saengiephile (saengiephile) wrote in copy_paste_work,

Life in Purgatory ch 22

Title: Life in Purgatory
Chapter: 22/?
Rating: R
Pairing: KyuJong/YoungSaeng, HyunJoong/JongWoon, JungMin/Zhou Mi
Crossover: Super Junior, DBSK
Genre: Angst, AU,
Summary: Society is crumbling; salvation walks the earth once more.

"...Oh no," JongWoon finished putting the plates together and shoved them at KyuJong.  "Go go, before he tries to kiss him or something."

Holding the plates up, KyuJong walked quickly towards the man's table, glancing at the other table briefly. Zhou Mi was staring again, and it seemed like the others were looking in HeeChul's general direction more often as well. Sidling up by the table, KyuJong smiled tensely. "Second round, the rest will be up shortly," he said, setting one plate down in an open spot and stacking a few empty ones up for some room. "What are you doing HeeChul?"

"Me? Nothing, I'm just having a conversation," HeeChul mused, elbows on the table and resting his chin in his hands. "Just a simple conversation."

"... Right," KyuJong frowned at him before looking at the man. "If he's bothering you, I can have him thrown out."

"No, let him continue trying to talk me into a back room with him, it's actually kind of amusing," the other man blinked at HeeChul with the expression of someone studying an interesting specimen under a microscope.

HeeChul blinked at the reaction and looked up at KyuJong. "It's not working on him," he pouted, crossing his arms.

Restraining a sigh, KyuJong gave a small shake of his head. "It's not going to," he said through clenched teeth.

"Why not? It worked on HyunJoong," HeeChul said, looking back at the man. "What was your name again?"

"ChangMin," the other man replied, looking very amused despite the fact his dinner had been interrupted.  The notepad beside him was covered in handwriting.  "Is what working?"

"My allure, I can get anyone to go to bed with me," HeeChul beamed. "He says it won't work cause you're one of us, but I know it can. You want a demonstration?"

Flailing madly, KyuJong grabbed HeeChul's arm and started to pull him from the chair, apologizing profusely to ChangMin. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, he's an idiot."

Seeing the commotion, HyungJoon got up to try and help KyuJong get HeeChul away before he did more damage; the man's voice carried.  "HeeChul, wrong table," he sighed, helping KyuJong pull the other man up.  "I'm sorry, I think he might have been drinking," he said to ChangMin, who looked both confused and amused.

"No, it's fine, he's interesting to listen to."

"See? Let me go," HeeChul pulled away, plopping back down in the seat and rested his elbows on the table. "He thinks I'm interesting... he's not my opposite is he?"

"HeeChul... shut up," HyunJoong said, having come up behind HyungJoon and KyuJong. "You're not helping."

"Helping what?" HeeChul blinked up at him. "I came in and started a nice conversation with this very good looking man and you all are acting like loons. I apologize for their behavior ChangMin."

"HyunJoong, HyungJoon, come sit back down," Zhou Mi called from where he was still in the booth. "Let them be."

HyungJoon gave a long-suffering sigh, looking hesitant with the idea of leaving this guy with HeeChul, but they seemed to be okay so far (ChangMin looked like he was trying not to laugh).  "Okay, let's go," he sighed, pulling on HyunJoong's arm to bring him back to the other table.  "Is he always this forward?" he asked HyunJoong.

"Yes, just ask JungMin," HyunJoong muttered, glancing over his shoulder briefly before sitting down. KyuJong sighed, hands on his hips as he looked at the others when HyunJoong and HyungJoon had sat back down.

"Whose bright idea was it to send HeeChul over there?" KyuJong asked.

"His own," Zhou Mi said. "He walked in, looked like he was going to have a heart attack, then sat down over there and started up a conversation. Wouldn't listen to us to come over and sit down."

"I don't think he's ever heard of being subtle in his life," JungMin said wryly, arm around Zhou Mi's shoulders.  "Guess there's nothing for us to do but see how it goes."

"I hope he doesn't scare him off," HyungJoon frowned, though from what he could see of what was going on, ChangMin looked more amused than anything.

"If he was a normal person, he would be gone by now," Zhou Mi said, trying not to stare anymore at them. "Did you get a name?"

