Rating: Overall NC-17 (This section... possibly R?)
This Jaeho is sponsored by the letter Y and the user ranalore
Summary: Section Nine.
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.
Section One; Section Two; Section Three; Section Four; Section Five; Section Six; Section Seven; Section Eight
Changmin stirred a handful of mung beans into the boiling mass of rice, blending in the final ingredients to the juk he’d made for dinner. The aromas drew out Junsu, his hair damp from a long shower, time spent mostly getting the cold out of his body from the walk through the snow. Micky’s face creased into a wide smile, snagging a cooked mushroom out of the pot, feeling the slippery fungus slide between his teeth. Chewing the meaty chunk into smaller shreds, Yoochun dug through the dish drainer, gathering enough bowls to set the table.
“I claim Yunho’s mushrooms.” Junsu worked the hem of his t-shirt down, padding barefoot into the kitchen. Micky scoffed, pushing him slightly with an open palm. “What? He doesn’t like them. And if I don’t claim them, you or Changmin will steal them off the side of his plate without sharing.”
“If you hadn’t taken so long in the shower, duck, you would know that they’re not going to be home for a while.” The taller singer ruffled Junsu’s hair as he passed, feinting a dodge when the other smacked lightly at his shoulder. “Yunho and Jaejoong are stuck at the studio. The snow is too thick for the work crews to clear out.”
“That should be interesting.” Su snuck a glance at Changmin, his head bobbing in time to the music playing through the ear buds of his iPod. Lost in his own world, the younger man sniffed at the juk, pondering if it needed more salt. “I wonder which one of them will survive the longest.”
Junsu stuck his head in the fridge, hunting for the jar of sweet pickled takuan he’d gotten from his aunt. Changmin wrinkled his nose at the sight of the yellow pickle, sticking his tongue out when the hiss of the lid being opened sent out a wave of strong horseradish and sugar smell to overpower the fragrant rice dish he was preparing.
“You better not smell like that tonight when we’re asleep.” Micky warned Junsu. “Only eat a little bit of it. Or I’m going to leave the window wide open and hope it freezes any gases your belly might make.”
“Funny.” Su rolled his eyes, edging past Changmin and grabbing a small bowl and a fork, spooning out a large portion of takuan. Fishing out a round pepper-spiced piece, Junsu popped it into his mouth, enjoying the satisfying crunch and the bittersweet rice vinegar taste on his tongue. “So who do you think will come out of that room...well with the least amount of bruises and blood?”
“I’m betting Jaejoong.” Yoochun commented under his breath, mindful of the baby-faced cook sidestepping in the kitchen. Junsu fished out a small chunk of pickle with his fingers, holding it aloft for Yoochun to bite into. The dark-haired young man bit down, moving his head to catch the liquid dripping under Junsu’s palm. The tip of Yoochun’s tongue lapped at delicate webbing running from Junsu’s thumb to his palm, sucking the sweet vinegar lean from the other singer’s skin.
“There now you’ll smell as bad as I will.” Junsu teased.
Chewing around the treat, Yoochun continued as if the other singer hadn’t spoken. “Yunho’s patience is already worn thin. Joongie has more control of his tongue...”
“Jaejoong’s tongue has barely met his control. I don’t think they’ve even formally met.” Junsu argued. “What Joongie thinks, he says.”
“Not when his heart is in it. I know him. He won’t risk it.” Micky disagreed with a shake of his head. “Jae won’t open up. He will spend most of the time sullen and disagreeable.”
“I will bet on that.” Junsu held his hand out to the other singer, his mouth quirked into a grin. “You do my laundry for a week.”
“I already washed your sheets.” Yoochun replied. “If anything, you should do my laundry for one day.”
“Ah, no. You had to wash my sheets because you let a club-stinky Jaejoong sleep on them. He is the one who should do your laundry for one day. Or at least wash your socks. They smell as bad as those sheets probably did.” Junsu pointed out, trying to maneuver around Changmin to return the pickled daikon to the fridge. Changmin shot them a look over his shoulder, curiosity plain on his face. Shrugging, the youngest singer returned to his cooking, worrying at the list of ingredients written in Jaejoong’s scrawling handwriting. “Laundry for one week.”
“And how will we determine who wins?” Micky set down the last of the bowls, arranging the napkins before laying down the utensils Changmin set out earlier. The silver clattered on the marble top, a chiming light tone reminiscent of the bells overheard in the temples surrounding the city. “Count the black eyes? They can only have two each.”
