Part: 6 (Chaptered)
Previous Sections: One, Two, Three, Four, Five
Pairing: Yunho and Jaejoong
Genre: Angst, Romance
Written for swallowtt
Separation comes at a terrible price. Reconciliation demands an even greater coin but can they...are they willing to pay it?
They were sweaty, replete from diving into their desires and perfumed with sex. The ease of their relationship showed in Yoochun’s wide smile, the troubled sorrows usually reflected in his eyes burnt away by the sunshine brightness of the young man. Whenever Yoochun wondered if leaving the company and their other two members, all he had to do was look into Junsu’s happy face and all his worries whispered away.
The days of their tenor’s constant illnesses and insecurities were long-gone, replaced by a healthy, vibrant singer who delighted in stretching out his musical wings. Exploring the different sides of themselves, each of the three friends grew into their own skin, becoming more than they’d ever expected to be.
Still, Yoochun’s heart echoed with a lingering sadness. Their eldest, the one who galvanized their leaving, bore the greatest pain when they left. Jaejoong still suffered, hit hardest than either Chun or Junsu by the company’s underhanded practices. Avenues open to the other two were closed to the enigmatic singer and he often prowled their studio, pouring his pain into lyrics and music in an attempt to break through the crystalline prison he’d been encased in.
“Do you ever wish we were like them?” Junsu whispered into Yoochun’s ear. “Like Jaejoong and Yunho?”
“They are too… woven together,” Yoochun replied. “It’s bad enough you’re an octopus, always asking me where I am and what I’m doing. Do you want to be a puppet to me? Like they are to each other? One tugs a string and the other waves?”
“Aish, we balance. I don’t want anything else. And I bother you because I miss you. Sometimes I worry when you aren’t near me. That’s not bad.” The tenor slapped at Yoochun’s leg then lay back into the pillows, stretching his arms out over his head until his shoulders popped.
Hours of exhaustive dancing made his muscles ache and the time he’d spent with Yoochun did little to ease their tiny pains. If anything, the insides of his thighs were going to throb until the next day. Being stretched out over Yoochun’s thighs seemed like a good idea at the time but now, Junsu wasn’t as sure. Still, the silvery pleasure of Yoochun’s plunging into his core remained and Junsu shifted, letting the echoing sensations of their sex resonate through him again.
“What are we going to do about them?” Junsu cocked his head, turning to look at his lover. “Do you think we should say something?”
“Like what, babe?” Chun shrugged. “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what I could say to Jaejoong to make him stop hurting… stop wanting Yunho. If I did, I would have said it a long time ago. Hell, I would have said it before they started.”
“We didn’t…know…back then,” The other man murmured. “We didn’t know it would go so…wrong.”
“It wouldn’t have gone wrong if someone’d taken care of us,” Yoochun replied. Sliding his arm around Junsu’s shoulders, he pulled the man into a tight embrace. Their breathing caught into a familiar rhythm, the ease of their bodies fitting against one another. “We could have stayed…we could have all been together. But now…”
“Now we’re all torn apart.” Junsu sighed. Burrowing his face into Yoochun’s slender chest, he blew a soft raspberry against the man’s damp skin. Wrinkling his nose, he lightly touched a tiny purpling bruise near Yoochun’s nipple. “I bit you too hard.”
“It wasn’t too hard,” Yoochun laughed. “I liked it.”
“Maybe I can talk to Yunho?” Junsu offered. “I… would be willing to do that.”
Too many people thought of Jae’s relationship with Yunho when their break came to mind but very few remembered Yunho and Junsu were close friends long before their former leader met his lover. Yunho’s refusal to meet or talk with them hurt Junsu as deeply as it did Jaejoong but unlike Jae, the tenor had other close loves to fall back upon, including the man holding him tightly while he tried to think his way out of their shared anguish.
“What can you say to him?” He asked softly. “Please leave our Jaejoong alone? We’ve already had to clean up the blood from his wrists once? We can’t stand to see him lying in a pool of his own death again? How do we tell someone who should know him … who says he loves him so deeply that he cannot live without him that he will be the cause of Jaejoong’s death? He will be, you know. One day, Susu-ah, Yunho will be the death of our Joongie-ah. And there is nothing we can do to stop him.”
