Pairing: Jaejoong and Junsu
Rating: Overall NC-17
Summary: Junsu discovers an emptiness in his heart and is afraid the only person who can fill it is someone too broken...too afraid to be loved.
Sections: One, Two
For Ree, Scarletpeonies, Calyto and Maria...and anyone else who wanted a JaeSu.
Pain was something Jaejoong knew. It shadowed him like an insatiable lover, caressing his body with an intense obsession bordering on abuse. His muscles and bones ached from years of abuse, driven to bruises and breaks from Jae’s affair with entertaining. And when he thought he would collapse from the shattering of his body, pain would draw back to give him some respite... only to reach out and grab his heart in its hard, icy fingers and plunge its poisoned talons into his heart.
He found a renewed anguish folded into the drenched grey shadows cast into an alley, wrapped up in a steel and glass box shaped like a sports car. Even from a distance, he knew that face… knew that mouth and the hands that clung to another man’s shoulders as if he were drowning and his companion was a storm-battered island that offered him shelter and warmth.
Every touch of Junsu’s fingers to the other man’s face was a knife to Jaejoong’s chest. He took a step forward, torn between wanting to see Junsu’s lover’s face and the urge to pull the tenor from the car and shake him until he could see the yearning in Jaejoong’s eyes…until Junsu could see the need in Jae’s heart.
A piercing car horn broke through Jae’s tangled thoughts. The rush of exhaust fumes hit the singer’s face, the hot acidic plume burning his sensitive eyes. Blinking, Jaejoong stumbled back, alarmed by a delivery truck’s metallic grill filling his vision. Glancing up, he mumbled a quick apology and ducked his head at the driver’s frothing curses for him to get out of the alley’s entrance.
He’d dropped his coffee cup when he’d recognized Junsu sitting in the car and Jaejoong left it where it fell, stepping over the steaming puddle, looking to escape the torturous scene he’d come upon. A few pink welts swelled on his bare toes where the coffee splashed over his rubber slippers.
The flip-flop’s thong provided little protection for his pale skin and the scald soon bubbled red but Jaejoong felt nothing other than the burn in his chest. Stumbling blindly through the morning foot traffic, he shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans, hoping his pulled down beanie would hide him from any curious eyes.
“What do I do?” Jaejoong rolled around the flow of people streaming out of a metro bus. “Do I say something? Do I want to know who that was? Why hasn’t he said something about…”
The sweet innocence of Junsu’s smile blazed in Jaejoong’s memory and he groaned, hating himself for desiring the angelic-voiced singer. From what he’d seen, Junsu’s relationship with the other man was intimate to say the least. They’d touched and hugged, the other man’s arms cradling Junsu as they whispered with their heads close together. The man could only be Junsu’s lover or at least seducing the singer into being his.
“What did I think was going to happen?” Jaejoong bit at his lower lip, nearly drawing blood with a fierce twist of his teeth. “Did I think he was going to suddenly look at me and fall in love? After all these years, what did I think he was going to see? Someone he’d want to hold him? Someone he could trust to keep him safe? Look at how I fucked up his life. Stupid! Idiot! Look what happened when he came go with us. Shit, he can’t even bring to say my name.”
He stopped and looked up at a patch of brilliant light blue sky peeking out from a cloud bank, his long lashes fluttering against the weight of his hot tears. A choking weight settled in Jae’s chest and he long to pound at the ache with a hard fist. There was nothing he could do about Junsu now. Any hope he might have had at having the young man in his heart was turned to ash before the fiery embrace he’d seen Junsu give his mystery lover.
“Look at his family,” Jaejoong whispered. “They can’t stand me now. Think they’ll feel about me when Junsu tells them I want him… in that way. It would be bad enough to want him… it is bad enough that I want him… but there’s no hoping for anything other than what there is now. Not for me. Not for us.”
“Don’t ruin what you have, Kim Jaejoong,” He told himself. “Don’t take away what little you have. Be satisfied with what you’re given. No one else is going to love you…not like you want. Accept that. Why do you keep dreaming and hoping for something you can never have?”
“He?” Hyukjae couldn’t have been more surprised if God himself had suddenly struck him with lightning through the roof of the car. “What do you mean he? Oh, Junsu-ah, what are you telling me? What are you saying?”
