NOTE: I will not be updating on Thursday (tomorrow). I will be returning on Friday. For all of those in the US, have a good Thanksgiving. For everyone else, please know that you are another part of what we are thankful for. :::grins:::
Rating: Overall NC-17. This section has a few naughty words. No lemons.
Cauliflower and Cheese provided by: 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;
Section Thirteen; Section Fourteen; Section Fifteen; Section Sixteen; Section Seventeen
Junsu held out a strip of cotton candy, expertly sliding the confection into Yoochun’s waiting lips, The sugary treat melted as it hit the singer’s tongue, spreading a pink infusion throughout his mouth. Micky grabbed at Junsu’s waist, holding tight. The winter festival’s crowds made moving around difficult, it was far easier for Yoochun stand still against a tree, arms hooked over Junsu’s shoulders, watching people pass them by.
Red slippers topped with golden bells danced on the feet of a young girl, her black hair pulled up to a single tail on the crown of her head. Her grandmother chased her, small dainty steps nimble along the gravel path, her back crimped from years of working in the country. Shouting with laughter, the toddler squealed when her grandmother caught her up in thin, strong arms, the woman’s mouth a fractured toothed smile, wrinkles deepening into her tanned face.
Hands worn brown from years of tobacco smoke and working in the soil were rough on the little girl’s dress, the fine crinoline threads sticking to the burrs of the old woman’s calluses. Nearby, a middle-aged man stood, his hands behind is back, careful not to wrinkle the fine cloth of his clothes, his stern face softened by the sight of his mother lifted from a life of tedium and labour, tickle his child belly with her mouth, sending the little girl into peals of giggles.
“Where’s Min?” Yoochun took another bite of the candy, chewing off the top of the swirled treat around the paper cone. The heat of his nose melted the soft, warm threads, leaving a sticky rose-sugared mess at the tip. Laughing, he strained his tongue to lick it clean, only frustrating himself with the small dabs of saliva he seemed only to be able to spread into his nostril.
“Hold still.” The tousle-haired Su stifled a laugh, slipping from Micky’s loose hold and turned around. Shoving his fingers on Micky’s darting tongue, getting the pads just wet enough to wipe at the other’s nose, he ordered the other singer to stay still. After wiping the sugar off of Yoochun’s face with his damp fingers, Junsu stood back, cupping Micky’s chin with his other hand, turning his head one way and then another. “It looks like you’re clean.”
Sticking his wet fingers into his mouth, Junsu sucked Yoochun’s sugar leavenings from his hand, spotting Changmin amid the crowd of spectators watching a juggler tossing firebrands into the air. A circle of fire arced above the people, sending sparks along the ring of snow at the man’s feet, a child’s scream of delight slicing through the astonished voices. With a shout, Changmin clapped as another juggler entered the fray, snatching torches from mid air and lopping them back to his partner.
“Minnie-ah is over there… pretending he is seeing dragons in the sky. How are they doing…Yunho and Jaejoong?” Junsu jerked his chin at the couple sitting on the bench. “Do we have to kill Yunnie or is Jaejoong going to do that for us? It would be nice if he did it himself, though. I like Yunnie-ah a lot.”
“It would be nice if he took care of that.” Yoochun mulled the thought over, rubbing at the wet spot on his nose. His thoughts on Yunho and Jaejoong drew him elsewhere, Micky responding to Junsu’s grin with one of his own, a taint of wickedness on his mind. He took another piece of candy, carefully chewing on the sugar treat. “No, I think Yunho will live to see another day. Jaejoong on the other hand, is going to die of .. well… yeah.”
“Ah, there are children around, Chunnie-ah. It’s bad enough that I think we’ve corrupted Min. Come on, let’s herd him away from the jugglers. We don’t need him to catch his hair on fire.” Junsu strolled along the circled clearing, keeping one eye on the youngest member of their group.
Yoochun stepped away from the tree, falling into step next to his friend. They were a companionable pair, sometimes comfortable with the silence of not-needing to say anything to communicate and other times, they worried at the edges of small little worldly things, happy with the thrill of a puzzle and not caring much about the outcome.
“I worry about Joongie.” Junsu stopped just outside the cluster of people circling around the juggler, Changmin hanging back a moment, watching the pair begin to toss about paper rings, long streamers unfurling with each circuit. “He may seem rough…but he’s very vulnerable. I can’t believe I ever thought he was cold.”
“I think Jaejoong will be fine.” Micky reassured the other singer, a quick nod in Yunho’s direction. “Yunnie will be taking care of him from now on. We don’t have to be as protective, I don’t think.”
