Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | Songs End

Zen wasn’t wrong. There were many more years for us to be together. Years turned to a decade, but eventually, like with all things, time did run out.

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***This is the end of ZenxMC Good Ending Continued. Please join me the week after next for the beginning of JuminxMC Good Ending Continued. In the meantime, reread this one, read one of the other continuations, or check out my Vanderwood Backstory. Check out everything in the story directory. You can find the chapter directory there too, or use the linkypoo. Incidentally, I apologize in advance for crushing hearts.

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“I feel old…” Zen and I were nuzzled up on the couch, his head resting on top of mine, an arm around my waist. On the TV our twins were performing, their K-Pop Group, White Angels had become a sensation almost as soon as they started. Their father had been amazingly supportive of their music and helped them as much as he could, but he always worried that people were only interested in our children for their looks.

I snorted softly and gave his cheek a kiss. His own looks were far from faded, the only new thing about him were the smile lines and crow’s feet he’d acquired during our long life together. My husband was every bit the wonderful and romantic man he’d always been, just older and wiser, and a lot more calm-tempered. “You are old. We both are now.” What were we now? Almost fifty-five? It seemed like only yesterday we had met on the messenger and fallen in love.

Zen gave me a frown and nuzzled my nose. “Come on, babe, don’t be like that. We’re still young.” I laughed and ran a hand through his silver hair. “You’re the one who was saying you felt old.” His ruby eyes met mine and sent my heart racing. How in all the years that we’d been together could he still do that to me. “Yes, I feel old that doesn’t mean I am old.”

My phone started going off and I checked the messenger. We were preparing for our last party as the RFA leaders. “Are you still going to do a performance for the guests at the party?” My husband scoffed and struck a pose. “Of course, everyone needs a dose of my talent and beauty.” I just rolled my eyes with a smile. The RFA would be passed on to Yoosung and Seven’s adopted son as well as the new chief assistant to Jumin’s adopted daughter Elizabeth. V would and Saeran were staying on as members, simply because they didn’t have anything better to do, or so they claimed. I thought maybe being a part of the RFA helped them feel like they were giving some good back to the world after having been a part of Mint Eye which had put out so much bad.

Gyeong was very much like Yoosung, intelligent and kind-hearted, but he also had a knack for getting into trouble like Seven. Elizabeth was essentially Jumin in another life. After Jumin’s dear cat Elizabeth the 3rd passed, Jumin found Elizabeth at an orphanage on a business trip and took the white haired and blue-eyed girl in. Zen had called him absolutely ridiculous for naming his adopted daughter after his dead cat, but Jumin had insisted like he always did when he had made a decision.

Our own children would be taking part in the RFA as well, though not as enthusiastically as the others. They were more interested in their tours, but they said they’d do performances for the RFA no problem, and did often do charity shows. Zen took my hand gently and pressed a kiss to my knuckles. “Are you alright, babe?” That age-old blush rose to my cheeks. “Yes, I’m fine. Just thinking about the future.”

Ruby eyes looked over my face, deciding if I was telling the truth before he leaned in to give me a soft and sweet kiss. “We still have plenty of time to be happy together, my cutie.”

Zen wasn’t wrong. There were many more years for us to be together. Years turned to a decade, but eventually, like with all things, time did run out. It had started as a cough and a sore throat. He woke up one morning soon after, and he couldn’t speak. We were concerned, of course, and went to the nearest specialist only to be told that he had an autoimmune disease that had started by attacking his vocal chords. There was no more of hearing his soft and gentle tones, definitely no singing.

He got weaker, and so did I. Sure, I hadn’t caught what he had, but as he faded, I faded with him. Their children buried Zen and MC side by side under a rose bush, the same breed of roses MC had always thrown their father after his performances. They sang softly some of their songs from their newest album, but songs end, and they eventually went home.

In their lifetime, Zen and MC raised millions through the RFA hosting more than 20 parties. Zen had become a renowned musical actor with his manager by his side, and the whole of Korea mourned their loss, but they left behind a legacy in the charity work they had given so much to and their children who brought their own musical talents to the nation, bringing joy to the masses. Zen and MC’s song ended and another song began.

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Zen Character Development

Character Development!

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Zenny boy~ So this guy, obviously we all know he’s a romantic sweety, but there’s a lot to this guy. His narcissism has been proven time and again to be something he does to make up for the fact that his family put his looks down so much. Some people have thought it was hypocritical the way he would always compliment his looks and then say he didn’t want to be recognized for them, but it’s really a very fundamental part of his character. He’s been recognized for his looks his whole life, so he wants to be special because of his talent, but on the other hand, his family made him believe that he was ugly so he tells himself he’s beautiful for affirmation. It’s very much a catch 22 for him. However, the only way I touched on this particular issue was in MC’s own insecurity. MC had already proved to Zen that she loved him for more than his looks or even his talent by the party, so for the most part this part of his personality was already played out, I just wanted to bring it to light in minute details.

I always love a character with flaws, fundamental flaws. Zen has a number of them, firstly, his issue with the above, but also his massive temper and need to be involved in everything. I chose a lot of the scenarios and chapters that I did specifically to pull out these flaws and show how his MC would deal with them to make him happy in the end. The major conflicts that needed to be dealt with thanks to the storyline of his route were Echo Girl, Mint Eye, V’s Disappearance, and Zen’s family, so I decided to start with the smallest of these conflicts, Echo Girl and his family, particularly because there is a two year gap between the good end and the after end that I had to make up for, so that’s where my own conflicts and fluff came in.

At any rate, I just absolutely love Zen. He was my first route and part of how I fell in love with the game, so let’s all thank Zen for that. Thanks to the nature of his character, I wanted his default MC to not be nearly as timid, and that really helped as far as unleashing the beast. So I’ve seen a lot of people when they think of the beast they see him as a primal animal, but that romantic side of him I wanted that still very much to be in effect. The beast I figured related more to arousal and desire than to actual behavior, so I kept Zen pretty dominant vanilla, just since that fit in best with his regular persona.

I had someone comment on how the MC was more worried about Zen’s reputation as an actor than other things that had happened at the party and that was just another facet of what made his default MC uniquely suited to him. Concern more extreme for him than for herself and likewise for him to her. So, that’s the end of all of that and how everything fits in with character development. Next week the wrap-up chapter will come out, which is always a really bittersweet thing. Make sure you check out becoming a patron so you can get yourself any hidden scenes from this story arc, including them raising their teenage twins, since I always do a them raising their teenagers chapter as hidden scene. It’s been great writing this one, and I hope you return after the break for Jumin Good Ending Continued! Make sure to check out Vanderwood Backstory in the meantime. AND ALSO get yourself a plastic winking Zen emoji! That giveaway will be going on for two weeks minimum, make a comment about why you love Zen so much on the giveaway page.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | All This Time

There was anger and worry coming off of him in waves, and I tried to give him comfort in the vest way I could. “It will take time…Just give it time.” He snorted softly and kissed the top of my head. “All this time, and we still need more.” It was a little absurd, but we knew that’s the way it worked.