“I’m… in love, Hyukjae-ah.” The confession was a murmur but what followed was the stroke of electricity Hyukjae wasn’t prepared for. “I’m in love with Kim Jaejoong. I have been for a while now.”
“When did you… know that you…” Hyukjae swallowed and looked away. “Susu-ah, I can’t even say what… what you want. It’s not right. People will… your family. God, have you thought about what loving him will do to your family?”
“I have to trust my family. They love me. My mother… my father… even my brother… they love me. They’d never turn against me.” Junsu’s lower lip quivered and doubts clouded his clear brown eyes. His voice dropped and Hyukjae barely heard the whisper buried under the flood of Junsu’s tears but its heartbreaking rattle shook the foundations of Hyukjae’s soul.
“Would they, Hyukjae-ah? Would they stop loving me because I’ve fallen in love with another man? What would I do without my family?”
The sky above them wavered between a drizzle and sunshine, much like the uneven emotions welling up inside of Hyukjae at the idea of his best friend complicating his life with Kim Jaejoong.
Junsu sniffled and rubbed at his eyes with the heels of his hands, struggling to gain some control over his emotions. Hyukjae sighed and rubbed at Junsu’s back, running his fingers over the jut of his friend’s shoulder blades. With the car tucked into a shadowed space between three apartment buildings, he had no fear of being seen but he knew the trembling touch of apprehension begin to spread out from the base of his spine and eat away at his belly.
Hyukjae’s newly found fear had a name.
And it was Kim Jaejoong.
Hyukjae knew of Jaejoong. Who in the company’s stables did not? But he’d always skirted the edges of the singer’s notice, staying just out sight and reach of the man’s influence. Kim Jaejoong confused him. Hyukjae wasn’t afraid to admit it. The other entertainers in the company either professed to love Jaejoong or admitted to hating him. Jaejoong was a polarizing figure among the people Hyukjae knew. To hear the whispers, he was either a brightly coloured butterfly the company toyed with before it would pluck him free of his wings or a cunning, savage street cat with more lives than common sense.
Neither the flighty dreamer nor the rough lowlife was someone Hyukjae wanted for his sweet-tempered best friend. Even the horror of finding Junsu loved a man was nothing compared to the frightening realization that the man in question was Kim Jaejoong.
“God, what were you thinking when you left the company with him and Yoochun? What the hell did you think he was going to do for you? Did you love him then or did this stupid thing happen after?” Hyukjae spat, wrapping his arms around Junsu’s shaking shoulders. A chilling thought crept out of a dark spot in Hyukjae’s mind. “Susu-ah, please… tell me he’s not… hurt you. That he’s not forced you to do anything…”
“Hyunkjae-sshi!” Junsu jerked himself free of his friend’s embrace, his temper rising.
“I have to ask, Junsu-ah,” Hyukjae implored softly, stroking at his friend’s soft hair. “This is… not something that… this isn’t something that would normally happen between two men. It’s not how you were raised. This is not something you would go looking for so I have to ask.”
“You don’t know me at all then, Hyukjae-ah,” Junsu whispered. “I’ve always… wanted this type of love. Not as badly as I want Jaejoong but… in some ways, it’s been there. It’s always been there. Yunho-ah…hyung… he was the first one that I thought of in the middle of the night. When we shared an apartment, I would… sometimes watch him as he got dressed and wondered what it would be like to touch him.”
“God, Junsu, the things you say.” Hyukjae shuddered and rubbed at his numb face, trying to work the blood back under his skin. A cold chill hit him suddenly and he peered through his fingers at his friend, half-frightened to ask but needing to know. “Was there ever a time when you… thought of me?”
“You?” Junsu shook his head. “I… you were more like Junho-ah for me. Someone I could go to when I needed strength. I’m sorry…. I never…”
“No…no,” He sighed, partially relieved and slightly jealous. “What’s wrong with me? Never mind, forget I asked that. I’m obviously losing my mind.” The breath he’d been holding whistled through his pursed mouth. “God, Junsu-ah. Just… God. What are you going to do?”
“I want to love him,” Junsu replied, his voice soft and poignant. “I see the pain he’s in…the pain he hides from the world behind his smile and I want to wipe it away from his heart.”
