Chasing The Winter Moon ♥
Pairing: Moon Jae Shin / Goo Yong Ha (GeolRim fic, SKK fic)
Post Sungkyunkwan Scandal
Overall Rating: Probably NC-17
Requested by: hoshiko_malfoy
Lesson One, Two, Three, Four, Five
Summary: Following an epic scandal at their university, two master scholars search for their own meaning of love.
Crystalline flakes etched cold lines on Jae Shin’s face as he half walked, half stumbled besides Dae Min. Much of the city was deserted, the only sign of life appearing to be a dog sprinting across the street to burrow into a stable’s warmth and a young guard marking off the rounds for the district, a look of sullen misery clouding his cold-reddened face. The incoming weather thickened and the wind howled and raged at the men as they made their way through the falling snow.
The buildings grew further apart, richer in appearance and Jae Shin glanced around him, unsure of where he was. Predominantly middle class dwellings gave way to more elaborate structures and as they approached the river, walled compounds nearly hidden behind copses of pine and evergreen trees.
After a few minutes of hard walking, the drunken numbness of Jae Shin’s limbs leeched away, only to be replaced by the more alarming paralysis of cold seeping in. Turning about, Dae Min tugged him along and pointed towards the end of a road where a sloped up roof emerged from the white flurry, its tall posts rising up above the high wall surrounding the compound.
“There, hyung,” Dae Min said, pointing towards the heavy wooden gates nested into the walls. “We’ll get warm inside.”
A guard stood by the gate, nearly hidden inside a wide set-in alcove near the entrance, a large and menacing hulk of a man whose frown didn’t lighten even as he appeared to recognize Kim Dae Min. The gate’s clasp disappeared under his huge fist and its hinges creaked loudly as he pulled the door open, seemingly unhindered by the large amounts of snow blocking the gate’s progress.
Inside appeared to be a wealthy residence with several large buildings wrapped around a stone courtyard. Jae Shin glimpsed a garden through an iron gate to the right, guessing the estate ran all the way up to the river and to the side. Leafless trees bore up against the snow on their branches, their roots protected by the enormous round ceramic pots they were planted in. Dae Min shuffled Jae Shin forward, aiming for the largest of the buildings, a main residence hall nearly three stories tall and stretching the length of the main stone yard. The granite steps leading up to the entrance had been swept clean although the falling snow was beginning to gather in its crevices.
“What is this place?” Jae Shin chattered, not for the first time wishing he’d grabbed a heavier coat before he’d chosen to go out and get drunk to forget the man haunting his thoughts. “Where are we?”
“This is — for lack of a better word — a tea house purely for — gentlemen,” Dae Min whispered into his ear. “I wanted to bring you here before but… well, I wasn’t certain how you would feel but now, I think you need the comfort and safety of a place where no one will … see you. That’s a good way to put it.”
“See me? Why should I care if someone sees me?” He muttered, confused by the man’s cryptic words. The wind chose at that moment to slice down at him with cold-razor spurts and he clenched his jaw, refusing to let his clatter.
A gisaeng appeared at the top of the steps, a beautiful and graceful creature dressed more for entertainment than warmth. Despite the royal decree against extravagant wigging, she wore a complicated hair piece that defied the natural fall of a woman’s hair. Braided up into an elaborate chignon and studded with bits of jewelry, the wig framed out her delicate, triangular face, artfully made up by a skillful hand. The dark liner around her eyes was smudged slightly, drawing emphasis up to her doe-like gaze. The bright red of her mouth stood out against her pale skin, a complimentary contrast to the thick dark green jade rings on her fingers as she drew her hand up to her cheek and cried out for the men to hurry inside.
“I thought you said there were no women here?” Jae Shin hissed, grabbing at Dae Min’s arm.
The young scholar glanced up the stairs and smiled, a sly knowing look on his face. “I did, hyung. I did.”
Jae Shin waited for his body to wrack with nervousness and for the air in his stomach to fold him in two but the hiccups never came. Then the woman turned slightly and he could see the profile of her face and slender neck… a neck with a small ridge in its hollow.
“That’s… a man!” Jae Shin muttered into Dae Min’s ear.
Despite the welcome feel of Jae Shin’s mouth against his cheek, Dae Min hurried the other man up the stairs, giving the gisaeng the barest of nods. The faux-woman bowed, gathering up his skirts and led them through the entrance, ordering the young page sitting at the end of the hall to close the doors behind them.
“Have you come to seek… entertainment, my lord?” Even to Jae Shin’s acute hearing, the man sounded like a gisaeng, affecting the fluid vocal tones of a learned woman.
