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Pirate King

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Yunho was doing his cleaning duty peacefully on the deck when he heard a commotion on the stern. He knew he shouldn’t, but he couldn’t help walking all the way over there to see what was going on. And the sight left him shocked.

 

Because there was a boy there, tangled in their fishing nets, struggling against them as a couple of the sailors tried to hold him still. But that wasn’t all. The boy… he had a tail. A fish tail, something he hadn’t seen in so long.

 

Yunho watched mesmerized how the light reflected in his pale blue scales, still wet from the sea water. He was beautiful.

 

He would have spent the whole day staring at him, at his perfect skin and bare torso, at his pretty face. But the sailors were holding him for a reason, pushing fingers inside his mouth to keep it open as one of them lowered his pants.

 

Without thinking, he rushed to them.

 

“Leave him alone!” He shouted.

 

The sailors laughed at him.

 

“Go back to clean, slave.” One of them said, grabbing the beautiful boy by the throat so he would stop moving.

 

The sailor who had dropped his pants was stroking his dick in front of the creature, who eyed it in fear, gaze turning everywhere like crazy, droll dripping down his mouth because of the fingers in it. He made a distressed sound, locking eyes with Yunho.

 

“You’ll have your turn when the rest of the crew has stuffed this mouth full of cum.” Another sailor said.

 

Yunho only had eyes for the boy. He realized he was still holding the rug he had been using to clean the floors and dropped it, walking a bit closer to the group.

 

“I’ll call the captain.” He warned, his fist twitching at his sides when they started pushing the boy’s head towards the bare cock in front of him.

 

“Nobody allowed you to talk, you filthy slave.” The naked man said, clearly annoyed.

 

There were tears rolling down the creature’s cheeks, his eyes never leaving Yunho, asking desperately for help.

 

Without thinking, he grabbed the man by the collar of his shirt, pushing him away with more force than he intended. The sailor fell on his butt, his exposed dick only making the image more ridiculous.

 

The guys holding the creature let go of him in favor of drawing out their swords.

 

Yunho was unarmed. Maybe it had been a stupid move, but at least the boy was free now, letting his upper body hit the wooden floor. It was his time to run away and jump back to the water, but he wasn’t moving at all. Maybe it was because of the ropes still tangled in his tail, or perhaps he had been injured somewhere.

 

Well, it seemed Yunho wasn’t going to live to know, because now all the three men were up and with their swords on the ready.

 

“What is going on in here?” Yunho turned to the voice, ready to fall on his knees in relief. Mingi was standing there, hand on his sword. “What are you doing to the captain’s slave?”

 

The men didn’t seem happy about this outcome. Their gazed flicked to the merboy and Mingi looked there too, his expression turning immediately into one of awe.

 

“The slave stopped us from enjoying our capture.” One of the sailors defended himself.

 

Mingi drew out his sword and went to the boy.

 

“You can have him first, sir.” Another one added, trying to placate the man.

 

Mingi ignored them and Yunho felt some dread when he kneeled beside the boy, sword still in hand. He wanted to run to the pair and put himself between the creature and everyone else, but he knew Mingi was a good person, so he stayed put.

 

The fishing ropes were being cut and now the boy was completely free. Mingi tried to hold his face up in his hand, but as soon as he landed the first touch, the boy was whimpering like a wounded animal and trying to get away.

 

Mingi didn’t insist.

 

“No one will touch him.” He announced to the three sailors and the rest of the men that had gathered around upon hearing all the noise.

 

“But he’s ours. We caught it!”

 

Mingi pierced him with a glare.

 

“Everything in this boat belongs to the captain, even your filthy lives. Understood?”

 

The boy cried and Yunho realized there were in fact wounds all over his back, maybe from when the sailors had tried to put him up onto the ship. Their eyes met again and the creature extended an arm towards him.

 

Yunho flinched forward, but stopped himself from going further, remembering that Mingi’s order also included him.

 

“Get the captain, slave.”

 

Yunho clenched his jaw, but obeyed immediately, ignoring the cries of the boy calling for him.

 

-

 

Captain and co-captain eyed the creature. Yunho lingered around, cleaning the same spot for the hundredth time and keeping his eyes on the boy. Everyone had been ordered to go back to their duties, but Yunho just couldn’t bring himself to get away from the newcomer.

 

“It’s a mermaid.” Hongjoong said, eyeing the beautiful tail.

 

“It doesn’t have breasts. It’s a male.” His co-captain informed giving him a reprimanding look, as if he should know that.

 

“He’s injured.”

 

“And almost raped.” Mingi added. Hongjoong frowned as he crouched down in front of the boy. He must have been exhausted, because he had already stopped squirming. “Yunho stopped the sailors.”

 

The captain looked at him, and Yunho tried to go back to cleaning.

 

“Stop that, you idiot.” He said with a sigh and Yunho obeyed immediately, walking towards them when the captain gestured him to do so. “You can talk.”

 

Yunho cleared his throat.

 

“I’m sorry I acted without orders.”

 

Hongjoong rolled his eyes at him and sat down on the floor, not acting much like the captain of the most famous pirate tribulation and more like a child.

 

“You did well. What should we do with him?” He extended his arm towards the boy’s face, but it was smacked out of the way by Yunho when he flinched in fear. The slave retreated his hand, noticing his mistake.

 

“Sorry, master.”

 

Hongjoong just laughed at him, ignoring the clear offence that could have gotten his arm cut off if it were any other captain. He turned to Seonghwa, the only one who was still standing far away from the creature.

 

“What should we do?”

 

“Treat his wounds first.” The co-captain answered without doubt. “Get him in water.”

 

Hongjoong turned to Yunho with a raised eyebrow, as if asking opinion, or even permission.

 

“Shouldn’t we set him free?” He wondered in a whisper, too afraid to speak up even when the captain had been telling him to drop that attitude for two years.

 

Seonghwa shook his head.

 

“If he had been captured that easily, he must be more hurt than it seems. He is in no condition to go back to the sea.”

 

“He is afraid.” Hongjoong noted. “How are we going to help him if he doesn’t let us touch him?”

 

Mingi looked directly at Yunho.

 

“I think he’d let Yunho do it.”

 

Hongjoong gestured for him to go on, standing and leaving them some space. Yunho felt incredibly nervous all of the sudden. He cleared his throat once again and turned to the boy, who was breathing softly, still lying on the floor and looking directly at him with clear blue eyes.

 

“Hey.” He extended a hand towards him, slowly like he would do with a dog.

 

The boy raised his head from the ground and tried to get Yunho to touch him, sliding closer as best as he could, pushing his body forward with the help of his arms.

 

The skin of his face was cold and incredibly smooth. At the first caress the boy broke in tears, nuzzling his cheek in Yunho’s hand.

 

“Amazing.” Seonghwa muttered, but the slave didn’t even heard him.

 

He scooted closer to the boy.

 

“Shh, it’s okay. We are not going to hurt you.” He whispered softly, grabbing his face with both of his hands, the tears dripping between his fingers. He looked at the other three men for help, but they just seemed marveled at the sight of the creature crying. “Should we… get him in a bath?”

 

Hongjoong nodded, getting out of his stupor and turned to the next person that passed by.

 

“Prepare my bath.” He ordered, and the sailor rushed to obey, not without glancing at the merboy first.

 

It took a while to transport him, because Yunho had to convince him to let their strongest man touch him too. Jongho tried to be as respectful as possible, careful where to put his hands, but the boy still looked distressed as he grabbed Yunho by the shoulders. He was heavy, mainly because of the tail, and even Jongho looked exhausted by the time they got the boy to the captain chambers.

 

He seemed to relax at the sight of water and he was more cooperative with them when they tried to get him in. It was too small for his tail, but he seemed content enough with the crowded space.

 

There were five people in the room, and although the captain’s bathroom was the biggest in the ship, it wasn’t big enough for all of them.

 

“Leave guys.” He ordered and Yunho moved to obey, but Seonghwa held him in place.

 

“You are not getting away from him until we tell you so.”

 

Yunho nodded, kneeling beside the bath tub and moving the boy gently until he was showing them his back. It was bruised and scratched by the wood of the ship. There were even rests of wood stuck in there.

 

“These aren’t very deep.” He noticed, accepting the aid kit Seonghwa gave him.

 

“Maybe he had been swimming for too long and was too tired to scape our nets.” Hongjoong commented.

 

Yunho cleaned his wounds as carefully as he could, but the boy didn’t even flinch when he treated the deepest ones.

 

“How do we call him?” Yunho asked. “He must have a name.”

 

“Probably not something we can pronounce.” Hongjoong supposed. “Can you communicate with him?”

 

Yunho looked at his captain in confusion, realizing he was talking to Seonghwa. Why would he be able to communicate with merpeople?

 

Seonghwa shook his head.

 

“I lost the ability.” He said simply and Yunho was more confused than ever. “It won’t take him long to learn our language, though.”

 

Once Yunho was done with the wounds, the boy submerged his head down the water, and he observed in fascination how little slits at the sides of his neck fluttered. Before he knew what he was doing, Yunho put one hand inside the water, the movement startling the merboy, who opened his eyes. As if he understood his intentions, he bared his neck towards the slave. Yunho touched the split skin there, feeling its movement as the boy breathed underwater.

 

“You are responsible of him now.” Seonghwa said, breaking the silence and making Yunho jump. He got his hand out of the water and the boy surfaced not too long after. “Talk to him all you can, he’ll learn by ear.”

 

“Move to Seonghwa’s rooms.” Hongjoong added. “There isn’t enough space for two in that cage you insist on living on.”

 

“But what about the co-captain.”

 

Hongjoong smiled.

 

“I’m sure you know where he spends the night.”

 

-

 

It didn’t take him long for him to move his belongings from his room to Seonghwa’s. He didn’t have much when he first came to the ship and offered himself as Hongjoong slave, and he didn’t have much now. He was happy like that.

 

The merboy had already been moved to the room and was lying face down on the sheets, playing with some loose threads. He turned towards Yunho as soon as he heard the door, relaxing when he recognized his face.

 

Yunho moved around the room, trying to take everything in and distracting himself from the boy to resist the urge to run towards him. He went to Seonghwa’s closet. The co-captain had offered them everything he had, not being one to care for material things.

