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Black Deer

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Kai woke up warm. Warmer than what his three sets of blankets usually gave him within the coldness that was winter. His body felt heavy and mind blow to wake as he rolled over in his bed onto to meet with a wall. Well that wasn’t right, Kai’s bed wasn’t against any wall at the sides so what was this force blocking him ? Opening his eyes he was met with blue. Bright satin filled his eyes and Kai realized that this was someone’s chest. Thoughts of yesterday rolled into him and he felt his cheeks heat up. This was Soobin’s chest. Said boy was sleeping peacefully with one of his arms draped across Kai’s middle, the other slightly above Kai’s head. Kai peaked up at the complacent face that Soobin held in his dreams. So relaxed, much innocent than what he usually walked around with. 

 

Kai only shifted to move when the cold hit his back, a stark contrast from the warmth Soobin’s arms held. The fireplace usually gave out around this time and the house would chill up. It would take a lot of out Kai to get from his bed and since they weren’t selling much these days, he clung to the warmth as much as he could. Soobin sensed his movement, arm tightening around Kai’s waist to pull him closer, nuzzle him in deeper.

 

It was early, even the chickens didn’t seem to be awake so why had Kai arose from his slumber ? It caused a small pout to cross the German boy's face and his tired eyes begged him to shut them once more. But clinging like this was awkward no ? Surly Soobin would awaken and throw him off the bed at the realization of what he was holding. To save himself some face, Kai tried to ease out of Soobin’s hold without accidentally falling off of his bed. Soobin didn’t like that either and whined softly at the movement as if it were an annoyance causing Kai to still.

 

“Let me go. We have to rise.” Kai said and managed to sneak his arm out from his side to shove Soobin away. The movement was not in his favor at all as Soobin still held on him tight making Kai end up halfway on top of him. His body weight caused Soobin to groan and blink his eyes open confused.

 

“...am I dreaming ?” Soobin wondered.

 

“Something like this would only be a nightmare.” Kai said making the half awake boy grin.

 

“Nonsense Saseum, with you here, it could only ever be a dream.” Soobin said and Kai fought hard to fight the battle between his cheeks flushing but seemed to have lost so in order to hide the flush, he pushed Soobin again and sat up. Frowning Soobin watched him with a small shiver. “What time is it ?”

 

“I cannot see the sun so I do know for sure. Around six maybe ? It is still dark.” Kai said and it was, the winter mornings were as dark as nights during this hour.

 

“Must you be awake so early ?” Soobin asked.

 

“Not usually. But something uncomfortable woke me up.” Kai said. Soobin paused for a moment before pulling the blankets up and looking down at his lap causing Kai to flush heavily. “N-not that !” Kai said putting the blankets back down before standing up. “Go back to sleep. I have work to do.”

 

“You should sleep more.” Soobin said.

 

“Can’t. Those who live to work can never understand those who work to live.” Kai said before leaving him room. Soobin watched with a frown as he disappeared behind the door, would he ever get close to Kai at this rate ?

 

Hours passed like sand grains to Kai as he did his routine. He cleaned up the chicken coop, got some more fire wood and checked on the few crops that lingered on. His father eventually woke up to help with breakfast calling Kai back inside. He was flushed red from the cold his time and thankfully ate soup quietly besides Soobin

 

“The traps need checking.” His father said.

 

“I’ll go.” Kai said.

 

“Where are you going ?” Soobin asked as he watched Kai stuff his feet back into his thick boots.

 

“The river.” Kai said and Soobin felt awkward without him also grabbed his boots.

 

“I’ll come with.” Soobin said. Having no excuse to not bring him, Kai said nothing. The walk to the river never felt longer. Stepping through a man made trail boarded by three feet of snow on each side. For a moment there was nothing but the blinding sun beaming down on the white snow and the sound of their boots crunching the snow beneath them. Kai was carrying the bucket he usually kept the fish in and a net. Soobin attempted to help him out and so Kai handed him a bag of toilet.

 

“Do you do this every day?” Soobin asked as they neared the river where the trees were fuller and the area cooler to lack of sun.

 

“No. Winter fish are hard to come by.” Kai said. “And if you fish too much then you won’t have any fish to repopulate the area.”