"ChangMin," KyuJong nodded, folding his arms over his chest. "I'm going to go see if JongWoon's done with the rest of his food. Stop him if he looks like he's going to try to kiss him or something," he said, turning and going back to the kitchen.

"Hopefully he's figured out from JongWoon not to do that," HyungJoon sighed, watching KyuJong go before turning back to the others.  "Anyone know where YoungSaeng is?  He's the only person we're missing."

"KyuJong said he would be here soon, should I call him?" Zhou Mi asked, glancing at the time. "It's still another hour before closing, he might think we're all arriving then."

"We should be, if it weren't for this," JungMin rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, probably give him a call Mi," HyungJoon nodded.

"Who are we missing, anyways? From the full group?" JungMin asked.

"Well, since we don't know who that guy is..."  HyungJoon pursed his lips, thinking.  "Diligence, Chastity, Greed, Charity, Gluttony and Abstinence.  Six out of fourteen."

"So... less than half, that's not too bad," HyunJoong said, watching Zhou Mi pull out his phone.

"You know what I've noticed? We find each other in pairs," Zhou Mi said, scrolling through his contacts. "We found YoungSaeng, with HyunJoong, then KyuJong with JongWoon, and HeeChul then JungMin. If the pattern remains the same, then we may find another right away within a couple of days," he said, dialing the number and putting his phone to his ear.

"True," HyungJoon mused, watching Zhou Mi and glancing towards HeeChul and ChangMin again, the two seeming to be involved in conversation.

"Hello?" YoungSaeng picked up the phone after a moment.

"Hi Saeng, it's Zhou Mi, um.. we're all down at Babtol's now, were you heading down here soon?" Zhou Mi asked.

"Now?" YoungSaeng was confused.  "I thought we were only meeting later?"

"Well we thought so too, but then I got a call from JongWoon earlier... there's another here, right now," Zhou Mi whispered into the phone. "Can you get down here?"

"...Oh.  Okay, yeah, I'll be down there in five minutes." There was shuffling from the other end of the phone.  "What's happening?"

"Well... at the moment... HeeChul's talking to him," Zhou Mi said blandly. "He hasn't run out screaming so I guess that's a good sign."

"...God help us all," YoungSaeng muttered.  "Okay, I'll be there in a few." he hung up.

"He's on his way," Zhou Mi said, putting his phone back in his pocket. "We really just can't let HeeChul continue to talk to him, there's no telling what he'll say. We really should have practiced this more HyungJoon."

"I think we've all figured out by now practicing doesn't help with anything," HyungJoon shook his head.  "That ChangMin guy seems to be listening to him, so whatever he's saying, it must be going well."

"Well we'll just wait and see, and when YoungSaeng gets here we can approach him," Zhou Mi said, glancing at the clock again. "Maybe by then it'll be closing and we can talk to him.. though it may seem a little creepy if we lock the doors on him."

"Yes, that would be very creepy," HyungJoon shook his head.  "The only way I think we'll be able to talk to him properly tonight is if HeeChul's explaining everything and he's actually listening."

"Somehow, I doubt that," HyunJoong snorted. "He's probably just trying to get in his pants."

"We'll give HeeChul the benefit of the doubt, he hasn't been around the rest of us as much so maybe he'll try to help," Zhou Mi said.

"Maybe, most likely not," JungMin shrugged, leaning over to see into the kitchen.  He could see JongWoon passing KyuJong some more plates.  "How much did the guy order?  If he was critiquing the food only, that's one thing, but every plate on that table is nearing empty."

"Well... I have a good idea who he is then," Zhou Mi chuckled, watching KyuJong come out with the other plates.

"Are you sure he's not bothering you?" KyuJong asked when he set the plates down on the table, gathering up the empty ones.

"No, not at all," ChangMin shook his head, marking something down in his notepad.  "I didn't say he's making sense, but he's not bothering me."

"How am I not making sense?" HeeChul pouted, trying to lean over to see what was being written. "You're not like a psychiatrist are you? I'm not crazy. Tell him I'm not crazy KyuJong. He acts like he doesn't know that he's a sin or virtue."

"..." KyuJong resisted the urge to facepalm right there. "I can't vouch for his sanity, not when he's being like this," he said politely to ChangMin. "But... if you talk to Zhou Mi or HyungJoon or any of the others over there, they'll make more sense."

"Maybe when I'm done here," ChangMin shook his head in amusement, pulling his notepad away from HeeChul.  "I need these for class."