 

He grabbed one of his linen shirts, the softest one, and went to the boy, easing him into it and buttoning it up. Maybe he stared for too long at how his body turned gradually from skin to scales, because then the boy was grabbing his hand and putting it in his waist, where the change started.

 

Yunho caressed him for a long time, enough for the merboy to lay back on the bed and close his eyes in complete ease. He fell asleep soon. Yunho moved his hand to the soft skin on his stomach, going down to touch the scales where his crotch would have been.

 

He realized what he was doing and moved his hand away, a blush high on his cheeks, but the boy didn’t wake up.

 

The pair received a lot of visits, mainly Seonghwa. He brought the boy some kind of green soup that Yunho supposed was made of sea weed. The merboy seemed to trust Seonghwa enough to let the co-captain teach him how to eat like a human, and Yunho knew it was stupid, but he couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous.

 

“I thought mermaids attracted humans to the sea to eat them.” Yunho said, watching the nameless boy eat messily from the bowl.

 

Seonghwa laughed.

 

“More like to fuck them.” Yunho tried not to look too shocked at the crude language. It was the first time he heard Seounghwa speak in such a dirty manner. “Sirens reproduce with humans, that’s why they sing to attract them.”

 

“But… male mermaids?”

 

“The term is merman and they would try to sing for women to reproduce, but well, there aren’t many female sailors. So they just sing for males and at least they spend a good time with them. Before they drown, obviously.”

 

“Do they drown the males they seduce?” Yunho asked, looking at the boy watching them as if he was following the conversation. He didn’t look like he would drown anyone any time soon.

 

“No, of course not. But they make sailors jump to the water in the middle of the sea. After they are done… they don’t have anywhere to swim. They just drown or die from thirst.”

 

A whine caught their attention and they turned their heads to see the boy holding his empty bowl of soup towards them.

 

“More?” Seonghwa asked. The boy smiled, showing two beautiful dimples and flopping his tail happily. “I’ll get him another bowl.”

 

Hongjoong also visited them, although noticeably less. He didn’t seem very comfortable around the merboy.

 

The captain had forced Yunho to reduce his working hours so that he could stay in with their guest. He wanted to complain but a confused look from the merboy and he quickly agreed.

 

Yunho knew he should talk more to the creature when they were alone, but he really didn’t know what to say to someone that couldn’t answer him. He seemed to understand a few words, though, like water or food or Yunho, smiling at each of them.

 

They slept together on the same bed, because there was only one and the boy didn’t seem to care about Yunho’s company. Quite the contrary, he always shuffled closer to him, eager for touch. Yunho always complied, because how could he deny anything to him?

 

He started reading one of Seonghwa’s books out loud, wondering whether that would be useful, but he decided he didn’t really care, not when the boy pressed impossibly closer to look at the words written.

 

Whenever there was a drawing, Yunho turned the book towards him and let him see. He’d trace the picture with his fingers, eyes wide.

 

“That’s a ship.” Yunho explained, feeling a bit dumb. “Like the one you are in. A ship. It’s on the sea, and that’s the beach. This is the sand.” The merboy was looking at him in complete wonder. “You’ll see it in the next port. It’s beautiful.”

 

The guy pressed even closer to him, looking at the words underneath the picture and pointing at one of them with a small finger. Ship.

 

Yunho smiled widely.

 

“Yes, that’s it. Ship.” The sheets moved up and down with the fluttering of the fishlike tail. “Try sea. Sea.”

 

The merboy’s eyes scanned the page. Mediterranean Sea, he pointed. When Yunho smiled up at him, the fingers on the book moved to Yunho’s bare arm. He started drawing. It took him a while to realize that he was spelling Yunho’s name. It wasn’t completely correct, but Yunho still beamed up at him, hearing his heart skip a beat.

 

“Your name?” He asked, pointing at the boy, who looked at him for a while, as if he was thinking, before going back to drawing in his pale arm.

 

S

 

A

 

N

 

“San?” He asked. “Your name is San?”

 

The boy, San, smiled at him and then proceeded to hug him, his cold tail getting in contact with Yunho’s thigh, a contrast with how warm their chests were pressed together.

 

They fell asleep like that, book long forgotten.

 

-

 

“It’s normal that he learns the sound and aspect of the words before knowing how to pronounce them.” Seonghwa explained to him the next day as Yunho went on with his cleaning routine. “His vocal cords are not used to the human sound.”

 

“It was really quick, wasn’t it? Learning a new language like that…”

 

“Merpeople are much smarter than humans.”

 

They stayed in silence for a while.

 

“What is going to happen to him once he is fully rested?” He asked, not meeting the co-captain’s eyes.

 

“Well, as soon as he wants, we’ll return him to the water.”

 

Yunho nodded, ignoring the feeling in his heart, as if it was a sinking ship.

 

When he went back to their room, he left their food carefully on the bedside table before going to the bathroom. Whenever he left to work, he left the boy in the bathtub and got him out at his return. Yunho wondered how he didn’t get bored all that time in there, but San always received him with a big smile, clinging to him as he was helped out of the tub.

 

It was hard work to move him around, but it was easier if he threw the boy over his shoulder, which he seemed to enjoy, if the joyous laugh he always let out was anything to go by.

 

Yunho could hear that laugh for the rest of his life, but he was reminded of how short their time together would be.

 

“Water, San?” He asked, gauging the boy’s reaction. “Sea?”

 

San frowned at him in confusion.

 

“Do you want to go to the sea?”

 

His frown deepened and he extended his arms towards Yunho, asking for cuddles. Yunho was happy enough to comply.

 

One day when he came back from work, he was surprised to find San already under the sheets. He settled their tray of food away and walked to the bed.

 

“How did you get here?” He asked. “Did Seonghwa move you?” San looked up at him, apparently worn out. “Are you okay?”

 

San smiled softly and Yunho redirected his gaze to the boy’s shoulders. He hadn’t put a shirt on when he got out of the tub. His pale neck was uncovered and Yunho rested a hand there. It was smooth, smoother than other days.

 

Yunho looked closer, but he saw no sign of the thin slits that had always cut his skin.

 

“What happened?”

 

San was still smiling, so Yunho supposed there was no reason to start to panic. The boy made grabby hands at him and Yunho got into the bed, gaze still fixed on San’s neck. His hand was gently removed from the expanse of smooth skin and San slowly redirected it under the covers.

 

Yunho gasped when his fingers grazed skin where scales had been just a couple of hours ago. He moved his hand, exploring. San’s tail wasn’t there anymore, there was a separation between his legs, he had thighs. Yunho tried to stop himself, but he really couldn’t. He dragged his hand up and up, and San made a small noise when he came in contact with his most sensitive parts.

 

He moved his hand away immediately, resisting the urge to take a look under the covers.

 

“How?” He wondered out loud. San just smiled at him. “We-we should put you some clothes.” He tried to move away to the closet, but San was grabbing his arms to stop him from getting away. He was a lot stronger than he looked. Yunho stayed put as San moved closer to him, cuddling him as always, although this time there wasn’t a tail in the way and San was very much naked.

 

Yunho tried to keep the boy’s body as far away as he could, but San was persistent.

 

“You should eat.” San perked up at that. Wow, his eyes were really beautiful. “Food?”

 

San smiled. Maybe it was time to teach how to say yes or no, or at least how to nod. For now Yunho just got out of the bed and gave San his soup.

 

Seonghwa had taught him a lot about merpeople. When they were under water they didn’t need to eat, they just caught the nutrients through their gills and their scales. But once out of the water they needed to ingest nutrients in liquid form.

 

“His insides are different from yours.” Seonghwa had told him.

 

Well, he looked pretty human to Yunho now. He went to find the co-captain and demand an explanation.

 

The captain’s chambers were close to theirs so Yunho was knocking in no time and not waiting for an answer before coming in. Which hadn’t been very wise, because Hongjoong was letting out a really undignified screech, holding the sheets up to his chin.

 

“Yunho, what the hell?”

 

“Is Seonghwa under the covers?”

 

Silence.

 

“No.” A muffled voice came from between the captain’s legs.

 

“Can you explain why San has grown a pair of legs in a day?”

 

Seonghwa got out of the sheets at that, and Hongjoong just huffed at them, clearly annoyed.

 

“Really?”

 

“Yes. He is very biped and very naked in your bed right now.”

 

“Let me put some pants on and I’ll be there.”

 

“Seriously, Seong!? You’re leaving me like this!?” Hongjoong screamed as he saw the boy go out of the room.

 

“I’ll compensate it, I swear.”

 

When they got into Seonghwa’s room, San was standing in very wobbly feet and still naked as the day he was born.

 

“Oh gods, San!” He exclaimed, rushing to him to cover him from the other man’s eyes. San fell all over him, already too tired to stand up. “Get him some pants, will you?”

 

Seonghwa did and waited patiently as Yunho got San dressed.

 

“It’s amazing.” The co-captain said once he got a full view of San. Hongjoong appeared in the room not long after, completely dressed, unlike Seonghwa who just had some untied pants on.

 

The captain blinked at San and Yunho would have nagged them for looking at his legs if he didn’t know it was just out of curiosity.

 

The two leaders shared a look and Yunho felt as if they were hiding something from him.

 

“What does this mean?” He asked.

 

Seonghwa just smiled at him.

 

“I don’t know.”

 

Somehow, Yunho felt as if he was lying to him.

 

-

 

Sleeping with San turned out to be more difficult now that he didn’t have a tail. Yunho woke up every day with the boy all wrapped over him, his full body weight resting on him. It was like sleeping with an octopus. Not that Yunho minded.

 

San needed less help now. More than once Yunho came back from work to find the boy already on the bed, with a book on his lap. Yunho didn’t know if he was understanding everything he read, but he seemed really focused.

 

Yunho learned that San didn’t like wearing pants. Maybe it made him feel trapped, he didn’t know, but every time he came into the room San was just wearing a shirt and probably not any underwear.

 

“You don’t like staying in the water anymore?” San didn’t seem to understand the question and he went back to reading. “I’m going to take a bath.” He said getting his clean clothes ready. A loud whine redirected his attention towards San. He was making grabby hands at him once again. “What is it? You want to go first?” Another whine. “You want to go in with me?”

 

San jumped happily in his sit, his arms still stretched. Although he could walk – more or less – he still preferred Yunho to carry him around.

 

He went to the boy and picked him up with ease. He was much lighter now. And… yes, no underwear.

