It was dark and cold when Sicheng awoke. It took him a moment to realise that he was in a dark alleyway and his belongings were missing. He tried to sit up but the pain in his ribs was enough to make him fall back to the floor. When he coughed, everything hurt. He removed his hand from over his mouth to see blood splattered on it. Sicheng started to breath quicker and his hands started to shake as he dropped them to his side. The concrete floor was freezing and Sicheng started to believe he was going to die. His eyes brimmed with tears before he started coughing again. He whined in agony and didn't bother to hold his tears back. They started falling from his eyes as he lay in the alley, unable to move and covered in his own blood.
Suddenly, a hand was carefully placed onto Sicheng's shoulder and fear raced through his body. "P-please don't hurt me," he managed to beg. The tears didn't stop, if anything they came heavier, even though it hurt to cry so hard.
"Oh my-" a voice cut itself off, "don't worry, I'm going to get you some help. I'll call an ambulance, ok?"
"No, you can't!" Sicheng gasped as he finally opened his eyes to look at the person, "they'll find me again and they'll kill me."
"Who will kill you?" The stranger asked. Sicheng could see that he was a man around his age, if not a bit older. He looked concerned and confused.
"Please, just don't call an ambulance," Sicheng begged, tears starting to fall from his eyes again.
"Ok, ok, don't cry. I'll take you to my house if that's ok with you? I can't leave you like this," the stranger offered.
"I wouldn't. I'm not worth the effort."
"Can you stand?" The stranger asked.
Sicheng shook his head, "everything hurts so much," he said as a sob escaped him.
"Hey, don't cry again. I promise everything is going to be ok. I'll help you," The stranger said. When Sicheng didn't respond, the man took it upon himself to put on arm under Sicheng's neck and the other one under Sicheng's legs. He lifted Sicheng off the ground and started to carry him out of the dark alleyway that now had some of his blood splattered on the floor. Sicheng felt pain everywhere and subconsciously curled against the stranger's body. "Are you ok? My house is just a few minutes away. My names Yuta, by the way."
"I-I'm Sicheng," Sicheng gritted his teeth and tried to ignore the pain that wouldn't go away. He didn't know how it was possible to hurt entirely from head to toe but he wished it would go away. "Fuck, it hurts so much."
"What happened to you?" Yuta asked. Sicheng remained silent with his head pressed against Yuta's chest, "it's ok, you don't need to tell me but you can if you want." The streets were quiet at 3 am so luckily there weren't many people to give Yuta and Sicheng weird or curious looks. After all, a boy covered in blood who was clinging onto another boy carrying him would have been pretty intriguing to strangers.
"No, thanks," Sicheng shook his head before feeling a stronger surge of pain pass through him. Sicheng gasped as his stomach started to ache, particularly his ribs. His eyes filled with tears again and he couldn't help but start crying into Yuta's t-shirt. "I'm sorry," Sicheng blubbered like a child in between sobs.
"What happened? Are you ok? Did I hurt you?" Yuta had concern in his voice as he spoke.
"No, I'm sorry," Sicheng apologised again.
"Stop saying sorry, you haven't done anything," Yuta assured him.
"I'm..." Sicheng trailed off, "ok."
Yuta came to a stop outside of his house and realised he would have to put Sicheng down to unlock the door. "I'm going to have to put you down for a moment. Do you think you'll be ok?"