The university is buzzing with life for once. Today is the biggest event the university has ever seen: two people are attempting to become God. As there can only be one God, a fight to determine the true successor has been launched. On one side stands the handsome third year engineering student Padbok. His strength are illusions and force choking people, a power most likely copied from Darth Vader. The other contestant is Thanu, a second-year medical student who took a one year long break to cultivate his powers. Said powers consist of healing, blood bending and some basic Voodoo skills. Though, the basic Voodoo skills are almost useless and require a whole strand of hair anyways. As Padbok is very protective of his perfectly styled hair this power becomes even more useless for the looming fight. One must admit, though, Padbok’s hair only looks half as good as he thinks it does.
Of course, the two aren’t contending without some angels-to-be on their side. Padbok is supported by Jack and Jill, his best university friends and, more often than not, the voice of reason. Jack is an illusionist as well, though he mostly uses his powers to cancel out the illusions created by Padbok. The whole campus would call Jack a gentle soul who tries to get along with everyone, so he tends to soothe Padbok’s victims.
Jill has more practical powers. He can move things with his mind and uses it to clear paths for Padbok. Together they are a fearsome trio on campus and most people will just leave them alone or only interact with Jack. Seriously, nobody understands why he is even friends with Padbok.
Thanu is supported by two of his juniors. One of them is the soft spoken Wayu, a freshman who recently broke up with Thanu’s friend Pha. Pha was the former God contestant but had to give up on the idea when his own powers got out of control. To everyone’s displeasure, he just vanished right after breaking up with Wayu. In a bid to revive Pha’s (presumably) dead feelings, Wayu accidentally discovered that he may not be able to revive feelings but actual people. Of course, necromancy on its own isn’t too useful as the body is usually in bad shape after dying and getting buried. But together with Thanu’s powers Wayu has no problem bringing deceased people back to life. He can even bring them back forever to live independent of his power if the body is completely restored. If it is an already decomposed body, even Thanu’s powers are not enough to fully restore the body and Wayu has to constantly feed it some of his power.
Thanu’s other angel-to-be is Kit. A second-year medical student as well who regularly saves Thanu’s ass with his detailed and organized notes. His powers are of passive nature, as he is able to perceive the truth through sun or moonlight. This has been a huge advantage so far as he can pinpoint Padbok’s illusions and warn Thanu accordingly. Due to the nature of his powers a lot of other students tried to get Kit into their circle. Luckily, Kit has always stuck to his friend Wayu and his now boyfriend Mark, who funnily enough, is also Wayu’s best friend. Since Kit started dating Mark, nobody has dared to mess with him.
Mark may not have heavenly powers, but he is Thailand’s best swordfighter. Legend has it, he went to Europe, inherited the sword of a northern king, killed a dragon and even bathed in its blood. He did all of this during the break between high school and university on a journey to “find himself”. This earned him a very feared reputation among the other students, as nobody else has managed to rise to such glory.
Kit and Mark’s relationship didn’t start out well. Whenever Kit looks at Mark, he can see the faint outline of a crown and see red patches of dragon blood on his skin. This caused him to be weary in the beginning as having blood on your skin is just creepy, but Mark’s persistent advances and his friendship with Wayu have convinced Kit to give him a chance.
So, it is no wonder that the whole university has assembled around the football field to watch the big fight between Thanu and Padbok. The two teams have gathered on their respective side of the field and are doing some last-minute strategizing. In the middle of the field a young arts student named Yuki has taken the place as referee. She will be signalling the beginning to the fight, punish any rule breaking and determine the winner in the end.
Team Thanu’s strategy is very easy. Wayu will resurrect the dragon slain by Mark whose remains have been buried two weeks ago in the middle of the field. Of course, they did this during a foggy night and added some fake grass on top to hide it so team Padbok wouldn’t see. Because Wayu and Kit can’t really attack with their powers, they are in need of an advantage. And what bigger advantage is there than having a dragon on (hopefully) your side?
Despite the dragon plan, Thanu still has no idea how to win against Padbok. If he can evade the illusions and get a grip on Padbok’s blood, the fight will be over quickly. If not… well then it will be time to improvise.
“Okay, recap,” Kit says. “Wayu will go to the middle of the field, cut himself on the knife hidden in his sleeve and resurrect the dragon. Meanwhile Thanu is going to blood bend the shit out of the other three to gain time while I stand back and oversee their illusions to warn you guys. Then Thanu will heal the dragon, Wayu gets out of the way and when the others are overthrown and crawling on the floor powerless, we just need to get the dragon into its grave again. It still sounds absolutely unrealistic and way too dangerous, Thanu!”
