[personal profile] maayacolabackup
Title: Underbelly
Pairing: Sehun/Jongin
Rating: NC-17
Summary: A part of Sehun has always belonged to the sea.
Notes: because tlist thinks I can’t scare them off with the darker corners of my mind. (kink_bingo, spaces/settings/scenes) also i'm mad this didn't fit in one post.
Notes II: highlight for warnings graphic imagery of death, fantastical elements









The end of this story will be found in the water, somewhere between their interlocked fingers and Jongin’s lips that taste like salt, or perhaps in the steady, thunderous beating of Sehun’s restless heart.

The end will be found there, but before there is an end, there is a beginning, and Sehun’s beginning is on the shore, ocean water crashing against the rocks at high tide as he surveys the lighthouse where his father is keeper.

The sky is grim, clouds a heavy gray and seas a navy blue, foaming white at its tips as the ocean water rolls in. There will be a storm, Sehun knows, but Sehun is no stranger to the sea, and there’s nothing to fear from a storm on the shore.

At least, that’s what Sehun used to think, before he learned better than to think safety was measured in how well his toes could grip at the sand.


*



There are two beginnings.




beginning


Sehun is fifteen.

Sehun’s father mans the lighthouse. His gnarled hands wind the clocks and trim the candle wicks, and clean the beacon lens and fill the lamps, the fuel catching under his fingernails and making him smell like oil day-in and day-out.

In the morning, Sehun’s father goes up to the top of the lighthouse with a stern face and sweeps the dead birds from the deck, mouth set grim as he brushes them off and down to the water. Then he descends the ladders, and then the circular-winding stairs, and settles at the table, looking across at Sehun, or maybe looking through him. He’s been awake all night, and Sehun can see the weariness in the line of his shoulders, a downward slant that seems more mental than physical. The ocean wears away at even the strongest of cliffs.

The crash of the waves is loud in Sehun’s ears.

At night, though, it’s even louder, as Sehun lies in his bed and looks up at the ceiling of his small room, counting the starfish that decorate his ceiling. His father turns the beacon, blinking it three times steady, warning an approaching ship of rocks just ahead. It illuminates Sehun’s room through his curtainless window, glinting off the glimmering sea glass Sehun has always kept.

Zitao once asked him, when they were still small children, curled up together on Sehun’s bed whispering secrets beneath the covers, how he managed to sleep with all the noise. Sehun had turned to him, rolling onto his side to smile at his best friend, and told him he couldn’t sleep without it.

Sometimes, Sehun ponders life outside the lighthouse, but not for long. The lighthouse keeper’s job is by nature an isolated one, but Sehun and his father live in a quiet solitude that’s more comfortable than lonely.

Sometimes, Sehun looks across the table at his father in the mornings and imagines himself in his father’s seat, and it feels as inevitable as the tide.

This will be Sehun some years from now. Sehun’s hands will bear the calluses, wind the clocks and trim the wicks. Sehun’s eyes will look out into the distance, watching the current with a wary gaze.

“Don’t trust the ocean,” his father says, one day, gruff and steady as he studies Sehun’s collection of trophies that line the shelves of his room, eyes fixing on clam shells and smoothed down, salt-whitened tree branches that have come from other shores to theirs. “You can love it, but you can’t trust it. Nothing truly good has ever come from the sea.”

“My mother came from the sea,” Sehun says. He thinks about soft black hair that curled softly down a pale back, and fingertips as cool as the sand in deep water pushing his hair from his eyes. He swallows, and sucks his lower lip into his mouth, and his father looks at him, eyebrows drawn and lips curled down.

“Exactly,” his father says, and Sehun closes his fist around his lucky sand dollar and doesn’t reply.




collections


Sehun has always felt that a part of him belongs to the sea.

He remembers walking along the wet sand with Zitao’s wrist clutched in his hand. He remembers being seven.

“You should come to my house, sometimes,” Zitao says, his accent strange and thick, and Sehun had looked at him with confused eyes.

“But then we’d be so far from the ocean,” Sehun says, and Zitao laughs.

“Not really,” Zitao says. “Less than a kilometer.” But he shrugs and stays in step as Sehun’s gaze sweeps the beach looking for things to keep.

