing?” minho asked, looking down at his outfit.

“woah this is so cool!” jeongin screamed.

Each and every one of their clothes were transformed into a traditional outfit. The outfits were different for each member. Everyone had the official color of their soulmates, matching the colors on their bonds. (have you guys ever seen the traditional asian outfits VIXX wore during Shangri la? That’s what I was imagining because they are so beautiful lol)

Jisung’s was hazel, minhos green, hyunjins red, seungmins blue, chans pale blue (almost white), woojins orange, and lastly jeongins was magenta pink. Felix’s was dark violet, and changbins was gold. All of their outfits were outlined with black and gold trim on the edges.

“I am so confused right now.” Woojin said.

“me too.” Chan agreed.

Suddenly, a shimmery figure appeared before everyone. It didn’t really have a face, but yet it did.

I see everyone is here. Its been a long time. It said with an ethereal voice.

Felix and changbin got up and moved closer to chan, woojin, and jeongin.

“uhm…hello?” chan said.

“is it more of those agency bastards?” hyunjin growled.

Flames started swirling around seungmins hands. Blow shit up first, ask questions later.

I am the spirit of the First People. I have crossed dimensions to come and warn you of what is to come.

“what's to come?” jisung asked. “uhm that’s great and all, but I literally have Ten on speed dial, so thanks but no thanks.”

“why the fuck do you have Ten on speed dial? Delete that right now!” minho whined.

Anyways, the spirit interrupted. Yes. Now that the reincarnations of all of my people have nearly awakened, I can communicate with you.

“Reincarnations of your people?” Minho asked.

Let me explain. All of you are reincarnations of the First People, each born with another half to complement you. Where you may have a weakness, your other half makes you stronger and vice versa. We were happy living our own lives. But some of us became corrupt. They wanted more power, more strength. They started killing their soulmates, trying to extract their powers so that they could have it all. My partner and I, we were the leaders of our clan. We banished those who were corrupt. We didn’t believe in killing. That was our biggest mistake, and our people ended up perishing. The descendants of the corrupted started brainwashing everyone, convincing them that killing their mate was the right thing to do. For centuries now, we had to watch as we reincarnated and perished over and over.

Then one day, I noticed a group of individuals who thought differently. Someone who could finally change this endless cycle of sadness. I thought maybe we could finally live like we used to.

I watched a small boy, sitting alone in a lab, refusing over and over to kill his most precious person. He was tortured brutally, but never once gave in. this went on for years. It was strange to me. His powers seemed to be locked within him. he couldn’t access them, but yet he was so strong.

Felix sucked in a breath quietly. Everyone looked at him. “felix? Was that you?” chan whispered. Felix nodded.

The spirit continued.

Then I noticed another boy. So lonely, but never really alone. I watched him slowly succumb to darkness, never knowing the light he was meant to live with.

Changbin let out a shaky breath and leaned into felix.

You two are the reincarnations of myself and my partner. I was interested in the both of you, watching to see how things played out. But someone else caught my attention. A subject who was against the system. He was the glitch we needed to start a new revelation. He was intelligent, and observed the others who worked under him. over the years, he let other members into his care who would one day follow him with unyielding loyalty.

I started to gain hope. I believed in all of you, which is why im here now. Because changbin and felix, as well as the rest of you, awakened, I was able to make contact. I need your help. There are others. Our people are trapped by the agency. They are trying to replicate the dna of our people, and make their own versions of us. That goes against nature itself, and is taboo. I need you to find the others, save them, and take down those that are corrupt.  Of course, with changbin and felix as your leaders, as it should be. As it was back in my time.

The spirit ended its explanation.

Everyone was silent for a moment.

Minho spoke up first. “nah.”

No? the spirit questioned. You wont save the others?

“no, we can save the others. I was saying no to changbin and felix being our leaders. That’s just weird. I don’t follow people shorter than me.”

“the fuck you just say, you salty ass bitch?!” felix laughed as he noticed changbin was slowly going back to his usual feisty self. Changbin got to his feet, ready to fight. “for your information, I would be the best leader there is!”

“nah.” Seungmin and hyunjin said together.

“nah.” Woojin and jeongin chimed in.

Uhm, well as it should be, dark and light always takes control of the others, so its only right that they are to rule-

“ALRIGHT! Listen up bitches. You heard the ghost.”

Actually im a spirit, like I said earlier-

“chans time of leading is long over now. You may call me Supreme Dark Overlord. This will be a new reign of hell on earth!”

Thats not quite what I meant-

“I am not fucking calling you supreme dark overlord.” Jisung said.

“ohhh! I want to be called Sunshine Boy!” felix exclaimed.

“felix, for gods sake.” Chan said.

“what the fuck felix, even supreme dark overlord is better than Sunshine Boy” seungmin said while laughing at him.

Felix pouted. “binnie they are being mean!”

“felix you aren’t being called fucking Sunshine Boy. I have a reputation to maintain. God damn.”

“woojinnie! Back me up here.”

“sorry felix, but I agree with everyone here.”

“ugh im sorry to interrupt this obviously important discussion, but im fucking taking off this outfit. This is gay as fuck.” Minho said as he started taking off the layers of traditional clothes he was wearing.

That’s actually the rightful outfits of our people, and it means a lot to wear them at all times. You cant just take it off-

“im not going to sit around looking like the fucking power rangers. This shit is itchy!” minho complained.

Jisung giggled. “I kind of like it.” he said while posing in it.

“actually, there were like 4 power rangers. We would be more like the sailor scouts.” Jeongin interjected.

“nah there were like 7 power rangers.” Hyunjin answered

“can I be sailor moon then?!” felix screamed.

“actually wouldn’t jeongin be sailor moon since hes pink?” seungmin pointed out.

“wait, why is jeongin pink? He hasn’t bonded yet with anyone.”

“ooooo that means his mate is close. Oh my god hes so lucky, pink is sooo cute.” Jisung gushed.

“does that mean you think hazel is ugly?” minho said defensively.

“of course not min-min! I told you, the hazel accents my eyes!” jisung grabbed onto minhos arm and rubbed his face on his shoulder.

“heh. Min-min. heh.” Seungmin snickered.

“fuck you, Minnie.” Jisung retorted.

“uhm guys.” Chan said.

“woah jisung, minho, your bonds are on your faces? That’s kind of awesome.” Woojin said, to try and divert the argument.

“hey, you guys-“ chan said again.

Hyunjin sighed. “everybody shut the fuck up! Chan, our true leader, is trying to talk!”

“excuse you?! That’s supreme overlord, thank you very much.” Changbin interjected.

“fuck you changbin, you cant even get your own gay ass name right.” Minho sneered.

“that’s it!” felix had to quickly hold back a smol but fierce changbin, while jisung clutched tighter to minho’s arm.

“JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! The ghost is fading away guys!” chan yelled. Everybody looked up towards the spirit.

Uhm actually Im a spirit- oh nevermind. I cant believe you guys are our only hope. We are all doomed to die.

“for your information, we almost just died because changbin cant get his shit together, so been there done that.” Hyunjin looked at his fingernails while stating the obvious.

“hey! Id like to see how you would react if seungmin almost died!” changbin defended.

“actually, I almost did die. Jinnie lost his shit too.” Seungmin explained as Hyunjin just huffed looking the other way.

Okay. On that note, I am going to leave. Remember, save the others, take down the agency, and basically start a new nation. K bye.

Chapter Text

Hello everyone!

This is not a chapter, but rather a commentary on my story. its not necessary to read this, but it kind of helps explain my thought process and some of the things i was trying to convey and go for while writing this.

***

Traditionally, light and dark are usually superior to all of the other elements. Its not uncommon to read paranormal or fantasy stories where the main characters that have light or dark abilities of some kind take the lead and rule over everyone else.

For this though, I wanted to be slightly different. I kept the main characters (changlix) with the light and dark powers, but I made the leader different. I wanted to show that other elements such as lightning or wind etc are just as important, and just because you have a strong element doesn’t mean you have to be the leader and take charge.

You will see later that changbin and felix are perfectly content in stepping away from that stereotype and following chan’s leadership like they have been doing all along. Normally, lightning is not even considered an elemental power, or a strong one, but chan proves that wrong. he was one of the only 'normal' people that strayed from the system all on his own. I wanted to focus on leadership being about the personality and not the powers. Its all about respect, loyalty, compassion and any other characteristics that I believe make up an excellent leader, not power. (that's why he is the glitch, in a way)

Now moving on to changbin’s character:

Normally, people with dark power either become power hungry and are the villain, or they are the strongest character and become the hero.

For this, I didn’t want that, even though  felix and changbin are technically the main characters. What was different from other reincarnations was that changbin wasn’t the type to want to be the hero or the villain. He was just a normal person with an extraordinary power. Having that kind of responsibility made him nervous, and so he tried to stomp down his powers and block them as much as he could.

