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Survival Of The Broken

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Baekhyun was running. Full speed, jumping past trees like he was trying to avoid the night falling.

His fingers tightly wound around his little brother's wrist, pulling him along.

The elder knew he had made a mistake, Taeyong had warned him it was nearing dark, but Baekhyun was starving- having given his brother a lot of what they found.

When the apocalypse had first begun, he never imagined he would get this far.

He was small, weak, he wasn’t even remotely calm enough to have killed these creatures, but he persevered.

For his little brother Taeyong.

The twelve year old had more guts than he did, it had been obvious when he had only been a toddler, but Baekhyun still protected him, still loved him to death.

But Taeyong was still a child, and he wouldn’t give up on him, he never had, and he didn’t plan on it, ever.

“Hyung- Hyung I’m tired.” Taeyong coughed out, his dirty hands grabbing Baekhyun's shirt.

Baekhyun looked around with wide eyes, they were in the woods, there was nowhere for them to find cover. “No, a little further, Tae. You can do it.”

The child glared and watched the elder readjust his backpack over his shoulder, “No! I’m tired!” He yelled, moving his back against a tree, “You don’t know what we’re doing!”

Baekhyun gawked before jumping up and running over to hold a hand over his brother's mouth with a dirt covered hand, “Stop it, be quiet.” He hissed, “Just because we’re in the woods doesn’t mean they can’t find us.”

Taeyong glared and shoved his brothers hand away, moving to sit on the forest floor. “I’m tired.” He repeated quietly.

The elder sighed and pulled his brother to his chest, grimy fingers moving the greasy hair from Taeyongs forehead. “Okay, okay Hyung will watch out while you sleep, okay?”

“Where are we going?” The younger mumbled, moving to lay in between his brothers legs, his fingers touching Baekhyun’s cold arm, rubbing over the pretty moon soulmate mark.

Baekhyun licked his cracked mouth and began rubbing Taeyongs forehead, an action that always put the younger to sleep. “I don’t know, but we’re a team, remember? We’ve always been a team.”

“Because Hyung always… takes care of me…” Taeyong mumbled tiredly.

“That’s right.” The elder whispered against his brother's head, “That’s right, go to sleep.” He requested, reaching into his pocket and curling his fingers around his knife.

~~~~~~~~

The backpack that laid on the forest floor beside Baekhyun was opened as he counted the little supplies they had left.

The sun was just rising and the elder rubbed his eyes, thumb feeling the dark circles and then running along his pronounced cheekbones.

He never used to look like this. Baekhyun actually used to consider himself a rather attractive person, he wanted to wait for his soulmate to come sweep him away despite his flaws.

But now, he would only kill for a shower, he didn’t have time to be a hopeless romantic when cannibalistic creatures snapped jaws at him everywhere he went.

He sighed and counted their cans of food. Only three left, enough for Taeyong for three, maybe four days.

Baekhyun hated leaving home now, but any place was better than the dark memories inside that horror filled place, even if the creator of the nightmares no longer was there- he could still remember them- and that was enough to make his skin crawl.

“Taeyong.” He muttered, reaching over to pull his brothers ragged jacket tighter onto his shoulder and zipped it up underneath Taeyongs chin from where Baekhyun moved him laying on soft grass.

“Hey, bug, get up.” Baekhyun laughed softly and ran his thumb over Taeyongs cheek, at least his brother looked the same- healthy and sweet- just like he always had. “We gotta get going, little bug.”

Taeyong let out a groan and laid on his side, his hands browned with dirt, moving to lay them under his temple. “Hyung, did you sleep?”

“Of course.” The elder lied easily, leaning down to press a kiss to his brother's head, “I’ll open you up a can, we have peaches left, your favorite.”

“My favorite.” The younger mimicked quietly, licking his lips.

Baekhyun smiled and grabbed his knife, stabbing it into the top of the can, the grinding metal sound used to be annoying, but now it meant food for Taeyong, not necessarily himself, but he grew to appreciate the noise.

“Here.” Baekhyun offered, tossing the rabidly cut off lid to the side so Taeyong wouldn’t hurt himself, regardless that the younger could handle himself decently. “Up, Tae.”

Taeyong grumbled before sitting up and accepting the can, “Thank you, Hyung, good morning.”

The elder hummed and licked a bit of juice from his thumb, licking his lips hungrily before looking away and stabbing into the dirt. “We’re going to keep walking through here, it seems safer than being on the road. We’ll follow the sun.”

Baekhyun felt his hands shaking with weakness as he scratched his cold arm, still not regretting giving Taeyong his coat even though he knew his nose was running and he wondered if his headache was from hunger or a cold.

“Whatever you say goes.” Taeyong said kindly, fingers getting sticky as he reached into the can and offered a peach to his brother.

The elder accepted when he would normally argue, mainly because this would probably be the only bite of food for the next day or so.

“Let me tell you something, little bug.” Baekhyun requested, moving to watch the younger eat, pulling Taeyongs hood over his ears. “Hyung doesn’t know what he’s doing okay?”

“Hyung.” Taeyong looked guilty and wiped the juice from his mouth, “I didn’t mean to get mad at you, you always do your best for me.”

“You’re right though.” Baekhyun mumbled, “I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, Taeyong. We’re just…. we’re just going to keep trying until we figure it out.”

Taeyong nodded and tossed his empty can to the side before kneeling and wrapping his arms around Baekhyun's shoulders. “We stay together, no matter what.”

“We always have, right bug?” Baekhyun responded, pressing his nose to Taeyongs hair.

The younger nodded.

~~~~~~~

Baekhyun wasn’t sure how much he could keep going like this.

Running off of a small amount of food every two days or so, and he couldn’t even recall the last time he slept.

Maybe it was about four days ago when they had found a room that was relatively decent in town, but that was also his fault for falling asleep, because when he woke up all of the rooms were flooded with creatures except theirs.

“Look!”

He smiled softly at Taeyongs laugh and looked over his shoulder, “You found a flower, it’s pretty, Taeyong. But stay close to me please.”

Taeyong laughed again and ran over to Baekhyun's side in his worn out converse, pulling his light backpack over his arm again, “For you, Hyung!”

Baekhyun smiled and accepted the flower, “How cool! You want to know a trick?”

The child nodded and watched as Baekhyun stopped and pulled his backpack off his shoulders, digging through.

“Mom taught me this when I was little.” The elder explained quietly, a pang of guilt on his face as Taeyong looked confused. “Look, if we put the flower in between a book…. let’s just use this notebook, then it will become all flat and you can save it when it dries out.”

“Mom taught you that?” Taeyong wondered as Baekhyun placed the notebook back in his back after explaining and showing, “I wish I met her too! That’s so cool!”

Baekhyun gulped and nodded, “I know, Mom was nice.”

“Nice like Dad was?”

“No.” The elder said immediately, grabbing Taeyongs hand tightly, fingers on his opposite hand whitening around the knife in his opposite pocket, “Not like that, like really nice.”

“Oh!” Taeyong nodded and curled his hand into the olders, “Sounds good!”

Baekhyun would have laughed at his cuteness had his heart not been racing so hard.

Suddenly, Baekhyun heard the sound of jingling like that of cans being pushed around.

He reached out and grabbed Taeyong, shoving him behind him. “Stay behind me.” He ordered in a whisper, looking Taeyong in the eyes, “Stay.”

The child nodded and held the back of his brother's backpack when Baekhyun spun around.

The elder slowly walked towards the sound, his knife tight in his hand as he walked towards the noise cautiously.

If he wasn’t so damn tired he’d have just had them both take off running in the opposite direction, but they were following the sun, not running away from it or else they’d end up in the same overrun town they had come from.

“Hey! Freeze!”

Baekhyun froze in his tracks as he spun around, pushing Taeyong to the ground and standing over him with his hands up.

He heard footsteps over his shoulder and licked his lips nervously, the taste of sweat and dirt on his tongue. “I-I’m just passing through- please.” He muttered, voice shaking with nervousness, he hadn’t encountered a real person in a while, they ran from them, people weren’t safe- even before the apocalypse.

“Turn around.” The voice was deep, demanding, Baekhyun's heart was racing.

He turned around and stepped back, closer to where Taeyong laid nervously, unable to do anything but curl fingers around his older brothers worn down jeans.

“What’s your name?” The man demanded, a gun in his grip and brows so dark Baekhyun shook harder, but he was surprised by a few things.

One, this man was surprisingly clean and looked healthy.

Two, he didn’t necessarily look frightening, but he was still pointing a gun at him.

And finally, the man couldn’t see Taeyong, the long grass must be shielding his brother just enough for him not to be noticeable, and for that Baekhyun was relieved.

“Byun Baekhyun…. I was just walking through…” He responded, his knife held in his palm by just his thumb.

“How many walkers have you killed?”

Baekhyun frowned at the question, he'd never had a name for them, but now he thought that name fit the monsters. “I can’t count that high.”

He saw the man's lip curl upwards slightly, but he quickly dropped it, “How many people have you killed?”

Baekhyun gulped, “One.”

“Why?” The man drawled, no readable expression.

“Because…. because it was time.”

The man raised a brow curiously at Baekhyun's answer and looked him over, “How old are you? When’s the last time you ate?”

“I’m… I'm twenty two.” Baekhyun whispered, slowly putting down his hands as he watched the man put away his gun into a holster. “And… it’s… it's been a while.”

“Here’s the deal.” The man began, “I'll bring you to my camp, you mess up at all, you’re out, hear me?”

Baekhyun looked up at him curiously, surprised at his offer, putting his knife into his pocket and scratching his soul marked forearm. “What’s your name?”

“Wu Yifan.” He introduced, stepping closer with his hand outstretched and Baekhyun stepped back immediately, trying to keep him as far away as he could.

“Wait, wait, don-“

Baekhyun cut himself off and dropped to the ground, his back blocking Taeyong. “It’s my brother- it’s my brother.” He explained as Yifan went to take his gun back out.

“Please.” Baekhyun muttered shakily, his crusted hand coming out in front of him as he felt Taeyong press into his back in fear, “He’s twelve, please, please don’t.”

“Hey, I’m not doing anything.” Yifan frowned down at the two, “He's welcome, you guys are welcome. I didn’t mean to… to scare you…”

“Yifan Hyung!”

Baekhyun made a scared noise at the calling and heard Yifan curse as he turned around towards where the noise was coming from.

“Hyung!” The voice continued.

Yifan rubbed his temple, exasperated, as a member of the group popped out, “Fuck, Sehun, I’ve told you to stop yelling, goddamn.”

Baekhyun's eyes flicked to the other man and he scratched over his arm nervously.

“Hyung, you’re the one that said don’t go off on your own- oh, hello.” Sehun murmured, pushing his hair from his face almost nervously as he stared down at the wide eyed man on the ground.

“Go back to camp, you’re scaring him.” Yifan ordered, a roll of his eyes as he patted Sehun’s shoulder.

Contrary to listening though, Sehun stepped closer. “He has Hyungs mark.” He whispered in disbelief.

“What?” Yifan rolled his eyes, “You're freaking him out, stop.” He grabbed Sehun’s shoulder before he could get closer.

“Hyung, he has the moon mark- you know what I’m talking about.”

Yifan suddenly ‘oh’ed and Baekhyun frowned in confusion, feeling Taeyong sitting up but still hiding behind him.

“Baekhyun.” Yifan addressed, “Do you want food? You and your brother. We have food, and clothes, you can rest and get cleaned up, nobody will mess with you, I'm one of the leaders- you have my word.”

Baekhyun looked confused as Yifan tried to convince him to go with them. “Why? What’s… what would I owe you?”

“Nothing, those of us left need to watch out for each other.” The leader explained, “What makes you think you’d owe something?”

“Everyone wants payment.” Baekhyun said softly, turning to look at Taeyong. “Hey, you good? I pushed you pretty hard, you okay?”

Taeyong nodded and Baekhyun felt horrible every time he saw the fear on the youngests face. “Hyung…. I… I want food.”

Baekhyun sighed and pressed his mouth near his brother's ear, “What do you think then? Good or bad? You tell me, Taeyong.”

“I think…. we can risk it either way.”

“You think so?” Baekhyun laughed softly and weighed his options.

They were almost out of food. He hadn’t slept in weeks, he hadn’t eaten anything filling in days, he couldn’t recall the last time they had been cleaned- he reeked of sweat and dirt.

“Okay.” Baekhyun said unsurely, standing to his feet and pulling Taeyong to his side, “Okay… nobody… nobody can touch my brother.”

“Nobody will touch you either.” Sehun cut in with a twist of his lips and an analyzing expression, “Our group isn’t like that.”

Baekhyun smiled softly and pushed his hair out of his face like he was nervous, and he didn’t know why. “Okay, lead the way?”

“Follow me then.” Yifan muttered, looking amused for a moment before he spun around and started walking towards where Baekhyun heard the sounds earlier.

It turned out to be string holding cans like a fence, it was an impressive trap- well, more of a warning system- but Baekhyun was more impressed with all the people.

So many people, he didn’t know that he would be able to learn all of their names.

Tents were scattered about, even a large RV resting to the side.

People stared as they walked in, Taeyongs hand nervously holding onto his and Baekhyun couldn’t help laughing quietly as he noticed two kids about Taeyongs age running around and playing with a ball.

“It’s nice, isn’t it?” Sehun said suddenly, making Baekhyun jump and try to hold back his embarrassed blush as he nodded, maybe the dirt on his face would cover it for him.

“How long were you on your own? Not a lot of people?” He added, a smile playing on his small lips and Baekhyun laughed under his breath.

“I don’t know… it’s been over a year, maybe. I-we don’t talk to people… too many risks.”

Sehun hummed, “And too many bad people nowadays. I can’t blame you, if I were you, I’d avoid them too.”

“Hey, we got newbies?” Baekhyun's attention was drawn to a woman sitting in a folding chair, a baby breast feeding in her arms probably about one.

He hadn’t seen a baby in so long, let alone one so young.

“Yeah, more people for you to boss around, Hyuna.” Yifan laughed as she reached out to hit him and Baekhyun tilted his head curiously. “You seen Kyungsoo at all? Need to get them some clothes, and… they’ll really want to meet them.”

She looked over Baekhyun curiously at Yifans words and then stopped at the moon on his arm with a fond laugh, “About time you got here, sweetheart. Those boys deserve it so much.”

Baekhyun raised a brow and then tried to play off his confusion with a small smile, “I’m sorry…. I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Hyuna laughed as if hilarious and ran gentle fingers over the back of her babies head. “Sehun! You didn’t tell him anything.”

Sehun flustered and his ears reddened, “Noona, I -I mentioned it, I implied it!” He defended.

Yifan snorted and ruffled Sehun’s hair, “Yeah, Sehun, be a better friend to your brothers soulmate.”

“What?” Baekhyun gawked.

Taeyong started pulling on his hand then making him look down at him, “Hyung… Hyung, I want to go play with those kids.”

“You want to meet them, honey?” Hyuna smiled softly at Taeyong and Baekhyun sighed in relief that she wasn’t saying anything that would bring anymore attention to him specifically.

Taeyong looked up at Baekhyun as if unsure before nodding, “Noona… can-can I play?”

“Of course, run off, cutie.” She dismissed in a way that Baekhyun should be offended she was acting like she was his parent, but Taeyong didn’t notice at all.

Baekhyun dropped to his knees and began taking the backpack off Taeyongs back. “You be nice, okay? And you be careful, you stay where I can see you.”

“Yes, Hyung.” Taeyong nodded and Baekhyun laughed as the child bounced on his feet in excitement, it was a good sight to see.

The elder smiled and pressed a kiss to Taeyongs hair, internally reminding himself to make his brother change and get cleaned later. Taeyong wasn’t nearly as back as he was though. “Okay, play nicely.”

Baekhyun felt a part of his stomach churning as Taeyong turned to bounce away excitedly. He couldn’t tell if it was nervousness or jealousy that his brother could still be pure, could still be innocent despite seeing much more horrors than he was sure any of these children had seen.

“He’ll be okay.” Yifan reached down to pat Baekhyun on the shoulder, “Mark and Lucas, those two kids, they’re about as dangerous as picking flowers, let’s get you cleaned up- no offense, but you look like shit.”

Baekhyun let out a quiet chuckle and a nod of agreement, “I feel like shit too.” He admitted.

Yifan snorted.

“I think he looks quite nice.” Baekhyun looked over Yifans shoulder towards a table filled with supplies and felt his heart pound at the tall man leaned back on his palms. “Oh, look at you, never seen any stray Hyung brought in look like you.”

“Chanyeol.” Yifan smirked and shook his head, “There’s a reason you think that, maybe I’ll let you figure it out on your own.”

Chanyeol tilted his head curiously, one of the most handsome smirks Baekhyun had ever seen on the man's lips. “Oh, but I’m so impatient Hyung, I hate secrets.”

“I… I like secrets.” Baekhyun word vomited and then immediately felt embarrassed as he watched Sehun walk over to the taller man with a childlike smile on his face.

“Yeah? Why’s that, gorgeous?”

Baekhyun felt his mouth drying up as Chanyeol stared at him, so handsome he scratched his jaw to keep his hands from shaking. “They… they… can keep people from getting hurt.”

“Hmm.” Chanyeol looked him over and Baekhyun watched his eyes soften, and then mouth drop open a bit and couldn’t help the small laugh as he scratched over the moon tattooed into his arm. “Holy shit.” Chanyeol added.

“Holy shit indeed, you got a pretty soulmate, I’m very jealous.” Sehun drawled with a laugh.

Baekhyun felt Yifan grabbing Taeyong's backpack from his hands then. “Baekhyun, you can leave your things here, the only thing we ask is if you have any food to set it out to be rationed, other than that you can keep your things here until we can figure out where to place you and your brother.”

“Taeyong.” Baekhyun corrected as he slid his backpack off, “His name is Taeyong.”

“Excuse me.” Yifan muttered apologetically as he watched Baekhyun set things on the grass, frowning at the lack of supplies, “Taeyong, then. I’ll be sure everyone learns your names quickly, I’ll announce you both tonight after you’ve rested.”

Baekhyun smiled and felt eyes on him as he pulled out the last two cans of fruit they had left. “Here, this was all we had left.”

“Wow.” He heard Sehun mumble and he quickly picked up the rest of the random supplies he had dumped out. “That’s it?”

“That’s it.” Baekhyun responded softly, tossing the backpacks underneath the plastic tables and using the edge to pull himself up.

“No wonder you’re so skinny.” Chanyeol muttered, sounding almost mad, “You ever need anything, gorgeous, you come to me.”

“Like you’re ever going to leave him alone.” Yifan rolled his eyes and placed a hand on Baekhyun's shoulder to lead him towards the RV. “Let’s get you some new clothes, Baekhyun.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun wasn’t surprised with how much clothes they had stocked up, not with how many people they had, but he was surprised Yifan gave him an option.

“Men’s is over here.” Yifan pointed to a box beneath the built in table in the wall. “I’ll grab some kids clothes while you look, how old is he again?”

“Twelve.” Baekhyun called across the RV, a smile on his lips as he pulled the box out. “He’s a bit small though.”

Baekhyun then began rummaging through the box, not that it really mattered what he wore, but it seemed a lot of these clothes were bigger, looked like he was just going to have to drown in them.

He ended up settling with a pair of socks, dark blue jeans, boxers, and a large orange sweater. He didn’t even care that they would all be too big for him- he was freezing and he felt disgusting.

“We’ll have to get you guys some new shoes, or maybe I can walkie out to the crew that is still out and hope they’re still in a mall.” Yifan explained as he grabbed two towels, a handful of kids clothes in his hand.

“You don’t have to.” Baekhyun mumbled, standing up and following Yifan out.

The leader laughed, motioning for Baekhyun to follow him down a hill, “Your shoes look like they’re on their last life, maybe one of the others have an extra pair.”

Baekhyun smiled shyly at the group of people washing clothes at the edge of some sort of creak and then flushed once he realized where they were going. “I… have to bathe in front of everyone?”

“You shy?” Yifan laughed before realizing Baekhyun genuinely looked scared, “Relax, Baekhyun, i'll lead you to a secluded part- only a few other people might be there- and nobody will even pay attention, swear.”

Baekhyun hadn’t had the elder lie to him thus far, only promising him things he hadn’t had in a long time. “Okay.”

“Okay.” Yifan said softly, a small frown on his face as he eyed Baekhyun. “We’re just going past these trees.”

He pointed and pushed some tree branches out of the way and gently guiding Baekhyun to a smaller pond looking area, there was a man with his back towards them, the color a pretty tan.

“There’s… someone here.” Baekhyun mumbled shyly as Yifan set a towel on the sand for him.

“Don’t worry, that’s Jongin, there’s no way in hell he’d ever touch you. You don’t have anything to worry about, okay?”

Baekhyun twisted his shirt nervously and nodded.

“Okay, I’ll go back and see if your brother wanted to bathe now or later, you remember the way back?”

“Yes.” Baekhyun mumbled, “Don’t worry about Taeyong, he can play a little.”

Yifan laughed and ruffled his hair, “Okay, i'll ask to get something cooked up for you then, you look like you might collapse.”

Baekhyun smiled appreciatively and watched the elder walk off with an extra towel and some children’s clothes over his arm, maybe it wasn’t so bad here.

Company was fun, he hadn’t talked to anyone but Taeyong for so long.

And apparently, he had a drop dead gorgeous soulmate, which was extremely unexpected.

Baekhyun looked over and made sure the man's back was still facing him, and it was, he was washing his hair under a small waterfall like stream of water and probably had no idea anyone else was here.

He quickly pulled his shirt off with a small shiver at the coldness of the air and stripped his ruined clothes away before quickly walking into the pond.

The water wasn’t necessarily the cleanest, but it felt refreshing on his skin as he got about waist deep and then cupped the water, rubbing it onto his face with a laugh.

Looks like he didn’t need to kill for a bath anymore.

This water was cold, but the promise of cleanliness motivated Baekhyun to want to stay here all day.

He knelt down and plugged his nose as he dipped his whole head under. God, even his itching scalp felt better with just the water peeling away some of the grease.

He knelt down and leaned his head forward to scrub out some of the built up dirt and laughed quietly, disbelievingly.

The dirt floated off his skin and it was so satisfying Baekhyun watched in amazement as he scrubbed under his nails.

“You new?”

Baekhyun jumped at the voice, looking ridiculous as he flailed and ended up sitting in the sand at the bottom, the water up to his collarbones.

“Cute.” Jongin murmured, “You new, Yifan brought you?”

Baekhyun nodded with a dry throat as he watched the tanned man swimming his way closer, uncaring about the nudity it seemed.

The man laughed as Baekhyun blushed, “Cat got your tongue?” He then paused and looked over the smaller, “Wow, he just found you?”

“In the woods…” Baekhyun whispered, wiping the water off his forehead.

Jongin smiled, all pretty white teeth on display, “You're a pretty sight, who’d you meet so far?”

“Um…. Hyuna… Chanyeol, Sehun…” Baekhyun recalled quietly, scooting back a bit uncomfortably as Jongin began swimming towards the shallower area closer to Baekhyun.

“Let me tell you this, you don’t need any of them, doll. Stick with me.”

The smallers cheeks flushed bright pink and he turned his attention back to cleaning his hands to avoid the man's pretty stare.

“You shy? That’s okay, I’m not.” Jongin added with a flirtatious smirk.

Baekhyun laughed quietly, “I’m not shy…”

Jongin beamed at his voice and moved in the water closer, only a few feet away. “Really? You can’t even look at me, pretty. That’s okay, I’ll just keep flirting with you until I get responses.”

“I’m looking at you.” Baekhyun responded with a slight pout as he looked up, pulling his legs closer, unsure of whether this water was see through or not. “There’s no need, I’m listening.”

“Oh, but I want to.” Jongin shot back with a wink, eyeing the pretty man in front of him. His eyes trailed over Baekhyun's boney shoulders and collarbones with a slight frown though.

“You have a little… Do you mind… Can I?” Jongin cut himself off and instead scooted closer and reached out to wipe a splatter of dried blood from Baekhyun's sunken cheeks.

Baekhyun gasped and raised his hand to his face, “What? Where?”

Then, Jongin wrapped warm fingers around his wrist and pulled his arm straight out. “You… you…” He mumbled in excitement.

Baekhyun frowned in confusion before Jongin was laughing and standing up and Baekhyun began to freak out. “What are you? Don’t-“

“I'm not doing anything creepy.” Jongin frowned and touched the crown of Baekhyuns head gently, “I swear, look.” He requested.

Baekhyun felt a warm finger trailing over his cheek and slowly opened his eyes and saw Jongin standing up, but the water covered below his hip bones. “Look, we’re soulmates.” Jongin urged.

And sure enough, resting on his hip was an identical moon imprint, Baekhyun wanted to touch it, but of course he didn’t and instead licked his dry mouth and felt relaxed when Jongin sat back down.

“How many of you are there?” Baekhyun asked in disbelief.

Jongin's smile was no longer flirtatious, and instead, it was fond and soft, genuine. “Just three of us have them, and we’re a hundred percent sure we weren’t each others soulmates- but shared one- that means you must be very special to have gotten more than one.”

So, if Jongin and Chanyeol had the mark, who was the last one?

“So, what’s your name, pretty?” Jongin added, his foot brushed Baekhyun's calf in the water and the other flustered.

“Baekhyun…. you’re… Jongin, Yifan told me.” The smallers' ears were on fire and Jongin smiled like it was his favorite sight.

“That’s right, doll. And you can’t imagine how happy I-we are to see you, finally.” Jongin laughed in such a childish way Baekhyun had to laugh too.

“Yeah? I-I’m glad.” Baekhyun murmured quietly, cupping some water and rubbing his face.

Jongin beamed radiantly, “I’m going to go get dressed and wait for you! Get ready to be annoyed.” He teased.

Baekhyun didn’t have it in him to reject his decision, not when he was staring at him as if he expected a rejection. “Okay, don’t look.”

“No promises!” The other sung happily as he began to walk behind Baekhyun up towards the shoreline. “My pretty little soulmate, my eyes are stuck on you!”

Baekhyun's face was on fire, and he was glad his back was towards the flirtatious man so he didn’t see Baekhyun smiling.

~~~~~~~

“Don’t look, Jongin!” Baekhyun whined for what he thought to be the millionth time the past half hour he was cleaning up.

Jongin smirked and grabbed the smallers towel, sitting in the sand. “I keep telling you, sweetheart, my eyes can’t leave you. What if you… disappear?” He exclaimed dramatically.

Baekhyun threw his head back in a laugh and Jongin smiled fondly at the sight. “Jongin! I’m cold, I want to come out now!”

At his words the taller laughed, “Okay, babe, come on out, my eyes are sealed.”

Baekhyun nodded with a small pout, watching Jongin put the towel beside him and close his eyes, a smirk on his plump lips. “Please don’t.” He said softly, no joking in his tone.

Jongin frowned at his almost frightened tone and nodded, “No more teasing, I swear.”

Baekhyun chewed his lip and hurried up to the sandy bank, snatching his towel up.

“Here.” Jongin offered his towel with his eyes closed, “I can hear your teeth chattering, dry yourself and get dressed quickly, pretty.”

Baekhyun smiled softly and accepted the towel, using his for warmth and Jongin's to wipe off his skin fast and throw his clothes on.

Even though the clothes he had chosen were huge, the sweater specifically, he couldn’t remember the last time he was so warm.

“You can look.” Baekhyun said softly, sitting on the sand to pull his socks on.

Jongin blinked cutely at him and rested his elbow on his knee. “You look so much better, happier.”

“It’s been awhile since I’ve come across anywhere to bathe… or- or it wasn’t safe.” Baekhyun admitted.

Jongin hummed and smiled fondly as Baekhyun's finger tips disappeared under the orange sweater. “Let’s get you some food, yeah? It’s almost dinner time and you’re so small, Baekhyun.”

At the promise of food Baekhyun felt his stomach twisting up and a loud rumble. “Yeah… I’m pretty hungry.”

The other man laughed and stood up to offer him a hand, pulling Baekhyun's smaller form up easily before turning and gathering the dirty clothes from the ground. “We should just toss these, they don’t look like they could keep you even remotely warm, doll.”

“They don’t.” Baekhyun agreed softly, reaching out to take his dirty clothes from Jongin with an embarrassed expression and walking towards where he recalled Yifan going.

“No need to look so embarrassed, although you blush so cutely.” Jongin smirked and placed a hand on Baekhyun's back, “We’re soulmates, you don’t need to be embarrassed ever.”

“You keep saying that, but we’re still strangers.” Baekhyun whispered, then realized it sounded extremely rude and chewed his bottom lip, “I’m sorry, I just… I’m not good at talking to people.”

“That’s okay.” Jongin crooned softly, lifting up a branch so it wouldn’t hit them in the face, “But we’re not strangers, we’ll never be strangers, beautiful.”

Baekhyun didn’t have much to say, because he didn’t want to ruin how hopeful the other sounded, he never was good at hurting anyone’s feelings but his own.

And, he was certain if he saw Jongin ever looking sad or upset he would cry, and it wouldn’t be pretty at all. Curse the soulmate effect.

“You can toss those here.” Jongin broke the silence, his hand slowly moving from Baekhyun's mid back to around his waist. “This is where we put trash.” He explained.

Baekhyun nodded and tossed the dirty, ruined clothes into the garbage can.

“There you are, there you are.” A deep voice cooed, sending shivers up and down Baekhyun's spine as he looked up towards the man.

“Hello.” Baekhyun whispered quietly.

Chanyeol beamed, “Aish, and I thought you were beautiful with all the dirt, look at you, little moon.”

Baekhyun let out a small laugh at the nickname, trying to play off the pink on his cheeks as he heard people cooing at him.

“Hyung, give him some air.” Sehun drawled by the barbecue. “God, you guys are going to suffocate him.”

“Hyung! Baekhyunnie Hyung!”

Baekhyun suddenly had arms wrapping around his waist, “Hyung! Look!”

The elder laughed and ruffled Taeyongs hair, “Yeah? You cleaned up? I thought you’d play for awhile.”

“Mark and Lucas’s Mom said we could go swimming! So we did it for just a little but then it got too cold.” Taeyong explained excitedly.

“I bet you’re really tired now, huh? You want to eat and sleep?” Baekhyun asked, pressing his lips to Taeyongs forehead.

“I’m really tired, Hyung.” Taeyong admitted, “Let’s sleep a lot.”

“Oh, you will sweetheart.” Yifan cooed, making Baekhyun look around, slightly embarrassed he was caught coddling his brother so much in front of a ton of people. “I was about to ask about sleeping arrangements.”

“They should stay with us.” Chanyeol said immediately, earning a few hoots from the people seated around a fire that was slowly building up.

“That’s too much.” Yifan disagreed immediately, “Fuck, I need Jun to get back soon to control you, give him some space.”

“I hate space.” Chanyeol groaned and brushed the black inky curls from his eyes, “Come on, Hyung. You were like this with Xing Hyung too.”

“Yixing also is not Baekhyun. If anything Yixing is more like Jongin, don’t make me go get Kyungsoo, Chanyeol.” Yifan threatened.

Baekhyun had no idea what was happening, but he heard both Jongin and Chanyeol groan at the mention of this other person.

“Don’t you dare.” Jongin whined, a pout forming in his lips, “He’ll never leave Baekhyun alone, we’ll have to beg for time.”

“Hyung.” Taeyong murmured, pulling in his sweater towards the fire.

Baekhyun sniffed and wiped his running nose on his jacket before taking Taeyongs hand and moving towards the fire, smiling at a younger looking man as he scooted over on a log to make room for them.

“So you’re who Chanyeol was ranting about.” A man across from him stated, “How’d those two get you?”

“Oh great!” Baekhyun heard Chanyeol exclaim, “Now Jimin is flirting, thanks Yifan Hyung.”

“How the hell is that my fault?” Yifan gawked and turned around towards the RV door.

Baekhyun laughed softly, pulling Taeyongs fingers into his lap and holding his smaller hand in between both of his.

“Baek Hyung, today I played kickball.” His brother said as if Baekhyun should be extremely interested.

And, of course, Baekhyun always listened to Taeyong. “Really? Was it fun?”

“Really fun, I’m not very good yet, but that’s okay because… because Lucas said we can play together all the time.” Taeyong nodded and picked at the leg of his new jeans, they were a little big on him too, but kids grew like weeds.

“I’m glad, did you keep the knife I gave you with you? You never know when something will happen, and keep your hood on, you’re going to get cold.” Baekhyun fussed, reaching over to pull Taeyongs hood over his hair.

The younger boy nodded and patted his pocket, “Emergencies only, only use on the bad monsters, I know Hyung.”

Baekhyun beamed and wrapped his arm around Taeyongs shoulders.

Baekhyun's mouth started watering the longer he watched Sehun cooking at the barbecue, but just as he was about to force himself to look away, the RV door popped open and a man came out carrying a huge pot.

“Chanyeol, move your dumbass.” Fuck, Baekhyun had a feeling he knew who this man was just because his voice sent shivers down his spine. “I have hot ramen, you dumb fuck.”

“Soo.” Chanyeol growled, “I legitimately can’t stand you sometimes, you know that.”

“The feeling is mutual.” The man shrugged and Baekhyun was getting anxious the longer he only saw the man's figure or profile, but not his face. 

He blamed it on the sky darkening.

Jongin moved his way over to the log, taking a spot beside Baekhyun and squeezing right up against his side. “You guys hungry? I know you are, Baek.”

“Hyung, I’m super hungry.” Taeyong leaned over Baekhyun's lap, “My Hyung always says he’s not hungry, but he lies.”

Baekhyun gawked and slapped Taeyongs leg lightly, “Hey, shut your mouth.”

Taeyong only smiled cutely and snuggled to Baekhyun's side.

“I’ll get you food.” Jongin promised, “I’ll be right back, babe.” He addressed Baekhyun who flushed and turned to bury his nose into Taeyong’s fresh hoodie.

“That Hyung likes you.” The younger teased.

“Aish, give your brother a break, sweet pea.” Hyuna crooned across the fire, “You want to come see Jisungie? He’s one year and two months old, have you ever seen a baby before?”

Taeyong gasped dramatically and shook his head while Baekhyun mouthed a thank you to her.

She wiggled her brows at him and then sat the blinking baby up, “Come here, Taeyong, Noona will show you little Jisung.”

Baekhyun sighed in relief as Taeyong hopped off.

God, he loved his brother so much, but the problem with little kids was they had zero filter and Taeyong knew way too much than he should for his age; he had a lot to spill about Baekhyun.

“So, soulmates huh?”

Baekhyun raised his face from his palms and blinked up at the man standing in front of him.

He was so overwhelmingly handsome, but manly as he pushed a bowl of soup towards Baekhyun. “Eat up, can’t have my soulmate passing out on me…”

Baekhyun gulped and accepted the warm bowl with a sigh as his hands were warmed. “Thank you… Kyungsoo?”

“Correct.” The man looked vaguely impressed and his eyes also held excitement behind his small smile as he took a seat beside Baekhyun. “Baekhyun, huh? Heard Yifan mention you earlier, didn’t picture you though.”

“What’d you picture?” Baekhyun mumbled over his mouthful, stomach aching already at being filled.

Kyungsoo laughed, “Well, I was hoping you’d be healthier… but that can be fixed, it seems we got pretty lucky with your looks though, I’m very impressed, beautiful.”

Baekhyun laughed quietly into his spoon, pretending he didn’t feel people eyeing him from all around.

“You look like you could use some sleep.” Kyungsoo added softly, fingers tapping on his leg and if the man hadn’t seemed so confident Baekhyun would have considered it a nervous action.

“I could.” He agreed before feeling his stomach protesting on his previous mouthful of food.

Baekhyun knew he hadn’t eaten much in a while, but he had only eaten a few, maybe a little more than 1/4th of the bowl and his stomach was already cramping up.

“Tae.” He sat up and called his brother back, “Bug, come here.”

Kyungsoo reached out and grabbed his wrist softly when he saw Baekhyun holding the bowl out, “There’s plenty, you should eat it.”

“My stomach hurts.” Baekhyun explained before turning to Taeyong, “Here, finish this and if you’re hungry you go ask nicely, okay?”

“‘Kay!” Taeyong cried excitedly, scooting onto the log and accepting the bowl happily.

“You should eat more.” Chanyeol scolded softly, taking a seat on Kyungsoo's other side, “Jongin said you were very skinny, Baekhyun.”

Jongin whined as he walked over with a plate of meat, “Must you out me?”

Baekhyun laughed before Jongin was holding out the plate. “Here, at least one bite, please? Taeyong, you too.” Jongin added.

Taeyong wiggled so hard in his excitement at seeing meat that Baekhyun had to steady his bowl as his fingers reached out to snatch a chunk from the plate. “Bug, what do you say?” Baekhyun prompted.

“Thank you, Hyung.” Taeyong nodded and quickly went back to his food making Baekhyun roll his eyes fondly.

“You’re welcome.” Jongin smiled softly and waited for Baekhyun to grab a piece of meat from the plate. “Please, Baek.”

Baekhyun knew he wasn’t getting out of it so he accepted, grabbing the smallest piece of cut up meat and chewing on it quietly.

He had missed meat, but his stomach was already telling him he was full, and, unlike Taeyong, he wasn’t young enough to simply ignore the feeling without feeling sick.

So, he swallowed his mouth full and turned to the three men who were eating beside him. “I’m done.” He offered, holding the rest of the meat out for one of them to take.

This was the damn end of the world for god's sake, and it’s not like they had enough care for germs or for people to be picky with food. Food was food, and they were lucky to have whatever type of meat this was.

It was definitely something odd, maybe rabbit or even some kind of bird, probably from these very woods.

“Sweetheart, you should eat some more.” Chanyeol swooned, deep voice cutting Baekhyun down to the core.

“My stomach is hurting and I’m tired.” Baekhyun said quietly, licking the corner of his mouth.

“We’ll try again tomorrow.” Kyungsoo warned, grabbing the meat from his fingers, “Until you’re healthy.”

Baekhyun only sent him a smile and then turned to the weight settling at his side, a familiar warmth and quiet noises he recognized immediately. “You little brat.” He laughed and unwrapped Taeyongs fingers from the empty bowl.

Taeyong was already dead asleep, lips smacking with ramen juice on his mouth.

“Do you know where we’re sleeping?” Baekhyun asked aloud, placing the bowl on the grass and holding his brother up.

“Wherever you want.” Yifan called a bit away.

Baekhyun heard someone grabbing the bowl from the ground as he stood up, planning on scooping Taeyong up.

“We’ll get him.” Jongin offered immediately, making Baekhyun look over and saw Kyungsoo cleaning up their empty bowls and plates.

“He’s my brother, I got him.” Baekhyun said, more defensively than he meant.

“We know.” Jongin cooed, face never losing his reassuring smile, pretty orangish red reflecting off his face from the fire. “But you look like you might fall over, and we don’t want that.”

Baekhyun suddenly felt guilty and brushed Taeyongs hair from his forehead, “Okay.”

“I got him.” Chanyeol said softly, walking around Baekhyun and reaching over to pick up the child as if it was easy, Baekhyun was jealous and he didn’t know what of. “Where do you want him, gorgeous?”

Baekhyun weighed his options and decided he was too tired to care, and if fate decided so, then obviously they were trustworthy.

“Can we… I mean- you don’t have too, but uh- your tent? If you want- if that’s okay-“

“God.” Kyungsoo's nose scrunched up into an expression Baekhyun couldn't read, “You're fucking adorable, come with us.”

Baekhyun heard some people around the fire cooing at him and looked at the ground, tangling his fingers into his sweater nervously until he felt a warm hand wrapping around his wrist, pulling him along.

“We share a tent, right over here behind the RV.” Kyungsoo explained, “This one is the leader tent area, Yifan and his soulmate.” He pointed at one, then the other, “And Junmyeon, you’ll meet him eventually, him and his soulmate are out right now getting supplies.”

Baekhyun was barely following along, too tired, but he nodded anyways and watched Jongin unzip a large tent for Chanyeol.

“Sehun usually stays in the RV, but sometimes he stays in here too.” Kyungsoo added in a whisper as he pulled Baekhyun's wrist gently into the tent.

“I’ll put him over here.” Chanyeol said quietly, kneeling down and putting Taeyong against the tent wall and covering the little one in blankets.

“Thank you.” Baekhyun mumbled, rubbing his eyes.

They smiled and squinted at Baekhyun in the darkness. “Get some sleep, doll.” Jongin whispered, walking towards the tent door, “I have watch tonight, so I’ll see you in the morning.”

Baekhyun felt his face drop, “Oh, okay. Be… careful.”

“Always careful, sweetheart.” Jongin chirped, pressing his hand to Baekhyun's back for a second, looking like he was contemplating something before shaking his head and ducking out, zipping the tent tightly behind him.

“Come on.” Chanyeol murmured over the sounds of Kyungsoo dragging blankets around, “Let me tuck you in.” He said softly.

Baekhyun laughed and walked over after kicking his shoes off, moving to sit beside Taeyong, “I’m not a child, Chanyeol.”

Chanyeol's heart raced as he heard his name fall from Baekhyun's mouth. “I know, but I want to make sure our soulmate sleeps well.”

He said it so softly, and almost nervously, Baekhyun could only smile and move the blankets back, pressing his back firmly into Taeyong as he faced Chanyeol laying down. “Okay.”

Baekhyun watched Chanyeol's smile transform wider as he stared down at him. “Okay.”

Then, Chanyeol started pulling the blankets tightly around both Baekhyun and Taeyong protectively.

“We’ll be right over here, sugar.” Kyungsoo commented, making Baekhyun's drooping eyes look at where he was spreading blankets out across the tent.

Baekhyun frowned, “You can… over here-if-if you want.”

“You want us to sleep with you guys?” The tallest asked fondly, his thumb brushing over Baekhyun's hair as he stopped his shuffling.

“It… gets cold.” Baekhyun mumbled in embarrassment.

“God, what are we going to do with you, you’re so sweet.” Kyungsoo cooed, pulling blankets over. “I’ll sleep by Taeyong.”

Baekhyun felt his smile widen at the man's words. They didn’t have to take care of Taeyong, but they were, everyone here was, and it felt like a weight falling from his shoulders.

“Goodnight.” Baekhyun whispered, eyes closing in exhaustion as he felt Chanyeol shuffling under the blanket beside him.

A warm hand pressed to his jaw, thumb running over his skin. “Goodnight, little moon.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun almost had a panic attack when he woke up and didn’t feel a pressure pushing into his back.

He sat up quickly, immediately, looking for Taeyong, but didn’t see him at all, and his head was pounding, pulsing behind his eyes so hard he let a quiet whimper slip as he pressed a hand to his head, laying back down.

“Oh, sweetheart.” He heard someone moan across the room. “You’re up, it's almost time to start cooking dinner, you were that exhausted?”

Baekhyun chewed his dry mouth and sat up on his elbow, eyes squinting as he looked across at Kyungsoo. “Taeyong?”

“He’s fine, Baekhyun. He’s been playing all day, had breakfast and lunch, he’s fine, don’t worry.”

Baekhyun sighed in relief and laid back against the padded, blanketed tent floor. “I feel horrible.”

Kyungsoo frowned and strolled over, kneeling beside Baekhyun, “Our medic is out right now, but I know enough, move your fingers, sugar.” He cooed, moving Baekhyun's hand from his face.

“Fuck, you’re burning up, Baekhyun.” Kyungsoo cursed, “Have you felt sick a while?”

“My ears have been hurting.” Baekhyun mumbled with closed eyes, “My nose is running too. I thought- it was because I was cold.”

Kyungsoo frowned and ran his thumb over Baekhyun's forehead, “Does this hurt, if I press right here, does it hurt?” He asked, moving his fingertips over Baekhyun's sinuses, pressing gently around his nose.

“Little.” Baekhyun mumbled, “Behind my eyes, it hurts, Kyungsoo.”

“Oh, love.” The man sighed and ran his thumb across Baekhyun's cheek, “I’m going to go see if we have any antibiotics left, I think you have a sinus infection.”

Baekhyun whined aloud at that, eyes closed as he curled onto his side, “I feel like shit.”

“I’ll be back.” Kyungsoo promised, “I’ll be right back, okay? I’m going to send the others in so you won’t be alone.”

“‘Kay.” Baekhyun whispered, feeling Kyungsoo press his fingertips to his cheek once more before hearing the tent unzipping.

God, Baekhyun was an idiot. He should have paid more attention to himself, but he was so focused on Taeyong he didn’t even notice he had been feeling disgusting for weeks. He spurred the infection on without even realizing.

He heard footsteps rushing towards the tent and cracked his eyes open a little to see Chanyeol and Jongin kicking their shoes off.

“Hey, doll.” Jongin cooed, “I was about to come in here and take a nap, but we heard our soulmate didn’t feel good.”

Baekhyun tried to give a smile as Jongin pulled the blankets up behind him and pressed his thigh into Baekhyun's side. “Hi.”

“We got you water, pretty.” Chanyeol cooed, his hand cupping Baekhyun behind the neck to sit him up.

Baekhyun curled his fingers around Chanyeol's wrist as the taller held the water to his mouth. He could have done it himself, he wasn’t that sick, but it was nice to be treated so gently.

“Thank you.” Baekhyun croaked and laid back down as Chanyeol twisted the lid onto the water bottle. “Kyungsoo said he’s looking for medicine.”

“He is, don’t worry.” Jongin murmured, scooting closer, “He's going to go threaten the shit out of Yifan and dig into the emergency medicine.”

Baekhyun laughed softly, throwing his arm over his eyes to try and stop the throbbing. “Everyone is scared of him? He doesn’t seem so mean.”

“You’re his soulmate.” Chanyeol pointed out, his hand brushing Baekhyun's waved hair from his warm face. “Of course he’s going to be nice to you, everyone will be nice to you.”

“You don’t have to be nice to me, that’s okay.” Baekhyun replied, “I don’t want to owe anyone anything here.”

“You don’t owe us shit.” Chanyeol said immediately, a frown on his mouth as he met Jongin's equally confused eyes. “You never owe us anything ever, you or Taeyong.”

“Because we're soulmates.” Baekhyun finished with a quiet sigh making the two look at him confused.

“Partially.” Jongin admitted, “But also because it’s the right thing to do, doll.”

Baekhyun licked over his pink lips, glad he didn’t have to look at them at this second, “I’m sorry, I don’t… I don’t know what ideas you guys have about soulmates or about me… but, but I don’t know how to love- at least, not- not unless it’s Taeyong, like family.”

Chanyeol and Jongin felt their hearts drop in disappointment, but Baekhyun just sounded so apologetic, they weren’t mad at him- but they wondered why he thought this.

“Then we will teach you, sugar.” Kyungsoo zipped the tent behind him and Baekhyun heard something rattling as he came closer and blankets rustled as Kyungsoo took a seat at his feet. “We can teach you, that’s okay. We’re already enamored with you, and if it takes you a while that’s fine, we have time.”

“As long as we don’t get chomped up.” Jongin pointed out.

Baekhyun found himself frowning at that thought. “Okay.”

“We’re not asking you for anything right now, Baekhyun. Just your sweet self, that’s easy right?” Chanyeol prompted.

“I’ll try.” Baekhyun murmured. “I’m not good… at people things… relationships.”

“Then we’ll work on that too.” Kyungsoo said immediately, “Now, I got you some penicillin, take one every twelve hours for a week, and tomorrow when you wake up you’ll feel so much better.”

“We’ll be on you all week to take them if you forget.” Jongin teased as Baekhyun was sat up to take a pill.

“There you go, Baekhyun. Now you’ll want to sleep all day, we’ll bring you dinner in a little.” Kyungsoo explained, grabbing Baekhyun's hand and pushing the sweater off his knuckles, “We’ll watch Taeyong well, Hyuna is already on him.”

Baekhyun laughed softly and nodded tiredly, “Okay, thank you.”

“Of course.” Kyungsoo pressed a soft kiss to Baekhyun's palm before dropping it and patting his ankle, “Jongin needs to sleep too, have a good nap.”

Baekhyun nodded and turned to lay on his side, letting a small surprised noise slip as Jongin threw an around over the blanket and around his waist.

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun did feel better after taking the medicine, but he still felt sick, it was odd.

His eyes had stopped pounding when he woke up from his nap, but his head was now groggy and foggy, like he was lethargic.

“Baek, dinner.” Jongin placed a hand to his soulmate's jaw and rubbed his thumb gently over the soft skin, “Time to eat, sweetheart.”

“Not hungry.” Baekhyun mumbled, turning his head into Jongin's hand more.

“You need to eat, tiny dove, you’re going to get nauseous if you don’t.” Kyungsoo said softly, smiling at how Jongin lit up when Baekhyun turned his way.

“Where’s Chanyeol?” Baekhyun sighed and pulled himself to sit up, Jongin's hand moving down the back of his neck softly.

Kyungsoo smiled and passed him the plate in his hand, “He's playing with Taeyong, they're like best friends suddenly. Probably because they both act the same age.”

Baekhyun laughed quietly and began going through the food. “I’m glad.”

The two smiled and Jongin pressed his cheek into Baekhyun's shoulder. “You don’t need to worry about him, we’ll take care of him.” Jongin muttered softly.

“I’m always worried about him,” Baekhyun turned to look at Jongin but quickly looked away when he realized how close together their faces were, cheeks flushing prettily as he went back to his food. “I raised him, of course I worry, especially… now.”

“Ten years is quite a bit, Yifan told everyone your name and age this morning. I’m curious about you and Taeyong.” Kyungsoo nodded, “But… you don’t need to feel obligated to tell us anything.” He added when he saw Baekhyun's eyes shake.

“Maybe…” Baekhyun chewed his cheek and moved the plate off his lap, “Maybe… later, not now…”

“Of course, doll.” Jongin frowned and pulled the pillow from behind Baekhyun's back and motioned for him to lay back down, “We can tell you about us though, If you want.”

Baekhyun smiled shyly as Jongin sat back on his elbow and played with the hair on the crown of his head, “If you want to tell me.”

“I was a kindergarten teacher.” Kyungsoo began, running his hand over Baekhyun's leg through the blanket, “Well, technically I was an assistant, not that it really matters anymore.”

Baekhyun hummed tiredly, “How old are you guys?”

“You should call us Hyung, love.” Jongin mumbled with a sly smile when Baekhyun's eyes flicked to look up at him, “Twenty three, Kyungsoo Hyung is twenty four, Yeol Hyung is twenty six.”

The youngest looked up in surprise, “Really?”

Kyungsoo laughed and brushed a thumb over Baekhyun's cheek, “So surprised? You’re our baby now.”

Baekhyun let out a small embarrassed noise and pulled the blankets up to his chin.

“Fuck.” Jongin mumbled, “If you keep acting like this my heart my stop.”

“Stop being cheesy.” The younger whispered, muffled through the blanket as he pulled it up more to hide his face.

“Shit, we’re going to take such good care of you.” Kyungsoo cooed softly, standing up. “Get some sleep, baby.”

And Baekhyun squealed softly when Jongin pulled him towards his chest.

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun woke up and rubbed his eyes. He smacked his lips quietly and squinted in the darkness.

He smiled despite wanting to freak out as he noticed Jongin's tight fingers holding his sweater in his sleep, his other arm draped over Baekhyun's hip and touching Taeyongs little shoulder.

Baekhyun's throat was screaming for water. He slowly sat up, turning to pet Taeyongs hair for a moment before uncurling Jongin's hand from his shirt.

Carefully, he stepped over Kyungsoo and Taeyong, praying not to accidentally step on them in the darkness.

He saw a light blinking by the tent door and he made it over almost silently, reaching down to pick up the electronic watch. It read 3:46 AM.

Baekhyun hoped he wouldn’t wake anyone up going out so late as he slipped on his shoes. But he had slept more than all day, he didn’t think he could sleep any longer.

He stepped out and was surprised lights were on out here, a bunch of spotlights lit up around the main area of camp.

Baekhyun wrapped his arms around himself, the cold darkness making his arms shake as he moved towards the supply table and looked for water.

He wrapped his hands around a mini, partially drank water bottle when he noticed a light pointed near him and looked up curiously.

Chanyeol waved with a small smile, walking on top of the RV, a flashlight in his hand, “Good morning.” He teased.

Baekhyun laughed quietly, running a hand through his hair self consciously. “Hi.”

“Come up here, I haven’t seen you all day.” The elder requested gently, pointing to a ladder on the side of the RV.

The younger chewed his bottom lip as he held the water in one hand, using the other to climb up.

“There we go, gorgeous.” Chanyeol murmured, reaching down to pull Baekhyun up when he was within reach.

Baekhyun felt his blush crawling down his neck at the man's strength, almost as if Chanyeol was purposely showing off as he carried him to a folding chair and sat him in his lap.

“You look better.” The elder commented, a fond look in his eyes as he watched Baekhyun avoid his gaze shyly, fiddling with the cap of the water bottle.

“... I feel better, thank you.” The smaller mumbled, chewing the corner of his lip when he met Chanyeol's lingering eyes.

Chanyeol hummed and pulled the blanket resting over the back of the chair around Baekhyun's shoulders. “I’m happy.”

Baekhyun would usually feel his skin crawling if people so much as looked at him with anything akin to interest, but he supposed this was part of these men being his soulmates, because he only felt overwhelmingly warm as Chanyeol wrapped a large hand around his side through the blanket.

Chanyeol leaned closer, resting his chin on Baekhyun's shoulder with a soft smile, “I’ve been waiting so long for you, little moon.”

“... yeah?” The smaller prompted, looking down at his fingers, trying to hide his face.

“Yeah, and you’re beautiful, I’m proud.”

“Hyung…” Baekhyun licked his mouth and looked up at Chanyeol apologetically. “I… I’m sorry.”

“You don’t need to call me that.” Chanyeol said immediately, “We’re… we’re soulmates, you can call me Chanyeol, you can call me babe, whatever you want, sweetheart. And you have no reason to feel sorry, why are you sorry?”

Baekhyun gulped at the feeling of the larger man's warm breath fanning his cheek with every word. “I… I- I need time, it’s not fair.”

Chanyeol frowned and grabbed Baekhyun's chin gently, “Hey, you have no reason to apologize.”

“I’m sorry.” The smaller responded, eyes looking back and forth around Chanyeol's face.

“Who hurt you, my baby?” Chanyeol suddenly muttered, his thumb running close to Baekhyun's bottom lip, “We would never hurt you.”

Baekhyun flinched slightly and pulled his face from Chanyeol's fingers to rest his shoulder on Chanyeol's chest for warmth, “Don’t want to talk about it. Please.”

“Are we making you uncomfortable?” The elder whispered softly, his hand on Baekhyun's side running up and down through the blanket, “Soulmates… they usually are attached immediately, and if you need time that’s okay, but you need to let us know if you’re uncomfortable- if we’re being too much.”

“You’re not.” Baekhyun denied immediately looking off at the dark shadows of trees, “I mean- I don’t- just you guys… don’t- i don’t want anyone so close to me but you guys.”

Chanyeol laughed quietly and gently pulled Baekhyun's head beneath his chin, “We don’t want that either, baby, if you want nobody will touch you.”

“I want that.” The younger agreed immediately, closing his eyes.

“Then that’s what you get, I’ll protect you, sweetheart.”

Baekhyun felt his mouth upturn and he dropped the water bottle onto his lap to curl both fingers into Chanyeol's shirt.

“You can sleep some more, Baekhyun.” Chanyeol said softly, pressing his mouth to Baekhyun's head for a moment.

“Tell me a story… about you… what’d you- what’d you do before this?” The younger asked with a tired smile, pulling the blanket up his shoulder more.

Chanyeol beamed, rocking him as if a child, “I was a fitness trainer, can you tell? I also was very good at archery, so usually they send us hunting because Kyungsoo is decent too.”

“I can tell.” Baekhyun answered shyly, literally pressed against the larger man’s muscles. There was no way he hadn’t noticed them honestly.

“You like it.” Chanyeol teased, “Don’t worry, soulmate, I’m yours.”

Baekhyun whined aloud at the teasing, cheeks pinkening, so it was good it was very dark out and the only light on top the RV was a lantern sitting close to the ladder.

~~~~~~~

“Sunscreen, Baekhyun.” Kyungsoo scolded, walking up to Baekhyun during breakfast. “I’ve been telling you the past few days, antibiotics makes your skin more sensitive, you’ll get a burn easier.”

Baekhyun sighed and pouted up at the man, a partially eaten packaged muffin in his hand, “I hate it, Soo.”

Luckily, Baekhyun was learning fast how to get his way and becoming less nervous to talk to anyone here.

So far all of the people at camp had been very welcoming, many of them had asked if he was alright the following morning of him taking antibiotics, it was nice to be the one being looked after.

“You just don’t want to get your hands dirty.” Jongin called out, “Don’t worry, Hyung will do it for you, love!”

Well, for the most part he had been getting less nervous around people, but not when they were as blatant and flirtatious as his three soulmates.

“I will do it.” Kyungsoo argued, “I’m already doing it, Jongin.”

“Fine.” Jongin pouted softly and moved towards the log and adjusted Baekhyun's jacket- really Chanyeol's jacket- over his narrow shoulders. “I get to put it on Taeyongie then!”

“Hyung!” Taeyong whined, chocolate on his face from this morning's breakfast which consisted of packaged muffins. “Why do I need it?”

“You listen to your Hyungs.” Baekhyun scolded, looking up at Kyungsoo who began to rub sunscreen onto his face.

“Because you’re going to go want to play soon, and even though it doesn’t look sunny the sun can still get you.” Jongin explained before smiling and throwing an arm around Taeyongs shoulders, “And Hyung wants to see you!”

Baekhyun heard Taeyongs huff of annoyance, but knew the kid was overwhelmingly happy with the attention.

Chapter Text

 

 

The rain hadn’t let up since last night.

Baekhyun was pretty anxious as he had agreed for Taeyong to stay the night in Mark and Lucas’s tent, the first time in years he had slept without his little brother.

And now it was storming out, not that Taeyong cared, he loved storms, he slept like a baby when it rained.

But Baekhyun hated lightning, he hated loud noises, he hated the cold.

He hated storms. They made him feel trapped and weak, feelings he never wanted to reimagine.

“You’re shaking.” Jongin commented loudly, breaking Baekhyun from his thoughts.

“What?” Baekhyun heard Kyungsoo mumble from his spot across the tent, holding the material shut as it was unzipped, waiting for Chanyeol to come back with snacks and water since they’d likely be hiding in here all day and night again.

“Baekhyun.” Jongin called back to Kyungsoo, “He's shaking.”

“Oh, baby. Just a minute, okay? I see Yeol checking the last group of tents.” The elder said softly.

Baekhyun nodded and looked at Jongin as he wrapped blankets tightly around the younger. “Don’t worry, you’re safe, doll face.” Jongin cooed, cupping the back of Baekhyun's head and pressing a soft kiss to his temple.

The younger didn’t even have it in him to be embarrassed about how quick he wiggled closer, practically in Jongin's lap, fingers pulling out of the blanket to latch onto Jongin's sweatpants.

“Finally, Hyung.” Kyungsoo muttered, Baekhyun could hear the wind fighting against the tent material as it was opened.

“Sorry, I wanted to make sure Taeyong was okay, he looked like he was having fun, Yifan is with them.” Chanyeol said, dripping water onto the entranceway of the tent.

Baekhyun gawked at the water literally pouring off the others face and clothes, “You're going to get sick.”

“I’m okay, baby, I brought us snacks and a flashlight.” Chanyeol ignored the worry in the other's voice.

Baekhyun frowned and pulled back the corner of the blankets and reluctantly shimmied out from beneath the warmth to stand up, Chanyeol's zipped jacket falling to mid thigh on his small form, covering the thin pajama pants he snatched to be more comfortable.

“Chanyeol.” He whispered softly, walking over towards the entrance where Kyungsoo was grabbing the snacks and waters from Chanyeol. “Hyung… you’re going to get sick.” He repeated.

Chanyeol blinked down at him, wiping water out of his eyes, “Don't worry, my love.”

Baekhyun felt his ears burn as he wrapped a hand around Chanyeol's coat zipper and began to pull it down, “Take… your wet clothes off.”

“You seducing me?” Chanyeol laughed in shock as Baekhyun small fingers unclasped the zipper of the soaking jacket.

“No.” Baekhyun said immediately, wide eyed. “No, I swear.”

“He's teasing you, beautiful.” Kyungsoo said softly, running a hand over the back of Baekhyun's neck before carrying the snacks and waters over to Jongin and the huge pile of blankets.

“You ever want a show though, you let me know, doll.” Jongin chirped, not able to see Baekhyun's reaction as he made grabby hands for a water as Kyungsoo sat next to him.

“Hey.” Chanyeol sounded upset as his freezing fingers cupped Baekhyun's jaw, “You know we’re only kidding, yeah? We’re joking.”

Baekhyun nodded and licked his mouth anxiously, “I know, it’s okay.”

Chanyeol smiled and pressed a barely there kiss to Baekhyun's button nose and pulled his coat off, tossing the wet material by the door before reaching for his shirt, “Would you be uncomfortable?” He motioned to his wet sweatpants and shirt.

Baekhyun shook his head and took a step back, arms holding his own jacket tight to his chest, “No- go… yes, you can... you might get sick… I’m not- I’m not a child.”

“You’re our baby though.” Kyungsoo called gently, a confused looked playing on his face, “We know, you’re a very beautiful adult, our pretty soulmate, baby.”

“Okay.” Baekhyun flushed and scratched his cheek when he noticed Chanyeol taking off his sweatpants. “I just… I’m not innocent you know…”

“I’m just going to act like I don’t understand what you’re implying.” Chanyeol growled, grabbing Baekhyun's fingers, pulling him towards the blankets. “We definitely don’t want to hear that you’ve had sex before.”

“I haven’t had sex.” Baekhyun denied, smiling slightly as Chanyeol sat down and pulled Baekhyun to rest between his legs, in the middle of all three of them.

Chanyeol's chest was warm despite being outside in the cold as he laid back and pulled Baekhyun to rest against his muscular front.

“So you're a virgin.” Jongin said softly, reaching over to pull the blanket up to Baekhyun's chin, “That’s okay too.”

Baekhyun twisted his mouth, “Not a virgin.”

The three got deathly silent, the only sounds were the storm outside knocking branches around, thunder and lightning striking in the distance.

But all Baekhyun heard was the beating of his own chest.

“Baekhyun….” Chanyeol whispered softly, pressing his cheek to Baekhyun's jacket covered shoulder. “You don’t have to tell us anything.”

“You don’t want to know anyways.” Baekhyun said under his breath, pulling his hands from the blankets to pick at them almost as if angry.

The three elder boys frowned at him and Kyungsoo reached out to grab his fingers when he looked like he might start hurting himself. “Hey, someone did something bad to you?”

Baekhyun felt his eyes watering slightly as he glanced up and gave a minuscule nod.

“Oh, baby, don’t cry. You don’t need to tell us, just don’t cry.” Kyungsoo requested, reaching out to wipe the corner of Baekhyun's eye with a taking sound.

“Not… I’m not crying because I’m sad.” He responded with a small sniff, bringing his sleeve up to his eye. “I’m embarrassed.”

Chanyeol tightened his hold on Baekhyun and saw Jongin lay a soft hand on his blanketed knee. “You have no reason to be embarrassed.” Jongin said immediately, “Our sweet little soulmate doesn’t ever need to be embarrassed, it’s just us baby, we’d never judge you.”

Baekhyun felt himself word vomiting before he could even realize. “I’m disgusting.” His mouth curled up and he felt angry tears falling as he glared at his hands. “I’m dirty and you guys don’t deserve to put up with it.”

“You’re beautiful.” Chanyeol argued immediately, his hands under the blanket wrapping around Baekhyun's narrow waist. “You’re a beautiful person, the past week and a half have been nothing but amazing for us, baby. You’re shy, you’re quiet, and we love it, there’s nothing we have seen that we didn’t like.”

“You-you don't understand.” Baekhyun cried, his hands disappearing under his sleeves and rubbing his eyes harshly. “It- it isn’t- I’m still disgusting and I hate myself.”

His soulmate's faces dropped and Kyungsoo reached up to grab his wrist gently, pulling it away from his reddening eyes. “Then we will teach you otherwise.”

“It’s not possible.” Baekhyun sobbed, “I-I’ve tried, I've tried and the memories- they- they still are there, he's still there.”

“Oh, doll. Come here, come here.” Jongin muttered frantically, reaching out to pull Baekhyun from between Chanyeol's legs to straddle his lap. Baekhyun laid his face in the crook of Jongin's neck and wrapped his legs around Jongin's hips tightly, as if afraid he was going to let him go.

Chanyeol turned and ran a large hand up and down Baekhyun's spine, “We’ll take care of you, Baekhyun. I will tell you this everyday, everyday, baby.”

“When- when I was twelve, my mom… my mom died giving birth to Taeyong-“

“You don’t need to tell us, just breathe.” Kyungsoo interrupted, “You need to breathe.”

Baekhyun took a deep breath into Jongin's neck, pressing his nose to his soulmates shoulder for a second, Chanyeol's hand running over his back comfortingly.

“Okay, you’re doing good, sweetheart.” Kyungsoo cooed softly, moving to sit on Jongin's other side and peering over the younger shoulder, “That’s good, beautiful. You’re okay, you’re with us and nothing will hurt you.”

Baekhyun pressed his cheek to Jongin's shoulder as he looked over at Kyungsoo, watery eyes making Kyungsoo frown and brush his hair away from his forehead.

“My dad blamed me, I-I don't know why.” The youngest whispered, Jongin's hands pulled his thighs closer to him. “It wasn’t that bad, at first. I had to take care of Tae, and that was my only responsibility. Then, I started… I had to start skipping school and the police showed up for truancy.” Baekhyun chewed his lip and saw Chanyeol leaning around Jongin to look at him too, the pressure wasn’t that bad though, they didn’t look like they were searching for anything, only listening.

“He got so mad, he… he was so mad, but he wasn’t taking care of Taeyong I was.” He scoffed and felt his face contort into anger, “He only worked and then came home and ignored us, it was better when it was just me and Taeyong.

And then… he just, he just called me in one night. He never hit me- he only yelled at me a lot, but… but I didn’t understand back then. I didn’t understand a lot… I was only maybe fourteen when it first h-happened, because I can remember thinking… what if Taeyong starts crying and I can’t go help him.”

“What happened, sweet pea?” Kyungsoo whispered even though it was fairly obvious, leaning over to press a warm hand to Baekhyun's face.

Baekhyun closed his eyes and turned his face away, pressing his cheek into Jongin's ear. “He touched me… he didn’t, he didn’t rape me yet, but he… the first time is always the worst… I can remember everything. I didn’t understand, but I-I didn’t cry or anything because I deserved it-“

“You don’t deserve that shit.” Jongin's voice held anger, but it was more of a whisper, “Nobody deserves that, Baekhyun. You don’t deserve that, Taeyong doesn’t deserve tha-“

“He never touched Taeyong.” Baekhyun growled, sitting back to look at them with tears dripping off his chin, “He never, never touched Taeyong. I was with Taeyong all the time for… the whole time, always. Taeyong was never alone with him. And if I got called away… well, it’s okay because-because at least Taeyong was fine and he-he didn’t know any better, he still doesn’t know any better.”

“It’s not okay.” Kyungsoo added softly, “Baekhyun, that's not okay. You can be scared, and you can be upset, but that doesn’t make anything that happened to you okay.”

“Of course it’s not okay, but I can pretend!” The youngest was suddenly glad it was storming so badly out as he sat back on Jongin's thighs, “I can't talk to people, I can’t- I can’t even look many people in the eyes- what if they can tell? What if they’re disgusted? I had to, I had to- I didn’t… I didn’t have a choice!”

Jongin made a soft shushing noise as he grabbed Baekhyun's fingers, pushing his sleeve from his palm, “Okay. Okay, we believe you, and we’re not disgusted, baby. It wasn’t your fault, it’s still not your fault.”

Baekhyun let out a strangled noise from his throat, “I can’t- I can never have norm-al relationships now. People always, always want something.

He-he first raped me on my sixteenth birthday… an-and the next day at school, this kid- he-he asked me on a date and I-I threw up all over the floor and ran, the thought of… of… are relationships like this? Is that ho-w things should work? I didn’t … I didn’t even know what- what people wanted. He said so many… I’ve heard so many things- and they don’t add up, nothing adds up.”

“Stop, stop it, please.” Kyungsoo requested, pulling Baekhyun's fingers out of his hair, “You don't have to keep talking, baby.”

Baekhyun shook his head immediately, looking wide eyed and slightly confused when he noticed Chanyeol wiping his own eyes. “I haven’t, I never told anyone- ever. Usually… usually I throw up even just, just thinking about telling people, but- I have the courage right now, let me, please, let me and you can-you can be disgusted and you can… call me all kind of names, but at least, at least I can get it off my chest.”

Jongin sighed and leaned forward to rezip Baekhyun's jacket up, as if comforting himself. “Yo-u… you can do what you want, but you don’t need to tell us everything at once. We’re soulmates, we’re not going anywhere.”

“He told me… I’d never get a soulmate, that he was the only- the only one that would love me, I think-I think that was one of the only times I cried.” Baekhyun admitted, shaking hands moving to pull his hood over his head to obscure their view of his face. “That time… I think, I remember that he looked, he looked guilty and let me leave early, but he never- he didn’t take it back. It scared me, he-uh- he didn’t touch me for… for a while after and I got worried, thought he’d go for Taeyong.. so I-I… you’re going to be disgusted, oh god, I’m going to puke.” He cried and scooted off of Jongin to pull blankets to his lap as if protecting himself as he pushed himself against the cold tent wall, listening to lightning outside.

“Hey, hey, we only want to love you.” Chanyeol cried quietly, his voice not showing the tears on his face. “You did what you thought was right, we know that, and that’s okay.”

Baekhyun's expression changed into a pained one as he buried his face into his knees. “He was my dad… he was my dad, that’s disgusting, it’s immoral.”

“What he did to you is immoral, Baekhyun.” Jongin whispered, sitting up on his knees to push more blankets towards him because if that’s what made him more comfortable, then he would happily freeze. “And not fighting back, not telling anyone, that doesn’t make it your fault. He was an adult, he knew what he was doing, you didn’t- you didn’t know anything other than that you wanted to protect Taeyong, and that’s not wrong, that’s… you’re a good brother, Baek.”

“Does it… does it could as sex if I asked him to?” Baekhyun's words muffled through his pile of blankets. “I was scared… Taeyong, he-he said Dad tried to talk to him and gave him a toy, and… he never, ever talked to Taeyong. Dad would give him things, I think… because he knew it made me feel better, but.. he didn’t talk to him unless he had a reason. So I-I went and I… I asked him to just… just because if he gave Taeyong something… then, then I owed him something in exchange and… then it would make things equal-“

“How would things be equal if he… he molested you many times, he raped you… I assume r-repeatedly, Baekhyun. He manipulated you, there is no other reason for his actions other than that he was sick, and he was disgusting. That’s not how things work, sometimes you do things and want nothing in exchange.” Kyungsoo tried to explain gently, fingers white around his pajama pants.

“No.” Baekhyun denied, “You always do things because you want something in exchange. For seven years… that’s what happened, if I needed school books- I- I knew what to do, if Taeyong needed something I didn’t ask for it, I just need to be quiet and listen because I’m filthy and- and it always worked- I didn’t get hit, I didn’t get that hurt, so it was okay because Taeyong got what he needed, I got what I needed and that’s it… that’s it.”

Jongin sat up, mouth twisted in anger not at Baekhyun, never his soulmate, “You don’t think you’re hurt now? Just looking at you I can tell you’re hurting Baekhyun. Just because you didn’t get physically hurt doesn’t mean you’re not hurt. You were sexually abused for… seven years you said…. You said you couldn’t talk to people, you stutter sometimes, you flinch back from people when they get too close, you don’t like asking for things, and… you said you didn’t know how to love us.

This is not even two weeks worth of observations and you don’t think you’re hurt? Fuck, I feel like we’re even more upset than you are right now because you don’t even… you don’t know that it was wrong.”

“It’s common in abuse victims.” Kyungsoo growled, sending Jongin a warning look, “Calm down, you’re scaring him.”

“I am hurting.” Baekhyun muttered softly, “I have nightmares, the sounds of… of breathing or even certain tones, sometimes even just… just colors will make me panic, but you don’t understand. He, he still took care of us, he said… he used to tell me he loved me… everytime. And… he was my Dad, how could I… how could I not want to… to make sure he wasn’t upset, because he was the one in control, even when… when I was above age I couldn’t- I didn’t have control, he still had Taeyong, so I stayed. And I-I hate myself so much, and I’m disgusted, but I-I don’t regret anything because my brother is fine and he’s pure, innocent, he’s beautiful and I can-I can never be any of that.”

Chanyeol stood to his feet, a blanket wrapped around his nearly naked form as he walked over to the smaller, “You’re not mad? You’re not upset any of this happened to you? Fuck, Baekhyun, I’m so… I’m so mad right now that this happened to you; because you’re so sweet, you’re so kind, and we… we wouldn’t have wanted that to happen to anyone, much less our soulmate. God, I’m… I’m livid, Baekhyun.”

“I didn’t think I was mad.” Baekhyun admitted, looking up slowly at the sound of footsteps. “When I was younger, I didn’t really know what was going on, it was just… stray touches and a voice in my head telling me that this wasn’t how things were supposed to be. But… I think once… once I really, I really understood and it was happening… so, so often I realized I was tainted, that I-I was slowly ruining… everything.” He licked his lip and leaned his head back against the polyester tent.

“In high school, people talk about… sex, and they talk about dating, finding soulmates, and they’re explicit. And this one time… I remember listening to a girl in my class and she mentioned that, that she felt… aroused during sex and I was so confused.” He laughed to himself and felt his ears turning red at the intense stares he felt from his soulmates, “I didn’t… I honestly had no idea what it was to-to like sex, or to… like a persons touch. And I remember I was about… seventeen? I think, when I really learned about things, I didn’t- I didn’t understand as much as I thought I did.

But, I went home and cried that day… and when, when I was told to go with him, I didn’t. And he never came after me when I didn’t show up, he never mentioned it, but I think… I think he knew I realized, because I remember I looked at him at breakfast the next morning and I just… I remember seeing him grabbing his work suitcase, and… I said, ‘I hope you know that I can’t look at you anymore.’ And then he looked like he was going to cry but he only nodded and said, ‘I can’t look at you anymore either.’ And I agreed.”

Baekhyun laughed watery and shook his head, “I was mad after that, I remember once, when… when- I-I tried to fight one time, and I think it’s the only time I really… I really got in trouble with him, but I told him that I… I wished he would stop, would leave me… would stop doing this to me because… because I couldn’t look at myself anymore. I sobbed, and I cried, and I begged, just this one time and I told him- I told him that I couldn’t keep doing this, that I was in pain, and -it shouldn’t be this way- that- that I wouldn’t tell anyone if he would just stop.

He didn’t stop though, I think it made him more upset. It really, it really hurt that time, I think… I think I remembered him crying too, but that didn’t make me feel any better. I told him… when I was walking out later, that… that I wanted to die, and that it was his fault, and he only told me… he told me if I did that Taeyong was still here, and that Taeyong would be upset. It wasn’t.. it wasn’t really a threat, he didn’t usually say threatening things, usually just a few insults or-or… but… but that’s what I took it as.”

“Baekhyun…” Kyungsoo mustered up, “I want to hold you, can I hold you?”

“I don’t want you to treat me… like I’m fragile, I’m not… I’m not a child, I want you to treat me normally.” Baekhyun mumbled, “You guys don’t need to… I don’t, I don’t feel gross when you touch me, I think… I think it calms me down, I think I feel better.”

Kyungsoo accepted the admission with a small smile, urging Baekhyun into his arms. Pulling the youngest sideways on his lap, Kyungsoo pressed his lips to his temple gently. “You don’t need to tell us anything else right now, honestly… I don’t think we can handle anymore, but…. if you ever, you ever want to say anything you tell us. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking to someone, if we’re busy, you pull us to the side immediately and you say whatever you want.”

“You might… you might think I’m disgusting.” Baekhyun whispered.

“Never.” Jongin murmured, fixing the blankets back down into a bed. “Never, you could never say anything to make us feel like that. You tell us whatever it is you want to say and that’s it, we won’t treat you differently, we won’t stop annoying the shit out of you.”

Baekhyun let a small laugh slip at that.

“See, you feel better, don’t you?” Chanyeol smiled and reached over to press a kiss to Baekhyun's hair, “My baby, you finally have people to tell, you look like you feel better.”

“I do.” Baekhyun agreed with a sigh. “Can we take a nap then?”

“Of course, sweet pea.” Kyungsoo smiled and pressed a daring kiss to Baekhyun's cheekbone, “Of course, and we’ll see how the weather is later, maybe we can take Taeyong hunting.”

“Maybe.” Baekhyun mumbled tired, “Taeyong… might cry.”

And the three snorted in agreement.

Chapter Text

 

 

The storm was still bad.

It still hadn’t let up, and even the short nap the group had taken didn’t seem to make time go faster.

Not that it went very fast when there was nothing to really do anyways.

A downside to the apocalypse, nothing to do.

At least Chanyeol's efforts had gotten them food because Baekhyun actually had an appetite lately, and he was slowly building up some fat.

So now Baekhyun was sitting up, constantly pushing the long sleeves of the jacket back as he dug into his bag of chips.

They hadn’t really been talking that much, just a few words back and forth, or small flirty comments, but Baekhyun could feel their gazes burning into him much more than normal, and felt their fingers linger longer than he recalled them cautiously doing before.

He didn’t really mind the extra touches or looks, at least when it was from them only. He hadn’t been dramatic when he said he felt sick to his stomach when men looked at him too long or they gave him interested smiles, it shook him up like his stomach was in a blender.

“Aish, our little soulmate is so small.” Jongin teased, reaching across for Baekhyun's arms to roll up his sleeves.

Baekhyun let his lips pout slightly, “This is Chanyeol's jacket, it’s not my fault he's a giant.”

“I’m taking that as a compliment, I could throw you over my shoulder easily, you want to try?” Chanyeol joked, wiggling his brows flirtatiously.

Baekhyun laughed quietly and looked down at his chips with blushing cheeks, letting Jongin roll up his other sleeve, his tanned fingers lingering on his wrist moments longer than he needed.

“The size differences are endearing.” Kyungsoo commented, “Even though me and you are almost the same height, I can still carry you around, baby. We need to keep you well fed.”

Baekhyun didn’t doubt his claim at all. Beneath his long sleeves and fitted turtlenecks, he swore he could picture muscles hidden beneath Kyungsoo's clothes, not to mention that the man screamed that he was no nonsense, straight to the point and strong. Maybe people were scared of him for a reason.

“I’m more hungry these days.” The youngest admitted, an embarrassed look on his face as he processed his next words, “Because my… my Hyungs are taking care of me.” He flirted lamely, he had seen people do it… but it never really appealed to him.

“You’re so cute, doll.” Jongin smiled and sat up on his knees to press a kiss to Baekhyun's temple, “You need help flirting? I flirt with you all the time, baby. You don’t notice my efforts?” He pouted playfully.

Baekhyun scrunched his pink nose up, embarrassed, “I’m not good at it, you’re good at it.”

“I think you’re just fine, sweetheart. You could insult me and it would sound like a compliment from your pretty little mouth.” Chanyeol added with a sly grin when Baekhyun's face turned magenta.

“This isn’t fair.” The youngest whined, rolling up his chips. “I’m not… I’m not good at this, don’t… don't be so good at it.”

Kyungsoo laughed beside him, fixing the bed head that was standing up on Baekhyun's temple reluctantly. He wanted to leave it because Baekhyun looked adorable puffy eyed and curls in every direction, but it gave him an excuse to touch him. “You never tried flirting with people before? We… understand now, but you’re so pretty, people didn’t ask you out very much?”

“Um.” Baekhyun did this cute expression where he widened his eyes and tilted his head when he thought about something, like a puppy, and it made his soulmates preen. “I think… a few times, yes. But I didn’t… I didn’t really like… to talk to people or… I had one friend though.”

“Yeah? A good friend?” Jongin mumbled on his package of cheese itz.

“His name was Luhan, he… he was a good person, I remember in school he always told people to leave me alone, he said it was because people were interested in me, but I-I didn’t like it. Luhan never asked, and I never said anything… but I think- I think to a certain degree he knew.” Baekhyun admitted quietly.

“Oh, I’m sure lots of people wanted to take you on a date, but you’re our little moon now, hm? So pretty, so sweet. You don’t need to worry about anyone looking at you but us, Kyungsoo has a scary glare.” Chanyeol said gently, laughing at Kyungsoo's nod and approving smile.

Baekhyun giggled so cutely their eyes couldn’t leave him. “I wish I was as good at- at-uh complimenting and flirting just because, because I want to-to make you guys feel… happy too.”

“You make us very happy, just looking at you makes me happy.” Jongin admitted genuinely, “Plus, half the art of flirting is just telling the truth, let’s try it, hm? Go ahead, beautiful.”

“Oh… I-uh- I don’t think…” Baekhyun flustered, pausing at a rather loud lightning strike that made him jump into Kyungsoo's side. “I’m not… I just…”

“Then what did people say to you? I’m curious, did people get to see your pretty little blush.” Chanyeol said, sounding envious even though they were speaking about years ago.

Baekhyun smiled softly and shook his head, “I think… they probably only saw me running away. But, sometimes it was nice… this-this kid a year older than me asked me to a school dance and I-I felt bad running away because I heard he had a big crush on me, but I couldn’t… people thought I was really shy, but I just didn’t I didn’t feel a need to try and socialize or… talk because making friends means… means learning about each other and I didnt- I didnt need more things to worry about.”

“I would’ve cried too.” Kyungsoo teased, pressing his head onto Baekhyun's, “I was a huge nerd in school though, so I wouldn’t have had the guts to talk to you anyways.” He admitted.

“You don’t… look like it.” Baekhyun said with a cute confused look, “I mean, I would picture you… a part of the popular boys, because… you’re so… good looking.”

Kyungsoo beamed at the compliment, “I think you’re the best looking, baby. But that was more of Jongin and Chanyeol's style.”

“Hyung was a nerd.” Jongin chortled to himself, “We were neighbors, the three of us, so we went to school together, well somewhat because Yeol Hyung only was in the same schools as us for a while since he’s three years older than me.”

Baekhyun furrowed his brows. “So… you’ve known each other this long? How’d you… Jongin mentioned that you guys knew you guys weren’t soulmates, how? What if… what if I really am just the platonic… extra soulmate?” He felt a pang of hurt at the thought, but the three older ones looked much more upset.

“It’s not possible.” Chanyeol disagreed immediately. “I’ll explain. So… soulmates are supposed to… have a certain feeling right? A pull if you will?”

Baekhyun nodded minisculely and saw the three smile at confirming he had the feelings too. “Comfort… like a… blanket?” The youngest ducked his head shyly at his own admission.

“Definitely.” Chanyeol agreed with a wide grin, “But also… like… you’re a beacon, we’re drawn in, and you don’t give us the same feelings we get from each other. With each other it’s nice, it’s like an unbreakable trust, a friendship. But… we don’t want to be… close to each other like we do you.”

“What do you mean?” Baekhyun chewed his lip, confused.

“He means we don’t… want to hold each other's hands, we don’t feel attracted to each other like we do to you. You’re like… the centerpiece, sweetheart. I can tell you right now I definitely don’t want to kiss them like I want so badly to kiss you, I don’t want to hold them and treat them like I do you.” Jongin admitted with a pretty smile as he watched Baekhyun's face turn into disbelief.

“Been there, I can agree I do not want to kiss either of them.” Kyungsoo added quietly, “Got dared to kiss Chanyeol at a party once, we’re all positive it’s not each other.”

“Oh.” Baekhyun laughed quietly and ran his tongue across his pink lips, chewing gently at them. “That’s… I feel better now?”

“If just telling you we didn’t want to kiss each other makes you happy, want me to tell you how much I want to kiss you, pretty?” Chanyeol flirted gently, sitting up on his knees making Baekhyun have to tear his eyes away from the rippling muscle of his torso.

“You don’t… you don’t want to do that, I won’t… be any good, I’m gross… let’s not…” Baekhyun trailed off, his eyes on Chanyeol's mouth not really convincing that he didn’t want to- because he did.

Kyungsoo sighed in his ear, pressing closed mouth kisses to Baekhyun's cheek. “You’re not gross, to us, you’re not gross. Never, Baekhyun.”

“I… haven’t… I don’t think I've ever had a kiss… one time I-uh…”

“Remember what we said, baby, if you have something you want to say, you can say it. If we… if you talk about it, maybe it can help you, sweetheart.” Jongin said softly, “Nothing you say can make us not want to kiss all over your pretty face.”

Baekhyun let out a quiet laugh and placed his hand on his cheek, “Okay.” He murmured, “I just wanted to say… that… I-uh- I was kissed the day… the day the creatures started… so like a year and a half ago?

Me and Taeyong, we were locked up in our house and… Dad came back. I had put Taeyong to sleep, pretending things were normal and I watched the news. I explained to my him that we needed to start figuring out what to do that night, but he… he either didn’t care or he was just- he was trying to act like things were okay, but I was scared.

That’s all I had left, my first kiss, it was all I had, but… he-he wanted to take it from me, he did. And I screamed and I can barely remember what happened, but he… had a gun in his desk, and as he was trying to convince me… that-that everything was staying the same I shot him, I killed him. He wasn’t a creature and I killed him, I don’t… it was time, it was just time for it to be over.”

“We’ve all killed people, Baekhyun. People, not walkers.” Kyungsoo said gently, “And your reasoning is way better than any of ours, it doesn’t change how we look at you, you’re still the same. Truthfully, it’s good you did that because.. because we’d have killed him the moment we heard about it.”

“But… I never got an explanation, a reason why… he did that to me.” Baekhyun responded quietly, not upset, more confused. “He needed a reason to have done that to me for so long.”

“But would it have changed anything, Baekhyun?” Jongin asked calmly, “Would it have made you feel better? Would it have helped you form relationships, help you forget?”

Baekhyun sighed and shook his head, “No, no, it wouldn’t have. But… don’t … don’t I deserve at least an explanation?”

Chanyeol frowned and placed his hand on Baekhyun's leg, “We’re sorry, sweetheart, you do. We wish there was an explanation, but sometimes people are just… They're sick, and even before walkers people were like that. You just need to remember that it wasn’t your fault, and anytime you feel upset… you tell us and we will always tell you that it’s not your fault, that we want to love you and help you learn.” Baekhyun wouldn’t get over those memories, and even though Chanyeol so badly wanted to say they could help him forget them, he didn’t want to give out false promises, but he would still try.

“I want to… make better memories.” Baekhyun whispered quietly, “I don’t want to… get sick everytime I think someone stares too long, or… or pass out when someone compliments me a bit too flirtatiously.”

“If someone does you come tell us and we’ll go beat them up.” Jongin said playfully, but the glint in his eye was possessive. “Nobody can flirt with you but us, you like that don’t you? If you don’t like something someone says to you, you come tell us.”

“I like it when you guys say it.” The youngest said with an embarrassed glance, “I like… when you guys say I’m nice looking… and… when you hold me… or pick me up and tell me nice things, I don’t feel bad.”

“First of all, Chanyeol stop manhandling him, I know for a fact me and Jongin haven’t picked him up so it must be you.” Kyungsoo ordered, “And secondly, then we won’t stop telling you nice things, babe. And even if we do or say something that makes you uncomfortable, if you tell us we won’t be upset.”

“He just said he likes it, Soo.” Chanyeol rolled his eyes with an annoyed scoff.

Kyungsoo glared at him through his hair.

“I want…. to be kissed.” Baekhyun's shy admission broke the twos jealous staring contest.

Chanyeol smirked and pushed Jongin's shoulder when the younger smiled and went to move closer, “I’m oldest, what I say goes.”

The other two rolled their eyes.

“You don’t… have to.” Baekhyun added, as if kissing him would be a chore.

“Didn’t I just tell you how much I’m dying to kiss you, little moon?” Chanyeol laughed and moved to sit beside Baekhyun, facing him, eyeing his pretty bitten red lips.

Baekhyun laughed and brushed his hair out of his face nervously, “I don’t… I probably won’t be any good.”

“Oh, god, just kiss him before my heart stops.” Jongin whined dramatically, leaning back on his elbows and looking at the two through his long black hair.

Chanyeol smiled gently and cupped Baekhyun's jaw, angling his head how he wanted before surging forward and pressing a gentle kiss to his mouth, more than a peck, but not overwhelming as he only left his mouth in place against the others, feeling Baekhyun let out a nervous breath into his mouth.

The elder smiled and turned his head at a different angle to pull Baekhyun's top lip between his gently, a small noise sounding as he released it to do the same to his bottom lip. It was all chaste, never using his tongue to pry open the youngers mouth even though he wanted to so badly, to taste him.

But Baekhyun licked and chewed his lips so nervously throughout the days that Chanyeol could taste him through the small amount of saliva on his lips, and he felt so, so protective of the younger man. Baekhyun was so sweet, so cute as his hand came up to rest on Chanyeol's bare shoulder, his nose brushing Chanyeol's as he tried to figure out how to copy him.

Reluctantly, Chanyeol sat back, pressing one last kiss to Baekhyun's mouth. “Good first kiss?” They would pretend it was Baekhyun's first, because it deserved to be.

The way Baekhyun blushed immediately and licked off his mouth as if trying to search for Chanyeol's again made the eldest overwhelmingly soft. “Yes.” He whispered breathlessly.

Chanyeol smiled and pressed a chaste kiss to the center of Baekhyun's forehead. “I’m really happy.”

“God, you’re so cute.” Jongin mumbled in disbelief, “Hyung kissed you, so now you need to watch out because it's only fair to share.”

Baekhyun threw his head back in a laugh as Kyungsoo hummed an agreement and pressed a sly kiss to his jaw.

“He’s really good too, he’ll learn fast.” Chanyeol added to the red on the youngests face just because he found the sight adorable.

“Liar, I have no idea what I’m doing!” Baekhyun called out with loud laughter, “I was probably horrible and you just don’t want to tell me-“

He was cut off by a pair of plump lips attaching to his, his mouth parted open since he was mid sentence when Kyungsoo grabbed his chin.

He let a surprise noise fall from his mouth as his hands moved to curl into Kyungsoo's sweater.

It was different from Kyungsoo. With Chanyeol it was overwhelmingly sweet, a softness and protectiveness only the eldest could convey, but Kyungsoo… he was gentle, but not as soft as Chanyeol. His kiss was almost nervous as if afraid he had scared Baekhyun.

Kyungsoo didn’t. Of course he didn’t, as soon as Baekhyun realized what was happening his eyes were closing as he let a small smile fall onto his lips when Kyungsoo pressed a gentle kiss to the curve of his smile, a tiny swipe of a tongue on Baekhyun's bottom lip had him making a noise he’d never heard before from his mouth, like a whine, one of need.

Baekhyun mused if this was what the students in his class talked about, if this was arousal? But he didn’t feel like he necessarily wanted to have sex… but he felt safe, was this love then? It was impossible.

But it felt an awfully lot like it as Kyungsoo pulled away with an equally happy smile on his face, “Chanyeol Hyung is right, very good.”

And, for once, Baekhyun thought he could fall in love with them.

Maybe it would be a long time, or, it could be tomorrow, but he knew they had time, at least for now they did.

Chapter Text

 

 

The sound of a car alarm was not the best thing to wake up to.

Especially when they had slept soundly, Taeyong curled up at his stomach and Kyungsoo's soft breath fanning his forehead and Jongin's and Chanyeol's warmth mixed up around him.

At the growing loudness in the distance, Chanyeol jumped up as did everyone else, the eldest reaching for his gun that was tucked under his pillow.

“What the fuck is that?” Jongin grunted, digging his nose into the hair at the nape of Baekhyun's neck.

Baekhyun hummed an annoyed sound, hand moving to cover Taeyongs ear even though the child was hard to get up.

“We’ll go check it out.” Kyungsoo murmured before leaning up and pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's mouth, hand brushing his crazy hair behind his ear. “You want to come?”

Not much has changed, only this.

A few days ago when he had shared a kiss with both Kyungsoo and Chanyeol had spurred the two into kissing fiends, always taking their time to press kisses onto his mouth whether in public or not.

But Jongin still hadn’t, and Baekhyun was growing slightly confused with the man's reluctance when he was the most flirtatious of them, and that hadn’t changed.

“Yeah.” Baekhyun mumbled with swollen eyes, moving to sit up groggily, moving his own blanket onto Taeyong.

God, he really needed to set the kid a bedtime again, he couldn’t have Taeyong not be alert at times like this, but also he was a kid, there wasn’t much he could do anyways. Chanyeol promised to show him to shoot though, and that made him happier.

“Here, baby.” Jongin said tiredly, offering a jacket to Baekhyun who accepted it and then turned to curl himself into Chanyeol's side as he slid on his shoes.

“My little leech, hm?” The eldest teased, his gun in his waistband of his sweatpants as he pulled Baekhyun from the tent with a kiss on his forehead.

Baekhyun only nodded tiredly, squinting at the early morning brightness as they walked towards the noise.

Yifan was already standing on the edge of camp, arms crossed and his gun dangling from his hand. “I swear, I’m gonna kill them.”

“You think it’s Hyungs?” Kyungsoo yawned and ran his fingers through his hair.

“Who else? They were supposed to be back within fifteen days, it’s been thirteen, close enough.” The leader explained. “Dumbasses I swear.”

“Your soulmate is one of them.” Jongin pointed out with a laugh.

Yifan turned around with a passive expression, “I said what I said.”

The group snorted at him and Baekhyun stared at Yifan confused. “That’s not nice.”

Chanyeol chuckled and leaned down to press his chin on Baekhyun's head, “Him and Yixing have been together forever, he’s only playing.”

“Am I?” Yifan grumbled, “I knew I should’ve made him stay here.”

Baekhyun cringed as the horn of the car started to go off and he heard people’s tent doors flapping open behind them at the ruckus. He brought his hands up to cover his ears and turned to press his cheek to Kyungsoo's collarbone. “Loud.”

Kyungsoo frowned and wrapped his arms around him, pressing a soft kiss to his hair and covering his ears with both of his hands over Baekhyun's.

The car was going fast, swerving up the hill, the alarm blaring the whole time.

Yifan curled his mouth in annoyance as he noticed a large packing truck following, no sounding coming from it.

The sports car with loud noises coming from it stopped in front of the group and the leader immediately jumped down in anger. “You dumbasses! You trying to get us found!”

The driver popped the hood and Sehun immediately cut the alarm line and everyone in camp relaxed.

“Hoseok, what the fuck were you thinking?” Yifan cried as the second vehicle pulled up behind the first silently, “God, what the fuck!”

“Chill, Fan.” A dimpled man cooed sweetly, walking fast from the second car to wrap an arm around Yifan. “It’s cool, right?”

Baekhyun looked at the men confused as they poured out of the cars, he knew names based on the two weeks or more he'd been here, he just didn’t know where they belonged. It was obvious who Yixing was though.

“Yoongi Hyung!” Jimin cried before running over and throwing himself at his soulmate. Baekhyun always thought Jimin was cute, despite flirting with anything that moved.

He mainly talked to him and Jungkook, a younger teen that hadn’t met his soulmate yet, he was quiet.

“That is Junmyeon, the other leader.” Jongin murmured, pointing to a shorter man standing beside a man with cat-like eyes who both beamed at Chanyeol as he walked over to them, large form towering. “And his soulmate Minseok, they're both very nice.”

“And Hoseok and Yoongi mainly hangout around Namjoon, Seokjin, and Jimin.” Kyungsoo added into Baekhyun's hair.

“And Jungkook?” Baekhyun wondered.

“Our baby, so observant.” Jongin flirted playfully, pressing a kiss to his temple as Baekhyun stared at Chanyeol's back, flushing in embarrassment when Chanyeol turned to point at them with a wide grin.

Suddenly, Baekhyun heard a familiar distressed huff and spun around. “Hyung! Hyung!”

He felt momentary fear as he saw Taeyong stumble out of the tent, face went with tears, causing everyone to look at the kid as he ran towards them barefoot.

Baekhyun frowned and dropped down to put his arms out for Taeyong. “Hey, we’re right here, Hyung is here, bug.”

Taeyong calmed down immediately, nodding and pressing his chin to Baekhyun's shoulder. “You weren’t there.”

“The others came back, you were sleeping so we thought you wouldn’t wake up. We scared you, we’re sorry, Taeyongie.” Jongin whispered, reaching down to pick up the kid.

Baekhyun always teased him and Chanyeol for picking up Taeyong so much. He had only just turned twelve, and he was small, but he was growing like a weed so soon he wouldn’t want them to be treating him like a kid so much- even if he was a kid. He did have to grow up fast though, even if Baekhyun didn’t want him to.

“Nini Hyung, I was by myself, the walkers could have gotten me.” Taeyong explained his tears, wiping his face with his sleeve.

“And that’s why Hyungs are going to show you to fight.” Kyungsoo said gently, “Sunmi is going to show all the young ones to fight starting today, and everyday, so you should go eat up, bear.”

Taeyong stuck his lip out and nodded, leaning into Jongin's chest like a child even though he was always adamant he wasn’t.

Baekhyun would be lying if he said he wasn’t jealous Taeyong let his soulmates baby him, but whined if Baekhyun did, maybe he had a childlike admiration for them, Baekhyun couldn’t blame him if he did.

He had very much accepted he really liked his soulmates, liked a lot at the max- he wouldn’t admit anything more at this point- not unless he was completely sure.

“Baby!” He snapped his eyes to look at Chanyeol beckoning him over, looking away from where Jongin was walking off with Taeyong.

Baekhyun looked over at Kyungsoo and saw him talking to Yifan, looking deep in thought and dug his hands into his huge hoodie pocket as he stumbled over. Probably looking a mess having woken up not so long ago and drowning in clothes too big, but Chanyeol still looked at him as if he was the prettiest sight he had seen all day.

“My baby.” Chanyeol added to his embarrassment with a hand out towards him, that he accepted quickly, only to be pulled into his soulmates hard chest. “This is Baekhyun, our soulmate.”

“You look much too nice to be with them.” Junmyeon snorted and looked him over as if calculating. “But I’m glad to finally meet you, they’ve been waiting forever.”

Baekhyun felt slightly guilty at the words and nodded, backing up and pressing himself into Chanyeol's chest because he knew it made the elder happy. “I’ve heard about you too, you guys were getting supplies?”

“Oh fuck, that reminds me.” Minseok cursed and went to the back of the truck, pulling up the back. “The place we usually raid, it's surprisingly empty, like… we didn’t see any walkers at all.”

“What?” Chanyeol sounded so confused Baekhyun looked up at him. “Usually it’s packed.”

“Right?” Junmyeon muttered, “Hopefully… they're not working their way here, but I mean… they probably ran out of food, they’re animals.” He shook his head.

“They’re people.” Someone argued and Baekhyun looked over his shoulder, he hadn’t spoken to everyone, but he prides himself in knowing most of their names, and he had noticed not many people spoke to Jinhyuk, maybe this was why. “They’re still people.”

“Say that when they’re munching your face off.” Minseok argued, “You’ve never been out of camp, Jinhyuk, you have no idea.”

“See, that’s the problem these days, none of you guys treat them like people! Maybe they wouldn’t be so-“

“Have you ever even seen them up close?” Baekhyun surprised himself, and even more so the audience. “Try to say they’re people still when they’re ripping you apart and getting up from death. I’ve seen walkers stabbed in the chest get up like it’s nothing, can you survive that? Can you get shot a million times and still walk away safely?”

Baekhyun saw a vaguely impressed look on Yifans face as Jinhyuk huffed and walked back to camp, then felt proud as Chanyeol reached down to intertwine their fingers.

“Didn’t picture you as the confrontational type.” Junmyeon commented with a smile.

