riots: (Default)
k ([personal profile] riots) wrote2013-12-23 04:59 pm

fic advent 2013: day nineteen

for [personal profile] sooyoung
r for violence, 2k words
"fanxing, anything goes but supernatural (NOT THE TV SHOW) elements would be gr9."
you're welcome

“An asylum.” Yixing raises his eyebrows in interest, but he doesn’t stop what he’s doing. He cleans his pistol with methodical familiarity, the movements so ingrained in muscle memory that he barely even has to watch his hands. “Sounds like our kind of fun.”

In Kris’ ear, Soryong laughs. “You know, that’s just what I thought.”

It’s been a while since Kris and Yixing have seen the Jung twins, but they’re good guys. They’d worked a couple of cases with them down in Texas, one in Florida, and one really memorable one up in Chicago too, and that’d turned out pretty well. Now they pass info, trading tips on cases. Like this one. A guy had made a quick jaunt into an abandoned asylum and come out raring for a murder/suicide twofer. It was only the latest in a series of deaths going back years and years. “Since you guys were in the area, we thought maybe you’d wanna check it out.”

Kris is pretty used to walking into places that look like something straight out of a horror movie set, but he’s pretty sure that an abandoned asylum probably takes the cake. “Yeah,” he says anyway, and he can see the grin spread on Yixing’s face. He’s always been able to read Kris like a book. It’s a bit of a nuisance. “Yeah, we can do that.”

Yixing snaps the last piece of his pistol back into place with a satisfying click, and then he looks up at Kris. “I’ll forward you everything we’ve got,” Soryong says. Kris can hear the clatter of laptop keys over the phone line. “It’s not a lot, but I think it’s pretty straightforward.”

“Salt and burn?” Kris says.

“Salt and burn,” Soryong agrees. “Good luck, guys. Catch you at the Roadhouse.”

“Thanks, man.” When Kris turns back to Yixing, he’s already surfing through his emails on his phone, humming. He has a wicked grin on his face. “What?” Kris says.

Yixing tucks his pistol back into his bag. “Another ghost,” he says gleefully. “And an asylum.” It’s a low blow. Kris has known Yixing for years, the two of them pretty much grew up together. It means that Yixing has so much ammo stored up, and he doesn’t hesitate to use it against Kris. Unfair.

“I’m not afraid,” Kris insists. And he’s not, not really. He just doesn’t like them. At all. He doesn’t trust anything he can stick his arm through

Yixing hooks his fingers in the pocket of Kris’ hoodie and tugs him down. “You’re in the wrong business,” he says fondly, kissing Kris’ cheek.

And yeah, maybe Yixing is right. But his father had insisted that at least one of them take up the family business, and Kris couldn’t let it be Zitao. Zitao was never cut out for this business, he got too invested. Of course, maybe Kris did too, but he was the oldest, and he was nothing if not responsible. “I am an ace hunter,” he says instead, and Yixing laughs, patting Kris’ cheek.

“Sure,” he says amiably. “Sure.” He tips his head, glancing down at his phone again. “Rockford is only a few hours away. I bet we could make it before lunch.”

“I get it, I get it,” Kris says. “Back to work.”

Yixing’s got Kris’ hand in both of his, toying with his fingers, an automatic soothing reflex. “The sooner we handle it, the less time we have to spend in the spooky asylum with the scary ghosts,” he says. It’s early yet, and Yixing is still half-asleep, hair hanging in his eyes and oversized shirt hanging off one shoulder. Kris thinks for a second about how lucky he is, waking up to this every morning.

“I like how you think,” Kris says. “Not that I’m afraid.”

“You never are,” Yixing agrees loyally, though the quirk of his lips betrays what he really thinks. Kris better kiss it away.


“Hmm.” Yixing tries the door one more time. The handle turns, but no matter he pulls, it’s not going anywhere. And that means neither are they. It’s getting dark and the asylum was already barely lit, small windows boarded up and everything coated with a thick layer of dust. Kris shifts his weight from foot to foot, aiming his flashlight at Yixing’s hands, still resting on the door handle. It’s not locked, it can’t be; the mechanism was broken years ago, probably by the same kids in the seventies who decided to explore the asylum and ended up with a bad case of homicidal madness. “Well, so much for doing a bit more research. I guess we’re doing the hands-on variety.”

“Great,” Kris grumbles. So far, the asylum hasn’t turned up much. EVP everywhere, but nothing but indiscernible whispers, voices layered over each other so densely they couldn’t sort it out. Years ago, before it was condemned, there had been a riot in these halls. Some of the hard case patients had risen up against the staff, and it’d gotten bloody, really bloody. From what Yixing had learned from a local historian, it seemed that it’d been so bad that some of the bodies had never even been found. And now they’re stuck in here, with some apparently nasty spirits. Fun.

Yixing squeezes Kris’ elbow. “Relax,” he says. “We haven’t even seen anything.” He smiles, shifting his shotgun up with his free hand. “And if we do, we’re prepared, remember?”

It’s a little bit unfair, how Yixing is so completely unflappable, even when they’re trapped in an abandoned asylum by some probably malevolent spirits. “Yeah,” he says. “Super prepared.” They turn, and the beam of Kris’ flashlight trembles a little before he steadies it. “How are you so calm?” he asks.

