Chasing The Winter Moon ♥
Pairing: Moon Jae Shin / Goo Yong Ha (GeolRim fic) Post Sungkyunkwan Scandal
Overall Rating: Probably NC-17
Requested by: hoshiko_malfoy
PLEASE NOTE: I will NOT be updating tomorrow. Going to be resting my brain. Be Back on Thursday, California Time. </font>
Summary: Following an epic scandal at their university, two master scholars search for their own meaning of love.
Lesson One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine
“Jae Shin looks well.” The voice was familiar to Yong Ha, a deep throated sensual voice that should have been pleasant to his ears but instead, drove knives into his guts and ripped at the underbelly of his heart.
“Kim Dae Min.”
Nearly at Jae Shin’s door, Yong Ha stopped and turned, frustrated and angry at the young man sliding free of the shadows behind him. Stinking of ash and a sour mood, he tilted his chin up and looked down his nose at his competition.
The man was handsome enough, Yong Ha admitted to himself. Even wearing a thick long coat to keep out the cold, he cut a dashing figure; long legged and firm shoulders narrowing down to a slender waist. He wasn’t as handsome as Jae Shin, Yong Ha thought dispassionately; or even Sun Joon but some might find him attractive.
So long as that someone wasn’t his Geol Oh.
“You’ve been in to see him then?” Yong Ha wanted to run down the walkway and throw open Jae Shin’s door, needing to run his hands over the man’s shoulders and face…anywhere he could touch to see if Jae Shin was alright… if Jae Shin hadn’t suffered again from Dae Min’s whim but he steadied himself, remaining outwardly stoic in Dae Min’s face. “I hope Yoon Hee or Sun Joon didn’t let you stay long, he needs his rest.”
“Dongsaeng…Sun Joon was there,” Dae Min purred, walking a slow circle around Yong Ha. The mark on his swollen lip gave Yong Ha a tiny sense of satisfaction and he reminded himself to buy Yoon Hee something nice to thank her. “Jae Shin seemed fine to me, although a bit tired. He asked Sun Joon to leave us alone to talk.”
“And did he?” Yong Ha forced himself to stay in place, not giving the other man the satisfaction of making him turn to watch his saunter across the walkway.
“Leave us alone?”
“No. Talk.” Yong Ha replied, deciding while Yoon Hee would get a present, Sun Joon would be made to copy over his lessons as punishment for leaving Jae Shin with his tormentor.
“We did.” He stopped, a few feet away from Yong Ha and stepped back when a gust of wind picked up a swirl of loose ash from Yong Ha’s clothing. “I was sorry to hear of his condition. I did my best to help him but ah, the other two dragged him out into the cold before I could get a doctor to him. Sadly, he cannot remember anything other than me helping him from the bar. The poisons in the brew rattled his brain. I think there were hallucinogens in the alcohol. He doesn’t remember much. Just my warmth and… how tender I was in caring for him.”
“And the bite?” He lifted one eyebrow, skewering the other man with a telling look. “How did you explain that away? A wild dog attack? He fell into a barrel of hungry eels? Or did you just tell him the truth and admit you tried to force yourself on him?”
“Force?” Dae Min’s smile mocked him. “I didn’t force him at all, hyung. Every mark on Jae Shin’s body was made willingly and to the willing. He was begging me to touch him… wanting me to delve into him. He pleaded for my fingers inside of him…”
Yong Ha had a fistful of Dae Min’s robes before he even realized he’d moved towards the man. His shoulder muscles strained with the effort of keeping the man pinned against the wall and somewhere down the walkway, a door panel rattled open and someone called out; asking if there was trouble.
“No,” Yong Ha responded loudly, not-so-gently dropping Dae Min onto his feet. “Dongsaeng slipped on the ice. I grabbed him before he could fall. He’s okay.”
A shout of be careful came back and the door slid back into place, leaving Yong Ha and Dae Min alone in the light wintery squall. Dae Min stood, pulling himself up against the wall and grimaced as he took a step, glaring at Yong Ha as he delicately balanced most of his weight on one ankle.
“Is that what you think will win you Jae Shin’s heart?” He sneered at Yong Ha. “Violence?”
“There’s a good chance of it, yes.” Yong Ha grinned back, a wide gleeful expression on his face. “And if you don’t think that, then you don’t know our Geol Oh.”
