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.
Jaejoong looked up when the door to the suite opened. He wasn’t surprised to see Yunho walk in but the oddly blank look on his face was curious. Putting down the book he’d been reading, Jae watched his lover unbutton the collar of his shirt, continuing down until Jae caught a glimpse of abdominal muscles. Shucking off his shoes, Yunho padded over to the bed in his stocking feet, kneeling besides the other man to give him a soulful kiss.
“Should I ask how it went?” Jae cocked his head as his lover pulled off his dress socks. Balling up his socks, Yunho tossed them towards his shoes, cheering himself when they fell short of his loafers.
“It went… badly,” Yunho replied, leaning his head on Jae’s shoulder. “I left him downstairs.”
“Okay,” Jaejoong drawled, hooking his elbows on the pillows behind him. “Now what?”
“I didn’t walk out without tell him that we’d try again,” He replied, kissing the beauty spot under Jae’s jaw line. “He wants to have dinner with us.”
“Yeah, us,” Yunho said, reaching under Jaejoong’s t-shirt to run his palm over the man’s belly button. He grinned when a metal loop caught on his ring, making the singer hiss. “I want to fool around. Do you want to fool around?”
“Well…” A knock on the door interrupted Jae and he grinned widely. “We have company.”
“Oh Joongie-ah,” Yunho fell onto the bed, hiding his face in the pillows when Jaejoong slid out from under him to get the door. “Who would you ask…”
“Ahjumma,” Yunho heard his lover say when Jae opened the door. A squealing high-pitched shout echoed through the suite and he sat up, recognizing the little girl yelling his name as she ran through the living area and into the bedroom.
“Harabuhji!” His sister teased, jumping at him with open arms. Her flight was innocent and trusting, flying towards her brother in a huge jump.
He caught her in mid-air, hoisting up her slender body and caught her tight against his chest. Her squeals of joy nearly broke his hearing, but he didn’t mind. She smelled of candy and a bit of the city, her once long hair chopped into a stylish modern swing cut he’d seen on a few of the female singers in his company.
“Ji-Ji,” Yunho said, wincing playfully when she pounded on his shoulder with a clenched fist. “Ooooouch, you are brutal. I shall tell Umma that she is feeding you too much.”
“That’s because you’re old now,” She said, a wide smile on her face. “Umma is talking to your keikeu. He’s still very pretty. I want to marry him when I get older. Tell him to wait for me.”
“Keikeu? My Jaejoong is not a dessert,” Yunho replied. “And don’t you love your brother any more? Have I lost you to the cold pretty Jaejoong?”
“Hah, I can’t marry my brother,” Ji responded, tweaking his nose with her fingers. “Besides, he’ll buy me a lot of pretty things. All I have to do is ask him.”
“You don’t know my Je-Je then,” Her brother said, carrying her into the living room. “I end up paying for everything he wants.”
“Don’t believe him,” Jaejoong retorted back. “Yunho-ah is notoriously cheap. I have to pry every won I need out of his fingers. I could make thread with it when I’m done; it’s been stretched out that much.”
Putting his sister down, Yunho crossed the room to hug his mother. Like his father, she bore signs of age he’d not noticed before; fine lines neatly hidden with a thin layer of makeup and a tightness around her mouth that relaxed when she saw him. Holding him tight, she muffled a sobbing cry by burying her face into his chest, cradling him closer as his arms crossed over her shoulders.
“Ji-ji-ah,” Jaejoong bent over, murmuring into the young girl’s ear. “Let’s go downstairs and have Shirley Temples and cake. We can let your umma and brother talk, no?”
“Okay,” She grinned flirtatiously at the older man, fluttering her lashes. “I am leaving you, Yunnie-ah. I have found someone else, someone prettier.”
“Hah, you’ll have to give him back when you’re done.” His mother released him and Yunho ran after her, sliding side to side when she ducked behind Jaejoong to hide. “Oh, hiding behind your boyfriend now! What a brat!”