Thanu holds up both hands in defense. “Do you have a better plan?”
“Yes, postponing the fight, so we can think of something a bit less lunatic?!”
“I think we can do it,” Wayu chimes in. “If we manage the first half, the rest should be easy. I can always pull my powers out of the dragon to stop it. I trust Thanu to manage Padbok and the other two shouldn’t be able to kill a dragon.”
“If this succeeds, you owe me a big meal, Thanu.”
“I will buy you guys the biggest student dinner Thailand has to offer,” Thanu assures Kit with a confident smile. Wayu beams at him, while Kit still looks unconvinced.
“Are the teams ready?” Yuki calls from the middle of the field. Both Padbok and Thanu signal their agreement.
“Okay then, I will be reading the rules,” Yuki says and unfolds a piece of paper in her hands. “You are only allowed to battle with your powers and body. No weapons allowed. You may use knifes or other tools to aid you in using your power. Having someone helping you from outside is forbidden. The fight is over if one of the leaders is defeated, be it through the loss of power or death. If someone from the other team dies, compensation must be sent to the family. Otherwise, the status as God can be challenged. Did everyone understand the rules?”
The two teams nod their heads.
“Very well. Please move to your respective goal.”
Thanu’s team shuffles into their goal, their heads swirling with thoughts and hearts heavy with feelings. Kit is starting to become really nervous and he can sense his teammates getting tense as well. To calm himself down, he seeks out Mark among the ranks. His boyfriend is sitting in the first row, looking immensely more nervous than Kit feels. He thinks about how horrible this situation must be for Mark. To see his lover fight and not being able to help. By the time the two had gotten together, Kit already agreed to help Thanu achieve his dream of becoming God. If Thanu would ask him right now, Kit would decline as the risk is too great. He just found the potential love of his life and wants to spend many more years with him. So yeah, this situation right now is less than ideal.
Wayu, on the other hand, is the least worried of all of them. He went through a harsh break up and helping Thanu is the last thing he can do for Pha. He remembers the day with sorrow, when he sat down with Pha and had the most heart wrenching conversation.
“Wayu, my powers are consuming me. You have witnessed how they started to go more and more haywire. And my feelings for you, they are putting you in danger.”
“I don’t understand Pha, what do you mean?” Wayu had this sinking feeling in his stomach, that he was not going to like the end of this conversation.
Parawee leaned in and put his forehead against Wayu’s. “I’m so sorry, but I can’t have my dream of becoming God be your demise.”
“No, no, Pha. Why would you become my demise? I’m sure you can learn to control it. We will find a solution together.”
“Yu, you don’t understand. It is my feelings for you that make me lose control. I can’t be with you without endangering you. Wayu, you need to understand that my feelings for you are dangerous.” Pha took both of Wayu’s hands and kissed them. “You gave me the best time of my life. I have never felt happier than when I was with you. You gave me the best time of my life, the support I needed to chase after my dream. And I’m utterly ashamed that I won’t be able to do the same for you.”
Tears were streaming down Wayu’s face, leaving hot and painful tracks. “No, no Pha. You cannot do that. You can’t leave me.”
Pha slowly let’s go of Wayu’s hands. “I’m sorry, Yu. So sorry.”
When Pha looked up, Wayu could see that he, too, was crying. Almost hesitant, Pha got off the stone floor in front of Wayu’s apartment building and turned around.
In a last attempt to keep Pha with him Yu asked, “But what about your dream?”
Pha just shook his head without looking back. “One of my angels-to-be agreed to continue for me. My dream will live through him, while I just disappointed everyone. Goodbye, Wayu. May you find the happiness you deserve.”
Thanu is more determined than he ever was in his life. When he agreed to fulfil Pha’s dream, he never thought that the chance would come so soon. Nor did he expect to find two supportive angels-to-be, who are ready to potentially risk their lives for him. It is his highest priority to protect the lives of the two most important people in his life. Even if he must give up Parawee’s dream, Thanu will do everything in his power to save Wayu and Kit. Even though they have only known each other for a couple of months, the two have inched their way into his heart. And he owed this to Mark and Pha as well. Mark deserved many more years with Kit, now, that they have truly fallen in love. And for Wayu, what kind of bad friend is he, if he got the very person killed, Parawee tried to protect with all he had?
