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All skin and no shame

...innocence is just an illusion...


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Love In The Ice [18b]
YJ01
beeswaxing
Title: Love in the Ice
Pairing: YunJae/JaeHo
Rating: R
Length: Chaptered
Genre: Non-AU, mild angst, fluff, romance
Disclaimer: I don't own anything apart from the story. I wish I had YunJae and if I had my way, they'd move to New Zealand so they can be married here.

Summary: A script for a new mini-series is left in Yunho’s apartment by his manager, and as he reads it, he becomes more and more intrigued. Unbeknownst to him, one of the leads has already been cast, and the contracts signed. When he too is cast in the project after expressing interest in the part, he gets the shock of his life when he arrives for the script reading to be faced with a person from his past. Someone that he has spent years trying to pretend never existed. How will they be able to get through filming this without killing each other? Or worse…

AN1: The "scandalous" song was released after the period that LITI is set in, but well, fiction and all. When you get to the concert part, maybe playing this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7Sx7emQdMk and then this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVjiKRfKpPI if you don’t know that song. However, it was sung A LOT SLOWER in this fic. Like very slow.

AN2: Oh and if you’re a new reader who has never read ICE, I really think you should because I will make a few references to it without actually spelling it out because the assumption is that everyone has read ICE and are familiar with the plot…









“I am not going to lose my son because of you.”



Jaejoong lowers his gaze, bowing to Yunho’s mother.

It is a mocking little half bow.

A mere inclination of his head more than anything else.

His head is screaming at him to go all the way, reminding him that this is the woman who gave birth to the man he loves, and that despite everything, she deserves more than his attitude.

Don’t do this. Don’t do this. Don’t do this, Kim Jaejoong. Don’t do this. Remember what Yunho said. Remember it, and hold on to it. Remember his words when you were asleep. Remember his choice the last time you were here.



”You wanted to talk about the Hope Concert don’t you? I chose you. You are TVXQ. The heart of TVXQ. I chose you and yet you left.”



Remember, Kim Jaejoong. You are stronger than this. Everything he does, has a reason. He’s from another era, Jaejoong. His sense of righteousness is not from this century, but he cannot do without you. You know this, and he has said it. Your dongsaengs have all told you this. They would not lie to you, Changmin especially who would always side with his Yunho hyung in a fight. Why would he sugarcoat the reality for you? He knows that if you hurt, Yunho hurts, and the last thing he will ever want to do is hurt Yunho. Remember what he said? Communication. Communication was always your problem. I know what his mother just said, but can’t you give Yunho the benefit of the doubt? Doesn’t he deserve at least that much? Stop and think, Kim Jaejoong. I know you’re hurting, but don’t be willfully blind to feed your pain. The martyr look went out in 2010. This is not fodder for your music. This is your life. He is your love. Why are you doing this?


However his heart has always been louder. His heart is what drives Jaejoong. And it is his heart that is winning this fight as he fights to claw himself up from the suffocating pain that he finds himself in yet again. The fight within him is one of those battles where neither side can win without losing more than they are able to cope with.

Once again, he’s left you to fend for yourself. Love shouldn’t mean to hurt all the time. He loves you so much and yet, this is how he shows it? When the two of you should stand together, he stands opposite you. He always stands with everyone but you. The simple Gwangju boy with the drive to succeed and be the best that he can, why can’t he be the best for you? Why must you always be the one sacrificed for his nobility? You are a man, Hero. A fucking man. Not his demure, pretty little wife who nods at everything her husband says. Protect yourself first, and to hell with everyone. I know you believe he loves you, but has he shown it? Has he truly shown it? Would he willingly stand out there on stage today, not as Baek Do Hoon, but as Jung Yunho. Do Hoon’s convictions are like his, but his sense of right and wrong is coupled with action. Yunho’s? Yes, but never in your favour. He may love you, but I don’t know if he loves you enough…

The burning pain of his self-created hell as he once again allows his fears to run amok and blaze unchecked. His bow may have been borderline insolent, but it is dragged out, giving maximum effect as his audience watches, but it is not intentional on his part. He is not trying to manipulate. He is trapped.

