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All skin and no shame

...innocence is just an illusion...

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Round and Round [1]
Title: Round and Round
Pairing: YunJae
Rating: PG
Length: Triple-shot
Genre: AU
Disclaimer: Goblin premise, the rest is mine.

Summary: In a thousand years, there have been more flowers than rain, but the Wanderer still wanders, searching for someone he knows will bring about his demise and yet, something within him compels him to keep on searching, for his heart has never been at peace in all that time.

AN: Borrowing the Goblin premise but I guess not quite the personalities of Goblin and Reaper in the drama, because Gong Yoo murdered me. That man’s crying should be illegal. As should his glare and his smile and his damn kissing omfg…well you get the picture. I am probably having serious Yunho withdrawals because Gong Yoo reminds me of him OTL

”A soul becomes a Goblin if that soul seeps into an item stained by that person’s hand and blood. A sword embedded in his chest for him to wear till the prophecy is fulfilled. Only the Goblin’s bride will pull out that sword, and if the sword is pulled, may it return to ash and be at peace. He is water, fire, and wind, and also light and dark. And once, he was human...”

He would remember every life he touched.

Through the countless years and the constant passing of the seasons, he would remember every death of those very lives he connected with through his interminable existence. He has seen a millennium and each moment is like an additional stone to the burden of the years he carries.

Some days, his existence brings him joy, and flowers bloom where they should not.

On other days, a city on Earth experiences rain for days on end.

In a thousand years, there have been more flowers than rain, but the wanderer still wanders, searching for someone he knows will bring about his demise and yet, something within him compels him to keep on searching, for his heart has never been at peace in all that time.

A wandering Guardian walks the lands of the West, and in the East, he is know by another name.


An immortal being with the ability to give or take life, except his own or those already taken by a Grim Reaper.

A soft-hearted Creator, offering comfort where he can and when he can, yet he cannot comfort the deep ache of his soul.

A cupid figure, able to create love between anyone he so chooses, but he cannot find anyone to soothe his own lonely heart.

As the seasons change and the forests shrink to make room for the concrete jungle, a significant part of which he owns through his ability to foresee the future, he is still left unsettled. Roaming the earth from the freezing Antarctic to the blazing heat of the Sahara - he continues to roam in search of his salvation.

His life is a curse.

But to countless souls, he has been a blessing.

A mother, crying for him to save her child, and he interferes before Death arrives to give them ten more years together.

A boy, running away from an abusive home, and he interferes to give hope, and the boy returns this miracle by saving hundreds more.

And so it goes.

He is not the only Guardian though, for there is another roaming the lands like him, searching endlessly.

Between the two of them, they provide a touch of the Divine amongst the humans, seldom crossing paths, but when they do, they are as old friends, both commiserating on the boundless years and fruitless search. He has a good century on the other more kind hearted deity though, and while a hundred years may seem like a mere ten in their perpetual existence, he feels it more acutely when the other is feeling particularly maudlin.

“Where do you think she could be?”

The other man shakes his newspapers and folds them neatly on the expansive wooden table. Eyeing the other man across the table, he knows Kim Shin is not really looking for him to answer. Leaning forward to pick up his frothy pink drink, a sharp contrast to the impeccably tailored Italian bespoke suit, the deep charcoal grey the exact same hue as his eyes in that moment, he takes a sip of his strawberry shake without taking his eyes off his sighing friend over the rim.

“Where you least expect her to be it would seem, since you have yet to find her.”

A sigh that might shake the rafters if he had a mind to provide that effect follows.

And then another.

And another.

The man waits patiently, savouring his drink, his sips bordering on dainty while he waits for his friend. Time is the only commodity he has in spades and there is no need to rush a depressed Divinity.

As if a light bulb suddenly goes off, the man at the other end of the long table is suddenly standing next to his well-heeled counterpart wearing what can only be described as an accusing glare.

“Why aren’t you more upset about this? You’ve been wandering and searching longer than I have!”


“And you should be more upset! Don’t you want your bride?”

