virginalities (virginalities) wrote in fortexo,
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Better for TINY_ESTRELLA

Title: Better
Recipient: tiny_estrella
Pairing: Sehun/Kai
Rating: PG-13
Warning: Language, Racist tendencies
Word Count: ~5900 words
Summary: The moon can illuminate the darkest night, but the sun can make it shine brighter.
Author’s Note: I fell in love with your prompts, but I can’t seem to give them justice. This is also unbeta-ed and a little rushed, so I truly apologize for that. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy this!
Based on P!nk’s Perfect.




One of Jongin’s fondest memories of his father back when they were still living in the Peninsula was those times they went out and fixed the vegetable patch at their backyard. His mother has this fondness for plants before; she was actually the one who started their whole garden. With her hands she could easily make the flowers bloom and trees fruit, even if the land they’re living on was quite dry. Their first harvests back then were more than enough – sometimes Jongin would sell them in the nearby market or trade them for fish or chicken. Slowly, the plants started to produce less and less fruits, then wither, then at the point of his mother’s death, not a sapling even grew.

It was as if the heavens knew his and his father’s hardships back then. Jongin would arrive from school wet from the rain. Instead of a warm bowl of pumpkin soup and a warmer smile from his mother greeting him, he sees his father’s back hunched over his work table, furiously sanding a piece of wood that was already fine to touch. He eyes the piece of wood beneath his father’s gaze and hands, realizing that it’s slowly becoming darker as it gets wet.

Slowly, the seemingly never-ending rains started to ebb. When it finally stopped, the lands across the area become rich in vegetation, giving the community a chance to live and have a living. The day after the storms stopped, Jongin came home to find his father tilling and digging the soil in his mother’s garden. As he notices his son approaching him, he just looks at him fondly – just like his wife does before.

“Time to make the soil breathe,” he says as he throws the younger one a small rake.

They spent the whole afternoon digging up soil and fixing up the garden. Jongin assigned himself to pulling the weeds, something he usually does before. It makes him feel better – like going back to their old routine, but seeing his father’s tattered pants instead of his mother’s colorful skirt made him feel slightly nostalgic and sad. Slowly the sun disappeared; the light was waning, making it harder to distinguish the weeds from random branches embedded into the soil. As it began to turn into the night, his father slowed down his work, and then finally fully stopped. The crickets were already humming their night lullaby, and Jongin’s back was starting to ache. He doesn’t want to stop though. He was not sure if tomorrow will be like this, a sun high up in the sky, birds chirping, warm soil beneath his fingers, and his father finally taking time to breathe. He’s sure he prefers the sounds of distant howling of wolves and hooting of owls instead of the sound of wood being smoothed, cut, or hammered.

Jongin feels his father’s hand against his shoulder. He helps him up, saying, “It’s time to rest. We still have a lot of weeds to pull out. Also, we have to properly dig plots tomorrow and plant some vegetables.” When his son still refused to stand up, the older Kim just said, “The sun will still shine tomorrow.”

Weeks passed, on some days the sun would rise high above, while some days the plants were given water by a slight drizzle. The older Kim has settled on a routine of tending the garden, though often his son catches him still working hunched over his wooden table. But now instead of being fixated over it, he stops after a few hours, smiling at his work, instead of getting it wet. The storm has not come back, Jongin guesses, and he hopes it would last a little longer.

The harvest wasn’t plenty but enough to fill up their storage baskets and gave them some surplus to trade for. The smell of pumpkin and garlic greets Jongin upon arriving from the market. His father was already sitting on their table, beckoning him to join him for dinner. He looks tired, but his eyes look genuinely glad. They finish dinner quietly, Jongin fearing that he might not only break the silence if he spoke, but also something more fragile. His father reaches out to him, placing his rough fingers over his. “Your mother would be glad if she is seeing you now. You’ve been really a responsible son, Jongin. Honestly, I feel terrible because you had to deal with me. I can’t fully apologize for what I felt and did though, I hope you understand. She’s my sunshine Jongin.” His father’s shoulders were just shaking like leaf against the strong winds. “You can’t bring back the sun when it’s left to rise in other places. But you know what I realized? I still have the moon and the stars. It’ll be dark. It’ll be hard to see where I am going, but I could still see. You’re my moon, son. You’re my moon.”

