Pairing: Xiuris (Xiumin/Kris)
Rating: PG - 13
Summary: The flower naturally grows near the river that flows with love and patience. It is happy and content near the wide expanse of water that drifts downstream. The river needs the flower, it finds it too beautiful to let go. It give whatever it has to make sure the flower and can bloom.
A/N: double update yo.
“You're okay Minseok. You're going to be okay.” she whispered in to my hair. I was trying to stop my body from shaking. But the waves of pain kept sweeping through me. They made me choke, they closed up my lungs, they made my heart cry.
He'd said run, so I'd ran.
“I'm right here sweetheart. You're going to be okay.” she kissed my head. Her hands were soft and comforting, rubbing my arms and petting my face. Her arms were my haven, keeping me from falling apart. Ani smelled like flowers and fresh water. Ani smelled like the sun. I imagined that if I could actually smell the sun, it would smell like Ani. Her skin was such a beautiful bronze-brown, her hair was such a deep and rich black. And she smelled like the sun; like flowers and fresh water.
Luhan also smelled like fresh water.
I was trying so hard to remember what he smelled like, what his skin felt like and how soft his hair was. Was his hair thin? Was his skin as smooth as Ani's? He must of smelled like mud and tea...at least that was what I remembered.
I could still see his face. The way his eyes had been in panic and in a rush. How loud he'd yelled at me while gritting his teeth. Run you brat...run.
“He told me to run.” I heard my voice. But I couldn't remember if I'd moved my mouth. Ani kissed my cheek, her soft fingers wiping my tears away. I pressed my nose in to her shoulder, inhaling and letting out a tired breath. It had all happened too quickly. One minute I was watching Wu Fan wipe Rui's messy face at breakfast, the next I was listening to the sound of gunshots.
Rui was fast asleep on her couch. I hated seeing the dirty stains of his tear trails over his cheeks. My baby had been so scared. I'd been so scared. And Luhan had been brave.
“Come on, let's get you to eat something.” Ani got up from the floor, pulling me up with her. I let her drag me in to the kitchen, sitting down with a plop and laying my head down. I watched Ani search through her refrigerator. She busied herself with cooking for awhile, serving me chicken and rice. I put the food in to my mouth and chewed. I forced myself to swallow.
Ani cleaned up; she washed the pans and wiped down the stove and counters. She'd seemed very stable the whole time I'd been crying and she'd kept her emotions level.
But when everything was done, and we were left with nothing but silence in her small kitchen, I realized she was trembling. It wasn't just her hands or her shoulders. Her whole body was shaking. Her knees were weak, her back was hunched over and her lip was quivering. She'd stayed calm for me, but the reality was she'd just lost the boy who called her Mama. The little boy she'd watched over while he was young and taken in as her own later on. Her son.
Ani wiped her tears away and took a deep breath. I watched her push the grief she was feeling to the back of her mind. And I briefly wondered if this was what she did the first time she'd lost her son. Had she acted like this after being forced to put her newborn in the river? Or had she broken down like me and cried in to someone's arms?
“Why were you being chased? What happened?” she asked me. She sat next to me at the dining table, her eyes set on me and waiting.
I told her everything. About Tao's letters and how Wu Fan wanted to protect her. I told her about the time Wu Fan and I had fought over it, and about how she'd shown up anyways. I told her that Tao's rich husband was dead, and someone else wanted her dead as well. There were men following her, and now they were on that island.
“They showed up after we all had lunch. Wu Fan wanted me and Rui away from there, Luhan wanted to come with us. To protect Rui. But we were followed. He just wanted Rui to be safe.” I finished. I didn't have anymore tears to let go of. My eyes were dry and sore and my throat was parched. I let my head hang in defeat. All Luhan had wanted to do was protect my son.
Ani delicately lifted my chin, making me look up at her. She nodded over to her living room. My eyes followed and fell on Rui, sleeping comfortably on her couch. He was sucking in his bottom lip and his black hair was askew. He was safe, and he was alive.
“He did a great job didn't he?” Ani smiled with moist eyes.
She was right. Luhan had done an amazing job in keeping my baby safe. Luhan had died fighting and protecting my son.
“Mama?” I jumped up from my seat at the sound of my son's voice. He was awake and shuffling in to the kitchen. Even though my eyes were dry, seeing Rui awake made me want to fall apart all over again. I immediately picked him up and hugged him, kissing his closed eyes and his nose, running my hands over his back and pressing his little hands against my cheek.
