Expectations: The Guardian of Forever

Series Expectations
Adventure Sixteen: The Guardian of Forever, Part 2
Author: Aquariuslover
Pairings: KyuWook, Yunjae, YooSu, WooGyu, Various
Rating: R
Genre: Crossover, Romance, Science Fiction, Adventure,
Length: Chaptered
Beta: tahoeturquoise
Warning: A major character dies during this adventure.

A/N: This story is inspired by Star Trek and the Kpop community. This is the last adventure I have planned.

Summary: Limitless possibilities.

Prior Adventures

As the carriage Yoochun was in approached the Duke’s residence, the valet that was sitting across from the engineer asked nervously, “Sir, are you sure this is a wise idea?”

Yoochun eyed the tall, scrawny man sitting across from him. The man was older than Yoochun by at least two decades. “Why do you ask?”

“It is highly improper to be invited so rashly. It is not the behavior of polite society and most certainly not the behavior of a man such as the Duke, who is known for his impeccable manners.”

“Is he not my…” Yoochun paused not sure of his relationship with Yunho in the current reality.

“Your cousin,” the valet supplied. “Yes, I know of your familial ties, but he has openly shown disapproval toward your horse racing, which he considers highly reckless, not to mention your gambling habits.”

Yoochun smiled, because the Duke reminded him of his Yunho. “I believe he can not help but be this way.”

The valet sighed, showing his disapproval. “But Sir, what of your other concerns…your other pressing matters?”

“They will have to wait,” Yoochun informed the valet as the carriage slowed. “The Duke is worried about his missing brother, and I wish to provide him with some solace.”

“Would you like me to administer to your other concerns?”

Yoochun brightened as the driver opened the door to the carriage. “Yes, you do that.”

“Understood, Sir,” the valet answered as Yoochun got out of the carriage.

Yoochun was immediately greeted by Yunho, who had arrived earlier by car.

“How was your ride?” Yunho asked his old friend as he walked up to one of the horses that had pulled the carriage and petted it, much to the driver’s surprise.

Yoochun smiled at his friend, who had always had a deep love for animals. “It was fine, considering the primitive mode of transport. How did you two enjoy your automobile ride?”

“I think I got a bug stuck in my teeth. Next time I am riding with you,” Ryeowook answered as he picked at his teeth with his fingernail.

Yunho walked away from the horse and motioned them toward the mansion. “The automobile was interesting, but I still prefer starships to be my main mode of transportation.”

“I second that,” Yoochun concurred as they stepped onto the portico and were immediately greeted by several maids and a butler.

“My Lord,” the butler stated while bowing. “Her Ladyship is in the Drawing Room.”

“His name is Donald.”

“Thank you, Donald; if you will please escort us there,” Yunho replied while smiling at the butler. “Have you found any sign of Junsu?”


“Yes, My Lord,” the butler responded and led the way.

Yunho continued his telepathic talk with Jaejoong as Donald led them to the Drawing Room. “How is Changmin?”

“Perfect…well, aside from the fact he is trapped inside the body of prepubescent girl.”

“Hopefully he won’t remember it.”

“We know for certain he won’t, but your commander will.”

“How is Kyuhyun?”

“He’s a terrible girl.”

“And you?”

“I am magnificent in any form.”

“Indeed you are.”

“Although, I had thought I was finally free of having a vagina.”


“You are wise not to comment.”

“I love you in any form,”
Yunho telepathically told his bondmate as he watched Donald come to a stop outside the Drawing Room.

“I shall depart with your permission, My Lord, to oversee dinner.”

“Yes, of course,” Yunho told the butler dismissively as he entered the Drawing Room with Yoochun and Ryeowook close behind him.

Ryeowook looked around the lavish room that had huge Victorian paintings hanging on the walls, finely upholstered furniture and a Grand Piano. “This is a very nice room.”

“Hello, Hubby,” Kyuhyun said, greeting Ryeowook with a wicked grin and a wink.

