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Title: A strangers drift
Pairing:Changmin, Yunho
Warnings: Some violence due to fight scenes
Summary: Pacific Rim AU.
Set 11 years after the breach was closed in the Pacific. A new breach emerges and new kaiju arrive on earth. Changmin and Yunho had always dreamt to become Rangers and operate as a jaeger, fighting the mighty alien monsters.

Notes: I wish you a Happy 10th anniversary!! <33 May Changmin and Yunho always prevail!
I hope you enjoy my story!

It has been 11 years since the breach was closed and humanity thinks themselves in safety and life started to normalise. Almost all rangers had been sent back to their home countries and most shatterdomes, headquarters for all jaeger operations, had been either closed or were running just on minimal manning. All jaegers, huge machines controlled by two human rangers, were parked at bay. The development of a new Jaeger program was put on ice. The governments had stopped the funding. There was no reason or need to be on red alert anymore. All kaiju, genetically engineered aliens whose objective was to destroy mankind, had been destroyed.

It was this kind of peaceful atmosphere when exactly on the 25th of July at 4 pm a huge earthquake in the Peru trench made big news. The magnitude was about 8.2 and huge tsunami waves hit Peru and Chile. The governments of the South american countries were busy, measuring the causalities, when the first class IV kaiju emerged from the trench in the coast of Peru. Lima city was busy mending the damages of the earthquake and were totally caught by surprise by the attack. Within 56 minutes it was destroyed. The survivors fled to the mountains. Unfortunately, the shatterdome in Panama was not manned so the closest were the ones in Tokyo and in Hong Kong. By the time the only active Rangers reached their Jaegers, the kaiju had destroyed two more cities along the coast of Peru and were moving further north. It needed two mark-4 jaeger to destroy the new kaiju. One of the jaegers was heavily damaged after the attack.
The United Nations called a security meeting within hours. It was clear that the kaiju threat was back and humanity didn’t have enough rangers or Jagers left. Every country was told to start recruiting potential rangers and start immediately with the training programmes.

Three months after this, in the Tokyo shatterdome were recruits from Japan, Korea and Taiwan, meeting. Tokyo had two mark-4 and one mark-3 jaeger without pilots. It was about time to find the recruits which were drift compatible. Changmin was running nervously in his quarter. He was being trained together with the other recruits, but so far he could not really make friends with any of them. He was afraid that he was not compatible with anyone and that they would send him home. A jaeger can only be operated by two rangers. The brains of the two rangers must be drift compatible so that their minds can merge to one temporarily. Being a ranger had been Changmin`s dream since he was a kid and now that he had the chance, he feared the worst. There were three other Koreans; including him, they were four. There was this girl who always gave him the evil eye whenever he tried to talk to her. She was being called Momo, but her real name was Lee Hyejung. Even though Changmin was slightly scared by her, her combat style and his were very compatible. They had been sparring with each other quite often. So there was a chance that they could show high drift compatibility.
The other two Koreans were both male. One of them was always staring at Changmin whenever he thought he was not aware of it. It actually creeped him out a bit. He was this typical I-am-the-leader-and-I-always-win-type. He was popular with most of the female population on the shatterdome. Very extroverted. His name was Jung Yunho, but his recruit name was U-know. Changmin did not like him very much. He was never staying behind to clean the sparring court or never shared his things with others.
The other recruits name was Kang Julien. He was very friendly and always helped Changmin whenever he needed help and showed him some martial arts tricks. Changmin secretly hoped that Julien and him were drift compatible. There was also a chance that he would be probed with the other recruits but the strategy was always to test people who share the same language first and then widen the circle.
So today on the 24th of december, on christmas eve was the neuronal drift compatibility test. Changmin looked up when his name was announced. He left his quarter and walked to the laboratory. On the way there he met with Lee Hyejung. She was wearing an all purple uniform. She looked good in it, Changmin admitted to himself. Actually he would not mind if they were compatible. He greeted her with a bow and she greeted back. They entered the lift together. Momo looked as nervous as him.
They both were prepared for the drift test. When they were put the headsets Hyejung looked at him and smiled shyly. Soon they were told to look straight and clear their minds. The countdown started.

9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1..
Then suddenly there was light. It felt strange. Changmin saw himself as a boy. He was playing with his sisters, he tried to look around and spotted another room. But there was a barrier in there. He saw a little girl playing in her room. She looked lonely. Changmin walked to her. He wanted to lift the barrier. But he was just a small child and the barrier was heavy. He hit the barrier with his small fist. He wanted to reach the girl. She looked at him with huge sad eyes but turned around and kept staring at a picture on the other wall. Changmin kept on calling her. He called and called.

