Pairing: Jaemin (main)
Genre: AU, supernatural/fantasy/non-human, angst, romance
Warning: underage-went-wrong, WTFs, minor torture/violence
Until some springs ago he still enjoyed being enveloped by the current or leaping from one rock to another without asking things, until a special kind of creature came to distract his joyous lifetime
The sun hadn’t arisen when Yunho woke up with the feeling of stones jabbing his head. He winced and immediately fell back onto the tender cushion, only for some seconds before the memory of playing bet with soju and obnoxious teenagers was replayed inside his head. Having no clue of his current whereabouts, he suddenly feared the possibility of finding a naked woman beside him who would say ‘You’ve made love to me and now I’m having your baby’, which was clearly not a fortunate situation. So he fumbled in the dark, anxious and trying to work his hazy brain out by tactile.
Soon he noticed he was on a bed. Within the next few minutes his eyes could finally accommodate the dark to realize that it was Jaejoong’s.
He should be at ease, for he was in his neighbor boy’s room, a familiar one and not some stranger’s, still an unexplainable worry budged him and it wasn’t just because of his undid shirt buttons.
“Hyung, you’ve woken up!” A cheerful voice called. The lights were turned on, and there he saw the boy next door approached him with a newly-washed face, wearing a pair of pink furry slippers and an oversized T-shirt with Keroppi picture. “Seriously, how could you just fall asleep like yesterday?” He chuckled.
Before Yunho managed to say anything, Jaejoong had climbed onto the bed and kissed him. It was just a peck but enough to make the older guy jumped in shock and moved the boy away.
“Jae, don’t do that!” Unaware of the situation, he rubbed his lips from Jaejoong’s kiss while the boy’s smile faltered into a frown, not expecting such drastic treatment.
Thinking that it was only a random tease, Yunho bluntly answered, “It gives me chills”. He looked around and yawned, “By the way, why am I here…?”
“You don’t remember?”
“No…I was badly drunk, wasn’t I?”
An understanding crawled into the boy’s head but was rejected strongly as he refused to kill the joy of love he just enjoyed for one night.
“Hyung… you don’t remember what have we done?”, he asked, hoping that his thought was wrong. His thumbs started to twiddle the pillow sheet uneasily as tears pooled in his eyes.
Yunho didn’t grasp it at first, but such demanding eyes and some hickeys peeking from Jaejoong’s chest as the boy dropped his trembling shoulders slowly connected with his logic. He looked down to the front of his pants only to choke on his own breath to find a stain of dried cum there.
He shook his head, unable to have a heart to relate the finding with his eleven years old neighbor who began to weep --face on the pillow and loud and shamelessly, like a normal kid who had just gotten a snap for a bad grade, and not like a brokenhearted guy in decent age.
“Oh God. Jae… don’t say that I…”
“Y-you said you loved me…” The boy whispered on his pillow, voice muffled and not too audible between his sobs.
“… I… I did?”
The weep only got more miserable.
“Jae… this is… this is not right, you know it, right? We both are guys…”
Stabbed by the reason Jaejoong snarled, face wet and red, “… If I’m a guy I can’t be pretty enough for you!?”
“Jae! You’re pretty, but you’re still a guy… this isn’t right, I’m not ga- did y-…? Oh fuck and you’re just eleven for God sake!”
A slap landed on Yunho’s face; supposed to be powerful but ended up weak.
“You say that now!! But last night you came up and said you love me! You hugged me and kissed me all over my body and you said I was perfect when I sucked your cock!”
“…. Oh God…” Yunho was at loss of words, ” fuck….. fuck. Fuck.”
The guy pulled his own hair in frustration, feeling more than terrible at the looks of disappointment and accusation being lashed to him. He knew there was no reason could prevent him from being a jerk, but no choice but to say, “Jae, it was… it was alcohol… I didn’t mean it.”
