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
HyungJoon stilled in the middle of the hallway when he heard KyuJong coming over the com lines again.
"All hands, abandon ship," the pilot said as calmly as possible. "Hull breach in 28 minutes. All hands to the shuttle for immediate evacuation."
What the hell is going on? HyungJoon snapped at JungMin, turning back around to their quarters. I'm grabbing our stuff, I'll be right there Min, I promise
You better be! JungMin looked up at the speakers before turning back to the two Shinbi. "Grab whatever you can and get back here, we have to abandon ship."
"This should have never happened." SooHyun left at a jog. JungMin didn't spare any time thinking about them, running to the shuttle and hopping up inside to power up.
KyuJong was doing what he could on the bridge, but nothing seemed to be working. Panels were shorting out all around him, navigation was dead and all internal sensors were gone. Setting up the distress beacon, he blinked at the emergency display, mouth opening slightly. "Oh no..." spinning around in his chair, he shot out of the bridge, flying down the ladder to get to his and HyunJoong's room. Ten minutes. He kept time mentally, throwing things into a bag, all the pictures and tiny mementos that meant so much to them thrust in with their clothes. Anything else would have to be left behind.
Throwing the bag over his shoulder, he pulled out his com device, praying those at least would still work. "HyunJoong, we have to go now."
HyunJoong had searched through the entire ship, but there was no sign of his brother. He knew every nook and cranny of the ship, why couldn't he find him? Doubling back to look again, he held the com device close to his face. "I can't find him Kyu, we can't leave without him!"
Losing the ship was one thing...he couldn't lose family, not ever. Not when he'd finally found his brother again, was going to bring him back to his parents, back home. He had to find him.
"He's gone, Hyun," KyuJong replied. "He took one of the escape pods. I don't know why, or how far he thinks he'll make it, but he's gone."
"No!" HyunJoong slumped against the wall, eyes wide and unseeing. An escape pod would be near impossible to track...and only had limited fuel and oxygen. As far out as they were from habited space, it was only a little better than stepping right out the airlock.
"I'm sorry, so sorry," KyuJong whispered. "Please, we need to leave. I'm almost to the shuttle, where are you?"
Swallowing thickly, HyunJoong screwed his eyes shut against the tears. He'd lost his brother, this time for good. "Top level...I'll be there." He turned off the communicator and wiped at his eyes before running down the corridor.
By the time KyuJong got to the shuttle, everyone but the Captain was there. The two Shinbi ambassadors looked pissed and scared, Zhou Mi was clinging tightly to KyuHyun and HyungJoon was head first into an access panel.
"What's going on? Why isn't the shuttle started?" KyuJong said, moving around people to get to the pilot's seat.
"HyungJoon says something's wrong," KiSeop said, his long fingers clinging tightly to a metal box.
"How much time do we have left?" RyeoWook swayed and held onto the shuttle wall when the ship shuddered again, red lights flashing.
"Minutes, where is the Captain?" JungMin leaned out of the shuttle, looking for HyunJoong.
"He's on his way," KyuJong said, looking down at the controls. "How are we coming Joon?"
"Just a second, almost.... there, got it! Try it now," HyungJoon said, pulling himself out of the panel and looking at KyuJong expectantly.
Going through the starting sequence, KyuJong breathed a sigh of relief when the power inside the shuttle came on, his panel lighting up again. "Thank you Joon."
"No problem, someone did a really bad job of sabotage," HyungJoon said, closing up the panel. "Pulling out a few handfuls of wire doesn't do much when you can just bypass it."
Nodding, KyuJong pulled out his com device. "Captain, hurry, five minutes."
The radiation was creeping up the hallways, HyunJoong could feel it in his lungs as he ran to the shuttle bay. It wouldn't be long before the entire ship went up in an explosion. Would they even be able to get clear? He heard KyuJong's voice just before he turned into the shuttle bay, coughing as he ran to the shuttle.