*


“Jongin-ah, pumpkin soup?”

“Seriously, father, is that all you can cook?”

Jongin laughs despite how ridiculous it feels to have pumpkin soup again for dinner for the fourth night in one week. Mainland’s market is full of various vegetables and crops suitable for meals, but unfortunately for the son, he’s going to be stuck with pumpkin soup for the meantime. “Father, you know you can buy from the market right?,” Jongin quips at the older Kim. They’ve been here for at least a month but it seems like his father haven’t really get used to being here. Somehow, it would be actually understandable, since all he did was work in the palace ever since they arrived. He helps as well, trying to do odd jobs here and there while trying to study at the near-by academic court.

“What did you do in school today?” His father would always ask that every night; Jongin always tried to dodge them. School wasn’t that hard, it demands some work, yes, but he could still do what is required. He could say that to his father, that wasn’t lying. He’s just keeping some secrets to himself, that wouldn’t be bad, right?

“It’s fine.”

“Good. Now finish your meal,” the father says as turns his back and pats Jongin’s shoulder. The son tried his best not to wince, or worse let out a cry. Today he had to carry two full pails of water back and forth from their room in the academy to the one of the streams at the edge of their city. He also had to scrub their floor before coming home until his fingers were welted and wrinkled. No, he doesn’t do this every day, but unfortunately today he accidentally slipped while holding his bottle of ink because he didn’t see that the son of a general’s foot was on his way.

No, he doesn’t do this every day. Sometimes it was easier, sometimes it worse – but most of the time it’s the latter. Jongin refuses to see that the academic court was something that was evil. He deems that it was just the teachers and the students that make it seem that way. No, the teachers and the other students aren’t evil either. It wasn’t their fault, Jongin believes. He was from the island; that’s the fault. That fact was the evil, the problem, the trouble that was bringing him the hardship.

That’s my fault.

*


The students from the academic court are usually taught under varied subjects. Before the year ends each student is given the chance to pick a specific art, literature, or philosophy that they’d like to focus on. Most students settle for studying Confucius, government administration, and other of the high-paying jobs that involve a better chance for a seat in the palace.

The day of the choosing came, and Jongin still hasn’t an answer. He has spent all night awake. His tired eyes stared back at him as he washed his face that morning. He also looked paler than usual – that wasn’t bad. He soaks himself in hot water, cringing his nose at the smell of the leaves and barks he boiled it in with. The old lady from the marketplace said it would help lightening his skin. It was the most distinguishable trait that sets him apart from the other scholars in the academy – his dark caramel color. Back in the island he never cared about his skin, and stayed under the sun without protection for hours.

Filthy.

He scrubs his skin with a rough river stone, until it feels raw and red. He scrubs it until it starts to sting, not minding how painful it feels against the hot water he’s bathing in. After he dries himself up, Jongin carefully pats the talc he purchased yesterday. It was worth his salary for two weeks. He has mixed it up with some of the flour he found in their kitchen, just to make it enough to stay a little bit longer. By the time he finishes, the sun was already up and creating shadows against the wall.

“Jongin, breakfast. Hurry, you’ll be late,” his father paused, eyebrows furrowed. “You look pale. And white. Are you sick?”

“Oh thank goodness if I am!” Jongin exclaims, and checks his reflection on the mirror for the last time. Jongin, you look better like this. It’s correct to look like this.

“You don’t look right.”

“I have never looked this right ever since we got here Father. This is right.”

Breakfast passed and his father barely ate a piece of bread. Jongin rushed – he doesn’t want to be late, who knows what their teacher have in store for him if he was. The other students were already seated when he came in through the back of the door; he never uses the front, only the students born in the mainland could and do.

