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13 October 2012 @ 02:02 am
Here I Am, Waiting To Hold You [HunHan]  
Title: Here I Am, Waiting To Hold You
Pairing: Sehun/Luhan
Genre: Angst, Tragedy, Romance
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Prompt: Artwork #4
Summary: It's the only way he gets to see the ocean.
Word Count: 5.774
Warning: Major character death
A/N: Songs I used as inspiration: Kings & Queens, Song to the Siren. Dear artist, I hope you like it :3 (and I'm sorry for being so late!)

He walks slowly, his steps measured so he doesn't step on any flowers. It's really not something he should be doing, sneaking out of the palace when his lessons are minutes away from starting, but Sehun is really not in the mood for them today.

He had fought with his father, something about being too irresponsible to rule, and something about not wanting to rule at all. The silence after that had been deafening, and Kyungsoo's hand on his father's shoulder had probably been the only reason Sehun wasn't locked up in his room right now.

So he sneaked off.

He's going to get lectured later, but right now all Sehun wants is to get away.

The garden behind the palace is a place people don't visit often. It probably has something to do with the fact that his mother is dead, because no one likes visiting dead people's gardens.

So Sehun feels safe in the sense that no one's going to find him here.

There's a little pathway made of white stones that branches out like cracks in a mirror, all around the beautiful grass that stays green all year long. His mother favorite rose vines make an arch at the entrance, and then the trees and colorful flowers take the lead as they span around the garden. He walks among peach trees and orchids, and he's fairly certain he saw a cherry tree once, but he never found it again. The garden is just too big, too confusing, too uncared for.

His mother was probably the only one who could find her way around without getting lost once or thrice. Sehun makes sure to keep to the same path everytime, so he won't get lost. The garden doesn't really interest him.

His goal is actually at the edge of it.

He's not sure how much time it takes, but between replaying the fight in his head and wondering if he's going to be back at the palace in time for lunch, Sehun gets to the edge. He remembers listening to Chanyeol and Jongin arguing about the level of safety of the barrier separating the kingdom from the rest of the ocean.

Chanyeol said it was too dangerous having the barrier so close to the palace, but Jongin defended the point that it would take too much energy to move it. Better use it to make the barrier stronger, then.

Sehun sits, back resting against a tree with yellow flowers, gaze traveling to the expanse of blue a few meters away from him, and he doesn't mind at all that the barrier is so close.

It's the only way he gets to see the ocean.

He wants to step closer, perhaps put his hand through the barrier and feel the cold water on his fingers, but before he can move, he falls asleep.

When he opens his eyes again, his body is tired from too much sleep, and Sehun wonders at the time. He rubs his eyes a little, contented to stretch and slump against the tree again, still not up to moving. His neck hurts, and there's a muscle pulling at his back, but Sehun can't bring himself to care.

He frowns, remembering the fight, and winces when he thinks he has to go back, eventually. He's not looking forward to the lecture.

Something shifts at the edge of his vision, and Sehun looks up from his thoughts.

There's nothing, except for the ocean, and he must be more tired than he thought. He gets up then, tired of sitting in the same position for who knows how long, and then he steps closer to the blue.

The barrier is not really visible, just a thin veil of nothing between him and the water, and Sehun remembers being little and afraid that the whole ocean would fall on his head, and how his mother had smiled at him.

Don't worry, Sehunnie, I won't let it hurt you.

But thinking of his mother hurts, so Sehun turns his attention to the little clown fish swimming close to him, on the other side. He can't see much because it's dark on the other side, as it's always been. He wants to reach out and touch the little fish, gather it between his fingers and play with it, but he knows from experience that fishes don't really like to be touched. Not by humans.

A few plants here and there dance in the invisible tide, and the clown fish disappears from his sight. Sehun sighs, a little sad, because today the ocean seems quiet. It's disappointing, and a little strange, because it's always lively when he comes here. Something nags at the back of his mind, but he shakes it away.

He's about to turn around when something blurs its way across from him.