“Then the bite to his neck definitely turned him on,” Dae Min shot back. “I thought perhaps he was that responsive because he hadn’t been touched by anyone before. I can’t wait to see how he writhes under me when I get to use more than my teeth.”
“Hyung!” Sun Joon’s deep voice cut through the wind, stopping Yong Ha from wrapping his hands around Dae Min’s slender neck. Stepping out of the scholar’s sick room, he strode down the walk, stopping halfway between the room and the men. “Jae Shin probably would like to see you before he falls asleep again and I’m certain you’ve not had anything warm to eat. Perhaps you’d like some time to clean up before your visit? You wouldn’t want to come to Jae Shin smelling of burnt refuse. He already has had that experience this evening.”
“Of course, you are right.” Yong Ha stepped back, bowing his head at the younger scholar. “I will go repair my clothes and be right in.”
“I’ll see that Kim Dae Min gets back to his room without further incident.” Sun Joon gave Yong Ha a small smile. “Please, hyung, hurry. Jae Shin is tired and won’t sleep until he sees you.”
“No, no, you are right,” Yong Ha stepped towards his room, halted by a touch of Sun Joon’s fingers on his arm.
“He’s asked for you since I’ve been back to relieve Yoon Hee,” Sun Joon murmured. “He’ll be glad to see you. He misses you, Yong Ha.”
“I’ll be right there. Tell him that for me.”
“I will.” Sun Joon nodded towards Yong Ha’s room. “I will wait for you in his room.”
Yong Ha stalked down the walk and Dae Min brushed off the snow stuck to his coat. “You can’t stand guard over him forever, Lee Sun Joon. Eventually, he will seek me out. We are… close.”
“You are close only because he does not know who you are but I am sure we will find a way to expose that side of you to him, Dae Min.” Sun Joon inclined his head in a slight farewell. “You can depend upon that.”
“We’ve been banned from the tea house!” Dae Min waved the piece of paper he’d been given by a page under his cousin’s nose. “Banned! Both of us!”
“They can’t ban you, hyung. Your fathers set up our accounts there. Where else are we going to drink for free?” Bon Hwa plucked the message out of Dae Min’s hand, scanning the writing. “We regretfully find our establishment can no longer offer you courtesies. What does that mean? Can no longer offer us courtesies? We’ve paid for those courtesies.”
“It means we are forbidden to go there,” He snapped at his cousin. “Someone doesn’t like losing so he’s pulled strings to punish me.”
“Someone? Someone who?” Bon Hwa turned the paper over, looking as if he looked at it the right direction, it would provide him with a way out of their banishment.
“Goo Yong Ha. Who else do you know that has a grudge against me?”
Bon Hwa thought of several names but kept his thoughts to himself. “What do we do? And why include me?”
“The membership is under my father’s name. Anyone included under him would be banned as well.” Dae Min flicked his fingers at his cousin’s head, snapping his nails on the man’s temple. “This is because he is afraid of me so he’s using what power he has to lash out.”
“Why should he be afraid?” Bon Hwa asked. “He’s the one with Jae Shin right now, not you.”
If Dae Min could, he would have skinned his cousin alive at that moment. “Why do I keep you with me?”
“Because no one else wants to be your friend,” The younger man shot back before he thought to keep his mouth shut. Visibly wincing when he heard himself, he quickly said, “That was a jest, hyung. I wasn’t serious.”
“When I find someone I like better, I am going to have them kill you, Bon Hwa,” Dae Min threatened. “And I will watch as they do it. Possibly even laugh.”
“What are you going to do now, hyung?” Bon Hwa crumpled the paper, shoving it into the pocket of his sleeve. “We can’t stand for this. It’s one thing to fight over… something to fuck but to have someone’s privileges…”
Bon Hwa’s head snapped back hard and he twisted around, the momentum of Dae Min’s punch turning his body. He hit the floor with a hard thump, coughing out a mouthful of blood-tinged saliva onto the polished wood. Standing over the man’s prone body, Dae Min grabbed at his robes, hauling him up off the floor until they were eye to eye.
“Jae Shin is not just something to fuck,” He hissed, lightly slapping his cousin’s face to keep his attention. “If I’d gotten Jae Shin into bed, then his family’s political power can be mine to leverage. What family wouldn’t want to keep their son’s dirty secrets? Especially if that dirty secret is that he likes men.”
