Atlantis was home to many people, creatures of all kinds. Full of all walks of life, each usually keeping to themselves, finding ways to get by day to day. There were many problems with living in such an industrial city. Chunji didn't mind however, he liked Atlantis, there were a lot of people each with a different story to tell. He did, however, not get much time to explore - he was a Dragon King, set to guard the sea, stationed in Atlantis. He was guarded at all times - including when he was just in the crystal palace. Chunji didn't even know why he was going for a walk through Atlantis, it wasn't like he was going to see anything he hadn't ever seen before, and really he was just walking to get his mind of L.Joe.
L.Joe was a merman. The mermen didn't live in Atlantis, they had a colony in the surrounding area and they were not immortal like Chunji and because of it they'd ended up breaking up. Well it was more than just a break up, it was everything. Chunji had been thinking of giving up his immortality for L.Joe, to be with him for the rest of their natural lives and just be normal, just in love. But L.Joe had too much of an issue with the whole immortal thing - well that and the fact that Chunji was pretty prolific in terms of the amount of lovers he'd taken over the years.
Chunji walked back to his palace and entered before lying on his bed and closing his eyes. He wondered if there was a way to change the time and be something other than trapped here. He wanted to leave, he didn't want to be reminded of L.Joe all the time. "Chunji, are you really going to be moping here forever?" It was Minsoo, his advisor. Minsoo had been with Chunji for as long as he could remember, and he was the only person who knew (almost) every detail about Chunji. He helped Chunji with affairs of the dragon kings as well as affairs of the heart. He was almost like a father to Chunji (and he was also immortal, although not a dragon king) "You weren't even that sad when Wooshin and you broke up"
"I can mope forever - I'm immortal." Chunji answered back before giving Minsoo a little shrug. "Wooshin was great and everything but he wasn't L.Joe." Wooshin had been a kind of human that lived in Atlantis over a hundred years ago, he was smart - and beautiful - he captivated Chunji and they'd lie for hours just talking about nothing. Chunji had let Wooshin go and live his life. He didn't want to hold his partners back, not when it came to the fact that they had an ephemeral number of years while his were infinite.
Wooshin had gone on to live a long life and had been happy, Chunji had kept in good contact with him and he had enjoyed his time with him even just as friends. Wooshin had left a big hole in his heart, but he'd accepted it and moved on with his life, he knew he couldn't just keep Wooshin tied down.
When they had been together, he'd heard Wooshin go on and on about how he wanted to grow old with someone and just grow up happy together in a home full of love, surrounded by grandchildren and children - and while this life was so beautiful, it was not one that Chunji could really be apart of and he had no choice but to let Wooshin find the person who could fulfill his dreams instead of clipping his wings so he couldn't fly.
Which is why it was so hard for Chunji to admit just how much he was in love with L.Joe, He didn't want the other to grow old without him but he was going to. Chunji knew there was no point trying to get L.Joe to come back because of the way it had all ended. Well, they'd both cried and parted and since then not seen each other, but L.Joe had told Chunji that it was over, that trying to find a way to make him mortal was putting a strain on them. L.Joe hadn't wanted Chunji to give up his long life - but Chunji would have died a thousand times if it meant he could be with L.Joe - not that he was ever going to say that. "Plus not long after Wooshin, I met ZN." ZN was actually called Jinye but she went by the name ZN, Chunji had always thought that she was part Grindilow, as there was a known colony of them nearby and ZN possessed some of the same qualities as they were known for having. Chunji obviously never said that to her face but it didn't stop him thinking it.
"I liked her." Minsoo said with a small smile, "She always tried to sneak out in the mornings, like we didn't know what you two were up to." He teased a little as Chunji whined. "But really, she was a lovely girl." Minsoo paused a little, "Her baby, that wasn't yours right?"
"No Minsoo, you know I can't have children, and it was someone else's." Chunji shrugged a little, "Plus she got pregnant after we broke up."
"I know but you two did still spend a lot of time together." Minsoo said with a small shrug.