The doctor jumped back a step as he gawked at his husband in horror. Kyuhyun was now in the body of a young girl. She was wearing a green dress and had two long pigtails in her hair. She had green eyes, light brown hair, and freckles were splattered across her cheeks…but she was unmistakably Kyuhyun. “Oh…the captain warned me…but how can you look and sound like a girl…but be you at the same time?”

“Jaejoong explained that it is a trick of the Guardian…you basically see the child but recognize my soul.”

“Oh, this is worse than when I was switched.”

“You think?” Kyuhyun grumbled as he plopped himself down on a hand carved settee with dark green upholstery that matched the rest of furniture in the room. “I am a little girl.”

Ryeowook sat down next to his husband. “Well…physically you are…for now.”

“It’s the weirdest feeling.”

The doctor awkwardly glanced at his husband. “Remember when I gave you so much grief for how you reacted to me when I was a woman?”


“I’m really sorry.”

Kyuhyun couldn’t help but smile a little as he reached out and took Ryeowook’s hand. “Apology accepted.”

“We live such strange lives,” Ryeowook said wistfully as he looked at the small hand in his. “Your little fingers are as pretty as your real toes.”

Kyuhyun laughed but when it came out as a girl’s giggle he immediately stopped and groaned instead.

Yunho, who had gone immediately to Jaejoong’s side, knelt down on the carpet beside his mate, who had their son’s head resting in his lap. “He’s sleeping?”

“He is.”

The captain looked at his son and then back at Kyuhyun on the couch. “They look exactly alike.”

“I believe the term is identical twins.”

Yunho couldn’t help but smile as memories of Kyuhyun and Changmin’s friendship flooded his mind.

“You find that comforting?”

“I can easily envision it,” Yunho told his mate and then asked aloud, “How are we going to find Junsu?”

“I don’t know,” Jaejoong admitted. “Junsu has a very loud mind, but this is a crowded city…much too overpopulated. I had to focus to contact you and I can’t leave Changmin. He is too young to be out of my grasp.”

Yoochun, who was pacing the room, demanded, “Then how are we going to find him? He is stuck in London…and he doesn’t know where we are.”

“London?” Kyuhyun asked alarmed. “We are in the past?”

“No,” Yunho quickly answered. “We thought we were at first but the sun isn’t right. It isn’t Sol. It is a parallel world.”

“I can’t leave Changmin,” Jaejoong stated firmly as he ran one hand over his son’s long brown hair that was loose, unlike his twin’s. “And I can’t pick Junsu out…among a million people. I am good, but even I’m not that good.”

Yoochun stopped pacing and asked, “If you didn’t have to have Changmin attached to your tit, could you sense him?”

Jaejoong’s gaze darkened as he looked up at the engineer. “I am not bonded with Junsu, so I can’t sense him over distances.”

“You have found people before,” Yoochun insisted.

“Because I can read the minds and feel the emotions of people near me…but there are thousands of people in this city, so you tell me—where do I start looking? Who should I be looking for in their minds? Is he a woman…a man…or a child in this reality?”

Yoochun started pacing again. “That is the problem; we don’t know. He could be anywhere…he could be anyone.”

Yunho stood up. “Let’s focus on what we do know. At the council meeting earlier recent murders were mentioned.”

“Yes,” Ryeowook quickly replied. “I am investigating those murders…or I should say, the person I currently inhabit is.”

“Your brother is missing,” Kyuhyun supplied as he glanced down at Jaejoong. “Earlier Jaejoong said the staff was conflicted about your brother’s disappearance.”

Yunho peered down at Jaejoong. “Why are they conflicted?”

“Apparently they consider your brother an odd sort,” Jaejoong answered. “Donald highly disapproves of his behavior.”


Jaejoong concentrated and focused on the butler’s mind. “Donald thinks of him as highly reckless…makes bad decisions…always gambling away his money…he has caused the Duke much embarrassment.”

“How young is he?”

“Twenty years.”

Yunho shrugged. “He’s a young man acting out. He wouldn’t be the first or the last. He’s barely out of his teen years. Teenagers of the past were known for their extremely self-centered behavior.”

“True, but what if he got in debt to the wrong people?” Kyuhyun asked. “What were they called…mobsters? What was that ancient saying…something about sleeping with the fishes?”