“Everyone in position?” Yuki’s voice interrupts the final thoughts of the contestants. “I will be counting down from three. Three, two, one, GO!”
Wayu takes a deep breath before dashing towards the middle of the field. He sees how team Padbok is running towards him as well, but they suddenly seem to fall over their own feet. Wayu casts a glance back and sees Thanu standing a few meters outside of the goal, both hands extended towards Padbok and his angels-to-be. So far so good. The initial part of the plan seems to be working.
Wayu skids to a halt in the middle of the field, takes the small knife out of his sleeve and slices it across his palm. In his own stress, he cuts way deeper than planned but has no time to ponder over the pain. After some painful flexing of his hand, Wayu lets the blood drip on to the ground. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see how Padbok breaks out of Thanu’s hold and charges towards him. Wayu closes his eyes and braces for impact. He can’t abandon the plan!
Just before Padbok reaches him, the ground seems to split open with a terrifying shake. Immediately, Wayu can feel the connection between him and the dragon. Kit’s “Not an illusion!” is all he needs to know that his part of the plan has succeeded. Suddenly, Thanu is standing next to him, one palm outstretched towards the dragon. Wayu takes in the whole scene around him. Team Padbok are frozen in their tracks, staring shocked at the skeletal remains of the dragon. The blood collectively leaves their faces when Thanu’s power kicks in and new flesh starts to grow over the bones, giving the dragon its original appearance back. The green scales of the dragon are softly reflecting the sunlight, making it seem as if they are standing in a forest. Its belly, big enough to easily fit the six of them, has an orange sheen to it.
Wayu focuses his mind on the dragon, tells it through their mental connection to stalk towards the other team, to see them as their enemies. After some mental back and forth, the dragon has decided that Jill would be its first meal since death. Jill looks like he is about to shit his pants when the dragon rears its head towards him and opens its mouth to let out a terrifying roar. For a second, Wayu starts to doubt if this was truly a good idea or not. Mark has a tendency to make his actions seem more heroic, so Wayu just assumed that his description of the dragon is a bit over the top. But apparently, Mark didn’t lie when he told the story of how terrifying of a beast it was. Anyways, it is now too late to change the plan. The dragon has been resurrected and they have to deal with it.
Wayu isn’t too inclined to kill the members of team Padbok, so he tries to sooth it a little. This only seems to fuel the dragon further, as it catches Jill between its legs and claps its claws together. Jill throws out his hands just in time to stop the dragon with his power. For a moment Wayu is relieved, as team Padbok seems strong enough to hold the dragon off. But when Jill starts to back off on shaky legs, Wayu can see that his powers will only be able to delay the dragon’s attacks for some time. Ideally, this time is going to be enough for Thanu to defeat Padbok and end the fight before anyone gets seriously hurt or dies. To make sure that Thanu is okay, Wayu casts a glance towards the two in the centre of the field.
There, Thanu is surrounded by ten Padbok’s and Kit stands in the background, pointing out which one of them the real one is. Unfortunately, Padbok always seems to be a bit faster than Thanu and manages to throw up a new illusion before Thanu can use his blood bending power. Wayu manages to catch Kit’s eyes and they stare at each other in worry for a few seconds. This whole battle turns out to be a lot more difficult than they originally thought.
Suddenly, Kit’s eyes fly back to the dragon with the rest of team Padbok. Wayu turns his head and sees, just in time, how the dragon charges at Jack. The dragon raises its paw and lets it fall onto Jack. Wayu stares in horror as red blood splatters all over the other end of the field.
He is frozen in his spot as he realizes what the dragon has just done. And even worse, this is all Wayu’s fault! If he didn’t resurrect the dragon and wasn’t distracted by checking on his teammates, then Jack would still be alive. Wouldn’t be crushed underneath the paw of a dead dragon!
Suddenly Kit is standing right in front of Wayu, softly shaking his shoulders. It takes him a moment to make out that Kit’s lips are moving and that he is trying to tell him something.
“Jack is still alive.”
“He is still alive! It was just an illusion, Jack is fine!”
Just as Wayu starts to relax, he sees the dragon running towards them. Apparently, it is satisfied with having killed Jack and is now looking for more victims. Kit quickly pushes Wayu away and tries to get the attention of the dragon. Wayu quickly goes over his options. Their plan has obviously failed as the dragon is only supposed to attack Padbok’s team. So, the easiest solution would be to just use his powers again and send the dragon back to the dead. Yes, they will find another way to deal with Jack and Jill. Besides, the two have already used quite a big part of their powers to combat the dragon.
