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...innocence is just an illusion...

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Round and Round [6]
Title: Round and Round
Pairing: YunJae
Rating: PG
Length: Chaptered
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: I’m sorry this took so long. It’s one of those things with me…the will to write comes and goes and sometimes it comes when I’m free to write but most times it doesn’t. You may need to re-read the last few chapters or maybe even just the last chapter otherwise it might get a little confusing.

There’s no love like your love
I would fight for you
I would cry for you
I would die for you

The office is silent, a heaviness within it that matches the grey skies outside, making mid morning in downtown Seoul appear more akin to dawn, as if the sun forgot to rise properly, unable to break through the thick silent clouds that appear to be merely waiting to be given permission to release their burden, holding their collective breaths for the right moment.

Three men are seated on the couches in the centre of the office, directly opposite the expansive desk of the CEO of Jung Holdings.

One man is staring out into the grey skies, flexing his hands reflexively, and with each passing moment, the skies appear to darken even more, heavy with the weight of their unshed precipitation but not a drop falls, as if stuck in a moment and unable to find release.

Another man is seated across from the first man and staring at the bowl of assorted fruit on the coffee table before him, an appearance of contemplation more at home perhaps on the countenance of a serious art collector examining his latest expensive find, his eyes changing from brown to hazel to grey to match the stormy thoughts in his mind.

The third merely watches the other two, his gaze alternating between them as if watching a tennis match, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth till anyone watching would have given up on counting.

There is a palpable tension in the air of thoughts unspoken and feelings unexpressed, simply waiting for someone willing to cut through it all whether by word or by sword.

The third man opens his mouth several times, and each time he thinks better of it, though in reality he does not know what to say.

What can he say that he has not said already?

He finally stops being a spectator in a tennis match, choosing instead to focus on the suited man, his boss for all intents and purposes, but he is so much more.


His only family since the age of thirteen when he entered into the ranks as an orphaned child with the only way he could find that would feed him, clothe him and put a roof over his head from time to time. Tall for his age yet too scrawny by half, he was bullied at first by the older boys till the reserves battalion returned from helping out with a fire in the outer city. A civil defence squad of sorts, tasked with the odd job here and there in the capital city while they learn to become proper soldiers. Leading the pack was an equally tall teenager with the musculature of a fit man years older. At a mere fifteen years of age, already tasked with the training of the youngest, the boy-man took him under his wing instantly. Personally taking an interest in his training, he was tortured every day and night with hill runs, strengthening exercises, and target practice, until on the day of which they chose the best of them to present to the Crown Prince at his birthday games, he had beat all the older boys, hitting his target unerringly every single time.

Of course he was always bested by one, but for the just turned fourteen year old who only six months before was sleeping between the unmarked graves of his poor parents, he had come a long way.

It was on this day too that he fancied himself in love.

The Crown Prince of Goryeo was unlike no other that he had ever seen. Radiant milky white skin with jet black hair and the reddest lips he had ever seen, the Prince was a honey trap to a fourteen year old wrestling with his changing body. He remembers practically swooning dead away when the prince presented him with his runner up prize, the smile bestowed on him so precious he was loathe to close his eyes that night lest he forget every salient thing about it.

To a fourteen year old though, the smile bestowed on the winner of the games seemed different, but he wrote it off at the time as being different due to their ranks.

He did not see the devilish twinkle in brown doe eyes, nor distinguish the knowing smirk that tugs up a corner of the beautiful prince’s plush mouth when he is faced with the boy-man who has been his lover for over a year, nor does he understand why petals of colour tinge the fair skin of his prince when the winner bends over to murmur something against his ear. Jung Yunho’s self-assured, borderline cocky teenage countenance is amplified to the point where the watching generals notice, earmarking him for future leadership positions that will earn him battle scars that will be kissed and stroked better by the one destined to be king of the land.

"Who do you think I am again?"

Changmin sighs inwardly. The Prince appears to be suffering from some type of memory loss. Apart from the hug from his former general and the brief explanation that the man has existed for the last thousand years with his memories intact, they had been unable to do little more than that for something had come over Yunho, as if something has just occurred to him, and he ushered them all to the couches following that. This oppressive weight seems to have befallen the room since then.