“We can turn our attentions to Changmin, too long neglected.” The other burst into a quick dash of laughter as the youngest member of their group stomped over to them, his face dabbed with tiny yellow painted stars, a swirl of blue just under one of his eyes. “Ah, you look like you’ve fallen face first into the sky.”
“She was pretty.” Changmin made a face, sticking his tongue out at the young man teasing him. “I’ll show her to you and I bet you’ll walk away with your face painted.”
“No, I’m fine.” Junsu disagreed, shaking his head. Bumping Yoochun with his shoulder, he replied to Changmin’s snort of derision. “I have enough pretty people in my life. I don’t need to fall in love with any more.”
“Ah, I’m too young to fall in love. Besides, I’ve seen what it’s done to Jaejoong.” Changmin’s cute face melted into a syrupy handsomeness, his arms spread out wide as he turned in a slow circle, walking in front of the other two. “I don’t think I’m ready to hurt that much.”
“When it’s right…” Yoochun said slowly, his eyes on the two young men still sitting together, Jaejoong’s hood nearly obscuring their faces, Yunho pressed in close as if listening to what the other was saying. There were no words being passed between them, just a long heated stare into one another’s eyes. “When it’s right, Min… the pain of love is all worth it.”
That day passed into the deep starkness of a winter night. Tired, the five returned to the apartment they shared, Changmin cradling a large stuffed polar bear, a prize won by a skilled Junsu. Micky refused the offer of selecting from the toys hanging from a wire over the stacked milk jugs, whispering into the cheerful Su’s ear that he was more than happy to share the lavender bunny that slept in their room. The others exhorted Min to make a selection, the carnival worker grabbing down the white ursine, Yunho remarking that it matched Jae’s jacket.
A few days later, Yunho found he’d discovered a new level of frustration in trying to find time to spend alone with Jaejoong, their hours filled to the brim with practices and interviews. Evenings were passed in the company of the others, sometimes their bodies too exhausted to do anything other than collapse into any flat surface they found. There were scant seconds of privacy, not much time for more than a stolen kisses in the kitchen. Yunho still winced at the memory of Jaejoong’s shocked expression when Changmin rounded the corner, the youngest’s ears a burgundy flush at the sight of the group’s leader cupping Jae close to his groin, the singer tucked into the V of Yunho’s spread thighs.
Jaejoong waited until the others were occupied with other things before slipping out of the front door. Yunho and Junsu watching a soccer match, yelling in encouragement as the ball bounced over the cropped grass field, the announcer screaming with a string of excited Spanish in the background of the game. Micky retired to the music room, picking out a tune he was working on, the keyboard silenced with a pair of headphones, his hair sticking up around the band. Changmin grunted a goodbye when Jae told him he was leaving, not looking up from the comic book he was reading, his long legs draped over the arm of an overstuffed wing chair.
“Where are you going?” Yunho caught up with Jaejoong in the foyer, their bodies hidden by a wide wall, the noise of the television carrying into the small space, bouncing off of the walls and the marble floor.
The leader placed his hands on Jae’s slender waist, spanning his fingers around the other’s trim back. Yunho felt the power of muscle beneath the soft, velvet skin hidden from his view by thick clothing and his mouth dried instantly, a parched desert that would only be satisfied by a thunderstorm of Jaejoong’s body under him.
“I’m going to go see Scarlet.” Jae tugged at Yunho’s shirt, leaning over to inhale the cologne the other wore. The spiced green tea blend aroused more than his smile, a push of flesh against Yunho’s thigh making the leader grin in return.
“I don’t want you going down there alone.” The vocalist peered around his shoulder, looking for any of the others before teasing a sensually long kiss from Jae’s mouth.
The lead singer parted his lips eagerly for the invasion, sucking on the honeycomb sweetness of the other man’s tongue, licking at the back of Yunho’s teeth with a slow precision. Jae knew the intimate licks drove Yunho crazy, the other man’s legs bracketing his body, holding the singer against the wall as Yunho attempted to crawl into Jae’s soul, using his mouth as a portal to a personal heaven he dreamed of nightly.
Gasping, Jae panted when Yunho pulled back, their attention plumbed by a noise from the kitchen. Junsu shouted down the hall for the group’s leader, thinking Yunho had sprinted to the bathroom during a commercial.
“Hold on. Let me get a coat and I’ll go with you.” Yunho frowned, teasing Jaejoong’s lower lip with a nip of sharp teeth, sucking hard on the plumpness there. “It makes me crazy thinking that you’ll be down…there…all of those men looking at you.”
