Donghae is pretty chill about most things. The only time he gets annoyed is when he’s exhausted or Hyukjae has pushed one too many buttons.
Out of the three of them, he is the most laidback. He’s so laidback, Kyuhyun swears that it’s more of hinderance than a quality sometimes.
But the thing is, Donghae needs a sense of calm, the ability to not let everything get to him.
Without it, old demons can creep under his skin, turning him, making him into the shadow of what he used to be.
Sighing softly, Donghae rests his head on his paws, watching the city from the comfort of his warm home.
It’s not often he thinks about his past, how he came to meet Hyukjae, and how they both ended up on the streets as strays.
He’s not one for reminiscing, because when he does, he finds it hard to let go for a little while.
We all have parts of our past that can be raw spot, and Donghae likes to avoid touching it.
Hyukjae, he’s learnt over the years to leave the topic alone, he knows Donghae better now than he did ten years ago.
But now that Kyuhyun is part of their lives, their world, he knows sooner or later the male is going to start asking questions, curious to their backgrounds.
Hyukjae’s will be the fairytale, his will be the nightmare.
Donghae would rather live in peace for a little longer before shedding more light onto their history, as well as their species history.
“Remember the rules,” Kyuhyun warns them both as the bus comes down the road.
Hyukjae rolls his eyes, his arm around Kyuhyun’s waist loosening, whereas Donghae snuggles their human tighter, causing him to splutter and turn red. “What if we meet you halfway on those rules?”
Kyuhyun shoves them both away with Hyukjae complaining that he was being good.
“Both of you, lessen the affection,” Kyuhyun warns, pointing his finger at them both, feeling the eyes of the other waiting passengers on him. “I don’t want to attract attention.”
“So only one of us can be affectionate at a time?” Donghae deadpans, not amused. “I don’t want that.”
“Then go back home.”
Hyukjae steps in before both of them can begin to bicker. “The bus has stopped, come on if you want to grab a seat.”
Kyuhyun goes ahead of them, and Donghae tries to catch up as the younger one tries to put distance between them.
Hyukjae can only shake his head, used to Donghae, but forever amused as Kyuhyun still gets adjusted to the werecat’s need to be close.
As they settle at the back of the quiet bus, both doors of the bus shut, and Kyuhyun gives them both looks to behave on the forty minute bus journey to the middle of Seoul where they’re going to have their first ever date with each other.
Hyukjae ignores the look and holds the male’s hand while Donghae wraps an arm around their human’s waist, also ignoring the hissing Kyuhyun is making under his breath.
“This is natural,” both of them remind him, trying to make him less anxious to how strangers view them.
“This is still new to me though,” Kyuhyun grits out, cheeks warm. “I don’t like the idea of being gawped at.”
“Then it’s a good thing they’ll be gawping at us two because we’re so stunning, than the fact we can’t leave your side,” Hyukjae teases playfully, and it works, it makes Kyuhyun laugh, relaxing a little.
“You’ll never see these people again, Hyun,” Donghae murmurs gently, resting his head against Kyuhyun’s arm as he looks out of the window. “Don’t worry too much about what unknown people think of you.”
“Easier said than done,” Kyuhyun mumbles, and Hyukjae tightens his hand he’s got linked with Kyuhyun’s in comfort.
“So, are we getting food first before the movie?” He asks, to take them away from the topic of public display of their relationship.
“Snack,” Kyuhyun states, resting back into the seat with them. “We’re having takeout later tonight.”
“You are forgetting us two eat like bottomless pits, right?” Donghae says, looking up at him with a smirk.
“My bank balance never forgets that fact,” Kyuhyun states, face and voice sarcastic.
Before Donghae can retort, the bus swerves, horns blaring as the bus driver cuts off a lane as it turns into a new road, and all the passengers swerve with the motion, some almost falling out of their seats.
It takes Kyuhyun’s uncomfortable hiss for him to realise he’s pinning the human to his side, his arm around him like steel.
Donghae breathes out slowly, his entire body locked as he forces himself to loosen his hold.
“You okay?” Kyuhyun whispers, fidgeting as Donghae keeps close than he was originally.
Donghae keeps his eyes fixed on the bus driver.
“Do they all drive like this?”
“Not….yeah sometimes,” Kyuhyun says slowly. “Ah, sorry, I forgot you guys aren’t used to public transport still.”
