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Smells Like Roses to Me

Chapter Text

 

Chan looks down at the coffee-stained piece of paper. He blinks. He looks up to the fence with nothing but a dead meadow behind it, and then looks back down at the paper.

“Are you sure we’re at the right place?” whispers Jisung, his eyes resting on Changbin, who is inspecting the fence very closely, occasionally sniffing it.

“I’m sure,” says Chan, staring even harder at the paper.

“Doesn’t smell like a boarding school to me,” says Changbin, tilting his head slightly towards the other two.

“Do you often smell boarding schools?” asks Jisung, giving Changbin an incredulous look, to which the other only shrugs.

“The paper says that we’re supposed to jump through the fence and we’re there,” nods Chan, turning to his friends. He smiles, although he is clearly still doubtful. “So, uh, I guess we should jump through the fence.”

“You do realise you sound slightly insane, right?” Changbin raises an eyebrow. “You’re following instructions off of a tiny piece of paper. Not very reliable.” Jisung lets out an exaggerated sigh at the older boy’s comment. The werewolf walks towards the fence, touching it like it’s contaminated with something, and then with one easy movement, he hops over -

And disappears.

“Fucking mages,” Changbin whispers as Chan becomes alert right away, his eyes darting around.

“What?”

“Mages. Should have known District 9 academies would have these ridiculous spells on them. 

“Oh,” Chan says. “So it’s like a protective spell?”

“Protective my ass,” snorts Changbin. “It just hides the school from prying eyes. It doesn’t offer any real protection.” At Chan’s confused expression, he just shakes his head.

“Sometimes I forget you used to be a human.”

“Stop being a meanie, Changbinnie hyung, and follow me already!” Jisung’s voice is slightly distorted and it takes Chan and Changbin a bit to realise that his voice is coming from over the fence even though they can’t see him. Changbin pointedly ignores his words and continues to complain. Chan can’t help but feel fond.

“Who comes up with this idiotic spell anyway,” he grumbles. “Jumping over fences--what is this, parkour?”

“Kinda clever if you ask me,” Chan shrugs and steps closer to the fence. “Should we follow Jisung?”

“No, he means nothing to me anymore. Disrespecting his hyung like this,” Changbin shakes his head. “Rest in peace.”

“Stop talking about me like I’m dead!” Jisung shouts from behind the fence.

“Sometimes I can still hear his voice…” Changbin sighs, staring into the distance as he lets Chan shake his head with a chuckle and drag him over the fence.

The view that becomes visible to them is nothing but beautiful. Chan has always loved nature, and as his eyes roam around the campus, he can’t help but admire the flowers and plants hidden in every corner. The vines have taken over some of the buildings, creating a beautiful forest-green layer everywhere, mixing with the students’ colourful clothing as they leisurely walk around on the paths.

“Is this what schools are like in District 9?” mutters Changbin, subconsciously holding onto Chan’s sleeve. He looks like a child again, eyes full of wonder and a bit of fear, so Chan pulls the werewolf closer and rests his hand on his back.

“I guess so,” he replies.

“It looks amazing.” Jisung’s mouth is open as he takes in his surroundings, slowly waddling towards the buildings. Chan lets out a chuckle and pulls Changbin with him to follow the youngest.

Changbin always used to be the more cautious one. Chan remembers clearly when he first met them, and how it took Changbin weeks to warm up to him. They were only twelve, and Chan was thirteen, only a year after he was turned, so it was a miracle that the younger ones didn’t run away from him immediately. As a vampire, he found that most people avoided him, so he greatly appreciated the fact that he had two werewolves' approval and respect. He often thinks that maybe if they had met in another situation, Jisung and Changbin would have never chosen him as their alpha, but desperate times called for desperate measures, and Chan ended up being a leader and carer for the other two. He likes to think that his pack doesn’t regret that choice. The fact that they stay -- even though Chan makes it clear that they can leave at any time -- tells him that they have no regrets. He can never show them the depth of his gratitude, so instead he looks after them like a guardian angel, and guides them through the dark so they will never get lost.

It’s the least he can do.  

 

*

 

“We’re lost,” Changbin states, rolling his eyes at Jisung lying on the floor.

“No, we’re not,” says the younger, staring at the clouds. “We’re just taking a rest.”

“For a whole hour?”

“We were walking for a long time. We need a long rest.”

“We were walking for a long time because we’re lost!”

“You know,” Chan says with his hands in his back pockets, “We could just ask someone for help.”

“No way,” Changbin and Jisung reply in unison.

“Socialising with people? Not my cup of tea,” frowns Changbin.

“It’s not like these people are out to kill us, guys.” Chan ruffles Jisung’s hair and steps back to stretch. “I’m gonna go and talk to someone. I’ll be back.”

“No, hyung,” Jisung jumps up and links his arm with the older boy surprisingly quickly. “We don’t want you to do it alone.”

“You don’t have to worry, Jisung,” sighs Chan, but he lets the other hold his arm anyway. “I won’t cause trouble.”

“That’s not why--” Jisung gasps and pulls Chan even closer. “Hyung, you know that’s not what I meant!” He looks betrayed and Chan automatically feels guilty for even thinking that Jisung would say something like that.

“We just don’t want to lose you here. It’s a big place,” adds Changbin.

“Alright, alright, I get it,” sighs Chan. “Let’s go find someone.”

He pulls his sleeves down and shoves his hands in his pockets as he starts to walk back to the main path. Jisung and Changbin follow him like lost puppies, which isn’t that far from the truth, and Chan tries to hide his smile when he feels Jisung let go of him to hold onto Changbin instead. Instead, he ducks his head low and tries to focus on his goal, which is to find someone who can help them. He soon realises he has no idea where he’s going, but his eyes stop on a boy who’s hugging his books very close to his chest, glaring at the ground as he’s walking. He looks ready to murder someone.

Chan approaches him.

“Excuse me,” he smiles, stopping right in front of the other boy, tilting his head and relaxing his body to show that he’s not a threat. The black-haired boy fixes him with a glare but other than that, Chan gets nothing. “Could you tell me how to get to the Head Teacher’s office? We’re kind of new around here.”

The boy gives him another empty look, but his body visibly relaxes and his knuckles aren’t turning white anymore from the amount of force he’s using to hug his books.

“It’s in the big, white building.” His voice is monotone but there’s no bite in it. Then he blinks at the two boys behind Chan and tenses up again, and Chan inwardly rolls his eyes at the fact that his friends are suddenly flanking him like bodyguards. Before he can say anything, the boy hurries past them and Chan slaps both of his friends on their necks.

“What was that for?!” squeals Jisung, jumping away from Chan.

“You scared him away!”

“He didn’t seem like he liked us anyways,” mutters Changbin, but he hangs his head low once he sees Chan’s frown. “Sorry, hyung.”

Chan sighs and links his arms with the other two, pulling them towards the building the stranger had pointed out.

“At least we know where we’re going now.”

They quickly arrive and Chan ushers them in. He cautiously stops before the door that has the sign Head Teacher Mrs Par on it, but after a brief moment of hesitation, he decides to knock.

The door opens, revealing a dragoness.

“Ah, I’ve been waiting for you,” she says, her eyes burning a hole into Chan’s as she steps aside to let them in. “Not every day we get new students.”

“It’s a pleasure to be here,” says Chan, subconsciously pulling his friends closer to him. The head teacher’s eyes follow the movement and a wicked smile appears on her face, but she says nothing. Her amber-kissed skin is glowing in the golden light pouring through the window, but her fingertips seem to sparkle with something darker.

“Take a seat, boys,” she says, sitting down. “How was the journey?”

“It was fine, thank you for asking,” Chan answers politely. He thinks it’s okay not to mention that his car broke down three times on the way and that he was stopped at every border by the guards and made to have blood-tests so they could check if he’d drunk any blood he wasn’t supposed to. He sits down with Jisung and Changbin, who both seem very tense, so he pats their thighs subtly to comfort them. They automatically relax into the touch.

“Now,” the dragoness starts, leaning forward. “There are just some certain things I have to go over with you boys.” Now that she’s closer, Chan can see her red eyes clearly, burning with fire. Her teeth seem sharper and her forked tongue slips through them to lick her lips. “You will all be in dorm 3A; however, for safety precautions,” she pauses and the silence is deafening, “all of you except Chan will have a roommate.”

Chan watches Jisung get visibly upset about the statement while Changbin only inhales sharply.

“Of course, as you already know, Chan,” she continues as she leans back, “you will be wearing an ankle tracker from now on, so that we know where to go if something happens.”

“I understand,” Chan says with a tight-lipped smile. He can read between the lines. He understands that the tracker is not for his safety, but for the safety of everyone around him. After all, that’s why he was sent to this school.

So they can keep him under control.

His eyes stop on the tracker, which is on the desk. It looks slightly old-fashioned, and definitely uncomfortable, but at least it’s thin and small.

“You’re rooming with six other people. I expect no trouble.” Mrs Par’s eyes stop on Chan for a moment. “If I hear that there is,” she says, tilting her head, “There will be consequences.”

“I understand,” Chan repeats. There’s silence in the room again, and he feels like the Head Teacher’s eyes are burning holes in him. Both of the pups next to him are fidgeting, although while Changbin looks more uncomfortable, Jisung’s face seems red from keeping his anger in. Chan sighs inaudibly and stands up, bowing towards Mrs Par, who wears a satisfied smile. “Thank you for informing us.”

“Of course,” she says. “Now, could you please put on the tracker? We have to make sure you actually wear it.”

Chan nods and reaches for the object. It feels cold in his hands, hard and uncomfortable, but he chases that thought out of his mind and quickly attaches it to his ankle. He can easily pull his jeans over it so he can hide it, and he lets out a relieved sigh. Although he doesn’t want to hide who he is, it’s always good to not walk around with a sign virtually screaming, ‘I’m a vampire, discriminate against me!’

“Can we go now?” Jisung almost snarls, but the Head Teacher doesn’t even give him a look.

“Yes, of course. Here are your keys.”

Stepping out of the office, Chan raises his chin high and throws his arms around his pack.

“Don’t worry, pups,” he says, glancing at his worried friends. “Everything will be just fine.”

If they notice that he’s more trying to reassure himself than them, they don’t say a thing.

 

Chapter Text

 

When Chan told his pack that he was going to the toilet, he didn’t expect to run into a dying merman.

To be fair, he doesn’t think it’s a normal occurrence in general, even in this school, but seeing the creature drying out, struggling to move on the floor, he doesn’t have time to question it.

“Where’s your pendant?” Chan asks urgently. He kneels next to the merman, ignoring the giant, violently-flailing tail , and fumbles to get his water bottle out of his bag.

“I don’t--” the merman rasps, choking on air, “It’s been taken--”

“Let me help you,” Chan says, opening the bottle. His mind gets stuck in the past for a second, memories flashing in front of his eyes, and he forcefully blinks to chase them away. He frantically pours water on the merman’s skin to soothe the painful cracks that are forming. The other boy sighs in relief, but his eyes are still full of fear and confusion, so Chan offers a gentle smile as he reaches to unfasten the necklace on his own neck.

“I had a friend when I was young,” he murmurs, showing the merman the pendant in his hands. “He was a merman too. I carried this around in case he got in trouble. I still wear it every day.”

The merman’s eyes are wide, staring at the pendant. Chan wastes no time and puts the necklace around the merman’s neck, and suddenly the painfully cracked blue tail disappears. As the boy sees his legs, he lets out a shaky breath, closing his eyes as he melts against the wall, suddenly losing all of his strength.

“Hey, hey,” Chan whispers, putting his hands on the merman’s shoulder. “Stay awake.” The boy is freezing, even to Chan’s cold fingers, and the vampire bites his lip in worry. He wets a paper towel and puts it on the merman’s skin. He knows it will only help in the short term, but he doesn’t have anything else with him that could help the merman, so he settles on treating the peeling skin to the best of his abilities.

“Thank you,” the boy whispers, voice weak. He looks at Chan with half-lidded eyes, trying to sit up straight, but ends up falling against the vampire. Chan tenses, but the boy melts into him so he puts his arms around the merman, patting his back.

“Don’t worry about it.”

For a while, only the boy’s shaky breaths can be heard. Chan holds him close, pulling a hoodie from his bag with one hand. He puts it on the boy’s back to give some warmth, since Chan isn’t offering much, being a vampire and all. He pats his hair to calm him down and lets out a small, relieved sigh when the boy relaxes even more.

“I’m Chan, by the way,” the vampire whispers.

“Seungmin,” the other boy murmurs into his neck.

Before Chan can say anything else, two people burst in the door, and he is pushed against the wall.

 

*

 

Chan was twelve when he was bitten. He can’t remember much other than a pair of red eyes. He can’t really forget about those, to be fair. He sees them reflected in kitchen cabinet doors every time he drinks blood.

When Jisung and Changbin ask about it, he always just shrugs, not really giving a straight answer, because, well, he doesn’t have one. He genuinely doesn’t remember the accident that well, and people only go so far as to ask about it if they ever reach the stage where they’re not afraid to talk to Chan.

No, the accident wasn’t the worst thing that happened. It was everything after that.

Chan isn’t the type of person to make a big deal out of it. If he’s honest, he doesn’t think there’s anything to make a big deal out of. Sure, he isn’t allowed to go to certain public places without a permission slip from the council, and maybe it’s uncomfortable to get his blood checked every month in case he’s secretly attacked someone. His life isn’t ideal, but he also likes to think that it isn’t bad. He doesn’t want to dwell on something he can’t change anyway.

He doesn’t really remember what he was like before the accident. It’s blurry, and he almost feels like a stranger to himself when a couple of childhood memories pop up. His parents never really mention anything from before he was bitten, and so Chan has given up on trying to remember and lives his life with what he has. Somewhere deep down he thinks he’s better off this way anyway. He doesn’t know what he lost, so he doesn’t miss it.

He moved to District 4 a week after the accident. He wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital - he remembers the cold chains pressing against his wrists and he remembers the terrible, terrible ache in his bones, the hunger taking over his body. He remembers the terror after he drank four blood packets in one go, and he wondered if the fear in the nurse’s eyes was only the reflection of his own.

Chan’s gotten used to drinking blood now, but it’s a part of his life that he doesn’t necessarily like to think about. He gets a delivery of four packets every Thursday to feed him for the rest of the week. The blood always tastes bland, but Chan is thankful that he’s at least getting food, because he knows that vampires are the main reason people don’t like to donate blood. However, a week is a long time, and by Wednesday, Chan feels like his skin is crawling and his bones are on fire. Wednesdays are always the worst part of the week for him.

It’s just his luck that he’s gotten into this situation on a Wednesday.

 

*

 

As soon as Chan is pushed against the wall, he can smell the blood. At first he thinks it’s his own because he did hit his head pretty hard, but as he looks around, he sees the guy holding him against the wall and his eyes travel to his red fists. He instinctively closes his eyes because he knows they’ve turned red, and presses his lips together because the more he smells the blood, the more unbearable the pain becomes in his bones.

“Who are you?!” the guy snarls, getting incredibly close to Chan. He’s so tempted. He turns his head away so he can get the crazy thoughts out of his mind before he does something he regrets, like sinking his teeth into the boy in front of him. “I said, who are you?!”

“Hyunjin…” it was only a whisper and yet his brown-haired attacker’s eyes immediately soften as he snaps his head towards the merman. Seungmin is still lying on the floor, Chan’s blue hoodie wrapped around him, as the second new boy checks him over frantically. “He’s a friend.”

Hyunjin is about to open his lips to question Seungmin when his eyes stop on his legs. He lets go of Chan, whose eyes finally return to their original brown colour as he’s further away from the blood. The vampire lets out an inaudible sigh. He’s lucky the others didn’t notice that-- it could have caused some misunderstandings.

“How--” Hyunjin stutters, looking between a pendant clutched in his hands and the one around the merman’s neck. “I thought they took it?”

“They did,” says Seungmin, reaching for Hyunjin’s hand. “But Chan had a pendant.” He smiles at the older boy gratefully. “He gave it to me.”

“Oh,” Hyunjin says. It doesn’t take long for Chan to figure out that the pendant Hyunjin is holding belongs to Seungmin. Chan has his suspicions about the way Hyunjin got his hands bloody, which probably involved beating up whoever took the pendant, and although Chan is against violence, he thinks he would have done the same in Hyunjin’s place.

“I’m Jeongin,” the second boy next to Seungmin says. He looks shaken, his hands still on Seungmin’s back, with Seungmin now leaning against him. “Thank you for helping.”

Chan nods towards him, giving a small smile. Now that Seungmin’s friends are here, he feels a bit out of place, awkwardly shuffling his feet, but he hadn’t wanted to leave the injured merman alone. Before Chan can turn to leave, Seungmin reaches towards him and Chan’s body moves unthinkingly, kneeling next to the boy. He ignores the glare Hyunjin gives him as he rearranges the hoodie on Seungmin’s back and smiles at the younger boy.

“Thank you, Chan,” Seungmin breathes. “I don’t know what would have happened if you didn’t give your pendant to me.”

“I’m glad you’re okay,” Chan says softly.

“Do you want your hoodie back?” The merman asks, already reaching for it, but Chan grabs his hand to stop him.

“It’s okay,” he says. “Can you walk?”

“He shouldn’t,” Hyunjin says before Seungmin can reply. “He needs to rest.”

“I’m fine,” the merman pouts. He tries to stand up, but both Jeongin and Chan hold him back.

“It’s okay, I can give you a piggyback,” offers Chan.

Hyunjin stares at Chan like he’s grown a second head, and even Jeongin, who seemed friendly, looks wary now. The vampire realises that it probably wasn’t the right thing to say because he barely knows Seungmin, but before he can apologise, Seungmin lets out the most adorable giggle and nods.

“That would be nice,” he smiles, making grabby hands towards the older boy, and who was Chan to deny the cutest being in the world? He can see Hyunjin gaping out of the corner of his eye as he lifts the merman up. Seungmin is surprisingly light, and Chan wonders if he eats enough, but for now he chases that thought to the back of his mind.

Hyunjin looks like he’s going to say something, but Jeongin links arms with him, giving an almost threatening smile.

“We’ll carry the bags,” he says, grinning at Chan. The vampire nods as he walks out of the bathroom to the corridor.

When they finally get out of the school building, Chan is faced with two werewolves staring at him.

“Hyung, we only left you alone to go to the toilet,” Changbin deadpans. “How did you already manage to pick up some strays?”

Hyunjin makes an offended noise, but Jeongin hits his arms to quiet him.

“Hi,” he says with the brightest smile, which shows his braces. Chan can already see his pack melting on the spot. “I’m Jeongin!”

“You are so adorable, oh my god,” Jisung squeaks, jumping up and down. “Can we keep him, Chan, can we?”

“No,” Chan says sternly, but there’s no bite in his tone. “Come on, we gotta get Seungmin home.”

“Right, you don’t know where our dorm is,” murmurs Seungmin, sounding more tired than before. Worry flashes through Chan, but he takes a deep breath to calm himself down. Seungmin has been through a lot; of course he’s exhausted.

“We live in dorm 3A,” murmurs Hyunjin, which results in three pairs of eyes staring at him in surprise. “What?”

“I guess we’re your new roommates then,” says Chan.

“That makes sense!” Jeongin nods vigorously. “I still don’t know any of you other than Chan though…”

“Ah, right! I forgot!” Jisung shouts, jumpscaring both Hyunjin and Jeongin. “I’m Jisung, the cutest, and Chan hyung’s favourite!” He bows dramatically, and is instantly pushed away by Changbin.

“I’m Changbin,” he says in a deep voice, fixing the cap on his head. “Chan hyung obviously likes me more, by the way.”

Hyunjin gives them a weird look, but Chan can see the small tug at the corner of his mouth.

“Hyunjin,” he nods, not saying anything else. Chan can physically feel Seungmin rolling his eyes at the other’s short introduction.

“I’m Seungmin,” he yawns. “We ran into Chan in the bathroom.” He tilts his head as he stares at the werewolves. “He kinda saved me from dying, I guess.”

“You guess?!” shrieks Jisung, eyes flickering between Chan and the merman. “What the hell do you mean?”

“I’m a merman,” says Seungmin. “My pendant was taken so Chan gave me his.”

“Oh,” says Changbin intelligently. “ Oh.

It looks like Jisung wants to say something, but Chan sends him a look and he closes his mouth. “You’re okay now, though, right?” he asks instead.

“Sure,” murmurs Seungmin, snuggling his head back into Chan’s shoulder. “I’m really tired.”

“Let’s get you to the dorm then,” says Chan, shifting his balance to get a better grip The merman lets out a contented sigh as he relaxes and Chan is sure he hears Hyunjin growl, but he must be mistaken. Hyunjin’s not a werewolf, since Jisung and Changbin didn’t react to him, and when Chan turns his head to look at the boy, he’s pouting as Jeongin is pulling him away. Chan follows them as he has no idea where their dorm is. Hyunjin seems a bit hostile as Chan catches up to them, but he softens immediately when he looks at the merman. Seungmin has dozed off, his head resting on Chan’s shoulder, and Hyunjin reaches to pet his hair.

“Are you guys close?” Chan asks. For a second it seems like Hyunjin is going to ignore him, but then he looks straight into Chan’s eyes.

“We’re dating.”

“Oh,” Chan breathes, suddenly understanding the other’s protectiveness.

“Yeah, so you better stay away from him, because--” Hyunjin starts, a childish pout appearing on his face, but suddenly he goes quiet as Jeongin’s hand covers his mouth.

“I, uh, I’m not interested in him that way?” says Chan carefully. “Hope you don’t mind if I want to be his friend though.”

“What?” Hyunjin blinks at him twice, lost for words. Jeongin snickers in the background, shaking his head at the other’s stupidity.

“I don’t want to date Seungmin,” Chan repeats slowly, amused by the others’ antics.

“Ouch,” the merman murmurs into his neck and Chan’s eyes go wide as he looks at Hyunjin, who is equally as embarrassed.

“It’s not anything against you, Seungminnie, I’m just not interested in you like that,” the vampire stutters, but the merman only giggles at him.

“Did my boyfriend harass you?” he smiles, at which Hyunjin gasps, an offended expression on his face.

“Absolutely not!” Hyunjin frowns, but the tips of his ears are red, and Chan finds it endearing. “Right, Chan?” He sends the vampire a glare.

“Of course not,” smirks Chan in agreement. “I was treated with the utmost respect.”

Jeongin laughs at his response, lifting his hand for a high five, but Chan only stares as he’s holding Seungmin with both his arms. Hyunjin rolls his eyes at the two. He huffs, slightly walking ahead, but Chan knows that he’s more relaxed now.

Well, at least that problem is solved.

 

*

 

“There’s six of us living in dorm 3A right now,” Jeongin smiles as the house comes into view. “Plus you three, I suppose.”

“Minho hyung and Woojin hyung won’t be back until dinner though,” says Hyunjin. He walks up to the door, pushing it open, and skips inside. “Felix, we’re home!”

Before Chan can even freeze at hearing the name, he hears loud footsteps and his eyes stop on… 

Freckles. 

He feels like his soul has left his body as he slowly looks up into the other’s eyes, which mirror his own shock.

“Chan?”

Felix ?”

The two boys stare at each other. Chan isn’t sure how to feel, but from his slight step backwards, his pack can tell he’s distressed. Jisung and Changbin both step forward, shielding him from the boy in front of them, and the shorter werewolf even lets out a growl.

“Hyung, what…” Felix sounds almost hurt, trying to catch Chan’s eye. Chan bites his lip as he pushes through his pack to look at the mage.

“Let me just put Seungmin down,” he breathes. “Let’s talk after.”

“What happened to Seungmin?” Felix asks, sounding more alarmed now, but Chan offers a reassuring smile.

“He’s okay now. Some people took his pendant but,” he pauses, “I, uh, gave him mine.”

“Bambam’s pendant?” Felix’s eyes get even wider if that’s possible. “But hyung, that’s the only thing left--”

“I know,” Chan interrupts, voice sounding much more rigid than before. “Seungmin was drying out though. I wasn’t going to just leave him like that.”

“Oh, hyung…” mutters Felix, sorrow evident in his eyes. “I’m sorry.”

“You two, uh,” Chan hears a voice next to his ear, “you know each other?”

“We were childhood friends,” answers Felix. “Come on Seungmin, let’s get you on the couch.”

 

*

 

Chan finds himself standing behind the sofa, Jisung and Changbin right beside him, as Hyunjin lifts a glass of water to Seungmin’s mouth. Jeongin is sitting in the armchair, waiting expectantly as Felix stares at Chan.

“You look… different.” Felix tilts his head as he looks Chan up and down, and the other can’t help but smile bitterly. He’s not surprised the mage said that - the Chan that Felix knew was tan, with black hair and bright smiles, and he was always so full of energy. The Chan now? His skin is pale like porcelain, his smile timid and his hair light brown, losing its richness.

“Yeah,” Chan whispers. “I guess.”

“Where did you go?” Felix asks, with something like desperation in his voice. “You left without a word.”

“District 4,” says Chan. “I didn’t mean to leave without saying goodbye.”

