Although Orange Marmalade was delightful, I personally would have loved if the writers explored more into certain topics they just mentioned. Good thing we fans have fan fictions to explore them for ourselves. I hope you are enjoying where I'm going with this, how we get closer to give Shi Hoo the happy ending we all wanted for him.

If you still miss this K-drama as much as I do, marathon it now here!

Previously on Orange Marmalade: Look At Me

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17

Orange Marmalade: Look At Me
Chapter 18: Lullaby

It’s nerve wracking, terrifying, paralysing. I don’t have anyone to say goodbye because the only creatures I really care about will be with me when the transfusion takes place, yet I still leave the VCS HQ with Ma Ri, mostly to get distracted because the mere thought of what will happen freezes my blood.

I’ve been locked in here for many days already, almost two weeks, so setting foot outside is really refreshing, even if it’s just to see the stars and walk at night in the streets of Seoul. Ma Ri is the one next to me, and it’s been a while since we left the VCS HQ but we haven’t exchanged a word. Our conversation, from before I was granted with the special permission to leave, weighs on us, the things we said and the things we implied.

Between thinking about what will happen tomorrow and what Ma Ri said, I think I prefer the latter. In my current state, sadly, those are the only two things I have space for in my head.

“So,” I start, because if I don’t, then dawn will break and we will still be walking in silence. “Does Jung Jae Min know that you’ll be giving me your blood? Did you even tell him about that possibility?”

He might be the perfect guy and whatever Ma Ri wants to believe, but I doubt he will be okay if he knows Ma Ri will be giving me her blood. Maybe among humans it means nothing, but for vampires it is different. Blood is not just something running in our veins, it’s what keeps us alive, what bonds us all together. Sharing blood is an ancient ritual, in which only lovers would drink from each other as a way to promise one another. We don’t do that anymore, but we still know of those times. Blood is shared between close vampires. Even feeding from the same cup is seen as extremely close. I guess it’s like an indirect kiss, but even more meaningful. Ma Ri and I shared blood from the same bowl when we were kids, but I guess it isn’t the same, we didn’t know the implications of it back then. Now she is willingly giving me her blood, with the hope to save me. How can Jung Jae Min be okay with that? He wouldn’t be human if he were.

“I told him about it, the first time they told you about it, and that I was going to give you my blood. He…” Ma Ri hesitates, looking down and putting a loose lock of hair behind her ear, her other hand holds tightly at the strap of her purse. “He wasn’t happy about it. He didn’t understand why I had to do that when you have your family. He thinks I’m going too far.”

“And what did you say? How did you convince him?” I ask, not surprised with his reaction but honestly curious.

“I didn’t,” replies Ma Ri, shocking me with her words. I stop on my tracks for a second, just to stare at her wide-eyed. “I couldn’t really explain to him why I’m doing this, why I have to. Have you ever done something without knowing why? Just because you feel in your guts it’s the right thing to do? You don’t really have a reason, you just… feel it.”

My eyes stay locked on her, still dumbfounded with her response. I, however, try to think of what she’s asked in order to provide the kind of answer she seeks, words that will sooth her.

There was a time when I acted before I could think, I just moved not caring about anything but saving her. I knew it would be the end for me, but I did it anyway. I used my special abilities to save Jung Jae Min and stop her from making such a mistake. That was just the beginning of bad decisions, yet I don’t regret what I did. Even if it didn’t work, even if she still used her special abilities. If I had to choose again, I probably would do it again even if it meant only buying her a few more minutes.

“I guess,” I share as she turns around. I haven’t moved from where I froze, now she’s a few steps ahead, watching me, waiting for my answer. “Normally when it comes to you I tend to act even if it’s a bad idea, just because it feels like the right thing to do.”

“Perhaps it’s my time to do that and understand what it really feels like.” Ma Ri gives me a faint smile, hesitant and a bit unsure, but sweet nonetheless.

“Did you even text him telling it’ll take place tomorrow?” I ask next, purposely not making a comment on her last statement. “Is he aware what will happen? We don’t really know how you’ll react, whether it’ll be too much for you or not. It might be dangerous, Ma Ri.”

“I haven’t told him anything,” she confess, looking guilty instead of worried.

“Do you even want to do it? Should I take you to his place or something?” I suggest because even if seeing Jung Jae Min is the last thing I want to do, I am capable of such a thing as long as it’s to help her. At the end, I always push my desires and needs to the back when it’s about Ma Ri.