“I’m getting you out of here,” Yunho murmured, sliding his arm behind Jae’s back.
“Don’t want to go anywhere with you.” The man’s eyes were unfocused, wrapped around the pain surfacing from his heart. “You’ll just hurt me. Again. I can’t…”
“You and I… don’t need this.” Yunho rocked Jae into a firm embrace then took a step towards the door. “Let me get you home. Please, Joongie-ah, please let me… help you.”
It wasn’t difficult to lead Jaejoong out of the pocket-sized hell he’d led them too. Much harder to cradle-walk the man out of the front door and down to the car he’d tucked into the back alleyway behind the bar. Maneuvering the heartsick Jaejoong into the scoop-style seat, Yunho waited until he was sure the other man wouldn’t throw up then closed the door. He made it to the other side and into the car before Jae suddenly turned green and Yunho scrambled to get the window open, hoping the city’s brisk, cold air would whisk away Jae’s sick.
“I need you out of my head.” Jae’s words were almost lost under the rush of wind coming from the open window but they were still sharp enough to dig into Yunho’s skin. “I need you out of my heart.”
“It’s not that easy,” Yunho replied softly. Guiding the car into the thin traffic on Seoul’s streets, he drove slowly, trying to find the words to ease Jaejoong’s distress. “God knows, I’ve tried. I’ve tried so hard to forget you. To put you aside and every time I think I’ve finally erased you from my heart, something about you surfaces and it’s like I forget how to breathe again.”
In the close confines of the car’s interior, Yunho could smell the alcohol fumes coming off of Jae’s skin. A brief glance over at the other man reassured him Jaejoong’d fallen asleep, his long body curled up against the car door. Yunho kept the heater on low, enough to keep the chill off of their bodies but not too high to make the car-sick prone Jaejoong ill.
His car knew where to go, led by instinct and memory. Yunho’d lost count of the number of times he’d driven to Jaejoong’s building and parked outside, practically willing the singer to walk by so he could catch a glimpse of the man he’d once spent hours kissing to surrender.
The one time Jaejoong’d emerged, Yunho swiftly drove home before he was spotted. It’d hurt too much to see the man he’d spent hours kissing. His hands trembled as he’d driven into the garage where he housed his car and by the time the security gate closed behind him, his face was wet with tears.
They went unchallenged past the security guard in the lobby. The man looked alarmed at Jaejoong’s inebriated state and rushed to help Yunho carry the singer towards the elevator, forestalling any awkward questions. Thanking the older man profusely, Yunho declined assistance getting Jae into his apartment, saying he had it handled.
It was far easier to walk into the building with one of its residents instead of sneaking in between streams of people hoping no one would notice him like he did the other night.
“Guess that’s the key to sneaking in,” Yunho muttered as he hitched Jae’s seemingly boneless body up against him. “Just drag an unconscious Jaejoong with me everywhere.”
“Not uncon…” Jae mumbled. “I feel sick.”
“You drank too much and you probably ate nothing,” Yunho replied. He patted down Jae’s pockets and came up with a set of keys. “Probably drank it too fast. Come on, let’s get you inside and I’ll make some ginger tea. You’ll feel better.”
“Don’t want to feel better.” His grumble came out in stutters as Yunho leaned him against the wall near his door. “I want to throw up. Maybe all over you.”
“If it would make you feel better, I’d let you,” Yunho agreed, finally finding the right key and sliding it into the lock.
“I don’t know if it’ll make me feel better,” Jae rasped. “But I’m willing to try.”
“Come on, let’s get you inside.” He reached for Jaejoong again but the young man shrugged him off. Waiting for the singer to take a step, Yunho caught Jae before he pitched headfirst into the wall. “God, you are drunk.”
“Yes, I didn’t eat anything,” Jae asserted. “I wanted to be really drunk. Think it worked.”
“Yeah, me too.” Yunho heard the little hitch in Jae’s breath and he pulled the man along quickly. It took him a second too long to find the bathroom off the hallway and he’d barely gotten Jaejoong into the room when Jae’s stomach rebelled. Dropping to his knees, the singer gasped, pulling in as much of the cold air as he could into his lungs. Sitting on the edge of the tub, Yunho rubbed at Jae’s back. “Just be sick. It’s okay. I’ll take care of you.”