Felix nods. He makes eye contact with Hyunjin who gives him a slight smile, so he takes a deep breath and oh, Chan never wanted to make him feel this way.

“Why did you leave?”

Chan closes his eyes. He had known  this question was coming, yet he still doesn’t feel prepared. How is he supposed to answer? That he was left on the side of road with barely any blood in him on the night they had played in the park? That his heart had stopped on the way to the hospital and never started beating again?

That the person Feix knew is dead ?

“Felix, I,” he starts, but the words get stuck in his throat as he tries to swallow. “I’m sorry.”

“Why?” the other asks again, a bit louder. Jisung holds Chan’s hand behind the sofa, giving him a tight squeeze, and for a second, Chan can breathe again.

He can do this. He tries again.

“Felix, I…I died. I’m...uh...I’m…” he whispers.

“I’m a vampire.”

He cannot do this.

He’s always hated the reactions to this statement. It was tough when everyone avoided him as a kid once he admitted he drank blood. Every time he thought he’d found a true friend, they turned away from him when they found out.

They despised him.

And how could they not, when Chan despises himself?

He should have expected it, but it still hurts him a bit when Seungmin flinches. Chan steps back to give him space and ignores the way Hyunjin tenses, and the way Jeongin straightens up, smile melting off his face. But he can’t ignore the way Felix stumbles back, and he feels like his already-damaged heart has just shattered into a million tiny pieces.

“How…?” he hears Felix whisper. For a second he thinks he hears disgust, but then Felix steps closer and his eyes are full of tears. He reaches out towards his long-lost friend. “Chan, I’m so sorry, I didn’t…”

Chan stops breathing. He can’t take his eyes off of Felix, confusion fogging his brain as he tries to understand what’s happening.

“What are you saying sorry for?”

“Chan,” Felix whispers. “Chan, I wasn’t there for you. I heard there was an attack in the neighbourhood but I never bothered to check, and, god, I’m so sorry you had to go through that.”

“Oh,” Chan mutters. He can see the others are still tense, and he takes another step back. “It’s fine. I don’t think it would have been a good idea for you to talk to me anyway.”

“What do you mean?” Felix asks desperately. “You were my best friend!” He frantically reaches out to the vampire, tears building up in his eyes. “You just disappeared, and I didn’t know what happened to you.” He grabs Chan’s hands, holding onto them tightly. “I thought you were taken by District 0.” The mage doesn’t bother wiping his cheeks as the tears roll down. “I thought you were dead .”

Chan only blinks at him. Does Felix not realise that he’s a monster ? That Chan survives drinking other people’s blood? That he’s controlled by his thirst and has to be monitored 24/7 in case he attacks someone?

He’s dangerous .

“Hyung,” Changbin whispers next to him, as if reading his mind. “I think he doesn’t care.”

“Of course I don’t care!” Felix shouts. “No matter what happened, you’re still Chan. And the Chan I remember was pretty fucking amazing.”

And then Chan is embraced by warmth, the mage’s arms holding him close. The vampire can’t help but melt into the touch, still barely believing that Felix isn’t scared of him. He realises just how much he’s missed the mage as he witnesses daisies begin to sprout from Felix’s strawberry hair, telling Chan that the mage is relieved.

Chan’s shoulders feel just a little bit lighter.

 

*

 

Chan knows something is strange the second he sits down at the dinner table. He was expecting the guarded looks and the tension, so he isn’t surprised about the stare he gets from Seungmin, but there’s just something…unsettling about the way the merman keeps his eyes on the vampire’s hands.

Weird.

As Jisung hops down next to him, Chan reaches for the cutlery in front of him so he’s doing something, but before he can touch them, Seungmin screeches. Chan looks up with wide eyes, but Seungmin says nothing--only stares at him, mouth still open from the sound he made.

“Uhm, do you want me to, uh,” Chan starts, more shocked than anything else, “leave?”

“No!” Seungmin shouts, making everyone flinch at the table. “No, uh, that’s not why--”

He reaches for Chan’s cutlery, hugging it close as he bites his lips. Something like realisation dawns on Jeongin’s face next to him, and then he’s making the same expression as the merman.

“What’s going on?” asks Changbin, tilting his head. Chan can tell that he’s growing irritated with the others’ behaviour, and the vampire knows what he’s thinking. The werewolf is probably getting all the insults ready in case anyone comments on Chan’s rank.

“Uhm, it’s just that,” Seungmin stutters, shifting on his chair, “they, uh, have cross patterns on them.”

Oh.

Oh.

Chan can feel his eyes watering, and he blinks forcefully to keep his tears away. He lets out a breathy laugh as he shakes his head, relief washing over his body.

“Oh, Seungmin,” he smiles. “Crosses doesn’t hurt me. That’s really just a myth.”

“Thank god, I thought I’d have to get rid of my granny’s teaspoon set,” Jeongin breathes out next to Seungmin, and after a stunned moment of silence, Jisung bursts out laughing. Changbin snorts, trying to hide his smirk, and Chan can’t help but smile.

Felix giggles, eyes shining brightly as he looks at the vampire, and he looks so relieved, it makes Chan warm all over. He feels fuzzy, because although everyone at the table is still a bit tense, no one is looking at him like he’s going to attack them at any second. The vampire glances at Hyunjin, but the other boy is only looking at Seungmin, a fond smile on his face.

Before he can say anything, the door opens and everyone turns to look at the new arrivals.

“Oh, it’s you,” Chan mutters, offering a smile to the boy who just came in. He remembers this guy--the person who gave him directions. The vampire’s eyes then travel to the boy behind him and oh--

Chan is absolutely fucked .

He is gorgeous . His eyes scrunch up as he smiles, radiating warmth as he looks at the boys at the dinner table. When he looks at Chan, his eyes widen a bit, but other than that, his expression is neutral, if not a bit surprised.

Maybe he’s freaked out by the fact that Chan is definitely drooling.

“Do you know Minho?” he hears Hyunjin ask from somewhere far away on his left, and suddenly he realises that he’s zoned out, so he brings his eyes back to directions-guy.

“Oh, Minho gave us directions,” Chan says. Minho nods towards him, but tenses up as his eyes land on the werewolves. “Behave,” Chan mutters to his pack, and after a bit of silence, Jisung relaxes and grins at Minho.

“Hi, I’m Jisung,” he says. “I apologise if I seemed rude earlier.”

“Me too,” Changbin mutters. “I’m Changbin, by the way.”

Chan pats their knees, stopping himself from looking at them because he knows he will be teased for the rest of his life for being such a dad and feeling so proud. It’s not every day the pups pull their heads out of their asses though, so Chan thinks he’s allowed to be happy about it.

“I’m Chan,” he introduces himself.

“Minho, as you already know,” he says, nodding tightly. He sits down next to Jeongin, leaving the other boy to stand alone.

“Hi,” he smiles and Chan feels like his heart has stopped beating again. “I’m Woojin.”

But, however much Chan wants to just keep quiet and admire Woojin, suddenly he’s reminded of the fact that he is a vampire after all, and the longer he avoids talking about it, the harder it will be to say. He’s not sure how to approach the topic, but before he knows it, Changbin’s hands are on his shoulders, and Seungmin is smiling at him reassuringly.

“Right,” Chan mutters, straightening up. Woojin gives him a questioning look as he sits down, and Chan finds himself distracted once again until Jisung squeezes his hands. “Uh, I guess I should say this before we have dinner.”

He takes a deep breath.

“I’m a vampire.”

The reactions he gets aren’t surprising. Minho blinks at him, subconsciously moving his chair back, and Woojin’s beautiful warm eyes get cold.

“Everyone already knows, other than you two,” he continues, ignoring how jittery he feels. “I apologise it if causes any concerns.”

When Chan looks up, his eyes meet Woojin’s. He seems like a completely different person, and it hurts Chan’s heart in a way that he knows he should be used to by now. The other boy doesn’t frown at him though, and there are no traces of disgust on his face. He’s only guarded, but Chan isn’t sure if that’s worse. He can’t read Woojin’s emotions.

“Hyung, I told you that you don’t need to apologise,” whines Felix. He looks at Woojin, and it becomes almost painfully obvious that Woojin is their leader. The mage has a desperate look as he pouts, “Hyung, I’ve known Chan for as long as I can remember. He’s not a bad person.”

“Felix,” Chan warns as the mage turns to look at him. “We haven’t seen each other in a while. I might not be the same person you knew back then.”

Felix opens his mouth, but no words come out, and it pains the vampire to see the sadness on the mage’s face. Jisung sends him a look that says that was harsh, but Chan doesn’t apologise. He knows Felix is standing up for him, but he doesn’t know who Chan has become. He doesn’t know how much of a threat he can be.

Chan’s just being cautious.

“I also apologise, but I don’t think I’m going to have dinner with you guys,” he continues, now speaking to everyone. There’s a bitter taste on his tongue as he swallows. “I don’t really eat food like all of you do.”

“Hyung,” Jisung whispers, frowning at Chan.

“I’m sorry about the blood packages that will arrive tomorrow as well.” Chan stands up, tucking his chair in. “I know they’re not the best things to see in your every day life. I’ll try to be as discreet as I can.”

“Hyung, you don’t have to--” murmurs Felix, but Chan only smiles, softening his expression.

“It’s okay, Felix,” he says. He pats Jisung’s back, ruffles Changbin’s hair and takes a step back, looking at everyone else. “Thank you for welcoming us here. We really do appreciate it.”

As he walks up the stairs to his room, he can’t help but feel bittersweet.

 

Chapter Text

Although Chan is a vampire, there are still things he needs to do, like sleeping. Contrary to popular belief, Chan doesn’t have dark circles under his eyes because he’s a vampire - it’s more the insomnia that keeps him awake throughout the night. It isn’t usually bad, but, Chan guesses, moving to a new place and practically restarting his life has taken a toll on him and his body. The hunger might also play a part in it - the blood they deliver in District 9 has a different taste and it’s also a bit less than the usual amount. He doesn’t dare to complain though.

A few weeks have passed since Chan and his pack moved to District 9, yet it only feels like a few days. Both Jisung and Changbin have fit in well with the rest of the dorm - while the younger has made it his mission to bother Jeongin, the older, well, he’s focused more on a certain mage.

Felix, to be exact.

Chan is amused by the obvious pining, but he’s even more amused by the mage’s obliviousness. Changbin jumps to every word Felix utters, always making sure the other is all right and completing his every wish. The younger is blind to the fact that Changbin treats him like a princess.

Ah, young love , Chan thinks.

He’s doing all right as well, he supposes. Seungmin likes to chat with him every once in a while, even going as far as teasing him for the way he acts like a father to his pack. Hyunjin sometimes joins the conversation, but sometimes he talks to Chan alone as well. Mostly about Seungmin.

Chan definitely doesn’t mind, though.

Jeongin also hangs out with him, usually during lunch time, probably because even though Chan’s appetite disappeared when he became a vampire, his love for making food didn’t. Jeongin takes advantage of that fact, and happily munches on anything the vampire makes. And who is Chan to not spoil the kid? He’d known he had a soft spot for him the second the younger said with a shy blush that he was a werefox, confessing that Chan and his pack make him feel a bit more at home because both Jisung and Changbin understand him.

Chan swears on his life that he’s going to take care of that boy.

He is also very grateful for Felix. The mage spends almost every free moment he has with the vampire, claiming he has to catch up on the missed years, and Chan wholeheartedly agrees. He learns that Felix trained in District 1 for a couple of years as a mage, but then moved to District 9 because--as a plant mage--not a lot was offered in his home district. Chan could understand - District 1 was known for their training in fighting and military. Being next to District 0…It was necessary.

District 0.

The rogue one.

District 0 is the only district that isn’t joined with the rest. It is ruled by vampires, cyclops, and witches, and it is known for its violence.

There’s a big wall that separates it from the rest of the world.

Still, sometimes a rogue vampire or witch gets through the borders, and that’s what the people in District 1 have to prepare for.

Attacks.

War .

Felix told him he was initially incredibly happy to move, but now he feels homesick all the time. Chan silently agrees, wishing to stand on those sandy beaches again, to feel the salty sea with his toes. To jump into the water and swim until he can’t anymore, to eat ice cream under the night sky with his friends.

District 1 was a place of nightmares for him, but it was also his home.

Although Chan does get along well with mostly everyone in District 9, sometimes things go south. The school is full of people who have a hard time accepting that he’s a vampire, including teachers. The only one that doesn’t treat Chan like a ticking bomb is Mr Jeon, who teaches self-defense. Chan actually does enjoy going to his classes until the day they are taught how to defend themselves from a vampire.

How to kill them.

He understands the safety precautions the districts have to take in case District 0 attacks. He knows that vampires are difficult to kill, he knows that vampires from District 0 are a massive threat to everyone, but that doesn’t make him feel any better. Not with the looks his classmates give him as they stab the stake through the training dolls. Not with the way he has to stand aside in case someone mishandles a stake.

Mr Jeon tells him to stay afterwards. Chan feels anxious, hands slightly trembling after such a lesson, and when he turns to look at Mr Jeon, he knows the teacher saw it as well.

“I am so sorry, Chan,” he says and Chan blinks.

“What for, sir?” he asks. Mr Jeon only sighs, massaging his head to get rid of an oncoming headache.

“For today’s lesson. I shouldn’t have taught it at all. It was in the curriculum, but it’s just barbaric --”

“It’s okay, Mr Jeon,” Chan smiles. He feels lighter already just from the fact that Mr Jeon cares . He hasn’t suddenly realised that Chan is a disgusting monster, someone who shouldn’t exist in this world. Mr Jeon opens his mouth to argue, but Chan shakes his head. “Really, it’s okay. I appreciate all that you’ve done for me. I know you didn’t want to offend me.”

“It shouldn’t be in the course in the first place,” mutters Mr Jeon, but then he lets out a deep sigh as he leans back on his chair. He pushes his glasses up on his nose and nods towards the vampire. “I’m going to talk to the head teacher about this.”

“I appreciate that,” Chan smiles. He turns to leave, but before he can step out of the classroom, Mr Jeon calls after him.

“And Chan,” he says. “If you’re ever in need of help, I’m here.” There’s something unreadable in his eyes as he looks at the vampire. “ You can always come to me if something happens.”

 

*

 

Chan’s blood is boiling as he stands in the crowd, watching the events unfold.

“Fuck off,” Changbin snarls at someone, and as he moves back next to Jisung, Chan can see who he’s talking to.

“Oh, is the little werewolf scared?” Dowoo snickers, his hands on his hips. “Are you afraid of not being a good boy?”

“You’re fucking ridiculous,” Jisung spits. Dowoo moves forward a little too fast, probably to punch the werewolf, and Chan sees red. In mere moments he’s standing in front of Jisung, his hand on Dowoo’s chest as he pushes him back.

“Get away from him,” he says with a low voice.

Kim Dowoo.

A pain in the ass.

The fire mage has caused lots of trouble for Chan in the last couple of weeks he’s been there. The boy has never directly picked on him or his pack, but Chan knows Dowoo was the one who took Seungmin’s pendant, and that he likes to throw some hurtful words towards Jeongin. That’s enough for Chan to feel anger towards him.

And now he’s threatening his pack?

Chan will not tolerate that.

“Oh, what do we have here?” Dowoo grins, a bloodthirsty smile appearing on his face. “If it isn’t our famous bloodsucker.”

Chan doesn’t say anything.

“Is he mute as well?” Dowoo muses. He steps closer to the vampire, almost tauntingly. “Let’s see how he can handle a bit of,” he pauses, a dangerous glint appearing in his eyes, “ fire.

He never gets that far though.

Chan moves with the speed of light, lifting his knee to hit Dowoo where the sun doesn’t shine. Then he trips the other up, twisting his arms behind his back, and with a final blow, kicks him to the floor. Dowoo tries to stand up, but Chan has an iron grip as he leans closer to whisper in his ear.

“If I ever see you near my pack again,” he growls, “I will make sure you won’t ever be able to use your arms.” He lets out a dark chuckle. “See how you can handle fire then.”

Dowoo snarls at the ground, but he doesn’t retaliate when Chan moves to let him go. His cheeks are red from embarrassment as he glares at the floor, and somewhere in the back of the vampire’s mind he knows this will come back and bite him in the ass, but he couldn’t care less at the moment.

He stands up, and he’s painfully aware of the shocked silence. He sees the fear in the eyes of the students around him, and he thinks he catches a glimpse of Woojin, but before he can check twice, he feels Changbin pull him away.

“Hyung,” Jisung mutters as they’re finally in an empty corridor. “You didn’t have to.”

“You were awesome though!” Changbin whisper-shouts, excitement clear on his face. “Dowoo never looked so fucking scared in his life. Hah, that’s what he deserves!”

“Is he bothering you guys a lot?” Chan asks, concerned. How did he not notice it before? He’s a terrible alpha. He can’t even look after his pack.

“Not really,” Jisung shrugs. “He didn’t really care about us until today, for some reason.”

“He just wanted to pick a fight with someone,” Changbin says. “I think we were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Chan nods, still worried about the situation. Before he can say anything else though, two people appear at the corner of the corridor.

“Is that…Woojin and Minho?” Jisung asks hesitantly.

Woojin and Minho.

The only two who haven’t warmed up to them yet.

Chan can’t blame them--he knows that they’re only being careful. As the older ones in the group, it’s their responsibility to look after the kids, and, well, letting a vampire in their house isn’t necessarily screaming that message.

Minho looks lost in thought, and Woojin taps him on the shoulder to gather his attention once they stop in front of the pack.

“Hey,” Minho hesitantly starts, and Chan immediately smiles, hoping it will make the other feel more comfortable. “I, uh, saw you fight.”

Oh.

“Yeah, uh, sorry about that,” Chan mutters, awkwardly scratching his neck. He sees Woojin frown before Jisung and Changbin both talk over each other to defend him.

“Dowoo was threatening us!”

“It was self-defense!”

“No, no, uh, I know that,” Minho quickly says, a bit shocked by the werewolves’ reaction. “I just wanted to ask something.”

“Go ahead,” Chan tilts his head in slight confusion.

“Why,” Minho starts, taking a deep breath, “Why did you fight like that?”

“Like what?” blinks Chan.

“You didn’t use your powers,” Woojin talks for the first time. At any other point in time Chan would have melted just from hearing that angelic voice, but the vampire was too confused about what Woojin said to properly listen.

“I’m not sure what you mean…”

“You fought like a human,” Minho said. “You didn’t use any special powers that you possess as a vampire, and yet you still won.”

“Oh,” Chan finally gets it.

Woojin and Minho both look at him expectantly, and he feels a bit nervous under such attention.

“I grew up in District 1, like Felix,” he starts. “I had to learn self-defense for safety reasons. I practised it a lot when I was a kid.”

Everyone pointedly ignores the painfully obvious fact that Chan still ended up being bitten.

“I still prefer using those methods, because--” Chan stops, suddenly back in time when he was so hungry and he just wanted a bite-- “well, I just do.”

“Oh,” Minho nods, still staring at Chan like he’s grown a second head. “Okay.”

“Why?” Chan asks, genuinely curious about the other’s interest in his fighting style. Minho hasn’t approached him once throughout these couple of weeks, and although he still nods in acknowledgement every time he sees him, they haven’t communicated at all.

“Uhm,” Minho starts, and suddenly his cheeks are a bit red from embarrassment. “I’m, uh, human.”

Chan raises his eyebrows. Humans aren’t rare, but he didn’t think there would be one in this school. Then again, having a vampire here is probably rare too.

“He was wondering if he could take lessons from you,” Woojin says after a second-too-long silence. Minho gives him a betrayed look, but Woojin is only looking at Chan, an almost challenging expression on his face. Chan is too stunned for a second to reply, but then Jisung nudges him and he’s nodding before he can really think about it.

“Of course you can,” he says with a smile. “Only if you’re sure though. I understand if you don’t want to stay alone with me.”

For a second Minho looks confused but then realisation dawns on his face, and Chan is surprised at the quick flash of guilt that follows.

“I don’t mind,” Minho nods, letting out a smile for the first time, and Chan finds the way his lips curl like a kitten’s absolutely adorable.

“Okay,” Chan grins. “It’s settled then.”

 

*

 

“Before we start, there’s just a few things I want to settle,” Chan says, stretching his arms. They’re in one of the academy’s empty training rooms. Minho is sitting in front of him like a lost puppy, and Chan finds it endearing. “This takes time. You won’t be able to suddenly fight in just a day.”

“Okay,” Minho nods. He’s staring at Chan and the vampire wonders if there is something on his face for the other to look at him like that.

The vampire is wearing a black t-shirt with some joggers, the clothes revealing a bit more of his skin than usual. He knows he’s pale, but that’s no reason for Minho to be so focused on him--maybe his hair is messed up? It can’t be, Minho is looking further down, to his neck--

Oh.

Of course .

The scars.

Chan was twelve when he realised there was going to be a bite mark on his neck for the rest of his life. It was barely visible, but Chan always knew it was there, hidden among all the other cuts he has gotten.

Apparently, his attacker was merciless.

Chan doesn’t remember much of the attack, but he remembers the pain, telling him about all the memories he lost. The scars covering his body stayed to tell the tale he wasn’t able to.

“Oh, my god,” Minho suddenly gasps, face a deep shade of red as he covers his eyes. “I am so sorry, that was so inconsiderate of me.”

“It’s fine,” Chan smiles and moves Minho’s hand away from his eyes. Minho is still not looking at him, so the vampire sighs as he crouches down in front of the other. “It was a long time ago. I don’t blame you for looking.”

Chan is worried about the human’s reaction, as he only saw the faint scars on his neck and collarbones--how would he react if he saw the rest?

“I’m really sorry,” Minho stutters again. “I didn’t mean to.”

“And I said it was fine.”

There’s silence.

“Do you, uh,” Minho whispers, “remember the attack?”

Chan tenses up, but doesn’t move away.

“Glimpses of it,” he says distantly. “Not much.”

“It isn’t fair,” Minho says then, a more determined look on his face. “What you had to go through.”

“Life isn’t fair,” grins Chan. “Which is why we’re going to learn how to kick it in the ass.”

Teaching Minho is easier than Chan thought. The human picks up the basic moves more quickly than expected, and soon Chan is able to move on to the more difficult stuff. The boy is a dancer. Minho moves with elegance and the flexibility. He kicks and punches, all the while looking like a prince.

Chan is happy to teach him.

“Tell me about your pack,” Minho asks at a water break. Both of them are breathing heavily, and while Minho is leaning against the wall, Chan is sprawled out on the floor.

“What do you want to know?” Chan turns his head to look at the other. They’re in a comfortable place now, and Minho is not afraid to give him a grin.

“Everything. What are they like?”

“They’re literal puppies,” Chan snorts. “They cause so much trouble.”

“You love them though.” It was a statement, not a question, and Chan nods.

“I do,” he smiles at the ceiling. “They’re all I have left.”

“You guys seem pretty close,” Minho mutters. He sits closer to Chan, curiously looking down at him.

“Yeah,” Chan chuckles. “I met them a year after I moved from District 1. I was thirteen, I think?” He sighs. “They were in a bad place. I took care of them.”

“You took them in?” Minho raised his eyebrows in surprise. “But you were so young!”

“So were they,” Chan reminded the other. “And I couldn’t take them in until I turned fifteen. That’s when my parents thought it was a good idea for me to move out.”

“Oh,” Minho blinks, eyes filling with guilt. “I’m--”

“It’s okay, Minho,” Chan shakes his head at the other’s constant apologies. “I’m glad I moved out. It meant the pups didn’t have to hide in my room anymore but they could actually live somewhere.

“I never realised--”

“Both Jisung and Changbin are tough. They went through a lot and yet they’re still here as these amazing people and I’m so glad I have them as my friends. Changbin is so mature sometimes I wonder if I’m actually the oldest, and Jisung, well, his loyalty is very rare. I’m honored to be their alpha.”

Minho is stunned, Chan can tell that much. He has something unrecognisable in his eyes, but he hides it before Chan can understand what it means. He can’t hide his blush at the mention of Jisung though.

“Don’t tell me you have the hots for my little puppy ,” Chan furrows his eyebrows playfully. Minho sputters, stuttering out denials, but the way his cheeks turn an even darker shade of red betrays him.

“Never,” Minho gasps, a little dramatically. “I don’t even know him!”

“Then get to know him,” Chan smirks. “He’s a ball of sunshine. He won’t reject your friendship if you show interest.”

“Are you sure?” Minho suddenly looks away, slightly shrinking into himself. “I know we started off kind of rocky.”

“Jisung is just protective,” Chan shakes his head, sitting up slightly. “He likes to think he can growl at people and it will solve all of our problems. He doesn’t hate you, he just thought you don’t like me.” He pauses. “ Do you not like me?”

“No, you’re great!” Minho hurries to say. “I never should have reacted the way I did when you told us you were a vampire.” He sighs. “It was unnecessary.”

“It wasn’t,” Chan quickly reassures him. “You have to look after the rest. I understand why you felt guarded.”

“No, Chan,” Minho sighs, “this isn’t okay.” There is something close to desperation in his voice. He leans over Chan, his face suddenly so close that Chan’s eyes cross. “You don’t deserve this.”

