sehun trash (exollent) wrote in runandgun,
sehun trash
exollent
runandgun

you don't have to be a superhero, for ubomb

title: you don’t have to be a superhero
for: ubomb
pairing: xinglu, baektao, krisyeol
rating: nc-17
length: 10,460
summary: misfits!au: youth these days have enough on their plates. between parties, drinking, and sex, lu han really could have done summer vacation without the community service. much less the superpowers.



“So hot,” he whines, tugging on the orange jumpsuit that clings to his skin. Lu Han trails behind the rest of the group following their probation worker as they are led to a field filled with trash. Once they stop, he has to shield his eyes from the sun in order to see what is going on.

“You can call me Mr. Lee,” the probation officer grunts, ”and today you’ll be picking up all the garbage here.”

The tallest member of their party scoffs and rolls his eyes. Mr. Lee glares at him and barks at everyone to get to work, before starting to walk away. No one moves once he’s gone. Lu Han is texting away to settle details of his best friend’s birthday party. The tall guy is using his phone as a mirror and is fixing his hair when he catches Lu Han’s eye. Lu Han smiles sweetly at him before shoving his phone into his pocket. Someone has picked up the litter pick up sticks and is passing them around. Lu Han barely gives them a glance and stalks up beside the tall guy.

“Total load of bullshit, yeah?” he drawls. The other simply nods and doesn’t speak further. “I’m Lu Han. What’s your name?”

“Kris Wu,” the other responds, and turns to start working.

“No way! Like that basketball star that was in the newspapers? What the fuck are you stuck here for?”

“Wait I heard about it, some big drug scandal right? Tough luck man,” the person who had handed out the garbage pick up sticks butts into the conversation, “I’m Yixing by the way.”

“Yeah fucking sucks balls. What are you two here for?”

“To be honest, I can’t remember,” Lu Han replies, grinning, “One minute I was having the time of my life, yeah? And the next I’m pissed as fuck and some cop is putting me into handcuffs. Can’t for the life of me remember what I did.”

Yixing laughs before answering too, “Hell, I just got framed for graffiti. Jesus Christ that guy was a dick, made off with my virginity too.”

Lu Han laughs before turning to the only remaining person who hasn’t spoken. “Hey you! What are you in for?”

The other looks up and glares.

“Whoa, I think we’ve got a serial killer on our hands.”

“My name is Zitao. I hurt someone,” he mumbles.

“Say what?”

“My name is Huang Zitao,” he repeats, this time loudly and clearly, “and I beat someone up real bad.”

“I can believe it,” Yixing snickers, “Lu Han, if you don’t want to get as fucked up as they did, I suggest you shut your trap.”

Lu Han flashes him a wide grin. They continue with their trash collection quietly, talking only to joke about some of the shit people threw out. Moments after their probation officer returns to sign them out for the day, the sky opens up and it starts pouring. It starts off as just big fat raindrops, but soon it turns into a torrential downpour. Puddles are forming everywhere, and sooner than later, it starts to hail. The pebbles are harsh and painful against bare skin.

“Jesus fucking Christ!” Someone yells, “These hailstones are the size of fucking golf balls!”

“RUN!” The probation worker screams, “UNDER THAT TREE.”

“ARE YOU A FUCKING IDIOT? WHAT IF THERE’S LIGHTNING, YOU PRICK?” Lu Han screeches incredulously.

“I DON’T GIVE A SHIT, JUST GET UNDER THERE.”

“YOU WANKER!” Kris yells, but they all make it under.

“My hair is absolutely ruined,” Lu Han whines pathetically.

They all stare up hoping that the storm would let up soon. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning strikes the tree, just as Lu Han had feared. Instead of catching fire, the tree starts glowing. Without warning, a burst of searing hot energy explods from the trunk of tree and all of them are sent flying. Getting up slowly, they look at each other in surprise and wonder as the storm quickly dissipates.

“What the bloody fuck was that?” Yixing asks.

“Dunno. Don’t want to know, I’m just glad we’re alive.” Kris responds.

“Okay peace out. I’m heading home guys.” Lu Han said, still shaking slightly.

“Hey! You! Wait we’re not– ah, forget it. Scram, kids.” The probation offer gives up on trying to get them to work again.

They each head their separate ways.

***

“Sorry darling, you’re just not my type,” Lu Han says, smiling winningly at a brunette who had begun to unbutton her shirt in front of him.

He was pleasantly buzzed, but not enough for his satisfaction. The greatest problem with going to parties with his friends was that it was never at gay bars. And while he understood that, trying to find other interested parties was always a hassle. That, and he always had to have a wary eye out to stop the advances of girls who would only be hurt.

Suddenly, the music becomes too loud and the room too hot. Lu Han slips out, drink in hand, and leans against the railing of a staircase. A warm hand presses against the small of his back and reaches toward his arse. He gasps and shivers before turning around to a face full of drunken Kim Jongin, best friend extraordinaire.

“Jongin, stop. How drunk are you?”

Jongin purrs and starts to kiss at Lu Han’s neck before Lu Han shoves him off, drink slipping from his hand.

“Fuck, what are you doing?”

Jongin just smirks and reaches forward again. A ringing noise fills the stairwell as Lu Han’s hand smacks Jongin’s cheek. Clutching his face, Jongin stumbles into a corner and falls over.

Lu Han’s breathing is heavy as he backs away but he notices the drink that he dropped is still in tact, hovering slightly off the floor. Shocked, he screams before approaching the glass slowly. Lifting his hand over it, he watches as the drink sloshes around, following his hand motions. It’s fucking awesome. Realizing that anyone could see him, he quickly takes the drink back in his hand, finishes the remnants quickly, and returns home.

***

To: Lu Han
-received at 11:03am


srry man, didn’t mean 2 come on 2 u

Blinking blearily at his phone from his position in bed, Lu Han thinks back to the fling he and Jongin had in spring of senior year in high school. It was mostly just fooling around, and they had ended whatever it was they shared on good terms, stayed best friends, and bonded quite a bit over the time. He knew Jongin was a bit of a dick but also a decent guy.

To: Kim Jongin
-sent at 11:11am


yeah u reeked of booze. sorry i slapped u

To: Lu Han
-received at 11:12am


fuck hurts like a bitch

To: Kim Jongin
-sent at 11:15am


i AM a bitch.

To: Lu Han
-received at 11:19am


i know.

“Wanker,” Lu Han whispers into the empty room before putting down his phone and rubbing at his eyes. He bolts awake suddenly as the incident with his glass last night was replays in his mind, and the sensation of being able to move things touching them. He must have been hallucinating. Nevertheless, he tests himself by reaching his hand out for his phone and shrieks as it smacks into his palm from over a foot away.

