Chilumi x Squid Game AU
I've seen many posts about Childe being part of the soldiers/announcers of Squid Game but what if he was also a contestant alongside Lumine?
Disclaimer: It's late, I'm rusty, hope it turned out well!
Warnings: Angst, Death, Violence ( it is squid game AU after all)
Childe joined Squid Game for a reason: To support his family financially. Being one of six siblings, especially one of the older ones, he had to do whatever he could in order to make sure no one would go hungry.
And this is why he took on job after job, running errand after errand in an attempt to earn cash. His life was the opposite of dreamy and he had no real aspirations or dreams other than to make sure his younger siblings wouldn't suffer the same fate he did.
When he got offered a spot in the Game, he was relcutant at first; it looked too good to be true. But it was Christmas, and something about the way Teucer looked at his friends' toys with envy or the way Tonya would hastily look at pretty dresses while no one else was looking, only made his resolve stronger. He needed the money and he needed them fast.
It was no surprise to him that the Game wasn't what most of the other contestants had made it out to be. Besides, the prize money was over 40 millions, thinking that it wouldn't involve risking one's life was foolish in the first place.
What did surprise him was her. With eyes brighter than the sun and beautiful golden locks that fell onto her shoulders like stars in the night sky, she was the one thing that made him gasp in awe. Number 016. Or else, Lumine, from what he'd heard.
The first thought that ran into his mind was how. How did someone as pretty as her end up there, amongst the bottom of society, amongst human trash, amongst people like, well, him. Looking at her only filled him with more questions but also an urge he'd never felt for anyone other than his family; the urge to protect her.
He didn't know how many of them would survive and how the prize money would be distributed but he knew that he was getting out of this place with her, even if that meant doing unspeakable things to get there.
At first, it was small insignificant things that he'd do. Convincing nearby contestants to make wrong moves, reassuring them that they were doing just fine when in fact, they weren't, aiding them towards certain death while pretending to be the most helpful in the lot. The way he spoke, the way he looked, no one suspected someone like him would have ulterior motives like that and everyone trusted in him. Besides, all the games were games he had played countless times with his siblings, he knew the rules of them inside out.
After he made sure that the numbers of players around them lessened, it was time for his next move; winning her over. It all started with an extra piece of bread he'd snatched. He claimed that he was full and didn't need his bread and then he-oh-so-kindly handed it over to her. She smiled and the world around him was set alight. His heart was captured, there was no doubt about it. Childe had to constantly remind himself that the reason for being there was not her but his siblings. Tonya and Teucer and Anthon and Lumine and what?
Not too long after, she had warmed up to him nearly as much as he had. With the games moving forward and the players becoming fewer and fewer with each day, less than half the contesters had remained, the two of them included. Childe had convinced her to form a team with him and they even had made their own pact; it was them against everyone else.
After the girl with whom Lumine shared her bunk with died, he moved to the bed underneath hers, a wise choice really considering what was coming. One of the gang members of the room had initiated what seemed to be a witch hunt; kill as many as possible in order to reduce the numbers rapidly.
During the night, Childe ordered Lumine to stay hidden under the covers as he grasped his fingers tight around his dagger. He wouldn't let anyone touch her, not even a single strand of hair. Yet Lumine, much to his disdain but also admiration, wasn't too much unlike him. The second he let his guard down during the fight, someone jumped him from behind, feeling the cold steel graze his neck. Just as he thought he had failed, he heard a muffled sound and the grip on him was released. Turning around he saw her, arms covered in blood, small stains decorating her face and neck like freckles. She had saved him. She had done this for him and he couldn't help but feel hopeful for a second that maybe she felt the same way about him. That maybe he had a chance.
The rest of the night went by in a flash before the guards came in through the doors, aiming guns at the players as they started to clean up the mess. They were both surrounded by havoc and calamity, frantic cries and angry scoffs all over the place yet Childe could not be bothered to hear a thing. Not when he had brought Lumine to his side, not when they had laid down together next to each other, and certainly not when he kept her tight to him while whispering to her sweet nothings, reassuring her that they'd both make it out and he'd protect her.