He had brought gifts for his new boss if it truly came to pass that Jung Yunho was his Jung Yunho. Two paintings passed down through his family for generations, reasons unknown, but they have been protected and kept carefully, maintaining the integrity so well that they are practically in their original condition apart from some fading and yellowing of the edges.

"Let me show you." He replies, standing up and leaving the room briefly to step into his office to collect his offering.

The second he leaves the room, the goblin turns his attention to the reaper.

“Are you certain you are only eight hundred years old?”

Jae leans back against the couch, arms crossed, his stare unwavering as he looks into the haunted eyes of the handsome guardian.

“My memories are only from that span of time, yes, but I have no memory of my original life, save for the vision I got when we…” he trails off, looking away, turning his gaze towards the bank of floor to ceiling windows that impresses on him just how upset the other man is, for it is almost as dark as night now outside. He can hear the terrified chirping of confused birds and the dull roar of human whispers wondering at the strange weather of the past few weeks that culminates in the deepening darkness of that morning, as if night has exchanged places with the day, some taking it as a sign of the End of Times.

“What did you see?” It is a question, yet it does not quite sound as such. The tone is flat, empty of inflection to hide the wealth of pain behind the man’s growing suspicions and self recrimination at what probably came to pass over a thousand years ago.

The blond does not answer though, remembering some other visions he had. Visions of the goblin that he thought he was sharing from the other man.


His brow is damp with sweat, concentrating hard with an unfamiliar sword, a two handed grip on it as he circles his targets. His steps are measured and calculated, moving like a dancer as he assesses the danger, before suddenly bursting into swift action, slicing clean through the six practice targets, avoiding the counter-movement of anything that was struck, ducking easily, his steps light as he annihilates all opposition.

Masculine satisfaction is stamped all over him at his accomplishment, and he approaches, offering the sword, hilt first, genuflecting with an affectionate smile to the person he is speaking to.

“And that is how you use your sword, my angel.”


“Angel…” he exhales, lifting his eyes to meet Yunho’s. “Why do you call me that?”

Yunho’s gaze rake the beautiful man’s features, from the tips of his blond hair, his gaze drags down slowly, over the gracefully winged eyebrows to the stormy grey eyes framed by ridiculously long lashes, and on to the perfectly straight nose before pausing on the pink lush mouth. His gaze drops lower, to the milky white skin between his still-unbuttoned shirt, and he does not keep going, his eyes moving back up to meet expectant doe eyes.

“I don’t know,” he replies honestly. “Though after this morning, I’d say that is your title, is it not?”

The blond does not admit nor deny it, getting up off the couch, crossing across and moving to sit astride the goblin’s lap in a single blink.

His gaze is fixated in the centre of Yunho’s chest, placing his hand against him, and even as he stares, the sword materialises once again.

Yunho is unable to summon neither thought nor breath, for the moment suspended in that space between time for he has inadvertently frozen his surroundings while he himself is paralysed by the blond’s sudden closeness. The body that runs cool feels overheated against his own body and he can feel every single part of the angel reaper that touches him, that connection inflaming him, a ripple of goblin fire flaring mutely.

“Don’t hurt me,” Jae murmurs, feeling the pinch from the heat that engulfs his hand briefly as the goblin’s fire reaches out to touch him, and even as he says it, he can feel the will from the guardian beneath him smothering the flames, killing them before they barely start.

Yunho tears his eyes away from the exquisite features of the other man, turning his gaze down between them, towards the sword burning in his chest, finally feeling the pain of it. He focuses on Jae’s hands taking hold of the handle once again.

When the reaper wraps a second hand around it, the two-handed grip from the first day they found out he could not only see but touch the sword, the ghostly green flames that encompass the sword die, leaving behind the stained sword.

“Who are you?” Yunho asks again, unable to reconcile his suspicions with the vision before him, unable to believe that he could or would forget the beauty in his lap even if the gods had made it so.

“Sometimes I am a reaper, other times I am an angel, but always I am Just Jae for I know of nothing else,” the reply is quiet.

Taeja…”, it is not a question, yet it is.

