Pairing: Jaejoong and Junsu (apparently Yoochun and Yunho / Min7en too)
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, Six, Se7en
For Ree, Scarletpeonies, Calyto and Maria...and anyone else who wanted a JaeSu.
Junsu never professed to be a scholar. Most of his life was focused on the physical. If someone to ask him — and he felt like answering truthfully — he would have to admit he felt dim compared to the other two members. He didn’t have Yoochun’s deep well of emotions nor the ability the baritone had to plumb those waters and express how he felt in a few words. He knew he lacked Jaejoong’s innate understanding of philosophies and his passion to explore the human condition. The older singer’s mind worked in mysterious, different ways and Junsu gave up trying to understand the breadth of Jaejoong’s thoughts.
Because Junsu readily admitted his lack of scholarly interests, he knew there was a better word for shock when he opened the door of his apartment and found a doe-eyed Jaejoong standing in front of him, the singer’s finger poised to ring the bell.
Unfortunately, shock was the only word that came to mind.
A numbness overtook Junsu, creeping into his consciousness as his body automatically continued only the basest of its functions; breathing, blinking and oddly enough, his cock hardening at the sight of the man in front of him.
He’d stood near the man before him for years, further away in the past and now, close enough to be able to feel him breathe even through the chanting screams of a filled arena. He’d stroked at Jae’s soft hair when the man spat his anger and stood by helplessly when Jaejoong fell to his knees backstage after an emotionally traumatic awards show.
Junsu thought he’d seen every aspect of the man he’d secretly adored for years. He was wrong. The raw brokenness in Jae’s soul had never been as apparent as it was now and Junsu knew deep in his soul he’d had a hand in breaking the man he wanted to love.
He’d had his hands on Jaejoong’s bare skin, either stroking away the sweat from a long night of singing, massaging the man’s aching muscles and even icing the bruises left by uncaring handlers. Before they’d left the company, Yunho had always been in the way, stepping in to intervene when Jaejoong looked outside of the older man’s arms for comfort.
It was Junsu’s time now. There would be no one stepping in between him and what he wanted.
And every fibre of his being wanted Jaejoong.
Jaejoong looked up and the apprehension in his honey-brown eyes shattered Junsu’s heart. The older man wore his life on his face, open and vulnerable for Junsu to see. He knew the anguishes of Jaejoong’s life. How could he not considering all of the moments they’d shared over the years but to suddenly be struck by the sheer strength of those sorrows in a single moment left Junsu breathless.
Then Junsu saw the tears glittering in Jaejoong’s eyes.
“Hyun… Joongie-ah.” Junsu reached for the taller man, clasping his hands on Jaejoong’s muscular arms. The singer let himself be pulled in, his gaze dropping from Junsu’s face when he stumbled in. The droop of Jaejoong’s shoulders spoke of shame and when Jaejoong suddenly resisted Junsu’s guidance, the smaller man wrestled him forward, closing the door behind the tall Korean.
“I… you’re going out,” Jaejoong murmured, raking his gaze over Junsu’s attire. He lingered momentarily on the pink fullness of Junsu’s mouth and the stark smoky lines rimming the man’s luminous eyes. Taking a step towards the door, he was caught in Junsu’s grip. “I should let you… go. I just…”
“I was going to find you.” Junsu looked down at what he was wearing and tried to imagine himself as Jaejoong saw him. The clothes seemed more like armour than something he’d wear to be comfortable, an illusion created to give him self-confidence that he didn’t have inside of him. “I was going to see if I could find you at one of the clubs. I needed to talk to you. I need…”
Junsu couldn’t bring himself to say you. His heart wasn’t ready for the depth of that heartbreak.
Jaejoong let himself get pulled into Junsu’s apartment and the tenor dead bolted the door behind them. Torn between changing his clothes to make Jae more comfortable but unwilling to trust the older man to stay if he left the room, Junsu led Jaejoong into the living room. A squeaky mouse let loose a high shrill when Jae stepped on it and Junsu winced, grabbing at the toy with a smile.
“I had some of the cats over today.” He mumbled, stuffing the mouse onto a bookshelf. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay, Jiji leaves things all over the house.” Jae swallowed and looked away, seemingly interested in the flickering lights of Seoul beyond the window. His shoulders were still tight and hunched, the jut of his shoulder blades winging up on either side of his spine as Jae shoved his hands into the front pockets of his jeans.
“Do you want something to drink?” Junsu thought about what he had in his bare refrigerator.
Jaejoong shook his head. “No. I think I’ve had enough to drink.”
Junsu hugged himself, wrapping his arms around his stomach. Gazing at Jaejoong’s back, he wondered if he should join the older man in his contemplation of the city when Jae turned around and stared into Junsu’s eyes. The younger man shifted, uncomfortable under the man’s scrutiny. Dropping his eyes to the carpet, Junsu felt Jaejoong shorten the distance between them with three long strides and suddenly, the world spun dizzily around Junsu when Jae’s green-tea spiced cologne filled his senses.
