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, Four
For Ree, Scarletpeonies, Calyto and Maria...and anyone else who wanted a JaeSu.
An incessant chirping broke Yoochun from a troubled sleep. His head swam with unpleasant words and broken faith as he tried to untangle his slender legs from unfamiliar sheets. Blinking, he tried to get his bearings, thrown by the pitch darkness he’d woken up in. The room smelled both wrong and incredibly right, layered with the erotic scent of two men and an evening spent bringing each other over the brink of ecstasy.
That’s right. Yunho-ah, He thought guiltily. Reaching out, he touched the mattress and sheets next to where he lay, disappointed to find them cold but slightly damp. Rolling onto his back, Yoochun lifted his hand to his face, inhaling the scent of their mingled seed and sweat.
Yoochun’s face flamed at the memory of the hours he’d spent screaming into the bed pillows. His throat felt raw and he coughed, wondering if he would be able to speak loud enough to be heard. His phone rang again, flashing a kaleidoscope of colours on the carpet where it lay forgotten amid his discarded clothes.
His back and ass hurt when he slid from the bed, a reminder of the night he’d spent under Yunho’s hard body. His sex had similar complaints as he crouched down to retrieve the phone. His shaft’s head brushed the tufted shag and Yoochun bit his lip to keep from weeping from the too sensitive sharp tingles running up his balls and spine. His cock felt nearly as raw as his throat and from what he could remember, they’d been savage with one another, nearly fighting for release inside one another’s bodies.
Yoochun hit the answer button and the phone squawked in mid-chirp. Falling back on the bed, he winced at the tightness in his muscles. The sheets rubbed at his bare skin and he hissed, wondering if the stinging was the result of Yunho’s fingernails or teeth.
“Hello?” The caller could only be one of the members. He’d set his ringer to Ecstasy of Gold for Jaejoong and Junsu, a teasing reference to the spaghetti western they’d watched together in Las Vegas.
“Chunnie?” Junsu’s voice burbled through the phone and Yoochun sat up, confused at the slur in his best friend’s voice. “Are you there? I’ve kept calling and… calling. Are you answering now? Because I really really need to talk to you. If this is voice mail then I’m tired of talking to you and can you…”
“Junsu-ah, it’s me,” Yoochun cut him off. “What’s wrong? You sound…wrong.”
The tenor hiccupped, followed by a loud, extended belch. “Nothing’s wrong. I’m just a little… sad.”
“Susu? Where are you?”
“Hello, is this the friend?” Junsu’s mourning keen was replaced by a smoky voiced woman’s purr and Yoochun’s stomach dropped down to his groin.
“Hello. Yes, I am his friend.”
“He is a little bit drunk,” The woman’s purr deepened to a husky whisper. “I’ve been giving him coffee but it’s not doing much good. He’s not drinking it. It would be better if someone came and got him.”
Sighing heavily, Yoochun wiped at his face with his free hand. “Can you give me the address? I’ll be right there.”
“I think we all need to stop drinking,” Yoochun grunted as he deposited Junsu onto his bed.
He’d debated taking Junsu to his own home but knowing his friend’s love of cats, he doubted he’d be able to take three steps past the front door without collapsing in an allergic fit. No, Yoochun thought, taking Junsu to his own home was the best thing to do, even if he had bodily carry his friend up into the house.
His bed squeaked and Yoochun turned to find Junsu staring up at him, the tenor’s brown eyes luminous and wet. The baritone’s chest grew heavy with an odd sadness and he sat down next to his friend’s stretched out legs, patting Junsu’s thigh.
He blinked, long lashes fluttering weakly. “I don’t feel good.”
Those eyes were dangerous. They could lure unsuspecting people into doing anything Junsu needed or wanted them to do.
Luckily for Yoochun, he’d just left a much greater dangerous and his body ached with memories of that encounter.
“Yeah, I can see that. Your face is green.” Yoochun struggled with the laces on Junsu’s sneakers. The tight knots refused to respond to any tugging and Yoochun briefly wondered if he would need a pair of scissors to cut them off his friend’s shoes.
“Slip off,” Junsu mumbled into the pillow.
“Shoes.” The man gave a small moan and buried his face deeper into the pillow. “Slip off. Tied too tight.”
Hooking his palm on the heels of Junsu’s sneakers, Yoochun pulled them off his feet. His slightly damp socks came next and Junsu wiggled his toes with obvious relief. Tossing the shoes aside, Yoochun sat down on the bed next to his friend and patted Junsu’s shoulder.
“How much soju did you drink?”
“Half,” The prone man replied.
“Half a bottle?” Yoochun whistled under his breath.
“Half a cup,” Junsu muttered. He clenched the pillow and moaned. “God, I’m stupid.”
