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melody of you

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This does not start with a once upon a time…

Legends and myths of creatures unknown to man remained legends and myths.

Sangosho was the rumored disappearing island appearing only every full moon at the eastern sea of Okinawa, Japan.

It was one of those usual quiet nights after a strong storm, the moon and the stars shone brightly amidst the shadow of darkness; warm breeze brushing the shores as bioluminescence washed up on the white sand shore, adding a glamorous effect, to the already magical-like island.

Donghae just turned twenty two that day. He was out celebrating with his brother and friends on a rented yacht when a sudden storm appeared out of nowhere. The next thing he knew, he was lying on a mysterious island and was surrounded by what he assumed were the island’s tribe.

It took a while for Donghae to get used around while waiting for his rescue as what he was told. The island was in the middle of nowhere and how he landed on it was beyond his imagination. Hence, he didn’t want to further think deeply about it.

The sound of the waves crashing on nearby rocks calm Donghae’s mind as he quietly hummed a music he was composing for a few days now as he walked barefooted along the blue-lit shore.

His footsteps slowed down as he unmistakably heard a rather excited and chirpy voice of a young man singing gently to a foreign song with an odd language his mind trying to process from where. Then it was followed by the crisp noise made by a Dolphin cry wanting to sing along as well.

Donghae’s body moved on his own as he run towards the big rock not far from where he stood to meet the owner of the sweet voice only to surprisingly caught a glimpse of a rather big fish tail that was shimmering against the back ground of the full moon; it’s silvery and sapphire blue color glimmering beautifully as it disappeared under the ocean, leaving ripples and a dolphin swimming in circles, as if distracting his attention from whatever kind of fish he just saw.

The next three nights, he experienced the same thing over and over and not once he ever saw the owner of the sweet voice that caught his attention. Not until the fourth night, when he heard a giggling fit coming from the same young man, idly swimming by the rock, playing with the dolphin.

And as he drew closer to look at him clearly, the same excited and chirpy voice called his name dearly.

 

“Donghae~!”

 

Donghae’s eyes twitched as he gradually opened it, welcomed by the darkness of his room.

“Rise and shine… garumpy..old man!”

Donghae’s eyes felt the sting of the sudden light forcefully brightening his room as Hyukjae pulled open the curtains, much to his annoyance.

Hyukjae turned around and grinned at him widely as he hurriedly kneeled on the bed at the empty space beside Donghae, vibrating in an obvious excitement.

Donghae turned his back against him as he reached out for his alarm clock on his side table, “How are you up earlier than me?” He groaned when he saw it was still 6:00 am.

“You said...Hyukjae go Kaiyukan today!” Hyukjae, with his broken nihongo, excitedly explained to Donghae.

“We will leave at 9:30 am, go back to sleep.” Donghae groggily retorted, covering his head with a pillow.

Hyukjae pouted, crest-fallen with Donghae’s usual cold attitude, “You promised Hyukjae. If Hyukjae did good…Hyukjae go see aquarium.”

Hyukjae’s pout got deeper and deeper. Donghae didn’t budge and pretended he fall back asleep.

Hyukjae sighed heavily and leave the bed, dragging himself and his annoying legs outside of the bedroom. He was just excited to see what an aquarium was like so he woke up earlier than usual.

Donghae only experienced another fifteen minutes of silence when his phone started vibrating, receiving an incoming call from Jongjin.

He groaned heavily as he grudgingly picked up the call, expecting what it was all about.

“Good morning Donghae-hyung. Are you up? Don’t tell me you’re backing out of your promise from Hyukjae-hyung?” Jongjin slightly nagged.

“Jongjin please, it’s still 6 in the morning.” Donghae groaned grumpily.

Jongjin, much to Donghae’s annoyance, chuckled in response, “Sorry Hyung, he called me up just now, complaining that you’re breaking your promise because you’re ignoring him.”

“I was not ignoring him” Donghae defensively replied, “And I was up until 4am, finalizing the guide he recorded for Yesung-hyung.”

Donghae could hear Jongjin stifling his laughter, “This is not funny Kim Jongjin. I was up all night.”

“Okay, okay, don’t be grouchy on me. It’s your fault giving promises to him on such inconvenient times for you knowing full well how busy you were over the past few weeks.”

Donghae closed his eyes as he exhaled deeply.

“Hyukjae just can’t stop talking about the aquarium, the least you can do, for your future solo artist, is to please him and get yourself to his good side.” The younger sincerely advised.

“I’m his future music producer, not babysitter.” Donghae grouched.

“Ah! That’s out of my hand Hyung, Jinoo-hyung was the one who suggested to have Hyukjae-hyung live with you.”

Donghae blinked as he stared up at his ceiling.

“Hyung?”

“Can’t a man get a decent sleep for once?” Donghae complained.

Jongjin heartily laughed over the phone.

 

Donghae eventually dragged himself out of bed and went directly to his kitchen. He passed by the living room and saw Hyukjae squatted on the floor staring at the National Geographic channel playing on the TV in amazement.

His eyebrow twitched in annoyance when he remembered Jongjin nagging earlier and just continuously walked towards the kitchen, ignoring Hyukjae completely.

