Seongwu gets woken up by someone trying to bite his neck.
In their town that is full of the zombies anywhere they go, it is not easy to be self-assured that someone, or something, wouldn’t try to bite you in your sleep, given that their brains don’t control whatever they do. You’ve got to be ready to fight. You’ve got to survive. Always.
So he pushes that someone off his body, grabs his knife stashed underneath his pillow, and aims the sharpened edge to the infected.
Only to see Minhyun on the floor, trying to suppress his giggles.
“Minhyun? What the fuck?” Seongwu exclaims, retracting his knife back to its case. “What the fuck are you trying to do?”
“Uh, surprise you?” His best friend giggles some more, and stands up from the floor. “Hey, I just want to visit my best friend. What’s wrong with that?”
“You disappeared for days! I thought you were dead!”
“Well, I’m here alive and well. Don’t I?” Minhyun smiles, and opens the door to survey for some soldiers patrolling around. It’s way past Seongwu’s curfew, and he doesn’t want them to get caught. He turns to Seongwu, only to see him crossed arms, pouting. “Stop it.”
Seongwu raises an eyebrow. “Stop what?”
“Pouting.” Minhyun tells him. “Look, I know you’re mad--” Seongwu just scoffs and rolls his eyes, “And I owe you an explanation.” Minhyun continues. “Put on some pants and let’s go. I have something to show you.”
Seongwu groans as he complies, putting on his pants, “This is stupid. Everything is stupid.”
The youngest of the two looks up from buttoning his pants. “What?” Minhyun sighs, “Just come with me and I’ll tell you what happened with me for the last thirty five days. Alright?”
It’s Seongwu’s turn to sigh as he pockets his knife. It’s better to be prepared with anything than nothing. They don’t know what will happen to them out there. “Alright, fine.”
“Do you remember the time when I first brought you here?” Minhyun asks Seongwu as they sneakily jump down to the abandoned mall that they discovered way back, way before Minhyun left without a trace. It’s still the same as Seongwu had remembered it, except that there were more rubbish that got accumulated for the past few months that they didn’t visit.
“Yeah, well. I didn’t expect you to bring me here back then, given that you hate dirt to the core.”
“Hey, I sometimes learn to appreciate what you like, okay? You like cool stuff like these, being ‘aesthetically pleasing’ for you and all.” Minhyun counters, emphasizing his words as they jump from surface to another surface to go to the second floor, and then they enter the fire exit. “I really don’t understand what’s aesthetically pleasing in this place. All I see were rubbish.”
“Didn’t you see how the moon shines the tree back there?” Seongwu asks his best friend as they go down the dark stairs. “It’s like the moon illuminates the tree despite the darkness around it.”
“Well, you’ve got a point there.”
Seongwu continues on following Minhyun to wherever he turns. They haven’t explored this part before, and Minhyun isn’t saying anything about the reason why they’re here. “Where are we going anyway?” He asks, confusion evident in his tone.
Minhyun explains, “Remember when they said there are only bits of areas here that has power?” Seongwu hums as they enter a room. “Apparently, the whole city has power, they just had the circuit breaker shut off.” Minhyun reveals as he breaks a chain on one of the circuit breakers and opens it. “Come on, do the honours.”
Seongwu steps in, and pulls the circuit breaker upwards.
And the room they’re in suddenly got lighten up. “Woah!” Seongwu exclaims.
Minhyun smiles, fond. “Come on. The surprise doesn’t end here, yet.”
“Wow!” Seongwu gasps, seeing the carousel shining with lights powered by the electricity, and runs in front of the said ride.
Minhyun chuckles, adoration evident in his eyes, as he asks Seongwu, “Do you want to get in?”
“Of fucking course!” Seongwu exclaims excitedly as he gets on on one of the horses. “Come on, Minhyunnie. Make these horses run.”
And Minhyun does by pressing ‘GO’ on one of the controllers.
Seongwu giggles, “This is so fun! Come on, Min! Join me!” His best friend jumps to the ride, and gets on the horse beside him.
They got silent as they appreciate the ride, going for a round when the carousel slowly stops. “Aw, Come on!” Seongwu cries, rocking his horse back and forth in an attempt to make it go again.
Minhyun giggles, telling his best friend to stop. So, Seongwu stops. “So, where did you go after vanishing for a month.” He suddenly asks, and the air between them becomes heavy.
“I--” His best friend starts, “I joined the Fireflies.” He reveals the necklace he kept hidden in his clothes.
“What?” Seongwu runs his hands on his hair in exasperation. “You joined them when you knew the military is training us to kill you?”
“It’s not like I could do anything about it.”
“How did it happen?” Seongwu looks straight at Minhyun, “How did you get recruited?”
