Siren Park Jimin is used to luring men to their death with his songs. He’s never been lured before.
Every sunset, the young Prince comes to the beach to write his songs. Drawn to him, Jimin can’t help but watch, until one night the Prince doesn’t show.
The siren worries. His day and night dreams have been filled with the Prince and his songs. He’s distracted from his work. He hasn’t captured a soul in a week, ever since the Prince disappeared.
Seven days goes by and the siren wasn’t going to go to the beach tonight, what’s the point of the Prince wasn’t going to be there?
He’s about to swim away when the guitar strings cut through the air. Excited, the siren swims forward, drawn to the melody that the Prince is playing.
He’s so overwhelmed by his pull to the song that he doesn’t realize he’s swam so close the Prince has spotted him. The song halts. Jimin is stunned by his beauty and the intensity of his gaze.
The Prince’s mouth turns up in a smirk.
“Finally,” he calls out to the siren. “I’ve been waiting for you.
A/N + tags:
*sforzando in music refers to a strong, sudden attack on a note or chord.
♬୭ siren Jimin
♬୭ prince Yoongi
♬୭ forbidden love
♬୭ light angst
♬୭ mythical creatures
♬୭ possible smut, will tag.
More tags to come !!
Growing up, Prince Min of the southern isles of Daeyang had heard both horror and fairytales about creatures of the sea. His father used to tell the stories at night before bed.
The candlelight burned dimly and his father would stroke his dark locks gently.
“Men go missing left and right, their last whereabouts? The sea.”
Yoongi would look up at him with wondrous eyes. “Missing?” he asked, ignoring the urge to stick his thumb in his mouth to calm his nerves. He was nine now, nine year olds couldn’t suck their thumbs.
“The creatures you see are most beautiful, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.” His father continued.
“Beautiful like mama?” Yoongi asked.
His father smiled. A fairy light voice approached the pair. “Like me?”
Yoongi gasped. His mother had been away for weeks, working with trades from other villages nearby. She nestled down next to them. His father continued his bedtime story
that’s all it was. A story. A fairytale or nightmare passed down from centuries before.
Or so Yoongi thought, until his father vanished into the sea.
He was seventeen when it happened. He and his father were out among the waves together one blustery evening. Cold season was coming soon. His father wanted to teach Yoongi how to be the best fisherman possible to provide for their Kingdom.
Yoongi would rather be frolicking in the gardens with Hoseok and Namjoon. Their fathers both worked under the King and the trio had grown up together.
He’d even go so far as to practice his swordsship with Seokjin, the captain and arms trainer. He hated arms practice but it was better than this.
Instead he was shivering on a ship with Seokjin and his father, staring at the waves with furrowed brows.
“Father, I know how to fish. I don’t understand why this is necessary.” The Prince grumbled.
The King was a patient and kind man, beloved by everyone in his kingdom. He ignored his son’s distain and simply smiled out into the ocean. “It’s not enough to know how to fish, Yoongi. It’s about being one with the sea.”
Yoongi sighed. He wanted to be one with his horse. Right now he could be racing Namjoon around the track, showing him who’s best. Not quite literally shaking in his boots.
His father pointed out to their Kingdom that could still be seen in the distance. “One day that will all be yours. The sea is our greatest asset and weapon to keeping our people alive. If she loves you, she’ll make you prosperous. If you cross her, she’ll make you suffer.”
Yoongi didn’t understand why his father did this. He always spoke about the sea like she was a person. To Yoongi, it was a body of water that he played in when he was younger, but feared.
In adolescence he learned it was their passage for trade and wealth.
Now? It was just a vast ocean getting on his nerves.
“I don’t understand how you even cross the sea, father. What do you mean?”
He put a hand on his son’s shoulder. “All relationships are about give and take. It’s what love is about too. You always have to be sure not to take too much.”
He lowered a net into the water to prepare to extract fish, shells, and urchins for food. “Lately, I’ve learned we’ve been taking too much.”
His question goes unanswered. The sky around them began to darken. His father whipped his head towards Seokjin as the wind picked up in speed. This happened sometimes, bad weather out of nowhere, but not ever when they were at sea.
Yoongi opened his mouth to ask what was happening when the current started to carry a song.
As mentioned before, Yoongi’s father was a patient and kind man. In all his seventeen years Yoongi had rarely seen his demeanor falter. But something gripped the King like a vice grip, he reacted in panic.
His father cupped his hands over his son’s ears, He shoved Yoongi into the lower level of their small ship. His eyes were trance-like and wild but his actions strong. Yoongi fought against his father to hear the song.
He pushed Yoongi into a corner of a bench and brought his mouth close to his face like he might kiss his son’s neck. Instead he spoke with urgency, spittle flying at times.
“Listen to me,” his voice was stern. Yoongi had never been yelled at before. His heart hammered painfully in his chest. “Whatever you do don’t leave this cabin until I or Seokjin come to get you. Do you hear me?”
Yoongi remembered nodding furiously. Like an invisible tug his fathers body kept turning towards the stairs. He would whip his shoulders back to stare into the young Prince’s eyes. Yoongi could tell he was fighting something.
The ship jostled them both as the captain not doubt made a sharp turn away from the storm. He hoped Seokjin was okay. The whole event made Yoongi’s stomach dip with nausea.
His father replaced his hand’s with Yoongi’s own. “Don’t—” his neck whipped towards the stairs. He rooted his legs in place for a moment. He held Yoongi’s cheeks too tightly. “I love you. Do not come after me.”
And then he raced up the stairs.
As a child Yoongi was curious. He wanted to know everything about the world. He’d press his ears up against the chamber doors of his father’s study and listen to his meetings about the Kingdom’s affairs.
He read books for hours at a time, escaping to different countries and lands both real and phantasmal. He latched onto every syllable of the tales told at bedtime, never forgetting a word.
So he couldn’t help himself but go after his father. He waited a breath so that he wasn’t caught being disobedient, Yoongi had always played by the rules.
With cupped ears he peered over the top of the stairs. The wind whipped ferociously, blowing tendrils of his long, dark hair around his face.
He caught sight of his father immediately, at the edge of the ship, looking over into the water.
It almost appeared that he was searching for the net he’d cast earlier. But his hands gripped the wooden sides tightly as though he was trying to hold himself down.
ike a surge of lightening through his body, The King became stunned. Yoongi watched as he opened his mouth as if you call out. Golden tendrils of smoke began pouring out of his mouth and down into the water.
The sea was taking back. And this time, she was taking his father.
Yoongi cried out, he rushed forward towards his father. Seokjin, who had always been taught to be the Prince’s protector left his position at the wheel.
He lunged for Yoongi throwing him back from the ships edge. Yoongi’s hands left his ears and he crashed to the ground.
Like a vacuum seal the world opened up to the sound of glorious song. Yoongi had never heard such a beautiful tune before. The voice of an angel called out to him but Seokjin held him down.
Helplessly, Yoongi watched the final thread of life slip from his father before stark white, bony fingers clamped onto his jacket, and pulled him into the sea.
The King of Daeyang was gone.
Kim Seokjin was a man who was no stranger to grief. As the King’s most trusted man, arms trainer, and who’s most loved ones before, he’s been through it a time or two.
But the wail that exited the Prince was a sound that would haunt Seokjin for the rest of his life.
Yoongi thrashed against Seokjin’s hold on his torso. He screamed for his father and felt hollow when there was no response. No call back. No sound from below. Even the waves had gone still in his absence.
When he got out of the captain embrace, Yoongi rushed to the edge of the ship where he last saw his father standing. When he closed his eyes he could see the life literally being sucked out of him. He would have nightmares for years.
He stared into the waves below. As quickly at the storm rolled in, it was gone. Night would fall within the mid-hour.
“Prince Min,” Seokjin approached him hesitantly. “We have to go.”
“Father,” Yoongi said to the surface. “Father!” He called louder. The waves had the audacity to lap calmly. “Father!” He screamed and crumpled upon the deck.
Seokjin caught him. He’d continue catching him for the rest of his life.
“Prince Min, we have to go. The waters get dangerous when the sun dips below the horizon.”
“We have to bring his body home,” Yoongi replied. “We can’t just leave him out here!”
Seokjin took a breath. He needed to reason with the Prince. He was young, he didn’t know all that Seokjin knew. In the fresh wake, it was certainly not the time.
“Prince Min, we’ll send out a search. But if we don’t leave now we both won’t make it home. We cannot devaste your mother further.”
His mother. Yoongi would have to tell his mother his father was dead. His stomach dropped. He turned back toward the water and panted nauseatingly. Seokjin rubbed the Prince’s back. “We’ll tell her together, but we have to get back to her first.”
The Prince shivered the whole way home. He hugged his arms tightly around himself and tried to appear small. The scene continued to play in his mind. The song he’d never remember. The threads of gold. The scaly pale fingers. The hands of his father’s killer.
They reached the shore by nightfall. Yoongi couldn’t leave the ship. He knew once he did reality would set in. How in the hell would he approach his mother?
“Prince Min, there are several things that we need to discuss about todays events. Now is not the time. However, we do need to get our stories aligned.”
Yoongi turned to Seokjin with a furrowed brow. “Stories aligned?”
“You mustn’t tell people the truth about your father. The people of Daeyang don’t know the horrors of the sea. The King kept them in the dark for a reason.”
Yoongi couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Seokjin wanted him to lie about his father’s death?
“But his soul was stolen directly from him? That..that MONSTER killed my father.”
Seokjin spoke evenly. “Your father fell overboard during the storm.”
Yoongi opened his mouth but Seokjin projected over him. “The winds got bad. He was attempting to reel in the fish and he fell. The waves swept him away.”
Yoongi felt sick to his stomach again. His back hot with rage. “Seokjin,” he spat each syllable. “My father was murdered.”
“Prince Min. My family has served yours for centuries. I have your best interest in mind. Please, I swear I’ll explain but you have to go along with what I said.”
The horror flashed behind his eyes again. His father’s skin going pale. His body in an unimaginable state.
The thin, bony and claw like hands that drug him in the water. The Prince met the captain’s gaze. “My father fell overboard.” It gave him heartache to say it.
The heartache was worse when telling his mother. The way she broke was unfixable. As he held her in his embrace, he made a silent promise to himself.
He’d find the monster and avenge his father.
¸.·´¯`·.´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ¸.·´¯`·.´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ¸.·´¯`·.
“Finally,” he calls out to the siren. “I’ve been waiting for you.
Jimin freezes. He’s never been spotted by a human he wasn’t capturing before. He dips lower into the water so that just his nose and eyes are above the surface. He could just swim away.
The Prince would never be able to catch him. But he can’t, because the Prince has drawn him in.
Jimin swallows. He isn’t sure he should respond. The Prince doesn’t seem frustrated, he just keeps strumming his guitar. Jimin loves the tune so much, it makes him want to sing.
But if he sings, the Prince will die.
The Siren flicks his tail above the water. The Prince’s mouth quirks up in amusement. Jimin has never seen him smile before.
He looks back up from the guitar and locks eyes with Jimin. “I know you’ve been watching me.” He isn’t upset. “For a while now, right?”
Jimin’s tail twitches above the surface. He’s uncomfortable. He doesn’t understand why the Prince isn’t scared. Humans were supposed to respond in two ways: afraid or allured. They tasted better when afraid.
But Jimin isn’t thinking about the way the Prince might taste. In all his years seeing the dark haired man he’s only ever thought he was beautiful. Beautiful in a way other humans weren’t.
The sun is starting to dip below the horizon. The beach would be bathed in darkness soon. Taehyung would worry if Jimin wasn’t back in time. Jimin blew bubbles to calm himself then locked eyes with the Prince once more.
The Prince’s fingers stopped moving and his song ended.
The silence spoke between them. What could Jimin say? Yes, he’d been watching him. He noticed him years ago in their youth. He was supposed to stay away, and he did for a long time.
But the Prince started coming here not too long ago by himself. Jimin had been out bathing on his favorite rock when he’d heard the music. Like his own personal tune, it brought him in.
From then on he couldn’t stay away. For weeks, the Prince would come and play that guitar. Sometimes the song would change. But each one of them was sad. Every note drenched in loneliness.
One day the Prince didn’t show. Jimin flitted about the water later then he should’ve. He could have been in trouble when he got back. But he waited well into the night for the Prince to come. He never did.
Every night for seven days Jimin would go to the beach waiting to hear the song again. Each evening he left more and more disappointed. Thoughts of the Prince would plague him during the day. While he did he duties. During his trainings. Even as he stole the souls of other men.
On the seventh night he wasn’t even going to come. He promised himself actually. It was stupid to let a human take over his thoughts like this. He was a siren after all.
He went anyway. And the Prince was there.
Jimij thinks he should say something, he really should. But, feels like he had a mouth full of sand and a belly of nerves. So he stares until the Prince stands up, shaking grains from his trousers.
He squints from his place on the shore and raises his hand in a wave.
“Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow?”
Jimin dips under the water and swims away quickly before he can respond.
The Siren is out of breath when he reaches the gate to enter the deep Bada. He knows Taehyung and Jungkook will be waiting for him. They always are, always back so soon those two since they work as a pair.
But Jimin doesn’t want to talk to his friends. He just wants to go sleep.
The thoughts are for naught, the duo is the entry to his cove when he arrives.
Jimin loves his friends. They’re bubbly, hilarious, and incredibly loyal. They’re also nonjudgmental about Jimin’s obsession with the human prince. So when Taehyung notes that Jimin has been quieter this evening, well, the siren spills.
“The Prince saw me tonight.”
Jungkook gasps, the end of his breath brings out a melodic note. He blushes and cups his hand over his mouth. As the youngest of the trio, he still hasn’t gotten a hold on his music.
Taehyung swims closer to his friend, gripping his shoulder. The teal haired siren’s large eyes seem even wider. “The Prince saw you? What happened? Who else was there?” He rapidly fires questions.
“Nothing happened. He was playing guitar like usual. I got excited, you know because he’s been gone all week…” Jungkook and Taehyung giggle to each other. Of course they know, it’s all their friend could whine about.
“I accidentally swam too close. But,” Jimin paused to brush his fingers over his scales. He did this when he was nervous. “He wasn’t even surprised. He said he’d been waiting for me.”
Jungkook squeaks. Taehyung slaps his arm. Junín rolls his eyes at their dramatics. “Waiting for you? Jimin..that’s terrifying.” Jungkook replies. “Are you in danger?”
“Are we all in danger?” Taehyung asks.
Jimin thinks back to the interaction. The Prince just sat there playing his guitar, watching Jimin. It felt ominous, but it didn’t make him fearful. “Probably not.” He rephrased. “No. We’re not. Like I said nothing happened. He left when the sun went down.”
He makes them promise not to tell. If Taeyeon finds out, Jimin will be in the worst imaginable trouble. He wasn’t even supposed to be going that close to the shore. He’d broken all siren protocol because he was curious about the lonely Prince.
After Jungkook and Taehyung leave, with promises to zip their mouths, Jimin lies in his shell and thinks. What did the Prince mean by ‘maybe I’ll see you tomorrow?’ Did this mean he wanted Jimin to come back?
Jimin tosses and turns as he tries to sleep. The Prince’s song plays in his head. He doesn’t dare hum it to himself. Late into the night as he drifts off to sleep he dreams of long dark locks, and lonely brown eyes.
He promises himself that tomorrow, he’ll speak to the Prince.
Okay besties and that’s a wrap on day one of sforzando. I’m off to bed but will update tomorrow. Please leave lots of love while I have siren Jimin and Prince Yoongi filled dreams to bring perfect plot for tomorrow
Jimin awakes in the morning and it takes everything for him to not swim immediately to the surface to see if the Prince is there. But he knows he can’t. Tayeon will have his head. So he prepares to explore for the day.
But the Prince fills his head. While he gets breakfast with his friends. As he’s fitted for a new jeweled top for the upcoming party. He thinks about the Prince and wonders if the Prince is thinking about him too.
“Yoongi did you hear me?” Namjoon asks.
The Prince sighs and tears his gaze away from the window. Sunset is still too far away.
“No, Namjoon, I didn’t hear you say we have visitors coming from the northern sector of the isles and that I’m supposed to be on my very best almost-king behavior.”
Yoongi can almost hear Namjoon roll his eyes. “Well you could have just said yes.”
“Yoongi Hyung is just crabby because he knows the suitors are coming along with them.” Hoseok giggles from the chair he’s tucked into.
Yoongi shoots him a glare and Hoseok stops laughing, but covers his mouth to hide his smile.
The Prince’s 25th birthday was looming in the distance. The year he was to marry and take the throne.
The idea tingles his fingertips. Daeyang had been without a formal King in seven years. The pressure that came along with the title was immense. Sure, Yoongi’s mother would continue to advise. But it was he who would rule the kingdom.
He throws the orange next to him right at Hoseok’s head. With quick reflexes, Hoseok catches it and gives Yoongi his best mischievous smile.
“I’m only teasing you, Hyung.” He starts to peel the fruit.
“Hoseokie’s not wrong though, the suitors will be coming. How long do you have to choose one?”
His birthday was in nine months time. He had to be married before in order to claim his status. But he just shrugs.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” he grumbles back.
Namjoon taps on the map that’s laid out in front of him. “Fine, then let’s talk about the sea.”
And suddenly Yoongi is back to the previous night. He’s staring into the eyes of the Siren, waiting to hear his song. But nothing happens. The siren stares, luminescent eyes trained nervously on the Prince as though he’s the prey.
Yoongi strummed. He wondered if the Siren could hear his heartbeat, accelerated in his chest. His mouth was dry. He flicked his tongue out to wet his lips.
The Siren is so beautiful it makes him physically angry.
“I know you’ve been watching me.” He surprised himself with the confession.
The Siren was surprised too. Yoongi saw it in the way that his gaze faltered for a moment. But he never spoke. Yoongi continued strumming. He wondered if that’s really what kept the Siren near, the song he made for him.
He really did hope to see him tomorrow.
So while Namjoon is talking about the merchant routes his men will be taking on the sea Yoongi continues to think about the Siren and the sunset. Would he come again tonight like he always had?
The day drags. There are too many meetings. Too many questions he doesn’t have the answers to and he just wants to be alone with the waves and his guitar.
He barely touches his food at dinner time. His mother comments. “Are the potatoes not to your liking?”
He gives her his best tight lipped smile. “They’re fine, I’m just not very hungry.”
His mother brushes a long lock behind his ear then grabs his chin lovingly. She’s so kind. Always has been for his entire life. He leans into her touch. “Don’t let yourself waste away, my darling.”
He takes a bite just to please her.
The Prince escapes away long before the sun is to set. He’s too restless to sit in quarters with the citizens and guests. Playing cards and drinking this evening aren’t to his liking.
Directly after dinner Yoongi grabs his guitar from his bedroom and heads to the sea.
There’s still about an hour until the sun is set to go down. Yoongi settled himself in the sand and just stares for a while. All the boats are back from today’s expedition. After his father’s disappearance No one is allowed to be out into the late afternoon.
It’s been like this for years and Daeyang has achieved the most minimal amount of men lost at sea possible. There are still some deaths. Some accidents too. But according to Seokjin numbers are down in the Prince’s ruling.
Yoongi doesn’t know how early is too early for the Siren to come. He’s always seen him just below the sun meets the horizon. He’s tried to venture out to the beach during the day but he knows the number of traffic keeps him away.
To pass the time he strums. Tonight he’s playing no song in particular. He allows his thoughts to roam out here alone. The weight of his duties as the pseudo King lift from him here. On the shore, he’s not the Prince of Daeyang.
He’s just Min Yoongi.
As the sun begins the set, Yoongi cannot keep his eyes off the water. Every lapping wave could be the Siren. His chest thrums with anticipation. His fingers pick up in speed on the guitar strings.
A fish jumps from the surface. Yoongi’s legs shift and he all but leaps from the sand. His shoulders slump back down when he realizes it’s not the siren.
Far away out of view, Jimin listens to the Prince’s song. He so badly wants to swim close like yesterday but he’s terrified. What if the Prince asks him to speak again? What if Jimin accidentally starts singing?
So for tonight, for a little while he stays away. Until the Prince begins to play the same tune from last night. It’s a song full of loneliness.
Jimin is pulled towards the shore again, almost against his will. He crouches behind a large rock and peeks out to stare at the Prince. Once again, he keeps his mouth below the water.
“I was thinking you might not come,” the Prince calls.
Jimin wants to tell him that he’s been waiting for this moment for the whole day. He strung three pearls incorrectly on the duchess’ necklace all because he was thinking about the Prince and his song.
But he’s so beautiful he can’t speak. Jimin has had control over his music for years. The Prince makes him want to lose it.
Jimin swishes his silver tail in response. If he won’t talk to the Prince he can at least show him he’s listening.
