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.
They met for a few times, not speaking for about an hour or so before Jaejoong excused himself and left, bowing deeply with respect. The fourth time the Korean singer showed up at the door, Gackt spent the hour holding him, letting him cry out some of the pain. The fifth time Jaejoong arrived on the older man’s doorstep, he carried a bottle of wine and a haunted look in his eyes.
It was the look that told Gackt Jaejoong was ready to talk. The wine was merely a gift.
The house was large, overwhelmingly so, and kept dim to protect the Japanese’s sensitive eyes. Vast dark lengths of wood and stone made up most of the rooms, soft white furniture softening its hard lines. A white sofa, large enough for two people served as Jaejoong’s cocoon away from his pain and he drifted towards it, habit drawing him across the floor as Gackt followed close by.
The singer was silent for ten minutes and Gackt wondered if he was wrong about Jaejoong’s readiness when the younger man opened his mouth and began to speak.
“He’s dead,” Jaejoong was small.
Tucked into a ball and wedged into the corner of the couch, he diminished himself against the creamy white around him. Dressed in pure black, the singer was more shadow than man, a filmy broken slice of darkness made hollow by another man’s abuse.
Gackt didn’t need to ask who he was. There was only one man who could bring the sound of shattered glass to Jaejoong’s voice.
“How?” Gackt asked, placing a half-full glass of a fruity, pungent red on the glass table in front of Jaejoong. He perched on the edge of the couch, turned to face the ball of chaos and pain sitting besides him.
“Someone killed him. They found him, stabbed in the stomach with his insides pulled out. It happened in jail,” Jae replied. He left the wine where it was, not trusting himself to pick it up. His anger and confusion raged inside of him, a hateful storm of emotion raining fire down on him and he was tired, finding no shelter from its fury. “Our manager, Shizu, told me the police suspect one of his victim’s family was in prison or… knew someone there. What they did to him…how he died… they suspect it was someone who knew what he’d done.”
“It might have even been someone he… broke,” Gackt said, sipping at his own glass. “Men sometimes… when they are hurt, like you were hurt, they seek out danger and take risks. Sometimes even try to destroy society by committing crimes because they have that much anger inside of their hearts.”
The wine teased him, tasting of unfamiliar spices and dark fruit. He imagined it was close to the taste of Jaejoong’s mouth, erotic and red. Those kisses belonged to another man, one who would cherish them and the kitten who presented them. Gackt’s only task was to return Yunho’s most cherished possession to him — hopefully healed enough to be sipped from without the singer’s crystalline soul shattering under the pressure of Yunho’s touch.
“Someone stronger than me.”
The wine turned to bitter in Gackt’s mouth, soiled by Jaejoong’s loathing. He swallowed and set the glass down, momentarily unwilling to sip at its richness. “You… can’t say that, koneko. You are stronger than most men I know.”
“I’m nothing compared to most men.” He looked up, his deep brown eyes bare of contacts and rich with tears. “A man wouldn’t have… let this happen to him. I should have… fought him off. Told him no… did something.”
“You did tell him no.”
“You weren’t there. You don’t know, Camui-san,” Jae replied. “I could have been enticing him to do this. I probably made him think I wanted him to…”
“I’ve known you for a while now, Kim and the last thing I think you are is a tease,” He said, brushing the singer’s hair back from his face. “What happened to you… was Kimura’s doing, not yours. What you’re feeling is normal.”
“We’re led to believe that as men, we can’t be weak or show emotion,” Gackt continued. “If we show tears, they’re only allowable in anger and never in pain. Sorrow is something we are supposed to stand stoically instead of weeping. We’re to have our pain in private, not shedding more than a terse nod and a grunt that we’re okay, even if we are shredded down to our souls.”
“I don’t agree with that,” The man said, pulling Jaejoong to his side. “We should be allowed to mourn our loss of innocence without being made to feel weak.”
“I feel…dirty. Like I can’t go to Yunho because I’ll soil him,” Jae’s eyes glittered, reflecting the candles around them. “Kimura took who I was from me and now that he’s dead, I feel like I should have been the one to do that. The one to exact that revenge. I’ll never have that part of me back because I didn’t take it back.”
“I can’t change how you feel, not unless you change how you think,” He replied to the singer’s harsh words. “We’re told that if a man uses us like a woman, that makes us less of a man. I would say that surviving someone like Kimura is a greater battle than other men have fought. Surviving Kimura is a victory and shouldn’t be regarded as a defeat to your masculinity.”
“Not many would think me much of a man now, Camui-san. Even before Kimura… people would say I am less of one because I loved…love Yunho. How can you think that now… what I’ve given someone freely in love and has been taken from me by someone I trusted…how can that make me more of man? How does that make how I’m feeling now a victory.”