How can you compare Do Hoon to Yunho? Do Hoon is a figment of someone’s overactive imagination. He is a chaebol born with a golden spoon in his mouth, and while he does forge his own path, when it comes down to it, his actions ultimately do not come with heavy consequences. And even if they did, his family can just wave their magic money wand and make it all go away. Jung Yunho is a real man. With real feelings. With real life considerations, living in the reality of the still traditional and religious community you were both born into. He came from a family who struggled for years, yet whose ethics and values have raised the man Yunho is today. There is a reason why many cannot speak ill of him, because there is no reason to. There is no concrete and justifiable reason to. And those who do, have no facts. They hate out of jealousy and inadequacy. Are you going to be their champion, Kim Jaejoong? The champion of those false words against the truth of the man that you claim to love? Give in to your insecurities, and you will lose him. Can you survive that?

Jaejoong squeezes his eyes shut, resisting the urge to bring his hands up to his head and scream.

To scream at the words he cannot seem to understand.

He doesn’t want to understand.

He is a masochist.

Pain is his life.

Do whatever you need to do to protect yourself, because when it comes down to it, you can only depend on yourself. You have done so for three years, and you will continue to do so. To give up and rely on someone else has consequences. Can you bear that again, Hero? Can you?

Jaejoong takes a deep shuddering breath, squaring his shoulders as he once again straightens, lifting his gaze slowly, his long lashes like a sorrowful curtain as they lift the veil and reveal his dark eyes.

Windows to the soul, they say?

Fire in his eyes.

And they are all directed at one man.

Yunho’s breath hitches at the sight, though his mother is a lot more vocal, gasping as she takes a step back from the virulence in Jaejoong’s eyes that only have one target; her son.

Jaejoong smiles.

A chilling smile that speaks more of Hero than the Jaejoong that everyone in that room knows and loves.

The smile causes goosebumps to sprout on Yoochun’s arms as he gazes at his friend, the sadness in his eyes apparent as he watches the man self-destruct, the singer choosing to walk away before getting answers and understanding why Yunho’s mother had said what she did. Jaejoong who has kept his own counsel for a few years now, only letting it out in his music and lyrics. Jaejoong, his soulmate, the one he has let slip slowly from his fingers as the years go by because his friend is just “too difficult”.

The Jaejoong whose selfless love requires a victim.

Himself.

He gives so much, because he needs so much. No one gets over being given up by the very people meant to love and care for him. No matter how rational and logical a person is, that seed of insecurity will never ever go away.

Whether it germinates and flourishes.

Or remains a seed, merely a memory and a passing annoyance, depends on the person.

Jaejoong has a new target for his abandonment issues.

Yunho.

What makes sense, doesn’t matter.

And Yoochun can only pray that Yunho will understand, because he himself is having serious trouble with it.

Jaejoong’s hell is going to burn them all if left unchecked.



“He hasn’t changed, has he?” Mrs Jung speaks softly, more to herself than to anyone else. However the quiet left in the wake of Jaejoong’s departure is extreme, and all of the six men who love Jaejoong to varying degrees, hear her.

Ah In and Joong Ki turn to leave immediately, not even bothering with reasons for doing so because they know nothing they can say will help.

Changmin goes to sit on the couch near his hyung, close enough to offer support, but not intruding. The sigh that escapes his lips is quiet, the tension in his body apparent.

Junsu and Yoochun move to sit opposite Changmin. Whether consciously or subconsciously, both still look to Yunho as their leader because JYJ never actually had one. Jaejoong did his own thing, and so did the two younger members. The cohesion of DBSK of the past was never ever replicated in JYJ, yet amazingly, it held true, fast and strong in the duo. Changmin is not the easiest of followers, but follow the leader he did and always will.