"But what is it?" HeeChul asked, reaching for the notepad again.

"It's obviously something private, HeeChul, leave him alone," KyuJong said, swatting at the hand. "Why can't you go find someone else to pick up?"

"Because he's the only one in here that isn't claimed beside the lazy one," HeeChul said, glumly crossing his arms. "I'm bored. You sure you would rather eat than join me ChangMin?"

"Actually, yeah, I came here for a meal, not sex in a back room," ChangMin blinked at him.  "That's what a restaurant's for."

"... Okay, I'm bored," HeeChul slid his chair back and got to his feet. "None of you are any fun," he huffed, flouncing towards the other table. KyuJong let out a small sigh of relief.

"I'm really sorry about him..." he said to ChangMin. "But... what he was saying... did you believe any of it?"

"I'm not entirely sure what he was talking about, so I'm not sure I can answer that," ChangMin shrugged, resuming eating.

Glancing over at the table briefly, KyuJong chewed on his lip before he sat down in HeeChul's vacated seat. "I can try to make sense of it, if you'd like to hear."

"Sure," ChangMin glanced up at him.  "Half of what he was saying were innuendos, I'm hoping you'll skip over those."

"Yeah not touching that..." KyuJong shook his head. "This is going to be very strange so just bear with me. When you walked in, did it feel like you got punched in the gut and heard like a weird chiming sound in your head?"

Chewing as he thought, ChangMin swallowed and nodded.  "Yeah, I'd say so.  More of the former than the latter.  Why?"

"Well... that's kind of why I dropped that plate when you walked in," KyuJong said, his lips quirking slightly. "I felt it too, as did the others over there. We're all kind of connected to one another."

"Oh?" the other man raised an eyebrow.  "Connected how?"

"We're kind of all the same," KyuJong said, not sure how to go about this. "See... you know about the seven sins right? Pride, Sloth, Lust, etc? Well... would HeeChul's behavior make more sense if I told you he was Lust? Not that he had lustful ways, but was Lust... personified."

"Personified?  Well, it does seem to be the main thing on his mind," ChangMin frowned lightly.  "You're making it sound like he isn't even human."

"He is.. far as we know," KyuJong said, blinking a little. That wasn't something they'd even discussed before. Were they still human? "It's not just him... you see, HyungJoon and HyunJoong that came over earlier are Sloth, and Pride, respectively. HyungJoon spends ten minutes around someone and they don't want to move."

"An infective personality?" ChangMin didn't seem disturbed by the train of conversation, taking it in stride as he ate slowly, marking things down in his notepad every now and then.  "Doesn't seem to be working with those sitting around him, the tall guy with the nose keeps staring at me."

"No, it wouldn't," KyuJong said, glaring at Zhou Mi who turned away and hid his face in JungMin's shoulder. "We can't affect each other, which is good. But Zhou Mi, the guy with the nose, is a virtue, sin's opposite. All sins have an opposite. Lust is Chastity, though we haven't that one yet, uhh Pride is Humility, the cook, JongWoon is Humility, while I'm Kindness. My opposite is Envy, he's not here yet though. You would be either a sin, or a virtue. We just don't know which one."

"So, let me get this straight."  ChangMin leaned back.  "You're saying that you're all personifications of the idea of sins and virtues, and I'm one too.  And the proof of this is...nearly being knocked out when stepping in the door?"

"Uh.." KyuJong blinked slowly, but nodded. "Kind of? That and once you hear it just kind of makes sense you know? Like something you were waiting to hear your entire life. You don't feel that way?"

"Sort of," the other man looked at him.  "I'm just wondering about how I'm supposed to tell my roommate without him sending me to a psychiatrist."

"It.. would be best if you didn't tell your roommate," KyuJong said, wincing a little. "No one else is going to understand. Unless... you didn't feel that way when you met your roommate did you? The chime and the punch to the gut?"

"It was a long time ago, but I remember something like that," ChangMin nodded.  "That's why I'm hoping that if this is real and not just an elaborate scam for money, you have something a little more solid than weird feelings to bring back to him."

"Wait.. you did feel something like that?" KyuJong's eyes widened. "No, this isn't a scam or a cult or anything like that. Look, talk to Zhou Mi. He's the one who figured all this out and has the answers. Once you read through his notes it becomes so much clearer."