Shaking harder, Jaejoong pulled his limbs into a curling form and hid his face inside his lap to worsen the wail. A pillow was hugged tight, visibly drenched by tears. The boy felt low, sinful and dirty. He felt stupid. How could he have a drunken man’s cock inside his mouth so easily just because an alcohol-driven confession overjoyed him?
“Jaejoongie… I’m sorry… it was my fault…” Yunho reached a hand to console the boy’s jerking shoulder only to get harshly swatted away.
“I hate you!!” The scream was ear-stabbing and not half-hearted. “Liar!! Stupid!! I hate you!!”
“Go away!! I hate you!!”
Yunho forced Jaejoong into a tight hug, no matter how the boy struggled to break away and kept punching his chest, screaming hatred. It was the only thing Yunho could do as guilt ate him –rocking the confused boy back and forth, rubbing his back, whispering apology as the boy’s fist against his chest and his childish curses hurt him deeper than physically.
He had soiled him. He had soiled their relationship. He knew they could never be the same again.
“You shouldn’t have reported such thing to him.” A wind Pixy sighed as she listened to a heart-wrenching wailing came from a certain underwater shimmer.
“He begged me for it. I don’t quite understand but I guess he has messed up some things with those human.” Another wind Pixy answered, her face wasn’t less forlorn. As wind Pixy wasn’t limited to the water she could travel through air and witnessed everything related to human; she didn’t want it, but the Little One endless nagging gave her no choice.
“Pure Boy stayed inside his house, crying every day. There’s a fat lady making him dishes but he refused to touch it. He gets thinner. The big guy isn’t in his house anymore. I don’t know where he has gone to.”
The last report was short but as the Little One knew what was behind, it hit him with so much guilt.
He no longer counted how many times the sun had arisen and fell, but it had been a while since the Pure Boy’s last visit. In fact, the Otherworld’s beings almost believed that their idol had stopped coming to the stream for good, and surely it was a disaster for the Little One. The guilt of causing the boy’s suffering plus the torturing yearning mixed into an ugly concoction.
The cry was audible every freakin’ day.
Again, the Pixies talked behind his nonexistent back: (and again, who talked about what was yet to be investigated since all Pixies looked similar):
“That was what happened when you try a human body.”
“Once you tried a human body their disdainful desires linger.”
“Also their complicated emotions. It’s not a good thing.”
“Hmm… hmm… and those invite evils.”
“Evil? Like a fox? I can’t mention any other evil but a fox.”
“No no no, not just a fox, but two foxes, three foxes and four foxes. And five foxes.”
“Mihihihihihihihi evil, evil, foxes… beware… beware…”
The Oak Tree had lost words to stop the Pixies from such unhealthy gossips or the Little One from dwelling in depression. He was afraid of one thing; a fishy-smelled creature who would be more than happy to take advantage of the most unlikely situation, a creature of plot and mischief, cunning enough to link one event to another to get a personal satisfaction in the end. The Oak Tree was wise, but even his self wasn’t clever enough to follow such trail of thinking that was fox’s.
And his fear turned out to be true one day, when the same fox easily lifted the Little One out of the water and brought him away, disregarding the Pixies curses and scolds about it.
“You couldn’t blame me for that, could you? I was just trying to help… what had happened was beyond our expectation. Who would’ve guessed you guys acted that way? I was expecting a more innocent and less steamy encounter…” The fox reasoned as they settled under a tree. His smirk wasn’t as wide as before. He looked regretful but who knows, it might be a trick.
The Little One had learned a lesson about how bitter being humiliated by a group of retarded foxes was.
“You laughed mockingly at me… you did it on purpose…” He said.
“No… “Fox swayed his index claw. “You misunderstood us. It’s a fox thing, you know? We’re a bit blunt and spontaneous sometimes, it’s in our traits. But we didn’t mean to do harm…” A smirk was almost unleashed but he quickly continued, “…why do you think I come to you for the second time? If my intention was to mess with you I could just leave irresponsibly afterward…”
“Why do you come?”