The soulmates in my au are connected on a psyche/metaphysical level. They are able to control their powers better and amplify them by drawing strength from each other. once they become close on an intimate and unrivaled level, the bond clicks into place. The stronger the relationship, the stronger the bond, and the stronger each mate is both physically and mentally.

I wanted the idea of “finally accepting yourself and the other person” to be the center around bonding. Once both people are willing to sacrifice themselves for the other without hesitation, then they would be connected. Changbin and felix have a higher level of power compared to the rest (because they are light and dark). changbin was unintentionally blocking felix’s powers through his constant fear of hurting others with his own. Felix’s mind was very open and trusting, which explained why he and changbin were able to feel each other long before meeting.

All in all, the whole point is that soulmates give and take from each other constantly. If that relationship is unbalanced in any way, it could affect one of the soulmates in a negative way. Changbin did that to felix, and was sorry for it when he realized it. felix explained he would go through it all over again just to meet changbin, and that despite enduring harsher circumstances because of his handicap, changbin was worth it in the end.

Also, the chances of meeting your soulmate in your lifetime are very slim. Most people don't bother waiting to find their mates and just fall in love regardless if they meet their mate or not.

It took a while for minho and jisung to bond because of their different mentalities holding them back. Minho was scared of abandonment, and so he made himself believe he was doing the right thing by holding himself back from jisung, lying to himself saying he did it so jisung wouldn’t have to choose between him and his soulmate. Jisung was looking for a soulmate for all of the wrong reasons. At first, he didn’t care who they turned out to be. Once minho got over his fears, and jisung accepted the fact that he chooses minho even if he finds his soulmate, they bonded.

Seungjin and woochan were the least complicated couples in the story so far.

What everyone in this story fails to realize, is that being soulmates means you end up complimenting each other. not quite ‘opposites attract’ but also not quite ‘like goes with like.’

I made seungmin smart but prideful. He has a temper and is pretty blunt when talking. Hyunjin offsets that by being calm and passive. However, they both like to get into trouble a lot, and they love to banter back and forth for fun.

Jisung was flirty, but caring and super boisterous as well as selfless. Minho offset that by being stand offish. He was selfish and knew it, and very possessive of the ones he loves. He also has a jealousy streak. Hes always irritated whenever jisung flutters off to someone else and doesn’t pay him any attention. At the same time, jisung loves to shower minho with affection and compliments, which minho secretly likes.

Chan and woojin were the more mature couple. However, chan has a slight fear of not being good enough. He always wanted people to love him unconditionally and care for him. he is constantly taking care of others and mothering over them, which is a subconscious cry for someone to take care of him in return. I kind of thought of it as “I know what it feels like to be ignored and unloved, so ill shower everyone else with love so they never have to feel the way I felt.” But eventually, chan got his wish. He didn’t have a family, so he made one himself. he built a safe cocoon with his select few members. They in turn love chan just as much, and give him undying loyalty and will follow him wherever he goes. Woojin saw this about chan, and was always there for him watching over him. woojin being the oldest, felt he had to burden himself with all of the responsibility. He was kind of lost as to what to do before he met chan. With chan’s guidance and woojin’s ability to enforce things, they make everything work and run smoothly within their group.

Changbin was a bit difficult to write about. I wanted him to be strong but vulnerable, but also lively. Hes kind of all over the place, and needs someone calm and collected, but also soft and optimistic to compliment him. he always felt alone, not because people outcasted him, but because he outcasted himself from others. He was afraid of hurting people, so he constantly separated himself from the rest. Felix slowly brought him out of that mindset, and was kind of a buffer for him. whenever he was afraid of losing control of his powers, felix could come near to calm him down and walk him through it. changbin was also used to other people outside of stray kids fearing him, which upset him and added to his own fears. Felix showed changbin that he wasn’t afraid at all. At the same time, felix needed someone who didn’t care about his temporary disability and not view him as weak. He always thought he wasn’t good enough because of his handicap, but changbin and the others proved that those things didn’t matter.

When I first started, I had no idea what kind of direction I was going to take this in. I started writing on a whim, and it just kind of played itself out.

Originally, I was going to end the story right here at chapter 45 (I Got You). But then I remembered the feeling of “the story is over, now what am I supposed to do with my life?” whenever I watch a show or read a book I really love, it always frustrated me that the story ends right when the characters get together. What about the aftermath? What about their relationships?

So that’s when I decided I would continue this on a little longer, so that we can all see how they interact as a group and as couples. When I started this, I didn’t even think of putting other kpop idols in it. they just kind of showed up on their own, Ten and Johnny being the first. I was watching nct one day, and ten is always so confident and acts like he knows it all, he just seemed to fit the image of being able to see the future. So I wrote him in, and then of course I included johnny, and then obviously we need to include the other 40 nct members. But I also love seventeen and vixx, and ace and monsta x, and everyone else, so it all went downhill from there lmaoo.

Thank you for reading all of this, if you made it this far. Hopefully this helped clear up some things. This I guess concludes part 1 of this story. This is where my chapters stop (somewhat), but obviously the story must go on. I’m going to take a small break from this while I plan out the next part of the story carefully. Meanwhile, im going to switch to my other fanfic.

But! I will never leave you guys hanging, so the next chapter is going to be a preview of the next part of this story. More kpop idols make an entrance!

Chapter Text

The sound of his boots clicking on the floor are loud in the silent hallway. Even though the lights are dim, he could still see the piercing white walls and floor, not a speck of dirt to be found. It was a cold perfection he hated with a passion.

His white coat swished behind him as he briskly walked past the many doors without windows, the only indication of life behind them found in the names scrolled across the shiny nameplates. Next to those were numbers given to the subjects.

His face showed no emotion, he was careful. Even though he couldn’t see them, they certainly could see him.

All of the doors had a name on them, except for this one. It was almost as if this subject wasn’t even worthy of something as simple but most important like having a name. he headed to this door, stopping in front of the sleek metal, tapping his fingers on his clipboard while waiting to be let in.

Nobody is allowed entrance without special clearance. The only indication of his annoyance being the thrumming of his nails against endless pages of lab values he so neatly positioned and held.

There was a beep, and the door slid open with a slight swoosh sound. Other than that, it was silent. He stepped in with the confidence of someone who has been doing this for months now. Everyone else was afraid to enter this room, but not him.

The room was dark and barren, no signs of life or anyone living in it. only the basic necessities were seen: a bed, a bathroom, a small desk with a chair. But nothing else.

He moved forward into the dim darkness, his steps echoing around him. someone on the bed shifted, the sounds of the chains jingling. It broke his heart to see this prisoner like this. for almost a year now since seeing him for the first time, he felt the overwhelming need to protect, to care for someone other than himself.

Stomping down on the emotions that are so desperately wanting to break the surface, he schooled his features into the calm facade he wears like a mask.

“Kang Chanhee.” He calls the prisoner by his full name, knowing full well the younger hates it. he also knows the cameras are always watching now, the private moments they used to share gone since that day almost a month ago. He suppresses the urge to smirk when the figure on the bed lets out a sigh of annoyance.

“I see you’re back again.” He says patronizingly at the doctor’s assistant with his deep voice.

“Of course. I have to collect data on you. And with the recent events that happened, my job just got ten times harder,” the doctor’s assistant replied smoothly. He wasn’t exaggerating. Since the fall of one of the most important labs owned by the agency, they were forced to flee, regroup, and plan a counterattack.

If he was honest with himself, he was scared. He knows the power Chani holds. He knows he is one of the most valuable descendants the agency has, their clutches on him tight and suffocating.

Which makes breaking him out nearly impossible. So he did the next best thing he could think of: he sold his soul to the agency, in a manner of speaking. Training under them and trying to be useful in order to get close to the prisoners. He was an excellent doctor’s assistant, one of their best.

And he isn’t proud of it.

It was the only thing he could do to be near chani, watching him from the shadows and working behind the scenes. He isn’t the only one either.

They were too much on the poor boy, constantly making him use his gifts for their own gain.

Chani can mask anyone’s presence. He can cancel anything he touches and numb the space around him, blocking everyone else’s abilities along with it. he was immune, to put it simply. He is the sole reason why no one can find the agency, one of the only reasons why they have accomplished much and come this far with ease. Of course, chani’s powers aren’t the only ones being used.

But being a mere doctor’s assistant, he cant get close to the others like he can to chani. Chani is also the reason why the leader of seventeen was able to track them down, sending an army of very angry descendants their way.

They were too harsh on chani that day. They put him under too much stress. Underneath his blank face and lackadaisical words was a normal and frightened boy, living each day not knowing what is going to happen the next. he lost control briefly, about 30 minutes to be exact. His powers dimmed considerably and the barrier he tries so hard to keep up for the mere effort of staying alive, vanished. This left everyone taken to the agency vulnerable with targets on their backs.

Luckily, the assistant was the only one with Chani when that happened. This is what he trained for, this was the exact moment he was afraid would come. He sacrificed everything he believed in, in preparation for this one moment.