I didn't even want to imagine if I could no longer hold my little gem in my arms. I didn't want to even consider the possibility of Luhan not showing up when he had. I was so thankful to hold that little boy and kiss him and hug him and listen to him mumble in to my ear.
Rui was safe because of Luhan. And I would be forever grateful.
~ ~ ~
I was able to rest at Ani's for only one night.
I'd pulled myself together for Rui, made sure he was fed and washed, and put him to bed in Wu Fan's old room. I was ready to settle down when Ani took me in to the hallway and showed me something.
She opened the towel closet and reached up to the top shelf. She pulled down a short silver gun.
“I keep one downstairs in the kitchen as well under the sink. They're already loaded. Just aim and fire.” she showed me quickly how to hold it an aim. I stared at her in disbelief.
“Don't look at me like that. These men obviously kill. I'm not letting that baby get hurt. And neither are you. If they come here, we're prepared.” she spoke with conviction. I nodded. And then she told me goodnight and went to her room.
I was stuck in the hallway staring at that towel closet for a few minutes.
Would I be able to us a gun? I'd never used one before and the thought of shooting someone scared me.
“Yes I can.” I told myself. With out a doubt I could and would use that shotgun and kill one of those men. No problem whatsoever, no fear whatsoever.
Why? Because Rui Jing.
I couldn't sleep that night. I kept my eyes on my baby sleeping next to me. I couldn't look away.
“I love you so much little gem.” I whispered. I reached out and gently ran my fingers through his hair.
“I will do anything to keep you safe.” I promised. When the sun was beginning to rise, my body finally gave up and my eyes closed.
~ ~ ~
I woke up in the late morning and I knew they were there.
I knew because Ani was in the room. She stood next to the bedroom window with the silver gun in hand. She was staring outside with an angry look on her face. I remembered the way Yixing had been straring out the window with Jongdae, and the way Wu Fan had looked when that man had come to our front door. Ani had the same look. She stood there completely still as her hard eyes focused on them.
I quietly got up and joined her.
Three of them were staring back up at us.
They could clearly see us. They stood just as still as Ani. They wore black suits with sunglasses. I spotted the first man that had been on our porch. He was standing in the middle. The tallest one with the base voice was on his right. The man one the left I didn't recognize. But they were all just staring up at us. They didn't make a move to come in the house or leave. The only recognition we got was their unwavering stares.
“How long have they been there?” I whispered. Even if they were far away I still felt like they could hear me. Ani snapped out of her trance at my voice and she put a warm hand on my shoulder.
“They were already there when I woke up and came to check on you two. I don't know how long.” she told me honestly. I nodded and continued to look out the window.
Their presence was...unnerving. They didn't do anything but stare at us. They watched us all day.
When Rui finally woke up and I had to pull myself away from the window, I felt their eyes on me. When I took Rui downstairs to eat, I looked up from the table and spotted the tall one looking right at me. The front door was locked and the windows were sealed. But I felt so vulnerable with their eyes always on me.
Eventually I had to close all the blinds. I didn't want Rui seeing them and I was sick of them seeing us. When I went back upstairs Ani was still stuck at the window.
When the knock at the front door came, Ani pushed Rui and I in to the towel closet. I tried to follow her, but she wouldn't have it. I should have followed her. I shouldn't of stayed.
“It's my house Minsoek you do as I say.” she ordered.
“They could hurt you, Ani please!” I whispered. She shook her head. The knock came again and we both stilled for a moment.
It came again, louder.
“Ani, don't go down there alone!” I begged. Her eyes were glossy but her shoulder was set. I tried one more time to leave the closet. I couldn't let her go alone. I shouldn't of let her go. I knew what they could do and what they'd done. Not Ani too.
“If they do something, who's going to protect Rui? Hm? I can't. They'll take me down too fast and then where will that get us?” she threw in my face. I hated that she was right. If they killed us both at the front door there would be no one to protect Rui. If I went down alone and I was killed Ani was too weak to take them on herself.
“Stay here. Keep quiet.” she ordered again. And I gave in. I didn't want her to go. My gut told me to not let her go alone, that it would end so badly if she went down there and answered that door.
I should've gone with her.
“Take care of Wu Fan please.” she said while quickly embracing me. I didn't want her to leave. What would happen to her if I let her go?
She pressed a haste kiss to my cheek and then did the same to Rui.
She closed the door and left us in the darkness.
“Mama?” Rui whispered to me. I shushed him, holding him close and trying to listen intently.
Not Ani, I thought, not her. I didn't want to lose her too.
Ani's swift and gentle footsteps were distinct. I listened as she made her way downstairs. I gulped loudly and hugged Rui tighter. Not Ani. Not Ani.
