It's a lose for Wilbur!Welcome to Ashgate
a/n i'm a bit nervous about this chapter because I'm super rusty and for some reason I realize that sometimes Sora and I get too creative it might not be the best plot for everyone to read. That aside, I do hope you still enjoy this chapter despite how confusing it is and look forward to the next one!
“Did you say anything?” Matthew asked, his grip on her shoulders tightening for a split second before he had to remind himself to be gentle despite the adrenaline rushing through his veins. “Did you question them, Bora?”
Bora searched his eyes. There was one prominent emotion she could make out: Fear.
No, she answered. I didn’t question them. I came right here.
Matthew nodded when he heard the answer, the male trying to compose himself. His arms fell onto his sides, the male turning to leave when Bora grabbed his arm.
“What is going on?” She asked. She knew he knew something. “You have to tell me so I know what I’m dealing with.”
Bora… What a sweet, sweet girl. That was Matthew’s first thought when he heard her say it.
But if his suspicions were correct, whatever they would go against was nothing a woman like Bora could “deal with”. He’d never allow that to happen.
His hand reached up to touch her cheek for a split second, Matthew absentmindedly rubbing her skin.
“We’ll talk later,” he told her.
He knew that she’d be hard to brush away. He could already tell she would do anything to find out what was going on.
“Keep safe, Bora.”
With that, Matthew left her, rushing out onto the streets of Ashgate.
He had to find the one person he hasn’t spoken to in sixteen years.
Bora didn’t know what to do with Matthew disappearing on her. Her phone buzzed, the female taking out her cell. Baekhyun’s photo popped up on the screen along with a string of words she read.
Baekhyun: I reached Ashgaaaaaaaaaaate : D
Baekhyun: Call meeeeee
Baekhyun: only if you r not working
Bora quickly called Baekhyun’s number and as always, her brother answered it within 0.2 seconds. He was breathless, Bora asking him if he was alright. I am, Baekhyun told her, I was just sleuthing.
“Where are you?” She asked.
“I gave the town a little scout. I noticed a pawn shop, noona. My rule in investigating is to ask those who are old people, or the town’s bartender, and any little kid you can find. Those are the most trustworthy—”
Bora was already out the door, heading to the pawnshop as Baekhyun continued to talk.
“The pawnshop has a closed sign. Ugh. It’s already 9 am. Do people not work in small towns?”
“How’d you get here?” Bora asked, hearing the clickity clack from the other side of the phone. She was no stranger to that sound. “Baekhyun?”
“Mhm? Hmm… Um.” The sound continued. “I came from a van from Elderwise. That town is shady as well, noona. There are festivities going on there, but….”
“Baekhyun, are you picking the lock of the pawn shop—”
“Ah! Gotcha!” Baekhyun whispered in triumph, Bora’s eyes widening. “What? No, of course not, noona! It was already open when I arrived.”
“Baek, this is not what you said!”
“Yeah, yeah. Whatever. I’ll be waiting.”
Baekhyun had already reached the pawn shop. His hands had worked their wonders on the lock, the male removing the rusted iron block and putting it beside a potted plant. He opened the door, his ears perking up at the creakiness of the wooden door.
There were antiques inside. The floor was laid with dark brown platform wood and there were too many ugly vases in the shop. There was no one at the counter, but Baekhyun did see stairs leading up to the second floor.
Baekhyun had heard about Ashgate— their prominent reform academy and how good the children would come out to be. He only had an inkling about the town because of that reddit post made by a “Lee Donghae” who was apparently working for ARA.
However, Mr. Lee Donghae had disappeared and did not update his post. He was talking to Baekhyun for a while until the journalist’s messages went unanswered. Baekhyun adjusted the backpack on his back, the edging deeper into the pawn shop.