“He’s taking me to the lounge,” Ji sniffed. “And I’m sure he’ll get me a gelato too.”
“Not too much sugar, please,” Mrs. Jung said, reaching for her purse. Jaejoong waved her off with a brief bow of his head and a hand pressed to his chest. “Thank you. Ji, behave for Jaejoong.”
“Oppa?” She wrinkled her nose and took Jaejoong’s hand. “He is Joongie-ah! I can call him that.”
“Try not to let her bully you into giving her everything,” Yunho whispered into Jae’s ear. He brushed his lips against the man’s lobe, conscious of his younger sister’s presence. “She’ll wrap you around her finger if you let her.”
“I’d have a hard time fitting since you’re already there,” Jae teased. “Come, Ji-ji-ah. Let’s see what they have downstairs.”
Mrs. Jung waited until the door closed then sat down, wiping at the traces of tears at the edges of her eyes. Set in the expensive elegance of the suite, she appeared to suit the surroundings; a society matron out for an afternoon with her daughter but the tightness in her face spoke of difficulties and Yunho frowned when he saw her sag.
“Umma, what’s wrong?” He moved over to the couch and sat down besides his mother. “Are you alright? Do you need money?”
“Aish, a son shouldn’t be burdened with his mother until…” She stopped, her hand going to her throat where a string of pink pearls lay. She played with them, unease in her eyes. “I was going to say married and old but that will never… happen.”
“Jaejoong and I have… talked about this,” Yunho admitted. “I say I will not marry and have children on my own terms. He’s of the opinion that I should take a wife and live a more… traditional life. It would be easier but I don’t think I could stomach the lie. I don’t like hiding Jaejoong away as if he were something filthy that couldn’t be out in company. That bothers me.”
“It would,” She said with a nod. “You’re an honest soul. You were never one to stand for injustices. I don’t see that changing now.”
“And you’ll always be welcome in my household,” He said, kissing her temple. At some point, he’d become the adult, holding his mother up as she struggled. “I am serious about money. I will have the bank issue you some funds. I can send the accountant a text message. He can have it in place before I leave for Japan.”
“I am fine, truly,” The older woman demurred.
“I’d rather have it there for you as a safety net, okay?” Yunho frowned. “Just in case.”
“If you think it would be a good idea,” Mrs. Jung said, twisting the gold band on her finger. The skin under the ring was pale, shrunken from being covered and Yunho smiled despite his reservations about his father. From the looks of things, his mother still carried his father in her heart.
“I do. If you would excuse me for a moment.” A quick jot on his phone to his Korean accountant was answered nearly instantaneously and Yunho tapped in his approval for funds to move into his mother’s account. “There. Just in case.”
“Just in case,” She repeated with a nod. “I will return the money to you, Yunho.”
“Umma, please.” He shook his head, cupping her hands where they rested on her thigh. “Consider it a gift. I would be a poor son if I didn’t take care of my mother.”
“I… have not been a good mother in return.” Her eyes pinked, a swell of tears threatening to smear her carefully applied makeup. “I should have stood up to your father long before this. I never should have let this mess get so far.”
Wrapping his arm around his mother’s shoulders, Yunho pulled her towards him. “Umma, it’s okay. I think everything needed to happen the way it did so I could… learn what it means to be strong in times like these. I’ve learned a lot from what’s been going on. I think it’s made me stronger at least.”
“And your Jaejoong? How much of this has torn at him, especially when he had… other matters to deal with?”
“Joongie-ah is a lot stronger than I am,” Yunho said. “Sometimes I think he should have been the group leader, even if he is distracted and too blunt some times. He’s better at guiding me than I am at guiding him.”
“Is he… alright after…” Mrs. Jung stalled. Yunho understood her hesitation. Speaking of the incident out loud would make it all the more real and the idea of a man falling prey to another was something most people had a hard time dealing with. Swallowing her reticence, she continued, “Is he doing better after the attacks?”