Well, shit.

What the fuck was going on?

Lu Han’s struggling to try to lift his television set up with his mind, to no avail, when there’s a knocking sound. He stumbles over piles of shopping bags and stuffed animals strewn across his bedroom floor and crosses the main room to open the door.

Jongin’s there with a cheeky smirk.

“So, you’re not pissed right?”

Lu Han waves a hand dismissively and leads him inside. He leaves Jongin in the living room of his one bedroom flat to go pour drinks. Jongin drapes himself across the sofa, familiar with his surroundings. Kicking back to rest his feet on the makeshift coffee table, he clicks the TV on to a rerun of some bad reality series. Lu Han pads back in from the kitchen and hands Jongin a glass of orange juice before settling down beside him. He’s got an hour to kill before lunch and community service.

Jongin elbows him in the ribs once he puts his glass down.

“Freak storm yesterday, you alright?”

“Yeah, bloody probation worker almost got us all killed though,” Lu Han says, reclining backward.

“Any funny shit happen to you afterwards?”

Lu Han freezes. He picks up his glass and mumbles quietly, “What do you mean?”

“Well you’re gonna think I’m a freak after this but…”

Jongin leans his head back and is suddenly halfway across the room. Lu Han almost breaks the glass in his hand but it floats centimetres off the ground.

The silence in the room is deafening for a few moments.

“So, I’m guessing weird shit did happen,” Jongin observes nonchalantly, staring at Lu Han’s trembling hand.

“Then it wasn’t – it wasn’t just me then?”

“Nah. Last night right, stumbling back from the party? I’m just walking along and then bam I’m back home and have no clue how I got there. I was drunk but it’s not like I could have just forgotten how I got home. So I’m in the hallway and realize my mum’s home. And I’m praying to god she doesn’t see me drunk and then bam, I’m in my room. Weirdest shit ever. Didn’t even have to take the bus to get to your place.”

Lu Han is up and grabs Jongin by the shoulders.

“Did anyone see you coming here?”

“Dude, chill. No one was there. Don’t flip out.”

“Holy crap, we can’t let people know about this. They’ll think we’re mental.”

“But it’s kinda cool innit? Superpowers. We could, I dunno, save the world or rob a bank.”

“Those are two very different things. But seriously, don’t tell people.”

“Yeah, I got it.”

The topic of conversation changes to more mundane things after that, and Lu Han makes them sandwiches for lunch. By the time he has to leave for community service, the whole superpower thing has almost slipped his mind. He remembers to tell Jongin to be careful on their way out, and heads to the community centre for another day of menial labour.

He’s not the last one there, surprisingly, given his rather dismal record of punctuality. They’re loitering in the change room in their orange jumpsuits when Yixing and their probation officer finally meander in. Lu Han has taken the time to stare and drool a little at Kris, who pays him no attention. When he looks up, Yixing is studying him oddly before turning away quickly to listen to Mr. Lee ramble on about their chores for the day.

They’re setting up for some community event today, bringing out chairs and tables in neat orderly rows. Zitao works quietly and efficiently, never once looking at the others. Yixing is lost in his own world and Lu Han keeps trying to chat up Kris. Who is responding with nothing but one word answers, and sometimes just mere grunts. There’s a perma-scowl on his face, as if someone has painted bitchface onto him and he can’t take the expression off. After a while, Lu Han takes the hint and works slowly while humming to himself.

A blur flashes into the room, there’s a skid, a crashing sound, and two people groaning “ow’s”. Everyone looks up to see what the commotion is. There’s a boy with the curliest hair Lu Han has ever seen, and a megawatt smile.

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” The boy is saying, reaching out to help Kris, the one he’s crashed into, stand up. In doing so, the boy manages to slip again, and flails his arms again helplessly before regaining his balance.

“Oh God you’re not the supervisor are you? I’m Chanyeol, I got caught in traffic, I’m sorry I’m late, I hope you’re not hurt.”

It turns out that Chanyeol is just a volunteer, and not stuck for getting in trouble. He ends up helping them throughout their community service anyway, because they can always use an extra set of hands. Over the next few days, the group learns to leave a clear radius around him because he’s prone to accidents without any exterior assistance. When they’re helping in the soup kitchen, he drops a stack of plates. The sheepish, “Oops, sorry,” he gives is unbearably endearing.

He reminds Lu Han a bit of a lost puppy, and the way he follows Kris around is only fuelling the image. At first it irks Lu Han, but he quickly notices the fond smile that Kris has on his face. Chanyeol is never-endingly happy, a trait that Kris so clearly needs for whatever his own disinterest in life and inherent apathy comes from.

Lu Han is bitterly reminded of his own loneliness.

***

He and Jongin are drinking the night away, when Zitao passes by them and Lu Han has to do a double take. The guy did not look like a party-goer and he’s pretty sure he’s never seen him before. Pushing through the crowd, he follows Zitao who shakily orders a beer at the bar. Lu Han slips into the seat beside him.

“Never thought you’d be the type.”

Zitao starts, and whips his head toward him.

“What are you doing here?”

Zitao is trembling as he begins speaking to Lu Han, “It’s just. I don’t. What the fuck is going on? Weird shit keeps happening to me. I’ve never been to a bar before. I just. It’s.”

“Okay, you’re going to have to explain clearer than that.”

“I just. I thought maybe alcohol would help but. I think. I might. I think I might have stopped time?”

Lu Han’s eyes bug open and he drags Zitao away from the drinks to a deserted corner.

“Don’t say stuff like that so loudly. So it’s happening to you too?”

“What?”

The beer that Zitao was clutching at slips out of his hand and hovers upward above his head.

“Are you doing that?”

“Yeah. Listen, we can’t tell people about this.”

“Do you think the others can do weird stuff too?”

“I don’t know, and I don’t plan on asking them.”

“Why not? It could be useful.”

The glare in Lu Han’s eyes is fierce when he says, “No. It’s dangerous. We’ll be treated as criminals. People don’t like weird things.”

Zitao pales.

“I know. I know they don’t I,” He looks fearfully into Lu Han’s eyes, “They called me weird. When they found out I like boys. It was so hard to go to school every day, so I hurt them. I bashed some of their heads in. I do wu shu -”

“Listen,” Lu Han cuts into Zitao’s blabbering, “I’m not here for your sob story okay. Just, I dunno, get wasted, have fun.” Zitao’s drink slams back into his hand, and if Lu Han’s face was revealing any emotions or hints of empathy, it’s gone as soon as he walks away.