Sehun is a collector. He’s never been the sort who can let go of anything; people, things, places, ideas. He’s selfish, and he hoards, and he clings, and he never feels bad about it, because no one seems to mind except his father, who sometimes looks at Sehun sadly like Sehun is going to drown in all the things he’s found.

His largest collection is of things he picks up on the beach. Trinkets others would leave behind make their way into Sehun’s pockets and eventually onto the shelves that line the perimeter of his room, or become affixed to the walls so that even when Sehun is inside the lighthouse, he’s brought the ocean with him.

But Sehun collects memories, too; of his mother and of the sunrise and of his father’s hand on the back of his neck and of Zitao’s laughter in the early morning, and maybe that, actually, is Sehun’s largest collection.




memory


…and cold sea water rushes into his nose, his ears, and brine and seaweed slide don his throat and his lungs burn and ache and Sehun tries to fight his way to the surface but it’s too far to reach before everything goes dark.




beginning ii


Sehun is nineteen.

He walks along the shore alone this time, picking up fragments of shells and tucking them into the left pocket of his trousers. The right pocket is reserved for other trinkets. The tide is receding, leaving behind treasures for Sehun to gather. Shiny bits of sea glass peek out of the wet sand. Sehun only takes the large pieces, these days, because his hands are bigger, but it’s still enough to weigh down his pockets, the leather of his belt digging into his hips as he walks.

The tide gives a final great shove in, and Sehun gets wet up to his mid-calf, sea foam licking up towards his knees as he shivers from the cold. The ocean, here, is always cold, but now it is autumn, so the air is cold too.

The water is tugged back, the waves collapsing over each other as a new swell comes in, much lower than the first, and that’s when Sehun sees him.

The boy lies prostrate on the sand, face hidden in the fold of his arm and knees tucked up to his chest like he’s a child fending off nightmares. But his limbs are long and muscled, assuring Sehun that he’s no child at all.

Sand that had felt cool beneath his feet suddenly feels warm. Sehun swallows, and his throat is dry. He’s parched, and his tongue feels thick.

Sehun approaches, carefully, squatting down beside the boy and tentatively reaching out to push the hair out of his face. The boy’s cheeks, revealed to the sun and to Sehun’s eyes, are wet with the salt of tears not the sea. Sehun lets his fingers drag across the skin, down to the jaw, delicate curve of the boys face like magic beneath his touch.

The flutter of eyelashes, and the dark eyes are staring up at him, guarded and wary. “Why aren’t you afraid?” The boy’s voice is raspy with disuse, and his full, plump lips are dry and cracked, white and chalky around the edges. There’s a tinge of confusion around the edges of his eyes; not like he’s lost, but like he doesn’t understand.

Sehun wonders how long he’s belonged to the ocean, or if he always has, ghosting beneath the waves. “My mother was from the sea,” Sehun says, and the boy… and maybe he’s not a boy, but a man, digs his fingers into the sand. Sehun can see now, the jagged edges of his nails and the tiny cuts along his torso and arms and thighs, maybe made by the very same sea glass Sehun has clacking in his pockets. Tiny bits of seaweed cling to his ankles and calves.

He is beautiful.

“Nothing good comes from the sea,” the boy-man says, and Sehun licks his lips. His voice is stronger now, and deeper than Sehun had expected, a vibrant timbre that sends a trill down Sehun’s spine.

“So I’ve been told,” Sehun says, and he reaches into his left pocket and pulls out pieces of shells. “But these come from the sea, and they’re not good or bad.”

“Those are abandoned homes,” he replies. “They used to protect their inhabitants. Now they’re just useless. Something broken the sea has thrown away.”

“No,” Sehun says. “Not useless.” He smiles, and stands. The boy-man’s eyes follow the motion, and Sehun looks down at him, wanting to smooth his thumbs along the lines in his brow. “I keep them, and make something new. Make them part of my home.”

“What?”

Sehun holds out a hand, and the boy-man looks at it, eyes narrowed. His hair is sticking to his cheeks again, but a little of the blue chill is fading from his lips. “Let me show you,” Sehun says, and he wriggles his fingers in invitation. He can tell he’s being sized up, but he hasn’t much to hide. His hair falls into his eyes, and he shakes it away, before bringing his right hand up to push them back. His left hand returns the shell pieces to his pocket.

