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08 March 2013 @ 10:49 pm
Decerto: Road to Freedom  
Title: Decerto: Road to Freedom
Chapter: 14/?
Fandoms: Super Junior, U-Kiss
Pairings: KyuHyun/Zhou Mi, Han Geng/HeeChul
Rating: R overall
Warning: AU, violence, angst
Summary: Taking place six years before the events of Decerto, the story of how a human and a slave started a revolution.

The chill of lingering spring had long since past and the warm days of summer were in full swing in New York City. There had been plenty of sunny days where the two had gone out to explore the park, and a few rainy days where it was nice to sit inside the hotel room and talk. The stress of working and finally shrugged off of Zhou Mi's shoulders and he was enjoying being able to wake up and plan out the day before finishing the first cup of coffee.

That didn't mean he had completely forgot about his responsibilities back home, but he tried not to think about them. Especially not when KyuHyun seemed to be enjoying his freedom here in another country. It had taken a lot of coaxing, but Zhou Mi had even persuaded KyuHyun to go out and explore by himself, get a real taste of what it was like to be free.

Though the added responsibility came with one small price. If KyuHyun went somewhere, he had to bring Zhou Mi back something. Whether it was a trinket or a delicious piece of cake or whatever Zhou Mi felt like having that day.

"KuiXian," Zhou Mi whined, flopping on the bed. "I want to take a bubble bath. Go see if the desk has any," he said with a pout.

"Huh?" KyuHyun looked up from the book he was reading, sprawled out next to the window just as he did back in Korea. Though this time the book on the floor in front of him was on the English language, because relying on Zhou Mi and the dictionaries had gotten them lost several times since arriving here. His accent was horrible, but if he could at least ask for basic directions then it was better than nothing. "Why me if you're taking the bath?"

"Because I'm feeling lazy," Zhou Mi pouted. "Can you just do me this one small favor please? You can order dinner while you're down there too. Two birds, one stone."

"...Oh fine," KyuHyun sighed, closing the book and climbing back to his feet. If he didn't go then Zhou Mi would never stop pouting. "I don't even know how to ask for bubble bath in English," he mumbled, snatching the korean-english dictionary off of the desk in the corner before heading to the door. "What for dinner?"

"Surprise me," Zhou Mi beamed, sitting up and kicking his legs back and forth. "Thank you KuiXian. I'll owe you a favor."

"Uh-huh," KyuHyun rolled his eyes, grabbing his room key and heading out the door. Maybe he'd order pizza, since Zhou Mi seemed to like it so much.

He took the elevator down to the main lobby, taking his time in looking around. It was still weird walking around without shadowing Zhou Mi, but he was slowly becoming comfortable on his own. Even if he could feel people staring at the scars around his neck far too often for his liking.

To his relief, the Chinese girl was working at the front desk. Good, he didn't have to figure out how to say things in English. "Hey," he said in Mandarin, stopping at the counter. "Do you keep any bubble bath here?"

Looking up from her book, the girl blinked a little at him before getting to her feet. "Bubble bath? Yes, we do," she nodded, eyes darting around. "You're alone?"

"Yeah, he was being lazy," KyuHyun rolled his eyes, leaning against the counter.

The girl leaned forward more, her voice dropping. "My name is Song Qian, and I can help you."

"..." KyuHyun's eyes narrowed in confusion, and he glanced around to see they were alone. "What do you mean, help me," he asked lowly.

"I have friends, they help people like us, like you," the girl said. "We can get you away from him, free you from being a slave."

The snake stared at her in surprise. Free him from slavery? "How? I'm still..." He automatically reached up to touch his neck, but his collar wasn't there. Hadn't been since the first day here. "He has all my paperwork, everything."

"You don't need it," she shook her head. "We can set you up with a life here, a real life. He'll never find you." She quieted down when a couple walked by the desk, looking down. "Meet me in the parking garage at midnight. That's when my shift ends."

KyuHyun memorized that, nodding slowly. Could he really...be free? It was something he'd never really thought about before coming here, believing it an unattainable dream. "I'll be there," he murmured.

"Good... I'll get that bubble bath for you," she said, turning to a storage closet and disappearing inside. She returned with the bottle and handed it to him. "Don't be late."

"Thanks," KyuHyun took the bottle. "He also wants me to order some pizza. These 'friends', they helped you?"