“What’s to stop them from just having you killed?” Bon Hwa gurgled, shoving his fingers against his cousin’s hands to give him enough slack to breathe.
“Because Jae Shin believes it is true love,” Dae Min sneered. “He’ll protect me from his family’s wrath as long as he believes I love him but now that damned Yong Ha is going to ruin it. He’s going to take Jae Shin out from under my nose and I’m going to be powerless to stop him.”
“What can you do? Should we pack?”
“Pack?” He laughed, a hollow echo sound in the close confines of their room. “We’re not going anywhere. Yong Ha is. Because if I can’t have Moon Jae Shin, then I’m going to make damned certain no one else does… or wants to.”
Yong Ha strolled into Jae Min’s room, impeccably attired in a bright peacock blue hanbok he knew Jae Shin liked. Sun Joon was up off of the floor and out the door before Yong Ha could say a word, the rattle of the door panel echoing against the sound of the wind.
“He’s been needing to go to the bathroom for an hour now,” Jae Shin murmured sleepily. “For some reason, he believes I can’t be left alone for a minute.”
“Knowing you, he’s right,” Yong Ha teased.
The room was as familiar to him as his own. Pieces of their shared adolescence lay tucked into nearly hidden corners, small treasures that would only mean something to the two people involved in their gathering. A smooth white rock, its edged rounded off by the river, sat on top of birds’ next woven with tiny pale yellow feathers. Resting against the next was a woven ball made of reeds, the play thing trapped against a stack of fairytales.
He’d given Jae Shin the rock one night when they’d snuck away to share a purloined bottle of soju, whispering into his friend’s ear that he’d stolen the moon as well and needed somewhere to hide it.
I think you stole my heart that night as well, Jae Shin, Yong Ha realized as he was flooded with memories of their times together.
The bird’s nest was one Jae Shin discovered on a rooftop they’d climbed up onto one winter’s afternoon. Abandoned months ago by migrating birds it sat discarded until he’d picked it up. Yong Ha teased him about giving up his restless, nomadic ways now that he’d found a home. It wasn’t until much later that Yong Ha found out Jae Shin had taken it with him, carrying with him a piece of a home they’d briefly shared.
The other bits and bobbles were tiny little moments, found or shared things they’d laughed or cried over. If he dug through the carefully arranged pile, Yong Ha was certain he could map out his life based on what he found. Although, he frowned slightly, he couldn’t quite remember where Jae Shin got the string of amber beads curled up against his favourite book.
The scent of food caught his attention and Yong Ha looked about, finding a small iron kettle set on the side of the brazier. Its contents bubbled but the odor was faint, the merest hint of meat and possibly vegetables. “Have you eaten?”
“Yoon Hee tried to get me to eat some soup.” The face Jae Shin made ground a chuckle out of Yong Ha. “Don’t laugh. You know she can’t cook.”
“Sit up a little bit. I’m sure what you have here is fine.” Yong Ha grabbed bolsters to slide under Jae Shin’s shoulders, helping his friend sit up slightly. Lifting up the lid to the pot warming over the brazier, he sniffed at the stew. “Or at least edible. We’ll get you something better in the morning. This smells flavourless.”
“Sun Joon thought it would be a good idea if I had something calming.” Jae Shin’s lip curled in disgust. “It smells like someone dropped a piece of onion into boiled water.”
“It might even taste like that as well but it’s all we have for now.” Yong Ha dished out a portion into a small bowl and brought it to Jae Shin’s side. Settling down, he spooned a bit of the broth up, blowing on it cool it off. Holding the spoon up to Jae Shin’s lips, he said, “Here.”
“You’re not really going to feed me.” Jae Shin eyed him. “Really?”
“Yes, really,” Yong Ha insisted. “Now open your mouth so I can get you another spoonful. No arguments for a change, Geol Oh. I’d feel better knowing I was getting this in you. Please. For me.”
“I’m not sick.”
Despite his grumbling, Jae Shin allowed himself to be fed, opening his mouth slowly to sip at the broth. Although awake, he appeared drawn and grey as if staying upright was nearly more effort than he could bear. After a few spoonfuls, Yong Ha sat back on his haunches and picked up a warm damp cloth from a nearby bowl.