A short pause while he turns his empty glass in his hand before setting it down primly on the coaster. “I’m not all that fond of being turned to ash.”

Kim Shin’s eyes widen. “What are you saying?”

“I’m not looking anymore.”

A lack of self-preservation perhaps, or just certainty in the fact that he cannot die nor can anything or anyone truly hurt him, Kim Shin grabs the other man by the collar with both hands and shakes him, so shocked he is practically spitting in the man’s face.

“Are you insane? What do you mean you’re not looking anymore? You have to keep searching! Doesn’t it hurt?”


Flashback from that very morning…

A handsome man on his knees, wearing a yukata, his head bowed as if in prayer, entire being unnaturally still.

The ritual of a millennia, he reaches up to touch the hilt of the sword protruding from his chest that only he can see, grasping it with both hands, he feels the burn of a wound that should be a long distant memory. Holding tightly, he exerts all of his supernatural strength to try and pull it out.

“If I die, I want to die by my own hand and not by some unwitting bride caught up in the whims of the gods.”

It is a mantra he has started saying in the last few decades, when his last promising lead over his doomed bride evaporates into nothing when she merely stares at him with slack jawed admiration, unable to see anything past his face and his wealth.

And as always, he hears a throaty chuckle in his ear that sends goosebumps racing across his flesh and fills a part of his body with blood so fast that his hands leave the hilt of the sword with a sharp gasp, bending over, his heart racing madly, the burn in his chest subsiding, yet replaced by the burn in his groin.

He can never decide which pain is worse.


He calmly reaches up to free himself from the grasp of the man with the wild eyes.

Kim Shin’s hands fall away as if scorched by fire.

“How do you do that?” He asks, his voice betraying his hurt, cradling his aching hands.

“Goblin fire,” comes the glib response.

Kim Shin blows his hands, rubbing them against his lounging pants and frowns. “Mine doesn’t hurt you.”

“I’m older.”

“It’s not fair,” you can practically hear the disgruntled pout in the tall man’s tone.

An eyebrow quirks, this time the man is genuinely amused at his companion’s petulant tone. “Which part of our existence do you think is fair?”

“Fair point.”

“If you’re done being gloomy, can you stop the rain so I can go to work.”

“You stop it.”

A masculine chuckle, and the snap of a finger, and the pouring rain halts rather abruptly.

“Do you have to do that?”

All he gets in response is a wink, and in a whisper of blue flames, the other man vanishes.

“Nine hundred years on and I’m still second best,” Kim Shin grumbles to himself as he gathers up the dishes from their breakfast. “What am I? The servant? He didn’t even need the rain to stop to get to work!” Eyes gleaming, his brow furrows, and he smiles when he hears the tell tale patter on the window sills again.

Sitting alone in his car, the older deity laughs as the rain begins again.

Dressed in a suit of gleaming white, he waits in the alleyway, leaning back against a dirty wall that seems to shy away from soiling the pristine white of his jacket.

Checking his watch, he huffs, staring up at the night sky, his voice is quiet and carried away by the wind. “Would it kill them to be on time?” A throaty chuckle follows at his own joke, the sound much louder than his words, and the sound travels supernaturally to catch the ears of someone who follows it the way the rats followed the music of the Pied Piper of Hamlin.

The man is huge, almost seven feet tall, with a face that might be considered passingly handsome had it not been for the nose that had been broken so many times it looks more like a squashed fruit, and the jagged scar from the corner of his mouth that makes him look like he’s perpetually sneering at best and snarling at worst.

“Well, well, well, what do we have here? Are you lost, little lady?” His Russian is gruff and just as rough as his face.

The man in white does not respond, merely staring up from his hooded gaze while licking his lips.

That movement does not go unnoticed, and the animal moves in. “I haven’t seen a morsel as tasty as you in a long time,” his tone betrays his thoughts, even if his Russian cannot be understood. He cages the much shorter man within the span of his thick arms, pressing him up against the wall. He moves in as he does with all his victims, tongue out to lick at the jugular for he loves their fluttering helplessness and the evidence of their terror.