“If you’re going to throw up, do it on the floor,” Yoochun warned. “Better yet, I’ll get you something to be sick in.”
“You smell funny,” The singer mumbled and Yoochun froze in mid-reach, his fingers brushing the edge of the small trash can sitting next to the night stand. “Like… I don’t know what.”
“You’re crazy.” Yoochun forced his voice to remain steady but his fingers trembled as he drew the can closer. “Here. Be sick in this if you have to.
Junsu turned over and lifted himself up onto his elbows. Sniffing at his friend’s t-shirt, he wrinkled his nose and sneezed. “No. You smell. It’s like…what is that? I know that smell. What is it?”
“Lie back down on your side,” He ordered. “I didn’t have time to take a shower before I came to get you so it’s probably from sweating in my sleep.”
“You had time to make the bed but not enough to shower?” The tenor blinked at Yoochun and he could see the wheels turning slowly in Junsu’s mind.
“Forget about the shower.” Yoochun said. “Tell me why you had a drink.”
“Jaejoong… hyung,” Junsu bit his lower lip as it quivered. “He hates being called hyung. And… I think… he hates me too. I don’t know. He didn’t…”
“Wait, wait.” Shaking his head, Yoochun pushed Junsu back down onto the pillows. “What happened?”
Those eyes were back on Yoochun again and he felt their pain burrowing down to touch his soul. A watery sheen welled over Junsu’s mournful gaze and anguish curdled his pretty features. Yoochun reached out, smoothing the furrowing lines on Junsu’s forehead then he leaned forward, kissing the spot he’d just touched.
“I told him… Jaejoong, I mean…I finally told him. It took me so long to say it. I couldn’t at first then I drank the rest of his glass. I hoped it would give me some strength but all it did was make me nervous and I said everything in a rush.” The troubled look on Junsu’s face returned, a harder keen in his voice as he spoke. “He just looked at. Hyung… Jaejoong-ah, I mean, he didn’t say anything. He didn’t even touch me or shake his head. He just...”
“What did you tell him, Susu?” He couldn’t imagine what Junsu could have said to their de facto leader that would upset the tenor so much. A brief flaring alarm niggled the back of Yoochun’s mind and he held his breath as he asked. “Were you telling him you were going…back?”
The idea of rejoining the company was one they’d all agreed would never happen. Each vowed to turn their backs on music before they would return to their old lives. The guilt eating Yoochun’s stomach surfaced again and he shoved it back down, chastising his conscience that going back to his former lover wasn’t the same as returning to the company that drank them dry of life.
“Back? No, that would be…I couldn’t. We couldn’t.” Junsu shook as he spoke. His imagination broke into terror at the thought of crossing the ubiquitous steel and glass threshold that was their prison for too many years.
“Then what could you have said that would have driven Jaejoong off, Susu-ah?” Yoochun asked gently. “There’s nothing that you could say to him that would make him turn away from you. Joongie-ah isn’t like that.”
“I told him that I loved him, Yoochun,” Junsu confessed, his voice hitching in his throat as he drew a shuddering breath. “He didn’t even say anything. He just… left the bar. He just left…me.”
Yoochun didn’t wait until his front door closed before he was dialing the man he now called his soulmate. The early evening air was cold on his wet hair and the tips of his ears stung from the icy wind. The ringer on the other end continued to chirrup in his ear as he turned the key of his car and started its powerful engine. Switching over to his Bluetooth receiver, he dialed again before Jaejoong’s phone could catch him to roll him over to voice mail.
After the fifth call, Jaejoong picked up and growled into the phone.
“Where are you?” Yoochun drove blindly, heading anywhere away from the bed he’d left Junsu sleeping in. His eyes stung from the tears he’d shed with his friend and somewhere in the distance lay another friend, one who would suffer silently behind a broken smile. “We need to talk.”
“Shut up,” Yoochun snapped back. “Where. Are. You?”
“At the river. Behind the bibimbap shop. Um…” Street noise filtered over the line then Jaejoong returned. “Red Panda Rice Pot. But I don’t want…”
“Stay there.” His GPS lit up under his fingers and Yoochun tapped the restaurant’s name onto the screen. It was a short drive between Junsu’s broken heart and Jaejoong’s enigmatic behaviour. “I’ll see you in five minutes. And if you move an inch from where you are now, I’m going to kill you when I find you.”
The bibimbap shop was barely the size of Yoochun’s closet and most of the street space in front of the corner stall was filled with folding tables and chairs. Small clusters of people stood in line, their Korean coarse with street slang as the air filled with their chatter. More than one looked suspiciously at Yoochun’s sleek sports car as he pulled into a nearby parking space but many ignored the singer in favour of their evening meal.
