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, Five
For Ree, Scarletpeonies, Calyto and Maria...and anyone else who wanted a JaeSu.
Night hugged Seoul tightly, wrapping her dark arms around the city’s glittering body. The evening brought with it a hearty wind, blowing kisses into the apartment’s flung open windows. Inside, safe and sound from the growing night chill, Changmin glanced up from his book when he heard the front door open. He returned to his reading, mentally ticking off the time it would take Yunho to remove his shoes and hang up his coat in the entrance closet before walking down the front hallway into the living room where Min lounged on the couch.
He could count on Yunho to discard his socks in a casual negligence of keeping their shared quarters clean and depending on the older man’s mood, he would either go back to pick them up or leave them lying where they fell. From the shuffling sounds of Yunho’s feet on the slick wooden hallway floor, Min figured he’d end up picking up the other man’s socks before he went to bed.
The man who emerged from the hallway was not the smiling, cocky dancer Changmin admired at one time. Yunho appeared to change with each step he took into the living room, from his expression to the roll of his shoulders and walk. The effusive leader of a now-two man group dropped away in pieces, much like the discarded clothing in the front hall. Every step revealed more and more of the troubled man Yunho had become over the past three years, his face hardened and weary by the time he sat down at the other end of the couch.
“Did you get any sleep?” Min ventured, keeping his voice as flat as he could. The cold from his anger slithered in anyway and Yunho jerked his chin up to stare at the younger man.
“What do you care?” The older man snapped. “It’s not like we have anything to do together.”
The man’s anger stung less than the words he said, Min decided as he leaned back to regard Yunho. Their relationship had changed as much as Yunho, shifting from one of younger/older brother to equals and in some cases, Changmin became the more level-headed member, cautioning Yunho to take small steps as he ran towards the edge of his emotional cliffs.
“We’ll begin activities when they think we’re ready,” Changmin said, putting his book aside. “Did you…meet up with him?”
“Who?” The slanted look Yunho gave him from under his lashes was as telling as the purple slashing bruise on his neck and Min sighed, wondering when Yunho decided the younger man was ignorant of how life turned.
“Park Yoochun. That’s who.” Min leaned forward and poked at the bite mark. “Unless someone else gave you this but if that were true, you’d be even angrier because you weren’t with him.”
“Please don’t bother lying to me, hyung. You insult my intelligence.” Changmin stared Yunho down and the older man shifted, dropping his gaze to the floor. “Answer me truthfully, Yunho. Where you with him last night? Or someone else?”
“Him.” The confession was soft and laden heavy with guilt. “I was with Yoochun.”
Min sighed and rubbed his face with both hands. He didn’t know what to say now that the truth was out in the open. There were too many things flaring in his mind and the one thing he kept coming back to was How could you do that to Jaejoong? The days of wondering that were gone now that Min knew the truth and it choked him as if it were Yunho’s fingers on his throat.
“I’m going out,” Yunho grumbled, standing up.
“You just got in.” Changmin reminded him coolly. “Although if you go out, you’ll be able to pick up the socks you left in the hallway.”
“If I wanted a wife, Changmin-sshi,” Yunho muttered as he stalked out. “I would have kept fucking Jaejoong.”
Min waited until he heard the door slam behind the older man before he picked up his book again. The words tangled under his fingers and after a few minutes, he gave up on his reading. He stared at the phone he’d left on the coffee table and it lay there, mute and ignoring his presence. Sighing with self-loathing, Min gave in to his desires and picked the phone up.
“Hello?” The smooth, silky voice made Min trembling and deep inside of himself, the young singer cursed the man who answered the phone. “Changmin-ah, I know that is you. I know what your breathing sounds like.”
The hitch in Min’s chest rose and snatched the breath from his lungs. Unable to resist, he murmured, “Oh?”
“Although, normally, I’m used to hearing you panting hard,” he purred into Min’s ear, “And screaming my name. I never get tired of hearing you scream my name.”
“Stop that,” Changmin growled over the phone. “I need you to be serious.”
“How more serious can it get besides you and me in bed?”
Min sighed, torn between wanting to bury himself in being seduced or having someone listen to his troubles. Why not have both?, he finally thought. “Can you come over here?”
“He’s gone,” Changmin replied. “And to be honest, I don’t care if he never comes back.”
The knock on the front door was discreet, a soft rapping against the wood to announce his arrival. Changmin took one last look around the living room he’d spent the last half hour nervously cleaning then took a deep breath before going to answer the soft knock. Opening the door, he stood still and drank in the sight of the man who confused his senses and rattled his brain.
The kiss was brief, just the brush of his lips on Changmin’s cheek as the man walked into the hall, something that could be explained away by a man merely edging past his friend if they were seen. Min closed the door behind them and he turned, capturing the young singer’s face in his hands. Running his fingers over Min’s high cheekbones, he murmured contentedly when Changmin closed his eyes in pleasure.
