Total Word Count: 6735
Title: Atlas Hands 1A/?
Word count: 3291
Summary: I don’t think about you anymore but I don’t think about you anyless…
Sanggyun cackles loudly as he races down the long hall and away from the sound of hooves clacking against the smooth marble floor. The sound bounces off of the tall walls and follows Sanggyun as he makes a dash for his chambers, locking the heavy doors behind him. Hyosang, completely unamused and not at all stifling laughter behind a gloved hand, stares at him from across the large and extravagantly furnished room.
Sanggyun jumps at the sound of the queen's guard knocking heavily against the doors. He dashes underneath the covers giggling to the smaller young man who had been there the entire time. Sanggyun grasps the man's hands, threads their fingers together loosely and pops his head out from underneath the covers. He watches as the king's guard saunters over to the doors of the chamber and unlocks it. The queen's guard clumsily tumbles into the center of the room, hair astrewn, chest rising and falling rapidly. He begs help from Hyosang and nearly topples over once more as he's pulled onto his hooves.
By now, Sanggyun and the young man with him are guffawing obnoxiously, the sound travels out of the room and echos throughout the northernmost wing of the palace. The queen's guard squares his shoulders and puffs out his chest, the brass bands on his arms glisten in the sunlight pouring into the room through the large windows. He uses all his might to look intimidating, and from this angle he would be if it were anyone else he was staring down. Yoonchul is tall, extremely so compared to the little prince and his eyes are dark as he glares down at Sanggyun, but they waver and his brows knit upward when he looks into the prince's mirthful eyes. Yoonchul sighs, exasperated, shoulders sagging forward as he looks away and leans onto Hyosang.
"Honestly, young master--"
Hyosang cuts him off, wrapping his gloved hand gently around the centaur's wrist and tugs him away from the young prince. "Come now, camel boy, let's go see if Hojoon can calm you down enough to get your legs back, and leave the prince to his studies. That is why you chased him here, is it not?" Hyosang's tone is teasing as he looks back at the young prince and wiggles his fingers back and forth in farewell. Sanggyun's eyes curve into half moons, mischievous grin still in place though his cackling had seized.
When he's sure they're well on the other side of the palace Sanggyun taps the head of the young man who had been hiding underneath the covers for a while now. "Sangwon it's okay to come out. They're gone, I'm sure of it."
A mess of blonde hair and chubby cheeks pops out from under the thick embroidered quilt," They're gone for now at least, but oh, what would they say, oh, what would they do if they saw the poor filthy potions boy from the next town over in bed with the prince of all people." Sangwon is expressive, his face contorting wildly with each word. Sanggyun giggles, places his cool fingertips onto Sangwon's small lips to hush him, and flops unceremoniously onto his back.
"They wouldn't say much of anything, Hyosang-hyung likes you well enough and Yoonchul-hyung would be far too embarassed to do anything about it. Besides, if they ever did say anything, I'd just say I forced you to come."
Sangwon knows Sanggyun isn't just talking about the king and queen's guards anymore, but he rolls his eyes and scoffs, unlacing his fingers from Sanggyun's own and stuffing them far into his pockets. " They wouldn't believe you, and you wouldn't dare do such a thing, not when it would jeopardize your eventual marriage to Park Kyungri. I know you, Kim Sanggyun. Better than anyone else in this entire kingdom, better than anyone else on this entire damned peninsula, I know you."
Sanggyun finds himself blushing when the younger tugs on his ponytail, ribbon that held it in a high ponytail falling loose and hair fanning out across the pillow.
"I would try to keep you safe, though, as much as I can. You know that, should never doubt that."
Sangwon doesn't look at him but Sanggyun knows he is beautiful like this, sunlight settling gingerly against his pale skin, high cheekbones and deep set eyes emphasized by the contouring that his mother deemed necessary and his father seemed to be against. Sanggyun knows he is beautiful like this, when he says goodbye to Sangwon. He runs cool fingertips once more along Sangwon's warm chubby cheeks and smiles sadly, he watches as the sunlight pouring through large, large windows lights up his hair, catches and passes through the thin fabric of his undershirt, revealing a thin frame and even thinner arms.
