Pairing: Yoosu (Jaeho)
Section Rating: R
Overall Rating: NC-17
i still hold ranalore responsible for this mess.
Synopsis: A continuation of the relationship between Yoochun and Junsu from So Much Mine. Once again, hot pretty boys, music, dancing and sex. Not necessarily in that order.
One; Two; Three; Four; Five; Six;
“How long have you known you liked guys?” Hyukjae waited until Yoochun took a sip of his water before asking, the mischievous glint in his eye sparkling to a full nova as the baritone nearly spit across the table.
Choking, Yoochun glared up at the other man, taking a napkin from his lap and wiping at the moisture on his chin. Swallowing another mouthful to clear the roughness in his throat, Yoochun said. “That wasn’t fair.”
“Nothing is fair, Chunnie-ah.” The young man pointed out.
Leaning forward in his chair, one arm thrown over the high wooden back, the Suju member studied the singer sitting across of him. In the candlelight intimacy of the restaurant, Hyukjae had to admit the young man had a certain comeliness about him, the dulcet rumble of his low voice rising with an easy chuckle. In repose, Yoochun’s face held an unorthodox handsomeness. In laughter, it stopped the world with its brilliance.
“Can you speak louder? I don’t think the guy at the front heard you.” Micky leaned forward, keeping his voice low.
“No one cares, Yoochun.” Hyukjae shrugged, a nonchalant dismissal of any eavesdroppers. “Or are you saying that to avoid the question?”
They’d walked to the restaurant, talking about shared experiences or what was expected of them as singers for the entertainment group. Their conversation eventually circled back to Junsu, small tidbits of humourous anecdotes neither knew but could see the energetic tenor doing. The words stilled when Yoochun realized he’d once again brought up his best friend, Hyukjae’s sly grin catching him unawares with its knowing subtleness. The door to the restaurant came upon them too quickly, the threshold a hard single step to cross. Entering, Yoochun kept his head down, wondering what other patrons would think of two young men attending a dinner together.
“Answer me, Chunnie-ah.” Hyukjae teased. “Is it just Junsu or do any of the rest of us have a chance?”
“I…” Yoochun tried to find the words he had in his unspoken thoughts. Unnerved by the other’s piercing stare, he looked away, stumbling through the emotions he had in his soul. “Junsu and I… we’re the best of friends.. closer than brothers…”
“Yoochun, you and I both know that Junsu …” Hyukjae led the conversation along, pouring himself a glass of water. He watched the slice of lemon swirl in the false current, battered by ice and the flow along the container’s sides. “I could be crude about what he wants from you but that’s not really necessary. What made you say no? He’s your best friend? That didn’t stop me from trying with him. Luckily, I don’t have that restriction with you.”
“Hyukjae…” Yoochun’s bashful drop of his eyes made the other man smile.
“I know…” The singer threw his hands up in mock disgust. “I’m sorry. I didn’t ask you out with me to tease you about other men…”
“Si-won’s handsome.” Micky’s grin matched Hyukjae’s slyness in a familiar echo of the other man’s teasing.
“Ouch.” Hyukjae mimicked a blow to his chest, lolling his head back against the chair. “Ah, my ego…”
“Your ego is nearly as big as Junsu’s.” Yoochun replied, fishing the lemon wedge from his water. He shook off the excess drips, bringing the citrus slice up to his mouth. Sucking on the tart, juicy flesh, Micky drew out the tangle of his thoughts, trying to put into words the labyrinth his heart seemed to lost in. “This is too… open of a place, Hyukjae. I don’t think I can…”
“Come on then.” Hyukjae motioned for the waiter to bring them their check, the remains of their dinner left abandoned on the table. “I know where we should go.”
Yoochun laughed when the other singer brought him to an enormous flat rock situated just at the edge of the river winding through the park near their apartment. He’d spent more than a few hours in that spot, lying bare-chested in the sun, Jaejoong’s verbal meanderings keeping him entertained while the clouds overhead put on a puppet show of rabbits and majestic angels.
Removing his shoes, Micky tugged his socks off then removed his jacket, settling down on the familiar surface. Winter broke its last hold on the river a few weeks ago, thin sheets of ice floating downstream to crash against the large boulders jutting from the nearby grassy banks.