"Get on!" JungMin got out of the way and helped him on the shuttle before closing the airlocks, securing them.
"Opening shuttle bay doors," KyuJong said, watching the doors open slowly, too slowly for comfort. They weren't even open all the way when he slowly lifted the shuttle off the launch pad and nosed forward. He could feel his heart hammering in his chest, knowing they were running out of time. There was a set distance they needed to be before they would be safe. "Clear of the bay," he said, voice shaking as he hit the thrusters, the shuttle shooting forward and away from the ship.
"How much..." HyungJoon started, cut off by a beeping noise on the panel. KyuJong slowed the shuttle to a stop, slowly coming about to face the Proteus. Their home for the past two years. They watched in horror as the hull finally gave way, the ship splitting in two. There were small pockets of explosions where oxygen met with the radioactive material, the fires quickly snuffed out.
There was silence through the shuttle. HyunJoong had closed his eyes and bowed his head, unable to watch as his ship was destroyed. Beyond repair this time. Speechless and in shock, JungMin found HyungJoon's hand and took it as he watched the debris slowly drift apart.
"...I'm sorry, sir...” RyeoWook whispered, tears bright in his eyes as he leaned against Zhou Mi.
Taking in a slow breath, KyuJong looked down at the control panel, one hand reaching over to touch HyunJoong's shoulder lightly. He knew how hard HyunJoong would take this, and it would be a while before he had recovered. The Proteus had always been more than a ship to him, to all of them. "I'll set a course to the nearest outpost, we'll figure out what to do from there," he whispered.
There was no reply, not that they'd expected one. At least their two Shinbi guests seemed to have the insight to remain quiet, staying at the back of the shuttle.
JungMin looked down at the control panel when something started beeping. "What's that?" They were being hailed, the speakers turning on.
"Proteus, come in." Through the loud static was a familiar voice. "Is anyone out there?"
KyuJong blinked, pressing a few buttons. "Oh my..." he said, a small smile forming as he recognized the ship on the sensors. "It's the Pandora." Leaning forward, he answered the hail. "Pandora, this is the shuttle Nereus... JongWoon?"
"KyuJong? Is everyone okay? We got the distress signal...send us your coordinates and stay put, we'll be right there."
"Everyone's fine," KyuJong said, breathing a small sigh of relief. "We can talk more when you get here, sending coordinates now," he said, looking to HyunJoong as he pressed a couple more buttons on the console.
"We're lucky someone was nearby," JungMin said quietly, running his thumb along the back of HyungJoon's hand. Even luckier it was the Pandora.
It wasn't long before the ship appeared overhead, drawing closer. The vessel slowed before the large airlock in the side opened.
"It's nice to see you again Pandora," KyuJong said quietly to himself, waiting for docking clearance before slowly moving the shuttle into the bay and setting her down. Powering down the shuttle, he glanced at HyunJoong again worriedly, his husband being far too quiet.
"Someone get this door open," HyungJoon huffed, tapping at the airlock controls until they finally released.
Slinging their bag over his shoulder, JungMin stepped off the shuttle and looked around at the bay. It had been a few months since any of them had seen the Pandora. He just wished it had been under better conditions.
The others were climbing out of the shuttle slowly, KyuJong and HyunJoong bringing up the rear, when the door above them slid open. "Guys!" JongWoon practically ran down the stairs from the catwalk. "You're all okay!"
"JongWoon!" HyungJoon abandoned JungMin for his best friend, running right at him and nearly knocking them both over onto the floor in the hug. "Oh god JongWoon I am so glad to see you," he breathed, holding onto him for dear life.
KyuJong closed the door of the shuttle behind them once they were all out, he looked up at the catwalk to the figure standing there. He followed YoungSaeng's eyes to the two Shinbi ambassadors, the shifter's expression cool and wary as he started down the stairs. "JungMin, you picked up some strays?"
