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Drink Sweet Salt

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The mark was supposed to be an easy one. Laughably so. Just some charming fellow with a penchant for luring people to a nearly deserted isle where they disappeared soon after. Hanzo had simply thought it the work of a rather proficient serial killer, rather beneath his pay grade if he was honest. But the money was good for an easy target, so Hanzo took the job, let the man “lure” him too to this rather scenic if deserted place. Hanzo’s plan was to kill him when they were alone and collect the reward.

He didn’t factor in the sudden discovery of the cult. 

Or the fact they had means to seal his dragons.

The added notion of being sacrificed to some sea god they worship is just plain crazy at this point.

Yet here he is, groggy and chained to the rock like some maiden in legends from bygone eras as the tide rolls in higher and higher. The fury washes over him before the next salty wave does. He berates himself as he tries to free himself of the chains, but the cult has left him with nothing. They even took his prosthetics, without which he cannot find purchase on the sand below to stand tall enough to get at the anchor of the chain. 

He plots the demise of each and every member of the cult as he fights the chains and the water steadily rises to his chest. It gets up to his neck and Hanzo’s fury has melted into ice-cold dread. At this point he feels like being devoured by a so-called sea god would be mercy over drowning like this. The waves are battering him against the rocks as they sway with the winds, a storm brewing in the distance. 

Hanzo watches the lightning dance across the clouds and tries to summon his dragon spirits, met with not even the sight of them cresting from his tattoo but the underlying feeling of weak static crawling beneath his skin. 

With his last deep breath before the tide rises fully over him, he curses at the sky. 

The waves are worse beneath the surface than above, the salt stings his eyes and the water is dark with the storm. It is all Hanzo can do to continue to struggle against his bonds as the waves continue to press him against the rock. 

His hair had come loose from his ribbon a long while ago, the gold silk lost to the sea. Hanzo’s lungs are screaming for air, and try as he might to last just a bit longer to stave off the inevitable his body’s instinct overrides his will and he reflexively gasps.

Seawater floods his lungs and the panic crests. It burns and he’s sinking. Everything is growing darker still. In his final moments, his face is cupped, caressed, and gentle lips are pressed to his. 

How appropriate that death comes to him like a lover.

But the kiss lingers and so do the hands, and when Hanzo and death part he is nothing like Hanzo imagined. His death is handsome, half human but with scales along a vibrant tail shining red and gold in the flashes of lightning striking the sea. Dark, knowing eyes study Hanzo and those lips that had kissed him so tenderly part in a lopsided grin over razor sharp fangs. 

Hanzo is enamoured, doesn’t dare take his eyes off of this handsome creature’s even as he’s being circled, that strong tail navigating the battering waves like nothing. Shielding Hanzo from another bash against the rocks as the creature studies the chains. Clawed hands grasp the links and tear them like they were no more than paper. 

The creature then sinks back to Hanzo’s level, keeps the inky locks of Hanzo’s hair away from his face as he trails knifelike claws across those sharp cheekbones. He chitters something in a language Hanzo has no hope of understanding, reaches into a bag woven of seaweed and shells and pulls from the depths a pearl like none Hanzo has seen before. 

The creature presses the pearl to Hanzo’s lips, rests it on his tongue when his lips part and chases the action with yet another kiss. Hanzo lets the creature devour his lips and mouth with that kiss after he swallows the pearl, his entire being thrumming with energy not unlike summoning his guardian dragons. 

It envelopes him in warmth, and his body feels heavy with sleep, the creature cradles him close and steers them both from the rocks to a bed of seaweed deeper down. Hanzo finds rest there, the creature curled protectively around his form. 

When he wakes with the sunlight streaming down from above he is more than he was before. A tail covered in resplendent sapphire scales like his dragons, flecked with gold like the one who freed him is in place of his legs. When he looks for the other creature, he feels him before he sees him, a set of hands carefully carding through his hair to pull the long strands from his face. 

Hanzo catches the tail end of his ribbon as it drifts across his nose as the stranger ties his hair back. When it is in place, he turns to his stranger, finding that same lopsided grin as his claws slip through the ends of Hanzo’s hair. Hanzo turns to him fully to chase his lips for a kiss. When they part his stranger cups Hanzo’s face and presses his forehead to Hanzo’s, lets Hanzo card his claws through his chestnut coloured beard and hair.

“Welcome home, Darlin’.”