Pairing: Min/Other (some jaeho and yoosu along the way)
Section Rating: R
Overall Rating: NC-17
Summary: Hot Korean boys. A seduction. An alluring. A temptation. And Min's self-discovery.
Sections: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Se7en, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven (Lemon), Twelve; Thirteen; Fourteen; Fifteen, Sixteen
Related Fics: So Much Mine and Lavender Bunny. Links go to PDFs. Other related fics can be found at my LJ: wedspawn
Se7en sat with an ice pack on his face, trying not to listen to the heated conversation of whispers Min was having with the leader of his group. Yunho was reluctant to leave the youngest behind, insisting he would wait downstairs in the car. Changmin was having none of that, telling Yunho it would be best if he left so they could talk.
Se7en learned to hate that word in only one minute. He knew he was going to loathe it in a few more.
He didn’t know what possessed him to blurt out those words. And now, seeing Min’s ashen face, he regretted saying them more than he did accusing Yunho of wanting Changmin.
Yes, things were definitely going to go downhill.
“Hey.” Min joined Se7en on the couch, sitting on the arm and peering at the swelling on the older man’s face. Yunho’s fist glanced off of Se7en’s mouth, breaking the skin on his lower lip.
“He’s gone then?” Se7en asked, looking up from the couch.
Changmin ached. Seeing Dong-Wook sprawled in a boneless, sensual heap against pillows made him want the older man even more than he already had. The words he heard when he’d come out of the bedroom made him realize he should run away as far as he could.
“Yes. I told him to go home.” Changmin winced at the red swell under Se7en’s eye when the singer shifted the ice pack to his mouth. “I hope he left. I don’t want to find him downstairs.”
Se7en pulled the pack from his face, setting it down on the glass coffee table. A few rivulets of water formed around the moist fabric beginning a steady drip onto the wood floor. Min’s response told him many things. None of which he liked.
“So you’re leaving too?” His face no longer hurt as much as his gut, the air turning stale in his lungs. Se7en couldn’t put his mind around the ache along his jaw line and throat, untouched by Yunho’s fists but nearly as sore as the searing burn in his chest. Emotional pain was as bone-breaking as a well-placed fist.
“I don’t know what to do.” Changmin moved away from Se7en’s touch as the man reached out to skim his fingers along Min’s knee.
That small movement of Min’s hurt as well. Another bruise forming on Se7en’s heart.
“I’m…” Se7en stopped speaking, trying to find the words in his throat around the lump forming there. “What did you hear?”
“Right before he punched you.” Min said. “About me and Jaejoong. And everything after that.”
“The first or second time?” He still couldn’t breathe, the stretch of muscle along his ribs giving Se7en a twinge as he tried to catch air.
“He punched you twice?” Min frowned, his lower lip a kissable pout to Se7en’s eyes. “I’m sorry for that.”
“Talk to me, Minku.” Se7en had never begged. It was beneath him and not worth the drama. It was always better to leave a lover with a nice present, a kiss and fond memories. Begging for someone’s attention and heart were foreign things to him. He’d come quickly to the conclusion that he didn’t like it. Even for Changmin.
“If you want me to apologize for what I said about you and Jaejoong, I will. Because I am sorry I said that. I didn’t think about how it would hurt you. I only wanted to fling something into Yunho’s face. And, well, that’s what came out.”
“No, I understand.” Min nearly laughed at the irony of being on the other side of foul words. Hadn’t he nearly soured his relationship with Jaejoong for doing that exact same thing. “I’ve said some things that I’ve wanted to take back as soon as my tongue finished with them. I’m surprised that Jae hasn’t bashed my face in like Yunho tried with you.”
“There was no try, baby.” Se7en gingerly touched his face. “Yunho did bash my face in. Is it bad? Can makeup cover it?”
“Don’t make me look too closely.” Changmin tilted his head back, wondering why there were tears in his eyes. There was too much going on in his head, his thoughts racing about and drowning any common sense he might have left. “I need to…”
“You need to walk out of this, ne?” Se7en finished for him, a flat line of disappointment in his voice. “This. Like this isn’t me and you. Just something you found on the bottom of your shoe?”
“Don’t say it like that.” Min pleaded, dropping his gaze to Se7en’s bruised face.
Purple splotches ran dark over the other man’s cheek, raised welts where Yunho’s knuckles rubbed the skin raw. As the swelling increased, it looked as if the area under Se7en’s eye would split and tear under the pressure from below. A small cut ran a red slit down the man’s lip and Min wanted to lean forward to kiss it away.
Fear kept him back. Fear and uncertainty. There was too much thrown into his face over the last half hour and now, Min just needed to get out and breathe.
“How else am I supposed to say it, Minku?” Se7en winced as his tongue touched the sore on his mouth, setting it to bleed again. “I’m just to sit here and let you walk away from us? You’re supposed to be stronger than that. Isn’t that the point?”