“He’s sleeping better,” Yunho admitted, letting his mother go. Retrieving a bottle of water from the wet bar, he brought it and a box of tissues over for the woman, sitting back down on the couch. “It’s been difficult at times but we have… a friend who’s been helping and Shizu-chan, our manager in Japan, has a… partner that is a counselor. Jaejoong’s been speaking with him sometimes but informally. Pride is a difficult thing to work around, even for someone as open-minded as Jaejoong.”
“But he is doing better, no?” She asked. “I pray for him. I know that it sounds… strange since I am not his mother but I feel as if… it is the right thing to do. Do you think he’d mind?”
“No, I think he’d be touched. I don’t think he’s spoken to his mother…either one… about what’s happened. And as for his father,” Yunho said, dismissing the man with an eloquent shrug. “He’s cast Jaejoong aside as spoiled rice. I don’t understand how someone can love someone as their son and then in an instant, that love is burnt away like paper.”
“Are you speaking about Jaejoong or you and your father?” His mother peered into her son’s face.
“Right now, I was talking about Joongie-ah,” Yunho chuckled. “But I suppose I could say the same about my father. I always thought he would be there as my support no matter what but here I am wondering if I’m fighting as useless a battle as Jaejoong is.”
“Your father loves you,” Her response was automatic, cued by culture and breeding but Yunho felt the sting of an apology in them as if his mother could only express the barest of truths when speaking of her husband.
“I know he loves me as he thinks he should love me,” Yunho admitted, stretching back on the sofa. “But I need him to love me…differently.”
His mother shifted, uncomfortable at even the remote confrontation between her son and her husband. Nervously, she twisted her ring again, focusing on the bright gold band. “It is… difficult for him.”
“I know. And I’m trying to understand that. I am trying to compromise, Mother. But I can’t… I won’t compromise on Jaejoong…” He was about to continue when a knock on the door interrupted him. “Hold on, Umma. I’ll bet money that it is Joongie. He always forgets the keycard.”
There were two passcards on the entrance table and Yunho grinned, sure his lover had found himself locked out and probably, the singer thought, without his wallet. Grabbing one of the keys, he opened the door, flicking the hard plastic rectangle up for Jaejoong to take and swallowed the teasing words on the tip of his tongue.
“Appa!” Yunho took a step back. On guard, he eyed the older man, feeling once again the child before his father. “I… wasn’t expecting you.”
“May I come in?” Jung’s chin lifted as if expecting a refusal and Yunho felt a flash of guilt burn through him, ashamed their relationship disintegrated to the point of expecting animosity instead of acquiescence.
About to let the man past him, Yunho stopped, remembering his mother in the suite’s living room. “Appa, I have to…”
“It is alright, Yunho.” His mother stood at the end of the short foyer, her diminutive frame held erect and proud. “Your father may come in.”
“I don’t want you to be uncomfortable…” Yunho stammered, literally caught between his parents. “Or leave.”
“I am not leaving,” She sniffed, turning on her heel. “I was here first. Besides, perhaps it is time that all three of us sat down and discussed a few things. Not the least of which is your lover, Kim Jaejoong and how your father expects to apologize to him.”
“What’s a Shirley Temple?” Ji asked, resting her chin on the bar.
Jae quirked a smile at the bleached-blonde bartender when the older Korean man looked at the singer appraisingly. The man’s dark gaze travelled slowly over Jae’s face then trailed down to his chest and arms before returning Jae’s grin with a slow, welcoming smile.
“Lemon-lime soda, cherry syrup and cherries,” Jae winked at the bartender. “If you give the bartender a big enough tip, he gives you a lot of cherries in your Shirley Temple.”
“Can I give the tip?” She held her hand out to Jae, grasping the won he put in her palm. Standing on the tip of her toes, the slender girl stretched over the bar and slid the money into the tip jar, giving the bartender a dazzling smile. “Is that enough?”