Jaejoong rewarded Kyuhyun with a smile of approval. “This is exactly what Donald believes to have happened. Donald is worried the Duke will be dragged into a scandal.”

Yoochun stopped pacing and questioned, “So are we going with the assumption that Junsu is the missing brother?”

“Seems like the obvious choice,” Yunho pointed out.

“Yes, especially considering his history of being in peril even more often than Yunho,” Jaejoong agreed.

Yunho glared at his mate.

“It’s true,” Jaejoong said in his own defense. “Ensign Junsu has an ungodly knack for attracting trouble. He has had his neck broken, had his brain fried, been raped due to a Joong’s influence, almost killed by an egg, and…” Jaejoong paused to look up at the very worried Commander Yoochun, “And you have an unhealthy fixation on him.”

“Jaejoong,” Yunho snapped aloud and then added telepathically, “Be nice!”

“I am nice!”

“Stop torturing Yoochun!”

“I was merely stating a fact…I don’t even dislike Yoochun anymore.”

“You have a funny way of showing it.”

Ryeowook, who hated the hurt look on Yoochun’s face, quickly added in an attempt to distract the engineer, “When you care about someone it is very easy to become fixated on them. Kyuhyun practically stalked me at the academy.”

“What?” Kyuhyun sputtered in disbelief.

“You did.”

“I thought I bullied you! Make up your mind, which one was it?”

“You bullied me first then you stalked me. I will never forget when you joined the academy chorus just to be near me…such a stalker.”

“I joined chorus because I have an amazing voice…better than yours.”

“Please…you didn’t even know you could sing at the time.”

“I did,” Kyuhyun maintained. “You are the one that moved into my room.”

“Because of your mother made me be your roommate.”

“You went on holiday with me.”

“Because your mother invited me.”

Kyuhyun shook his head. “You are always using my poor mother as an excuse to cover your stalking.”

“I did not stalk you…I didn’t even like you at first.”

“You loved me from the first moment you saw me.”

Ryeowook scoffed. “No, our love story does not start that way.”

“You were jealous of my lovers,” Kyuhyun smirked and told Ryeowook. The smirk went well with his new childish face. “At least admit that.”

“I will not…because it could not be farther from the truth,” Ryeowook told his husband, and then coyly added, “You hated all my boyfriends.”

Kyuhyun jumped off the settee, and declared, “You didn’t have any boyfriends! I am the only boyfriend you ever had.”

Ryeowook smiled up at his husband mischievously. “But what about Na—”

Kyuhyun pointed his finger at Ryeowook, quickly interrupting the man. “That…that…that…that muscled dimwit was not your boyfriend!”

The very amused doctor patted his hand against the settee and coaxingly told his husband, “Calm down and come sit with me. You already proved my point.”

“I did not!” Kyuhyun replied, whining loudly. “You big…big…liar, pants on fire!”

Yoochun, Jaejoong, and Yunho just stared at the commander at a loss, all successfully distracted.

“Dude, you are so channeling the girl you’re currently residing in,” Yoochun told Kyuhyun. “Big time.”

Kyuhyun used his hand to flip back one of his pigtails. “I am not!”

“You are,” Yunho told his commander. “Now, sit down and control yourself.”

The commander puffed out his cheeks and sat down beside his husband, obviously pouting.

Ryeowook couldn’t resist but add, “You will listen to your dad but not me!”

Jaejoong, who was peering at Kyuhyun curiously, advised, “He is experiencing a flood of raw emotions…we are not immune to the affects of the bodies we are in.”

“Yeah, yeah, and my balls itch…I think I might have some critters running around down there, but let’s get our focus back on Junsu,” Yoochun snapped. “So are we going to go with the assumption that Junsu was kidnapped by people the brother was in debt to?”

Jaejoong appeared deep in thought as he scanned the other servant’s minds. “Donald’s opinion on the matter is not the only one. Other staff members have their own opinions on what they believe to have happened.”

“Go on,” Yunho stated.

Jaejoong glanced up at Yoochun and smirked. “Apparently he spent a lot of time gambling with the Viscount…a lot of the staff are shocked the Duke would invite the Viscount here. Donald does not approve of you at all…and apparently neither does the actual Duke.”

