Title: On The Red Couch
Pairing: YunJae (with some YooSu and Min7en)
Chapter Rating: R
Part One: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Se7en, 8, 9, 10, 11
Part Two: 12, 13 (Extremely Mature Content), 14, 15, 16, Comments Regarding Storyline , Se7enteen, 18, 19, 20, 21 (Lemon)
Part Three: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, Twenty-Se7en (LEMON), 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 (LEMON), 33, 34, 35, 36, Thirty-Se7en, 38, 39, 40 (Final)
Summary: Hot Korean boys. Sex. Dancing and some angry words. Not necessarily in that order. Not necessarily in each section. Final Book in SMM series.
No, Yunho corrected himself, there was something inside of him. Amid the vast icy wasteland of cold nothingness, something glittered — a broken, fallen angel with wide black wings torn and bloody, his body bruised and darkened blue from another man’s fists.
He’d refused to cry, shutting down his tears as he rocked Jaejoong to sleep, stroking at the other man’s soft hair until his lover collapsed from sheer exhaustion. Even then, Yunho couldn’t bring himself to crack. There was too much to absorb — too much anguish — too many tears to soak into his soul.
A soul swollen with Jaejoong’s crying.
Jae lay on the bed, curled in on himself and the sight of him made Yunho ache. A rainbow of marks ran blush, indigo and midnight over swells of muscles, Jae’s lean body thinner from long days of practice and lack of food. The tattoo between his shoulder blades, once the darkest spot on his back, faded back against the fist-sized circles patterning rosettes down his spine. A few were running yellow, time taking away the most of the colour but the scar of the impact remained in Jae’s mind, the echoing refrain of smacking flesh against his body. Along his upper arms, red thick spiders crawled over his porcelain skin, remainders of fingers digging into the tender area. A large mottle teased Yunho at the base of Jae’s spine, half hidden by the loose sweatpants Jaejoong wore low on his hips.
Yunho never imagined there could be so many shades of blue and black but his lover’s body proved him wrong. There were entire spectrums of dark rainbows that the human flesh could produce and Kimura seemed determined to bring up every shade he could on Jae’s body.
“Yunnie?” Yoochun cracked the door open, his body framed in a corona by the hallway light. “Is Jaejoong in here? He’s not in the…”
The leader didn’t need to say anything, not to the young man Jaejoong called soulmate, brother and twin. If anyone in the world would feel each bruise on Jae’s flesh, it would be the tender-hearted Yoochun. The strangled sound coming from Chun’s tight throat told Yunho he’d spotted the marks and then the tightening of the baritone’s face, coupled with accusing eyes stopped Yunho’s heart in midbeat.
“Oh… God, Yunho,” The baritone stuttered, edging closer to the bed. “How… did you?”
It was horrific. Yunho knew that. They’d both seen Jae at his worst — vomiting the remains of his last meal; crumpled on the floor in pain from a snapped knee and worse, struggling to maintain his composure when faced with his own failures — but the sight of the slender young man twisted into a ball, arms hugging his legs to his chest, tore their hearts into thin shreds.
Yoochun thinking he’d actually been the one to harm Jaejoong stabbed the knife even deeper.
“I didn’t do this to him,” Yunho said flatly. “Kimura. He…beat Jaejoong. He corners him and beats him. Sometimes with his hands. Sometimes with whatever is around. These are from our manager, Chunnie-ah. Our manager .”
“Manager-san?” Yoochun stepped forward, his knees buckling as he attempted to reach the bed. Yunho leaned forward, catching the other man under his arms and pulled him to the edge of Min’s bed. “But… why? Yunho, why? Why would he?”
“He’s been…pressuring Jaejoong.” Amazed he could find his own voice, Yunho turned back to Jae’s sleeping form, running his palm over the young man’s shoulder, carefully avoiding a wicked black spot near Jae’s collarbone.
“Pressuring how and…why?”
“He wants Jaejoong. In his bed.” The thought of his lover with someone else sickened Yunho and he swallowed, ignoring the sick taste.
“Joongie-ah is yours,” Yoochun breathed out hard. “You should have told Kimura that! You should have told him you would only share a room with Jaejoong!”
The blame hurt and Yunho took it, shouldering the responsibility for every mark on his lover’s body. “It is my fault. I should have said something. Anything. Forced it but…” He shrugged, helpless and unwilling to stave off the censure. “Apparently Kimura knows that Jaejoong and I … were… are lovers. I’m going to say are. We will survive this, he and I. I’m going to make sure we survive this. I have to make sure… Jaejoong survives this.”