He snaps to attention but, again, there's nothing there. A cold feeling rests on his stomach, and Sehun feels himself being watched. He stands there a few minutes, eyes concentrating on the mass of dark water in front of him.

But nothing.

Frowning, he turns around and steels himself to go back to the palace. He doesn't notice the eyes following him until he disappears between the trees.

When he gets back, Kyungsoo is standing at the servants' entrance Sehun used to get to the garden, and his face is set in a worried frown.

“You were in the garden again, weren't you?”

Sehun contemplates not answering, but Kyungsoo isn't really the focus of his anger.

“Yes. So?”

A tired sigh is his only answer, and Sehun winces internally. He makes his way past Kyungsoo, and goes further into the palace.

Footsteps follow him. “Well, go freshen up and come down to the main room to have dinner.” And then Kyungsoo's steps walk away and Sehun's alone in the hallway.


He had slept through morning and afternoon, and that was really, really strange. Scowling, mood completely ruined, Sehun makes his way to his room, bracing himself for the confrontation at dinner.

But he ends up falling on his bed and sleeping through it.

The next day finds Sehun at the edge again, sitting on a rock and sulking.

His father hadn't wanted to talk to him that morning, and Kyungsoo had only given him a disappointed look before telling him he was free for the day. Sehun had craved freedom from lessons and social life and stuffy clothes since his mother had died so many years ago, but somehow it was a bitter victory.

Suddenly not knowing what to do with so much free time, because he was used to sneaking out at the oddest hours, Sehun decided he might as well spend his time in the garden.

What he didn't expect was to find it incredibly boring. Being able to do as he pleases wasn't as exciting as he had imagined.

And so he sits and thinks, and the memory of an afternoon far away comes to him. A memory of sitting in his mother lap while she read a story book. It was about a people she called merfolk, half human half fish, and Sehun remembers asking her to take him to see one.

She had laughed, one day, sweety, one day, but then she had died and Sehun was forced to grow up and stop believing in fairytales.

The gloomy thoughts make Sehun frown, and he sighs, disappointed that such a free day has turned into moping. He watches the ocean with heavy eyes.

And then he's falling from the rock in shock.

“Holy shit!”

There's a boy there, a few meters away, deep into the dark blue water, and Sehun wants to shout, to grab the boy and pull him close because don't you know the ocean is dangerous? but then he stops short.

The boy is not a boy at all, and Sehun wonders if he's fallen asleep without noticing, because there's a fish tale where the legs should be, dark purple scales glinting in the artificial light coming from the dry side.

It takes him a moment to take that in, and when he looks up from his sprawled position on the ground, a beautiful, feminine face is looking back at him. Sehun can't really tell the color of his hair or his eyes, because the dark water muddles things up, but they're light, and he's pretty sure there are scales around the boy's arms and chest.

Sehun shakes his head a little, but when he looks up again, the boy is still there, now with an amused smile on his face. Sehun feels a blush crawling up his cheeks.

He gets up on unsteady legs and, with cautious steps, moves closer to the barrier. The boy watches him with hungry eyes, as if he has never seen a human before. Sehun thinks he probably hasn't. Up close, the boy – the merman, his brain whispers excitedly – is even more breathtaking, and Sehun wants to touch.

“Hi.” The boy says, voice soft but surprisingly strong, considering his feminine appearance. “My name is Luhan.”


“H-hi,” Sehun stutters, blushing furiously. “I'm Sehun.”

He gets a smile in return, and something in his chest tightens. They stand there for a moment, eyes roaming and taking each other in, like children with newly opened presents. And then-

“I thought you were a myth.” Sehun whispers, awe evident in his face and voice.

That startles a giggle out of Luhan, and his answer is accompanied by an embarrassed smile. “Well, I'm not. I, we, have been here for a long time, actually.”

“You're a merman.”

It's not a question, but Luhan nods anyway.

“Wow.” Sehun can't seem to be more coherent than that at the moment, but thankfully Luhan doesn't seem to mind. He just smiles, like he thinks Sehun is cute, and the thought makes Sehun happy, for some reason.

