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, Three
For Ree, Scarletpeonies, Calyto and Maria...and anyone else who wanted a JaeSu.
Junsu caught himself up short when he spotted Jaejoong sprawled out on the sofa in their rented music studio. From the amount of coffee mugs and empty ramen cups scattered about nearly every flat surface in the mixing room, Jaejoong spent most of the day bent over the boards, rearranging tracks and music until he’d collapsed from exhaustion. With one arm flung over his forehead, Jae’s features were drawn even in sleep. Worry creased a line on his brow and his mouth, normally full and quirked in a ready smile, was a tight slash of pink against his pale skin.
He was afraid to breathe, too scared to move in case he made a sound and woke the sleeping singer. After a few seconds, Junsu bit his lip, unable to force himself to walk back out the door. Instead, he studied the object of his affection as Jaejoong slept on, the singer oblivious to his enamoured observer.
Jaejoong’s white tank top had ridden up in his sleep, revealing some of his lean torso. His worn out jeans were too loose on his hips, catching on Jae’s prominent hip bones and dipping down past the black elastic band of his underwear. A strip of Jae’s exposed stomach enticed Junsu into taking a step forward, his mouth watering at the need to lick at the shadowy dip of Jaejoong’s navel. A pair of headphones lay on the floor next to the couch and Junsu picked them up, moving the delicate electronics out of the way. Its coiled connector sprung tight, bouncing at the movement and Junsu stretched to place them on the mixing board counter, careful to leave the headphones attached to the mixing equipment.
“Did you fall asleep listening to our music?” Junsu laughed gently. He sobered when he finally saw the deep shadows and puffy skin under Jaejoong’s dark lashes. “Aish, Joongie-ah, why do you push so hard?”
Junsu couldn’t stop a small smile from forming on his lips at the soft downy hair of Jaejoong’s armpit. The singer tried in vain to thicken the hair growth on his body, following Yunho’s advice to shave off what little Jae had in the hopes of it growing back thicker. The hair grew back but softer and silkier than what Jaejoong had before.
A murmur escaped Jaejoong and his mouth parted slightly, the tip of his tongue creeping out to dampen his chapped lower lip. His bare foot twitched and Jae shifted, his long legs unfurling over the sofa’s overstuffed arm. His hand fell to the ground, elongating his biceps and his tank top twisted as he moved, exposing a good portion of his chest tattoos. The blue-black words always brought a lump to Junsu’s throat and seeing them again on Jae’s exhausted body.
“Always keep the faith,” Junsu read the words aloud, his English thick with emotion and his native tongue. “Do you, Joongie-ah? Do you keep the faith? In me? In us?”
Crouching besides the sleeping man, Junsu longed to skim his hand over the inked promise, wanting to feel the thump of Jaejoong’s heartbeat under his palm. A pulse throbbed on Jae’s throat and Junsu counted the thrush in his head, content to merely watch Jaejoong breathe. Within a few seconds, Junsu’s breathing caught on Jaejoong’s and their bodies moved together, a quiet in and out mimicking a much deeper desire. Sweat began to dapple Junsu’s palms and he wiped them on his thighs, wishing he were brave enough to touch the man laid out before him.
“Do you know what you do to me, Kim Jaejoong?” Junsu whispered. “Do you know how much I want to kiss away the pain that lives in your eyes and in your heart? Even when you laugh, it breathes inside of you and I would do anything for you to stop hurting inside. I wish I could do that for you, Kim Jaejoong.”
The singer’s lashes flickered and Junsu held his breath in, tightening his chest and clenching his calves in case he lost his balance. His thighs began to hurt and Junsu trembled under the pressure to keep still, his ankles protesting the strain on his tendons. Something gave… either his legs or his balance and Junsu fell back, unable to stop himself from landing on his ass. The thump was loud and Jaejoong woke with a startled jerk, sitting up with flailing limbs.
“Eh? What?” Jaejoong gulped for air, gripping the back of the sofa with a trembling hand. Spotting Junsu on the floor, he slid from the furniture’s soft cushions, his eyes wide with apprehension. “What happened? Are you okay?”
Jae’s hands were on Junsu’s legs before the tenor could blink and Junsu nearly swallowed his own tongue. The heat of Jae’s body on his was palatable, an intense, erotic sensation despite the layer of clothing separating them. Junsu’s arousal flared and he clenched his fists to stop himself from burying his fingers in Jaejoong’s dark hair.
A part of Junsu wished he could run away before the other man noticed his hardening sex pressing up against the zipper of his jeans but mostly he touch but reveling in the feel of Jaejoong’s fingers moving over his muscles. It seemed like an eternity as Jaejoong’s long, sensitive fingers skimmed over Junsu’s legs, the slightly older man watching Junsu’s face for any sign of pain. When Jae’s palm accidentally brushed against the turgid head of his sex, Junsu jumped, shocked by the immediate wave of need coursing through his body. He couldn’t stop a low moan from leaving him nor could Junsu keep himself from clenching Jaejoong’s bare shoulder, his fingernails raking over the gradient hard-edged wingtips of Jae’s tattoo.
