The very act of being @dinosaur
The First and Only Chapter It should be noted I generally use he/him pronouns for Pitou here and in all my other works. Thanks for reading.

Pouf dies. He renews himself like rain.

When he’s born into his next life, it is with a sick twist of irony to find that he has become the very thing that he once, like the carnivore he was, feasted on.

This time, he is weak and imperfect. He can no longer split open entire buildings with his fists, and the glory of his shimmering wings are not to be found on his back. He is as good as naked.

It is only some years later he finds Menthuthuyoupi.

Pouf does not even have to look-- one day when the wind has turned biting and Pouf walks, Youpi slides into line behind him as quietly as a sigh, and follows, trailing along silently and as dutiful and loyal to Pouf as he had always been in his past life. 

Youpi is but a little boy with shrubby hair when he once, in the past, loomed over both he and Pitou with a frame of nothing but burly muscle. But this Youpi is short, far shorter than he has any right to be. 

Pouf towers over him now, and it feels alien.

“Youpi. ” Shaiapouf asks the summer morning he finds him, when the flowers are in full bloom. His face is frantic in the shyest glimmer of hope. “Where is Pitou? Have you seen him?” 

In this life, the Youpi he knows is mute and does not speak. All he can do is shake his head, and the disappointment that follows bows into Pouf like a second spine. It stings him far better than any poor man’s rose.

You’re small, Pouf cannot help but note. You were small then, too, he thinks, and when he looks down at Youpi he relives memories from another time in a faraway place--  Youpi, small and smaller still, curled up on a filthy ground beneath stars that knew no love.

I should have taken care of you better.

“I am sorry.” His tongue feels dumb between his teeth as even he says it. “Sorry,” He repeats, then quietly adds, “For everything.” He does not need to say what he is sorry for. Youpi knows well-- they both do. They did not take into account the inevitable fact that Pouf could not look after the both of them alone-- Pitou was the thread that wove the three of them together.

Youpi only blinks up at him in a slow, hazy way that tells him just everything is going to be alright.

It’s not.

Just a few months later, Pouf finds him lying still and broken by the side of the road.

The old Pouf would have howled and wept for him shrill.

Pouf (this Pouf), just mourns quietly, and wonders why the whole world keeps passing him by.

//

The second life is far kinder.

He and Youpi search for Pitou together.

Neferpitou is all brown hair and brown face in a nameless crowd. Pouf recognizes him easily.“Pitou,” Pouf says. “I found you.”

A beat of silence waxes thick between them. When Pitou speaks, his voice is wobbly and wet. Vulnerable. A long time ago, it would have been nothing short of mortifying, coming from Pitou, who was meant to be the most resolute, the backbone of them all.“I was so lonely.”

But they are neither ants nor guards this time.

They’re just human.

And unlike their first life, it’s their saving grace.

Pouf wraps Pitou in a neverending embrace--

And allows himself to be whole again.

A year’s timing leads Pouf to the wrong place at the wrong time.

He’s sent to his next life in a rain of bad timing and bullets when Youpi and Pitou are sleeping fitfully, miles away.

//

Sometimes Pouf wonders if, like the god he was named after, he must keep chasing the golden sunset of life forever.*Third time’s the charm.

This time, the three of them are related by blood, as they’ve always been-- born into the same family. Meruem lives next door.

And there’s a girl--

Her name is Komugi.

Meruem comes to greet them, and the two of them walk hand in hand.

Pouf’s pulse jumps, right into the dip of his throat. He won’t look at Komugi-- not when he has spent the better half of the time he knew her hating her until his lungs ached. But she is just as he remembers-- someone who spoke louder than thunder, and when he spots the filmy, far off look to her eyes-- blind again in this life as she was the first-- truly, he thinks, nothing has changed.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Meruem says. “I wanted to thank you-- all of you,” and Pouf nearly flinches, because he sounds so warm, like his voice has been soothed by love.

A king should never sound like that.

He sounds so content.

“Please sire,” Pouf steps forward. Don’t thank me when I’ve failed you--

“My name is Meruem,” He corrects him with a voice so gentle yet so final and absolute that Pouf feels like he’s being smothered to an early grave in the kindest way possible.

This is not the king.

He is fleshy and soft and has let his body become that of the thing he loves.

“I’ve been waiting to meet all of you again!” Komugi chirps, holds out her hands for them to take. “Maybe this time ‘round,” She cracks a toothy grin. “I’ll finally get to know you all better.”

He sees the way Meruem turns to her. Sees his smile slow and gracious, like the sun burning it’s brightest after rain. 

There is no world to conquer, and they’ve had their time. Now all that’s left, after the weight of lives lived through decades of deaths and mistakes, is to remake themselves new again.

Maybe Pouf was not made to uncover fate with his own hands. Maybe he was not built to challenge things beyond his power.

They can start over again. 

And maybe they can do it right this time.

I wrote this a year ago and it's hectic but feedback is always appreciated 🙏🏾
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