Jae’s trembling fingers cupped Junsu’s strong chin, lifting the younger man’s face up until their eyes met. Junsu moaned softly at the heat of Jae’s skin on his. He could imagine the man’s touch on his body and the delicious feel of Jaejoong’s fingers parting his thighs and buttocks to delve into him. Shaking with anticipation, Junsu licked his lips and leaned into the man’s touch, silently begging Jaejoong for more.
“You said you loved me…” Jaejoong whispered.
“Love.” Junsu corrected. Even with the apprehension eating his insides, he spoke firmly. “Saranghae. Don’t change what I said. I love you.”
“You…” Jaejoong canted his head to the side, dropping his hand from the other man’s face as he broke eye contact. “You don’t really know me. Not who I am inside… not the… I’m not good enough for you, Junsu-ah. You deserve someone who… can make you happy. I can’t make anyone…happy.”
“Did Yunho hurt you so much?” Junsu cried out. He grabbed Jaejoong’s t-shirt, wrapping the fabric around his fingers and refusing to let go when Jaejoong tried to tug free. “Did it hurt so much to love him? Is that why you turn away from me? Did you hurt when you made love? Are you afraid of hurting again? Or hurting me?”
“Yunho and I never…” Jae swallowed hard, his throat working around his pain. “He never… we never had sex. He didn’t want me… not like that. My mouth…my hands but to love me fully… he never wanted that. He didn’t love me enough. He said he would never do that. Not with any man.”
“Joongie-ah…” Junsu gaped, unable to speak beyond the man’s name.
“That’s why it hurt…” He bit his lower lip, nearly hard enough to draw blood. “It hurt so much to find him loving Yoochun that way. I… I understand why he did. Yoochun’s… someone to love. That’s why I think you are just lonely, Susu-ah. I don’t think you really love me. It’s why I can’t let myself love you like I want to.”
Jaejoong’s eyes were bright with tears and steeped in an anguish Junsu never imagined could exist. Clearing his throat, Jae continued.
“It’s why I can’t love you…now or ever, Junsu-ah,” Jaejoong whispered. “It would kill me if I were to love and lose again. I… barely survived it the last time. If I were to give you my heart and you couldn’t… can’t love me forever, it would be the end of me. The very end.”
The sky opened up as soon as Changmin closed the taxi’s back door. Swearing at the distance between the curb and the hotel’s front door, he hiked his jacket up over his head and sprinted across the broad cobblestone entrance. A fabric awning over the double glass doors provided enough cover for Min to shake off the worse of the rain and he leaned over to rub at his wet hair, mourning the care he’d taken with the new haircut he’d been given by the stylist. Shedding his long coat, he snapped it out and folded the trench over his arm before walking into the posh hotel.
He shivered when the air conditioning hit his wet face but Min merely bowed with hurried gratitude when one of the hotel employees started to rush over with a small towel. Waving the man off with several deep nods of his head, he half-ran to the elevator, glancing at his rain-dappled watch as he pushed the button for the top floor.
Highly polished steel walls reflected his image back onto Changmin and he studied the man he’d become. More serious, he decided grimly, making a face at the somber visage staring back at him. His shoulders were bowed slightly, worn from carrying the weight and pressure of the group’s dissolution. None of them had it easy. He knew that. Not for the first time, he wondered what would have happened if the five had remained together in the stew they’d been cooking in.
Quirking his mouth to the side in a bitter smile, he knew the answer. Not all of them would have survived, he thought as the elevator doors slid open to let him out. For all of his rage and hurt at what felt like the ultimate betrayal, some small part of his mind knew one or more of the three would have destroyed themselves if they’d continued to live in the middle of the company’s storm.
“Good evening, sir.” Se7en’s driver bowed deeply as he greeted Changmin at the restaurant’s entrance. Handing the young man a towel, he waited patiently as Min dried himself off further, taking both the towel and Min’s wet coat when the singer was done. “If you are ready, there’s a private room for you both.”
“I’m surprised to see you here.” Min grinned down at the shorter, bulkier man. “I’d have thought you’d leave him to fend for himself over here.”
“I needed a change of scenery,” The man’s answering smile was slight but warm. “It is good to see you again, sir. If he gives you any trouble, I will be in the main part of the restaurant. Feel free to call me if you need me.”
“He always gives me trouble,” Min said, rolling his eyes. “I think that’s why I fell in love with the bastard.”
Se7en stood near the bank of windows at the private room’s far wall, the reflection of his handsome face spangled with lights from the city’s night skyline. Cocking his head at the sound of the door opening, he turned slightly, caught in mid sip of a half-full wine glass, the deep burgundy nearly pitch in the room’s dim light. Dressed in a trim black suit and stark open-necked white shirt, the older singer’s powerful body rippled under the fine fabric and Min’s sex reacted to Se7en’s presence with a pulsating twinge.
