saengiephile (saengiephile) wrote in copy_paste_work,
saengiephile
saengiephile
copy_paste_work

THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED - CHAPTER 33

Title: The Road Less Traveled
Fandoms: SS501, Super Junior, U-KISS
Pairings: KyuJong/YoungSaeng, KiBum/Kevin, TBA
Rating: PG-13, some chapters R
Chapters: 33/?
Warnings: Violence, angst
Summary: In a world destroyed by plague and war, it’s every man for themselves. To survive, a small caravan of misfits navigate through the remains of a civilization on death's door; where trust must be earned and closely-kept secrets could get them all killed




"Let's hope any side road is good enough to take the caravan down," JungMin said. "Last thing we need right now is to break a wheel because the path is too uneven. I'm hating this whole trip more and more every day."

"We made it this far, can’t turn back now," HyungJoon glanced at JungMin before leading the way into the woods, finding a small path. "I’ve never seen an army before."

"Closest thing I've seen is the militia in Seoul," JungMin said. "I have to wonder how they were able to keep an army through the plague. I heard there used to be over a billion people in China alone, maybe it was just a matter of numbers."

"Maybe…" HyungJoon trailed off, eyes narrowing as he slowed his horse a little, one hand lifting for quiet. Branches cracked off to his right and he jerked slightly, gun lifting in that direction.

Figures burst out of the woods around them, men on foot cutting off any possible exits. "Ba qiang fangxia!" someone shouted, guns leveled at their heads. HyungJoon’s horse reared as one of the men tried to drag HyungJoon out of his saddle, a flying hoof connecting hard with the man’s head.

"So much for not being harassed!" JungMin sniped, not given an opportunity to even reach for his gun when he was dragged from his saddle. There were at least a dozen of the soldiers, guns drawn as they attempted to gain control of the two men's horses. JungMin landed hard on his face, a boot in his back preventing him from moving.

HyungJoon put up a fight but was disarmed just as quickly, unable to overpower that many people. He landed in the dirt before his hands were grabbed and tied roughly behind his back. Continuing to struggle only resulted in a hit to the head. "JungMin?" he panted, trying to look around for the other man as their horses were drawn away.

"I'm alive," JungMin replied, earning himself a kick in the ribs. "Don't bother trying to fight it. They've got us good and- ow! Stop kicking me!" he huffed, scowling over his shoulder at the soldier standing over him. "They're safe where they're at Joon, don't worry about them." Hauled up to his knees, JungMin winced when his hands were tied behind his back before he was pulled up to his feet. "Good news, I don't think they're going to kill us right away."

"That’s good news?" HyungJoon was hauled to his feet as well. The Chinese man in front of him was asking him questions, but there was no hope of understanding their language. "If none of you speak Korean then no point asking me anything," he snapped at the guy, staggering when he was shoved from behind. There was no point to struggling, there was no chance of getting away. He could only hope escaping from an army was as easy as escaping from a compound.

"Just nod and smile Joon," JungMin said, putting on his best friendly smile at the soldier who was pushing him along. "We're friendly travelers from Korea. Korea," he said, drawing the word out slowly. That earned him a smack in the side of his head and he nearly stumbled over. "Touchy these guys are. Where's Zhou Mi when we need him?"

"Hopefully safe," HyungJoon grumbled, scowling. He saw the guy who had been asking them questions looking back at JungMin with a frown. Under the camouflage, he looked like he was only KiBum and Kevin’s age. How young did the army recruit?

At the pace they were marched at, it didn’t take them long to break through the last of the trees and reach the road again. Seeing the amount of people, tents and horses from a distance had been intimidating enough. This close, HyungJoon was mildly terrified.

"You were right Joon... that's a lot of soldiers," JungMin said, looking over the sea of tents. They didn't get much of a chance to look around as they were pushed into the encampment. Their destination was a nondescript tent, though JungMin guessed by the proximity to the largest tent in the camp, they would be seeing someone important soon. Pushed to the ground roughly, his hands were untied briefly, only to be retied around the tent pole. "You can't keep us here like this you know, we know important people!" he said as the same treatment was given to HyungJoon before the soldiers left. "I don't think they like us Joon."

"No surprise there," HyungJoon grumbled, testing his bonds as the soldiers walked away. They were on tight, threatening to cut off circulation to his hands. There would be no working them off this time. "What are we going to do?" he asked lowly, eyeing the tent flap.

"For now, nothing," JungMin replied, trying to make himself as comfortable as possible. "We don't know what's going on yet, we'll have to wait and see what happens."