A driveway spanned out behind the squat brick building and turned into a sidewalk that ran along the river’s shores. Street lamps cast a golden light, illuminating the concrete path and the water below gently splashed against the enormous rocks serving as a buffer to the street above. Yoochun spotted his quarry sitting on one of the larger rocks, a hunched over shadow against the glowing cityscape beyond.
Yoochun scaled the rock, digging his heels into a ridge then pulled himself up to sit down next to Jaejoong. The slightly older man huddled over a beer bottle, its label nearly peeled off. Small scraps of paper clung to Jae’s fingernails and more lay in a scattered confetti near his feet. Every once in a while, a weak breeze ruffled at the leavenings but the paper proved to heavy to be moved by the slight wind. With his beanie pulled down nearly to his nose and his age-battered jeans, Jaejoong more closely resembled one of the construction workers getting their meal at the bibimbap shop than a man who held thousands in thrall when he sang.
“Have you seen him?” Jaejoong whispered as Yoochun crossed his legs. “Did he tell you what he said?”
“Yeah,” Yoochun murmured, taking the beer from Jae’s hand and taking a deep swig from the nearly full bottle. Coughing on the lukewarm suds, he wiped at his mouth and handed it back. “He said he told he loved you.”
“Yeah,” Jaejoong grunted, taking the bottle back.
“And that you walked away.”
“Yeah, I did that too.” He nodded and drank, nearly tilting the bottle upright.
“Why what?” Even in the dim light, Yoochun could see the puffiness around Jae’s eyes when his friend turned to stare him down. “Why did I walk away?”
“That.” Yoochun said softly. “Why did you walk away when Junsu was offering you his heart? Couldn’t you at least have told him that you weren’t interested?”
“No,” Jaejoong whispered. “I couldn’t. I can’t. Everything I’ve ever wanted to say to him stuck in my throat and then, it was too late to say anything. It was just easier to walk away. It was either that or kiss him. And I couldn’t do that either, Chunnie-ah. I can’t break Junsu. Not like Yunho broke me.”
“You…” Yoochun rocked back, leaning on his hands. Tilting his head up, he stared at the stars. “You want Junsu? Like that? Like…”
“Like that. Yes.” He spoke barely loud enough for Yoochun to hear over the sounds of the river but the enormity of his confession hit the baritone with the force of a thousand bricks. “I want him so much, Yoochun, it hurts me inside.
“You…can’t.” No amount of scrubbing at his face dislodged the reality crashing in on Yoochun’s mind. He sat silent for a few minutes, listening to the shuddering breaths of the man besides him. “I mean… he’s…”
“A virgin?” Jaejoong looked down, his eyes lost on the horizon. “Pure? Someone I shouldn’t even think about looking at much less touch?”
“Don’t say that about yourself.” He puffed out his cheeks and exhaled, letting the heat from his troubled belly escape. “It’s just that... Junsu’s not…”
“Not a whore? Like me?” The bitterness in Jaejoong’s words stung as if Yoochun had been the one to utter them. “Is that what you were going to say?”
“No, I wasn’t.” Yoochun chanced touching his friend on the shoulder then slid his entire hand over to the spot where his name lay under the man’s skin. “I would never say those words to you.”
“But you slept with the man who did.” Jae’s eyes glittered, the half-full moon reflecting in their depths. “Is he the one who marked your neck? Or was that a different someone else you don’t want to tell me about?”
They’d never fought like they did the night Jaejoong discovered Yoochun in Yunho’s arms. Even though he’d not been with Yunho for a few years, Jaejoong’s fury raged as hot as the sun. He’d fled to Japan then buried himself into work but slowly the need to protect Junsu saved their friendship. The three members forged a Chinese finger-puzzle relationship that would break if pulled on too tightly but trapped them as effectively as steel bands. Yoochun knew his best friend would rather die than hurt the one person he felt was untainted by the anger and harshness that stained Jaejoong.
It took them only a little time to patch things between them but the singer knew Yoochun’s weakness for the man they’d both left behind. Yoochun didn’t need to answer him about the mark on his neck. The flash of guilt on Yoochun’s face told him everything he needed to know.
“I didn’t deserve that,” Yoochun said, stroking at the sensitive spot on the small of . “We both…agreed that if Yun…if he made me happy, that was my mistake to made. It’s complicated. You know that. You know how… I feel…how he feels. I need to trust you to love me, no matter what mistakes I made.”
“I know. Shit, I know,” Jaejoong murmured and leaned into his friend’s supporting arm. “I’m sorry. I do love you. I’m…just…there’s too much happening in my head. God, what the hell am I going to do, Chunnie-ah?”
“Same thing I’m doing, Joongie-ah,” Yoochun whispered into his friend’s ear. “Take a chance. Learn to love right. Learn to love Kim Junsu the way he should be loved. He deserves that. And so do you.”