The Prince continues to strum but the rhythm has changed. It’s less sad, more, healing. Jimin likes it. He’s always liked the Prince’s songs.
The Prince stands and Jimin freezes, body running cold. He panics, is the Prince going to harm him? This is the reason they’re to stay away from humans, they can’t be trusted.
But he just moved closer to the shoreline. “I wanted to get a better look at you, if you don’t mind.”
He picks up playing again and Jimin relaxes.
The Prince plays for a while, sometimes looking at Jimin and mumbling words, other times he stares off into the horizon. Jimin never takes his eyes off the human. He memorizes the details of the Prince.
Large hands strum the chords so prettily. Dark hair that falls to his shoulders in waves. Tiny tuffs of it get caught in the breeze and Jimin giggles bubbles when the Prince scrunches his nose, trying to move the tickling strands away.
“Is that amusing?” His smirk is back.
Jimin bobs his head and the Prince seems pleased with his response.
The sun is getting lower, and their time is almost up. An ache settles between Jimin’s lungs. He’ll have to wait a whole day to hear this song again.
“Do you have a name?” The Prince asks. Jimin nods in response but makes no move to say anything further.
The Prince sighs. “I suppose you won’t tell me, that’s fine. But I’m—”
“Yoongi!!” a voice calls from the castle walls. The Prince looks back to see who’s coming. He turns to the water once more and well the siren? The siren is gone.
Seokjin approaches, kicking sand up and about as he comes closer. Yoongi clenches his jaw. He loves Seokjin, he truly does. But he has the most impeccable timing.
“Prince Min! I’ve been looking for you everywhere. You have to come there’s news from the next Kingdom over.”
“One of their men never returned from the East Sea.”
All Yoongi can think about is Sirens.
“Y o o n g i,” Jimin tries each of the syllables out on his tongue once he’s alone in his shell. It rolls so beautifully out of his mouth. “Yoongi,” he says again, whispered into the sea. “Yoongi,” he practically sings. A blush creeps over his cheeks as he thinks about him.
He falls asleep to dreams of dark eyes and large hands. He can’t wait to see the Prince again tomorrow.
Yoongi and Seokjin spend the evening pouring over the details of the latest attack. They add them to the document they’ve been working on for years. They include several details.
Each death, location, weather leading up to the disappearance. There’s a pattern to them all.
The day after his father’s death Seokjin told Yoongi about the string of disappearances of men within his bloodline and families in their Kingdom.
The truth in his childhood bedtime stories was shocking. He always thought his father told the tales to excite Yoongi, he loved mystery when he was young. Instead, he was preparing him for all that was yet to come.
There’s an obvious connection to the sirens in the latest death but they have nothing else to go off of. He ends the night frustrated.
His affairs the following day seem so mundane. He greets the new guests. He goes over monetary needs. Arranges shipping schedules and sneaks away to take a nap. The evening doesn’t come soon enough.
Yoongi comes to the shore a little later than he would like. His nap cut into dinner. Namjoon found him in his sleeping chambers and drug him to the dining hall, sleep still in his eyes.
“The guests have been asking about you. You have make appearances, Prince Min.”
Yoongi hated when he called him that. They’d grown up together. Best friends for life who’s fathers worked together for years. Hoseok too. But as he came more into his position as ruler of the land, his friends became his most trusted colleagues and with that came respect.
Instead of picking at plate, Yoongi eats quickly. He practically inhales his dinner and gulps down water. Outside the dining all window he sees the tangerine seep into the sky.
He slips away after a few bows and promises to join every one after a little while.
He almost forgets his guitar. He has to run back to his room to grab it. He happy to see the sun still high when his feet hit the sand. The siren is waiting for him when he arrives.
The Prince is out of breath. Jimin watches him pant at the edge of the shore. He’d been busying himself with weaving seaweed into a scarf Taehyung would love. He knew it was getting later but he still hoped the Prince would come.
Jimin dips under the water as the Prince settles in. He’s finicky with the guitar for a few moments and Jimin listens to the strings change tone. The sound is prettiest at the end. The Prince starts strumming.
“I’m sorry I was late,” Yoongi says. “I lost track of time today napping. Do you nap?”
Bubbles float to the surface below Jimin’s nose. His eyes are squinty and filled with light. Yoongi realizes the siren is laughing. “Is that a silly question?”
Jimin nods. He loves to nap.
“Okay so you nap. What else do you do with your day?”
Jimin flicks his tail in response. The waves ripple happily around him.
“Right, you swim. Of course.” Yoongi pauses in his strum. There’s an itch under Jimin’s skin as the sound deafens.
“So I take it you will won’t speak to me?” Yoongi asks. With sad eyes Jimin shakes his head. He wants to speak to the Prince, he truly does. He’d spend the whole night talking to him if he could.
But if he loses himself for even a second something horrible could happen.
“Well if you don’t talk then how shall we get to know each other. I know you haven’t been watching me all this time just because you like my music.”
This is partially true. Jimin was drawn to the Prince by his tune. But Jimin also loved humans, which was a little taboo for a siren. It was very much his job to feed on the souls of men.
But Jimin had always been curious about humans. They just seemed so…funny?
They flitted about on land yelling and making noise every chance they got. They were clumsy and actually quite horrible at catching fish.
Jimin shrugs in response to the Prince. He’d love to get to know him.
“I’ve got just the idea. We’ll play a little question game. I used to play this with friends when we were young.”
The Prince puts his guitar in the sand and Jimin would be lying if he said he didn’t miss the music. But Yoongi’s attention was trained on him.
“Okay,” Yoongi brings his knees close to his body and for the first time Jimin notices how tiny the Prince actually is. He imagines without his tail they might be around the same size.
“We’ll start with something easy. Like age. That way we’ll know if im your Hyung or not. Do you use honorifics in the sea?”
Jimin giggles again and nods. The sound almost floats up above the water.
“I’m twenty-four, and you seem to be younger than me. Flick your tail if im correct and shake your head no if im wrong, okay?” Jimin flicks his tail.
“Are you nineteen?” head shake. “Twenty?” Head shake. “Twenty four?” Head shake. Yoongi sighs. “Twenty three?”
Jimin’s tail splashes happily, sending tiny ripples of water towards the Prince’s toes.
“Twenty-three! So I am your Hyung. Honorifics always seem so formal.”
Yoongi plays with the sand near his body. “You can refer to me in your head as your Hyung.”
Jimin giggles again.
Nightfall comes too quickly. The pair are both regretful to go. Jimin misses the Prince as soon as his stride breaks through the sea and he heads on his way back to Bada.
The Prince sighs on his way back to the castle. He has no more information than he had before.
Their game continues for a few days. Sometimes the Prince plays music for a long while before he speaks. Other times he asks questions right away somehow getting him to tell him things without words.
He learns that Jimin has no siblings. He doesn’t like to eat shrimp and in a follow up question, he learns that no siren does. He uses his hands and his tail to feature to things he enjoys b
Like weaving seaweed, which he does sometimes while they talk. Or making jewelry. Often times the siren will come back with new pearls around his neck or wrist, he’s always eager to show them off to the Prince.
Yoongi just keeps asking questions but he’s continually growing impatient. He knows the Siren can speak. He doesn’t understand why he’s choosing not to. His plan won’t work if he won’t speak.
One evening Yoongi almost misses his opportunity to see the Siren. He’s on his way out of the castle when his mother stops him.
“Yoongi!” She calls. He stops, turns toward her. Her long grey hair falls to her waist. He knows this means she’s headed to her chamber for the night.
“Yes, mother?” he allows her to clasp his hand. “I thought you were retiring for the evening.”
“I am, I wanted to speak to your first. The families of the guests are talking. The people don’t see you enough.”
Yoongi fights off a sigh of frustration. He knows she means the time in the evening. Everyone visiting the castle goes off to common areas to play games, drink, listen to music, and gossip. Yoongi had never liked it much. It’s why he picked up playing guitar.
“I know you cherish your alone time. You always have. Even as a boy you’d spend time in your room solo for hours with books and that guitar,” she gestures to the instrument. “But I needn’t remind you the duty you must uphold.”
His blood runs cold. New alliances. Treaties and deals signed. The marriage. The throne. No, she needn’t remind him.
“I want you to start seeing suitors within the month. It’s time you find someone eligible to marry.”
Jimin is sunbathing when the Prince approaches much later than normal. They probably won’t have much time together during this sunset. He slips into the water and swims a little closer so he can see the Prince much better. He just loves looking at his beauty.
But the Prince looks upset. Instead of sitting to strum he paces a small length of the shore. His steps are hard, spraying sand with each stride. Jimin wants to ask him what’s wrong. When people were upset it had always turned his tummy. He hates this feeling.
He even raises his head above the water to speak. His mouth is open, a question at the tip of his tongue. The Prince locks eyes with him. “I really need you to speak today, please.”
Jimin closes his mouth. Suddenly the words have died in his throat. He sinks back down into the water, only his eyes and nose to be seen again.
Yoongi doesn’t understand what he’s so afraid of. He should be afraid. He should run screaming at the sight of the siren.
But he isn’t. Instead he’s playing friends with him trying to get him to talk so Yoongi can get answers because after all these years that’s all he’s wanted. But still, the siren says nothing.
“I don’t get it!” Anger laces his words. “I come out here every day and I tell you all these things about myself and I know you can hear me and understand and yet you never respond!” He’s still pacing.
Jimin is frozen in fear.
“I have so many things I want to know about you! So many things I’d tell you myself. Like my duties during the day. I’d tell you about friends and our kingdom’s enemies but you won’t talk!!” The Prince has stopped pacing now and he’s staring at the siren.
“And I really need someone to talk to because I’m driving myself mad. There’s so much pressure on me, which is not yours to carry, but somehow I feel drawn to tell you everything. Like how I’m to take the throne in eight months time and there are suitors here to court me.”
Jimin’s brow quirks up at this. The Prince seems really unhappy with this situation. He wishes he could offer him some type of relief. Instead he continues to listen to him rant.
“I don’t want it. I don’t want any of it! The throne. The marriage. The responsibility. I’d rather sit and make music. And so Siren I’d really appreciate if you’d just talk to me.” Jimin raises his head but stays quiet. It only angers the Prince further until finally her bursts.
“WHY WON’T YOU TALK TO ME?”
The Siren’s eyes fill with tears. He never meant to anger the Prince. Only protect him. Fitfully, Jimin chokes out, “I’m sorry.”
And then he’s gone.
Ahhhhhh. And that’s another end to a daily update. Thank you so much for yelling or crying or squealing in the qrt and liking things, it very much keeps me going as this is my first super long Twitter au. See you tomorrow.
The Prince waits for the siren at the next sunset. He arrived early so they wouldn’t miss a moment together. Each second he would fill with apologies for his frustration.
But this evening, the siren doesn’t show.
Jimin cut quickly through the waters, returning to Bada earlier than he normally would. It thankfully meant Jungkook and Taehyung weren’t waiting for him when he got back.
He threw himself in his shell and snapped it closed. The tears returned. Pearls formed around him as his shoulders shook. He laid on his belly and allowed himself to drown in his sorrow. He never meant to anger the Prince. Only protect, always protect.
“Jimin?” A sing-song voice comes from outside the shell the following morning. There’s a knock to follow. Jimin sighs. He could ignore Jungkook just like he ignored Taehyung the previous evening. “Just go away!” He’d sobbed.
But Taehyung wasn’t stupid. He knew that Jimin wouldn’t be able to resist Jungkook. So Jungkook knocks again, so feather-light.
“Minnie, we can’t help if we don’t know what’s going on.”
Jimin isn’t sure they can help at all. But he unclamps his shell.
Jungkook climbs in with him, tails overlapping as they snuggle. “What happened with the Prince?” He whispered.
Jimin flashes back to the beach. He squeezes his eyes shut tight. He produced enough pearls for ten necklaces, he doesn’t need to cry anymore.
“The Prince hates me,” he says, defeated.
Jungkook brushes his hand over Jimin’s silver scales. “Just tell me what happened, Minnie.” Jimin notices how Jungkook doesn’t deny that the Prince hates him but he begins to explain anyway.
Jungkook was the first to know about Jimin’s initial encounter with the Prince a year ago. Jimin had fallen asleep on his favorite rock. It was an overcast day so he could spend more of it above water.
He woke up to the sound of music. Jimin was in awe. He didn’t know there was music on land. He slid off the rock and into the water so he wouldn’t be seen. He used his tail beneath the surface to create waves to hide himself.
He peered towards where the music was coming from. His eyes landed on a human. Jimin gasped. He’d seen him before, once, when they were both very young. Jimin and his mother were exploring secluded beach areas.
A young boy and his father were playing with something white and round in the sand. Jimin had stopped in his stride. His mother tugged his arm to keep him going.
“Don’t let the King and the Prince see you.” She whispered.
A high pitched giggle rang out, carried over to Jimin by the wind. The king had scooped his son in his arms. Jimin had never heard a sound more beautiful.
In spotting him, Jimin couldn’t help but continue to watch the Prince. The tune he played was very random. Jimin had never heard anything like it under the sea. They didn’t even have instruments like that.
The Prince left as soon as the sky went dark. Jimin realized he was late returning home. If Taeyeon found out he’d be in huge trouble.
He swam straight to Jungkook to tell him what happened. “I saw a human!” He exclaimed. Jimin had spent his whole life being fascinated by them.
“He was on land, making, making music!” Jimin’s eyes were wide in awe. “Oh Jungkookie he was so beautiful. But he looked so sad!”
Jungkook listened but warned Jimin to stay away from him. Everything they’d ever been told about humans was that they were dangerous.
“How could something so beautiful be so harmful?”
That question would haunt him forever.
Jimin sighs in to Jungkook. “I can’t talk to him.”
“Jimin, then why even keep going to see him?”
Jimin chews on his lip. He doesn’t have a great answer. “Jungkookie, he’s just so beautiful.”
“And so are you? Beauty doesn’t make people great the rules, Jimin. And you’ve been breaking them for a while.”
“He just seems sad and lonely. I don’t know what I can give him but he comes every night and he wants me to be there so I just have to keep going.”
Jungkook shifts a little so that he can see Jimin more clearly. “But you’re obviously not giving him exactly what he wants. What happens if you just talk to him?”
Jimin sighs. He’s thought about it a million times. All the words he might say to the Prince.
He’d first talk to him about his music. He’d want to know why he plays so pretty tunes. Then he might ask him about what his day to day life was like. Jimin would love to share about his, making jewelry, hoarding schools of fish, voice lessons, and so on.
He’d tell him all about Bada because he’s sure that no other human probably knows about the world within the sea. He’d ask Yoongi why he’s not afraid of him because he knows they’re different and if Sirens think humans are dangerous, humans must think poorly of Sirens.
“What if I talk and I sing?” Jimin answers honestly.
Jungkook’s eyes are so sympathetic. “Jimin, hyung,” he holds his hand delicately. “You have the most control over your music. Hell, I could steal a soul with a cackle.”
Bubbles float up around Jimin in his laughter.
“I think you could talk to him and be fine.”
“Really? You think so?” Jimin asks.
“I know so. But,” Jungkook hesitates to say what he’s thinking. “I also think you have to stop seeing the Prince.”
“We’re not meant to mix with the human world. We steal souls and that’s it. This is dangerous, Hyung. And you’re just going to get hurt.”
“Jungkookie, when did you get so wise?” He snuggles closer to him with a sorrowful sigh. “You’re right, though. I should stay away.”
So he does. When sunset comes Jimin allows Jungkook and Taehyung to take him far away for exploration of water volcanoes to keep his mind off things.
The next morning the three are tasked by one of Queen Taeyeon’s direct workers to find sea jewels to accompany her her attire to the upcoming party.
The excursion takes all day, digging through the darkest parts of the ocean to find precious pearls and gems.
By the time Jimin gets back to his shell he’s exhausted and that evening can only dream of the Prince.
A week has gone by and The Prince has decided the siren is no longer visiting him. Each night he goes to the beach and plays his guitar, but he never comes. He’s frustrated with himself for getting so angry.
He needs answers and details in order to find out information about his father’s siren killer, and he’s going about it in all the wrong ways.
“Hyung, you’re always quiet but you’ve been especially quiet lately, what’s going on?” Namjoon asks over a glass of whiskey one night. Yoongi had returned from the beach to the common area because he was making appearances as his mother requested.
He wishes he could tell Namjoon and Hoseok. It would certainly take some of the burden off his chest. But as far as everyone in the Kingdom knew, his father’s death wasn’t a mystery.
Yoongi just shrugs as he takes a sip of the stinging amber liquid.
Hoseok chimes in. “I know you don’t want to hear this, Hyung, but I overheard a conversation today and it seems as though the elders have decided to start arranging courtings for you.”
Yoongi rolls his eyes. It was to be expected. He needed a betrothed for the throne and probably an heir after that. He just wasn’t ready for it. He also knew he had no choice in the matter.
“We were thinking we could help. Maybe if you start showing interests in some of the guests then the elders will back off.”
Yoongi doesn’t know how long that will work but he’s willing to try.
Hoseok drags him into a game of cards with some of the younger guests. Yoongi knows how to be charming, it’s like the first rule of being a Prince. He fits in easily with the bunch, but he’s distracted. He retires early.
With the moonlight filtering in the window, Yoongi lies in bed. He continues to think about how he hasn’t seen the siren in seven days. He doesn’t know what to do to get him to come back and he’s running out of time.
He’s also broken the trust he knew he needed to create. If he was to get any information from the siren at all, he’d have to get him to trust him.
The Prince was at a loss.
On an overcast August afternoon Prince Min decides to take his small sailboat out into the sea. No one ever bothers him on his beached enclosure, but he felt like being further from the castle walls.
With his guitar in hand, Yoongi boards the small boat and begins to sail. It takes him a while to get far away enough that he feels he can breathe properly.
The elders, included his mother called a meeting of affairs this morning. The Prince’s arranged dates would begin the following week. He had no say in the matter. He ran away to the water shortly after.
With the sun behind the clouds and light blustery winds, it was a cool August day. Yoongi used to love weather like this as a child. His father would bring him out by the water and they’d play ball or run around for hours.
Now, he sits on his boat and begins to strum his song. He allows himself to get lost in the music.
He’s so focused on playing that he doesn’t notice the dark clouds rolling in. A storm brews around the Prince and by the time he realizes, it’s too late. The winds are adamant in taking him down.
Jimin had spent the entire week making himself busy with every task imaginable. The Queen’s party was approaching quickly. It was something she held every year were sirens from near and far gathered to gossip and plan. It was the most grand event in all of Bada.
This year, Jimin’s rank would be increased. He’d captured enough lost and tortured souls to have more freedom within his duties. He was quite looking forward to it. A higher rank meant more control.
Over the last few weeks Jungkook had been preoccupied with extra trainings. He had to have a hold on his music to be allowed more time out of Bada. Sirens who were younger, with less control couldn’t leave their home quite often unless on official business.
Jungkook wanted the freedom his older friends had. Day and night he would speak and sing and stop mid-song to speak again. Jimin coached him mercilessly.
But today, Jimin was restless. Jungkook and Taehyung were both busy. The seamstress said all the attire was finished, she didn’t need Jimin’s perfect pearl stringing.
So he lay in his shell, fidgeting. He couldn’t think of what to do. So he left. He swam about the community, greeting other sirens as he went about. Somehow, he ended up at the gates.
The gates of Bada were the only difference between the open sea and Jimin’s home where Taeyeon’s sector of the siren community was ruled.
Jimin could see through the gates that the water was darker on the opposite side. He smiled, this meant the day was cloudy. Less light filtered through the water. If the sun wasn’t out, Jimin could go to the surface. He slipped through the gate quickly, eager to go see land.
Jimin breaks through the surface with a gasping breath. It’s always such an event to come up for air. But he doesn’t emerge to what he thought he might. There’s a storm outside.
The winds are howling a dangerous song. The sky is dark, as though night has fallen, but Jimin believes it isn’t close to evening yet. He’s about to give up and swim home, but he hears that familiar tune.
His blood runs cold once he realizes it’s coming from the water.
He spots the sailboat quickly. It’s in the same moment the Prince breaks out of a trance. He sees the storm rolling in around him and he jumps up. His movements are frantic as he casts the sails to go back toward the castle.
Jimin can’t help but hover where he’s at. His tail flits unhappily. He’s on edge. The Prince shouldn’t be out on these waters. The boat begins heading in the correct direction. It’s like the storm takes it personally. He waves around the boat crash harder, threatening.
It’s not too long before it becomes evident to Jimin that the Prince isn’t going to make it home. The sails shift too often as the wind thrashes them around. He searches around for anything to help him. He thinks the Prince realizes it too, there’s something defeated in his gaze.