“Show me what?”

“A home made of discarded shells,” Sehun says, with a smile he knows makes him look soft, and the boy blinks, slow and steady, eyelashes so dark against silky sun-kissed skin. “Made of the things the sea has thrown away.”

The boy-man reaches up, and takes Sehun’s hand. His palm is covered with sand, but it still feels nice against Sehun’s. “Show me, then,” he says, and Sehun smiles.

The sun is setting, and it’s time for the lighthouse’s main beacon to flicker to life.

“What’s your name?”

“Jongin,” he says, and all of a sudden, he smiles, a flash of white teeth and an expression on his face that can only be shy. “I’m Jongin.”

He says it like Sehun ought to have known that already, and Sehun feels the name sink under his skin and write itself in the flesh beneath, like an invisible tattoo.




restlessness


Sehun loves the lighthouse, but there’s a piece of him that wants to dive into the water and never look back.

It’s tiny, but it tugs at him. In the middle of the night, as he blinks the light, he wonders what it would be like to be aboard one of those boats, travelling off into seas uncharted.

“You don’t have to stay, you know?” Kyungsoo says, one day as they sit together on soft blanket, looking down on their small sleepy town. “You can go anywhere, or do anything.” He opens the picnic basket and pulls out cloth-wrapped sandwiches that Sehun knows will taste as good as they smell. “Nothing ties you here.”

Sehun leans back, catching his weight with his hands, and smiles at Kyungsoo, scrunching his nose at him. “I know that,” Sehun says. “Really.”

Kyungsoo tosses a sandwich into Sehun’s lap, and Sehun sits up properly to unwrap it. He can hear the waves behind them, and he turns his head slightly to watch them. “Then again,” Kyungsoo says, “maybe you’re tied to that ocean in so many ways that I can’t see you going anywhere at all.”




underwater


The lighthouse has a green door. Sehun repainted it last year, when he became the keeper. Before that, it had been red, but Sehun doesn’t like red. The green is nice; dark against the white of the lighthouse. It was his mother’s favorite color.

“I live here,” Sehun says to Jongin.

Jongin slips inside in front of him with a fluid grace that Sehun can’t help but admire, watching the shift of the muscles in his back as he moves. It’s an ease that Sehun doesn’t have; he’d spent school years tripping over Chanyeol as Zitao had fisted his hand in the back of his shirt to keep him from falling.

Jongin moves like someone born to be in constant motion, the smooth extension of his legs as he walks more art than necessity.

Sehun wraps his fingers around Jongin’s wrist, like he does with Zitao, and pulls him toward his room.

“What’s in there?” Jongin asks, pointing to a closed door that Sehun hasn’t opened in three-hundred and eighty-six days, and Sehun wets his lips.

“I don’t know,” he says, but he does. There’s a bed and a desk and photographs of people that Sehun has never met and dust and a lamp that’s been hanging from the same nail on the back of the door for as long as Sehun can remember.

“Okay,” Jongin says, and Sehun guides him into his cove. “Oh,” Jongin says, and he looks around with wide eyes.

“I keep it all,” Sehun says. “What drifts onto the shore. I keep it all.” He empties his pockets onto his desk as he talks, carefully separating the shells by color and the sea glass by size, and then Jongin is next to him. Sehun hadn’t heard him move.

“It feels like underwater,” Jongin says, and he bites down on his lower lip and looks at Sehun anxiously. “I just thought you would be afraid.”

“Should I be?” Sehun asks lightly, shaking his hair from his eyes again. Jongin sways, and shivers, and there are goosebumps rising across Jongin’s naked body.

Sehun grabs the nearest shirt and tosses it to him, and Jongin reaches out instinctively to catch it. Sehun can see the moment it occurs to Jongin that he is naked and he shouldn’t be, and Sehun loves the way the pink rises in his cheeks and the way he tucks his chin towards his chest as he peers out through those impossibly thick lashes.

“For me?” The seaweed on his right calf peels loose, and he looks like something out of a storybook, only Sehun knows this isn’t as rare as all of that. “But this is yours.”