He was groggily staring at the refrigerator while drinking a glass of water as scanned his eyes inside for a quick breakfast to prepare for the both of them when he felt the same vibrancy of excitement radiating behind him.

Donghae sighed tiredly, “Hyukjae—‘’

“Hyukjae here!”

Donghae turned around and was ready to give the other a scolding for talking to Jongjin a lot when he spat the water from his mouth, noticing by then Hyukjae’s outfit, “What—” He heavily coughed, “—what are you wearing and where the hell did you get that?”

Hyukjae frowned in disapproval at Donghae’s rude behavior of spitting water but he looked at his outfit and then to Donghae smiling gummily, “Online shopping! It’s pwetty!” He carefully creased down the black and white maid costume outfit, showing it off to Donghae.

Donghae was speechless, his mouth agape, staring wide eyed at Hyukjae and the ridiculous outfit.

Hyukjae waited for Donghae to say anything, his lips slowly protruded into a pout at the other’s lack of response, “Not pwetty?” He asked in a small voice, dejected.

Donghae shook his head, “You…you used my emergency card, to buy this…this…” He couldn’t even find the right words to say back without hurting the other’s feelings by how ridiculous the costume was, “Tell me, why did you buy it?” He asked instead.

“Donghae said I, housekeeper. Hyukjae don’t understand housekeeper, I look internet.” Hyukjae explained seriously with his hand gesturing to himself, “Housekeeper, guards’ home. Hyukjae, good guard but your housekeeper wore this.” He creased the pleats of the knee length skirt carefully, “Hyukjae buy. Hyukjae is guard. Japanese house guard wore this.”

Donghae’s mouth goes wider and wider to every word Hyukjae was spilling out of his mouth.

This is ridiculous, he thought.

Donghae knew that the next words he will say would not be nice so he looked up at his ceiling once more trying to grasp his still idling sanity so he won’t ruin their morning with petty fights.

Hyukjae tilted his head, staring at Donghae in confusion, and looked up to where the latter was staring, “Is wrong up there?”

Donghae shook his head once more upon hearing Hyukjae’s soft and curious voice, “Just—” He sighed heavily, “Don’t wear that if you go outside. Understood?”

Hyukjae frowned in an obvious displeasure, “Hyukjae not stupid. This is house guard uniform. Not picnic clothes.”

Donghae was taken aback by Hyukjae’s response, “That’s not what I meant Hyukjae.”

Hyukjae rolled his eyes and turn his back from Donghae, trotting back to the living room in defiance.

“Hey! Did you just roll your eyes at me?”

“No! Hyukjae is nice! Not Donghae!” Hyukjae huffed.

Donghae choked on his water once more.

 

**

 

During the whole car ride, Hyukjae’s eyes twinkled with every building they passed by, his face pressed against the car window like a child.

Donghae couldn’t help to quirk a smile for a bit with the other’s overly touristy behavior.

“You look at buildings like you haven’t seen one of them your whole life.” Donghae commented.

Hyukjae pulled his face, and leaned back against his seat, “Our building not like this, but bigger and brighter!” He started again.

Donghae noticed that every time Hyukjae started talking about his home, he became excited yet melancholic at the same time. Then followed by a soft humming with what the latter called was an ode to his home.

It has been three months since he accidentally first met Hyukjae at the park just across his residence building. It was late at night and he was walking back home coming from the convenience store when he heard him singing.

The voice was so soft yet crystal clear, drawing his weariness out making him feel relax. His footsteps have pulled him to the deserted park, and as he looked around, he spotted the young man playing on the swing with stray dogs and stray cats listening to him.

That night was a full moon and the brightness of it reflected as a spot light as the mysterious young man sang with all his heart; if the animals were at awe, so was he. The sudden nostalgia coming out of him from nowhere bewildered him as he continuously listened on; it’s as if a déjà vu; a warm night breeze brushing against his body; soft crushing of waves by the shore.

He took a step forward and it was then Hyukjae stopped singing and noticed someone was there, and as he looked to who it was, the flashing gummy smile the other gave him made an unmistakable leapt to his heart; a strange familiarity.

“Hyukjae?” Donghae suddenly interrupted; the gripped on his steering wheel hardened.

“Hmm?”

“I know it’s none of my business, and I did say I’m not going to pry over your personal matters but I’m just wondering, does your family know, where you are right now?” Donghae carefully asked in a hush.

Hyukjae tilted his head in confusion.

“Your family, aren’t they looking for you?”

“Oh.” Hyukjae protruded his lips, thinking, “Big Brother knew, father not but know I’m out. Don’t worry.” He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly.

“Hyukjae, will this be okay? I told you I want you to become a singer.”

“Okay, if Donghae want.” Hyukjae smiled softly at him.

Donghae shook his head, his melancholic eyes stared at the traffic before him, “I do want it. But how about you? What do you want?”

“Now, Hyukjae do whatever he wants.” Hyukjae replied quietly, “Hyukjae stay long he wants. Big brother knew, father don’t care.”

“Hyukjae—”

“Hyukjae go home soon too. But now will do Donghae wants, okay?” Hyukjae looked at him with that soft stare and smiled widely with his gums showing.

Donghae found a discomfort with his heart skipping a beat every time Hyukjae does that look and smile at him.

