Chasing The Winter Moon ♥
Lesson Twenty-One [FINAL CHAPTER]
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.
Thank you for joining me as I wrote this. I appreciate having all of you with me. Many snookies to Hoshi (hoshiko_malfoy) who wanted this fic. I hope I did your request justice. Snooks.
Lesson One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Se7en, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen [LEMON], Fifteen, Sixteen, Se7enteen, Eighteen, Nineteen [LEMON], Twenty [LEMON]
The thaw came quick, moving in with a hot kiss and shattering the frozen veneer winter laid over the city. Within days, the eaves ran slick with melted ice and Sungkyunkwan’s pages scurried to spread sand over the walkways’ growing puddles, lugging hammocks of mounded grit between them in a frantic race to beat the scholars before they came home. The students arrived in dribbles, one or two at time. Many admonished themselves for not taking the time to keep up with their studies, especially when welcomed at the entrance by a sign announcing points-dependent tests covering their most recent materials.
A warbler scolded Yoon Hee as she made her way through the soggy yard. Burdened by heavy satchels filled with food, she nearly lost her footing when her shoe slipped on a patch of ice on the pavement. Flailing to keep her balance, she came to a jerking stop when two strong arms caught her before she fell.
“You cannot expect to be able to walk when you are carrying things as heavy and as tall as you are,” Lee Sun Joon righted his fiancé, putting her back on her feet. Removing the satchels from her nerveless fingers, she glared at his imperious tone.
“I can carry that,” Yoon Hee snarled. Sun Joon ignored her, continuing down the pavement towards their dormitory. His servant bowed with deep courtesy, giggling at her vexed expression.
“The young master can be… a trouble sometimes,” He murmured as he passed, ducking his head to avoid a falling clump of snow. “It is good to see you again, mistress.”
“Kim Yoon Hee!” Sun Joon stood on the walkway of their dormitory, ramrod straight and somber. “Are you coming?”
“No,” She sniffed, climbing up onto the stone entrance slab and removing her shoes. “I’m going to see the seniors first. You can put those in my room.”
“She’s gotten bossy now that she’s student president,” His servant muttered as he fell in behind his master.
“No,” Sun Joon grinned, a wide stretch of a smile that gentled his features. “She’s always been that way. Let’s put these away. I’d like to see Moon Jae Shin and Goo Yong Ha myself.”
She found them in one of the gardens, its plum blossoms beginning to break through their snowy confines and speckling the nearly bare branches with delicate pink clouds. Jae Shin sat on a stone rise, nearly hidden by a gardening shack and lost in thought, his hooded eyes watching Yong Ha as the man struggled to reach some of the more pleasing arrangement of flowers, a set of snipping clippers in his hand. Several sprigs lay on the ground, carefully placed on a flat rock where he couldn’t accidently step on them. His gat lay abandoned on the ground, its black horsehair ridge battered slightly from being smashed up against the lower branches.
“He’s picking flowers?” Yoon Hee bounced up behind her friend, resisting the urge to hug him from behind. She held back for a second then bent over, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck. “It is good to see you, sunbae.”
“Aish, Daemul,” Jae Shin muttered, giving her a light, gentle shove. “Get off of me.”
Her robes fluttered, barely disturbed by his push and she laughed at him, settling down next to him. The cold stone seeped through her clothes and she gasped in surprise. Tapping her shoulder, Jae Shin jerked his hand up, motioning her to rise. Lifting his own hips, he unfolded a flap of the mat he’d been sitting on, spreading it out to share with the young woman.
“Oh, it’s cold.” Squirming, she made herself comfortable, grateful for the thick padding and Jae Shin’s heat. She snuggled up to him, ignoring his baleful glare and tucked her hands under her arms to keep them warm. “What is he doing?”
“He wants plum blossoms for his room.” Jae Shin glanced at her robes then undid the heavy jacket he wore. Tossing it over her shoulders, he steadfastly ignored her murmur of gratitude. “Now he’s not happy with just his room having flowers in it. The fool thinks all of our rooms should have them too.”
“They’re pretty,” Yoon Hee remarked, taking a deep breath to catch the sweet, light fragrance permeated with the fresh wash of winter.
“They die and leave a mess,” Jae Shin growled. “And then I have to listen to him about how they are fleeting reminders of our youth. He should be satisfied with the ones they make out of stone. Those are nice and they don’t die.”
“You are definitely not a romantic at heart, Geol Oh,” Yoon Hee pronounced. “He is very sweet to get them for us.”
“He’s an idiot.” Leaning on his hands, Jae Shin watched his lover jump around the base of the tree. “He’s gotten more snow on him than the trees have on them. And he’s fallen twice already.”
Yoon Hee watched as Yong Ha strained to reach a branch above him, jumping up to grab at the tree. Unable to reach his target, he instead jostled the slender trunk, dislodging clumps of snow which fell on his head. Jae Shin chuckled and Yong Ha turned around to glare at him, offering out the clippers.
“Do you think you could do a better job?” He spat out a mouthful of snow-frosted bark chips.
“My father’s ancient cat could do a better job than you,” Jae Shin grunted, getting to his feet. Brushing off his rear, he padded over to the tree, taking the clippers from Yong Ha. “Go sit with Daemul and stay out of the way. Just tell me which ones you want when I get up there.”