“Us either.” Chanyeol said happily, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's mouth. “Full of surprises, Baekhyun.”

~~~~~~~

Baekhyun turned to Taeyong and his small group of friends, biting off his jerky stick. “You guys stay within view of the others, I'll be right back.”

“Yes, Hyung.” Mark said with a cute smile, continuing digging in the dirt.

“You too.” Namjoon called on watch on top of the RV. “Stay within shouting distance.”

“Yes, Hyung!” Baekhyun mimicked the kids, spinning on his heels and grabbing a red plastic bucket from the ground.

He smiled and nodded to the women at the edge of the river and continued into the forest. A few days ago Sehun had pointed out a bush of berries he wasn’t sure was poisonous or not, and Baekhyun was pretty good at telling fruits apart.

The perks of not having had many friends was that he had a lot of time to learn things once considered useless.

Baekhyun spotted the bush of berries and smiled, there was a lot, the kids would love them, maybe even Jisung could get his first taste. He laughed quietly before kneeling down and picking the fruit off, they were only raspberries, they were harmless.

He hummed to himself and didn’t notice the footsteps walking up behind him until a hand curled around his hip and he jumped around, letting out a scared cry before making an angry face and hitting the other in the shoulder gently.

“You scared me!” Baekhyun whined, pressing his forehead to Jongin's shoulder.

The other laughed and pressed a kiss to Baekhyun's hair, “I’m sorry, baby, I thought you heard me. What are you doing all the way out here?”

Baekhyun lit up at the reminder and turned to grab a berry from the bucket, “Raspberries, the kids will go crazy.” He cooed, offering the berry as he stood up.

Jongin smiled radiantly and stepped closer, pressing his chest up against Baekhyun's, “Feed me, love.” He requested playfully.

The younger laughed and held the berry up to Jongin's mouth, his fingertips brushing the elders plump lip as if amazed before blushing and realizing what he was doing.

Jongin smirked and hurriedly ate the berry before cupping the back of Baekhyun's hair, pressing his nose to Baekhyun's. “You can touch me all you want, sweetheart, however you want, whenever you want, I’m yours.” He prompted.

Baekhyun licked his mouth, looking around Jongin's face. “How… why haven’t you kissed me yet?” He couldn’t stop himself from asking.

“You can kiss me whenever you want, you want Hyung to kiss you, my little baby?” Jongin smiled and ran his thumb across Baekhyun's soft cheek. “You want a kiss?”

The younger sucked his bottom lip between his teeth as he nodded, “Hyung, I want you to kiss me.”

Jongin preened and leaned forward to press his mouth to Baekhyun's, his tongue immediately searching Baekhyun's making the younger gasp and open his mouth up for Jongin, never having been kissed like this before.

Jongin kissed like his personality. Seductively, flirtatiously, but carefully. He paused every few moments and gave Baekhyun a chance to try and replicate his action, and Baekhyun only shyly ran his tongue across the elders as if afraid before making soft whines to spur Jongin into kissing him dominantly again.

“You taste so good, doll.” Jongin said, a panting in his voice as he pulled away to press his plump mouth to the corner of Baekhyun's as the smaller panted, brushing the hair from his soulmates cheek softly.

Baekhyun laughed and licked the combined combination of their saliva from his swollen mouth. “I like kissing.”

“Yeah?” Jongin smiled and pressed his mouth to Baekhyun's hair, “We like kissing you, kiss you whenever you want baby.” He teased, pressing pecks happily around Baekhyun's face just to see him laugh.

“You.. Hyung!” Baekhyun giggled and grabbed Jongin's cheeks and the elder smiled, elated. “You can… kiss me whenever you want too.”

“I’ll never stop!”

And Baekhyun felt tears from laughing so hard building up as Jongin pressed sweet kisses to his skin.

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun smiled and laughed quietly at the kids covering their fingers and faces in berries and running around.

He and Jongin had gone and picked more, having gotten two buckets full of berries and let the kids have at one, little hands digging through it.

“You can tell plants apart?” Sunmi asked sweetly, “We really needed someone like you to be able to do that- there’s so many plants here we don’t know.”

Baekhyun laughed and scratched his arm at all the attention, glancing up at his soulmates talking across the camp. “I’m okay… I only know a few, usually poisoned plants have three leaflets on them, like poison ivy.”

The group looked vaguely impressed.

“I tried studying them, I got bored after page three.” Chaeyoung said softly, making the group laugh.

Baekhyun nodded and reached over to help her fold some of the laundry.

“Oh, you don’t have too, it’s okay.” She said quietly.

“It’s fine, you all wash the laundry in the river? I’m sorry, I haven’t been doing much lately, but I’ll start joining you guys.” Baekhyun brushed her off.

“Don’t worry about it, handsome.” Hyuna bounced Jisung on his lap, feeding him some berries, “You didn’t look so well when you first got here, Taeyong is a joy to have around, so we were mainly curious how you were.”

“Oh, he’s sweet.” Sunmi giggled and twirled her knife in her fingers, “Watch, as soon as one of his soulmates comes over, they’ll be all heart eyes and sugar, even Kyungsoo.”

“Unbelievable.” Hyuna laughed, “Kyungsoo doesn’t like anyone, I’ve seen him glare at everyone here at least once. You’re really easing them up.”

Baekhyun laughed and reached over to place the folded clothes into Chaeyoung’s basket. “Chanyeol and Jongin act the same as they did when I got here.”

“Oh god no.” Sunmi groaned, “Chanyeol literally took watch every night because he had nothing else to do, I’ve never seen him happier than when he sees you. And Jongin usually only smiled and waved, now he walks around with a pretty grin and all perky.”

“Really?” Baekhyun mumbled with reddened ears. “But the first thing that came out of his mouth was… was flirting.”

“Ah, the perks of soulmates, attracted immediately, I can’t wait.” Sunmi giggled.

Baekhyun laughed with a happy smile before turning around at footsteps, expecting to see his soulmates, but quickly frowned at the unfamiliar man.

“Chaeyoung, time to go.” The man ordered.

Baekhyun felt his fingers curling into his hoodie at the man's tone and at how silent Chaeyoung had gotten.

“Now, girl. Get your kids too.”

Chaeyoung’s hands shook so bad that Baekhyun reached over to help her toss the folded clothes into the basket, “I got it, it’s okay.”

“Don’t be doing a girls job.” The man growled, Baekhyun frowned at the grip he noticed on the back of Chaeyoung’s shirt. “Although, you’re quite nice looking, boy.”

Baekhyun's spine popped from how quickly he sat up, wanting to respond, but unable to find the words as he watched Chaeyoung obediently walk off with him.

“He… he treats his soulmate like that?” Baekhyun gawked quietly.

“They’re not soulmates.” Sunmi sighed, “She lost her soulmate, Mark and Lucas are her soulmates, not Seokmin’s. She’s never mentioned it… but we don’t think he’s very good to her behind closed doors either, but he doesn’t really come out much.”

Baekhyun couldn't really stomach what he was hearing, but he nodded and dug his nails into his palms.

“Oh, tell me about it, Hyojong wants to slaughter him, but he has no proof.” Hyuna commented, mentioning the soulmate Baekhyun had seen carrying Jisung around.

“My boys will… they’ll be so mad if they hear about something happening.”

“Your boys, huh? What are we talking about baby?”

Baekhyun felt his ears burn as Kyungsoo wrapped arms around his shoulders from behind, resting his chin on the youngers head.

“Oh, nothing to worry about Kyungsoo. Your soulmate is just so cute, how do you handle it?” Hyuna smirked and sent Baekhyun a wink.

Kyungsoo laughed deeply, “Trust me, we haven’t learned how yet.”

Chapter Text

 

 

“Hyung! Hyung!”

Baekhyun dropped the plate in his hand extremely quickly, taking off towards the forest.

He heard a lot of people following him, but only focused on the children’s crying and screaming as he ran through the trees.

Baekhyun dropped to his knees and grabbed Mark and Taeyong around their legs, pulling both into his arms. “Did you get scratched? Did you guys get bit?”

He saw a bunch of the men running past the two kids and could hear the lewd sounds of the creatures groaning.

“Hyung.” Mark cried, wrapping his arms around Baekhyun's neck.

Baekhyun sighed and pressed his lips to both of their faces quickly, “Go back to camp, we will talk later.”

“Wanted to get more berries, Hyung.” Taeyong added, tears on his face as Baekhyun stood up.

“Go, we’re going to talk later, go find one of the others at camp, maybe you can play in the RV.” The elder added, urging the two over.

He watched them run up the hill and saw Sehun nod at him from the top, letting Baekhyun know he had them.

Baekhyun turned on his heel, digging in his jean pocket for his knife and walking over to the circle of men.

It looked like the creature had been feasting on a deer, the deer's body laid out and intestines sprees over the forest floor.

“They never make it up the hill.” Yifan said, confused as he kicked at the walkers body, the head rolled out a few feet away.

Baekhyun jumped when he noticed the mouth still chomping and then curled his mouth in disgust. “You gotta go for the head.” He whispered, kneeling down and stabbing the creature in the back of the head, using his foot to hold the skull down as he retracted his knife.

“Ugh, let’s not get so close, you’re giving me anxiety.” Chanyeol commented, wrapping his long fingers around Baekhyun's hood.

“They’re running out of food.” Minseok said, “Jun and I noticed in town there weren’t any, or there were barely any.”

“Fuck.” Seokjin chewed his mouth and sighed, “I’m gonna go tell Hoseok and Yoongi to fuck with the RV and get it running, if we have that and then the other cars it should be enough if we pack everyone in, but we’ll have to leave supplies behind.”

Baekhyun sighed and reached for Chanyeol's hand, fingers intertwining with the larger man’s as the group separated. “Taeyong is in so much shit.”

His soulmate laughed and pressed a kiss to Baekhyun's cheek. “Don’t be too hard on him, he wants to be like you.”

“I told him to stay within eyesight and first thing he does is run off, he’s going to get killed, Yeol.” Baekhyun said quietly, pressing his cheek to Chanyeol's arm.

The larger sighed and pulled Baekhyun under his arm, “We will make sure he can fight, he’ll learn.”

“We?” Baekhyun wondered with a soft smile, “It’s ‘we’ now?”

Chanyeol snorted and stopped to cup Baekhyun's face, neck angled down and Baekhyun wondered if it was uncomfortable for him, their size differences were really too much, even with Kyungsoo he looked so small. “Of course, we’re a team.”

“I used to tell Taeyong we were a team.” Baekhyun said with a small smile, fingers curling into the edge of Chanyeol's shirt.

The elder hummed and pressed his mouth to Baekhyun's nose and then a chaste kiss to his mouth, “Now it’s all of us.” He pressed his forehead to Baekhyuns and smiled when Baekhyun leaned up shyly for another kiss. “Right, my love?”

“Right.” The younger murmured, his hands moving to rest on Chanyeol's chest as Chanyeol pressed soft pecks to his mouth.

Baekhyun pouted slightly when Chanyeol pulled away, standing on his tiptoes, “More.” He requested almost silently, surprising Chanyeol.

The elder beamed and wrapped his arms around Baekhyun's waist, relishing the size difference as both his hands covered so much of Baekhyun's small form as he picked him up, moving to press the smaller against a tree. “You like me this much?”

The younger let a soft noise fall from his mouth, eyes widening in surprise as his back pressed up against the oak of a tree, not uncomfortably, just for support. “Yes.”

Chanyeol hummed happily, trailing his nose down Baekhyun's cheek. “Yes? That’s it?”

Baekhyun laughed quietly, muffled as Chanyeol pressed a kiss to his mouth. “You make me… I feel safer when I’m with you guys.”

“We’d never let anyone hurt you and get away with it.” Chanyeol said seriously, his hands moving to hold Baekhyun's hips up, “You’re uncomfortable, we stop. If you’re upset, so are we. You should never be scared, not when you’re with us.”

“I was always scared.” Baekhyun whispered under his breath, eyes searching Chanyeol’s. “What if I wasn’t home and he got back early? What if Taeyong walked home and I wasn’t there? I think… those feelings are scarier than even these monsters that are here now.”

“I’m sure they were.” Chanyeol said softly, pressing a kiss to the corner of Baekhyun's eye when he looked tearful, “But you don’t need to worry like that now, nobody is going to touch you in a way you don’t like, nobody will touch Taeyong.”

“P-promise?” Baekhyun stuttered, tears falling down the curve of his cheek. “I don’t… I don’t like to be trapped, I don’t like… noises like… bad noises, I can't- I can't think sometimes, I can’t look in mirrors too long… I’m a lot of work, but-but I want you to take care of me so badly… don’t… don't give up on me.”

“Oh, my moon.” Chanyeol felt his hands trembling as he moved one to Baekhyun's cheek, running his thumb over the corner of Baekhyun's mouth. “I promise you, I promise, Baekhyun. God, I love you, you don’t need to say anything back, but I want you to know that I love you so much, and I love Taeyong. And we would never let you go through that again.”

“C-chanyeol.” Baekhyun cried out, fingers curling into Chanyeol's collar and pressing his cheek to Chanyeol's. “I’m sorry… I’m sorry, I’m fucked up. I can’t- I can’t.”

“Shhhh.” The elder purred comfortingly, holding the back of Baekhyun's head to his face. “You’re not, you’re not fucked up at all. I love you.”

“I-I can’t Chanyeol, it makes me sick, it makes me sick.”

“What, sweetheart? What makes you sick, baby? That I love you. I do, so much.” Chanyeol admitted softly, pressing a gentle kiss to Baekhyun's ear.

“No.” Baekhyun could taste salty tears on his mouth, “I might… I want to love so bad, but… I can’t trust… I can’t-can't love, I don’t even know… I don’t know if I could ever, ever do anything with any of you guys. I never even thought… never thought I’d ask to be kissed.”

“Just holding you, like this, it’s enough, Baekhyun. None of us will ever ask you for more. And if… if you ever decide you want to try, then you do what you want- we won’t make you or tell you to do anything. It’s all you, it’s only what you want, but we have so much time, we have time, Baekhyun. Don’t worry, don’t be so afraid. Holding you, kissing you, just seeing you is enough- it’s always enough.” Chanyeol cooed, cupping Baekhyun's jaw and pulling him from his hiding place in his cheek. “You don’t have to love me, but I love you and that means I’m going to take care of you, baby.”

“I want… want to love you so badly.” Baekhyun sobbed, Chanyeol wiped his nose onto his own sleeve gently, heart panging at his tiny soulmates crying. “I want… you to kiss me now.”

So Chanyeol did, immediately, his heart hurting and also beating fast as Baekhyun's fingers curled into his hair, and the other tightened into his collar, afraid.

~~~~~~~~

“Okay, what’d you get?” Kyungsoo cooed at Taeyong who stood on a rock, a fishing net in his hand.

Taeyong beamed and pulled up the net before frowning, “Nothing, Hyung. I think… I’m not good at it.”

“Yeah. Being all rude, staying submerged. Little suckers, they know something's up.” Kyungsoo smiled as he saw Taeyong laughing, “That's what's going on. Just going to have to do this the old-fashioned way.”

The child laughed and jumped from his place, “What do we do!”

The older man smiled and kneeled down into the water, “All right, little man, look. You are the… you are the key in all this, okay? All I'm gonna do is go after one of them, scare the rest of them off. They're all gonna scatter and they’re going to run to you.”

“And then frog legs for dinner, gross!” Taeyong stuck his tongue out.

Kyungsoo snorted, “Hell yeah. Give me your mean face.” He demanded, scrunching up his face.

Taeyong giggled and frowned his face, making Kyungsoo laugh, “Yes, my little man. Are you ready?”

“Yes, Hyung!”

Kyungsoo laughed and began jumping in the water, splashing obnoxiously, “Here we go, Tae. Here we go.

All right, they're coming your way. They're coming your way. Go on.”

Taeyong laughed loudly, echoing across the pond to where Baekhyun sat watching.

“Get them, get them. They're coming your way, come on. Catch the frogs. Catch those frogs. They're coming, little man!” Kyungsoo laughed as Taeyong dropped the net in his fit of laughter. “Ah, now you laugh at Hyung! Rude!”

Taeyong squealed as Kyungsoo picked him up and pulled him into the water, “Hyung, Hyung!” He squirmed and laughed loudly.

Kyungsoo beamed at the noise, playfully holding him to his chest. “I caught the frog, Taeyongie, you were too slow!”

Baekhyun smiled fondly at the two playing in the pond before turning back to wash laundry at his feet, piles of his, Taeyongs, and the boys clothes, not that it really mattered whose it was these days.

Sunmi had come by a bit ago to ask if he needed things washed, but that was unfair to not even do his own, so he packed up all the clothes quickly and followed her down to the pond.

“You got good soulmates, huh? Wish I had a man.” Sunmi commented wistfully.

Baekhyun's cheeks pinkend, “Yeah, they're really… they're great.”

“Wait till I get a good man, we can have them rival each other.” Sunmi snorted when Hyuna pushed her arm.

“Me too.” Chaeyoung added softly.

The group laughed and Hyuna reached over to pinch her cheek.

“What's so funny?” Seokmin’s nasally voice commented, standing behind the group.

“Problem, Seokmin?” Hyuna asked, dropping the shirt in her hand back into her basket.

Seokmin curled his mouth up as he took a drag of his cigarette, “Nothing that concerns you. And you ought to focus on your work. This ain't no comedy club.”

“Excuse me?” Sunmi gawked and Baekhyun looked up in disbelief, “All you do is sit on your ass, leave us the hell alone.”

“Well, I sure as hell ain't listening to some uppity smart-mouthed bitch. Tell you what… come on. Let's go.” Seokmin ordered, looking at Chaeyoung.

“I don't think she needs to go anywhere with you.” Baekhyun said softly, moving to stand up in front of Chaeyoung, brows furrowed.

Seokmin laughed and looked over the small man, “You can take her place, pretty boy.”

Chaeyoung gasped and curled hands into Baekhyun's shirt, “Baekhyun, please. It doesn't matter.”

“Stay out of this.” Seokmin growled, “I’m done with you bitch, let me talk to the boy, come on, give your Hyung a show.”

Baekhyun felt his skin goosebump up and his stomach churn as the older man reached out to grab his wrist tightly, it felt as if his palm was burning through his sweaters sleeve.

“Don’t touch him!” Hyuna demanded, “I’m going to get his soulmates!” She threatened, noticing Kyungsoo had taken off with Taeyong.

“Get off him!” Sunmi yelled, pushing at Seokmin’s shoulder as he pulled Baekhyun's arm, but the man was larger, fatter and heavier.

“Come on, you look like you could take it.” Seokmin growled.

Baekhyun felt his mouth drying up, “No!” His voice cracked even with the small exclamation and he reached out and pushed Seokmin’s shoulders.

“You son of a bitch!” Seokmin yelled, his hand moving faster than Baekhyun processed and hitting him in the cheek. He felt his cheek burning and licked over the cut on his lip from it hitting his tooth.

Baekhyun stared at the sand in disbelief for a second before he felt Seokmin release his sweater and looked up.

“Don’t fucking touch him!” Jongin screamed and grabbed Seokmin by his shirt, pulling him to the ground and pummeling his face.

“I’m sorry!” Chaeyoung yelled into the back of Baekhyun's shirt, “I’m sorry.”

Baekhyun only brought his hand to his mouth in shock, his fingertip coming back bloodied. His cheek was already bruising, he could feel the blood settling.

“Don’t you ever fucking touch him! You touch anyone in this camp I’ll fucking kill you!” Jongin screamed.

“Baekhyun, baby, come here!” Kyungsoo yelled as he ran down the side of the hill, hair dripping as he grabbed Baekhyun's hand and began pulling him away, “Fuck, I was gone ten minutes, oh god, what’d he do? I’ll kill him.”

Baekhyun licked the blood from his lip uselessly as the blood came back moments later, “He was going to hurt Chaeyoung.”

“Oh, fuck. Let’s get you an ice pack, sweetheart. Hyung is sorry, my love. Chanyeol is going to be pissed.” Kyungsoo fussed, gently pulling Baekhyun into a soft folding chair to the side of the RV and digging in an ice chest, “Does it hurt? Do I need to get Yixing?”

“I’m okay.” Baekhyun said softly, “I’m just… I think I’m in shock or something, my lip is throbbing.”

Kyungsoo sighed as he looked over Baekhyun's shoulder and saw Jongin, bloody knuckled, talking to Chanyeol, both of them looking deadly as Jongin explained. “I’m sorry, baby, I left for ten minutes.”

“I saw you playing with Taeyong.” Baekhyun ignored his fussing and only placed his hand over Kyungsoo's that held an ice pack to his cheek. “He looked happy.”

“Yeah? He’s a good kid, babe. You did well.” The elder complimented, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's forehead, “But you can't change the subject, I can see right through you, sweet pea.”

“What the fuck happened!” Jongin yelled as he and Chanyeol practically steamed, draping himself over the back of Baekhyun's chair. “Hyuna came up here yelling that there was a fight, didn’t know it was you, Baek.”

Jongin let out an angry noise as he looked at Baekhyun's face. “I’ll kill him, fuck, I’ll kill him, baby.”

“I’m going to.” Chanyeol growled, pulling off his jacket, “What the fuck, I’m going to kill him.”

Baekhyun made a fearful noise and reached out to grab Chanyeol's wrist, “It’s okay, It’s okay.”

“It’s not okay.” Chanyeol snapped, “Your lip is bleeding, your face is swollen, I won’t forget this, Baekhyun.”

“I want you to stay with me.” Baekhyun whispered, “Stay with me, my soulmate.”

Chanyeol lost all tension from his body at Baekhyun's uncharacteristic nickname, sighing and taking a seat on the ice chest. “God, I can’t stand when you look so adorable.”

Baekhyun laughed quietly and felt a drop of blood drip from his lip as it cracked more. He gasped and raised a hand to cover it when Kyungsoo wiped his thumb over his bottom lip softly, “Easy, baby.”

“Soo Hyung, it’s okay.” The youngest said quietly, tasting iron on his tongue, before turning around, holding the ice pack to his cheek. “Thank you, Jongin.”

Jongin laughed and brushed the blood on his knuckles off onto his jeans before pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's temple. “Of course. But I was so mad, Baekhyun, he looks so bad.”

“Worse than me?” Baekhyun tried to joke, leaning up to press his mouth to Jongin's jaw, not puckering his lips in fear it’d split his cracked lip more, but pressing lips to Jongin's jaw with the same intention of giving affection; a rare sight unless they asked him for it.

“Way worse than you.” Jongin growled, pressing a gentle kiss to the corner of Baekhyun's mouth, “He won’t be up for a while, not for touching you, for laying hands on you.”

“Now, you want to tell us what happened, or should we go ask Sunmi?” Kyungsoo said carefully, laying a warm hand on Baekhyun's thigh, a damp towel on his shoulders.

“I told you.” Baekhyun sighed, “He tried to hurt Chaeyoung. He probably hurts her a lot, the girls said, and I only told him she didn’t need to go with him- it wasn’t safe.”

“Then how’d you get hit? Yifan is going to know about this as soon as he’s up, and he’s going to need a good reason Jongin beat the shit out of Seokmin or he’ll be in trouble.” Kyungsoo explained.

Baekhyun felt his heart jump at the thought of accidentally getting Jongin in trouble, he didn’t want to cause any accidents, he didn’t know how they dealt with this sort of thing. “He… he said I could take her place, I don’t know if he meant… to get beaten or… something else, but I told him no and he hit me, that’s it.”

“That’s not it.”

Baekhyun startled and looked over his shoulder at Chaeyoung who had a thin blanket in her hands, offering it to him. “I hung your clothes up to dry for you.”

“You didn’t have to do that.” Baekhyun said softly, placing the ice pack down and accepting the blanket, “Thank you though.”

“And you didn’t have to do that for me.” Chaeyoung countered, “Thank you, sweetie.”

“What’d he say to Baekhyun?” Kyungsoo interrupted, “I’m sorry, we just… we want to make sure…”

“No… I understand, for someone to treat your soulmate like that… it’s hard.” She brushed off, “He… I don’t know if he would have honestly, but he was calling him pretty, and.. I’m sorry, I’m really sorry Baekhyun.” Her hands shook and Baekhyun frowned, “It's okay, it’s fine. I’m okay.”

“You should get back to your kids.” Chanyeol said softly, placing a hand on her shoulder, “Thank you for the blanket, we’ll take care of it.”

Chaeyoung nodded and pressed her hand to Baekhyun's shoulder again before turning and walking back towards the boys who were tossing their ball in a circle.

“We’ll protect you better, Baekhyun.” Kyungsoo promised, sounding like he was near tears. “We’re sorry, baby.” He whispered, pressing his lips to Baekhyun's knuckles and placing his forehead to Baekhyun's knees, almost like he was begging for forgiveness.

“You did.” Baekhyun argued softly, “You did, Soo, you did.”

“I’d do it again.” Jongin said quietly, “We'll do it again, for you. We love you, Baekhyun.”

Baekhyun gulped and leaned over to press his forehead on the back of Kyungsoo's. “I’d do it for you too.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Yifan hadn’t been mad at all. In fact, he had laughed and said “About time he got his shit beat.”

It was nice to know the leader sided with them. Him and Junmyeon had agreed, after seeing Seokmin’s face, that he had gotten punishment enough for his actions.

Now, days later, Baekhyun was practically up and normal, while Seokmin was still bed rested, face black and his concussion making him even more demanding of Chaeyoung.

Baekhyun would never understand that kind of abuse. Emotional definitely, sexual definitely, but physical… he didn’t know how Chaeyoung could treat him so well after what he had done to her.

He supposed not many people would understand the same of him though. He wasn’t even sure his soulmates fully understood, and that was okay too, he didn’t really want them to fully understand.

“Let me talk to you, babe.” Kyungsoo smiled at Baekhyun's back as the younger changed his shirt.

“Okay.” Baekhyun responded quietly, pulling the shirt off his chest.

Kyungsoo laughed and walked over to wrap his arms around his bare waist. Baekhyun let out a surprised noise. “Hyung!”

The elder laughed and pressed his lips to Baekhyun's soft shoulder, “Hyung can’t hold you?”

Baekhyun's ears reddened as Kyungsoo pulled him down to the padded floor playfully, rolling Baekhyun on top of his chest.

“Hyung! I’m changing!” Baekhyun whined, pressing his bare chest down to Kyungsoo's for cover.

“I know, our Baekhyunnie is so pretty.” Kyungsoo flirted innocently, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's nose.

Baekhyun giggled and pressed his own, shyer kiss to Kyungsoo's chin. “What’d you want to talk about?”

Kyungsoo hummed, “I just wanted to tell my soulmate that I love him so much, I can’t tell you I love you?” He teased, fingers running gently over Baekhyun's spine.

“Hyung.” Baekhyun whined, embarrassed. “You told me all day today already, even in front of everyone!”

The elder snorted and cupped Baekhyun's chin, pressing his mouth to the others, smiling when Baekhyun immediately scooted closer, a small whine vibrating Kyungsoo's lips as the younger made a needy noise.

Baekhyun loved the attention, loved the affection, loved being loved, and his soulmates were happy to give him whatever he wanted, always putting on pretty smiles even when they were upset, even when he was telling them something angering- about his abuse or thoughts of himself- because they never wanted him to think they were getting mad at him, or getting upset with him.

And Baekhyun analyzed things, always watched people rather than having a lot to say. His shyness was a personality trait, but also a bit maddening as they couldn’t read him sometimes.

“Love you, baby.” Kyungsoo muttered across Baekhyun's pretty lips, “Hyungs love you, so much.”

Baekhyun still couldn't say it back, they knew it, but he didn’t feel as horrible about it anymore, not when they still smiled at him sweetly and lit up when he would initiate affection, which he was getting better at doing.

“Hyung.” Baekhyun whispered quietly, leaning up to press a quiet kiss to Kyungsoo's lips, “Soo, I’m hungry.”

Kyungsoo snorted and pressed an opened mouth kiss to Baekhyun's mouth for good measure before letting him roll off his chest, fingers searching for his pajama shirt he had been in the middle of putting on.

“Way to ruin the moment, sweet pea.” Kyungsoo teased, climbing to his feet and putting his gun back in his waistband from their nap. “Hyung is oh so nice to his baby soulmate and Baekhyun only wants food.”

“Want kisses too,” Baekhyun corrected with a flush, putting his pocket knife in his sweatpants and turning around.

Kyungsoo smiled softly and reached out for him, throwing an arm over his shoulders as they made it out of the tent, dark already fallen as people sat around the campfire. “How could I forget?” He teased, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's yellowed bruise. “Hyungs give you so many kisses.” He added in a whisper, pressing his lips below Baekhyun's ear.

Baekhyun whined and shoved him off, playfully running over to his other two soulmates with laughter.

“Ah, finally you come out?” Jongin gave him a half smile and patted his lap. “You came to see your Hyungs finally?”

Baekhyun nodded cutely and took a seat on Jongin's lap, Chanyeol's fingers reaching over to drag Baekhyun's ankles into his lap.

“Lies, he said he was hungry.” Kyungsoo called out. “Don’t let him fool you.”

“Our baby could never lie.” Chanyeol teased, pinching Baekhyun's calf and making him pout.

Jongin pressed his chin to Baekhyun's shoulder as the smaller looked around the fire, waving at Junmyeon seated across them. “Tae already went to bed?”

“The little bug had a little bit of a cough, so Yixing gave him some medicine after he ate and we told him to get some sleep early. He’s in the RV, Yifan is letting him sleep with the heater.” Jongin explained in his ear.

“Thank you.” Baekhyun called across the fire, nodding at Yifan.

He waved it off, “Of course.”

Baekhyun beamed in reply, turning to accept the plate of food from Kyungsoo with a smile.

He immediately began digging in, his appetite so much better after being here over a month, ribs no longer as protruding.

“Did you sleep well?” Chanyeol moved his hands to massage Baekhyun's calf’s.

Baekhyun nodded in response, swallowing his bite before leaning over and asking for a silent kiss. Chanyeol lit up, as they often did when Baekhyun initiated affection so cutely, pressing a kiss to his mouth and nose for good measure.

“So sweet after your nap, baby.” Jongin praised, their little area drowned out by the smooth talking and laughter around the fire. “Hyungs love when their baby is so cute.”

“I’ll… I’ll always be cute then.” Baekhyun said shyly, a nervous look on his face he always got when he tried to flirt and knew how horrible he was at it.

His soulmates still liked his attempts though, still thought he was painfully adorable.

“You’re always cute, babe, give me a kiss.” Jongin requested softly, running his thumb across Baekhyun's yellowed cheek to get his attention.

Baekhyun beamed, deeming his flirting a success when Jongin pressed quiet pecks to his pink mouth.

It wasn’t like they starved him of affection, people would probably think that by the way Baekhyun lit up and how fast he would accept any opportunity to get his soulmates attention, it was very much the opposite.

Baekhyun soaked up affection like a sponge, and the three had always wanted and dreamed of their soulmate since they had gotten their marks at age thirteen, and Baekhyun didn’t disappoint, never disappointed. They wanted his eyes on them too, just as much as the youngest wanted their eyes only.

“Hyungs!”

The group jumped up immediately at Taeyongs high pitched scream and saw the RV cracked, the young boys eyes wide before he slammed the RV door shut, they could hear his crying inside.

Baekhyun felt his heart jump, but Kyungsoo was acting on it immediately, his gun already smoking as he shot the walker by the RV door.

“I’ll get him!” Chanyeol yelled as people began to scream, walkers growling and dragging themselves through the forest towards the camp.

“Everyone! If you’re in a tent, stay inside!” Minseok yelled aloud.

Baekhyun jumped into action as he saw Chanyeol pulling Taeyong out of the trailer, carrying him towards the RV ladder.

“Go up! Taeyong, go up and stay there!” Chanyeol demanded.

Baekhyun grabbed a walker by the hair, other hand jamming his knife into it's temple before turning around at a familiar scream and running over to Hyuna.

A walker had her pinned to the forest floor, her fingers pushing into the decomposing flesh, only digging deeper with no effect to the walker.

Baekhyun kicked it off of her and used his foot to step on its chest, “Get in a tent! Go!” He didn’t see if she was still there or not before stabbing the snarling creature in the eye, cringing at the smell of death when he had to pull his knife out.

“Fuck, we can't stay here.” He heard Sehun sigh, kicking at a freshly attacked body on the ground.

Baekhyun furrowed his brows, but didn’t feel bad at all when he saw it was Seokmin’s dead, or slowly turning, body.

“You okay?” Baekhyun was spun around as Jongin looked down at him, his own hand holding a bloody knife, “No scratches and no bites?”

“None, you?” Baekhyun said, a quiet panting from his adrenaline rush.

“None.” Jongin sighed in repeat and wrapped both arms tightly around Baekhyun's shoulders, “We’re all okay.”

“Hyung, I wasn’t scared!” He heard Taeyong say, the same voice he used when he lied, Baekhyun could recall it easily.

“Yeah? Well, Hyung was scared, you’re sleeping with us tonight.” Kyungsoo said, carrying Taeyong towards their tent, Baekhyun didn’t even know if any of them would sleep tonight.

“We’re going to have to announce leaving first thing in the morning.” Junmyeon said quietly, almost guiltily, “We should have left as soon as we saw that one in the woods, now we have two of our own dead, Seokmin and Hwanhee.”

Baekhyun hadn’t known much about the older man, all he knew was that Hwanhee was in charge of fishing, and was fairly good at it.

“Some may not want to go with us, we would be on the road, or on foot a long time.” Yifan sighed, “They may want to split.”

“That’s okay.” Chanyeol said immediately, “We’re going with you guys though, the six of us are with you guys.”

Baekhyun saw Junmyeon look genuinely touched, “Thank you, Chanyeol.”

~~~~~~~

“So here’s the deal!” Junmyeon yelled from his spot standing on a log. “We can’t stay here any longer, we will be going west, and if you decide it’s time to split up then it’s understandable.”

Baekhyun chewed his lip as he looked around, he could already see that people wanted to leave, to go on their own. He understood, it was easier to be in smaller groups, but not if humans came.

“We will leave a trail, signs as we go, maybe we will find shelter.” Minseok added quietly, “But we will be on the road, we will go as far as we can by car, and then we will have to walk, and it will be hard.”

“We’re staying.” Hyuna said quietly, Baekhyun found himself frowning and leaning against Kyungsoo's arm, fingers working under his soulmates jacket. “It’s too much for a baby… I can’t… we will stick around here until we can’t any longer and then… we will try and follow you.”

Baekhyun chewed his lip and saw Hyojong throw his arm around his soulmate comfortingly.

“If Hyuna is staying… then I will too.” Namjoon said gently, “My group will stay, to protect them.”

“You guys are crazy, I’m going.” Jinhyuk insulted, “It’s a madhouse here.”

“That was the second attack we’ve had the whole year we’ve been here, you're more useless on the road than here!” Sunmi yelled.

“My boys and I need to stay.” Baekhyun gulped at Chaeyoung holding Mark and Lucas to her chest, “They wouldn’t make it walking too much, and you don’t know how long it’s going to take.”

“Taeyong can make it, if he can the boys can Chaeyoung.” Baekhyun said quietly, it wasn’t that he really wanted to convince her, but she shouldn’t stay where so many bad memories were. “They’re strong, they can make it.”

Chaeyoung stared across at him and then smiled, “You should stay then, the boys would miss each other.”

Baekhyun felt Kyungsoo tighten his grip around his waist, pressing lips to his temple, probably out of fear he would accept and they would be separated.

“I’m sorry… but I’m staying with my family.” Baekhyun said apologetically, “And if we see you again… it will be safer.”

Kyungsoo released a heavy sigh of relief and Baekhyun saw Taeyong crying as he ran over to say goodbye to his friends, he tore his eyes away so he wouldn’t feel guilty.

“I’m going with the leaders.” Sunmi added, “But we should show them the area we’re aiming for.”

“Let’s get some maps out.” Yixing suggested immediately.

~~~~~~

Baekhyun couldn't help crying, of course he couldn’t.

He had his arms tightly around Hyuna.

They had all cleaned up, packed up cars and filled them up. And now it was more of a waiting game, they split supplies, they split weapons, Baekhyun knew it would be hard, but he hoped he would see them again.

“Hey, we won’t go down that easy, sweetheart.” Hyuna cooed, grabbing his face, “And you guys won’t either, maybe… maybe we will see you again, some day.”

“Maybe is not a reassuring word.” Baekhyun mumbled.

She laughed and pressed a kiss to his face. “Then I’ll promise to see your cute face again, that better?”

“Better.” Baekhyun sniffed and pulled himself together before kneeling down to pull Jisung into a hug. “You better be really big when I see you next, Jisung.” He cooed gently, pressing a kiss to the baby’s head, “Hyung will look forward to seeing you again.”

Baekhyun smiled at the wide eyed gurgles and passed Jisung back to Hyuna, vision blurred by tears.

“H-Hyung.” Baekhyun didn’t want to say goodbye to the twins, not when they had been crying so much, he didn’t know if they’d beg him to let Taeyong stay, and he wouldn’t allow it.

“Hey, boys.” Baekhyun crouched down to pull Mark and Lucas into his arms, “You’re going to be okay, and you need to take really good care of your mom.”

Marks face was already covered in tears but Lucas nodded. “Yifan Hyung already said that.”

Baekhyun snorted and pressed a kiss to each of their heads. “Sorry then, Hyung will have to think of something new, huh?”

“Baek.” Jongin called, sounding apologetic as he walked over, “Baby, it’s time to go.”

The younger gulped and let go of the boys, accepting Jongin's hand, “Taeyong already in the truck?”

“Cried himself to sleep.” Jongin cringed and pressed a kiss to Baekhyun's hair, “He’ll be okay though.”

“This is better, right?”

Jongin sighed against his temple and opened the backdoor of the truck, it would be a tight fit, but all six of them could fit, Taeyong was already asleep in Sehun's lap. “I honestly don’t care if it’s better, as long as you guys are safe.”

Baekhyun licked his lips and cupped Jongin's jaw, his fingertips brushing the soft hair on the side of his soulmates head. “We’re safer together.”

“Of course.” Jongin muttered immediately, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's forehead and then resting his mouth over the others, “We stay together.”

“Together.” He agreed, pressing a soft kiss to Jongin's mouth, “We take care of each other now.”

Jongin smiled and pressed another kiss to his mouth before pulling away, the fondest of looks on his face as he brushed Baekhyun's hair back. “Let’s get going, doll.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun had been staring out the truck door for what felt like weeks, it had been days, but it felt so much longer.

“If you think you’re hating everything right now.” Sehun laughed to himself and poked Taeyongs nose. “Sunmi is riding with Jinhyuk, we’re the lucky ones!”

“That Hyung is so mean.” Taeyong giggled, fingers toying with a rubix cube Mark had given him in Kyungsoo's lap.

Baekhyun laughed softly and looked at Chanyeol who was driving, reaching over and curling his hand over the top of the elders, turning to look back into the backseat. “Do you say that about me too? ‘Oh, Hyung is so mean!’”

Taeyong laughed, his fingers reaching over a sleeping Jongin's lap to grab the water bottle from the door. “Baek Hyung isn’t mean though, he’s nice to everyone.”

“Yeah, Baekhyunnie is very nice, I agree with you.” Kyungsoo smirked and pressed a kiss to Taeyongs hair.

“Ugh you guys disgust me.” Sehun groaned, “Someone knock me out.”

“That can be arranged.” Chanyeol said immediately, “You’re only eighteen, Hunnie, give it some time. You don’t need to be worrying about finding your soulmate.”

Baekhyun smiled when Chanyeol brought his hand to his lips and pressed a soft kiss to his knuckles. “I didn’t find mine until I was twenty six, so shut up.”

“Okay, but you worried about it all the time, ‘What if my soulmate died?’ ‘What if he can’t find me?’” Sehun mocked.

Baekhyun snorted and saw Chanyeol's ears flush red at the teasing. “Yah! I’ll beat your ass, man.”

“Oh, please.” Sehun smirked and looked out the backseat window. “You probably were masturbating to your fantas-“

“Hey! Hey! Kid here!” Kyungsoo cried, hitting Sehun on the shoulder.

Sehun laughed and shook his head, “You want to hear embarrassing stories about Hyung, come to me Baekhyun Hyung.”

Baekhyun's face was a bright red, probably not more than Chanyeol's, but his heart raced as he laid his cheek against the center console in embarrassment, pulling his legs into his seat with him.

Chanyeol cleared his throat awkwardly and laid his hand on Baekhyun's hair. “Don’t listen to him, he only says bullshit.”

“Really? You think I couldn’t hear you in the bat-“ Sehun was cut off by a hard punch to his arm, “Fuck, Soo Hyung goddamn, I’m done! I’m done!” He whined.

“Babe.” Chanyeol muttered quietly, thumb running over Baekhyun's cheekbone, “You don’t- don’t listen to him.”

Baekhyun laughed quietly as Chanyeol turned the music up to drown out the people in the backseat. “It’s okay.” He smiled and sat up, grabbing Chanyeol's hand that wasn’t holding the wheel. “I’m not a child, Yeol. I know things.”

“I know.” The elder frowned and spared a glance at his soulmate for a second, “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

“I’m not.” Baekhyun frowned and leaned over the console to press a kiss to his soulmate's jaw. “I’m not, we can talk later.”

“Okay, I love you.” Chanyeol responded softly, pressing another kiss to Baekhyun's fingers. “Love you, baby.”

Baekhyun chewed his lip and scanned Chanyeol's side profile, “I adore you, Hyung.”

~~~~~~~

“Oh thank god!”

Baekhyun yawned and slid out of the truck, turning to watch Jongin pull Taeyong out of the tall vehicle.

“Holy fuck, ground!” Sehun added dramatically.

“Shut the fuck up.” Kyungsoo growled, moving around the truck to wrap an arm around Baekhyun's waist.

Baekhyun smiled and dug his nose into Kyungsoo's neck, feeling his soulmate run fingers into the hair at the nape of his neck.

“We’ll rest here for the night, take off again in the morning.” Junmyeon explained aloud. “We can rearrange seating if you guys would like, Sunmi you look very cheerful.” He added sarcastically.

“Peachy.” She snarled.

“I’ll ride with Noona!” Taeyong giggled and ran over on short legs to grab her waist, “Noona can I ride with you!”

She beamed, “Of course, you can put your toys in the backseat if you want- if that’s okay with your brother.” She added as an afterthought.

Baekhyun only gave her a thumbs up over Kyungsoo's shoulder.

“Noona, I’m riding too then, Taeyong loves me.” Sehun added.

“Who said that, Hyung?” Baekhyun laughed into Kyungsoo's neck at Taeyongs question.

Sehun gawked, “You little shit, tell Hyung you love him, now!” He yelled before running up to the kid and roughing him up gently, enticing Taeyongs laughter.

“Baby, want to come with me to scout the area?” Baekhyun frowned at Chanyeol's tone before nodding and pressing his mouth to Kyungsoo's.

“Okay.” He whispered, turning to accept the eldests hand, “Where to?”

“Hey, if you guys see anything useful or water, let us know.” Yixing reached out and grabbed Chanyeol's wrist, “We’re running low on supplies already, I think we were too nice, we left too many.”

Chanyeol nodded, “Got it.”

Baekhyun wrapped his arm around Chanyeol's and pulled him towards the side of the woods, humming to himself as they walked through trees and green shrubbery.

This area looked empty, extremely empty. But something about it looked familiar.

“Babe, let me talk to you.” Chanyeol requested softly, stopping Baekhyun in his tracks.

Baekhyun sighed, “If this is about what Sehun said-“

“Baek, I’m really sorry, I’m going to tell him not to make such jokes.”

Baekhyun suddenly felt angry, more angry than he had in a while as he pulled his arm out of Chanyeol's. “I’m not a kid, Chanyeol.”

The elder frowned as if genuinely confused, “I’m not saying you are, Baek. But saying things like that… it won’t be good for your recovery.”

Baekhyun scoffed and took a step back, “What recovery? There’s nothing to recover from, it’s been years Chanyeol, years. I’m tired of you guys walking on eggshells around me, fuck. I should’ve… I wish I never told you.”

“We don’t, Baekhyun.” Chanyeol denied, reaching out to grab Baekhyun's hand, “Baekhyun, we don’t need to fight, I just don’t want you to be uncomfortable.”

Baekhyun laughed humorlessly and pulled his hand from Chanyeol's grip, running it through his greasy hair. “You guys think anything even remotely sexual makes me uncomfortable. Do you think I want to be like this forever? You guys always shelter me, I don’t want that!”

He scoffed in disbelief and turned to kick at the grass. “You think I don’t realize how men are supposed to be? You think I don’t want you guys? It’s been two or more months Chanyeol, of course I want you guys.

Soulmates usually consummate meeting the first week. I told you… I said I didn’t know if I could ever touch you, but that's… not true, I want you to touch me, I just… I just want to be careful, I don’t want to hurt anymore.”

“Baekhyun, you said you didn’t even know what arousal was, I can’t… we can’t explain to you or do anything with you when you don’t even fully know what’s happening.” Chanyeol said gently.

“I also said I was in high school, I know now!” Baekhyun yelled, turning around to look up at Chanyeol. “You don’t think… I’ve touched myself Chanyeol… I, I feel ridiculous even telling you this.”

“You’ve been molested since you were a child, Baek-“

“I’m tired of you guys reminding me!” Baekhyun screamed, not even caring the others could probably hear them as he grabbed Chanyeol's shirt aggressively, “Everytime you say that it makes me feel like you don’t listen to anything I’m saying, you told me that anything you guys do goes at my pace, mine. But then when I want something more, even if I want to kiss for longer, to do anything- you start this up!”

“Baby.” Chanyeol sighed and grabbed Baekhyun's cheek. “We don’t want to scare you, we don’t want-“

“Oh fuck you!” The younger cried, pushing Chanyeol in the chest, “Fuck you, I try to get over anything and you guys just throw it back at me and reject me! Fuck, I know you’re scared, I’m fucking scared! But I can’t be like this forever! God just- just shut up!”

Baekhyun cried and hit Chanyeol in the chest as the elder pulled him down into his lap, “We want you too, baby, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, we didn’t know.”

“I’m so mad at you Chanyeol.” Baekhyun sniffed and hit his shoulder, “I’ve been… I’ve been forced to do things, Hyung… I-I think I learned more about sex than I did anything in school, but I-I still want you, I want… to learn better things. You’re not him, you guys aren’t him.”

“Shhh, my love, my heart. I know, of course we aren’t. We wouldn’t make you do anything, ever.” Chanyeol pressed soft kisses to Baekhyun's temple, pulling him to straddle one of his thighs. “You do what you want, Baekhyun. Nobody will ever tell you anything ever again.”

“Stop telling me that.” Baekhyun growled and stared at Chanyeol, “I’m done hearing that. You don’t listen to me anyways.” He added, moving to climb off his lap.

“Hey.” The elder grabbed his sleeve gently and looked at him beggingly, “Don’t leave when we’re arguing, we have to make up first, Baekhyun. I don’t want you to leave when you’re mad.”

“No, you don’t listen to me anyways, you just keep telling me the same things- the same things Kyungsoo tells me, the same things Jongin tells me. Stop telling me! I want you to want me.” Baekhyun's face expressed anger as he shoved Chanyeol's chest so he rested in the grass, “Listen to me!”

Chanyeol frowned and cupped Baekhyun's face, rubbing his thumb across his jaw as the smaller glared down at him. “I’m listening, Baekhyun. I’m listening now.”

Baekhyun huffed an angry breath before leaning down and connecting his mouth to Chanyeol's, fingers tight in the elders hair as he kissed him aggressively.

Chanyeol groaned as Baekhyun bit down on his lip, the sounds of their mouths meeting and heavy breathing loud in their ears. “Baek.” He sighed into the youngers mouth, “I do want you, we want you.”

Baekhyun pulled his mouth away with a popping noise and began pressing his lips down the elders neck. “Let me try, just… let me touch you, Chanyeol.” He whispered, sucking gently at a spot beneath Chanyeol's ear. “Hyung, please.”

Chanyeol grunted out a moan when Baekhyun left a dark hickey in his neck and nodded, “Okay, okay. You stop whenever you want, you don’t need to-“

“Shut up.” Baekhyun growled and pushed his shoulders back down in the grass, “Just shut up.”

“Wait.” The elder whispered, fingers grabbing Baekhyun's that rested at the edge of his shirt, “Wait, look at me, look at me please.”

Baekhyun made an annoyed sound as Chanyeol grabbed his chin and sat up onto his elbow to look at him. “I love you, I love you baby. I just wanted to look at you.” Chanyeol said softly, “You know I love you, right? Love you so much, Baekhyun.”

The younger felt all of his anger dissipate as he licked his mouth and nodded, turning his head to press his lips to Chanyeol's fingers. “I know, I know Hyung. It’s not the same, this isn’t the same.”

Chanyeol smiled as Baekhyun pressed a kiss to his fingers and then sat back on his thigh, little fingers pushing Chanyeol's shirt up his abs.

Baekhyun chewed his lip, eyes flickering up to look at Chanyeol as he reached for the elders jean button, fingers fumbling for a moment as he moved to kneel between the elders legs.

Baekhyun unzipped the fabric and started pulling them down, hearing Chanyeol's heavy breathing as he sat up on his elbows to watch the younger.

After a few moments, Baekhyun had successfully pulled Chanyeol's pants down to mid thigh and leaned down to press his lips to Chanyeol's defined stomach, soft kisses around his hips as his eyes stayed on the elders.

He licked over his red mouth as he watched Chanyeol close his eyes as he cupped his growing erection, massaging his length through his boxers.

Baekhyun smiled at the reaction, his mouth moving lower, the dark hair peeking out from his boxers tickling Baekhyun's chin.

“Hey, you don’t need to, don-“

“Don’t tell me what to do.” Baekhyun interrupted quietly, “You said I could do what I wanted.”

Chanyeol groaned in response, sucking his lip into his mouth as Baekhyun pulled his boxers out of the way.

Not that Baekhyun really had room to judge, or even care, but Chanyeol was big everywhere, his height, his muscles, and apparently even his cock.

Baekhyun never understood the appeal, but he also had never really understood how people liked to have sex, but just watching his soulmate writhe in pleasure made him aroused too. He felt okay, he felt safe. He knew if he stopped right now that would be it, Chanyeol would accept immediately, he had an out- he wasn’t trapped when he had a choice.

His thumb toyed with the tip of Chanyeol's erection, smearing the substance around before he knelt down to place his cheek onto his soulmates thigh, feeling Chanyeol's fingers comb through his hair, minuscule thrusts into Baekhyun's hand and quiet moans.

Baekhyun didn’t feel a rush, there was no reason to when he felt so safe.

“Come here.” Chanyeol requested with a pant, sitting up and reaching down to pull his jeans off one leg.

Baekhyun laughed quietly as the elder pulled him onto his lap, straddling Chanyeol's thigh.

“I want to see you, baby.” Chanyeol explained, adjusting Baekhyun on his leg and then moaning when Baekhyun reached for his erection. “You’re doing so well, sweetheart. Love you so much, hm?” He whispered, eyes searching Baekhyun's before pressing a wet kiss to his mouth. “My baby, my precious Baekhyun, love you.”

Baekhyun accepted the kisses to his face with a smile, hand stroking Chanyeol's length before he felt a pang of excitement flow through him, a high pitched sound coming from his mouth when Chanyeol flexed his thigh between his.

The younger flustered, hands gripping Chanyeol's shirt with fingers wet with precum as he moaned into Chanyeol's ear.

“Oh, my moon. You like that? That feel good?” The elder whispered softly, hands moving to hold Baekhyun's hips down when the younger squealed softly. “Sound so pretty, look so pretty, babe. Hyungs love you so much.”

Baekhyun's hips stuttered as Chanyeol guided his motion, moving the smallers knee so it brushed his exposed erection. “Just like this, baby. Just like this. You’re so beautiful.”

“Hyung…” Baekhyun whined, pressing his forehead to Chanyeol's shoulder, “Hyun-g, Hyung, feels good.”

Chanyeol smiled and guided Baekhyun's face back to his, “Keep going, just like this, baby.” He praised.

Baekhyun let out a rather loud noise before turning to muffle his sounds against Chanyeol's mouth, the elder rubbing over his hips through his clothes, the friction of Baekhyun's pants rubbing the younger and elders erections.

“G-fuck, fuck, baby. I’m gonna cum, Baekhyun.” Chanyeol mumbled against Baekhyun's mouth, bucking his hips up as Baekhyun grinded against his thigh, hips circling as the younger moaned against his skin.

“Chany-eol, Chan-“ Baekhyun made such a pretty noise as he came Chanyeol could only hold his hips still as he mouthed at Baekhyun's cheek, whispering encouragement and praise as he went.

Chanyeol laughed and turned to drop Baekhyun onto his back, “Did so well, baby. Love you, so much.”

Baekhyun panted, laughing quietly as Chanyeol sat back to adjust his pants back up to his hips, pulling his outer shirt off to clean himself off. “Yeah?”

“Yes, you’re so beautiful.” The elder said gently, “I told you we wanted you, do you feel better? Hyungs love you so much, Baekhyun.” He moved to lay himself between Baekhyun's legs, holding himself up on his palms beside the youngers head.

“I wanted you.” Baekhyun's face was still flushed pretty and Chanyeol couldn't help himself from pressing his mouth to his cheek. “I wanted you, Hyung. I’m sorry for yelling.”

Chanyeol smiled and shook his head, his nose brushing Baekhyun's, “It’s okay, you were right. We’re too overprotective, you would tell us if it’s too much.”

“I will, I promise.”

“Okay, now let’s clean you up, hm?” Chanyeol asked, fingers holding Baekhyun's waistband, “You can do it yourself baby, but I want to take care of you. Can I?”

“I trust you.” Baekhyun whispered, gulping as Chanyeol's fingertips skimmed the soft skin of his hip. “Trust you, Hyung.”

Chanyeol smiled and pressed an extra kiss to Baekhyun's swollen mouth before gently pulling his pants down, tossing the sweatpants to the side.

“Just have to get new boxers at camp.” Baekhyun mumbled, embarrassed as he kicked his boxers off.

“Fuck, Baekhyun.” Chanyeol sighed and ran his thumb over a few scars on his inner thigh, they had seen Baekhyun when he changed, they had seen his pale, soft skin, but not this close, not so privately.

Baekhyun gulped and reached for Chanyeol's dirty shirt to wipe himself off. “They're old.”

“They don’t hurt?” Chanyeol asked, his eyes looking over the youngers hips, no intention other than to look for more. “I thought you said he didn’t hurt you.”

“I said he didn’t hit me.” Baekhyun said softly, “Those are… they're… you don’t need to know, pass me my pants please.”

“They’re teeth, Baekhyun. You-I- you didn’t say it was this… this…” Chanyeol felt his tears falling even as Baekhyun blocked his searching eyes to pull his pants on.

“Don’t cry.” Baekhyun whispered, crawling on his knees to wrap his arms around Chanyeol's neck, “I’m not crying so you shouldn’t cry.”

Chanyeol gulped and pulled the smaller fully in his grip, “I love you, I love you.” His fingers shook as he tangled them in Baekhyun's hair, “I’ll only ever be nice to you, baby. Only ever say good things to you, I’m never going to be so horrible.”

“I only want you to be easy with me.” The younger responded with a quiet sigh, “Just treat me like this, unless I say, just treat me softly, please.”

Chapter Text

 

 

It was a bit embarrassing when the two went back to camp.

They smelled like sex, they were sure, but nobody really commented, or asked.

“There’s a town, just over this bridge, we need to scavenge.” Yifan pointed out, a map sitting on top of the car.

Baekhyun rubbed the sleep from his eyes and leaned back against Jongin's chest as he watched Kyungsoo and Chanyeol leaning over to look at the map.

“We’ll lead.” Kyungsoo commented, “You guys can just follow us.”

“Okay, we can split up in a residential area and search homes, maybe everyone can rest in a bed tonight.” Yixing agreed, rolling up the map, “Let’s go before we lose daylight.”

Baekhyun rolled his eyes when he saw Taeyong climbing into the back of the car Junmyeon was driving, slightly annoyed his brother kept jumping cars, but he knew everyone liked Taeyong, found his presence soothing.

“You want the front or the back.” Jongin murmured, pressing his mouth to Baekhyun's jaw.

Baekhyun blushed and ducked his head, turning to wrap his arms around his soulmates neck and whispering under his breath. “Need to change.”

Jongin burst into laughter as he picked Baekhyun up, arms beneath his back and knees, “Are you seducing me, little duck? We didn’t hear what happened last night, you want to elaborate?”

The younger flushed and let out an annoyed huff, pressing his nose into Jongin's jaw. “Don’t tease me.”

“Oh I’m not teasing, love.” Jongin shuffled Baekhyun's weight around when Kyungsoo suddenly pushed the backseat door open from the inside. “It’s a genuine question.”

Baekhyun felt his face burn as Jongin set him in, the elder shutting the door and climbing into the driver seat.

Baekhyun pulled the duffel bag into his lap as he felt Jongin start the car and heard Chanyeol climbing into the passenger seat.

“Head west, there should be a road directly over the bridge, a few feet north.” He heard the eldest instruct.

“You looking for clothes, baby?” Kyungsoo asked softly, watching Baekhyun dig in the duffel bag.

Baekhyun sent him a flushed smile and nodded, “Yes, Soo.”

“You should just stay like that.” Chanyeol turned around in his seat to look back at him, “You smell good.”

“I smell like sweat.” Baekhyun argued.

“You smell like Chanyeol.” Kyungsoo corrected, “What’d you guys do? I expected an explanation last night, but you both passed out.”

“Our soulmate wanted to try something, we didn’t have sex, if that’s what you were wondering.” Chanyeol explained, “He’s very pretty though, sounds even prettier.”

“We heard you guys yelling, not really distinguishable, but we were worried.” Jongin said quietly.

Baekhyun frowned and pulled his shirt off, changing it for a new one before grabbing his boxers and jeans. “We’re okay, I was just… I overreacted.”

“You didn’t overreact.” The eldest disagreed. “You were right, we are being too careful. If you say you’re okay, then you’re okay.”

“What are you guys talking about, we’re out of the loop.” Kyungsoo raised a brow, eyes on Baekhyun's small form changing beside him in the truck.

“Baek thought we didn’t want him, because everytime he did anything or asked for more than kissing we told him no.” Chanyeol sighed and sent Baekhyun an apologetic look.

Baekhyun only pulled the long shirt over his front as he slid off his pants, pretending he didn’t notice the men eyeing the soft pale skin. He didn’t mind, in fact they didn’t look lustful, but the windows were only tinted slightly.

“We want you, Baekhyun.” Jongin added, looking in the rearview mirror.

“I meant… like sexually.” Baekhyun said under his breath as he pulled jeans on, “You love me, I know. But I wanted to try things and you guys always pushed me away. I’m not broken, you know.”

“Of course you aren’t.” Kyungsoo said immediately, pulling Baekhyun under his arm, “You’re not broken, baby, and we do want you like that too, anything at all.”

Baekhyun laughed off his blush and curled his head under Kyungsoo's chin. “Good.”

“Good?” Jongin laughed, “We say we want your little self all flushed prettily and you say good.”

“Oh it is pretty.” Chanyeol groaned and laid his head back against his seat. “I told him once he didn’t have to call me Hyung, but I think that’s all I want to hear now.”

Baekhyun giggled, “Good and…. me too?” He added, pressing his cheek to Kyungsoo's collarbone and looking out the window.

“Good and me too.” Jongin mimicked with a smirk, “Ugh, you’re so cute.”

“You’re so good at getting us worked up.” Kyungsoo teased, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's head.

Baekhyun smiled and tilted his head up for a kiss that was given immediately before leaning over and looking out the window.

“You want details?” He heard Chanyeol teasing and mostly blocked him out knowing he was just trying to see him blush.

Instead, Baekhyun rested his cheekbone to Kyungsoo's shoulder as he stared out the window.

Trees flew by and the car jumped as they passed over a bridge. Baekhyun found himself frowning as they passed over a few buildings, peeling and faded, but mostly untouched.

“I know where we are.” He stated, getting off Kyungsoo's lap and leaning hazardously over the middle console, ignoring their scolding as he pointed. “Turn right.”

“Babe, sit down.” Kyungsoo said softly, holding Baekhyun's hips still.

“Go straight four blocks, and then left, there’s a school on the corner, then you can park.”

“Babe.” Chanyeol frowned and turned to touch Baekhyun's hair, “Where are we?”

Baekhyun watched the road the whole time, “My town.”

“Then we’re not stopping here, absolutely not.” Kyungsoo argued, pulling Baekhyun to sit back. “Jongin keep driving, don’t stop.”

“No, there’s supplies, I swear. When we left it wasn’t cleaned out- a lot of people turned and didn’t have a chance, we do. Jongin, stop here, you can park here.” Baekhyun ordered, already moving towards the door.

“Hey, hey, hold on.” Kyungsoo said immediately, reaching out to grab his wrist. “Chill, baby, calm down.”

“I will tell you if I’m uncomfortable, okay?” Baekhyun snapped, “I will tell you.”

“Okay.” Kyungsoo frowned and pressed a kiss to his hair, “Okay, sweetheart.”

Baekhyun sighed in relief and opened the truck door, immediately going behind the truck to speak to the people getting out of cars. “This place should have a lot of supplies, we should split up.”

“You want to take a place to stay the night in?” Minseok asked, locking the car.

“Taeyong, come here.” Baekhyun heard Jongin order over his shoulder and saw Taeyong run over. “We'll take the light blue house on the corner, walkers shouldn’t be so bad here.” Baekhyun added.

“Then we’ll take the ones beside it, we meet up here tomorrow morning, first thing.” Yifan nodded and grabbed his gun, “Be careful, stick together.”

“I’m going with you guys, Jinhyuk is useless.” Sunmi groaned, latching onto Sehun's arm, “We’ll go with Yifan, give you guys some alone time.” She wiggled her brows at Kyungsoo who sighed and grabbed a metal poker stick from the back of the truck as a weapon.

Baekhyun only smiled politely and grabbed his knife from his pocket, “Come on, this way.”

“Hyung!” Taeyong smiled and wiggled out of Jongin's grip to grab Baekhyun's hand, “We’re going home?”

“Baekhyun…” Chanyeol warned softly.

“Hyung told you we would come back for your things, didn't I?” Baekhyun ignored him, swinging Taeyongs hand in his.

Baekhyun pulled Taeyong passed a few stray walkers, but otherwise the town seemed mostly empty.

Baekhyun could hear the three whispering behind him and rolled his eyes, turning to kick a walker that got too close for comfort.

They were all starving here, easy to take down, limbs were already falling apart. Time was killing them, decomposing the already dead.

Taeyong bounced in excitement despite the fact that walkers were slowly crawling around towards their footsteps.

“Let me go first.” Baekhyun ordered, pulling Taeyong behind him as they walked up the steps. “You let me check it first.”

Baekhyun didn’t wait for a response, holding his knife as he pushed open the door.

But the house looked untouched, unscavenged by ravagers, it looked just as Baekhyun had left it, clean.

“You can come in.” He called towards the door, “It’s fine.”

Taeyong burst in immediately, “Hyung! I’m going to pack things I want.”

Baekhyun snorted and patted the back of his head, “Only what you need.” Taeyong rolled his eyes and disappeared down the hall, “I know!”

“So this was it, huh?” Jongin asked gently, shutting and locking the deadbolt behind him.

Baekhyun licked his lips and nodded, turning towards the kitchen and pulling pantries open. “This was it.”

He felt the floor creaking as Kyungsoo walked over to him, laying his backpack down. “Anything good?”

“Lots of cans.” The younger replied, “You guys can go look around.”

“We want you to show us, Baek. We can pack up later.” Chanyeol replied, fingers brushing over dusty books by the front door.

Baekhyun sighed and climbed to his feet, setting the cans he found onto the counter, “Okay.” He pulled his backpack off and kicked off his shoes. “I wanted to search for things anyways.”

Jongin frowned at his disconnected tone and intertwined his fingers with Baekhyun's as he started to move down the hall.

Baekhyun reached out to pull open a door at the end of the hall, bypassing the one that was obviously Taeyongs, stickers littering the wooden door.

“You were curious, right?” Baekhyun mumbled and stepped into the room. “Where it always happened.”

“Baekhyun.” Jongin whispered, hand trying to stop Baekhyun from walking into the room, but he had already let go.

There was a blood stain on the ground, obviously based on Baekhyun's story. The tan carpet only stained in that area, the bed made like someone had cleaned up.

“I didn’t want Taeyong to know.” Baekhyun whispered, walking over to a desk in the corner and pulling out a wooden box. “He would have been scared back then, and maybe… maybe in a few years I’ll tell him the truth, but he doesn’t need to know now.”

“He doesn’t need to know ever, if you don’t want him too.” Chanyeol replied, turning to lean against the wall.

Baekhyun laughed, shook his head, pulling a revolver out of the box and loading it with the six silver bullets from the container. “Here.” He held it out towards them, “One of you guys can have it, I think I like snipers better.”

Kyungsoo gently accepted the gun, a worried expression printed equally on the elder soulmates faces as Baekhyun sat on the edge of the bed.

“In the top of the closet, there’s some more ammo.” He added, picking his nails, “Might be other useful things too.”

Chanyeol walked over to the closer door and began digging.

“We wanted to see your room, not… not this.” Jongin whispered, looking like he wasn’t sure if he wanted to sit beside Baekhyun or if the thought made him angry.

“Was in here more than in my own room.” Baekhyun muttered, “I’m sorry, I’ll stop.”

Kyungsoo tsked and moved to stand between Baekhyun's legs, pulling his cheek to rest against his hip. “It’s okay, we’re only worried about you.”

“I killed him here.” Baekhyun curled his hands around the back of Kyungsoo's thighs, “I’m not scared, he’s dead.”

“And you’re here.” Baekhyun whispered. “It’s like the ultimate fuck you, you know? Like… like I have soulmates and he always told me I never would… that-that I wouldn’t, so that’s why I wanted you to come here.”

“That’s right, babe.” Jongin said gently, “A huge fuck you, he was wrong, and he was sick.”

Baekhyun laughed quietly, his fingers tapping on Kyungsoo's jeans, “A lot of memories, but I feel okay right now.”

“Your hands are shaking, I don’t know if that counts as okay.” Chanyeol pointed out, a box of ammo in his hand.

“Oh.” The youngest in the room muttered, “It’s just… it’s a lot you know, last time I was in here… I killed someone. I can remember everything.”

“Well it’s not easy to forget.” Kyungsoo said quietly, kneeling down to press a kiss to Baekhyun's forehead.

Baekhyun gave a soft smile at the attention before laying back and looking up at the ceiling. He felt like the room was spinning, he had looked up at these ceilings so many times, maybe he could remember how many grooves there were, how many discolored spots there were.

“Be good Baekhyun.” He whispered to himself, almost silent. “Just a little while longer.”

“Baby.” Jongin said quietly, leaning over the side of the bed and blocking his view of the ceiling, “Are you okay?”

Baekhyun nodded and reached his hand up to touch his soulmate's cheek. “I’m okay, I’m always okay.”

“You can’t always be okay.” Kyungsoo pressed a palm to Baekhyun's knee as he copied his position, if only to snap him out of it.

“I used to just stare, right there, you see that mark on the ceiling.” Baekhyun turned on his side and pointed up, resting his cheek on Kyungsoo's shoulder, “Everyday, I just stared.”

Kyungsoo felt his eyes watering as he cupped Baekhyun's cheek, “Baby, stop.”

“It’s disgusting right.” Baekhyun laughed humorlessly and threw his arm over his eyes. “Because I’m a whore and I’m easy.”

“Stop, Baekhyun, please.” Jongin's voice cracked as he ran gentle fingers through Baekhyun's hair, leaning over him even though Baekhyun wasn’t listening.

“You said I should let it out, that I should tell you.” Baekhyun responded quietly.

“It hurts, Baekhyun.” Chanyeol sounded like he was crying, and it made Baekhyun feel sad, the first thing he’d really felt since they walked in. “Doesn’t it hurt you?”

The youngest laughed darkly, “I can remember everything Chanyeol, of course it hurts. I was the one being pinned to this very bed, being-being told horrible, v-vicious things!

Hold still, it makes it better. Stop moving, you’ll wake up your brother. Oh, you’re bleeding, clean up.” He mocked.

Suddenly, Baekhyun felt himself being lifted up and immediately moved to wrap his arms around Kyungsoo's neck.

“You’re done, Baekhyun. Nobody touches you unless you want it, you don’t… you don’t need to be scared.” Kyungsoo sniffed into his hair and allowed Chanyeol and Jongin in front to open one of the two unlooked in doors.

One was the bathroom, so that was off the list quickly.

“I’m not scared.” Baekhyun whispered, “I’m not afraid anymore.”

Kyungsoo laid him down when they opened the other door, this one looked more like Baekhyun. It had personality, albeit a bit empty for a room that was supposed to be lived in.

His soulmates looked more relaxed though, actually taking time to look around,. Baekhyun sat up on his elbow as he watched Jongin walk into his connecting bathroom, hearing him digging through cabinets.

“We should pack your clothes, ones that actually fit.” Chanyeol commented, digging inside Baekhyun's closet.

“I like wearing yours, Hyung.” Baekhyun argued.

Chanyeol looked over his shoulder at him and Baekhyun could see the reflecting tear stains, dried. “I like you wearing them too.” He smiled and pulled out a handful of shirts, “But one day you’re going to get caught on something, just watch, I’m calling it.”

Baekhyun heard the familiar rushing of Taeyongs feet and snorted when he saw Jongin jump at the sudden entrance, “Hyung, the water is still on!”

“Good, go take a shower, you stink.” Kyungsoo teased, pushing Taeyongs head away jokingly.

Taeyong scrunched his nose up, “You’re right.”

Baekhyun rolled his eyes because Kyungsoo wasn’t right, he was sure they smelled way worse than Taeyong who was too young to even get body odor yet.

“Alright, little ass kicker, go shower and I’ll make dinner. Don’t take too long, we all need to shower too.” Baekhyun sighed and slid off the bed.

“Okay!” Taeyong exclaimed, turning to run back down the hall.

“There should be clothes that would fit you guys around here.” Baekhyun said softly, moving over to his dresser, “I always liked big clothes… maybe you guys can find things that fit.”

“Okay, babe, we’ll look.” Kyungsoo smiled, “You want to shower first?”

“No, I’m gonna make dinner, you guys clean up.” He smiled and pressed a kiss to Kyungsoo's cheek, “I’ll be back.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun hadn’t been in a real shower in what felt like forever. And even though the water was limited, and they had to take breaks, he was happy to be cleaned.

Being here, it had a lot of memories, good and bad, but he wanted to cover up the bad ones with the good- never get rid of them, but he could try to forget them.

And that’s why he wanted to make new ones, in his old home. Have some more good ones to add to his growing collection.

He was nervous, of course he was, they were so protective of him, so scared to even look at him too long sometimes. But he was okay, or, at least he felt okay.

Baekhyun wrung his hair out in his towel, smiling as he heard his soulmates laughter in his bedroom, just on the other side of the door.

He wrapped the towel around his waist and glanced at the foggy mirror, wiping off the condensation.

He looked better than he remembered. Maybe it was because he was happier now, he felt better. But he still didn’t like looking too long, he already knew what he looked like, he didn’t need to constantly keep looking.

Baekhyun chewed his lip and felt his heart racing as he pulled the door open, ready to face rejection. He would understand, he would also probably cry, but that was okay too.

“Hey, baby. Taeyong is already asleep. We put him to bed.” Chanyeol smiled at him and Baekhyun smiled nervously, hand running through his damp hair.

“What’s wrong?” Kyungsoo stopped laughing immediately, “You have that look on your face.”

Baekhyun laughed and felt his skin goosing up. “I… uh-you don’t have to, but I was… I was thinking… I want, I want you guys to touch me.”

He felt himself blush all the way down his chest as he saw Jongin immediately look at his towel and saw shock in both Chanyeol and Kyungsoo's eyes.

“Come here.” Jongin whispered, moving towards the end of the bed and spreading his knees when Baekhyun walked over.

Baekhyun couldn't read whether they were going to accept or not, and it was freaking him out.

Jongin laid a gentle palm on his ribs, running his thumb over the soft skin, “You sure?”

“Yes.” Baekhyun whispered, fingers running across Jongin's cheek, “Please.”

He saw Jongin lick his lip and lean up to press a kiss to his mouth before he felt fingers loosening his towel.

“Climb up here.” He heard Kyungsoo suggest, “We want to see you.”

Baekhyun smiled, having not heard or seen any signs of rejection as he moved onto the bed, the towel falling off as he laid down, Chanyeol moving a pillow beneath his head, and it was sweet, he was comfortable.

“You say stop and we stop.” Kyungsoo said softly, moving to kneel beside his head on the bed.

“Okay.” Baekhyun whispered, reaching up to pull Kyungsoo's mouth down onto his.

“God, you’re so fucking pretty.” Jongin said, and Baekhyun felt warm fingers running along his legs and let out a quiet moan when Kyungsoo licked into his mouth.

“I told you.” Chanyeol added, “He’s gorgeous.” He ran his hand along Baekhyun's waist, resting it on his navel, “I’ve never seen anyone this beautiful.”

Kyungsoo was kissing him loudly, like he wanted his full attention, eyes dark when he pulled back, running his thumb across Baekhyun's cheek. “I love you, we love you, Baekhyun.”

Baekhyun licked his lips and let out a needy noise, “I know, please.”

He didn’t need to repeat himself, not when Chanyeol started pressing his mouth to Baekhyun's collarbones.

Baekhyun felt Jongin spreading his legs and bit his lip as he looked down, his soulmate pressing wet kisses to his hips, his thumb running over his inner thighs directly over the scars. But he didn’t say anything, Chanyeol probably told them anyways.

“Jongin.” He moaned, back arching, “Jongin please.”

“Shh.” The elder whispered, mouthing at his soft skin, “We got you, beautiful. My baby, our precious soulmate. We’ll take care of you.”

Baekhyun let out such a loud high pitched noise when Jongin wrapped his lips around his length that he was glad to see the doorknob locked, just in case.

“Oh, you sound so nice.” Kyungsoo smiled and mouthed down his chest, “Fuck, I want you to be louder, I wish you could.” He mumbled, hand thumbing over Baekhyun's nipples and making him writhe at the combined pleasure.

“Does he taste good?” Chanyeol asked, his huge hand moving around Baekhyun's waist, “You’re so pretty, all pink for us.”

“Fuck, he tastes good.” Jongin licked his lips and pressed a kiss to Baekhyun's tip, his palms holding his inner thighs apart carefully. “You like it, Baekhyun? Do you want us to stop?”

“More.” Baekhyun moaned, “More, I want more.”

“Move, I want to touch him.” Kyungsoo demanded, “Baek, what do you want? You need to tell us specifically.”

Baekhyun made an annoyed sound, fingers curling into Chanyeol's hair and keeping him against his neck, tongue running over the sensitive skin.

“Anything, Hyung.” Baekhyun muttered, “Fingers, I want-want..”

“Babe…” Jongin whispered quietly, moving to sit in Kyungsoo's spot, “You sure? You need to be sure.”

“Fuck, one of you just fucking do it.” Baekhyun cried, “Stop asking me and just do it.”

Chanyeol laughed hotly against his neck at the demand, “We don’t have lube.”

“There’s lotion, my side table, use it.” Baekhyun demanded, his hand going to reach for his soft pink, leaking erection. “Please.”

Kyungsoo watched his expression carefully as he coated his hand, running the other along Baekhyun's scarred thigh. He ran his finger along his soulmates perineum.

Chanyeol leaned over and pressed his mouth to the youngers, distracting him as Kyungsoo pushed the tip of his finger in. Baekhyun gasped into his mouth, saliva dripping from the corner of their lips.

“Fuck, you gotta relax, sweetheart.” Kyungsoo said gently, pressing his mouth around Baekhyun's thighs, sucking into the flesh gently, “Relax, baby, relax.”

“Baekhyunnie, look at Hyung, it’s just us.” Jongin whispered in his ear, mouth pressing to Baekhyun's jaw, “It’s just us, you’re okay, baby.”

Chanyeol licked the side of Baekhyun's mouth before moving down to place his head on Baekhyun's ribs, hand soothing down his soulmates hips.

“That’s it, love.” Kyungsoo cooed, slowly wiggling his finger in, “It will feel good in just a second.”

Baekhyun squealed, turning his head to pant into Jongin's hair as Kyungsoo pressed into his prostate.

“Fuck- this- Hyung.. Hyung.” He moaned, hips getting held down as Kyungsoo fingered into him.

“That’s it, sugar.” Kyungsoo praised, “Fuck, you look so good, love you so much.”

“Ngh, Hyun-gs!” Baekhyun whimpered into Jongin's mouth, the elder sucking Baekhyun's swollen lips in between his teeth and muffling his whines.

Kyungsoo smirked into his thigh, sucking into his soft flesh as he added another finger carefully.

“Perfect, baby.” Chanyeol cooed, his long hand wrapping around Baekhyun's length, his hand swallowing the pink erection, “Cum for us, sweetheart. You look gorgeous, doing so well for us.”

“Mmm, H-Hyung.” Baekhyun whined, rolling his hips back and forth, fingers curled almost painfully into Jongin's hair, holding the elder to his mouth. “G-good, ah- good, so good.”

“You gonna cum for us, soulmate?” Jongin murmured, wet lips trailing the others, saliva stringing between them, “Come on, baby. Hyungs want to see you feel good, honey. So good, so pretty, Baekhyun. Come on, you’re so good.” He swooned, tasting more of his soulmate on his tongue than his own saliva, and it pleased him.

And then, Chanyeol pressed his thumb into Baekhyun's slit right as Kyungsoo pressed up into his prostate and his face contorted in pleasure, an almost silent moan falling into Jongin's mouth, quickly swallowed up.

“So fucking beautiful.” Kyungsoo murmured, pressing a lingering kiss to Baekhyun's thigh as he reached for the towel on the floor, wiping his hands off.

“Fuck.” Chanyeol cried before wiping his finger through the cum and putting it in his mouth with a deep moan of approval, “Fuck, you taste so fucking good.”

Jongin pulled away from Baekhyun's mouth with a loud noise of separation before moving down, “Let me try.” He whispered, pressing a few stray kisses to his soulmates chest before licking off the cum from his skin, gently licking off Baekhyun's tip until the younger moaned out in oversensitivity.

“You did so well, sweetheart.” Kyungsoo purred, moving to press a soft kiss to Baekhyun's mouth, “Was it okay? You feel okay?”

“Feel… good.” Baekhyun laughed dazed, combing his hand through Jongin's hair when the elder laid his head down on Baekhyun's stomach.

“Good, moon.” Chanyeol chirped happily, pulling the blanket from where it was kicked onto the floor, “That’s how it’s supposed to be.”

Baekhyun smiled and laid his head on Kyungsoo's chest, “It’s nice.”

“You’re the prettiest thing I’ve ever had the honor of seeing.” Jongin smiled cutely and moved to sit up, Baekhyun could see the erection straining in his pajamas.

“Do you want me..” Baekhyun whispered, his hands moving to Kyungsoo's waistband when he noticed that all of them were straining, could feel Chanyeol's against his thigh as the eldest laid a blanket over his naked form.

Kyungsoo grabbed his fingers, pressing a kiss to his forehead. “It’s okay, you’re tired. There’s no rush.”

“I’m tired.” Baekhyun admitted with a nod and could still taste Jongin in his mouth, “Later?”

“Maybe, babe.” Jongin called across the room, “Go to sleep, love you.” He added, shutting the bathroom door behind him as he disappeared inside.

Chanyeol laughed against Baekhyun's cheek, “Jongin can’t handle you, you’re too handsome, too good for us.” He flirted, pressing a kiss beside Baekhyun's drooping eyes.

“I think the same about you guys.” Baekhyun mumbled, already practically asleep, tired and warm.

Chapter Text

 

 

The boys had collected a lot of things from the house, tons of food, lots of water. They had practically filled up the back of the truck by the time Baekhyun had finally woke up.

He had slept a lot more than normal, probably because of the orgasm that had practically swept him to sleep immediately.

“Hey, little duck.” Jongin smiled over his shoulder and continued rolling clothes and throwing them in bags, “We cleared out most of the house, Taeyong is practicing shooting with Sunmi.”

Baekhyun hummed tiredly and sat up, running his hands over his wild hair as the blanket dropped down into his bare lap. “Hyungs?”

“They’re taking some boxes out, no need to worry.” Jongin looked over the love bites on their soulmate, “Come give me love, baby. You’re so cute in the morning.”

“Thought I was cute all the time.” Baekhyun commented with a shy smile as he dragged the blanket off the bed with him towards Jongin.

The elder pulled him down into his lap immediately, pressing a soft kiss to his still puffy mouth. “You are, it makes me crazy. You’re driving me insane you know.” He teased, pulling Baekhyun's head down to his chest before continuing sorting clothes he wanted to take with them.

“Me too.” Baekhyun whispered, blanket forgotten as he wrapped his arms around Jongin's waist, “Me too, Hyung.”

“So this is how it is now?” Jongin smiled down at his soulmates messy hair, running his hand down his bare spine. “I flirt with you and you throw in a ‘me too’ and suddenly my heart is racing?”

Baekhyun giggled into his shirt, looking up and pressing his chin to Jongin's chest, “Yes.”

“Yes?” Jongin teased, playfully sitting up on his knees and laying Baekhyun on the rug, “Not ‘yes Hyung’, not even a ‘yes Nini, you’re so nice!’”

The younger burst into giggles as Jongin nipped at his nose. “Yes, soulmate! So handsome!”

“That’s more like it.” The elder beamed, pressing quick kisses to Baekhyun's mouth, “You got handsome soulmates, hm? But you’re still the prettiest, the most handsome.”

“I think the same.” Chanyeol added deeply, grabbing Baekhyun's ankle playfully as he sat down, “Admit it, babe, I’m extremely handsome, but you’re even better.”

Baekhyun blushed and lighty kicked at Chanyeol as Jongin let him sit up, reaching out for him. “Hi.”

Chanyeol laughed at the shyness, “Hello, good morning, come to Hyung.” He cooed softly, pulling Baekhyun and the blanket attached to his hips to his chest.

Baekhyun smiled against Chanyeol's mouth before wrapping his arms around the eldests neck, laying his cheek on Chanyeol's neck, looking out the doorway.

“You have a good sleep?” He asked gently, pulling the blanket up Baekhyun's back, “You looked like it, our little monkey, stuck to us all night.”

“Slept good.” Baekhyun whispered, eyes lighting up as Kyungsoo walked in, gun strapped to his side and dressed cleanly. “Hyung, hello.”

Kyungsoo's eyes softened as he knelt down to press a kiss to Baekhyun's mouth, loud in Chanyeol's ear. “Hey, beauty. You look cheerful today.”

“I am, Hyung.”

“What’d we just say, doll?” Jongin teased, pulling some clothes out for Baekhyun, “I’m teaching you to flirt; you gotta study.”

“I think he’s good enough, even without meaning it.” Kyungsoo defended, pressing another kiss to Baekhyun's head before stepping around them.

Baekhyun pouted as he thought over Jongin's words, turning around in Chanyeol's lap, “I am in a good mood today, but seeing you made me feel better!” He smiled, ears red.

“That’s my boy,” Jongin praised, “Ah, I’m so proud, come here, babe.” He cooed, dragging him over.

“I take it back.” Kyungsoo laughed and picked up a bag of clothes, “Keep teaching him, I want to see where this goes.”

“I second that.” Chanyeol agreed, “Now it’s time to go, love.”

~~~~~~~

Baekhyun rolled his eyes and rebuckled Taeyongs seat belt, “Read, you know the rules, Tae. You do homework for at least an hour, you don’t get to play until then.”

Taeyong gave Baekhyun one of the dirtiest looks he could muster up. “I’m not a kid anymore.”

“You’re not even thirteen, you listen to me, Taeyong.” Baekhyun said firmly, “What’s gotten into you lately? You always listen to me.”

Taeyong huffed and turned his body towards the window, “Noona said I was becoming a good shot, why the hell do I need to learn this shit?”

“Don’t curse at your brother.” Chanyeol ordered, turning around in his seat. “You’re being rude today.”

“Why does it matter? All of you cuss, I can kill walkers, Hyung. Let me do what I want.” Taeyong whined, folding his arms childishly.

Baekhyun frowned and snatched the workbook from Taeyongs lap, “Fine, the next stop you ride with someone else. You can go run off and be a man since you suddenly want to be so badly.”

“Good.” The youngest grumbled. “I don’t want to see you anyways.”

Baekhyun gawked and grabbed his stomach. “What the fuck is your deal, Taeyong?” He felt Kyungsoo swerve the truck a little, probably stunned at the outburst. “Literally two days ago you were sweet and nice, what… what the fuck.”

“I found something.” Taeyong whispered under his breath, scratching his arm. “You… you lie.”

Baekhyun felt like his world was collapsing as Taeyong dug in his backpack, pulling out a familiar ragged book, the front cover peeling back.

“Did you read this?” He felt himself growing red in anger as he grabbed Taeyongs shoulder, “Did you read this?”

Taeyong curled his lip up in anger, the first time Baekhyun had ever seen such a face. “I read the first pages.”

“Pull over.” Baekhyun demanded, “Soo, pull over.”

“You said I ruined the family.” Taeyong added, “Maybe that’s why dad never liked you.”

“Taeyong!” Jongin cried, looking over Baekhyun's lap, “You don’t tell your brother stuff like that- stop it, now.”

Kyungsoo pulled over then, and Baekhyun literally climbed over Jongin's lap to jump out of the truck, throwing up all over the dried grass.

He heard walkers grunting and groaning, dragging themselves over at the sight of the human, food.

“He sick?” Baekhyun heard Yixing call, the sound of tires coming to a stop behind the truck.

“No!” Chanyeol denied immediately, “Can you take Taeyong, he-uh- he's testy today.”

Chanyeol turned, grabbing Taeyongs backpack as he heard Jongin killing a few close walkers, “You need to apologize.” He whispered to Taeyong, putting his things into the bag, “Being a man isn’t yelling when you’re mad, Tae.”

Taeyong huffed, “You don’t know, Hyung.”

“No.” Chanyeol patted his shoulder, “You don’t know, go ride with the others until you can apologize.” He requested, gently pushing the smaller in that direction.

“Baek.” Kyungsoo worried, knelt down beside him, “Come on, we shot a gun, walkers will be on the way soon.” He fussed, running his hand over the back of Baekhyun's head.

Baekhyun grimaced at the taste in his mouth, standing up and running back to the truck, shaking legs trying to find the strength to pull himself up when Chanyeol lifted him up and into the back with a sad look.

He immediately grabbed the light blue book and put it in his lap, scooting over for Kyungsoo to slide in.

“Water.” The elder offered, “You’re okay, what's wrong? Brothers fight, Baek.”

Baekhyun felt Jongin start the truck up again and shook his head, “Me and Taeyong don't fight, we never fight.”

“First time for everything, baby.” Chanyeol leaned over the passenger seat, “Even we fight sometimes, and that’s okay.”

“It was my journal.” Baekhyun explained, laying the ragged book onto the console, “It’s my journal- I don’t/ I don’t know how he got it, I forgot about it, I-I think I left it on the bookshelf in the living room- but, he’s, he's taller now so he could’ve gotten it.”

“Oh, sweetheart.” Kyungsoo sighed and pulled Baekhyun into his lap, “Fuck.”

“Let’s just… lets hope he only read the first few.” Baekhyun whispered, turning the pages over between his fingers. “They’re just… those are just… ranting.”

“Words you didn’t mean.” Chanyeol summarized, “He’ll understand, he feels bad, I can tell.”

“I’ll have to tell him.” Baekhyun whispered, “I think… I have to tell him.”

Kyungsoo looked down as Baekhyun turned pages, feeling guilty, but unable to look away as his eyes skimmed over some words.

“You don’t need to tell him anything, I don’t even know if he can… truly understand, Baek.” Jongin called into the back.

“That’s okay, Hyung.” Baekhyun mumbled, sitting up in Kyungsoo's arms, “At least I’ll have tried to explain…”

The boys all got silent, sneaking worried looks back at Baekhyun, Jongin peeking in the rearview mirror as the youngest flipped pages.

Baekhyun chewed his lip as he scanned an entry, it was weird to read passages written years ago, some good like how Taeyong had learned how to walk or how fast he had gotten, and some… horrible, detailed descriptions of self deprecating thoughts, insults that had been told to him written in bold, like the anger seeped through the pages, even accounts of abuse, so vulgar especially knowing he was only a teenager at the time.

“You… you guys should hold onto this for me.” Baekhyun mumbled, “You can… you can read it if you’re curious, it’s not all… bad.” He shut the journal and ran his finger over the corner.

“Why don’t you want to get rid of it?” Kyungsoo wondered, resting his head on the crown of Baekhyun's head.

Baekhyun laughed, “It’s not all bad, Taeyongs first birthday is in here… I think I wrote a lot about him.”

“You really love that little shit, huh?” Chanyeol commented, a fond smile on his face as he tossed his backpack into the backseat for Baekhyun to put the journal in.

“I raised him.”

~~~~~~~

Baekhyun was curled up in the backseat, his head resting in Jongin's lap, the elder combing fingers through his head as he looked out the window.

Jongin could see Kyungsoo teaching Taeyong how to siphon gas, not that it really mattered for the kid right now, but it would, eventually.

The kid had apologized, not that it really mattered again. Taeyong didn’t even know what he was apologizing for, much less the whole reason Baekhyun had flipped shit

He was a child, he shouldn’t have to understand, but Baekhyun also shouldn’t have had to learn things like that so early on either.

Jongin's eyes snapped to the truck door being pulled open. He could see the sheen of sweat built up on Chanyeol's forehead despite the cold weather as he tossed a bloodied tired iron into the backseat.

“Anything good, Hyung?” Jongin asked quietly, hand pressing over Baekhyun's ear so he wouldn’t wake him.

Chanyeol nodded, tossing a few random packages of snacks into the backseat before climbing into the driver's seat, “Snacks, better than nothing.”

Jongin hummed, moving his other hand to rest on Baekhyun's stomach, feeling his soft hip where his shirt was pulled up from his sleep. “Good, Baek is still too thin, his spine peeks out too much for comfort.”

“Definitely.” The eldest sighed, turning around and leaning over the center console to run soft fingers through his soulmates soft curls. “So what do you think?” He added in a whisper.

Jongin looked at him confused, resting his head back against the leather of the truck seats. “About what?”

“Are you going to read it?” Chanyeol elaborated, thumb running over Baekhyun's brow gently, “Fuck, he’s so beautiful.”

“I don’t know if I can.” The younger whispered before a small smile overcame his face as Kyungsoo pulled open the passenger door after safely getting Taeyong placed in Sunmi’s car to rest. “And I know, right? It… it turns my stomach sometimes, but in a good way.”

“You talking about Baekhyun?” Kyungsoo asked, face slightly red from the cold as he pulled his hood over his head and covered his red ears.

Chanyeol laughed. Pulling his knees into his seat, long limbs taking up his whole area, invading Kyungsoo's as he pulled the blankets off the passenger seat floorboard. “Of course, I was asking if Jongin was going to read the journal.”

They all went quiet as Baekhyun suddenly made a scared noise, fingers holding onto Jongin's pant leg tightly, grip whitening.

“Shhh.” The elder mumbled even though Baekhyun was definitely asleep, probably having a nightmare. “You’re okay, baby. Hyungs are here.” Jongin added, leaning over to press his cheek onto the youngers, “There you go, sweetheart. Hyung loves you, babe.” He cooed.

Jongin pressed a kiss to Baekhyun's temple before sitting back when the younger calmed down, running his finger over the cutely pointed part of Baekhyun's ear. “Fuck, I want to read it, but… I don’t know if I could not look at him differently, be more protective, you know?”

“It’s hard.” Kyungsoo agreed, leaning his seat back, the only lights being those from the car lights reflecting off their faces. “Soulmates… they're supposed to be connected immediately, Baekhyun can feel it, that’s obvious, but he just needs… more time than normal to process, and that’s okay.”

“I just want to give him what he wants.” Chanyeol murmured, “The other day, when we were fighting in the woods, he looked so genuinely upset that I felt my soulmark burn. I know… that past abuse can alter… how he sees and feels things, but… but I think that he doesn’t even realize he has anything happening. So if he… if he wants you to touch him or anything, you need to make sure he knows what’s going on. Just keep having him look at you; I can’t- I can’t stand the thought of him not realizing and then it would be one of our faults…”

“I used to major in psychology, Hyung.” Jongin sighed, “I think… I think he knows what he’s doing, but I don’t think he realizes fully how sexual acts work. He thinks they’re payment for doing something, how to get he needs, so… it’s hard to weigh whether or not he asked us to touch him because he wanted attention and didn’t know how to ask, or if it’s because he just wanted us to, because we're soulmates so he’s drawn in naturally.”

“I think… we need to read the journals to understand.” Kyungsoo whispered, pulling a blanket up to his chin. “And don’t… just control yourselves. He doesn’t need to be constantly reminded of what happened to him. Sure, he has a few… ticks that probably stem from the abuse. He whispers to himself a lot, he taps when it’s too quiet, I’ve seen him pulling his shirt around when people start yelling. He does… a lot of things, but I’m not sure… what applies to us, because as Jongin said, we’re not just anyone to him.”

“He said the same thing.” Chanyeol laughed softly, pulling Baekhyun's shoes off while Jongin combed his hair. “He said we didn’t need to baby him, that he didn’t need to be reminded when he sees us. So let’s just… let’s stop treating him like he’s glass. He’s fragile, I agree, but he doesn’t want to be, and that’s reason enough to listen.”

“Okay.” Jongin whispered, slowly pulling Baekhyun on top of him so he could lay across the backseats, “Goodnight.”

“Night.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun beamed, laying his cheek against the crook of Kyungsoo's neck, pressing his red mouth to the elders pulse.

“Baek, we’re starting a fire.” Chanyeol poked his head into the backseat window, laughing softly at the youngests position. “Are you going to come out?”

Baekhyun sighed and curled his arms around Kyungsoo's waist as he turned to look at his oldest soulmate, “Only if you carry me.”

Chanyeol snorted, “Come to this side then, babe.”

“Hyung is strong.” Baekhyun giggled as he climbed off of Kyungsoo's lap and crawled to the other back door as Chanyeol opened it.

“Are you flirting? Has Jongin taught you anything good?” Kyungsoo teased, patting Baekhyun's ankle.

Baekhyun hummed softly, shivering slightly as Chanyeol picked him up out of the truck. “Jonginnie says I’m getting good, Soo.” He pouted up around Chanyeol, fingers brushing the strap of the gun on the eldests shoulder. “I’ll be as good as him soon.”

“We don’t doubt that for a minute, honey.” Chanyeol cooed, running his hand through Baekhyun's hair that definitely needed to be cut- they all did really. “You coming, Soo?”

Kyungsoo shook his head, “Nah, i'll be out in a little… I’m gonna read.”

“Oh.” Chanyeol's eyes widened as he nodded, “Yeah, okay, see you in a bit.”

“See you, Hyung, be safe.” The youngest worried.

Kyungsoo laughed and waved at him, “I will, babe, don’t worry.”

Baekhyun smiled in approval as Chanyeol pulled him away from the truck.

Kyungsoo laughed to himself as he dug into Chanyeol's backpack, beginning to read.

~~~~~~~

Taeyong was getting good with a gun, it was unsettling, but not inconvenient, especially at times like these when the fucking vehicles gave out and they had no choice but to stick things out.

It was to be expected eventually, they just had thought they would get a few months with them, but then Sunmi’s car started smoking, the radiator blew out, and Yifan’s car had begun overheating every few miles- coolant pouring out with every mile.

“So what now? We can’t all fit inside the truck.” Junmyeon groaned around the fire.

Baekhyun looked around, feeling equally as upset as everyone looked.

“Is it even worth it at this point?” Jinhyuk scoffed, “Do you even know where we’re going?”

Minseok stood up, a harsh glare at the man. “We told everyone at some point we would have to be on foot, at least until we can get something else running, it was your mistake to join, apparently.”

“You’re welcome to leave anytime, you and your horrible fighting skills.” Sunmi commented, Baekhyun snorted, arm around Taeyongs shoulders.

“Well, not everyone can be homicidally manic like you.” Jinhyuk growled.

“Hey, man, you’re really pushing it.” Kyungsoo sighed from the window of the truck, legs propped over the seat, eyes scanning something in his lap, only listening to the group. “All of us are at least a little homicidal, if you’re not- you don’t survive.”

“Listen, all of you.” Yifan growled, twirling his knife in the dirt. “There's gotta be a place, not just where we hole up, we fortify, hunker down, pull ourselves together, build a life for each other. I know it's out there; we just have to find it."

Baekhyun felt a smile curl onto his face as he leaned against Jongin's side, fingers running through Taeyong's overgrown locks, “We’re with you.” He smiled at Yifan, “Whatever you decide, Hyung.”

“Amen!” Sehun cried making everyone roll their eyes.

“I want a real plan, we can’t keep living on false hope.” Jinhyuk disagreed.

“Then go!” Junmyeon yelled, “Go on your own- go. But if you stay this isn’t a democracy anymore, you wanted a leader- so here we are! If you’re gone in the morning then goodbye, but if not then you listen to us, this goes for all of you.”

Baekhyun raised a brow at the leaders state, the crazed look on his face.

“Okay.” Yixing said gently, wrapping his hand around Junmyeon’s wrist and pulling him away from the fire. “Everyone rest up, tomorrow we will pack what we can carry and set off on foot.”

“Come on.” Baekhyun murmured, “Put that up, stop messing with it, it’s not a toy.” He added, forcing Taeyong to put his gun back in the holster.

“Yeol Hyung said to always be prepared.” Taeyong said, allowing Baekhyun to pull him up. “I’m going to be a man soon, Hyung… I can’t remember the date, but I’ll get a soulmark soon, I know it.”

Baekhyun frowned down at him, now that he thought about it he didn’t know the date either, everything kind of blurred together, he slept days away in the back of the cars or truck, remembered weather changing a little- but it couldn’t have been that long- could it have?

