It had been already two years since he and Eunsup had made the promise to see each other again, but the ending events during 2020 had transformed it into an empty promise laying deep in Yeong's heart and repeating as a mantra every night before he went to sleep. He always thought about how would it be to hug him again, if he had had the heart to finally declare his feelings for Nari and ask her out, how the twins were doing and even how could Eunsup react were Yeong to tell him his parents went back together and now he also had two small sweethearts to look after.
These past days, to only make things worse, the memories had been stronger, more frequent; their first meeting when Eunsup fainted, the way he would move around in such a stupidly cute way, the day they had to switch places and all the trouble Eunsup made because Yeong told him he had to cut his hair, and even then, the most hurtful of them all was their last meeting, when Yeong was going back to the kingdom of Corea and he had hugged Eunsup for the first and last time, much less tighter than he would like to think.
Myeong Seungha, who he had grown to feel comfortable around in the past years, even ending up dating her for a change in routine, was the first one to pull him out of gis mind that day. It was a Saturday, which ment Lee Gon was out with Taeeul in another dimension, so she was actually the only one who could interrupt his train of thought right now.
"Are you ok? You've been weird these last couple of days" Seungha said, laying a hand on his shoulder after she was sure no-one else was around.
Yeong smiled slightly, checking for himself the surroundings and grabbing Seungha's hand in his, kissing her knuckles in something he attempted to be a reassuring manner, "Don't worry, it's just that his majesty has been spending too much time in his study lately and it has me restless"
Seungha seemed to not be very convinced by his answer, but didn't have the time to voice it out or demand a real explanation from Yeong because the heavy footsteps approaching them made her walk away immediatly after a "It's settled then, captain", something that had become their cover to not be found within the palace.
"Yeong-ah!" that was Lee Gon's vocie, and surely seconds later there was the extremely happy, ear-to-ear face of his king coming towards him as if he had discovered the solution to Riemann's hypothesis. "You need to come with me, now!"
And Yeong didn't have enough time to react, because seconds later he was being pulled away by Gon and down the hall, destination set to Gon's study probably, the why to such emotion feeding the older man startlingly uneasy to Yeong.
"Something big happened, you know?" Gon said, looking back at him and impossibly enlarging his smile.
Yeong was impossibly scared by what that could mean.
Back at the republic of Korea, about a week before the current event, Eunsup came behind Taeeul, eyeing what she was doing on the computer of the station silently, startling the woman when she looked to the side and found him standing next to her like a creep, diverting chief Park's and Jangmi's attention to her, questioning eyes focused on the unexplained situation.
"My god, you scared me!" Taeeul reprimanded, hitting Eunsup's shoulder slightly.
"Noona, have you known anything about King Arthur?" Eunsup asked, turning his head to Taeeul who's eyes went as big as a pair of football balls. "Because I tought I had seen him today, but when I went up and hugged him, he looked at me weirdly and threatened to call the cops on me" he explained, looking confused and dissapointed, "I didn't know his name was Lee Jihun, by the way! I just called him “King Arthur” or “His Majesty”, or even “hyung”! But he has such a cool name!"
Taeeul was astonished with what was happening, just staring at Eunsup in disbelief. Until now, she thought only Jo Yeong, Lee Gon and herself were the ones to remember the events before Gon changed the course of history in his world, but Eunsup also remembered? This was the biggest surprise someone had given her after all the trouble Gon went through to end up with her again.
"That's his counterpart on this world, just as Nari is Myeong Seungha's and you are Jo Yeong's" Taeeul explained, those two were the clearest examples she could give him, his own doppelganger and Nari's, who, she had only found out through Gon recently, Eunsup had hugged twice thinking it was Nari while he was in the hospital after the bullet he took for Gon.
"I should have guessed" Eunsup said after a sigh, propping himself on the work desk and looking down at his hands, fidgeting a bit. "So you don't know anything of him?"
Taeeul smiled, leaning back on the chair and moving slightly from side to side, impulsed by her feet. "It took some time, but we have been meeting every weekend since we found each other again" the loving expression on her face made Eunsup coo at her, pulling out a pout and hugging her with dramatized reassurment. "But, Eunsup, how do you remember them?"
Eunsup straightened up, looking serious all of a sudden, "You see, it was kind of a shock, because I didn't remember them at first, but then I came across a little kid playing with a yo-yo who told me about all of this, the next thing I know, I miss them with my soul!" again, Eunsup over dramatized the situation a bit, faking a crying face while hugging Taeeul again, feeling the stares of the other men in the room strong against his back.
That week's weekend, Taeeul convinced Eunsup to leave the twins with Nari and for him to prepare some clothes as a disguise, taking him with her to the bamboo forest where she was supposed to meet Lee Gon for their weekly date. Eunsup looked fascinated to see the pillars rise again after such a long time, and he was the one to take Gon's hand when it came out of the portal, hugging him with an explanation of "King Arthur!" as soon as his whole body was inside that weird place.
"Jo Eunsup?" asked Gon, taken completly aback by the situation and being late to return the hug, only trying to do so when Eunsup separated from him and started to tell him everything he had told Taeeul about how he remembered everything that had happened.
And so, when Gon opened the doors to his study and brought Yeong through them as fast as he could, quickly closing back the door behind them, he enjoyed as one would a buffett when seeing the face of his captain taking Jo Eunsup into his field of view, getting away from Gon's grasp and completly ignoring Jeong Taeeul as he made quick work to hug Eunsup, unable to believe the man was actually there until he felt arms wrapping back around his torso.
There —his mind only registering the warmth of the man that was his own self but at the same time someone completly different— he allowed himself to let the tears he had been holding the past two years fall, hiding his face in Eunsup's shoulder and tightening his grip, not even minding to hold back his unstable breaths or sobs.
It seemed like Gon made a sign or something to Taeeul because, soon enough, both of them were exiting the room hand in hand, leaving the other two men to enjoy the comfortable atmosphere of their reunion. Yeong thanked them mentally, he hadn't cried this much in a long time, and even if it was embarassing still to do so, now it was only Jo Eunsup and himself in the room, Yeong could give himself the privilege to enjoy the comfort he once gave the other.
"If this was going to happen I wish I would have gotten my memories back earlier" Eunsup commented wholeheartedly, trying to lighten the sad mood a bit, his own tears drying on his cheeks.
Yeong had no strength to give a remarkig comment, too comfortable in Eunsup's embrace he only hit his back softer than what he would have liked, but the sweet giggles he elicited from the both of them were enough to keep him smiling.
"Have you been well?" Yeong asked, sighing contently at the small shift that only made the hug tighter.
"Mmh…" Eunsup answered, and Yeong was about to make another question when the other won him in speed, "how are things with you?"
Yeong smiled, and then went on on telling Eunsup all the things that had happened in the time they had been apart, earning excited responses from him and even demand on photos of the twins when he found out Yeong's parents had also decided to have them, squealing around because "they're just like Eunbi and Kkabi", and then went on on telling him everything the twins had done lately and how much they had grown since Yeong took care of him, and yeah, Yeong wasn't fine before, he had been at the edge of breaking and begging the king to take him to the other world and letting him see Eunsup even at a distance, but now that he was having a conversation that lasted until the early hours of the morning and startled prime minister Mo when she saw that only Yeong and "a happier version of captain Jo" we're inside the study, Yeong knew his soul had been longing for this since the moment he knew their timelines were going to change drastically.