As Wayu is about to slice his palm again, he gets tackled from the side. For a split second he is relieved to see Jack unharmed in front of him, but then realizes that he would need to get away from him first before he can safely send the dragon back.
“Jack, please, I need to stop the dragon,” he pleads.
Jack just stares at him with disdain. “You nearly killed us with this thing! As if any of us care about your lives right now. Hopefully it gets to Thanu and all this can be over.”
“No, please. What good will it be if we all die?”
“Maybe you should have thought about this before creating your oh so great plan.”
With these words Jack throws a fist straight into Wayu’s face.
On the other side of the field, Kit runs and tries to dodge the attacks of the dragon. For a beast its size, it is surprisingly agile and fast. Out of the corner of his eyes he occasionally casts a glance towards Thanu and Padbok to call out the illusions. These are less than ideal conditions to be assisting his friend. If things are going to continue like this, there is no way they are going to win this fight. Kit needs to get rid of the dragon as soon as possible. It’s just that his power can’t really do anything against a scaled monster. With Wayu being entangled in a fist fight with Jack, Kit has to come up with a plan of his own. If he can push the dragon’s attention unto Jill again, he may be able to gain enough time to help Thanu properly and end this fight.
He spots Jill just a couple of meters away from him still looking quite fresh. He quickly dashes at him and tackles him to the floor.
“What was that for?” Jill complains.
“Sorry, but I won’t get killed by the dragon without taking you down too,” Kit says.
“ARE YOU NUTS?”
“Maybe,” Kit mutters and pulls Jill to his feet and out of reach of the approaching dragon.
“We can also try to kill it,” Kit suggests. Jill just gives him a glare. For a few minutes, the two dodge the attacks of the dragon, making it increasingly difficult for Kit to keep an eye on Padbok.
“Hey, about the suggestion of killing it…” Jill begins between rolling out of the way of the dragon’s tail and running in the opposite direction.
“It is about to corner us. Do you have a plan?”
“Damn it. But no, I don’t,” Kit admits.
Jill swears too and ducks to evade a swipe from the dragon. “How did your boyfriend do it?”
“He had a sword!”
“Well, as this is your fucking fault, think of something. I refuse to die, cornered like an animal, because of your stupidity!”
For a moment Kit really thinks as hard as he can and nearly gets bludgeoned by the dragon. Didn’t Mark tell him once that dragon claws could pierce their own skin? But how can they get the dragon to do that? He quickly relies the information to Jill, hoping he can come up with a plan.
“The dragon always sweeps at us with its claws. If we can get its claws close enough to its belly, I might be able to change their trajectory.”
This actually sounds like a good suggestion. Extremely dangerous and potentially deadly, but the best they can come up with. “Okay, so I will try to get its attention.”
“Run under his belly. That should be the easiest spot.” Jill suggests.
For a second Kit stares incredulously at him. Is he trying to defeat the dragon or trying to kill Kit? But on the other hand, he doesn’t have a choice. If he wants to have Jill’s help, he has to do it.
“Okay,” Kit says. “If this fails, tell Mark I love him.”
And with those words he charges towards the dragon. For a moment, the dragon looks startled. Usually, humans aren’t dumb enough to run at it unarmed, so Kit’s behaviour is a little unsettling for it.
Kit nearly has to flatten himself against the ground to evade some of the swipes. If he can get enough momentum, he may be able to slip under the belly of the dragon without ending up pierced on one of its claws.
With a last bout of strength and despair, Kit propels himself forwards and lets his body fall to the floor. The grass burns as he slides under the dragon and emerges from under its tail. He quickly rolls to the side to avoid being crushed by it. Behind him, he can hear a very inhuman pained howl before the dragon collapses onto its belly. It is still breathing but seems to be incapacitated. Kit takes a deep breath to calm his galloping heart and shaking hands before picking himself off the floor. He spots Thanu in the middle trying to blood bend one of Padbok’s illusions. He quickly shouts that the real one is behind him.
Suddenly he feels himself being thrown forward and pinned to the ground by an invisible force. Jill, that fucker!
