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Shattered

Title: Shattered (2/?)
Author: his_angel16
Pairing: BangLo, DaeJae, HimUp
Genre: Angst, Comedy
Rating: PG-13
Summary: What happens when you run out of hope; out of things to wish for? Where do you go when the world turns its back on you and you can't stand on your own? For six strangers, all they have left is each other.
Cameo Appearances: Super Junior's Kim Heechul, Choi Siwon, and Lee Donghae; SHINee's Kim Jonghyun; and ZE:A's Kim Taeheon
Warning: Abuse



  The sunlight broke through the dusty windows, waking Daehyun up. He stretched, scratching his neck as he looked over. Youngjae and Jongup were still sleeping, reality setting in. “I'm really here, aren’t I? In this house with strangers, trying to redeem myself.” He stood up, heading for the bathroom before he heard Himchan shrieking from downstairs. Hurrying to the first floor, he entered the living room. He found a raging Himchan trying to cause bodily harm to Yongguk, Junhong sitting against the wall, watching them with a pout on his face. “Why the hell are you so loud in the morning?”
  Himchan tried to kick Yongguk, the other dodging it with ease. “Because I found this bastard with his hands on Junhong!” Himchan screeched, attempting another kick.
  Yongguk caught Himchan's leg, watching the other hobble around for a moment before releasing him. “Look, nothing happened last night. He didn’t want to be by himself,” Yongguk reassured him. “I'm not an immoral asshole, Himchan. And I know how to keep my hands to myself. You're the one who overreacts and starts swinging.”
  Himchan glared, taking another swing at Yongguk. “If I ever catch you remotely attempting an indecent act on one of these kids, I will kill you.”
  “You don't have to worry about that,” Junhong interrupted, gaining everyone's attention. “I'll be sleeping in my own room from now on.” He stood, brushing his pants off before collecting his sleeping bag and pillow. He left the living room, going upstairs and into a room.
  Daehyun crossed his arms over his chest. “That went well,” he muttered, Himchan frowning at him. “Yongguk hyung, after I piss, let's wake Youngjae up. He said there's a place around here that might be able to loan us a truck. We need beds.”
  Yongguk nodded, ignoring Himchan's presence as he walked by him. “I'll wait outside.” He waited for Daehyun to leave before he looked over his shoulder. “Let's act our age and get along. We don't need any added tension in this house. Besides, I don't really feel up for having another person's blood on my hands.”
  Himchan bristled, pointing a finger at him. “That is the precise reason I don't want you around these kids! You act as if murder is something to joke about! How the hell is anyone suppose to feel safe around you?” The look Yongguk gave him made Himchan regretting his words almost instantly. The elder left the living room, going outside. Himchan watched him through the window, biting his lip. He saw Yongguk jump off the porch, turning to look at the roof. He hurried to get outside, wondering what would have gotten Yongguk worried.
  Yongguk glared at Junhong, eyes sharp. “Hey, get your ass off the roof!” he hollered, anger seeping into his words. Himchan ran off the porch, panic setting in once he saw Junhong on the roof, walking around.
  Junhong smirked at them, kicking his shoe against the shingles. “No, I don't think I will. I kind of like it up here,” he replied, shoving his hands in his pockets.
  Himchan gulped when Junhong's foot slipped a little. “Please, get off the roof!” he whined, hands clasped together. “I'm begging you, Junhong, get off the roof before you fall.”
  Shaking his head, Junhong rocked back and forth, watching the unease take over Himchan's face. He crouched, arms folded on his knees as he peered over the edge. “What will hyung give me to come down?” He cocked his head to the side, feigning innocence.
  Himchan opened his mouth to speak, but Yongguk beat him to answering. “You'll get an ass-kicking, you spoiled brat!” he growled, hands balled into fists. Himchan was about to yell at him, but he looked back at Junhong, the younger frowning at his game being ruined.
  “You thought this was funny?” Himchan scoffed, glaring at Junhong. “Who the hell lets you act like this?”
  Junhong pouted, standing up to go back inside the window. “Everyone let me. When my dad died, my mom let me do whatever the hell I wanted before she remarried. Even my hyung caved whenever I whined.” He went in the window, running down the stairs and racing out to meet the older two. He smiled at them, Himchan glowering and Yongguk trying really hard to restrain himself.
  “You are such a brat,” Himchan seethed, crossing his arms over his chest.
  Yongguk took a step forward, smacking Junhong in the back of the head. “I had better not see you on that roof again. Not only is it generally dangerous, but we don't know if it'll even hold up for more than ten minutes. The entire thing could have fallen through.” He sighed when Junhong lowered his head and he ran a hand over his face. “Don't do it again.”
  Himchan looked at Yongguk in surprise, mouth agape as he watched Junhong nod and head back inside. Daehyun came outside with Youngjae, both wondering why he was spluttering. “You...he...but...” Himchan pointed at the house, frowning at Yongguk. “How are you just going to let him do that? He could have gotten hurt! And you tell him don't do it again? What the hell?!”
  Yongguk shrugged, looking over at Youngjae and Daehyun. “Let's go. Maybe we'll luck out and find us a living room set, too. We're going to need to get a table to eat at and some appliances for the kitchen. All we have is that fridge and it'll do for now, but I want to eventually get a new one.”
