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Because Bears

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Yun is not gay.

The brilliant, beautiful boy isn’t bisexual, or non-binary, or anything but a cisgender, heterosexual young man with insight and maturity beyond his fifteen years. He spends every night sleeping next to a very pretty, very naive princess. It’s a problem.

Yun is a really good actor. Not that this bunch of idiots is all that hard to fool, but it does require some effort to wear an eye-rolling mask of indifference all day. Do they all think he’s not attracted to girls, or too young, or just not into sex at all? Sure, he can be professional about bodies when people are hurting; there’s nothing sexy about stab wounds and rashes. He’s not going to take advantage of a weak person; he’s been on the receiving end of unwanted attention, and he isn’t an asshole. But he can’t take another morning of waking up with her snuggled against him, seeking warmth in her sleep.

Sewing the new tent is taking forever. He couldn’t find one big enough, so he’s stitching together two tents and some extra cloth. Avoiding awkward moments, trying not to stare, and dealing with Yona’s obtuse indifference to privacy (he’s not a girl!) is taking a toll. But it’s cold out, and his hands are tired, and Jae-ha and Hak have returned from a successful hunt. It’s time to cook.

There’s still a little daylight left after eating, so Yun resumes his sewing. He doesn’t hear Shin-Ah approach, but a clever squirrel startles Yun out of his concentration. Shin-Ah has already picked up a needle and started to help. He sews well. Yun has stopped being surprised by Shin-Ah’s survival skills.

“Am I keeping this on?” Shin-Ah is asking about the flap of the small tent that Yun has shared with Yona. Shin-Ah draws a diagram in the dirt, with all the tents connected together, and a divider for Yona. It’s sweet, and typical of Shin-Ah, to think that they will all sleep together in one big tent. Yun has other plans.

“It seems like a lot of extra sewing. We always set a watch - can’t we just pitch the tents close together? Yona can finally have her own space.”

There is a long pause, and Yun can feel the eyes of the Blue Dragon read his heart. “Hak should sleep with her.” Yun’s eyebrows are stuck to his hairline as Shin-Ah continues, “It would solve problems.” Yun, regretfully, understands the wisdom in this.

“How do we get her to agree to that?”

Shin-Ah continues sewing, and Yun can’t read his expression when he answers, “Because...bears?”

The Strange Beasts react predictably to the new sleeping arrangements. Zeno begins some silly antics to distract a pained Kija, who finds the prospect of bear attacks less frightening than Hak. Jae-Ha is hiding his torment behind his pervert persona by teasing Shin-Ah about his mask. They all have their ways to cope with not being Hak. Not even demigods can compete with the absolute devotion of the strongest soldier in the world.

Yona is glowing, and Hak can’t stop looking at her. Hak is a charming, ridiculously hot, capable man. (Yun is straight - not blind.) The dragons are gorgeous, remarkable men who love her in every way she could be loved. Yun understands why she doesn’t see him as a man by comparison. He knows that he can provide comfort and intelligence, but can’t compete with the power that surrounds her. His problem is proximity.

She’s exhausting. He needs to escape from her. He thinks about her constantly. He wants to give her everything. He wants - her. So he gives her a tent full of Hak. Because bears.