He picks up another drink from the bar and joins Jongin, dancing scandalously with scantily clad men and women. He doesn’t notice Zitao again that night.

***

For Zitao’s part, he ends up stumbling across a beautiful young man as he leaves.

“Hey, do you have a drink?” The man slurs, and Zitao fumbles a bottle of beer over.

Delicate, sleek fingers curl around the neck of the bottle, lifting it up to shiny lips. Zitao watches as the other drinks deeply and slowly, the muscles in his neck working, Adam’s apple bobbing in the dim lighting. When the beer is passed back to him, he notices the dark circles of Kohl lining the man’s eyes and thinks he’s falling in love.

“Thanks for that...”

“Zitao. My name’s Zitao.”

“Thanks Zitao. I needed that.” The gentle smile that he sends him leaves his head spinning and heart bursting.

“I’m Baekhyun. See you around.”

***

The next morning, both Lu Han and Zitao are nursing massive hangovers. Lu Han is being amused by Yixing making funny faces from behind the probation worker who is trying to speak to them about the merits of good working jobs.

“How’re we supposed to get jobs when we spent most of our day here then?” Yixing calls, when Mr. Lee’s spiel is over. He whirls around and glares, before shoving scrubbing brushes at them.

“Well, here’s me erasing my crimes. Think they’ll let me out of this?” Yixing asks wryly as they clean graffiti off of the brick walls of the community centre.

Lu Han snorts out a laugh, and tackles his chunk of the wall with more vigour. It’s hot under the sun, and they’re in way too much clothing for summer. After a few hours, they end up trudging back in early for showers and water.

Yixing and Lu Han are the last ones to leave the change room. They banter casually, until Lu Han cuts his finger and lets out a small yelp. He’s squeezing tightly at the skin below the cut when Yixing reaches over.

“Here, let me see that.”

The last thing Lu Han expects if for Yixing to slip his finger into his mouth, licking at the wound and lapping up the blood. Lu Han’s breath hitches and his entire body tenses. He watches, mesmerized as Yixing’s lips envelop his finger, sucking gently, He feels his cock twitch and catches himself from groaning. There’s a slurping sound as Yixing releases him, but all previous arousal transforms into shock because the cut is no longer there.

“Fuck. Oh my god, that was too creepy wasn’t it?”

“You too?!”

“Wait, what do you mean?”

Behind Lu Han, a trash can flies into the air and falls back down, spilling litter across the floor.

“Holy fuck, you have powers too!”

“Wait, shut up, let’s not talk here. Wanna grab a bite?” Lu Han says urgently.

“Yeah. Do you think, if I licked at a piece of steak long enough, it’d turn back into a cow?” Yixing’s voice is light and whimsical, but Lu Han pauses.

“What?” Yixing asks, turning around once he realizes that Lu Han’s not walking with him.

Lu Han gives him a small smirk and teases, “You’re kind of funny, you know that?”

“Well, you’re beautiful. Did you know that?”

They laugh over hamburgers, and Lu Han shares his qualms and uneasiness about the whole superpowers thing. Yixing tells him to lighten up, that if they’ve got ‘em, they might as well use ‘em to do bad shit. Lu Han reminds him that Yixing’s power isn’t exactly the toughest thing on the block pointedly. They’re not heroes, and they’re not going to be heroes. They’re juvenile offenders, after all.

After a few drinks, they topple out together. In the parking lot, Lu Han reaches up to kiss Yixing but Yixing backs away.

“Hey, I’m not. Sorry I just, want to get to know you first if that’s alright?”

Lu Han is dumbfounded but nods. They walk together awkwardly after that, careful not to brush each other’s skin. When they arrive at Lu Han’s flat, he doesn’t invite Yixing in. He’s careful to lock the door and pull all the curtains close before he peels off his clothes. It’s been a while, and he’s never had someone reject him like that. His hand is slick against his own cock as he pumps and twists. He thinks of lips circling his fingers, nipping gently and sucking, imagines that it’s his cock in someone’s mouth instead. He pants heavily; pulling until he comes, and the sound he makes into the pillow is a half formed name he can’t bring himself to scream.

***

Instead of his usual lecture, Mr. Lee gives them business cards the next day.

“Soo Man Company. Big on entertainment, but we have administrative and menial jobs. You’re looking for someone who would actually hire you? My company will do it. Give us a visit on your free time.”

His smile is warm, but doesn’t reach his eyes.

No one gives a crap, and Yixing takes this chance to snap a bubble he’s been blowing in his face. Lu Han giggles before remembering the day before, and ducking his head.

***

They’re out picking up trash in the local park when Zitao notices Baekhyun, who is waddling along.

“Hey guys, this is Baekhyun,” He calls out to the others. They turn and give varying degrees of acknowledgement before going back to their garbage collection.

Zitao turns back to Baekhyun and asks, “Mate, it’s 4 in the afternoon. Are you drunk?”

The others look at him curiously and he glares at them before helping Baekhyun to a bench.

“Binge drinking,” Baekhyun’s laughing, “I’m just trying to be skinny.”

“What the fuck, have you looked in a mirror recently?” Zitao is absolutely astounded. Baekhyun has got to have the best body he’s ever seen, and he’s trying to lose weight?

The laugh Baekhyun gives him is sharp but mirthless. “It comes with the business. I’m a model.”

“Come on. Let’s grab some coffee,” Zitao suggests, “The others can pick up my slack.”

While the park gets marginally cleaner, Zitao and Baekhyun stop at a Starbucks and go shopping once Baekhyun is sober. Zitao finds that he’s cute and bubbly whenever he’s not morose and dejected because of the alcohol flowing through his system. They take sticker photos together, and laugh at each other when trying out outrageous clothes. Returning to the community centre, they’re almost skipping, and it seems no one has noticed Zitao’s absence.

“I can’t believe they didn’t miss me.”

“I can’t believe how cute you are!”

Zitao pouts, and Baekhyun reaches a hand up to touch his cheek.

“Come on. After all you’ve done for me today, the least I could do is take you home.”

Zitao blushes.

***

With Zitao off with Baekhyun, Yixing in the showers, and Kris nowhere to be found, Lu Han amuses himself with the vending machine, deliberating the best kind of chocolate to reward himself with after a long day. His fingers linger over the buttons for a Mars bar, before reconsidering and hovering over the Reese’s Pieces. He makes a decisive call and slips in a few coins before smashing his finger into the button for Reese’s Minis.

He pops a few of them into his mouth and walks back toward the change room. It’s then that he hears a rather familiar slap-slap-slap sound of skin against skin. He slides behind the corner, and Chanyeol’s voice can be heard.

“Sure, ah, you wouldn’t rather be doing this with, ugh, I dunno, someone like Lu Han?”