**

“Aaaahhhh!!!!” Hyukjae squealed in delight as he run from tank after tank, pressing his face against the window as he stared at the large aquarium.

Donghae face palmed with the other’s childish antics and bowed his head apologetically to every disapproving look he met along the way.

When they reached the Pacific Rim tank, the largest aquarium where mostly the large aquatic mammals resided, Hyukjae was in awe at first but as he looked from tank to tank, sadness slowly creep inside of him. He noticed that despite the large aquariums around them, it’s not as large or wide as the sea. They just go around in circles inside the tank. And it feels like…it feels like…Hyukjae felt his gills constricted inside his fake human skin.

“Hyukjae?” Donghae grabbed his shoulder when he noticed the other becoming quiet.

Hyukjae tried to put up a smile as he looked back at Donghae, “Hyukjae sad.”

The words totally startled Donghae.

“Aquarium beautiful but—” Hyukjae sighed, “—this looks like cage.”

“Oh.” Donghae didn’t expect that, “Well, some people do think like that. While others, like the people who run this aquarium thinks it is a way to protect them.”

“Protect? From what?”

“From whom,” Donghae corrected, “and it’s us, humans.”

“Oh.” Hyukjae exclaimed softly and felt even sadder and couldn’t bear looking at the aquarium anymore. He lowered his head and felt his eyes tearing up.

“Hyuk—” Donghae called halfway when he noticed a strange movement against the glass.

Knock, knock.

Two soft but firm knocks vibrated the glass before them as two dolphins looked like they were calling out to them.

“Your Highness! Your Highness! Look at me! Look at me!”

Hyukjae’s eyes widened as he quickly looked back and was startled with the voices inside his head.

The dolphins started going around in circles as Hyukjae looked at them and when he was about to speak up, the number of dolphins and other sea creatures on that tank started growing in number and were pressed again the window looking at them.

Honest to God it made Donghae’s whole body shivered in a mixture of bewilderment and fear.

“Your Highness don’t be sad! We don’t like to see you sad!”

“Your Highness do not worry, we are fine!”

“Your Highness smile!”

“Smile!”

“Smile!”

In Hyukjae’s head, these voices echoed loud and clear swelling his heart in comfort but the sadness lingers.

“Don’t you feel sad here?” Hyukjae asked through his mind, “You’re all away from real home.

“Most of us are raised here and met others who were brought here due to injury.”

“Your Highness, are you not surprised we know you?” A sting ray asked as he pressed his face on the glass earning a giggle from Hyukjae.

“There’s nothing to be afraid with you all knowing about me. I am not scared.” Hyukjae replied, showing a much better smile than earlier.

“Then our Prince should not be scared about us being here too. No need to worry.” An idling old sea horse floating right in front of Hyukjae spoke.

“Aigoo, who is that fish-face bloke behind you? Why the odd look?” The youngest dolphin asked.

“Hmm?” Hyukjae looked around and saw Donghae stood frozen on the spot, “Donghae?”

Donghae was staring in a mixture of surprise and a bit of familiarity with the scene before him. His eyes scanned around from the crowding sea creatures then to Hyukjae who was looking at him, puzzled.

His mind conjured a blurry image of a blue-haired young man by the rocks on a shore, laughing heartily, the sound of chirping dolphins echoing behind the heartfelt noise.

The same imagery called out Donghae’s name.

“Donghae!”

“Donghae? You ok?”

Donghae snapped when Hyukjae gently tapped his shoulder.

“Ah? Sorry, I was just...”

Hyukjae blinked, “Donghae…tired?”

Donghae blinked fast when the image of the blue-haired young man that he has been seeing in his dreams and the silhouette earlier suddenly resembled Hyukjae.

“Mama look!” A young boy cried as he quickly ran towards the glass window, pressing his face giddily with his nose squished onto the cold glass surface as he stared in awe at the crowding sea creatures.

The old sea horse feels a bit bothered by it, “Little humans.”

Hyukjae giggled as he crouched down to level with the young kid, “You like them?”

The young boy looked at Hyukjae with excited eyes, “They look scary but they’re beautiful!”

“Want play?” Hyukjae asked gently.

Donghae was startled with Hyukjae’s sudden mature aura with the young boy. The kid’s parents stood beside him watching their son with soft smiles at him being so energetic.

“Yes!” The young kid exclaimed excitedly but paused, his small lips protruded into a pout, “But that’s impossible, they’re inside there.” He explained pointing at the glass.

Hyukjae gestured for the kid to come closer. He leaned closely to his small ears and whispered gently.

Whatever it was, the child can be seen vibrating in excitement as he nodded in what seems to be a respond to Hyukjae’s words.

Hyukjae pulled back winking to the young kid, “Ready?”

“Ready!” The young boy suddenly raised his finger as it points to the glass.

Hyukjae smiled meaningfully, he looked back to his little friends and carefully, slightly open his mouth and soundlessly commanded them.

“Just swish, and flick, okay?” Hyukjae reminded the young boy.

“Mn.” The young boy then turned serious, his chubby finger trembling in excitement.

Donghae and the kid’s parents watched patiently as they await what was the two were going on about.

