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It shouldn’t have come as a shock to anyone when Johnny announced his bright idea. Yet somehow, it shocked everyone. It was the type of thing that is announced over drinks at the bar, giggled about during late night movie nights, but no one ever stops to wonder if it’s serious, because it usually isn’t.
So when Johnny enlightened the 127 members of his “enthralling idea” to go crawling around the old Daegu Asylum while they were sitting around their bar table, half drunk, it had seemed like a great idea. Mark was particularly amused by the idea. As he sprawled himself across Haechan’s lap, giggling and hiccupping, it was all he could mutter about. How exhilarating it would be to investigate when they finished their schedules up early the next week.
And that was just the beginning. Throughout the rest of the week, everyone had brought it up at least once. Even Doyoung was excitedly chattering about it to his boyfriend over video call one evening. The male on the other end had warned him them that Johnny might not be joking. But it was all too much of a hilarious joke to be serious.
At least, that’s what everyone thought.

When Friday rolled around, they all piled into the vans, sweaty and tired from their latest dance practice, all eagerly awaiting for the rest of their evening and the next day off. The sun was still in the sky, although preparing itself to descend behind the horizon and wake up the rest of the world.
“Are you guys ready for tonight?” an excited Johnny asked the group he was with, practically bouncing in his seat beside Jaehyun.
He didn’t receive a verbal answer. A few grunts of confusion and lazy moans of others who just didn’t care. The only thought on anyone’s mind was shower, dinner or sitting around the television watching a movie.
He took no mind to it, grinning to himself in excitement. He’d spent his week packing a few backpacks for their excursion.
Upon arriving home, Taeyong noted how excited and bouncy Johnny appeared to be, even after a particularly grueling dance practice. He tried not to let it bother him though, or to pay too much attention to that nagging feeling in his gut. All he wanted to think about was getting his sticky body under the hot spray of the shower before crawling into bed with Jungwoo for a nice night of movies and cuddles.
Everyone went their separate ways, into one of the three bathrooms or to change into something more comfortable. Some even opted to flop down on the couches for a much needed break. Doyoung called in a pizza order for dinner before collapsing on the couch beside Yuta and plucking his buzzing phone from his pocket.
He squinted at a particularly coded text from Kun. The male was hardly ever straight forward when either of them ran the risk of one of the youngers seeing their messages, but this one, Doyoungcouldn’t even understand.
“Hyung, how well can you read Chinese?” he asked the elder.
Yuta glanced at him tiredly and then at the phone Doyoung was holding. With a sigh, he looked at the screen and scrunched his eyebrows in confusion.
“It says ‘The John Giant serious about dead people’” he read.
Doyoung stared at the black screen of the television in confusion. His boyfriend had never been this hard to read.
He spent the next two minutes pondering the words until Taeil came into view, dressed in cargo pants, a polo shirt, and an X-shaped vest strapped across his chest with small round pockets full of something.
Yuta took one look at him and burst out into giggles.
“What are you wearing?” he asked loudly, laughing and slapping his thighs.
Doyoung just stared at the elder as he pouted.
“Johnny made me wear this! He said something about “needing it tonight,” whatever that means,” Taeil said, walking over to sit beside Yuta.
Understanding slapped Doyoung in the face. He sprang up from the couch, startling the other two with the suddenness before running up the stairs. He slammed open Johnny’s door to see the elder strapping on a vest similar to Taeil’s. He could see what was in the pockets clearly now. Shotgun shells filled with a white substance. If he had to guess, Doyoung would say salt.
“Johnny hyung! What the hell? Please tell me you’re not dressing for what I think you’re dressing for!” Doyoung cried.
Johnny just grinned at him and handed him a backpack stuffed to the brink.
“Make sure everyone gets ready! We leave at dusk!” he beamed.

He didn’t lie. As soon as the sun disappeared and the sky was cast in dark blue’s as the moon and stars came into the light, Johnny was pushing everyone out the door into one of the larger vans that would fit everyone. By this point, everyone knew his intentions. All dressed in movable jeans or cargo pants, polo shirts, hiking boots (or durable sneakers), and either wearing a vest of salt bullets or carrying a heavy backpack.
“I can’t believe he was serious,” Haechan whined.
No one responded, but almost everyone felt the same. It was a tipsy suggestion at a bar one night after practice. Those weren’t supposed to come true and be serious. Yet, here they were. About to go into this Asylum that was supposed “haunted” because Johnny thought seeing ghosts would be fun.
This wasn’t anyone’s definition of fun. Except Johnny’s.

