Rating: Overall NC-17
All my Yoosu belongs to: ranalore
Summary: 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; Section Ten; Section Eleven; Section Twelve
Changmin spotted Jaejoong’s memorable form slouched in a high-backed chair in the corner of the coffee shop. A mug sat cooling on a table nearby, the remains of a decimated brownie corpse lying helpless on a white plate, the raspberry jam between the two cake layers smeared over the moist brown sponge. Jae’s fingers picked at the curve of the cup, his beauty stilled as he lost himself in thought. A couple of young women giggled at the counter, their eyes drawn towards the lean-bodied singer. Changmin grinned to himself, grabbing at the paper cup of tea he’d ordered and strolled over to Jae, nudging the singer’s long leg with his foot.
“Hyung, I didn’t expect to see you here.” Min took a chair from an empty table nearby, turning it around and straddling the seat.
“Min.” Jae’s face lost all semblance of vulnerability, an amiable silver mask falling into place around the troubled soul in his eyes. “Aren’t you with your mother today? Did you lose her or did someone finally see her beauty and steal her from you?”
“She’s visiting with a lawyer near here. I didn’t feel like sitting in the office and waiting. I would rather be bored with a cup of tea in my hand but then I find you…so boredom is far away.” Min sipped lightly at the hot tea, careful not to burn his tongue on the scalding herbal blend. Seeing Jae at the coffee shop wasn’t much of a surprise, it was a place they often went to after practicing themselves into a frenzied exhaustion. Seeing Jae here alone and contemplative wasn’t something Changmin had ever expected.
Min regarded the other singer with an assessing eye. The coldness he’d first seen on Jae’s face had slowly become just a veil the singer put over his visage to protect himself. Beneath the untouchable beauty, a delicate heart beat, surrounded by a barbed wire fence hammered into existence from a life on the street. The group’s lead singer was a puzzle, a myriad of intersection lines that shifted as he moved, sometimes stilling long enough to see the landscape hidden within…a sight that thrilled Changmin each time Jae opened up just a bit to him.
“Trouble sits on your heart and laughs at the snow.” Min reached over, touching his fingers lightly on the other’s arm. “What’s wrong, hyung? Or do I need to ask?”
“Yunho.” Jae made a face, wrinkling his nose and capturing the tip of his pink tongue between his teeth, peeling back his lips in a demonic, silly disgust. “Isn’t it always Yunho?”
“Ah, in that case, I should ask what has he done wrong now?” The youngest singer moved the chair closer, a light scraping sound of wood on tile. He wanted to tighten the space between them, shunting off the noise of the outside world, hoping that the intimacy would encourage the enigmatic singer to share what he felt.
“You are too young to be having these conversations, Minnie-ah.” Jaejoong’s smile warmed his face but did not creep into his eyes, a dark storm of uncertainty. “I think I’m too young to have these conversations.”
“Jaejoong, so many people say that and yet, I still have conversations.” Changmin pointed out. “Even if I can’t give you advice on what to do, it might help just to talk about it. We’ve spoken about him before.”
“True… I just feel as if I’m going round and round in circles… talking to a wall that moves in front of me.” Jae nodded, his teeth once again finding the rise of his bottom lip. Sighing deeply, he said. “Yunho is driving me crazy. He pushes me away and then, when I have found some balance, he pulls me back towards him.”
“Hardly fair.” Changmin turned the mug handle towards Jae, encouraging the singer to pick up the coffee and sip at its creamy strength. The chill from outside whiffed in through the wide doors as customers came and went, carrying the kiss of winter with them inside. The coffee was still nearly hot, warm enough to make its way to Jaejoong’s belly where it would do some good. “So what happened?”
“He almost kissed me.” Such a small confession, whispered into the steaming mists of a coffee going cold but still potent enough to steal the breath from Changmin’s chest. “His tongue… just the tip of it touched at my mouth and when he pulled away, everything that I tried to forget about him came flooding back in, filling me and stretching me out. If he put his fingers inside of me, I don’t think I could have felt more…invaded…or satisfied…from an almost-kiss.”
“Almost kissed?” The youngest singer squeaked, nearly dropping his tea. “What happened to make him stop? Why didn’t he just kiss you?”
“I didn’t want him to.” Jaejoong nodded at Changmin’s open mouthed stare. “Well, I wanted to but… he was going to kiss me for all the wrong reasons. Never any of the right ones.”
“There’s a wrong reason? Is there ever a wrong reason for the right kiss?” Min’s brain buzzed, trying to formulate the possibilities of Yunho’s attraction to the eldest singer in the group. “I must be too young…I don’t understand any of this.”