“Jaejoong and I come here all the time.” Yoochun sighed, resting his weight behind him, his palms spread flat.
“Oh, I know.” Hyukjae grinned. “We see you sometimes…both of you… Si-won and I…when we’re coming home from the studio. It’s a welcome sight. Hard to see you clearly unless we head down that path and crane our necks but it’s not out of the way.”
“You’re a wicked person, Hyuki-ah.” Yoochun laughed, peering at where the other man was pointing, wondering if Hyukjae was teasing or if he and the other singer really traversed down the winding path to watch them.
“So I keep being told.” Hyukjae sighed. “But so far, no one has convinced me of that.”
Yoochun breathed in the air, the scents of the city on the wind. They sat for a few minutes, listening to the water flow, the echoes of traffic just beyond the rise of trees, headlights hidden from view. The sky bristled with buildings, its horizon cluttered with shadowy forms pierced with lit windows.
“I think it’s just Junsu.” Yoochun finally whispered, barely audible over the rush of the water below. “I used to think that I… was in love with Jaejoong but I think that was mostly loneliness.”
“Yunho would be hard to compete with.” Hyukjae said, shrugging when the young man looked up in shock. “It’s no surprise that they’re together, Micky. They are… two halves of a whole. How many other men feed one another as if they are taking food into their own mouths? We all just look the other way and sometimes, some of us kick Yunho mentally. Although I know for a fact more than a one person would like to give Jaejoong a good swift kick too.”
“So Junsu…” Hyukjae brought the conversation back to his friend.
He’d seen the tenor’s reaction to Yoochun standing in the living room, a glazed look on his face, mouth half open. The playfulness Junsu cloaked himself in fell away under Yoochun’s eyes, the soulful expressive musician touching a tender part of Junsu’s personality. Junsu’s goofiness was a perfected defense to keep others away, a non-serious casualness that spoke of flirtations and disposable affections. Junsu’s walls cracked around the edges when Yoochun turned up, a sincere happiness shining through the focused young man that lay beyond the velvet laughing mask Junsu wore.
“Yes, Junsu.” Yoochun’s melancholy nod nearly broke Hyukjae’s heart, the tragic poet waxing soliloquies to a lost love reflected in the singer’s doe eyes. “I don’t know why I’m telling you this. You’re his best friend.”
“Ah, I might be his best friend, Chunnie-ah…” Hyukjae said, patting the other man on the shoulder. “But you’re the one that I think makes him insane.”
”That’s a good thing?” Micky glanced at Hyukjae, incredulous at the other’s response. “I don’t want insane. That kind of love… it rules your life and you always feel as if you’re about to break. I want… something that I know I can come home to. I want something … someone that always feels like home. Junsu feels that way to me. I see him and it’s like, no matter where we are… there is…this something… a cornerstone that defines the edges of my world.”
“I can tell you write songs.” The young man brushed a strand of sunset-hued hair from his eyes. “But Junsu … he’s not one for relationships. I know that.”
“So, it’s over before I even begin to see… what’s there.” Yoochun shrugged. He tried not to cry…he swore he wouldn’t shed any tears for Junsu but the trickle began, a warm flood of his silent longing. He let the tears flow, hoping the river would carry his sorrow away so he would never have to feel his grief again. The waters churned, frothing white under the pale moonlight. “God, I can’t believe he does this to me.”
“You never struck me as someone who was ready to … settle into something, Chunnie.” Hyukjae said, tacitly ignoring the other man’s emotional display. “Why now?”
“I’ve never… even really considered another man as a lover. And now, Junsu… someone I love…god, how can I love someone who isn’t… a woman?” Yoochun shook off his sorrow, wiping his face clean. “And then there’s something inside of me that whispers; What does it matter? As long as he’s there and you’re… safe in his heart. Why should it matter?”
“He confuses me. I don’t know what to do about how I feel or even why I feel like this.” Staring at the moisture pooled in his palms, Micky spoke softly, barely audible, his words caught in the light breeze. “Hyukjae, I love women. I love the way they laugh and smell and giggle. There’s nothing I love more than when a girl touches my face or just stroke my arm… and then, there’s Junsu…and he does that for me. He does that to me. Do you know how confusing that is?”