The young boy exhaled deeply and with determined look, he started swaying his finger in random waves and much to the surprise of the people behind them, the sea creatures started moving. More like, the sea creatures, along with the kid’s finger, were synchronizing to its movements, making them look like they were following his every command, and are dancing in rhythmic motions.

Little by little, a crowd noticed what was happening and they started watching in awe at the magical and majestic thing that was happening before them.

The young boy was blushing in a mixture of simple joy and wonder to what he was able to do that he looked with a wide smile to Hyukjae and then he quickly looked back to his parents exclaiming loudly, “Mama! Papa! Look! Look! I made them dance!”

His parents were left speechless not understanding the whole situation but felt overwhelming joy at the mysterious moment seeing their son very happily playing.

More children crowded around them giggling and laughing following the young boy’s movements and the sea creatures became even more diligent than ever to show off.

“I’m too old for this.” The older sting ray mumbled but made a beautiful twirl as it swam majestically in circles near the glass.

Hyukjae couldn’t help the giggle escaped as he heard the sting ray’s words, “Sorry.” He apologized in his mind.

“You dare made the young Prince apologize you old stingy ray!” The old sea horse from earlier argued while he was hopping around in sync with the other sea horses. “It’s not every day we’ll be grace by the presence of one of the Royal Bloods of the East Sea. You should be grateful!”

“You work so hard for someone so old too.” The sting ray retorted.

Hyukjae couldn’t help to burst out in a hearty laughter.

The mumbling quietness of the aquarium suddenly became a mumbling noise of kids and adults clapping along and going along with the children playing with the aquariums sea creatures.

“What the hell is going on?” One of the staff scratched his head.

“Sometimes, miracles happen at the most unexpected times so it’s best to cherish it than to think otherwise, don’t you think?” A senior staff, an older man with all white hair, smiled as he looked at Hyukjae who was smiling in content.

 

Later, Donghae and Hyukjae continued going around in the aquarium and as the younger one’s mood have been lifted after earlier events, Donghae couldn’t help to notice that to every tank they’re in, a sudden group of sea creatures will crowd near them, either nosing towards them, or waving at them from a distance.

It was curious but remembering how he first met Hyukjae surrounded by animals, he could conclude Hyukjae might have the charm of attracting any animals within his range.

When they reached the tank where the sharks were located, the crowd started screaming in surprise as the huge sharks were hovering on the glass tank above in various sizes going around frantically. Donghae then noticed how Hyukjae just looked at those creatures like they’re the most adorable pets on the planet and the frantic behavior halted.

What startled him the most though when they were about to exit the said tank, he looked back to take a last look only to end up eye to eye to the great white shark, hammerhead shark, and the great mako shark, who looked like it was about to devour him. He then hurriedly pulled Hyukjae towards the exit having to fear for his life.

It was closed to 5pm and they were waiting for the Kaiyukan Night Aquarium after going around the whole day and taking a late lunch in between. They’ve decided to sit comfortably back among with the rest of the visitors.

Hyukjae was quietly humming a song as the lights within the aquarium started to transition to sapphire blue, giving out the relaxing ambience of the being inside the sea.

Everyone was just quiet and at peace; soft whispers here and there amongst lovers who went on a date; families just spending a quiet time together; and then there’s them who came to fulfill a random promise.

Hyukjae started singing quietly, only him and Donghae could hear it and to a few within hearing range from them, Donghae’s eyes grew wide as he looked back to Hyukjae with wide eyes,

“Hyukjae…you…”

Hyukjae looked back at Donghae tilting his head with a frown but he was continuously singing nonetheless, singing one of his favorite songs in the world.

Donghae’s heart started to beat rapidly against his rib cage. His mind started generating blurry memories of his past. A past he had forgotten all these years.

A past he wasn’t even aware he forgot.

Was that even possible?

 

**

Few months ago

With a determined nod and the freedom with coming of age, Second Prince Hyukjae decided it was time.

“Are you sure about this? Father will get really mad this time.” Siwon, the First Prince and Crowned Prince tried to talk his younger brother out of his crazy decision.

“I am. It’s not like I’m not coming back home. I just—” Hyukjae hesitated.

“What happened back then was not your fault. Father just did what he had to do in order to protect not only you, but the whole of our kind.”

“I knew that. But…I at least wanted to see if he’s alright.” Hyukjae mumbled the words sadly.

“I know you care about your human friend but it’s time to move on.” Siwon patted his brother’s head comfortingly, “It’s been eight years since the last time you saw him. Would you still know what he looks like?”

Hyukjae did not respond but just lowered his head, his silverfish-blue tail swaying sadly as he sat on a garden rock from their palace reef garden.

Siwon sighed and pinched his brother’s ears, “Just be careful out there and promise me you will call me if anything bad is going to happen. And I certainly hope nothing wrong will happen.” He scolded.

Hyukjae childishly snubbed and rolled his eyes at his overprotective brother, “Your highness, I just look frail but I am one of the strongest warrior you have!”

“In the ocean, you are, but on land, it’s no longer our territory to mess around.” Siwon reprimanded, ruffling Hyukjae’s blue hair adoringly.

“I promise I’ll be fine Hyung and I will return once I did what I have to. Now stop nagging me already!” Hyukjae argued.