“There wasn’t supposed to be an us, remember?” Min pressed. “Don’t you remember? Friends. No ties other than that. I don’t know how to love someone, Dong-Wook. Now you’re changing the rules on me and telling Yunho that you’re falling in love with me? You didn’t even tell me that first. You didn’t give me time to think and to adjust or even to say; no, Se7en, I don’t want that.”
“Do you want that?” The older man inched forward, grabbing at Min’s leg before he could move it away. Se7en’s strong hands kept Min in place, unable to move unless he toppled backwards onto the floor. “I didn’t mean to tell Yunho anything. I just wanted to tell him that he needed to give you a chance to grow on your own. Everything else just blew up from there.”
“I wasn’t a part of that. You snuck away and let me sleep. You should have woken me up. I should have been here, dealing with ” Min gestured with frantic hands. “I was supposed to be able to make my own decisions.”
“Things happen outside of our control, Changmin.” Se7en said, stopping when Min shook his head.
“No, everything happens outside of my control.” The younger man replied. “God, you’ve become my best friend. Now I have to be the selfish one and say, I’m not ready for this. Don’t fall in love with me because I’m thinking I can’t be in love. I told you that. I told you I loved you. Why couldn’t that be enough for now?”
Se7en had no answer. He’d not planned for any of this. That didn’t seem to matter. Hissing in disgust, he released Min’s leg and headed for the pantry, digging out a bottle of whiskey and a glass. Debating ice, he decided that would take too long, pouring himself a finger-breadth of amber and tossed it back, feeling the bite of the liquor at the back of his throat.
Standing in the kitchen, Se7en stared at the young man watching him intently. He could see the pain in Min’s face. But he was unsure if he was really responsible for putting it there.
“What do you want me to do?” Another pour led to a sip this time. Se7en knew he’d want his wits about him if he was going to argue with Min. The young man was much too smart and would lead him around in circles if he was allowed to. “You want me to say I don’t love you?”
“No.” Min couldn’t hold Se7en’s gaze any longer, looking away to find the sun rising over the city. “I just need to… think.”
“You need to think?” Se7en chewed on his lip, swearing when he opened up the cut again. “Fuck. How long is the thinking going to last? A week? A month? I’m supposed to sit here and wait for you to decide if I’m okay to love? How much am I allowed to care for you? Enough for a midnight call? A blow job? What?”
“Don’t be like this.” Min wiped at his eyes, not surprised when he pulled his hand back and found it wet with tears.
“How else am I supposed to be, Minku?” Se7en asked. “We’ve been doing this, whatever this is, for months. I didn’t mind being hidden behind a closed door like I was someone to be ashamed of. Hell, I even loved knowing that I was a part of your life that you never shared. And now that there’s some sort of bump in the road, you’re just going to walk out the door because it’s what? Easier than dealing with the crap that goes along with life?”
“Yeah, I told Yunho I was falling for you.” The older man pursed his mouth, shrugging nonchalantly as he walked around the kitchen counter, cradling the glass of whiskey in his hand. “And I’m not going to regret it. I was going to ride it as far as it took me because I’ve never felt like that about someone. Never.”
“I’ve never wanted to fall in love. It’s a fucking mess and it doesn’t do anything but ruin lives.” Se7en stopped in front of Min, forcing the young man to raise his chin and look at the older man. “You think I want the kind of shit that Yunho and Jaejoong have to deal with? Do you think I want the damned fucking complications of having to duck around and hide who I want?”
“I’m not like you. I’ve already bled for a company to get my fame. I’ve reached a point where I can do what I want and I don’t have to be packaged to be sold.”
“I don’t want that either.” Min said softly. “I don’t think I can have any more complications.”
“So…” Se7en cocked his head, staring down at Min’s wet face. “What do you want to do? I can’t change how I feel. And you don’t want it. Now what?”
“Now, I think I go home.” Changmin stood, his mouth nearly brushing against Se7en’s as he moved. The air between them quivered, poignant and heavy with want. “I’m sorry, Dong-Wook. I am.”
“Yeah, me too.” Se7en stepped back, turning away from the younger man and drained the glass.
“I’ll have someone drop off your jacket.” Changmin bent to pick up his backpack, its weight nearly dragging him down. He felt so tired and worn out; his heart leaden in his chest.
“No, don’t bother.” The singer shook his head, unwilling to look at Min. “Keep it. You’ll need something to keep that heart of yours warm if you don’t want anyone to do it for you.”
The door clicked closed a few seconds later, the apartment eerily empty. Se7en had grown too used to Min’s light presence in the matter of hours and now, to him, the vastness of the penthouse echoed around him. He needed to fill it with something, anything.