He thought just a few days ago they were in his hometown, but had it been longer than he thought?

~~~~~~~

“Hey, have you guys seen the extra rifle?” Jongin called, shoving as much as he could into his duffel bag as he stood in the bed of the truck.

“It’s not in there?” Minseok snapped his attention up to Jongin immediately.

Baekhyun frowned at the exchange, pulling his backpack over his arms, “Now that I think about it… has someone been taking extra supplies… I mean, it’s okay if so, but… we kind of need to know.”

“We haven’t dug into those boxes since we were back in that residential town a few weeks back.” Yifan pointed out, “I haven’t seen anyone in them since then.”

“Hyung!” Taeyong suddenly yelled, “My ammo is gone!”

Baekhyun heard a twig snap and spun around, raising his gun at the treeline.

“Who’s there!” Chanyeol yelled into the trees, bow pointed towards the noise.

“We’re not looking for trouble!” Junmyeon added.

They could all hear the twigs snapping, wind howling, and trees moving as a man appeared beside a bush, hands raised. “If you’re not looking for trouble, you probably shouldn’t be in this area.”

“And why is that?” Jongin questioned as Baekhyun squinted, trying to identify the familiar voice.

“You haven’t seen the signs?” The man stepped closer making everyone tense, guns firm in his direction. “Damn, sorry about the supplies, my friend is a little sticky fingered.”

“Friend?” Baekhyun murmured before spinning to look behind him, a man- pretty, but dirty- not unlike them, stood behind him, arms raising and eyes widening at getting caught.

“Yeah, sorry, he’s the sneakier of us two, you guys have been here a few days though- we got curious.”

“Give us names.” Yifan demanded.

“Luhan?” Baekhyun laughed quietly and put his gun down as he saw the first man step into the light, “You're alive?”

“Luhan?” Kyungsoo drawled, a jealous glint in his eye as he eyed the man.

“He’s okay.” Baekhyun defended, “I’ll vouch for him- his friend… I have no idea.”

“That’s Taehyung.” Luhan smiled, “Been a while Baekhyun, you look just as cute as I remember.”

Baekhyun heard his soulmates make annoyed noises at the compliment as Jongin reached out to grab his sweater to keep him from walking over. “Thank you!”

“What about this one… Taehyung you said?” Sunmi motioned at him with her gun, “Stick fingers over here that took our supplies.”

Taehyung gave an embarrassed grin, “Yeah, sorry about that, I’ll give them back. We didn’t- we were seeing if you guys were good people- didn’t mean to steal the kids ammo.”

“Wait, hold up, what signs?” Jinhyuk pointed out, looking afraid.

Luhan bounced over, uncaring about the guns on him as he grabbed Baekhyun's arm. “There’s been signs the past few miles, warnings. There’s a town not too far from here, it’s where we came from.” He revealed.

Jongin glared at the man and pulled Baekhyun under his arm, his gun mere inches from Luhan. “What’s wrong with it?”

“Oh, what isn’t wrong with it!” Luhan laughed, scratching at a splotch of dirt on his shoulder, the peeking of a soulmark pointing out, “There’s weak people, gross, a dictating ruler. It’s bad, trust me.”

“I’m done playing.” Junmyeon stepped closer with his gun, “What do you want?”

“Hey, hey, hold on!” Sehun yelled, surprising everyone as he walked in front of the gun, “Hyung, hold on a second.”

“Sehun….” Chanyeol warned his brother, “Sehun, what the hell are you doing?”

Sehun raised his arm, reaching out to lower Junmyeons gun, “He’s my soulmate, chill. He has my mark.”

Baekhyun couldn't help his snicker as Luhan widened his eyes and looked over the man, Sehun was attractive, he could admit as much.

“Ugh.” Minseok groaned, when he lowered his gun everyone else did also, relaxing. “Fuck.”

“Okay, come here, kid.” Sunmi ordered, grabbing Taehyung by his hood, pulling him into the middle with Luhan, “Hand it over sticky fingers.” She ordered.

Taehyung flushed in embarrassment and Baekhyun thought the sight was pretty cute as he placed the rifle he had around his shoulder in her hand and began digging in his pockets.

“Okay, I gotta ask.” Jongin laughed and Baekhyun looked up amused as the older man walked to Taehyung, hand out for the ammo. “Why’d you take pistol ammo if you took a rifle.”

“I’m only good with knives.” Taehyung replied with a laugh.

Baekhyun giggled, “I prefer them too.”

“I do not.” Jongin rolled his eyes playfully as he walked over to give Taeyong the ammo back, “Close range cannot continue, babe, it gives us anxiety.”

“Baek?” Luhan had a playful smirk on his face and Baekhyun knew he was about to get fully embarrassed as the older man grabbed his cheeks. “You found your soulmate, ugh! I’m so happy for you!”

“Soulmates.” Chanyeol corrected with a sneer, pulling Baekhyun away, “And we’d really appreciate a no touching policy, thank you.”

“Oh shit!” Luhan laughed, the sword on his back clunking in its case. “Shit, Baekhyun, you got multiple!” He reached out to grab Baekhyun's shirt again and whined as his hand got pushed away, “Hey! We were friends first, and I have no personal space, so get used to it.”

“I’ll cut your hand off if you keep touching him.” Kyungsoo growled, looking darkly through his hair.

“Oooo! Three, Baekhyun!” Luhan cheered, uncaring of the threats, “Wow, look at you, squirrel!”

Baekhyun flushed furiously at the old nickname, turning to rush into Chanyeol's ribs when he heard a few laughs.

“Hyung is like a squirrel.” Taeyong laughed and began walking towards Luhan when Kyungsoo grabbed his coat. “Tae, we don’t trust strangers.”

Taeyong only shrugged, “He knows Baek Hyung so he's not a stranger.”

“See, we’re friends.” Luhan teased, seeing the annoyance on the other man’s face as Taeyong walked over to him. “I like your gun, kid. I can show you how to use my sword, if you want.”

Baekhyun could feel Chanyeol huffing in annoyance, hand running over his shoulders softly.

“Okay, here’s the deal.” Yifan called, slamming the emptied trunk of his car shut, “We keep heading north, you two can come if you want, but me and Junmyeon are in charge- no questions asked.” He motioned to Junmyeon who had his arms crossed.

“Alright.” Taehyung agreed carefully, “And here we go, walking back where we came from, fun.”

“On a scale of one to ten, how bad is this ‘town’?” Sunmi questioned said the group began walking.

Taehyung shrugged, hands in his pockets, “We only really stayed a week, but… something is off.”

“Probably that fucking leader.” Luhan added, already latching himself onto Sehun, “He just gave the creepiest of vibes.”

“Hm.” Yixing hummed, a knife twisting in his hand, “A missionary type or like… a dictator.”

“He’s… charming, it was hard to see past his exterior.” Taehyung admitted, “But we only saw him a bit when a group was brought in, he was just so weird, he had this vibe.”

“So a con man?” Minseok wondered.

“Maybe.” Was all Luhan could offer.

Chapter Text

 

 

Blisters were the worst part about walking so many miles on a daily basis. Well, it was Baekhyun's problem.

Taeyongs problem was he kept trying to “be a man” and walking too far for anyone’s comfort away from the group, getting yelled at by one of the members. Baekhyun didn’t really care about them parenting him anymore, it was better when he had so many people watching out for him.

Chanyeol's problem was that even though it was hot out, he still sweat ridiculously, which pleased Baekhyun because his soulmate shirtless was a great sight to see, he liked it very much.

But, Taehyungs' problem was that he didn’t have a weapon. He had to rely on everyone else when a walker popped out, and Baekhyun thought it was awfully funny when Jinhyuk freaked out, a knife in his hand but didn’t help at all, but it was getting annoying to have to cover his ass and Taehyung’s.

Which was why he was pulling out his butterfly knife and walking towards the middle of the group to offer it to him. “Here.”

“Why?” Taehyung frowned, “Nobody else offered up a weapon for me.”

“Well, I don’t want anymore deaths on my conscience.” Baekhyun said quietly, patting Taehyung's back, “Plus, seems like you could handle yourself pretty well, saw you smash in that walker a while back, have fun with that drying blood on your shoe though.” He pointed down at Taehyung's bloodied boot with a laugh.

Taehyung snorted, “You're the one that should be careful, those blisters are opened wounds now.” He noticed Baekhyun's white/ dirtied sock having a red color seeping through.

“Ah, fuck.” Baekhyun whispered, “I’ll go wrap it up, just in case.”

Baekhyun spun on his heel, ruffling Taeyongs head as he walked past to get to Yixing and Yifan in the back. “Xing Hyung.” He mumbled, walking beside the medic, “Do you have any bandages? I have blisters pretty bad, I don’t want to risk dying over a fucking blister.”

Yixing frowned before nodding, stopping to pull his backpack off, “Why didn’t you mention it? Fuck, we should’ve gotten you some new shoes when we walked past those shops a few miles back.” He fussed.

“Everyone, take ten!” Yifan called, noticing his soulmate pulling Baekhyun's pant leg up.

Baekhyun sighed and took a seat on the cold asphalt road, “It’s okay, I didn’t really notice honestly.” He explained, pulling off his shoe and rolling down his sock.

It was worse than he thought, the whole back of his ankle rubbed raw, cracking. He should’ve gotten some boots, something that could last, but instead he was stuck wearing his messed up school shoes that had been pushing a size too small since he had gotten them.

“Fuck, I need to put some antibiotic ointment, this is gonna take a few, Baek.” Yixing sighed and Baekhyun felt bad for bothering him even though he knew the medic was only worried about him.

“What’s wrong?” Kyungsoo asked as he walked over, only a small bit of water left in the bottle he handed to Baekhyun, “We’re almost out of water, we’ll need to stop and rest up somewhere.” He added.

“Baekhyun's shoes aren’t cutting it.” Yifan nodded at the medic who was wiping down the wounds with an alcohol wipe, “We can’t risk infections, we don’t have antibiotics left, we need food, we need water, we can’t keep on the road.” The leader sighed.

“Let’s scout later.” Kyungsoo said immediately, running a hand over Baekhyun's hair, “You, me, Jun Hyung, maybe one of the others- we should go scout ahead.”

Yifan nodded, a contemplating expression as he ran a dirtied hand through his hair, “We should get everyone inside somewhere first, settle them in so we know they’re safe. You’re right, there’s no point in forcing them more miles into the woods if there’s nothing there.”

“Baekhyun would have an infection by then.” Yixing interrupted, “With all the dirt, we haven’t showered in weeks, cutting deeper into his wounds- yeah, no. He can’t get an infection right now, I think I’ll have to start taking his temperature every once in a while, the wound was pretty deep, and a little discolored.”

“It was just a blister.” Baekhyun denied, “Hyung, I didn’t even feel it.”

“It was.” Yixing agreed as he wrapped it up, “But, the blister broke, opening the wound. Infections can enter and travel into the bloodstream, honey. Sepsis and Cellulitis are not things to be taken lightly, especially when I don’t have any treatment, we need to be careful these days, Baek.”

Baekhyun huffed in annoyance as he noticed Kyungsoo look frantic as he leaned down to pick him up.

“Hyung!” He whined as he was thrown over his soulmates shoulder, “You forgot my shoe!”

“Forget your fucking shoe.” Kyungsoo growled, “Chanyeol is going to carry you to a safe place, and that’s it, we’re getting you new shoes and you’re going to be fine.”

“Ugh, Soo.” Baekhyun whined, “This is unfair.”

“Caring for your health, baby.” His soulmate teased, “Yeol Hyung, a gift, here.”

Baekhyun was maneuvered around like a rag doll and if he had a full stomach, maybe he would have thrown up as Chanyeol held his thighs and moved him onto his hip like a child. “The best gift, hi baby.”

“Hi.” Baekhyun sighed, pressing his forehead on Chanyeol’s chest, “You're my ride, apparently.”

“Okay first, Jongin don't make a dirty joke.” Chanyeol ordered, a stern look at Jongin over Baekhyun's head, “And I don’t mind, what happened?”

“Soo left my shoe behind!” Baekhyun cried, pouting his lips as he looked up at his soulmate, “My shoe, Yeol!”

Kyungsoo snorted, patting Baekhyun's ass gently as he stepped around Chanyeol, “He fucked up his ankle, we’re going to stop at the next building we find, clear it out for everyone and lock them in. Me and the leaders are going to run ahead if you guys want to come.”

“I wanted to come.” Baekhyun pouted, only getting cooed down at for the cute face.

“I’ll go.” Chanyeol agreed.

“Guess I need to stay back with this trouble maker.” Jongin teased, reaching over and pulling Taeyongs shirt to annoy him, “Hyung will stay with you, bug.”

“Hyung!” Taeyong screeched, “I can protect myself!”

Jongin only cooed and pinched his cheek, beaming when Taeyong smacked his hand away.

“What kinda building are we looking for?” Luhan said, a hand over his brow to block the sun, “Like infestation level one or ten?”

“Ideally a one, but I can tell that you’re hoping for a ten.” Minseok snorted. Baekhyun smiled at the two, they had been getting along so well.

“We can go for a five.” Sehun teased, throwing his arm around his soulmate, “Make it fair, Lu.”

Baekhyun thought they were cute too, but wished they would stop fucking every night, it made him feel guilty as Luhan had consummated the first night, and here he was… months later, giving his soulmates little to no intimacy.

“Hyung could probably take on a level ten!” Taeyong laughed to himself, “Luhan Hyung is crazy.”

“I should be offended, but I tend to think crazy is good these days, so I’ll accept your compliment, ass kicker.” Luhan said happily, making everyone snort.

Baekhyun loved that everyone latched onto Taeyong, it gave him protection, it gave him people to care about. But that was also an issue in itself, the more people to care about, the more people to lose.

And since so many people paid Taeyong attention, his brother never really sought him out very often anymore. He was getting older, and he was growing. Baekhyun had realized that morning that his brother had grown at least a few centimeters more than what he had remembered and it made him reminisce about the toddler that clung to his leg when he made them dinner.

“On a scale of one to ten, how sinful would it be if we slaughtered all those walkers in that church?” Sunmi pointed out in the front, pointing at a run down church, boards blocking the windows and door, but the groaning from inside was unmistakable.

“It’s a ten if Sehun and Luhan decide to fuck inside, but it would be unsurprising.” Yifan rolled his eyes.

“Hey, watch your mouth, Taeyong already cusses more than he should.” Junmyeon ordered, setting his bag on the ground.

“The world ended, I don’t think his bad habits are really the top of our priorities right now.” Yifan replied with a laugh.

Baekhyun shrugged when they looked at him for a response, Chanyeol setting him down on a patch of grass, “Guess some things we had to learn he doesn’t really need to.”

“Huh.” Minseok mussed, “Guess you’re right, do you think that makes us more moral than the newer generations… or are we the more vicious of them?”

“I don’t know if morals are something we need to worry about with Taeyong… we are the ones he's watching, let’s just… it’s hard to call ourselves good people, isn’t it?” Baekhyun wondered aloud, watching the others pull out weapons, he didn’t even have a shoe, his soulmates wouldn’t let him help even if he wanted to.

“I think you’re a good person, Hyung.” Taeyong smiled, pulling his gun off his hip and pointing it at the door, “Watch this, I can probably headshot from this far.”

Baekhyun didn’t know what constituted being a good person anymore, but even as he saw his brother shoot down a few walkers and get praised for it, he didn’t think he was necessarily doing a bad job.

~~~~~~~~

“You’ll be safe?” Baekhyun asked quietly, pulling Kyungsoo down to his level to press his mouth over the others, “You and Yeol, you both come back.” He ordered against his soulmates mouth.

“Of course.” Kyungsoo smiled, brushing Baekhyun's hair off his forehead and pressing his lips to his dirtied skin, “We always come back for our family, you just sit tight.” He murmured, pulling his soulmate into a hug.

Baekhyun sighed as he rested his chin on Kyungsoo's shoulder, watching some of the others dragging the dead walkers out and tossing them into a pile, “I’m serious, Hyung.”

“I’m serious too, baby.” Kyungsoo responded, pulling back for another kiss before motioning for Chanyeol to say goodbye, even though it would only be a few hours, they never knew when the last times could be. “I love you, we’ll be back soon.”

“You’re scared?” Chanyeol asked, “You don’t need to be afraid, Baekhyun.”

The younger licked over his cracked lips and wrapped his arms around Chanyeol's waist, “I’m gonna be pissed if you don’t come back.”

Chanyeol laughed and Baekhyun pouted cutely, “It’s not funny, Hyung! I’ll-I’m gonna hit you!” He threatened.

“I know.” Chanyeol laughed a few more times, pressing his forehead to Baekhyun's and kissing his pouting mouth, “I know, I just love you. And you don’t need to worry, there’s no way we wouldn’t make it back to you.”

“If you die or turn, you won’t.” Baekhyun murmured against his mouth.

“Nah, even then you bet your pretty ass we’re going to haunt you, baby. Annoy the shit out of you, huh? It’s what we’re good at, yeah?” He prompted, tickling Baekhyun's side until he got a cute squeal and a light hearted ‘stop it!’ “Seriously, we love you, we’ll be back, and get you some shoes.”

Baekhyun laughed at the reminder, looking down at his dirty sock and his one shoe, “Soo’s fault.” He whined.

“I’ll find you new ones!” Kyungsoo called back, waiting with the leaders for Chanyeol to finish. Baekhyun stuck his tongue out at him in reply just to see the pretty smile he got from the elder.

“Let’s get you in, babe. You can walk around inside.” Jongin called as he hopped over a body to get to Baekhyun, “You gotta let them get going before it gets dark.”

Baekhyun sighed and rubbed his nose on Chanyeol's before turning and motioning for Jongin to pick him up, “I’ll be pissed, Yeol.” He cried as Jongin picked him up.

“Don’t worry, I’ll watch his dumbass.” Junmyeon added with a laugh when Baekhyun beamed at him before Jongin took him in.

“He’s cute.” Yifan muttered, nudging Kyungsoo's shoulder, “You guys love him a lot.”

“Yeah.” Chanyeol mumbled, already looking down as they began to walk away, “We’re soulmates, it’s hard not to.”

“Definitely, he loves you guys too.” Junmyeon added, pulling out the map, not that it was useful when they didn’t really know where they were.

“You think so?” Kyungsoo mumbled, him and Chanyeol looking genuinely confused.

Junmyeon and Yifan looked at them equally confused. “Of course.” Junmyeon laughed quietly, “He looks at you guys like… like you hung the stars or some shit.”

“Really.” Yifan frowned at their confusion, “You guys might not see it, but Baekhyun loves you guys. When I found him in the woods all those months ago, he looked like shit physically, emotionally, he just looked like he had given up. He doesn’t look like that when he sees you guys.”

And it only confused Kyungsoo and Chanyeol more.

~~~~~~~

“Hyung, I know it’s expired… but do you think it’s okay?” Taeyong asked across the church, digging through a pile of what looked like donated food.

Baekhyun remembered a church near him doing something similar when the disease struck. Having people come in with supplies and having them all stick together under the protection of god. How well did that work out when they were too ‘enlightened’ to realize not to allow infected in. The irony that such self priding people ended up becoming the reason for their own demise.

“Let me see.” Baekhyun called, hearing Taeyong walking his way over to where Baekhyun was rummaging through a desk.

Taeyong held out the package and Baekhyun smiled softly as he leaned back against the desk, “It’s pudding, bug. Not a lot of this can go bad.” He explained as he looked over the label. “What else did you find? Show Hyung.” He suggested.

Taeyong beamed and walked Baekhyun over to his pile, “I remember you said if it has been opened, it’s not good. And if it is a fruit or vegetable it isn’t good anymore unless dried.” Taeyong said proudly, pointing at the small pile of food he deemed good versus the bad pile.

“And why is that?” Yixing called from a bench, peeking down the walkway.

“Because you’ll get food poisoning.” The youngest responded.

“That’s right, sweetheart.” The medic cooed, brightening Taeyongs smile.

Baekhyun smiled at his brother and took a seat by the pile, looking through it, “These all look okay, bug. You should keep the pudding for yourself, a treat.” He smiled and set it in Taeyongs hand before looking at the ‘bad’ pile.

“What’s the rule about rice?” Baekhyun tested, “These cans too, why do you think they’re bad?”

“Rice needs water.” Taeyong responded, “We’re out of water and need the room to carry other things like… granola bars. And… I honestly didn’t know what those were.”

“It’s tomato sauce.” Baekhyun mumbled, “Doesn’t taste very good alone, but it will give you a lot of energy.” He explained, placing them in the good pile before sitting back on his palms and looking at his brother with a proud smile. “I like your logic, it’s good, but we haven’t found very many supplies, so don’t you think the rice is worth it to carry? Is rice worth more or less than say… this small granola bar?”

“The granola bar will give you energy faster.” Taeyong mumbled as he peeled the top off the pudding cup, “But the rice will give you more meals, but you still need water.”

“But the extra work will be worth it, don’t you think?” Baekhyun asked, “It’s up to you, what do you think?”

“I think…. if we have room maybe we can boil water later on…” Taeyong explained, “Maybe it’s worth it because… rice is more filling and maybe we can find water.”

“I like that answer.” Baekhyun smiled and stood up, pressing a kiss to Taeyongs hair, “I’m proud of you, bug. Don’t eat too much sugar.” He cooed.

Taeyong smiled at the praise and at Baekhyun's back as the elder walked down the walkway.

“Hey.” Baekhyun said gently, sliding in beside Jongin how was sprawled out across a bench. “You feel sick?”

“Headache, probably from waking so much.” Jongin murmured, smiling up at him.

Baekhyun hummed and gently moved Jongin's head into his lap, running his fingers through his soulmates hair even though they were both disgusting, all of them smelled so bad they almost were immune to the smell at this point, he had no idea how Luhan and Sehun could stand to have sex so much when they all smelled horrible- soulmates or not.

“Tae found some food, do you want me to get you some? I think I saw your favorite.” The younger suggested quietly.

“Hm, in a minute, I want you to sit with me.” Jongin responded, eyes closing at the comforting ministrations.

Baekhyun laughed quietly, “I always sit with you, Hyung. Nothing has changed.”

“All these months and nothing’s changed, hm?” Jongin asked, an expression Baekhyun couldn't place, “It’s nice when we’re inside, when we don’t need to be on edge.” He added, softer.

“Yeah, it’s gonna get hot in a few months. It’s going to be hard to travel in the heat, especially with low water.” Baekhyun worried quietly, “But it should rain soon, maybe that will be a blessing, more cover from walkers, and water.”

“And cleanliness.” Jongin moaned, reaching for Baekhyun's hand that wasn’t in his hair, moving it to his chest, “God, I feel disgusting.”

“You look handsome still.” Baekhyun's ears tinted, but he was getting used to telling his thoughts- at least to his soulmates.

Jongin smirked, “Yeah? You’re getting so good, one day you’ll have me flustered, babe.”

Baekhyun giggled and shook his head, “Really though, we do need to shower, it’s been… weeks.”

“Yeah.” Jongin murmured quietly, “I smell horrible.”

“We smell horrible.” The younger corrected.

“I think you smell alright.” The elder teased, “Always pretty like a flower, always smells like a flower.”

Baekhyun snorted, cheeks pinkening as he smacked Jongin's chest lightly, “You're a horrible liar, Hyung, the worst.”

Jongin laughed so handsomely Baekhyun was often stunned by the handsome man. “Can’t lie to you, doll. Love you too much.”

“I adore you.” Baekhyun whispered his replacement response. He had felt too guilty not to reply to them these days, and they still liked his response, it was cute.

It just wasn’t the one that they wanted to hear, that their hearts raced just to think about hearing the three words falling from their soulmates pretty mouth.

“Nini Hyung.” Baekhyun turned and watched Taeyong wall down the walkway, “His favorite.” His brother added when he got close enough, passing the can over.

“Thank you, bug.” Baekhyun said softly, pressing his palm to Taeyongs long hair. “Go eat some more. Do you want me to cut your hair later? Can you even see?”

“Oh.” Taeyong murmured, pushing his hair out of his eyes, “Yes please, it’s not very… safe. You should cut yours too.”

“I will if you do too.”

“Deal.” Taeyong smiled.

~~~~~~~

“I think we’re about four miles out, maybe five…” Junmyeon checked his watch, “We only have a few hours of daylight left, we should turn back.”

Kyungsoo furrowed his brow, stomping the walkers head at his feet before wiping the dripping sweat. “No, we can’t keep doing this, Hyung.”

“We can’t, Jun.” Yifan agreed, pulling Chanyeol's arrow out of a walker, “Just a little further, there’s more walkers in this area- that’s gotta mean something.”

“It means death.” Junmyeon scowled, “Look, I agree, I do, but if we don’t turn around within the next hour we’re going to be dead men walking.” He argued.

“I’m not going until I have somewhere safe, or at least better than the road, even if it’s temporary.” Chanyeol disagreed, renocking his crossbow. “Please, Hyung. I… I don’t want Taeyong to have to sleep on gravel or in an old car every night.”

At the mention of the youngest member they saw Junmyeon falter, his mouth pursing as he nodded, “Alright.” He sighed, “Alright, I agree.”

“Can I see the map?” Kyungsoo asked, wiping his hand on his jeans, “Maybe I can figure out where we are, there was a sign a while back, a national forest. Don’t they put that shit on here?”

“Hopefully.” Yifan murmured, looking over Kyungsoo's head as he accepted the map.

Kyungsoo stared at it for a few seconds as they walked slowly, “Do you remember the main road name? Fuck… I saw the highway sign, but I can’t remember if it was 60 or 80.”

“80.” Yifan mumbled, reaching over to point at the map, “What forest was it?”

“It doesn’t really matter.” Kyungsoo laughed, “There’s only one forest off 80, so we must be here.” He pointed, “If we’re here, let’s assume the church is… you said four maybe five miles back, so… near us should be-“

“Holy fuck!” Chanyeol yelled, much louder than they should be right now. The three staring at the map jumped and looked around for the man.

“Guys, guys!” He called, making the three take off towards the sound of his voice.

He wasn’t that far, only standing on the edge of the forestline maybe a fourth of a mile from the clearing they were talking in. But they were too distracted to scold him.

“Shit.” Junmyeon gawked in disbelief.

Chanyeol smirked, leaned over and pulled his arrow out of a walker. “If we could clear this out, what do you think?”

The leader looked around wide eyed, it would be work to clear out, but not unattainable. “Perfect.” Yifan laughed.

“Hey, Yeol.” Kyungsoo smiled and pointed at a walker dressed in a guard uniform. “Shoot him, will you? I think Baek would like those shoes.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun was pacing anxiously, it was dark out, and the four hadn’t showed up yet.

He couldn’t help but to get upset, everyone else looked just as scared as him- this wasn’t their useless members that had been sent out, it wasn’t Jinhyuk who nobody could honestly care about, it was their leaders- it was four of their strongest fighters.

And two of his soulmates. Jongin was here, dead asleep, he didn’t blame his soulmate, Jongin was exhausted and had practically devoured his can of pears and passed out. But Baekhyun was too panicked to rest.

“Baek.” Luhan said gently, reaching into the walkway to grab his arm. “Calm down, they’ll be fine.”

“Easy for you to say.” Baekhyun whispered, “Sehun is here, dead asleep with Taeyong.”

Luhan looked a bit upset with his snapping and Baekhyun sighed, rubbing his temple as he sat beside him. “I’m sorry, my heart is racing.”

“It’s okay.” Luhan murmured, “Really, it’s fine. You really love them.”

Baekhyun felt his lip turning up but didn’t respond, tapping his fingers on the hardwood bench as he stared at the doors.

He saw Yixing organizing things in his backpack and Minseok was reading. He felt a bit envious of the two, but they had been with their soulmates way longer than Baekhyun- especially in the apocalypse- they had spent way more time with their soulmates during such a stressful time that they didn’t seem nearly as worried as Baekhyun.

It could have been a facade- or, it was because Baekhyun had trouble trusting that they would come back- whether it be their fault or not. He couldn’t help it.

That thought reminded him of another thing. “Hey, Hyung.” Baekhyun murmured, turning to face Luhan. “Do you remember school much?”

Luhan hummed, using the edge of his knife to pick under the edge of his nails. “A little, why?”

Baekhyun scratched his itchy hair and chewed the side of his cheek. “You asked me… you asked me once if you could come to my house, do you remember?”

“Oh.” Luhan laughed and Baekhyun's eyes flickered immediately over to Jongin sitting up a few benches in front of them, his soulmate stretching. “Of course, you… you said you weren’t allowed to have people over. I always thought you were just so cute and shy, squirrel.”

“No.” Baekhyun whispered, “You didn’t think that… did you?” He licked his lip nervously, searching Luhan's face.

Baekhyun scooted over for Jongin when he noticed him, inviting him into the bench with him.

“You said something to me once, Baekhyun.” Luhan paused to eye Jongin as if unsure he could continue, and Baekhyun only nodded, immediately bringing his hand to Jongin's cheek when his soulmate yawned and rested his chin on Baekhyun's shoulder.

“You told me… that you didn’t want to go home, when you were sixteen, I didn’t really know.” Luhan lowered his voice even though it was echoing in the church- or it felt like it was.

Truthfully, Baekhyun didn’t feel it was much of a secret anymore. He didn’t think it really mattered, it didn’t interfere with much, in his opinion. He had much, much too many things to worry about than to keep his abuse a secret, but… he felt he owed Luhan an explanation at least, since he had cared for him in school, watched out for him.

There must be a reason they had been reunited. So, maybe it was Baekhyun's turn to care for the elder, or at least be a better friend to him.

“And I told you… I didn’t want to either, we were kids then, remember? And.. and I said we should just run away together. And you told me you couldn’t because your little brother had school the next morning.” Luhan smiled as Baekhyun blushed at the memory. “And… I think you and I- I think… we’re similar, am I right?”

“How?” Baekhyun frowned.

Luhan shrugged and began carving his knife into the back of the wooden bench in front of him. “My mom's friend, she wasn’t very… she liked to babysit me. So, when I was around twelve I told my mom the truth, that I didn’t like when she babysat because she… did weird things.” Luhan turned his head to eye Baekhyun, “Similar right?”

Baekhyun could only gulp, pretending he couldn’t see the members looking at the two of them.

“I think the only difference is… I got to escape early, did you Baekhyun?” Luhan added softly.

“Your nightmares weren’t at home everyday.” Baekhyun replied, feeling Jongin's nails digging into his shirt, “I had to go home to them.”

Luhan's eyes softened as he reached out to touch Baekhyun's cheek. “I still have issues sometimes.” Luhan said, “But you look so well, I almost couldn’t recognize you. The little teenager that jumped if I shut my locker too hard, my squirrel that scattered when the football team smiled at us. Now you fight, and you don’t flinch; I don’t know what you’re doing, but you look so much better.”

“It's been years.” Baekhyun whispered, “I’ve had years to deal.”

“It was your dad, wasn’t it?” Luhan murmured, almost apologetically. “I could tell… you didn’t even want to be my friend at first… because I was a guy right? And I was a little older? It scared you, you used to stare like I was going to attack you, and we were only kids.”

Baekhyun nodded, leaning back against Jongin's chest. “I killed him.” He admitted, “Befor- before I even spent a day out with walkers, I shot him.”

“Good for you, squirrel.” Luhan smiled, “Maybe that’s what’s changed… or,” He gave a slight nod to Jongin, “You have better people now.”

“Both.” Jongin whispered, looking at Baekhyun's profile fondly, “We think he's stronger than he gives himself credit for.”

“I agree.” Luhan laughed, “And Taeyong… he’s going to be a good man, Baek. Really, he’s going to live, and he’s going to survive, even if we can’t change to fit into this world- he can.”

Baekhyun hadn’t cried this whole time, but he couldn’t stop the small couple of tears that fell as he pulled Luhan into a hug. “The younger generations are the good ones, right?”

“I don’t know.” Luhan mumbled, “But Taeyong will be.”

~~~~~~~

He was half dozing off when the church door slammed open, almost making him roll of the bench with how fast he reached for his knife on the floor, he probably would have fallen had Jongin not been wide awake and alert.

His happiness only came for a split second before he was pissed, getting up and stomping to the door. “You fucking- you- I’m so mad!” He cried, grabbing Kyungsoo and Chanyeol each by the edges of their shirts. “I’m going to fucking kill you.”

“Babe.” Both of their beaming smiles only succeeded in making Baekhyun angrier. “Babe, we’re fine.” Chanyeol laughed as Baekhyun pushed up Kyungsoo's sleeves.

“Shut the fuck up, take off your backpack.” Baekhyun growled, an angry scowl on his lips as he moved the collar of Kyungsoo's shirt to check his collarbones.

“No bites and no scratches.” Kyungsoo said softly, pressing a quick kiss to Baekhyun's temple, earning an adorable glare from his soulmate.

Baekhyun huffed in annoyance when Chanyeol wouldn’t lean down for him, tugging the edge of the giants shirt hard so he could look at his exposed skin. “Soo got you new shoes, sweetheart.” Chanyeol beamed happily, puckering his lips for a kiss when Baekhyun managed to pull him down.

The younger pointedly ignored his soulmates mouth, pressing a kiss to his cheek and hitting both of them. “We expected you back before dark!” He scolded, folding his arms. “I’ll kill you guys if you pull this shit again.”

Kyungsoo smiled, “Pretty-“ quickly being shushed by Baekhyun's glare that he guessed was supposed to be scary, but it looked more like a puppy than anything.

“I swear to god, I’m really mad at you guys right now.” Baekhyun added, “And I’ll kick your asses if you ever do this again.”

“Baby.” Kyungsoo laughed, pulling Baekhyun's hips to his, “We found a place, we can rest, we can be safe.”

Baekhyun's eyes flickered with interest and thus both laughed when he tried to keep the same ‘scolding’ expression. “I’m still mad, that doesn’t change anything.”

“It’s really big, Baekhyun. Maybe we can get more survivors, Taeyong could get some friends again.” Chanyeol prompted.

Baekhyun sighed, unable to keep up his false anger when he felt excitement rush through him, jumping up to wrap his arms around Kyungsoo's neck. “Where are those shoes? Can I try?”

~~~~~~~~

The first thing that was apparent when they walked the five miles to the prison was that it was… very infested.

Many walkers around the gate, many inside the gate, but that was probably because both of the rolling protective gates was opened, it was allowing walkers to come and go as they wished.

But the leaders had plans, they always did.

Yifan cut a wire around the prison with pliers, choosing a spot where not many of them were standing around.

Baekhyun pressed his back to the fence as he kicked a walker in the chest, sending it sprawling back.

“Watch the backside!” Yifan called as he slid through the whole.

“Got it!” Sunmi yelled, stabbing the walker Baekhyun kicked to the ground in the head with a pipe.

“Let’s go! Go!” Junmyeon urged, pushing everyone towards the hole.

Baekhyun saw Luhan shove Taeyong in first before everyone was shoving each other in.

“Hurry, hurry.” Minseok cried as Kyungsoo weaved a wire through the hole, making sure it was tightly sealed as walkers pressed up against the fence.

They now stood in the alley between two fences, one side the yard of the prison, and the other the open field and forest they had just come from.

“Lets go!” Chanyeol yelled, leading the group in a run.

The alley between the fences turned at an L and then stopped at a rolling fence that led to the yard.

The yard that was filled with walkers.

All of the creatures stumbling over to the fences loudly at their sounds.

“It’s perfect. If we can shut that gate, prevent more from filling the yard, we can pick off these walkers. We’ll take the field by tonight.” Minseok panted, pointing his machete at the opened gate.

“So how do we shut the gate?” Taehyung asked.

“I’ll do it. You guys cover me.” Jongin volunteered.

Baekhyun practically snarled, “No, it’s a suicide run.”

“I’m the fastest.” Jongin argued.

“No. You, Luhan, Sehun, and Kyungsoo draw as many as you can over there.” Yifan ordered, pointing to the fence opposite the gate.

“Kill them through the fence. Chanyeol, Jun, and Sunmi, go back to the other tower. Baekhyun, you’ve become a pretty good shot, take your time, we don’t have a lot of ammo to waste. Taehyung and Minseok, you both and Taeyong, take this tower. Jinhyuk… help.”

Baekhyun snickered

“Alright.” Taeyong nodded, spinning to the door to a tower and waiting for Taehyung.

“I’ll run for the gate.” Yifan nodded at Yixing who readied himself to roll the gate open for his soulmate.

“Let’s go!” Sehun began prompting the walkers, “Cone on!”

“Come on! Hey, come here!” The boys began yelling, leading walkers to the fence and stabbing through it.

“Come on! Hey, come here! Come on! Hey come on! Come on! Come on! Hey come on, get over here, come on!”

Baekhyun laid the tip of his gun through the gate as he followed Yifan running through walkers. “Come on, Hyung.” He mumbled, shooting a few walkers who got too close to the leader.

Yifan ran, Baekhyun saw a bullet fly almost through Yifan's arm and heard Taeyong scream out an apology, even though the leader probably didn’t even notice.

All the walkers began noticing the running figure and Baekhyun could feel his anxiety rushing as Yifan almost got tackled, quickly shooting the walker, a leg shot, but it got the creature down- good enough.

Yifan rolled the gate closed and Baekhyun sagged in relief, laughing in disbelief as Yifan climbed up a tower.

“He did it!” Luhan screamed.

“Light it up!” Kyungsoo added.

Baekhyun saw Yifan laughing as he too began shooting walkers down from his tower across the yard, all of them killing as many as they could.

“Wooooo! Come on, you motherfuckers!” Luhan cried like a manic at the last few walkers in the yard, tempting them towards the noise as he rattled the fence.

Baekhyun snickered and pulled his gun away from the fence, reloading.

“Fantastic!” Yixing laughed, almost looking like a child as he rolled open the gate once the last walker in the yard was shot down.

“Nice shooting.” Kyungsoo smiled and threw his arm around Baekhyun's neck. “Yeah?”

“Hyung! Did you see me?” Taeyong smiled and grabbed Jongin's shirt, “Noona said I was good.”

“Very good, Tae.” Jongin complimented, ruffling his hair.

“You okay?” Baekhyun called to Yixing as he walked into the yard looking almost star struck. “I haven’t felt this good in weeks.” The medic joked.

Baekhyun snorted, wrapping his arm around Kyungsoo's side.

“Oh! Oh, oh! We haven’t had this much space since we left the camp!” Minseok yelled, kicking a dead walker as if unsure it was fully down.

Baekhyun heard running and turned around only to squeal loudly when Chanyeol picked him up, holding him like a child. “Let’s play, baby!”

“Are you two!” Baekhyun wiggled with laughter as Chanyeol faked like he was going to drop him, hands tightening in his soulmates shirt.

Chanyeol only beamed, cupping the back of Baekhyun's head before actually placing him in a blank space grass, “All this space, little moon! Run around with me!”

Baekhyun giggled and held Chanyeol’s head to his chest, “Can’t we just rest for a while?”

“Ugh.” The elder groaned as if annoyed, but kept his wide grin. “Tag?”

Baekhyun snickered, pushing Chanyeol off him as he stood up, a smirk playing on his lips as he spun around and touched Taeyongs arm.

“Bug is it!”

~~~~~~~

Junmyeon let them have their fun for a while, truthfully less than an hour as they were all exhausted and needed to clean up these walkers.

It took them all day to drag them all into a pile on the gravel area of the courtyard.

It was better to get rid of them now though, before they decomposed even further, rotting bodies and guts merging together.

So, they currently had two fires going. One burning away the walkers corpses, and the other a bonfire, a few cans of beans resting near the heat to get warmed up.

“You think water will still be running?” Taehyung asked, chewing on a granola bar.

“Probably, the government tends to have a different sort of program for water in prisons, same with generators and power- they’ll probably have some manual ones we can figure out- I’m not sure that the utilities were completely shut off here though.” Junmyeon explained.

“Probably, that town not too far from here had power, and water, even boilers.” Luhan added, words mumbled into Sehun's arm.

“Fuck, i’d kill for a hot shower.” Kyungsoo stated, digging a clean knife into the top of a can.

Baekhyun smiled and motioned for Taeyong to lay his head in his lap when he saw the younger looking dazed.

“You did well, Tae.” He said softly, combing his brother's hair back, “Hyung is really proud of you, bug.”

“You know…” Yixing glanced across the fire at Baekhyun, “I always wondered about the nickname, does it have a story?”

Baekhyun laughed and nodded, running fingertips over the soft skin around his brother's cheek. “When Tae was little he used to be scared to death of bugs- any kind- ladybugs and spiders were the same to him.” He laughed and looked down at Taeyong smacking his lips in his sleep.

“And then this one time, he was crying and screaming about a butterfly that flew into his window, I think he was like… four, maybe. But he was sobbing so hard, and it was ridiculously cute. So I caught the butterfly for him and told him that he should look at it because it was so pretty, and I figured if he saw all the colors maybe he wouldn’t be so afraid.

And it worked, he was so excited, ‘Hyung I want to keep it, and he can stay with me always’ he told me. And I told him we didn’t keep bugs because they liked to go outside and see things. And he argued, his little four year old self crying, so I told him, ‘Bugs like to stick together, and they have to go home and see their families too, they don’t want to be alone.’”

Baekhyun smiled and looked around the fire, “And he said he wanted to be a bug so he could always stick to me too, so he didn’t have to be alone. So, it’s always me and Taeyong, it’s always been us, we’re a family.”

“We’re a family.” Minseok said softly, expression so fond it had Baekhyun looking slightly confused. “My blood, my family is sitting right here.” He added.

“That’s the cop out we get, isn’t it?” Baekhyun said softly, “When you care about people… hurt is part of the package, but we get to be a family, even if it’s only for a little while, even if we do horrible things to keep it this way.”

“All of us have earned a place here.” Junmyeon said softly, “And all of us will continue to do the worst kinds of things for each other, but we can make it together, or we die trying, and I think dying for family… it would be honorable.”

“Just don’t let me turn.” Taehyung laughed, his awkwardness taking away the tearful tension. “I think we can all agree, none of us want to turn out to look like one of those motherfuckers.”

The group laughed, Baekhyun resting his shoulder on Jongin's side with a grin.

“Alright.” Yifan groaned as he stood to his feet, “Better all turn in. I’ll take watch over there on the tower, we’ve got a big day tomorrow.”

“What do you mean?” Yixing frowned up at his soulmate.

“Look, I know we’re all exhausted. This was a great win. But we gotta push just a little bit more. Most of the walkers are dressed as guards or prisoners, and it looks like this place fell pretty early. Could mean the supplies may be intact. They have an infirmary, a commissary.” Yifan sighed, looking apologetic.

Baekhyun saw people perk up, “An armory?” Sehun asked.

“That would be outside the prison itself, but not too far away. Warden’s offices would have info on the location. Weapons, food, medicine, this place could be a gold mine.” Junmyeon added, “The inside is probably flooded, but it’s worth it.”

“We’re dangerously low on ammo. We’ll run out before we make a dent.” Sunmi pointed out quietly.

“That’s why we gotta go in there. Hand to hand. After all we’ve been through, we can handle it, I know it. These walkers don’t stand a chance.” Yifan said adamantly, “Now rest up, and tomorrow around this time, we’ll have beds.”

And only god knew how badly Baekhyun wanted a bed again.

Chapter Text

 

 

The inner courtyard wasn’t an issue, the main issue was getting into the actual prison.

But it would be dark until they could get power, and to get power they needed to get inside the cell blocks and kill the walkers they were sure infested the place.

“Let’s just go, back to back.” Luhan suggested, “Nobody use gunshots, it will echo off the walls and all of us will be stunned.”

“Okay, then Taeyong needs to sit out.” Yixing said softly, “Sorry, sweetheart, you’re good with guns, but you’d get overpowered.”

Taeyong only pressed his tongue to his cheek in annoyance, but otherwise didn’t argue with Yixing which was good because Baekhyun was ready to agree with the medic.

“If we go in silently, then we can sneak up- hopefully.” Kyungsoo agreed, “Lets walk in pairs.”

“Me and Yifan Hyung.” Chanyeol said immediately, “We’re the strongest, we should go first.”

“Hyung didn’t sleep last night.” Baekhyun said gently, “He’s not in a good state, he can sit out.”

He saw Yifan go to argue and laughed at Yixings immediately glare that kept the leaders mouth shut.

“Okay, then me and Sehun.” Chanyeol corrected, “Then… Taehyung and Baekhyun, Kyungsoo and Junmyeon, sound good?”

“I’m gonna start clearing a few I saw near a shed.” Sunmi added, “It looks like it might be a stairwell or something, the wall looks down on the other side of the prison though, I noticed from the west tower.”

“That’s okay, we can rebuild, and we only need a wing opened for now.” Junmyeon rubbed his eyes, “Also, take some people with you- nobody goes alone.”

“I’ll go inside the cell blocks too.” Jinhyuk sighed, “I haven’t killed more than like ten walkers, ever. I should… try.”

Baekhyun smiled and sent the man an approving head nod.

“Alright, Min Hyung, you going with Sunmi?” Chanyeol stood up and offered Baekhyun his hand. The eldest nodded in response.

“Hyung, can you show me how to fight?” Baekhyun heard Taeyong asking Jongin and laughed quietly.

“Okay.” Yifan sighed as he held the door handle to open the main area door, “If it’s too many you guys come back, all of you.” He ordered.

“Okay.” Kyungsoo agreed, hands tight around his tire iron.

Baekhyun twisted his knife in his hand anxiously, sensing a nod to Taehyung beside him.

“Be safe.” The leader added, opening the door.

It actually wasn’t as dark as they expected, a window at the end of the hallway shining, giving them a narrow area of light.

Baekhyun could hear the nervous shuffling of someone behind him, it had to be Jinhyuk as he new Kyungsoo and Junmyeon definitely weren’t that nervous- and weren’t stupid enough to be so loud about it- but nobody could talk as they listened out for walkers.

It was silent as they walked down a corridor, no sign at all as they walked on.

Chanyeol stopped the group in the front, looking back with a finger to his mouth as he reached down to grab a set of keys off a dead guard.

Quietly, Chanyeol unlocked the main door that closed off the corridor of cells. At the sound of the metal squeaking open a few walkers groaned.

Sehun immediately began stabbing them, rushing forward.

Baekhyun and Taehyung stopped to stab a few walkers through the cells.

“Oh-god-“ A groan, a scream, and then a gunshot rang out behind Baekhyun.

Everyone’s eardrums practically burst at the pressurized noise and cement walls only echoing before it occurred to Baekhyun that someone was groaning in pain.

“Fuck!” He yelled, pushing past Taehyung and Junmyeon and kneeling on the ground, “Fuck, Soo… Soo… oh my god.”

Baekhyun couldn't tell if he just couldn’t make out what Kyungsoo was saying because of his ears ringing or if he was in shock as Kyungsoo held pressure to his leg.

“Jinhyuk, you… you idiot.” Junmyeon sighed, reaching down to close the man’s eyes, a large bite from his neck already having spilled too much of the man’s blood. He then turned and stabbed the walker that gnawed on the chunk of flesh between the cell bars.

“Kyungsoo!” Baekhyun cried, running his hands over his soulmates face, pressing his forehead down onto his soulmates, “Soo- Hyung, Hyung!”

“Someone get Yixing!” Chanyeol yelled, kneeling beside them.

“Fuck, Baek, you need to move, I need to see.” Chanyeol urged gently, “Babe, I know, please.”

Kyungsoo groaned, holding his thigh, “Baby, baby I’m okay- fuck, fuck, I’m good.”

“Hy-ung!” Baekhyun sobbed, realizing he was in the way as he fell onto his hip on the other side, “Don’t- don't ever scare me like this!” He scolded, “Don’t ever- I th-thought you were bit!”

“It’s not that bad.” Chanyeol said softly, “We’ll need antibiotics, but it looks like the bullet went in and out, he’ll be fine.”

“Everyone else come clean out the cell.” Junmyeon demanded, “This block will be good.”

“Shh, Baek.” Kyungsoo murmured softly, “It doesn’t hurt that bad, it’s okay.”

Baekhyun sat back, pulling his knees to his chest as he watched Yixing run in, “You got shot.” He whispered, pressing his shaking hands into his eyes. “Hyung-Hyung you were shot.”

“Someone needs to get him out of here before he goes into shock.” The medic suggested.

Baekhyun stiffened at the thought, turning to wrap shaking hands into Kyungsoo's shirt, “No! No, I’m staying!”

“Baby… babe, you’re no-“ Chanyeol reached out for him.

“No!” Baekhyun screeched, shoving his hands away, “Stop, I love him, he’s mine!”

Chanyeol gawked at him while Kyungsoo was already dazed on blood loss, unable to really pay much attention anyways.

“Don’t touch me- leave me alone!”

Jongin ran in then, moving around people trying to clear out the cell block, “Fuck, I’m sorry I’m late, I had to lose Tae. Fuck, Hyung.” He murmured, watching Yixing cut away Kyungsoo's jeans.

“What happene- why do you have that look on your face?” He questioned Chanyeol before shaking his head. “Soo Hyung, are you conscious?”

“‘M good.” Kyungsoo slurred slightly.

“Hey, Baekhyun.” Yifan said gently, kneeling down to touch the man’s arm, “Hey, why don’t you go set up your guys cell, you guys can have the perch up there, we won’t even fight you for it.” He prompted, passing Baekhyun a set of keys, “We’ll bring Kyungsoo up as soon as he’s all wrapped up.”

Baekhyun looked up with puffy eyes, lips bitten red and his soulmates looked pained at the sight, “P-promise?”

“Of course.” Yifan murmured, “Of course, the door is just up those stairs, we need him moved so we can get the walkers out, sweetheart. Yeah- there you go, honey.” He smiled gently and helped the shaking man to his feet, “I’ll take you, we don’t want you falling over.”

“S-Soo..” Baekhyun whispered, looking over his shoulder as Yifan began guiding him towards a small set of stairs.

“It’s okay, see. He’s not alone, it’s okay. Yixing is the best, I swear.”

Baekhyun gulped, but trusted Yifan with his life.

~~~~~~

“What do you think?” Junmyeon nodded at Yifan as they sat at a table in the resting area outside the cell block.

“Home sweet home.” The other laughed. “For the time being.”

“It’s secure?” Minseok questioned as he took a seat beside his soulmate.

Junmyeon hummed and looked down the hallway of the cell block, watching Chanyeol and Jongin pick up Kyungsoo. “This cell block is.”

“What about the rest of the prison?” Sunmi asked quietly, as she had been since Jinhyuk had died. She spent the most time with him, and although he was a horrid man, he was still a person.

“In the morning, we’ll find the cafeteria, and the infirmary.” Yifan explained, smiling as Taeyong bounced his way in. “Hyung, we’ll sleep in the cells?”

Yixing smiled at the kid as he peeled his gloves off, pushing him towards the cell block, “Pick a cell, sweetie, we’d prefer close to others.”

“Yeol found the keys on some guards. I have a set too.” Junmyeon said, “We can pick sets off guards until everyone gets some.”

“I’m so exhausted, I don’t even care.” Minseok groaned.

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun had calmed down a bit as he had pulled the thin mattresses off the tops of cots on the second floor of the cell block, dragging them over to the locked down perch.

It wasn’t exactly private, but it was basically a cell that was used for the night watch guards, a door locking it off from the others and it was more open.

Baekhyun suspected everyone chose cells far from there to give them more privacy though, so he appreciated it- or it was to give themselves more privacy.

“Let me see you, baby.” Jongin whispered, sitting down beside where Baekhyun was seated criss crossed on the piles of mattresses, running fingers through Kyungsoo's hair.

“Arms up.” The elder whispered, pulling the edge of Baekhyun's shirt up. He complied a bit confused as Jongin pulled it off and began looking at the dirtied skin of his neck and shoulders.

“What are you doing?” Baekhyun laughed quietly at the fingers running along his skin.

“Checking for scratches.” Jongin replied, looking up at Chanyeol who pulled his shirt off to get comfortable.

Baekhyun smiled adoringly as Jongin pressed a kiss to his shoulder and then neck, “You’re okay.” Jongin mumbled before pulling the younger to his chest.

Baekhyun closed his eyes and cupped Jongin's jaw, pressing a stray kiss to his ear. “I love you.”

Jongin pulled back with a disbelieving laugh, eyes glossing over. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” The younger smiled and smiled as Chanyeol pulled his hips back to rest in between his legs. “I have… I think.”

“We love you.” Chanyeol whispered, chin on Baekhyun's shoulder, “We’ve loved you.”

Baekhyun nodded and furrowed his brows to keep from crying as he grabbed Kyungsoo's limp hand, he was only sleeping, but Baekhyun found it unnerving. “I know, I’ll tell you guys everyday now.”

“Tell me again.” Jongin murmured, a soft request.

“I love you, Hyung.” Baekhyun swallowed hard and turned to press his nose to Chanyeol’s jaw, “I love you too, and I love Kyungsoo. Everyday, whenever you want, I’ll tell you guys.”

Chanyeol pressed his cheek to the nape of Baekhyun's neck, but the younger could still feel warm tears run over his skin.

“Because… everytime we step out it’s a risk, everytime we get up it's a risk, we breathe and it’s a risk, and I-I want you guys to know… that-that I do love you, so much, so much. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” Baekhyun sobbed, sucking his trembling lip between his teeth for composure.

“There’s no reason to be sorry.” Jongin whispered, “There’s no reason, baby. We knew, we knew you felt the same.” It was a lie, and Baekhyun knew it, but Jongin was so good at faking genuinely it was concerning.

“Hyungs!” They heard squealing as Taeyong stomped up the metal stairs and all of them sighed in relief as his head poked in. “Hi, I heard Soo Hyung got hurt.”

“He’s okay.” Chanyeol said softly, wiping his face.

Taeyong frowned, “Then why was everyone crying? You guys all look like you’re crying.” He observed.

“Happy tears, bug.” Baekhyun murmured, offering him a hand, “You want to spend the night with us?”

Taeyong laughed in embarrassment and nodded, “I chose a cell… right around here, so if anything happens I can come here first.” He explained, laying down on the mattress beside Kyungsoo.

“That’s smart, sweetheart. Hyungs appreciate the thought.” Jongin said, grabbing the piles of folded blankets and distributing them, “Now I’m tired, let’s sleep, and tomorrow let’s hope there’s lots of food in the cafeteria.”

Baekhyun laughed and laid down between Taeyong and Kyungsoo so the younger wouldn’t accidentally kick him or anything. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight, love you.” Chanyeol replied.

“Love you Hyungs.” Taeyong murmured, Baekhyun smiled and curled his arm around his brother's waist, “Love you all.”

For once, Baekhyun didn’t feel overwhelming guilt when he heard Jongin's own muffled, “We love you both, so much.”

~~~~~~

The next morning he must have slept in more than usual, because he didn’t feel tired at all.

He rolled onto his side where Taeyong used to be laying, he probably ran off bright and early. He sat up on his elbows as he watched Jongin and Chanyeol get dressed.

“Good morning, sweetheart.”

Baekhyun smiled and turned to look at Kyungsoo, “Good morning, how do you feel?”

“I feel like I deserve some love, don’t you think?”

Baekhyun giggled and scooted over to press a kiss to his soulmates forehead, “You do.”

“Don’t you have something special to say, sweetheart?” Jongin chirped, bending over to touch the back of Baekhyun's head for a moment.

Baekhyun hummed and pressed a soft kiss to Kyungsoo's mouth, observing how his soulmate took his time to reopen his eyes before bumping his nose on the youngers gently.

“I love you, Kyungsoo Hyung.”

Kyungsoo frowned as if confused, jerking his head back for a moment as he licked over his lips. Baekhyun laughed fondly, curling into a ball on his side as he watched Kyungsoo's expression change into borderline tearful. “Am I still knocked out?”

Baekhyun heard Jongin and Chanyeol laugh behind him. “No, it feels like it huh?” Chanyeol inquired.

Baekhyun only leaned up on his elbow to press a few shy kisses to Kyungsoo's cheek, resting his nose against his soulmates cheekbone. “I do. I love you.”

“I love you.” Kyungsoo muttered immediately, still a bit of confusion in his tone, “I love you, so much. You know, baby, you know.”

“I was scared, Hyung.” Baekhyun responded, “I freaked out- what if that was your scream? What if that gunshot was any higher, could have hit your chest- your head. And then I realized… I can’t- I can’t keep pretending to brush off everything because I’m scared to trust… because life fucked me up.

Not in this world, not when… everything we do comes with consequences, with chances of not surviving. So, I want to tell the truth… and I want you guys to know… that I do love you guys, so much, love you so much. Thank you… for taking care of me….” Baekhyun gulped and Kyungsoo grabbed his jaw to pull him towards his chest with a soft noise.

“Oh, sweetheart. We love you. You don’t need to thank us, baby. You take care of us too, you keep us happy too, it’s okay, shh.”

“I like… I like it when you guys take care of Ta-Taeyong like he’s your brother.” Baekhyun whispered against Kyungsoo's shirt, his happy tears falling into the fabric. “I like when you guys touch my face an-and you tell me I’m beautiful and nice things. When you protect me and Tae. I like to be treated gently, softly.

You guys know… you know I don’t like to be held certain ways, I don’t like to… be told certain things, but you know- you know and I love when you guys know without me telling you. I love you, love you guys.”

“We love you, Baekhyun.” Kyungsoo cooed, pressing his lips to Baekhyun's forehead, “We know you, we know you and you know us just as well, love. I’ve known Chanyeol and Jongin my whole life and you think I noticed things you do? No, of course not, because I don’t pay attention as much as you do.

I didn’t even know Jongin's favorite fruit was pears until you ranted about finding some the other day. Or how you noticed Chanyeol had to check locks three times or else he would be fidgety the whole day, no, I never noticed, but you notice things, baby, and we know you love us because you pay so much attention to us, even when you didn’t say it.”

“You do this thing.” Baekhyun sat up and pulled his blanket up to his chest, “When you're bored you pout, but you don’t realize you’re doing it.” He laughed and then smiled up at Jongin when he laid a jacket over his shoulders. “Jonginnie taps his cheek when he gets confused, everytime. Chanyeol does this thing in his sleep… it's like a whimpering noise, used to scare the shit out of me until I realized he was just… dreaming and that it was a good noise.”

“Oh, shit.” Chanyeol whispered, bending down to pull Baekhyun to his chest, “We love you, Baekhyunnie, anything you want, baby, you deserve it.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun wasn’t happy about it, not at all. But the boys had went off to clear out the cafeteria, and see what else they could get cleaned up.

Well, not Kyungsoo he was still resting, and he was going to need antibiotics if the wounds didn’t start closing up within a week or so.

Yixing had stitched it up the best he could, but the infirmary here didn’t seem as stocked up as they had hoped and Baekhyun wanted to smack some sense into Taeyong who had went off to clear said place himself, “Hyung, it’s no big deal, I killed two walkers.” Taeyong had told him.

It wasn’t, he couldn’t exactly yell at Taeyong for it, but he could still be upset.

“Hey.” Baekhyun looked up from his half eaten can of beans, other hand holding a prison map layout. “Xing Hyung, hey.”

“Hey, sweetheart, mind if we talk?”

Baekhyun frowned, setting his spoon down, “Something wrong with Soo?”

The medic gave him an apologetic smile and shook his head, taking a seat across from him. “No, well we won’t know for a bit, but that’s not why I wanted to talk.”

“Oh, okay?” Baekhyun mumbled, confused, “Are you okay?”

Yixing laughed, “I’m fine… I just wanted to talk to you.” He licked his lips and looked across Baekhyun's face for a moment, “Remember the other day in the church?”

Baekhyun raised a brow in confusion before nodding, “Yes, Hyung…”

“Well, I know it was a private conversation, but… uh- if you ever need to talk or anything… I’m actually a Psychiatrist… well, I was in my eighth year of training so I studied mental health and medical practice.” Yixing started at him almost apologetically, “So… if you need anything… I’d gladly talk to you, honey.”

Baekhyun pulled his hood over his head, almost self consciously. “What makes you think I need help?”

The medic frowned and scanned his weary expression, “If you didn’t you wouldn’t be so defensive right now.”

“Maybe I’m uncomfortable.” Baekhyun mumbled softly, hair blocking his eyes.

“No, I think you want to talk and you just don’t know what to say. I care about you, and some people may try to say it’s not okay to reminisce in the past… but that doesn’t really apply to you, Baekhyun. Does it? You can’t just forget, you can’t push it off even if you wanted to, and that’s the problem… is it not?” Yixing argued softly, reaching across the table and touching Baekhyun's sleeve covered hand.

The younger chewed on his lip before reluctantly nodding and leaning onto his elbows, “It's…. it’s been months, you know.”

“Since you came?”

“Yes, it’s been months since I met the boys.” Baekhyun smiled fondly at the mention of them, “And I only just… just last night told them that I loved them… the first time, Hyung. And they’ve been telling me since… since the first few days practically.”

Yixing frowned, “Really?”

Baekhyun nodded and began pulling at a string on the edge of his jacket, dirtied fingers that were sore and raw. “It’s so… mean, isn’t it? It’s been so long, Hyung and I haven’t… I’ve barely touched them, they’ve barely touched me, they know… and they’re so nice about it, but that doesn’t mean it’s… it’s not right, not how things should be. It took this long for me to… fully trust my own soulmates, ignoring the pull for so long.”

“But you want help though.” Yixing pointed out, “You can talk to me, Baek. We should start talking every once in a while… there’s some things I’m sure you wouldn’t want them to know, and maybe I can help you, I’d never judge you, never. I swear, we’re family, sweetheart.”

“Can you stomach it?” The way Baekhyun laughed was dry and emotionless and made Yixing cringe in sympathy, “Hyung, I’m messed up. I contradict myself a lot, I… can’t really stand myself, I’m not even sure I care about the abuse anymore, it was so long ago.”

“But it sticks.” Yixing murmured, “It sticks and that’s why you find yourself unable to do certain things, or, even doing things you otherwise don’t need to, feeling things you don’t have a reason to. It’s your mind pushing memories back, but your unconscious is giving you signals, trying to keep you from more harm, or even making you feel like you might need to do things… normal people probably wouldn’t.

You can tell me whatever you want, sweetheart. It’s just you and me, that’s all that needs to know, I won’t even tell Yifan- it’s nobody’s business but yours. Sure, I might get overwhelmed… maybe angry, but it’s because I care about you, Baekhyun, and you’re so sweet, you’re so kind to everyone even when you don’t need to be, and you didn’t deserve to be treated… so… horribly.”

Baekhyun leaned back on the bench, pulling his hands out of the medics reach and saw a flicker of disappointment fall over Yixings face before he quickly played it off, waiting for Baekhyun's response.

“I don’t have nightmares anymore.” Baekhyun began, watching Yixing smile instead of looking worried, “I sleep, I can eat, I feel okay most of the time. But… then I’ll hear something loud, or something aggressive, my heart starts beating quickly, and I feel like puking.”

“That’s normal, you have some trauma, it doesn’t just disappear, Baekhyun. But we can work on it.” Yixing said softly.

“You’re right too.” Baekhyun whispered, “You said… I might feel things I don’t have reasons for, want to or will do things even though I didn’t know why I was doing them.”

“Does it happen a lot?”

Baekhyun tilted his head as he tried to think before shaking his head, “Not… a lot… but randomly. Like… when we could all hear Sehun and Luhan in the woods… I feel really guilty, but I know my soulmates- they don’t care that we haven’t… done things, but I want to, I’m curious, I’m damaged, but I’m not broken, I understand that what happened to me was wrong.”

Yixing nodded, “Very wrong, Baekhyun.”

“I get… urges.” The younger whispered, almost like he was scared people would overhear even though almost everyone was out clearing the cell blocks, Kyungsoo was passed out down the hallway, and Taeyong was outside practicing with Sunmi. “I’ll… for example I’ll see um… I’ll see Chanyeol eating something or maybe… even just being… being his handsome self, but either way he has something I want.

So, say I wanted the snack, or even just his attention… I could go ask, right? And he’d give it immediately becau-because that’s what my soulmates do, they… love me, care for me, but… the first thing that comes to my mind is… is that I could offer myself to him.” Baekhyun wiped his eyes with his sleeve, no tears were falling, but his eyes burned, “It’s… it's disgusting right? I should want to… have sex with him because I love him, and I do love him, but… I want to just… have sex with him the first time because I want attention or even over something as small as a snack- simple things- things they give me daily, things I honestly don’t need to ask for.”

“It’s the only way you know how to get things you want- wanted.” Yixing corrected himself, “Don’t feel bad, obviously your mind is sorting itself out, because you wouldn’t be thinking things like that about others, just your soulmates, right? Your thoughts don’t just change that fast, so I’m assuming in the past you’ve had the same thoughts… not about them.”

Baekhyun released a dry whimper and felt like his whole chest was on fire as he agreed, “I can’t- I don’t think like that about anyone but-but my soulmates, but… but before I have, I mean… you’d give up anything for your family, or is it just me? Like… like if Taeyong needed something… that’s- I’m all I had to offer.”

“Of course, for anyone in this prison, Baekhyun. Your thoughts are… a bit tangled up, but your morals are still right. You don’t need to explain yourself, you don’t need to tell me reasons for doing things, they don’t matter to me, what matters is that I can help you try to sort them out.” The elder explained.

“I never did though… just-just so you know, I don’t… you said not to explain myself, but… I want you to know.” Baekhyun murmured.

Yixing smiled kindly and shook his head, “I wouldn’t have thought any different of you even if you did, honey. What you do… it’s your business, but I guess that’s a plus about soulmates, huh? They can shake you up or calm you down pretty quickly, you trust them fast- even if you think you don’t, same with love. You may think you don’t- but you do.”

“Is it… is it the same with… uh-interest. Like… like I think I don’t want to… to have sex but… I really do… but it needs to be… needs to have a reason- I don’t want to have more meaningless sex-“

“It wasn’t sex, Baekhyun, you were raped. Sex is different, you want to be intimate, but you don’t want the pain. You’re not afraid of having sex, your mind is giving you mixed signals because it constantly is remembering bad experiences, so when you think about doing something intimate now you’re either probably panicking, or maybe… maybe even getting a little giddy because you’re interpreting it as getting something in return, whether it be something or even just attention. Am I wrong?”

Baekhyun opened his mouth but closed it quickly at the sound of metal grinding as the cell doors pushed open, feet rustling in.

“Baek!” Baekhyun felt himself smiling even at just the sound of his soulmate calling for him, “We’re in here!” He responded, sending Yixing an appreciative look he hoped the medic would interpret accordingly.

“Babe, you won’t believe it!” Jongin laughed and Baekhyun giggled as Chanyeol draped himself over his back, pressing his sweaty face into Baekhyun's cheek. “We found the shower blocks, and the water… it can get warm!”

“Oh my god.” Baekhyun whispered before his face broke out into a smile, “Let’s go! Let’s go!”

~~~~~~~

The showers were nice, well, they were nice enough.

They were separate blocks, which was also nice.

Each one was about eight feet by eight feet, a cell door that locked the squares individually, they even still had shampoo and soap inside, well, it was to be expected- they weren’t exactly priority when the world ended.

“This is so nice.” Baekhyun smiled as he began to peel his grimy clothes off, laying his clean clothes in the corner far away from the rows of shower heads, there were a few, but some of them looked broken, not that it really mattered because the three of them- four when Kyungsoo could walk- would probably share them anyways.

At this point, Baekhyun was confident being exposed to them, they never touched him, barely even laying hands on him in general other than to coddle or kiss him, never straying down passed his hips.

“Can’t wait to get rid of some of this.. blood, I can’t get it out of my nose.” Chanyeol groaned.

Baekhyun laughed and turned to look over at them, both of his soulmates already turning on their own faucets. Even their backs were gorgeous, muscular and strong, Baekhyun couldn't find it in him to be jealous though, because they liked their size differences, how Baekhyun wasn’t toned and muscular, that he was soft and small.

Baekhyun liked it too, he liked how Jongin liked to rest his chin on Baekhyun's head because he was too tall and it probably hurt his neck to rest at an odd angle on his shoulder, how Kyungsoo could man handle him from the floor and carry him around like he weighed nothing, and Chanyeol… Chanyeol was practically double his size… everywhere, it was a bit inconvenient sometimes, but the eldest never had anything to complain about, only praise his tiny soulmate.

“Me too!” Baekhyun chirped as he finished kicking his jeans away, moving over to the faucet in between them. “My hair is so itchy recently.”

“Here.” Jongin said, offering him a bottle of shampoo, “Although I still think you look pretty, even with all that dirt, reminds me when I saw you in the pond.”

“Oh, I agree.” Chanyeol laughed, eyes closed as he merely stood under the stream of water, “Our baby, so cute so long ago, and even cuter now.”

“Ugh, you guys are so biased.” Baekhyun giggled and went back for more shampoo to lather up as he scrubbed his hair, “I was completely embarrassed.”

“It was cute though, I guess I did come on a bit too strong though.” Jongin murmured, abandoning his stream of water to go to Baekhyun's. He probably would say, ‘I’m helping’ if Baekhyun asked why, not that he really cared the reason when he got his youngest soulmates attention. “I should probably apologize for being so forward, hm? But it was so long ago, and you looked so pretty I couldn’t help it.”

“I thought you were a player.” Baekhyun smiled as he felt Jongin lather his stained hands with soap, “I figured you probably flirted with everyone, so I wasn’t… too concerned.”

“Oh, but I did not, gorgeous.” Jongin wiggled his brows and pressed a kiss to Baekhyun's wet jaw, pressing himself into Baekhyun's side, not sexually, only for attention. “But I genuinely had no idea you were our soulmate, but… you were so adorable, I think I physically couldn’t help it.”

“You hit on him too?” Chanyeol laughed deeply, Baekhyun thought the way his black hair spread out weirdly in water was endearing. “What was it I said? You can come to me or something?”

“First, you said, ‘holy shit’.” Baekhyun giggled and felt Jongin laugh against his shoulder blade. “Then you called me too skinny and said, ‘You ever need anything, gorgeous, you come to me.’” He mimicked.

Chanyeol cheeks reddened but he only smirked, “You remember that so clearly? You like us this much, hm?”

Baekhyun smiled genuinely, “Of course, I remember everything you guys have ever said to me. I pay attention to you all the time.” He felt Jongin's arms wrap around his waist, the elder pressing his cheek to Baekhyun's neck.

“Love you, doll.” Jongin murmured.

“I love you too.” Baekhyun said immediately, turning around to cup Jongin's face, “Love you, so much, Hyung.”

The way Jongin's eyes lit up as he surged down for a wet kiss was painstakingly adorable, and Baekhyun didn’t feel as guilty waiting so long when they took his affection so preciously.

“Our little moon.” Chanyeol's voice was always hard to ignore, even when Baekhyun's mouth was attached to Jongin's, licking water from his lips.

Chanyeol's hand ran along the curve of his spine until it rested just above Baekhyun's tailbone, as if he suddenly deemed his own action inappropriate. Baekhyun hated when he caught them doing stuff like that- almost like they were scared to try anything with him unless he did it first, it was annoying.

Even when Baekhyun could feel them pressing against their pants hard when they kissed, they never tried anything, and Baekhyun found it difficult to offer when he wasn’t sure they could tell he wanted it too.

“So beautiful, so sweet, I love you.” The eldest added.

Baekhyun smiled into Jongin's mouth, turning his head to look up at Chanyeol as Jongin pressed kisses to the side of his face. “Hyung, I love you.”

Chanyeol laughed brightly, pressing his palm to Baekhyun's forehead and rubbing the water off his skin. “You have no idea how happy we are to hear you say that, love.”

“I promised I’d tell you whenever you wanted.” Baekhyun whispered, fingers twirling into Jongin's hair as the man pressed his mouth to his jaw. “I love you both, love Kyungsoo, love all of you.”

“Oh fuck.” Jongin murmured, pulling his head back, “We need to get Hyung cleaned up, I’ll go get a bucket.” He realized, turning off the faucets and walking towards the cell door.

Baekhyun started laughing loudly, making Jongin spin around, confused.

“I do like the sight… but you should put some clothes on, you’re mine.”

“Oh shit.” Chanyeol laughed, wrapping a towel around Baekhyun's shoulders, “Look at that, baby, you out did him- he’s blushing- knew you could do it.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun frowned and ran gentle fingers through Kyungsoo's hair as Chanyeol sat the injured man up.

It had been a few days, and the prison was really coming together. Minseok had even started talking about starting a garden in the springtime, apparently he had been a botanist before all of this.

“I know, Hyung, I’ll send Xing Hyung in here later the check.” Baekhyun murmured, pressing a kiss to Kyungsoo's temple.

Kyungsoo grunted in pain as Jongin pulled his pants off.

Baekhyun curled his lip up at the disgusting colored stitches, they didn’t even look like they were helping keep the wound closed or cleaner than it would be if the entry or exit wounds were opened.

“Fuck, someone talk about something… this shit fucking hurts.” Kyungsoo moaned as Chanyeol wiped around the stitches carefully with a clean rag.

“I-my therapy is going well.” Baekhyun said immediately, brushing Kyungsoo's damp hair from his face, “Hyung said it was.”

“Yeah?” Jongin said gently, squeezing Baekhyun's arm when he saw him cringe at Kyungsoo's groan. “How many sessions has it been, babe?”

Baekhyun pressed his nose to Kyungsoo's hair, “Three. I feel… better.”

“That’s- fuck- that’s good.” Kyungsoo flinched.

“Okay, I really need to get someone to check on you.” Chanyeol said softly, “It’s been over a week, Kyungsoo, it should be healing by now.”

“I’ll send Hyung in, I was gonna go talk to him a little more.” Baekhyun said softly, brushing his lips across Kyungsoo's cheekbone.

“No, I’ll just get Junmyeon, he knows some.” Jongin argued, “You go talk to Hyung, we’ll come get you if something’s up.”

“Yeah.” Kyungsoo grumbled, “Go ahead, baby. Love you.” He whispered, crossing his arms over his bare chest.

Baekhyun frowned, “Love you too.” He whispered, “I don’t want to leave you here.”

“We’ll be with him.” Chanyeol muttered, “Now give us kisses and get your pretty ass outta here.”

~~~~~~~

“I want to try to… sleep with one of my soulmates.” Baekhyun chewed his lip and glanced at the cell doorway to make sure nobody was lingering before snapping back to look at Yixing.

Yixing grinned, the cute dimpled one that reminded Baekhyun of the dimple on one of Chanyeol's cheeks. “That’s very interesting, sweetie, what made you come to that conclusion?”

“I… I…” Baekhyun ran his sweaty palms over his pants, “You said last time that I shouldn’t remember intimacy as something bad… I don’t want to anymore.”

“Don’t base your decisions on that alone, Baekhyun.”

“I’m not.” The younger said immediately, “I’m not… you know I’ve been wanting to, but…. maybe I’ll do it.. probably not now, not when Soo is… not healing very well.”

“Even if you did.” Yixing said softly, “Even if you did, your soulmates would be very proud of you, Kyungsoo included. I’m sure they’d be thrilled just to know you considered it.”

“They know.” Baekhyun said immediately, “They're not… they're not clueless, they know my problems, it’s pretty annoying sometimes. But… they care, maybe too much, maybe that’s why I get so annoyed sometimes, but they do know I want too.”

“You guys talk about it? It’s good to talk to them about such things, Baek. I’m really proud of you, it’s better to talk, right?” Yixing asked.

“Yeah.” Baekhyun smiled and leaned his elbows onto his knees, “Some things… they’d be too much for them… it’d only make them more reluctant to-“

“Hyung! Hyungs!”

Baekhyun sighed and rubbed his temple. Taeyong did what he liked nowadays, but still managed to seek Baekhyun out at the most inconvenient times.

“What’s up, Tae?” Yixing said, a perfect smile even as he noticed Baekhyun rolling his eyes.

Taeyong huffed like he had just ran a mile as he grabbed onto the cold metal doorframe. “Hyung, Soo Hyung has a fever, Jun Hyung said he needs antibiotics.”

Baekhyun jumped up immediately, “There’s a store on the map, a few miles north, I’ll make a run.” He said frantically, walking out into the hallways and jogging towards his perch.

“Woah, wait, we don’t go out alone, Baekhyun.” Minseok called as the younger booked it past the sitting area.

“Don’t care.” Baekhyun responded, “I don’t care, I’m going.”

“I’ll go with him.” Jongin called over the perch railing, tossing Baekhyun his gun and holster, “We’ll be back in a few hours.”

“Guys, you don’t need to go right this second, it’s not that urgent… we have tea, it can help fight the infection, it’s not that urgent right this second.” Sehun tried, “Don’t make me go get Hyung from watch.”

“It doesn’t matter, Yeol will just want to go with them.” Yifan interrupted, “Be back before dark, we’ll send an army if you two don’t come back.” He threatened, digging on a shelf behind him and passing over an empty backpack to Jongin when he hurried down the stairs.

Baekhyun grabbed a knife from one of the tables, glancing at Taehyung giving Jongin keys.

“Hyung, I’ll watch over Kyungsoo Hyung.” Taeyong said, a stern look on his face.

Baekhyun nodded, turning to press his palm to Taeyongs cheek, “We’ll be back, watch Hyung closely, okay?”

“Aish, don’t be so dramatic, squirrel. No more than three hours and if you both aren’t back you bet we’re all coming to drag your asses back here.” Luhan called, “Now get your asses going, we’ll get Kyungsoo some tea, he’ll be fine.”

“We can’t risk infections these days.” Jongin responded, “Just because he’s okay now doesn’t mean he will be tomorrow. We’re wasting daylight, let’s go Baek.”

~~~~~~

Baekhyun leaned his head back against the headrest, fingers playing with the leather on the doorframe. “What exactly did Jun Hyung find?”

Jongin chewed his lip for a moment before glancing off the road and at his soulmates profile for a mere second, “High fever, apparently Hyung didn’t want to scare us and said that his leg was burning.”

“Fucking idiot.” Baekhyun growled, “After we get these meds, I’ll fucking strangle him.”

Jongin snorted, glancing at the map before swerving around a walker, “We’ll help you, doll face.”

The younger smiled for a second, looking out the window, “But they said he was fine right? Yixing Hyung would have been more panicked- everyone would have been.”

“Of course, baby. It wasn’t that bad, but we better get the medicine now and be safe.” At Jongin's word, Baekhyun felt much more relieved.

Baekhyun nodded, licking his mouth before reaching over to set his hand on Jongin's knee, “Better to be safe.”

Jongin smiled, blindly reaching out to run his hand over the back of Baekhyun's head. “That’s right babe. Was this the place, up ahead?”

“Yeah.” Baekhyun leaned towards the windshield, “Taehyung said when he and Sunmi came the other day they cleared out the walkers, probably why it’s so messy.” He laughed.

Jongin snorted and parked the car, “Those two, idiots, I swear. Who comes to a store and only gets candy? Fuck, Junmyeon Hyung was so pissed.”

Baekhyun giggled, pulling his knife out of its sheath, “You guys if I asked you!”

“Ah, what am I gonna do with you?” Jongin teased, latching onto Baekhyun's back playfully, “Why are you so confident, hm? Your boyfriends made you this way?”

“My soulmates.” Baekhyun corrected with a laugh, “You just said that as an excuse to say we’re boyfriends, right?”

Jongin only chuckled and walked ahead, moving to the store door and holding it open, “After you, baby.”

Baekhyun rolled his eyes playfully as he walked into the store, turning to grab a basket, “You got a new friend, Hyung, coming your way.” He teased, pointing his knife at a walker crawling towards the store door.

Jongin snorted, shutting the store door hard on the walkers temple. “So playful today. Go on, sweetheart, we need to go before it gets dark.”

Baekhyun only sent him a beaming smile before looking around for the pharmacy. He hopped the counter, sliding across, before beginning to scan over medicine bottles.

“Jonginnie!” He called, “What's the name of the medicines again?”

Baekhyun heard Jongin's footsteps, the clanking of car keys in his pocket and glanced at the counter to see Jongin holding a basket of what looked like random items.

“Penicillin, amoxicillin, anything baby, just grab anything.”

The younger nodded and began swiping the bottles off the shelves and straight into his basket, “What’d you find?”

“Just some random things.” Jongin murmured, Baekhyun could hear him dig through the basket, “Some comics I think Taeyong might like, some… feminine things for Sunmi, I saw her write it on the list for the next run.”

“I was going to say, ‘oh how nice of you’ until I noticed the gummies sticking out.” Baekhyun called out with a sly smile as he climbed the counter again.

“What?” Jongin faked offense, “I got them for my soulmate, you wouldn’t know him.”

Baekhyun chewed his lip to keep from laughing as he set his basket beside Jongin's and pulled his shirt close, “Hm, I don’t? You don’t think your soulmate would be upset if you were so close to me?”

Jongin hummed, cupping Baekhyun's cheek, “What a coincidence, you look just like him.”

The younger scrunched his nose up and laughed, “Yeah? That’s so weird.”

“Very.” Jongin whispered with a charming smile, leaning down to press a kiss to Baekhyun's nose and a longer one to his mouth.

Baekhyun hummed under his breath, standing on his toes to press an extra kiss to Jongin's cheek before pulling away, turning to grab his basket. “Let’s get back before dark.”

Jongin patted his hip and walked him out of the car, putting a disgusted face on as he stepped on the smushed body of the walker in the door.

“Do you think Taeyong will like the comics?” Baekhyun asked as they walked to the car.

“And where is it y'all good people are calling home?”

Baekhyun jumped three feet in the air as he spun towards the voice.

“Aye, no boy, you put your hand on that gun, he’s dead.” The man ordered, gun pointed at Baekhyun but he looked at Jongin, watching him put his gun up.

“Okay!” Jongin cried, putting his hands up, “What do you want? We have food here, take it.” He set his basket on the ground and pushed it with his foot, “We don’t want any trouble, man.”

“Where are you from? Where’s your camp?” The man asked again.

“Do you need a place to stay?” Jongin tried, “We'll tell our leader you're here and he'll come out to meet you.”

The man tsked and grabbed Baekhyun around the neck, Baekhyun squirmed and wrapped his arms around the man’s forearm, “Please! Please!”

“Shut up, boy.” The man growled, “I’m asking him a question, you just be silent unless you want a bullet through that pretty little head.”

Baekhyun's eyes were as wide as they could get as he looked at Jongin in fear.

“Listen, listen!” His soulmate began, “Listen, we can’t tell you that, we don’t want any trouble, just let him go and we’ll forget this ever happened.”

“Son, get in the car.” The man growled, “You're driving, get in.”

Jongin frowned, “No, let him go.”

“No! Hey, hey, hold up, buddy, hold up.” The man ordered when Jongin took a move closer, “Get in the car, now.”

“Do it!” Baekhyun muttered, “Hyung, do it.” He felt his stomach twist when Jongin looked near tears and turned to run to the driver's seat.

“There we go, it ain’t so hard- get moving sweet cheeks.” The man muttered against Baekhyun's hair, practically picking him up and dragging him towards the backseat, “That's it, boy, we’re going for a drive.”

Jongin curled his lip as he looked in the rearview mirror and saw the man pointing the gun at Baekhyun relentlessly. “We're not going back to our camp.”

“No, we're going somewhere else. You mentioned leaders, how about you meet mine?”

~~~~~~

Chanyeol was raging, pissed to have found out Baekhyun and Jongin went off. As soon as he saw them drive out from the watchtower- he was livid nobody told him what was going on.

“Hyung.” Taeyong muttered, setting his sniper down, “Hyung, do you think they’ll be back soon?”

“Yes, Taeyong, I’ve told you every minute the past hour.”

Chanyeol heard Taeyong sigh and felt slightly bad for snapping at him, but he was worried too.

“Hyung…”

And there went his guilt. “Yes, Tae?”

“Hyung… someone is on the fence…”

Chanyeol spun around with an immediate scowl, “Go get Yifan Hyung, now.” He demanded, staring at the fence, “Now, Taeyong.”

Taeyong scurried, opening the ladder hatch and shimmying down, Chanyeol immediately after.

The elder went running towards the gates, looking confused at the two red baskets the man held, and why the walkers weren’t attacking him.

“You bit?” Chanyeol yelled, rolling one of the fences open.

The man only shook his head, “No, it’s the dead’s blood.”

Chanyeol turned his head and saw Yifan booking it through the courtyard, a few others right behind. “He bit?”

“No!” Chanyeol denied, hand on his gun.

Yifan nodded before changing his expression into a scowl, “Let him in, guns on him.”

The man had some sort of metal stick attached to his back, the men immediately eyeing the weapon as the unfamiliar man stepped into their property.

“Luhan, check him.” Yifan ordered.

Luhan walked up, snatching the metal rod away and cringing at the smell.

“He looks familiar.” Taehyung commented, “Do I know you?”

“You wanna tell us your name?” Junmyeon interrupted, “And why do you have these baskets?”

“Xing, take these to Kyungsoo.” Yifan asked gently of the medic, picking the baskets up from the dirt.

The man only stayed staring at all the guns on him, an expressionless look on his face.

“We can give you a little food and water, and then send you on your way. But you're gonna have to tell us how you found us and why you were carrying medicine.” Junmyeon added when he received no response.

The man stared him down, “Names Zitao. The supplies were dropped by two Asian boys.”

“What happened? Were they attacked?” Chanyeol snarled angrily, finger hovering over his trigger in rage.

“They were taken.”

Yifan stiffened, “Taken? By who?”

“By sick people. “

“Hey, these are our people, we’re gonna need more than that.” Junmyeon added with an edge.

“There's a town. Woodbury.” Zitao muttered.

“I fucking knew it.” Taehyung growled.

“They got muscle?” Yifan asked, motioning for the man to follow them towards the cell blocks.

“Paramilitary wannabes. They have armed sentries on every wall.” Luhan answered, “How long did you stay for?”

“A month, until I saw through the facade.” Zitao explained, looking particularly unphased as Yifan pressed his gun into his spine to push him towards the cells.

“You know a way in?” Chanyeol asked, turning to grab ammo from the shelf of supplies. “That’s my soulmate out there and our brother, our family.”

Zitaos eyes flickered with sympathy even as Junmyeon locked him in a cell. “I’ll help you then. The place is secure from walkers, but we could slip our way through.”

“How'd you know how to get here?” Sunmi demanded from her seat at a bench across from the cell.

“The Governor mentioned a prison the other day, said which direction it was in, that it was a straight shot.”

“How long do we have?” Yifan asked, grabbing what ammo he could fit in his pockets, “Less people the better, me, Junmyeon, Sehun, Chanyeol, and Zitao only.”

“Fuck, what do we tell Kyungsoo?” Taehyung realized under his breath.

“Well.” Zitao clicked his tongue and looked through the bars at them frantically pulling stuff together, “One of them… the puppy looking one, he was really pretty.”

“Fuck, let’s go. Let him out, now.” Chanyeol ordered, throwing his keys to Taeyong.

Chapter Text

 

 

“Now, I wanna know where they're hiding, where your camp is, and I wanna know now. I wanna know now!

Where the hell are they? Tell me!”

Baekhyun shuttered at the noises coming from the wall beside his room, staring at the wooden table in front of him.

“Let him go!” Jongin's voice was becoming more hoarse with every word, more slurred and broken, just like Baekhyun's chest felt like.

He had no idea how long it had been.

All he could recall was staring at a group of armed people once the car was parked, some sort of wall, and then he had a bag thrown over his head and heard Jongin yelling threats as they were separated.

It could have been hours he had been listening to Jongin get the absolute shit beat out of him, and he was waiting his turn.

“Hmm. So tell me, where y'all been at?”

“It's just a matter of time before they come looking.” Jongin sounded absolutely drained and Baekhyun wanted to tell him just to give in.

But they couldn’t. Their family was there, their friends, his brother, two of his soulmates.

It wasn’t safe, and they’d never invite strangers in, especially people that would do this to someone.

“Ain't nobody coming!” Another sound of Jongin's pained groan, and it didn’t sound any better than the last dozen or more he had heard.

“My leaders will come!”

A deep, mocking laugh and Baekhyun heard a metal noise, like that of a gun banging against something.

“Leaders, huh? I’ll give you one more chance kid, where are you hiding?

You two look in good shape, it must be nice.”

“Go to hell!” Jongin's voice cracked and Baekhyun couldn't stop his tears as they dropped onto the wooden table in front of him.

He wondered if this was part of their tactic, to have him sit here and listen, unstrapped down.

Not that it really mattered when there was nothing in this room but a table and two plastic chairs- hardly weaponizable.

Or, maybe he wasn’t strapped down because he was weak, he wasn’t threatening or screaming like Jongin did, because he honestly didn’t feel the need- he knew they were fucked the minute they had gotten spotted.

“Alrighty then, sunshine! Guess what? My leader really wants to know where you came from, he’ll go see your little boyfriend now!”

And Jongin screamed louder than he had all day.

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun had a lot of time for his tears to stop, but he couldn’t. Not when Jongin was screaming for them to come back- probably trying to have them beat the shit out of him so Baekhyun didn’t have to deal with it.

But they were done with him, and Jongin sounded done too.

He wondered what his soulmate was tied down with, if he was, because he swore he could hear walking around after Jongin had quieted down, and coughing.

It sounded wet, Baekhyun knew it was blood.

A knock on the door to the right and Baekhyun twisted his face in disgust.

The man was good looking, not in an admirable way, but in a sort of… fake way, everything about this man just seemed fake.

“Hello, I’m the leader here, but you can call me… The Governor.” Even his voice sounded fake, he looked like he was trying to win him over- but he would never.

Baekhyun watched silently as the man pulled out the chair across from him, “We'll take you back to your people, explain this was all just a misunderstanding. You tell us where they are and we'll drive you there.”

“I want to talk to Jongin.” Was all Baekhyun whispered.

“I can’t allow that.” The Governor tsked, “Your people are dangerous. You just tell us where they are and we'll bring them here.”

Baekhyun only stared at him, narrowing his wet eyes.

“You'll be safe, I promise.” The Governor added.

“Because Jongin sounded really safe.” Baekhyun spat.

“No? Fine.” The man across from Baekhyun dropped his ‘reassuring’ expression and full-on scowled. “Let's try something else.”

“Stand up, please.”

Baekhyun frowned in confusion, ignoring the request.

“Stand up!” The man exclaimed loudly, making Baekhyun jump.

Eyes shaking, Baekhyun stood up, hands shaking at his sides.

The Governor leaned forward onto his elbows. “Take off your shirt.”

Baekhyun stiffened, heart stopping, “No.”

“Take off your shirt or I'll bring Jongin's hand in here.” The man threatened nonchalantly.

Baekhyun gulped, mind racing.

There was no way out, if Jongin hadn’t found it by now, there was no way he had one.

His fingers shook as he pulled off his shirt, laying it on the table, eyes already watering as he realized he had no way out, he was trapped.

He never thought he’d ever feel like this again, but life hated him. And he’d do anything for Jongin. For his family, even this.

“Go on.” The man across urged, pointing his gun at Baekhyun's pants before standing up.

Baekhyun's tears fell, kissing the corners of his lips as he pulled his jeans off, crossing his arms over his chest.

The Governor hummed a noise that made goosebumps appear on Baekhyun's skin before he walked towards Baekhyun's side of the table, gun in one hand as he pressed his chest to Baekhyun's back.

“Pretty, ain’t ya?”

Baekhyun didn’t make a noise, only breathing sharply as the man pressed his chin to Baekhyun's bare shoulder, running his hand along his bare waist.

Then, The Governor grabbed a handful of hair in the back of his head and slammed Baekhyun cheek first into the table, bending him how he wanted. “So you're gonna talk?”

Baekhyun sniffed, letting his tears pool onto the table as he felt the man press up against him from behind.

He knew how this worked, knew very well how it worked. He wished he didn’t.

“You can do whatever you're gonna do. And go to hell.” Baekhyun whispered.

The Governor laughed, running his gun along Baekhyun's spine. “Now you have spirit.”

Baekhyun went limp as he felt the man’s hands spread his legs apart. “Doing this… it’s-it's not going to get you anywhere.”

“Yes, dear, it will. Now be loud.” Was demanded on his neck.

Baekhyun only sighed and looked at his own hand that laid flat beside his face, his knuckles clutching uselessly at the flat surface.

“You won’t hear anything out of me.”

~~~~~~~

Baekhyun glared, standing up straight as he watched The Governor button up his shirt.

“Put your boxers on, we’re gonna go visit your boyfriend.”

“No.” Baekhyun growled, pulling his boxers up before stepping back, “No, I won't see him.”

“Too bad you don’t have a goddamn choice, cupcake.” A gun pointed at Baekhyun. “Now be a good bitch and come here, we had fun, right?”

And Baekhyun sobbed.

He didn’t want to see Jongin like this, didn’t want to see him at all until he was clean until he had scrubbed his skin off and screamed.

The door opened and Baekhyun choked on his tears as two more guards walked in, one of them the man that brought him in.

“Oh shit, oh shit cutie. He a good time, boss?” The one that captured them leered.

“Get over here, pretty boy, or I’ll let my friend here try you out too.” The Governor growled.

“Oh please do, wow, where you been at, boy?”

Baekhyun ignored them and willingly walked over to The Governor, letting the man wrap his arm around his shoulder roughly, pulling him out of the room. “Rude of you, you don’t want my boys to have a turn?”

“I’d rather die.” Baekhyun said under his breath.

“Careful, boy, that might be what happens… or, maybe we’ll keep you.” Was responded, The Governor using his other hand to motion for one of the two armed guards to open the door he walked Baekhyun to.

“Uh-uh. Hey! Drop it.” Baekhyun heard one of the guards yell.

Jongin was standing directly in front of him, both of the guards pointing rifles at him as he held some sort of chunk of wood, blood pouring down around his chin to his bare chest and Baekhyun could just see how weak he looked from blood loss, his cheek busted and hair matted with blood.

“What’d you do!” Jongin croaked, his arms that held the weapon lowering before he eyed Baekhyun and raised it higher, “What’d you do!”

Baekhyun must have been worse than he figured he did. Maybe he looked just as bad as he felt.

“We're through with games.” Baekhyun felt The Governor point a gun at his temple. Before gawking as it was turned on Jongin.

“Now one of you is gonna give up your camp.”

“Go fuck yourself.” Jongin spat at the ground, it was all red with blood.

The Governor laughed and grabbed Baekhyun by the back of the neck, pushing him down to his knees on the floor. “I’ll fuck your bitch, again, right in front of-“

“I’ll kill you!” Jongin cried, Baekhyun couldn't look up from the dirt floor in shame, but he could hear the staggering on the floors. “I’ll kill you!”

Baekhyun felt hands on the bottom of his spine as he was pushed onto his hands to the ground. “I’ll do it, kid.” The Governor threatened, wrapping a hand around Baekhyun's throat and pulling him up, “Tell him, cupcake, look at him- look at him!”

Baekhyun startled, lips trembling as he was forced to look at Jongin. He knew it was over the moment Jongin read the truth in his eyes.

“The prison- give him to me.” Jongin cried, blood dripping down his bare chest from his chin, “Please don’t, please.”

“The one near Nunez? That place is overrun.” Their captor said in disbelief.

“We took it.” Jongin muttered, only staring at Baekhyun.

“How many are you?” The Governor inquired.

“Thirteen.”

A guard scoffed. “Thirteen people cleared that whole prison of biters?”

It was no longer safe. Not for them, not for their family. Baekhyun whimpered, sucking a breath in with a sob.

“Huh? Hey, hey. Shh, shh, shh.” He only cried harder as The Governor faked sympathy, pressing his lips to the side of his face as if he truly wanted to comfort the younger.

Baekhyun was only more scared and disgusted.

“Don’t touch him.” Jongin wailed, “Please stop, please I told you- I told you.”

“It’s alright. It's alright. Shh.”

Baekhyun cried and turned his head away from The Governors face.

“Alright then.” The leader growled, shoving Baekhyun down as if garbage, “Don’t get too cozy, we’ll be back.”

Jongin waited until he watched the three men walk out before throwing himself to the ground, “Baekhyun, Baekhyun.”

And Baekhyun screamed out in pain and threw himself at his soulmate, “J-Jongin! Jongin-“

“Shhhh.” Jongin cooed, cupping the back of his soulmates hair and pulling his almost naked form into his lap. “Shh, I kno-ow I know, I’m so so-rry, I’m sorry.” He pressed his mouth to Baekhyun's cheek, his own tears and blood smearing over Baekhyun's skin. “It’s over now, it’s okay. I’ll kill him, I’m so soo-rry, I’m sorry.”

Baekhyun sat back and cupped Jongin's cheek, both of them sobbing painfully and ugly, noses running. “I lo-ve you, I love you.”

Jongin only shushed him and pressed his mouth to Baekhyun's forehead, “I love you.” He whispered, looking at his soulmate in disbelief, he could never forget this, ever.

It wasn’t possible when Baekhyun looked so… scared, so apologetic like it was his fault, so worried. “He’s going to die, Baekhyun. You just wait- once-once they come get us… he’s dead- they can all fucking die. I’ll kill- I’ll kill them all myself.”

“I want to go home.” Baekhyun cried.

~~~~~~~~

Chanyeol glared at Zitaos back as he led them along. “It’s almost dark, how much further.”

“Chill, it’s just a little more, a half mile or so.”

Unable to control his anger, Chanyeol grabbed the man by the back of his shirt, pulling him to the ground and shoving a gun into his face. “Tell me to chill and I’ll shoot you in the fucking head!”

“Chanyeol!”

“Hey! Hey!”

“Hyung, stop!”

Chanyeol growled in anger as Yifan and Sehun ripped him off of Zitao, “That’s my fucking family out there! We’ve been walking two miles, we should’ve taken the fucking car out this far it would’ve been faster!”

“They’re our family too!” Sehun yelled, “Hyung, snap out of it, be rational!”

“Chanyeol, listen.” Junmyeon offered him a hand, “Bringing the car this far would alert them, we want to get there as soon as possible too, okay?”

“You don’t understand.” Chanyeol argued, “That’s my-“

“They’re our family.” Yifan said softly, grabbing a Chanyeol by the back of his head and pressing their foreheads together, “Breathe, Chanyeol, breathe. We love them too, both Baekhyun and Jongin, okay? They’re family, let’s get them back.”

Chanyeol panted out angry breaths and nodded, hitching his gun strap onto his arm, “Let’s get them back.”

“Okay?” Yifan pressed his palm to Chanyeol's jaw before stepping back, “Okay, okay let’s go, Zitao let’s go.”

~~~~~~~

When Kyungsoo woke up he wasn’t expecting Taeyong to be sitting against the metal door across from him.

Kyungsoo coughed at the unexpected dryness in his throat and went to sit up but noticed an IV sticking out of his arm.

“Don’t touch it.” Taeyong said quietly, knees pulled to his chest and gun in his hand. “Yixing Hyung said it has antibiotics in it.”

The man frowned at Taeyong and sat up, grabbing a water bottle Taeyong rolled across the floor. “It’s not that bad.”

“Apparently it is.”

Kyungsoo laughed, “Why are you watching me sleep?”

“I’m protecting you.” Taeyong explained making Kyungsoo smile fondly.

“Where’s Baekhyun?” Kyungsoo responded, sitting himself up against the wall.

Taeyong went all kinds of pale and Kyungsoo was alerted immediately, “What is it?”

“I-.... I don’t know if I should tell you.” The child muttered, looking around the room like he did when he was scolded.

“We don’t keep secrets, Taeyong. Me, you, Baekhyun, Jongin… none of us, we don’t keep secrets and we don’t lie.”

“That is a lie.” Taeyong called out, “You guys have a lot of secrets, you think I don’t realize when you all go silent and change subjects when I walk in? All of you do it, even the other Hyungs. Nobody takes me seriously.”

“If we didn’t take you seriously why are you holding a gun right now?” Kyungsoo said immediately, “If we didn’t think you were a man, then why would we let you have one?”

“Then why do you keep secrets?” Taeyong said softly, almost apologetically.

Kyungsoo sighed and wiped sweat from his brow, “So people's feelings don’t get hurt, look, we can talk about this later, where is Baekhyun? Go get me Yifan Hyung please.”

“Yifan Hyung is gone too.” The youngest stated, “They went to get Baek Hyung and Nini Hyung back.”

“Back? Where’d they go, Tae?”

Taeyong turned white and climbed to his feet, “Um… I’ll get Min Hyung…”

And Kyungsoo felt his heart race before he even knew what was going on.

~~~~~~~

Jongin rocked Baekhyun slowly, his back against the hard brick, feeling his face swelling up the longer they sat in this dimly lit room. “Look at me, baby.” He requested almost silently, running his dirtied thumb over Baekhyun's cheek.

“Shhh, it’s just me.” Jongin whispered, watching Baekhyun pull his trembling lip between his teeth. “Hi, baby. Hello, love.”

“Hyung…”

“Shhh, no, we’re okay… we’re okay right now, you’re supposed to say ‘hi’ with those pret- pretty brown eyes and- and look adorable and… make me feel better, I can’t-“

“Hyung, hi.” Baekhyun said gently, wiping his thumb under Jongin's eye, “Hi, I love you.”

Jongin sighed and rested his forehead onto Baekhyun's, “All this time, running from walkers-- you forget what people do, have always done. Look at what they did to you.”

“Doesn't matter.” Baekhyun whispered, “You're more hurt than I am.”

“It does matter.” The elder disagreed, pressing his nose into Baekhyun's, “It fucking matters. People can’t have- don’t have any common-fucking morals, he just- you- I can’t. I cannot Baekhyun, fuck I-I love you so much, an-and I couldn’t… I should have done better.”

“He would’ve done it anyways.” Baekhyun sighed, “It’s okay, it’s fine.”

“It’s not fine.” Jongin said in anger, sitting Baekhyun between his legs and wrapping his arms around his shoulders, tucking his soulmate under his chin, “None of this is fine, don’t try and say it is.”

“I’ll be okay though.” Baekhyun's words muffled against Jongin's bloodied throat, “We’ll be okay and… and when we get back we can… we’ll go steal some of Taehyung's stale m&ms and… and we’re going to act like nothing happened.”

“I like your train of thought.” Jongin said softly, “But we both know that’s not possible, to pretend. We’re both bad liars, even harder to pretend something like this didn’t happen.”

Baekhyun gulped and wiped his nose free of tears and snot. “I feel dirty, Hyung.”

The elder immediately held his sides tighter, lightly skimming a bruise forming on his soulmates hip above his boxers, “I still love you, we sti-still love you.”

“I did it to-to protect you.” Baekhyun hiccuped, “He sai-said that… he was going to cut your hand off… said he was going to do so many things to you, Nini.”

Jongin's voice cracked before he could even get any words out, “I know, shhh, I-I know, doll. You don’t need to feel bad at all… oh my god, I didn’t even ask.. fuck, are you hurting? Are you in pain?”

“I’m just dirty.” Baekhyun whispered. “My… my chest hurts.”

“Me too.” Jongin released a dry sob, pressing his bloody mouth to Baekhyun's softly, “Me too, just rest here. Here, listen, listen baby.” He urged, pulling Baekhyun's head to his chest, “Calm down, baby, I’m here with you. I feel better even just being with you.”

Baekhyun nodded in agreement, his hands wrapping around Jongin's wrist only to keep it in place.

“And… just so you know.” Jongin chewed his lip, “I don’t think any different of you- I never could. As long as you are safe, and- you’re right here with me… I can breathe easier.”

“Me too.”

And Jongin could only press a wet kiss to Baekhyun's temple.

Chapter Text

 

 

It wasn’t nice, but it was peaceful to rest with Jongin, until it had to come to an end.

They had both been waiting for it, but they were exhausted and all the fight had basically withered away when they noticed how bad the other looked.

Caring about people was painful, but loving them… it could tear you apart.

Your strength becomes your weakness, your life becomes your death, but the warmth you get for loving and being loved in return. Well, Baekhyun couldn't find it in him to regret anything, even their deaths that were coming.

“Please.” Baekhyun whimpered as he was moved onto his knees beside Jongin. “Please, a little longer.”

“No use in begging, boy.” The Governor cooed from the doorway, “Wish I would’ve had a little more time with you though. Martinez, get the bags.”

Jongin clenched his jaw and looked to the side at Baekhyun, “Just look at me.” He muttered, looking at the shaking of his soulmates features, “Just keep looking at me.”

“I… I love you.” Baekhyun whispered before a cloth bag was getting placed over his head and Jongin felt like puking as he saw Baekhyun get pulled blindly to his feet.

“Alrighty, time to go outside-“

The sound of gunshots sent shock through Baekhyun's system and he immediately dropped to the ground.

He couldn’t see, but he tasted something foul and coughed on something he assumed to be smoke.

“Inside, quick!” Baekhyun heard Sehun and sat up blindly.

He felt hands touch his shoulder and jumped back, scrambling.

“It’s me! It’s me, take it off!” Jongin cried, “Come on, baby.”

Baekhyun was confused and disoriented, unable to know what was being said until the bag was pulled off his head and he flinched back as he met Junmyeons eyes.

“Ain't no way out back here.” Yifan commented.

“How did you find us?” Jongin muttered, propped up against the wall.

Baekhyun looked around, eyeing an unfamiliar man before meeting Chanyeol’s eyes. “H-Hyung- Hyung!” He screamed, reaching out for him.

“Fuck.” Chanyeol cursed and ran over to him, cupping his cheek, “Are you okay? I’m sorry, I’m sorry we don’t have time. I’ll check you when it’s safe.” He promised before sitting back and looking at him confused, eyeing his nearly naked state.

“How bad are you hurt?” Junmyeon questioned, handing out a pistol to Jongin and pulling him up.

“I'll be alright.”

“And… Baekhyun Hyung?” Sehun muttered.

“It was too late.” Chanyeol realized, tears immediately pouring from his eyes as he pulled his own shirt off, “Bae-Baekhyun, fuck… we could’ve came sooner.”

Baekhyun could only cry with no response as Chanyeol placed the big shirt on him and picked him up, unable to realize what was happening.

“What’s he talking about?” Yifan asked immediately, eyeing Baekhyun with concern as his breath came out in squeaks with his crying. “Jongin, what’s he talking about?”

“No time, we got to go.” Zitao interrupted, smashing the butt of his gun into a thick glass window multiple times. “We need to go, they’ll be back soon- with more people than us.”

“He’s right, we’ll talk later.” Junmyeon agreed, “Let’s go, let’s get going. Baek, can you walk?”

“Ye-“

“No, I’ll carry him.” Chanyeol said immediately, “Don’t-don't convince me otherwise, I can still run.”

The group stared at him silently before Jongin walked over to the broken window, “Pass him over, we’ll take turns.”

Jongin looked like he was going to pass out any second, but nobody had it in them to argue when he cried a single tear just looking at Baekhyun.

The group began running, and Baekhyun was wrapped tightly around Chanyeol, the elder man only placing one hand on Baekhyun's spine and the other holding a pistol as they ran.

Baekhyun was extremely confused, it was some sort of town, some sort of society. It must be the one Luhan and Taehyung had come from.

“This way!” Zitao yelled back at the group, “If we make it to the forest we can lose them in the trees.”

Maybe, if it were any other place, Baekhyun would feel bad about watching his family shoot people- but they were coming at them with guns, trying to herd them like sheep, and his family were not weak.

“Freeze! There’s more of us than you!” A voice yelled from the treeline as soon as Zitao had pulled back a portion of fence and all of them got through it.

They huddled close, panting.

“On three, drop or take cover.” Junmyeon coughed into his arm.

“One more warning, drop the weapons!”

“They're soldiers, Hyung.” Sehun whispered.

“So are we.” Yifan said quickly. “Ready…. three-“

Chanyeol practically dropped Baekhyun, it was painful when he landed on the grass, but he didn’t really care when he knew he was going to be sore anyways.

“Give me a gun!” Baekhyun yelled, crawling blindly towards Junmyeon who was crouched behind a tree.

The second leader sent him a worried look and slid a gun across the grass.

Baekhyun gulped at the gunshots surrounding him and finished crawling beside a car, leaning against it.

He had killed one person. One. And it was deserving.

He didn’t think he needed to count his kills anymore, because he was going to have too many.

Baekhyun peeked out from behind the car and shot up at the top of a wall built of tires where the people were firing from, headshot.

He didn’t count how many people he saw falling, dead.

“Baekhyun, cover!” Junmyeon growled, pulling the long shirt edge, making Baekhyun fall to the grass just as a bullet flew past where he was peeking.

“Let me do it!” Baekhyun yelled, “Let me- let me!”

Junmyeon looked at him like he was crazed and grabbed his cheek. “Calm down, you’re going to get yourself killed.”

Baekhyun only curled his mouth in anger, not at Junmyeon. “Kill them, Hyung.”

“Okay.” Junmyeon muttered, “Okay, Baek. You’re safe, we’ll kill them.” He said, much too gentle to be hidden on a battlefield, but this was his family, and he was obviously distressed.

Baekhyun could only nod and lean his back against the tire, pulling his knees to his chest and closing his eyes.

“I saw Chaeyoung when we were running past!” Baekhyun heard Sehun say across the field, “I swear!”

He looked at him confused, before he was being picked up again.

“We gotta run!” Yifan yelled in his ear, “I’ll give you back in a minute, hold on, Baekhyun.” He added, softer.

“Let’s go! Let’s go!” Junmyeon yelled, “Someone get Jongin!”

“I’m fine!” Jongin yelled, pulling his arm out of Sehuns as they ran into the woods, “Stop, I’m fine!”

Baekhyun only held onto Yifan tight as the leader ran with him.

Yifan was a good man. A good leader. Baekhyun would follow him as long as he could, as long as their family stood together.

They went far. Way further than expected, they kept going even when they couldn’t hear anything but their own breaths and footsteps.

“Okay, we- we can walk from here.” Junmyeon panted, leaning over to cough out against his calves.

“It’s too dark.” Sehun whispered, “It’s too dark now, we won’t be back until morning.”

Baekhyun gulped and tugged Yifan's shirt, wanting down.

“We told him where the prison was.” Jongin muttered, his swollen cheek disrupting part of his vision as he sat down against a tree with a bloody cough. “We couldn't hold out.”

“Don't.” Yifan said softly, placing Baekhyun down carefully, “No need to apologize.”

“They’re gonna be looking for us.” Jongin added, accepting the zip up from Zitao, looking at him confused, as if just realizing he didn’t know him.

“Can you walk? We got a car a few miles out.” Junmyeon worried.

Jongin scoffed, “I'm good. All right. Stop asking.”

“Okay, we need to keep going.” Chanyeol interrupted, “If Jongin says he’ll make it, he will. Come here, Baek, you’re not wearing shoes.”

Baekhyun ignored him, walking along the grass with the gun in his palm.

His soulmates only looked at his long shirt covered back in pain, his thin legs stepping over twigs carefully.

“We need to go back.” Jongin said quietly, wiping the blood onto his sleeve as the group continued walking behind Baekhyun. “Hyung, we need to go back.” He said firmly, turning to look at Junmyeon.

“Why the hell would we do that?” Yifan frowned, “You can barely stand, Baekhyun can barely walk.”

“The Governor is still alive.” Zitao answered for Jongin, “He’s still alive, and now there’s a fight bound to happen.”

“These two were the priority.” Junmyeon argued, “They’re in no condition.”

Jongin spluttered and stopped walking, prompting the group to stop. “Do you know what he did to him!” He screamed, stepping closer and grabbing Junmyeon by the shirt, “Do you know!”

“Leave it alone!” Chanyeol grabbed the other by the arm, pulling him off, “Let’s go!”

“This is the hand we’ve been dealt!” Yifan said firmly, “We will go home and think about it, you need to heal!”

“Hyung!” Jongin screeched, looking ferocious as he struggled out of Chanyeol's hold. “Hyung- he touched him- he touched him!”

“Jongin!” Chanyeol hissed, “Shut up!”

“He raped him!” Jongin continued crying, grabbing onto Yifan's shirt as if the leader wasn’t listening, he definitely was. “H-Hyung. Hyung..”

Yifan frowned and pulled Jongin to his chest, taking the small, weak hits as if Jongin wanted him to let go.

“Chanyeol.”

Baekhyun's soft whisper snapped everyone over to look at him.

He had blood caked under his nails and his forearm was bleeding, long, red marks created by his own doing. His eyes lost, tears falling down his face but he didn’t seem to notice at all.

“I think I want you to carry me now.”

“Okay.” Chanyeol sniffed and everyone watched him run up to Baekhyun, “Okay. Don’t do this okay? Don’t.. don't hurt yourself.”

Baekhyun pursed his lips in confusion as Chanyeol knelt down and grabbed his arm, pressing a kiss to the soft skin of his inner wrist. “I’m not hurting.”

“We don’t lie.” Chanyeol cried, pulling Baekhyun's hips closer and resting his cheek onto his soulmates stomach. “We- we don’t lie to each other.”

“Okay.” Baekhyun ran fingers over Chanyeol's head, “I want to get back and see everyone.”

“Let’s go then.” Yifan wiped his eyes on his sleeve and pretending he hadn’t been crying for his family member. “Let’s go, you heard him.”