“Do you even know what you’re saying? Do you know what you’re thinking?” Hyukjae gaped. “Do you even know what two men do with one another?”
“I know he knows,” The other man confessed. “I know Jaejoong’s been…with other men.”
“Oh God! What have I done for this to happen?” The young man leaned forward and rubbed his temples. An ache throbbed up from his eyes, spreading out to clench at the back of his neck. “Is that why you…want him? Because you’re curious? Because if it is…”
“You’ll set me up with Heechul?” Junsu’s mouth slanted into a disgusted sneer. “I would rather have sex with Yunho’s stuffed deer.”
“Have I what?” He stared at Hyukjae, not comprehending what his friend was asking.
“Slept with… someone?” Hyukjae asked. “Not Yunho’s stupid toy. I mean…anyone? Have you had… done that with anyone yet?”
“No,” Junsu said, shaking his head. “But I…want to. Sometimes, before I go to sleep… it’s all I think about. He’s all I think about. I wonder if he’s asleep yet but I know he’s not. I wonder if he’s having nightmares like he used to have when we all lived together and if he cries in his own bed instead of hiding in the bathroom like he did before. I worry about him being alone, Hyukjae, especially since Chunnie-ah and I are doing other things. No one’s asked… no one’s letting him do other things and we don’t know why.”
“Because the company hates him. They think he was the one who pulled the two of you away,” Hyukjae replied. “If they could, I think they’d pay someone to break his legs and cut out his larynx so he couldn’t ever sing again.”
“No…” Junsu swallowed, reaching for his own throat. “They wouldn’t… it would kill him. It would be kinder to kill him.”
“They don’t want him dead, Junsu-ah,” Hyukjae said with a curt nod. “They want him to suffer. He’s the weakest of the three of you. His family isn’t going to protect him. They have no influence… no money other than what he’s sent them. You and Yoochun… your families are strong and would support you, even if… you loved a man. I believe that, Junsu.”
“Do you…believe that? Really?”
“I think your family loves you that much but Jaejoong’s family? They look at him only as a source to feed the family. Other than the sisters who try to take care of his life, is there anyone else he can reach out to? Even those sisters… they can’t do anything to protect him,” Hyukjae said.
“The company’s left him alone. No one’s… hurt him. Not like you’re saying. They wouldn’t dare, Hyukjae.”
“The only reason they haven’t done anything to him is because if they do, you and Yoochun would never come back,” Hyukjae continued. “They lost Jaejoong a long time ago, the company knows that. They tried to get rid of him before but the four of you wouldn’t let go of him. Now, it’s the two of you holding onto him and even if they’re not standing with you, the other two would step away if Jaejoong were hurt. They’re stuck and the only thing they can do to hurt him is to make his life miserable.”
“I don’t know what to do, Hyukjae-ah,” Junsu confessed. “When I’m near him, I burn. He makes my heart beat harder and I can’t breathe. When he touches Yoochun, all I can hear are my own thoughts begging for him to touch me instead. I can tell you every time his hands have run over my back or my stomach and when he hugs me, I want to melt into his body until I’m a part of his skin. I told you I was lost, Hyukjae. I am lost in Jaejoong-ah and I never want to find my way out.”
“You…can’t, Junsu-ah,” His friend whispered. “Doing that…with him… it would be the end of you. Everything that you’ve ever worked for would be lost. Is he worth that? Is he worth losing everything you fought for? Think about it? Even if your family stands with you, what will you do if you could no longer sing? If no one ever heard your voice again?”
“I would have Jaejoong-ah,” Junsu said, his eyes filling with pain. “I would do that for him. I’ve walked away from… everything before to be with him. I would walk farther still if I had him holding my heart. I would walk until my soul was bloody and torn if it meant that he wouldn’t feel the pain in his own soul. Yes, I would do that for him, Hyukjae-ah. I would.”
“And when he turns away from you? When something else prettier and sexier pulls him away? He’s fickle, Junsu-ah.” Hyukjae spat, his voice harsh and raw. “What happens when your butterfly finds another flower to sip from? Have you thought of that? Are you ready to go through what Yunho’s gone through? Are you strong enough for that much pain? Because as much as I love you, Junsu-ah… I don’t think you are and I don’t know if anyone would be able to help you hold your broken heart when Kim Jaejoong finds someone else to play with when he’s done with you.”