He opened his eyes. And looked. He was laying in the laboratory and next to him was Momo. Her eyes were still closed. He felt that someone removed his headset. He tried to get up but his head was hurting. He knew that Momo and him were not compatible. She had been blocking him out. He thought of questioning her as to why, but that would have felt awkward so he got up and left the room. Outside he waited for her. When she came out as well, she apologized to him and walked past him without any further word.

The next day, the compatibility test with Julien Kang gave similar results, although they had been told that their drift compatibility was 80% and they could improve it if they started sparring together. Julien and Momo had gotten 93% compatibility. So it was likely that they would be paired, but there was still the test with Jung Yunho left before making a final decision. Changmin and Julien were on their way to the sparring court when the kaiju alarm started. So it was happening again. This time two category III kaiju were reported. This time they were not headed to south america. The trajectories of their movements lead them directly to Tokyo. According to their calculations they would reach Tokyo in two hours. Julien and Changmin directly run to the commando central to get further orders. When they reached the room the other recruits were already gathered. Most of them were not compatibility tested, yet. All eyes were glued on the screens. A mark-3 jaeger from Hong Kong attacked the two kaiju. It fought the first one looking like a crocodile well, but suddenly the 2nd kaiju attacked the jaeger from back while it was fighting with the first one. Within seconds they watched the jaeger being torn apart and the contact was interrupted. There was silence for quite some time. Changmin looked to the person standing next to him. It was Jung Yunho. „We have to save Tokyo“, he said, rather to himself than to Changmin.
Changmin nooded with his head. He continued in Korean.
„When Tokyo falls the next target will be Seoul.“, he looked Yunho straight into the eyes. He could see the same determination he felt inside. They had to fight. Now. Yunho nodded at him.
Julien and Momo were called and were given orders to pilot the mark-4 jaeger Akasora. They were the couple with the highest compatibility so far tested. They were lead to their piloting positions inside Akasora and were given instructions to stop both kaiju. It was almost suicidal. Changmin pressed his commander to let him go as well, he was almost sure that their friends would need help. He was surprised to find Jung Yunho doing exact the same, but they argued in vain. It was very risky to send out pilots whose compatibility had not tested, yet. The jaegers were too expensive for that. It made no sense for Changmin, but he had no power. They watched how their friends left inside Akasora the shatterdome and moved towards the kaiju. They would meet them in 24 minutes. Changmin and Yunho were both staring on the screen, as if under a spell. Then, when Akasora made first contact, things went fast. The akasora managed a big blow on the crocodile-like kaiju and had enough time to parry away the attack of the 2nd kaiju. They turned around fast and fired a load of hydrogen rockets on it.
„They are doing well“, Changmin commented. Yunho nodded. But just then the long tail of the 2nd kaiju wrapped around the leg of Akasora and pulled at it hard. They saw Akasora losing its balance and falling in a high arch backwards into the ocean. Changmin and Yunho clenched exactly at the same time their fists.
„No, no, no...“ they both shouted in sync.
Momo and Julien were still okay. They used their sword to cut the tail of the kaiju under water and turned around to fight the first one just in time, but the damn creature was already to close to make an effective strike with their gun. Julien moved the sword again and momo parred the kaiju away from Akasora`s face, only this time the 2nd kaiju used its claws and attacked the backside of Akasora and started to pull several fibers and cables and suddenly they lost contact to Akasora.
„Momo! Momo! Momo?“, Yunho shouted.
„You have to let us pilot a jaeger! We have no other chance to save Tokyo!“ he urged the commander.
„But, you two are not tested, yet.“, the commander insisted.
„The lives of so many are at stake. We can deal with that later and chances are high that we are compatible. We reached good scores during sparring. You know that“ , Yunho urged.
It was true Changmin and him were a good team. Although Changmin had been avoiding him for a long time.
The commander hesitated a bit.
„Kaiju, Tokyo first contact in 45 minutes.“ a mechanical voice announced.
„Jaeger bay, here is commander Shizukawa, prepare Tohoshinki to be piloted.“, he commanded and turned to Changmin and Yunho.
„I am counting on you two and now get out of here!“
Changmin and Yunho ran out and jumped into the lift. Changmin`s heart was beating fast. Finally he was becoming a chance to show his abilities and save people. He also wanted to save Julien and Momo. He was sure they were still alive. He felt it.
As if Yunho could read his mind he said.
„I can feel that Momo and Julien are still alive.“ his face was serious. He looked almost grim. His hair was tucked back with hair clips and his forehead was in wrinkles.
„We can save them“, he looked at Changmin.
Changmin just nodded.