“What a bother,” the man in white rolls his eyes, and the wall disappears, throwing them both off balance.

They are in the middle of a four poster bed, the dark red drapes fluttering though there is no breeze.

The Russian’s eyes widen momentarily, but the vision in white distracts him from his surroundings, mesmerising him and he does not realise he is bound to the bed by silken ropes that have woven themselves around his wrists and ankle of their own accord.

A pale hand cups the leering man’s jaw, squeezing ever so gently, the pressure increasing in the subtlest of ways until the predator does not realise that he is now the prey. Captivated by his eyes and his mouth, the latest victim of Death struggles not.

“Do you like what you see?” A husky voice asks in perfect Russian.

“Yes,” the man nods eagerly, eyes darting hungrily over the man’s inhumanly beautiful face.

And it is all the more terrifying when that face of an angel transforms with a simple quirk of the mouth.

A sneer.

“Vladimir Petrov, you have been running for almost a hundred years and you shall run no more.”

The brute’s eyes widen at hearing a name he has not heard in almost a century. Though still in a daze, a belated sense of self preservation kicks in as well and he starts to struggle


“Born on October 16 1865, and died at 3:48am on July 8 1917. This is you, is it not?”

Even if he had wanted to say yes, he cannot in the face of a Grim Reaper, and he hears his own voice answering in the affirmative. He has run away from and beaten countless of Grim Reapers who have chanced upon him, feeding on the despair of humans and their own sins, he is sustained through the possession of countless.

His time is finally up though, taken unsuspectingly by a Grim Reaper with an allure neither human nor soul can resist.

The white suit is a sharp contrast to the colours of the room, the dark walls that seem to be formulated by the darkness of space itself that nothing can be seen except the twinkling of the stars amongst the deep black of a vast universe. The brightness of the suit is like a light in the darkness, and the damned cannot help but wish a futile hope that perhaps this is all a dream.

Missing Soul’s eyes widen as the pale man stretches out alongside him. His arms are tired from struggling from his binds that grow tighter with each movement. He is splayed out across the bed, just like his many victims, whether in his own lifetime, or the lifetime of others when he borrows their bodies to wreak havoc across Eastern Europe.

Fingers start to play a tune, and the Reaper speaks, his voice as entrancing as his face.

“Most Reapers provide tea to their souls, and when they don’t, a soul is merely left with their memories. Memories of their life for them to regret over as the skin is pulled from their flesh over and over, and reattached over and over and over…”

“No…no, please.”

“There, there…not to worry. That’s not your fate, Missing Soul.”

A glimmer of hope flickers in his cloudy eyes, eliciting a broken laugh from the Reaper who sees it well. The laughter grows in volume, bouncing off the walls, echoing around until the Missing Soul’s eyes fill with tears at the beautifully sound, so beautiful that it hurts, piercing through and drumming around his mind till he can hear nothing else and see nothing else as the vision in white fills his mind.

And over it all, a husky voice whispers in his ear.

“You will have the memory of me to take with you down into the depths of hell where you will relive each torturous moment you dealt to each of your victims. You will feel what they feel, and a thousand times more, and you will never lose sight of my face. You will be filled with an absurd hunger and longing that will never be satisfied as you are skewered on red hot pokers and torn apart from within, slowly and surely, over and over again.”

“No…oh god, please…”

“I am no god, but I will grant you one last wish.”

And the wish is always the same, their minds so filled with his heartbreaking face, they can never ask for anything else even if they wanted to.

The final kiss of Death.

“You better get your missing souls in line before the powers that be sends in reinforcement.”

“I saw her not too long ago.”

“Well, you better find her again. I heard they’re sending in that person.”

“That person?”

“They call him the Angel of Death…” the hoobae Reaper’s voice is hushed.

