Chapter: 32 PART 2
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: thirty two and I like...a...shoe. whatever.
With Yixing and Wu Fan there to pick up the financial weight and the fishing skill, in no time Wu Fan was able to buy a proper house, one with two bedrooms and a large kitchen area that doubled as a living room. It was right on the beach like he'd promised me, open and relaxing. Every morning we woke up to the sun rising, the ocean at our doorstep. When we moved in I was greeted with a full bouquet of plumerias, tied with a navy ribbon.
“Welcome home,” he grinned and picked me up, “welcome home my flower.”
And that wasn't the end of it. He bought us a boat to travel around the Thailand market in, and a small black pony just for Rui. I gaped at my husband in shock. What the hell was our son going to do with a freaking horse?
Wu Fan shrugged, “I had one when I was a kid. I learned responsibility and he obviously came in handy later.” he reminded me. I frowned with doubt as my son went screaming down the beach to hug his new pet.
I forced to accept the animal. Yes, it was cute and all, but I was not going to take care of it. But in the end Rui freaked out and was so overjoyed I couldn't take the pony away.
We moved in right next to an elderly couple. They were very nice and loved having me and Rui Jing over to cook them meals and talk with them about little things. It didn't take long for Rui to adore them and call them his grandparents, “My Grandmother and My Grandfather!” he'd greet with a curt bow. His Grandmother liked teaching Rui how to cook Thai food that I was ignorant of, and I took a few lessons myself. His Grandfather enjoyed teaching Rui how to actually take care of his pony which I found to be a godsend.
After another month, Yixing saved up enough to buy a house a few minutes down from ours. He gloated that he and Jongdae's house had a second floor, with a dock leading down to the ocean. I saw the twinkle of competitiveness in Wu Fan's eye and I assured him that I absolutely loved our home and I didn't want another one. We were settled, that was it.
Our days started to become scheduled, just like back in Hawaii. The boys still got up early to go out for the morning catch, taking Rui with them and dropping him off for school. I was left at home to clean both our house and Yixing's. Along with any other houses that people were willing to pay me for. The only difference was that the boys stayed out all day, and didn't return later in the evening. It didn't take long for Wu Fan and Yixing to join in with the song of the land, learning the language and getting accustomed to the work load.
It was after Rui's 8th birthday that we received the first letter from Luhan.
I remember staring at the brown paper like it was foreign. Wu Fan stared at it with me, equal confusion on his face. We opened it slowly and peeled it open. There was one long letter in it addressed to all of us. I remember Wu Fan snatching the paper from my hands and jaw falling open as his eyes scanned the paper back and forth. We hadn't been sure to think him alive or dead. But the letter had saved us.
So that was when we started waiting for Luhan's letters. We never got to return any. Yet it seemed like Luhan knew what we wanted to say back. He sent frequent letters, usually one for each of us, sometimes only one and always many for Rui. It was a way for my son to get to know his absent Uncle/Hero and look forward to the day they hopefully met.
~ ~ ~
“What does that mean Appa?” my son held up the brown parchment to me one day and I quickly read where his finger was pointed. It was another letter from his Luhan. I figured it was probably a big word that Rui Jing didn't understand yet. But my heart leaped as I kept reading.
...I know you may not understand this, but I love you very much little gem. You know I gave you that nickname? I just want you to know that I don't regret ever trying to save you. You were my second chance, my second Rui. I had my own little gem once, one of my own. But I lost her. I found you, and I'm so happy we found you..
My jaw tensed and for the first time since we'd been separated I wanted to smack Luhan. We had not informed Rui just yet about his...well his adoption really. I fearfully looked down at my curious son's stare. He licked his lips and blinked his dark eyes at me. A very small spark of hope told me he was asking what Luhan meant by a second Rui. Because then I could explain that Luhan once had a sister named Rui as well, but she passed away. And we named him after her.
But no. Of course not. My child was far too smart for that. My heart fell when the words left his mouth,
“What does Uncle Luhan mean by 'we found you'?”