“Do you have somewhere else to go?” Sehun asks, and Jongin’s flush grows darker, and he quickly looks away, eyes fixing on the window-sill next to Sehun’s bed, where Sehun’s lucky sand dollar rests. Sehun’s confused by the hunching of Jongin’s shoulders, lithe cat-like grace replaced by teenage anxiety. That, Sehun thinks, he can compete with.

“No,” Jongin says. “I hadn’t planned-“ he presses his lips together to stop the sound. The skin on them is chapped, cracks along the lower lip looking almost painful. Sehun supposes the salt water will do that.

“Then I’ll keep you too,” Sehun says, and it earns him another one of those slow, incredulous smiles.

Jongin starts to speak, but then he just runs a hand through his hair and pulls the shirt over his head, and Sehun does his best not to look too carefully at the rest of Jongin as he walks across the room to hand him a pair of trousers. “Are you… sure?”

The sun has almost disappeared now, and Sehun’s room is cast in fading purple light as night falls. “I have to turn up the light,” Sehun says, “in case there’s a ship.”

“Right,” Jongin says, and his eyes are as fathomless to Sehun as what lies at the bottom of the ocean’s depths.




memory ii


…air leaves his lungs and light leaves his eyes and there’s nothing to hold onto, only the faint image of the moon and Sehun doesn’t quite want to remember—




low tide


Jongin bubbles and froths and tugs Sehun into a whole new way of life. He makes Sehun laugh with the way food seems to miss his mouth in the mornings, and he makes Sehun shiver with the way he leans too close while Sehun stands watch.

He tells jokes that don’t make any sense, and wriggles and blushes when Sehun mercilessly tells him so. Sehun’s hand always seems to fall to rest on Jongin’s hip, too, when they stand side by side, and Jongin doesn’t seem to mind, which makes Sehun feel all the more like Jongin is a little bit his, even if Sehun doesn’t know why Jongin’s here. Why he’s emerged from the depths to stay in Sehun’s lighthouse and curl up alongside Sehun in Sehun’s bed as they count the starfish on the ceiling instead of the stars in the sky.

“He’s from the sea,” Lu Han says, when Sehun takes Jongin in to town to buy clothes and maybe a few things from the grocers. They’ve stopped into the store where Lu Han works, and as Jongin squats down to examine an old watch in the jewelry case, Lu Han leans across the counter, polishing cloth dangling between his fingers. “I can smell it on him.”

“Don’t… don’t say it so loud,” Sehun says, even though they are alone in the shop.

Lu Han laughs, picks up a vase, and rolls his eyes, like Sehun is being silly. Maybe he is, because it doesn’t matter if people know where Jongin’s from.

Sehun’s mother had been the same.

“He makes you smile,” Lu Han says, and he finishes polishing the antique vase, setting it carefully on the table. “You’ve always loved the sea.”




things sehun hasn’t decided on


Sehun hasn’t figured out if he loves the sea or hates it. All the same, it’s his, and he can’t let it go, because it’s as much a part of his life as breathing.




slow drag


Zitao leans his head on Sehun’s shoulder as the both watch Jongin wade into the water up to mid-thigh, unconcerned with the late autumn wind. It stings Sehun’s cheeks, but he smiles anyway as Jongin turns around to wave at him wildly. Sehun’s heart quickens, for a moment, and he wonders if Jongin will dive beneath the waves and disappear. Jongin doesn’t though. He just slowly wades back to shore, letting his fingertips skim at the surface of the waves as he walks.

“You’re different,” Zitao says.

“Me?” Sehun asks. “How so?”

Zitao sighs and straightens, so he can look at Sehun directly. “Better. After last year.”

Sehun thinks about closed doors that stay closed, and private ceremonies, and swallows roughly. “Jongin is so…”

“Be careful,” Zitao says, but his eyes say so much more than that. Sehun had learned to read them back when Zitao had yet to learn to speak the language. “Sehun…”

Jongin’s reached the shore now. His trousers are soaked, and his hair is windblown, and he doesn’t seem to feel the cold, his shirt unbuttoned to reveal gold-kissed clavicles and chest. Jongin’s smile, though, is where Sehun’s eyes linger, because it is more luminous than the sun above them.