 

The bath was already prepared because he had asked Jongho to pass by and prepare it a while ago. He was the only sailor San was comfortable around, apart from Mingi.

 

Yunho took off San’s shirt and helped him get into the tub. He proceeded to undress himself then, just a little put off by the boy’s stare.

 

The tub fitted them comfortably now that San’s lower half had a normal size. Yunho grabbed some soap and started cleaning himself, only getting a bit distracted by the way San’s eyes were scanning him, especially his crotch area. The boy then looked at himself and took his hand to his dick, right in front of Yunho.

 

He was quick to grab San’s wrist, feeling himself blush profusely.

 

“Don’t… don’t do that in front of others.”

 

San seemed confused, but at least it looked like he understood, because he didn’t try to grab his member while Yunho cleaned up. He held his knees close to his chest, looking a bit shy, but still ogling the slave.

 

Their eyes met and San opened his mouth for some reason, tapping his lips. Yunho just frowned, clearly not getting what the boy wanted.

 

“Food?” He asked.

 

San closed his mouth and maybe Yunho imagined it, but he started pouting before hiding half of his face in his knees.

 

Yunho didn’t understand what was the change in the mood about, but he decided not to dwell too much on it and got them both out of the tub. He quickly dressed them up and this time San walked by himself to the bed.

 

He was probably mad, but Yunho didn’t really get it, so there wasn’t much he could do about it. He went right to sleep and San huddled closer. Well, maybe he wasn’t that mad.

 

The next morning, Seonghwa was probably laughing as Yunho told him last night occurrences. He could see his smile, no matter how much he tried to hide it.

 

“You’ll work yourselves around it.” Was all he said about the topic. “There’s land close. We’ll stay for a couple of days.”

 

-

 

He wanted to take San to the beach, even when the boy couldn’t walk properly yet, but the captains had asked him to stay and do the inventory, given that he was one of the few trustworthy men that could read and write. Hongjoong and Seonghwa left the ship early in the morning, already on their way to make some negotiations for the next port.

 

San was out of the room for the first time, sitting over a bunch of wine cages and looking at the coast mesmerized.

 

“I’m sorry we can’t go. Maybe at night?” Yunho offered and San just smiled. The morning light was making his skin shine and the slave was absorbed for a while. Jongho had to snap him out of it.

 

“Two chickens, write that down.”

 

“Yes, of course.”

 

Both of them continued with their duty, Jongho redirecting the men carrying their goods and Yunho taking note of what was being taken in and out the ship. By lunch time San was trying to grab his attention making crying noises, but Yunho couldn’t just leave his task halfway there.

 

“Tell him to shut up.” Jongho complained.

 

“He’s hungry.” Yunho defended the whining boy.

 

Jongho eyed the working sailors.

 

“You shouldn’t have brought him out.” He said in a whisper, grabbing Yunho’s attention. “The men are already eying him again.”

 

“The captain ordered them not to touch him.”

 

“And they didn’t care that much when he had that tail of his in the way. Now the sailors are just thinking he has more holes to fuck.”

 

Yunho shivered and looked at the men. One of them was grabbing his crotch at San, who looked at him in confusion and then at Yunho, as if asking him to explain. The sailors’ laughs made Yunho snap his writing quill in two.

 

“Take him back to the room, will you.”

 

Jongho nodded and went to obey, but San didn’t seem to want to leave the deck without Yunho and he was clearly not willing to let Jongho carry him, no matter how much the younger insisted.

 

“Ah! Fucker! He bit me!”

 

Yunho gave the paper he had been writing on to Jongho.

 

“Wait a second, I’ll be back.” He grabbed San by the arm, forcing him to hop off the cages and follow him clumsily. “You can’t go around biting people.” Yunho said. San looked angry at this outcome and tried to struggle against the slave’s hold. “No, San! You have to behave. You can’t demand my attention every time, I need to work! And you don’t bite people when things don’t come out the way you want. Don’t look at me like that, you know you’re misbehaving.”

 

Once in the room, San got free from his grip and pushed Yunho away. The slave observed in disbelieve. San had never done anything like that. Then he went back to opening his mouth, taping his lips again.

 

He whined when Yunho didn’t respond immediately.

 

“No, you’re grounded without lunch today.” Yunho said, feeling a lot like a mother. San insisted, his mouth still open and reaching out to him. Yunho just stepped back. “Think about what you did.”

 

He left the boy in the room and went immediately back to work.

 

After doing the inventory of the exchanges made he had to calculate their new reserves, and try to estimate how long would they last, whether they needed more before parting or they could even afford hiring more sailors.

 

It was demanding and Yunho hated every second of it, but work needed to be done. Maybe he would have finished earlier if his mind hadn’t been busy with thoughts of San. Yunho sighed, rubbing his face.

 

Mingi passed by to visit him in the storehouse, where he was still calculating. He looked slightly drunk, but he still managed to hold his form.

 

“Slave.” He called mockingly. “Do you want me to make San’s diner? Seonghwa will be late today.”

 

“No, don’t worry. I’ll do it when I finish this. I’m almost over.”

 

Mingi shrugged.

 

“Whatever, but you’re an awful cook.” He sighed and grabbed Yunho by the shoulders to make him stand. “Go to your boy, I’ll finish this.”

 

“You’re drunk.”

 

“I’m still smarter than a slave that learned how to sum yesterday.”

 

Yunho snorted.

 

“You know that’s not true.”

 

“I’m trying to be nice here, cap.” Mingi did a reverence.

 

Yunho shook his head and left with a sigh.

 

-

 

It took him a while to open the door of the room. San had took the time to pile the furniture in front of the door and no matter how much Yunho called out his name, the boy didn’t respond.

 

He managed to push the door open just a bit, enough to see the boy laying on the bed, his back turned to him. He wasn’t moving at all.

 

“San, come on. Are you okay? Sanie…” He knocked on the door softly, trying to catch the boy’s attention. “Hey, are you mad because I didn’t let you have lunch? We can talk about it, you don’t have to act like this. I brought you dinner.”

 

San didn’t react at that, which was worrying because the boy loved his food.

 

“San, please. Tell me if you’re okay, I’m worried.”

 

The boy moved slightly on the bed, making himself smaller and Yunho sighed in relief. Still, he had no way of getting inside the room and Yunho felt that he couldn’t leave San like that after they had argued. They needed to talk about it.

 

He resisted the urge to kick the door and scream at San. He knew that wouldn’t help.

 

Instead he pushed the door steadily. The furniture made a loud screeching noise against the wooden floor. By the time Yunho had used the little strength he had left, the door was barely open and San was still not responding.

 

He tried to go through that little gap he had managed to open, but he got stuck halfway there, with his crotch in an uncomfortable position. After a bit more of struggling, the gap was big enough to let him pass, but the process was still painful.

 

He gasped once he was inside the room, taking a moment to admire San’s handy work with the furniture.

 

Yunho walked to the boy, still facing away from him. He rested a hand on his shoulder, and San flinched at the touch, moving to hide his face deeper in the pillow.

 

“Let’s talk, Sanie, yeah? Don’t be mad at me.” He forced the boy to face him and his heart broke at the sight. Puffy eyes and red cheeks, tears streaming down his face. Yunho brushed his hair out of the way. “No, don’t cry… I’m sorry. Was I too harsh to you?”

 

San face scrunched up and he started crying harder. Yunho did his best at wiping away the tears as gently as possible.

 

“You must be starving, I’m sorry.” San made a distressed sound when he tried to move away to go get the food. He had left the bowl outside in his haste of getting in. He did his best at ignoring San’s protests while he retrieved the soup. He realized he had been indulging a bit too much the boy’s whims and it was time to start changing his attitude towards him. If he treated San like a kid, he would act like he had done today. “Here”.

 

San grabbed the bowl and started drowning its content, making Yunho feel just a bit guilty as he saw him cry while drinking.

 

Once finished, San gave him back the bowl, silently asking for more.

 

San finished three bowls and then he was cuddling Yunho as if nothing had happened. The slave pulled him away.

 

“You behaved badly today, do you realize that?” San pouted and averted his eyes, which was an affirmation as good as he could get. “You need to apologize to Jognho. And promise you’ll act properly next time.” San still didn’t look at him. He seemed to be at the verge of tears again. “Sanie.”

 

Yunho sighed when San turned around in the bed, showing him his back just like he had done when he had first entered the room.

 

It was better to ignore him. Yunho moved around the room, putting everything back in place, sweating profusely and wondering how San managed to move all of that on his own. Once the room seemed tidy enough, Yunho was in need of a good bath.

 

He gathered clean clothes and forced himself to ignore the sounds San was making to catch his attention. He wasn’t going to give in.

 

Yunho prepared the bath himself and San got out of the bed on his own, walking to the bathroom and trying to grab the slave by the arm. Yunho pushed him away.

 

“No. I’m mad at you.” San made a bunch of noises more. He was still crying. “You can bath with me when you learn how to behave. Go back to the bed.”

 

San stomped angrily out of the bathroom and Yunho got into the tub, not even bothering to get the water heated. He was too tired.

 

It felt somehow lonely in the tub without San there to stare at him.

 

Yunho felt that this task of taking care of the merboy was big on him. Taking a deep breath, he went under the water, closing his eyes and imagining he was in the sea. It was peaceful.

 

San must miss his home. And now he wouldn’t be able to go back.

 

He got out of the water, finishing his clean up quickly and redressing before going back to the room, ready to have a proper conversation with San. But the boy was nowhere to be seen and the door of the room was open.

 

For a second, Yunho thought that San had left him and jumped back to the sea, and his heart had done a weird thing in his chest, as if it had been crushed. Then he thought how clumsy San was on his new legs. He could drown if he tried to jump to the sea.

 

That’s what got him out of his stupor, and with the heart on a fist, he rushed out of the room, looking around every corner like crazy, trying to find those beautiful blue eyes and the dimpled smile he had gotten so used to see.

 

He crushed into Mingi on his search, ignoring his protests and scanning the ship. If San had jumped, if the boy wanted to leave them, to leave him…

 

He found San on the edge of the ship and Yunho rushed to him, grabbing him by the hips and pulling him away from the border. San jumped at the touch, but he relaxed as soon as he noticed it was just Yunho.

