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09 November 2014 @ 08:09 am
dry like sparks ××× for drainbamage954  
Written for: drainbamage954
: dry like sparks
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 8,800
Summary: “If you want me to do something for you,” the demon explains, his hands full of lightning bolts. “Then there’s something you must to for me first.”
Warning/s: ...the author denies a certain person the right to come...and shirtless jongdae. yeah.
Author's Note: (optional) to my recipient, I originally wrote a different prompt of yours (number 7, if you’re curious)...but after some issues with gdocs it was deleted (it was extremely upsetting) and I was too depressed to rewrite that prompt so...you get this one instead. I hope you enjoy it and it meets your expectations for a gift fic (sorry it’s rushed...I didn’t have the time I wanted to devote to it). Thank you to everyone who let me whine at them about being intimidated to write for this exchange and recipient and thank you to F who forced me to finally just get my shit done. (also, apologies for all grammatical errors. I’m lazy.)

The air around the castle tastes like dust and dead foliage, and the air inside the stone structure itself isn’t faring much better. Throughout the kingdom, the famine has destroyed just about everything, the drought that caused it continuing on without any sign of an approaching end- not a single cloud in sight for miles.

Luhan stands in the crook of one of the battlements, the sleeve of his long apprentice’s robe pressed over his mouth in an effort to block the dust from getting in his lungs. It’s not that he couldn’t spell the dust away from him, but rather that his emotions are a bit too unstable for that at the moment.

Below him, crossing the lowered drawbridge, is a wagon decorated in black, a coffin set with iron and opal the only passenger. The slight sheen of a protective ward Luhan had forced himself to cast covers the parade as mourners follow the wagon out.

If the queen’s death had been hard, the princess’ death is even more so.

Energy shifts behind the apprentice sorcerer, and he turns, hoping the sleeve pressed to his face can hide the lone tear rolling down his cheek.

“My prince?” He asks, voice muffled. He glances down at parade, headed by the king and his guard, and takes in the absence of the prince before he turns to look at him again. “My prince you should be with the mourners. Your sister-”

“Whether or not I mourn will not bring her back,” the prince says. His voice is hard, but his eyes are still puffy, the whites appearing a bit too red. “And besides, I may join her anyway.”

Luhan blinks, the words sinking in. “My- my prince?”

“Call me by name, Luhan, please,” the prince demands. “No one is around here to hear you. And I prefer my last days to be spent with a friend saying my name than a servant calling my title.” The word friend stabs a bit too harshly into Luhan’s chest. It’s a reminder of what will never be, could never be.

And now apparently, fate would never even allow.

Luhan feels a bit sick, but he swallows the bile in his throat and steadies himself with a hand on the cold stones of the battlements. “Minseok, then,” he amends, but says nothing else. After all, what does one say to an admission of eventual death?

“Can’t you...magic me better?” Minseok says, and his voice edges on begging, but his posture is rigid, proud. Luhan feels like crying, but his magic would be prone to attacking anything around him, including his prince, if he were to let that happen. Strong, negative emotions, are the first thing apprentice sorcerers are taught to control as they are the first things to take a sorcerer’s magic out of his control.

Luhan shakes his head. “No. You know I cannot.” Minseok blinks and lowers his head.

“It was worth asking anyway,” he says. “I’m certain you would heal me if you could, my friend.” Another knife joins the first, but Luhan forces a smile. Minseok does not need to be surrounded by sadness for at least a few moments.

“Of course I would,” Luhan responds. “My prince.” My love. Minseok nods and turns to leave. Before he can lift his hood, Luhan sees the veins on his neck standing out in stark blue against his pale skin, and his heart sinks to his feet. Indeed, the prince is very sick, and Luhan is helpless to save him. It’s not until the prince has returned inside the castle, and the tail end of the parade is out of sight, that Luhan lets himself crouch down, sag against the castle walls, and cry.

No one questions him about the scorch marks left behind on the stones. These are hard times of famine, drought, and death, and the royal sorcerers are under public scrutiny to solve it- but healing is not a possible magic. They’re just as helpless.


The usually damp air of the sorcerers’ chambers have also been overrun by the drought, the air tasting only of dry paper and the crackle of magic instead of the usual hint of wine and fresh ink. It has been a few weeks since Luhan has descended his steps. As an apprentice, Luhan is not allowed into the library unless his master grants him access. Luhan had assumed his master had wanted to work with the two new apprentices, as Luhan is nearing the completion of his training, but the lack of his master’s presence filling the room tells him his assumptions had been wrong.

“Master?” Luhan calls out. He hears a book slam closed. He descends the final few steps, and whispers the words to clear the dust from around him. He breathes easily, stepping up to face his master where he sits at his desk.

He bows. “Master. You called for me.” And quite an odd thing that was too. Usually his master sends for him with magic, but today he had sent a serving girl.

“I did,” the sorcerer says. He appears young for his true age, his hair nearly white in color but his jaw clean shaven. “I have something I must ask of you.” The weight of responsibility at his master’s words begins to hover over Luhan’s shoulders. He steals himself.

“Yes, Master?” The sorcerer looks directly at Luhan, the crowsfeet at the corners of his eyes creased in a proud smile. His eyes however, appear weak, the deep color of his irises glazed over with a reality Luhan is too scared to accept.

“I need you, my boy, to do something about this drought.”

The request is heavy in the air, settling fully onto Luhan’s shoulders and nearly bowling him over with its force. He takes a step back, panic tight in his chest.

“Master, I don’t know if I can-”

“Luhan.” The air is still. The sorcerer stands, the deep navy and silver of his robes flaring out dramatically. The man is tall, and his presence is worth ten men. Luhan fights with himself to not drop to his knees.

“Luhan, I cannot do anything. Do you understand? I am incapable of anything to help our king and our nation,” the sorcerer says. Luhan flinches. He’s next in line for the position his master holds, and if his master can do nothing, what can he, an apprentice, even hope to accomplish?

“I do not know where to look, what to do, Master, please-!”

“Luhan,” his master stops him again. “I am Head Sorcerer, and I am your Master Chanyeol. You listen to me. You can save us; I know you can.” He pauses a moment, balancing himself with a hand on the desk. “This library is yours to use for now. The books will not even permit me to read them. I can do nothing.” He says nothing more, but he doesn’t need to- Luhan understand. Joonmyun sweeps out of the room, past Luhan, and up the steps, leaving the apprentice to stand alone in his thoughts.