 

“Makes sense.” Soobin said as they finally reached the river. Kai set down his items and immediately went to work on one of the traps. The river seemed frozen solid but the trap was dug through the ice with a hole that Kai began pulling out. Soobin watched him for a minuet, tugging mechanically before finally finishing the trap out. Inside we’re only two small fish about the size of Kai’s hand, much too small for sell. Letting them out, he called Soobin over who held the bait. Grabbing some he tied it back into the trap and pushed it back underwater. “Done ?” Soobin asked.

 

“No there’s more.” Kai said. He got up to move further down stream having the korean boy follow him and stopped at the next trap.

 

“This is what Saseum does all day ? Farm, fish and sell ?” Soobin questioned making Kai frown.

 

“Am I supposed to do something else ?” Kai asked.

 

“You’re young, perhaps Taehyun’s age, you should be in school.” Soobin said. “Or maybe the military.”

 

“No school and definitely not the military.” Kai said.

 

“I can get why the school is an issue but the military is free.” Soobin said.

 

“I said no.” Kai said glaring at the other before schooling his expression. He could feel Soobin’s stare on him before the older sighed. 

 

“You must have came here a lot as a child.” Soobin said after a moment of silence. “Playing in the river seems fun, gives you a new way to learn how to swim. Did you do that with your family ?”

 

“No.” Kai said. Which was a lie. Because yes they used to swim in here up until the incident. Kai can only remember it in pieces, one moment he was swimming about with his sisters and the next someone was tugging him down, he could hear the muffled laughter as he flailed around before he was finally let up. Kai wasn’t allowed in the water again after that though he was never scared of the river. It was a faint memory that hurt and Kai stuffed it away like the fish in his hands, stuffed into the bucket with too much force before he reset the trap.

 

“Of course you didn’t. Here seems too deep for swimming.” Soobin said thoughtfully.

 

“Why are you asking me these questions ?” Kai asked. “Do you think you can get close to me if you know the answers ?”

 

“Well maybe.” Soobin said. “It’s better when you talk. I like your voice.” Kai tried to bite down the flush on his cheeks.

 

“If you aren’t going to help, please go back inside. Or better yet, go back home. It’s too cold for you out here, young master.” The title seemed to make Soobin wince before shaking his head.

 

“I’ll help you but not with those things. I don’t want to break anything. The weather is fine, let me carry your fish.” Soobin said moving to grab the bucket. Kai didn’t spare him a glance. He finished with the trap before standing up. Soobin followed him like some penguin, waddling awkward in his big boots and giant coat trying to be mindful of the ice and snow. The cold nipped at Kai’s cheeks, he could barely feel the tingling in his nose telling him to warm up as he squatted down to the next trap. Thankfully there was one large fish here, big and dark in color and Kai placed it into the bucket. They were silent for awhile and Kai thought the korean boy finally given up on him.

 

“What do you call fish in German ?” Soobin asked.

 

“Fisch.” Kai said simply as he worked.

 

“Like in English ?” Soobin said. Kai only hummed. The next trap was a good one too, two big fish the size of Kai’s forearm swam in tiny motions in the trap. He pulled them out and handed them to the Korean boy. “They’re getting bigger. Soon you’ll have a lot to sell.”

 

“Never a lot.” Kai said simply. Because it wasn’t. This river would be a waste at times but it’s all he had. All they had. They’d be better off clamming, finding pretty pearls inside and exchanging those for money but the ocean was too far. If they had a chance to move, would they get better opportunities ? But the country had already forced them to this land and given them nothing more. Moving right now would be bad especially with the Koreans here.

 

“I wish I could help you. I don’t like seeing you suffer like this.” Soobin said and that ticked something off in Kai. He really didn’t need any ones pity.

 

“Who said I needed your help ? Who said I was suffering ?” Kai asked.

 

“You don’t need it. Of course you don’t. But that doesn’t make me want to give it to you any less.” Soobin said.

 

“My wealth does not equate to my happiness.” Kai said. “Don’t assume just because I’m poor means I’m unhappy.”

 

“I-“ Soobin started to say but Kai stood up to meet his eyes.

