Rating: Overall NC-17
I am responsible for nothing of ranalore's addictions. She has joined me willingly on this journey.
Summary: Section Ten.
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; Section Nine
It seemed like the most natural thing in the world, to push Jaejoong away and shove his feelings into a box, wrapped tight with barbed wire made bloody from the other singer’s bleeding heart. Yunho felt it was the right thing to do…the only thing he could do but the wrongness of everything gnawed at him.
He stood at the threshold of the office building door and let the winter slam at his face, the snow biting through the nothingness in his soul. An icy night swept over the city, frozen to a standstill by the sheer glut of water pouring from the sky. Yunho’s eyes followed a light arcing on the horizon, possibly a plane heading to someplace far from the mess he seemed to make of his life.
Water diamonds floated on the breeze, steaming trails working through the warmer air and falling in a gentle glide over Yunho’s face. The street was empty of cars and people, a silent pocket of peace in a bustling city. Yunho’s mouth stung, his fingers trembling as he lifted his hand, pulling it back away to stare at the dollop of blood filling the maze of his fingerprint.
Soft footsteps echoed behind him, a tread fall he knew in his sleep, hitched with the limp gained from Jae pushing himself for Yunho’s impossible standards. The wind shifted around them, carrying Jaejoong’s scent into Yunho’s lungs with his next breath, green tea with a hint of the instant hot chocolate they shared. A brush of a shoulder against his and then Jaejoong was gone, lost in the shadow sliding down from the awning above.
“Do you need help? Walking?” Yunho stumbled over his words, unsure if he could even face the slightly older singer. Jae’s face was hidden behind a sheet of inky dark lit only by slices of the street lamp’s dull mercury orange bulb, obscured from Yunho’s view. Jaejoong continued to struggle, placing his hand carefully on the iron railing to support himself, shrugging off Yunho’s hand when it slid under his arm.
“Why don’t you get the car and bring it here?” The winter could not compare to Jae’s words, snowflake brittle and fragile on the biting cold. “That would be something nice you could do for me.”
“I… didn’t want to hurt you, Jaejoong.” Yunho’s hand moved away from Jae’s side, sliding up to rest on the span of his back between his shoulder blades. He could feel the wings of bone beneath his palm, the strength of Jae’s body tensed in a knot of tension. “Please, can’t we just let this go and go back to how we were?”
“And how were we, Yunho?” Jae stopped short, his knuckles white as he gripped the supporting pole. “I break myself apart trying to please you and you get to judge whether or not I get a single precious word? Or maybe just wait for perhaps a hint of a smile when I hit the right note? Because that is what it will mean to go back to how we were before. I give everything inside of myself in return for nothing of you.”
“That is not how it was.” Yunho objected, grabbing at Jae’s elbow.
“That is exactly how it was.” Jae bit back, trying to jerk himself free of the other’s much stronger grip. “I told you before, I’m not going to do this…that anymore. This…how I feel… everything that I’ve held inside of me for too long is now yours to deal with.”
“I can’t.” Yunho dug in deeper, pulling Jae back under the cement overhang of the balcony above. A horn honked as a car passed, a shouting voice mocking the young men standing so close together in a passionate huddle. “Do you hear that? Is that what you want for the rest of your life?”
“I would stand that if it meant having you.” Jae shot back, his resolve fueled by the tattered pride he barely held together with sheer will. “I don’t think you understand that. I don’t think you see that. Nor do I think you care.”
“My family…” Yunho started, Jaejoong tugging again at the firm grip, trying to break free from the leader’s crushing fingers. “I don’t… feel that way about you.”
“I don’t believe you.” The irony of it all finally sunk into the singer’s mind, his breath a misty dragon against the night sky. “That’s what’s funny about all of this. You say you feel nothing for me…”
“That isn’t true. I care for you as I would a friend!” Yunho pulled Jaejoong back into the arc of his body, shielding the singer from the prying eyes of passing motorists.
“Then why is the first thing you say to me is about your family…how they would react to your loving me? Or how the world would see us together. Or maybe it’s your own shame that you can’t bear to look at. Maybe loving me or even thinking about loving me is just so shameful that you can’t even begin to think you could find a scrap of happiness in it.” Jae pried Yunho’s nerveless fingers loose, leaning in close to the leader’s astonished face. “You didn’t say; I’m sorry, Jaejoong but I don’t care about you like that or that you don’t look at me with desire in your heart. The first thing you say is that I have led you down a path that you don’t want to be on.”
“But I can’t lead you someplace that you don’t want to be, Yunho.” The singer pointed out, his head tilted to one side as he regarded the leader with a steady gaze. “I’ve done all I’m going to do and I’ve given all of myself that I’m going to give. I’ve let you lead me around for too long, not the other way around. Yoochun was right…”
“Yoochun. I swear I hear his name off of your tongue more than anything else you say.” Yunho rounded on Jaejoong, pushing in front of the singer’s way. “We’re talking about what is between us. Not you and Yoochun.”