“Because I gamble?”

“Oh, you do all kinds of behavior that Donald disapproves…your main hobbies are drinking, racing horses, visiting brothels, and gambling.”

Yoochun winked at Jaejoong. “So I am living my dream life.”

Jaejoong closed his eyes and sighed. “I can not even muster up enough disdain for an adequate reply.”

“I know I disgust you, but that is your problem, not mine.”

“No, you are wrong,” Jaejoong denied. “You do not disgust me. You are a true friend to my Yunho…and if ever I was not in a position to protect him…I know you could be trusted to do so, even if your life depended on it.”

Yoochun blushed slightly.

Yunho beamed. “It’s about time you figured that out.”

Jaejoong looked back down at Changmin. “His general uncouthness threw me off, but let’s not become sidetracked. Some on the staff think the missing brother might be the murderer.”

Yunho and Yoochun shared a look and both of them shook their head. “Then it can’t be Junsu,” they both said at the same time.

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that,” Jaejoong warned them. “A soul can easily become tainted if the right circumstances present themselves.”

“No,” Yoochun declared. “Not his.”


“You can’t be serious.”

Woohyun gave Ensign Eunhyuk his most pathetic look and begged, “Please come with me.”

Eunhyuk shook his head frantically. “No! No! No!”

The pitiful looking doctor turned his attention to the chief of security who was standing next to them in the corridor outside Sooyoung’s quarters. “Sungmin, please…I need this…I need the closure.”

“It isn’t closure,” Eunhyuk protested. “It’s called throwing a jealous fit.”

“No, it isn’t,” Sungmin said, disagreeing, while giving Woohyun an encouraging look. “It’s always good to express your feelings, and I think it will make you feel better if you confront them.”

Woohyun smiled triumphantly. “I knew you would understand. I just need to tell him…and her, because she betrayed me, too. She knew I loved him and—”

“Loved?” Sungmin interrupted to question, “As in the past tense?”

“No, I still do…I always will, but the point is she knew and still she went after him.”

A dumbfounded Eunhyuk just gawked at the two men, astounded by their behavior. “They are two adults…two consenting adults…they can have sex with whoever they want. They can date whoever they want! You might love him, but he doesn’t love you, so therefore you have no say over who he sleeps with. When the heck did I become the reasonable one?”

Sungmin patted Eunhyuk on the back. “You are only reasonable because you haven’t felt the sting of unrequited love.”

Woohyun inhaled a deep breath, slowly let it out and told Eunhyuk, “And I hope you never feel the cold sting of unrequited love, but until you do…you can’t possibly understand the pain I am in and it’s time for me to tell them how much they have hurt me.”

The security chief rubbed his hands together. “Let’s do it. You have my support!”

Eunhyuk backed away from them. “Well, you two can barge into Lieutenant Sooyoung’s private quarters and make total fools of yourselves, but this navigator won’t be anywhere near you.”

Sungmin rolled his eyes at Eunhyuk. “I am just going to be there as moral support for the good doctor. I am not going to say anything to them.”

“You have been such a good friend to me, Sungmin.”

“I am trying my best to be—” Sungmin’s combadge went off interrupting him. The voice of Prince Siwon was immediately heard. “Lieutenant.”

Sungmin quickly swiped his badge. “Siwon.”

The cool voice of the prince stated, “I have recently become aware that the planet below boasts of having renowned botanical gardens. I was hoping you would join me for a stroll through one of them.”

“Yes! I mean…when? I would love to go,” Sungmin quickly blurted out his excited response.

“I am currently in the transporter room. I am very eager to see them.”

“I am on my way,” Sungmin responded while giving Woohyun an apologetic look as he hurried down the corridor toward the lift.

Eunhyuk snorted and shook his head as he watched the lieutenant leave. “That’s Sungmin for you…his lovers always come first. You are a fool if you ever believed otherwise.”

Woohyun cast a scrutinizing glace at the navigator. “Do I sense bitterness?”

“No, I was just letting you know what being his friend entails.”