 

“Listen to me Soobin. You are not my savior. I don’t need your help, I never asked for your help nor do I want it. Even if I did, you cannot help me. You’re too many years late for that. I am not a charity case. Whatever money you wish to flaunt, whatever hope you wish to give me, I don’t want it. Stop trying to force yourself in my life.” Kai said.

 

“Do you really think I’m doing this out of pity ?” Soobin asked.

 

“What else would it be ?” Kai said back.

 

“Oh Saseum.” Soobin placed the bucket down gently before taking about two steps towards the younger, hands coming to touch his icy cheeks. “I do this because I want to. I come to help you because I want to. Not because of pity, not because of money, not anything. I’m doing this because I see you as a friend no matter how much you don’t think so. I say this because I think you deserve more. You, little dear, do not need pity but kindness. And that’s all I wish to give you. So stop tying to push me away, I’ll only come back stronger. I want you with all the good and bad that comes with it.”

 

“You won’t say that when you see how much bad there is than good.” Kai said. The older had to be lying, this couldn’t be true. No one was this kind.

 

“You’ll just have to see how much I care then. Now, let’s hurry up, you’re freezing cold and giving me this sad look that makes me want to hold you close.” Soobin said so shamelessly it brought a new kind of flush to Kai’s face. The heat made the taller boy laugh, fingers caressing Kai’s cheek one last time before pulling away. The heat lingered and it made Kai frown, or pout if you looked at the pursed lips and squishy cheeks. “So cute.”

 

“You’re a nuisance.” Kai said and Soobin hummed.

 

“Maybe. But you’ll learn to love it.” Soobin said. Kai sure hoped not.

 

Eventually they made their way back to his house. The wind picked up as Soobin was now carrying about eight fish. Kai walked in front of him, not wanting to see the warmth in Soobin’s gaze. But that didn’t matter because he could feel it. Feel it pierce through his jacket and coat and straight to his stomach filling him up. It made him want to run away, stray from the foreign feeling but also indulge in it. No one ever looked at him like this and it made Kai nervous.

 

“Papa, today the sky looks good. We should sell today.” Kai said as they warmed up by the fire. His father had come in dusting off his gloves before taking his shoes off.

 

“It seems like you caught a good amount. Better than last.” His father said looking at the bucket. “But I fear it’s simply too cold for you to be standing outside. I’ll go by myself today.”

 

“Papa no. I can help you.” Kai said.

 

“No need. You have a guest. It’s best you two stay here anyways. I don’t need you freezing up on me sohn.” His father said.

 

“But-...” Kai racked his brain for a good enough reason to go with his father but nothing popped up.

 

“Fine fine. Please be safe. Swear a thicker layer please papa. And carry your flashlight since the sun goes down quicker these days. I’ll heat you up some soup to take to keep warm.” Kai said getting up to turn on the old stove. His father hummed in agreement as he moved to the fire. Soobin gave him a smile but the lack of common language prevented any conversation. Kai was reluctant to let his father go, they have yet to part since his kidnapping but it had to happen eventually. His father squeezed him into a hug, kissing his forehead making Kai blush but hug his father tighter before seeing him off.

 

“So it’s just us.” Soobin said and Kai nodded. “What do you usually do when you’re alone ?” Soobin asked. If it was warmer, Kai would be outside, perhaps by the school or messing with the chickens. Maybe he would practice some fighting if he felt like it, other times he would be reading. But it was too cold to go anywhere and he didn’t really wish to touch Soobin any more than he already had today so he settled for the last option.

 

“I like to read.” Kai said.

 

“You have books ?” Soobin asked and Kai nodded, pointing to the small case. Soobin crawled over to it skimming through the little selection. “This one is in korean.” Oh right, he’d forgotten about those. Kai watched almost nervously as Soobin sat back with the book in his hands, opening the first page. “To my son, may you crash with the tides and rise with the moon. Love mom.” Soobin read before looking up at Kai. “Did you want to read this one with me ?” Kai looked at him hesitantly. “Come on Saseum it won’t hurt.”

 

“I’m not a... good reader.” Kai said honestly. Self taught he was for the most part but that could only get him so far. And with a rusty language like Korean, he would only make a fool out of himself.

