Title: Made to be Broken
Fandom: The King and the Clown
Pairing: onesided (?) Gonggil/Jangsaeng
Prompt: Loss of Possessions
Word Count: 543
Summary: When Gonggil lost his heart.
A/N: Written for hc_bingo. Masterpost with my game card is here.
From the day his parents sold him for enough rice to feed the rest of their family, Gonggil could count on one hand the number of possessions he’d truly owned. A trinket or two given to him by patrons that he managed to hide from the others, a ring that his mother gave him before he was taken away, a set of ornate hairbrushes that he kept only because of his role in the troupe. Of all his possessions, few as they were, only one had he never had to fear losing, and only one had he lost so completely and utterly just by having it returned to him.
Somewhere along the line, he’d misplaced it. Maybe when they’d gotten a new tumbler and clown, a strong man who chose their life for reasons he never shared. Maybe it was when he realized that playing the clown was easier and sometimes even enjoyable despite knowing what would come after.
Or maybe he’d lost it little by little without noticing. A little bit here, in the ink and lines of teaching a man, a friend, to read and write and be more than he was before. Some there, in waiting out the cold night against the warmth of a broad shoulder. Bits and pieces in acts of kindness and friendship where none had been offered before. Something that was so totally and completely his, why would he expect to have to keep track of it like an errant child?
Wherever and whenever he’d lost it, whoever might have stolen it, somehow he felt freer than he’d ever been without it. Performing became something he loved and wanted to do, rather than an obligation because he was pretty enough to play the girl. Every day became an adventure, even when he knew what the night after it would bring. Every morning made things just the tiniest bit better again.
His heart, obviously, was happier being lost. Without him to hold it down, it soared.
At least, until it didn’t anymore. He wasn’t sure exactly when everything had changed, or why it was suddenly his fault that things were different. If only they’d never come to the capital, perhaps things would have been different. If they’d tried to find honest lives among simpler folk instead of doing what they knew and loved, perhaps his heart would still belong to someone else. If he’d refused the king and gotten them all killed, instead, perhaps...
But all the what-ifs in the world couldn’t fix anything now. His heart beat loudly in his ears, as if angry at him for caging it back inside his chest after so long when he’d never even noticed it was gone. He swayed on his feet, only will and disbelief keeping him standing when he knew there wouldn’t be anyone there to catch him this time.
He’d have thought it would be welcome, being whole within himself again. He’d have thought it would be easy, taking back something that was rightfully his. So why, standing there, watching Jangsaeng walk away from him, having his heart back for the first time since he could remember, only realizing he’d lost it to find it again...
Why, suddenly, did his heart hurt so much?
This entry was originally posted at http://envious-muses.dreamwidth.org/17189.html.