“Aish, Susu-ah, are you’re hurt?” Jae asked, lightly prodding the area on Junsu’s thigh. “What did you do?”
Junsu screwed his eyes shut, blocking out the sight of Jaejoong bent over his lap, the man’s longish dark hair spilling forward over his temple in a taunting mimicry of an intimate act Junsu only could dream of. In the black behind his closed eyes, Junsu suddenly became aware of other things and his senses recoiled at the assault on his self-control.
Jaejoong smelled of male, a musky sweetness of skin and heat that burrowed into Junsu’s awareness and hooked its claws into his mind so deep he feared he’d never shake it loose. A tingle of green tea and citrus teased the edges of Jae’s masculine scent, with a hint of the strong black coffee Jae loved to drink lingering at the fringes…a hint barely noticeable until Jae whispered reassurances in his dulcet husky voice.
The man’s shoulder muscles moved under Junsu’s hand, the skin there smoothly soft over bone and sinew. Junsu was horrified to find his thumb stroking at the bony ridge on Jae’s shoulder but he couldn’t stop touching the spot, the feel of his work-rough finger pad heating the small area with each pass entranced him. When he dared to open his eyes, Junsu’s chest swelled at the reddened area, Jaejoong’s blood brought to the surface of his pale skin by Junsu’s continued touch.
Is this what it would feel like to mark him? Junsu wondered. Would I feel this pride… this sense of mine if I bit him hard enough to bruise? Is this what I would feel if I did the things to him that Hyukjae told me not to even think about?
“I’m fine. I was just…,” Junsu stammered, hoping the blush he felt in his face wasn’t as visible as he feared. He had no idea how to explain falling over while watching Jaejoong sleep but the other man was up on his feet before Junsu could sit up properly. He cursed his best friend under his breath, a hot rush of impatience and anger at the tight-mindedness of their society. The spit of temper brought a stiffness to Jaejoong’s spine and the man tensed under Junsu’s hand before pulling slowly away.
“So long as you’re okay.” Jaejoong’s back was to him and Junsu craned his neck to see the other man’s face. He caught a glimpse of Jae’s strong profile, his features hidden by the shadowy curtain of his hair. The man turned towards the door and Junsu reached out to him, grabbing Jaejoong’s thigh before he could take another step.
“Jaejoong-ah, wait.” Junsu felt the man’s muscles tense as if he were about to pull away. Desperate, Junsu pleaded, “Please, Joongie-ah. Please.”
“I can’t, Susu-ah,” Jaejoong whispered and he dropped his head, rolling his shoulders in. Pulling out of Junsu’s grip, he grabbed his hoodie from the coat stand by the door. “I don’t trust myself to stay. I just…can’t.”
The sleek black car ate up the road, its powerful engine and sleek form turning Seoul into a green and concrete blur beyond the car’s smoke-tinted windows. Steering the low-slung roadster around a pylon, Yoochun threaded the vehicle through the tight entrance in one of Seoul’s many private parking structures. The deep shadows from the cement overhangs swallowed him almost immediately, the cool darkness obscuring him from view. The car’s alarm chirruped in the nearly empty level, its echo chasing Yoochun down the stairs as he stepped out onto the thoroughfare’s sidewalk.
Immediately, the scents and sounds of a lazy Korean afternoon struck him, nearly pushing Yoochun back a step with its familiar intensity. A fiery perfume wafted from a grilled tteokbokki cart near him and he inhaled sharply, comforted by the homey smell. Ordering himself a small cup, Yoochun gave the vendor a quick thank you and tugged his baseball cap down to cover the top of his sunglasses. He’d risked discovery stopping for a skewer of delicate rice forms marinated in a peppery sauce but his stomach grumbled at its emptiness and he always felt better if he ate when he was nervous.
“There’s reason to be nervous,” The singer sighed to himself, pulling the last of his tteokbokki off the skewer before tossing the wooden stick away.
Chewing quickly, he glanced at the traffic and crossed at the light, hurrying through the crowd of office workers streaming from the trains to nearby skyscrapers. The clip-clip of high heels provided a low back beat to the quick chatter of Korean around him. Yoochun struggled with the city’s accent, the clipped burble of a Seoul resident sounded odd to ears more used to Jaejoong’s droll countryside murmur and Junsu’s soft bubbling ramble.
Or, he thought to himself, you associate that accent with him and that’s what makes you uncomfortable.
The hotel was quiet and Yoochun inquired at the counter for Cha Bong Gun’s room. The attendant nodded curtly and handed him a plastic door key, marking the room number on the key’s paper envelope. Thanking the woman, he headed upstairs, keeping his face hidden from the few people he met on the way to the elevator. The lift moved swiftly and Yoochun found himself deposited at one of the upper floors, its wide hallway a marble and dark wooden mirror of the lobby below.