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Next week will be the Zen Character Development chapter and kick off the giveaway for my Zen emoji! Which means the week after next is the summarizing chapter T_T which will be followed by a week of break to prepare for my Jumin Good Ending Continued story arc so look forward to that! ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

“No, Zen.” Jumin was signing off on some paperwork as he responded, his tone completely devoid of feeling. This was Jumin in as much of his business mode as was possible, and I had to admit this time around that I completely agreed with him. “You need to stay. Take care of your wife and children.”

I held his arm as Zen’s fist clenched. He hadn’t moved, but I could tell that my husband was preparing for a fight. “Zen please…” Now he looked down to me, his ruby eyes locking onto my gold. I could tell just from the look in his eyes that there was no getting him to back down, but what he said next was just further evidence. “These people tried to *take* MC. They tried to *take* my angels. I have to go.”

Then he tore his gaze away from mine and locked it to Jumin’s obsidian black. They stood like that for a while. I couldn’t handle the intensity of the situation, looking around at the people around us. There were bodyguards everywhere, Seven was doing *something* on computers in the back of a big van after giving Yoosung a kiss goodbye, and Jaehee was running around from group to group checking in and giving instructions as I stood there with Zen and Jumin facing off. At least the children weren’t around all of this stress thanks to their babysitter who I would be joining as soon as everyone left. Finally Jumin spoke again. “Stay with at least one of the teams at all times.”

I didn’t want him to go, but Zen seemed so much less tense already. “Time to go!” Jaehee called out from where Seven was and Zen turned to me again as Jumin walked away. “Zenny…please…” There was no way I was going to talk him out of going but…”Don’t get hurt. Come home safe.” The smile on his face was as brilliant as ever as he pulled me close and kissed me deeply, making my heart race just as quickly as ever. “I’ll be back soon, babe.”

Jaehee, Jumin, and Yoosung were with me and the babies in an upstairs office of C&R after the twins had been dropped off. Yoosung spent most of his time listening to reports from Seven on the earpiece Jumin had given him. He’d grown up a lot since my wedding, but he was very much afraid right now, evidenced by the way he continued to play with the golden ring on his finger, the ring Seven had given him when they’d gotten engaged.

Jumin played with Zen’s ‘angels’, letting me spend time in my own head and worries. It was both a good and a bad thing. Good because I was able to rest but bad because my mind was only occupied with thoughts of what could possibly be happening out there at the Mint Eye headquarters.

***

It was easy enough. The bodyguards had entered, capturing a large group of Mint Eye members right from the beginning. Each of the members were strange, some screaming, others just flopped around. They were clearly on drugs or something, Zen had seen his fair share of drug addicts and people who were high while he’d been in the motorcycle gang in his youth, and that’s definitely what this was. So, what did these drug addicts have to do with his family? Why did they want the RFA.

Seven had gone off with a group into another area of the headquarters and Zen continued along with his, a group of about five men, huge and far stronger than he was. He was damn glad they were on his side, to be frank. The headquarters here were basically a maze past the front ‘church’ area, now he turned the corner, the biggest bodyguard shoving a door open and then Zen froze.

What was he seeing? Turquoise hair, incredibly thin and weak, V was cowered on the floor looking up at a blond woman in robes, her green eyes hazy when before they had been bright and beautiful. That was Rika. That was definitely Rika. Rage, confusion, fear, everything whipped through him hard, and then Rika was screaming and launching herself at *him.* Zen was frozen in place but the bodyguards caught her. What she was screaming didn’t register as his ruby eyes looked over to V again who was being helped up by another bodyguard. “V…”

V was looking around like he couldn’t see a thing, but as soon as he heard Zen’s voice, he locked onto his position. Was V blind? Zen realized that his arm was shaking from how tightly he had his fist clenched. “What the Hell? Rika is alive? You’ve been here hidden in Korea this whole time? You’re a part of Mint Eye?” Question after angry question flew out unstopping. It probably wasn’t the time, but Zen was just so angry. What was all of this?

His former best friend, the man who should have been his best man at his wedding, the man who had disappeared without a trace over two years ago, he’d started crying, and Zen realized that he was crying too. Then he was holding V and V was answering. It all made sense; it really did, but it didn’t make him any less angry. “We’ve all…been in so much pain. From Rika to your disappearance…You know what Yoosung is going to be like when he finds out, don’t you?” V just nodded. “I know…it’s all my fault.”

Zen wasn’t having it. “Just shut up.” He stood again and pulled V up with him, following the bodyguard that had stayed behind with him while the others had left with Rika. “You’re such an idiot. You should have told us and we would have helped. You don’t get to blame just yourself anymore.” V had a lot of explaining and apologizing to do, but it wasn’t like the others hadn’t foolheartedly just believed him even when they knew in their gut that something had been wrong.

By the time we were all reunited, there was healing to do on all sides. Seven had found his brother and revealed his true past to us. His brother would need a lot of personal care in a hospital which Jumin obviously took care to provide. Yoosung was angry, confused, sad, but he had Seven to keep him on track. Everyone was angry at V but they were also so relieved to have him back in one piece after two years.

Zen sang his angels to sleep that night, spending extra time like he always did when he was stressed, and I couldn’t blame him. When he finally got into bed, I curled up into his arms and he pulled me as close as he could. There was anger and worry coming off of him in waves, and I tried to give him comfort in the vest way I could. “It will take time…Just give it time.” He snorted softly and kissed the top of my head. “All this time, and we still need more.” It was a little absurd, but we knew that’s the way it worked.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | Everything’s Alright

We were walking the babies to their babysitter’s house, hoping to spend the rest of our anniversary going out for dinner and spending our time alone. Zen loved our twins and was currently cooing to them as he pushed the stroller. “My little angels are so beautiful they turn everyone’s heads.”

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Zen was nuzzling into my neck, and I opened my eyes slowly, mumbling something even I couldn’t understand. He chuckled and kissed my jaw, his hand coming around to slide along my thigh. “Good morning, Babe.” I put my hand over his, feeling his ring against my palm. It was our anniversary, wasn’t it? “Do you have anything special planned for us today, Zenny?” My husband squeezed my thigh and it was instant heat for me. “I think I have a few things in mind.”

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We were walking the babies to their babysitter’s house, hoping to spend the rest of our anniversary going out for dinner and spending our time alone. Zen loved our twins and was currently cooing to them as he pushed the stroller. “My little angels are so beautiful they turn everyone’s heads.” I rolled my eyes. They had inherited his looks, of course, and he never stopped talking about how gorgeous they were. It was sweet, but it did annoy the Hell out of everyone in messenger from time to time, just like his own narcissism had always irritated them. Yoosung was always threatening to cut off Zen’s rattail if he didn’t stop, and I was just trying to keep everyone on task for the next party.