“Not in front of you. Maybe on you but not in front of you,” Jae ground out. “I don’t want anything from you. I don’t…need you. Not any more.”
It was hard for Yunho not to walk away…not to walk out of the apartment and close the door behind him, locking Jaejoong away in his past. With Jaejoong’s hatred pouring over him, he was drowning in the man’s rejection. No one would blame him if he stood up and left the apartment… left Seoul. Hell, Yunho thought bitterly, Jaejoong would celebrate if he found some dark hole to crawl into and pulled a rock over himself.
He wasn’t going to give the other man that kind of satisfaction.
Yunho had other pleasures in mind.
Jaejoong leaning his face against the cold porcelain toilet bowl took priority over anything else and he’d be damned if he walked away from his angelic faced temptation without giving him his heart.
“Stay here.” Yunho brushed his lips over Jaejoong’s temple. “I’m going to make you some tea.”
“Stay here?” Jaejoong snarled. “Where am I going to…”
Yunho was out of the bathroom before Jae finished his sentence. A brief investigation of the long gleaming kitchen produced ten different types of tea and more spicy ramen any one man could eat in his lifetime. Shaking his head at his former lover’s obsession over noodles, Yunho set a kettle on the stove and dug through the tea selection for something with ginger in it. Locating the largest mug he could find, he waited patiently for the kettle to boil. Deciding Jae’s dislike for sweets would have to be sacrificed, he ladled in a fair amount of sugar into the cup and turned around to find a pair of gleaming yellow eyes watching him from the shadows further down the counter.
“Are you supposed to be up here?” Yunho cocked an eyebrow at the cat. “Or are you like him and just do what you want?”
The resulting sniffling mew dripped with condescension and Yunho was suddenly reminded why cats made him nervous. Nearly as nervous as Jaejoong was making him now.
“No one knows what’s going on in that brain of yours, huh?” He asked the feline. “You’re like Joongie-ah that way? Because I never know what’s going on in his head.”
The cat came out to sniff at the mug, its paws treading softly on the marble countertop. It sneezed, a delicate explosion of sound when its nose came into contact with the ginger scent of the tea leaves and Yunho risked reaching out a hand to stroke its head to calm it.
“Do you like him?” Yunho asked, cocking his head at the querulous miaow he received. “He probably loves you to death, throws himself with all his heart at you and you turn away from him. That’s what I did, you know. He carved his heart out and handed it to me and do you know what I did? I charred it with my neglect and crushed it to ash beneath my foot. Is that what you do?”
“He scratches me,” Jaejoong whispered, his voice rough and raw. “Then he runs away. But I love him anyway. Guess I never learn.”
There were too many dead words between them and Yunho’s mind stumbled over their remains, searching for something new to say to breach through Jae’s defenses. The kettle began to whistle and he jumped, startled by the high pitched sound. The cat took off, its claws scrabbling on the stone and then it was gone, lost in the warren of rooms. Pulling the teapot from the stove, Yunho turned the burner off and poured hot water over the bag of leaves.
“You can go…” Jae murmured. “I’m…fine.”
“You’re not fine,” Yunho replied, setting the teapot aside. He steeped the bag then squeezed out the excess water, wrapping the bag’s string around the wet bulk and the bowl of a spoon. Tasting the stray drops on his fingers, he blew on the steam coming up from the mug as he nodded for Jaejoong to head to one of the couches against the wall. “Go sit down. I’ll bring this over.”
Getting Jae settled and sipping at the mug, Yunho padded down the hall to forage through the bathroom. A pair of cotton drawstring pants and a worn white shirt hung from a hook behind the door. Plucking them off the hook, he snagged a pair of clean socks from the hamper set in the hallway and headed back to the living room to find Jaejoong staring down into the sweetened tea as if it held all of the answers in the universe.
Crouching down in front of Jae, Yunho took the mug from him to set it on the glass coffee table. Motioning for the man to lift his hips up, Yunho unsnapped the buttons of Jae’s jeans and began to slide them off his slender frame. Startled out of his dozing, Jae grabbed at Yunho’s hands, his brown eyes snapping gold with furious outrage.