“Why do you care? What do you care if I say Yoochun’s name until my tongue bleeds from my teeth cutting against it?” Jaejoong asked, trying to hold himself together for just a little while longer. If he could just make it to the car, he would be okay. Each step closer to the snowed over vehicle was agony, his leg ached nearly drowning out the pangs in his chest. The last of Jae’s strength drained out of his body, his shoulders no longer able to carry the weight of his dignity and hold off the anguish tearing him apart.
“Why can’t you just let me crawl home and bury myself under the covers until it stops hurting?” Jae broke with a sob, a hiccupping sound skipping a beat into his words. “First you pick at me until I break my body and now you pick through the shreds of what I have left of myself, looking for what? Any last bit of myself that you haven’t sucked clean of life?”
“Fine. Get in the car.” Yunho wanted to shove at Jae’s shoulder, knocking him down and pummeling him into submission. More than anything, he found himself desiring to bite down into the plump mouth drawn into a straight line across Jae’s face, slicing at the rounded edges until it bled and he could suckle another moan from Jaejoong’s throat. Swallowing hard, tasting only himself in the dampness, Yunho dug the keys out of his pocket. “I’ll take you home.”
“No,” Jaejoong disagreed, walking slowly down the stairs to the parking lot, his shuffling steps painful to watch. “You’ll take me back to the apartment. A home is where someone is loved. You’ve made it clear that is never going to be the case. Never call where we live a home. That’s a bigger lie than anything else you’ve ever said to me.”
No door slams heralded their entrance, a meek slipping through the apartment and into the far reaches of different rooms, Jaejoong with his leg stretched out on the wide red sofa and Yunho safely tucked away in the tight confines of the music room. Snarling at Changmin’s cheerful greeting, Yunho shut the door, closing himself off from the world Jaejoong sent tumbling.
“You know, I bet Junsu that you would win the argument.” Yoochun walked into the living room, holding out a bowl of steaming soup heavy with noodles. Jaejoong glanced at the food with a lackluster eye, his soul worn thin from the trials of the day. “I will have to do his laundry for a week.”
“You eat the noodles. I’m not hungry.” The plaintive remark was disregarded by the larger young man, Yoochun placing a pair of chopsticks into Jaejoong’s hand.
“Eat, it will help you. It will fuel your anger.” Yoochun noticed the strained look on Jae’s face as he moved, his injured leg propped up on a pile of bright blue pillows.
“My anger has left me. It has moved out and its cousin, apathy has moved in.” Jae picked at the noodles, staring down at the wide white lengths as if they would give him the answers to the universe. “I am certain that I can’t eat all of this.”
“Don’t worry, I am sure the ravenous black hole that is our youngest brother will help you with any leftovers that you might have.” Yoochun pulled his feet up, tucking them underneath him. The urge to touch and comfort the weary singer overwhelmed him yet he held back, knowing Jae too well to reach into the private curtain he’d drawn about himself… a worn sheet of distance he’d woven out of his need to feel safe from the world’s battles. “Talk to me, Jaejoong. Did you and Yunho fight again?”
“No, not really.” Jae reconsidered his words then continued. “Maybe a little bit.”
“And then I kissed him.” The singer shrugged, his elegant shoulders barely moving under the heavy quilt Yoochin tossed over his torso before going into the kitchen for food.
“So you finally just gave in to everything you felt?” Yoochun whistled under his breath. “That took courage.”
“It took cowardice.” Jaejoong refuted, his eyes filming up against the memory of Yunho’s face when he pulled away. The disgust and lust was clear there, a desire enflamed by touch and perhaps the promise of release from a willing mouth but not a trace of love existed in those glittering eyes. “I couldn’t… it’s just been too hard to be what he wants and then not being what he really desires. I thought that if I kissed him, I would be free from wanting him.”
“Are you?” Yoochun knew the answer. He could see the obsession Jaejoong nursed still embedded deep within the singer’s dreams.
“No.” Another word slithered free from Jaejoong’s velvet hell. He picked up a strand of noodle between clenched wooden prongs, letting it slide free to splash back in the meat broth.
“It hurts so much, Chunnie.” The realization of what he’d lost finally breached through Jaejoong’s control. “All I wanted was to be happy. I thought that Tong Vfang Xien Qi was going to be getting my dreams and instead I find I am in a nightmare that I can’t wake from.”
Leaning over, Jaejoong blindly sought the comfort of his friend’s body, wanting the warmth of another human being to ease the bitterness creeping through him. “I thought that by kissing him once, I could let him go but I can’t. I’m left to wonder if everything I taste from now on is going to be like ashes on the roof of my mouth. I miss him…and he’s not even gone. I miss someone that I’ve never had. And it is breaking me, Chunnie-ah. I feel as if I am falling down into a sorrow that has no end.”