"What kind of pizza?" she asked, pulling out a pad of paper and a pen. "They did, they've helped hundreds of Signs who have come here with their masters."

The snake nodded slowly, thinking about that. "Uh...all dressed." Zhou Mi had liked that last time. "Why have I never heard of this before?"

"How could you?" Qian asked, looking up at him. "Would your master have brought you here if he knew? And if he did know, would he have told you? Signs go missing all the time, the owners don't take the time to look for them, they just get a new one."

Would Zhou Mi just get another slave once he was gone? KyuHyun's brow furrowed slightly and he nodded. "Okay. Thanks." He turned and headed back towards the elevator, not sure what to think. The idea that he could be free was overwhelming.

Finally he got back to the suite, unlocked the door and stepping in. "Here's your bubble bath."

"Oh, thank you," Zhou Mi hopped to his feet and crossed the room to meet KyuHyun. "Thank you KuiXian, I appreciate it. You ordered food too yes?" He blinked at the snake's expression. "Something wrong?"

"Hm?" KyuHyun blinked repeatedly, shaking his head. "No. I ordered pizza, it'll be here by the time you're done your bath." He held out the small bottle to the human.

"Okay," Zhou Mi said, accepting the bottle. "I'll leave enough for you, if you want to take a bath later."

The snake nodded, distracted by what Qian had told him. "Okay, thanks." Slipping off his shoes, he headed back towards the window and the book he'd been reading.

Zhou Mi watched him, brows furrowed. Something was trouble KyuHyun, that much was obvious. Zhou Mi wondered if he had done something wrong, but couldn't think of anything. Besides the pouting and demands for KyuHyun to get him things... but that wasn't anything new. Sighing a little, Zhou Mi disappeared into the bathroom and ran his bath. If KyuHyun wanted to talk about it later he would. At least he hoped KyuHyun would.

Emerging from the bathroom freshly washed a good forty five minutes later. Wrapped up in the complimentary fuzzy robe and hair twisted up into a towel, he sighed happily and draped himself onto a chair. "I love baths."

KyuHyun had moved from the window to the couch by then; the sun was behind the skyscrapers, and the warm spot by the glass was gone. He looked up from the book he'd been trying to read, but hadn't really been able to focus on. "You turn into a prune yet?"

"A happy prune," Zhou Mi grinned, holding up his fingers and wiggling them a little. "A small price to pay for being absolutely relaxed."

The other man shook his head, looking back down at his book. "You rarely took baths back in the apartment."

"That's because I didn't have any good bubble bath," Zhou Mi said. "There's something about a vacation that just demands taking one good long bath. Especially in a tub with massage jets. You should try it."

"Maybe," KyuHyun shrugged. He looked up when there was a knock on the door. "Probably the food." Standing, he walked to the door.

He returned with the box of pizza, setting it on a table and going to get two plates.

"Is everything okay?" Zhou Mi asked, following over to the table and sitting down.

"Yeah," KyuHyun glanced at Zhou Mi before looking away, placing the plates down and opening the box to give them each a couple slices. "Was this the kind you like?"

"I'm not picky," Zhou Mi said, taking a bite. He ate in silence for a moment before sighing. "Did I do something wrong KuiXian? If I did, please tell me so I can fix it."

KyuHyun frowned slightly. "You didn't do anything wrong. I'm...I was just thinking, it's nothing." He picked off the toppings from the pizza, eating them slowly.

"Thinking about what?" Zhou Mi asked. "Whatever it is, it seems to be bother you so it can't be nothing. You still don't trust me enough to talk to me do you."

The snake's lips thinned and he looked towards the window. "I just don't see a point to talking about it. I was wondering that...if I'd died in the arena that day, what kind of Sign you'd buy to replace me."

Eyes widening at the question, Zhou Mi pushed the plate away. "KuiXian, if you had died in the arena... which is not something I ever want to think about again... I would never have considered purchasing another slave. No one can replace you. Ever."

KyuHyun glanced at him. "I am replaceable though. There'll always be other snakes. Just like that dog was replaceable, easily. Less than five minutes after he died he was replaced."

Wincing slightly at that, Zhou Mi looked down at the table. "There may be other snakes, but there's only one KuiXian. As far as the dog is concerned, he can never truly be replaced either. He was a life that was taken unfairly, and that's something I hope to change."

"How? The games need a referee," KyuHyun looked down at his pizza, picking at it absently. "And you know they'll never send a human down there."