  Youngjae nodded, grabbing Daehyun's hand and pulling him along with him. “Maybe we can get some paint, too, and we can all paint our rooms. And maybe something to hang on the walls?”
  Smiling, Daehyun looked over his shoulder. “Himchan hyung, you're going to catch flies if you keep your mouth open like that.” He laughed, waving as the elder blushed. “We'll be back soon.”
  Himchan hurried into the house after they left, going straight to Junhong who was rummaging through his bag upstairs. “You, explain, now.” He wasn't calm enough to form a complete sentence yet, but they look he gave Junhong made him speak regardless.
  “I just wanted to see what the roof was like. At home, I always sat on the roof. It's where I did a lot of my thinking when my dad died.” He frowned, turning his attention back to his single bag. “But I won't go up there again if it's really that dangerous.”
  Himchan wanted to pull his hair out. “Why do you listen to him? Why do you never question him when you glare and ignore me? I’m your hyung, too. Why don't you listen to me?”
  Junhong looked at him, the most serious expression on his face as he gave his answer. “Because I love him, hyung. I think I have since I was little.” A small smile tugged at his lips as he thought back to the days before everything turned dark for him. “Yongguk hyung was always there, always comforting me when I was upset. He did that last night, too. I was barely conscious, but I felt him hug me, I heard him mumble something about Zelo instead of Junhong.”
  Himchan sat down, crossing his arms. “You think you love him?” When the younger nodded, Himchan sighed. “Let me tell you something about Bang Yongguk. He's bad news. And I’m not talking about the whole murderer thing. I went to high school with him and he didn’t care about anyone there, either. He stayed to himself and he used anyone that was stupid enough to let him.”
  Turning away from the elder, Junhong pulled a photo from his bag, running his thumb over the people frozen in it. “Then call me stupid because I’d let him use me if he wanted to.” Hearing the strangled growl from Himchan, he looked over. “I'm serious, hyung. If it made him happy, if it made him forget about everything, I’d be more than happy to be used.”
  “Your puppy love is blinding you. Don't you see that, Junhong? He's going to end up hurting you. He already has and you're so blinded by your love that you can't see it.”
  Junhong shrugged, smile on his face. “Love is blind. I guess it's deaf, too, because nothing you say will make me turn my back on him. You say you went to school with him, but why weren't you his friend? Did you even try to reach out to him?” His smile widened when Himchan remained silent. “Even if I get hurt, I’m still reaching out to him. He needs someone to love him unconditionally. And I'll do that until someone he can love wholly comes along.”
  Standing up, Junhong left Himchan sitting on his floor as he went to find Jongup. Himchan chewed on his lip before sighing, standing up to go back downstairs. Once out of the younger's earshot, he gazed back up the stairs, a frown on his face. “I'm worried he already found someone to love and that the someone is you. You're too young to get roped into his life. Love someone your own age.”

  Yongguk walked with Daehyun and Youngjae in silence. He kept his eyes forward, his head high as they went down the street. So many people are staring, he thought, keeping his face expressionless. He knew all he had to do was start acting a little crazy and everyone would leave, but he didn’t want that. He wanted everyone to know he was out of prison. He wanted them to talk about him in hushed tones. It meant they were too afraid of approaching him, fearing he'd kill them where they stood. He vaguely heard the younger two strike up a conversation and he tried to ignore them, tried to walk a little faster so he wouldn't hear anything they said.

“...shouldn't be overreacting like that,” Daehyun mumbled. He frowned as he and Youngjae quickened their steps to match Yongguk's. “Himchan hyung was totally going nuts over it.”
  “Why?” Youngjae asked, a small pout forming on his face. “It's not like it's any of our business what they do together. I mean, if Yongguk hyung wants to do things with Junhong, it's fine by me as long as I don't have to listen to it or see it.”
  Daehyun nodded. “Yeah, I don't care either. Seriously, why does--” He was cut off abruptly, smacking into Yongguk. He winced as he backed up a couple steps, rubbing his nose. “Why'd you stop?” He frowned, feeling the tension roll off the elder as he peered around him. He paled, all the blood leaving his face as his heart plummeted to hi stomach. “Oh, shit. Isn't that...?”
  Yongguk clenched his jaw. “You two, stay behind me.” He kept his voice low, relieved that the younger two ducked behind him so quickly as the man approached them, a smile on his face.
  “Look, it's Jepp Blackman,” the man sang, laughing shortly after. “What are you doing out so soon? Didn't you kill that judge's older brother? Why are you roaming around here?”
  Yongguk took a moment, trying to keep himself calm as he answered. He was grateful that his poker face was so good or he'd be in a lot of hot water. “They let me out on good behavior. And what about you, hyung? When did you get out?”
  Smirking, the man walked closer, tapping Yongguk on the face. “They let me out two months ago. The warden had some dirty work he needed done, so I cleaned things up for him.” His expression turned dark, all laughter gone from his eyes. “You want to share your toys? The one is really cute.” He smiled at Youngjae, making his blood run cold. “Hi, cutie. You have a name?”
  Youngjae opened his mouth, Yongguk stepping over, blocking him from the stranger's view. He heard the other scoff, obviously pissed off. “You know I don't share,” Yongguk growled, eyes hard.