~~~~~~~

Baekhyun was dead asleep against Chanyeol's shoulder by the time they got to the SUV, and Jongin was rightfully staggering, having walked at least a mile or two before finally accepting Sehun's arm for balance.

Junmyeon popped the trunk and threw his gun into the back, stepping back to allow everyone else time to throw theirs in.

They all piled in the car, Baekhyun resting deadly on Chanyeol's lap and Jongin placed in the middle, already drifting off on Sehun's arm as Junmyeon started up the vehicle and began driving.

“So, what’s in this for you?” Yifan asked quietly, looking back from the passenger seat into the very last row of seats where Zitao sat.

Zitao looked up from picking at his dirty nails, “What do you mean?”

“Why would you help us? There’s no reason you’d come all the way to our prison, come save people you don’t know, but here you are. You want something, so what is it?”

“All I want is The Governor dead.” The man replied vaguely.

“And he will be.” Chanyeol growled over the seat, running his thumb over the shell of Baekhyun's ear, “He’s dead- there’s no other option.”

“So what’s your reason then?” Junmyeon called, glancing in the rearview mirror. “This is our family, innocent people taken for no good reason other than territory, like animals.”

Zitao frowned and scratched under his jaw. “He… he does this thing… It's like a walker fight. He basically will have everyone watch people fight walkers, my sister... she went missing when this thing started… she was the walker.”

“That’s disgusting.” Sehun spat, “That’s… what kind of… society is that.”

“Didn’t you say that you saw Chaeyoung?” Junmyeon realized, “You think that means she saw you too?”

“Guess we’ll wait and see.” Sehun shrugged, “We’re in for… something now.”

“You staying or going?” Yifan called to Zitao, “If you stay, I have three questions.”

Zitao shrugged and picked at his nails, “Big groups are a lot of work.”

“It’s better than being alone.” Chanyeol argued quietly.

“What are the questions?”

“How many walkers have you killed?” Yifan mumbled.

Zitao laughed and shook his head, “Too many.”

“How many people have you killed?”

“Too many.” Zitao repeated.

Yifan held back his smile, “Why?”

Zitao leaned back against the seat with a sigh, “Reasons like today, trying to be a good person despite the world being absolute shit.”

Junmyeon snorted, “You’ll fit in just fine.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun woke up laying sideways on their bed facing the blank white wall, dressed the same as he last remembered in the woods.

He felt someone tugging the edge of his shirt and heard Kyungsoo and Chanyeol whispering over his head.

“No, Kyungsoo. You can barely use crutches.”

“I don’t give a fuck. We’re just, we’re just gonna sit on our asses and not do-do anything about this?” Kyungsoo hissed.

“Move, I need to clean up Baek, and Hyungs went to find the armory this morning.” Chanyeol said softly.

Baekhyun jumped as he was pulled onto his back. Chanyeol blinking down at him in surprise. “Oh, good morning, love.”

“Don’t- don't.” Baekhyun muttered, pulling his shirt down over himself when he felt Chanyeol try to change his clothes.

Chanyeol's eyes flickered with pain as he sat back, “Okay, okay you can do it yourself. Hyung just wanted to take care of you.”

Baekhyun nodded and scooted back, pulling the shirt over his knees, “Just… don’t-uh… I don’t want you to see me right now.”

“We don’t care.” Baekhyun looked up at Kyungsoo who had crutches, slowly making his way over. “It’s not your fault, Jongin told us, and it-we’re livid, of course, but it’s not your fault.”

“Where’s Jongin?”

“He got some painkillers and went to see Taeyong. Tae wanted to come see you, but… we figured it wasn’t good right now.” Chanyeol explained.

Baekhyun sucked his trembling lip into his mouth and nodded, pressing his head to the cold cement.

“Listen, okay?” Kyungsoo scooted onto the mattress, dropping his crutches to the side and reaching out to rub his thumb over Baekhyun's ankle. “We love you, we don’t blame you for anything. You’re going to be fine, and we won’t let him get away-“

“Stop treating me like a child.” Baekhyun interrupted, crying even though he curled his mouth in anger. “This isn’t new, this is fine. I’ll go clean up and we’ll act like this never happened. I’m not- not scarred, I’m not fucking scared, I’m angry Jongin is hurt. But I am okay, I am fine.”

“If you want to be angry then you can.” Chanyeol sighed and knelt beside the mattress, “But I’m going to tell you the truth Baekhyun. And the truth is that you are scared, and that you were raped- look at me, ba-“

“Don’t fucking say that!” Baekhyun screamed, leaning over and shoving at Chanyeol's chest, he didn’t even flinch. “Don’t you- you don’t tell me that!”

“You were!” Kyungsoo exclaimed, watching Chanyeol grab Baekhyun under his arms and pulling him into his chest despite the fact the younger was slapping at him, sobbing and huffing in anger. “You were raped, Baekhyun, and you need to be mad about it, not just that Jongin was hurt.”

“Stop it!” The youngest sobbed, curling his hands into his hair as Chanyeol held his waist up. “Stop- I don’t- I don’t want to hear it.”

“Too bad.” Kyungsoo sniffed and ran his fingers over Baekhyun's exposed hip, the skin a dark purple bruise. “You need t-to realize you’re not okay.”

And then, the two let Baekhyun cry. Rocking him gently, letting him wail until he couldn’t scream or try to hit them anymore, until he just went silent and let the tears fall with soft sniffles.

It was heartbreaking, the two would cry as soon as Baekhyun went back to sleep, or he left. They felt so guilty, but Baekhyun needed to face reality, he couldn’t keep pushing off his anger, his fear. It was a reason he couldn’t function sometimes- because he didn’t comprehend, too used to brushing everything off.

“You done?” Chanyeol whispered into Baekhyun's forehead, reaching up to push his brown hair back, “You done, baby?”

Baekhyun licked his mouth and furrowed his forehead, “I’m sorry… for hitting you guys.” He whispered almost silently against Chanyeol's collarbone.

“Don’t be.” Kyungsoo sighed and grabbed one of Baekhyun's hands, looking at the red caked under his nails before pressing a kiss to his fingertips, “You want to talk now?”

Baekhyun only nodded and squeezed Kyungsoo's hand as he tucked himself to Chanyeol's shirt.

“Okay.” Chanyeol pressed a barely there kiss to Baekhyun's hairline before running his hand between his soulmates shoulder blades, “This hurts us too, baby. We promised you so much, and we didn’t- we didn’t keep it.”

Baekhyun didn’t respond, only nodding again. There was no point in trying to argue, not when they were right.

“We- we’re not going to make promises anymore.” Kyungsoo whispered, pressing Baekhyun's knuckles to his cheek. “We want- we really thought it was the truth. That… that we could protect you from anything, but.. but you knew the whole time it wasn’t, bec-because you’re smart, sweetheart. And you knew better.” He licked his dry lips and shook his head as he dropped Baekhyun's hand gently.

“We can’t always protect you. We can’t always protect Taeyong, but we will try and- and keep things from happening. What happened… it- we don’t know what to tell you. You were raped an-and Jongin isn’t talking about what happened, it’s too much to ask you too-“

“Jongin was getting the shit beat out of him.” Baekhyun mumbled, staring at the cell door to the right of Kyungsoo. “I could- I heard it all, he tried. He-he begged and screamed for them to let me go, he tried and… and it’s the most he could have done.”

“We’re not saying he didn’t do his best.” Chanyeol cupped the hair at the back of his neck, running his thumb over the soft skin where he noticed the skin a bit discolored, “We’re saying… we couldn’t understand what happened, and that we wished- wished you both weren’t in that situation in the first place.”

“Would you have… told them where everyone was?” Jongin muttered as he pulled the cell door open.

Baekhyun let out a silent cry at his soulmates face. All over his neck a dark purple, the side of his jaw, and his eye was swollen, a deep black. “Hyung.” He reached out a hand for Jongin to come closer to him.

“I don’t know, Jongin. We weren’t put in that situation.” Kyungsoo replied.

Jongin sighed and sat on Chanyeol's right, leaning over so Baekhyun could touch his face. “I didn’t know he was going to touch Baekhyun until right as he left, and then I tried to get their attention, but… I didn’t hear anything from his room so I didn’t know.”

Baekhyun curled his fingers around Jongin's chin, tilting his head. He noticed the swollen eye was bright red, the blood vessels all broken. Jongin only stared at him, pressing his lips to Baekhyun's fingers for a second.

“So you gave up the prison?” Kyungsoo asked, “You don’t want to talk about it, we heard you tell Junmyeon, but you need to.”

“He did it for me.” Baekhyun defended with no real feeling, running his fingers over Jongin's uninjured cheek. “It was either… either Jongin dies, he watches… watched me get- get raped again, or one of us tells.” He spat.

Baekhyun felt Chanyeol flinch and could only sigh softly and continue looking over Jongin.

“We weren’t going to say anything, we shouldn’t have.” Jongin whispered, “But… Baekhyun… he- you didn’t, you didn’t see, you didn’t hear what… that leader was saying or doing. It just… it slipped, and I put everyone in danger, but- I don’t feel anything but anger.”

“All of us are angry, but not at you guys.” Chanyeol said immediately, “Yifan Hyung knows it’s not your guys fault, everyone does. It’s an issue, yes. But we’re not upset with either of you guys… you both did- did so much for everyone and we realize.”

“Come here.” Jongin whispered, “Shh, we’re going to be okay, remember?” He asked quietly, pulling Baekhyun out of Chanyeol's lap. “You said that, baby. You told me that.”

“I-I didn’t even fight, and you look… you look so bad, Hyung.” Baekhyun cried, sitting back on Jongin's thigh and pulling his collar down to see how far the bruise on his neck went.

“It doesn’t matter, Baekhyun. You did what you thought was right and we’re not upset with you at all.” Kyungsoo said immediately.

Baekhyun sniffed and laughed wetly as Chanyeol reached over to wipe his nose with his own sleeve. “I’m gonna- I’m gonna go see Yixing later.”

“That’s good, sweetheart. You just.. don’t act like you don’t care anymore, okay?” Kyungsoo asked, reaching over Jongin's shoulder to touch Baekhyun's hair.

“You..” Baekhyun wrung his hands in Jongin's shirt for a second, “You guys can come… if you want.”

“Do you want us to?” Jongin muttered, pressing his cheek against the crown of Baekhyun's head, looking at Chanyeol shocked.

Baekhyun had never invited them to go with him. Not that they ever asked, and they were curious about what he and Yixing talked about. But it was private, and if Baekhyun wanted it to be a secret then they couldn’t care to ask if they could go.

They kept secrets too, and that was fine, if they weren’t hurting anyone then it was better to keep them that way. Like how Kyungsoo had read the whole journal, he had wanted to talk to Baekhyun about it, but it was so old… and so sad he didn’t want to bring it up when Baekhyun had been making so much progress up until now.

“Um… I don’t, I’m not sure… it might be- sometimes it might be too much, but if you want too…”

“I’ll be there, baby.” Kyungsoo whispered, “I’ll control myself, won’t say a word.”

“I… probably won’t.” Chanyeol said quietly, “You know I can’t control my anger, sweetheart. Jongin… probably shouldn’t either. But… Soo can give us a summary, yeah?”

“Okay.” Baekhyun agreed before looking at his clawed arm. “But… can- can you take me to the showers? I feel gross.”

Chanyeol frowned and stood up immediately, “Of course, love.”

“Me and Soo Hyung will find you those stale m&ms you wanted so badly.” Jongin added, pulling the edge of Baekhyun's shirt down when Chanyeol picked him up.

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun shook his damp hair out into his towel, drowning in Chanyeol's biggest hoodie and long sweatpants that probably were one of the boys too.

They felt extremely bad when Baekhyun had freaked out at the plain t-shirt and jeans he usually wore, the crying making them guilty over picking out his usual clothes.

Baekhyun had cried until Chanyeol had offered him clothes that Baekhyun usually avoided because he could barely breathe in all the fabric. He loved to take the boys clothes, loved when Chanyeol's shirts hit his thighs, but this was one that was even big on Chanyeol.

But if Baekhyun wanted to be covered, which they realized immediately, they had no problem giving up all of their things, covering him head to toe.

“Here, you wanna hold your shirt up for Hyung?” Chanyeol requested quietly, “It’s bruise cream, I’m going to put it on you okay?”

“Jonginnie has it too?” Baekhyun asked quietly, holding the hoodie up to his belly button.

“Of course, I’ve been putting it on three times a day.” Jongin said softly.

Baekhyun nodded and flinched, looking down at Chanyeol knelt in front of him pulling the edge of his sweatpants down his hips.

“I’m sorry, sweetheart. It’s just me, okay? I’ll be quick.” Chanyeol whispered, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's hip.

Baekhyun nodded down at him before looking back up at Jongin. “I’ll put it on for you later.”

“Thank you, baby.” Jongin smiled and pressed a kiss to his temple, “I… I’m gonna go see what the leaders found, I’ll tell Yixing Hyung you’ll be down in a few.”

The younger hummed and leaned up for a kiss. Jongin smiled and pressed his mouth onto Baekhyun's for only a second, “I love you.”

“Love you.” Baekhyun mimicked, looking upset as Jongin walked out.

“Oh, sugar.” Kyungsoo sighed and leaned against the wall opposite Baekhyun, “Those look pretty bad.”

“You’re the one with crutches.” Baekhyun said, then frowned and looked down at his hips, the bruises weren’t that bad honestly, his soulmates were probably just upset in general, so he didn’t call them out.

“Just for a day or two, beautiful.” Kyungsoo laughed. “Then I’ll be fine.”

“Baek, the one on your tailbone is bad, I need to pull your pants down more, okay? I didn’t want to scare you again.” Chanyeol explained, “You can do it yourself… if you want.”

“Want you to do it.” Baekhyun said immediately, looking over his shoulder. “Hyung, I want you to do it.”

Now that one, that one hurt. Baekhyun was already in pain in areas he’d rather not mention until he saw Yixing, but his tailbone definitely hurt.

“Okay.” Chanyeol sighed and pulled Baekhyun's pants up, “We’ll do it again later, okay?” He said softly, pulling Baekhyun's hoodie down all the way to his knees, “Hyungs would never touch you badly, you know that right? You don’t need to be scared.”

“I know.” Baekhyun muttered, wrapping his arms around Chanyeol's waist, “I’ll go see Xing now.”

Chanyeol pressed his lips to Baekhyun's forehead and nodded, “Okay, Hyung loves you, Baekhyun. I’ll get Taeyong out of the way, you can see him… when you want to, but not right now I’m guessing?”

“A few days.” Baekhyun replied, “Few days.”

“No problem, I’ll tell him you’re sick from being outside, and we don’t want to make him sick.”

“Okay.” Baekhyun chewed his lip, “Soo Hyung, let’s go, please.”

~~~~~~~

Baekhyun held the cell door open for Kyungsoo, letting him crutch his way through before closing it and holding his pants up slightly as he walked towards the main resting area.

“Good morning.” Luhan smiled from across Taehyung and Baekhyun nodded at the people scattered about the room. He noticed Zitao leaning against the wall, cleaning his metal rod and looked at him curiously before looking away.

Chanyeol had explained to him how he had gotten here, and he supposed he should thank him, but there was enough attention on him right now, he would pull Zitao aside later.

“Have you guys seen Yixing?” Kyungsoo asked loudly, Baekhyun figured he probably noticed Baekhyun's nervousness with everyone staring at him. They knew, there was no way they didn’t, everyone just looked at him so… sympathetically, and he hated it.

Taehyung stood up quickly and Baekhyun stepped back out of instinct, back hitting the pantry shelf behind him, making the metal shelf clank into the wall and a few cans roll off the bottom shelf.

“Fuck.” Baekhyun cursed, kneeling down to pick them up, feeling everyone staring at him, his ears reddening.

“Hyung, I didn’t mean to scare you.” Taehyung whispered, “I’m sorry, let me help yo-“

“Let’s not get too close for a little.” Kyungsoo blocked him immediately, “It’s not you, Taehyung. It’s not your fault.”

“I wouldn’t- I’d never, Hyung- I’d never-“

“It’s okay.” Baekhyun sighed at the distress in Taehyung's tone, “I know, it’s okay. He’s fine, Soo.”

“Yixing is in his cell.” Minseok answered quietly.

Baekhyun smiled shyly and put the last few cans back before standing up, wrapping his arms around himself, “Thank you.” He replied, “And Taehyung… I’m sorry, it’s not your fault.”

“It’s not yours either.” Taehyung replied carefully, sending Baekhyun a look he couldn’t interpret.

“Yeah.” Baekhyun whispered, pulling the huge hood over his head and stepping closer to Kyungsoo, almost like he was protecting himself. “I know.”

“Let’s go see Hyung.” Kyungsoo said gently, slowly reaching over to grab the large fabric of the hoodie, “Let’s go, sweetheart.”

Baekhyun ducked his head as he rushed down the hallway, hearing the clacking of Kyungsoo's crutches behind him.

He looked at some of the sheets people had hung up in their cells for privacy until he saw a familiar uncovered cell.

Baekhyun had asked him once why him and Yifan didn’t put up a sheet, and Yixing claimed it was because they wanted people to be able to come by whenever they wanted. He had no idea how the soulmate couple could deal with rarely having privacy.

“Hyung, are you busy?”

Yixing peeked his head up from the book in his lap and as soon as he saw Baekhyun brought a hand to reach out for him. “Not for you. Never for you.” He tossed his book to the floor like it meant nothing.

Baekhyun scrunched his nose up in pain and practically jumped at the older man, curling up like a child, his head on Yixings lap.

“Poor baby. I don’t know what to say, sweetie. Me and Yifan… we- we’re going to figure something out.” Yixing said softly, patting Baekhyun's hood as he cried into his leg.

“We know.” Kyungsoo called from the doorway, clutching over to sit on the edge of the bed, pulling Baekhyun's pant leg over his ankle as if comforting himself by keeping Baekhyun all balled up and covered. “Tell… tell us what we do, Hyung… we can’t- why do people treat others… like this?”

The medic frowned as Kyungsoo dropped his head into his palms, crying. He’d known the man for over two years now, since the world had ended and he couldn’t recall seeing him cry.

“I don’t have an answer, Kyungsoo.” He said reluctantly.

Kyungsoo sniffed and turned to place his cheek on his palm, “Hyung… we’re worried… our soulmate already- he already was dealing, and now… now I’m- we don’t know… what can we do? What can we do, Hyung?”

“Hyung… Hyung it hurts.” Baekhyun cried, face hidden in Yixing’s pants and hood covering his profile. “I need help- please, fix me Hyung.”

Kyungsoo scrunched up his face and leaned over to press his forehead into Baekhyun's back, unable to deal with his begging.

“You’re not broken.” Yixing whispered, “Baekhyun you’re not broken, remember? You told me that everyday. You belong to yourself and nobody else, right? We were working on that.”

“I-I belong to men.” Baekhyun argued, “Men who-who don't five choices, everyone takes and takes and no-nobody cares if I don’t want it.”

“Hey.” Yixing growled, “We care. We all care. This isn’t going to be forgotten, Baekhyun. What those people did to you, did to Jongin, it was disgusting and we might not know everything, but we know enough to want them dead.”

“We’re going to hunt them down, Baek.” Kyungsoo said angrily, tears falling as he clutched Baekhyun's hoodie. “And we’re going to let you watch them die, because you deserve that much. Hell, you can kill them if you want, Hyungs would let you. We kill bad people and they’re the worst for what happened. We don’t like thieves, we don’t like abusers, and we certainly don’t fucking like rapists, Baekhyun.”

“I don’t like anyone else.” Baekhyun said gently, “Want it just to be us, just our group, I don’t want anyone else to come.”

“Shh, you don’t mean that, your heart is always in the right place, Baek. You’re just a bit traumatized right now, but we can work on it, we will continue until you can breathe.” The medic shook his head and pushed Baekhyun's hood off his face. “You’re always good, Baekhyun. And that’s hard to come by these days, it’s why everyone loves you so much.”

Baekhyun laughed darkly as he turned over, laying facing the ceiling with his head in Yixings lap. “That’s why I’m easy, right? Because I’m so good. I didn’t even fight, I just laid there, because I’m good. Right, Hyung?”

Yixing wiped his eyes and tried to configure what to say as Baekhyun threw his arm over his eyes.

“With my dad… he didn’t make me do things, it was expected, he didn’t demand… he just took, but… but that man wanted so much- he- he wanted me to say things, to do things. I couldn’t, he- he wanted me to say things, but Jongin was… he could hear it so I had to be quiet, I couldn’t give him the… satisfaction.” Baekhyun whispered, “It hurts more… that it was a stranger, I don’t- I don’t know why… maybe because I had thought I was past this, that I wouldn’t have to do.. that ever again.”

“W-we gave you false hope.” Kyungsoo sobbed into Baekhyun's stomach, “We’re sorry, we-we really thought we could protect you.”

“It’s okay.” Baekhyun moved his arm from his face to place it down onto Kyungsoo's cheek. “It’s okay, I don’t know if… if I really believed it was over anyways. I’ll always… be... good, that’s the problem.”

“That’s not a problem.” Yixing moved his hand from his own face to wipe Baekhyun's, “You're a good person, you’re misinterpreting the meaning. Being good doesn’t mean you are weak, or submissive, or that you listen all the time. It means you can see things clearer than anyone else. You’re the one that asks questions first, cares, we shoot first and regret it later, but you… you have hope in people even when we don’t, and that’s why you’re good.”

“I don’t have much… hope right now.” Baekhyun admitted, looking up at Yixing. “The Governor… he- he laughed and told me I was a good bitch after, I don’t think good is a compliment.”

Kyungsoo sucked in a harsh breath and pressed his nose into Baekhyun's stomach, “You're the best Baekhyun, don't- don't let what he has done ruin you. You’ve been through so much… so much, and I-we know it’s hard, that it hurts you, and fuck- it hurts us too, baby. But… we love you, you can’t- you sound like you’re giving up.”

“You can only handle so much.” Baekhyun scrubbed at his eyes as if trying to hold tears back. “Hyung, I-I don't know if I can keep… keep this up.”

“Baekhyun… we- we need to talk about this.” Yixing said softly, “I… I spoke to Yifan earlier, and we… we want to put you on antidepressants, just for a few months… just until we can figure something out. And… I’m sorry but we’re taking away you’re gun, and your knives-“

“What?” Baekhyun croaked like he was offended, “You-you think I’m going to hurt someone? That’s- I would never-“

“We think you’re going to hurt yourself.” Yixing sighed as Baekhyun sat himself up and shoved his back into the wall. “You obviously need them, honey. Just for a little.”

“That’s ridiculous.” Baekhyun scoffed and pulled his hand from Kyungsoo's when he grabbed it. “I would never leave my family. I might be fucked up- but I’d never… kill myself.”

“Look at this, Baek.” Kyungsoo whispered, reaching over and pushing Baekhyun's sleeves up, “You did this last night, right in front of everyone.” He said tearfully, pointing out the red, inflamed lines running down one of Baekhyun's forearms. “And look… baby, look at your palms, you did that this morning. You might not know, but you are hurting yourself.” He ran his thumb almost nail imprints in Baekhyun's palms, red crescents that had yet to heal.

Baekhyun gasped in disbelief, his wet face making hair stick to his cheeks. “I… I didn’t.”

“You did.” Kyungsoo whispered, pressing his lips to Baekhyun's temple apologetic even though he was only telling the truth. “We saw, baby.”

“How about this?” Yixing stood up from the edge of his cot and walked to the other side, digging through a duffle bag. “You guys had a lot of medicine in those baskets, when Zitao brought them we got them sorted out. So, this morning me and Yifan found the antidepressant we had the most of. It’s called Zoloft.

I’m going to give it to you, and you can decide on your own if you want to take it, okay? How much do you weigh? I'm going to figure out an appropriate amount.”

Baekhyun only stared at Yixing’s back in betrayal.

“He’s about 120- maybe.” Kyungsoo answered for him, rubbing his hand over Baekhyun's knee when he turned to glare at him.

“You need to eat more.” Yixing commented, “For now, if you decide to take them, take only a half of a pill we need to see how you respond.”

“I’m not going to.” Baekhyun whispered.

“There will be some side effects, he might get sick for the first week or two, probably exhausted and fatigued.” Yixing passed the bottle to Kyungsoo before turning to Baekhyun. “We only want you to be better, Baekhyun.”

“Everyone… everyone just wants to tell me what to do.” Baekhyun cried, jumping off the bed and leaving the room.

Chapter Text

 

 

He hadn’t taken the medicine. It had been sitting on the metal built in shelf in their cell for three days now, haunting Baekhyun.

Three days was also how long he had been sitting here doing absolutely nothing but staring at the book in his lap, blankets pulled around him, the heat making him sweat a bit, but he liked the extra cover over his pajamas.

Baekhyun had been wondering when one of the boys would finally ask about it, or try and convince him to take them- or even go out of the room. He had only dipped out to shower or grab food quietly, not really speaking to anyone before running back up the stairs.

Not that anyone really tried to talk to him, they seemed more afraid than he did, and that thought alone made Baekhyun scowl unknowingly.

“Babe, I’m going on a run with Junmyeon Hyung.” Kyungsoo said quietly, limping slightly as he walked towards the bed.

Baekhyun frowned and glanced at Chanyeol and Jongin, but Chanyeol was passed out from watch at the end of the bed and Jongin was busy putting a new butterfly bandage over his cheekbone. “Without kisses?”

“You want kisses?” Kyungsoo sounded surprised and Baekhyun hadn’t realized until now he hadn’t kissed or really given the boys any affection in days.

Baekhyun nodded, placing his book to the side and moving the heavy blanket off his lap to sit up. “Yes, Hyung.”

Kyungsoo smiled gently and sat on the floor carefully, leaning over to cup Baekhyun's cheek, running his thumb across his cheekbone. “You should get some sleep while I’m gone, you haven’t slept in a while.”

“I’ll get nightmares.” Baekhyun said honestly, pressing his forehead to Kyungsoo's.

The elder only sighed, looking like he wanted to add something else, but instead only pressing his mouth to the youngers for a few seconds before pulling back to press chaste pecks to his lips until he felt Baekhyun smile.

“Love you.” Kyungsoo prompted, pressing a soft kiss to Baekhyun's nose and then his forehead before standing up.

“I love you too.” Baekhyun chewed his lip as he watched Kyungsoo limp to grab his coat, “Be safe.”

“Of course.” Kyungsoo smiled and waved at Jongin before walking out and making Baekhyun sigh.

Jongin turned to look at him, his jaw and neck looking slightly shiny from the ointment on his skin.

At least he looked better now. His eye was no longer swollen, but an ugly black color around it, his bruises slowly fading out.

“Hyung will be fine.” Jongin said quietly, getting up and moving to sit beside Baekhyun.

Baekhyun reached out to rub the ointment into his skin immediately, careful to make sure his fingers weren’t pressing too hard. “I know.”

“Why do you look so upset then?”

“I don’t like when… when you guys leave the grounds.” Baekhyun admitted, “But I know they’re just getting wood for the fences.”

Jongin nodded, “This morning the walkers pushed down part of the east fence, almost broke it. They’re fortifying the first set of fences, don't worry.”

“Apparently… a lot can happen as soon as we step out of the gates.” Baekhyun muttered.

“Apparently.” Jongin agreed, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's hair. “You really should try to sleep a little, love. Your eyes are all red, don’t they hurt?”

“My head kind of hurts.” He replied, “I… I’m hungry though, I’ll eat and then get some sleep.” Baekhyun promised.

“Okay.” Jongin smiled and laid down, watching Baekhyun climb out of his cocoon. “I’ll nap too, and when I get up you better be snoring.”

Baekhyun laughed quietly, pulling a zip up over himself even though his sweater already covered anything. “Deal.”

Baekhyun smiled at Jongin stealing his spot, taking all the heat he had made from the blankets and turned to walk down the stairs, shutting the cell door quietly so Chanyeol wouldn’t wake up.

He knew everyone was out here, and nobody really tried to talk to him except Yifan. Out of all of them he never took the leader for the soft type, but he had been wrong, Yifan was on him like a hawk when he spotted him- relentless the past few days until Yixing would get the leader off his back.

“Baekhyun, good to see you.”

Baekhyun held back his sigh and smiled at him before turning to grab a plate, walking over to the pot of rice and some sort of dehydrated meat. Prison food didn’t taste like anything, but Minseok was a good cook, usually finding a way to give the food at least some flavor.

“You going to eat with us today?” Yifan asked.

“I was going to take a nap with Jongin and Yeol.” Baekhyun whispered, ignoring the eyes on him as he felt red creep up the nape of his neck.

“Aren’t you hot in that?” Sunmi suddenly worried, “It’s not cold in here.”

“Sunmi!” Baekhyun heard Luhan hiss.

He only pretended to ignore the interaction, and question, setting his bowl down on the counter to dig around for a cup because his throat suddenly felt very dry.

Baekhyun heard Yixing clear his throat, “Baekhyun, you look a little pale, why don’t-“

Baekhyun didn’t hear whatever he said because arms wrapped around his hips, little arms. But he couldn’t process that.

All he knew was that someone was touching him, and he didn’t know who, couldn’t feel who, but hands were on his stomach and he couldn’t breathe.

His breath came out quickly as he closed his eyes, covering his face.

“Hyung?”

“Tae, get off, move, move.” Yixing said gently.

Baekhyun's legs shook and he basically had no choice but to drop to the ground and wrap his arms around his knees, pressing his face into them.

“Baekhyun, breathe.” Yifan ordered, running across the room, approaching cautiously to pull Taeyong back. “You’re okay, you’re okay, Baek.”

“Hyung?” Taeyong trembled, turning to look up at Yifan. “I scared him.”

“He’s okay, it’s not your fault, go get Chanyeol in his cell.” Yifan urged, pushing Taeyong in that direction.

Everyone was watching Baekhyun's rocking, a slow panicked movement, his eyes held tightly shut, hands in his hair and what sounded like incoherent whispering.

“Baek Hyung.” Sehun tried across the room, “Hyung.”

Baekhyun didn’t even look like he could hear him, not even a glance or a movement to indicate acknowledgement.

Yixing stood up, walking over to his soulmate who stood a few feet away from Baekhyun in utter shock, confusion, and disbelief. “He’ll be okay, don’t touch him.”

“Well I’m not just going-just gonna watch this!” Luhan said, standing up, “Do something!”

“If you touch him you’re going to scare him, Lu.” Minseok leaned over Zitao and grabbed his arm, “He’s panicking from a hug from his own brother- you’re definitely not going to help- sit down or leave.”

Luhan didn’t have time to argue or respond as a messy haired Chanyeol came booming down the hall, “What happened? What happened!” He exclaimed.

“Baekhyun.” Yifan muttered quietly, “Chanyeol… we don’t- we don’t know what to do.”

Chanyeol frowned, eyes puffy from sleep as he looked where Yifan pointed, a few feet in front of him and almost under the plastic table, curled in a ball Baekhyun was wearing himself out.

“Shit.” The man cursed and practically pushed Yixing and Yifan out of the way to get to Baekhyun, dropping to his knees onto the cement loudly. “Baby… Baek, you’re okay.”

“If you touch him he’s going to freak out.” Yixing said quickly when Chanyeol went to touch him. “Really, Yeol, he's not… he doesn’t know what’s happening.”

Chanyeol heard his warning, he did, but he didn’t care about the warning and gently laid a hand on Baekhyun's arm. “Moon… hey, baby.”

Baekhyun flinched like he was just stabbed, kicking his legs out and launching his fists out practically blindly, vision blurred and heart pumping.

“Hey! It’s me, it’s me.” Chanyeol struggled for only a second before getting Baekhyun's wrists into his hands, holding firmly but not painfully. “Shhh, Shh, you’re okay.”

“Don’t- I don’t- no more! No more!” Baekhyun screeched, echoing off the cement as if he didn’t recognize Chanyeol at all.

Chanyeol cringed and tried to shush him, but Baekhyun's whimpering and pleads were too loud, too painful. “Get Jongin, someone get Jongin.”

Baekhyun quieted at the name, his sobbing loud, but quieter than it was moments before, stopping his fight against Chanyeol's grip. “J-Jongin?”

“That’s right.” Chanyeol said immediately, “You want to see Jongin?”

Baekhyun's chest moved up and down fast as his panic began to simmer, his fight or flight instincts bubbling down to exhaustion as he nodded, pupils blown and slowly becoming smaller.

“I’ll take you to him.” Chanyeol said quietly, “I’ll take you to him, little moon. Just breathe for a second.” He cooed, releasing his arms when he deemed it safe and running a hand over Baekhyun's hair. “Do you know where you are?”

Baekhyun closed his eyes for a second as he breathed heavily, “Home.”

“That’s right, and you’re safe, everyone is okay.”

“I… I scared Taeyong?” Baekhyun rubbed his temple at the pounding headache he felt building up before opening his eyes and looking around.

Everyone was staring at him in fear. Of what, Baekhyun had no idea, but it felt like a bucket of cold water poured on him, like being knocked out.

Everyone already looked at him like he was wounded, like he had some sort of injury. They weren’t wrong, and he honestly wasn’t mad about it, but it still disgusted him to know that they all knew what he could have kept a secret.

He could have lied and told never Jongin what happened, denied it. But they would have known anyways. And Baekhyun never lied, he had never lied to them, only harmlessly withheld information when needed.

And now, all of the people in the prison knew- except Taeyong- but he hardly counted, and he was probably extremely confused as to what was happening right over his head.

“Chanyeol.” Baekhyun turned to look at Chanyeol, putting his arms out for him, “I want the medicine now.”

“Okay.” Chanyeol mumbled, grabbing him under his knees with one hand and cupping the back of his head as if trying to shield him from the others view. “Whatever you want, Baekhyun.”

~~~~~~~

To say his soulmates were worried would be an understatement.

Baekhyun had only been on the medication a few days, and he was already acting out of it.

And out of the three, Jongin couldn't stand what had happened. He couldn’t stand the thought that he could have prevented this- or so he thought- and he was just so angry. A rage nobody had really seen from him before.

“Zitao!” He yelled as he stomped into the cafeteria, dressed in an all black, armored guard uniform.

“He's coming. We should hit him now.”

Zitao looked up confused from beside Junmyeon, “What?”

“He won't be expecting it. We'll sneak back in and put a bullet in his head.” Jongin growled, checking the bullets in his pistol.

“We're not assassins.” Yixing said in shock. “Jongin, calm down, you’re going to scare Taeyong if he sees you.”

“You know where his apartment is. You and I could end this tonight.” Jongin tried, looking at Zitao as if he was the only one in the room. “I'll do it myself if not.”

Junmyeon sighed and stood up, “He didn't know we were coming last time and look what happened. You were almost killed. You and Baekhyun were tortured, we know you’re upset, but-“

“You can't stop me.” Jongin argued, rubbing over his bruised eyes as if it didn’t hurt at all- which was a huge lie.

“Yifan Hyung would never allow this.” Sehun threw out sadly.

Jongin huffed in anger, “You really think he's in any position to make that choice? This is about me- about my soulmate- it’s personal.”

“Think this through clearly. It isn't worth any more killing. If he's really on his way, we should be out of here by now.” Taehyung prompted.

“And go where?” Jongin could feel his hands shaking in anger.

“We lived on the road all winter.”

“Back when Kyungsoo could walk on two legs and we didn't have Baekhyun who can’t even stand up right now.” Everyone flinched at Jongin's mention of Baekhyun.

Jongin spun on his heels, walking towards the exit when Junmyeon grabbed his sleeve, “Jongin! You're not going back to Woodbury, are you?”

“No. I'm just going out there.” Jongin shook him off and grabbed a pair of keys from the shelf by the entryway.

“By yourself? How can you possibly think that's a good idea? You went on a simple medicine run and got the crap beat out of you. Baekhyun was attacked.”

Jongin snarled and turned to face Junmyeon, “You think I don’t know that? Are you saying this is my fault? I did what I could. I can’t fucking look at Baekhyun and forget- fuck you. You all have no idea.”

Junmyeon looked at him like he was unrecognizable and refused to let go of his arm. “We know you did. So does Baekhyun. He’s one of the people most precious to us and you know this. This rage is going to get you killed.”

Jongin only looked across the group of people as he shoved the keys into Junmyeon’s hand and shook his head. “I have the right to be angry.”

“You do, we agree, but you should also be with Baekhyun right now.” Yixing said firmly.

~~~~~~

Baekhyun cried and held the bucket to his chest, head tilted downwards.

“Oh, baby. Just a little longer, a few days and if you aren’t better then we need to ask Yixing Hyung for a different type.” Kyungsoo said quietly, pushing Baekhyun's hair out of his face, waiting for Chanyeol to pass him a damp rag.

“Sleep.” Baekhyun's eyes were closed and they weren’t even sure he was awake unless he said something, he was so tired, and the medication made him so lethargic and odd when he was awake, often throwing up.

“We know, sweetheart.” Chanyeol sighed and wiped Baekhyun's chin down, moving the bucket from his lap, “Taeyong brought you some rice when you were sleeping, did you want to eat some?”

Baekhyun made a quiet sobbing noise as if they were arguing, “Sleep.”

Kyungsoo sighed and ran his hand up and down Baekhyun's back, “A few bites, and you can go back to sleep. We won’t ask you again until tonight if you take a few bites. Deal?”

“... ‘Kay.” The youngest replied with watering eyes, blinking long as if it took too much energy to open his eyes again.

“Okay, babe. Here, open.” Chanyeol cooed, grabbing the plate and cupping the back of Baekhyun's head when he looked like he was going to lay back down voluntarily or not. “There we go, love.”

Baekhyun scrunched his face up with a tired eye smile at the nickname before accepting a second bite and pushing Chanyeol's hand away. “Done.”

“Ah, one more.” Kyungsoo cooed, “One more for Hyungs, please.”

“Where… where is Nini?” Baekhyun's eyes were staying closed because he didn’t have the energy to open them as he let Chanyeol feed him another bite, the elders hand holding him up.

“He said he was going on watch, you don’t remember? It was only an hour or so ago, sugar.” Kyungsoo fussed.

Baekhyun scrunched his nose in confusion, shoving both of his hands together and sinking over his lap with his hands between his thighs.

It was an odd posture, but his soulmates had seen him do some odd things lately- if it comforted him then they would let him do whatever he wanted, they didn’t control him.

“Come on, baby. You can eat one more.” Chanyeol cooed.

Baekhyun gave no response except his back going limp against Chanyeol's hand.

“Baek?” Chanyeol sighed, “Baby…”

“Just let him sleep.” Kyungsoo rubbed his eyes with his palms, “We can’t do anything, not until his body gets used to the medicine. It’s common to have these side effects.”

The eldest pulled his face together in anger, contrasting the gentleness he used as he laid Baekhyun down, pulling the blankets around the younger loosely in case he needed to throw up.

The first night they learned the hard way when they woke up to Baekhyun sobbing and apologizing into his ruined shirt. He had fallen asleep pretty much as soon as they got him into the showers, and they cried silently.

“He’s already underweight, Soo. He needs to be eating more, he can’t stay up for more than ten minutes to eat and only ate a bowl of mashed potatoes yesterday- he’s only puking stomach acid at this point.”

“Well what the fuck do you want me to do about it? I’m fucking worried too, Hyung. This will be better for him in the long run, this medication helps with panic, it helps with PTSD, he needs it.” Kyungsoo snapped before frowning at his own behavior and shaking his head, “I’m sorry, we’re all stressed out.”

“Don’t lose it on me, Kyungsoo.” Chanyeol said firmly, “You're the level headed one, Jongin has already lost his shit, I can’t pretend to be the calm one.”

“Well I can’t always be the calm one.” Kyungsoo said softly, “You’re better at being level headed than you think. And Jongin has reason to, we shouldn’t- we’re all mad.”

“Of course.” Chanyeol whispered, pulling the blanket over his lap and laying on his side, draping his left arm across Baekhyun's stomach. “I’ll fucking kill anyone that comes near.”

If any stranger saw the group they’d assume the three older boys were simply touchy with Baekhyun, or extremely enamored- both of which were true- but the real reason for their actions were protective.

A hand on his side, an arm around his stomach, anything to keep him close, to keep Baekhyun grounded because they had no idea what would trigger another episode.

Nobody spoke about it, Taeyong tried to ask about it multiple times, but it was completely brushed off for the youngest in the group, and everyone could see Taeyong was absolutely pissed about it, that nobody would tell him what was going on with his own brother.

“Yeah, well, let’s hope Jongin doesn’t go off alone when he thinks we aren’t paying attention, I took his armor away- hid it in Taehyung's room. Baekhyun asked why he was wearing it all the time last night, I think it freaked him out.” Kyungsoo explained, “I don’t think Jongin is trying to get himself killed, he wouldn’t leave without it.”

“Of course not, he wouldn’t do that to Baekhyun. To us.” Chanyeol rubbed his hand gently over Baekhyun's stomach when he whined in his sleep, his hands unconsciously searching for comfort, unknowingly clinging to Chanyeol's shirt with a deadly grip. “There’s only so much Baekhyun can take… one of us dying… that’s not plausible.”

Baekhyun shifted, eyes cracking open with a frown. “Hyung…” He murmured, blinking at the ceiling before closing his eyes again, “H-Hyung.”

Kyungsoo shushed him softly at the first sign of tears, the shaking voice. “We’re right here, sweetheart. We love you.” He ran his thumb over Baekhyun's brow bone softly even though he wasn’t sure if he was already asleep or not.

“Go to sleep, little moon. When you get up Jongin will be here too.” Chanyeol pressed his chin down on Baekhyun's curls, shadowing Baekhyun with his large form, “We know, love. You don’t feel good.”

Baekhyun was already long asleep again, but for some reason he was still crying.

Chapter Text

 

 

In the weeks following, Baekhyun didn’t think the medication was helping all that much. It made him overly tired, emotional even though it was supposed to regulate his mood, and his mind spun uncontrollably sometimes.

Yixing said it was probably because he was telling himself it wasn’t working, that he didn’t have any faith the medicine would help. Baekhyun thought that was bullshit.

They wouldn’t even give Baekhyun his weapons back, and he couldn’t take one from the shelf when people were constantly watching him.

“Hyung.” Taeyong said quietly, standing in the doorway of his cell. “What are you doing?”

“Hi, bug.” Baekhyun smiled, looking over his little brother.

He hadn’t noticed until recently that the past month or so Taeyong looked different. Sure, he had grown, he had a growth spurt, but something in his eyes… It was too old to belong to a thirteen year old.

“I’m just… I'm just counting.”

“Counting medicine? I heard Xing Hyung talking to Kyungsoo Hyung earlier and he said they’re going to change how many you take.” Taeyong revealed, looking at Baekhyun confused. “What’s it for anyways? Everyone just says they’re vitamins, but if that were true you’d be looking healthier- and your face looks skinnier now.”

“They make me not hungry.” Baekhyun replied, “Take a seat.” He added, scooping the medicine he broke into halves back into the bottle.

Taeyong adjusted himself on the corner of the mattress on the floor and Baekhyun's eyes latched onto the holster attached to his brother's leg enviously.

His thirteen year old brother got a gun and knives, but not him, because he was untrustworthy apparently.

“They’re called antidepressants, do you know what those are?”

“Aren’t they… they're for people who give up.” Taeyong replied.

Baekhyun shuttered and nodded slightly. “I guess, but I’m taking them because I panic- do you remember a few weeks ago? I get scared really easily.”

“But why now? Why do you need to take them now? You’ve always been like that Hyung.”

“Yeah.” Baekhyun laughed humorlessly, it wasn’t Taeyongs fault, he never got the education, he didn’t understand a lot of things, and that’s probably why he was always so blunt, but that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt. “Yeah I guess I was always like that. Tell me the truth, Tae. You think it’s weak, and that’s okay, I agree.”

“I don’t…” Taeyong turned to look at him carefully, like he wasn’t sure to be truthful or not, “I don’t know that it’s weakness, but it’s an issue. Hyungs took away your weapons because of it, and that makes you… what’s the-“

“Vulnerable.” Baekhyun cut in, “Like a child, looks like it's your turn to take care of me.”

Taeyong looked at him blank faced, and Baekhyun couldn't read it and see if he had said something wrong, or what the look was for.

“Just pull yourself together and you can fight with us again.” Taeyong said it like it was simple.

Baekhyun scoffed and wrung his hands in his blanket to keep from screaming, or crying. “You don’t understand, Taeyong, I can’t.”

“Then tell me. I tell everyone that I’m not a child- that I can handle things, I have a soulmark now, I have perfect aim- what else can I do to prove myself? I can’t be a kid, you guys are all stuck on the idea that I shouldn’t be this way, that I want to sit around on my ass! There’s nothing more I want to do than fight, Hyung!” Taeyong screamed.

Baekhyun flinched and hit his head on the wall on accident, hissing and cupping the back of his head. “We want to give you a better life.”

“There is no better life! Hyung, I wake up and kill walkers through the fence right after breakfast! I put up reinforcements on the upper walkways so we wouldn’t get fucking shot! This is the best life we could get now!”

“Don’t cuss at me!” Baekhyun snapped, tears falling, “You think I don’t know this? Fuck, Taeyong! I’m the one that’s fucked up, you know me and Jongin got fucked up, so if you want to be a man so badly stop acting like a child!”

“You’ve been fucked up! Even before this you were fucking crazy. You don’t want me to be a child anymore so fine, I’ll tell you! You think I never noticed? I knew something was going on- I don’t know what- but I know an- and you’re the one that’s fucked Hyun-“

“Taeyong, shut the fuck up!” Kyungsoo yelled from down the hall, footsteps running in.

If they could hear from the resting area, there was no doubt everyone could.

“What the fuck, Taeyong!” Chanyeol pulled him up by his arm and gently shoved him towards the door. “You’re a child, you don’t talk back to your brother.”

Taeyong ignored him, peering through the bars and staring at Baekhyun, his stomach twisting guiltily as Kyungsoo picked up Baekhyun's hands and he was shaking. “Hyung, I’m-i'm sorry- I didn’t… Hyung, I love you, I’m sorry-“

“Go, Taeyong.” Jongin placed his hands on the youngests shoulders, steering him away from the bars.

And if there was something Baekhyun always did, always, without fail, it was to respond to Taeyong. Even now when he was shaking and wanted to throw up, he couldn’t even look at him, but he replied, “Love you.”

“I want to see him- Hyung, I wa-I want to apologize.” Taeyong tried, tears falling down his face, “Please.”

“Go on watch with Junmyeon Hyung, go.” Chanyeol called sternly, “Baekhyun isn’t upset with you, but I am, go, we'll talk later.”

Taeyong huffed, “You guys always say we’ll talk later, but we never do.” And then he walked away.

“Baek.” Kyungsoo pulled him to his feet, “Come on, let’s get some air.”

Baekhyun nodded, wrapping his arm around Kyungsoo's like he was going to fall over, “Yeah.”

~~~~~~~

“Do you like these flowers?”

Baekhyun hummed and curled himself around Chanyeol's hip, looking behind at Jongin. “I like all flowers.”

Kyungsoo laughed beside him, throwing his arm around Baekhyun's shoulders, “I like you.”

Baekhyun laughed quietly, accepting the kiss to his nose.

It was easy to pretend the world wasn’t completely shit sometimes. Like now, how they were walking along the yard, ignoring the walkers snarling outside the fence at them. Well, mostly ignoring, every once in a while one of his soulmates would turn and stab one through the fence if they pushed too hard on the wood fortifications propped up against the outermost fence.

“We don’t know a lot about what you like.” Jongin commented, a yellow flower in his hand that he tucked behind Baekhyun's ear. “What do you like?”

“I like you guys.” Baekhyun giggled as Chanyeol playfully nipped at his cheek with a wide grin. “I like… the color blue.”

“Like the sky?” Kyungsoo wondered.

“No… like… like turquoise. I can’t think… of a lot… the medicine makes me dizzy.” Baekhyun stated, walking ahead of them and rubbing his temple.

The three’s smiles dropped for a second before putting them back on when Baekhyun turned around with a smile. “I like strawberries, I wonder if there’s any in the woods.”

“We’ll find you some then.” Chanyeol vowed, “It makes me sad seeing your cheekbones like this, we’ll let you eat so many until you’re all chubby.”

Baekhyun snorted, running his palm over his cheek at the comment. It was flatter than his face used to be, he could feel his muscles in his jaw when he opened his mouth. “I’m still okay looking though?”

“Still beautiful.” Kyungsoo said immediately, “Still so pretty, don't ever worry about that. We just want you to be… healthy, it’s not that we don’t think you’re pretty anymore.”

“I guess… Yixing Hyung said I was 112 two days ago.” Baekhyun said quietly, bending down to pick a few more flowers.

“Baby, that’s not good, love. You should be at least 130, we have food now. We know it’s not your choice, but we really don’t want to see you so thin anymore, you’re smaller than when we first saw you.” Jongin said carefully, kneeling to help him collect the flowers he liked, other hand running over the knobs of Baekhyun's spine. “You don’t like it either, we know you feel sick these days.”

“I thought the medicine was going to help.” Baekhyun replied with a smile as he placed a flower in Jongin's hair, making the man laugh and pull him to his chest.

“It has. You haven’t had any big panic attacks, and that’s progress. You even went to the showers by yourself the other day and you said you ran into Zitao and had no problems.” Kyungsoo pointed out.

“Zitao is nice.” Baekhyun nodded, “He fits in well, even if he doesn’t talk very much.”

“He saved your and Jongin's life, sweetheart. He's part of us now, he belongs.” Chanyeol added.

“Yeah.” Baekhyun smiled cutely and threw himself into Chanyeol’s chest, pressing his forehead into the firm muscle. “He belongs.”

Chanyeol leaned over to press his nose into Baekhyun's hair, wrapping arms around his narrow shoulder tightly, “Everyone here belongs.”

Kyungsoo reached over to adjust Baekhyun's shirt because he knew the younger didn't like even the smallest bit of skin showing, and the tiniest bit of his hip peeked out because Chanyeol's grip hiked up his shirt.

“Baekhyunnie, the-“

Suddenly, gunshots were going off and the group froze as one flew right past where Chanyeol's head had been if he hadn’t thrown himself and Baekhyun down into the long grass.

Kyungsoo and Jongin ran for shelter.

“Go!”

Baekhyun felt his heart racing, someone was attacking them.

“Stay down!” Chanyeol said firmly, “Stay down, I’ll be back!”

Baekhyun could only nod, eyes wide in confusion. He reached out to grab Chanyeol when he realized his intentions but was too late as Chanyeol ran towards the watchtower, gunshots flying past.

Baekhyun had no weapons, he had nothing at all, all he could do was crawl through the grass towards the cell block door.

But a bullet flew directly over his shoulders, skimming his shirt and he went limp, pulling the grass to the side and eyeing the walkers on the other side of the fence that were giving away his position.

But behind the walkers, was a familiar man. A man that sent shivers down his spine, and he smirked, like he knew. Baekhyun met eyes with him, but he didn’t shoot- the sniper in his grip not reaching for the trigger even though he had the perfect opportunity.

The Governor waved, and then Baekhyun heard a smashing sound, jumping and looking to his other side at a car horn.

A white and red van was driving through the front fence, Baekhyun huffed into the dirt and looked back over at The Governor, he was gone.

But when he looked at the van, the back dropped down and a bunch of walkers started stumbling out, a man jumping from the driver seat, covered head to toe in black armor and booking it out of the broken fence, Yifan's shots from the towers hitting the man's armor, but it must have been thick.

It was a set up, Baekhyun realized. They were warning them, giving them a taste of what they could do.

“Baekhyun!” Kyungsoo yelled out the doorway of the tower.

Baekhyun screamed and kicked at a walker, snapping its knee backwards and scrambling to his feet. He looked around, trying to find a clear way to go, it seemed he was the only one not somewhere safe- he could see Taehyung shooting off the upper walkways alongside Minseok.

“Run!” Yifan cried, “Run!”

Baekhyun took off towards the cell block entrance, but it was covered. Someone shot a walker right behind him, the blood spattering over his back; he could hear them screaming at him but couldn’t register what about as he turned and climbed onto the hood of the van.

He couldn’t do anything, not without a weapon, all he could do was kick at the walkers with his boot or stomp on their decomposing hands to try and keep their nails away.

Baekhyun was trapped, again.

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun cried as he kicked out at a walker, the creature grunting viciously and getting pushed back into other decomposing things.

“Baekhyun!” He registered screaming.

“Hyung! Hyung!” Taeyongs tone was erratic, Baekhyun had tears blurring as he looked up at the watch tower and saw his brother aiming a sniper between the holes in the fence.

A hand grabbed his pant leg and he fell backwards at the unexpected strength of the walker.

His head hit the aluminum hood and he saw spots of black.

Baekhyun only snapped out of it when he heard a disgusting hissing right beside his neck and flailed away from the drooling mouth of the walker, moving back onto the windshield, backing up onto the top of the van.

Someone shot a walker beside him and Baekhyun did nothing but curl into a ball, crying, and uselessly kick the creatures hands off the edge of the vehicle.

But he was pissed. He would have been fine- he wouldn’t have needed anyone’s help if only he had his weapons.

Now, he felt like a baby, doing nothing but wailing and sobbing. He didn’t want to die by a walker bite, just the thought he found pathetic, if he was going to die he wanted the reason to be better than him losing to the man that had raped him- ruined him, again.

“Baekhyun!” Baekhyun wondered how they all hadn’t gotten tired of yelling for him, how their voices weren’t hoarse yet.

He closed his eyes and covered his ears. Baekhyun knew they had found a stocked armory- they had gotten lucky- but he still felt they were wasting bullets on him.

He felt the metal bending in before he looked up and released a relieved cry and reached up for Sehun, realizing they had cleared as much of a path as they could.

“Fuck, Hyung.” Sehun cursed as he picked him up, jumping off the hood of the car, holding the back of Baekhyun's hair, uncaring that it was matter down and crusted from the dead’s remains. “You better not have fucking gotten bit.”

Baekhyun couldn't respond, too winded as if he was the one running and not the one being carried.

Sehun dodged what little walkers were left, running to the cell door that was being held open by Zitao.

“Sehun, put him here!” Yixing yelled, “Someone get water, and a rag, we need to check for bites and scratches.”

“Baekhyun.” Kyungsoo ran over as Sehun set Baekhyun on top of the metal table, “Breathe, baby. You’re okay, right? Did you get bit?”

Baekhyun's face was contorted in terror as he grabbed onto Kyungsoo's shirt, “He-Soo he looked at me! H-Hyung, Hyung we’re going to die!”

“You saw him?” Zitao asked loudly.

“I did too.” The loud metal door sounded as those who were on watch rushed in. “I saw him too.” Yifan growled, “Fuck, I had my gun locked on him but I was out of ammo.”

“Watch out.” Yixing said softly, pushing Kyungsoo to the side and beginning to wipe the blood from Baekhyun's neck.

“I didn’t- not bit.” Baekhyun whispered, pressing his forehead to Kyungsoo's chest with a loud pant.

“Could be scratched, no harm in looking.” Jongin muttered, almost in disbelief as he pressed his palm to Baekhyun's ankle.

“We need to go.” Chanyeol started, “This was a warning, we could have been killed- Baekhyun was almost killed.”

“We might have some thick walls to hide behind, but he's got the firepower and the numbers. And if he takes the high ground around this place, shoot, he could just starve us out if he wanted to.” Luhan agreed.

“What are you suggesting?” Junmyeon asked, a furrow for his brow as he wiped the sweat from his skin, “We’re not leaving- not when we’ve worked so hard for this place. You want to just let him win? After everything he’s done to us- to Jongin and Baekhyun?”

Chanyeol furrowed his brows and slammed his palm on the metal table loudly, “Don’t you fucking bring him into this, you think we don’t fucking know what he’s done? Fuck- I’ll… I'll rip his goddamn head off!”

“Hyung…” Taeyong whispered, “Hyung… you’re scaring my brother..” He pointed out against the wall, a mad look on his face as if he hadn’t just screamed at Baekhyun hours before.

Chanyeol breathed harshly and dropped his gun on the table before gently moving Yixing out of the way. “Baek, I’m sorry. Hyung is sorry, beautiful.” He cooed, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's damp temple.

“Want- I want my we-weapons back.” Baekhyun sniffed with a wet frown, hiding his face in Kyungsoo's stomach.

“We can’t-“

“Just let him have them.” Sunmi defended, cutting off Yixing, “He was almost killed, fuck if he wanted to kill himse-someone he would have already, just let him have his shit.”

“They’re right, Xing.” Minseok said gently, “You want to protect him, we do too, but he needs to be able to protect himself also.”

“Alright.” Yifan commented, “Everyone gear up, we got a field full of walkers that needs to be cleared, we’re going to need lookouts every minute. I’ll take Baekhyun to-“

“We’ll take Baekhyun.” Jongin said immediately, “We’ll take him.”

Yifan raised a brow and crossed his arms, “I want to talk to him privately, I’m only going to walk him to get clothes. What…. you don’t trust me suddenly?”

“I’m having trouble trusting anyone since Sehun saw Chaeyoung there.” Jongin said honestly. “And since Zitao said she looked just like the girl The Governor was with.”

“W-What?” Baekhyun whispered, flinching back from Kyungsoo's chest and holding his stomach, “What?”

“Listen… we didn’t tell you because you didn’t need to-“

“You… you didn’t think that was important!” Baekhyun hissed, “I already- I already feel like shit an-and… I’m going… I’m gonna throw up.” He stood up wobbly, his boots making wet noises with all the blood on them.

“You don’t need to feel guilty, you never did anything wrong.” Yixing said worriedly.

Baekhyun sighed and stopped at the bottom stair to look over at him, “I’m tired of you trying to get into my head, you don’t want to.”

~~~~~~~~~

Yifan chewed his lip as he stood on the last step that led to the perch Baekhyun was in, peering through the cell bars.

Baekhyun was only brushing out his wet hair, but for some reason it made the leader feel horrible.

People's lives were in his hands, peoples families were in his care. The responsibility could fall on Junmyeon too, because back when they had formed the camp that was the deal, to share it.

But Junmyeon didn’t like the pressure, he was much more emotional than Yifan, more likely to shoot first. And that didn’t make him as reliable.

Yifan was the decision maker, the true leader, everyone could see it. But that didn’t mean he had to like all that came with it; like this.

“Hey, I brought you some food.” Yifan said quietly, pushing the cell door open.

Baekhyun's eyes widened before he visually calmed down. He was extremely pale, and thin, Yifan had been keeping up with Yixing’s updates, but he hadn’t… gotten around to see for himself.

Some leader he was.

“You guys got this room decorated pretty nicely, huh?” Yifan mused with a slight smile, looking at the lights strung around the top of the room, “Mind if I sit?”

Baekhyun reached over, pushing the stack of books he pulled out to give away to the floor- he had read them all already. “Kyungsoo doesn’t like it to be really dark in here.” He answered. “And Jongin likes decorations… makes this place seem… like a home.”

“You guys aren’t putting a sheet over the bars for privacy?” Yifan asked, a bit awkwardly as if he didn’t know how to make small talk.

“There’s no reason too.” Baekhyun answered and Yifan internally cringed, “And Tae likes to come in randomly- he doesn’t have any concept of privacy.”

Yifan snorted, setting the paper bowl in Baekhyun's lap, “Oh, don’t I know it, ‘Hyung, let me borrow your gun,’ ‘Hyung, let me follow you today.’” He mimicked, feeling calmer when Baekhyun laughed.

“He likes you.” Baekhyun smiled, twirling the fork into the food he was given without actually eating it.

“He likes you too.” Yifan looked away, eyeing the books and random toys on the wall in front of him. “He’s a teenager, and it must be hard… to be in a world like this, it changed so suddenly.”

“We don’t get along these days.” The younger sighed, setting the bowl on the floor beside him, “He wants to be included and take care of me, but he doesn’t understand that he doesn’t need to know everything.”

“I wanted your opinion.” The leader said gently, “Out of all of us… you have the most weight in the decisions right now.”

Baekhyun snorted as if it was genuinely funny, “I’m unstable, I’m hardly sane enough to be making decisions. You should ask Luhan, he has a lot to say recently.”

“I don’t need you to… be sane. I used to be a cop and we hated psych calls, but sometimes insanity is better these days.” Yifan said, “I just want you to be honest, and tell me what your opinion is- regardless of what anyone else thinks- just you.”

“Why?” Baekhyun frowned, pulling his knees to his chest.

“Because I care about you, I value your opinion. Sure, the others might think… you’re unstable, but I think we need your perspective either way.”

Baekhyun chewed on his cheek as he thought the words over, watching Yifan reach out and pick up a flower laying on the ground, withered.

“You’d do anything for us.” The leader said gently, running his hand over the flower without looking at Baekhyun, “For any of us- I don’t know if it’s good or bad yet, but I think it’s… a trait we all need. You might be a better leader than me one day, I know you wouldn’t want it, but… one day we’re going to start a counsel, when we have more people. And you’re going to be in it- it can’t just be me.”

“You said this was a dictatorship once.”

“I was wrong.” Yifan said immediately, “How you live, how you die it isn’t up to me. I’m not your governor. We choose to go, we choose to stay, we stick together.”

Baekhyun stiffened at the title even though it was meant to calm him down, but just the name made him angry.

He reached over to pull a notebook out from under the edge of the mattress, “I write a lot these days. Since… since I didn’t have anything else to do. You should- if you ever get stressed out… you should write too, Hyung. It’s been helping- well, I don’t know if it’s the medicine too, but I- I can think clearer.”

“What do you write about?” Yifan asked gently.

Baekhyun smiled and ran his thumb over the corner of the yellowed pages, “I write about all of us… about Taehyung tripping over the stairs the other day. About Luhan and Sehun… Sunmi… you and Yixing… sad things too, but they’re still memories, it’s still nice to remember.”

“Why would you want to remember sad things?” Yifan wondered.

“Because one day… those people might not be here anymore- I might not, we all might not. The sad memories… they’ll turn into good ones, and they can keep going on, without us.” Baekhyun explained under his breath. “You should… you should keep it, I filled it up anyways, I asked Sehun to get me a new one.”

Yifan smiled fondly at him, pulling the notebook into his lap and opening it up, skimming the pages.

Baekhyun's handwriting was a bit wild, probably from underuse, but there was something so… charming about his writing and his misspelling of words, the scribbles when he messed up.

“I don’t cry over it anymore, if you were wondering.” Baekhyun whispered suddenly, leaning closer onto his elbows, Yifan could see the reddish tint to his eyes.

Everyone had found Baekhyun a beautiful person, and he could definitely understand why Yixing wanted to protect him so badly, to care for him like he was his own child.

Baekhyun wasn’t a child, he knew that- Yixing knew that. He just looked so young, so cute, but then you would meet his eyes and you could just see the suffering, the years of horror. Yifan didn’t need to know what he and Yixing talked about to see it.

“I cry… when I feel useless, see the pain I caused... or when I have a nightmare- but not about… him.” Baekhyun rapped his thin fingers over the edge of the blanket and Yifan found himself too interested in Baekhyun's words to look away. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t want him dead, that doesn’t mean I don’t- I don’t notice everyone else crying over me. I hear my soulmates every night… I caught Yixing and Minseok talking before. They don’t need to be so worried.”

“We cry because we love you.” Yifan said under his breath, “And you cry because you love us, because you feel guilty for something I could never- we could never even pretend to understand. I won’t sit here and tell you I can relate to your pain, give you some sob story about how much hurt I have experienced. But that would be bullshit because nothing… nothing I can tell you will make you feel better, and that’s a fact.”

Baekhyun laughed and nodded, “I like that better than saying you’re sorry, I think I’ve heard that more the past few weeks than anything else.”

Yifan shook his head with a chuckle, “It’s pointless. You know it, I know it- your soulmates know it. But… they say it because they don’t know what else to tell you- I don’t either.”

“I know.” Baekhyun reached up and rubbed his eyes, Yifan thought it made him look even more like a child, he was so small- always wore clothes many sizes too big, and always clung to his older soulmates.

He had seen Baekhyun do some crazy shit, jump through windows, jumpstart cars, kill walkers like it didn’t affect him at all- after what he suspected Baekhyun had gone through, maybe it was nothing to him. But he was arguably one of the most useful members despite all of this.

Even now when he was suffering, had been for months, Baekhyun still offered what little he could do to help.

“He held me down, Hyung. He didn’t care at all. He ordered me to say disgusting things, bruised me when I didn’t; he’s a pathetic excuse for a person. I want him dead before he can ever do what he did to me and Jongin to someone else ever again. There is no forgiveness from me. I don’t forgive people- they don’t change- even if you give them chances.”

Yifan sucked in a breath and looked at Baekhyun as if he was going to cry any second. He didn’t, Baekhyun only pulled the flower off the blanket where Yifan put it and set it beside his bowl of- now cold- food.

“Then there is no forgiveness from me either.” The leader vowed, “Now give me a hug.”

Baekhyun laughed and wrapped his arms around Yifans neck. “I’m not going to freak out you know, or cry.”

“Yeah.” Yifan laughed against his shoulder, “But Hyung might, so humor me, sweetheart.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Sehun snorted, ruffling Taeyongs hair, “I don’t think even superheroes could deal with this, my man.”

“Then we’re the superheroes, right?” Taeyong wondered from his spot on the floor of the northern watchtower, a comic spread over his lap.

Sehun continued looking out into the treeline as he hummed and thought about Taeyongs words, “I get to be Superman then, you can be like… Green Lantern.”

“Ugh.” The youngest scoffed and flared through his hair, “He’s the fucking lamest one- if anything I’ll be… I’ll be Deadpool!”

“Deadpool is crazy.” Sehun laughed at the offronted tone from the teenager.

“But he’s cool, and he’s really funny.” Taeyong shrugged, “I have the first few releases, Noona said she was going to keep an eye out for me too.”

“Send them my way then, Tae. Luhan likes them too, nothing else to do these days.”

Taeyong nodded in agreement, “Yeah, Min Hyung said we were going to get some seeds for the garden, and then maybe some farm animals. Taehyung Hyung said he wants to start looking for more survivors soon.”

“Yeah? What do you think about that? Maybe you can make some more friends.” Sehun peered through his scope at Jongin walking the fence with a pole, killing a few walkers.

“What if they’re not… I don’t know, nevermind.” Taeyong mumbled.

Sehun frowned and looked over his shoulder, “No, go ahead, what’s up?”

The youngest had his lips pursed as he stood up, “Just… we’ve- we all went through a lot, we all fight- we can all pull our weight. But… some people are sheltered, you know? Like Jinhyuk was, he couldn't fend for himself, and we don’t need people that can’t… face reality.”

The elder hummed, thinking over his words as he turned to look back out, “You should bring that up to Yifan Hyung later, or Chanyeol Hyung.”

“I’m just a kid, nobody listens to me.” Taeyong said softly.

“You’re not a kid, Taeyong. We all know, but… Some of us have a hard time accepting it. When we were your age… we were running around in arcades and doing stupid shit, not killing.” Sehun explained quietly.

“Not my brother.” Taeyong frowned, almost confused sounding. “He was changing my diapers when he was my age… my dad sure as hell never did.”

The elder furrowed his brows without turning to look at Taeyong, “Baekhyun is a good person, you’re lucky to have him as a brother, Taeyong. Even if you disagree with him sometimes. I’m not… I’m not trying to tell you what to do, and I’m not scolding you, but you should go easier on him.”

“I just get… so mad.” Taeyong sighed, “I want to go out there and defend too, I don’t know what happened- nobody will tell me, but I know it was bad, and I know that… I should protect my Hyung.”

Sehun smiled softly and motioned for him to look through the sniper, “That’s what you're doing right now, you don’t need to be in a fight to protect him. He’s right inside this building.. and you’re defending it, and him. You saved him from a lot of walkers with that aim of yours too.”

Taeyong didn’t respond, but Sehun thought his jaw tightened up in determination as he scanned the yard.

The kid was a handful, Sehun realized he would be, but he reminded him a bit of himself despite the huge range of different circumstances they faced.

But, the main issue that puzzled everyone with Taeyong was whether he would turn out okay. He was smart, especially for a kid that had no professional schooling since the world ended about two or more years ago, but he didn’t get the same social experiences they had all gotten.

He didn’t have much to watch and learn from other than how to kill or how to survive. They tried to give him good examples, but it was difficult.

The best they could do was try and explain to him what a good person or a moral person would do, but telling and doing are different things entirely.

“Hyung, someone is in the yard.”

“What?” Sehun whispered, pulling the gun from his hands and peering through. “Holy shit.” He whispered.

“Get Yifan Hyung and the others.”

~~~~~~~~

Kyungsoo glared through the fence, watching the familiar figure run over, something held to her chest. She weaved through walkers urgently.

“Open the gate!” She screamed.

“Are you alone!” He yelled, running towards the bent up metal gate on the outter fence.

“Open it!”

Kyungsoo pointed his gun at her, eyes shaking as he tried to decide whether to let her in without anyone else’s approval.

“Are you alone!” He repeated.

Chaeyoung looked at him in shock, “Open it! I have Jisung!”

Kyungsoo gawked and quickly opened the gate, shooting a walker that got too close for comfort.

“Hands up!” Junmyeon yelled as the others ran outside, “Turn around, hands up!”

Chaeyoung looked in absolute disbelief as everyone pointed guns at her, “It’s me! I’m not- it’s Jisung, here.”

“What? What about everyone else?” Sunmi was the first to lower her gun, grabbing the baby carefully. “How the fuck did you get all the way here with a… a two year old?”

“You have any weapons on you?” Yifan ordered, walking behind Chaeyoung and checking her pockets.

“No… No, Yifan-“

“Good, welcome back.” The leader said without emotion, grabbing her arm and pulling her towards the cell block, “Get walking.”

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun was almost asleep when he heard the cell block door slam open and got up curiously. He walked down the hallway and found himself frozen with the sight of Yifan roughly pushing Chaeyoung towards a seat.

It had been a good few months, almost a year since he had last seen her, and he wanted to hit her.

“Wow.” Chaeyoung whispered as she looked around, “You guys all live here?”

Nobody answered her and Baekhyun watched her look around the room. “Taeyong? You look so handsome.” Chaeyoung smiled at him and didn’t seem to care about the glares she was getting.

Just as Baekhyun locked eyes with her, Junmyeon was blocking her view with crossed arms, “Why did you bring us Jisung?”

“Jisung?” Baekhyun asked under his breath.

“Hyuna and… Hyojong… they would have wanted him to be with you guys.” She said quietly. “They didn’t… we ran out of food after a while… they didn’t make it. Hyuna got sick, Hyojong was bitten, Hoseok, Namjoon, and Seokjin too, we tried to follow your guys signs but we got led to Woodbury instead, it’s safe for everyone there. Mark and Lucas love it.”

Baekhyun scoffed in disbelief, his footsteps loud in the silence as he walked over to Sunmi, picking Jisung up.

Jisung was always a quiet baby, but Baekhyun thought he grew beautifully, his pretty white teeth beaming on show as he set him on his hip. “Hi!”

“Hi, sweetheart. Do you remember Hyung?” Baekhyun cooed softly, ignoring the silence as he walked towards the cells.

“Yes!” Jisung chirped, “Came par!”

“Yes, you came very far to see us, hm? Let’s take a nap.” Baekhyun smiled and pressed a kiss to the baby's tiny palm and stepped up the stairs until he was out of the tension.

“You guys sleep in the cells?” Chaeyoung looked so excited, and if they could stand to look at her as a friend again then they would have been happy to see her personality had adapted. She was stronger now. “Well, can I go in?”

Jongin jumped to block the cell door immediately, “We won't allow that.”

“I'm not an enemy, guys. I just want to talk to Baekhyun.” She frowned and looked at them confused.

“We had that field and courtyard until your boyfriend tore down the fence with a truck and shot us up.” Yifan commented, a warning in his tone, “And Baekhyun… he won’t want to talk to you.”

“He said you fired first.” Chaeyoung shot back, folding her arms.

Yixing scoffed, “Well, he's lying. He tortured Jongin and Baekhyun, almost killed Baekhyun a second time in his walker attack.”

“I didn't know anything about that. As soon as I found out, I came. I didn't even know you were in Woodbury until after the shoot-out and I saw Sehun.” Chaeyoung said immediately. “Look, I cannot excuse or explain what he has done. But I am here trying to bring us together. We have to work this out.”

“I can’t listen to this bullshit.” Jongin hissed, turning to walk up the stairs.

“There's nothing to work out. We're gonna kill him. I don't know how or when, but we will.” Chanyeol said firmly, “There’s nothing you can say or do to make us change our minds. He could come crawling on his knees and every single one of us would send a bullet into his head, do you get me?” The man stepped up to her with every word until Yifan grabbed his arm.

“We can settle this.” Chaeyoung looked up at him as if he was unrecognizable. “There is room at Woodbury for all of you.”

“You only say that because you’re fucking him.” Kyungsoo spat, laying his rifle on the table, “Ask him what he does in his spare time, I can assure you it ain’t checkers.” He growled, spinning to follow Jongin.

Yifan sighed and let go of Chanyeol, rubbing his temple, “You know better than that. What makes you think this man wants to negotiate? Why did you come here?”

“Because he's gearing up for war. The people are terrified. They see you as killers. They're training to attack.” The woman said quietly, taking a seat in the metal bench and wrapping her arms around herself, she was alone, and she knew it.

Minseok scoffed, tapping his hand on the doorway. “I'll tell you what. Next time you see him, you tell him I'm gonna take his eye out.”

“We've taken too much shit. He wants a war? He's got one.” Chanyeol muttered, pulling off his vest and then reaching over to put his arm around Taeyong.

Chaeyoung eyed the teenager, looking at his blank face, remembering how cheerful and outgoing he used to be, like her children. Something had changed.

She then turned to look up at Chanyeol, “If you don't sit down and try to work this out, I don't know what's gonna happen. He has a whole town. Look at you. You've lost so much already. You can't stand alone anymore.”

“You don’t get to say that to him.” Luhan growled, “I don’t know you lady, but there’s not shit you can say to him- to any of us to make us change our minds. You want to make this right, get us inside.”

“No.” She replied immediately.

“Then we got nothing to talk about.” Sunmi said uninterestedly, turning to walk into her cell block.

Everyone followed her example, and Chaeyoung could only sigh and take the time to explore.

~~~~~~~

“He looks like Hyuna, doesn’t he?” Kyungsoo asked softly, brushing Jisungs hair back from where he laid, snoring softly in the middle of a mattress.

“I’m tired of losing people.” Baekhyun sighed, running his finger down the baby's nose softly.

Chanyeol hummed from the soft desk chair they had wheeled into the room a few days prior from one of the offices, “Agreed, love.”

“Did she leave yet?” The youngest asked quietly, “She just came to drop off the baby and try to give us false truths.”

“She is here still, and to her it is the truth, she doesn’t know who that man really is.” Jongin replied, “I’m not defending, she’s known for months we’ve been here and only now came, but she genuinely wants us to all be safe. I feel like she knows something is up… she just ignores it.”

“I’m not… I don’t hate her. I don’t feel anything for her anymore. She’s… she's fucking him, that’s why she’s ignorant.” Baekhyun spat in a whisper.

“Do you want her to know?” Kyungsoo asked, “If you want it I’ll go spill just who he really is, maybe she’d see him for he really was.”

“No, she would deny it.” Jongin said immediately, “Trying to tell someone that their… whatever the fuck they are... is a rapist, people still fucking denied that shit before the end of the world.”

“I just don’t want to see her, I won’t talk to her.” Baekhyun replied, “I don’t… I can’t look at her and not feel guilty even though I didn’t.. we didn’t ask for this. We just wanted some fucking medicine.”

“We know.” Chanyeol snapped his head up at Baekhyun's tone, “We love you, nobody asked for this. Come here, sweetheart.”

Baekhyun smiled softly and stood up, walking over to straddle Chanyeol's lap, “Love you guys too.”

The eldest smiled adoringly and pressed gentle kisses to Baekhyun's mouth, his fingertips lingering on the soft skin of Baekhyun's jaw.

“Oh, good morning, baby!” Baekhyun laughed into Chanyeol's mouth at Jongin's baby talking voice.

“Sheep…” Baekhyun smiled and turned to sit sideways on Chanyeol's lap to watch Jongin pull Jisung to his feet.

“I know, you took a good nap. Do you remember Hyungs?” Kyungsoo cooed softly, laughing as Jisung grabbed onto his finger and jumped with both legs only an inch closer to Jongin.

“ ‘member!” Jisung giggled.

He probably didn’t remember any of them, it was almost a year ago they had last seen him, but Jisung was still cute, overwhelmingly so.

The sight of something so innocent, it made Baekhyun happy. It gave him the same feeling Taeyong used to give him, before he had a gun, before he thought he was way older than he was. Jisung was pure, something Taeyong used to be and Baekhyun wished he could have kept.

“Jump!”

Baekhyun beamed and climbed off Chanyeol's lap to kneel beside the mattress, “You want to play? You can probably jump super high!”

Jisung ooed and nodded, letting go of Kyungsoo's finger. “High!” He giggled, reaching his arms out and simply falling forward into Baekhyun's chest.

“Wow! Super high, are you okay? That was really far!” Baekhyun faked worry, pulling on Jisungs shirt and fake checking him for any injury.

“Otay!” Jisung laughed, “I otay!”

Baekhyun heard the others snorting and stood Jisung up on the bed again, putting his arms out, “Again! Big jump!”

Jisung could play this game all day.

~~~~~~~

Chaeyoung was eating the bowl of white rice that Yixing had served her silently, watching Baekhyun walk by, handing Taeyong a bowl before grabbing a second, his other hand pressing to Jisungs hair as the baby clung to his leg with a granola bar in his hand.

“Don’t even think about it.” Taehyung spoke up, taking a seat directly where Chaeyoung was looking, “His soulmates will be on you so quick.”

“They’re more hostile than I remember.” She looked at the unfamiliar man before looking at Yixing.

“Given recent circumstances it’s to be expected really.” Yifan commented, seating himself beside Chaeyoung almost like a precaution.

“Hyung, the baby is going to need clothes.” Taeyong stood at the end of the table making the adults look at him.

Yifan smiled and patted his arm, “I know. We’ll go out and get some tomorrow, you go ask your brother if you can go, tell him we’ll only go within twenty miles.”

Taeyong smiled, looking less angry with a cute grin as he walked over to Baekhyun. Reaching down to pick up Jisung, holding him in one arm like he was an object more than a baby.

Yixing laughed under his breath at Baekhyun's immediate wide eyes and rearranging of Jisung onto Taeyongs side, a soft scolding expression even though they couldn’t hear what he was saying.

“Taeyong seems different.” Chaeyoung added, “Mark and Lucas would love to see him.”

“Taeyong hasn’t been sheltered.” Yixing defended, “Who knows if they’d get along anymore, everyone has changed.”

“Yeah.” Chaeyoung stared at him, “I can see that. As a mother I don’t think sheltering is a bad thing, it keeps them from becoming… hateful.”

“I certainly hope you’re not trying to tell us how to watch over Taeyong, might want to be careful, Kyungsoo Hyung just walked in.” Taehyung drawled, grabbing his bowl and moving to a different table with a disgusted expression.

Chaeyoung frowned and watched Kyungsoo press’s soft kiss to Baekhyun's mouth before he looked intently down at Taeyong as Baekhyun explained something to him.

“I wasn’t, I was just stating my opinion.” She said softly.

“Yeah, well, our opinions are different, Taeyong knows how to live, he can survive because he wasn’t sheltered. Whatever ideas you have about us… we still care about our family, he’s safer because he’s aware.” Yifan said like he was explaining himself.

“Hyung said yes!” Taeyong smiled like it had made his day as he carried Jisung over with him, “I told Hyung I wanted to get Ji stuff and him and Soo Hyung said yes!”

“Good, I’ll need your help, Tae.” Yifan laughed and watched Yixing wipe Jisungs cheek with his sleeve, “Go ask if Zitao wants to go too, bug.”

Taeyong nodded and pulled Jisung more into his side, “Ji, don’t move so much!” He whined, making the baby laugh high pitched as he wiggled while Taeyong walked up to Zitao.

“What happened to Baekhyun and Jongin?” Chaeyoung said quietly, looking over Yixings shoulder.

“I don’t know that you deserve to know that.” Jongin said from behind Chaeyoung, no real heat to his tone, but somehow his expression made her somewhat regret asking.

“I have no idea, Jongin. I swear on my life that I have no idea what has happened between all of you guys and Woodbury.”

Jongin looked at her for a solid thirty seconds before laughing, sliding in beside Yixing, “It’s not what happened, it’s what they did to us, we didn’t do shit.”

Chaeyoung opened her mouth to reply but Yifan elbowed her softly, a silent warning.

“We needed medicine.” Jongin began, “And everything was going so well here… we were content.” He shook his head and licked his lips, “All we did was go on a fucking run, only a few miles away and this son of a bitch came and kidnapped us at gunpoint. Your… boyfriend had him beat me to a pulp, wanting our location, hours I was pummeled, Chaeyoung. I came out of there unrecognizable.”

“So, of course we went after them.” Yifan added, “That's why we started the shoot out- but they started it first- we didn’t do anything to them.”

“If you didn’t… tell them your location then how did they know?” Chaeyoung searched.

“I never said I didn’t tell them.” Jongin said immediately, “I didn’t say I didn’t tell them.”

“So… Baekhyun-“

“We’re not telling you about that.” Yixing shut her up quickly, “It was cruel, and it was unforgiving, that’s all you need to know. Baekhyun… he wasn’t the same, nobody has been the same, we cannot trust anyone. We can’t… you used to be family, but we don’t know if we could even trust you.”

Baekhyun's laughter was loud as they looked over and Sehun had him thrown over his shoulder like a rag doll, “Sehun!” He cried, hitting his (practically) brother in laws back, “You shit, put me down!”

“Our Hyung is so little!” Sehun teased, “I told you I would do it, Tae!” He added, making Taeyong laugh as he stood Jisung on a table.

“Make yourself useful and bring him here then!” Chanyeol ordered, turning around to look over his seat beside Junmyeon and putting his arms out, “Finally you give me something I want, Sehun.” He joked, pulling Baekhyun into his lap, smiling at his soulmates pout and pink face.

“I’m trustworthy.” Chaeyoung argued, “Why the hell would I be coming here if I didn’t care about everyone here, I’m not trying to see anyone die.”

“It’s us or them, you don’t get to save all of us.” Yifan said realistically, “This is life or death now, either way… your boyfriend… he’s dead.”

“You can’t just decide someone’s death so thoughtlessly.” She frowned.

“He did that to us.” Jongin snarled, “He had us ready to execute- like animals. He went and- I can live with what he did to me, getting beat is nothing compared to what he did to Baekhyun. That’s my goddamn life, he’s my fucking life right there, I would think you would understand, given that you lost your soulmate.”

“He died before all of this, Jongin.” Chaeyoung whispered, “It’s been ten years since then, I’m sorry but… I-“

“Then I guess you really can’t relate then.” Jongin interrupted without care, “Just think of the worst pain you’ve ever felt times ten, because it took us weeks- no- it’s still in progress, we’re putting him back together because of what that man did, and it’s been a fucking rollercoaster, and it’s nobody’s fault but that man you’ve been sleeping with- I can’t even- fuck, I hope you feel like absolute shit when you find out.” He spat, standing up and tossing his spoon onto the metal table loudly.

Yixing sighed and reached across the table to grab Chaeyoung’s hand, gaining her shocked attention. “The Governor, you need to do something. You need to sleep with him. Give him the greatest night of his life. You get him to drop his guard. Then when he's sleeping, you can end this.”

Chaeyoung looked at the medic with a shake of her head, “No… I can’t, he’s really not a bad-“

“Then it’s time for you to go.” Yifan cut in, digging into his pocket and pulling out a set of keys, laying them on the metal table. “I’ll walk you out, I had Taehyung bring a car around.”

Chaeyoung had the nerve to look at the leader like she was the one near tears as he passed her a gun, “Be careful, walkers are bad at night, just avoid the highway.”

“Can you spare it?” She mumbled, following Yifan out the door and looking at the old Toyota.

“Yeah.” Yifan opened the driver door for her and looked debating as he leaned in through the window. “And Chaeyoung.”

“Yeah?” She sighed, buckling up.

“Baekhyun… he stood up for you once.” Yifan threw out, “Just think about that.”

“He did it because he’s kind.” Chaeyoung argued.

“No.” The leader shook his head, “He did it because he didn’t want to see his family get hurt, I’ll go open the gates for you.”

Chapter Text

 

 

“I’m going to go out tomorrow, search for some more guns.” Yifan commented, tapping his hand on the metal table and looking around, “We have enough weaponry… and I think I have a plan, but we’ll need to be prepared for an invasion to happen any time.”

“Taeyong said you were going for baby clothes.” Kyungsoo pointed out, “I should’ve figured it was also something like this.”

“We are going to get baby clothes, but we’re going to just keep an eye out for anything.” Yifan admitted, “Does it really matter what we’re going for? We’re only going a few miles out, you know I’d never take Taeyong anywhere I wasn’t sure if he would make it out of.”

Kyungsoo nodded, a small smile playing at his lips as he heard Baekhyun cooing down the cell block, “We know, we trust you.”

“So what’s this plan?” Luhan wondered, hand intertwined with Sehun’s on the table.

“The only reason they got us last time was because they caught us off guard, right? So we don’t necessarily need to do anything more than scare them.”

“That’s true.” Zitao agreed, looking slightly impressed, “Most of his army is going to be civilians, only a handful were actually from outside the walls, they’ll already be terrified- a little push and they wouldn’t ever want to come back.”

“Exactly.” Yifan agreed, “I have a plan, until I can get it figured out let’s just work on the wall for now.”

“What about Chaeyoung?” Minseok sighed, leaning against Jongin's arm tiredly, “She said she wanted to schedule a meeting, she had a place and everything.”

“Let’s meet him, then.” Chanyeol said aggressively, “I’ll shoot him right in the head- over and done with.”

“No, you wouldn’t go.” Junmyeon called out, “We’re honorable, we’re not monsters like them, if they say it’s a peaceful meeting then we go peacefully, here him out and come back here with our plan still in tact- there’s no way Chaeyoung could convince any of us anything.”

“I’d have to go.” Jongin frowned, “Hyung, I’d have to go.”

“Okay, lets not get ahead of ourselves.” Yifan shook his head, “We’ll see about it when we need to.”

Baekhyun's soft singing made the men look at the doorway, watching him walk down towards the shelves with Jisung swaddled in a blanket.

It was a reassuring sight, to not only see Baekhyun out of his room for more than a few minutes, and to see him look genuinely calm.

“Tae?” Jisung asked quietly.

Baekhyun laughed and shook his head, carefully holding Jisungs back to his chest as he grabbed a bottle of water off the shelf, “No, it’s bedtime, you can see Tae tomorrow, he said he was going to teach you numbers, remember?”

“One… two…” The baby replied, head in the crook of Baekhyun's neck, eyes closed.

“That’s right baby, one two, we know you’re so smart.” Baekhyun said under his breath, smiling at the table as he walked over. “You don’t want to sleep for me, do you want to sleep for someone else?”

Jisung huffed like he was upset as Baekhyun sat down, “No sheep.”

“Yes sleep.” Kyungsoo cooed softly, looking over Baekhyun's shoulder at Jisungs tired eyes as Baekhyun took a drink, other hand patting Jisungs butt softly. “Hyung wants to sleep, Jisung should sleep too.”

The baby frowned as Kyungsoo ran a thumb over his forehead making him involuntarily close his eyes, Jisung made a quiet whine and turned his head to hide in Baekhyun's neck.

“I can’t believe she just dropped a baby off here, knowing we were in a whole lot of shit.” Luhan commented.

“His parents were good friends of ours.” Minseok explained, “They were amazing people, they would have wanted Jisung with us too, they only stayed back at our old camp because it was winter, and Jisung was so young- he was vulnerable to sickness. Now… I wish we would have convinced them otherwise.”

“We can’t think like that, Min.” Junmyeon whispered, throwing his arm around his soulmate, “Jisung is enough, let’s be grateful we get to see him again.”

“Taeyong told me the other day that you raised him, Hyung.” Sehun said gently, “That’s probably why Jisung likes you so much, huh?”

Baekhyun laughed with glittering eyes, Jisung’s soft snoring into his neck as he continued patting the babys bottom comfortingly, “Taeyong was so cute. Back then, he was so… sweet, I loved him immediately.”

“Tae is still cute and sweet.” Baekhyun didn’t know why, but Yixing’s words felt like a compliment to him too.

“The world… it might have fucked up a lot for us.” Baekhyun smiled, “But Taeyong never had so many people watching out for him before, so I-I guess I wanted to thank you guys. Those not here included, I really appreciate it, he’s just… he’s only a teenager, but now he can really… live.

When me and him were on our own… It was horrible, he gets worked up quickly and he didn’t understand anything back then. All of you taught him things I couldn’t, because I’m just his brother, you know?

There’s things he doesn’t want to listen to me about, and there’s things I sure as hell don’t want to tell him. I don’t want to tell him the horrible things people can do, or what truly happens, how people are worse than walkers.”

“We love him, Baekhyun.” Junmyeon said with a smile, “That little shit gets under everyone’s skin sometimes, but we love him, and we’d never want anything to happen to him either, you have nothing to thank us for- ever. You’re just as important, you’ve done more for us than even… than I have, and I’m supposed to be a leader. We owe you more than what you ever feel like you owe us, okay?”

Baekhyun sniffed and leaned into Chanyeol's side, “I don’t know that you fully understand what this means to me. My life was shit before this, I'd do anything to keep things how they are right now.” He admitted, “I won’t sit here and act like… like I’m suddenly fine- like the assault never happened… but I can live with things as long as I know everyone is safe.”

“Fuck, you’re going to make me cry, why do you always say things so nicely?” Luhan groaned, laying his head down on his crossed arms.

Baekhyun giggled, beaming as Kyungsoo pressed a kiss to his cheek, resting his arm around Baekhyun's back.

“Don’t worry, if he keeps this up we’ll all be crying, worse than Jisung when Taeyong took his snack earlier.” Zitao pointed out with a smirk when everyone laughed.

Baekhyun snorted, smiling at Jongin as he reached out to take Jisung from his chest carefully, “I’ll put him to sleep with Taeyong.” Jongin said softly, holding the baby carefully as he leaned down to press a kiss to Baekhyun's head, “Don’t stay up too late.”

Baekhyun only smiled and accepted Kyungsoo's hand onto his thigh as Jongin walked away.

“He’s right.” Yifan chirped, “I’ll go switch Sunmi on watch.”

“No.” Kyungsoo said softly, “I’ll do it, get some sleep, you’ll be out tomorrow.”

Yifan stared at him for a moment before nodding, “Okay, i'll see everyone in the morning, everyone else get to bed.”

Baekhyun watched everyone get up tiredly, splitting off to go to their cells or makeshift rooms before deciding to get up.

“I’ll see you in the morning, baby.” Kyungsoo whispered, pulling Baekhyun's hips into his, “Good night.”

The younger pressed a soft kiss to Kyungsoo's lips before shaking his head, “I want to go with you, I’ll sleep up there with you.”

“It’s cold.” Kyungsoo argued.

“You’ll keep me warm then.”

Kyungsoo's ears reddened as he laughed and pressed his hand to Baekhyun's lower back, “Okay, say goodnight to Yeol then.”

Baekhyun laughed before jumping up to Chanyeol, getting hands under his thighs immediately, Chanyeol picking him up as he did often. “You don’t want to sleep with me, moon, I’m offended.” Chanyeol faked a pout.

The younger laughed, pressing a few chaste kisses to Chanyeol's mouth, running his fingertips across the stubble on his soulmates jaw. “Love you, Chanyeollie. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Chanyeol smiled sweetly, pressing a quick kiss to Baekhyun's brow and then his mouth, “Goodnight, my love. I’ll come bug you bright and early.”

“I’m counting on it!” Baekhyun tittered, intertwining his hand with Kyungsoo's as he was set down, “Tell Jongin the same I’ve told you.”

Chanyeol faked a disgusted look, “Ew, tell him yourself! He’ll probably hit me!”

Baekhyun only laughed into Kyungsoo's arm as the elder began pulling him towards the door.

Baekhyun didn’t go out to the watchtowers that much. He wasn’t overly fond of the many stairs you had to climb up to get to it, not like Taeyong was.

But it was still so pretty out, once he got to the top he could see everything, the trees were beautiful along with the stars.

“Finally.” Sunmi faked exasperation, “They’re not going to attack us at night, not with all those walkers groaning blindly at crickets at night.”

Kyungsoo snorted, accepting the sniper with a laugh, “Agreed, have a good night.”

“You too.” She yawned, patting Baekhyun's cheek making him pout at the childish touch.

“So.” Kyungsoo commented, setting the rifle on the ground beside the makeshift bed on the ground and leaning against the short metal cart filled with random items. “You going to tell me why you wanted to come? You hate climbing all the way up here.”

Baekhyun flushed and sat cross legged on the thin bed, eyeing the metal cart. Feeling Kyungsoo watching him, the perfect lighting with the lantern dangling in the middle of the roof. “Because I love you.”

“And I love you, but I’m not buying it.” The elder laughed.

It only made Baekhyun pout with red cheeks as he glared up at him, “Hear me out, okay?”

“Okay, sugar, hit me with it.” Kyungsoo replied with a smirk, turning to look through the small square window, the only area that opened up in the circle of bulletproof glass wrapping the upper ⅓ of the tower.

“I feel really good today.” Baekhyun began, “It’s been a good day.”

“I’m really happy to hear that, beautiful. Really, it makes us very happy.” Kyungsoo said softly, turning back around to look at him.

Baekhyun nodded, chewing his lip as he looked up at Kyungsoo. “I… I want you to make love to me.” He blurted, “Wait… wait, let me explain before you talk me out of it.” He added when Kyungsoo made a worried face of disagreement.

“I don’t want to remember sex as painful.” Baekhyun muttered, “And that’s all it’s ever been… for me. I don’t.. I don’t want the last memory I can remember be… like how it was, Hyung. I love you guys, I want you to treat me.. right, I want you to love me.”

“Baby.” Kyungsoo whispered, kneeling down and reaching for Baekhyun's cheek, “We do love you, you don’t need to have sex with us just for us to love you. We already do, we already think everything is amazing about you, nothing can ever change that, okay?”

“Okay.” Baekhyun mumbled, cupping the back of Kyungsoo's neck, “But I still want you to make love to me, Hyung.”

Kyungsoo sighed as Baekhyun pressed a soft kiss to the corner of his mouth, “We don’t have the supplies, Baekhyun. Even if I wanted to- and I do, you’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen- I can’t because I don’t want to hurt you, i'd never hurt you.”

“Yes we do.” Baekhyun whispered against his cheek, “I asked Yixing… he uh- he gave me things…” He licked his lips in embarrassment and turned to pull the bottom drawer of the metal cart, digging through it.

“Why me?” Kyungsoo said softly, running his hands over Baekhyun's covered legs, “Just because I took watch? I don’t care about the reason, I’m just curious.”

“Partly.” Baekhyun answered truthfully, “It doesn’t really matter to me who… because I trust and love the three of you, but I think- I think it’s good it was you, because… you’re very level headed. Chanyeol would probably tell me straight up no, and Jongin might have cried at just me asking.”

“What makes you confident I wouldn’t do either of those?”

Baekhyun giggled softly and pulled the condom and unopened bottle of lube into his lap as he opened it, “Because you can’t tell me no, and you only cry when I’m crying.”

Kyungsoo chuckled at the cockiness of his statement, “You’re too confident these days, I fucking love it, come here.” He purred, pulling Baekhyun's ankle and making him laugh, laying flat on the thin mattress, the bottle of lube and condom falling to his side as Kyungsoo carefully framed himself over the top of Baekhyun.

“I really want you, Hyung.” Baekhyun whispered against Kyungsoo's mouth, his fingers feeling in between their chests to pull the end of his soulmates shirt.

Kyungsoo's eyes softened as he combed his fingers through Baekhyun's hair, “I’ll take care of you, Baekhyun. You tell me if you’re afraid, and you look at me, just at me.”

“Just at you.” Baekhyun replied, pressing his lips to Kyungsoo's mouth before he watched the elder sit back, pulling off his shirt.

Baekhyun still had half a mind to wonder how his soulmates were so gorgeous, but everyone said they were paired beautifully, that Baekhyun with each of them were a beautiful couple, and it made him feel a lot better.

Kyungsoo smiled endearingly as he pulled off Baekhyun's shirt, watching carefully as he pulled off his soulmates jeans before removing his own.

“Hyung, I want you to kiss me.” The younger whispered, a pretty blush already working down his thin chest.

Kyungsoo laughed before leaning down to press kisses down Baekhyun's chest, “What about this? Do you like these kisses too?”

“It’s nice.” Baekhyun sighed as Kyungsoo moved his thigh, spreading his legs, his boxers rubbing against his soulmates.

The elder smiled against his chest before gently sucking on Baekhyun's sensitive nipple, making the younger make a surprised noise, hand moving to cup Kyungsoo's hair.

“Hyung… you’re already…” Baekhyun mumbled, his hand reaching down to grab Kyungsoo's waistband.

“Of course I am.” Kyungsoo laughed at the shock on Baekhyun's face, “I told you, I tell you everyday, you’re the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen. Absolutely gorgeous.”

The younger sighed contently, “I like you to tell me nice things.”

“We only tell you nice things, honey. Now I’m going to take off your boxers, okay?”

“I don’t need a step by step.” Baekhyun pouted, “I want you to… fingers, like all those months ago.”

Kyungsoo groaned, immediately pulling his soulmates boxers away, reaching over him to grab the lube.

“You too.” Baekhyun interrupted, “Hyung, want you naked too.”

“Fuck, keep talking, I love it.” The elder moaned, using his dry hand to pull off his boxers, before ignoring his own erection and wrapping his lubed hand around Baekhyun's, it wasn’t as hard as his yet, but he was slowly getting there.

“Ah, Hyung!” Baekhyun whined at the sudden contact, bucking his hips up, “H-Hyung- Hyung!”

Kyungsoo only beamed at the response, leaning over to press soft kisses to the protruding muscle of Baekhyun's thigh, “You can be as loud as you want, sweetheart.” He cooed, running his thumb over the vein in Baekhyun's light pink cock, “I want to make sure you feel good.”

