🎃 Frightful October Act III, #9 ~ Can’t Give Up (Ricky / Changhyun Yoo)
📑 Table of Contents
Genre: Angst, Supernatural, Fluff, Family, AU, Halloween
Word Count: 3,317
Pairing: Reader x Ricky
World: Teen Top
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“What are we going to do, Damion?”
“I don’t know.”
“The light bill is past due, my insurance is about to relapse. That bitch at work cut my hours again but gave me more work to do. We got our third cable bill in the mail today. The baby is due in a month – one month, but we don’t have anything for him! What are we going to do, Dami – ”
“I said I don’t know, Helen!”
You flinched, pressing your back flat against the wall. Your parents were in the kitchen, unaware of your eavesdropping in the hallway.
“There’s nothing I can do!” he screamed, throwing his coffee mug against the wall. It shattered, the pieces falling to the tiled floor below. He limped to the backdoor, slamming it shut behind him.
Helen fell into the kitchen chair, her face in her hands as her body shook with loud sobs. Unable to listen to the sound any longer, you pushed away from the wall and returned to your bedroom. You closed and locked the door behind you before sliding down, your knees pulled tight to your chest.
Things had been tough for your family over the past year. It started to go downhill when your dad was in an accident on the construction site he worked at. Now with a bum leg and chronic back pain, he’s unable to hold down a job. Since then, he’s been struggling with self-hatred because he can no longer provide for his family. He’s become depressed and agitated.
Your mom was working two jobs, but she was recently let go from the first, and her hours had been slowly decreasing at the second. At eight months pregnant, she shouldn’t even be working.
You had tried to hold down a job yourself, but you always got fired. It’s not like you didn’t try – on the contrary, you tried really hard, but your grasp of things was lower than most. You had to be told things many times before you finally grasped it, and you typically forgot the most important things. Your employers were impatient and didn’t want to take the time on you.
The bills were piling up and your family was beginning to fall apart.
“What do I do…” you whispered, tears welling up in your eyes. You felt so helpless.
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You walked down the street tugging your coat tighter around you to block out the chilly October wind. The bell above the door dinged when you entered the convenience store, heading for the counter.
The clerk gave you a tired smile. “How may I help you?”
“I’d like to put in an application, please.”
“Sure, one second,” he stepped into the back room, returning a moment later with two sheets of paper and a pen.
You nodded your thanks, taking them as you stepped out of the way. You didn’t want to block any customers that might come up while you were filling it out. The first impression you made on your new potential employer would be your handwriting, so you took a deep breath to steady your nerves. The more nervous you were, the shakier your hand would be.
“Did you see the news?”
“About that crazy old guy?”
You glanced over your shoulder at the two employees stocking the fridges with drinks. They were both quite young, probably their first job as high school students. You tried to ignore them, but your curiosity got the better of you.
“When he was arrested, he claimed that a crossroads demon made him do it.” The shorter boy was clearly amused by the news.
The taller boy clearly was not. “Did he murder someone?”
“A woman and her kids! He said he made a deal with a demon. If he killed the woman and her family, he’d be given a mansion to live out the rest of his life in!”
The tall boy scoffed. “And how’d that work out for him?”
“We���ll never know. He was arrested before he could kill her husband.”
‘A… cross-roads demon? Could that really work?’ you had promised yourself that you would do everything within your power to turn your family’s luck around. You would try anything, even making a deal with the devil himself. You quickly filled out the form and handed it to the clerk behind the counter, bolting out the store.
When you got home, you were thankful that neither of your parents was there. You entered your room and booted up the laptop you’ve had since you were a kid. It was old, but it got the job done.
‘If I’m going to try this, the first thing I need to do is research how one summons one of these things,‘ your heart hammered against your chest as you scrolled through page upon page, each adding new information to the one before. There were two things that remained the same among all of them – crossroads, black cat bone, and graveyard dirt.
