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My fifth season

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MC sighed as she stared at the ocean, now almost black and cold as it's waves caressed the shore, the cold wind rushing them on. She wrapped the warm blanket tighter around herself, her hair getting blown around in the wind as she shivered. The house was of course more fit for warm summer days with it's balcony and open space, but..seasons changed. Unavoidably.

So all she could do was to sit in this same balcony, searching for the love of her life from the faded orange and yellow of their little safe haven. That's what they had agreed to call it, instead of..paradise. MC didn't like that word, it seemed to carry his trauma with it. Saeran's trauma. And though it was stated by Jumin that the island was beautiful, soothing even..the heat and the blue shine of the ocean couldn't last forever. The flowers would wilt eventually, the cold air freezing them, turning everything into the warm colours of Autumn. 

Now, MC didn't mind. In fact, Autumn had always been her favourite season, warm and cozy. There was something comforting about all of it, even the occasional rain and storms. Even the darkness was a comfort. That didn't change when she met Saeran. 

It was near the end of Spring when she received a weird text message, asking her to test out a game. It was then that she met the kind, eager boy that asked for her love and faith, who swore to never do wrong by her. Even if all those things came with those eyes, hurt and feverish with the effects of the elixir, they made her happy.

It was already Summer when she had untangled every secret thread she could, when she came to meet the boy who took her away like a prince out of a fairytale, who's eyes were clear of the haze of the elixir, who was sincere. Who asked for her forgiveness, as if there was something to forgive in the first place.

But then came their first Autumn, the trees dropping their leaves, flowers withering. Along with them, the fairytale prince disappeared as well. In his place came a gentle, warm boy who's hair was the colour of the current season. Orange. This boy was someone that she had never met before, but he was familiar, somehow. His hands were ones she knew as they sat by the fireplace, cuddled together to listen the sound of the rain. And she fell in love with him all over again by the crackling fire and the warm blankets.

All good things, however, had to come to an end, no matter how much they were fought for and that's what happened. Winter drifted along, slowly. And gone was the gentle boy who adored the sky above him, who was warm. He was replaced by coldness, bitterness. Hate. In his place it was Mint Eye all over again. It was the boy with hate filled eyes, so unsure of himself that he needed constant reassuring. It was the boy with snow white hair, the warm orange long gone. He didn't want warm nights by the fire, no. He wanted to be alone, to stand in the balcony in nothing but his black leather jacket, his eyes staring at nothing. He wasn't gentle, he was rough and insensitive. He didn't care if his words hurt her, he didn't spare them. He didn't apologize.

So MC came to despise winter, just a little bit. She cared for him too, but..sometimes it was hard. It was hard, crying herself to sleep alone in their bed, knowing that he wouldn't be there even if she wished he'd be.

But no season lasts forever. She came to find relief in that as Spring came along, turning his white hair to a gentle shade of pink, as curious as it was. She got back the gentle boy who talked about flowers and his love for her. Who cried instead of her, who never dreamed of hurting her. Spring became the time of rebirth and recovery for MC, in it's truest meaning.

The prince from fairytales returned to her too, a few months later, his hair flowing silver in the gentle summer breeze. But MC found herself already looking for someone else, waiting. She missed the warm fireplaces, she missed the blankets, the long nights. She missed him. And when she came home on one cool morning in September only to find him sitting in the sofa with a book in his hands, his hair dyed orange, she was overjoyed.

But the reality of things was looming over both of their heads. For it was Autumn now, but Winter was closing in on them. It was then that MC wished she could stop time, rewind it. She couldn't obviously, she wasn't capable of something like that.

So here she was, waiting. Dreading. Saeran had been gone when she had woken up that morning, his side of the bed cold. No messages, no note, no nothing. It was all she could do to even get up, get dressed. She had been happy mere hours ago, in his arms. But she decided she couldn't just lay there, not when he was likely to be wandering somewhere in their little safe haven by himself, probably not even dressed accordingly.

MC had gone looking for him, walking the shore in her favourite sweater (which was actually Saeran's, but that was just a minor detail that was not in her list of things to think about) and some damn yoga pants for the lack of a better outfit and of course, time. But she hadn't found him, no matter how many times she called out his name, asking him to come back, telling him she was worried. Saeran never showed up.