"She was really great." Chunji beamed and then looked at Minsoo, she had always been unique, and Chunji had really loved that about her - she came up with brilliant but still insane ideas and she was great fun. Chunji couldn't even think of one time he'd spent with her where they hadn't laughed until their sides hurt, or kissed until they couldn't breathe (well that part was only when they had been together) "You know I love talking about the past, about the people I've seen and talking about how their lives ended up. I do feel sad that my immortality gets in the way of things like me and L.Joe but at the same time I am very lucky to have met the people that I have in my life." Chunji smiled, being immortal had perks, always learning and being able to see amazing things, lifechanging things, getting to experience everything that life had to offer, although at the same time it also meant witnessing horrors that Chunji was glad that most people he met - and would meet in the future - had not seen. "Oh do you remember in the civil war here in Atlantis." It had been the worst war that Atlantis had ever seen.
Although, that being said, due to it's location Atlantis wasn't very often attacked. The civil war had been a good four hundred years ago but the city still had reminders all over of the hideous war that had destroyed a lot of the southern part of Atlantis, which was still being rebuilt. Chunji had fought in that war, alongside a beautiful soldier named Jaehyung - or just Jae. He was the rank above Chunji, he was gorgeous. He was everything that Chunji had thought he wanted in a man (pre-L.Joe) but he was killed in the war, so they didn't ever get to play out this whole mortality thing. Not that Chunji had even told Jae that he was immortal, they'd just been in that stage of really intense love, where all they could think about was kissing, touching, being together at anytime they were stationed on the front line and fighting. Chunji was pretty sure that it would never have worked out once the lust had worn off - but he could never be sure about that as they never got the chance to even try.
"Jaehyung?" Minsoo said with a knowing smile, "I know he was your first relationship with a man, and you were so unsure of everything, it was like when you were really young again and you needed to ask me for help." Chunji blushed a little, he had pretty much begged Minsoo to help him with this whole being with a man thing, he didn't know how to be with a man and at that time Minsoo had had a boyfriend. "You were so clueless." He said with a little laugh. "I remember that time you tried to cook for him."
"Hey, I'd never cooked before." Chunji protested - although that was no excuse for just how bad it had gone. He hadn't even been trying to cook anything complex. But he had somehow managed to cremate everything. And had served the food so charred that Jae didn't even know what it was that he was eating.
"I don't think you could even count that as you cooking." Minsoo said with a laugh. "Jaehyung was really good about it though and he did try to eat what you'd cooked." Minsoo said with a small laugh. Chunji nodded, Jae had really tried to eat the food - even though it was inedible and had even tried to compliment Chunji on the food. He was just trying to get lucky (and it worked).
"I'm a lot better than I was then. I cooked for L.Joe and he loved it." He really had got better, although <i>many</ui> years had passed between the two times he had cooked to impress boyfriends, so he would have been pretty ashamed if his cooking hadn't gotten even a little bit better.
"Or did he just say he loved it?" Minsoo teased a little. Chunji knew that his advisor was just joking about that, he'd learnt to cook - ironically from one of his previous partners and he'd tried really hard to impress L.Joe with his cooking, because he always felt like due to the whole immortal thing he had needed to be really impressive in order to get someone to want to be with him. It had worked, L.Joe had been really impressed - and honestly Chunji thought that was the night that L.Joe had fallen in love with him. He wasn't ashamed to admit that he might have got the man through appealing to his stomach.
"It was Yein that taught me how to cook." Chunji said with a soft smile, Yein had always been quiet, she was a very nice girl, from a very respectable family in Atlantis, she was as close to royalty as you could get without being the actual royal family. She carried herself like a lady and she was always prim and proper - as well as being dressed perfectly for all situations you could ever imagine a lady of her status could be put into.
Sometimes Chunji had wondered why she had been with him - he might have been the dragon king of this area of the sea but they were always seen as different to the people of Atlantis, as if their lives didn't mix. It wasn't really respectable for one of the upper class to have an interest in a man like him. He knew that she had probably just been with him to get back at her parents. He didn't care, a relationship that both of them knew was going to end was a lot easier than trying to get someone to date him knowing that it would end eventually.
Yein had been a really good influence on him when she was in his life, she'd shown him how to cook some amazing foods and showed him how beautiful Atlantis really was. As well as showing him the kindness that was kept in the hearts of the population. She had taught him to stop and smell the roses (it wasn't like he didn't have all the time in the world to do it anyway), he learnt to appreciate the small things and Chunji felt like thinking like that had really helped him in his life. Chunji loved talking about her, she was a good part of his past, a part that he would never regret. He would never regret any of his lovers, or any of the people he had just met in his long life.