“I will if you win against me to race on the main observation tower-”

Hyukjae swiftly took off as he swam ahead, yelling, “You always do this that’s why I don’t like you sometimes!”

Siwon chuckled and quickly followed suit, trailing behind his swift brother swimming in full determination, “I love you too, Hyukjae!”

 

**

Present time

Donghae’s suspicions grew bigger as day passed by after the aquarium visit. He wasn’t stupid to brush off neither the signs nor the fishy smell once he got home earlier than scheduled.

A myth stays as myths.

But not to Donghae when he accidentally found Hyukjae sleeping on his bath tub…an entirely different looking Hyukjae falling asleep on his bathtub; a sapphire blue-haired Hyukjae, and a huge silvery-sapphire blue tail hanging by the edge of the bathtub.

Donghae was rooted on the spot after seeing the sleeping being in front of him, a sudden flashback of everything coming at once lead to a rapid heart palpitations that he quietly took off, not letting his presence known and run off to the park just across.

The moon was full and shining brightly across the dark sky and Donghae was steadily regaining his breathing with everything coming in onto his head and heart at the same time. Flashes of the vast sea; Sangosho; a song he dedicated and composed for the other entwined with the other singing it just a few days ago on the aquarium; a younger him and a much younger Hyukjae playing by the seashore, and enjoying the freedom of being in their youth.

Donghae’s scar against the crook of his lower neck throbbed heavily, he groaned as he took hold of it, cold sweat started coming out of his face as the pain became evident, he hurriedly sat on a bench, gasping for air to ease the intense pain spreading all over.

Meanwhile, the pearl necklace hanging around Hyukjae’s neck continuously to glower, and the Second Prince, unbeknownst to what was happening was deep in slumber, finding comfort on being submerge on water from time to time.

**

After what happened, unbeknownst to Hyukjae, he noticed something was different on Donghae’s treatment towards him. It wasn’t bad but he preferred Donghae to be distant towards him rather than being slightly caring.

It will be harder to part if he’s like that towards him.

Donghae didn’t tell to Hyukjae what he found about him and that his erased memories of the past have gradually came back. He didn’t know how to start it even. And he didn’t know why Hyukjae was here to begin with.

But when fate plays a part on everything, no secrets remain hidden; no feelings doesn’t come out.

The same incident occurred once again and for the second time after a while, Hyukjae fell asleep on the bath tub once more, baring his full merman self to Donghae accidentally.

The latter hesitated for a bit, torn between not wanting to scare Hyukjae that he found out, and the desire to just free himself and just be comforted with the thought of Hyukjae finding comfort on being himself more when around him.

“Donghae…” Hyukjae mumbled against his sleep startling Donghae.

He looked at the other’s sleeping figure and just noticed the number of rubber ducks floating around him. His lips lifted into a smile.

With a now determined look on his face, Donghae quietly went out of the bathroom for a while and shortly came back with an acoustic guitar with him.

He carefully pulled the bath chair just beside the tub but not so near as to not startle the other.

He take a one long look at Hyukjae once more and he noticed the difference from his gills, to his tail that was bigger and beautiful; a tail of a fully grown merman. But its silverish-sapphire blue color became more vivid and brighter when submerge on water.

Donghae exhaled a trembling breath and position his guitar on his lap.

The sound of strumming guitar echoed against the walls of the small bathroom and Hyukjae gradually woke up, not realizing what was going on around him.

To not scare Hyukjae off with the sound, Donghae played a song he’s pretty sure the younger man was more familiar with, a song he have long forgotten himself, but the other seems to have grown attached with until now.

Hyukjae felt his pearl alerted him of another’s presence that he jolted awake and was surprise to see Donghae sitting beside him, playing his guitar with his favorite song in the world.

“Donghae—” He started but then gasped realizing the form he was in. “Oh no!” He panic and since there’s a limited movement for him being in such a small bath tub, he could only submerge himself on the water, but his tail flopping against the wall.

Donghae find it amusing and couldn’t help the laugh coming out of him as he stopped playing, “Hyukjae it’s okay.”

Hyukjae could hear Donghae but his heart was beating so strongly inside of him. He never wanted the other to find out about his true self. He decided to submerge himself still on the water.

Donghae let out a gentle smile, placing the guitar at the side as he carefully leaned over the bath tub looking for the other, “Hyukjae, there’s no use hiding if your tail is plastered against the wall like that.” He teased, chuckling.

Hyukjae puffed his cheeks and created air bubbles from his mouth creating bubbling ripples on the bath tub surfaces.

Donghae was amused and started laughing heartily, “Do you wanna know how many times I caught you sleeping with your tail hanging out like that?”

Hyukjae was surprised to hear those words. After a minute of contemplating and gathering all his courage, he slowly peered out but only let half his face visible.

Donghae could tell by the expression that Hyukjae was sulking but curious at the same time, “You do know you sleep so deeply and for a house guard, that’s really bad. I can get robbed off every time.”

Upon hearing this, Hyukjae surfaced with his face huffed in anger, “Hyukjae not bad guard! No man steal ‘cause I put traps…bad guys catch.”

“Oh.” Donghae wasn’t expecting that aggressive retort, “Wait, you put traps around the house?”

Hyukjae’s eyes squinted in mock annoyance, “Traps are alarms. Hyukjae strong too. No bad guy come.”