“Because you go on. You’ve placed a mask on your pain and forged forward. The problem is, Je-chan, your heart hurts and your anger needs an outlet.”
“I hate when people look at me and say; Oh, he’s like a woman. Being… forced that way just made it worse. I don’t feel like doing things that I love to do. I don’t want to cook any more. I don’t want… Yunho touching me or kissing me. It’s like anything that I was is now ruined. How do I take back… me?”
“You ask for help,” Gackt said. “Like you did with me. And then you talk to the others and share what happened. Let them love you. Let them try to understand your pain. You don’t have to share it with the world but you should share it with the people who love you. They should know what was done to you.”
“Have you been…hurt? Not like…this but inside? Something else?”
“God, koneko-chan.” The other man’s eyes dimmed, remembering someone lost to him. “I was on tour when someone I loved… my Yoochun … died suddenly in his sleep. No one told me until he died until almost a week later and by then… I’d lost my chance to say goodbye. They buried him the same day that they found him but I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t cry or be angry because I was on tour.”
“When did you cry?” He ached for his friend…his mentor. Gackt was becoming the closest thing to an older brother that Jaejoong ever experienced and to not know this tragedy made him hurt for the other’s heart. “Did you get to cry?”
“Alone,” Gackt admitted ruefully. “There wasn’t anyone for my heart to hold onto near me. I had friends but I thought that my sorrow would burden them. They knew, of course. I couldn’t hide my loss. Everyone around me knew but they couldn’t say anything because I told them I was fine.”
“One day, koneko-chan, I stopped being fine.” He whispered into the other man’s ear. “I lost time. I lost my soul in the blackness I carried. It finally ate through me and there was nothing left. I was so angry and hurt, blaming everyone who took away my chances to say goodbye…who took away my dearest friend… that it burnt me up inside.”
“What did you do then?” Jaejoong didn’t want to imagine the day when he turned around and found Yoochun missing from his shadow. He was already fairly certain Yunho’s absence would kill him.
“Tried crying. I needed to let it out but I couldn’t.” Memories played behind Gackt’s hooded eyes, their sensual heat dimmed to a staid grey. “Then I drank until I couldn’t feel me anymore but the dreams kept coming. Kami came to me asking why I wasn’t there so I would wake up and drink again. Soon I began drinking and hoping I would never wake up again. I would either see Kami in my dreams all the time… or see him in death.”
He grew distant, pulling into himself and for a long moment, Jaejoong saw the public Gackt take the place of the mercurial, teasing man he’d grew to know. “I’m sorry, Camui-san. So sorry.”
“I don’t want you to get to that point, Je-chan. I don’t want to see you fall into the darkness so deep that it’s easier to let yourself slip into it than to craw out of it.” The kabuki mask slipped away, revealing the philosopher beneath. “I came out of it when a friend I’d just met came to me. He hadn’t known me long and he told me something intriguing.”
‘I’ve only loved you a short time,’ he said, ‘So if I am the one to lose you for saying this, then others will think I have lost the least of them but really, I would have lost the most because I have only had you for moments. But, Gackto dear, you are dying and I can’t lose you.
We need to peel back the hard skin that holds in your anger and hurt. It will be painful but you need to heal. It will scar and you will carry it forever but at least you will not die of your own poison. If you hate me for saying this, then hate me but I will leave knowing that I’ve lost someone I loved only in heart and not in body. You will still be here for me to love, even if I am far away.’
“So he and I, we peeled back my pain,” He grinned widely, taking the glass from Jaejoong to steal a mouthful of wine. He’d been right. The singer tasted as sweet as he’d imagined, the scent and wet of Jaejoong glimmering on the glass. Laying his mouth on the spot, he savoured Jae, knowing it was as close to him as he could get then returned the wine glass to his friend’s hands. “I wrote and then threw away words and songs then wrote some more.”
“You said goodbye in your music?”
“I did. I said goodbye the only way I knew how,” He murmured. “And every time I sing those songs in concert, I hear everyone’s voices raise up and I think; ‘Ah, surely Kami must be able to hear me now. Hear how loud they are. Surely he can hear this in Heaven.’ When they sing my words to the sky, they carry my love to him. And in writing and talking about him and about my pain, I lessened the poison I’d put into myself.”
Gackt shifted his arms, wrapping them around Jae’s waist. The singer resisted at first, not wanting the other man’s comfort but the Japanese singer was stronger willed and pulled the younger man into his lap. “Even now, I want to console you but you fight me. I know part of it is because you… because of who you are and what you had to be to get to this point in life but it’s also because you blame yourself for Kimura’s actions. And you’re wrong, kitten. You did nothing to deserve this. You did not ask for this.”