Baekhyun gasped, “G-Good, it’s good! Hyung, want you to hurry up.”

“Aish, I want to love on you and you’re so impatient, baby.” Kyungsoo teased, truthfully just as impatient as the younger, “I guess that’s okay, bend your knees, like this.” He requested, pressing Baekhyun's heels to the back of his legs, keeping his legs spread for him.

“God, you’re so beautiful, everywhere.” He added, running his wet finger along the inner part of Baekhyun's thigh to his ass.

Baekhyun involuntarily stiffened at the feeling before sitting up on his elbows to look at Kyungsoo carefully. “I’m okay.” He assured, “I’m looking at you, always.”

“That's right, baby.” Kyungsoo said full of adoration as he pressed his mouth to Baekhyun's inner thigh, “I’m right here.” He purred, his finger gently entering the younger.

He heard Baekhyun's gasp at the intrusion and smiled into his leg, pressing soft kisses into his inner thigh, over the disgusting scars. He took the thin flesh between his lips and sucked softly as his finger worked its way into the younger.

Baekhyun moaned at the feeling of getting a love mark, he probably hadn’t ever gotten one before, and Kyungsoo would gladly give him as many as he wanted.

“H-Soo, Soo, more.”

Kyungsoo hummed, vibrating over the dark colored mark he made as he looked up at Baekhyun, adding another finger only to see how the younger rolled back onto it.

“Tell me, sweetheart. This feels good? I like to hear that pretty voice.” Kyungsoo smiled, partially teasing as Baekhyun was busy huffing out breaths.

“Hyung, yes.” Baekhyun moaned, fingers curling into the blanket beneath him, “Hu-Soo.”

The elder grinned fondly, let out a small groan as the tip of his erection brushed the blanket, “Fuck, baby, you’re so sexy. Our baby is so handsome.”

Baekhyun's noises became louder at the praises, a high pitched whine coming from his saliva slick lips as he threw his head back. “Hyung- I’m gonna- if you don’t stop now, I’ll cum.”

“Yeah? So soon, love? You love Hyung so much, Baekhyunnie?” Kyungsoo prompted, mainly because he liked to hear Baekhyun confessing to him so much.

The younger made a relieved noise as Kyungsoo pulled away from him, breathing deeply as he looked down at Kyungsoo opening the condom, “Love you so much.”

Kyungsoo smiled, slipping the condom on before looking at Baekhyun, “I love you so much too, my precious soulmate. Now, how do you want-“

“Want to be on top.” Baekhyun said immediately, sitting up, “I want to be on top, Hyung.”

“Of course.” The elder cooed softly, cupping Baekhyun's cheek, “Whatever you want, lovely.”

The younger smiled, pressing his nose to Kyungsoo's in an action much too innocent for their current actions before Baekhyun was moving out of the way, letting Kyungsoo lay down in his spot.

Baekhyun sucked his swollen lips into his mouth as he threw his leg over Kyungsoo's hips, “Am I… this okay?”

“You’re perfect.” Kyungsoo muttered gently, hands holding Baekhyun's hips, “Do you want to do it, or me?”

The younger laid his cheek down on Kyungsoo's chest, seemingly embarrassed. “You.”

“Shh, that’s okay, you don’t need to be embarrassed.” The elder assured, pressing a few kisses to Baekhyun's hair before holding Baekhyun's hips up slightly, leaning over and grabbing his own erection, “You’re okay, right? Let me see those pretty eyes please.”

Baekhyun's cheeks were pretty blushing red as he met Kyungsoo's eyes with a small shy smile playing on his lips, “I’m okay.”

“Okay.” Kyungsoo said softly. He held eye contact with Baekhyun the whole time, gently pushing Baekhyun's hips down, letting him adjust every few seconds, running his thumb over the curve of his hip bone.

The younger gasped, hands gripping Kyungsoo's waist as he sat up, pressing his ass firmly down onto Kyungsoo's hips. “H-Hyung.”

“You feel so nice, pretty.” The elder swooned, a deep moan as he pulled Baekhyun down to his mouth, “So perfect, baby.”

Baekhyun laughed, the movement making him shift, Kyungsoo's erection pressing right into his prostate and he squealed cutely, rocking his hips back as if testing.

His soulmate thought the sight was adorable, his hands moving to hold Baekhyun's ass, gently showing him how to move earning a pleased groan.

“Hyung- it’s good.” Baekhyun moaned, an almost shocked tone that made Kyungsoo lean up, cupping Baekhyun's cheek and pulling him down to rest his chest against his, his tongue searching the youngers.

Kyungsoo pressed his feet flat on the ground before slowly thrusting into his soulmate, hands keeping their spot on Baekhyun's soft skin.

“Ah.” Baekhyun huffed against his mouth, “Ah, Soo.”

“Give Hyung a love bite, baby. Let’s let everyone know that I belong to you, Baekhyunnie.” Kyungsoo requested in a deep sigh, “Yes, babe, love you, my love.” He moaned as Baekhyun attached onto the thin skin beneath his ear, sucking the skin softly, figuring out what to do.

“Want you to be mine.” Baekhyun whispered, wet lips directly below his ear, making him shiver at the sound so close, senses overwhelmed.

“I’m yours, sweetheart. Fuck- always been yours, the others too- nobody’s but yours.” Kyungsoo promised, a sheen building on his skin as he restrained himself from fucking into his soulmate roughly.

He wouldn’t, not if Baekhyun wanted him to be soft. He deserved a good first time, something sweet, nothing but love.

“Hyung, I’m cu-I’m… Kyungsoo!”

Baekhyun was always beautiful, always so cute and seductive without even trying, and he looked like an angel as he squeezed his eyes shut, mouth opened prettily as he released such a melodic moan Kyungsoo found himself overcome too, just at the sight.

“Love you.” The elder began the coddling immediately, without even removing himself from the younger as Baekhyun laid back down on his chest despite the stickiness between them, “My pretty soulmate, you did perfect, how do you feel?”

Baekhyun laughed against his cheek tiredly, “Good, love you.”

“Oh, sweetheart, I love you more. My strong boy.” Kyungsoo cooed, pressing his cheek to the youngers, running his hand along Baekhyun's spine. “You want me to clean you up now?”

“No.” The younger pouted at even the mention, “Like this, want to stay like this a little longer.”

“If that’s what you want, then that’s what you get, because Hyung is so proud of you, baby. I love you so much it’s unreal, Baekhyun.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Of course, the silence could only last until morning.

Baekhyun heard whistling off of the watch tower and rubbed his eyes as he stood up, a blanket wrapped around his shoulders as he squinted through the window, his soulmate still sleeping peacefully.

“Well good morning to you too!” Baekhyun flushed red at Luhans teasing, him, Zitao, and Yifan all loading up a car.

“Look at you, squirrel!” Luhan added with what Baekhyun read as a proud grin.

Baekhyun laughed, pulling his blanket over his naked shoulders, “Be careful!” He yelled out the window.

“We’ll be back in a little!” Yifan called, “Don’t have too much fun!”

The younger flushed, a laugh on his lips as he rolled his eyes at their teasing, watching Taeyong run towards their car, a backpack on his arm. “Shut up! Taeyong, be safe!”

“I will!” The teenager yelled with a smile and a wave, obviously uncaring about the odd state his brother was in.

Baekhyun quickly ducked back in at the sound of footsteps up the stairs towards the watchtower door, a beaming smile as he heard the familiar chatter.

He reached down to fix a blanket over Kyungsoo's chest and instead squealed as the elders eyes shot open, pulling him down onto him.

“Hyung!” He squeaked, loud laughter as Kyungsoo pressed kisses all over his face.

The metal squealed open, “Babe, good mo-“

Baekhyun rolled onto his back, the blanket falling to his hips as he beamed cutely, “Good morning!”

Jongin and Chanyeol looked like they had no idea what to say, or how to process the sight of them.

Both of them very obviously naked beneath the blankets, a few stray love bites sticking out, a very visible one on Baekhyun's pale collarbone and another one below Kyungsoo's ear; Baekhyun's hair waved and wild, the curls separated by fingers.

“God, you’re gorgeous.” Jongin said under his breath, kneeling down with open arms, “Fuck, I might cry.”

Baekhyun shared a laugh with Kyungsoo, a shy smile as he was pulled to Jongin's chest, the warmth of the blanket falling away and making him shiver.

“Baekhyun.” Chanyeol muttered, sitting on the ground and touching his forehead over Jongin's shoulder, “Do you feel okay? Fuck… you’re so… I love you so much.”

The younger giggled, pressing a soft kiss the Jongin's covered shoulder as his youngest soulmate ran gentle palms down his spine. “Good, I feel good.”

Chanyeol looked relieved, and Jongin squeezed him tighter so Baekhyun guessed Jongin was too. “No soreness? I can’t… I’m really proud of you, you know that?”

“Cold, Nini.” Baekhyun whispered, pressing a kiss to his soulmates neck, his nose brushing the soft hair before turning to look at Chanyeol. “Not sore, Soo said I looked pretty though.”

The three snorted, Jongin pulling a blanket from the ground and pulling it around Baekhyun. “Searching for compliments now?”

Baekhyun pouted cutely, “You like to give me them.”

“That’s right, gorgeous. And you do look very pretty, I’m really jealous only because you look so beautiful.” Chanyeol commented with a wide grin, leaning over Jongin's shoulder to press a kiss to his soulmates red mouth.

Kyungsoo began pulling their clothes from the ground, slipping his pajama pants back on, “He did very well, no panic, no issues at all. I’m very, very proud of our baby.”

Baekhyun smiled against Chanyeol's mouth before Jongin turned him around, pulling his blanket covered back to his chest and pressing a gentle kiss to Baekhyun's pulse. “We’re all very proud, Baekhyun. You’re not… You're not cured, and we know that, but it’s a big step, and we’re really happy that you trust us this much.” He murmured, kissing his jaw.

“I always trusted you guys.” Baekhyun replied, hands moving out of the blanket to hold Jongin's knuckles, leaning his head back on his shoulder, “I never didn’t, Hyung.”

“It’s very relieving to hear you say that, sweetheart.” Kyungsoo cooed, leaning over to put Baekhyun's clothes in his lap. “We never would ever mistreat you, we value you so much.”

“I know.” The younger giggled, beaming with the prettiest of boxy smiles, “I feel… really relieved too, um… uh- sex is nice.”

The three laughed adoringly. “It is, doll, but that’s not what we do.” Jongin said with a chuckle, “We’ll only ever make love to you, not have sex with you, because that’s what we do, hm? We love eachother so much.”

“Yeah.” Baekhyun giggled, pressing his forehead to his bent knees in cute embarrassment, “Then… I like it.”

Jongin laughed, pressing a kiss to the top of his spine, “And we like you, now let’s get you dressed.”

“Yeah, I want to snuggle you.” Chanyeol teased, wiggling his brows as Jongin began to get Baekhyun redressed. “Ugh, our love is so sexy, hurry up, I want to hold my baby.”

Kyungsoo snorted, already redressed and clipping his gun holster around his waist, “Don’t act like he’s suddenly so sexy, you had indecent thoughts since we met him.”

Chanyeol gawked, eats reddening, “Hey! Not just me! Don’t act innocent!”

“I’ll admit to it!” Jongin chirped, pulling Baekhyun's shirt over his head before nibbling on his cheek playfully, “Baekhyunnie, so gorgeous, all ours! Of course I wondered!” He laughed into Baekhyun's cheek at the cute giggles coming from the younger.

“Hyung, me too!” Baekhyun tittered, face slightly red from laughing as he threw his sweater covered arms around Jongin's neck, moving to straddle his lap, “My soulmates are so handsome.”

“And?” Chanyeol prompted, swiftly standing up and reaching down for Baekhyun who promptly wrapped himself around the elder, looking ridiculously adorable against the large man.

“And… sexy!” Baekhyun decided, pressing a kiss to Chanyeol's jaw, a nervous smile on his face contrasting his words.

The eldest nodded in agreement, faking a serious expression as Kyungsoo opened the door, amused. “That’s right, baby. Now Hyungs are gonna spoil you all day, I’ll even bribe Taehyung for candy for our soulmate.”

Baekhyun giggled, reaching over to hold Kyungsoo's hand over Chanyeol's shoulder, “Taehyung will give up his candy if you tell him it’s for me.”

“Of course he will.” Jongin said immediately, “Everyone loves our Baekhyunnie- but not more than us, doll.”

~~~~~~~~

“Where are you going, baby?” Chanyeol asked softly, looking up at where Baekhyun was standing up from the table, Jisung still chewing on a piece of dried fruit on his hip.

“I’m gonna take Jisung out to get some sun.” Baekhyun explained, pressing a kiss to Chanyeol's hair before moving to do the same to his other two soulmates, “You guys should come.”

“Huh.” Jongin mused, tickling Jisungs side, “What do you think, boss? You want to play outside?”

Jisung giggled, wiggling a little as he tried to get away from the fingers, “Outsi’ yes!”

“Outside yes!” Jongin mocked, pushing his paper plate away, “Hyungs will go with you!”

Baekhyun smiled, beaming up at Jongin as he stood up and pressed a gentle kiss to the corner of his eye. “We’ll go change, meet you in the yard, don’t get too close to the fence please.” Jongin requested, running his hand over the back of Jisungs hair.

Baekhyun hummed, leaning up for a kiss, “Okay, we’ll be good, Hyung.” He joked, earning himself a pretty grin from his soulmate and a kiss to his mouth.

“Mwah!” Jisung giggled, tilting his cheek towards Jongin for attention.

“Ah, Hyung didn’t forget you, Jisungie!” The man cooed sweetly, pressing a dramatically loud kiss to the baby's cheek, “You stay close to Baekhyun, no running off.” He added, tapping Jisungs nose.

The baby nodded, pretty teeth showing with his grin, “No wun!”

Baekhyun laughed, fixing Jisungs shoe, the Velcro barely holding together anymore.

Hopefully, one of the boys out would think about getting some shoes too, they couldn’t keep carrying Jisung forever even though he was still a baby. Still defenseless and small.

Babies this young were rarely seen these days, so Baekhyun was sure there were plenty of supplies. He was also confident Yifan would grab them all, Taeyong could probably find things he liked too.

“Ow!” Jisung cried with a fake pout making Baekhyun snap out of his thoughts.

“The sun is hurting your eyes? Look, go like this!” Baekhyun instructed, placing Jisungs hand over his brow, blocking the light with little hands, “See, all better!”

“Bettew!” The baby mimicked, already forgetting what he was doing and looking around as Baekhyun walked.

“You faker.” The elder snorted, pressing a kiss to Jisungs hair.

The baby giggled, pressing his hand to Baekhyun's neck, moving his fingers distractedly.

“Min Hyung wants to put in a garden over here.” The elder explained, pointing towards an area where the grass was stripped away. “And then we’re going to get some animals, do you know any animals?”

Jisung made a confused noise as Baekhyun set him on the ground, holding onto the baby’s finger, “Oink!”

“Pigs? You like pigs? We can probably find some pigs.” Baekhyun agreed, taking little steps for the baby to keep up. “What about cows, do you know them?”

The baby hopped with a laugh, using Baekhyun's hand to hold himself up as he jumped over the grass like it was super funny. “No, oink.”

“Cows say Moo!” Baekhyun laughed, “Hyung will find you pictures and you can see, they’re really big, bigger than Hyungs!”

“Woah!” Jisung cooed, watching Baekhyun stop and sit in the grass in front of him, “Hyung, up!”

“Let’s play in the grass.” Baekhyun said softly, ignoring the baby’s request to be held again, “Look, you want to see these?” He added, reaching over and grabbing a small pink flower, “For Jisungie!”

Jisung gasped with a cute squeal, the sound making Baekhyun glance at the fences for a moment out of concern, but the walkers weren’t too bad today, mainly the ones hanging around were those left over from The Governors attack a bit ago.

Baekhyun laughed as the baby grabbed his hand, the flower already squished up in Jisungs other hand. “You want to spin?”

The elder beamed, twirling his hand around and letting the two year old spin under his arm with happy noises. “Pin, pin, pin!” Jisung laughed.

“Spin, spin, spin!” Chanyeol corrected, making Baekhyun smile up at his arrival. “Come here you little shit.”

Jisungs face turned red as Chanyeol tossed him up, squeaking. “ ‘gain!”

Chanyeol laughed, gently tossing the baby and catching him with dramatic noises.

“You’re giving me anxiety, Yeollie.” Baekhyun whined, laying on his back in the grass, “Don’t break the baby, we just got him.”

“We just got him?” Kyungsoo wondered, the quiet crunching of the grass as he and Jongin made their way over, the younger of the two waving at Sehun towards the watchtower. “You make it sound like he’s ours.”

“He’s everyone’s.” Baekhyun answered, leaning up on his elbows, “Everyone will take care of him.”

“What do you think, baby?” Chanyeol murmured, holding Jisung with an arm around his little waist, practically dangling him.

Baekhyun wondered if he was just doing it to make his soulmate pout at him, knowing it was making him worried. But Baekhyun knew the elder would never drop Jisung, Chanyeol had never even dropped him.

“You want to be Hyungs? Hyungs baby, huh?” He added.

“Hyung baby!” Jisung chanted, reaching out for Kyungsoo, feet kicking in the air.

Baekhyun snorted as the baby’s shoe fell off with his excited wiggling, reaching over to grab it. “Looks like Hyung’s baby doesn’t have any shoes!” He chirped, looking at the ruined Velcro strap, it was basically falling off the shoe because it was so stretched out, only a few threads holding it on.

“We wrote a list for Taeyong.” Jongin stated, sitting on the grass and leaning back on his palms, “Shoes, toys, books, Jisung doesn’t really know anything.”

“It’s hard to choose what’s important for him to learn, though.” Chanyeol added, “Since he’s not going to get a variety of education… it’s kind of up to us.”

“We’ll have to have a meeting with everyone to talk about what’s the most important.” Baekhyun sighed, rolling onto his stomach. “He’s only two right now, so just basic things are easy, he’ll learn by seeing. Soo, you were a teacher, what do you think?”

“That makes me bias.” Kyungsoo laughed, holding Jisung, letting the baby touch his face. “I want him to learn the same as what would be taught in daycares; numbers, the alphabet, animals, you know… just normal things…”

“He knows pigs.” Baekhyun's words muffled slightly into his arm, “And I agree with all of those, and even if I don’t like the thought, in a few years he’ll have to be trained to fight. It’s so weird to think about, huh?”

“Let’s not think about it right now.” Jongin said, laying beside Baekhyun, pressing his nose into his hair, “Let’s focus on being safe, hm?”

The younger smiled, turning on his side and draping his arm over Jongin's waist, “I have a selfish thought.”

“What is it, sweetheart?” He replied, pressing his forehead to Baekhyun's.

Baekhyun smiled, eyes flickering around Jongin's features, “I love everyone here, I want what’s best for them… but it’s us first, okay? All of us, Taeyong, Sehun... Jisung, I’m sure everyone thinks the same of their closest family too.”

“Of course.” Chanyeol said immediately, “It’s all of us, together, but if it comes down to it everyone will choose their immediate family and that’s okay, it’s common sense.”

“Okay.” Baekhyun said under his breath, scooting closer to Jongin and pressing his mouth to the others for a second.

Jongin hummed a happy noise, cupping behind Baekhyun's ear and deepening the kiss.

“Ugh, you’re ruthless Jongin. Come on Jisungie, let’s go get you in a bath, hm?” Baekhyun laughed into Jongin's mouth at Kyungsoo's words, no heat to them.

Jongin smirked as Kyungsoo's footsteps walked off, pushing Baekhyun softly onto his back, sucking his lip before licking into his mouth making the younger gasp.

“You know I’m here, right?” Chanyeol muttered enviously, a pout in his tone as he sat beside Baekhyun's head.

“Good for you, you can watch.” Jongin replied, amused as he pulled back only to let Baekhyun breathe.

“Sehun can see us.” The eldest whined.

Jongin snorted, “Don’t care, Baekhyun likes it, right baby?”

Baekhyun nodded, licking his lip before reaching up for Chanyeol's cheek, “Kiss me, Hyung.”

They’d never told Baekhyun no to any attention before.

~~~~~~~

Yifan and the others came back sooner than expected, Baekhyun was in the middle of cooking dinner as they walked in, his large pot of boiling noodles sitting on an induction cooker.

“Hey, welcome back guys.” Taehyung chirped, immediately getting up to help bring in items.

“Hyung.” Baekhyun smiled as he looked down over the edge of the railing to watch Chanyeol immediately walk over to give them hugs. “You guys get lucky?”

Luhan laughed, dropping a packed duffle on the table, turning to throw himself in Sehun's lap, “You guys won’t believe how lucky we got.”

“Yeah?” Junmyeon asked, opening the bag.

“Hyung, we got lots of toys, where is Jisung?” Taeyong smiled, a jerky stick hanging out of his mouth and his backpack looked like it weighed more than him.

Baekhyun leaned over the rail, “He's taking a nap with Yixing Hyung, what’d you find, bug?”

Taeyong beamed, running up the two steps to the cooking area, “Look at all this!” He cried, pulling his backpack off and setting it on the makeshift counter.

It was truly only a few metal tables they had rearranged along with some locked cabinets full of rare items, usually for special occasions, like today.

They had no idea what would be happening next, so when Baekhyun asked, for the first time, if he could make them a special dinner, Junmyeon and Minseok has been extremely excited, giving him the special pantry key immediately.

“I got so many comics, I’ll give these ones to Sehun Hyung.” Taeyong added, sorting his comics into piles.

Baekhyun laughed, draining the boiled water into a metal bowl he had pulled out. “Yeah? You found candy too. Don’t give any to Jisung until he’s had dinner okay?”

“What are you making?” Taeyong wondered, abandoning his pile and walking over to look at what Baekhyun was doing.

“Well, it’s not going to be as good as we used to have, but Hyung is trying his best to make pasta.” Baekhyun answered, throwing his arm around his brothers shoulders, “Stir this for me, okay?” He added, handing over a wooden spoon to Taeyong.

Baekhyun had been truthfully a little shocked at all of the options of foods they had in this cabinet, some of it didn’t really matter too much when you didn’t have the right combinations like they had a bunch of vanilla, maybe Baekhyun could find a dessert to cook that didn’t need an oven since they had a shit ton of flour and vanilla.

“I love your pasta, Hyung!”

The elder laughed, quickly grabbing a package of dehydrated milk, tuna, and flour, “I know, you used to ask me to make it every year. It’s not going to be as good, we don’t have chicken, or cheese.”

“We can get cheese.” Jongin chirped, Baekhyun smiled at him, dropping his things onto a table, “Processed cheese is mostly oil, and we know oil tastes good still.” He explained, shaking the bottle of olive oil Baekhyun was using.

“Okay, smarty pants, open these for me please.” Baekhyun teased, passing over the cans of tuna.

Jongin gasped dramatically before accepting them, pulling out a knife and getting to work.

“Hyung should make sweets.” Taeyong commented, “We haven’t celebrated a single birthday, we should have a group day!”

Baekhyun snorted, grabbing the spoon from him and adding the powdered milk to the hot water, turning to accept the opened tuna, dumping it in the oiled pan, “You just want sweets, bug.”

“He has a point though.” Yifan mused, unpacking what looked like a bunch of random items, bullets, baby clothes, and cans what an odd combination. “We haven’t really celebrated anything. We should, we need to appreciate all the time we have together, while we still have it.”

Baekhyun furrowed his brows, confused, Yifan had something he needed to tell them, he probably would after dinner.

“I’m really good at baking.” Kyungsoo commented, Jisung yawning, attached to his finger as he walked in. “When we have more time, I’ll see what I can put together.”

“We can have a campfire again.” Taeyong laughed, arms full of his comics as he walked down the two steps only to dump his stack next to Chanyeol, looking like he was waiting for the elder to ask him about them.

“That’s all you cared about, huh? You fell asleep everytime.” Minseok teased, snatching one of the comics across the table.

Taeyong only laughed, scooting closer to Chanyeol, “Hyung, look at my comics.”

Baekhyun snickered as Chanyeol tried to act not excited at the attention but failed immediately when Taeyong laid his head on his shoulder and began ranting to him.

“Hello, sweetheart. Nice nap?” Jongin cooed by the stairs, bending down and standing back up with Jisung.

Jisung huffed, rubbing his puffy eyes and laid against Jongin's chest.

“Dinner is almost done, baby. Hyung will make bowls in a second.” Baekhyun said softly, dumping everything together in the huge pot of pasta.

“We found a toddler carrier.” Zitao called, “It might be useful… you know…”

“Smart.” Kyungsoo responded, a quiet sigh in his voice, Baekhyun understood the feeling.

Baekhyun filled the last paper bowl up only a little bit before turning and handing it to Jongin, “It’s hot, Jisung, don’t touch.” He added, grabbing Jisungs fingers, “You let Hyung cool it for you.”

“I’ll bring you a bowl too.” Baekhyun added, pressing his lips to Jongin's cheek, and a second one to Jisungs hair when he saw the slight pout.

Jongin hummed, pressing his own kiss to Baekhyun's temple before walking down the stairs.

“Tae, come get a bowl.” Baekhyun called, “Bring one to Yifan Hyung too.”

“Yixing still sleeping?” Yifan wondered aloud.

Kyungsoo nodded, standing up to help Baekhyun distribute bowls, “Yeah, I saw a medical book beside him, it seemed like he was studying all night or something.”

“He’s been reading up on edible plants and multi useful plants, deciding what to put in the garden.” Minseok explained, smiling at Taeyong for running around and delivering bowls even though Baekhyun had only asked for him to give it to Yifan. “I told him what plants I thought best, and he agrees, but it’s also a good idea to know what plants are best medically.”

“You don’t know that?” Sehun asked, “Aren’t you a botanist?”

“I studied growth, not really the uses.” Minseok replied, “It's a form of biology… it’s not really medically based, it’s a science.”

Baekhyun finally took a seat between Chanyeol and Taeyong when everyone was situated, a bowl sitting for Yixing untouched and a pot with still quite a bit of leftovers.

“I used to study biology, when I was like… sixteen.” Taehyung stated, “Failed the first test and never looked back.”

They all snorted, Zitao shoving his arm playfully.

“Okay, unrelated, but fuck this is good, Baekhyun. And that’s totally unbiased considering we’ve actually had a steady diet recently.” Luhan commented, eyes wide.

“There’s leftovers if you want more.” Baekhyun said with a light blush, leaning over the table to wipe Jisung’s hands with the edge of a napkin before he got Jongin's shirt all dirty. “Ji, let Hyung eat, sweetheart.”

Jisung only scrunched up his nose cutely, working himself onto the ground.

“Hyung used to make it for my birthday!” Taeyong added, pushing his comics away from the edge of the table Jisung was holding onto as he walked in thin socks. “Since I had teeth I think we had it!”

“Don’t be dramatic.” Baekhyun snorted, gently shoving Taeyongs arm, “If you’re done, go clean up for bed before Jisung gets his hands on your comics.”

Taeyong gasped, quickly shoving the comics into his backpack and running into his cell block.

The group laughed, momentarily distracted at Taeyongs antics. Then, a quiet bang made them turn around.

Jisung sat on his side, his hand on his cheek, eyes looking around as he tried to read everyone’s expressions, lip trembling.

“Don’t freak out.” Baekhyun said immediately, turning around on the bench, “He’ll only think he’s hurt if everyone starts freaking out, he doesn’t even really feel anything or else he’d start crying by now.” He sighed, reaching a hand out for him.

“Jisungie, you fell off the stairs?” He asked, “That's why we don’t go climbing on things when you’re not supposed to, come here.”

Jisung suddenly pouted, dropping his hand off the area and it wasn’t even red. Baekhyun snickered at the baby’s action for attention, “Don’t scare everyone, look at this, new clothes, here.” Baekhyun cooed, pulling the open duffle closer and pulling a random shirt out to distract the baby.

“Everytime I see you with kids, it reminds me how shit I am with kids.” Sunmi groaned, hand on her cheek a few tables away.

Baekhyun snorted, holding Jisungs sides as he stood and dug through the bag, “That’s not true, you’re good with Taeyong.”

“Taeyong is also thirteen, he doesn’t need that much help.” She responded.

“Speaking of Taeyong.” Yifan drawled in a sigh, “He found a note on the fence this morning, from Chaeyoung.”

“Oh god.” Chanyeol groaned, laying down on the tabletop.

“We have a meeting… tomorrow, at noon. A location and everything.” The leader continued, “It says I can bring two people.”

“Let’s just fucking ambush them then.” Jongin said immediately, “All of us and our guns… we could do it.”

“We talked about that already.” Junmyeon scolded, “We’re not the bad ones here, they’ll die no matter what, but we won’t be the ones to stage an attack without provoking.”

“One of us three are going, Hyung.” Kyungsoo began, “And that’s final, you know we’re the good back up anyways.”

Yifan huffed, rubbing his temple, “Fine, then I want Jongin.”

“Jongin?” Minseok turned to him in disbelief, “Jongin literally tried to leave grounds multiple times to kill that bastard and you want him to go?”

“Chaeyoung will be there.” The leader stated, “If anyone can talk to her, make her see our points, it’s him. And I want… I want Junmyeon.”

“Okay.” Junmyeon agreed, “So what do you think you’re going to offer?”

“Well… the river can be the border and…”

Chapter Text

 

 

“You come back with one bruise on you… I’ll- I’ll beat you up, Hyung, I swear to god.” Baekhyun threatened, hanging on Jongin's arm as the elder attached a holster to his own thigh.

“Everything is fine.” Jongin cooed, cupping Baekhyun's cheek and walking him backwards, pressing the smaller against the wall with a smirk, “But I do like the furocity, very sexy.”

Baekhyun huffed, unable to hide the slight smile on his lips, “You’ll really like me when I smack that look off your face then.”

Jongin heard Chanyeol and Kyungsoo's resounding laughter and snickered, “Oh, I’m sure, baby. Now give me a kiss and stop freaking out, Yifan Hyung would never let me do anything stupid.”

“Good.” Baekhyun replied, standing on his toes and pressing a kiss to Jongin's mouth, “Be safe.”

“I’m always safe, you’re the one that needs to be watched, doll face. I always wonder what runs through that pretty head of yours.” The elder smiled, pressing a few kisses to Baekhyun's face.

“Good thing we’re going to be shadowing him all day.” Kyungsoo joked.

“Like usual.” Baekhyun added with a laugh, pressing his chin into Jongin's chest as he looked up at him, “Love you, Nini.”

“And I love you, beautiful.” Jongin purred immediately, brushing the hair from Baekhyun's cheekbone and pressing an open mouthed kiss to his lips. “I’ll expect something really nice when I get back, hm? Think over something that will really get me flustered.” He teased, releasing Baekhyun to accept the crossbow Chanyeol held out.

He knew Chanyeol was probably giving it out of worry, because the eldest loved that thing to death.

“I already have something!” Baekhyun chewed his lip, hands behind his back in a cute act of nervousness.

Jongin laughed, holding onto the cell door, “What is it, honey?”

Baekhyun looked at his feet for a second before blinking at him with a soft blush, “If you come back in one piece, we can make love tonight.”

The three positively choked, Jongin's ears turning a bright red.

Chanyeol coughed, reaching out to pull Baekhyun back to his chest, “Alright, get going before Yifan Hyung comes looking for you.” He brushed off, “We have a flirty soulmate to deal with, run along.”

“You can’t- fuck, you say this to me and expect me not to get turned on, you’re a demon.” Jongin whined.

Baekhyun giggled, turning to hide in Chanyeol's chest, “You said something nice!”

“Not- not like that, you're worse than me, doll. I’ve created a monster!”

“I quite enjoy it.” Kyungsoo laughed, pushing Jongin out the door, “Now you can go run off and be jealous we get to see his pretty face, goodbye.”

Jongin gawked as Kyungsoo shut the barred door on him.

~~~~~~~

The area they arrived in was inconspicuous, it seemed to just be a plain farmhouse, only a few miles outside of Woodsbury, a truck already parked outside, two men leaning against it.

“Alright, I’ll go in alone. Don’t argue, I know what I’m doing, okay?” Yifan stated, turning off the car and looking behind, “I’m not asking you to be friendly, I’m asking you two not to kill anyone unless you hear a gunshot from inside first- then, by all means fire away.”

Jongin snorted, it almost sounded like Yifan wanted to get shot or something. “Alright, good luck.”

“Yup.” Yifan sighed, his hand immediately pulling his gun out of the holster as a precaution as he approached the house.

The youngest of the three almost threw hands as soon as he looked at one of the men, “Thanks for the fucked up face.” Jongin growled, bow narrowed in on the man.

“Listen man, I follow my orders like everyone else around here. Might be here a while, let’s play pretend.” Martinez sighed, rolling his eyes.

“You wanna play dress up too?” Junmyeon muttered, looking at the nerdy man beside Martinez.

Yifan rubbed his temple as he walked inside.

The room was dark, overly so. His finger pulled back the hammer on his revolver out of instinct as he looked at the man deemed The Governor for the first time.

“We have a lot to talk about.”

Yifan glared, his gun pointing directly at him as he stared, “You attacked us. Makes things pretty clear.”

The man raised his hands in a mock surrender, “I was trying to make things clear. I could have killed you all. I didn't.”

“And here we are.” Yifan growled deeply, aim unwavering.

“I'm gonna remove my weapon.” The Governor began, expression unreadable, “Show that I mean to negotiate in good faith. I'd like you to do the same.”

Yifan only watched him remove the belt holster, laying it on the table as he took a seat, sitting comfortably across from the man aiming a gun at him.

The door opening had Yifan turning to point his gun that way before sighing, rubbing his temple and unhammering his gun, putting it in the holster.

“What's going on?” Chaeyoung demanded.

“Nothing. Your friend isn't much for small talk.” The Governor drawled.

“You want to talk, talk.” Yifan spat.

Chaeyoung frowned, walking to the table, “I wanted you to talk. Too many people have died for no reason. Let's end this. Save the bullets for the real threat. We can solve this. That's why I asked you to come here.”

Yifans glare was unwavering, one arm propped against the support beam beside him, “I know what you've done. I heard about the raids, the walker fights..” his lip curled up, “Baekhyun.”

For once, the man across from him had an expression, eyes flickering to Chaeyoung quickly before leaning his elbows on the table, “Martinez did that.”

“No.” The leader said deeply, “You know what I'm talking about.”

“You know all about me and I know all about you. I don't care about any of that. We're here to move forward.” The Governor replied, one of the fakest smiles Yifan had ever seen as he looked at Chaeyoung.

Jongin glared through the window, spinning around and walking towards Junmyeon, “Maybe we should go inside.”

“The Governor thought it best if he and Yifan spoke privately.” The nerdier man commented.

“Who the hell are you?” Junmyeon growled.

“Milton Mamet.”

“Great. He brought his butler.” Jongin huffed, rolling his eyes as Martinez laughed too.

Chaeyoung slammed her palms on the wood table, “I've known you both at different times, but only after the world went to shit. And you both stepped up for the good of others at great personal risk. There's no reason--“

“Get to it.” The Governor interrupted.

“Woodbury takes west of the river. The prison takes east. No one crosses, no one trades.” Yifan offered, tossing an old map onto the table.

“He's right. We should hammer out boundaries, then leave each other-“

“I'm sorry, what is this?” The man asked, a laugh as he looked up at Chaeyoung.

She frowned, “It's a solution.”

“Absolutely not.”

Yifan growled, “What the hell am I doing here? You told me- You told me he was willing to talk.” He said aggressively, pointing at Chaeyoung.

“I am, but the truth is, Yifan, she's in no position to make such an offer anyway. I'm here for one thing only- your surrender.” The Governor laughed, placing his heels on the table.

“Oh, you want surrender? Come get it.” The leader huffed angry breaths, “We have all kinds of anger for you, you ruined one of my men. You think we hit Woodbury heavy last time?”

“Just take it easy, all right? We're here to settle this.” Chaeyoung had the nerve to glare at him.

“You're right. Would you step outside? Yifan and I, we got a lot to talk about.”

“I'm not leaving.” She disagreed.

“I came to talk to him.” Yifan brushed her off, “I didn’t come here to talk to you.”

Chaeyoung glared between the two of them in disbelief, loud angry footsteps as she slammed her way outside.

Yifan clenched his jaw, slowly walking forward, pulling the old wooden chair out and laying a hand on the table, “So you're The Governor.”

“That's-- that's their term, not mine.”

The leader clicked his tongue, “Oh. But still, you're beholden to your people. You have responsibility to them.”

The man across from Yifan didn’t respond, only leaning back in his chair. “Isn’t Martinez your lieutenant?” Yifan wondered.

“He is helpful, yeah.”

“But you knew he was erratic. You blame him for scooping up Jongin and Baekhyun in the first place?”

The Governor nodded, “Exactly. I was trying to sort it out when you attacked.”

“So it was his fault?” Yifan almost rolled his eyes.

“He's a wild card, but he's effective. He gets the dirty jobs done.”

“I thought you'd take responsibility.” Yifan narrowed his eyes, licking his cracked lips.

The Governor paused, a slight chuckle, “I thought you were a cop, not a lawyer.”

“Either way, I don't pretend to be a governor.”

“I told you, I'm their leader.” Yifan curled his lips up at the words, leaning forward.

“You’re the town drunk who knocked over my fence and ripped up my yard, nothing more. You’re a criminal, you raped one of my family members.” He snarled under his breath.

“That boy begged for it.” The Governor argued, “He didn’t fight for shit, he was a pretty whore and nothing more. You guys play with him, huh? He took it too well to not be experienced.”

Yifans eyes flickered to the wooden table, the grip he had on his own knee tight, “That… ‘boy’ has a name, and he’s a sweet person. He has a family, and you ruined him.” He felt his nose twitch and tapped his other hand on the table so he wouldn’t kill The Governor now.

“Didn't you ever misjudge someone? Hmm?” The Governor argued. “Maybe you don’t know your own family as much as you credit yourself for, because Baekhyun… he probably lied to you, it was sex. I never touched that pretty boy more than he wanted… but if you think otherwise… I guess you can blame yourself for it. Restitution for your own lack of insight. For failing to see the devil beside you.”

Yifan gulped down his anger, “Oh, I see him all right.” Eyes unwavering.

The Governor laughed.

“I care about my people and I don't take their deaths lightly, and I know you don't either. In a way, this fight, it's a failure of leadership.”

“Then leave us alone.” Yifan shot back.

“Well, now, that would be an even bigger failure. You've moved into our backyard. You shot up Main Street. If I let that threat persist, I look weak and, well, the whole thing crumbles.”

“Well, that's your problem. Your choice.”

The man across Yifan smirked, “Now, isn't that why we're here? Choice. If we choose to destroy everything we've fought for over the past year... we're gonna kill everyone we know. At your prison. Back in Woodbury. People we love, Yifan. I was at work one day taking shit from a boss half my age and an IQ even lower. And the phone rang.

My soulmate had been in an accident. ‘Sorry, Mr. Blake, we did everything we could.’ I sat there holding that phone, knowing that I would never see her again. Gone. It was just an accident. No one's fault. She left a voicemail asking me to call her, but I hadn't had a chance yet. I sat there clutching that phone thinking, ‘What did she want?’ Just to check in? Ask me to pick something up for dinner? What did she want?”

“This some sob story? You raped and assaulted my family, I don’t fucking care about what you say at this point.” Yifan said bluntly.

“Well.” The Governor laughed, “At least you’re honest.”

~~~~~~

Jongin sighed, having spent a good twenty minutes or so staring at Chaeyoung before deciding now to take a seat beside her. “How's it going in there?”

“They kicked me out. I don't know what I'm doing here.” She whispered.

“You're trying to help.” Jongin said softly, patting her back.

Chaeyoung stared at him for a moment before sighing, “What happened with Baekhyun?”

Jongin narrowed his eyes, snatching his hand away from her, “He's a sick man.”

“What am I gonna do now? I can't go back there.” She muttered, “I fucked up, my kids are there… I’m the one that led them there.”

“We're family. You belong with us.” Jongin replied, stepping on a leaf under his foot, “But if you join us, it's settled.”

“I know.” Chaeyoung mumbled, running her hands through her hair stressfully.

Jongin stared at her for a moment, “Do you really want to know?”

“Know what?” She sighed, pulling her knees to her chest.

“What happened to my soulmate.” He said simply, pressing Chanyeol's bow into the ground, digging at the dirt.

“Truthfully, yes.” Chaeyoung stared at his profile, “But nobody tells me anything anymore.”

Jongin laughed, the sentence oddly similar to one Taeyong always muttered.

He sat back, licking over his lips before gulping. “He always was a little… we had to put him together, he never had a good living situation before this.” Jongin explained, “But… once we finally made it to the prison things were good, they were so good, Chaeyoung… I can’t even tell you how content… how happy we were.”

He turned to look at her, “He finally opened up his heart for us, he was willing to get help, and ask for it. Baekhyun… he woke up with a smile, everyday.” Jongin sniffed, scrunching his nose up, “And then… we were taken, both of us. And even now, months later, he’ll wake up covered in sweat, crying.

He’s on antidepressants because of it, and it was hell to watch him wither into nothing at the beginning. You saw him recently… but that was still months after the attack, he was so sickly. Even Taeyong couldn't touch him.”

“What happened, Jongin?” Chaeyoung interrupted, hands clenched into her jeans.

“Did you know that Baekhyun is supposed to be over 130 lbs?” Jongin furrowed his brows at her expressed concern, “He’s barely 115, maybe, we haven’t checked in a while. The medication made him lose what little weight he had, and sometimes now he gets extremely tired quickly, we can’t leave him alone in fear he'd pass out- it has happened before. He’ll have a panic attack, get so scared he’ll hide and we have to spend hours calming him down enough to just hold him…. This is my soulmate, Chaeyoung. You’re crying right now and imagine how I feel, how Chanyeol feels, how Kyungsoo feels.”

“Jongin…” She sniffed and ducked her head, “He- he looked happy when I saw him…”

Jongin snickered darkly, “Yeah, after months. And even now he’s not… healed, and he never will be.”

“Just- god, Jongin, I know you’re trying to make me feel like shit, and I-I do, but just spit it out.” She cried.

“Look me in the eyes right now and tell me I deserved this, tell me that any of us deserved this, Chaeyoung.” Jongin continued, eyes flooding with tears as he met her eyes. “Tell me Baekhyun doesn’t deserve to be happy, tell me he deserved to be treated like trash.”

“J-Jo-“

“Tell me he… he deserved to be raped, held down and threatened with my life, because you know he car-cares way more about others than himself!” Jongin cried, standing up, “Try and tell me any of that now.”

“He- J-Jongin… are you sure? Y-You’re sure?”

Jongin closed his eyes for a second as he clenched his jaw, “Baekhyun sees his face in his nightmares, and you know what I see?”

“Do you know what I see?” Jongin prompted again, angry tears falling even though Chaeyoung was sobbing, in disbelief or in fear, he had no idea- and didn’t care. “I see that man pinning my soulmate to the floor, threatening to ‘fuck him again’ while Baekhyun sobs. The only relief I get is when I wake up and see him safe, but then I know- I remember that he can never be, not when men like this are alive. Men who absolutely- look at me.

You don’t get to sit here and cry, act like you had no idea of his wrongdoings when they sat right under your nose. We sat in that shed almost a whole day being beaten, being traumatized, and I’m not saying it’s your fault… but- but you know, you knew something was wrong.

I told you before, I told you I could have lived with what he did to me, but I can’t with what he did to Baekhyun, and that’s the truth. So, why don’t you ask me again if I’m sure, because I’m fucking positive.”

Jongin stormed to his car, leaving the sobbing woman to herself as he climbed into the backseat. And he also sobbed.

~~~~~~~~

“You know, the truth is I didn't want any of this.”

Yifan hummed uninterestedly, watching The Governor closely as he walked around.

“They chose me because there was nobody else around. And they still think that I'm the man that can keep them safe. They still think I know what I'm doing.”

The Governor paused, turning to look at Yifan, “I know you got guns.”

Yifan hummed in approval, a slight nod.

“That was quite a stash you brought back the other day. Now, my people, they're not combat-tested like yours are, but I've got more of them. So this fight, it will go down to the last man.”

“So let's end it. Today. Let's not do this. We can walk away.” Yifan said immediately.

“You have something that I want. One thing that makes this all all right.”

Yifan stiffened, “I'm not giving up the prison.”

“No, I don't want your prison. That doesn't sound safe at all.” The man disagreed.

“We're not moving on.” Yifan added.

The Governor laughed, “What good would that do me? Best you stay where I can keep my eyes on you.”

Yifan sat back, folding his arms over his chest.

“I want Baekhyun. Turn him over and this all goes away. Is he worth it? One man... worth all those lives at your prison? You have two days to think it over.”

The leader curled his lips up at The Governor, “Why the fuck would you want him?”

“A trust offering, you could say. All of your group seems to care a lot about him, it would go both ways, you could have your pick, of course.

In two days, I’ll be here at noon.”

Yifan booked it out of there.

Chapter Text

 

 

Yifan hadn’t spoken the whole time Junmyeon drove home, and Jongin was in no condition to ask, or talk for that matter, he was pissed- only staring out the window with red eyes.

Even when they watched Taehyung pull open the fence with an excited smile at their arrival home, Yifan couldn't find it in him to spare him a smile.

He only stomped into the cell block with a motion for Taehyung to follow the three of them.

“Hyung, welcome back.” God, Yifan couldn't even look at Baekhyun right now without feeling the least bit guilty.

Because he would be lying if he said he hadn’t considered- for less than a split second- giving up the younger to save the rest of them.

It was a thought that went as soon as it came though. Especially when he saw Baekhyun's beaming smile as he launched himself at Jongin, Jisungs arms curled around his calf.

Because everyone loved Baekhyun. Because he was sweet, and he was caring, and he loved everyone.

Yifan felt like shit.

“So, anyone gonna spit it out?” Minseok raised a brow, pushing the board game he was playing with Taeyong away.

“Would if I knew, Min.” Junmyeon smiled, moving to sit beside his soulmate.

“We’re going to war.” Yifan sighed, “That's our agreement, war, we couldn’t agree.”

It wasn’t exactly a lie, but it didn’t really matter at this point. He had already made a decision.

“What?” Luhan asked in disbelief, “Our offer was a good one- a peaceful one. He didn’t want to deal at all?”

“He did, but it wasn’t a good one. In two days he’ll come and then we’ll have to do the plan I set out for us.” Yifan brushed off.

“Well what was it?” Baekhyun asked softly, knelt down and hugging Jisung as the baby clung to him.

Yifan stared at him way too long, and he knew it. He just couldn’t snap out of it until Chanyeol blocked Baekhyun for a second. “He wanted you.”

“Who?” Yixing asked, “What was that?”

“He wanted Baekhyun.” Yifan explained, “It was a false deal though- he’s still going to attack us- it doesn’t matter.”

“Why the fuck? Hasn’t he done enough? Why would he want Baekhyun?” Chanyeol growled, pulling his soulmate- and Jisung by default- to his chest.

The leader rubbed his temple, walking over to find a water bottle, “If you want to talk about this Taeyong needs to go.”

“No, let him stay.” Baekhyun muttered, “It’s okay… I’ll- I'll talk to him later, I want to hear it.” He said softly, cheek pressed to Chanyeol arm.

Yifan sighed, glancing at Taeyong who suddenly looked extremely attentive. “He tried to… convince me I had heard wrong events about what occurred… of course, I didn’t believe that for one second, Baekhyun. He had this.. look, he has no idea how disgusting he was. He claimed that if we gave up Baekhyun it would be a sign of trust, but that’s utter bullshit, he’s a sick- sick man.”

“I hope Chaeyoung kills him before I get my hands on him- fuck, he’ll wish he was dead.” Jongin growled, hands in his hair, “I told her- I told her the truth and she cried, I feel a little bad because it sounded like I accused her, but… it is a little bit of her fault.”

“She’s chosen her side.” Junmyeon agreed, “It’s not her fault, but… I’m sorry- I heard your conversation and she has no right to ask you to confirm-“

“That my soulmate was assaulted, I know. I guess I must have blown up too much, but.. but she’s the enemy now.” Jongin interrupted, “I just find it.. it’s cruel he even tried to spin the story around for Hyung.”

“It’s not that he was trying to spin it, I don’t think.” Yifan drawled, “I think he was trying to make himself seem… not at fault, he tried to blame his henchman for it at first when Chaeyoung was in the room.”

Baekhyun scrunched his face in disgust, “He offered me to them, like I was an object- it was him- all him.”

“Shh, baby, we know… you don’t need to explain anything.” Kyungsoo mumbled, running over to brush his hand over Baekhyun's shoulders.

“I’m not going to detail what he said… but the gist was that he claimed- his words not mine- Baekhyun begged for it and that he ‘didn’t fight.’ As if that changed what he did at all.”

“That’s a blatant lie!” Baekhyun screamed, pressing Jisung into Chanyeol's arms before brushing them off, “I told him he could go to fucking hell, he knew what he was doing- I-I cried!”

“Baekhyun.” Yixing said softly, “Baekhyun, you don’t need to defend yourself, we all believe you, sweetie. You’re upset, rightfully so, we are too, but we still believe you.”

Baekhyun sighed, running his hand over his hair, normally he’d be freaking out at everyone watching him, but he was too upset to care. “I’m just.. I’m tired, Hyung. I’m not.. I’m definitely not expecting any sort of guilt from him… and I’m not asking for an apology, but.. but can’t he own up to it. He raped me. I never- I didn’t-“

Taeyong didn’t know what was going on, well, until now. The teenager may not know as much as he probably should, but he knew bad things. He knew people did horrible things even before the world ended.

So he only walked up to Baekhyun and hugged him, resting his head on his brothers collarbone.

“Hyung, I believe you.” Taeyong said, it sounded loud in the silence but it was basically a whisper, “You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone, I know you never lie.”

Baekhyun could only laugh watery, pressing his nose to Taeyongs hair, “I don’t tell you things sometimes.” He admitted.

Taeyong only shrugged, hugging him tighter at the waver in his voice, “You said secrets keep people from getting hurt and you were right… because I always asked you for the truth... but I think I’d rather not feel so hurt right now.”

Baekhyun gulped, pressing his face into Taeyongs hair, “Why are you hurting?”

“Because I’m always so mean to you… and you deserve to only be happy, Hyung.”

~~~~~~~

“I don’t know what else to pack.” Kyungsoo wondered aloud, “Yifan Hyung said it would probably only be a day, but we don’t know how this plan will really go down, it’s risky. They could overtake it for all we know.”

Baekhyun hummed, wrapping his arms around Kyungsoo's waist, “Pack more clothes, Hyung. Just as a precaution.”

“Baek, what about… Sunmi?” Jongin asked, looking through their bedroom door, watching Jisung running into peoples cells curiously.

“Sunmi would be good.” He agreed, “Her or… Yixing Hyung i think, we don’t need someone the best at shooting, Taeyong will be out there too and he’s really good.”

“I still don’t like that.” Chanyeol commented, picking up a box, “The separation, I know why… but Taeyong is useful.”

“He’ll be more useful hiding in the treeline and protecting Jisung.” Kyungsoo argued, “He’s really proud about the opportunity, Hyung. Don’t burst his bubble.”

Chanyeol rolled his eyes at the scolding before pretending he didn’t when Baekhyun raised a brow at him, placing a beaming smile on his face.

“Yeol, did you pack Jisungs stuff?” Baekhyun laughed at the smile and walked towards him.

“Taehyung already did, it was barely pulled out anyways.”

Baekhyun hummed, straddling Chanyeol's lap, wrapping his arms around the elders neck. “Then we only need to pack the food-“

“Luhan and Sehun did it already, all that’s left is to put this stuff in a car, set up the smoke bombs and then wait two days, baby.” Kyungsoo said fondly, pushing the box he filled towards the door with his foot.

“Oh.” The youngest chirped, “Then let's just lay here.”

“How about you let me see you? You had a lot of big talk this morning, hm?” Jongin teased, tugging Baekhyun's sleeve playfully.

Baekhyun licked his mouth nervously, a light blush coming on his cheeks as he whined, reaching over to lightly push Jongin, “Nini, so rude!”

“Rude?” Chanyeol laughed, pressing his mouth over the hickey on Baekhyun's collarbone, “You’re the rude one, getting your Hyungs all worked up, baby.”

The youngest pouted, running his hand over the stubble on Chanyeol's jaw. He ran his thumb over it before chewing his lip and flushing shyly, pressing his face into the elders neck. “Hyung, I like this, you look nice.”

“Ah, what’s gotten into you, sweetheart? So cute, aren’t you playing with us too much today?” Chanyeol teased, turning to lay Baekhyun on the mattress, narrowly missing Jongin's calf, before hovering over him.

Baekhyun giggled, a hand coming up to cover his face, “My Hyungs are handsome.” He muffled, peeking through his fingers only to blush at the wide grins he was getting. “Don’t look at me!” He whined, pressing both hands to his face.

“Our baby is so pretty though.” Jongin cooed, pulling his hands from his face to hold them in his, pressing his mouth to Baekhyun's knuckles. “Baekhyunnie, what’s gotten into you, hm?”

“Love you.” Baekhyun answered honestly, his ears bright red. “Love my soulmates.”

“Oh, gorgeous.” Chanyeol said in a deep growl, pressing his chest down onto Baekhyun's, “We love you too, so much. Our sweet soulmate, Hyungs will always try to take care of you.”

“Want you to take care of me.” Baekhyun murmured, smiling as Jongin leaned over his face to press a kiss to his hairline. “I don’t want to lose any of you guys ever, I’ll- I’ll go crazy, don’t leave me ever, please.”

The three frowned, hiding the expression from Baekhyun.

They had considered such outcomes before, the possibilities of at least one of them not making it was pretty high when compared to that of single coupled soulmates. There were just so many dangerous or otherwise lethal things out there now.

Even something as small as a common fever could easily take one of them out if they didn’t have the means to care for it.

They didn’t want to promise Baekhyun anything, even though they so badly wanted to, because he looked so happy when they promised things to him.

But they wouldn’t make the same mistake of giving him too much hope, especially not when they were going to war with someone that seemed very keen about not caring for their deaths.

“None of us would ever voluntarily do that.” The eldest whispered, moving Baekhyun's legs around his waist to put his weight between the much smaller man. “Okay? Your Hyungs never want to leave you, but we’re not making promises we’re not sure can be kept anymore, remember?”

“Then…” Baekhyun scrunched his nose in thought as he reached up to tangle his hands in Chanyeol hair, “Then we should love each other a lot… ju- just in case, right?”

“Exactly.” Kyungsoo called across the room, seated in the chair facing the mattress, “Exactly, sugar. And you know… you’ve known over a year that we love you to death, Baekhyun. So… so if anything ever happens you need to remember that, and if we’re still alive and only separated, you bet we’re going to come and find you. There’s nothing that would keep us from coming after you.”

Baekhyun's fingers shook on the nape of Chanyeol's neck at the thought of not being here with them, calm and safe. “I’d find you too, each of you, until we… until we were together again, and I’d never let you out of my sight.”

“So you’d be us, huh?” Jongin teased, laying his hand in Baekhyun's hair, “You’d never leave us alone? That doesn’t sound bad at all, let’s start doing that, dollface.”

Baekhyun laughed loudly, the sound making the three of them feel much more relieved even though they had been having such a serious conversation. “I already do that!”

“Oh, really?” Chanyeol chuckled, his elbows on either side of Baekhyun's head, holding himself up as he ran his nose down Baekhyun's cheek. “Our leech, it's okay though because Hyungs like to have you right by our sides, where we know you’re safe and we can keep an eye on you.”

“Definitely.” Kyungsoo chirped with a smirk, “Just think about it, if all goes right then this prison will have a lot more people, some might be too charmed by that pretty smile, babe. We need you to never leave us alone so nobody comes to steal our baby from us, hm?”

“I only want my Hyungs enamored with me.” Baekhyun smiled, pressing his nose to Chanyeol's, “Only want you guys to look at me.”

“Ugh, I wouldn’t blame them though.” Jongin cried, laying back against the wall in the corner of their bed, “Baekhyun is wonderful, I’d be lovestruck too.”

Baekhyun laughed, pressing a chaste kiss to the corner of Chanyeol's mouth making the elder seek out his lips again.

“True.” Kyungsoo drawled, “Still would set the record straight though, but I definitely couldn’t blame them.”

“Oh, I could.” Chanyeol sighed into Baekhyun's mouth, pulling back only to finish his statement. “Our soulmate, sure- everyone might have puppy crushes, but I’ll tear the shit out of them if they get close. I have little self control- even less when it comes to Baek; only look at us, babe, or I’ll lose my mind- I’m very possessive, you know this.”

“I like it though.” Baekhyun grinned, running his lips over Chanyeol's cheek for more attention, “Only want to look at you guys anyways, but I want you to be possessive of me- I don’t want anyone else’s attention.”

“Fuck, what do you want me to say, sweetheart? All you need to do is look at me with those cute eyes- I’ll do whatever you want.” The eldest admitted, sitting up, running his hands over Baekhyun's thighs.

Baekhyun giggled, looking at Jongin beamingly when he pulled him under his arms, laying the youngests head in his lap, “I could just look at you all day, baby. Keep talking, Hyung likes to hear you.” Jongin purred, thumb running along the curve of his neck.

Baekhyun shivered at the feeling before suddenly getting up, making the three look at him confused as he picked up a spare sheet.

“What are you doing, sugar?” Kyungsoo raised a brow as Baekhyun snatched a roll of duct tape from the shelf.

The youngest suddenly flushed, giving them a view of his back as he walked to the barred door, “Want privacy. Do you think they’ll hear us down the hall? Should I put something thicker?”

The three looked at his back stunned, quiet even as Baekhyun turned around with a red face and a slight pout, leaning against the door. “You don’t want to?”

“Fuck-uh- uh… lets put something thick baby, Hyungs want to hear you.” Chanyeol coughed out, his own cheeks pinkening.

“Or.” Jongin snapped out of his daze, standing up, “Better yet, let’s go to cell block D, recently cleared- nobody will be there.”

Baekhyun didn’t have a chance to respond at all when he was suddenly being thrown over a shoulder, releasing only a quiet laugh and curling his hands into the back of Kyungsoo's shirt.

“I’ll get some stuff, don’t you fucking get started without us!” Chanyeol ordered as Kyungsoo balanced the smaller in his arms, opening the door.

“Oh, please. Even I don’t have that much control, if you don’t hurry up, you might just miss out!” Kyungsoo smirked, walking down the stairs just below their doorway.

“Kyungsoo!”

~~~~~~~~

“Hyung…” Baekhyun started off nervously, watching Kyungsoo arrange bedding on the floor of cell block D while they waited for Chanyeol and Jongin to round up supplies.

“Yes, baby?”

The younger smiled, wrapping arms around his own waist, “I was wondering… um- I wanted to ask how to… to use your mouth… I don’t want, I want to be good.”

Kyungsoo snapped his head up to look at him, “How to give a blowjob? That’s what you’re asking about?”

Baekhyun flushed at the crude way he put it and nodded, “Um.. yeah… I just- I want to try, you know? I’ve never…”

“You can try today, god you’ll look so hot.” The elder groaned walking over to the metal bed frame and standing between Baekhyun's legs, “Don’t feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to.”

“I want to.” Baekhyun murmured, “... I just want to be good though…”

Kyungsoo laughed, pressing a kiss to his forehead, “You don’t need to worry, you’ll be great, sweetheart. I already got to be with you recently though, so I’m just going to watch, and if you get scared at all, Hyung will pull you immediately, hm? I know those two can get a little.. overwhelming.”

“I’m not scared.” The younger whispered, “Never scared of Yeol and Nini, I just want to be good because… you guys have been with other people- and I-I want to be better.”

“Oh, babe.” The elder fussed, “You’re our soulmate, no matter what you do ever- not even just intimately- you’ll be the best in our eyes, okay? I can guarantee you, sugar, that none of us have ever- ever been with someone so cute, and we’ve never been with someone we love, and it’s already a million times better with you, Baekhyun. Okay? Don’t ever think otherwise, because I can’t even remember a single person I’ve ever been with — all I think about is my perfect little soulmate right here.”

Kyungsoo pressed his forehead to Baekhyun's, running his thumb along his cheek, “Okay?” He prompted.

“I like it when you say that.” Baekhyun confessed, a smile playing at his lips as Kyungsoo kissed the corner of his eye.

“You’re adorable, Hyungs can’t think of anyone else, babe. Now let’s get this off, hm?” Kyungsoo murmured, pulling the end of Baekhyun's shirt up.

The younger laughed, raising his arms and allowing him to remove his shirt before Kyungsoo was scooping him up and tossing him to the cushioned floor.

“My little puppy, you look just like a puppy, so cute. Did you know this?” Kyungsoo teased, fingers unbuttoning the smallers jeans.

Baekhyun giggled, laying flat on his back, pulling one of the blankets to his exposed chest as Kyungsoo pulled his jeans off. “I miss puppies, I used to want one so bad!”

“If I had a chance, I’d let you get one, baby. Too bad they’re long gone or else Hyung would get you anything you wanted.” The elder smiled, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's ankle making him laugh.

“Sweet talking him already?” Chanyeol's deep voice whined as he and Jongin appeared, “Well, I guess this is better than what we expected to see.” He added, already eyeing Baekhyun darkly.

Baekhyun didn’t find the lustful look offensive at all, odd considering that most looks he found disgusting. But never ones from his soulmates. Truthfully, Baekhyun was probably getting ahead of himself with this thought, but he wondered if he would even be fine being treated roughly.

He wasn’t too sure though, because just the thought of being held so he couldn’t tell who it was- even if he knew who it was- it gave him chills, and not in a good context.

“Let’s get started, hm? Hyung is really worked up.”

Baekhyun laughed, hearing the other two echoing his as Chanyeol settled between his legs, immediately latching onto his sensitive neck.

“Chanyeollie!” He giggled, tangling his fingers in his hair and curling his legs around the others hips, “Chanyeollie, want you to… get me ready.”

“God, I’m gonna die.” Baekhyun heard Jongin croak.

He heard footsteps around the room before he was finally able to pull Chanyeol's shirt off, biting his lip as he trailed his eyes over his oldest soulmate, “You like what you see, baby?” He teased, curling his fingers in Baekhyun's boxers, waiting for a short nod before removing them.

“Yes.” Baekhyun whispered under his breath, fingers reaching out to trail Chanyeol's abdomen, “Touch me, Hyung.”

Chanyeol made a noise in the back of his throat that sent shivers down Baekhyun's spine as he was pulled to lay on the edge of the bed, legs spread.

“God, fucking perfect.” Baekhyun looked up to smile at Jongin making his way over, shirt already missing as he settled himself behind his soulmate, pulling Baekhyun's back to his chest.

“Here.” Kyungsoo said quietly, passing Chanyeol the lube they had dropped at the sight of the youngest all spread out for them.

“You’re so pretty, doll.” Jongin's lips were so close to his ear as he trailed kisses down the curve of Baekhyun's neck that he let a quiet whimper slip.

Baekhyun saw Chanyeol laugh at the noise and he pouted, lifting his hips up slightly, “You’re taking forever Yeol.”

“You’re so impatient, love.” The eldest snickered, gently pushing his hips down to the mattress with his dry hand, “I don’t want to hurt you, give me a second, honey.” He mumbled, running his thumb over the soft skin of Baekhyun's inner thigh.

“Just do it, Hyung.” Baekhyun whined, a slight moan in his voice as he turned his head to give Jongin more space on his neck. “Touch me, tou- Hyung.”

His words got cut off with a squeal, back arching off Jongin's chest making the man laugh into his shoulder, teeth lightly scraping Baekhyun's skin.

“Hy-Hyung- Ch-“ Baekhyun's thighs shook, reaching between his legs to grab Chanyeol's wrist from moving for a second, panting and leaning forward.

“Good, baby?” Chanyeol laughed, curling his fingers just to watch Baekhyun moan out, leaning forward, the eldest smiled, pressing his lips to Baekhyun's forehead. “You said touch you, impatient baby.”

Baekhyun groaned, tilting his head up to brush his lips with Chanyeol's, “Hyung… your hands are big.”

Baekhyun heard the three laugh, felt Chanyeol's breath on his lips, “I know, sweetheart.” He cooed, licking Baekhyun bottom lip before using his non occupied hand to gently push him back onto Jongin's chest. “Sit still, babe, Hyung will prepare you.”

“Hyung is good, hm?” Jongin whispered, lifting Baekhyun's hips up only to place a rolled up blanket beneath his hips.

Baekhyun only hummed, closing his eyes at Chanyeol ministrations, quiet moans falling past his mouth, “Nini- hu-Hyung want you to make love to me.”

Jongin smiled, a genuine one despite his aching erection pressing into Baekhyun's spine, “If that’s what you want, sweetheart, just wait until Yeol is done.”

“Mm, want Hyung in my mouth.”

“Fuck.” Chanyeol stopped, pouring more lube over Baekhyun's stretched hole, gently making sure he was ready, “You want my cock in your mouth, honey?”

Baekhyun licked his lips, reaching out for Chanyeol to sit him up, “Want to try.”

“Shit.”

Baekhyun suddenly felt himself being pulled to his knees, Jongin's hands on his ass behind him, “Would you be okay? If you were on your front, would you be okay, baby?”

“Be easy.” Baekhyun replied softly, pushing a blanket off the mattress and spreading his knees apart, “Jonginnie, be easy and it’s okay.”

“Oh, sweetheart.” He heard the man coo, running his lips down Baekhyun's spine, “Hyung will only be easy with you, you’ll be okay.”

“You just look at us, little moon.” Chanyeol chirped, removing his pants and boxers before settling himself in front of Baekhyun, immediately the younger was pressing his cheek into his thigh. “Me and Kyungsoo we’re right here, love. You ask Jongin anything and he’ll respond immediately, nobody is going to hurt you.”

“Okay.” Baekhyun muffled, hearing the foil wrapper of a condom being opened, a gentle hand on his tailbone.

Chanyeol hummed, running his thumb over Baekhyun's lip, “We love you, beautiful.”

Baekhyun's eyes scrunched into a pretty smile, pressing a kiss to Chanyeol's thumb before sitting up, hips in the air and palms resting on Chanyeol's thighs as he leaned down to press a soft kiss to the man’s hip.

“Baby, it’s just Hyung.” Jongin murmured before Baekhyun felt his tip entering his heat, Baekhyun chewed his lip for a second soft noises falling from his mouth.

“He’s really tight, right?” Kyungsoo purred, Baekhyun's eyes flicked to him by the doorway, the man looking relatively unfazed if Baekhyun didn’t notice his hand resting over the tented front of his jeans. “Perfect.”

“Fuck, beautiful.” Jongin groaned, pressing his lips to Baekhyun's spine.

Baekhyun moaned a high pitched squeak as Jongin rolled his hips before panting, sitting up to grab Chanyeol's erection. “Hyung, more.” He requested, pressing kisses down his oldest soulmates thigh.

“Whatever you want, my love.”

Baekhyun smiled slightly, licking his lips before pressing a soft kiss to Chanyeol's tip, looking up at him.

The man groaned, a deep noise that resonated through Baekhyun's chest. “God, you look so cute, how?” Chanyeol moaned, combing his hair back with his fingers, “Your mouth is so little, baby. Can you handle it?”

Baekhyun giggled, the sound breathy as he flattened his tongue onto Chanyeol's erection, “Don’t know how, Hyung.”

“You’re doing great, little moon. You just suck, that pretty little mouth looks beautiful doing anything. Hyung has done this to you before, huh? Just like that.”

Baekhyun nodded, wrapping his mouth around his tip and swallowing the precum. His hands curling around the rest of the length and slowly lowering himself further onto Chanyeol's length.

“Oh, fuck. God, I was wrong, your mouth isn’t small, baby.”

Then, Jongin gave a particularly deep thrust and Baekhyun happily choked.

Chapter Text

 

 

“You’re curious, right?”

Baekhyun heard a hum of acknowledgement and felt the side of the mattress sink in as Kyungsoo sat himself on his elbow to Baekhyun's left. “About what?”

The youngest in the room hummed, tangling his fingers into Chanyeol's hair where the eldest laid between his legs, cheek on his chest, a slight sheen to all of their skin. “About why I’m suddenly… wanting to try things.”

Jongin turned on his side, pressing his lips to Baekhyun's shoulder opposite Kyungsoo. “Because you feel calmer?” He asked, “Because you trust us more.”

Baekhyun licked his swollen mouth, reaching over Chanyeol's shoulder to pull the blanket over the eldests chiseled back, “Yes, but… no.”

Chanyeol hummed, the sound vibrating Baekhyun's chest as the eldest placed a sweet kiss to his sternum, “What is it, moon?”

“It’s because… I- we don’t know what happens. I’ve told you guys before, we’ve discussed it, but I don’t want anything to happen and then we won’t have these memories together. I wouldn’t ever know what it would be like… to be with each of you like this. An- and I think… kissing isn’t enough, holding you guys like this or.. sleeping beside each other, it’s not enough.

It might be for you, I’m sure it is since you guys have waited… well over a year to make love to me, but to me- that’s not- I want to collect all the intimacy you will give me. Another memory to store away, another thing I can- I can have for myself, because they’re my memories and nobody can change them… nobody will know what it’s like other than me.”

“Baek, if memories are what you want then we have so many, and if intimacy is what you want then you never need to ask us twice.” Kyungsoo purred, leaning down to kiss Baekhyun's hair. “And if it’s… just because you want something for yourself then that’s okay too, nobody will ever know what we’re like together intimately.

Nobody will ever know how beautiful you look like this, how much it makes our hearts race when you look so happy, or how gorgeous you look when you cum- those are our memories- and whatever you think about us like this- those are yours.”

“The chances… of all of us living happily forever… It's very thin. A few of us might not make it as long, an- and I can't stand the thought of it… but it’s realistic, it’s true. So… times like this, where we can just be so close, I- I really like them.”

Chanyeol sat up at the slight waver of Baekhyun's voice, slightly surprised that he wasn’t crying. “I don’t think you’re scared of you not making it… it’s us, I know because I feel the same, the same about Sehun, Jongin, the same about Kyungsoo… Taeyong, but I sure as hell- I definitely- a hundred percent- know that you’ll make it, Baekhyun. There’s no way you won’t.”

Baekhyun frowned, cupping behind Chanyeol's ear, “Of course that’s what I’m scared of. If I lose one of you… I don’t know that I could- I think I’d turn weak again, and I’d- I’d be scared of my own shadow, b-because you guys hold me together so well… each of you contribute your own things that keep me together, Chanyeol. And without one of those things it’s like… removing a barrier, and everything comes crashing down.”

“Fuck, don’t say that.” Jongin whispered, Baekhyun could feel a wetness on his shoulder and couldn’t stand to look or he would cry too. “It’s easy to pretend that you don’t need us, Baekhyun. But it’s a huge lie because we need you just as much as you need us, and it’s so much. It’s so-so much, I would give up everything for you- it’s selfish, but you’re my soulmate, and I’ve already fucked up once- I can-I can’t stand to let it happen again; not while I’m still around.”

“You didn’t fuck up, Jongin.” Kyungsoo argued opposite the man, “It was nobody’s fault but his- it was never your fault.”

“I should have protected him, I should have done better.” Jongin whimpered, “You weren’t there, but you would have- anyone would have done better than me.”

“I don’t need you to protect me all of the time.” Baekhyun murmured softly, his unoccupied arm moving to rest under Jongin's neck, thumb running over the side of his soulmates neck. “I want to protect you, Hyung. I know you guys… you don’t want to hear about it, but you shouldn’t feel guilty… because that’s not how it went down at all… it wasn’t a matter of whether or not you could have done anything to stop it- you couldn’t have.”

“I could ha-“

Baekhyun sighed, turning his head to press his nose to Jongin's hair, “You couldn’t have okay? I love you, and I made my own choice voluntarily.”

“How is it voluntary if he threatened you, Baekhyun?” Chanyeol whispered, his thumb rubbing circles into Baekhyun's ribs.

“Because… he was going to… touch me anyways. My choice was to spare Jongin from more harm, because I knew even if I didn’t… go along with it that he would most likely go through with his threats and also be… more aggressive with me.

He kept… asking if I was done.. the whole time, an- and my skin crawled.. my scalp hurt so bad, it bruised.. but I-I told him to go to hell every time because there was no point… Jongin was already.. destroyed and I couldn’t give up the prison, our family is here, you guys were here. What more is.. he was already doing what he wanted anyways so what more was it to just wait it out?”

It was so silent all Baekhyun could hear was the sound of breathing onto his skin. Chanyeol warmth covering his whole front and he wasn’t scared at all, only slightly worked up on anger.. but that was a better emotion than sobbing.

He had told Yifan the truth. He was done crying over it, that man didn’t deserve his tears, and Baekhyun had no more to give- he had already given up too much of himself that he felt he had only recently gotten back.

“I read your journal, you know?” Kyungsoo murmured, scratch over his bare chest to Baekhyun's right. “I didn’t… I didn’t tell you because you said we could read it so long ago but I- I want to tell you that I think you’re wrong.”

Baekhyun furrowed his brows, looking over Kyungsoo's features, “About what?”

“You think… or you thought you were ruined- no… we thought it too, I’m not going to lie to you and act like we didn’t think, at least for a split second, that you weren’t coming back, Baekhyun.

But… I’m getting off topic.. uh- when I was reading it I was just thinking… how proud I was, how happy I was because you’re not ruined at all. You’ve been… you’ve been bitten, abused…. molested, but you’re still… so put together. The issue I think is… that you don’t recognize them as you winning.. you see them as events that had negative effects- and I completely agree- but they’re also.. they also make you stronger, stronger than any of us, that’s for sure.”

“How?” Baekhyun gulped, wiggling a bit under Chanyeol's weight to move his leg between the elders.

“Because now… there’s not much that can really take you apart. Like just now, you have no issues talking about such a… disgusting rape, and sure, right after you were very scared- but we weren’t much different.

But now, when people do things like that.. they assault, they abuse, they ridicule.. it's not much different to what you’ve already faced and that alone makes you more likely to pick yourself up. If something like that were to happen to.. anyone else, they would not be as quick to jump back to their feet as you, that's a fact, not a guess- it’s a guarantee.”

Baekhyun laughed quietly even though nothing was funny, “Kyungsoo, in my journal you can tell I wasn’t put together at all. The sounds of a clock going off made me… quite literally scream, because my dad came home at exactly five, no matter what. For years I couldn’t… sleep without Taeyong by my side, I had to keep my window open because.. because I somehow tricked myself into thinking one day I would leave. I have scars… all over, in my head, on my body. I’m like… I'm the least put together out of anyone here.”

“No.” Chanyeol disagreed, “No, baby, you’re the most. I don’t care what anyone thinks, what I care about is that you recognize that you’re the strongest one here. Everyone can see it- but you.”

“Let me.. let me tell you guys something.” Baekhyun whispered, a slight smile on his face even though his eyes were watering. “When… when I first started seeing Yixing I told him that it was hard to… to be so cared for, I didn’t believe caring came with- with people loving you, because I didn’t think I deserved it. I- uh- I explained that my mind worked off of… off of a give and a take kind of thing.

I-I don’t know how to say this without sounding like I didn’t love and appreciate each of you at that time… because I did, even if I didn’t say it.. or show it very well. But it was so many months ago, I obviously… thought a little differently.”

Jongin shifted up onto his elbow, “We know, and that’s okay, whatever you say… it doesn’t depict anything now, it’s not going to make us change our minds or anything of the sort.”

Baekhyun smiled, the hand on the back of Jongin's neck pulling him down for a light kiss onto his soulmates nose, the elder nuzzling into his neck affectionately.

“Everytime I wanted something I felt compelled to… offer something.. anything. Hyung said ‘sexual favors’ but it wasn’t.. purely like that at all. It was more of a mix, and a test… like- I- I was testing myself but also… testing you guys, to see how far… I could push before you just- just took because that’s how I thought it was supposed to be.”

“Why are you telling us this, babe?” Chanyeol wondered, pulling himself off of Baekhyun, sitting back on his heels and laying a blanket over Baekhyun's lower body.

Baekhyun laughed softly, “Because I want to be honest… and I want you guys to know it’s not like that anymore. I touch you when I want to, I… love you, and I-I love the attention, I love giving you guys attention, and there is no exchange. Not everyone wants something, and we want to care for each other. There is a difference between now and then… and it’s good, and we’re happier now.”

“We are happier now.” Kyungsoo said softly, throwing his arm over Baekhyun's stomach, “Because you love us so much, it’s a good feeling, Baekhyun.”

“Yeah.” He smiled, agreeing. “It’s nice.”

“God, I know that everything you just said was important, and I listened- swear. But my mind just somehow always gets caught on when you confess your love to us, my heart races, Baekhyun.” Chanyeol murmured, pulling Baekhyun up from the mattress to hold his back, pressing soft kisses to his face.

“Me too.” Baekhyun giggled, throwing his arms around Chanyeol's neck, “But.. you know what’s better?”

The eldest hummed, softly coddling the younger with innocent kisses.

Baekhyun sucked his bottom lip into his mouth, moving to straddle Chanyeol's legs, “When we- when we make love, my heart is really full, Hyung. Let’s do it again.”

“Oh, god.” Jongin groaned, “You're a goddamn fiend, I love it, lay him down, Hyung.”

~~~~~~~

“Okay, so listen.” Yifan began, “We’ve cleared out cell blocks B and D.”

Baekhyun was momentarily distracted at Jongin's nip at his jaw at the mention of cell block D, faking an annoyed expression to lightly hit the elders arm. Jongin only beamed, wrapping both his arms around his smaller soulmates shoulders and pressing his lips to the reddish marks barely hidden beneath his ear.

“Depending on how this goes, those blocks will be used for the Woodsbury people, and if needed block A can be cleaned out too.”

“What?” Taeyong suddenly demanded, standing to his feet and staring at Yifan as if betrayed, “Hyung, we can barely protect each other- I won’t- I won’t protect a bunch of.. sheltered people. They can’t fight, they probably can’t even look at a walker without crying.”

“We’re not cruel, Taeyong.” Yixing said softly, “Leaving them there… that would be leaving them to die. We can teach them, they can still learn.”

Taeyong huffed in disbelief.

“Tae, you wouldn’t have left Jisung, so why do you want to leave them? Jungkook is there, Yoongi is there.” Chanyeol wondered.

“I know them.” Taeyong growled, “I know who they are and they’re good- they’re not useless, those people… they- they could be dangerous.”

“Protecting your family is different, and we understand that, Taeyong.” Baekhyun cooed softly, a slight scolding on his face, “We’re not asking you, we’re telling you that these are defenseless people, innocent people. What if Yifan Hyung just left us in the forest well over a year ago?”

“That’s different- we were strangers, he had every right to leave us.” Taeyong said firmly, “I don’t want anyone else, we could barely get you and Hyung back, we don’t need anymore people to care about!”

Baekhyun gulped, a sudden cold was rushing under his skin even though he was very warm against Jongin's chest. “It’s not a bad thing to open up and care about people, just because you’re scared of getting attached doesn’t mean we should abandon all hope.”

“That’s bullshit!” Taeyong yelled, “That's bullshit and you know it.”

Baekhyun huffed, standing to his feet, “Fine, me and you can talk outside; come before you wake up Jisung.”

He raised a brow and walked towards the stairs that led to the upper walkways, “Well? Now, Taeyong.”

Everyone watched in shock at Baekhyun's anger, such a parental expression as he grabbed Taeyongs arm that everyone knew the kid was about to get the scolding of a lifetime.

“Damn, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so mad.” Luhan laughed in shock.

Chanyeol smirked, “It’s pretty hot, I should piss him off.”

The group laughed. “God you guys are so whipped it’s unreal.” Minseok snorted, rolling his eyes at Jongin's agreement to Chanyeol.

“Baekhyun is a very lovable person.” Taehyung commented, cleaning his knife and not even looking up.

“Should we be worried about you, kid?” Kyungsoo teased, “You gonna steal our boyfriend? Sorry to break the news to you, but we’re going to find a ring soon.”

“Holy fuck.” Sunmi gawked, “You guys have to let me help, oh please!”

Jongin snickered, ears slightly red at everyone’s congratulations, “Sure, what do you have in mind?”

~~~~~~~

“Hyung, are we going to talk, or are we just going to sit here?” Taeyong asked, visually calmed down.

Baekhyun had sat him down on the balcony for a good ten minutes without talking, only looking out at the yard and the walkers that were clawing at the fence.

“What do you see when you look out here, Taeyong?”

The teenager frowned, “Walkers… I don’t know? Grass?”

“Well, I see empty space.” Baekhyun turned to look at him, brushing a long strand of hair behind Taeyongs ear, “It’s all empty, and it needs to be filled. We have the supplies, we have walls, we can help people, so why don’t you want to?

You don’t want to get attached and it’s a sentiment I agree with, but you know that overall there is only the small group of us that we need to care for. Those people… they will come here of their free will, and we will not promise anything to them, we won’t guarantee their safety- because that’s not even a guarantee to us. All we can guarantee is a bed, walls, a chance. So why can’t they have a chance when Yifan Hyung gave us a chance well over a year ago?”

“People are cruel now.” Taeyong whispered, pulling his knees to his chest, “Since the world ended… They are cruel and we can’t trust them.”

“People have always been like that, we don’t need to trust them, we only need to give them an opportunity.”

“No, it’s us or nobody now. It’s us or them, and it’s us or die. And I won’t let anyone near us enough to hurt anyone in this building.” Taeyong said firmly, pushing his long hair out of his face as Baekhyun stared at his profile. “I won’t let anyone hurt you again, Hyung.”

Baekhyun laughed softly, scooting closer so his thigh pressed into Taeyongs. “Taeyong, you can protect me all you want and I can protect you all I want, but… your views are wrong. It’s not that people are bad now, suddenly, if they are like that.. then they have always been.

Those people… they’re too far gone, but we’re not, and that makes us good people because we don’t shoot first- ever. You never shoot without giving them a chance, because you never know… maybe they’re just like us and just wanted to live.”

Taeyong frowned, a small noise of confusion as he laid against Baekhyun's shoulder, “I won’t trust any of them.”

“Nobody is asking you too, bug.” The elder said softly, arm wrapped around the teenagers back.

“Hyung… you don’t think I’m a child anymore.” Taeyong began, turning to search Baekhyun's face.

Baekhyun nodded, a small smile as he touched Taeyongs cheek. “You’re not, you haven’t been for a while. But… but Hyung wanted to pretend just for a while longer, because… because I wish I could have done better for you.”

“I want to know… what you always hide from me.” The teenager requested, “Everyone seems to know but me… you used to see Yixing Hyung all the time even before… You and Hyung were captured.”

The elder sighed, “If I tell you… it’s going to only make you upset and you’re going to be hateful, Taeyong. And you can be angry, you can be disgusted, but you can’t be hateful because it will make you do crazy things, I would know.”

“You killed dad.”

Baekhyun stiffened, looking at Taeyongs profile.

“I don’t really care about that, I pretend not to notice a lot, Hyung. But me and you are similar… we notice, and we don’t forget or forgive. I didn’t feel anything for him… he gave me toys sometimes, he gave us money, but.. I never knew him. But… I guess I want to know why.”

“Okay.” The elder nodded, licking his lips and leaning back against the fence covering the balcony, “Dad never liked me, remember? You even told me so before.”

“Hyung… I’m so-“

“It’s fine, honestly, I could give a shit less.” Baekhyun assured, “And I honestly don’t know how to tell you this, and I’ve been meaning to figure out a way but… you said yourself, me and you are similar and I like people to get to the point, so listen up because we’re not talking about this again.”

He paused, turning to make sure Taeyong was paying attention. “That man we’re at war with, he raped me Taeyong. You’re not stupid, you know what that means, and if you didn’t I’m sure you asked Yixing Hyung and he told you, right?”

Taeyong nodded slightly, face pale and he looked like he wanted to take back asking in the first place.

“Dad was no different. He hurt me Taeyong, and I always was scared he was going to hurt you… so, so I never told anyone, that’s why I killed him.”

Baekhyun stared at Taeyong for a few minutes, waiting for a reaction, but the teenager didn’t seem to give one. He just kind of looked away, staring at the walkers on the fence.

“You know what, you’re always right Hyung. You’re right.” The teenager suddenly commented, no emotion, standing to his feet.

Baekhyun frowned, copying the younger. “About what?”

“Being hateful… it might make me do crazy things. I would have killed him too.”

Baekhyun only stared, even as Taeyong collected his gun from the floor and walked back inside he just stared.

And he didn’t know what the words were supposed to mean, or if the reaction was good or bad.

He truthfully had no idea how to read Taeyong anymore.

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun shoved a box into the trunk of the car, a brown one labeled JISUNG.

“That’s it?” He heard Sunmi ask.

“Good to go, just go far enough to be hidden, got it?” Junmyeon ordered.

Baekhyun sighed, straightening out his shirt before turning to pull Taeyong into a hug, “You protect them, okay?”

Taeyong nodded before jerking away, “Got it, you should go get ready.”

Baekhyun frowned, chewing his lip, “Okay, I love you.”

“I love you.” The teenager whispered, opening the passenger door, “And you know I’m going to protect you.”

“I’m not asking you to, Taeyong.” He replied, a nervous gulp as Taeyong messed with his holster. “I’m asking you to be safe and to keep Sunmi and Jisung safe.”

“I will.” And Taeyong slammed the car door.

Luhan whistled, draping himself over Baekhyun's shoulder, “I’ve never seen him this mad before. What’d you tell him yesterday?”

“The truth.” Baekhyun whispered, “I guess I should have taken my own advice and just kept it a secret, huh?”

“I guess we’ll find out.”

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun gulped, he hated when they separated.

With a bunch of them, like himself, hidden in different parts of the prison, or within the treeline, he felt slightly calmed. But he was mostly anxious.

Chanyeol and Yifan were the closest ones, awaiting for the entrance of the group that was no doubt coming.

And most of them were hiding in the treeline. He was crouched down behind a tree trunk, a rifle in his hand, armor weighing him down much more than he liked, but it was needed and he knew it.

Pretty much as soon as noon hit, he heard it.

The sound of trucks racing full speed on the road only a half mile from the entrance to the gate, louder and louder.

And if begun.

Based on the timing, it was also right for Yifan to assume he had no plans of ever accepting a deal in the first place, because it was only barely noon, he never even went to check if Yifan had brought Baekhyun- not that it really mattered.

But it was extremely unhonorable of him. Yifan’s group wouldn’t ever make deals that didn’t follow through.

They were shooting now. The trucks parking, people standing in the back and shooting down the walkers that they- ironically- had let into the first fence anyways.

One of the shooters hit a far watchtower, the glass shattering. Baekhyun was glad it wasn’t one of the main ones.

Then, he saw the man in power. The Governor, looking around in anger, probably because he didn’t hear any screams or gunshots responding to theirs- he wanted a fight.

All that Baekhyun had to do now was wait, rely on Chanyeol and Yifan to set off the alarm, alerting them to their chance to shoot.

But it felt like forever, hiding behind a tree, just watching these people- these strangers pull the metal gate that closed off the door to cell block C from its hinges with a truck.

It was sickening to know these people were coming in to invade their property, their home.

The only reassurance as the last of them walked in was that he could move in now.

Baekhyun looked at Taehyung beside him who nodded, silently motioning to one of the side towers.

The elder gave Taehyung a thumbs up, moving as silently as he could towards the prison. They had time, it would be a bit with The Governor taking his sweet time to lead people through the prison, ready for blood.

But, lucky for him, Baekhyun and his family were just as ready- if not more- for his blood.

Taehyung grabbed his sleeve, pointing up at the watchtower, and down at a small cubby.

Baekhyun didn’t need to think twice before squeezing himself into the cubby, he knew Sehun liked to go to higher places, him and Kyungsoo were probably already up there.

The sound of flash grenades sounded and Baekhyun couldn't help his laugh.

People screamed, the alarms sounding and Baekhyun knew how horrible gunshots bounced off of those cement walls as he heard them ricochet.

Baekhyun felt a bit bad about shooting the people as they came out. Some shooting back, not that it matter because he was armored head to toe, some screaming and tripping over their own feet, others running straight into walkers mouths as they tried for the trucks.

And the man of the night was pathetic.

Baekhyun wanted the kill so badly, and he saw other shooting at him too, but The Governor was a smart man, and he used his own people like a shield, hiding.

At one point, Baekhyun narrowly missed, skimming the man’s temple. He saw the red drop and felt satisfied for a moment, but he swore The Governor looked tight at him, recognized him which should be considered impossible given Baekhyun's helmet was huge and the plastic covering his eyes was scratched and tinted slightly.

But he could feel he knew it was Baekhyun. And Baekhyun couldn't give two fucks, at least he had gotten to see some blood fall, it wasn’t a kill, but it still felt nice.

“We did it!” Sehun yelled at the top of a walkway.

Baekhyun beamed through his mask in disbelief as the trucks pulled out, tearing up their yard- but they had won so what did it matter.

“We did it!” Baekhyun laughed, setting his rifle on the ground and turning to hug Taehyung.

“Baby!”

Baekhyun laughed, the only warning he got was that exclamation before Kyungsoo was wrapping him in his arms. “We did it.”

“We did.” The younger laughed, cupping the elders face.

“Let me take this goddamn mask off so I can kiss the shit out of you.” Kyungsoo growled, already unbuckling the strap beneath Baekhyun's chin.

~~~~~~~

Baekhyun smiled as they pulled the last body out of the cell block, only a few had died inside, either taken out by Chanyeol, Yifan, or eachother- it didn’t really matter.

He walked through, pleasantly surprised it wasn’t as messy as he thought, it looked almost untouched, a few tables and broken glasses probably from the citizens fearful escape.

“Hyung!” Taeyong cried, running into the cell block with Jisung in his arms.

“Don’t put him down, there’s glass- actually let me just.” Yixing mumbled, snatching the baby out of Taeyong’s hold before gently patting the teenagers shoulder.

“Hyung, I'm coming to Woodbury.”

Baekhyun sighed.

“I did my job out there. Just like all of you. Took out one of the Governor's soldiers.”

Sunmi suddenly stepped up, “One of his soldiers? A kid running away? He stumbled across us.”

Baekhyun felt his head spinning.

“No, he drew on us.” Taeyong argued with a glare at the older woman. “It's what I was there for. I'm going with you.”

“That kid was scared. He was handing his gun over.” Sunmi said firmly, staring directly at Baekhyun.

“Taeyong said it was in defense.” Jongin called, “He said he drew.”

Taeyong nodded, crossing his arms.

Sunmi sighed, “I was there. He didn't have to shoot. He had every reason not to. I'm telling you he gunned that kid down.”

Baekhyun stared at Taeyong in disbelief, the teenager only looking up at Sunmi as if extremely offended. “Give me your gun.”

“What?” Taeyong gawked, looking at Baekhyun in disbelief, “I defended the prison! I defended you.”

“No, you killed an innocent person, give me your gun, now.” His brother said firmly, hand out and opened. “You’ll get it back when we think you can understand wrong from right, give it to me right now.”

The teenager looked near tears, mouth curled in anger as he unclipped the holster around his waist. “It's kill or be killed, Hyung.”

Baekhyun frowned, holding Taeyongs shoulder. “Look at me- you’re too cold. We don’t kill the living, not if they’re innocent. I love you, okay?”

Taeyong scoffed, pushing past him and into his cell.

“I did the right thing, right?” Baekhyun murmured to no one in particular, hand gripping the holster in his hand.

“Yeah.” Kyungsoo assured, throwing his arm around Baekhyun's shoulders and pressing a kiss to his temple, “We’re with you, Baek.”

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun was supposed to go with them to receive people, and to help collect whatever goods Woodsbury had, but he was sore.

It was his fault- mostly- for not choosing a lot of cover, and now he was somewhat regretting it.

Not fully, but his ribs fucking hurt.

He hadn’t even realized he had been shot, the armor doing it's job and protecting him so well he hadn’t even noticed, that or it was because he had been so focused and just didn’t notice.

“Baek, I love you to death, but I really want to strangle you.”

Baekhyun smiled cutely at the medic, hissing slightly before putting a pretty smile on his lips again, “Thank you, Hyung, love you, Hyung.”

Yixing snorted, shoving his head playfully, “Don't suck up to me, sweetie, focus on sucking up to your boyfriends when they get back.”

“I didn’t feel anything.” Baekhyun pouted, holding his arms up for Yixing to clip the gauze, “Swear, I didn’t feel anything. It just feels a little sore.”

“Well that’s what happens when you have a bunch of little circle bruises from being shot at.”

Baekhyun whined, flopping back onto the medics cot, “Be nice to me, Hyung. They’ve been gone for hours, I’m worried.”

Yixing only laughed, patting the youngers bare hipbone before laying down beside him.

“So, what are you going to do about Taeyong?” The medic questioned a few minutes later.

Baekhyun groaned, laying his palm over his bare waist, fingers touching the gauze, “I have no idea, he doesn't know what he did wrong. He’s never killed a person before. Jongin said he told him before they left that it was because they had so many chances to kill The Governor and they never took them, so he wanted to kill before something else happened. I have no idea what to say because I… understand his point of view, but it’s too narrow minded, right?”

“We need to keep in mind that Taeyong is also growing up in a world like this, Baek. He's going to have different ideas about things, for him- survival is first, and morals are second.”

“I don’t know, Hyung… I honestly don’t know. What if… what if he-“

The sound of the gate opening had the two sitting up, bright smiles as Baekhyun grabbed a shirt off the floor.

“Finally.” Yixing commented, pulling Baekhyun out by his wrist as he struggled to toss his shirt on.

The first thing they noticed was a school bus.

It was huge, and so many people were coming off of it, some looking afraid, others nervous, but Baekhyun couldn't help himself from gawking.

“Jimin?” He laughed in disbelief as the man climbed off the bus, “Do you remember me?” Baekhyun asked, an excited smile on his face.

Jimin looked a little different than he remembered. He was thinner, looked tired, but he still had the childlike aura about him. And he still held Yoongi's wrist in a death grip.

“Of course- I’d remember that face anywhere.” The man flirted, a wink at Baekhyun before he pulled the other into a hug.

Baekhyun laughed, waving over Jimin's shoulder at Yoongi.

“Don’t even come see us, thanks Baek.” Kyungsoo drawled, gently pulling Baekhyun out of Jimin's arms.

Baekhyun laughed, wrapping himself around Kyungsoo's waist.

Jimin looked at the two with a small smile, “You look different.” He said to Baekhyun before looking between the two of them.“You look good together.”

“I know, right?” Kyungsoo teased, gently steering Baekhyun away. “We have a few open spots in cell block C, only for family.” He threw over his shoulder before pulling Baekhyun along.

“So, anything?” Baekhyun asked, arm around Kyungsoo's waist as he pulled him towards a huge military vehicle.

“Governor went psycho. Shot up his own team for running away. We got lucky though, Jungkook was smart and hid under a dead body, I didn’t even see him, but apparently he had no idea he was attacking us when he was placed in the raid team, and he and Taehyung are soulmates.”

Baekhyun beamed, waiting for Kyungsoo to continue.

“Chaeyoung didn’t make it, but… we got Mark and Lucas, and a few people wanted to take their chances on the road. We have supplies- a lot, and we have people now.”

The younger nodded, lightly chewing his lip before smiling up at Jongin and Chanyeol who were passing supplies out of the back of a truck. “Hi!”

The two looked confused for a second before smiling down at Baekhyun.

“Hey, gorgeous, you want up?” Jongin purred, leaning over the side of the truck, offering his hands.

Baekhyun giggled, reaching up for him, using his grip to climb the back of the truck. “I saw Jimin and Yoongi!”

“Yeah?” Chanyeol smiled, a bead of sweat rolling down his temple as he passed a box down, “Wait until you see Jungkook, that kid grew like a weed, still shy as shit- I don’t know how he’ll deal with Taehyung.”

“I dealt with Nini so he’ll be fine!” Baekhyun chirped getting a playful whine from said man.

“Ah! You little shit.” Jongin whined, cupping the back of his head and playfully biting at his cheek, “You love it.”

“I do.” Baekhyun agreed, wrapping his arms around Jongin's neck for balance, “And I’m sucking up!”

“Oh, god, what did you do?” Kyungsoo said with false disappointment, accepting a box from Chanyeol.

“I may- or may not- have gotten a few bruises, Yixing Hyung covered them for me.”

Chanyeol huffed, pausing his task and turning to put his hand up the back of Baekhyun's shirt, feeling the gauze before lightly rubbing his spine, “We’re putting you in a fucking bubble, that’s final.”

Baekhyun only giggled and threw himself at him to see his handsome grin again.

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun nodded to what Jongin was saying even though he was focusing on writing in his notebook and truthfully wasn’t paying as much attention as he should.

“- and Sunmi said she was going to start holding story time in the library for the kids, Yifan asked Chanyeol if he wanted to be his second since Junmyeon said he wanted to-“

“Wait what was that?” Baekhyun frowned, setting his pen in his notebook and placing it on the ground.

Jongin smiled, reaching for his hand since he wasn’t distracted, “Junmyeon Hyung stepped down, he said he wanted to be more of a helper than a planner, said it wasn’t him.”

“No, about Yeol.”

“Oh, Chanyeol was offered the spot as second, it doesn’t really mean anything but… I think it gives him more of an influence around here.” Jongin shrugged.

“And he didn’t tell me?” The younger pouted, “I mean… I don’t care if he accepts but… he didn’t tell me.”

Jongin frowned, pulling Baekhyun to sit sideways on his lap, running his palm over the nape of his neck. “We have… a lot going on right now, it probably slipped his mind. Last time I saw him he said he hadn’t seen you in a bit, too busy building the animal pins and the food square. Luhan is very particular about building, love.”

Baekhyun stuck his lip out, pressing his forehead to Jongin's jaw and playing with his soulmates fingers, “I haven’t seen him… only for meals or when we sleep.”

“Oh, baby.” The elder cooed, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's temple, “Don’t be upset, it hurts Hyungs heart.”

The younger only pouted harder, pulling Jongin's hand under his chin.

Jongin sighed, running his fingertips over Baekhyun's Adam’s apple, “We’re getting animals, aren’t you happy? The pigs are just a few miles away, Sehun said he saw a horse too- a horse, baby.”

“I do want bacon.” Baekhyun admitted, still an upset edge to his tone as he pressed his lips to Jongin's knuckles.

“We’re getting lots of meat now, doll. Hyung gave us permission to hunt within five miles, we’re going to set snares and maybe we can get some bigger things during summer, it’s getting so hot again.”

“I like it when it gets hot.”

Jongin laughed, “Yeah? Why’s that, dollface?”

“Because.. I get to see my boyfriends shirtless.” Baekhyun whispered under his breath before turning to throw his arms around Jongin's neck, “My boyfriends are very attractive, did you know?”

“Oh my god.” Jongin uttered in shock, “You have boyfriends? Oh god, are you cheating on me, doll?”

Baekhyun threw his head back with a laugh, pulling away to nod with fake seriousness, “Yup, sorry Nini, but we can’t be together anymore.”

Jongin sniffed dramatically, making such a fake crying noise Baekhyun couldn't hold back his snort. “Give me a goodbye kiss, just one.”

“I guess.” Baekhyun sighed, a playful roll of his eyes before he was pressing his mouth to the elders.

Quickly Jongin was rolling him onto the mattress, and Baekhyun knew he wasn’t going out of their cell for a while.

~~~~~~~

The yard was really pulling together nicely.

The newer people, while most of them had zero experience on the road or with walkers, some of them did have very handy additions to the prison.

Like a man in cell block E who was a metal worker, using prison machinery, he was able to reinforce the entrance with the help of a woman from D who had engineering experience.

Now, the entrance that was once a rolling fence, was now a solid red metal, a metal chain pulley that opened and closed it. It had taken them close to two weeks to put it together, but it was extremely worth it.

“Hey.” Baekhyun said softly, walking up behind a familiar broad back.

Chanyeol wiped his face on the shirt in his hand, bare abdomen flexing beautifully, and if Baekhyun weren’t slightly upset with him he would probably have been touching them already. “Hi, beautiful. What are you doing?”

Baekhyun shrugged, leaning on the wooden pin being built for the pigs. “I came to see how things were going.”

“They're going good, sweetheart, you should go inside or at least put some sunscreen on, your pretty little face is going to get all burnt up.” Chanyeol said softly, pinching Baekhyun's cheek gently.

The younger sighed, turning his head to look up at the cemented area of the yard just outside of cell block D’s entrance, watching Sehun hammering on the roof of the structure that would soon be a food serving area.

There were just so many people now, and many more to come, it would be useful in the long run to ration like this rather than let people individually dig into their food supply.

It was a bit selfish of them, but given their groups trust issues, only members of cell block C-Baekhyun's block- were allowed into the pantry and armory unless otherwise stated, and only they had keys to every part of the prison.

New additions to Baekhyun's block were only members they had been with before, family reunited. Mark and Lucas had mainly been taken under by a woman named Luna and no one really had any issues with the two teenagers… but Baekhyun could see Taeyong didn't really relate to them anymore.

Taeyong still tried to hang around the adults even though they all tried to get him to go out and play with the other kids. But everyone understood, Taeyong has been through so much more, seen so much more than all of these children and teenagers- he couldn’t befriend or relate to them.

“Trying to send me away so soon?” Baekhyun wondered softly.

Chanyeol frowned at the tone, setting down his sweat covered shirt and reaching for a metal water bottle at his feet, “Of course not, my love. Hyung just doesn’t want you to get a sunburn.”

“I haven’t seen you in days, Yeol.” Baekhyun replied, leaning his elbow onto the wooden post and pressing his palm to his cheek.

“I saw you for breakfast just a few hours ago.” The elder corrected softly, “What's wrong, moon?”

“You saw me for thirty minutes and left, Chanyeol. You haven’t kissed me in over a week, and you’re too busy to even stop working to acknowledge me.” Baekhyun replied, motioning to the nails resting in the man’s hand as he was speaking to him.

Chanyeol furrowed his brows, “I’m helping, Baek, I’m really putting this place together- me and Yifan Hyung- I’m sorry you feel this way, but I’m doing this to protect you, to make this better for you.”

Baekhyun clenched his fist, crossing his arms, “You didn’t even tell me you're apparently second in command now, can’t you take a break for a minute? It’s been weeks and you’re still working, take a break and see me- see anyone else but Yifan!”

“I’ll take a break when I’m finished, Baekhyun.” Chanyeol said firmly, “I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, I was basically second anyways.”

The younger scoffed and knew he was getting worked up for basically no reason, but he wasn’t used to not getting attention from Chanyeol, he wasn’t lying when he said Chanyeol hadn’t really paid attention to him in weeks- not since all of these plans suddenly came about.

“Fine, don't come see me then! Because it’s not like I came out here because I missed you, and I wanted you to rest!”

His volume was extremely loud, he knew that, but he had never really fought with them often- but every time he did it always happened to be with Chanyeol, because the eldest was always too protective, too giving, and apparently it was to the point where Baekhyun was going to explode because him and Chanyeol always got along- but when they butt heads it always felt like it was such a big deal.

Maybe because he loved the elder way too much, and Chanyeol loved him way too much, they couldn’t agree because they both wanted what was best for the other.

“Baekhyun.” Chanyeol sighed, dropping the tools in his hand to cup Baekhyun's jaw, “I miss you, I do, and I love you, but you need to calm down, I’m busy okay? And there’s so much to do, in the meantime go spend time with the others- go see Kyungsoo or Jongin-“

“I see them all the time, I wanted to see you!” Baekhyun growled, turning his head out of Chanyeol's palm, “Whatever, I guess I don’t want to see you anyways.” He added, wrapping his arms around his waist and turning to stomp towards the cell block.

On top of the metal roof being built Sehun raised a brow, “What the hell? Baekhyun and Hyungs fight?”

Luhan whistled, tossing a hammer up for him, “Well I’ll be damned, never thought I’d see the day they finally got annoyed with the other.”

“Damn, did you guys just see that!” Zitao called, carrying a box of nails and screws to Minseok, “Baekhyun is going to beat the shit out of Yeol, holy shit.”

“For real?” Minseok wondered, “Shit, I needa tell Yixing about this, what’d he say?”

