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of near deaths and magic

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Ryeowook sighed.

It has been at least two years, and this young Shadowhunter still won't stop pestering him, flirting with him every chance he could get, whenever they meet on missions the human has to do. Normally, he would ignore the antics of the younger man, but not tonight, when they were surrounded by other Downworlders. 'Damn, Heechul! If it weren't for you and your boyfriend coaxing me into this, I would definitely be lying on my bed having the most comfortable night I have in years.'

It was a party where Downworlders could have fun, where both legal and illegal activities were done, different creatures could be seen—from warlocks, to vampires and their human subjugates, even some of the ancient faeries were around—even mundanes. And Kyuhyun, being a Shadowhunter, shouldn't be allowed in such a party, except that he has taken the liking of the Seoul vampire clan leader, Yesung.

"Remember not to accept anything from the faeries," Ryeowook reminded the human. "I don't wanna use my magic on you tonight."

Kyuhyun smirked at him. "Don't worry, I've been to countless parties like this to forget about that. You don't have to be worried about me, you know."

Worried my ass. Ryeowook took a look at the Shadowhunter beside him, his usual all-black outfit for missions gone, replaced by a white long sleeve shirt topped with a gray suit, with a necklace to match his outfit. His hair styled in a messy way, like someone just purposefully ran his hands through them. And before Ryeowook knew it, he was staring at him, which didn't go unnoticed by the young human.

"I know I'm handsome, but don't look at me too much. I might get the wrong impression that you would rather me not wearing anything right now."

Ryeowook's cat-shaped eyes narrowed at his words. He tried his best not to blush at being caught red-handed that he was checking him out, so he just scoffed and faced forward, seeing the host of the party slowly approaching them.

"My favorite Shadowhunter and my not-so favorite warlock! There you are."

A man wearing a beaded black suit, his silver hair making him look paler than he already is said. Yesung walked gracefully towards them, his feet never making any sound as if he's just flying through the air. He hugged Ryeowook once he was near him, and proceeded to place a kiss on Kyuhyun's cheek afterwards. 

"I thought you two will never come! Where is your father, Wook?" The vampire put his gloved hands on the two creatures' arms and pulled them further into the party. Heads turn in their direction at the sight of an unusual trio, even more so that there was a Nephilim in the midst of them.

"Heechul's not my father, you know. I'm just under his care since he was the one who found me more than a hundred and fifty years ago."

"Well, he might as well be your father with the amount of doting he does on you." Ryeowook just remained silent at that. Father? More like an annoying older brother , he thought to himself.

They stopped at the red couch and sat down on it, with Yesung in between the two of them. "So," he started, sipping the red drink in his hand. "Are you two finally together?"

Ryeowook almost choked on his drink at his question. "No, we're not! Why would we be together anyway?"

"Ryeowook still isn't done rejecting me though, and knowing who I am, I will never stop pursuing him until he says yes. It's obvious he likes me anyway." Kyuhyun said, taking a bite of the food in front of him.

"Yeah, and aren't you just too full of yourself, young man? What makes you think I like you?" 

"Oh come on, babe. If you don't like being around me, you could have just not gone to this party as my babysitter and rested in your room right now.” He emphasized the babysitter part. “But you went here with me, though with some coaxing of Heechul, but still, you could've rejected him. That means, you like being around me." The Nephilim answered, taking another bite of the cake he was eating.

"He was right, Wookie dear. We both know you like him, what is preventing you from being with him?" Yesung leaned in to whisper those words to his ears.

What is preventing him? He was scared. He was scared big time.


 

The streets of Seoul were quiet that night, except for the vehicles passing by and mundanes coming out of the bars and restaurants, looking a bit drunk and out of themselves. Kyuhyun and Siwon walked along the streets, it was their turn for a night patrol. The parabatais were walking together, talking about random things, and they noticed it.

Right when they turned a corner, the debilitating scent of death and the nauseating feeling that comes with it hit their senses, which could only mean one thing: there was a demon around the neighborhood. And it was only proved by a mundane’s scream afterwards.

Kyuhyun and Siwon ran towards the direction of the scream, Siwon brought out his seraph blade and muttered ‘Uriel.’ silently, making the blade sprung up to life, meanwhile Kyuhyun already had his fingers around his bow and arrow, ready to attack the demon anytime.

