Rating: Overall NC-17. This section HAS some angst.
Whiskey in the Jar-o sung by: ranalore.
Summary: The beginning of a shifting relationship. Hot Korean boys. Sex. Dancing and some angry words. Not necessarily in that order. Not necessarily in each section.
One; Two; Three; Four; Five; Six;Seven; Eight; Nine; Ten; Eleven; Twelve; Thirteen; Fourteen; Fifteen; Sixteen; Seventeen; Eighteen; Nineteen; Twenty; Twenty-One; Twenty-Two
Cloves numbed the flat of Yunho’s tongue, the orange spiced chai latte he’d ordered from the hotel bar chilling under the air vents he sat under. Rain splattered the long windows of the booth, the hotel’s view overlooking the park. Twinkling lights in the distance spoke of lives carrying on in the darkness of the night, lives untouched by the drama of his own emotions.
The conversation hadn’t gone as well as he’d hoped, his stomach churning with the oils of displeasure cast at his being, set afire by his father’s anger. It was nearly too much to bear, the look of disappointment in the man who guided him through his life, a staunch supporter of his son’s existence.
He’d known it would be difficult, sharing his love for Jaejoong aloud. Yunho felt as if he could just explain what he felt and they would see the beauty of it...share his affections for the mercurial, feral singer. Jaejoong had warned him of speaking out...of explaining that his heart now belonged to another male.
Jaejoong, in his churning, oddly-canted chaos, had been right. Yunho’s world now lay in shards at his feet.
It was easier to meet in the hotel room, a sitting area set aside for an intimate lunch, away from prying eyes and a less formal affair. His mother embraced him, rattling the joints of his shoulder as Yunho returned the hug, her head barely tucking under his chin. A gruff slap on his shoulder was all the greeting Jung gave him, a manly acknowledgement of pride and taciturn approval.
The food lay on the table, as cold as his chai latte, if not icier from the chill settling down on the Jungs arranged around the wooden surface. Seated more traditionally on the floor, Yunho jerked his head aside as bowls clattered under the power of his father’s fist striking the table, a sheet brute display of force. Words were a dangerous thing. They ate away at foundations once thought solid and shored up hearts that were broken from years of abuse. In his ignorance...in his denial of reality, Yunho finally saw a glimmer of the dark world that suckled Jaejoong’s soul, a contempt for someone who wanted nothing more than to be held by another who cared.
“You would dig my grave for me before I am dead?!” The shout of his father’s voice rattled in Yunho’s eardrums, a booming bass cacophony seemingly sonic in its reverberation. Standing, the man pushed away from the table, a statue of ire looming above him. Across the table, his mother sat silent, her hands clutched tight around a napkin, her face a still pasty slab unable to break through the shock of her heart.
“If I wanted another daughter, we would have had one!” Yunho fell back, his father’s open handed slap rocking him back, the sting more emotional than physical. His mother gasped, her hands reaching for her only son, sliding around the table and covering his chest with her body, one palm raised to ward off any further blows. “I laid my life out for you and this is how you repay me? Clutching some rent-boy in the middle of the night? We have stood by you for so long ….given you so much and this… this is what you give back as a dutiful son?”
“It’s alright, Momma.” Yunho straightened, curving his arm around his mother’s shoulders. Her tears finally came, the red splotch of his father’s anger growing hot on his cheek. “I’m alright.”
“It must be some mistake, oppa.” His mother’s voice entreated softly to her husband, a whispering prayer that her son had merely turned his head towards the wrong direction, something easily corrected with enough love. “Yunnie...he just is a bit confused. They are all packed in together so tightly. There is no one they see each day but each other. It would be natural for him to confound things in his heart.”
“Confused? Of course he is confused. There’s nothing of a man in that boy, Jaejoong.” Yunho’s father spat. “Is that what you are going to say…besides driving this horror into my heart?”
“Are you going to tell me that my son would not be taken in by some open-faced seduction? By some fey slut that wormed into his perversions, promised sex hot in whispered tones.” His father rounded the table, his face florid with emotion. “Tell me that whore...that catamite has turned your head! Tell me that, Jung Yunho! Tell your father that it was a mistake to have you in there with that filth. That he has dragged you into this and you have come to us to help you break free from the mess you’ve made.”
