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Filial Futures

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“Who’s baby is this ?”

Jin Seon Mi had not been expecting Son Oh Gong to bring a baby of all the visitors he could bring her. She looked closely at the sleeping child and it was impossible to ignore the similarities between the baby and Oh Gong. Their noses were similar. After that similarity was noted, she couldn’t help but notice more especially when Son Oh Gong didn’t repky at once. Jin Seon Mi had seen Oh Gong sleeping just the previous night and even the way the infant was asleep seemed to match the chaotic demon’s.

She looked up at him somewhat offended, and somewhat scared. Was the baby his ? Did he have another woman she didn’t know about. Before she commented he saw her face and quickly cut her off.

“No ! The baby doesn’t even look like me. What’s wrong with everyone ?” He seemed annoyed. Clearly this wasn’t the first time someone had commented on the similarity.

“Then why do you have this baby with you ?” She asked this in a challenging tone. She didn’t like the idea of Son Oh Gong with another woman and the thought of this baby being his made her raise her defences.

“I’m going to return the baby,” he answered. “Let’s go together.”

When she asked him where to, Jin Seon Mi hadn’t expected he would say the Lotus Village where she was born. The village and it’s people had only bad memories associated for the human Sam Jang. It was the place where she was born and spent the first few years of her life. Where she was told she had been the cause of her parents and other villagers death when she was born. It was also where her grandmother eventually died. Jin Seon Mi didn’t really like to think of that place very much. It was where she was the unluckiest and cursed the most. She told Son Oh Gong as such.

“I know. Let’s go and find out again if Jin Seon Mi was really an ominous child.”

She looked apprehensive but he looked confident. There was something more to her story she needed to know. Her gaze fell to the sleeping baby again. Was he like her ? They had to return him to the Lotus Village. A sudden surge of protectiveness filled her heart. A baby like this wouldn’t appear so far away all alone. Did this innocent infant have anyone ? Or was he also discarded like she had been ?

She reached out to touch the bundled baby. Son Oh Gong was watching her.

“What’s wrong ?”

“Nothing,” she said at first yet she remained lost in thought. She turned to him and finally spoke her mind, “What if he’s like me ?” At Son Oh Gong’s curious look she continued, “I’m just afraid for this baby who appeared here with little consequence and perhaps no one waiting for him back at the village either. What if he was no one to hold him, love him, care for him.”

Son Oh Gong could see the shadow of worry crossing his beloved’s face. She looked weary and upset at the idea of this infant suffering all alone. It hurt his heart to see her like that and a pang of guilt hit once more when he realized this was all she had experienced. He had betrayed her at six years old after giving her a slight hope of a friend, no doubt after years of loneliness.

“Do you want to hold him ?” He asked her suddenly. She looked up in surprise but then looked apprehensive. Thinking of the village had brought up bad memories. Of her village people running away with their children when they saw her, and whispers to stay far away if they didn’t want to be cursed. While she had worked hard to believe that wasn’t the case, Jin Seon Mi once again felt a sudden fear from holding this delicate baby and hurting him even though just a half hour before she had actually saved one instead.

Son Oh Gong tsked at her. He gently pushed her towards the carrier and the sleeping baby.

“Hold him if you want to. Nothing will happen.” His eyes promised her, begging her to trust his judgement.

She smiled at him and gently pulled the baby out of it’s carrier. She held her breath slightly when it sighed in its sleep. One of her arms supported its neck and held its tiny body close while with the other one she fixed the blanket covering the little one. A thrilling sense of happiness enveloped her after holding the baby and a gentle smile graced her lips as she gazed at the adorable bundle. Son Oh Gong smiled, watching his Jin Seon Mi cuddle the child closer. She looked up at him smiling and smiled wider, her dimple making an appearance.

When her attention shifted back to the infant in her arms, her fingers gently hovered over the baby’s face. She wanted to hold its tiny hands but those were bundled in the blanket. Gently she stroked the sleeping child’s soft skin, glad to see it so at peace and unaware of the cruel world around it.

Humming?

As soon as she touched the baby, she heard humming ? She quickly removed the hand from its face and the singing stopped. Jin Seon Mi withdrew in surprise. Was this another of her new powers ? Was this one of the baby’s memories ?

She put her hand to touch the baby’s skin once more and the humming grew louder.

She was in a vision in a huge room with glass windows. Outside the stars twinkled in the sky and the city of Seoul was laid out like a painting. The baby was giggling, as a woman with dark hair softly alternated between humming and singing for it. The woman had her back to Seon Mi so she couldn’t see who it was but Seon Mi assumed it was the baby’s mother. She was holding her infant close to her chest and gently patting its back while rocking him. Seon Mi felt her heart fill in relief at knowing this baby had someone to love and protect it.

