?

Log in

 
 
20 September 2008 @ 02:11 pm
APVS-II: Chapter 4  
Title: Apologia Pro Vita Sua II: Antebellum (Chapter 4)
Authors: Scorpions angelinaii, murasaki_plum, rawthornewrites
Characters: Cast List (Warning: Contains spoilers to APVS-I)
Rating: PG-13 to R
Genre: AU, organized crime, postcyberpunk
Summary: In the ever changing world of Judoh and the Bottoms, new lines are drawn, and loyalties tested...in the end will order be restored?
Warnings: violence, swearing, sexual situations
[Prologue & Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3]


If it rained, the scene that unfolded below would have been perfect. The clear star-filled sky with light provided by a full moon was far too auspicious for a night of betrayal, pain, and tears. The dichotomy amused him, much like anything else could be amusing with the right mindset. There would be no blood on his hands tonight, he decided, he was not invited to join this bittersweet family reunion. Unlike Henry, Zhou Mi fully understood his place in their world, the true purpose of their existence. In time, Henry will understand that all of it was necessary.

It could be said that it was honorable that Henry made an attempt to protect Sungmin, but it could also be said that it was a stupid move. It was almost embarrassing for him to watch; Henry had so much skill but showed so little of it. Instead of the quick precision he had begun to associate with Henry's swordsmanship, the boy's footwork was sloppy and he parried weakly. Most telling of all, after his initial halfhearted attack, Henry didn't strike once. The boy was scared, and rightfully so. While skilled, Henry was no where near the league of a master, and it showed as the man playfully forced the boy to defend with each graceful swing of his arm.

Ah. Finally, the last player made his presence known, Zhou Mi was starting to wonder if Han Geng would bother doing anything other than sulk in the shadows. He had an advantage that his eyes allowed him to set his sights in multiple dimensions, and every so often he would cast his gaze away from the swordplay to glimpse at what he decided to call 'Geng's steely indecision face.' To those without the blessing of enhanced vision, the other man was hiding his inner conflict well enough not to capture notice. He had to feel bad for Sungmin, who was blindsided by this supposedly recent development.

In a move to quick for a normal eye to catch, Henry was struck unconscious by a stunner that was in the Master's free hand the entire time. He could only assign its late usage to boredom, curiosity, or both. If it was a test to see what Henry would do, it was now Han Geng's test as to what he would do. He knew what the code called for, Sungmin should die, and die by Han Geng's hand. It was interesting that he chose to use a sword, when the man was so much more efficient with guns. A single bullet would have been an act of mercy, but the wound left by Han Geng's sword was poorly placed and far too shallow. It would be an excruciatingly slow death, if death was the true intent. Interesting.

It was enough, it seemed, as their attention shifted from Sungmin to Henry. Live or die, Sungmin no longer mattered. They had who they came for.

Zhou Mi's attention was briefly turned away from the scene by that tingling sensation between his eyes that could only mean one thing: Kyuhyun. He turned his gaze skyward as he lowered the barrier that Kyuhyun wasn't aware of - or was aware of and didn't care - the one that kept the other from fully accessing his brain.

"Stargazing? I thought you were watching something interesting," Kyuhyun's voice was as indifferent as usual, even though he could sense that he was searching for what he was hiding.

"I was watching a knife fight a few moments ago, kind of a letdown," Zhou Mi replied, satisfied that he managed to answer honestly without incriminating himself. "Now I'm trying to see how many satellites I can see."

"There are only four remotely close." Kyuhyun answered matter-of-factly before Zhou Mi was sure that the other was sufficiently disinterested enough to move on. He was somewhat reliable in that regard.

Zhou Mi looked down to see if the other men were still there, and was honestly taken aback by what he saw. From Han Geng and his master's pale stares, they were as astounded as he was. Henry's master, the man that was assuredly dead, the man whose body Henry had discovered was standing before them.

"It can't be..."

*

Eunhyuk was there before anyone else. When the anonymous tip reached his ears, he was gone in the same heartbeat. It was exactly as the man had described, Sungmin had been left for dead in an alleyway that was painfully close to his home. There was so much blood he feared he was too late.

Then Sungmin moved, bloodied hands weakly trying to keep what remained of his shirt pressed over the wound. Eunhyuk's hands were shaking as he covered Sungmin's hands and added pressure. "Hey, help's here. Just hold on, okay?"