The van came to a stop and Yuta let out a groan.
“Oh lovely. We’re here,” he whined, opening the side door and crawling out sluggishly.
Johnny was still the first one out, and practically vibrating with excitement.
“Come on! Let’s go! Let’s see some ghosts!”
Jungwoo looked at the asylum skeptically. Fear traced in his eyes as he struggled to keep his hands steady at his sides.
“Are you sure we have to do this? We can rent a horror movie instead!” he whined.
Johnny rolled his eyes and grabbed the males hand.
“Come on! It’ll be fun!” he beckoned, tugging Jungwoo closer.
Jungwoo let out a screech and wrapped his lithe fingers around Taeyong’s hand, digging his nails into the leaders flesh in his escape to tear himself from Johnny.
“Come on, it’s not that bad. Ghosts aren’t real anyways, guys. I just wanted to look around. Please,” Johnny pouted.
“Why couldn’t we just explore it during the day? You know, when it’s not creepy!” Yuta fired.
Johnny released his grip on Jungwoo and turned his attention to Mark, who was already shrinking back and attempting to hide behind Jaehyun. Only to be shoved out by Haechan, who was already hiding behind the elder male.
“Come on Markie! You know you wanna come in with me!” Johnny cooed.
Mark grumbled, his resolve falling rapidly as he begrudgingly stepped closer to Johnny.
“You too Jaehyunnie! I bet if you use one of the video camera’s to record yourself, you’ll have that girl you’re trying to impress swooning!” Johnny said.
Jaehyun sighed and wrapped a hand around Haechan’s wrist, the youngest protesting loudly as he was dragged to the front as well.
Taeyong groaned and looked around at the remaining members.
“Let’s get this over with. The longer we stand out here waiting, the longer we have to be here. Johnny, you have one hour. I’m setting my timer. If you’re not done in one hour, we’re leaving you here and going home,” he said.
Everyone knew Taeyong was lying. They’d never leave Johnny behind. Taeyong himself would knock the giant out and make Jaehyun and Doyoung drag him out by his ankles if it came down to it.
He received lots of irritated moans and groans, but eventually, everyone was mentally preparing themselves to enter the asylum.