The fox sighed and looked away in melancholy, “My boss shouted at my face for hurting your feeling. So he offered you a chance -a once in a lifetime chance that only his magic can do.”
“Your boss? What chance?”
“It’s hard to explain with my limited ability. We should meet him now, how about that?”
The Little One was cautious this time. During his weeping episodes so many Pixies had lectured him some things to know about the villainous mammals, though he couldn’t help but thinking why they didn’t tell him sooner. The point was: he needed to stay away from the said mammals.
“No. Put me back into the stream now.” He decided firmly.
Nodding in understanding, the fox sighed, “I understand. I’ll just tell my boss that you refuse that permanent human body then.”
A certain phrase made the nonexistent ears twitched.
“W-What did you say?”
“Permanent human body. He knows how to do it. After all he’s our boss.” The fox explained, still feigning ignorance inside his tone; however his tail wagged faster if only the Little One realized that.
“You mean… I can be a human forever!?”
“Kind of like that.”
Without second thought the Little One squealed, “Oh, please… please, fox… bring me to your boss now… bring me to your boss…”
After all he was bloody innocent.
“Khkhkhkh… ehk ehk.” The fox coughed and spat before he grinned, “I’ll be glad to.”
So far, the fox had always been running with speed in every movement, to the extent where the Little One could no longer see the surroundings when being brought by him. However this time, the filthy mammal walked in a slow pace as if he was absentmindedly enjoying the forest air and not having a hopeful, impatient being inside his claws. He even shook his booty and sang another weird song about toxic and arpeggio, saying that it was his boss’ favorite song at the moment.
The Little One couldn’t help but wonder where the fox heard those songs.
Sky was grey and unfriendly as they reached a crooked house deep inside the forest. The house was small, shape deformed, made from bamboos and closer to a hut than a house. A broken roof hovered on the top and some holes were visible from the thin wall, mold and wild plants stuck out from every corner. It was believable that no one would live there.
Around it lots of foxes had gathered; some cackled noisily, some rolled on the ground. Some looked at him in ignorance as they stepped closer to the hut, and only few stared at him with such glinting eyes that sent him creep.
They whispered, murmured and sniggered to each other before something suddenly turned them silent.
The atmosphere was certainly ominous.
“So you’re… that little creature with a big dream.”
The voice wasn’t as roaring as expected –instead soft and almost gentle, coming from a certain fox emerged from behind the hut’s broken door. Considering how the other foxes hang their heads low and gave a way, the Little One considered this bigger fox to be the boss.
As the said fox stepped closer, he could see that he was different indeed. Fox always generated a feeling of disgust and itch, but this certain fox sent him chills. His color was bright red, unlike the mere minions’ that were reddish-brown. He smelled like cedar and not fish, and the most striking trait was the nine tails swaying dangerously slow behind him, like fire licking the air.
…Hence why the chills, probably.
The red fox didn’t smirk as much as the Little One thought he would. A pair of sharp, green eyes only glanced at him for a moment before he said “Come here” and turned his back. The previous fox followed his boss into the house.
“This is where you guys live?”
The fox answered, “Certainly no. Only few of us are willing to live in forest, not to mention in this ugly house.”
“So… whose place is this?”
What he got was a short answer and joyous grin, “Soon-to-be-your-body’s.”
It didn’t need a lot of time to know what the fox meant by that.
Inside the crooked hut was a boy, lying on a mattress, covered by a piece of dirty, worn-out blanket up to his chin. His face was pale, he didn’t breathe.
“In human world they called this condition ‘poverty’.” The fox explained. ”He had no family or document that could… oh well, the point is it won’t lead you to trouble. You’re lucky we found this.”
“He’s… he’s… dead?”
Dead like animal, that’s how low the term ‘dead’ was for a timeless being like him.
“An illness killed him. Human are fragile like that."