"Come back soon, will you? This vast place becomes terribly boring without your warmth to keep me company. And eat well, take care of yourself, you can afford it now. We aren't children anymore."
Sangwon sneers at him and tugs his long red hair harder than he had before and watches as the curl bounces back,"Of course I'll try to come back. But I can't always be here when you call for me as a bed warmer. I have work to do. And I eat well enough, your highness." All teasing had vanished from Sangwon's voice but his eyes remained soft, with an edge of something Sanggyun couldn't quite place.
He clambers out of Sanggyun's nest of warm thick blankets and pads with bare feet over to the large open window across the room. Sanggyun smiles at how small his feet are. Sangwon doesn't look back when he taps the third eye of a raven that been sitting patiently in the sunlight, unmoving save for when it would occasionally preen quietly, no doubt a trait developed from the strange necromancer who owned it. In an instant Sangwon is gone, the only signs of him in the prince's chambers was a single black feather from the raven, floating lightly through the air. Sanggyun rushes over and snatches it from the air and places it beside to the unlit incense beside his bed, among tens of dozens of the three eyed raven's feathers.
Sangwon is hours and hours away by now, glaring down at the necromancer who had collapsed onto the floor, unattractively chortling. After scrambling down from the tree Hansol decided he should have landed in at, he chucks the small coin pouch filled with gold at the necromancer's head. "Can you please have me land in more normal spaces, Hansol-hyung?" Hansol waves a dainty hand at Sangwon’s older brother, almost pulls him down instead of being pulled up, the scene is similar to the king and queen’s guards. Sangwon is curious as to if their relationship is similar to Hansol and Jiho’s. “I’m sorry, your highness. I didn’t realize I took orders from you.”
There’s a dangerous glint in Hansol’s eyes but he’s smiling widely, cheeks bunched up cutely and he looks delighted at Sangwon’s panicked expression. Sangwon’s eyes dart to Jiho but he visibly relaxes when he sees that his brother is counting and recounting the gold in the coin pouch. Sangwon sneers at Hansol when he starts giggling, dangerous glint still in place. “Don’t joke like that hyung, it’s not funny.” Hansol opens his mouth to say, yes, it is very funny, so very funny in fact that he’d love to do it more often, but Jiho interrupts him with an arm around the shoulder before he can get the words out. “Leave him alone, Hansol, you terrorize him enough as is.” Hansol preens happily in reply, kittenish smile still in place and Sangwon fights the urge to roll his eyes. He trails behind as they start heading back home, Jiho’s arm slid down from Hansol’s shoulders and onto his waist. “Jiho-hyung, the kingsguard want more sets of training supplies to be made for clerics. They’re having a new batch of trainees from the countryside come in and join their regimen, don’t know what for though.” Sangwon curiously watches Hansol stiffen at the mention of the kingsguard’s training regimen.
Jiho makes a face, “Why are we the ones making the damned things when we’re witches, not clerics. The only small bit of healing magic we have is for health improvement and longevity. We work with nature, not people.” Sangwon shrugs, ignores the fact that he can’t do magic, is the only one in the entire family that can’t, and knows his brother is merely complaining to complain. Jiho continues to mumble to himself, back hunched over with a slight pout and tiny white flowers rapidly blooming out from underneath the wide rim of his hat. The growth cuts off near his flushed cheeks and ears, and from this angle they look like freckles. Hansol picks one out, ignoring the small yelp of pain from Jiho, and sticks it behind his ear with a small grin.
“Leave the poor kid alone, he’s just delivering messages from people who can’t be bothered to send a raven themselves. Why don’t you go work on those sets and I’ll try to teach this kid some stuff.” It’s Hansol turn to defend Sangwon and he twirls around, his black robes fan out dramatically behind him and he looks as dark and intimidating as any necromancer of his skillset could, save for the small flower contrasting against his black hair, walking backwards only to smile brightly at the younger.