I heard her answer the door. She sounded just like Wu Fan when he'd answered our front door. She was on guard and probably very stern looking.
“Mama why we hiding?” Rui whispered with a small smile. I quickly covered his mouth and kissed his forehead. “We have to ge quiet little gem. Can you do that?” I whispered back. My baby nodded with excitement and replaced my hand with his. My heart hurt. Rui probably thought we were playing some hiding game with Ani.
How I wished that was the case.
I carefully cracked the closet door open and pressed my ear out.
“There is no boy and child here. Sorry I can't help you further.” Ani spoke. She didn't sound sorry at all.
“I don't appreciate you lying to us Miss. We in fact saw the young man and the child today.” a gentle voice said back. I took quick breaths to steady my heartbeat. Not Ani. I needed her.
“Either way you're not coming in here. Get off my land.” Ani spat. There was a low thud and then footsteps. Not Ani. I need Ani.
“I said get out! Don't you dare come in here! I'll shoot you!” Ani's voice rose with panic. Not Ani. Should I go down there? Should I stay?
The blast of a gun made my body freeze. It was harsh and the sound went booming through the air. Ani had shot first. I wasn't sure if she'd kill one, or if she'd missed. But she'd fired first.
Which meant they'd probably shoot at her. Oh god. Not Ani. Not Ani.
“Minseok?” I whimpered at the sound of her voice. She was talking to me from downstairs.
“Listen to me. I've killed one of them. I see the other two are coming for me. I'm going outside before they get in. Once I close the door, come down and get the other gun. I love you.”
“Ani?” I cried. I was on my feet, ready to run and stop her.
I heard the front door close. “Ani!” I screamed. I was stuck in that closet. She couldn't leave me. Not her too. I needed her.
“Ani!” I called again. But there was no answer. She was outside. It was only a matter of time before she was dead. Panic was so quick. One second I was trying to keep my cool and listen to Ani's voice.
The next I didn't know what to do. Ani was gone and going to be dead soon. Just like Luhan she was risking her life for me and Rui.
But I needed Ani. I didn't want to lose a mother twice.
“Mama I'm scared.” a small voice sniffled next to me. I let out a tired breath and fell down to my knees. Picking up Rui I did my best not to cry in to him. How could I panic and not know what to do? How could I lose it? I had Rui to protect. He was scared and he needed me.
My baby was depending on me, and all I could do was sit in a closet and panic?
Once I close the door, come down and get the other gun.
“Stay here Rui. Okay?” I told him. Rui began to cry loudly and immediately he started screaming for me not leave him.
I didn't have time to console him. They were going to be in the house soon and the only gun was in the kitchen. I needed that gun to protect us.
Pushing away my baby while he was screaming was very unreal to me. I never thought I'd do that to him. I'd loved him ever since his little hand had grabbed my finger. I had vowed that second to do anything to keep him safe and happy. Whenever he'd called for me I'd been there to hold him and pick him up. I'd been the one to wipe away his tears and rock him to sleep.
To push him away while hearing his desperate and angry voice hurt me. I couldn't stop my tears from blinding me as I closed the closet door on him. But I just didn't have time.
I made a run for it down the hallway and to the staircase. I could hear voices screaming from outside. I ran faster. When my feet hit the bottom of the staircase I heard that sound again. It made me stop in my tracks. I stared at the front door in shock. Not Ani.
A gunshot. Followed quickly by a heartbreaking thud. It sounded like someone had fallen to the floor.
Ani? Not Ani.
Luhan and Ani. How was my beautiful world coming to this?
The harsh bang on the door made me jump in to the kitchen. I slid on to the floor and I reached out to the sink. The banging on the door kept repeating itself. I could hear the wood creaking and giving way. I crawled on my stomach, my hand grabbing on to the sink cupboard.
I heard the door fly open with a heavy smash. I saw the second gun in front of my eyes.
My hands wrapped around the handle.
Something sharp and cold tucked itself under my chin.
“I don't think so silly boy.” the base voice purred against my ear.
How long would I live after he cut my throat? Could I still get him off of me? Could I still kill him with the gun?
The base voice growled at me when I didn't take my hand off the gun and yanked my head back by my hair. The cold metal pressed deeper against my skin. Short breaths left my nostrils and my fingers itched around that metal. How fast could I move? How quick was he?
“You can go ahead and try if you'd like. I just can't promise I'll clean up your blood after wards. Maybe I'll press you down so you drown in it.” he chuckled in to my hair.
Someone else approached us from behind casually.