“No one will touch me…but you.” Jaejoong reassured Yunho, smoothing down the crease between the other’s eyes, trying to work the frown off of the young man’s forehead. “I know those streets. I’ll be fine. Look, I’m taking my cell phone. If there are any problems, I’ll call.”
“I don’t know…” Yunho hedged, his emotions running hot. He’d not let Jaejoong travel to Itawon alone, not since he’d…discovered how deeply he cared about the singer. Yunho had been down to Jae’s old haunts once, an experience leaving an uncomfortable stain on his thoughts.
“I can’t talk to Scarlet with you there.” Jae insisted, pushing at the other man’s chest lightly. “I need to talk about…things. And it would be better if she didn’t know I was going to talk about you. We need to be discreet…remember?”
“I hate this.” Yunho gritted his teeth, resting his head briefly on the other’s forehead, pressing an imprint of himself on Jae for the singer to take with him. “I want you to promise that you’ll call.”
”I promise.” Jae crossed himself solemnly. Reluctantly, the singer pulled free from the womb of Yunho’s hard body, taking with him the other man’s kiss in his mouth. “Now go back before Junsu finds you gone. You’ll have to explain why you’re in the hallway looking at blank walls.”
A cab took Kim Jaejoong back to a place he thought he’d left far behind, the cluster of densely packed streets of Itaewon, south of the soaring Seoul Tower, the needle scraping at the clouds in the South Korean sky. Stepping out of the car, Jaejoong paid the driver, then turned to drink in the neighbourhood that nursed him during the hardest times of his life.
Groups of Koreans strolled the busy streets, the crowd lightly sprinkled with the cropped haircut sporting American servicemen that lived on the base nearby. Several blond men glanced as Jaejoong walked by, his face nearly hidden by the fringe of his dark hair. A knitted cap covered his head, the yarn warm from the heat of his body. Winter still hugged the windswept landscape, bits of snow clinging to the ledges of the buildings, neon signs flickering to advertise the attractions within.
To keep warm, Jae had taken Yunho’s jacket, the fleece smelling of vanilla and CkOne, mingled with the erotic scent of masculine sweat, the brush of the man who fascinated rubbing on Jaejoong’s clothed body. Sticking his hands in the pockets, Jae felt the rustle of what he thought was paper, pulling out the scraps to discover dried rose petals softened by the heat of his fingers. Smiling to himself, the pretty faced singer headed down the alley, looking for a door that would give him much needed knowledge.
Climbing the three flights of stairs that wrapped up the side of a brick building, Jaejoong found himself standing outside of a familiar red door, its frame battered from the elements. A cheerful plastic cat hung from a nail at the side, its button nose glowing. Pressing at the feline’s face, Jae heard the bell ring inside the apartment, a singsong Thai chant announcing company.
A few moments passed without an answer and another press to summon the apartment’s inhabitant, Jaejoong rubbing at his arms to keep warm. The treadfall of a heavy foot echoed behind the door, the slashing jangle of chains then the door opening just a crack for a bloodshot brown eye to peer out at the beauty standing in the cold.
“Ah! Marikit!” A large, buxom man opened the door, his fleshy arms flung open to embrace the pretty boy standing quiet. “Oh, you are a beautiful sight for an old woman’s eyes!”
The older man’s face bore the ravages of a hard life, pitted along the ridges of his cheekbones, his dusky skin a pallid landscape sagging under the weight of time. A faded beauty hung on his bones, a grace holding in his mannerisms, hands waving in a gentle dance of welcome to the young Korean man he’d not seen in a few months. A wrap turban hid Scarlet’s balding pate, a fringe of greying black hair peeking out from under the bright blue terrycloth.
“Auntie.” Jaejoong hugged the man back, swallowed up by the girth of the man’s chest. “It’s good to see you, again.”
A loose floral caftan swaddled the man’s body, nearly hiding the hourglass figure he preened before audiences at a nightclub a few blocks away. Fluttering his lashes up at the taller man, Scarlet pressed a series of moist kisses on Jae’s face, pulling him out of the cold and into the small apartment. The interior boasted a wealth of furnishings, pieces gleaned from bargain shops and estate sales, Scarlet’s discerning eye always on the lookout for a deal. The Filipino led to a couch, dislodging a fat, insolent cat sprawled over most of one cushion, its yellow eyes baleful at being ejected in favour of another feline.