It wasn't until the semi finals that Childe would do something regrettable, something that nor a hug or a sweet smile could erase. The glass bridge. In his defense, 149 was taking his sweet ass time with choosing the next tile and he couldn't take the chance. Not when they had less than 20 seconds remaining, when Lumine had followed his example at choosing a later number, the number after his. It wasn't because he enjoyed killing innocents, it was to ensure their survival, that's what he told himself. However, something about the way 149's cry echoed in the room as he fell into the unknown, only to be crashed into a pulp upon landing onto the floor, woke something in him. A very dark desire that surpassed any survival instict or wish of getting rich. Up until that point he'd only assisted in the indirect killing of the players but this was it, the first time he'd covered his hands in blood for good and honestly, it didn't feel so bad. Hell, it even felt kind of good actually.
With a final jump, he watched Lumine from the other side of the bridge as she joined him, only to be met with the one thing he dreaded the most; an expression of obvious disgust. Her eyes had darkened and the way she looked at him wasn't warm anymore. She looked at him with eyes full of dread, hatred even, and there was nothing that could hurt him more than this.
"Lumine--" He tried to speak her name many times but she wouldn't answer to him. She did her best to ignore him, pretending to be unable to notice the tears in the corners of his eyes. Who could kill a man so easily, if not a monster?
And thus Childe spent the rest of the days in wonder; is being a monster that bad? Whenever he inquired that, her eyes would answer to him. Monster. Murderer. Freak. Psycho. Each word more painful than the other, words that weren't voiced but voice that haunted his mind. If she thought of him as a monster then fine, but still, the game went on and his goal has clearer than ever; to survive, to protect her. If not a monster like him, then who else could?
After their reward dinner they were all given a knife. Him, Lumine and... 378, a guy not too old but certainly not very young either. A man in his 40s who was caught embezzling money from his company. Shameful act really. A sinner like him could and would not stand in the way of Childe's ambition. And so the next morning, after the two of them woke up, soldiers entered the room in a hurry, the announcer speaking in a clear voice "378 eliminated".
He expected her to yell at him. He expected her to kick him, punch him or even stab him with that knife. He really did. Instead Lumine stayed quiet, choosing to not say a word to him until they were led to the playground for the final game.
"Death is far too kind for monsters like you."
Giving her a sad smile, he followed her into the sandy area, his steps long and drawn out when the realization kicked in. Everything he had done, everyone he had stepped on or killed, every lie, every scheme had been for nothing. Because the game would have one sole winner only, and for all he knew he had lost ever since he met her.
Squid game; Lumine was the one to pick first and she had gone with offense, leaving him to defend. Glaring at her as she hopped around him, he was unable to understand what went on in her head. Her amber eyes were clouded and her expression was that of a sheer determination, not even a hint of desperation or sorrow.
When she jumped at him, his first reaction was to catch her as he spread his arms open, only to be stabbed on his calf. Losing his balance, he collapsed onto the floor with her on top of him as he did his best not to shout. The end was near and he could see images flashing into his brain already. His siblings, his parents, even her. His mind was in a disarray, filled with beatiful memories of the past but also with possible futures with her, were they given the chance. Long walks through the beach, fancy candle lit dinners, nights underneath the stars, her looking beatiful as ever in a creamy white gown during their wedding, their kids that would have his eyes and her hair, all those spiraled through his brain, vividly as if he could see them right before him, and that was when he smiled. A genuine smile that was meant for her and her only.
Lumine who had removed the knife from his calf, hovered it above his chest as her hands gripped onto it tightly. For a second, she hesitated and looked at him, the first time she had dared to truly look at him ever since the semi finals. He couldn't read her mind before but now he could see that something lingered in that brain of hers too, perhaps the same thing that lingered in his.
"Let's get married after this."
Childe spoke in a teasing manner, lips shaped into a soft grin. She was about to kill him and all he thought was how much he wanted to kiss her. Lumine wavered for a little, releasing her grip on the knife ever sightly and that was exactly the openning he needed. With a swfit move, he tackled her onto the sandy floor underneath them, hovering her with his weight as he pinned her hands above her head with one hand.
"You really thought I'd let you win this easily, girlie?"