“He’s so…” Sehun says, and he stops himself, shoving his hands in his pockets at a particularly fierce gust of wind. His stomach is queasy, a little, and his pulse is racing.

“Just remember the message in a bottle,” Zitao says. “Sometimes the ocean drags things back in.”

Sehun rubs the small, thin scar on his cheek and hopes he can keep Jongin.




message in a bottle


Sehun is nine.

“Look!” Sehun shouts, and Zitao grabs Baekhyun’s hand and pulls him along. Baekhyun huffs, looking a little fussy at being pulled away from his book, but soon he’s giggling too as they make for the sure. Baekhyun’s big white puppy barks and runs ahead of them. “I think it’s a bottle!”

Sehun trips over a piece of petrified wood and falls, and when he lifts his head, there’s a thin cut on his cheek, and the bottle is gone again, swallowed back into the waves.

“Are you all right?” Baekhyun asks, as Zitao looks worriedly at Sehun’s cheek. He can feel it stinging, but he’s more upset about the lost treasure than the cut.

“I’ve always wanted to find one,” Sehun says. “It was right there.”

He can imagine his father’s laugh. ”She tricked you,” his father would say, looking out at the ocean as he fixed himself tea. ”And you fell for it.”

“You can’t keep everything the sea washes ashore, Sehun,” Baekhyun says, resting his hands on his hips.

“Why not?” Sehun says, and he knows he sounds angry and childish, but Sehun is a child. Sehun is also selfish, and wants to keep everything, eyes collecting ahead of his fingers.

“Because the sea can’t possibly be ready to give up everything it washes ashore,” Baekhyun says, fixing his hair with his thin fingers. “Sometimes it’s just letting you take a brief look before it snatches it back under.”

Sehun doesn’t like that, but Sehun has always been selfish.




keeping watch


Jongin watches him sometimes, eyes heavy on Sehun’s every move, and Sehun wants to keep Jongin so bad it eats him up inside.




collections ii


Jongin wants to know the story behind almost every one of Sehun’s shells and pieces of glass. Luckily, Sehun is so particular about them that he remembers.

That piece of shell was from when Sehun was eleven, and Zitao had buried him in the sand as punishment for some misdeed or another, and that piece of glass was from when Sehun had invited Baekhyun and Kyungsoo to lighthouse for the first time and they’d ended up wrestling on the beach until that piece of glass had dug into Kyungsoo’s back and he’d screamed.

“And this?” Jongin asks, and he holds up the sand dollar, Sehun’s lucky one, between them, and there’s something unreadable in his eyes that makes Sehun feel like he’s missing a piece of the puzzle.

“That’s…” Sehun licks his lips, and Jongin’s eyes flicker down before his tongue is peeking out to slick his own lips. “I don’t remember,” Sehun says, and Jongin’s eyebrows furrow. Sehun wants to run his fingertips up the bridge of Jongin’s nose, or higher, until the furrow smoothes, but that’s closer than Sehun can bear during the light of day. At night, Jongin can’t easily see the way Sehun stares at him, mesmerized by the way his body fits so nicely against Sehun’s own as they lean against the maps and talk about anything and everything.

“It’s your favorite, though?” Jongin asks, and the sand dollar is the perfect size to sit on his palm. Jongin curls his fingers around it, and Sehun wants to snatch it away because it’s his treasure.

“I don’t remember when it’s from,” Sehun snaps, and Jongin flinches, making Sehun feel guilty. “I didn’t mean to yell.”

“I was just curious,” Jongin says, but it is not idle curiosity in the set of his mouth or in the melancholy that clouds his eyes like the murky seawater in the wake of a cargo ship.




sand dollar


Sehun was six.

The sand dollar had been clutched in Sehun’s tiny fist when he’d opened his eyes, alive. His cheek had pressed into the sand, and Sehun could feel the grains along his skin. His throat had been raw, and his belly full of ocean.

He remembers a shadow, and a soft kiss to his forehead, and a voice that Sehun, still, after all these years, can’t place.




mermaids


Sehun’s mother used to laughingly talk of mermaids, telling fairytales that bore no resemblance to the truth. She combed her fingers through his hair as she told him about the goddess Atargatis, who dove into a lake to take on the form of a fish, but who was so beautiful that the powers of the lake hadn’t the heart to change her completely.