You sat back in your chair. ‘There isn’t a graveyard within thirty miles of here. I don’t even want to think about what I’d have to do to get the bone of a black cat…’
Your phone buzzed in your pocket – an unknown number. “Hello?”
“Is this Y/N?”
“I’m the owner of the Bubbymart Convenience store. I just saw your application and I wanted to call and apologize because we aren’t currently hiring. I guess Martin didn’t get that memo.”
Your heart dropped into your stomach. “O-Oh, I see…”
“I’ll keep your application on file for the future. Have a good day.” the line went dead.
You frowned, letting your hand drop to your lap. You had visited fifteen different businesses that day and only two had been hiring – Bubblymart and the local library. You doubted you would be given the job at the library since previous experience was required, and you had none.
The phone buzzed again. This time it was your dad. “Hey, dad, what’s – ”
“Y/N!” He cried out, panic lacing his voice. “Your mother collapsed at work. She’s being rushed to the emergency room, I’m going to meet her there.”
“Wait, I’ll co – ”
“I’m almost there. Just stay inside and keep the doors locked. Keep your phone near you, do you understand?”
“But, da – ”
“Do you understand, Y/N?” he repeated with a firmer voice.
“Y-Yes, I understand.”
He took a shaky breath. “I love you, Y/N.”
“I love you, too…” Tears welled up in your eyes as the line went dead. You sat there for several moments, just staring at the black screen of your phone. “I… I have to do something!”
With your mind made up, you locked up the house and took off down the street, your sneakers slamming against the pavement as you ran. The only crossroads that you knew of was a twenty-minute walk from your house. It was a longshot to begin with, even more so without the ingredients needed to make the summoning work, but you had to at least try.
The sky was getting darker, thunder rumbling overhead. The farther you ran, the darker it got – the late afternoon was beginning to look like nighttime. Rain started to fall, soft at first, but gradually increasing as you got closer to your destination. It was like mother nature was trying to warn you against what you were about to try. Still, you ran, pushing your body to move as fast as it could. Exercise had never been your strong suit and by the time you reached the crossroads, your lungs were burning and there was a stitch in your side.
You took a few deep breaths, mind in overdrive. Now what? You had felt as if you had to come to the crossroads, but now that you were there, you didn’t know what to do.
Your mom’s face flashed in your mind and your hands clenched at your sides. “Hey! Crossroads demon! I know you’re here!” you paused, eyes scanning the area. “You made a deal with an old man recently! You offered him a mansion in exchange for a favor!”
Thunder roared loudly overhead as if angered by your presence. The rain was getting cold, like tiny needles of ice against your skin.
“Please… please!” you screamed, raising your voice to be heard over the pounding of rain on earth. “I’ll do anything! Anything at all! Just please… please make a deal with me!”
“Please…” you cried, tears streaming down your face as you thought about your mother and your unborn baby brother. “Please! Please!” you fell to your knees, water splashing around you from the puddle you had fallen in. Your body was shaking like a leaf.
The phone buzzed in your pocket and you fumbled for it, nearly dropping it on the wet ground. You leaned over, trying to block the rain from hitting your phone. The screen lit up your face. It was a message from your dad.
‘She’s in critical condition. They don’t think she’s going to make it…’
Another message came through.
‘They’re having to perform a C-Section to get the baby out. They don’t know it’s condition.’
Your eyes widened and you screamed, throwing the phone as hard as you could. It slammed against the metal stop sign before falling to the dirt, the screen going dark. Your heart seized painfully in your chest as you crumbled to the ground. With your eyes squeezed tight and the sound of rain invading your ears, you didn’t see or hear the truck that was approaching the crossroads.
The driver was a teenager, high on drugs and not paying attention to the road. He blasted through the stop sign.
You heard his blaring radio through a break in the thunder, but it was too late.
Your world went black.
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Your brow furrowed in pain as you came to, your eyes fluttering open. A groan passed your lips as you sat up. Your head felt fuzzy, pounding as if you had a hungover.