“He tries to make me…less. He wants to take what I am and folds me into something pretty he can touch then toss away.” Jaejoong’s shrug was heavy, carrying the weight of his grief on his shoulders. “Yunho said that he just wanted to take what he needed and walk away from me, hoping that anything he felt would just wisp away.”
“But suppose he kissed you and discovered that he needs you?” Changmin dropped his voice, keeping the volume low. What happened inside of the group stayed there, an unspoken commitment they all shared. “Wouldn’t that be a reason that is right enough?”
“He wouldn’t…he won’t.” The lead singer refuted, burrowing down further into the chair. “He would walk away and then come back, each time swearing that it would be the last time he came to me and I would spend all of my time swearing that I would turn him away the next time he knocked on my door. But there would never be a time that I could shut him out…and I would be miserable, doubting if I even deserve the small scraps of his touch.”
“I want to believe that Yunho loving me for one precious minute in every day should be enough. Shouldn’t I be happy with that? I’ve not had that before…and it should be enough…for someone like me. I’ve never been loved…even that briefly…but my soul…” Jaejoong’s words trailed off, a poignant dip into his grief. “My soul knows that all it would mean is that I sit crying for the other minutes when my heart is broken. I can’t live like that. I keep telling him that… that I couldn’t live like that. I’m not sure he hears me. I’m not sure he wants to hear me.”
“Where did you leave it then? Did he tell you he was going to think about it?” Changmin whispered, seeing his mother’s silhouette on the picture window of the shop. He hoped she would give him some time…hopefully noticing the close proximity of his bent body to Jae’s misery…but Changmin couldn’t take that chance. Jae was skilled at obscuring his thoughts, often feinting someone’s attention away with a nonsensical phrase or coy smile.
“He didn’t say anything. I didn’t give him time to. I left him standing there in the kitchen.” Jaejoong replied.
“I didn’t even put the food away…the rice was cooking and the vegetables unchopped. I’m pretty certain that I hadn’t taken out any of the meat. It would be rotten by the time I got home if I did.” The singer continued, finding the edges of the brownie again with a poke of his fingers. “I told him I was going to the studio to practice and not to wait up. I’m not sure what makes me more of a coward, running away when he presses me or not willing to let him take what he wants and be happy with it.”
“You shouldn’t… don’t accept that you should only get what someone gives you in the spare time he has.” Changmin’s fingers ached to run his hand over Jae’s shoulders, anything to give comfort to the older man. Their relationship was not close enough for that intimacy, a familiarity very few could claim with the mercurial singer. Still, Changmin knew Jae was fond of him, protective of the young man he liked to call his young brother, a fierceness Jaejoong often showed when they were surrounded by pushing crowds and shouting throngs.
Jaejoong spotted Changmin’s mother, his hand automatically lifting in a greeting as the woman spotted him through the crowd. The private Jae, the one Changmin rarely saw, dove back down into the pretty faced, charismatic singer who enchanted women with his shyness. The woman waved back, a cheerful motion that reminded Jae of her son, her legs crossing her over to where they sat.
Sighing in resignation, Changmin stood and grinned down at Jaejoong, placing a hand on the sloe-eyed singer’s shoulder. “Don’t get up. We have to go to a dinner and if she sits down to talk to you, we’ll never get there. I think my mother is half in love with you.”
Jaejoong muttered darkly, his face flushed with embarrassment. ”Well, I’m glad someone is.”
Yoochun thought he couldn’t have been more surprised when he came home and discovered Junsu’s things back in their room, a smattering of clothes piled neatly on the bed farthest from the window. Linens were changed, even the tiny stuffed bunny they’d won at a carnival a few months back, its button-eyes sewed on crooked, sat back in its traditional place...resting against Junsu’s pillow. Su had picked through the rows of toys, having cheered Micky on during the hoop game, before finally pulling out a lavender furred rabbit, one of its unkempt ears flopping over a chipped blue plastic eye. An imperfectly sown toy amid yards of cute cuddly puppies, Junsu’s heart melted for the sad-faced rabbit, plucking it from its exile. The vocalist called it their child, cheerfully singing it a lullaby every once in a while before going to bed, an excuse he said, to practice his range.
Micky believed Junsu just loved singing to the rabbit.
The room wasn’t as he and Junsu had it before, more care had been taken in placing objects around the beds, a clothes basket full of Su’s soccer jerseys sitting at the far end of the room. A dresser drawer had been left ajar, round balls of socks folded in on themselves, the ends tucked over. The sheets smelled clean, a lime green spring hue festooned with small dots of dark red. Junsu’s comforter was missing but the room looked familiar, comforting despite its lack.