“Channie, the woman's dead.” they informed. Even though I'd technically known this was true, it still hurt to hear it out loud. And the man said it so casually and carelessly. Like Ani didn't matter, like she wasn't the kindest most caring woman I'd known. The man on top of me moved his body weight slightly to answer back.
“Okay, go get the kid.” he ordered. I struggled to get away. My legs kicked and I let go of the gun to try and move. Not my baby. Not Rui.
Luhan had died making sure we could get away, Ani had died giving me a chance to protect us.
And I failed. Oh how I'd failed and how stupid I felt. They were going to get my baby, they could hurt him. I'd failed.
I wanted to tear everything apart. I wanted infinite strength to stop these men and keep my son safe. I'd failed and now they were going to get him.
I yelped when my head was pushed back down roughly. The man kept a firm hand on my head but stood up. When he pulled me up I pulled away from him and tried to swing my fist to meet his face.
But I was met with a punch to my jaw. I fell back on to the sink and groaned. The pain was already throbbing through my head.
“Try again. Come on, this is fun!” the deep voice laughed and pushed me. I caught myself on the counter. I willed my legs no to give out and finally looked up.
It was the tall man with brown hair. The one with the extremely wide smile and deep voice that made me shudder. He was smiling at me now, his eyes overjoyed with my pain.
“You try to run, I'll kill that kid first. Then I'll kill you.” he grinned and took a step toward me.
I stood my ground.
He kept getting closer. He pointed his knife at me and kept talking,
“I'll kill you, and then I'll cut off your fingers and send them to your friends in that house. I pinky promise.” I jumped back when he barked at me.
The sound of Rui screaming jolted me forward. I didn't care if the man was holding me back, or that he threatened to kill me right then and there. My baby was screaming for me and I needed to get to him.
“No no silly boy, you stay right here.” the deep voice chuckled. His one hand grabbed at my throat as he stood behind me, the other hand pushing the knife under my chin again.
I felt so desperate and vulnerable. I watched the terrible scene of the man with wide innocent eyes carrying Rui down the staircase. Rui was red-faced and his cheeks wet with tears. He was screaming at the top of his lungs as he did his best to kick and hit the man.
When Rui spotted me his screams turned in to shrieks of bloody murder. I reached out to him like he did to me, but we were both held back.
“Stop struggling, or he dies.” the tall man reminded me. But I couldn't help it. My baby was right there and he needed me. He was so scared and so upset. I just wanted to hold him and kiss his tears away. I needed to have him safe in my arms for just a moment.
“Please let me hold him!” I begged while still holding my arms out to my screaming son. I didn't want to stop fighting. I didn't want Rui to think I wasn't fighting for him. He needed to see that I wanted to get to him, because I did. I wanted to hold him and protect him.
“Stop moving!” the man growled. His hand began to squeeze around my neck and choke me. Even though my air was beginning to leave me I still fought. Rui Jing, I needed to get to him.
The loud click of a gun made me freeze. The man holding Rui smiled at me brightly and placed the barrel of his black gun against my little gem's head.
I retreated my arms and did my best to stay still. The man choking me laughed darkly and petted my hair with his knife holding hand.
“Looks like you needed some inspiration hm?” he mused. I didn't answer and kept my eyes trained on my baby's face. He struggling so hard. Rui seemed ten times more upset now that I wasn't reaching back for him. It was breaking my heart.
“Please don't hurt him.” I sobbed. The man's hand clenched around my throat roughly and I coughed loudly. My eyes watered and my vision went blurry.
“Are you going to run?” he questioned. I shook my head and grabbed at my throat as he squeezed tighter. I could barely see Rui's face, the pain in my lungs grew intense.
“You want to hold your baby boy?” he snickered. The world was fading out and I couldn't breath. I gasped and gagged. He growled at me when I didn't answer.
“I don't think he can answer when you're restricting his air Channie.” the other man laughed. With an exasperated sigh the man let me go and I fell to the floor heaving and coughing. I clutched at my chest as my lungs expanded and I could breath again.
The second everything was clear I was crawling forward. The sound of Rui's cries guiding me.
Weakly I tugged at the second man's legs.
“Please give him to me.” I whimpered. I raised my hands up gingerly and lifted my head. The man with innocent eyes stared down at me. His gun was still pressed against Rui's head.
“Give him to you...” his voice was so sweet it sickened me, “or shoot him. Oh the options.” he smiled.
“No! No please don't hurt him!” I cried. I had no shame, my fingers grabbed on to the man's jacket desperately and pulled. I wanted my son in my arms. I wanted him safe.