If his master can do nothing, if his eyes are so weak as they were, if means only one thing- Chanyeol too has fallen sick. For a full-fledged sorcerer, sickness is nearly always able to be overcome- but in the process of healing, the sorcerer’s ability to use magic is taken away as his body utilizes it as energy towards healing himself. His master is fully incapable of even reading the language of magic as it is written in the many books of the library in his chambers, and therefore the task is up to Luhan.

He can’t do this. He doesn’t have the skill yet, the knowledge, to fulfill his master’s request.

Luhan stands in the library, feeling heavy and helpless for the second time within a span of two days. Even with his master sick, even with the man he would never be allowed to love sick, Luhan is still too scared to do anything. If he were to mess up, the results would be disastrous- a thousand fold worse than the drought and the famine and the death combined.

“I’m sorry,” he whispers to no one. And then he turns his back on the library and leaves, closing the door the chambers firmly behind him.


“Luhan!” The squeal of one little boy reaches Luhan’s sleep addled brain before the other squeal does, even though it is doubtless that the two new apprentice’s yelled in perfectly timed unison.

“Luhan!” Heated glares pass over Luhan’s sleeping form, and he groans.

“Why are you two here?” He asks, clutching his blankets tighter to himself and reaching to drag his pillow back. The pillow is snatched away just as his fingertips reach it.

“No!” That’s Baekhyun, for sure, Luhan thinks. “You said you would play with us today!”

“No I did not,” Luhan tries to protest reaching blindly for his pillow. Little fingers curl in his hair and tug sharply.

“Yes you did!” That’s Kyungsoo, and if the boy believes it, it must be true. Kyungsoo is quite practical for a five-year-old after all. Luhan groans again, but the two boys are already running around happily at the foot of Luhan’s bed, their gold embroidered apprentice robes, the embroidery color for beginners, flashing in the dim light of Luhan’s room. He wonders just how early in the morning it really is.

“Come on, Luhan,” Baekhyun begs after he’s tackled to the ground by Kyungsoo. The six-year-old’s grin is easy, happy. “Let’s play!” Luhan sighs, watches the two wrestle with his pillow for a bit before he gives in.

“Stand outside,” Luhan demands not unkindly. The two freeze in their playfight to pout at him.

“I have to change you brats,” he says. “Go on.”

Kyungsoo grabs Baekhyun’s hand. “Ok. Five minutes.” He holds out his hand as if to demonstrate the number.

“No going back to sleep!” Baekhyun sing-songs, and then tugs on Kyungsoo’s hand and the hurry out the door, throwing suspicious glances at Luhan all the while. At soon as his door closes, Luhan drops back on his mattress. Those kids are rambunctious and far too cute for their own good. He rolls over. Three more minutes is acceptable, right?

“I said no sleeping!” Baekhyun screeches, peeking in from the crack of the barely opened door. Luhan jerks up. A spark flies off his index finger and zaps Baekhyun on the nose. The kid falls back, and the door falls shut. Luhan sighs.

Get up, he tells himself, get dressed. Boys to keep out of trouble.


At dinner that night, Luhan frees the cooks from bothering with them, setting out bread and cheese all on his own, getting juice for the three of them to share. He had been laughing at the two boys attempting to build forts on their plates with their food, when Kyungsoo suddenly bursts out,

“Baekhyunnie, did you know Luhan loves the prince!” He squeals in delights, clapping his hands together. Baekhyun grins at him.


“I bet you didn’t!” Kyungsoo says.

“I did too know!” Baekhyun argues. “But you want to know something else?”

Kyungsoo’s eyes get very big. “What?” He demands. Baekhyun glances at Luhan who is watching them both intently, smile frozen on his face. He leans in close to Kyungsoo and says in a loud whisper,

“He doesn’t think the prince will ever love him back.” Kyungsoo gasps and draws back before he shoves at Baekhyun.

“Yes he does!” Kyungsoo argues, “If he didn’t, he would-” The two freeze in their squabble, eyes wide.

“My prince!” They blurt out, and hurry to bow, bonking their heads on the countertop in two quick successive thunks before straightening up, scowling and rubbing at the new marks on their foreheads. They look at each other before bursting out in giggles again.

“Hello, boys,” Minseok greets. He ruffles their hair. “Apprentice Baekhyun, Apprentice Kyungsoo.” He turns towards Luhan who keeps his eyes strictly on the floor and not directed towards Minseok’s neck where the signs of his advancing sickness are surely growing darker.

“Luhan,” he finishes his greetings.

“My prince,” Luhan returns. He looks at the two apprentices sitting across from him. “I’m sorry boys, I’m feeling a bit…” He doesn’t finish his sentence, and he’s not sure what word would fit the context anyway. “I’ll see you tomorrow for lessons, ok?”

The other two nod quickly and return to their food.

“Be sure to go to bed soon,” Luhan orders. No response. He reaches across the counter and taps them both on the head. “Yes?”

“Yes, Luhan,” they chorus. Luhan then brushes past Minseok and leaves, unable to bear being in his presence when any moment he could collapse to never get up again.


Luhan struggles to fall asleep that night, his fears about the prince dying plaguing his thoughts, and he’d rather not dream about watching another parade leave the castle, another coffin decorated in iron and opal the only passenger on a wagon. He pulls his blanket close to his chin, tosses and turns. He plays with sparks between his fingertips, but nothing he does can shake the feeling of wrongness that has settled around his throat like a vice.

He hears a frantic whispering from the hallway. He recognizes one of the maids, and he hears Kyungsoo screeching and crying.

“No, Apprentice! You cannot go in!” He makes out. Luhan holds still one more moment. He hears Kyungsoo scream at her to let him go, and Luhan dashes out of bed, pulling on his robe over his sleeping pants and jamming his feet into his boots. He hears the maid scramble to grab hold of Kyungsoo again, and Luhan dashes forward.

He throws open the door. “What is going on?” He demands. The maid releases Kyungsoo in shock, and Kyungsoo nearly falls as he stumbles forward. The tears on his round cheeks are obvious, and the hiccups in his breaths are tell-tale signs as well. Luhan falls to his knees immediately, opening his arms for the boy to run into. He runs his fingers through the kid’s hair, pats his back, and rocks gently.