And so he reacted without regret.

He calmed chani down from one of his episodes, the worst yet. It took exactly 30 minutes for chani to compose himself and his powers to come back. He looked to his doctor, scared of what happened, what will become of him. his eyes were wild and frantic, pleading for forgiveness for something that wasn’t his fault.

Ignoring the urge to engulf chani into his arms and press his lips to his forehead to soothe him, the young doctor’s assistant simply took out the heart monitor he was supposed to use on chani before he had his episode, and instead hooked it to himself, letting it take his vitals in place of chani’s. He was surprisingly calm for what he was doing.

He knows that if he used any of the machines on chani right now, it will record all of chani’s vitals and the agency will know that what just happened was all of chani’s fault. The boy was frightened and freaking out.

After a few moments of recording his heart rhythms, the assistant calmly unhooked the monitor and printed the results to add to his file on chani.

Chani watched him, waiting for something to happen, waiting for the alarms to go off or guards to finally take him away for good. But it was silent in the room, the only sounds of the ventilation circulating throughout the air.

At the time, there was no need for cameras and cctvs in the rooms and hallways. Those were the only moments he had alone with chani. After all, they were all safe because of chani. Why would they need to worry about anyone finding them?

“are you going to tell them?” chani whispered in the agonizing silence. The young assistant walked over, his face a cool exterior in contrast to the raging emotions within him. he brushed some of chani’s sweat matted hair off his forehead almost lovingly, and shook his head.

“Tell them what?” he replied, almost believable to chani’s ears.

“About what happen-“ but chani was silenced by the feel of a finger against his lips, shushing him. the assistant’s face remained blank, but there was a mischievous look in his eyes.

“All I did was take your vitals like usual and check to make sure you were in good health. There's nothing to tell them.”

Chani shook his head with disbelief. He always did find this particular doctor’s assistant comforting. He was different from the rest that insisted on poking and prodding him like a guinea pig. But this went way beyond his thoughts of this young assistant in front of him.

“why?” he asked softly, slightly muffled by the assistant’s finger, his lips brushing against his smooth skin. The doctor’s assistant trailed his fingers up chani’s face, lingering by the dark circles that seemed to be permanently etched into the younger’s face. Then he ran his fingers back down the side of his cheek to the edge of his jaw, letting his warm hand rest there. He looked deep into chani’s eyes, and debated how much he should reveal to him. how much he cared.

But it was dangerous to do that. not yet.

Still, he couldn’t ignore the look of desperation on chani’s face, and decided to take a risk just this once.

With a soft and gentle voice, barely heard from the slow buzzing of the machines and whirring of the air ducts, he whispered, “because this may be our only hope of survival. Our only hope of escape.”

In the days that followed, the agency never found out it was chani’s moment of weakness that gave them away to stray kids and the other descendants.

And chani never asked another question, always quick to make sure this particular doctor’s assistant was the only one allowed to come near him.

Together, they waited for an opportunity to present itself.

Chapter Text

“Nope, not this one, not this one either,” mark muttered under his breath. He raced down the white hallways as fast as he could, leaving behind jaehyun. The ground rumbled and a few electric blue lightning bolts hit the side of the building where mark and jaehyun were. He paused in his running, trying to regain his footing. It looks like stray kids were planning on taking the whole place down.

He has to hurry.

“There is no way in hell I plan on trying to keep up with you!” jaehyun yelled to him down the hallway. “They are definitely down here though, I can feel them, so keep checking all the rooms!”

Mark heard him, but didn’t waste time responding. He was starting to panic as more rooms came up empty. He ran to the next one, kicked it in, saw it was empty, and then ran to the one after that. over and over he did this, room after room down the long hallway.

But he trusts jaehyun when he says their members are down here. Jaehyun has the ability to detect powers. As soon as he gets a taste of your abilities, he is able to find you. All you have to do is hit him with your abilities, and he kind of absorbs it, allowing him to detect your location. Even though his abilities are similar to Scoups, he’s not the best tracker. He can only pinpoint people who have attacked him with their powers, and he can only detect the person from a very short distance. Currently, he can only detect the abilities of the other NCT members, and he rarely goes on missions. He and his soulmate Taeyong prefer to keep close to home and direct things from there.

However, today was different. Taeyong insisted on accompanying them to rescue their members, but jaehyun stopped him. jaehyun was the better fighter, there was no way in hell he was letting his mate anywhere near this place. Taeyong has a more delicate ability. Like haechan, he is a teleportation type, but instead of actually teleporting, he can astral project. This means that his physical body gets left out in the open for anyone to harm. Jaehyun freaks whenever taeyong astral projects somewhere without his knowledge. He only entrusts taeyong’s sleeping body to himself, refusing to let anyone else watch over him while he’s away.

“not this room, not this room, not here,” mark continued to tell himself, sweat beading at his forehead. He was starting to lose hope. What if he wasn’t here? What if they took him somewhere else? He continued to run, his feet barely touching the ground. He was breathing hard, not from exertion but from an unsettling feeling deep in his gut.

“no, empty, nada, oh hey chenle and jisung,” he kicked in one of the doors at the end of the hallway, finding chenle and jisung inside. He stopped his frantic searching, scanning the two boys over to make sure they were okay. Then he looked further into the room, hope blooming in his chest.

“Markie hyung!” jisung exclaimed, a bright smile on his face. good, they seemed to be fine.

Mark’s face and wandering eyes must have been a dead giveaway, because jisung spoke up “he’s down the hall, take a right, and somewhere on the left. That’s all I know,” and then mark took off. Jaehyun will take care of their youngest members.

Jaehyun arrived to chenle and jisung’s room, panting and dying from the amount of running he had to do. “damn, he’s faster than usual today,” he heaved, hands on his knees. He looked into the room and blinked at what he saw.

“what the hell?” he swore out loud.

From a distance he could hear animal growls and snarls. He paid it no mind, assuming vixx found hyuk. The lights started to flicker, and a few doors away they shattered, raining glass down onto the floor.

But that wasn’t what made him swear. In front of him, the room was totally trashed. There was a huge pile of doctor’s bodies in the corner of the room. Jaehyun thought it was kind of funny how nobody was in this wing of the building trying to stop them from breaking in. it was actually pretty easy getting to this point.

Jisung and chenle were running around the lab/room, giggling and making a total mess of things. when jaehyun cleared his throat to get their attention, they both looked at him with evil grins on their angelic faces, their hands linked together.

He sighed, rubbing his face in exhaustion. “I don’t even know why I was worried. If anyone could survive this hellhole, it would be you two.”

He pulled out his phone, waiting for taeyong to pick up. “are they okay? Did you find the babies? They must be so scared,” taeyong yelled into the other end. He was in full on frantic mom mode right now.

“scared?” jaehyun said with an amused tone. He looks to chenle and jisung destroying everything in their path, running around and screeching, kicking a few passed out doctors and laughing manically. “yeah…I think everyone else is more terrified of them.”

How they managed to cause this much destruction when they were supposed to be locked up and tortured, nobody will ever know.

___

Mark followed jisung’s vague directions, kicking down a door in the next corridor over. The door went flying, bashing into the wall. He searched the room, panting heavily, his hair a wild mess from running so fast. Finally, his red-orange eyes locked onto the one thing he’s been searching for this entire time.

Haechan was just finishing up knocking out the doctor that was keeping him hostage. He let the unconscious body fall to the ground with no mercy and then looked up at the intrusion into his room.

They stared at each other for what seemed like hours, neither of them moving. Both of their faces were blank, not betraying the swirl of emotions running through their bodies. They could feel each other’s hearts beating within their chests. They know what this pretty much means.

Mark was the first to speak up.

“So I see you didn’t die in a ditch after all.”

“and I see you are still an annoying jerk,” haechan quipped back.

Mark ran super fast in front of haechan, messing his hair with the gust of wind that followed. haechan blew his bangs out of his eyes, his eyes starting to water giving his emotions away.

“I thought I would never see you again,” he whispered to mark.

Mark was pissed, he was tired, he felt betrayed that haechan just broke his promise and sacrificed himself for mark and the others. But most of all, he was down right terrified. For two weeks he lived in constant fear that haechan was going to be taken away from him for good.

He gripped the front of haechan’s shirt and harshly dragged him to his face. haechan squeaked and gulped in nervousness. He was used to seeing mark’s anger when they would tease and argue with each other, but this time it was different. Mark glared at him with anger, and haechan didn’t know how to fix it.

“I am so mad at you,” mark admitted.

“I know,” haechan whispered. He could feel it through their bond. He looked down at the ground, refusing to stare at mark’s angry red-orange eyes any longer.

“But I missed you even more, so much that it hurt,” mark continued.

