Pairing: HyunJoong/KyuJong, JungMin/HyungJoon, YoungSaeng/JongWoon, KyuHyun/ZhouMi/RyeoWook
Rating: R overall
Warning: AU, violence, angst
Summary: Two years after the end of the Sylar war, the Proteus makes a strange and disturbing discovery. An echo of the past long thought buried tests the loyalties and bonds of everyone on board.
A/N: Sequel to Proteus. Crossover with Super Junior, U-KISS
A/N 2: Updates are being changed to twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays! \o/
The rest of the night went smoothly for most of those on board the Proteus, though there was a great deal of tension in the air the following morning. The Geckos and RyeoWook had been told about what had happened, and what was going on with the Captain's brother. Ever the panicky one, that was exactly what Zhou Mi was doing at that moment. Luckily RyeoWook wasn't there to witness it, Zhou Mi would hate for RyeoWook to see him this way.
"Next stop, next outpost, we should jump ship," Zhou Mi said, pacing around their room, tail twitching nervously. "I told you being here would be a bad idea, didn't I?"
"I think I remember you saying that two years ago," KyuHyun watched Zhou Mi from where he was sprawled out on their bed. "I thought you liked it here, you really want to go back out there to being treated like garbage?"
"I do like it here," Zhou Mi said, shoulders slumping as he looked at KyuHyun. "I don't want to leave, but.. I don't want to get infected KuiXian... or RyeoWook, or you. I'm scared."
"You're always scared, you're a chicken of a gecko. Come over here." KyuHyun sat up, motioning at Zhou Mi. "We went through worse than a little infection before, didn't we?"
"I am not a chicken," Zhou Mi pouted, padding over to KyuHyun and crawling into his lap. "That was different, we don't even know what this infection is, or what it will do."
"So how's that different from anything else? We never know what we're getting into until we're already there." KyuHyun knuckled Zhou Mi's head lightly. "And how were you going to make this brilliant plan of yours work for RyeoWook? He can't ship-hop like we can."
Zhou Mi blinked a little at him, sighing in defeat. "Right... sometimes I forget he isn't one of us, not completely," he said, putting his arms around KyuHyun's neck. "I couldn't leave him behind."
"Didn't think so." KyuHyun wrapped his tail around Zhou Mi's. "I don't like this situation either, but we'll figure something out. Who knows, maybe he's not even infected with anything and we're raising all this fuss for nothing."
"I hope you're right," Zhou Mi sighed softly, a small quirk to his lips. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to freak out, but you know how I am. If this were a normal grouping, I would have been kicked out a long time ago, I don't know how you put up with me."
"I'm used to the freak-out episodes by now," KyuHyun snorted, shaking his head. "That and a good knock on the head usually stops you from going too crazy."
Zhou Mi chuckled at that, leaning in to brush his nose over KyuHyun's. "Thank you, for giving me a good knock on the head when I need it then," he said, giving him a small kiss before pulling back. "I need to go get lunch ready, are you going to be able to stay out of trouble?"
"I have no idea what you mean, I always stay out of trouble." KyuHyun wrapped his arms around Zhou Mi tighter. "Do I have to let you go?"
"Depends if you want lunch or not," Zhou Mi grinned, not really minding being held tighter. "I could be persuaded to wait a few more minutes."
"How would I do that?" KyuHyun leaned forward, brushing his nose against Zhou Mi's neck.
"That would be one way," Zhou Mi hummed, tilting his head to the side. His tail tightened around KyuHyun's and he let his fingers travel down the small line of hair that went down the back of KyuHyun's neck, a very sensitive spot for Geckos.
KyuHyun purred against Zhou Mi's neck. "Do that again and lunch is going to be more than a few minutes late." His fingers trailed along Zhou Mi's sides.
"What, this?" Zhou Mi replied, repeating the action of his fingers. "You started it."
"Troublemaker," KyuHyun flipped them around to dump Zhou Mi onto the bed, not letting go of the other gecko's tail.
Squeaking, Zhou Mi didn't protest, reaching up to curl his fingers into the front of KyuHyun's shirt to pull him down into a kiss. "Yes, yes, I know you are," he hissed, biting at KyuHyun's lower lip.
"I get blamed for everything."
It finally took RyeoWook showing up (and then another ten minutes after that) to get Zhou Mi out of the room to make lunch. The plus side was that Zhou Mi was no longer freaking out about the possible infection. For now, anyways. KyuHyun was sure he'd be back on about that before the end of the day.