If he manages to ignore Jill and just helps Thanu who is starting to look a little worn out, they may still have a chance. Kit can already feel the migraine starting to form behind his left eye, a drawback from using his power too much. But he can’t give up now. A glance to Jack and Wayu tells him, that the two seem to be equally exhausted, throwing badly aimed and weak punches at each other. Kit feels how Jill lets himself fall onto him, pinning him to the ground with his arms and legs. This means that he too is almost out of power, the tremble in his limps confirming this. So, Kit just completely focuses his attention on Padbok, telling Thanu which one real is. Directly in front, back left, lower front right, lower front left, back right, front left, back, front right, higher back left, right, front, back left… Wait a second, there seems to be a pattern!
Thanu seems to realize the pattern at the same time as Kit. He has seen enough European witch movies to tell the shape of a pentagram and one slightly tilted to the side. He figures that this might be to make the use of his powers easier. Lower front right, lower front left, back right and yes, he can feel Padbok’s blood pulsing through his body.
Unfortunately, the illusions aren’t Padbok’s last defence either. Before Thanu can fully blood bend him, Padbok uses his choking hold on Thanu. He can feel how his throat constricts, but it isn’t as hard as he expected it to be. Padbok seems to have trouble with keeping his power strong as well. Damn, now the outcome of the fight purely depends on who has more of their power left. And Thanu isn’t sure who of them it is going to be.
“Well, well, well, you giving up yet?” Padbok taunts.
“As if. I’m going to win this fight.”
“Still fighting for your coward of a friend?”
“Pha is not a coward! Contrary to you, who has always sought power without caring for others along the way.” Padbok has no business to critize others for their behaviour. Once he got his powers, they started to get into Padbok’s head and gave him the impression to be some almighty force. To be honest, the constant comparisons with Darth Vader probably only fuelled this more.
“You can’t get stronger without sacrifices. Isn’t Pha proof enough of that?” Padbok keeps taunting, sweat forming on his forehead.
“Someone like you won’t know what giving up a dream to protect his friends is! You would just trample over them.” Thanu shoots back at him. He himself can feel how his power is starting to strain his body. As long as he doesn’t have to move, things are still fine.
“Just give up, Thanu, and all of this can be over.”
Despite his aggressive words, Thanu can feel how his power is starting to become weaker and weaker. He can’t give up now! He owes this win to Pha, to Kit and to Wayu. Kit and Wayu have always stood by his side no matter how absurd his goals were.
He remembers the first time he met Kit, sitting next to him in his first class. Everyone was judging him for the year he was gone, trying to figure out why someone would take a year off and just come back to studying as if nothing happened. Kit never judged him for that. He didn’t even ask him for his reason until they have formed a friendship.
Thanu can still clearly remember how their friendship grew in the first couple of days. He completely forgot how to study over the course of the last year, so Kit sat him down about a week in and gave him a thorough run down of all kinds of study methods. It was a long afternoon and Thanu’s brain felt like jelly afterwards, but the lesson really helped. Kit was also kind enough to give him his notes so he could double check if he understood the material.
It was no surprise that they started hanging out after school two weeks into the term. He even felt so comfortable with Kit that he told him the whole story with Parawee one night as they were visiting a night market. With some Chinese steamed buns in their hands, they sat down next to a channel and the words just found their way out of Thanu. Being the good soul he is, Kit never interrupted him. This was also the evening when Thanu learned that his new friend is friends with Pha’s ex.
During the following weeks, Kit has turned into somewhat of his best friend. Somewhat meaning that Thanu is unsure whether or not Kit even ranks his friends by closeness. Therefore, it was a no brainer to ask Kit to be one of his angels-to-be. It took Kit a couple of days of careful consideration and apparently a gigantic list of reasons not to do it, to accept Thanu’s offer. Thanu also did his best to play wingman when it became obvious that there was a budding romance between Kit and the mysterious swordfighter and dragon slayer of the engineering faculty.
Admittedly, Thanu was very sceptical of Mark in the beginning. Something about him just seemed off. He later found out that Mark was heavily pissed because Pha broke up with his best friend Wayu and with Thanu being one of Pha’s friends… Well, let’s just say their first meeting didn’t end too great. He can still feel the phantom pain of Mark’s punch on his face. And Mark throws by no means weak punches.
But after some more relatively awkward meetings, the two started to get along. Mark isn’t as much of a cold and mysterious douche as the rumours made him out to be. On the other hand, Mark started to accept Thanu as well. Kit was delighted when he found out that the two even started to occasionally meet after class to talk about the world’s mysteries.
