The La-Iin Series
“Have a Bloody Birthday, Dami”
La-Iin sat in the living room kicking her feet back and forth and stroking Choungetsu. ‘I wish school wasn’t out. I’d love to be playing with Fer-Shi, or admiring San-Kyung….I wish Bes-Isa wasn’t tired, and I’m sick of taking Choungetsu on walks….’
Choungetsu rolled onto his back, his tail still wagging fiercely. La-Iin started to stroke his chest. He seemed thrilled and his fluffy tail wagged back-and-forth.
‘I want something to do.’
Outside, she felt as if she could hear the whoosh of someone flying nearby. At first she was curious to check what species the flier might be, but she ignored it and stayed pampering Choungetsu instead.
Someone knocked on the door. La-Iin flinched.
“Can you get it, La-Iin? I’ve got my hands full right now….”
“Alright,” she sighed. She pushed Choungetsu away and walked over to the door, then opened it.
Asul-Zenza stood there, dressed from head-to-toe in black, with a smile on his face.
“Hello, La-Iin….I have a favor to ask.”
“DAMI!” La-Iin had completely forgotten to control her volume and flew at him. This caused the sound of stomping only a few moments later. Mit-Sun stopped near the door and glared.
“Please, Mit-Sun, hear me out…”
“No. Get out of here.”
“Mit-Sun…” Asul-Zenza sighed. “Do you remember what today is?”
“A day that doesn’t matter.”
“What day is it today, Dami?” La-Iin asked.
“I would hope she would remember, though I’m not sure if she’s feigning ignorance or not…” Asul-Zenza said as he put La-Iin down. He stared Mit-Sun in the eyes.
“Today is my birthday….if it is okay with you, I would like to spend it here.”
Mit-Sun slammed the door in Asul-Zenza’s face.
“Mama, you bitch!” La-Iin said. Mit-Sun growled as La-Iin opened the door. She pulled her away from the door, which came swinging open. Curious, Choungetsu scrambled over to see what was going on.
“I understand, Mit-Sun,” he sighed. “I understand. I only wish you’d at least send me off kindly. I know that this year, I’ve been coming over several times more than–”
Mit-Sun slammed the door once again, though this time Asul-Zenza fought against it, keeping it open. Mit-Sun continued to try to shut it as Asul-Zenza spoke.
“I know I’ve been coming over several times more than you’d like,” he said. “And I know I’ve technically been crossing barriers you haven’t wanted me to. I begged to witness La-Iin’s first feeding, for instance, or took care of her while you were sick–which I think is one thing you should at least be grateful for–but I’d like just one more thing. One more! You’ve called me over before, for goodness’ sakes! I hardly ever call you, you’re always the one calling me! I know you don’t like me, Mit-Sun, but I am determined to spend this birthday in this house!”
Asul-Zenza succeeded in opening the door. Mit-Sun went crashing to the ground, nearly landing on Choungetsu, who yipped and ran away. La-Iin flew into the air to keep herself from having a hard landing.
“No, you’re not spending your birthday in this house!” Mit-Sun mocked. “Don’t you have any friends, Asul-Zenza? Aren’t your parents still alive? Spend time with them! Don’t intrude on our day!”
“Mit-Sun, I beg of you!” He threw his body to the ground in a bow. “I assure you, I do not want to spend my birthday in this house because of you. If it were up to me, I would take La-Iin, Bes-Isa, and Choungetsu back to my house and spend my birthday with them there, but that would be completely inconvenient! As it stands I woke up today much later than I would have liked to. Please grant me this wish!”
“Hell no!” She yelled. “Go home!”
“Mama, I want to spend time with Dami!” La-Iin complained.
“Yes, well guess what? I’m the one taking care of you, and I don’t want you to go anywhere near him! So you won’t!”
Choungetsu started to growl. “Don’t you start with me! You live with me too, even if he brought you here, so you’ve got to listen to me too!”
“Asul-Zenza,” she said, her tone stern, “perhaps if you hadn’t intruded so many times this year, I would’ve been forgiving. If you had only come over in January, to take La-Iin to the migration, and to watch her while I was sick, then maybe, just maybe, I could have allowed this. But damn it, you didn’t. You took La-Iin out one night without my knowledge and almost scared me to death. You’ve intruded several times for no reason and you claim to want to repair our relationship–which you say is only because you want us to have a friendship so you can watch La-Iin, but how do I know you’re not crazy enough to still feel something for me? And in that case, you’re disgusting.”
