Title: Deck and Dock
Pairing: Sehun / Luhan
Summary: The land isn't as bad as Luhan thought it would be. Except for the height.
Once upon a time, there lived a little boy named Luhan. He was like… the most precious present the Heaven had ever sent. He possessed a really sweet look with big round eyes and innocent angelic smile. However, in contrary to his appearance Luhan was actually an adventurous fearless little kid; as expected from the son of the greatest captain in history, the one that even every pirate respected, Kris.
Born in a family of a sailor, Luhan had no single fear of the oceans. He was literally raised above the deck of the royal ship Exo, as his mother died right after giving birth to him. Kris had no choice but to bring him along, introducing Luhan to the mighty oceans, facing those sunny day and stormy nights surrounded by the deep blue sea from his very first day in life.
Almost nothing could get into Luhan’s nerve.
Once in a while, they would reach the shore. After sailing for a long time, they would step on the land and finally feel the ground under their feet. Luhan didn’t really like it. He was too used to the dynamic rhythm of the waves. The static ground wasn’t his favorite place but at least he had tons of new things to explore. Curiosity ran in his family’s genes at the first place.
Land was the place to party. As the night fell, barrels of beers and rums, sometimes added with some ladies, were ready to spoil those exhausted brave men who conquered the oceans. At a time like this, Kris would have Luhan sleeping at the local chief’s house. Nobody would refuse knowing who Kris was, plus failing to resist the adorableness of Luhan the cutie patootie.
But this was one different night. Despite having the small town they landed on explored at noon, there wasn’t any trace of tiredness found on Luhan. He had wandered around this hectic little piece of earth by foot and it seemed that not even any single of his muscle was strained.
Now he couldn’t stay still on the huge bed the chief’s wife had specially prepared for him. He tried to roll back and forth like a buffalo to waste his own energy but that’s no use. Instead, the view of an empty wooden dock some miles away seen from the room’s window attracted him. He sneaked out of the room, unfortunately with the chief’s wife caught him red-handed.
“Where are you going, little boy? You are supposed to be sleeping now”, she said while stroking Luhan’s hair gently. Luhan’s mischievous mind started to tickle him. I know that lying is bad, but I have to, he thought. After an innocent silent apology to his mom and dad on his mind, Luhan quickly said that he left his precious doll which he couldn’t sleep with on the ship.
“I can pick it up by myself, ma’am. I’ll be back soon…”
And so, Luhan ran off to the dock he saw earlier, ending his unfinished sentence with a ‘perhaps’ between his breath.
The first thing Luhan learned when he arrived was that the dock was long abandoned, as could be clearly heard from the creaky sound it made when Luhan stepped on it. The woods were totally worn out but fortunately strong enough to bear the boy’s weight.
Luhan sat on the edge of the dock; water was just some inches away from his small feet. He considered that it was the most stunning view of this place. Anyone who built this dock must know that it was the best angle to see the whole town. This dock, unlike the others, was more to the western part of the coast, while the town grew livelier to the east where his dad was partying and where he was supposed to be sleeping.
“Hey you”, Luhan jumped on his seat in surprise. On the other side of the dock, another little boy was standing. He must be around my age, he thought. “God, you surprised me.” The little boy who was standing unmoved earlier now walked into Luhan’s direction and sat right beside him.
“What are you doing here?” The boy asked. He had a really fair skin with crescent moon shaped eyes. “And what are you doing here?” Luhan asked him back. “I never saw you. You aren’t from this town, are you?”
Luhan took a deep breath and told a long story from how he lived in the oceans to how he was proud of his gigantic good-looking daddy to how he had nothing to fear to how he actually hated the smell of the apple pie he ate earlier. The other boy just nodded as he was listening to a good music.
“And how about you?”
“You see that hill?” The boy pointed to a small hill nearby. “I live behind it. My mom grows beautiful flowers on our backyard.” Luhan wasn’t sure about what a backyard was but he just nodded knowingly, pretending to understand. “She never allows me to go near the coast. She told me that the sea is the worst place.” At this point, Luhan had his jaw widely opened. What did he just say? Luhan who spent almost his entire life on the deck felt a bit offended.