“But that’s all pretend,” she had said. Sehun wishes he could remember how she looked when she’d said it. “Mermaids are a figment of land-dweller’s imaginations. That’s not what it means, to be from the sea.”




jongin


Jongin clings in his sleep. Sehun clings when he’s awake, so turnabout is fair play, but the way Jongin slips and curves into Sehun’s personal space, pulling Sehun’s chest into the sweet warmth of his back as he holds Sehun’s hand beneath his, against his flat stomach, makes Sehun’s blood rush like the sea during a storm.

Jongin’s skin beneath his fingertips is like dipping his toes into the ocean, touching everything it has to offer and yet aware that it is impossible to ever know it all.

Sometimes, Sehun wakes, and Jongin is looking down on him like he’s a mystery indecipherable, and Sehun wants to reach up and drag his hand down the line of Jongin’s neck and shoulder. He doesn’t.

“Why are you here?” Sehun asks him, one day, and Jongin laughs nervously, burying his face in Sehun’s quilt.

“To see you, of course,” Jongin says, and he sounds cocky and flippant, but there’s something strange in his voice.

Sehun wishes it were true, but it’s enough that Jongin is here, bringing the ocean even closer.

“Close your mouth,” Jongin says. “You look like a landed fish.” His blush is fading, and Sehun misses it, but Jongin’s smile is just as lovely.

“That’s how I feel, sometimes.”

Jongin goes quiet. “Your mother was from the sea,” he says, after a while, and Sehun nods. “She’s a part of you.” Jongin’s arm brushes against Sehun’s, and the slide of skin against skin makes Sehun forget about the late autumn weather.




memories iii


…dragged down and down and down, until everything goes dark.




lighthouses


The lighthouse is the only life Sehun has ever known. Behind closed eyelids, Sehun can see the beacon spinning round and round, flickering in signal out to the open sea.

Sehun’s lighthouse is beautiful.

Sehun can recall, vividly, the way his mother’s hand had felt wrapped around his own as they stood on the deck as the wind blew their hair, the week before she was gone. He remembers the yellow and light blue seersucker of her dress and that her palm had felt like silk and that her hair had fallen to mid-back. “The sea’s my home,” she’d said, and her voice had trickled like honey down his spine and he remembers that too.

He can’t remember her face, though, and he doesn’t have any pictures, but he thinks she might have looked a bit like him, thin lips and narrow eyes and high cheekbones. He imagines her when he sees his reflection in the washbasin in the morning, and wonders if her nose had been narrow at the bridge like his own.

Sehun can conjure up the image of his father twisting the gears, face fierce with concentration. “Watch, Sehun,” he’d said. “This is how it’s done.” His hand had been so much larger than Sehun’s, and Sehun had wanted, so much, to do it right.

The lighthouse is a thousand memories Sehun will never let himself forget, and nineteen years that have passed and who knows how many more that will pass.

Sehun knows the lighthouse is not the same for others. Zitao, whose father came back and forth from China by cargo vessel every other month, had told him once that the lighthouse was a symbol of safety for the men aboard. Wu Fan had mumbled something about tomorrows that are different from yesterdays, probably because Wu Fan and his mother had come to this town with nothing on one of those ships that the lighthouse had guided into harbor. And Baekhyun had told him that light represented hope, but Baekhyun is the sort to smile up at the sun even if it blinds him.

Lu Han had told Sehun, with those sparkling eyes that always promised the unexpected, that the lighthouse would always mean something different to Sehun than it meant to everyone else, because Sehun was part of the lighthouse, same as his father had been.

“You should go,” Zitao had said, a little over a year ago. “You can’t stay here, Sehun. Not after…”

“Where else would I go?” Sehun had answered. He looked over at Zitao, whose dark hair spilled across his concern-wrinkled brow, and sighed. Zitao’s striped shirt contrasted against the white of the lighthouse. “Everything is here.”

“Nothing is here,” Zitao said. “Except the sea.”

Sehun had stepped away from the railing, and pressed a hand to the wall.

The walls of the lighthouse make all those memories sing in Sehun’s veins, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make new ones.