"Long story." JungMin glanced towards Kevin and SooHyun, who from the look they were giving YoungSaeng recognized him as another Shinbi as well. "We'll tell you all about it. Do you have room?"
"Of course we have room, we always have room for you," JongWoon hugged HyungJoon back tightly before pulling back slightly to look at his friend, eyes worried. They'd seen the debris that remained of the Proteus as they approached. He glanced at HyunJoong, seeing the Captain had yet to speak, eyes distant.
"Why don't you go put your stuff in your rooms," JongWoon hugged HyungJoon again before stepping back. "We'll talk soon. I'll get a spare room set up for your...guests?" He looked at Kevin and SooHyun before starting back towards the stairs, pulling HyungJoon with him.
"I guess we have a lot to talk about then," YoungSaeng said to JungMin, returning the looks he was getting from the Shinbi. "We were actually coming out to meet you at the trading post, but then we got the distress call. We'll be stopping by there first to resupply," he said, glancing towards KyuJong who was trying to get HyunJoong to move towards the stairs, the pilot speaking in small whispers to the Captain.
JungMin followed them towards the stairs, climbing up. He gave YoungSaeng a tense but relieved smile, pulling him into a hug. "Glad to see you. HyungJoon and I will tell you what happened once we get the others to rooms, okay? I think HyunJoong's in shock," he murmured into YoungSaeng's ear, letting go of him. He looked back at Kevin and SooHyun, who were walking ahead of KyuJong and HyunJoong. "Whether you two are present for talks is up to you, the Captain of this ship is getting you both a room."
Kevin looked at SooHyun, then turned back to JungMin. "We would like to be present. Anything that happens on this ship would concern us, as well as finding out more about what happened."
"That's what I'd like to know as well," YoungSaeng said, his lips pursed slightly. After reaching the cat walk and stepping out through the hatch, YoungSaeng turned to KyuJong and HyunJoong. "Kyu, your room is still the same, we'll see you two in the mess hall, okay?"
KyuJong nodded, his arm around HyunJoong's waist. "Thank you, Saeng," he said, turning himself and HyunJoong toward the stairs to the lower levels.
JongWoon led the group towards the mess hall, glancing back at them worriedly. He stopped a young wiry-looking teen dressed in the crew's uniform, speaking with him quickly before sending him off. "Will those two be okay sharing a room?" JongWoon looked back at HyungJoon as they kept going. "We don't have many rooms left."
"Beats me," HyungJoon shrugged slightly. "I should hope so, they always seem to be in one or the others room on the...." he trailed off, looking away. "Yeah, it'll be fine. If they have a problem with it then they can go sleep in the reactor for all I care."
Eyes saddening, JongWoon wrapped his arm around HyungJoon's shoulders. He wanted to ask what had happened, but it would be better for them all to be sitting.
They arrived at the mess hall a minute later, JongWoon going to sit down at a long table. He looked around at them as they all sat down. "What happened out there?" he asked quietly. "Why was the ship..."
"Not sure where to start," JungMin sighed, staying beside HyungJoon. "The ship was sabotaged."
"Sabotaged?" YoungSaeng's eyes narrowed, looking to the Shinbi first and then back at JungMin. "By who?"
"We're not certain, but pretty sure it was HyunJoong's brother," HyungJoon said, looking down at the table.
"Wait... what?" YoungSaeng blinked. "Since when did HyunJoong have a brother?"
"Perhaps we should start from the beginning?" KiSeop said, tapping his long fingers on the table. "Seems the easiest way to make everything make sense."
"...Right, we can start with who this is," YoungSaeng said, pointing at KiSeop.
"This is KiSeop, our medic," RyeoWook introduced the alien. "Like JongWoon hyung pointed out last time, it wasn't such a good idea for us to be traveling around without a medic while you guys were gone."
"That's some weight off my shoulders," JongWoon smiled lightly at the alien, before looking at the two new Shinbi. "What about..."