  The man got into Yongguk's face, noses almost bumping together. “You better listen good, Bang. The moment you take your eyes off of them, I’m going to snatch them up.” He smirked, placing an index finger against Yongguk's forehead before pushing it back. He cackled as he left, Yongguk relaxing after he disappeared into a car and drove away.
  “Who was he?” Youngjae asked, voice barely a whisper.
  Daehyun frowned, looking in the direction the man left in. “Kim Heechul. He's absolutely ruthless.” He looked at Youngjae, seeing the fear in his eyes. “And when he finds something he wants, he doesn't stop until he has it.”
  Yongguk looked at Youngjae, face hard as he spoke. “While we're outside, you don't leave my side. And at home, you're moving into my room.”
  Youngjae felt his heartbeat pick up, panic flowing through him. “This guy is that dangerous?” When Yongguk nodded, Youngjae felt his knees buckle. He wasn't sure who caught him, his vision was blurred and he heard a loud whooshing in his ears. He felt cool fingers press against his face, but his eyes were already closing, consciousness leaving him.
  Swearing under his breath, Yongguk shifted most of Youngjae's weight to the ground, turning around and pulling him forward. The younger fell onto his back, head resting against his shoulder. “Daehyun, how fast can you run?”
  “Really fast. In high school, I was on the track team.” He smirked, kicking his shoes against the ground. “Let's go home. We'll send Himchan and the other two out for what we need.”
  Yongguk nodded, both of them taking off. Even under Youngjae's weight, Yongguk kept pace with Daehyun, both of them winded when they got home. Jongup hopped off the porch, eyebrows knitting together in confusion. Himchan came out of the house a second later, arms crossed as he stared at them, waiting for an explanation. Yongguk shook his head, carrying Youngjae up the stairs passed him and into the house. He went straight to his room, placing the younger on his sleeping bag. Inhaling deeply, Yongguk stood, turning to return to the front yard. Back outside, he faced Himchan.
  “Okay, explain please,” Himchan said, leaning against the side of the house.
  “We ran into Kim Heechul,” Daehyun replied, frowning. The look on Himchan's face meant they didn’t need to go into detail.
  “Are all of you okay?” Himchan looked them both over, pointing to the house. “Is that why Youngjae is unconscious?”
  Nodding, Yongguk ran a hand through his hair. “Kim Heechul singled Youngjae out as his next target.” He sat down, suddenly feeling drained. “I'm going to have him share a room with me. And I'll keep him home for a little while to see if Heechul moves on.”
  Himchan slid to a sitting position. “You don't sound too hopeful about that. I know he's bad news, but he can't be that bad, right?”
  Yongguk turned empty eyes to him. “Once he picks his target, he almost never moves on.” He tried to swallow down the lump forming in his throat. “My brother–”
  “Bang Cheolyong,” Jongup whispered. “He was a few years ahead of me in school, but we had the same music class. I remember when he died.”
  Yongguk put his face in his hands. “Heechul sent me the pictures of him, before and after.”
  Himchan looked away, tears pricking his eyes. “So how do we keep him from getting Youngjae?”
  “We keep Youngjae locked away,” Daehyun stated, staring at the porch. “He'll be kept with Yongguk. And when Yongguk is gone, the rest of us will be around him.”
  “He shouldn't be going off on his own either,” Jongup pointed out. He sighed. “What the hell!” He dropped down in the grass, kicking his feet against the ground like an overgrown child throwing a tantrum.
  Himchan looked at Yongguk. “From now on, you will go somewhere with Daehyun or me. Right now, I'll take Jongup and Junhong to the store.”
  Jongup hopped up, smile breaking across his face. “I'll fetch Junhongie!” He ran inside, thumping up the stairs. He checked their shared bedroom first, frowning when he wasn't inside. Puffing out his cheeks, he went to the other rooms, finally going back downstairs. He looked out the back door, finding Junhong hopping over the fence. His heart nearly stopped before he ran for the front door. It banged open and he stared at Himchan. “Junhong just jumped the back fence!”
  Yongguk tossed his wallet at Himchan as the younger got to his feet. “Spend as much as you need. I'll stay here with Daehyun and Youngjae.”
  Nodding, Himchan shoved the wallet in his pocket. “Jongup, first, let's follow Junhong. After we catch him, we can go get what we need.”
  They sprinted off the front porch, turning the corner and hurrying after the younger. They kept enough distance between them that Junhong didn’t notice they were there, but not too much that they'd lose him. Himchan frowned, looking around to try to find some sort of landmark as to where they were. He stopped, Jongup bumping into him. He stared straight ahead, finding Junhong standing under an arbor leading into a cemetery. He crept silently behind the younger, Jongup carefully picking up his feet so he wouldn't make a noise.
  Walking along the winding paths, Junhong kicked his feet against the pavement. He kept his head low, hands buried in his pockets as he continued to walk. After a few minutes of random turns, he stopped, staring over at a solitary stone with a couple by it. They turned as he approached, the man frowning.
  “I thought we told you not to come this year?” he barked, glaring at Junhong.