As Yoochun turned around, he discovered he actually could be more surprised…Yunho walked through the bedroom door carrying Junsu’s worn bedcovers and a stack of feather pillows, their cases matching the soft cotton sheets.
“Hello…” Micky was at a loss, unsure as to what he would ask first. Was Yunho there to punch him or had Junsu pushed to return back to their shared room. Amid the many questions that rose to the surface, one stuck out plainly. A discomforting thought occurred to him… the lack of their adored but feral singer. “Where’s Jaejoong?”
“He said he wanted to go practice the routine. I think he’s still at the studio.” Yunho bent over, dumping the pillows into the clothes basket before flipping the coverlet out, letting the wave of fabric and batting drift over the bed. He busied himself with adjusting the lines of the comforter, aligning the seamed edges with the side of the mattress below. “Where’s Junsu?”
“Junnie-ah said that he’s going to meet his aunt then we were going to a club. I just came back to drop off the pastries I promised Jaejoong I’d pick up.” Micky glanced around the room, wondering where Yunho planned to put another bed then finally noticing Jae’s things were missing. “Yunnie-ah…”
“I put Jaejoong back in the other room.” Yunho pulled at the hem of the comforter, not happy with the lay of the cover. He fussed with it, a perfectionist in all details.
“Why?” Micky asked, drawling out the word on his tongue. Having Junsu back where he belonged definitely brought a thrill to his spine but his worry for the chaotic singer spiked, concern drawing a fine line in his thoughts.
“I want things to go back to being how they were…before.” Yunho’s voice cracked, dipping deep into the well of untapped, dark emotion he’d nursed since the night he found Jaejoong dancing breathlessly on the steel catwalk of the underground club. “Yoochun, I need things to be how they were…”
Micky thought he had been waiting for Jaejoong to finally fold in on himself, the fractures of his control shattering apart his sanity but in that moment, Yoochun realized that it was the group’s leader who in fact had been struck raw by the torment between the two singers. Pain was…unlovely, Micky decided, seeing the angry flush work through Yunho’s face, spilling sobs up into the singer’s throat where he caught it on the back of his tongue.
Jaejoong’s words were razors, cutting deep with sharp, hot edges, peeling back thin layers of Yunho’s soul and rubbing in the fine salted grains of the leader’s unshed tears. The cuts bled now, tendrils of his life seeping from the minute slashes, a single tear drop welling in the corner of Yunho’s right eye. The water trembled, refusing to tumble free lest it open the torrential flood of emotion Yunho dammed up inside of him. His body drew its last final vestige of strength, willing itself not to give in to the machinations of its heart.
It fell, sliding free from its prison of lashes and determination. The drop wove down the rise of Yunho’s cheekbone, leaving a slalomed wake of silver on his tanned skin. Another followed, more willing and daring to brave the harshness of the terrain, skin left untouched by runnels of tears. The taste of his anguish cupped over on the leader’s mouth, swiftly easing between the pressed cage of his lips, working into the flat of his tongue, more insistent and damaging than any taste of Jaejoong that might still be there.
“I don’t want you touching him…not anymore.” Yunho bit back another onslaught of tears, turning away from Yoochun, not wanting the other to see him in pain. Anger and jealousy raged inside of each tear, searing away at his heated skin. “I see you with him…and I want to… I want to take you and break you apart. And that’s worse than…my wanting him. Because you’re my friend…and I love you. Why is it so easy to say that to you and not to him?”
“It isn’t like that between us. What’s between you and I isn’t what is there between the two of you.” Yoochun sat on the corner of his bed, shifting aside the collection of pillows spilled over his mattress. “Yunnie-ah, Joongie and I are…friends…the best of friends…brothers, even. Please, understand that.”
“I stole his mattress off of the bed he slept on before Junsu moved into the room.” Yunho paced along the rug, his bare feet rumpling the fibres. “Did you know that? Changmin probably saw me pulling it over onto the frame of my bed and thought I was going insane. But I wanted…him underneath me. I wanted to be able to touch where he slept…so I could feel just that smallest bit of him…so I could fall asleep at night with the scent of him in my lungs.”
Yunho slid onto Junsu’s bed, his legs giving out from under him. His tears leaked slowly, running down over his chin and falling onto his clenched together fists. The wetness pearled between the creases on the mons of his thumb pad, threading down into the fold of his palms. A brackish stigmata welled in his hands, a stain on the shroud of his misery.
