She likes the sun.
The sun is warm and bright, it shines upon all, and brings light on top of darkness.
For Mary, who is a necromancer, to say that she likes the sun, is perhaps a weird thing for others. For her attribute is darkness, and she is one of the kinds that’s condemned and hunted by the Sun God and his believers.
But Mary, who had not seen the sun during the years she lived in the City of Life, who has finally set her foot on the surface without having to hide herself from the world, thinks the sun is beautiful.
The sun is warm, and Mary likes warmth.
Of course, feeling a slight cold breeze during a very hot summer is incredibly nice, but Mary likes to think of herself as someone who likes the warmth in moderation.
Not a warmth that is too hot, nor is it something that is too cold to be called as warm.
The kind of warmth that envelops her entire being, that comforts her and fills her with its warmth. Mary likes that kind of thing.
She likes to feel the sun on the top of her palm, the only visible appendages with her entire body covered in that black cloak. She likes to feel the breeze of the wind teasing her skin, the scent of trees and flowers flourishing under the sunlight.
Yes, Mary believes she likes the warmth of the sun quite well. She does not think she can ever be tired of it, this exhilarating feeling of being outside, of being free to enjoy the sunlight and the wilderness, without having to fear of being hunted by humans who loathe necromancers such as her.
Yet once again, Mary finds herself feeling incredibly grateful for the person who makes all of this possible. The young master-nim, who offered her freedom and safety in the outside world in exchange for recreating a new arm for his servant. The young master who, despite how his payment for her services should be done already, still readily offers his home and territory for her to freely live in.
And because of that, Mary has gotten to know a lot of incredible people. People who do not fear her, people who do not want to hunt or kill her, people who like her. Even though some may be wary or scared at first, the people around Cale Henituse accepted her into their circle soon enough. They talk to her without fear, they are honest with her, they are willing to protect her and they fight alongside her. This band of people that Mary had never dared to think that she’d be close with before. And yet… Now Mary is confident enough to call these people as her friends, her family.
Her family that she will protect, the people whom she will gladly use all her strength for.
Her precious people.
Just like the sunlight that she delights in so much, these people are warm. They do not burn, and they are not cold. Her family is warm and brings light into her life just like how the sun brings light to the world, brings life to her world just like how the sun brings it to the flowers in the garden.
For her, her family is just like the sunlight.
And in the center of it, Cale Henituse is just like the sun.
This person, who looks so cold and stoic that strangers may find offensive or awkward to interact with, is very warm for Mary.
Cale Henituse is the person who did not flinch in fear when he saw her for the first time. Who did not condemn her or find her difficult to interact with. He’s always straightforward with her, and gives her the freedom to do what she likes. He gave her the opportunity to train with and use her bone babies, gave her a home to stay and live in without any fear of being persecuted.
And when people and organizations attacked him and the Henituse territory for housing a necromancer, he did not turn his back against her–and instead protected her.
He let her stay.
He created the opportunity so that people’s perception of necromancers would change.
He created the chance for her to walk in the outside world without having to hide herself.
He worries for her and takes care of her in his own ways, just like how he does so for all of his people.
He talks and interacts with her without any problems, he’s hugged her and held her disgusting looking hand without much thought.
Cale Henituse is very warm.
Mary likes that warmth very, very much.
In fact, Mary thinks she might like the young master’s warmth the most. Mary, who did not indulge in physical touch–for why would she when she looks this disgusting?–has actually started to do so.
Because… Cale Henituse does not mind.
Cale Henituse, when Mary asked if she could, perhaps, get a hug, did not refuse her or look repulsed about it.
Sure, he looked confused at first, but when Mary explained about her reasons, he was quick to shrug his shoulders and simply let her do what she wants.
Mary wonders why the young master trusts her that easily.
It’s not like she lied about her reasons, but… surely the excuse of “recharging her energy through hugs” isn’t exactly a good excuse to begin with?
But the young master just agreed… when Mary started to stutter about how hugs relieve stress, and she would like a hug, for a few minutes, if it’s alright, please?
Well, alright, he answered, shrugging his shoulders and simply opening his arms enough for Mary to easily slip in.
When she walked forward and wrapped her arms around his torso, when she rested her head on his chest–
Cale Henituse simply stood there, and accepted her presence.
And even now, when a few minutes have already passed, the young master is still as calm as ever, with Mary leaning on his chest, her arms wrapped around him.
It’s warm, she says, daring herself to wrap her arms more securely around him, to nuzzle her cheek on his clothed chest.
Is it? He says, nonchalant. He does not push her away, nor does he sound uncomfortable. Well, that’s good, I guess?
Yes, it’s very good, Mary agrees, her voice slightly muffled from how her cheek is pressed on his chest, young master-nim, being warm means you’re alive. You must stay warm at all times.
Cale shifts a little bit at that, a hand moving to rest his palm on her back.
Pat, pat, pat.
Of course, I don’t like feeling cold, he says, patting her back rhythmically.
Mary hums in content, unmoving from her current position, plastered so closely to her young master.
Human, human! Raon is sticking on Cale’s back, having been snickering for the few minutes Mary wraps her arms around Cale’s. You have to make Good Mary feel warm too! Hugs should be reciprocated!
Young master Cale sighs at that, and Mary has a mind to tell him that she does not mind. This is enough for her, simply wrapping her arms around him and basking in his warmth. It’s enough privilege for her to receive, and Cale does not have any obligation to repay her in kind.
But no words come out of her mouth, nor does she really have a chance to, for his arms soon envelop her, too. His arms that look so thin for they lack muscles unlike Choi Han’s or any of the other family members, suddenly seem to be so big as they wrap around her shoulders. His body warmth is transferring to her back also, and belatedly she realizes that his hand is now patting her hair, for her hood has fallen down in the middle of this endeavor.
Pat, pat, pat.
He is patting her, and Raon is snickering from where he’s perched on Cale’s back.
Slowly, she lifts her head, eyes visible through her mask meeting Cale Henituse’s own.
He looks nonchalant as always, though undeniable are the warmth she can see in his eyes, and the slight blush on his cheeks.
The young master… is blushing?
Raon is still snickering, his wings fluttering as he says happily, don’t worry about it, Good Mary, the human is just shy!
Cale’s lips turn into a small frown, muttering petulantly about how he’s not shy at all.
…If anything, the young master does look rather shy.
Blink, blink, blink.
Mary can only blink as she gazes at Cale, the redhead turning his gaze back to her.
As always, his gaze does not waver.
He does not flinch, nor does his eyes hold any negative feelings for her.
Even when her hood is down, when her disgusting spider web-like skin is visible for him to see, he still stares at her steadily.
As he did when he met her for the first time, as he does for every single time after that.
He looks at her steadily, surely. Her presence is not a threat for him as much as he regards her as a fellow human being.
He looks at her, with that pretty faint red on his cheeks, as beautiful as his red hair and his reddish-brown eyes.
He looks at her, and says, Mary, are you done?
Mary looks at him, the steady warmth that never falters at the sight of her, whose arms are wrapped around her just like hers are around him.
Mary looks at him, and underneath her mask her eyes crinkle as she smiles.
Yes, young master-nim. Thank you very much.
The sun of her family pats her shoulder as she steps away, his warmth enveloping her and reassuring. Sure, he says. It’s not a big deal.