  Junhong glared back, eyes piercing. “And I thought I told you to fuck off?” he snapped. He turned his attention back to the stone, smiling sadly at it. He crouched down, running his fingers across the lettering. “Hi, Dad.”
  The man rolled his eyes, moving forward and yanking Junhong up by his arm. “Get lost, kid. I’ve been nice to you for your mother's sake, but after you got expelled from your school, she's had enough of you.”
  Junhong looked at his mom, forehead creasing. “Mom? Is that true?”
  Averting her eyes, Mrs. Choi sighed. “Yes, Junhong, it is. I've had it. Your brother never acted out like that, so it baffles me that you do.” She looked at him, patting his shoulder. “Just go live with your uncle. I’m sure he'd be happy to have you.” She turned, pecking her new husband on the cheek. “I'll be in the car, honey.”
  The man nodded, waiting for her to leave before he looked at Junhong again. “Don't bother us again, Junhong. You're nothing but trash anyway. Besides, your brother has finally been doing good. We don't need you ruining his progress by coming back around.”
  Junhong felt something inside him snap. “Hyung hates you, too, you know. He can't stand you. I wish you never came into our lives. When Dad died, Mom was a mess so I thought it was a blessing.” He shook his head, eyes hardening into stone. “But now I see you're nothing more than a leech, sucking away at what we had left.”
  The man lashed out, hitting Junhong across the face. “You will not talk to me like that. It's no wonder your mom favors your brother over you. He's perfect.”
  “He's not as perfect as you think. Mom only married you because she was desperate. She married you for convenience and for the money. She doesn't love you.”
  Junhong saw the look in his step-dad's eye. He swallowed, knowing he had pushed it too far this time, but he couldn't bring himself to say he takes it back. He clenched his jaw when he saw the fist flying at him. He felt his head snap to the side and he staggered a little. Bracing himself as best as he could, he felt fingers tangle into his hair, a knee coming up to connect with his stomach. He felt dizzy, the air in his lungs gone as he dropped to the ground. He felt the heel of his step-dad's boot as he kicked him repeatedly. When the barrage stopped, he heard the footsteps fade away. Chancing a peek, he lifted his head, coughing as he tried to regain his breath. He crawled over to his dad's headstone, leaning against it as he closed his eyes.
  “Dad,” he whispered, tears escaping his eyes. “Why'd you have to die? Why couldn't you have stayed with us? Mom's new husband sucks.” He distantly heard footsteps again, wincing as he tried to move. “I don't think I can take another beating.”
  “Junhong!” Jongup yelled, the younger's eyes snapping open. “Are you okay?”
  Look at him, Jongup. Does he look okay?” Himchan replied. He crouched down, gingerly taking Junhong's chin and turning his head, inspecting the damage. “Think you can walk? We need to do some shopping.”
  Nodding, Junhong got to his feet, holding his side as he breathed. “I'll be fine. Believe it or not, this was nothing compared to what usually happens.”
  Jongup frowned, taking one of Junhong's arms and slinging it over his shoulders. “What usually happens?”
  Junhong smirked. “If this happened back at home, he'd have locked me in the basement and starved me for a few days. Or he'd have taken another ball bat to me. I ended up hospitalized when he used the bat. Then he told a lie and said I was jumped after school. Mom went along with all of it.”
  “Why? Why would she let him do that to you?”
  “Because he has her thinking almost exactly like himself now. Money is everything to them and my hyung can get them a lot of money. He's studying to be a lawyer. He's a damn genius compared to me.”
  They walked in silence for a little bit, Himchan lost in thought. He couldn't fully understand how Junhong's mom could let her husband treat him that way. It just didn’t make sense to him. He frowned the entire way to the car lot, Jongup doing most of the talking for them. Himchan paid for the truck for a seventy-two hour period, all three climbing in and buckling up. He ignited the engine, peeling out onto the street.
  “So, we getting beds today?” Junhong asked, finally breaking the silence.
  “Yeah,” Himchan replied, keeping his eyes trained on the road. He pulled into a furniture store, climbing out of the truck and closing the door. He waited as Jongup helped Junhong down, the younger wincing at jostling his body. “Maybe we should take you to the hospital.”
  Junhong shook his head. “No, I’m fine. They won't do anything if I go. My step-dad always paid the bills and if I went there, they'd send the receipt to him. It'll just give him another reason to beat the shit out of me later.”
  Himchan hurried through the building, a salesperson beside him pulling a cart. He had gotten all of their beds, the frames situated on the cart as Jongup pushed another one loaded with their mattresses and box-springs. Junhong walked carefully along, hand held tightly against his side. Breathing made him wince and he was almost certain he had a few cracked ribs. As Himchan paid for their new stuff with Yongguk's money, he headed toward the door. Outside, the fresh air hit him and he breathed deeply. He began walking to their truck, someone hollering across the parking lot at him. His attention snapped to the stranger, eyebrows furrowed as Himchan and Jongup came outside, both trying to get his attention.
  “You're Zelo, aren’t you?” the stranger asked, smiling a little. At Junhong's hesitance, he frowned. “You aren’t? I was under the impression that you were. My brother goes to school with you.” When Junhong frowned, he held up a picture. “Lee Taemin. I’m sure you know of him. He takes music classes with you.”