Haechan flicked his eyes up in time to see mark closing the distance, connecting their lips. He could feel a tingling on his ankle, and he smiled into the kiss. Mark was still gripping his shirt, but it was to keep haechan as close to him as possible. he rested his hands on mark’s chest, melting into the older boy. all of their years of pent up frustration and feelings towards each other finally came to the surface. Mark let go of his shirt and locked his arms around haechan’s waist without breaking the kiss.

Haechan finally pulled away, breathing against the other’s lips, resting his forehead on mark’s chest. He was so tired, he just wanted to curl up in mark’s arms and go to bed now that he knows he’s safe again. He started sniffling as he hit a breaking point. He’s tried to be so strong this entire time, and now that he feels warm and small next to mark, he’s letting it all out.

Mark felt his shirt getting wet, and bent down a little to see haechan’s face a bit better. Haechan tried to blink his tears away, his eyes glowing mint green.

“me too. I missed you so much too,” he sniffled.

Mark smiled, wiping his tears away gently.  “come on, let’s go home.”

***

“Ken and Ravi, I need you to look in the south wing where they might keep more prisoners. Hongbin, take the north. I have a strong feeling coming from the east, so im heading that way,” Leo ordered them. Ken and ravi nodded and took off, getting ready to help anyone that needs it. hongbin quickly veered and turned directions towards the north. Leo gritted his teeth, his heart beating at an impossible rate as his feet pounded on the tile flooring in the east wing.

Hongbin turned a corner and stopped suddenly. He could feel everyone’s emotions, and they were strong ones. But what made him stop was the feeling of a very familiar person.

“got you,” he grinned, taking off again to a sealed door.

The power went out, the lights above shattering and raining glass down on him. he shoved the door open and ran inside, ready for a fight.

What he got instead was a room full of shifters, high on energy and emotions swirling all around the room. Hongbin waved his hand around, trying to dissipate the thick fog that only he can see, but it was no use. Shifters always have endless energy, and when they feel frightened or threatened their emotions are off the charts. Hyuk he can handle since they are close friends and share an intimate connection, but having at least six other unfamiliar shifters slam him with feelings all at once was a bit much.

“Ugh,” he grunted, holding his head with his hands. He tried to empty his mind and accept the feelings for what they were, but it still took a lot out of him.

He looked around the room carefully, eyes locking on a familiar brown. The shifters were all sitting on the floor of the room in a circle. Six huge people in the room began to growl, a warning in their throats. Another shifter growled even louder, warning the other six to watch it. they cowed down, their growls quieting.

Hyuk pulled back his snarl at the other shifters and then looked up at hongbin.

“Hiya hyung!!”

Hongbin blinked at hyuk and the other shifters in the locked up room. “I cant believe- I come all this way to save your sorry ass thinking you're on the verge of death, and I find you playing poker?!”

All of the shifters had cards in their hands and scattered on the floor in the center of their little huddle.

Hyuk grinned at him, “well yeah, what else were we supposed to do while in captivity?” he shrugged.

Hongbin ran a hand through his hair in relief and distress at the same time. “get your furry ass up, its time to go. The place is going down,” he told the younger.

“aww, and I was winning some good stuff too!” hyuk pouted. He and hongbin loved games. Its part of the reason why vixx owned half the Arcade.

Hongbin was about to argue, but just then they heard gunshots in the distance. Some of the other shifters whimpered at the loud noise to their sensitive ears.

“that cant be good,” hongbin muttered under his breath, but hyuk heard him just fine.

Hongbin stretched, trying to shake off the tension he can feel in the room. This unfortunately caused his shirt to ride up a bit and one of the other shifters did a wolf whistle at him. “so hyuk, are you gonna introduce us to the pretty boy over there?”

hyuk’s eyes gleamed as he glared at the shifter across from him, a growl in the back of his throat.

“do that to him again and you’re dead,” he snapped his teeth. It took everything in him not to tear the guy’s throat out right then and there. He can get pretty feral at times, his animal side taking over when the things he loves the most are threatened.

Hongbin is something he loves the most.

The other shifter rolled his eyes, not taking hyuk seriously. “I don’t see a soulmate mark on him, and if he isn’t taken then it shouldn’t be any of your business what he does. Its been awhile since ive seen someone so pretty, and I just want him to know im interested,” the guy shrugged his shoulders.

Hyuk got up and dragged the guy with incredible strength he kept hidden from his captors and the other shifters, slamming the other against the wall. His eyes gleamed with a wildness that would frighten anybody who came near.

“don’t talk to him, don’t touch him, don’t even think about him. he’s mine,” he snarled, his eyes gleaming a charcoal grey color unlike his usual beastly yellow.

The male shifter held up his hands in surrender against the wall, “woah there, I didn’t know he was your soulmate. No need to rip my head off. You should’ve said so sooner.”

“my soulmate?” hyuk turned towards hongbin, dropping the other male to the ground. Hongbin was massaging his scalp from all of the irritation swirling around the room due to hyuk’s outburst. He glanced at hyuk with calm honey orange eyes that wasn't his usual brown color.

“oh shit, hyung I think we are soulmates,” he said simply to the older.

“that’s great hyukkie, can you tone down the emotions in here though? My head is gonna burst,” hongbin complained.

Hyuk was next to him in an instant, grabbing his shoulders and leaning into him. he caged himself protectively around the older boy, hoping his presence will block out the others’ in the room. it didn’t escape hongbin’s notice that hyuk inhaled his scent deeply as he hugged onto him.

“I saw that,” hongbin smiled into hyuk’s neck, snuggling closer to hide himself from the emotions in the place.

“you smell so damn good, what can I say? My animal side has always liked being around you,” he chuckled as he patted the back of hongbin’s head. “I thought all this time it was cause you are an empath and can calm me down when I get feral, but now im starting to think its because my animal side recognized you as his soulmate.”

“hyukkie? There’s too many emotions and feelings in this place. Its overwhelming. Leo insisted I stay back with Taeyong and the others, but I had to see that you were ok. And plus in case you went feral, I was the only one that could bring you back. But now I kinda wished I listened to Leo hyung. I really don’t belong in a place full of anger and pain. Its torturous,” he whispered into hyuk’s neck.

Hyuk could tell hongbin was starting to get at his limit. Whatever was happening out there, it wasn’t good. It must have been something to do with that gunshot they heard because the whole place was starting to rumble in chaos. If hongbin was at his limit, something really bad happened to someone, and the negative emotions must be swirling around the place.

He leaned away from hongbin a little to get a better look at him. he noticed his pale complexion and started rubbing his arms in comfort. “hey, hey, hyung its gonna be ok. They didn’t really pay much mind to the shifters because they consider our abilities a bit useless since we just turn into animals and all, which is total discrimination if you ask me. I'm totally fine,” he reassured the older boy. hongbin flinched in pain, starting to curl in on himself.

“something really bad happened to someone hyukkie,” he gasped out. “I feel pain and sadness all around.”

“hyung, I need you to just focus on me, can you do that? just focus on my emotions, try to only feel what I’m feeling,” hyuk was starting to panic. For once in his life, he is the one trying to calm down hongbin, and not the other way around. this is new territory for him. he tried to calm his raging nerves, focusing on his feelings for his soulmate.

Hongbin started to breathe a bit easier, taking a deep breath.

“better?” hyuk asked. He winced as he felt a tingling crawl up the side of his torso.

“yeah, much better,” hongbin sighed. He surrounded himself with hyuk’s emotions. He felt warm, safe, a bit of protectiveness, loyalty, and lots and lots of love.

“alright sweetheart, lets get the hell out of this place,” hyuk said.

***

Leo had no idea where his feet were taking him, he just mindlessly ran in the direction he could feel another heart beating in.

The lights above him shattered and he was plunged into darkness, which didn’t improve his mood at all. The building started to quake and he worried he wouldn’t make it in time. As the walls to the foundation cracked, Leo sent out a silent message asking for help to guide him in the darkness.

Instantly he was obeyed, and vines and plants started to creep their way in between the cracks in the walls. The trees in the surrounding area whispered to him what was going on, warning him that the place wasn’t going to hold on for much longer. The vines peeked out of the flooring and scurried ahead of him in the pitch black, showing him the way as he continued to run.

“to the left,’ he was able to hear from them, ‘turn right at the next corridor over,’ another plant softly brushed against his ankle, communicating through touch. He smiled down as the plants helped him find the one thing that mattered most. If he was happy, the plants were happy.

The stems and vines stopped in front of a door, barricading the place so no one could enter until Leo showed up. they were protecting what was theirs.

As Leo approached closer to the sealed door, the plants retreated to let him through. He asked them to grip around the door, and eventually it was pried open without him having to lay a single finger on it. he slowly stepped inside not being able to see in the darkness of the room.

A thick poisonous gas enveloped the room, and it would have killed anyone instantly once they took one breath in. but this wasn’t any ordinary poison. It would never harm Leo or his plants.

Leo walked through it without batting an eyelash, heading straight for the figure sitting on the edge of the small bed in the room. His head was down and his dark bangs were covering his eyes. When leo came closer, he snapped his head up, his eyes glowing a soft forest green.