The Tohoshinki was the second mark-4 jaeger. It was built ten years ago. It was almost 80 m high and all in black with two golden lines around its wrists. It was armored with a huge samurai blade, just like the Akasora, and additionally with an OSIH cassiopeia shock wave gun and a protecting shield. Changmin and Yunho entered the cockpit clad in their silver pilot uniforms. Changmin looked at Yunho. He was a little in awe. When Yunho turned around and smiled at him he felt caught and looked away immediately. A mechanic voice from the control room told them to put on the head gear and try to relax. Changmin took a big breath. So it was happening. This time he hoped that he is compatible with Yunho when just some hours ago he was hoping the opposite. He looked over to Yunho. He was doing exactly the same.
„Hwaiting!“, he told him with a wink and closed his eyes. Changmin followed suit.

There was the white again. He was running this time. It was in Seoul. Along the Han river. He watched himself. And then he saw Yunho as a little boy playing with another boy. Changmin stopped running and watched.

„It is amazing, Sir. They have more than 96% compatibility!“ one of the medical staff members reported who was monitoring the separate brain waves and the drift area.
The commander sighed in relief. For once, something was working. He asked if he is connected to the two and got a yes.
„Max and U-know, can you hear me?“
Changmin opened his eyes first. It was a weird feeling. Jung Yunho`s thoughts were inside his brain now as well.
They both answered. „Yes, sir!“
„Good, ready to disembark and good luck!“, the commander wished them.
Again a countdown started. Yunho and Changmin had piloted the Tohoshinki in the simulation during their training, but it definitely felt stronger now they were mentally controlling it. Changmin heard Yunho nodding to him in encouragement inside his head. He turned to him and smiled before they jumped into the cold water and left the bay to meet the kaiju.
They moved the jaeger smoothly through the ocean Changmin was amazed how Yunho`s presence did not bother him at all. He could feel some of Yunho`s chaotic thoughts in his mind, but they were like a perfect match to his well ordered world. They were complementing Changmin`s thoughts and together they were moving this huge machine. A dream had come true for Changmin and Yunho and together they shared this euphoric feeling. Changmin gave Yunho an understanding smile. Now that they had drifted to each other mind he felt like he could trust him. All his former doubts about his character were gone.

They spotted the two kaiju earlier than they had calculated. They must have sped up or something. Yunho and Changmin stopped. It was already dark and Changmin switched on some more outer lights on Tohoshinki`s outer gear. Yunho moved right arm, the arm Tohoshinki was holding the sword. Changmin got on defensive position with the shield but he had the cassiopeia shock waves ready to be fired. Anytime they would need them. The first attack came from below the sea. Changmin felt how huge talons grabbed his left leg and were pulling at it. He was about to loose his balance when Yunho used the huge blade to cut away those talons from their leg. He stabbed three times before the kaiju let go their leg. By this time the second kaiju emerged as well.
„There!“, Yunho shouted showing to their left side, Changmin just turned around on time to parry the jumping kaiju with his shield. His shield was equipped with a huge taser. The kaiju got a full load of a shock and fell back into water. They were shouting at each other inside the cockpit. Even though their minds were drifting sometimes shouting was necessary. Changmin had no real strategy in his mind. His movements were all a little awkward. Instead of acting they were only reacting to the attacks of the kaiju. The two kaiju were swimming around them in the water and watching for a weak point. It looked like they were planning something.
„Be alert.“, Yunho told Changmin. He nodded in response and pulled out the cassiopeia shockwave cannon. The kaiju attacked Tohoshinki at the same time. Yunho was about to pull his sword when the huge alien had his jaws around his sword bearing arm. The attack pulled Tohoshinki all to the right side. This was unfortunate. Changmin`s shockwave shot went all astray and hit just air molecules instead of the advancing kaiju. He turned to Yunho as if asking. What are you doing??
Yunho was busy trying to free his arm, but the damn kaiju would not let go. Changmin reached out to the sword arm with Tohoshinki and tried to hit the kaiju with the shield he was carrying. This was a bad move. He turned Tohoshinki`s bare shoulder to the other kaiju who did not miss this opportunity to grab Tohoshinki by its shoulder first and then it`s neck. The giant jaeger lost its balance and fell down. Changmin and Yunho were shouting at each other, but every try to gain back balance was in vain. They were sinking in the water. The good thing was Yunho was able to free his sword bearing arm, but essential cables were damaged and he had lost its agility.
„How do we turn this fucking jaeger around and get up again???“, Changmin yelled at Yunho. Yunho was just checking several alarms. Thank god there was no leak inside the cockpit cabin and all vital systems were working at least 90%. Although the pressure was increasing on Tohoshinki`s outer armor while sinking, the cockpit room was safe. Even if everything else would crash, the cockpit would survive and, just like a submarine, be able to swim. A red light filled the cockpit as if trying to show Yunho and Changmin the gravity of the situation they are in.
„There must be something like a special gear somewhere. We can`t be sinking like this!“, Changmin shouted.
„Yes, indeed.“, it was the voice of their commander. „U-Know, do you see the control bar next to the vitals display?“
„Roger, sir. I do see.“
„There you will find the necessary program to dive up again. Use it quick. now!“ , he ended his command
Yunho did not hesitate and pressed the correct buttons to facilitate diving up. Tohoshinki suddenly stopped and with a loud creak they started to move up again. Yunho smiled, but that smile froze when he looked to the front. The crocodile like kaiju was swimming straight at them with its jaws wide open, aiming for the cockpit.
„Changmin!“, he shouted. Changmin turned to look what was happening.
„The Shield, Use it! Damn. Use everything. Fire everything you`ve got!!“ Yunho yelled before he closed his eyes. Changmin pulled his shield arm automatically up to his face, Tohoshinki followed suit. Both were waiting for the impact but when even after 3 seconds nothing happened they opened their eyes and saw Akasora now fighting with croc kaiju.
„We thought we should join your little party.“ , it was Julien`s cheerful voice.
Changmin and Yunho cheered, but had not much time to celebrate. The second kaiju attacked them from the back, but this time Changmin used the cassiopeia shock waves correctly and had the damn alien paralyzed for several second enough time for Yunho to make use of the sharp blade he was bearing. The kaiju fought with its huge claws and its tail, but in the end Thohoshinki managed to win the battle. A loud cheer echoed in the cockpit. Changmin and Yunho high fived. They were not aware that Tohoshinki was following their movements and it looked like Tohoshinki was clapping hands. They did not rest for long though and hurried to aid Akasora. Julien and Momo were in a heated fight. Their kaiju was emanating small bubbles of fire at them and was whirling around them making it impossible to aim for it. The Akasora was a red jaeger around 100m tall and a little bulkier than Tohoshinki. Akasora was trying to cut of the fire attacks with a huge round chainsaw, they were successful so far, but they could not attack the kaiju themselves. The kaiju did not see Tohoshinki coming closer. Changmin and Yunho nodded at each other and bend down and grabbed for the tail of the alien creature and stopped it from moving around. The Akasora advanced and the chainsaw vanished in the softer front side of the kaiju. It`s blue blood spilled everywhere. The cockpit window of Tohoshinki was all blue.
„Ewwww..“ Changmin and Yunho said in unison and laughed. They let the kaiju fall back into the ocean. It was definitely dead after cut into two pieces.
„Well done, Akasora.“, Yunho said.
„Thank you!“ it was a cute female voice. It was Momo. She had used the chainsaw!
„We thought we had lost you. The contact was gone. Also we could not track you anymore. What had happened?“ , Changmin asked.
„Long story,“ Julien started through the communicator „Actually we suddenly lost all contact and to be honest we don`t know ourselves what happened. We were drifting in the ocean for quite some time before we could move Akasora again. Momo and me did a little engineering inside the cockpit.“ , continued proudly. „ And then we figured we should return back to Tokyo and well on the way we found you guys fighting.“ , he finished his story.

