"There are some things you need to know" Junhong had said and Youngjae tilted his head to the side a little.
Junhong held his hand and he nearly gasped at how cold the younger's hand was. It reminded him of the ice that he'd sneak out to chew from the fridge. Like every single bit of warmth had been brutally drained from them.
Another thing he noticed was how his hand didn't go through Junhong's like it did with Daehyun and that small fact brought just the tiniest bit of comfort to him, reminding him that he wasn't completely alone in this. "Youngjae.. follow me"
And the next thing he knew, Junhong was dragging him back into Himchan's underground with some incomprehensible strength.
"No! What are you doing!!" He tried getting away using his other hand but Junhong's were far too locked around his for him to escape, leaving him desperately shaking and struggling.
"Youngjae please trust me... There's something you really need to know.."
He tried running again, but the attempt was futile given that Junhong was practically embracing his body now, dragging him back in that hell hole.
"Where are you at?! What gives you the right to care about me knowing things or not?!"
Junhong did not at all pay heed to his struggles and when they were halfway through the door, the younger looked at him intently in the eyes.
"Because we're the same. And I know you're scared...but you don't have to be.
Youngjae stopped moving too much just to stare at Junhong's empty eyes that held something painful in them which made it harder for him to look away. And the worse part is, he doesn't know why!
"Trust me... he can't hurt you anymore.. he can't hurt us...
Youngjae stopped moving completely, caught off guard at how intense he felt at the moment as if there really was something that he needed to know. Junhong took this as a sign to pull him in once and for all.
What he saw in there was not the same thing that lead his eyes shining in enthusiasm earlier, what he saw was nothing like what he had deemed so perfect for a child like him to indulge in when the night was young.
What he saw was something beyond his imagination, something he'd never dream of imagining, let alone think of imagining.
"What is this?!" He looked at Junhong in disbelief, even more coming to a shock seeing Junhong leaking with fallen tears.
"Junhong what is this?! I don't like it here!"
He looked at the dark void ahead of him, the walls no longer filled with beautiful enticing decorations but with harsh scratches and sharp writings that ripped out the wallpaper leaving cracks of grey cement evidently showing. Majority saying "Help" and one catching Youngjae's attention all too well. It was written very roughly with ugly curves as if the one who wrote it was quivering in desperation.
It said. "Watch out, the sweater man lives here"
There were blood splatters in numerous places, ruining the once spotless furniture and making the walls damp.
He shivered upon seeing items shattered in the floor before him, and as if it weren't enough, the hallway just seemed as if endless darkness was coating it and it's whole interior, devoid of any light forms and well, life itself.
"Junhong..." he absentmindedly blurted out when he felt the grip on his hand tightening.
"You see now Youngjae?"
Junhong looked at him with half lidded eyes.
"Sometimes... monsters don't come in sharp teeth, big horns and ugly faces, living under your bed.."
Junhong got closer, edging to his ear to whisper something so gruesome and true that it felt like reality literally just slapped him, face full.
"Sometimes they come in a form of a man wearing a sweater, inviting you over for some tea "
That instant, Youngjae dropped to his knees feeling the utmost pain of having to remember everything all at once. Everything came crashing down at him and there he just wanted to vomit out that disgusting heavy feeling in his heart that was suffocating him so much, that was drowning him.
How foolish was he to actually think that he was able to escape? That he actually succeeded climbing up that ladder?
How foolish was he to believe Himchan had actually let him go?
He was very foolish.
And that embedded into the pain that he was cursed with from remembering everything.
He clutched his aching head that was beating with unbearable pain, more than what his body could take.
"Make it stop.."
Hot fallen tears rolled down his ice cold cheeks.
Images... horrible images..
His own screams from all the pain, he heard them. He heard them all and truth be told, he swore it hurt even more to hear them than to have made them himself.
"Daehyun, Mommy, Daddy, help me! Help me please!"
"It hurts! Please stop!"
"It hurts! Daehyun, It hurts! Mommy, Daddy, it hurts!"
He gasped, feeling suffocated as ever as he tried his best to ignore his own voice.
Where were they when he needed them? Why didn't they help? Didn't they love him?
No. Daehyun had searched for him. They all had.
They'd never abandon him.
Why was it so painful?
And more importantly why would anyone be so sick as to hurt him like that? What would he get out from devoiding him of his life like that? Why was he so cruel?
When his vision started clearing up, he realized he was staring straight back at Junhong's concerned face.
"I know, I know, he's a monster.."
Junhong had wiped all his tears away before giving him a comforting hug, which was still cold no matter how warm he thought it would feel.
"And it's okay... that monster can't hurt us anymore" He lulled him to quite down the loud sobs, smiling upon having it do the trick.
" W-What did the monster do to you, Junhong?" He hesitantly asked. He knew he shouldn't and that it was a bit invasive of privacy but he just got carried away by his emotions and curiosity.
"It's not about what he did to me that made me super angry and sad." Junhong sadly proclaimed and looked down as he held Youngjae's hand to ease the boy off.
" It's what he did to Uppie that made me hate him so much."
Youngjae took in Junhong's down features to a thought.
Junhong merely gave him a small sad smile.
"He's the Daehyunnie in my life"
and at that moment, Youngjae fully understood why he felt like that.