  Junhong's frown deepened. “How would you know if I was Zelo or not? I haven't gone by that name in a long time,” he replied, hands fisting around the hem of his shirt. He felt threatened, but he didn’t understand why. “And I don't really talk to Taemin. He sings, I rap. Not only that, but he's three years older than me.”
  Smiling, the guy shrugged. “Okay, no worries. And he said that you used to go by that name in the underground. You were really good back then. I'll tell him you said hi?”
  Nodding, Junhong backed away, not wanting to turn around. “I didn’t catch your name, hyung.”
  “It's Lee Donghae. Again, nice to meet you.” He waited for Junhong to leave, returning to his friends and truck before he knocked on the window. It rolled down, Heechul smirking from behind his shades. “It's definitely him, hyung.”
  Heechul took a sip of his water, staring as the boy made his way back across the lot. “He's the one Jepp used to pal around with before he went to prison. We'll keep an eye on him. If he learns that he's living with the man who murdered his dad, how would he react?” He capped his bottle, turning his attention back to the front of the car. “Let's go, Donghae. We need to prepare some things. One way or the other, that cute brunet or Zelo will be mine.”

  Junhong wasn't paying attention to Jongup and Himchan, hurrying inside when they parked their truck out front. He wanted to get himself cleaned up before anyone else saw him. He knew he looked pretty bad, but catching his reflection in the mirror, he stilled. Bruises were already dotting his face, his arms. His lip was bleeding and his hair was a tangled mess, half curled and half straight. He pushed the door closed, turning the water on to clean up as best as possible. Wiping his face on his shirt, he frowned. The dirt from the cemetery had ingrained itself on his clothes and he hurried from the room, slipping into his room to change.
  “What was with that guy earlier?” he asked himself, peeling his shirt off. He tossed it to the floor, reaching in his bag for a clean–well, semi-clean–shirt. He winced, pulling the fabric over his head and letting it fall over his battered torso. A knock on his door and he whipped around, walking over to answer it. Himchan was there, frowning. “What, hyung?”
  “Are you okay?” he asked, voice a whisper. He nodded toward the younger's torso, Junhong crossing his arms as if it would make things better. “Do you want to get it checked out?”
  “No,” Junhong replied. He shook his head. “Just go to the store and pick me up some bandages. I think he cracked one of my ribs. It hurts when I try to breathe too deeply.”
  “Okay. I'll get something to cover up the bruises on your face, too. We don't want anyone else worrying or going on a rampage. I'll be right back.”
  Himchan went downstairs, sweeping the keys from the counter before peeking into Yongguk's room. “I'm going to the department store. I’m picking up a few things that I think we'll need. Do you need anything?”
  Yongguk stopped putting his bed together to look at Himchan. “The only thing I can think of is something to eat for lunch. None of us had breakfast...”
  Nodding, Himchan left, finding Jongup and Daehyun on the front porch. He looked at Jongup, frowning. “Be sure to keep an eye on Junhong.”
  “Why?” Daehyun asked, pulling Himchan's attention away from the younger.
  “Because he isn't feeling too well right now. Ah, Daehyun, why don't you go help Yongguk put our beds together? He could use some help.” He smiled inwardly when the other got up and went inside. Lowering his voice, he spoke to Jongup again. “He's already bruising from the beating and he thinks he might have a cracked rib. Please, make sure he doesn't do anything too stupid.” He straightened up when Yongguk came outside.
  “You're not going to the store by yourself. Have someone go with you. I can hold down the fort long enough for you to do that.”
  “Okay.” He chewed on his lip, thinking for a moment. “I'll take Daehyun with me. You'll be okay working on the beds by yourself, right?”
  “I'm not five, Himchan. I can put some beds together.” He rolled his eyes as he went back inside, Daehyun appearing a few minutes later.
  “Come on, Daehyun. You're coming with me to the store now.”
  Jongup waved to them as they left, turning to rush into the house as they pulled away. He wanted to check on Junhong while Yongguk was still working in his room. He ran upstairs, taking them two at a time, nearly bumping into Junhong in the hallway. “Junhong!” he gasped, smiling shortly after. “How are you?”
  Junhong rolled his eyes. “I'm fine. I’m going to go crash in my room for a while. Why, is something up?”
  Shaking his head, Jongup smiled at him. “Himchan hyung just wanted me to keep an eye on you. He wanted to make sure you didn’t do much until he can doctor you up.”
  “I won't. Want to take a nap with me? I doubt I’d be able to weasel my way out of talking to Yongguk hyung if he found out about my bruises on my own.”
  “Sure, I'll stay with you.” They entered Junhong's room, Jongup grinning at him. “How about I just share a room with you? That way, if something happens in the future that you don't want to face alone, you won't have to.”
  Junhong smiled. “Thanks, Jongup hyung. I’d appreciate that.”

  Daehyun stared disapprovingly at Himchan, arms crossed, foot tapping impatiently on the tile. “You know something, hyung,” he accused the elder.
  Himchan dumped a couple boxes of bandages and adhesive medical tapes into their cart, not meeting the younger's eyes. “Keep thinking that, Daehyun,” he murmured, maneuvering the cart down the aisle. When he reached the aisle, he scooped up things to make sandwiches for lunch. He kept ignoring the younger as he went into the makeup aisles, trying to find a concealer close to Junhong's tone. Frowning, he picked out two, whistling as he dumped them into the cart.