"The games need a referee, but we can make sure that they aren't put in danger," Zhou Mi said. "It's bad enough the fighters are killed, and one day I hope that's put to an end." Shifting a little, he sat up straighter in his chair. "Before the next season starts, I'm going to make sure the referees are kept safe from harm. By designing arenas that gives the referee a place to be without getting in the way, or giving them a private box for the first tiers... anything to make sure they are not another casualty."

Blinking at Zhou Mi in surprise, KyuHyun wasn't sure what to make of that. "The Gaming Commission will go for an idea like that? I always thought they viewed the referee running for his life as half the fun."

"They'll go for it because I'm presenting to them an alternative to buying another slave year after year," Zhou Mi said. "That costs a lot of money, plus the training involved. Put in a referee who can interact with the crowd, make the crowd love whoever it is to keep people interested even if the match is over too quickly."

"The crowd, love a Sign?" KyuHyun shook his head. "You think that'll work out?"

"I have to think it will, otherwise I'll never convince the commissioner to do it," Zhou Mi said. "And I'd have to find the perfect sign to do it, one that anyone would like. It may seem a small thing, but it's a start, right?"

Looking down at his food, KyuHyun nodded. "Yeah...it's a start." Zhou Mi was really serious about this. He wanted to make a difference to those who lived in the arena. "At least it would mean one less death."

"And from there, we can do more," Zhou Mi said. "I'm so close to becoming commissioner, that's when I can really make a difference. If you're still with me in this. If you're not, then we'll find another way."

KyuHyun ignored the guilty twinge. "I don't want to think about it right now."

"...You're right, I'm sorry," Zhou Mi nodded, pulling his plate back closer and beginning to eat again. "We won't think about such horrible things until absolutely necessary, or ever again if you don't want to."

"You mean that?" The snake watched Zhou Mi's expression, brow furrowed slightly.

"Of course," Zhou Mi said, looking back up at him again. "Your comfort is more important to me than anything else."

Meeting Zhou Mi's eyes for a long moment, KyuHyun looked away finally. The corners of his lips quirked slightly. "...What do you want to do tonight? Just relax?"

"Relaxing sounds wonderful," Zhou Mi nodded, glancing towards the window. "I was hoping one of these days we could go down and check out a show on broadway, but I'm not going anywhere in the rain."

KyuHyun followed Zhou Mi's gaze to the window. "Well...we can go see something when it clears up," he said after a pause.

"I'd like that," Zhou Mi said, smiling a little. "As long as you want to. I merely suggest it as something to do. This is still your vacation and you can do whatever you want."

"I've never seen a show before," KyuHyun shrugged. "Why not. We're not going to understand a word of it though."

"So? It's still an experience," Zhou Mi said. "And I thought you were studying english, you know more than I do at this point."

"Not enough to understand a play," KyuHyun snorted, glancing at Zhou Mi. "I'm not that quick."

"Then we can find one that doesn't have any words, or just enjoy the music and the bright lights," Zhou Mi said, resting his chin in one hand, food forgotten. "I'm proud of you, you know. First you learn Mandarin, and then you go on and try to tackle another language. I'm so proud of your progress."

KyuHyun blinked in confusion at both Zhou Mi's words and the expression on his face. "Uh...thanks? What progress?"

"When you first came to live with me, you'd stand around staring at me, waiting for me to tell you what to do," Zhou Mi said. "Now you jump at the chance to do something that you want to do. You don't wait on me, you have your own opinions on everything... I'm just so proud of you."

Not sure what to say to that, KyuHyun looked around awkwardly. "Well...I guess that would be because of you," he shrugged, rubbing the back of his head. As soon as he said that, he realized it was true. He wouldn't be anything like he was now without Zhou Mi.

"I won't take credit for all that you have accomplished," Zhou Mi said, shaking his head. "I may have pointed you in the right direction, but it was your choice to be your own person and do what you wanted to do. I couldn't make you do those things, think for yourself."

"That doesn't mean I'd be this with anyone else," KyuHyun rolled his eyes. "You don't have to be modest all the time." He put his chin down on the table, feeling tired.

"I'm not being modest," Zhou Mi blinked. "KuiXian... you know why I bought you from the breeding house, right? You were to help with my thesis, that a Sign could be his own individual self if given the proper encouragement. That's all I did, was encourage you."

KyuHyun smirked a little. "I hope I at least got you a decent grade. You never told me how you did on that thesis."