Leo crouched in front of N, cupping his face gently in the palms of his hands. His own eyes were glowing a vibrant purple, the same color as N’s poison. Leo smirked as he felt N’s heart racing when he touched him.

N ignored it, “I knew we were soulmates, but I was starting to doubt myself for a second there,” he told him. he looked so sad and tired from all that he had endured that Leo took pity on him for once and decided not to tease the older boy.

He snorted at N, rubbing his face gently with the pads of his thumbs. “are you kidding me? You are the only one I will let touch me. Of course we were soulmates, it just took a little while is all.”

Suddenly, the building rumbled again, the whole place quaking and the framework groaning. They were running out of time. Leo stood up and walked over to the open doorway, peaking out into the hallway. The plants told him the coast was still clear. He silently asked them to check up on his other members and anyone else that might still be locked up in the building. They instantly drew back from the hallway, seeking out the rest of his family.

N had on a goofy smile from Leo’s admission and stood up with wobbly legs to get going. He could feel his mark starting to form, a harsh tingle on the back of his shoulder blade. If he looked later, he knows he will find his and Leo’s bond mark.

He giggled and turned his head dramatically towards Leo, and started to slow motion run with his arms wide open. “I KNEW WE WERE MEANT TO BEEEEE!” he was aiming to run right into Leo’s arms like in the movies.

Leo turned his head, watching N act like an idiot again. He rolled his eyes and side stepped out of the way at the last minute, causing N to miss and almost bash right into the door frame that was behind him. he whipped his head at Leo and glared at him with a pout.

“Why are you always like this?! Do you enjoy watching me suffer?! Why cant you just accept my affection for you and love me?!” he whined to his mate while fanning his face in anger.

Leo smirked evilly, but then grabbed N’s arm and enclosed him into a tight hug. He missed the older boy all this time with every fiber of his being. His mind always has so much to say, but he was never able to convey it in words. This usually annoyed and frustrated the people around him. Except for N. N always knew what he wanted to desperately say but found so difficult to speak out loud.

“I missed you too,” N sighed into his embrace. “I knew you would come for me,” he chuckled.

“I will always find you,” leo whispered into N’s hair, gripping him that much tighter.

***

“They managed to escape, taking a few descendants with them. We don’t know where they went, but Scoups and the others are tracking them right now. They cant have gone too far. Right now im just glad everyone made it back in one piece,” N was addressing the small crowd gathered around him. they were back in the safety of their own place and having a small rundown of what happened.

“Monsta X, ACE, and seventeen members managed to free up the other descendants that were taken and they will be heading here once they recover. They were too injured or tired to make the long journey back to the city here. I expect everyone to respect the prisoner’s personal space. They are either frightened, or still in fight or flight mode and will not be able to handle a ton of strangers all at once. I will assign them to groups later,” Leo continued. He was currently holding up his mate from collapsing. N insisted on being there for the meeting, not wanting to show the others just how badly injured he was. Thanks to leo and their bond, he had just enough strength to stay conscious for a few more hours. Hyuk shifted into his animal form already, curled up on hongbin’s lap like a cat despite how huge he was. Everyone remained a very far distance away from the panther and his mate, not wanting to get their faces ripped off. Hyuk was well known for being feral when he shifts. The only thing not making some of the other descendants run in the opposite direction was the reassurance that the empath can keep hyuk under control. If hongbin wasn’t there, they probably would be having this meeting somewhere else.

Haechan was downright exhausted, insisting on teleporting a few people with him back to the Arcade. He only managed to do it with the help of mark. Taeyong advised very vehemently on the phone for the young pink haired boy not to overexert himself like that, but haechan promised that one more teleportation wont hurt him any more than he already was hurt. He took him, mark, chenle, and jisung back. As soon as he landed in the middle of the room panting, he hit the ground, mark catching him. immediately renjun, jeno, and jaemin pounced on them, fussing over them and taking care of them, fighting taeyong in the process who was also frantically running his hands over his children making sure they weren't hurt anywhere else.

As all of the descendants slowly started to come back, the other members that were forced to stay behind went into mother hen mode, making sure they were ok and helping them change, shower, get something to eat and so on.

N sighed, wincing at a pain in his side that was still healing slowly. “Alright, I cant believe im saying this, but that’s enough talking for today. Everyone go rest for a day or so, take care of your members, guard your homes, because once we are all healed I want everyone back here so that we can decide what to do from here on out,” he ordered weakly. They all nodded, immediately heading to their own respective homes, taking their mates and family members with them.

***

How chan managed to drag all of his exhausted members back home was beyond him. but he wasn’t going to rest until he knows all of them are tucked away safely from the bad world around them. He and woojin gathered all of the necessary things into the huge living room, while some of the others were taking care of the more injured members. Jeongin was pretty much drained after healing felix, but he managed to get a little bit of his energy into hyunjin and jisung too before collapsing against seungmin. chan was about to put his foot down, but it seems even jeongin knew he was at his limit finally.

At long last, chan settled against the couch on the floor, blankets and pillows surrounding all of them. He got himself comfy, and then opened his arms for his three members. Felix and jisung didn’t hesitate, each claiming a side and cuddling into chan on the ground/makeshift bed. Unfortunately, hyunjin wasn’t quick enough and pouted, having no where to cuddle against their leader. Chan smiled, motioning his hands to climb into his lap. hyunjin smiled and crawled into chan’s lap, cuddling into his chest despite him being bigger. This spot was way better than jisung’s and felix’s. as jisung voiced this, hyunjin stuck his tongue out childishly, nuzzling his face into chan’s familiar scent. Jisung gasped while felix laughed.

Chan tried his best to wrap his arms around all three of them. They sighed happily from his warmth. The rest of the members also made themselves comfy around them, watching with softened eyes and happy smiles.

It was cramped in the living room again, barely enough space to fit all of them without them laying on top of each other.

Normally minho, changbin, and seungmin would be jealous since they have a slight possessive personality, but not today. They were finally happy, all of them together again. They all know how worried and heartbroken chan was, and they let him have his moment with the three that were taken from him.

Chan tried his best to give all of them his attention equally, rubbing his head against felix’s, leaning forward to give kisses to the top of hyunjin’s head, and running his fingers through jisung’s hair. there was a comfortable silence in the room.

“they didn’t hurt you guys too much, did they?” chan asked gently. The other five members held their breath, knowing they weren't going to like what they hear. They know the three of them went through probably some traumatic experiences that could change their lives forever.

Felix looked up at chan, smiling softly. He reached forward, tucking some of chan’s hair behind his ear.

“you know I cant answer that,” he chuckled lowly. Felix will not subject their kind and compassionate leader to even more heartbreak. There was nothing chan could have done about their torture, and he will only beat himself up even more if he knows what happened.

Jisung snorted, grabbing chan’s hand and putting it back on his head when chan stopped sifting his fingers through his hair. “you know it wasn’t easy for them with me there. I put up such a fight, I would’ve made you proud.”

Hyunjin giggled, “I think its best if we don’t go into too much detail. Seungminnie over there might snap and start blowing stuff up again.”

“hey! I don’t always set things on fire!”

Chan laughed, his heart hurting. He knows what they went through cant be good, but for his sake they are sparing the gory details. All that matters is that he and the other members will be there for them in case it gets to be too much mentally and emotionally.

Felix smacked a kiss on chan’s cheek. “just know that we are glad you came back for us. We knew you and the others would come for us some day. Never once did we doubt you.”

Chan wanted to cry, and he hugged them tighter, squishing their faces to his body. “never again will you guys do that,” he scolded them, a slight quiver to his tone. “how could you just sacrifice yourselves while sending me back like that? I would never want you guys to willingly put yourselves at risk while I just stay safe at home.”

Hyunjin peeked up from his chest. “we all chose to stay behind. You would’ve done the same thing hyung. Any of us would have.”

“I knew it! goody two shoes jerks,” seungmin muttered, snuggling into his blankets. Hyunjin sent him an apologetic smile.

Chan let out a shaky breath, scooching down onto the ground more, maneuvering the three of them so that they were all comfortable while still clinging to him. they cuddled closer to him. finally chan can sleep easily knowing everyone was back where they were supposed to be.

“I missed you guys. We missed you guys,” chan spoke quietly, the vulnerability clear in his voice.

“We missed you too, hyung,” felix whispered.

Seungmin snorted, “speak for yourself channie hyung,” but there was no bite to his words. He was just trying to divert his emotions with sarcasm like he always does.

“oh shut up Minnie. You wandered around for a whole week barely speaking let alone functioning without hyunjin,” changbin exposed him.

“pshh says the guy who couldn’t sleep without his cuddle buddy,” minho countered.

Changbin glared at him from across the blankets. “I remember dragging a certain someone’s ass out of a shady corner, wiping his tears from his sleep,” changbin shot back with an evil grin. Minho pouted, not denying it.