Thick carpet muffled Yoochun’s footsteps as he walked down the hall. The room he sought was at the end of the hall and he stood at the door, his fist clenched tightly and knuckles white under his taut skin. Knocking on the door would open up a nest of angry wasps he’d walked away from once and Yoochun doubted he would be strong enough to do so again but the turmoil between his other two members was fast eating away his nerves. He could no longer stand the tension brewing in the group. Every motion and word was salted with innuendo, burgeoning with a pungent sexuality thick enough to drown Yoochun’s common sense.
He needed to stave off the ripening want growing in his belly. The slightest scents drove him wild now. Even Jae’s seemingly innocent use of a certain body wash was enough to send Yoochun running to the bathroom where cold water did nothing to ease the hardness of his sex. A touch, familiar and comforting, reminded Yoochun of another’s hands on his back or shoulders, callused fingers digging into the tender skin on his hips to leave bruises and an aching satiation between his upper thighs.
Yoochun rapped at the door, the hard wood a shock against his tight fist. The carpet sand beneath his feet as he shifted nervously, a ripple of woven threads changing colour with each swipe of his shoe. The dimly lit hallway suddenly bloomed with light as the door opened in front of him.
Yunho’s mouth twisted into a sardonic curl, his dark brown eyes clouded with complicated emotions. Dressed in a pair of worn jeans and an old t-shirt, he looked more like a vacationing college student than a famous entertainer. His hair was unstyled, a scruffy disarray that looked as if he’d spent at least half an hour running his fingers through it.
“So you really came?” Yunho finally said. His low voice rumbled, tauntingly familiar to Yoochun’s ears.
“Yeah, I did.” Yoochun stared the other man down, hating that he had to tilt his head up slightly to look into Yunho’s piercing gaze. “Did you think I wouldn’t?”
“I don’t know. Between us… it’s hard to tell.” He reached forward and hooked his hand around the back of Yoochun’s head. Yoochun resisted for a second then reluctantly let Yunho pulled him in. Their foreheads touched briefly and Yunho murmured, “Even with all of this shit happening to us… I’m glad you came.”
Yoochun hated the slithering moan that lingered on his tongue when Yunho pressed him against the door frame. He hated that his hands moved to the older man’s broad shoulders and that his fingers wrapped themselves into Yunho’s shirt. But the thing he loathed most of all was the instinctive submission of his body to Yunho’s touch when the man’s tongue flicked at his lips and he opened his mouth to surrender to Yunho’s hard kiss.
Jaejoong cursed when his third call to Yoochun’s cell phone went into voice mail. Instead of leaving another message, he growled and disconnected the line, shoving his phone into his jeans’ front pocket. His shoulder burned where Junsu’s fingers touched him and his sex lay hard and stiff against his thigh, murmuring its desire into Jaejoong’s lust-weakened soul.
“Where are you, Chun?” Keeping his head down, Jaejoong paced down the street. He was bumped and pushed by people heading home after a day’s work but he didn’t feel anything, only the memory of Junsu’s hand and the feel of the other man’s whisper on his skin. “Where are you when I need you?”
The city’s noises were too much for him, overhead conversations filled with lovers’ arrangements to meet or husbands promising their wives they would be home soon. Everywhere Jaejoong turned, there was someone with their heart filled with love or the softening whispers of promised intimacies. Each step took him further away from the two things he loved the most… music and the innocent, angelic-faced Junsu but Jaejoong pushed on, his gut reassuring him he deserved neither of his soul’s desires.
The flickering neon of a bar pulled Jaejoong in. The heat building in his body needed a quenching and a beer sounded like heaven to his scrambled mind. Inside was cool and dark, the perfect place for his hot and bothered thoughts. He found a corner booth after paying for a bottle of cold soju, grunting an acknowledgement to the woman who brought him banchan. The cabbage kim chee was hot enough to make his nose run, its strong vinegary spice filling his mouth and scorching his throat but the sear did nothing to wash away Junsu from his mind.
“Lee Hyukjae.” The name echoed in him, sharp and knifing his heart. “That’s who was with you in the car? That’s who holds you, Junsu? I can’t break that. Even if I…”
The pressure of his life hit Jaejoong, a crushing weight pushing its way into his chest. Hyukjae’s friendship with Junsu stretched out for years, a solid foundation of equals built on a mutual love. Jaejoong knew he couldn’t offer Junsu anything close to that intimacy, especially after the separation of their group. Hyukjae represented tradition and a loving past. All Jae could give Junsu was a shaky future filled with rejection and the ostracization from their peers.
“Why did you come with me, Junsu-ah? Why did you follow me when I left?” His eyes burned, hotter than his throat, when the tears finally came and Jae reached for his soju, hoping the cold alcohol would help numb the pain. Something blocked the faint lights coming from the lounge’s and he looked up, expecting to see the waitress returning with more kim chee.
“Why did I follow you when you left? The same reason I followed you now, Joongie-ah,” Junsu said, his voice barely audible over the lounge’s soft music. “Because I love you. Because I’ve always loved you.”