“It’s time to sleep baby, eomma needs to sleep too soon.” She heard the woman say. “Why won’t you sleep ? Did appa feed you cotton candy again ? Eomma will need to scold him won’t I?” The woman finally turned around to reveal her face. Beautiful brown eyes, full lips and a gentle smile on her face.

Seon Mi gasped and fell out of the vision. Her arms and legs went weak. The woman in the vision… was her ? Her breathing was heavy as she looked up at an alarmed Son Oh Gong who had been curiously watching the spaced out Jin Seon Mi for a few seconds now during her time in the memory. Seeing her panicked state, he grew fearful too. After the Ah Sa Nyeo kidnapping ordeal, Son Oh Gong was quite afraid of any premonitions his bride could see that might mean something disastrous for her. The last time she had been lured in by memories too.

“Jin Seon Mi !” He wrapped one of his arms around her waist to hold her up and another under her arms to support the baby. “What happened ?” He asked her urgently, gently shaking her out of her shock.

Before he got an answer Jin Seon Mi was hit by another vision, this time one Son Oh Gong could see too.

It was a bedroom this time. Seon Mi was sitting up in bed, holding the baby in her arms. Son Oh Gong was sitting besides her, holding her close so her head rested against his chest. Both of them were happy yet tired. The baby was crying this time and the couple was trying to quieten it down.

“Oi Ah Gi !” Son Oh Gong said quietly. “Don’t cry. It makes eomma appa sad if you cry. Ya Jin Seon Mi I think he’s sick. Should I call Guanyin again ?”

Jin Seon Mi held him down. “We called her five minutes ago. She said he’s fine,” she assured her overprotective husband. “He’s just a little cranky right now.” She lifted the baby to her face. “Isn’t that right ? Why is our baby cranky hmm ? Peekaboo !”

The baby didn’t quiet down and Jin Seon Mi sighed in disappointment. She had tried everything. Her baby wasn’t hungry, didn’t need to be changed and he just woke up from sleep but didn’t want to play either. So she started humming. It was the only song she remembered from her childhood. Slowly the baby started to quieten down.

“Son Oh Gong,” Jin Seon Mi turned to her husband who was playing with their baby’s hands. “Sing for him. He likes it.”

“I don’t sing,” Son Oh Gong rejected. He was then assaulted by his wife’s adorable pout and blinking eyes. She knew how to act cute to her advantage.

“You sang to me on our first date at the Karaoke room. Son Oh Gong, uri Ah Gi wants you to sing.”

Being unable to refuse his wife, Son Oh Gong sighed. “Ok Ok.” He held his wife and child closer to him as he began to sing softly. The baby quietened down entirely, enraptured by its father’s voice. When the song ended, Son Oh Gong looked down to see Jin Seon Mi asleep on his chest and the baby looking at him with wide eyes.

“You tired eomma out a lot today, hmm baby ?” He asked softly, trying not to wake up his sleeping wife. “Let’s make things easy on her ok ? She loves us very much.”

The baby babbled in agreement and Son Oh Gong grinned softly. This was his little family to protect and cherish forever. This was their happy little home.

As the vision ended, Son Oh Gong inhaled sharply as he looked to a shocked Jin Seon Mi and the baby in their arms. His Jin Seon Mi had tears in her eyes as she finally understood and she started to cry.

This was their baby. Their little bundle of joy from the future. Son Oh Gong gently moved her to sit down on the sofa in her office after the shock and watched as his bride squeezed the sleeping bundle even closer to her chest, her tears now falling before turning into full out bawling.

All her life Jin Seon Mi wanted a family to love and cherish. She had always imagined it impossible knowing any loved ones of hers would only ever suffer from her closeness. But she did get a family in the future with Son Oh Gong. The little baby in her arms was their child from the future. The overwhelming emotions of happiness, confusion and shock burst out of her in the form of light sobs.

Son Oh Gong came in front of her and hugged her so she cried in his chest. He gently kissed her head. He was just as shocked yet happy as her, but she needed his support more than he needed hers at the moment.

When she finally stopped crying she sniffled and gave a short laugh of relief as she looked up at him. He smiled when he saw her feeling better, if a little pale from the shock.

“Jin Seon Mi, I don’t think you were an ominous child at all. And this baby,” Son Oh Gong put his hand above Jin Seon Mi’s who was still supporting the sleeping infant, “will be well loved and cared for. It has parents that will adore it and play with it so it won’t be lonely or afraid and wait for it to come home. Don’t worry.”

His confident smile was then mirrored by her.

Seon Mi nodded as she finally put it back in its baby basket and tucked it in its blanket. “When he’s struggling, scared or in danger, we will protect him. Right ?”

“Of course we will,” Son Oh Gong promised. He held the baby carrier with one hand and held his beloved bride’s hand with the other. “Let’s go then ?”

Jin Seon Mi nodded. “Let’s go.”