When they reached the location of the attack, only the mundane girl was there, covered in blood, both hers and the demon’s ichor. His parabatai approached the girl, who was no longer breathing.

“The demon must’ve left once it was done feeding on the mundane.” Siwon said, standing up from his position beside the dead girl. He spun around to face Kyuhyun, and he saw the Rahab demon a few meters away from him, so he warned him, shouting, “Behind you, Kyu!”

If Kyuhyun hadn't spun around upon Siwon's warning, he would've been fatally wounded by the demon, as it immediately sprung towards him. Reaching out towards his belt and bringing out his seraph blade, he immediately called out 'Micah!', in which his blade responded immediately, springing up to life. His weapon of choice would be of no use in close battles like this, so he has to settle on using his blade.

He was having a hard time dealing with the Rahab demon, he looked back to Siwon and saw his parabatai dealing with another demon of the same kind. He clicked his tongue in annoyance and focused on killing this bitch and sending it back to the Void.

Looking back, even though for only a brief amount of time, was obviously a wrong move. He barely deflected the fangs of the demon from scraping his arm, the ichor burning through his exposed skin. He heard the shriek of the demon behind him, Siwon immediately running towards his side to help him. The demon’s ichor, though a little bit, was slowly running through his open wound and into his bloodstream, making him weaker, but he still continued with attacking.

His world was slowly moving in circles and before he knew it, he dropped to the ground, still conscious, his hold on his seraph blade slowly loosing.

“Kyu!” Siwon’s scream could be heard above the shrieks of the Rahab demon before it vanished into thin air, going back to where it belonged.

His parabatai immediately dropped beside him and examined him. Apparently, the fangs of the demon from before were able to pierce through the gear he was wearing, and now he has an open wound on his arm. Siwon tried drawing iratzes on his skin, but he knew it would only be futile. He immediately called Leeteuk, informing him of what happened to Kyuhyun while he carefully picked him up and into the car they left a few blocks away from their patrol area. A portal would surely come in handy right now, too bad they can't perform magic, Siwon thought.


 

Ryeowook was having a rather quiet night, he was reading a book while he was lying on his bed, waiting for sleep to come to him. He was getting immersed in what he was reading when the door to his room suddenly opened. He was about to shout at the culprit when he looked at Heechul, face distraught and panicking.

“Change your clothes, you’re coming with me and I want you to be the one to cast the spell.”

“What? What’s happening?” He asked, a bit annoyed while he put the book he was reading on his bedside table. The audacity of this warlock to just barge into his room while he was relaxing and demand him to perform magic? In the middle of the night?!

“You better move fast, or your beloved Shadowhunter will die in no time. You know the effect of a demon’s ichor on human beings. No amount of iratzes drawn on their skin will heal a Nephilim, unless a warlock casts a spell—or healed by a Silent Brother—which Teuk doesn’t want to get involved with right now.”

Kyuhyun!?

"Wait, what happened to Kyuhyun?" Ryeowook opted to just put on an outer robe above his sleepwear, not bothering to change his clothes, as he dashed outside his room.

"You're not gonna change clothes?" He shook his head in response. "Alright, let's go. I'll tell you on the way to the Institute."

Ryeowook's heart keeps on hammering inside his chest as Heechul recounts to him what Leeteuk had told him over the phone. Please , Ryeowook thought. Please, hang in there. I'm on my way now.


 

When they reached the Institute, Donghae was already outside waiting for them. Good , Ryeowook thought. We can't waste time waiting for these Nephilim to open the door for us.

Donghae immediately led them towards the infirmary, where a delirious Kyuhyun was lying on one of the beds, surrounded by Leeteuk and Siwon. 

"Teuk!"

The said man immediately went to his lover and hugged him, the human was mirroring the same distraught face Heechul had earlier, though a hundred times more than that.

Ryeowook was trembling when he saw Kyuhyun's state. No, he has to do something. He walked towards the place Leeteuk left, instructed everyone to get back at least a few meters from them. He closed his eyes and centered all his magic.

The moment he opened his mouth and spoke in Chthonian, casting a powerful healing spell to purge out the ichor from Kyuhyun's bloodstream, a burst of golden fire emerged from his hands—the color of his magic. Ryeowook was afraid, so afraid of what could happen, but he set aside his fears and concentrated on healing the human instead.