Through Mark and Kit, Thanu got closer to Wayu. The boy was beyond broken when they met for the first time. For some reason Wayu seemed to trust him immediately. There is one memory that sticks out in particular. One day, Padbok ran into them between classes and started to throw his usual insults at Thanu about how pathetic his dream of becoming God is and how he will only end up disappointing Parawee. To his surprise, Wayu stood up against Padbok and defended both of them.
“If Thanu wants to become God, he can. True strength comes from the heart, something you don’t seem to possess.”
Wayu’s words filled Thanu with so much warmth and affection that he nearly started crying on the spot. But he had to look strong in front of Padbok, so he held it in. After Padbok has begrudgingly trudged off, Thanu could only mutter a soft “thanks” around the frog in his throat.
From this day on, Wayu became Padbok’s harassing priority. He and his gang repeatedly tried to corner and ambush him, which fuelled a deep hatred towards Padbok in Thanu, Mark and Kit. It was so bad that Thanu ended up offering Wayu to become his second angel-to-be, a position Wayu accepted immediately with the sweetest smile Thanu has ever seen.
Unfortunately, this only seemed to piss Padbok off even more and the attacks on Wayu became a nearly daily occurrence. In the end, it was Wayu who ended up spooking them so much with his powers that they finally started to leave him alone. To be fair, everyone would be scared if half decomposed dogs would start to follow them. Thanu has never been prouder of him.
That night, the two of them sat down on the stairs of the university’s main building, sharing a can of Sprite. They ended up talking about Parawee for most of the night. Thanu told Wayu old stories of how they were both extremely bad at handling their powers and the struggle to find a third angel. Wayu confessed that he was starting to move on and enjoy life again. This was mainly due to him meeting Thanu, finding a purpose in his life through being an angel-to-be and working together towards a common goal. Thanu then answered that he is afraid to fail, to lose against Padbok and disappointing Pha. In the end, Wayu said once again one of the most beautiful things Thanu has heard in his life.
“I trust you. No matter what, I’m sure you can do it. I believe in you.”
I believe in you.
True strength comes from the heart.
Thanu closes his eyes and imagines Wayu’s smile, how his eyes crunch up into cute half-moons. Suddenly, a warm feeling seeps through Thanu’s body, making it tingle all over. He manages to hold onto it and relish in it for a moment. Yes, he can do it. He can do it for Pha, for Kit and for Wayu.
With his newfound determination Thanu manages to hold on. Hold on longer than Padbok, who suddenly crumples to the floor, releasing his choke hold on Thanu.
For a moment, the world seems to stand still.
Padbok is panting on the floor, covering his eyes with his hands. Then Yuki’s voice cuts in:
“The fight is over. Padbok lost. I hereby declare Thanu as the new God.”
The loss of tension amongst the participants and the viewers is nearly palpable. Now that Jack has stopped hitting Wayu, he can finally slit his wrist again to drop all his powers on the dragon and turn it to bones and some leathery skin leftovers again. Immediately after, his skin starts to itch. Itchiness is the drawback of Wayu’s power. Jack next to him is blinking furiously.
“Are you okay?” Wayu asks while scratching his arm.
“Yeah, it’s just my vision. It gets bad because of the illusions.”
Wayu just nods and focuses his attention on Thanu who is still standing in the middle of the field. He slowly walks over, dragging his feet on the ground to satisfy the itch on his soles.
Thanu turns in Wayu’s direction when he hears him approach. Doing so, he nearly falls over his own but manages to catch himself in the last moment. Due to the stress melting away, Wayu starts to giggle. Thanu smiles at him as well. When Wayu is standing in front of Thanu, he pulls him into a warm embrace.
“You made it,” Wayu mutters against Thanu’s shoulder.
“No, we made it,” Thanu answers, trying to put his hands around Wayu and spectacularly failing at it. After knocking into Wayu’s shoulders twice and elbowing him in the hip, Thanu gives up and lets his hands hang on his side.
When Wayu pulls away, the two stare into each other’s eyes for a long moment. Thanu leans down in an act of bravery, hoping that Wayu is sharing the same feelings. For a short moment nothing happens before he feels Wayu’s soft lips on his. The taste a little coppery. Anger starts to flare up in Thanu. Nobody dares to hurt Wayu and get away with it! But his anger immediately dissipates, when Wayu hooks his hands behind Thanu’s head and pulls him in closer. If Thanu is God, then Wayu is his heaven.