Familiar clicking and flashing had me stopping in my tracks and then Zen was stopping too. At first, we weren’t sure where they were coming from, but now someone had run up and grabbed the stroller, tilting it over as he tried to pull it away from Zen’s grasp who only tightened his hold hard. The babies started to scream and I recognized the person. It was that one paparazzo that was always following us, his camera hanging around his neck. Instinctively, I reached out and yanked on the man’s camera, essentially choking him until Zen punched him hard in the face. I heard his fist connect with bone and the grunt from the man as he let go of the stroller and fell backwards.

“I need the children for the savior! She wants their beauty!” He was crying out loudly now and attracting attention as he went to grab at the stroller again. Zen kicked him hard in the gut. “Stay the fuck away from my family.” He was angry, seeing red, only calm because he was holding the stroller. I went around to check on the babies and shh them. Their faces were nearly purple with how loud they were screaming. Now that Zen saw I was with them, he let go and went for the man, grabbing him as though he were arresting him. “What are you still doing here?”

The man repeated his cries and Zen’s ruby eyes met mine. We nodded to each other and Zen dragged the guy along. It looked like our anniversary was going to be somewhat interrupted. At first we took him to the police and then we called Jumin to let him know what had happened, since he was in charge of the RFA now and would need to handle the press. We all agreed that the exclamations the man had made were concerning, but it wasn’t until after we called Seven to check with him that we really understood how bad it was. The man was from the same organization that the man who had tried to abduct me had been from. V had told us not to look into that, but now that he wasn’t here to make decisions anymore, Jumin told Seven to get to work on finding them. If the children were at risk, so was the rest of the RFA.

Once we were home again, we put the little ones down for a nap and Zen wrapped his arms around me, holding me close. It was comforting to listen to his heart beat, although his words in his soft and gentle tone were equally as comforting. “Everything is going to be alright…Seven will find this organization and now we’ll finally settle what happened with the man who tried to kidnap you.” I nodded and he held me closer, stroking my hair. “Everything’s alright.”

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | Are Those Lines?

Now I chuckled and leaned into him, wrapping my arms around his neck. “It is amazing, some amazing lines of yours?” Normally we tried to keep our hands off of each other at his rehearsals and tapings, but somehow, we always failed. We just weren’t very good at keeping our hands off of each other. He looked almost lightly offended as he responded, putting his hands on my hips to pull me closer to his body. *”No, what? I’m not practicing my lines.”* He bent to brush his lips lightly against mine, making my heart race all the more. *”I mean all of that. MC…When I see you fall asleep beside me every night…I think about our past, present, and future…Because we are each other’s mirrors and our paths.”*

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In this chapter, starred portions indicate direct quotes from Zen’s After Ending. Read at your own spoiler risk. ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

Of course, the project that I came back to work after maternity leave was the one with Echo Girl. I had been somewhat apprehensive to be around the woman that had nearly destroyed my husband’s career, but after seeing her interviews in which she appeared incredibly embarrassed over the incidents, I didn’t feel nearly as uncomfortable. Zen assured me that he was going to be fine working with her.

Really the biggest problem with working with her was that she was an absolutely terrible actress. We were stopping scenes over and over because she didn’t know her lines or couldn’t get the actions right. Zen, of course, was doing a fantastic job as always. I loved watching him in his element, and it was good to be able to again, even though I was constantly checking my phone for texts from our babysitter, which happened to be Jumin this particular day.

Jumin had taken the day off to help me feel more comfortable, much to everyone’s surprise, but our twins absolutely loved him, much to their father’s irritation. Jaehee was helping him and had turned it into somewhat of a job, sending me messages every half hour on the dot about how the children were doing, which I appreciated since it was my first day without our little ones. Apparently, they were working on something with finding V, since it had officially been two years without him now and the next party would be coming up.

Another break was announced. I sighed, but at least as a manager I was only supposed to worry over and correct Zen. Echo Girl was impossible to correct anyway, from what I could see of her manager trying. Zen came up to me and I offered him a water bottle. He started to blabber on about this and that about the shoot and whether I was doing okay on set. I loved when he would do that, and he was always looking out for me. Zen really knew how to make a woman melt, even now that we’d been married for nearly a year.

*”I’m so happy to see you watching me. I want you to be my manager forever. I get to see you at home and at work…I can never get sick of seeing my cutie pie’s face…”* Zen’s voice trailed off as his eyes trailed over me. Instantly I felt heat in my veins. How was he even still interested in me like that with as little time as we had together thanks to the twins, with as much as my body had changed since then? I would never understand, but he always made my blood boil even with just a look. *”But…why are you wearing such a low-cut top? What if the other crew members see you? We have a lot of young guys here. It’s okay when you’re home with me. What if one of those guys stares at you while I’m focusing on my scene. You’re mine!”*

I rolled my eyes and watched him as he drank the rest of the water from the bottle I had given him. “You’re so ridiculous sometimes. You know I’m all yours. Just relax Zenny.” He was adorable when he was being jealous. Women were always all over him, and it irritated me, but I trusted him. Somewhere beyond the complaining, I knew he trusted me too, just not the wolves with their eyes on me. Once he’d finished his bottle he held up his hands. *”Ugh, alright…I won’t be so sensitive outside. But…let me make sure when we get home that you’re mine.”*

He was really doing his best to turn me into a puddle, and we were in public at his taping! I had to pause to take a few deep breaths to bring down the heat now in my face. His words turned sweeter but they had the same effect. *”I’m so grateful that we can be together like this. Don’t start blushing. You are always a blessing and my source of happiness…I want you to be proud of that. Every morning when I see you asleep in bed, I tell myself that I love you and always be true to you. Isn’t that pretty amazing?”*

Now I chuckled and leaned into him, wrapping my arms around his neck. “It is amazing, some amazing lines of yours?” Normally we tried to keep our hands off of each other at his rehearsals and tapings, but somehow, we always failed. We just weren’t very good at keeping our hands off of each other. He looked almost lightly offended as he responded, putting his hands on my hips to pull me closer to his body. *”No, what? I’m not practicing my lines.”* He bent to brush his lips lightly against mine, making my heart race all the more. *”I mean all of that. MC…When I see you fall asleep beside me every night…I think about our past, present, and future…Because we are each other’s mirrors and our paths.”*

I leaned back away from him to poke his nose and pull away. The others were starting to stare and I was certain more than one photo of this exchange would be on a magazine cover or a part of a feature article or segment on the news. “You’re making me cringe.” That just made him chuckle and he pulled me closer, never caring about the world seeing the two of us together. *”Sweetie, I guess you don’t know what’s really cringeworthy. I don’t want to stop expressing my love. Look into my eyes MC, you are my life and my traces. Sometimes, we fight over small things, but our hearts are connected, so I’ll start to understand everything you went through in your life when I wasn’t there. Because now, basically you are my life.”*

His words just kept coming and my legs and heart just kept feeling shakier. Now I was holding onto his costume just to stay upright as he pressed his hand against the small of my back. *”You are my sun, my moon, and my stars…* Our children are my angels. *No matter how far apart we are, we’ll always think of each other…”* He pulled me closer, taking my chin and tilting my face up for a kiss, and at this point I was far too weak to resist. Zen laughed as he lightly brushed his lips against mine, not really kissing me quite yet, rather a tease in his own way.