After a few minutes, Kyuhyun coughed and vomited all the poison on the bucket by the side of the bed. Ryeowook opened his eyes and his magic ceased, the room returning back to its normal lighting as his magic was no longer in use. 

Performing magic took some of his energy, not to mention he was so scared at the moment, that he almost collapsed if it weren't for Heechul holding him up. He didn't know the older warlock was near him, and he was thankful for it.

"His open wound, I need to close it so it wouldn't be infected. Where are your instruments for suturing? I left mine at home."

Heechul backed him towards the nearest bed and sat him, holding his face. "Wook, listen, you have to rest first, okay? You're not in the right mind to do it, you're tired, you have to calm down. They knew how to do it, so let them, you've already done your part. Take a rest first, I'll just go talk to Teuk, hm?" 

Ryeowook could only nod as he was really tired. Everyone left the infirmary, and he was the only one left aside from Kyuhyun, who was sleeping now. He got up slowly and walked towards the Nephilim. 

He looked at his sleeping form, his skin filled with marks from the runes drawn on his skin, his arm had several fresh iratzes, his parabatai probably drew them earlier. He was sleeping so peacefully, and Ryeowook took this time to stare at his face—from his nose, his eyelashes, the mole under his eyes, and his lips—he could only think that Kyuhyun was the most beautiful being he has ever laid his eye on, even more beautiful than the Seelie Queen.

He brushed some strands of hair on the younger's forehead and placed a soft kiss there, whispering, "I was so scared, Kyuhyun. I thought I'm gonna lose you earlier. And I'm still scared of what will happen in the future, if we marry and grow old together, I can't stop your death by then like I did earlier, can't I? I'm sorry, Kyu. I love you, but we can't be together. I can't selfishly have you for myself knowing you will be frowned upon by the rest of the Clave for marrying a warlock."

He placed one long kiss on his forehead once again, before he pulled away.

"Let's go, Wook?" He heard Heechul ask, in which he nodded.


 

A few minutes after they arrived, the two warlocks took a seat on their couch, their desire to sleep was gone after what happened. Ryeowook was drained physically and mentally—performing magic while he was emotionally unstable was definitely not a good thing. Really, they don’t have to do any of those, warlocks only use their magic when they are paid at a certain price, but the Shadowhunters of the Seoul Institute are no strangers to both of them since several years ago. Not to mention that Heechul is the current High Warlock of Seoul.

“Wookie.” 

He looked at the red-haired warlock sitting with his back on the side of the couch, legs sprawled out in front of him. “Hmm?”

“Tell me honestly, what’s stopping you from letting Kyuhyun into your life? I know you love him, and he makes you happy, Wook. I haven’t seen you smile like you do when you’re with him in the past… 5 decades. What are you so afraid of?”

Silence engulfed the whole living room. Ryeowook actually knows what his answer is, but he's having a hard time turning his feelings to words.

"Kyu and I, we can't be together, Heechul." Another silence. He was thankful the older one didn't ask further, he probably gave him a minute to sort his thoughts out.

"The Clave… you know they don't approve of it. I don't want Kyu to be frowned upon by them. He is a good warrior, he has so much potential in him. I don't want people from his own race to look down on him because he is with someone who isn't one of them."

He heard Heechul sighed. "Wook, listen. Kyuhyun is already an adult Shadowhunter, he can decide on his own. By now, he should be with someone or marrying them, but he still hasn't, because he wants you. He doesn't want a good spouse from a known Shadowhunter family, he doesn't want the women and men being introduced to him, because he wants you. He wants to be with you."

"Have you forgotten he's a Herondale, Wook? And you and I, we have lived long enough to see lots Herondale alive, we've been friends with some of them, and you know very well what they are like. You know that he would care less about the opinions of others, that's how they live."

Ryeowook knew Heechul had a point there. Herondales are a pain in the ass, their unusual wit and sarcasm are parts of their charm, and Kyuhyun isn't an exception to it.

"Also, if you're afraid of growing old only to witness Kyu die of old age, isn't that better than to not be with him at all? Especially with what happened earlier, I witnessed how scared you were. In the end, it's still much better to spend some of your years with the person you love than live in misery of being alone. Being immortal is already hard and depressing enough, don't make it more lonesome than it already is, Wook. You also deserve to be happy, and I miss seeing it."

Heechul's words hit the most hidden fears of Ryeowook, the ones which hinder him from being with Kyuhyun. He pondered on them, finally thinking of the what ifs. 