Sehun notices, then, that Luhan doesn't come near. He stands there, perfectly still, not moving any closer to the barrier.

Almost like he's afraid.

Sehun swallows and wonders if his question will be well received. “Would you like to come here? To the dry side?”

And a flash of fear passes through Luhan eyes, and it seems Sehun's right.

“Well, I... I've never been dry before. I'm not sure it's a good idea.”

Sehun's eyes widen at that. “But... haven't you ever been to the surface?”

And then Luhan looks at him with surprise and a little confusion, and Sehun blushes, wondering if he said something wrong.

“Didn't you know? There's no way to reach the surface.”



“It's been like that for almost a century now. It happened a few years before I was born.” Luhan explains, frown making him look years older.

“Wait, how old are you?” Sehun asks, because almost a century is a little more than he thought when he saw Luhan. Besides, Luhan is, at the moment, more interesting than whatever happened to the surface.

“Eighty eight. Why?” And Sehun swallows, because he didn't know merfolk could live so much without looking old. And then he feels self-conscious, because what will Luhan think when he says he's nineteen?

“Well, you look much younger than that. I thought you were younger than me, actually. I'm... I'm nineteen.”

“Oh, such a baby!” And Luhan laughs, delighted. Sehun tries not to feel offended, which is really not difficult considering Luhan's laugh is endearing, and it doesn't seem like he's been mocked.

But Luhan laugh is cut off abruptly as he looks over his shoulder, and Sehun wonders what's wrong.

Luhan turns around and there's an apologetic smile on his face, and Sehun feels immediately sad, because it looks like he's leaving.

“I have to go. My brother is probably looking for me.”

“Brother?” But Luhan only smiles. Sehun tries to keep the disappointment from his voice. “Oh, okay then.”

Luhan waves and turns around, swimming away, but he doesn't go very far before turning, some hesitation in his face. “I'll see you tomorrow?”

And Sehun's smile is very, very bright.

“Yes, of course.”

And then Luhan disappears into the dark ocean.

It takes Sehun a moment to realize he didn't feel sleepy at all today, at least not while talking to Luhan. Then he yawns and decides it's time to go back, whatever time of the day it is.

Luhan flows away from the barrier, frown etched into his face. He doesn't swim for long before stopping at a reef.

“Why are you spying on me?” He asks, turning around.

A merman is floating a few meters away from him, face impassive. His red scales glimmer like blood in the dim light, giving him a dangerous look.

“You're not supposed to befriend the prince, Luhan. You're supposed to kill him. What happened to your previous plan?”

Luhan remains silent, something twisting his stomach in an unpleasant way. The so called previous plan was Luhan trying to drain Sehun's power off of him.

“Wufan, you know that didn't work. I told you how he only fell asleep after I used my powers, so I'm trying a different approach.” He doesn't tell his brother that he didn't try really hard. Wufan doesn't need to know Luhan is having doubts about this whole thing.

“You're too soft. Just suck him dry and be done with it.” And with that Wufan swims away, oblivious to Luhan's downcast face.

That night, after sleeping through dinner and Kyungsoo's disapproving look, Sehun creeps into the library and unearths the old, old story book his mother favored so much. He doesn't get much sleep, but he reads everything he finds about merfolk.

In the morning, Sehun is already there, at the same stretch of garden he's been coming to for the past few years, anxiously waiting.

He has no idea if Luhan will show up, if Luhan is even real, but his heart beats a little faster when he thinks of the beautiful creature, and so he waits.

It doesn't take very long for Sehun to spot something in the distance, a darker shade against the dark blue of the ocean. It gets closer and closer and Sehun stands from where he's sitting against the yellow flowered tree.

Luhan glides effortlessly, graciously through the water, and Sehun thinks he could stand there all day and watch.

Luhan approaches the barrier, and they smile at each other for a few seconds, unsure of what to say.

“I was afraid I had dreamed you up.” Sehun confesses, feeling a little foolish, a little childish.