As they pushed open the creaky, moldy door, Taeyong, Jaehyun, Doyoung, Mark, and Yuta switched on the large torch flashlights they had all received in their backpacks, among other things. Broken glass crunched beneath their feet as they entered, and as Jaehyun (who was bringing up the rear) stepped in, the door slammed shut behind them. Jungwoo let out a fearful whimper and Taeyong wrapped an arm around his waist in an attempt at comforting the male.
They walked slowly, shining lights on everything they could, broken lamps, busted out chairs, ancient computers, a gargoyle head, a skull and bones, medical papers. Yuta shuttered against Taeil as the carefully walked past the bones.
“I didn’t think anyone died here,” Mark asked curiously.
“That’s the official statement,” Taeyong answered, hissing when a rat ran across his foot.
He nearly elbowed Doyoung in the nose as he lunged away from the rodent, earning a glare from the other.
“I was young at the time, but my brother told me about it. Apparently, there was this doctor that was experimenting on patients in his office. He was paid by the city to pick random patients and do lab experiments on them to try to “cure their psychosis,”” Doyoung said.
Haechan slammed into Doyoung’s back when the sound of glass shattering filled the air. The younger trembled, burying his face in the back of Doyoung’s shirt and the elder sighed, spinning around and wrapped his arms around the maknae.
“Sorry, I kicked over a mirror and it shattered,” Johnny apologized, bending down to investigate the mirror.
A few jagged shards of glass still clutched the panels of the mahogany brown frame, covered in thick dust. Johnny blew some of the dust away and found bloody fingerprints dotted all over the frame. Curiously, he flipped the mirror over and gaped.
‘Room 513’
The frenzied message appeared to have been written in blood with a shaky hand, the letter’s crooked and jagged.
“Let’s go!” Johnny declared, getting ready to lead the brigade.
“Are you crazy! No!” Haechan whispered back, his body still pressed as close to Doyoung as he could get.
“Uh… guys,” Jaehyun said, his voice wavering.
“It’ll be fun! We have to find out what’s in that room!” Johnny declared.
“Do you even hear yourself? No! We don’t go in strange rooms looking for trouble! Haven’t you watched any horror movies? That’s where the killer is always waiting to slaughter whoever is stupid enough to follow the instructions!” Yuta hissed
From somewhere nearby, a droplet of water could faintly be heard hitting the floor.
“Guys…” Jaehyun tried again.
“Don’t be stupid! Horror movies don’t exist! We’ll never know what’s back there if we don’t explore!” Johnny persisted.
“Johnny no! That is a dumb idea!” Jungwoo cried.
“GUYS!” This time, Jaehyun was yelling.
“What?!” Johnny yelled back, clearly irritated.
“The blood… on the mirror… it’s fresh…” Jaehyun spluttered.
Attention turned to the mirror in time to watch another droplet of blood patter down to the floor.
Haechan let out an ear piercing scream.
“Where’s Taeil hyung?!” he cried.
This sent everyone into a frenzy, particularly Yuta who was determined that Taeil was hiding rather than admitting the fact that he was gone.
“Stay calm! I’m sure there is a rational explanation,” Doyoung tried, but his voice was shaking so much, almost no one believed it.
Taeyong took a shaky breath and counted down the members. Taeil was indeed missing.
“We need to try to find him. We’ll split up into teams of four,” Taeyong said.
He slipped the backpack off his back and pulled out two walkie talkies with full batteries.
He took one for himself and handed one to Doyoung before splitting ways with his companions, Johnny, Junwoo, and Yuta.

Taeyong led the group down the hallway they had been following, carefully watching the floor and walls for any signs of Taeil. He didn’t know whether to be thankful or terrified that there were none.
Jungwoo was practically glued to his back, whining if he became too far out of the youngers grasp.
Yuta was already a mess. Trembling and whimpering with practically every step. Taeyong could almost hear his rapid heartbeat as his desperate eyes drove over the walls, looking for anything that would lead him to his boyfriend.
All of the excitement seemed to have evaporated off Johnny now, replaced with a look of pure terror and self-loathing that Taeyong almost wanted to wipe off his face. But the sick part was, he found Johnny’s mood justified.
“HELP ME!” Taeil’s voice screamed down the hall, rattling off the tattered walls.
“TAEIL!” Yuta screamed, tearing through the hallway, or trying to at least.
Taeyong’s fingers snagged around Yuta’s empty beltloops and held him in an iron grip he didn’t know he possessed.
Yuta squirmed in his grip, Taeyong’s fingers burning with the movements, not that Yuta cared at the present.
“Let me go!” he shrieked.
Taeyong was at a loss. Jungwoo was clinging to his left arm, refusing to let go. Yuta was struggling against Taeyong’s grip, practically ripping the joints from their sockets. Johnny stood stiff as a board, eyes staring off down the hall, glazed over.
“HELP ME!” Taeil’s voice shrieked again.
Yuta let out a loud wail as he struggled to free himself from Taeyong’s fingers, his feet scuffing at the dusty red rug thrown across the floor, kicking it up in large wrinkles until the movement eventually had him face planting into the worn rug, dust particles immediately sprouting into the air.
Jungwoo’s sensitive nose rattled off the walls as his body shook and convulsed by the force of his sneezes, snot blobs springing from his nose to plop gracelessly on Taeyong’s arm. In a crazed rush, Taeyong shoved Jungwoo’s still convulsing body into Johnny’s stiff one as he tore the fabric of his own sleeve to wipe away the disgusting residue of dust.
As Jungwoo’s body collided with Johnny’s the taller male was ripped from the grip of his stupor, arms wrapping protectively around the younger’s waist, steadying him before pulling the other’s shirt over his nose in an attempt at creating a filter between the dust and Jungwoo.
Another scream tore through the hallway, but this time, it wasn’t Taeil’s voice.