“His face lights up when you’re around him.” Yunho repeatedly cut back his sobs, biting on the inside of his cheek. The aftertaste of his tears drowned out any hint of blood in his mouth, a stinging reminder of how deep his anguish dug its talons into him. “And it kills me…it’s like every time he smiles, it’s a knife inside of my gut. And it’s worse when he laughs.”
“Not that soft giggle he uses when he’s only a little bit happy but that throaty purr… those times when his laughter comes from his open mouth and all I can think about is wanting to hold him so I can feel his body shake with it.” The young man rubbed at his face, trying to scrub the want of Jaejoong from his skin, the desire coming up through his pores and sinking back in through the lines of his hands. “It’s making me crazy, Chunnie-ah.”
“I want him to look like that when he’s around me.” Yunho said as Yoochun leaned forward, his fingers gripping into Yunho’s thigh. The leader’s voice continued to crumble, gravel on whiskey velvet. “I am tired of being jealous…and I don’t want to be jealous of you. But I am. I am crazy …angry …jealous that he looks at you and not me. That he talks to you and ducks his head down near yours to whisper something in your ear, even if it’s to tell you to shut up.”
“Those are your things, Yunho, your smiles and laughs. I am just keeping them for you until you are ready to hold them for yourself.” Micky moved over to the other bed, tugging at the young man with a swoop of his arm. Leaning in, Yoochun hugged the other tightly, resting his temple against Yunho’s bowed head. “Jaejoong would give you his heart if you wanted it. He would give you his life.”
“He won’t.” A shake of his head and Yunho hissed out a single breath, trapped in the mire of the words he tossed into Jae’s face. “I told him … I just wanted him out of my blood. He’s in deep… like he’s a part of me that I can’t get out.”
His control strengthened, the elder singer leaning back into Yoochun’s loose embrace. The sting of tears lessened, still a very real threat as Yunho scraped back the scrum of his feelings, hoping to find something he could hold onto. “He wanted just one kiss, and it was… nothing like I ever even imagined my mind could feel. Then when I realized that here was this…man…and he was making me hard just by putting his mouth on mine, I panicked.”
“There is so much… the group is so important to me…and my family.” Yunho said haltingly. “Being with Jaejoong would jeopardize that, I think. I can’t… you know how family is here. Do you think that my family would accept Jaejoong in my life? Do you think we could go on as a group? How do I have him and lose everything else? How do I ask him to lose those things?”
“I think you can be with Joongie-ah if you want to. I think that loving anyone should be possible, even if it is another man.” Yoochun stared into Yunho’s teary eyes, his own face wet with emotion. “I have to believe that we can. Not just for your sake…but for mine.”
“They’ve tried to separate us before and it failed.” Micky continued, his own unspoken feelings haunting him. “The world wants us all together, we know that. We are destiny, Yunho. However silly that sounds, I know it to be true.”
“Then how do I fix this, Chunnie-ah? How do I have him with me…convince him to let me try this? And how do I stop being afraid of it all?” Yunho straightened his torso, working the kinks out of his spine. The spent tears drained him, his chest heavy and thick. “And if I try… this sin with Jaejoong, because it is a sin…Yoochun…will I be damned for it?”
“It’s only a sin to people who close their minds off and harden their hearts.” The younger man brushed his hand against the lavender bunny resting quietly in its nest of pillows. “Can you tell me that loving Jaejoong would be a burden on you? Isn’t he someone that you should cherish and never let go? I love him just for knowing him as a friend. He’s generous with his heart and affections, even just to a friend. If I were in love with him and he with me… I would never ever want him to be apart from me.”
“I know I don’t.” Yunho’s jaw throbbed, his teeth set tight against one another. “And I hate that he can do this to me just by breathing. I’m terrified of how I feel when I’m near him but I also can’t help but feel…happy. Even when he’s crying because of me, all I can think is…how pretty he is when he’s crying. How beautiful is that face.”
“You do this to him as well, Yunnie-ah.” Micky pointed out. “He has as much to lose as you do and is willing to risk it…just for you…because he thinks you are worth the danger to his dreams.”
“I think he is important to me…to my dreams. I turned around and found him staring back at me from my dreams…in the middle of everything I’ve ever wanted, I find someone there that I could never imagine having.” A final gasping whisper…a softly spoken truth exposed before a button-eyed bunny and a dear friend who asked no apology… shook Yunho to the core. “Chunnie-ah, I think I am in love with Kim Jaejoong.”