Chasing The Winter Moon ♥
Pairing: Moon Jae Shin / Goo Yong Ha (GeolRim fic) Post Sungkyunkwan Scandal
Overall Rating: Probably NC-17
Requested by: hoshiko_malfoy
Summary: Following an epic scandal at their university, two master scholars search for their own meaning of love.
Lesson One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen [lemon]
Yoon Hee was on her feet before Sun Joon could reach Dae Min. Catching at her fiancé with her strong hands, she pulled on the scholar’s arms, trying to yank him sideways before he could get his hands on the other man.
“Let me go, agi,” Sun Joon growled. “This filth needs to die.
“If you kill him, then we will have to get help hiding the body,” She hissed. “And where can we bury him without the ground dying in protest? Don’t you think the head of Sungkyunkwan won’t notice when an entire area is blackened and scorch from the rot burying him would cause?”
“Do you think the two of you scare me?” Dae Min rose slowly, hiding the shaking of his hands in the folds of his robe. “Do you think you can intimidate me into giving up my friendship with Geol Oh merely because you are unhappy with it?”
“What is the point of your friendship if you use your cousin to tear the man down?” Yoon Hee turned to ask, keeping a firm grip on Sun Joon’s arm.
“That was …” Dae Min cursed his loose tongue. “I did not put Bon Hwa up to that. Like you, he is jealous of my relationship with Moon Jae Shin. I obviously need to reassure my cousin that he is still my friend and that one does not replace the other.”
“Doesn’t it?” Sun Joon spat. His temper high, the calm and collected scholar was washed away by the passionate fury Dae Min invoked in him. “Isn’t that what you are trying to do to Yong Ha? Put yourself in his place with Jae Shin?”
“If Yong Ha were actually in Jae Shin’s heart, then you would have no fear of this, no?” Dae Min said slyly. “I know of Yong Ha. Even if he were to bring Jae Shin closer, he would lose interest quickly. He is like a spoiled little boy who wants a treat and with one bite, he is done and moving on to beg for the next kind of cake. You are Jae Shin’s friends. Do you think he deserves that kind of friendship?”
“What do you know of friendship?” Yoon Hee inquired. “Jae Shin was sick, poisoned by the alcohol he drank and instead of seeking help, you took him to a place where you could paw over him. How is that friendship?”
“I wasn’t given a chance to help him,” Dae Min lied smoothly. “How was I to know he was sick? It took you some time to realize it. It took time for the poisons in the brew to reach his innards and make him ill. He was gone before I could act. If anything, you denied me the chance to prove to Jae Shin that I love him dearly as a friend.”
“A friend?” Sun Joon asked, drawing himself together. “Is that what you want from our Jae Shin?”
“Do you claim any love for him is deviance then? You who stand besides a woman who wears our robes? Robes that until she lied her way into these grounds, were forbidden to a woman? If not for the King’s favour, would she be wearing them now?” Dae Min pressed. “And if you claim love… did you love her before her nature was realized. Because if you are saying that it is true love between you, then for a moment…perhaps even longer… you were in love with a man. In your mind and in your heart, you loved a man. Is the love deviant? Or the person?”
“That is not relevant,” He growled back. “Yoon Shik…Yoon Hee…”
“Is one and the same. You loved the heart while accepting the body,” Dae Min straightened the tie on his robe, artfully arranging the bow to lie flat against his side. “If you have not called me here on something official, then I will take my leave. But know this, I will not give up my friendship with Moon Jae Shin merely because you ask it. The only person who has the right to turn me away from him is Moon Jae Shin himself. And considering our… closeness, I do not see that happening for quite some times; despite what Yong Ha might do to make it otherwise. Good day, Student President and her lackey. We shall talk some other time.”
Yoon Hee continued to hold onto Sun Joon’s arm while they watched Dae Min leave the council room. The rage in the man’s heart was evident, his dark eyes burning holes through Dae Min’s body until the man closed the door behind him, leaving the couple alone. Only then did Yoon Hee drop her hand and hissed out her breath with intense frustration.
“He twists everything,” She muttered, upset at the turn of events. “He uses us to justify his taking of Geol Oh.”
“Kim Dae Min is not stupid,” Sun Joon pointed out. “If anything, he is more dangerous because he has nothing to lose in this. Jae Shin is his friend, no matter how he manipulated himself into the man’s life. The Geol Oh will defend him because that is his nature.”