Chan blinks twice, and Minho leans back, his cheeks flushed, realising the close proximity they were in. Then, Chan lets out a giggle.

It’s surreal , really.

A human standing up for a vampire.

It’s like a start of a joke.

“What?” Minho frowns, a pout appearing on his face as he looks at the other boy rolling on the floor.

“Nothing, it’s just,” Chan bursts into another fit of laughter, “I’m just happy, I guess?” He looks at Minho, eyes shaped like moon crescents. “I thought I could never be friends with a human.” He pauses, eyes suddenly widening. “Wait, are we friends?”

Minho stares at him and Chan knows he would go bright red if he could. Did he misread everything? Was that a stupid thing to say? What if he offended Minho--

“Yes, dumbass.” Minho rolls his eyes but the tips of his ears are pink. “We’re friends.”

 

*

 

Chan didn’t mean to eavesdrop. He swears he didn’t. He can’t help that on the way to the bathroom he accidentally overheard Woojin and Minho. It’s not even his fault, really--most people tend to forget that vampires can hear better than other ranks.

“I’m not sure if I like you doing this.” Woojin sounds stressed, Chan notes. He already has an idea of why.

“Good thing I didn’t ask for your permission, then,” Minho spits back and oh, maybe Chan really shouldn’t be listening to this.

“Minho,” Woojin says. “Please. Why does it have to be Chan?”

Oh.

They’re arguing about him.

“I just think it’s dangerous,” Woojin continues.

“I’ll be fine,” Minho says, voice tight.

“Why do you even have to do this?” Woojin whisper-shouts. “He’s a…” He trails off and Chan ignores the dagger going through his heart. “You know what he is.”

“Yes,” Minho agrees, but doesn’t say anything else. After a moment of silence, Woojin lets out a frustrated sigh.

“Tell me, Minho,” he commands a bit more harshly now. “I can’t let you just risk yourself like that--”

“Because I’m human!”

Chan flinches from the sudden volume of Minho’s voice. The boy is breathing heavily, his voice shaking as all the words pour out of his mouth.

“I’m human, I’m weak, and I can’t protect myself.” Chan isn’t sure, but he thinks he can hear Minho sniffling. He stops himself from bursting into the kitchen to hug him. “I can’t even protect the others.”

“Oh, Minho…” Woojin’s voice is a lot softer now, with a hint of guilt.

“No, Woojin, listen. You saw how he fought. It was all… human . He may be a vampire now, but he was once a human too. He understands.

Oh, Minho.

“Just--” Woojin pauses, and Chan can hear him walking closer to Minho. Maybe to give him a hug? The vampire isn’t sure. “Just make sure you’re safe.”

“Chan is as human as any of us, hyung,” Minho murmurs.

Wait, what?

“He’s not a bad guy. Give him a chance.”

Before Chan can think about what Minho said, he hears the kitchen door open and quickly moves back to his room to avoid being caught.

There is an almost uncomfortable warmth in his chest.

He sits on his bed, but he’s too out of it to realise he hasn’t taken his shoes off. He stares at the wall, mind racing at a hundred miles per hour, replaying the conversation again and again. It feels like his emotions are on a roller coaster - every time he hears Woojin’s voice his stomach drops, but when he thinks about Minho defending him, his heart soars.

He still can’t believe he’s managed to make friends with someone other than his pack.

He’s dragged out of his thoughts by a knock on his door.

“Chan?” Chan is surprised to hear that it’s Woojin. “Are you awake?”

Did he come to stop him from teaching Minho?  Maybe he wants to tell him what would happen if Minho gets injured. Or maybe he wants to kick him out of the house--

“I guess not,” he hears Woojin mutter. Chan’s pretty sure he wasn’t supposed to hear that, but the way the other boy’s voice bobbles with emotion, he can’t stop himself from opening the door.

“Hey,” he breathes, suddenly dazed by Woojin’s beauty. Even with the dark circles under his eyes and stress written all over his face, he manages to look flawless. Chan sees Woojin blink at him, his hand still in the air to knock once again, but then Woojin suddenly tenses and steps back. Chan pointedly ignores the reaction.

“Hi,” Woojin mutters, sounding shyer than Chan expected. He awkwardly rubs his neck, glancing away. “I was wondering if you’d like a cup of tea.”

Chan wonders if Woojin realises that vampires don’t really drink tea, but he doesn’t mention it.

“Sure,” he smiles.

 

*

 

Chan is looking at Woojin, who’s stubbornly refusing to make eye contact as he glares at his mug. The younger glances at the clock on the wall.

They’ve been here for ten minutes.

In silence.

“So,” Chan drags out, tilting his head. “Did you want to talk about something?”

“Uhm,” Woojin says.

Chan blinks and they’re back to square one.

“Okay,” the vampire says, moving to stand up. “I have an early class tomorrow and it’s already really late, so--”

“Wait.”

Chan stares down at the way the other has suddenly grabbed him. He gulps, ignoring the way electricity runs through his arm from Woojin’s touch and slowly sits back down.

“Yeah?”

Woojin sighs, letting go of him, and Chan realises that the older is struggling. He doesn’t know how to start the conversation.

“Is this about Minho and me?”

Woojin looks back up, something close to shock in his eyes, and then, to Chan’s surprise, shame colours his cheeks.

“Yeah, it is.” He lets go of Chan, curling in on himself, and he looks so vulnerable that Chan has the urge to give him a comforting hug. “It’s not that I want to offend you, it’s just--”

“You’re scared he’ll get hurt.”

“You’re a vampire,” Woojin states, and wow, that’s blunt. Chan physically flinches, and Woojin bites his lips at the other’s reaction. He seems torn.

“I am,” Chan hesitantly nods, a bit more tense now. “He was the one who asked me for lessons, though. He’s human, he needs self defense in this world.”

“I know, it’s just, how do I know I can trust you?” Woojin asks desperately. He looks like he genuinely doesn’t want to hate the vampire, but he’s scared. Chan wants to tell him that he’ll never hurt Minho, that he won’t ever attack anyone, but he knows he can’t, because he just doesn’t know when he’ll lose control.

He doesn’t want to ever again.

Instead he smiles and leans forward to make eye contact with the other boy.

“I was turned when I was twelve,” he starts, and Woojin tilts his head. “I was walking home from the park after meeting up with some of my friends.”

“Was Felix one of them?” Woojin asks.

“Yeah,” Chan smiles. “We went to play there every single day.” He sighs, looking to the untouched cup of tea in front of him. “It was only eight, but it was already dark. I don’t live far away from the park, but those ten minutes cost me my humanity.”

“Oh,” Woojin mumbles, gulping.

“I don’t remember much, but I can’t forget the way I almost escaped.”

This was new.

He’s never talked to anyone about this, because he always thought it was one of his weaknesses. It was something he bitterly kept to himself--he’s ashamed of it.

But he thinks he can help Woojin if he tells him this.

“I remember fighting him. Managed to almost knock him out, but I guess luck wasn’t on my side. I never took my self-defense classes seriously, and that’s what led me to end up in the hospital the next day.”

Woojin doesn’t say anything, and his expression is unreadable.

“What I mean,” Chan starts with a sigh, “is that I was once a human too, and although I had friends to protect me, when I was alone, I was defenseless. Minho has the chance to learn how to fight, so let him. You can’t be always there to protect him.”

“I can try,” Woojin pouts, but there is no heat behind his words.

“Don’t risk it.”

“I know,” Woojin sighs, dragging his hands over his face. He looks stressed, but Chan can tell that he’s already accepted the situation. “I’m just scared.”

Chan nods in understanding, leaning back. Woojin needs a couple of moments to collect his thoughts so the vampire gives him just that--he reaches for the tea in front of him, hesitantly lifting it to his mouth.

He can drink water just fine--as opposed to food, which makes him throw it back up in just a couple of hours. He wonders where tea stands--or if he will be able to taste it at all.

He takes a sip.

It tastes amazing.

He stares at the cup with wide eyes. He can taste the bitterness of it!

He’s hit with memories and he feels like he’s almost drowning in them. There’s an ache in his chest, suddenly longing for his childhood, missing the times where he could eat what his mother made him and could go outside without putting suncream on. It’s sudden, the way he gets consumed by emotions.

He doesn’t realise his hands have started shaking until he spills the tea.

“Are you okay?” Woojin asks, bringing Chan back to reality. He blinks up at the older, taking a second just to look at him, and then forces a smile on his face as he puts his cup down.

“Yeah,” he laughs shakily. “Sorry, just zoned out there for a second.”

Woojin seems unsure, but Chan grins again, and the topic is changed.

“I saw you standing up for your pack the other day,” Woojin mentions, and the vampire tries to hide his giggle at the other’s awkwardness. They both know Woojin saw him--they had talked right after the incident. The boy is rubbing his neck with a blush on his face, looking anywhere but at Chan.

“Yeah,” Chan answers. “Dowoo is a pain in the ass.”

“He goes after Jeongin sometimes,” Woojin nods, to which Chan tenses. “Tells him that he’s a wannabe shapeshifter.”

“What a dick,” Chan whispers. Woojin snorts at that.

“Jeongin came here when he was fifteen,” he says with a soft smile. “In those two years I was the one looking after him. Werefoxes are quite rare, you know? I was the closest thing to his rank, so I tried to help him as much as I could.” To Chan’s confused face, he adds, “I’m a shapeshifter.”

“That makes…a lot of sense, actually,” Chan mutters. Jeongin always sticks close to the oldest of the group, and the vampire has noticed that he sometimes lacks the typical ‘were’ qualities. Jeongin joined the academy quite young, and Chan is concerned about the way he seems so lonely sometimes, despite the way Woojin takes care of him.

“It’s different, being a ‘were’ versus a shapeshifter,” Woojin sighs. “He gets all these instincts and stuff, and I can’t help him with that. I only take the shape of animals, but I don’t know how they act or anything.”

“I get what you mean,” Chan nods. “I became an alpha to my pups when I was thirteen.”

“I didn’t know that,” Woojin widens his eyes. “It must have been difficult.”

“I didn’t really get their dynamics,” Chan says. “It was all so weird. I know they still feel so out of place sometimes, because I can’t offer them what a werewolf alpha could.”

“They love you,” Woojin states. “I’m pretty sure you’re doing a great job as an alpha.”

“Oh,” Chan blinks, awkwardly rubbing his neck. “Thank you, but I’m not too sure about that.”

Woojin seems like he wants to argue, but just shrugs. They end up talking about the others who live in dorm 3A, sharing embarrassing stories of the younger ones and giggling about the way Changbin seems so whipped for Felix, or Minho’s shyness when it comes to Jisung.

The others find them in the morning like this--both of them sprawled out in their armchairs, drooling on the pillows, with their cold tea on the coffee table.  

“Wake up, hyungs,” Minho’s voice awakens them. “I have some news for you.”

As Chan groggily opens his eyes to focus on the human, the vampire already knows he won’t like what he’s about to hear.

“There’s been an attack.”

 

Chapter Text

“This cat is my new friend and no one can tell me otherwise,” Minho states as he stubbornly holds onto the animal. Changbin lets out an exasperated sigh, staring at Chan as a way of asking for help, but the older can only just blink at the surreal situation in front of him.

Felix’s freckles are glowing as he’s growing some dandelions for Jisung, who’s excitedly blowing them on the kitten’s face. The animal seems like it’s given up on trying to escape, only giving a deadpan look at the overexcited puppy, and Chan can’t tell if the reason Minho’s eyes are sparkling is because of the cat or the werewolf.

Seungmin is hiding behind Hyunjin, his frightened eyes darting between the kitten and the dandelions. The mage is trying to calm him down with a smile that he’s trying to hide unsuccessfully, and Chan briefly remembers that, as a merman, Seungmin grew up in the sea--he’s not familiar with pets or plants at all. This is probably his first time seeing either a cat or a dandelion.

Jeongin is hanging onto Woojin, who just looks so done with everything that Chan has the urge to burst out in giggles. He wonders how many times the older wakes up to this.

“Where did you get the cat from?” he mutters, furrowing his eyebrows, and Minho hugs the animal closer to himself.

“It doesn’t matter. He’s mine now,” he nods, and Jisung is quick to agree with him.

“It’s our child now, hyung,” he says, patting the kitten. “I shall name him Squishy.”

Minho gives Jisung a blank look but the other is oblivious, so the human glances at Changbin who just gently squeezes his shoulders.

“Jisung’s always like this,” Changbin smiles apologetically. “You better get used to it.”

“I think we have more important issues to discuss,” Chan reminds all of them gently. Woojin sends him a thankful look, hair still messy from sleeping on an armchair all night, and Chan’s heart goes HELP HE’S SO HOT HELP HELP HELP -

“Right,” Minho suddenly nods seriously. He’s still not letting the cat go and the creature decides to snuggle into the boy to make itself more comfortable. “The attacks.”

“What’s that all about?” Chan frowns, looking at everyone. They all lower their heads, tensing their shoulders as they hear his question. “It seems like everyone knows about this but me.”

“I honestly thought you would be the first to know,” Minho shrugs, and something like worry flashes through his eyes. “It’s…It’s connected to you in a way.”

“What?” Now Chan is really confused.

“Throughout the last couple of weeks, three people disappeared,” Woojin said, straightening up. “The head teacher says they ran away, but the friends of the people who disappeared claim that’s a lie.”

“How did I not know about this?” Chan blinks, shocked by the information. Woojin looks uncomfortable as he averts his eyes.

“It’s,” Minho bites his lip as he looks at the cat he’s holding, “It’s ranks like you.” He sighs. “They’re the ones being kidnapped.”

Oh. 

No wonder he hasn’t heard about any of this. Everyone avoids him like he’s the plague, even the other ranks that are looked down upon. It might be the reason everyone stares at him all the time. Maybe they’re waiting for him to disappear. Or maybe they think he’s the one kidnapping people.

“You don’t think it’s me--” he suddenly gasps, stepping back as he looks at everyone. Seungmin shakes his head right away, eyes widening as he reaches to the vampire.

“Of course not, hyung,” he quickly reassures Chan, and the others nod immediately. Chan tries to breathe evenly, but he can’t stop his hands from shaking. Surprisingly, it’s Minho who reaches for them, handing the cat to Jisung to hold onto the vampire.

“So far two sirens and a medusa have disappeared,” Woojin continues, eyes briefly stopping on Minho’s and Chan’s hands. “I knew…” he pauses, correcting himself, “ know some of them. They…They don’t seem like the type to run away.”

Sirens.

Medusas.

Chan often thinks he’s extremely lucky he wasn’t born as one of those ranks. He could not imagine spending his life not being able to talk because society forbids him to. Sirens are not allowed to sing because of the effects they could have on the people around them--but they are also forbidden to talk because society firmly believes they’re using their magic to manipulate people. It’s utter bullshit and most people know it, yet no one does a thing when a siren is forced into silence.

Medusas are a similar case - being blinded for turning people into stone. He’s terrified for the unlucky ones who are forced to have an operation to have their eyes removed. The medusa in this academy wears sunglasses all the time - Chan wonders if it’s to stop her eyes from turning people or if it’s to hide the lack of them.

“You think I’m a target.”

Changbin frowns but doesn’t deny the statement. Chan can feel his stomach drop, something like fear crawling up on his skin, but it’s gone as quickly as it came. He knows his face became blank from the way Jisung steps closer to him and envelops him in a hug--from the way Changbin places a hand on his shoulder. The cat is squished up against Chan now, letting out a quiet meow as it holds onto the vampire’s jumper to stop itself from falling. Chan softly smiles at the animal, taking it from Jisung.

“Just, make sure you’re never alone,” Woojin says after a moment of silence, a gentle expression on his face. He smiles at Chan, a smile so genuine it makes Chan’s brain stop working for a moment, but before he can do something stupid like tackle Woojin in a hug , the cat is pulled out of his embrace by Minho.

“I told you,” he glares at Chan. “He’s my friend. Get your own.”

 

*

 

“I can end you with my shoelaces,” Changbin glares at Hyunjin. Chan was only meaning to walk past them, but once his head was almost taken off by Changbin’s shoe flying straight at him, he thought it might be a good idea to check what was going on in the kitchen.

“You could just ask me nicely, you know,” Hyunjin grins, leaning against to counter. His arms are crossed as he’s looking at Changbin who’s now barefoot with his other shoe in his hands. Chan doesn’t think he’s threatening at all, as without his shoes on his feet, he’s even shorter than before. 

Hyunjin seems to think the same.

“Bold of you to assume I can be nice,” Changbin growls, stepping closer to Hyunjin. 

“Oh, I’ve seen you with Felix,” Hyunjin smirks. Changbin goes bright red and lifts his shoe to throw it at the other, but--

The shoe stops and levitates in the air.

“Oh my fucking god,” Changbin groans, closing his eyes. “Fuck you and your weird air powers.”

“Well, I guess my weird air powers won’t lift your favourite mug down from the highest shelf then,” Hyunjin shrugs his shoulders.

“You don’t even need your powers for that!” Changbin shouts desperately. “Just reach up for it and give it to me!”

“Magic word?”

“Fuck you.”

“Incorrect!”

“Hey, what’s up?” Chan smiles as he leans against the doorframe. 

“Hyunjin is being an ass,” Changbin states, not taking his eyes off of the mage. It’s a comical sight, really--Hyunjin and Changbin glaring at each other with a shoe levitating between them. 

“Have you tried saying please ?” Chan asks with a smile, and he can hear Changbin scoff as he turns away.

“I’d rather never drink tea again.”

“Hyunjin, could you please get me a mug then?” Chan asks, already moving towards the kettle to heat up water. It’s only when he hears no movement that he turns back, frowning at the way Hyunjin is just staring at him. “Hyunjin?”

“Hyung,” the mage starts, unsure. “Are you making tea for yourself?”

“That’s bad for you, hyung,” Changbin furrows his eyebrows. “Don’t make yourself sick.”

“No, tea is actually fine,” Chan shrugs. Changbin’s eyes widen almost comically. “I found it out when I drank tea with Woojin.”

“Wait, can you taste it?” Hyunjin asks, stepping closer. He has a child-like wonder in his eyes and Chan can’t help but coo. The mage blushes slightly, but he doesn’t get mad, which Chan considers a success. Hyunjin was still wary of him sometimes.

“Yeah,” Chan smiles. He remembers back to when he drank the tea Woojin made him - the way it was like an explosion of sweet and sour. “I, uh, I really liked the strawberry tea.”

“That’s great, hyung,” Changbin’s voice softens, and Chan offers him a smile. “Could you get two cups down from that shelf then Hyunjin?” He pauses, sighing. “ Please.

“With pleasure,” Hyunjin smirks. Within a moment, two mugs levitate towards the werewolf and the vampire - while Chan get’s one with hearts on it, Changbin’s mug is decorated with reindeers.

“A Christmas mug?!” Changbin screeches. “Are you fucking serious right now?”

“You didn’t specify which mug you want.”

“I will end you with my shoe laces you little shi--

 

*

 

Chan spends most of his time with Felix in the greenhouse. It makes him feel all sorts of warm inside, almost like he’s back in District 1 before he got bitten. Despite the familiar setting and the way he automatically relaxes around the mage, Chan feels like he’s forgetting something. 

He feels like that a lot when he’s around Felix. 

“This reminds me of when you tried to plant dahlias with me back home but you ended up just standing next to me the whole time,” Felix smiles softly. “You kept saying that you were the moral support because you didn’t want to ruin the flowers by mishandling them.”

“Did I?” Chan murmurs absentmindedly as he touches the wysterias. Felix pauses for a second. 

“Yeah, hyung,” the mage says, something like concern in his voice. “You did that almost everyday.”

“Oh,” breathes Chan, finally looking up to see Felix already looking at him. The vampire has an empty look in his eyes, searching for the memories. “I can’t…I can’t remember.”

“Hyung,” Felix frowns, turning his body towards Chan.

“Come to think of it, I can’t really remember anything from before I was bitten,” Chan murmurs. “I remember you, and I remember Bambam,” he says, and Felix flinches hearing that name. “But nothing specific. It’s like...looking through fog when I think about home.”

“Hyung, even if you’ve been bitten and went through that traumatic event,” Felix starts, eyebrows furrowed in worry, “That’s still not normal.”

“I don’t know what normal is,” Chan says quietly. He shakes his head, forcing a smile on his face. “I’m sure nothing is wrong, Felix,” he pats the mage’s hair, trying to get rid of Felix’s worry, but he knows he didn’t succeed with the way the younger keeps staring. “Let’s just forget about it for now.”

“Maybe you should talk to Nurse Kim,” Felix says suddenly. Chan blinks at him. “He could help you.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Chan starts, but Felix has such a scared look in his eyes that the vampire sighs. “Okay. If it makes you feel better, I’ll go.”

“Thank you, hyung,” Felix lets out the breath he’s been holding in, turning back to the wysterias. He still looks troubled, but when he looks back at Chan, there’s a smile on his face. “So, how about you’ll be more than moral support this time?”

 

*

 

“You’re going easy on me,” Minho says crossing his arms. He doesn’t bother wiping the sweat off his face as he stares at Chan. 

“I am,” Chan says, shrugging. “We’ve only been doing this for two weeks, Minho, it’s not like I’m going to attack you with everything I got.”

“If someone attacks me, they’re not going to go easy on me either,” Minho frowns.

“I told you, we can’t rush this,” Chan sighs. “It takes time.”

“Attack me properly.”

“You’re doing really well, Minho,” the vampire starts. “You can keep up with me perfectly fine when we fight. What else do you want me to do?”

“You’re a vampire,” Minho rolls his eyes. “You have super speed and all that.” He steps closer, a determined look on his face. “Attack me using your powers.”

No.

Minho blinks, shocked by Chan’s low voice. The vampire stares at the human with a look that’s all too desperate for a conversation like this.

“Why?” Minho asks.

“My powers are off limit,” Chan states with a sense of finality in his voice. “I won’t endanger you like that.”

“I can take it,” Minho furrows his eyebrows. “I need to learn how to defend myself when it gets to situations like this, hyung. You need to attack me-”

“I said no.

Minho frowns when Chan steps away from him, closing his eyes. The vampire tries to calm down his breathing, clenching and unclenching his fists, and Minho realises that he might have gone too far. 

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have pushed,” Minho scratches his neck, awkwardly looking to the side. “I didn’t realise…”

“It’s fine, Minho,” Chan forces a smile on his face, looking back at the human. “I understand why you want to do this. It’s just…” he bites his lip, closing his eyes in frustration. “I don’t think I can control myself if I attack you.”

“Oh,” Minho breathes. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable.”

“Don’t apologise, Min,” Chan smiles. “It’s my fault, really.”

Before Minho can protest, Jisung falls into the room with a smile on his face, oblivious to the tense atmosphere. The human sees the way Chan instantly relaxes, grinning at the werewolf.

“Hyung, I’ve been searching for you everywhere!” Jisung shouts, throwing his bag to the corner of the room. “You missed the latest Changlix moment, it was hila--” he stops, noticing Minho next to his alpha. “Oh, hi Minho hyung!”

“Hi, Jisung,” Minho stutters, and he doesn’t miss the way Chan smirks at him. “What’s Changlix?”

“Oh,” Jisung blushes, a pretty pink spreading across his cheeks as he walks closer to them. “Well, you see, uh, Changbin hyung has taken a slight liking to Felix,” he starts. “And it seems that Felix doesn’t realise how smitten my hyung is with him. We kinda made up a, uh, name for the pair.”

“Changlix,” Minho says, realisation in his voice. “That’s so cute.”

“Jisung came up with it himself,” Chan snickers when the other two go bright red. “Anyway, Jisung, you came just at the right time!”

“How come?” Jisung asks, confused.

“Minho here needs a training partner.”

Minho’s eyes widen as he snaps his head towards Chan, trying to subtly shake his head. What are you doing? He mouths, but the vampire promptly ignores him.

“I thought that was you,” Jisung blinks.

“He’s a quick learner,” Chan says. “He needs someone who has powers.”

Oh, ” Jisung nods with understanding, eyes darting to Chan’s face as if he’s searching for something, but the vampire only gives him a warm smile. “So you want me to fight with him?”

“I think you guys would be a great match,” Chan says with a grin. Minho looks up to the ceiling, praying for anyone to save him from the embarrassment he’s going to feel once Jisung fights him because being in such a close proximity with the boy will surely kill him--

“Is Minho okay with it?” Jisung murmurs with a small voice. Minho looks back down, blinking at the werewolf who is now looking at the floor. He seems unsure, almost scared by the answer, and before Minho knows it, the words are out of his mouth.

“Of course I’m okay with it,” he says. He clears his throat, awkwardly looking away. “I mean, yeah, uhm, it’s fine.”

“Okay,” Jisung smiles shyly, and Minho looks back at him. They hold eye-contact before Jisung coughs and glances away.

“This is painful,” Chan whispers staring at the two. 

“You’re painful,” Jisung whispers back weakly, before turning away to stretch. “So, what do I need to do?”

“Just make sure that you don’t hurt Minho,” Chan says with a sigh, but before the human can protest, the vampire turns towards him. “Same goes to you. I don’t want any of you ending up at the nurse, got it?”

