[center Chapter 7]
Youngtaek found out some interesting things as he spent time with Beomgyu. He was slowly figuring out who the real Beomgyu was, as even Youngtaek could tell that this mask of sorts Beomgyu wore was just that. A mask.
The most interesting thing that Youngtaek had found out was Beomgyu's nickname that most people called him. Beomgyu hated the nickname, but Youngtaek wasn't calling him kid anymore, which Beomgyu was fine with.
"Why do you hate it when people call you Gyu?" Asked Youngtaek as he and Beomgyu were taking a stroll along the coast. "It was a nickname my brother gave me," came the reply as Beomgyu looked out at the water.
"You'd rather not be reminded of it huh?" Asked Youngtaek. Beomgyu nodded, sighing a bit. "I'll let you call me Gyu, as long as you stop calling me kid," he mumbled, looking back at Youngtaek.
"Sure Gyu," Youngtaek said, nodding as he grinned at Beomgyu. "Just don't call me fox anymore," he added. "That's going to be a hard habit to break," Beomgyu commented with a scoff, turning back to look at the water.
"Whatever makes you happy kid," Youngtaek said with a smirk as Beomgyu turned and scowled at him. "Stop calling me kid damn it," grumbled Beomgyu. "Stop calling me fox then," retorted Youngtaek.
"You're just a fox, and I'm not a kid," explained Beomgyu. "That doesn't make me a [i fox]," growled Youngtaek. "I'm a 'shifter that changes into a fox, there's a difference," he added.
"Whatever you say fox," Beomgyu said with a smirk before he continued walking down the coast. Youngtaek let out an exasperated sigh before following after Beomgyu.
Months of patrolling passed, and Youngtaek was able to get to know Beomgyu throughout this time. Beomgyu refused to talk about his brother though, and Youngtaek didn't pry on the matter. As much as he wanted to, Youngtaek respected Beomgyu's personal life.
They built a shaky friendship around respecting each other's privacy and that was enough for the both of them. Youngtaek was more than happy to keep his secrets, as he knew that he could share them with Beomgyu without Beomgyu judging him for it. He also knew that Beomgyu would share with him some of his secrets, eventually.
"We'll be heading back soon," announced Beomgyu as he walked into the apartment. "It's time to go already?" Asked Youngtaek as he looked up at Beomgyu from his spot on the bed. "Yeah," came the reply as Beomgyu sat down on the couch. "Are we taking the train again?" Asked Youngtaek. "Straight to Moscow," confirmed Beomgyu as he nodded.
"Sweet," cheered Youngtaek. "I'll go get the food ready, you hunt, and I'll meet you at the station," he said, getting to his feet. "Sure fox," Beomgyu said with a small chuckle, earning a scowl from Youngtaek. "Let's clean up first," he added. Youngtaek nodded and rushed to clean up with Beomgyu helping and leaving as soon as he was done, trusting that Youngtaek could get the pack ready and meet him at the train station.
Beomgyu finished hunting and was heading back to the train station when someone called his name. "Hey Gyu!" Shouted a voice somewhere behind Beomgyu. Beomgyu turned around to see a familiar face, the corners of his lips going up in a grin as he recognized who it was. "Jangjun!" He greeted as Jangjun walked over with Keonhee.
"What brings you here?" Asked Beomgyu. "I'm taking your spot," replied Jangjun as he shrugged, coming to a stop in front of Beomgyu. Keonhee stopped beside him, sitting down and watching Beomgyu with a tilt of his head.
"Youngtaek is going to miss you coming to take our place," hummed Beomgyu. "Youngtaek is with you now?" Asked Jangjun. "For a bit," responded Beomgyu as he nodded. "Good to know he is with someone now," hummed Jangjun. "Someone like him can't be without someone to follow," he added.
"Like how Keonhee is with you?" Asked Beomgyu as he bent down in front of Keonhee and pet him on the head. "I don't even know if he can return to human form at this point," hummed Jangjun as he looked down at Keonhee. "He's a good companion, but it's been a few months since he was last in human form," he added. "Huh," hummed Beomgyu.
"Jangjun!" Called another voice as Youngtaek ran over, grinning as he came to a stop in front of Jangjun. "Hey Youngtaek," greeted Jangjun as he nodded at Youngtaek. "I guess you're taking our spot," remarked Youngtaek. "Yep," hummed Jangjun.
"We should get going then," said Beomgyu as he got up, nodding to Jangjun. "Have fun," he added. "You too," replied Jangjun as Beomgyu and Youngtaek headed into the train station.
Beomgyu didn't end up in Moscow, as he wanted to stop by the fort to see how things were. He knew he swore he wouldn't come back, but Soobin had asked for him and Beomgyu wondered what it was for. Youngtaek was with him like usual, but that was expected now. Beomgyu was fine with his presence, and vice versa.
