Jongin’s great grandfather was a carpenter, and Jongin’s grandfather was a carpenter, and Jongin’s father was a carpenter, and so Jongin is a carpenter. It was a given, expected. If he could have chosen, Jongin would’ve been a luthier. The idea of spending all day turning trees into the strong curved bodies of cellos, guitars, or dulcimers set his blood racing. What new sounds could he coax out of this wood or that, if the frame were larger or smaller? But wood was wood, and his family had always been carpenters. His father leaves him his more musical hobby as long as he does his work in the family business well, and he always does. All of his wood work is beautiful, and the instruments he makes sold well out of the family shop. Just not as well as a hand carved coffee table or personally customized wardrobe.
His parents don’t abhor his fascination with music; they appreciate it greatly and are intentional in their support. It’s a usual sight at the end of a long day for his mother and father and grandfather to be gathered in their sitting room with their after-dinner coffee in their hands as they listen to him play guitar. Jongin loves playing, loves seeing people let themselves get pulled into his music. Some nights, when he isn’t too tired, he sings his family songs of faraway kingdoms and small villages. Of futures where all the answers to any question in the world are held in a small box that you could use to hear the voices of your loved ones or to take pictures. Of war and betrayal and academia. His mother always said he had a wonderfully overactive imagination; whenever she mentioned it he only smiled and kissed her cheek.
But its more than an overactive imagination. Jongin doesn’t have all those stories because he’s clever. He has them because he remembers. Can it be a memory if it hasn’t happened yet? He’s not sure. He’s certain of precious few things: 1) This is his fourth life. 2) He remembers his prior three lives in their entirety- well most of them; childhood memories often blur together. 3) He has impressions and snatches of visions into some of the lives he has yet to live. 4) In every single life, there is always always Chanyeol. The only thing he can’t remember is that song. His song, their song, the song that he wrote for his lover. The song that brings Chanyeol to him in every lifetime, brings his vampire prince into his arms again.
Jongin wonders how Chanyeol will make his entrance this time, wonders if he’s already around watching and waiting. He knows better than to whisper reckless invitations into the night air- his heart isn’t the only vampire out there after all. Still, he wants to, wishes that there was something he could do to hurry the process along.
He’s in his workshop late one night lacquering a table when the melody he’s been searching for suddenly bursts into his thoughts, breaking the surface of his memories like a plank rising out of the ocean, and just as fast Jongin is running outside and clambering up onto the roof, singing at the top of his lungs all the while. He feels Chanyeol’s arrival before he hears him, warm voice interrupting his song in the otherwise still night air.
“Uh. Hey there. What, uh, what’re you doing up there? It’s dangerous.”
Jongin turns to see Chanyeol on the ground behind the workshop and he tears up. Chanyeol is beautiful in the moonlight, dressed in rough homespun. His brow is furrowed with concern and Jongin can tell it’s taking everything in him to maintain this studied distance. Chanyeol clearly thinks Jongin doesn’t recognize him in this life, and he’s holding back when it’s obvious that all he wants to do is fly up onto the roof and hold Jongin close till he’s safe on the ground. There’s love in his eyes, and the strength of it pulls a sob from Jongin’s chest.
Jongin slides down the side of the roof before jumping to the ground with practiced ease. Chanyeol flinches at the cry and rushes forward quickly (too fast impossibly fast inhumanly fast- he’d forgotten himself) as Jongin’s feet touched earth.
“Hey, man, be careful!”
Jongin wanted to sink into his arms but Chanyeol’s grip was firm as he held Jongin at arm’s length, hands tight on his shoulders, so he settled for looking the vampire in the eyes instead.
“I’ve done that plenty of times, I’m fine. Best I’ve ever been, actually, now that you’re here.” His voice is still wobbling but he isn’t actually crying anymore, and he almost laughs at the cautious hope edging into Chanyeol’s expression.
“I remember, Chanyeol. This is the fourth time we’ve met and I remember everything; I think I remember things we haven’t lived yet. I’ve been waiting for you for so long and I couldn’t remember our song but then I did so I sang it and now you’re here and I-“ he sobbed and laughed at the same time, overcome with his own emotions and the growing excitement on Chanyeol’s face. “I don’t know how you’re gonna work your way into town life this time, and I look forward to seeing your grand entrance tomorrow, but tonight will you stay with me, please? If I invite you in, will you stay?”
“Of course, always, my love.” Chanyeol finally pulls him in closer for a hug and bumps their noses together before kissing away the tear tracks on Jongin’s cheeks.
“And if I invite you to drink from me tonight, will you do that too? Please?”
“Jongin-“ Chanyeol’s voice is warning, eyes barely red because his pupils are blown so wide. It makes Jongin want.
“Please, Chanyeol? You’ll need to drink anyway, to fulfill my next request. Why not just drink from me?” Jongin was grinning now, eyes bright as he maintained eye contact. The earnestness of his gaze was undermined by the way his fingers plucked at the drawstring of Chanyeol’s pants, bouncing on the balls of his feet as he awaited Chanyeol’s answer.
“Your impatient minx.”
An easy kiss, followed by a sharp grin. “Mine.