Rating: Eventually NC-17
Beta and Title Gifter: ranalore
Summary: Section Two.
The beginning of a shifting relationship. Hot Korean boys. Sex. Dancing and some angry words. Not necessarily in that order. Not necessarily in each section.
Jaejoong shook at the chill in the night air, a frost working across his battered soul. His arm had gone numb long before they reached the back door of Club NB, the smirking grin of one of the dance club’s bouncers burning a hole between his shoulder blades. Shame blushed Jae’s face, drenching his fairness in a hot rose, petals scorched with anger and fear. Yunho’s cold face rivaled Seoul’s winter breeze, glassy still and frozen over with menace.
The leader’s dark brown eyes held no warmth, marble passion hardened against Jae’s soft cries of protest as he stumbled over the low steps leading to the alleyway behind the building. Yunho released the singer when his feet tangled, sending him sprawled onto the rough stone bricks lining the tight space between the club and a nearby restaurant. The sounds of the club muted, the heavy steel back door slammed behind them, shutting Jae from the solace he’d meant to find in its pulsating depths.
A snippet of glass, rounded edges worn smooth from rolling truck tires, dug into Jae’s hand, working into the crease of his palm. Run-off from the gutters held the stink of the sky, a sewerage of human waste and cast off food. Staring down into a puddle of dirty water, Jae stared hard into the face he found reflected there, a phantom of a young man barely illuminated by the ambient street lights.
“Don’t say anything.” A voice whispered in his ear, a fragment of his heart that had broken off and lodged itself into the crook of his neck. It had drifted there when Yunho rested his chin on Jaejoong’s shoulder, the young singer holding his breath tight when the photographer instructed the band leader to pull in tighter. Another touch cemented the emotional stile on Jae’s body, a marker of regret placed when the air cooled away Yunho’s warmth when he stepped away. His chest ached now, frozen more from Yunho’s coldness than the air he fought to drag into his tortured lungs.
The face mocked him with its imperfection, a nose too wide for his liking… a mouth that ran full across a thin face. The artfully draped shock of hair he’d started off with now lay as a tangled mess across his cheekbones, matching the disheveled confusion in Jaejoong’s mind. His words were muddied, more so than the water that marred his hoodie, the filth slowly creeping into the fabric, stiffening the cold against his bruised arms.
Yunho’s fingers left a stain on Jae’s skin, the bitter soreness of bruises slowly forming, invisible beneath the thick fleece. Another shudder racked Jae’s body, creasing his spine as he struggled to regain his footing, refusing to give Yunho the satisfaction of seeing him as fractured and ripped apart as he felt. Still they felt…welcome. The aching touch of the other man’s hands on his arms were… like home tucked into a small sheltered crest. He wanted to rub Yunho’s marks into his bones, pushing them down until they were etched into his marrow, wanting them to disappear only when they burned his body at his death.
There were so many words Jaejoong wanted to say… things to shout and spit into the other man’s face but as Jae tilted his chin up, his heart failed him, whispering nothing other than reminders of the laughter he sometimes shared and the sibilant touch of fingers on his thigh or chest. There was nothing of that playfulness in Yunho now, just a rigid statue of control, large fists tight against his thighs as he fought not to strike out at the young man struggling to stand in front of him.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” The slap of words didn’t come as a surprise… Jaejoong had been expecting them. Nor was he shocked at the virulence in the broken heated anger barely held back in Yunho’s shuttered voice. Jae expected this, if not more. They’d been dancing around a fire too closely, one stoked by every step the singer took away from the rest of the band in the hopes of distancing himself from his attraction to Yunho.
A nearby dumpster, its steel body battered with dents from garbage trucks traversing the narrow alleyway, provided Jaejoong some support, the soju finally creeping into the front of his throat. The sour of lemon gave him warning followed by the bile of his stomach rebelling against the trauma of emotion and too much alcohol. Swallowing, Jae turned, face hidden from Yunho’s view as he fought to regain some composure before answering.
“What do you …?” The smoothness of Jae’s voice was shattered as his belly finally gave a final push, upending itself into the puddles at his feet. Exhaustion claimed his balance and he reached out, trying to grab at anything before he tumbled into his own vomit. The dryness of his heaves were followed by the purge of soju, the clench of his stomach muscles tightening the skin around his ribs.
