This started because there is like 4 Seonil x Jihan fanfics and that is NOT OKAY; I got hella fuckin attached and then there was only about half-an-hour's reading for what should be the main ship. They (or at least Seonil) are so freaking gay in canon, that I am of the opinion that that is either intentional or the author is just hellishly bad at writing straight characters.
Case in point:
*Jihan looking at Seonil's status & the 'Feeling:' section* "Affection, huh, I guess he has a crush on a girl."
*Jihan and Seonil joking about his love life* "In all the time I've known you, you've never dated a girl"
They are not exact quotes but I read those sections yesterday and had a moment of 'how the fuck do they play Seonil off as a straight character!' I am like dying of shipping right now and I blame The Gamer.
Jihan's life was normal until he woke up one morning to a 'ding' and a game window floating in front of his head.
[You have slept seven hours. MP and HP restored to full.]
He stared at the floating window; it was blue and looked pretty obviously like a game window. Jihan could feel his heart to speed up as he looked around, was this a trick? When he found no secret scientists of prank-show hosts hiding in his room he felt the first stirrings of fear.
The idea of loosing his mind is a terrifying, but he knows that sometimes people's brains just do what they wish. He really really wished that he were not one of those people.
But there was a screen in front of his face, and he kind of wanted to cry.
Jihan took a breath and focused on not freaking out, if this wasn't his brain malfunctioning or some kind of cruel prank, he needed to know how it worked. Slipping a hand forward he clicked the OK button at the bottom of the prompt and breathed a sigh of relief, maybe if it didn't come back he could pretend his lapse in sanity never happened.
[Due to an action, the (active) skill 'Ignore' was created. To see more information, go to the skills page.]
Jihan felt nauseous; all those times he wished he could play games forever, he didn't mean like this. To trade sanity or normality for something that could lead him to a life of antipsychotics and pain, was a truly horrible trade-off.
[Quest Alert 'Get to school on time' created. On completion +100xp +good reputation with teachers, on failure +bad reputation with teachers.] [accept] [decline]
Right, school, fuck. He breathed a deep breath and closed his eyes. He might have gone insane, but he still couldn't get off school. Maybe this might not be so bad, it's only info screens right? He could deal for a day.
['Ignore' gained 1 level. 'Ignore' now level 2]
He couldn't deal. Holy fuck could he not deal!
Jihan averted his eyes from the levels and names on top of everyone's heads and just focused on what the teacher was saying. Differentials, he could deal with differentials; integrals he had issues with but differentials he could deal with.
Just focus on math.
A hand taps his shoulder and he startles violently, jumping and spinning round to face his best friend's worried face. He exhales and relaxes against the steady hand, the physical contact settling his nerves somewhat.
"You ok? It's lunch and you were just staring blankly at your paper." came Seonil's uneasy voice. Jihan wonders where science went because he swore it had just been math, he slipped his eyes down to his paper and saw a sheet of science notes that he couldn't remember writing.
Jihan tried to steady his heart and debated telling Seonil. He was his best friend; the clingy idiot had adhered himself to Jihan in primary school and hadn't left him alone since, hadn't left him. He trusted Seonil more than anyone else in the world.
If he were telling anyone it would be Seonil.
"Not really? But, it's kind of private and I don't really want to tell you in the middle of a crowded classroom…" Jihan's voice was not as stable as he'd want it and Seonil could hear it given the spasmic clenching of the hand on his shoulder. He could see something dark in Seonil's body language even as his voice betrayed nothing.
"Ok, I guess we're sitting outside today then; come on Jihan!" Seonil's hand slipped from his shoulder to clasp his hand, it was undoubtably so he could drag Jihan better, but it was reassuring nonetheless.
"Yea." Jihan murmured as he let himself be pulled through the teeming halls and into the small abandoned courtyard at the back of the school. They had found this years ago and somehow no one else had decided to move in or even noticed it existed; it was their spot, only for Jihan and Seonil.
Once they were out of view of the buildings, Seonil tugged him over to a bench and it occurred to him that he had no idea how to explain this.