They had all taught him important lessons, Jae taught Chunji that he should fight and die for what he believed in and that there is no cause more noble than one about protecting your kinsmen. From Wooshin he learnt that loving someone truly meant being able to let them go when you knew you were not the person for them. Wooshin had also taught him some pretty amazing things he could do in bed, but he wasn't going to be telling anyone about that. From Yein he learnt not only to cook, but also how to open his heart and see all the goodness in the world - she also taught him how to find something beautiful even in the incredible sadness that he sometimes felt consumed by. And from ZN he learnt that being different was a good thing, and that he loved her ability to make her difference a positive.
But L.Joe, Chunji wasn't sure if it was positive thing. L.Joe had completely broken his heart. He wanted to be with the boy, he wanted to go out and find him right now. But he knew he couldn't, he knew it wasn't what L.Joe wanted and that he had to respect L.Joe's choice for them not to be together anymore. "You know, you should tell L.Joe about all your past lives." Minsoo said quietly, "Maybe telling him that you'll give it up for him might help."
"I doubt that, he told me he didn't want me to become mortal, and he doesn't want to be immortal, so what can I do?"
"You could be with him still."
"And watch him grow old and die?" Chunji said before shaking his head, "I can't do that, I can't let anything happen to him. Maybe it would better like this. I'll get over it."
"Chunji... you know, he could change his mind about immortality." Minsoo said with a small shrug.
"No, you don't know him like I do. He's stubborn. He wants to just be a normal guy, who lives and dies. He doesn't want to be forced into living forever. We might not even last and then he's stuck watching all of his family and friends die around him while he, himself can't. I more than anyone knows how much that sucks." Chunji shook his head and Minsoo moved to give him a hug.
"All I have is talking of the past to keep everything alive, and I love the past even talking about my heartbreaks because every memory is a purpose." Chunji sighed a little, "but L.Joe he doesn't want to just have the past, he wants to have the present and leave his mark behind."
"And you're ok with this?" Minsoo said raising his brow a little.
"I don't have much choice." Chunji said with a sad shrug, "I love him so much. I just want what is best for him and that isn't me. I am not the kind of thing he needs. He needs someone just like him, probably another mermaid, they'll probably be amazing together and have babies, and I'll just be here with no kids still flitting from one person to the other trying not to get attached because everyone dies."
Minsoo just shook his head, "You know there is no need to be so morbid about this all, you're going to find someone to be with. Someone who is immortal, or makes you want to be mortal the way L.Joe did and you'll be together forever, or until you both die." He said with a shrug, "You know you're going to find someone in the end. You're a great guy Chunji and you just aren't the right guy for L.Joe."
"I wish I was." He mumbled.
"I know." Minsoo said, stroking Chunji's hair, "but it's just something we have to get over, sometimes we aren't what the person we love the most needs."
"I just miss him." Chunji sighed, resting his head against Minsoo's chest, he closed his eyes and just held onto his advisor. He didn't want to think any more about L.Joe it still hurt, it wasn't yet the shade of past that he wanted to talk about - or even think about. He just wanted to sleep until he didn't hurt as much. He wanted to be able to face the world again and not be reminded of L.Joe at every possible turn. He wanted to be able to see mermen and not wonder if he was with them - or if they knew him. But he knew it was going to take time to get over L.Joe - and he was willing to wait.
Chunji was wrong when he had thought that L.Joe hadn't taught him anything. L.Joe had taught him that it was ok to love someone so much but it not work out, that it was ok to be heartbroken over someone but not chase after them to try to get them back. L.Joe had taught Chunji to show sides of himself that he kept hidden from the world and to laugh when he wanted. L.Joe had taught Chunji to keep going even when it seemed like there was no hope, to live for the person that makes him smile even if he knows that it isn't going to last forever. L.Joe had taught him to be ok with hurting about someone who knew was better off without you and to be fine with not remaining friends with someone to avoid the residual feelings. L.Joe had taught him that it was ok to fall in love with someone quickly because it just felt right.
But most of all L.Joe had taught Chunji what it felt like when someone loved you so much that they didn't want you to get hurt by the inevitable.