He inquired as he took the knife into his free hand. Tracing the curves of her face with it, he rested the tip of it against her lips, forcing her basically to open her mouth. Every last piece of regret had left her face, features shaped back into utter disgust and disdain.
"You are sick." This was the first time he'd heard her voice in the past couple of days.
"What did you just say?"
"I said that you are a sick psycho who finds entertainment in manipulating and killing others." She paused briefly to spit some of the blood that had gathered in her mouth. " Was it fun? Playing with me like that? Pretending we are a team only for you to, what, murder everyone? I bet you must have enjoyed it a lot. Hell, I even bet you left me for last on purpose, to kill me with your own two hands. And all that to save your family. Tell me, Childe, was this a lie too? You don't have anyone waiting for you back home, now do you? Come on, don't lie anymore. You are just a monster who takes pleasure in this. Most likely you are just a coward who can't kill anyone out there and so you thought this was the perfect opportunity."
"No, I-" He tried to explain, his voice softer than usual as her words cut through him like knives.
"Tell me, Childe. Was it fun? Was playing with my feelings that fun that you had to bring me to this point? Was making me fall for you all that entertaining to you?"
His mind had gone blank. The hurt he felt from her words alongside the fluttering he felt in his heart upon hearing her final sentence, left him in an utter state of confusion, nearly forgetting about the game. He stayed there frozen, unable to talk or move.
Taking advantage of the situation, Lumine managed to kick him in the groin as he lost control, falling next to her as she reached for the dagger. Childe was struggling not only to fight her off but also to grasp the situation. What had he done? The only reason he joined the game was to help his family, to see his siblings smiling again, it was something as noble as that, yet what had he become? Lumine was right, he was manipulative, he was pety and worse of all ,he was a murderer.
Accepting his fate he closed his eyes, doing his best to keep those previous images he had seen carved into his brain. He waited for the knife to strike him down, he waited and he waited but nothing happened. Not until he heard Lumine yell from the top of her lungs, lunging forward to him with the knife in her hands. This was it.
But it really wasn't. Cause after an entire minute had passed, he was still there and he was still able to feel her weight on him. Opening his eyes he saw the knife stuck into the ground next to his head, as she made her way back to her feet.
"I want out. Game is over, let me out." She declared to the anouncer and the soldiers that oversaw them.
"Are you willingly giving up the prize, 406?" The anouncer asked her, his arms fold in front of his chest.
"I am not like him. I can't do this anymore, let me out." Lumine exclaimed again, this time her voice cold as ice.
"Very well." The anouncer spoke one last time, as he made his way towards the door, Lumine following on his stead without even giving Childe a look.
This couldn't end like this, he thought. Not for her, not for him, not for them. Going back into that shithole only meant seeing his siblings' disappointed faces once again after they'd realize that his new high paying job- aka the reason for his absence- had been nothing but lies. He'd be forced to see them starve, to see his parents wither away due to all the debts and worst of all, he knew that he'd never see her again. Her, who like shining star filled his dark and empty life with beautiful light. He had to live knowing that everyone he loved and cared about would resent him, now and forever and so the choice he had to make became clear.
His fingers reached for the knife that was next to him as he quickly stabbed his neck with it, forcing him to gasp out loud. With the corner of his eyes, he saw his own blood this time spilling all over his clothes, his hands and the are around him, warm to the touch as his eyelids started dropping.
The last thing he saw was a flurry of golden hair rushing to him in a spiral of loud noise. Lumine fell onto her knees, cusping his face with her fingers as he gave her another sad smile.
" I promised I'd protect you." He spoke, his voice as weak as it could get. Hot tears fell onto his cheeks, not from him but from the girl above him. He felt tired, struggling to keep his eyes open enough to take in her form. She was so beautiful, a literal angel there to take him. Seeing her tears, her anguished expression, he felt truly sorry that it had to end like this. Childe was able to see her opening her mouth again and again and he could tell she was speaking to him but he could not hear her words, not when the light was so warm and inviting, promising him to take him away from this dark and cruel world. And so he surrendered himself to it, the frontman's words the last thing he'd hear:
"Player 011 eliminated."