poppy_sky: (HoMin)
[personal profile] poppy_sky
Pairings: HoMin
Rating: R
Warnings: boyxboy, some gore, might have adult themes in the future.
Summary: It's a normal day when life pushes them together. Who would have known a few hours later they would only have one another?
A/N: A short story to keep myself writing. I've wanted to write a zombie-themed story for so long! Dedicated to my IRL friends Itzel and Chocho because we all like zombies :) Love you guys!

=August 19, 2011=

“—new reports just came in about the mysterious wildlife attacks in the surrounding areas of the psychiatric facility No.5. Today, two more victims have arrived at the city hospital with vicious bite-like wounds—“

“—yes, everything is in order. They accepted the merging and will schedule another meeting for the official signing—“

“—specialists believe the bites are the product of wolf attacks but are not yet ruling the possibility of big felines being the perpetrators. We’ll get back to you when new information arrives. Meanwhile, in the weather forecast—“

“I’m sorry; could you turn that down, please?”

The cab driver grunted but lowered the volume with a twist of his pudgy fingers on the button. Yunho sent him a thankful smile, trying to meet the man’s gaze through the rearview mirror to no success. Peeling the phone away from his shoulder he pressed it against his ear again, trying to catch everything his boss was telling him.

“I have the papers with me. The trip went well, thanks for asking, sir. Yes, I’ll be there on Monday, goodbye.”

Yunho hung up the phone, throwing it inside his briefcase and sighed, leaning back into the seat, the worn-leather squeaking in protest at his movements. He got little sleep in the plane and tiredness was pooling behind his eyes, weighing down his limbs and making him wish he was home already.

“Business travel?” asked the cab driver absentmindedly as he made a turn to the right.

“Yeah,” Yunho replied, a worn-out smile drawn on his face. As young as he was, flying over the Pacific Ocean twice in five days still took its toll on his body.

The cab driver did not push the conversation further and Yunho did not encourage it either, more content with gazing outside the window, watching as convenience stores and family-run restaurants disappeared from sight as the vehicle moved slowly through familiar streets.

He liked the city; it was a shame that his current job had him flying all around the world on business. The deal in America had been a total success though, and maybe now they will promote him and send another poor soul to do the traveling.

“We’re here,” the driver announced after a few minutes, killing the engine in front of Yunho’s apartment building.

As tiring as his job was, it paid well and he was able to afford a nice place to live. The building had twelve floors and very modern installations and beautiful decoration. Definitely an extreme but welcomed change from the dingy, little room he rented during his college days.

Climbing out of the car, Yunho followed the driver to gather his luggage from the trunk, paid the taxi fare to the grouchy man and watched as the white vehicle speed away before grabbing his briefcase in one hand and the medium-sized suitcase he had taken with him, making his way up the stairs leading to the entrance of the apartment building.

Cold air from the AC flowed through the foyer, chilling the sweat gathering on his neck from the heat outside while he made his way to the elevator. Standing in front of the large metallic doors he pressed the button to go up, mentally going through every chore he had to do that weekend before he could relax. When the edges of the button did not lit up as usual he frowned, pressing again and again but the light never appeared.

“The elevator is out of service,” came the hoarse voice of the janitor, who was cleaning after Yunho’s dusty sneaker prints on the linoleum floor.

“Oh man, why today?” exclaimed Yunho, fingers slipping from the handle of his suitcase, letting it drop to the floor with a thud.

The janitor shot him a look of contempt, but Yunho did not notice. “It’s been like that for two days now, actually. Bad happenings don’t pick special dates, young man.”

Yunho nodded, ignoring the tone of the grouchy old man and went through the door leading to the stairs. He looked up at the seemingly endless flights of stairs and whined. Today is not my day, he thought.

By the time Yunho was on the tenth floor his breath came in short gasps and perspiration ran down his temples, making his face shine with exertion. The suitcase handle felt raw against his palm and his fingers hurt from pulling the heavy thing all the way up.

“Today is definitely not my day,” he mumbled.

The door leading to the tenth floor apartment opened suddenly, startling Yunho. He jumped slightly at the noise before relaxing when he saw Mrs. Shim, the middle-aged lady that lived in the floor under his. She wore her hair short and neat, making her look even leaner than she already was and her attire was impeccable and stylish. She looked stern but as soon as she spotted Yunho panting by the railing her face brightened.

“Omo! Yunho you’re back!” she exclaimed. She seemed to notice his disheveled state for she mentioned: “My, my, but it seems like you ran the whole way home!”

“Hi Mrs. Shim,” Yunho greeted her with a smile. “The elevator is not working.”