“Yes,” the blond acknowledges. “From my vision, my father is a king and he called me daegun, as did that Missing Soul. I—”


“Leave him.”

A small, rueful twist of the cupid bow mouth. “I am here, Taewang. He is in your palace.”

“And yet you are still with him, are you not? Do not lie to your king.”

He opens his eyes, lifting his head to meet the cold, hard eyes of his liege. “I will go wherever you want me to go. Even if it means never seeing him again, I will go.”

“I want you to leave him. Leave him or he dies.”


“Crown Prince,” Yunho cuts him off, lost in his own memories - at least whatever that he has. He meets the other man’s eyes, barely able to ask the question, yet he needs to. “How did you die?”

Jae takes a deep breath, losing himself in the almond eyes of the goblin whose pupils are almost pitch black. He sees the pain. A deep pain that is stark in his eyes and etched in the faint scars on his face, and in that moment, he can see the burden of a millennia on the lonely Guardian, the Wanderer roaming the lands in search of his bride to end his suffering. He can see feelings in most men, but not this one, but he can feel. He can feel how tightly the man is holding himself beneath him, how tense he is waiting for the answer, the hint of fear in his eyes that betrays how he feels, afraid to know the truth but needing to know nonetheless. And underneath it all is where it stems from. The fountain of varying emotions can call its roots in an abiding love that despite his memories being taken from him, the man’s soul still knows and feels and it is in pain, .

Closing his eyes, he shakes his head imperceptibly. Aware he has the advantage when it comes to their powers, Jae apologises. “Forgive me,” he murmurs before opening his eyes again, the brilliant, implacable gaze of the Angel of Death whose eyes shine with the light bestowed on him by the Creator himself and whose questions will summon answers from a soul should he will it, no creature able to deny him an answer that he seeks.

And he wills it now.

“Who are you?”

“Jung Yunho, Guardian to the people, Goblin when angered, former General of Goryeo.”

“Do you know who I am?”

“Yes,” the answer is firm, tears welling up in the goblin’s dark eyes.

The angel does not pause.

“Who am I?”

The skies open up then. Unleashing their burden in a torrential deluge that turns the city into a river of chaos as howling winds and a driving rain lashes the area, an unnatural typhoon as a soul struggles to defy the block on its memories, the imprint of a love between two souls that cannot be erased, hidden for a thousand years until that moment. A love that incurred both the jealousy and the mercy of a Supreme Being.

The soul knows even if the man is uncertain.

The soul knows even if the man cannot remember.

The soul knows because it made a grave error by loving Creation more than the Creator.

The soul that was punished for over a millennia to wander around in solitude, unable to fill the emptiness.

The soul that has not felt the culmination of that punishment yet, though he will, for the Creator is kind and merciful, but judgment has been meted out and ordained and this pain is not yet final.

Yunho curls forward, gasping in both physical and emotional agony, choking on it, tears flowing freely in the form of precipitation over Seoul, his forehead pressed against the crook of the angel’s neck an immense pain upon him and ripping him apart as his bound soul fights with the call of his angel.

And even as the storm rages outside, it subsides almost as quickly as it starts when the blond cups the back of his neck and offers him comfort.

The angel wins.

But at what cost?

“Mine,” he breathes out against the bare throat, feeling the sword entering his heart just as it did a thousand years ago, the mortal pain nothing compared to the anguish of realisation as he pulls back and lifting his head to look into the incandescent eyes of an angel using his powers. “You are mine, Taeja.”

The imperiousness and utter conviction behind those words elicit a throaty chuckle from the blond, amused at the audacity of the goblin and yet he does not fight those words, accepting them wholly for what they are, for no one answering a question from him can lie and in his acceptance, the gates holding his own memories back slowly disintegrate.

The sound of his unique laughter brings with it an awareness grounded in a certainty for the goblin. It was his soul who responded to the angel’s questioning, but it is Jung Yunho the guardian, roaming alone for a thousand years and hearing that unique laughter enough times during his existence to recognise it, that accepts what his soul knows. That rare laughter of genuine mirth that comes from an angel is a balm for all types of pain and for the moment, Yunho’s initial anguish of what probably came to pass is momentarily forgotten, the torture of his realisation blissfully replaced by a different type of pain.

