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"Happy Birthday."

A soft whisper, choked out of the throat. It drifted, a few waves ahead, then stilled.

Died, blown away, by winds, environment, the condition - an unsalvageable situation.

The sword felt unnaturally heavy in his hand, like he was holding the world all of a sudden. The feather-light weight now almost bringing him to his knees, fingers shivering. His strength seeped out.

And,
He fell. On his knees.

Blood flowed down, curving through his forehead, cheekbones, then jaws, as it dripped down.

He looked up, the fluid dripping past, a drop getting into his eye. Irritation seeped with it.

Something dropped, lone, silent. Small.

He fainted.

 

"Happy Birthday"

His hands suddenly remembered a long lost, yet achingly familiar weight, one that he had tried hard to forget, and failed countless times.

It had only been once when he had experienced it, a light, small, fragile existence surrounded securely in his arms. His muscles tightened, a tremble too late, as he stared, red eyed. Distraught.

He had gone then. Life felt to bleak to continue, the weight crushing his chest too strong to bear.

 

"Happy Birthday."

He repeated.

His eyes, dark. Dull, like it'd suck all hope, yet so deep and black, that it contradicted itself.

He contradicted himself.

The ship, with its broken mast and shattered hull, lay in front of him. It all felt like a joke.

He looked up, wheezing out the blood stuck in his chest. His companions, scattered. His eyes wandered, then stilled, then lost focus and became razor sharp, like it had a mind of its own. He felt nauseous.

He swore something then.

 

"Happy Birthday."

He wanted to say, again and again, a little happier this time. His eye took in the faces, smiling. They were strained, with tear filled eyes, as if choking on a sob.

He felt free, somehow, as he floated in that moment. He had decided on this, for once, to be human. And so, like a human, he chose his desires instead of his goal.

They looked back, this time, so real.

Everything felt just right, as he closed his eyes.

And then, he gave up on his desire.

 

"Happy Birthday."

He, yet again, voiced.

He had long forgotten why he ever thought of doing this, what must've gone through his head to even consider remembering.

He looked ahead, to the waves, the scorching heat encompassing the electricity, sparks flowing everywhere.

A rotting smell filled his nostrils, bloating his lungs. He'd felt suffocated, the charred smell pungent, burning his nostrils down to his very heart. His eyes felt like popping out.

He cried blood.

He probably did.

That was when, he felt he was done. He didn't want to remember. It was asking for too much.

 

[Happy Birthday]

The thought made its way before he could stop himself. A curse followed it, accompanied by a twitch of his eyes, his muscles displaying his aggravation dispite it being a minute movement.

He felt disappointment crawl, questioning the point of his effort of forgetting. Of wishing.

Lee Sookyung mentioned a really irritating fact, one that he would've been better off not knowing.

Yet here he was, looking over the destroyed city, rubbles of buildings, smoke, hopelessness. Was he searching for something? He didn't know. And if he was, he found nothing. Being reminded yet again to throw away his hope, to destroy it like all those times he should have.

Yet, he simply raised his head, and looked.

Who told that bastard to speak pretty words and go disappear himself.

 

"Kim Dokja."

"Yoo Joonghyuk."

A smile, radiance lighting it up. It sparkled, as sunlight fell on it, and him, just right. Everything felt right, at that moment, it clicked into place, like it had been doing whenever he faced him these days. Like a puzzle, a gigantic puzzle of 1865 lives, and more than a billion years of existence fitting into place.

It all made sense. Like comprehending a square circle. It felt intangible, yet so obviously tangible.

His fingers curled, his fist shaking.

His foot lifted, steps unnaturally light. The nails digging into his palm left the only aching reminder of his existence. It was real, it was tangible.

He could, if he so wanted, cup that pale face in his hands.

So he did exactly that.

He held his neck.

"What are you doing?"

He concentrated, pressing his fingers lightly, but not too light, digging for his veins.

A thump, beat against his thumb.

The questioning look was answered with his scowl. Yet, his shoulders relaxed, a light sigh unknowingly escaped, lips twitching upwards for a fraction.

He knew Kim Dokja felt that. No one knew him better that that guy. And even if he didn't, this ritual of his was being more evident the more he repeated it.

And he repeated it every single day.

"So annoying."

It held a well hidden affection, weaved into his irritation, one that he had mastered, and one that was rarely directed to people.

Those he chose to show this side of him....

"You are in no possition to talk", Kim Dokja said through a grin, trying to sound accusing.

He really knew him too well.

But that didn't change the fact that he was annoying. He always used it to get on his nerves.

But he's a welcome annoyance.

"Fool."

Bright eyes, seemingly containing the whole universe, stared back at him, holding something deep and filled with emotions he couldn't easily define.

His smile blinded him. It was grounding.

He breathed out.