Summary: AU. Vampire hunter Changmin enslaves Yunho. This is their lives together.
Notes: Vignettes. Prequel to Part 2: Aftermath.
When he was first bound, Changmin let him starve for six months, forbidding him to taste even the blood of rats. Every time Yunho thought to crush his master’s frail windpipe, the silver collar around his neck would send a fission of pain so deep that it felt as if his bones were being ground into dust. Imprisoned, he wasted away until he was skeletal. His gums turned yellow and pulled back from his fangs, causing him to permanently grimace in one of Changmin’s many safe houses.
Changmin visited at random intervals, sometimes days, sometimes weeks would pass until Yunho heard his light footstep upon the flagstones of the abandoned tower.
On each occasion he killed a vampire, Changmin cut its fangs before it turned into ash and dropped the dagger-sharp incisors in front of Yunho.
“Why-Why don’t you just end it?” Yunho rasped when the shadow fell over him again.
The noonday sun was bright, the illumination itched against his sensitive eyes. On the threshold, where Yunho had been commanded to never cross, Changmin hesitated and turned away.
His master came again that night, the moon glowed full and haloed his lithe figure, a body that had just finished growing but did not yet bear the burdens of age. He threw a ragged corpse before Yunho’s knees where he knelt in the doorway. Then the body stirred, still alive. Yunho squinted and sniffed the air. No, not alive but the undead. Another vampire, bleeding out.
Changmin walked closer, grabbed Yunho’s hair and jerked his chin skyward, and put his other hand upon the collar.
“From this day,” he said, “you are to be my hound. An evil kept to devour other evils.”
Changmin shook him once. Yunho bit his tongue.
“Swear to me your loyalty.”
Yunho thoughts lingered over the pain of the past short hell and imagined death. He didn’t want to hurt. He alone, from his village, had risen from the plague to walk again while the others stayed buried. Surely, he was meant to have eternity.
Changmin knelt and hauled up the prone vampire at their feet, stretched its whimpering neck for Yunho’s lips to reach. Its limbs twitched and convulsed, moving confusedly; each bone had been broken.
Yunho bared his fangs before Changmin’s eyes. He smirked in satisfaction as his first bite splattered blood across the hunter’s cheek – his crimson mark.
His hunter bled.
As they fled into the night, Yunho could smell the liquid seeping through Changmin’s pants. Changmin vaulted over a fallen tree trunk and Yunho followed, hastening his step so that he stayed by the man’s side.
Changmin stumbled once and Yunho was at his arm, supporting his ribs and making sure that his fingers didn’t linger over the purplish bruise that had formed between the third and fourth bone.
Yunho scanned the forest and heard the sound of water.
“Come,” Yunho whispered and dragged his master to the waterfall.
It was chilly and cold, dusk had dropped to slumber hours ago, and the sky was full of stars. Yunho held the shivering human in his arms as he maneuvered him torso-deep behind a cascade of water. The blood washed away, diluted, and the hurrying band of vampires seeking his master passed them like a rustle of leaves chasing Changmin’s lost scent.
Yunho waited until he was sure the danger had passed, then pressed his mouth against Changmin’s ear. “It’s safe now.”
Gingerly, they made themselves back to shore where Changmin huddled in his sopping clothing as Yunho quickly gathered a few branches of dead wood and started a fire. He carefully peeled the tunic off Changmin to hang by the fire to dry, brushing his face with tenderness.
Changmin’s teeth chattered and he swayed woozily.
Yunho laid Changmin against a patch of grass, undid the fastening of Changmin’s trousers and pulled them down halfway to where the poisoned blade had nicked him. A ring of skin had swollen against the cut – the poison was fortunately, still localized in Changmin’s body -- and Yunho nuzzled Changmin’s inner thigh comfortingly before he put his mouth carefully on the wound and began to suck.
Changmin groaned, twisting in his arms, but Yunho held down both his legs firmly as he drew a small mouthful of blood – vile and sour against his tongue – and spat it over a mound of clover. He did this five times, until pure blood began to seep from the cut. Yunho let it run, catching the treat with small licks.
“Didn’t get enough?” Changmin croaked as he swallowed.
Yunho felt Changmin’s hand clutch the back of his head then loosen into what could almost be called a caress.
“I managed one meal, but it’s been weeks since we went hunting.”
Yunho dared a few more licks, knowing as long as he did, his saliva would prevent the wound from clotting.
“Sorry,” Changmin huffed. The fingers in Yunho's hair tugged feebly. “C’mere.”
Yunho slithered up until his forehead was pressed against Changmin’s.
Changmin bit his thumb and Yunho felt his senses flare at the fresh blood. Changmin traced his red thumb over the command collar around Yunho neck, chanting a sedative spell as he worked to dull the throb of hunger in Yunho’s stomach; sometimes the digit slipped and Yunho could feel wet warmness against his collarbone.
Changmin’s voice rose and fell and Yunho closed his eyes and drifted.
“Better?” Changmin asked after what felt like a long while.
In answer, Yunho opened his eyes and probed Changmin’s thigh. Changmin shook once, but the injury no longer wept and the hunter’s body had begun its repairs. He licked the remaining blood off Changmin’s thumb, scrapping his fangs against it in pleasure and then dropped the hunter’s digit from his mouth.
For one long moment, they stared at one another. Then Changmin grimaced. He rolled over and shimmied back into his damp pants.
“Keep vigil until I wake,” the hunter commanded coldly.
“As you wish,” Yunho said.
The silver collar thrummed harshly once in warning and he had no choice but to obey.
In the darkness, Yunho watches his sleeping hunter. The moon shines a sliver outside their inn window, barely enough illumination for a cat to tread softly by, but vampire eyes are acute as knives. He smooths Changmin’s hair, an ebony halo on the pillow and graying at the temples. He bends over the throat bared sweetly before him, mouthing the pulse that throbs there, still young and vibrant. But in a few more years, not even being turned will save him.
He presses, teeth nicking the skin.
A hand grips Yunho’s neck. Black eyes pin Yunho, though no human can possibly find him.
“No,” Changmin says.
Yunho’s teeth slide farther in and Changmin’s blood pools shallowly. Rivulets run down the smooth column of Changmin’s neck. Changmin's breath hitches, his grip feeble along Yunho’s command collar, the silver working that binds him to Changmin’s will, frayed around his fingers. Changmin has not renewed the spell in months and before tonight, Yunho has failed to understand why.
“Please,” Changmin says, voice vulnerable as it’s never been before, not even when he had to drive a stake through his parents’ hearts.
He smells of tears.
Yunho kisses him softly and slashes into the artery.