~~~~~~~~

Jisung bounced across the communal area of cell block C, running after the toy car Taeyong was kicking around for him.

“Hyung, I heard you and Yeol Hyung got in a fight.” Taeyong commented, folding a pile of laundry.

Baekhyun huffed, shutting his book, “We’re not fighting.”

“Heard you were.”

“Tae.” The elder sighed, looking up at Kyungsoo walking in from watch, immediately smiling at Baekhyun. “We’re not, okay? Drop it.”

Taeyong shrugged as if uninterested, leaning down to push Jisung’s toy out from under the bench, “Noona said she had some comics for me, I’ll see you later.”

“Be good.” Kyungsoo teased, ruffling his hair as he walked past Taeyong.

“Yeah, yeah, Jisung had candy today, so good luck.” Taeyong cackled, immediately dashing towards the door.

Baekhyun snorted, reaching up to cup Kyungsoo's cheek to press a kiss to his mouth. “That kid.”

“What a brat.” Kyungsoo added, kissing his lips harder before pulling away, intertwining their fingers and scooting to press his thigh to Baekhyun's.

“Jisung, don't touch, no.” Baekhyun scolded the baby across the room, “You're going to get hurt, don’t touch.” He said louder, making Jisung pull his hand away from nearing the fan as if really hurt.

“Hyung, ow!” He cried, eyes watering.

Baekhyun rolled his eyes, “Come here, Hyung will kiss it better.”

Jisung faked a watery pout, climbing up onto the bench, “Ow!”

Baekhyun laughed, pressing a kiss to his finger that wasn't even red, “All better, go play.”

“Soo Hyung, kiss!” Jisung said firmly, holding his whole palm up and towards the older.

Kyungsoo beamed, grabbing the baby’s palm and blowing a raspberry in it until Jisung giggled. “There, all done!”

Jisung giggled, climbing himself out of Baekhyun's lap and running around looking for his toy car.

Kyungsoo hummed, pressing his chin to Baekhyun's shoulder, “Should I say it, or are you going to?”

“Say what?” Baekhyun wondered, smiling at the kiss to his ear.

“Everyone is saying you and Yeol got in a fight, about what?”

The younger sighed, turning and throwing his legs over Kyungsoo's thighs, “I just wanted to see him, and he didn’t want to see me.”

“I’m sure that’s not true at all, love. Chanyeol loves you so much, he's probably just stressed out. He feels responsible, you know, since he accepted the role.”

“He didn’t even tell me, Jongin told me this morning.” Baekhyun revealed.

Kyungsoo laughed, pressing a kiss to a love bite below Baekhyun's ear, “I can see that, Jongin always goes for the same spot, hm?”

Baekhyun whined at the teasing, ears reddening as he lightly smacked Kyungsoo's chest, “Hyung, I’m serious!”

“I know, babe, I know. Seriously, you guys are fine, Chanyeol is just stressed out and it’s stressing you out too. He does want to see you, I’m sure.”

“It doesn’t feel like it.” Baekhyun pouted.

~~~~~~~~

It had always been an issue, for months it had been, but the combination of him being stressed out after fighting with Chanyeol was probably adding to it.

His medicine had side effects, they knew that, and usually Yixing took the time to give him a check up, and everytime was usually okay.

Sometimes his blood pressure would be a little high, and his weight was always low, but it wasn’t things Baekhyun usually had to worry about.

But recently he felt like it was out of control. He was getting light headed, and he was way more shaky than normal.

Yixing told him antidepressants weren’t made for him to be on forever, but Baekhyun really didn’t want to be off of them. Even a few months ago when they upped his dose to a whole pill, he never thought they did anything, but the thought of not taking them anymore just gave him so much anxiety.

But he knew it was an action he needed to consider doing, especially at times like now.

All he had been doing was moving kitchen supplies out to the serving area that was finished beautifully.

All it took was one second, his hand shaking uncontrollably that the glass just… slipped. It echoed off of the cement square, off of the walls outside the prison and he was embarrassed as shit.

Immediately dropping to the ground to collect the pieces, ears red as he heard people's conversations stop all around because he accidentally dropped a glass.

“Baek, did you hurt yourself?” A hand pressed to his spine, rubbing soothingly, “Hyung, you okay? Did you cut yourself?”

“I’m okay, Jungkook, thank you though… um, can you go get Yixing for me?” Baekhyun asked under his breath, using the edge of the counter to stand up, setting the broken glass down for now. “Just.. tell him I want a check up, please.”

“Okay... um, Kyungsoo Hyung and Chanyeol Hyung are coming, just so you know.” The younger mumbled, taking off towards the cell blocks.

Baekhyun sighed, rubbing his temple. Everyone the past few days was acting like he hated Chanyeol or something, he’d been warned multiple times ‘Chanyeol is coming.’

He didn’t hate Chanyeol, and he honestly had no idea why he was so mad, but he was sad Chanyeol brushed off his feeling like that.

It was an issue they all knew, that Chanyeol was badly tempered and when he saw things a certain way he had a hard time seeing it any other ways, and Baekhyun was the same so they clashed- never like this though.

“Babe, you okay?” Kyungsoo asked, concerned, his skin slightly tanned from being in the sun as he pulled a folding chair over to Baekhyun.

“I'm just… a little shaky.” Baekhyun whispered, taking a seat and grabbing Kyungsoo's hand immediately.

Chanyeol stood behind the chair, resting his hands on the metal behind Baekhyun's neck, “You should rest.”

“You should rest.” The younger shot back, a growl in his tone, he didn’t mean to sound so rude, but he was so annoyed with Chanyeol.

“Baekhyun.” Chanyeol sighed, “I’m responsible for these people too.”

“You’re responsible for me.” Baekhyun huffed, folding his arms and sighing in relief when Yixing came out with a worried expression and his medical bag.

The elder frowned, leaning down to press his forehead down on the crown of Baekhyun's hair, “Can we not do this right now? I just want to make sure you’re okay.”

Baekhyun didn’t have a response, there was nothing he could say to change Chanyeol's mind anyways, ever, and that was an issue in itself.

“Sweetie, are you okay? Jungkook came running in like someone was shot or something.” Yixing fussed, laying his bag on the table and immediately pulling instruments out.

“My hands… they were shaking really bad and I dropped a glass, and I’ve been pretty light headed lately.” Baekhyun mumbled, scratching his arm, “I just wanted you to check.”

Yixing frowned immediately, pulling a blood pressure cuff out and a stethoscope, “More than usual? Just recently?”

Baekhyun shrugged a little as Kyungsoo rolled up his sleeve, worry written all over his soulmates face, “Maybe? I think so.”

Baekhyun felt a sigh against his hair from Chanyeol and ignored it, also ignoring the few people looking at them concerned.

“Um…” The medic mumbled, squeezing the pump on the blood pressure monitor, looking slightly confused, “Your blood pressure is low… which is odd considering that it’s usually slightly high…. it can explain your fatigue and lightheadedness, deep breath, sweetheart.”

Kyungsoo sighed as he watched Baekhyun get a stethoscope pressed to his chest, sharing a concerned look with Chanyeol as he squeezed Baekhyun's wrist. “You should go get Jongin.” He suggested.

Chanyeol frowned. “I’m not leaving, you do it.”

Kyungsoo resisted the urge to roll his eyes, looking around the courtyard, a lot of people were staring, but he didn’t know many of them yet. “Hey!” He called, “Hey, Mark, can you go get Jongin? He’s on watch at the south tower.”

The teenager looked slightly confused at being called out before nodding, grabbing his soccer ball and his brother by the sleeve and running off.

“Baek.” Yixing mumbled, fingers resting on Baekhyun's pulse so discreetly they weren’t sure if he was checking it or if he was just comforting him. “Are you having chest pains? Anything like that?”

Baekhyun frowned, moving his arm to rub his temple, “I don’t know, not really.”

“That’s good.” Chanyeol said immediately, staring at Yixing over Baekhyun's hair, “That’s good, right? That means he’s okay.”

“He’s not okay, Chanyeol.” The medic argued softly, “His blood pressure is pretty low, he needs to gain weight and I’m wondering if it’s his medicine. Long term effects are different for everyone, but it could be the reason he hasn’t been able to gain any weight. That could help all of this… his lightheadedness, shakiness, confusion… it could all be because of his low body fat.”

Baekhyun felt his eyes watering as he realized what Yixing was suggesting, leaning forward with his head in his palms and elbows on his knees. “Hyung, I can't… maybe it’s just for a little- you said it yourself that I usually have higher blood pressure.”

“We’re not taking that risk, Baekhyun, you don’t need them.” Kyungsoo said firmly, pressing his hand to the nape of Baekhyun's neck, rubbing his thumb over his soft skin.

“Sweetie.” Yixing sighed as he put his tools away, “If your blood pressure stays low you could have so many problems, it’s really not worth it… you're too thin and it’s affecting you too much, it has to be your medicine, you don’t have an appetite.”

“Baby, it’s nearing eighty five degrees out and you’re still wearing a sweater and jeans, it’s because you don’t have enough fat, love.” Chanyeol said softly, touching his shoulder blade.

Baekhyun hissed, tears falling down his face as he jerked out of his seat, “It’s because I don’t want people looking at me- you know that!”

“Shh… babe, calm down.” Kyungsoo cooed softly, “We’re just talking, there’s no need to cry.”

Baekhyun gulped, pressing his palms to his eyes and trying to stop the tears when arms wrapped around his waist, the man slightly out of breath like he ran. “Why is he crying? Baby, why are you crying love? What happened?”

“Jongin… he’s just a little sensitive right now.” Yixing said quietly, “We told him some things he doesn’t want to hear, but his health is at risk.”

“Hyung…” Baekhyun sniffed, turning to bury his face into Jongin's neck because Jongin was always on his side, all the time. “Shh, don’t cry, sweetheart.” Jongin cooed, immediately cupping the back of his head with blazing eyes as he looked at the three, eyes demanding an explanation.

“His medicine is making him sick, Jongin.” Chanyeol sighed, “His blood pressure is low, you know he’s tired all the time and worn out easily, Hyung thinks it’s because he can’t gain weight anymore from the medicine, and he needs to. Baekhyun doesn’t want to stop taking them.”

“You don’t know that.” Jongin called firmly, “Maybe- maybe it’s a vitamin thing, maybe his medicine is fine- if he says he needs it then he does.”

“Jongin.” Kyungsoo cut in firmly, patting Yixings arm and silently telling him it was okay to leave with the growing aggressiveness. “All of us know that’s not it.”

“Hyun-Hyung I’ll have nightmares, I need them.” Baekhyun cried, soft whimpering into Jongin's neck.

Jongin growled, “He says he needs them, he’s fine.”

“It doesn’t matter what you say, Jongin.” Chanyeol said deeply, “He’s not taking them anymore, Yixing is the doctor here, not any of us. Baekhyun is strong, he doesn’t need them anymore.”

“Since when do you get to make all the decisions?” Jongin scoffed, taking a step back holding Baekhyun's head to his neck, “You haven’t seen him in weeks and suddenly you’re all about making sure he’s okay? What about his mental health, huh? You want him to have panic attacks and flinch at shadows? You don’t get to make those choices for him.”

“Hey, that’s a separate issue between him and Baekhyun, you can’t bring that up right now.” Kyungsoo scolded with a disappointed look.

“Stop babying him for one second.” The eldest demanded firmly, “Baekhyun is an adult, he can speak for himself, Jongin. You know we’re right, but you always only side with him because you hate seeing him cry- and we do too- but this is serious, okay? You need to stop babying him and let him talk.”

“Oh, fuck you.” Jongin growled, hands picking up Baekhyun's legs to wrap them around his hips when he felt the smaller let out a rather scared sounding cry. “How can he defend himself when you’re too far in your own ego to consider anyone else’s point of views?”

“Don’t curse at me.” Chanyeol snarled, “You can be mad all you want but those meds are gone, and there’s nothing you can say because his health is more important right now, I’m not going to sit here and just let him wither away.” And with that, the eldest spun on his heel, steaming all the way to their cell, his intentions obvious.

Kyungsoo rubbed his temple, “Baek.” He whispered softly, reaching out to touch Baekhyun's cheek, leaning over Jongin's shoulder to look down at him. “You understand we’re doing this because we care about you, right?”

Baekhyun only turned his head away, wrapping his arms tighter around Jongin's neck.

Chapter Text

 

 

To say Baekhyun was pissed the next day was an understatement. All of his medicine was gone when he went to take his dose and he had pretty much had a mental breakdown.

Chanyeol and Kyungsoo weren’t understanding, he needed them. His nightmares were going to come back soon and he knew it, he was going to start getting scared easily, afraid of his own shadow as Jongin had put it yesterday night.

God, he was absolutely pissed.

They had no right to make that decision for him, and Chanyeol had already been on his shitlist for the past week, now Kyungsoo has just made him so upset.

Baekhyun knew he wasn’t obligated to defend him, not like how Jongin always did, but he still expected Kyungsoo to at least understand his point of view because that was something he couldn’t count on Chanyeol to do.

But he didn’t, and that alone just hurt his feelings.

Which was why he was at the outer fence, stabbing walkers through the fence because for some reason, ever since they had gotten new arrivals, they had been getting waves of walkers.

It was always few and far in between when they messed with the outer fence before all these Woodsbury people came, but they had mainly been focusing on a certain area, and it was so odd.

“Hey, beautiful.”

Baekhyun huffed, groaning as he pulled his metal rod out of a walkers head, “I don’t think Yixing Hyung would appreciate hearing that.”

Yifan snorted, walking over to help stab through the fence, “I think I’d only be in trouble if one of your boys heard, Xing is very vocal about his love for you, it’s almost concerning.”

The younger laughed under his breath, “Well, you don’t need to worry about all of them, only Jongin would come.”

“Yeah… I heard about that. I wanted to talk to you- I have been meaning to actually.” The leader sighed, dropping his fire poker and motioning for Baekhyun to follow him.

“Hyung… I really don’t want to hear it right now.” Baekhyun sighed, leaning the rod against the fence and crossing his arms as he walked beside the leader.

“Yeah, well, I’m never the best with timing or words. You know that.”

Baekhyun snickered, a small smile on his face as he nodded for him to get on with it.

“Look… I didn’t know it was that big of a deal asking Chanyeol to take Junmyeons place, if I did I would have asked you first. He’s been really busy, you know how he is… once he starts something he needs to finish. So… I guess what I’m saying is you shouldn’t be mad at him, I asked him to take some responsibility for these people, I’m the one that you should be upset with.”

“It's not… your fault, Hyung. It’s something me and him always fought over… he gets too involved and… doesn’t realize how it affects other people. It’s not your fault that we both butt heads, I’m not mad at you.” Baekhyun said softly, tucking his hands into his zip up pockets.

Yifan sighed, throwing his arm around the smallers shoulders, “I know. I heard he didn’t respond all that well… he told me he didn’t react very well, but… Chanyeol likes to be right, and you do too. You guys are more alike than you think.”

“Yeah, well, Chanyeol doesn’t know how to respond when you point out things he doesn’t like, he gets defensive, I cry. I guess that’s one difference.”

“Yeah…” The leader cleared his throat slightly, “He cares about you though, and he loves you… I’m not telling you what to do and I’m not defending his… recent actions, and you guys are soulmates for a reason… but.. you know, sometimes even we need breaks from each other.”

“You… from Xing Hyung?” Baekhyun laughed, “He's like an angel… I’ve never even seen him without a smile on his face.”

Yifan chuckled, his hand dangling on Baekhyun's shoulder, “Believe it or not, but me and Xing used to fight so much, people used to think we were the worst fated soulmates ever because we broke up and got back together so many times… but, it overall made us stronger… we’re better together now because of that I like to think. It helped us understand each other so much more.”

“It’s not my… not my business, but doesn’t it… hurt? Like… how can you stand to see him when you weren’t together? I don’t know if- I know you’re not suggesting we take a break- but I don’t know if I could handle it.”

“Of course it does.” Yifan admitted, “Back then we were young too… teens and we dated other people… it- it wasn’t fun at all, and I’m not saying Chanyeol would… especially because I know he’s like completely obsessed with you, but yo-maybe you should give it some thought, maybe just a few days to let each other think about things. It’s none of my business and I’m definitely not some sort of therapist, but… in my experience.. it’s really helpful to get some air.”

Baekhyun hummed, chewing his lip as he watched Luhan set up breakfast outside.

“Like.. this one time Yixing totally broke up with me because I was late to pick him up from class.” Yifan blurted with a laugh.

Baekhyun snorted aloud, covering his mouth to hold in his laughter. “No way!”

“No, really! I was ten minutes late and he lost his mind!” The leader smiled at Baekhyun's laughter, “Seriously! I think he dumped me more times in high school than I ever showed up for class!”

~~~~~~~

Baekhyun had been thinking over Yifan’s words all day. He was truthfully considering it, maybe it would do the two some good.

Especially because he was so mad at Chanyeol right now. Right at this moment he was completely livid because his stomach was cramping so badly as it had been more than 24 hours since he had taken his medicine and Yixing said he was probably starting withdrawal.

And this shit hurt.

He wondered if this was what he heard Sunmi screaming about to Sehun the other day when the younger man went to bother the shit out of her as usual and had gotten absolutely torn into.

It was funny then, but now Baekhyun really felt for her even though he was sure this wasn’t the same feeling- because Sunmi seemed way more irritated than he was.

“Hyung, can I go outside the fence?”

Baekhyun sighed, one hand on his stomach as he leaned onto the side table he had moved in front of him, “What for Tae?”

“The kids are stupid and threw the ball over both of the fences. That one little girl in cell block D did it.”

“You’re not getting your weapons back, go ask Taehyung to go get it for them.” Baekhyun replied, pressing his cheek to his palm.

Taeyong huffed, crossing his arms, “Hyung, when am I ever getting them back?”

“When you can behave.” The elder said immediately, looking out the cell door with a sigh.

“Hyungs would have given it back by now.”

Baekhyun found himself boiling, “Well too bad, Taeyong. They're not in charge of you, I am. You listen to what I say, now go play- you don’t have permission to go outside the fence, so don’t ask again.”

Taeyong gave the dirtiest of looks as he stomped out of his brothers cell, almost running right into Chanyeol had the elder not moved.

“What was that all about?” Chanyeol questioned, walking straight to the bookshelf and messing with something out of Baekhyun's sight.

Baekhyun rolled his eyes, placing his forehead on the wood in front of him. “Wants his gun back.”

“Huh… maybe we should talk about it, it’s been over a month, he seems better.”

“Oh yeah, because his fit definitely shows that he’s better. I don’t have patience for this right now, Chanyeol. I’m going through withdrawal… apparently.” Baekhyun spat, moving his back against the wall and pulling his knees to his chest.

Chanyeol glanced at him at his tone, turning to shut their cell door. “Baekhyun, I know you’re upset with me right now, but I’m not apologizing for caring about you, okay?”

“Okay, but you can’t apologize for not coming to see me for days Chanyeol? What about basically telling me you didn’t have time to see me?”

“I didn’t say that.” Chanyeol said immediately, “Don’t do that shit where you make me feel bad for you, I didn’t say that at all.”

Baekhyun frowned, “That's how I took it.”

“Well, then that’s not my fault you misinterpreted it, Baekhyun. I had been working for days, and suddenly you noticed, so don’t act like I’m at fault when you didn’t even notice- too busy with Kyungsoo and Jongin, right?” The elder prompted with a deep tone, taking a seat in the chair across from the bed, crossing his legs.

Baekhyun felt like he was being scolded, and he hated it. “What? You’re jealous? Since when does it matter if I’m with Kyungsoo and Jongin? They're my soulmates and your best friends, you pushed me off to them because you were so busy even when I wanted to see you!”

“Maybe I could tell you didn’t want to be with me!” Chanyeol yelled, “Did you ever consider that I can tell when you want them over me? There’s one of you and three of us, you can’t spare attention to us equally!”

Baekhyun's eyes watered as he stood up, crossing his arms only a few feet away from Chanyeol. “That’s a separate thing we can discuss, you’re just pulling up random stuff now, because you don’t know what to say! At least I can apologize, Chanyeol! I’m sorry for wanting your attention, and I’m sorry for getting in your way when you were busy!”

“What? So when I mention that I’m jealous it’s not something I can say right now, huh?” Chanyeol growled, the office chair hitting the wall behind him as he stood up, “Tell me, Baekhyun, you don’t give a fuck about me unless I’m right there ready to give you attention, because you need it so much!”

The youngers nostrils flared as he stepped back, an inkling of fear settling in his stomach because he had never seen Chanyeol so mad at him before. “Chan-“

“Because you can’t stand not getting reassured every two seconds! You need my attention, but you’re not willing to give any of yours!”

“Ch-Chan-“

“You can’t be mad at me for not giving you attention for once, Baekhyun! God, I shouldn’t have to reassure you so damn much! It’s exhausting, you know!”

Baekhyun was shaking as Chanyeol grabbed his chin, it wasn’t a harsh grip, but Baekhyun couldn't decipher anything more than that he was afraid.

“You’re so much work to be with, baby. And I love you, okay? But it’s so hard, it’s so hard. It’s fucking exhausting sometimes, Baekhyun!”

“You’re scaring me!” Baekhyun wailed, his hands pulling Chanyeol's hand from his face and immediately, dropping himself to the floor, “Stop! Stop! I don’t- y-you’re scaring me!”

Chanyeol was blinded. He was stressed, and he was tired. “See? Look at yourself Baekhyun. I’m not babying you anymore, you wanted to fight and you wanted to talk, so talk, don’t just sit here and cry!”

“I want a break!” Baekhyun pulled a blanket to his lap, pushing himself into a corner, his face red and tears soaking the collar of his shirt, “I-I don’t want to- I want a break Cha-Chanyeol… you’re scaring me.”

The elder felt his heart dropped as he shook his head, “No! No, that’s not how this works, we’re soulmates- we-we don’t get breaks, Baekhyun. We’re going to sit here and fight this out.”

Baekhyun sobbed, “Y-you said you’d never hurt me, I-I want a break.”

“I’m not hurting you, Baekhyun.” Chanyeol whispered, eyeing him in disbelief, “I’m telling you the truth, I’m not hurting you, baby.”

Baekhyun wheezed slightly, pulling at his collar as his breath came out in pants, immediately putting his head between his knees, “P-pan-panic-“

“Fuck, Baek..” Chanyeol cried, reaching out to touch his back, “Calm down, baby.”

“Don’t- don't touch me!” The younger yelled, shoving his hand away, “Get out!”

“No, no, calm down-“

“We’re not together!” Baekhyun's scream probably echoed down the hall, but his lungs were burning and if he didn’t yell he probably wouldn’t have enough air to get his point across. “I want- don’t want you- get out!”

“Baek-“

“He said get out, goddamn it, move Chanyeol.” Jongin yelled, practically shoving Chanyeol to the ground as he jumped to the bed, “What the fuck, what did you do?”

“Breathe, Baekhyun, you’re okay, baby. You’re okay, just breathe, count to ten.” Jongin mumbled, his eyes not leaving Chanyeol as he pulled Baekhyun into his lap. “I’m so proud of you. I know- I know it hurts, it will end soon.”

Jongin only looked away to pull the blanket out from Baekhyun's face so he would get more air, brushing the hair out of his face as he listened to the painful wheezing, “You’re not in danger, baby, you might feel scared, but you’re not in danger.” He cooed, “Tell me what you need, do you want medicine? Come on, baby, it’s almost done.”

Baekhyun hissed, holding his sides and pressing his forehead to Jongin's collarbone, “S-stay- stay.”

“Shh, I’m not going anywhere.” Jongin said immediately, “You just breathe, just breathe, doll.”

Baekhyun tired himself out eventually, fatigued and exhausted, passing out onto Jongin's arms within minutes of Jongin and Chanyeol staring at each other, one a glare and the other watery.

“The fuck did you do- Taeyong came and said Baekhyun was screaming.” Jongin hissed, laying Baekhyun down on his side.

Chanyeol gulped, “I was- he wanted a fight, Jongin, I told him the truth.”

“And what is ‘the truth’? God, he hasn’t had a panic attack in months, Chanyeol. What the fuck did you do?”

“I told him… that it was hard to be with him, and it is, Jongin. You know that, and- I-I love him to death, you know that too, but you know I get mad, and you know Baekhyun is sensitive, okay? St-stop looking at me like I’m a stranger, you think the same things.”

“I’d never scare him.” Jongin shot back with a disappointed glare, “You can’t hang things he can’t fix over his head, what’d you do? Yell at him? Scream at him? He’s practically half your size, Chanyeol. You probably scared the shit out of him, did you consider that?”

Chanyeol gulped, standing up and grabbing a duffle bag from on top of the bookshelf, “I was mad, Jongin. Of course I didn’t consider that. He-he said he wanted a break, and I was blinded, okay? I- I don’t know what to do.”

Jongin furrowed his brows in disbelief, “He didn’t.”

“He did, he doesn’t want to be with me, and- and I can understand… now. But, fuck… I real-really scared him, huh?” Chanyeol's voice tapered into a whimper at the end, almost like he couldn’t believe himself as he walked to the dresser and threw clothes in. “Will- can you just tell him that I’m sorry when he gets up- god, I-I’m going to- uh- move to the empty cell by Taeyongs… fuc-“

“Do-Don’t cry, Hyung… I- me and Kyungsoo will talk to him for you, okay? I’m sure… I’m sure it’s because he’s getting off the medicine, it probably wasn’t that bad, right?”

“No-No, it was bad. Jongin… I-I really fucked up.” The elder cried into his sleeve, “I was so rude to him… I forge-t, you know? That… that Baek doesn’t like yelling, but I get so angry. I-I told him he was exhausting and I- I mean… I don’t mind working to be-be with him, I just- I wanted to hurt his feelings I guess, I don’t know what I was thinking- I just- I wanted a reaction.”

Jongin sighed, heart hurting for his best friend, but he didn’t know if he should feel bad, because he didn’t exactly know what happened. “We’re soulmates, we’ll help you work things out… stop crying, Hyung. Stop, you can’t sit here crying when… when you need to be figuring out how to get him back, okay? I’m sure you said a lot of things you didn’t mean- we all do that when we’re mad, but… you can’t be doing this to him, Baekhyun doesn’t deserve it, Chanyeol. And you don’t deserve to feel guilty but… but maybe you need to work on your anger before you talk to him.”

“The problem is…” Chanyeol sniffed and wiped his nose on his sleeve as he threw his duffle over his shoulder, “... he’s not going to want to talk to me, and I… I can’t blame him.”

~~~~~~~

Baekhyun's cramps were minimal the next day, probably because he had slept a good fifteen hours or so. But his mouth was so dry.

He was lucky they had just added a filtration system and now had water pumping in from a creak directly outside the fence. It was still dirty, they still had to boil it, but now they usually boiled and contained it, no more runs for water anymore.

For some reason the only decent water was that for the showers, but there was talk about maybe getting some sort of filter for the shower heads too, ever since a survivor had turned on a faucet and the water was murky. It was about time they had those filters changed apparently, Baekhyun's group probably used up all of the clean water with their year being at the prison already.

“Jisung, get your little butt back here, now.” Baekhyun ordered, reaching out to grab the baby’s shirt and pull him back to his side.

“Ball!” Jisung cried, pointing at the kids playing in the middle of the field.

Baekhyun sighed, reaching down to pick him up, “I know, Hyung will play with you, okay? You don’t want to play with Hyung anymore?” He faked a sad face.

The baby gasped, “Hyung pun! I play!”

“Oh, thank you.” Baekhyun laughed quietly, pressing a kiss to Jisungs cheek, “Let's play eat all of Luhans snacks, huh? Go get him.”

Jisung giggled, legs getting ready as Baekhyun set him down and pointed him to Luhan eating a bag of chips seated across from a woman Baekhyun had no idea her name. “Go, go!”

Baekhyun made sure he saw Jisung climb into Luhans chair before spinning around and walking the fence.

The weather was so nice recently, but with nice weather always made the walkers scent so much worse than that during winter time.

Or, maybe, Baekhyun could smell it because he was already slightly nauseous and he really, really wanted his medicine right about now.

He walked up to Kyungsoo's side, reaching for one of the tools on the fence to help him trim the garden.

“Good morning.” Baekhyun mumbled. He hadn’t seen Kyungsoo last night, probably dead asleep, but Jongin was always quick to tell him what was going on.

“Hey, I wanted to talk to you.”

Baekhyun sighed, sitting himself in the dirt as he trimmed the plant of peas. “Oh god, why must you start like that?”

Kyungsoo laughed, pressing his knee into the youngers, “That’s reassuring… I was… I wanted to make sure that… you know- you weren’t going to.. break up with me too. That sounds so selfish, you- you know what I mean”

“Why do you think that?” The younger sighed and turned to look at him. He had purposely been avoiding the topic all morning, but he should have known people would be asking.

“I- you know- I didn’t disagree when Chanyeol took away your me-“

“That’s not why we’re not together right now, Kyungsoo.” Baekhyun whispered, “You know Chanyeol and I… I we don’t… we’re not on the same page sometimes.” He paused to set his shears on the dirt before sitting back on his palms, “So.. so- you know… you don’t need to worry.”

Kyungsoo frowned, looking genuinely confused. “So… why did you? I haven’t asked Chanyeol and… Jongin doesn’t like to detail things, you know how he is… so, why- fuck, I’m not telling you to do anything because… If that’s what you want then that’s your choice, but… I can’t imagine you doing that to me. So… so I know it must have been for a good reason.”

Baekhyun chewed his lip, nodding slightly, “I mean, I’d like to think… It was for a good reason. But, I don’t know, I love him so much… but he-he.. I looked at him and I was- I was scared, Kyungsoo. And you know- I don’t take that lightly. I really, really thought he was going to hit me or something and… I don’t know, I just can’t do it anymore.. pretending that we don’t have issues. And I know most of them are because of.. my trauma, but I don’t know if I can work it out with him right now.”

“Chanyeol would never hurt you.” Kyungsoo said immediately, “Baek, he’d never hit you, ever. It sounds like I’m defending him, and I’m not- if you were scared then I know you must have been absolutely terrified, but Chanyeol would never hit you no matter how hard you pushed him.”

“You don’t know that, Hyung.” Baekhyun said softly, “He was saying… such rude things to me and I- I guess I said rude things to him, but… I know I’m hard to be with, okay? But I don’t… I don’t want to be screamed at, and Chanyeol… he looked so mad, and.. and he touched my face and it scared the shit out of me.”

Kyungsoo frowned, reaching out to pull Baekhyun's head under his chin, “He gets worked up, I know, and I know you don’t like aggression, but… but I don’t know… just give it a bit, okay? Either way, you guys are going to see each other so I mean, just be civil, I’ll tell the same to him, but what I heard from Jongin was that Chanyeol felt like shit. I mean, I can’t even imagine, I’d probably lose my mind if you broke up with me too, so just think about it… maybe talk to him.”

“Well, I’m not- I’m not going to have a panic attack again or anything if that’s what you’re worried about. But I’m not… ignoring him or anything, I love him, it’s pretty hard to ignore someone you’re in love with.”

~~~~~~~~

And hard it was.

Baekhyun found it hard to ignore him, it seemed like he was everywhere he went, and maybe Chanyeol was purposely doing so, because the next two days that’s all Baekhyun noticed, and it was so irritating.

He already spent his nights crying because he missed him, he didn’t want to constantly be seeing him. It wasn’t like he was trying to move on or anything- that thought was ridiculous, it was impossible. But… he wished he had that sort of composure.

Because Chanyeol always made his chest burn, always sent goosebumps onto his skin because he was so handsome, and funny, and Baekhyun missed him even when he had two other boyfriends he should be focusing his time on.

At least now, he mainly focused on helping out, and making friends with the Woodsbury survivors.

Like now, he was walking alongside a man he had thought seemed pretty decent, he was nice, a builder, and he was funny. Baekhyun enjoyed his company.

“And then, when we were setting up the fortifications on the north side that little blonde girl kept getting in our way.”

“Huh?” Baekhyun mused, “Lizzie? The one that always has flowers?”

Jiyong nodded, reaching down and plucking flowers from the grass. “Yeah, she's an odd one, isn’t she?”

“Yeah.” Baekhyun frowned, “Taeyong told me he was going to start watching out for them, how the hell did she get past the second fences? She’s not supposed to go out there, maybe I should talk to her.”

“Definitely, also, I think she probably slipped past when we had it opened and Taeyong.. he's the taller one, really long hair?”

Baekhyun hummed, “Yeah, my brother, he’s very protective of the prison, doesn’t really get along with others though, so… yeah if you try to talk to him, he probably won’t talk to you.”

Jiyong laughed, standing with a patch of flowers in his hand, “Weird, you’re so nice. Here, for you.”

The younger smiled, ducking his head shyly as he accepted them.

Meanwhile, Chanyeol was tapping his fingers against the wooden table, legs crossed as he looked across the yard. “Is it just me or.. or does that man seem like he has a crush on Baekhyun?”

“It doesn’t matter what you think, Chanyeol.” Junmyeon called softly, “He can do what he wants, you’re not his boyfriend, remember? You need to stop focusing on him and let him think.”

“Like hell I’ll stop focusing on him, that’s my soulmate, okay? He’s still my baby, I’m not going to just… just sit here and let some pretty faced stranger flirt with him like that.” Chanyeol argued.

Jongin sighed, wiping his face with his shirt, “Hyung, just because they’re talking doesn’t mean anything, Baekhyun talks to everyone.”

“Oh, really?” Chanyeol drawled, eyes not leaving across the field, “Because he just gave Baek flowers, and now he’s touching his arm, Baekhyun doesn’t let anyone touch him he doesn’t know.”

The screeching of metal on the concrete sounded as Kyungsoo pushed his chair out to see, “Hyung, calm down, I’ll go interrupt them, then. Baekhyun is oblivious to… crushes and such, chill, I’ll go get him. Maybe he’ll come sit with us, hm?”

“No.” Chanyeol said immediately, standing up, “No, I’ll see if he wants to come over here.”

“That’s not a good idea!” Yixing yelled, sighing and sitting back when Chanyeol already walked off. “God, what the hell did he do? I’m so tired of listening to his pinning, can’t he just apologize and get it over with?”

Jongin shook his head, “Nope, Chanyeol fucked up real bad, even we don’t know how this is going to go down, Baekhyun hasn’t said a word about talking to him.”

“Well fuck.” Yifan commented.

~~~~~~~

Baekhyun laughed at Jiyongs joke, nodding along, “Yeah, Taeyong used to be really bad about that stuff too… is your brother here? Or is it just you?”

“Just me.” Jiyong said with a slight shrug, “That's okay though. I’d rather him not be here anymore… not have to witness this kind of life.”

“I used to think like that.” Baekhyun admitted, “But… now I’m just really grateful to be here… with my family, my friends, my sou-“

“Baekhyun! Hey, Baek, who-uh- who's your friend?”

Baekhyun visually stiffened at Chanyeol jogging over, “Uh-uh-“

“Hi, I’m Kwon Jiyong, you’re… Park Chanyeol, everyone talks about you, thanks for doing so much for us man.” Jiyong praised, patting his arm. “You and Yifan… real heroes, man.”

Chanyeol frowned and Baekhyun raised a brow at the expression. “Uh- yeah… yeah, listen I’m gonna just steal Baek-“

“Why?” Baekhyun demanded, Chanyeol's eyes flickering to the flowers in his hand for a second before his lips pursed. “Because we want you to sit with us, you know… council members and all…” Chanyeol lied, “Big plans, you know.”

“Okay, well they can wait, we were in the middle of a conversation.” The younger stated, lightly grabbing Jiyong sleeve, “Come along, I can introduce you to Taeyong, he’ll like you more if I do it.”

Chanyeol's hand twitched, jealousy pooling in his stomach, not realizing what he was doing as he reached out to grab Baekhyun's sleeve, “I really… I really insist, Baekhyun.”

Baekhyun gulped, turning to send the kindest of smiles to Jiyong, “Looks like i'll catch up with you later, see you at dinner.”

Jiyong beamed like he had no idea of the tension in the air, “Yeah, yeah, of course… I’ll- I'll see you later!”

Baekhyun nodded, waiting for him to walk off before pulling his arm out of Chanyeol's grip and glaring at him. “What the hell are you doing? I’m making friends and you’re going to scare them away.”

Chanyeol frowned as Baekhyun crossed his arms, looking tiny as he held the flowers, “He didn’t want to be your friend, Baekhyun. He’s flirting with you, why else would he give you flowers, touching your arm when he doesn’t know you.”

“Why would it matter to you, Chanyeol? We’re not together, you have no say.”

“Like hell I have no say.” Chanyeol said immediately, “You’re my soulmate, my baby, I love you, Baekhyun. I don’t care if you say we are not together, I still feel the same.”

“I’m not… I’m not your baby, Chanyeol!” The younger huffed angrily, “I’m Kyungsoo and Jongin's- not yours! Can’t you just.. just get out of my head for a little.”

Chanyeol chest felt like he was punched as he leaned down to cup Baekhyun's face. “Look, I’m sorry, okay? I love you and I’m sorry… you don’t need- don’t need to flirt with people to get my attention, okay? I’m paying attention to you, baby. I’m listening now.”

Baekhyun didn’t have time to respond as Chanyeol pressed a kiss to his mouth.

As if that fixed anything. As if a half assed, jealous apology fixed that he had scared the shit out of him, that he had said Baekhyun was too hard to be with.

“Chanyeol.” Baekhyun whispered, mouth twisted as he noticed his flowers fell to the ground, “You can’t just kiss me and act like we’re okay, we’re not okay, we haven’t been okay for over a week.”

The elders smile dropped as Baekhyun bent down to collect his flowers, “What are you- I’ll get you flowers, Baek. If that’s what you want I’ll go find you the prettiest of ones, okay? I’m sorry, hey, hey, I’m sorry.”

“Stop touching me.” Baekhyun said softly, turning his head away when Chanyeol went to kiss his temple as if second nature, “God… Chanyeol… get out of my head, I can’t… I don’t want to do this with you.”

“Do what?” Chanyeol asked, sitting himself on the grass, “Beautiful, what are we doing? I love you and you love me… we can’t just… just not be together, I’m hurting and I know you’re hurting.”

Baekhyun blinked back his tears and sat on the ground, the flowers in his lap were wilted already, smushed. “You scared me, Chanyeol. You don’t want to baby me… and I’m not asking you too, but you were… so mad.. at me? I only… I only wanted to love you, okay? And you were- were so mean to me.”

“I know.” Unlike Baekhyun, Chanyeol didn’t try to hide his tears as he grabbed Baekhyun's hand, running his thumb over the smallers knuckles. “I’m so sorry, but I-I love you so much, Baekhyun, you know that, you know that I would never hurt you, right? Right, love?”

“I-I don’t know Chanyeol.” Baekhyun whimpered, licking his dry lips as he looked up at the elder, “I don’t know that.. that I can trust you not to do that again, I know you get mad… and I know that I made you upset, but… but you scared me, I trusted you and I felt like… like you stepped on my heart. I don’t even care about what you said, it was how you said it… how you looked at me, you’re fucking- fucking twice my size and you think I wouldn’t be intimidated, Chanyeol?”

Chanyeol dropped his head into his palm with a quiet sob, “You don’t trust me? Baekhyun- you-you don’t trust me? Me?”

“I don’t know… and that’s- that's the issue, Chanyeol.” Baekhyun said softly, “Look… look, I love you, okay?” He whispered, gently touching Chanyeol's cheek, “I love you so much, and that’s why it hurts so much… and I know I hurt you- am hurting you, and I’m really, I’m so sorry. And I appreciate everything we hav-had, but I can’t be with you… right this second.”

The elder whimpered and it was so painful Baekhyun could only wait as he looked up at him. “Give me… one more chance Baekhyun, please… please, Baekhyun. I’ll work on my issues, I swear I’ll never scare you again. Please, I’m begging you, baby, you know I never- ever beg, for anything.”

Baekhyun licked his lips and leaned forward, pressing a soft kiss to the center of Chanyeol's forehead, wrapping his arms around the elder who immediately cried into his shoulder.

“Not right now, Hyung.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun tried so hard to be civil with Chanyeol as Kyungsoo had asked of him, but it was hard. It was so much harder than he thought because Chanyeol was relentless, constantly where Baekhyun was or needed to be.

“Walkers on the fence again.” Junmyeon sighed, rolling a small pen in his hand.

“We’ll call a meeting, council members.” Yifan replied, rubbing his temple.

Baekhyun pursed his lips, feeling slightly concerned for the leader as he knew Yifan must be extremely stressed out.

They had no idea what the walkers were doing recently, assuming they were coming to the fences because of the new additions. But still, it didn’t sit right with Baekhyun.

Kyungsoo frowned, throwing his arm around Baekhyun's shoulder and resting his lips to the youngers temple. “All we can do is pick them off anyways.”

Baekhyun heard the familiar heavy footsteps of Chanyeol nearing and hated that he wished he wouldn’t come so close- it was such a rude thought that Baekhyun immediately cringed.

“I’m going out to check snares, I’m not losing anymore meat to those fuckers.”

“I’ll go with you, Hyung.” Baekhyun's eyes flickered to Jongin and he chewed his lip nervously at the man’s head nod to Chanyeol.

“Alright, two outside the fence from now on- there’s too many walkers in this area- head towards the west side, it’s not nearly as bad.” Yifan ordered, patting Chanyeol's shoulder, Baekhyun thought it looked harder than he needed it to be and sent to leader a raised brow as Yifan walked away.

“Okay, dollface, give me good luck kisses.” Jongin said softly, gently brushing the hair from Baekhyun's face.

Baekhyun smiled, feeling Kyungsoo squeeze his side softly before he let him walk over to Jongin, wrapping his arms around the elders waist tightly.

“I legitimately think you guys are disgusting sometimes.” Sehun commented, no heat to the words as he turned and walked away, leaving them to themselves.

“We didn’t even do anything yet.” Kyungsoo sniggered.

Baekhyun laughed softly, grabbing the edge of Jongin's shirt and standing on his toes to press a sweet kiss to his boyfriend's mouth, “There, all the good luck you need.” He chirped happily.

Jongin laughed, cupping Baekhyun's face to press another soft kiss to the youngers mouth before letting him go, thumb brushing over his cheekbone. “Love you, be back soon, beauty.”

The younger nodded, pressing a soft kiss to Jongin's jaw, “Love you too.” He sent Jongin a cute expression before stepping away, releasing the others shirt and turning with the intention of cuddling himself up to Kyungsoo's chest before he needed to get back to work.

But a hard chest blocked him, a hand touching his chin softly and Baekhyun found himself flinching, stepping back slightly.

Chanyeol flustered, hands raising up as if to show he meant no harm, “I’m sorry, habit- I’m sorry.”

“Chanyeol…” Kyungsoo warned, and Baekhyun knew why immediately.

Because there was no ‘habit’ that Chanyeol was speaking up, he was fully aware of what he was doing. Testing and seeing how much he could worm his way in.

Baekhyun truly didn’t know if he was pissed with the actions, or if he was endeared the eldest was trying so hard.

Not that it mattered.

What mattered right now was that Baekhyun didn’t want to be with him, couldn't find it in him to even think it over when they had so much going on.

So, any other person would get the point- that they needed to give Baekhyun space, let him work his way back to the other.

But they knew Chanyeol so well. And he was so annoying, so hot headed, but he was impatient, and he was also sweet, and he needed affection too- affection he wasn’t getting from the one person he needed it from.

Baekhyun didn’t know how to take his determination, but it would be lying if he said he didn’t like to see it, and like to see Chanyeol following him around like a lost puppy ever since Baekhyun told him not now.

Which might have been a mistake considering Chanyeol had obviously taken that as a sign that any day now Baekhyun was going to come running back to him.

Baekhyun didn’t know if that was the truth either.

“Okay.” He said softly, side stepping the taller.

Chanyeol was very impatient, “Uh-uh- Baekhyun… aren’t you- you going to wish me luck too?”

Jongin sighed, almost rolling his eyes because Chanyeol sounded so desperate, but he couldn’t really blame him- not when it was for Baekhyun. “Man, lets just go.” It didn’t mean he wanted to see his best friend hurt though- no matter that he was constantly digging his own grave, causing his own pain everytime Baekhyun had to reject him.

Which was pretty often the past few days. Baekhyun was so nice about it, brushing his hand off his arm, gently reminding him that he didn’t have a right to try to kiss him right now, that Chanyeol didn’t get to pull him into his lap like the other two did- hell, he had seen Yixing do it to Baekhyun the other day, and Baekhyun had laughed and curled up next to his friend so happily that Chanyeol boiled.

Everyone was pushing him, he knew that’s what they were doing. Luhan kissing Baekhyun's cheek and Jimin's flirting that they used to take as all good fun was all feeling so much realer when Chanyeol had no way to stop it- because he didn’t have a say anymore, and Jongin and Kyungsoo were possessive, sure, but they could tell the playfulness way better than he could.

Or, it was just because he was so jealous he couldn’t tell what was playful or not- regardless that all of Baekhyun's friends had their own soulmates and happened to love the younger dearly, like best friends or family.

“Just… um- I’m not asking for a kiss… I’m- just asking for uh-I might not make it back, you know?” Chanyeol flustered, running a hand through his hair as Baekhyun stared at him unreadably.

“Yeol…” Kyungsoo drawled quietly, “You’re only hurting yourself, please stop.”

It wasn’t the truth, he was hurting all of them, but Chanyeol was pretty hard to explain anything to right now.

Baekhyun nodded slightly, eyes shaking for a second before he took a deep breath. “Good luck, Chanyeol. Come back before dark, please.” Then, he turned to walk up to Kyungsoo, throwing his arms around the man’s waist.

It was such a dick move. Baekhyun didn’t mean it to be, but he didn’t really know how to respond to Chanyeol the past few days, he never was good at confrontation- and everytime Chanyeol tried to talk to him that’s what it felt like.

“That’s it?”

“Dude.” Jongin growled, grabbing Chanyeol's elbow, “That’s it, stop.”

“Baekhyun… plea-“

“We’re not doing this.” Baekhyun hissed, mouth curled in annoyance, “You really… Chanyeol.” He lowered his tone so it would be kinder because if he yelled right now Chanyeol would probably yell too, and nobody really needed to hear it. “You can’t keep trying to kiss me, touch me, talk about it. We can be kind to each other, I love you, you’re one of my soulmates and I love you, but I need space, okay? Just give me some space.”

Chanyeol chewed his lip and Baekhyun felt horrible every time he had to let the elder down the past few days because he always looked devastated, always. “You treat me differently.”

“We’re not together right now.” Baekhyun said softly, feeling like he had said the words a million times when he hadn’t had to repeat them since Chanyeol had a jealous fit days prior. “Of course you’re getting treated differently, we’re not together… right now.”

“But… we’re soulmates.” The elder muttered under his breath, Jongin gulped and squeezed Chanyeol's arm, nothing but pity for one of his oldest friends. “We’re soulmates, Baekhyun.”

Baekhyun's nose flared and he pushed his tears away, “We are, Hyung.” He then paused, “So good luck outside the fence and you better come back before dark.” He repeated, turning to walk quickly towards the cell blocks.

Kyungsoo stared at Chanyeol for a second, rubbing over his wrist where Baekhyun had been holding onto as if guilty. He shouldn’t have to feel guilty for being with Baekhyun when it wasn’t his fault Chanyeol fucked up. “You need to win him over before you keep trying these things. You can talk to him, he likes when you talk to him, but… but you’re pushing too much, you’re asking too much of him.”

Chanyeol sniffed dryly, “I am trying… I-I just don’t know how.” He admitted, gently shaking Jongin's hand off his arm, “Fuck, help me, please- I… I don’t know what to do, I can’t help it.”

“Well you need to learn.” Jongin said softly, patting his back, “Stop shoving him into corners, you’re only making yourself look like the bad guy because Baekhyun doesn’t look at you like he’s scared of you- not like he had- but… but if you keep doing this he might feel like you’re trapping him.”

“Baekhyun likes flowers.” Kyungsoo added, shoving his hands into his pockets, “He likes sweets, he likes you… so… so you can keep talking to him, seeing him… but.. you don’t need to push, Hyung. Just take what he offers and don’t ask for more.”

Chanyeol nodded, eyes watery as he looked up at the sky as if trying to keep his tears from falling, “The… the orange ones right? He likes the oranges ones and… and those fucking nasty red gummies?”

The two chuckled, “Yeah.” Jongin smiled and touched the back of Chanyeol's hair, “See… you can do this, you got this, man. You could always ask Taeyong for suggestions too… little ass kicker always has shit to say.”

“No.. uh- Taeyong is pretty upset at me.” Chanyeol admitted, “Can't blame him… but- it's… I don’t know, you know how Taeyong looks at people sometimes.”

“I’ll talk to him.” Kyungsoo promised, fingers skimming the prison keys in his pocket, “I’ll talk to him… be safe, guys.”

“Thank you.” Chanyeol muttered under his breath, “Kyungsoo… I love you, man, you don’t have to.”

Kyungsoo smiled gently, it was rare for them to be so blatant, they didn’t need to hear it from each other to know they cared about each other- they didn’t rely on affection from each other as much as they did from Baekhyun.

“Hey, Taeyong!” Kyungsoo called, sending the two a reassuring smile as he yelled to Taeyong who was reading at a bench. “I'll let you come help at the fence, if you talk with me.”

The teenager never rejected an opportunity to help.

~~~~~~~~

“Did you leave me flowers?” Baekhyun asked softly, hand holding a handful of wildflowers, walking into the kitchen.

It was pretty late, most people were sleeping, but Baekhyun's insomnia was pretty bad since he had gone off medication, and his soulmates usually stayed late for watch anyways, hence Jongin and Kyungsoo playing a board game so late.

“No, baby, but I wish I had to see that pretty smile.” Kyungsoo commented, a knowing look in his eye as he looked at Jongin while Baekhyun took a seat on the edge of the table.

Baekhyun laughed, “Look, these ones are really nice, maybe Min Hyung can figure out what type they are.”

Jongin hummed softly in response, reaching out to curl his hand around Baekhyun's hip without even looking. “Where’d you find them?”

“Just outside the door.” Baekhyun shrugged, running his finger over the stems before giggling to himself and faking a pout. “Unless someone is leaving you guys flowers, in that case- I’ll be pissed!” He cried dramatically.

They both chuckled, sniggering and looking at him amused.

“Tell us what you’d do, sweet pea, how jealous would you be, sweetheart?” Kyungsoo cooed, running his hand over Baekhyun's thigh, “What if someone thought your Hyungs were as handsome as we think you are, hm?”

Baekhyun fake gasped, “No way, Soo! My soulmates, I’ll be so mad! I’ll get just as possessive as Ch- I’ll be really mad.” He finished softly, shaking his leg and internally crying at ruining the fun.

“You’re right, dollface.” Jongin murmured softly, his hand searching for Baekhyun's, “Those flowers are very pretty.”

Baekhyun giggled, crossing his leg over the other.

Kyungsoo glanced at Jongin, a certain look in his eye and Jongin curled his lip up, shaking his head slightly.

The elder just brushed it off and pushed the board game to the side, reaching over to grab Baekhyun's hand, gently uncurling his fingers from the bouquet in the smallers grip, making Baekhyun let out a confused noise. “What are you doing, Soo?”

“We’re going to talk a little… okay?” The elder cooed softly, running his fingertips over Baekhyun's wrist and then setting the flowers to the side.

Baekhyun beamed, “Okay, I like talking to you.”

Kyungsoo licked his lip and wanted to hit Jongin across the table at his glare, he didn’t want to make Baekhyun upset anymore than the other. “Me too, sweetheart. But we’re going to have a serious conversation, okay? We’re being serious now, and we’re going to talk and nobody is going to get upset, nobody is going to fight.”

“Hyung.” Jongin scrunched his nose up slightly and tapped his fingers on the metal table, “It's not our business.”

“You’re just scared he’s going to get upset.” Kyungsoo hissed under his breath, “You can’t shelter him forever, that’s something me and Chanyeol agree on, so either leave or help me.”

“Why are you mad?” Baekhyun muttered, wringing his hands together and shoving them between his legs in an action they recognized as him getting anxious like he was in trouble.

Kyungsoo raised a brow at Jongin before turning to look at Baekhyun, “I’m not mad, that’s what we’re going to talk about, my baby. We’re going to talk a little and you’re going to think it over.”

Baekhyun shrugged slightly, pulling his lip between his teeth.

“Okay.” The eldest out of the three pulled his hand away from Baekhyun and saw the younger frown at him as if confused. “Okay, I talked to Taeyong earlier.”

The youngest only continued to look confused, “Okay, Hyung? Is this.. are we talking about his gun now? I don’t think he needs it.”

“No- no that’s not what we're talking about, Baekhyun.” Kyungsoo said immediately, “We’re talking about you now, I also talked to Yixing Hyung… we have… we wanted to tell you some things.”

At the amount of seriousness in Kyungsoo's voice Baekhyun felt his shoulders tense up, pulling his sleeves over his hands and staring at a spot on his pajama shirt.

“Taeyong… he said that when you fought with Chanyeol he went and got Jongin because he heard you screaming, right? That’s what he said, correct?”

“I guess.” Baekhyun muttered, glancing up at him cautiously, “I don’t remember, ask Nini.”

“You do remember, Baek. You know.” Kyungsoo said firmly, but his face was still gentle. “But the… the thing that worried me and Xing was that… sweetheart, Taeyong was right down the hall, and he said he could only hear you yelling.”

“Kyungsoo.” Jongin snarled, reaching out to grab Baekhyun's fingers, “It doesn’t matter.”

“It does.” The elder replied immediately, “It's not fair to Chanyeol, it’s not, Jongin. And I might be wrong, I’m not saying Baekhyun's fear wasn’t real, but I’m… I’m trying to understand.”

“Maybe he wasn’t listening.” Baekhyun whispered, staring at Jongin's hand in his lap. “Taeyong gets distracted you know.”

“You get distracted too.” Kyungsoo said softly, reaching out to grab Baekhyun's hand and pushing Jongin's out of the way, “Hey, listen okay? We’re just talking, I need you to pay attention.”

“ ‘Kay.” Baekhyun smiled slightly, looking up at Kyungsoo through his hair and the elder felt like dropping the subject because his soulmate was so cute, and looked so sweet. But that wasn’t his point right now.

“What I’m thinking… and I’m not saying you’re wrong, Baekhyun. The only two people that know what happened are you and Chanyeol. But… but… I don’t think Chanyeol yelled at you at all… maybe, maybe he raised his voice, maybe he looked mad. But he didn’t scream at you, baby. Don’t you think everyone would have heard?”

“You said… you said you weren’t saying I was wrong, but that sounds like what you’re saying. He yelled at me, Kyungsoo. He scared me.” Baekhyun said defensively, pulling his knees up to his chest.

“Soo, seriously… why- why would Chanyeol go along with it, blaming himself so harshly if he wasn’t guilty of at least something? You didn’t see it, Hyung. Baekhyun was shaking, and he was absolutely crying his eyes out.” Jongin cut in, laying his hand on Baekhyun's ankle despite Kyungsoo's look that screamed not to.

Kyungsoo tried to keep himself from yelling at Jongin to leave and let him handle it and instead pushed Jongin's hand away again, feeling like he was messing with fire. “Because he wants Baekhyun back, of course he’s going to think he fucked up horribly, he’s not going to say anything that might make Baekhyun even more upset with him- especially trying to say that he didn’t be aggressive with him. And I’m not saying he’s not guilty, either way he said rude things, but I’m just saying I don’t… me and Yixing think it wasn’t how it was perceived to be.”

“You think I’m crazy?” Baekhyun whispered in disbelief, eyes tearing up as he looked up at Kyungsoo, “Hyung… you-you think I’m crazy? You think I don’t know-“

“I’m not saying that. Don’t cry, hey- we’re not fighting and we’re not getting worked up. We’re going to talk about this and then we’re all going to go to bed and you’re going to have a good night and get so extremely spoiled, Baekhyun.” Kyungsoo explained, “I’m saying that sometimes.. you don’t know what’s real, my love. All you knew was that Chanyeol was saying things that… that you couldn’t handle- things that I admit were too much, but you’re not… you’re not healed, Baekhyun. Even if we want to believe you to be, you’re not. And I know that you don’t like to hear these things, and I know that I hate to tell you them-“

“Then stop.” Jongin's face was furrowed in anger as he wiped Baekhyun's cheeks with his sleeve, “You're upsetting him, Chanyeol should be the one talking to him right now, not you, not me. You say I shelter him and of fucking course I do. You-you and Yeol are too much, one of us has to look out for him, you can’t just shove him with a bunch of shit you believe and have no proof for- I’m not saying there’s not issues, we all have issues, but I’m saying that you don’t need to constantly remind him of them. Baekhyun is sweet, he’s beautiful and kind, he’s smart, and he’s our soulmate… you can’t just analyze him and tell him he’s not allowed to get worked up over it- Hyung, if he wants to cry, if he wants to yell, if he wants to be mad then let him.”

“He’s not perfect, Jongin. I’m sorry, Baekhyun, it hurts to see you so upset, it does. But you’re not perfect, sweetheart.” Kyungsoo muttered, “I’m not perfect, Jongin is not perfect, Chanyeol isn’t either- and that’s okay, I just want you to think… and to know that sometimes… sometimes things aren’t always how you interpret or read them, sunshine. Hey, I love you, I still love you to death, come here, baby.”

Baekhyun immediately moved to his side of the table at the offer of affection even though he felt like his feelings were hurt. But Kyungsoo didn’t call him a liar… he told him he… he didn’t know reality and Baekhyun didn’t know which one was worse.

“You’re upset right now.” The eldest said softly. Baekhyun's legs spread on the table in front of him as Kyungsoo rested in between his body, hand running up and down the back of his neck as Baekhyun's tears fell into his shoulder. “You know that, you can tell your own emotions apart, baby. But… I don’t know that you can read others very well and that’s okay, so… so I just want you to think and… maybe consider the thought that maybe- possibly Chanyeol wasn’t all that mean to you, okay? He gets mad easily, he’s temper is pretty bad, but has he ever yelled at you before? Not raised his voice, but yelled, screamed?”

Baekhyun shook his head into Kyungsoo's shoulder, and could hear Jongin getting up. Either to leave or to come see him he had no idea- he just knew Jongin hated when he got upset.

“Yixing Hyung said… maybe it was because of the abuse… maybe because you couldn’t handle it. You wrote in your journal that you didn’t feel anything, you told us you weren’t angry or upset, honey. That’s not good, we want you to feel, we want you to be here with us, and we know sometimes you’re not, babe, but we love you so much, okay? Stay with us, Baekhyun. You need to stay with us even when you’re scared.

Like on that van, right? You were so scared you didn’t know what you were doing. When all those walkers surrounded you, you just broke down and sat there, Baekhyun. And we don’t like to see you in pain, but we’d rather have you feeling something than nothing.”

“We’re going to work on it, doll.” Jongin said softly, Baekhyun peered over Kyungsoo's shoulder with swollen eyes and saw Jongin look away so he could focus. “It doesn’t matter whether or not Kyungsoo was right about if Hyung yelled at you or not, because your fear was real- I held you, and that was real fear. But.. but you should consider… whether or not Chanyeol really hurt you or not- did he really scare you as bad as you convinced yourself? Or was it just the situation itself that had you terrified? Just think about it, okay?”

“Ok-ay.” Baekhyun hiccuped slightly and Jongin was reaching over to pull him off the table as soon as he heard it.

“We’re okay, sweetheart. All of us are okay, we didn’t fight, right? We’re a little upset even though Hyung said we weren’t going to be, but that’s okay.” Jongin added, slightly swaying in a way that Baekhyun wondered if he considered him an actual child at this moment.

“Let’s go to bed, Baekhyun, Hyung will bring your flowers, okay?”

Baekhyun nodded slightly and Kyungsoo smiled, leaning over to press a kiss to his cheek, “Hyung loves you still, okay? We love you. Still our precious little Baekhyunnie.”

“Love you.” Baekhyun whispered, barely audible through Jongin's shirt.

The two only smiled. “There’s our soulmate, our sweet little one. Let’s get you to bed, beautiful.” Jongin praised, immediately making Baekhyun relax.

Chapter Text

 

 

“My baby, my love!” Kyungsoo cooed, pressing kisses into his face.

Baekhyun snickered, hair splayed across the pillow as Kyungsoo held his wrists beside his head, “Hyung! Why are you always like this!”

Kyungsoo laughed, scooting down to press kisses down Baekhyun's bare chest, “Love you, baby, I need to make sure everyone knows our beauty is so well loved, hm?”

Baekhyun loved it, he did.

But he felt like Kyungsoo was being extra possessive as a favor to Chanyeol- who he had been friendly with ever since the elder had been scolded, begging Baekhyun for a chance.

The problem was Chanyeol knew Baekhyun had a hard time forgiving people, regardless that he loved Chanyeol so wholeheartedly, he had still hurt him- betrayed his trust.

It had been at least a week, maybe more, Baekhyun couldn't really recall, since then. Either way, he and Chanyeol weren’t… on bad terms per say, they were being friendly with each other, but Baekhyun still knew Chanyeol was trying to win him over.

He followed him around, asked meaningless things, spoke nonsense, only because he wanted Baekhyun's attention, only because he wanted to see him smile.

Chanyeol gave him things, anything he found on runs or in the forest, he offered it to Baekhyun first.

Sometimes, Baekhyun would catch him trying to hold his hand, maybe even press a kiss to his face or an arm around him, but… Baekhyun couldn't handle that, he would always gently brush him off, and Chanyeol would look upset for a split second, before looking determined.

It was endearing that the elder was trying so hard, and Baekhyun almost found himself curling up with him on multiple occasions, tempted to kiss him or pull him to their- Baekhyun's room. Because Chanyeol was still Chanyeol, and Baekhyun was still Baekhyun.

And they loved each other… even if they couldn’t be together for the time being.

“I do, but Jisung is going to ask again about these love bites you keep giving me!” Baekhyun scolded, “Hyung, owie?” He mimicked, giggling loudly as Kyungsoo nipped at his hip.

“Looks like you need a better excuse, babe!” The elder chirped, sitting back and grabbing his damp towel from his shower that had ultimately led to this because they all had zero self control these days. “Maybe… you got bit by spiders.” He added, gently cleaning Baekhyun up.

“Hyung!” Baekhyun pouted, “You’re ridiculous!”

“You love me.” Kyungsoo beamed, pulling Baekhyun to stand up, “Look at you, Hyung can’t keep his hands off of you, buttercup.”

“Oh, that’s a new one.” Baekhyun laughed, walking over to their dresser by the cell door. The door that had long been covered, a thick padding blocking the bars and usually people knew to knock. “I like-“

But not everyone.

“Hey, guys- fuck, I’m sorry!” Chanyeol cried, doing nothing but shutting the door behind him and staring at Baekhyun, ears red.

“Dude.” Kyungsoo laughed, snapping Chanyeol out of it and rolling his eyes.

Baekhyun only blushed, hurriedly pulling on his pants.

“Fuck, I’m sorry, I’m sorry- I forgot- Baek, I’m sorry!” The eldest apologized, eyeing the marks across Baekhyun's skin, “God, did you guys maul him or something?”

“Hyung.” Kyungsoo scolded softly.

Chanyeol shook his head, “Right… uh-none of my business, sorry.”

“What’d you need, Hyung?” Baekhyun asked quietly, digging in a drawer for a sweater.

“Oh, uh…” The eldest shrugged, “Uh… I wanted to get my shirt, you know.. the red one, long sleeves..”

“Oh, it’s in there somewhere.” Kyungsoo pointed to the dresser uninterestedly, digging through the side table.

Baekhyun frowned, licking his lips nervously as Chanyeol walked over, bumping his shoulder to Baekhyun's bare one as he looked inside. “Chanyeol… it's not in here.”

The elder hummed softly, “Kyungsoo said it was?”

“No… uh… we don’t have it.” Baekhyun lied, “Might check the laundry.”

Chanyeol raised a brow at Baekhyun's nervousness, leaning against the dresser, “You’re a horrible liar, bab- Baekhyun.”

It only made Baekhyun blush before sighing, “Look… do me a favor? You can take the rest of your clothes but I want to keep that one.”

“Why?” The elder wondered, confused as he scanned Baekhyun's profile.

“I like to sleep in it. I want to keep it, if you want… I’ll give it back after I wash it.” Baekhyun whispered, chewing his lip as he looked at Chanyeol.

Chanyeol smirked slightly, “Why would you do that?”

He was fishing, Baekhyun knew what he was trying to do, but there was really no room to get out of confessing because he was a shit liar, and he had basically set himself up for this. “Because it smells like you, and- and it’s your favorite, I want it. Okay, Hyung?”

Baekhyun's heart still raced when Chanyeol looked at him like this, like he was the most radiant sight he’d ever seen, and he was almost positive Chanyeol was going to try something, maybe a kiss, maybe a sly comment, but Chanyeol just smiled, nodding slightly. “Okay, Baekhyun. You can have it, you don’t need to give it back.”

“Okay.” The younger sighed in relief, the shirt he had chosen dangling in his hand as he stepped back to put it on.

“Hey.” Chanyeol called softly as Baekhyun threw the shirt on.

“Yeah?”

“I love you.”

Baekhyun had promised once, that he would always tell them, no matter what. And he hadn’t broken it. “I love you.”

Chanyeol nodded, Baekhyun saw him clench his jaw and knew how it felt. It hurt. “Um… friends can hug, right?”

“Friends.. friends can hug.” Baekhyun whispered, throwing himself into the elders chest.

~~~~~~~

Something was going on, and Baekhyun was extremely confused about it.

Well, nothing happened yet, but it was coming… he could just feel it.

Maybe it had something to do with the weather, because it was storming out, but it was hot. Or, maybe it had to do with the fact that Chanyeol was outside and it was storming horribly.

“Outside!”

“No, we’re not playing outside today, we’re playing inside.” Junmyeon called immediately, grabbing Jisung’s wrist from running towards the door.

“Outside, outside!” The baby cried, Baekhyun could hear the tantrum coming, “Pig, outside!”

Minseok sighed, “We’re not playing with the pigs today, you’re not throwing a fit today, Jisung.”

Baekhyun almost rolled his eyes, because you definitely don’t tell a baby he’s throwing a fit.

God, Taeyong used to be such a screamer, and Jisung really wasn’t that bad, but it was the way his cries bounced off the walls that really made his heart race.

“Baek, please.” Luhan groaned, pressing his forehead to the table.

“Got it.” Baekhyun whispered, patting Luhan's hair before walking over to where Jisung was flopping on the floor.

As mentioned, Jisungs tantrums weren’t that bad, but it was just anxiety inducing when the baby’s head laid on the cement, Baekhyun really kept forgetting to mention getting a rug or something for the common area.

He sighed and sat on the floor, pulling Jisung under his arms into his lap. The baby only cried.

“Hey… shhhh… shhh, Hyung is talking to you.” Baekhyun scolded softly, rubbing Jisungs stomach and pressing a kiss to his hair, “Jisungie, let’s talk, huh? Why are you mad?”

And if there was anything Jisung was good at, it was talking, he loved to talk, loved to make noises.

“H-hyun-g! Out-si!” The baby whimpered, his wailing making his sentences nearly incomprehensible.

“Yeah? You wanted to go outside, and you’re mad you couldn’t go?” Baekhyun summarized, looking down at him for confirmation.

Jisung nodded, lip sticking out as he brought his finger to his mouth.

“Okay, but did you know it was storming outside? Little Jisung will get swept away and you can’t see us anymore, do you want that?”

“No.”

“No, that’s right. Jisung stays safe with us, and we’re big, we’re the ones in charge that take care of you, right?”

Jisung wiped his eyes harshly, “Hyung boss.”

“That’s right, baby. We’re the boss and you listen to us. So do you think that’s nice of you to scream and hurt everyone’s ears because you’re angry? No, it’s not nice. We want to make sure our Jisung is okay.” Baekhyun explained, gently standing Jisung up between his legs.

“Not nice.” The baby nodded, “Hyung, sowwy.”

Baekhyun smiled, brushing his hair away and pressing a kiss to Jisungs cheek, “No more screaming, okay?”

“No scweam.” Jisung agreed, throwing his arms around Baekhyun's neck.

“Hyung loves you, so don’t be mean. Now go give hugs and kisses because you hurt everyone’s feelings. Okay?” Baekhyun requested, rubbing his palm over the baby’s back.

“Otay.” Jisung agreed, popping off and raising his arms up to Taehyung.

Baekhyun huffed, rubbing his eyes as he stood up from the floor and walked back to his seat, “God, my head hurts now.”

“Powerful lungs.” Jongin moaned, laying his head on Baekhyun's shoulder when he sat down.

Yifan laughed, playing a board game with Taeyong, “Ibuprofen is in the cabinet if you want it.”

“Hey… Yeol should be back by now, shouldn’t he?” Kyungsoo asked, standing over the railing in the kitchen, “It’s like… really storming.”

Baekhyun stiffened, not feeling tired anymore as he looked at a window. “What… What kind of natural disasters do you think they get in this area? I mean.. It's mid summer, and it’s so wet outside.”

“It’s probably just a storm.” Yoongi called, walking over towards a window, “I mean… it’s a little hard to see through here. I can see some lightning… yeah, I think it’s just a storm.”

“I don’t know.” Yifan suddenly hopped to his feet, moving to block Baekhyun's view of the window, “It’s raining really hard, lighting and rain… uh-“

“Could flood then, the mountain behind us would cause run off.” Minseok added, “It'd be okay for our crops, just depends on how bad.”

Baekhyun tripped from how fast he got off the bench, pulling his leg over the metal and scrambling making everyone look at him confused.

“What- Baek, what are you doing?” Jongin wondered, watching Baekhyun grab a coat from the closet and zipping it up.

“Chanyeol is out there, I’m not- I can’t just leave him! If it might flood he could drown- fuck, that fucking idiot!” Baekhyun cursed, he didn’t even know who’s boots he grabbed by the door, but he was tying them on tight. “Goddamn fucking- motherfuck-“

“Wow, that mouth.” Sehun laughed, standing up calmly, “Chill out, i'll go find my brother. You should sit here and think about what you said in front of Jisung.” He joked.

Baekhyun brushed him off, “I’m fucking pissed, this goddamn fucking idiot- stupid ass fucking- I’m already going, I’ll be back.”

The group stared at him with a mix of amusement and some smirks at his anger, or fear that he was trying to play off as anger.

“Baek-“

“No, let him go. You two let him go.” Yixing said softly, looking between Kyungsoo and Jongin. “He’ll be fine, it’s not that bad, he’s really worried about Chanyeol, he doesn’t need to worry about the both of you out there too.”

Jongin huffed and looked at Kyungsoo as if it physically pained him to let Baekhyun willingly walk out there. “He’s got a point.” Is all Kyungsoo could offer.

“Avoid going too close to the fence if it really is flooding.” Sunmi muttered, “The creak would rise really fast.”

“I’m a good swimmer.” Is all Baekhyun offered before he walked out.

Baekhyun had never gone out in a storm, because he used to be so afraid of them, and he had never seen one so wild.

He literally couldn’t see through the rain, it was falling so quickly, and the clouds were blocking out so much of the sun even though it wasn’t super late yet.

He threw his hood over his head even though it was practically useless at this point, the water was already pooled about a half inch thick on the pavement.

It was like walking through a huge puddle, and he had nowhere to look, he had no idea what Chanyeol was doing out here in the first place having been in the bathroom when he left the prison and he hadn’t felt the need to be worried because at that time it hadn’t been storming.

So, all he could do was shiver as he walked towards the yard, as he squinted it looked like a few of the fortification in the fence were knocked down- not a concern right now since there were barely any walkers- all getting confused by the sound of rain and bodies slowing through the wet, muddy ground.

He licked the rain water off his mouth and almost face planted as he stepped into the muddy ground, sloshing through the grass.

Momentarily, he wondered if maybe Chanyeol was in one of the watchtowers, but dismissed the thought immediately, because there was nothing to see except rain for miles.

And then, he heard the animals squealing through the rain, the horse making loud distressed noises and the pigs probably loved the mud, but not the lightning.

Baekhyun almost slipped multiple times on his way over, and he was absolutely livid when he walked to the stable.

Chanyeol was laying on the ground, his head lulled to the side and Baekhyun felt like screaming.

He ran, he didn’t even care as he slipped a few times until he made it to Chanyeol's side, immediately pushing the man’s soaking wet hair from his face. And Baekhyun didn’t know if it was just rain or his tears because Chanyeol was soaking wet and freezing, he had probably been in the rain for a little.

“Chanyeol!” Baekhyun screamed, “Get up! Wake up!”

He let out a wet cry as Chanyeol didn’t respond, turning the elders head to the side and running his hand over a bump under his soulmates hair with a sob.

If Chanyeol didn't wake up he didn’t know what to do, he wasn’t strong enough to carry him, and he didn’t know if Chanyeol would make it if he left his side.

If he had a concussion, he would easily drown in the water, only an inch more and he probably would have already, and Baekhyun wasn’t willing to risk the chance of rain building up that much in the time it took for him to get help.

“You son of a bitch!” Baekhyun growled, grabbing one of Chanyeol's arms and trying his best to drag him, he wasn’t getting far at all, not with the ground giving him no friction and his 120 lbs of bone versus Chanyeol easy 160 of muscle. “Goddamn it, you can’t die like this you fucking idiot!”

Baekhyun wailed, his crying maybe louder than the animals freaking out about the lightning as he grabbed Chanyeol's face, leaning down with a cry to press his forehead onto the elders. “I fucking hate you- if you don’t get up- goddamn it, Hyung! Get up, get up!”

He was ready to give up, ready to curl into a ball beside Chanyeol and wait until Jongin and Kyungsoo came looking for them.

And then Chanyeol coughed, opening his eyes and looking extremely confused.

Baekhyun laughed in disbelief and then snarled, “You fucking idiot- you goddamn psycho! What the fuck, Chanyeol! What the fuck!”

He wasn’t even sure Chanyeol heard him through the storm until the elder groaned, reaching out to Baekhyun for help as he sat up slowly.

“I’m so fucking mad at you- what were you thinking! Chanyeol, you goddamn idiot, fuck you!”

Chanyeol squinted slightly, rubbing his temple and spitting out water. “The horse- putting the horse in the stable, I slipped- think I hit my head on the wood.”

Baekhyun gawked in disbelief, “You’re going to die over a horse? That fucking horse? Oh my god, Chanyeol, you’re the biggest idiot ever!”

“Taeyong loves that horse.” The elder whispered, not looking apologetic in the least.

Baekhyun scoffed, face furrowed in anger before he licked his lips and looked at him disbelieving, he knew one hundred percent that those were his own tears on his face now. “Chanyeol.” He croaked, reaching out to touch his soulmates jaw, “You’re a goddamn idiot- the fucking stupidest- and I fucking love you, fuck, I love you.”

He cried, moving closer to press his mouth firmly onto Chanyeol's, all he could taste was water, but he didn’t really care. Chanyeol grabbed his jacket tightly, so he was sure the elder didn’t mind.

“C-can you walk?” Baekhyun whispered, pulling back and standing up, “Hyung- let’s go, you’re freezing.”

“You’re freezing.” Chanyeol groaned, standing up before wobbling, Baekhyun immediately grabbing his arm and wrapping it around his shoulder even though he was probably the least helpful person to have right now.

“Let’s just agree to be worried about the other and focus on not slipping.” Baekhyun yelled through the rain.

He heard Chanyeol laugh and felt much better than he had moments ago, stumbling blinding into a storm.

“Since when are you not afraid of storms!” Chanyeol yelled, voice slightly cracking and Baekhyun knew he was going to be extremely sick tomorrow.

“Since my giant idiot soulmate went into one!” Baekhyun replied, watching the ground because as soon as he lost balance that was it, they’d both be down and have get up all over again.

He didn’t hear Chanyeol's response, but if he would have looked over he would have noticed the huge grin on the elders face.

Once they got to the pavement it was a lot easier, the ground was smoother, more for their shoes to grip even though an inch or more of water covered it.

Baekhyun wasn’t all that surprised that a lot of them were waiting in the doorway, the door opened and worried faces peeking out.

Sehun ran out immediately, face frowning in concern, “Hyung! Hyung!”

Baekhyun had never really seen the two as that close, but then again he and Taeyong didn’t appear that close these days even though they once were inseparable. Baekhyun still considered them close even when they were fighting.

But Sehun looked so relieved as he grabbed Chanyeol's other arm, throwing it around his neck and doing literally all of the work because Baekhyun knew for sure he hadn’t been the one moving Chanyeol that fast.

“You fucking idiot- Chanyeol, what the fuck, man!”

Baekhyun was glad he wasn’t the only one absolutely pissed at the other too, because Kyungsoo looked absolutely livid.

“Baek Hyung!” Taeyong cried as soon as they were safely inside the doors, “Hyung, i'll- I’ll get you guys clothes!”

He didn’t have time to acknowledge Taeyong before Jongin was pulling the soaking wet jacket off of him and he saw Kyungsoo and Sehun fussing, doing the same to Chanyeol all the while spitting insults.

“Xing Hyung, I think Chanyeol has a concussion, can you check?” Baekhyun asked, looking over Jongin's shoulder because his soulmate was busy running warm hands over his face.

The medic nodded, always looking so calm as he grabbed a flashlight off the shelf of supplies.

“Focus on the light.” Yixing ordered.

Baekhyun laughed at Taeyong almost tripping on the wet puddles by him and Chanyeol as the teenager ran back in, piles of towels in his arms and what looked like the randomest choices of clothes.

He figured Taeyong panicked and grabbed the first things he saw, which all looked like Chanyeol's stack of clothes he had pulled out that morning to remember to take to his new cell.

“Definitely a concussion, his pupils are still a little dilated so… stay up a few more hours, Yeol, just in case.” Yixing ordered, “And… get warm, fuck you’re going to be so sick later, I’ll get you some medicine to take.”

“I’ll take him to his room.” Yifan said quietly, Baekhyun wondered if the leader felt a little guilty or if he was just upset. “Come on, Yeol.”

Baekhyun chewed his lip, grabbing the pile of clothes from the table, “Uh- take him to the perch- please. I’ll… I'll get him something warm to eat.”

Chanyeol looked at him wide eyed and like he wanted to question Baekhyun, but knew otherwise and kept his excitement to himself as Kyungsoo sent him a smile and Jongin walked over to grab his other arm.

“You sure?” Luhan whispered quietly, throwing his arm around Baekhyun's wet shoulder.

Baekhyun saw Yifan stop walking for a second at that, and swore he saw the muscle in Chanyeol's neck stiffen. “Positive.”

Chapter Text

 

 

As expected, Chanyeol was sick only hours later, his voice hoarse and looking pale.

Who knew how long he had been out in that freezing rain, he definitely didn’t, Chanyeol thought it had only been a few seconds he was out, but Baekhyun was positive it had been at least five minutes he had tried to carry his body alone.

“Hey.” Baekhyun whispered, chewing his lip as he walked into his cell, a bowl in his hands.

Chanyeol beamed like he hadn’t seen him all day when it had been only an hour or two as they had each been warmed up separately.

Baekhyun had been coddled to death by Yixing and Luhan while Jongin and Kyungsoo had changed Chanyeol.

“You’re wearing my clothes.” The elder commented, his voice raspier than normal, almost like when he first woke up in the mornings.

“They're warm.” Baekhyun mumbled, passing him the bowl and taking a seat on the chair across from Chanyeol, pulling his pajama pant covered legs up into the chair with him.

Chanyeol frowned at the distance before shaking it off and rubbing his eye, setting the hot soup on a side table beside him. “You saved my life, I would’ve died- it’s five inches deep outside Jimin said.”

Baekhyun gulped at the thought before shrugging, pulling his sleeves over his hands, “You’ve saved my life a lot of times.”

“Are we talking?” The elders asked softly, looking so small as he pulled the blanket around his shoulders,

Baekhyun was lucky to see the sight of him looking so soft whenever he wanted, because it was adorable when the boys looked so small when they usually had straight faces and hated talking to people outside their group. “We’re talking.” He confirmed.

“You kissed me.” Chanyeol whispered, licking his lips almost nervously.

Baekhyun sighed, “I did.”

“Why?”

“Why else, Chanyeol?” Baekhyun smiled and picked at his hoodie, “Because I love you, and you’re an idiot, but I was so scared, and you’re so sweet and I can’t stand it sometimes.”

Chanyeol chuckled quietly, but it sounded more of a croak, “I love you.” He said simply, staring at Baekhyun as if thinking about something else. “You’re beautiful, Baekhyun. I’m not… I’m not talking about just looking at you- that too, but you’re just beautiful and I-I want to impress you so badly, and I… I know you noticed. I went out… because I was going to do something special for you, but I got distracted… and the horse got out, and Taeyong would cry if I didn’t put it up-“

“I did notice, I always notice.” Baekhyun said softly, “You were so obvious, Hyung, how could I not notice? You never wake up so early after a night on watch to watch me read to Jisung in the mornings, you don’t have time and I know that. You… you don’t care about plants, Yeol.”

Baekhyun laughed quietly, looking away if only to avoid meeting watchful eyes, “You watched like a hawk when I was with people you don’t know, because you don’t really like to meet new people and that’s okay. I-I saw you talk to Jiyong a while ago and he came and told me that he didn’t know i had a soulmate, which was stupid considering Jongin and Kyungsoo leech as bad as I do.”

“I was jealous.” Chanyeol coughed into his sleeve before leaning against the wall, “God, fuck, I was so jealous. You’re so… you’re so lovable, Baekhyun. And I… I couldn’t love you. Two weeks and five days since I’ve kissed you, Baekhyun. I was scared you weren’t going to need me anymore, that you would decide not to let me in your heart again.. and let these others in. I’ve never felt jealousy like this and you know I’m like… like the most possessive asshole ever.”

Baekhyun sniggered at his words, nodding slightly with a soft smile.

“But… other people got to see your smile up close, got to be so close to you and I knew that… that I was pushing if I did- and I didn’t want to push you further than I already did. God, I just wanted to see you happy- but… I wanted to be the cause, not these strangers, not Sehun, or Yixing, not even Jongin or Kyungsoo, because I wanted it to be me… because I can’t get your face out of my head- god, why did I do that? Fuck, I can’t- you were so scared and I didn’t read it, and I lied through my teeth- and we don’t lie to each other, Baekhyun. Right?”

“We don’t.” Baekhyun confirmed, “And it did scare me.”

Chanyeol's nostrils flared as he brought his brows together, “I know.” His voice was so wet Baekhyun couldn't stand his crying because the boys were strong and they never cried as often as he did, and he appreciated that about them. But it also made it hurt so much more when they did. “I know, Baekhyun. I know, and I lied to you and I told you that yo-you were hard to be with and that I didn’t want to baby you, tried to convince myself that was the truth, but it wasn’t the truth at all.

Being without you… it’s so much harder, and I want to baby you so badly, because… you were my baby... i-I has you- I can’t- I can’t forgive myself for letting you go..”

Baekhyun had to take a breath, staring pointedly at his own hands because he hated when Chanyeol was upset, and he hated the sounds of shakiness in his voice.

“It seemed like so long… so long and I couldn’t do anything because I just kept making you more upset because I can’t control myself and Jongin was right.

My ego is-was too big to think about anything but how much I didn’t want to lose you- a-and that’s what happened.”

“You kept… you kept putting flowers in the hallway.” Baekhyun whispered, his chin trembling slightly. “Because… you knew I liked them, and you knew I walked past your cell every night, but do you know why?”

“Why?”

Baekhyun released a quiet whimper as he brought his sleeve to his eyes, “Because.. I heard you crying and I-I didn’t want you to cry, Chanyeol. I never wanted you to cry.”

“Of course, I was a huge asshole. You told me you were scared, and I didn’t register it until Jongin was hissing at me and looking at me like- like he had zero idea who I was anymore… because I swore to never hurt you, a-and I did, I hurt you and god, I’ll never forgive myself for it; I don’t expect you too. That’s why I’m not asking you to, I’m not asking you for anymore chances, I’m not asking for your trust.

I’m just… I’m just going to take whatever you give me and… and if that was our last kiss then… if that’s- that's what you want then I won’t ever ask. Even thoug-though I love you so much, Baekhyun.

And I don’t want to see you with anyone else.. even, even when I saw you with Jongin and Kyungsoo… but not me? It was… I couldn’t help the jealousy. But if it’s not me then I’ll respect that from now on, I won’t… try to win you over if that’s not what you want, but just… I’m asking you to tell me if I ever have a chance or if… if there’s no- no… p-place for me with you anymore.”

Baekhyun had to turn his whole body away, resting his shoulder against the wall even though he could feel Chanyeol staring at his profile, waiting for his reaction. “Did you yell at me?”

Chanyeol licked his lips, “I… I raised my voice at you, baby, but… but it wasn’t loud. Baekhyun, I’d never scream at you.

But I admit I... was being… being too aggressive, my words were too mean, and I apologize, sweetheart. I should have handled it better, I could have.”

Baekhyun brought a hand up to cover his eyes as they filled with tears, “I really thought-thought you yelled at me, Chanyeol… I’ve seen y-you yell and get mad, but… I don’t know I just- you looked so mad- I don’t know what happened, it was going into my ears li-like I was being screamed at- and-you know I can’t, can't handle that.”

Chanyeol only looked at him pained, unsure of what to do, or say.

He had been upset, and he had been mad. Baekhyun was so sensitive that he shouldn’t have raised his voice even the slightest, but… he hadn’t yelled at the smaller, he hadn’t meant to scare him.

Not when he loved him so much. But it was easy to forget when he was mad- that Baekhyun needed special care. If only he hadn’t looked at him and been so angry- maybe Baekhyun wouldn’t have gotten so upset with him.

“You also... don’t care about chicken.”

Chanyeol frowned, expression contorted into one of genuine confusion. “What?”

Baekhyun's face was completely covered in tears as he turned his head to look at Chanyeol, “I don’t know why… but a week ago you walked up to me.. and you told me that you were going hunting for chicken which was so unrealistic considering we’re.. we’re in the woods and we cleared all the farms near.

But then.. then I remember that I told you once, one time that chicken was my favorite food… it was a passing comment and it was completely meaningless. But.. I don’t know, I just couldn’t forget it, you know? It’s such a- so stupid that that’s what shook me up so much even though you’ve been doing such nice things for me the past two weeks.

It should’ve.. should’ve been the flowers or- or the candy, maybe even the game boy for Taeyong, but it wasn’t.”

“And why not?” Chanyeol asked softly.

“Because those other things you did so often anyways and I was just so used to it to.. to really consider them really special at the time- but they are. You guys always look for things for Taeyong, always find me candy or pretty things because you know I enjoy them.” Baekhyun stopped to chew his lip for only a moment, “But chicken? Chanyeol, I- I don’t know.. it sounds ridiculous, but I really cried over that, you know? And I probably scared the shit out of Yixing Hyung when I said I was crying over chicken, Chanyeol.”

Baekhyun laughed and shook his head, watching Chanyeol chuckle, the elder moving to lay on his side, hands under his cheek as he looked at Baekhyun.

“I swear I almost caught one too.” Chanyeol whispered, “Should’ve brought Taeyong with me, little shit is fast- could’ve caught it.”

Baekhyun only smiled, resting his chin on his knees.

He didn’t really know what to say. And Chanyeol didn’t seem to know what to say either, kind of just waiting for something else Baekhyun wanted to say.

Or, he was waiting for Baekhyun's response to his question, and Baekhyun was working his way up to it, but he wanted everything to be clear, everything laid on the table.

“Do you think I didn’t give you enough attention?” Baekhyun whispered, minutes later.

Chanyeol blinked a few times and Baekhyun felt a little bad for keeping him up, but he was supposed to be up because of his concussion anyways. “I think… that I had no right to be so angry, and that I was stressed out because I wasn’t making time to see you, I was.. projecting.”

“You were right too.” The younger whispered, “I.. I hadn’t really noticed until Jongin mentioned it, but it wasn’t… wasn't because I was spending so much time with them. It was because I-I was spending so much time with myself and… I was writing, and watching Taeyong… I’m worried about him, you know that.”

“We all are.” Chanyeol replied gravelly.

Baekhyun nodded, stretching his arm over his head, glancing at the window over Chanyeol's head. It still looked to be pouring pretty badly, he hoped the other people had enough common sense not to go out.

“Do you… you think I’m exhausting?”

“I didn’t…” Chanyeol paused to think over his words, “I don’t think you’re exhausting, Baekhyun. I don’t know… I think I said it because you’re so.. different than what I expected my soulmate to be, you know? Everyone pictures the perfect pair… stories always make it seem like there’s never any problems and… that’s mostly true. But there are sometimes, and sometimes they're big.

We don’t fight often, well.. you don’t fight with Jongin and Kyungsoo nearly as much as we… argue, I wouldn’t- I don’t count us arguing as fights, but this was a fight. And a huge one. And I don’t know.. what it is about me that just- just blows up sometimes and I really, genuinely, can’t believe that I blew up at you.”

“But you did… I pushed you.” Baekhyun said under his breath.

Chanyeol only gulped, leaning against the wall, “But I did.”

The younger released a quiet sigh, closing his eyes and leaning his head back. He could hear people moving up and down the hallways.

Taeyong’s familiar laugh and he wondered for a moment what he was doing, if he was playing a game with Jisung, or maybe Jongin was sneaking him some candy even though Baekhyun had been clear on limiting it because he was scared Taeyong would get sick- Baekhyun always pretended not to notice even though he had caught the two in the act before.

“Chanyeol, I love you.” Baekhyun muttered simply, climbing off his chair.

The elders eyes shook slightly as he watched Baekhyun walk around the room, the sudden movement making his heart jump as he watched the door in fear the younger would walk out of it. “And I love you.”

Baekhyun reached onto the bookshelf, digging through a silver metal box he pulled down, turning to set it on the dresser.

He found what he was looking for and turned around, hands hidden beneath his long sleeves as he walked over to the mattress and sat cross legged.

Chanyeol immediately sat up, he felt like he hadn’t been this close to Baekhyun in days even though it had only been a few hours since he was dragged inside. Eyeing his soulmates features as if the last time he would see them up close.

“Give me your arm.” Baekhyun requested quietly, holding his hand out. Chanyeol did so quickly.

“I really love you, Chanyeol.” Baekhyun began, thin fingers pushing up Chanyeol's sleeve, “Okay?”

“Okay.”

“And I-I don't want to be scared of you again. Or… or fight like this ever again.”

Chanyeol only nodded with a guilty look, “I’m sorry, I love you. I won’t ever raise my voice at you again, not even the slightest, ever.”

Baekhyun only sent him a little smile before looking down at Chanyeol's arm, sliding the object over Chanyeol's wrist. “I got you this… A few weeks ago, uh-the battery was broken.. so I had to fix it.”

Chanyeol's face contorted in pain as he looked at the watch, it was a pretty silver, probably one he would have never been able to afford if money had still been a thing. The inside black and the clicking hands moving every second white. It was so pretty.

“Now… you’ll have time to see me.”

The elder cried, throwing his arms around Baekhyun and pulling him under the blanket with him, pressing his chin to the crown of Baekhyun's head. “I-I’ll make time to see you, baby. I’ll come see you all the time, whenever you want.”

“For now…” Baekhyun whispered wetly, turning to press his cheek into Chanyeol's chest, “For now you should get better so that I can kiss you for.. for the first time in almost three weeks.”

“I love you, Baekhyun. I love you so much.”

~~~~~~~~~

“Yeol Hyung!”

Baekhyun tsked, immediately blocking the door, “Yeol Hyung has a fever, leave him alone, please.”

Taeyong raised a brow at him, crossing his arms. “Yixing Hyung said he was okay now. Come on, Hyung, it’s still pouring out, I’m bored.”

“Tell Kyungsoo and Jongin I said to let you charge your game boy.” Baekhyun offered, “Use the mini generator on level two though, we’re using this one!” He added as Taeyong began to run down the hall.

Baekhyun laughed, turning to shut the cell door. “Well, that was easy.”

Chanyeol smiled, Baekhyun's favorite smile, one where the dimple on his cheek showed and his nose slightly scrunched up. “Maybe we should tell him Yifan Hyung gave us this, but I kinda don’t want to.”

The younger giggled, shaking his head as he moved to crawl into Chanyeol's lap, glancing at the portable DVD player, “Maybe when we get tired of it.” He smiled, wrapping his arms around Chanyeol's neck.

The elder hummed, running his hand along the curve of Baekhyun's neck before laying down, the younger laid comfortably on his chest. “Now that you mention it… I feel a little tired of it.”

Baekhyun looked at him confused, “Huh? You’re the one that put it on, Yeollie!” He laughed, lightly tugging on Chanyeol's shirt.

“I have better things to do now!” Chanyeol smirked, turning to lay the smaller beneath him, “Prettier things to look at than a movie!”

The younger blushed slightly, reaching up to touch the dark hair grown out on Chanyeol's jaw, “This makes you look really manly, Hyung.”

“Yeah?” Chanyeol smiled, “You enjoy my facial hair grown out purely because I was too busy trying to get your attention, hm? Because Hyung wants all of it, all of it, baby.”

Baekhyun giggled, nodding as Chanyeol pressed a few innocent kisses to his cheeks. “Want Hyungs attention too.”

Chanyeol's look turned softer as he pressed a kiss to Baekhyun's nose, “I know, love. Hyung is going to give you lots of love, sweetheart. Can’t stand when I’m not near you, baby.”

“You want to know a secret.” Baekhyun whispered, brushing his nose on Chanyeol's with a smile, “Jiyong confessed to me, you know? He said he thought I was so cute… that he thought I was the prettiest one in this prison.”

The elder released a noise similar to a growl and Baekhyun smiled at the noise, pressing his mouth to Chanyeol's only so they brushed slightly as he spoke. “Told him I had a huge crush on you already, Hyung. That I had been in love with you, Nini, and Soo for well over a year.”

“You’re trying to get me worked up, aren’t you? That pretty little smirk tells all, little moon.” Chanyeol snarled, voice soft even though his jaw was clenched like he was angry.

He wasn’t though, Baekhyun knew that.

“Yup.” Baekhyun giggled, eyes crinkling in a way Chanyeol always thought extremely endearing, “Telling you so you have to show me off, Hyung. Until everyone in every cell block knows that you love me.”

“And god do I love you, baby.” The elder purred, pressing his mouth down Baekhyun's jaw.

Baekhyun beamed fingers moving to tangle into Chanyeol's hair with a grip he knew made the elder crazy. “Take off my clothes, Hyung.”

“Fuck, you don’t need to tell me twice.” Chanyeol growled, immediately pulling away to strip the younger making Baekhyun giggle in delight. “This pretty little body is mine to see, this pretty little face is mine.” He ranted, pressing his lips down on Baekhyun's cheek. “This little mouth is mine.”

“I’m yours, Hyung.” Baekhyun smiled, tugging Chanyeol's mouth onto his, “And you’re mine?”

“Why is that even a question.” Chanyeol said firmly, reaching in between the two of them to pull off his boxers, “I’m yours, only ever yours, baby.”

“Chanyeol, love me.”

Chanyeol wondered if he was going to get whiplash with how fast he was reaching over to dig into the side table, “I do love you, Baekhyun.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Yifan walked down to the animal pins, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes when he heard fast footsteps and snorted to himself.

“Hyung, you didn’t wake me up!” Taeyong whined, his shoe not even tied as he ran to catch up.

“Because I knew you were up all night reading comics with a flashlight.” The leader called out with a laugh, walking to the bucket of pig feed, scooping out a serving.

Taeyong huffed, a light blush on his cheeks as he wrapped his arm around the wooden post and looked at the pigs. “What's up with Violet?” He pointed out.

Yifan frowned, looking at the pig laying in the mud, not even moving at the sound of him dumping the feed into the pin when usually they were all over at the gate at the sight of a person nearing the pin. “I thought your brother told you not to name them anymore. They're not piglets, they’re food, Tae.”

“I just thought, you know, until…” Taeyong trailed off with a slight shrug.

“Okay. I don't know what's going on with her. Could be sick, could be nothing.”

Yifan stared at the teenager for a moment before sighing and pulling Taeyong under his arm, “Feel better, Violet.”

The teenager beamed up at Yifan and the leader rolled his eyes, “Tell your brother and you’re dead meat.”

“I named the little one Wilbur, from those books.”

“Okay, now that’s pushing it.” Yifan teased, pinching Taeyongs arm.

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun smiled and waved as he walked past the people seated at the tables, a few people trying to stop him to see Jisung, but he only smiled, a mumbled excuse that the baby had a headache- mainly just because Baekhyun was starving.

“Morning, Baekhyun!”

He smiled and waved before spotting a table filled with people he actually spoke to on a regular basis and ran over, “Hello, good morning- I’m starving so here’s the baby!” He ranted, setting a tired Jisung in Sunmi’s lap faster than she could even process before turning and walking towards the food line.

“Baekhyun!” He heard her screech and smirked to himself.

Baekhyun grabbed his tray and saw a bunch of people waving at him and flushed, a bit confused when he didn’t really know them all that well.

He felt familiar arms around his waist then and laughed, “Babe, baby.”

“Good morning.” Baekhyun said genuinely, turning to press a kiss to Chanyeol's jaw.

The elder hummed, “Good morning, Mr. Popular.”

Baekhyun heard the mischievousness and gasped, “What’d you do?”

“May or… may not have just gone and told a few people about my beautiful soulmate, apparently they’re pretty shocked, a lot of them thought I was a single man. I’m very wanted, don’t you know, baby?”

Baekhyun laughed and faked a pout, “I’ll kill whoever this soulmate is, Chanyeol.”

Chanyeol smiled radiantly at the reply, pressing a soft kiss to his lips, “You really like this game, huh?”

Baekhyun only smiled into the kiss before pulling away and taking a good step away. “I’m sorry, do I know you?”

The elder gasped dramatically and discreetly placed his hand on Baekhyun's ass as the line moved, “Be careful, baby. I heard Jongin was a little testy this morning, you can play with me, but he’s gonna be quick to punish you.”

“Guess I’ll find out later, huh? I’ll come tell you when I piss him off so you can join.” Baekhyun giggled.

Chanyeol growled and nipped at the side of his neck making Baekhyun scrunch his shoulders up with a loud laugh.

“Smells good.” Baekhyun heard someone at the front of the line compliment and laughed, moving to lean against the counter.

“Just so you know, I liked you first.” Baekhyun teased.

Kyungsoo sniggered, grabbing the plate from him to fill it up, “Oh, stop.”

Baekhyun smiled prettily and moved to walk behind the counter and lean into Kyungsoo's side, “Good morning, love.”

Kyungsoo laughed, the sound slightly shocked as he placed the filled plate down and reached out for Chanyeol's. “You trying to give me a heart attack? Call me baby, Hyung wants to hear it.”

Baekhyun only smiled, grabbing a fork and ignoring the request. “You know.” Baekhyun said softly, “Yifan Hyung brought in a lot of people.”

“Okay, I’ll bug you about it later.” Kyungsoo smirked.

“Not recently.” Chanyeol answered before looking at Kyungsoo, “But Kyungsoo, I need you to see something.”

Kyungsoo raised a confused brow, “Right… uh…” He scanned the people nearby, “Seungkwan, you want to take over?”

“Yes, sir!”

Baekhyun looked up from his plate curiously at the excited tone of the boy and snorted as he faced Chanyeol. “Mr. Park, I just wanted to thank you for bringing that deer back yesterday. It was a real treat, sir. And I'd be honored to shake your hand.”

Baekhyun met Chanyeol's eyes and giggled, setting his empty plate down to intertwine his fingers with Kyungsoo's. “We don’t have all day, Hyung. Come on.” Baekhyun prompted with a laugh as Chanyeol looked physically pained at the kids enthusiasm to shake his hand, immediately letting go even though the kid beamed.

Chanyeol grabbed Baekhyun, pulling him into his side as the three walked, “You're so getting it later, sweetheart.”

“Baby.” Baekhyun pouted, looking up at Kyungsoo, “Hyung is being mean.”

“You little brat!” The elder whined, “You want to play so much today!”

“As usual, I like it!” Kyungsoo chirped, pressing his lips to Baekhyun's knuckles, “Call me that again, sweetheart, my heart is racing!” He cooed just to see Baekhyun laugh.

The younger only smiled before seeing a familiar back standing at the edge of the asphalt, arms crossed and Yifan at his side.