She had returned to the beach house, worry still in her mind. She wasn't sure how stable he was right now (sure, it had been almost a year since their dramatic escape from the Mint Eye, but Saeran's scars weren't something that would heal that quickly) for she hadn't talked to him that morning. MC just hoped he wouldn't get himself hurt or something much worse.

She gazed at the ocean, wondering. She didn't see any ice or snow despite the change in the atmosphere, in him. Weird. The timing was a little bit off, if she had to say. Then again, she had already become associated with this in the end of last Spring when Ray vanished, leaving her with Saeran. Maybe it was a little more complicated than she could understand.

Then MC saw him. He came from the other end of the beach, his hair bleached white. She had been right, he was only wearing his trademark leather jacket on top of his black t-shirt as he stepped by the shore, the cold waves licking his feet. He didn't seem to care. Maybe he didn't even notice. But she did, so she sprung up from her chair, her blanket dropping from her shoulders. She hurried inside, fetching the cup of tea she left on the counter just a few minutes earlier. He seemed to like it just fine, no matter the season.

It made her a little happy. MC had always loved tea, finding the different tastes interesting, admiring the calming effect the herb ones could have in her on bad days. She was happy that it was something she could share with him, something that could help him too. She hummed as she worked on it, rummaging the closets for honey. Saeran liked sweet things, yet another thing that they had in common. So MC always added honey in his tea as well, because she liked it in hers.

She finished just as she heard the tell tale steps outside, her heart jumping a little. She felt relaxed today, despite the fact that she knew who was waiting for her. So she held the cup in her hands, sighing at the warmth she got from it.

"Alright then...", MC mumbled to herself, heading back outside to greet him. Her steps made no sound, the fluffy socks she was wearing preventing that.

That might've been why she was able to see him in the first place, judging by the look in his eyes. Saeran was leaning against the railing, the cold wind tangling his hair. His eyes turned to look at her when she came back, blinking slowly. Like he was tired. MC only blinked in response, noticing his dark circles and red ears. It must've been colder out there than she realized. That did nothing to ease her mind.

"Wha-, you look terrible! How long were you out there?" she questioned, her eyes trailing his body. His hands looked cold as well, though he wasn't visibly shivering. He only tilted his head, staring at her without answering.

Figuring that she wouldn't probably get an answer, MC sighed, walking up to him to take a good look at him. Saeran's mint gaze followed her, but he didn't react otherwise. So she reached for his bangs, brushing them gently away from his forehead. She placed her palm against it, frowning up at him. "Thank fuck you don't have a fever already, at least.." she murmured, more to herself than him, backing away a step as she let her hand drop.

Saeran hummed in thought, agreeing with her. Or not. MC wasn't so sure which it was.

She swallowed, her nerves peaking a little. To hell with him turning his gaze away and ignoring her, he needed to care for his own health, even if it was just a little. "So you're really just..not gonna talk to me?" she voiced her thoughts.

That got Saeran's attention, as he turned to look at her once again. He gave her a one over, his eyes lingering in her sweater, before he locked them with hers. "I have nothing to say to you", he said, the coldness of the weather echoing in his words.

MC frowned. "Nothing?"

"Nothing. Nada, zip", he confirmed.

"So would you answer if I asked you where you've been all morning?" she asked. It was annoying, how he could still keep his gaze on hers, not even flinching as he smirked at her, his face void of any real emotions.

"Why? Was it upsetting, waking up to a cold bed, princess?"

MC didn't answer that, knowing that she couldn't say anything that would be enough for him.

Saeran took her silence as a que to continue on talking like he always did. "Yeah, yeah, I get it. You need someone to warm the bed for you, that's cool." He nodded to himself, as if he had it all figured out. "But you seem to be forgetting one thing..I'm not something for you to use."

"Don't you think I know that?" MC said, trying to keep her voice from faltering.

"Do you?" Saeran asked, sounding somewhat exhausted. "I have some doubts about that, princess."

She thought about this, staring at Saeran as he stared back. She knew him, knew that they wouldn't get anywhere even if she argued with him for hours. "Okay, fine. I get it, you hate me and you're a dipshit who doesn't give a shit about anything. I just-just come inside, please. You're gonna turn into a ice cube out here", she pleaded, reaching for his hand and handing the teacup towards him. "Look, I even made you this. So please."

Saeran looked a little torn as she uncurled his fingers as gently as she could, placing the warm cup into his palm. She offered him an unsure smile, trying to persuade him. He seemed to actually consider the suggestion for a brief moment, but then his eyes flashed. His lips twisted into a sneer as he poured the contents of the cup onto the floor, just centimeters away from her toes.

