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Whumptober: Barbed Wire

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"Xiao Guo!" Shuzhi ground his jaw against the plummeting chill in the freezer. "Changcheng! Don't you fucking dare pass out on me again. Hey." He yanked again at his bound hands, more in frustration than in any real hope of freeing himself. Barbed wire bit wickedly deeper into the flesh of his wrists. He grimaced.

The smaller man's eyes fluttered open. He shook his head from side to side slowly, like an animal struggling with the effects of a poison sting. "Chu… g-ge." His teeth chattered. "I'm s-sorry I c-couldn't p-protect you."

"Don't be sorry, you idiot. Get over here. Come on. You can do it." Shuzhi pushed away the vivid memory of collapsing against the hood of the car, drained and weak, while this stupid brave moron stood between him and Zhu Jiu and brandished his tazer rod. It had crackled with the man's terror, and yet there he was, ready to-

Nope. Focus. He and the thoroughly unconscious Ye Huo were bound to the legs of the heavy lab bench, but he guessed Zhu Jiu hadn't seen the point of wasting that kind of effort on Changcheng. He had left Changcheng bound and heaped in the center of the floor like so much garbage, directly in the path of the coolant fan and out of their reach.

So for the last forever, he had worked his own wrists bloody trying to get loose and yelled at Xiao Guo to wake up and watched the man go pale and his lips go blue and his whole body shiver and--he was so frail--

Changcheng blinked a few times, furrowed his brow, and started pushing himself over. He gasped and stopped, panting. "Chu-g-ge. It hurts."

"Of course it hurts. That fucking bastard tied us up with barbed wire. If you can get to me I might be able to get it off of you."

He nodded and kept nodding. "OK, Chu-ge. I t-trust you." He started wiggling forward in jerky twists. He bared his clenched teeth and made horribly pitiful sounds, but he kept moving.

Shuzhi forced himself to sit still and wait. He wanted to get that shit off of this sweet idiot as fast as possible, and that meant giving himself a break to gather a little strength now that the guy was awake and helping.

Xiao Guo managed to close most of the distance between them before he slowed to a stop. Shuzhi gave a scream of frustration and impotent rage. He would kill that fucking purple-haired drama club goth reject with his bare hands. Slowly. That cardboard cutout excuse for a villain had better pray Changcheng didn't die from this, because the only thing that could prevent Shuzhi from shattering his previous record for violence was the wavering of that stupidly bright smile and the disappointment in those doe eyes.

"Hey, idiot," he urged. "You're not done. Come on, just a little further."

Xiao Guo's brow furrowed. His lips moved wordlessly, eyes fretting beneath heavy lids.

"Come on you useless--"

Xiao Guo got his back foot braced and pushed himself forward just a few centimeters before stopping again with a soft, pained sigh.

He was so close. Shuzhi strained to extend his bound legs as far forward as they would go and fell mere handspans short of making contact. He grunted through gritted teeth as the barbs drew fresh blood to run down his hands.

Xiao Guo was barely shivering, now.

That was a bad thing, Shuzhi remembered. Haixingren were supposed to keep shivering. When they stopped it meant they were…

"Changcheng, stay with me," he pleaded. "I need you to stay with me. ...I need you."

Changcheng roused a little. He slithered awkwardly forward and threw himself across Shuzhi's lap like a ragdoll.

Shuzhi carefully folded his knees toward his chest, rolling the little guy in towards his own body core and curling around him as best he could. Changcheng was so cold. He shouldn't be that cold. He was supposed to be sunny enough to light and warm an entire room while tripping on his own shoelaces.

Shuzhi could work on his friend's horrible barbed wire bonds later. For now… he tucked Changcheng a little tighter against himself, ignoring the complaints of his own contorted muscles. If he warmed up the smaller man enough, maybe Changcheng could help with the whole barbed wire situation. Maybe…

Shuzhi lay his chin onto Chengcheng's ice-frosted hair and, for the first time in a very long time, began to pray.