Title: On The Red Couch
Pairing: YunJae (with some YooSu and Min7en)
Chapter: Se7en (no, he’s not in it)
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.
The room was cool, air from the open window playing over Yoochun’s face. His tears were gone, leaving the crackle feel of dried salt on his face. He sniffed, disliking the drowned sensation in his lungs, feeling as if his tears had fallen straight to his chest, filling every breath he took with soured ocean water.
“A sea of tears, Joongie-ah,” Yoochun whispered, tightening his body around his best friend. “That’s what we’re swimming in right now. That’s what you were floundering in, too tired and beaten to call for help. Why didn’t you tell us, Je Je? Why didn’t you at least tell me?”
Yoochun knew the answer to that. Jaejoong spent too many years nursing his own hurts, licking at wounds that never healed, never scabbed over and ran pink with old, spoiled blood. This time was no different. Until Jaejoong had faith in the other members — full faith — he would never reach out.
It was something Yoochun despaired over. It was also something that left him helpless and impotent.
“Yunho?” Jaejoong murmured, his velvet voice rough with sleep.
A tingle ran through Yoochun’s body. No matter how much in love he was with Junsu, there was something primal and sensual about Jaejoong’s voice. The man’s feline movements sometimes drove the members insane, overly sexual and kitten-clumsy. More than once a director instructed an oblivious Jae to tone it down, leaving the singer confused about what the other man was talking about.
Stretching against Yoochun, Jaejoong mumbled, his hands reaching down to cup the back of Chun’s thighs. Startled, the baritone shifted, pulling Jae’s fingers away from their exploration of his body. In his sleep, Jaejoong’s rawness surfaced, the coldness of his beauty blanking out any of the teasing, maternal expressions Jae was known for.
“Joongie, I’m here,” Yoochun cradled his friend, mumbling in the other man’s pierced ear. “It’s Chunnie.”
Hoping hearing his voice would bring Jaejoong out of his desire for Yunho and fixing in his mind that he was sharing his bed with his best friend and not his lover, Yoochun slid his body closer, working his knee between Jae’s legs. Cradled too close for Jae’s hands to roam over his stomach and lower, Yoochun kept the space between them tight to avoid increasing the thickening of his own sex.
In the dim light, Yoochun ended up staring at the shadowed roses on Jae’s body, quilted pain worked over his upper arms and partially down his chest. Unable to do anything but stare at a ripe bloom of purple and yellow on the curve of his friend’s shoulder, Chun blinked away the staining water from his eyes. He was cried out but there seemed to be an endless supply of grit and scraping pain in his heart. Sighing, he rested his cheek on Jae’s temple, keeping his voice low.
“I wish I could kiss this away for you, Joongie-ah,” He said, finding daylight leaking into the room from the wide windows overlooking the alley between their building and the next. The sky promised another grey rainy morning as if the city was weeping for Yoochun now that he’d run out of tears. “I wish I could make this go away, like you did for me when I first came to Korea. How do you do this? How do you take in our pain and ease our hearts? Do you hurt like this when we hurt? How do you stand this?”
“Where’s Yunho?” Jae blinked, coming up out of his sleep. Fatigue dragged a dark puffiness under his eyes and without the chill of grey contacts, his dark brown eyes seemed huge, luminous port moons for Yoochun to fall into. “Did I dream him?”
“No,” Yoochun replied, brushing a gentle kiss on his friend’s forehead. “He is always your Yunho.”
“I was scared. So scared, Chunnie-ah.” With his head tucked down, Yoochun couldn’t see Jae’s face but he could feel the break in the singer’s heart, splintered fear cutting into the tear of his voice. “Suppose all of this is a dream?”
“I wish this were, Joongie-ah,” The baritone replied, lightly palming one of the bruises. “These should be a dream but you and Yunho together again — I’d rather that be real.”
“I don’t know if we are, Chunnie. I hope so. I ache with missing him. It hurts too much not to fall asleep with him around me,” He said, curling into himself further. Yoochun held Jae, sliding his hands over the small of the singer’s back, rocking him close. “I didn’t know what to do, Chunnie. I… I don’t know what to do now.”
“Now, we… I don’t know,” Yoochun admitted. “But we will figure something out. We will.”
“I’m sorry, Yoochun.”
“For what, Joongie?” He petted the singer, stroking at the skin unmarred by Kimura’s fists. Jae’s back was a mess, blotched and stained. “This isn’t your fault.”