In all honesty, nobody in JYJ wanted to be the leader. They all had only one, no matter how far away he was from them.

Yoochun is of two minds.

Does he stay and figure out what the hell was going on since his soulmate has chosen not to, he is the only one left to bear the man’s flag for him?

Or should he have gone after the other man?

“Junsu,” he starts, surprised when the younger man stands at his whispered call.

“I know. I’ll go talk to him.” Junsu whispers, squeezing Yoochun’s shoulder. He moves past the man, walking over the Changmin who reaches out a hand instantly, clasping Junsu’s hand in his.

Doe-eyes, so familiar, once again filled with worry and uncertainty gaze up at him, not unlike the way it was all those years ago when they were slowly falling apart at the seams.

The two youngest, caught in the tempest of their hyungs’ doing, both innocent in more ways than one.

Junsu brings his other hand up to squeeze Changmin’s hand between his.

“I can’t promise anything,” he whispers.

Changmin shakes his head. “I don’t care what he does. Just make sure he doesn’t hurt himself or you.”

“Hyung?”

Changmin looks over at the silent Jung Yunho who appears frozen in time, eyes closed, his profile stark, body held rigidly whether from shock or from control, he cannot tell.

“He cannot hurt more than he already does. I have to stay with him.”

“Should I go?”

Changmin looks over at Yoochun who is leaning forward, elbows on his knees and staring at his hands, not looking at either of them.

“Why didn’t you go?”

Yoochun looks up, expression bleak. “Did you see him? Who will defend him when he isn’t here?”

Changmin’s expression hardens. “Really, hyung?”

Yoochun shakes his head, standing up. “I’m going.”

Before either of the youngest can reply, Yoochun is gone.



“Why, eomeoni?” Yunho asks quietly, resignation in his voice.

She turns to her son, staring at his glittering eyes as he gazes down at her.

“I needed to know.”

Yunho shakes his head, but she catches his cheek, caressing his jaw gently, forcing him to look at her.

“Why, eomeoni?” Yunho asks again, his voice growing hoarse, struggling against the need to chase down Jaejoong. What stops him is the fact that he doesn’t know why, and can offer Jaejoong neither reason nor excuse for what just happened. He knows the older man blames him. As sure as the sun sets in the west, and he is the leader of the Rising Gods of the East.

Jaejoong blames him.

And Yunho can’t fault him for it.

“You need to break through that barrier of his, because if you don’t, this will always happen. He will believe whatever he wants to believe, and you will suffer for it.”

“He apologi—“

“Don’t make excuses for him. An apology is empty if he keeps doing over and over again what he is sorry for. The same goes for you.”

“Eomeoni—“

“I am not going to lose you. I don’t mean physically, or even emotionally, but your very essence. What makes you, you. Your values and your morality. Your sense of right and wrong, and of what should and shouldn’t be. Even when you were hurting so badly from the loss of your members,” she pauses, her eyes straying around the room, unsurprised to find only Junsu left, who lowers his gaze and stays silent, before looking back up at her son. “And the loss of the man you were, and still are, in love with.” Her words catch at the final sentence, and the emphasis on man doesn’t go unnoticed at all, but she bites her lip and continues. “I am your mother, and I refuse to watch you lose yourself.”

“But—“

“Don’t say it won’t happen, Yunho. When you lost him, you lost your way. If it wasn’t for Changminnie to remind you of who you are and who you are meant to be, I’m afraid that we could have lost you.”

Changmin colors at her words. He doesn’t want the attention. He doesn’t want to be given praises like these because he knows that he couldn’t have done it without Yunho. It is his own love for his hyung that refused to allow the man to wallow indefinitely. One can even say that he might have manipulated Yunho into stepping up, because his hyung is like Jaejoong in a sense. He will care for others before he bothers to look to care for himself. When reminded that he still has a lost maknae to look after and be responsible for, Yunho stepped up, suppressing his personal pain to do so.