It was two weeks after the kaiju attacks. Changmin and Yunho were sharing one dorm now. Julien and Momo had passed on that one. Momo simply loved to be alone. She had enough Julien in her mind after the drifts. That was enough. In the case of Yunho and Changmin, the drift had brought them even closer. Changmin felt like part of himself is missing when Yunho was not around. And Yunho felt the same way about Changmin. Changmin had asked Yunho who the little boy was he saw in his memory and Yunho said it was his little brother he had lost during the kaiju attack on Busan. Something about Changmin resembled him, so he was always watching Changmin during their recruit days. But he always felt that Changmin did not like him, so he never dared to approach him. Changmin felt a little flattered over that fact. It was right after sparring. Yunho and Changmin returned from the shower rooms and were just trying to relax. Yunho was massaging Changmin`s shoulder which he had overstretched during the fight. They both were only clad in white towels around their waist when Julien entered their dorm. He grinned at them mischievously „Well if this isn`t our lovely drift-shinki-couple being all lovey dovey again?“ , he snorted with a sheepish grin. Changmin threw the pillow at him.
„Don`t be jealous, you could always ask Momo if she would not give you a massage or maybe even something more?“ , he smirked. Julien tried to laugh about it, but he truly started to feel more for Momo and trying to hide was already hard as it is. So he decided to get down to the reason why he came.
„Actually I came with good news. Both our jaeger are completely repaired and recovered. They have even updated the software for the neuronal contact in the headgear. So want to join me inspecting them?“
„Aye!“ , drift-shinki replied in unison.

When the entered the jaeger bay the sight was truly magnificent. Akasora was glowing in a newly polished red and looking all fierce and mighty. Next to it was Tohoshinki. In a rusty black with small golden lines. The four of them watched their jaeger in awe from the watching point. Changmin loved that machine to the bits. It was very elegant in his eyes and it was his dream. His dream together with Yunho. Yunho smiled at him as if he was reading his mind.


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