Yong Ha pulled a grimace at his lover then snatched up the branches he’d been lucky enough to clip off before damaging his ego any further. Calling out to a passing page, he bribed the boy to bring them hot soju to drink before settling down to direct his lover.
“So, have you and Sun Joon done anything with that book I gave you?” Yong Ha leaned over and whispered into Yoon Hee’s ear.
“Sunbae!” Yoon Hee exclaimed, pressing her hands up to her blushing cheeks. “No!”
“But you looked at it right?” He grinned at her shocked expression then laughing out loud at her shy nod. “Good, at least one of you will be informed. I’m not certain if Garang wouldn’t pass out from the shock of having to initiate anything.”
Lee Sun Joon wandered into the garden area and studied the scholars sitting next to one another. Pursing his mouth, the scholar glanced about and his eyes lit on Jae Shin. Changing course, Sun Joon strode over to where the other man was beginning to climb one of the heavier plum trees, the clippers clenched between his teeth.
“I think he doesn’t want to hear what we’re talking about,” Yong Ha commented, tilting his head to one side and smiling widely. “Probably because your face is darker than the blossoms. Ah look, here is the boy with our soju.”
He poured Yoon Hee a cup, wrapping the bottle back up to keep it warm for Jae Shin. They sat sipping at the spiced alcohol and Yong Ha shouted out directions periodically to guide Jae Shin towards the branches he wanted.
“He has no taste or eye for balance,” Yong Ha muttered, shaking his head at Jae Shin burying himself deeper into the plum tree. “Or colour. The most colourful I’ve seen him dressed was in the guard uniform we were made to wear. Oh! And when we compete in sports.”
“I liked Geol Oh in the burgundy he wore.” Yoon Hee sipped at the soju, careful of her empty stomach. “He looks good in that colour.”
Licking a drop of soju from the corner of his mouth, Yong Ha casually said, “He looks best without anything on at all.”
He put down his cup to pound her back, holding a startled Sun Joon off with a nonchalant wave of his fingers. She coughed, clearing her throat and sucked in a mouthful of air, glaring at her senior malevolently.
“You did that on purpose!”
“Yes,” He agreed. “I did.”
“So then, you two are…” She trailed off, unsure of how to phrase their unorthodox relationship.
“Lovers,” Yong Ha quirked his lips, tapping at his cheek with a finger. “Probably more so than you and Garang but then ah, we are older… more worldly. Which is saying a lot because Geol Oh is quite the innocent.”
Her mouth was full again when Yong Ha whispered.
“Or he used to be.”
The sound of her choking once more filled the air and this time, no amount of pounding on her back helped clear it. Shoving the man away from her side, Yoon Hee caught her breath and muttered about Yong Ha and his wicked ways.
Jae Shin padded up to join them, holding the clippers out to Yong Ha. Sun Joon was close behind, his arms full of fragrant branches. Exclaiming loudly with pleasure, Yong Ha motioned for the man to place them on the ground before him, pouring out two cups of soju before picking through the selection. Draining his cup, Sun Joon was about to pour himself another when Yoon Hee grabbed at his wrist. Using his weight to pull herself up, she bowed a quick goodbye to Jae Shin and scurried off, dragging an astonished Lee Sun Joon with her.
“What bit Daemul?” Jae Shin grumbled, removing the stopper of the container and drinking directly from the bottle. “Her face is all red.
“Hopefully, Lee Sun Joon.” Yong Ha yelped when Jae Shin’s fist struck the middle of his back. “You are going to end up giving me bruises in places I don’t want them.”
It was Jae Shin’s turn to blush and he turned his head away, unable to meet his lover’s teasing with a sharp retort. He’d discovered how easily it was to lose himself in the passions they had for each other, often marking Yong Ha with his teeth or gripping him tightly by the hips. Unlike the marks Dae Min inflicted on himself, the lingering mottles were subtle, not at all painful to look upon.
Jae Shin had to admit to himself, he liked seeing the tiny marks he left behind on Yong Ha’s body. Even better, they allowed him to lave and kiss the spots to make them feel better; which usually led to more markings.
“They’re…traditional,” Jae Shin replied, frowning at a branch being held up to his face.
“They’re about as traditional as we are.” Yong Ha shoved the sprig into Jae Shin’s hand, moving the man’s arm up so he could inspect it. “She passed herself off as a man. How traditional can she be?”
“Do you think… we will…” Jae Shin struggled to find the words he wanted to say. “Be able to live like… the way you said? Together?”
Lowering the branch, Yong Ha gazed into his lover’s face. Jae Shin’s expression was soft, unguarded and as vulnerable as when they were making love and Yong Ha sighed with pleasure, knowing the man’s gentleness was something only he was allowed to see.
“Oh yes, my Geol Oh,” Yong Ha glanced about, noting how hidden they were behind the walls of the service shed. Protected by the overhang and nearly fully tucked in by shadows, he risked leaning over and kissed Jae Shin on the lips, lingering long enough to slide the tip of his tongue into the heat of his lover’s mouth. “The question is, do you wish to? Do you want to live that way? With me?”
“Lotus, I can’t think of any other way I’d want to live.” Plucking off one of the blooms, Jae Shin tucked the flower behind Yong Ha’s ear, grinning when the man smiled at him, their mouths still tasting of their brief but passionate kiss. “Certainly not without you. Never ever without you, my love. My Yong Ha.”