"Okay," ChangMin shrugged, sipping at his soup.  "I'll take a look at them, after I finish eating.  How long you staying here for?"

"We were having a meeting once the restaurant closed down," KyuJong said. "You're more than welcome to stay and talk to us. We all understand how crazy this sounds, we've kind of all been there. Heck, JungMin and HeeChul have only known for a couple weeks. We'll be able to answer as many questions as you have, and if you need to, I'm sure Zhou Mi would be fine in letting you borrow his notes to show your roommate."

"I haven't seen my roommate in a week, it's exam season so he's practically living at the library," ChangMin shook his head.  "Maybe by the time I actually see him I'll have something to tell him."

"I completely understand you on that, my... YoungSaeng, my opposite, he's been holing himself up in the library as well," KyuJong said, tilting his head to the side. "The library at the school not too far away?"

"No, the school two blocks over?"  ChangMin shook his head.  "We live on the other side of town, different school, and I have no idea which library he's at."

The door opened then, YoungSaeng coming in, and nearly falling flat on his face as his heart nearly stopped in his chest.  "This will never be fun," he winced, one hand against his chest as he looked up to see ChangMin had accidentally dropped his chopsticks onto the floor.

KyuJong looked between them, trying not to smile at that as he got to his feet. "I think a feeling is more than enough to be convincing though, don't you?" he said to ChangMin. "I'll get you some more chopsticks, be right back," he said, walking towards the podium where there were extra chopsticks, as well as YoungSaeng. "Hey," he grinned, leaning over to kiss him quickly. "Looks like we found two more."

YoungSaeng kissed KyuJong back, blinking at him in confusion.  "Two?  I thought it was just one?"  He looked around and saw the others sitting at another table, JongWoon coming back out of the kitchen after finishing cleaning up.  They were the only ones left in the restaurant.

"Well it was, but apparently he has a roommate," KyuJong grinned. "And remembers feeling the same thing when he first met him."

"Interesting," YoungSaeng mused, glancing towards ChangMin.  "'s he taking it?  Was anything explained yet?" He started towards the table of the others slowly.

"A little bit, I had to do damage control after HeeChul babbled at him but he seems to be taking it okay," KyuJong said, following YoungSaeng over to the table. "I think he's going to stay after the place closes to talk to us so Zhou Mi can explain this better."

"Really?" HyungJoon blinked at them, KyuJong's words reaching them.  "That's great!  He doesn't think we're crazy?"

JongWoon had wandered over by then.  "I think we can start cleaning up now, Kyu...just waiting for the rest of his dishes."

"Okay, he shouldn't be long," KyuJong said, looking down at the chopsticks in his hand. "Er.. be right back." Turning on heel he walked back over to ChangMin's table, setting down the chopsticks. "So that's YoungSaeng, he's my opposite, Envy. Were you going to hang out after we close so we can talk?"

"Sure," ChangMin shrugged.  "I have a bit of free time.  Will I be able to look at those notes?"

"Yeah, I'm sure Zhou Mi brought them with him," KyuJong nodded. "JongWoon and I are going to start closing up, so whenever you're done eating just head on over to the group."

"Okay, thanks," ChangMin nodded, turning back to his notepad and scribbling something down after tasting a bit of the egg soup.  YoungSaeng watched what was going on curiously, pulling a smaller table over to the table where the others were sitting so they weren't all wedged together.  JongWoon had gone back into the kitchen to clean.

"So I guess he's staying then," Zhou Mi said, drumming his fingers on the table, watching KyuJong start to clean up the seating area. "Everyone so far seems to be okay with hearing the news... you were the only one who dismissed it so completely at first, YoungSaeng," he chuckled softly.

"Yes well, you were doing a very good impression of a mad professor blocking me from going down the stairs on an empty floor," YoungSaeng rolled his eyes, sitting down.

HyungJoon was pouting a little.  "He's definitely not either of our opposites," he looked at HeeChul.

"Might as well be," HeeChul muttered. "I'm not looking forward to a lifetime of no sex since that's what's in store for me."

"I don't think that's the point of an opposite," HyungJoon blinked, looking at Zhou Mi.  "We sorta already figured out that not only does the virtue affect the sin, but the sin affects the virtue as well."

"Um.. yes," Zhou Mi nodded, shifting uncomfortably. "Being around JungMin makes me less patient than I know I can be."