But Luhan only giggles, delight clear across his face. “You're so cute. But there's no need to worry, I'm really real.”

“Can I... can I touch you?” With his face on fire, Sehun curses his big mouth.

Luhan seems to hesitate for a moment, that same look of fear passing quickly through his face before he schools it into something like curiosity.

“Well, how do you intend on doing that? Doesn't that barrier prevent you from coming outside and me from going in?”

“It only prevents you. And most people inside, really. Only those of royal blood can cross the barrier, because it was made with our family's power.”

Luhan widens his eyes, and Sehun smiles, happy that he managed to impress him with the information.

“Oh, well... okay.” Luhan answers, and Sehun can swear there's a little blush on his face.

Sehun approaches the barrier as much as he dares, and then he reaches an arm through it. The cold water on his skin makes him flinch, but he doesn't bring his hand back inside. Luhan is looking at his hand like it's something strange, and Sehun beckons him close with a twitch of his fingers.

It takes a few seconds, but then Luhan comes closer, and he grasps Sehun's hand delicately, like he's afraid of hurting Sehun.

Or of being hurt.

Sehun closes his hand around Luhan's, slowly and firmly, and he can't help but caress the small scales he can feel on the back of it. He suppresses a grin at Luhan's little shiver.

Luhan pulls his hand away after a few minutes, and Sehun tries not to to let the disappointment show on his face. He retreats his hand as well, and they stand in awkward silence for a minute, until Sehun opens his mouth.

“Tell me about the surface.”

And that seems to please Luhan, who sits down on the ocean floor with a smile.

Luhan proceeds to tell Sehun about the feud between humans and merfolk, and how merfolk wanted to separate themselves from the dry land. Sehun sits as well, and listens avidly as Luhan tells him how the barrier the merfolk put between the ocean and the earth affected the EXO kingdom – Sehun's kingdom – making it sink before the barrier could be finished.

From then on Sehun buts in, telling Luhan that he remembered reading somewhere about his family saving the whole kingdom from extinction, and now he knows how and why.

Sehun asks Luhan if the merfolk know about humans.

“Of course.” he answers. “The whole ocean is our home, and it's way bigger than your kingdom. It would be hard not to know about it.”

And then they engage in a discussion about the reasons why no human seems to know about the existence of the merfolk. Sehun hesitates for a while before telling Luhan about his mother.

“She seemed to know about you, back then. When she was alive.”

And Luhan looks at him with warm, worried eyes, very different from the pitying looks Sehun gets from everyone in the palace, and Sehun wants to hug him for it.

He feels something bubble inside him, an urge to spit out things he's never told anyone, things about his mother, and his father, and his reluctance in accepting the role of a prince, of a future king.

And Luhan learns about Sehun's mother that day, how se used to sing him to sleep in the garden, and how she used to tell him about the sun, and the wind, and things that Sehun had never experienced, because those things belonged to a surface that couldn't be reached anymore.

He parts with Luhan that day feeling lighter.

Luhan swims away from the barrier, away from Sehun, and thinking about the boy makes Luhan wince. Sehun is too innocent, to trusting. It amazes Luhan that Sehun so trusts him so much, because they've only known each other for two days.

Luhan bites his lips and wonders why he ever agreed to his father's stupid scheme.

When he gets home, the palace is quiet, and Luhan is grateful for not having to bear Wufan's questioning today.

He already feels guilty for liking Sehun much more than he should. For liking him at all.

It's another day and Luhan's back, and they sit at opposite sides of the invisible barrier, and they talk about random things and serious things and Luhan laughs and Sehun blushes, and neither of them notice the cold eyes watching them.

They grow so close to each other on such a short time, that each time Luhan leaves is a little later, the goodbye is a little more prolonged, the smiles a little wider.

One day, a couple of weeks later, Sehun asks Luhan to come to the dry side, again.

Luhan is silent for a while, and then he simply nods, and Sehun wants to jump in joy, but he only smiles until his face hurts.