He leaned down, his hand grabbing her elbow when she tried to step away. "I don't need something like this", he hissed right into her ear, before letting go and walking away.

MC heard the front door close with a loud bang, as he left her standing in the cold wind by herself. But she didn't cry. Instead, she cursed, punching the rail that Saeran had been leaning on earlier, her fist aching almost immediately after.

"Fuck you, Choi Saeran", she whispered to the wind. "Fuck all of you."

 

-

 

MC sighed, her head full of all kinds of thoughts and none of them positive. After she had yelled out her frustration into the wind, she had returned inside. It wasn't that pleasant, but it was cold. She wasn't that fond of the sight from the balcony, she didn't like the cold. So she fetched a book that she still hadn't finished, parking herself on the sofa in front of the fireplace. That way she could treasure the thought of the orange haired boy who was sitting there with her just mere hours ago.

Saeran was off somewhere in the house. MC hadn't bothered to look for him, selfish as that may be. She just needed a minute, to figure out why he was pissed at her this time. Maybe there wasn't even a reason at all. Maybe he was just...himself.

She was so immersed in her thoughts that she missed the touch on her shoulder, lighter than air. It was only when she heard him calling her that she realized he was there.

"MC?", Saeran called, his hand still on her shoulder.

She turned, blinking up at him. His leather jacket was discarded and he stood there only in his black shirt and boxers, his hair messy. As if he had ran his hand through it several times.

Saeran noticed that he got her attention, avoiding his gaze almost immediately. "I-I should probably apologize", he mumbled, his thumb making circles where it was resting on her shoulder.

MC's eyes widened, mouth dropping open. Him? Apologize? "You-I mean, you'll apologize..?"

Saeran met her eyes, looking somewhat lost.

She cursed herself, quickly rushing to soften her words. "No, no, I just meant that yeah, you should, because you were kind of a bastard, but then again-"

"It's normal for me, right?" Saeran interrupted her, his mouth turning up in a smile that looked like he was in pain.

MC could only open and close her mouth, still confused. In the end, she only nodded, not wanting to hurt him but not wanting to lie to him either.

He didn't seem that bothered, only sighing as he shook his head. He seemed to fall in his thoughts for a second before he spoke again. "Can I-"

"Do you want to cuddle with me?" she got there first. Saeran had always been surprisingly easy to read when his guards were down. It didn't take that long of her to take the hint, to say what he couldn't bring himself to say.

Saeran seemed surprised by her offer, tilting his head as if to ask 'really?' When she allowed him a tiny smile, he relaxed, nodding. He climbed over, joining her on the sofa. MC shuffled a little bit, raising the blanket she was cuddled up in towards him. He scooted closer to her awkwardly, slipping under the warm material with her. She adjusted, laying her head on his shoulder. That had him tensing up a little bit, so she poked at his cheek with one finger, getting him to look at her. Finally.

"So?" she probed.

He looked a little flustered, whetever it was caused by their closeness or something else, MC couldn't say. "So what?"

"Your apology?" she pointed out, raising her brow. "Unless you were bull-shitting me just to cuddle with me?"

Saeran choked, sputtering out incrocnible words before he finally collected himself, clearing his throat. "Of course not, I..I was being sincere."

Silence followed his words. MC could tell he was thinking about what to say to her, so she didn't push, opting to stay silent as well.

Then, he took a deep breath, she felt it on her skin. And he spoke. "I'm sorry, MC..I really am. You have no idea," he said. He turned to her, clearly not finished. So she waited, staring back at him. "I...I'm really trying. I'm trying to stop this, it's just not that easy. Recovering and all that", he explained while shaking his head, his hand coming up to caress her hair in strokes.

MC felt herself relax at his touch, though he was careful, like he wasn't sure if he was allowed to touch her. "I know Saeran, I know", she told him, her voice gentle and warm. Because she did know. She did understand that it wasn't easy on him either, that sometimes she was unfair to him because of the way she treated him. Because she prayed for Spring to come faster, for Autumn to go on longer.

"I know you do, but sometimes I find it hard to believe", he responded, sounding regretful. "I know, but..", he never finished, only moving his gaze to the fireplace, currently void of any flames.