“I… wanted to tell Yunho but..” Jae shoved his fists against his forehead, digging his knuckles into his eyelids. “We were all so tired and after too much time passed… I thought he wouldn’t… want me.”
“Now that, I can’t say anything about. I don’t know your bear.” Gackt teased carefully, bringing a lift to the corner of Jae’s full mouth. “I don’t know if he’s the kind of man who will stand by you but if I had to guess, I’d say he’ll be hurt you didn’t talk to him. And even more hurt that you thought he wouldn’t want you.”
“Yunnie-ah — has a temper.” The singer admitted. “And I’m not — much better sometimes. When he let Kimura separate us, I was angry. I wanted to… hit him. He made me feel like I wasn’t as important to him as Japan.”
“You wanted him to speak up and pronounce that you’re his lover?” Gackt asked. “Did you tell him that?”
“No,” He said with a shake of his head. “When I get angry, I don’t want to talk about it so I…”
“Ignored him? Continued being mad at him for spite?”
“Yes,” Jae replied. “Then our schedules started getting hectic… and Kimura began to press into me. Pushing me into corners. I was still mad at Yunho but… I couldn’t go to the others. I couldn’t tell someone else and not Yunho. Pretty soon, it was too late.”
“Je-chan, it’s never too late,” Gackt explained, shifting so the singer’s legs were more comfortably stretched out over the sofa cushions. “If this had happened to any of the others… Min or even Yoochun… would you have been mad that they didn’t say anything? If Kimura was touching them and forcing himself on them, should they have kept quiet.”
“Yes, I’d be mad and no, they shouldn’t keep quiet. I’d… have killed him.”
“Why?” The Japanese man cocked his head, a quirk to his expressive mouth. “What makes them worth defending and you not?”
“Because I love them.” Jaejoong sat quietly, searching inside of himself. “Because they are…innocent. Because they are…people who… they are… someone worth something. They have so much to give and to have that done to them —- to have Kimura touch them — would hurt them. I couldn’t stand to see them hurt like that. I wouldn’t want them to feel like I do.”
“Do you think your love for them is better than their love for you? Do you think you love better?”
“No! I never said that!”
“You did…with your silence,” Gackt pointed out, quietly driving home his point. “You chose to disregard the person they love…you. If someone hurt Junsu, your duck joker, you would stand by Yoochun in his anger and rightfully so. But you won’t stand by Yoochun when someone hurts his Jaejoong? He’d want you to. He’d want you to know that you are as worthy of his love as is Junsu or the others.”
“Given his actions against Kimura and probably at a cost to his pride, I would say Yunho loves you deeply.” He leaned over, rescuing his wine glass and put it in the singer’s hands to sip. “I think he’s going to be mad and hurt but I don’t think he’ll turn away from you. He might need to walk off his anger but really, that would be understandable. You might have to pay the price for your silence with a little time but I think that would be worth it.”
“He will hate me,” Jaejoong murmured, upending the wine glass. The potent burgundy lulled his thoughts, dulling his senses and he leaned back, resting against Gackt’s slender chest. “I’d rather die than have him hate me. I wish I’d died when Kimura touched me.”
“I’m glad you didn’t,” Gackt replied, brushing his lips against Jae’s forehead. “I wouldn’t want to hear the songs that Yoochun and Yunho would have to write to erase their pain. I don’t think the world could stand their tears. It would flood us and we would all drown in their sorrow.”
“What do I do, akei?” He hiccupped, the wine going to his head. Exhaustion tugged him down. Emotionally drained and with an empty stomach, the liquor hit his system with a punch. “How do I solve this? How do I fix what I’ve done.”
“Don’t worry, neko,” The older man said. “I’ll help you.”
In moments, the singer’s breathing deepened and he shifted, sliding down Gackt’s body. Cradling the Korean, the singer lay back against the arm of the couch, letting Jaejoong fall further into a comforting slumber. He disliked seeing the shadows ringing the younger man’s eyes, dark rings and puffed wrinkles from lack of sleep marring Jaejoong’s beauty. It’d been too long since Gackt had seen the young man smile and he’d never known him to laugh.
Kimura’s touch had been on Jaejoong for as long as the Japanese singer had known him and Gackt felt it was time to wipe his friend clean of its stain.
Jaejoong’s discarded jacket held what Gackt needed and he whistled as he dialed the first number in the singer’s speed dial. A man answered, sleepy and bewildered.
“Hello Jung. This is Gackt, one of Je-chan’s… friends,” Gackt slipped the empty wine glass out of Jae’s fingers and positioned it on the coffee table, refilling it carefully as he tucked the phone under his chin, his other arm around Jae’s slender body. “I am calling to see if you have some time free. I think there’s something we need to talk about. How soon? Now — I think, now would be best.”