“Oh.” Donghae blinked again. He noticed time and time again how the other taking the housekeeper task seriously after all these months. If he has to be honest, he only blurted it out of annoyance because of Jinoo’s insistence.

Silence ensues between the two of them and Hyukjae realized by then the gravity of his revelation.

“If Donghae want, Hyukjae can leave.” Hyukjae mumbled apologetically, his ears drooping to the side.

Donghae’s fingers twitched wanting to touch it, like how he used to tease the other. His eyes caught the tail fin swaying in what he interprets as sadness.

“Do you want to leave?” He asked instead.

“What?” Hyukjae asked, eyes widened as he looked back at the other cautiously.

Donghae leaned closely to the other, not totally invading the other’s private space, but closed enough for him to be intimate.

Donghae smiled softly at him, his eyes twinkling in amazement to see Hyukjae differently up-close, “I said—” He started as he raised a hand, carefully reaching to pat the other’s silky smooth blue hair, and gently traced the edge of the silvery-blue ears, then naughtily pinched it like how he used to, not too soft but not too hard, just a playful pinch to the ear fin, “—do you want to leave? Or do you want to stay?” He whispered the last words so softly that Hyukjae almost missed it as he was scrunching his face at the familiar touch of Donghae on his ears.

“Why Donghae want Hyukjae to stay? You not scared?” Hyukjae asked, doubtful.

“Silly.” Donghae responded with a flicked against the other’s forehead, “Why should I be scared of you? You’re harmless.” He added with a wicked grin.

Hyukjae pouted at that, “You mean Hyukjae weak?”

Donghae really adores this part of Hyukjae about being defiant if ever he was called, or implied as weak, “I never said that.” He raised his hands in a mock surrender.

“Hmp. Hyukjae strong.” Hyukjae argued, voice laced with a sulky tone.

“Uhuh, Hyukkie became more stubborn too.” Donghae laughed.

Hyukjae froze at Donghae’s slipped of the tongue nickname.

The older noticed the younger turning quiet so he straightened his back and looked at the other, realizing what he just said, “Didn’t I used to call you that?” He carefully said.

Hyukjae’s head quickly turn towards him, his eyes shone with restrained questions.

Donghae grew overly conscious about the sudden change in the mood, “Unless you grew out of it and would prefer Hyukjae instead.”

“How?” Hyukjae’s voice broke as he asked.

Donghae stared.

“Mean, Donghae..remember?” Hyukjae’s voice started to tremble.

Donghae smiled gently, raising his hand to cupped Hyukjae’s face gently, rubbing his thumb across supple skin, “Slowly remembering.”

Hyukjae’s lips trembled, “H—how? Father’s spell strong. Human can’t broke.”

Donghae shook his head, “I can’t, but you did.”

“M-me? I do nothing.”

Donghae shook his head once more, “The song that you always sing. My song…” He whispered as he enjoyed watching the rapid changes of facial expressions on Hyukjae’s face.

My song that was solely for yours, Donghae thought.

Hyukjae frowned, “Your song…magic song?”

Donghae didn’t expect that answer that he ended laughing loudly inside the echoing walls of his bathroom.

**

A year passed since the revelation.

Donghae didn’t push through with Hyukjae being a solo singer after finding out who he really was, but he still let Hyukjae worked for him recording for guides for his songs. He also let the other perform on the Kaiyukan aquarium knowing how the other enjoys being there and with the help of a senior staff caretaker who happens to know Hyukjae’s real identity and from whose son he was, the younger became a weekly performer on weekends for the night aquarium event, having all the sea creatures mysteriously dancing along to Hyukjae’s alluring voice.

It was Hyukjae’s twenty fifth birthday, and it has been more than a year since he was away from home so he wished to go visit his family’s home and do his greetings.

Hyukjae was fidgeting on his seat out of nervousness and excitement when the yacht halted suddenly at the middle of the ocean where waves were abnormally stronger than usual.

“Hae, something wong?”

Donghae came out of the cabin with his brows furrowed deeply in between his forehead, “It seems the propeller stopped working. It’s impossible since I’ve ensured the yacht is in good condition to reach your island.”

“Proller?” Hyukjae tilted his head.

Out of habit even though he was slightly annoyed at the sudden halted movement, Donghae responded to Hyukjae, “Propeller. It’s that fan wheel under the boat.”

“Aah.” Hyukjae nodded in slight understanding. “Proller, stuck?”

“It would be a big problem if it’s broken.” Donghae sighed heavily, shaking his head to think of an immediate solution.

“No problem! Hyukkie help!” Hyukjae immediately stood up and run towards the side of the yacht that Donghae got so surprised he quickly run after him and hold him back.

“What the hell! Hyukjae what are you planning to do?” Donghae lightly scolded as he grabbed hold of Hyukjae’s arm.

Hyukjae always disliked Donghae’s tone on him like that, “Hyukkie help.” He said in between gritted teeth, “Not Hyukjae help.”

Donghae sighed as he closed his eyes to control his temper, his lover gets so sensitive when he calls him by his full name, “Hyukkie, you can’t just run like that. You’re scaring me we’re in the middle of the sea.” He explained calmly.

Hyukjae frowned even more, “Sea, Hyukkie’s home.”