“Dongwook,” Min whispered as he wrapped his fingers into the man’s loose t-shirt. “I’m glad you came. I need…”
“You need…me,” Se7en hushed his lover, rubbing his thumb on Min’s pout. “And I promised, whenever…wherever… you need me, I’ll be there.”
Their second kiss stole the breath from Min’s mouth. Se7en’s lips teased and pulled at his, coaxing him into submission until Min finally surrendered to the press of the other man’s tongue. He played with Min, stroking his tongue against the back of Changmin’s teeth and across the roof of his mouth. Changmin eased himself into Se7en’s body, reveling in the power of the man’s body. His hands reacquainted themselves with the long muscles of Se7en’s back and the firm rise of his ass, the older man’s cheeks clenching tightly when Min cupped them in his palms. Moaning, Changmin swallowed the taste of his lover, drawing Se7en in as deep as he could until his heart filled with the feel of the man. Drawing away reluctantly, Se7en laid a single kiss on Min’s forehead, more than a little satisfied at his lover’s uneven shuddering breathing and the hardness of Min’s sex pressed against his own shaft.
“Now tell me, baby,” Se7en rubbed the small of Min’s back. “What is bothering you so much you need to talk instead of love?”
“So Yunho and Yoochun?” Se7en leaned back into the couch, his eyes glazed over with a slight shock. “But Yunho and Jaejoong…I thought they were…Really, Yoochun?”
“Yunho broke it off with Jaejoong long before he started with Yoochun,” Min explained.
“But I thought… Jaejoong…” Se7en’s brows creased. “I thought Jaejoong broke it off and that was one of the reasons the two of you stayed behind.”
“No. Well, at the time, that’s what I thought as well,” He knew he sounded bitter but the world was twisting in on itself and Min needed to cut away the sour in his soul. He shifted to lean his back against Se7en’s wide chest, comforted by the man’s strong arms when they came up to hug him from behind. “Yunho broke it off and said it was Jaejoong, hoping that people would believe he’d done something to break Jae’s heart. Hyung didn’t know people would think the worst of Jaejoong.”
“So why did he break it off?” The older man buried his face into Min’s soft hair, breathing in the fragrance of the man’s shampoo.
“Because Yunho wanted Yoochun and he didn’t want to hurt Jaejoong,” Changmin whispered, his heart plummeting down to his stomach. “He thought they were… friends… friends who could… it’s complicated. Yunho never… loved Jaejoong. Not like….”
“You and me?” Se7en asked.
“Yeah.” Min’s smile was bashful, a warm shy thing rarely seen by others. It retreated back into a serious scowl before Se7en could see it. “Like the two of us.”
“So what now?”
“He promised he’d stay away from Yoochun… that we’d have a clean break and concentrate on our own music.” Min grumbled under his breath as Se7en’s hands slowly crept up under his shirt. “You’re going to distract me.”
“That doesn’t sound like a bad idea,” He replied with a hot whisper into Min’s ear. Se7en yelped when Min’s fingernails pinched a bitt of skin on his arm “Hey! I’ll behave. Just tell me what’s got you so upset.”
“Yunho’s sniffing around Yoochun again. After all of this… after all of the screaming and yelling… they’re back together, sneaking around and making things dangerous for all of us.”
“Dangerous because of the company?”
“And because Jaejoong was angry that Yunho and Yoochun hurt him. They…Yunho and Yoochun… promised us…all of us… that they would leave one another alone. They both said that our friendships were worth more than the sex they had.”
“Aish, so Yunho’s going back on his word?” Se7en swore under his breath. “Do you think Jaejoong will do something crazy? Like expose Yunho’s liking boys?”
“Not without hurting Yoochun.” Min fretted at his lower lip with his fingers. “Thing is, I think Jaejoong could say Yunho and he had sex and leave Yoochun out of it. No one cares if Jaejoong is gay. Hell, people don’t think he’s normal anyway but it would hurt Yunho. His family is very conservative.”
“I wish I could make this better for you, baby, but I don’t think anyone could see their way out of this mess,” The older man said. “Yoochun and Yunho made a promise and now they’ve broken it. I guess it all depends on how Jaejoong feels about it once he finds out about them.”
“And we both know, the universe hates lies. The truth always leaks out, no matter how hard you try to keep it in.” Min tilted his head back and kissed the corner of Se7en’s mouth. “Things got so complicated. I wish they would go back to what they were. How we used to be. Before people fell in love. Before everyone started breaking each other’s hearts.”
“Did you forget something?” Jaejoong called out as he rushed to the front door to answer the bell. Mentally counting out the money he’d given the fried chicken delivery boy, he wondered if he’d accidentally given the courier too little and the boy had to circle back to get more. Looking down, he dug his pocket, Jaejoong opened the door quickly, half bowing in apology as he tried to get more money out of his wallet. “Did I shortchange you?”
“Hello, Joongie-ah,” Yunho said quietly.
Jaejoong’s heart stopped and he jerked his head up to stare at the tall man standing in the threshold of his home. Yunho looked different, he realized when his heart began to pound again. Too thin and not as graceless as Jaejoong was used to seeing. Dark circles ran puffy lines under the man’s almond-shaped eyes and his mouth was bracketed with thin creases as if a smile had become something so unfamiliar to his face that it hurt to show pleasure.