“But I honestly don’t think so. Big men come with their big ships everyday and I don’t see anything wrong with them. And look at you. You said the ocean was your home and you look perfectly fine to me.” Luhan clung his arm on the boy’s shoulder and said, “You have no idea how proud I am to be a sailor”, mimicking his dad, actually.
Later, Luhan found out that his new friend came there every time it was a starry night. His mother told him that the stars were able to hear and grant people’s wishes. He always wanted to sail away through the oceans to see the world out there. He wanted to go to this place that his mom hated so much. The boy then came to this dock and prayed. He did it in purpose; so the stars could easily spot him.
Kids were kids after all. An hour hadn’t even passed when both couldn’t avoid the fact that they were now sleepy. They then walked together, somehow hand-in-hand, once more leaving the dock abandoned. Luhan felt an amazingly strong bond with his new friend. He was probably the first, and would probably be the one and only true friend Luhan ever had.
And it’s true since he was technically the only kid on the ship. All the ‘friends’ he had were grown-up men. Well, maybe except for one of the mechanics called Chanyeol whom Luhan thought was a boy his age blessed with an extremely long bones.
“My home is that way”, the boy pointed a small road ahead. They both stopped and stared each other. “Will you still be here tomorrow?”
“I think so. Daddy said that we’re going to stay a bit longer since the ship needs to be… to be… uhm…” Luhan honestly didn’t really get why they had to stay longer. “Never mind. See you tomorrow, I guess?” Luhan smiled widely while rubbing his left eye. The boy then waved while greeting him a good night and walked away, leaving Luhan who was still there, standing still as he was frozen.
“Wait!” The boy turned his back responding Luhan’s shout.
“I’m Luhan. What’s your name?”
“Oh Sehun, it is.”
Daddy Kris was the first person Luhan saw the next day he woke up. “Good morning, little captain.” Kris kissed the temple of his little son. Luhan happily hugged his huge daddy but he really smelled. Luhan recognized it as the smell of a ‘party’. He hated it but it’s his dad anyway. And so, he hopped cheerfully from the bed all the way to the kitchen where breakfast had waited, still on his pajamas, literally like a rabbit.
“Daddeey…” Luhan was busily munching his food. “I hab a nyu brem!”
Luhan forced himself to swallow all the food before he spoke.
“Daddy, I have a new friend!”
Kris giggled at his mini-me’s action. “Good. Tell me about this friend, then.” By now, Luhan had filled his mouth with another bunch of food. He was just about to open his mouth to speak when daddy stopped him. “Not with foods all over your mouth, captain.”
After breakfast, Luhan and Kris walked around the town as the daddy captain had some kind of business that Luhan didn’t really understand. All the way, Luhan told his daddy how he found an abandoned dock and how this Sehun boy’s eyes looked like crescent moon and that he didn’t know what a backyard was. My son is just as noisy as I was back then, Kris thought and he chuckled a bit.
Right then, Luhan noticed a familiar face passing by.
Luhan shouted happily and waved at him. Sehun didn’t look less happy than Luhan was. He directly ran toward Luhan, but paused a bit when he saw a towering man with intimidating look besides him. Knowing that Sehun was probably scared of his dad, Luhan immediately introduced them each other. Sehun’s expression changed into a totally relieved one when Luhan said that this human being was his daddy.
“Daddy, can I go and play with Sehun now? Can I? Can I? Pleaaaaaase…”
“Alright, alright. Yes, of course you can. But make sure to come back before lunch since I’ll need you at the ship, young man.” Kris winked to his son. Luhan winked back. Meanwhile, Sehun was a bit shocked with the view of this once-he-thought-was-scary captain doing a wink, but he didn’t really care about it.
The only thing on his mind now was to show Luhan his precious secret.
Luhan now understood what a backyard was and indeed, those flowers Sehun told him were really pretty. Sehun took Luhan to his house and showed him his room which was such amazement to him. Painted walls, big windows, colorful story books, wooden horse; every thing that Luhan didn’t have was there on Sehun’s room. Sehun had many toys. While the only toys Luhan had were a big puppy doll and a slingshot, as he could remember.
Well… he didn’t expect to have this kind of room on a ship, anyway. Daddy wouldn’t be happy too if I keep too many things, Luhan thought.
