Length: 19,000..and counting
Genre: Romance, Angst (?)
Warnings: Too many narratives…?
Disclaimer: There’s a ton of reference here about angels. But like any other story about them, I made my own rules, symbolisms, and mixed pedagogies with my reality. EXO belongs to themselves, propriety-wise to SM I think, story belongs to me.
If Lu Han couldn’t hold onto Minseok for much longer, he resolved to the idea that his lover needed to know everything. The truth of where he came from, the truth of why he appeared out of nowhere, the truth behind his being. Minseok needed to know just exactly who he fell in love with. Minseok needed to know his story.
But the thing with being a Guardian in humanity, is that he could never directly say what he is. And so Lu Han decided that he needed to show Minseok that he is not human, not entirely, not really.
Lu Han bought a book with pictures in them. They were not exactly how he looked like back in Ethereal but they were close enough imagery of what he wanted to tell. He wasn’t sure if this would work – Sehun never told him anything more than impressions of what he had done. Hence when Minseok came home from work, he pulled his boyfriend to his room, book laid wide open on his bed on a particular image of a Seraph.
“Remember when I told you I will not be here forever?”
“Sweetheart, are doing that conversation again?”
“No, Minseok, listen to me,” Lu Han exclaimed, dread etched on his voice. He was determined to do it tonight, because he doesn’t know when he’ll be gone. “I will try to tell you everything.”
Minseok looked at him with a frown. Lu Han was sure his boyfriend was itching to leave the room and push this conversation for later. But he will have none of it.
“I am not like you at all, Minseok. I was created quite unlike you. I was created as an- as an-”
But the words wouldn’t come out. Lu Han repeated but what he meant to say never came out. And so he pulled the book and showed him the picture.
“A what?” Minseok let his eyes wander at the page for a long time before returning a frown. “An angel?”
“A-” but still the words wouldn’t come out. “To be precise I’m a S-”
Minseok’s eyes widened as he reads the bold word underneath the picture.
“I don’t believe this, a Seraph? What, am I living in a fantasy now?”
“No, Love, listen to me, please.” And Lu Han didn’t mind that he had to beg. He was desperate enough to even kneel in front of the man he loves if that meant he could tell him everything.
“When I was younger, I ran away from our home, and I saw this boy, he was beautiful,” Lu Han continued as the scowl on Minseok’s face fade. “He was smart but I think he’s also very lonely. He didn’t have many friends – I don’t think he even has one. So I decided to be that for him. The first time we met, though, was at a creek near his school. He almost drowned, but I was there and what else would someone like me do but try to save him.”
Lu Han waited. But when Minseok didn’t speak, he continued. “I continued to be around him, and when I was forced back home, I watched him. But from where I am, there’s really only little chance to do so. The next thing I know he accidentally overdosed and I had to interfere with other people’s lives as well -”
“Wait, that was you?”
And Lu Han felt that Minseok remembered. He has remembered everything.
“That time, too, at the cross light?”
And Lu Han nodded.
“You saved me – I – I owe you my life, Sweetheart. And you never said anything?”
“No, Minseok, you don’t owe me anything,” Lu Han smiled, as tears began to fall from his eyes. “You deserved to be saved. You deserve this life, you deserve everything.”
The human held out his hands and cupped the angel’s face. He ran his thumb at the angel’s cheeks and wiped away the tears that streamed down his delicate feature.
“I realized then what I wanted to do with the rest of the life I’ve been living,” Lu Han resumed, when he was no longer choking, when the words were easier to say. “Against my mentor’s wishes I decided to be your – I decided to be your-”
And Minseok understood. He held Lu Han close, and kissed the top of the angel’s head. “My Guardian Angel?”
Lu Han nodded. Because he understood. Because in the first place, it was never this hard. And he cried, because he has decided.
Perhaps he has known it from the very beginning. Perhaps he has known it since the first time he saw the sadness in the boy’s eyes. Perhaps what Minseok became was only a catalyst for him to descend.
Perhaps this was precisely why he has decided, in the end – and probably even in the beginning – to become human.
Lu Han felt cold when he woke up one morning. He pulled the covers over him and rolled in it, making sure that he had all parts of his body covered in blanket. He wondered if Minseok turned the air condition on when it was freezing outside. Though he left the floor heater on, the snow outside was enough to penetrate into the high rise apartment.
The door opened and Lu Han whined, “Kim Minseok, it’s freezing!”
A hand pulled at the covers and appeared Minseok, “Sweetheart, what’s wrong?”
“It’s snowing outside and you left the air condition on, that’s what’s wrong,” Lu Han grumbled, pulling at his precious sheets.