That was a hard time. I almost burst in to tears and thought about lying to my baby. Was he supposed to know this already? How would this effect him? I never wanted to hurt my son and yet I felt if I told him this, and he fully understood it, he would be heartbroken.
I told him to wait until his Dad returned from work. And when Wu Fan did I hugged him tightly and asked him what we should do.
Wu Fan said to tell him the truth.
I didn't want to tell him. I never thought about the time that I'd ever have to tell Rui he was not biologically mine. I always just wanted to love him and keep him safe.
It was hard...extremely hard. As in I hate to remember that time. But we both sat Rui down and told him. We told him how there was an old house that used to be by a river, and how one day I'd heard a baby crying down by the bank. How we'd saved him in his basket before he fell in to the water. And how ever since that day we'd kept him and loved him. We still loved him, no matter what.
If leaving Wu Fan was hard, this was ten times worse. It felt like someone was trying to suffocate me. My baby's eyes studied me carefully, he kept quiet. Not that it was unusual for him to do that. But I could see the deep thinking he was doing. And I saw him pout and his gaze go dark.
And he waited until Wu Fan had gone to talk to Yixing about the situation. He waited then till we were alone to ask me all the question. Like he always did.
I have a mama? Where is she? How come you kept me? Is my birthday my real birthday? What would have happened if I'd fallen in to the river? Can I see my mama?
No you can't see her Rui Jing I don't know where she is. You wouldn't be with us if you'd fallen. I'm not sure if it's your real birthday, it probably is not. We kept you because we loved you immediately. I don't know where she is Rui Jing. Yes you do have a mama...but you do not. You have an Appa and a Dad.
Why was I at the river? Did she forget me? Why did she leave me at the river?
My mouth went dry. What was I to say? Was I to tell him that she had to give him up?
Would he feel like trash? Would he hear my answer as 'you were thrown away'? He was my greatest blessing, the greatest gift from heaven. Had it been selfish of me to keep him? Selfish of me to raise him as my own? I loved him.
I loved him from the first time I'd held him in my arms, the way he'd stared at me. Just the way he was, there, alive in my arms. I loved him. Was it too selfish of me to ask Wu Fan to keep him as our son?
“She...she couldn't keep you. She loved you, I'm sure she did. But she couldn't keep you. And I found you. I love you little gem.”
I wasn't surprised that he cried. That when he understood what I'd said that he cried and fell in to arms and sobbed. My heart definitely started to tear. If only I could take his pain, if only I could erase this pain and absorb it for myself. All I could do was press him against my chest and cradle him.
He cried out the word, 'Mama'. It hurt.
It reminded me of the time in Ani's kitchen, after he'd been so scared and screamed for me. When I'd finally been able to hold him, how he'd sobbed in to me, calling me Mama. But in that moment I wasn't sure who he was calling for; me or his birth mother.
“Are you still my Appa?” he sniffled. I kissed his cheeks a million times and answered that of course I was. He was my little gem and I was his Appa, forever.
I wiped away stray tears that fell from his black eyes. He stared at me again, long and hard.
“I like that you found me.” he whispered, “I love you most Appa.”
I held him until he fell asleep. It seemed that whenever something drastic happened, Rui Jing fell asleep. I think its a way to protect himself. Instead of dealing with the danger around him, he lulls himself in to a deep sleep.
Wu Fan came back later, his eyes red. Probably from crying and being comforted by his brother's. We embraced each other. Wu Fan asked me if I was alright. I just didn't want my little gem to hurt. That's all I was worried about. My husband kissed my tears away and held me until we went to bed, Rui Jing tucked in between us.
Rui Jing was especially quiet the next morning. More than what was ordinary. He went in to deep thought; much too deep I though for an eight year old. Wu Fan kissed the top of his head and asked if he wanted to walk that morning with me to school, instead of going on the boat. He nodded but didn't speak. He didn't really eat his breakfast. He didn't really hold my hand as I walked him to school.