Over the dining room table, a framed poster of Jaejoong surrounded by the others in the group hung proudly, scrawled signatures in a glittering gold ink brilliant against the seedy print of water-stained wallpaper. Scarlet slapped at Jaejoong’s shoulder, hurrying to the kitchen to make tea, ignoring Jae’s protests that he was fine. Water rushed into a stainless steel teapot, the fire on the stove welcoming its flat copper bottom. The man hurried back into the living room, grasping at Jae’s hands as he sat. Leaning over, Scarlet planted a final kiss on the young singer’s cheek, wiping at the faint trace of lipstick he left behind.
“It’s always good to have you come by. It’s so nice to see our Beauty visit the old neighbourhood. Even as popular as you are, you still have time for Auntie Scarlet.” The man grabbed at a jeweled tobacco case, his long nails clicking on the rhinestone cover. He selected a pastel-papered cigarette, lighting its end with a practiced flick of his thumb on a disposable lighter. Inhaling the rush of acrid smoke, the older man turned his head, exhaling away from the young singer. “Tell me, how are you?”
“Good.” Jae nodded, resting his elbows on his knees. The room felt so comfortable, a letter from a home left behind in childhood. A few new touches had been added, stray objects collected for their beauty and value.
It had been too long since Jae last returned to the pink light district of South Korea’s underbelly. He felt he owed the other man nearly everything…especially after Scarlet had taken him in after he’d stumbled upon a job at Trance. The club was popular, the Filipino gathering a large following for his spot-on impersonation of faded African-American singers a huge hit with tourists and locals alike. One look at the gaunt beauty clothed in ragged jeans and a worn Henley and Scarlet’s heart melted, entranced and more than a little in love with the lost boy washed into Seoul’s gutters.
The cat-hair covered couch Jae now sat on had served as his bed in the past, Jae’s meager paycheck as one of Trance’s waiters barely enough to feed a mouse, much less a growing young man. While the yellow-eyed Persian was a new addition to the apartment, Jae knew that a few more lurked in the back rooms, gleefully plotting to strike as his ankles should he stray into their territory.
Scarlet often set out food for his young charge before leaving for the midnight show, admonishing Jaejoong to lock the door behind him, the impersonator knowing full well of the predators that lurked in the dark alleys outside. He’d come home more than once to find an amorous drunk pounding on the apartment door, intent on reaching the delectable Jaejoong barricaded inside. A few of Scarlet’s escorts served double duty in walking the wilted beauty home… sometimes being called upon to roust an overly aggressive local looking for something wet to sate his lust on.
The soft expression in his face caught Scarlet’s canny eye, his hand reaching out to court the permanent pout on Jae’s lower lip. Jaejoong’s shy smile creased under Scarlet’s index finger, his sloe-eyed gaze bashful under the probing investigation in Scarlet’s malleable face.
“You’re in love.” Scarlet sighed, placing a hand against the rounded cleavage rising from his chest. The man patted at the spot above his heart, feigning a swoon. “Ah, someone has caught my dear little Joongie’s heart.”
“Is it that obvious?” Jaejoong blushed, wondering if he had any blood left in his body to go to his face. He seemed to have spent the last few days either covering his face or his groin, the rush of his desires flooding from one end of his body to the next.
“Someone there?” Scarlet asked, pointing towards the hanging poster. “Or someone else? That delicious Kang-ta boy?”
“Eh, no.” Jaejoong shook his head at the mention of the former H.O.T. member. “Someone in the group.”
“Ah, it’s best then that Auntie doesn’t know his name then.” Scarlet followed Jae’s eyes to Yunho’s image, the leader standing to the side, his sleek body draped in a form fitting black. “And you came here because…”
“Because I’m…unsure of some things, Auntie.” Jaejoong wanted to find a soft spot in the couch cushions and sink down into the feathers. His fears that he would be permanently red by the end of any conversation involving Yunho were realized. Even the sheer thought of the other young man made his body weep. The twitch of his sex and his palms wetting with sweat made Jae even more nervous, telltale signs of his obsession with Yunho and the want of the other man’s mouth on his body.
“Some things or everything?” A quirk of a plucked eyebrow firmed this conversation into reality, Jaejoong realizing that this would be a bold foray into places that his body seemed to be all too aware of, his mind lagging too far behind.
“Kissing…I’m sure of.” Jaejoong worried at his thumb, pulling at the skin by his nail. “He doesn’t seem to have any complaints about that. But the rest… “
Jae gulped, trying to force himself to remain clinical in his questions, the image of Yunho lying naked on a bed, under the wet of Jae’s tongue not helping matters. Another swallow rippled his throat, still stained with the taste of the other man in his throat. “I know what feels good to me but… how do I…”
“Anything past kissing.” Jaejoong admitted, throwing his hands up in the air. “I…want him to feel like…he’ll never need anyone else but me. But I don’t know how to.”