“It’s like a reverse Daemul,” He muttered, wondering if the drink had finally taken him over the edge into insanity. He’d seen other men pretending to be women, most notably the carnival performers acting out dramas but none with the skill and seemingly flawlessness of the gisaeng before him.
The warm air hit Jae Shin’s chest and he staggered back, the unexpected heat drawing the alcohol back up into his blood. The main hall spun about, whirling into a dizzying array of colours and textures and Jae Shin reached out, looking for something to steady himself with.
“A room first, Sun Hee,” Dae Min grabbed at Jae Shin’s waist before the man stumbled. “And some soju.”
“I don’t think I should drink any more,” Jae Shin mumbled. “I’m not even certain I should have drank anything in the first place.”
“Probably not. At least, not that.” Outwardly agreeable, Dae Min was secretly thrilled at the other man’s lingering inebriation. He’d feared the cold would sober Jae Shin up enough for the man to throw back up his emotional walls but the resuscitation of his drunken state by the warm air gave Dae Min delightful shivers.
“Here you are, oppa,” Sun Hee slid open a panel and hurried in, scrambling to light lanterns to illuminate the room.
“Heh, he called you oppa,” Jae Shin slurred. For some reason his feet seemed to be on the wrong legs and he kept trying to place them in the right order, only to find himself careening into Dae Min with every step. “What did I drink?”
“I don’t know but I’m thinking of buying up every bottle so only you can have it,” The man murmured under his breath.
A long mattress pad was seated into a smaller nook off of the main room, a thick pile of linens and pillows arranged both for comfort and aesthetics. Near the bed, a sunken fire pit lay ready for lighting, aromatic woods and spices piled up in its white stoneware bowl. The rest of the room contained open-faced cabinets sporadically with small statuary and short lines of red-paper bound books.
Dae Min slowly walked towards the alcove, shooting Sun Hee a warning glare when the gisaeng moved in to help. Keeping Jae Shin slung over his shoulder, Dae Min reveled in the feel of the man against his side. Begrudging the thick layers of clothing separating them, he resigned himself to be content with Jae Shin’s whiskered chin brushing over his cheek as they walked and the erotic feel of the man’s strong back muscles through Jae Shin’s jacket as they moving under his supporting hand.
“Yeorim has some of those,” Jae Shin gestured towards the books. “They’re…naughty.”
“They are.” Dae Min hid his grin. “And I’m sure if Yong Ha has copies of those, he’s probably never shown them to you.”
“Oh?” His foot hit the edge of the bed and he toppled into the linens, taking Dae Min down with him. “Why not? He shows me everything else. He can’t help but show me everything else. He’s like a little boy with new things to play with. Every time he gets something new, he brings it to me first.”
“There’s nothing wrong with a friend sharing his excitement,” Dae Min counted the seconds he could safely lay against Jae Shin’s warm torso and legs before he reluctantly moved, leaving the bed to beckon Sun Hee closer. Muttering under his breath, he said, “I would like to share my excitement with you. It’s been a thing I’ve wanted the most for a long time now.”
“Oppa…” He coyly ducked his head, the elaborate wig nearly obscuring his face and played to Dae Min’s master status.
“Don’t,” He shushed the man, cutting at the air with the flat of his hand. “No games tonight. What I want is your strongest brew, preferably hot. Something sweet. Actually a few somethings, preferably with apricot or oranges. Even apples if you have it. Then after you’ve brought me those things, I want you to shut the door behind you and make certain that no one comes down this hall. No one is to use any of the rooms next to this one. And unless the building is about to collapse upon us from fire, no one is to even knock on that door unless I come looking for someone. Understood?”
“Yes, my lord,” Sun Hee gathered up his skirts, exposing a trim, bare ankle. “I will see to it.”
“Good,” Dae Min grunted then reached out, grabbing Sun Hee’s arm in a painful grip. Keeping his voice low, he muttered loud enough for only the gisaeng to hear. “I also want you to bring me some of the green unguent.”
“My lord, those are for…” The faux-woman glanced at the man sprawled out on the bed linens behind them. His voice dropped to a whisper, the only evidence of his masculinity showing in the husky rasp. “Those are for the younger men… to calm them down enough to…”
Dae Min straightened imperiously, canting his head to the side as if daring the gisaeng to question him. “Do you have some ready or not? And if not… then why?”
“No, my lord. We do,” Sun Hee stammered, bowing as he stepped back to the door. “I will… include the balms on the tray… along with everything else.”
“Good,” He said smugly. “Now hurry. I have a long night ahead of me and I don’t want to waste a second of it.”