 

“Nonsense. Come, I’ll help you if you need it.” Soobin said. Slowly, Kai moved to sit next to the taller. Soobin gave him a gentle smile as he passed over the book. Kai looked at the tiny written letter, hands shaking slightly before flipping the page. They sat close, shoulders almost touching, Kai’s crossed legs trying hard not to bump into Soobin’s bunched up ones. Kai read slowly, eyes carefully reading each Korean character as he spoke lowly. He could feel Soobin’s eyes on him then, watching him closely, too closely. It made Kai fumble over a word, his ears burned as he quickly back tracked. But Kai didn’t know what this word meant, no matter how many times he read it. Maybe the uncertainty was known as Soobin leaned in.

 

“Jeong.” Soobin said slowly. 

 

“I know.” Kai said.

 

“Yes but do you know what it means ?” Soobin asked. Kai stayed silent. “In a way, this word could mean unity. But it’s used to describe suffering. Korean people...we...have suffered for a long time you know ? And we still continue to suffer today. Our experience is unique to us, no one will understand how we feel fully so we as Koreans can relate to the feeling of jeong.” Soobin said.

 

“You think people can’t relate to suffering ?” Kai asked after a moment of silence. “Just take a look at the place you reside in Soobin. Koreans may have suffered but look at who is causing my people to suffer now.” The words made Soobin frown. “I won’t ever be able to understand your jeong but surly you can’t be so blind as to not notice mine.”

 

“You like arguing don’t you?” Was all Soobin said making Kai huff before closing the book.

 

“I don’t.” Kai said. “But I don’t have anyone else to argue with. I’d never argue with my father, he doesn’t deserve that.”

 

“So you’re taking all your frustrations out on me Saseum ? I’m honored.” Soobin said with a smile. “I knew I was your favorite.”

 

“Annoying.”

 

“Cute.” Soobin said as Kai put the book away. “Is there anything else you do besides read ? Do you make snowman ?”

 

“Snowman ?” Kai blinked.

 

“Or have snow ball fights ? Taehyun is always good at those.” Soobin said.

 

“I don’t have-“ Kai caught his voice off quickly. How could he ever be able to admit that he didn’t have anyone else to play with ? Surly Soobin knew he didn’t have any friends. Did he think his father who worked hard every day had time to play with him ? No. It was just Kai. It was always just Kai.

 

“Do you want to try ?” Soobin asked.

 

“...it’s cold.” Kai said and Soobin smiled because that wasn’t a no.

 

“I’ll keep you warm little doll.” Soobin said lowly, arms coming to wrap around Kai, the Korean boy holding him from the side. Kai pushed him off making Soobin fall to the floor with a laugh. “Besides we will be running around, you won’t be too cold. Let’s try just for a little while okay ?”

 

Outside was cold but Soobin didn’t mind as he quickly cupped the snow into his hands to from a small ball. Kai watched him on the sidelines, turning the small ball into a little hep of snow, forming the base of the snowman. 

 

“Get over here Saseum, I can’t do it all by myself.” Soobin said and Kai squatted next to him. He was silent in his work, rounding out the edges of the snow with his fingers before grabbing more snow. “Put it on like this.” Soobin said and Kai followed. “Aigoo good boy. You listen to me so well.” Soobin teased making Kai flush.

 

“I will go back inside.” Kai said.

 

“No you won’t because we are having fun.” Soobin said.

 

“Aren’t these supposed to have buttons ?” Kai asked as they moved to the second base.

 

“Yes ! See you do know something. Do you have rocks around here ?” Soobin asked.

 

“Yeah. But they’re buried by now.” Kai said and Soobin looked thoughtful for a moment before nodding.

 

“It’s okay we can just makes out of snow.” Soobin said. “Put your hands like this.” The taller boy scooped the snow into Kai’s palms before holding them both together to squeeze the solid into a shape. His hands were so big, Kai couldn’t help but look at them engulf his. “And then we can stick it on like this.” Soobin took the makeshift button and patted it in. It stuck for about three seconds before falling to the ground.

 

“Needs more snow.” Kai said and Soobin nodded. 