The old teacher arrives, holding a long scroll rolled under his hand. Today was the selection. The students are supposed to write their names on the scroll with what was their final decision. Jongin looks at the other people in the room; they were quickly writing their names on the parchment. Of course, they’d know what they or they family want them to do. Only a few took a while, a few uncertain seconds or so, but in the end still writing their name just only a little more doubtful and regretful than the others.

When the parchment reaches Jongin, he takes it hesitantly. He still wasn’t sure where he will write his name under. There were too many things to consider, so much things to think about. You couldn’t just do this on a whim – it might be something he’ll just regret in his whole lifetime. Imagine spending a good five years doing something that in the end would make you hate yourself. If that doesn’t kill you somehow, I don’t know what will. But unfortunately, only people from the mainland have the freedom to actually talk this way. Jongin knows a lot of things rest on how he lays his cards – his father, his future, and their future. After the palace is built, it would be difficult for his aging father to actually find work. In the end, it’ll lay in his hands to provide for both of them.

At the end of the parchment were two names, one, Kim Minseok, was quite familiar. The first one written was Oh Sehun, a name Jongin was sure he has never heard to be called. It would still make sense though, the other scholars would always talk about that other class that is specially restricted to the rich and powerful families’ sons. He has even heard that the prince himself studies in that class – something that is highly doubtful for him still.

I guess it’s time to take a chance.

*


The only way Jongin could describe how the general’s son dances was if he compared it to water flowing in a stream. It rages when it needs to, but can be still and flowing afterwards in just a snap. Today they were learning how to dance the Warriors’ Anthem.

Normally Jongin is the observer out of the three students. He doesn’t mind – watching Minseok and Sehun dance since he wasn’t sure if he could do great with it. It was out of ordinary when the teacher called out his name for the first time, handing him a wooden sword afterward. Minseok explains to him that his built wasn’t suited for the dance, and that Sehun convinced their teacher to have him play against him instead.

They spent most of their days with swords pointing against each other in a fake battle. Both barely talk, either by choice or by convenience. The day the governor’s son first spoke was the first day Jongin was fighting in a battle, and never expected someone would go beside him and point his sword the other way.

“Leave him alone.” That was all what he said, and was all that was needed. He then turned to the older, saying, “Learn to fight.”

“Why did you do that?”

“I can’t just watch them take you down again.”

“Again?”

“Let’s just say I’ve been watching you for a while ever since we met in the first dance class. I know someone who I could trust even before I start talking to them,” Sehun says, nonchalantly, “First thing my father taught me after I learned to walk, I guess.”

“I am not your charity work.”

“I am just helping you Jongin, what is so hard in accepting help?”

“Why do you think I need help?”

*


Festivals were fast approaching, and Jongin’s days are now most spent inside the academy, practicing dance after dance. Sehun though looking pale and sickly, apparently could keep up with such rigorous training. With such long days, it wasn’t a wonder how, first, Jongin started to trust someone again, and two, how Sehun has started to treat him like his brother. Often they would argue because of Sehun’s careless thoughts, decisions, and opinions and the other’s pride and already bruised ego. Though these arguments are usual, it never tainted how Jongin could always depend on the younger when the going gets tough. He’d always be there to lend him a hand to stand up, even if he refuses to take it. It’ll still be there when he gives up.

The younger, on the other hand, found a confidant. As General Oh’s son, it was difficult to say anything, to just anyone, even if you’re convinced that they are your friend. It could put not only Sehun’s life in danger but also his family’s lives as well. Jongin listens – most of the time that was enough. He feels lighter without all the thoughts crowding his head.

“When are you going to marry, Jongin?”

“I’ve told you that you should call me hyung,” Jongin starts, “But, well, I haven’t thought of that. Perhaps when my father dies. I couldn’t take care of someone else until that happens.”