The pain of desire sends goosebumps racing across his flesh and fills a part of his body with blood so fast, his heart racing madly, the burn in his chest subsiding as the sword flickers and disappears once again, replaced by a burn in his groin.

Their mouths crash against each other’s, and this time the bindings on their memories are loosened, the flickering of a time lost in the annals of history and buried under a foul King’s orders, the images of a life shared and spent together, this time their vision is as one. A shared memory between two souls who were together from the day they met, loving each other with every breath for more than half their mortal lives, and in death, giving up their life solely for the other with no thought for themselves whether rightly or wrongly.


The prince growls, his face twisting into a pretty grimace as he gingerly wades into the cool water. “Why did we come here? The other pool was better. It’s so slimy!”

“It’s just the algae, your royal highness,” the young soldier laughs, continuing to back away, the water lapping just above his nipples now, the pebbled brown nubs flashing every now and again as he bounces in the water, grinning at his prince. “And you were the impatient one. We could have ridden to the other pool with the sandy bottom rather than this rocky slimy river bed but all you saw was water and you had to have it because you’re so hot.”

“Come here and get me!” the future king of Goryeo orders imperiously, stopping just as the water laps over his belly button, doe eyes flashing in the noon day sun at his amused companion. “I order you to come now!”

A lazy smirk crosses the twenty-two year old’s face, he moves forward through the water to save his prince, tugging the other man forward towards him, they are in chest high water in three steps, with the prince exactly where he wanted to be.

Bare legs wrapped around the taller man, the prince’s expression is practically a mirror of the soldier’s smirk.

Tilting his head up and nipping at the tempting mouth, they kiss in the cool water, his legs constantly moving backwards till only their heads can be seen.

Their bodies young, not even the temperature of the water can tamp the raging desire they have for each other, though it is short-lived when the taller man pulls back for a moment, mouth wet and rosy, his almond eyes filled with love and affection.

“Kiss me everywhere.”


“Here, there, I don’t care. Kiss me underwater…i’ve never been kissed underwater…”

“What if someone catches us?”

“We’re just two men swimming in the lake. Who cares if someone catches us?”

“It’s not appropriate…”

“I’m the Crown Prince. Whoever thinks it isn’t appropriate will be a head shorter come morning.”

“Bloodthirsty aren’t you?”

“Only when it comes to you.”


Jae pulls away first, his eyes shining. “Did someone catch us?” he asks, though he does not wait for an answer, curling down to nuzzle against Yunho’s jaw, he kisses the man’s ear, undulating his hips, pressing his erection against the other man. “Did we finish what we started?” he asks huskily, licking up the curve of the goblin’s ear. “Did you kiss me everywhere?” the last word was absolutely dripping in suggestive innuendo, and he rocks against the bigger man again.

“I’m guessing you remember who you are now, Taeja?” Changmin, finally unfrozen when Yunho got distracted by the angel in his lap, is standing to the side, totally unperturbed. He has seen worse. In fact, this is rather tame compared to the countless moments he has chanced upon the couple. He used to find it annoying back then, but after giving it some thought, he decided that it was better him than anyone else. For better or for worse, he was a big part of their secret, tasked by his Prince to keep an eye on his General and vice versa, he was caught between two of the most intense people he has ever known, both moulding him to be the man he was then, and the man he is today.

While he respects authority, Changmin’s flippancy is the product of being around the Prince too much and even though that life was done over a thousand years ago, it is still fresh in his memory as if it were only yesterday.

Jae looks over his shoulder, doe eyes a little baleful, before turning back to the handsome goblin, pressing a kiss to the man’s wet mouth, he slides off Yunho’s lap, but remains by his side as they both turn towards the still standing newcomer.

“My knowledge is still very hazy, but I feel the memories, if that makes any sense. I’ll go and ask them questions later,” the reaper thumbs towards the ceiling, speaking figuratively about going upstairs.

“Why are you blond?”

“I’m an angel.”