Yoon Hee struggled to hold onto the coat she’d stolen from Sun Joon’s wardrobe. The bulky jacket was lined thickly and while came to mid-calf on Sun Joon, it was long enough on her to cover her feet despite every effort she made to hold it up away from the snow.
Burrowed down in the fur around her face, Yoon Hee almost missed seeing the two men slip past an estate’s broad wooden gates, only the clanging sound of iron rings striking a cross bar catching her attention as she slogged through the snow.
Ducking behind a tree line, she wove through the lower shrubs, trying to get close enough to the gate to see the resident’s name placard. By the look of the stony-faced guard standing watch, she imagined the compound belonged to someone very rich or worse, secretive and paranoid. The large man seemed impervious to the cold and when the storm struck with a slapping torrent of slushy rain that soaked through her gloves and turned her lips blue, Yoon Hee wondered if he were even human.
“He has to use the bathroom,” She muttered, peering out at the man as he stared out into the storm “Or breathe. Does he even breathe?”
“Too cold.” Yoon Hee stamped her feet to get the feeling back into her toes and looked down the length of the wall.
The end of the estate seemed to be more than 100 paces off although she couldn’t be sure with the darkness starting to fall and the snow flurries filling the air. Hugging the trees, she kept her face down, using the drab colours of the coat to mask her presence from the guard in case he looked in her direction. The heavy snow on the branches above her and causing the smaller bits of the canopy to fall, a loud crashing sound interspersed with the crackle of ice hid the sounds of her footsteps, especially when she stepped down on a sodden log and nearly fell onto her face. Cursing the dampness creeping into her boots, she pushed forward until she reached the wall, panting heavily with the effort of working through the trees.
Peering back towards the gate, yelped in surprise when she spotted the guard coming towards her, obviously walking the perimeter of the compound to secure it from intruders. Frightened at being discovered before she could extract Jae Shin from the estate… or at least get an explanation on why he hadn’t returned to the university, Yoon Hee flattened herself against the surrounding wall, looking for someplace to hide.
A dark blot of bushes offered some promise and she scuttled towards them, crab-walking with back along the wall. Time seemed to slow and her feet were nearly bloodless as she hurried, uncertain if she could reach the nearby shrubbery in time to hide herself from the approaching guard. A loud sound near the entrance drew his attention away for a long second and she dove towards the shrubs, burying herself into their prickly, waxy leaves, hoping to remain undetected.
He approached with a heavy tread, cracking through the thin ice layer spreading on the frozen ground. With his breath frosting the air, he cupped his hands over his mouth and blew, warming his fingers before reaching down and tugging hard at a small iron grate in the wall. Satisfied, he continued back to the gate, passing it and disappearing around the bend of the compound’s wall.
“Oooo? Delivery grate for contraband? Or to throw out ashes maybe?” Yoon Hee clapped her hands, mostly to get the stiffness out of them and sprinted as quickly as she could in Sun Joon’s coat to the iron grating. Up close, she realized it was larger than she thought and adjacent to a building beyond the enclosure’s thick wall. A pile of firewood stacked nearby gave her some idea the tiny gate was used as a pass through for heavy pieces of lumber that could damage a fine stone courtyard if dropped.
The pass through gate was definitely locked, refusing to budge as she tested the locking ring with all of her strength. Puffing out her cheeks in frustration, she dug into her pockets, looking for something to reach into the lock with. A thick piece of metal from a pen wrapping poked her fingers and she exulted in the find, pulling it out to examine it.
“Geol Oh can do this.” She encouraged herself. “Remember? You’ve watched him do this. He’s taught you this. Oh why can’t I feel my fingers?”
The grate was cold against her shoulder as she tried to angle her body to reach the locking mechanism on the other side. Shoving the pen guide in, Yoon Hee turned it one way, meeting a firm resistance. Sighing in frustration, she twisted and put her weight into the opposite turn. A single click rewarded her efforts and the grate rattled, loosening its grip on the bolt.
Giving one last glance over her shoulder, Yoon Hee reassured herself the guard was no where to be seen and yanked the grate open wide enough to slide her slender body through. The heavy coat she’d stolen caught on the tiny space and she growled, shedding it to slip in. Tugging it free, she landed on her back in the drifts, sheaves of snow driving down the gap between her neck and hair.
“Damn it!” She caught the tip of her tongue between her teeth, biting down to punish herself for swearing. Shaking out the snow, Yoon Hee worked Sun Joon’s coat back on, scraping off the pine needles and dead leaves clinging to the front. Pulling herself straight, she looked around, spotting a likely entrance to the main building.
“Okay, now to take back our Geol Oh.”