“I hate that about him sometimes,” Yoon Hee replied. “So what do we do? Other than kill him. Which is what I am leaning towards.”
“Make it impossible for him to be alone with Moon Jae Shin,” Sun Joon said, his voice once again calm and cold. “If Kim Dae Min would like to know what friendship is like, then let him see ours. Constantly.”
“I can’t move,” Geol Oh murmured as he stretched out on the blankets next to his lover. “Well, not much. I think you broke me.”
His body ached in places he’d not expected and the constant itch in his soul seemed to be gone, scratched by the touch of the man laying next to him. He knew he smelled and there was a drying, flaking film on his hips and thighs but the effort to move seemed too much for him.
He also didn’t want to get too far from his Yeorim.
His. Jae Shin pondered the word. He went for something to more…connective. A word that he held in his heart. Mine.
“What are you muttering about, my wild scholar?” Yong Ha let the languid feel of his afterglow seep through his bones. “The air is full with your thinking which tells me that I didn’t do a good enough job of loving you.”
“You did…” He turned over onto his stomach, lifting himself up to rest on his forearms. Brushing his fingers over Yong Ha’s bare ribs, he shyly leaned over and kissed the spot he’d tickled earlier. “I don’t think I can move more than a few inches.”
“Then I definitely did a good enough job loving you.” He purred at Jae Shin’s touch, luxuriating in the man’s gentle stroking.
“Have you… done a lot of this?” Jae Shin pushed himself to continue. “With other men?”
Yong Ha turned his head to look at his young lover, reading the emotions he knew were brewing beneath the surface. There could be only honesty with Jae Shin. He needed to live his life openly and full-hearted; no walls to deflect truths and certainly no stone maze to traverse to reach the trust he needed. Yong Ha spent his life behind false smiles and half-baked lies, skillfully negotiating the pitfalls of their society’s intrigues.
Behind the doors of their shared room, there could be no masks or hidden smiles, Yong Ha realized. Especially not in this, not as Jae Shin reached out, hoping for reassurance that he was worth loving.
“A little,” Yong Ha replied solemnly. “More when I realized I was in love with you but then I came to understand that while I was open to being with a man… that I got pleasure from being with a man… I felt nothing…I felt dirty because that man was not you.”
“But I…” Jae Shin stumbled over his words, unsure on phrasing his thoughts so Yong Ha would understand his meaning. “We weren’t…”
“Together?” Yong Ha answered with a nod. “In my head, I knew we were not a couple. But my heart and soul, said otherwise.”
Jae Shin pursed his lips, exhaling noisily. His heart skipped a beat then dove down into his belly as another thought came to him. “And…the women?”
“Ah, the women,” Yong Ha grinned widely, amused at the blush on his friend’s face. “I love women. I do. They are maddening and more manipulative and vicious than men. The aristocratic ministers and lords think they are skilled politicians but no one is better at social puppetry like a woman. The heavens will only weep for us when a woman rises to lead our society. There is a reason men push them down. They are frightened of what a woman can do. I am sure of it.”
“So you admire them?” He looked confused and Yong Ha took pity on him, rubbing at Jae Shin’s full mouth with his thumb.
“They can bring great pleasure,” The flirt acknowledged. “I like pleasure. I like being pampered and cooed over. I grew up in a household of women and I learned at an early age how to use that to my advantage. They like a pretty face and someone who listens to them. The more attentive a man is to a woman, the more spoiling they give him.”
“But you’ve been… their lover,” Jae Shin said, unable to keep a timbre of jealousy from his voice.
“Jae Shin,” Yong Ha broached gently. “Women are… like clothes. Beautiful things to try on and wear but nothing feels better on me than my own skin. I love women. I do. I love their taste and how they smell and how they sound. But for you, I would never touch another if you asked it of me.”
“How could I ask that?” He stared down at the blankets, angry at himself for daring to think Yong Ha was only his. Jealousy ate into his belly, a blackened poison that reached his heart to turn it cold and stony.
“I’ve asked you to go against your nature,” The man prodded. “When I asked you to stay by my side…to not risk yourself for the… for what your brother died for, you could not. Would you now? Could I ask you to turn away from who you are?”
“No,” Jae Shin answered. “I feel… dark inside because of it. From your love of women. It sickens me inside in a way I can’t describe.”