“I’m marrying the princess soon,” Sehun looks at him, eyes searching for a reaction. Unfortunately for him, what he wanted to see was not how Jongin responded. The latter laughed, “Of course! What a great luck! I’ll be the prince’s friend. Don’t forget about me!”

“Aren’t you jealous?”

“Why would I be? It’s not like – wait. Are you telling me I should be jealous? Sehun, do you actually like like me?”

A flustered Sehun stammers, “I - diot.”

“But, you know Sehun,” Jongin says as he puts an arm around the younger, “I’d marry you if you ask me.”

*


The whole house was in chaos days even before the wedding. Sehun’s mother kept pacing around, greeting well-wishers, accepting gifts, and preparing the feast. Visitors from all over the Mainland arrived in their house, most of them foreign to the groom himself. He kept himself inside his room, refusing anyone who wants to greet him – the next prince. They were all strangers; people whom he was so sure were there just to start or keep connections to the next ruling family.

Marriage is also a stranger to him. It wasn’t something he has seen to work perfectly – his own parents were destined as well. Or how was it supposed to work. Was marriage waiting with a meal prepared ending up cold and thrown to the dogs? Was it sitting in bed in the morning, wondering if he’ll arrive whole or in pieces?

Tonight was the last day of festivities prior to the wedding day itself. The past two days, Sehun spent his night sitting beside his seemingly mute bride, whose reactions on every tiny movement are in sync with the laughs of the other people inside the room. Even she was a stranger, a stranger that Sehun was destined to spend his whole life with. A stranger who’ll later on will grey, wrinkle, and stoop. He puts his lips against his wrinkled finger due to staying too long in the bath. Would it still feel right?

Decked in one his best robes, Sehun arrives in the garden filled with sparkling tiny candles and a bonfire in the far end, illuminating the place in a hot orange glow. Around the garden were the men of the Oh family and their friends, half of them already flustered drunk, all of them strangers in Sehun’s eyes.

In the middle of the court was someone wearing an intricate mask, robe sleeves drooping. Sehun laughs, on the other edge of the court was Minseok, the student Sehun barely spoke to during their dance classes. His pouting lips were red; black hair reaching his waist. Minseok’s robe was colorful and decorated by sweet blossoms of spring, in total contrast of the other guy’s plain cheap silk. The gongs start, followed by the sharp sounds of the strings of the gayageum. Slowly the dancers approach each other, only tip of their toes touching against the wooden floor of the made-up stage. Minseok was acting prim like a shy kitten, keeping his face hidden underneath a huge fan. The masked man approaches him, at first he was as shy as the princess Minseok was, then proudly after a little while when she started to close the distance, then finally holding his hand. Sehun smiles, this dance was familiar. He watches the masked dancer glide across the courtyard, steps precise, but his hands and knees were quivering lightly. He’s nervous but still everything is just perfect. The dance starts with a courtship, then marriage, then the battle where the man protects the princess against throes of pirates wanting to capture her. This is when the masked man dies, falling slowly to the floor, his robes swooping and catching the warm air. The princess kisses him lightly,

This was marriage. Marriage is to fight for someone until your last breathe. Marriage is to be there for someone until their last breathe, to hold them tight until all ends.

The mask loosens up in the action, showing a glimpse of glinting caramel skin.

Jongin.

It wasn’t much of a surprise. Sehun has seemingly memorized how he moves – the small nuances, the smooth yet calculated movement, his glide, the way how every muscle tenses at every movement, how even his fingers could seem to portray the sadness, the happiness, and the fear.

It’s you.

The moon in the dark sea of strangers.

The two dancers bow. The man with the mask holds on tightly to his loosened mask. The men in the courtyard was shouting for him to take it off, voices getting louder and louder as time pass. He still refuses, and then looks at Sehun warily.

“It seems like the man refuses to be known. Let it be. But, masked man, could you meet me behind the courtyard later after the ceremony?” he raises his voice, commanding and firm, just like how his father taught him. The dancer just nods and both of them leave the courtyard.