  “Out with it. What's going on?” He sighed when Himchan refused to tell him, going into another aisle. He swept a few boxes of blinds into the cart, still unwilling to speak to the younger. “Look, if you don't tell me, I'll just tell Yongguk hyung that you're keeping secrets. I happen to know already that it bugs him to no end.”
  “Fine,” Himchan groaned, poking a finger at him. “But you have to act normal around Yongguk.” When Daehyun nodded, he continued. “I mean it, Jung Daehyun. Yongguk can't find out about it. He'll flip shit. When Junhong snuck out today, it was to visit his dad's final resting place. He met with his mom and step-dad there.”
  “So? What's so secretive about that?”
  Himchan swallowed, mentally kicking himself for betraying Junhong so soon. “His step-dad hits him. Brutally hits him. One time he took a ball bat to the poor kid and another time he locked him in the basement and starved him for a few days.” He watched the emotions play out across the younger's face, shock and anger finally winning over. “Yeah, I know. We asked if he wanted to go to the hospital, but he said no. His step-dad pays the bill, so he'd know if Junhong went. Junhong said it would only lead to another beating later.”
  “That's inhumane! How can someone beat their kid like that? How can his mom let him do that?” Daehyun felt his stomach churn. The pieces fell into place as he remembered Junhong hurrying inside to hide upstairs. “You're right, hyung, Yongguk can never know about this. He'd probably kill the guy.”
  “Exactly. Where would that land him except with a one-way ticket back to prison? We can't let that happen.” He turned to push the cart down the aisle, heading for the paints. He stopped to eye the swatches, smiling at the rainbow of colors. “What color do you want your room?”
  “Black.” Daehyun looked over the colors, running his fingers over the assortment of yellows. “Youngjae's should be yellow, like his sleeping bag.” He looked at Himchan. “We'll paint them according to our bags.”
  “Then what about the ones who are sharing rooms?”
  Daehyun looked at the swatches, pulling out a yellow and holding it up to the various reds. Smiling, he picked out the one he liked the best. “Like this. Who else is sharing a room?”
  Himchan shrugged. “I'm not sure. Let's just pick out the ones that match regardless.” After spending ten minutes trying to decide which ones would be best, they went to the clerk, having him match the paints for them. Smiling as the buckets were placed in the cart, he looked over at Daehyun. “They're going to be surprised at this! I’m almost excited to get home.”
  Daehyun nodded, following Himchan to the front of the store, helping him load everything onto the counter so they could pay. He waited patiently as Himchan paid, helping him wheel their things out to the truck. Loading them carefully in the bed, he jumped in the passenger seat, buckling up. He couldn't keep the smile off his face as Himchan started the truck, pulling out into traffic. He kept looking out the window, a person catching his eye as they stopped at the light. His smile faltered, the blood draining from his face as he peered out the window a little more.
  It can't be, his mind screamed. He was vaguely aware that his breathing was uneven as he stared at the man sitting on the bench. It can't be you. How can you be here? You died six months ago...you, you...
  Daehyun jumped when Himchan placed a hand on his arm, eyes snapping to the elder. He was frowning, obviously upset with how Daehyun was acting, but he couldn't help it. Turning his head back around, he noticed the person had vanished. He blinked, eyebrows furrowed as he tried to think straight. He leaned back against the headrest of the seat, closing his eyes. He saw him behind his closed lids, sitting there, smiling as if he didn’t have a care in the world. He felt the truck lurch forward as Himchan drove, it stopping once they reached home. He slowly opened his eyes, frowning as he climbed out of the truck.
  “I'll see if Yongguk hyung will help you get this stuff inside,” he muttered, ignoring Himchan's concerned gaze. “I'm suddenly not feeling well.” He went inside, leaning against the wall as he placed his hand over his heart. “That couldn't have been hyung. Hyung died while I was in jail. My mind is just playing tricks on me. It has to be. Hyung, he's gone; he's not coming back.”
  Himchan was frowning when Yongguk came outside. “I need your help with these,” he stated, pointing to the paint cans. He smiled at Yongguk's confused expression. “We're going to paint our rooms.” He glanced toward the house, a frown appearing on his face. “Did you notice anything strange with Daehyun?”
  “No,” Yongguk replied, looking toward the house. “I heard you guys pull up, but if he went inside, I didn’t pass him.” He looked back at Himchan. “He okay?”
  “I'm not sure.” Himchan grabbed a few bags, heading toward the door as Yongguk followed with a couple paint cans. “He started acting strange on the way home. It's like he saw a ghost or something. He started having problems breathing and he wouldn't look at me. I tried several times to talk to him in the truck, but he tuned me out.” He set the bags on the counter, making sure Yongguk didn’t notice the bandages and makeup. “I hope he's not getting sick.”
  Yongguk set the paint cans down, turning to go get a few more. “What's with so many cans? Can't we just paint everything white?”
  Himchan sorted, following Yongguk back outside to grab another couple of bags. “We need to differentiate between our own personalities. For you and Youngjae, we got red and yellow paint. Daehyun chose black, Junhong's is blue, and Jongup's is green.”