“I held hyunjin’s pillow!” jeongin outed himself unhelpfully.

“are we seriously having a competition over who was emotionally scarred the most?” woojin cut in. “this cant be a healthy way to cope.”

Jisung giggled from under chan’s arm, and felix outright laughed. Hyunjin let out a high pitched ugly giggle. “did you guys really do all of that?”

The others stopped arguing and looked at the three of them.

“of course,” seungmin whispered, the room starting to go serious again. The other five members scooched closer to chan and the three that were taken until they were lying on each other in some way.

“every night I reached next to me, but felt the place cold and empty,” changbin admitted, looking away. felix could feel the pang of hurt run up his spine through their bond.

“I had so many regrets, so many things I never got to say,” minho muttered. jisung's heart ached at the feel of minho's emotions.

“who else was going to argue with me and cause trouble?” seungmin snickered weakly. hyunjin could feel the devastation that coursed through seungmin at the thought of never seeing hyunjin again.

“the room was never the same,” jeongin admitted sadly.

Chan kissed the top of jisung’s head. “no matter what they told you. No matter what they tried to make you believe, just know that we are all stronger when we are together. Love and soulmates doesn't make you weak. And I love each and every one of you.”

Jisung started to sniffle, wiping his nose on chan’s shirt. “hey!” chan laughed, looking down at jisung. Felix squeezed chan’s side more. hyunjin wrapped his arms around chan’s waist and buried his face back into the soft fabric of his shirt. He breathed in deeply to calm himself, missing chan’s familiar and comforting scent.

“we missed you guys so damn much,” felix told all of them.

Woojin patted felix’s hair. “we missed you too. Trust me when I say that we were all pretty miserable.”

It was silent again for several minutes, everyone lost in their own thoughts. Just when about half of them were drifting off to sleep, felix spoke up.

“channie hyung?”

Chan tightened his arm around felix, humming softly to let him know he was listening.

“we are always going to be together like this right?”

Chan chuckled at the ridiculous question. “each of you are a part of my family now. Once you walked through my door, there was no going back. I would do anything for each one of you,” he vowed.

“bold of you to assume we wouldn’t do the same thing for you,” seungmin shot back snarkily in the dark.

Minho threw a pillow at him, giggling. “must you always ruin the mood and get the last word in?”

“sorry, I couldn’t hear you over your pining for jisung.”

“we are literally soulmates, of course im going to pine after him,” minho argued back.

“hyunjin, keep your little firecracker under control over there,” changbin begged.

“nah, I think im gonna let him go at it. its been too long since I last heard his sarcastic attitude,” hyunjin mumbled sleepily.

Changbin whined cutely, annoying some of the members in the room. However, felix giggled from the adorableness.

“thank god it was you as his soulmate!” jisung told his best friend. “we were all worried about changbin’s soulmate being something coming from the zombie apocalypse.”

“hey!” changbin yelled over at him. “shut the fuck up jisung. We all thought your soulmate was gonna end up being a stripper with the way you flirt with everyone.”

“I mean, I could be a damn good one if you wanted me to-”

“minho hyung please don’t add to that,” jeongin begged.

“if you all don’t quiet down and go to bed, im gonna get woojin to settle this,” chan threatened, too sleepy to deal with their bickering.

“yes dad,” jeongin answered back.

“don’t make me get up,” woojin grunted, the exhaustion finally kicking in.

The room instantly went quiet, everyone settling in for the night.

Chapter Text

Three days later and everyone was healed enough to be up and moving around. Chan was calm again and ready to let his members roam around, and felix was itching to practice using his new abilities. 

He still had no idea what he was capable of doing, and if he was going to go with the rest of the group to help rescue the imprisoned descendants and take down the facilities and remaining scientists, he has to get a firm grip and be completely in control. He can kind of understand where changbin was coming from about keeping a tight lid on everything. The light coming from everyone was almost nauseating to him. If everybody has a little bit of darkness in them, then they also have a little bit of light. Felix can feel it all over the place. Where changbin manipulated negative energy, felix manipulated positive, and there was a whole lot of positive going around. He had a headache constantly, but he ignored it insisting on training with the others before they meet up with N and Leo again.

Which brings us back to the training grounds behind chan’s huge house. 

With a determined glare, felix ran head on at changbin. He materialized two swords of light, one in each hand, and wasted no time in attacking. It was his preferred style: strike first while the going was good. They never see it coming despite it being a very simple tactic. 

Of course, changbin was well aware of this, oftentimes using the same technique. There was no one else who was on par with changbin as well as felix was, especially now that his handicap was removed and he was on a level playing field with the others.

He grinned, excitement coursing through his veins. Felix looked breathtaking in that moment, hair damp and stuck to his forehead, determination in his eyes, and his muscles tense, ready to pounce. 

This beautiful boy was his one and only soulmate, and changbin couldnt have been prouder. What country did he save in a past life to get this lucky? 

Felix ran right at him, holding the swords in his hands. He was a duel wielder, but can use any form of weapon imaginable. Before the barrier blocking his abilities was shattered, he trained and excelled at every form of weapons and martial arts there was. He didnt want to be weak just because he was handicapped. Now that his powers kickstarted again in his body, he was even more dangerous than before. 

Their swords clashed, ringing in the chilly morning air. Felix immediately jumped back after the attack, ready for round two with his dark haired soulmate. Light on his feet, he swiped left and then right, over and over making changbin pant from the effort in trying to block his never-ending strikes.

In mid strike, felix switched and materialized a long sword of light, slashing downwards. Changbin easily blocked, swiping his sword left. He knew felix would block it, not bothering in being careful to not injure the younger. He ducked and rolled onto the ground, shooting up to his feet and facing felix again. He ran at felix, and his eyes widened as felix quickly switched and used his abilities to materialize nun-chucks. He bent backwards, nearly missing felix’s fierce swing at his face. 

“Woah lix! Easy there!” he whined, coming back up. Felix grinned, swinging the nun-chucks around his body in a single fluid motion. Then he rematerialized his weapon back into a pair of guns. He fired a couple warning shots at the ground near changbin’s feet, but he was only just kidding. Changbin glared over at him. 

Felix switched weapons again, this time a staff, swinging it in the air and pointing it at changbin. He was just teasing now, the fight seeping out of him as he was having more fun seeing which weapon he can use next. 

“Damn lix, just pick one already,” changbin said with a huff, rolling his eyes. Sweat beaded at his forehead, and he wiped it away, flicking his dark bangs out of his eyes.

Felix was panting, not noticing a considerable amount of sweat dripping down his face. He felt kind of tired, and dematerialized his staff back into the air. He plopped himself on the ground, breathing uneasily. 

Changbin furrowed his brows in concern, putting his own sword away and walking closer to felix. “Lix? Felix? Are you ok? You look kind of pale.”

He crouched down in front of felix, pushing some of his sweat covered bangs out of his eyes to get a better view of his soulmate's face. 

“I just...feel kind of tired binnie,” felix told him. His muscles felt weak and his head was swimming. 

Changbin became alert at this. Felix never tired out this easily, especially during training. Hell, the blonde could go for days without a break. He was tortured relentlessly in facility 9, resulting in his stamina being one of the best among them. Something was definitely wrong. 

Pushing his hand up to felix’s forehead, he felt how hot it was. “Shit lix, you’re burning up. Come on, lets go back to the house,” he told felix worriedly. Felix nodded, trying not to pass out. He made to get back on his feet, but couldnt move his legs from how weak he was. 

This caused full blown panic to course through changbin. Felix was perfectly fine not 20 minutes ago, and now he cant even walk? 

“I can feel you panicking through our bond binnie. Im perfectly fine, i just need to take a nap or something,” felix reassured the older boy. That didnt help changbin calm down at all, but he swallowed and nodded. Then he bent over to grip felix’s legs, picking him up effortlessly.

“I always liked how strong you were,” felix chuckled, cuddling in closer to changbin’s chest. Despite just recently finding each other and forming a soulmate bond, they havent had a chance of alone time, so any opportunity of being with changbin felix would take full advantage of. He was completely entitled to it now that he knows changbin was literally born just for him. 

“I can feel your contentment,” changbin muttered as he carried felix back to the house. “What are you so happy about?” 

“Just thinking about how you were literally born just for me, and that brings me great joy,” felix mumbled, a shiver wracking his body from the fever he had. 

Changbin smiled at this despite his worry for his sick mate. “Only yours,” he confirmed. 

___

Chan stood up from his desk at the commotion going on out in the hall. He just got off the phone with taeyong, confirming that N and Leo wants to see them later that day. 

Woojin was in the corner, reading a book when he also heard the commotion, getting up at the same time as chan. Together they walked out into the living room. 

“Whats going on?” woojin asked. 

Jisung was frantically whipping around, muttering under his breath. “Ice, ice, we need some ice. Woojin hyung come over here and place your frozen hands on felix’s forehead,” he yelled as he ran past, leaving a gust of wind in his wake. 