"We're participating in a project with the Shinbi council," JungMin said, sitting up straighter. "SungMin and Xander are with them right now as ambassadors, and these two are with us in exchange. This is Kevin and SooHyun," he introduced them both.
SooHyun was frowning at YoungSaeng. "You are Shinbi as well...why do you take that form?"
"Can he understand common language?" YoungSaeng looked to JungMin and HyungJoon, the latter nodding. "Because I like this form, it's easy to talk to the crew, and my boyfriend likes the ass that comes with this form, is that enough for you?"
HyungJoon snorted, covering his mouth with his hand.
JongWoon turned bright red. "We're not talking about that now," he huffed, looking back at the others. "Okay, so what else happened? How did HyunJoong's brother get involved?"
JungMin sobered again. "We answered a distress beacon that was coming from the ship his brother was on. He was the only one on board, and it's been missing for 6 years. We got him back to the ship in the stasis pod he was in, and HyungJoon nabbed their ship's recorder to figure out what happened. While he was in the infirmary, we found out that according to the recorder, the ship had disappeared for four years straight."
"Disappeared?" JongWoon blinked. "What do you mean?"
"As in, it was wiped completely off the map, nothing was shown to have been operating. Until fourteen months ago when it suddenly reappeared in the exact same spot before crashing into an asteroid field and getting stuck there."
"How can a ship just disappear?" YoungSaeng frowned slightly. "Where is his brother now?"
"...Don't know," KiSeop said. "He was supposed to have been sleeping in the med bay, but he disappeared just before the reactor..."
"Our ambassadors here told us that he could have been infected by something," HyungJoon said. "Don't know what happened to him, but if he was still on the ship, then I guess it doesn't matter."
"...Poor HyunJoong...” JongWoon looked down. "I'm sorry, I don't know what we can do."
"There's not much that can be done now," JungMin shook his head. "These two want to find a Shinbi ship so they can tell the council what's happened."
"There's always a bunch around, we'll probably find one or two near the trading post," JongWoon lifted his head and smiled at Kevin and SooHyun.
Kevin returned JongWoon's gaze, but his expression wasn't friendly before he looked to YoungSaeng. "We wish to be shown our rooms. We will be leaving with the next Shinbi ship that we encounter, as all of our belongings and supplies were on board the ship."
YoungSaeng lifted an eyebrow, glancing at JungMin before looking back at the Shinbi. "I don't think that's your call to make, you are on an ambassador mission. Ambassador's shouldn't tuck tail and run at the first sign of trouble. Far as I remember, the Empire frowns on disobeying orders."
SooHyun looked at YoungSaeng, eyes narrowed slightly. "The Empire's orders are of no concern to rocks and their impersonators,"
"And I thought we could get through an hour without name-calling," JungMin scowled, glancing at YoungSaeng. "Let them do what they want, at least if they're in a room somewhere they're out of our hair."
YoungSaeng's eyes flashed silver, his skin rippling as he shifted into his Shinbi form. "How dare you sit there and insult us, and our friends," he said, his tone even and dangerous. "I am as much a Shinbi as you are, and if you dare suggest otherwise again, you can try getting home the long way after I shove you out the airlock."
"A true Shinbi wouldn't use threats," Kevin said, meeting YoungSaeng's gaze. "You are no longer Shinbi, neither of you. You are sagi," he said, getting to his feet and looking to JongWoon, ignoring YoungSaeng who had gotten to his feet as well. "Rooms... please."
Eyes wide as he listened to what was being said through YoungSaeng, JongWoon placed his hand lightly against his boyfriend's arm as he stood. "Of course, please follow me," he nodded, glancing at YoungSaeng beside him.
Let it go, it's not worth a fight, he whispered into YoungSaeng's mind, trying to calm the other man before he could do something drastic. I'll show them to their room and be right back. Squeezing YoungSaeng's arm lightly, he stepped away and towards the door.