Donghae allows Hyukjae to comment on that, he’s too concerned with watching the human driver, waiting for him to make a stunt like that again so he can be better prepared to protect.
It doesn’t come, and the start of their date begins.
It took a lot for Kyuhyun to even attempt to get used the staring.
Every time he caught a group of people looking at them, it made him duck his head in embarrassment, always shying away from the werecats whenever they tried to touch him.
Of course, it was a futile attempt considering the fact that the two of them were touchy and one in particular was particularly clingy. But it was a miracle that they behaved in public aside from the constant need to touch.
"I still think we should've seen that action movie," Hyukjae complained as they exited the theatre, arm securely wrapped around Kyuhyun's waist as they headed to the cafe that the human liked.
Kyuhyun rolled his eyes, squirming a bit, only to have Hyukjae's arm tighten even more. "You just hate the romance stuff."
"I just hate all of the singing," the werecat corrected. "It's a pain in the ass."
Shaking his head, Kyuhyun looked over at Donghae, who stuck close to him, but was keeping his eyes on the cars that passed him. "Hae?"
Donghae jolted a bit and looked over. "Hm?"
"You okay?" The human wondered, gazing at him curiously.
Donghae quickly smiled. "Yeah, nothing to worry about," he assured him, seeing Hyukjae's gaze directed at him. "Let's hurry to that cafe. I want a latte."
"How strange, you usually just get a cafe au lait," Hyukjae teased.
Kyuhyun sighed as he listened to the werecats bicker, but couldn't keep the smile off of his face.
Hyukjae watched Kyuhyun order their drinks before he turned to Donghae, who was keeping his eyes out of the window, posture stiff. Sighing, he reached over and placed a hand on top of his knee.
"I'm fine," Donghae says immediately.
Hyukjae raised an eyebrow at the quick remark. “Clearly.”
Donghae breaks eye contact with the outside world to glare at him a little. “I’m fine, just keeping track of time and the roads, we don’t want to get stuck in traffic.”
Hyukjae eyes the werecat as his eyes slip back to looking out of the window.
The male had been off ever since they got here, and Hyukjae was trying to pinpoint why.
As Kyuhyun carefully comes over to them with their tray of drinks, Hyukjae makes sure to keep a better eye on his mate.
He worries Hyukjae sometimes when he gets into these quiet moods, and he doesn’t want anything to spoil their date.
“Can’t we get the next one?” Donghae anxiously asks, holding Kyuhyun back from joining the queue.
Kyuhyun gives him a look. “The next one isn’t for another twenty minutes.”
“We can go back to the cafe.”
“Hae, we need to get home, Kyuhyun is cold,” Hyukjae scolds slightly, hugging the male, who is doing his best to ignore the murmuring around them.
Donghae looks back at the growing crowded bus.
Kyuhyun gently slips his hand into Donghae’s tugging him close. “Most of them will get off after three stops, just bear with the the crampedness until then?” The male gently soothes, mistaking his anxiousness for something else.
Donghae knows he’s stuck, he can’t make it anymore obvious, not unless he wants that delightful chat to happen, so he steels his spine, and follows after his mates.
They have to stand, shoved and cramped at the front of the bus as the driver tries to get as many people he’s illegally allowed on.
Hyukjae stands with one hand holding onto the overhead rings, the other fastened around Kyuhyun securely, and Donghae crowds himself close to the human, breathing in his scent to calm himself, to think of anything but how careless humans drive.
Two stops later, and what Kyuhyun had said before was starting to come true, but most of them were exiting from the back, meaning the front was still cramped and full.
Only idly listening to the conversation Kyuhyun and Hyukjae are having, Donghae forces himself to look up, to look out of the windows.
Which was a mistake. He was looking in the other direction when it happened.
The second that the bus driver started to shout, having seen the collision coming but too slow to react, the side where they were huddled against is rammed, breaks screaming, metal groaning, the car continuing to drive against the bus as it tries to squeeze its way past.
Donghae’s vision turns black, everything leaving him as the bus jerks, rocking to unlatch the car from it as it finally breaks free.
The panicked breathing of his human mate, the sharp scent of his fear, strangles Donghae, and his body begins to burn.
He hears a short sharp inhale right next to his ear and he clenches his jaw, trying to control himself.