“I hadn’t thought of that.” Junsu pursed his mouth, quixotic ruminations running through his mind. “Who ever is the most mad when they come home. I think we’ll have a sullen Jaejoong, irritated for being trapped in with Yunho for so long.”
“I think that would mean I win because Jaejoong would have not said what was on his mind.” Yoochun reasoned out. “My money is on Jae lasting it out and Yunho coming home angry because he’s irritated at Jae not responding anymore.”
“How will that be any different?” Canting his head, Junsu stared at Yoochun’s shrug. “We can talk about this later. It’s time to eat and Min’s going to start paying attention to what we’re saying.”
“It’s too late for that. I can hear both of you.” Sighing, Changmin pulled the earphones out, letting the wires dangle around his neck.
Tapping a wooden spoon against the rim of the pot, he loosened the juk stuck to the curve. Dumping the rice porridge into a bowl, he stuck a serving ladle into the mixture and placed it in the middle of the table, the vegetables softening in the steaming rice. Cracking open a bottle of cucumber kim chee, Changmin sat down, sliding his napkin onto his lap.
“If you want to know what I think...” The youngest of them served himself a hefty portion of the rice, careful to scoop up shreds of beef and bok choy as well as avoiding the onions he knew the others liked.
After shaking a few streams of Sriracha sauce over the juk, he dug his spoon in and stared up at the two young men standing at the edge of the kitchen area. “Jaejoong should just tell Yunho that he’s in love with him and Yunho can either decide if he wants Jaejoong as a friend or something else. It would make all of this easier and we can go back to just being friends, instead of pretending that nothing is going on in front of us. That’s what I think. Now sit down and eat. I’m hungry.”
“I don’t know what you mean.” Yunho’s voice dropped to a quiet burr, softened by the conflict in his mind. His hand roamed over the landscape of Jae’s thigh, thumb rubbing a circle into the dip of his knee. Outside, the slow drip of snow melting against the heat of the window fogged away the world, keeping them safe inside of the cage of words they’d built around each other. “What are you talking about? Without me…”
Jaejoong’s chest hitched, his heart numb and no longer able to absorb any more of the wounds he inflicted on himself. His body ached for sleep, anything to remove himself from that lingering tincture of acidic heartbreak that dripped from Yunho’s apathy. Rubbing at his face with his open palms, Jaejoong pushed back on his thoughts, shoring up the walls of the cold mask he wore.
“It doesn’t matter.” Jae said finally, the faint brush of his tears hovering at the edge of his broken words. Smoothing out his tone, the singer nodded, a curt break of formality in the disarray of his emotional upheaval. “What I was trying to say is that I will do anything for the group. For Junsu, Yoochun, Changmin and…you. I don’t want you to feel like I let you down.”
“You just need to concentrate when you are doing things.” Yunho stumbled back onto the safety of the world he knew, one where he had control over what his tongue spat out and his heart paid no attention to the trim, lithe young man sitting across of him. Conscious of the raging anger he’d flayed Jae with last night, Yunho tried to pick out his words carefully, trying not to breach the small amount of compromise they’d seem to reach. However slight the treaty was between them, the group would not survive their fighting. Yunho knew the others held Jaejoong in a special place in their hearts. He’d seen that with Yoochun.
Another flare of white anger burned along the line of Yunho’s reason. Closing his eyes briefly, he tilted his body back, leaning nearly into the side of the desk. Clearing his throat, Yunho tried to gather his thoughts back up, to reason with the young singer but when he stared into Jaejoong’s face, all he could see was the thin icy sheen of the man he’d first met.
“What’s wrong now?” Yunho asked, his chin lifting up. The chilled look on Jaejoong’s face was one he wore himself, often a shield from the fire Jae set in his blood.
“Nothing.” A shake of Jae’s head denied anything was wrong but the timbre of his voice and the threatening roil of something dark at the edge of that single word sent alarms across Yunho’s awareness. “No, there is something. Because you’re not understanding me. And if I don’t tell you how I feel…how I feel when you’re near me, then I’m going to spend my life in a lie wrapped tightly around my throat and I’ll choke to death as it gets bigger and bigger. I can’t live with lies, Yunho. I just can’t.”
A fine line crackled along the porcelain perfection of the singer’s features, Jae’s expression changing, infused with a passion Yunho had not seen before. The small shift of the other’s face was incredible, blending the angel prettiness with a seductive, coy creature, sure of his effect on Yunho’s calm.