Before he went in to the school building I hugged him tightly and kissed his chubby cheeks that I adored. “Little gem, are you okay?” I asked with hope that he would just smile at me.
He sighed and looked at me with an adorable pout, “I don't know.”
I bit my lip and tried to make him happy, smile, any sign of positivity, “What if I make you kimbap? And those frosted coconut balls you love? And I'll take you over to see your Grandfather so you can ride your horse hm? How about that?” I offered the first things that came to my mind. I just wanted my baby to smile, to be happy. I felt terrible that he was in pain.
But I would never regret keeping him as my own. Loving him and doing my best to take care of him. He was my everything, my little gem.
I saw the smallest smile forming and I kissed his forehead, “And fried egg?” I added in. My thumb caressed his cheek and I waited with a thrumming heart.
“Can we go to Uncle Lay's to play near the beach?” he asked with an actual smile and I could have cried. I hugged him tightly again and agreed. If it meant he would be happy then of course. I wanted him to leave this pain behind, and I'd spoil him to make sure of it. And he did.
He had fun playing with his two Uncles, who tossed him back and forth. He had fun being chased around by his Dad, he enjoyed the kimbap I made him and the fried egg.
“So now you know about the river?” Jongdae asked as we were all resting in their house. I felt panic rush over me. I was surprised to see Rui nod with indifference as he stuffed his cheeks with the frosted coconut balls I'd made him. I threw Jongdae a meaningful glare.
“But you like living with us right?” his uncle ignored my look and continued on. He popped a sugar sweet in to his own mouth. Rui nodded again and scooted closer to me to rest his head.
“So you're not mad at Appa or Dad? At me or Uncle Lay? Are you sad still?” Jongdae asked quickly. I felt Wu Fan scoffing with annoyance.
But my baby licked his sugary lips and shook his head, “I was sad yesterday. Not today.” me and Wu Fan shared surprised looks.
“Why's that?” Jongdae asked with his signature wicked grin.
“Because Appa made me yummy food.” Rui answered honestly. My jaw fell open. Well the food had worked at least...
“Will you be sad tomorrow?” his uncle wiggled his eyebrows. Again my baby shook his head.
“No. Because I will be with Dad and Appa.” I felt his arm link around mine. Wu Fan kissed my ear and reached over to wipe away tears I hadn't even noticed. I quickly cleared the rest and pulled my son in to my lap to hug him and kiss his cheeks.
“I love you little gem.”
“Love you Appa”
I wasn't so mad at Luhan anymore.
Minseok sighed happily and shut the journal quietly. He leaned back in the chair, relaxing in the afternoon sun. He ran his hands through his hair and wondered if maybe he needed a haircut soon from Yixing. But he didn't want to bother the man while he and Jongdae were still getting Jia settled.
“Knock knock!” a familiar voice called and Minseok heard footsteps coming inside. Well speak of the devil. Minseok got up, tossing the journal in to the master bedroom, and went to greet Jongdae.
In his friend's arms was little Jia, all rosy cheeked and wide eyed. She was calm and not so afraid of Minseok as he smiled and reached out to hold her. She complied and let her father pass her over.
“Hello beautiful!” Minseok cooed and kissed her cheek. She had half her fist in her mouth, drool pooling around the edge of her pink lips. Jongdae clucked his tongue and used the bottom of his shirt to wipe away the excess saliva on her chin.
“It doesn't even taste good angel! Why do you do that?” Jongdae pouted. Minseok laughed. He felt his son hugging his side and looked down to press a quick kiss to his son's cheek.
“Home again?” Minseok smirked as Jongdae frowned.
“Yeah. My prejudice lover said 'Stay home and take care of our child.' Asked if I'd do his laundry. What am I a housewife?” he complained while walking further in to Minseok's home. Jongdae didn't hesitate to open the fridge and grab the covered pumpkin pie. While he started opening it and slicing out some pieces, Minseok sat at the kitchen table with Jia in his lap and Rui seated next to him.