 

“Don’t go anywhere like that, please. If… if we argue, we can solve it, but please, don’t leave me like that. Don’t leave.”

 

San tilted his head in confusion and then he turned his gaze back at where he had been staring. On the coast, next to their ship there were two figures pressed together. Yunho couldn’t really see them, but apparently San did. It was probably one of the sailors with some prostitute.

 

“That’s private.” Yunho told him, succeeding in redirecting the boy’s attention. San seemed to blush in the dark. “I’m sorry for everything that happened today.” San hugged him all of the sudden, and stayed like that. Maybe it was his way of saying sorry. “We should talk about it, without fighting. Do you want to go down to the beach?”

 

San seemed to lighten up at that.

 

They went down the ship and on the opposite way of the couple San had found.

 

It was a beautiful night, with millions of stars shinning over the sea. The sight wasn’t much different from the one they got from the ship, but the feeling of ground under their feet was enough to make it a completely different experience.

 

And San was holding his hand and was laughing at the water of the waves reaching him, running away when it got too close to him.

 

Yunho just watched him. He couldn’t do anything but stare at the boy. When he thought of him leaving… that idea made him want to swim into the sea and drown.

 

But San was with him now, and he seemed happy, having forgotten their previous argument. He looked so beautiful under the stars it hurt.

 

He came to a halt all of the sudden and Yunho imitated him, looking straight into his eyes. They were the most beautiful Yunho had seen. San was grabbing both of his hands, smiling so widely at him it made the slave the most powerful person in the world. When he smiled Yunho felt like he could take the wheel of the ship and sail it through the sky.

 

San kissed him.

 

The only thing Yunho could do was blink.

 

San pulled away almost immediately, smiling shyly at him. Yunho’s lips were tingling and there wasn’t anything he could do to stop them from joining San’s again.

 

The boy kissed clumsily, obviously not used to it, but he was eager and Yunho let him take control and explore his mouth. Their hands were still clasped together and Yunho was dying to touch, to hold him close to his body, but he let San go at his own pace.

 

He tried not to whine when the boy pulled away, smiling and jumping around. Yunho found himself smiling too, his heart full of joy at seeing San so happy. He came back to Yunho giving him another quick kiss and laughing in embarrassment.

 

Suddenly there were hands on his shirt and San was trying to undress him. Yunho stopped him, feeling his face hot.

 

“What… What do you want?” San pointed the sea. “You go, I’ll watch over.”

 

San pouted at him and Yunho agreed to roll his pants up and walk where it was shallower as the merboy tried to swim with his newly acquired legs.

 

He didn’t know how long they have been there, but San was still swimming when Yunho saw the figure approaching. He went to reach for the boy, but San had already noticed it and was swimming towards it. Yunho walked further inside, ready to grab San at any moment.

 

But then he saw what it was.

 

A merboy. One who still had his tail.

 

Yunho watched them from a safe distance. He didn’t want to scare the newcomer off.

 

Both swam around each other, and Yunho supposed that they didn’t know each other. He wondered why the merboy had approached them, knowing that there was a human present.

 

Another figure came swimming. Another merboy.

 

That was the first time he heard San make more elaborated noises. It took him a while to realize he was talking in his language.

 

It was over sooner than Yunho had expected. The two beautiful merboys swam away and San came back to him, smiling a bit uncertainly.

 

“Do you want to go with them?” He asked, feeling selfish all of the sudden for not having tried to return San to the water before. Not that he could now without his tail, but he still felt he had to ask. San grabbed his hand and took them both out of the water. He kissed Yunho to erase the worry on his face. “Do you want to stay with me?”

 

San smiled.

 

-

 

The ship went back to sailing three days later.

 

“Shouldn’t he want to go back home?” He asked to Seonghwa, both of them doing night watch that week.

 

“I don’t know. Do you want to go back home?”

 

Yunho looked at the sea.

 

“You know the answer to that. I have my motives, but why would he…?”

 

“He has his motives, too.”

 

“How do you know so much about his kind?”

 

“I thought you would have guessed by now.”

 

Yunho just stared at him, at a complete loss, but Seonghwa didn’t add anything and he didn’t insist.

 

The captain came looking for his partner when their shift was over.

 

“Come back to bed.” Was all he said.

 

Seonghwa leaned down to kiss him and Yunho tried to look elsewhere, the sudden reminder of his kiss with San enough to make him blush.

 

“Show him your neck lace.”

 

Hongjoong didn’t even doubt before lowering his shirt a bit, enough to expose a simple cord with a beautiful green scale on it. Yunho looked at it open mouthed.

 

“Are you…?” He started to ask the captain, but soon he turned to Seonghwa. “No. It’s you, right? You are…”

 

Seonghwa smiled, clearly amused.

 

“You can say it. A merman.”

 

Yunho eyed his legs, as if they would turn suddenly into a tail.

 

“But, why? How?”

 

“Why am I in this ship instead of in the sea?” Seonghwa offered and Yunho nodded dumbly. “Because I love Hongjoong.”

 

The captain flushed at that, but Yunho was too shocked to realize.

 

“Don’t you miss your home?”

 

“He is my home.”

 

“But…”

 

“That scale would allow me to grow back my tail and go back to the sea. I gave it to Hongjoong as a symbol of trust and to show him that I want to be here, next to him.”
“Seonghwa…” Hongjoong said quietly, clearly embarrassed, but so very pleased.

 

Yunho took his time to tie the knots of this story.

 

“Did San loose his?” He asked, alarmed. “Is he trapped in here…?”

 

His captain cut his train of thoughts.

 

“No. San still has it.”

 

“Then why isn’t he…?”

 

“I told you he had his motives.” Seonghwa reminded him and Yunho was just lost. He felt as if some important piece of information was missing. “I can’t tell you everything, but I’m sure you can imagine why he’s still here.”

 

Yunho was growing more and more anxious.

 

“Did he lost his family? His home? Is he still too tired to go back?”

 

The couple in front of him shared a look and sighed.

 

“You are really dense, Yunho.” Hongjoong said.

 

“Go back to San, he must be waiting for you.”

 

-

 

San was sitting at the desk when Yunho came back to their room. He seemed busy, but as soon as the door opened he was rushing to hide everything inside a drawer. He looked up at Yunho with flushed cheeks, and the slave just smiled at him. He felt curiosity, but he knew San needed to have his privacy, so he didn’t pry in.

 

“Do you want to bath?”

 

San nodded. It had been a surprise to Yunho when he first did it, and left him to wonder how much time Seonghwa spent with the boy, teaching him how to interact with humans, while was doing his slave duty. He thanked that the older was there for him, because it could get really boring being alone for that many hours, but he couldn’t help to feel a bit jealous of their closeness. It made more sense now, knowing what the co-captain was.

 

The merboy had gotten a lot more independent now, and he walked himself to the bathroom this time, without whining for Yunho to carry him. He petted San’s hair, as he always did when the boy behaved. He had realized that San learned much faster with prizes instead of punishments.

 

The bath was already prepared. Jongho told him that San often came to him and pulled at his sleeve until he went to prepare the water for them. Then San would wait patiently until Yunho’s arrival to bath together. The water often got a bit cold, but it was nothing Yunho couldn’t handle.

 

He had to undress San, because the merboy had an ongoing fight with clothes. At least he obeyed Yunho when he told him to wear pants if he was going to get out of the room or they were going to receive visits. It was a pity to cover those smooth legs, but it just made uncovering them a lot more exciting.

 

San got on the tub on his own while Yunho undressed himself. He still hadn’t dropped the habit of staring at him while he got naked. The slave attributed it to curiosity. San wasn’t very familiar with human anatomy. He would probably freak out if he ever saw a naked girl.

 

Once both of them were in the tub, San didn’t waste time in leaning forward and peck Yunho’s lips, smiling and blushing like a teen with a crush when he pulled back. Yunho felt at ease when they were bathing. It was quiet, and it felt like they were in a parallel word, completely alone, enjoying each other’s company.

 

San often tried to cuddle when they were in the water, but Yunho forced him to stay away while they washed up properly. Then he would open his arms and let San sit in between his legs. San fell asleep like that most of the times and Yunho had to carry him out while carefully trying not to slip and kill them both.

 

Today, though, San didn’t look like he wanted to sleep. He crawled closer and Yunho thought it was stupid to think the water hugging his thin waist was a beautiful sight.

 

Yunho was too distracted with the droplets running through San’s body, so when he felt fingers grazing his cock, he couldn’t help but jump. He grabbed San’s wrist before the boy went further.

 

San met his eyes and Yunho felt his stupid dick twitch, that traitor.

 

“Do you understand what you are doing?” Yunho asked. He needed to know, he needed to be completely sure that San was aware of what that kind of touch implied. San whined, as he always did when he was frustrated, his hand still on his member, trying to stroke it. Yunho stopped him, though. “San, you can’t just do this to anyone, do you understand?”

 

San was avoiding his eyes, but Yunho forced his head up with the hand that wasn’t holding San’s, so the boy would look at him. His lip was trembling and Yunho really hoped that he wasn’t about to start crying. San kissed him, feeling desperate, but Yunho still moved his hand away.

 

“Nghh!” He screamed at him when Yunho didn’t respond the kiss. It was the most articulated sound he had ever made.

 

Yunho grabbed both of his hands, kissing them, and that seemed to placate San enough for Yunho to press him closer to cuddle. But not enough to stop him from crying.

 

“I need to know you’re sure of this.” Yunho tried to explain. If he could just… look inside San’s mind and know what he was thinking. “I’m sorry, honey.”

 

-

 

San was on a foul mood for some days, but Yunho tried to get him out of it. He took the boy to work with him, and the exercise actually seemed to cheer him up a little. Or maybe he was just too tired to be sad.

 

The sailors liked him a lot. He was just so cute and cheerful. The older ones treated him almost like a son, giving him small treats they found in the kitchen. San accepted them with a smile but never ate them, not since he puked his guts outs once when he tried to taste a bit of cheese. The amount of bile that came out of him was worrying. After that awful experience, he just gave them to Yunho, feeding him with his hand.

 

The younger members of the tribulation were quite the opposite. They were rebellious and thought themselves to be the kings of the word. If Hongjoong or Seonghwa weren’t there, they acted as the captain.