*”Good job listening to all this, cutie. Even when the sun rises from the West and sets in the East, my heart will never change. My MC, I love you forever.”* Now he kissed me and I heard the sounds of the cameras going from the paparazzi in the corner. At least if they were here they weren’t bothering our children any. I melted into his kiss before pulling away and pushing him back towards the taping area. “I think your five minutes are up, handsome husband.”

Zen just chuckled and did as he was told. “Alright, alright, cutie. I do as my manager commands.” I continued to watch him, shaking my head at Echo Girl’s antics. My phone pinged and I checked. A photo of our angels. Unfortunately, the message accompanying the photo wasn’t nearly as positive. The paparrzo that was constantly following me around during my maternity leave trying to get photos of our little ones had shown up at C&R and been escorted from the premises. Somehow, the man had become obsessed with our children and the longer it went on, the bolder he got. I was starting to get incredibly worried. There were so many things to worry about, V, the paparazzi and the Zen’s continually growing career. I sighed as yet another break was announced, Echo Girl storming away from the taping area again.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | In Time

It all sounded so reasonable, but I didn’t want to be reasonable. I wanted to scream and throw things, but that didn’t seem like it was going to happen any time soon. Where was my husband? I needed my knight, but he wasn’t available.

***

Zen blinked and opened his eyes slowly. Where the Hell was he? It was dark, and there was some water dripping on his leg. He moved to sit up, feeling rough, wet stone underneath him. His phone pinged, but he quickly turned it to do not disturb. A message from Jumin, it would have to wait. Wherever he was, there were bars around him, and that meant he couldn’t risk losing his phone. Seven would need the signal.

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He wasn’t picking up, and I was in no mood for it. Zen knew it was almost time for our twins to arrive, and yet for some reason, his phone was off. Fantastic. Now I was angry as well as being in pain. Who else could I call? There was only one other person I knew of who at least had a car and always picked up. Unlike the last week when we’d had a false alarm, this was definitely the real thing. The babies were coming whether I got to the hospital or not.

Jumin was quick to pick up. “Is something wrong, MC? You never call me.” It was true. If we ever talked, it was because Jumin had called me, and it was usually business related. Rarely did I ever even call him for business; I had always preferred to email. “I’m in labor, and Zen isn’t picking up.” A contraction had me pausing to breathe. It was still a little early for the twins to be coming. They were technically right on the cusp of full-term, which was a bit of a miracle, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled. More like terrified and on top of that, horrendously angry.

“I will send a car over immediately. Please stay on the line.” Although he was curt and professional, it seemed that Jumin was very aware that right now I needed someone just to be there. I was all alone and about to face one of the biggest ordeals of my life. “Yes…okay.” It was a lot like searing pain and pressure was trying to crush down through my back, but I focused on breathing like I’d learned in classes. “It isn’t like Zen not to answer your calls.” Jumin’s low tone had me instantly panicking again.

That was completely true. Zen always answered me immediately, even if he was in practice, at least to tell me that he couldn’t talk right then. He was as excited and nervous about the twins’ arrival as I was. Where was he? “Jumin…I need to call Seven.” Emotions were swirling around in my head. Jumin’s voice was commanding but gentle. “You will do no such thing. Assistant Kang.” I heard him speaking softly to Jaehee and then he was back on the line. “Assistant Kang will speak to Seven. I will be meeting you at the hospital. I’m sure we’ll find him. His phone probably died in rehearsal.”

It all sounded so reasonable, but I didn’t want to be reasonable. I wanted to scream and throw things, but that didn’t seem like it was going to happen any time soon. Where was my husband? I needed my knight, but he wasn’t available.

***

Zen blinked and opened his eyes slowly. Where the Hell was he? It was dark, and there was some water dripping on his leg. He moved to sit up, feeling rough, wet stone underneath him. His phone pinged, but he quickly turned it to do not disturb. A message from Jumin, it would have to wait. Wherever he was, there were bars around him, and that meant he couldn’t risk losing his phone. Seven would need the signal.

He stood and tried to remember what had happened. His fingers brushed over the back of his head, and he found a large bump there, crusted with dried blood. Zen winced and decided to test the bars. He was pretty strong, but there was no budging them. Besides, once he got out of the bars, then what? The albino had no idea where he was or why.

What had happened? Zen closed his eyes and wracked his brain, despite the throbbing pain it caused. He had been in rehearsal. It was his last break, and he’d called MC, who was a little worried because she was feeling some twinges and light contractions. At first, he’d wanted to go home right away, but she’d told him that as long as he kept his phone on, he could stay, just in case it was another false alarm like they’d had the week before. After that, they’d said their ‘I love you’s’, he’d hung up, and then, nothing. Absolutely nothing.

His head ached. MC…She probably needed him, but he had no idea where he was. Could he risk sending her a message? No…Zen didn’t know where he was or what was going to happen to him, but he’d have to trust the RFA to take care of his babe. He gripped the bars as rage went through him. Whoever was keeping him here, he wanted to knock their teeth out.

***

Seven had set up in the hospital hallway just outside, after I’d thrown something at him for entering the room. Jumin was patting my hand lightly every time I gripped the side of the bed. It was the best he could really offer, and I was grateful for it. Zen had asked Jumin to take care of me if something ever happened, and now I was convinced something was terribly wrong.

Every once in a while, Yoosung would slip into the room to mumble something to Jumin who would excuse himself to call Jaehee. The only thing I could catch was that they’d located Zen’s phone. That at least gave me some hope, but would he be with his phone, and why wasn’t he answering his calls?

Yoosung once more ducked in just as I cried out in pain again, making him jump and apologize. I just shook my head, not in the mood to speak. After some soft whispering to Jumin and little glances my way, I felt the dark-haired man pat my hand gently. “Excuse me MC.”

***

“The bodyguards are on standby to move in once you confirm to me the address and information you have.” Jumin was worried, tapping his fingers impatiently on his arms. Seven looked up from what seemed like frantic typing to him, while Yoosung had stayed behind with MC. A faint squeak of pain from the blond had Seven perking up, looking towards the door. Jumin stepped into his view. “He probably did the stupid thing and took her hand. Women in labor don’t pay much attention to how much pressure they’re applying.”