“I know that but I’m…you haven’t been home for a while too—” Donghae gestured at the vast blue sea surrounding them, “—there’s only us.”

Hyukjae sighed with a shake of his head, “I, Second Prince Hyukjae—” He gestured to himself firmly, “—Donghai Royal Guard Captain—son of King Leeteuk of East Sea—” He carefully walked at the yacht’s railings, “—and I—fish.” He ended dramatically as he free fall himself to the sea.

“Hyukkie!” Donghae cried out as he watched in horror how his lover just falls onto the sea like that, his heart almost coming out of his throat, “Hyukkie! Hyukkie!” He frantically called.

There was no sign of Hyukjae but only the loud sound of waves crashing against each other.

He knew Hyukjae lives in the sea, and he grew up in it, but it’s been a year since he was out here at the deepest parts. Yes, they usually go on a beach trip from time to time but Hyukjae never really swam out so far from the shore. He knew he should trust Hyukjae, but he can’t help but be worried.

Fifteen minutes have passed and Donghae was going around in circles around the yacht and still no sign of his lover. He was on the verge of thinking to jump right in too when the yacht started moving on its own.

“Hyukkie?” He called once more.

Donghae noticed movements just beneath the sea surface and then all of a sudden, a huge fish broke out, followed by a hearty laugh and shout.

Donghae sighed in relief when the mistaken jumping huge fish was none other than his excited lover jumping out of joy. He can’t help to get his lover mistaken as fish all the time as his tail was ridiculously huge, but utterly beautiful especially when it’s under the sea.

“Hae! Hyukkie here!” Hyukjae surfaced beside the running yacht and swam beside it.

“Can you please come up now? You’re giving me heart attacks with your naughty antics.” Donghae scolded.

Hyukjae felt that there was something odd on Donghae’s voice so he swam closer and leapt to the railings, flopping directly to the corridor.

He was still helping himself to get up when he was suddenly engulfed to a familiar warmth hug.

“Baby, don’t scare me off like—” Donghae paused, contemplating his next words, “—just give me some time to get used to you being so free like that in the middle of this vast ocean. Don’t startle me with just jumping off like that. Okay?” He pulled back and looked at his lover who has a guilty look on his face.

“Sowwy.”

“Don’t be.” Donghae slowly smiled, pressing a kiss on Hyukjae’s wet forehead, “But I’ll punish you later for being naughty.” He whispered in a tease.

Hyukjae felt his face heated up at the word punishment, with his whole body tingling.

“Baby like that right? Getting punished.” Donghae whispered sultrily.

Hyukjae pouted in response, “Why Hyukkie get punished if Hyukkie fix boat?”

Donghae pressed a kiss on Hyukjae’s puffing cheek, “Hyukkie-baby is a good boy.” He praised.

“If good boy Hae give kithes.” Hyukjae pouted his lips towards Donghae.

Donghae chuckled and immediately pressed his thin lips against the wet plump ones.

The simple peck quickly went heated and Donghae easily carried Hyukjae off the deck on his merman form.

The yacht’s run was slower than normal and the waves of the sea get stronger but the sway of the boat was smooth and steady.

But the bed inside the cabin was creaking loudly under the heated passion of the two lovers.

One was human, the other a merman.

Donghae have made love with Hyukjae’s human form more times than he could count and have made love with his merman form when the other’s on his seasonal heat. And Donghae enjoyed and love both Hyukjae either way.

But there was always so intimate and unbridled love making whenever Hyukjae was at his real form.

Hyukjae’s whole body shivered as Donghae’s lips were pressing heated kisses around his chests, the latter holding back to leave a mark as well, he can’t have his baby’s father be slapped with love bites on his second prince’s body, he may ended up with more than just a spell of forgetfulness.

He humored darkly to himself.

“Hae…Hae…Hurry…” Hyukjae gasped, “Ah!” He cried sweetly as Donghae harshly sucked on his nipple while his fingers have been busy buried deep on Hyukjae’s most intimate part, stretching him skillfully while pleasuring him the same time.

Donghae felt himself getting more turned on by how a wet mess Hyukjae’s entrance was getting. He noticed how Hyukjae becomes more impatient in being penetrated when on his merman form too.

“Hurry…Hurry…” Hyukjae sensually begged.

Donghae didn’t hesitate any longer and hovered above Hyukjae, riding over him. With the known familiarity and the expected pleasure both will get, the older pressed another deep kiss against the willing younger as he thrusts in a slow yet long stroke.

Hyukjae’s whole body trembled at the intrusion with more juices coming out of him, his finned-hands and sharp nails grabbing onto Donghae’s tanned back as he let out a drawn delicious moan when the latter was buried up to the hilt.

The only setback for Donghae when he’s making love with the merman Hyukjae was he couldn’t last long.

Donghae’s whole body shook equally heatedly above Hyukjae, having his cock sheathed in full warmth and welcoming folds, wetting him completely as it tightened on his every thrust.

“Baby…baby…” Donghae gasped, in between pressed kissed against Hyukjae’s wet cheeks.

“Deep…Deep…” Hyukjae responded, delirious at the delicious feeling of having his mate being intimate with him.

Donghae shifted and thrusts deeper to a spot he knew Hyukjae loved the most.