And he is also feeling guilty.

Guilty as hell because it is because of him that they are all in this right now. If Yunho loses his way because of Jaejoong, it will be his fault for even bringing them back together in the first place instead of leaving well enough alone.

“He needs your strength more than your love right now, because he has no reason to question the former, and refuses to trust in the latter. Both of you can keep apologizing to each other for the past, but sorry doesn’t heal broken trust.”

Yunho opens his mouth to try and respond, hearing his mother’s words, and seeing the anguish in her eyes for him. He can feel his eyes filling, mirroring the tears threatening to fall from her eyes, but once again she stops him, placing a gentle hand over his lips.

She gazes up at her handsome son. A son she saw tore apart from within as he struggled with what to do all those years ago. The son who was visibly relieved when she had given him her tentative blessings, unable to promise the same of his father, but the man did not fail either of them.

”You are a man with many responsibilities. Heavy responsibilities that no one so young should ever have to bear, but know that I am proud of the man you have become. I raised you to never to shirk your responsibilities in all that you are involved with, and this includes matters of the heart. You have his heart, Yunho. You are responsible for it.”

And that was that. Nothing was ever said about the issue ever again.

When she finally speaks, her voice is little more than a whisper, as the tears finally give in, and two slow drops slip from her eyes. “If you give him more love than you already have, you will lose a part of yourself in order to make up for whatever it is that he is lacking. You need to help him find the strength to fight his own demons, Yunho, rather than losing yourself to love him enough for both of you. Forgiving what has happened between the two of you will always be easy because you love each other. However forgetting the past and finding the ability to trust again may be impossible.”

“I cannot believe that.”

Mrs Jung shakes her head. “You are always so willing to believe the best in people. Ask yourself why couldn’t you believe the best of him those years ago? Given him the benefit of the doubt?”

Yunho opens his mouth to answer, but he doesn’t actually have a proper answer to that question.

Why didn’t he give Jaejoong the benefit of the doubt?

“The broken trust goes both ways, son.”

Yunho exhales the breath he was holding at the shock of his mother’s insight. She is right. He is always willing to believe the best in everyone, so why didn’t he give Jaejoong a chance to explain?

“Sometimes the strongest amongst us are the ones who continue to smile through their own pain, while they cry behind closed doors and fight the battles that no one knows about, keeping it private because it is a personal matter. And there are others who are strong, but they can no longer smile for the pain is like a burn that eats them alive, till it is too painful to bear on their own that they are willing to show the world exactly how much it hurts, in the hope that it will ease the pain of being unable to face their own demons.”

“Jaejoong…”

“It isn’t just him, can’t you see? Look deep within yourself and ask if you have truly forgiven him, and that trust is mended. Ask yourself what happens if he runs away again, will you trust him to come back to you? Can you trust him not to blow everything out of proportion in his mind, and blame you for his pain. Can you trust him not to project his insecurities on you?”

“I do trust him,” Yunho’s voice is equally soft, though his slight hesitance is picked up by Changmin who shakes his head and closes his eyes, leaning back into the couch and wishing he was somewhere else.

Mrs Jung sighs, deciding to leave it alone. It’s not her place to harp on her grown son like this. Except when it came to Jaejoong, Yunho has always done the right thing. She will have to trust that he has grown up enough over the last few years to know what the right thing is when it comes to the sensitive older man he loves to distraction, who thinks more with his heart than his mind, and she doubts it will ever change.

All she can do is nudge them in the right direction.

“Pain is not meant to be shared, Yunho. Not like this. If you want to keep him forever, you have to help him find the strength to address his pain in a healthy manner, because if you don’t, he will continue to lash out like this, and blame you for everything. How long do you think your relationship will last then? How long before you turn on yourself because of your inability to ease his pain? How long before you want to feel his hurt because he is hurting? How long before your friends, family, and brothers start picking sides when you refuse to leave him? How long before your relationship becomes a battleground that involves everyone else, because he is incapable of fighting his own demons. You need to help him, Yunho, but you cannot offer him something that he doesn’t believe in. You have to give him what he knows.”