Quickly becoming bored, the gecko wandered through the ship for a bit before arriving at the storage hold. No one was around, KyuHyun raising an eyebrow as he looked at the stasis pod left deactivated there. It didn't look like HyungJoon or anyone had tried looking at it yet. Which was stupid in his opinion, but they were too busy fussing over that recorder thing to bother with anything else.
Crouching down next to the controls, KyuHyun looked at it for a moment before poking around, trying to find the button to open the glass dome. Well, if he was this bored, might as well make himself useful. Growing frustrated when he couldn't find the right button, KyuHyun started hitting the more promising ones at random, unable to read the human language imprinted on them.
Suddenly the hiss of escaping air made KyuHyun jump back, blinking at the pod. What had that been? Checking around the sides, he found a small compartment had opened in the side. Eyeing it curiously, he reached in and pulled out the small black box that had been stored inside.
"...What's this," he murmured, looking at it from all sides. Seeing no kind of mark or indicator of what it was, he found his communicator and flicked the switch to reach the bridge. "Hello, anyone up there?"
"Yes KyuHyun?" Came KyuJong's voice. "Did you need something?"
"Is the Captain up there?" KyuHyun asked. "I was looking at the stasis pod his brother came in, and found a small compartment in the side. There was some sort of box inside, he might want to come look at it."
"He's doing paperwork in our quarters," KyuJong replied. "Whatever that this is KyuHyun, just leave it alone. I'll get a hold of him and let him know, and tell the Shinbi too. Just put it down and back away."
"...” KyuHyun wrinkled his nose a little. "It's not going to explode. Okay, I'll put it back beside the pod so he can come look at it whenever." He flicked the communicator off, slipping it back into his pocket.
"Do something helpful and not even thanked for it," KyuHyun make a face down at the box, straightening and looking for a place to put it down. What was it for though? Maybe more logs about the ship, something that would help figure out more about whatever had happened? Or just instructions on the stasis pod for all he knew. But KyuHyun knew how much it would mean to the Captain if they found a way to help his brother.
Just one look, he reasoned with himself. One peek to see what in the world it was, then he'd leave it to be someone else's problem. Glancing back towards the door, KyuHyun held the box up and carefully lifted the lid.
KyuJong's first call was to the Shinbi, but they either were ignoring the coms or they had them off. Frowning, he moved on to calling HyunJoong. "Captain?"
Looking up from his papers, HyunJoong reached out to press the button on the communicator. "Yes Kyu?"
"Sorry to bother you, but KyuHyun is down in the shuttle bay, he says he found something and wants you to go take a look."
"Found something?" HyunJoong blinked before standing. "I'm on my way. Did he say anything about what it was?"
"He said he found a box in your brother's stasis pod. I tried to get a hold of the Shinbi but they didn't answer. Should I have JungMin meet you there?"
"Sure, if you can get a hold of him. I'll be in touch." HyunJoong turned off the communicator and left the room, heading towards the shuttle bay.
He stepped inside the doorway for the storage room, seeing KyuHyun waiting to one side. "KyuJong said you found something?"
"Yeah, that thing over there," KyuHyun pointed at a small black box sitting on a shelf beside the stasis pod. "It was in some hidden compartment in the side of the pod."
"What were you doing with the pod," HyunJoong frowned, stepping closer to inspect the box.
"Just thought I'd be helpful or something," KyuHyun huffed slightly. "Couldn't read what was on the buttons so tried pressing everything."
"I thought RyeoWook was teaching you two how to read?" HyungJoon said, he and JungMin stepping into the room. JungMin had dragged him along since he was 'in a snit' as HyungJoon liked to say. Not like he was doing anything important at the time anyway.
"Zhou Mi understands it more." KyuHyun glanced at JungMin, who was impersonating a thundercloud. "What happened to you."
"Same thing as every other day those two snot-nosed brainless idiots were on this ship," JungMin fumed, eyes an angry silver.
"...Maybe this wouldn't be the best time to ask you to talk to them then," HyunJoong sighed. There was no working with JungMin once he got past a certain point.
"Probably not," HyungJoon agreed. He'd been trying to calm JungMin down for an hour now, but nothing was working. "What's up Captain? Kyu wasn't very detailed."
"KyuHyun found that box inside the stasis pod," HyunJoong motioned to it. "It's probably a good idea to leave it alone until we can ask the Shinbi about it. You didn't open it, right KyuHyun?"
"I think you're mistaking me for JongWoon," KyuHyun wrinkled his nose. "Seems okay to handle though, didn't explode on me or anything."
"Maybe put it back in the pod, out of the open in case anyone else finds it and gets a bright idea," JungMin shrugged, leaning against the wall.
"Sounds good to me," HyungJoon nodded, eyeing the box warily. "I wonder if that's the thing that the Shinbi were talking about, some kind device."