There's apprehension in the set of Luhan's shoulders and the way his mouth curls slightly, and Sehun just wants to make that fear go away.

He reaches his arms through the barrier, and his fingers brush at Luhan's sides. Luhan takes a deep breath, and Sehun can feel him shaking. He waits patiently, both standing and eyes never leaving each other.

Luhan bites his lips, and he gets closer, closer, until his arms are around Sehun's neck, on the dry side, and Sehun is so happy he could burst. But Luhan is still shaking, and any abrupt moves could scare him off, so Sehun stands still, like a stone.

There's something fragile in Luhan's eyes when he whispers “Hold me.” and then he's pushing with his tail to the dry side, and Sehun takes a step back and prepares himself to support Luhan's weight.

He's not as heavy as he looks, and Sehun should have known that from the way Luhan is wiry and graceful, but really, the tail is long and looks like it weights more than Sehun. He locks his arms securely around Luhan's middle, and that's practically all that's keeping Luhan up right now, because his tail, as strong as it is, is just not made to be on dry ground.

They breathe against each other for a minute, and Sehun dares to caress a small patch of scales and skin on Luhan's back, and he gets a shiver for his efforts.

Sehun bites his lip and thinks this is a moment he will never forget. There's a merman in his arms, a creature that until a week ago he thought didn't exist. But better of all, Luhan is in his arms, and the thrill is overwhelming.

A giggle snaps Sehun away from his thoughts, and he looks down at the face nestled on his neck. Luhan looks back at him, eyes glinting and smile so, so beautiful Sehun could cry. Or kiss it.

“Hi.” Luhan says, voice light and bubbly and happy, and Sehun laughs.

“Hi.” And then he's hugging Luhan as tight as he can, and they share giggles and gazes and everything is perfect in that moment.

Sehun takes his time admiring the tiny purple scales on Luhan's cheek, and how they blend smoothly with his skin. Luhan's hair starts white at the roots, but take on a light, almost golden brown at the tips, and his lips are pink and, yes, there are tiny scales on them too, and Sehun wonders how they would feel against his own.

He looks at Luhan's eyes and they are staring at him too, and there's a pretty blush on Luhan's face, and a question in his eyes.

Sehun answers by dipping his head and closing the small space between them.

Kyungsoo bites his lips, but stays quiet as he watches Sehun kiss the merman. There's something happening there, at that specific moment, that kiss. Something life changing, and Kyungsoo knows their time here, huddled and scared away in the middle of the ocean, is coming to an end.

He turns around and goes back to the palace, feeling completely irresponsible and euphoric when Sehun's father asks what Sehun's being doing in the damn garden, and Kyungsoo only says “He's just lazing around, being the irresponsible youngster he is. Nothing to worry about.”

And the lie doesn't taste as bad as he thought it would.

Sehun paces, worried, because yesterday Luhan complained about feeling a little under the weather, and today he's late. He hopes Luhan didn't get sick.

He wonders if merfolk get sick.

He waits for long hours, but Luhan doesn't show up. Sehun is about to leave, tired and worried and frustrated, when a shadow in the distance makes him stop. His heart beats faster and Sehun glues his eyes to the shadow, willing it to come faster so he can see Luhan from up close and make sure he's alright.

But the closer the shadow comes, the more it seems like someone else, and Sehun is suddenly a little afraid. He waits, foot tapping impatiently on the ground, and the shadow takes form and it's not Luhan.

It's someone else with a striking resemblance to him, but much taller. And scarier. Sehun feels a shiver run down his spine.

The merman, because he can't be anything else with the long red tail and scales, gets really, really close to the barrier, and for a second Sehun fears he's going to come through, and then he remembers that that's impossible.

Just as he thought, the merman tries to push a hand through, but he's stopped by the barrier, and the frown on his face intensifies.

Sehun takes a step back.

“You're the human prince, I gather.” The merman asks, but the way his voice comes out, sounds more like he's demanding an answer.

Sehun frowns and considers not answering, because who does this guy think he is?

As if reading his mind, the merman introduces himself.

