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promise me you'll stay beyond the sunrise

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Waking up just before sunrise was like clockwork to Saeran. His body always managed to wake him up just in time to see the sun’s golden rays start to creep over the horizon and through the window.

When he was a child, this was his only true moment of peace after Saeyoung left. His mother was always laid drunkenly passed out on the living room couch, the empty bottles and cans thrown carelessly around her. While she slept, Saeran would lie in bed and watch as the sun grew higher above the horizon line and more of the warm rays bloomed and spread about his room. It was like a new show every day, with different tints of pinks, purples, reds, yellows, and oranges were brushed softly onto the sky above him. It was the only time of day it was quiet, the only time he was ever truly happy.

But the spell was always broken when he heard the crunch of a bottle can, and stomping footsteps coming to tie him up again.

When he was taken in by Rika and became a part of the Mint Eye, Ray would make his way to the garden once he was awoken by the glimmering light. He would stay up as late as he had to every night to make sure enough work was done to permit a break in the morning to stroll through the garden. He admired the way that dew drops had formed on the flower petals and leaves, and the way that the light refracted through them. He felt the most free here, in this corner of paradise he cherished the most cast in warm light.

But the spell was always broken when one of the believers brought him his first serving of the elixir for the day, and drank every drop before returning to a room only lit by computer screens.

When he was Saeran, all hard edges and poorly patched up holes, he stopped going to the garden to watch the sunrise. He detested the thought of anyone knowing he found enjoyment in watching the sun slowly ascend through the sky and cast warmth over him. He had his own room where he would rarely take rest in, but the room had a small window he could watch the morning through. He hid away by himself and sat silently as the sun shone through and slowly filled him with the energy he needed to get through the day. Only then were his thoughts quiet and his rage kept at bay.

But the spell was always broken when he woke from his trance to the beeping coming from his computers. He slammed the door shut as he stormed out of the room, as if somehow the light’s rays would chase him and whisper to him how weak he truly was.

When you came to the Mint Eye to help test his game, Ray watched the sunrise through the kitchen window as he prepared you breakfast. He missed his strolls in the garden, but he was far too busy now taking care of you to find time to steal away to his corner of paradise. Of course he was alright with it though as long as it meant that you were being cared for. He still got to watch the sun slowly rise as he prepared whatever extravagant dish he had planned to serve you this morning, and the feeling it filled him with to know that you were in your room waiting for him with a smile made it all worthwhile.

The spell only intensified when he walked into the room with your breakfast in hand, and he saw as the golden beams weaved themselves through your hair and somehow made your smile even brighter than before.

When Saeran came barreling out again in full force, he stopped watching the sunset. The image of your sleeping form all curled up in your bed as the sun’s rays washed over you completely sickened him, and he couldn’t look at that damned sunrise without thinking of how pathetic you looked while you slept so soundly. It wasn’t like he had time to steal away to his room if he wanted anyway, he was too busy fighting against that damned red head. Any free time he had was used to storm to your room and torture you, or to taunt you in the chatrooms.

He didn’t need you, and he didn’t need to sunrise’s spell to energize him.

The morning after Saeran- or, Ray? He didn’t even know anymore. After his visit to you in the middle of the night where he had whispered confessions about his slow discovery of who he truly was, he went to the garden again to watch the sunrise. He didn’t get to stroll about and watch as the light refracted through the droplets, instead he was hiding away from the believers that were trying to hunt his down.
But behind this blue rose bush, he still had a lovely view of the sunset that had followed him throughout all those painful years. The sunrise had been the only constant, the only thing he knew would never abandon him when he needed it. And now, in this moment, he needed it most. He at least got to see how the rays shone on the dark petals of the flowers in front of him, how the dew slowly dripped off the thorns to plop into the grass.

He felt like a thorn that was finally thawing after the morning’s frost, once having a cold protective sheet covering him. Now this sheet had melted, only to leave these sharp edges he had made himself into to protect his heart that had been broken so many times.

He didn’t want to have to be sharp and cold just to protect himself anymore.

Once the dance of the sunrise finally finished, he slowly got up and brushed himself off, ready to turn himself into the Savio- into Rika, and face whatever was next for him.

On your first morning alone after you and Saeran escaped together, he woke up just on time to watch the sunrise. You were curled away from him, as if instinctively trying to seek the warmth of the beams creeping into the window. He moved closer to you and wrapped his arms around you, holding you close to him. He felt you shift a bit and hum as you slowly started to wake. Eventually you turned in his arms onto your back to face him, and you smiled at him with a hint of sleep still in your eyes. He felt a bubble of overwhelming affection float through his chest as he brushed your hair behind your ear.

He gave you a soft but slow kiss before speaking, “Good morning sunshine.”

You let out a little giggle at the endearment, but it was the highest honor he felt he could give you. Before you came into his life, the only warmth he felt was the sun’s rays casting over him. Now that you’ve become a permanent part in your life, he could only feel a warmth coursing through his body that burned brighter the closer you were. And now that you were right here, safe and in his arms, he felt like he was on fire in all the best ways possible.

He couldn’t help himself as he moved to pepper your face in kisses, and he moved down to your jawline, following the hollow of your throat to the curve of your collarbone. The more kisses he placed the harder you giggled, and it made him feel like the bubble in his chest was about to burst.

Finally, he moves to lock eyes with you again, and he looks so deeply into your soul as he smiles the most genuine smile in maybe his entire life, and he says,

“I love you, my sunshine.”

He knows as long as you’re by his side, he’ll never have to miss the warmth of the sun ever again.