She turned away from him, her hand coming up to stop his caress. He was right, there was no denying that. But he was also ever so wrong, because he never put that much value to himself in the first place. "Saeran, I know. And I love you, all of you. Even if you seriously test me sometimes", she smiled at him, though he never turned his gaze from the fireplace.

"Is that really the truth? You love all of me?" he asked after a moment, his body tensing up beside her. "Even this, what's broken and scarred?" his hands motioned to himself as he turned to face her, his eyes desperate. Looking for confirmation.

MC only nodded as she always did. "Even that", she told him.

She did, it wasn't a lie. She loved him, all of him, had loved ever since the whole Mint Eye fiasco. It was precisely during that that she even came to care for this part of him at all. Even if she sometimes cried for him. Because he was still her Saeran, that was for sure.

He blinked at her. Then he collapsed, straight into her arms. The book MC was holding fell away from her hands as his hands wrapped around her waist, holding on tight. His head buried into her shoulder, he spoke again. "This part loves you, too. You should always remember that", he mumbled, pressing a slight kiss on the side of her neck.

MC hummed in response. She knew, but she found it hard to believe at times. She doubted Saeran's genuinity where he doubted her feelings. Even if it didn't happen that often, she felt guilty for it. Guilty that he had a reason to doubt her in the first place, guilty that she dared to think of him like that at times. He had done a lot of things, terrible things if MC was being honest, but..he didn't deserve to be doubted by her of all people.

She knew what she meant to Saeran, despite everything. And what he meant to her. And so, as he backed away, coming face to face with her, his eyes staring right into hers as gentle as the boy's she thought she bid farewell to hours ago, asking for permission, she didn't deny him. She only sighed, as Saeran's thumbs stroked her cheeks and he drew closer, pressing his lips to hers in a soft kiss.

Unlucky for her, MC had forgotten who she was playing with. This wasn't the soft, giving Spring or the warm, wild Summer and it certainly wasn't the patient, calming Autumn. No, this was the ruthless, harsh Winter, despite how things may seem. 

So when he bit her lower lip, the slight sting made her gasp. His tongue pushed past her lips at that, causing her eyes to open wide in surprise. She was met with Saeran's, the hungry glint in them telling her that she had misjudged him. Again. The feeling was only confirmed when her eyes closed as she bathed in the feel of him against her. In that moment of distraction, MC found herself pushed down on the couch, Saeran setteling on top of her, his hips pressing hers down.

Oh shit, he's fucking hard, she cursed at the fate in her thoughts, feeling him press against her. Damn it.

It got worse when Saeran broke the kiss, breathing in. He kept his eyes closed as he shifted, laying his forehead against hers. It was quiet between them for awhile, the tension in the room speaking for itself. 

Then, Saeran opened his eyes, his heated gaze burning into hers. "I want you, MC", he whispered, his voice low and raspy.

MC felt a blush coming up to her cheeks at his words, speechless. Saeran only seemed amused at that, a self-satisfied smile taking over his features. MC was so mesmerized by the sight above her that she didn't notice his hand, traveling down her the side of her waist to grab her one of her hands, taking it in his and bringing it to his lips.

"Will you have me, just like this?" he asked, pressing a slight kiss onto her knuckles as if he was some actual good-mannered gentleman. 

MC stared up at him, at his half-lidded eyes. If he looked at her like that, if he asked for it like that...the lines between seasons would start to blur in her mind, before she could really even think about it. But maybe that was something unavoidable. 

With that thought in mind, she sighed before gathering herself. "Of course I will, you idiot."

Saeran tensed up at that, his grip on her hand tightening. For such a cruel man, he could be ever so sensitive. It brought a smile to MC's lips as she smiled up at him.

"I'll have you, Saeran. All of you", she told him, softening her tone to assure him she was serious. 

Saeran only blinked at that. Then he chuckled, deep and amused. "I love you, princess."

"I love you too", MC responded. She ignored the tug her heart felt at that. She loved him. Nothing was going to change her feelings on that matter.

She held on to that thought when Saeran flashed a wicked grin at her, pulling her up and into his arms from the sofa. She held on to it when he picked her up, carrying her bridal style towards their shared bedroom. She held on to it when his teeth grazed her neck, leaving hickeys and bruises in their wake. She held on to it when he pushed her against the bedroom wall, his fingers giving her the sweetest torture imaginable over and over again until she begged him to stop. She held on to it when her legs squeezed around his waist as he pushed into her, muttering filthy promises to her ear until he had her whimpering against him, her nails sinking into his shoulder with fevor.

