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Rise Apocalypse: Chapter 03


GLOSSARY updated for this chapter!
     The lift ride up to Lower City was longer than Donghae had expected. He’d always known the plate was high up, far out of reach to them, but the darkness had always concealed how truly steep the climb was. Eunhyuk had gotten them access to the lift easily, simply pressing his hand to the identification pad for a quick scan. Once he’d been registered as an Ipsuren, they only had to wait for the glass cage to be lowered.
     “It’s a fifteen minute ride,” Eunhyuk told him. Those were the first words he’d said since they’d left together. “Between the time it will take to get here and the ride up, we’ll be there in half an hour.”
     “I’ve never been to Lower City.” As soon as Donghae said the words he realized how idiotic they were and immediately wanted to take them back. 
     Eunhyuk merely sighed and said, “No, I suppose you wouldn’t have been, would you?” After a moment, he elaborated. “This will take us straight to the center of the Bazaar. Even at night it’ll probably be a culture shock to you. The Bazaar is…noisy, to say the least.”
     Donghae thought of all the times he’d waited for his father outside the Congregation Hall on Sundays, where the older men got drunk on charity ale together. He thought it couldn’t be any noisier than that, when the clamour of their raised voices and banging fists made Hae’s head ring.
     “Stay with me, by my side, at all times. Don’t look at anyone, don’t talk to anyone and don’t touch anything. The last thing I need is for you to get yourself murdered before we even make it back.”
     Donghae wondered where “back” was. For the first time, he realized that Eunhyuk had a home. He came from somewhere, where he probably had friends and family, people who were waiting for him and expecting him. Once again, Hae questioned the Ipsuren’s motives on taking him captive. What did Donghae have that Eunhyuk didn’t already have access to? Doubt filled him up, stuffing his throat and clogging his chest. He suddenly had the strongest desire to turn around and run back, but knew it would be pointless. He’d made this decision. He’d given himself up to the beast in black, but nothing could keep him from asking questions anyway.
     “Are you going to sell me?”
     The silence was terrifying and the longer it dragged on the more unsure Donghae became. It wasn’t until the glass cage had touched the ground and the doors hissed open that Eunhyuk finally answered his question.
    “No.” He held the doors open and gestured for the small boy to pass between them. “Now get in.”