 

“Needs more snow.” 

 

Finally they reached the head and Kai stood up to shape it. He wouldn’t admit it to the other that this was fun, he didn’t think so. But maybe it was relaxing. The mindless movements took his mind off of things and the cold numbed his thoughts. Or maybe he was too deep in his thoughts when snow suddenly hit his side. Kai looked over at Soobin who held a grin.

 

“Did you just hit me ?” Kai asked.

 

“Are you going to do something about it if I say yes ?” Soobin asked. Frowning slightly, Kai bent down to make a snow ball and aimed it right at Soobin’s face. The taller dodged in only to throw one back at Kai, thus starting their fight. Soobin eyes widen quickly as Kai grabbed an arm full of heavy snow and chucked the thing at him. “Are you trying to kill me ?!” Soobin shouted as he ran, Kai following after.

 

“Maybe then you’ll leave.” Kai said making Soobin laugh. He didn’t get to far as the snow slipped under his boots and he began to fall to the ground. This seemed to be a problem as Kai was coming at him full force and couldn’t stop himself in time, making them both crash. They fell into the snow with a crunch, Kai on top of Soobin who let out a gust of air. Kai huffed as he tried to pull himself up but only seemed to sink further into the snow, face falling into Soobin’s shoulder.

 

“You’re going to get us buried at this rate.” Soobin laughed.

 

“Sorry.” Kai said, pushing his weight to heave himself up on his thighs. This only caused him to slot into Soobin’s lap making them both pause. Though it was cold, Kai never felt warmer. His cheeks were burning and his ears tingling in warmth. Soobin looked up at him too, frozen as their gaze met for a moment.

 

“I-“ Soobin never got to finish his sentence as the next thing that happened was a drop of rain hitting his cheek. He blinked at hit, squinting as another hit near his eye.

 

“Rain.” Kai whispered in German. He looked up at the sky, the clouds were thick and the sun barely shining through. More rain hit, a slow patter against their winter coats and red faces making Kai move. “We should go back inside.”

 

“Yeah it looks like it could get bad.” Soobin said and grabbed Kai by the hips, heaving him up, allowing him to stand firmly. Kai reached out a hand to Soobin who took it gratefully as the sky roared. The sound made Kai pause and they almost fell back in the snow again. “Are you alright ?” Soobin asked and Kai nodded blankly. “Okay let’s go warm up...again.”

 

The rain got worse. It fell in a downpour that slushed the snow into an icy mess. The sky rumbled but it didn’t let out any roars which Kai was thankful for. He decided to make some tea for them both, the kettle heating up slowly as Kai pulled out two mismatch mugs. He was about to pour the water in once it was ready when a loud clap of thunder echoed around him making him yelp, almost dropping the kettle.

 

“Are you okay ?” Soobin asked from by the fire.

 

“Fine-“ Kai couldn’t even finish as the thunder started again making him shake.

 

“Saseum?” Soobin called again but he got no answer. Kai was shaking, he hated storms, he hated them so much. He hoped his father was okay. Would he be alright in a storm like this ? Hopefully he at least gotten shelter. Collecting himself, Kai poured the tea before bringing them to the table. Soobin tried to meet his gaze but Kai kept his down low to his lap. He barely heard the thanks from the Korean boy as he gripped his mug with unsteady hands. “Are you okay ?” Soobin asked again. “You’re shaking. I told you to stay by the fire some more.”

 

“I’m fine.” Kai said lowly, almost like a whisper.

 

“Is it the storm ?” Soobin asked. “It’s okay if it’s the storm. Beomgyu doesn’t like them either, he would sneak into my bed most nights just to hide from them.” Kai stayed silent. “We are inside though, you’re safe.” Kai knew that. Of course he did. But he couldn’t stop the images from flashing through his mind at each sound. They jumped at him like flashes, each memory painful and consuming to the point where Kai didn’t even notice he was trembling badly until he jumped, almost spilling his tea on himself. “Saseum breathe.” Soobin said in a low voice.

 

“I am.” Kai said though he did feel suffocated. He tried to suck in more air but it only increased the pressure in his chest.