“No death, Hansol. You’ll dirty him and mom would kill me if she found out, you both know how she gets.” Jiho departs down the right road of the fork in the road with a warning glance towards Hansol and tries his best to shake the small flowers off. The two begin heading down the road parallel to the one Jiho had taken and the necromancer immediately clings to Sangwon.
“So how’s Sanggyun? You were over there for a while, Jiho started asking me annoying questions and getting worried.” Sangwon glances at the mess of black hair pressed against his shoulder before answering. "He's okay, I guess. He keeps nagging at me to eat more or whatever." Sangwon ignores Hansol's quiet comment of, you should eat more, and stuffs his cold hands into his pockets. The two continue to shuffle their feet on the small path towards Hansol's home, night settling much quicker now that the winter had come. "Oh, and his marriage to Park Kyungri was finalized a fortnight ago. He avoids my eyes when I ask about it so I guess he finds her suitable? I can't read him easily anymore, at least not like I used to."
Hansol hums sympathetically and pecks lightly at the younger's chubby cheeks before lifting the locking charms placed on the door to his small home. Hansol slides the outermost layers of his robes off and settles them onto the back of a chair in a dreamy state. "That's how they are, city boys, they get harder to read the longer you know them, until poof, one day they're just gone and you don't see them for days, for moons."
Sangwon makes a face as he plops unceremoniously onto the bed, hoping to startle a laugh out of the necromancer, but Hansol still has that faraway look in his eyes as he feeds the quiet ravens sitting perched on the open windowsill. "Where do you get that from? I didn't think you'd know anything like that, since you grew up here with Jiho-hyung, didn't you?"
Hansol's head snaps towards Sangwon in the corner of the room, his eyes are wide and he seems more aware of his surroundings, of himself and Sangwon but something about the slight pensive glint in his eyes is worrying. "Ah! You're right, I...I wouldn't, but I just..guess I assume that's kind of how they would be. Their lives are fast paced, much more so than ours. They have...too many things going on for them. And sometimes, us country boys get too slow for them." Sangwon shrugs in agreement , trying not to pay attention to the way Hansol's energy has withered, and begins to plays with the small animal skulls laying in a pile on Hansol's bed.
The two sit like that for a while, Hansol tossing questions about magic and witchery, only for Sangwon to answer them just as quickly as they were asked. Eventually Sangwon grew tired of it, and instead he had taken to throwing as many object as possible at Hansol just to watch him deflect them. Fiddling once more with the miniature animal skulls, Sangwon pulls himself up from his slumped position and watches Hansol writing slowly on slightly yellowed parchment paper. "Hyung can I ask you a question?" Hansol doesn't look up at him but he hears the older hum softly. "Were you ever friends with someone from the city? Jiho-hyung told me you used to visit quite often to go pick up supplies?" Hansol halts all movement, head bent even closer towards his desk and further away from the younger. It takes a while for Hansol to answer, and when he does Sangwon's vision slowly goes black. "No. Not really."
Jiho opens the door to his home after enduring Hansol's incessant knocking for five or so minutes, and he isn't surprised to see Hansol toying with the gold cuffs around his wrists, not bothering to look up when the door had opened. The necromancer had a habit of doing so, always fiddling or messing with things on his body or his fingers. Jiho is surprised, however, when he spots his dearest younger brother floating unconscious in midair behind the shorter man.
"Hansol, why is my dearest younger brother floating unconscious in midair?"
"Hm?," Hansol's gaze flickers up from his wrists to Jiho, behind him at Sangwon and back down to the cuffs on his wrists,"Oh, there isn’t much of a reason to be honest with you, he just fell asleep while I was feeding the ravens."
Sighing Jiho lets the two into the cozy and warm home, closing the door behind him and settles himself at the dining table with various medical and magical supplies on it. Out of the corner of his eye he watches as Hansol drops Sangwon onto his bed and delicately pad over to the caged raven in the darkest corner of the room. Hansol slips his pointer finger through the gaps in the cage, smiles softly, and the raven stares curiously at him. "If he just fell asleep then you would have just had him rest at your home and brought him back at dawn. What did he do this time?" Jiho gets up and walks over to Hansol, wrapping thin arms around the necromancer's waist. He pecks sweetly at Hansol's cheek, trails kisses down his jaw and to his neck.