The Little One approached the body and hovered above it. It was about the same size as Jaejoong’s, only one inch shorter, two at the most. Its lips were no longer red like he thought human lips would, and its eyelids were half-opened, revealing lifeless pupils, giving an eerie sight. Suddenly the fear of seeing Jaejoong in such state came to him in a rush.
“Good. Stay there.” Next to him was suddenly a pair of gleaming green eyes.
Again, his vision was shut down. This time it didn’t return easily like before, instead he was tortured in the darkness and an unbearable pain around his neck, as if his nonexistent tongue was being tugged harshly to opposite directions, preventing him from producing voice.
What gradually called him back was a loud, hysteric shriek of a human female.
“What have you done to my son!!??” He heard the same voice lowered into a weak, frightened beg, "Stop..."
“You aren’t supposed to see us, Ahjuma….”
“No… what are you… no… go away…!!”
“I’m sorry, I don’t like human meat very much but these fellas have different taste. God bless you.”
The next scream really slapped the Little One back into consciousness as an unpleasant smell barged into his newly gained senses; colors formed within his range of vision, disgusting noises of slurps and something being crunched and chewed scrapped his ears as well as the crooked hut’s wall.
He saw, with a pair of human boy’s eyes, a pool of blood, a disemboweled body, ribs covered in red meat sticking out, two foxes playing tug-o-war with a string of intestine, an eyeball leaking a clump of jelly trickled from the side of a fox’s mouth, the same fox who was struggling to crack a skull by slamming a head repeatedly to the floor. Two smaller foxes gnawing on a piece of legs, tearing the flesh with a nasty chap chaaaap sounds.
It was a joyful feast.
“Make it clean, no leftovers, make it clean!!” One of them reminded the others.
“W-W-what are you doing!!?? Wha—wha—“ the Little One, who was now resurrected as a living dead, could only gapped at the vulgar scenery as he retreated backwards, avoiding the pool of blood from touching his feet. Cold sweat trickled from his forehead, not even once he had imagined that a fox could do such thing to various creatures other than trout and catfish, and not once he had imagine how horrible it would look.
Seeing the boy wrinkled in fear, the fox only hummed a tight-mouthed chuckle, “Oh, you’re awake. Well, though oil-fried is in the trend, we used to have them raw like this.”
“You… you guys are c-cruel…” The boy stuttered, causing some foxes to switch their attention to him.
“Cruel? We gave you what you want and you still call us cruel!?”
They mumbled at each other and smirked eerily without stopping the feast:
“It’s been a while since we had a human…”
“Oh, now that he’s a human… can we have some of him?”
“Come on, just a leg… he still a human with one leg, right?”
“Or an arm…”
“Plus eyeball…? Human can still see with one eye…”
Forced by his instinct, the newly-resurrected boy immediately got on his feet and struggled to dash out of the creepy place, escaping through the gloomy rain, limping and tripping along the way for he hadn’t completely able to handle the new body. It felt foreign, insecure, awkward and awfully coordinated, even worse than the last body he got, maybe because now it was a child’s, an ill one at that. He fell on a water poodle several times; mud soaked him and his clothes, burdening him even more. Cold air felt like thorns piercing his neck and nose and the rain only fell harder, stabbing his head. The hard edge of stones tore his bare feet and multiplied the pain but he kept running with only fear as the only source of power. His mind was as cloudy as the sky above him.
Whenever he felt save enough and decreased his pace the red fox would appear right by his side and whispered, “Run, keep running. This way.”, causing him to jump in fear and sprinted another distance, weirdly following the lead. It repeated over and over, until no strength left inside the boy’s fragile body.
He could no longer realize his surrounding when the heavy rain finally beat him to the ground. Only a soft voice whispered to his ear, “My name is Xiah. Remember that. For now you can enjoy your new life, and I will come to you for the bribe one day.” Then a pair of human lips landed on his cheek.
Every sound but the rain’s disappeared after that.
It was weird, he thought. Water was his home, being drenched by the rain and water poodle supposed to be enjoyable and not torturing. It supposed to feel like a blessing and not a punishment towards the sin he had committed.