"I graduated didn't I? And landed myself a teaching job," Zhou Mi with a small smile. "I did very well, and even had it published. The reaction to the paper didn't go as well as I would have liked, but I have had a few letters that spoke of how I changed their look on Sign relations."

"I'd say you're doing good as a teacher too," KyuHyun murmured. "You had a couple more students stick it out the whole term than the last two semesters."

"I did, and only one of those was there because they needed one final credit to graduate," Zhou Mi chuckled. "It's going to take time for that part of..." he stopped and frowned, shaking his head. "No, we weren't going to talk about any of that. You look tired, shall we go to sleep?"

"Sure," KyuHyun straightened, rubbing his eyes and glancing at the clock absently. It was still a few more hours until midnight...Zhou Mi would be asleep by then. "Are you even tired?"

"I am actually," Zhou Mi nodded, getting to his feet and gathering up the plates. "The bath relaxed me almost a bit too much. Tomorrow we can do something fun, get out of the hotel room. Maybe go to the museum?"

KyuHyun forced his expression to stay the same. "Sure. See a bunch of old things, sounds fun," he drawled lazily, standing and closing up the box of leftover pizza. Walking into the small kitchenette, he placed the box in the fridge for tomorrow.

"Well if you don't want to go to a history museum, there's always the art museum or the science museum," Zhou Mi said, setting the plates in the sink to be washed later. "Or there's the library."

"Science museum?" KyuHyun's curiosity was piqued at that, glancing back at Zhou Mi.

"Just a suggestion," Zhou Mi chuckled. "We can decide in the morning and make our plans, okay?"

"Okay," KyuHyun nodded. He turned towards the windows, walking up to the glass to look out at the vast city. It was quite the sight at night, with all the signs lit up around them. Looking out for a minute, he reached out and closed the curtains.

Zhou Mi changed and got ready for bed, sliding under the covers and curling up. "I didn't figure you for being interested in science," he said, looking over at KyuHyun. "You surprise me every day."

KyuHyun shrugged, changing. "It's this mysterious thing I hear all the university students whining about, maybe I just want to see what all the fuss is."

"I guess we'll see then," Zhou Mi smiled, closing his eyes. "And if there's anywhere else you want to go, we can go. I like being able to spend this time with you KuiXian."

The snake stilled, looking down at the human in the bed. With Zhou Mi's eyes closed, he just took a moment to look over the other man's face and form, torn between the idea of finally being free and the suppressed realization that he didn't really want to leave Zhou Mi. "I like it too." He finally climbed into the bed, settling down. "Night Mi."

"Night KuiXian," Zhou Mi hummed, already drifting into sleep. He was snoring moments later, his legs uncurling slightly as he rolled closer to KyuHyun.

KyuHyun didn't even try to catch some sleep, watching Zhou Mi as his vision adjusted to the dark. He could feel the human's warmth a mere foot away; being cold-blooded Signs meant snakes craved warmth, and as much as KyuHyun wanted his space, he also couldn't help wanting to move closer just then. Even the soft snoring he always teased Mi about was welcoming, a small smile curling his lips.

Midnight came quickly, and with it, KyuHyun had made up his mind. Making sure Zhou Mi was fast asleep, the snake carefully eased out of the bed. He slipped on the clothes he'd placed nearby, grabbing his shoes and the room key before leaving the room.

It didn't take long to locate the parking garage, his self-taught English paying off as he arrived just as a nearby clock struck midnight. Shivering in the cool air, KyuHyun wrapped his arms around himself and looked around for Qian.

Not far from where he was standing, a shadow detached from around the corner, the girl looking around as she waved him closer. "I wasn't sure if you would be able to get away," Qian said in Mandarin. "We have to hurry, they're going to meet us not far from here."

KyuHyun drew in a breath, straightening as he approached her. "Thanks for this," he replied in the same language. "But I'm not going with you. I'm going to stay with him."

Her eyes narrowed slightly and she took a slight step back. "Why... did you tell him? Is he threatening you? We can protect you."

"No, he doesn't know," KyuHyun replied. "He's trying to help people like us, fighting for our rights...and he needs my help to do it. I don't need protection from him."

"He's Chinese, Chinese humans don't help people like us," Qian said. "If you ever tell anyone about this, you'll be putting thousands of Signs at risk. Don't betray us."