    If Donghae thought a group of drunken humans laughing and singing together in a makeshift bar was noisy, his entire definition of the word changed as soon as they arrived in the Bazaar. The din was so loud it could even be heard through the lift’s thick walls and continued to increase in volume the closer they got. When they arrived and the doors opened, Hae’s senses went on overload, every ounce of his body seeming to shudder with shock. As Eunhyuk identified himself to the entry guards by the lift, Donghae tried to process.
    Despite the fact that it was nighttime and Lower City was a dank, shadowed maze of dark back alleys, Donghae was blinded by what light there was. Sparking and spluttering neon lights above stalls and small doorways, strobe lights flashing at dizzying speeds inside dark rooms, fluorescent overheads illuminating the goods of every stand, displaying what the merchants had to offer. Donghae squeezed his eyes shut, trying to stop the pounding in his temples. When he applied pressure to his eyelids the pain stopped, but spots of light burst on the back of them, imprints of everything he’d seen. He felt Eunhyuk grab his shoulder and shake. 
   “Hey, hey!” 
   Donghae could feel the other’s words hot in his ear so he knew the Ipsuren was speaking close, but the raucous clamour around them made it hard to make sense of anything at all. Eunhyuk wrapped a long arm around Donghae’s waist, pulling him close to him and forced them to walk. 
    “You’re not going to pass out or anything, are you?” Donghae was pretty sure that’s what the Ipsuren said, but he wasn’t confident in his ability to comprehend full sentences at the moment. 
    He needed to get confident.
    Slowly, he opened his eyes and found that the moving, shifting blur he’d entered into was slowly starting to form smaller, more concentrated blurs, which were quickly becoming shapes. As they walked, he began to absorb his surroundings easier, his heartrate slowing to a manageable pace. He began to recognize the physical pressure he’d felt as people, so many people, more people than Donghae had ever seen in one place. They were smashed together, walking and talking and laughing in one large mass. It was hard to walk without bumping into someone or stepping on toes, but it was made possible due to a line of space dividing the stopped shoppers and the travelers. They walked in this space, Eunhyuk’s hand a constant press against the small of Donghae’s back. He knew that as long as he felt that hand there, he wouldn’t get lost or left behind. The knowledge made him bolder.
    The crowd was made up of humans. They didn’t dress nearly as well as Eunhyuk did in his quality leather, but they certainly had better material than Donghae had had in the Gutter. Ripped denim was a common sight, women in thick longskirts. Their hair was brushed, cut and tidy and everyone had shoes. Leather shoes, rubber shoes, shoes of mixed material that Hae couldn’t identify on sight. They passed stalls selling fabrics of many colors, most of which Donghae had never seen before. Rugs of pretty patterns, blankets that looked soft, sweaters and vests.
    “Never buy anything here,” Eunhyuk told him. “Everything these bastards sell is shit that they can’t even afford. Most of it goes to the Ipsuren scum that haunt the Lower City alleys.”
    It was the first time Eunhyuk had mentioned his people and Donghae was shocked to hear that it wasn’t praise. Logically, there had to be all different kinds of Ipsuren, the same way there were all different kinds of humans. Perhaps social status mattered to Ipsuren after all, although Donghae couldn’t see how. They’d taken over. They controlled the city. Why would any of them live in back alleys?
    Smoke assaulted them, sending Donghae into coughing fits as his throat choked and his eyes burned. Eunhyuk pushed him on, bringing them into a collection of food stalls and markets. There were so many smells, so many delicious scents that made Hae’s mouth water as soon as he regained access to his senses. Fires crackled under giant woks, large pots bubbled over, creating fizzing, popping pools on the floor. Donghae suddenly felt hungrier than he’d ever felt in his life, as if all the food he hadn’t eaten, all the starvation he’d suffered and grown accustomed to, suddenly made itself known. Eunhyuk must have realized this, must have known what he was doing when he brought them there, for he lead them over to a small doorway big enough for only one person to walk through at a time. Finally, Donghae realized he was surrounded by Ipsuren as well as humans.
    It was a smoky bar, where a tall Ipsuren stood behind the counter toiling over a hot stove and hungry customers devoured steaming plates of meat and vegetables, talking loudly over one another with their mouths full. Although they were of varying builds, the same way humans are, they were all larger in stature than any of the humans Donghae had grown up with and he quickly realized that Eunhyuk was probably the shortest out of all the Ipsuren there. At least, until his captor called to someone partially concealed by the back kitchens and dismissed that theory.
    Eunhyuk guided Hae to a seat at a table in the back left corner of the room and left him to summon an Ipsuren who would probably only have been a few inches taller than Donghae’s father and stood the same number of inches shorter than Eunhyuk. His hair was longer than Eunhyuk’s and darker, a deep, natural black color, with bangs that covered a good third of his face. He was sweating from working in the heat and his apron was stained dark grey with grease stains. Donghae couldn’t hear what they were saying, but he knew it must have been about him, for when Eunhyuk pointed in his direction, the shorter Ipsuren just stared at him. Unsettled, Donghae felt a flush crawl slowly up his neck, flooding his face with red.
    Then, the stranger smiled at him and it was the nicest smile he’d seen in years. Unlike Eunhyuk’s first grin that had left Hae unsettled and scared, this new Ipsuren gave him a smile that warmed him and made him feel welcome. As he continued to look at him, the stranger brought up a hand and wiggled his fingers at Hae in greeting. It reminded Donghae of the way a young girl would greet a boy she had a crush on, cute and innocent. Who was this person, who with just a smile and a wave had already proven himself to be totally different from Eunhyuk, who had been nothing but reserved and cold? 
    When Eunhyuk came back, Donghae was quick to question him.
    “Who was that?” He asked. Eunhyuk stared at him as he lowered himself into the chair across the table.
    “A friend,” was Eunhyuk’s reply. “He works here, but he’ll be off soon. Then we’ll go together.”
    “Oh.” 
    Donghae’s stomach growled and a man at the bar dropped a glass, cursing loudly as it shattered on the floor. 
    “SUNGMIN!”
    The roar came from the tall chef behind the counter and Eunhyuk turned in his seat to watch the same Ipsuren, the “friend” his captor had spoken of, rush out from the kitchens to clean up the mess. So his name was Sungmin. Feeling a spark of confidence brought on by the good feeling he had about this new friend, Donghae jumped from his seat and rushed to help him. When Sungmin saw Donghae’s small hands aiding him, he looked up and smiled once more.
    “Thank you,” he said. His voice sounded sweet and his hand was soft when it came up to cup Donghae’s cheek affectionately. “You shouldn’t touch it, though. You’ll cut yourself and Hyukkie will get mad.”
    “Hey!” Eunhyuk kicked a chair, getting their attention to show his displeasure and Sungmin laughed. Donghae thought it was a pretty girly laugh, made up of quick hoohoohoong’s, and the thought made him smile. 
    When they’d gotten most of the dangerous shards up, Sungmin put his hands on his hips. “Are you hungry?”
    “Yes!” Donghae’s response was immediate. 
    “Well,” Sungmin brushed off his hands and turned back to the kitchen. “Better get you some food.” 
    Eunhyuk was crooking his finger at Hae over in the corner, urging him back quickly and once Sungmin had disappeared Donghae was quick to oblige him. He thought about how the other Ipsuren had called Eunhyuk “Hyukkie.” Looking at his guardian in all his black leather with his eyes outlined thick and sharp with black kohl, Donghae couldn’t see how the pet name fit him at all.
    “You still haven’t told me where you’re taking me,” Donghae said once he’d sat down again.
    At first, he thought Eunhyuk wouldn’t answer, but he steepled his fingers and tapped them against his mouth thoughtfully, as if debating how much he should reveal.
    “I’m taking you to my home,” he said. “It’s not that far from here, but away from all the commotion. It used to be a nice human neighborhood, but only low born Ipsuren live there now.”
    “So you live in Lower City?” For some reason, the realization surprised Donghae. Eunhyuk was the most put together being he’d ever seen. If that was low born and impoverished, what were high class Ipsuren like? “Have you ever been higher up?”
    Just then, Sungmin came out with his food. It was only one bowl, but it was more food than Donghae had seen in his life. It was an Ipsuren-sized bowl full to the brim with a steaming broth, thick noodles, a leg of boiled chicken and other things Donghae had never seen before. It smelled delicious, but he dove in so fast he hardly tasted it. Sungmin just gave Eunhyuk a tall glass of some thick, bright pink liquid with a thin cover of foam on top that left a line on his upper lip when he took a sip. 
    “Slow down, kid,” Sungmin said before turning to his friend. “Shisus, don’t they feed them in the Gutter?”
    “Rats,” Eunhyuk grunted in response. Sungmin made a face before going back to work.
    That wasn’t necessarily true, they ate more hard bread and cheese than the rats, but he was too absorbed in his meal to correct them. The hot soup ran easily down his throat, heating up his insides that seemed to defrost as he ate. He suddenly thought about his parents and Donghwa, how they were sleeping with empty stomachs that would never be filled. Guilt consumed him and stole his appetite, causing him to slow down. 
    “You think if I’d have I would still be in this miserable place?” Eunhyuk answered suddenly.
    It took a moment for Donghae to remember that he was answering his question from earlier. Hae hadn’t been in Lower City very long, but already he liked it. It was loud and crowded and intimidating, but it was a place teeming with life and vitality. People going about, making money, getting together to drink with friends and laugh. No one had ever laughed in the Gutter except the kids who were too young to realize there was nothing to laugh about. Donghae realized that it was foolish to waste food because his family was starving. He knew Donghwa wouldn’t pass up the opportunity for greater things if it was given to him just because Donghae couldn’t have them. Donghwa would have taken whatever was offered him with even more grace and consideration, grateful for everything. When Donghae took his next bite, he tasted the flavors and enjoyed it for the ones he loved, the ones who were less fortunate.
    When Sungmin’s shift was over, he’d changed out of his work uniform and into something Donghae found more fitting: a leather jacket over a tee shirt that fit well enough to prove that he was just as fit as Eunhyuk despite being slighter in frame. When he walked, the many zippers on his jacket and pants clinked together.
    As soon as Donghae stood, a wave of nausea washed over him, nearly causing him to collapse. Eunhyuk gripped his arm, preventing him from falling on the table, and tried to steady him. Sungmin bent down slightly to stare worriedly into his face. 
    “Are you okay?” he asked. “Did you eat too much?”
    Donghae nodded and fought the urge to gag. He felt Eunhyuk’s hand on the small of his back again, a touch that was quickly becoming familiar to him. To his surprise, it started to move in circles, soothing him the way his brother used to growing up.
    “He’s just freaked, that’s all,” Eunhyuk said, his voice surprisingly gentle. “Let’s get him somewhere quieter.”