He released Kyungsoo's hand with a pretty smile before running and attaching himself to Jongin's back.

Jongin laughed quietly, wrapping his hands around Baekhyun's to keep them around his waist, “Good morning my little leech.”

“Ugh, Hyungs have sweet nicknames for me this morning and now I get leech- offended, Nini! Offended!” Baekhyun whined, moving himself to Jongin's front.

The elder only made a soft cooing noise and brushed Baekhyun's hair out of his face before looking over at his two best friends. “About today, I don't know if we're gonna be able to spare a lot of people for the run.”

“The place is good to go. We're gonna move on it.” Chanyeol replied looking confused.

“Yeah.” Yifan sighed and pointed to the corner of the furthest fence, “The thing is, we had a pretty big build up overnight. Dozens more towards tower three. It's getting as bad as last month.”

Baekhyun gawked, the walkers were so many, few spaces in between, almost like they were herding for food.

“They don't spread out anymore. With more of us sitting here, we're drawing more of them out. You get enough of those damn fence-clingers, they start to herd up.”

“Pushing against the fences again. It's manageable, but unless we get ahead of it, not for long.” Kyungsoo summarized.

Baekhyun heard Chanyeol huff and sent him a sympathetic look, knowing how much he wanted to get out and scavenge today. “Sorry, baby.” He said softly, reaching out for the eldests hand.

“This a new game? We playing games today?” Jongin smirked, pressing a soft kiss to Baekhyun's ear.

“Maybe.” Baekhyun smiled teasingly.

“We still gotta go today, let’s get down and help them get these fuckers through the fence.” Yifan suggested, pulling his knife out.

Baekhyun sighed softly as the leader walked off. “No play time?”

His soulmates smiled fondly. “Maybe later, sweetheart.” Kyungsoo said softly, pinching his cheek, “Let’s get to work.”

~~~~~~~~~

The fence was basically hopeless, but they had gotten them out of the way enough to set up a new fortification.

At this rate the wooden pegs were going to be only a foot apart if it kept up like this.

“Hey, we’re heading out, honey.”

Baekhyun popped up from trimming the plants beside Minseok and walked out of the garden, tossing his gloves to the side, “You better be careful.”

“Of course.” Chanyeol muttered, grabbing his chin between two fingers and pressing sweet kisses to Baekhyun's mouth, “You come find me with Jongin and Soo when I get back, okay?”

“Hm.. ‘Kay, love you.”

“And I love you, gorgeous.” Chanyeol promised, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's forehead.

Baekhyun smiled and turned to wrap Yifan in a hug. “Be safe, Hyung.”

“Yeah, yeah, get your cuteness all over me why don’t you?” The leader teased, squeezing Baekhyun harder than the younger was him. “We’re only going if it’s easy, if not we’re turning around, don’t stress.”

“I trust you, Hyung.” The younger smiled, pulling away and patting Yifan's shoulder.

The leader smiled and ruffled his hair, “I know, and I’m very honored.”

Baekhyun smiled cutely and waved the two off before noticing Taeyong sulking by the stable. Sighing, he walked over.

Jongin was talking to Sehun about the walkers herding the fence when he noticed a familiar figure approaching the gate and climbed down, rushing to pull the chain to open the metal entrance.

“Man am I glad to see you!” Jongin laughed as he shut the gate.

Zitao laughed, climbing off the horse. “Nothing, man, I’ll try again tomorrow.”

Jongin sighed, running his hand over the horses neck, “We really appreciate it, man, but it’s getting too dangerous. Yifan Hyung thinks we should hold off for a bit.”

“Walkers for miles.” Zitao said in agreement, “But, trust me, I want to do it of my free will- Baek would lose his mind if he knew you guys were going out there.”

“He cares about you too.” Jongin said softly, “You should stay home for a while, Tao.”

Zitao smiled softly and shrugged, “I guess I have to, his trail is cold, not much left to track.”

Jongin chewed his lip and then placed a fake smile on his face as he noticed Taeyong running over, Baekhyun slowly walking. “I know man, we’ll get him one day.”

“Hyung!” Taeyong smiled, running to throw his arms around Zitaos waist, “I was just telling Hyung I couldn’t find you this morning!”

“Somebody hit the jackpot.” Zitao drawled, opening his pouch on the saddle and pulling out a bunch of comics, dangling them over Taeyongs head.

“No way. Awesome!” Taeyong beamed, “Thank you.”

“I get to read 'em when you're done.” Zitao teased, giving them over.

“Tao, you staying for a while?” Baekhyun asked quietly, wrapping his arm around Jongin's. “You should at least rest a few days.”

“Maybe a little while.” Zitao assured, grabbing the horses reins and pulling her towards the stable, “How's it been? Everything cleaned up since the flood?”

Jongin hummed in confirmation, “Got it cleaned up about a week or so ago, wasn’t as bad as we thought, we lost a piglet, but that’s about it.”

“Are you tired?” Baekhyun worried, “Do you want to rest? I’ll make you something to eat, come on.” He offered his hand, palm up as he separated from Jongin, draping his arm around Taeyong's shoulders.

Zitao smiled at him fondly, and accepted.

~~~~~~~~

“Hyung, what are you doing today?” Taeyong turned to Jongin as his brother walked away, immediately shadowing the elder.

“I’m going to check the snares.” Jongin replied. Locking the horse up and tossing some hay in.

“Okay, cool, lets do it.”

Jongin frowned, “I am. You're not. Do your chores. Read comics. Maybe some books, too. Hang out with Seungkwan, Mark, and Lucas. Maybe go to story time and see Sunmi.”

Taeyong huffed, crossing his arms, “Hyung, that's for kids. I’m not a kid and you know it.”

Jongin sighed, stopping to look down at Taeyong, “For Hyung, can you just play normally? I love you, Tae. But we want you to have fun while you can, okay?”

The teenager sighed, nodding his head and not fussing as he usually would as Jongin pressed a kiss to his hair.

“I love you.” Jongin prompted, wiping a bit of dirt off Taeyongs cheek.

“Love you too.” The teenager mumbled, looking disappointed as he watched his Hyung walk off towards the fence.

Taeyong turned on his heel, kicking the dirt up as he walked around looking for people his age since his Hyung wanted him to so badly.

He could see his brother standing in the courtyard, and he wondered if Baekhyun would be happier if he saw him playing around too.

“Nick, look over here.”

“This one's Wayne.”

“Nick. Nick, over here.”

Taeyong frowned as he walked behind the group of kids, most of them a few years younger, but he spotted Seungkwan, Mark, and Lucas watching and wondered up.

“Hi, Nick! Hi, Nick.”

He looked at the little girls back in disgust, “ You're naming them?” He spat.

Lizzie spun around with a glare, “Well, one of them has a name tag, so we thought all of them should.”

“They had names when they were alive. They're dead now.” Taeyong explained simply, his comics hanging in his hand.

“No, they're not. They're just different.” She argued.

Taeyong found himself disgusted as he glanced at the herd of walkers hanging on the furthest fence, “What the hell are you talking about?” He scoffed, stepping forward.

“Okay, they don't talk. They don't think. They eat people. They kill people.”

“People kill people. They still have names.” Lizzie shot back, crossing her arms defensively.

“Have you seen what happens? Have you seen someone die like that?” Taeyong growled, empty hand curling up.

She huffed, stomping her foot, “Yeah, I have.”

Taeyong glared at her through his hair, “They're not people and they're not pets. Don't name them.” He said firmly, “You’re drawing them in and making it harder on everyone.”

The group of younger kids looked mostly afraid of his words, but Lizzie looked at him as if challenging.

“We're supposed to go read. Come on.” A little girl said, grabbing Lizzies arm.

“You coming to story time tonight?” Mark asked Seungkwan.

Taeyong furrowed his brows as he looked at his fellow teenagers.

“Uh, yeah. See you then.” Seungkwan said nervously, smiling as Lucas pat his shoulder and the twins walked off.

He then turned to look at Taeyong's calculating expression, “I go sometimes. I'm immature. You wouldn't dig it. It's for kids.”

Taeyong didn’t respond, only staring.

“I'm gonna head up there, too. I'll catch you later.” Seungkwan muttered, turning to follow the others.

Taeyong frowned and took a seat in the dirt, opening his comics. “Yup.” He replied, even though he was very much alone.

Chapter Text

 

 

Taeyong decided, for once, to give it a try.

The conclusion was mostly made because Baekhyun had noticed him seated alone and immediately abandoned Kyungsoo to go sit with him.

And it made Taeyong feel guilty, because his brother always looked out for him since he was little and he shouldn’t have to keep doing it.

He was almost fourteen now, and he wasn’t exactly sure the date, but his brother was older now too, twenty four probably, and he was old enough to want to have alone time without Taeyong.

Baekhyun shouldn’t always need to come running to him just because he thought Taeyong looked lonely. And Taeyong was lonely, but he wasn’t alone. He had family, and that was enough for him.

The less people, the easier it was if something happened.

So he had immediately told Baekhyun he was just packing up to go to story time, which at the time was a lie, but he had to make it real because him and Baekhyun didn’t lie to each other.

And his brother looked so proud of him, so happy that he was trying to make friends that Taeyong, truthfully, felt like shit.

But he didn’t want to own up to going, not to the other kids, he had a look to upkeep.

So, he snuck in.

He watched Sunmi glance at the door for a second, a book in her hand before he watched her toss it to the side and pull out a fabric bag, unrolling it.

“Today...we are talking about knives-- how to use them, how to be safe with them, and how they could save your life.”

Taeyong frowned, this surely wasn’t allowed, Sunmi definitely didn’t have permission to teach these kids this or else they’d be teaching out in the open- like she had done for him.

“Noona, may I be dismissed?” Seungkwan suddenly asked, hand raised.

Sunmi frowned, “What is it?”

“I'm not feeling very well.”

“Sometimes you're gonna have to fight through it. What if you wind up out there alone? You just give up because you're feeling bad?” She asked firmly.

“No, it's just I don't want to yack on somebody.”

Sunmi sighed, “Go.”

Taeyong watched Seungkwan run out before standing up a bit to get a better view.

“Okay, today we're gonna learn how to hold a knife, how to stab and slash and where to aim for.” Sunmi began, holding a knife up before looking around at the kids.

The teenager felt his lips curl up in anger as he stood up straight, giving Sunmi time to notice him, locking eyes.

Sunmi’s eyes shook and Taeyong crossed his arms.

“Taeyong. Please, don't tell your brother.”

~~~~~~~~

“Come on, come on!” Baekhyun giggled, pulling both Jongin and Kyungsoo's arms out into the darkness.

Kyungsoo snorted, grabbing Baekhyun's arm when the younger narrowly tripped in excitement, “You’re too excited, sweet pea. You’ve been in a good mood all day.”

“Yeah, I’m curious, doll, what’s up?” Jongin teased, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's wrist.

Baekhyun beamed, “Woke up in a good mood, and guess what!”

“What, gorgeous?” Chanyeol drawled, standing exactly where he promised to be when they got back from the run, leaning against the bottom of the watchtower, shirt slightly torn.

“Taeyong went and played today, with the other kids!” Baekhyun said, turning to wrap his arms around Chanyeol's waist. “How’d it go?”

“That’s so good to hear, sweetheart.” Kyungsoo chirped, sending a nod to the eldest of them, a smile to see him back.

“Well, it’s not thirty days without an accident anymore.” Chanyeol muttered, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's hair.

“Oh.” Baekhyun frowned, pulling back to look up at him, “Who, one of us?”

“Course not, babe. Hyung would be bawling like Jisung if it was.” Jongin joked, wrapping himself around Baekhyun's back.

Baekhyun laughed, agreeing with a nod.

“Okay, first of all, fuck you. And secondly, a kid from A, probably seventeen or so, got bitten, trapped under a shelf. He was a decent kid, not sure any of us really knew him.” Chanyeol explained.

It was so selfish of them, but it was so reassuring to know it wasn’t anyone that really… mattered to them. It wasn’t Sehun, it wasn’t Yifan, so… it was hard to care as cruel as it sounded.

Someone would mourn the poor kid, whether it be his friends, his family, even Yifan. Either way, he would be appreciated by Baekhyun, because at least it hadn’t been any of his family.

In Baekhyun's mind, the kid was a sacrifice, and he would appreciate it.

“Okay, okay, I worked on this shit all day- you know how hard it is to get Luhan to keep his mouth shut?” Kyungsoo growled, turning to open the watchtower entrance.

Baekhyun raised a brow at that, now that he thought about it he hadn’t really seen Kyungsoo very many times today. “Soo, love you, but you know I hate walking those stairs.”

Baekhyun heard a snigger before Jongin was throwing him over his shoulder, “You don’t mind them when we’re making love in them, gorgeous.”

The younger gasped as the other two laughed, reaching down to hit Jongin's butt playfully, “You're so sleazy these days!”

“I prefer seductive.” Jongin laughed, pinching Baekhyun thigh as he climbed the stairs, “And you have zero room to talk, you bat your eyelashes and then ask us to make love to you practically daily.”

“In my defense!” Baekhyun giggled, wiggling slightly just to make it harder for Jongin to keep him still, “In my defense, you guys like it!”

“Nobody is arguing, beautiful.” Kyungsoo sung softly in the back, Baekhyun glanced up at him tittering.

“Okay, okay! We’re all fiends for Baekhyun, agreed.” Chanyeol joked, pulling open the watchtower door, “Let’s get on with this and see if we’re seeing our baby all pretty and blushing.”

“Ugh, you guys are so crude!” Baekhyun flushed, straightening out his shirt as Jongin set him to his feet.

The three only chuckled and Baekhyun smiled at the noise before looking around.

“Hey, you guys put up lights? Pretty.” The younger said softly, trailing his hand over the lights lining the windows, glancing out at the stars for a second.

“We’re playing a game, love.” Kyungsoo's voice was suddenly extremely soft. It made Baekhyun turn around with a raised brow.

Baekhyun peeked up, “A game? What game?”

Jongin smiled sweetly, reaching out to grab Baekhyun's wrist, “Look, darling.” He cooed, turning Baekhyun to stand with his back against his chest, “That box, there’s something very special inside, see if you can find it.”

“I love games.” The youngest whispered, a happy smile as he walked over to the wooden box.

It was a simple oak, Baekhyun pulled it open and almost turned to whine when he only saw a stack of polaroids in them before gawking and pulling the box into his lap as he moved to sit on the edge of the window, swinging his legs. “When’d you take these?”

“Different times, baby.” Chanyeol said softly, “They're all in order, at the camp, on the road, here.”

Baekhyun hummed and went silent as he looked at the pictures.

Him and Taeyong, probably around the first day at the camp in the forest so long ago, sleeping curled together.

The next was just their backs, but it was definitely him and Kyungsoo, the prettiest of looks from what Baekhyun could see on the profile of his soulmate as he stared at him, both sitting in the back of a truck.

Baekhyun sorted through a few others, some even so horrible blurry that he had to laugh, a few of Taeyongs face up close that he wondered if they had just thrown these ones in on accident. But he knew they did it just because he would have liked them.

Chanyeol and him doing nothing but holding onto each other, the elder resting his forehead on Baekhyun's and Baekhyun thought he looked horrible in it, his cheekbones way too sharp, must have been around when they first arrived here.

Jongin was always so handsome, even in the photo of him taking a picture, slightly blurry as it showed Baekhyun laying on his chest, dead asleep by the looks of it.

Baekhyun knew he was being much too quiet, he should be asking all kinds of questions- and he would, eventually- but he was mainly trying to focus on not crying because he was so happy.

Just when he thought he wasn’t going to cry, he pulled out the last photo, hand already so full of them he had to put them back into the box. Moving it out of his lap as he stood up.

Carrying the picture over he knelt down and offered it, “Yes.”

They didn’t need to really say anything, pulling Baekhyun into the middle of the bed and sliding the pretty ring onto his hand, he was so happy, and even when he noticed his three soulmates crying, he couldn’t stop the tears, because he didn’t think he had ever been so endeared and in love in his life.

“I love you.”

“We love you, little husband.”

~~~~~~~~

“My baby husband!”

Baekhyun snickered, turning around in Jongin's arms and playfully rolling his eyes, “Are you going to only say that from now on?”

“Do you have any other name?” Jongin gawked before bursting into the cutest laughter Baekhyun had ever seen from the man’s lips. “Baby! Baby! Baby!” He sung, his arms around Baekhyun's waist lifting his feet off the ground and making Baekhyun squeal in delight, wrapping his arms tightly around Jongin's neck.

“You’re gonna drop me!” Baekhyun giggled, pressing his smile into Jongin's cheek as he wrapped his legs around Jongin's thighs- an odd angle and hard when the man was only holding his waist and not his legs, “Hyung, don't drop me!”

“Ugh, Jongin- do you and Chanyeol always need to man handle him like this?” Kyungsoo deadpanned, patting Baekhyun's ass and giving him zero help which in turn made him receive the cutest pout.

Chanyeol looked up from his movie, confused. “What do you mean? You do it too!”

“Nini!” Baekhyun huffed into his temple, trying to wiggle his way into his hold correctly, “Hold me right!” He pouted.

Jongin beamed, dropping his hands down to Baekhyun's ass and lifting his hips up to his waist, where he belonged. “I’d never drop you, love. Hm? How mean would I be to drop my little husband?”

Baekhyun's mouth curled up on a smirk, going to respond when Chanyeol cut in. “Wait! Wait! Let me guess: you have a husband? And then you and Jongin are going to go back and forth for a while and then kick me off the bed to make love, right?”

The youngest in the room turned a pretty pink, tightening his hold on Jongin's neck at the laughter, “Hey! You can’t do that, Chanyeollie!”

“I like that game.” Jongin added, pressing his mouth to a bite on the curve of Baekhyun's shoulder, “It’s fun.”

“Yeah!” Baekhyun pouted cutely, pressing his cheek to Jongin's throat as he looked at Chanyeol. “No fun, Yeol.”

“No fun, Yeol.” Jongin parroted with a laugh, moving to sit in the office chair in the corner, “Let’s play amongst ourselves, huh? Or should we just skip to the part where you’re naked?”

Baekhyun beamed, playfully leaning forward to nip at Jongin's jaw because he knew his husband liked it so much, immediately earning a hiss and Jongin adjusting him in his lap so he didn’t sit directly over his dick.

“God, is nobody going to congratulate me about how spot on I was?” Chanyeol whined, “My own husband doesn’t even appreciate my efforts, okay then.”

Baekhyun snorted and climbed out of Jongin's lap, “I always appreciate you, Hyung.” He cooed, flopping down onto his stomach at the end of the mattress, his brown hair laying on the edge as he pressed his cheek to the mattress. “Wouldn’t have said yes otherwise.”

“You’re so sassy recently.” Kyungsoo said, a dark edge to his tone, “Love it, beauty, keep it up and we won’t be able to handle you though.”

“Maybe I don’t want you to handle me.” Baekhyun laughed, swinging his calves up into the air and smiling.

Chanyeol's mouth twisted into an amused expression as he reached over to run his large palm down Baekhyun's spine, the touch sending goosebumps across Baekhyun's skin regardless that his shirt blocked most of it, “Careful, sweetheart. Your husbands handle you the best, gorgeous, tell me we don’t when you’re moaning for us so often, baby?”

Baekhyun licked his tongue, a high pitched giggle coming from him as Chanyeol punctuated his sentence with a pat on his ass. “Hyung!” He squeaked, crawling more into the bed to press his cheek to Chanyeol's thigh, head turned towards Kyungsoo and Jongin, “Hyung, you moan for me!” He called out, face already red at his own words.

He saw Kyungsoo and Jongin laughing and smiled sweetly before hands were pulling him up, large hands holding his tiny waist as he was manipulated to straddle Chanyeol's lap, a position he was more than familiar with by now.

Baekhyun's hands immediately took purchase on the elders shoulders, expression becoming hooded as he looked down at Chanyeol.

“You bet we do, sweet pea.” Kyungsoo smirked, Baekhyun could only lick his lips as he glanced at his expression, “Love you so fucking much, buttercup, everything you do is so sexy.”

The youngest beamed, sitting his hips back into Chanyeol and purposely leaning his head back because he knew they liked the curve of his neck- to mark it up and he liked it too- their touch only, their hands only, their mouths only, nobody else.

“Let’s play again.” Baekhyun suggested, smirking as he leaned down to press his nose to Chanyeol's collarbone, rubbing his face into the firm muscle on his soulmate like a puppy. “I like to call you my husbands now, makes me feel safer.”

“Oh, lovely. Our pretty, pretty little husband.” Jongin purred, immediately strolling over and pressing his hand on Baekhyun's spine, silently urging the smaller down onto Chanyeol's chest more, “Let's keep bonding then, my love.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun smiled, swinging Kyungsoo's hand as they walked through the cell blocks.

“Do you think Taeyong has gotten better?” Kyungsoo asked quietly so as to not allow his voice to echo as they came back from watch, lights off and it was only dimly lit by the windows and morning sun rising.

“I was going to… I don’t know, I think the four of us should sit down and talk about it soon.” Baekhyun replied, smiling as Kyungsoo pulled his hand to his face just to press a kiss to Baekhyun's ring. “Maybe talk to Taeyong about it too… I don’t know, he’s just so… quiet these days, he’s fine one second and then the next I feel like he’s not even listening to what I’m saying.”

“Well… he is a teenager, baby. I mean, we went through the worst teen phases ever, Taeyong doesn’t seem nearly as bad as Jongin was.” The elder joked, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's ear, “Jongin literally got in arguments with us everyday, got so bad him and Chanyeol fist fought and both got grounded. Best summer ever, those two shitheads couldn’t come interrupt me.”

Baekhyun covered his mouth with his other hand as he stifled his laughter, “Interrupt your what? You studying during summer? My nerd.”

“Agh.” Kyungsoo faked annoyance, turning to press Baekhyun's back into the wall, “Wish I never told you that, won’t let me live it down, beautiful? Hm? You’re so rude to your husbands these days, two days of you wearing that ring and you think you rule the world, right?”

“Rule you.” Baekhyun giggled, pressing his lips beneath Kyungsoo's ear, “I’m the king, Hyung.”

Kyungsoo beamed.

The boys had been so obsessed with Baekhyun's playfulness lately, the youngest almost seeming like he perpetually wanted to torture them.

It was adorable, and it was heartwarming when they remembered their self conscious baby who flinched when they would open the tent door too fast, who didn’t believe their compliments or affectionate confessions for anything.

And now Baekhyun fed off of it, giving out attention and his love like it made him so extremely excited to do so.

He still had nightmares, but he calmed a lot faster. He still had insomnia, but they had ways of wearing him out. He still got a bit frazzled and didn’t understand things sometimes, but these were things they’d easily take over how he used to be.

How hard it was to see Baekhyun like that, so scared, so afraid of literally everything. Confessions, praise, affection, it used to be so hard for him. And they loved him back then just as much as they did now, but now… everything was laid out.

There were no secrets. Not between them, not between the group, not even from Taeyong. And they knew that alone gave Baekhyun so much relief.

Maybe it was also a factor in his newfound confidence and happiness. Or, maybe it was all the support Baekhyun had that helped him swim his way out of drowning and just breathe.

Just breathe.

“You want to know why I wanted to be alone? Sixteen year old me getting all fed up with Jongin and Yeol for ruining all my time, hm?” Kyungsoo purred, pressing his lips below Baekhyun's ear and running his thumbs over the soft skin of his soulmates hip bones, he heard Baekhyun release a pleased sigh against his collarbone and smirked. “Thinking about you, baby. Hormonal teenager… you know what I was thinking about, little minx, always knew you’d be fucking gorgeous… but not like this.”

Baekhyun's breath caught, his foot bumping Kyungsoo’s with how fast he scooted closer, pressing himself right against the elder.

Truthfully, he had no idea what had gotten into him the past few months- ever since he and Kyungsoo had slept together. It was for memories, yes. But it was also so nice, so fun.

He never knew loving would be like this, never knew making love would consist of such pleasure. Maybe he was addicted, probably to the ways the boys cared for him more than sex itself.

The adoring compliments and also seductive words they’d say to each other, the way Baekhyun got to see and feel them pant his name like it was all they knew- the wet mouths breathing love into his skin. How his fingers searched their bodies, and he was amazed, everytime- even though he had lost count now.

He had so many good memories now, and he only wanted more, wanted more memories of them licking over his skin. Kisses rough but also tender, eyes attentive and lustful.

Rough hands that could grip him tightly, but he was never trapped. And he was never afraid, not when they made sure he was safe every time. Even if his cheek was pressed into the mattress and they were whispering such filthy things- it was never forceful. And they never called him anything negative, nothing but sweet praises, only things that made him whimper with need.

“Wish I knew your name back then, wish I knew your face back then.” Kyungsoo added, his fingers skimming over Baekhyun's lower back beneath his shirt, voice husky and getting deeper as he whispered. “You don’t know how many times I touched myself to you, fuck it would have been so many more if I knew you were like this. If I knew you were fucking gorgeous and so sweet, so seductive without even trying. God, I’d have gotten on my knees for you so fast, as soon as you asked me too.”

“I’m here now.” Baekhyun's voice was merely a breath, and he was surprised he and Kyungsoo weren’t running back to their cell by now, stripping each other until one of them would get fed up and impatient. “Here now, Hyung. Don’t want you to touch yourself.. I like to touch you.”

Kyungsoo hummed, and the sound went straight to Baekhyun's chest, “Fuck if I don’t know it, baby. This little mouth, your pretty little hands, you drive me crazy, lovely.”

It was kind of funny how Kyungsoo was saying such dirty things to him, but the two of them weren’t really doing anything. Baekhyun didn’t feel Kyungsoo's hardness when he pressed against him and he didn’t necessarily feel like he was aroused either.

It was just nice. Nice to hear that they wanted him so badly, nice to feel Kyungsoo pressed against him and know that if he wanted to be intimate it was only a kiss away.

Baekhyun didn’t know if that was Kyungsoo's point in bringing up his story in the first place, because the boys still never really asked him when they were horny or when they wanted to be intimate- something Baekhyun wanted to talk about soon- but Kyungsoo didn’t really seem like he was interested in much more than holding him and talking to him, which Baekhyun loved anyways.

“Me too.”

Kyungsoo laughed quietly, pressing a soft kiss to Baekhyun's jaw, “Me too.” He teased, arms wrapping fully around his soulmates waist beneath his shirt.

The younger smiled at the teasing, moving his face up to press softly against Kyungsoo's, “Love you.”

And, like always, his soulmate was smiling, pressing his lips softly to the youngers, “And I love you, sweet pea.”

Baekhyun smiled, standing on his toes to press his mouth firmer to his soulmates, fingers moving to hold the side of Kyungsoo's cheek to keep him still as he pressed his lips to his husbands.

They stayed like this for a while. Soft, innocent kisses pressing to each other’s lips.

And then an odd groan sounded from the closed cell block behind them, cell block D. Baekhyun made a confused noise against Kyungsoo's mouth. Moving to cuddle his cheek to the elders collarbone, listening.

He felt Kyungsoo do the same, gently setting his hand in Baekhyun's hair and chewing his lip with a furrowed brow.

A scream, and they took off.

Baekhyun reached into his hoodie pocket to grab his knife while Kyungsoo swung the door open.

“We have a breach!” Kyungsoo yelled as loud as he could down the halls, at least some of the other must be up by now.

Baekhyun ran up to a walker, seeing people climbing out of their cells and screaming, so much screaming. “Stay in your cells!”

He felt slightly bad about yanking the walker back by the hair, stabbing it in the temple when he knew so many people were looking- people that were sheltered.

The real question was why there were walkers inside closed quarters.

“Baek!”

Baekhyun ignored the sound of his group running to aid and cringed as he saw a man get bitten right in the neck, ignoring it, he turned to grab a young child from the floor, passing the kid over to a random woman crying, “Are you bit?”

The woman shook her head, tears and shaky hands as she held the kid. “Go. Get out of here.” Baekhyun ordered, running up to the second level and opening peoples cell doors, “If you’re not bit, get out- go!”

“Are you bit?” Sunmi began to copy, “All right, go. Get up.” She sighed, pulling the older man up, “Get back in the cell. Here, stay here.”

Baekhyun urged them last people out of the cells and sent them down the stairs, his hands bloodied as he wrapped them around the bars and leaned over the second level, “Are we clear down here?”

“Yeah!” Yifan confirmed, “Come down!”

Listening, Baekhyun sulked down the stairs, “We're safe?” He asked, walking over to the cell he saw his group crowding.

“Oh, it's Seungkwan.” Baekhyun added, a pitiful frown on his face as he peered over Yixings arm and looked down at the bloody walker, “What… his eyes..”

The walkers eyes were red where they should have been white, and trails of blood flowed from them.

“No bites. No wounds. I think he just died. Horribly, too. Pleurisy aspiration.” Yixing said softly, turning over the walkers wrist.

Baekhyun stiffened, backing into Chanyeol's chest to which the larger immediately was wrapping him up into his chest.

“Choked to death on his own blood. Caused those trails down his face.”

“I've seen them before on a walker outside the fences.” Zitao mumbled.

“They're from the internal lung pressure building up-- like if you shake a soda can and pop the top. Only imagine your eyes, ears, nose, and throat are the top.” Dr. S explained, nodding to Yixing.

Baekhyun had never spoken to the man before, always only running to Yixing, but he knew the doctor was teaching his Hyung, so that was reason enough to think him a decent man.

“It's a sickness from the walkers?” Sehun wondered.

“No, these things happened before they were around. Could be pneumococcal. Most likely an aggressive flu strain.” Yixing corrected.

“Hell, he was just eating barbecue yesterday. How could somebody die in a day just from a cold?” Luhan frowned, leaning into Sehun's arm uncomfortably.

Yifan chewed his lip, “I had a sick pig, it died quickly. And saw a sick boar in the woods.”

Doctor S looked up at them concerned, “Pigs and birds. That's how these things spread in the past. We need to do something about those hogs.”

Sunmi popped in, wiping her hands on her jeans, “Maybe we got lucky. Maybe these two cases are it.”

“Haven't seen anybody be lucky in a long time. Bugs like to run through close quarters.” Minseok disagreed sadly. “Doesn't get any closer than this.”

“All of us in here, we've all been exposed.” Yixing began, standing to his feet, “We need to have a council meeting.”

Baekhyun sighed as everyone began to leave the cell block. He saw Yifan locking it up, and knew later they’d come back to clean it.

“No scratches or bites?” Chanyeol questioned softly, arm around Baekhyun even though the younger was disgustingly covered in blood and Chanyeol looked relatively clean.

“None, Jongin on watch still?”

Chanyeol nodded as Kyungsoo opened the door to the courtyard. “Yup… but it doesn't look like it anymore.”

Taeyong ran over to Baekhyun, wrapping his arms around his brother's waist. He sent Jongin a confused look at the elder holding Junmyeon around the waist. “Sprained it.” Jongin commented, face contorting in concern at the three of them.

“Hey, you might want to stay back.” Kyungsoo said softly, gently urging Taeyong away.

“Hyungs, I'm sorry. I didn't see you come out.”

“It's okay. We’re here. We’re fine. But back away.” Baekhyun ordered, pulling the teenager from his chest.

Taeyong stepped away and looked teary eyed, “I had to use one of the guns by the gate. I swear I didn't want to.”

“I was coming back from the creak. I fell. They came out and helped me.” Junmyeon added immediately, “Are you alright? What happened in there?”

“Seungkwan got sick last night. It's some kind of flu. It moves fast. We think he died and attacked the cell block.” Chanyeol said gently, then looking down at Taeyong, “Look, we know he was your friend and I'm sorry. He was a good kid. We lost a lot of good people, bug.”

Baekhyun couldn't help the pang of sadness as Taeyong sucked in a deep breath.

“Minseok is okay, but he was in there.” Kyungsoo told Junmyeon. “You shouldn't get too close to anyone that might have been exposed, at least for a little while.”

“All of you.” Taeyongs voice cracked and they wanted nothing more to reach out for him.

Baekhyun knelt down and wanted so badly to hold his brother, his brother who never cried- he hadn’t seen him cry in probably over a year. “You stay with Jongin, bug, and you don’t go near cell block D or anyone else, okay?”

Taeyong only cried and went to grab Junmyeon’s other arm to help him inside.

~~~~~~~~

“Seungkwan was fine yesterday, and he died overnight.” Yifan began, looking across the table.

It was hard for Baekhyun to just stand across from his family, the council room practically separated directly in half as those that had gone inside and those that hadn’t stared at each other in concern.

“Two people died that quick?” Taehyung wondered.

“We'll have to separate everyone that's been exposed.” Yixing confirmed.

“That's everyone in that cell block. That's all of us. Maybe more. We know that this sickness can be lethal. We don't know how easily it spreads.” Luhan murmured, taking a seat.

Baekhyun could feel Jongin staring at him, and he knew how bad it was hurting that they couldn’t near each other right now, and Baekhyun felt like shit.

Even though he had showered and cleaned up, he still felt like shit.

“Is anyone else showing symptoms that we know of?”

Jimin sighed, “We can't just wait and see.”

“And there's children. It isn't just an illness. If people die, they become a threat. We need a place for them to go.” Yifan stated firmly.

“They can't stay in D. We can't risk going in there to clean it up...Death row?” Junmyeon suggested.

“I'm not sure that's much of an upgrade.” Yoongi frowned.

“It's clean. That's an upgrade. Think that'll work for Dr. S?” Chanyeol commented, hand on his brothers shoulder. “I'll help get it set up.”

“There's some empty clean cells in the tombs, right?” Yixing asked.

“Yeah, we'll meet you there. Okay. Come on. Let's get you settled.” Yifan began, “Have to call another meeting later.”

“I'll get to burying the dead ones.” Kyungsoo offered.

Baekhyun stiffened, “You wear gloves and a mask.”

Kyungsoo smiled softly and brushed his hand against Baekhyun's cheek, “Of course.”

Baekhyun leaned against the back of a chair, accepting the small pats to his back as people walked out.

“Baby, you all right?” Jongin whispered across the table, nodding at Sunmi as she walked out leaving the two alone.

“I’m worried about the kids. They were around Seungkwan. There were a lot of kids there, Hyung.” Baekhyun muttered, a slight breathiness to his voice.

“Well I’ll tell you this, sweetheart.” Jongin said softly, Baekhyun could almost hear how badly the other wanted to reach out for him, “Taeyong is staying out of it, he’s going to be healthy. We’re going to be healthy, now let’s get going, doll.”

~~~~~~~~

“Are you seeing this? Is someone feeding these things?” Chanyeol yelled, using a metal rod to hold the collapsing fence, “Heads up! This part of the fence, now!”

The metal started creaking and sweat beaded on his temple from the strength of walkers all hanging on it.

“Hold on, hold on. Hey, hey, hey. It's gonna give! It's gonna give!” Minseok struggled, holding the wooden fortification in place.

“Everybody back! Come on, back, now.” Yifan yelled, pulling Sehun's collar and making him get off the fence.

Yoongi frowned, kicking dirt around the wooden peg for support, “The fence keeps bending in like that, those walkers are coming over it.”

“Yeol, get the truck. I know what to do.” Yifan said, a determined look on his face as he went to round up the pigs.

~~~~~~~~~

Taeyong frowned as he heard the basement door open, arranging the cross in his hand. “You know if Seungkwan was Catholic?”

“He said he was a practicing atheist. Did you tell your brother what you saw in the library the other day?”

“Nope.”

Sunmi rubbed her eyes, watching the teenager angle a nail into the wood, “Are you going to tell him? I have to keep teaching those kids to survive. You know that.”

The teenager shrugged, not looking at her even though he knew it was the nice thing to do, to pay attention to her. “Did you tell their parents?”

“No.”

“Are you gonna tell them?”

The woman crossed her arms, feeling like she was being scolded by a teenager- and she kind of was, “If I do, maybe after this they'll understand. But maybe they won't. I don't want to take that risk.”

“That's between you and them.”

“No.” Sunmi said softly, “It's between you and me. If you tell your brother, he'll tell his soulmates and they’ll tell Yifan. And like I said, maybe they'll understand, maybe they won't.”

Taeyong huffed, sitting back on his heels and pushing his hair away, “I don't want to lie to my brother, you know we don’t lie- Baekhyun hates lying.”

“I'm not asking you to lie. I'm asking you not to say anything.”

~~~~~~~~

Taeyong gulped, walking up to the empty pig pin that Chanyeol was taking down, blood soaking the front of his shirt and he was positive it wasn’t his Hyungs.

“Not this time.” Chanyeol said firmly, stopping Taeyong from entering the torn down pin.

“Think the pigs made them sick?” The teenager asked softly, stepping back and watching Chanyeol pull the wooden boards out of the ground.

“Or we made the pigs sick.” Chanyeol sighed, leaning against the wood, kicking the tool box at his feet, “I think we should stay away from Jisung for a while. Just in case.”

“Okay. I don't like it, but- we have to protect him.” Taeyong said under his breath, sadness in his voice.

Chanyeol gulped, rubbing his eyes, “Yes, we do.”

Taeyong nodded, picking with the edge of a wide peg and then chewing his cheek, “Hey, Hyung.”

“Yes, bug.”

“Sunmi… has been teaching the kids…” Taeyong stopped to sigh and chew his lip, “... how to use weapons. How to kill. Their parents don't know and she doesn't want you to know. I think you should let her. I know you're gonna say it's not up to you. But it can be.”

Chanyeol didn’t respond, only opening his tool box, pulling out a cloth covered item.

“... Hyung?”

“Thank you for telling me.” Chanyeol said deeply, standing to his feet. “I won't stop her. I won't say anything.”

Taeyong nodded, eyes watering and he had no idea why as Chanyeol unwrapped the item, his gun and it's holster.

“I need you to protect your family again, okay?” The elder whispered, handing the items over, pressing his palm to Taeyongs forehead, “Because it's us, right, bug? It’s only us.”

The teenagers eyes darkened with determination, clipping his holster around his waist, “I love you, Hyung. I’m sorry… I know I’ve been pretty hard on you guys- and- I love you.”

“I love you.” Chanyeol said immediately, eyes watery as he pressed his lips to Taeyongs forehead, “We’re family, and we love you, Tae. Hyungs don’t tell you that often anymore, but we do, we love you just as much as Baekhyun, okay? You’re our little brother, not just Baekhyun's.”

Chapter Text

 

 

“We have to tell them. It's starting.”

Baekhyun cleared his throat of the itchiness in it, resting his tired face on his chin.

“It's spread. Everyone who survived the attack in cell block D. Jinhoo, Joshua, and now others.” Dr. S explained.

Usually, people who were not council members were not allowed in here, but it seemed a lot of things were messed up lately.

“Oh, Jesus. So what do we do?” Jungkook groaned, curling himself around Taehyung's arm across the table from Baekhyun.

“First things first. Death row block is isolation. We keep the sick people there… But what are we gonna do to stop this?” Yifan mumbled, genuinely looking scared.

“There is no stopping it. You get it, you have to go through it.” Yixing said firmly, staring at a paper Baekhyun couldn't see, the tiredness of his eyes was affecting a lot apparently.

He hadn’t slept at all, not when he hadn’t been able to see any of his soulmates, they had been out so late- and Baekhyun had moved himself into a bed on the watch tower because he didn’t want to risk running into Taeyong or Jisung. “But it just kills you?”

“The illness doesn't. The symptoms do. We need antibiotics.” Dr. S explained.

Baekhyun groaned at the mention of antibiotics, not a good experience last time. He wrapped his arms around himself and frowned at the wet spots seeping through his shirt. It wasn’t that hot in here, was it?

“We've been through every pharmacy nearby. And then some.” Chanyeol shook his head.

Yixing laid his paper down on the table, “That veterinary college at West Peachtree Tech, that's one place people may not have thought to raid for medication. The drugs for animals there are the same we need.” He pointed at what Baekhyun now read as a map.

“That's miles. I'm gonna take a group out.” Sehun said quickly, leaning over to look at the map. “Best not waste any more time.”

“I'm in.” Taehyung agreed.

“You haven't been exposed. Sehun has.” Yifan frowned, “You get in a car with him…”

“He's already given me fleas.” Taehyung rolled his eyes, “Yeol, you in?”

Baekhyun didn’t hear his response, assuming he nodded over Sehun's offended noises.

“I can lead the way. I know where everything is kept.” Yixing said quietly.

“No, we’re going to need you here, Hyung. We only have two doctors- we’ll need you.” Kyungsoo disagreed softly.

“I can draw you a map.” The medic muttered, mind changed. “But. There are other precautions I feel we should take.”

Baekhyun suddenly felt like he was in an inferno, his hands were soaked in sweat. Now, his heart was racing, looking around and hoping nobody noticed his hair was close to dripping, best to stay quiet.

“Like what?” Jongin asked tiredly.

“There's no telling how long it'll be before Yeol and his group return. Wouldn't it make sense for us to separate the most vulnerable?”

Yifan agreed immediately, hands resting on his soulmates shoulders, “We can use the administration building. Separate office, separate room.”

“Who is the most vulnerable?” Junmyeon asked, holding his crutches under his arms.

“First, Jisung and Taeyong… the young… uh- the old.. people with weakened immune systems. Those with medical issues.” Yixing answered. It was selfish of him to call out Jisung and Taeyong so fast, but this was their little family… and they wouldn’t let those two in a risky situation.

Baekhyun was having a hard time paying attention, all he was thinking about was getting out of here and taking a cold shower- his fear was probably causing him to react like this.

Better to hope so.

~~~~~~

“Hey.”

Taeyong huffed, tossing his things into his backpack.

“It's for your own good.” Kyungsoo added, arm resting over his head as he watched the teenager shove his clothes away.

Taeyongs cell was always messy, all of his books and comics sprawled everywhere. But what the boys really liked was his scribbly drawings all over the place, covering the walls.

The teenager liked art. And his Hyungs supported his hobby wholeheartedly. It was probably the reason the top bunk in Taeyongs cell was home to a bunch of art supplies.

“I'm fine. I don't want to be locked away with a bunch of kids.”

Kyungsoo sighed, Taeyong was also hard to convince. “Listen. We need you in there keeping an eye on Jisung and everybody else. Making sure they're safe. If anybody gets sick, you let us know.”

Taeyongs face was expressionless as he tossed the backpack on, “What if they've already turned when I find them?”

“You don't fire unless you absolutely need to.” The elder said softly, brushing the teenagers hair out of his face.

God, it was so easy to forget how big Taeyong had gotten, no longer that scrawny child that wanted everyone’s attention, face no longer round with baby fat.

It was painful.

“But you know I might need to, right Hyung?” Taeyong searched Kyungsoo's face and the man licked his mouth nervously, nodding as he pulled the teenager into his arms.

Kyungsoo pressed his nose to Taeyongs hair, “Tae… you protect yourself, okay? As far as we’re… we’re selfish, right? You know we are.. so-so it’s you and Jisung first; you agree, don’t you?”

Taeyong nodded into his chest, “It’s just us, Hyung.”

“That’s right, bug.”

~~~~~~~

“It's gonna be okay.”

Baekhyun coughed, leaning over the edge of the mattress, facing the wall, the darkness welcome because for some reason the light was burning his eyes.

Not like when you step out into the light after waking up- no, it was like fire.

His hands were shaking as he reached out to grab his water, his finger brushed it and the metal bottle rolled away loudly. Baekhyun was too exhausted to chase after it and instead let out a loud wheeze, leaning over his lap.

“It's gonna be okay.” He coughed.

“Baby- I brought you-“

“Don’t.” Baekhyun hissed, reaching a hand out towards the door and keeping his face in the darkness, “Don't- don't come in.”

Jongin frowned, pulling back the sheet in the doorway, “What is it, sweetheart?”

Baekhyun had to puff out air, “I have it.” He gulped and ran a hand through his hair.

It was sticky. His sweat was literally dripping off the strands. He had come up here to hide after showering, never even had enough strength to do more than put pants on before he had fell back against the wall in pain.

“No, you don’t.” Jongin said firmly, “Hey, look at me. You’re probably just having a bit of a scare. Let me see-“

Baekhyun turned to look at him, and he must have looked just as horrible as he felt because Jongin immediately looked near tears. “I have it, Hyung.”

“N-o.” The elder cried, stepping out of the doorway, “Help! Someone help!”

Jongin was always quick to defend him, fast to coddle him, and looked physically pained because they had nothing- there was nothing to do. Baekhyun would either succumb to the symptoms or get over it- it was a waiting game.

“Take- I need to go- t-to death row.” Baekhyun cried, his voice more of harsh breathing than anything. “H-yung-“

“No.” Jongin growled, “No, you stay here. Stay here, you’re not going to die- it’s not possible- stop. Maybe-maybe Hyung will let you stay he-here… I don’t- don't want you with all the sick people, you need to recover separately.”

“Jon-“ Baekhyun cut himself off as he fell forward, his hands almost not catching his fall, arms only holding his body weight for a second before he found his naked chest on the ground, vision blurring.

“Yixing! Help! Someone help me!”

Baekhyun couldn't catch his breath, and the floor felt way better to lay on than the bed, it was cooler- he just wanted to rest for a little.

“It’s Baekhyun! It’s Baekhyun!”

He swore he saw shadows walking in, but he was long asleep.

~~~~~~~~

“Where are you going?” Taeyong demanded, gun in his hand as he stood outside the door where all of the kids were moved to.

Yixing sighed, “I'm down here away from you because you're supposed to stay away from me, Tae.”

Taeyong raised a brow, crossing his arms. “I've been walking the halls. My Hyung told me to look out for everyone.”

“Well, you should keep your distance.” The medic replied, cautiously stepping around the teenager.

“You're walking towards the exit.” Taeyong observed.

“I need to go out there.”

“Why and where?” The teenager demanded, “Yifan Hyung said nobody leaves.”

“Okay, I’m not sugar coating it for you, Taeyong. You’re not a child anymore, right?” The medic said firmly, an annoyed tone because he shouldn’t be taking orders from a fourteen year old. “Your brother is sick, I’m going to the woods.”

Taeyongs mouth opened and he blanked his face in a way that always made members of his family upset because he was only a kid, he shouldn't have to hide his feelings from them. “No. He could die- I won’t- that’s… that's not possible- not my Hyung. Not.. no, you’re lying.”

“Does it look like I’m lying, Taeyong? Look at me, look. We’re concerned- very, very concerned. But I’m not going to treat you like a child- we’re over that phase. Baekhyun is either going to live or die- so you need to let me go to the woods and try to save his life, okay?”

Yixing saw Taeyong’s lip tremble, but the teenagers blank face remained the same. “If you have to go, then I have to come with you.”

“Taeyong.” The medic warned.

“That’s my brother!” Taeyong finally looked pissed, “That’s my brother! You don’t know how much he’s done for me, s-so you need to let me come. He doesn’t get t-to go through so much and die from this! This? A fucking sickness! No-o… not when I haven’t- thanked him! I have to.”

Yixing watched him with a slightly shocked look as Taeyong breathed angrily, calming himself down.

“I have to, Hyung.”

~~~~~~~~

“I swear, it's just allergies.”

Luhan sighed, rubbing his eyes as he held the door open for those that were experiencing symptoms. “Jeanette.” He warned through his mask.

“They come and go.”

“Jeanette.”

“Ask anyone from Woodbury.”

“Jeanette.”

The woman sighed and walked in, the coughing already hard to hear and it was loud with the growing number of people in death row block.

Seeing Jongin carry Baekhyun's limp, only partially dressed body in a while ago… It was hard. It made Luhan shake because his oldest friend was still, too still. And he had never seen his group look so concerned in their almost two years together.

The group had watched Jongin through the windows carry Baekhyun into a cell, the man dressed in gloves and a mask- it didn’t hide his tears, and he looked so afraid-Baekhyun's soulmates looked more afraid than all of those that had shown up combined.

Yixing, Minseok, Yifan, Junmyeon… many more of them that had only been there to stare at Baekhyun as if the last time they’d see him alive.

It was a horrible thought, but they had been lucky Chanyeol was out or he was sure it would have been a bloodbath.

And if Baekhyun doesn’t make it before he gets back.. well, it was going to be a massacre. Chanyeol was wild, nobody could anticipate what he’d do- but then again… Jongin and Kyungsoo already weren’t handling it well… denying the possibility of Baekhyun not surviving with every nerve in their bodies.

The door behind Luhan squeaked and he snapped out of his thoughts, looking at the door that led outside. “Lizzie?”

The little girl coughed into her arm, “My.. my sister, Mica, said you were here. I don't feel good.”

The man’s whole face dropped, “It's okay. Don't worry. Hey, don't worry. We're gonna get you better.”

God, he felt like a horrible liar as he opened the door back up, “You just go in there and lie down.” He urged.

Fuck, if the kid had gotten it the chances of Taeyong and Jisung getting it had just gone up drastically- and he’d be damned if he would allow either of them to be walked into here. It already looked like a death trap.

Baekhyun would never forgive him- if he survived.

“Will you tuck me in?”

Luhan gulped, voice apologetic as he used his gloved hand to touch her back, “You know my friend Baekhyun? He's the best tucker I know. And he'll make sure that you feel toasty and warm, okay?”

~~~~~

“When did your brother give it back?” Yixing asked quietly, picking elderberries and shoving them into his cloth bag.

“Chanyeol did yesterday... After everything happened.”

“You've grown a lot these last few months. There's a responsibility about you.” The medic said softly, glancing at Taeyongs back, the teenager scouting with his gun out. “I think it's done you good to step back.”

“Yeah. It was all right.” Taeyong shrugged, “Can't be like that all the time.”

“I would have been fine on my own. It's peaceful out here.” Yixing said softly. “These last couple days, we might be safer outside those walls than in.”

Taeyong went to nod before scoffing, “No, we're not.”

He aimed his gun at a walker. It used to be a woman, her leg caught in a bear trap by the looks of it and slowing her drastically.

“Let's wrap this up.” Yixing sighed.

Taeyong nodded, switching his gun for his knife when Yixing grabbed his arm. “Don't. You don't need to.”

The teenager felt like the elder was searching for something, then Taeyong nodded, turning and grabbing the bag from the medic.

Yixing smiled and wrapped an arm around Taeyongs shoulders, “It was so peaceful.”

“It was.” Taeyong sighed and leaned against his shoulder, “Can't be like that all the time.”

Chapter Text

 

 

“It's not as bad as it looks.” Baekhyun panted heavily, placing his palm on the glass in the visitation room.

“Don't do that.” Kyungsoo sobbed, leaning over and pressing his forehead to the edge of their side of the glass, “Fuck- don't.”

Baekhyun gulped, the feeling was like swallowing rubber, “I must be a sight to see.” He tried to joke, but it sounded more like a wheeze as he brought his hand to his mouth, a thick layer of sweat coating his face, “I'm so sorry.”

“Bab-e…” Jongin cried, fingers whitening as he touched glass, “Don't… you’re.. you're gonna be fine, Baekhyun. We could.. have medicine as early as tomorrow. You’ll be the first to get it- the fir-st.. o-okay?”

It hurt to cry, but it hurt even more to see the absolute sobbing on the other side of the glass.

“H-Yixing… he’s making tea for fevers. You’re getting that first too- first, Baekhyun.” Kyungsoo cried, Baekhyun had never seen the amount of fear he saw in the two. “And you’re… you're going to rest and fucking- fucking breath. And you’re going to drink all of the shit they give you- fuck-fuck! If you- Baekhyun if you don’t make this…”

Just the words from the elder had Jongin letting out such a painful noise Baekhyun wanted to risk going out there- assuming he would even make it without collapsing on himself.

“You don’t make this and Hyung- no, all of us… fuck, we’re going to lose it, Baekhyun. B-baby, baby, you need to live… we just- Baek, we just got married… you can’t just…”

Baekhyun wheezed as he pulled his chair up against the glass, leaning his head on it because he was exhausted… his eyes were heavy but he wanted to listen, wanted to see them.

“... you can’t die, it’s not allowed.”

It made the younger laugh, the noise more of a long whistling noise. “I’ll get… get in trouble.”

“That’s right, b-beautiful.” Jongin's eyes were so red Baekhyun wanted to fuss over him, but he was too tired. “Fuck… we love you, baby.. you can’t- you can’t- you’re going to do whatever Yixing Hyung tells you, okay? No.. no fighting or giving up- you’re going to be fine.”

“You don’t..” Baekhyun had to stop to cough, his head on the glass causing it to fog up with his body heat, “... do- do something for me…”

“Whatever you want, love. Whatever you want… we’ll.. we’ll get it to you, sunshine.” Kyungsoo promised immediately.

Baekhyun smiled and hissed as he sat himself up, wobbling slightly as he leaned back against his chair. His own sweat felt so heavy on him even though he wasn’t even wearing a shirt- denied their offer for one, the sweat rolled so fast off his skin, would soak his clothes and weigh him down. “My… in the- box in our room.. there’s a notebook.. I want- want you to give it to Taeyong.”

“You’re not dying, Baekhyun. We just told you… it’s not- we’re not considering it-“

“And… I-want paper… want to write you guys something.. ugh- please, Hyung.. please.” Baekhyun whimpered, his skin itching with how disgusting he felt, “Please.”

“Of c-course.” Jongin's voice was shaking uncontrollably and he couldn’t help but hold Kyungsoo’s hand as his usually level headed Hyung cried. “Babe, of course… we love you, love you more than you know, sweetheart… god, god, we love you so much, Baekhyun. You mean-everything to us.”

“Y-you don't need to worry.” Kyungsoo added, pressing his other hand to the glass and balling up his hand like he couldn’t stand this- none of them could. “D-don't worry, we’ll… take care of Taeyong.. you don’t- don't worry about anything at all… just get better, get better.”

Baekhyun's nose dripped but he was too tired to even open his eyes, only pressing his forehead to the glass. “I love you- love.. all of you so much… tha-thank you for all of this.”

“Baekhyun…” Jongin cried, “Baek… Baek-“

“Your nose- it’s… baby, your nose is … bleeding.”

~~~~~~~

Taeyong was kicking an old bottle across the floor, back pressed against the hard wood of the door to the kids room.

If he was being honest, he was annoyed. They said he wasn’t a kid anymore, promised he wasn’t, but he still felt they treated him so much like a child.

They wouldn’t allow him to help clear the fence, they wouldn’t allow him to go with them on runs, they wouldn’t allow him to help Yixing make the tea.

The tea that could help save his own brother. He felt useless.

His job now was to sit against the door and listen to Jisung cry with the other little kids because Jisung didn’t like anyone but their small family.

He couldn’t blame the toddler, it seems Taeyong rubbed off on him more than he had meant too, because Jisung was still crying directly on the other side.

“Ji, please.” Taeyong groaned, “You're giving Hyung a headache, stop it.”

Taeyong didn't expect the baby to stop, he only cried more if the other kids or teenagers tried to touch him.

The doorknob next to Taeyongs head wiggled and he sighed, sitting up to crack the door, “You need to stop, you can’t come out or you’ll get sick.” He ordered, glaring through the crack.

Jisung sniffed, mouth in a frown, face red from crying. “Out.” He pointed, reaching through the crack to grab at Taeyong’s shirt, “Want Hyung.”

The teenager growled, grabbing the little hand reaching out for him, “You can’t- I’m protecting you, okay?”

“Tae.” Kyungsoo called, his footsteps sounding loud as him and Jongin walked into the administration building, “He can come out, just for a little.”

“Hyung. You guys are not supposed to be here.” Taeyong frowned, keeping the door cracked and ignoring Jisung hitting at him to get through.

“Yeah.” Jongin's voice was raspy and Taeyong looked at him oddly, “Well.. symptoms show in twenty four hours, we would’ve gotten it already. Dr. S cleared us.”

“Oh.” Taeyong whispered, sitting back from the door and letting Jisung out, immediately shutting it because he was still supposed to keep the others quarantined.

Jisung cried and ran to Kyungsoo’s arms immediately, Taeyong gulped.. and he didn’t know why he wanted to do the exact same, but he only sat back against the door because he wasn’t a child.

“Scare.”

“Shh, we know, baby. It’s scary but it’s only for a little longer. Taeyong is watching over you so well, Jisungie.” Kyungsoo said softly, watching the baby immediately look near sleep, having cried himself out.

“He won’t shut up.” Taeyong commented, “Keeps sitting by the door and screaming at the others when they come close to it.”

“Sounds like you right now, huh? Yixing said you interrogated the shit out of him.” Jongin said softly, moving to sit in front of the teenager.

“I have a job to do.” Taeyong defended, “Hyung gave me a job to do- so I’m doing it.”

“And you’re doing really well, we’re all so proud of you, Tae.” Kyungsoo responded, “You're doing so well- if you weren’t maybe Jisung would be down in quarantine too- he's just a baby, Taeyong.”

“Yeah.” Taeyong whispered, “Yeah, well, not that great, if I was then Hyung wouldn’t be down there.”

“We want to talk to you about it, okay? Here. Go put him down in there and we want to talk.” Kyungsoo said carefully.

Taeyong didn’t really argue with them, not when times were like this- not like he really argued that much in general. If he was given a task he always got it done.

But.. when he came back out he was already crying, and it was because he knew. They all knew. And none of them wanted to talk about it, but they needed to.

“He’s going to die.” Taeyongs voice was still so strong even though he was crying that his Hyungs felt even more upset just because he was so strong- but he didn’t have to be- not now, not when it was just them. “Tell me.. tell me. He is, isn’t he? We’ve alr-already lost so many… so many people… they don’t even survive two nights.”

“T-Taeyong.” Kyungsoo began, pulling the teenagers sleeve so he completed their small triangle on the ground, “We’re not.. we’re not here to act like things are fine and we’re sure as hell not going to pretend that we are a hundred percent sure he’s going to live.. we’re just- we’re here, Taeyong.”

“Y-yeah.” Taeyongs nose flared and his chin trembled. “You’re here… you’re here.”

“We have something for you.” Jongin looked away, he had to. If not, he’d be sobbing like a baby again, and it had taken him a good few hours just to calm down enough to venture here. “Baekhyun wanted us to give it to you.”

Taeyong pressed his mouth into a line and nodded once, his tears dropping off his jaw and Kyungsoo resisted comforting him right now because… there really wasn’t a point.

“Do you recognize this?” Jongin whispered, pulling out an old, yellowed notebook, the pages worn down. And Taeyong wailed.

“I-I… look…”

Jongin gave him the notebook immediately, the teenager flipped through it blindly, and it was blank.

Kyungsoo chewed his lip and watched carefully as Taeyong searched.

And searched, and searched. And it was empty, there were no words.

“Tae, I thin-“

“Did you know… you could do this?” Taeyong sniffed and pulled a small wildflower out from between pages. It was all dried out, a blue petal fell off onto the notebook as Taeyong handled it and the teen looked like it had ruined his day- like he was personally attacked at the small petal losing its place.

“H-Hyung loves flowers and- and he told me… told me that if you do this… they’ll stay pretty, always.” Taeyong suddenly looked mad as he picked up the broken petal and set the stem down, “But… but apparently it’s not forever… they’ll break after a while. That’s- that's not fair.”

“Flowers… the-they always wither after a while, bug.” Kyungsoo whispered, reaching out to grab Taeyong’s hand, prying to petal from his fingers and setting it down on the book. “Hey- hey, but we’re not flowers, we’re not broken.”

Taeyong shook his head and threw himself into Kyungsoo’s chest. He hadn’t held the teen in what felt like forever, not like this, not like when he was twelve and liked to be treated like a child. “H-Hyung- w-we will be- if… if Baek-“

“No.” Jongin didn’t bother hiding his tears, regardless that Taeyong shouldn't have to see them. “No. We’re going to take care of each other- no matter what. Eve-even if… if something happens and it’s just… it’s just you, and me, Kyungsoo… Chanyeol. If it’s just us then it’s- it’s okay, right? I mean… it won’t be, not for a long time, but… but we owe it to Baekhyun… to pretend. Okay bug? We love you, and we’ll take care of you… just- just as…”

And it hurt so bad as the three of them cried, Kyungsoo's tears working their way into Taeyong’s hair and Jongin's soaking the back of the teens shirt.

“... we’ll love you just as much as Baekhyun does, Taeyong.”

It wasn’t a promise. It was a fact.

~~~~~~~~~

“Hey, Hyung. I’ve been- I want to talk to you.”

Chanyeol raised a brow, turning to look over his shoulder at Zitao, “Whats up?”

“I guess…” Zitao shrugged slightly and looked at Sehun driving and sparing a glance at Taehyung in the passenger seat, “I just wanted to let you know that… that… the trail was cold. And… and I promised I’d find him, but… Hyung, there’s nothing anymore.”

Chanyeol straightened up in his seat, “That’s… you don’t need to sound so guilty, Tao. We don’t- you don’t need to keep going out anymore… we never… we never asked you to.”

“Yeah…” The younger nodded and shrugged slightly, turning to look out the car window, “Well… it's- it’s wrong, you know? Why… Why do we get to be happy for so little before… something happens and for all we know- that- That piece of shit could be living it up- causing havoc in someone else’s backyard.”

“We don’t… we don’t feel anger anymore.” Chanyeol mumbled, “I mean… it sounds ridiculous, right? If he was here right now, I'd cut him in two. Because that's how it needs to be. But I'm not angry. I was.”

He chuckled at his own words, peering out his own window and heard Zitao moving around. Probably looking at him.

“Then… then how do you.. guys, I’m sure you guys want- want his head more than any of us… but, but… how aren’t you angry.”

Chanyeol heard Sehun rapping his fingers in the steering wheel and knew it was because his brother was ready for him to freak out, to scream and yell.

But he didn’t feel a need to. Maybe before he would have- probably would have made them stop the car so he could let off steam, but things weren’t like that now.

“He raped Baekhyun.” The way Chanyeol stated it made the three listeners concerned, it wasn’t emotional, it wasn’t mad, it was just… a statement. “He did, and that’s.. he deserves to die, but the- the anger isn’t overpowering now.”

“Why?” Taehyung frowned and turned to look in the backseat, “Hyung if that… if that had been Jungkook… I can’t even- We all are pissed and that wasn’t even our soulmate, that was our brother… so, so… how aren’t you absolutely… raging? Livid?”

“Because Baekhyun is alive.” Chanyeol said immediately, “Because… he almost died, but he didn’t. Don’t get me wrong… we’d still feed him to walkers, but… Baekhyun is safe now. He’s happier than he’s ever been right now… months ago if you asked me this I probably would be spitting all kinds of insults, but- but now I just feel lucky… to get another day with Baekhyun. He- he’s irrelevant to our happiness, and he’s not controlling Baekhyun any longer, so… so, i don’t really- we don’t really focus on it anymore. Baekhyun being safe, and happy, it’s enough.”

“Yeah.” Sehun muttered under his breath, “Yeah… Hyung, Hyung really is… He's really good for you, good for everyone. Makes everyone love him.”

“Hey.” Chanyeol suddenly sounded scolding, “Hey, don’t compliment him- reminds me of you flirting when you met him- shut your face before I shut it for you, little brother.”

Sehun only cackled.

~~~~~~~~~

“You shouldn’t be here.”

Yixing only smiled that pretty dimpled one Baekhyun was forever jealous of, “Here, you need some more, every few hours I’m gonna drown you in it, Baek.”

Baekhyun only groaned as the medic sat him up, holding the back of his neck and feeding him the tea.

“Baek, you’re… you…”

“Pretty bad.. huh?” The younger whispered, gulping back his coughing because he wasn’t willing to hack with Yixing so close. “God.. you’re- leave before you get it.”

“End stage is a point that no one comes back from or they- or they can't.” Yixing hissed softly, placing a damp rag on Baekhyun's head.

“That's where I am.” The younger cleared his throat and gulped. “You… you need to focus on the ones that can make it.”

Yixing glared, a look Baekhyun had never seen on his face, “You're not- you're not.”

“Hyung-“

“I made some more IVs. Let’s get you hydrated and some rest.” The medic cut in, mouth twisted as he reached out for his bag. “You need to sleep, rest.”

“What if… I don’t wake up?”

“Shut the fuck up.” Yixing growled, inserting a butterfly needle into his arm, “Listen to me- you listen to me, Baekhyun.” He huffed slightly like he was trying to calm himself down and shook his head.

Baekhyun hadn’t ever thought he could ever see Yixing mad.

“You’re my best friend.” The medic suddenly looked more sad than angry as he readjusted the wet rag soaking up Baekhyun's sweat- it was meant to cool him down, but Baekhyun didn’t think it was helping… not that he’d tell Yixing as much. “You’re my best friend, Baekhyun, and we’re not losing you- I could… Honestly, I only came in here, I only went and got this tea for everyone because you needed it- so, so just sit back and let me… let me try, okay? Beca-because I don’t know what else to do, Baekhyun. I have no fucking clue.”

The younger could only frown, his face wet and Yixing had to wipe his nose off, at least it wasn’t bloody right now.

“Hyung... If you're not ready to lose one, you're gonna lose them all.” Baekhyun dry heaved, turning his head to the side so he wouldn’t contaminate Yixing more than the elder needed to be, “uh- it’s- It's like turning off a light... it'll happen one after the other.”

“I’m ready to lose one.” Yixing argued, standing to his feet. “It’s just not going to be you.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun grunted, holding onto the bars of his cell, coughing into his sleeve as he waited for Yixing to finish locking up cells.

“Have a look. Drink the tea I left you. Gonna be back to check on you in an hour.” He heard the medic say gently, shutting peoples cells.

The pros for being in this block was one, it was dark as shit.

And two, it was dark as shit.

Really, right now it was only bright enough to see if you walked around, but way darker than Baekhyun usually liked.

He was loving it right now though because direct light hurt.

But a bad thing about it was that he had no idea what time it was. It seemed like everyone was up and about- probably all too stressed to do anything other than cry for their loved ones who were locked up.

It could be morning, or it could be the dead of night, and Baekhyun knew no better.

Baekhyun heard gagging behind him, a gurgling and he could have thrown up just at the noise, but he didn’t have energy for that right now.

He gasped on air and turned around, a man had collapsed on the ground.

He was dead. He had to be. Baekhyun knew it by the blood from his eyes, blood from his mouth. And god, Baekhyun wished he wouldn’t die so horribly because he knew his soulmates would want to see him again- say goodbye.

They didn’t deserve to see him look like that.

“Everyone, get back in your cells. Go on, get back in your cells.” Yixing said frantically, waving people away from the bars.

Baekhyun gulped, a raw iron taste as he staggered over towards the stretcher in the corner, he knew the deal by now. Someone dies, he helps Yixing get them on there to be taken out, stabbed in the head and burned.

He leaned most of his body weight over the top of it as he pushed it to the medic, shaking with exhaustion at even the simplest of kicks of his feet. “Let's get him on this.” He panted.

Yixing gently pulled Baekhyun off, making sure he was standing on his feet before turning to lower the stretcher.

Baekhyun couldn't really help very much anymore, if he bent down there was a good chance he was staying down, so he could only watch the medic heave the body into the cot, more like rolling.

“Okay- I-got it.” The younger huffed, trying to push the stretcher towards the visitor room. “Go-Hyung-“

“Go rest. Being a hero takes a lot out of you, sweetie.” Yixing grabbed under his bare arm, pulling him easily, “Can you make it to your cell?”

Normally, Baekhyun would have tried harder to help, to do anything that made him not feel useless. But he was a hundred percent sure he was going to collapse, “Y-Yeah.. yeah.”

Yixing watched the small man, making sure he got into his cell, it was rather a slow event, Baekhyun having to grip bad cells to keep shaking legs up.

Then, after deeming him safe, walked into the visitor room, pulling the stretcher with him.

He never was good at dealing with walkers. And it hurt more because these people weren’t fully… walkers yet. He was a doctor, he was supposed to save people- not hurt them.

Yixing placed a sheet over the man’s head, he always did, if Baekhyun wasn’t strong enough to do it for him, then he couldn’t look. Taking out his knife he placed the edge over the sheet, right at the man's forehead and stabbed with all his strength.

“Honey.”

The medic sighed in relief, removing the knife and looking at the glass, “Third one in the past few hours. We’re burning them behind the blocks.”

“Burning them…” Yifan whispered, pulling up a chair in the other side of the glass, “That’s what it’s come to. You okay?”

“Depends on how you mean it.” Yixing said softly, taking a seat against the glass and sighing, “The tea… it's barely helping, I just… I wanted to see if there was a chance.”

“How’s Baek?” The leader murmured, fingers touching the coldness of the glass.

“He… fuck- he’s getting worse, Fan…” The medic whispered, face contorting into panic, “I can't… Jongin and Kyungsoo keep coming by but- i- what if… what if it’s too late now? He keeps… Hyung, I don’t…”

“You don’t know if he’ll make it?” Yifan frowned, “No. If he doesn’t make it then this whole thing has been useless, Xing. And if there’s anything I’ve learned about you it’s that you don’t give up- so you’re going to keep trying and giving these people hope.

You and I both know… the most important one in there is Baekhyun, so… so, honey, if you don’t have hope then what’s the point- why are we still trying?”

“Hyung..” Yixing sniffed, pressing his forehead to the glass, “Hyung. He had me… he needed help writing letters, he wrote… he wrote goodbye letters, Fan and… I- I can't- he wrote one for us… I can’t- we should’ve- should’ve never gotten attached, I can’t do this, Yifan. He’s family, we don’t- we don’t just watch family die.”

“Hey.” Yifan called deeply, “Hey. If there’s one thing we know about that kid it’s that he's resilient and he’s not going to just… just give up. That’s not how Baekhyun works, Xing. You just need to keep it up, you’re doing so well, honey. There’s no way I would have let you in there if I didn’t think you could help.”

“Let me?” Yixing laughed watery, wiping his face, “You and I both know you don’t tell me what to do, Fan.”

Yifan laughed, and it was soft, and genuine. “I know, Xing. Isn’t that why you always dumped me?”

The medic grinned, wide and happy for the first time that night.

~~~~~~~

Yixing was making rounds, peering into open cells. He peeked into one and sighed, the womans face was bloody, her eyes only red, blood bursting them. He went to get the stretcher.

On the upper level, Baekhyun was hacking, his lungs burning as he leaned on the wall. “Yixing!” He gagged, throat tightening, “H-hyung!”

The medic was on edge immediately, leaving the stretcher by the woman’s cell, “Everyone stay in your cells.”

“Hyung!”

Baekhyun gurgled, leaning over and collapsing into his forearms with loud gasps.

He couldn’t breathe. No air was being taken in as he laid on his side.

He gagged, the taste familiar, a steady stream of red pouring out from the corner of his mouth, legs kicking like he was trying to get away.

Was this what drowning was like?

A woman screamed and Yixing stiffened, “Stay in your cell!” He ordered again, but it wasn’t listened to as a walker climbed out from the woman’s cell, snarling from behind the stretcher, the familiar red pouring down her face.

“No.” A man grabbed Yixings arm, trying to help as he aimed a gun at the walker.

It didn’t take, missing and then a second walker attacking the man, Yixing ducked as a stray bullet was fired, immediately turning to pull the pistol out from the man who was already dead meat- still as the walker tore at his throat.

~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, the fence was collapsing.

Jongin, Kyungsoo, and Yifan were all holding it up, but it was a useless effort.

They heard a gunshot from somewhere near the cell blocks and couldn’t be too concerned right now.

Not when about a hundred walkers were snarling and growling in their faces, pressing up against the fence.

“Taeyong, go!” Yifan yelled, more of a groan at the strength he was slowly losing.

“You guys can’t do this alone!” Taeyong argued, quickly running out of ammo as he tried to lessen the crowd.

“We know, that's why we’re telling you to step back!” Jongin ordered. “You need to be a man now, okay!”

“You guys need to go check the- fuck- the block.” Yifan argued, “I won’t- won't let anything happen to him.”

“I swear.” Yifan added firmly.

“Taeyong!” Kyungsoo yelled, “Taeyong, you’re going to listen to anything Yifan says!”

~~~~~~~~

“Just follow me, Henry.” Lizzie cooed on the second level, ignorant to the fight just below her feet as she stood in the hallways, “Down here, away from Baekhyun.”

The walker snarled, feet stomping just beside Baekhyun.

Baekhyun whose eyes were wide as he began to turn colors, kicking at the air.

“Come on. Come on, Henry. Here we go.”

The little girl smiled, leading the dead like a game, moving around the edge of the hallway, “This way.”

“Come on, boy. Come on, Henry. Just a little more. Keep coming. Come on, boy. Let's go.”

Yixings heart was racing as he noticed the little girl, frowning momentarily as he shot the last walker on the second level.

“Come on. Down here, Henry. Keep following me. Come here. A little further. Henry, come on-“ Lizzie was cut off as the walker lunged at her. She screamed on the top of her lungs.

Yixing ran up the steps, shooting the walker in the head before running towards the little girl, “You okay?”

Lizzie cried, lips trembling, “I called him nice. He didn't scratch Baekhyun... I thought maybe he listens.”

The medic opened his mouth, ready to scold her, but his attention was immediately drawn, “Lizzie, where is Baekhyun?”

“His cell.”

“Get back in there.” Yixing growled, pushing her towards a cell, “Stay.”

And then, he spun on his heel, running to Baekhyun's cell.

If the man hadn’t been squirming, Yixing would have thought him dead already. His mouth pouring blood, hands clawing at his own neck trying to get air.

He heard the door downstairs slamming open and had no care as he turned Baekhyun on his side, “Fuck- hold on, Baek- come on, sweetie.”

~~~~~~~

“Wait!”

“Run!” Taeyong screamed, “Hyung, come on! Come on!” The walkers snarled through the fence, the metal making snapping noises, “Hyung, what do we do?”

Yifans sweat poured into his vision as he backed off the fence, running away from the slowly caving fence and grabbing Taeyongs arm.

“Pockets.” He demanded breathily, digging through the cart of guns and grabbing ammo. “Here. Got it?”

“All right, listen to me.” Yifan ordered, grabbing Taeyong’s chin and then shoving a machine gun in his fingers.

“All right.” Taeyong stared wide eyed.

“Magazine goes in here. Release is here. Make sure it latches. Pull back the operating rod and rounds feed up.” The gun clicked, “Keep squeezing the trigger for rapid fire, okay?”

“All right.”

Yifan stared at him for a moment before grabbing the back of his head and pressing his forehead to the teenagers, “You shoot or you run. Don't let them get close, okay?”

Taeyong nodded, and the fence fell. The snarling of walkers getting closer before him and Yifan opened fire, shooting in waves.

~~~~~~~

“Hold on, Baek. We have something.” Yixing panicked, hands shaking as Baekhyun wheezed through his blood. “Son of a bitch.” He cursed, dogging in his bag, dumping it's contents out onto the dirty floor.

“Hyung!”

“Yixing!”

“Help me!” The medic screeched down to the two men, “Help me god dammit!”

Yixing heard them running up behind him, but his hands were shaking it felt like he was taking forever as he tried to open a new air tube to connect to the bag valve mask.

“Fuck- baby- babe!”

Baekhyun only seemed to get more frantic at the sight of them, clawing at his mouth, writhing as he scratched at himself.

“He’s turning blue!” Jongin screamed, dropping to kneel beside his husband, eyeing the amount of blood leaked out onto the ground, still falling out of his mouth and nose. “Hyung, please!”

“Baek- Baekhyun.” Kyungsoo cried, grabbing his soulmates hands to stop the small scratches he was making in his own skin, “B-baby, my baby, my baby. I’m sorry.” He sobbed.

Yixing was sobbing too, finally shoving the clean tube and connecting it to the bag, “Roll him on his back.” He ordered.

Baekhyun didn’t like it at all, immediately gurgling, noises of absolute horror that made his soulmates stiffen, it sounded like they were drowning him.

“Keep his mouth open- no, more, more.”

Jongin curled his fingers around Baekhyun bottom teeth as Yixing tilted his head back, “Hold his arms down. Come on, sweetheart.” The medic cried.

Baekhyun wheezed through his blood, the sound barely audible through his small grunts.

“Come on. You know how this works. Just relax.”

“Stay with us.” Kyungsoo demanded, watching Yixing try to shove the tube down his husband's throat, “Stay with us, baby. Please, please. Stay with us.”

Yixing managed to get the tube in place and the gaging stopped, Baekhyun's whole body going limp as Yixing pumped the bag, giving him air.

“Oh, god.” Jongin shook, pulling Baekhyun's limo hand to his mouth, “Oh, doll. My doll, oh, god. Fuck.”

Even though Baekhyun was conscious, they weren’t even sure he knew what was going on other than that he could breathe.

“Gonna need to… to keep him on this until he can breathe on his own.” Yixing sniffed, “Look.. you… you squeeze- give it a good squeeze every five or six seconds.” He explained, slowly handing it to Kyungsoo.

Kyungsoo was too shocked to reply, only following the instructions.

“You're gonna be okay. We're gonna be okay.” Jongin promised softly, leaning over to kiss Baekhyun's bloody cheek, uncaring about the sickness when they had to be on their way back with medicine by now. “You’re okay, sweetheart. Yeah, just look at Hyungs, baby, just look at us.”

“I’m- i'm sorry… I need to- I’ll get some air.” Yixing croaked, standing to his feet, “Just- I’ll be right outside, I can’t-“

“Go.” Kyungsoo whispered, his glossy eyes flickering up to him, “You’ve done everything for us, Hyung. Thank you- we really… really can’t thank you enough, take a break. We… we got him.”

“He’s safest with you guys.” The medic replied, spinning on his heels and running down the stairwell.

“That’s right. You’re going- going to be fine.” Jongin cooed, fingers extremely soft as Baekhyun met his eyes. A hooded, tired, lost expression.

Kyungsoo sniffed, pumping the air system and watching Baekhyun's ribs rise, running his other hand over the small scratches all over his soft skin. “We’re right here, baby. Nothing bad can happen to you when we’re here.”

“Go to sleep.” Jongin added softly, his finger brushing the corner of Baekhyun's eye, “Hi. Yes, I know you’re beautiful, our pretty boy. W-when you wake up… Chanyeol will be here… yeah, get some rest, sweetheart. Go to sleep.”

~~~~~

When Baekhyun woke up, he was kind of pissed because the light was too bright.

The light was so bright, but a figure blocked it.

“Good morning, beautiful.”

If Baekhyun didn’t have a tube currently down his throat he would have teased Yifan for the compliment. But it seemed he didn’t have to.

“Say it again, Hyung, I might just fight you.” Chanyeol drawled, hand holding the pump in his large fist making Baekhyun's eyes flicker to him, eyes immediately watering for no reason.

“Hi, little moon.” The elder smiled, leaning down to press a kiss to his forehead.

Baekhyun had no idea where he was, how long he had been out, but he felt a tube resting in his palm- an IV line he realized, curling his fingers around it.

“You did really well, Baek.” Yifan said fondly, standing to his feet, patting Baekhyun's leg, “And Taeyong really made us all proud, but… I’ll let him tell you all about it.”

Baekhyun drew his brows together, pretty much the only thing he could do right now.

“I gotta go clean up.” Yifan said to Chanyeol, patting his curls, “I’ll send the other two back in- They're probably fighting for entrance now.”

Chanyeol laughed and shook his head in a way Baekhyun recognized as fond, happy.

Baekhyun made a small grunting noise, more of a whine to get Chanyeol's attention.

“Shh. I know, it must be uncomfortable, babe. But we’re giving it one more night until we’re sure you can breathe on your own and the antibiotics are working.” The elder said comfortingly, “You want us to clean you up? You must feel so gross, but you’re still pretty, sweetheart.”

Baekhyun wanted to call him out and tell him how absolutely biased he was when he could feel blood dried on his face and chest, skin sticky with dried sweat.

“I’ll take over.” Baekhyun heard Jongin croak, voice slightly hoarse, “You guys clean him up, I’ll do his breathing.”

“You sure?” Chanyeol inquired softly, but Jongin was already pushing him out of the way.

Jongin brushed his hair out of his face and Baekhyun had to close his eyes for a second because the kiss placed on his forehead was so soft, so adoring.

“Gonna clean you up, sweet pea, don’t move, okay? You’ll get too tired.” Kyungsoo called, walking in with a few damp towels, “You just relax, my love.”

Baekhyun tried again, a quiet whimper, trying to explain what he wanted.

“Shh. Baby, you can’t be doing that.” Chanyeol ordered softly, walking over to lock the door.

Baekhyun heard the click and wondered if they were in one of the offices, their own cell was probably too far of a walk for them to take him and keep up with his breathing- too risky.

“We don’t know how to tell what you want.” Kyungsoo soothed softly, pulling off Baekhyun's sweatpants. “We’re sorry, love.”

Baekhyun scrunched his nose up, lifting his left arm that wasn’t connected to an IV and opened and closed it.

“What, gorgeous?” Chanyeol laughed, grabbing his raised hand and pressing his lips to his fingers, “We playing games now? What do you want, baby? You want kisses? Hugs?”

The younger only furrowed his brows again, running his finger over Chanyeol's mouth.

“You want to talk?” Jongin asked, a cute smile despite the deep bags under his eyes. “You can’t right now, dollface.”

Baekhyun shook his pointer finger in a no motion before pointing at Chanyeol, then Jongin, motioning down to where he could feel Kyungsoo wiping the sweat from his legs but couldn’t see him.

“Oh. You want us to talk?” Kyungsoo laughed and Baekhyun loved the sound.

He scrunched his eyes in what he hoped resembled a smile and blindly felt around the side of the bed for Chanyeol's hand.

“What do you want us to talk about, hm?” Chanyeol chuckled, accepting the smallers hand, intertwining Baekhyun's thin fingers with his. “We got everyone on antibiotics, got back here pretty late last night, but Yixing Hyung got you on them right away.”

“Chanyeol broke a window.” Kyungsoo outted, Baekhyun could see him, moving to clean the scratches across his neck with an alcohol wipe, it stung slightly so they must have been worse than he thought. “As soon as he heard, he turned and broke a car window, beauty.”

“Hey. We don’t need to tell him that.” The eldest grumbled, Baekhyun could laugh, so he only squeezed Chanyeol's hand in support.

“You were the first one, doll.” Jongin cooed, running his thumb over a rather long scratch resting on the surface of Baekhyun's neck, “First one time get it. Of course you were, we love you too much and… and seeing you… baby, you’re not going out of our sight for a while. Not for a long while.”

Baekhyun didn’t think that was unappealing, not at all.

Chapter Text

 

 

Yixing had pulled the tube out this morning, loading him up with pain relieving medication because his lungs were sore, and his throat was sore.

It was normal, but Baekhyun was still on bed rest, confined to a makeshift bed of random blankets and pillows in the corner of an office.

But, he felt better, now he was just waiting for people to come to see him- surprise them with his new strength to talk.

“Hyung, new teeth!” Jisung giggled as Taeyong held his hand, leading the baby into the room.

“Ji, Hyung might be sleep-“

“Hi, baby.” His voice was slightly raspy, dry and a bit unintentionally sharp, not the usual softness it carried. “Hi, bug. Good morning. Did you eat breakfast?”

Jisung beamed, pulling his hand out of Taeyongs grip and face planting into the edge of Baekhyun's pile of bedding. “Hyung, new teeth! New one!”

Baekhyun laughed, patting his lap because he was still pretty weak and couldn’t help the baby up with the IV in his arm, but he still wanted to hold him. “Let me see- Ah… open big!”

The baby beamed, opening his mouth wide and blocking what he was trying to show off with his own fingers by accident- it didn’t really matter- it was only a baby tooth.

“Oh, look at you, Jisungie, you’re going to be all grown up soon and not want to play with Hyung anymore.” Baekhyun pouted, nuzzling his nose into the baby’s cheek.

“No!” Jisung gasped, snuggling himself up in the blanket bed as if it was his, “Love Hyung! Always play Hyung!”

“I love you too, Ji.” Baekhyun assured, patting the baby’s stomach as he flopped on his back in the blankets, rubbing the softness to his cheek.

“Hyung.” Taeyong smiled, climbing into the chair beside the makeshift bed. “I’m really- really glad you’re okay… I uh- we had an adventure when you were… were sick.”

“Yeah? You sound guilty, what’s up, bug?”

The teenager shrugged slightly and picked at his pants nervously. “Fence fell when you were out… I-uh… Hyungs needed my help, Yifan Hyung let me use a machine gun… I know… you said not to touch them, but, but they really needed help.”

“Okay.” Baekhyun shrugged slightly, laying down on his side and rubbing Jisung’s side. “Okay, bug.”

“You’re not… you’re not mad?”

Baekhyun frowned, “Why would I be mad, Tae? Hyungs needed help, and you helped. I’m not going to make all your choices for you, you’re fourteen now, if you think that was the best decision at the time then I believe you. I’m not going to… control you, sometimes, yes. But… you can make your own choices too, bug.”

Taeyong found himself confused, reaching out to a tray on the floor and spinning an empty bowl, “I know… I know I said I want to be a man, and that I don’t want to be babied… but… but Hyung, I want you to still- still… hug me, and- I want you to still nag me, tell me what to do.

I kept… When you were sick, I kept thinking about things that, that I've argued with you about before and.. I don’t like when other people treat me like that, but… you and Hyungs, when you guys do it… I don’t mind.”

“You don’t need to be a child to want affection or attention, Taeyong.” Baekhyun whispered, “I like love and affection too, Kyungsoo, Jongin, Chanyeol… all of us do, and we’re not children. There’s nothing wrong with wanting any of that.”

“Then… then I want it.” Taeyong sniffed and Baekhyun recognized the noise as his tears working their way into his eyes. “I want it, Hyung… Hyung, I want you to always stay with me, always- I want- want you to never leave my side.”

Baekhyun swallowed hard and reached out for Taeyongs wrist, “I’ll always try to stay with you, I can only try, Taeyong. But that’s enough, if you try hard enough then… then it’s enough. Come here, bug, let's take a nap.”

Baekhyun wished he could promise. To swear to always keep his little brother at his side, but that was too wishful. And Baekhyun knew all too well how painful wishful thinking could be.

So, he could only let Taeyong cuddle Jisung to his chin and carefully tuck the both of them into Baekhyun's chest. And hope.

~~~~~~~~

Finally, Baekhyun was being let outside, it was night time, mainly because Yixing was concerned that coming out in the daytime would give him a bad sunburn with all of the antibiotics they had pumped into him the past two days.

He wasn’t very stable on his feet, but that wasn't a concern at all, all he needed to do was wrap himself around one of his husbands and relax.

“We started a bonfire, sweetheart, aren’t you excited? It’s been so long and Junmyeon Hyung suggested a celebration, everyone is really glad you’re okay, Baek.” Chanyeol said fondly, pressing his palm to Baekhyun's cheek over Kyungsoo's shoulder.

Baekhyun smiled, arms tight around Kyungsoo- well, as tight as he could get them. “Tae must be really excited.”

“Watch, little shit will pass out within.. first half hour- I bet you.” Jongin joked, lightly running his hand over Baekhyun's shoulder before continuing walking.

“Wish you would’ve just wanted to stay and rest.” Kyungsoo fussed, hands holding Baekhyun's thighs around his waist, “But no, you want to come see others when we want to just wrap you in a ball and cuddle you until you can’t stand it.”

The youngest giggled, pressing his smile to Kyungsoo's cheek, “I’ll still love you. See? Kisses. Mwah!” He teased, obnoxiously pressing his lips to his husband's face.

“That’s adorable, I want in!” Chanyeol growled, full on grabbing Baekhyun under the arms and snatching him away like his favorite toy, “I want in, babe, my turn! My turn!”

Baekhyun was too busy laughing, lungs still sore, but he didn’t mind when he was so happy. He huffed out delayed giggles and pressed his nose to Chanyeol's cheek, “I feel like I’m babying Jisung. You like my baby kisses?” He laughed.

“We like any of your kisses, little dove. You have to give your husbands a lot of love.” Jongin demanded playfully.

“I like kisses too!” Baekhyun claimed, pressing a kiss to Chanyeol's growing facial hair on his jaw, “Kisses, kisses for my husbands, hm?”

“How about kisses for me!” Sunmi cooed as they approached the fire, “Come on, Baekhyunnie, I’d die to get a kiss from our resident puppy, hm?”

Baekhyun giggled at the teasing, turning around in Chanyeol's arms, “Okay! Let’s do it-“

“Yah!” Jongin exclaimed, grabbing Baekhyun's chin, “You’re not kissing anyone but us, pretty. Better luck next time, Sunmi.”

“Oh trust me, Jongin, I’ll get that kiss one day!” She added with a determined look making everyone around the fire laugh.

“Yeah, yeah.” Chanyeol groaned, settling Baekhyun in his lap as they took seats, “Laugh it up- you kiss my husband we’ll have to fight.”

Baekhyun smirked, wiggling himself to get comfortable, pressing his lips near Chanyeol's ear, “Don’t worry, Yeollie. Only have three people I want to kiss!” He whispered, pressing a kiss to the man’s ear before looking at the fire and pretending to be innocent.

“Here, squirrel.” Luhan chirped before Chanyeol could react, passing a ziplock bag of something over, “Min Hyung made them for you, Jisung got cranky tonight so he and Jun couldn’t come out tonight, but Hyung made you these.”

The younger looked confused, pulling out one of the cookie looking snacks. It looked like some sort of oat cookie. Baekhyun nibbled on it before looking wide eyed, immediately offering the bag, “It’s good, it’s good! Here.”

“They're yours, Hyung, you have them.” Jungkook laughed, pushing the bag away.

“I want everyone to share them!” Baekhyun smiled, “I can’t finish all of this, Kook, come on.”

Reluctantly, they shared them.

They were delicious, some sort of unbaked cookie, peanut butter flavored, Baekhyun was determined to ask Minseok for the recipe now.

“Hyung.” Taeyong murmured on Chanyeol's other side, Baekhyun hummed, feeding Jongin a bite of his own cookie even though the elder had one in his hand. “Hyung, did it hurt real bad?”

“Ah, I swear you have no filter.” Sehun groaned, playfully pulling Taeyong into a headlock, “God, and I thought I was bad, Tae!”

The teenager whined, eventually going limp against Sehun's chest when he wouldn’t let go. “Come on, Hyung!”

“It…” Baekhyun glanced at his soulmates and none of them looked readable, “It was more… uncomfortable.” He shrugged slightly, “I mean- towards the end… hurt pretty bad, my lungs kind of hurt still, but.. mainly you just feel really weak… and like, like someone wrung you out.”

“I don’t know what it was, Baek. We just know that you’re really lucky, you know?” Yixing said softly across the fire. “Only you… and a few others survived, honey. Even with treatment some of them, they were too far. You, the two kids, and I think… a middle aged man made it. Granted, most of the others were elderly. But, still, we lost a lot of good people.”

“Lizzie?” Taeyongs mouth twisted slightly, “I don’t like that girl.”

“Why not?” Kyungsoo asked, a slight scolding in his voice, “She's a little weird, but… not… mean, at least I don’t think so.”

“No, I-I agree.” Yixing laughed quietly, “When… when it was just me and a few people had turned, she was… she was leading a walker around- like he was a pet or something-“

“She’s been naming them.” Taeyong said disgusted, “I tried to tell her, really, but… but she’s so weird… I think… I think she’s the reason the walkers are so bad, I saw some dead rats at the fences…”

“What?” Yifan gawked, “Tae, you didn’t say anything.”

“Well…” The teenager whispered, “I didn’t… I don’t want to accuse her if I’m not sure…”

“And that’s the right thing to do.” Baekhyun cut in swiftly, “That's the right thing, Tae. You don’t want to get people in trouble if you’re not a hundred percent positive. We’re just going to watch her closely now, thank you for telling us.”

Yifan realized he must have sounded more accusing than he meant and reached out to gently shove Taeyongs arm, “No hard feelings, Tae, was just curious.”

“Okay, well this has all been very disturbing.” Zitao commented, “Let me add to it, I found some fresh footprints outside the fence- the only group that had been outside the fence the past few days has been me, Taehyung, Chanyeol, and Sehun… and we weren’t on foot- so, someone is observing.”

“Great, fucking great.” Yifan sighed, “God, when did this turn into a council meeting.”

“Guess I’m council now!” Taeyong laughed, “Hyung, you gotta add me!”

The group only laughed, gently teasing the teenager.

“Let’s tell a story.” Luhan suggested, “You know, like our first night here… our little bug story that I’m sure Taeyong missed half of- look at you, Tae, it’s been half an hour and you’re still up.”

“You guys are so mean to me today.” The teenager pouted to himself.

“Oh? You want us to be even worse?” Kyungsoo smirked, “Okay, guys. You gotta hear what Taeyong did the other day, we were just walking along the garden and he full on sm-“

“Hyung!” Taeyong screeched.

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun woke up with a laugh, a mouth placing soft kisses to his collarbones. He smiled with eyes closed, silently stretching his arms by his head. “Morning.”

His husband only made a soft noise and Baekhyun didn’t have to open his eyes to see which one it was, only dropping his hand into the man’s hair and blindly petting his head. “Nini, is there a reason you’re waking me up?”

“Because I love you, dollface.” Jongin smiled at Baekhyun's blind guess, rolling onto his side to look at Baekhyun's profile, “Because you’re the cutest shit I’ve ever seen.”

“No you.” Baekhyun laughed, playfully scooting his back towards the edge of their bed.

He heard a tsking and giggled as he was pushed onto his stomach, “Let’s not argue about this, we all know you’re the cutest, baby doll.” Kyungsoo growled, playfully leaning over to nuzzle the back of Baekhyun's neck.

“Hyung!” Baekhyun muffled against the bed, turning his head to pout towards Chanyeol by the dresser, “Yeol! Soo won't let me go!”

Kyungsoo sniggered against his neck, pressing a kiss to the thin skin before pulling away, patting his ass softly. “Ugh, you’re such a tattletail, you think I’m scared of Yeol? Please, babe, he’s much more afraid of me and you know it.”

“I’m not scared of either of you- hi, gorgeous.” Baekhyun giggled down at Jongin, slightly out of breath as he climbed onto the man’s hips as he spoke. “Hi!”

“Oh, please, Jongin. Kyungsoo's glare is scary and you know it!” Chanyeol defended.

Baekhyun giggled at their antics, playfully puffing out his cheeks as he leaned down to nuzzle his forehead to Jongin's.

“Hmmmm. Yes, cuteness, good morning to you too.” Jongin smiled, running his thumb across a slowly healing scratch on Baekhyun's Adam’s apple.

“Not cute!” The youngest whined, “I’m scary today!”

“Yeah?” Kyungsoo snorted at the cute whine, “How so?”

Baekhyun tittered, “I’ll bite you!” He laughed, playfully nipping at Jongin's jaw.

Jongin beamed, pressing his finger and laughing as Baekhyun lightly bit at it. “Oh, so scary, Baek. Like a puppy!”

“Like a tiger!” Baekhyun frowned, “It's scary, Hyung.”

“Very, very scary.” Chanyeol sniggered, “Because that pretty little face definitely gives me goosebumps, my love.”

Baekhyun beamed, “I know!”

The three sniggered at his excitement, watching him collapse on Jongin full weight, not that it was unexpected.

Jongin laughed softly, immediately turning to roll them over, “Time to get ready for the day, butterfly. Let’s get these little scratches cleaned up. Yeah?”

“Okay!”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun smiled over Jongin's shoulder, pressing his lips to his soulmates shoulder as he peered at the small portable DVD player.

“I want to watch a cartoon.” Chanyeol grumbled begins his back, large form shadowing Baekhyun's as his fingers curled into the smaller shirt. “Jonginnie, lets watch a cartoon instead.”

“How old are you, two?” Baekhyun giggled, rolling over to caress his husband's cheek. “You’re a child.”

“Last I checked I was twenty eight- I think, and… baby…” Chanyeol purred, fingers pushing up Baekhyun's shirt and running his fingertips over the soft flesh. “Baby. Baby, I’m definitely not a child, thought I showed you that last night, sweetheart, hm? You need Hyung to show you again?”

Baekhyun only beamed, leaning forward to press their mouths together in what he was trying to keep innocent, but Chanyeol was a man of sinful intentions when his fingers were on Baekhyun's skin.

His tongue immediately was skimming Baekhyun's, teeth gently toying with his bottom lip, sucking softly until Baekhyun mewled a familiar noise of appreciation.

“And you say I’m impulsive.” Jongin sniggered, sitting up to change the movie.

Chanyeol laughed into Baekhyun's mouth, immediately groaning at the smallers hand moving to his jaw and tongue caressing his bottom lip testingly.

“Just wait till Soo Hyung gets back, he’ll beat the shit out of you, can’t leave Baek alone for a minute.”

The eldest smiled, gently separating his mouth from Baekhyun's with a wet kiss to his Cupid’s bow, eyeing the slight breathlessness from the still recovering man. “Like either of you are any better, you literally made love to him a few nights ago in the shower- anyone could have heard.”

“Good for them.” Jongin said immediately, pretty smirk on his face, “They’d get a once in a lifetime chance to hear our baby’s moans.”

Baekhyun flushed, letting out a slight whine at them.

The cell door began squeaking open, and Baekhyun sat up on his elbows in excitement. “Hyung!”

Kyungsoo smiled, one hand holding a bowl of some sort of snack, “Hey… Taeyong was out there.. by himself.” He whispered slightly under his breath, “I told him he could come.. watch movies with us.”