‘My head is killing me and my chest feels congested,‘ you sniffed, which turned into a sneeze. “A-A-Achoo!” You groaned again, swinging your legs over the side of the bed. You tried to stand but the world began to spin, sending you back down onto the bed.
The doorknob rattled before being pushed open. You sat back on your elbows, expecting to see one of your parents, but it was neither of them. You blinked dumbly, your brain taking a moment to process what was happening. With wide eyes, you scrambled back, falling over the edge of the bed with a squeak.
Your brain finally processed your surroundings, as well. You weren’t in your bedroom as you had previously thought, you were in a motel room.
The man walked around the bed, eyebrow raised. “Don’t push yourself, kiddo.”
You jumped back, slamming into the bedside table. It shook at the force, the lamp tilting back and forth. “W-W-Who are you?!”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” he responded, putting his hand on his hip. He stood around five-feet-eight, wearing skin-tight jeans and a dark orange shirt tucked into the buckle of his belt. A black jacket was worn over that, along with black boots.
He brushed his brown bangs away from his eyes, but they just fell back into place. “I’m a crossroads demon.”
Your eyes widened. Memories started to flash through your mind – the money issues, the applications, the messages. ‘The messages…’ “Mom! Is my mom… is she?” you looked up at him, scared of what answer he might give you.
He pursed his lips, but his face didn’t give away anything. “She’s still in the intensive care unit, but she’s alive… for now.”
Tears pricked your eyes but you rushed them away furiously, moving forward to sit on your knees. “Please make a deal with me! I’ll do anything you ask!”
His lips tugged down as he turned around, sitting at the small round table against the wall. “I can’t, you didn’t summon me.”
“So what! You’re here now, just make the deal,” you pleaded, pulling yourself up onto shaking legs. The effort made your head spin but you did your best to ignore it.
“The rules are quite clear. I can not make a deal with someone that didn’t summon me. Such a thing is only allowed by higher-ranking demons.”
“Are you kidding me? You’re a damn demon, demons don’t have rules!”
He narrowed his chocolate-colored eyes at you and a chill went down your spine. “Which just goes to show just how little humans really know.”
“If you aren’t going to help, then why are you here?” you felt defeated and hopeless as you fell onto the side of the bed, your face in your hands.
He didn’t answer the question. “You almost died, you know. You’re not a very smart human, are you?”
“The hell are you talking abo – ” your words died off as another memory floated to the surface of your mind.
You remember hearing music – a loud and obnoxious country song. You remember looking over your shoulder and seeing headlights piercing the darkness as a truck barreled toward you. You remember seeing a black blur before the truck took flight, barely missing your body as it flipped over. You remember a face turning to look at you, the face… of a demon.
“You… saved me?”
He shifted in his seat, picking off lint from his jeans.
“Why did you save me?” you demanded, standing up and taking a few hesitant steps toward him. “You… you should have just let me die.”
He looked at you in surprise.
“If I die… my parents, they will get my life insurance money. I-It’s not much but… but it’s enough to help!”
He pushed himself out of the chair. “Don’t be stupid.”
You stepped back away from him, your legs giving out. Your body hit the ground and you brought your knees to your chest, body shaking with silent sobs.
He watched you for a few moments, chewing on his bottom lip thoughtfully. “Fine, I’ll make a deal with you.”
Your head slowly rose, tears sliding down your cheeks. “R-Really?”
He kneeled down before you, his expression soft. “What is it your heart desires, Y/N?”
You didn’t hesitate. “Save my mom and my baby brother!”
He nodded. “I will save the life of your mother and brother. In ten year’s time, I will come for you. If you do anything to try and end your life prematurely or break this deal, your family will suffer in your place. Do you understand and agree to these terms?”
“Yes,” you sniffled, rubbing the snot from your nose with the sleeve of your sweater. “I understand!”
He took your chin between his fingers, eyes locking with your own. Your breath caught in your throat, heart thudding loudly in your ears. He closed the distance between you, his lips claiming your own. Your eyes widened as blood rushed to your face.