    “Somewhere quieter” turned out to be Garahim, Eunhyuk and Sungmin’s neighborhood. It was its very own sect of Lower City and, if their boasting could be trusted, the nicest area on the plate.
    “In Lower City, it doesn’t get much nicer than this,” Eunhyuk had said as Sungmin opened the gate for them to pass through.
    So far, Donghae was inclined to believe him. When they got there, it was still late, so the lights were out and darkness blanketed the city, restless even at night. There were whole buildings, all one-storey, with lights on in the windows where fully furnished rooms could be seen. Eunhyuk had said it was once a human town and Donghae could easily imagine that, now. Perhaps at one point it had even looked like some of the towns his mother used to talk about, the ones they’d heard about in stories, but when the Ipsuren took over it quickly grew darker. Wilder. Grafitti marred almost every surface. Some of it was meaningless scrawl, but the majority of it was art. Rough pictures sprayed in bright colors, the edges forming tears where the paint had run down the walls, still wet. The pictures meant nothing to Donghae, Ipsuren lore and hidden meanings that only one familiar with their customs and culture would fully understand, but they were beautiful regardless. 
    “This is Sungmin’s town,” Eunhyuk said as they walked through the dark streets, lit by well-controlled trash fires that burned bright and in different colors, creating flames of green or blue or purple. 
    Sungmin laughed and hit his friend. “It’s our town,” he corrected. “We built it together.”
    “Trust me,” Eunhyuk was saying. “I did nothing except make it harder for tulana.”
    For the first time, Donghae heard Ipsuren speech. Tulana. Although the word came from Eunhyuk’s mouth and his voice was familiar, the word was dipped in a foreign accent.
    “Toolarna?” The word felt wrong in his mouth, dead and lifeless, even as he said it. Next to him, Sungmin laughed.
    “Close,” he said with a smile, then repeated the word. Donghae watched Sungmin’s full lips as he said it, and then tried to mimic the formation of the syllables with his own.
    “What does it mean?”
    “It’s an honorific.”
    Donghae stared, lost. 
    “Like ma’am or sir, I guess,” Sungmin clarified. “Although not really. It’s used when speaking to a friend of a higher caste.”
    Caste? There was so much Donghae didn’t know, he felt as if he was drowning in unknowing. Eunhyuk put a heavy hand on his shoulder.
    “You will learn,” he said.