"I was afraid you’d say that," HyungJoon sighed, looking up at the tent around them.

The wait was agonizing. Hidden inside a tent, there was no way to know how much time had passed but it felt like forever. They could hear the chatter of Mandarin from outside, but try as he might HyungJoon couldn’t understand a word of it.

Watching the shadows play on the edges of the tent, HyungJoon jumped when guards suddenly stepped in again. He only recognized one, the young Chinese man who’d been asking them questions on their way here. "What now," HyungJoon eyed the two other guards coming up on either side of them.

"You follow us." The heavily accented but understandable Korean made him look up. The youngest guard stood in front of them as the other two undid their bonds. "No fight."

"Well I wasn't expecting that," JungMin blinked, flinching when one of the guards produced a knife. "We're not going to fight, promise," he sai, watching as the guard moved around behind him to cut the bindings from his wrists and hauled him up to his feet. "Where are we going?"

The youngest guard didn’t answer that, though whether because he didn’t want to or didn’t know the proper Korean wasn’t clear. He watched as HyungJoon was pulled up to standing before turning and heading out of the tent. HyungJoon cast JungMin a wary look before the other guards pushed them forward, less roughly than before but just as insistent.

HyungJoon slowed as they left the tent. A few tents down was the caravan, no one to be seen.
"…They were caught."

Expression hardening, JungMin gave a small nod as he was nudged in the back to keep walking. They were being herded towards the largest tent. "Good, then we'll know where to look once we escape. We'll just have to keep an eye out for them," he said, one of the guards opening the tent flap and motioning them inside. Readjusting his eyes to the dim light, he blinked when he heard a familiar voice.

"Thank goodness, you two aren't hurt are you?" That was Zhou Mi's concerned voice and when JungMin's eyes adjusted he looked around to see the rest of the group were there waiting. "I knew I should have said something and gone with you."

"…What’s going on?" HyungJoon looked around, confused. He was relieved to see no one was hurt. Well, besides KyuHyun who was sitting down between RyeoWook and YoungSaeng in one of the few chairs, looking paler than before from the move out of the caravan.

"Zhou Mi’s got some friends he forgot to tell us about," KyuHyun said, arms wrapped around his middle.

"As I've said, there were good reasons for that," Zhou Mi said. "I couldn't tell just anyone about who I was."

"Someone want to fill us in?" JungMin asked, crossing his arms.

"Zhou Mi's a prince," RyeoWook said, his expression unreadable, though his eyes never left Zhou Mi.

"It's a little more complicated than that," Zhou Mi sighed as he turned to the few guards inside. He spoke quietly in chinese to the youngest one, motioning for them to go.

HyungJoon watched the guards leave. "…A prince?" He asked in disbelief.

"Good thing they recognized him, or else we’d all be hogtied and tossed into the river," YoungSaeng frowned. "We’re still waiting for the explanation ourselves, but it doesn’t seem like we’re in any danger here."

"We shouldn't have to wait for an explanation, if Zhou Mi's a prince then why doesn't he know?" RyeoWook said.

"I'm not... can I explain please?" Zhou Mi sighed a little, motioning for everyone to sit. "When the plague hit... my grandfather was a member of the ruling party. He was one man amongst hundreds, but he was a very smart man. He knew that in times of crisis, hundreds would never be able to come together to deal with threats. As it was, two thirds of the delegation was killed. My grandfather consolidated power, and those left looked to him to lead the country until the crisis passed. Well that didn't happen, the virus never went away and it took decades before things stabilized."

"So they made him a king?" JungMin asked.

"Emporer," Zhou Mi nodded, pacing a little around the tent. "He managed to keep a working government and army. He was a hero to the millions of people in China. When he died, my father took his place. And my eldest brother is in line to take his place when my father dies. I will never be a ruler, I can't even consider myself a prince at this point. When I left China, I honestly believed I would never return home. I don't know why the army is sitting here at the border, but I would like to find out."

"Bandits crossing the border, possibly?" Kevin blinked.

"They wouldn’t send the whole army to deal with some bandits," KyuHyun said. "Unless things have changed drastically in the past ten years, the border has always been open and unguarded, but from what Mi’s said it shouldn’t be any different now."

"So what’s happening now?" HyungJoon asked, crossing the tent to join them. "Are they going to let us go?"

"I don't know," Zhou Mi said with a sigh. "But they can't hold me here unless there's a threat against my life and that means my escort can't be held either. I am sorry that it happened this way, but I... didn't know if I should tell you all that particular secret unless it became necessary."