"Really?" HeeChul seemed to perk up at that. "So that means we'll have sex?"

"..." Zhou Mi stared at HeeChul blankly, just shaking his head. "You and your priorities."

"So what were we supposed to be having this meeting about again?" YoungSaeng said dryly, head in one hand.  "Other than whether or not HeeChul can have sex."

"Well, has anyone had any other...strange occurrences happening to them?" HyungJoon asked, looking between them.  "It's pretty-much impossible to always be around someone else, and HeeChul, YoungSaeng and I all came in here alone just this evening."

"No, I haven't had any encounters," Zhou Mi said, shaking his head. "I know it's unlikely for us all to be around one another all the time, but if we can at least try for more than half the time I'd feel a little better."

"Um... I have something, not sure what it means though," HyunJoong said, shifting a little in his seat. "I've been having nightmares... nightmares about all of us."

"Nightmares?" HyungJoon blinked at him.

"Join the club," YoungSaeng sighed, glancing at his ex-boyfriend.  "Though I still can't remember anything about them...can you?"

"No, I can't," HyunJoong shook his head. "I just remember being scared, and it being dark."

"Nightmares? I haven't had any nightmares, have you?" HeeChul blinked, looking at JungMin.

"No," JungMin shook his head, though he was frowning at Zhou Mi.

"Mi?" HyungJoon asked quietly.  "It can't be just a coincidence, or nerves anymore."

Chewing on his lip, Zhou Mi thought about it. No, it couldn't just be coincidence, or stress. "YoungSaeng, do you know if KyuJong has had any nightmares?"

"No, I don't think so..." YoungSaeng shook his head slowly.  He'd woken up of nightmares several times last week alone, and KyuJong had never once mentioned having the same problem, even when YoungSaeng asked.

"You two haven't, and neither have I..."  HyungJoon looked between JungMin and HeeChul before looking at HyunJoong.  "JongWoon?"

"He hasn't said anything,, but I don't think so," HyunJoong said. "If he had been having the same nightmares as us, I'm sure he would have said something by now."

"So what do those of us who have had them have in common?" Zhou Mi frowned. "We're all aware, but you two are sins, while I'm a virtue. We've found our opposites, but our opposites are not having nightmares. I guess they only come to one of us and not both?"

"Maybe," HyungJoon mused.  "Either they only come to one out of the two in each pair, or you have to be aware first, which would be why neither JongWoon nor KyuJong have had them...but that doesn't explain us three, so it's more likely to be one out of each pair.  We can probably ask ChangMin if he's had any nightmares, that would probably help confirm if you have to be aware or not."

"That's great and all, but I'm more concerned about what the nightmares mean," YoungSaeng said.

"I have a theory," Zhou Mi said, sighing a little. "It's a psychological tactic, to scare your enemy before you face them."

"But what good does that do if we can't remember the dream," HyunJoong said. "I'm not scared by it, frustrated more than anything that I can't remember."

"It's just a theory, and I didn't say it was a sound tactic," Zhou Mi said, shaking his head. "Unless I can get some more information, like what happens in these dreams then that's all I have."

"Do you remember any of the dream when you wake up?" HyungJoon asked.  "Maybe those of us with nightmares should start keeping pen and paper by the bed, so right after one you can jot down everything that comes to mind before the nightmare fades.  It might help us figure something out."

"I think I remember bits and pieces, not the entire dream," HyunJoong said, but he nodded. "Yeah, I'll try and write them down when I wake up. No guarantees though."

"Yes, we can try that," Zhou Mi said, tapping his fingers on the table lightly. "Does anyone have any other new information? How did the research session go?"

"Uh... well I fell asleep in the middle but KyuJong found something," HyunJoong said, looking to YoungSaeng. "What was it again?"

"Oh..."  YoungSaeng frowned lightly, remembering.  "He found a picture of a stain-glass painting he and JongWoon recognized.  It was of four angels, they said they saw it in the library downtown."  He looked around, seeing JongWoon had picked up ChangMin's dishes and brought them into the kitchen to wash.  KyuJong was nearby cleaning up.  "Kyu, what was so special about that stain-glass painting you found before?"