“And you sound bitter about it.”

“I might have once been bitter, but not anymore.”

A slightly perplexed Woohyun tossed his suspicions aside, grabbed Eunhyuk by the arm and dragged him toward Lieutenant Sooyoung’s quarters. “Unfortunately, that means you have to be my moral support, now.”

“No!” Eunhyuk yelped but the doors to the quarters were already whooshing open and the doctor, who was much stronger than he appeared, had already pulled him inside.

Eunhyuk squeezed his eyes shut and immediately started apologizing as he struggled to get free of Woohyun’s grip. “I am…I am leaving! I am sorry for the intrusion! He made me! Bye! I am going, now!”

“Why?” Lieutenant Sooyoung asked, grabbing Eunhyuk by the other hand to keep him from escaping, “When we have gone to so much trouble to get you here?”

A shocked Eunhyuk, who had just broken free of Woohyun’s grasp, swung back around to face the female lieutenant.

“That’s right. We have something we want you to see,” Lieutenant Sooyoung told him. She then let go of him and walked over to stand beside Sunggyu, who was holding a container with three familiar crystals inside it. The navigator looked at the crystals and then slowly up at the acting lieutenant.

Sunggyu met the navigator’s gaze and asked, “Eunhyuk, what would you do for a chance to see Junsu? What would you do to get him back?”

“Whaaattt…” a stunned Eunhyuk stammered, unable to grasp what was going on. “Get him back…”

“We believe there is a high probability that Ensign Junsu and the others are still alive. We believe they were never sent to a rebel outpost, but that they were transported to a planet with a Guardian instead. A Guardian that we believe transported them away before the sun exploded,” Sooyoung stated calmly and matter-of-factly.

“We have footage that supports this theory,” Woohyun added, helpfully.

Eunhyuk maintained eye contact with Sunggyu. “Why would…would the captain do that?”

“Because he is an imposter inhabiting the body of Commander Leeteuk, and there is also an imposter controlling Dr. Kim,” Lieutenant Sooyoung elaborated. “Captain Jung discovered this and it is why he was beamed down from the brig…to go on an away mission. Ask yourself, what captain has someone in the brig one minute and leading an away mission the next? Sulli has also awakened and I believe that signifies that Changmin has been born. There is much more proof and we can provide it all for you.”

“You believe…you believe it has all been a lie?” Eunhyuk asked Sunggyu, not looking away from the man that had saved his life not long ago. “You think Junsu could still be alive?”

“Yes,” Sunggyu answered.

“When we were on the mission together…you said you thought something was wrong, you questioned the captain’s judgment then,” Eunhyuk pointed out as he reached up and wiped a tear from his face as hope filled him. “You pointed out his flaws…you made me see his flaws.”

“They are glaringly obvious, but what matters now is what you are willing to do,” Sunggyu told Eunhyuk. “Lieutenant Jung believed if you pick up one of the stones the soul switch will occur…you alone can confirm if they are still alive.”

Eunhyuk looked back down at the stones. “But the captain forbid him from studying them further.”

Sooyoung just grinned. “Yes, he does note that in his research, but he was curious and he had not learned to control his more impulsive Joong half at the time.”

Eunhyuk looked confused as he turned his focus to Sooyoung. “But I thought a Joong had to activate them? When we first touched them, nothing happened. Also, we had to hand them back to their rightful owners to switch our souls back to the correct bodies.”

“He recorded that he believes his initial hypothesis was incorrect,” Sooyoung quickly explained. “The stones are meant to protect people from the Joong…it wasn’t so much that switching the stones made you go back to your right bodies…but it was more like, you believed it would happen so it did. He believed the crystals to be powerful objects and once they are bonded with a person they will always work for them. He also believed as long as one member of the triad touches one, then they can activate the switch…he even hypothesized there might be a way to initiate the switch without holding them, but he did not have time to further study the stones.”

“So…so if I touch it I will switch souls with Commander Yoochun? I will go to where he is?”

“Yes, and hopefully Junsu will switch with you,” Sunggyu added.

“Then what?” Eunhyuk asked curiously. “What do we do if we prove you are right?”