“I... led him on. He said…” Jae gulped, his tongue fighting to find the words muddying his mind. “Kimura-san said I would entice him and then turn him away. He would see me change my clothes and flaunt myself until he couldn’t stand the sin I offered him. That I was sin. That I made him cross over into something he didn’t want. That’s why he hit me. To try to get me to stop. And then when I refused him, he hit me to make me…”
“He hit you because he’s sick. Because he’s …” Yoochun pulled back, staring into the depths of Jae’s pained gaze. “You did not do anything wrong. You didn’t lead him to anything he didn’t want to be led to. Kimura chose this. He chose to do this. Don’t give him the respect of –san. He doesn’t deserve it. He doesn’t deserve your spit in his face.”
“I wanted him… to like me.” Admitting it was hard. Hearing himself speak of his need for approval broke the thin, cracked wall holding back Jaejoong’s tears. “I was… so lonely and I thought… he reminded me of maybe an older brother. Someone I could talk to about being here in Japan and would understand how I felt. I miss having family. It’s been so long since I’ve had family to talk to. Even Scarlet is so far. And Yunho — I lost him, Chunnie.”
“You didn’t lose Yunho,” Yoochun said. “Kimura told him things too. We all listened to him because he is our manager. We did what he said because we want to succeed here. All of us want so much for each other that we’ll do anything for one another. It makes us stupid sometimes, I think.”
“He started telling me about… being not good enough to be in the group,” Jae murmured, shaking his head when Yoochun’s fingers brushed over his mouth. “You have to understand how scared I was at first.”
“I know,” He agreed. “I know how that feels. Remember when the rumours started about replacing me with a Chinese singer? I was scared then. You helped me through that.”
“Kimura said he would help me become more Japanese… help me be more likeable.”
“If he did that, no one would see any of the rest of us,” Yoochun tried teasing a smile from his friend’s mouth. Kissing Jae’s nose, his heart lifted when the other man let out a small laugh. “I think Junsu and I could start making out in front of the crowd and no one would see us if you started smiling. It’s very humbling. We disappear whenever you even go near Yunho.”
“You’re not supposed to call me that,” Yoochun sniffed. “I’m silly or absurd. That means stupid or something else.”
“Did Yunho really… was he mad?” Jae shifted, sniffing as he snuggled down into the sheets. Wrapping himself tight in the linens, the singer swaddled their bodies together, tucking his palm under his chin. The sheets’ deep colour warmed Jaejoong’s pale skin, leaving a gloaming reflection on his face.
“He… said he needed air but he wanted me to watch you.” He left out the fact that Yunho left nearly two hours ago and he’d not heard any sound from the rest of the apartment. “Our leader didn’t want to leave you alone. Your lover didn’t want you to be alone so of course, he asked me to stay because next to him, I am the best thing for you.”
“Chunnie-ah?” Junsu pushed at the cracked open door, sticking his head into the room. “Hyung?”
“Junsu-ah, wait,” Yoochun tried to slither out of the sheets but the linens held him in a tight hug. “Aish, Jae, I’m trapped.”
“What are you...” Junsu turned and Yoochun saw Changmin standing bleary eyed behind the shorter man. The young singer looked tired and his hair stood up in all directions like a silken hedgehog shambling out of its nest.
“Shit,” He swore. Unable to slither out of the swaddle without exposing Jaejoong’s bare back, Yoochun sighed and spoke up. “Hold on, I’ll be right out.”
“No,” Yunho said, lightly pushing the younger men inside of the room. “We’re coming in. They need to know what’s going on and I need their help in making sure that we don’t have this happen to Jaejoong any more — that it doesn’t happen to any of us any more. Go inside, dongsaeng. It’s time we all knew the truth of things.”
Min was the most silent, listening to Yunho’s flat recitation of the past months events. He reacted in minute displays of emotion, either fisting his fingers into the sheets or tightening his mouth into a stern line but he kept silent through the story. Junsu responded differently, first with horrified tears and then with recriminations, flailing his words about like daggers. Some found their marks, scoring hits on Yunho’s pride and sense of obligation when he accused the older man of turning his back on his lover.
Jaejoong quieted the expressive tenor, soothing Junsu with soft words and even softer pets. Yoochun reached for his boyfriend, sliding Junsu’s hips over until the smaller man rested in his lap, his legs draped on Jae’s thighs. They held him there, comforting and quiet as Yunho continued talking to his friends and lover, taking the blame for Jae’s bruises and fallen confidence.
“No,” Min said finally. “It’s on all of us and most of all, Jaejoong.”
“What?” Junsu started forward, held back by Yoochun’s strong arms. “This isn’t Jae’s fault. He did nothing wrong.”
“He did one very large thing wrong,” Changmin replied coldly, meeting Junsu’s angry tone with a brush of ice. “Joongie-ah didn’t tell us what was happening. That was wrong. If one of us had done that, he’d be angry at us. We know better. He knows better. The five of us… we are all we have here. If we don’t trust one another here, in our lives, how can we trust one another anywhere else.”