    Eunhyuk and Sungmin’s house was the only two-storey building in Garahim and it even had its own fence, tall and spikey black wire that looked too dangerous to touch. The front door was old wood painted blood red in a black frame and Sungmin had to unlock five different sized padlocks to get it to open. Once inside, they turned on the lights and Donghae had to shield his eyes until they adjusted. The building was huge to Donghae, with a kitchen and living area where Sungmin sat on a leather sofa. The leather was worn thin in spots and cracked on the seats, but it was comfortable. Sungmin had called him over to sit next to him while Eunhyuk left them to get something from the kitchen. Sitting across from him in clear light, up close and personal, Hae found Sungmin incredibly attractive. He had full, plush lips and his black hair was shiny and soft. There was something familiar about him, though, but Donghae wasn’t sure what it was.
    “Are you afraid, Donghae?” Sungmin asked him, his voice kind and his eyes gentle.
    Donghae shook his head and found that it was true. Even so far from home with the reality of his situation sinking in, he didn’t feel afraid.
    “You should be,” the Ipsuren said and suddenly Hae’s stomach dropped. As if seeing the panic on his face, Sungmin smiled once more and said, “But then, you also shouldn’t.”
    Suddenly, he realized what was familiar about him. Inhaling, he breathed in deep and understood. Everything became clear to him. Sungmin smelled like Eunhyuk. They had the same scent. Strangely, an emotion crept up on Hae that he’d never felt before, but it hurt his stomach more and more as he thought about it. 
    “What are you doing?” Eunhyuk had returned and was standing behind the couch, a bottle of the same pink liquid he’d been drinking before in his hand. “Tulana, he’s a kid. Don’t be perverted.”
    Sungmin laughed again and tossed his dark bangs from his eyes. His hand reached back to find the hem of Eunhyuk’s shirt and Hae watched his fingers move up beneath it and stroke…
    “You’re silly,” his voice was deeper than usual, a voice Donghae knew wasn’t meant for his ears. 
    For a moment, the two Ipsuren stared at each other, Sungmin with a face that Hae had sometimes seen on Morla when she’d look at his brother and Eunhyuk looking like a completely different person. Donghae felt out of place. He averted his eyes, for the first time wishing he hadn’t come. When Sungmin spoke again, he could tell the words were being sent in his direction.
    “He’ll be beautiful, though, don’t you think?” 
    Hot, Donghae felt too hot. His face felt like it was melting and he hoped that Eunhyuk couldn’t see it, but he knew the Ipsuren was looking at him. His eyes felt the way they had back in the Gutter, when Donghae had been shirtless. Watchful eyes, peering eyes. Eyes that saw everything.
    “We’ll see,” was all he said.