A gold watch that looked ancient. It had a dial that Baekhyun thought looked cool. A mirror with a cross on top of it. Dusty books that thought about history of the lands. A red necklace that looked a lot like what he saw in Elderwi—
“Baekhyun!” A voice said, Baekhyun whipping his head around to see his older sister looking like she’d berate him for sneaking in. “Baekhyun… I told you not—”
A creak from upstairs. Baekhyun’s eyes widened. Bora froze, her brother tilting his head to the side as she mouthed “What in the world—” when the creaking continued. Someone was walking on the second floor, light footsteps that seemed like it would belong to a woman.
Baekhyun was a quick thinker, the journalist grabbing his older sister to drag her towards the only massive closet in the corner he could find. He prayed that it was empty enough to fit both.
Alas, it was. The two siblings crowded into the closet that smelled a lot like rusted tools and unused paint.
“I can’t believe you did this,” Bora whispered, moving her legs so they were on top of her brother. “One day in Ashgate and you’ve broken into—”
“There is no time to waste when it comes to investigation, noona. Can you move your leg?” Baekhyun knew that with that position, his legs would fall asleep and get numb faster with the added weight.
“Yell at me later, why don’t you?” He lowered his voice. “We might get cau—”
Footsteps descended the staircase, Bora pressing her hand up too Baekhyun’s lips. When the footsteps went further away from where they were, Baekhyun swatted her hand down and pushed the closet open a tiny bit.
Both siblings could see someone in a long bathrobe stride across the pawnshop when he stopped, his eyes going to the front door to see that it was unlocked. The man had fairy-like features, and Bora had never seen a pretty-faced man.
He turned around, Baekhyun letting go of the closet door so it closed naturally and much to their relief, silently. They were in pitch black darkness once again when they heard the door open, a voice indicating another visitor other than them.
“What are you doing here?” One of them said, Bora not recognizing the voice.
“Why else would I be here, Luhan?” A thud, Baekhyun pushing the closet door open again. Bora could see the man and Do Kyungsoo who was drenched in sweat as if he had just run a mile to reach the pawn shop.
“More rat traps?” Luhan asked, tightening his bathrobe.
“I think something is wrong with the kids.” Kyungsoo was wearing his typical white shirt and shorts, the male removing the farmers hat from the top of his head.
Luhan scoffed. “You always think there is something wrong with the kids.”
They watched as Luhan went behind the counter, eyeing the door. “Did you open my shop without my permission?”
“Why would I do that?” Kyungsoo asked back, Bora straining her ears. “It’s happening again. 22 years…”
“You said the same thing last time, but it was only because someone went for therapy and got better,” Luhan snipped.
“It’s real this time,” Kyungsoo hissed, Bora taken aback by the intensity of his voice. “Your kind of people are going to wreak havoc in no time, we need to make sure it doesn’t come to that.”
Luhan yawned. “Kyungsoo, Kyungsoo, Kyungsoo,” Luhan drawled. “So much stress for something that isn’t confirmed. Come back to me when you have the evidence and we’ll talk.”
“Luhan.” Kyungsoo’s took a breath. “Luhan, listen to me—”
“Have you spoken to the other one of us who is just as involved in all this?” Luhan smiled. “Matthew Lee?”
“I don’t want to hear his name.” Kyungsoo’s dislike towards Matthew was evident. “He’s a traitor.”
“And I’m not?”
“Of course you’re not. You died,” Kyungsoo replied, Bora and Baekhyun exchanging looks.
“He’s more like you than I am,” Luhan replied, Kyungsoo letting out a sound that sounded like he was choking on his own spit. “You can say what you want, Kyungsoo, but you can’t say that he’s doesn’t try.”
“He’s a selfish scumbag.” Kyungsoo slammed his hat onto the counter.
“You were best friends.”
“Not anymore, Luhan!” Kyungsoo’s voice raised an octave. “He is dead to me and will continue to be. I will not mingle with anyone who lives a life of lies, trying to be someone he is not!”
“One day will come, Kyungsoo, and you’ll understand that people do whatever is best for themselves.”
A beat of silence when Kyungsoo looked at Luhan straight in the eye.
“Like your parents?” He asked.