 

She held on to it even when she woke up to the sound of the front door slamming the next morning. 

 

-

 

MC was sitting on that same old balcony as she waited for Saeran to return. About six months had passed since the last time she had met the boy with white hair and cold eyes. They'd been working at it during that time, with Spring, Summer. Autumn. 

She liked to think that Saeran had gotten at least a little better. It seemed that way, at least. He had less nightmares these days and although they both knew they were never going to go away completely, it was something. It was better than at the beginning, where he had constantly woken up in the middle of the night, tears in his eyes and his breath unsteady. 

That was why MC was out here, waiting for him. She believed that he might be better now, based on last Winter's events. He had left her alone in the bed the first time, but after that he had seemed like he regretted it. It had been nice for awhile, he even made her a cup of tea. Apologized, was kinder than usual. Distant, but kinder. 

So MC didn't cry, not that Winter. She was still a little down, the new found distance between her and Saeran making her lonely. It wasn't like there was really anyone else in here that she treasured like him. The RFA visited for New Years, but that was it.

Then, after New Years, the snow began to melt. It turned into huge pools of water, revealing the ground underneath. And as slow, as flowers began to grow again, the white haired boy had gone and in came his perfect counterpart. He came home from a walk down the beach like he always did, his hair bubblegum pink. His gaze was turned away from her, surprinsingly. He kept his distance, not clinging to her like usual. Instead he talked. 

"I..want to work on this, MC. On myself", he had said.

It was the same as in the Winter. He wanted to get better, but now it was for himself as well, not just for her. MC could tell the difference well enough, she had been with him all this time after all. And she had never been happier. Not even in the autumn's warm embrace by the fire. 

So she had praised him, clinging onto him and standing up on her tip-toes to kiss him on the forehead. She told him, okay. She told him she was so, so proud of him. She told him she'd be there, through his four seasons if he needed her to be. And he smiled, ever so soft.

And work on it he had, during all these months. Now, MC hoped his mind remained unchanged. But she couldn't help but worry, still. It hadn't been that long if you really thought about it. That in mind, she had made some tea, again. It was to calm herself down, but also in case Saeran would want to have some in case he came back soon.

Lost in her thoughts like usual, she missed the steps walking up to the balcony. She came to when she heard his voice.

"Do you really like the scene that much?" Saeran asked.

MC took a deep breath, not daring to turn around to face him just yet as she answered. "Mmm, I like the ocean."

"Why?" he sounded genuinely curious. 

"It's the one constant thing in this place. It's..comforting, I guess", she explained. She knew how that must've come off, but she didn't bother to soften the impact of her words. 

"...I see."

There was no anger in Saeran's voice, only sadness. That got MC to turn around in her chair, finally facing him. She gasped when she did, not able to help it. That was Saeran standing there, yes. But...his hair wasn't white. Not completely. The tips were light pink, the colour of Spring. His eyes were still guarded, not so open, but there was a new found calmness in them as he looked at her and then at the other tea cup placed on the small table. 

MC just sat there, gaping at him like an idiot. She felt like she needed to say something, anything, but she had no fucking idea what. 

"Who-who are you?" was what came out. She wanted to take it back that second, knowing that it probably sounded stupid, straight up idiotic.

But it didn't look like Saeran minded. He only smiled at her, a genuine smile, though it was small. "I'm your fifth season, MC", he told her.

MC could only nod slowly, trying to process that. Thinking about what to say to that, she observed him and his mixed up hair and shining eyes. "Uhhh....", was the only thing that she could get out. There was nothing she could say to him. Nothing.

Thankfully, Saeran knew her just as well as she knew him. "Can I join you?" he asked, gesturing to the second tea cup. "I wanted to talk with you anyway", he added like as an after thought. 

She blinked up at him, loading for a few more minutes before she came back to the earth. "As if I would even refuse that", she muttered, a blush making it's way to her cheeks. Fifth season? Who said things like that anyways?

Saeran just gave her that damn smile and sat down opposite from her. MC would never voice it, but she was glad he had accepted her shitty peace offering tea times by now.

The two of them stayed on the balcony until it got too cold to even cuddle. The whole time she was smiling way too wide, hiding it in her palms. She figured that Saeran knew how she felt anyways, how happy she was for him. And herself. But a little more for him.

 

He was, after all, her fifth season.