Minho can only blink. Does Chan seriously think he’s strong enough to win against a werewolf? Before he knows it, his cheeks get hot and he turns away. He doesn’t want to show that he’s so happy just because Chan believes in him.

It’s a foreign feeling, really. Someone thinking he’s good enough. 

“Okay, let’s do this,” Jisung says, and suddenly he’s so close to Minho that the human goes cross-eyed. He can smell Jisung’s plum scented shampoo. “Let’s see how you can hold up against a werewolf.”

 

*

 

At first, Chan thought it was a great idea to let Jisung and Minho train together, but now he realised it was a mistake. Turns out both of them are very competitive, and if their bickering doesn’t get unbearable, then the sexual tension does. 

He is saved by the knocking on the door. 

Chan opens the door to see Woojin standing there in all his glory, hands in his pockets as he smiles at the vampire.

He’s beautiful.

“Hi,” Chan chokes out and he quickly clears his throat because it seems that he’s always out of breath when he’s around the shapeshifter. “What brings you here?”

“I was going to talk to Minho,” Woojin said after a slight pause, blinking as if he just woke up. He glances behind Chan, eyes widening as he takes in Minho holding down both of Jisung’s hands as he’s straddling him. “But, uh, it seems like he’s busy.”

“You could say that,” Chan murmurs, also looking at the pair. “To think they were a blushing mess half an hour ago…”

Woojin looks at him with a smile that’s almost... fond ? Chan doesn’t have enough time to think about it, because the older grabs his hand and pulls him away and suddenly Chan’s brain short circuits.

Woojin is holding his hand.

Did he suddenly die and gone to heaven?

The older pulls him out of the classroom, quietly closing the door behind them.

“I thought you wouldn’t want to third-wheel,” he mutters seeing Chan’s questioning look. 

“You’re definitely right about that,” Chan laughs, walking along with Woojin. He tries to hide his disappointment when the shapeshifter’s warm hand leaves his own. “Thanks for saving me.”

“No problem,” Woojin grins, and wow Chan is absolutely whipped, how can someone look so cute-- “Let’s get back to the dorm. I left Hyunjin and Changbin alone and you know how they are,” He laughs. “I’d rather live in a dorm that’s in one piece.”

“Those two are going to be the death of me, I swear,” Chan sighs. “My head almost got decapitated because of them.”

“What?” Woojin giggles. “How did that happen?”

“They were arguing about mugs.”

“Let me guess,” Woojin says. “Changbin was going to end him with his shoelaces.”

“Don’t even ask where his obsession with shoelaces came,” Chan groans. “He never wanted to pick a fight with anyone this much.”

“I think they’re cute,” Woojin laughs as he bumps his shoulders with Chan. “I don’t think they actually hate each other.”

“I don’t think so either,” Chan grimaces as he looks to the side. “If Seungmin’s complaining accounts for anything.”

“Oh, what is this about?” Woojin blinks at him, curious. 

“I think he’s getting tired of Hyunjin always talking about Changbin,” Chan smiles softly, thinking back to when Seungmin just lied on him one day, whining about his boyfriend. “He must be a fool not to see how much Hyunjin loves him.”

“Or see how much Changbin likes Felix,” Woojin agrees. Chan looks up at him, smiling, and for a second the two just stares at each other. It’s only when Woojin’s ears turn red that Chan turns away, awkwardly coughing. 

“Anyway,” Chan says. “I’m glad everyone is getting along.”

“Me too,” Woojin sighs, running his hand through his hair. “I’m glad we’re getting along too,” he says with a quieter voice. Chan blinks at him, smiling when the older averts his eyes.

“Yeah,” Chan says softly. “Me too.”

 

Chapter Text

Sue him if he’s wrong, but Changbin is absolutely sure that he never met a prettier boy than Felix.

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration--Hyunjin was irritatingly beautiful, but somehow Felix just had that aura that pulled Changbin in. His freckles, for once, is what’s making the werewolf stare at his ceiling every night, wishing to trace the constellations on the mage’s face. Changbin usually smacks himself after that, turning bright red, embarrassed that he even allowed himself to have that thought. Still, Those freckles are quite literally magical, and Changbin can’t help but replay the memories where they lit up like stars when Felix used his magic. 

Although these thoughts always make him feel giddy inside at first, his smile always melts off his face when he thinks about the way the mage is seems to be oblivious to his feelings.

Yeah, Changbin might not be the best flirt in the area, but there is just no way Felix doesn’t realise that Changbin has a soft spot for him. 

“You’re fucking whipped,” Minho snickers behind him as Changbin is, once again, struggling to get a mug from the top shelf. He growls at the human, continuing to struggle. “Why did you insist on getting him tea if you know you can’t reach the mugs?”

“He’s been working hard,” Changbin mutters, giving up as he lets out a big sigh and leans back against the counter. “He deserves a bit of a break.”

Minho’s eyes soften as he looks at the werewolf. Changbin isn’t wrong - Felix has been working on some kind of side project in the greenhouse with Nurse Kim, and he’s been coming home exhausted every single day. Whenever Changbin asks, Felix says that the werewolf wouldn’t understand anyway, with his disinterest for plants. Changbin doesn’t mention that he has enough interest in Felix to listen.

“Here, let me get it for you,” Minho says, reaching up to the shelf with ease, grabbing Felix’s favourite mug. “Remember, no milk--”

“Just lemon and sugar, I know,” Changbin rolls his eyes as he grabs the cup and turns away to make the tea. Minho only laughs at the other’s actions. 

“Hyung?” Comes a voice from the door, and both Minho and Changbin turn towards the plant mage. He has a blanket wrapped around him, eyes half lidded from exhaustion, and he blindly reaches out to pull out a chair to then promptly fall down on it.

“Speak of the devil,” Minho smirks, but Changbin sends him a death glare and he shuts up. 

“Hey, Felix, what’s up?” Changbin asks softly, and if Minho wouldn’t be so offended by the obvious favouritism, he would find it cute. “I thought you said you’re gonna lie down on the couch.”

“Seungmin and Hyunjin are there,” Felix mumbles. “Hyunjin is being extra cuddly right now and Seungmin is ridiculously soft for him, it’s hard to watch.”

Minho wants to cry at the irony - here’s Felix complaining about Seungmin being whipped when Changbin is right there hanging on the mage’s every word as if his life is depending on it.

“Are you comfortable enough?” Changbin asks. The werewolf sees the way the mage holds up his bare feet so they don’t have to touch the cold floor, so he takes his slippers off and slides them towards Felix who just stares at them for a while. “So you can put your feet down.”

“Thanks, hyung,” Felix smiles, putting the slippers on. He lets out a content sigh and he nuzzles into the blanket even more. 

“Here’s your tea, Felix,” the werewolf gently puts the mug down in front of the younger, still giving him worried looks as Felix wraps his hands around the hot drink. 

“So fucking whipped,” whispers Minho once again, slowly slipping out the kitchen door.

*

When Hyunjin finally ends the call, he’s met with Chan’s worried eyes. 

“Is everything alright?” He asks with a soft voice, offering the air mage a smile. Hyunjin lets out a shaky breath, forcing himself to nod, but his heartbeat is still erratic and he knows he’s not fooling the vampire. “Do you want me to get Seungmin? Or maybe Woojin?”

“No,” Hyunjin forces it out. “I just need a moment.”

Chan’s hand hesitantly reaches out towards him, and for a second Hyunjin thinks about pushing it away, but the older looks so worried and it makes the mage’s heart feel so warm that he just leans toward Chan, and then the older is holding him. 

“Hey, it’s gonna be alright,” Chan whispers gently, patting Hyunjin’s hair. Although the vampire’s body is cold, Hyunjin still feels comfortable, letting Chan hug him. “It’s okay, we don’t have to talk about it.”

So Hyunjin stays quiet, for who knows long. It’s only him and Chan in the living room at the moment, and Chan’s body is bent awkwardly so he can hold Hyunjin’s weight up, but Chan doesn’t move--he’s only softly stroking the mage’s hair.

It feels comfortable. 

Safe.

Hyunjin only pulls away when the front door opens and Woojin arrives.

“What’s wrong?” he asks instantly, and Hyunjin has to hold back a snort because of course Woojin has this 6th sense for when anyone in the house is feeling even just slightly down. The shape-shifter drops his bag at the door, quickly moving to the living room, kneeling down in front of Hyunjin. “Are you okay?”

“Yes, hyung,” Hyunjin laughs weakly. Chan is biting his lip nervously, so Hyunjin offers him a reassuring smile. “I’m fine, it’s just…”

“Do you want me to leave?” Chan asks with a quiet voice, but Hyunjin is surprised to see that he isn’t disappointed about Hyunjin’s uncertainty--he genuinely doesn’t want to make the mage feel pressured. 

“No,” Hyunjin decides. “It’s okay, you can stay.”

Woojin shares a look with Chan that Hyunjin can’t really decipher, and somewhere in the back of his mind he thinks it must be some kind of parent telepathy, but he quickly forgets about it. 

“I got a phone call from my dad,” Hyunjin states with a dry voice. Woojin tightens his hold on his knees, and, though Chan doesn’t know why this is a big deal, he can tell that there’s more to the story. “He wants me to visit him tomorrow.”

“I can go with you,” Woojin says right away. “I’ll drive you to District 8.”

“Hyung, you really don’t have to--”

“I’m going with you.” Woojin raises his eyebrows, daring Hyunjin to go against him, so the mage just sighs and gives up. He glances to his left where Chan is still looking at him with worried eyes, and Hyunjin can’t help but feel happy with the way the vampire cares so much.

“My dad is a Leader in District 8,” Hyunjin shrugs. “You know, one of the big shots. We don’t really talk, since we’re in different districts, but sometimes he wants to catch up.”

“He’s a manipulative ass,” Chan flinches from the sheer volume of anger in Woojin’s voice. “Sorry, Hyunjin, but your father is a dick.”

“You’re not wrong,” Hyunjin laughs dryly. “He’s not a good person, Chan.”

“Then Woojin should definitely go with you tomorrow,” Chan blinks. “Maybe we could get Seungmin to go with you too.”

“Oh,” Hyunjin breathes, glancing between Woojin and Chan. “Can Seungmin....Can Seungmin come with me tomorrow?”

There’s silence as Woojin and Chan look at each other, a daring look in the vampire’s eyes. Woojin simply raises his eyes at that, and then turns back to Hyunjin. “I don’t see why not. It’s the weekend tomorrow anyway.”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Hyunjin throws himself onto Woojin, tackling him onto the ground, and his laugh melts together with Chan’s as the vampire watches them fondly. 

“No problem, Hyunjin,” Woojin breathes, ruffling the mage’s hair. “No problem at all.”

Once Hyunjin is satisfied with the hug, he gets up and turns to Chan. The mage shuffles awkwardly, then decides to lay a hand on the vampire’s shoulders, squeezing it. 

“Thanks, hyung,” he says quietly, and then he’s out of the living room, running up the stairs. Chan smiles when he hears Hyunjin’s voice from upstairs calling for Seungmin’s name.

 

*

Chan is angry at himself for thinking everything is fine. 

Of course it isn’t - it never was. He was insane for thinking he fits in with everyone. He’s dead , for god’s sake, a vampire , someone who feeds on blood to survive. 

He tries not to show how much it affects him when Hyunjin comes back from District 8 and completely ignores him. 

At first Chan thought the mage was just tired - Hyunjin, Seungmin and Woojin arrived in the middle of the night, so Chan wasn’t surprised when Hyunjin just walked straight past him up to his room. After all, Seungmin only had energy for a weak smile, and Woojin fell asleep on the couch, leaving Chan to carry him all the way upstairs to his room. 

But Hyunjin didn’t talk to him the next day, or the day after that. 

Chan isn’t the only one who notices - Jisung and Changbin often send him a questioning look, as if Chan would know why Hyunjin is suddenly acting like the vampire doesn’t exist. Maybe he did something? Chan tries to remember if he ever hurt Hyunjin. Maybe he was too much when Hyunjin talked about his father?

He shouldn’t have been so pushy after all. 

So Chan lets Hyunjin ignore him, because he doesn’t want to force the younger to talk to him. Still, it doesn’t hurt any less when Chan asks for a mug from the top shelf, and Hyunjin walks away without a reply. 

“Chan?” Woojin asks, looking after Hyunjin as he steps into the kitchen. He doesn’t know what happened, but the mage had a tight look on his face as he stormed away. When Woojin turns to Chan, the vampire is frozen, lost in his head and the shapeshifter frowns at the blank expression on his face. “”Chan, are you okay?”

“Huh?” Chan blinks focusing on Woojin, and before the older can say anything, the vampire is smiling wildly, turning towards him. “Oh, sorry, I spaced out there for a second.”

Woojin furrows his eyebrows, not believing Chan, but there is something about the other’s expression that tells Woojin that he won’t get any answers. 

“What’s up?” Chan asks, walking to the shelves as he speaks over his shoulders. He glares at the top shelf, and then stretches to reach the mugs on it and oh - 

Woojin’s throat gets dry at the flash of marble-like skin at Chan’s waist. 

He awkwardly coughs as he realises he’s been staring for too long, and instead of replying to Chan, he steps closer, reaching for the mug the vampire has been trying to get. Woojin only realises he’s too close to the vampire when he finally lifts the mug off the shelf. 

“Here,” he whispers, putting the mug into Chan’s hand gently, unintentionally hugging the younger in the process. He holds onto the mug a bit longer than necessary, and only steps away when Chan clears his throat. Woojin turns red, realising his actions, but when he looks at Chan, the vampire is softly smiling at him, and Woojin doesn’t find it in himself to feel embarrassed. 

“Thanks,” Chan mumbles. Before Woojin can do anything he’d regret like maybe kiss that smile off of Chan’s face, the kettle screeches, making the vampire jump, and the moment is broken. 

“Hyung!” Jisung falls into the kitchen, Minho right behind him. Woojin and Chan both turn to look at the two who are now on top of each other on the floor, staring into each other’s eyes. Woojin looks back up just to see Chan putting a hand on his mouth to stifle his giggles and Woojin’s heart goes badOOM--

“Uh, guys?” Chan smirks, looking at the two on the floor who hasn’t moved since they came in the kitchen. 

It seems like Minho suddenly remembers that it’s not just him and Jisung in the room, and with a blush he scrambles off the younger. Jisung quickly stands up as well, dusting off his clothes as he turns to the vampire.

“Hyung,” Jisung says again, eyes widening as he speaks. The redness on his cheeks are gone as he frowns, stepping closer to Chan. “There’s been another attack.”

“What?” Woojin asks. Minho nods, moving next to the oldest. “Who?”

“Another medusa.”

Woojin’s face tenses as he glances at Chan. The shapeshifter would have thought the vampire would show fear or terror, but Chan’s expression is carefully blank. He opens his arms and Jisung ducks into them, burying his face in Chan’s shoulders. As Minho makes eye-contact with him, Chan smiles gently, and in the next moment both Minho and Jisung are hanging onto the vampire like he’s going to disappear any second. 

“I’ll be fine,” Chan mutters, kissing the top of their heads. “Don’t worry about me.” He looks up and his eyes meet Woojin, who can’t help but smile fondly at their interaction, even though his heart is heavy. 

“You can’t walk anywhere alone, hyung,” Jisung murmurs. “All the other kids, they went missing because they were alone.” Chan wants to protest, but he decides to stay silent when he’s met with three pairs of eyes begging the vampire to agree. 

“Okay, Jisung,” Chan sighs, pulling him closer. 

“I promise.”

They have a meeting in the living room. All nine of them are there, and the place should feel crowded but Chan can’t help but feel like Hyunjin is miles away. The mage is sitting on the sofa, leaning forward but his whole body is turned away from Chan.

Whatever Chan has done must have been really bad for Hyunjin to hate him this much. 

“We’re making this rule for the safety of all of us,” Woojin states. “We don’t know who are kidnapping people but the teachers don’t do anything about this so we’re left on our own. Nobody’s leaving this house alone.”

“I talked to my father,” Hyunjin says, but his voice lacks the usual energy. “Hopefully he will do something about it.”

“Will Chan be okay?” Jeongin asks, blinking towards the vampire, and Chan’s heart sinks at the way the werefox is hiding behind Seungmin. He seems scared - for himself or Chan, the vampire doesn’t know.

“I can protect myself,” Chan smiles gently. For a second he thinks he hears someone scoff, but when he turns his head, he only sees Hyunjin glaring at his shoes. Chan blinks, a terrible feeling creeping over him as he crosses his arms protectively. 

He doesn’t notice Changbin watching the whole interaction. 

“Alright, that’s all for today,” Woojin smiles, relaxing a bit. “I’ll be making chicken for dinner, so I swear to god if not everyone is downstairs by seven, I will eat it all by myself!”

*

“Spill it,” Changbin says when it’s only him and Chan left in the living room. 

“What?”

“I said spill it,” says the werewolf a bit harsher. “Why isn’t Hyunjin talking to you?”

Chan shrugs his shoulders, forcing his body to relax so he doesn’t give away the fact that he’s upset about this. He can’t fool Changbin though.

“Hyung, you have to tell me,” Changbin murmurs, moving closer. “It might have been just a misunderstanding, so tell me and I can help--”

“I don’t know!” Chan raises his voice slightly, immediately regretting when he sees Changbin flinch. “I don’t know,” he says again, his body going limp as he buries his head in his hands. “I thought about it for days and days now, but I don’t know what I did to make him hate me.”

“He doesn’t hate you,” Changbin says right away, but Chan can hear the uncertainty in his voice and that breaks him even more. “Chan, you’re impossible to hate.”

“Maybe I pushed too hard when we talked about his dad,” the vampire whispers. “I should have known it was too personal for me to try and help him.”

“Did he tell you to leave?” Changbin asks quietly. Chan shakes his head. “Then you didn’t step over the line. For god’s sake, he was telling me about how thankful he is to you because he could bring Seungmin along.”

“Then what did I do?” Chan whispers, exhaustion dripping from his voice. “What did I do to make him act like I don’t exist?”

Changbin helplessly watches as his leader’s defences break down. The vampire is quietly sniffling in his hands, trying to hide his face, and Changbin pulls him into his embrace, trying to stop his own tears from falling. 

“We’ll figure it out, hyung, don’t you worry,” he says instead, forcing a smile on his face. “I promise you that I’ll figure it out.”

Chapter Text

Felix has been exhausted for the last couple of weeks. He’s barely been home, working in the greenhouse every night until he feels like he physically can’t do anything anymore. He knows Chan told him not to worry about anything, but Felix can’t help but think that his memory loss has something more behind it. He tried several things - creating potions that should help with memory loss and slipping them into Chan’s tea, hiding pendants in Chan’s bed so he would wake up remembering what he forgot, but every time he thought he finally did it, Chan still couldn’t remember a thing. And Felix knew this was unnatural. He knew it from the second Chan asked him that question.

“How are your parents?” he asks with a smile as he watches Felix water the wisterias. The plant mage freezes, dropping the watering can, and the vampire is by his side in less than a second. “Felix?” he asks almost frantically. “Are you okay?”

Felix only looks at him silently, his throat closed up from all the emotions. Chan stares at him with worry in his eyes, both of them ignoring the way every plant seemed to dim in the greenhouse. 

“Did I...Did I say something wrong?” Chan whispers. 

“My parents, they, uh,” Felix struggles to take deep breaths but Chan’s holding his hands and it makes it just a little bit easier. “They died.”

“God, I am so sorry Felix, I didn’t know,” Chan murmurs, pulling the mage into an embrace. Felix can see him holding back tears, and he can understand why - Felix’s parents treated Chan like he was their son too.

It breaks Felix’s heart to say what he’s about to say. 

“You did know.”

Chan pulls back, a confused look on his face. 

“What?”

“You knew,” Felix whispers. He doesn’t let Chan go, afraid that if he does, the vampire would disappear. “It happened when I was nine.”

Chan only stares at him, searching for any lies in Felix’s eyes, but he doesn’t find any. The mage can feel the older start to shake in his arms, and then Chan is trying to pull himself away. 

“No,” he says, and Felix has a feeling he’s talking to himself. “No, I can’t have forgotten that.”

“It’s okay, Chan,” Felix tries to reassure him, but he starts to realise that it isn’t working. Chan is stuck in his own head now, desperately searching for memories he can’t find. “Chan, please, listen--”

“How could I forget?” Chan whispers, barely breathing. “Why can’t I remember ?” The vampire is trembling, eyes staring into nothingness, hyperventilating in Felix’s arms, and Felix feels his heart break for the older all over again. The way Chan is so frantic, it scares the mage. Chan was his anchor when he was young, and he is Felix’s anchor now. Seeing him fall apart like this--

Chris .”

Suddenly there’s silence. Chan is staring at Felix, mouth open as the younger finally lets him go.

“Don’t call me that,” Chan says weakly. Felix gives him a sad smile, placing his hand on the vampire’s cheek. 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know how else to get your attention.”

Chan doesn’t say anything, he only sinks to the ground, hugging his knees as he looks away. Felix can’t hold his tears back anymore, sitting down next to the vampire, and when Chan glances at him, he sees his own emotions reflected in them. 

“Don’t tell the others,” he whispers quietly. “Please don’t tell them.”

“Hyung,” Felix starts, but Chan shakes his head. 

“Felix, please,” he begs. “You can’t tell them. You can’t.”

“Why?” The mage asks with a frown on his face. “They could help you.”

“You can’t tell them I can barely remember when I was human, Fe,” he sighs. “ That I can’t remember my humanity .”

“That is not what makes you human, Chan,” Felix says forcefully. “You know what makes you human?” He forces Chan to look at him. “Your kindness . The way you naturally take care of everyone. The way you literally adopted all of us the second you stepped into our house. How you always notice if we’re feeling down, and you’re always there to offer us support. Chan, you’re as human as you can be.”

Chan leans his head on Felix’s shoulders, closing his eyes as if he’s in pain. He is , Felix thinks. Anyone who’s going through what he is would be.

“I want to believe you so bad, Fe,” Chan whispers as if he’s telling a secret. “But I just can’t .”

Felix stays silent for a moment, only just realising how much Chan has been hurting. The vampire was always smiling, always avoiding the spotlight, making sure that other people are alright. 

“That’s okay,” Felix decides to say. “I’ll say it until you believe me.”

That day, Felix told himself that he will bring Chan’s memories back, no matter what. 

*

Between studying and working in the greenhouse, Felix has barely been home, but only when he entered the house hearing Hyunjin and Changbin fight did he realise that he missed a lot. 

“What the fuck is your problem?” The werewolf growled at the mage, pushing him into the wall. Hyunjin wasted no time to growl back, snarling into Changbin’s face.

“What the fuck is my problem? What the fuck is yours?!”

“Guys, calm down,” Seungmin tries to step between them, but he gets pushed out of the way by his boyfriend. Felix can see the hurt look on his face, and he wonders just what happened while I was away?

“What makes you think you can act like a dick without an explanation?” Changbin asks, crouching into an attacking position. The air around Hyunjin starts swirling enough for both Changbin and Seungmin to be pushed back.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Hyunjin shouts. 

“You owe Chan a pretty fucking big explanation, buddy,” Changbin says. 

Hyunjin’s eyes flash white as he growls again.

“I don’t owe him anything .”

“How fucking dare you say that,” Changbin whispers, for the first time something more than anger in his voice. “How can you say what?”

Hyunjin only glares at the boy, both his hands in fists. 

“He doesn’t say a thing because he thinks he deserves this,” Changbin gestures at nothing around him, despair in his voice. “I don’t know why you’re doing this but the least you could do is tell him why .”

“I don’t owe anything to a vampire, ” Hyunjin hisses, and then Changbin is lunging towards him. 

“Enough!” 

Felix steps in front of Hyunjin, grabbing onto Changbin’s shoulders as Seungmin continues to shout at them.

“What do you think you’re doing?” He grabs Hyunjin, pulling him away. “Both of you, picking a fight like this. This is unacceptable.”

“Get him out of my sight before I do something I regret,” is the only thing Changbin says.

“Changbin, please,” Felix whispers, expecting the werewolf to soften. Changbin however, directs his glare at him, and the plant mage has never felt so much rage from a single look. 

“No, Felix,” Changbin mutters. “I cannot accept this.”

“What’s going on?”

There is silence. Felix slowly turns his head to see Woojin and Chan stand at the door. The shapeshifter has his arms over Chan’s shoulder, and from the vampire’s melting smile, they were enjoying their walk home before they walked into the fight in the living room. 

“Nothing, Woojin hyung,” Seungmin says a little forcefully, and then he’s disappearing up the stairs dragging Hyunjin behind him. Felix gulps as he’s left alone with Changbin, who is now staring at the floor. The plant mage lifts his hands off the other’s shoulders. 

“Changbin?” Chan asks gently. “Are you okay?”

Changbin looks up at him with something unreadable in his eyes. He nods, relaxing his shoulders. 

“Yes, hyung,” he murmurs. “I was just trying to talk to Hyunjin.”

Chan opens his mouth to say something, but after looking at how the werewolf is tensing up, he decides against it. He lets out a heavy sigh, walking up to Changbin, and Felix can see something like shame appearing on the werewolf’s face before Chan pulls him into a hug. 