“Oh yes…” Hyukjae nodded. “Junsu used to do that to me. Still does that to me but I’m not the one that makes him… smile in his eyes. You do that, Yoochun. I watch him and he just… opens up for you.”
“But I can’t risk my heart on Junsu’s reluctance. I’ve already lost so many people that I’ve loved… either from distance or … leaving me.” Yoochun murmured, pulling his knees up and wrapping his arms around his shins. “I’ve been hurt too much before, Hyukjae. And it would kill me if I needed Junsu and his eyes wandered to someone else. He might open up for me now, but I can’t hope that I’ll be the only one he sees…”
“I think he loves you, Yoochun.” Hyukjae replied, hooking his arm over Yoochun’s shoulder, holding the other singer tight against his chest. “I think he’s in love with you and that scares him. I need my best friend to stop being scared. So either he has to admit that he’s fallen in love with you… or he walks away from you before you get hurt.”
“I don’t know which of those I would want more.” Yoochun shook his head, smiling up through his tears at Hyukjae.
“Well, I can tell you one thing...Si-Won and I wouldn’t mind if it were the latter.” The young man briefly tasted Yoochun’s mouth, licking at the pleasurable, erotic taste he found on the singer’s lips. “In fact, it would make either of us extremely happy. It would even make both of us happy at the same time if only you would let us.”
Junsu braced his hands against Min’s shoulders, lightly guiding the young man away from his mouth. The taste of the young man lingered, fresh and delightful, a promise of handsome masculinity poised just at the brink of unfolding. He wanted more…his body wanted more at least but Junsu stared at the pretty youth offering another taste of heaven, just right within his reach.
“Minnie-ah, are you…?” Changmin jerked his head up, his eyes wide as Jaejoong walked through the door.
The eldest froze, his chest hitched with a caught breath, taking in the young man splayed over Junsu’s prone body. Panic raked through Jaejoong’s heart, tearing at the fibre of his sanity. Words spilled from his mouth, unbidden and tinted with darkness. Grabbing at the back of Min’s pants, Jaejoong yanked the young man off of Junsu’s chest. Nearly throwing Min free of the other, Jae rounded on Junsu, his anger livid across the pretty landscape of his face.
“What the hell are you doing, Junsu?” Jaejoong shouted, his voice carrying through the apartment. Changmin pushed free of Yoochun’s bed, grabbing at Jae’s arm, the eldest’s hand fisted in Junsu’s shirt. “Leave off, Min. Get out of here.”
“No!” Changmin yanked at Junsu’s clothes, freeing the other man from Jae’s grip. Junsu backed up, ducking his shoulders to avoid Jaejoong’s irate tirade. “Jaejoong…hyung! Stop! He wasn’t the one who started this. I did.”
“You’re too young for this, Min. I tried telling you that. Why don’t you hear me?” Jaejoong pressed the tenor’s shoulders down onto the bed, his anger fully formed. “And Junsu, why do you have to push and pull everyone apart? First, Yoochun and now Changmin?”
“I didn’t do anything, Joongie-ah.” The tenor defended himself. “I was…”
Min struck Jaejoong on the shoulder, his fist balled tight with rage, mute and vicious in its attack. The blow glanced off of Jae’s body, toppling the young man forward. The youngest hit out again, a fierce wildness in his wing, the singer’s temple, sending the elder man tumbling into Junsu’s torso. Twisting to absorb the singer’s impact, Junsu winced at the jostling to his hip, the twinge working into his lower back.
“You don’t get to decide for me how I feel, Jaejoong!” The youngest shouted, standing nearly over the tangle of bodies on Junsu’s bed. “You don’t decide for me what I want or who I want.”