“Kyungsoo,” he whispers, “Kyungsoo, what’s wrong?” Kyungsoo turns his face and glares as best he can at the maid. Luhan gives her a curt nod, a dismissal. He looks back at the kid, watches his lower lip tremble.

“What happened?” He asks again. Kyungsoo’s little fingers curl tight into the front of Luhan’s robes.

“S-something is wr-wrong with Baek-kyunnie!” He wails, and his eyebrows are furrowed, and he’s so upset and Kyungsoo is never unreasonably upset. Luhan grabs Kyungsoo’s chin, forces the child to look at him.

“What’s wrong with him?” He demands, but he can feel a sinking in his gut and he knows exactly what is wrong.

“He’s breathing funny!” Kyungsoo cries, “And he’s got these marks here-” Luhan doesn’t give the apprentice another chance to explain, but staggers to hit feet, still clutching the five-year-old to his chest, and dashes off in the direction of the boys’ room.

He bursts inside, and his heartbeat is racing with panic, his throat feeling choked. Kyungsoo scrabbles from his hold, accidentally undoing the knot at the front of Luhan’s robe. It hangs open over his bare chest, but Luhan doesn’t mind something so trivial when someone as precious as Baekhyun is lying prone on his bed.

Kyungsoo runs to him and grabs his hand. “Baekhyun,” he says. “Baekhyunnie!” Luhan watches the boy trying to reach the other one, and he watches Baekhyun lie still, stares at the blue standing out against his neck.

The sickness from the drought comes on fast, the symptoms taking hours to appear and then days more to have an effect, but for the children, it leads to death in as little as a few hours.

Luhan clenches his fist. Baekhyun cannot die; he won’t allow it.

The air crackles around him. Kyungsoo looks up.

“Luhan,” he says tearfully. “Luhan he won’t wake up!” Baekhyun’s little chest is still moving though, but his face is twisted in pain, and something in Luhan just snaps.

“I’m going to save him, Kyungsoo,” he promises. He walks over, kneels down in front of the boy. “I promise you.” Kyungsoo nods, wiping fitfully at his face with the hem of his nightgown. He presses his hand to his heart and holds something out to Luhan. It shimmers green- Kyungsoo’s magic. Luhan shakes his head.

“You need this,” he says gently. Kyungsoo points at Baekhyun.

“I want to…” he says, but doesn’t finish his sentence, just points a bit more stubbornly. “But I don’t know how to!” Luhan sighs, but he understands. Magic cannot save lives, but it can do other things to preserve it.

“I’ll halt time over him, ok?” Luhan says. “But keep your magic. I have plenty.” Luhan stands, presses a kiss to Baekhyun’s forehead, and whispers word to ward away time over the boy. Baekhyun is covered in faint purple, the glow of Luhan’s magic settling around him. He nods to Kyungsoo. “Now keep your magic.” The boy slowly brings his hand back to his chest, pressing the magic back inside of him. It’s the best way for him to keep himself healthy, and Luhan’s heart is already tearing painfully with just one boy painted in blue bruises.

“Keep him safe, Kyungsoo,” Luhan says. And then he turns on his heel, his robe streaming out behind him, the purple robe with the gold and silver embroidery flashing in the light of the sparks of his own energy.

Fear is the second to most devastating emotion to ruin a sorcerer’s magic. Heart-break is the first, and Luhan is victim to both.

The door to the library in the sorcerer’s chambers is blasted from it’s hinges, but Luhan can’t bring himself to care as he descends in a rage to the bottom of the steps. He calls out titles of summoning books, books on weather, and books on disease in the language of magic. The books come to him. He presses his fingers to the spines of the books, allowing them to whisper to him their contents, their secrets. He throws away tome after tome, volume after volume, flips past page after page.

Demons can be contracted to your bidding,” one books whispers, “They have powers over the world far beyond the abilities of sorcerers.” Luhan’s hand closes firmly over this book- lets the ingredients be read to him, lets his own mouth call for them.

He’s still speaking out the list of items he requires as he exits the library, scorch marks burned into the rugs and stones under his feet as he all but runs to the summoning tower. The summoning tower is laid with a chalk circle, candles set in the five points of the star, offerings of the elements set at each cardinal direction. Along the lines connecting all the points together, Luhan orders the ingredients for a summoning to spell out his requirements, his contract. The book in his grip whispers frantically to him, but Luhan is too entranced in his spell to notice.

The air around him begins to sing, and Luhan lets the force of it cut his palms, drip his blood on the points of the star, lets his magic light the candles, and speaks out the spell. In the language of magic, Luhan feels the height of the spell approach, sees the moon hanging over the castle, and calls out.


The air howls, the offerings and ingredients scream, flowing together and inward. The candles blow out, and for one long, frightening moment, Luhan thinks he has failed. But his magic still moves within his chest, so he waits.

Lightning, a long bolt of it, purple like Luhan’s magic, streaks from the sky, and strikes the center of the summoning circle. Luhan’s magic stops. Everything is quiet.

And then the very energy of the earth seems to screech out at a gate is forced open, a long cackle in the most musical voice coming from behind the iron bars. The sky flashes with lightning, and Luhan is terrified. The land is too dry for lightning, he needs rain… and yet…

“So you’re the one who called me.”

Luhan’s attention snaps back to the gates, but they’re gone. In their place is a man with rams horns and snake eyes, a lion’s tail and a cat’s grin. He walks with the grace of a leopard, but his presence is that of a king, and Luhan feels far more like prey than predator.

Far more like the contractee than the contractor.

“Yes,” he says, forcing his voice to be strong, but the demon’s crooked grin grows in a smirk, and Luhan knows his attempts are futile. He forces onward anyway. “I am Luhan. I am your contractor.”

“Ah, Luhan,” the demon murmurs. He steps forward, and his eyes rake over Luhan’s form. His teeth glint in the dim light of the moon, the only source available. “A beautiful name for a beautiful boy such as yourself.” He leers. “Are you often so underdressed?”

Luhan blushes. He shouldn’t. The demon before him wears trousers and nothing else. His feet and torso are bare. Jewelry hangs from his ears and around his neck but does nothing to deter his lack of modesty- rather, it seems to enhance it.

“It’s not your concern,” he says.

The demon cackles. “Of course it’s not.” Luhan turns his face towards the sky and then back towards the demon where he is walking slowly out of the summoning circle. His gait is more of a sashe, slinking and graceful, and all things the ladies of the courts blush about. Luhan does his best to not be affected.