Yixing doesn’t hold Kris’ hand. He’s too experienced for that - a good hunter doesn’t let sentimentality tie up his hands when he could need them. Instead, he tips his head. “Because I’m with you,” he says, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Kris is fairly certain that Yixing is just saying that to ease his nerves - he knows how unsettled hospitals make Kris, much less run down ones populated by unhappy ghosts - but it still works.

Kris elbows Yixing gently and smiles. “Duh,” he says, and Yixing grins.

They get back to exploring once more. They’d covered the whole ground floor before they’d decided to turn back, and now they head downstairs into the basement. They could cover more ground if they split up, but neither of them are stupid enough to risk that. Kris doesn’t mind it, really, it’s not like he’d want to go on his own. They pass through a set of doors labelled ‘the South Wing’. Kris notes the chain and broken padlock lying on the ground. This was where they’d kept them, the worst of the patients, the violent psychotics. Kris had already been on edge but now his skin is almost crawling. There’s a lot of death in here.

It’s Yixing who catches it first, head whipping around as he stills, immediately. “Ah,” he says. “About time.”

“What - ?” Kris asks, but Yixing is already gone.

A grey figure collides with Yixing, sends him down against the dirty tile, hard. Kris can see the faint glow around its body - it’s a ghost for sure. It’s got Yixing pinned to the floor, knees on his belly, the wind knocked out of him. Kris tenses and shoves his flashlight into his belt, raising his shotgun and steadying it. He aims at the spirit, but then he hesitates. Something’s off. “Kris?” Yixing says, voice strained as he struggles to push the ghost away. His gun had gone flying when he’d hit the ground, out of reach. Kris needs to move, now and yet -

“His jacket,” Kris says suddenly. “Why is he wearing a doctor’s coat?” They’d been expecting the prisoners but not - “Yixing, it’s the head of staff! It’s the guy they couldn’t find. His body must be somewhere down here.”

“Great,” Yixing says, smile shaky. “Can we deal with this first?” He shoves futilely at the spirit’s chest, bucking his hips to shake it loose.

“Don’t be afraid,” the ghost croons, pressing its hands against Yixing’s skull and Yixing screams, an unearthly glow seeping out from where his eyes are squeezed shut. “I’m going to help you. I’m going to make it all better.”

Kris doesn’t hesitate. He raises his shotgun and fires. The load of rock salt dissolves the ghost instantly, smoke and ash scattering. It’s only a stop-gap measure, it’ll be back soon enough, but it’s given them a second’s break. “Yixing?”

Yixing sits up unsteadily, pressing a hand to his forehead. He looks pale, but otherwise unharmed. “I’m okay,” he says, reaching out a hand for Kris. Kris helps him up, brushes him off, pats him down and looks for injuries. Yixing’s got bruises starting on his throat, but he seems okay otherwise. “Kris. I’m fine.”

“Alright,” Kris says, stepping back reluctantly. Yixing’s smile is wan, but fond, the slightest hint of his dimple showing. “Let’s find this guy’s body, yeah?”

Both of them are on high alert now, tense and jumpy. Kris doesn’t let Yixing go more than a step or two away as they search, their arms jostling as they rifle through cupboards and open doors. They find it, finally, stuffed in the bottom of a cart, putrid and foul. “Got him,” Kris says triumphantly.

He spoke too soon. This time, it’s him who ends up on the floor, the ghost sitting on his chest. He raises his shotgun but it’s batted away, and the spirit uses his unearthly strength to force Kris’ head back against the tiled floor, hard. “Just hold on,” Yixing calls, and despite the ghost’s grip on his skull, he can see Yixing drop his backpack to the floor and rifle through it. He’s looking for the salt, Kris knows, and the lighter fluid. Atta boy.

“Don’t be afraid,” the ghost says, and then everything is bright light and pain. Kris is aware, dimly, that he must be yelling; his voice feels hoarse and his arms tense at his sides, nails digging into his palms. It’s agonizing - this is a cure? He feels like his skull is on fire, like this is all he knows and all he has ever known, and he doesn’t - he can’t -

“Kris?” It’s gone so fast that he’s not even sure it’s real, and it takes him several long seconds before the spots in his eyes clear. Hands on either side of Kris’ face, Yixing peers down at him, worried. “Kris? Say something, please? He - it took me too long to get a light, I’m so sorry, baby. Say something!”

Kris’ throat feels ragged. “I hate ghosts,” he says miserably, and Yixing nearly sobs in relief.

He presses his forehead to Kris’ and sighs. “Me too,” he agrees. He smooths a hand over Kris’ hair and then pulls away, helping Kris to his feet. “No more ghosts.”

Kris touches the back of his head, feeling out a bruise. “Nothing but wendigo,” he agrees.

Yixing gathers their things again, their shotguns and their salt. “And demons,” he adds. “Shapeshifters.”

“Reapers,” Kris says. “Tulpas.” He pauses, pulling the bag out of Yixing’s hands to throw over his shoulder. “God, I hate this job.”

Recklessly, Yixing winds his hand into Kris’. “Maybe,” he says. “But we do okay.”

“Yeah, we do.” The halls of the asylum feel truly empty now, the whispers gone and the thrum under Kris’ skin is gone. Job well done, one more time. “Remind me to punch Soryong in the face the next time he suggests a goddamn asylum job.”

Yixing throws his head back and laughs, voice loud in the corridor. “Deal.”

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