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.
It was Jung who carried the sleeping Ji to the car, her face slightly smeared with the remains of her dinner and her hand still clutching the bright pink elephant Jaejoong bought her at the gift shop. It dangled by its trunk, making squeaking noises as her fingers tightened on her toy when her mother tried to put it away. The driver smiled as he held the door open for Jung, nodding to Yunho’s mother as he said he had a blanket in the back they could use to cover Ji for the ride home.
Yunho kissed his mother goodbye, her cheek still as soft as when he was a child. She wrinkled her nose at him, having to crane her neck back to stare up into his handsome face. Cupping his cheeks, she held Yunho’s face, staring at her only son as if to memorize every centimetre of his skin and every lash.
“You will call me, yes?” She asked, giving her son a hug before letting him go.
“Are you okay? With this?” Yunho glanced at his father, looking meaningfully back at his mother.
“It will be difficult but we will try,” She murmured, patting her son’s shirt and straightening his lapel. “I have to try. I do love him, Yunho. It is hard to love someone who only thinks of himself and the world he wants. Keep that in mind when you are loving your Jaejoong.”
“I will,” Yunho promised. He walked his mother to the car, helping her in.
His father stood to the side, discreet and shadowed as he paid the driver for his wife’s ride. A last bit of conversation through the open door and he closed it softly, tapping the roof to let the driver know it was time to leave. Stepping back, he watched the car wind down the road, its red lights disappearing around the bend. In a moment, his family was gone… except for the young man standing behind him.
Turning, Jung faced Yunho. With his hands in his slacks pockets, the singer looked older, more mature than the little boy who’d left the Jung household only a few years ago. Small things changed; things that Jung wished he’d been able to give his son. The jut of his tooth was gone, a small enamel imperfection that lifted his smile and Jung realized he missed the crooked grin of a certain little boy who’d run from the house when he came home. The suit Jung wore now could have paid to fix the crooked smile but the timing was too late. His fortunes reversed too late for his son.
But it didn’t take away the memory of his sweet little boy who stood in front of him as a man.
Behind Yunho stood another man, slender and androgynous. From what Jung could see, he was a cold beauty, unmoved and untouched by the family he’d torn apart when he seduced Yunho. Then something shifted and the ice cracked to release a blazing star-streaked sweetness.
It was a brightness to behold when he’d come across of Jaejoong telling silly stories to his daughter. Ji’s face was wrinkled with laughter, her smile nearly wide enough to touch her ears. If possible, her grin grew even bigger when she saw him, squealing with an open-hearted glee as she ran up to her father. Jung couldn’t help but remember the same wild, flailing run of his son when his daughter zipped around tables to launch herself at him.
His cheek still was warm where she kissed it and declared herself; ‘delighted to see him’.
His gut was still cold where his son’s words settled before he’d steeled himself to find Yunho’s room and apologize.
As things stood, Jung had one thing left to do, and he wasn’t certain he was up to the task.
“Do you have time for a drink?” Jung asked as he approached Yunho. “I am certain they would hold a table open for us if we require it.”
“Joongie-ah?” Yunho glanced at his lover standing a foot or so away. “Do you mind if…”
“Actually, Yunho,” Jung cleared his throat. “I’d like Jaejoong to join us.”
Yunho choked on his breath, catching his tongue on his palate. Jaejoong’s surprise was smoother but no less abrupt. Frozen with surprise, he nearly didn’t see the car easing into the loading zone until the driver tapped patiently on the horn, waving in apology for Jaejoong to move. Bowing deeply for delaying the man, Jaejoong stepped onto the curb, speechless when Yunho tugged on his arm. Recovering the younger man smiled at his father, guiding Jaejoong towards the door with a gentle push.
“We’d love to join you, Father,” Yunho said, his formal tone distinct and proper as he accepted the man’s offer. “Please, after you, Jaejoong.”
They were led into a smaller alcove set away from the now bustling bar, intimate and shrouded by plates of glass and ferns. A white cloth covered the table and three chairs were arranged equally around it. Yunho hooked his fingers into the back support of one, sliding it closer towards another. Sitting down, Yunho draped his arm around the chair next to him, cradling Jae’s shoulders.
Jung paused, frozen by the image of his son and his lover. There was no mistaking their relationship. They sat as lovers did, the intimacy of their movements not blunted by the space separating them. Strong and masculine, the men were… beautiful. It was the only word that Jung could use, the only one that came to mind. Elegant, refined and worldly, they seemed to be different people from the young boys he’d seen perform only a few years ago.
Their obvious love and affection made him feel small… and mourn the love he might have lost with his words and actions.
“I’m glad you could join me,” Jung said, settling into his seat.
A waiter came by, one of the faceless, white-shirted men the hotel employed to be silent but Jung couldn’t help notice the young man’s glances towards the young men across of him. The man’s eyes lingered on Jaejoong’s face and Jung searched his expression for any overt sign of sexual interest, wondering if the men realized the overt eroticism of their display.
He was shocked to discover he could find nothing other than a placid interest, possibly recognition of a pair of famous singers and he leaned back, re-evaluating his thoughts.
Am I seeing things that aren’t there? Jung asked himself. Am I creating something out of air? Have I been wrong in this? Can I trust them to be… careful?
“You look thin as well, Kim Jaejoong,” He said, studying the slender man. “Are you and Yunho both dieting?”
“No,” Jae replied, shaking his head. “I’ve not… felt very hungry of late but it’s getting better.”