“So you are the rain demon who is to assist me,” Luhan says, but even as the words leave his mouth he’s assaulted with the possibility, the probability that it isn’t true.

The demon snorts and cackles. “A rain demon?” His eyebrow arches perfectly over the red of his eyes. “Tell me, young sorcerer, do I seem like a rain demon to you?” And the word ‘no’ hovers on the tip of Luhan’s tongue, but the demon takes another step, and then another, caging Luhan in with his back against the stone wall. “Tell me,” the demon continues, “Just what type of demon do you think I really am?”

He kisses Luhan then, and his mouth is like fire, like ice, like summer like winter, like the calm and the storm, and most of all he takes like air after lightning strikes down, and Luhan is gasping into his mouth, his hands flat on the demon’s naked chest to either pull him closer or push him away, he isn’t sure. He succumbs too easily to the demon licking his way into his mouth, his sharp teeth snagging on Luhan’s lips, and Luhan gasps. His senses are realing, and it’s wrong, it’s so wrong but this lightning demon-

The demon is gone suddenly, stepping back and away, his teasing, wicked grin still firmly in place. Luhan’s hands tingle with sparks that are not his own, and his mouth tastes sweetly of danger.

“So you’ve figured it out then,” the demon coos. Luhan nods, his eyes wide.

The spell had failed. He hadn’t summoned a rain demon at all but rather this demon with his purple sparks that could nearly be mistaken for Luhan’s own. “A lightning demon,” he whispers, horrified.

“That’s right!” The demon nearly cheers. He claps once, and lightning flashes briefly in the sky. “Chen is my name. Though I suppose you could command me to do something for you should you ever learn my true name.” he laughs, and lightning flashes again.

“This weather is truly dry,” he says, flicking his fingers around as if testing the static in the air, “Surely you meant to call a rain demon if you thought I was one.” He snorts. “Would have been far better of you to call my cousin Suho.”

“But I-” Luhan tries to defend, because he had wanted someone like this ‘Suho’ apparently.

“He did hear your call,” Chen continues, “I’m pretty sure most of us weather demons did- but you weren’t very specific, so I stepped into your portal first.” He grins. “Haven’t been to the human world in ages. Greece was much prettier than this.”

Luhan gawks. “You knew I wasn’t calling for you? You knew and you you came anyway?” He yelling now, letting his anger get the best of him. But the sparks that fly from him are nothing compared to the one Chen breathes easily, so he doesn’t mind letting them fly. “You bastard!”

Chen laughs. “We demons do tend to be tricksters. Or did no one tell you that?” The honest answer is no, no one had. Master Chanyeol hadn’t bothered to teach Luhan summoning yet, and apparently the intricacies that can’t be contained in a book would have been useful for this venture. Luhan had been enraged though, and his irrational mind hadn’t thought to consult his master first. Luhan stays silent.

“Anyway, your demands are for rain,” Chen says. He claps his hands, and a single bolt of lightning strikes down next to him. In it’s wake, a scroll glowing silver and etched in pale blue words, hovers beside Chen. He turns to read it quickly. Then he smiles.

“But your terms of the contract are not fulfilled yet, are they?”

Luhan blinks. “What?” He shakes his head. “No! I am your contractor! Your master! You are to do nothing but follow my demands!” Chen tuts at him, shaking his own head in much the same manner.

“Such a naive boy,” he says, “You’re master must not have taught you well then. Or you’re stupid. But I’m banking on the latter.” Chen holds out the scroll, waves it around so that Luhan cannot read it.

“This says that upon fulfillment of this contract, the demon, myself, shall be returned to him equally the the request that the sorcerer, yourself, demands.” The scrolls snaps shut and disappears in a shower of sparks. Luhan glares. Chen opens his eyes wide.

“O my, the boy has claws,” he teases. “Regardless, as is the case with all demons, especially those of my caliber, I shall not fulfill any request you make until you can tell me my real name. And since I love games, that is my request to you. Tell me my true name.”

Luhan understands this request, knows what Chen means. The language of magic gives everything a true name, but people do not commonly know their own. Most people aren’t even aware that they have any name other than their birth one.

“Do you know yours?” Luhan asks then, gritting his teeth. Chen smiles.

“Who knows?” He says. “I hear it is those who know a demon best who know his name.” His eyes trace Luhan’s form again. “How I’d love to know you.”

Luhan’s eyes still narrow. “And can you fulfill my request of bringing this drought to an end? Of ending this famine? Of curing disease? Can you bring rain?”

Chen whirls on him, his eyes flashing, his hair standing on end with his power. “You do not doubt me, little sorcerer. That is my first small task of you. The third can be done by none but God, but as for the rain...my power is more than you can comprehend, and you will not doubt me.” The winds quiets and the lightning stops just as suddenly as it had started.

“Now then,” Chen finishes, “Do we have an agreement?” And Luhan has no choice but to fit their palms together, and allow the magic of their contract to form purple circlets around their wrists, a mark of a contract, a mark of a claim.

“You’re under contract to me,” Luhan says firmly. Chen just grins.


Luhan spends the first day in the library researching demons and their true names, throwing out guess after guess at the demon as he sits calmly in one of the chairs.

“That’s never going to work,” Chen finally says after five hours of searching, random name tossing, and boredom. “True names are unique- no one has the same name. Ever.” He drags out the last word, kicking his feet up and putting them on the table. Stretched out like this, his pants hang from every dip and curve of his body, and his lack of a shirt leaves nothing to be imagined and everything to be desired.

Luhan gulps.

“It’s worth a try, isn’t it?” He looks down at the next name, debating how he can pronounce it .”Gwivviniere?”

Chen snorts. “Not even close.” Luhan curses before turning the page.

“Remember I told you you’d have to get to know me for this to work?” Chen asks. “I meant it. That’s really the only way.” Luhan scowls at him.


“That’s a woman’s name!”

By the time the sun is gone from the sky, Luhan is sitting surrounded by books from which he has exhausted lists upon lists of names. He’d even tried just talking in the lost language of magic for awhile to see if any syllables started to cause the demon to perk up.

Of course, Chen has fallen asleep at some point, so Luhan’s attempts were rather futile.

“I quit for today,” Luhan says. Chen cracks open one eye.

“Good,” he says. “You need to learn to tell names apart from cities. I assure you I am not named after any part of Russia.”

Luhan just glares at the demon. “Won’t you at least give me a hint?” The demon rubs his chin, appearing to ponder.