 

“I’m going to touch you okay ? Is that okay ?” Soobin asked and Kai nodded. He was soon pulled into Soobin embrace, his face buried into Soobin’s chest. He tried not to cling onto Soobin but he couldn’t help it as the older was just so comforting. His strong arms engulfed Kai fully making him feel small and he stroke his back soothingly. Kai almost didn’t notice the older was talking as he tried to stop his tremors. “You’re okay. It’s okay. Hyung is here little doll, I won’t let anything hurt you. You’re safe.” 

 

“I can’t-“ Kai squeezed his eyes shut further.

 

“What’s wrong ?” Soobin asked. “Just listen time hyung’s heart beat. Follow hyung’s breathing. In and out just like me.” Kai could hear Soobin’s heartbeat. Could feel the light thud thud thud against his ear, the vibrations of Soobin’s voice seeping into Kai in gentle waves, allowing him to take another shaky breath but at least this one didn’t hurt. “There we go love.” Soobin said and Kai felt himself blush. Why did the Korean boy have to call him such embarrassing names, it made him feel weird, made his heart quicken and his stomach flutter. It made him sick.

 

“Sorry.” Kai said after a while, Soobin’s hand had went from his back to his hair where his fingers were now playing with the nape of Kai’s neck.

 

“What are you sorry for ? We all have fears. It’s okay to be afraid of something Saseum, that’s what makes us human.” Soobin said gently. The storm was still raging outside but at least Kai wasn’t focused on it now, his brain focusing on Soobin’s long fingers in his hair.

 

“Fears could be used against you.” Kai said.

 

“Only if you let them consume you.” Soobin said. “No one should have that power over you, not even your own fears. You control what’s important to you and what isn’t, don’t ever let someone make your fear their power.” Soobin said. Kai thought about that statement. He didn’t have many fears, but the ones he did have were based off of others peoples gains. It seemed impossible to get over them at this point. “Don’t think too hard, let me look at you.” Soobin said pulling Kai up but the younger whined at buried his face back into Soobin’s neck. He didn’t want the Korean boy to see him just yet. He wasn’t ready to see what Soobin’s eyed held in that moment.

 

“Stay like this.” Kai said.

 

“What did I just say about fears ? I’m not going to judge you.” Soobin said and moved to cup Kai’s cheeks. Kai closed his eyes as Soobin looked at him so closely. “You’re so pretty you know ?” Soobin said, his words so close and filled with so much truth it made Kai blush again. “Even like this, with tiny tears against your precious pink cheeks. Your hair a bit of a mess and you a bit too thin for my liking, you’re still so pretty.”

 

“Don’t-“ Kai said but stopped. He didn’t even know what he was stopping Soobin from doing ? Complimenting him ? Teasing him ? He didn’t know but he couldn't bare any more words for the other. Here he was in Soobin’s lap like some child, clinging onto him like he couldn’t live without him. It was embarrassing. He didn’t know the other at all so why was he seeking comfort like this ? Was Kai really this weak ? “Look at me.” Soobin said. “Please ?” He asked. Kai slowly opened his brown eyes only to wish he never did. Soobin was so close. He quickly shut his eyes again. “Cute. I’m going to hug you for as long as I can. Which won’t be too long. I have to leave you know.”

 

“I know.” Kai said and let Soobin rub their cheeks together as he wrapped his arms around Kai’s middle, hugging him once more.

 

“As much as I would love to help you for as long as I can, there are others who need my help too.” Soobin said.

 

“I know.” Kai said and he felt bad. Here he was, panicking over a storm while children all over his country were getting taken off the streets away from their families probably never to see them again. Here he was being selfish in taking up Soobin’s time, in taking up his comfort because he didn’t want to think about an experience that could save some many others. His father would be so disappointed in him if he knew that he could try to do something but didn’t.

 

“Saseum...” Soobin said gently making Kai sigh. Fine. He thought. If he didn’t do it now he wouldn’t ever and guilt would eat him up until he died.

 

“I’ll tell you.” Kai said and Soobin paused.

 

“Tell me ?” He asked.

 

“About that night. In your house.” Kai said lowly and Soobin only pulled him closer.

 

“Thank you.” Soobin said.