“How can he know my strength and not believe in my love?”

Mrs Jung smiles sadly, dropping her hand and her gaze as she stares out in the direction that Jaejoong had taken when he left.

“Because he knows you have strength enough to cast him out of your life, even though you loved him still.”



“Hyung?! Hyung?!”

One of the PDs comes out of a room, looking a little wild about the eyes. “Yoochun-ssi, he’s in here.”

Yoochun doesn’t hesitate, brushing past the man he barrels into the room only to stop short in shock.

No broken furniture.

No screaming and ranting singer.

In fact, the room is small, quiet, and filled with people.

All of Jaejoong’s band to be exact, listening raptly to the man whom he just cut off mid-sentence.

“Just the man I was looking for,” Jaejoong murmurs with a twist of his lip.

Even the way he says it sends a chill up Yoochun’s spine, and he looks at his friend, brother, member, and all he sees is cold, dark, emptiness in his expressive doe eyes.

“I need to talk to you.”

“Later.”

“No, hyung. We need to talk now.”

“Then talk.”

Yoochun looks around the room, but he didn’t have to. The band have already started leaving.

One by one, the skirt around both men, none of them saying anything, not even a greeting.

The tension rolling off Jaejoong can be felt by all, and it keeps them silent.

When the door shuts on the last band member, Jaejoong spins on his heel, shrugging out of Yunho’s hoodie and dropping it carelessly to the floor, even stepping on it as he picks up the shiny shirt from the back of a chair. He hesitates, dropping it back to the chair and digs into his back pocket, procuring a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.

“I don’t think you can smoke in here.” Yoochun’s eyes are on the hoodie on the floor, resisting the urge to just grab his hyung by the shoulders and shake him.

“Don’t care,” comes the curt reply which is immediately followed by the click of the igniter, and the shaky inhale of someone trying his damnedest to keep his shit together.

Jaejoong perches topless on the dressing table and looks at his friend.

His hand is shaking, the cigarette wobbling madly between his fingers, almost dropping a couple of times as he takes another shaky inhale.

Yoochun stares back, but no words are exchanged, and he gives up on the eyeballing competition, moving to pick up the hoodie off the floor.

“Leave it.”

“No.” Yoochun replies simply, snatching the hoodie up before Jaejoong can step down on it again. “You’re being childish.”

“So you’re on his side now? Figures.”

“His side? His side? His side is your side and your side is our side, you fool! What is wrong with you? You are Kim Jaejoong. Stop acting like your character for fuck’s sake!”

Jaejoong stares at his friend as he finishes his cigarette. He makes a show of licking his thumb and index finger, eyes never leaving Yoochun’s face, before pinching the burning tip of his cigarette and dropping it into the wastebasket.

“Hyung…what are you doing?” Yoochun’s tone changes, growing softer rather than accusatory. He is tired. He can see Hero in Jaejoong, and he’s wondering if somehow, his hyung cannot delineate between the two any more.

“Do you know how much it hurts?”

“I—“

“No, you can’t know. You’ve never been in a relationship like this. We’re not normal. We’re not the acceptable rubric. We were born sick.”

Alarm bells are ringing in Yoochun’s head.

“No, hyung. You are normal, we accept you as you are, and you are most certainly not sick.”

“You weren’t there the last time I was here.”

“I know things were said but—“

“She said she wanted to give Yunho’s wife the recipe for his favorite soup. I don’t even know what this favorite soup is.”

“He loves whatever you cook.”

Jaejoong’s smile is peculiar, but it is true. “You’re a good dongsaeng.”

“Hyung…”

“We’re supposed to be in character all the time, remember?”

Yoochun cocks his head. “So your rudeness to his mother was Hero not Jaejoong?”

