Les Beaux Hommes En Amour
Overall Rating: NC-17 (probably)
NOT SMM Universe / Length: Maybe a two-shot. Three at the most
Prompted by: thepuppeteer
Summary: A younger man in love and hopes for more. An older man who dares not hope for love but finds it anyway.
He doesn’t see me, Changmin thought as he stared at the dancer working through a complex piece of choreography on the sweat-dappled floor. He doesn’t see me at all.
There were prettier men in the world. Min knew them. He sang and danced alongside of them every day but there was something about Yunho that made him ache inside. A deep, dark inside place that curled up warm and throbbed when the older man came near him.
It confused him as much as it thrilled him.
And devastated him when the man smiled past him.
Changmin knew he wasn’t in competition with Kim Jaejoong. For all their friendship and closeness, the singer was too wild for their leader to love. Too stubborn and gutter-born, Jaejoong was difficult to understand and even harder to love despite the warmth of his heart. Yunho was fond of the man but love was another matter.
He’d seen Yunho coming into their apartment after a late night out. Smelling of cigarette smoke, whiskey and musk, Min suspected the older man of things that made his stomach tighten and the curious feeling in his groin spread under his skin until his heart pounded with excitement.
Changmin needed to know why his body responded and ached when Yunho was nearby but more importantly, he wanted to know what to do to quench it.
If quenching was even possible.
A drop of sweat followed the line of Yunho’s face, coursing down his cheek and trembling at the edge of his jaw. It fell, landing on Yunho’s bared shoulder and Changmin looked away, swallowing at the lump growing in his throat. His sweat pants were tight against his crotch and Min tugged at the fleece, trying to gain some relief from the pressure of his sex against the pants’ seam.
“Yoochun-ah owes me ten thousand won,” Jaejoong whispered into Min’s ear. “I told him that you wanted Yunho.”
Changmin sputtered and he twisted around, shoving the older man back out the studio door. Yunho and Junsu glanced at the disturbance but continued with their choreography, used to the others’ physical fracases. Slamming the door behind him, Min stared down at Jaejoong, trying to use his height to intimidate the singer. Shame-faced and angry, Changmin flushed further when Jae tossed his head back and laughed.
“Do you want to die?!” Min looked around, satisfied no one was nearby. “There’s nothing. I’m… there’s nothing…just shut up!”
Jae easily evaded Min’s punch, catching the younger man’s fist in his hand. Gripping Min’s fingers tightly, he said, “If you can’t be honest with yourself, how do you expect anyone else to be?”
“I…” Changmin closed his eyes, counting softly to himself. When he opened his eyes, Jaejoong was still standing in front of him, watching Min as if he were a treat. Sighing, Min asked, “What do you want to keep quiet?”
“Nothing.” Jae cocked his head, studying the younger man.
Their youngest was tense, more so than usual. Secretly, Jaejoong believed the Shim family for all its wealth and position were too inbred; leaving Min high-strung and temperamental. Noting the young man’s fists clenched tightly at his side, Jaejoong amended his beliefs to include violent as well.
“Don’t tell him. Please, hyung.” He gripped Jae’s shirt, wrapping his fingers in the damp fabric. “Please.”
“I wouldn’t do that to you, Min-ah,” Jae reassured him, putting his hands on Min’s slender wrists.
“God, I wish I could believe you.” Min let go of Jaejoong and slid down the hallway wall, slumped over his pulled up knees. Rubbing his face, he exhaled hard, fear and anguish knotting his belly.
“Have I ever lied to you, dongsaeng?” Jae hunkered down, tilting his head to stare into Min’s nearly hidden eyes. “Have I ever hurt you like that?”
“No…” Min shook his head and mumbled. “I’m sorry. I just… it’s nothing. I was thinking of something and got excited. It’s really nothing.”
Jaejoong pondered the quiver in Min’s voice for a moment then held his hand out. “Come. You and I are going to talk.”
The studio’s rooftop was a barren stretch of gravel covered tar paper that stank of fish in the hot summer months. During the winter, Seoul’s icy winds sliced down to the bone and standing on the rooftop without a heavy coat was inviting pneumonia… except inside of a small freestanding shack tucked behind the building’s enormous venting system.