The rest of the ceremony moves in a slow blur. As the last guests went out, Sehun rushes to the back of the courtyard. Under the waning moon, a figure stands leaning the wall of the storage hut. It shifts, scratching its face, lightly. Jongin always does this. Sehun was sure it’s because of his irritation with the flour he mixes talc with to put on his face.

“I told you, I could give you talc, why do you insist on using flour?”

His posture stiffens, something the younger was used to every time they start talking about things like this. He will always insist on giving him things, things that he doesn’t even want or need. The older would always refuse, shaking his head. Thick lips caught between his teeth, as if fearing that if he lets them loose, he’ll end up accepting Sehun’s offer. When they separate, they’ll mutter a few words, almost whispered, always urgent.

“I am not your charity work.”

As always, Sehun doesn’t answer back. He doesn’t want to argue with him now, and probably ever. It was difficult winning against him, he was so insistent on trying to stand up and dance alone. Instead he asks, “Jongin, how are your parents?”

“As you know, my mother is dead and my father is working hard finishing your future palace,” the older quips, tension dissipating slowly in the humid air. “I mean, how were they when they were together?”

Jongin looks at him fondly; thinking may be his friend was nervous. Then again who wouldn’t be if they were in his place? “My mother wakes up in the morning, cooks grains and soup for breakfast. My father wakes up, eats breakfast, and goes to work. My mother tends the garden while she waits for him to come back. When he does, he has warm soup sitting in the table. She listens to his stories, he listen to hers. He presses a kiss in her forehead, eyes, nose, and lips. They walk to their room, arms tangled together, not caring if the other’s hair smells burned by the sun, or if dirt was stuck underneath the other’s fingers.”

It’s strange.

They stay quiet for a while, just staring in separate places. Jongin sits down beside Sehun, placing his arms around the younger’s shoulders. “You know, when my mother died, rains poured down all over us. My father didn’t even care if he was getting wet. He just soaked it up. Then slowly, the sun came out again, drying everything nicely. My father was like a sapling, growing out of the drowned soil. At first, I was hesitant to help him out. Then afterwards, he came out fine, roots planted firmly, ready to grow. On the night before we left to go here in the Mainland, we talked about her. He said she was his sun. I know he was so sure that he’ll see her again, he’d just have to make it through the night. He knows she’s just hiding behind the moon, still there, watching over him. He was so sure she never left, she was just there waiting.”

The younger nods, taking everything little by little, understanding it slowly. He looks at his hyung, skin illuminated by the moon, looking warm instead of pale like his. Both of them cast their eyes at the silver moon, then Jongin smiles at him, and then speaks, happiness evident in his voice. “My father said I was his moon. I helped him see in the dark. I am still helping him, Sehun, that’s why I am doing this, even with all these hardships, rumors, and punishments. But you know how the moon is said to be like a mirror? I think my father still sees my mother when he sees me. She’s still the one guiding him, not me. I am just that,” he points to the sky. “A pale moon. A dark moon.”

The moon in the dark sea of strangers.

Jongin wraps Sehun in his arms, careful to not crumple the younger’s robe. “Don’t worry. I’ll be here. I’m the moon, after all.”

And I’ll be your sun.

*


The thing with perfection – you don’t see it unless it breaks. Jongin’s dream was to live a perfect life, Sehun’s life. He could just see himself, walking daintily across the streets of the Mainland, followed by maids, guarded by soldiers. He doesn’t have to bother thinking of what he couldn’t buy. No more itch from the flour on his face. He could marry the princess, be a king.

He sees him walking in his hand-weaved silk robes – the same robes he was wearing to this morning’s ceremony. His face was still perfectly pale, lips pursed. “If you’re going to tell me I made a stupid decision, please tell me now so I can leave. I’ve had enough of this. And no, I won’t tell you why. Not now, Jongin.”

The thing with perfection – you don’t see the cracks because they’re hidden from the view. Was there even something people can call perfect if they see it wholly?