"This Chinese human is helping us," KyuHyun said. "I won't say a word about this...good luck." He turned to head back inside.

He thought about that all the way back up to the room, wondering if he should be more conflicted than this now that he'd given up what could possibly be the only chance for freedom he'd ever have. But he felt relieved more than anything. Relieved he'd finally made up his mind.

Reaching the room, he unlocked the door and opened it slowly.

"Where did you go?" Zhou Mi was sitting up in bed, the bedside lamp on and a panicked look on the human's face. "I woke up and you weren't here... I thought you had left."

Freezing, KyuHyun sighed and stepped in, closing the door behind him. "I thought I heard something out in the hallway. Sorry." He kicked off his shoes.

Zhou Mi frowned at that, watching him. "I've been awake for ten minutes KuiXian," he said, throwing back the covers and getting to his feet. "What's going on? I know you, you're keeping something from me... what is it? Please tell me."

He'd promised Qian not to say anything, which meant it was time to think up something fast. "It's nothing," KyuHyun messed up his hair, walking back to the bed and the other man. "I had a bad dream, woke up and was hearing things. Nothing to worry about."

That obviously wasn't the truth, Zhou Mi knew full well when KyuHyun was lying to him. Sighing a little, he sat back down and rubbed at his forehead. "You still don't trust me, do you?" he asked quietly.

KyuHyun looked at the human, how sad he looked. He'd seen more sadness in Zhou Mi's face than he ever wanted to see. What was he supposed to say?

"I'm...getting there," he said finally, stopping in front of Zhou Mi.

Zhou Mi looked up at him, trying a smile but it wasn't working. "I love you KuiXian... and one day I hope we can be at the point again where we trust each other, and don't keep things from each other. Until then, I'll accept what you say, but I'll worry."

"You're going to wrinkle if you worry so much," KyuHyun smiled sadly. "Like an old man." He stepped forward between Zhou Mi's legs, leaning down to brush his lips lightly against the other man's.

Not able to protest being called an old man, Zhou Mi's eyes slipped closed at the kiss, returning it just as softly. When he pulled back, his warm smile had returned. "I won't wrinkle, I moisturize."

KyuHyun's fingers lightly touched Zhou Mi's jaw. "Moisturize too much and you'll turn into a prune. Like when you sit in the bath too long." He slipped around Zhou Mi to climb back onto the bed. "Come on, let's go back to sleep. We're going to look at old stuff bright and early tomorrow."

"Sounds fun," Zhou Mi smiled, scooting back up to his side of the bed and sliding under the covers. "No more sneaking off in the middle of the night? It scares me," he said, reaching over to turn out the light. "If... you ever wanted to leave, you could just tell me."

"I'm not going anywhere," KyuHyun replied as the light switched off. Before Zhou Mi could make himself too comfortable, the snake reached out and wrapped one arm around the other man's waist, pulling him closer.

That startled Zhou Mi a little, but he didn't fight it. He was all too happy to snuggle into KyuHyun again, having missed being able to be close to him. "Good, I'd miss you too much," he said softly, looking at him in the near darkness.

KyuHyun's lips quirked a little. "I'd miss you too. Now stop being all sappy." He settled against Zhou Mi, soaking in the human's warmth.

"You like it," Zhou Mi chuckled, closing his eyes and sighing happily. His arm went around KyuHyun's shoulder and he made a small sound of contentment as he slipped back into sleep. Hopefully, this was progress.
the detachment of dreams and reality resemble youryeouknim on March 9th, 2013 02:00 pm (UTC)
Oh my heart i thought kyu was leaving asdgjdjkhdffejdougncmbfdjru i was ready to cry hahaha anyway i like how the fic is going that they're not in korea and they're free. With henry and amber in the past chapter and the stereotyped Kibum and Zhoumi kkkkkk (i read 3 chapters of both fics just now as a reward for being cleared for graduation lmao it's nice that i caught up but now i want more /sobs
Amaranth Pearbuckleapearbuckle19 on March 9th, 2013 08:02 pm (UTC)
Yay for liberation efforts.

Is it sad that the fact that Mi is Chinese actually didn't hit me as a reason for her to try so hard to rescue Kyuhyun? I'm so used to Mi being Chinese-in-Korea, which is totally different from both Chinese and Korean. lol

I'm all for Kyuhyun taking his time to decide rather than jump in and get locked one way or the other with regret. Kudos for him not squealing either.