Built to store janitorial supplies until the impracticality of fighting the elements for a mop led the staff to abandon the shack. Some time later, an enterprising soul stacked what little remained of the cleaning equipment into a corner and somehow maneuvered a pair of futon couches into the one-room shelter. Black-out paint and foil on the windows kept the enclosure warm during the winter and leaving the door open during the summer brought in cold air escaping from the air conditioner.
Changmin knew Yoochun and Jaejoong often snuck up to the roof to smoke cigarettes and talk. He’d heard Junsu whisper they sometimes drank there too but he’d never seen either of the members come back downstairs inebriated. Although, Min thought, he’d been spending his time mooning over Yunho and hadn’t been paying much attention to what the other two were up to. For all he knew, they’d come downstairs reeking of soju and wearing school girl uniforms and he hadn’t noticed.
A twist of the padlock’s dials and Jaejoong had the door open. Motioning for the younger man to follow him, he disappeared into the shack. Glancing about, Min stood at the threshold and stared into the dim interior beyond. While not as virginally pure as Junsu, he’d always prided himself on being moral and upright. Somehow entering into the den of the group’s soulmates seemed like crossing into a circle of hell and Min wasn’t certain he was ready to condemn himself merely because the sight of Yunho made his sex ache and throb.
Jaejoong solved his dilemma by grabbing him by the collar and dragging Min inside then shutting the door behind them with a solid bang.
A yank on a piece of string dangling from the ceiling turned on a single bare light bulb. Jaejoong ducked his head as he passed the swinging bulb, digging for something in a box near the door. Waving Min over to sit down, he found what he was looking for, exclaiming in delight as he turned on the hot water spigot of the industrial sink taking up a corner of the shack.
Changmin eased himself down onto the futon, waiting for it to give way under his weight. The wooden frame creaked but held and a small dust plume rose to choke him as he took a breath. Waving off the grit, he coughed and Jaejoong glanced over his shoulder, his mouth pursed in worry at the younger man.
“Hold on, I’m making you some tea,” Jae said, pouring loose tea leaves and water into a decrepit looking electric tea pot. A flick of a switch and the pot burbled, heating the water up quickly. A minute later, Jae pressed a Styrofoam cup of steaming green tea into Min’s chilled hands. Making a cup for himself, he pulled off his shoes and sat cross-legged on the futon next to Min.
“I really don’t need to talk,” Min said, eyeing the tea suspiciously. A few kernels of brown popcorn rice floated on the surface and he bent forward to sniff at it. Known for having strange tastes in food, Jaejoong’s tea choices were often too adventurous for Min’s palate but the tea smelled normal and he took a sip, warming the icy feeling in his belly.
“I’ve known you for years,” Jae pointed out, leaning back into the futon. “I know when something’s bothering you. Well, something is always bothering you but I know when it’s something important.”
“Did anyone ever tell you to mind your own business?”
“Yes,” Jae replied, giving the younger man a sphinx-like smile. “And I ignored him too. Tell me when you decided you liked men.”
The sip of tea on Min’s tongue slid down wrong and he coughed, trying to get some air. Jaejoong set his cup aside and pounded on the man’s back, thumping him soundly until Min shoved him aside.
“I don’t want to talk to you,” Min said, standing up as he looked for a place to leave his cup. “And I really don’t want to talk to you about…”
“Sex,” Jae interjected.
“Yes, that.” Min turned and stared down at the older man, exasperated at Jaejoong’s cool, placid expression. The man’s hooded eyes didn’t help matters. It felt like Jaejoong could see right into him, scraping away at Min’s secrets until they lay as bare as the light bulb dangling above them. “I certainly do not want to talk to you about that.”
“If not me, then who?” Jae asked. “Who else do you know that you can ask about things you don’t know about?”
The truth of Jae’s words stung. Min stood with his back to the other man and sighed, thinking on the people in his life. Other than the members, he wasn’t close to anyone. He lacked Yunho’s powerful aura or Jaejoong’s artless charisma. Even Yoochun, for all his awkwardness and emotionalism, drew people to him and Junsu’s pure innocence was a fire people gathered around to warm themselves in. Looking at himself, Min had to admit to himself — there was no one else he could talk to about the feelings churning inside of him.