“I know you’re looking out for me, pup,” Chan says sweetly, patting Changbin’s hair. “But you have to accept that Hyunjin has his reasons. Don’t pressure him into anything, okay?”

“I can’t promise anything, hyung,” Changbin frowns. “I won’t go bother him anymore, but I just can’t accept his behaviour.”

“Can somebody tell me what’s going on ?” Woojin asks, stepping closer to Felix and the others. The plant mage shrugs, still being lost, but he notices the way Chan’s face tightens as Changbin turns his face away.

“Nothing, Woojin,” the vampire says, but it seems like the shapeshifter is not accepting no for an answer. 

“No, Chan, this is clearly something big. Tell me,” he commands, but Chan doesn’t open his mouth, only staring back at the older. 

“Hyunjin isn’t talking to him.”

It is Seungmin who says that, standing on the stairs. His mouth is pressed into a thin line, and he’s looking at Chan with an unreadable expression. Chan averts his eyes. 

“What?” Felix asks, confused. “Why? That doesn’t make sense.”

“I don’t know,” Seungmin shrugs. “He isn’t telling me anything.”

“Chan?” Woojin turns to the vampire, who bites his lip as he holds onto Changbin tighter. 

“I’m...I’m not sure why,” he mutters hesitantly. 

“Wait, you don’t know why?” Seungmin asks, and his whole body posture changes in a second. “Did he not tell you?”

“It must have been something I’ve done,” Chan says. “Maybe I didn’t realise I was stepping over the line.”

“No, that isn’t it,” Changbin growls. “Hyunjin quite clearly stated that he doesn’t owe a vampire anything.”

Felix can see the exact moment Changbin regrets saying that. 

Chan tenses up, pulling away from the werewolf as his expression goes carefully blank. It hurts Felix to see it--it looks like Chan was expecting that answer deep inside, but didn’t think it was going to be said out loud. 

“Hyunjin isn’t like that,” Seungmin protests weakly, but when he looks at Felix, they both know that they can’t deny hearing the air mage say that. 

“It’s alright,” Chan smiles, and it scares Felix how real it looks. “I’ll just try and stay away from him. I don’t want to make him uncomfortable.”

“Chan, stop ,” Woojin begs, and wow, Felix really did miss a lot--since when was Chan and Woojin so close? He never would have thought the shapeshifter would look at Chan with so much pain in his eyes. “You can’t just shut us out. Talk to us.”

“I’m just gonna go to my room,” Chan ignores Woojin. Felix wants to call after him, tell him that being a vampire is nothing to be ashamed of, but his words are stuck in his throat, not knowing how he can fix what just happened. Changbin whimpers a weak hyung as Chan walks past him, but the vampire only offers him a reassuring smile, and as he walks up the stairs next to Seungmin, he makes sure he doesn’t touch the mermaid. Seungmin’s eyes fill with guilt as he realises he made the vampire feel like he’s against him too. 

Maybe they all did at one point.

Felix doesn’t know how to deal with the fact that their family just crumbled before his eyes. 

*

“Talk to me, Hyunjin,” Felix whispers as he sits on the air mage’s bed. Hyunjin is playing with the sleeves of his t-shirt, avoiding Felix’s eyes. 

“I don’t know what to say,” he sighs, leaning his head back. 

“Do you want me to talk to Changbin?” Felix suggests. “I can calm him down. He’ll come around.”

Hyunjin stares at him with something unreadable in his eyes, eyebrows burrowing. 

“At one point you’re going to realise what’s right in front of your eyes,” he says cryptically, and Felix can’t help but snort.

“What does that even mean?”

Hyunjin holds a smile back, and Felix is glad he could bring at least a little happiness to Hyunjin. 

“You’ll see,” he whispers. His smile melts off his face as he looks away again. “You’re close to Chan, aren’t you?”

Felix thinks back to all of their childhood memories, their jokes in the greenhouse and the way he held Chan when he realised he’s missing half his childhood. 

“He’s my anchor,” Felix answers confidently. “He means a lot to me.”

Hyunjin nods. 

“What if he changed while he was away?” He murmurs. “You don’t know anything about why he moved here, or what he’s done in the past.” He looks up at the plant mage hesitantly. “How can you trust him?”

Felix stares at him silently, trying to process the words. 

“He never gave me a reason to not trust him,” Felix says a bit harsher than he wanted to. Hyunjin flinches, and the plant mage forces himself to relax. “Chan made sure I get to bed every night. He made me breakfast when I was late from school, he came to talk to me in the greenhouse every day because he was afraid I would be lonely.” He sighs, shaking his head. “He’s only ever done good.”

“I’m not sure about that,” Hyunjin whispers. Felix frowns, but the boy only shakes his head. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Felix waits, hoping that the air mage will change his mind, but Hyunjin stubbornly stares out his window, ignoring him. 

“Okay,” he whispers. “Please rest."

*

“Can I talk to you?” Felix asks, leaning against the doorframe. Changbin looks up from the chair he’s sitting on, and he automatically relaxes. 

“Yeah,” he breathes, and Felix’s heart sinks at the way he sounds so exhausted.

“Are you okay?” Felix asks. Changbin nods, sighing, and he motions for Felix to come inside. 

“I’ve been better,” he says. “What did you want to talk about?”

Felix hesitates, realising that what he’s about to ask might be a bit too much. But he thinks about how nice Changbin is and how he was always willing to help Felix out, and he tries to give it a go.

“Can you talk to Hyunjin?” He murmurs. Changbin’s eyes narrow. “I think he’s just confused, hyung. Maybe if you talk to him nicely--”

Changbin scoffs, and Felix feels like he’s been slapped by the pure coldness of it.

“I’m done,” Changbin says, running his hand through his hair. “I know I do a lot of things for you, Felix, but ignoring the way Hyunjin is treating my alpha isn’t one of them.”

“That’s not what I’m saying--” Feli stutters, but Changbin doesn’t let him finish.

“Do you not even care about how Chan feels?” he growls, and Felix can feel tears building up. “He’s been miserable about this! Ever since Hyunjin came back from District 8, he’s been treating Chan like he’s diseased!”

Since District 8? How could Felix miss all of this?

“Chan cried in my arms because of it, Felix,” Changbing lowered his voice. “His stupid shield that he always wears broke down because that air mage is ignoring him. How can you not care?”

“I care!” Felix raises his voice. “Of course I fucking care! Chan is literally the most important person in my life, Changbin. He’s like my older brother. He raised me when my parents died. Of course I fucking care!”

Changbin shrinks back, but the fire doesn’t disappear from his eyes.

“Then don’t expect me to go and try to have a conversation with Hyunjin. I’m done with him, and not even you can change my mind.”

They’re both breathing heavily at this point. Felix is trying to hold his tears back unsuccessfully, but when they roll down his cheek, Changbin doesn’t move to wipe them off. The werewolf does let out a defeated sigh though, turning away.

“I’m sorry I shouted at you,” he murmurs. 

“I’m sorry I asked you to talk to Hyunjin,” Felix says after a bit of silence as well. He wipes his face, trying to calm himself down. “I didn’t realise how insulting this must have been for you.”

“No, you’re just trying to solve this mess, and that’s more than what’s any of us are doing, Felix,” Changbin smiles weakly, and Felix smiles back. “But talking to Hyunjin, it will only end up doing more damage. He’s not willing to tell us what’s the problem, and I’m not willing to accept his treatment of Chan hyung.”

“I understand,” Felix whispers. 

They stand there in silence, looking at each other, before Changbin awkwardly averts his eyes. 

“Is that...Is that all you wanted to talk about?” The werewolf is clenching and unclenching his fists, and the mage can see the red marks appearing on Changbin’s palm from his nails digging into his skin.

Felix can read between the lines--he knows this was his que to leave. 

“Yeah,” he nods. “I’ll see you at dinner?”

“I wouldn’t miss Woojin hyung’s chicken for the world,” Changbin chuckles, but it feels fake. 

“Same here,” Felix smiles. He lingers in the door, eventually waving at the werewolf awkwardly, then closing the door behind him.

He doesn’t hear Changbin’s choked sob muffled by the door as he walks away.

Chapter Text

“I promise he’s nice,” Felix smiles encouragingly, but Chan is not too convinced. The plant mage has told him that Nurse Kim has been helping with trying to get the vampire’s memories back, but Chan still couldn’t shake the feeling off that the second he steps into the Nurse’s office, Nurse Kim will turn his back on him.

Lately he’s been feeling like that a lot.

Sometimes, Chan walks past Hyunjin’s door and he can see the air mage just sitting on his bed, staring at the wall. Each time the vampire tries to stop his urge to go in there to talk to Hyunjin. He wants to fix things, but he doesn’t know how , so he tries to remove the root of the problem - himself. He desperately wants to believe that if he just hides away as much as he can, maybe Hyunjin and Changbin will be back to lovingly bickering with each other, and Felix and Changbin won’t be awkwardly avoiding the well needed conversation every time they’re in the same room. 

Chan hates how everything has fallen apart in just a few days. 

“What if he doesn’t want to help me?” Chan whispers hesitantly. 

“He’s been spending all his time brewing potions with me, Chan, of course he wants to help,” Felix rubs his arms reassuringly. 

“He might change his mind once he meets me,” Chan mutters bitterly. “People eventually do.”

He has meant to say that to himself, but from the pained expression on Felix’s face he knows he didn’t succeed.

“Hyung--,” Felix mutters, but before he can finish his sentence, the door to the Nurse’s office opens, and a young man with messy blond hair appears in front of them. 

“Felix!” he says with a grin and Chan’s eyes widen hearing the deep voice that definitely doesn’t match the face of the man. “Is this your friend?”

“Chan,” the vampire mutters, clearing his throat. “My name is Chan, nice to meet you.”

“Oh, how polite,” Nurse Kim smiles kindly. He steps aside, gesturing inside. “Come in, come in.”

As Chan steps into the office, he notices two things. The first thing is the fact that there are teddy bears scattered around everywhere, and the other is that Mr Jeon is sitting on Nurse Kim’s desk. There’s a mug in his hand with the words the world’s best teacher! on it, and he’s holding it like it’s the most precious thing he’s ever owned. 

“Chan!” Mr Jeon’s eyebrows raise as he stands up. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Good afternoon, Mr Jeon,” Chan smiles unsurely. Although Mr Jeon is one of the only teachers who treat him like a normal student, Chan was still confused as to why Mr Jeon was in the nurse’s office. 

“Jungkook, this is the student Felix has been trying to help,” Nurse Kim smiles fondly at the teacher. Chan glances at Felix who’s trying to hold back a grin, not-so-subtly pointing at the two adults while dramatically whispering they have the hots for each other!

Mr Jeon smiles back at Nurse Kim, but there is evident worry in his eyes when he looks back at Chan. The vampire avoids his gaze, afraid that the only teacher who actually likes him will think that there’s just too much wrong with him. 

“Chan is one of my best students,” Mr Jeon says.“I’ll do anything I can to help.”

Chan would blush if he could at the compliment, but instead he just shyly smiles at Mr Jeon, who nods back at him encouragingly. 

“Right, we’re going to have to do some test, Chan,” Nurse Kim sits the vampire down into a chair. “I’m a Medic Mage, so I’ll just take a look at you, and I’ll probably be able to find what’s wrong.” Chan tenses when Nurse Kim touches his temple, but then he makes eye-contact with Felix who gives him a thumbs up, and the vampire tries to relax. 

He almost manages to, until he feels a flash of pain in his head and then suddenly his eyes roll back. 

*

“Taehyung, calm down, everything is going to be okay.”

“I probably scared him to death, Jungkook. I didn’t think he was gonna pass out!”

“That’s because he wasn’t supposed to. You did nothing wrong, Tae.”

Chan groans, lifting his hand to his head to get rid of his headache somehow. He feels fuzzy, like he just stuffed himself with cotton, and when he opens his eyes, everything is too bright. 

“Chan hyung? Hyung, are you alright?” Felix’s deep voice cuts through the fuzziness of his mind, and he tries look at his childhood best friend, forcing his eyes to stay open even though it hurts him.

“Yeah, I’m just peachy,” Chan mumbles. 

“I am so sorry, Chan,” Nurse Kim’s hand appeares on his shoulder, helping him to sit up. “You weren’t supposed to faint. I didn’t realise... “

Chan frowns as the nurse bit his lip and sighs, rearranging the pillows behind him. 

“You didn’t realise what?” Chan asks carefully. He holds onto the nurse’s hand, noticing the way it’s trembling. “It’s okay, Nurse Kim, I’m not hurt. Please don’t feel bad.”

Mr Jeon throws his arm over Nurse Kim, forcing him to sit down. The teacher looks extremely worried, and Chan is not sure if it’s for him, the nurse, or both. 

“Chan, what I found…It’s not going to be easy to hear.”

Felix furrows his eyebrows, glancing at Chan before his attention is back on the nurse. 

“Chan,” Nurse Kim says, breathing in like he’s trying to gather some strength. “From what I found, I came to the conclusion that…”

“Yeah?” Felix hurries Nurse Kim, who just sighed, finally letting the words out.

“You’re cursed.”

What?

What the hell does that mean, Nurse Kim?” Felix asks, panic rising in his voice. “Cursed?!”

Chan blanks out the rest. He stares at the wall, trying to process the new information, not realising that his hands started shaking. 

Cursed. 

By a witch.

A curse that won’t ever disappear unless the witch who cast it takes it off of him, or the witch dies. 

Chan just has the worst luck, doesn’t he?

“Chan hyung, look at me, please,” Felix’s worried voice brings him back to the present, where the mage is holding onto his hand like Chan’s going to disappear any second. 

“I’m here, I’m here,” Chan breathes. “Sorry.”

“Don’t apologise, Chan,” Nurse Kim smiles sadly. “Anyone in your position would feel shaken.”

“When was the curse cast?” Felix asks suddenly. “Can you tell?”

“Yes,” Nurse Kim says. “It’s a little fuzzy, but from what I felt, it was placed on him around half a year ago.”

Of course. 

That makes sense. 

Chan wants to hide, but he knows he can’t avoid the next question. 

“Did anything happen half a year ago, Chan?” Felix asks. “Did you talk to a witch?”

“I can’t remember,” Chan forces it out between his clenched teeth, and technically he isn’t lying. He really can’t remember if he talked to a witch half a year ago. He has a pretty good guess when and why he was cursed though.

“Is there anything we can do, Taehyung?” Mr Jeon asks the nurse, and Chan is surprised to hear the pure worry in his voice. He immediately pushes the warmth he feels in his heart away. 

He can’t afford to get attached again. 

“I can make you dream portions that might bring some of your memories back, but it’ll only be snippets, Chan,” Taehyung shakes his head, groaning out of frustration. “I can’t help you more than that though.”

“I don’t really...sleep,” Chan admits clearing his throat. “I’m not sure if the dream potions would work.”

Taehyung stares at him for a second, and Chan can feel Felix squeeze his hands almost painfully. 

“I’ll make you some sleep potions instead then,” Taehyung decides, and there is determination in his eyes. “It won’t help your curse, but the least I can do is help your sleeping habits.”

“Oh, no, it’s fine Nurse Kim--” Chan quickly tries to object, but one glare from the nurse and he shuts his mouth. 

“Speaking about bad sleeping habits,” Nurse Kim continues, “I want you to show up every week for a health check up. We don’t know if the curse is still wiping your memories or if it affected anything else, and the only way you can stop the curse from spreading if it is spreading is by being healthy.”

Chan is trying to keep up with Nurse Kim’s ranting, but his headache is still quite distracting so he gets lost halfway through the nurse’s speech.

“What he means is,” Mr Jeon smiles gently, “Is that you have to come here every week and let Taehy--Nurse Kim examine you.” He leans forward, looking at Chan, and there’s something unreadably in his eyes. “Chan, you need to look after your health.”

“Both physical and mental,” Nurse Kim adds. He helps Chan up from the bed, passing him onto Felix, who’s holding onto the vampire with all the strength he has. “You can go home now, but remember, you’re always welcome here.”

“Thank you, Nurse Kim,” Chan mumbles, embarrassed by all the attention. 

“Anytime, Chan,” Nurse Kim smiled fondly. “I’m here to talk if you want to.”

Felix walks out of the nurse’s office with the vampire, both silent after what they’ve just found out. Chan can tell that the other is upset, but Felix only offers him a tight smile. The vampire is not sure what he’s supposed to say--should he apologise for being a burden? Say sorry for not just being a vampire but also being cursed too? This isn’t the Chan Felix used to know. There’s probably nothing left of the Chan Felix used to know. 

It’s not like Chan can try and be more like the old Chan, because he can’t fucking remember. 

“You’re not gonna tell the others, are you?” Felix asks suddenly. 

“No,” Chan shakes his head. “There’s already too much tension in the house. I don’t want to add to it.” He thinks about the way Hyunjin would give him another one of those disgusted looks and he can’t help but flinch. 

He doesn’t think he can deal with another rejection from someone he thought of as family. 

“Alright,” Felix sighs. “Promise me you’ll look after yourself though.” He squeezes Chan’s hands, almost as if he’s reassuring himself. “You’ll be fine, Chan. You’ll be fine.”

*

“Are you…” Chan blinks at the boy in front of him, trying to understand the situation. “Are you asking me for dating advice?”

“Yes,” Minho sighs, bored, and spins in his chair. The two of them are hanging out in Chan’s room, Chan sitting on his bed with a cup of tea, and Minho sprawled out on the chair. “You seem to know how to woo Woojin, so you gotta give me some tips.”

“What?!” Chan chokes on his tea. “What are you talking about?!”

“You and Woojin,” Minho rolls his eyes. “Anyone can tell you fancy him and he fancies you. I don’t know how you did it, man, Woojin wasn’t even into men before you arrived.”

“He’s not into me,” Chan denies, and he knows if he could blush he would be red as a tomato.

“Yes, he is,” Minho says as if he’s talking to a child. “And I want you to tell me how you made him fall for you.”

“I didn’t,” Chan insisted, crossing his arms. “I didn’t do anything.”

“Of course, Minho slaps his forehead. “You didn’t even try. You were just... yourself, ” Minho groans. “God damn you for being so lovable.” The human suddenly sits up. “Shit, can I say that? If I say that God doesn’t actually damn you, right?”

“What?” Chan laughs, feeling flustered. “No, that’s just a myth, Minho.”

“Thank god,” Minho says, immediately cringing. “Or maybe not him…”

“Just, stop talking,” Chan snickers. 

“You gotta give me tips though, hyung,” Minho whines. “You’re just naturally so... nice. Jisungie loves you so much. You must know how I can get him to date me?”

“You’re perfect the way you are, Minho,” Chan smiles fondly. “Jisung likes you a lot, otherwise he wouldn’t be hanging out with you so much.” Chan smirks and shrugs. “I can give you flirting tips though.”

“Really?” Minho furrows his eyebrows. “I didn’t take you for one to flirt.”

“I haven’t in a while,” Chan says. “I didn’t want to be in a relationship.”

“You used past tense,” Minho smirks, and Chan turns his head away, flustered.

“Do you want those flirting tips or not?” 

“Yeah, yeah,” Minho laughs, moving to sit next to the vampire.

“Jisung loves hugs,” Chan whispers like he’s sharing a secret. “His favourite, however, is little kisses. Just on cheeks or in someone’s hair, but he loves to give them out.” He smiles fondly, thinking about the younger and his way of showing love. “He loves receiving them too.”

“Little kisses, got it,” Minho nods seriously, and Chan coos at the human, petting his hair. Minho tries to bat his hand away, but eventually lets the vampire pat him, leaning into the touch.

“The pup is hyperactive, so take him for walks,” Chan continues. “Let him get distracted, let him tell you about the particular shape one cloud has, or the way he’s going to try and prove it to you that he has a special connection to squirrels. Tell him about yourself because he loves getting to know people. He wants to learn, love and enjoy life, so if you provide him all that, he’ll be a sucker for you.”

Minho stares at Chan, his eyes glazed, and the vampire feels a bit embarrassed all of a sudden. 

“You really love Jisungie, don’t you?” Minho smiles. Chan nods, unsure about the situation that’s unfolding. “And you still approve of me wanting to go out with him?”

“What?” Chan stutters. “Of course I do. But even if I wouldn’t, it doesn’t matter. Jisung is his own person, and I trust his judgement.” He throws his arm over Minho’s shoulder, smiling as he pulls him closer, the usually confident human now looking insecure. “But Minho, you’re wonderful. You fit Jisung perfectly. You make him happy, and that’s all I could ask of you.”

“What if I hurt him?” Minho whispers.

“Then I’ll be mad,” Chan states, and Minho quickly nods, biting his lip. “But,” Chan continues, “If Jisung hurts you, I’ll be mad at Jisung.”

“Really?” Minho looks up.

“Yeah,” Chan nods, rubbing Minho’s shoulders. “You’re not my friend because of Jisung, Minho. You’re my friend because I like you, and I think you deserve the world. However you and Jisung will end up is something that’s in the future, and there’s no use worrying about it. Unless if any of you seriously fucked up, I’ll be a friend to both of you no matter what.” Chan smiles at the human, who’s now close to tears. “You’re important to me too, you doofus. Your feelings are valid, just like how Jisung’s are.”

Suddenly, Minho starts hitting Chan, startling the vampire. The human’s punches are weak and not meant to hurt the other, and eventually Minho just ends up embracing Chan in a hug.

“Thanks, hyung,” Minho sniffles. “You’re great.”

There’s a shuffle at the door, and both Minho and Chan look up to see Changbin awkwardly hovering at the door. 

“Am I interrupting?” He mumbles. 

“No,” Minho clears his throat. He lets go of Chan and pats the bed. “Come sit with us.”

Changbin hesitates, but ultimately decides to join them, and Chan suddenly feels like a dad, sitting with two of his children, both with relationship problems waiting for advice. 

He decides he likes this feeling. 

“I heard you guys talk about Jisung,” Changbin mumbles. Minho blushes, but Changbin only smiles at him. “I think it’s cute.”

“Did you want to talk about Felix?” Minho asks quietly. The werewolf goes quiet, playing with his fingers as he avoids the question.

“He’s oblivious,” Minho reassures him. “He’s never really been good at recognising his feelings.”

“I don’t think this will work out,” Changbin sighs. “I should probably give up on it.”

Chan sits there, listening to his pup’s heart being broken, and he can’t help pulling the werewolf into a hug. 

“Felix is complex,” he starts, thinking back to the way the mage helped him through his panic attack when he found out he was losing memories. “He feels a lot, Changbin, sometimes too much. I think he values friends and family so much that he doesn’t really think about love in that way.” Chan sighs, shaking his head. “That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want it, or that he doesn’t feel it. Changbin, Felix talks about you a lot. He appreciates you, and he recognises the fact that you go out of your way to help him out, even if he doesn’t voice it. I won’t tell you that he likes you because I don’t know what he feels, but I do know that he just needs a little push to finally see you in a new light.” Chan pulls back, looking into Changbin’s eyes. “I don’t know what you two fought about, but I think that was the push, Changbin. Something changed, and I think you two should talk about it rather than avoiding each other.”

“We’re not avoiding each other--” Changbin sputters, but Chan only smiles. 

“I’m not telling you to go confess to him, Changbin,” Chan says gently. “I just think both of you want to fix whatever was broken between you two.”

Changbin nods, defeated. 

“You’re right,” he mutters. “We weren’t very understanding of each other, when we fought.” Changbin sighs and leans back on his hand. “I’m afraid that he thinks differently of me now.”

“I think he’s afraid that you see him different,” Minho says quietly. 

“Yeah,” Changbin whispers. “I should talk to him.”

“I agree,” Chan smiles. 

“What about you, hyung?” Minho turns to him. “Do you want to talk about Woojin?”

“I told you--” Chan starts, but Minho raises his eyebrows and the vampire sighs in defeat. “Yeah, I like him, whatever.”

“Like, like him?” Changbin’s eyes widen. “Not just like, how he looks?” He whistles. “That’s new.”

“Is that some gossip I hear?” Minho leans closer, a playful glint in his eyes. 

“Changbin, why did you say that,” Chan groans. 

“Chan hyung used to be quite a flirt,” Changbin laughs. “Innocent flirting, don’t you worry, Chan hyung would never play with someone’s feelings. He picked up quite a lot of guys, back in the day.”

“I don’t do that anymore,” Chan hides his face in his hands. “It’s in the past.”

“You like Woojin, though,” Changbin grins. “God, this is good.”

“Shut up,” Chan says without any real heat.

“What are you gonna do about it?” Minho asks with wide eyes. “Are you gonna make a move?”

“I don’t know,” Chan mumbles. “It doesn’t feel right yet, you know?”

“But there’s so much sexual tension between you guys,” Minho groans and Chan throws a pillow at him. “I’m not even kidding!”

“It feels comfortable,” Chan says, rolling his eyes at Minho’s dramatics. “Whatever Woojin and I are doing.” He sighs, leaning on Changbin. “I don’t know if he likes me--”

“--He does--”

“But I think we’re happy with where we are at the moment.”

“So...you don’t want to date him?” Changbin frowns.

“Oh, no, I definitely do,” Chan laughs. “I just don’t want to rush this.”