It all happens quickly. The Prince is changing the sails on the mast and a wave crashes into the side of the ship violently. Water topples over onto the small deck. A wave from the opposite side does the same thing, almost like it’s a back and forth game.
Without another breath, the ship goes down.
The Siren screams the Prince’s name. It’s the last sound Yoongi hears before thrown into the water.
Jimin dives under, swimming at lightening speed to find the Prince. He sees remains of the sailboat below. It was broken into hundred of pieces by the force of the waves and the wind.
He doesn’t spot the Prince at first. He’s wedged between a large board of wood and a rock. He struggles to break free and Jimin is reminded that humans cannot breathe under water. He swims faster.
By the time he reaches the Prince he’s limp. Not only was he stuck, but his clothes were tangled in a wild web of strong seaweed, determined to keep him down.
Jimin gets to work quickly. He rips at the seaweed with his newly clawed hands. He had realized he’d changed forms when he’d channeled the extra energy to swim. He uses that energy to gain the strength to move the large boat pieces that are pinning the Prince down.
He takes a deep breath to center himself. He places his now normal hands on the Prince and begins dragging him to the surface.
The storm is still raging as he swims while holding the Prince’s head above water. He hasn’t returned to consciousness and Jimin honestly doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive.
They reach the beach and Jimin drags the Prince’s body away from the shoreline. Jimin lies next to the Prince, hovering over his body to chest for breaths.
The Prince hasn’t moved in moments. Jimin doesn’t know what to do. He reaches for his face. His small fingers push the wet locks off the Prince’s forehead and cheeks.
“Please,” Jimin whispers, afraid of his own voice. “Please wake up.”
The Prince finally takes a deep breath. Jimin feels the relief in the tip of his tail, but his eyes remain closed.
Jimin caresses the Prince’s face. He’s never seen a human up close before. Jimin is struck by the Prince’s beauty even in his current state.
He follows the short slope of his nose with feather light touch. His long, dark lashes rest against full cheeks that are regaining color. Jimin imagines he might wake soon.
He should go. He doesn’t know how angry the Prince will be to see him again.
He puts a hand on his chest for a moment. His heartbeat knocks on Jimin’s hand. He’s so happy he’s alive he could kiss his pouty lips, but he doesn’t.
“Yoongi, please, wake up. It’s me, Jimin.” The Siren says.
The Prince’s eyes flutter open.
Jimin scurries to dive back in the water as the Prince’s name is called over the castle wall. By the time Yoongi can register what just happened, the siren is gone again. His name..,is Jimin.
Okay it’s like a cliffhanger but not a cliffhanger like fully? Either way day threeeee is over. Reminder that qrts and likes are my love language. See you all tomorrow.
OH and a quit secret plot voting.
The Prince collapses backwards into the sand after the siren is gone. He breathes heavily, his entire body is sore from being thrown overboard. He thinks he might have imagined the entire thing. His head swims with ache. But then he remembers.
He’s entirely confused. When the storm started, he flashed back to his father’s death. The wind, the waves, they were all the same. He assumed the siren was coming for him next, to end the Min bloodline once and for all.
He lost consciousness from holding his breath too long when he was stuck between the broken ship and rock. He thought for sure his life would be ending.
When he awoke, he wasn’t expecting to have been saved by the siren. He wasn’t expecting to be living anymore at all.
The Prince is pulled out of his thoughts by his name being called once again, closer this time. His recognizes Seokjin’s voice.
“Prince Min!” He yells, approaching him. “I heard the storm rolling in and Namjoon said he hadn’t seen you in hours and I just wondered if you were—”
“I’m fine,” Seokjin supports Yoongi in sitting up. “My boat is destroyed and my guitar is gone,” his heart is heavy. His father gave him that guitar. “But I’m fine.”
“Was it a Siren? Did you see that blasted creature?”
Yoongi stands, legs shaky. His entire body is sore. He shakes his head and brushed sand from his wet clothing. “No, Seokjin, it was just a storm.”
Seokjin helps him inside and his mother frets over him instantly. She starts saying that he mustn’t ever go out on the water alone anymore and how she couldn’t bare it if she lost him and Yoongi’s stomach swoops with guilt.
He was stupid. He knows this. If anything happened to him his mother would never recover. Daeyang would have no ruler and their kingdom would suffer.
“That’s it,” his mother announces at their private dinner that evening. Yoongi is too sore and exhausted to fraternize with guests. “You must find a partner to wed immediately, Yoongi. The Min line needs to be carried on.”
He doesn’t argue with his but his back tingles with distain. He didn’t realize how much this accident would impact his mother. He apologizes for scaring her. “I won’t go out on the sea alone again.”
She places her hand on his cheek. For a moment he’s seven again, being held in his mother’s embrace. “I wouldn’t make it,” she stifles a sob, “if I lost you. You’re all I have left, Yoongi.” Her eyes sparkle with fresh tears. “You’re all I have.”
After the Prince awoke Jimin dove under the sea as not to be seen by whomever was coming to the Prince. He hid behind a rock and watched as Yoongi slowly got into a sitting position and with a grimacing face finally stood up. Jimin sighed as the Prince walked away.
Jimin swam back towards the gates of Bada, ready to retire for the evening. He was drained from the accident. He’d used more power than he would have liked. Just before entering, he spotted the wreckage of Yoongi’s ship.
Something else caught his eye, the Prince’s guitar. It lay unscathed by the storm at the top of a seahill. Jimin swam quickly towards it.
Delicately, he took the instrument in his hands. He didn’t quite know how to hold it. He lightly brushed his fingers over the strings.
No sound was made. Jimin sighed but smiled. He would bring this back to the Prince, which meant he’d have to see him tomorrow.
Jimin is antsy throughout the day. He keeps thinking about the Prince and his guitar. The Prince’s pretty nose and dark eyelashes. His full, pouty mouth and freckled cheeks.
He drops a pile of necklaces as he transfers them from the jewelry line and gets reprimanded by Seulgi, the jewelry store owner. He apologizes but still can’t help his fumbling hands and stuttering heart.
As soon as his shift is over Jimin returns to his shell to get the Prince’s guitar. He thought about stashing it somewhere outside Bada but was afraid it might drift away or be ruined by some sea animal.
Using extra power from his latest soul feed, Jimin swims quickly as to not be seen. The guitar is clearly a human item and if he’s caught, Jimin will be in grave trouble.
He breaks the surface at the sun’s first dip in the sky. He wants as much time as possible with the young Prince. He’s been worried about him all day. Is he hurt anywhere? Does he miss his guitar? Is he still upset with Jimin? These questions plagued his mind.
Yoongi waits in the sand, knees pulled up to his chest. His eyes are trained on the sky. He knows the siren won’t come until the sun is lower. His toes wiggle impatiently, he winces. He’s still sore.
He was awarded the morning to rest but expected to return to duties for the afternoon. Today, that duty included arranging a suitor schedule. Yoongi would be going on a series of dates with eligible duchesses, dukes, princes and princesses everyday for the next few weeks to come.
He slipped away to be alone as quick as he could. The castle had always felt like home, but now, it was suffocating.
A splash brings the Prince out of his thoughts. He looks up from the sand beneath him and meets the eyes of the siren.
“Jimin,” his name rolls delicately off his tongue.
“Yoongi,” the siren’s airy light voice responds.
The Prince thinks that his name, in all his life, has never sounded more beautiful.
He scoots closer so that his feet and ankles are submerged in the water. The siren still keeps his distance, but they’re closer than they usually are.
“So you can speak,” the Prince says.
Jimin takes a deep breath. He exhales and casts calm from the tip of his head to the end of his tail. “I’m sorry,” his voice is quiet.
“I yelled at you,” the Prince plays with sand and watches it fall through the cracks of his fingers. “I’m the one who should be sorry.”
“You make me feel nervous,” Jimin says.
The Prince’s eyes snap up. “Me? Make you nervous?” There’s an obviously tension to his voice. Jimin can feel the apprehension in the salt sea air. “What do you have to be nervous about?”
“Our queen says humans are dangerous.”
The laugh the Prince gives is completely unkind. Jimin doesn’t like where the conversation is going.
“My father was murdered by a siren,” the Prince spits. “So if either of us should be afraid of each other it’s me.”
Jimin swims closer within thinking “Oh!” He exclaims with sympathetic eyes. “Please let me explain. That’s so tragic, oh my,” a hand goes to his mouth. The guitar he was holding lifts with it. The Prince gasps.
“My guitar, you found it?”
Jimin nods and goes closer to pass it over. “I saw it when I was returning home. I thought you might like it back. It doesn’t seem to be damaged.”
Yoongi takes it from him. His throat aches. He thought it was gone forever, the last gift given to him by his father. “Th-thank you” he stutters.
“You make the most beautiful music, you deserve to always have it.”
Jimin rests closer to the Prince than he normally would. He watches quietly while the Prince turns the knobs of the guitar and plucks the strings lightly, changing the tune.
Once he’s satisfied with the sound he plays the song that drew Jimin in. The siren gives a bright smile.
The Prince meets his gaze. His heart feels a lot lighter.
“The sun is going down faster today,” Jimin says. “I have so many things to tell you, but I’m not sure we have the time. For today can I just ask, are you alright after yesterday’s accident?”
“Oh,” the Prince murmurs quietly, still confused by the siren’s motives. “Yes, I’m alright. You, well you saved my life, Jimin.”
“As someone who makes music as beautiful as you do, the world deserves you in it.”
The Prince’s cheeks heat. He wrinkles his nose and stares at his strings instead of Jimin’s intense gaze. “I know we don’t have much time but I don’t understand why. Why can you only come when the sun sets and not stick around after it’s dark?”
Jimin sighs. His tail swishes anxiously. “As I was telling you, there are different types of sirens. For me, the sun is a danger, but the moon, well it gives me my most power. But it also makes me my most dangerous.”
Jimin can tell the Prince is confused by the way he tilts his head. The sun is dipping more, he’ll have to explain faster. “The sun dries me out. As a creature who is meant to stay in the water, it’s harmful to me.”
“Ahhh,” the Prince hums. “Okay, I understand.”
“But the moon, it gives me the power to bring out my truest form.”
“The moon makes me sing.”
The sky is has turned burnt Orange as the sun meets the horizon. It will set any minute. “I have to go,” Jimin says. “I’ll return tomorrow and I promise to tell you more. I’m truly sorry about your father.”
The Prince shows no emotion as he stands to watch the siren go.
“Oh!” He exclaims. Jimin’s head pops back above the water. Yoongi notices how his eyes have started to glisten silver now that the sky is growing darker. The siren roots himself in place, mouth below the surface. “Thank you,” the Prince bows. “For my guitar and my life.”
Yoongi skips dinner after being forced to have a late lunch with the Duchess of one of the northern kingdoms. She’s boring and plain. She picks at her food as if she’s allergic to eating and Yoongi doesn’t think he’ll ever want to spend time with her again.
He strums at the beach and thinks about the things he learned from Jimin the previous day. There are still so many questions swirling around in his brain. Different types of sirens? Powers fueled by the moon? He hadn’t learned any of this in his years of research with Seokjin.
Jimin splashes up happily at the sun’s first inkling that it will start to go down. He flashes Yoongi a dazzling smile. The Prince is confused as to why he feels breathless.
“So I’ll just get started,” Jimin says.
“Okay,” Yoongi replies. He moves to put his guitar in the sand.
“Actually,” Jimin speaks up, “can you play? It makes me feel more at ease.”
“I’m not sure what you know of sirens, so tell me. I suspected you might know something since the first day you didn’t see alarmed when we spotted each other.”
“Not enough,” the Prince admits.
“As I said yesterday. My father was murdered by a siren and I’ve been itching to learn more ever since.”
“How long ago?” Jimin asks quietly.
“Seven years,” the Prince replies.
“Sirens were born to be predators to take back what was taken by the sea. Years ago our life source, the fish, the urchins, we’re disappearing too quickly for sea creatures to be able to sustain life.”
The Prince’s strumming gets quieter as he leans in to listen.
“Sirens were made by the sea to take back from man what was stolen from her.”
“My father used to refer to the sea in that way,” the Prince murmurs.
“She controls all, even what happens on land,” Jimin has shifted a little closer. His tail almost brushes the Prince’s toes.
“We feast now on souls, but not in the way you think. It had changed over the years. Originally, under our ruler we could take the souls of any man. But that all changed as the sirens grew to learn more about humans.”
The Prince listens intently. He’s searching through Jimin’s words for any explanation to as why his father had to die. “We fear humans because all they do is take from the sea. But one of our queen before my time fell in love with a human princess. She raved to the community.
She promised that not all humans were unkind and harmful to us and thus decided we could only take the souls of tainted, lost, and truly despicable men.”
“But my father,” the Prince grows desperate just thinking about him. “He was kind. The kindness man you could have ever met.”
“Oh yes,” Jimin says. “I’m sure he was. There are some sirens, some older or more traditional families who don’t believe we should follow those ways. They take any soul they want. I might assume that’s what happened to your father.”
Jimin has to leave soon after their conversation. It doesn’t leave Yoongi at ease. In fact, it makes him more eager to discover the siren who killed his father.
When he gets inside the castle Namjoon is waiting for him in his bedroom. “Hyung, your mother was looking for you at dinner.”
Yoongi throws himself on one of the couches. He puts an arm over his eyes. Maybe if he pretends to sleep he won’t have to listen.
He knows Namjoon is just going ti say his mother is disappointed that he didn’t make an appearance.
“I had a late lunch.”
“With the duchcess, yes, she was looking for you too.”
The Prince groans.
He turns on his side to see Namjoon is looking at him empathetic ally with a glass of whiskey out stretched. “The Duke of Boseong is taking you to the theater tomorrow evening.”
Yoongi grimaces at the sip of his stiff drink. “I’m not going on an evening outing.”
If he isn’t around the castle in the evening he won’t see Jimin. He has to see Jimin, he’s got many more questions.
“His parents will be in attendance as well as your mother, you have to go.”
Jimin bursts through the surface with a smile. He had such a great time with the Prince yesterday evening and he’s sure he has more questions for him today that he’s eager to answer.
He swims giddily near the shoreline. The beach is empty so the Prince must be running late today. Jimin doesn’t mind waiting. He scours the the floor for tiny seashells, he could use new earrings for the Queen’s party that was to come in two days.
Their community had spent weeks preparing for the event and now that it was finally upon them, Jimin was growing both nervous and excited. He wanted Jungkook to earn his next rank, he’d been practicing so hard. He hoped Taehyung got the art rank he’d applied for.
Jimin himself was excited for a new rank and his finally career. He was going to train all the youngest sirens on how to control their music. His weeks of helping Jungkook were the perfect practice.
When the sky is almost dark, the Prince still hasn’t arrived. Jimin can’t help but feel disappointed. His belly aches with nervousness. Was there something he said? Did the Prince associate Jimin with the siren who killed his father?
He hoped not. Jimin had never stolen a soul that didn’t deserve it.
The sun falls and Jimin sighs unhappily as he sulks back into the water. The Prince has left him alone again. The siren feels like weeping.
Even as a child, Yoongi hated going to the theater. Plays were not his preferred way to spend his time. Woosung, the Duke of Boseong was kind, though. He spoke with a soft voice and rested his hand delicately atop the Prince’s while they watched the show.
When Yoongi sighs unhappily, Woosung leans over to whisper into the Prince’s ear. “We can come up with a way to sneak away, if you’d like, Prince Min.” His breath tickles the Yoongi’s neck.
The Prince only thinks of Jimin.
If they snuck away now would they have time for Yoongi to reach the shore to see the siren? It’s dark in the theater which gives no indication to what time it is.
The Prince takes the bait anyway. Woosung announces to their parents that he feels unwell. Yoongi immediately offers, in perfect charming fashion, to walk him back to the castle safely. Their parents croon happily at the pair and shoo them away with the promise of more tomorrow.
Once the pair steps out of the theater and into the evening light they each let out a sigh of relief.
“I hate the theater,” Woosung admits.
Yoongi laughs. “As do I!”
“My parents suggested it, they’ve been eager to see your kingdom’s performances since we’ve arrived.”
The two walk lazily down the road towards the castle. Yoongi can tell the sun has already dipped too low for him to have time to reach Jimin. His disappointed.
“Forgive me,” the Prince says. “How long have you been visiting Daeyang?”
“Just a few weeks,” Woosung replies. The Prince notes how he smiles after almost every sentence he says. “We’re really enjoying our time here and are just so thankful for your gracious invitation.”
They stop at the doors to enter the castle. The Prince leans against the wall and studies the duke. He was kind. At dinner he’d made Yoongi laugh. He certainly was something to look at, with long dark hair, and golden bright eyes.
“Let’s have a drink,” the Prince suggests. Woosung smiles again.
They each talk a little about themselves. Yoongi learns that Woosung is the same age as him. He is also next in line to hold the title in his family when his father dies. Their partnership would be prosperous for both of their lands.
“Can I be honest?” Woosung says after a few drinks. “I don’t want to be in charge.”
Yoongi is surprised to hear this. Normally, the sons of dukes are kings wait their entire lives to rule their kingdom or territory.
“The responsibility is too much to bare. There’s all these meetings and—”
Yoongi cuts him off, “—excursions, treaties,” “deals, monetary ruler ships.” They continue to bounce responsibilities back and forth until they’re both laughing heartily.
“It’s,— exhausting,” they both agree.
“And to a marriage, what do you think? Would ours relieve you of that responsibility?”
Woosung’s cheeks are flushed pink now that he’s had alcohol in his system. The Prince’s are too. “Not at all. It would give me more.”
“Why agree to be a suitor in your visiting time?” Yoongi curiously asks.
Woosung shifts in his chair, leaning forward to meet his eyes. “Prince Min, do you know of the sirens?”
Yoongi’s blood runs cold.
Yoongi falls into his bed heavily, limbs drug down by drink. He huffs a few times. He shouldn’t have had so much whiskey. But once the conversation turned, well drinking was the only thing to calm him.
“Sirens?” he feigned confusion.
Woosung sighed and added alcohol to both of their glasses. They were alone in one of the Prince’s studies, but he whispered anyway. “I know you know about them, every royal father’s son does.”
“I saw my first when I was ten years old. My father, older brother and I were out on the sea late in the evening.” Woosung’s eyes glossed over as he recalled the dark memory. “The storm came out of nowhere.”
Yoongi swallows. He doesn’t want to hear the rest. He can’t relive it.
He’s seen Woosung’s entire family. He ate dinner with them this evening. Woosung was next in line for the head title. Yoongi feels sick. He already knows where this story ends.
“I couldn’t sleep for years,” Woosung recalls. “And I used to hate the creature more than I hated life without my brother.”
Yoongi notes the “used to” in his phrase. “What changed?”
“I saw another last year, and she saved my life.”
“After what happened to my brother I was petrified of the sea. I refused to go out on the water. You couldn’t even get me to visit a beach if my life depended on it.”
Yoongi chuckles because Woosung’s casual tone has turned light again.
“But a duke must to know how to sail.
“I took lessons for months from one of the captains. Your captain Seokjin is the best of them all, some of ours have studied under him.”
Yoongi agrees. There’s isn’t anyone as honorable and dutiful as Seokjin.
“As a test I went out to sail on my own one day. It was almost perfect. It was an overcast day so I don’t even think she expected for me to see her playing with a dolphin by my boat. I was so stunned to see her I shifted my mast the wrong way.”
Woosung continues to explain how he flipped his boat. The Siren, named Irene, saved his life. She swam him to shore and waited with him until he woke up.
“I was terrified of her. But she was so beautiful. She cried pearls when she realized I wasn’t hurt.”
Yoongi remembers Jimin’s deep sigh of relief when he opened his eyes. The desperate call of his name for him to wake up. In this moment, he missed him terribly.
Woosung went on. “She asked to visit me the next day, to check on me. I was confused. I didn’t know what she meant. But I showed up to the dock at the end of my home and there she was waiting for me at sunset.”
Woosung takes a long pull from his drink before deciding to continue. “Prince Min, I’m telling you this because I notice that you disappear at sunset.“
Yoongi purses his lips. This conversation feels dangerous. He scoots his chair away from their shared table. He makes to stand up.
“I fell in love with her,” Woosung reveals and something in the Prince blossoms.
He relaxes into his chair. “You fell in love..with the siren?”
“You must have learned that not all sirens steal souls of the innocent, like my brother’s. Irene is different. She takes the souls of hurt and dying sea animals. It gives her much less power than taking a human’s.”
Yoongi wonders if Jimin does that, or can do that. He makes no point to confirm nor deny if he knows what the duke is talking about.
Woosung sighs. “I’m telling you this because if you’re like me in the way I think you are, we should strike a deal.”