“They wouldn’t send in the Angel of Death for such a small case,” sunbae Reaper suppresses a shudder. It would not be becoming if his hoobaes how much that other man sends a chill straight through his already dead body. He knew about the famed Angel in his first days at the Reaper Academy, already a legend by then that every Grim Reaper aspired to be but all falling far short. A Reaper granted free reign to do as he pleases, for he has something so intrinsic within him that attracts males and females alike, that has Missing Souls running to him rather than fleeing from him. His methods border on distasteful, but he has the unconditional support of all their superiors, and their superiors’ superiors, and so on and so forth. He has only met him once, in his first week at the Academy, and once was more than enough to sear that memory into his mind so deeply it had taken almost three centuries for him to be able to even think or speak about the Angel without his heart galloping a mile a minute.


Flashback from over three hundred years ago…

“I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!!!”

Muttering agitatedly to himself and rounding the corner in a hurry for his class, he stops short at the start of a long passageway in the hallowed halls of the Academy. He knows his class is somewhere at the other end of the corridor, but he does not remember it ever being this dark. Approaching gingerly, he feels a presence that has his baby Reaper senses tingling.

Throwing caution to the wind, he keeps going, entering the darkness so thick it is practically solid, the gloom sticking to his body like a second skin, wrapping its chilly arms around his already sensitive body. His senses are on high alert now, and it is more about flight or fight than anything else. He can feel a malevolent presence enveloping him from behind, and his body finally decides, albeit too late, that flight might be better.

“How dare you…” a voice cuts through the darkness, a soft whisper, intoxicating in its lilt.

The malevolent presence behind him flinches, but the baby Reaper is still in its grasp. “Who is there?” It asks, taunting the darkness it had created, tightening his hold on the young Reaper.

“You dare to step foot in here, where hundreds of Reapers sit? Are you that arrogant?” The disembodied voice questions calmly.

“They can’t catch me,” the voice replies, his confidence growing as the other is still unseen. “I’ve roamed for two hundred years in the outskirts of this school and no one has been able to catch me. No one!”

Baby Reaper whimpers when he feels hands closing around his body as hot breath tickles his ears.

“Leave him,” the voice speaks again, flowing from everywhere in the darkness, yet from nowhere. His tone is far from commanding. It is a simple inflectionless request in the form of a mild statement.

“Why should I? A Reaper has more blackness in his soul than a human, so perhaps if I feed on him, I’ll be sustained for longer. I’ve never tried it, but this one smells absolutely delicious.”

A light blazes suddenly at the end of the corridor, causing the baby Reaper to shut his eyes tightly against the pain of the light. The very same light elicits a more pronounced reaction from his captor as the thing shrieks in pain, yet his arms tighten still over the terrified man in his grasp.

“Look at me,” the voice compels and against his will, the Reaper’s eyes open, and what he sees draws a sharp gasp that hurts his chest. “Come to me.”

His body jerks involuntarily, taking a step, and the being clinging onto him wails his denial.

“Come,” and the Reaper takes several steps this time, unable to will his body to do anything else, his eyes captivated by a face he could never have even imagined. A being in white stands at the end of the corridor, his light chasing away the darkness of the creature holding onto him, pushing away at the darkness. Even his hair is light, a colour that the new Reaper has never before seen.

“Wu Han, born on the fifth day in the autumn of 1482 to a big loving family, who died alone at the end of the long winter of 1513, come to me.”

The Reaper’s body felt like it was torn asunder as the creature rips through him to answer the call of his final Death. His breath coming in heaving sobs as he stares at the two figures, one light and one dark. The dark figure cowering against a wall, as if trying to disappear within it while the light shrugs delicately and takes a step forward.

“You’ve wasted enough of my time today, not to mention you’ve scared one of the students half to death.” The laughter starts small, a chuckle even, but it grows until the entire corridor echoes with the beautiful broken sound.

The Reaper wants to put his hands over his ears, but yet he yearns to hear more of the painfully hypnotising laughter.

“Wh-what…what are you going to do?” Gone is the bravado of the Missing Soul, and in its place, uncertainty and a growing longing deep within him to stare at the man in white forever.