“Do you think, I’ll be okay with that?”

“What? Are you my mother? You don’t have the right to get mad you idiot!”

“Oh really? Well fortunately for you I am not mad, dear prince,” Jongin fumes, watching confusion spread all over the younger’s face. “I’m not mad. I am not even feeling anything for you right now Prince Oh. I feel sick to my gut.”

“Kim Jongin, what the hell are you saying?”

“What am I saying is, why am I not you? Why am I here in this thin cotton robes instead of in your silk ones? Why did I not get married to a princess? Oh wait – you didn’t marry the princess because you just don’t want to.”

The thing Sehun hates is the lack of logic. The way Jongin argues now against him is just like he’s just firing of random arrows in the sky hoping they’ll curve midair to hit the target right in the heart. “I really don’t know where you are going. And for one, Jongin, this is actually my life, so please, just stop.”

“Yes, it’s your life. It doesn’t matter to you’re going to die of hunger because that won’t happen. It doesn’t matter to you if you’re going to school barely breathing because yesterday you had to be punished for breathing. You know what Sehun, at first, when I met you, I thought what I felt was jealousy. I thought I just wanted your life. I tried copying you – the way you speak, the way you move, the way you flick your fingers, the way you barely smile. I wanted to be more than your friend – I wanted to be you. But no – I don’t think this is jealousy anymore. This is self-pity. I hate myself, Sehun. I hate myself for the way I speak roughly, the way I move snappily, the way I flick my fingers so rudely, the way that almost anything could make me smile. I hate myself, Sehun.”

Jongin was roughly tugging at his black locks, then digging his nails at his arm. Sehun was scared, fearing that the older might end up wrecking himself into pieces. Suddenly, Jongin bends down and grabs a handful of rough stones and started scraping them against his skin. His skin was cracking, red and was starting to bleed. He still kept chafing the stones making their edges glint in blood red.

It was painful to watch him destroy himself but Sehun can’t do anything, but stand in fear.

“I hate myself too.”

The sound of scratching stops. Rocks hit the ground in soft thuds. A sound of the wind getting caught between silk robes.

Sehun and Jongin stand in the middle of courtyard. The younger’s arms holding the older one together.

“I hate myself for not being with you.”

*


Marriage of two males in the mainland is usual. Though it was still discouraged, as long as the parents agree to such arrangement, it doesn’t matter that much to anyone anymore. Jongin’s father, though born and raised in the island took everything nicely. The old man smiled and nodded, as if he knew it was coming even before Sehun and Jongin spoke. He now lives near the Oh family’s mansion, tending his small farm, living peacefully without worrying his son anymore. The dowry was more than enough for him.

The younger’s father – the general – nodded in agreement, though he looked disappointed and resigned. General Oh whose life is dedicated to going to battles, killing enemies of the empire, and fighting until his last breath, didn’t even try to go against his son. He’s his only heir – he’d rather have him alive and married to another man than dead or running away letting their century upon century of business down.

Sehun’s mother took it differently. She was the typical obedient daughter of one of the oldest families in the mainland. Families like hers are those who have reserved a space for anyone who is born from the islands in the slave quarters. And that’s where Jongin lives on the days Sehun was out for trading with the other cities.

Jongin stays inside the small corner house, doing almost nothing, except mending his clothes or reading. He was allowed to go out but just up to the courtyard. Sometimes he goes out and tries to dance again, just like when he was still studying in the academy. He tries to spin – but just ends up tripping on the rough edges of the stones that cover the ground. No one laughs at him, nor asks him if he was alright. He just gets up and dusts his robes and goes back to his quarters.

He wakes up from his afternoon nap due to a soft rapping sound against his door. It was time for dinner, he guesses. His dining table is filled to the brim with good food, food that he hasn’t really tasted when he still lived in the island. “Your name is Hyunbi right? Hyunbi, come and join me for dinner. This is too much for me. And besides, it would be too lonely to eat alone.” The female help just bowed her head, lowly, and then in a hushed voice, apologized, “You’re the general’s son’s husband. A slave like me can’t eat with you. Sorry, master.”