Doyoung led his group the opposite direction of Taeyong’s. There had been a narrow hallway that bridged off from what was presumably the main hallway. This hallway was much thinner. The walls were separated by a few yards. As Doyoung led the way, his flashlight barely provided much light in the pitch black. His shoulders brushed against both walls, making him shutter every time his clothed arm touched a paint-chipped dip.
Haechan huddled as close to Doyoung as he could get, practically tripping on the elder’s heels, his arms wrapped tightly around his hyungs middle, his heart beating rapidly in his chest. He shined the light against the walls, hoping the clarity would calm his racing mind and open his lungs that had seemed to collapse on themselves.
“It’s ok Hyuckie,” Mark called quietly, a large hand splaying across Haechan’s back, rubbing small circles with his fingers.
It helped that there were others there. The warm body pressed against his chest. The soothing hand against his back calmed him down only slightly. But when that hand suddenly vanished, Hyuck was left shuttering.
“Hyung?” his voice shook at the question.
The other grunted in response and Haechan felt his heart jump into his throat in relief. But the hand wasn’t replaced.
The group toddled along until Doyoung’s leading feet collided with sheetrock. Haechan collided against his back and another body collide against his.
“Oof, hyung, get off me!” he whined in protest at the weight pressing him against Doyoung.
There was a muffled apology and scuffling feet as the body lifted off Haechan’s back, allowing the youngest to back off Doyoung just enough for the male to get himself off the wall.
Jaehyun shined his flashlight against the white wall that was suddenly in front of them, coming out of nowhere. And if Doyoung hadn't turned his head to the right and faced a dooming blackness, he’d have assumed they were trapped at a dead end.
The sharpness of the curve wasn’t expected, and sent a chill down Doyoung’s spine as his flashlight skidded across the dusty red carpet, ensuring that they were indeed headed down another dark hallway rather than dropping into a random pit.
Haechan’s grip on Doyoung tightened as the male took a tentative step into the hallway, his blood running cold at the creak of a floorboard under the other’s weight.
“Be careful hyung,” Jaehyun’s whispered voice was right in his ear.
Haechan shivered away, the hairs on the back of his neck standing up at Jaehyun’s deep voice rattling around in his brain, confusion clouding his mind.
Doyoung hummed in response, focusing solely on stepping on the floor as if the floor could shatter in seconds. Haechan didn’t want to think about how possible that was.
The whole group jumped, Haechan clinging to both hyungs in fear as a familiarly, loud scream echoed off the walls.
“Mark?” there was Jaehyun’s voice again.
And suddenly, Haechan knew why he’d been confused.
“... Mark hyung is gone…” his voice was weak with trembles as tears welled up in the ducts of his eyes.

Taeil’s back hit the wall with a quiet thud, the icy hand on his forearm squeezing tightly as he watched in horror as red letters were spelled out on the mirror, the wound on his thigh still drizzling small spurts of blood, but not enough to be alarming. Not enough to really be… anything.
He was confused.
The freakishly cool body had brushed against his back and tugged him off into the darkness, a bony hand wrapped tightly around his mouth, forcing any cry for help back into his chapped lips. A raspy voice whispered something hoarsely against his ear, trembles tingling down his spine in fear before he passed out.
The wound on his thigh was there when he’d awoken. It looked horrible. Like a stabbed gash. But upon tearing away the fabric of his pants, he found a gash, not much deeper than a small cut, but it admittedly hurt like hell.
A dark figure came into view, soundless footsteps falling on the carpet as the figure approached and a screaming plea tore itself from his throat.