"Hm?" KyuJong looked up from where he was wiping down a table. "Oh, the one of the angels? Well, nothing really special about it, but both JongWoon and I stopped to look at it, and then I found it in that book. You had said things would jump right out at us right? I just figured it had to mean something."

"Angels?" Zhou Mi's head tilted to the side. "Like... wings and harps, those kind of angels?"

"Yeah, the uh... archangels? I don't remember their names though," KyuJong said. "I'll go ask if JongWoon remembers."

"Archangels?" JungMin frowned.  "What does that have to do with anything?"

JongWoon came back with KyuJong, drying his hands as he walked.  "The angels?  Well...there was Uriel...Raphael...I don't remember the other two, there were four of them."

"Four angels?" Zhou Mi frowned a little. "I'd like to look at that book. It seems... interesting. Though I don't understand what it has to do with us. I assumed angels were from Christian origin."

"Well that's what we thought of sins and virtues at first too, right?" KyuJong said, sitting down next to YoungSaeng and putting his arms around the man's waist. "Maybe it's kind of the same thing."

"But I don't know why, would we be going up against angels? That doesn't seem right," Zhou Mi said.

"Why are we suddenly going up against angels?" YoungSaeng blinked at him in confusion.  "You think we have to fight angels?"

"There's four of them...wasn't that poem you found ages ago talking about the 'four pillars of destruction'?" HyungJoon asked Zhou Mi.

"Yes.. but... that just doesn't seem right," Zhou Mi shook his head. "That doesn't sound right. I mean, yes it feels like this is something to do with us, but not what we're up against. There's something missing still."

"But we looked through maybe twenty different books the other day, we didn't find anything else," JongWoon pouted.  "Are we looking in the wrong places?"

"Looking for?" ChangMin had wandered over to their table after paying the bill.

"For some clue as to what we're supposed to be doing," Zhou Mi said with a sigh. "It's a little complicated, but we're sure that we're supposed to be doing something, that we have to face some kind of threat to the world."

"Threat?  How are we supposed to do that?"  ChangMin folded his arms across his chest, raising an eyebrow.  "I'm not sure about any of you, but I don't feel particularly super-hero-like."

"He's got a good point..."  HyungJoon chewed on his knuckle.  "Apart from JungMin getting stronger when angry, we don't exactly have anything going for any of us.  Sins can affect those around them, but virtues are restricted to contact only, and I don't think a little extra patience is going to help with whatever threat this is supposed to be."

"Well, no, and I'm not entirely sure how we're supposed to do anything," Zhou Mi said, sitting up a little straighter. "There's nothing in the books about what we're supposed to do, what we're supposed to face and how. It's maddening after so many different books and sources we're still at this point, and frankly I'm a little frustrated that I'm expected to know all the answers to all these questions, because I don't okay?"

Everyone looked at Zhou Mi in surprise.  "We don't expect you to know all the answers Mi," HyungJoon shook his head.  "We're just brainstorming to see if anyone can think of something, and since you're the one who knows the most out of all of us, we usually try bouncing ideas off of you.  Though here's an idea, maybe we can work on sins not affecting their opposites as much, because you were never snappy before meeting JungMin."

"Well sorry," JungMin grumbled, lips pursed.

"It's not your fault," Zhou Mi said, leaning up against JungMin a little. "I'm sorry, I just feel like I'm missing something so obvious but I don't know what it is."

"We'll figure it out," KyuJong said softly. "There's enough of us here now, we'll take off some of the burden from you Mi. Right? We'll all help."

"Yeah, don't need to do everything yourself," HyunJoong nodded.

"We'll just keep on looking, and there's so many of us now that running into the rest should be easy!" JongWoon beamed.

"It also looks like we're meant to find out these things when we need to, you know?" HyungJoon quirked a small smile.  "Let's not stress out too much."

"I'm trying not to," Zhou Mi said, closing his eyes. "I guess we're going to have start over, I want to reread every book I've already looked at. As well as the books you found at the library. Maybe I can talk to YunHo again, see if he has any ideas on the books I haven't found yet."

"I can go with you to talk to him," HyungJoon replied.

"The amount of material translated into Korean might be limited," ChangMin said, arms folded over his chest.

"Oh," HyungJoon blinked, looking at Zhou Mi.  "Maybe I should get a hold of KiBum, see if he has good library access in the States."

"Who?" YoungSaeng blinked.

"My little brother, he's in a university over there."