"He asked about you-know-who. The man who should never be mentioned. The bane of my existence. The reason for all of my suffering and pain." It takes a while for Hansol to answer and it takes Jiho even longer to respond, far too focused on leaving light kisses on whatever he could reach of the shorter's skin and swaying the two back and forth.
"You shouldn't be."
"Did he say anything else? I wo--"
"I already know, Jiho. I know, you worry for him. But no, he didn't say much of anything else. He's just growing up. I was the same way, remember? Back then." They're still swaying back and forth, Jiho's kisses had seized a moment ago, and have turned to face Sangwon resting peacefully on his bed, now curled around their father's old pillow. Jiho watches as Hansol stares at the young man fondly, slight warm smile in place. Slowly unwrapping his arms from the shorter's waist, Jiho sits back down at the dining table with a sigh and resumes wrapping and packing supplies for each sets of training supplies.
"That is exactly why I worry. I don't want my only younger brother to end up like you have." Hansol doesn't reply and instead turns back to face the raven, now sliding almost his entire hand through the gaps in the metal and rubs gently at the bird's soft black feathers. "You've changed, you know. After you finished your training over at the Kingdom Walls. When you came back, something about you changed and I don't know what it is. Whether it was intentional or not I do not know. But there's that something about you that I don't want him to have."
Hansol hums, knowing that this is just how Jiho is, he gets into these moods and says things without meaning to offend anyone and often just complains and whines to complain and whine, so Hansol only pays half attention to what he's saying. Instead he continues to play with the caged raven, gently petting it’s head with a small pale finger. The two go back and forth this way, Hansol humming and nodding, agreeing at all of the right moments and Jiho unnecessarily worrying and complaining with a nagging tone in his voice that makes Hansol far too uncomfortable. The witch finally finishes wrapping up the last set of training supplies, securely tucking small tags into the large flaps so only the name of the trainees are visible. Somewhere in between Jiho's complaining and Hansol's humming, the necromancer had turned around to face the witch, had begun to watch him warmly. Hansol chuckles quietly when Jiho slumps in his seat and presses his forehead against the surface of the wooden table before shutting his eyes.
"I can have Sangwon take those up to the kingdom for you, if you'd like? I have to go up as well to pick up some supplies in a few days, so he wouldn't be alone. We won't take as long as he nearly does by himself. And I'm sure," Hansol leans over Jiho to read the name tag tucked into the set closest to him,"Kim Byungjoo would be delighted to receive his supplies much earlier than expected."
Jiho replies wearily with a yes, please do muffled by the table and Hansol bursts out into laughter, quickly covering his mouth so as not to wake Sangwon. The giddy chortles are still loud and obnoxious despite being muffled by his small hand and Jiho smiles slightly in response. "I'll return in the morning to pick up Sangwon and the sets, alright? Don’t fall asleep there or your back will ache in the morn. Rest well and may the moon be with you." As Hansol leaves, steps into the cold air of the night, Jiho repeats the farewell and wishes him a safe return home despite knowing Hansol was much more than capable of protecting himself.
Hansol removes his robes immediately after arriving at his home, not bothering to light up a lantern or any stray candles around the small home. He's physically exhausted from transporting Sangwon to and from the Kingdom Walls and back home and all he really wants to do is rest peacefully, hopefully without nightmares or distractions or any wandering thoughts about someone. Once he's done removing more than half of his robes and the gold cuffs around his wrists and ankles, Hansol is left in a thin layer of black trousers and a blouse when he notices the armored raven that had been quietly sitting perched in between several of his own ravens and crows, the royal family's crest of a double-edged dagger engraved beautifully into the metal. He chokes up when the raven turns to stare directly at him and caws, beady black eyes have him frozen in place.