“You remember that one Firefly member you had a fight with?” Seongwu nods, “I saw him walking on an alley one day and I tailed him. Next thing I knew, I was being manhandled and got recruited into the group.” Minhyun looks at him, apologetic. The youngest of the two sighs. “Good thing, you managed to make me happy with just this.” Seongwu tells him, waving his hands to emphasize what he’s talking about. Minhyun just chuckles.
“Hey, I have another gift for you.” Minhyun rummages with his backpack, and pulls out a walkman. “I know you like music and my voice, so here.” He pushes the walkman to his best friend’s hands.
Seongwu plays the recording and was fascinated by Minhyun’s voice. His best friend’s voice amazes him because it sounds sweet with a little tang on it. Like a sweet candy that has a surprise sourness in the middle of it, and it compliments all the flavours in one whole song.
The younger smiles, grateful for the gift that he received. Minhyun really knows him too well. “Thank you for this, really.” He starts. “I think we should go back. I have to go back. You know why..” Seongwu explains. “Let’s just pick up where we left off tomorrow.”
“Then anytime when you’re free.”
Minhyun shakes his head. Seongwu chuckles, but not really amused, “Ok, then when?”
The older decides to break the truth. “They’re asking me to leave. They want me to join another group outside Seoul.”
Seongwu just stares at him wide eyed, shocked at the news.
Minhyun goes closer to him. “Look, I tried to argue with them to let me stay but they won’t let me.” He steps a bit closer. “They’re picking me up tomorrow.”
Seongwu looks away, opting to look at the horse beside Minhyun. “Okay.”
Minhyun looks at him ridiculously, “Okay? That’s it?”
“Then what do you want me to say?” Seongwu raises his voice. Minhyun raises his voice as well. “I don’t know, some friendly advice?”
“You want my advice?” Seongwu asks him, however, he doesn’t wait for his answer as he says suddenly. “Go.”
“Go.” Seongwu tells Minhyun in all seriousness. “You’ve been wanting to do this since...forever. Besides, who am I to stop you?”
Minhyun goes closer to him and looks at him in his eyes. “The one person who can.”
Seongwu breathes in, overwhelmed with his best friend’s confession. Who is he kidding. He knows what he wants, he knows what his heart tells him to tell Minhyun. However he knows that Minhyun had been dreaming this for a long time, dreaming of freedom away from the quarantine zone, dreaming of fighting for what he thinks is right. He’s conflicted between what he wants to say and what he thinks Minhyun would want to do.
“Tell me what you want me to do and I would do it.” Minhyun sincerely tells him.
“Then don’t.” He whispers. “Don’t go.”
Minhyun looks at Seongwu on his eyes, searching if what he was saying was the truth, and then rips off the accessory wrapped around his neck, smiling, happy that Seongwu tells him what he had wanted truthfully.
Seongwu stares back at him. He looks at his ears that turns red when embarrassed, or when he gets giddy, just like now. He looks at Minhyun’s eyes, those foxy eyes that clearly tells him what Minhyun feels, the emotions dancing in it, the eyes that takes his breath away when he looks at him, lovingly, endearingly. Lastly, he looks at Minhyun’s lips, red and inviting. Seongwoo had always wanted to know how it tastes and feels like against his. Would it be soft? Rough? Sweet?
The bright lights against Minhyun’s face and the ambience that was filled with Minhyun’s voice in the background makes him want to kiss his best friend.
So, he does. And he feels the world stop when Minhyun kisses him back.
Seongwu takes him a few seconds to realize what he did and pulls back from the kiss. “I’m sorry. That was r--”
Minhyun hushes him, grinning. “What for?”
Seongwu sighs, worried. “What are we gonna do now?”
His best friend reaches for his hand. “We’ll figure it out. But I don’t think--”
Seongwu stops his best friend from speaking, hearing something else other than the walkman playing at the background. “Wait.”
Suddenly, an influx of zombies enters the place they’re in.
“Now what are we going to do?” Seongwu panics, hands shaking in fear. Minhyun squeezes Seongwu’s hand from his, in an attempt to calm him down. He draws a handgun behind his back and he shoots the nearest zombie going to them, “We’re going to run.”
And run they go.
“Remember the scaffolding earlier? That’s our way out.” Minhyun informs him, shooting and running away from the zombies that’s chasing them. “Come on. This way.”
“Okay, I’m right behind you.”
The adrenaline that they felt while killing and running away from the zombies eventually made them reach the scaffolding that Minhyun was talking about earlier, where they could see the sunrise peeking in the sky. Minhyun makes a jump towards the balcony where they could feel safe temporarily. However, when Seongwu reached that particular scaffolding, it collapsed, and he fell hard on the floor.
Seongwu tries to get up as fast as he could, however, a zombie tackles him on the ground, and he tries to defend himself by killing the zombie with the knife on his hand. Minhyun goes down from the balcony to save his best friend, however he also got attacked by a zombie. Seongwu and Minhyun eventually kills the zombies that attacked them, and Seongwu sighs in relief.