Jaejoong looks away, hopping off the table. He grabs Yunho’s hoodie from Yoochun’s hand and brings it up to his nose.

His eyes are glittering over the material as he inhales deeply, eyes empty at first, staring at nothing. Olfactory senses kick in, and it brings back memories and his body tingles. Lost doe eyes, deep and dark with emptiness start to fill with sorrow as he remembers.

“I believed the fairytale for such a long time till the Hope Concert when your parents made damn clear to me that it was exactly that. A fairytale.”

“Hyung…”

“Will you play with me?” he asks, voice muffled by the material against his mouth.

Yoochun’s eyes widen. “What?”

Jaejoong turns, half his face still pressed against Yunho’s hoodie. It barely smells like the man anymore, but he can still smell him.

He can smell him on his own skin.

And it hurts so deeply.

He is the hyung.

Protect him.

“I am not going to lose my son because of you.”

She won’t. She won’t lose her son. He won’t do this to Yunho any more. He can’t keep doing this to Yunho. He has responsibilities. His parents, his career, his future. Yunho’s responsibilities will always come before his love for Jaejoong, and he cannot keep coming in second. It may be selfish of him, but he needs to find someone who will place him first, or at least consult him when he has to be placed second.

His wants.

His needs.

And his insecurities.

Someone who will not give him up when it gets too difficult.

Yunho loves him, this he believes, but Yunho is also the one who cast him out.

Just like his parents who were meant to love him.

The natural order of things, where parents care and love their offspring.

It all went wrong for him.

And now this unnatural love he shares with Yunho.

It has to stop.

“Piano. Accompany me for the first two half songs. Keep me sane on that stage so I don’t do anything stupid.” Jaejoong’s eyes finally fill with something recognizable as he asks his soulmate for help. “Please,” his eyes are filling quickly, but he refuses to give in to the tears, as he decides to stop fighting for something that can never belong to him.

Not when Yunho belongs to so many.

He will never be only Jaejoong’s.

And he accepts that.

“Hyung…what are you doing?” The look in Jaejoong’s eyes is part resolute, part devastated, and he knows his hyung has decided on some crazy path that may or may not result in separation yet again. How Jaejoong cannot seem to see that Yunho needs him as much as he needs Yunho is truly beyond him. It’s like the man chooses to be willfully blind at his own expense. Nothing good ever came from keeping the oldest members apart.

Not even national television.

A random memory assails him, one of the numerous variety shows they were on. It was a program involving food, and there were at least ten people at the laden table including DBSK. Jaejoong was sitting at the one end with no one on his right, while Yunho was at the opposite end, surrounded by at least three or four others. He was definitely stuck in the middle of his seat, with no escape.

However, escape he does.

Surrounded by people nonetheless, the leader of DBSK found his way to Jaejoong’s side. His empty right side.

Did he care that people were calling him to return to his original seat?

No.

Did he care that his back was to the camera in his position next to Jaejoong?

No.

Did he care to let Jaejoong know that DBSK were supposed to sit together but the PDs decided to mix them up at the last minute?

Yes.

Jaejoong’s smile had been brilliant that day.

Shy, and love sick.

Just like he was this morning at the hotel.

Yoochun is sure Yunho’s mother didn’t mean what it sounded like she meant.

Judging from Jaejoong’s expression though, he doubts the man even considers she might not.

And that is a serious problem.

Where is the trust?


xoxx



“I can’t take this,” Joong Ki whispers to Ah In, the two of them seated with Kim Sung Ryung and Kim Sung Soo, Yunho’s parents in the drama, in the row behind the rest of their Anyang Halla teammates. “I feel like we’re living in a drama without a scriptwriter and every turn, something happens. I’ve never been this stressed in my life.”

“Imagine how they feel,” Ah In replies simply, eyes on the stage ahead of them.

Joong Ki opens his mouth to reply, but after a few seconds, decides against it.