The Prince sits at the shoreline in the late afternoon of September. It’s a scorching now, an unseasonably warm day. Fall will bestow itself upon Daeyang soon. The leaves will change and winter will chill the kingdom. The Prince hates the idea of it.
Jimin emerges very close to Yoongi but barely lifts his body above the water. Yoongi is used to seeing his upper body adorned in jewels and shells, but today he barely sees past his neck.
“It’s still early,” Jimin says. He dips his bobs under the water and comes back up, silver hair glistening. “But I heard you playing already and wanted to come,” he dips under again.
Yoongi laughs. He looks funny the way he pops in and out of the water. “You can come back when the sun goes down a bit more. I’ll still be here.”
“Yesterday you weren’t,” the siren frowns and goes back under.
The Prince sighs when Jimin rises. “I’m sorry, I had an affair to attend in the evening. I certainly have made it so that won’t happen again.” Jimin disappears momentarily.
“Really,” the Prince is giggling and Jimin doesn’t know if he’s heard a more beautiful sound. “Come back in about ten minutes.”
“Or,” Jimin comes back up, eyes trained on the Prince, “you could come in.”
Yoongi’s fingers freeze on the guitar. His mouth is parted slight, surprise. The bubbles ripple the surface as Jimin giggles. “C’mon it’ll be fun! We can have just a little more time together.”
Yoongi places his guitar on the sand.
Jimin’s heart thrums happily when the Prince stands up. He clears his throat before beginning to undo the buttons on his white shirt. Something warm pools in Jimin’s belly. He dips back under the water to keep his skin from drying out and to hide the blush on his cheeks.
He swims underwater for a moment, not wanting to watch the Prince undress. It gives him a funny feeling he’s never had before. Almost like…excitement.
When he comes back up the Prince is already waist deep in the water. Jimin tries not to stare at his broad shoulders. Instead he searches his apprehensive face. By the time he dips and rises again the Prince has walked into the sea and is fully submerged in the water.
“If we go to the shaded area can you stay above water?” Yoongi asks quietly.
Jimin nods. He’s speechless. He hasn’t been this close to the Prince since the accident. “It’s a little far out, will you let me guide you?”
The Prince outstretches his hand and Jimin clasps it.
Yoongi feels like he’s gliding. Jimin is underwater, swimming quickly. With each flick, Yoongi feels his tail tickle against his bare legs. Only his head is above water but he’s pulled at an impossible speed until they reach the shaded area of the sea, quite far from the castle.
Jimin rests them on a rock below the surface level. “Was that okay?” His voice is hushed.
The Prince nods. He can’t help but stare at the siren before him. He opens his mouth to speak, then closes it, then opens it again.
“You’re very beautiful,” Yoongi finally says.
Jimin gasps and turns away to look at the horizon. The sun is still high in the sky, but it will be setting soon enough.
“So there’s a party tomorrow,” he says to fill the silence. He notices how close the Prince is to him. He can feel his leg against the scales of his tail.
It makes him nervous in an intoxicating way.
“Tell me more, I know nothing of where you live.” The Prince says eagerly.
Jimin claps happily, eyes alight with affection. “Oh, Yoongi, Bada is gorgeous. You would love it.”
“The ocean is split into sectors, like the different kingdoms of your land. Each sector is ruled by a different family. The Kim family has ruled our sector for ages.”
“Like my family has ruled mine,” Yoongi replies.
“It’s just so lovely I don’t know how to describe it to you. We’re a large community of people who rely on each other for safety and company.”
“What do you spend your days doing when we are not together?” The Prince asks.
Jimin loves the sound of that ‘together’.
He smiles. “I have jobs I have to do. Sometimes I visit other sectors for goods, other times I spend time with my friends, Jungkookie and Taehyungie.”
Jimin continues to explain Bada to Yoongi. Yoongi just watches him speak, in awe. He’s never seen the siren so animated before. It’s endearing. His personality is so light. To the Prince, he feels like coming up for air.
“So there’s s party tomorrow?” Yoongi asks after a while. The sun will be down soon and he knows they don’t have much time left. “Does that mean you won’t visit?”
Jimin’s eyes go wide and he gasps. “Of course not. I have to show you what I’m wearing,” he grins. Yoongi thinks he has the most dazzling smile. “We’ve spent weeks preparing. Each year Bada hosts the other sectors and we’re presented as we move up in ranks.”
Yoongi’s a little confused but he allows the siren to keep talking because as he thinks about it, he really likes his voice. It comes out very airy, but pretty, almost but not quite like a song. Humans don’t speak like that.
“So tomorrow I’ll receive my final rank and get selected for my career.”
“Which will be?”
“I hope that it’s music instructor. When we’re young sirens we don’t have the ability to control our music. That doesn’t fully develop until we’re around 20 or 21 years old.”
Yoongi realizes that means Jimin has only had control for a few years. “What happens if a siren can’t control their music?”
Jimin’s eyes cast over. “Well,” his tail brushes nervously against Yoongi’s leg, “if I were to start singing, you’d die.”
“Is that why you were so quiet in the beginning?” Yoongi asks. He’s turned toward Jimin now. He searches his eyes then looks down to his mouth. The siren’s lips are so full.
“Yes,” he admits quietly.
“You made, no you make me so nervous. I’m always afraid I’m going to lose control and something bad will happen.”
“I trust you,” Yoongi says.
Jimin blooms, that’s all he wanted.
The Prince is stunned when the Siren throws his arms around his neck, pulling him close within his embrace. His nose is in Jimin’s hair and he thinks that somehow his saltwater scent is sweet.
Jimin pulls away slowly. His eyes are trained on the horizon behind Yoongi. The sun is getting close. “We have to go,” Jimin sighs.
“Wait,” Yoongi catches his hand as Jimin prepares to take them back to the shore.
His eyes search the siren’s. Sometimes, his gaze is incredibly intense. Yoongi feels like he could get a little lost in it, he wouldn’t mind.
But now, it’s soft, inviting. Yoongi tugs Jimin’s arm to close the distance between them.
Jimin has never thought about kissing before. At least not until he met the Prince and saved his life that day of the storm. His friends kiss all the time, but Jimin has never had anyone he’s wanted to kiss.
Right now, he wants to kiss the Prince so badly.
Yoongi’s the first to make a move because he’s bad with words and filled with want. It’s just a peck. Their lips barely brush but Jimin gives the most musical giggle that Yoongi has to do it again.
He cups Jimin’s waist, just above where skin meets scales, and the other rests on his neck. “Is this okay?” They’re so close Jimin feels his breath against his lips. It tickles. He wants more. “Yes,” he whispers before drinking him in.
Jimin doesn’t stop giggling the entire time, no matter how deeply Yoongi kisses him. He’s just so filled with joy. He could spend hours kissing the Prince.
But the moon won’t let them.
“We really do have to go,” Jimin sighs as they break away. He moves forward to give Yoongi a wet peck. “I’ll come back tomorrow. Same time, because I have to leave a little early.”
“For the party?”
“Yes, for the party.”
They return to the shoreline where there is just barely a sliver of sun left. Yoongi stands waist deep in the water. “Yoongi?” The siren says before he leaves.
The Prince finds his eyes. They’re filled with something he’s never seen before, but he feels within himself.
Jimin comes close and hugs the Prince again. Something about his embrace is warm.
Jimin holds his hands. The Prince holds his breath. His chest aches, he wishes he didn’t have to go.
“I can’t wait to kiss you again tomorrow,” Jimin grins and then he’s gone.
Yoongi misses him already.
“You’re in a good mood!” Hoseok claps the Prince on the back. They’re in one of the common areas of the castle playing cards for the evening.
Yoongi returned from the beach and almost locked himself away in his room. He couldn’t stop touching his lips. He’d kissed plenty of people before, of multiple genders, but none kissed as beautifully as the siren.
He smiles at Hoseok and slaps a card down. “I am,” he agrees. “It was a beautiful day.”
“It doesn’t have to do with anyone special?” Namjoon asks as he sits down. Worry swells in Yoongi’s stomach. Were they seen in the water?
“You seemed to be up late with Duke Kim last evening. I saw the two of you parting ways as I was making my way—,” Hoseok slaps Namjoon’s leg. The Prince’s best friend stops talking and rubs his thigh, cheeks reddened.
“I was just on my way to my room,” Namjoon says quieter. Hoseok hasn’t stopped staring at him like he’s said something wrong.
“So yes, tell us about your evening with Duke Kim.”
Yoongi looks at him from the across the room now. He’s sitting with a few of the dukes and duchesses of the Western part of the country. He catches Yoongi’s eye and regards him with a warm smile.
“We just talked a lot. It was nice. He hates the theater too.”
Hoseok eyes his friend. In all the years he has known the Prince, he’s never described any of his arranged affairs to be “nice.” He sees that Namjoon is eyeing him too.
“So will you see the next suitor the elders have lined up or will you continue to see Woosung?” Hoseok asks. “He is very dreamy, what a smile he has,” he also glances at the Duke.
“We’re to have lunch the tomorrow afternoon, so we’ll see,” Yoongi says. He shuts the conversation down after that.
He’s nervous about the lunch. They’re meeting away from the castle, free of listening ears and prying eyes. He doesn’t know the terms of the “deal” Woosung is proposing. He still hasn’t admitted to being associated with his own siren.
Jungkook and Taehyung have arrived with snacks, jewels, and items to do their hair with.
It’s the day of the party.
“Jimminie, what’s got you so happy?” Taehyung asks as he strings pearls in a few of Jimin’s strands. Jimin practically purrs at the feel of Taehyung’s hands in his hair. He’s always loved someone to play with it.
“Yah,” Jungkook agrees, placing a symmetrical jewel under his eye. “You’re so bubbly and glowing today.”
Jimin touches his lips. He thinks about the Prince’s hands on his neck, on his waist. He sighs. “I kissed the Prince.”
“WHAT?” The pair both yell in unison. Taehyung’s hands freeze in Jimin’s hair. Jungkook turns away from the mirror to stare at him. “You kissed the Prince?” “I thought you stopped seeing him?” The questions fly.
Anxiety blossoms in Jimin’s chest. He knew his friends would be surprised. But he doesn’t know how to react if they’re upset. “I tried to stay away. I just can’t.”
He tells them about the storm and the Prince falling from the boat. How the Prince is so kind, and so accepting. “I don’t want to stay away from him, he makes me happy.”
Taehyung caresses his best friend’s hair. He gives his shoulder a light squeeze. “Jimin, I’m so happy that he makes you feel this way. But humans are—”
“Not all humans are dangerous!” Jimin cuts him off.
“Just like not all sirens steal innocent souls.” Jungkook sticks up for Jimin. “But, hyungie,” he looks at Jimin with sincerity. “How can the two of you be together when bound to land or sea?”
Jimin wrings his fingers together and looks down at his tail. “I’d become human for him.”
“Human?!” Taehyung swims closer. “Jimin you can’t become human.”
“What would you do without us?” “Isn’t that scary?” “Is that even possible?” the two throw their questions back and forth.
“It’s just a dream,” Jimin sighs sadly. “I just think about it sometimes.”
Taehyung returns to stringing beads in Jimin’s hair. “Why can’t he just become a siren for you?”
“He’s a Prince, soon to be crowned King. I could never ask that of him. Like I said, it’s just something I think about. It’s not even possible,” he stares into his reflection in the mirror. “Let’s stop talking about it.”
But Jungkook sees something else in his friends eyes.
The Prince stares at the horizon, waiting for Jimin. He’s already in the water. His limbs have been alight with energy all day, thrumming until the sun began to slowly fall through the sky. He couldn’t think about any of his duties, only the Siren’s lips.
He fell asleep almost drunk on their kiss. Dreams filled with the sea. Gorgeous seashelled tails, intense, silver eyes. He woke up gasping that morning and his mind had been on the siren ever since.
Jimin emerges early once again. The breath is stolen right from the Prince’s lungs. He looks beautiful. His hair is adorned with beads and pearls. Jewels outline his eyes. Yoongi swims to him, he can’t help but catch him in his embrace. “I’ve never seen someone so gorgeous.”
Jimin preens at the compliment. His round eyes search the Prince’s features. “Really? You think so?”
“You’re just so beautiful,” home murmurs before kissing him.
Jimin’s giggle falls against Yoongi’s lips. It tickles. He groans happily. “C’mon,” Jimin grabs his hand and they swim off.
They float in the shade for a long while just enjoying each others company. Yoongi asks Jimin how he got all of those jewels and beads on him.
“Taehyungie and Jungkook helped, they look gorgeous too. Their gems match each other.”
“Your friends sound nice,” Yoongi lifts Jimin’s small hand to bring it to his lips.
“I wish we could meet each other’s friends.” Jimin sounds disappointed. “Tell me about yours.”
Yoongi starts laughing. “My friends are well, it’s a little strange having friends as the almost-king,” he ponders. “Captain Seokjin is my friend but also my greatest confident.”
Jimin moves them off to sit on the rock so the Prince’s legs can’t get tired.
“Namjoon is my friend but all like my assistant? Hoseok is my best friend but he’s in charge of the entire castle and it’s affairs.”
“Ohhhh,” Jimin drawls, wondering. “That sounds complicated.”
“Being a king will be very complicated,” Yoongi sighs. “But I’ll be King soon.”
Jimin knows that Yoongi has to get married in order to become the King of Daeyang. He’s been worried about it for a while. He wishes there was someway, any way for him to take this burden.
“My party begins soon,” Jimin looks to the red horizon.
“You seem nervous,” Yoongi gives his hand a squeeze. “Everything will be fine, yeah?”
“If I get a career i don’t like I’ll be upset. I can apply for other jobs, but wouldn’t be assigned again until next year.”
Jimin’s tail swishes anxiously under the water. “I’ve worked really hard to become the siren music teacher. I think I have a lot of control over my own music and I want to teach younger sirens to have that too.”
“I’m rooting for you.”
Jimin kisses him. It begins soft, but becomes needier over time. His short fingers tangle themselves in the Prince’s hair. He tugs on the bottom strands, earning small sounds of pleasure from the back of the Prince’s throat. They whispers across tongues.
The Prince’s cheeks are flushed when the siren pulls away. “My god,” his tone is hushed. “I wish we didn’t have to go.”
But as the sun meets the horizon, their time together ends again.
After pulling his clothes on, Yoongi jogs yo the castle. His brain is running a hundred miles per hour and he needs Seokjin to center him. He’ll tell him if he’s thinking straight or not.
He hurries down the castle corridor towards the Captain’s office. In the evening, Seokjin usually maps out the following days routes.
The Prince sees the light on in Seokjin’s office so he continues straight through the door. Inside, Hoseok is perched on the desk and Seokjin stands between his legs, hands cupping both sides of his face. Their lips freeze as the Prince bursts in.
Seokjin pushes away from the desk, slamming into the wall. Hoseok stares, eyes anxiously trained on the Prince. His shirt is quite ruffled and as Yoongi keeps his eyes on Hoseok he hears belt buckles clanging behind him. He doesn’t dare turn towards Seokjin.
“Prince Min I-”Seokjin attempts to speak. “Hoseok and I-”
“We, well um-” neither man can finish their words.
“I’m royally confused, but we can’t discuss this matter right now. We need to talk about my engagement.”
Public service careers, like music instructor, are announced publicly. Then, there are private careers for people who work directly under the queen. People don’t get selected for those often.
“Taehyungie,” Jimin addresses his friend while they sit at a table for dinner. “Will you receive a private or public job this year since you’re a royal sibling of the queen?”
Taehyung sighs. “My sister has given me no indication which kind of job I’ll receive. I told her time and time again that I’d like to continue to work in the arts. But she just kept quiet.”
Jungkook hasn’t touched his food at all. Jimin leans over to whisper in his ear. “You’ll pass your singing test with flying colors, I know you will,” Jimin gives his hand a squeeze.
Jungkook gives his friend a toothy smile. If his voice stands out in the choir at all tonight it’s whole other year of training. He’s hit perfect notes all week.
The party continues to be a luxurious affair. Queen Taeyeon looks beautiful on her throne. Her direct workers bring her soul after soul they collected for her. It puts Jimin on edge just a bit. He knows the queen consumes just any kind of soul.
Jungkook leaves at the choir gathers. Jimin was right. He sings perfectly and passes his final test. Jungkook officially graduates to full siren.
There’s a break after, before the career ceremony. Jimin’s more nervous than before. He plays with his tail and keeps reminding himself to just keep breathing.
“Jimminie,” Jungkook comes back to the table beaming. There are actual stars in his eyes. “If anyone deserves this career it’s you.”
Jimin really hopes so.
All of the sirens focus their attention on the queen as she stands at her throne. Her closest attendant has everyone’s careers organized on papers to hand to the queen to read off. There are whispers around Bada’s dining hall as the event begins.
“Happy Career Selection Day!” Queen Taeyeon greets everyone. “This has just been one of the most beautiful parties we’ve ever throne. What a way to end our event with another year of new careers.” The sirens clap and whistle.
“As usual, we’ll go with public selections first. Then, private selection sirens will meet with me personally in my chambers to go over the details of their career.”
Jimin’s body thrums with anticipation.
There aren’t many sirens that are the same age as Jimin and Taehyung. The selection ceremony shouldn’t last long. Taehyung’s name is the third to be called. He rises with grace as elegant as his sister’s. Jimin knows the royalty in his blood runs thick. But he doesn’t show it.
Queen Taeyeon smiles at her youngest brother. “Kim Taehyung,” she eyes him. “After several years of practicing in the world of the arts, we’ve officially named you Art Curator of Bada!”
The room erupts in applause and Taehyung couldn’t be any happier.
The list continues. Jimin thinks he’s got a good chance to become Siren Music Instructor since it’s a job that has not yet been named. He feels confident and ready as the queen gets closer to calling his name.
“Pa—” Jimin moves to rise. “Pan Jinjoo!” The Queen calls, and he deflates.
They get through the entire public selection ceremony and Jimin’s name is never called.
“Please join me in congratulating our newest sirens in their careers,” the room cheers and sings their song. Jimin is biting his lip. Taehyung and Jungkook look at him from their respective spots at the table.
“Jimminie—” Taehyung begins. “There must be a mistake.”
“Or you have a really important job?” Jungkook suggests.
Jimin knows that’s not the truth. Very few people receive jobs directly under the queen.
She’s shown no special interest in Jimin this year nor years before. The few interactions they’ve had have been through Taehyung. The siren feels like crying.
Queen Taeyeon quiere the crowd and explains there is only one special assignment for this year in Bada. Jimin’s ears are ringing. He feels sick to his stomach. He almost doesn’t hear her.
Jimin has never been in the Queen’s shell chamber before. It’s humongous, three times the size of Jimin’s home. He joins her alone after being escorted by her attendant. She sits on a long fluffy bench and gestures for Jimin to sit across from her in s chair.
She pours them each a sparkly drink. “I’m sure you’re very surprised,” she takes a sip. “This is not what you expected, Hmm?”
Jimin nods. He can barely swallow the gulp he forced himself to take.
Her expression is unreadable. She looks so similar to her brother it’s alarming, but Taehyung’s face is always kind. “You know, Jimin” she begins. “We’ve know each other for a while. Your family grew up with mine. You’re my brothers closest friend.”
“Yes,” Jimin agrees. “Do you think that owes me a special assignment? I’m not sure it does,” he says honestly.
The Queen laughs. It’s a high pitched sound that rings Jimin’s ears. Her music is filled with power. “When I explain you’ll see how special your assignment really is.”
Jimin controls his breathing to calm himself.
“I’ll get to the point because we needn’t waste our time. I know you’ve been visiting the human Prince.”
He stops breathing.
He leans forward and opens his mouth to explain.
“You know it’s against the rules and yet everyday for the last year you’ve been watching him. Recently you’ve started interacting with him, have you not?”
Jimin wants to lie. He wants to hold the Prince close to his heart.
But it’s like something grips his tongue and makes him spill the truth. “I have, yes,” he says pitifully.
The Queen sighs.
“At first, I wanted to punish you. But you couldn’t help yourself. The Prince planned this you know. He used his own tricks to draw you in. There’s a reason his song speaks to you.”
Jimin doesn’t want to ask but he does, “What do you mean?”
“Jimin, I’m so surprised you didn’t realize. You wanted to be music instructors of the sirens after all.”
Queen Taeyeon meets his gaze intensely. “The Prince lured you like a siren would.”
Jimin rises. He shakes his head back and forth. Pearls have already threatened to start gathering. “That’s not true!”
Taeyeon speaks evenly, “The Prince’s father died at sea. He wanted to know more. What better way than to find an easy, naïve siren to tell him.”
Jimin swipes at his eyes. “But I explained—”
“You explained too much!” Taeyeon rises to stand tall. “Humans are dangerous, Jimin! You gave him everything he needs to destroy us.”