“I don’t need you to give me a bath.” Jae Shin gulped, alarmed when Yong Ha reached for the blankets to tug them down.
“You’re covered in sweat. Jung said to keep you clean and cooled off.” Yong Ha gripped at the bed linens, trying to wrest them down from Jae Shin’s chest. “You have three choices on who you want to do this. Me, Sun Joon or Yoon Hee. Who would you prefer?”
Blowing at the hair in his face, Jae Shin scowled up at his friend. The sullen pout of his mouth sparked a desire in Yong Ha to kiss the disgruntled expression away from the man’s lips and Yong Ha decided it would be better for them both if he busied himself by wringing out the cloths.
An idea struck him, puncturing his heart as if it were an arrow shot by Jae Shin’s bow and he choked, unable to hold in the sound of his fear as he asked, “Unless you want Dae Min…”
“Why would I want Dae Min?” Jae Shin pursed his mouth and stared at his friend as if Yong Ha grew a turnip from his forehead. “Why would I want Dae Min here when I have you?”
If relief were a wine, Yong Ha would have been drunk on the sheer amount of comfort drowning him. Exhaling his caught up breath, he nodded and tugged at the blankets. “Then let me do it. I promise, I’ll be gentle.”
“You’re never gentle,” Jae Shin muttered. “You like to pretend you are but you are sadistic and cruel, especially when you think it will make someone laugh.”
“Are you still upset about when I put that glue on your chin?” Yong Ha asked, trying not to look at the purple mark marring Jae Shin’s neck. “I thought it would work better than shaving. It was a good idea! And that was ten years ago!”
“I had to walk around for a week with your hand stuck to my face.” He snorted at the memory. “It was a horror.”
“At least you had use of your hands,” The scholar grumbled back. “I had to get you to help me do…everything! I was ready to cut my hand off by the third day… a horror for you was a humiliation for me.”
“You shouldn’t have glued yourself to my face then,” Jae Shin replied.
“You shouldn’t have moved so your glued chin filled my hand.”
It was an old argument and one they’d had a few thousand times before but the teasing beneath their words felt different to Yong Ha’s ears. There was something darkly erotic in them and he blushed, remembering how the other man had to help him do everything while they were bound together, including going to the bathroom.
The incident had been one that cemented their relationship. Dependent on one another for even the smallest things, the wild feral genius and the urban sophisticated flirt found themselves sharing the most intimate of thoughts and dreams, often staying up into the wee hours of the morning listening to the one another talk.
When the fixative finally was able to be dissolved, their closeness remained and Yong Ha’s palm sometimes itched from the nothingness it now held. Yong Ha couldn’t stand for his hands to be empty any more and he filled them with small things, an apple or a fan but it wasn’t the same. The texture was wrong… the silken smoothness of Jae Shin’s jaw was what he needed to feel complete and his hand still drifted up to the man’s face, unbidden and sometimes unwanted but always seeking out the comfort of Jae Shin’s touch.
He also knew Jae Shin well enough to know the man couldn’t sleep properly unless he had his hand tucked under his chin and against his neck, reliving the pressure of Yong Ha against his skin but it was never something he mentioned. Jae Shin’s pride remaining intact was as important to him as Jae Shin’s smile.
That and he wasn’t quite confident enough to tease Jae Shin about it and not get punched in the face for it. The glue had been his idea, however ill-advised.
There wasn’t a strong enough word to describe the shock coursing through Yong Ha’s thoughts when Jae Shin suddenly cleared his throat and said, “I sometimes miss having you there… touching me like that. It feels strange not to have you there when… I’m feeling…”
Blinking away the tears in his eyes, Yong Ha let the cloth drop and he reached for his friend, mindful of the tenderness of Jae Shin’s stomach and throat. His arms tightened around Jae Shin and Yong Ha thought his shoulders were snap from the pressure of holding the man tightly but he knew he couldn’t let go. The enormity of the previous evening’s event finally hit him as he realized how close he’d come to losing the feel of Jae Shin in his arms…in his life… and in his heart.
Unable to hold back his emotions, Yong Ha whispered into Jae Shin’s hair, “I love you, my Geol Oh. I can’t.. I don’t want to live without you. Not again. Not ever again.”