Sehun then finally told Luhan about this secret place only he knew was existed. And of course, Luhan would agree with Sehun’s idea to go to that secret place.
Luhan was really adventurous. But he was also really talk-active.
“Where are we going?”
Luhan kept asking the same question all the way.
Sehun kept giving the same answer all the way.
Until then, they finally arrived at what Sehun called as his precious secret. Luhan couldn’t help but making an almost-voiceless ‘wow’ on every single thing he saw. He was really startled.
Sehun’s precious secret place turned out to be a big waterfall located some miles away from his house, a little piece of the earth’s paradise, surrounded by rocky wall and so many plants and wild flowers. To reach this waterfall, they had to crawl all the way inside a hole that only kids were fit in. No wonder why the place looked all so natural and untouched.
“Luhan! Let’s go up there!” There was one part of the rocky wall that was climbable, leading to Sehun’s favorite spot on this secret place where he would just sit comfortably all day and do nothing. Sehun had of course completely known this place, but Luhan hadn’t. Luhan trusted him just as he trusted his father, so he just decided to follow Sehun’s steps. He carefully started to climb the wall. In only a glance, Sehun knew that Luhan never did this before.
Luhan was still struggling to reach the top of this rocky thing and sat besides Sehun who had already been up there when he finally looked back. The ground was many feet away from his two small feet. It was just too far.
“Sehun, I’m scared.”
For the first time ever, Luhan only realized that he was afraid of height.
He was frozen. He was able to neither continue climbing up nor going back to the ground. At this rate, the only thing Luhan could do, although he felt that it was so-not-sailor-like, was crying.
Luhan started crying. And it kept becoming louder.
Sehun immediately climbed down the rocky wall. “Don’t cry, Luhan. I’m here.” Then, Sehun helped Luhan climbing down the wall, patiently guiding the ocean boy on every single step he should make. When they finally reached the ground, Sehun buried Luhan into a really big hug. Luhan had never felt so happy that he was on the ground as he felt now. He was still crying for the next ten minutes, though.
A week had passed and it’s time to pull back the anchor. And now, for the first time ever too, Luhan didn’t seem to be that excited about going back to the open sea as he usually did. Kris noticed that his little boy had been acting a little bit strangely since this morning and slowly reached for Luhan who seemed to be lost in thought on the ship’s deck.
“What’s bothering you, little captain?” Kris clung his arm on his little boy’s shoulder; definitely a habit that he inherited Luhan with. “Daddy, I haven’t met Sehun yet today. I should’ve at least said goodbye to my friend, shouldn’t I?”
Luhan did go to the abandoned dock, the place where they first met, but found no one there. He went to Sehun’s house but he’s not home either. By that time Luhan had had to do his duty on the ship. He hadn’t checked the secret place though. He was scared, honestly, but he was pretty sure that Sehun’s there. If only he had more time, he’d just go after Sehun. Even if it meant that he had to climb.
“Those with strong bonds will always find a way to meet each other, Luhan. Just like how you always know your way home, to daddy. You will meet him again next time.”
The sky that night was starry.
Luhan went out from his room to the deck. His small bare feet made it way to see the stars. He went out. He prayed. He wished he would be able to meet Sehun again. He did it every time it was a starry night. And he knew that Sehun was doing exactly the same thing. Deck and dock was the only difference.
And he did this for years.
He still did it even after he reached his twenty.
He still did it even after he had his own ship.
He still did it even after he fell in love with this lady he met in his hometown.
He still did it even after he doubted that Sehun still did it.
And there finally came the time when Luhan sailed his way back to that nostalgic small town. Everything had changed to Luhan’s surprise. The small town he used to know had grown into a prosperous trade center, into a big modern town. It somehow broke Luhan’s heart; moreover when he found out that Sehun’s secret place had long gone.
The dock was still there though. But Luhan no longer thought that it was abandoned. It looked good as new, neat and clean, far different from what Luhan had on his brain memory. Luhan walked to its edge. No more creaky sounds, huh, he thought. And he was just sitting there, randomly staring at the whole town that had totally changed, feeling the familiar breeze the wind brought on his skin.
“Hey you”, Luhan jumped on his seat in surprise. Again.