"Well obviously it is necessary," JungMin said. "There anything else we should know?"

Zhou Mi looked at KyuHyun, his brow furrowing slightly before he shook his head and turned his attention to JungMin. "No, there's nothing else you need to know."

Frowning at Zhou Mi, YoungSaeng looked up when the guards from before returned. With them was an older man wearing a different uniform, clearly higher ranked than those in camouflage.

The youngest guard stood beside Zhou Mi, hands clasped behind his back. "Senior General Li, may I introduce Prince Zhou Mi, youngest son of the Emperor. Prince Zhou Mi, the Senior General leads this division of the army." Behind them, KyuHyun was translating what was said to YoungSaeng and RyeoWook beside him, the others listening in as best as they could.

"Young Prince," Senior General Li bowed his head. "Please accept my apologies for the rough treatment."

"No apologies are necessary General, you were no aware I was amongst the caravan's crew," Zhou Mi said. "But I will ask you apologize to them directly. What was the reason for seizing them? People are free to cross the border."

"We are under orders from Beijing to watch the border. You have been gone a long time, Young Prince," the general replied. "Nothing leaves or enters China without our knowledge. Your escorts are not Chinese, what is their reason for being in China?"

"They are escorting me home," Zhou Mi said, lips thinning at the response. "You can not hold them here, they will be coming with me."

"The Emperor has ordered that no Koreans are to enter China," the general said. "We will provide you with new escorts. Is Private Wu Yifan here not formerly of the royal guard?"

The young guard in question glanced at Zhou Mi before bowing his head. "If I may interject, Young Prince, Senior General. Perhaps escorts fluent in Korean would be useful in transferring that…man we discussed earlier this morning."

The general glanced at him sharply. "His escort to Beijing was already decided, Private Wu."

"Forgive me sir, but he will not listen to us. We don’t speak his language. These escorts do."

"What man is this you are referring to?" Zhou Mi asked, tilting his head slightly. "He is Korean? Why aren't Koreans allowed into China?"

"Direct order from the Emperor, we are awaiting further instructions from Senior General Han in Beijing," the general replied. "The man Private Wu refers to is…a companion of Senior General Han’s." There was an unsavory twist to the man’s lips at that. "Already cleared to travel within China, provided he is escorted. He was to be brought to Beijing tomorrow."

"... General Han?" Zhou Mi's lips quirked slightly. He glanced at where the others were sitting before looking back at the General. "I will escort this man to Beijing, with my escort. You know you have no authority to stop me."

"…I hold no authority over you, Young Prince, but I can highly recommend against it," Senior General Li replied.

"Noted, and ignored," Zhou Mi replied, smiling brightly at him. "If you'll excuse us General, my escort has had a long day, they need food and rest. While I am here, I would like Private Wu to assist me. And I would also like to meet this man we'll be travelling with. Would it be possible for him to be brought here?"

"…Of course, he will be brought along," the general bowed his head slightly. "As well as food. Relay any other needs to Private Wu and he will see they are met. Please excuse me." He turned and left the tent.

"…That ass never apologized," KyuHyun mumbled once the general was gone.

"So... KyuHyun isn't exactly the best translator, mind filling us in?" JungMin said.

"Well, we will be heading to Beijing tomorrow, and you will be escorting two people there, not just one," Zhou Mi said. "And apparentley he's korean. Though that is one part I'm a little confused about... he looked to the young guard next to him. "Why are we escorting a korean man to General Han? Who is he?"

"His name is Kim HeeChul, he is a…companion, of sorts, as Senior General Li said," the other man replied. "He stayed here at the border when General Han had to leave suddenly for Beijing, he was expected to return within the month. Only General Han has to stay in Beijing longer, and…his companion is…insufferable." KyuHyun bit back a snicker at the forced polite tone.

"What, what'd he say," RyeoWook whispered, poking KyuHyun in the leg.

"He said this... HeeChul person we have to escort is insufferable," Zhou Mi supplied. "If he is what I think is... then he most likely is."

"I don't understand, what do you think he is?" JungMin asked.

"General's are allowed more freedoms than regular soldiers," Zhou Mi said. "One of those freedoms is bringing along their mistresses."

"…We’re escorting a mistress?" YoungSaeng blinked.

"An insufferable mistress," KyuHyun corrected.

"I feel like I should apologize," Yifan looked at Zhou Mi. "Senior General Li dislikes Koreans, he wouldn’t have allowed your escorts through the border any other way."