“I'm Wufan. Luhan's brother.”

Oh. He recognizes the name, and he should have know, because they look alike, but Wufan's cold expression is a great contrast to Luhan's warm smile and kind eyes. The deep, scarlet red of Wufan's scales gives him a dangerous edge, and even though he's Luhan's brother, Sehun doesn't trust him.

“What do you want? Where's Luhan?”

“Luhan is bedridden.”

Sehun's eyes widen at it, and he feels guilty for not taking better care of Luhan.

“Is there anything I can do?” He asks, and the way Wufan looks at him sends a warning through Sehun's mind. But he's too worried about Luhan to care much.

“No. But he did ask me to give you this.” And Wufan opens his hand to show a ring. Sehun's breath catches because it's Luhan's ring, the one with the spheres and the lines. The one Sehun thinks looks stunning on Luhan's hand.

“What? Why?”

Wufan takes a moment to answer, as if measuring his words, and Sehun can't take his eyes away from the ring.

“To reassure you that he'll come back as soon as he can.”

And it's so stupid, he shouldn't be listening to someone he doesn't know, but he barely knows Luhan as well, and Sehun already trusts him, and this is Luhan's brother, so how bad can it be?

Sehun just wants every little piece of Luhan he can get.

So he reaches for the ring.

He realizes his mistake in the next second. As soon as Sehun's hand is through the barrier and closed around the ring, Wufan Sehun's wrist with a strength that makes Sehun flinch. Wufan's face contorts, and where Sehun had seen a grouch before, now he only sees cold determination and some hidden hate.

Fear grips Sehun, and he wants to shout, ask for help, call Jongin, Chanyeol, Kyungsoo, but he can't. He can't because Wufan drags Sehun through the barrier, into the ocean, and the cold water chills him to the bone.

Sehun has never, ever swam before. He doesn't even know how to hold his breath, and so he chokes.

He tries to fight back, to get away from Wufan's grip, but there are violent hands on him and something sharp brushing against his mind, draining him of his strength and his will to fight. The air leaves his lungs fast and his vision swims and he closes his eyes involuntarily, the pain in his chest making him dizzy.

He feels the intrusion of something hateful and angry in his mind, brushing against the powers he never bothered to use, and the cold that runs through him is unrelenting as it rips his powers away.

Suddenly he feels so weak he could fall asleep right there, and then he's free.

He opens his eyes sluggishly and watches as Wufan backs away, face twisted as if he tasted something sour, and Sehun just really, really wants to close his eyes again and fall into deep slumber.

He's about to do just that when he hears frantic shouts in the distance, and he wonders if maybe he's hearing things, and maybe the water has clogged his ears, because that voice, even when his ears are immersed in something he's not used to, sounds like Luhan's.

A blur passes by Wufan and Sehun only has time to see the surprised expression on his face before he's being thrown back, familiar arms holding him as he finds himself at the dry side again.

Sehun chokes and coughs and vomits water, and the tears in his eyes sting, but the worse of all is the pain running through his body, his blood screaming in his veins as it tries to compensate the power that used to run through them, the power that he doesn't have anymore. His bones feel on fire, and Sehun wants to claw his skin off.

But his frantic hands are stopped by a strong grip, and it's completely different from Wufan's.

Sehun opens his eyes and Luhan is there. His face is anguished and worried, and his eyes are shining. Sehun wants to say it's okay, please don't worry, but his throat is raw and he still isn't breathing right.

“You fool.”

The voice is harsh, but the coldness Sehun heard before is now gone, replaced by something like panic. It's Wufan.

Sehun doesn't have the strength to move, to look, but Luhan looks over his shoulder, to where Wufan must be standing just outside the barrier, and his voice is so miserable Sehun wants to wrap him up in his arms and hide him from all this.

“No, Wufan. The only fool here is you.” He says, and even though Sehun doesn't really understand what's going on, the truth, the certainty in Luhan's voice burns. “You condemned all of us when you stabbed me, your own brother. Part of the royal bloodline.”