“Lu Han,” Minseok said slowly, “It’s summer…”
When an angel’s time lapses, he begins to forget. The memories are erased backwards, forgetting the most recent ones he had made.
And Minseok was well aware of the symptoms because as fate would have it, Jongin stepped forward to share his story.
“He wouldn’t know it, Hyung. He wouldn’t know that he’s slowly fading in this place.”
“What happens then?”
“When all the memories are gone, he will follow.”
“I don’t want to – I can’t handle it – I can’t handle waking up without him.”
“You’ll have to brace yourself, Hyung, because when the time comes, he’ll just be… gone.”
“You said you’re an angel?” Minseok asked finally. The young executive pulled fondly at Lu Han’s arm, and tried to peek at his back. “How come you don’t have wings?”
The angel smirked at the human.
“You look at way too many paintings, Kim Minseok,” Lu Han retorted. “You’d probably run away if you see my true form.”
Minseok creased his forehead to which Lu Han immediately reached to smoothen out. Minseok felt his cheeks burn. These simple actions always felt new to him. And his heart never seemed to get used to it. He cleared his throat instead. “How can I run away from someone as beautiful as you? Granted this is not your true form… I doubt you can look half as bad.”
And Minseok gulped as Lu Han nodded. To cherish these moments, to keep him close, to be beside him, these were all Minseok could do. For now.
“I hope Jongin is fine with you skipping work almost every week.”
“Jongin isn’t really my boss,” Lu Han confessed, tracing Minseok’s hand with his slender fingers. “If you’ve seen him at the shop, he’s name is Sehun. I also live with him; been living with him since I came here.”
“You’ve already told me that,” Minseok’s voice hitched. He had promised to tell Lu Han when it happens.
“You used to live with Sehun and his boyfriend, Jongin.”
“Oh wait, Sehun lives with Jongin now?”
“Yes, and you live with me.”
Minseok cannot cry. He promised not to.
They made the trip to the sea side as soon as Minseok bagged a new account. He decided to spend the rest of the week with Lu Han, because his boyfriend had stopped coming home to their apartment.
“I want to show you the sea,” he asked his Guardian behind the cashier of his favourite coffee shop. The angel looked at him and recognition dawned on his face.
“Minseok,” he had smiled. “I’ll have to ask Sehun.”
“I already did, and he said he’s giving you the full week.”
And so they went with the crisp November air.
It was dusk when Minseok asked Lu Han if they could walk by the water. The angel looked sceptical at first, unsure if he could handle the cold, but he agreed and held the human’s outstretched hand.
And as they walked along the shoreline, Lu Han had snuggled close, purposefully leaning in close. Minseok wrapped his arm around Lu Han’s shivering body and they stopped walking as the angel adjusts to the cold wind.
“Do you think I’ll be able to remember everything?”
“I don’t think so,” Minseok replied, his arms getting marginally tighter around his love’s body. “I know so. I know I will find you, and you will remember.”
Minseok felt tears on his arm just as Lu Han turned to face him, placing a chaste kiss on his lips, the angel hugged him and sobbed silently, the only tell-tale sign his heaving shoulders.
The days turned to nights and the nights turned to days. And soon it was the last night of their little field trip. Lu Han’s memory had been passing him more often and Minseok knew it won’t be long now. Their last night proved to be quiet. They stayed outside the villa, watching the night sky and the stars that fought with the town’s little light.
“I remember, Minseok, when I first saw you.”
The angel held his human’s hand and rubbed at the side of the thumb. “Yes?”
“You looked like you were angry at the world and I was so scared that you’d yell at me. I felt my legs turn to goo when you raised your eyebrows.”
Minseok smiled at Lu Han and nodded. “But you didn’t.”
“Because I know that’s not the real you. The real you is gentle, caring, thoughtful, a lot more like right now and the past years that we have been together.”
The human felt a bile rise up his throat but he swallowed it back, and tears formed in his eyes instead.
“It will be long, Love,” Lu Han said as he faced Minseok, his eyes twinkling in the dark, dark night. “But you’ll promise, right? You’ll promise not to give up.”
And Minseok nodded and pulled Lu Han close for a hug. He hugged his angel so tight that he was sure he will never lose his love. Not to anyone, not to anything.
Yet he was wrong.
Lu Han must have remembered it would come to this. When Joonmyeon told him about the consequences, he agreed. Wholeheartedly. He was scared at first, but there was hope. There was that thing that he would unconsciously hold on to.
When Lu Han closed his eyes, the last he heard was a man sobbing, repeating his words like a prayer, “I will find you, I will.”
When Minseok woke up the next morning, the love of his life was gone.
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