“You’re so cute,” Minho mutters angrily before tackling Chan. The vampire makes a surprised noise before he’s being hit by pillows and he’s scrambling away from the attack.

“What are you doing, Changbin?!” Minho screeches. “Help me attack hyung, before he kills us with his cuteness!”

“On it,” Changbin says immediately, and before Chan knows, he’s being drowned in pillows, laughing like he hasn’t in a while. 

*

Chan made a mistake of leaving his class late.

They’re walking next to each other, but Hyunjin keeps a distance between them. Chan feels a pang in his chest but doesn’t say anything--he only hugs his books closer to his chest as he tries to hide his bitterness.

Chan knows the only reason Hyunjin is here is because Woojin made a rule of never walking alone because of the attacks. The vampire can see Hyunjin’s muscles tensing and untensing as the mage grits his teeth, and Chan knows it’s any minute now, and the volcano is gonna erupt. 

“I’m gonna ask you something, Chan,” Hyunjin suddenly turns to him.

There it is.

“Yeah?” Chan smiles, but Hyunjin ignores it completely. 

The vampire doesn’t expect the words coming out of the mage’s mouth next.

“Did you attack someone?”

What?

Chan’s face goes blank. He stands straighter, staring at Hyunjin, whose eyes are filled with frustration. The vampire stays silent.

Answer me,” Hyunjin demands angrily. “Tell me if my father was lying. Tell me that you weren’t sent here because you almost killed someone.”

Chan can’t say anything. 

He promised himself he won’t lie about it. 

“Of course,” Hyunjin scoffs, finally understanding Chan’s silence. “I should have known. You’re not really the saint you’ve been pretending to be.” 

Chan stares at the mage, his lips pressed in a thin line. He knows that no matter what he says, he can’t save himself. 

Hyunjin is right, after all. 

He attacked someone. 

“Hyung, please, stop!”

“Stop, you’re going to kill him!”

Tastes like ambrosia. Sweet, savoury, filling him with power and finally his hunger is disappearing--

“Please, stay away from us,” Hyunjin growls. “Before you kill someone.”

“Chan, it hurts, please, I’m sorry, I didn’t want to attack your brother--”

He lets go of the body, letting it crumble onto the ground, horror dawning on him as he realises what he’s done. 

“He’s barely alive.”

“What have you done, brother?”

Hyunjin turns around, and walks away, leaving Chan alone with his thoughts. The vampire sinks to the ground, covering his mouth with his hands, stifling any noise he’s making. 

He deserves this. 

He doesn’t realise the shadows appearing in front of him. 

He doesn’t realise the snickers and the whispers around him. 

He doesn’t realise people are holding onto him.

He doesn’t realise it until it’s too late.

*

“A bloodthirsty vampire like you deserves to die .”

Chapter Text

Everything hurts. Scratch that, everything burns. He’s used to the constant ache he gets in his bones when he goes without blood for just a little too long, or the pain in his head when he’s forced to go against his instincts, but it is nothing compared to this.

He feels like he’s simultaneously crawling through fire and drowning in water. He finds it hard to breathe, every breath sending a jolt of pain through his ribs, and he is only half-conscious, the door he’s trying to reach going in and out of focus.

Cuts and bruises paint his body like it’s a canvas, and the details show up particularly well since he is so pale. Even through the pain, he remembers Jisung mentioning that Chan bruises like a peach, and somehow it brings a half-smile to his face only to then disappear behind a groan and a frown. He’s on all fours, pathetically crawling after his legs gave out from running all the way here and he collapsed on the ground. Yet, he’s still moving, and his brain feels too fuzzy to understand why, but his eyes notice the sign on the door in front of him saying Nurse Kim’s Office and if he could think straight, he would have thanked the gods that even when he’s so out of it, he knows where to go. He weakly reaches up to the door-handle but ends up just leaning against the door, slowly opening it as he falls to the ground, not having any more energy to move at all.

He isn’t sure, but he thinks he hears a gasp, and the next thing he knows there are arms around him, lifting him and carrying him. His first reaction is to bare his fangs and hiss, his brain forcing flashbacks in front of his eyes, but he hears a familiar voice whispering it’s okay, you’re safe now, shh in a soothing voice and Chan calms down, going limp again. He wants to see who’s touching him and helping him but in his current state he can’t even tell if his eyes are open or not, so he just lets himself relax into the comforting touches, knowing that he is in safe hands now.

*

“You don’t fucking belong here,” Dowoo grows in his ears. Chan feels a kick on his side, and then a punch throws him to the floor. “A bloodsucker like you should rot in hell.”

Chan stares at Dowoo, expression blank. He doesn’t let them see how much pain he’s in. 

“Say it!” One of Dowoo’s friends screams at him and Chan barely stops himself from flinching. “Say that you belong in hell.”

Chan only spits at him. 

The boy recoils in disgust, anger flaring in his eyes once he realises what the vampire has done.

“We have some time before we bring him to our employers, boys,” Dowoo growls, kicking Chan again. “We better make use of it.”

*

“It’s really bad,” Taehyung breathes as he shakily places another wet towel on the vampire’s forehead. “I don’t know what to do, what if--”

“Hey, hey, it’s going to be fine.” Jungkook places a hand on the nurse’s shoulder, offering a reassuring squeeze. “He’s strong. He’ll make it.”

“I can’t believe he got attacked,” Taehyung whispers. His voice is hoarse, choked by grief. He turns to bury his face in the other’s neck. “The academy is doing nothing to stop this.”

“We’re just going to have to look out for him then,” Jungkook answers, holding him tighter. “Chan doesn’t deserve this.”

“Do you--” Taehyung starts, looking down at Chan’s almost lifeless body, “Do you think it’s… them?”

Jungkook doesn’t say anything, but the way he stares at the vampire with something almost like pity in his eyes, Taehyung gets his answer.

It has started.

*

“Where is he?!” 

“We can’t let him go, our employer wants him by the end of the day!”

“Then fucking find him! How the fuck did you lose him anyway?!”

“That bloodsucker is fast. He can’t have gotten far though.”

*

Roses.

Their house is covered in roses, and Hyunjin immediately knows that something terrible has happened.

“Hyung,” he whispers, staring at Woojin, but the older is already gathering the wolves and Jeongin together in case they need to shift to attack. The air around the mage starts whirling and it takes a great bit of self control for Hyunjin to calm it down. Seungmin is right next to him, skin glowing blue as he manipulates a bit of water in the air, and for a second, the merman glances at Hyunjin, a determined look on his face.

Hyunjin slowly walks up to the door, tentatively reaching for the already-withering roses covering it. He gulps, letting the rotten leaves fall to the ground.

Felix always said that roses were his least favourite plants.

He said they only grew when he was terrified.

Woojin pushes the door open, the werewolves and werefox right behind him, but before they can shift, they are stopped by the sight of Felix, Mr Jeon and Nurse Kim. The adults seem to be talking to the younger, and Hyunjin’s heart breaks when he sees the mage.

Felix is out of it. He’s hugging himself, his eyes in and out of focus as he listens to Nurse Kim talk. He’s covered with roses all over, yet he doesn’t seem to realise it, only staring into the air as he’s clutching his necklace. He must have cried earlier on, because his eyes are red and puffy, and he only turns towards the rest when Mr Jeon and Nurse Kim greet them.

Changbin ignores them as he takes a tentative step forward, reaching towards the mage, wanting to help him, wanting to offer him comfort, but Felix gives him one look and breaks down into sobs again.

“Changbin,” he whimpers, hugging himself, “I’m so sorry.”

“What are you sorry for, darling?” The werewolf whispers, worry creasing his eyebrows. “Let me help you.”

“Boys,” Nurse Kim suddenly speaks, his deep voice ringing through the house. The usually happy nurse is oddly serious today, a glum expression taking over his face. “I’m sorry you have to find out this way,” he sighs, running his hand through his hair, “but I’m afraid there’s no other choice.”

“What is it?” Jisung asks impatiently. “Just tell us!”

“Jisung,” breathes Mr Jeon, something tense in his voice. “Chan was attacked today.”

Silence.

It’s almost deafening.

Hyunjin’s ears are ringing as he loses his footing, and he doesn’t fall only because Seungmin catches him before he hits the ground. He blinks, looking at the rest of his friends because this must be a prank, Chan couldn’t have been attacked, he’s so strong after all--

But Hyunjin knows this is not a joke from the way Changbin’s hands are trembling, the way Jisung’s mouth is wide open, not knowing what to say for the first time ever since Hyunjin met him. He sees the way Seungmin pales, holding Hyunjin closer, and he sees the way Jeongin hides behind Minho, whose face hardens hearing the news.

He sees Woojin, who stumbles backwards, lifting his arms as if he can shield himself from the pain the news brings. Hyunjin hears him stutter out broken words, denying Nurse Kim’s claims, mixing with Felix’s whispers of apology and heart-wrenching sniffs.

“Mr Bang is resting in his room right now,” Nurse Kim continues, pity clear in his eyes. “He’s going to be okay, boys. He just needs to recover.”

Hyunjin knows that they’re empty words to reassure them, because Felix wouldn’t have reacted this way if Chan was okay. He knows the other mage has seen the vampire when he was brought here by Mr Jeon and Nurse Kim, and for him to react this strongly to it, Hyunjin just knows a couple days of rest won’t heal Chan.

“He’s--” Woojin chokes out, taking a step forward, “He’s not been kidnapped?”

“Miraculously, no,” Mr Jeon smiles for the first time that day. “Chan managed to escape before it got too bad.” He sighs, running his hand through his hair. He seems stressed, worry lacing his voice. “He was lucky. If he hadn’t come to the nurse’s office, I don’t think he’d have....”

Jisung whines, a quiet noise cutting the conversation in half. He’s holding onto Changbin’s arm like his life depends on it, and his eyes are shining from unshed tears.

“Let me see him,” he begs, and Hyunjin notices that his knees are shaking. “ Please, let me and Changbin see him.”

“I’m not sure if that’s a good idea--” Mr Jeon starts, but it’s Changbin who interrupts him this time.

“You have to.” His voice is hoarse, so he clears his throat. “He’s the only family left for us. Let us see our alpha.”

Something like surprise flashes through Mr Jeon’s eyes, but before he can say anything, Nurse Kim nods with a kind smile on his face.

“Of course. Go on,” he motions towards the stairs, and the two werewolves disappear in a second.

“Thank you for helping him,” Woojin says after a moment, and Hyunjin realises that this is the first time he’s heard his voice shake. “For saving him.”

“Chan is very special,” Nurse Kim nods, walking closer to them. He puts his hand on the shapeshifter’s shoulder, offering a comforting squeeze. “Please, help him through this. It’s going to be difficult.”

Hyunjin wants to ask what he means. Chan successfully escaped the attack - doesn’t that mean he’s going to be okay? But seeing Woojin’s sorrowful eyes, he knows there’s more to it.

“I think it’s better if you all go to rest for a bit,” Mr Jeon says, stepping next to Nurse Kim. He puts his hand on the other’s back to guide him away, a touch that seems slightly too intimate for just colleagues. “I know you all want to see Chan, but give him a bit of space. Don’t all go in at the same time.”

“Okay,” Woojin nods, bowing down. “Thank you once again,” he says. “We’ll be forever grateful.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Nurse Kim grins, ruffling the younger’s hair. “Take care.”

After the two adults leave the house, silence falls over the remaining six. Woojin drops on the sofa, burying his face in his hands, and Minho quietly guides Jeongin up to his room, Felix following them. Seungmin offers Hyunjin a weak smile, and pulls him into a supportive embrace because Hyunjin’s knees are just about to give out. The mage mutters a thanks, burying his face in the other’s shoulder.

Hyunjin feels like he’s about to throw up. It’s like the emotions inside him suddenly want to escape and he hates the feeling because he’s always been good at pretending he doesn’t care. After talking to his father, he wasn’t sure how to feel about the vampire in their group. He knows his father tends to twist people’s words, telling Hyunjin all the horrible things Chan had done in the past, but when Chan didn’t deny that he attacked someone, Hyunjin saw red and left without letting the other explain. He wonders if he snapped at Chan for no reason.

He wonders if leaving Chan alone after that is what led to him being attacked.

No matter how much he distrusts Chan, he wouldn’t wish this upon him. And somewhere deep inside, Hyunjin knows that it’s not just because he doesn’t think anyone deserves this - it’s because he cares about Chan.

*

Chan is overwhelmed.

He doesn’t know where he is and that alone freaks him out. His memories are hazy but he can remember pain and fear and the feeling that something is terribly wrong.

He moves with the speed of light to get off the unfamiliar bed he’s lying in, but suddenly there’s pain everywhere and his knees buckle. He’s blinded by the light in the room, he can’t see but there are hands on him and they’re forcing him to move--

He hisses.

He knows his eyes are red as he’s trying to bring them to focus on the two people in front of him. They let go of him and Chan gets into a defensive position, an almost animalistic growl leaving his mouth.

They’re going to attack him.

“Hyung--” one of them whispers, but Chan can barely hear it over the buzzing in his head. He realises belatedly that his whole body is shaking. He forces himself to stay still, because he can’t let the enemy know that he’s weak.

“Hyung!” The other one shouts, and the volume of his voice makes Chan flinch. He hisses once again, moving back. He curls on himself to protect his body.

“Don’t touch me.” Chan’s voice is hoarse, raw with fear.

“I’m sorry, hyung,” the first one says again, and Chan growls, before he understands what he said.

He’s sorry?

Why would his enemies say sorry ?

The other two must see the confusion on his face because they start talking again.

“Hyung, you’re safe.” They slowly approach him, and Chan doesn’t hiss this time. “It’s us. Jisung and Changbin.”

Chan’s vision clears a bit. He recognises where he is now - it’s Felix’s room. There are plants everywhere, the green familiar and calming. Chan is hiding in the corner behind some of the plants he doesn’t know the name of, and Jisung and Changbin both stand in front of him, slightly crouching and holding their hands up to show him they’re not a threat.

Oh god, he was about to attack his pack.

“I’m sorry,” he chokes out, not being able to hold up his weight anymore. Now that he recognises that he’s not in danger, his body is giving up, but before he can crash to the floor, Jisung is there to catch him. “Oh, god, I’m so sorry.”

“Hyung, no,” Changbin whispers, holding the vampire close. “We’re sorry.”

The three of them just sit there for a bit, embracing each other like it’s the end of the world. Chan can feel Jisung sniffle into his shoulder, and he can feel Changbin’s tears soaking through his clothes. He holds them tighter, afraid to let them go.

“What happened?” he gasps out once he feels the silence is too much.

“You were attacked,” Jisung hiccups. “They were going to take you like the rest of them, but you escaped.”

“You dragged yourself to the nurse’s office and they brought you here,” Changbin continues. “God, hyung, we were so fucking terrified.

“There were roses everywhere,” Jisung says. “Felix was the only one home when they brought you here. He freaked out.”

“I’m sorry,” Chan rasps out.

“Stop apologising!” Jisung raises his voice. Chan flinches again, a flash of memory of Dowoo staring down at him. He’s dragged out of the flashback by Jisung running his fingers through his hair. “I didn’t mean to startle you, I’m sorry.”

“Let’s get you back to the bed, hyung, you need to rest,” Changbin smiles weakly. Chan lets the two of them lift him up and gently lay him down. To his surprise, they don’t let him go, but they climb into the bed next to him, snuggling into his sides.

“We almost lost you,” Jisung whispers, seeing Chan’s confused expression. “Let us stay with you.”

“I could never reject affection from my pack,” chuckles Chan. Changbin lets out a contented sigh as the vampire pulls him closer, and Jisung buries his head in his shoulder.

They lie in silence for a while until Jisung starts to snore. Changbin is fast asleep as well, subconsciously holding onto Chan even tighter, but the vampire can’t bring himself to pry his arms off of him.

It’s not long until there’s a knock on the door.

“Come in,” Chan tries to say, but his throat is so dry it sounds more like a cough.

There’s a pause, and then the door is practically ripped open as Felix falls inside. He faceplants straight into the floor, groaning at the impact, and Chan can’t help but snicker at the absurdity of the situation.

“Be quiet,” he whispers. “The pups are sleeping.”

Felix slowly raises his eyes, giving him an incredulous look. He’s back on his feet in no time, walking closer to the other, and he kneels down next to the bed.

“You’re awake.”

“I am,” Chan smiles softly.

“You’re really awake,” Felix repeats, and Chan can detect the relief in his voice. The mage raises his shaking hand to reach towards Chan’s cheeks, but before the vampire could lean into the touch, Felix pulls back. 

“I thought you would never wake up again.” he whispers quietly. Chan wants to say something, but Felix doesn’t let him, voice getting strained. “I thought I lost you again.”

“Felix…”

“I imagined what it would be like,” the mage continues as if he didn’t hear Chan. “Living the rest of my life knowing we could never catch up on all those years we spent apart.” he looks at Chan, letting out a weak smile. “Knowing we would have never become the brothers we once were. Knowing we wouldn’t be able to go back to District 1, wouldn’t be able to go to the beach one more time or visit Bam Bam again.” Felix is choking on his words and yet he forces them out, because he needs to say this. “Chan, you were once the most important person in my life, and I thought we had all the time in the world to be together. Then you disappeared. Now finally I got you back,” he says with an almost desperate tone, “and you almost left me again.”

There’s an uncomfortable feeling in Chan’s stomach. Felix looks so vulnerable, reaching out for the other’s hand and holding onto it tightly. He places his chin on Changbin’s stomach, and Chan would coo at the sight if he wasn’t so shocked by what he just heard. 

“I know it’s not your fault,” Felix says. He starts playing with Chan’s hands, and the vampire only just realises now how bruised his arms are. “I’m just terrified that they’re going to attack you again.”

“I’ll be prepared,” Chan promises. “I was distracted last time. I’ll be fine, I promise.”

“I love you,” Felix states. “Obviously not as a lover,” He makes a disgusted face at the thought, “but you’re so important to me, hyung. You’re my brother.”

Chan closes his eyes to stop himself from crying and he squeezes Felix’s hand, taking a moment just to calm down. He can feel the mage running his fingers through his hair and it’s so familiar that he can’t stop a couple of tears from escaping.

“I love you too,” he clears his throat, blinking at the younger. “I won’t leave you again.”

Felix looks like a puppy as he stares up at him. He is practically a part of the pack now, with the way Changbin treats him like a princess, and the thought makes Chan warm inside. The mage gives him a soft, sleepy smile, and then he’s asleep.

Good, Chan thinks. He looked exhausted.

It’s time for him to go to sleep as well, now that he’s surrounded by his family.

*

Chan is slowly getting better. It’s taking him an incredibly long time, and he often finds himself frustrated when he can’t get up from the bed alone, or when he has to sit down after standing for only five minutes. But he’s getting better, slowly but surely.

Physically, anyway.

He’s surprised to find that shouting scares him. He doesn’t understand why at first, wondering why he freezes up when Jisung and Felix get excited, or when Hyunjin laughs especially loud at Minho goofing around. Nobody really notices it initially, and he tries to hide it as much as he can, leaving for the kitchen or forcing himself to focus on something else. Sometimes it works, and sometimes he ends up hiding under the kitchen table.

It’s Woojin who realises it.

“Oh, Chan,” he breathes when he finds the other curling into himself behind the counter. Chan looks up with teary eyes, quickly wiping them.

“Hey,” he says.

“Can I touch you?” Woojin asks. Chan considers it for a second, and then nods, and the older wastes no time enveloping him in a hug.

It feels nice. To be comforted.

Chan knows from the way Woojin is always so careful around him that he expected this. He’s observant - he probably realised that after an attack like that, Chan might not be the same person again.

“Is it the shouting?” Woojin asks after a while. Chan nods into his shoulder, melting in the other’s arms as Woojin rubs his back. “What about hugging?”

“I don’t mind that,” Chan murmurs. “I have no problem with cuddling. It’s just, sometimes everything is too loud. Reminds me of the shit they shouted at me.”

Woojin looks at him, worry in his eyes. 

“Do you...Do you remember who attacked you?” He asks carefully. Chan sighs, defeated, as he sinks into Woojin’s arms.

“I do,” Chan murmurs. “It was Dowoo and his friends.” Before Woojin could say anything, he shakes his head. “We can’t do anything about it, Woojin. Dowoo would never admit to it, and no one believes the word of a vampire.”

“I’m going to kill them,” Woojin growls in a low tone. He hugs Chan a bit tighter, and the vampire doesn’t want to admit that feels giddy at the other’s protectiveness.

“I think it’s getting better,” Chan says. “I got scared of everything in the first few days.”

“It’s only just been a week, Chan,” Woojin says worriedly. “Don’t force yourself. You’re allowed to ask for help.”

Chan nods. He sighs as he tries to pull away, but the older is holding onto him stubbornly, not letting go.

“I don’t get to spend time with you with the way everyone is following you like lost puppies,” he grumbles and if Chan could, he would turn bright red. “Let me hold you just a bit more.”

“Okay,” Chan whispers as Woojin rests his chin on the top of his head.

He wonders what changed that everyone is acting so differently.

He could understand his pack and Felix - they’ve become even clingier and never let him go anywhere alone. The rest however are a different story. Seungmin keeps making him tea to the extent where his desk is covered in empty cups. Minho makes sure he’s always covered in a blanket, often playing a game called ‘how to make Chan into a blanket burrito’. Jeongin cuddles him every single night. Woojin takes care of him when he’s upset.

Hyunjin makes sure he’s healthy and doing well when he thinks Chan is sleeping.

The vampire isn’t sure how to approach the other. The mage avoids him throughout the day, but there’s not a single night when he doesn’t sneak into Chan’s room. To be fair, Chan doesn’t blame him for thinking he’s asleep - most people are at 3 a.m. It’s just - Chan was never good at sleeping. Especially now, when the nightmares are resurfacing.

Either way, Chan wishes he could talk to the younger. He wonders if Hyunjin is still mad at him - he would have every right to be. He just wants to know what the mage is thinking.

*

“Hey,” Hyunjin mutters as he leans against Changbin’s door. The werewolf looks up at him, and the mage can see a flash of anger in his eyes before Changbin’s expression goes unreadable. 

“Hi,” Changbin says. He seems to hesitate, but then he pats the bed next to him. “Come in.”

“Can we talk?” Hyunjin asks, looking at the floor. He sits down carefully next to the werewolf, but he doesn’t dare look into his eyes. 

“Yeah,” Changbin says. There’s a bit of silence, and then he adds. “I’m not going to start a fight, I promise.”

Hyunjin looks up in surprise, and Changbin offers him a weak smile. 

“Me neither,” Hyunjin promises right away. “I just, I just wanted to understand some things. Hear it from you instead of...my father.”

“Your father?” Changbin frowns, confused. 

“Oh, Chan didn’t tell you?” Hyunjin raises his eyebrows.

“Didn’t tell me what?”

Ah. Chan kept quiet about the fact that his father is an asshole. Hyunjin could blame it on something else, but he knows deep inside that it’s because Chan believed it wasn’t his story to tell. 

Hyunjin feels like he made a mistake more and more every day.

“My father is a leader in District 8,” Hyunjin starts slowly. “To put it simply, he’s a dick. He’s never been a good father.”

“Oh,” Changbin mutters. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“His views on ranks are very... traditional ,” Hyunjin continues. “Sometimes it scares me to think that if I would have stayed with him in District 8, I might have ended up like him.” He sighs. “Maybe I’m more similar to him than I thought.”

Changbin only stares at him, but when Hyunjin looks over, he offers an encouraging smile. 

Hyunjin can do this.

“My father told me Chan was sent here because he almost killed someone.”

Changbin’s face changes quicker than the speed of light. He tenses up, breaking eye-contact with Hyunjin, and he crosses his arms as a sort of defense.

“I was so scared, hyung,” Hyunjin mutters. “All I could think of was that I could lose Seungmin, or Woojin, or any of the others. Chan was so welcoming--but it wouldn’t have been the first time someone has tricked me like that.”

“What do you mean?” Changbin forces it out. Hyunjin is thankful that the werewolf is still having this conversation with him, because he knows how protective he is of his alpha. 

“My mother used to be the only family I thought loved me unconditionally,” Hyunjin gulps, turning his head. “She used to say she loved me so much, and she looked after me all the time, when father was busy leading District 8.”

“What happened?”

“She betrayed my father,” Hyunjin says. “You might think it’s for a good reason, but she just wanted the money. She stole it from father’s bank account and left me in front of the bank.” He smiles bitterly. “I haven’t seen her since.”

“Oh, Hyunjin,” Changbin sighs, running his hand through his hair. “I am so sorry that happened to you. God, I can’t imagine how you must feel.”

“I want to understand why Chan did what he did, hyung,” Hyunjin begs to Changbin. “Because after what happened, I just can’t imagine losing him. Please, tell me there’s more to the story.”

“There is, Hyunjin, there always is,” Changbin smiles sadly. “District 4 might have not been District 1, but Chan and his family still lived in the poorer part of the town.” The werewolf leans back on his hands, gulping. “He…He has a brother. Chan, I mean. Bang Yedam, his name is. Chan did everything to protect that boy, and the bond between them was super tight, you know?”