“Oh.” Baekhyun whispered. “If-“

“Of course.” Jongin frowned, “Of course, Taeyong is always welcome- come on in, bug.”

~~~~~~~

“You know, our anniversary is coming up.”

Baekhyun hummed, turning in his seat to squint at Chanyeol, watching him load up a car. “It is?”

The elder shrugged slightly, smirking, “One of these days.”

The younger giggled, relaxing in his seat, feeling the sun on his skin, “What do you think we could’ve done… if- if the world hadn’t gone to shit.”

“I don’t think it’s shit anymore.” Kyungsoo commented, walking over to sit down beside Baekhyun, pulling him to his chest, “Not when I’m so happy, buttercup.”

Baekhyun only smiled, turning to press a fond kiss to his jaw.

“You ever been to California?” Chanyeol inquired, leaning against the truck, “My dad took me there- to an amusement park when I was little. When we were up there, all the way at the top looking down, I felt like I was flying.”

“That sounds really… really fun, husband.” The younger said smoothly, earning a wide grin from Chanyeol.

“I'm gonna get you some water.” The eldest mumbled, a red tint to his cheeks. “I can get it.” Baekhyun laughed.

“I know. But I'm doing it. I'll be right back.”

Baekhyun hummed, turning to curl his legs over Kyungsoo's lap, tangling his fingers in the man’s hair as he watched Taeyong stomp over, Jisung practically dangling in his arm.

“Thought we told you not to hold him like that.” His brother scolded gently, pulling the baby into his own lap.

“You guys seen Noona or Tao? Hyung said they left a few hours ago to clear a clog in the water filter.” Taeyong worried, “But- that was hours ago.”

Baekhyun found himself frowning, “Really? You’re kidding.”

“No… I really, really haven’t seen them all day.” The teenager fussed softly, wringing his hands together.

Baekhyun sent Kyungsoo a worried look over Jisungs hair and the man was gently shifting him off his lap, squeaking his thigh. “Come help me look around, Tae.” He requested gently, throwing an arm around the teenager.

But, it seems plans were changed.

The noise of wood cracking sounded and Baekhyun almost gave himself whiplash with how quick he turned to look at the forest.

His knees shook, still too weak to really be doing anything right now as he stood up, focusing all his energy on carrying Jisung and trying not to fall over as he walked towards the noise.

He didn’t know where everyone was, but he was devastated. “Hyung! Hyung!”

He couldn’t hold himself up, leaning against the bottom of the watch tower and covering Jisungs ear, pressing his other into his chest. “Yifan!”

Baekhyun swore his heart stopped beating as the vehicles rolled up, he could hear footsteps, a lot running to his screams, but his heart wasn’t going to calm down soon.

“Yifan! Come down here. We need to talk.”

How the hell did The Governor always manage to out do them? Why was it fair for him to come now, when they had lost such a good portion of people- of people who could have helped them defend.

But, it wasn’t much use defending against a tank.

“It's not up to me. There's a council now. They run this place.” Yifan called, a shadow blocking Baekhyun but he was shaking, unable to figure out who it was.

A familiar, goosebump inducing laugh, “Is Zitao on the council? What about Sunmi? She on the council, too? You're making the decisions today, Yifan. Come down here. Let's... Let's have that talk.”

Baekhyun blinked back tears, tilting his head slightly towards where he could hear whispers.

“We can do this. Alright?”

“We'll go through the admin building, through the woods like we planned.”

“We ain't got the numbers. When's the last time someone checked the stash on the bus?”

“Yesterday. We were running low on rations then. We're lower now. Things go south, everyone heads for that bus. Let everybody know.”

Baekhyun thought it was Minseok and Luhan, but he truthfully had no idea at this second.

“Let them go right now. I'll stay down here. Talk as long as you want. But you let them go. You got a tank. You don't need hostages.” Yifan agreed, walking towards the gate with arms raised.

Baekhyun gulped as he looked around the leader. Sunmi and Zitao had their hands tied behind their backs, The Governor pointing his gun at them uncaringly.

Zitaos eye was swollen and he had a rather obvious bump on his temple.

“I do. This is just to show you I'm serious. Not to blast a hole in our new home. You and your people, you have till sundown to get out of here or they die.”

Chanyeol clenched his fist. “Doesn't have to go down this way!”

“I got more people, more firepower. We need this prison!”

Baekhyun slowly walked towards his voice, anywhere he felt safer, but he managed to get stuck. Stuck holding the baby protectively, eyes staring at The Governor like a hawk- in fear.

“It's not about the past. It's about right now. There are children here. Some of them are sick. They won't survive.” Yifan explained calmly.

“I have a tank. And I'm letting you walk away from here. What else is there to talk about? I could shoot you all. You'd all shoot back. I know that. But we'll win and you'll be dead. All of you.”

Baekhyun blinked, looking around and spotting Taeyong, basically running up to his side despite wanting to pass out. “We got to do something.” Taeyong growled.

“Yifans got it. They're talking.” Yixing said firmly.

“We could kill the Governor right now. I'm a good shot. I could end this right now.” The teenager spat.

“No. You need to trust that Yifan knows what he’s doing. Go help load the bus, and stay in it.” Baekhyun ordered, “Tae, I’m asking you to go- so I know you’re safe. You go find Kyungsoo and Jongin and you listen.”

The teenager sighed, hand itching towards his gun before spinning on his heels and storming away.

“You got maybe about an hour of sunlight left. I suggest you start packing. The longer you wait, the harder it's gonna be for you to get out of here.” The Governor shrugged, dragging Sunmi and Zitao towards the fence more.

Like this was a game.

Like lives weren’t special.

Yifan was getting flustered, getting worked up. And it was obvious in his hands behind his back, his fingers brushing over the gun in his waistband. “We can all-- we can all live together. There's enough room for all of us. More than enough.”

“But I don't think my family would sleep well knowing that you were under the same roof.”

It was Baekhyun's turn to scoff, walking slowly towards the leader. “You're the rapist here, not us. You’re the killer here.”

He saw a few of the people on The Governors side stare at their leaders back, confused.

“Hey, cupcake.” The man laughed, grabbing the back of Zitaos neck, “Still as cute as I remember. Ca-“

“Don’t talk to him.” Yifan hissed, blocking Baekhyun and Jisung. “We'd live in different cell blocks. We'd never have to see each other till we're all ready. It could work. You know it could.”

It was a lie. Everyone knew it was a lie. But it was all they had, all they could do.

“You’re shaking.” Jiyong whispered to Baekhyun, “I’ll take the baby- here.” The man offered, reaching out for Jisung who immediately began fussing at the unfamiliar man.

Baekhyun was too shaken to notice as the baby was taken away -he grabbed onto the back of Yifan's shirt.

“Look, I'm not saying it's gonna be easy. Fact is, it's gonna be a hell of a lot harder than standing here shooting at each other. But I don't think we have a choice.

We're not leaving. You try and force us, we'll fight back. The gunshots will just bring more of them out. They'll take down the fences. Without the fences, this place is worthless. Now, we can all live in the prison or none of us can.”

The Governor sneered, “We'll fix the damn fences.”

Baekhyun felt Yifan stiffen and he knew this was over, “You. You in the ponytails. Is this what you want? Is this what any of you want?” Yifan tried, pointing.

“What we want is what you got. Period. Time for you to leave, asshole.” The man he asked called through the fence. Baekhyun didn’t think he fully understood what was happening.

“Look, I fought him before. And after, we took in his old friends. They've become leaders in what we have here. Now you put down your weapons, walk through those gates... you're one of us. We let go of all of it, and nobody dies. Everyone who's alive right now. Everyone who's made it this far.

We've all done the worst kinds of things just to stay alive. But we can still come back. We're not too far gone. We get to come back. I know... we all can change.”

It was silent.

Baekhyun had hope that for a split second it was going to work, that Yifan had a good speech. But… it didn’t.

“No!”

The Governor sent a bullet flying, straight into Sunmi’s head.

Sunmi who had been with them for so long. Sunmi who had cared for Taeyong, cared for him, cared for everyone.

She was a strong person. And Baekhyun wouldn’t ever forget that.

“Liar.” The Governor growled.

Baekhyun screamed as gunshots sounded, completely abandoning where he was standing to grab his gun, only aiming at one person. “You son of a bitch!”

The tank came crashing through the fence, and Baekhyun could hear cracking cement with explosions, but he wanted him dead.

He saw Zitao yelling something- it wasn’t registering in his head as he got closer- gun out, watching The Governor laugh- too caught up in his own fun to even notice Zitao had gotten away, the man taking off in the woods after trying to tell them something.

“Taeyong!”

Baekhyun stiffened. His momentary rage was forgotten at Chanyeol's hell for his brother's name.

“What are you going to do, Baekhyun!” The Governor yelled over the battlefield, over the gunshots and screams. “Come on then, shoot me!”

And it was back immediately. “You-you bastard! We have children here! W-we have the elderly, the sick!”

“They wouldn’t have survived anyways, cupcake.” The man shrugged, “Just a little push into their resting place.”

Baekhyun released a noise not different to an animal as he pulled the trigger.

His aim was usually on point, but not today. Today it only hit the man in the leg and The Governor had the nerve to look shocked- as if it was unexpected as he cursed and dropped to the grass beside Sunmi’s body.

Then, someone was grabbing his shirt and pulling him to the ground as a bullet flew where he once was. “Hey!” Yifan yelled in his ear, picking him up. “Hey! You need to be here, with us! Stay with us!”

“Taeyong!” Baekhyun panicked, “Tae!”

“Shhh.” The leader grunted as he jogged, “He’s safe- they're taking the bus.”

“Ch-Chanyeol? Kyungsoo? J-“

“Baekhyun, They're all safe. I need to get you safe now. You hear me? We’ll find them again, but… we- we gotta go.” Yifan explained as he ran, Baekhyun couldn't see where they were going, the woods it looked like.

“I want him dead!” Baekhyun wailed, hands curling into Yifan's shirt.

“He’s walker bait.” Yifan argued, “Baek, he doesn’t deserve an easy death- he was already walker food- you did well, sweetheart, he’s handicapped now, calm down.”

He heard shushing noises and felt a tinge of relief as he noticed Jiyong and Yixing, Jisung sobbing, hands over his ears in fear.

It reminded him of Taeyong again. It reminded him of his family again.

He had no idea how many made it out, how many would come back together again. But they would find a way. They always would find a way, they always followed the sun.

Never walking away from it. It was a rule.

“Let me! Let me hold him!” Baekhyun sobbed, hands shaking and he knew he couldn’t. Not like this.

Yifan breathed heavily as he set the smaller on the ground, wrapping an arm around his waist for support. “Don't look back, Baek. Just keep walking.”

But Baekhyun did. And the prison… it was gone.

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun didn’t know how long they had been walking. That was probably because he felt like absolute shit and had pretty much passed out after the first few miles as they stopped to make a sign.

“Baek, what should we do for this one?” Yixing asked softly, “We gotta leave as many as possible.”

Baekhyun coughed slightly into his arm, just because of soreness in his throat. “Knife… uh… put our initials on the sign, carve it.”

“Hyung tired?” Jisung asked a question in Baekhyun's lap as the man leaned against a tree. The baby reaching up to touch Baekhyun's face. “Hyung wake!”

“Yes, baby. Oh, thank you.” Baekhyun said softly at the baby’s kisses to his skin, “Yes, Hyung is tired, Ji. We’re going to find shelter for the night.”

“A house?” Jisung mumbled, curling his fingers under Baekhyun's chin. “We go home.”

“We… we aren’t going home right now. We’re going to… find a new home. It will be an adventure, okay?”

Jisung smiled and Baekhyun wished he could be that happy right now, “Otay, Hyung sing.”

“We’re not singing right now, Jisung.” Yifan scolded softly, a few feet away, knife scraping at the road sign. “You have to stay quiet, remember? Jisung listens very well, so I know you do.”

Baekhyun sighed as Jisung pouted, but nodded, little fingers curling into his shirt.

The good news, was apparently the attack had drawn a lot of walkers towards the prison, so now the forest was relatively clear, same with the roads.

“I can take him.” Jiyong offered, “Baek, you’re in no condition.”

Baekhyun didn’t know why, but hearing the nickname from the man annoyed him. It was probably just his nerves all short circuiting, but he honestly didn’t want anyone that wasn’t his immediate family right now. “Got him, thanks though.”

“Really-“

“Jisung doesn’t like many people, don’t take it to heart.” Baekhyun said softly, using the tree as leverage to stand up, “It’s fine, I’m good.”

“Okay.” Jiyong shrugged, obviously annoyed at the attitude.

Baekhyun couldn't find it in him to care, sure, he was friendly with the man, they had spoken a few times. But after Chanyeol had come back to him… he didn’t really see him that often.

Probably a combination of his business, and also his soulmate who was incredibly protective and did not trust Jiyong for whatever reason.

Baekhyun didn’t either- but that was more of his trust issues coming to light more than anything the man had done.

“Hyung, Hyung… gotta potty.” Jisung interrupted, tugging on Baekhyun's shirt.

“Oh, fuck… what are we going to do about pull ups?” Yixing cursed.

~~~~~~~

“No, stay seated.” Kyungsoo ordered, “Everyone stay seated.”

“Do you even know where we’re going!” A man yelled in the back of the bus, standing to his feet, “You guys have already endangered our lives, we want off!”

Kyungsoo heard Jongin scoff in disbelief beside him. “That was your old leader that just destroyed our home! That wasn’t our fault!” Jongin argued, fingers tight around his rifle.

“You know what?” Minseok laughed humorlessly, eyes red from crying as he stood up, “Lu, stop the bus, if they want to go on their own fine- less people for us to care about.”

“Hyung-“

“Just do it.” Chanyeol sighed, “Come on, man, we… we'd be better off without all these… strangers.” He added under his breath, leaning over the seat towards Luhan's back.

“No, there’s not of us than you guys, you should get off.” A woman ordered firmly.

“Hey! This was our-“

“No, lets go.” Junmyeon interrupted, grabbing Sehun's arm, “The others are on foot anyways, they gotta be, it’s fine. Let’s just… let them die for all we care.”

Taeyong frowned at the anger, having never seen his Hyungs so mad before.

“Anyone who wants to come, lets go.” Luhan sighed, putting the vehicle in park, grabbing a bag from the floor. “This was our vehicle, our supplies, we’ll be taking them- leaving some.”

“That’s not-“

Chanyeol raised his gun, large form towering as he pointed it at the man who started this. “We’re taking our supplies. Look, I’m not a killer for no good reason, but- but I’m a man who just lost my family- you might understand the things I’m willing to do right now, so I suggest you don’t open your mouth again.”

Taeyong gawked at him, standing up to grab his Hyungs wrist, fingers wrapping around a silver watch he had always been jealous of since Baekhyun found it. “Hyung. We don’t kill the living.”

“We do if we have to.” Chanyeol whispered, turning to look at Taeyong as he lowered the gun. He stared at the teen, eyes getting watery as he shoved his gun into his pocket and touched Taeyongs face, “Okay. Okay, lets go, Tae.”

Taeyong gulped back tears at the expression, nodding as he turned to grab a bag from under a seat, “Anyone else coming?”

He got silence, and he was relieved nobody was taking the offer, but then, Lizzie stood up in the back. Her hand holding a patch of flowers and face tear stained, blood on her clothes. “Mica is… isn’t here anymore.”

“Okay, honey.” Jimin said softly, reaching a hand out for her, “Let’s go then.”

If things weren’t already tense, they would have asked Jimin what the fuck he was thinking, but this was just a little girl, and there was still so many of them- they could handle her.

“Hyung.” Taehyung asked softly, fingers pulling Jungkook with him outside the bus, “Hyungs, where are we going?”

Jongin adjusted the gun around his shoulder before turning to hold Taeyongs wrist tightly, as if afraid, “Towards the sun, always towards the sun.”

~~~~~~~~

“Got lucky with baby things but… not much else.” Yixing sighed, a diaper bag over his arm as he walked up to Baekhyun who sat on the stained couch.

“Been one day and it’s already like this again, huh?” Jiyong tried to joke. Baekhyun didn’t think it was funny at all even though Yifan and Yixing laughed.

They had gotten in a cabin, Baekhyun hand promptly dug around for anything before finding only spray paint and running to spray an arrow towards the cabin.

Their group was smart. They were all resourceful, all brave. If they kept leaving hints, Baekhyun was sure they would be back together in no time.

So, he had immediately grabbed a backpack from one of the rooms in the cabin and threw in the paint, it was probably the most useful thing to him right now anyways.

They had limited ammo, and only knives would be helpful right now to prevent too much attention, barely any food, but at least Jisung would be okay for a while.

“Bottled waters in here. I know- Ji is way too old, but if it comes down to it… there’s formula.” Yifan explained quietly, walking into the living room and laying the bottles on the floor, “I’m gonna… I’ll just keep looking.”

“Shh, Shh, I know you’re tired, Hyung is just going to change you, Jisung. You can go back to sleep.” Baekhyun shushed softly, rubbing fingers over the baby’s forehead to stop his fussing. Jisung calmed down quickly once he realized who it was, pretty much immediately laying his curls back down and sucking his fingers into his mouth.

Yixing sent Baekhyun a soft smile, pressing his hand to the man’s head as he handed over the diaper bag, walking into the kitchen where Baekhyun could hear Yifan's frantic digging.

The leader didn’t have to feel so guilty, nobody blamed him for the attack- well, Baekhyun didn’t at least. Yifan was a good leader, and, sure, he messed up a few times, but this wasn’t one of those times.

This was just a time he wanted his family and innocent people safe. Things don’t always work out how these planned to though.

“You’re really good with him.” Jiyong commented, Baekhyun glanced at him for only a second, watching how the man sat on the coffee table, pulling his pant legs up as he leaned closer on his knees, “He yours?”

Baekhyun sniggered at the question, pulling a clean pull up into his lap as he went back to changing Jisung. “Definitely not, I’m… married, and my soulmates are men.”

“Married?” Jiyong wondered, laughing slightly at his joke, “Last you told me you had huge crushes or… some shit, sorry, I can’t really remember things I don’t want to hear.”

That made Baekhyun frown, furrowing his brow as he rolled up the old diaper, “Um- yeah? I’ve been like… since a few days before the sickness. We’re soulmates, you know. I thought it was pretty clear when I told you I was in love with the three.”

“But you never said you were with them.” Jiyong shot back, “You can love someone and not be with them, you can be soulmates and not be with them.”

Baekhyun stiffened, straightening up and turning to look at him confused, “Well… not me, not us-“

“Also, three… that’s… that’s a lot to handle for one person, I can’t even imagine how stressed you must be.”

“We… don’t have a stressful relationship.” The younger murmured, feeling an odd anxiety settle in his stomach. “We don’t argue very often.”

“Heard about that fight with the big one though-“

“I thought you didn’t know I had soulmates?” Baekhyun interrupted, pulling Jisungs little body into his lap to avoid this man’s eyes.

“Hey, Baek! I found some Ibuprofen, you want it!” Yixing called from the kitchen.

Baekhyun picked up the snoring baby and took the chance to leave immediately.

~~~~~~~

Taeyong was lifted onto the balcony of the second story of the building, carefully hoping over the railing.

“Tae, you be as quiet as possible.” Kyungsoo hissed, waiting for the smallest of the group to unlock the door for them.

The teenager nodded, holding his knife between his teeth as he curled fingers into the cracked window, all of his strength used up as he pried it open.

He could hear the groaning from somewhere in the house and sighed, things could never go easy for them.

Taeyong was cautious, opening the bedroom door and peering both ways before stepping out.

This house was pretty, it was big. In another life Taeyong wondered what it would be like to live in one of these homes, to be rich enough to own this much space.

It didn’t matter anymore, but he needed to get his mind off reality for a moment just so hard wouldn’t consume him, again.

“Fuck, asshole.” He cursed, corner of his eye catching a movement from the dining room as he walked down stairs.

“Shithead.” He growled, hitting the handle of his knife onto the wall a few times, drawing attention before hiding behind the wall.

The walkers snarls got louder immediately, the sound of animalistic breathing was Taeyongs indication of how close it was.

And right as he felt it was right on the other side, the teenager jumped out, a hand on the back of the creatures neck and a knife going straight into its frontal lobe.

Taeyong cringed at the blood on his hands and grabbed the dead walker under the arms, dragging it towards the front door.

He unlocked it with one hand, before cracking the door, pushing it open with his foot and dragging the walker to the doorstep, “Just one, got it.” He said bluntly, dropping it on the welcome mat and stepping over the body back inside.

Lizzie screamed, “You hurt him! You hurt-“

Sehun threw a hand over the little girl's mouth immediately, “That’s a walker, Lizzie. It was dead already.”

Chanyeol shared a glance with Kyungsoo before reaching down to pull the walker out of the way and to the side, wiping hands on his jeans.

“Get inside.” Minseok added sharply, hand grabbing the little girls arm softly to lead her inside. “You can’t yell or scream, you can’t be loud like that or we’ll die.”

He knelt down to the little girls level and gently grabbed her shoulders, “We’ll all die. Do you understand me?”

“We don’t die.” The little girl whispered, “We all come back, and… we all change.”

~~~~~~~

“What are you doing up?” Jongin asked gently, walking into the kitchen blindly.

The small flashlight turned off immediately and the elder almost laughed, but Taeyong was crying, so he’d never laugh and make him feel inferior.

“Come on, Taeyong, what’s up, man?” He inquired, taking a seat on the cold tile opposite the teenager, “Everyone else is sleeping, it’s the middle of the night. Is it… about what Lizzie said? That little girl is pretty odd, but… don’t let it get to you.”

Taeyong sniffed, arms wrapped around a large metal container concealed by his jacket. “She’s crazy.”

“She is.” Jongin laughed quietly, “What’d you find, bug?”

“112 ounces of pudding.” Taeyong mumbled, pulling the container out from his jacket, “I don’t want Lizzie to have it.”

The elder sniggered, “Okay, stingy, crying over a container of pudding?”

Taeyong laughed watery, shaking his head and shoving the tin to his side. “I'm just… scared, you know? Zitao… Yifan, Xing… Jisung, Baek… all gone… and, and it could have been stopped. I wonder- I should have taken my shot, just had it over with before he-he killed Noona.”

“He killed Noona, Hyung…” Taeyong sobbed, “Hy-Hyung, I don’t want y-you guys to die too, I don’t want anyone else to die.”

“Oh, fuck. Tae.” Jongin cursed, pulling the teenagers forehead to his chest, “You don’t need to be strong all the time, you can cry, men cry Taeyong. And.. and you can be scared, you can be terrified, but you don’t ever lose hope.”

“B-because it makes you weak.” Taeyong stuttered, fingers curling into Jongin's shirt, “Hyung says… says it makes you weak.”

“Yes.” The elder whispered into the teenagers hair, “Baek is right, wrong about some things, but you know he’s always right when he talks about surviving. You know why? Do you know why, Taeyong?”

“Because… cause Hyung wants everyone to live.”

“That’s correct, bug. That’s right, because Baekhyun wants everyone to survive, so that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to survive even if we’re scared- even if we’re weak. And we are scared too, scared for you, scared for him. But we’re at least going to look for him. We’re going to look.”

Taeyong whimpered, moving fully in between the man’s legs to rest on his chest. “I’m scared, Hyung, I’m s-so scared.”

~~~~~~~

“Isn’t he almost three?”

Baekhyun sighed, rubbing his eyes of sleep as he clipped the toddler carrier around his waist, the fabric seat on his back. “He’s small.”

“Isn’t he supposed to be potty trained by now?”

God, Baekhyun was getting so fed up with this man. He had no idea how he had stood conversations with him.

Now that he thought about it, they never really had to do much together, they mainly just had small talk and shared some past stories. They weren’t stuck together like now.

“We don’t exactly have time to potty train him right now.” Yixing answered for him, adjusting the toddler into the carrier, “It’s better he’s in diapers while we’re on the road at least, we can’t risk stopping too much in open areas.”

Baekhyun was forever grateful Yixing was always calm- for the most part- and kept cutting in, because he was tired of talking to Jiyong.

It was funny too, because the man didn’t seem to want to talk to Yixing or the leader, got a bit flustered or just looked completely put off when they tried to talk to him.

“Got us some water, some snacks- everyone grabs a bag, I’ll… get yours Baek.” The leader said quietly.

“Hyung!” Jisung chirped against the back of Baekhyun's neck, making the man feel more relaxed at the sweet voice.

“Hi, baby, Hyung will take a turn carrying you in a little.” Yifan said gently, stepping up to Baekhyun's side to press a kiss to the baby’s hair. “You tell me when you get tired.” The leader added gently, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's forehead too.

The affection was very wanted right now. Truthfully, Baekhyun very much wanted to just sit down and bawl his eyes out. He felt very much alone.

But he wasn’t.

He was so extremely lucky Yixing and Yifan has pulled him along because if it were only him- he would have lost his mind already, already caved and gave into his self deprecating thoughts.

“Come on, cutie.” Yixing murmured softly, hand reaching for Baekhyun's, pulling him out the door, a diaper bag hanging around his shoulders, “You took some medicine before we left right? Do your lungs still feel stiff?”

And he was sure they both knew. Knew how much he needed them right now.

The family was always affectionate with him, always giving him love, because they knew his struggles, they knew he needed support, and Baekhyun owed them everything.

Because they were the people that helped piece him together, it was slow, and it was hard, but he felt whole again- even at times like these, as long as he had someone- and these were two of the closest ones to him- always cared for him like their own child, he would keep it together.

“I took some painkillers, mainly because my throat is still sore if I swallow too much, but my lungs don’t hurt anymore- are my scratches all gone?”

“Xi Hyung, duck!” Jisung wiggled slightly, reaching fingers out towards Yixings shoulder.

The medic smiled, “Okay, Hyung will get your duck. If you throw it we aren’t picking it up, okay? No throwing.”

“‘Kay.” The baby mumbled, accepting the duck happily.

Baekhyun laughed softly, ever since yesterday when Yifan found the duck Jisung had been obsessed with the old blue bath toy.

He then turned his attention towards where Jiyong and Yifan were walking silently in the front, a few feet ahead of them.

“Hyung… is he- he knows we don’t blame him, right?” Baekhyun asked quietly, fingers tight around the medics.

Yixing sighed, “I mean… he blames himself a little, it’s hard not to. It was… he took the responsibility, and it feels like everything falls apart no matter how hard he tries.

But… maybe he’ll calm down a little if you talk to him.”

“Why me?” Baekhyun asked softly, “You’re his soulmate, Hyung, if he didn’t… listen to you then…”

“Because we trust you.” Yixing smiled, “Because we value your opinion, because… you’re our family and we love you to death, Baek. You’re like… if we ever adopted a child, we wish they would’ve turned out just as… as strong as you, sweetheart.

You think Yifan would have risked going back into a line of fire just for anyone? No, honey. We were already safe, me and him, the baby.

But… just one look at you… standing there and he had to go back. For your husbands we would have, for Taeyong, but.. honestly, we don’t know about anyone else. It depends.. but for you guys.. it doesn’t depend, you guys stay by our side, always.”

Baekhyun nodded, eyes slightly glassy as he chewed his lip, “I’ll- I love you, Hyung. Just.. just so you know I think you two would have made wonderful parents.”

Yixing was always gentle, but always so firm and protective, it was admirable.

And Yifan was always tough, but willing to listen, willing to save everyone if he could.

Baekhyun released Yixing's hand gently, feeling Jisung breathing heavily into his shoulder, fingers skimming his bare skin on his neck as he played with his toy.

He walked faster to catch up with Yifan, grabbing the man’s wrist softly to get his attention. “Hyung.”

“What’s up, Baek?” The man smiled as Baekhyun wrapped his smaller arm around his. “You tired?”

Baekhyun only shrugged, smaller fingers curling into Yifan's calloused palm, “Thank you for finding me and Tae in the woods, Hyung.”

There wasn’t much else to say.

Chapter Text

 

 

Three days and Taeyong was fucking tired.

It was probably because he was having a hard time sleeping, worried and scared.

Months ago he probably wouldn’t admit as much, he would bottle it up and end up blowing up and hurting someone’s feelings.

Like he did to his brother numerous times. Numerous regretful times.

And this little girl was fucking annoying.

He suspected they put the two together to try and make them closer, but it was only continuing to remind Taeyong why he never hung out with kids younger than him in the first place.

Not to mention she was absolutely strange. Laughing to herself, playing pretend, and trying to wander into the woods just for flowers.

“You’re not supposed to hold it like that.” Taeyong commented, tone blank, “Here, I can-“

“This is how Sunmi taught us.” Lizzie growled, pushing his hand away and continuing to hold her knife hazardly.

Taeyong stiffened at the mention of her, “Don’t lie.” He warned.

Lying was absolutely forbidden, a huge no within their family, and if this little girl wanted to have a place here she needed to not lie. Taeyong wasn’t a hundred percent sure if his Hyungs… wanted her to have a place though.

They babied her, treated her softly like they did Jisung. But Jisung was family, and Lizzie wasn’t.

“Don’t lie about my Noona! She was a good teacher, she wouldn’t have taught you that bullshit.”

“Did too!” Lizzie whined, “Sunmi t-“

Taeyong was too angry and he knew it. His hands reaching out to shove the twelve year old into the dirt, “Don’t lie! You don’t get to talk about her! She was my Noona- my famil-”

“Taeyong!” Kyungsoo yelled, running over to grab his shirt, pulling him back roughly, “What the fuck! You don’t hurt people- hey, I’m talking to you, pay attention.”

Taeyong growled, trying to reach over Kyungsoo's shoulder, kicking up dirt as he screamed. “You didn’t know her! That’s bullshit, you’re a liar!”

The group looked at the teenager in surprise, they’d seen him all levels of anger. So many different kinds of moods, but never aggressive like this, never painfully sad like this.

“Hey, you’re okay.” Chanyeol said gently, grabbing the little girl's arm and pulling her up, she was crying, but Taeyong felt like it was an act- all a facade. “It’s okay, sweetheart, you’re okay.”

“Taeyong.” Kyungsoo growled, pulling the teenager away, and towards the group as Chanyeol tried to shush the girls crying. “Man- what- what were you thinking? She’s a little girl.”

“I was trying to help her!” Taeyong cried, shoving his Hyung away to wrap arms around himself, “Then- she was lying, and I was so mad- I didn’t hurt her.”

“Tae, you don’t get aggressive just because someone lies to you.” Jongin added sternly, “You can be upset about it, but you don’t push and you don’t hurt people- you pushed her down, you hurt her feelings.”

Taeyongs nose flared as he looked at them in disbelief. “She said Noona didn’t teach her right- Noona did! She did!”

The group dropped their scolding immediately, because this wasn’t an act of anger.

It was one of defense, and they couldn’t really be mad over that.

“Taeyong, you can miss her.” Sehun said softly when he realized nobody was going to talk. “You can miss her, hell, we all miss her, but we have to deal with it. Sunmi Noona was an amazing person- we loved her, Tae. And you do too, you did too, that’s why it hurts so bad.”

Taeyong felt his own lip trembling as he stepped away, continuing walking on the dirt road they’d been on for miles. “I don’t want to love people anymore then.”

“Well.” Minseok said quietly, jogging slightly to catch up to the teenager, “Well… sometimes it’s worth it, right? When you love people… there’s going to be a little pain.”

“H-Hyung.” Taeyong croaked, red eyes as he watched his feet as he walked, “Hyung… I don’t want to lose anyone else.”

“We want to promise so bad, but we can't promise you… that you won’t feel pain like this again, Taeyong.”

~~~~~~

Baekhyun laid Jisung down carefully in the middle of the bed, “You guys okay with watching him tonight?”

“Of course, Baek.” Yixing soothed, taking off his shoes and moving to lay on one side of the baby, “Are you okay sleeping alone? We don’t mind at all, sweetie.”

Baekhyun waved him off, moving towards the slightly blood stained bedroom door, “It’s fine, you guys should have some time together… if you need anything I’ll probably be on the couch.”

The medic only sent him a small smile and Baekhyun copied it as he walked out.

“Baek, the water is on, looks clean.. you should refill your water and things tomorrow, okay?” Yifan said softly, laying his coat on the back of the couch, “Don’t worry about scavenging, rest up a little and we'll try to get at least ten miles tomorrow. All those signs we left.. they can’t miss them, beautiful, just stay calm.”

Baekhyun smiled, squeezing Yifan's arm in appreciation as the leader pressed his palm to his cheek for a second. “Okay, you too.”

Yifan smiled, running his hand over the smallers cheek before nodding, disappearing into the bedroom Baekhyun had come from.

Yifan told him not to worry about it right now, but it was hard not to, so he immediately started towards the living room, opening cabinets and ignoring the intense eyes in his back.

He found a stash of baby wipes, and some diapers that were way too small for Jisung, at least the wipes could be helpful.

“Antibiotic cream on the bookcase.” Jiyong called, pointing to a small orange bottle from the couch.

“Why didn’t you grab it?” Baekhyun inquired, pulling his zip up off and tossing it to the side.

“I thought I’d let you find it- you look really excited when you find things.” The man shrugged.

Baekhyun frowned, unsure how to interpret the words.

He felt like Jiyong was flirting with him the past few days, but never so blatantly like this, then again… the two hadn’t been separated from the others the whole time either. And now Baekhyun was regretting not taking Yixings offer.

He just felt like something was off, but he was also extremely stressed out right now, everything kind of set him on his toes.

“You know…” Jiyong started again a few minutes later.

Baekhyun raised a brow at him, moving to sit on the other side of the couch, “Whats up?”

“I thought you said you were in love with those other three?” The man shrugged, eyes staring intently, “I mean… not my business, but we’re friends.”

“I’m very much in love with them.” Baekhyun said defensively, “What… what makes you think otherwise?”

Jiyong laughed quietly, “I don’t know, I mean.. Yifan and Yixing are all over you. And you seem to enjoy it. They call you all sorts of names like sweetheart, and beautiful- which is a compliment I completely agree with, but… aren’t you a married man? You said so a few days ago.”

“They’re my family.” The younger growled, “We’re family, and we take care of each other. What? I’m not.. allowed to be affectionate with my family? Look, I have a ring- I’m happily married.”

Jiyong lifted his brows as Baekhyun held out his hand, grabbing the hand he looked at the small silver ring, the thin trail of diamonds around it. “A ring doesn’t mean anything- I used to be married too.”

Baekhyun scoffed, snatching his hand back, “Well to me it does- it means love and loyalty, it means… protection and safety.”

“Ha.” The older man smirked and looked him over, “I guess the end of the world can really change how relationships work, huh? Need to rely on people more- but not at the same time. You don’t trust me, Baekhyun?”

“Don’t take it personally.” Baekhyun shrugged uncaringly, “I don’t trust many people, you can never know what people’s motives are.”

“Well, you can just ask. Do you want to know what my motives are?”

Truly, Baekhyun didn’t care all that much, but he nodded anyways, “Sure.”

Jiyong turned his body toward Baekhyun, looking at him seriously. “I think you’re beautiful. I-I was on that bus, you know, but I realized you were there and I thought it was cowardly none of your.. husbands were running after you, so I came back out and Yixing grabbed me before I could go help you.”

“They saved my little brother.” Baekhyun snarled, “They probably saved.. probably so many people, how dare you call them cowards? You’ve never even spoken to two of them, and the one conversation you had with Chanyeol was him telling you to back off- so leave it alone.” He said sternly, keeping his voice down for Yifan and Yixing right down the hall.

“It’s hard… because I feel like they don’t treat you that well, you wouldn’t be getting so defensive right now if they did. Are you hurting, Baekhyun? I heard about your fight with one of them, and it sounded like he hurt you.”

“Are you fucking delusional!” Baekhyun scoffed, climbing to his feet, “You don’t know me! God, are you… you’re fucking crazy. Chanyeol never laid a hand on me- sh-shut the fuck up, you have no idea!”

Jiyong stood to his feet, hands raised as he walked towards Baekhyun. “Hey… I’m not trying to scare you, you’re shaking, Baekhyun. This is only making me think that you need help- I can help you. They might be dead- they might not have survived but… but I can help you.”

Baekhyun's brows furrowed, and he had so many things racing through his mind.

But the overpowering thought was that he felt trapped again. He felt like he was getting shoved into a corner again, and he kind of was- literally.

Every step Baekhyun took back Jiyong took two even larger towards him looking genuinely concerned for him- like he didn’t realize Baekhyun was only getting freaked out because a strange man was enclosing on his personal space.

But then Jiyong touched his face, and it was so creepy, so genuinely creepy the way the man was looking at him. Baekhyun should have never talked to him- made Chanyeol jealous by using this man- never tried to be his friend.

He should have known. Lonely people during the end of the world, it ate them up inside and they just wanted to fill the gap.

“Don’t touch me-“

Baekhyun was cut off by the man pressing his mouth on him, and he lost his mind.

His hands reached into his pocket and he didn’t even know what happened.

One second he was trying to shove the man off him, turning his head away, and the next..

His fingers were covered in red and his knife was sticking out of the man’s chest.

“Fuck- what- what did -“ And then he screamed, loud.

But he didn’t feel guilty, not right this second, not as his adrenaline was still pumping and as the man’s body went limp and he pushed it off of him and on the ground roughly.

“Don’t touch me!” Baekhyun yelled, cried, “Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me.” He ran his palms over his face and felt the warmth drying on his skin and only felt confused about what he had just done.

Killed a person. And… he didn’t feel bad at all.

In fact, he felt completely fine. Maybe better than he ever did. Because he didn’t want to be kissed, he didn’t give his permission to be kissed, and that meant he didn’t have to be touched if he didn’t want to.

If he had learned anything from being raped, from being molested it was that he had no choice, and he had no way out. But this time… this time he did, and he took it.

And now he was laughing, blood was all over his face and hands, and he was crying, but he was laughing.

“Baekhyun….” Yifan whispered in shock, Baekhyun's eyes went wide as he looked towards the doorway and saw his two Hyungs staring shocked. “Baek… what?”

“He kissed me Hyung.” Baekhyun said, trying to rub off the red on his hands, “Hyung.. and I- I killed him- Hyung he only kissed me but…”

“You don’t need to feel bad.” Yixing immediately began, eyes looking glassy as he stepped over the body, hands outstretched for Baekhyun's, “You don’t, if you didn’t want to be touched and he touched you… it’s not your fault.”

“Hyung…” Baekhyun laughed quietly and shook his head, “I-I don't feel bad… I guess- I guess I don’t feel anything at all.. other than relief.”

“Oh, god.” Yifan whispered under his breath as the medic grabbed Baekhyun's wrist, “Oh my god.”

“Okay, sweetie… lets-uh… l-lets get you cleaned up.”

~~~~~~~~

“We’re going to give you a task, okay?” Chanyeol began, straightening out Taeyongs coat. “We need to set up a camp, and we need to go hunting. And you’re a man now, right?”

“Yes, Hyung.”

“Okay, so we need you to stay here and watch Lizzie okay? I don’t know… try to talk to her, I know she’s a little… weird, but sometimes you just need to talk to someone.”

Taeyong crinkled his nose in disagreement, but he wouldn’t argue with them, not when they were giving him an opportunity to prove himself. “Okay… you’ll just go… not that far, right?”

“Not even half a mile, bug. Don’t worry.” Chanyeol soothed with a small smile, “We’re just walking to the river, going to get some stuff for a fire and… and see if we can get lucky.. maybe some fish.”

“Okay.”

Chanyeol smiled proudly, pressing a kiss to Taeyongs temple. “Okay, if you get scared, or… if you see too many walkers, you scream and we’ll come running. Your gun is loaded, right? Let me see.”

Taeyong passed over his gun and Chanyeol popped the chamber open immediately, smiling in a way that made the teenager feel good about himself- that he could make his Hyung look proud of him. “Here, you keep your knife on you, Tae. We hear anything- we’ll be on the way.”

“Okay, Hyung.”

The elder pressed another kiss to his hair before standing up, sending him a reassuring nod as he went to catch up with the others.

Taeyong really didn’t want to talk to Lizzie, really didn’t even want to watch over her.

Truthfully, it was because she freaked him out.

“Lizzie… I-uh- I wanted to apologize.” The teenager whispered, reaching down to grab a handful of flowers, “I… I know you like these, so here… I- I didn’t mean to scare you.” He offered, walking up to her.

The little girl smiled, and Taeyong felt relieved as she accepted his flowers silently. “Flowers… flowers are nice.”

“Everyone likes flowers.” Taeyong whispered, shoving his hands in his pockets, “They’re nice to look at.”

“Flowers don't hurt anyone.” Lizzie added quietly.

“I… I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

She frowned, turning to stand in front of him and looking confused, “You didn’t hurt me, but… but sometimes you guys hurt my friends- like… like at the prison… that hurt me.”

“Who?” Taeyong asked, confused. “I didn’t hurt any of your friends…”

“Yes you did.” Lizzie said firmly, “My friends… like Nick.. like Sam.”

Taeyong took a good step back, “You mean… walkers? Lizzie… Lizzie, those aren’t your friends, they-“

“Mica told me back… back when we were giving them names that we were just pretending things weren't bad… Things are bad. Those things, they're bad. They are. She said we couldn’t pretend anymore.

But… I'm not pretending. She was. I know. Because I can hear them.”

“Lizzie… you’re… you're freaking me out.”

“They just want me to change. They can make me be like them. Maybe I should change… you guys, you don’t understand… you don’t need to hurt them.”

She seemed so convinced, so sure of her words Taeyong was genuinely terrified as he grabbed her shoulders. “Lizzie, They're… They're monsters, we want to live, my Hyungs want you to live too- or-or they wouldn’t have let you come.”

Lizzie stomped her foot and glared up at him. “I can show you! Let me show you, you’ll believe me!”

Taeyong jumped back as she reached her hand towards her knife and was immediately on edge, backing up. “Lizzie… you don’t know what you can do what that- put it down.”

“If I don’t go for the brain then you’ll wake back up.”

“Lizzie!” Taeyong yelled, hoping they’d be able to hear him, “Listen… listen, I know you killed those rats.. and, and fed them to the walkers- you-you’re the reason the fence broke, aren’t you?”

Taeyong already knew the answer, but he needed time, needed to stall.

“They were hungry… but..Mica didn’t like the rabbit… she said it was disgusting to play with dead rabbits, but… but my friends liked it.”

The teenagers stomach twisted and he didn’t need to remember how Yoongi had found a twisted up and gutted rabbit in the yard months ago.

“Lizzie- stop!” Taeyong stepped back as the girl lunged at him and tripped, falling onto his butt and scooting backwards, “Stop! I want to live! I don’t- Lizzie, I don’t want to be like them!”

“It’s okay!” The little girl yelled, “Help me convince them, Taeyong!”

Taeyong's back pressed against the tree and he kicked out at her. She was barely smaller than him, but he was so, so afraid.

Her knife cut through his jeans and he felt the edge cut into his calf and screamed. “You’re hurting me! Lizzie!”

She wasn’t listening, and he was going to die.

He felt like he had no other option, she was a danger to him, she was a danger to his Hyungs- his family.

So he pulled his gun out of the holster on his thigh and closed his eyes.

The noise was loud, it was echoed through the clearing and Taeyong screamed in anguish as he pulled his knees to his chest and dropped the gun.

He didn’t have to wait long at all, barely a few minutes of his eyes squeezed shut, rocking and burying his nails in his scalp before he felt someone picking him up.

“Are you okay? Taeyong, bug- what happened?” Kyungsoo fussed, pulling the teenager into his arms tightly, pressing his nose into his hair. “We’re right here, baby. Nobody will hurt you now.”

“Tae, oh my god, Tae.” Jongin collapsed to the ground and immediately began pushing up his bloody pant leg. “Someone get me a wrap, fuck, some-someone cut my sleeve off.”

“Fuck- we shouldn’t- shouldn't have left him alone.” Luhan cringed, stepping over the little girl's body and grabbing the warm gun.

“Baby. Tae. Hey, did she try to hurt you? Look at us, Taeyong, nobody is going to hurt you anymore.” Chanyeol dropped to his knees behind Kyungsoo to lean over his back, grabbing Taeyongs chin.

“S-She- Hyung… she tried to -kill me!” Taeyong panicked, fingers pulling at his collar, “H-Hyung! Hyung don’t let me go!”

Jongin gulped as he tied the cloth Junmyeon had cut off his jacket around Taeyong’s leg and shared an equally as pained, watery look with the group.

“He-y.” Kyungsoo's voice was rough as he grabbed Taeyongs cheek, wiping a bit of dirt off of his wet face. “We’re not letting you out of our sight, Hyungs are sorry- god, we’re so sorry, Taeyong.”

“We promised to take care of you… so-so that’s what we're going to do.” Jongin added, his hand searching for Taeyong’s, “You just hold my hand, sweetheart. And breathe, we’re going to get through this- together.”

Chapter Text

 

 

“Do you want your gun back?”

Taeyong flinched, head hitting the blanket that was spread on the forest floor and groaning, “Fuck- uh- no… no thank you.”

Sehun frowned, leaning down to press his forehead to the youngers. “Tae… we’d really feel better if you at least had it, we’re not asking you to fire it or anything. Just.. have it. We’re not willing to risk anything.”

“Hyung… I… I killed her- she- she was like twelve, and I-I killed her.” Taeyong whispered, sitting up.

“Good morning, bug.” Chanyeol called as he noticed the teenager awake, packing up his backpack.

“Hyung.” Sehun muttered, sitting back on his heels, “Hyung, come here.. really quick.”

Chanyeol frowned, running a hand through his matted curls as he strolled over, crouching down and cupping the back of Taeyong’s head, “Whats up?”

“I.. Taeyong doesn’t want his gun back… right now, but it’s unsafe. Wha-what should we do, Hyung?” Sehun said softly, handing over the teenagers gun Luhan had picked up.

“Tae… sweetheart, you know it’d make us all.. a lot more comfortable if you had something other than a knife.” The eldest cooed gently, brushing Taeyong’s bed head down, “It was an accident, Tae. It was self defense- nobody is mad at you, if anything… we’re all relieved that you protected yourself.”

“Hyung…” Taeyong whispered, staring at the raggedy fabric wrapped around his calf, “... I don’t want responsibility anymore.”

Chanyeol sighed softly, sitting back on the edge of Taeyongs blanket. “You don’t need to be responsible, you don’t need to act so grown up all the time, we always wanted you to just… just be a kid, Tae, just be a teenager. And… we know that you can’t… but-“

“Hyung… I want you to hold onto it- u-until I… until I feel better.”

“Okay.” The eldest murmured softly, running his thumb over Taeyongs brow, “If that’s what you want then you need to stay close to us at all times.”

“Th-that won’t be hard at all.” Taeyong stuttered.

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun felt like his hands were stained red. They weren’t, Yixing and Yifan had been very thorough about cleaning him off, scrubbing his skin red.

But he still felt it. And it didn’t really feel like guilt.

It just felt like… another death. A useless one, one that didn’t need to happen, but… it had. And they weren’t pretending that it didn't.

Yifan and Yixing were just curious, and worried for him.

He must have looked pretty crazy, but neither of them asked a thing, neither of them commented or spoke except for small reassurances the whole time they cleaned him up.

“Let’s stop and tag this real fast.” Yifan said aloud, Jisung strapped to his back and holding onto the back of the leaders neck.

“Got it.” Baekhyun offered, pulling his backpack off and crouching on the ground. “What should we write this time?” He asked, shaking the can of red spray paint and walking a ways down the asphalt to keep it away from Jisung.

“Whatever you think they’d recognize.” Yixing shrugged, digging in the diaper back and pulling out a pack of trail mix. “Jisungie, you hungry?”

Baekhyun didn’t hear the baby’s response, pulling the collar of his blood stained shirt to his nose and beginning to paint.

“Baekhyun, we’ll rest here for a little when you’re done.”

He didn’t even look up, only giving a slight nod of his head before standing back and coughing slightly at the fumes as he dropped his shirt.

In big words, sprawled across the road read one word.

‘TOGETHER’

And there was no way that they wouldn’t recognize it or would overlook it, not like some of the tens of smaller words, names they had scratched into signs miles away.

Baekhyun nodded to himself with a small smile as he walked over to take a seat beside Yifan.

“Food is pretty low… how many days do you think we’ll… be separated?”

The leader frowned slightly, holding Jisungs hips up to let the baby stretch out. “I don’t know, Baek. Wish I did… could be another week… could be months, but don’t worry- we’ll find them.”

“I’m not worried about that.” Baekhyun shook his head and pulled the diaper bag towards himself, digging for some formula.

They hadn’t wanted things to come to this for Jisung, not that the baby really cared, or noticed. But they had to start giving him formula and smaller amounts of food- only because they needed the energy to be able to carry on and take care of the baby.

They couldn’t have one of the three falling sick, or getting malnourished. So Jisung was getting a few sippy cups of formula a day and whatever they could find to feed him.

It wasn’t great for the toddler, but it wouldn’t hurt, he was still getting more nutrients than all of them.

“Baek, are we going to talk about it?” Yixing asked carefully, watching Baekhyun pour a bottle of water into the cup, shaking it up.

“We can talk about it.” Baekhyun shrugged, “I’m not… I’m not too concerned, I honestly… I don’t feel anything at all.”

“That’s concerning in itself.” The leader replied, accepting the cup offered and offering it to Jisung, “I mean… Baek- I’m not… I have no room to say anything, but if something like that.. happened to you I would be expecting you to be scared… terrified. Everything you’ve went through and-“

“I’m not scared.” Baekhyun laughed, leaning back on his palms, “It wasn’t… it wasn’t like that, Hyung… I- I did something for myself.”

Yixing reached out to place the partially eaten trail mix bag on his lap and patted his thigh. “So… so why’d you kill him? If… if it’s not like how we were assuming.”

“Honestly…” The youngest of the three frowned, “I’m not.. I’m not sure but… I killed a basically innocent man- there’s no way… I don’t know if it’s right for me to assume he was going to touch me.. or rape me, but all I knew was I didn’t want his mouth touching me.. and I don’t know if it was shock or panic, but- I-I just stabbed him.”

“Shouldn’t I feel something? I mean… I feel… relieved, I feel… calmer, but shouldn’t I feel guilty? Shouldn’t I at least mourn over him?” Baekhyun added, genuinely confused as his eyes flickered back and forth.

“You only think you should feel that way because that’s what you’ve always been told.” Yixing disagreed, “There’s nothing wrong with.. not being guilty, at least you're feeling nothing and.. I don’t constantly try to understand you, Baek. Even I don't even know what goes on beneath these curls.” He teased, lightly bumping his shoulder on the smallers, “But.. I can’t help it sometimes, Baekhyun. And I think… I think you just… you did something you always wanted to do you know?”

“Kill an innocent man?” Baekhyun snickered humorlessly.

“I don’t know if you can say he was fully innocent, Baek. If you never said you wanted him to… do that then you never consented.” Yifan disagreed.

Baekhyun wanted to tell him he only thought that because he was biased, because they were family and protected each other.

But to Baekhyun it felt like a big deal too. He had never kissed anyone but his husbands voluntarily- ever. So he did feel.. disturbed with the thought.

He knew now that his husbands would never think him disgusting, but that didn’t mean Baekhyun didn’t think that. In fact, he had scrubbed his mouth to the point that they were now peeling because it freaked him out to even think about someone else getting close enough to do that.

“You saw it as an opportunity.” Yixing commented, “An opportunity you never had? Am I right… sweetie?”

Baekhyun licked over his lips and thought they tasted slightly like iron, probably from having scrubbed them so bad. “I guess I… I don’t know, I was always… held down, you know?”

They didn’t know, they had no idea at all, cringing at even the imagery, but they both nodded anyways.

“But this time… I wasn’t defenseless, and- he wasn’t… wasn't scaring me per say- but it was still… I didn’t want it, I said don’t touch me- why- why does nobody listen when I say that?” Baekhyun whispered the last part under his breath, pausing in thought and the two could only stare at him pitifully. “But-uh.. I.. I’m not… weak anymore, I’m not… just going to sit there an-and let it happen. I’m strong now, we’re all strong now, but.. but I’m not letting someone touch me like that again- a-and I’m not going to just lay there and- and… yeah… I guess… I guess I just- I had a chance to stop it- for once.”

“And for that we think you’re way stronger than us, Baekhyun.” Yifan said immediately, “Way stronger than you once were… I think, I think maybe you won’t even be haunted anymore. Not when you- all on your own- can… can overcome a real fear of yours. Nightmares aren’t anything now.”

“Maybe I can.. can dream for once.” Baekhyun mumbled under his breath.

Yixing pressed his forehead to Baekhyun's shoulder for only a second before sitting back, “Jisungie, don’t you think Baekhyunnie is super strong? You should come tell him, little man.”

Jisungs eyes widened at being called out, pulling his sippy cup out of his mouth with a popping sound. “Hyungie stwong! Tae- uh… Tae sayed hero!”

Baekhyun gulped at the mention of his brother and held it back to accept the tiny excited baby that was bouncing over into his arms. “Yeah? I think Jisungie will be super strong too, just like Tae, just like Fan, Lu, Hunnie, Xing. All of Hyungs! Jisungie will be the strongest!”

The baby giggled and Baekhyun didn’t even mind the formula dripping onto the back of his shirt as Jisung held it hazardly over his shoulder.

~~~~~~~~

“Do you think… maybe we should turn back around?” Taehyung asked quietly, Jungkook's hand right in his. “I mean… Hyung, it’s dark, there haven't been walkers for miles which means nothing to hunt.”

Chanyeol sighed, shaking his flashlight at the front of the group, Taeyongs hand tight in the other hand.

Usually, traveling at night was a huge no- an extremely bad idea.

But they would be worse just sitting ducks or here. The forest to either sides were too damp from the humidity to even build a fire, which meant no warmth and too much exposure, so the best option was to continue on until they found somewhere safer.

“Taehyung, we just gotta stick close… Yifan knows better- they’d keep going towards the sun, we’re just looking for shelter now. We know you’re freaked out because it’s dark- us too.”

As if adding to Yoongi’s statement there was a cracking in the woods.

Immediately the group went still, silent. Taeyong immediately getting pushed behind Chanyeol's back and Kyungsoo pressed his chest against Taeyong’s back protectively.

Jongin placed his flashlight between his teeth and pulled his gun out, the only sounds of them breathing as he flashed his light towards the woods to the right.

“Fuck- god-“

The cursing was getting closer and Jongin couldn’t place the voice, too raspy and exhausted.

“Come on, dumbass- nobody stays out this la-“

“You are a dumbass.” Minseok suddenly laughed and Jongin stiffened, eyes narrowing on the eldest as he walked towards the woods, unarmed.

“Hyung-“ Jongin reached out and Minseok only snorted.

“Zitao, how the hell did you find us!” The eldest yelled.

The group immediately relaxed, laughing in various states of disbelief.

“Holy shit.” Luhan beamed, letting go of Sehun's arm to run over to the edge of the woods.

Zitao looked horrible, way worse than they did. “Shit, I did it.” Was all he murmured, wide eyed as he stared at them.

“You did it!” Taeyong laughed, limping slightly up to him and wrapping his arms around the man’s waist, jumping awkwardly on his cut leg, “Hyung! Welcome back!”

Zitao laughed in shock, immediately cupping the teenagers head to his chest. “God- you guys won’t believe what shit I’ve went through.”

“We can tell.” Jimin laughed, pulling his backpack off, “Here, let's get you some food… you don’t- have any weapons?”

“Fuck, no.” Zitao laughed as Taeyong dragged him over, “I’ve been.. I saw The Governor get bit, and then I took off! I don’t have shit, so I’ve been… like hiding in trees- swear I have splinters that will never leave now! And like.. just avoiding everything as I followed Baekhyun's signs!”

“What?” Kyungsoo said immediately, “Signs? What signs? Do you know where they are?”

Zitao chuckled and shook his head, “You didn’t notice? Here, come with me… just over here.”

He rolled his eyes slightly at their obliviousness and grabbed the flashlight from Chanyeol's hand, making the group walk back a few yards before stopping and laughing. “God, you guys blind or something?”

He shined the light over the red paint and looked up at them amused, stepping back to light up the whole word.

“... Baekhyun.” Kyungsoo whispered as he stared at the handwriting before laughing, a full smile that filled his face as he turned to grab Taeyongs cheeks in both hands, “Baekhyun! Tae, it’s Baekhyun!”

The teenager immediately began crying as the group began to laugh in disbelief, way louder than they should be. “H-Hyung! My Hyung!”

“Oh my god!” Chanyeol screamed, grabbing the teen around the waist and throwing him over his shoulder, “Oh my god!”

“H-Hyung!” Taeyong laughed, hands curling into the back of Chanyeol's shirt.

“Hyung! We always stay together!”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun chewed his lip as he laid the diaper bag on the sidewalk, “I know, buddy, I know- Hyung is sorry.”

Jisung whined, fingers curling up on his bare stomach as Baekhyun laid him down on his coat. “Hyung- ow!”

“Fuck, do you think it was the cans? Fuck- I didn’t even notice it was cracked. Hyung is so sorry, Jisungie.” Yifan said painfully, kneeling down on the sidewalk to pet the baby’s hair.

“Someone get me a wipe, let me wipe his face… we- we’re going to need to stop somewhere, he’s dehydrated from throwing up.” Baekhyun worried, digging through his bag for a shirt he could put on Jisung like a little gown.

“Can’t believe we didn’t notice, he’s had diarrhea all morning. This has food poisoning written all over it.” Yixing sighed, pressing his palms to his face as he paced, “We’re going too- we’re gonna go clear out this house, Baek, and get you two situated and then go search for something that can help. Are you okay with him?”

“Yeah.” Baekhyun's face had been in a frown all morning since Jisung had begun crying and complaining of a stomach ache, “Of course, go ahead… I’m gonna… we’ll wait here.”

He didn’t hear their reply and glanced up only to see them immediately turning to rush into the closest house nearby.

“I know, Ji. Hyung is going to take care of you, baby.” Baekhyun cooed softly, standing him up between his legs, the shirt he placed on the baby faking down to the ground. “I’m going to boil you water as soon as Hyungs come back and our Jisung is going to get a warm bath, promise. It’s going to help so much.”

Jisung wiped his eyes, mouth twisted in a frown as his lips trembled. “Hyung… hurts.”

“Shhh.” Baekhyun shushed quietly, pulling Jisung to rest in the crook of his neck. “I know, baby. Taeyongie used to get belly aches all the time, Hyung knows what to do, okay? You just trust me.”

“Weally?”

“Oh, all the time, honey. And Taeyong cried way more than our Jisung, because our baby is so strong, huh buddy? Our own little superhero, right?”

Jisung nodded weakly as Baekhyun placed a hand on his bottom and the other behind his head and stood up, “I hero.”

“That’s right, Jisung. Hyung is going to make sure you get cleaned up and your belly gets better. Xing and Fan are going to find you lots of things, sweetheart.”

The baby let out another cry, moving his hands between his stomach and Baekhyun's chest, his forehead pressing to Baekhyun's shoulder. “Belly hurt.”

Baekhyun gulped back his tears purely because he hated seeing the toddler in pain, not because he thought he was in any danger, but Jisung was so sweet and it was entirely their fault for feeding him something that was contaminated.

Since last night the baby had been having horrible diarrhea, and the vomiting had only started a while ago, but Yixing was sure it was food poisoning.

Taeyong had food poisoning a few times in his childhood, so Baekhyun wasn’t unfamiliar with what to do, but he used to have supplies then- more options.

He used to be able to get Taeyong in a warm bath in minutes to soothe the pain and cramps, give him dried bread to calm his stomach but fill him up for a little, and lots and lots of water.

The best he could do now was hope they got a house that had a propane stove, he could light it by hand and boil some water until warm for the baby to rest in for a little. And continue giving him formula- watering it down as much as they could but also getting him nutrients.

Yixing was saying it should pass by tomorrow or the next day if they were lucky and kept anything but formula out of Jisungs reach to let his system settle, but Baekhyun hated the thought of Jisung crying because he was hungry later.

And they had nothing decent to feed him right now, hopefully one of the two would be able to find some plain rice for the baby in the meantime.

“Hyung, ow.” Jisung sobbed, a hand coming to tug on his ear, “Head ow!”

“Oh, sweetheart.” Baekhyun sighed, gently bouncing him and pressing his forehead down onto his curls, “I know baby, your head hurts too- we’re going to get you some fresh water and you’ll be okay, you just go to sleep.”

“Mess- Hyung I mess.”

Baekhyun frowned and immediately began patting Jisungs bottom because it always put the toddler to sleep, “Hyung doesn’t mind, it's not your fault. We just cleaned it up, it’s okay. If it happens again, that’s okay too, you’re not in trouble.”

It would happen again, it was undeniable. Jisungs clothes were now ruined, but vomit or bodily fluids they had no choice but to give him theirs, or Baekhyun's, but it didn’t matter if they were huge on him when the baby wouldn’t be walking around anyways.

Sick babies were clingy babies and Baekhyun had no issues when it scared him to even think about leaving Jisung alone like this.

“Baek- it’s clear.” Yifan walked back, shoving his knife away as he reached down to grab the diaper bag and jacket Baekhyun had been using for Jisung to lay down on.

“Hyung.” Baekhyun whispered, running his palm comfortingly down the back of Jisungs neck, “Hyung, we need to stay here a few days… can you… draw some arrows, write some-“

“We got it, sweetie.” The leader whispered softly, “We’ll paint some notes, we’ll be back really quick, Baek.”

Baekhyun chewed his lip and nodded, slowly following behind the leader, bouncing the baby calmly.

The house actually didn’t look ransacked at all. It looked completely clean.

It probably helped that walkers also hadn’t been in this area- which meant no or not many people had also been here. Based on all the dust, probably not for a while.

Baekhyun immediately used one hand to move a few couch pillows on the outside of the couch to lay the baby down safely, “You guys be back soon, okay? I’ll see what there is to cook.”

“We’ll be back quickly, cutie, don’t worry.” Yixing cooed, leaning over the couch to touch Baekhyun's forehead for a second.

Baekhyun nodded, a soft smile on his face as he walked around the couch towards the kitchen, “Be safe.”

“You too.” Yifan replied, walking towards the door, holding it open for Yixing.

Baekhyun immediately began digging through cabinets as soon as they walked out, searching for anything.

He pulled out large pots and tried the tap water, it seemed they had gotten lucky with all of the water running in this area, it wasn’t warm, but it looked clean, and they had been drinking it so far and no issues.

“Matches… matches…” He whispered, pulling open drawers frantically. The house did look like it was left in a hurry, drawers and cabinets strewn about, but thru probably had no idea what was useful because Baekhyun found matches pretty fast.

He turned the knob on the stove, listening for the clicking sound and quickly lightly the burner, doing the same to the one beside it, setting the pots on to warm up.

He cleared his throat slightly, meandering over to the bathroom beside the kitchen, looking for a drain plug and plugging it before grabbing a towel sitting on the counter, it smelled kind of musty, probably from sitting so long, but it was better than nothing.

God, if only things weren’t so complicated just to give the baby a warm bath. Years ago it would have taken maybe five minutes to have all the things he needed to get it all set up, but he didn’t really have any choice now.

He turned the tub water on, cold being the only option and filled it about a half an inch before getting up and going back into the kitchen, checking the almost boiling water before opening cabinets.

Immediately, he internally jumped in excitement at the blocks of chicken stock, rice, oats, cans. It looked like they would be eating good today.

He immediately got a pan and dumped in the bottle of stock, it wasn’t chicken, but it would still give them some energy, he’d just need to reuse the pots he had boiling for the oats and rice.

Just as he was taking the first boiling pot off the stove and walking into the bathroom he heard Jisung start fussing softly, the quiet whimpering he did when he woke up alone.

“Jisungie! Hold on, sweetheart!” Baekhyun cried, dumping the water in the tub and feeling it. Only slightly warm.

“Hyung is making you a bath, baby, hold on!”

Baekhyun felt like his heart raced out of his chest when the baby cried, making his blood race as he dropped the hot empty pot in the sink and grabbed the other one quickly, running into the bathroom.

“H-Hyung!”

Baekhyun gulped, turning on the tub for a second to lower the temperature before deeming it okay and going to run into the living room.

“Hey, baby, hey- come on!” He urged, reaching down to grab the red faced baby. “Hyung made you a bath, you want a bath?”

Jisung hiccuped, grabbing around Baekhyun's neck tightly. “Belly hurt.”

“I know, Ji. Let’s get you in the bath and then we’ll make Hyungs food, yeah? You want to be a big helper?”

Jisung perked up at the offer.

All of this, just for basic human needs. Baekhyun couldn't believe it had come back down to this.

~~~~~~~~

Taeyong rubbed his eye, other arm wrapped tightly around Jungkook's arm as he limped along.

His leg really wasn’t hurting that bad, it was mainly inconveniently placed where it could potentially reopen if he flexed his calf too hard, and it was closing- his Hyungs were just overly concerned about it.

“Did you come from the east or west?” He heard Junmyeon ask Zitao behind him.

The man shrugged, “I don’t know, I swore I was on Yifan, Yixing, Jiyong, and Baekhyun for a while, but… I don’t know they got up and left in the middle of the night one night and I couldn’t keep up in the dark without a light.”

“That’s…. they know better than to leave in the middle of the night, you sure?” Jongin frowned curiously.

Zitao nodded, itching at a spot a splinter used to be, “Positive, I heard Baek singing Jisung to sleep- hundred percent man, but… they just went quiet after a while and I lost them… that’s how I knew the notes were theirs.”

“Wait you said Jiyong? He was there? Thought he was on the bus?” Chanyeol added, stopping leading the group only to walk to Taeyong and grab his arm to give the teen more support.

Taeyong appreciated it, but he felt like he was being a hassle for not accepting one of them to just carry him.

“I saw him get off the bus.” Minseok chirped, “Didn’t really think about it, but… didn’t he tell Yeol he had a crush on Baek or something?”

“What?” Jongin inquired, turning to look over his shoulder at Chanyeol, “You didn’t tell us that!”

“I didn’t because I didn’t want Baekhyun to get worked up, okay?” Chanyeol defended, “You know he would have gotten… freaked out, and neither of you two can keep a secret.”

“Okay- okay, chill!” Kyungsoo demanded as Jongin looked like he was going to get worked up. “You two, calm your shit, Chanyeol… what- what the fuck did he say to you, like… is that why you tried to keep them separated? Like… we thought it was jealousy, but it wasn’t?”

“I mean… it was that too...”

~~~~~~~

Yifan and Yixing felt like they were hitting the jackpot with all of their finds, food, new clothes, even a few bottles of medicine.

These seemed like things people probably shouldn’t be so excited over, but they were now.

They didn’t have all of their things stocked up in excess like at the prison, they didn’t have a reliable system of people going out scavenging- a map of places they had yet to venture too.

No, they were just blindly looking, blindly trying. But they weren’t lost.

They had passed where Woodsbury had stood just a few days ago, so at least they had some sort of an idea in mind of where they were, in an abandoned town just a few miles past it, if they had a map they could probably pinpoint it too.

“Hey, Fan… let's check the perimeter really quick before it gets dark.” The medic suggested, hands curled in the straps of his backpack to support the overfilled bag.

Yifan hummed, throwing an arm around his soulmates back, “It’s getting dark, Xing. Baek might start freaking out if we’re not back soon.”

“Come on, Hyung.” Yixing cooed softly, “I have a good feeling, just the ends of the blocks and that’s it.”

Yifan wasn’t good at telling Yixing no.

~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun gulped as he peered out the windows. It was dark out, sky clouding like it was going to rain soon.

“Do you feel better, baby? Here, let me make you a plate.”

Jisung laughed, and Baekhyun felt more relieved than he had the past few days, “Hungy.”

“I know!” Baekhyun cried playfully, picking up Jisung from where he was coloring with a piece of yellowed paper and only a few different colored pens. “Our Jisungie can finally eat! Hyung is hungry too! Better eat soon or I’m gonna have to chew up my baby!”

Baekhyun grabbed Jisungs fingers and playfully pretended to gnaw on them as he carried the almost naked baby, only wearing a pull up, into the kitchen. “Gonna eat you up, Ji!”

Jisung wiggled and smiled wide, pretty teeth displayed, “Hyung! No no! Bad!”

“Ah, how rude!” The elder smiled, “Fine, I guess we’ll just eat real food!” He cried as if exasperated.

“Lots of food!”

“Yeah, Hyungs are really hungry, I made lots and lots so we can take it with us, maybe a week's worth or so.” Baekhyun knew Jisung probably didn’t understand or care about anything he was saying but he still nodded and it was adorable.

Baekhyun only listened to the cute humming of Jisung into his shoulder as he grabbed a plate he had rinsed the dust off earlier, only putting a little bit of rice and oats on it. “Hyung will give you only a little now and then we’re going to wait and see if you get a belly ache again, okay?”

Jisung only swung his legs and made an excited noise as Baekhyun carried him back to his spot in a pile of slightly dusty blankets and set the plate down, giving Jisung a small spoon. “Slow, Ji. Hyung will get you water.”

Baekhyun waited for a second to make sure Jisung heard him and then grabbed his backpack from the couch, digging out his last water bottle before opening it and placing it down beside the toddler and glancing at the curtains.

He swore he could hear something outside, but moments ago it had looked like it would start storming soon, so he brushed it off to the weather.

Until he realized it sounded like it was getting closer.

He ran to Jisung immediately, getting a confused, messy faced look as he pulled the baby back into his chest and pulled the blanket up Jisungs chest, knocking the empty plate to the side.

“Hyungie!” Jisung pouted, “My pate!”

“Shh.” Baekhyun whispered seriously, “We’re being quiet now, quiet time.”

The toddler pouted, crossing his arms, “No want to play!”

Baekhyun cut him off by laying a gentle hand over the baby’s mouth as the door opened, other hand on his gun. Jisung huffed and pushed his hand off at Baekhyun's delayed removal of the hand. “Hyung! Baekie throwed my pate!”

“Oh thank god.” Baekhyun sighed in relief, throwing himself back against the couch and closing his eyes, “Fuck, I thought someone was coming here.”

“Sorry we scared you, dollface.”

Chapter Text

 

 

“Just a bit further guys.” Zitao urged, “Come on, we need at least a house to stay in- it’s going to rain.”

“Okay, but if we don’t find one soon we’ll need to stop, Tao, we can’t just trudge through the rain.” Junmyeon argued gently.

There wasn’t much to say, because he was right.

They had been walking so long today, everywhere it felt like.

Jongin stopped to adjust Taeyong sleeping over his shoulders, gently bouncing the teen higher and moving his hands tighter around the back of the teens knees.

“Switch?” Taehyung asked quietly, “You want a break?”

“I’m good.” The elder denied quickly, “Thanks though… I’ll.. let you know if I want a break in a bit.”

Taehyung wasn’t expecting him to accept anyways, backing off quickly.

They understood that Taeyong was special, everyone thought he was too. But they also knew the three probably thought so way more than anyone else did, because this was their soulmates brother- the only real connection they had to Baekhyun at the moment.

And, nobody really held them not wanting anyone else to help Taeyong but them against them. Not after Taeyong had already gotten hurt, after he had to kill that little girl.

Just the look on the three men’s faces when they ran back for the teenager was enough. Let alone the look on Taeyongs face too, or his pained screaming.

Finding out Baekhyun was still okay… it was a relief to them all, but to his soulmates- it was everything.

“Guys…” Jimin mumbled, flashlight shining to the side, walking off the forest floor and quickly moving to a jog, “Guys!”

“Hey! Wait up!” Minseok ordered, immediately ignored.

The group quickly followed after Jimin, carefully avoiding the trees as they cursed behind the man.

Kyungsoo narrowly ran straight into Jimin's back as he stopped abruptly in front of him. “Jimin, what the fuck man!”

“Just as grumpy as I remember.” Kyungsoo stiffened at the voice.

Chanyeol practically threw himself at the leader, “Hyung!”

Maybe they should have avoided the woods since the beginning and just stayed on the roads.

~~~~~~~~

“Sorry we scared you, dollface.”

Baekhyun furrowed his brows and snapped his head up, neck aching.

As if it was slow motion, his hand came up to clasp around his mouth, eyes watering and shoulders beginning to shake as he dropped his face into his hands.

“Oh, fuck. Don’t cry, thanks Jongin!” Kyungsoo growled, immediately jumping over to his soulmate and sending a thankful nod to Yixing for grabbing the baby out of the way. “Hey, beauty. My baby.”

Baekhyun choked a cry as Kyungsoo knelt in front of him, gently coaxing the other to look up. “This… this is a dream?”

“Oh, sweetheart.” Jongin purred, gently laying Taeyong's sleeping body down on the couch, “Give me love before Yeol comes in and hogs you.”

The younger coughed out a gasp of disbelief, throwing his arms around Kyungsoo's shoulders, “E-everyone is alright? You guys are okay- Ta-Tae is just sleeping?”

“Of course.” Kyungsoo mumbled into Baekhyun's cheek, “Of course, honey, my precious husband, god.. did you have an adventure? Next time let’s go together.”

“No next time.” Baekhyun sniffed, hand reaching out for Jongin while the other curled into Kyungsoo's slightly greasy hair, “Don’t leave me.”

Jongin smiled apologetically, leaning over to press his mouth to Baekhyun's forehead, “Never. Never, baby.”

Baekhyun only whimpered, pulling back just to press his mouth firmly to Kyungsoo's, uncaring about how absolutely dirty the man was, dirt on his cheeks and clothes.

“Love you.” The elder murmured against Baekhyun's mouth, dirtied hand stroking Baekhyun's soft cheekbone, “Love you, so much.”

The younger sighed into his mouth, tears falling fast down his face as he pressed his bottom lip between both of Kyungsoo's lips. “I love you- Hy-Hyungs, I love you.”

“Oh, love.” Jongin fussed at the younger crying so much, “Baby, please- you know if Chanyeol see’s-“

“If I see what?” Said man asked deeply, walking through the front door with Yifan, hair slightly wet, “We cleared the house next door for ever- why is he crying? What happened?”

Chanyeol was rushing over immediately, “What happened?”

Baekhyun peeked up from Kyungsoo's shoulder with a watery laugh as he looked at the eldest, “Missed you guys.”

The eldest made a soft noise as he leaned down to pick him up, “We missed you so much, Baek. Do you feel okay? Are you still sick? Come on, let’s take you to a room.”

“Tae?” Baekhyun whispered softly, pressing his face into the crook of Chanyeol's neck.

“Don’t worry.” Jongin answered gently, “He’s just tired, let’s just let him sleep a little, love.”

Baekhyun didn’t have it in him to argue when Chanyeol was already carrying him down the hall and he was stifling his excited crying into his soulmates skin.

“Shh, oh, gorgeous. Did you have such a hard time? Us too, our Baekhyunnie. We were so scared.” Chanyeol mumbled, deep voice shaking Baekhyun's chest before he was laid onto a bed, fingers immediately pulling at his jacket.

“Let’s check you for any scratches or anything, baby. Want to see you.” Kyungsoo explained, pulling Baekhyun's shirt right off his chest.

It was such a horrible excuse, they just wanted skin on skin contact with him, and Baekhyun knew what they were doing, but he wanted it too. “Need to tell you something.” Baekhyun mumbled, eyes slightly swollen and wet as he unbuttoned his jeans and kicked them off.

“Anything, kitten. We’re listening.” Jongin replied as he and the older two pulled their own clothes off down to their boxers.

Baekhyun sat up on his knees in the middle of the bed, pushing the first layer of stale blankets off. “I killed Jiyong.”

The older three froze, looking at him confused. “I thought you were friends.” Kyungsoo wondered.

The youngest chewed his lip, curling his knees to his chest making his soulmates frown at his spine sticking out as he leaned over. “Don’t be mad at me.” Baekhyun requested.

“Okay.” Chanyeol agreed carefully, standing at the end of the bed directly in front of Baekhyun. Out of habit Baekhyun's eyes immediately trailed the man’s form before he gulped and looked at the floral sheets instead.

“He… you were right, Yeol… he did have a crush on me.” Baekhyun began carefully, “And… he was so strange- asking so many odd things… he-he basically said j-just because we were soulmates I didn’t… have to be with you guys and I was so mad- I told him we were married, not just soulmates and he didn’t even care whe-when I was so loyal to you!”

“Hey. Baby, we know, it’s okay.” Kyungsoo soothed, sitting behind Baekhyun and placing a warm palm on his hip, “You’re very loyal, and us to you, that’s how it’s supposed to be in relationships, beauty.”

Baekhyun's eyes flicked to Chanyeol's for just a second before he was staring at his feet curling into the bedding uncomfortably, “He tried to tell me Channie was abusive.”

It was silent a few beats before Chanyeol was leaning over the mattress to gently touch Baekhyun's ear, “What’d you say, love? Y-You know I love you so much, r-right? I’d never… I’d never hurt you Baekhyun, please… I-I would-“

“I know.” Baekhyun interrupted immediately as he saw the eldest begin to get worked up, the glossiness coming to his eyes. “I know… Hyung, I love you, of course I don’t think that. And I told him he knew nothing- h-he had no idea how we were, it’s our marriage… not his, and.. I know we have things to work on, me too, but that doesn’t… give him the right…”

“You’re right, babe.” Jongin agreed against the headboard, “You… you killed him over the assumption? I mean.. not that we care either way, Baekhyunnie, you’re still our pretty doll.”

“He started… he was creeping me out- telling me I was beautiful an-and just.. it freaked me out.”

Kyungsoo curled his lip up and pressed a soft kiss to Baekhyun's shoulder, “You are, but you’re also a married man, he shouldn’t be trying to seduce you.”

“He kissed me.” Baekhyun blurted, hand coming up to wipe his mouth uncomfortably as if it had only recently happened and hadn’t been days ago. “I’m sorry- I-I didn’t want it… but I wasn’t- I don’t know what his intentions were because he was trying to convince me you guys were dead then complimenting, and… and I was so upset but I stabbed him when he- he kissed me and I don’t- I don’t like anyone else’s kisses but your guys’ I really… Hyungs, I really didn’t want it-“

Chanyeol cut his ranting off because he was starting to sound like it was his own fault and it definitely didn’t sound that way. Pressing his mouth firmly on Baekhyun's licking over his bottom lip before pulling away, “Only we are supposed to kiss you, baby. I would’ve killed him, Baek.” He promised, pressing another kiss to the corner of his husband's mouth before letting go and running his thumb gently over a freckle on Baekhyun's cheek. “Don’t feel bad, I would’ve killed him.”

“I don’t feel bad. I told him not to touch me.” Baekhyun sighed in relief, grabbing Chanyeol's wrist to press a kiss to his fingertips before pressing his cheek into his husband's palm. “I just… I didn’t like it.”

“Good.” Jongin commented, moving the pillows around at the headboard, “Now come here and let me see your pretty face, I’m feeling so possessive right now.”

“By see you mean suck on his mouth.” Kyungsoo laughed, pressing a kiss below Baekhyun's ear, “I know because I feel the same. God, I’ll kill anyone that dares to do anything you don’t like, sweetheart. You didn’t consent, you didn’t like it, that’s assault.”

“Hyung.” Baekhyun's voice was already breathy as he turned to brush his lips on Kyungsoo's cheek, “I want to forget about it… I’m disgusted… I think- I think I scrubbed my mouth raw after. Missed you guys so bad.”

He heard a curse against his shoulder and felt Chanyeol's fingers gently gaining his attention, thumb running over Baekhyun's mouth as if worried. “You’re not at fault. And we’re not mad at you, if he were here right now… he’d be black and blue.”

Baekhyun licked his lips, tongue swiping Chanyeol's thumb, “My mouth is… yours, my body is yours, my heart is yours- split in three like how it should be.”

“As sexy as that sounded, baby. Your body is your own.” Jongin corrected, sucking his lip into his mouth.

“Then I want it to be yours.” Baekhyun replied immediately, pressing a kiss over Chanyeol's finger before laying back, hand reaching up to pull Kyungsoo down to his face with a cute smile, “Want to be yours… everywhere, all the time.”

“You’re already ours.” Kyungsoo pressed a soft kiss to his forehead and Baekhyun almost pouted that he wasn’t picking up on his meaning before he saw Chanyeol going to dig around the room, “That’s what this ring is for, bunny.”

Baekhyun chewed his lip, fingers brushing over the nape of Kyungsoo's neck, “Then I want you to be mine, for as long as we’re here together.”

He heard Jongin curse and felt the bed move as the younger of his husbands began to help Chanyeol dig around for supplies. “You don’t need to worry about that.” Chanyeol called as Kyungsoo began to kiss the side of his face, “We don’t see anyone but you- the prettiest, most beautiful baby, our baby. Hyungs only see you, Baekhyunnie, ever since we met.”

“What… what about before we met?” Baekhyun teased, face already getting red from all the affection being placed familiarly.

“It was still you.” Chanyeol assured, “I was always you, will always be you. You’re literally prettier than any person I’ve ever seen, Baekhyun. I would've never pictured someone so perfect falling in love with me too.”

Baekhyun smiled at the compliment but shook his head, “I’m not perfect, none of us are perfect.”

“We’re perfect for you and you for us, that’s all that matters right now.” Jongin chirped, his footsteps creaking the wooden floors as he walked to the end of the bed and ran warm hands up Baekhyun's thighs. “Let’s sleep, baby.”

“Make love first.” Baekhyun argued, hand in Kyungsoo's hair as the man pressed his cheek onto Baekhyun's sternum with a quiet laugh at his cuteness.

“We don’t have any supplies, darling.” Chanyeol sighed, “No lube, you know we’re not willing to hurt you.”

Baekhyun pouted, covering his face with his arm, face blazing at the rejection.

“Guess we’ll just have to use spit then and be careful.” Jongin added, fingers inching up to Baekhyun's boxers, “You’ll think it’s gross, love, but I don’t mind.”

“Oh, please.” Chanyeol snorted, pulling Baekhyun's hand away from his face just to tease him and look over the pretty blush. “Baekhyunnie loves tongues, isn’t that right, huh? You want to ride my face again, beautiful?”

“Channie!” The youngest screeched as Kyungsoo and Jongin chuckled, “Do you need to be like this?”

Chanyeol laughed, beaming as Baekhyun sat back up onto his knees, “Because it’s true, baby, you never told them? They’d really love to see it. They’ve been too soft on you, huh gorgeous? Our Baekhyunnie doesn’t always like vanilla things.”

“I like them when they’re not with you!” Baekhyun giggled playfully, tangling his fingers in Chanyeol's curls roughly making the elder grunt, satisfied. “You’re crazy!”

“Oh, please.” Kyungsoo snickered, wrapping his hands around the front of Baekhyun's boxer waistband, “I still remember you crying just so I’d let you suck me off- you don’t need to ask, sweetheart.”

“You too?” Jongin smirked, “God, and I thought it was just me who got all worked up over the watery eyes just so he could ask if he could try finger-“

“Not you too!” Baekhyun cried, flopping down against the pillows, “One of you love me or I’ll sleep upset!”

Kyungsoo snorted, “Oh no, can’t have that!”

Chapter Text

 

 

Baekhyun smiled to himself, standing at the stove and warming up leftovers from last night. It wasn’t good to eat food that sat out, but they didn’t really have much of a choice, and technically it had only been a few hours.

Plus, it was too much food to just go to waste, especially because it seemed they’d be in here at least another day or two. He noticed Sehun's shoes by the door and figured him and Luhan probably snuck their way over too, probably taking a room upstairs by Yifan and Yixing.

Taeyong was still passed out on the couch, and Baekhyun had gone to lay a blanket on him and noticed his jeans ripped, curiosity was picking at him, but he’d leave it alone until his brother was up and ready to explain.

“You couldn’t lay in bed any longer?” Jongin chuckled softly, scratching his bare chest before wrapping arms around Baekhyun's hips.

Baekhyun swayed playfully, humming a tune to himself, “Insomnia, Hyung.”

“Okay, you couldn’t have insomnia with some pants on, hm?” The elder teased lifting up the edge of Chanyeol's shirt that covered the smaller like a dress, running his palms over the soft skin of Baekhyun's thigh.

Baekhyun laughed prettily, turning around to laugh into Jongin's neck, “Want to make you food, you know like in the movies?”

“Those movies are always for people’s first times together.” Jongin teased, patting Baekhyun's bangs to press a kiss to his forehead, “And I’ve had you on my tongue more times than I can even count.”

“Ugh!” The younger hissed with false annoyance and a deep blush, “Disgusting.”

“I disagree!” Jongin laughed, “Tastes like sugar, everywhere you taste like candy.”

“More like tastes like sweat.” Baekhyun pouted, “You're disgusting.”

Jongin only smiled, pressing his smile into the back of Baekhyun's neck as the younger folded foil filled with some rice.

“Hungry?” Baekhyun asked, shoving a spoonful of rice with chicken broth in it, wiggling his hand happily.

Jongin chuckled, “Always for you, doll.”

“And for food?”

“That too.”

Baekhyun giggled, grabbing a plate from the counter and filling it up way more than he should if they wanted to save food for the road- but they found quite a bit of other valuable foods that could be kept, hopefully in the houses next door it was the same. “Odd combinations.” He added with a laugh, passing the plate over and his own spoon.

“Still more than we’ve had since the prison fell.” Jongin shrugged, pressing a soft kiss to Baekhyun's brow and accepting the plate. “At least we had some supplies, we got in an argument with citizens and basically… got kicked off the bus, fuck them though, we still got our supplies… and my little dove is back so I say we won.”

“Is it a game?” The younger laughed, twisting the ring around his finger and watching Jongin move to sit on the island.

“If it is… we won!” Jongin claimed with a cute laugh.

Baekhyun licked his lip with a slight blush, leaning back against the granite counter and straightening the long shirt out. “You guys… just were in the forest the whole time?”

Jongin shrugged, chewing down his bite, “Uh… mostly, we went towards the road a few times, but it was so unnerving that it was so quiet, it’s probably only because of the attack being so loud- it drew all of the walkers back towards the prison- at least that gives us a pretty smooth journey for a while.”

Baekhyun hummed, puffing out his cheeks unconsciously before looking over Jongin towards the doorway at footsteps.

A few seconds later he saw Chanyeol's bed head popping around the corner with a scowl, squinting in a way Baekhyun thought adorable when the man first woke up. Like a grumpy puppy.

“Baek…” He whined, boxers hanging low on his hips as he stumbled over, immediately reaching out for the smaller.

Baekhyun laughed, grabbing a granola bar from the counter and pressing a soft kiss to Chanyeol's neck as the man pulled him in. “Go back to sleep, Hyung.” He ordered softly, unwrapping the snack with his cheek to Chanyeol's sternum.

“Can’t sleep when you’re not there.” Chanyeol admitted, pressing a kiss to Baekhyun's hair, “I wake up to check on you, if you’re not there it freaks me out.”

“I’m just out here.” Baekhyun assured with a frown, “Nini and I were talking- bite?”

Chanyeol smiled, grabbing the smallers wrist to take a bite of the granola bar.

“You can’t sleep if you don’t see me?” The younger asked, moving away from Chanyeol to place his wrapper in the trash bag on the island- there was no point in dirtying the place when they weren’t sure how long they’d need to stay.

“Not since… not since we were broken up.” The eldest admitted, licking over his lips and looking almost apologetic.

“Hyung.” Jongin sighed, reaching out to touch Baekhyun's hip for a moment at his stiffening, “You guys are okay now, married in fact.”

Chanyeol's while face brightened up at that, moving his hand up to rub his eye as he laughed deeply, “I know, and I can’t believe it. Our Baekhyunnie must be really nice to have taken me back. Hyung still regrets it quite a bit, sunshine.”

Baekhyun frowned, bottom lip sticking out more than the top unconsciously as he strolled back into Chanyeol's chest, fingers immediately curling themselves into the firm muscle of the man’s hips. “Wasn't your fault, Hyung.”

The eldest grabbed his chin softly, running his thumb near the corner of his mouth before leaning down to press an open mouthed kiss to the pretty red mouth of his soulmate, “All those months ago i was so upset, sweetheart, I shouldn’t have gotten worked up with you; Hyung is working on it, my baby.”

“I can tell.” Baekhyun replied immediately, “Can tell, Hyung. I mean… I think you would’ve lost your mind before if I told you someone… kissed me.”

Baekhyun heard Jongin make a huffing noise behind him and felt Chanyeol's chest rumble, “God, I’m pissed, don't get me wrong.” Chanyeol began, “Fuck-we’re very pissed, incredibly so, but who were the ones that just had your gorgeous little self? Who, baby?”

“You guys.” The younger whispered, licking over his lips at the demanding, but soft, tone.

“And who gets to kiss you whenever they want?”

“My husbands.”

“That’s correct, dollface.” Jongin purred, a familiar proudness to his voice almost as if he couldn’t get enough of hearing Baekhyun's admissions. “We love the absolute shit out of you, baby husband.”

Baekhyun giggled, a slight excited bounce on his heels, “Love you! Love you!” He sung slightly, smiling as Chanyeol turned him around to press his back to his chest so he’d face Jongin, “My husbands, I was so sad without you!”

“Ugh, what the fuck are you guys talking about at three in the morning?” Kyungsoo scolded, walking around the corner. Baekhyun always thought it was ridiculous how handsomely cute Kyungsoo looked when he woke up.

“Guess what I found, Soo!” Baekhyun changed the subject, a giggle at Kyungsoo's pouty face. “Gonna be storming a while and I found good stuff!”

Kyungsoo brightened up at the attention immediately, plastering a smile on his face, “What’d you find, buttercup?”

Baekhyun beamed at the many new nicknames, turning around to open a cabinet. “We never celebrated our marriage.” He began with a slight laugh,
“So I found these!”

He pulled out two bottles of alcohol with a shy chuckle. “Uh-Uh… happy marriage!”

Immediately the three were laughing at his cuteness and Kyungsoo was walking over to wrap his fingers around the bottle, “I don’t think that’s a thing people say, but you’re cute so I don’t even care, babe.”

“You want to get drunk, baby? Have you even drank before?” Chanyeol asked as Kyungsoo opened one of the bottles.

Baekhyun shrugged, wiggling his way to stand between Jongin's legs, “Nope! But I guess I’ll find out!”

“Guess I’ll be the sober one then.” Chanyeol tsked, “Just kidding, love. Hyung doesn’t like drinking, you do what you want.”

“First one for you, bunny.” Kyungsoo cooed, offering the bottle.

~~~~~~~~~~

Baekhyun giggled high pitched, hand reaching around Kyungsoo's back to grab the half empty bottle from the nightstand, “S’funny!”

Chanyeol sniggered, snatching the alcohol from his hands, “No more, you're done.”

The younger opened his mouth comically wide with a gasp, turning to press his cheek to a red flushed Kyungsoo, “Hyung, mean! Tell me no, Soo!”

Kyungsoo beamed slightly tipsy, but not drunk like Baekhyun or Jongin, “It’s okay, no more or you’ll get sick, baby.”

Baekhyun huffed, turning to crawl off his lap and plopping on his back, staring at the ceiling. “No fun!”

“I’m fun.” Jongin slurred slightly, pulling Baekhyun's arm, “Come here-“

“Yah! No, you don’t pick him up.” Chanyeol scolded quickly, reaching over to sit Baekhyun up gently unlike how Jongin was drunkenly trying to pull the smaller into his lap.

“What?” Jongin suddenly looked near tears and Chanyeol rolled his eyes at his drunken sensitivity.

“You’re drunk, you’ll drop him.”

Jongin gasped in outrage, accepting Baekhyun crawling into his lap.

“Don’t drop me, Nini!” Baekhyun pouted, arms tight around Jongin's neck, “It’s okay, hold me! Don’t drop!”

“I wouldn’t, Hyung!” Jongin called over Baekhyun's shoulder towards Chanyeol with an offended tone.

“He said he wouldn’t!” The youngest laughed, pressing a kiss to Jongin cheek before gasping and turning to look at Chanyeol, “You made Nini upset! No love!”

Kyungsoo sniggered at the two, tiredly rolling on his side and climbing under the blankets, “Go to sleep, baby.”

“You won’t give Hyung love?” Chanyeol gawked fakely, holding back his smile at the pretty flush all the way down Baekhyun's chest and face. “How rude! Now you’re just hurting my feelings!”

Baekhyun opened his arms immediately at Chanyeol's fake pout, “I’ll give Hyung love now!”

Chanyeol laughed quietly and accepted the smaller into his lap, letting Baekhyun situate himself around his hips and begin touching the elders hair.

“Channie, Yeollie, baby!” Baekhyun ranted, eyes slightly glossy as he forced his nose into the elders with a cute noise.

“You’re the baby, not me, sweetheart.” Chanyeol teased, pulling the back of Baekhyun's shirt over his legs, “My baby, my little baby.”

“Nope!” Baekhyun tittered, pulling his shirt up his hips just because Chanyeol was trying to hold it down and he thought it was funny, “My baby, my husband!”

“Hyung is too big to be called baby.” Jongin mumbled, moving to curl around Kyungsoo and immediately getting hit at.

Baekhyun ‘oh’ed and curled his fingers around Chanyeol's cheek before grinning wide, “Hyung can be my daddy!”

Immediately Chanyeol stiffened, “Lets… baby, let’s not talk about that right now…”

“Why not?” The youngest frowned, tilting his head and wrapping thin fingers into Chanyeol's shirt, “Want a daddy, i've never had one.”

“No, sweetheart.” Kyungsoo sat up on his elbow and patted the bed in front of him, “Come to bed and we can talk another time.”

“No!” Baekhyun whined, “Be my daddy, Hyung?” He requested softly, pressing a kiss to Chanyeol's ear, “Min Hyung told me people like it.”

Chanyeol gulped, eyes shaking as he stared at Kyungsoo for help, Jongin already practically drooling into a pillow. “Baby, I don’t really think we should talk about it right now…”

“But you like it?” The smaller asked with a giggle, rolling his hips into Chanyeol's only earning the elder to groan, hands grabbing Baekhyun's hips to still him. “Daddy likes it!”

“Fuck, I like anything that comes out of your mouth, but we’re not talking about this right now, love. Go see Kyungsoo and go to bed, precious.”

Baekhyun frowned, licking his lips nervously, “You don’t want me?”

“I love you. You're a little horny drunk.” Chanyeol laughed, gently moving Baekhyun off of his lap and setting him back against the pillows, “But it’s way past bedtime, so give some love and go to sleep.”

Immediately forgetting what he was talking about Baekhyun wiggled under the blanket to press his lips to Kyungsoo's face with a happy noise. “Love you! Love you, Soo!”

“Okay, okay. Love you too, baby, but Hyung is exhausted. Night time, Baek.” Kyungsoo laughed tiredly, flinging an arm around Baekhyun to keep him still.

~~~~~~~

“Yeol.”

Chanyeol jumped slightly, almost dropping the spoonful of rice in his hand as he grabbed his chest, “Fuck, Hyung, goddamn. Why are you up so early?”

Yifan snorted, taking a seat on the island and looking through the nonperishables stacked on the island, “Storm sounds pretty loud upstairs, why are you up?”

“Others passed out, Baek found alcohol. We have leftovers if you want it.”

“No thanks. Explains why you smell like… what is that tequila?” The leader laughed quietly.

Chanyeol flushed, scratching the back of his neck before offering the huge bowl of rice he was eating out of. “And vodka.”

Yifan only rolled his eyes playfully, accepting the bowl.

“You guys were okay on the road?” Chanyeol wondered, taking a seat across from the leader, “We avoided it because we weren’t sure what people we’d run into or how bad walkers would be.”

“Wasn't bad at all, we barely saw any walkers in fact.”

Chanyeol frowned, resting his elbow on the table, “Damn, we should’ve done that then. Could’ve saved us a lot of time and… rest.”

Yifan shrugged, “Yeah… What's up with Taeyong’s leg? Came out here a few hours ago and saw his jeans all cut up.”

“That girl… the weird one, she attacked him… he-uh.. he's pretty messed up from it so weren't not mentioning it. He won’t even accept his gun back and that was a good week ago… turns out she was the reason walkers were coming to the fence- she fed them.”

Yifan cringed and nearly choked on his rice. “You’re kidding? She just… attacked him?”

Chanyeol nodded with a scowl, “Fuck. It was our fault too, we shouldn’t have left them together, ans next thing I knew I heard the gunshot and his crying… fuck, you know how bad it hurts to hear crying knowing you could have prevented it? We… we had one job and it was to protect him, and we didn’t.”

“Baekhyun will still be proud of you.” Yifan soothed immediately, “Saved his little brother, he won’t care at what risk.”

“Baekhyun hates killing innocent people.” Chanyeol argued, “Lizzie could have been saved.”

Yifan made a slight tsking noise, “Uh… I’m not, I don’t know how true that is anymore. I didn’t… I don’t know how to tell you this, okay? But just… I’m concerned about his mental health, Yeol. Just… watch him, play?”

Chanyeol stiffened and involuntarily curled his lips up, “I don’t need you telling me how to take care of my husband, my soulmate. I already know he stabbed Jiyong, and it’s concerning, but was he really innocent? I don’t know, all I know is Baekhyun felt threatened, and I can’t scold him when he finally stood up for himself.”

“And I’m not saying that, Chanyeol.” The leader argued gently, pushing his plate away to give the man his full attention, “You know Baekhyun… he-he sees things differently, right? Can we agree about that? Like when he’s afraid, when he gets worked up- he interprets things in the worst of ways.”

“Are you trying to say he wasn’t being attacked?” Chanyeol scoffed, “Look, truthfully I don’t need you telling me what’s wrong with Baek, we realize. But… there’s only so much that we can say or do, it’s easier to… to acknowledge it when it needs to be acknowledged rather than out of nowhere. It’s a problem, fuck.

Out of all of us I know it’s an issue, I’m the one that felt consequences for only raising my voice slightly and he thought I was hurting him, Hyung. Do you know what it’s like to have your soulmate look at you like you’re the problem? A monster? Unrecognizable? No, so I’d really appreciate if you didn’t try to tell me-“

Yifan reached out to grab Chanyeol's arm when the man began to leave. “He gutted him, Chanyeol.”

The leader saw his shoulder stiffen and only let go when Chanyeol turned back to face him. “Yeol, man, I wish I didn’t have to tell you, and I sure as hell am not telling you what to do. I can’t relate to you, I know that.

And I can’t relate to Baekhyun, and I don’t even think he realized how… how many times or how… disgustingly bloody he made the room… it was so bad we had to leave in the middle of the night, Yeol.

I’m not saying it wasn’t deserved, the only two people that knew what happened are Jiyong and … Baekhyun. And I’ll admit he did say odd things to Baekhyun, ask him odd things, but… Baekhyun… he really cut into him, Chanyeol, it wasn’t just a-an act of defense. He was mad, and we’re worried.”

Chanyeol couldn't think straight, not when Baekhyun was the cutest thing he’d ever seen, the sweetest. Had been clinging to Kyungsoo like a koala in his sleep when he had walked out.

It wasn’t possible. Baekhyun didn’t get mad, he got upset, he withheld emotions, but Chanyeol didn’t know that he had ever seen Baekhyun in a situation in which he looked mad enough to kill a man in cold blood.

He’d just have to discuss it with the others.

Chapter Text

 

 

“Water. Ibuprofen.”

Jongin sighed in relief as he grabbed the pills and water, “Fuck, is this why I hate drinking?”

Chanyeol laughed, shaking his head as he placed the extra medicine down. “No, it’s because you’re a fucking baby. Almost cried when I said you couldn’t pick up Baekhyun because you’d drop him.”

Kyungsoo snickered, hand covering Baekhyun's ear so he wouldn’t disturb his sleep. “Jongin always cries about something when drunk.”

“Okay, but it was over Baek so I’ll accept it this time.” Jongin added defensively.

“Talked to Yifan Hyung this morning.” The eldest began quietly, his voice firm in a way that made both of the other two sigh and have to pay attention.

“Oh, god.” Jongin huffed, rubbing his temple and waiting for the medicine to kick in.

“He… he wants us to watch out for Baek, he’s worried about-“

“Why is he trying to tell us how to take care of him?” Kyungsoo growled, unintentionally cutting Chanyeol off. “We do watch him, all the time.”

“Okay, let me finish what I’m saying.” Chanyeol snapped back before taking a deep breath and sitting on the bench at the end of the bed. “Yifan Hyung said… that Baek completely… overkilled Jiyong. I know, I know it sounds crazy, but Yifan was really adamant about it… He's really worried, he said it was a bloody mess, guys… I’m not- listen, I’m not saying Baekhyun was wrong in killing him, and I’m not saying it was right either, but… I don’t know, we need to talk to him a little.”

“That’s not fair.” Jongin argued quickly, “Why do we have to always make him upset? He doesn’t want to talk about it, so it’s fine.”

“No.” Kyungsoo whispered quietly, finger running over Baekhyun's brow. “No, Jongin… I know you hate it, but… you know he doesn’t… see things like we do.”

“That’s bullshit.” The younger growled, rolling off the bed heatedly, “That's bullshit, Baekhyun is fine!”

Baekhyun frowned in his sleep at the noise, unconsciously moving his nose to press into Kyungsoo's collarbone.

“Keep your voice down.” Chanyeol hissed, grabbing Jongin's wrist, “You can be pissed but you know it’s true.”

“So what?” Jongin gawked in disbelief, “What? You think he doesn’t feel the same things too? You gonna try to tell me he doesn’t love me next? Come on, I feel like shit, I can’t deal with this right now.”

Chanyeol dropped his arm guiltily, truthfully never even considered the thought that Baekhyun could also feel things differently. “You can leave then, we’ll talk to him alone.”

“No, because I know he’s going to cry and then you guys are probably going to argue so I’ll stay because someone needs to comfort him.”

“That could be a problem.” Kyungsoo argued, brows furrowed as he looked up at Jongin. “You never give him time to cry it out, always hiding him too much. I understand, Jongin. It fucking hurts when he’s upset, but you need to be firmer, you say what we need to talk about and then comfort him after it’s done. If you do it during he just gets distracted.”

Jongin curled his lip up, tongue to his cheek as he took a seat on the bed opposite Kyungsoo, reaching over to touch the back of Baekhyun's hair. “Baby, time to get up, kitten.”

Chanyeol sighed at Jongin's lack of response and pointed the medicine and water out to Kyungsoo as Baekhyun began to stir.

“Hey, sweetheart, good morning, doll.” Jongin smiled gently as Baekhyun rolled onto his back with an annoyed noise, moving to nuzzle his nose into the smallers hair, “Good morning, my pretty baby. Hi, my love.”

Baekhyun only whined, eyes tightly shut as he moved to search for Jongin's waist, “Hurts.”

“We know, buttercup.” Kyungsoo sympathized, “Take these; it’s not too bad, right? Just a bit of a headache, maybe a stomach ache?”

Baekhyun nodded slightly, opening his eyes with a squint as Kyungsoo urged the medicine towards his lips.

“Okay, sleep.”

“Ah, hold on, cuteness.” Chanyeol started gently, firm tone as he reached out to grab Baekhyun's foot through the blanket, “We woke you up for a reason, sweetheart.”

Baekhyun stiffened immediately at the tone, scooting to sit against the headboard, “What’d I do?”

“Okay, you’re not in trouble.” Kyungsoo added gently, “Not at all, baby. We just want to talk to you a little.”

“I have a headache.” Baekhyun replied with a slight pout, pulling the blankets up to his chin and frowning as Jongin scooted away from him a little.

“We know.” Chanyeol sighed, “The medicine is going to work any minute, drink that water and it will go away in a little bit.”

The youngest nodded, chugging the rest of the glass and instead of handing it to Kyungsoo to put down, moving closer with a smile and a familiar move to cuddle. Kyungsoo gulped. “Baek, we’re going to talk seriously, okay? We can cuddle after and I’ll love the shit out of you, but right now I’m going to give you space.”

Baekhyun jumped back in offense and curled himself into a ball, moving a pillow in his lap instead. “I want to sleep.”

“Hyung, we should just let hi-“

“Jongin, really.” Chanyeol deadpanned, “Stay or go, Nini. We don’t have much of a choice other than to ask about it.”

“You’re mad?” Baekhyun asked quietly, gaze dropping to his lap, tapping his fingers impatiently.

“We’re not mad.” Kyungsoo said immediately, “We’re not mad, sweet pea. We’re only talking.”

Jongin inched a bit closer to Baekhyun out of habit and frowned at the disapproving look he got from Kyungsoo. “Fine. Get on with it then.”

Baekhyun looked up nervously, like he was awaiting being scolded as he looked around.

“Yeol talked to Yifan Hyung.” Kyungsoo started carefully, “He suggested… we talk to you a little about… what happened with Jiyong.”

“He said you completely overkilled, love.” Chanyeol added quietly, looking guilty as Baekhyun frowned, “We don’t care if you did or didn’t, but… let’s just talk about it a little.”

“I didn’t.” Baekhyun denied quickly, unconsciously scratching at his thighs, “I didn’t, I stabbed… once.”

“You don’t sound very sure, butterfly.” Kyungsoo cooed.

Baekhyun brought a hand up to his head in remembrance, looking distraught. “I-I…. I remember once, but then… a lot of blood? I think there was a lot of blood, a lot… Hyungs looked really scared when they came out.”

Chanyeol sighed deeply, licking his mouth nervously and dropping his forehead into his palm. “Yeah? And then what?”

“Then Hyungs cleaned me up and we left.” Baekhyun added emotionlessly, moving towards the side as if about to get off, “That's it? I’ll go see Taeyong.”

“Ah, hey.” Kyungsoo stopped him quickly, gently patting his thigh, “We’re not done yet, sugar. Just a little bit longer, okay? Please.”

Baekhyun's hands shook as he nodded, moving to lean back against the headboard, tears immediately pooling.

“Hey, why are you crying?” Jongin fussed quickly, “There’s no reason to cry, why are you crying?”

“Feel like I’m getting interrogated.” The youngest whispered, “You don’t believe me.”

“Why did you do it, Baekhyun?” Chanyeol asked pained, “We just want to know the truth.”

Baekhyun scoffed, a tear kissing his lip as he got angry. “I told you, I was afraid.”

“But… It's so unlike you to kill someone brutally, Baekhyun. You have to understand why we’re so concerned. Because we love you, and want to make sure you’re with us all the time- physically and mentally.”

“You want to know, Hyung?” Baekhyun hissed, sitting up on his knees, “I’m not crazy, I see more than you. And I’m tired- and I’m mad! I don’t want to just sit there and feel like I’m powerless! Do you want me to just… just take it? Fine, the next time someone wants to fucking touch me, I’ll just let them! Would that make you happy?”

“Oh, baby, we didn’t…” Jongin trailed off, uncomfortably moving to hide his hands in the blanket with an apologetic sigh, wanting to go comfort his husband but know he’d get scolded for it. And it was true, he did coddle him too much. But who wouldn’t when they had seen what he had seen his soulmate look like- directly after an assault, a rape, of course he only wanted to see him happy.

“That’s not what we’re asking and you know it, Baekhyun.” Kyungsoo said firmly, “You know that’s not what we meant.”

“Then what?” Baekhyun cried, shaking hands coming to wipe his mouth, “You want me to just let him? He was going to touch me, and I-I didn’t want to do it anymore. I’m tired of… people thinking they can walk all over me- why? Because I’m small? Because they think I’m pretty? Tell me why people do this to me? Always me! Always… always, and I’m fucking sick of it! I want to be strong too! I want to protect myself and my body…

I don’t like people touching me, I don’t like attention, and I don’t- I don’t like kissing anyone else... or-or even… even thinking about anything intimate without you makes my head spin. People touching me it… it makes me feel like a whor