Woojin blew his bangs from off his forehead, giving him a confused look. “Come again?”

“Felix is running a horrible fever,” seungmin filled him in as he got some blankets from the closet. “Changbin just brought him back, barging in saying he was perfectly fine training with him and then he just kind of tired out real fast and has a fever now.”

This caused chan to become alert, heading over to felix who was placed gently on the couch by a panicking changbin. Hyunjin came walking back in with a change of clothes. felix's was soiled from all of the sweat and grime he acquired from their training session. 

Jeongin was crouching next to changbin on the floor, placing his hand on felix’s forehead and assessing what he can do to help heal him. 

“He’s like a furnace,” changbin looked up worriedly as chan approached. 

“The shower is ready!” minho yelled from the bathroom. 

“This happened suddenly?” woojin asked, following chan to the couch. Changbin nodded, biting his lip. 

“I told you binnie, im fine. You dont need to be so hysterical,” felix chuckled, his breathing slow and unsteady. 

Woojin bent down, running his hand over felix’s forehead. Felix sighed in relief at the cool touch. 

“What was he doing when this happened?” chan questioned him. 

Changbin brought his hand up, gripping felix’s to help calm himself down. He needed physical contact to assure himself that everything was going to be alright.

“We were just training like usual. Felix wanted to learn how to control his abilities a bit more before we had to report back to N and Leo,” changbin explained to him.

Chan furrowed his brows, not sure what could have caused this sudden onset of illness. “That's it? You were just training?” changbin nodded, his lip quivering. 

“Jeongin, you got anything?” woojin asked. The others crowded around the couch, worry on their faces at felix’s condition.

Jeongin shook his head. “He’s just physically ill, hyung. I cant cure disease, only heal wounds. However…” he trailed off, gripping felix’s hand and closing his eyes. 

“Well dont leave us hanging,” seungmin snarked in the back. Hyunjin nodded in agreement, impatience clear on his face. 

Jeongin snapped his eyes open and glared at seungmin. “He’s emitting off a ton of energy. Like a ton. Im literally soaking it up like a sponge and its not even denting the amount of energy he’s throwing all around us. Dont you guys feel it too?” 

Jisung spoke up. “Now that you mention it, i feel a bit more energized all of a sudden. But i figured that was just adrenaline from freaking out.” 

“I think i know what’s going on,” chan announced. Changbin sighed in relief, and felix blinked at him with blurry eyes. 

The others looked at him confused. 

“I think he’s overheating. Think about it, his abilities were suppressed practically his whole life, and now that they are no longer blocked, they are coming back with a vengeance. Changbin, you mentioned he was using his powers during training?” 

changbin nodded in confirmation. “He was summoning different weapons made from light at a rapid speed. It was incredible. There was no limit to how much time he needed between changing.” 

“So is he going to be ok?” jisung asked. 

Chan nodded, “i think so. I think this fever was brought on by the fact that felix is using too much of his powers too fast. His body needs time to adjust to the onslaught of energy he now is able to create. I think part of his gifts is being able to supply energy to other people from nothing.”

“So he’s our personal energizer bunny?” seungmin snorted. 

“Hey!” felix shouted weakly, trying to stay awake. 

Chan laughed. “In a way, yeah i think he is. Im totally guessing here, but im basing it off the fact that changbin is his soulmate. His powers are similar to felix’s in that they both manipulate energy in the forms of light and dark. Every creature is a form of particles in some way. Just like how changbin can create and take away negative energy from nothing, felix is doing the same but with positive energy. Changbin is able to affect the atmosphere around him, creating a toxic and very negative environment which makes him untouchable and impossible to be near. Felix does the same thing but in the opposite. I think he is adding energy to the atmosphere, which makes being near him very desirable. Instead of getting drained and in pain like with changbin, we are feeling more energetic and healthier near felix.” 

“Thats freaking awesome!” hyunjin exclaimed. But then he felt bad at his joy. “I mean, not awesome that felix is feeling sick because of it, but awesome that he is able to do that.” 

“This actually might be the best thing ever,” jeongin told everyone. 

“Why’s that?” felix slurred from his spot on the couch, just barely listening to everything going on around him. 

“Think about it hyung. You can give off endless amounts of energy that make people feel better. I can take some of that energy and be able to heal a whole lot more without draining everyone and myself. Seungmin wasnt joking when he said you were like an energizer bunny.” 

Felix chuckled, closing his eyes from fatigue. “That’s good innie. Anything to help you guys,” he whispered, finally falling asleep. 

“We have to get him to bed,” changbin announced. 

“I can take him to our room,” jisung offered. 

Changbin shook his head. “Not this time. He’s coming with me to my room.”

Jisung pouted, but didnt argue. He understands perfectly what changbin is feeling. He would be the same if it were minho. 

“Ew he didnt shower,” minho scrunched his nose up. 

“Ill wipe him down with a cloth,” changbin argued, standing up to pick up felix and take him to his room. 

As he was leaving, chan asked the others to help changbin get anything he may need. Hyunjin continued to carry the clothes he brought, seungmin took the extra blankets, jisung went to get a glass of water, and minho went back to the bathroom to bring a cloth and bowl. 

Chan went back to his office to call N and Leo to tell them that they wont be able to meet today. He doesnt care if felix and changbin can be fine on their own, he wasnt taking the chance to separate his members right after he got them back. Who knows if the agency somehow managed to conjure up warps in the middle of their protected home? The last thing he needs is coming back to find out that his family went missing again while he was gone. That is his new worst nightmare. 

“I can feel you freaking out,” woojin said as he came up behind him to hold his hand. “With good reason of course,” he added in. 

“I can feel you freaking out too,” chan muttered, dragging woojin closer so that he could give him a hug. Woojin hugged back, trying to soothe chan from his anxiety and worries, but at the same time try to stomp down on his own worries. 

“I just need all of this to be over with,” chan mumbled against woojin’s shoulder. 

“I think we all do,” woojin chuckled.

___

After changbin was done taking care of felix, he moved to scoot underneath the covers of his bed next to his sleeping mate. He could tell the fever was slowly going down, so he concluded that chan may be right after all and it was just overexertion from using his powers so much so fast. Changbin couldnt blame felix for being so eager to use his gifts. He couldnt imagine what it would be like without them. It was like cutting off a part of yourself and learning to live with it. 

And that is where the guilt and shame started to creep in for the next four hours while felix slept and recovered.

Felix opened his lashes to a beautiful sight in front of him. Changbin was leaning up on an elbow, looking down as he watched felix sleep. 

“You’re finally up,” he whispered, leaning down to peck felix on the lips. 

Felix nodded, smiling at the warm feeling of changbin near him. He could feel a bit of relief, love, and adoration seeping into him, but he also felt a small linger of guilt through their bond. 

He frowned at that. “You’re blaming yourself again arent you?” felix muttered, shifting so that he was on his side and looking changbin in the eyes. 

“Of course i am,” changbin didnt deny it. It was futile to try and lie to felix now that they could feel each other so intimately. “You wouldnt be having fevers and feeling sick if it wasnt for me blocking your powers and making you handicapped all these years.” 

“I would also be locked deep underground with no hope to escape if i did have my powers all of these years,” felix counter-argued. 

Changbin stopped his self loathing for a second, his eyes widening in fear. “W-what?” he squeaked. 

Felix smiled sadly at him, bringing his hand up to cup his cheek. “In a way, you saved me seo changbin. My mother and the other councilmen and scientists like to collect powerful descendants. They like to collect rare ones too. Even you, chan, and the others had to hide how powerful you were in case they turned their eyes on you, right?” 

Changbin nodded. 

Felix continued, “think about it. What do you think my mother would do if her own son was a powerful descendant with the ability to manipulate light? Think of things she would make me do, the people i wouldve been forced to hurt. She would never let me out of her grasp.”

Changbin’s heart began to beat frantically, and the panic started settling in at the thought of felix being trapped in a different way. He gazed at felix’s face, committing his features to memory even though there was no need to. Without answering felix, he shuffled closer to his soulmate and wrapped his arms tightly around his  waist. 

“Oomph,” felix gasped out at being pulled closer very abruptly. 

“Nobody is allowed to take you from me, not even your own mother,” changbin mumbled against felix’s shoulder and burying his face in his neck, silently vowing to destroy anything that gets in his way. 

“Same goes for you,” felix chuckled. He softly carded his fingers through changbin’s hair, trying to calm down his mate. “Now stop beating yourself up over this. You ended up helping me, even if it wasnt in the most ideal way or pleasant of circumstances. My handicap allowed me to slip away from my mother and the facility, and it lead me to you and the rest of my family. I know you didnt do it intentionally, but everything happens for a reason. My reason was meeting you.” 

Changbin gripped felix tighter without looking up. He could feel the sincerity in felix’s words, the reassurance he needed that felix didnt hate or hold a grudge against him. 