It was only when everything became steady again that the scent of fear dwindled down, but Donghae could still feel how tense the human was.
As the driver shouted them, asking them if they were all right, Donghae could feel himself start to tremble.
He waited until the driver pulled aside to check the damage, and didn't wait as he pushed everyone aside in his haste to get out.
He ignored the frantic calls of his mates as he hurried away, needing to get away before he did something he ended up regretting.
"Are you okay?" Hyukjae asked the moment they were off the bus, heading from it.
Kyuhyun nodded for the umpteenth time, looking around in his search for Donghae. "Where's Hae?" He asked, concern quickly filling him.
Remembering his missing mate, Hyukjae looked around, trying to find his scent. But he grew worried when he couldn't track him down, the scent of gas and humans blocking Donghae's scent from him.
"Hae? Donghae?!" Hyukjae called out frantically.
Kyuhyun clutched the werecat's arm tightly. "Where could he be?"
"I don't know, but let's find him quickly," the werecat said, his voice tight as he held Kyuhyun's hand tightly to start searching for the missing male. He could feel himself start to worry, trying to figure out why Donghae had reacted the way he did.
But nothing could make the worry disappear.
Kyuhyun looked around frantically as he and Hyukjae searched around the blocks, heading closer to their apartment building. He knew Donghae couldn't have gone far, but then again, he wasn't sure what exactly the male could do.
"Donghae!" The human called out, desperately.
There were no responses, no answers.
Just a never ending silence that slowly got to him.
He bit his lip, eyes roaming around to find Donghae. It wasn't often that the werecat would go missing; in fact, Donghae was the one who would actually be with him and Hyukjae being the one to go awol.
"Donghae..." Kyuhyun whispered, feeling Hyukjae hold his hand tightly.
Donghae curled up on the ground, trying to hold back the sound of pain that threatened to escape from him. He closed his eyes, hands gripping his hair as he tried to hold back the beast.
Eyes slipping shut, he whimpered, trying to get the images out of his mind.
But all he could see was Kyuhyun, the human pale and lifeless on the ground with blood pooling around him.
As the image grew more vivid, Donghae's eyes snapped open, an eerie glow in them.
Closing his eyes, Donghae tried to hold it back, bashing his own head into the wall and ignoring the blossoming pain as the rivulets of blood beginning to trail down his face. The heat inside of him continued to grow and he continued to bash his head, hoping it'll only cause him to grow unconscious and forget what happened.
As blood continued to drip down from his head, Donghae stopped hurting himself, curling up against the wall as he tried to hold back the beast.
He couldn't lose control.
But he lost himself the moment an inhuman growl sounded throughout the room.
Hyukjae was beginning to get antsy.
“Are you sure?” Kyuhyun fretted, both of them running. “We were miles away when it happened!”
Hyukjae nods, his nose picking up the strong recent scent of their mate. “He’s home, but-”
Kyuhyun gains more speed, his worry pushing him, and Hyukjae knows if what he thinks has happened, he can’t have Kyuhyun anywhere near the werecat.
“Kyu-wait,” Hyukjae catches the male just as they approach their apartment building, holding the male back.
“You need to stay out here just until I can make sure he’s okay,” Hyukjae cuts over him.
Kyuhyun’s pants a little, not used to the exertion, but gives Hyukjae a confused look. “Why can’t I be there to make sure too?”
Hyukjae throws an anxious look up the building, looking at their floor. “Just...werecats don’t react well to sudden things.”
Kyuhyun moves to push past him, and Hyukjae digs his heels in.
“Five minutes!” Hyukjae promises, stopping him yet again. “You have to allow me to do this, Kyuhyun.”
“Because you’re the supernatural and I’m the weak human that can’t possibly understand?” Kyuhyun snaps back, frustrated and hurt.
“You...Please, Kyuhyun,” Hyukjae begs, ducking his head down to catch Kyuhyun’s face as he looks away. “Five minutes, and then I can explain.”
Kyuhyun gives him an unwilling look, but relents.
Hyukjae races into the apartment building, hating how he’s made their mate feel, but time is ticking, and he needs to get to their apartment before it’s too late.
The second he gets close enough to their door, he hears it.
And then the thudding of things falling and shattering.
Locking the door behind him, Hyukjae moves purposely loudly to announce his presence as he enters the main living space.