“Do not speak of Jaejoong like that.” Yunho found himself at his feet, his chest proud and challenging at the man he loved deep in his heart. Bits of his soul crackled under the pressing weight of disrespect, every ounce of his brain agitate at the violation of his core morals. To speak up against this man made him...unworthy of his father’s respect...of his mother’s love.
Not to speak up would disallow Jaejoong’s love. Yunho knew which side of his heart he would have to nurse in the night and he would not deny Jaejoong his place.
“Kim Jaejoong is not a catamite nor a whore.” The leader struggled to keep his voice even, not wanting to fall into his temper. His mother sat sobbing at his feet, a woman ruined by her only son’s confession of love. “I had hoped you would find happiness in knowing that I have learned to love someone as fully as I adore Jaejoong. It was my hope that you would see how my life has been enriched for having him in my life.”
“In your life? What do you know about living? How long have you lived?” His father spat, a rising temper now grown beyond control. “And how long until he has used you up and tossed you aside? Taken everything you have and then turns his back? What then?”
“I know you think now that this thing will last you forever but it won’t.” Jung paced, circling closer to his son, a sad expression on his face when he glanced down at his fallen wife. “Then what will happen to you? Everyone will know that you...have done that with him...will know what you’ve done to your family. How will we ever face anyone else with that stain on our family?”
“There is no stain.” Yunho’s anger hardened to a cold lump in his throat.
“No? You don’t think so?” His father pressed closer, nearly bumping Yunho in the chest with a pointed finger. “This Kim boy...this sodomite has you turned around until you no longer see clearly. You are turning your back on everything that we have taught you.”
“Yunho, you can’t think that what you are doing is right. Everything in our society tells you that even being with that boy is wrong.” His father’s anger continued to roll, gravel rubbed down into fresh wounds. “You know it’s a sin... you know that it is nothing but filth on your soul and yet you stand there and say that you are in love. That there is no stain on our honour or on your soul.”
There was a storm outside of the windows, a breaking sheet of rain pounding on unfeeling glass. The depth of Yunho’s pain filled in sympathy for the tempest, torrents washing against the unyielding wall. His mother’s tears puddled down the slack of her face, anguish under her love for her only son. Yunho’s hand found her head, a comforting brush of fingers through her coarse, processed hair, so different from the silken tresses he’d found tangled in his hands when he woke that morning.
“The only thing I know for sure is that it’s not wrong. Yes, he’s a sin but not because how I feel about him but because I can’t get enough of him. Because of him, I am a glutton, never full because I am always hungry for him.” Yunho grabbed at his father’s wrist, stopping the man from striking at his face again. “I won’t stand here and be hit because of who I love. Kim Jaejoong would be someone I cherished, no matter what shell he was born into. I won’t allow you to strip me of that.”
“You won’t allow?!” A sputter of anger followed his father’s outrage. “You know nothing about what should be allowed or not. You stand there so proud of what you think you’ve accomplished but in a few years when there is nothing left of your stardom or when your lover searches out someone who can take care of him, where will you stand then? Do you expect me to take you back into the family after you have spat in our face, so proud you are protecting a wastrel?”
“When you are ready to go home, I will be waiting for you.” Jung turned coldly, speaking to his wife in slow measured tones, his back stiff towards his son. “We won’t be staying any longer here. I will not have this in my house. I will not have a son who would show this much disrespect and hatred to our family...to you.”
Yunho left it there, slipping out of the room after giving his mother a final kiss on the temple... a solemn farewell accompanied by her tearful sobs. He could give her nothing now, nothing that would comfort her. A choice had been made...a choice made easier by the intolerance of his father’s anger and the silent reproach in his mother’s eyes.
The barely touched chai soon became a tumbler of whiskey, a long draught of potent amber poured over clear ice. Yunho played with the cut glass, watching the segmented crystal refract the liquid’s clarity, a dapple of gold on the bleached wood table. People milled about, tucked safely away from the cold rain drenching the city streets. He’d sat there only for an hour or so, perhaps longer...Yunho lost the telling of time in the nothingness he had left of his heart.
