Hyokchae and Donghae home

My Swimming Cherry Blossom
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it turned out too long to be a one-shot, sorry~:") will post the second part closer to hae's birthday, hope you'll like it^^

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Such stories usually begin with descriptions of beautiful nature, are filled with good vibes and make one feel some warmth. This kind of story should welcome you in its embrace, cover you with the fluffiest blanket and make you feel like you’re about to enter a beautiful world where everything smells like freshly baked cookies and tastes like your favorite candy.

This isn’t a story like that.

Hyukjae’s day was so terrible he kept cursing under his breath every second. The weather was awful, he felt terrible and was freaking freezing. Smell of cookies? More like smell of old fish! Taste of candies? If his blood could taste like candies, then okay.

He was just unlucky. It was his day off and he planned so many things, yet not only half of his plans got cancelled due to bad weather – it was snowing as if there’s no tomorrow – but he also got lost and found himself not far from the seaport (the fish smell was a little too strong here). And later he slipped and fell.

Ah, he was wearing a white padding, but there was no snow beside the sea, so the padding was no longer white after his fall. He also bit his lip a little too hard when falling, so now could taste his own blood in the mouth. Yeah, that day was terrible, just terrible, and it seemed like everything was against him. The man’s car was low on fuel and he couldn’t find a gas station, that’s why he was walking here with a tank in his hands, hoping to find someone who could help him, so that Hyukjae could make it to the gas station he knew about at least.

Needless to say, he was unlucky. Terribly unlucky.

“I can’t even find that four-leaf clover,” he mumbled. “It’s freaking winter. I have no chance to fool myself with luck even.”

Hyukjae sighed once again and continued wandering around. There was a small space with no boats or whatever – the names of all those swimming things weren’t the man’s strong point – as there was a place with too little water for that. Someone built a pier there, yet the place was so shoal that no boat could swim here without getting stuck, so only kids used this area to play in the summer.

But it was winter now; it was only natural no one was there.

Or so Hyukjae thought.

He was walking slowly, yet thought about leaving the place sooner as he frowned due to fish scent that got much stronger in this area. The man wondered why that happened; could it be that there was dead fish somewhere? He didn’t know, but definitely wanted to leave as soon as possible.

Hyukjae was about to start walking faster, yet that’s when his eye caught something that seemed to not belong to this place. Something too bright for this gloomy, grey-colored weather. Something that gave off summer vibes, something pink.

Wait, pink?

The man had to stop to give it another look, and yes! Definitely, there was something pink in the water if you walk further through the pier, right beside it!

Hyukjae narrowed his eyes trying to understand what was that. He first thought those were flowers – maybe a couple just argued and someone threw the bouquet away? – but then guessed that was a plushie. However, once that pink spot moved, the man froze in shock.

It lasted no longer than a second, maybe less even. But he could swear that was a human’s face that looked at him and sank the very next second!

So that wasn’t a bouquet or a plushie, that was a person! And… Oh God?!

Feeling an indescribable rush of adrenaline in his veins, Hyukjae dropped the tank he’s been holding until now and rushed to the pier, thinking that apparently the poor guy (he had not enough time to see well, yet the person looked like a guy) was drowning. The man wasn’t sure whether it was possible to drown in this area, but what if the person was injured or something, so he couldn’t get out of water?

Hyukjae had no time to think, he ran as fast as he could just to help the poor guy in the water. Panting, the man fell on his knees beside him and, as the place wasn’t deep at all so he could see the pink head still, he reached his hand out to grab the guy’s bare shoulder.

Wait a second.

Bare shoulder? Who the hell would walk like that in winter?!

Hyukjae’s surprise lasted for less than a second though for he was too busy trying to help the guy out of water to think of possible reasons why he could be without clothes.

Needless to say, he got absolutely shocked the second he realized the said person was… resisting? As if he didn’t want Hyukjae’s help and tried to stay underwater… on purpose?

Maybe due to adrenaline or due to something else, but the man only tried to pull the other harder, applying all the strength he had just to get him out. Hyukjae’s clothes were soaking wet, his forehead got sweaty and face reddened due to all the struggles, yet he’s been trying his best to help the stranger and drag him back to the pier…

Only to get slapped by something that smelled, felt and looked like… fish?

It happened too fast to describe properly. All Hyukjae understood was that he was trying to help the guy, and looked like it worked even for the latter’s body finally appeared on surface, yet the next second the man’s eye caught something big nearing him… in a moment, he got hit by that thing. The punch wasn’t too strong, as if someone just tried to push him away, yet not cause harm, but it still was enough for Hyukjae to lose his balance just like that and land on his .

Which was rather painful, just for the record. The pier was made of stones, so when he fell on it, the impact was a little too strong.

The man was in a daze for good two seconds before he remembered about what he was trying to do and jolted forward to check on the guy… only to freeze with his eyes wide open.

What he saw wasn’t a fish. It had scales, it had fishtail, but that wasn’t a fish. It was… a tail. A fishtail. Attached to a human’s body. As if one of… one of…

Hyukjae averted his gaze from the wiggling tail only to see an absolutely lost expression of the guy who didn’t look like drowning at all. Eyeing Hyukjae with wide eyes, the merman (damn! The real merman?!) was backing away, obviously struggling to move. That’s when Hyukjae realized that the water here wasn’t deep at all, it was no deeper than the bathtub in one’s house. The guy in front of him was sitting, yet the water only reached his…

Hyukjae wanted to say navel, yet there was no navel. Oh, .

The man didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, he kept looking at the… creature in front of him without understanding what to do.