At the mention of his parents, Luhan pulled his lips back into a snarl and leapt on the counter on all fours. Kyungsoo narrowed his eyes at the man, unfazed.
“You’re not an animal, Luhan.”
“Watch your words, Kyungsoo, and I won’t hesitate to be one.”
They stared each other down, not giving way until Kyungsoo took a deep breath.
“Maybe I do need rat traps.”
Just like that, Luhan slid back onto the ground, standing on his two feet with a smirk.
“If I’m right this time,” Kyungsoo began as Luhan moved away from the counter and walked towards the closet. “We might be fighting against something bigger than we expect.”
“But you’re ready for it, aren’t you, Kyungsoo? Haven’t you been living in fear all this time in your little hut in the forest?” Luhan asked snarkily, stopping in front of the closet where Bora and Baekhyun were at.
“I had a feeling one day it’d happen again. Do you think I’d trust Matt—”
Kyungsoo’s voice was drowned out when Luhan opened the closet, coming face to face with a sweaty Baekhyun and a wide-eyed Bora, the male tilting his head at the unknown guests.
“Huh,” Luhan voiced, leaning forward towards the two of them with a twinkle in his eyes. “Interesting.”
Bora blinked twice, Baekhyun closing his eyes as if Luhan wouldn’t be able to see him if he didn’t see them.
“Kyungsoo?” Luhan called out, his eyes not leaving the two cramped siblings in front of him. “Are you—”
But Kyungsoo had left the pawn shop, the door closed behind him. Luhan turned to see that Kyungsoo was talking to someone, the view of that someone being blocked why the wooden door.
“I won’t ask,” Luhan told the two, unfazed that there were to strangers in his closet. “Get up and tell me. How did you get in?”
Baekhyun grunted, allowing Bora to move away before pushing himself up to stand in front of the male. He couldn't do it immediately, Baekhyun's leg folding underneath him as he massaged his leg to get the prickly feeling of blood flow to go away quickly.
“You’re the nurse,” Luhan stated, glancing at Bora. “You are?”
“Her brother,” Baekhyun sang, standing up dusting himself off. “Interesting place you have here.”
“I’m sure. Or you wouldn’t be hiding from me in my closet,” Luhan said to him.
“I picked by lock, by the way,” Baekhyun told him. “I’m a master lock-picker if I say so myself. Looked around the whole town to see only one policeman. Are you the owner of the pawnshop?”
“How much did you hear?” Luhan asked, moving away.
“Enough,” Bora answered for her brother. “What happened twenty-two years ago? How are you dead? You look very much alive to me.”
“And what are you, a spidermonkey?” Baekhyun blurted out, trying to act out how Luhan leapt onto the counter.
“Asking the right questions, are we?” Luhan smirked, his eyes settling on something happening behind them. “I’m prefer not to get myself in involved until the situation proves itself to be dire. If you’re looking to acquire answers, I’m not the person to ask.”
Loud shouting came from across the glass pane, all three of them turning to see that Kyungsoo was yelling at someone. Kyungsoo lifted a finger, moving backwards just as the person did. Matthew Lee came into frame, the male trying to say something to the town outcast.
“Do not!” Kyungsoo bellowed. “Touch me!”
“Or what?” Matthew grabbed Kyungsoo’s hand, the male swatting it away before he punched Matthew on the chest. “Ow, Kyungsoo! Ow!”
“Yeah? I’ll show you more from where that came from—”
“I just want to talk!”
Kyungsoo punched Matthew again on the shoulder, going into defensive stance. He began to walk backwards.
“I’m going home, don’t follow me!” Kyungsoo said, wagging a finger at Matthew. “Noooo!”
Matthew placed his hands on his hips, glaring at Kyungsoo. “Don’t “no” me. You must put the past behind—”
Kyungsoo threw his straw hat at Matthew, taking him by surprise before running towards his bicycle.
“Kyungsoo!” Matthew yelled. Bora, Baekhyun, Luhan watched Kyungsoo pedal away furiously, leaving the Oxford graduate frustrated and alone. “Come back here!”