“But if he knew, then he separated all of us for nothing?” Hissing, Yoochun dropped down on his knees between the beds, pressing in on the leader. “Why do this to Joongie? Did he think that somehow breaking you two apart would make Jaejoong want him?”
“Not for nothing,” Yunho replied. “He started first with me and Changmin. Even Min’s been distanced from Jae, Kimura always schedules their practices apart so they don’t have a lot of time together and he told Jaejoong that we weren’t happy with him, with his singing; that we were mad because he couldn’t learn the dance steps fast enough. I guess he was going to work to break you two apart next. Kimura wants to isolate Jaejoong. Make Jae dependent on him for everything, including any affection.”
“That’s sick,” Yoochun spat. “Why would someone do that?”
“Because they can. Because he can,” The older man said. “You know how some people are, even some of the sunbae. They force the younger ones to do things for them. I’d heard some of the older trainees watch for the ones who are weaker, more likely to want to please someone older. I just didn’t know it would… I didn’t think someone would take it this far.”
“I heard of that but I never saw it. No one ever approached me to do something for them.”
“Yoochun, I need you to answer me honestly. Are you telling me you didn’t know? Any of this?” There should have be rage, Yunho thought. Some kind of anger bubbling up inside of him but nothing escaped the icy depths of his numbness. His thoughts fragmented, splintered icy shards against the hard thoughts surfacing in his mind. Yunho knew he had to ask even though every part of his brain screamed to defend Yoochun. “Not the… not Kimura wanting Jae — I don’t think you knew that. Jaejoong wouldn’t…he didn’t want to tell anyone but the bruises — you never saw any of this?”
“No.” Yoochun stared up at his leader. “You think I kept this from you? I would never…oh God, Yunho. I saw a bruise on his back and thought it was from when he fell down the stairs but… I only saw a little bit of it. I didn’t know. I swear to you.”
“I… don’t know what to believe,” He admitted softly. “I don’t know what to say to him. I don’t know how to make him better. I’ve worked so hard to fix the pieces of Jae’s spirit that other people broke off and now… this? How do I fight this?”
“We can fix this. All of us together. We can.”
“Don’t forget, he’s been working to divide us, Chunnie-ah. How can we fix what we didn’t even see?” Yunho continued. “I think back of everything hyung has… Kimura’s… said to me. The harshness of his words. The tearing apart of our abilities. He had me convinced that Changmin and I were considered worthless to the Japanese market. That you three, everyone to the right of Min, was worth more than …”
“That’s not how it is!” Yoochun reached for Yunho, clasping his trembling fingers over the man’s knee. “We would be nothing without the two of you. None of us are better than the rest.”
“He is.” Tears lurked in Yunho’s chest, unwilling to be shed in front of another member. “Jaejoong is worth more than any of us. He is to me. And if you were truthful with yourself, you’d admit it too.”
Yoochun turned his face, unwilling to stare down the honesty in Yunho’s face. “Jaejoong would never let you say that if he were awake. He’d be the first one to tell you that you’re full of shit.”
“He shouldn’t have had this life. He shouldn’t be lying here wearing someone else’s anger,” Yunho bit at his words, scraping at the disgust in his belly. “His family threw him out and still he tries to speak to them. Mine refuse to talk to me as long as I love him but my mother sends small notes, telling me news of my family. He’s sold his blood and eaten food leftover from others’ meals so he had money to train.”
“How much more does Jaejoong have to give? How much harder does he have to work to get some peace? Even loving me brings him to this. Loving us brought this pain to him.” The tears finally came, glittering and hard. They hovered on Yunho’s lashes, not heavy enough to fall but plump enough to sting. “Those are our names under those bruises! Are we worth that? Tell me that, Yoochun? Are we fucking worth this pain?”
“What are we going to do then?” Yoochun asked. “How do we… what can we do? Kimura’s not even our company and who do we tell?”
“I don’t know,” Yunho admitted. He wouldn’t share with Yoochun about Kimura’s plans for Min. Yunho had no intention of burdening the sensitive singer with the details of their manager’s perversions.
“We can’t let him do this to Jaejoong. Not our Jaejoong.”
“Can you watch him?” Yunho asked, pulling a sheet up over Jae’s bare shoulders. He didn’t want Yoochun to stare at the other man’s broken body. That vigil was his alone. “I don’t want him to wake up and be alone.”
“What do I tell him if he wakes up? Do I tell him you went out? Should I tell him that I know?”
“Tell him you know.” The leader nodded and rubbed Yoochun’s shoulders. “I just need to step outside for some air. I won’t be far. Just out on Changmin’s balcony. If the baby comes in, I’ll tell him to come here or your room but keep Jae covered. I don’t want Min to see Jaejoong like this. It would break Jae if Min saw him. Okay?”