The sip of whiskey on his throat burned, harsher than over-boiled tea. It seared through the pain left from his father’s words...the anguish of seeing the tears on his mother’s face. Ashen grief clotted on his tongue, Yunho’s attention drawn to the reflection of himself in the glass. He saw mostly his mother in his face, a woman torn apart by her love for her son and the fierce obligation to her family. His father’s gift had been an unwavering stubbornness and a temper that could sear away the most firm of arguments. This clash had been titanic, a final blow to their already turbulent relationship.
“Yunho.” His mother’s voice reached him through his haze, a gentle reminder of her quiet soul. Touching his arm, she slid into the chair next to him, looking sorrowful at the half-empty tumbler cupped in his hand. “Please, reconsider this.”
“There’s nothing to reconsider, Momma.” Yunho sipped at the whiskey again, more as an act of defiance than wanting the bitter taste of alcohol in him. The warm hush in his stomach accompanied the sourness his father left behind. “Kim Jaejoong is who I want.”
“Hear me out.” The older woman grabbed at his arm, fingers biting down desperately into the weave of his jacket. “Can you give me that?”
Yunho turned in his chair, more out of respect for his mother than anything else. She pulled in closer, her eyes glancing around, hoping for a small modicum of privacy for this most volatile of conversations.
“You need to think about what this is doing to our family…what it will do to your father.” Her beseeching look broke a chink from Yunho’s steeled heart. He denied her nothing, would sooner break his own bones than hurt this woman who held him during his sleepless nights or guided him over the pains of his heartbreaks. “You’ve never loved another… “
Her voice trailed off, as if speaking it aloud would somehow make her son’s love of Jaejoong more real… something she wouldn’t be able to turn her head from and ignore. The ravages of the day gritted pain into the grooves besides her mouth, a spiritual dirt the woman feared would never come clean from her own flesh.
“How can you say you love… Kim when you’ve not really loved anyone before?” Yunho closed his eyes, trying not to see his mother’s torment. In her mind, her words struck hard, a telling blow to her argument. Continuing, she reached out once again for her son to place reason in his heart. “What happens when this relationship falls apart? What then? Would you turn your back on your family merely for a moment of forbidden pleasure?”
“It’s not like that.” His eyes stung, unshed tears held back by his pride. “He confuses me not because he lures me in but because I want to spend my time unwrapping who he is, exploring the chaos that he has in him and celebrating the joy he brings to everyone around him. We’re not perfect. I drive him insane because I’m exacting. He makes me mad because he is unpredictable…and I can’t control what he does. But part of me doesn’t want to. That part of me that wishes I were as free as he is.”
“When I first met Jaejoong, I thought he was cold and untouched by emotion.” Yunho explained carefully, trying to show his mother through words, the man he grew to love. “His life hasn’t been easy and yet he struggles to overcome everything that is put in his way. The sheer power of that ambition…the force of his will is so strong and yet inside… there is a broken little boy that is unloved because of who he is.”
“Joongie-ah thinks… sideways.” The leader searched his mind for what he seemed to be finding out day to day. “What comes easy to us…the talking to people and how to interact is difficult for him because his mind sees the world through a fractured stained glass window. Much more beautiful than anything I can ever imagine and I wonder how he even sees the world through it because of the sheer glut of colours. But he does…and he shows me how beautiful it can be if I just try hard enough…if I just take the time to look up and watch the world though his eyes.”
“He is a boy, Yunho.” Once more his mother reached out, her soft hand on his face, touching the spot where his father struck him. “You shouldn’t love another boy. It’s just not right.”
“The funny thing is, Jaejoong told me not to tell you. He said that my family wouldn’t understand and that I would be cast out, like he was.” Yunho spoke softly, recalling the torment he saw in his lover’s eyes when he spoke of his family torn from him because of who he was attracted to. “He would rather I live in a lie…he would rather be hidden in the shadows rather than have me lose you and Father.”