“But he wouldn’t!” Jimin yells.
Taeyeon laughs darkly. “Why not?”
“Because! Because!” He exclaims. “I love him!”
But Jimin knows he’s said something wrong.
There’s a chill in the water. Jimin’s breathing hard. He doesn’t dare meet the Queen’s stare.
“I know,” she says, unsurprised. “Like I said. I wanted to punish you. But you fell in love, and well who can help that? Even if they were tricked into it.” She sneers.
She swims forward to run a nail down the length of Jimin’s face. “And you’re such a pretty little siren, aren’t you?”
Jimin feels uncomfortable. He’s never seen this side of the Queen before. He wants to look away but he can’t.
“So instead of punishing you Jimin, I’ll make you a deal.”
“A deal?” Jimin asks softly.
“You must guarantee no harm will come to Bada by your fascination with the Prince. Get him to agree to an alliance between land and sea.”
“Well how will I do that?”
“You get him to marry you.”
“I’ve heard Prince is to be crowned by his 25th birthday. So you’ve got a few months to make this happen. Get the Prince to fall in love with you, propose marriage, and create an alliance between our Kingdoms.”
“But humans and sirens—” Jimin begins.
“Jimin, my dear, I’ll make you human.”
“What’s the catch?” Jimin asks. “What if I don’t succeed?”
“It’s not so much as a catch but a consequence. The power will be bonded by the Prince’s true devotion. If in six months time he has not dedicated his life to you, well his life will end.”
Jimin grips his own arm. “End??”
“You’ll turn back into a siren and sing.”
Jimin sits with the queen for a long while. “What if I don’t except the deal?”
“Like I said, the Prince is dangerous. He knows too much. I’ll have to take matters into my own hands, Jimin.”
She looks empathetic for a moment.
“If you believe he loves you as you love him you have no reason not to accept this deal. But it’s my duty as queen to protect Bada.”
Jimin looks down at his tail. It resembles his mother’s. She was strong, and kind. She believed Jimin was too. He looks back up at the queen. “Okay,” he sighs. “I’ll do it.”
Yoongi awakes the morning six months from his birthday and feels mixed emotions. After he got Seokjin and Hoseok to agree to never speak again about what he saw in the Captain’s office, they began talking about the engagement.
“Where’s Namjoon?” Yoongi asked. “He should be here too.”
“He was just in here with us—” Hoseok slapped the Captain’s chest.
The Prince gave them a furrowed look. “So he’s near?”
He was. He looked surprised to see the Prince when he returned and quickly stuffed something into the back pocket of his trousers. “Ahhh Prince M—Yoongi, you found us.”
“We thought you might spend the evening with Duke Woosung, you’d mentioned you had breakfast with him today?” Hoseok said. He’d since moved from atop the desk.
“Duke Woosung is who I’m here to talk about.” The Prince poured himself a drink from Seokjin’s bottle of dark liquor. “I’m going to ask him to marry me.”
A marriage of convenience they’d decided when Woosung proposed the deal. “My duties may not be reduced but a matrimony between us is prosperous for both Daeyang and Boseong.”
Yoongi wanted to ask the obvious question. Woosung beat him to it. “And of our sirens? We’re both in agreement to allow each other to continue to be with them in whatever capacity that may be. Sirens and humans can never truly be together.”
Yoongi had thought about that phrase for days after Woosung put the deal on the table. He thought maybe he could stay away from the siren. He couldn’t. If this was the only way to have Jimin in his life, he’d do it.
The three planned the engagement into the night. Yoongi would propose the following morning. Marriages took work in Daeyang. Woosung would spend months learning about their customs, Yoongi would learn about Boseong, before they could actually marry.
So, he lies in bed thinking of Jimin. He hopes his career selection went well. He can’t wait to hear all about it. His chest prickles with want. In another world maybe, Jimin might be the one he gets engaged to.
Multiple attendants come to help him get ready. They also got word late last night that they’re receiving more guests in the castle from some royal family from the south, Prince Kim and his attendants.
There’s to be a ball in the evening to celebrate the engagement. He’ll have to make his time with Jimin quick. But he knows in the long run it will be worth it.
Yoongi sits next to Woosung at breakfast in the dining hall. Their parents sit near them, all conversing happily together.
The Prince takes a deep breath and sweeps the hall with his eyes. He places a hand on his arm and Woosung looks over at him. He nods and Yoongi stands up.
He taps his glass with a knife to gather attention. “Citizens and guests of Daeyang thank you for joining us today for a meal. I’m so thankful you all could come.”
He clears his throat. “As you all know, I’ve been looking for a partner to lead Daeyang dutifully with me. I’d like to formally ask in front of all of you today,” he turns to his left, “Kim Woosung of Boseong will you marry me?”
Woosung smiles warmly and said yes. He throws his arms around the Prince.
Yoongi hadn’t realized the guests were arriving at the same moment. The doors to the dining hall had been opened. Yoongi looks over his fiancé’s shoulder. His heart squeezes painfully inside his chest.
Standing, on two legs, at the front of the room is Park Jimin.
The Prince freezes. His stare stays trained on the siren. Jimin is looking at him with wide, hurt eyes. His friend standing next to him who carries himself with high posture takes his hand. The trio finds their reserved table. He never stops looking his way.
Woosung pulls out of the embrace. The Prince is stunned. He’s nudged and then he rearranges his mouth into a wide smile. Namjoon stands. “Good luck and good fortune to Prince Min and Duke Kim.”
Jimin’s mouth is a thin line. Yoongi feels like throwing up.
Breakfast continues and Yoongi counts down the seconds until he can break away from this affair. Woosung notices his bouncing leg and leans over to whisper in his ear. “Is everything okay?”
Yoongi gives him a curt nod. He doesn’t know what to say.
Finally, people begin leaving. Many approach the Prince and the Duke to bid congratulations. They shake hands and bow at the guests as they leave.
“Should we go gather some details with our families?” Woosung asks.
Yoongi is looking to Jimin and the two other people he has with him at his table. They’re other worldly beautiful, it’s the only way to explain them. He catches Jimin’s eye for a moment before he turns away.
Yoongi shakes his head. “I need to greet the new guests and then retire to my room, I’m not feeling well.”
Woosung reaches up to cup Yoongi’s cheek but the Prince recoils. The Duke sighs and retracts his hand. “Let’s greet the guests together and then you can rest.”
The trio is standing when Yoongi and Woosung emerge. “Ahh, Prince Kim?” He regards.
The tallest man with teal colored hair and sharp eyes turns to Yoongi. “Prince Min,” he bows politely. “I’ve heard so much,” there’s a hint of unkindness in his tone. Yoongi swallows.
“I wanted to personally welcome you three to Daeyang. We were so pleased to hear of your visiting. Though where is it that you’re from?” He directs this question towards Jimin.
The youngest angles himself between the Prince and his friend. “A small, secluded kingdom. We’re so eager to learn much about Daeyang.”
“And you are?” Yoongi asks. He’s certain he knows but he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to be doing in this situation. He’s so confused and surprised.
“Jeon Jungkook,” he bows. “I’m with the Prince.”
“Kim Woosung,” the Duke bows. “And who else do we have visiting us?”
Yoongi notices the unhappy wrinkle in the siren’s nose, but he bows kindly. “Park Jimin, so pleased to meet you both on the day of your engagement.”
Yoongi feels like hiding away.
“We’ve prepared your rooms,” Yoongi announces. “Can I show you?”
Taehyung nods. “Let’s go, shall we?”
Their rooms are in the west wing of the castle, the opposite from Yoongi. He’s already thinking of all the ways to meet Jimin alone. He needs and explanation and wants to tell his as well. The siren has been giving the cold shoulder ever since they left the dining hall.
He won’t look in Yoongi direction at all. Even as Yoongi explains some of the parts of the castle to them, Jimin shows no interest.
They arrive at their rooms where luggage has been dropped off. “We do appreciate your hospitality,” Jungkook bows.
“It will be a pleasant few months learning from you,” Taehyung looks the Prince up and down. It brings a chill yo Yoongi’s spine.
“It’s Daeyang’s pleasure.”
“Oh!” Taehyung exclaims before they go. “We’d like to explore the castle later on, Prince Min would you give us a tour?”
He looks to Woosung who has barely spoken. “Are you available—”
“Sorry, to clarify Prince Min I wondered if you might be the one to do the honors.”
Taehyung gives the Duke a smile that Yoongi can’t place. Woosung matches it. Jimin has already disappeared into the room assigned to him.
“I’ll see you this afternoon before tea,” Yoongi says.
Woosung and Yoongi walk to the stairs. “Prince Taehyung seems—” Yoongi begins.
“Powerful,” Woosung answers. “Good luck with your tour. Will you go to rest now before since you’re feeling unwell?”
“I’ve just one thing to check on then yes. No need to walk me back.”
Woosung moves forward to hug him. Again, Yoongi stiffens. He pulls back and searches the Prince’s face. “If we’re to marry, they must be convinced that you love me.”
Yoongi pulls at a string on his sleeve. “We’ve got months for those appearances.” He doesn’t meet his eyes.
Woosung just gives Yoongi a warm smile. “We’ll discuss this in private later. Rest well, dear Prince.”
When he knows Woosung is gone, Yoongi goes to the room Jimin is assigned. He knocks twice quietly. No one answers. He knocks again. Silence. He leans in close to the door. “Jimin, please,” he begs. The door opens.
Jimin stares at Yoongi from the other side of the door. His lips have gone numb. He’s giving him the most desperate look and Jimin knows he wants to come inside but he stands tall. “Prince Min,” he hears his own voice drip with venom. “How ever can I help you?”
Jimin’s upset. They weren’t meant to meet this way. He had it all planned in his head. Once they arrived on land he’d walk into the castle and Yoongi would be elated to see him, human. Jimin would explain that they’re there for a few months to learn about their customs.
Queen Taeyeon was very explicit when she said Jimin’s tongue wouldn’t even be able to ask the Prince to marriage himself or utter anything about love. He begged for Taehyung and Jungkook to come with. He didn’t think he could do it alone.
The Queen decided Jimin needed a watchful eye, their trio was perfect. As they stood at the doors of the castle this morning with their luggage Jimin was practically shaking with excitement. He was human! The Prince would be elated.
Instead, he was engaged.
Jimin felt betrayal from the tip of his nose to his toes. The only thing that kept him standing was Taehyung’s hand clasping his and Jungkook’s hand on the small of his back.
So as he looks at the Prince across from him every muscle screams for him to close the door.
“Jimin,” Yoongi’s voice breaks with fresh hurt. “Please, I’ll explain everything, I promise. I want to know what you’re doing here. How-how you have legs. Please, can’t we just talk?”
Jimin sighs and steps aside to allow him entrance. Yoongi’s shoulders drop in relief.
The room Jimin has been given is large. He’s a bit confused by all the items. There’s some large pillow like round shape in the middle of the room. A soft bench by the window that outlooks the sea. A part of him already misses his home. He’s startled out of his thoughts.
The Prince has cleared his throat. “Shall I start or you?”
“We’re here on official business,” Jimin shrugs. He doesn’t quite feel like talking.
“I didn’t know it was possible for you to be here like this like?” He’s lost for words.
“You mean human?”
“Yes,” the Prince paces the room. “You never in all this time mentioned this was an option. You didn’t even discuss it with me!”
He stays quiet for a long time. He trains his eyes on the ocean. “You never mentioned your expending engagement, either,” Jimin finally says.
“Jimin,” each syllable is laced with despair. He crosses the room to reach him. “Woosung and I” he doesn’t know how to explain. All this time he’s kept Jimin’s existence so close to his heart he can’t even discuss it with him. “We’re very similar.”
Jimin’s eyes train on him.
“We came to a mutual agreement that would benefit us both.”
“Do you love him?” Jimin asks. He has to know. He goes through every kiss in his mind. Every detail the two shared between each other. Hushed breath on necks. Hands held under water.
Yoongi sighs and flops down on the bench. “It is not love that makes marriage in Daeyang.”
“You didn’t say no,” his tone is dismissive.
“Please understand that my intentions with you were pure.”
“Your intentions to lure me from the sea?”
The look that passes over the Prince’s face. The way his skin pales. Jimin knows that Queen Taeyeon wasn’t wrong.
“At first yes but please believe me. The more I learned the more things I grew to like about you. Jimin, I never meant to lead your feelings astray.”
“No, you just meant to do for your kingdom and yours alone. Prince Taehyung won’t learn much from you while we’re here.”
Yoongi knows he deserves the unkindness. He understands how this looks. He’s going about this all wrong. Jimin looks hurt and lost on land and it’s only been hours. And it’s all the Prince’s fault.
“I did this for you,” he says finally. “Duke Woosung and I—”
“I don’t want to hear it,” Jimin spits. “I’ve heard enough, please go.” He turns away.
“We’re more similar than you think and we just thought if we got engaged—”
“Go!” Jimin’s shrill voice rings out.
Yoongi hates to hear his tears. He wants to reach out to him. He wants to hold him tight like last night in the water. He thinks of all the words to make it better.
“He fell in love with a siren too.”
Jimin takes an audible breath and spins around. His glassy eyes search for any omission of the truth. But the Prince regards him by crossing the distance between. “Jimin,” he whispers his name. He reaches to brush a strand of silver hair out of his face. “Please understand.”
Yoongi cups his cheek, running his thumb underneath his eye to dry tears that no longer turn into pearls. “If the sun could have set once more before the engagement, please know that it would be you.”
Yoongi bows his head to rest it against Jimin’s forehead. Their noses touch. “We can figure this out. Breaking an engagement is, well it’s hard, but we’ll figure it out, Hmm?”
“Yoongi,” Jimin whispers. His hands have finally come up to rest on the Prince’s waist. “Oh, Yoongi.”
They know that their love, their long life together, might be nearly impossible.
Jimin dips his chin to meet the Prince’s lips. It’s very quick. A little more than a peck but less than a full kiss.
“I have morning affairs,” Yoongi sighs into Jimin’s mouth. “There’s a ball this evening. Will you come?”
“A ball?” Jimin exclaims, wondrous.
“It’s like a giant party. Everyone gets dressed up. I’ll look like a real Prince wearing my crown.”
Jimin giggles and Yoongi wouldn’t be lying if he said he didn’t miss the bubbles. “Please, come? It’s a celebration of the engagement but I’ll sneak away with you.”
“Well what ever do I wear?” Jimin asks. “Do you have people to help with dressing and jewels? Oh, I love to wear jewels!”
The Prince gives a full mouthed smile. “I send the three of you to my best.” He kisses Jimin again. “Until later, then?”
Jimin nods. “Until later.”
As soon as the Prince leaves, Jimin spins giddily. A bang from the door that connects he and Taehyung’s room brings him out of his thoughts. He pulls on it and both sirens come tumbling out into the floor.
Jimin sighs. “How much did you hear?”
“Everything!” they reply.
They pile onto the round piece of furniture together. “I don’t get it. He’s kissing you but engaged to another?”
“It wasn’t about love for them.” Jimin says.
“Well how do you know he loves you?” Jungkook asks.
“I can feel it,” Jimin replies, sighing happily.
Later on, a flurry of attendants come knocking at the doors. They’ve got racks of clothing, jewels, and beauty products.
A dark haired smiley man emerges. “You must be Prince Kim and friends. My my, Prince Min has given me a palette to work with. I’m Jung Hoseok.”
He started pointing at attendants to move things about the room. “I’m in charge of castle affairs. The Prince entrusted me to help you understand the theme of today’s affair. I hear this is your first ball. So we’d better get started!”
The sirens all grin in excitement.
Namjoon, and Seokjin spend the day giving orders to people to prepare things for the evening ball. Seokjin is in charge of assuring the freshest fish come for the feast. Namjoon runs through making sure that the ballroom is all in order. Yoongi gets stuck with the elders.
They remind him the importance of the engagement and the alliance between Boseong. “This will be incredibly prosperous for us,” his mother says yo he and Woosung. “We’re all very excited about the merger of lands.”
It had been decided that Daeyang would expand to Boseong. Rather than being in charge of two different cities, Boseong would become apart of Daeyang and Yoongi would become king of them all.
The knowledge of how much was at stake weighed heavily on him.
Hours later they have finished conversations, public speaking lessons, and a small tea between families. Yoongi’s mother pulls him aside.
“I understand you moved quickly. But your people will want to see the two of you interact. You’re very, withdrawn, Yoongi.”
“Just,” she sighs. “I can’t begin to understand. I loved your father more than life itself could have prepared me to. I want that love for you as well, so it’s my hope for you to grow to love Woosung.”
He wishes she only knew how much he could have the love she wanted for him.
“He seems like a very kind young man. His family has faced unimaginable tragedy as has ours. Yet, he’s come out strong and dutiful towards his people. You’ve much to learn from each other.”
Yoongi nods. “He is all of those things. That’s why I chose him.”
“Then make our people believe it too.”
Sforzando: The Grand Ball
Yoongi looks at himself in the tall golden mirror in his bedroom. His crown is straight. His chin is held high. His clothes have been steamed and tailored to perfection. Tonight he looks fit to be the Prince of Daeyang. Soon to be King.
He takes a deep breath and smooths a hand over his stomach. There’s nothing he can do about the hammering in his chest. A knock on the door brings him out of his thoughts. It’s Namjoon of course, it’s always Namjoon.
“Are you ready?”
Yoongi’s wide gaze is answer enough. “This all feels so…grand?”
“Well it is the grand ball,” Namjoon says, humor in his tone. “Just think of it like your eighteenth birthday ball.”
“I got too drunk to remember that,” Yoongi laughs.
Namjoon claps a hand on Yoongi shoulder and stands behind him. His voice comes out proud. “You’re doing a great thing for our Kingdom. Try not to be too nervous, our people already love you.”
Which is true. When the Prince and Woosung enter together down the ballroom staircase the room erupts with cheers and applause. The orchestra begins playing in their honor.
They walk across the room towards where Yoongi’s mother sits at her throne. The empty seat next to her still makes Yoongi’s heart ache with fresh grief. Her proud smile hurts even more. One day he and someone else will fill those seats.
The guests and citizens of Daeyang fawn over the pair. “Oh, Duke Woosung you’re just so elegant,” one duchess voices as they pause to talk to her and her wife. “You two just fit so well together.”
Yoongi searches the room for the sirens. He sees them no where. He tries not to dwell on it. Jimin said they would be there.
“Prince Yoongi, well you’ve chosen a fine man to lead Daeyang with you,” one of the elders comments. Another agrees that the merger with Boseong will bring great wealth to their land.
The ball is in full swing with music and dancing. Woosung is passed around from person to person on the floor, Yoongi smiles at him. He is charismatic, his people love him.
Yoongi can’t help but feel disappointed. He still hasn’t seen Jimin. He wonders if he changed his mind.
Yoongi is taking a sip from his crystal glass and speaking to Namjoon when he hears Hoseok gasp at his right. His eyes are locked on the stairs. At the very top is Prince Taehyung, Jungkook and Jimin stand in either side of him.
It’s like time has paused. Everyone in the room has their eyes trained on the trio as they descend. Yoongi swallows past his dry throat. Jimin has never looked more stunning.
A loose velvet shirt hangs just past his waist. It gives way to tight pants that accentuate the siren’s curves. The shirt is undone half way down. His clavical and chest are donned with sparkling necklaces. What the Prince would do to drag his tongue across the exposed skin.
The guests are enamored. The other two sirens practically glow. The teal haired Prince is dressed in white, his honey skin glistening with sparkles. His partner’s lips are pursed and his nose is upturned, not unkindly. He looks dainty and fit for this kingdom.
But Jimin is breathtaking. Yoongi sets down his glass and before thinking, begins to cross the room.
Jimin catches his eye and holds it. He gives a minuscule shake of his head. Yoongi ignores it. He continues to take long strides, just wanting to be next to him sooner.
He approaches the trio at the bottom of the stairs.
Prince Taehyung is eyeing him. Yoongi again feels all of the power in his stare. It makes him shiver. But he brushes it off and turns towards his people.
“Daeyang!” He calls to the ballroom. “We haven’t a grander ball before. Please welcome our newest guests from the south.”
Yoongi sees Woosung standing where he left him near his table and a knowing look is on his face. The sirens. Woosung knows what sirens are like. He can tell what they are because of their Im meaner beaut. Yoongi averts his gaze.
“Prince Kim Taehyung, Jeon Jungkook, and Park Jimin,” Yoongi sees Woosung go rigid. “Daeyang welcomes you warmly. Everyone, please enjoy this ball.”
On the day of the lunch when Yoongi accepted Woosung’s deal he’d let Jimin’s name slip. He didn’t think Woosung would remember it. But as he’s pulling Yoongi to the side to remind him to “explain all this to me” later, Yoongi knows he’s put the name to the face.