“Right! They’re fixing it right now or so they tell me, you never know with this people. Poor thing, you could’ve called and I would’ve sent Changmin to help you.”

“It’s okay. I’m sure he’s busy,” Yunho said. And so am I, he thought while wishing Mrs. Shim would go back into her house and leave him to do the same. He liked his neighbor but the woman loved engaging him in endless conversations that took more time than Yunho had.

“Not at all, that kid has too much free time for his own good… Oops, I am keeping you out aren’t I? I’m sorry. Have a nice day, Yunho.”

“You too, Mrs. Shim,” Yunho replied, watching as the short-haired woman made her way downstairs, before climbing the last set of stairs before reaching the eleventh floor.

“Home, sweet home,” he mumbled, turning the key in the lock and stepping inside his apartment.

”Cho Gun Woo, age thirty-five, and the first victim of the attacks has passed away this afternoon at 5:45 pm. The body has been taken to the forensic department in hopes of identifying the creature that caused the deadly wounds. Meanwhile, enraged groups of people have taken to the forests in large hunting parties to search for the beast—“

The sound of the television was barely audible through the sound of water drops hitting the tiles under Yunho’s feet. He had mailed all the pertinent files to his boss and had organized the printed ones for the meeting on Monday. Then he put a load of laundry, his dirty travel clothes included, into the wash machine and decided to take a shower meanwhile. The hot water cascaded down his body, easing the tension in his muscles, the tiredness within his bones.

”—groups against animal abuse have taken camp along the perimeter of the forest, trying to keep armed men out to no avail. The tensions are high and a violent conflict may arise if authorities do nothing to stop—“

He was almost done rinsing his hair when the doorbell rang. He turned off the shower and wrapped a bathrobe over his naked frame before making his way to the door.

“Who is it?” he called.

“It’s Mrs. Shim, Yunho dear,” the feminine voice of his neighbor answered.

He opened the door to Mrs. Shim, who was dressed as if to go out. Behind her stood her only son, wearing an uncomfortable expression and carrying a small backpack with him.

“What can I help you with, Mrs. Shim?” Yunho asked politely, wondering what the hell was going on.

“Changmin’s father got attacked while patrolling the area around the psychiatric. You know… the dangers of being a cop… I was wondering if he could stay with you for the night while I go visit my husband at the hospital—“

“Mom!” Changmin hissed harshly, embarrassment coloring his cheeks red.

“Changmin-ah, I’d rather not have you alone in the house,” Mrs. Shim reprimanded him.

“I don’t have a problem with Changmin staying, Mrs. Shim. Give my best wishes to Mr. Shim when you see him,” Yunho said, stepping aside to let Changmin in.

“You’re an angel, dear. I’m sorry to bother you so much,” Mrs. Shim started to say but Yunho shook his head.

“It’s not a bother, really,” he said.

“Well then, I better get going. Be polite to Yunho, Changmin-ah. Goodbye,” Mrs. Shim said before walking hurriedly towards the stairs.

Yunho closed the door once his neighbor was out of sight and turned towards his guest. Changmin was younger than him by a couple of years but he was slightly taller, with a handsome face and mismatched eyes.

“Uhm, make yourself at home, just let me go get dressed…”

“I keep telling her I’m twenty and not ten as she believes, but she just won’t listen,” said Changmin with a grimace, following Yunho further into the apartment. “Don’t worry though, I’ll be out of your hair and back home after she calls to check on me. She’s probably staying the night with my dad so she’ll never notice.”

Yunho nodded. “You can stay if you want though.”

Changmin started to mumble a “Thanks, but—“ that never got finished and Yunho went to find something to wear, leaving Changmin to his own devices in the living room.

When he returned, sporting a pair of pajama pants and a large hoodie, his hair still damp, Changmin was already seated comfortably on the couch watching the TV Yunho had left forgotten.

The news were still covering the mysterious attacks Changmin’s father had been victim to just minutes ago. The reporter on the screen was interviewing one of the men set on hunting down the beast, claiming that once an animal has acquired a taste for human flesh it must be put down.

Yunho sat down next to Changmin on the couch just before an animal rights enthusiast knocked the camera down and the image was lost for a few minutes.

“Are you hungry? I was going to order pizza for dinner, is that okay?” Yunho asked while pulling the phonebook over his lap, fingers flipping the pages to find the p section.

“I’ll have anything you have, hyung. I can call you that, right?” Changmin asked.

“Sure, we’ve known each other for a while now,” Yunho said, “Aha! Here it is. Any special toppings you like?”