“I find it ironic, Momma, that the person whom everyone condemns as filth, would rather I hide who I love so I don’t hurt the people who taught me never to live a lie. And yet these people who taught me to love… you and Father… attack Jaejoong as below contempt.” Yunho stuck his finger in the liquor, swirling the ice around before licking the digit clean. “Everyone seems so intent on me lying. Jaejoong’s lie is so I won’t hurt you. Your lie is so you aren’t hurt…regardless of my own pain or my loss. Tell me, Momma…who loves me more then?”
“His love isn’t real, Yunho.” His mother whispered, the rain a hushed drizzle next to her tears. “You are going to destroy your life for something that isn’t real.”
“Momma,” Yunho cut her off, begging forgiveness for his rudeness with a curt bow of his head. “I need you to understand how I feel.”
“Right now we have to hide how we love…Jaejoong and I…but some day when we are older, I have faith that I will be able to take him someplace safe and warm when he can be as open as he wants to be…as I need to be.” The singer’s eyes grew distant, thinking of stretches of white sand and the promise of sanctuary. “I don’t know where that will be but if it’s not here…then I am sorry…but I will still love you and I will always love you.”
“But please know that we are going to spend our years laughing…and sometimes fighting because he drives me to distraction and he makes me angrier than anyone else I know…even more so than Father.” Yunho chuckled at that truth, a stinging retort of how deep he adored the wild-spirited singer. “We are going to see the world and taste things that neither one of us ever dreamed of tasting. Perhaps even hold hands in Paris and just watch the fireworks over the skyline. But we will do that together.”
“And then, Momma, there will come a day, when we…Jaejoong and I… are wrinkled and old.” Yunho placed his hands over his mother’s, holding her warmth against the chill of his soul. “We are going to be yelling at one another and then kissing for apologies until one morning, one of us will wake to find the other sleeping in death, cold and hard besides him. The one that is left…he will have to go on until death kisses his lips.”
Yunho’s voice cracked, his pain at that far off day vivid in his heart. “I can only pray … and I pray hard, Momma, that Jaejoong is the one that wakes up on that morning. Because I am more selfish than I ever imagined I could be. Because I am not strong enough to live without him. He can go on…he can wait until that forever but I don’t want to face that morning. I will if it means I wake up countless mornings with him warm next to me but I am man enough to say that I hope I slip on first.”
Wiping his mother’s hot tears from her face, Yunho finally shed some of his own, a trail of silver smelted in the truth of his beliefs. “I love him, Momma. Past death, I will love him.”
“If that is how you feel, Yunho..” A press of her mouth left a painful final kiss on his forehead. Standing, she stroked his hair, gathering up her emotions and tucking them away. “I will love you. You will always be my son but your father… he will not have you in his house. He sent me to tell you that.”
“He should have been strong enough to tell me that himself.” Yunho stood, offering her courtesy amid the pain. “The man who raised me…the one I thought raised me…would have given me at least that.”
“He is a proud man…like you are.” Her response was soft, hardened only by the words she spoke. “He wanted me to tell you that you should forsake the Jung name…take the name of the Kim boy you love so much but I know he speaks in anger…because you’ve hurt him so much. Give him time, Yunho. He will come around to this.”
“But you are not welcome in our house.” His mother stopped, her face a silhouette he would have to keep in his memories until Yunho saw her again. “What you are doing…who you are loving…is wrong. Kim Jaejoong will do nothing but hurt you. Your father knows that. I know that. But I will be there for you when that day comes. Your father will forgive you then …if you come to us with a contrite heart.”
“My parents would never forsake me.” Yunho whispered. “They taught me how to love…they showed me that nothing I wanted was out of my reach. When those parents return, let me know. But I will not come crawling, Momma. I won’t and I can’t. And when you do come around, you will have to acknowledge Jaejoong beside me…if you want me in your life… you will have to take Jaejoong as well. He is my love. And my heart.”
“I will always love you too.” The young man pressed the palm of his hand on the table, hoping to feel something inside of him as he tore away the foundation of his life. “But I cannot live for you. I will live and love for Jaejoong. And he for me. I hope you find it in you to see that. If not, then this is goodbye.”