Ignoring the shreds of what is left of their sofa, Hyukjae stares at the window where the male is.
The male doesn’t so much as twitch at his voice.
Hyukjae takes off the jacket Kyuhyun had bought him, not wanting it to get destroyed if things escalated.
He tries again, this time more firmly. “Donghae.”
The rumbling of a deep thick snarl begins, and Hyukjae keeps his gaze fixed on the male as he turns around, showing him his beast’s face.
Hyukjae is short against its height with it standing on two legs rather than the four, but Donghae’s beast form isn’t something to be relaxed about. The male is a Djur breed, and they are unpredictable, and so much more aggressive than the other breeds.
But their beast is only called for two things, one is voluntary, which Donghae only ever does when he needs to, and the last reason is because each Djur is born with a trigger, a direct line straight to their werecat beast.
Donghae’s was called tonight by a trigger, one that Hyukjae had stupidly forgot about.
“You can see him, right?” Hyukjae begins carefully, his memory a bit vague from the last time he had to tame Donghae in beast form. “You know he is okay.”
Donghae shifts slightly, his once blue eyes a hypnotic silver - another difference the Djur breed is born with - fixated over Hyukjae’s shoulder.
His eyes are on the door.
Hyukjae calls forth his own beast form, shifting with a savage snarl to meet Donghae’s, the sound of his clothing shredding before the sound of them colliding echoes around the dark apartment.
In this form, he can match Donghae’s towering height and aggression, but whilst Hyukjae’s breed is slender, more feline to their nature, Donghae’s is stocky and powerful.
A true monster of their species.
Kyuhyun drags his feet from the elevator, biding his time as he creeps closer to his home.
He had promised to wait. Hyukjae never said where he had to wait.
Whatever it was that Hyukjae was hiding, Kyuhyun was determined to get to the bottom of it. He didn't care if it meant going against against the werecat's order — Donghae needed him.
But he jolted in shock when he heard a loud crash and sprinted the last few steps to his home.
Inside, he heard snarling and growling, followed by sounds of fighting.
Filled with worry, Kyuhyun hesitated for a brief second before punching in the key, opening the door, the sound of it banging open distracting one of the two beasts, and allowing the other to knock it away.
Kyuhyun recognized Hyukjae easily, his memory of the other’s form still fresh, but not the other one.
And fear begins to take its hold on him when the monster turned its gaze towards him, lips curled back into a ferocious snarl.
"H-Hyukjae?" Kyuhyun squeaked out, seeing be werecat slowly get up, his eyes on the beast.
Hyukjae snarled deeply, a clear warning for Kyuhyun to stay back as he jumped at the beast again.
It was truly a horrifying sight for Kyuhyun, the human frozen in his spot as he watched the carnage happen in his living room, but he was quick to snap out of it when he remembered Donghae and he looked around frantically.
If that beast was in his home, then that must've meant that Donghae was attacked by this monster.
"Donghae?" Kyuhyun called out anxiously. "Donghae!"
He watched in shock as the monster stilled at the call, allowing Hyukjae to tackle it down and pin it to the floor.
As he stared at the monster, Kyuhyun felt a sick horror occur from deep within his stomach, making him feel slightly nauseous.
"Hae?" Kyuhyun called out weakly.
A low whine answered him.
And Kyuhyun felt his knees go weak, causing him to fall down as shock rendered him speechless.
Hyukjae hissed in warning, pinning Donghae firmer to the ground as the male’s beast form fidgets.
Kyuhyun met those silver eyes, captivated by how different they are when he’s so used to seeing the bright blue shade.
“You have the prettier eyes,” he says randomly, not really with it as he watches the werecat.
Hyukjae slowly looks up at him as Donghae makes another whine, his ears flattening a little as he squirms a bit more.
Kyuhyun swallows, reads into the situation before deciding - fuck it, if he gets hurt, he gets hurt.
Carefully, Kyuhyun inches closer to their pair on his hands and knees, wondering if werecats have the same dominance thing that wolves have where you should lower yourself not to offend the hostile animal.
Kyuhyun lowers himself a little, just to be sure.
Donghae’s head raises slightly, Hyukjae allowing it with control from his end, and the male makes a soft helpless sound as one of its huge claws flexes.
Kyuhyun stops. “Of course you would be the bigger one - you’re the one that eats the most.”