“Okay,” Yoochun agreed. Climbing up onto the bed, Chunnie curled up around his friend, cuddling Jae close. Resting his cheek on Jae’s shoulder, he blinked away the fearful tears welling up, whispering to himself to be strong. “I’ll be here, Yunho. I won’t leave him.”
The balcony was cool, a mist of rain clinging to the air. Yunho glanced over his shoulder into the living room where Min lay sprawled over the larger couch, its soft red cushions cradling the lanky singer’s body. He’d tossed a sheet over their youngest before he opened the balcony door but the linens were already on the floor, peeled off by Changmin’s restless long legs.
Straddling one of the straight back chairs Yoochun and Jaejoong dragged out onto the patio, Yunho stared at the sky, watching it lighten as the sun climbed up through the city’s spires. The clouds trapped most of the light, a jealous lover unwilling to give up Tokyo to its more brilliant suitor. Drenched through, the city moved slowly, the sounds of early morning businesses waking in a rush of trucks and men calling out in coarse Japanese to hurry before the world began its rush.
Any other time, Yunho would revel in the solitude. Sitting in the dampness of the night’s tears, he despaired at the emptiness he found in himself.
“There’s no one to turn to,” He murmured, resting his cheek on the chair’s crossbar. A lone sparrow flitted out from its nest on a nearby roof, its brown tail slashed with white chevrons. It stopped on the balcony rail in front of Yunho, cocking its head as it studied the human. Braving the looming presence, the bird darted down, heading for the scraps of bread Min left out before they’d gone to perform.
It seemed like a lifetime ago, a few hours suddenly stretched out into an eternity. If he’d known the damage Jaejoong bore on his body — Yunho swore. He’d pushed the singer hard, railing at him to try harder, to dance harder. Resting his forehead on the wooden back, Yunho strained to let his sorrow fall but the tears still refused to come.
“No one at the company. Not the company here,” Yunho spoke, startling the sparrow.
It flew, carrying the burden of its food through the damp air. It wove, ducking and twirling as it fought the wind, valiantly struggling against the elements until it reached the cement outcropping where it made its nest. A smaller brown bird, the sparrow’s female, poked its head out, pecking at the offering. They disappeared into the shadows within seconds, the crust sliding into the sliver of dark.
“Our company — they’d think we were complaining. Or if they believed something was up, they’d not act right away. That would take too long.” He cursed, flinging out the Japanese he’d learned from listening to the dockworkers. It felt more satisfying than the Korean he’d been born to as if cursing the monster who stalked his lover in his own language made Yunho’s hatred more real — more satisfying. “There is no one.”
“God, we are so alone.” Yunho tilted his head back, willing his tears to break.
The sun tried to pierce the gloom but the clouds proved too strong, refusing to part. Growling, Yunho rubbed at his eyes, his fatigue wearing at the edges of his thought. He wasn’t able to form a coherent idea, not with the lack of sleep and also — he suddenly realized — the lack of food in his belly. Yunho couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten, or even the last night he’d spent sleeping for more than twenty minutes.
A cawing crow broke the shell forming over his mind, its raucous cry echoing between the building. Far away, another crow screamed back, challenging the newcomer’s right to the air. Hearing the two birds battle for dominance, Yunho cocked his head and gritted his teeth.
He’d transferred all of his stored numbers to his new phone and at the time, he’d wondered at the wisdom of keeping one. Yunho often stared at the glowing display in the middle of the night, his heart clenching at the thought of hearing the voice at the other end — or worse — hearing a dial tone after he said hello.
Still, the number remained on his phone and Yunho’s finger trembled as he hit the dial button, waiting as the connection chirruped through and the line started ringing.
“Hello,” He said in return. Listening for a moment, Yunho closed his eyes, willing himself not to cry now; not now when he lay open and vulnerable. “Yes, it’s early. I was still up.” Another pause and then, “I was hoping you’d be awake. I know that you have early mornings sometimes.”
“No, I’m…” Yunho stopped himself before he could utter a lie. “No, I need… I need help.”
Gulping the lump in his throat, Yunho let his tears fall, running down his face freely as the sky’s fury opened up once again and Tokyo trembled under the fury of the waking storm.
“I need you. I need your help,” He wept, struggling to keep himself together long enough to humble himself before the man he swore he’d never bow to again. Openly sobbing, he swallowed his cries and asked softly, “I need to know, Father — who do you know in Japan? Who do you know that can help me?”