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Return With Me

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“I don’t think I can do this,” Emilio whispered, his eyes glinting in the soft blue light from the stone in his hand. “He’s probably changed, and he won’t want to see me.”

Alicia laughed, placing a hand on her friend’s-her king’s- shoulder. Her eyes twinkled from the same blue light. “I saw the way he looked at you while he was here. It’s been years, so of course he’s changed, but so have you, my King.”

Emilio groaned, letting his head fall into an open hand. He knew he shouldn’t bother with this- his kingdom was thriving, and he was happy how things were now. Even if, late at night, that sinking feeling that he should have said more when Shun was here weighed down on him so heavily that he couldn’t sleep, he was still happy. He could continue this happy life, supporting his kingdom, marry Alicia and have children like his royal adviser suggested for him to do so often. He didn’t have feelings for Alicia, and he knew she didn’t have feelings for him anymore either, but it would continue the royal line- it would make the kingdom even happier if he were to be a married King with a child to take the throne one day.

But he couldn’t do it. Nights lying awake thinking about Shun, about his missed chances, about how he really shouldn’t be feeling this way for his own blood- it twisted his emotions so strongly that he knew he couldn’t stand back any longer. He knew he had to go see him. The years passed, the news of a way to make it to the surface growing weaker with every passing month, and he still grew further from ever seeing Shun again. Yet when the traveler came through, offering the sole stone which would aid his mission, he was suspicious. He wasn’t sure it was right. He wasn’t sure he should trust it. When the traveler only asked a meager amount of gold in return, he thought it was a scam. He still took it, though.

He still took the stone, and that’s how he ended up here. He had dressed down, reminding himself to look more like the people he had seen on his short visit to the surface. He didn’t want to stand out, though it was certain he would with the way he held himself. He didn’t need to stand out to the humans- just to Shun.

With a short glance to Alicia, Emilio took a deep breath. “Okay. I’ll be back soon, Alicia.”

She grinned, bobbing her head. “Mm! Bring Shun back. I’m tired of seeing that lonely face of yours without him here.”

Emilio felt his cheeks turn a shade of red at her comment, but he wasn’t going to let that distract him. He held the stone up to eye-level and closed his eyes, willing Shun’s face into his mind as a way to give the stone a direction for his travel. If he thought hard enough about Shun, which wasn’t difficult for him after all, it should be enough to get him where he needed to be.

And it was. The blue light had barely dimmed by the time Emilio opened his eyes. He felt the water before he saw it- or rather, before he saw Shun drenched in the water and entirely nude. The shout was something Emilio had heard before from Shun, but he hadn’t expected to find himself stumbling back and slipping in the tub. He lost his footing and slid down, hitting the side of the tub with a heavy thud. Emilio felt Shun fall on top of him, yelping as he hit his own head on Emilio’s shoulder.

Emilio heard his name muttered, but he couldn’t open his eyes from the amount of water streaming down on him and Shun. He felt an arm reach over him and suddenly the water stopped. Slowly opening his eyes, Emilio finally saw the position they were in and turned red within the second. Shun was staring at him as if he had never seen him before.

“Wh-How did you get here?” Shun muttered, slowly sitting up still hovering over Emilio.

“A Parinblue came into my possession.” Emilio barely trusted himself to speak, and even as he risked the words came out shaky and uncertain. He had difficulty looking away from Shun’s dripping chest, but finally managed to make eye contact with the other man. He really had grown in the past few years, that was for sure.

Shun nodded, smiling despite the situation they were in. “Makes sense. I’m glad you’re here, but-”

The instant Shun realized their position and his lack of clothing his expression changed entirely. His joyous expression soon shifted to one of utter mortification, his cheeks burning as he sought to rip himself away from Shun and pull a towel around his waist. He was still red as he threw a towel to Emilio, muttering a “dry off,” and left the room in a hurry.

Emilio did as instructed, not sure how to really dry off without undressing. He wrapped the towel around him as Shun had done and crept out of the bathroom. He glanced around, taking in Shun’s apartment with a fascinated stare. It was covered in different types of crystals, but Emilio wasn’t surprised. Instead, he was surprised to find- in a delicate glass case- the remains of the Parinblue Shun had once held within his own chest. Emilio’s gaze must have been obvious because Shun appeared beside him with a soft smile.

“Terrible, isn’t it? It broke the instant I came back.” Shun glanced over to Emilio, a sad look in his eyes. “And I had thought I’d be able to visit any time I wanted. I was wrong, obviously.”

“Obviously,” Emilio mimicked.

His eyes left the remains of the stone and met Shun’s own gaze. He started at the intensity of the gaze, feeling it see into his very core. Emilio opened his mouth to ask what Shun could possibly be studying, looking at him so hard, when Shun cut him off with a question of his own.

“Are you here to take me back?”

Shun’s question seemed simple enough, but Emilio couldn’t make himself answer. He opened his mouth, the lack of sound coming out concerning him. He knew why he couldn’t speak. Just the sight of Shun was too much to bear after all these years, even when the image of him was what kept Emilio awake at night. Without a way to answer him, Emilio simply turned to him and pulled him into a firm embrace. Shun was stiff in his arms for a moment before relaxing and wrapping his arms around Emilio to hug him back.

“I’ve missed you, Emilio,” Shun whispered, his lips moving right by Emilio’s ear.

Emilio tightened his embrace. “Come home with me, Shun. Please.”

Shun pulled away at that moment, raising an eyebrow to the man in front of him. “And what authority do you have to try to boss me around like that, Mr. Gloomy Prince?”

Emilio knew he was joking- he could hear it in his voice. His lips turned up in a smile as he leaned down, his forehead bumping into Shun’s.

“That’s Mr. Gloomy King to you, Princey.”