He laughs as Jongin chases him up the winding circular staircase, both of them tripping between giggles and laughs. Jongin’s laugh ripples like the sea at sunrise, and Sehun sometimes feels like he’ll get lost in the undertow of that sound, because it pulls him closer without him even noticing.

Jongin catches him at the top of the stairs as Sehun half-falls onto the second story landing, hands reaching out to grab the steel ladder that leads up as Jongin’s arms wrap around his waist. Sehun ignores his rapidly beating heart and wriggles free, a child dodging the lapping water. He climbs the ladder up into the observatory, Jongin directly behind him.

“There’s nowhere to run, now,” Jongin says, and he’s smirking, smug and cocky, eyes gleaming with just enough mischief to charm, and Sehun can’t seem to catch his breath.

Jongin’s smile fades, and something else seems to rise in his eyes, and Sehun takes a step backward, and then another, until his back is flush against the maps and his fingers rest against the concrete wall. “Who said I wanted to run away from you?” Sehun replies, and Jongin swallows.

Sehun’s eyes flit down, to watch the bobbing of his adam’s apple, but when he tries to look back at Jongin’s eyes, his eyes stick at Jongin’s lips. Jongin’s tongue peeks out, a nervous habit that reminds Sehun of his own, and then Jongin is stepping nearer, closing the distance between them.

“Nothing good has ever come from the sea,” Jongin says, like a warning, and Sehun takes a deep breath. He tentatively brings his hands up to curl into Jongin’s shirt; it’s Sehun’s shirt, actually, but now it smells like Jongin, and he tugs, knuckles brushing across the flat planes of Jongin’s chest as Jongin’s hands come to rest ever-so-light on Sehun’s waist.

“You came from the sea,” Sehun says, meeting Jongin’s eyes, dark as the ocean’s depths, and Jongin kisses him.

Sehun’s not sure what he’d expected Jongin to taste like, but he almost smiles at the tang of salt he finds between Jongin’s lips. It’s like plunging into the water over his head, and only Jongin anchors him, pushing him back so he’s held up between chest and wall.

Jongin is eager, pulling at Sehun’s lips and tongue and beckoning him in, and Sehun is helpless to the siren’s call of Jongin’s hungry mouth. Someone moans, and Sehun thinks it’s him, and he tilts his head to the side, because he wants more. Jongin sighs, tongue twisting with Sehun’s, lips slick with spit, and Sehun’s never kissed anyone before, but this feels as familiar as briny ocean air in the spring. Jongin’s mouth fits against his perfectly, and this is water too deep to swim in but he knows Jongin will keep him afloat.

When they part, Sehun is at a loss for air. Jongin’s hands have found their way underneath Sehun’s shirt, to the skin of his belly, and his fingers are hot. “Is this…” Jongin’s voice is husky, and Sehun shudders at it, fingers digging harder into the flannel. “Is this okay?”

Sehun laughs, breathlessly, and leans forward to kiss Jongin’s nose. “I’m going to keep you.”

“You can’t keep people,” Jongin says, and Sehun looks up at him, pressing his lips together. They feel swollen, and they still tingle from the press of Jongin’s.

Jongin’s eyes are wide, but a smile teases at his lips, and there’s a red flush to his cheeks, and he’s beautiful. Beautiful like Sehun’s lighthouse, and beautiful like the ocean.

“I keep everything that washes up on that shore,” Sehun says, loosening one hand to bring it up to Jongin’s face. He rests his palm against Jongin’s cheek, and slides his thumb across Jongin’s thick lips, feeling them tremble. Maybe it is Sehun who trembles. Probably, it’s the both of them. “You’re no exception.”

The sun sets on Sehun’s fingers slipping into Jongin’s hair and Jongin’s hands exploring the curve of Sehun’s spine, but when night falls, they part, watching the dark waves as they rush rough up on the rocks to the ever-present pull of the moon.

Jongin’s hand is warm in his own, though, and when he turns to study Jongin’s profile, he wonders if Jongin misses home.





part ii



Date: 2012-08-16 07:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buzzbird.livejournal.com
God. Maia. I want to cry at all of this because it's so beautiful T___T <33

Date: 2012-08-16 11:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maayacola.livejournal.com
;_________;

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