“Ah! Ah! There! There!” Hyukjae cried out, his gorgeous tail flopping at the edge of the bed, his back arching off the bed with his head thrown back, and saliva dripping immensely at the corner of his mouth.

Donghae wrapped his whole arms around Hyukjae’s back as he braced himself more for a heavier, deeper thrusts, feeling the pleasure rapidly dropping at the pit of his stomach, “So good..This is so good Hyukkie…You feel so good.”

Hyukjae always reveled at how Donghae enjoyed doing it with him and it’s always a provocation for him to rapidly orgasm messily, and loudly.

“Aaaah!! Aaahhh!! Hae! Hae!”

“Yes, baby. Come. Come for me.” Donghae groaned as he buried his face at the crook of Hyukjae’s neck as he hurriedly chased both their climax.

At Donghae’s last guttural groan followed by a strong deep thrust, Hyukjae screamed so loud it rang across the ocean as his whole body spasm at the intensity of the heat with the other’s continuous thrusting movements as he spilled out everything inside, his own body spasm above the younger.

Donghae carefully pressed butterfly kisses around the younger’s neck who was still in a daze as he was still enticingly buried inside him.

“I love you, Hyukkie.”

“Hyukkie love too.” Hyukjae tilted his head to look at Donghae and showed his trademark gummy smile, the latter laughing as this time, it was the fang-filled gummy smiled appeared on the younger’s face.

There was still two hours more before they reached the mythical Sangosho island and a few minutes of heatedly playing around wouldn’t hurt.

That’s what Donghae thought when he first decided right then he would want to make love with Hyukjae.

An hour after their heated session, with Hyukjae having a nap and still on his merman form and luckily Donghae have cleaned them both up when a loud thunderous voice, echoed outside.

“If you’re done messing with my son then bring him to me!”

Donghae felt goosebumps all over his body remembering an old fear from years back.

Hyukjae was awoken and started grumbling to which Donghae was now familiar with as their merman language, “He’s my mate Father, and he could do anything with me.”

King Leeteuk sneered at his own son’s response, “I have expected more from your mate knowing you. Have I ever raised you wrongly?” He dramatically added.

Hyukjae snorted and gestured Donghae to carry him out of the dock.

Human Donghae almost got a heart attack when he saw a large octopus head right in front of his yacht, and yes, the King of East Sea himself, sitting atop of it.

“Octopi!” Hyukjae exclaimed excitedly as he wiggled around Donghae’s arm and the serious-looking octopus vibrated excitedly at the sight of his young master that it also rocked the small yacht along with it.

Donghae took a step back when a tentacle neared them but Hyukjae only patted his arm to calm him down.

“Octopi, Hyukkie’s pet!” Hyukjae gestured to his so-called giant pet, “Octopi, Hyukkie’s mate!”

King Leeteuk groaned while Donghae froze on his spot when another giant tentacle hover over his head but amidst his sudden rapid imaginations of being squashed to smithereens, the huge tentacle gently pat his head twice.

“Good boy Octopi!” Hyukjae patted the tentacle playfully earning a soft yelp from the giant creature.

“You really dare introduce your pet first to your mate, rather than your family?” Siwon suddenly appeared beside the giant octopus riding a giant sea wave.

Donghae could feel his knees weakened a bit at the sight.

Do they really hate me this much to scare me off my wits like this? Donghae thought gravely.

“Siwon-hyung!” Hyukjae exclaimed, he gestured Donghae to let him go and he immediately grabbed one of Octopi’s tentacle and then jump highly towards his big brother.

Siwon laughed heartily, “I missed you too, Hyukjae.” He looked at his father who was staring at them softly, “Father misses you so much too. Even though he doesn’t show it.”

King Leeteuk huffed and turned his head away.

With a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, Hyukjae sneakily jumped over to his father and hugged him tight, “I missed having a race with you, Father.

“You can no longer fool me, I am too old for your silly race.” Leeteuk reprimanded.

“If you win this time, I’ll stay longer than originally planned!” Hyukjae bravely bet as he quickly jumped off to the sea.

“I told you I can’t—” Leeteuk paused as he saw how excited his son was being back home after all these years, “Fine, but only this once.” He gave in as he jumped off to the sea too.

Siwon shook his head and looked back at Donghae who was left on board, “Don’t be scared.”

Donghae got startled at Siwon’s sudden human language.

Siwon lowered himself at the edge of yacht and with the blink of his pearl around his neck, he smoothly transformed with ease to his human form.

Now Donghae didn’t expect that and was completely overwhelmed by how tall and good-looking Hyukjae’s older brother was.

“Welcome back to Sangosho, Lee Donghae.” Siwon smiled; his dimple showing clearly as he gestured to the front view before them.

Octopi have lowered itself back under the sea and pulled the yacht forward. Donghae was left speechless at the beautiful sight of the once mythical disappearing island of Sangosho appearing majestically before him;

The beautiful sound of horns, the echoes of angelic voices surrounding the island, and—

“Donghae! Hyukkie here!” Hyukjae waved frantically, now transformed back into his human form dressed up in his Royalty clothes.

—the unforgettable excited chirp of a young merman he accidentally met at the mysterious island he now called home.