Once the two Shinbi were gone after JongWoon, JungMin wrinkled his nose at YoungSaeng. "Now you see how my week has been like."
"Arrogant assholes," YoungSaeng was still bristling, trying to calm down. "If they want to leave, let them. I'm done with the Shinbi."
"I thought you were supposed to be the calmer one between us, what happened," JungMin sighed. "Sit down Saeng. Enough about them, what have you and JongWoon been up to?"
YoungSaeng slowly shifted back into human form, shaking out his hair as he sat back down. "Sorry, I'm just really tired," he said, sighing a little and leaning back in his chair. "We just got down with a very exhausting trade negotiation between Valis and the Arcanan Principality. We were at for... six weeks. Any patience I had was used up in that."
"Yikes," RyeoWook intoned softly. "That strain of government doesn't seem like the easiest to deal with."
"At least it's over, and you got through it without bashing anyone's head in...I hope," JungMin snorted.
"Barely," YoungSaeng said, looking around at each of them. "I'm glad you're all okay though. Was there anything else you would all need right now? Other than rest."
HyungJoon shook his head, looking down at the table. "I guess... a place on the ship," he said. "We're all kind of out of a job right now."
"Job, and home," RyeoWook murmured, leaning against Zhou Mi.
"I know you must have a few crew members running around already, but think there would be room for a few more?" JungMin looked up at YoungSaeng.
"I'll have to talk it over with the Captain," YoungSaeng said, a smile tugging at his lips. "But as it is we're running on a skeleton crew, so I don't see why we wouldn't be able to to take a few more hands on." His attention turned to JungMin. "I don't know what kind of job you could take though. Hired muscle? The pay is pretty dismal, we're just a transport ship."
"Ha ha, very funny," JungMin swatted at YoungSaeng's shoulder. "I think dealing with the ambassadors is a full-time job by itself."
"They were driving him absolutely batty," KyuHyun snorted, and cringed back when JungMin glared at him.
"I can see why," YoungSaeng nodded. "Well, hopefully we won't have to deal with them much longer. If the rest of you want to go find your quarters and get some rest, I have a surprise for JungMin and HyungJoon waiting."
"Surprise?" JungMin eyed YoungSaeng warily. "This isn't a prank again, is it."
"Back," JongWoon popped up in the door to hear JungMin. "Oh, right! Come on, come on," He grinned widely and disappeared again.
"I wouldn't prank you, JungMin," YoungSaeng said innocently, shooing the two out of their seats and towards the door. "See, we were actually looking for you. After we had finished with the negotiations, we had to stop near Fed borders to drop off some passengers," he said mildly.
"And?" HyungJoon glanced back at him over his shoulder, following JungMin out into the corridor.
"And we may have picked up our own little stray," YoungSaeng said vaguely with a bright smile.
"Stray?" Now JungMin was really suspicious. "It's not GyuRi is it, I thought her ship-hopping days were over."
"No, it's not GyuRi," JongWoon grinned, waiting for YoungSaeng to catch up before continuing. They went to the lower level where the crew quarters were.
"So who is it?" JungMin asked as JongWoon stopped them at a door, knocking on it loudly and scooting back. Hearing the door unlock, he blinked when the door was opened by...HyungJoon?
"Hyung!" The doppelganger stepped forward and pulled HyungJoon into a hug.
HyungJoon's eyes widened, mouth open in shock as he was pulled into the hug. He couldn't even form the word that was at the tip of his tongue. "W-wha... I... KiBum?!" he managed to get out, his arms going around his little brother and hugging him tightly. "What are you doing here?!"
Grip tightening, KiBum punched HyungJoon lightly on the shoulder. "To find you, of course. You think you can just leave me stranded for a few years like that? No visits or anything!"