“Probably the same way I felt when you were protecting our Yoon Hee,” Yong Ha said, tapping his lover’s forehead. “A little jealous but at the same time, relieved that your heart could beat for someone else besides a noble cause. It was very tiring you know, competing with an ideal. Your crusade against the wrongs of society gives me indigestion. I can’t dress better or ply you with sweeter words than justice. She’s a hard mistress to shove aside.”
“Would you? Give them up if I asked?” Jae Shin looked up suddenly, meeting his lover’s thoughtful gaze. The shimmering wet in his eyes gave Yong Ha pause and not for the first time, the young scholar was struck by the intense passions hidden in the other man’s heart.
“Yes,” He murmured softly. “I would give up anything for you. It would be hard because I’ve built up a reputation but I would. I already have, really. I’ve not… been with a woman in months. Every kiss from another’s lips has been like ash for me lately. Only you… your mouth… your touch… has made me feel alive again.”
“People would wonder if you were ill,” Jae Shin fretted. “And… it’s wrong of me to ask that. It is. People would suspect something if you suddenly became chaste. They would think the world was ending.”
Yong Ha’s laughter was a fierce, hearty sound that brought Jae Shin’s scowl to full bloom. Balling up his fist, he lightly tapped Yong Ha’s shoulder, barking his knuckles against the man’s sinewy arm.
“Don’t laugh at me.”
“I am laughing at you because you are right. They would think I was sick.” He wiped at his face, glad he was already on his back or he would have fallen over. “No, I don’t want to give up women but if you wanted me to…”
“No, it wouldn’t be right. It’s not fair to ask you to change for me,” Jae Shin muttered, hating himself for seeing the fairness of the situation.
“There is also another solution,” Yong Ha ventured. “I could take you with me… to the tea houses. And we could share…”
“A woman?” Jae Shin gaped then his body convulsed, a hiccup rocking his chest. Puffing up his chest, he held his breath before another escaped. The attempt was futile and he hiccupped again. “Damn you.”
“You would like some of them, my shy wild horse. Some of the gisaeng are quite witty,” Yong Ha offered. “I am friends with a few of them. Visiting the tea houses isn’t just about sex. Mostly they are fine companions…and without the complications of an upright woman.”
“I don’t know if I could. Do that. With someone other than you,” He muttered under his breath.
“That’s the best part of being with a gisaeng,” Yong Ha leaned in to whisper, letting the tip of his tongue trace the shell of Jae Shin’s ear. “We can do things… very wicked naughty things with each other while she is there and she will keep our secrets. The gisaeng are wonderful at… helping someone love another.”
“Yong Ha!” Another round of hiccups racked Jae Shin and he punched his friend harder, wishing away the blush colouring his cheeks.
“There are reasons I stick to gisaeng, my Geol Oh,” He replied, pulling away to rub at his injured, soon-to-be-bruised arm. “They are women intent on my pleasure and have no intention of securing my heart. I can please myself and not give away what is yours. There is nothing complicated about being friends with a gisaeng; I only have to offer patronage and protection and they offer…gratitude. Love? I would rather have from you.”
“What now?” Jae Shin ducked his head, burying his face behind his mane of hair. Yong Ha carded his fingers through the deep, soft silk, pulling it away from Jae Shin’s beautiful features. “Between us… this.”
“This,” Yeorim murmured, craning his neck to kiss Jae Shin’s temple. “This is all we need. If I could stay inside of this room with you forever and feed off of your love, I would.”
“I would miss…” He frowned. The thought of staying within the room’s four walls brought an prickle up between his shoulder blades and he squirmed, uneasy at being contained. “Everything.”
“Oh no, my Geol Oh,” Yong Ha laughed. “I know you. Keeping you in a cage isn’t what I want for you. You’re too restless inside. Too passionate. I imagine that I’m going to find myself doing some very unsavoury things in the least likely of places because of it.”
“Would you mind?” Cocking his head, he regarded his long time friend with new eyes. The prettiness of Yeorim’s features no longer tugged at him and Jae Shin found he could look at the man full-faced, something he had trouble with before. Where the descriptions of shared love with a gisaeng made him embarrassed, the thought of taking pleasure with Yong Ha on the rooftops or on the shore of the river made him hard.
“No, I don’t mind at all.” Yong Ha’s smile was wicked and full of intent. “And I think that tree hollow of yours is just big enough to do what I’d like to do with you.”