“I live in this slave quarter – in fact, I think I am a slave too. A slave of this fucked up world.”

“Jongin, I think that is a rude way to talk to one of our slaves. She’s an islander like you, why would you be so harsh to someone like you?” Madame Oh stands in regally by his front door, robes hiked up, as if the wood floor was infected by some infectious disease. “Hyunbi, leave. Sehun is coming home tomorrow. Save me from embarrassment and pretend you’re sick.”

The last time Sehun and Jongin ate together with the whole family was during their wedding ceremony. The older has been always asked to pretend like he is sickly, or sleeping. Sehun’s mother refuses to eat with an islander, it’s as simple as that. It was ironic, how Jongin was stuck up in two different worlds, not belonging to either.

Sehun never asks why he hasn’t come down to lunch for he was always satisfied by his mother’s answers. After the meal, he’ll go and find Jongin, lying down in their room inside the house. Both of them would just end up sleeping, for one is too tired, and the other has no courage to speak.

The older found his way around the house, finding Sehun’s mother preparing the morning meal. He was there to ask if he could join them for breakfast. He knows the younger has started to be worried about his sickness. Jongin couldn’t bring himself to lie anymore; he was Sehun’s confidant, even from the start, and that is what made Sehun love him in the first place. Lying to him feels like betraying him. It would just hurt the both of them in the end.

“What makes you think you could?” Sehun’s mother was still firm on her decision. Heaven knows what type of sickness could she and her family could have breathing the same air with this islander. “My friends would be here, I don’t think I can stomach letting them see your skin.”

“I could cover up. I’ll sit in the back. I’ll go early. I’ll do everything, just please make me stay.” Jongin could do anything, even go on his knees or work in the fields, anything, just for one meal together with his family. He remembers the days and nights when he was still in the islands, filling his stomach with vegetables and the happy banter of his parents. He’ll go to sleep hungry, but still felt full. It’s the magic of being in family, his mother would always say.

Madame Oh just glared at him and turned her back away. Jongin was already on his knees, wood splinters destroying his robes. He casts his eyes down the dark floor, it was too early for the light to come in and shine. He then feels a warm hand against his back, and sees a pale hand offered in front of him. Just like before. As Jongin stands up, the light blinds him slightly. The sun is here.

“He’ll eat with us. If you can’t stomach that, I guess you’ll have to watch me leave.”

*


Fireworks danced in the air, filling the dark sky with the colors of celebration. The past year has been successful for the city. There were no droughts, no ceaseless rain. The armies lead by General Oh pushed back the invaders and pirates off the coastline.

Sehun hasn’t left to trade again in the other Kingdoms. He has decided to take hold of one the families business. Though they never left the family compound – he has managed to build them their own house inside it. It was better for them this way – to be away from the judging eyes of his mother. Though the two have been in better terms ever since he came back, Jongin still felt uncomfortable with her in one house.

“Sehun, are you feeling cold?”

The younger smiles, and just shakes his head. He holds Jongin’s hand, and presses it lightly against his lips. “Jongin-ah, what’s your New Year prayer?”

“For everything to be perfect – or at least better.”

The gongs and bells from the distant temple that were echoing all over the mainland started to die down. The fireworks had stopped littering the night sky, leaving the tiny stars to their own. It was a new moon again, but the darkness didn’t bother either of them. Sehun reaches into his pockets, retrieving a small leather bound notebook. He has worked religiously with this the past few nights, writing page per page of parchment.

“Jongin, this is for you.”

The older leafed through the pages, and then settled to read the first page of the book.

Moon, shine bright.
Moon, shine even in the darkest night.
Moon, don’t be wary.
Moon, don’t go in flight.
For, I am your sun.
Always behind you,
To give you my light.
Tags: p: kai/sehun, round 1
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