Let’s suppose—


This is not a supposition. Kim knows this to be true now: there isn’t just one Jon. There are a million of him.

He is everywhere, not just in this room, not just the version of him keening on the mattress under Kim’s weight. There is a Jon in his hometown, left behind for a better life. There is a Jon in the dockyards, fixing big problems on little ships. There is a Jon on a flight going somewhere Kim will never be able to afford to go. Not outside of his job, never.

For every Jon who eats at a table full of friends, there is a Jon who nibbles at his cup ramyun alone.

For every Jon floating on the surface of the ocean, his body undulating with the waves and not a single rescuer in sight–there is a Jon sitting at home, wrapped in a thick blanket as he watches a stupid and mind-numbing TV show.

For every Jon who is a husband, a father, a brother and a son, there is a Jon who has no one and nothing to his name.

Out in the world, there is a Jon who marches out every morning with his squadron, his hair cropped short and his rifle always within reach. There is also a Jon who runs from the law, hides from it because his crimes are too great to be ignored.

There is a Jon who is made of music, who sings like his pulse lives in the beats and his blood rushes in the tunes. But as the universe’s response, there is a Jon who can’t stand even the sound overflowing from someone else’s headphones.

There is a Jon who is massive, as large as a planet, as large as several in fact. And there is Jon that fits in a closed fist.

There is a Jon who is immortal. There is a Jon who dissipated in the slightest wind.

There is a Jon in every home, in every town and city, in every country. There is a Jon in the air, in space, on the moon, even as far as the ends of the solar system. There is a Jon in every breath, in every beat of the heart, in every blink of the eyes. There is a Jon wherever Kim looks, wherever he turns. There is a Jon.

He exists. He does exist. But too much of him exists all at once. And even if Kim were to make it his life’s mission to gather every Jon into his arms, to make all the millions of molecules of Jon floating through the atmosphere coalesce into one big Jon that stood in front of him. Perfect. Unchangeable. Even if he decided to do that, he wouldn’t get very far from where he already was.

Because there is a little Jon in Kim. There is more Kim in Jon. They are each other, not separate, not divisible. They are one and the same thing. They are no more than the same person with different faces and different mannerisms but wanting the same things. Dreaming the same dreams. Moving together and against each other. Pulling and pushing in a meaningless tug of war that ended in neither’s victory and no one’s loss.

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Vi. 30. Ace. His walls may still stand a hundred feet tall and unyielding, his sentries may still keep their guns trained on possible intruders. His gate may be locked shut and his moat may be filled with beasts that could tear Jinki to pieces should he so much as dip a toe into the black depths. But everything else that makes Kibum has fallen to pieces. His indomitable fortress protects nothing. There is no one to save and no one to keep alive. He is completely emptied. He belongs completely to Jinki.

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