"I'm sorry," HyungJoon pouted, holding his brother close. "It wasn't safe, it's still not safe. I told you I would send for you when you could come out here... you have really bad timing KiBum. Does Umma know where you are?"
"Sorta, I told her I was going to go see about a job near the border, you know I hate it back there," KiBum squirmed a little. "JongWoon and YoungSaeng were stopping there so I asked for a lift."
"Yeah, but you were safer back there," HyungJoon said with a soft sigh, pulling back to look his brother in the eye. "It's good to see you though, I did miss you."
"I missed you too," KiBum smiled at him. "And it can't be all that bad, you're out here aren't you," he teased.
"And that wasn't by choice at first," HyungJoon muttered, hooking his arm around KiBum's neck and turning him around. "Come here, there's someone I need to introduce you to," he said, giving JungMin a warning glance. You be nice to my little brother. "KiBum, this is my boyfriend, JungMin."
What are you talking about, I'm always nice, JungMin sniffed mentally before smiling at KiBum. "Nice to meet you." He'd never been introduced to any of HyungJoon's family before, a little nervous. At least he was in human form, that other surprise could wait a bit.
"...Nice to meet you too," KiBum looked at him warily for a moment before looking back at HyungJoon. "You never told me you were into guys."
"I didn't think it was really something you needed to know," HyungJoon said, pinching his brother's arm. And it wasn't like HyungJoon only liked guys, sometimes he liked girls too, especially if they were JungMin.
Squawking at the pinch, KiBum squirmed out of HyungJoon's grip. "Fine, fine. You're going to give Umma a heart attack though," he grinned at his brother.
"Umma already knows," HyungJoon said, sticking his tongue out at him. "I told her not to tell you, that I would tell you when I was ready."
"Hey, how's that fair, why am I the last person to find out," KiBum huffed, punching HyungJoon's shoulder.
The scrawny teen from the ship's crew had appeared beside JongWoon's shoulder, curled horns and goat-like ears poking out of a mess of curly hair as he tugged on JongWoon's sleeve. "Oh, right," JongWoon blinked. "I'll go over the ship's roster and see if I can get you guys all in similar positions again," he smiled at HyungJoon. "I'll be back in a bit, okay?"
"Yah, I better not be some engineers flunky!" HyungJoon called after him.
"Don't worry, you're still the best engineer in this galaxy," YoungSaeng said with a smirk.
"Damn right I am," HyungJoon muttered, crossing his arms over his chest. "What about... the Captain though?" he said, looking up worriedly. "I mean, this ship has a Captain."
YoungSaeng's lips pursed slightly. "We'll have to discuss that later, maybe when he doesn't look like a zombie."
"Might be a while then," JungMin rubbed the back of his head, looking down. "He did lose both his brother and his ship."
"Ship?" KiBum blinked, looking at HyungJoon. "What happened to your ship?"
"It's a long story," HyungJoon sighed. "Someone sabotaged the containment system. She was destroyed."
"Oh." KiBum looked down. "Here, why don't we sit down and talk," he pulled HyungJoon into his room.
"I'll follow Saengie for a bit, give you two some brother bonding time," JungMin chuckled, slinging one arm around YoungSaeng's shoulders.
"Okay," HyungJoon nodded, giving JungMin a wave as he followed his brother.
"So, I don't know about you, but I want to find some nice quiet planet to settle on and never see another ambassador again, I don't care what species they are," YoungSaeng said, looking up at JungMin. "I think JongWoon's the only one who isn't an asshole."
"They're politicians, they're not supposed to be nice," JungMin walked down the hallway slowly beside YoungSaeng. "And JongWoon can be pushy when he wants to be."
"He can, now," YoungSaeng nodded. "I think having me standing behind him looking mean helps a bit," he chuckled.
"Yes, you're a force to be reckoned with," JungMin snorted, pulling YoungSaeng closer as they walked. "I missed you y'know, it's not the same us being all in different locations."