“More than enough,” He winked back at Jaejoong. “I’ll bring your drinks out to you if you want to sit down.”
“Will he bring the gelato too?” Ji selected a table against the stretch of glass that served as the outer wall of the bar. Jutting over the hillside, the window gave the bar the illusion of floating in mid air. Positioned at the apex of the room, their table gave them a clear view of the city and the Han river winding through Seoul. Pulling out Ji’s chair, Jaejoong tucked it under her and took up the other seat, pointing out the park that the members used to live by. When the drinks arrived, Ji squealed her thanks at the bartender when she spotted the clouds of maraschino cherries bobbing at the bottom of her tall glass.
“Thanks,” Jae smiled, signing their room number to the tab. “You’ve made her day.”
“I could be persuaded to do other things,” The man said, leaning on Jae’s chair, his hands gripping the high wooden back. “I don’t even need a tip.”
“Really?” Ji piped. “Do you have a menu? Oppa said he would buy me gelato while we wait for my brother and mother to finish talking. They’re boyfriends but they don’t want anyone to know.”
“Aish,” Jae covered his face with his hands, a flush of red pinking his ears. “Ji-ji-ah…”
“Boyfriend, huh?” The man straightened, grinning widely. “Are you sure you’re not saying that so you can have him for yourself?”
“Well… I do get to keep him for a bit,” Ji twinkled. “So yes, mine for now.”
“Thanks,” Jaejoong responded as the man left to retrieve a pair of dessert menus. “You’re going to get me into trouble with Yunho, brat.”
“Ah, he won’t mind.” The sing-song pretty voice she affected was gone, replaced by a solemn little-girl version of her brother’s serious tone. “Yunnie-ah will understand that I was only doing what he would be if he were here. He won’t mind at all.”
Shaking his head, the young man hissed in his throat, taking the menu from the waitress who joined them. Glancing over the selection, he asked for a glass of water and some time as Ji pondered her decision. They’d just decided on splitting a tower of hot chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream when a familiar voice echoed in Jae’s ear.
“Hello, baby,” Se7en said, sliding into the seat between Ji and Jaejoong. Nodding his head to the young girl, he held his hand out. “Hello. How are you? I am Choi Dong-Wook.”
“Ah, you are the bastard Yunho dislikes,” Ji said artlessly. “He speaks of you sometimes. Usually with curse words I shouldn’t overhear.”
“Yet you hear them anyway,” Jae commented, widening his eyes at her to mimic her mock innocence. “And then you use them. This princess is Jung Yunho’s sister, Ji. Ji-ah, properly he should be your oppa so try to remember that.”
“Yes, baby,” She repeated the affectation in English, poking Jae back. “Do you mind if I order now? And maybe get another Temple-u.”
“No, go ahead. But please don’t go far.” Jae nodded, putting the menu down. The rest of the bar was deserted and the waitress lounged by the entrance, folding napkins to be used later in the evening. Lights from a long sea water aquarium reflected on the tables and her hair, giving off flashes of blue and green as she turned. “If you want, you can look at the fish. They might have a shark in there.”
“Oh yes,” Ji stood up, making a quick courtesy of a bow to the older men before heading to the fish tank.
“Are you sure it’s safe for her to be over there?” Se7en asked quietly.
“It’s only a few feet and she’s old enough to watch out for herself. She should be fine. It’s just a fish tank.” Jae looked at him curiously. “The shark is small. I don’t think it’s going to bite her if she thinks about sticking her hand in.”
“I wasn’t worried about the shark. I was worried for it,” He replied. “She’s as much of a predator as her brother is, just in a cuter, smaller package.”
“Hah,” Jae mocked. “Funny. How did you find me?”
“I’m meeting Tae. There’s a racquetball court here and he’s going to teach me to play,” Se7en shrugged. “I personally think it’s just an excuse for him to hit me with a ball but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. What are you doing here? Are you stalking me? Is the rest of the yakuza here and this is a hit?”