“I think we’re all clear.” Seongwu informs him, but still looking around for precaution.
Minhyun glances at him worriedly. “Seongwu, your arm.”
The younger looks at his arm, only to find out that his arm was bloodied and had a bite mark. Seongwu panics “No, no, no.” He denies the reality, trying to wipe the bite off of his arm. He looks at Minhyun, worried, panicked, only to see Minhyun calmly raising his hand, with a zombie’s bite on it.
Minhyun can only put his hand down, dejected at what has become their fate.
“Fuck!” Seongwu lashes out, hitting everything that he could break. “Fuck this shit!” He cries, emphasizing every word with every hit. He sits beside Minhyun, who could just tell him. “Stop. There's nothing we could do.”
Seongwu could only sit beside him and produce a fresh set of tears as he asks Minhyun, whining. “What are we gonna do?”
Minhyun puts his arms on his knees and stares at the trees in front of them as he answers, “Well, the way I see it, we’ve got two options. One,” he glances at the gun in front of them. “We take the easy way out. It’ll be quick and painless.” Minhyun then looks at the person beside him.
“Two,” Minhyun holds Seongwu’s hand. “We fight.”
Seongwu scoffs. “Fight for what?”
“Fight for every second we get to spend with each other.” Minhyun answers, squeezing Seongwu’s hand on his. “Whether it’s two minutes, or two days, we don’t give that up.” He smiles sadly. “I don’t want to give that up.”
“Let’s just wait it out.” Minhyun suggests mournfully. “You know, we can be all aesthetically poetic and just lose our minds together.”
So they wait in silence, arms faintly touching each other, radiating warmth as they wait for their time and fate to decide for themselves.
Give it thirty minutes max, and the person bitten would turn into the infected.
He watches as Minhyun stands up, his best friend that was once prim and proper when walking, the one who displays elegance in every step of his way, became someone else who walks funnily, body twisting like his bones were broken all over. Seongwu would have laughed at him if this was a different occurrence, but he could only see his best friend drag his own body like a rag as he pointlessly goes anywhere he wishes.
Seongwu glances at the fresh wound on his arm as he waits for his time to turn too.
He waits for a minute, two minutes, three, four, five, ten, another thirty.
Seongwu doesn’t turn into one of those things.
And then, he wakes up.
But this time, it’s with someone shaking his body awake.
“Seongwu. We have to go. Library’s closing soon.”
The said boy groggily lifted his head up, arms numb from placing his head on it for too long. He looks around and sees that they’re at one of the tables in their primary school library. Seongwu wipes his drool on his mouth, in which Minhyun tells him quietly ‘ you’re disgusting ’ and throws him his own handkerchief that he always carry in his pockets.
Minhyun knew that Seongwu was still in a daze from his sleep earlier, because the moment his best friend snapped out of it, he threw his arms out, almost tackling Minhyun to the ground. “Minhyunnie!!!!!” Seongwu exclaims, not caring that they’re in the library right now, hugging his best friend tightly on his embrace. “I thought you were dead!”
“Seongwu, get off of me. I can’t breathe!” Minhyun chokes out. “Why would I be dead? We’re just here in the library, doing our assignments? Well, doing my assignments because you’re clearly sleeping.”
Seongwu relaxes his hold on his best friend, but doesn’t let go of Minhyun as he rambles rapidly. “I had this dream. I was sleeping in a room in a quarantine zone and you suddenly showed up and then we went to this abandoned mall and had a good time and then suddenly, zombies were chasing us and both of us got bitten and then you turned into a zombie and I don’t and I--”
“Seongwu.” Minhyun pushes his friend back from him, and looks at him in the eye, caressing his cheeks to calm him down. “They’re not real, okay. Zombies or whatever that is, are not real.”
“Okay.” Seongwu finally releases Minhyun from his hold. “But what if, somewhere out there, they do exist.” Seongwu flails his arms around, trying to explain to his best friend what he has in mind. ”Minhyun, we’ve got to know some fighting moves! We have to know how to hold a gun, or how to chop them off with a knife! We have to be prepared and defend ourselves from those things!”
Minhyun catches Seongwu’s arms from flailing around, “Seongwu, zombies doesn’t exist. So does what ifs. Okay?”
Seongwu pouts as he crosses his arms. “Okay.”
Seongwu looks at Minhyun with confusion. “Stop what?”
“Pouting.” Minhyun answers him seriously. “You look constipated when you do that.”
Seongwu just glares at him, and Minhyun giggles. “Come on, let’s go. Tell me more about your dream on our way home.”
Both of them pack their things hastily, and Seongwu starts to tell his best friend about his dream as soon as they got out of the library, who left out the details about the kiss that they shared in his dream.
And Minhyun is just there, walking beside him, listening to his ramblings about the zombies in his dream, indulging him with whatever imagination his brain had came up with.