“Good. Good,” The older man said. “Maybe you two should get something to eat? Did you have enough at dinner? I know Ji kept you talking. You couldn’t have gotten enough in you.”
“Now you sound like Umma,” Yunho laughed, picking up the menu. Glancing through the drink list, he ordered a Tsing Tao and jjinmandu. Jaejoong repeated the order, swapping out the dumplings for pajeon, asking for the green onion pancake to be made extra spicy. Passing the menus to the waiter, he leaned over to whisper something in Jae’s ear as Jung asked for a dark stout.
Jaejoong’s unaffected laughter brought a smile to Yunho’s face and the young man reached for the glass of water in front of him, taking a long sip. He met his father’s gaze with a cocked eyebrow, as if to ask Jung if something was troubling him but the older man looked away, answering the waiter when the man asked if they wanted panchan.
Jung sat quiet as their server left, humbled in his own thoughts. Leaning forward in his chair, Yunho set his glass down on the table, waiting for his father to say something… anything to break the crackling silence between them.
“I needed… I find I need to apologize to Kim Jaejoong,” Jung said softly, his tone formal and direct. Glancing first at his son and then at Jae, he bowed his head briefly, his back tight as he moved. “I have… damned you as a pervert and something… my son should not allow to touch him. I am sorry I have said those words to him.”
Jae contemplated the table, turning his water glass around until the condensation soaked a thick ring into the cloth. Exhaling the breath he felt he’d been holding in since Yunho’s mother left, he replied softly, “I understand how… you feel. How you’re thinking. It’s never been my intention to shame your family by… bringing our friendship out in the open.”
“My son is not a man to hide how he feels about someone,” Jung replied. “I know my son. He will want to tell the world that he loves you and damn the consequences to himself or his family.”
Yunho started forward but Jae’s hand on his chest kept him back. Turning again to the older man, Jae nodded. “I know. I’ve asked him to keep our… relationship to ourselves. It is no one’s business who I love and there are people who would harm your family, either with words or actions.”
“You’re wrong, Jaejoong,” Yunho protested. “People…”
“Have you forgotten the incident with your water bottle?” Jae’s sad smile touched Yunho’s heart. “People… do strange things sometimes, Yunnie-ah. I can’t risk you or your family because I love you.”
Hearing the young man speak those words… so openly and unabashedly… startled Jung and he looked around wildly, searching to see if anyone nearby heard those damning words but the world continued on its way. Waiters continued to serve other tables and conversations rose and fell, a waterfall of sound trapped inside of the bar’s glass-lined walls.
“No one is going to stone us where we sit, Father,” Yunho said softly. “No one heard Jaejoong but yes, I wish they had.”
Under the table, the young man caught Jae’s hand in his, holding him tightly as if the moon would steal him away. They exchanged a glance, heavy with intent and promise and Jung’s heart ached at the longing in his son’s face. If he could, he would have erased every ounce of pain from Yunho’s life. It was the love of a father for his son and by extension, the hurt echoed in Jae’s eyes stung nearly as deep.
“We can’t live… as I’d like to live,” Yunho remarked casually, keeping his voice low when the waiter appeared with their drinks and food. Thanking the man, Yunho tasted his beer, rolling the clean brew over his tongue. The waiter left and he continued, “The only reason I’m… not openly loving Jaejoong is because he’s asked me… to live behind a curtain. And Father, it is a thick, black curtain that hurts every time I touch it.”
“I don’t want that kind of pain for you,” Jung said. “I also don’t want… I don’t want the world to look at you and see… something…”
Jaejoong looked away, unable to bear what Jung might say next. Yunho frowned, his mouth a straight taut line and he cocked his head in warning. “Be careful, Father.”
“Yunho, I need… your patience,” Jung responded.
Jae’s eyes glittered, capturing the city’s lights in his tears and Yunho squeezed his hand tighter as if his touch could anchor the young man in their own reality, a world where they could hold hands above the table and no one would blink an eye. Hidden behind the white cloth, Jaejoong tightened his grip in return, hugging what little part of Yunho he could touch, holding his lover as intimately as he dared.
“I know,” Yunho hissed, turning his head away from the window.
He couldn’t stand to see Jaejoong’s reflection mirrored back at him. He knew what shimmered in his lover’s eyes — past beatings, blood splatters on tiled floor, the creak of bones scraping broken ends together, the sharp pain of a heart shattering with hateful words flung at him by someone he expected to love him forever — all of those things were there, and sadly for the both, Yunho had a part in all of those things and more.
“I just need you to understand that we love one another.” Stroking Jae’s wrist with his thumb, Yunho swallowed and whispered across of the table, a stone rounded under the rushing water around them. “I love you as well and I never… wanted you to… I never wanted to turn my back on you, Father. Jaejoong… has always said that I should love you…honour you.”
Jung stammered, flustered by the rush of emotions in his chest. “I don’t know what to say to that, Yunho.”
Jae kept staring out of the window. He couldn’t trust himself to look at the men at the table. It was too painful to see, a drop of time caught in amber that would either solidify into a priceless, memorable gem or ooze away in a roll of sticky filth. The moment was too precious and one he himself lost long ago.
“You can say that he is your son and tell him you love him, Mr. Jung,” Jae murmured, his gaze still on the cityscape outside. “He loves you very much, Mr. Jung and is the man he is because you are his father. I can admit that because any man who raised Yunho strong enough to love me deserves my respect.”