“It’s best you don’t worry about that, just focus on Junsu,” Sooyoung told the ensign.

“Why can’t I know? Do you not trust me?”

“It is more like we don’t trust Lieutenant Sungmin…you know how he is. He is blindly loyal to the imposter,” Woohyun responded.

Eunhyuk turned to face the doctor and suddenly realized, “You were playing us…you were fooling us all this time.”

“I had to,” Woohyun said in his defense. “Sungmin was paying too much attention to the comings and goings of Lieutenant Sooyoung, so we had to make him think she wasn’t a threat to him.”

“Wow, you are slick at lying.”

Woohyun shrugged, unbothered. “My nickname is Greasy.”

“You played Sungmin…you acted like you were so hurt because Sunggyu and Sooyoung were lovers…you played him perfectly. How did you know how to play him so well?”

“That isn’t important,” Sooyoung told the navigator.

“It’s important to me,” Eunhyuk protested. “Dr. Nam is quite the actor…or should I say quite the liar?”

“You can say both if you want because it’s the truth. It is not a skill I am proud of, but it has kept me alive,” Woohyun admitted. “But believe me, it wasn’t fun for me. I had to act as if I really believed they were lovers. I had to convince myself it was true. I can’t help but feel pissed at them. The true art of lying is to feel—”

Sunggyu shot Woohyun a warning glance. “Doctor, lets not get off topic. Lieutenant Sungmin had to be fooled for the sake of the ship and its crew.”

“Did he?” Eunhyuk demanded.

Sunggyu stepped up closer to Eunhyuk and challenged, “He did, and I would happily do it again. His blind loyalty to the late commander Leeteuk is a huge detriment to this ship and its crew. Now, you decide what you want to do. Are you going to run off and find him and tell him everything you have learned and throw away Junsu’s last chance or are you going to pick up a crystal and see if your best friend is still alive?”

Without saying another word, Eunhyuk met Sunggyu’s challenge by reaching into the container and grabbing a crystal.


“A carriage is our best option,” Yunho stated as he peered out the window toward the street. “You can ride in it with Changmin. Maybe if we get you closer to Junsu you can sense him.”

Jaejoong, who had moved with Changmin to the longer sofa in the room, agreed. “It might work.”

“And hopefully we find him quickly,” Ryeowook stated as he sat at the piano, resisting the urge to play the magnificent instrument.

“And then I sincerely hope the Guardian returns us to the ship…and our true bodies,” Kyuhyun, who was still on settee, stated wistfully.

“Can’t hack it as a girl, can you,” Jaejoong stated with a dismissive tone.

“No, I can’t,” Kyuhyun readily admitted. “I feel too emotional, as you all might have noticed.”

Ryeowook got up from the piano and walked over to his husband, who was trapped inside the body of a young girl. “You are doing fine. You are a kid…kids have less control over their emotions. I am sorry for upsetting you earlier.”

Kyuhyun smiled up at Ryeowook. “Apology accepted.”

The doctor reached down, lifted one of Kyuhyun’s pigtails and gently waved it.

“Stop molesting my daughter,” Jaejoong snapped at the doctor. “You know if we get stuck here I will never allow her to marry you…you are just a lowly born public official.”

Ryeowook let go of Kyuhyun’s pigtail and asked in a deadpan voice, “Molesting…really?”

“She is above you in station. It is important that people do not get above their stations in—” Jaejoong paused and focused on Yoochun, who had stopped pacing and was standing completely still. “Yunho, I can’t sense Yoochun at all…his mind is totally closed off to me.”

Yunho turned away from the window to stare at Yoochun, who looked completely dazed. “Yoochun…what is wrong?”

Yoochun just gaped at him open mouthed.


“I don’t understand, one minute he was consumed with worry about Junsu. He really cares about the disaster prone ensign. He was very moved by the kiss Junsu had given him earlier…he thought they might finally have a chance together…and then nothing. It’s like he found a necklace and put it on.”

“But he didn’t.”

“I know that.”

Yunho stared at his friend at a loss and then his gut instinct kicked in. “Eun…Ensign Eunhyuk!”