Luhan just shouts out in frustration. “I’m going to bed then.”

“Goodnight!” The demon calls after him, his red eyes a little too amused and the sparks on his fingertips dancing a little too happily.


Luhan gives up on finding Chen’s true name in the library on the second day when he rounds a corner and realizes there is literally an entire wall containing records of sorcerers and the demons they’ve contracted.

Chen zaps him in the forehead, and Luhan’s nose had tingled for the rest of the day with the urge to sneeze.

“Fine,” he says, rubbing at his nose and pointedly (attempting to) ignore the demon’s cackling. “Fine, we’ll play this game your way.”

So Luhan tries all sorts of things to break through to the demon. He forces him to join him on a walk around town, asks the demon all sorts of surface questions like his favorite color and what his house looks like. (Chen had blinked. “I live in a castle.” He pointed back at Luhan’s home. Of course, the contract was all binding.) Luhan forces the demon to help him make breakfast. (Chen had informed him that small talk was not a particularly fast way to get to know someone. Luhan dumped milk over his head. Chen zapped a hold into his shirt.) Luhan had even tried simply begging the demon, explaining to him about the death and the famine and prince and yet Chen had held fast.

At the end of day 4, Luhan has grown a stupid fondness for Chen and his frustrating ways. He hadn’t, however grown fond of Chen’s habit of zapping holes into his clothing.

“Why don’t you tell me what you want to do?” Luhan asks, exasperated. His poor shirts have dwindled to the tiny number of two, and he’s not sure how much more he can take. A little voice in his head whispers he could take a lot more, but Luhan isn’t listening to things like that.

Chen shrugs his shoulders. “I do not know,” he replies, “There never seems to be anything interesting happening around here-”

“Luhan!” The little voice cuts the demon off, and Luhan turns just in time to catch a five-year-old from barrelling headfirst into the door of the servants’ entrance to the kitchens.

“Kyungsoo!” He gasps. He worries for a quick moment that the little boy is sick, and checks his neck for darkening veins, but finds nothing except for a few moles. He thinks about Baekhyun, and reaches out with his magic to check the time ward. It’s still there, and Luhan relaxes finally.

“I haven’t seen you!” Kyungsoo complains, beating a hand against Luhan’s stomach. He then looks at the demon standing next to the elder apprentice, and his eyes trace over the horns on the demon’s head and the swish of his tail behind him. He stares into his red eyes, and his mouth drops open.

He tugs on Luhan’s robe. “Who is that?” He asks, pointing.

“It’s rude to point, Kyungsoo,” Luhan responds automatically, “but this is Chen. He’s...helping out.”

“Oh.” Kyungsoo says. He nods like he understands. (The kid probably does, if Luhan is honest with himself.) “With what? Are you busy?” He huffs. “I’m bored!” He grabs at Chen’s hands, getting the demon’s attention.

“Can I play with Luhan right now?” He asks very politely and sweetly. “He hasn’t played with me in a long time!” And Luhan isn’t sure what he’s expecting, but it’s definitely not for Chen to kneel down and clutch back at Kyungsoo’s hand.

“Can I play too?” He asks. “I’m also very bored. Luhan is being boring.” Kyungsoo bursts out into peels of laughter.

“Ok!” He shouts. “Hide and seek? I want to play hide and seek!” He then turns and dashes off. Luhan sighs.

“He’s always forgets to pick a seeker,” he complains to the demon, nearly leaning over to collapse into him before he realizes just what he’s doing. He turns his head, and is shocked to see Chen’s face so close to his. He jerks back, and no! his cheeks are not coloring!

“I don’t know this game,” Chen says. Luhan blinks.

“You dont know hide and seek?” He asks, nearly appalled. Chen shrugs.

“I’m not from here, you know,” he defends himself. And Luhan supposes that Chen is right, after all, so he leans in close and explains as quickly as he can. Chen grins.

“I’ll count first then. But only to twenty. So you had best start running.” And Luhan doesn’t question it a second more, just takes off away from the kitchens, following the path Kyungsoo no doubt took.

The game continues all afternoon, and after it’s turned into a game of seek-and-hide, Luhan finds himself wedged into close next to the demon and laughing with him, letting their giggles and musical cackles (the demon is quite an odd character, Luhan decides) direct Kyungsoo to their hiding place.

When Kyungsoo nods right after eating dinner in the kitchens with Luhan, it’s Chen who volunteers to carry him up to his room. Luhan walks behind, letting the five-year-old hold tightly to his hand as he dozes off with his face buried in Chen’s shoulder. As they step into the room, Chen freezes just slightly, and Luhan watches his face settle on Baekhyun.

Kyungsoo scrambles down.

“Goodnight,” he yawns. He bows slightly. “Thank you for playing.” He crawls into his bed, little apprentice’s robe still on his shoulders. “It was fun…” he finishes, voice trailing out as he falls asleep right away. Luhan smiles and brushes his fingers through the kid’s hair.

“Goodnight, Kyungsoo,” he whispers. He straightens up and stands quietly for a moment as he watches Chen watch over Baekhyun. His fingers are tracing the pattern of the ward.

“He’s sick?” Chen asks, voice barely audible even in the stillness of the room.

“Yes,” Baekhyun whispers. “I’ve stopped time over him, but it won’t last forever. He’ll die if this drought doesn’t let up and some medicine can be grown.” The demon nods solemnly, and his face is rather nostalgic.

“What are you thinking about?” Luhan asks, and he half expects the demon to shock another hole in his clothing, but Chen just smiles.

“I had a little demon once,” he says slowly, and he turns to kneel at Kyungsoo’s bed side, stroking his fingers through his hair, rubbing circles on his back. “He’s all grown up now but he used to be like this...wanting to play games all the time. Wanting just to be around me. They’re like that to you, I can tell.”

Luhan cocks his head to the side. “Really?” Chen just nods.

“Was the demon...your son?” Luhan tries, and he doesn’t even know if demons can have children but he figures all babies have to come from somewhere. Chen shakes his head.

“Not biologically,” he says, “But he was mine. Definitely my son.” And Luhan feels a pang in his chest as he realizes that Chen is a person before he’s any sort of race, before he’s a demon contracted to him, and he thinks he finally understands Chen’s words about getting to know a person.


Luhan bursts into the sorcerer’s chambers, angry tears in the corner of his eyes. He sensed Chen’s energy down here, and now here he stands, anger holding his hands in fists.