 

“Don’t thank me. I’m not worthy of your thanks.” Kai said and before Soobin could retort he told his story. Soobin listened carefully, never interrupting, never rushing as Kai talked slowly. He shook slightly as he got to the undressing part, Soobin moving to kiss his cheek and even chuckled when Kai said how he beat he man down. He gave full description of everyone he saw. From the guard who took him in to the ones who took the others. Soobin listened and listened until Kai couldn’t remember any more details. It was silent for another long moment before Soobin nodded.

 

“Thank you Saseum. I’ll probably have to write these details out later to tell the others accurately. But your information will be helpful in spotting the ghost. I could put details to faces once I see the files.” Soobin said.

 

“What if I’m wrong ? What if I remembered wrong ?” Kai asked.

 

“Do you think you remembered wrong ?” Soobin asked.

 

“No.” Kai said. He would remember that night for the rest of his life.

 

“Then we have to use what you said.” Soobin said.

 

“It would be easier if I could just show you.” Kai said.

 

“It would. But it’s not like you can go back with me.” Soobin said and Kai nodded. He couldn’t could he.

 

“I should leave after the storm settles. Hopefully the roads aren’t too bad.” Soobin said. “When will your father be back ? It’s been a while ?”

 

“It’s a long walk. He’s probably seeking shelter right now at an orphanage.” Kai explained.

 

“Good. When he gets back, I will thank him for allowing me to stay with you here. I did arrive abruptly and I know that hosting me here is a burden for you both." Soobin said. "Now, should we get up and write down the information ?"

 

“Not good at writing.” Kai all but grumbled making Soobin smile against his hair.

 

“Hyung will help you.” Soobin said. They spent the next half an hour getting all the details down on paper. Soobin half wishing Beomgyu or Yeonjun was here with him, he could use their drawing skills to get a sketch. It was late after noon now and the storm had slowed to become only gentle drops. Kai’s father wasn’t here yet but Kai started dinner. Soobin helped him peel the vegetables while Kai cut up the meat that thawed. They were silently doing their task when their was a knock at the door. Kai paused at it. A knock has never happened to their doors unless it was Erik.

 

“Go hide in my room." Kai told Soobin in a low voice. Wiping his hands clean, Kai went to the door. It was surprisingly Mrs.Sauer.

 

“Oh thank goodness you’re safe. I only have a little bit of time to tell you this, something has happened to your father.” The older woman said making Kai tense up. “He is not hurt but- I do not think he is safe. He came to hide from the rain at the orphanage. Moments later, korean military was all over the place. They accused your father of something and took him away. I couldn’t understand half of it but your father looked worried.” She said and Kai felt his whole world stop. His father was taken by korean military ? That wasn’t good. Was it worse than being taken by the Germans ? He didn’t know. 

 

“Did he say something ?” Kai asked.

 

“Nothing. But took him quickly, startling the children. It didn’t seem like he would be back for a while. Will you be safe here alone ?” She asked.

 

“I’m fine. I will wait for father here.” Kai said.

 

“Alright. If you need anything...” her words died short before clearing her throat. “Mind yourself boy. The world is cruel to those who don’t deserve it.” And with that she left. Soobin came out after a moment.

 

“What happened ? You’re shaking again.” Soobin said.

 

“My father. He was taken by korean military.” Kai said. “I have to get him back.”

 

“Come with me.” Soobin said. “If he’s anywhere, my father would know.”

 

“To your house ?” Kai asked.

 

“No one will harm you.” Soobin said. “Let’s get your father back.” 

 

“We should- we should eat first.” Kai said, this didn’t seem like an easy journey.

 

“Of course. Besides we don’t know if he will be taken for long or short term.” Soobin said trying to be hopeful but they both knew. If the military took you against your will, then the chances of coming back were slim. Kai’s world was falling apart again. No matter how much he built it back up, life would shove it down, watching it crumble brick by brick. Soobin patted his shoulder before continuing with their meal. Could Kai put his trust into Soobin ? He was all he had now, so how bad would it be ? A German trusting a korean ? The last time that happened, the world punished their entire family, killing the korean and taking away the Germans light. History liked to repeat itself and right now Kai needed to stop the cycle.