“Captain!” The ensign shouted as the new reality slowly fell into place around him and the people in the room became recognizable to him. “Are you really alive?”

An overjoyed Yunho quickly rushed toward the ensign and engulfed him in a hug. “Yes! Did you use the stones?”

“Yes,” Eunhyuk answered, startled by Yunho hugging him. “Is Junsu…is Junsu here?”

“Not right now, but he is traveling with us,” Yunho carefully answered as he pulled away from the ensign.

“Traveling?” a confused Eunhyuk asked.

“The Guardian saved us, but it has been giving us quite the side trip,” Yunho answered. “Tell me what is going on with my ship.”

“Sunggyu said you weren’t dead…he talked me into using the stones and he was right,” Eunhyuk whispered still in shock. “He was right.”

Yunho grinned and reached out and squeezed both of Eunhyuk’s shoulders. “Sunggyu figured it out…he really is my favorite.”

Kyuhyun, who had gotten up to stand beside the captain, concurred. “Mine too.”

“Sooyoung helped, too…or maybe she was the one that figured it out. I am not sure,” Eunhyuk added. “They wouldn’t tell me everything…because I am friends with Sungmin, but I think they are plotting to take the ship back.”

Jaejoong smiled as he felt all of Yunho’s joy and said aloud, “That woman might be growing on me.”

Yunho commanded, “You can not tell Sungmin anything. They are right not to trust him.”

Eunhyuk nodded his head. “I won’t. He would tell the imposter…but he doesn’t know he is an imposter and he wouldn’t believe me if I told him. I just want you all to be back on the ship…especially Junsu. I thought he was dead…and the last time I saw him we fought…I have to tell him how sorry I am. I don’t want him to hate me.”

Ryeowook hugged Eunhyuk tightly from behind. “He loves you and he always has. You are his best friend and one fight will not change that.”

Jaejoong waited till Ryeowook let go of the ensign to confirm. “Ensign Junsu is incapable of malice or hate.”

“What are the imposters doing with my ship?” Yunho questioned Eunhyuk as he led him to the settee and sat him down. “Tell me what is going on.”

“Commander Ji-Hoon went insane and tried to blow up the ship, but Ensign Henry was able to save the ship. Kangin chewed the imposter captain out for being a coward, called Sungmin a weasel…and I thought he was going to quit but he didn’t—”

“He is probably aware of Sunggyu and Sooyoung’s plans,” Yunho said with a big proud grin on his face. “He’s probably helping them.”

“The imposters…who…what are they?” Eunhyuk questioned.

“We can not be sure. We believe they might be some type of rogue Joong…an outlaw that is able to take over human bodies,” Yunho explained.

“Any human body?” Eunhyuk asked nervously.

“No,” Ryeowook answered. “We don’t think so; we think the brain has to be damaged.”

“What happened to Shindong?” Kyuhyun asked, worried for the space trader.

Eunhyuk looked at Kyuhyun and blinked, trying to correlate the image of a young girl with the Kyuhyun he knew. “He got some rare disease…he’s in sickbay.”

“Unconscious?” Yunho questioned.

“Yes, Sir,” Eunhyuk replied.

“I am glad he isn’t dead,” Ryeowook said, much relieved. “Life must hold some value for them.”

“Perhaps…what about the away team you were on? Did you all make it back to the ship?” Yunho asked.

“Yes, Sir, we all made it back.”

Yunho sat down beside Eunhyuk and asked, “Did Lieutenant Sooyoung tell you how long you would be here?”

“She said that Changmin had hypothesized I could end the switch when I mentally willed it.”

Yunho frowned. “Changmin…hypothesized?”

Eunhyuk let out a nervous laugh. “Apparently, he was researching the stones in secret.”

“Was he?” Yunho asked telepathically as he glared at his mate.

“I didn’t read his every thought.”



“I find it very unlikely…highly unlikely that Changmin was studying these stones and you didn’t know about it.”

Jaejoong avoided Yunho’s glare but snipped mentally, “I bet you are glad he was, though.”

Yunho grunted and turned his focus back to Eunhyuk. “Tell me everything…and I mean everything.”