"His dislike of Koreans is not my concern, though if he expects to keep his rank he will keep that prejudice from my presence," Zhou Mi said, looking at the soldier. "You don't have to apologize, I'm interested in meeting this HeeChul. Am I correct in assuming he and I have a friend in common?"

A small grin appeared on Yifan’s face as he nodded. "Some people have been very busy in your absence, Young Prince."

"What does he mean?" KyuHyun blinked, halfway through translating for the others.

"General Han was once my personal guard," Zhou Mi said, smiling softly. "He was not supportive of my decision to go to Korea, especially since I did not want him going with me."

"Why not?" KyuJong ask. "Probably could have saved you from being robbed on the road."

"... Because I asked him not to go," Zhou Mi said, shaking his head. "I didn't want him being hurt."

"Isn’t that the job of a personal guard though?" HyungJoon frowned.

"Are we being locked up in here, or can we go back to our caravan?" KyuHyun asked Yifan, seeing YoungSaeng was looking around the tent.

"…You are free to leave the tent, but I’ll have to ask no one leaves the immediate area," Yifan glanced at Zhou Mi as he replied. "This tent is yours for the night, I’ll have proper furnishings brought in."

"Thank you," Zhou Mi nodded. "We'll be staying here, it's nicer in here I think than the caravan, yes? They'll be bringing us food, so we can rest and relax." He returned his attention to the young solider, speaking quietly to him

"I'd rather stay in the caravan," RyeoWook murmured under his breath to KyuHyun. "Does it seem like he's hiding something?"

"Does it?" KyuHyun asked, voice barely audible. "Probably just prince stuff. That would explain why he was silly enough to try traveling in Korea without a guard."

"If we’re staying in here, I want to at least check on the caravan," YoungSaeng sighed, heading towards the tent flap. "And move some stuff inside, KyuHyun’s about to fall out of that chair."

"I'll help," KyuJong got up, following him out. "Of all the things I was expecting on this little trip, I have to say I did not see this coming," he said quietly to YoungSaeng once they were out of the tent.

"What, that our Chinese medic is the Emperor’s son? How do you even prepare for something like that?" YoungSaeng shook his head. "I’m glad we decided to help him though, or else he may have been gutted on a back road somewhere." He soothed the caravan horses with a gentle touch and soft words.

"If I hadn't been... in the condition I was, would you really have helped him?" KyuJong asked.

"Of course," YoungSaeng blinked at KyuJong. "Why wouldn’t I have?"

"Because it was soon after the incident with that thief, I didn't think you'd be so wiling to trust anyone new for a while," KyuJong said. "And... you can be a little sentimental at times, was wondering if it was a decision based on logic, or emotion."

YoungSaeng frowned at his boyfriend, turning to climb into the caravan. "So you think it was a bad decision to help him?"

"That's not what I'm saying," KyuJong replied. "I think it was a good decision to help him, he's saved more than one of our lives, including my own. I will forever be indebted to him for that... but I just have to wonder if you helped him because you wanted to, or because you wanted him to save me."

"Both," YoungSaeng said, slinging a few bedrolls over his shoulders. "I rarely do things for only one reason. There were many reasons to help Zhou Mi, I’m just glad I did."

Climbing up into the caravan, KyuJong helped take a couple of the bedrolls off of him. "And did you have more than one reason when you helped me and Kevin?"

"Of course. Kevin looked scared out of his wits, you were injured, we could use a few extra hands…and you were cute and feisty," YoungSaeng winked at the younger man, hopping back out of the caravan once they’d grabbed what they needed.

KyuJong snorted at that, chuckling a little to himself as he grabbed a few more things and following YoungSaeng to the tent. "I see, I bet it was the feisty part that really caught your interest," he said once he had caught up. "Are you disappointed I didn't put up too much of a fight?"

"How can I be disappointed when I get to do this?" YoungSaeng leaned over to kiss KyuJong lightly when his boyfriend drew even, pulling back with a smile.

"They frown on that kind of thing here," a voice said from behind them. KyuJong blinked and glanced over his shoulder at the speaker. Though the man was shorter than them both, he clearly dominated any room he stepped in. "Oh, but don't stop on my account, I love watching these boys playing soldier squirm."

"Uh..." KyuJong blinked as the man pushed between them to get to the tent.

The man winked at YoungSaeng as he went. "He's cute,"he said, jabbing his thumb towards KyuJong. "the cute and dumb type know all the right moves."