“I spend my entire time walking carefully around you. Every thing I say and do is because I am either afraid I will get you angry or drive you away from me. And I can’t do that anymore. I can’t, Yunnie.” Jaejoong shifted, ignoring the searing pain traveling up the length of his thigh. “So even if this makes me lose you…lose you before I can even have you… I have to do this.”
Jae’s abused nerves twitched, screaming in protest at the movement. Jae would pay for his body’s insubordination, his hands finding the folds of shirt fabric on Yunho’s chest. Wrapping his long fingers around the soft material, Jaejoong pulled himself closer, his hips twisting. A moan floated in the air and Jae was unsure whether it came from him or the young man he fought so hard not to love.
“You make my life drown with my tears. I lay awake in bed thinking that I can stand one more night of listening to you sleep and hope that the next morning, I’ll wake up and not care anymore…not want you anymore.” Jae pressed in, his full mouth a whisper away from Yunho’s parted lips, their mingled breath kissing in a chocolate cream cloud. The singer wanted… he could practically taste the chiseled ache blooming in his chest, a steel-razored rose he sharpened with each second of his life he shared with Yunho. “This isn’t what I should want. And I know it isn’t what you want.”
“I…” Taken aback, Yunho stammered, his hands moving up to clasp over Jae’s fingers, unsure if he should pry the other loose or pull him closer, tucking the singer’s lean form into the curve of his body. Jaejoong’s warmth felt as if it should fit right into his, a tangle of bone bonded onto the inferno stoked with each word falling from the singer’s pretty mouth.
“I’ve seen you… look at women.” Jae swallowed, trying to spare himself the memory of Yunho’s rapt attention on the female singers they’d often shared a back stage with, lilting voices a cloying sugar, a counterpoint to the dark molasses of Yunho’s answering chuckles. “And…I know that I’m not…”
“I just need to do this once…and then…I’ll be done with it.” Jae whispered. “I have to be done with it because I can’t survive this anymore, Yunnie-ah. I just can’t bear this without at least knowing that I’ve told you… or showed you…even if you turn away from me in disgust. Because when I lose everything…and I know I will… it will be worth it. I’ll at least have tasted you on me once. And that has to be enough for me.”
The kiss started gentle, a pressing of firm lips on the softness of Jae’s mouth. It deepened slowly, Yunho’s shock parting the way for Jae’s affections. With a biting urge, Jae’s teeth sought Yunho’s lower lip, suckling it into his mouth, the moistness of his tongue catching on the healed over split his fist made the night before. The gasping cry finally lifted from its prison in Jae’s throat, rolling over the darting tongue he plunged into Yunho’s mouth and falling into the chasm of the leader’s heart, echoing around in a rattle of desire. They fought for control before Yunho pushed Jae down, his fists clenched tight in the singer’s ebony hair, holding him down as he ravaged apart what little control Jae had left, opening the singer’s mouth with a fierceness that dared denial.
It ended as quickly as it began, a sudden cold frigid in the space left between their panting bodies. Yunho pushed off of Jae’s prone body, distancing himself from the length of sin he had just wrapped himself into. Hands shaking, the leader stood, trying to gain some balance…anything to center himself after what he’d just done. Staring down at the young man’s beauty, Yunho turned his back slightly, trying to erase the erotic thoughts in his mind, shoving down the unwelcome desire running rampant along the curve of his groin.
“That was wrong, Kim Jaejoong. Wrong.” Yunho said flatly, his hands cutting a straight line of rejection in the air. “You twist my mind around, make me do and think things that I shouldn’t even …want. You are the wickedest thing that I could have ever had happen to me. This thing between us… is not right. It can’t be.”
“You’ve said that.” Jaejoong’s hair once again curtained his face, shielding him from the harshness of Yunho’s expression. “I understand that.”
“We can’t do this. I can’t do this.. Do you know what this would do to me? My family? The others? We have to leave this here. It can’t go any further.” Yunho turned on his heel. “I don’t care how bad the weather is. We’re heading home. I’ll meet you in the car.”
Watching Yunho leave the small office, Jaejoong discovered he’d been wrong. There certainly were more tears left in his soul. The sight of Yunho leaving with the taste of Jae in his mouth proved that. There was nothing of Jaejoong that could make Yunho love him, now he was sure of it. Nothing at all, the hot salt drops staining his hands said as they fell, echoing in the nothingness of Jae’s shattered heart. The risk he’d taken meant nothing to the tall young man who with a single turn of his body fractured dreams Jaejoong didn’t even know he’d left in the openness of his soul.
Uncaring of the pain in each slow, aching step, Jaejoong stood then turned off the lights behind him, silent in his misery.