‘W-W-Why is he kissing me?!’
He slowly pulled back, slipping his hand over your eyes.
“W-Wait a minute!” you had no clue what was about to happen, but you felt as if you would never see this man again. “Your name… what is your name?”
He was silent for a moment, his mouth next to your ear. “Ricky.”
“Ricky,” you echoed, tasting his name on your tongue. “Thank you.”
Your world went black once more.
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The sound of car tires on gravel jolted you awake.
You blinked a few times, forcing yourself into a sitting position as you took in your surroundings. You were back in your dark room. ‘Was that… just a dream?’ you brought your fingers to your lips, feeling them tingle.
A car door slammed.
You slid off the bed, peaking out the window that overlooked the front of the house. It was too dark outside to make out the person’s face, but you recognized the way he limped toward the house. ‘Dad!’
You flew out of your room and down the hall, swinging the door open just as he was about to stick the key into the lock. You threw your arms around his middle, clutching him like your life depended on it.
His worried expression morphed to one of relief as he wrapped his arms around you. “Where the hell have you been? Do you know how many times I called you? It’s been hours without a word from you!”
“M-My phone, it… stopped working,” you mumbled.
He sighed deeply. “I’m just glad you’re okay.”
You pulled back to stare up at his face. “Mom… is she?”
He smiled tiredly, resting his hand on your head and ruffling your hair. “It was touch and go for a while, but she’s currently stable. You must’ve been so worried. I’m sorry I left you here alone.”
“I-It’s okay,” you sniffled, holding back your tears. “I’m just glad she’s okay. And… my brother?”
“Delivered early, a perfectly healthy baby boy,” he smiled, proudly. “Now come on, your mother wants to see you.”
He nodded, ushering you outside before locked the door. “She was in critical condition for a while, the doctors didn’t have much hope, but then she suddenly stabilized. An hour later, she was awake. Barely, but awake and talking,” he climbed into the car and you did the same. “Put your seatbelt on,” he started the car, backing out of the driveway. “The doctors can’t explain it. They said it was a miracle.”
Your hands clenched around your jeans.
“When she woke up, the first thing she said was, ‘Is the baby okay?’ The second thing she said was, ‘Is Y/N okay?’” He shook his head with a smile. “Typical Helen. She almost dies and her only concern is her children.”
You rubbed the fresh tears from your eyes.
When you arrived at the emergency room, he led you back towards the ICU, showing off his visitor’s badge to the guard that watched the door. Your mom was in room 118, sitting up in the bed and cradling her baby.
“Mom…” you couldn’t hold back your tears any longer and you rushed over, throwing your arms around her neck, careful not to hurt her or the baby.
She smiled, using her free arm to comfort you. “There, there, darling. Mama is okay.” She pressed a kiss to your forehead before doing the same to your baby brother. She exchanged a smile with her husband, who watched on with a warm heart. “Everything is okay now.”
And it was.
Your mom was cleared to leave the hospital a week later, bringing your new sibling, Sebastian, with her. The day she returned home, you received a package in the mail, claiming to be from your great-great-uncle twice removed, who had recently died and left his fortune to you and your family. With that money, your parents were able to catch up on all of the bills and buy all of the things they needed for the new baby.
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You sat on the porch, watching your mom as she sat in the rocking chair, softly humming as she rocked Sebastian in her arms. A year had passed since the day you almost lost both of them. It was October again, the cool breeze knocking leaves from the trees until they were bare.
You watched them dance towards the earth and smiled. “I’ll see you again someday… Ricky.”
“Did you say something, Y/N?”
“No, nothing, mom.”
“Let’s get inside, it’s getting quite cold.”
You nodded, standing up and following her. You paused at the door, feeling like you were being watched. You scanned the orange landscape but found nothing. With a shrug, you entered the house, closing the door behind you.
Rocky stepped out from behind a large oak tree across the street, looking at the house with a small smile. “I look forward to that day… Y/N.”
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