The dancing continues as the orchestra ramps up in sound. Yoongi sits on the sideline after twirling around a few times with Woosung. His eyes are captivated on the dance floor. For having only been on his own legs for barely a day, Jimin is moving immaculately.
He’s currently being spun by one of the Westward Duke’s and Yoongi hasn’t felt a pit in his stomach like this ever. The siren’s body is languid and flowing across the ball room floor. The Duke dips him and the jewels fall up towards his throat.
Yoongi runs his tongue on the inside of his mouth. What he’d do to just taste his skin. “Go,” Woosung days from next to him. Yoongi turns. He hadn’t realized he’d been so obvious. “Go dance with him.” And in the way he says it, so kindly, so understanding.
“May I, cut in?” The Prince asks. Jimin is frozen. His skin is glistening with both sweat and sparkle. The Duke let’s go and bows to the Prince.
Yoongi positions himself across from Jimin. They’re not touching yet, he can feel his warm breath cast across his face.
He reaches out hesitantly to place his hands on Jimin’s waist. He feels his muscles tense up. He’s not looking at Yoongi, he’s looking behind him. Yoongi tugs, bringing Jimin’s body close to his. He leans to murmur in his ear and almost kisses his neck right there.
“It’s okay,” he whispers. The siren is still, other than his chest that breathes against the Prince’s. “Duke Woosung told me to come dance with you.”
Jimin exhales a sigh. Their dance begins.
The Prince has been going to balls since he was old enough to toddler around. He’s had more dance partners thank he can count on both hands. None have felt like this.
The siren’s tiny waist fits perfectly beneath his large hands. Each movement of his hips, Yoongi feels in his fingers. It drives him mad.
“Oh my god,” Jimin hears Taehyung’s voice out of the hundreds at the ball. He and Jungkook begin whispering, their musical voices being picked up to Jimin’s ear better than the music.
“The crowd is obsessed with them,” Jungkook notes. “Jimminie’s a gorgeous dancer.” Taehyung affirms.
“Yes,” Jungkook agrees. “But they’re focused on the way he dances with the Prince.”
Jimin practiced for this. As they spent the day with Hoseok and his attendants preparing all their beauty Jimin grew more and more nervous. “What does one do at a ball?”
Hoseok looked over his head at him in the mirror. “Darling, they dance.”
“Oh? Well I haven’t ever learned to dance,” he glanced around the room and Taehyung and Jungkook. “None of us have.”
Hoseok frowned. “Well that just won’t do. Thank goodness in another life I was probably a dance teacher. I’ll give you a quick lesson, you’ll be amazing.”
The sirens giggled as Hoseok taught them to twirl and dip and sway their hips. “Dance can be fun. It can also be alluring. If you do it right sometimes you can even seduce your partner.” He waggled his eyes brows.
Jungkook comically began swishing his hips at Taehyung.
Jimin thinks of Hoseok’s words now. “You can even seduce your partner.”
Was he trying to seduce the Prince? He saw his eyes on him while he was dancing with another.
He watched the way the Prince leaned in, almost drinking Jimin in from afar. The orchestra slows into a breathy number. Hoseok only taught him the basic steps. Jimin’s body goes tight.
“I’ll guide you,” the Prince promises.
Daeyang whispers carry to Jimin again. “The Prince has never danced to this sort of song before.”
“It’s reserved for couples.”
Jimin knows that means Yoongi should be dancing with Woosung. But he makes no movement to leave the siren. Something inside Jimin gleams.
Somehow, even though the dancer is slower, Jimin is left more breathless by the end. The long movements and intense stares from the Prince did a number on his heart. The way Yoongi holds his waist and makes him feel so small and delicate brings shivers to Jimin’s spine.
The wanting is embedded deeply inside him now. It’s threatening to grow and take over. If Jimin isn’t careful, he’ll make a mistake and ruin everything. At the end of the song he regretfully steps away from the Prince.
He bows deeply and looks up at Yoongi through hooded eyes. His throat is hot with desire. “Thank you for the dance.”
“Meet me later,” he mouths and he’s gone.
Yoongi is a bit stunned when Jimin leaves him. But he returns to Woosung’s side with obvious stares coming his way. He doesn’t dare meet his mother’s eyes. Woosung grabs his hand anyway, for everyone to see.
“We should talk, hm?” He makes to stand but Yoongi stops him.
“If we leave they’ll think we’re fighting,” he whispers. “I—I’m sorry I didn’t mean—”
Woosung leans in and kisses Yoongi’s cheek. “I’m not upset. I’m confused. I think I know what’s happened but I just can’t be for sure.”
Yoongi nods. “I don’t know how it’s possible. How he’s here on land.”
“We really should talk in private,” Woosung’s eyes scan the crowd. They’re trying, but they’re doing a horrible job being sneaky about their eavesdropping. “I’ll meet you in your chambers?”
“After the ball, yes,” Yoongi can feel his heartbeat in his ears. He wonders where Jimin went. He looks up to scan the crowd. A musical laugh points him in the right direction.
Jimin is being regarded by another suitor. The way they’re talking, it seems as though he’s being complimented. He smiles again at the gentleman in front of him. Yoongi turns his eyes away. It doesn’t matter.
Yoongi spends the rest of the evening with Woosung. Stiffly, at first, he makes to touch more, to appear more in love. It becomes easier over time because Woosung is such a great actor. He’s the one to announce their departure.
“Prince Min and I will retire for the evening,” he shouts to the crowd. “We love you all for celebrating with us tonight. It was quite the affair.”
They don’t start speaking until they’re well away from the ballroom. “I’m sorry,” the Prince says again. He never meant to make a fool of anyone.
“I’m not upset,” Woosung says tightly. “I’m really not. Your people will be fine. They believe that you are devoted to me.”
Yoongi looks at him as they walk swiftly. “But you seem upset.”
“Irene and I” Woosung sighs. They’ve ducked into a secluded alcove. “We’ve talked about this a million times. We know couples that have been able to be together. We just don’t know how it’s done.”
Yoongi feels sorrowful for the Duke. He’s been in love a lot longer. He deserves the same happiness and all Yoongi has done is cause him more stress. “He didn’t say how it happened. He just appeared.”
“There’s three of them. I saw his friends. If you can get answers,” he begs.
“Please. We can, we can call off the engagement.”
The Prince’s spine prickles. “Our families would be destroyed. The prosper of both our lands depends on this alliance.”
“But think of an alliance with the sea,” Woosung looks at Yoongi desperately. “Think of the food, wealth, and ease it would bring to us if you and I were to wed a siren.”
The clicking of heels stops their conversation. “Just, try to figure something out?”
“I will,” Yoongi says.
“I need to travel home tomorrow. To visit Irene before the waters are too cold. It’s been a fortnight since we’ve been together.”
Yoongi’s eyes focus on the Duke’s face and he smiles. “I’m sure you’re looking forward to it. Will your parents stay or go?”
“They’ll stay. I don’t want it to look like I’ve left you.”
“How long will you be gone?”
“Ten days,” Woosung says. “The journey is two days time. I need to check on affairs and shipments while I’m back.”
Yoongi nods. He hugs Woosung because he feels like a friend. “Travel safe, hm?”
“Don’t get caught out in the open with him, Yoongi,” Woosung warns. “Your people believe you’re devoted to me so let’s keep it that way.”
As the castle sleeps, Yoongi roams. His thoughts won’t stop chasing each other in his mind. He makes his way to Jimin’s part of the castle.
He can’t help himself from knocking on the door. “Jimin?” He whispers. The doors creaks open quietly. Still in his shirt from earlier, chains sparkling down his chest, Jimin peers out.
Yoongi reaches for him instantly.
— Additional Tags —
- loss of virginity
- skin marking & biting
- oral play
The siren pulls him in. The same swell in his stomach from earlier returns. Yoongi slams the door shut, locking it. He kisses Jimin instantly. He’s been thinking about it for hours. The kiss deepens which earns a very whimsical moan from the silver haired siren.
Jmin sighs and pulls on the bottom of the Prince’s hair. “You,” he gasps. “You shouldn’t have danced with me.”
Yngi walks him backwards. He guides him, using his own mouth to train Jmin’s. “I couldn’t help myself,” he moves towards the siren’s neck. His tongue flicks.
Jmin gasps. He’s never felt like this. There’s something scalding about the Prince’s touch. His noises of pleasure vibrate against Yngi’s mouth against his throat. He’s careful. Only sucking lightly, licking deeply, but never enough to leave a mark. “You’re just so beautiful.”
“Prince M-Min,” Jmin stutters. Yngi’s hold tightens possessively. He didn’t know being called by his title would impact him so greatly. “P-please,” Jmin gives a sharp intake of breath. “Be gentle with me.”
Yngi knows the siren has never done this before. He breaks away to catch his gaze in the moonlight. “I promise. I’ll make you feel good, and loved.”
Jmin is the one to kiss him this time.
The Prince undoes the buttons of his own white shirt first. He wants Jimin to feel as comfortable as possible. But as soon as he sees, he starts tugging at the few buttons near his navel that are still together. Yoongi grabs his hands.
“Please,” he whispers into his mouth.
“Let me do it,” he tugs his fingers away. Jmin doesn’t know what to do with his hands so he reaches up to tangle them in the Prince’s hair. It’s soft, wavy, and long. He tugs a little and earns another grunted sound from Yngi. It spreads warmth below.
Walking backward more, Jmin’s legs hit the furniture in the room. “We‘ll lay on the bed,” Yngi says. “I’ll be gentle and go slow. Tell me at all if you want to stop.”
Jmin feels alive already in a warm and full way. He can’t imagine ever wanting to stop. He doesn’t yet know all that he’s in for.
Yngi discards the sirens shirt. He liked the way the necklaces sparkle across his naked skin. They catch on the light that streams through the window.
“I can’t leave marks where people can see,” Yngi digs his thumb him the small part of the sirens hip where it meets his pants. “But here?” He smiles. “Only I can see.”
Jmin squirms, needy. Warmth travels down to his groin as Yngi presses his flat tongue against his bone.
He throws a hand over his eyes. He’s a little embarrassed at the noises coming from him. He holds his breath. The Prince stops and splays his hand across the siren’s belly. “Mhm,” he shakes his head. “Breathe. I want to hear you. It’s beautiful.”
His fingers tease Jmin’s paintline. His hips buck up and he gasps, slightly annoyed. “Please, Prince Min, please.”
The Prince chuckles. “So impatient, little siren.” He undoes the button. “Can i take everything off? I’ll undress first. But I just,” Yngi pauses to stretch up and kiss him. “I want to see all of you.”
With clothing on the floor they spend a little while exploring each other. Yngi guides Jmin through a few things he seems curious about. But he grows too wanting.
His length his hard in an almost uncomfortable way. “Yngi,” he huffs. His chest is glistening with sweat. “Please, I d-don’t know how to make it stop but it almost, hurts?”
“Oh!” The Prince springs up. “We can stop if it’s too much. We don’t have to do anything else today.”
“No,” Jmin grinds his teeth. “I keep feeling like I need to…?” He tries yo find the words. “My body coils like it wants to release.”
“Ohh,” Yngi gives a low laugh. “Darling, you want to come.”
He takes Jmin in his hands. The tip is already wet with pre-cum. His head dips down and suddenly Jmin feels something hot and wet over him and he shoots up, body alight like lightening. “Oh my god!” He gasps. He looks to see what the Prince is doing.
His tongue flicks out once more, licking the slit slowly. Jmin lies back and his belly tenses low and hot. He gasps, his chest heaving. This is euphoric. This is magic. This is everything.
He’s unable to hold his noises more. He grabs a pillow to muffle them but Yngi tugs it off. “I need to hear you.”
“But what about next door?” Jmin
“It’s fine,” the Prince laughs. “Let them listen.”
He goes back down and opens his mouth. Jmin yells out. “Prince Min!” As he takes his whole member in his mouth. His muscles tighten. He grips the sheets in his hands. His breath quickens at the same pace of the Prince.
He doesn’t last long at all. That taut feeling comes back in the bottom of his abdomen and once again he tries to hold his breath. Yngi’s mouth pops off to look up at him.
“No!” Jmin yells sitting up. “Don’t stop, please.”
“Then breathe,” Yngi reminds him.
He returns and in three strokes the Siren comes undone. His cries bounce off the walls in the room and are the only thing heard over the sticky sound of Yngi’s mouth. His legs shake as he continues to spill into the Prince’s throat. Yngi swallows every drop.
He looks up at him, lips wet and plump. “My god, Jmin, you’re just so beautiful.”
The Prince gets off on his own. Lying next to Jmin, teaching him how to touch himself. “We won’t have sex today, not this time. We can save that for after our wedding, okay?”
“Our wedding?” Jimin loves the sound of that. The Prince had cleaned them both up and had Jimin cuddled in his arms, fingers petting his damp silver hair.
“We’ll find a way to make that happen,” he kisses him before closing his eyes to drift off for the night.
Jimin misses the sea. There are so many things to do in the castle and the kingdom but he can’t stop himself from going out back behind the castle and sits with the water. The Prince finds him there near sunset.
“I thought we might keep up our routine,” he sinks down into the sand next to him. Automatically, his hand finds the siren’s. “Are you okay?”
He hasn’t seen much of Jimin during the day. He’s been busy preparing the kingdom for the upcoming weather change. More fishing, more crop work, and more monetary balancing has to be done.
Jimin sighs. He wants to sink into the Prince’s side but he’s afraid someone might see them. So he just squeezes his hand tighter. “I just miss my home a little.”
Yoongi squeezes back. “You’ve made a sacrifice to be here, haven’t you?”
Jimin can’t say. Anytime he goes to explain it’s like his throat closes up and the words won’t come. He knows it’s has something to do with Queen Taeyeon.
“Are you liking the castle at least?” His thumb traces Jimin’s smallest finger.
“Oh, it’s beautiful. I keep getting lost but I like it. There’s always something new to see. I haven’t really ventured outside though.”
“I can clear my schedule tomorrow and give you a tour of the kingdom.”
Jimin’s eyes light up. “Oh! Yoongi, i would love that so much.”
The Prince chuckles. “You’re so easy to please. Let’s call it a date.”
“Date?” Jimin asks. “We’re going on a date?”
“If you’d like to,” Yoongi responds shyly.
Jimin leans in to kiss him because he can’t stop himself. “I’d love nothing more.”
Jimin wakes up early and bursts into Taehyung and Jungkook’s chamber. The two are tangled in the sheets. Jungkook’s mouth is hanging open and Taehyung’s foot is dangling off the bed. Jimin still thinks it’s weird to see them without their teal and black tails.
He jumps into the bed with them, starling the two awake. “Get up, get up. You have to help me get ready for my date with the Prince!”
Taehyung groans. “The land has too much sun.” He covers his face with a pillow. Jungkook snuggles into his side, making no point to move. “Hyung what are you going to do on your date?”
“A tour of the kingdom!”
“That sounds so nice. Has the Prince explained where his fiancé has gone?” Taehyung asks. “I heard whispers around the castle over the last few days.”
Jimin had heard them too.
He heard them first at breakfast the following day when the Prince showed up and Woosung wasn’t by his side. Their families sat together so the whispers died down.
But Jimin heard them again in the common room as Hoseok attempted to teach the trio a card game.
“Duke Woosung left the morning afte their engagement,” one of the duchesses whispered to her friend. “Do you think there’s already ill feelings?”
“Cold feet, maybe,” the other woman replied. “If my fiancé was the Prince, I’d never leave his side.”
Hoseok snorted and Jimin saw him roll his eyes. “You’d think people wouldn’t be so loose lipped around the Prince’s best friend.”
Taehyung laughed. “I’m sure Jiminie and Jungkookie have heard plenty of things about my sister and I.”
This was true. But Jimin loved Taehyung too much to share what others might think about his family, and Jungkook did too.
“He hasn’t said why, but I know that Duke Woosung traveled home.”
Jimin rolls over to add extra weight onto Taehyung. “C’monnnn,” he whines. “We’re leaving just after breakfast I need to be ready.”
Taehyung and Jungkook had gone shopping in the Kingdom square the day before. They’d come back with dozens of outfits, jewelry, and trinkets. Jimin goes through the rack of clothing now to decide what to wear.
“Appear soft today,” Taehyung says. “The Prince will enjoy that.”
“I don’t know,” Jungkook scratches at his hair. “Did you see the way he reacted to Jimin’s necklaces at the ball?”
Jimin blushes. He thinks about the Prince’s tongue against his neck. The way it was warm and on his throat. His belly grows hot.
Sforzando: the first date.
Jimin takes a deep breath as he stares in his chamber mirror. He feels..nervous. He doesn’t know why. He’s spent plenty of alone time with the Prince before. But there’s this feeling in his stomach, it’s like a tingling behind his ribs.
Taehyung calls his name and says he’ll probably be late if he doesn’t hurry. He slips on one last ring. He feels grounded with more silver jewelry decorating his fingers. He passes several people as he makes his way to the front of the castle.
They throw smiles his way. Everyone he’s met in Daeyang so far have been so kind. Even the ones who have whispered about his, Taehyung, and Jungkook’s presence have only said kind things so far. He understands why Yoongi loves his people.
The Prince is standing at the stairs of the castle when Jimin walks through the doors. He greets him with a warm smile. He reaches a long hand out to pull Jimin into a gentle hug.
“You look beautiful,” he whispers in his ear.
Chills ripple up Jimin’s spine. He smiles shyly and murmurs a quiet ‘thanks’. The Prince is wearing his long hair tucked behind his ears. His crisp white shirt hangs loosely off his shoulders. Jimin wonders how he always looks so casually royal.
“Come, I have a surprise for you.”
They walk around the side of the castle that Jimin hasn’t ventured to yet. He hasn’t done much exploring outside at all in the few days he’s been here. He feels jittery away from the water.
He gasps as they come upon a large, white house-like structure. In front of it stands the most beautiful brown creature that Jimin has ever seen. It’s attached to something on wheels.
“Oh my goodness,” Jimin approaches quickly. The animal starts to back up.
“Oh, oh, wait one moment,” Yoongi catches Jimin’s wrist delicately. “You have to walk up to horses slowly.”
“Horses?” Jimin asks. “Is that what this is?”
“Right. You don’t have horses under water. You have seahorses though, hm?”
Jimin giggles. “Seahorses are no bigger than my pinky, this animal is humongous!”
Yoongi loves the sound of his laugh. If he could write it in a song he would.
He shows him how to hold out his hand gently for the horse to sniff it. That musical sound bubbles up out of Jimin again. “It tickles!”
Yoongi thinks to himself that he’s probably smiling so stupidly right now, but he’s so in love he doesn’t care.
“Horses are very gentle beings,” Yoongi says. Jimin is stroking the horses mane while he feeds him a piece of fruit from s tree nearby. “They’re companions in war and travel too. This is Jillju, I’ve had her since we were both young.”
“What’s this?” Jimin points to the large thing with wheels.
“It’s a carriage. Jillju will take us around town in it today. Shall we get going?”
The Prince helps Jimin climb up into the carriage. Waiting in the seat for him is a bouquet of the most beautiful white roses Jimin has ever seen.
“I noticed you like pretty things so I thought you could put these in your room,” Yoongi says.
“I love them,” Jimin beams.
Yoongi jiggles Jillju’s reins and she takes off. The same surprised sound comes out of Jimin as they make their way out of the castle walls.
“Daeyang is a quaint little Kingdom on the southern coast of the city,” Yoongi begins his tale. Jimin hugs the flowers to his chest to keep inhaling the scent but he leans in to listen to the Prince. “It’s been here for hundred of centuries.”
Jimin looks around. There are shops, he sees children running into a building carrying little bags. “Where are they going?”
“School,” Yoongi replies. “My mother created the first ever schoolhouse in Daeyang, twenty years ago?” He has Jillju stop in front of it.
“She didn’t like the idea of me growing up alone and learning all my studies by myself from adults in the castle.”
Jimin has never heard the Prince speak of his mother before. With the way his eyes light up he understands that he loves her deeply.
“But what about your brother?” Jimin asks. He remembers the day at the shore where they’d traded stories of their siblings.
“He’s much older. He was finished with studies by the time I was of age. And he left Daeyang long ago when our father died.”
Jimin places a hand on the Prince’s thigh. “That must have been so hard for you all.”
Yoongi sighs and moves his arms so that the horse will begin trotting again. “He didn’t want to be King. He knew that if he stayed that’s what would become of him. My mother let him go.”
The breeze blows and the salty sea air wafts into Jimin’s nose. He misses his own brother. “She assumed the role until, well, I’ll be of age in months time and she’ll be done ruling.”