"No, it's not," YoungSaeng sighed, leaning against him. "Even before, when we were sent out to different locations, it wasn't so bad cause we were focused on our missions. I can't tell you enough how glad I was that it was you who I was paired up with for that final mission and not one of the others."
"I know, I don't think either of us would have survived in that case," JungMin shook his head, making a face. "Though I hear they're apparently getting better now, good for them. Still punching YoungWoon next time I see him."
"Punch him again for me," YoungSaeng chuckled softly. "I'm not sure who is worse. The others like us, or the other Shinbi."
"If there's a difference, it's a small one," JungMin snorted. "I'll actually be happy if those two somehow manage to convince the Empire to send them back, they've been nothing but pains in the ass."
"Seems like it," YoungSaeng said. "You said they mentioned something about an infection... any elaboration on what that infection would be?"
"An old Shinbi horror story come to life apparently," JungMin pursed his lips lightly. "Do you remember my dad telling us about the...what were they called again...Jeogui."
YoungSaeng stopped, looking up at JungMin with a frown. "Jeogui?" he asked quietly. "Yes, I remember, I also remember my mother telling me about it. Is that what they said this is?"
"Yeah," JungMin nodded. "They said HyunJoong's brother's ship must have found their prison, and that YoungJoong...his brother...was infected. I don't remember much about the story myself, just that it wasn't a good one."
"No... not good at all," YoungSaeng said, looking away. "I remember my mother telling me that the Jeogui steal the souls of whoever they touch, and only the Shinbi were powerful enough to stop them."
"Steal the souls?" JungMin frowned. "From what I was getting from the other two, it sounded more like some kind of sickness. Sounds like something the Empire would like us to believe though, that only Shinbi can stop them."
"Probably, but I remember clearly what my mother told me," YoungSaeng said. "That the Jeogui would infect those they came in contact with and steal their souls, except for the Shinbi. I don't really understand what it means either. Why would HyunJoong's brother, after being infected, sabotage the ship?"
"I have no idea," JungMin shook his head. "He had enough drugs in him to sleep straight into next year too. Unless infecting someone quadruples their reflexes and immune system, he shouldn't have even opened his eyes let alone gotten so far."
"And the new medic didn't catch anything wrong?" YoungSaeng frowned. "This sounds like it's going to go over our heads once the Fed learns about this."
"KiSeop checked for infections, illness, everything, he found nothing," JungMin shook his head. "Well, a high protein count, but nothing like an alien infection. And forget the Fed...I'm worried about HyunJoong. From what I heard, his brother's been MIA for six years. Finally finds him, only to find out he's infected with something right before he destroys the ship and himself along with it."
"That is... troublesome," YoungSaeng said quietly. "Probably would have preferred not finding his brother at all at that point. Hopefully KyuJong will be able to help him pull through it."
"Yeah. Though I wouldn't expect him to be in any shape for anything for a while." JungMin looked around the hallway. "So where are we going? Hide out somewhere? Or do you have some work to do."
"I don't have any work to do, I figured we could go and relax somewhere," YoungSaeng said, his lip quirking up slightly. "Maybe spar a little bit. You've gained weight," he chuckled, poking JungMin in the belly.
"I have not, you're the one who's chubby now," JungMin huffed, poking him back in the cheeks. "And I think most of the chubbiness ended up here."
YoungSaeng scowled, swatting at the hand. "Yah, I am not chubby, I've been keeping up on exercising, have you? And bedroom activities do not count!"
"I have been, believe it or not," JungMin went after his sides instead. "Want to test it for yourself?"
Squirming away from him, YoungSaeng punched JungMin in the arm before taking off down the corridor. "I can still kick your ass, horseface!"
"You never kicked my ass in the first place, water rat!" JungMin ran after him, grinning widely. He'd missed YoungSaeng tremendously, and a part of him might have actually been happy to be staying where he was longer.
Even if he wished it had been on the Proteus instead.