    “You’ll be sleeping here,” Eunhyuk told him, opening large double doors to reveal a room made to seem larger than it actually was.
    It wasn’t that big, but it was organized and clean to the point where all the empty space created an illusion of grandiosity. The floor was swept wood, the countertops completely bare. It seemed unlived in. Eunhyuk walked past him into the room.
    “With me.”
    Shock made Donghae stupid.
    “What?” was all he could say.
    “It was Sungmin’s idea.”
    Donghae watched his arms cross and his hands grab the hem of his shirt and pull upward over an arching back. 
    “He thought you’d be more comfortable if you slept with someone,” Eunhyuk was saying.
    Donghae could hardly hear him over the buzzing in his head. He was trying to force his eyes upward, away from that temptation, but he couldn’t take his eyes off Eunhyuk’s bare chest. Part of it was amazement. So many muscles and completely hairless. Donghwa had always made fun of his little brother for never having grown chest hair, but Donghae knew he’d never seen anything like this. The other part was beyond thinking about, impossible to understand. 
    “Don’t worry,” Eunhyuk’s words sounded so far off, on another plate entirely. “I won’t do anything to you. I don’t fuck humans.”
    The Ipsuren’s hands were working on the fastenings of his incredibly tight leather pants, but Donghae had lost interest in watching. He had to ask the question he’d had on the tip of his tongue all night, even though he already knew the answer. 
    “You’re going to Convert me, aren’t you?”
    Eunhyuk stopped, leaving his pants halfway down his thighs. Donghae refused to let his eyes wander and forced himself to stare only into the other’s face. Eunhyuk looked at him for a long time. 
    “We don’t ‘convert.’ It’s called kani. But yes, you will become one of us.”
    Donghae knew it. He’d known it all along. But now that he knew exactly what was going to happen to him, he didn’t know how to handle it.
    “Why?”
    “Would you like to live forever?” Eunhyuk asked him immediately, without hesitation, his voice stronger than it had been. “Would you like to live here, in this house, not as a slave but as an equal?
    He kicked off his pants and walked, practically naked, over to Hae.
    “You would no longer be a little boy,” he said. His hand came up to rest on his shoulder, sturdy and unwavering. “You would no longer be frail or average. You would be strong, in body and in mind.”
    His hand pressed into Donghae’s chest and Hae knew he could feel how fast his heart was racing. At Eunhyuk’s warm touch it seemed to throw itself even faster into his palm, trying to break free from Hae’s ribcage. Rapidly, Donghae was growing light-headed.
    “Here.”
    That hand left his chest and travelled upwards to press against his forehead and Donghae couldn’t control himself from leaning slightly into the touch.
    “And here. Power beyond anything humans can understand. You will have them. You won’t know what to do with them at first, but they will teach you.”
    “They?” Donghae didn’t know how he was able to find speech.
    “Sungmin and the others. We have a friend named Heechul, as well,” Eunhyuk released him and stepped back, moving to pick up his clothes and fold them. “He’s taught recruits before. He’s good at it. You couldn’t ask for a better mentor.”
    “But why?” Donghae needed to know, had to know. Why why why?
    Eunhyuk took his time answering, waiting until he’d put his clothes away in drawers. When he finally answered, he didn’t look at Donghae.
    “Because you will be beautiful.”
    Despite the way that made him feel, Donghae doubted that was the extent of it. But he wouldn’t press it. That night, he would sleep in Eunhyuk’s bed, the image of him and Sungmin together trapped in his head and the scent of them both all over the pillows and sheets, sneaking into Hae’s dreams and making them a foul temptation. When he wasn’t dreaming about hands under shirts and strong, broad chests, he was wishing beyond anything that the Ipsuren would turn around and touch him. He never did.

A/N: but Hyukkie, Hae will always be a little boy XD 
        I wonder what Hyukjae is drinking? Something pink...that he seems to be obsessed with...any guesses?

     Also, Sungmin, water you doing putting those two together? i'm onto you -_-

Tags: book: rise apocalypse, chapter: 03
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  • Rise Apocalypse: Chapter 13

    WARNINGS: Rape, violence, character bastardization In tragedy, time stands inconceivably still, locked in continuum like the edges of puzzle…

  • Rise Apocalypse: Chapter 12

    The slow transformation of days to weeks happened gradually and without notice. Altair grew used to the three outsiders and their presence in…

  • Rise Apocalypse: Chapter 11

    Yeah so this is the most NC-17 chapter yet. Oh, and don't skip the last 1,000 words, even if you're not into it. They decided to…