“This isn’t a one-off thing.” Kris’ voice growls out.

It’s a bitter sting, left in marks of implication and indication, and he’d rather have someone explicitly call him a slut to his face. He knows he comes off the type, because he hits on everything that moves, but he has feelings and he’s not a complete slut. After all, Yixing didn’t put out and he does have standards. Sliding down the wall, Lu Han hugs his knees tightly to him, and stays in that position when Kris and Chanyeol noisily leave the community centre, completely unaware of his presence. The taste of being seen as simply a body for sex, someone in a series of one-night stands is uncomfortable.

Yixing finds him in that position, curled up in a ball and dried tears on his face. His skin is tense and nose watery when Yixing sits beside him. Lu Han rests his head against Yixing’s shoulder and they silent like that for a long while. Neither of them say anything - no questions, no answers, nothing at all. Before the dams break and Lu Han’s tears burst forth again, he bites out, “I’m not a whore.”

Yixing reaches an arm around to smooth Lu Han’s hair tenderly. His whisper is gentle against Lu Han’s ear, “I know.”

The thing is, Lu Han has slept around a fair bit. He’s confident, and out, and attracts people’s attention with his angelic face but devilish smile. It’s in his nature to seek out sex as comfort, as affection, as love. Because he’s never really had human contact as a child - his parents were the wealthy and artsy types. They travelled around the world, and left him to nannies and while he got everything material he wanted, they weren’t there to support him, didn’t give him hugs, didn’t tuck him in at night.

When he seeks out sex with beautiful men, he does it to find solace in human touch. Instead, he finds men who pound him into mattresses, calling him “fag” and “slut” as if they weren’t going around looking for other boys to fuck. Lu Han doesn’t cry during sex, he pretends to relish the attention, lets out things like “your whore” as if he means it, as if he isn’t utterly destroyed by what their words imply.

On some level, Yixing understands this. They’re at least on the same wavelength when it comes to Lu Han’s behaviour. It’s not so much that Lu Han doesn’t inhibit himself, but that he’s seeking approval the only way how. And if his attitude is casual, it’s only because he’s hiding. Underneath the beautiful exterior, the boy inside is still lacking, longing, needing.

The trouble is that Yixing isn’t sure how to reach out to under that shell, because he sure as hell doesn’t have the experience. And if he wants Lu Han, so, so much, he’s going to have to prove to him that he’s already there without the sex. That he’s here to stay.

***

Yixing and Lu Han are both quite a bit more subdued afterward, seeking quiet comfort and solace in each other’s company. They rarely do more than sit together, sometimes drinking, more often that that just listening to music or reading. Once in a while, Yixing will make jokes, and Lu Han will laugh openly, and Yixing thinks he’s making progress.

In the wake of Lu Han’s emotional upheaval, and Kris and Chanyeol wrapped around in each other’s worlds, no one seems to pay any attention to Zitao. Which is great, at first. But two days later, Baekhyun sets off for Paris, and stops answering calls, texts, and emails. Zitao is worried and slips into depression, being a rather emotionally clingy and invested individual. He starts adjusting his sleeping patterns to fit that of Paris time, but he can’t get wind of Baekhyun at all. Believing that he’s been dumped, he shrinks back into the walls and shells that he’s built around himself. In a way, for every step that Lu Han made forward out, Zitao was huddling back in.

He takes several steps backward in interaction with the others working at the community centre, no longer greeting them or saying goodbye before he leaves. He ignores almost everyone, and tries to become one with the wallpaper, like he’s been training to become one with his staff. If his power wasn’t being able to stop time, he’d think that he was invisible for all that no one saw him or paid him any attention.

Usually, he was okay like this.

For years, Zitao had been a bit of a loner, antisocial to the core. He enjoyed it, sincerely believing that he didn’t need anyone else. But as much as Baekhyun needed Zitao to pull him out of a drunken stupor, Zitao needed Baekhyun to rely on. He allowed him to have the tender moments, periods of cutesy joy and genuine bliss. He was open and sharing, and he wanted human interaction. He wanted to integrate into society the way he never did before.

With Baekhyun gone, it felt like he was losing all need for human compassion. It was replaced with a sense of apathy that often arises from unexpected loss. Cruel. That was the world Zitao would have used to describe Baekhyun at the time, before he would think Everything, and maybe burst into tears.

***

Lu Han and Yixing barely have time to notice. In between late nights and community service, Lu Han has never looked better. His skin has a healthier glow now, and he’s finally putting his muscles to use. The effects of physical activity translate into the way he carries himself, and walks. Yixing looks different now, more open. His face is less guarded, and the more he opens himself up, the warmer his smile is.

They end up seeing movies together, sharing popcorn, and later, scathing comments about the quality of acting. They both have rather acerbic comments about the lead actor and neither of them finds him attractive.

A few days later, Lu Han takes Yixing to a local park at midnight, when no children are around. They gleefully push each other on the swings, chasing each other down slides and trying to clamour up them as well. It leaves them both feeling like six year olds, having the time of their lives.

Lu Han’s personal favourite times are when they go together to clubs and party, turning down men that he would’ve normally never said no to, but relishing the feeling of belonging.

After date number five, Yixing finally allows Lu Han take them to his home. They’re both a little tipsy and fall asleep together on the couch. Yixing wakes up first, eyes opening as light streams in through the curtains. He watches calmly, as Lu Han’s chest rises and falls to gentle breaths. Yixing thinks that he was right all along, Lu Han is beautiful. Inside and out.

The weekend stretches before them tauntingly, and they try to make good use of the day, strolling through shops and tiring themselves out walking along streets of boutiques and cafes. It’s a good day, finished off with a high-end restaurant where they eat a fancy dinner and have more than a few glasses of wine.

Almost as soon as they walk through the door to Lu Han’s flat, they’re on each other. While their relationship might have started off with gentle, loving kisses, all warmth and wet heat, the kiss now is searing. A clash of tongues, teeth, and lips ensues, and Lu Han wraps his arms tightly around Yixing’s neck. Yixing, in turn, shifts downward to focus his attention on Lu Han’s jawline, leaving a trail of saliva from hot, wet kisses. He works his way to his collarbones, sucking harshly and biting at the skin, before lapping at it with his tongue, soothing and gentle.

Lu Han bucks up against Yixing and it becomes painfully evident how hard both of them are. They switch back to fierce kissing, pausing only to take off their shirts as they rut against each other. Lu Han unzips his denims as he trails his mouth to Yixing’s nipples, laving them gently as he peels off his pants and socks in one go. Yixing’s pants are making their way off as well, but it takes longer because he’s got one hand palming Lu Han’s dick through his boxers.