“Would you do anything for him?” the man asked with his grin. I quickly nodded.
My heart fell when I heard the tall man walk up to me, heard him kneel down to my level so he was squatted right behind me.
“Anything?” the deep voice returned to my ear and I shivered. I gulped at his tone, the lust that clothed his words made my stomach sick.
It was obvious what he wanted. They were evil. I hoped they all burned in Hell.
I would do anything for my Rui. Anything. As long as it meant his survival, as long as it meant my little gem would be okay.
His mouth was against my ear, hot and heavy. The exact opposite of the blade under my chin yet again; cold and light.
“Then lay down silly boy.” he ordered. He lightly shoved at my back. I didn't fall all the way down, my hands caught me. I was on all fours glaring at the ground. I was breathing deeply.
I could still hear Rui's crying above me in the smiling man's arms.
My arms let me fall down, my legs unbent themselves. I turned on to my back and laid down.
The tall man stood over me. My tears were warm as they fell down the side of my face. I hated that creepy smile. I hated this deep voice that taunted me. I did not want to do this.
But Rui was still crying for me. Rui Jing. I was doing this because Rui Jing. That was all.
The tall shadow began to come over me. I closed my eyes and bit my bottom lip. I was not going to scream. I would not give him that satisfaction.
“Open your legs sill boy. I'm hungry.” that base voice huffed against my chin. He was on top of me. His full body weight all over me. I felt nauseous. He wasn't Wu Fan. I wanted Wu Fan.
His hands were finding their under my shirt. I squeezed my eyes tighter and bit my lips harder. Don't scream Minseok, I thought, don't scream or you'll scare Rui.
“Don't worry silly boy. I'll enjoy myself,” I turned my head away when his lips found mine, “I pinky promise.” he chuckled. He smelled disgusting. He was disgusting.
“Hurry up Channie, we need to leave soon.” the smiling man reminded. The man on top of me grunted in reply. I heard the clank of his belt being undone. The sound of his zipper made my body tense.
Rui Jing. I loved Rui Jing. I would do anything for him.
How had my beautiful world fall apart so quickly? Wasn't it just a day ago that I'd woken up with Wu Fan beside me and a smile on my face? And now...
“I'm sorry I didn't protect you then.” the deep voice that Minseok loved most in the world tickled his ear. He realized that once again Kris had been reading over his shoulder while he wrote.
With a happy sigh Minseok shut the journal and turned to kiss his husband good morning. Kris didn't kiss back with enthusiasm. He was reluctant to hold Minseok the way Minseok wanted to be held.
“It's not your fault they were bad men.” Minseok reminded him. Kris's face was dark, his eyes staring off in to the past. Minseok watched with surprise as his husband's eyes turned red; like he was about to cry. He held Kris's face tenderly, kissed him tenderly and hugged him tightly.
“I'm so sorry Minseok. I should've been there for you. I would've—they'd have been dead I swear.” Kris choked with anger. Finally Kris held him back, his strong arms clutching his smaller husband to his chest. He was so angry at himself, at those men and at the world. That his precious Minseok had been put in that unimaginable situation. If he'd been there...those men would have wished they'd never been born. Kris would have beat them until they screamed for their mothers.
To touch his husband like that, to threaten his son like that.
Kris had so much anger he didn't know what to do with himself. So he hugged Minseok as tightly as possible and kissed him passionately. What else could he do but remind Minseok that he was there for him, that he loved him and he would never let that happen ever again.
“It's in the past now. We're supposed to let the past go remember?” the shorter man pressed sweet kissed to Kris's cheeks and lips. Kris sighed with an annoyed pout. But his husband was right. They were supposed to let everything go that Minseok wrote down. That was what they'd discussed.
“On a better note,” Minsoek pulled away from the tight embrace and walked to the refrigerator. Kris instantly recognized the thin box in his husband's hands. He smiled widely and laughed. All the anger he'd had was washed away in a second.
Minseok playfully showcased the box by striking a pose or two before setting it down on the counter.
“Guess what we're having for breakfast!” he chirped and opened up the box with a happy squeal.
“Since when do you let our son eat pumpkin pie for breakfast?” Kris laughed but made his way over. Minseok instantly shook his head after stuffing a spoonful in to his mouth.
“Oh no he's eating fruit. He needs to grow up healthy. We on the other hand...” he shrugged and swallowed another spoonful, “I guess it's too late for us. Pumpkin pie it is.” he smiled. Kris pecked the yummy tasting lips and grabbed a fork for himself.
“Pumpkin pie it is.” he repeated with a grin.