"This is where you grew up?" Asked Youngtaek as they stood on the outskirts of town. "Yeah, but I'm originally from St Petersburg," hummed Beomgyu as he looked around before running around towards the fort. Youngtaek rushed after him, thankful for the speed that the chip gave him for once.
When they reached the fort Soobin was kneeling at the fire pit, lighting a piece of bark with a match and throwing it into the pile and moving away as it lit up. "You managed to get away from him again huh?" Asked Beomgyu as he walked over, coming to a stop across the fire pit from Soobin with Youngtaek standing beside him as he came to a stop. "Oh no, Taehyun's here," responded Soobin as he looked up at Beomgyu. Beomgyu raised an eyebrow, turning when he heard footsteps.
"I didn't think you'd actually show up," remarked Taehyun as he walked over, going to stand beside Soobin. Youngtaek eyed Taehyun before looking at Beomgyu who tensed at his presence. "Taehyun," greeted Beomgyu. "Gyu," greeted Taehyun.
"So what'd you ask for my presence for?" Asked Beomgyu. "You were wondering where Yeonjun ended up at, and he's still in the country," replied Soobin. "He's somewhere near the Sea of Japan, Vladivostok I think," he added. "We were just over there," remarked Beomgyu. "I guess we didn't see him because we were up and down the coast over there," he added.
"But that isn't the only thing you needed me here for," stated Beomgyu as he looked at Soobin. "No," hummed Soobin as he reached into his pocket and brought out a small photo before handing it to Beomgyu who looked at the picture, his breath getting caught in his throat as he recognized the picture.
"I figured you'd want this one," explained Soobin as Beomgyu put the picture in his pocket. "Thanks," mumbled Beomgyu as he tried not to sound emotional. Soobin nodded. "Junhan took that picture," he explained. "I know, I was there for it," muttered Beomgyu.
"So where are you headed to next?" Asked Taehyun as everyone now sat down around the fire. "Back to Moscow for a bit before I decide on whether I should leave the country for a bit or not," hummed Beomgyu. "Apparently I'm needed to talk to some people over in Canada so," he added, shrugging.
"I wonder who could be asking for you over there?" Asked Soobin. "I don't know, but I'm needed," hummed Beomgyu.
After leaving the two friends to whatever they needed to do Beomgyu and Youngtaek left, heading back to Moscow with Youngtaek in his fox form running along side him. When they reached Moscow Beomgyu left Youngtaek to change and get dressed while Beomgyu went to find a clear case for his phone.
"Are we going straight to Canada from here or are we stopping somewhere?" Asked Youngtaek after he found Beomgyu wandering around Moscow. "We're heading to Berlin first," replied Beomgyu as he turned to Youngtaek. "Oh, cool," hummed Youngtaek.
"Also, what was on that picture?" Asked Youngtaek as he walked with Beomgyu. "It's a group picture," hummed Beomgyu as he took out his phone, turning it over to show the picture. "It's one of the few pictures we had of Gunil," he added.
"Is that Kai?" Asked Youngtaek as he pointed to the one person sitting down in the middle of the group. "Yeah, and I'm behind him," replied Beomgyu as he nodded. "Taehyun and Soobin look so much happier here," remarked Youngtaek as he noticed Taehyun and Soobin standing to the right of Beomgyu, along with someone Youngtaek didn't recognize. "Who's that beside Soobin?" He asked. "That's Yeonjun," replied Beomgyu. "Ah," hummed Youngtaek.
"And then we have Gunil and Jiseok," pointed out Beomgyu as he pointed to the two standing on the left side of Beomgyu. "I see that," hummed Youngtaek. "What was the occasion?" He asked. "I think it was just before Gunil started training Yunho," hummed Beomgyu. "All of us had gone to visit Kai, and Junhan happened to be in town that day so we managed to get a group photo," he explained. "Huh," hummed Youngtaek.
Beomgyu couldn't leave Moscow without visiting Daeyeol and Bomin, at Youngtaek's insistence anyway. Beomgyu needed to hunt, so Daeyeol accompanied him while Bomin and Youngtaek walked around for a while.
"You staying for a few days?" Asked Bomin as he and Youngtaek stopped at a food stand to eat. "Probably," hummed Youngtaek. "I don't know if Beomgyu wants me to go with him, but it seems like he'll let me," he added. "My papers are in my bag at least," he hummed.
"You taking the fox with you?" Asked Daeyeol after he helped Beomgyu dispose of the body. "I am, yeah," replied Beomgyu as he nodded. "He's been out of Europe at least right?" He asked. "No," Daeyeol responded with a sigh. "This will be his first trip outside of Europe," he added. "Well, this will be interesting," hummed Beomgyu as he walked with Daeyeol. "He really is a sheltered fox," he added. "Really," Daeyeol remarked with a scoff. "But you're helping him learn of the world outside of Russia," he added. "Hm," hummed Beomgyu.