Yes, he was a sinner. A living dead. His unhealthy desire had caused the death of an innocent being, yet he still longed for that pair of warm hands to secure him, like a maggot hoping for a butterfly.
As his eyes turned heavy he hummed, “Under the water, we splish splash splish splash…”
And just before his awareness completely left, came a familiar voice he missed so much.
“Nuna!! Dahae Nuna!! There’s a boy here!!”
The boy awoke within the squeeze of dry and fluffy surface, something he wasn’t too familiar with. Neither the smell of blood, fox nor wet earth lingered in his nose; only a pleasant scent of baby soap (that he didn’t quite recognize either) pampered his sense, along with the soft fabric wrapped his fresh-felt skin. He glanced at the other side of the window to find that it was supposed to be night and dark, however he was in a bright place, as a source of light hanging on the ceiling seemed to be the cause. It was brighter than a full moon, and as much as he was amazed by that, anxiety overcame such feeling.
“Ah… you’re awake.” A fat lady entered by the opened door with a cup of steamy chocolate milk in her hand. She put the cup on the headboard, trying to smile and but still unable to hide a wrinkle between her eyebrows, “What happened with you? I never saw you around.” She said.
Knowing he couldn’t just answer ‘I was a nothingness from the stream and the fox help me to use this corpse so I can meet a certain boy’, he only bit his lips and trembled in fear. After all who could guarantee that the lady was better than the fox?
“What’s your name?” She asked.
Name… name… name…
They called him the ‘Little One’ because he didn’t have a name.
He shook his head, a gesture he learned from observing the Pixies.
The lady only frowned even more, “You forget your name? Omo… can you speak?”
He nodded and answered weakly “… Yes…” weirdly his voice was exactly the same as his usual one, only realer. He didn’t know what made the voice differed when he used Yunho’s body.
The name slipped from the lady’s mouth so easily that the boy’s thought he misheard things. Fate couldn’t be that kind to him.
“Jaejoong-ah, he’s awake!” She called again.
Soon a small figure appeared by the door, worry drawn in his face as he rushed towards the bed. “He’s okay?” he asked and halted by the lady’s side, observing the newcomer.
It’s really him.
His gaze was that of a longing and unrequited love but of course none of the two human could understand that as the reason why the strange boy suddenly sobbed. They thought their guest was traumatized by a certain event God-knows-what.
“Poor boy… what’s wrong with you?” Jaejoong sat by the bed side and rubbed his narrow back. “You got lost?”
The boy shook his head.
“You ran from home?”
Still no answer. In fact the boy just didn’t know what kind of story he should create for his background.
“… something happened with your family?” This time it was the lady’s turn to ask, though sounding a bit impatient.
“Dahae Nuna, maybe he’s afraid of you, you’re too big…” Jaejoong teased, only to get a soft knock on his head as the fat lady pouted jokingly.
“Fine, fine… I’ll leave you guys. Call me if you need help.” With that, she left the room.
Jaejoong waved at her and quickly returned his attention to the boy, who was restlessly gripping the blanket’s edge on his lap, “She looks scary but she’s not that bad, believe me.” He said and shifted closer to the boy’s side. “What’s your name?”
The Little One thought hard for a name, a human name, but he couldn’t think any other than ‘Jaejoong’, unless he should answer with those one-syllable Pixy names –Nat, Kat, Pim, Yan, Min…
….or maybe that can do, he thought.
“M-min…” think, think, think
“Min? Minho? Taemin? Sungmin? Changmin?”
“Yes, t-that! That!” the boy nodded vigorously at the name he didn't even hear clearly, whatever it was.
“Y-yes!” He nodded again.
Jaejoong furrowed his eyebrows, studying the weird boy who was dangling his head low suspiciously from head to toe. Then he sighed, “Okay, Changmin-ah. Have some sleep, we’ll talk again tomorrow.”
[to be continue]