“You look good in that suit, baby.” Se7en’s smile held more than a little heat in it. He took another sip, swallowing as he set his glass down on the table set for their dinner. “Of course, you’ll look even better out of it.”
Changmin strolled over to the table and poured himself a glass of wine. Sniffing at the delicate red, he swirled the liquid around the glass’ bowl, releasing the fruit tones in the wine. Taking a sip, he murmured his liking of the burgundy and turned to look at Se7en over his shoulder.
“How’s the wife?” Min asked, a sly smile forming as he placed the wine glass rim to his lips. “Get her pregnant yet?”
“Damn it, Changmin-ah,” Se7en swore loudly and crossed the room to grab Min by the shoulders. The younger man’s glass flew from his grasp, arcing wide and hitting the plush carpet with a soft crackle. “You drive me insane.”
Changmin struggled briefly against the man’s greater strength but Se7en’s arms looped down, capturing the young man about the waist. Pulling Min in closely, he angled his mouth and closed his lips over his lover’s, silencing Changmin with a savage kiss.
They fought for dominance, their tongues lashing against teeth and lips until Changmin parted his mouth and Se7en dove in. Cupping the man’s head, Se7en held Min firmly, tangling his fingers in his soft hair. Effectively trapped, Min found himself bowed back, his legs fitting into the crux of Se7en’s legs. Trapped by the man’s powerful thighs, the young man brought his hands up first to push Se7en away but the force of the kiss stole his will and he found himself gripping Se7en’s jacket for support.
The kiss ended as abruptly as it was started, leaving Min breathless and weak in the knees. He nearly fell, unable to support his own weight but Se7en’s arms caught him, holding Changmin against his chest. Panting, Changmin rested his cheek against Se7en’s shoulder, his breath hot on his lover’s bared throat. They stood there, silent but for the sound of their staggered breathing and the pounding of their hearts in their chests.
“You…talk too much,” Se7en mumbled into Min’s hair. “You know why she’s...damn it. You know how it is between us…she and I. It’s not like you and me. I don’t love her. She knows I love you.”
“You’re with her so you can have kids,” Min growled, balling his hands up into fists but he couldn’t bear to strike Se7en. “I know. I know. I don’t know why I said that. I know you’re mine.”
“Good you remembered that.” The older man kissed Min’s temple, ruffling the younger man’s hair. “Because you’re going to make me old before my time. Are you hungry?”
“I could eat,” Min said, grinning at his lover. “Should I start with dinner…or you?”
Junsu reached out and cupped Jaejoong’s face. His thumbs dragged through the silver of Jae’s tears, smearing the salted water into the man’s porcelain skin. Leaning closer, Junsu pressed his mouth on the wet trail he’d made, kissing away the sorrow he’d felt in heart as if it were his own.
Jaejoong tried to pull away, turning his head to avoid Junsu’s kiss but the younger singer insisted, pushing lightly on the man’s shoulders to press him against the window. Jaejoong’s warm body fogged the cold glass, a frosty butterfly aura surrounding him.
“I love you, Jaejoong-ah,” Junsu insisted. “I know you. I know who you are. That’s the man I love. That’s the man I see.”
“You don’t understand… you can’t…” Jae whispered, his mouth whispering over Junsu’s fingers. “You’re everything I’m not, Junsu-ah. You have… so much in your heart… in your life.”
“It would be even better if you were there… in my life,” Junsu replied, sliding up against Jae’s slim body. “Because you’re already in my heart. You are, Joongie-ah. You really are. Aren’t I worth that risk? Can’t you trust me? Can you trust that I won’t hurt you?”
Jaejoong stared down into Junsu’s warm eyes. Sincerity glimmered on the man’s face but Jaejoong knew that purity ran deep through Junsu’s soul. Caring and loving, he reached out time and time again to brush away Jaejoong’s pain, often willing to risk Jae’s biting wit in order to sooth the older man’s bruised heart.
He was tired of the pain. Of the anguish that echoed with every step he took in his life. The loneliness in his soul resonated in the echoing silence of his heart. The brightness of Junsu’s smile filled and warmed him as much as the summer sun tinseled silver on the Han River. He didn’t dare to dream Junsu would want him in his life…not as he’d once wanted Yunho…not as Yoochun had Yunho now. The filth he felt in his own being clung to him, a sinful dirt he could never wash clean.
But the pure shining affection beaming from Junsu’s open face made Jaejoong almost believe he could made whole. The smile stretched wide only for him promised Jaejoong he could be mended and stitched together as some beloved stuffed teddy bear from a childhood dream.
He wanted that so much.
He wanted the man against that much more.
Battling the fear clawing his chest with frigid talons, Jaejoong bent forward to capture Junsu’s full mouth, risking everything in his life and heart in a single tender kiss.