Changmin bursts out laughing, sitting himself down in Jae’s previous seat, he shakes his head. “He used to call you angel all the time. I will believe anything now, knowing that he has existed for a thousand years. How did he not know you or meet you till now is almost impossible to believe though.”

“Why is that?”

Changmin settles himself in the comfortable couch opposite the couple, gazing off into the distance as he spoke. “There was something that always connected the two of you. I remember when he was injured by poisoned arrows when you were twenty, we hadn’t sent word out, but somehow you knew and arrived at our camp under the veil of darkness with the blubbering royal physician in tow, threatening to personally skin the man alive if he didn’t fix the general. With a face like yours speaking the words that you did, everyone was too terrified to even breathe for fear their breath may accidentally touch and kill him. The men loved our leader, and nobody spoke about how the Crown Prince seemed oddly attached to him. He was delirious with fever for three nights from his body expelling the poison and for three nights you stayed with him, not even letting me help you. I remember the Minister of War himself coming to the barracks to escort you back but after a conversation with him that none of us were privy to, he left without you, the expression on his face which can only be described as abject terror.”

Silence in the room for a few moments, before the reaper speaks, his voice quiet and contemplative. “I honestly don’t remember this…”

“I don’t either,” Yunho’s voice holds the same note.

“I don’t understand. You remember me but you don’t remember him?”

“I do…” Yunho trails off, absentmindedly stroking the reaper’s arm. “But at the same time I don’t. I know him. I know I know him and I know who he is to me, but the actual memories are missing.”

“Maybe you’ll remember painting this,” Changmin replies, pulling out a scroll and unfurling it gently on the coffee table between them.

Both goblin and angel lean over, their breaths catching at the image.

“You’re beautiful…”

“You painted it that way.”

“He didn’t,” Changmin adds, honest to a fault. “You were known far and wide for your beauty. A Chinese emperor even asked for your hand in marriage once when he saw a portrait of you, not realising you were male, and he almost caused an international incident when he demanded your father prove that you were indeed male.” He pauses, staring down at the portrait himself. “Though he is right, you’re different here. Soft. This is a face no one but the artist ever saw. He painted a second one that is a better reflection of yourself to everyone else.”

“Smoking and smirking is a better reflection of myself?”

Changmin chuckles. “You have no memory of yourself?”

The blond angel shakes his head, expression curious. “Not really.”

There is a tiny crease in Yunho’s brow as he looks back and forth between both portraits. “Why are you wearing a military uniform?”

A playful smirk crosses the white reaper’s face, “For someone who has purportedly lived as long as you have, even without my memories, I can guess why you decided to paint that. Can you really not think whose military uniform that might be?”

The goblin uncharacteristically flushes, because Jae’s smirk translates to his voice, the honeyed tone is made worse by the fact that he seems to have wrapped his tongue over every single syllable. Each word of his final question is drawled out slowly, caressing it, a seduction that is not necessary for the lonely wanderer is already seduced.

Changmin rolls his eyes. “My lord was—“

“Please stop calling me my lord” Yunho interjects with a pained expression, rubbing his jaw to try and rub the heat away from his face and hoping that no one noticed. He does not quite yet want to know exactly how much Changmin was about to share either because while he appreciates that the younger man recollects them both, he has this deep-seated need to find it out for himself. “Just Yunho is fine. We’re in the 21st century and I don’t need to see your ID to know you’re younger than me, but if you really must, hyung is fine.”

“Hyung?” Changmin tries it out. “Yunho hyung?” he grins when Yunho nods at him. He then turns towards the blond. “Shall I call you Jaejoongie hyung then?”

A strange looks comes over the reaper’s face, and the room is silent for a few heartbeats.

“Is that my name?”

AN: I know his clothing doesn’t match the era I put them in but unfortunately, I can’t draw to save my life so I have to rely on what we have ;; I hope it doesn’t bug you as much as it bugged me for awhile. I don’t know who is still around for this but there’s is definitely only two chapters left…… OTL

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ah how Jae cozied up on Yunho's lap is sexily heart-warming. as it's been awhile since your last update on goblin, I'm kinda lost how changmin came along. lol must re-read it again. hehe.

Edited at 2017-09-24 05:31 am (UTC)

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