Lu Han’s got his legs and arms wrapped around Yixing, secured tightly so that Yixing can rummage blindly in some drawers to find condoms and lube. The edge of one drawer slams into Lu Han’s lower back when Yixing’s trying to pry it open, and Lu Han hisses, biting into Yixing’s neck in revenge.

When they’re both finally naked, Lu Han pants out, “Want you inside of me,” breathlessly and Yixing is undone.

He hesitates for only a moment, but sees conviction in Lu Han’s eyes. They tumble toward the bed, the back of Lu Han’s knees hitting the mattress and Yixing is on top of him. He rests one hand on the jut of Lu Han’s hipbone and feels Lu Han quiver a bit as Yixing pulls on a condom. Impatiently, Lu Han begins preparing himself, slipping one and then two fingers coated with lube inside of himself, stretching and scissoring before he’s begging for Yixing.

Lu Han guides Yixing’s cock inside him, arching his arse up and spreading his legs to give Yixing a beautiful view. On the first thrust, Lu Han pushes back instinctively, every nerve in him feeling alive and awake, and special.

“More,” he moans, voice hoarse with need.

Yixing is making guttural moans in the back of his throat.

He starts to ask, “Like this? Like this?” after every time Lu Han squeezes his eyes closed from the thrusts, pain and pleasure mixing wildly into contorted expressions on Lu Han’s face. Lu Han nods forcefully.

Somehow, even underneath Yixing, Lu Han reins control, riding wildly, hand on his dick, chanting Yixing’s name. He clenches himself against Yixing’s dick, letting the friction rub him absolutely raw.

Yixing bites out a loud, “Fuck,” at the tightness, feeling himself getting closer. Using Lu Han’s knees as leverage, Yixing slams himself in and out, hard and fast.

Yixing comes first with a loud groan, reaching for Lu Han and finishing him off with tight, messy tugs. Even after Yixing rolls over beside him to cuddle, Lu Han’s never felt so complete and whole, as if the void and emptiness that he was feeling had been completely fucked away.

***

Jongin screams and runs out of the room the next morning, on sight of Yixing and Lu Han naked and curled up together on the bed.

“It was a nice arse, don’t get me wrong, but that was not what I wanted to see!”

“That’ll teach you to not teleport into someone’s fucking room without asking. I don’t want anyone else looking at what’s mine.” Lu Han says, with no regrets.

Yixing’s a little embarrassed if he’s honest with himself, but he’s pleased by Lu Han’s words. It makes him feel a little bit more assured, even though he’s always believed that Lu Han would be a loyal type once the right relationship came around. He’s just never let himself think that it could possibly be with him.

Jongin and Yixing set up an easy friendship, complete with quirky humour and witty one-liners. If there’s one thing Lu Han’s glad of, it’s that his best mate and boyfriend seem to get along spectacularly.

Their probation worker has got them in a round of progress reports the next day, meeting with each of them to discuss what they’ve learned and how much they think they’ve achieved or appreciated or improved in their time thus far doing community service.

Fuck all, in Lu Han’s opinion.

“Well, I mean, I think my nails are much nicer. I’ve been taking better care of them; see, with all the cleaning we’re doing. So I’ve been moisturizing, hand creams, cuticle creams, buffing my nails, clipping them so that they’re smooth. That’s an improvement, right?”

Mr. Lee tosses him out with a grimace of disgust on his face.

Kris is the last member of the group to have the discussion, and the rest of the group makes their way toward the benches they’re supposed to be repainting for the day. As if painting over profane drawings and language will prevent more from showing up. Lu Han is down on his knees with a paintbrush in hand when Kris shows up, mere moments after they’re there.

“Did he have nothing to say to you then?” Zitao calls out, curiously.

“Nah, just got here real quick. Look, see what I can do,” Kris replies before speeding around in a circle around them. He’s back to his original position in a second, and none of them are quite sure what they’ve seen. Zitao drops his can of paint in surprise.

“Careful,” Lu Han warns, stilling the can and levitating it to the safety of the ground, “So you’ve got a power too?”

“Yeah, what the fuck right? You guys got ‘em too?”

“Yixing can heal wounds, Zitao can stop time, I have telekinesis, but listen, don’t go showing off.”

“What? Why not?”

“Because people will think it’s weird okay? Just leave off.”

Kris grumbles some response that Lu Han doesn’t catch, and they continue until dusk when the benches are painted and purposely forget to leave “WET PAINT” signs so that some twat might ruin their pants later.

They descend on the community centre and in good spirits, until the probation officer blocks the doorway to the change room.

“Piss off, we’re done for today.”

“I want to see all of you in my office, now.”

“What are you on now, you git? I’ve got stuff to do –”

“Just get in there,” he growls, and the four comply after great resistance.

“So…” he begins, voice smooth and silky once they’re all lined up along the back wall, “I noticed that one of you had a bit of a spring today,” He pauses to look pointedly at Kris, “Anyone else with some… special powers?”

His grin is all teeth, and Zitao visibly gulps.

“What the fuck, are you high man?” Kris ventures bravely.

“Now, now, if you join my company, no one else will have to know!” Mr. Lee goads, opening his arms in a welcome.

“No one in this room is going to join your stupid business, so just piss off alright?” Lu Han says.

The probation worker’s face darkens. “Superpowers… well the public are starting to talk.”

“Yeah great, and maybe they’ll read and write and discover the printing press!” Yixing said frustrated, “You’ve got nothing on us okay. I’m dipping.”

The others follow, leaving Mr. Lee in his office with a glare and a scowl.

Everyone is quiet in the locker room, changing out of their orange jumpsuits quietly. Yixing can feel the agitation rolling off of Lu Han’s shoulders in waves. He hangs back, waiting until Zitao and Kris are gone before whirling Lu Han around and dropping to his knees.

“What?” is all Lu Han gets out before Yixing’s unzipped Lu Han’s denims and has them down to his knees. He palms Lu Han through his pants, rubbing and trailing his fingers up and down his shaft until Lu Han’s semi hard. Yixing breathes wetly over the cotton, leaving open, wet kisses all over until there’s a significant damp spot in Lu Han’s boxers.

Lu Han, for his part, is making little mewling noises, arching his head back, and combing his fingers gently through Yixing’s hair.

Yixing takes this time to peel off Lu Han’s pants. He licks his lips, and reaches to cradle Lu Han’s balls, running them gently between his fingers before wrapping his mouth around Lu Han’s cock, and giving one hard suck. He releases with a pop and wraps a hand around the base of Lu Han’s dick before reaching back with his head, taking Lu Han in.