 

Yunho couldn’t even count the amount of times he’d had to push them verbally and physically away from San. It was as if the boy was a magnet, but it really wasn’t a surprise. He was breathtakingly pretty, it was only normal that everyone’s attention was drawn towards him. But that didn’t mean there weren’t some limits.

 

On his first day working, one of their new sailors managed to lower San’s pants to see if it was true that he was completely human now. Yunho had fought him like he hadn’t done in years. By the end of it, he had the skin in his knuckles completely raw and San was crying behind Mingi.

 

The boy tried to treat his hands, but he was just shaking so badly and he also didn’t know too much about first aid. He didn’t want anyone touching Yunho, though, not even Seonghwa, and the slave had to bandage himself with San clinging to him.

 

“Are you okay?” He asked the boy.

 

San made a noncommittal noise, gripping his arm with more strength.

 

Hongjoong came into their room and San’s grip became possessive. Their captain had his necklace out in the open.

 

“The men are talking.” Was all he said.

 

“So what.” Yunho said clenching his jaw and avoiding Hongjoong’s big eyes.

 

“About a captain. One who killed his whole tribulation without a sword when they rebelled. The Pirate King.”

 

“Stop.” He felt San’s gaze fixed on him.

 

“You said you wanted to run away from that life.”

 

“And I do.”

 

“I don’t want problems with the armies that come looking for him.”

 

“He doesn’t exist anymore.”

 

Hongjoong looked at San.

 

“I hope you’re right.”

 

-

 

It was rare for San to wake up before Yunho, but lately he had been going to the captain’s room, probably receiving some lessons from Seongwha. Now that he knew the true nature of the man, Yunho couldn’t help but feel stupid for not guessing it before. His beauty wasn’t human, just the way he carried himself screamed otherworldly.

 

Those times when Yunho was alone and didn’t have San around to distract him, he could really think. More often than before, his mind drifted to Seonghwa and Hongjoong. And their relationship. The merman must have really loved him to give up the life he knew.

 

There seemed to be a deeper connection between them than Yunho had ever seen in human couples. They were like soul mates.

 

On one of those lonely mornings, Yunho found San’s scale. It was an accident, really. He had just been trying to find some laces to change the ones in his boots, and looking through the drawers, he found the pale blue scale.

 

San had dedicated a lot of time on it, apparently. He had made a beautiful necklace, with little shells and shining stones.

 

Yunho touched the scale. It was smooth and it still smelled like the sea. He left it where he had found it and went to work.

 

Hongjoong didn’t like him acting as his slave. When he agreed on having Yunho on his ship he thought of hiring him as a sailor with some important charge, but Yunho wouldn’t have any of it. The captain still gave him disapproving looks when he found the boy working and tried to distract him to make him stop.

 

San was just the perfect solution for him.

 

“Show him around the ship, will you?” He said that day, taking the bucket with water and soap away from him. “Teach him how to ask for his food, and which other sailors he can trust.”

 

“Seonghwa can do that.” Yunho frowned.

 

“That’s why he’s going with you two.”

 

Yunho just sighed as San grabbed his hand with a smile. Seonghwa joined them at the kitchens and they made themselves a quick snack while the main cooker tried to teach San how to use the fire. Yunho had to grab his hand before he tried to touch it.

 

“Have you fucked already?” Seonghwa asked out of the blue and Yunho chocked on the grapes he was eating. San turned towards the noise in worry but the cook scolded him for not paying attention. “I’m surprised you have resisted this long?”

 

“Is it you who is teaching him all those things?” Yunho asked after drinking a bit of wine.

 

Seonghwa arched an eyebrow.

 

“What kind of things? Did he try to sleep with you?”

 

Yunho was sure he must be blushing deeply and tried to hide his face by stuffing his mouth full.

 

“He tried… touching me before.”

 

Seonghwa made a small noise of acknowledgement.

 

“And still you haven’t done anything?”

 

Yunho looked at San, making sure he wasn’t listening to the conversation. That was enough embarrassment for a day, thank you very much. He lowered his volume before answering.

 

“I’d feel as if I’m taking advantage of him. I don’t think he knows…”

 

Seonghwa interrupted him by laughing, covering his mouth with a delicate hand. Yunho frowned at him, trying not to feel offended.

 

“He is no child, Yunho.” Seonghwa managed to say between laughs. “He knows what he wants, he just cannot voice it.”

 

“Still…”

 

“You are adorable.” Yunho scowled at that. “San looked so conflicted I thought you really didn’t want him.”

 

Yunho buffed. That was just stupid.

 

“How could I not want him? I mean, have you seen him? He is just…” The words died in his mouth when San turned towards them with a smile and a bowl of soup in his hand. He looked so proud of himself. “Just perfect.”

 

Seonghwa patted his shoulder.

 

“Then don’t hesitate the next time a chance is presented to you.”

 

San was tasting his meal and he scrunched up his nose cutely in disgust.

 

“Yeah, I won’t.”
-

 

A chance, as Seonghwa had called it, hadn’t presented itself in the following days, though. San seemed focused on learning how to cook and even tried to prepare Yunho’s meals to surprise him after he came back from working. It tasted like food, so it wasn’t a complete failure. The chef probably helped him out.

 

San wasn’t insisting on touching Yunho anymore, but they still bathed together and cuddled whenever they could. It was driving him crazy, if he was honest. Yunho even thought of starting something himself, but he wanted the boy to give the first step.

 

They still kissed, shy and soft and Yunho felt his heat bursting every time.

 

Sometimes he wondered whether San was staying in the ship for him, just like Seonghwa was doing for Hongjoong, but he discarded those thoughts as soon as they appeared. They had just met and Yunho was falling to fast for his own good.

 

It came as a punch on the gut when he saw a sailor with San’s scale in his hand one day. He stared at the man in shock, seeing how his filthy fingers played with the shells of the necklace.

 

Symbol of trust. Seonghwa’s words came back to him to stab him in the heart.

 

San was there, with the man, but something was wrong. He looked distressed and he was trying to grab the necklace. The emptiness Yunho had felt was quickly substituted by rage.

 

“What the fuck do you think you are doing!?” He shouted, immediately walking towards the sailor.

 

As soon as he saw Yunho, nervousness painted his expression, but he still tried to hide it. A wavy cocky smile appeared on his face.

 

“I’m just taking a look at this beautiful thing.”

 

San was still trying to get his necklace back and he seemed to be about to shed a tear. Yunho swore that if that man made him cry he wouldn’t live to see the next day.

 

“Give it to him.” He ordered in a cold murderous voice. Yunho saw the resolve in the sailor’s eyes dissipating at that.

 

The man shoved the necklace in Yunho’s hands.

 

“Gods, just have it. It isn’t worth that much.”

 

Yunho breathed deeply as he saw the sailor retreating. Once he was fully calm, he turned to San, who was eyeing him in what seemed to be fear. Yunho felt his heart aching. He didn’t want the boy to feel scared of him.

 

He grabbed one of San’s hand and gave him back his necklace.

 

“I’m sorry you had to see that.” San was staring at him in utter shock, then dropping his gaze to his own hand where the piece of jewelry was resting.

 

“NO, YUNHO, DON’T DO THAT!” Hongjoong’s voice shocked him. The captain was running towards them. “STOP HIM, STOP HIM!”

 

San let out a pained cry. The sound made Yunho’s hair stand on end and he reached out to the boy, but he didn’t make contact. San flinched away from him.

 

“Sanie? What’s wrong?”

 

“YUNHO, DON’T LET HIM GO.”

 

The slave didn’t understand what was going on until San grabbed the necklace with so much force the scale dug into his skin and then started running away from him. Yunho took a second too long to react, and when he went after the boy, San was already too far and jumping out of the ship.

 

“No. No, no, no. SAN!”

 

Hongjoong reached him with wide eyes and out of breath.

 

“You rejected him! You…”

 

But Yunho didn’t need to hear anything else. He was already jumping out of the ship. His heart was full of dread, a type of fear he had never felt and that was consuming him completely.

 

He didn’t even register the hit with the surface of the sea, or the coldness of the water.

 

“San! San, come back! SAN, PLEASE!”

 

Yunho started swimming but he didn’t know what direction had he gone and he was feeling already out of breath. He realized he was having a panic attack.

 

San was leaving him. He was not going to see the boy never again.

 

He swam. He tried to catch him, but he couldn’t even see a trace of the boy, nothing but the broken rests of the necklace and no sign of the scale.

 

-

 

Seonghwa was the one to get him out of the water. Yunho was still so shocked that he barely registered the tail. He had gotten pretty far from the ship trying to reach San and he couldn’t feel his limbs. Seonghwa dragged him all the way back and the sailors helped them up on the ship.

 

Jongho took care of him. He had to be treated like a child, being helped out of his clothes and into a warm bath so he wouldn’t get a hypothermia. He let the sailor do his thing, getting him into dry clothes and back into bed. Only when he was left alone Yunho let himself cry to sleep.

 

A few days went by before Hongjoong came into the room to force him to eat. Yunho felt like puking the whole time.

 

“That was very stupid of you, jumping out of the ship.” Hongjoong said as he forced the slave to take another bath. He looked really mad. “Seonghwa had to transform so quickly after all this time… he is hurt, you know? He could barely stand when he brought you back.”

 

Yunho really didn’t need more incentives to hate himself any more.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me?” He crocked out after two days of complete silence and crying his lungs out. “You should’ve warn me and… and…”

 

“We thought you knew… what you were to each other, it was so obvious…”

 

“It’s your fault. If I knew what the scale meant if I…”

 

Hongjoong was cleaning his tears.

 

“I know you don’t mean that. I’m sorry, Yunho, I really am.”

 

He just nodded, looking at the empty spot in the tub where San would have been.

 

“Is he going to be okay?” He asked.

 

“I’m sure he will.”

 

“But he is alone and…”

 

Hongjoong grabbed his face and forced Yunho to look at him.

 

“He’ll be okay, are you listening? He is fine. You have to worry about yourself.”

 

Yunho stayed silent for a while, the occurrences of that awful day playing over and over on his mind.

 

“How am I going to live without him now?”

 

“You will. You can do it.”

 

Yunho couldn’t disagree more.

 

It took him a while to muster the courage to get out of the room. He didn’t bother to get his belongings back to his old room and he didn’t tell Hongjoong he was moving. The only thing he brought with him were the rests of the necklace rope. He tied it around his wrist as he dropped on his old bed.