“As I recall,” he started to remind Jongdae of the time that Minseok was treated as the stay at home wife, the mother of Rui, and over all a woman in general.
“I know! And I sincerely apologize for that time, I was ignorant. Thank god he's not teaching her to call me Mama!” Jongdae laughed and plated the sliced pieces, bring them over to the children and Minseok.
“Rui use a napkin.” Minseok reminded his son. Rui nodded and reached for the pile of napkins and set them in the middle of them all. They all started to eat their small snack. Jongdae took Jia and fed her small pieces of the pumpkin filling. If he forgot to give her more she would wine and reach for it.
“Were you writing?” Jongdae asked while wiping his daughter's face. Minseok hummed as an answer. Jongdae fed Jia some more and glanced at Minseok, “About?”
“When they returned, when the letters started. When things became good again.” Minseok shrugged and then scowled when he saw that Rui was indeed not using his napkin. Instead opting for the back of his hand and wiping it on his shirt. Jongdae noticed Minseok's glare.
“Yah Rui! If you don't use your napkin you can't marry Jia!” he threatened. Minseok rolled his eyes at the ridiculous scolding. But nevertheless Rui's eyes went wide and he wiped away any excess food from his face with the napkin.
“Don't make promises you can't keep.” Minseok laughed at his friend. Jongdae just shrugged and went back to doting on his baby.
“Got another letter today...” he mentioned causally. He got a shocked face from the man across the table.
“Another one already?” Jongdae looked confused and curious.
“I know.” Minseok popped his lips while he bit a piece of pie. They stayed quiet for a moment as they thought about what that meant. Usually Luhan sent letters with space in between. A few weeks, once a month. Sometimes they waited for more than three months before one came again. But lately, they'd been getting one a week. It was different. It made them confused yet excited. What did this mean?
“Rui, go play with Jia on the porch. Teach her how to count or something.” Jongdae told the young boy. Rui nodded and walked over to take the baby out of Jongdae's lap and carry her outside.
The two parents watched Rui go, and waited until they could clearly see the pair sitting on the porch and Rui starting to hold up numbers with his fingers. It was cute, Rui's concentrated face as he said “Four Jia okay? Four.” and held up four fingers, and Jia's blank stare of curiosity as to what this boy was doing.
“Have you opened it yet?” Jongdae asked after they were sure their children were fine. Minseok shook his head. Of course not. He wanted to wait until Wu Fan was home. Jongdae understood this and clicked his tongue. “Let's open it now.” he rushed.
“We should wait Dae! What if its something important? Wu Fan and Yix will want to know.” Minseok reminded his friend. Jongdae shook his head and waved his hand around in denial.
“Oh they'll be fine! Come on Minseok isn't it killing you? Please please?” Jongdae tried to be super cute. It was a look that always worked on his husband. How could Minseok resist it?
“No.” Minseok denied again. Jongdae hissed like a cat and sat back in his chair. He drummed his fingers on the table before an invisible light bulb sent him leaning forward again and grinning wickedly.
“What if he's coming back to us? What if he's coming here?” he breathed with excitement. Minseok had to calm himself from getting over stimulated. For all he knew Luhan was just sending more letters because he was close by. That did not mean Luhan was going to come to them exactly. The letter could just be the normal letter. There could be nothing special about it at all.
But what if indeed! Anywho I just want to take a second to thank everyone whose been reading this fic. Honeslty it started out as a small idea,
something I thought would be a small chaptered thing. and then it grew in to this. I just want to thank all of the subscribers, and also all the silent readers.
Thank you to those who comment, those that have been commenting since the beginning, and those that never will. Thank you all for the support and for willingly reading this stuff cuz you make me happy ^^ Thank you so much, I hope you've enjoyed this, I hope I made some part of your day special.
This story is almost at its end, and I just want to say: merp. Thank you for reading and commenting :D