Yixing sucks hard, working up and down until his jaw hurts before slowing and humming around a mouthful of dick. The small vibrations rumble through Lu Han and course through his body, making him moan loudly. With both hands around Lu Han’s dick now, Yixing rubs the tip lightly over his lips, saliva and precome mixing together. He darts a tongue out to the tip, pressing gently and tasting Lu Han. It’s weird, but not unpleasant.

“Watch,” he orders, and Lu Han opens his eyes to realize that the mirror in front of him is giving a fantastic view of Yixing’s head bobbing up and down. He looks down and is hypnotized by the way this cock seems to disappear into Yixing over and over. Yixing looks up to meet his eyes coyly and flattens his tongue to lick a fat, wet stripe from base to tip on the underside of Lu Han’s dick. Lu Han’s toes curl in his trainers.

“Holy fuck, Yixing. Fuck. Shit. Shit.” He threads his fingers into Yixing’s hair and yanks upward when Yixing licks again. There’s mirth in Yixing’s eyes as he takes in just the head, and swirls his tongue around it. The hand in Yixing’s hair grips tightly, and the other is clutching the top of a locker for dear life.

Yixing shifts a little so as to take some of the pressure off his knees, and pumps his hand before taking it off of Lu Han’s dick. He grabs hold of Lu Han’s hips, letting them buck before holding them still, and slowly pushes all the way down, using tongue along the way. When Lu Han feels the tip of his cock touch the back of Yixing’s throat, he thrusts forward wildly before catching himself as Yixing gags a little.

“Shit. Sorry, sorry, fucking hell.”

Yixing just hums and comes up slowly, sucking hard and Lu Han could be undone then and there, just from seeing Yixing’s cheeks hollow out, lips puffy and swollen.

“S’alright,” he says before leaning down to kiss Lu Han’s balls gently. One hand twisting at the base of Lu Han’s cock, he presses his finger gently behind his balls and lets Lu Han fuck his mouth harshly and snap his hips back and forth. He stops sucking when Lu Han starts squeezing his eyes closed and uses his hands to pump Lu Han until he orgasms, and Yixing opens his mouth. Most of the come lands on his clothes but Yixing laps up anything that gets close to his mouth, swallowing it down.

When Lu Han comes down from his high, he smiles and zips himself up. Yixing brushes at his knees, staggering up slowly, trying to find paper towel to wipe them off.

“What was that for?” Lu Han asks.

“Just thought you’d enjoy it.”

***

They’re helping out with a charity event for the local senior’s home the next day.

“Up in the gymnasium, I’ll be with you in a minute,” The probation officer waves them off while ruffling through a stack of papers.

They grumble and groan, shuffling to the gym and settling down to wait.

Suddenly, the lights flicker off.

“Hello? Who’s there?” Yixing asks, “Fuck it better not be a black out –”

“It’s just… Mr. Lee.”

And then there’s a shuffle of movement near him as someone lets out a piercing shriek.

There’s a tangle of limbs everywhere, skidding of trainers on the gym floor, kicking feet, arms whipping, punches thrown. He feels hands grab his shirt, tugging at his arms.

“STOP, WHAT THE FUCK?” He screams as someone digs their nails into his skin. Lu Han feels someone try to tie his hands but forces the ropes away.

“RUN!” Someone yells, and it has to be Kris, but whatever his next words were, they’re smothered into a muffled blur of sounds.

When a cloth is brought up to Lu Han’s face, he banishes it away and runs. Lu Han is bolting through the corridors, confused and frightened. He runs and runs without turning back, lungs burning and heaving. He wants to scream but he’s terrified, and it’s not until he’s hiding behind a pillar that he flips open his phone.

His explanation is incoherent at best, but Jongin gets the gist of emergency, and soon Jongin flashes in front of him, hair a mess, but a look of concern on his face.

“Lu Han. Lu Han, shut up. Stop wailing! LU HAN, WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED?” Jongin yells in his friend’s face, trying to get him to clear his head.

Lu Han calms down enough to take two deep breaths before relaying the story to him and sobbing out the fact that he has no idea where the others are.

Jongin makes to leave him and Lu Han grabs at his hand frightfully.

“Don’t – Don’t leave. Don’t leave me, please,” he begs, clinging tightly.

“Relax, I was just going to go check – you know what, never mind you’re right. Come on.”

Jongin pulls Lu Han up and they sneak back to the gym quietly. Lu Han wants to call out but Jongin reaches out a hand to cover his mouth just in time. Lu Han blinks back tears as Jongin leads them inside. They creep around, Lu Han trying for the direction he thinks they were, but they see and find no one. Jongin flicks the light switch on after a round around the gym, and the room before them is completely empty.

“Shit.”

“Oh my God, oh no, oh no, fuck no, fuck fuck, they’re gone. Jongin, they’re gone.”

“Yes, I can see that,” Jongin says tersely, surveying his options.

“Yixing. Yixing and the others, we have to find them, we have to make sure they’re okay. No one drugs people just to take their fucking job offers. Oh God, Yixing…”

Jongin pats him comfortingly, before scrunching up his face and closing his eyes.

“Okay, I think I have a trace of where he is. We’d better find back up. Do you know anyone who would help?”

“I – uh. Chanyeol. And uh, maybe Baekhyun?”

Jongin nods, and lets Lu Han try to get into contact with them as he checks as to how the others got out.

Lu Han’s fingers are trembling as he scrolls through his cell phone to get Chanyeol’s number. The phone rings and rings until he’s left with a voicemail. He shakily tells says his name and that he thinks Kris is in a lot of trouble. Fishing through the pockets of his orange jumpsuit, he digs out a crumpled business card and reads out the address of the location their probation worker and apparent kidnapper. It’s not much, but he hopes he gets the message in time.

Baekhyun is a bit trickier, because he was never introduced to the man, with Tao only mentioning him. Lu Han settles for searching “Baekhyun Model” on the internet, and gets an agency, an email, and a face. He quickly fires off an email, but thinks that the chances it’ll reach him in time are slim to none.

Quickly shoving his phone back into his pocket, Lu Han slams the door to the change room closed and runs off to find Jongin.

“Any luck?” Jongin asks, when hears Lu Han’s footsteps.

“No one picked up.”

“Well I got some results. There are scuff marks here, and here.” Jongin informs him, pointing out streaks of black on the linoleum, “And the lines here, they look like the heel of a shoe being dragged. I’m guessing they pulled the bodies out once they were all unconscious.”

Lu Han bites the inside of his cheek before asking, “Where did they take them?”

“They track to the parking lot, I think,” Jongin says, leading them in the direction of the back door, “And I guess from there they were deposited in some car and driven away.”