"…He’s not dumb," YoungSaeng scowled at that, watching him go for a moment before reluctantly following the man into the tent.

Yifan had trailed off in his conversation with Zhou Mi, stepping to the side. "…Young Prince, this is Kim HeeChul," he said, expression carefully neutral in the man’s presence.

"I see... ," Zhou Mi said, looking HeeChul up and down briefly.

"So, you're the prince my Geng talks about," HeeChul said, hands on his slightly canted hips. "He never mentioned how tall you were, probably didn't want to make me jealous. Or give me any ideas. I thought you were in Korea on some mystical journey?"

"... Well he was right, I was in Korea, but now I have returned home," Zhou Mi said, raising an eyebrow. "I look forward to getting to know you while we travel, HeeChul. There is much I need to be filled in on, especially about our friend General Han."

"Yes, sure, whatever," HeeChul said, looking around at the others gathered. "It'll be nice to talk to someone who speaks a proper language for once. Are these all your servants?"

"You weren’t kidding about him, were you," KyuHyun asked Yifan dryly. The young guard shook his head.

"…They work for me," YoungSaeng said, going to place the bedrolls down. "We’re a merchant and escort caravan from Korea. Zhou Mi requested safe passage to China. My name is YoungSaeng. JungMin," he nodded towards the younger man. "Is the caravan’s guard, what he says goes. RyeoWook is our cook and medic. The others are KyuJong, KyuHyun, HyungJoon, KiBum and Kevin."

HeeChul looked bored at the introductions until his eyes landed on someone in particular. "Oh, look at you," he grinned, sauntering towards where HyungJoon was standing. "You look just like Geng... not as cute, but cute enough. Don't you think he looks like a Korean Geng, Zhou Mi?"

"... Not really," Zhou Mi frowned a little. He could see the sour look on JungMin's face, and attempted to head off an incident. "Look, I'm not sure what they told you, but we will be escorting you-"

"Yes, I know, escorting me back home to Geng," HeeChul waved him off. "Looks like this will be an interesting journey." He tilted his head slightly, batting his eyes at HyungJoon. "Are you going to keep me safe?"

HyungJoon had tensed when HeeChul approached him, glancing at JungMin uncomfortably. "…I’ll be taking care of the horses, Boss," he said before skirting around HeeChul and ducking out of the tent.

YoungSaeng sighed, shaking his head as he opened up one of the bedrolls for KyuHyun. "We leave in the morning," he said, trying to draw HeeChul’s attention back around. "Do you have a horse?"

"A horse?" HeeChul made a face at the suggestion, sniffing a little. "Horses are for commoners. I am far too delicate for a horse."

"Would you make sure he has a horse to ride," Zhou Mi said to the young soldier, glancing at him. "Make sure it's a gelding that isn't going to spook easily."

"Why is it a commoner thing to ride a horse?" KyuJong asked. "Horses are expensive."

"Because I find the bouncing around on the back of a giant animal to be... degrading," HeeChul said.

"This coming from a concubine," Zhou Mi sighed. "You're riding a horse, there's no room in the caravan."

"There really isn’t, there’s people coming out of the woodwork," YoungSaeng shook his head, watching Yifan leave the tent.

"I’d take a horse if I could," KyuHyun grumbled. A second later a few men arrived with a folding table and chairs. "Well, looks like we’re getting the royal treatment. Not eating on the ground for once."

"Don't get used to it," JungMin said. He watched the men as they set up the table, then bow to Zhou Mi before they left the again. "I hope you're not expecting us to bow to you now that we know who you are. I don't bow."

"No, I've never expected anyone to bow to me," Zhou Mi said, giving them a strained smile. "Once we leave this camp, it'd just be easier if you forget what you learned about who I am."

"He acts like being waited on hand and foot is a burden," HeeChul said, having picked a new target in Kevin to slide up next to. "Who wouldn't want to be pampered? I bet you would," he said, touching a finger to the younger man's collar.

Not paying attention where he and KiBum were talking quietly, Kevin jumped at the finger on his collar. "I, uh," he blinked repeatedly at HeeChul. "Not really? It would just be awkward."

"HeeChul, I think we would all appreciate it if you didn’t scare the children," YoungSaeng said, an annoyed note in his voice as he moved to help KyuHyun to the table.

"HyungJoon was priceless though, feel free to do that again," KyuHyun tried to snark, wincing as he was pulled up to standing. "I’ve never seen him take off that fast before."