Instead of answering, the man steps closer, pressing his body against the other, pushing him further against and into the wall slowly, to the horror of the watching student.

Pale fingers reach to cup the jaw of the disheveled Missing Soul, now exposed for what he is, a weak and opportunistic soul ready to use and abuse anyone that comes within his grasp. A coward is the best at hiding, and hide he has from numerous Grim Reapers, while he torments and bullies the younger ones who are still unable to fight him.

The fair haired man smiles, causing the soul to whimper with a hideous desire that will never be sated. He licks his lips before leaning into the Missing Soul, mouth against his ear.

“The question is, what do you want me to do?”

Baby Reaper hears the question, and his answer is the same as that which the Missing Soul responds with, terrifying him so much he starts to shake as he watches the pale man grant that final wish before pushing the Missing Soul completely through the wall.

Lights flicker back on the second the body is out of sight, and the newborn Reaper can barely hold himself upright, watching the other man approach him.

“You’re late for class.”

He cannot stop staring. He hears the words, but he has no excuse. He just wants to know one thing.

“Are you an angel?”

A lazy smile tugs at the beautiful man’s pouty mouth. “Do I look like an angel?”

Baby Reaper nods immediately, eager to please though he has no idea why. Angel, goddess, he cannot think of many words but they all revolve around the same sentiment. “Y-yes.”

The man hums, cocking his head to one side with a faintly amused look on his face. “Then perhaps I should grant you your wish too.”

Baby Reaper drops in a faint.


“Sunbae, are you ok? Your face is so red. Is something wrong?”

There are pockets of empty space between the seconds of the clock, and in the fabric of time, there is a tear. A soft-hearted Creator who took but a droplet in an ocean of memories to spare a man a pain that an endless lifetime can never erase.

I called for you, even when you left
Because I cared for you, I couldn’t let you go
And should this soul leave without a final goodbye
I will burn you to forget our engorged vain love
I will return

It is still raining much to his disgust, and the Guardian decides to roam instead of going back to his friend’s house where the man is no doubt still feeling sorry for himself. Kim Shin takes it a little to heart at times, and this rainy period can last days while the man contemplates his fate.

He went through a similar phase to that of his friend, but the years have made him jaded, and he is more than happy to leave well enough alone. The Almighty was never on his side, though it is said that a soul will never be given more than he can bear, sometimes he wonders if the Almighty thinks too highly of them. These thoughts used to run through his mind constantly, but in the last century or so, he has stopped questioning it. In fact, he has rebelled, asking for more because clearly the Almighty believes him strong if he just keeps on dragging out the years.

More friends have come and gone, more weddings attended and more graves dug. And yet his existence continues strongly, not fading in the slightest even when in the depths of his soul, he feels he should give up. He has tried willing himself out of existence, but all that succeeds in doing is spreading himself over a wide area, only to reform within minutes, much to his disgust.

His daily ritual continues, and he cannot shake off the chuckle he hears, sometimes doing it just so he can listen to that husky laughter. It is like trying to catch a will-o’-the-wisp, the sound fades immediately into distant memory so deep he can never dig it back up when he is not in his prone position on his knees and asking to be allowed to end his own life on his terms. He has no idea where it is from, for in his thousand years of existence, he cannot remember coming across anyone male or female who can produce such a disturbing sound.

Disturbing in how it affects his body to the point where he physically cannot control his reaction, no matter what his will is. He had ventured to talk about it to his friend, but from what he can glisten from Kim Shin’s angry response is that all he feels is pain and despair.

Pain, definitely, but his is different.

He did ask if he could hear anyone speaking or laughing, and the look Kim Shin gave him made him question his own sanity.

The Goblin walks the streets, pausing every now and again at a bookshop, the one constant that keeps him company through the long years. He has an enviable collection of first editions worth millions in its entirety and he is always keen on adding to it.

Several doors open and shut, and in the space of two hours, he has visited seven countries on three continents. He does not carry his purchases of course, for it is just as easy to walk straight into his library and leave his books on his reading desk for future perusal and to head back out again.