Heechul is right, after all. One of his fears was witnessing the human die of old age, and he would be too helpless to stop it. Humans are bound to die, every creature is, even the immortals. It's just that even with Ryeowook's magic, he won't be able to prevent Kyuhyun from dying when it's his time, right? And he… he was afraid of being left behind. Again.

But maybe, he really should give the poor Nephilim a chance, shouldn't he?


 

When he woke up the next day, he told his friend to tell his boyfriend that he'll drop by the Institute at 2 in the afternoon to check on Kyuhyun, after all, he was the one who treated him. Heechul only flashed him a knowing smile, having known him for so long and sensing he had made a decision.

That's why here he is now, in front of the Institute waiting for the humans residing there to open the door. If a mundane were to pass by the building, it would look as if it was just an old, abandoned, and worn-out church, filled with molds and plants which no longer bear fruit. But for beings who are part of the Shadow World, that's not the case, since it was all just a glamour.

He was getting impatient by now, the reason why he gave a time was so he wouldn't be waiting outside. He was about to pull on the chain outside to ring the bell when the door suddenly opened, revealing a sheepish Hyukjae in his training clothes.

"I'm sorry, Ryeowook! Siwon and I were training and--"

He didn't give him a chance to finish his explanation, rolled his eyes and went inside, and headed straight to the infirmary where he found Kyuhyun sitting on the bed with Leeteuk on the edge of it.

“Leeteuk.” He greeted the older of the two. “Heechul’s not with me as he has other things to take care of.” He just received a nod in response.

He approached Kyuhyun who was following him with his gaze the whole time he had arrived, with eyes intently looking at him like he is the most precious being to ever walk on the planet, that he had to fight the urge to hug him right then and there.

He used his magic to scan the Shadowhunter in front of him, to check if there are still remnants of the demon's ichor on his bloodstream, but seeing that he is alive until now means every single drop of it was gone. He also went to check the suture, asking Kyuhyun how he was feeling. He can't help it though, his magic was specialized in healing, after all.

After everything that needed to be done was over and he made sure he was fine, he asked Leeteuk to leave the two of them alone, in which the older Nephilim responded with a nod and a knowing glance at the two of them. Silence engulfed the whole infirmary once the two of them were alone.

Kyuhyun sat up and motioned for him to come closer and sit on the bed, which he did so, sitting on the edge and facing the younger. When he moved his gaze towards the other, the tears just spilled from his eyes and he couldn't stop himself from hugging the human. 

The injured Shadowhunter was surprised at first, but he wrapped his arms around the warlock, running his hand on his back in an attempt to console him. Ryeowook only cried harder at the action and hugged him tighter, so he placed a soft kiss on the warlock's head. They continued to stay in that place for a few minutes, with him crying and Kyuhyun consoling him. 

When he pulled back and his cat-like eyes looked directly into Kyuhyun's, he heard the younger man said, 

"You know, your eyes are really, really beautiful."

And at those words, Ryeowook blushed greatly. It was the first time he was told this—he was bullied for his eyes when he was a kid, as it is proof that he wasn't normal like other kids.

Heechul's words resonated in his mind, and for the first time in his almost 200 years of life, he chose his happiness. He leaned in and captured the human's lips in a kiss, catching Kyuhyun by surprise, but his hold on the warlock tightened as he responded to the kiss.

Ryeowook felt a burst of magic inside him, he could see golden lights at the back of his eyes. This moment felt so perfect, so surreal, and so right that he wondered why he ever thought of depriving himself of this feeling. They continued to kiss for a few minutes more, only pulling apart when breathing became necessary. 

They just looked into each other's eyes, a smile painting both of their lips. In the quiet of the infirmary, their sushed I love yous resounded as they exchanged another kiss, making up for the lost time, for the time when Ryeowook was being eaten by his fears. He was thankful that Kyuhyun had been patient with him and never gave up until now, until this day when he finally opened his heart for the young Nephilim.

 

"Finally,'' Siwon said at the door of the infirmary.

He was about to ask the two to come to the dining room to eat something—and to ask Ryeowook if he can conjure a box of pizza from the pizza shop a few blocks away—with Hyukjae trailing behind him. 

"Finally, indeed. Let's go back, just tell the others they're busy.", and the two of them left, leaving the two lovers..