Seven raised an eyebrow at the older man. Why would he know something like that? Jumin tended to research strange topics all the time, so maybe he’d just been brushing up. The redhead looked back to his screen. “Looks like his phone is still in the same location, a small home just outside of town registered to a Sakura from Japan.” He paused to pull up another screen before continuing. “Looks like she moved here from Japan shortly after Zen announced his relationship with MC. She’s been all over his fan clubs calling herself the ‘True Mrs. Ryu’ as well as being a major leader of the MC Hate Club that scattered after Zen and his agency disowned them.”

Jumin ceased his tapping on his arms and instead fixed his cufflink as he thought it through. “It would seem he has somehow been kidnapped by a super fan. How did she manage to bring down a man as strong as he is? As much as I don’t understand his choices and opinions, Zen isn’t weak, and he isn’t stupid.”

Seven pulled up another screen in answer. It showed a video of Zen standing with his back to a woman dressed all in black, a hoodie barely cover her face. He pressed play and Zen hung up the phone, his call to MC, and then the woman hit him over the back of the head. She dragged him away and out of the alley. The redhead pressed a button to show her struggling to push him into the back of her car and then driving away, pulling her hood down to reveal her face, confirming her identity with Seven’s research.

“We don’t know what she wants with him, so we need to send someone in, fast.” Seven had barely finished his sentence before Jumin was once again on the phone to Jaehee. “Send them in.” Well, at least they were taking care of it.

***

Zen hadn’t realized he’d fallen asleep again until he heard a door opening. His eyes flew open, and he leaned away from the wall he’d propped himself against. “Who’s there?” A giggle answered him and then a short woman, her hair black as night, eyes a strange shade of pink, came into view. “Just your darling wife, silly. Are you ready for dinner?” What was obviously a home-cooked meal was on a tray in her hands, which unlocked a little attached mini cage to push into his area. Zen didn’t move. What was this? His wife was at home and probably scared out of her wits, which wouldn’t be helpful for the twins. They were probably even on their way and he wasn’t there for MC again.

“I don’t want to play this game. Let me leave before my friends find me.” He was trying to keep his temper under control, seem like he was perfectly calm, but he honestly wanted to hit this woman in the face. Her smile was so creepily serene. “No one’s going to find us here, honey. Don’t you worry; you’re safe from that witch MC now. I know she forced you to date her and then she got pregnant to trap you, didn’t she? So disgusting.” Zen inhaled sharply, his fingers going to pinch the bridge of his nose.

He heard it then, the sound of doors slamming open and footsteps upstairs. Faintly he could hear what they were saying. “Secure the area. Your first priority is to capture Sakura and rescue Zen. Move.” The RFA had come through for him. The woman was still serenely looking at him. What was with this woman. How deluded was she? Was this just something he did to people? Alia, and now this Sakura woman…

Zen shook his head and pulled his phone from his pocket. Now that they were here he could risk it. His eyes widened. Ten missed calls from his wife and a multitude of angry and clearly terrified texts. Frantically he sent a few of his own back, telling her what had happened, that he loved her, and that he would be there soon.

Not a minute later, Sakura was shrieking as the bodyguards entered the room. “Zenny, protect me.” The albino snorted mirthlessly as he stood. “Not on your life.” That was when her face became a pit of rage, fighting against the bodyguards who held her back. “That witch brainwashed you!”

Really, he was doing his best to ignore it, but as soon as the guards had opened the cage and he was being walked past her, he turned and put his face right by her ear. “Rot in Hell.” He wouldn’t raise a hand to her. She was clearly insane, and he had better things to focus his energy towards. Zen learned from the bodyguards that his wife was in labor at the hospital nearby, and it wouldn’t be long until they arrived. No one knew if the twins had been born yet, and Zen was hoping he would be there in time.

***

The look of relief on Jumin’s face when he had reentered the room this time, saying that Zen was safe, it had helped wash away some of the fear. Zen was on his way. My phone was vibrating like crazy across the room, but the doctor was busy checking me over, so he wouldn’t let me use it. “If you don’t progress any farther soon, Mrs. Ryu, you might have to go in for c-section.” I had been told my body was fully ready for the babies to come, but for some reason we just weren’t getting anywhere. “We should prep you now.” The doctor gave me a look when I shook my head vigorously. “If the babies aren’t in danger…I need my husband here first.”

Now Jumin was the one giving me a look. “Wouldn’t you rather get it over with now? You’re in so much pain, it simply isn’t logical to…” I snapped at him, too tired and too in pain to care at the moment, and he didn’t even flinch. “Shut up about your logic. I don’t care about logic. I want Zen.” Immediately guilt washed over me as Jumin once more patted my hand through a contraction. I’d have to apologize later.

The door opened, and I didn’t open my eyes, expecting that the doctor had left or that it was Yoosung again, except then I heard his voice. “MC…” Zen. He was here. My eyes flew open and I tried to sit up more in the bed only to have him there wrapping his arms around me, keeping me in place.

His hand now rested on my stomach and it was like everything in me had relaxed again. There was still pain, but there was also Zen. “Babe, I’m so sorry…” His ruby eyes had tears in them, but I couldn’t say much at the moment as there was another contraction, one with a considerable amount of pressure. “Oh God, I need to push…”

***

The doctor had laughed after handing us our children, joking that they had obviously just been waiting for their dad. Zen leaned over me to stroke my hair as his other hand kept going from one baby to the other. He had wanted two baby girls, but what we had gotten were one of each. They both looked exactly like him.

“God cursed my children with beauty too…” His voice was so full of adoration, and all of the stress from the day had melted away into pure unadulterated joy. We named our son Jun, meaning talented or handsome and our daughter Areum meaning beauty. It would be a little while before I went back to work as Zen’s manager, but we had a long road ahead of us as a family of four, one that would fill our lives with happiness and memories.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | Worries

“You’re still thinking about V, aren’t you?” My husband’s silence was enough answer. Jumin shouldn’t have been the best man, and V had been missing for so long now, almost an entire year. At this point we were all very worried. We had been worried at first, but thought perhaps he took a last-minute trip, but now everyone was certain something was wrong. Zen sighed softly before lightly tugging at his suit jacket. Usually he would be tugging at his white jacket, so it just seemed to frustrate him more.

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We drove away from Zen’s special spot and off towards the hotel we would be staying in for our honeymoon. It was out in the country, hopefully away from any people who would recognize us or try to disturb the occasion. The reservation had been made under Yoosung’s name, since Seven couldn’t because of his job, or so he said, and the others had their own reasons for why they might attract attention. Jumin and Jaehee were famous in their own way, C&R was a major household name at this point with all of the products it provided.