“Guess he doesn’t want his rat traps,” Luhan said softly, shrugging. Matthew entered the pawn shop looking stressed.
"He wasn't in his hut and I almost got killed by one of his traps," Matthew was saying. "So I came here and--"
“Matthew, that was quite a fight you both had there." Luhan sounded amused.
Matthew blinked when he noticed Bora and Baekhyun, the male tinging pink with embarrassment. He scratched the back of his neck, giving Baekhyun a slight bow.
“Oh please. No need to act all formal when they just witnessed an MMA moment with you and Kyungsoo,” Luhan said mockingly.
“Shut up, Luhan,” Matthew breathed. “Since I see you have guests, I’ll... call.”
“Can’t say I’m looking forward to it.” Luhan winked, Matthew giving the siblings one last look before he left.
“Vampires,” Baekhyun said into the dark, Bora turning over in her bed. She had filled Baekhyun everything before bed and somehow, she regretted it.
She had placed another futon down onto the ground, allowing her brother to sleep with her. Dr. Eldridge didn’t say anything about not allowing visitors… Let alone overnight visitors who was her brother who might end up staying with her for a couple of days.
“Radioactive vampires,” Baekhyun corrected himself.
“Go to sleep, Baekhyun. I have work tomorrow.”
Silence. Bora thought her brother had dropped it, the female expecting to hear nothing but silence.
“Baekhyun,” Bora said his name warningly, the male falling back onto the bed.
“There is no reason why one,” Baekhyun began. “These people have scars all over their bodies. Dr. Eldridge? The Haechan boy? Similar scars on two people? Something most definitely happened twenty two years ago. Not to mention, two months ago! There is also no reason why they change into posh sounding weirdos—”
“Baekhyun, can we talk about this tomorrow?” Bora asked tiredly.
“What if tomorrow we become radioactive vampires?” Baekhyun asked, continuing to yap about the possibilities. “What if….”
Bora groaned, trying to drown his voice out when Baekhyun sat up once more.
“Shhh, noona. Do you hear that?” Baekhyun asked, his ears perking up. “Do you?”
Bora sat up at the nudge, hearing a scuffle happening outside the clinic. The two siblings found themselves venturing out onto the streets of Ashgate, following the sound of the yelling just to stop in front of a familiar house.
“That’s Wilbur’s house,” Bora whispered, both of them creeping in the shadows, trying not to be seen. There was a van parked in front of Wilbur’s house, two ARA guards standing beside the vehicle.
The yelling was from inside the house, Bora and Baekhyun ducking behind a bush to see the front door being kicked opened by a very loud, and a very drunk Wilbur.
“Get your hands off me, you donkers!” Wilbur bellowed out, kicking his old man legs. He ended up punching one of the guards, the male yelling out in triumph. “It’s a win for Wilbur!”
One of the guards hissed at him, Wilbur yelling on top of his lungs as Bora and Baekhyun watched from behind the bushes. Baekhyun nudged Bora to move to her right to hide better hide both of them from view when she slammed into someone.
“Matthew?” Bora asked, seeing the town counsellor crouched in the bush next to her. He looked at them. “What are you doing here?”
“Same reason why you’re here,” he told her. “Curiosity.”
“It’s A WIN FOR WILBUR—” Wilbur’s voice was cut off when they saw a guard close his mouth with something, the town drunk falling limply in their arms. They pushed him onto the back of the van and closed it, one guard going to driver’s seat while the other went back into Wilbur’s house.
“They’re taking Wilbur away, aren’t they? They’re going to do the same thing to Wilbur whatever they are doing to the students?” Bora asked, turning to Matthew.
Matthew didn’t say anything, his phone ringing. He quickly fumbled for the device that was in his pocket to silence it just as Baekhyun spoke.
“I’m going,” he told the two adults who didn’t process what he meant.
“What?” Bora asked, realizing what Baekhyun meant when she saw he had his eyes on the van.