The futon creaked when he sat back down and he kept his head down so he didn’t have to see Jaejoong’s satisfied smile.
“I’m… serious, dongsaeng,” Jae implored. “I really just want to help you.”
“Telling you this… talking to you means…” Min agonized over his choice of words. “It means I have to trust you and I have… issues trusting you.”
“Because I’m Yunho’s best friend?”
“No, because you’re also Yoochun’s best friend and he can’t keep his mouth shut,” Min growled. “They going to have to sew his mouth shut when he’s dead so he doesn’t wake up everyone else buried around him. If I tell you, you tell him and then suddenly everyone knows… including Yunho.”
“I can promise not to tell him,” Jae offered.
“Not good enough.” He shook his head. “I need something in exchange.”
“You’re negotiating with me while I’m trying to offer you a shoulder to cry on?”
“I’m negotiating with you so I don’t have to kill you and Yoochun hyung,” Min countered. “Tell me something I don’t know about you. Something you don’t want anyone else to know.”
Changmin couldn’t imagine anything Jaejoong hadn’t told either of his best friends. The mercurial singer had no secrets. His entire life was lived under scrutiny and he often fled to Yunho or Yoochun to whisper naughty thoughts or to vent his anger. If Jaejoong had anything to share, it was a chewed over tidbit already known to the man he lusted after.
“I’ve paid for sex,” Jaejoong whispered. “For my first time.”
“What?” Changmin gaped at the older man. “You’re… Why would you have to pay for sex? You? How? Why?”
“Because I couldn’t trust anyone.” He shrugged, staring into his tea. “Because I couldn’t trust someone not to take advantage of me and exploit me. It seemed like the easiest way to… get rid of the not knowing. Now, I wish I’d waited for someone who loved me… who really wanted me… not some guy in Itaewon who…”
Jaejoong stood up and walked to the sink where the tea pot rested precariously on a thick piece of board wedged between the basin and the wall. Refilling the pot, he made himself busy as he talked, keeping his attention on the tea rather than the young man sitting on the futon behind him.
“I know you’re in love with Yunho,” Jaejoong said, ignoring Changmin’s shocked gasp. “I’ve watched you… watching him. Don’t bother denying it. I know what it’s like to be in love…to be in love with him.”
Jaejoong turned, grabbing his empty cup and Min caught a glitter of tears in the man’s dark eyes. He opened his mouth to protest or refute Jae’s accusation then the man’s words hit in, punching the air from his chest and stealing the thoughts from his mind.
“In love?” Min swallowed, closing his eyes tightly. The pain in his heart worsened, filling him until Min felt as if he would crack open from the pressure. “You? Were in love? With Yunho?”
“Before…before I knew any better. Before I found out he could never really love someone like me,” Jae said, easing back onto the futon. His eyes were hooded and unreadable, sharply wet with pain and tears. The tautness of his body made Min uncomfortable and the younger man wasn’t sure if he’d be allowed to touch Jaejoong much less hug some of the anguish away. “It’s okay, Min-ah. Really, it’s okay. Funny how sometimes things that are healed over hurt when looked at again. But we’re friends…good friends. I love him still but I am not in love with him.”
“Hyung,” Min whispered, sliding closer. “I didn’t… know…”
“There,” Jae said, smiling too brightly for Min’s comfort. “Now you know two things that no one else knows.”
“Jaejoong hyung...” Changmin didn’t know what to say. The brittleness in Jae’s voice kept him from reaching out to the older man. “Maybe we shouldn’t talk about this?”
“No, now is the best time to talk about this,” Jaejoong said. “You… you’re someone Yunho has been waiting for. Someone like you and I want to be the one who gives him that. Even if we… he and I… will never be together, I still want him to be happy. I want him to be loved.”
The city outside of Changmin’s window was quiet as if holding its breath and waiting for something to happen. Behind the pebbled glass and curtain, Min paced, barely cognizant of the stillness throughout the apartment. He’d spent the afternoon listening to Jaejoong and in turn, speaking softly of the rush of blood to his sex when Yunho touched him or whispered into his ear. The older man confirmed what Changmin suspected; none of the three were virgins and even worse, had tumbled with both sexes over the past few years.