Zen had his hand on mine which was resting over my stomach as I looked out at the moon. It would have been nice to feel the wind whipping my hair back, what hair wasn’t in my motorcycle helmet, but this was so peaceful and so right. We were a little family now, our little ones included, and I couldn’t have been happier than I was in that moment.

I felt Zen lightly stroke his thumb over my wedding ring and smiled, taking his hand to press a kiss to his knuckles which made him smile broadly and give me a falsely chiding look, his tone playful. “Now, babe, the knight is supposed to kiss the hand of the princess.” His laugh was so lilted and sing songy, it was intoxicating. We were both over the moon, but there was something else there too, underneath the happiness, I felt it as Zen pulled his hand away from mine, looking back out at the road.

“You’re still thinking about V, aren’t you?” My husband’s silence was enough answer. Jumin shouldn’t have been the best man, and V had been missing for so long now, almost an entire year. At this point we were all very worried. We had been worried at first, but thought perhaps he took a last-minute trip, but now everyone was certain something was wrong. Zen sighed softly before lightly tugging at his suit jacket. Usually he would be tugging at his white jacket, so it just seemed to frustrate him more.

I reached over to take his hand back. “Don’t worry, Babe. I’m sure we’ll find him…Now let’s get you to the hotel and get you out of that jacket.” The way he inhaled sharply at my comment I realized that my sentence could be taken in a way that wasn’t entirely innocent concern. I bit my lip lightly. Well, it was our wedding night, but I really hadn’t meant anything other than that he seemed uncomfortable.

As I looked over at him, catching the little flame in his eye even from my profile view, I didn’t bother to take it back. Lately, we’d been abstaining thanks to healing from my wounds, but I was cleared by the doctor and not experiencing any pain anymore, so I wasn’t about to stop his beast from appearing. “Be careful, MC, my beast has missed you.”

Now I really wasn’t going to stop him. “Just keep him leashed until we get to the room.” I teased him knowing exactly how that would make him react. His eyes were definitely aflame. My lip was going to be sore even before he would be kissing me from all of the biting, but I didn’t really care.

We pulled into the hotel and I could see Zen was itching to get through the checkin process faster. We had to call Yoosung to confirm that yes, we were who he had reserved the room for. At first the blond didn’t pick up and Zen nearly smashed his phone in irritation. I had to take it from him, giving him a soft swat to his hands. (Hidden YooSeven scene for Jaehee level patrons and above. Become a patron.)

Finally, we were in the room and Zen had barely closed the door before his hands and lips were on me, one buried in my hair with the other tightly gripping my hip. The scar didn’t hurt, but I reflexively winced and he pulled away from the rough kiss, looking into my eyes. Even with the beast, he could always hold himself back when it mattered, for which I was grateful, but now I had gotten to the point where I needed him too, fire now starting to heat my bloodstream as electricity seemed to crackle between us. “Are you sure you’re alright for this?”

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I curled up into Zen’s arms. He had long ago fallen asleep, and even with as exhausted as I was, I just couldn’t seem to do the same. There was just so much that was still uncertain, so much to worry about. Zen stirred a little and his hand curled protectively around my belly and the two little ones inside. This simple action melted my heart, and finally, I was able to slip into sleep, my first night as Mrs. Ryu.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | Our Sunset

I had been right to think that Zen would look amazing in his suit. My eyes fixed on him as I stepped out of the tent and started the short walk to the officiant…Which was Seven. It was just another thing I would never understand, but for some reason, Seven was already a licensed officiant. Neither Zen nor I had trusted it at first, but having him officiate instead of hiring someone was certainly safer as far as people who knew about the wedding. As I walked, a smile spread far across my face, my heart singing for joy. Zen had a similar look on his face, but something else too, shock and awe.

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My dress was rather simple, more of a party dress than anything, but it hid my bump a little better. We had planned the wedding rather quickly, and I was happy about that, to be entirely honest. I wanted to be married to the love of my life as quickly as possible. My hair was braided simply to the side, a few white flowers tucked in. The little tent I had changed in was starting to get rather hot now, though. I wondered if Zen was faring any better in the heat of his suit. He probably looked amazing.

Zen had made good on his promise to me to take care of me through my recovery from Alia’s attack. The lower left side of my stomach and back had a nasty raised scar, but other than that, I was much better, and our twins were growing, far too quickly it seemed. I smiled and ran my hands over the bump. Zen was sure that he was having two little girls, and he kept saying it would be a pain to the universe since they would have our beauty combined. Sometimes he was a silly man.

“Are you ready, MC?” Jumin had lightly tapped on the tent flap to get my attention. He was Zen’s best man. I giggled a little at the thought that someone he formerly seemed to hate was now the best man at Zen’s wedding, but such was life. “I’ll be out in just a moment, yes.” Really, I wasn’t nervous, I just hoped Zen would like my dress. I would be walking down the makeshift aisle myself, my parents had died in a car accident after I graduated high school…Maybe that was why it had been so important to me that Zen make up with his family. His family was actually here already, in their seats in the front row.

On some level, it was astounding to me that the paparazzi had no idea we were getting married today. This was Zen’s secret place, it had virtually no cell service, and now only the RFA and his family knew where it was. Of course, none of them would sell us out to those scoop-hungry people. There really was only one person missing, V. Whenever I brought him up, asking if Jumin or Seven had managed to find the former leader of the RFA yet, Zen always got quiet. He clearly missed his friend. They had been very close at one point, and now no one knew where the man was.

It was about time I stopped reminiscing and make my way out. I opened the tent flap slowly and looked out across the clearing that looked out over a cliff towards the town, a beautiful view. It was afternoon, and we would be spending some time here eating and talking after the wedding, spending time as one large family until sunset, when we would drive off towards our honeymoon. Zen had insisted that we not ride on his motorcycle, renting a car instead. He was worried about the babies, and it made my heart melt. My love would be an excellent father.

I had been right to think that Zen would look amazing in his suit. My eyes fixed on him as I stepped out of the tent and started the short walk to the officiant…Which was Seven. It was just another thing I would never understand, but for some reason, Seven was already a licensed officiant. Neither Zen nor I had trusted it at first, but having him officiate instead of hiring someone was certainly safer as far as people who knew about the wedding. As I walked, a smile spread far across my face, my heart singing for joy. Zen had a similar look on his face, but something else too, shock and awe.

He reached for me and pulled me into his arms, planting a kiss on my lips that had Yoosung grumbling. “Hey, you aren’t supposed to kiss until *after* you’re married.” He was raised pretty traditionally, and Zen’s family seemed to have a similar feeling based on the looks on their faces, but they kept silent, just happy to see the son they’d thought was a lost cause getting married. Jaehee was fiddling with some work, still working even though Jumin *had* given her the day off, but she was worrying about how the fans would react. You would think that by now she would have learned that Zen could never lose his place in the acting world, but I could hardly blame her. As his manager, I had worried too, but Zen had insisted that we make this decision for ourselves. Zen blushed and laughed, breaking my thoughts away and back to him. “Right, yeah, sorry cutie, you just look so beautiful, I had to.”

