Art by me, fic by Demi! Figured that I would end the year with a painting of my favorite person in the world (sorry Jaejoong, dethroned ; A ; ) and a collab with one of the good friends I made this year.
PLEASE DO NOT REBLOG WITHOUT THE FIC
Kris smiles politely at the audience, hands clasped on each side of the wooden podium as every citizen in the nation tunes in to listen to his words. His speech never falters. Kris has practiced his coronation speech so many times he’s sure he could recite it even in his sleep and maybe it’s because he’s on autopilot the entire time that he lets his thoughts wander as his lips continue. He glances around the room, eyes landing on some of the more important figures. There’s Prince Joonmyun from the neighboring country sitting next to Lord Jongdae. Duke Luhan fidgeting with his bowtie as Lord Sehun stands stoically behind him. All of them are prominent figures, known and respected, their names obvious to the populace.
But unlike them, Kris doesn’t have just one name because he wasn’t always royalty. Kris was once Wu Yi Fan, the small child that lived in an equally small and nondescript fisherman’s village with his sickly mother. The Kris from the past was a lot of things. Yi Fan liked spending his days sitting on the docks watching as boats came and went with their daily haul. Yi Fan found it hard to get along with other children when they kept ostracizing him for having blonde hair that was so different from their typical black. Yi Fan had one best friend. He was ten when his mother passed away and a strange man arrived at the funeral, calling him by a name that sounded so foreign, telling him that he had a father, that it was imperative that he come to the palace as the king’s only heir. He agreed on one condition.
Yi Fan is ten when he becomes Kris.
Kris blinks twice at the sudden sound of applause, jolted out of his reverie when he realizes that he must have finished his speech without noticing. He bows to the masses. When he lifts his head back up, Kris is so unbearably tired. He doesn’t know if he can lead a country, be responsible for the lives of so many civilians, when he’s not even sure of his own identity. Somewhere along the line, lost in a jumble of etiquette classes and lessons on politics, Yi Fan fades away. But there are moments, moments like these, when Kris feels like nothing more than a lost child.
Who am I?
At the end of the ceremony, Kris walks out through the side entrance and into the garden to take a deep breath. It’s snowing, crystals blanketing the world in white. Kris watches the snowflakes fall to the ground, still stuck in his thoughts, when out of nowhere a snowball comes crashing into his face. Kris’ head snaps up as he reels back in shock.
“Where’s your crown, your royal highness?”
“Yixing?” Kris splutters, staring into the face of his one condition.
Sometimes he regrets asking for his best friend to be taken with him to the palace.
“I’m not actually supposed to wear a crown around in public,” Kris grumbles while wiping snow off his nose. “That would be pretentious.”
“That’s boring,” Yixing huffs. “What’s the point of being a crowned prince if you don’t actually get a crown?”
Kris laughs but it sounds empty and Yixing knows immediately that something is off.
“Yixing, who am I?”
Yixing stares at the despondent look on Kris’ face and knows that now is not the time to laugh at Kris for asking such a ridiculous question.
“Well,” Yixing hums thoughtfully, “On your best days you’re the boy that used to pee on his bed when he was a cute, little three year old.”
Kris makes a face and starts to protest when Yixing continues, “On your worst days you’re a royal pain in my ass.”
Yixing stops to laugh at his own pun.
“But every day, whether you’re Yi Fan or Kris or an idiot that asks stupid things,” Yixing finishes, “You’re mine.”
He says it so nonchalantly and in such a matter of fact tone that it leaves Kris speechless for a few seconds. The silence stretches between them and Yixing crosses his arms over his chest, unsure if he’s shivering from the cold or from the intense look Kris is giving him. There is a moment where a sliver of doubt creeps into Yixing’s brain, where he wonders if he spoke too soon or too brashly about a topic they’ve skirted around for years. There is something between Yixing and Kris that is far greater than friendship but neither of them have stepped up to give it a name.
“Stop looking at me like that or I’ll throw another snowball at your face,” Yixing threatens with a shaky voice.
This time, when Kris laughs, it bubbles up from the pit of his stomach, filled with warmth and a tinge of love. Yixing immediately relaxes because the joy in Kris’ eyes tells him that his nightmare of being pushed away is unfounded. But when the blonde’s laughter doesn’t stop, Yixing bends over to scoop up a handful of snow in annoyance because how dare Kris laugh at him for being so wonderfully romantic.
“I’ll be okay,” Kris thinks as he dodges Yixing’s chunk of ice, grinning so widely it hurts. “As long as he’s here, I’ll be okay.”