She told me it was gonna be angst angst and then finally a fluffy ending to this drabble series but I was like noooooooooooo my heart can't take angst after the crazy day today so she was lovely enough to accede to my request for fluff.
THIS IS BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN.
I was moved to tear. One tear. But one is enough, isn't it? It's gorgeous T______________T
Autumn. The trees have shed their green and with it, blushed brown with the colour of fall. Evening comes, as it always has.
King Kisan sits in his chambers, troubled. He had an audience earlier with the War Minister who had informed him of trouble in the east. Murmurings of discontent even at the far-off peripheries needed to be silenced immediately, in a country as vast as Joseon. He knows only of one remedy, even though this time, it comes with a high risk. Higher than before.
‘Send for Mooseok immediately.’
Mooseok arrives not long after. The sudden summons by the King does not surprise him; most times he receives his orders in the twilight, when the King has been up sifting through his thoughts from the day.
Mooseok seats himself in front of the King after greeting him, waiting.
‘I have been informed of a possible rebellion in the east. Some lords may have been causing me grief.’
Mooseok’s face is still, this is not new to him.
‘I don’t know how many, but the War Minister has given me the names of a few key individuals. Silence them.’
Mooseok does not react. He receives the slip of paper that the King passes him with both hands, not sparing it a glance yet.
‘Mooseok. If it fails, they will know their King hires …’
‘They won’t know because I won’t fail.’
King Kisan looks up at Mooseok, a hint of emotion in his eyes. Mooseok has been his most loyal officer, and the best. He does not know if he is ready to lose the man.
‘There is a risk..’
‘There always is. If there is nothing else, Your Majesty. I will take my leave to prepare for my departure tomorrow.’
Mooseok stands up to leave, bowing deeply before the King.
‘Mooseok..’ He stops, head turning slightly in question.
The King’s courtesy is unexpected. He had always been kind to Mooseok but he had never thanked him before. Mooseok nods in acknowledgement and leaves the room. Outside, he looks down at the slip of paper. And understands the reason for the unusual display of sentiment from the King.
The names of 2 of the most powerful warlords in the east: Kim Yusoo and Chang Jun Min, stare back at him.
And he will be going alone, as he always has. The only thing is, he does not know if he will return this time.
Kyungtak feels an uneasiness in his bones. He decides on a late-night walk through the palace gardens, hoping to soothe himself before bed.
He spots a familiar figure standing under one of the garden’s pavilions, staring at the blood-red moon in the sky. It is a rare autumn occurrence but the red lunar eclipse seems befitting for the mood. Kyungtak feels his uneasiness deepen. He contemplates walking away before the figure turns, but something draws him towards the figure instead.
Mooseok turns, eyes soft in the moonlight. Kyungtak is startled by the rare show of vulnerability, but with a blink, it is hidden. He wonders if he had imagined it in the dimness.
‘What brings you out here at this time of the night?’
‘I couldn’t sleep.’
Silence falls uncomfortably between the two; the memory of their awkward parting a few nights before still vivid in both their minds.
Then Mooseok speaks up.
‘I’m leaving tomorrow.’
‘Where are you going?’ Kyungtak is startled. He had not heard of any new work for Mooseok ever since he had been injured. An ominous feeling starts building up inside of him.
‘The King needs me to do something for him.’
‘It’s only been a few months since you almost died. Mooseok-ah. You can’t…’
‘It’s the King’s order.’
‘Where are you going?’
‘What? That’s so far! What’s going on?’
‘You know I can’t tell you.’
And then it hits Kyungtak hard. It is another one of Mooseok’s secret missions, one of those that end up with the man battered and weak, almost not returning home.
Not returning home.
‘Mooseok. He’s sending you to your death, isn’t he?’
‘Kyungtak! Don’t speak like that of the King!’ Mooseok’s voice is sharp as he admonishes the other. He quickly looks around for inquisitive eyes but finds none. Relieved, he turns back to face the worried expression of the other.
‘Mooseok. You can’t leave. You have barely recovered. I.. we.. I mean we almost lost you the last time.’ Kyungtak steps closer to the taller man, concern pushing him forward, the news immediately dispelling all the previous awkwardness he had earlier felt about being alone with Mooseok.
Mooseok feels a strange ache in his chest as the physician places his hand on Mooseok’s forearm, his doe eyes gazing into his own.
‘Why don’t you want me to leave?’ his voice comes out in a whisper. The night breeze blows through the pavilion, ringing the wind chimes that hang in a corner.
Kyungtak swallows. His own pain at the news rising up and out of his throat, spilling with it, the honesty he had tried to hide.
‘What if I can’t get to you in time? Please.’
He holds the other’s gaze, the grasp on his arm tightening.
‘Would it matter?’
‘Yes. It would. Because I care for you.’
The line. Would they cross the line?
Mooseok feels his hand rising to reach for the other’s face, cupping it gently. He allows himself this lapse, after all, he may not have another chance ever again.
Kyungtak shudders at the touch and he finds himself leaning subconsciously into the caress.
‘I promise I’ll come home.’
He is surprised at the feel of a warm tear on his hand. Kyungtak had shed a solitary tear unknowingly.
Kyungtak pulls at something on his wrist, and then holds onto the hand that is cupped around his face. The warmth from the beautifully-calloused hand is comforting and Kyungtak suddenly wishes he could singe the feel of it into his skin. But he pulls it away, placing something in its palm.
‘This is my treasured camellia band. It will keep you safe.’
Mooseok nods slowly in thanks, his eyes shimmering in the moonlight. His chest is tight with the emotions he is currently feeling but none come out in words. So he settles for the next best thing.
Kyungtak had bobbed his head in return and turned to leave, when he finds himself being pulled flush against Mooseok’s broad chest, an embrace that speaks volumes of the officer’s feelings at that moment. He tenses for a moment before he closes his eyes, and lets his heart take over, returning the embrace as tightly as he can.
It ends quickly for any opportunity to be spotted by prying eyes are dangerous for either of them. But both men feel a little lightness in their hearts, a mutual exchange of something that is reciprocated. Kyungtak steps away, eyes not leaving Mooseok’s. Then he turns away and leaves the gardens, almost running in his haste.
Mooseok stands alone at the pavilion. Looking back up at the blood-red moon, he fingers the camellia band in his hand.
Kyungtak-ah. I promise I will come home to you.
NN1: I HATE YOU AND LOVE YOU OK. Seriously, today was madness and then you give me this and I think if I weren't married we'd make a fucking great couple T___________T What did I tell you all those weeks ago? You're the Yunho to my Changmin :P Random as fuck since this is a YunJae fic but neither of us are Jaejoong in our dynamic lol!!!!! I LOVE YOU.
NN2: Awkward love declaration. I think she loved me before I loved her :P I'm so terrible OTL
NN3: Just so you know, I have to train myself to say NICKIANON on twitter cos sometimes I find myself accidentally wanting to type your name in my excitement and then we'd both be shot lmao!
NN4: OMFG JULIET AND JULIET!
NN5: I'm suddenly hyper.
NN7: #ThatAwkwardMoment when she won't even comment in her own fic cos I embarrassed her to the point of paralysation.
NN8: PROVE ME WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NN9: I'm stepping away from the keyboard now...
NN10: JAEJOONG IS A CUTIE PATOOTIE IN ANY INCARNATION #OK