"You haven't talked to your brother in months," Zhou Mi said, looking over at him. "I'm not sure if he'd be appreciating you calling him up just to ask for a favor, but it's worth a try."

"Does he know english then if he's in the states? Those books are going to be kind of useless to us unless some of you know english," HyunJoong said, glancing around. "My english is limited at best."

"If there is information we need, I'm sure we won't have a problem finding it, english notwithstanding," Zhou Mi said. "It couldn't hurt to call your brother Joon, favor or not."

"I wanted to see if he was coming back for the holidays either way," HyungJoon said.  "I'll just ask him if he is to bring back a couple of books with him."

"Is there anything else that we can do, you think?" JongWoon asked.  "We'll go over those books again, probably visit the library again too."

"At the moment, I think just reading again and waiting is all we can do," Zhou Mi said, his lips quirking a little. "Even as frustrating as it is."

"Going to the library again would be good, the downtown one? Are there more libraries around?" KyuJong asked.

"There's one near my side of town," ChangMin said.  "And the one in my university.  I can look there if you want.  I'll need a better idea of what I'm supposed to be looking for though."

"Maybe he can borrow your notes?" YoungSaeng looked at Zhou Mi.

"Oh.. yes, that would be good," Zhou Mi nodded, shuffling through his papers and folders before handing ChangMin a stack. "That's everything we know so far. There's a lot of information there, so it may be a little overwhelming at first, but once you sit down and read through it all, it just makes sense and you feel like you're just reviewing something you've already learned."

"Got it," ChangMin nodded.

"You said you know someone else who might be like us?" YoungSaeng asked, remembering what KyuJong had said.

"Yeah, my roommate, but he's been MIA for a while.  Exam fever.  Probably won't see him until it's over in a week or so, but it'll give me time to process all this."

"We'll want to meet him, right away," Zhou Mi said. "Well as soon as you can find him that is, and of course after exams. I know HyungJoon and I, as well as YoungSaeng are going to be pretty busy with that for the next week."

"Which means the rest of us should pick up the slack on the research," KyuJong nodded. "JongWoon and I can go back to the library and do some searching on our own again, that wasn't too bad last time."

"Yeah, though the librarian thought we were nutcases, you saw the look he was giving us," JongWoon chuckled, going to find a broom to finish cleaning up.

"I think we lost someone," JungMin looked down at HyungJoon, head on the table and snoring softly.  "Wasn't he awake and talking a second ago?"

Zhou Mi sighed, shaking his head. "Not the worst place he's fallen asleep, at least he wasn't in the middle of a sentence. That probably means we're done here then."

"Seems so," HyunJoong chuckled, glancing at the time. "It's getting late anyway, and I don't know about the rest of you, but I kind of want to enjoy my Saturday night for once."

"Agreed," KyuJong nodded, his arms tightening around YoungSaeng's waist. "I have to help finish cleaning up, you abandoning me to go study?" he asked quietly.

"I think I can hold studying off for one night before the exam rush," YoungSaeng smiled softly at KyuJong.  "Here, I'll help you clean up, we'll finish faster."  He stood.

"Well, nice to meet you all, but I have my own studying to do, and extra notes on top of that."  ChangMin adjusted his grip on Zhou Mi's notes.  "Thanks for the food, this place is pretty good."  JongWoon beamed happily from where he was sweeping the floor, having made all of ChangMin's food himself.

"Here, I'll give you my card," Zhou Mi said, pulling one of his business cards out of his pocket and handing it to him. "My cell number is on the back, so if anything happens you call me right away. I will warn you that you could be in some kind of danger. YoungSaeng's already had an encounter with... something. Be careful okay?"

"Will do," ChangMin nodded, turning to leave with a light wave over his shoulder.  The door closed behind him a moment later.

"Well, he seemed to take that pretty well," YoungSaeng said, going to wipe the tables.

"He did... that's a good sign," Zhou Mi said, reorganizing the folders in his briefcase. "Let's hope the rest are so easy to convince."

"Yah," HyunJoong poked HyungJoon in the arm. "You need to wake up so I can get out."

A soft snore was HyungJoon's answer.  "Just jump over the table, or knock him off the bench," JungMin shook his head, looking at Zhou Mi.  "Unless you know any best friend tricks to waking him up."