“So, they’re alive right? No blood?”

“It’s hard to say. Jesus, Lu Han normally you’re the coolheaded one. Can you take it easy? I’m going to need you functional and logical if we’re going to do some cool rescue.”

“Yeah, sorry. I’m just worried.”

“I know. I promise we’ll get your lover boy back.” Lu Han blushes at Jongin’s words and feels a squeeze on his shoulders, “Before we go though, we should get an idea of what we’re getting into.”

“Mr. Lee was always blabbering on about some entertainment company that he runs, and wanted us to work for.”

“What was it called?”

“Soo Man Entertainment or something like that,”

“I’ve never heard of it.” Seeing the look on Lu Han’s face, he quickly adds “But that might not mean anything. Have you looked it up?”

Lu Han scoffs, “Are you kidding? None of us wanted to work for him, why would we look it up?”

Jongin doesn’t say anything but pulls out his phone. After a while of typing into the keys, he brandishes the phone in Lu Han’s face.

“He doesn’t run an entertainment company. It’s a scientific gene engineering research centre. What would he want with you guys?”

Lu Han gasps softly before saying, “He knows about our powers. He was threatening to report us. Do you think he was trying to get our genes?”

“It wouldn’t be the first time some crazy jacko tried to steal someone else’s superpowers. I just never thought it’d happen outside of comic books.”

Rubbing at his eyes, Lu Han tries to think of the best way they should proceed. It seems unlikely that either of Baekhyun or Chanyeol will show up in the near future, and they needed to act fast to make sure everyone was okay.

“Jongin, do you think you can take a leisurely stroll past whatever this place is?” Lu Han asks, pointing down to the address on the business card, “Because I reckon they’ll recognize me.”

“No problem – it’ll take me just a few minutes. But you’ll be okay by yourself?”

“Yeah.”

Jongin leans his neck backwards and arrives a few blocks away from the building. He slips shades over his face and tries to walk as calmly and casually as he can past it. Coming up to the number, he sees what appears to be just a normal office building. It’s concrete and glass all the way up, with maybe about ten floors. There are no security guards surrounding it, and the concierge seems to be a very open space. Through the windows, all he can see are tables, and the few people he sees are in office attire. Research, marketing, business, it seems to be pretty conventional.

He relays this information to Lu Han when he gets back, but hesitates when he describes the glass.

“What is it?” Lu Han asks, sharp and quickly catching Jongin’s pause.

“It’s just that, wherever Yixing is, there doesn’t seem to be any natural lighting. And yet, the entire building is made of glass. I’m guessing that they’re in the basement.”

“That would make sense. Should we go in?”

Jongin bites his lip.

“I don’t think we have any better options,” he says slowly, “And hopefully with what I can do, I can get us out of there if there’s any trouble.”

“With Yixing,” Lu Han says, looking Jongin in the eye.

“I won’t make promises I don’t I can keep.”

Lu Han observes him critically, but doesn’t say any more. He interlocks his fingers with Jongin’s, grasps his hand tightly, and looks straight ahead. Jongin doesn’t need any more permission after that. He fills his mind with Yixing, leans his head back, and Lu Han and Jongin fade into the air.

They land in a large room, with pristine white walls, floors, and ceilings. Someone lets out a loud yelp at their appearance and Jongin is on his guard.

There’s no one in the room, no one unless you count the five individuals clipped onto what looked like hospital beds. Each was attached to some type of monitoring device. Lu Han quickly sees Yixing and rushes to his side, hands cupping his face and leaning over to kiss him gently on the forehead.

“I’m so glad you’re okay.”

“Well, okay is relative. We’re not badly off but those two,” Yixing jerks his head to the right, “They’ve been in here for what must be days without food or water. There’s a key card somewhere that controls the locks on the restraints. Lee probably has it.”

Kris speaks up, “There are guards in the hallway, but the keys are probably in his office. If you can teleport over, it’s literally across the hall. Once we’re unlocked, we can use our powers again. There’s something in the restraints that prevents us from doing anything.”

Jongin nods his head carefully, and grabs Lu Han’s arm.

“Come on, I might need your help.”

They teleport into the office, and Mr. Lee shouts.

“GUARDS!”

Jongin moves quickly to lock the door.

“Very well, very clever boys. But, how will you put up against this?” Mr. Lee lifts up his arm and points a gun at them.

Lu Han makes a noise when Mr. Lee fires, and the bullet spirals off to the side.

“Wonderful! Join me - let me experiment on you! We can make the human race so much better together –”

“Fuck off,” Jongin spits and Mr. Lee turns the gun directly at Jongin’s head, before firing.

Lu Han works the bullet to turn around and sends it back through Mr. Lee’s. The red gaping hole the bullet leaves makes it look like Mr. Lee has a third eye. His eyes are bugged open in surprise before he falls to the grown.

“Fuck, shit, fuck, Jongin I just killed someone!”

“Holy shit Lu Han, it’s okay, it’s okay, he deserved it!”

Lu Han is shell shocked as Jongin searches for the key card, before finding a lanyard. He grabs Lu Han’s arm and teleports them back to where the others were held. Lu Han trembles and holds on to Yixing’s hand as Jongin makes his way around each of the beds, swiping them out.

“Yixing, I killed him, I killed Mr. Lee,” Lu Han whispers as Yixing staggers to stand up.

“That’s great, he was sick, thought we were animals. Lu Han?” Lu Han’s face is pale and covered in a thin layer of sweat. He looks ready to pass out and Yixing swallows, before enveloping Lu Han in a hug. As he does so, his wrist tugs away from the cord connecting his blood stream to the monitoring device.

Just as Kris says, “Yixing!” in warning, a loud alarm sounds.

“Shit!” Yixing exclaims, tugging Lu Han’s hand as a security team streams into the room. They’re rounded up and handcuffed; reminding Lu Han distinctly like the time he was caught and sent to community service.

This time, the place they leave him is decidedly more like a prison than any community centre with cleaning and menial labour could possibly be. They’re all shoved into a small containment room, with nothing but a toilet behind a wall.

“Well, we’ll make the best of what we’ve got,” Lu Han’s trying to be optimistic. They get the two others to introduce themselves.

“I’m Moon Kyu,” one of them says, “I’m a shapeshifter. Lee was my uncle – did you kill him?”

Lu Han nods nervously.

“Good,” Moon Kyu responds, although his voice wavers.

“Sehun,” the other mumbles and Jongin looks at him with tightness in his face, “I can control the air.” He smiles softly and Jongin wants nothing more than to breathe the same air as him for the rest of the time. He and Jongin whisper to each other as the rest try not to be awkward. Soon, they all succumb to sleep.