Hyukjae snorts at that, watching Kyuhyun with mild interest now, his stance pinning Donghae relaxing a little.
Donghae tilts his head, that same claw flexing again as it slips further out onto the floor, like a hand reaching out.
Kyuhyun looks around the living room. “Well, at least now I can buy that sofa you two vetoed.”
Kyuhyun hears the pair of them make noises, conversing by the sounds of it, and looks back to see Donghae’s form completely limp, no longer straining to fight off Hyukjae.
His silver eyes are still on Kyuhyun, breathing in slow and deeply.
The human swallowed as he stared back, mesmerized by the silver eyes. "Donghae?"
Whining softly, Donghae's eyes fluttered close and his form began to shrink, Hyukjae moving to get off of him.
As soon as the two werecats were back to their human forms, Kyuhyun crawled closer to Donghae's form, eyes anxious and his breath held.
"Hae?" Hyukjae called out softly, equally as worried.
Donghae pried his eyes open in order to look at them, but then he looked away, not wanting to say anything even when the two grew closer to him.
"Donghae," Kyuhyun breathes out as he reaches out, his fingers softly tangling into Donghae's hair, causing him to stiffen.
"I'm sorry," Donghae mumbles out, voice almost hidden. "I'm so sorry."
The human pulled back in surprise when Donghae was suddenly tugged into a hug by Hyukjae, the older werecat holding him tightly.
"I'm sorry. I should've noticed earlier," Hyukjae said, his voice broken and desperate as he cradled his mate.
Kyuhyun looked at them in confusion. "What's going on? What do you mean by that?"
At seeing Donghae tense, Hyukjae sighed and looked at Kyuhyun. "It's….time we tell you about us, Kyuhyun. Our history….everything."
Kyuhyun’s gaze dropped to look at the werecat almost cowering into the other.
“Donghae?” he calls softly, and the werecat slowly peeks at him. “Can I know?”
Donghae swallows, and Kyuhyun sees the full extent of the male’s anxiety and fear of the topic they have always dodged
When Donghae nods, Kyuhyun straightens. “Let’s move to our room, yeah?” He suggests, knowing that whatever he’s about to be told is going to rock his world yet again, and he doesn’t want it to happen surrounded by the destructive mess done by Donghae’s beast.
He wants the male to be around comfort, and if their private space of their bedroom can at least help with that, then so be it.
With Donghae’s head tucked into the crook of his neck, Kyuhyun continues to play with the male’s hair as the werecat lies cuddled to him, watching as Hyukjae shuts their bedroom door.
“Let’s start off with what exactly it is you saw out there,” Hyukjae sighs as he crawls onto the bed, coming to join them.
Donghae murmurs a soft sound of agreement, and Kyuhyun waits, sensing the delay but understanding that this is going to be hard for them to share.
“There are three breed types,” Hyukjae begins, settling down across their legs, tucking a pillow under him so that he’s comfortable. “And all three are vastly different.”
“Size?” Kyuhyun guesses, and Hyukjae nods.
“Size is a huge factor, but it’s just one of many. The breed Donghae is is the largest and uncommon.”
“Djur breed,” Donghae says quietly, and Kyuhyun knows for a fact he’s going to need to write that and the other names down because he’s only going to forget. “The monster breed.”
Kyuhyun carefully looks down at him. “Monster?”
“Djur’s are a lot more beast-like than our feline nature,” Hyukjae explains. “They are considered to be a lot more deadlier.”
“You said ‘considered’,” Kyuhyun repeats. “Does they mean there is a choice or...?”
“Djur’s have a…” Hyukjae breaks off, and Donghae takes over.
“You could say we have a split focus,” he says, looking up at Kyuhyun to judge his expression.
When he saw nothing on the human's face, Donghae continued, "There is our werecat side — and our beast side. The beast is pretty much what it is — a monster. It is the most aggressive, the most dangerous considering the fact that our human conscience doesn't dictate it."
"But why is it so dangerous?"
"Because we have triggers," Donghae revealed, his expression kept neutral. "That side can only be brought forth if it was triggered or if I have specifically called for it, which I can assure you I try to avoid."
Kyuhyun swallowed, seeing Hyukjae watching him curiously and also on guard. "What's yours?"
"My loved ones."