Yuta grumbled unhappily, his body squished and exposed in ways that would make Mark blush in shame. His stomach pressed in on itself at the odd angle, legs dangling uselessly below him.
His body jolted suddenly, pain searing through his ribs at the weight of his body slamming into the solid surface.
“Yah! I’m not a sack of rice!” he protested angrily, slapping at the rigid back.
“Well if you’d stop squirming, maybe it’d be easier to walk!” Johnny snapped back, a hand slapping against the others thigh.
Yuta let out a loud yell and glared at the floor.
“Stop it you two. The last thing we need is for someone else to disappear,” Taeyong hissed through a whisper.
Ever since they’d heard the second scream, they’d been trying to place who it was. All they knew for sure was, either someone else was in the asylum with them, or another member of their group had gone missing. None of them were ready to face any of those options.
Johnny’s foot collided with something hard and movable. It crunched beneath his feet, a sickening crack rattling in his stomach as his legs flew out from under him, the extra body on his shoulder tempting gravity far too much as his plush bum collided with the ground, the floor groaning in response.
A hiss poured from his lips, Yuta’s now writhing body rolling from his shoulder, curling into a ball to clutch at his center. Johnny could faintly see the glisten of tears in his eyes from the glow of Taeyong’s flashlight as Jungwoo knelt down to nurse the male.
Johnny felt bad. Well, he almost felt bad. It was at the brink of building until his eyes fell on the tarnished white walls, his pupils freezing over the words clawed out in crooked, jagged piques, mixing with the paint and sheetrock. His blood chilled and he swore his heart stopped for a moment before clanging loudly in his ears.
“J-Jungwoo… how are you feeling?” he asked shakily, his eyes never leaving the markings on the wall.
“I’m fine hyung, why?” the male asked.
Johnny could feel Taeyong’s gaze burning a hole in the back of his head.
“Jungwoo, don’t leave Yuta’s side, OK?” he urged.
“What the hell is going on?” Taeyong asked, more than a little irritated and frightened.
Johnny had no words for the sight his eyes refused to leave. All his words had seemed to dry up completely now. He simply pointed.
Taeyong put a hand on Johnny’s shoulder to brace himself as he knelt down. A gasp rushing from his lips as his eyes landed on it.
Jungwoo
The lone name was scrawled into the wall like a desperate plea of a sharp nailed child in one last attempt at calling out.
“Shit.”
The word seemed to fall out of nowhere.
A shiver ran through Johnny’s back. That wasn’t any of their voices.
“Let’s keep mo- Jungwoo!”
The boy whose name appeared on the wall was suddenly pressing himself against the wall for support. Choked coughs tearing painfully from his throat and a smell wafting through to Taeyong’s nose. But it was too late.
With drooping eyes, Taeyong’s knees began to crumble, unable to support his weight any longer, rather, falling on top of Johnny, both body’s colliding lifelessly to the dusty floor.
Coughs continued to tear from Jungwoo’s throat as he struggled to keep his eyes open, clutching at Yuta’s limp arm before his whole world faded to black, his body slamming against the red carpet, eyes long rolled into the back of his head.