“Well then, little boy, let Auntie Scarlet tell you what to do.” The older man patted Jaejoong’s thigh. “But honey, let me tell you… just a kiss from you every day will keep that boy at your side. You’re a forever thing.”
Evening crested into the early morning, dawn whispering a seductive come hither to the horizon. Yunho sat on the couch, checking the reception of his cell phone, the pale blue light catching on the worry etched deep into his troubled eyes. The clock ticked away seconds, long spans of anguished breaths unfilled with the sight of Jaejoong next to him.
The doorknob turned, a soft click that drew Yunho to his feet. Bounding around the retaining wall, the leader’s legs made quick work of the tile floor, skidding to a stop just as Jaejoong closed the door behind him. Hands slamming into the wood on either side of his head startled the singer, a yelp scraping up from his belly.
“Where have you been? What took you so long?” Yunho tossed aside his worry for fury, fists ensconced against the wall, pinning the singer in place. “You said you would call. Are you alright?”
“I said I would call if I got into trouble.” Jae unzipped the jacket he borrowed from Yunho’s closet, holding it open for the other to see that he was unhurt. “I’m fine. It just ran long.”
“Did…he…she…” Yunho struggled with the concept of Scarlet in his mind, wondering how much of his future with Jaejoong would hold the foibles of the singer’s unorthodox life. “What do I call him?”
“She. You call her a she.” Jaejoong pressed a light kiss on the corner of Yunho’s mouth, sliding under the young man’s arm. “And yes, Scarlet gave me good advice. Probably better than a book. But I have to talk to Yoochun first. Then I’ll come spend time with you before we go to bed.”
“Before I go to the couch.” Yunho muttered at the empty, cooling space Jaejoong left behind. “I haven’t seen a bed in two weeks.”
“Chunnie-ah?” Jaejoong tiptoed into the far bedroom, shivering at the sight of the open window, the icy winter night oozing a nippiness on Jae’s pretty face. He regretted leaving Yunho behind. His body was already complaining about the lack of the other young man against him, rough hands on his back, pressing him closer to a firm heat Jae wanted to bite down into, letting the skin roll between his teeth. Shaking himself back to the bedroom around him, Jaejoong stepped further in, peering towards the beds.
Junsu lay asleep, the covers kicked off of his body, a loose pair of boxers holding back the cold. A disreputable plush rabbit winked with button eyes at the singer as Jaejoong eased into the tight space between the beds. Yoochun curled around a pillow, lying on his side, his handsome, gentle face peaceful in the repose of sleep. Leaning over, Jae shook at Yoochun’s shoulder, holding a finger to Micky’s lips when he woke with a start.
“Is everything okay?” Yoochun cast a wild eye at Junsu, the sleeping young man mumbling as he turned over, his back tight with the grooves of supple muscle. The sight made him ache, a familiar sensation to his gut, easing the concern of injury to at least one of the group.
“Every thing is fine. Everyone is fine.” Jaejoong nodded, tucking his knees underneath him as he sat on Yoochun’s bed, curled up against the cold wall. “I just need to ask you a favour.”
“Couldn’t this wait until morning, Joongie-ah? I don’t even know what time it is.” Reaching over, Micky tugged the covers back over Junsu’s torso, tucking the ends under so they wouldn’t work loose as the other slumbered.
“It’s a fast question.” The singer leaned over, speaking conspiratorially into his friend’s ear. “I need you to take the others out tomorrow or maybe the day after. For a few hours at least. I need…some time alone with Yunho.”
“What’s in it for me?” Micky’s sly grin whispered over his face, a wicked coaxing to negotiate. “Chocolate for a month? Maybe my laundry? Two weeks of clean clothes can buy you a lot of cooperation on my part.”
“Something better. When you need me to, I’ll keep Changmin and Yunho occupied for a few hours.” Jae promised, scratching at the back of his head where the wind nibbled. “What do they say, quid pro quo?”
”What about Junsu?” Yoochun asked, curious as to what the other singer was saying. “He…”
“I’m a mess and chaotic. And I’m not always aware of what’s going on around me, I know this.” Jaejoong scoffed. “But I’m not stupid, Chunnie-ah. We both know about Junsu…how you feel about Junsu.”
“You haven’t…” Micky’s eyes widened in alarm, looking over at the young man asleep on the bed.
“I haven’t said anything to him, Chunnie-ah. I know you have to do that yourself. If anyone knows, it’s me.” Jaejoong replied. “But I can see it in your face. Like I see it in mine for Yunho. I need this time with him, Chunnie. Please. I’ll help you if you help me. Do we have a deal?”