"If so, we're going to have to handle it very carefully." HyunJoong found the compartment open on the pod, carefully picking the box up and placing it back inside. He didn't close it though, straightening. "KyuHyun, let Zhou Mi and RyeoWook know not to come in here."
"Yes sir," KyuHyun saluted, leaving the room to go find the other two.
Glancing at JungMin, who was obviously not happy, HyunJoong sighed softly and smiled at them both. "We'll speak with them tomorrow." The redhead nodded.
"Looking forward to it," HyungJoon said, wincing slightly. He took JungMin's hand and pulled him slightly towards the door. We going to hide in our room all night?
Yes please. JungMin followed after HyungJoon, fingers curling around the engineer's. So how long before I can punch one of them?
Let's see if you can last a week, HyungJoon said, smirking slightly as he glanced over at JungMin. If I don't punch them first.
Count to three? JungMin sighed softly as they returned to their room, closing the door behind them. He pushed HyungJoon against the wall, burying his nose in the younger man's shoulder. They can say whatever the hell they want about me, but if they take a crack at you again I'm not stopping myself.
"I can take care of myself," HyungJoon whispered into JungMin's ear, his arms going around his boyfriend's shoulders. "Don't start an incident because those assholes don't know how to be nice."
"Technically they're starting it by being asses, and I'll argue the fact to their council," JungMin mumbled. "Tell them to ship those two back and bring someone who is actually interested in the mission, and not sabotaging public relations."
"A little late now," HyungJoon snorted, tucking his fingers under JungMin's chin to lift up his face to see his eyes. "Why do you let them get to you like that?"
Looking up into HyungJoon's eyes, JungMin rested their foreheads together. "I can't help it," he mumbled. "They're closer to my age than any of these other Shinbi we've been meeting. If I'd grown up on the colony like I should have been then I might be exactly like them. I guess that bothers me a bit." And didn't anyone want to be accepted at least a little?
"I doubt that, you might actually have liked humans if you hadn't gone through what you had," HyungJoon said. "Those two are just assholes."
"Why would I like humans? Shinbi have had no exposure to other races for generations." JungMin shook his head. "I doubt I would be any different. They probably have the same opinion as other Shinbi our age."
"Hey... don't compare yourself to them," HyungJoon said, touching JungMin's cheek. "You're not like them."
"Thanks to you," JungMin wrinkled his nose a little at the human, but leaned into the touch, closing his eyes. "Maybe I'm just overthinking things...I knew this whole mission was going to be a pain in the ass before they even got here."
"Yeah, and that probably didn't help," HyungJoon said, stroking his thumb over JungMin's cheek. "You're so used to having to fight with everyone, including me, that's what you got yourself psyched up for. We'll just have to figure out a way to get them to let their guard down, just like you did."
Listening to HyungJoon, JungMin nodded after a moment. It was strange, how sometimes HyungJoon seemed to understand why he did things more than he did himself. "Maybe," he murmured, opening his eyes to look at the other man. "Can we figure out how to do that later?"
"Yeah, later," HyungJoon nodded, leaning in to give JungMin a soft kiss. Forget about them for right now.
Lips curling into a smile, JungMin returned the kiss, one arm looping around HyungJoon's waist to hold them close. He had something much better to think about now.
Despite trying to get a hold of the two Shinbi for most of the evening (more so on HyunJoong's part than JungMin's), they refused to answer their coms or even knocks on the door. It wasn't until the following morning when KyuJong was finally able to talk to one of them, asking them to come to the bridge to talk.
Of course, talking with the Shinbi meant JungMin had to be there to translate, and that meant waking him and HyungJoon up. KyuJong took a deep breath, not looking forward to it. Reaching for the coms, he pressed down the button on the terminal. "JungMin? HyungJoon?"
Stirring at the beep from the com by the door, JungMin automatically threw his pillow at it before burying his face against HyungJoon's bare shoulder. KyuJong's voice reached him after a moment and he woke up a little more, lifting his head up to blink blearily at the communicator.
Sighing as he figured he'd have to answer, JungMin rolled out of bed and padded over to the wall terminal, pressing the button on it. "Yeah?"
"The Shinbi are on their way to the bridge, the Captain needs you up here," KyuJong said. "Sorry to be the bearer of bad news."
"Fine, I'll be there in five," JungMin rubbed his face to wake up a little before turning off the terminal. He glanced back at the bed where HyungJoon was still snoring, and decided against waking him up for now. With luck, this would be over fast and he could just sneak back to rejoin him in sleep.
Washing up and changing quickly, he was on his way to the bridge before long. "Hey," he nodded to the Captain and KyuJong when he got there, glancing at Kevin and SooHyun before standing out of the way of the door.