"How am I scaring anyone? I'm just asking questions," HeeChul pouted, turning his attention to JungMin, who did not look amused by HeeChul's actions. "I have missed good Korean men, so much. You are all so adorable."

"I don't think anyone is particularly interested HeeChul," Zhou Mi said. "Maybe you haven't noticed yet, but they all have someone, as do you."

"But he's not here," HeeChul pouted, looking back at Zhou Mi. "And I'm lonely. I don't see anyone hanging onto your arm, Prince Zhou Mi."

"Can we just toss him out of here, he's making me sick to my stomach," JungMin said. "Saeng?"

"I think the only one with the authority to do that is Zhou Mi, unfortunately," YoungSaeng replied, easing KyuHyun down into a chair by the table. "And we’re going to be spending the next few days with him either way. Go help HyungJoon, Min, before food gets here."

"Yes, sir," JungMin said, heading out of the tent.

"HeeChul, I'm going to ask you to return to your tent, meet us back at the caravan in the morning," Zhou Mi said. "We've had a long day, we need a rest."

"If you insist," HeeChul shrugged, though he quirked his lips at Zhou Mi. "If you need me, one of the guards can point you in the right direction. See you in the morning," he gave them a small wave before leaving.

"I don't know who's going to kill him first, JungMin or HyungJoon," RyeoWook said when he was finally gone.

"My money’s on JungMin," KyuHyun replied. "He’s one hell of a character."

"How far is it to Beijing, again?" Kevin asked, sticking beside KiBum.

"Far," Zhou Mi said. "It's farther from here to Beijing than it is from here to Seoul. On the bright side we'll have better roads to travel and less likely to be attacked, but it's still pretty far."

"And we'll have to deal with him that entire time?" KiBum frowned, a protective arm around Kevin.

"So it would appear, but I'll take full responsibility for him and do my best to keep him from annoying you all too much," Zhou Mi said. "I am sorry about all of this."

"There's nothing to be sorry for," KyuJong said. "We'll have somewhere safe to sleep, and food to eat. It's better than what the alternative would have been if you hadn't been with us."

"They were really not friendly until they spotted Zhou Mi," Kevin laughed nervously, bringing KiBum over to sit down.

"I’m still wondering what the army is doing all the way out here," KyuHyun closed his eyes. "And why the Emperor would have the border watched so closely. Bandits aren’t an issue, and there’s hardly any compounds close enough to the border to cause any trouble."

"That general said he was waiting for orders from Beijing, right?" YoungSaeng frowned. "Would this General Han we’re bringing HeeChul to know more about what’s going on?"

"I hope so," Zhou Mi said. "At the very least I'll be able to get more answers out of him than the general here." He rubbed absently at a spot on his chest as he took a seat at the table. "But... it honestly isn't my main concern. My concern is getting to my mentor."

"Well yeah that's important, but it seems like this situation would be more important," RyeoWook said. "If the army is holding Koreans when they cross the border, what are they doing with them? What if they're holding them hostage or something."

YoungSaeng was watching Zhou Mi with a frown, the hand against his chest not going unnoticed. "…We’re not going to be able to do much about that here. If the Emperor is causing this, then it’ll be easier to get answers straight from the source. Either way, we have to get to Beijing." He sat down next to Zhou Mi.

"The sooner we get there the better then," RyeoWook said, perking up when servants brought in food through the tent entrance.

"Yes, the sooner the better," Zhou Mi agreed.

"Well," KyuJong said, moving to sit down next to YoungSaeng. "I'm sure a good meal and some rest tonight will go a long way. We can worry about details in the morning?"

"Let’s," YoungSaeng smiled at KyuJong. Kevin ducked outside the tent and came back a few seconds later with JungMin and HyungJoon in tow, their expressions brightening at the sight of warm food.

As they gathered around to eat, YoungSaeng looked from person to person. They’d only just arrived in China, and already it was far from what any of them had expected. As the usual conversation started up though, he could see a few differences between now and a month ago. Every now and then HyungJoon would glance at JungMin beside him with what looked suspiciously like a smile. Kevin and KiBum were off in their own little world but joined in on the conversation from time to time. KyuHyun had his head down and seemed to be focusing on eating rather than the conversation.

YoungSaeng’s eyes went to Zhou Mi beside him, and the shadow that crossed his expression every now and then. He could only pray they got to Beijing in time.

Tags: fandom: ss501, fandom: super junior, fandom: ukiss, fic: road less traveled, pairing: hyungjun/jungmin, pairing: kibum/kevin, pairing: kyujong/youngsaeng, pairing: tba, rating: r
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