“What happened?” Hyunjin whispers. 

“Some thug attacked Yedam, and Chan arrived there just in time. Yedam was brought to the hospital because of his wounds--he could have died if Chan wasn’t there.”

“But?”

“But Chan lost it. He tried to protect his brother, but he couldn’t control his bloodthirst.”

Chan? But he is always so good at controlling himself.

“Chan told me he can’t remember the face of the thug, but he still thanks whatever higher beings out there that he survived.” Changbin wipes his face, blinking to stop the tears falling. “Chan never forgave himself.”

“It wasn’t his fault,” Hyunjin whispers. “God, that wasn’t his fault .”

“Yeah,” Changbin smiles at the mage. “Finally, you understand.”

*

“That’s all for today,” Mrs Par finishes her speech with a sickening giggle. She clasps her hands, her oversized manicure digging into her skin like claws as she turns away, and slowly the murmurs pick up as everyone starts to pack up. Jisung is growling quietly next to Chan, anger evident on his face, and Changbin is holding onto the vampire’s arms so tightly Chan is sure it’s going to bruise.

“They didn’t say anything,” Felix murmurs behind him, voice choked with withheld frustration. “You could have died, and all they talk about is painting the toilet doors.”

“Just leave it,” Chan sighs. “Let’s not cause trouble.”

“Tell that to him,” Minho mutters, looking at the crowd, and the vampire barely has the time to frown before he hears it.

“What about the attacks?” A voice rings through the hall. Chan freezes, his eyes searching for the source of the sound. Hyunjin makes eye contact with him before turning back to the head teacher. “What are you going to do about them?”

The head teacher blinks with a smile frozen on her face as she stares at the mage. Whispers fill the crowd. Chan wants to sink into the ground as some people glance at him.

“I’m not sure what you mean, dear,” the dragoness says sweetly, slightly leaning forward.

“The attacks,” Hyunjin says with a deadpan look. “You know, the kidnappings? All the kids who disappeared?”

“Students run away, dear,” the head teacher smiles. “It happens when they’re delinquents.” Her eyes burn through the crowd and she clears her throat. “We have people looking for them.”

“Bullshit,” Hyunjin spits. Everyone flinches at the harsh tone of his voice, eyes widening in shock. He steps closer to the stage, and when his eyes meet with Chan again, there is something unreadable in them. He looks back to the head teacher. “You’re not doing anything because they’re dangerous ranks. You don’t give a shit about them.”

“Sit down, boy,” the dragoness’ voice booms through the hall. “This is unacceptable!”

“No,” the mage breathes, his body shaking from the withheld anger. “What you’re doing is unacceptable.” He moves closer to Chan, who’s trying to breathe evenly despite the anxiety eating him away as everyone stares at him. “Chan was attacked more than a week ago, and yet there’s not even a word about what happened. The students feel unsafe, and some of us are being targeted for something that isn’t our fault. All you do is sit on your asses as we’re being taken down one by one!”

“That’s enough, Hyunjin!” The dragoness roars, anger clearly traceable in her voice. “I’m going to have to talk to your father.” To this, Hyunjin pales, but the determined look doesn’t disappear from his face. Chan holds onto his hands and he can feel the other relax. “End of briefing. Everyone, out!”

Hyunjin grits his teeth and pulls Chan along with him, and before the vampire can react, he’s standing outside with the mage breathing heavily beside him. Chan knows this is his chance to have the long-overdue conversation uninterrupted.

“Hyunjin?”

“I’m sorry,” he says, turning away. Chan is getting concerned with the way Hyunjin’s whole body is shaking, but there’s no one else here to help, so he steps closer and hesitantly places a hand on his shoulder.

“Why are you saying sorry?” Chan asks, but Hyunjin doesn’t answer. He doesn’t pull away from the touch, but he tenses up, and Chan is really confused now. “Do you want me to leave?”

“No!” Hyunjin shouts, suddenly turning back and holding onto Chan desperately. “Don’t leave.”

“Hey, it’s okay, I’m here,” Chan quickly says, shocked by the other’s actions. Hyunjin looks like a child - although he’s taller than the vampire, the way he’s curling into himself makes him look smaller. Chan realises that Hyunjin is still so young , having to deal with so much already. He looks like he’s carrying the weight of the whole world on his shoulders, and Chan doesn’t even want to think about the dark circles under his eyes. “I won’t leave.”

“I thought you would,” the other says, and it takes a while for Chan to realise that he’s not talking about today. He pales, gulping, as he pulls Hyunjin closer. “I thought you’d just leave us, and the last conversation we’d have is a fight.”

“Hyunjin…” Chan starts, but the mage shakes his head, determined to continue.

“No, hyung. I didn’t even try and give you a chance to explain yourself. You were nothing but welcoming and respectful towards me, and I repaid that with throwing it back in your face.”

“Hyunjin,” Chan says a bit more forcefully. “Your fear was completely reasonable. I did attack someone. That’s why I’m here.”

“I didn’t ask about the context,” Hyunjin answers. There’s regret in his voice. “Changbin had to tell me.”

Chan freezes.

No.

“I attacked someone, Hyunjin,” he says harshly. He pulls away from the other. “There are no excuses.”

“You wanted to protect your brother!” Hyunjin looks up at him, an emotion in his eyes that Chan doesn’t understand.

“I almost killed the guy!”

“So what if you lost control?” Hyunjin shouts back. “You’re not perfect! You can make mistakes too, hyung!”

“Not one that could cost someone’s life.”

“It would have cost your brother’s life if you didn’t intervene.”

“There is not a single day when I don’t think about what happened,” Chan says desperately. “I think about how everyone was right and I’m just a monster, because my brother was being attacked and all I could think of was sucking the life out of that guy.”

“Hyung,” Hyunjin steps closer, ignoring the vampire’s protests. “Listen to me. You lost control, for the first time in your life. For nine years, you didn’t attack anyone, and the only time you did was when your family was in danger.” He pulls Chan closer to hold him tight. “I know you wouldn’t attack us.”

“How?” Chan whispers into the other’s shoulder.

“We’re family now,” Hyunjin states with a sense of finality in his voice. “You’ll protect us.”

Chapter Text

“How did it come to this?”

Chan is sitting on the sofa with crossed legs, holding a cup of tea. Woojin is sure it’s cold now, but the vampire doesn’t seem to notice it.

“What do you mean, Chan?” Woojin asks, leaning forward in his armchair. His eyebrows furrow as Chan doesn’t look at him, and he feels the urge to cradle the vampire in his arms.

“I just--” Chan lets out a frustrated sigh, looking down, “It feels like the Academy is unsafe now. It feels like everyone is scared for their lives.” 

Woojin doesn’t say anything--he only offers Chan a weak smile. 

“I’m just worried,” Chan mutters. “For Changbin and Jisung.” He finally puts his cup down. “Felix. Seungmin. Minho, Jeongin and Hyunjin as well.” He finally looks into Woojin’s eyes. “And of course, you.”

“Nothing will happen to us, Chan,” Woojin promises. “Everything will be okay.”

“How can you be so sure?” Chan murmurs. Woojin frowns when he sees the desperation in the vampire’s eyes, and he quickly goes to sit next to the younger. 

“We’ll protect them,” Woojin pulls Chan closer, embracing him in a hug. “You and I--we’ll make sure those kids will always be safe.”

“I don’t want to lose them,” Chan whispers, as if he’s sharing a secret. “I don’t want to lose you either.” He sighs, leaning into Woojin. “I know I’m being paranoid, but I just can’t--”, Chan chokes on his words, hiding his face behind his hands, “I can’t bear to lose more people.”

“Do you…” Woojin bites his lip, worried that he’s overstepping boundaries, “Do you want to talk about it?”

Chan stays quiet for long enough to make Woojin worry, but as the shapeshifter tries to pull back to apologise, the vampire buries his face in the older’s neck. 

Oh.

This is...intimate. 

Even though a vampire is really close to his neck,which should automatically set off some alarms in his brain, Woojin’s heart is beating fast because of something else. He doesn’t have time to think about it too much though, because Chan starts talking.

“When I was young, I had two best friends,” Chan says quietly. Woojin can feel the vampire’s breath on his skin. “You know Felix, of course,” Chan smiles slightly, “But I was also friends with a merman.”

“A merman?” Woojin asks, surprised.

“Yeah,” Chan nods. “His name was Bam Bam.”

His voice was filled with so much pain Woojin subconsciously held Chan tighter. 

“We don’t know what happened,” the vampire continues. “Just a day after he gave me one of his pendants, he disappeared.”

“Oh,” Woojin breathes. “I’m sorry, Chan.”

“He’s either dead, or taken by District 0,” Chan says bitterly. “Sometimes I hope he’s dead. It means he wouldn’t have to live in misery for the rest of his life.”

“Oh Chan,” Woojin says again, because he doesn’t know what else to say. 

It pains him that Chan has to think about these kind of things. 

That he has to wish for his best friend to be dead so he doesn’t think about something worse happening to him.

He wishes Chan wouldn’t have had to go through so much, but he knows he can’t change the past. 

“The worst thing is, Felix lost both of us in just a year,” Chan pulls back, looking up at the ceiling, blinking quickly to hold back his tears. “When Bam Bam disappeared, he was devastated. The fact that I had to leave him behind--” Chan stumbles over his words as he breathes in sharply, and then he’s crying. 

He’s crying and Woojin doesn’t know what to do.

Chan doesn’t cry loudly. No, he makes no sounds as he muffles his sobs and somewhere in the back of his mind Woojin thinks about how he must have had practice at keeping quiet but the thought is too painful, and then the shapeshifter is kneeling in front of Chan, sushing the younger as he’s wiping his tears off.

“It’s okay, babe,” Woojin whispers, panicked, not even realising his slip up. “It’s not your fault. You couldn’t have done anything. Felix is here now, okay? And you guys are still friends.”

“I missed out on so much,” Chan hiccups. “I missed out on him growing up. I missed out on him learning to use his magic. I missed out on him becoming an adult.”

“But you’re here now,” Woojin reminds him gently. 

God , I know,” Chan whimpers quietly. “I know, I’m so lucky to find him again, but I can’t help feeling guilty,” he sniffs. “I’m sorry, Woojin, I didn’t mean to break down on you.”

“It’s okay, Channie,” Woojin smiles. “I’m glad you’re opening up to me. I’m here for you.”

“Thank you, Wooj,” Chan murmurs. He rubs his eyes, letting out a deep sigh. 

“Tired?” Woojin asks gently. Chan lazily nods, moving to stand up, but his legs give up from under him and he falls back on the sofa.

“Woah, woah,” Woojin quickly stands up, “slow down, tiger. You’re still injured.”

“I was just trying to go to bed,” Chan pouts, and Woojin can’t help cooing at the vampire’s groggy expression. 

“How about we take a nap here?” The shapeshifter suggests. Chan blinks at him, processing the information, and then he shrugs.

“Only if I can use you as a pillow,” he smiles cutely. Woojin’s eyes widen comically, and he can feel himself blush at the suggestion, but before he can answer, Chan pulls him down to the sofa and then the shapeshifter finds himself lying down as Chan’s head is resting on his chest. 

He gulps. 

He hopes Chan can’t hear how fast his heart is beating, but from the smirk on the younger’s face Woojin knows he’s fucked. 

*

Felix doesn’t know what to do. He’s been pacing in front of Changbin’s room for ten minutes now, but every time he turns to knock on the door, he always chickens out. 

He’s scared. 

He doesn’t know if he’s welcome and the feeling is foreign, bitter . Felix used to feel free around Changbin, but now it feels like he’s walking on eggshells. 

He knows he’s being unreasonable--when Hyunjin and Changbin fought, all Felix could think of was to make Hyunjin feel better, forgetting that Changbin is also hurting. He feels so guilty for taking Changbin for granted because now, the werewolf leaves the room when Felix enters, and there are no more hot cups of tea waiting for him when he gets home late, exhausted. 

Felix is angry that it took him so long to realise Changbin is so important to him.

There is also something else lingering there, Felix knows, but he’s been so emotionally exhausted for the last couple of weeks that he doesn’t dare think about it too much. Still, he can’t ignore the way his heart clenches painfully when Changbin forces a smile on his face or when his heart beats faster when Felix runs into the werewolf in the kitchen at midnight. He feels like he just fell off a mountain when Changbin hurries away. 

Not anymore, Felix thinks, determined. No more running.

“Are you gonna come in?” 

Felix jumps and stumbles back as he notices Changbin leaning against his doorframe. The mage carefully lifts his head to look at the werewolf’s expression, but Changbin has a poker-face on. He doesn’t seem as tense as he used to, though. 

“Uh, yeah, is that okay?” Felix asks, his voice a few octaves higher than usual. He awkwardly clears his throat, rubbing his neck.

“You’re always welcome, Felix,” Changbin murmurs, stepping aside. Warmth fills Felix’s chest even though somewhere in the back of his mind a bitter voice whispers I clearly wasn’t last time--

“How have you been?” Felix asks, forcing a smile on his face as he turns around, watching as Changbin closes his door and then hops on his bed. 

“Alright, all things considering,” Changbin shrugs. “Other than the fact that my alpha was almost kidnapped, I’ve been just peachy.”

Felix flinches at the harshness of his voice, and looks down on the floor. 

“Felix,” Changbin says, and this time, his voice is softer. “Hey, look at me.”

Felix tentatively glances up, and the werewolf lets out a rush of air. 

“How are you?” He asks carefully. “It was hard for you too.”

“Yeah,” Felix croaks out weakly. “I thought...I thought I lost him again.”

“Oh,” Changbin’s eyes flash with understanding, and surprisingly, guilt. “I’m sorry, that must have been terrifying.”

“Yeah,” Felix nods again, playing with the sleeves of his t-shirt. “You know, he...he does mean a lot to me. Even if it doesn’t come off that way.”

“Oh, Felix ,” Changbin frowns, standing up to come closer to the mage. “I know you do. I’m so sorry I made you feel like you weren’t showing it enough.”

Felix blinks, looking down to the werewolf who seems extremely uncomfortable. 

“I said some terrible things when we were fighting, and I wish I could take it back. You care for Chan just as much as Jisung or I do,” Changbin smiles gently. “We all care about him.”

“I’m sorry too,” Felix rushes to talk. “I should have never asked you to talk to Hyunjin. It was not fair on you.”

“I did talk to Hyunjin at the end,” Changbin shrugs. “It was after the accident, but we worked things out. You were right,” Changbin laughs bitterly. “He was just confused.”

Felix sighs, tiredly smiling at the werewolf.

“Things are just so fucked up right now,” he mutters.

“Yeah,” Changbin nods. “I can’t help but feel like this is only the calm before the storm.”

Felix’s stomach drops, suddenly feeling cold. He knows Changbin is right but he really doesn’t want him to be. They went through so much, and he doesn’t know how much more they can take. 

“Felix?” Changbin asks, and when the mage looks up, the werewolf is only inches from his face. “Can I...Can I say something?”

Felix doesn’t trust his voice right now, so he only nods. 

“I, uh,” Changbin stutters, red creeping up on his neck. “I just wanted to let you know that you don’t owe me anything, even if I made you feel like that.”

What?

“I like you,” Changbin says, and Felix stops breathing. “I’ve liked you since I first saw you and realised that I never want anything bad happening to you. That’s why I always did what you asked me to, no matter what, and I tried to help you out as much as I could,” the werewolf lets out a shaky breath. “When we fought, I said that I’m done doing things for you but I just wanted you to know that if you ever felt like I was doing these kind of things because I was expecting you to reciprocate, that was never my intention.”

“Changbin--"

“It’s okay if you don’t like me back and I don’t want to pressure you into anything. I don’t know, I just--you just matter to me a lot, okay?” Changbin forces it out. “I don’t ever want to hurt you again.”

“Changbin,” Felix says again. He lifts his hand, placing them on the older’s cheek, and the werewolf automatically leans into it. “It’s okay, you never made me feel pressured.”

“I’m sorry,” Changbin says, just incase. 

“I...I’ve never been good at understanding my feelings,” Felix whispers, and when he looks into Changbin’s eyes, there is only softness. “But I think...I think I like you too.”

“Really?” Changbin blinks, hope filling his eyes. “I mean...are you sure?”

“I want to try this,” Felix nods, suddenly feeling giddy. “I trust you enough that even if this doesn’t work out, we’ll still stay friends.” Suddenly he frowns. “I hope.”

“Yeah,” Changbin nods. “I...I don’t ever want to lose you.”

“Glad we’re on the same page,” Felix smiles, and then he’s leaning in.

The kiss is softer than what Felix expected, but nevertheless amazing. Changbin holds onto him like the mage is gonna disappear any second, and when they part, Felix thinks that he’s never seen anything more beautiful than Changbin’s smile. 

“Yeah, I’m definitely gay for you,” Felix blurts out before he can stop himself, but hearing the werewolf’s surprised giggle, he can’t make himself feel embarrassed. 

“I’m definitely gay for you too,” Changbin smiles. 

And if Felix lent in for another kiss, and then another, no one could blame him. 

 

*

 

“CHANGLIX IS HAPPENING,” Minho flinches at the loud noise. “I REPEAT, CHANGLIX IS HAPPENING!”

“Okay,” Minho nods, trying to calm Jisung down, who finally fought through the crowd in the corridor and is now next to Minho, screaming in his ears. “How did you find out?”

“I got a text from Changbin,” Jisung shuffles excitedly. “He said they kissed. They kissed, hyung, isn’t that amazing?”

“I’m happy for them, Jisung,” Minho smiles fondly. The werewolf is just about to go start another rant when Minho’s suddenly falling forward, right into his arms. 

“Watch where you’re standing, human, ” Dowoo growls. Minho feels the rage building up in him, wanting to punch the fire mage for daring to show his face in front of them. 

“Fuck off, Dowoo,” Jisung spits, holding Minho closer to him. “No one cares about your drama.”

“You seemed to care when that vampire of yours was nearly dead,” Dowoo smirks, and Minho is barely able to hold back Jisung from jumping on the mage. 

“Do you want to get punched?” Jisung seethes. “It seems like you want to get punched.”

“Jisung, he’s not worth it,” Minho whispers. “Chan wouldn’t want you to get in trouble for this.”

“Chan can barely stand for ten minutes, hyung,” Jisung glares at him. “He needs to stop being so forgiving.”

“What’s going on?” A voice blooms through the corridor, and suddenly the crowd that formed around the three of them is gone. “Mr Kim, can I ask why you’re bothering Mr Lee and Mr Han?” Mr Jeon tilts his head as he glares at the fire mage, who huffs and hastily walks away next to the teacher. 

“Come on Jisung, please calm down,” Minho whispers. Jisung is shaking in anger, but he takes deep breaths hearing Minho’s voice.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Jisung mutters. “He just makes me so angry.”

“I know, Ji, I know,” Minho holds the younger in his arms, and doesn’t let go even when Mr Jeon stops next to them. 

“Can I speak to you two in private?” Mr Jeon asks tensely. Minho looks at Jisung, who nods, and they follow the teacher into his classroom. 

“Is there anything wrong, Mr Jeon?” Jisung forces it out, and Minho realises that he still hasn’t let go of Minho’s hand.

“It’s about Chan,” Mr Jeon sighs. He looks like he aged decades in just a single second, and Minho can’t help but feel a rush of relief seeing how much Mr Jeon cares for the vampire. Then the teacher’s words catch up to him and suddenly he’s tense.

“What about Chan?”

“I’m afraid the attack was only the beginning of something big,” Mr Jeon says slowly. “The school...The school doesn’t think so. I can’t just sit aside and ignore the warnings and if there’s any way I can help my students, I will.”

“What do you mean?” Minho frowns. 

“There’s a war coming,” Mr Jeon states bluntly. “District 0 is preparing for something. It could be the cause of the disappearances.”

“I don’t understand,” Jisung murmurs. “Why are you telling us this?”

Mr Jeon sighs, leaning against his desk. 

“I have a friend,” Mr Jeon starts hesitantly. “He’s… He’s like my older brother.” Minho tilts his head questioningly, so Mr Jeon straightens up a bit and continues. “He’s also a vampire.”

“Oh,” Jisung says intelligently. 

“Chan and him couldn’t be more similar,” Mr Jeon lets out a small chuckle. “Both care way too much about their friends.” He looks at Jisung. “My friend--he’s undercover in District 0.”

“Holy shit,” Jisung breaths. “Holy fucking shit.”

Mr Jeon looks like he wants to comment on Jisung’s swearing but ultimately decides to ignore it. 

“I’m telling you all of this because as much as you guys are still practically kids, you’ve been through a lot.” He leans forward. “Chan could get into a lot of trouble. I want his friends to look after him.”

“Of course,” Minho quickly nods. “I don’t think any of us realised how serious the situation is.” He gulps, ignoring the way his hands start to shake. “Thank you for letting us know.”

Mr Jeon only nods, and Jisung lets out a shaky breath as he takes a step back. 

“Is it okay if I leave now?” The werewolf asks. “I need--I would like to see my alpha if that’s okay.”

“Of course,” Mr Jeon nods. “Minho, if I could have another word with you though?”

Minho frowns. 

What else could Mr Jeon possibly want to tell him?

“Yeah, Mr Jeon?” Minho asks unsurely once Jisung slipped out of the room.

“Minho,” Mr Jeon starts, clasping his hands together. “How are your self defence classes going with Chan?”

“Wha--?!” Minho splutters, blinking rapidly. “How do you know about that?”

“I saw you two around two months ago,” Mr Jeon admits. “I didn’t tell anyone.”

“Why?” Minho demands. It’s not that it was forbidden to learn how to fight in the school, but if anyone comes to the knowledge that Chan is actively practicing fighting, the vampire could get in big trouble.

“Because you’re human,” Mr Jeon says simply. Minho flinches violently, crossing his arms together once he has a hold of himself. 

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You need to learn how to fight,” Mr Jeon says calmly. “You wanna know how I know that?

Minho glares at the teacher, still feeling defensive after Mr Jeon threw his weakness in his face so bluntly. 

“Minho,” Mr Jeon’s voice softens. “You’re not the only human in this academy.”

“I know, what does that have to do with anythi--” Minho’s voice betrays him halfway through his sentence once he looks into Mr Jeon’s eyes.

“Yeah,” Mr Jeon breaths with a tiny smile.

“You’re human?!” Minho blinks, shocked. “But everyone thinks you’re a warrior mage!”

“I know,” Mr Jeon sighs. “I didn’t bother correcting the rumours.”

“But you’re so good at fighting!” Minho splutters. “How--?”

“You and I are more similar than you’d think, Minho,” Mr Jeon says, amused. “You’re not the only one who has a vampire ready to teach him self-defense.”

“Holy shit,” Minho gasps. “This is crazy.”

“Tell me about it,” Mr Jeon laughs weakly. “You and your group reminds me of me and my friends.” He runs his hands through his face. “That’s the main reason why I’m looking out for you guys.”

“Well,” Minho says, still shocked from the revelation. “It’s good to know that at least some people have our back.” 

“It sure is,” Mr Jeon agrees. “Now, go after Jisung, I’m sure you want to see Chan too.”

“Yeah,” Minho nods. “Thank you Mr Jeon.”

“I’m always here if you need help,” the teacher smiles, and then Minho is out of the classroom, hurrying towards their house, but not before he overhears something he wishes he never would have had to hear.

 

*

 

“Chan,” Minho gasps the second he lays his eyes on him. The human practically falls into Chan and the vampire has to catch him by the waist. “Chan, you have to leave.”

“What?” Woojin frowns at Minho, a protective hand coming up to rest on Chan’s shoulder. 

“Dowoo,” Minho breathes, “I heard him.” His hands are shaking as he tries to tighten his hold on Chan. The vampire can see Jisung step forward, hesitantly reaching towards Minho, but he withdraws his hand at the last second. “They’re targeting you.”

“Minho,” Changbin says cautiously. He speaks slowly as if he’s talking to an injured animal. “We already know that.”

“No!” Minho raises his voice. “No, you don’t understand!”

“Hey, Minho,” Chan whispers, placing a hand on the other’s cheek. The younger is frantic, eyes jumping from one place to another as if someone’s going to appear from the shadows. “What’s wrong?”

“They’re working for someone, Chan,” Minho’s voice breaks as he looks back to the vampire. The hold on Chan’s shoulder tightens as Woojin steps closer. “They want you specifically.” Minho tries to take deep breaths, but he can’t slow himself down and he’s almost choking on his words. “They’re, angry, Chan. Dowoo said they’ve never been this mad before.” He holds Chan even closer, his whole body shaking. “I think they’re going to come for you themselves.”

What?

Chan is frozen as he’s staring down at Minho, his brain exploding with thoughts.

Why him?

What’s so special about Chan that these people want to kidnap him so badly?

There’s silence in the room. Felix is white as a sheet, holding onto Changbin for support, who doesn’t look any better. Seungmin is still sitting at the dining table, staring at Minho in shock, and Jeongin is hiding behind Jisung who has an unreadable expression on his face.

“No,” Hyunjin stutters, stepping forward. “This isn’t right. I thought the head teacher is behind this, but--” He frowns. “This isn’t adding up.”