“It will get better, Joongie-ah.” Micky moved carefully, not wanting to dislodge Jaejoong’s injured leg. Cradling the singer against his chest, Yoochun’s arms wrapped tight about Jae’s body, holding him close and silently willing the young man to finally release his pain into hot, healing tears. “I told you I’d be here for you when you cried. I’m here now, Joongie. Feel me. I’m here.”
Yunho stood tucked inside of the niche in the hallway, his palms pressing back on the stucco wall. He’d wanted something to drink, thinking that Yoochun had taken Jaejoong back into the bedroom he shared with Junsu but the soft murmur of voices stopped him in his tracks. Stepping quietly forward, the leader strained to hear what was being said, wanting to curse when Jaejoong’s devastated voice was lost beneath the sound of his own breathing.
Yoochun was there to offer comfort, as the leader assumed he would. An ember stoked hot burned in Yunho’s guts. A peek around the corner gave him a good view of their cuddled bodies, Jaejoong easily fitting into the breadth of Yoochun’s chest. Sniffling, the singer murmured something low, Micky’s head bowed down to catch each pearled tone.
“He doesn’t love him.” Junsu whispered into the crook of Yunho’s ear, making the leader nearly jump out of his skin. “Jaejoong, I mean. Well, I suppose I mean Yoochun as well. Neither one of them love one another… well, I think they do. As brothers, I mean.”
“Why should I care?” Yunho brought himself up taut, wondering if he could somehow crawl off back into the music room without Junsu thinking he was running away.
“Because your face tells me that you do care…about something going on in there.” Junsu leaned over, straining his neck to see into the living room. “And if it isn’t Jaejoong crying, then it must be Yoochun.”
“I don’t feel anything for Yoochun.” Yunho hissed back, his eyes darting towards the living room. The broad grin on Junsu’s face held a threat of alerting the two in the living room, a very real possibility for a mischief maker like Su. “Keep your voice down. I don’t want them to hear us.”
“True, it is hard to eavesdrop if you’re overheard. The people you’re eavesdropping on then find out you’re lurking in the shadows, listening to their conversation. This leads to explanations and all sorts of odd questions.” Junsu nodded in full agreement, his handsome face sardonically solemn.
Tucking his hands into the pockets of his pajamas, Su strolled back down the hallway towards his room, walking backwards to watch Yunho’s face. “On the other hand, if you don’t care…about either of them…then you shouldn’t care if they overhear you so it wouldn’t matter if they had questions about why you were lurking.”
“Junsu, shut up.” Yunho advanced on the younger singer. “It’s not that I don’t care. I just can’t… let them see me. I’ve already …you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I guess not.” Junsu turned, casually walking along the rugs strewn on the oak flooring. He marveled at the reflection of the overhead lights in the wood, the mahogany grains running through the lighter weave reminding him of the sun coming through the curtains of his bedroom. “But I can guess, oh mighty leader, that Jaejoong said or did something that upset both of you.”
“No.” Yunho halted just at the threshold of the back bedroom, his mind wandering back to the living room and the sight of Yoochun holding Jaejoong in his arms. “Jaejoong…did what he felt like he needed to do.”
The kiss returned to Yunho in that moment, a fleeting lifetime of savouring the depths of Jaejoong’s soul. With a clarity that he didn’t know existed, the young man longed for another brush at the silken dip of Jaejoong’s mouth, his fingers finally cupping the other’s chin…holding him still long enough to pull every last erotic mewl from his gasping lips. The kiss lasted too long for Yunho’s mind and not nearly long enough for his body, an unyielding thirst building up against his denial.
“Haven’t we been friends, Yunho?” Junsu flopped down on the bed beneath the window, drawing one of Micky’s pillows to his stomach. It comforted him, the scent of toothpaste and cherry soda that seemed to follow Yoochun. Now, staring up at his band leader’s face, he wondered at the folly of loving in the quiet solitude of his own heart. “I’ll listen to you…like Yoochun listens to Jaejoong. But I won’t give you any advice. I don’t think I can offer anything of wisdom in something like this.”
“If I share with you, Su, you have to promise that you will not tell anyone.” Yunho sat down on the edg edge of the bed, the metal frame giving slightly under his weight.
“I promise, hyung.” Junsu crossed an index finger over his chest. “Not a word.”
Sighing, Yunho rubbed at his forehead, trying to work out the thoughts and sensations that Jaejoong awoke in him. He had no idea how to tell Junsu that the sloe-eyed singer stopped him cold with his beauty or that he sometimes found himself awake in the middle of the night and thanking the heavens that the street lights outside illuminated the room bright enough for him to stare at the sleeping form in the bed next to him. There was no place for those words in Yunho’s life, a complication that he couldn’t even begin to grasp taking on.
“I said something to Jaejoong. Something that I think I am going to regret, always. Something that broke his heart. I know by saying this thing…that I broke something inside of me too.” Swallowing at the cancerous passion that seemed to grow in his chest with each waking moment, Yunho whispered. “I don’t know how to take it back, Junsu. God, I would give anything to know how to take it back. I can’t stand to watch him cry. And I hate knowing that I’m the one who has given him those tears.”