"He's gone," Sungmin groaned, his chest making distressing sounds as he forced himself to speak, "they took him."

"Don't talk, we can talk about what happened once we get you patched up, you just keep trying to breathe."

"Shut up."

"Okay."

"You tell them, if I don't..." he left the rest of that sentence unfinished, "Henry...still alive...men with swords...they took him...he did this to me."

"Henry?"

"No... Hankyung."

*

Images blurred to thin curves and multi-colored lines, his eyes unable to follow the speed in which his legs carried him through the darkened roads and alleyways. The routes and hazards laid in his mind, in his memory, muscles instinctively moving him out of the way. The blood on his clothes dried in the wind that pressed against his skin, stinging him as he pushed himself to run faster, to reach the warehouse. He could barely feel the metallic steps beneath his feet, or the sudden warmth of an office filled with people.

The silence, however, was loud and clear. Unmissable. It burned him with the force of twelve pairs of eyes, all watching.

"Sungmin..." A breath. "Sungmin got hurt." He swallowed, tasted panic and worry at the back of his throat and tried to move past it. If he told Eeteuk, everything would be okay. Their boss always knew what to do. "He was attacked--They took Henry."

A hand was raised, stopping the flow of words. "They took Henry?" The question sounded oddly calm, but it couldn't be more than a facade. The others were rising already, fists clenched on Siwon's side, a flame in Heechul's palm.

"Hankyung... Hankyung and someone else. I don't know, I didn't hear more--"

Eunhyuk's words were covered by voices in the room, questions and expressed outrage thrown at the messenger. He kept his eyes on Eeteuk's, the man still holding the same expression as when he broke into the room. Kangin was at Eunhyuk's side, gripping his arm as he forced his attention back to the man's questions.

"Where is Sungmin?"

"The doctor, he says-"

"How'd you find him?"

"A tip, on my cell..."

The hand was raised again, forestalling the apologies - irrational, unwarranted - that threatened to spill forth from his lips. They colored his cheeks as red on his sleeves.

Eeteuk stood slowly, breaking eye contact.

"Kangin, set a patrol. They couldn't have gotten far."

At Eunhyuk's side, the other man nodded and his crew fell silent. They were gone in the next moment, their footfalls on the stairs loud but no voices interrupting the silence. It was too simple, he wanted to say. This was Hankyung they were talking about. This was a man who had bested Sungmin.

Donghae grabbed his sleeve. "Is Sungmin..."

"He's alive." For now.

"Donghae, go to Judoh. Have Kibum reach Yesung and report back any suspicious deaths. Reach your contacts and find out the same here. We need to figure out what Hankyung's been up to." Eeteuk stated, closing the books on his desk and putting them in their proper drawers. Siwon raised his voice at his words, but Eeteuk paid him no mind. "Eunhyuk, clean yourself up, you will have a lot of running to do."

"You can't possibly think Hankyung is responsible for all of this?"

"He is a part of this, and we cannot ignore it."

"But he's--"

"He's not one of us," Eeteuk retorted, interrupting his tirade. "Not anymore." The look in his eyes was cold, ruthless, not unlike that of the H&E when they came looking for trouble in the Bottoms in the old days.

It made Eunhyuk's blood run cold as the other man went on: "Kyuhyun..."

No reply followed. Like before, the room went quiet.

Kyuhyun was already gone.

 
 
 
Xeniaayray on September 20th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
Oh my. Just please keep updating *______*
h.: forget me not ↔ park jungsoojiyeop on September 20th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
saldkjgs;ahshka;h omg :'(

this is like crack. more please. ♥
Eddie of Eyor: HenWook (SJ-M)queen_eddie on September 20th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
everything is going crazy.
Thank you for updating so quick!
Himeko Himura: HanChulhimekohimura on September 21st, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
dljflsdjfldaj HANKYUNG *WAILLL*
Definitely something big going on!
Can't wait for the next chapter <3!
Katanakatana28 on September 21st, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
Love, love, love! I was so happy when I saw you posted an update. I can't wait for more.
FollowUrDestinyfollowurdestiny on September 22nd, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
Still can't breath... :P ... Can't wait for the next chapter! ♥