“Perhaps a few years ago, I would have had ulterior motives of that type. Not now. I can barely see you as a friend when you’re this harsh. It makes me wonder why I dated you, proposed to you, lost my virginity to you…why did I do those things? At times like these, I can only imagine it’s because La-Iin needed to come into the world!”
“Am I supposed to remember what a virginity is?” La-Iin said to herself. Choungetsu whimpered.
“Stop saying these sorts of things in front of La-Iin,” Mit-Sun said.
“As if you’re any better!” Asul-Zenza’s expression softened into a desperate one. “Please, Mit-Sun, I beg of you. I won’t spend the whole day here anymore. I’ll make a compromise! All I want is to read a book to La-Iin, then! You have a children’s picture book, yes? I could read her a book, tell her a story about myself if you don’t, go on a walk with her and Choungetsu, please, Mit-Sun, I only want something simple! Please….”
“No. Like I said, you and La-Iin will outlive me. Bond then, when I’m not around. If you’re so desperate to bond before I die, then bond when she moves out. But not while I’m still taking care of her.”
“That’s such a harsh thing to say, Mit-Sun….” Asul-Zenza sighed.
“Mama, you suck,” La-Iin snapped.
“You know, Asul-Zenza, you can still have an enjoyable birthday. Leave now. Find something to do! Have a good time, I’m not trying to take that from you. Just, have your good time away from me and La-Iin.”
“Mit-Sun….” Asul-Zenza whimpered. Watching him look so miserable, La-Iin couldn’t help but feel pity for her father. He sighed dejectedly and stood up. He turned towards the door and spread his wings, but glanced over his shoulder at Mit-Sun.
“If there’s one piece of advice I’d give you, it would be to mature slightly. Disliking people is fine and I do not begrudge you it, but I am not a bad person. You act as if I would harm La-Iin if she lived with me when that is not the case. I’ll take my leave now and pray my day is as good as I was foolishly expecting it to be here…”
“Dami!” La-Iin yelled. She grabbed on to his cloak. Asul-Zenza smiled at her, then opened the door.
Asul-Zenza turned around, his expression one of surprise. “I thought you wished for me to leave, so I am going to. Don’t play cruel jokes on me, Mit-Sun. I don’t like that.”
“I was going to give you a pass,” she said.
“I should have known you’d get lucky! Mama’s a wuss,” La-Iin said. Mit-Sun glared.
“Look, you’re getting lucky for one reason and one reason only. This year, La-Iin didn’t have the best of birthdays, as you may know. You talking about having a bad birthday reminded me of it. La-Iin’s begging you to stay as well….but I also remember you said you’d be okay if you got to do even just one thing here.”
“Yes, I did say that, and it holds true.”
“Well, guess what, that’s all you get,” Mit-Sun said.
“Oh, thank you, Mit-Sun,” Asul-Zenza said. “I have the perfect idea for what I wish to do as well, if La-Iin is–”
Asul-Zenza blinked. “What? But you said I–”
“Asul-Zenza, I’m letting you do this, but you’ve taken enough advantage already and done several things I never wanted you to do. So as far as I’m concerned, what you do here will be under my discretion….and if La-Iin’s alright with it, you can drink blood with her.”
“Oh, I’m always fine with blood,” she said.
“Y-yours? Why, Mit-Sun, you never–”
“Not mine!” She spat.
“….oh. Silly me. Of course not.” Asul-Zenza gave a brief whistle. Mit-Sun started to glare so intensely that to La-Iin it looked as if her face was covered in wrinkles. Asul-Zenza smiled at her, folded his wings, closed the door and walked to the kitchen. La-Iin followed closely behind him.
‘God, I hate that man sometimes,’ Mit-Sun couldn’t help but think.
“Where is the blood, Mit-Sun?” Asul-Zenza called.
“Where do you think!?” She snapped. “Ask La-Iin!”
“Oh. Thank you!” He said. Mit-Sun rolled her eyes.
In the kitchen, Asul-Zenza and La-Iin giggled as they sat together and drank their glasses of blood.
“Happy Birthday, Asul-Zenza,” Mit-Sun said.
“Oh, Mit-Sun, thank you!” He exclaimed. He hugged her tight. “Though I am wondering when you’ll let me feed from you as opposed to simply giving me blood products…”
“We may be engaged, but I still feel like I can’t trust you not to drink me dry,” she said.
“I would never! If not for your sake, I wouldn’t do that because of the baby.”
‘Always the baby, isn’t it…’ Mit-Sun gave a mental sigh as Asul-Zenza opened the chocolate and bit into it. Blood splattered onto his face, and he smiled. Mit-Sun wondered if she imagined the feeling of a kick as she watched him.