The night swam around Jae, a sparkle of nothingness amid the lights. Yunho stood quiet and judgmental as the singer wiped at his full mouth, the sourness of his sick barely a whiff of bitter in the stench of the alleyway. Reaching out, the band leader grabbed at the other, wrenching him nearly off his feet. Twisting Jae around, Yunho slammed the smaller man into the building’s back wall, a burst of flaking stucco showering Jae’s dark hair.
“I am sick of you doing this to yourself.” Yunho hissed, his fingers digging into Jae’s forearms. They struggled for a moment, a cataclysmic battle of wills weakened by Jae’s ebbing resolve at Yunho’s nearness. All Jae could find in his throat was his own disgust and the trembling threat of his body finally giving way beneath him.
Yunho pulled the other man up, slamming him up against the wall for a brief moment then shaking him hard. A solid meaty thunk echoed between them when Jae’s head struck the siding, grains of white sand and cement trapped in his hair. Stars momentarily danced a seductive light show for the singer, then faded back into the cold of Yunho’s angry face. All hint of discipline had been lost in that moment, a furious storm raged in the leader’s eyes, his mouth twisted beyond nearly all recognition as he quietly leaned in.
“Do you have any idea of how you affect the rest of us? Any at all?” Yunho’s breath smelled sweet, plum jam scented with a hint of vanilla. Amid the tragedy of his life falling around him, Jae nearly giggled at the inanity of what his mind noticed amid the wreckage. The laughter was chased with fear as more bruises were made, Yunho’s hands gripping tighter and the space between them became nearly nothing.
The brush of Yunho’s thighs on his hips brought madness, the thin fabric of Jae’s shirt made hot from the other man’s body. Sweat chilled from the night air became pearled salt, rolling into tiny grains in the crease of Jae’s torn jeans. The air seared, trapped between the heavy jacket Yunho had worn to ward off the winter. Jae sucked in the welcome warmth, his body shivering from need more than the cold. Pressed up against the cold wall, the length of Yunho’s chest and legs became a beacon, a light shimmering to capture the desirous moth Jae kept in his heart.
“If you can’t think of yourself…think of the others… think of me!” The words kept coming, a wave of temper pounding at Jae with rapid fists. “Everything you do affects us. Every time there are whispers of you stumbling drunk from a club or draped over some table letting strange hands roam over your body… you affect how we’re seen!”
“They call us, you know…the papers and magazines. They ask us when we’re in interviews if the stories about you are true.” The young man continued, mindless of the anguish captured in Jae’s face. “Every time I have to laugh off about how you spend hours out, flirting with others and drinking. How people talk behind our backs about your looseness and I have to tell them that it’s not true, that you’re just having a good time but always come home safe to us.”
“Then tonight when I am finally sick of wondering how many times I can lie for you, I find you here where you shouldn’t be, lost in yourself. I see the drunk on you and … people who touching you and leaving the stink of their sex on your skin.” Yunho shook him again, a violent aftershock rattling Jae’s teeth.
“You didn’t what?” Yunho spat back, his face pressed nearly into a mockery of a kiss with the young man. Jae’s gaze faltered, finding the rise of Yunho’s wrists rather than the other man’s eyes. “Look at me, Jaejoong! You didn’t what? Think? You didn’t think that how you act would affect how the world sees the rest of us? That you damage our reputation with your selfishness and your self-absorption?”
“I…” His words were lost, carried off by the wind that coursed into the alleyway.
“I can’t stand any more of this. You stumble during the easiest of routines. Everything that you fail at hangs on me as the leader.” Yunho hissed, his jaw clenched. “Do you think that makes it easy for me? When the others joke about you being my favourite…what they’re really saying is; Yunho, why don’t you hound Jaejoong like you do us? Why aren’t you being as hard on him as you are when we make a mistake? They all work hard to strengthen what they are weakest in but you… you don’t even put your heart into something that you should be thankful for…something you say you begged for.”
Jae’s eyes glittered with pain, tears running the edge of razors along his long lashes. The heaviness in his chest beat slowly, a threatening ache leaving him breathless and wanting. Clearing his throat, his body shook with the effort of speaking, his mind screaming with denial as his soul cracked open, words frothing into a bubbling cascade of want.
The whisper was so soft, a feather caught in the rising thermal of Yunho’s anger. The young Korean singer could barely speak, lost in the misery of his pain. Looking up, Jae met Yunho’s strong gaze with a wavering glance before speaking again.
“I put my heart into you. There is no one else I would beg more for.”