Eunhyuk quickly complied, “We have been orbiting a planet for weeks now…the thing controlling Commander Leeteuk just says we are in mourning so he is letting us take extended shore leave.”

“No,” Yunho said shaking his head, not believing it for second. “He is looking for something on the planet. He has been looking for ancient Joong artifacts. When you go back tell Lieutenant Sooyoung and Ensign Sunggyu he must not be allowed to find what he is looking for.”

“No,” Jaejoong agreed, focusing on Eunhyuk. “He must not be allowed to find it.”

“How can we stop him from getting it?”

You can’t,” Jaejoong admitted. “But that woman might be able to.”


The sound of screaming awoke him.

His entire body was wracked with pain.

His mind slowly adjusted to the sudden shift.

He realized he was the one screaming and stopped.

His eyes could not adapt to the utter darkness of the room.

He was pressed against a hard surface and his wrists and ankles were bound tightly.

His stomach churned as the smell of the room assaulted his senses. His body was damp and he knew he was lying in his own waste. There was another putrid odor filling the room he could not identity.

Yoochun concentrated on reigning in his fear.

He forced his mind to think rationally about what had just occurred. He quickly reasoned the Guardian had switched them again. He knew he was not in his own body because the voice was not his own. Any ambivalent feelings he had for the ancient time portal were replaced by hatred.

Why the Guardian had seen fit to subject him to torture; yes, he was being tortured, or rather the body he was in, had recently been tortured ruthlessly. His skin felt like it had been flayed in places and he could feel blood slowly seeping down the sides of his body.

The darkness prevented him from actually seeing the damage that had been done to him, but he knew it was immense.

He desperately needed help.

He opened his mouth and he yelled for the one person who had always helped him in the past, “Yunho! Yunho! Yunho!”

He continued to scream till his throat was raw.

It occurred to him he was very thirsty. His rational mind pointed out he was in a pool of his own bodily fluids; he had to be dehydrated.

He continued to scream for his friend, but no rescue came. He tried a different tactic and cried out mentally, “Jaejoong! Jaejoong! Jaejoong!”

He wasn’t sure it would work, but surely even if they were in another crowded city, surely his terror could be felt by the Joong…but no, Jaejoong did not speak with him telepathically. He wasn’t telepathic. Yunho could only speak telepathically because he was bonded with the Joong. Logically, he knew yelling for the Joong would do him no good unless they were within range of the Joong’s telepathic and emphatic abilities.

“Help me! Somebody help me, dammit! I swear you don’t want to piss me off!” Yoochun yelled, growing angrier and more terrified with each passing second in the darkness.

After what had only been a few minutes, but what had seemed like hours he heard a door open from above him.

“Young Sir, you are full of threats this morning,” a man’s voice from the darkness could be heard saying.

Yoochun turned his head and saw the light of a candle approaching him. The face of the man holding the candle remained hidden by the darkness as he slowly descended down what must have been a flight of stairs.

“Let me go!”

“My master would be very upset with me if I allowed you to escape.”

“I don’t give a shit if he is upset or not! Untie me!”

“I can not.”

“Listen here you bastard, I will kill you if you do not untie me. I will fucking kill you!”

The man stepped closer and observed, “Your demeanor is much changed from earlier, and I see you have messed yourself again.”

“Fuck you!”

“I will have to clean you up before the master returns home. Do not blame yourself for your accident; it is not your fault. You would have no control over your bowels after the master’s…maltreatment of you last night. He does get over exuberant with his toys when he gets angry. He got very angry…I thought…I had hoped you could stir him…awaken his manhood.”

A chill ran down Yoochun’s spine as the man drew closer and his voice became clearer.

The man lowered the candle and his face came into view.

The valet from earlier smiled sadly down at Yoochun. “He likes you better than the girls though…what he did to those girls…he has kept you alive longer than anyone. If you could just arouse him…I know if he could just feel aroused then the torture would lose some of its appeal. I promised him I would attend to you, and perhaps if I please him with my presentation of you…he will let me have a girl of my own.”

Yoochun let out a bloodcurdling scream.

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