  “What's yours?” Yongguk cocked his head to the side, grabbing two cans in each hand.
  Himchan didn’t respond at first, his eyes glued to the way Yongguk's muscles tensed under the weight. He blinked, mentally shaking himself. “I got pink to match my bedding.” He smirked, walking toward the front door. “Since, you know, I’m the most feminine one here.” Going back to the kitchen, Himchan waited for Yongguk, turning to face him, all teasing gone. “How's Youngjae?”
  Yongguk grunted as he set the cans on the floor, wiping them against his jeans. “He woke up a little bit ago. He's been pretty quiet. I told him he has nothing to worry about, but he just sits there, staring at the wall.”
  Sighing, Himchan left the kitchen, knocking lightly on the open door before entering what would be Yongguk and Youngjae's room. “Hey, want to talk?”
  “Not really,” Youngjae replied, pulling his yellow sleeping bag around his shoulders. “That guy really creeps me out.”
  Himchan sat down next to the younger, patting his shoulder. “It's okay that he does. He's a criminal.”
  Youngjae turned sad eyes to the elder, fingers gripping his sleeping bag a little tighter. “Then why don't I feel uncomfortable in this house? Yongguk hyung went to prison and even Daehyun hyung was in jail. Shouldn't I feel uneasy being around them, too? And yet I slept peacefully last night in the same room as Daehyun and I wasn't startled to wake up in Yongguk's room.”
  “They're different than that Kim Heechul.” He let the younger lean against him, glad to see him relax a little. He reached up, running his fingers through the brunet hair. “Kim Heechul, he's vicious, he's heartless. He's evil. Yongguk and Daehyun, they don't give off the same vibe as him.”
  “But they're still criminals.”
  “Only in name. I really don't believe that Yongguk could kill someone again. The weight of having someone's blood on your hands, it's got to be a heavy burden.”
  “And Daehyun missed out on being able to tell his hyung goodbye.”
  Himchan pulled away, looking down at Youngjae. “What? What about telling his hyung goodbye?”
  Biting his lip, Youngjae contemplated on telling Himchan or not before he sighed. He let his sleeping bag fall from his shoulders as he turned to face the elder. “Last night, Daehyun hyung told Jongup and I that his hyung passed away when he was in jail.”
  “Oh, my.” Himchan looked out the bedroom door, a frown etched onto his face. “I feel sorry for him.”
  Youngjae nodded, picking at a stray thread on his sleeve. “I do, too. Jongup and I, we decided to try to keep his mind off of it.” He followed Himchan's gaze, breath hitching a little at seeing Daehyun walking slowly up the stairs. He stood abruptly, moving to follow the elder. He caught him just before he went into his room, bucket of paint in one hand and a paint roller in the other. “Hi, hyung.”
  Daehyun turned to him, smiling slightly. “It's nice to see you up.” He placed the roller on top of the unopened can, reaching out to ruffle the younger's hair. “You feeling any better?”
  Nodding, Youngjae smiled back shyly. “Yeah, I’m okay.” He looked at the paint can before returning his attention to Daehyun's face. “Are you painting your room? Can I help?”
  “Yeah, you can help. Just go grab a paint roller and come back up.” He watched Youngjae bounce downstairs, the smile still pulling at his lips as he turned to enter his room. He looked around, placing the can on the floor before pulling the screwdriver from his back pocket. He pried the lid off, looking over his shoulder as Youngjae returned. He smiled at the younger's wide eyes.
  “Black? You're painting your room black?” he asked, kneeling beside the elder.
  “Yeah.” He frowned, looking at the roller. “I think I need to get a pan to dump this in.” He looked at Youngjae, smiling again. “Wait here, okay? I'll be back in a second.”
  Junhong watched from across the hall, Jongup having passed out when Himchan had left. He, however, couldn't manage to fall asleep. He sat leaning against the wall, trying to ignore Jongup's snoring coming from the other side of the room. Yongguk had set up their beds, Jongup climbing unconsciously into his while Junhong remained seated on the floor. He kept his eyes fixed on the hallway, watching as Yongguk went into each room, setting up beds before throwing sleeping bags and pillows onto them. He remained silent the entire time, refusing to answer the elder whenever he tried to start a conversation. After a while, Yongguk had stopped trying.
  He watched Daehyun hurry back down the stairs, Youngjae still smiling a little. A knock on the door had the elder getting up, going downstairs to be nosy. He heard muffled voices downstairs before someone hollered up for him. He wanted to ignore them, but he had a feeling he shouldn't. Slowly going downstairs, he kept his eyes on the floor, looking up only when he reached the bottom. Instantly, his breath left him.
  “Junhong,” Judge Choi said, a frown on his face. He had his hands in his pockets as he stood in the doorway. “Your mother called me a little bit ago. She wanted to know if you were okay.”
  Junhong scoffed as he leaned against the railing. “Why would she care?” he snapped, looking at the judge. “It's not like she gives a damn about me anymore.”
  “Language, Junhong!” Judge Choi's posture relaxed a little and he sighed. “Look, I know you're upset about how things turned out, but you trying to cut all ties with them is just as bad as her ignoring you when your step-dad is around.”