 

Yunho thought it was best to go back to work. Seonghwa thought of putting him on inventory or maybe in the kitchens so he would stay inside. Maybe he was afraid he would jump to the sea if he saw it.

 

He wasn’t going to lie, he was tempted. Drowning seemed like a good option now.

 

One night the sound of mermaids singing reached their ship. Seonghwa was beside him the next second, Hongjoong not far behind. The tribulation was taking measures to keep themselves from jumping to the water.

 

Yunho’s heart was beating like crazy.

 

“It’s not him. They are females.” Seonghwa told him. Yunho’s hands were balled into fists, his knuckles white.

 

-

 

“Could you find him?” He asked the co-captain one day during lunch time. Yunho ate an apple under the scrutiny of Hongjoong.

 

“I’m sorry, Yunho.” Was all Seonghwa said.

 

“I’ll never see him again, right?”

 

Seonghwa squirmed in his seat. His hip was still hurting for his sudden transformation and Yunho felt a little selfish for trying to get him back into the water.

 

“Only if he wants you to.”

 

They got to two other ports and the further they went, the more Yunho’s heart ached. He wanted to take the wheel of the ship and sail them back to the place where he lost the boy.

 

He spent every night they were on land going to the beach and sitting in front of the water, waiting for San to come back swimming to him, but there was no luck.

 

Things only went downhill from there. Yunho was feeling as if he was back to his old days as a pirate, back to all the things he hated. He got into a few fights whenever he heard one of the men mentioning the merboy, even if it was just wondering where he went.

 

It all resulted in bruises on his knuckles and sometimes on the rest of his body when he let the others hit him too.

 

“You need to stop this.” Hongjoong told him one day while cleaning his wounds. “The sailors are mad at you, they’ll end up asking for your head.”

 

Yunho didn’t answer and the captain didn’t insist, realizing how little did the boy mind ending his life.

 

The mermaids were singing once again one night Yunho had been cornered by some sailors. Three of them were very familiar, the ones with which everything had started. They didn’t seem affected by the singing. Maybe Yunho was just imagining it.

 

He was severely injured. That night was as good as any to be his last. As soon as he saw the chance, he went to the edge of the ship, jumping into the water and hoping for the mermaids in his head to help him drown.

 

-

 

When he woke up, Yunho thought it was San’s face in front of his, waiting for him in heaven. But those eyes weren’t blue, but lilac and they didn’t hold the whole world in them as San’s did.

 

He didn’t know where he was, but it was bright, too bright, and Yunho was almost sure this was in fact heaven. But it was too hot, and his whole body hurt, and if that was what heaven felt like, Yunho wasn’t really sure he wanted to stay there.

 

There were hands on his face and Yunho tried to open his eyes properly, but the light blinded him. His body was coming back slowly to his senses, and apart from the pain, Yunho could feel soft sand under his fingers. A beach. A beautiful boy in front of him. It was so familiar it hurt.

 

The boy made some sweet sounds. A merman. Then another one blocking the sun from Yunho’s face. He opened his eyes slowly.

 

They were familiar. The merboys from the beach.

 

“Where am I?” He asked with a hoarse voice, not really expecting an answer.

 

“Our island.” The one with the lilac eyes said. Yunho blinked at him. “We found you a few days ago and tried to heal you. You were about to die.”

 

Yunho didn’t even question why the merboy could speak his language. He honestly did not care anymore.

 

“You should have left me.”

 

“That would have destroyed San.” Yunho tried to sit up at the mention of the boy, but a shove on his chest held him down. “Your ribs aren’t fully healed…”

 

“Where is he? Is he okay? Is he here?”

 

“He is okay. He is not here.” The boy informed him before turning to his partner, switching back to his language and signaling to the sea. The other merboy nodded and went into the water, leaving them alone. “I’m Wooyoung.”

 

“Yunho. Can you find him? Can you get me to him?” He asked desperately.

 

Wooyoung shook his head.

 

“You are in no state of going anywhere. You need to eat.”

 

“No, I need to talk to him. There was a misunderstanding, I need to…”

 

Wooyoung smiled at him.

 

“I know. Come on, let’s get you to your feet, we need to take care of you.”

 

Yunho didn’t know what was he expecting, but it surely wasn’t a complex building with running water just like in the bigger cities. It seemed to be built out of a ship and Yunho was shocked to recognize it. He knew that wood and that statue of a mermaid.

 

Wooyoung noticed his hesitance upon seeing it.

 

“We are a forgiving group, Pirate King. We don’t hold any grudges.”

 

Yunho took a deep breath.

 

“How many of you are there?” He asked, limping on his left foot and supporting himself on Wooyoung. The boy had dropped his tail and Yunho had given him his shirt to cover up.

 

“Here? Just Yeosang and me.”

 

“Where is San?” He tried asking again. “Have you seen him?”

 

Wooyoung didn’t find his eyes.

 

“I saw him. But I don’t know where he is. He didn’t want to stay in the island, no matter how much we offered.”

 

Yunho’s heart sank.

 

“He is alone out there?” He asked in a tiny voice.

 

“He can handle himself.”

 

They reached the house. Yunho gulped before getting in. That was in his past.

 

“Do you think he’d hate me if he found out who I was?” He wondered out loud.

 

“He already knows.” Yunho turned his head so fast towards him that his neck hurt. “Your face is known all over the sea. You are lucky we found you before the mermaids.”

 

Yunho shuddered.

 

“I’m not like that anymore.”

 

“We know. Seonghwa told us the whole story. San knows too.”

 

Yunho was feeling as if his whole world had been turned upside down. His past was meeting his present, something that he had tried to avoid for so long.
“And he still...”

 

“You are his soul mate.”

 

Yunho had finally figured that out, but it still took the air out of his lungs hearing it from other mouth. He had a soul mate. And he had lost it. He felt like crying once again.

 

Wooyoung forced him to take a bath to clean the salt from his body. Yunho would start to hate the water if it weren’t so deeply linked to the person he cared most about.

 

He was fed and cleaned. Wooyoung gave him water in small portions, afraid it would upset his stomach after not having anything in it for days. He was given new clothes and installed in a small room. Yunho was thankful there wasn’t anything there from his old chambers. There weren’t many personal objects in there, only the necessary.

 

“Are you okay?” Wooyoung asked from the door. He was still just wearing his shirt, his naked legs on full display.

 

“How did you learn to change?” He asked back, dressing up the real question he wanted to ask. But Wooyoung was a merman and he could see through him just as Seonghwa or San.

 

“My soul mate was one of the pirates that captured me. My body changed on his own for him and after he did everything he wanted with me, he dropped me back to the sea.” He answered, his eyes never leaving Yunho’s. “I wasn’t useful without my tail. At least I didn’t give him my scale and could go back to my old life.”

 

“I’m sorry.” Yunho said and his voice broke.

 

“It wasn’t one of your men, it was other ship. You may have been the biggest mermaid dealer, but you weren’t the only one. Don’t feel that guilty.”

 

“But…”

 

Wooyoung had already ended that conversation.

 

“Get some sleep.”

 

-

 

Wooyoung wasn’t really a talker and Yunho was grateful of that. He brought the food to his room and sometimes he ate his sea weed soup with him. Sometimes they had small conversations, about how did they know Seonghwa and how Wooyoung met Yeosang. The merboy only told him that his friend also had his soul mate rejecting him, but didn’t want to go into details without the other’s permission.

 

“Are you together?” He asked with his mouth full of fish. Wooyoung scrunched up his nose when he saw him eat it, but he still cooked it for him.

 

The merboy blushed and Yunho couldn’t hide his smile.

 

“We aren’t.”

 

“Yeah, sure. Where is he, by the way? He left a while ago.”

 

“He’ll get back soon.” Wooyoung answered, taking their dirty dishes and leaving Yunho alone once again.

 

The problem with the merboy keeping his distance was that Yunho had too much time on his hands to think. It was as if he was back to Hongjoong’s ship on the days right after San left. When the other boy talked to him at least he could concentrate in something else.

 

His injuries got better quickly. They were mainly remnants of his fight with the soldiers and they didn’t hurt him too bad. The worst were his ribs, but he could already walk without them being a bother.

 

He started moving around the boat, waiting for a bad memory to pop out at any moment, but they had made a good job building the house, filling it with small personal things that made it feel like home. Plants from the island, beautiful shells.

 

It was dark inside, there weren’t many windows. Yunho thought it was perfectly made to barricade themselves in, in case of emergency. It had a secret exit for merpeople that lead to the sea.

 

“What are you doing to do with me?” He asked one day they were eating next to the exit. It was like a small covered beach.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Well, I’m not going to stay here forever, am I?”

 

“Do you have something to return to?”

 

He thought about Seonghwa and Hongjoog, even about Mingi and Jongho. They were the closest thing he had to a family. It was sad.

 

“I don’t think so.”

 

“Then you can stay forever.”

 

“I need to find San.”

 

“You can’t do that just for mere force of will.”

 

“I need to try. I don’t think there is anything else for me to do.”

 

Wooyoung didn’t say anything else.

 

Yeosang came back to the island when Yunho was out exploring the small forest, collecting the fruits Wooyoung had asked from him. He even made cute drawings for every item in the list.

 

He found almost everything, but after finishing his water and still not finding what he needed, he decided to go back to the house. He was received with the sight of Wooyoung and Yeosang kissing the lights out of each other.

 

He cleared his throat.

 

“I’ll just… go to my room.”

 

Yeosang turned to him, still grabbing Wooyoung by the waist.

 

“I talked to Seonghwa.” Yunho was a bit shocked to hear him talking his language to properly register what he was saying. “He said he is happy you are okay and that he hates you for making his soul mate worry.”

 

Yunho felt warmth flooding him at that. He smiled.

 

“Thank you.”

 

“They’ll visit. I told them where we are.”

 

Yunho was going to talk, but Wooyoung beat him to it.

 

“He plans on going after San.” He explained, still clinging to the boy. Yeosang had golden eyes and a birth mark under one of them. Both of the creatures made a breathtaking picture.

 

“You don’t have a ship.”

 

Yunho shrugged.

 

“I’ll make a boat.”

 

“You won’t survive.”

 

He just smiled at them before leaving what he collected on a nearby desk and abandoning the couple to go hide in his room.