Four first editions, and a new book later, he is satisfied with his afternoon distraction, returning to Seoul at dusk where it is still raining.

“This is ridiculous,” he checks his watch, and snaps his fingers once again and the rain stutters to a halt.

A thunderclap follows shortly after, likely Kim Shin roaring his dissatisfaction at being thwarted, but he sends up a louder thunderclap that shakes the very windows, adding some jagged lightning for the hell of it. He genuinely likes the other Guardian, but the man has a tendency to wallow.

The air is crisp with the smell of ozone from his lightning which slowly fades as the sky darkens almost completely, the streets no longer being watered - not even by a drizzle.

Satisfied that his friend is not going to try to bring out the waterworks once again, he steps out from under the awning, walking the streets and absorbing the life going on about him.

A baby given a chew toy to sooth his sore teething gums.

A child being scolded for not finishing his homework before dinner.

A teenager furiously cycling home, hair trailing behind her in the wind to make it before curfew.

A husband lavishing his wife with praise for cooking such a sumptuous meal for him and his extended family.

A man straightening the sheets of his bed in what can only be the most debauched looking bedroom that he has ever seen in his life.

He stops short and gapes.

Red walls.


A four poster bed laying teasingly in the middle of it all, the blood red drapes parting to expose the black silk sheets and a mountain of soft downy pillows, all plump and just begging to be hugged or just begging to have someone ravished between them…

He tears his eyes away as his chest starts to ache, his gaze pointedly roaming away from the desirable bed to find someone seated in a creamy plush chair, a total juxtaposition to the rest of the room, eyeing him with a curiously antagonised expression.

His breath catches in his chest when he sees his face, deepening the ache, but years of pain have taught him well, and he masks his reaction as he straightens up to his full height, recognising the creature for what he is, as the rain starts to fall, unknowingly caused by him as his soul reaches out and weeps.

His position of repose is a complete fabrication, for he is beyond unsettled.

The man had been staring at his bed, seeing it the way no one should have. His handsome face filled with the beginnings of a hunger that he recognises all too well.

That is not what has him stunned though.

It is the tear he sheds at seeing the man’s face, a tear he has never shed in his 800 years of existence. He is the oldest and longest serving Grim Reaper to walk the Earth, and in all those years, he has never ever shed a single tear for anything or anyone.

Not even himself.

Yet the hot droplet burns a path down his pale face and he wipes it away trying to stifle his surprise. He had to sit down to gather himself, for his reaction confuses him, and that in turn, angers him.

Has he not done the Almighty’s bidding all these years?

Why are they throwing him a surprise like this?

Tearing his gaze from the man’s face, they drop down to his body and his eyes widen in shock.

“So it’s true…”

“What is true, Reaper?”

Biting back a sneer, the pale man leans back and glares. “Your existence.”

“A Guardian?” He walks closer, approaching the empty hillside that would be the only thing humans can see, not noticing that the rain is getting heavier, not caring nor noticing that he is trying to drown himself in his $10,000 suit.

“Don’t romanticise what you are, Goblin.”

A wistful smile softens the features of the handsome man. “Of course, Angel.”

AN: Errr…so there may be cameos from the original. IDK…this was meant as a oneshot but it got a bit long so…yeah. Also, please excuse errors etc as I wrote this in between meetings today and just had to get it out. Jaejoong was killing me and I was so fidgety in meetings ugh. HELP.

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Welcome back!!!
Also omg this is such a fascinating story!

Suman! Haha thanks it's good to be back. I forgot the exhilaration of writing like a maniac. I didn't eat till after midnight yesterday lol. Have you watched Goblin though? O_O

No not yet :( Still figuring out how to balance personal time with the number of hours I have to devote to work. I hope to soon though, everyone on tlist keeps talking about how amazing it is.

The only way I managed to watch it was while running on the treadmill. Maybe watch when you can do it in conjunction with sth else? I know what your workload is like and don't envy you at all. Sometimes I think it's a rite of passage. Hang in there!

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