"What is wrong?" Seonil's voice was tinted with barely controlled anxiety and Jihan's heart tugged. He swallowed convulsively, his throat dry and itchy.
"Ha-, um? I think I might be hallucinating or schizophrenic or something," his heart was starting to slam in his head, "I keep getting, like, game windows popping up or something like that?" His voice was really high at the end of that, "And I really don't want to think I'm crazy, but it won't go away and then I got to school and people had their, like, levels and names over their heads and I was trying not to see them," his voice sounded frantic even to him, "so I focused on math but then it was science and lunch and I had stuff written down that I don't remember writing down," it was getting hard to breathe, "but it was in my handwriting so it must be mine. And-. And-"
Hands pressed against his sides, but his heart was slamming in his chest and he couldn't catch his breath and he felt nauseous.
"Ji- Br-e" Seonil was saying something, but it sounded like he was hearing everything through a wall of water.
"-han Br-the" Was Seonil trying to tell him to breathe, seriously?! He was fucking trying, and it wasn't working.
The hands on his sides moved to press his forehead against Seonil's chest. He could feel the rise and fall of it, his heart thumping against Jihan's temple. It gave Jihan something to focus on other than the torrents of terror rushing through his mind. He tried to match up his breathing with Seonil's and he felt the panic start to rescind slightly.
His mind still swam, but he started to relax against Seonil's body. Exhaustion pulled at the fringes of his consciousness, and he only vaguely noticed the hand cupping the back of his neck. A warm sensation rushed through his body before bouncing back to the hand and Seonil shifted Jihan, so he was essentially snuggled against his chest.
"Wha' was tha'" Jihan slurred, his mind sluggish, "fel' nice, warm." Jihan wanted to sleep. Seonil was warm and he was sleepy and why was he trying to stay awake.
"Jihan? Are you okay?!" Seonil's voice was worried, why was he worried.
"Sleepy. Wanna sleep. Shhhhh." He tries to wave a hand at his childhood friend, but all he could manage was a weird arm spasm in Seonil's general direction.
"Jihan?!" He sounded kind of frantic now, but the fogginess had picked up speed and his eyes drifted closed as he slowly fell asleep.
Seonil let out a strangled noise as Jihan collapsed against him. Okay, okay, right; Jihan was probably a Natural Ability User and was not reacting well to it. From what Seonil had grasped from Jihan's panicked slurry of words he had some kind of game ability; that seemed just like him.
Seonil's lips quirked in a watery smile and his breath hitched; Jihan was going to be dragged into the Abyss. Why was the world this cruel; why would Gaea do this; why Jihan, of all the people, why Jihan.
Seonil slipped an arm under the brunettes knees and tugged him into his lap. Curling around him Seonil started to sob; why was life so fucking cruel to do this to Jihan, to the best person he knew.
He stood and tucked Jihan's body close to him, clinging to the warmth and softness as he tried to pull the focus to create an illusion barrier.
The instant he felt the shift, he started to make his way home. He would protect Jihan and nothing could hurt him and maybe being among Seonil's family could make the transition easier. He notices Jihan's shirt becoming discoloured with all the tears that was dripping from his cheeks and he idly recognises that he was still crying.
The doors to the compound open before he even reaches them, and his grandfather walks out looking confused and worried; he'd undoubtably sensed Seonil's distraught energy from the moment he stepped in range.
"Seonil, what is wrong?" His grandfather asks before noticing the tear marks and the way he was half-curled around his childhood friend. "Is he okay? Are you okay? Seonil speak!" His voice came out croaky and wobbly.
"Jihan got a Natural Ability," he settled into the routine of a post-mission debrief and his voice falls into a monotone, "from what I could catch from him before his panic attack, he sees life as some kind of game? With levels and game windows? He didn't take it well and seemed to think he was hallucinating, I'm pretty sure he dissociated pretty badly through math and he seemed to… sense when I checked his identity?" His grandfather nodded and ushered him inside and gestured in the general direction of Seonil's room.