“Yunho…” Any honorific was lost to Jaejoong’s mind as he struggled with what to say.
“Can I come in?” Yunho glanced over his shoulder. “Before someone sees me. It would bring…trouble.”
“Um, sure.” Habit kicked in suddenly and Jaejoong stepped back, opening the way into his apartment. “Did you eat?”
“No,” Yunho replied, smiling as he walked in. He took in the clean lines and polished floors of the apartment’s living room. It was a stark place, dotted with odd things in unexpected places. “Still mothering, eh? Asking if I’ve eaten.”
“Habit,” Jae bit back. “I tried breaking it but that just made me an asshole. The other two needed less assholes in their lives, not more.”
“Huh.” Yunho let the slur pass. “Is that a cactus?”
“Uh, yes,” Jaejoong shoved his hands into his jeans and hovered a few feet away from Yunho. He didn’t trust himself to be near, unsure if he wanted to strangle the man or hug him hello. “I… ah, wasn’t expecting you.”
“I wasn’t…expecting to be here.” Yunho turned to stare at the young man he’d shared so much of his life with. Thickly muscled but still lean, the stress of Jae’s life shone on the man’s face. His eyes were tired, heavy with shadowed pain. A part of Yunho wanted to hug the pain away while another part wanted to dance at its existence.
“Have you?” Jae interrupted Yunho’s thoughts.
“Have I what?”
“Eaten,” Jaejoong said, nodding with his chin at the collection of paper bags on the coffee table. “I haven’t and there’s a lot. I’d rather not eat in front of you. It’s rude. Remember? I’m being less of an asshole.”
“Something small.” Yunho sat down on the leather couch and looked around the room. “Thank you.”
A large jingle bell shot across the room, followed by a small ghost of a cat running after it with its back arched in a playful pounce. The cat stopped short and stared at Yunho, lifting its chin up in a way that reminded the man of the cat’s owner. Jaejoong returned from the kitchen with two beer bottles and small plates. He nudged the cat with his foot to get it out of the way but the grey feline grabbed at the man’s bare toes and gnawed for a brief instant before releasing Jae and running back into the other room.
“I heard you got a cat,” Yunho said, taking one of the plates from Jaejoong. The singer shrugged and put the beers down, unpacking the chicken boxes before sitting down as far away from Yunho as he could on the couch. Nodding at the man’s silent treatment, Yunho helped himself to several wings and waited until Jaejoong picked at the meat before opening his beer. “You’re probably wondering why I’m here…”
“To say you’re sorry and are going to leave the company?” Jae asked, smiling ruefully as Yunho choked on a mouthful of beer. “I’m guessing that’s a no, then.”
“Are you trying to kill me?” Yunho muttered, wiping at the foam on his mouth.
“The thought’s crossed my mind more than once,” Jae admitted. “If not that, then why are you here?”
“I want to talk to you about Yoochun.”
The words were finally spoken out loud and Jaejoong put his plate down, realizing he couldn’t find his appetite amid the pain shooting through his chest. The cat mewled from the other room and bounded in, eyeing his owner’s plate. Absent-mindedly, Jaejoong peeled off a chunk of white meat and dangled it above the cat’s head. Not believing its luck, the cat took it and ran off, growling a warning in case someone chose to follow it to take away its prize.
“What is there to talk about?” Jaejoong picked up his chicken again but the thought of biting into the fried meat made his stomach roll. “He and I… we spoke about you this morning. About the two of you.”
“What did…I want to ask what you decided but it’s not really your choice.” Yunho wiped his hands on a napkin and reached for his beer again. “No matter what happened between us, there were good times. We were close. Like brothers.”
“Maybe like Junsu and his brother,” Jae muttered. “But I don’t think you can call what we did together brotherly.”
“No, not like the Kim twins,” Yunho said. “Junsu’s still a virgin and I’m pretty sure Junho isn’t. You took mine, remember? My virginity and you weren’t one when you came to me.”
Jaejoong closed his eyes, trying to shove away the memory that filled his mind. They’d been so young but he’d already been taught how to pleasure a man so it wasn’t hard to extend that skill to the one person he’d believed himself in love with. Yunho had been a fast learner, falling into bed with the group’s lead singer while cementing his friendship with an unwavering support.
Unwavering until Junsu crumbled under the pressure and Jaejoong was forced to choose between the man he thought he loved and the one who really held his heart.
“What do you want, Yunho-sshi?” Jaejoong took a deep breathe and told himself not to cry. “What do you want from me?”
“What do I want from you?” The other man repeated. Leaning forward, he gripped Jaejoong by the shoulders and pulled the slender man towards him, shaking Jae until the singer opened his eyes wide in shock. “I want you to give up Yoochun. Let me love him. Let him love me. I’m asking you to let us both go so we can be happy. And then, maybe then, you can try to be happy too instead of making us all hurt inside with your hatred and anger.”