"Thank you for coming JungMin," HyunJoong smiled lightly at him, before turning to the two ambassadors. "We were trying to contact you yesterday but you weren't answering any called. One of my crew found something inside the stasis pod my brother arrived in. A box, no one's opened it."
Kevin exchanged a look with SooHyun, obviously worried before looking back at the Captain. "Show us?"
KyuJong jumped when the coms went off behind him. "Captain? Are you up there?" That was KiSeop, yelling into the com lines. Turning around, KyuJong answered.
"We're in the middle of something, is everything okay down there?" KyuJong replied.
HyunJoong was up from his chair at that, the back slamming into the table. "What?! I thought he was being kept asleep and the infirmary was under quarantine?"
SooHyun looked at Kevin with wide eyes before turning to JungMin. This was the first time the redhead had seen him look scared. "Where is this box?"
"With the stasis pod in shuttle bay," JungMin said, and wasn't able to say anything else as the Shinbi left the room in a hurry.
"What do you mean gone, KiSeop," KyuJong said, his fingers shaking.
"I left the room to get something to eat, and when I came back, he was gone. He had enough sleeping drugs to put down a Krathian elephant, I don't know where he is."
"We'll be right there," KyuJong said, ending the call and turning to HyunJoong with wide eyes as he got to his feet. "He couldn't have gotten far, wherever he went."
HyunJoong shook his head, going to the door. "We have to find him." His brother was in no condition to be up and about...and the fact that he was with so much medication in him said something was very, very wrong. He ran out into the hallway, pulling out his communicator as he went. Activating the shipwide coms, he forced his voice to be calm. "All crew to attention, we have a patient missing from the infirmary. Search all levels of the ship."
Rise and shine HyungJoon! JungMin yelled at his boyfriend mentally as he followed HyunJoong out and took a different direction, in the direction SooHyun had gone. We've got a problem!
Huh? HyungJoon replied sleepily. What's going on Min?
YoungJoong took off while KiSeop wasn't looking. Humans aren't supposed to be able to move when doped up on that much medicine, so I'd say we have a very, very big problem.
... Yeah that's definitely a problem, where are you going, I'll meet you there, HyungJoon responded, kicking the blankets off his feet and getting up, snatching some clothes from the floor to pull on.
SooHyun took off for the shuttle bay, I'm following him! Something had made the other Shinbi rush off in a hurry, and JungMin had a bad, bad feeling about it.
He caught up with SooHyun at the shuttle bay, the ambassador looking around. "Where is it?" he looked back at JungMin.
"It was right there," JungMin went to the stasis pod, looking down into the small compartment.
The box was gone.
Kevin had followed JungMin into the shuttle bay, his coloring a swirling mass of dark blue and gray. "I told you, he needed to be put into stasis!" he snapped, looking at JungMin, silver eyes blazing. "You wouldn't listen to me, none of you stupid rocks would and now... we're all dead."
The overhead coms went off again, KyuJong sounding panicked. "Captain! Reactor containment has been breached!"
Stopping, HyunJoong paled and held his com device up. "Clear the lower level and seal it off!" They had to isolate the incident, or the ship—
A low rumbling noise grew from the belly of the ship, the vessel shuddering as something gave way. Falling to the floor, HyunJoong climbed back to his feet and set off running. He had to find YoungJoong.
"Captain! We've searched the lower level and can't find him anywhere, sealing the hallways now!" RyeoWook's voice came over the com lines.
KyuHyun's voice came over the speakers next. "No good, the mechanism's jammed, it's not going to close!"
"Hyun," KyuJong had patched in to a direct line to HyunJoong, his voice shaky. "We have to abandon the ship. We have... half an hour before the outer hull gives way, and if we can't seal off the lower decks..." he didn't have to continue, HyunJoong knew what would happen.
Abandon ship. HyunJoong had reached that conclusion the same time KyuJong had, but hadn't wanted to admit it to himself. This was the Proteus, his grandma ship scrapped together out of ill-fitting parts and more than a little elbow grease. She had gotten them out of Federation space when they were running for their lives, through the deadly Faction space, and past the final, explosive fight against Sylar. His first ship, the ship that had never let him down, the ship he'd hoped he'd live out the rest of his life in.
Slumping against the wall, HyunJoong shut his eyes tightly. Not this way. He had never thought it would end this way...but there was no choice.
"Send out the distress beacon, have them prepare the shuttle and grab what they can," he said quietly into the line. "Prepare the ship for evacuation."
He had to find YoungJoong. Pushing away from the wall, HyunJoong ran down the hallway.