20 October 2009 @ 03:16 pm
Title: Deep (11/?)
Authors: [livejournal.com profile] omen1x2 and [livejournal.com profile] sakura121
Rating: R
Fandom: DBSK/TVXQ, Super Junior cameos
Pairing: JaeChun, HoSu, MinSu (more later)
Disclaimer: The setting’s mine. The characters aren’t.
Summary: Centuries in the future, humanity hasn’t moved onto the stars as previously theorized. As the earth changes, everything is covered by ocean, and underwater cities become the means of survival.

Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine, Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven
Written by Omen-chan and Sakura-chan

"What's your name, boy?"

In this world, with this life, there are only two ways to exist. Of the two, resignation is by far the easiest.

The boy takes the other way. He responds by spitting his name out like a curse, his entire body tense, and growls like an animal ready to attack, or flee.

The old man just gives him a wry smile, the expression on his face impossible for the boy to read. He can't recognize kindness.

They finally stop running when they reach a store. They'd passed through room after dingy room, countless market stalls along the way, as well as places that could possibly pass for the flimsy walls of makeshift houses, the bare minimum necessary for some modicum of privacy. This is the first place in this indecipherable labyrinth of the slums that seems to actually be a business in its own right.

They don't have time to enjoy it.

Yoochun had barely slept for two hours when Jaejoong shook him awake. A tense whisper of, "We have to go," and a quick glance towards the nearest doorway all the response necessary to bring Yoochun fully alert. He hadn't even looked himself to see who was following them before the two of them burst out of their small hiding place, thus beginning another long chase through Psi Level.

But now Yoochun can't run anymore. He bends over, panting and hands gripping his knees. He's never felt so exhausted. When he finally gathers enough strength to look up, however, he sees his lover, eyes wide and black, and barely even breathing heavily.

He spares just a moment of wonder before a hand, heavy and cold, falls on the back of his neck.

Unthinking, he bursts into a whirling hurricane of motion.

They're almost to the store when Yunho says, unexpectedly serious, "I hope we don't run into Heechul."

He receives strange glances from his companions, one curious, the other unreadable, but before they can ask him anything, they're interrupted.

They see Tok running out the door of his store, loud crashes and yells clearly audible from behind him.

The entire market seems to stop. Everyone knows that Tok's store, as Psi Level's only real one, is a kind of haven where unspoken truces held. Fights may break out anywhere else and with little provocation, but not at Tok's.

There was a time when Yunho, like so many other low levelers, would have looked away. Instead, he grabs Tok's arm before he can rush past.

The poor, fat man doesn't even wait to be questioned; the information just spills from his mouth unbidden. "Hwa-Su's in there killing two kids from the Uppers!"

Yunho's aghast. The Uppers?! Why would anyone from the Uppers, let alone two kids, come to Psi Level? He turns to say something along these lines to Junsu and Changmin, but they're already gone. He's only able to catch a quick glimpse of them as they run into the store.

"Shit," he mutters, and follows them.

It's a massacre inside, which Yunho expected; Hwa-Su's down and possibly dead, which he did not.

The two Upper kids, quite possibly the cause of all this mayhem, are easy to spot. One with short hair and a large, gaping gash on his forehead is on the floor, eyes closed and his breathing shallow. The other one crouches over him with the look of a small, feral animal protecting its young from a larger enemy. He's snarling ferociously at Changmin, and it's only when Changmin responds that Yunho realizes the snarls are actually words.

"I'm not going to hurt him," Changmin is saying in a calm, matter-of-fact voice. Yunho briefly wonders if he had been taught this at the academy, or if the young medic had been able to read that sympathy and soothing words would have no effect.

"You're not going to fucking touch him," the Upper growls viciously. "I'll break your fucking wrists if you try."

Changmin continues as if the Upper hadn't spoken. "I'm a medic. See?" He pulls out his ID and shows it to him, careful to keep his movements slow and unthreatening. "I just want to help. Honest."

If anything, this makes the Upper even more suspicious. "Why?"

Changmin glances towards where Junsu is checking Hwa-Su's vital signs, and then says simply, the words loaded with hidden meaning, "Because I want to."

Yunho's just beginning to doubt whether that's going to do any good when the injured Upper kid twitches and gives a noise somewhere between a whimper and a groan.

The change this makes over the strange, feral boy is breathtaking and instantaneous. He looks away from Changmin and down at his charge, expression suddenly human with heartbreak. "Okay," he whispers.

It takes all of Jaejoong's willpower not to strike as the young medic reaches towards Yoochun's prone figure. He's helping, he reminds himself, and focuses instead on Yoochun's breathing. Inhale-exhale-inhale-exhale. Too fast, and Jaejoong isn't sure if the young boy with too-old eyes will even be able to help.

There are two others. One leaves the downed enemy's side and walks back to the entrance to hold a whispered conversation with the taller one. Jaejoong catches each movement with the eyes of a veteran soldier, or a hunted animal.

When they approach, Jaejoong tenses all over again, but they stop before they can get too close. The shorter one kneels down and smiles at him encouragingly, but speaks to the medic. "How's it going, Changmin?" Jaejoong focuses again on Yoochun, following each breath desperately.

"He's alive, but he has a pretty bad concussion. And I can't tell yet if there are any internal injuries, so we should probably take him back to the ship."

"Well, if we do, we should probably do it soon," the other replies, unwontedly cheerful. "Hwa-Su's not dead."

The medic - Changmin - curses, and Jaejoong isn't sure if it's because he has too much to deal with as it is without having to worry about another injured person, or if he's upset at the man's "not dead" status.

The two of them, conversation apparently finished, then turn to look at the third one. It's only then that Jaejoong realizes they have no authority to bring anyone aboard this "ship," and that this one must therefore be their leader.

The third one finally speaks. "Very well. Let's go get them patched up." A pause, and then he continues wryly, "At least we didn't run into Heechul."

The old man, instead of touching him or taking him to some dark place, just makes him hold his bag as they wander the labyrinth of Omega Level. Eventually, he leads the boy onto one of the Lifts, which had been previously forbidden to him.

"I don't suppose you've got an ID card, have you?"

The boy shakes his head, his suspicions keeping him mute.

"Well, we'll get you one tomorrow."

As the Lift rises, the boy gazes out at the ocean through the misty plexi-glass. It's the first time he's seen it; Omega Level has no glass, only walls. There's a squid hanging onto the Lift from the outside, and Yunho pokes the bottom of his foot against it. He can't seem to take his eyes off it.

"Where are you taking me?" He hasn't spoken since he'd told the stranger his name all those hours ago.

The old man just smiles. "To my ship, the Rising Sun. Welcome to your new life as my first mate, Yunho."

~to be continued...~

... Previous Chapter / Next Chapter...

A/N: When my computer died, all the notes I had about Deep died too, tragically. I promise to keep working on it to the best of my ability, and I hope to continue it as I planned, but without those notes, a lot of things are probably going to end up changing. *sighs* For the better, I at least hope.
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