On the side of the field, Jill finally gets off Kit who just buries his head into the grass with a groan. Everything is too bright and too loud and his brain is about to explode. Suddenly there are two hands on his back, rubbing soothing circles over his shoulder blades, accidentally aggravating the forming bruises there. Kit is too miserable to complain about it.
“Are you okay?” Mark whispers into his ear. Kit only gives a small “no” as response. Mark, the bastard, has the audacity to pull him up on his shoulders. Big mistake. Kit only manages to get out a “bluergh” as a warning, before expelling his lunch. In other circumstances he would have been ashamed of vomiting over the football field in front of half of his peers but in his current state he just didn’t care. Mark pats his back while saying some sympathetic standard sentences of comfort. Someone is kind enough to give Kit a bottle of water. The cool liquid feels extremely refreshing for all of his senses.
“Can you hold on a second without me?” Mark asks. Kit nods and buries his head in his hands. Migraines really suck!
Meanwhile Mark gets up and stalks over to Thanu and Wayu who are still standing extremely close to each other.
“When you two lovebirds are done, I would appreciate it if Mister God could go and heal my boyfriend,” Mark says. At least Wayu has the decency to pull away and look to the floor with burning cheeks. Thanu, on the other hand, turns to Mark, stumbles, catches himself and then says: “You just interrupted something.”
“I know and I don’t care,” Mark shoots back.
Thanu glances over to Kit with something like remorse in his eyes. “My powers are too depleted. I’m sorry.”
Mark pinches the bridge of his nose in annoyance. “Okay. How about we all just go home then? And Wayu, stop scratching, it won’t help.”
Wayu immediately lowers his hand that has been scratching the skin on his neck. Thanu tries to grab the now unoccupied hand but hits Wayu in the chest. Wayu just laughs his murmured his apology off and grabs his hand instead.
“Let’s go home,” Thanu says.
Yuki is kind enough to organize them a comfortable van that will take them to Thanu’s apartment. While Mark is collecting Kit from the floor, Thanu turns to Padbok, who is sitting on floor, looking absolutely defeated and ignores Jack and Jill who try to comfort him.
Padbok looks up in annoyance when Thanu manages to shuffle over. “What do you want?”
“I just wanted to tell you it was a good fight. And to apologize because I know becoming God has been your dream for a long time.”
“Yeah, whatever, I don’t need your pity. I just don’t understand how I could lose to you.”
“A special person once said to me that true strength comes from the heart. Today this was proven true.”
Padbok just laughs at Thanu’s words. “One day, you end up getting awfully hurt with this attitude.”
“We shall see,” Thanu answers and slowly walks away. It isn’t a graceful exit by any means, but it is the best he can do with the uncoordinated drawback of his powers. When he reaches the van, Kit is already inside, looking ghostly pale.
“Is he going to be okay?” Thanu asks Mark who is leaning against the open door.
“Yeah, just give it a few hours.”
Wayu softly tugs Thanu inside by grabbing his left hand. On his way in, he bashes his right arm very hard against the car frame, throwing Mark into a fit of laughter.
It takes Mark way too long to get his friends into Thanu’s apartment. After a lot of scuffling and Thanu hitting every wall possible, all of them are finally seated somewhere (or leaning over the toilet in Kit’s case). While the others are requested to just not move from their spot, Mark is changing the cotton sheets on Thanu’s bed to silk ones so Wayu’s skin doesn’t get irritated even more. When he is done with that, he completely clears out all the blankets from Thanu’s closet to create a super comfortable bed on the floor.
“Where are your pyjamas?” Mark asks Thanu.
“In the second drawers. I can get them myse-“
“No,” Mark interrupts him. “You’ll only accidentally destroy your apartment.”
Wayu giggles a little from his seat on the chair next to Thanu. Giggling helps to distract him from the itching on his skin. It is really annoying and there are unfortunately no remedies to relieve it.
Mark digs through the drawer and takes out for sets of pyjamas. For a moment he is surprised that Thanu even has that many sets as he is known to prefer nakedness during slumber.
“Do you two manage to change and then go to bed alone?” he inquires. When they both nod, he heads off to the bathroom with the remaining two sets of pyjamas and slips into it. Kit is still leaning over the toilet bowl but has at least stopped heaving.
“Don’t you dare to turn on the lights,” Kit murmurs into the bowl.
“I won’t,” Mark whispers back. “You ready for bed?”
Kit raises his head and nods. “The faster I sleep, the faster this migraine is gone.”
“Great. I brought you some way too big pyjamas. Thanu is not equipped to have small people over.”