“I’ll eat anything, really,” Changmin replied, pulling his laptop out of his backpack. “Can I have your wireless password though? I need to finish a report…”

Thirty minutes later the pizza arrived. Both Yunho and Changmin dug into the pepperoni and mushroom cheese-covered goodness, not even bothering with plates and barely remembering to take some napkins with them. They had changed the TV channel to a comedy show, too bored with the news to continue watching them. The sound of pre-recorded laughter filled the room while they ate, sometimes one of them joining with a chuckle of their own in between bites.

Yunho watched Changmin every few minutes though, wondering how the young man could seem so unaffected at the knowledge of his father being in the hospital after being attacked by some beast.

“Aren’t you worried about your dad?” Yunho blurted out suddenly, biting down on his half-eaten slice in hopes of hiding his bluntness.

Changmin stopped eating mid-bite. After a moment’s thought, however, he shoved the warm pizza slice into his mouth, taking a bite and chewing. He swallowed and licked the grease from his lips before replying: “A little. I mean, I’ve gotten used to it. He’s come home with broken bones and bullet wounds before.”

“I wonder what’s attacking people though,” he continued.

“They say it’s probably a big animal, don’t they?” Yunho asked.

“That doesn’t seem to be it,” Changmin said, his eyebrows furrowing.

Yunho took a gulp from his glass of Coke, washing the pizza down with the sugary drink.

“What do you mean?”

“Animals don’t just attack people. They’re usually scared of humans and would rather run away than start a confrontation. In what situation would an animal feel so vulnerable that it would choose to attack so many people, now that’s the question.”

Yunho did not reply to that. He was no expert in wildlife behavior; the only thing he could claim to know something about was business. Such thoughts sent him back to all the things he had to prepare for Monday and he wished his boss would stop sending him across the Pacific to secure business deals. He was seriously considering begging for that promotion.

At that moment the phone suddenly rang. Yunho wiped his fingers on a napkin before reaching for the cordless phone on the coffee table.

“That’s probably—“ Changmin started to say while Yunho pressed the ‘talk’ button.

“Hello? Oh hi, babe!”

“—not my mom,” Changmin finished.

Yunho gestured to Changmin to give him a second before standing up and leaving the room. Taking advantage of that fact, Changmin took the last slice of pizza, gobbling it down in a couple of bites before taking his PJ’s and heading to the bathroom.

The older man was still on the hallway chatting on the phone when Changmin came out wearing his pajamas, his street clothes wrapped over his arm.

“—I don’t know about tomorrow but maybe we can do something the following weekend? Yeah, I’m tired. I love you too, bye.”

Yunho hung up and went back into the living room, hoping he had not taken too long on the phone. Changmin was where he left him, but he had changed into pajamas and had switched the channel back to the news since the comedy show was over.

“Your girlfriend?” he asked, eyes glued to the screen.

“Yeah,” Yunho replied sheepishly. “We’ve been together for eight months now.”

Changmin whistled in admiration and Yunho tried to keep down the blush that crawled up his cheeks.

“It’s not that long,” Yunho mumbled.

“Are you kidding? My parents married after only six months into the relationship. As for me, I haven’t had a relationship last longer than four months,” Changmin explained.

“That’s because you’re always studying,” Yunho said. Mrs. Shim always bragged about her son’s academic progress to anyone who would listen.

“Touché,” admitted Changmin.

”Brand new information has arrived from the hospital. It seems two more people have succumbed to the wounds and died. We still don’t have their names yet, we’ll get to you once we have more information.”

Yunho yawned. Looking at the clock he saw it was some minutes after midnight. Feeling his eyelids drop and his brain try to shut down while he was still standing he decided it would be better to go to sleep.

“Sorry, Changmin-ah, but I’m hitting the sack. I’m exhausted,” he told the younger man.

“That’s okay, hyung. I’ll just wait for my mom to call then I’ll leave,” Changmin said.

Yunho nodded but went to the linen closet anyways and took out a pillow and a blanket, setting them next to Changmin in the couch.

“What are these for?” the younger man asked.

“Just in case you decide to stay,” Yunho explained. “Good night.”

”Breaking news! It seems the first victim, Mr. Cho Gun Woo, has come back to life. This seems out of a science fiction movie! We’ll confirm the information as soon as the hospital gives a public statement. Meanwhile, the climate for today—“

The pale light of the TV reflected on Changmin’s sleeping face, creating shadows on the otherwise unmarred skin. He was curled up on the couch, the blanket Yunho brought him placed snugly over his slumbering body.

The small clock at the corner of the TV read 3:19 am.

His mother had not called yet.


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