Dae Min plucked off a piece of apple from the tray, biting into it with a snap of his teeth. Sucking the juices from his fingers, he sauntered over to where Jae Shin lay sprawled out, nudging the man’s leg with his bare foot.
“Hyung.” Balancing the tray carefully, he sat down on the mattress, edging in closer to the other man. “Are you awake?”
Jae Shin mumbled, shuffling back down into the blankets. Sighing heavily, he turned slightly, his jacket ties unraveling as he moved. Dae Min lay the tray down, out of reach of Jae Shin’s legs in case the other man kicked out. Stretching out next to the slumbering man’s form, he ran a hand over Jae Shin’s side, daringly working his fingers under the jacket flap.
“Hyung?” Dae Min scooted closer, tugging at the fastening’s end. He froze, hand as still as he could make it as Jae Shin turned, his eyes hooded and unfocused.
“Dae Min?” The rough velvet purr of Jae Shin’s voice settled into the scholar’s stomach, wending down to wrap hot tendrils under his sac. “It’s warm. Too warm now.”
“Then maybe we should… help you get some of these clothes off of you?” He pulled at the ribbon slowly, undoing the tie. It slithered free of its bow, allowing Dae Min to push the folds of Jae Shin’s jacket aside, baring the man’s belly.
Dae Min’s hand was pale compared to Jae Shin’s toned stomach, a light shadow against the golden tint of his skin. Swallowing at the sight of his desire stretched out next to him, Dae Min shivered with delight, lifting his eyes to Jae Shin’s handsome face.
The rebel’s dark eyes watched Dae Min, his lashes sweeping shadows on his cheekbones. A tangle of hair fell down over his forehead obscuring part of his face but the younger man felt the heat of Jae Shin’s gaze on him.
“What are you doing, Dae Min?” Jae Shin lay still under the man’s hand, shuddering slightly when the scholar began to run his finger down the centre of his stomach, curling the tip of his finger around each muscle bunching and relaxing on his abdomen. A sparse scruff of soft hair curled down his navel, thinning out to a trail and disappearing beneath his waistband. “What are you doing to me?”
“What should have been done to you a long time ago, my Geol Oh,” Dae Min whispered, slowly moving over to straddle Jae Shin’s thighs.
Dae Min was hard beneath his clothes. So hard that Dae Min wondered if his sex would ever soften again. The heat of his hands warmed Jae Shin’s muscular torso and released the faint lemony scent of his soap into the air, heightening the tension between them.
Dae Min kept his eyes on Jae Shin’s shadowed face, bending over the man’s body to inhale the sweetness coming up from his skin but far enough way to give himself space in case the man came up fighting. The flick of Jae Shin’s tongue on his upper lip made Dae Min itch to bit into the lower one, suckling on the plump flesh while grinding his hips against the man’s body.
“You are…exquisite, Moon Jae Shin,” Dae Min whispered, stretching his hands out to stroke the man’s chest. The rebel’s nipples pricked at his palms, tightening to nubs as hard as the shaft burning its need through Dae Min’s pants. “So beautiful. So rare.”
A hitch of Jae Shin’s breath rippled his chest under Dae Min and he closed his eyes, turning his head slightly away from Dae Min’s perusal. The young scholar caught up the man’s chin, urging Jae Shin back, murmuring and coaxing for the man to open his gorgeous eyes so he could see them.
“Hasn’t anyone ever told you that? Has no one ever told you how beautiful you truly are?”
Jae Shin’s eyes flew open and his throat spasmed with his gulping swallow. Tightening his lips, he glanced at Dae Min, eyes shuttered and dim of light as he whispered, “No. Never.”
“Then let me be the first,” Holding Jae Shin’s face, Dae Min lowered his mouth to the man’s parted lips. “To tell you how beautiful you are.”
He took his first taste of the man he longed for, skimming his lips over Jae Shin’s unresponsive mouth. Stroking at the man’s jaw, he murmured, coaxingly as he would a wild cat. If he moved too quickly — to fast — too hot, Jae Shin would pull away and he’d never have a chance at the man again. So Dae Min sipped, taking small little tastes and licks with his tongue as he tested out how far Jae Shin would let him go.
Jae Shin was sweeter, darker than he thought… that he’d ever imagined — that he’d ever dreamed — that he’d ever fantasized. Even laying still beneath him, Jae Shin thrummed with a sensual heat Dae Min needed… wanted to delve into until he drowned. He couldn’t think past the fire burning through him and Dae Min wondered if he could ever use his tongue for anything other than dipping its tip past the press of Jae Shin’s lips.
Then moaned loudly when Jae Shin opened his mouth, and surrendered to Dae Min’s kiss.