His words come out in a haunting way. Jimin knows it’s not what he wants.
Yoongi points to a smaller, decorative looking building. “That’s the theater. There’s a new show probably every week or so? I’m not quite sure. I don’t much like the theater.”
Jimin loved the theater back home. “Both Taehyung and Jungkook had starred in a few productions in Bada, it’s how we all met. I did a lot of the costume work.”
“I’m sure they would have some use for you here. I saw the way you wove that seaweed, I wonder what you could do with some yarn or thread.”
They continue the tour as the sun grows warmer. There’s a ghost of a chill in the air, but the Prince came prepared with a blanket for them to share. He drapes it over Jimin’s lap when he shivers and kisses the corner of his mouth before setting his sites on the road.
Jimin enjoys watching the people the Daeyang. He so much more loves the way they greet the Prince. Everyone stops what they’re doing and waves when they see him approach. He does the same, hand high in the sky.
Small children run up to the fences of their homes to look upon their carriage. Jimin can hear their ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ when they spot him. “Look eomma it’s the Prince!!” “Appa!! The Prince has come!” They all yell.
“I don’t have much opportunity to get out like this,” Yoongi says. “I haven’t done a proper towns greeting in some time,” he sounds regretful. “There are just so many meetings. So many decisions to be made for the good of the kingdom.”
“Your people love you,” Jimin says. He’s observed it in just his short time here. “I’m sure they understand.”
“They may or may not. But I keep thinking about the kind of King I want to be and it’s one who truly knows his people.”
“I think you’re going to make a wonderful King.” It’s the kind of reassurance Yoongi needs to here. As his birthday looms in the distance he grows more anxious about the title and all the responsibility it holds. He feels like kissing Jimin again.
They come upon a tiny secluded pond and Yoongi says they should stop for lunch. “We can leave the carriage here and walk over to my favorite place to eat, hm?”
“Lead the way, Prince Min.”
“Prince Min!!” Yoongi is greatly warmly by the cafe owner. She wipes her hands on a towel and comes around the window to envelope the Prince in a hug. “You’ve been away too long I was starting to think you didn’t like me anymore.”
The Prince chuckles. “Of course not!”
He turns to Jimin and gestures to the woman. “This is Hyejin, we went to school together. Hyejinah, this is Park Jimin. He’s visiting with a Prince from a southern kingdom.”
Heyjin takes in Jimin’s entire frame. It takes a moment but a smile passes over her features. “Welcome to Daeyang. Please don’t let the Prince think he’s funny. I spent our entire childhood reminding him he’s not.”
Jimin laughs. “He’s very serious isn’t he?”
Hyejin throws her head back. “Oh I like him. Please sit anywhere, I’ll bring you some food quickly,” and she flits off.
They choose a table away from the window. Heyjin drops off tea then rushes away again back to the kitchen.
“She owns this place all on her own. It’s the best cafe in town. There’s usually a line for lunchtime but I asked her to clear it for today so you and I could be alone.”
Hyejin comes back with steaming bowls of soup. “Thank you,” Yoongi says gently. “We’ll enjoy this well.”
Hyejin eyes him. “Stop being so nice you’re not this nice when we’re alone!”
Yoongi’s mouth drops. “I’m always nice!”
Hyejin smirks before leaving.
“I swear I’m always nice I don’t know what she’s talking about—”
Jimin bursts out laughing. “This is what we’re talking about. Too serious.”
The Prince’s shoulders slump but he’s smiling.
They eat quietly for a while the only sound filling the cafe is their spoons and Jimin’s little hums of pleasure. “Food is so delicious here on land,” he comments after he finished the bowl. “I thought it would be hard to remember to eat because I wasn’t used to it.”
Yoongi quirks his neck in question. “Remember to eat?”
“Well, I don’t normally. I um,” Jimin fidgets with his fingers. He’s never talked about this with Yoongi before. “Sirens only consume souls.”
Yoongi tries to control his face but he knows no matter what Jimin is uncomfortable. But he’s so curious. “Right, of course.”
They’re interrupted by Hyejin dropping off the next course. When she leaves Yoongi can’t help but ask. “Is it only humans?”
Jimin’s fingers drop down to his lap. He spins a few of the rings on his hand. “Some sirens consume the souls of sea animals. But it’s a small population because we don’t want to take from the sea. So it’s only the souls of helpless ones.”
Yoongi listens intently. He reaches across the table and opens his palm, inviting Jimin to hold his hand. “I know my earlier intentions may have seemed ill intentioned. They were. I had years of anger. I still so. But I’m trying to learn without judgement.”
Jimin places his hand in Yoongi’s. “We’ve come a long way. As I’d said before, there are still some people that consume innocent souls. But for me, I never have. Only the dead or dying.”
He knows he shouldn’t mention the Queen. He doesn’t know who took Yoongi’s father away from him, but he doesn’t want to point the Prince in the wrong direction.
“Well please enjoy all the food here on land.”
The Prince excuses himself to pay Hyejin at the end of their meal. She pulls him into the back of the kitchen. “Yoongi,” her voice is very stern. “I’m not going to pry nor pester. I’m your longest friend and I trust you. I respect you as our soon to be King,” she looks away.
“But the way you look at him,” she sighs. “I was at your engagement. I’ve never seen you look at Woosung that way.”
The Prince swallows. “I—”
She stops him. “I’m not sure if you’ve fallen in love with him because he’s a siren or because you’ve had the time to get to know him but you must be careful. The people of Daeyang will talk.”
“I’ve gotten to know him very well over the last few months,” Yoongi responds then redirects his gaze back up. “What did you call him?”
Hyejin chuckles. “Everyone thinks it’s only the royals who know about the sirens. But there are a few of us who’ve seen them too.”
She peers over the counter. “He’s got a certain glow about him that is land people don’t have. My mother fell in love with a siren. My father had that glow too.”
Yoongi furrows his brow. “Your father? Was a siren?”
“In his youth, yes. He doesn’t talk about how he came to be with us forever. I know it’s a deal of some sorts, so I hope your Jimin has a good one.”
“The glow fades with time, I guess. As they lose the power tied to the souls they’d consumed. But when I was younger I used to think he was an Angel.”
Yoongi remembers Heyjin’s father. He taught the music class at their schoolhouse. He’s the reason the Prince can play piano.
“Do you know anything else about your father’s deal?”
Hyejin shakes her head. “Like I said, he didn’t speak about it. It’s like he couldn’t. I could ask him now if you’d like?”
The Prince shakes his head. “It’s okay.”
Heyjin puts a hand on his shoulder sympathetically. “You deserve the love you have, I hope you find a way to keep it.”
Yoongi takes the long way back to the castle to show Jimin more of the kingdom. He points out the gardens, the town square, and all of the places he could shop or find a hobby. “You’d never be bored if you lived in Daeyang permanently.”
Jimin looks to him. He chews on his lips. How can he tell the Prince that he’d like nothing more but if he doesn’t marry him that can’t ever happen. “It’s beautiful,” he says instead.
“Let’s go to the sea,” Yoongi says while looking to the sky. “Sunset is coming soon.”
Jimin begs Yoongi to get in the water with him. “I just need to feel it on my skin, please.”
Yoongi obliges immediately. Doesn’t Jimin know he’d do anything the siren asks?
They discard their clothes and step into the water. Something in Jimin’s body relaxes. Yoongi can physically see it. He’s more at ease. A smile tugs on his plump lips.
Yoongi crosses the distance between them. With wet fingers he holds Jimin’s face. He searches his eyes. “Do you think you’d be happy here?”
Jimin doesn’t know how to answer. He’s spent his whole life fascinated with humans, almost to the point of wanting to become one. The thought had never really cemented in his mind until he met the Prince.
“You don’t have to answer,” Yoongi says. “I just,” he leans in to touch their noses together. He feels more at ease when they’re touching. “I know you have a deal.”
“I think maybe you can’t talk about so I won’t ask details. I don’t want you to get in trouble. But Jimin, if there’s someway we can get the same deal for Woosung and the siren he loves I think you and I could be together. If you wanted to, forever?”
Jimin thinks about his life in Bada. He loves his life there. That’s all he knows. Here in the water he feels better than he has in days. Could he really give up that whole life to be with the Prince on land? Would Taehyung and Jungkook stay with him? Would he see his family?
So many questions swirl in his head. But Yoongi kisses him. It’s so gentle. He always is. Jimin’s heart swells inside of his chest and he knows he could stay here. If it meant getting the kiss the Prince everyday like this? He breaks away for a moment.
“I could do forever.”
Okaaaaay. That’s it’s for today’s update. Things will start to take a turn soon as the story comes upon a resolution. Let’s do a quick blind voting for the next update.
The pair stay out together until the sun disappears behind the horizon. The water gets cold so they drag themselves back into the sand to dress.
Yoongi holds Jimin from behind. “Do you want to play games in the common room this evening? I could introduce you to everyone.”
He plants a soft kiss below the siren’s ear. “I’m just not ready to leave you.”
Jimin giggles. “Let me get Taehyung and Jungkookie. They would love to play games.”
The Prince smiles. “We should enter separately. I’ll meet you after a while? Change out of these wet clothes and we’ll see each other soon.”
Jimin practically skips into his chambers to change. He knocks on the doors and bursts into Taehyung and Jungkook’s room. Taehyung is painting a portrait of Jungkook as he lays on one of the couches.
“Come! The Prince has invited us to play!”
The common room is a buzz in the evening. There’s drinking, music and people galore.
“Friends!!” Hoseok greets the trio as they enter the room. “I was just wondering if you all might join us this evening.”
They sit at a round table and Hoseok has someone come to bring them all drinks. Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook have begun learning about the delicacies of alcohol. Most of they time they don’t like it, but try not to show their distaste.
People make small talk around them. Jimin sips something sweet and tangy and allows Hoseok to explain another card game. He still hasn’t seen the Prince.
“Ahh, Jiminie don’t forget to hide your cards,” Jungkook says as they tío forward for everyone to see. Jimin straightens.
He’s playing very intently, trying to keep up. He doesn’t particularly understand what’s going on but he wants to be a good sport. He’s startled when the Prince’s voice breaks into his focus.
“Good evening everyone.”
Jimin takes a breath and controls his excitement as the Prince and his friends join them at the table. “Hyung we were just going to deal another round. Would you all like to join?”
A taller man to Hoseok’s left eyes Jimin and his friends carefully. “Hoseok please introduce us.”
“Oh!” Hoseok exclaims. “Seokjin, hyung. These are our visitors from the south.”
“Ahh,” Namjoon says. “The captivating dancers.” He leans forward to shake hands. “I’m Kim Namjoon. How is Daeyang treating you?”
Taehyung leans forward to reciprocate. “I’m Prince Taehyung, this is Jungkook, and Jimin. We’re having such an enjoyable time here. Your people have been so kind.”
The man to Hoseok’s left still looks at the trio carefully. He slinks into the seat anyway. The Prince sits across from Jimin. The siren can’t meet his eyes. The back of his neck feels hot.
They make small talk for a while as Hoseok deals out hands of cards. Taehyung and Jungkook fit into the conversation easily. But there’s something off about the way Seokjin speaks back to all of them. It makes Jimin feels uncomfortable. The Prince keeps trying to overcompensate.
“So,” Seokjin says, a drawl to his speech. He’s had a few glasses of the stinging liquid Jimin doesn’t like. “Do tell us, where exactly are you from?”
Jimin pauses but Taehyung picks up the conversation smoothly. “We’re from a very small kingdom in the very south of the country. We’re still developing, so we haven’t a name nor history.”
Seokjin takes another sip. “So you’ve been sent to Daeyang to do what?”
The Prince cuts in. “They’re learning from us, Hyung.”
Seokjin looks to the Prince. “So you and Prince Taehyung should be spending all of your time together, shouldn’t you?”
Taehyung laughs and Jimin’s spine crawls. It’s not a laugh of amusement. “Jimin is my greatest advisor. His time with the Prince is most important for our learning. I’ve been spending my time more with Hoseok, he does have most to tell.”
The Captain’s nostrils flare. “Well I do apologize that tomorrow will not be a day of learning,” Seokjin looks directly to Jimin. “We’re going to the sea while the waters are still safe.”
“I won!” Namjoon yells, slapping a card down on the table, rattling the glasses and cutting through the conversation. “Sorry, Jimin you seemed so close,” he smiles in a way that unravels the knot in the siren’s gut. “Better luck next time.”
Hoseok suggests they just continue talking and listen to the pianist that was hired from the East for the evening. Jimin tries his best to engage in the conversation, but the captain almost ignores him. Namjoon brings him back in everytime.
It takes a while but finally Taehyung announces that he’d like to retire for the evening. “Do enjoy the waters tomorrow,” he looks pointedly at Seokjin. “They’re quite unpredictable this time of year.”
Seokjin drags Yoongi out of bed early the next morning to go out to the sea for one of their last fish harvests of the year. The sun is barely up over the horizon and he can’t help to wonder if Jimin is awake.
He’d walked him them back to their chambers after they left the common room. The Prince was a bit scared of the energy that surrounded Taehyung as he walked swiftly back to his room. His shoes clicked harshly on the marble floors. Jungkook trotted quickly to keep up with him.
The Prince stayed behind, keeping his distance. He was ashamed. He didn’t know what had gotten into the captain. He’d never been so standoffish towards visitors before.
They approached the doors to their rooms and Taehyung whipped around to glare at the Prince. Yoongi placed his hands in his pockets to keep them from shaking. The energy in the Siren Prince’s stare was radiating off of him in waves.
“Your captain,” he enunciated, “isn’t an idiot. It’s quite literally his job to spot a siren and he’s onto us.”
Jimin furrows his brow and puts a hand on Taehyung’s arm. “Taehyungie, we don’t know that for sure.”
Taehyung brushes him off and redirects to Yoongi.
“You must fix this, immediately. Tell him we’re not a danger. Tell them we are here to learn and prosper. Otherwise, he is a danger to us and we’ll leave.”
“No!” Jimin says. Taehyung ignores him. “I trust as the soon to be King you’ll ensure our safety and that your captain won’t speak to another man about our presence here on land?”
Yoongi swallows. “I’ll converse with him immediately tomorrow on our trip.”
“We aren’t a dangerous species,” Taehyung says slowly. “But we do protect our presence and honor. I want to learn in Daeyang, but if I feel threatened here we’ll be gone without another word.”
Taehyung grabs Jungkook’s hand. The youngest looks sympathetically at the Prince before they slip inside.
Jimin squirms where he stands. “Yoongi, Taehyung is—”
“Taehyung is right,” Yoongi says. “Captain Seokjin is the most Knowledgeable about sirens. I should have known.”
Yoongi sits on the bench in front of Jimin’s room. The siren sits beside him. He reaches out to grab the Prince’s hand. He sighs. “Seokjin was there when my father died,” he starts. “He’s the youngest captain Daeyang has ever had. He was my father’s most trusted man.”
He fidgets with the siren’s fingers for comfort. “He’s lived everyday in fear that one day my fate will be the same. So I should have figured he’d understand what the three of you are,” he reaches up to caress Jimin’s face, “you certainly can’t hide your beauty.”
Jimin blushes into his palm. “So what will you do?”
Yoongi looks to him sincerely. “I’ll tell him all about you.”
“Seokjin’s hatred comes from fear,” Jimin questions, “what if he doesn’t accept us?”
Yoongi leans his face closer to Jimin’s so that there’s barely space between them, noses almost touching. “He has to accept you, because I love you.”
Yoongi thinks back to telling Jimin he loved him last night. He can’t wait to be with him again. But Taehyung was right, he has to tell Seokjin about the sirens.
The Captain sails them out to the middle of the sea. The water is getting colder as the weather begins to change for the season. The sun is just barely up in the sky. He doesn’t speak until he drops the anchor.
“Hand me that,” Seokjin points to the fishing supplies. They’ll be dropping nets for large catches and casting for specific needs.
Yoongi unravels the net and passes it quietly over to Seokjin. His jaw is set tightly. He hasn’t met the Prince’s eyes all morning. Yoongi isn’t sure if he wants to. He’s not ready for whatever lecture the Captain has coming.
Wordlessly he hooks the net up to prepare to drop. His long fingers work quickly on the ties. “Prince Min,” his tone is very even. “I know you are not just going to stand there and watch me. Get to work.”
Yoongi springs into action. “Right. Yes, of course. Sorry.”
“You’ve many things to be sorry for it seems,” he mutters before crossing to the other side of the ship to prepare more nets.
Once the four nets are prepared they drop them onto the sea. They then each move onto readying their own poles. Once the bait is set they cast. Silence ensues.
No one speaks for a long while. Yoongi has spent years out here with Seokjin. Both with other fisherman and alone. Never has conversation ceased to happen. It’s uncomfortable. The Prince would rather be scolded.
“Bob your line,” Seokjin says. “I know you have not forgotten proper fishing techniques even if you have half lost your mind.”
So there it comes. He’s going to play the passive aggressive route. The Prince sighs.
Yoongi looks to the Captain. He’s one of the most attractive people in all of Daeyang. When he was younger, he would hang around the training grounds just to watch him teach. Though he was his father’s closest confidant, he is just a few years older than the Prince.
But that beauty that he holds so highly turns to malice when he’s upset. His mouth pinches tightly. His stare becomes dark. It’s currently directed in Yoongi’s direction. “Captain Seokjin,” the Prince matches an even tone. “Do you have something you’d like to discuss?”
Seokjin scoffs and turns more towards his line. He grips it tightly. “Because if you do, well we do have all day out here together and I think it would be much more pleasant if we were speaking,” Yoongi adds.
Seokjin blinks slowly. He attempts to control the simmering anger.
“I think we have much to discuss after last night’s affairs in the common room,” Yoongi finishes. He knows it’s a bold choice, to mention how Seokjin treated their guests. But he wants everything out in the air.
The Captain trains his gaze on the Prince. He sets his line down and stretches his fingers in front of him.
“I thought we would have had much to discuss long before last night.Tell me, Prince Min, how long have you been fraternizing with sirens?” it comes out venomously.
Yoongi freezes. Seokjin has never in his life spoken to him with this tone. He’s seen him speak to other men like this. Men who don’t do their jobs right. Traders and badgerers who don’t respect the Kingdom. But never Yoongi.
It makes his stomach turn. It makes him feel small.
“You haven’t anything to say, have you?” Seokjin asks. He reaches how to jiggle his fishing line. “I saw them when they arrived a few days ago at the engagement.” He puts the line back down. “You know I’ve been a fisherman since I was ten?”
Yoongi knows. Seokjin’s father got sick when he was very young. It was his job to take care of his family. So he became a fisherman. Yoongi’s father took great interest in his immaculate skills. “He always got the largest catch!” He would praise.
He trained as a captain at 15. Seokjin had taken up arms trainer as well. “A Captain should know how to defend sea and land,” his father had told him before he died.
“So you know that if there was anyone in Daeyang who would be able to spot a siren it would be me?”
The Captain still won’t quite meet his eyes, even if his stare is directed at the Prince. Yoongi fumbles for words. He laid in bed all night thinking about what to say. Seokjin keeps speaking instead.
“I always wondered what you did at night when you disappeared.”
“I play the guitar,” Yoongi manages to get out. “I always went to play the guitar.”
“But you saw something one day, didn’t you?”
How? How did Seokjin know everything already.
“A few weeks ago,” Seokjin says. He steadies his line and checks to make sure his nets aren’t overflowing with fish, “I came out to the shore to tell you news.”
Yoongi remembers. A man dead, lost on the East Sea. “Yes?”
“You weren’t playing when I came. You had your hands on the guitar, but you’d stopped playing. I thought maybe you were just thinking, or writing a song. But I saw the flash of a tail in the water.”
It was the second day he’d lured Jimin to the beach. Seokjin hadn’t said anything. He went on telling the news.
“I wanted you to say something. But you didn’t. You returned to the sea the next day. Almost more eager than before. I’d never seen you so quick to leave dinner.”
He sits on one of the boats benches. Yoongi sits too because his legs are weak. “For weeks you went out there. I didn’t follow you or watch. But I’d observe when you returned. There was a change in you, a lightness you hadn’t had before.”
Yoongi knows what he’s talking about.
“The night the storm rolled in I thought you were gone,” Seokjin does look up at Yoongi then. All traces of anger in him were gone. Yoongi looks at his lap. “I ran to the shore as quickly as I could. But I arrived and you’d already been pulled from the water.”
Yoongi takes a deep breath. He peers up at Seokjin. His face is unreadable. “I saw him, hovering over you. I’d called out and startled him. I thought I’d gotten there on time.” He pauses for a long time. He checks his line. “I realize I was too late.”
“I thought after your near death experience one of two things would happen,” he sticks out a finger, “you’d either never go back to the sea or you’d do everything to be there every evening.”