“Kyungsoo is-!” He tries to scream, but he stops when he sees Chen bent over, his head in his hands.

“Sick,” Chen finishes for him. “I know. I saw.” He stands, and his eyes are hard, focused on Luhan. “So hurry up and solve this!” He demands.

Luhan marches up to the demon, jabs his finger in his face. “Why don’t you! You’re the one with the ability to- sorcerer’s have no control over weather. It takes too much life force.”

“So you want me to do that,” Chen says, and it’s not a question. he lifts his wrist where the purple bracelet of their binding contract glows. “Of course. Because you’re powerless. Even in the face of that kid dying!”

“This is why I need you!” Luhan cries. “It’s been a week and even still…” Chen just shrugs.

“I told you what I required,” he says.

“Can you not just change it?” Luhan nearly begs. “Kyungsoo is sick too and I- I can’t lose them.” His last words fade into a whisper.

“Kyungsoo told me something when we were hiding together,” Chen says, and the subject comes out of nowhere. Luhan has to shake his head to get on track. “He says you love someone.”

Luhan swallows. He does. But he isn’t sure he should. It’s too soon.

“He seems to be convinced it’s the crown prince,” Chen continues.

Luhan looks at him. “You don’t sound convinced.” Chen stands from his chair, pacing slowly back and forth.

“It’s just that people don’t often ignore someone they’re in love with when they announce that they’re dying,” Chen answers. He turns to Luhan. “And you don’t know much about him. People tend to learn about those they love with interest. You seem a bit...distant.”

Luhan bristles. “You seem to know an awful lot about humans,” he says.

Chen lifts an eyebrow. “I said people,” he repeats, “Species is not important. It’s universal.” Luhan sighs, and Chen takes a step forward. Luhan takes one back, and he’s reminded of the first time he saw Chen. He holds his ground instead, and Chen gets dangerously close. If Luhan were to lean in even an inch, and we wants to, they’d be kissing again.

And he wants to.

The moment stretches out, and Chen says only one things more. “You don’t love the prince. You haven’t bothered to know him, to learn him. You know those kids; you love those kids. But I wonder...if you’re holding back right now.” The clock in the study clicks a few times, the demon and the sorcerer standing less than a breath away.

Luhan gives in first, crashing into Chen with his arms winding around the demon’s neck. His mouth tastes just as electric, just as hot and cold and up and down and right and wrong as the first time the demon kissed him. The taste of danger zips along Luhan’s tongue, and he moans into Chen’s mouth. The sleeve of his shirt catches on the tips of the ram’s horns on the demon’s head and tear easily. Luhan doesn’t stop to mind, he’s already slipping into a fog of want.

The demon’s arms are around his waist, his grip tight and warm and Luhan...feels wanted. He’s never felt it before, not the way he wanted to with Minseok, not the way the boys want to play with him- this type of want is special and honestly, Luhan thinks it might be more than lust.

He knows it is on his side.

Chen licks over the seam of Luhan’s lips, and Luhan opens his mouth easily for him, lets the demon do what he wants. He shivers as Chen traces the edges of his gums with his tongue, moans when his sharp teeth sink into his bottom lip and tug. Luhan cants his hips forward, and his head drops back, breath catching and mouth open as he grinds along Chen’s thigh.

Chen’s echoing groan is loud in Luhan’s ears, and he’s babbling incoherent phrases and nonstop please’s against the demon’s mouth. He feels himself being pushed backwards, and when his back hits the tapestry covered wall of his room, his body locks onto the demon, holding Chen against him. He pants into his open mouth.

“Luhan,” Chen breathes, “Luhan, let me go.” Luhan is bewildered. He shakes his head because no, he’s not letting Chen step back from this so easily. Chen looks amused, and he kisses Luhan again. “It’ll be good for you, I promise.” And demon’s should never be trusted, but Chen trusts this demon only too much.

“Ok,” he whispers, and his arms loosen from around the demon’s neck. Chen grins, and then he’s dropping to his knees in front of Luhan, his teeth tugging at the drawstrings on Luhan’s sleeping pants. His hands fit around Luhan’s hips, and Luhan watches with lust love want blown eyes as Chen’s lips curve into a smirk while Luhan’s cock curves up against his belly.

He breathes out. “Ch-” He cuts himself off because the name tastes wrong in his mouth. He settles for, “What are you doing?” The demon’s fingers tighten around his hips.

He smirks, and then he raises up from sitting on his heels and takes Luhan’s cock into his mouth. Luhan hisses.

“Fuck,” he gets out, manages to say before his words are scrambled and his thoughts are consumed by the demon on his knees, his throat, lips, tongue working around Luhan’s cock. He suckles at the tip, sinks down and hollows his cheeks the louder Luhan moans. He peppers kisses along the underside, taking a moment to press a kiss to Luhan’s thigh before he follows the same trail back up. His mouth is hot, and his lips stretched around Luhan are too much, too pretty, and Luhan has to touch.

He reaches out, and strokes gently the demon’s cheeks, feeling the hard curves of his jaw and cheekbones, before he slips one hand, followed quickly by the other, into the demon’s hair.

The demon whines, and hollows his cheeks, his tongue flat against Luhan’s cock. Luhan’s fingers tighten in the demon’s hair, and when he moans next, it is a name tumbling from his lips that he has never heard before but feels right. Feels too right not to say. The edge is too close, and Luhan should really warn the demon on his knees, but he’s finding his breath a little hard to catch.

“Jongdae,” Luhan manages to say, hands buried in the demon’s hair, wrists tickled by the edges of the ram’s horns on his head. “Jongdae-!”

The demon breaks away suddenly, and Luhan gasps, hands suddenly empty, and the warmth of another body suddenly torn away. He pants harshly, orgasm too close and yet too far.

“How did you know?” Chen demands. Luhan blinks.

“Jongdae, what-?” And it’s then that he realizes what he’s just said. “That’s it, isn’t it. Your true name.” The demon is scowling at him. He moves, and Luhan, still in his state of shock, of euphoria because (even with his pants around his ankles), he’s fulfilled his part of the contract! And Chen can-

Chen’s forearm is pressed up against Luhan’s throat, and his face is close, but the emotion on his face is closer to something Luhan knows too well. Fear. “How did you know it?” The demon demands again, and with such a human emotion on his face, Luhan can suddenly no longer see Chen, the demon, but Jongdae. Jongdae. Jongdae.