"Donghae's triggers are activated whenever his loved ones are hurt or in danger of dying," Hyukjae spoke up, and Kyuhyun was reminded of the anxiety Donghae had shown concerning the bus incident earlier.
Kyuhyun wanted to reach out, but held himself back at seeing the distant look in his eyes. "So today was..."
"Seeing you in danger triggered the beast," Donghae confirmed his suspicions.
"Me? Why just me?"
"Because Hyuk can take care of himself. He won't die easily."
Kyuhyun bit his lip at the implications, but knew better than to voice it out loud. Not unless he wanted Donghae to close himself off. Not when he knew fear was clouding the werecat's thoughts that it had triggered the beast to come forth.
Not when he knew Donghae only feared in losing him, all because Kyuhyun’s humanness makes him vulnerable.
Kyuhyun swallows and brings the werecat tighter to him, resting his cheek against the male’s brown hair.
Donghae lightly nuzzles against him, understanding that Kyuhyun knows what his trigger really means.
“You mentioned there were three breeds?” Kyuhyun asks curiously, changing the topic away from the one that is currently causing his chest to tighten from emotion.
Hyukjae flops down, head resting on the pillow now. “Varma, Djur, Feble,” he counts off with his fingers, before grinning up at them. “Try to guess which I am.”
“Don’t be a brat to him,” Donghae jerks his legs, nudging the werecat, and the atmosphere lightens a little at that. “I bet he’s forgotten them already.”
“The only one I can remember is the last one,” Kyuhyun admits, not at all ashamed, and it causes his werecats to laugh.
“I’m a Varma breed,” Hyukjae says has he laces his hand with Donghae’s. “We’re the boring ones.”
“Meaning, he is the fairytale and I’m the nightmare.”
“And the third one doesn’t exist in that story?” Kyuhyun asks, and notices the slight uncomfortable look in Hyukjae’s eyes.
“Feble’s are….often forgotten about in our world, Kyuhyun,” he admits quietly, looking almost ashamed to admit it.
It makes Kyuhyun wary. “Why?”
“Because Feble’s are born from crossbreeding,” Donghae tells him gently. “They’re the breed that has the most issues, disabilities. They’re at the bottom. They’re strays.”
“But...why? Shouldn’t they be helped if they are handicapped in some way?” Kyuhyun questions.
“It’s just the way it is,” Hyukjae tells him softly. “Febles have a shorter lifespan. They either die in their domestic form, or their beast form.”
Kyuhyun’s stomach starts to sink. “Why not human?”
“Because Feble’s deteriorate to the point they can only survive in either form.”
“If they live in their domestic form, at least it will be a somewhat easier death. But if they choose to remain in their beast form…” Donghae trails off, and Hyukjae sighs before continuing.
“Then they get put down.”
Kyuhyun lets out a soft gush of air at that.
"Because the beast is dangerous. They have no other choice, otherwise they'd be nothing but a rabid animal," Donghae shared. “We’re all dangerous, Kyuhyun. You need to remember that.”
Hyukjae saw the look on Kyuhyun's face and breathed out heavily. "That's why Feble aren't exactly the most...commended breed of the three," he explained. "They have an instability that would actually deteriorate them until they're nothing but empty shells of their former selves."
The human bit his lip, his mind struggling to accept the information being given to him. He didn't think there were such distinct elements of the breeds, nor did he think there was an hierarchy for sorts.
But he knew now.
And it terrified him.
"So what, then? Since they're from crossbreeds..."
Donghae and Hyukjae shared looks before the latter looked back at their human, the former nuzzling Kyuhyun's neck.
"Werecats have stronger genes than humans," Hyukjae spoke up. "By crossbreeding, the stronger genes usually come out as the dominant, but there are always the recessive genes."
"If the children possess the recessive genes, then they're in a life of complete self-deterioration," Donghae continued, though he didn't bother raising his head to look at Kyuhyun. "And then it'll simply be passed down to generations if they live long enough."
Kyuhyun clenched his jaw. "What kind of life is this? What—"
Hyukjae shook his head, reaching over to grab Kyuhyun's hand. "It is how life is for us," he told him simply. "That's why I told you in the beginning that life for us isn't simple."
"Is it really that difficult for you all to survive?" Kyuhyun had to ask.
Donghae hummed. "It depends."