“No, only Yunho and I came over but he’ll be glad to accommodate you. I was hoping for the Jungs to reconcile,” Jaejoong motioned to Ji who was engaged in a serious conversation with the waitress. “I took Ji-sister with me so Yunho and his mother could speak then I spotted Jung heading upstairs but I don’t think he saw me. I thought we could hide out here until it either blows over or they melt the windows with their screaming.”
“Ouch, it’s going that well?” Se7en winced. “So then Yunho comes by his stubbornness through his parents.”
“Be cautious when speaking of Yunnie-ah.” The sweet beauty of Jae’s face chilled. “He is my lover.”
“Trust me, BooJae. That’s not something I’m likely to forget.”
“How are you and Minnie-ah doing?” Jae asked. “Better? Have you called him?”
“I’m waiting for him to call me,” Se7en replied. “I thought I’d ask him… silently … to chase after me for a while. Up to now, I’ve done all the chasing and look what it got me?” He held up his hand, a slight pink line marring his palm. “He can pick up the phone too.”
“He won’t. Not if you told him to give you time. He’s stubborn. He likes being right,” Jae said, inspecting the healed over cut. “And you can’t blame him for that. You did it to yourself. You might be able to blame Yunho for hitting you but I’m still not so sure on that one.”
“Hah,” He exhaled, leaning back in the char. “So if he won’t give in, what do I do? Crawl to him? So he gets used to throwing a tantrum and having me fix things over? I don’t want to end up like you and Yunho, circling around one another stabbing with pointed chopsticks and then kissing to make it better. Why not skip the chopsticks part and go straight to the kissing?”
“I’ve now decided Yunho was right in punching you,” Jae said with a nod. “He should have punched you twice. Just to be sure.”
“Now I know where Min gets his mean streak from,” Dong-Wook snorted. “I’m serious. What now? Do I crawl back to him? Or do I make him crawl to me?”
“No crawling,” Jae responded. An idea formed in his head and he passed a paper napkin over to Se7en. “Write down your flight information so I know when you’re coming home. We’re going to be here until late Wednesday. Sit down and write Min a letter about how you feel. If you can get it back to me before we leave, I can put it in his hands.”
“Do you think it will work?” Se7en frowned. “Really?”
“What have you got to lose?” Jaejoong shrugged. “At least you would have tried and Changmin will know how you feel. He’s been moping about you since you told him to get out. I think a letter from you would be like rain in a desert… assuming of course he’s not broken into your apartment and gutted your mattress. He does still have your key. If I were you, I’d change the locks if you don’t make up. Min has a very… inventive sense of revenge.”
The quiet of his hotel room echoed around him and Se7en lay on the couch, tapping a pen against the wire spiral of his notebook. Small balls of paper littered the floor, blue-lined white tumbleweeds caught in the light breeze coming from his open windows. Night hovered on the horizon and he still had nothing to show for his efforts other than a few ink stains on his fingers and a headache where Tae hit him with a racquet ball.
Sighing, he chewed on the end of the pen, wondering again what he could say to Changmin to make the younger man understand how he felt.
“Shit, this would be easier if I knew what I felt,” He grumbled, doodling in the margin of the sheet. “Or if I had a cat or fish or something so it didn’t look like I was talking to myself.”
Glancing at the silk plant he bought to replace the dieffenbachia he’d killed. So far his mother either hadn’t noticed that the housewarming gift she’d given him had been murdered or she was, more likely, refusing to comment for fear of offending him. Since his apartment was being painted, he brought the silk plant with him, hoping something from his own home would make him feel better. All it did was remind him that he couldn’t keep anything alive.
“Just be honest, Jaejoong said,” Se7en sighed. “Honest? Nothing about me is honest. I have a lover that doesn’t even call me by my name. Hell, I don’t even answer to my real name any more but maybe that’s where I should start.”
Uncapping the pen, he started to write.