Jaejoong spoke up before the others could turn on Min, stopping Yunho before he could fall into a fit of temper. “He’s right, Yunnie-ah. I should have… said something. I should have been strong enough to have faith in you and the others. I was wrong for not speaking up.”
“Kimura’s to blame for this. Jae didn’t do anything to draw his attention,” Yoochun asserted.
“That is true. Kimura is to blame for the damage he’s done. We need to excise him from our lives somehow,” Min nodded. “It’s not that I don’t love Joongie-ah. I just want him to love and trust me as much as he wants me to love and trust him. It’s not fair to me to give my affection openly and to have secrets kept because someone’s trying to protect me. If Kimura came after me, I would find one of you to talk to and then we could all figure something out. Divided we are weak. Only together can we stand against anything. Remember? Five minus one is zero. Well, one without five is zero too. You cannot subtract one way and not the other without getting the same result.”
“I was trying to… protect you, Minnie-ah,” Jae said.
“How can I stay out of the rain if I don’t know it’s falling on my head?” Min cocked his head, shaking off Yoochun’s censuring hand. “I’m not a child in this. I know how things are. I am the eldest in my family, just like you, Chunnie and you, Yunho. You might not respect me for that as the youngest member but I know how to be responsible for others. You shame me by not telling me. You shame me because you are saying that I fail at being a brother to you… as if I would also fail at being a brother to my sisters. That is shameful to me.”
The older men collectively took a breath. When faced with Min’s accusation, Yunho nodded slowly and exhaled. “I can’t tell you that I don’t feel protective over you, Min. I can’t say that I wouldn’t punch out someone who touched you or took advantage of you. I can’t. Don’t ask me to.”
“I know,” Min conceded with a cock of his head, his eyes growing uneven with the deep fondness he had for the older man. “But you have to expect that I’ll be mad about it.”
“Okay, I can agree to that.” Yunho stood up, pacing off the room. “Jaejoong has ghosts that lurk in his soul. He wants to keep that from you…from all of us.”
“Jaejoong is right here,” The singer mumbled, more to himself than the other members. Pushing his hair out of his face, he pulled himself up, keeping the sheets around his shoulders. Yunho gave him a tight smile, running his hand over the back of his lover’s head.
“Sorry, baby,” Yunho said. “I just think we need to all be aware of Kimura and work to keep him… contained. This means that none of us are alone with him. Even if you think you’re safe… don’t let yourself be caught in a room without at least one of the others or staff.”
“We’ll have to work on getting him replaced,” Yoochun fretted.
“Leave that to me.” Yunho shook his head, fending off the others’ protests. “If I need help, I’ll let you know but right now, let me at least see what I can do. If it needs more than me, I’ll say.”
“Suppose he wants to talk to one of us?” Junsu asked. “Alone? He asks for that sometimes. How do we get out of that?”
“We turn on our cell phones. Call one of the other members so one of us can overhear. We can try to be nearby in case he tries something like…” Min looked at Jae, his eyes traveling over the purple marks visible near the edge of the sheet’s hem. Jerking his chin towards the older singer, Min said, “Like that. Like what he did to Jaejoong.”
“Chunnie, pass me a shirt,” Jae pleaded. “I don’t feel comfortable with everyone staring at me. I’m as much to blame for these as Kimura.”
“You are never to blame for this,” Yunho kept his tone down but the anger simmered, hot with the thought of Kimura’s words and fists cutting into Jae’s ego. “No one hits you, Jaejoong. Not anyone who wants you. Not anyone who loves you. Those days are over, Joongie-ah. You have to step out of the past if we’re to help you with the future. We need you to be that strong for us. I — we — need you to be strong enough to stop thinking you brought this on yourself.”
“You have to promise us that you’ll try, Joongie-ah,” Junsu worked his fingers through Jae’s, stroking at the other man’s hand. “Please, hyung. Please say that you’ll try.”
“I care too for you to…” Yunho cupped Jaejoong’s face. The tears matted the singer’s black lashes but the glitter of his dark eyes were clear for the first time in months, shining with something the leader hoped was still affection for him. “I love you too much, Kim Jaejoong. I’d rather lose everything I have ever worked for to have you safe. Even if it means losing you, I would do anything to keep you safe. I want to die knowing that you felt loved. If my last breath is spent kissing you, then I’d withstand the pain to die a thousand times.”
Yunho bend forward, kissing his lover’s mouth until they both needed air. Whispering, Yunho brushed lips over Jae’s fullness, wishing he’d been a better man for the one he’d fallen in love with. “ You are worth that death — those deaths — you matter that much to me, baby. You have that much of my heart.”