Lips pursing slightly, Zhou Mi shooed JungMin out of the booth so he could get up. Coming around to the other side of the table, he leaned down to whisper into HyungJoon's ear. "Joon~ I made rice pancakes, time to wake up."

"Nh?"  HyungJoon broke off mid-snore, sniffling a little before cracking open one eye.  "Rice pancakes?"

"Yes, but you have to get up," Zhou Mi grinned at him. "Come on, meeting's over. Time to go home."

HyungJoon yawned, sitting up and blinking blearily at Zhou Mi.  "Oh...okay..."  He pushed himself up off the bench, tottering to get his jacket.

"Rice pancakes?" JungMin snorted.

"Don't laugh, I make the best rice pancakes," Zhou Mi said, grabbing his briefcase off the table. "You have to work now?"

"Yeah, unfortunately," JungMin nodded.  "I can drop you two off back home if you want.  HeeChul, you going back to the club?"

"As if that's a question," HeeChul snorted, getting to his feet and stretching out his arms. "As interesting as this all was, I'd rather be somewhere else, having fun."

"... Don't want to hear what that is," Zhou Mi said, taking JungMin's hand to start towards the door. "We can have a study date at home HyungJoon, how does that sound?"

"Okay," HyungJoon nodded, following them out along with HeeChul.  "Good night," he called over his shoulder.

"Night!"  JongWoon waved cheerfully before going back to sweeping, placing up the chairs on the tables after YoungSaeng had wiped them down.

"Well, I'd say this was a most interesting night," KyuJong said, locking the door behind the others before starting to sweep the floor. "Who would have thought another would just walk in right before we were going to have a meeting like that."

"We really do seem to find them in places where we'd least expect it," YoungSaeng nodded.  "That's good though, two more off the list, and four left to find."

"Four shouldn't be hard to find, especially if they really are being found in pairs," HyunJoong said, trying to stay out of the way as they cleaned. "So what are the plans for after we get out of here?"

"Uh... YoungSaeng and I were going to spend the evening together," KyuJong said, glancing over at YoungSaeng. "What about you two?"

"I don't know," JongWoon blinked, looking at HyunJoong.  "Did you want to do anything?  Neither of us have work tomorrow to worry about."

"Well... I was just thinking we could probably go through the rest of those books," HyunJoong said. "They're still at my apartment... couldn't hurt right?"

"I guess not," KyuJong said, looking at YoungSaeng. "Would you be okay with that?"

"Yeah, sure," YoungSaeng shrugged.  "For a couple hours maybe, any longer and we might lose HyunJoong again."

"Hey, I slept in this morning, I'll be fine," HyunJoong said, rolling his eyes. "I'll just skip the beer tonight."

KyuJong's lips quirked slightly at that, finishing sweeping up the floor. "You sure you're okay with that?" he asked YoungSaeng quietly.

YoungSaeng nodded a little, lips quirking slightly at the younger man.  "Yeah, I'm fine.  We'll have a bit of time to ourselves after though, right?"

"Hey, what about eggnog instead of beer?" JongWoon had latched on to the last bit of HyunJoong's sentence, eyes sparkling.  "I mean, it's almost christmas, next time we decide to have a study night, I can make cookies and bring eggnog and chocolate and it would be fun!"

"..." HyunJoong sighed heavily, shaking his head. "I'd rather have the beer."

"You're not much of a Christmas fan are you?" KyuJong chuckled. "Better get used to it, JongWoon's a nut for Christmas."

YoungSaeng watched the oldest of the bunch continue to ramble on about christmas parties and snow globes and anything vaguely related.  "...and you thought I was bad.  HyunJoong's probably as far away from festive as you can get, these two are going to be fun," he raised an eyebrow at KyuJong, lips quirked.

"So it would seem," KyuJong said, throwing out the last of the trash and tying up the trash bag to take care of before they left. "You almost done there JongWoon?"

"Yeah!" JongWoon grinned, placing the last chair up and putting the broom away.  "Just gonna lock up the offices and set up the alarms, by the time you all get your coats on I'll be done."  He went towards the back rooms.

"We'll be waiting," HyunJoong said, picking up his coat and heading towards the door.
Tags: fandom: super junior, fic: life in purgatory, pairing: hyunjoong/jongwoon, pairing: jungmin/zhou mi, pairing: kyujong/youngsaeng, rating: r
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