“Arent you at least a little mad?” he whispered, dreading the answer. 

Felix kissed the crown of changbin’s head. “In all honesty? No im not. I dont even regret it. My handicap made me strong in a way that ended up helping you guys and everyone else trapped in the facility, so even if i could go back, i wouldnt change a thing.”

Changbin sagged in defeat against felix. This boy was honestly too good for him. Changbin felt like he didnt deserve him in the slightest bit. But he would never give up felix to anybody, he was too selfish for that. 

“Do you really love me?” he asked felix. 

Felix scoffed. “You know the answer to that without me having to even say anything.”

“Yeah but i like hearing you say it,” changbin smiled against felix’s skin. 

“Yes seo changbin. I love you with all my heart, even if you werent my soulmate. I have loved you for a while now. There, happy?” felix huffed. 

Changbin kissed his neck softly, right over their bond that is etched into felix’s beautiful skin. “Yeah, im happy. I think ive been happy for a long time now, ever since you came to join us.”

“If i remember correctly, a certain someone was suspicious of me the first month or two that i came to stay here,” felix teased with a smirk. 

Changbin lifted his head, gazing at felix intently. “Only because i was so attracted to you!” he defended himself. 

Felix’s smirk fell off his face. “Wait, seriously?”

Changbin pecked his lips again before answering. “Duh! Ive been holed up with chan and the others for years before you came around. Of course i would fall for a pretty blonde with freckles on his face and a smile that can rival the sun.”

“Ok ew, quit being cheesy,” felix laughed. “And same goes for me. Once i laid eyes on you i was a goner.” 

Changbin smiled at that, getting himself comfortable by resting his head in the crook between felix’s neck and shoulder. They were silent for a few minutes, felix starting to drift off to sleep again. 

Right before he fell asleep, changbin spoke up once more. 

“I love you too, lee felix. Now and forever.”

***

Another day went by and felix was finally starting to feel better. Jeongin actually helped by taking away some of the pent up energy that was leaking out of felix. He proposed a great idea to chan and woojin when they were all gathered in the living room before heading back to N and Leo. 

“What if i help take away some of felix’s overflowing energy and put it to good use?” he asked the others.

“What do you have in mind jeonginnie?” minho asked, grunting as jisung hopped on his lap and made himself more comfortable. He wrapped an arm around jisung to keep him balanced on his knee. 

“I can help heal all of the other descendants that came back from the facility using felix’s energy to recharge myself constantly,” he offered. “If felix hyung is okay with it, that is,” he added in quietly.

Felix smiled so bright, clapping his hands. “Of course im ok with that! Its the least i can do since its my own mother that is causing all of this…” he trailed off, looking down with a guilty expression.

Changbin grabbed his chin and lifted it up so that he was facing him. “Dont you dare feel responsible for what she and the others have done. None of that was your fault, just like how me handicapping you wasnt mine. If im forced to accept it, then you are too.” 

Felix nodded, his lips trembling. 

Hyunjin sat next to him, wrapping an arm around him. “We know why you didnt tell us at first about your mom, and we want you to know that we arent upset about it. So dont get it in your head that we hate you or something dumb like that.” 

“Yeah, otherwise ill beat the shit out of you,” jisung supplied helpfully. Felix smiled at that, leaning his head on hyunjin’s shoulder. 

“Thanks you guys. Not everybody is going to be as accepting as you though,” felix warned them. 

“We can just have minnie blow them up,” hyunjin chuckled. 

“Have i mentioned that i love you?” seungmin sniffled, wiping away fake tears.

“For once, im okay with that,” woojin gave his consent. Chan nodded next to him.

“Yeah! Beat up anybody who hurts felix!” jeongin clapped. 

“When did we get like this?” minho laughed, shaking his head. 

“Honey, we’ve always been like this,” jisung patted his mate’s cheek. 

***

“...and to the left down the hallway are some of the more seriously injured descendants. Its very kind of you to offer to help heal them,” jeonghan pointed in the direction felix and jeongin needed to head in. they bowed and ran down the hallway to one of the many infirmaries located in the Arcade. 

“Are you sure its ok hyung?” jeongin asked as they jogged side by side. 

Felix nodded, “its totally fine with me. Take as much as you need to help the others.” 

“You let me know if i take too much, ok?” jeongin told him seriously.

Felix nodded, “not a problem. Plus if i start to get fatigued, binnie will feel it through our bond and come charging through the place ready to tear it down.”

Jeongin chuckled at that. “And seungmin hyung, only because he loves destroying things.” 

Felix laughed even louder. “And jisung only because he loves being in the center of attention.” 

As they turned into the infirmary, they stopped in their tracks. Felix’s eyes widened at all of the injured descendants they managed to rescue from the facility. All of these descendants were extremely rare or powerful, so they had to be careful handling them in such a fragile state. 

“Oh shit,” jeongin cursed. 

“This is worse than i thought,” felix whispered. 

People were moaning or whimpering in pain, others were staring off into space, and some were on the more aggressive and violent side of things. 

Jeongin was the first to snap out of it. “Well, we have to start somewhere, come on hyung.” he grabbed felix’s hand and dragged him into the direction of one of the healers. 

“We’re here to help!” jeongin told one of the healers with a smile. A pretty boy with light brown hair and keen eyes like a cat’s turned around. 

“Ah, jeonghan mentioned you would be stopping by to help. My name is joshua, im one of the healers that work under scoups and the rest of seventeen.” 

“Nice to meet you,” felix said with a slight bow. 

“So what can you do?” joshua asked, indicating the extent of jeongin’s healing abilities. 

Jeongin chirped up. “I can heal using my own energy or the energy around me. Any wounds or physical injuries mostly!” 

Joshua tapped a finger to his lips. “But wont that deplete you and the others if you run out of energy?”

Felix stepped in, “yeah, but that’s why im here. I can control light and well, im an endless supply of energy.” 

Joshua’s eyes widened. “Wait, for real?” he asked incredulously. 

“Yeah, its all still new to me, but i figured since i cant control all of the energy pouring out of me, why not use it?” felix shrugged. 

“Well ill be damned. In that case, i want you to start over in the back. Those are our worst ones. We did the best we could, but they still need some help,” joshua directed them.

“What kind of injuries are we talking about here?” jeongin asked, cracking his knuckles and stretching his neck, getting ready for business. 

“Mostly big wounds that wont heal or are too deep to heal easily. Some of them were chained up pretty bad and have scars around the ankles and wrists,” joshua told them sadly. 

“Well dont worry about a thing! Ill get them healed up in a jiffy!” jeongin said with a big smile on his face. Felix gave a more shy smile also.

They thanked joshua and headed to the back. 

Jeongin started from the furthest bed, felix following him like a puppy. He held jeongin’s hand when he started getting too tired from using up his energy, and instantly jeongin felt better again, ready for the next round of healing.

“I cant believe all i can do is just stand here and hold your hand like a lost child,” felix scoffed. Jeongin finished up the patient he was with and smiled at felix. 

“You are doing more than enough hyung. All of these people wouldnt be healed if it wasnt for you, so quit your bitching.” 

Felix gasped at that, pouting with a grumpy expression. He wanted to be even more helpful. This must be what chan felt every time he wanted to do something or help other people but was unable to. Like tracking down the remaining descendants. 

Jeongin walked up to the next patient, ready to heal them when he suddenly gasped, dropping felix’s hand. 

They were in a more mild section of the infirmary. The patients here werent as injured as the ones before. But they still took a bit of a tumble and needed extra attention, thats why they were placed there. 

“Jeongin, what is it?” felix glanced at jeongin, and then looked at the patient jeongin was staring at. Recognition spread across his face. “Hey, isnt that the kid we helped save from the mercenaries?” felix asked. 

The patient they were referring to sat up slowly, giving felix and jeongin a glare.

“People are trying to sleep here,” he said grumpily. 

Jeongin was still frozen on the spot, staring at the patient. 

“Sorry kid. We are here to help heal you. Glad you made it back relatively okay,” felix chuckled nervously, glancing back and forth between he and jeongin. 

“Whatever,” the kid said, sitting up straighter against the head of the bed. “Well then, get it over with,” he told them.

“Yedam? Is it really you?” jeongin whispered, going to reach out and place his hand on his arm. 

“Uhm yeah?” yedam answered. 

“Oh thank god! I thought i lost you forever!” jeongin said happily, his eyes starting to water. Without thinking, he jumped into yedam’s arms, giving him a huge hug out of happiness and relief and a little something more. 

Yedam chuckled, but then he leaned away from jeongin. “Ow watch it!” he yelled. “Im a patient who is injured. Also, who the hell are you?” he asked.

Jeongin’s face fell, standing back up and looking at yedam carefully. “What did you just say?” he whispered in a small voice, not believing his ears. 

Yedam stared at him directly in the eyes. 

“Who are you? I’ve never seen you before in my entire life.”