Really, I hadn’t minded at all. Seven just started laughing. “Well, I could just skip everything and declare you married.” He shrugged, making a silly face over at Yoosung who blushed and turned his face away, sneaking a few little peeks at the redhead which only made the blond blush harder. Those two. I shook my head, “Let’s get this wedding underway.”

***

The others had left before we did. It had been Jumin’s suggestion as the sun started going down that we be left to witness our first sunset as husband and wife together alone. I had never realized just how romantic he could be, but he was as full of surprises as any of the RFA members. “It’s nowhere near as beautiful as you, Zenny~ but I’m glad I get to share this moment with you.” We had our arms wrapped around each other as we looked out over the town below, the red and orange sky growing slowly darker, fading to the blacks and blues of night with twinkling stars.

Zen pressed a soft kiss to the top of my head. “I was about to say the same to you.” I looked up into his ruby eyes as he took my chin, pressing a kiss to my lips, a slow and languid movement. It felt as though he was trying to tell me something, pouring his emotions into it, so I did the same, pressing closer to him. When he broke the kiss, there was some wetness in his eyes. “Zen…” He just shook his head. “I’ve never been so happy in my life…I thought no one would ever want to take care of me, or that no one would be able to see me for who I really was beneath the beauty, but you did.”

His hand brushed against my cheek while he took the other from the small of my back and placed it over my belly, over the two little ones growing inside. “I love you, MC. Thank you for choosing me.” My heart was a goner at this point, melted beyond hope. There were tears welling in my own eyes as I responded in a soft whisper. “I’m so glad I did…I love you, Zen.”

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | Blame

Alia…Zen had mentioned Alia when he…The memories came back to me now, stabbing pain and burning, Zen reciting lines to me as he applied pressure to my wound. I tried to sit up, feeling a stabbing pain again in my lower left side. Alia had attacked me at the meet and greet. But what did Zen mean by losing them? Who were they? And why would I lose them? It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. The door opened, and I looked up to meet the ruby gaze of my fiance’.

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I opened my eyes slowly. This place…I couldn’t recognize it so I must never have been there before. The sheets were a little scratchy and the entire room looked way too white. I turned my head to see I was hooked up to an IV. That made my stomach lurch a little. Had something happened to me? I couldn’t quite remember. The last thing I remembered…My hand had a beautiful ring on it, Zen’s ring. He had proposed. I smiled weakly, remembering the way he had proposed up on stage for the entire world to see. My fiance’…He really truly loved me, and I loved him.

There were soft voices from outside the room, I now noticed. They were familiar to me, Zen’s voice, and….Jumin was there too. His dulcet tones mixed in with Zen’s smooth and low one in an odd way. They were better friends than they used to be, and I could never help but remark on the sounds of their voices together like that whenever they were in the same room.

Jumin was saying something about still not being able to find V but that it hardly mattered right now. He sounded frustrated, stating that V had abandoned them after that party, which was pretty much true. No one had seen him in months. Zen’s own tone held similar frustration, but he seemed more concerned about me. “The RFA can’t continue without MC, so just make sure your doctors know what they’re doing.”

I heard a soft chuckle from Jumin. “More like you can’t continue without MC. You heard what the doctor said, she’s going to be fine, although there is some concern with…” Zen cut him off. “Let’s not talk about that right now…When she wakes up, I want her to hear it from me not some dream or overheard conversation.” His voice sounded almost strained now, a little choked with pain. “What happened…if she had lost them…This is my fault. I should have realized that Alia was more of a threat.” Jumin started to explain that Zen couldn’t blame himself for this, but I wasn’t listening anymore.

Alia…Zen had mentioned Alia when he…The memories came back to me now, stabbing pain and burning, Zen reciting lines to me as he applied pressure to my wound. I tried to sit up, feeling a stabbing pain again in my lower left side. Alia had attacked me at the meet and greet. But what did Zen mean by losing them? Who were they? And why would I lose them? It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. The door opened, and I looked up to meet the ruby gaze of my fiance’.

“Babe…Thank God you’re awake.” The look on his face was filled with relief, but the strain there was unmistakable too. He moved to the side of my bed, taking my hand and pressing soft kisses to my knuckles, then each finger in turn. “Zenny…” I smiled at him and he smiled back, a single tear forming in the corner of his eye which I reached out to wipe away.

For a little while we just sat there and looked at each other. He seemed to be processing something, thankful that I was alright but also stressed and worried about sharing whatever it was he needed to with me. I decided that maybe it would be best if I gave him a little shove to the end, helped him to get the words out that needed to be said. “Who…who are they?”

At first he furrowed his brows. My question hadn’t exactly been very clear, but then he realized. “So you were listening to that conversation after all, huh?” The smile on his face seemed sad and he squeezed my hand a little harder, once more pressing a kiss to my knuckles before lowering it from his face and taking a deep breath. “Babe…You’re pregnant with twins.”

My heart dropped into my stomach as I stared at him in disbelief. “Pregnant? Twins?” I didn’t know what I had been expecting, but it certainly wasn’t that. “I…how far along?” It did make sense though. For almost a month I had been seeming to get progressively sicker, so that sickness the morning of the play and meet and greet before the attack, that had been morning sickness. But…I could have lost them…

My hand went to the wound under the covers. It was wrapped in tight bandages, but I knew it was there. I had been stabbed in the stomach, and lower left side…That wasn’t good, at least it wasn’t directly where the babies would have been right? I was now panicking a little at the idea. I was carrying Zen’s children, and I was now absolutely terrified that something had happened to them.

Zen sensed the tension and lightly rubbed his thumb over knuckles in an attempt to soothe me. “They’re okay…You’re all three okay…As far as how far along, the doctor says just about two months.” So that meant…right around the night of Damon’s party. I bit down on my lip. The night with the mirrors, when I thought we would be find despite the lack of condom. Guess I had been wrong. “Won’t this…negatively impact your career, all of this?”

My fiance’ made a heavy sigh and smiled weakly, leaning forward to rest his head against the side of mine. “Only my manager would think about my career at a time like this…” He was spreading comforting warmth through me the more he touched me, so I felt a little bereft when he kissed the side of my head and pulled away to just hold my hand again. “Don’t worry about my career…This is a scandal, but we’ve been through those before. You and I can make it through anything…” His voice wavered there at the end, and I took my hand from his to stroke the side of his face instead, him laying his hand over mine.