After some struggling on Kit’s part, the two walk back out into the main room where Thanu and Wayu are lying down on the bed already half asleep.
“Come on,” Mark tugs Kit down onto the bedding on the floor. When they are lying down, he makes sure that Kit is comfortable. “You okay like this?”
“Yeah, it’s just the bruises on my shoulders that hurt no matter how I lie down. But it’s okay. I’m way too tired to care about it.”
“You did so well today, Kit. I’m so proud of you my angel.”
When Thanu wakes up, he feels better than ever. There is a slight buzzing under his skin and the world just feels clear. Slowly, he lifts a hand and does some finger exercises. Yep, he can move how he wants again. Before becoming God recovery from a drawback could easily take a couple of days.
Next to him Wayu starts to stir.
“Did I wake you?” Thanu asks.
“Not really,” Wayu answers vaguely. “I think I already woke up once or twice.”
“How are you feeling?”
“A bit better. Everything still feels a bit itchy and I can’t really move my left hand much.”
“Your left hand?”
“Where I cut myself to resurrect the dragon.”
Thanu holds out his hand, palm up, in a demanding gesture. After some fiddling with the blanket, Wayu gets out his injured hand and lays it into Thanu’s.
“That’s such a deep cut! Wayu!"
“Sorry, I was a bit in a hurry,” Wayu answers sheepishly.
“You know that there are much safer spots to cut than your hand, right? We already went over this.”
“Yes, but as I said I was in a hurry and the palm bleeds a lot. Next time I will use a better spot, don’t worry.”
Thanu just sighs and lays his other hand on top of Wayu’s palm and concentrates. The power seems to flow out of him a lot easier and a lot more concentrated than before. Within a second Wayu’s skin looks completely fine again.
“Wow,” Wayu breathes fascinated. “The itching is gone too.”
“Really?” Thanu asks surprised. When Wayu just nods Thanu feels a wave of pride seeping through him. They really made it! And the godly powers are already starting to manifest!
“You truly are awesome, Wayu. Without you I would have lost against Padbok. Your trust in me kept me going.” Wayu smiles his most beautiful smile.
“Where do the two of us stand now?” Wayu asks him shily.
“Wherever you want us to stand. My feelings for you… that’s… I love you, Wayu. But I can understand if you don’t feel the same.”
Wayu starts to giggle again. He has been doing this a lot since yesterday. “That’s good. Because I feel the same.”
“So, you don’t mind dating God?”
“I don’t care if you are God, the Devil or some random dude without pants. As long as it’s you, I won’t say no.”
“That’s really sweet of you to say, Wayu,” Thanu says and leans down to kiss him.
They are promptly interrupted by a “Yes, this is truly sweet.”
Mark has woken up and sits on the floor, staring the two of them down.
“Good morning to you too, Mark,” Thanu grumbles while Wayu giggles.
“I see, Mr. God is feeling better.”
“Yes, I am.”
Thanu absolutely does not see the fist that comes flying towards his face. The impact hurts quite badly and his jaw immediately starts to throb.
“What was that for?”
“For you getting Kit injured,” Mark says with a very satisfied look on his face.
Kit, having woken up from the commotion, tugs on Mark’s sleeve. “It’s not that bad. You didn’t have to punch him that hard.”
“No, I deserved that,” Thanu agrees with Mark. “How are you?”
Kit just shrugs his shoulders. “Could be better."
Thanu rolls out of the bed and onto the floor next to Kit, nearly crushing Mark in the process. He carefully puts a hand on Kit’s head and dips into his power. Kit, like Wayu, lets out a fascinated “Wow” at Thanu’s powers.
“How does being God feel?” Kit asks when Thanu is done with healing.
“Weirdly like always but… better?” Thanu is still struggling to find the right words to describe what exactly he feels. “I’m sorry for having put you through this.”
“We already talked about this enough, Thanu. Wayu and I wanted it too. It has given us a purpose. Never apologize for this ever again!” Thanu just nods in response, looking a bit spooked by Kit’s stern words.
“We should go out to celebrate,” Mark interrupts their moment. He truly likes to interrupt deep or romantic moments.
“Yeah, let’s do this,” agrees Thanu. “I owe my two angels and knight a meal.”
“I’m not your knight!”
While getting out of the apartment, Thanu suddenly receives a new text message. He pulls out his phone and is surprised to see Pha’s name on the display. The message is simple, but it nearly makes him cry.