“Fuck you.” Se7en muttered, frustration growing in his belly. Anger burst from his pain and he clenched the glass, shattering it between his fingers, driving the shards into his hand. Blood spurted from the cuts, and a raw scream broke from his throat, a guttural primal rage reverberating around him.
He crouched, trying to do anything to ease the ache in his belly, the clenching in his guts too hard for him to take. Shaking the blood from his hand, Se7en cast a longing look at the half-bottle of whiskey sitting on the counter, a promise of numbness offered in the potent liquid.
Staggering to his feet, he reached for the bottle, untwisting the cap and taking a long swig, letting the burn roll down his tortured throat. Laughing suddenly, he leaned on the counter, resting his weight on his elbows as he looked at the ruin of his life.
Peeling at the label with his fingers, sucking at a large cut along the edge of his palm. Spitting out a mouthful of blood into the sink, he watched it mingle with the drops of water left over from his dishwashing. Swallowing another mouthful, he waited for the whiskey to take away how he felt, wishing the liquor would hurry up and erase everything that happened in the last half hour.
He murmured. “I was the one who told him not to fall in love with me. ‘Cause I don’t do love.”
Looking up at the ceiling, Se7en toasted the heavens with the bottle, snorting in disgust. “And they always told me God didn’t have a sense of humour. How fucking funny is this.”
“You weren’t supposed to wait.” Changmin leaned into the open window of Yunho’s car, slanting his head to stare at the other man.
“Get in.” Yunho leaned over, unlocking the door. “I’ll take you home.”
“No, I don’t think I can go home just yet.” Min shook his head, slinging his laptop bag onto the seat next to Yunho. “Can you take that in for me? I think I need to walk or something.”
“It’s too early in the morning to walk around safely.” Yunho looked up at his youngest member’s face. “Did that bastard make you cry?”
“I think we made each other cry.” Changmin admitted. “Please, Yunnie-ah. I’ll be okay. I just need to be alone. You and Jaejoong need to catch your flight, don’t you?”
“You think either one of us are going to leave you when you’re like this?”
“Go to Okinawa, Yunnie-ah.” Min sighed, slinging his backpack over his shoulder. “I’ll call you when I get in if you’re not there. Or call me before you get on the plane. I’ll answer.”
He watched the car drive off, listening to the rubber of the tires squeaking through the remains of the rain along the asphalt. Looking around, Changmin took in the city as if seeing the streets for the first time. People were beginning to move about, pouring from apartments and cramped houses to reach train stations and begin their daily lives.
Outside of the flow, he wandered, stopping only when he felt the buzz of his phone along his side. Glancing at the number, he was half-disappointed to find it was Jaejoong. Answering, Min tried to lift his voice to assuage the older man’s worry but to no avail, Jae sniffed out his sorrow and told him that he and Yunho were staying in Japan, another drop of stress added to Min’s already overtaxed mind. Murmuring his thanks, unwilling to be selfish and ask the older men to leave the apartment so he could go home and cry alone, Changmin hung up and began to walk, not caring where he ended up.
Min found himself at a tea shop, the shades just beginning to be drawn up for the day. Bowing a greeting, he found a table away from the busy door, settling into an overstuffed chair and ordering a bracing cup of chai and a morning porridge with red beans. He stared at the people passing by, searching for the will to create stories about their lives but the pastime now reminded him of Se7en, too painful to be played so soon after the ache of their parting words.
The tea was flavourless in his mouth and the soupy rice stuck to his throat, a pasty mess he struggled to swallow. Sipping more chai to wash down the porridge, Min hiccupped, feeling his emotions spill over. He wanted to cry but his pride prevented it. He wouldn’t want to be seen as weak, even in front of strangers.
Staring down at his cooling tea, Changmin wondered why it should matter what strangers felt about him. Shouldn’t he embrace how he felt? Isn’t that what Se7en was telling him all along?
And he wasn’t supposed to be the one crying. Shouldn’t he be the one who was going to be okay? He’d taken control. He’d decided for himself how it was going to be between them. He was the one who walked away.
Then why couldn’t he stop the tears?
Biting down on the inside of his lip, Min dug around his backpack. Finding his cell, he dialed, waiting for the other end of the line to pick up. He’d about nearly given up when an unsteady voice answered on the other end, wishing him a good morning despite the early hour.
“Hi.” Min stumbled over his breath, bowing his head as the tears fell from his swollen eyes. They sank into his lap, soaking into dark wide circles on the denim of his jeans. “I’m sorry… but I didn’t know who else to call. I thought… I just needed…”
Min sighed, hearing reassurance across the phone line, his heart breaking under the anguish he’d stored there.
“I just don’t know what to do.” Changmin whispered, drawing his legs up under him. “I just… need to talk to someone and you… no, I’m not okay. Thanks. I mean, thank you for listening. Because I hurt and I just don’t know what I can do. So thank you, if I forget to tell you that. Thank you for being here.”