Doyoung’s breathing came out slow and erratic. Particles of what was hopefully dust swarming the air around him as the narrow walls pressed closer, making it unable to walk straight any longer.
Haechan whimpered beside him. His shoulders pressed between Jaehyun and Doyoungs as they shimmied their way down the hallway. Doyoung’s back was pressed flush against one wall, the opposite wall a foot away from his head now.
“Breath Haechan,” Jaehyun instructed.
Doyoung turned to look at the youngest, his heart clenching at the sight.
Haechan was a mess. His breathing uneven and choppy. His eyes shifting around and his body trembling. Doyoung could imagine his heart was likely also beating painfully against his ribs.
It was a well known fact that Haechan was painfully claustrophobic. He also had a fear of horror movies. And this damn well felt like they were sucked into the middle of one.
Haechan clenched his fingers around Jaehyun’s hand, trying desperately to calm himself down, but that task didn’t get any easier as he suddenly heard creaks in the floor, getting closer and louder.
“Hyung!” Haechan cried, burying his face in Doyoung’s shoulder until the creaking stopped.
“Shh, it’s ok Haechan,” Doyoung whispered softly.
He shined the light of the flashlight down the hallway as let out a deep rush of air as the light hit a wall expanding the narrow hallway.
“Come on, the wall expands back here,” he whispered, itching himself down the wall.
When they finally broke from the narrow hallway, they all felt the air become more open and easier to breath. The air that had stuffed itself in the swell of Haechan’s chest rushed out greedily as he took a few cleansing breaths.
It was pitch black. Even with the flashlights, none of them could see much in front of them. The glow of the lights licked at the inky shadows, but to no avail, simply revealing minuscule secrets of whatever room they were in.
Feeling more confident, Haechan used his own torch light to look around, never leaving his spot between Doyoung and Jaehyun, hand still grasped in Jaehyun’s.
As his light glowed, they fell on a pair of black shoes that he immediately recognized.
“It’s Mark!” he cried, shining the flashlight up the thin legs.
Something felt off as the light trailed up the body. The stature seemed too small and frail to be Mark’s, but Haechan wasn’t going to chase away his own relief.
The light glided over a tiny torso and up fragile arms. That didn’t seem like Mark either, except for the way the arms were crossed over one another almost awkwardly.
Haechan had Jaehyun and Doyoung’s attention. Six eyes trailing up the figure of Mark, checking him for injuries and finding none.
Up a taunt chest and sunken in collar bones.
He looked fine. No injuries. Maybe he’d found a trap door that led him to the room where he’d been waiting for them.
Up narrow face.
A scream ripped from Haechan’s throat. Doyoung let out his own shriek and Jaehyun’s high pitched wails blended horribly with the others.
Piercing red stared directly at them, unblinking, from their friend that shouldn’t be here.
Ten’s red eyes and sunken in state had Doyoung and Jaehyun sprinting from the room, clabbering over themselves, uncaring what the sickening crunching under their feet was or the scraping of metal. They didn’t even pay any attention to the groaning close.
Doyoung’s hand hit a slightly ajar door and he burst through it, Jaehyun following him as they were once again swallowed up by darkness.
“Oh my God,” Doyoung whispered hoarsely.
Jaehyun grunted in response, resting his hands on his knees in an attempt at catching his breath.
A terrified scream startled them both before all was eerily silent. And it was at that moment, that they realized their fatal mistake.
Haechan’s mortified scream still hanging in their ears as Doyoung’s chest tightened.
He’d left the maknae.

Mark opened his eyes into a gray blackness that had his head fuzzy and flittering. Where was he? Was this heaven? He felt so soft. Pillows under his head, blankets delicately draped over him.
A scream broke through the silence of the room and he sat up, eyes snapping back open. He didn’t realize he’d shut them. The bed disappeared, replaced with wet concrete and the smell of sewage. An anger yell snagged his attention once again and the soggy concrete was replaced with pure, fuzzy darkness once again as a familiarly deep voice tendered his ears and calmed his mind.

Johnny’s eyes flew open, staring up at a high ceiling covered in cobwebs that shined in the light of the flashlight. He took the flashlight and sighed as he sat up, his joints stiff from his time on the floor.
How long had he been out?
“Guys?” he asked, shining the light around to where Taeyong, Yuta, and Jungwoo once were.
He gaped as they were nowhere to be seen.
His heart stilled. Eyes frozen over in terror as a realization flashed through his mind.
“I got them killed…”
There was no point in running anymore. His eyes were drawn to the red carpet once again. But now, there was a trail of blood right where Yuta had been laying, heavily pouring further down the hallway like a river.
“No…”
He fell back against the floor. The carpet scratching uncomfortably against his skin, but he couldn’t bring himself to care anymore. He only had one person left to live for. And he didn’t deserve him.
Johnny was a murdered. His stupid idea had gotten his friends killed and now, he was left with one person to answer to. A person he’d never be able to look in the eye again. A person wearing all black. A person with dark red eyes. A person carrying Haechan’s lifeless body.
Wait what?!
“Do you see what you’ve done?” Ten hissed, standing over Johnny menacingly.
Johnny gulped. Why was Ten here? What happened to him?
“Congratulations,” the sneer was nasty.
It had Johnny nearly crippled with the gripping ice of the voice.
Tiny arms dropped Haechan’s body to the floor, watching it land with a hard slap against the carpet, his head merely moving with the force of the fall.
Johnny almost couldn’t bring himself to look at the maknae, tears welling in his eyes.
His eyes were open, dinged over in deep gray, gone, cold, dead. His clothes were covered in blood stemming from the long gash around his throat.
Tears fell from Johnny’s eyes.
“Do you have anything to say for yourself?” Ten’s voice hissed.
Johnny gulped as he clutched Haechan’s cold hand.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
“You should be.”
The voice wasn’t Ten’s.
Johnny’s eyes widened again in horror as Haechan’s eyes shifted to glare at him, eyes turning as red as Ten’s.
“You killed us,” Ten growled above them.
Haechan stood up as if he wasn’t dead moments ago, effortlessly.
“And now you share our fate.”
Ten lifted his shirt and Johnny’s mind raced as his eyes caught side of the knife buried in Ten’s side. He watched the knife glide from the torn and bloodied skin and he wondered if this was how Ten had died. Slow and painful. But he didn’t have time to ponder this as the knife was plunged deep into Johnny’s chest before both bodies disappeared into dust.

