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atonement of sorts

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He is an unlikely protector, lost and left to drift forever without end.

And she is an unlikely comfort.

And for the longest time, he could’ve sworn that she hated him. So much, so long and powerful and winding up towards and explosive moment.

So, when she takes him into her arms (merciful) and tells him that it’ll be all right, he cries rivers. He cries for all that happened (his part and his guardian and so on). And when she keeps silent and listens, he knows that they’ve come to an understanding.

That it’ll be all fine, that she will (forever) be his family. That his guardian—her uncle—will come out of jail (and miraculously repentant). That his Bang Wool—her mother, was alive and well and cooking their meal right now.

Ah Ran hugs him close and strips him of his defenses. She peels away the blistered tissue and kisses the new skin underneath.

And she tells him that he’s a (her) protector.