But the girl in front of me shakes hear head, dismissing my suggestion. “I don’t want to fight with him again, and no matter what he says, I won’t change my mind. Up to now everything I’ve done is for him, or motivated because of him. I’ve endured a lot for him, and I think he needs to understand sometimes I’ll endure hell for others, too. Even if it’s dangerous, I’ll do this for you, Shi Hoo-ah.” Ma Ri smiles at me, encouragingly and certain. “I hope Jae Min-ah understands that later.”

“What if he doesn’t? What if becomes a constant issue between you two? If he can’t forgive you for doing this and not telling him?” I don’t know why I’m pushing the subject, why I can’t just leave it in that she wants to help me.

“I don’t know then,” she replies honestly. “I’ll deal with it when it happens, if it happens. Right now I’m more concerned about you. Let’s focus our prayers on you and the procedure.”

It’s such a curious thing to see Ma Ri acting like this, the girl that joined a crazy and difficult project just to be near Jung Jae Min again, the girl that endured so much, hoping he would accept her like that.

“Jae Min-ah knows I’m a vampire, and with being one comes many others things he might not understand, but I hope he can get that they are important for me. Doing everything in our power to help another vampire, especially one we’re close to, is something we do. We are just a few, we stick together, we have each others’ backs. That’s also part of who I am and I wish he would accept me like that, too.”

That’s true… she’s doing this because we’re both vampires, she’s just helping one of her same kind. I shouldn't be reading more into it. She’s not really doing it because it’s me, because I’m special for her. I know that, I’m so painfully aware of it, but I guess my heart still hoped that what moved her was me, not just what I am.

I don’t say anything else regarding that, I just resume my walking until I’m next to her and we can continue together.

We spend all night together, walking around, enjoying our time. At first we don’t talk, but then she starts an innocuous conversation that keeps us busy until it’s time to go back to the VCS HQ, which doesn’t make me happy at all. I start trembling as we get closer, my heart racing with every step, and I have to fight so hard not to look like a mess when we’re back, but I guess that despite my efforts, Ma Ri still notices it.

“Do you want me to play you a song to help you fall asleep?” she asks, grabbing the guitar I keep with me in my temporary room. I wonder if I’ll ever come back here, if I’ll retrieve that guitar and play it again. This might be the last time I hear Ma Ri play.

“Please,” I agree, laying down on my bed, getting comfortable.

She sits next to me, holding the guitar close, her fingers finding their place over the strings, as familiar as these can be. She hums ever so lightly to herself, probably going over the song she’ll play. Soon, the first chord is played and the melody starts coming to life. I close my eyes, enjoying the beginning, noticing it’s the first time I hear this. When I realise that I open my eyes again, watching her carefully.

A new song… it doesn’t have lyrics, it’s just a lovely, soothing, warm melody that brings comfort and love to the one listening. It wraps me tightly and tells me it’ll be okay, I don’t need to be afraid. It’s a melody to shoo all my worries, to fight every monster in my head and lull me to sleep. It’s a melody that takes my hand and leads me out of the darkness in which I felt so lost. I don’t know if it’s like this, but it feels like this song was especially composed for me.

I close my eyes again, letting every chord do what they were intended for. I start to relax, every muscle in me giving out, letting the exhaustion take me away until I fall asleep. Ma Ri plays the same melody nonstop, over and over again, with slight variations but not enough to keep me aware and alert. The melody has helped more than anything else, keeping the nightmares away and just bringing blissful sleep.

When I wake up, she’s not around, but the guitar is near and with her a little note from her.

They’ll come for you soon. I’ll be waiting, so don’t you worry. Han Shi Hoo… fighting! —Baek Ma Ri

Oddly, that helps. Knowing she’ll be there. I know I’ve been annoying, that I’ve doubted and questioned her so much for this decision, but today I’m so glad she’s stuck with it, that she’ll be there with me.

I take a deep breath, trying to ease my mind for what is going to happen, but I can’t take a second when the door opens and the two doctors walk in.

It’s time… they’ve come for me.

This is a work of fiction with no profit intent. All characters and context belong to the rightful writers of the webcomic and drama. This is made by a crazy obsessed fan for other fans who suffer from Second Lead Syndrome.

Bel, xx

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