He had. There wasn’t an evening after dinner where he wasn’t racing toward Jimin.
“But still I tried. I pushed your mother and the elders to convince you to find a partner.”
Yoongi’s neck snaps up. “But you knew…you know I’m not ready for this!”
“You needed a distraction, Yoongi. Something to pull you away from the waters, from that thing for just one day!”
“Woosung,” Yoongi says. “You set up the evening date.”
“The siren came for you, just like it always did. I watched from a far. Did you know the lower the sun, the more luminous their skin becomes? By nightfall he was all that could be seen in the water.”
Yoongi’s stomach turns. The idea of Seokjin watching Jimin makes him uneasy.
“I know Duke Woosung lost his brother to the sea. I thought spending time with him might stray you in the right direction. That somehow he could break through to you and remind you of our enemy.”
Yoongi understands that means Seokjin doesn’t know about Woosung’s love for Irene.
“I thought it might be working too. You seemed to enjoy spending time with the Duke. But your time at the sea never ceased.”
Seokjin reels in a fish from his line. Yoongi hasn’t touched his.
“I was so pleased to hear about the engagement. I thought that finally, finally things were taking a turn.” The Captain closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. He opens them and they’ve gone dark again. “But then they arrived at the party,” he pauses.
“The way you went to him, I’ve only seen it in attacks before. Eyes glossed over. Feet carrying them towards the one thing calling out to them. Reaching for their soul,” Seokjin stares at him, “I knew you were under his spell.”
Yoongi stills for a moment. Seokjin continues. "It's not real, but you can't feel that. You have no control over your draw to the siren."
Yoongi clenches his jaw. He turns away from The Captain to check his line. He leans over the side of the ship to see the fish supply. There isn’t quite enough in to just leave, but he no longer wants to engage with Seokjin. He starts to walk away.
“You need to leave the siren alone. I don’t know what kind of deal he’s made to be on land. I don’t know what their agenda is. But they’re not welcome in Daeyang. You said you wanted to talk, Yoongi. But you don’t like what I have to say,” Seokjin says evenly.
The Prince whips around. “Because you’re wrong!” Yoongi screams. “You know nothing about him! You come with these baseless accusations that I’m under a spell, that he’s dangerous, when none of that is true!”
Seokjin’s eyes widen. “Baseless?”
Calmly, he centers himself. He doesn’t raise his voice or speak unkindly but his words cut like a knife. “Need I remind you that your father’s death is all the evidence to prove the danger of sirens.”
The Prince goes hot all over. “Take me back to land.”
Seokjin blanches. "We need the fish."
"Take me back to land, Captain. You can return with another fisherman. We're done here."
"You cannot refuse to feed the people of our land because you have fallen trap to the sirens of the sea. You're putting us all in danger."
"Need I remind you," Yoongi spits, "of my father's death and how that makes me the soon to be king. Need I remind you, Seokjin, that you answer to me."
Seokjin turns away. With sharp movements he begins reeling in the nets. Yoongi sighs. His chest tightens and guilt overcomes him. He and Seokjin had never fought before. They didn't always agree, but it never came to personal blows like this.
After his father's death, Yoongi was a shell of the teenager he was before. He'd had this whole grand life before him. His father was the most beloved man in all of the land. Yoongi loved him the most.
Seokjin held him up as he sobbed on the way to his mother's chambers. She'd been at the window to see the storm. She rushed to the doors of the castle and caught her son in her arms. He crumpled.
Seokjin stood behind the Prince's back, hand placed in the middle.
He shook his head at the Queen. Murmuring apologies. It was his duty as the Captain to bring the King home and he had failed.
Seokjin left the Prince with his mother for the evening. He holed himself up in his office and screamed to the heavens to curse the sea for taking the King from them. He trashed his office, pushing maps to the floor. Daeyang wasn't supposed to be tarnished by this evil.
Yoongi came to him late in the evening. His eyes were red from tears. His face ashen and grey. Seokjin held his glass of whiskey like a lifeline. "Tell me everything," the Prince demanded.
So he had. Years ago, they sat up late into the morning so that Seokjin could tell the Prince all he knew about the sirens of the sea.
"They come out like night and steal the souls of men. It's been happening for centuries. We haven't had an attack since your grandfather."
Yoongi had never met his grandfather. The previous King of Daeyang was gone before he was born. "Your father just thought he died at sea. Which was true. But my father was the one to watch him go," Seokjin had said with haunting in his eyes.
He sipped the amber liquid. He'd poured Yoongi his first glass long before. "We found out the surrounding villages and kingdom's were having similar attacks. Not always in the royal bloodline, but often that was true."
Seokjin went onto explain that he wanted Yoongi's father to be the last attack that Daeyang saw. "We need change. We must be smarter about working with the sea."
They changed their shipping process. Their fishing was earlier. Men weren't allowed to go alone. The attacks ceased.
So as the Captain looks at the Prince now as he steers the ship back towards land Seokjin can't help but feel as though he's beginning to fail Daeyang all over again.
Yoongi and Seokjin don’t speak the entire way back to the shore. Anger festers below the surface of Yoongi’s skin. He understands Seokjin’s hatred for the siren that killed his father. It’s still his life goal to find them and avenge his death.
But to say what he and Jimin have is a lie? It makes his chest ache.
Yoongi helps tie the ship to the doc because he’s still in his right mind. He also believes they have plenty of fish and isn’t starving their people like Seokjin alluded to.
“I’ll send men to retrieve today’s catch,” Yoongi throws over his shoulder.
“Yoongi!” Seokjin calls after him. Yoongi keeps walking to the end of the dock. “Yoongi stop! You have to listen to me!”
“I love him!” Yoongi spins around and shouts. He waits for Seokjin to come closer.
“I love him. I spent weeks with him in silence. Never once did he try to put me in danger. Not all sirens are out to kill, Seokjin!”
The Captain freezes. “Silence?”
Yoongi nods. “He refused to use his voice around me. He mentioned it one time, about the difference between having control and not. I’m not under a spell!” He spits.
Seokjin is confused. All he knew of sirens was singing soul snatchers. If Yoongi is saying there’s another alternative to the monsters he’s always known, he wants to keep listening.
“Isn’t his voice itself a spell casting element?” Seokjin asks. “Can’t he lure you just by speaking?”
“No,” Yoongi says. “Besides, I lured him.”
Seokjin doesn’t understand. “You lured him?”
The Prince nods. “Sirens feed on the souls of men and music. Every night when I went to play the guitar, it was my attempt to get the siren to come to me.”
He’d thought about this plan for years and years prior to enacting it. If sirens sang to lure their prey, couldn’t they be brought in by music too?
The Prince believed his only chance at getting answers and vengeance for his father’s death was to lure and capture a siren.
“I was wrong about sirens though, Seokjin. They don’t all aimlessly consume souls. Jimin is different.”
The Captain crosses his arms over his chest. “How can you be sure? Were you not spelled without your knowledge perhaps?”
Yoongi sighs. He reaches out to his Hyung because he needs the connection. “I love him, it’s as simple as that. He kept me company when I was lonely.”
Seokjin searches the Prince’s face. He doesn’t want to believe that they very enemy they’ve feared their entire lives wasn’t an enemy any longer.
“He didn’t speak for a week after he approached,” Yoongi said. “If he wanted to put me under a spell, he would have by now.”
Yoongi meets Jimin in his chambers before dinner time. The siren is playing with paints and an easel. He’s got them smeared on several places on his body. Yoongi thinks it’s makes him look extra beautiful.
“How is the sea today?” Jimin asks, still focusing on his painting. The blues and whites swirl together on the page. “Did you tell her I miss her?”
“Would she listen?” Yoongi wraps his arms around the siren from behind.
“She always does.”
Yoongi kisses Jimin’s neck and the most musical giggle bubbles out of his chest. He does it again and again until Jimin is laughing so hard he can’t breathe. Yoongi thinks about making him laugh like this for the rest of his life.
Jimin turns in his arms so he can look at the Prince. He missed him immensely during the day. He was thankful Hoseok had brought him paints. Taehyung had taken Jungkook with him into the kingdom so Jimin was alone.
“Why don’t we get Hoseok to teach you some hobbies,” they lay in bed side by side to face each other. “Then you won’t be bored. What did you do in Bada that you could do here?”
“I mostly did seamstress work and worked with the siren children.”
“Oh! The schoolhouse. I’m sure they could use some help? You could go there to see the children. I can have Hoseok take you tomorrow.”
Jimin smiles and kisses Yoongi. “Oh? Really!” His eyes sparkle. “I could do that?”
“I don’t see why not. I should run it by him before dinner and let you know.” He makes to move but Jimin whines.
“Please don’t go, I’ll miss you.”
Yoongi kisses his hands, then his arms, trailing all the way up to his lips. “What if we go to the sea together tonight and then spend the evening just the two of us?”
“What will we do?”
The princes gaze grows dark. He places a hand against the siren’s neck as he leans down to whisper in his ear. “I taught you some things last time we lied together.”
Jimin swallows past the dryness in his mouth. Warmth spreads to his groin instantly. “Yes?”
“I’d like to teach you more,” he kisses the space beneath his ear.
Jimin shudders. “Okay, yes, I would like that very much.”
Yoongi pulls away to kiss him once more. “Then I’ll see you at dinner.”
As the Prince leaves the siren lies in bed, thinking all about what is yet to come.
End of today’s sforzando update !! Let’s see what you’re up for in this next section.
Jimin meets the Prince at the shoreline after dinner. He spent the meal sneaking glances up at him. He still didn’t know why his underbelly felt so warm when they would catch each other’s eyes. Jimin knew what butterflies were. Taehyung had explained them when they were young.
“They mean you’re in love, Jiminie,” the siren Prince has said. They were twelve years old and Taehyung had just met a boy for the first time that he liked. “Jungkookie gives me butterflies.”
Taehyung and Jungkook had been together since they were teenagers. Jimin to this day believes butterflies are the telltale sign of love. Everytime he looked at Yoongi his chest and belly exploded with butterflies.
But now, there was something more. Something hotter and more…wanting. It made the siren lose his breath a little. The prince would laugh at something Hoseok said, Jimin’s belly would tug. He’d address the room, commanding energy radiating around him, warm spread within Jimin.
By the time Yoongi reaches the shoreline, Jimin’s squirming with how hot he feels. “Prince Min,” he calls to him desperately.
“My apologies, Jimin, I was taking my m--m--" Jmin smashes his lips to the Prince's.
“I can’t stop thinking about you,”Jmin kisses him again. “I don’t know what’s come over me. I feel hot and at dinner you looked” Jmin growls, a high pitched and needy sound, “Prince Min you looked so good.”
The Prince laughs and starts to undress Jmin. “That’s called desire, little siren.”
They rush into the water, splashing as they hurry to get deep enough to cover their bodies.
Jmin swam for a little while, feeling giddy in the water. His body exhaled a sigh of relief the moment he’d stepped inside the ocean’s embrace. The Prince watches him, enamored. He looks so beautiful in the water.
The light glow on his skin is illuminating as the sun reaches the horizon. It’s setting faster at the time of year. The night will swallow them soon.
“Yngi,” Jmin calls to him from paces away. The Prince turns to see Jmin swim to him quickly. “So tell me, how do I make the desire go away?”
Yngi traps his lips within his own. His hands graze the siren's hips where normally a tail would give way. Goosebumps trail up Jmin’s back. “Well personally, I hope you never stop desiring me.”
Jmin groans. “Yngi,” it comes out as a needy whimper. “Please.”
“Can I touch you?” the Prince asks, always wanting permission. He knows how new this is for the Siren.
“Please, touch me how you did the other time.”
Yngi’s hand circles the siren’s cock. Jmin pants into his neck as he begins stroking slowly. The Prince gets off on the little sounds, his own erection growing. Jmin bucks his hips, trying to get closer as the natural current of the water keeps moving them apart.
Yngi digs his feet into the sand, deep enough to keep himself put. He holds Jmin steady. The siren has both of his hands on the Prince’s shoulders. His nose is buried deep in his neck, but he’s starting to plant suctioning kisses along his clavicle.
One of Jmin’s hands trails down from the Prince’s neck, to his chest, below the water to his waistline. He freezes, unsure. Yoongi strokes harder for a moment and Jmin gasps in his ear.
“Look at you,” the Prince says. “So beautiful, Jmin.”
The siren whimpers. “Please t-teach me,” his mouth is wet against Yngi’s. “Teach me how to make you feel this good.”
Yngi’s stomach tightens in a delicious way. “Are you sure? I can do it myself I just-” Jmin cuts him off again with a kiss. He feels so shy but he wants to help. He needs to show Yngi how much he loves him.“No, I want to do it.”
Hand over hand, the Prince guides Jmin through the act of getting him off. His hand is so small around him, it makes the Prince feel even more aroused.
Yngi pulls Jmin closer so he can grind against his front. Jmin keeps whimpering his name over and over again between successions of please as he gets closer to orgasm. Yngi loves how sensitive the siren is, so fresh and new, so untouched before.
The siren tried to hold out. He knew it was supposed to take longer to come but with one more drag of the Prince’s own cock against his, one more upstroke of taut skin, Jmin spilled into the sea.
He shuttered and shook against Yngi’s hold. He vaguely remembered that he’s supposed to be pleasuring the Prince as well. He steadies himself and continues, using the same rhythm that was used on him.
The Prince gasps as Jimin’s tiny hand speeds up. He grips a little tighter and for a moment Yngi’s vision blurs at his impending climax. He pants, hot and heavy. Jmin tilts his head up to kiss him and the Prince moans into his mouth. He comes into Jmin’s hand with a harsh grunt.
They swim for a while because Jimin can’t get enough of the water. Yoongi watches him, resting in a place where it’s shallow enough for the water to just reach his shoulders while he sits.
“Do you miss your tail?” Yoongi asks. Jimin gives him a small smile. “So much, actually. Tails are very important to siren’s. As we evolve over the years, so do our tails. They’re signs of talent and status.”
“Do all siren’s tails match their hair? I see Prince Taehyung’s hair is a very pretty shade of teal, was his tail the same?”
Jimin nods. “Yes, Taehyung is truly one of the prettiest sirens in all of Bada. Jungkookie was very lucky they met when they were young, he’d have to fight off many sirens to get to the Prince if that would have been the case.”
“How long have you known the Prince?” Yoongi asks.
“All my life,” Jimin swims close to him now, wanting to be near Yoongi. “Our parents knew each other, before his died.”
Yoongi thinks of Seokjin and his heart hurts a little. They were bonded by the death of their fathers.
Jimin quickly tells Yoongi the tale of the Kim line. “We didn’t used to live in Bada. There are sirens all over the world, you know. We lived very far West in a small kingdom run by Taehyung’s family. The Kim line reigned for centuries.” He comes to rest near the Prince.
“There was an accident. Taehyung’s sister was there when it happened. Some fisherman or Captain or someone dumped something into the sea. It poisoned her parents instantly, she was lucky enough to return unscathed but the poison traveled through the water."
"Our people started to die quickly,” Jimin remembers it vividly.
Yoongi reaches out his hand to hold Jimin’s. He brings it up to his mouth to kiss. “That must have been terrifying.”
“It was,” his voice is haunting. “We left quickly at the new Queen’s command. We swam far for weeks. Bada was an abandoned land. We’ve lived here ever since.”
Yoongi returns Jimin to his chambers with the promise of seeing him again tomorrow. Jimin kisses him thrice because he can’t get enough and misses him when he goes.
Yoongi retires to his office for the evening to look at tomorrow’s affairs. Woosung is to return soon. He knows that he’s to have answers for his fiance, but right now he has none. He stands quickly to grab a bottle of whiskey, but knocks the glass off the desk.
With a sigh he leaves the office to head towards the broom closet. The corridor is dark at this time of night, most of the castle sleeping. The Prince enjoys this time of night. He opens the closet and gasps at what he finds inside.
Pressed up against the wall is Hoseok, Namjoon’s mouth is working a dark bruise into the crook of his neck. Both men’s pants are around their ankles. “Great heavens!” Yoongi yells and spins around, slamming the door.
“Prince Min!” there’s commotion inside as they dress. Hoseok knocks his head into Namjoon’s. He hisses in pain. The door bursts open and they both come tumbling out. Yoongi is already halfway down the hall, broom forgotten.
He goes into his office, shaking his head in disbelief. The image of his two friends is burned behind his eyes. Hoseok enters first, shirt hanging open revealing the hickey Namjoon left. His pants are on, but not buttoned correctly. Namjoon appears behind him, hair disheveled.
“I thought?” he asks, directed at Hoseok. “I thought you and Seokjin–”
“It is us and the Captain,” Namjoon responds.
The Prince blanches. “It is you AND Captain Seokjin…? I do not understand.”
Hoseok snorts. “Don’t play coy, Yoongi. You know what Namjoon means.” His long fingers work to fix his attire.
“I’m not sure I do.”
Hoseok rolls his eyes. “If you need us to say it out loud.”
“We’re together. The three of us, Hyung. Hoseokie Seokjin Hyung and I. We have been for months.”
“Months?!!” The Prince spins.
He paces his bedroom. “How does it work?” He shakes his head. “Nevermind, please don’t tell me.” He then looks up at his friends. “Is everyone happy?”
Hoseok bounds over to hug the Prince. “The happiest.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Well, Hyung, you didn’t tell us about your relations with the siren so we think we’re even,” Namjoon reveals and Yoongi’s more stunned than before.
Namjoon explains that Seokjin returned from the trip and just seemed different. “I was trying to talk to him about the fish sticks you all retrieved but he seemed so distracted,” Hoseok says.
“Eventually, we got it out of him.”
“It makes so much sense that you spend all your time at the sea.”
“And how you’ve stopped recently.”
“So,” Namjoon says. “You’re engaged to Woosung, but falling for the siren. What will you do?”
Yoongi feels as though it’s time to reveal, “Woosung is in love with a siren, too.”
Hoseok and Namjoon gasp dramatically, hands over their mouths.
Yoongi continues, poised to tell the story. "We're in an alliance. We've come to the agreement to make something work for us to both be happy."
There's a knock on his office door and Seokjin steps through. They haven't spoken since earlier this afternoon. Seokjin had returned to the sea with his fisherman. The Prince is nervous. Their feud may be over, but the problems haven't been solved.
He bows his head. "Prince Min," his voice is strained. Hoseok stands to greet him, placing a hand on the smallest part of his back. The Captain calms, but Yoongi can see the set in his shoulders.
He sighs and turns to the maps splayed out on the table. He traces along the path. Woosung should be leaving tomorrow morning and make it here by nightfall. He wonders what his fiance will ask for when he arrives.
Namjoon grunts, breaking the tension in the room by slamming a bottle of whiskey down on the desk. "We care for Daeyang, don't we?" he asks the three of them, mostly looking between Yoongi and Seokjin.
All of the men nod.
"Then this feud is over."
Yoongi remembers the first time he met Namjoon. It was on his first day entering the schoolhouse. A few years younger still, but Namjoon was ready to keep up with all of the children. He wore his small glasses poised at the end of his nose and carried a book wherever he went.
He seemed so confident in the classroom, answering Yoongi's mother's questions correctly, coloring beautifully. But when it came time to play, he seemed lost. Yoongi watched as he stood on the sidelines, gazing at all of the children, fear in his features.
His mother came over and patted his bottom. "You should go talk to him, Yoongi. It's a Prince's duty to make everyone feel welcome."
Yoongi had been nine at the time. Namjoon was seven and still stood a few inches taller than the Prince. He introduced himself and they'd been inseparable ever since.
Hoseok's father moved their family to Daeyang a few months later. Long limbed and loud-mouthed, Yoongi was enamored with the younger boy. He seemed to easily befriend everyone, but Yoongi. Each time the Prince tried to talk to him, he'd become quiet and reserved.
"I don't think Hoseok likes me," Yoongi had cried to his mother one evening before bed. He'd sobbed and declared that he wanted him to leave the kingdom.
"Little one, a Prince does not throw out those who don't like him. They go out of their way to change their minds."
The next morning his mother helped him make a basket of snacks that Yoongi had noticed Hoseok eating with his lunch. He held the basket out to him sheepishly when he arrived to school.
"I want to be your friend," Yoongi had said.
Hoseok furrowed his brows. "My father says we must respect you and your family because you rule over us. I don't know how to be friends with you."
Yoongi recalled what his mother had told him. "It's a Prince's job to make everyone feel welcome," he gave him the gummiest smile.
The trio had gone through Yoongi's hardest moments together over his lifetime. No one cared for Daeyang more than he, Seokjin, Namjoon, and Hoseok.
So he steps forward and holds his arms out to the Captain. "I love you as I love Daeyang, I'm sorry I kept things from you."