“What the hell could he want with me?” Min turned and stared at himself in the full length mirror by his door. “Why would he want me when he’s had… could have had…”
He left the thought unfinished. If he looked too hard at what he was doing, he’d abandon his crazy plan and flee the apartment before Yunho could make it home.
Min was about to strip off the black jeans and tight Lycra shirt he’d put on when he heard the front door open and Yunho’s keys hit the kitchen counter.
“Hello?” Yunho called out. “Anyone home?”
“Just me.” Min yelled back. Grabbing the black leather jacket he’d gotten from Jaejoong, he made a show of slowly putting it on as he walked out into the living room.
The singer coaxed Changmin first into the outfit and then into agreeing to kohl eyeliner under his lashes. Jae’s skilled fingers tousled Min’s hair into a sexy fall over his forehead and cheekbones, slapping at Changmin’s hands when the young man fussed with the product laden fringe.
“Let it dry first,” Jae warned. “It’ll look better. Quit touching.”
“It itches,” Min complained. It was a lie. His head felt fine. It was his stomach that twisted up into a knot at the thought of Yunho seeing him dressed in sleek black denim and leather. “I look like an idiot. I can’t do this.”
“You can,” Jaejoong hissed with a shake of his head. “People do this to you every day. Do you think the Shim Changmin that stands next to me isn’t you? Would you feel more comfortable if I find you a deer costume? Perhaps you can seduce Yunho with a flick of your tail.”
“There are times when I hate you.” Min’s glare went unnoticed as Jaejoong grabbed him by the chin and held his face still.
“Don’t move,” Jaejoong growled as he brought the smudge stick up to Min’s eye. “I don’t want to have to explain why you look like Captain Harlock.”
“Who?” Min futilely tried to jerk his head back but Jae held him firmly.
“Just shut up,” Jaejoong ordered. “And don’t mess up your hair.”
His hair was the last thing Changmin was worried about as he felt Yunho’s gaze run hot over his body. He liked wearing black although he’d been told he looked like Samjogo. Hoping Yunho couldn’t see his fingers shaking as he adjusted the belt strung through his waistband. The leather jacket fell just short of his hips, revealing the long line of his legs. Bending down to adjust his jeans leg over his boot, Min’s heart skipped a beat when he caught Yunho eyeing his rear.
“Where are you going?” Yunho rasped. The man’s deep voice was thick with an emotion Min couldn’t name but felt ignite the fire in his sex.
“I was going to Club NB.” The basement club was one of Yunho’s favourites and more importantly, photography was expressly forbidden. He’d never been to the dance club but Jaejoong assured him his name — as well as the other members — were on the secret access list.
He’d practiced the soulful gaze in the mirror and looked up through his lashes, astonished at the response he got from Yunho in return. The man’s mouth opened, slightly slack and then his tongue flicked out, running slowly over his lower lip. The sheen on Yunho’s parted lips drove Changmin to swallow and turn slightly to hide his growing erection.
The growl that escaped Yunho’s lips sent a shiver down Min’s spine. “And what do you think you’re going to be doing there, Min-ah?”
“Dancing. Maybe a little soju,” Changmin replied, grabbing his keys from a hook. “Maybe… do a little grinding.”
“Grinding?” Incredulous, Yunho tilted his head back and stared Min down.
“Yeah.” Emboldened, Min smirked at the older man and shrugged, trying to keep up the teasing casual tone Jaejoong drilled into him. “Want to come with me? Maybe teach me to dance a little bit? Or…maybe find some place dark and we can do…other things? That is… if you can keep up, hyung. I know you’re probably getting too old for… fun.”
“Get a move on, dongsaeng.” Yunho’s growl grew more menacing as he stalked closer, grabbing Min’s keys from the younger man’s hands. Tossing them onto the counter, he grabbed his own and headed to the door. “Your hyung is going to show you a thing or two. And if you’re very lucky, you’ll be too sore to move, much less complain about it”