Waking up in his modern bed was weird.
The feel of his mattress, the sight of the hanging electricity light above, the walls around him being concrete.
It has been a bit over a month since he went back to his own time, after rushing out of the hospital bed to look up what happened to Cheoljong. Even now the image of the King’s goofy face in the book was seared into his memory.
His heart hasn’t stopped aching every time he remembers. He knew he had to get over it, his life was here in the present not back there with-
With a sigh he looked down at the pool below his balcony, the one that took him to Cheoljong. The lights beneath the water made the water shine as he stared into it. He hated to admit it but he did spend quite some time just staring at the water in the pool.
He knew he should be happy here. He was rich with all kinds of technologies at his fingertips, being a chef at a high top restaurant and with all kinds of beautiful women. He belonged here.
But after everything he went through, when he finally accepted everything and went all-in, he was sent right back to the present. He made a change for the better he knew that. He helped Cheoljong do what he wanted, and he was happy about that but a part of him was bitter that So-Yong took everything he worked for. Even if it was her body originally.
He missed Cheoljong. He missed Court lady. He missed Hong Yeon.
He even missed his unborn child.
It was just unfair.
With one last look at the pool he went back inside.
The next morning he had a shower, made some breakfast and got dressed for work. Just like another ordinary day, like he never went back to the past.
It wasn’t until he was almost out the door when a sharp pain went through his head. Dropping his bag his hands instantly went to his head. His eyes closed as something seemed to flash before them. Water, there was water around him. His face scrunched in pain and concentration. A woman- the woman. So-Yong. His breathing stopped. She was floating closer, her hand held out, eyes staring into his. He couldn’t breathe, his chest felt tight. Without breaking eye contact his hand drifted to hers. Hand in hand she pulled him closer, a small smile pulled at her lips.
Her mouth opened.
He couldn’t hear her but the words seemed to flow through him.
Before he could do anything his world went black-
And with a gasp his world was bright.
Eyes wide he stared at the ceiling. There was no electricity light hanging from it. He turned his head to the side. No concrete walls, only wood and paper.
Was he back? Or was this a cruel dream?
Slowly sitting up, he found he was in futon that he used to use and share with the king. He brought arm up to his face, it was small and feminine. He looked down and pressed his hands to his chest. Breasts, he had breasts again. Eyes wide he yanked the blankets off and crawled to the small desk with the mirror in a hurry.
Staring back at him was So-Yong.
It was just like the first time.
With a shaking hand he pressed his hand to his face. He could feel it as he slid it down his cheek as the reflection did the same motion. Then without a second thought he slapped the cheek hard.
He let out a groan of pain.
Then a laugh.
He was back. He had to be.
Looking away from the mirror he noticed a folded piece of paper, it was right in front of him but being too distracted he didn’t notice at first. Carefully he grabbed and opened it.
“I was meant to die back then.
He did not fall for me, he fell for you.
The friendships you made are not mine.
This life is not mine.
Bong-hwan stared in shock. Before he could figure out his thoughts he heard a voice.
The sound of a door sliding open joined the sound of the voice.
Turning around he saw Court Lady Choi and Hong Yeon.
Tears came to his eyes as he watched them walk closer.
“Are you alright, your highness?” Hong Yeon asked, eyes wide in concern.
Court lady looked at him with a frown.
With a small jump he grabbed onto Court lady and Hong Yeon and brought them into a group hug.
“Your highness?!” the women both yelled.
“I missed you guys” he cried out, eyes filled with tears.
He held onto them for a long moment with them hugging him back in confusion. With a laugh he stepped back.
“Wow this is like a cliche tv show reunion moment ” He said, letting out a breath with a wide smile.
“We were only gone for a bit while you had a nap, your highness.” Court lady Choi said with a tilt of her head.
“You seem better, your highness. More like yourself!” Hong Yeon said happily with a jump.
Court lady glanced at Hong Yeon.
“Her highness went through a lot, it’s understandable she was a bit different”
“I know, but it felt like we weren't as close as before”
Bong-hwan watched with a smile and tears in his eyes. He couldn’t believe it, he was back. Back with his friends and-
“The king!” He exclaimed “Where is he?!”
“He is in the garden-”
Without letting lady Choi finish her sentence he was off running.
As he ran through the hallways and pathways he heard people yell but he ignored them and ran as fast as he could.
Finally arriving he saw the king sitting at the small desk book in hands. He looked handsome as always. The sun always seemed to hit him in the places that made him shine. His heart was racing in his chest and Bong-hwan knew it wasn’t only because he ran.
A month, he was away for a month. Did he even notice he was gone? That there was a new person in the body? That So-yong was back? What if he actually liked her better-
As he stood there mumbling to himself he heard a yell.
Looking up he saw the King standing smiling softy down at him. In an instant his worries faded. With a burst of energy he ran towards and up the stairs to the king. Without stopping he crashed into the king, his arms wrapping around him tightly.
The king let out a groan at impact but wrapped his own arms around Bong-hwan, with a chuckle he said “Haven’t seen you run in awhile, what has gotten you today? Did you miss me that much?”
He couldn't hold it in, he let out a long loud sob. Uncontrollable tears rolling down his face.
“Oh my- what is wrong?” the king asked in a panic.
His sobs only got louder.
Cheoljong pulled him away slightly and grabbed his face between his hands.
“What happened, are you alright?”
“I-i missed you so much” Bong-hwan stuttered out.
The king let out a small breath with a smile. Both his thumbs rubbed away a few tears on his cheek.
“You shouldn’t cry so much, you might stress out our child”
Their child- their unborn child. He did he forget-
His hands went to his belly, where the child would be. His sobs came back harder than ever.
He was so happy.
With a frown the king wrapped his arms around him and pulled him close.
“God this is really like a cliché tv show moment” he muttered out into Cheoljong’s shoulder.
They both held on to each other for a long quiet moment before the king spoke again.
“I have noticed you have been acting different for the last month.”
Bong-hwan held on closer, tears silencing streaming down his face.
“The way you talked and moved, it all reminded me of how you were before. Before the lake.”
He felt the king let out a long breath.
“You told me, before, you were not the same person. You were someone from the future and told me all these ideas that were from then.”
The king pulled him back so they could look at each other in the face.
The king smiled.
“Welcome back, I missed you”
Bong-hwan’s mouth fell open.
“You really believe me?” he breathed out.
“I would like to think I am smart enough to notice when the person I love is no longer there” He said gazing longing into his eyes.
“Even if I am a man?” he whispered out, staring back.
“Even then” The king replied with warmth in his voice.
Cheoljong placed his hands in his, holding them firmly.
“I would like to know your real name”
It took Bong-hwan a moment to process the question, so much was happening so quickly. So many emotions going through him.
“Bong-hwan” he said “Jang Bong Hwan”
The king brought up a hand and placed it gently on his cheek. Bong-hwan tilted his face into it without realising it.
“Bong-hwan, I love you” Cheoljong said gently, his eyes wet.
He swore he was having a heart attack. His heart was beating out his chest, tears welling back in his eyes again.
“C-cheljong-” Bong-hwan put his hand over the king’s that was on his cheek. ”I-I love you too”
King smiled so wide and handsomely that he swore he stopped breathing.
“You will need to help me understand more of what happened to you-”
The king's hand rubbed against his cheek tenderly.
“-But for now I will spend time holding you”
And with that the king pressed his lips against his.