“What are you doing?” He hissed. “I…”
“I brought your sleep clothes,” Yunho murmured, sliding Jae’s jeans free from his limbs. “I’m going to take care of you. And you’re going to let me because from what I can see, you’re not very good at taking care of yourself.”
“Get out,” Jae muttered weakly. “I don’t need…you.”
“I’m surprised you can still say that. After all of the times we tried to ignore what was building up between us.”
Jae trembled beneath Yunho’s fingers, primed and willing to be touched. Yunho wanted nothing more than to place his mouth on the tender velvety skin between Jae’s thighs, knowing even the barest brush of his lips would bring the man pleasure. Instead, Yunho tugged Jae’s cotton pants up over his black briefs, forcing his hands not to linger on the man’s limbs. He moved quickly to replace Jae’s t-shirt and tugged off his dress socks, carefully handling the man’s feet to avoid the ticklish spots on his instep. Bundling up the singer in a thin quilt, Yunho handed him the mug and ordered him to drink it slowly.
“I missed you,” Jae whispered over the rim of the mug. For a moment, Yunho wasn’t sure he heard the man right, thinking his mind was playing tricks on him but the tightening of Jae’s mouth told him he’d caught every word perfectly. “And I hate you…because I miss you.”
“I’ve missed you too,” Yunho admitted, climbing up off the floor to sit next to Jaejoong. Crossing his legs under him, he played with a corner of the quilt, tugging at the loose threads at a seam. “But I don’t hate you. I could never hate you…not really. You’re the only thing in this world that makes me want to live. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, Jaejoong-ah. Without you, I might as well be dead because I can’t feel anything without you. I didn’t just give you my heart. I also gave you my soul.”
Min shoved Se7en into the couch, his hands gripping the man’s wide shoulders. Pressing Se7en back, he angled his head and coaxed a lingering kiss from the man’s full mouth. Their tongues fought, arguing for dominance until finally Min surrendered, his whimpering mewls rising to a sharp crescendo when Se7en’s long fingers threaded through his hair. Wrapping his former lover’s silken strands, Se7en turned sideways, guiding Changmin down, arching the man’s back until Min’s shoulders hit the seat cushions.
Resting his weight on his knees, Se7en shifted his body, covering the lanky singer and dove into the sweetness of the man’s body.
Their joining together was an oddly kept secret among the people who knew them, a wayward attraction many thought was a jest one or the other was playing on the world. Se7en knew different. If there was anything he took seriously, it was the place Changmin held in his heart.
In the months they’d been apart, Changmin’s form changed and Se7en delighted in exploring the new rises of muscles along the young man’s arms. Stripping the shirt off of Min’s body, he trailed exploratory fingers over Min’s shoulders and biceps. Smiling wickedly, Se7en looked up through the thick dark hair falling into his face and into the bashful, conflicted eyes of the young man sprawled out under him.
“I…get bored,” Min whispered. “Sometimes, there’s nothing to do but… work out and eat. And I can only eat so much…”
“We should change that then,” Se7en murmured, working his way up to Min’s mouth with tiny nipping kisses. “We’re going to have to somehow work sex into that routine. What do you think?”
“I think I’ve missed you, hyung,” Min confessed. “I’ve missed…this. What we have between us. I want it back. And…” He had to speak in between the delicate tugging of Se7en’s lips on his mouth but Min struggled to be heard. “I didn’t know… I didn’t think about what I was doing. I’m left with nothing…with no one and now I’m crawling back to you. How can you even look at me? How can you even want me?”
“I never stopped wanting you, Minku,” Se7en whispered, dipping his tongue into the moist darkness of Min’s open mouth. He teased at the back of Min’s teeth, tickling at the ridges along the roof of the man’s mouth until Min nearly choked with laughter. Pulling back only enough to speak, he continued his investigation of his lover’s lips and chin, leaving a damp path along Min’s strong jawline. “I’ve never stopped waiting for you. I will always wait for you, my troublesome lover. That’s how they will find me, sitting on the cliffs with my bones bleached out from the sun, looking out for any sign of you in the sky. Always waiting. Always loving. Always hoping. Always for you.”