"I assume that you want to be overprotective of the silly boy, right." Seonil nodded and tightened his grip around Jihan. If someone tried to take him away, he'd rip their throats out. "Go on then, you stubborn boy; think up how you're going to explain this to him while you're at it!" Nodding a second time, Seonil made his way over to his room and placed Jihan on his bed.
He'd dreamed about this image, but in these circumstances it was just a nightmare. The Abyss was going to eat Jihan alive and he could do nothing to stop it.
He swipes a hand across his eyes and wonders when he'd stopped crying. Probably sometime between meeting his grandfather and getting here. He bites his lip at the anger and sorrow rising up in him and flopped down on his bed, curling around Jihan protectively and wondering how they were going to get through this.
If Jihan died, he would go insane.
There was no doubt; Jihan was the anchor for his sanity, he was the one Seonil looked forward to seeing every day. He was the reason why Seonil could fit in amongst normal teens despite the sword's instincts begging him to rip and tear into every living thing he came across.
Jihan was his light.
And people will try to smother him.
Seonil refused to let them!
Jihan woke slowly. Mind drifting in a sea of thoughts and actions, the calm whooshing begging to drag him under once again. What woke him was the realisation that the whooshing was not from his dream.
He tried fruitlessly to open his heavy eyes, but as awareness started to spark Jihan noticed the arm slung across his chest, possessively keeping him in place against a warm body and the slow whoosh of breath against his ear.
He knew he should be freaking out but something in his mind said it was Seonil, so he relaxed from his tense state and tried to ignore his mildly damp ear.
What was he doing before he fell asleep?
He finally manages to open his eyes to the screen in front of his face, he flinched; right, that. He'd been freaking out about that. Well… Seonil didn't ditch him just because he was a tad crazy so something good might have come from that.
[You have slept three hours. MP and HP restored by 40% of total.]
"You okay?" Came sleepily from behind him and, whoops he probably woke Seonil with that flinch.
"Uhhhh, sorta? I am less freaked out because you haven't run off yet," Seonil growls lowly and he snorts, "yea I know, you won't leave me ever; it's just hard to really get that when both my parents regularly desert me." Jihan turned over an faceplanted against his friend's shoulder, he hated how he always believed that anyone he cared about would leave him; emotional baggage thy name is Jihan.
"I won't leave you! Especially not now…" Came the rumbling reply from above him; hearing people speak while snuggled up against them gave their voice a weird rumbly quality.
"Now that I've gone low-key insane?" Jihan says teasingly, trying to make a joke out of the situation.
"You're not insane," Jihan shifted and raised an eyebrow at his friend, "you're not; you have something called a Natural Ability. It means that Gaea, the immortal earth being, decided to grant you a power; normally people get abilities earlier in life, but it's not impossible to get it later."
Jihan was shocked and hopeful and scared at the same time, something must have shown in his face because Seonil pressed his forehead lightly against Jihan's in reassurance. Jihan wondered when their relationship got to the point where snuggles and forehead tapping was normal; before today, they'd been purely bro-fist-and-occasional-gleeful-tackle friends not almost-non-platonic-cuddling friends, but the closeness was nice though, anchoring.
Then it occurred to him that his life was actually a game now (if Seonil wasn't just lying to make him feel better).
"Wait, so I'm literally a game character now… I don't know if that is terrifying or awesome, but I think I'm going to settle on both." The deep introspective moment was broken and Seonil started to giggle helplessly against him. "Oh hush, if I have to deal with the knowledge that my life is probably about to slide into crazytown, I might as well enjoy the fact that I'll do it as awesomely as possible." Seonil was full-out laughing now and he sounded impossibly relieved and Jihan just relaxed; they were together, and he would be fine.
He would be fine.
Opinions, ideas, favorite moments, hopes for the future; comment it all below, I feed my motivation with reviews and I'm like 70% more likely to write a chapter if I get a jumpstart on ideas, or feel guilty because people actually like the thing I wrote and I haven't written a new chap yet.