“You’re not…” The eldest struggled to stand up, yanking his legs free of Junsu’s limbs, Grabbing at the edge of the bed, Jaejoong slid free, gaining purchase on the throw rug beneath his feet. “Minnie-ah, you’re not even old enough…”
“What? Old enough to leave home and whore myself out to dirty old men for a few won?” Changmin’s words flew, a firestorm uncontrolled. It fed on the hurt and rage he bottled up inside of him, his reason peeled from his mind, a discarded rind he’d hoarded until it molded under the decay of his fury. “I’m older than you when you did that, Jaejoong. Or have you forgotten that? Does taking money for it make it better than my kissing Junsu? Should I ask him to buy me something nice? Or should I ask you how much I should charge first before I kiss him again?”
“Maybe you think that because you’re the eldest that you should be like your father?” Min ran hoarse, his eyes raw with unshed tears. “Is that who you are now to me? Because I don’t need a father…not one like yours.”
“I don’t need someone to tell me that I’m worthless or that if I want a kiss from Junsu that I’m wicked.” He breathed, rattling and hard with grief. Changmin’s temper burst, flooding the soft fertile soil of Jaejoong’s insecurities, laying a heavy seed of doubt in the eldest’s mind. “I didn’t get thrown from my family because unlike you, I am loved for who I am. No matter what I choose, Jaejoong, I know that I’ll never be tossed out like trash.”
“Changmin, that’s enough.” Yunho’s harsh words cut through Changmin’s tirade, the leader stepping into the fray with a decisive cutting voice. Silhouetted against the door frame, the young man’s wide shoulders dominated the space, his legs carrying him into the room.
Junsu righted himself, cradling Jaejoong’s shoulders, careful not to shove the other man out of the way. The singer’s face was tight, his control trembling to cascade out from under his anguish. A jut of his chin and the hardening of his amber-flecked eyes gave Yunho pause, the leader poised to touch his lover, fingers trembling to catch the tears that threatened to fall onto Jae’s cold, frozen mask.
“Boo…” He crouched at the edge of the bed, Yunho’s hands cupping Jae’s face, thumbs stroking at the plump succulence of his lower lip. “He’s sorry. He didn’t mean that, baby. I’m proud of who you are… and what you struggled to survive. None of us here are strong enough to have lived through that.”
“He meant it.” A silver drop hit the webbing of Yunho’s hand, molten with Jae’s pain. Nearly pulling free from his lover’s grasp, Jaejoong half-heartedly pushed at Yunho’s arms, wanting to curl into a dark corner and cry, his soul rent apart from Changmin’s razored words. “He meant every word of it… even down to calling me a whore. And the thing is, he’s right… I did let men touch me and smiled when they gave me enough money to get a bowl of rice from the restaurant next door. I’m not proud of that, Yunnie-ah. You shouldn’t be either.”
“Pride is just one of the many things I have for you.” Yunho insisted, his grip on the other’s face nearly painful to his heart. He wanted nothing more than to bundle the singer into his arms and bury the world behind thick cement walls, the echoes of his mother’s voice a stabbing pin to his eardrums.
“I’ll take care of him, Yunnie-ah.” Junsu’s voice pierced Yunho’s intense concern, the leader glancing up at Changmin’s horrified face. “Joongie-ah, please… let me .. help…“
Jaejoong folded into Junsu’s arms, his anger at the young man sublimated by the hurt closing up his throat. Turning his head, Jae held his sobs in, refusing to give in to the wracking emotion welling up from his belly. Yunho’s fists clenched at his sides, his palms itching with the need to strike out at anyone, wanting to defend the broken little boy hidden inside of the wild, stubborn young man he loved.
The stiffness in Jae’s shoulders held a whisper of invisible angel wings arched over his slender frame, a defensive and proud stance that refused to give in to the maelstrom around him. Jae’s lean body, taut and rigid, drove home Changmin’s words, their echo resonating in his mind. The gravity of his outburst lay hanging around them, a black poison he’d injected straight into Jaejoong’s beating heart. Short of taking a dagger to the singer’s veins, Changmin knew he couldn’t have done more damage to Jae if he tried. He reached for Jaejoong, his motion blocked by Yunho’s firm body.
“I’m getting you out of here, Changmin.” Yunho grabbed at the youngest’s elbow, maneuvering him out from between the bed. “Before I break you as thoroughly as you’ve just broken Jaejoong’s heart.”