“Because I love you,” he answers as if it were obvious. “The person who knows you best knows your true name.” He quotes these words back at the demon, watches his expression soften away from fear to something closer to sadness. “I could never love someone I don’t know. Isn’t that what you said?”

Jongdae kisses him then, mouth too urgent, tongue too bitter. It tastes a little bit like goodbye.


Luhan can’t sleep that night. He’s frustrated at Jongdae- at his kiss, at his lack of words, at his not bothering to get back on his knees and let Luhan come! Most of all, he’s bothered by Jongdae’s quiet acceptance that tomorrow Luhan will ask him to fulfill his request to end the drought and save the kingdom he lives in.

How dare he want to leave so easily? How dare he step away from Luhan as if he hadn’t just told a fucking demon that he loves him?

And how dare Luhan feel that way. His chest hurts.

When the sun creeps up over the horizon, lighting up the too bright too cloudless sky, Luhan rubs a hand over his face, hoping to push the tiredness away. He gets up slowly, tugging his robes back on and ignoring the constant ache in his body.

When he opens his door, Jongdae is standing there.

“Where were you?” Luhan asks. Jongdae remains quiet, and his eyes bore into Luhan’s face.

“You didn’t sleep,” he comments. A dry laugh escapes the sorcerer.

“No,” he agrees, “No, I didn’t.”

“I didn’t either.” Luhan knows he looks shocked, and Jongdae almost looks as if he wants to copy the expression. His sadness is nearly palpable, and Luhan is tempted to pull him into his arms, to kiss him, to tell him it’s ok, that he loves him, why can’t Jongdae love him? But he doesn’t.

Because Jongdae is leaving today.

And Luhan doesn’t want him to.


“Jongdae…” Luhan tries to start, but the demon has already turned towards the summoning tower and started walking away.

“Come along, Luhan,” Jongdae calls, “I’ve a request to fulfill for you.”


It’s beautiful watching Jongdae use his power. Luhan already knew this, but watching him open his full potential, watching him split the sky with lightning, watching him call clouds from the west, call water and wind from the south, watching sweat begin to bead on his skin in the rising humidity, is both a terrifying and terrifyingly beautiful sight. Luhan doesn’t look away. He can’t.

“Tell me to fulfill this contract,” Jongdae says, his hands filled with lightning, his temples streaked with sweat. “Tell me the only way I will listen.”

And Luhan, after days of frustration, of worry, of his heart becoming fond of this demon, feels as if he’s releasing a breath he’d been holding for years when he finally speaks the demon’s true name to him with the demon’s power raging around them, a request ready to be answered.

“Jongdae,” Luhan pleads, “End this drought, please. Jongdae.

Jongdae opens his mouth, holds up his hands, and screams. Lightning flashes everywhere, touches the ground the sky, the east and the west, and yet nothing burns. The air is frighteningly still for only a moment, and then the stench of a storm rises up, and Luhan feels a snap as their contracts, breaks, fulfilled.

And even if that had been his goal, he doesn’t want the demon to leave.

He hopes Jongdae doesn’t want to either.

Finally, the skies open up, and rain pours down. Luhan stares up, lets the downpour wash his face and cleanse him of the horrible possibility that Jongdae wouldn’t fulfill his end of their bargain. Jongdae steps down from the battlements of the summoning tower. Rain falls over his body, sparks racing along his skin with each drop, and he should be exhilarated, being able to open the full potential of his power upon the human world but his eyes are focused at his feet and his shoulders are slumped.

Luhan’s own shoulders feel weighed, and he’s not sure the blame can be entirely on his heavy, soaked sorcerer’s robe. He can’t even breathe easier with the land well on it’s way to recovery, with those who are sick now having a chance at survival as long as their will is strong. Baekhyun and Kyungsoo will live, but Luhan just feels crushed.

“I suppose I will leave now,” Jongdae says. And he gestures towards the middle of the summoning circle where a bolt of lightning from Luhan’s hand will be enough to send him back. But the slope of his shoulders is regretful, the tone of his voice is just as bitter as his kiss last night, and Luhan takes a chance. His heart pounds in his chest.

Luhan’s hand closes over Jongdae’s wrist and holds tightly. Despite the sparks racing along the demon’s skin, Luhan does not want to let go.

“You’re under contract to me,” he says quietly, “You can’t just leave.” He feels the energy in Jongdae’s body change, and the demon glances up to meet Luhan’s gaze. The summoning circle behind them is getting dimmer with the rain, but Luhan doesn’t care.

“I might be under your control by the contract,” Jongdae replies, his words achingly similar to the ones he spoke when they first met, “but if you were to read the fine print, you’ll see you have to do something to garner my services.” Luhan’s smile is slow but genuine as it spreads across his face, and Jongdae’s own mouth parts to reveal those teeth that always seem to glinting at something.

“I hadn’t realized a contract could be so incomplete,” Luhan answers. Jongdae’s eyes crinkle up, the red glow disappearing with the force of his happiness.

“Yes, well, either your master is dumb or you’re simply an idiot,” he says. “I’m banking on the latter.” Luhan laughs then, and he slips his fingers into Jongdae’s, presses their palms together. The purple fading from their wrists flairs back to life, lighting up brightly in the rain.

“What would you request of me?” Jongdae asks, and his grip on Luhan’s hand tightens. He tugs the sorcerer in close to him, and they stand nose to nose, eyes lowered to focus on the other’s lips.

“I request that you love me until I die,” Luhan breathes. “How can I equally repay you?”

“Make sure your last words are for me,” Jongdae answers. “Only then will this contract be fulfilled.” His eyes glow ruby. “Now, seal this request.” And Luhan grabs Jongdae into his arms, his fingers digging into his slick skin, spark dancing along his hands, and says against the demon’s mouth,


And lightning fills the sky.
Loniodrainbamage954 on November 9th, 2014 01:43 pm (UTC)
*is back*

Firstly, I want to thank you for sticking through this. I’ve been through the nightmare of writing something and working hard on it and then the horror, loss, and desperation of losing it all due to technical difficulties. Too many instances of it has made me paranoid of losing work honesty, and I’m so sorry that this happened to you. I am glad that you found another of my prompts to work from and this one was secretly one of my favorites so I’m really happy you chose it in the end :3

I’m sorry that you felt intimidated to write for me though, and apologize if it caused unnecessary stress :c

I was actually surprised at how you took this, though pleased~ The world you made up around this was really interesting and it kept me wanting to know more, about the disease, the characters and you kept me wanting to read and get to know why they behaved, chose, and acted the way they did. The desperation in them, the futility of the situation and the way that the drought you created really came through with their actions. The way that magic works, the way their powers can speak with them and is specifically color oriented was really cool and I loved how their emotions and reactions to things directly affected the magic in the sorcerers, how Lu Han’s fluxing emotions was directly manifested in sparks and scorching was a vivid emphasis of just how greatly the situation was affecting him.