"On how strong our will to survive is," Hyukjae answered, and Kyuhyun looked over to see the older to see him staring at Donghae. "Like Donghae's."
Kyuhyun swallowed as he sensed the approach of the topic he knew Donghae was dreading to talk about, but at the same time, he knew it had to be done.
Everything had to be put down onto the table for all of them to be comfortable around each other. They all had to know what needed to be known in order for them to know how they can live with each other.
"You...you've mentioned that Hyukjae's life was a fairytale," the human began, approaching the topic slowly, "and that yours was a nightmare. What...what did you mean?"
Donghae sighed heavily, pulling away in order to look at Kyuhyun better. But his expression was one of sadness, almost as if he was reliving it all and was tired of it. "I was turned, Kyuhyun, by a group of researchers who wanted to conduct experiments on werecats. They wanted to know how they worked, how they lived, and just basically everything about them. They kidnapped other werecats and humans, turning them and keeping them if they survived the process."
Kyuhyun was semi aware that his jaw may have dropped. “Ex….experiments?” Kyuhyun forces out.
“Werecats are born, or turned,” Hyukjae explains. “But a werecat can only turn a limited number of times, I don’t know the full scientific background to how it works, but whatever is in our saliva that allows it, the researchers found a loophole and were able to harvest it.”
“They paid werecats for it, just like they paid werecats to go out and find subjects,” Donghae says, and Kyuhyun looks over him at the distant tone to his voice.
“I was fourteen,” Donghae reveals heavily. “I thought they were new officers in our village, since at the time it was when the new change of government was being threatened, and those outside Seoul and the other major cities were overlooked. I thought they were there to help, keep the peace.”
“But they took you?” Kyuhyun asks carefully, wondering if maybe he should stay quiet or if it will be easier for him to ask questions.
Donghae nods, the look in his eyes showing he’s recalling the memory. “I only knew something was wrong when they started to leave the village and tried to escape. They knocked me out.”
“You should know that this whole operation was something unknown to your human government,” Hyukjae explains quickly. “It took a few years for it to get closed down by us, and even then it was because the government found out and tried to eradicate all history of it and us.”
Kyuhyun’s gut relaxes from the tight knot that it was beginning to form in to at hearing that it no longer existed. “What....did they do it straightaway?” he asks gently.
Donghae shakes his head slightly. “They wanted to test our health and other stuff first, and then they separated us.”
Kyuhyun starts at that. “Wait, they took more from your village?”
The air around them shifts, and Hyukjae’s hand automatically seeks out Donghae, who looks down, hiding his expression.
“My older brother, my only sibling, was taken with me.”
Kyuhyun stared, eyes wide with a hint of disbelief. “Wha...What happened?”
There was a long moment of silence as Donghae continued to look down, seemingly trying to muster up the strength he could to tell him. Beside him, Hyukjae soothingly rubbed the back of Donghae’s hand with his thumb, whispering words of encouragement to his mate.
Finally, Donghae spoke up, “They turned him, but he didn’t survive the transition.”
A gasp escaped from Kyuhyun and the human ached to soothe Donghae, to make all of those memories disappear from his mind. But he knew that the werecat needed to relive it right now, in order to help get past what happened to him, but Kyuhyun was worried that it might end up triggering something inside of Donghae.
“When I found out, I shifted into my beast form,” Donghae continued to share, needing to otherwise he wouldn’t be able to anymore. “I was already in the middle of transitioning as a werecat, but once the news reached me, it triggered something within me, merged me differently, and I became what is known as a Djur breed. The scientists who were examining me found it interesting and…”
“They continued to find ways to trigger that beast again,” Hyukjae continued on for his mate, sensing the despair hovering around the male. “They soon learnt Donghae only had the one.”
Kyuhyun glanced at Donghae, seeing the male staring down at the bed and his and Hyukjae’s clasped hands. The expression on his face wasn’t anything Kyuhyun had ever seen before - he was too used to the bright smile and teasing nature of the werecat.
The personality of his, the human realized, was merely a front to hide the truth beneath; the pained and tortured soul of the werecat that had seen more horrors than anyone should ever see.
“What happened then?”
“Another werecat by the name of Kangin helped me escape,” Donghae responded, though his voice was distant. “He took me and ran away from the...facility, and brought me under the care of another werecat belonging to Hyukjae’s pack.”