***

A day passes with no food or water. Without showers or air conditioning, the stench of sweat becomes strong. The ache in Lu Han’s belly is nothing compared to that in his throat. His lips are parched dry, and no one else is in a better situation. They’re all subdued. Zitao withdraws further into his shell than ever, and Kris has a permanent cold glare.

No one comes to check on them, and after a few more days like that, the hunger and thirst are dull aches that constantly pester Lu Han’s mind. With nothing to do, and nothing to drink, no one bothers talking or moving. It would be easier, even, to have a clock and watch the time tick by. But no one has an exact track of what day it is, or what time it is. Lu Han spends most of his time half-asleep, dozing on Yixing’s shoulder but not quite asleep enough to forget or ignore the feeling of dread, hopelessness, and despair.

After days of listlessness, Zitao suddenly snaps his head up.

“Did you guys feel that? I stopped time,” his voice cracks, but everyone knows what this means.

Jongin stands up, clamouring to his feet shakily.

“I can’t get you all out at once,” He says slowly.

“Find Baekhyun and Chanyeol, we have to stop them from doing this to anyone else.” Lu Han says, voice hoarse from days of thirst and lack of use.

Jongin nods, leans back, and turns into wisps of air.

The wait is excruciating. They all wait with baited breath Jongin’s return. Most of their powers are useless right now, not withstanding their lack of energy. But Lu Han was most concerned with shutting this facility down. Setting it on fire had not been in his plans.

Just as he had closed his eyes ready to let sleep take him, a rumble ran through the building and an intense heat filled the room. Suddenly, a chunk of the ceiling crashed down, trapping them. There’s the smell of smoke and heat of flickering flames.

“What the fuck is going on?” Someone shouts.

Jongin teleports in.

“Fuck, it was a mistake, I’ll get you guys out.” He grabs Sehun by the waist and disappears.

They were never going to make it out in time unless they got to the exit. But they would never get there unless the concrete was out of their way.

“Lu Han, just move it.”

“I can’t,” he pants, already exhausted from trying, “It’s really heavy and I don’t exactly have expansive energy stores here.”

“I believe in you,” Yixing whispers in his ear, before touching his hand.

Lu Han reaches out and pushes. His mind feels like it’s tearing apart but centimetre by centimetre, until it’s high enough for the others to crawl through.

“Go!” he shouts, before collapsing to the floor.

“Lu Han!” Yixing screams, before he’s shoved down by someone else. Jongin has teleported back and waits until the rest of them are clear before grabbing hold of Lu Han and teleporting him out.

Zitao, at the front of the group, is crawling on his hands and knees in the hallway. It’s dark and he has no idea where the exit is. Biting his lip, he raises his head, only to be consumed by smoke. Spluttering, he gets back down, and now before him there’s a shimmering ball of light.

Confused, and certain he’s meeting death, Zitao reaches out to grab it, but it moves just ahead of him. Realization dawning on him, he follows it. The others are behind him, and trust his judgement and none of them see where he’s going. Finally he reaches a door. Lifting his arm up, he pushes it open and they collapse outside. They’re free.

That’s how Chanyeol, Baekhyun, Jongin, Lu Han, and Sehun find them moments later.

“My bad,” Chanyeol says impishly by way of apology, “I didn’t think I had a power. But then Jongin brought us here and told us the story and I just got so mad and the next thing we knew the entire building was on fire.”

“And the ball of light?” Zitao asks from where he’s lying on the ground, one arm slung over his eyes.

“That was me,” Baekhyun says quietly, leaning down to peer at Zitao.

“Why didn’t you respond to my messages?”

Not interested in their love affair, Lu Han helps Yixing up to his feet and notices Moon Kyu walking away. He’s transformed now into an older, and perhaps slightly less handsome version of himself. Lu Han’s about to call out to him, but Moon Kyu turns to look at them and catches Lu Han’s eyes. He waves, and Lu Han lets him go his own way without another word.

From his position embracing Yixing, Lu Han notices that Baekhyun is now lying beside Zitao, having seemingly made up. They’re talking to each other and Zitao smiles genuinely for the first time since Baekhyun left. Further over, Kris is leaning on Chanyeol, despite being taller than him. Chanyeol’s grin is heart warming and sincere, and Lu Han’s heart squeezes. Before he can think negative thoughts, his eyes fall on Jongin and Sehun. His best friend moved very quickly, and the two had their hands around each other, murmuring too quietly for Lu Han to catch what they were saying.

***

In its own way, everything had plays out alright.

They get a new probation worker. There are only a few weeks left, and everyone’s ready to give up on serving for the soup kitchen, or picking up trash in public spaces. Lu Han whines pathetically about how much shit they’ve been through and how they should at least get a break after it all. The others glare daggers at him and the probation officer chooses not to ask.

Baekhyun returns to Zitao’s side for a bit, but as a model, he’s still got a lot of travelling before him. He does call, now, and Zitao is always awake at odd hours to fit in some conversation, and more often than not, good phone sex. He’s opened up more because of Baekhyun, but it trickles to his interactions with others. Lu Han’s never seen him more animated or outspoken.

Kris is still as bitchy and stone faced as ever. Him and Chanyeol are usually opposites in expression, but Chanyeol hangs off of him, and Kris doesn’t seem to mind. He’s managed to push all the wrong buttons, and is still alive. It’s either a feat of superhuman nature, or Kris just really really likes him.

Lu Han sees less and less of Jongin these days, and whenever his best friend is over, all he hears about is the wild sexual escapades he and Sehun seem to get up to. They’re young, and while the experience in the research facility has left a scar on Sehun leaving him much more demure, he’s still happy and ready to have as much as Jongin can throw at him.

Yixing, as a result, all but moves in with Lu Han. They spend days at the community centre and evenings out on the town, whether on dates or in clubs. Their nights are filled with heady sex, sometimes rough, and other times lazy. It’s after Lu Han pulls out of Yixing one night, spent in body, but with time they don’t want to waste sleeping, that they turn on the T.V. to see news about the suspicious fire.

Police don’t suspect arsonists, but have no clues or leads about how or why a research facility was burned down to ashes, leaving no traces behind.

“It’s strange,” a police officer tells the news reporter, “Usually the structural framework of buildings will stay in tact, or at least parts of it. But this building is completely gone, left to dust.”

“Hopefully they’ll never find out the truth,” Lu Han says, turning to press his nose in the crook of Yixing’s elbow, “I never want to be a public superhero.”

“No,” Yixing agrees, “You should never be their hero. Just mine.”
Tags: postings, summer 2012
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