BAEKSOO AS KIDDIES was simultaneously adorable and heart breaking how they interacted with Lu Han, and how they were effected. I especially loved how he played with them and how they clearly looked to him as more of an older brother than a mentor or removed from them. It really was so cute how he played with Kyungsoo and was so caring and sweet with him~

I liked the caveat of how Lu Han had to summon ‘Chen’ (I laughed at the Suho reference) but then slowly translated the summoning into something more through his relationship with the demon. I loved the way you described Chen, how his initial actions were far more removed and cold but then as soon as he got Lu Han to act and agree to what he wanted, his true nature came through in spades. The way you structured their relationship, the slow break down of Jongdae under his interactions with Lu Han, with little Kyungsoo, and the growth between them was really nice.

I was pleasantly surprised when you manipulated Lu Han’s own mentioned feelings in order to further the story. I was honestly really confused and offset with how this story started with Xiuhan, especially with all the drops of it being a forbidden relationship that was definitely two sided, and you instead turned it into a reveal about how Lu Han himself didn’t understand the basics of love itself. I was really curious how you would push this to be Luchen when you so resolutely started it with Xiuhan and was happy for both Lu Han and Jongdae with how you maneuvered it.

The way you broke down the stereotypes and assumptions directed towards demons was really interesting, and I wanted to know more about them the more you described Jongdae (HIS BABY!!! WHAT HAPPENED WITH IS CHILD!?!?!). The way Jongdae treated Lu Han, and especially Kyungsoo and his concern over the little boy was so precious and lovely, and his actual hesitancy once Lu Han figured out his name was just ;___;

Overall, this was a lot of pleasant surprises in one story, and I really appreciate that you took the time to write this even when you had so little time and after going through the frustration of losing your first piece. Thank you so much author-nim~~!!

Edited at 2014-11-09 05:52 pm (UTC)
manda-monbulba_chan on November 9th, 2014 08:42 pm (UTC)
I- wow... I think I'm broken ;__;

this world was entirely wow and shakes fist bc shirtless demon kjd >8( (FRICK FRACK DAT FIRST KISS)
but the whole luhan falling in love made me think there would be a sad ending but there wasn't and you got my kokoro sobbing bc beAUTIfUL (also baeksoo kids bless)

((thank you so much for great fic xoxo♥))

Edited at 2014-11-09 08:48 pm (UTC)
Hannahkojafras on November 10th, 2014 04:40 am (UTC)
i just loved all of this. so much. fantastic work, i wouldn't have known it was rushed at all.

(the ending is so cute just kill me omg)
nae_jongdaenimnae_jongdaenim on November 15th, 2014 12:17 am (UTC)
Just wanted to say that I enjoyed this story so so much! i dont know what it is - chen, luhan, their personalities or luchen together but LuChen fics consistently have the most unique AUs and characterizations and yours was no exception.

Fear is the second to most devastating emotion to ruin a sorcerer’s magic. Heart-break is the first, and Luhan is victim to both.
these two lines conveyed so much, I could picture him in my mind so clearly and heart broke for Luhan. But once he got angry and started taking action, i was totally rooting for him and that sequence with the books whispering to him! chills in a good way! it was just very visual and i felt like i was transported into this other magical world. mmm!

then came Jongdae!! I have such a crush on DemonChen lol

The demon snorts and cackles. “A rain demon?” His eyebrow arches perfectly over the red of his eyes. “Tell me, young sorcerer, do I seem like a rain demon to you?”
Gone! that cocky confidence, take me chen! I'm yours lol

The push and pull between LuChen! so so good! i laughed at Chen blatantly being like ~ nyahahaha you thought you were getting a rain god, but i jumped in first! got you dumb apprentice!

Kiddie BaekSoo so cute! and then so heartbreaking.

but Chen and his son!! that killed me!! “Not biologically,” he says, “But he was mine. Definitely my son.” why am i picturing a devlish little bratSehun in my mind. or bratJongin but either way, awwwww poor bb demon let me love yoU!!! I love how you slowly peeled back the layers on DemonChen so gently and gradually until we were left with the kindhearted, sweet Jongdae we all know and love

I would actually end up quoting your fic back to you if i started writing about everything i loved so let me end with the end. oof!! hit me like freight train. It was fast but so believable that LuChen ended up loving each other so deeply and genuinely. god the romantic in me was literally melting into a puddle (that is, once i stopped hyperventilating over the fact that Jongdae would have to leave but yay! Luhan decided he wasnt gonna let him go so easily and i could let myself breathe).

“I request that you love me until I die,” Luhan breathes. “How can I equally repay you?”

“Make sure your last words are for me,” Jongdae answers.

thank you for writing this!

Edited at 2014-11-15 12:18 am (UTC)
hyewonstarrymoons on November 15th, 2014 04:31 pm (UTC)
;_____; little children baeksoo and kyungsoo's reaction to baekhyun getting sick </3 gosh though jongdae!!!!! shirtless!!! the little asshole, the whole trickster demon thing is so fitting c'mon luhan you could do better than janet LOL but when he finally got jongdae's name ♥ it was like jongdae was afraid of the exposure, of being that vulnerable to someone else ;;;; the ending, bless ♥
chibiemperor on January 8th, 2015 03:47 pm (UTC)
I really like this! I was feeling the Rumpelstilskin vibe so well and I was (am) still curious about the world and the disease owo - the beginning part with sobbing Lu really got me though TAT
i really liked this!!!!!
Kim Minseok on December 21st, 2015 10:22 am (UTC)
THIS IS OFFICIALLY ONE OF THE BEST LUCHEN AND EXO FICS I'VE EVER READ..I LOVED THIS AND everything oh my god..I laughed so hard over Master chanyeol tho and Baeksoo kids, that was so adorable and Minseok did he really die ; m ; nuuuh