 

-

 

Yunho thought about it, tried to plan it properly. He could build a boat, ask Yeosang to find the nearest ship and sail over there. In the nearest port, he could join a fishing crew or even find a job to get his own ship.

 

He would need enough resources to get out of the island. He even started calculating, remembering the days of inventory in Hognjoong’s ship.

 

He started to form his own routine. Getting up, having a light breakfast and preparing himself to go out to the forest. It was mainly to keep himself busy and to give the couple on the house a little bit of time alone. The work was good for his mind, the prospect of seeing San again much better.

 

Wooyoung had convinced him to wait until Hongjoong ship came to visit. He wasn’t sure if he could wait that long, though. It was as if the sea was calling for him.

 

He knocked loudly on the door to warn the mermen of his arrival.

 

“I’m back!” He announced for good measure.

 

Wooyoung was there, waiting for him.

 

“Yeosang is cooking for you. Go freshen up, take your time.”

 

“But I’m hungry.” He complained. “Can I eat first and then take the bath?”

 

Wooyoung gave him a disgusted look.

 

“Don’t be nasty.”

 

“I’m not even dirty!”

 

“I don’t care. My house my rules. Wash up you pig.”

 

“I wish you didn’t speak my language.” Yunho muttered, as he always did when Wooyoung insulted him.

 

“I wish I couldn’t understand all the stupid shit you say.”

 

Yunho left all his things in the dining room before rushing to the bathroom. Wooyoung may act like an asshole, but he had been kind enough to prepare his bath.

 

He took his time scrubbing off his sweat. He kept counting the days until Hongjoong’s ship came close to the island. Yeosang had shown him in a map their location and Yunho still remembered the route the pirates followed. There was an island close by where they could stop the ship and come to get Yunho by boat.

 

Yunho hated to be the cause of this many trouble, but he wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t so important to him.

 

He didn’t bother to cover up on his way to his room. Yunho had already seen Wooyoung and Yeosang naked more times than it should be possible in the short amount they have known each other. He guessed they wouldn’t mind if it was the other way around.

 

The door of his bedroom was closed, which should have surprised him because there was no privacy in this house, but Yunho just had his mind somewhere else. He opened it, thinking about how he would apologize to Hongjoong when they met again.

 

Yunho stopped dead on his tracks. San turned to look at him.

 

He felt his heart miss a beat. The boy was wearing clothes too big for him and was looking at him uncertainly, fidgeting in his place.

 

Yunho didn’t know how long did he stare at San, but the next thing he was aware of was his knees hitting the ground. San jumped, surprised about the sudden movement, reaching his hands out for him, but stopping himself.

 

“I’m s-sorry.” Yunho cried, looking up at him, his tears blurring San’s frame. “I’m sorry. I didn’t… I don’t…”

 

Sensing his struggle, San kneeled in front of him and rushed to grab his hands.

 

“Yun… ho.” The boy said with a soft voice. Yunho just cried harder, throwing himself at San, not minding his own nakedness, not minding anything that wasn’t the boy in front of him.

 

San hugged him back just as strong.

 

“Don’t ever leave me, please. Please.”

 

Yunho pulled away from him for a second and showed him his wrist, where the necklace was still tied. He was so glad he didn’t lose it when he threw himself to the sea, it had been the only thing from San he had left.

 

The merboy traced the cord with his delicate fingers, mouth agape and eyes shining. He smiled up at Yunho and a tear rolled down his cheek. He wanted to weep it away, but his hands were being tightly held by San’s.

 

He could get lost in his eyes, so blue, so shining with tears.

 

Yunho wanted to kiss him. It was probably the thing he wanted most right now, but he kept staring at San, making sure he stayed there, that he didn’t leave him once again.

 

San cradled his face and pressed their foreheads together. Yunho didn’t know how long they stayed like that but it was as if he could feel something deep in his chest, as if a knot had been undone. It was San who pressed their lips together, just a short soft kiss, as many they had shared before.

 

Then he stood up and Yunho opened his eyes in desperation and fear of him leaving, but San was just removing his clothes. One of San’s delicate hands grabbed his and ushered him up and to the bed, and Yunho just followed him because it seemed to be the only thing he was able to do when it came to San.

 

Kneeling in the sheets, San pulled a still hesitant Yunho down by the neck, giving him a kiss like they had never had.

 

Yunho forced himself to pull away for a second, holding him by the cheeks.

 

“San, look at me.” He asked and the boy did, wondering and maybe even a bit scared. It was like walking on shells around each other, nothing was certain and both of them were terrified. “You know I love you, right? I love you.”

 

San nodded desperately, grabbing one of Yunho’s hands and putting it over his chest where his heart was beating like crazy.

 

Yunho kissed him once again, getting finally into the bed with him, laying San down.

 

He didn’t allow himself to lose control and pulled away to admire the way San’s lips looked puffy and red. He was just so beautiful. From the moment he saw him on the ship, Yunho knew he wouldn’t meet anyone like him.

 

He rested his chest over San’s and traced his eyes, cheekbones and lips with his fingers. San let him, smiling softly up at him and following a trace of his own on Yunho’s collarbones, his foot going up his calf, waking goose bumps on his skin.

 

Yunho could feel San’s arousal against his hip. The boy though was staying still, letting Yunho direct the situation. But he just wanted to look at him for the rest of his life, feel his skin under his fingers, the warmth seeping from him.

 

At some point when Yunho started to cradle his fingers through San’s hair, the boy fell asleep, his soft mouth falling slightly open. Yunho moved on the bed to get into a comfortable position, bringing San closer to his body and pulling the sheets over them.

 

San’s waist feel tiny under his hands and he was afraid to break him if he held him too close. But he couldn’t help it. It just felt right, tightening his hold.
Eventually he fell asleep too.

 

-

 

Waking up with San kissing him was probably the best feeling in the world.

 

He smiled into the kiss and San smiled too, with small hands trailing down Yunho’s body. He let him, but San was still hesitant, unsure of what he was doing.

 

Yunho let his own hands wander, going to rest at the small of his back as they kissed softly. Somewhere in the back of his mind wondered where San could have learnt that when he licked into his mouth, but he didn’t dwell too much on it, receiving the boy and trying to control the eagerness boiling under his skin.

 

San made a tiny noise at the back of his throat when Yunho dared to pat his cute butt, resting his hand there. San pulled back and then started to point at his shining lips. Yunho frowned, still half asleep and in a daze, but the boy seemed to be asking something, so he just nodded.

 

He watched without really registering it how San moved down the bed and in between his legs.

 

“Oh.” He muttered. “O-fuck.”

 

Yunho threw his head back at the first contact. San was sloppy and he lacked any finesse, but he went at it like his life depended on it. Yunho couldn’t help but stare at the way his beautiful lips closed around his girth, leaving everything wet with saliva. San had his eyes closed, as if he was really enjoying it, making noises at the back of his throat and sending vibrations all the way up through Yunho’s spine.

 

He could see the curve of San’s body, his back arched as he pushed his hips up in the air. Yunho rested his hand on the top of his head and San opened his teary eyes to look at him.

 

Yunho breathed out. This is where he wanted to be for the rest of his life.

 

“Come here, darling.” He said with a hoarse voice.

 

San obeyed, giving a last kiss to the tip of his cock and going up to meet Yunho’s lips.

 

“Y-yunho.” He whispered against his mouth.

 

“What do you want, hm? Show me.”

 

‘Yunho’ seemed to be the extent of San’s vocabulary, so he responded by kissing the pirate once again. He let San go at his own pace, knowing or at least supposing it was the first time the merboy was intimate with someone.

 

But San had never been really patient, and the next second he was grabbing Yunho’s hand and directing it in between his cheeks. Sensing the importance of the moment, San broke the kiss to look at his lover in the eyes.

 

“Yunho. Yunho…” He kept saying while nodding his head and rolling his hips back into the hand he was holding there.

 

That was the most Yunho was going to get, so he nodded back at the boy, unable to control his eagerness. San smiled at him when one of his fingers made a bigger pressure on his small hole. Gods, it would be so tight.

 

“Give me a second, yeah?”

 

Yunho moved out of the bed, struggling a bit with the blankets and making San giggle. He anxiously looked for a bottle of lotion and was only a little embarrassed to find that one of the other mermen had left some in his desk for him.

 

When he turned to the bed, San was lying on it like a lazy cat, fingers playing with his nipples.

 

Yunho all but threw himself on the bed leaning down to kiss the small nubs. San responded with a mewl, reaching for the bottle of lotion himself while Yunho occupied himself kissing all over San’s body.

 

He watched from the corner of his eye while sucking marks on San’s pale thighs as the boy reached his dripping fingers down on his hole. Yunho just stared. He really wanted to ask how, when, where. But San wouldn’t be able to answer and he just really wanted to be inside his lover as soon as possible.

 

He coated his fingers in lotion and gently removed the ones San had in, substituting them quickly with his own. San let him so easily, so trusting.

 

Just getting his fingers inside the boy was stopping Yunho’s breath. He was as tight as he had expected. He spread his fingers, wanting San to get used to the size. He was squirming a bit underneath him. It must be uncomfortable for him.

 

Yunho tried to search for his sweet spot when he scrunched up his face in discomfort.

 

“I’m sorry, I know it hurts, darling.” He kissed the smaller man to try to distract him, using his other hand to stroke his cock. That seemed to make things easier.

 

He added more lotion for good measure and San’s face started to relax. The merboy closed his eyes and started panting with the effort of rolling his hips down on Yunho’s fingers. He gaped at the boy. San had never looked as good as he did right now.

 

“Yunho.” The boy called. Yunho redirected his sight from San’s opening to meet his eyes. The merboy was holding three fingers up and he obeyed, putting another finger in.

 

Yunho pushed his fingers in as far as they could go, prodding at San’s walls. The boy looked at him in slight confusion, but his eyes widened all of the sudden and a loud wail resounded on the room.

 

“Fuck.” Yunho muttered, rubbing his fingers on that spot to get more reactions from San, who was arching his back off the bed and trying to reach Yunho with his hands. Their eyes met and San’s were crying. “Is it too much?”

 

San shook his head and tried to sit. Yunho pulled his fingers out and watched as San crawled up his lap. He grabbed Yunho’s dick with more force than necessary and pushed himself down on it.

 

But he was too quick. Yunho rushed to grab his hips when San cried out in pain, holding him still.