Stabbed? Sehun wants to ask, fear clenching his heart, but all he can do is close his hand around Luhan's upper arm. Luhan turns to him, and the smile he gives Sehun is beautiful and heartbreaking, and he knows Luhan's dying.

He wants to cry, but Luhan puts his fingers on his lips. “Shh, everything's going to be alright.”

It won't really, but the way Luhan says it soothes something inside Sehun and then he's limp in Luhan's arms, strength completely gone.

The world starts shaking then, like an earthquake, except Sehun has only ever heard about them, so he's not sure his comparison is accurate.

Luhan is still talking.

“Go away, Wufan. Father will need you by his side right now.” And Sehun can't really make out Wufan's answer, but he can detect the panic and fear and is that regret? on the merman's voice, and then Luhan turns back to him, and he knows they're alone.

Wufan was always stronger than him, and Luhan has never resented it so much as right now.

“Just go inside your room and stay there! How dare you disobey your older brother?”

“How dare you manhandle me like this? Let me go, Wufan!” Luhan cries out, desperation clawing his throat. If even Wufan locks him away, than there won't be anyone there to protect Sehun.

They struggle for a minute, and Luhan never sees the knife coming at him until he feels a sharp pain in his abdomen.

Wufan has just stabbed him.

The shock and hurt and confusion is so great Luhan doesn't fight as Wufan throws him inside his room and locks the door.

“I'll... I'll be back. I'll send Yixing to look at your wound. Just stay here.” And then he's gone.

Luhan floats there for a while, the blood seeping from the wound and dancing in the water, and he still can't grasp his mind about it.

Wufan, his brother, has just stabbed him.

The betrayal tastes awful on his tongue, but then he remembers Sehun is alone and vulnerable and too trusting for his own good, and he wants to shout in frustration.

And then Yixing's opening the door with big, frightened eyes, and Luhan doesn't waste any time wondering if he can do it. He just lurches himself at Yixing and grabs him by the arms, and Yixing is too stunned to stop Luhan from taking the keys from his fingers, throwing him inside the room and locking the door.

His abdomen hurts something fierce from all the moving around, but Luhan doesn't stop.

He needs to get to Sehun before it's too late.

“I... I wanted to feel the wind in my hair. And I wanted you to be there with me.” Sehun whispers, and something breaks inside Luhan. He feels tears running silently down his face.

“It's okay,” he says, choking. “We'll meet again, right? Then you can show me what a cherry tree is, and we can sleep on the grass together.”

Sehun's smile is thin and frail. “I'd like that.” And then he closes his eyes.

Luhan wants to cry, wants to scream and kick and wail at the unfairness, but he only sighs, hands shaking as he grabs Sehun's right hand, and he's surprised to find his missing ring right there, clenched tight inside Sehun's hand.

He puts the ring on Sehun's ring finger, and kisses it.

There's a lot of blood now, coming from himself, and Luhan closes his eyes and lies down beside Sehun on the grass. For a second he can swear he feels something warm on his face, and wonders if the sun would feel like this.

And then he doesn't wonder anymore.

Kyungsoo is the one who finds the bodies lying on the grass, near the tree with yellow flowers that Sehun liked so much. There's a lot of blood, but all of it seems to comes from the merman curled around Sehun, and Kyungsoo wishes he had learned his name. Sehun's hand is on the merman's cheek, and they are both smiling faintly.

The ground shakes and the water pouring from the holes in the barrier roar in his ears, and even though he's so far from the palace and the people, he still hears the panicked cries and shouts.

He doesn't think he can look at Sehun without choking, so he sits under the tree and closes his eyes, and for the first time he wonders why he never stopped Sehun.

Perhaps Kyungsoo just wanted it to end as well.

He closes his eyes, and the last thing he hears is a low humming, the voice soothing and undeniably female. A peace settles into his bones, and he sighs, years of pent up stress disappearing between the grass and the flowers.

He doesn't hear the whole ocean collapsing on top of the kingdom.
Mood: anxiousanxious