  “Why? They have hyung. They'll be fine with me not there.” He blinked back the few tears he felt trying to escape. He didn’t want to cry, not here. Yongguk and Himchan were standing off to the side with Youngjae and Daehyun standing by the kitchen door. They were all looking at him, trying to figure out what was going on. He looked at Judge Choi, trying to keep his voice level. “Dad was the only one who cared about me in that house. Ever since he died, Mom's been pushing me away. Even hyung doesn't talk to me anymore.”
  Sighing, Judge Choi ran a hand through his hair. “You know that's not true. Even if they don't show it, your mom and hyung still love you.”
  “Then why don't they stop him from doing that to me?!” Junhong felt a tear run down his cheek, his composure crumbling. He pulled his shirt off hastily, wincing at the pain. “If they loved me, why wouldn't they stop this?”
  Judge Choi frowned, eyes taking in the new bruises forming along Junhong's torso. “When did this happen?” His eyes hardened, his voice taking on an authoritative tone. “Junhong, when did he do this?”
  “It happened today,” Himchan stated, taking a small step forward. He frowned, looking at the judge. “Jongup and I saw him sneaking off. We followed him, but we couldn't do anything. We watched it happen.” He looked at Junhong, the younger sitting down, hugging his shirt to himself. He turned his attention back to the judge. “But, how do you know his family?”
  Judge Choi looked at Himchan before he moved to Junhong's side. They watched as he knelt beside the younger, Junhong instantly leaning into his arms. He ran a hand through his hair, looking back at Himchan and the others. “I'm his uncle. My older brother, Minho, is his dad. I promised him when Junhong was born that I’d look after him if something ever happened.”
  “Is that why you sent him to live here?” Daehyun asked, voice quiet. “To keep him from that house and from his step-dad?”
  Nodding, Judge Choi stood up, looking at each of them. “I know I’m asking a lot of you, but please look out for him while he's here. The man his mother married, he's been on our radar for a few years. We just haven't had enough evidence to put him away.” He looked at Yongguk. “The man's son has quite a file, too. If we can lock both of them away for good, several wrongdoings will be fixed.”
  Yongguk felt the others staring at him, but he couldn't find the strength to look at them. His eyes remained locked on Judge Choi. “His son is...?” All Judge Choi had to do was nod and Yongguk felt his hands clench into fists. He pressed them to his sides, keeping himself as calm as possible. “Siwon hyung, let me know if I can help you with the case.”
  Himchan looked at Yongguk before looking at the judge. “Did you just call him hyung?”
  Siwon smiled. “I'm really not that much older than you.” He chuckled at the look on Himchan's face. “You didn’t know that? You and Yongguk are twenty-three. I’m twenty-seven.”
  Yongguk took a deep breath, staring at Siwon before moving his eyes to Junhong. “Let me help you catch his dad's killer.” He blinked, looking back to Siwon. “If I can help you take down Jonghyun and his dad, maybe I wouldn't feel so useless.”
  Siwon nodded, standing up. Junhong leaned over, resting his forehead against Siwon's leg. “Yongguk, help me catch Jonghyun for killing my hyung. And help me set Junhong's family free from Kim Taeheon.”

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
skasx
Aug. 27th, 2014 03:40 pm (UTC)
oh my god this plot is just amazing I can't wait for part 3 /).(\
kapike
Sep. 25th, 2014 05:16 am (UTC)
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry, sorry, sorry for the late comments! Things have been slightly crazy here and I haven't had time to sit down and comment. But here I am now! Ready to read and comment!

Haha. Himchan needs to take a chill pill. But I do find that so cute and sweet of him to think that he needs to protect Junhong from Yongguk! And that he tries to protect Junhong but he really isn't the fighting type! I did that that comment that Himchan made to Yongguk right after hurt Yongguk. I can't really see Yongguk hurting the kids. It would be more typical of him to protect the kids..even if he would swear that he never would. Then the whole Junhong on the roof part was exciting! Ah Himchan. I don't think your warning to Junhong will make him stop loving Yongguk or leave him alone. I think it was sweet what Junhong told Himchan there. How he loves Yongguk and how Yongguk was so good to him. I love this.

"“Love is blind. I guess it's deaf, too, because nothing you say will make me turn my back on him. You say you went to school with him, but why weren't you his friend? Did you even try to reach out to him?” His smile widened when Himchan remained silent. “Even if I get hurt, I’m still reaching out to him. He needs someone to love him unconditionally. And I'll do that until someone he can love wholly comes along.”"

Junhong is awesome. So I guess Heechul is evil here?? I hate him so much already and he hasn't done anything yet. I really, really liked that Yongguk protected Youngjae and Daehyun! See he isn't so bad! But ugh....what Heechul said made me so angry! Awwww that part with Junhong and his mom and step father! That was terrible. Poor Junhong! They are such jerks! So did Yongguk really kill Junhong's father? Awww that sucks. Ugh. Heecul is such a jerrrrrrk!

Oh! So Daehyun thinks he saw someone who is suppose to be dead?? That is interesting! Can't wait to see where that leads. I really, really love how much of a family they are becoming!

The ending of this was awesome! Can't wait to read some more! oxoxoxooxoxxoxooxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxo. Thank you so much for continuing this even if not that many people are reading it. It makes me very happy and grateful!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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