 

“Shh, shhh. I know. We have to go slower.” He caressed the boy’s cheek, wet with tears. “Let me do it?”

 

San was nodding before he even finished the question and Yunho rubbed his fingers over his entrance to get him to relax. He kissed San slowly, first on the lips then on each wet eyelid. When he felt the boy had relaxed enough, he scooted closer to him, lubing his cock before pressing the tip on San’s entrance.

 

He tried to push slowly, but the merboy still hissed in pain, covering his face with his hands so Yunho couldn’t see him cry.

 

The sailor pulled away immediately and San whined at that.

 

“We don’t have to do this, Sanie.” Yunho whispered softly, making sure the boy was looking at him and was understanding him fully.

 

San reached out with his hands, grabbing Yunho’s hips to try and get him closer.

 

He had gotten soft from the pain, and the pirate knew they wouldn’t get anywhere if San wasn’t aroused. Against the boy’s complaints, Yunho moved down the bed and engulfed San’s cock easily, making the boy keen loudly.

 

When he felt the merboy harden on his mouth, he went back at rubbing his entrance, pushing two of his fingers back in without any difficulty. He soon added the third and worked the boy open to add his pinky to the mix.

 

San was squirming underneath him but this time it was from clear pleasure. He was grabbing at Yunho’s hair and arching his back so he slowed the pace to keep San from coming yet. He let the cock slip from his mouth, resting his cheek over the bony hip at his right.

 

Yunho looked up at the merboy and saw in fascination how a blush had appeared in San’s cheeks and was extending down his chest. He was already sweating, shining under the morning light.

 

He fucked San properly with his fingers, getting him used from what was going to come. The boy rocked up the best at each thrust. Yunho wondered whether he should add the thumb too, but San was getting impatient again, and honestly he was too.

 

He pulled out and cleaned his hand on the sheets, before adding more lotion than was probably necessary.

 

Yunho couldn’t help but stroke his own member at the sight of the man he loved sprawled on that bed. San opened his legs more widely biting his nails with the doubt written on his face.

 

“Hey, darling.” Yunho grabbed both of his hands. “If we can’t, we could always do it the other way around.” San looked at him tilting his head, clearly not understanding him at first. But then he blushed and covered his face, rolling over to the side to hide from Yunho. That managed to make him laugh. “What is it? Does that make you embarrassed?”

 

Yunho coaxed him on his back.

 

“Mmph.” San said behind his fingers.

 

“So you don’t want to?” San shook his head no, still not meeting his eyes. “But your dick seems interested…”

 

San uncovered his face in favour of slapping Yunho’s chest. The taller just laughed louder and grabbed his hands, lacing their fingers together. San was embarrassed, but he still smiled up at him.

 

“Yunho.”

 

“Hm? Do you want to try one last time?”

 

San nodded and Yunho caressed his thighs up and down as he moved closer.

 

He felt San’s hole twitching against his tip, and then it opened up for him. Yunho panted. He went as slow as possible, but San was still clamping down on his tip almost painfully.

 

“Yunho.” He called out again. “B-big.”

 

A small part in the back of the pirate’s mind, he felt pride blooming upon hearing his boy articulating a new word, but right now the feeling of pleasure was covering it all up. Yunho struggled to regulate his breathing even more than San, who was slowly relaxing around him.

 

“Does it hurt?”

 

San nodded slightly and Yunho was so ready to pull out, but the merboy’s legs around his hips held him still. The boy stroked his own cock to get himself to relax and Yunho managed to push more of himself inside.

 

The merboy was so tight Yunho couldn’t even breathe. He closed his eyes to focus and keep everything under control. He pushed inside steadily until he felt his hipbones press against San’s globes.

 

He opened his eyes to look down at his boy and saw how San was fastening his pace over his cock.

 

“Does it hurt, honey? F-fuck.”

 

San moaned in response, his pace almost desperate. Yunho stopped his hand to make the boy face him. San rolled his hips down when he lost friction on his member.

 

“Yunho.” He breathed out.

 

San was fluttering around him, clenching and unclenching on his dick, and Yunho was certain he wouldn’t last.

 

“Do you want me to pull out?” He asked, even though it was probably the last thing he wanted to do. San shook his head franticly. “Then tell me when to move, yeah?”

 

Sooner than it was probably advisable, San whined and rolled his hips, pushing Yunho down to lay over the smaller boy. The pirate started thrusting into his lover slowly, feeling the drag of his cock on San’s insides, grunting at his ear.

 

It was almost painfully tight and he was being sucked in with so much force he could barely move.

 

He moved to kiss San. Yunho needed to see him, to feel him completely. The merboy was barely there, his eyes glazy with pleasure and without more response than his hips moving wildly against Yunho’s.

 

San cried out the moment Yunho pressed against his prostate and the man did his best at trying to graze it every time, but it was getting more difficult with the pleasure clouding his mind.

 

The merboy clawed at his back when he started picking up the pace.

 

“Yunho, Yunho! Ah!”

 

“Fucking hell.” Yunho grunted, grabbing San by the hips and fucking harder into him. The squelching sounds filled the room as Yunho thrust shallowly and fast. He could feel his end near. “Shit, San. You are so good.”

 

The boy made a chocking noise and Yunho felt his thighs shake. He grabbed one of them with his hand, using the other to stroke San to completion.

 

It didn’t take long, really. San was arching off the bed at the next second, screaming loudly and clamping down on Yunho. His hand was now covered in the merboy’s seed and he observed it in fascination before meeting San’s blissed out face.

 

He did that.

 

Yunho couldn’t hold it any longer. As San was coming down his high, he came hard mid thrust, unable to control the moan leaving his throat. He rode his climax, fucking his cum in and out of San, who didn’t seem to realize or mind.

 

He pulled out ignoring San’s whine, and looked in awe as the hole pulsed out his come.

 

After that, he exhaled loudly and fell down on the bed, right next to San, who was still recovering.

 

When Yunho regained his breath and felt that his body heat was back to normal, he reached his arm out to San, moving the boy to cuddle.

 

He kissed San on the top of his head when he buried his face on Yunho’s sweaty hair.

 

“I don’t think I’m ever letting you leave this bed.” He said, his breath still a bit ragged.

 

That mad San giggle and meet his eyes. There were drying tears on his cheeks, but he looked happy. And shy. And maybe a bit uncertain.

 

Yunho followed the path of a tear with his thumb.

 

“You are amazing.” He whispered against his lips. San blushed a bit at that. “And I love you. More than you can think. More than I could even imagine.”

 

San nuzzled against his neck, leaving a small kiss there and pressing himself closer. Maybe he was cold. Yunho moved to push the blanket over them.

 

They had to move eventually, cleaning themselves in the blankets between kisses and meaningful looks. They redressed and went down to the common area, mainly because Yunho needed to eat.

 

San had grabbed his hand and wasn’t letting him go. He was stroking absentmindedly the cord of the old necklace tied there as Yunho had something to fill his stomach. Yeosang and Wooyoung seemed to be out, so Yunho kissed San as much as he wanted, even when the boy scrunched up his face at the taste of human food on his lover’s lips.

 

They ended up cuddling in a sofa, San comfortably settled on his lap as Yunho drew patterns on the boy’s lower back. He thought he had fallen asleep when San moved, suddenly sitting up straight and offering something in his hand.

 

Yunho took a moment to recognize it.

 

The scale. It had no necklace this time, but Yunho didn’t really care. He looked directly at San’s eyes that couldn’t really hide the doubt the boy was feeling.

 

Yunho took the scale without much preamble, closing his fist tight around it and kissing San roughly on the mouth.

 

The weight on the scale on his hand felt right, as if it belonged there.

 

He pressed San down on the couch, kissing the lights out of him.

 

“I love you so much.” He kept saying. “I’m not going to let you go ever again, I promise. I love you.”

 

San just smiled against his lips.

 

-

 

San pointed at the sea.

 

“Ship.” He said.

 

Of course Yunho still couldn’t see it, but not long after, a small boat appeared sailing to the coast. Yunho pulled up his pants and forced San into a shirt. Now that the boy could afford it, he avoided clothes as much as he could, which Yunho didn’t really mind, but he made San wear something when there was going to be other people around.

 

“Not ship. Boat.”

 

“Boat.” San repeated. “Hongjoong?”

 

Yunho nodded with a smile.

 

“I think so. We should go back to the house to warn Seonghwa.”

 

“I go.” San said, pointing at himself for good measure. Yunho couldn’t help but coo at him. He was so cute when he spoke the human language.

 

San kissed him one last time before walking his way over the house and Yunho stared at his back all the way.

 

Seonghwa had joined them on the island not long after he first visited it with Hongjoong. The four mermen were now some kind of pack, and Seonghwa was something like their alpha. They needed him and he needed them.

 

Hongjoong had easily given up on the pirate life, but he still had some issues to solve before he could join his soul mate on the island. He had sold his ship to Jongho and Mingi, who know became co captains and visited their house when the route they were following allowed it.

 

Yunho lost sight of San as he entered the house. He touched the necklace with the scale. They both worked hard to get it done, and Yunho loved it. He knew as a fact that San did too, even if he couldn’t quite voice it yet. He still stared at the way it moved when Yunho was fucking into him and Yunho could understand that language pretty damn well.

 

The boat was closer. He could see Hongjoong’s figure waving his hand and he waved back.

 

Yunho thought about how he wasn’t going to get any sleep with the noise of Seonghwa’s and Hongjoon’s reunion. Well, he could always ask San to spend the night in the beach. The merboy loved it when they had sex in the water, so there wouldn’t be any problem. And then Seonghwa and Hongjoon could be as loud as they wanted.

 

San came back out from the house with Seonghwa right beside him, looking both happy and desperate. Yunho wanted to laugh at him, but he knew he would be acting like that if it were San and him in his situation.

 

The mermen reached Yunho and San sat down on the sand, leaning his head on Yunho’s shoulder. Seonghwa got into the water, not willing to wait a minute longer to be back in his soul mate’s arms.

 

Yunho kissed San’s temple when he saw Hongjoong jumping into the water to hug Seonghwa.

 

“I love you.” He whispered.

 

San smiled lazily at him. The sunlight always made him sleepy.

 

“Love you.” San answered.

 

He never looked more beautiful than when he said those words.