At that, a smile formed on Hyukjae’s face, more than likely recalling the memories. “That was a fun time.”
"Was Hyukjae aware of what happened?"
Donghae shook his head slowly. "No. He hated me at first, actually. And I didn't know how to act around him either. We clashed."
Taking a deep breath, Kyuhyun blurts out, "Did the researchers try to find you?"
At that, Donghae stiffened whilst Hyukjae held him tighter.
“They didn’t succeed, we turned stray,” Hyukjae says, tone clipped and straight to the point. “We left the pack that I had been born into and lived on our own.”
“....How long have you guys been on the streets?” Kyuhyun asks, fully aware the amount of money they had accumulated.
“Our domestic form makes it easy to live without having the need to own a permanent residence,” Hyukjae reminds him. “But to answer your question….it has to be over six years now, easily.”
“The years blend together,” Donghae says without any humour. “Another downfall, you lose sense of time when you have nothing to focus on.”
Both stare at Kyuhyun at the werecat’s words, causing his cheeks to flush instantly at the insinuation.
“Good thing you found a place to call home, huh?” Kyuhyun tries to joke, smiling at them almost shyly as his cheeks continue to burn.
Kyuhyun barely breathes when Hyukjae moves close, his eyes shutting to welcome the sudden kiss from the werecat.
He feels Donghae squeeze his arm, feels the male return back to cuddling against him, both of his werecats surrounding him.
“Every day I feel thankful for his infatuation he had with you,” Hyukjae murmurs tenderly, and Kyuhyun’s throat tightens as he swallows. “He brought us to you, and you in turn gave us a home, safety, and then love.”
“Let’s not talk about those two weeks from hell,” Kyuhyun rushes out, not wanting to be reminded of it, and instead he brings the werecat close, spreading his legs to allow the male to lie against him, cuddling his front with Donghae still attached to his side, watching them.
As those two briefly kiss before Hyukjae relaxes against Kyuhyun. his arms wrapped comfortably around him, Kyuhyun tries to organise his thoughts over what he’s learnt.
They’ve let him into their backstory, and though there are still gaps, Kyuhyun won’t push for more.
He knows what he needed to know. He understands Donghae a lot more now, Hyukjae a little too.
He’s content with what he knows.
“You’re falling asleep?” he hears Hyukjae murmur, and glances down to see the werecat’s head turned to where Donghae’s is resting against Kyuhyun’s shoulder.
Donghae gives them a sleepy smile. “I’m relaxed, what more do you want?”
“To allow me to lie down before I have two deadweights on me?” Kyuhyun says, causing them both to snort and hug him tighter.
As Donghae finally got off of Kyuhyun, the human quickly made himself more comfortable on the bed. He was soon joined by Hyukjae, who tugged Donghae down to lie in the middle between the two of them, and a glance at Hyukjae’s face told Kyuhyun why.
But as Hyukjae whispered words in Donghae’s ear, Kyuhyun hugged the werecat from behind, nuzzling his neck.
It didn’t take very long for him to fall asleep.
Kyuhyun stayed quiet as he heard Hyukjae whisper something to him before the older werecat slowly drifted off to sleep as well. Breathing out, Kyuhyun held Donghae closer, one of his hands holding Hyukjae’s, and allows sleep to take over.
The smell of smoke was the first thing to greet Kyuhyun early in the morning.
Eyes snapping open, the human scrambled out of bed, successfully kicking Hyukjae to the floor in his haste to see what was burning.
He was greeted by the sight of Donghae frantically putting out a mini fire while the windows were all open, allowing the smoke to clear out.
“What the hell happened?” Kyuhyun demanded, catching Donghae’s attention whilst Hyukjae joined them, rubbing his butt.
Donghae gave them a sheepish smile. “I was trying to make you guys breakfast in bed?”
Kyuhyun and Hyukjae both shared looks, warm feelings making them giddy - both understanding why Donghae had chose to do it, before the human decided to shoo Donghae out of the kitchen in order to salvage what was left of the burnt goods.
In the living room, he heard Hyukjae scold Donghae, the latter whining at being chastised for causing such a ruckus in the morning.
But Kyuhyun could only smile even as he tossed ashes into the trash can.
He was content. He was happy.
And Kyuhyun wasn’t going to let that slip away from him, even after knowing their backstories.
They were his now and he was theirs.