Jaehyun’s knees hit the floor as he stared at the door they had just raced from. There was no sound. No creaking floors. No screaming. No whispering. No groaning. It was silent. Dead.
The thought had Jaehyun shaking as he reached out to grip Doyoung’s shirt, but his palm connected with something warm and wet instead.
“You killed him.” a voice echoed in his ears.
It was strangely familiar, but he couldn’t place it.
“You ran and left him there to die.”
Where the hell was that voice coming from.
“He sought you out for protection and you repay him with betrayal.”
Something cold pressed against his head and he froze. He knew that voice.
“I-I’m sorry!” he stammered.
“I don’t think you mean that,” the voice echoed again, the blade of the knife digging into the skin of his temple.
“Please! No! I thought he was with us!” he cried.
He felt something trickle down the side of his face, something warm and wet.
“Pathetic.”
The knife disappeared from his head as a boot clad foot pressed itself against his back and shoved him forward in the darkness. His hand collided with something warm before light flooded his vision, temporarily blinding him before YangYang’s form came into view, red eyes just as piercing as Ten’s.

He didn’t know what happened. Watching Doyoung flail around in terror struck a cord deep within his heart and he couldn’t stop his actions. Xiaojun’s red eyes staring directly into Doyoung’s, knife pressed against the vocalists throat, and he couldn’t take it.
With the press of a button, the pitch black room brightened into a blinding white light that took his eyes a while to adjust too.
“Well that was anticlimactic,” one of them whined, but he couldn’t be bothered to care who.
“Did you really have to cut me?” another voice whined.
“Taeil?” Doyoung’s voice quivered.

Doyoung jumped as hands pressed themselves into the softness of his back as he turned, alarmed to stare at whoever was touching him, only to be met with kind, honey brown eyes that he loved so much. His eyes welled with tears as he lunged for the male, wrapping his arms around him tightly as the door opened again.

“He fainted,” Haechan cackled, half carrying, half dragging a limp Johnny through the corridor and into the room with the cells.
Ten walked close behind, helping carry his boyfriend, guilt nagging at his gut at the terrified expression still on the taller’s face.
“Is he ok?”
Jaehyun looked around frantically, confused as to why suddenly, everyone was in the same space, safe, in the light.

His eyes first landed on Taeil, who’s body was pressed closely on a soft-looking bed with an unconscious Yuta, a tight bandage wrapped around the Japanese males ankle. Taeil brushed his fingers through the males hair, smiling fondly down at him as he stroked over his face with the pads of his fingers.
His eyes drifted over to Mark, who was leaning against a worried and guilty looking Lucas. Mark’s facial expression was somewhere between confused, sick, and delirious as the soft pink blanket draped delicately over his frame.
He caught sight of Haechan, who had flopped on a bed beside YangYang, an angry red welt around his neck surrounded by blood, but upon further inspection, turned out to look more like crushed up cherries.
This was confusing. A mess. Why was everyone’s boyfriends suddenly here? What the hell was all of this.

Johnny’s eyes cracked open after a long half hour and he glanced around the room, eyes smiling happily at the reunited couples.
“Did we win?” he asked.
Ten opened his mouth to respond, a small smile on his lips as he carded his fingers through Johnny’s hair. His response was cut off as the door opened and a middle aged man with gray hair walked in.
“Congratulation NCT and WayV. For participating in this years “horror film” with such a realistic experience, you are all hereby granted a two week vacation from any and all responsibilities along with a full trip blank plane ticket for each of you.”
The males voice was dull and anticlimactic, but as Johnny and Ten looked around the room at the shocked faces of the 127 members, all the guilt he felt putting them through such a horrifying adventure was worth it.