“We all know Mrs Par discriminates her students,” Changbin growls, pulling Felix closer to himself. “I wouldn’t put this past her. She’s probably done this before.”

“It’s not her,” Minho whispers. “They specifically said she cannot find out about this.” He looks at everyone. “It’s someone else.”

“Then the last thing Chan should do is leave,” Woojin states. His voice is as cold as ice, making Chan shudder. “He’s safer here with us than anywhere else.”

“I can’t stay here.”

“What?” Woojin turns to Chan, glaring at him. “What are you saying?”

“You know I can’t, Woojin,” Chan says desperately. “I’ll put you guys in danger.” His hands start shaking as he steps back, letting go of Minho. “I can’t let you get hurt because of me ,” He gasps. 

Suddenly his mind is like cotton, trying to keep up with everyone as they start protesting, but all he can think about is being taken away from the boys who became his family. The image of any of them injured because of him-- it’s unbearable

He sees Seungmin dried out on the floor, his soulless eyes staring into Chan’s own. He sees Jeongin bleeding out, begging for help. He sees Hyunjin trying to fight back, but ultimately failing to protect the people he wants to protect as he drowns in the fists throwing punches. He sees Felix covered in wilted flowers as he takes his last breath, Changbin covering him with his own body as he’s kicked over and over again. Woojin fighting until all that’s left of him is a limp body. Minho and Jisung protecting each other until one of them goes down. The other one follows right after. They’re all dead, and it’s because of him, it’s all because of him--

Stop thinking.

Chan is yanked out of his mind by Woojin whispering in his ear. The shapeshifter leans back, offering a weak smile as he gently lifts the vampire’s chin. “We’re not leaving you.” Woojin looks into his eyes, something new in his eyes. “ I’m not leaving you.”

Minho latches onto Chan again, hugging him like his life depends on it. He’s holding back tears, but he doesn’t let them fall as he hooks his chin onto Chan’s shoulder. Minho reaches out to Woojin, dragging him into the embrace, and Woojin wastes no time wrapping his arms around the two. Felix lets out a quiet whimper, and joins them, and soon all of them are in a puppy pile on the floor.

“Guys,” Chan hiccups, “ Please-- ” He doesn’t even know what he’s begging for anymore. 

“We’re staying,” Hyunjin says with a sense of finality in his voice. He’s determined, pulling Chan even closer if that’s possible. “I won’t leave you. Not again.”

Chapter Text

“So,” Chan smirks as he hops down on the sofa. Felix budges up, giving him a confused look, but the vampire continues to give him a look.

“...So?” Felix mutters, tilting his head cautiously. He doesn’t know what Chan is thinking, but he can tell it’s something he doesn’t want to know.

“You and Changbin, eh?” Chan smiles, and the mage suddenly feels like he’s the prey and Chan is very, very hungry. 

“Uhm,” Felix says. 

“Is he a good kisser?” Chan wiggles his eyebrows.

“Hyung,” Felix groans as he leans back on the sofa. Chan chuckles next to him, throwing his arm behind the mage. 

“I’m just asking,” the vampire giggles. “After all, you’re going out with my puppy. And Changbin’s going out with my best friend.” Chan’s eyes soften. “I gotta know what’s going on.”

“Yeah,” Felix breaths, cheeks reddening. “Yeah, I understand.”

“Hey,” Chan’s smile dims slightly as he pulls Felix closer. “You don’t have to tell me anything. I just wanted to know if you’re happy.”

“I am, hyung,” Felix nods, leaning his head against the vampire’s shoulders. “Changbin - he’s special.”

“He sure is,” Chan snorts. 

“I mean, yeah, he’s a little weird,” Felix chuckles. “But I love that about him.”

“That’s good,” Chan smiles. 

They sit in silence for a moment, until Felix sits up and turns towards Chan.

“Have you thought about it?” He asks. Chan tenses.

“Thought about what?” He pretends to be confused, but after Felix glares at him, he sighs. “We talked about this, Fe.”

“Why won’t you tell them?”

“I’m cursed,” Chan scoffs. “I already brought so much disaster to this little family. Telling them I pissed of a witch?” He shakes his head. “It’s like I’m asking to be kicked out.”

“Don’t say that,” Felix frowns. “We’re here for you. You know that.”

“How would telling them even help?” Chan asks bitterly. “It’s not like they can do anything about it.”

“You would be able to talk about it,” Felix mutters softly. “You wouldn’t have to keep it in.”

Chan looks at him, but his expression is sour, but before he can say anything, there’s a knock at the door. 

Felix freezes.

“Are we expecting anyone?” Chan asks, his voice guarded. 

“Not that I know of,” Felix whispers.

“Stay here,” Chan orders, and before Felix can say anything, the vampire is at the door, holding something that looks like an umbrella in his hands. He raises it slightly, and then he opens the door. 

“Mr Jeon?” 

“Just call me Jungkook hyung,” says Mr Jeon. “I’m not that much older. Why are you holding an umbrella?”

“I thought you were an intruder,” Chan mutters, embarrassed. “Not to be rude or anything, Mr Jeon, but why are you here?”

“I said to call me Jungkook,” Mr Jeon frowns. Nurse Kim steps out from behind him as they come into the house, and the medic mage happily hums as he takes his shoes off. 

“We’re here to help,” Nurse Kim sing-songs. “Call me Taehyung hyung, by the way.”

“What do you mean ‘help’?” Chan has never been more confused in his life. 

Mr Jeon’s expression suddenly becomes serious as he steps closer and rests a hand on the vampire’s shoulder.

“We know about Dowoo,” Mr Jeon sighs. “Mrs Par doesn’t believe what happened because of the lack of evidence, but…” he looks back at Nurse Kim, whose expression is just as dark. “We know District 0’s mark when we see it.”

“I don’t understand,” Chan stutters. 

“District 0 has a symbol,” Nurse Kim says. “It’s an eye. They’re put on letters so that allies outside District 0 can recognise them.”

“How do you know this?” Felix asks, walking closer to Chan.

“I know someone who’s in District 0,” Mr Jeon’s voice gets rougher.

“Min Yoongi,” Chan nods in understanding. “Jisung told me.”

“Yeah,” Mr Jeon nods. “I just got in touch with him yesterday, and…” his voice trails off. He makes eye-contact with Nurse Kim, who grits his teeth and nods.

“And what?” Felix asks, fear growing in his stomach as he glances between the two adults. 

“They’re coming here,” Jungkook forces it out. “For Chan.”

What?

“For...for Chan?” Felix stutters. 

“Why?” Chan steps back, hands shaking as he tries to ground himself by holding onto the edge of the sofa. “Why me?”

“Dowoo and his friends don’t realise,” Mr Jeon starts, “but they’re working for District 0. They believe they’re working for an organisation to get rid of the lower ranks, but in reality, the kidnapped people are taken to District 0.”

“And they want to take me,” Chan says with no emotions in his voice. 

“Yes,” Mr Jeon nods. “So Taehyung and I came to help you escape.”

“What good will that do?” Chan laughs bitterly. “They’ll find me anyway.”

“Hyung,” Felix grabs Chan’s hand, squeezing it so tight Chan knows it will bruise tomorrow. 

“Chan, listen to me,” Mr Jeon steps forward. “You have a chance at running away, you hear me?” He throws a backpack in front of the vampire. “It’s packed with the essentials. Blood bags, clothes, money, whatever you might need for the road. I also deactivated your tracker.”

“Where would he even go?” Felix growls out angrily. “Are you just gonna throw him out with no protection?”

“There’s a safe house in District 7,” Mr Jeon frowns. “The coordinates are in the bag. We have a team there that can look after you.”

“A team?” Felix scoffs. “You’re not just a high school teacher, are you?”

“I am,” Mr Jeon says softly. “But I’m also a part of Bulletproof.”

“What the hell is that?”

“A rebellion,” Nurse Kim says slowly. “An organisation, call it whatever you want to. We’re fighting to take down District 0 before they take us down.”

“I thought the government is already doing that,” Felix frowns. 

“The government has a deal with District 0,” Nurse Kim laughs without any humour. “District 0 is unsupervised as long as they’re not actively attacking the other districts.”

“That’s ridiculous!” Felix growls.

“So I’m supposed to go to District 7?” Chan finally asks. 

“Yes,” Mr Jeon nods softly. “You’ll be safe there.”

“And what about Felix?” Chan asks. “What about Jisung and Changbin, and the rest of them?” 

“We’ll be here to protect them,” Nurse Kim smiles gently. “They won’t be in danger.”

A harsh sound cuts through the tense silence and Chan can’t help but flinch. Mr Jeon apologises as he takes out his phone, but when he looks at the caller ID his face pales. 

“Jungkook?” Taehyung whispers. 

“It’s him,” Jungkook murmurs. “It’s Yoongi.”

Chan feels like he’s falling. 

“Why is he calling?” Felix asks, his voice shaking.

Jungkook doesn’t answer. He picks up the phone, listens for about four seconds, and then he lowers it, eyes glassy as he looks at Chan.

“They’re coming,” He says. “It’s too late.”

“District 0 is here.”

*

 

“I’m coming with you,” Woojin’s voice doesn’t leave room for an argument. Chan’s holding onto his backpack, hands shaking as he ties his shoelaces.

“Are you out of your mind?!” Chan scowls. “You can’t leave them here.”

“I’m coming with you to the edge of the school,” Woojin sighs. “Then I’m coming back here to protect them.”

Chan bites his lips, guilt flooding him as he looks at the shapeshifter.

“You know I would stay if I could,” he whispers quietly. 

“Then why won’t you?” Woojin turns to him suddenly, anger in his voice. “Why are you running away?”

It stings.

Chan lowers his head, hiding the way his eyes water. 

“They’re after me, Woojin. You know that.”

“We could protect you,” Woojin sounds more desperate this time. “ I could protect you.”

“We’re talking about District 0!” Chan laughs incredulously. “They have a whole army coming here! The only way I can protect all of you is by leading them away.”

Fuck , Chan, this isn’t fair,” Woojin runs his hands through his hair. “You’re not even letting your own pack to come with you.”

“They’re safer here,” Chan nods to himself. “They shouldn’t come with me.”

“But you’re not even letting them make this choice,” Woojin grabs Chan’s shoulders. “You’re not letting us make this choice.”

“We don’t have time for choices, ” Chan sneeres. “I’m leaving now.”

Woojin seems to want to say something, but then he lets out a sigh, and nods. 

“Okay,” he says, and Chan just knows that Woojin will never forgive him for this. “Let’s go.”

Chan walks towards the door, where Mr Jeon and Nurse Kim are talking in hushed whispers. Felix’s eyes are red and puffy, and when he sees Chan he jumps into his arms.

“Please don’t leave me again,” Felix begs and Chan breaks all over again. “You don’t have to do this.”

“I do, Felix,” Chan burries his head in the mage’s shoulders. “ Please understand.”

Felix sobs into his shoulder, shaking his head. 

“I can’t lose you again, Chan, please-”

“I promise I’ll come back,” Chan whispers. “I promise, Felix. I’ll go to District 7, we’ll figure out something and then I’ll come back. I’ll take you guys with me that time if that’s what it takes.”

“You promise?” Chan hears a voice behind him. Woojin is leaning against the sofa, his expression hardens. “That we’ll go with you next time.”

“If you want to,” Chan nods. “Then yes, I promise.”

“Okay,” Felix murmurs into his shoulders. “Okay.”

“Chan,” Mr Jeon calls out, and Chan realises that he’s never seen his teacher look so tired. “I’m sorry, but you have to go now.”

Felix squeezes him one more time, and then he steps back.

“I guess Woojin and I were in the house when Mr Jeon came,” he laughs bitterly. “Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to say goodbye.”

Chan closes his eyes, just so he doesn’t have to see the pain in the mage’s eyes.

“Lets go,” Woojin grabs his shoulder, gently pushing him forwards. 

“Yeah,” Chan lets out a shaky breath. He turns towards Felix one more time, looking into his eyes. “This is not a goodbye, you hear me?” He tries to smile. “I’ll be back.”

“You will,” Felix nods, his whole body trembling. “You have to come back.”

And then Woojin and Chan are out of the house, Mr Jeon waving at them one more time before closing the door. 

Fuck ,” Chan hiccups, angrily wiping his tears away. “Fuck this shit.”

“Yeah,” Woojin nods, eyes full of something Chan can’t read. “Couldn’t have worded it better.”

The two boys start jogging towards the entrance of the school in silence. Chan can’t help but feel terrified at the road in front of him - there’s a chance he won’t make it to District 7. He might get captured on the journey over there. He knows Mr Jeon packed him some fake passports so he can get through security without them checking his blood, but even then, he doesn’t’ know if he can do this. 

They pass the gate of the Academy, and they’re almost at the fence when something flies past his ears and he hears Woojin scream as he falls to the ground. 

“Woojin!” Chan shouts, and then something hits his leg, and he trips. 

“I’m okay,” Woojin coughs next to him, pushing himself up. There’s a massive slash on his back, bleeding heavily enough that Chan wants to get a taste. “Shit, Chan, are you okay?”

“Yeah,” Chan grits his teeth as he pulls himself up, staring at the gash on his thigh. “I’ll survive.”

Woojin suddenly pulls Chan towards his chest and then the vampire hears a grunt behind him as Woojin punches someone.

“It’s a witch,” Woojin whispers as he pulls Chan away from the body laying on the ground.

A deafening screech makes both of them jump, and it takes Chan a second to realise it’s an alarm.

“What the hell is going on?!” He shouts.

“It’s the alarm that goes off in case the school is under attack,” he forces it out, and Chan freezes.

“No,” he whispers. “They can’t be already here.”

“The school is not ready for this, Chan,” Woojin starts to panic. “The gate isn’t closed.”

Chan doesn’t answer as he’s looking past Woojin’s shoulder, eyes widened in horror.

“Woojin,” he whimpers. 

Fuck .”

There are thousands of them. 

They look like zombies as they march towards them from the distance. All of them wear the same blood-red uniform as they run in sync, and Chan isn’t sure if they have even enough time to make it back to the Academy’s building. 

“The gate,” Chan says, turning back to Woojin. “How can it be closed?”

“It can’t, not without Mrs Par,” the shapeshifter steps back, dragging Chan with him. “She has this spell or something, that pulls the rope and then the gate closes and no one can get in or out-”

“The rope?” Chan blinks quickly. “What do you mean the rope?”

“The one over there,” Woojin points at the well about fifty meters away from him. “It’s hidden in plain sight so no one can find it-”

“Let’s pull it then,” Chan starts running towards it, but Woojin stops him. 

“You can’t,” the shapeshifter whimpers. “It closes the gate right away. We won’t make it back in time.”

“This is the shittiest security system!” Chan screams, breathing heavily. “Who the fuck came up with this?!”

“We have a rope both inside and outside the gate,” Woojin explains, his eyes continuously skipping back to the District 0 soldiers getting closer. “In case of situations like this, where the threat can only be seen by people who are outside the academy.”

“We’re gonna have to pull it and run then,” Chan states. Woojin whips his head around to look at the vampire, and even though Chan’s hands are clearly shaking, the man-- boy, he’s only just a boy, all of us are-- has never looked more determined.

“That’s--” Woojin chokes, “That’s insane, Chan, we won’t make it--”

“We don’t have a choice, Woojin!” Chan snaps. He looks at the older, desperately trying to make Woojin understand. “If we don’t do this, they won’t only get us, but the whole school. We have to pull the rope, run for the gate and hope that we can make it before the gate closes and we’re stuck outside.”

“This is crazy, Chan,” Woojin breathes, looking behind him as he sees the thousands and thousands of soldiers running towards them. They could be here any second. 

“We have to do it now, Woojin,” Chan begs. “We can’t let our family get hurt.”

Our family. 

Chan is right--this is their only chance to save them. 

He very well knows that this plan is not fail proof at all. They could both die. He thinks about Jeongin--he doesn’t want to leave him all alone in the world, to make him lose yet another person in his life, but Woojin knows if he doesn’t do this, Jeongin will lose more than just Woojin. He thinks about Minho, his best friend, knowing that he would never recover from a loss like this. Hyunjin, a boy who just desperately needs someone who takes care of him--Seungmin, the merman who still has so much to learn about this world. Felix, the boy who tirelessly works to help the people around him. Jisung and Changbin, the boys who just need a family. 

Woojin can’t bear to think about losing them.

“Let’s do it,” Woojin nods, and then nods again, trying to convince himself that this is the right decision. 

Chan offers him a weak smile, thanking him, and then he turns towards the rope. He lets out a shaky breath, reaching out, and then--

He pulls. 

“Run!” Chan shouts, but Woojin is already dashing forward. He wishes he would have enough energy to turn into a bear, but his injuries are to severe to risk it, so he’s just sprinting as fast as he can. 

Woojin’s heart feels like it’s skipping a beat when he notices that the gate is lowering a lot faster than what he expected. He pushes himself even harder, hoping that Chan is right behind him, and with every second he’s closer to the gate of the school, he gains more hope. 

5

The gate is lower than Woojin’s height now. He’s still too far away .

4

He can hear the war cries of the soldiers as they break through the shield. 

3

They’re gonna have to slide. Woojin hopes to god they can make it. 

2

Almost there, almost there--

1

Woojin pushes with all his energy, hearing a whoosh next to him, and, assuming Chan is doing the same, he slides under the gate just before it closes with a deafening sound. 

0

They made it. 

They made it. 

Woojin turns around to hug Chan, to possibly kiss the fucking life out of that vampire, but when he looks next to him--

Chan’s not there. 

“Woojin,” Chan gasps from behind him, pressing his face against the gate as he looks through it, heavily balancing on his good leg. 

His leg. 

His leg was injured already. 

Woojin looks up.

Chan knew he wasn’t going to make it. 

“You--” Woojin spits, desperately clutching the bars of the gate. “You fucking bastard--”

“It was the only way, Woojin,” Chan wheezes out, placing his hands on the shapeshifters’. “We didn’t have any other options.”

“I could have shifted, you idiot ,” Woojin cries. “You could have been on my back--”

“You and I both know that’s not true,” Chan shakes his head gently, squeezing Woojin’s hands. “You are too injured.”

“I can’t leave you here,” Woojin shakes his head, his breathing speeding up. He pulls back, looking around for something, anything to open this damn gate back up and get his Chan back--

“Woojin, stop ,” Chan whispers brokenly. When Woojin looks back, Chan’s gently smiling at him, trying to show that it’s okay, everything will be okay, but the shapeshifter can see the District 0 soldiers coming closer every second, charging towards Chan. Chan, who is now unprotected with an injured leg and no back up. 

“Chan, no,” Woojin sobs out, reaching out to hold Chan’s hands again. “I can’t lose you, please --”

“Look after my pack, Woojin,” Chan asks, letting a few tears slip as he talks over Woojin’s begging. “Please, look after them. Tell them I love them.”

“This isn’t the end , Chan,” Woojin shouts at him, but his anger’s wet and holds no power. “You’re not going to die.”

“Tell Felix that I’m sorry,” Chan continues, and Woojin wants to pull him closer, away from the soldiers who are only a few hundred meters away now. “I am so sorry for leaving him again.”

Chan, ” Woojin’s knees give out, and Chan sinks along with him to the floor.

“And you, Woojin,” Chan continues, reaching through the bars to lift the shapeshifter’s chin up. “I am so sorry that you have to see this.”

“This isn’t fair , Chan,” Woojin punches the bars desperately. “This isn’t fair on any of us.”

“Woojin,” Chan smiles, but this time his smile is not as strong before, and Woojin realises that Chan is scared. “It’s gonna be fine, I promise--”

“I love you,” Woojin blurts out, and Chan’s eyes widen, before a smile so pained appears on his face Woojin wishes he didn’t say anything, yet he continues. “I love you. You are loved , Chan, remember that.”

“Woojin,” Chan chokes out, and finally his resolve breaks. His body starts shaking, and he’s squishing himself as close to the gate as possible. When Woojin looks behind him, the soldiers are only a few meters away. “Woojin, I’m so scared--

“Please, don’t go--” Woojin chokes out, and then Chan’s reaching towards him, and Woojin knows exactly what words his mouth is trying to form, but then--

Then Chan is yanked away from him, and suddenly Woojin can’t see him anymore. Chan is lost in the body of the soldiers, and Woojin hears screaming, maybe it’s his , but he can’t think of anything else other than the fact that Chan is gone, he’s gone, they took him--

The soldiers ignore his hands reaching out between the bars and turn around.

“Take me instead,” Woojin screams. “ Take me instead, you sick bastards!”

But the soldiers pay him no mind, they’re walking away from the Academy now, and Woojin knows Chan’s body is somewhere in between theirs.. 

“Please, give him back,” Woojin whimpers.

Please.

*

He’s still sitting there even after all the soldiers disappear in the horizon. His hands are squeezing the bars so hard his knuckles turned white, but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t move when the door to the school opens behind him and the students pour out to the front yard. He doesn’t move when Mrs Par is demanding to know what happened. He doesn’t move when Mr Jeon is touching his shoulders, wanting to know if he’s alright. 

He only moves when he hears Jisung’s voice.

“Where is he?” Jisung whispers. Woojin turns his head, staring into the eyes of the wolf. “ Where is he , Woojin?”

Woojin doesn’t answer. He doesn’t know what to say.

“Hyung,” Felix sinks to his knees in front of him, holding Woojin’s face in his hands. “Hyung, what happened?” 

“Why aren’t you answering?” Jisung’s voice is bordering hysterical now, and when Woojin looks back at him, he sees Changbin standing next to the werewolf, staring at Woojin, emotionless.

“Where is Chan?” Minho chokes, looking at the bars. “Where are the soldiers?”

Woojin feels like words have never been this heavy.

“Fucking answer me !” Jisung screams, moving towards Woojin, and then the oldest breaks.

“He sacrificed himself.”

Silence.

It’s deafening .

Nobody says a word and Woojin doesn’t dare look up. His voice is hoarse from all the screaming, but he continues talking. 

“He wanted me to tell you that--” Woojin stumbles over his words, an unexpected sob surfacing, “That he’s sorry.”

“No,” Jisung whispers, hands coming up to cover his mouth. Changbin’s eyes widen, and then the werewolf is grabbing onto Woojin’s shirt, pushing Felix out of the way.

“How could you let him do that?” Changbin snarls. “How could you?!

“I didn’t!” Woojin screams back, all his pain hitting him full force. “The plan was to do it together! We close the gate and we run, hoping we can make it,” Woojin laughs, but there is no amusement in it, only bitterness. “He didn’t run fast enough.”

“How could you?” Changbin repeats, this time weaker. He’s giving Woojin the coldest glare, but it only fuels Woojin to shout back.

“I had to watch him get taken away, Changbin!” Woojin screams. “They took him from me! Right from my arms !”

“Woojin,” Minho tries to speak, tries to stop him, but Woojin is too far gone to care about the damage he’s about to cause.

“He was scared, Changbin,” Woojin continues, hiccupping. Changbin makes a noise similar to a whimper. Jisung is next to him now, holding onto Changbin’s shoulders. “He was scared, but all he wanted to tell me is to tell you how sorry he was.”

“Stop, please,” Minho whimpers. He pulls Hyunjin, Seungmin and Jeongin closer to him as if he can shield them from the pain, but he knows it’s pointless.

They can all hear Woojin.

“I told him I loved him,” Woojin gasps. 

“I told him I loved him, and he couldn’t say it back.

Changbin pulls on his shirt again, and Woojin thinks he’s going to get punched, but then he’s enveloped in the werewolf’s strong arms, and that’s all it takes for him to break down again. 

“It should have been me,” he whispers as the rest sink down next to him, wrapping their arms around each other. “It should have been me.

And the eight boys weep as the school stands there in silence, grieving the vampire who sacrificed everything to keep the Academy safe.

 

 

 

To be Continued...

Chapter Text

Hi guys!!

 

So, many of you have been commenting about being excited for the sequel, which I'm really happy about!! However it's going to take a bit of time to write it, since I have to make sure there are no plot-holes and I'm not just improvising my way through the story. The first part took several months to plan, and I promise the sequel won't take that long (in fact I already have the plot planned mostly), but I'm gonna have to write a few chapters first so I won't go missing for months again. I'm also in a bit of a low mood nowadays because I've recently fallen out with a friend that I was very close to, and it's really affecting my life, I guess? I find it hard to get inspiration for my story. BUT I'm hoping I can channel my feelings into writing and give you guys an amazing sequel haha <3 

 

So, the sequel should be coming around the beginning of September, is what I'm trying to say! I also can't promise updates regularly because ya boi is leaving to uni soon and Freshers is gonna be kind of exhausting haha <3 I'll try my best though because I love love love this story and I also love my readers who offered me so so much support!

 

ALSO to kind of switch it up a little I'm also writing a BTS fanfic if anyone's interested? It's steampunk styled, inspired by a videogame but you don't have to know the game for it. You know, like kingdoms and trolls and elves and stuff? Let me know if you'd be interested anyway haha <3

 

In conclusion, Sequel coming in September, Steampunk BTS fanfic coming possibly this month! Let me know what you guys think! 

 

Love,

Peachpancake xx