His first thought was, run. Maybe that guy was dangerous and could cause harm. Maybe even touching him was dangerous and Hyukjae desperately needed to shower before he was poisoned or something.

His second thought was, that must be a joke. He’s been looking for signs indicating that was nothing but a very detailed costume. Like those in H2O. He saw the series and the documentary and knew that the tails were handmade and every scale was placed in separately. The man tried to convince himself that was the case, yet, the more he’s been looking at it, the more those scales seemed real.

They were the pearl’s color, yet, due to the play of light, had glimpses of pink or purple in them. Which matched the guy’s bright pink hair just perfect, and Hyukjae’s been trying to convince himself it’s nothing but a hair dye, yet if it was one then it should’ve gotten ruined due to salty seawater. But it looked just fine.

Hyukjae didn’t even know why he’s been observing the guy for so long. He probably had to run away, to get up at least, yet he was so shocked he’s been sitting there like an idiot. Life never prepared him for such encounter, okay? He didn’t even know what reaction would be the best to offer, he could only think about how people reacted to such things in the movies he saw (they were ridiculously calm, by the way), finding out he was nothing but calm.

Damn, a merman. A freaking merman!

Without realizing what he’s been doing, Hyukjae backed away too, hoping that creature wasn’t strong enough to break the pier. The two had their eyes locked on each other, and the more the man’s been observing the merman, the more he understood that creature was probably just as scared as he was. The merman looked like he was scared, tried to hide in the water, yet failed to do so. That’s when Hyukjae thought…

What if the merman… got stuck here and simply couldn’t return back to the sea because of a shallow water here?

Hyukjae froze. Then gulped. No way he just thought about helping the guy?..

He tried to observe the merman again, looking for traces of blood or something that’d justify his actions. In the movies, whenever someone encountered an alien or sort of, they tried to run away first, yet noticed the creature’s injured and came back to help them… Not in every movie, but in many. So Hyukjae tried to find something that looked like an injury, yet failed to detect any.

Damn you, merman! You aren’t helping in saving you!

Despite everything, Hyukjae, gulping one more time, uttered, “A-aren’t you cold there?”

He hated himself for stammering, yet the merman seemed to not mind. On contrary, he tilted his head as if getting interested in the sound. Hyukjae his lips.

“Are you… filming something? Or you’re about to have a show for kids? Haven’t heard about any,” the man continued slowly, finding himself crawling towards the merman.

He couldn’t say something like ‘Hey, do you understand the language of humans at all?’ because a rational part of his kept thinking about the possibilities of it being nothing but a prank or stuff like that. Hyukjae didn’t want to look like a fool, so he tried to speak reasonably at first. It was easier to think that way.

And just in case that was a real merman, just if there was a tiny possibility for it to be real, he was using a gentle voice and tried to look peaceful to not scare the guy.

Damn, how ridiculous.

The merman tilted his head the other side, his tail wiggled which reminded Hyukjae about puppies rather than fishes. Okay, he had the guy’s attention at least…

“Aren’t you cold?” the man tried again and hugged himself, patting his arms in a gesture that could show the temperature. He even shivered on purpose. “Oof. Like this. Not cold? Cold? C-o-l-d?”

The corner of the merman’s mouth twitched and he lifted his arms… only to repeat the gesture Hyukjae just showed.

“C-o-l-d,” the pink-haired drawled, trying hard to repeat the sounds. “Cold. Cold? Cold!”

The man felt dizzy. The hell was happening here?

“Yeah, cold.” He repeated, thinking he’s been acting like an idiot. “Are you cold?”

The merman kept looking at him, obviously not understanding what the other party meant. So… definitely no language understanding?

Unless it wasn’t the silliest prank in his life, of course.

“Okay, let’s try another approach,” he said and placed his palm on the chest. “Hyukjae.” He then reached the hand out, finding himself on the edge of the pier, quite close to the merman who didn’t move just too far. “You?”

The merman looked at his palm, then at his own. Placing it on his own chest, the pink-haired spoke, “Hyok…chae?”

“Hyukjae,” the man corrected absentmindedly, yet shook his head the very next second. “No, no, no! I’m Hyukjae, who are you?”

The merman gave him a questioning look. Hyukjae sighed.

“Hyukjae,” he repeated, placing the palm on his chest. Then he reached the hand out, yet stayed silent for the merman to not think his name was ‘You’ or something.

Don’t ask him why he was behaving like this, he only could explain it by being too shocked to act like he should (read: run away).

He repeated the actions a few times until the pink-haired guy reached his palm out towards the man and voiced out, “Hyokchae?” He then placed the palm on his own chest and added, “Haeshoo?”

Well, that was something. Despite the fact that he wasn’t ‘Hyokchae’ and that ‘Haeshoo’ could mean literally anything, seemed like that fish understood the idea.

“Haeshoo sounds like a good name, yet a little too… foreign?” he tried to speak calmly and reached his hand out. “How about… Donghae? Don’t get me wrong, your name is pretty, but just for it to be a little more convenient… Donghae?”

The merman blinked. Hyukjae tried again, pointing at the merman and saying, “Donghae?”

The merman patted his chest, “Haeshoo?”

Hyukjae was stubborn, “Donghae?”

The pink-haired guy frowned, yet repeated, “Dong…hae?”

The man smiled and nodded, “Donghae, right! Donghae!”

Since it was decided, it’d probably be safe to call him Donghae from now on. Donghae’s expression softened once he saw a smile on Hyukjae’s face, and he proudly repeated, “Donghae!”

The other couldn’t help but thought their conversation was terribly weird.

He was

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