“You know this isn’t your fault, Zen…You can’t be blamed for Alia doing something like this.” My heart ached for him, that he would blame himself for someone else’s actions, it just made it feel like a hand was crushing my heart. I hated to see him sad like this. He just nodded and turned his face to kiss my palm. “I know…but I could have realized at the least the depth of Alia’s obsession with me.” This just had me shaking my head. “No, you can’t be expected to understand the mind of someone crazy enough to stab the woman you love simply because you chose her over them.”

Zen smiled weakly again and nuzzled my hand. “I really do love you, cutie…I’m glad you accepted my proposal.” Had he actually been worried that I wouldn’t? Didn’t he know I was head over heels for him? “Of course I did…I want to be your wife more than anything and…I did want to have children with you, I just didn’t expect it so soon.” I rubbed my hand over my stomach, marveling a little at the idea that there were two babies, his babies, growing inside. Zen noticed the action and added his hand over my own.

“We…can get married first, in a private ceremony at my secret place, keep the paparazzi out so it’s not so stressful. Just us and the people that matter to us.” He was such a romantic man, that an intimate private ceremony only made perfect sense. “That sounds wonderful.”

He leaned forward to kiss my forehead again. “Let’s get married as soon as you’re healed. I want you to be my wife as fast as possible, so everyone can know that you belong to me and I belong to you.” I moved to give him a soft kiss, wincing just a little at the pain it caused in my stomach, but it was worth it as he kissed me back, seemingly letting all of his stress melt away into the kiss. Zen and I would be married and have our own little family and nothing could stop us.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | Surprises

Zen stood up and made his way back to center stage only to have the audience lights go out and a spotlight reappear on him, the supporting cast moving around him in a semi-circle, including the leading lady. He extended his hand toward me, ruby eyes glinting with that determination I knew all too well, except he wasn’t about to deliver a performance.

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“Babe, are you alright?” Zen knocked softly on the door as I managed to flush what I’d just coughed up and went to rinse my mouth of the bitter taste of bile. “Yes, I’m fine!” Really, I felt absolutely awful. I was sweaty, nauseous, and also dreadfully hungry at the same time. It was quite the combination, but now wasn’t the time to have the flu. He had a performance as well as a meet and greet to take part in that I was supposed to field and manage.

Before he could knock and ask again, I put on a brave face and opened the door. “Oh, I’m fine, Zenny~! Don’t worry so much. It’s not good for you to stress before a performance.” His ruby eyes were still filled with concern, but I gently cupped his cheeks and stroked them with my thumbs, and his worry lines softened some, seemingly satisfied for the time being. “What would I do without my manager?”

I felt absolutely horrible, but he was right. I couldn’t let him go out onstage by himself. My Zenny needed me now more than ever as his popularity and fan-base grew. It was becoming increasingly more difficult to get around without being recognized. These days, the director was suggesting that we should hire bodyguards, but Zen insisted that his fans were over the hate club thing and would remain respectful.

As I waited behind the wings, watching his play, this was the only thing I could think of. That and how much I felt like staying in the bathroom for hours on end with my head in the toilet. Still, I had to be there for my Zenny, and I needed to throw him my rose as always.

The final scene ended, and Zen looked towards me expectantly. As my rose flew through the air, another also came towards him. My own was knocked from its destined path and he pushed forward onto the stage on his stomach, slipping towards the edge. I thought I was going to have a heart-attack as he nearly went right over the edge of the stage, the audience gasping, but then they were clapping and whooping in elation and excitement.

I was doing my own little moment of elation, holding my hands to my chest as I tried to steady my heartbeat, my legs feeling like they would give out any second. But I wouldn’t get the chance to calm down. Zen stood up and made his way back to center stage only to have the audience lights go out and a spotlight reappear on him, the supporting cast moving around him in a semi-circle, including the leading lady. He extended his hand toward me, ruby eyes glinting with that determination I knew all too well, except he wasn’t about to deliver a performance.

His mic was back on and he was asking me to come on stage. I had to snap myself out of my momentary stupor. “Will my lovely manager and girlfriend join me on the stage please?” There was nothing else to do but to un-glue my legs from the floor and make my way shakily to him. His cast-mates were singing now, a low humming really as I reached out to take his hand.

Zen dropped to one knee in front of me, reaching into his pocket, and now I knew. The tears clouded my vision instantly, but I wiped them hastily away, wanting to see his beautiful face as he proposed to me. “MC…I’ve had so many fans, but there’s never been a woman like you. Not only do you see me for my talent, but you see me for the man that I really am inside, even looking past how handsome I am. I want to be your leading man for life…Will you marry me?”

There was such as hush over the crowd but as soon as I was bobbing my head yes, it was back to that whooping and screaming. Zen placed the ring carefully on my hand, pressing a kiss to the simple silver ring’s stone before he stood to pull me into his arms. I wasn’t even thinking of how sick I felt anymore. At this point, I was too filled with happiness and excitement to think of anything else except that Zen was going to marry me. He dipped me for a kiss and it seemed the crowd went even wilder as I wrapped my arms around him, kissing him back with equal fervor as what he was showing me.

There was such a crowd at the meet and greet, but there was only one person there with not an ounce of joy. Alia clutched the knife in her hand. It wasn’t particularly big, but it would do the job. That woman. She had taken everything away from her. Zen was supposed to be her knight in shining armor. The life she’d lived under Damon’s thumb, she’d been waiting for him to save her from Damon, but that time wouldn’t come as long as that bitch had her claws in him.

Finally, the crowd started to shift as Zen and the bitch exited the theater going towards the little canopy they were going to sign autographs under. With all the excitement going on, it was only all too easy to push her way through the bodies between her and her arch enemy.

I was so busy watching Zen that I didn’t even notice there was someone approaching behind me before I heard someone screaming. ‘Look out!’ That’s when I felt it, a burning pain in my side, coming through to my gut. First one stab then two. My hand slipped from Zen’s as I saw him realize what was happening. I fell to the ground as he went after whoever or whatever had stabbed me. My hand pressed against the stinging pain, warm blood seeping through my fingers.

Zen was back at my side as I rolled onto my back. “Babe, cutie, MC, hey, look at me, okay?” I felt his hand on my cheek was unusually warm. It was so nice out. How could I be cold on a summer’s day? Another shock of pain went through me as he pressed his other hand hard over my own on my wound. I made a soft sound of protest but he just kissed my forehead, tears landing on my cheeks as he pulled away, ones that weren’t my own.

“Everything will be okay. The ambulance is on its way…someone has Alia, and I’m here with you. You’re going to be fine. Everything is fine.” I just nodded numbly, my brows furrowing. “Alia?” Wasn’t that the woman at Damon’s party, the one I’d seen last opening night leaving after Zen met with his family? Zen just kept stroking my cheek softly as he started to recite some passages from tonight’s play to me, unsure of what else to do.

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