By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be…actually I don’t where I’ll be. I don’t know where I am now. Well, I’m in the hotel but I couldn’t tell you which one to save my life.
Se7en debated looking at the room service menu for the hotel name but discarded the idea. “He doesn’t care where you are. Just tell him what you’re thinking. God, this would be easier if you just called him. And now I’m talking to myself like he does. They’re right. Spend enough time around someone and you start doing the same crazy things they do. Okay, calling…”
I thought about calling you. God, I think about calling you every day and night. I miss hearing you. I miss having you in my day. And I miss having you in my life. Right now is the hardest time for me because I know we both needed to think about what we said and how we said it. We hurt one another. And no one can hurt like someone you love.
I’m not a very good writer. If it’s not lyrics then most of the time, I text everything. But I thought instead of a phone call that would make me want to be near you, I should write you a letter to tell you why I want to be near you. I don’t think you understand that about me.
So here goes. Don’t laugh.
His fingers trembled as he wrote. He’d scribbled down the words so often when writing songs. They’d become nothing more than a refrain or a chorus, something to emphasis a phrase or jerk at the heartstrings of his fans. When written to someone, the letters took on a different meaning, stabbing at him until his heart bled from the open wounds left by Min’s anger. Swallowing the lump in his throat, Se7en continued.
I love you. That’s the first thing I need to remind you. I loved you before I wondered if I’m in love with you. You make me think about how to feel. You make me wonder what is out there in the world that I’ve not seen. And you bring to me a view of the people and things around me that I’ve not even considered. I’ve spent a lot of my life being Se7en and sometimes I forget that I’m also Dong-Wook. I don’t even know who that is anymore. And you’ve made me realize that I should know who I am.
God, he thought, isn’t that true? You’ve made me… Choi Dong-Wook again, Minku. I even introduced myself to Yunho’s sister that way today. Without even thinking about it, I was Choi Dong-Wook.
How weird is that?
God you make me ache. You do. I see you and I want to crawl up inside of you and stay. Not just sexually because I want to do that too but because I want to see the world through your eyes. It’s so different from what I see. It’s like you have a prism that you peer through and everything is more brilliantly coloured. I like seeing the world that way.
“I miss your rainbow dreams, baby,” Se7en murmured. “Damn, how I miss your dreams.”
Without you, my world is grey and bleak.
That’s how I first knew I was falling in love with you. Not because you make me laugh or because I like the blush you get when I embarrass you. It was because when I’m not with you, I still can see the colours you’ve left behind in my eyes.
Resolved to risk everything, Se7en took a breath and continued, committing himself to one last chance with Changmin. If the young man was willing to have him, he’d try again. His heart was already fractured. It could stand to wait a few more days before being fully broken.
I’m coming back in a few days. On Friday afternoon, I think. I don’t know what condition I’ll be in when I get back because I’m dead tired now and I still have a few more days of this crap to go through. But it’s important crap. That’s another thing I like about you. You understand what I go through because you go through it yourself.
If we decide to do this thing, because we keep calling it a thing, we’re going to have to work to regain the trust in each other. I know this. I’m willing to do this. I hope you are too.
I’ll leave my cell phone on Friday night. If you want to call. I’m leaving this up to you, Minku. Because I promised I would let you decide how fast we move. I’m still here if you want me.
He stared at the page, wondering how to finish it then thought of the last time he’d seen the young man and the want that flared in him even as his anger set his thoughts on fire.
Love you. Even when you piss me the fuck off, I love you.
He left the letter as it was, doodles in the margins and splatters where the ink ran from the pen’s leaking ball. Blowing the paper dry, he folded it then slid it into a envelope, including pictures of himself in Hong Kong when Tae joined him. His face smiled back at him, cheeks puffed out with food but his eyes were forlorn, saddened by the lack of a certain Minku in his life.
Sealing the envelope, Se7en kissed the flap, sending his love to Changmin one final time before turning his attention back to the love song he’d left unfinished, its tragic words suddenly too painful to bear.