Title: Play Along (Part 1/13) Rating: G Genre: AU, fantasy, eventual romance Prompt: #17: Deadline Word Count: 652 Notes: Um... yeah. I don't know where this idea came from. I apologize in advance. But this is gonna be a short chaptered fic for the challenge, one challenge word per chap. I already have the words picked out and the fic basically planned out, so... hopefully y'all like it. ^^; Summary: Changmin does not believe in magic; he's far too old for that, and he's always been more of the logical sort anyway. Until one night when he wishes his annoying step-brother away and is suddenly swept into a world of mystery, fantasy, frustration, adventure, and eventually... love. (Inspired by the movie Labyrinth.)
Part One: Play Along
Changmin is almost certain he's hallucinating. The man in front of him is far
too pretty to exist in real life, and the brown-barren hills he can see from his balcony certainly do not belong in the middle of Seoul. Then there's the sudden power outage the apartment is currently experiencing and the uncharacteristic quiet from Junsu's room. It's not adding up to any logical sense, so hallucination it is.
The pretty man glares at him with a disgruntled pout. "You're not listening
to me!" he accuses, stomping his black boot-clad foot. "I'm only explaining these rules for your own good, Changmin-ah. I, personally, already know them backwards and forwards and upside down and thus don't particularly need to hear them yet again. You, on the other hand..."
Hearing the words as the obvious warning they are, Changmin still can't
quite focus on them. Maybe he's been drugged then. That would explain a lot. "How do you know my name?" he asks, not letting himself think any further than that right now.
"I know everything about you, Changmin," the man replies with a small
smirk, "but that's a story for another time. I'm Jaejoong, by the way, since I'm sure you'll get around to wondering about it at some point."
There are several questions Changmin considers necessary above the
matter of this man's name on his mental list. None of those questions belong in his sane, ordered, rational, normal, non-fantastical world, though, so he supposes Jaejoong's name is as good a place to start as any. "How is this even happening right now?" he wonders, mostly to himself.
Jaejoong chooses to answer him anyway. "You said the magic words to
disappear your dear step-brother, and now here we are. Careful what you wish for and all that jazz, Min-ah."
Closing his eyes, Changmin takes a deep breath and considers his options.
If this is an hallucination, he's obviously having no luck pulling himself out of it; if it's not all in his head, Junsu is trapped somewhere in that massive stone maze outside. If it's the former, he may as well play along and see where his newfound insanity takes him; if it's the latter, then as much as Junsu annoys him on a semi-regular basis, he should at least try to rescue his hyung. He opens his eyes to look at Jaejoong. "Okay, explain it to me one more time. I promise to listen this time."
Jaejoong grins as if he just received ever Christmas present in the history
of ever all at once. "It's simple, really," he chirps. "You just have to find your way to my castle in the middle of the labyrinth. If you can get to Junsu before your time runs out, you're both free to leave. If you can't reach him in time, though, he'll be turned into one of my goblins and will have to stay forever."
"He's already close enough to a goblin, so there won't be much change
there," Changmin mutters as he shifts to stare out at the labyrinth. 'Massive' really doesn't do the elaborate maze justice, but he's already drawing lines and plotting routes in his head. As confident as he is in his own intelligence and ability to strategize, he knows it won't exactly be a cake walk. "How much time will I have?"
A silver watch with a braided black leather band loops around his wrist.
Something seems off with it when he first glances at it, but he doesn't quite comprehend what he's seeing until he hears Jaejoong's next words. "Thirteen hours, Min-ah. That watch will keep track of your time, starting when you first see the doors of the labyrinth. It will disappear again when you either run out of time or complete your task. Good luck."
Changmin turns to comment that Jaejoong had almost sounded sincere with
those last words, but the man is already gone. With a sigh, he turns back and takes his first steps towards the imposing walls of the labyrinth.