Yunho’s mind is filled with his mother’s words. He’d tried to get her to take Jihye and leave but she refused.

”I want to see how far he takes this. You know your own self, son. How much can you bear before you lose yourself and break right along with him? Give him what he needs, but be mindful of yourself. I will always be proud of you no matter what. Your father is not here but he has given his blessings, with a disclaimer. If Jaejoong choose to take the path of destruction, he will die before he allows you to follow.”

“Does this involve coming out?”

His mother shakes his head. “Son, your father loves you more than that. He just wants you to be happy, but if Jaejoong destroys your happiness, he will interfere.”

“What if my happiness is with Jaejoong?”

“Then make sure he knows that. Knows this without a doubt.”




The deep resonating sounds of the piano echo around the venue.

Surprised exclamations come from all around including cast members when the light shines on the person playing the piano.

Park Yoochun.

This is no Anyang Halla forward.

Are they in character or not? What is going on?

Conversations die into hushed whispers, and then completely when the spotlight moves to shine on the man standing in the middle of the stage.

Scattered screams as the fans take in the glowing blond with the dead eyes.

Yunho inhales a slow fortifying breath.

This is Hero, not his Jaejoong. This is Hero.

This is Hero.

This is Hero.

This is Hero.

This is Hero.

Or is it?



Changmin’s expression is incredulous when he finally recognizes the introduction. “Crazy in Love?”

I look and stare so deep in your eyes, I touch on you more and more every time.

The beat is very slow and deliberate, nothing at all like the original as Jaejoong sings slowly, mouth pressed against the microphone, his eyes scanning the room, looking for—

When you leave I’m begging you not to go.

He finds him as their eyes lock.

Call your name two or three times in a row.

Yunho sees nothing in Jaejoong’s eyes.

Such a funny thing for me to try to explain, how I'm feeling and my pride is the one to blame yeah.

Even with the slight twitch of his lips at the words, the singer’s eyes remain shuttered.

Cos I know I don’t understand, just how your love can do what no one else can…

He closes his eyes at the final word, the music ceasing as he drags out the final note quietly.

A purposeful pause, as the audience holds their breath.

It’s the way that you know what I thought I knew…

Instead of the chorus, he goes into another part of the song, his pure voice accompanied solely by the piano. The pain in that line shatters Yunho from within, Jaejoong’s hand reaching out towards him and curling into a fist as he squeezes his eyes shut.

It’s the beat that my heart skips when I’m with you…

Heavy lashes lift to show doe eyes filled with tears.

But I still don’t understand, just how your love can do what no one else can…

The auditorium holds their breath, swept up in Jaejoong’s sweeping vocals that emote and make you feel more than you want to feel.

More pain.

More sorrow.

Whatever he wants you to feel, unless you have a heart made of stone, you will feel.

Some have started singing the chorus to themselves, in the slow deliberate beat of Jaejoong’s remixed piano version.

Got me hoping you’ll save me right now, your kiss got me hoping you’ll save me right now.

But he thwarts them again, singing a different part of the chorus that the one expected, and singing acapella, no musical accompaniment whatsoever.

It is almost like he is talking.

Hoping.

Asking.

Many eyes turn towards Yunho seated in the midst of his team flanked by Changmin and Junsu.

Even the PDs seated in the row ahead of him twist in their seats to look at him.

The head writer right along with him, though she keeps half an eye on the blond man onstage.



His mother’s final words are hammering at his skull.

“Then make sure he knows that. Knows this without a doubt.”

Then Jaejoong starts to sing again.

The moment is lost.

Gone, as Jaejoong closes his eyes.

A single tear slips out, falling from his eyes.

Looking so crazy in love’s got me looking, got me looking so crazy in love…

His angst fills that final verse, the despair and frustration can be heard as he lets it all out in that final note, to the accompaniment of not just the piano, but his band. The crashing sound of the drums and cymbals is like the final nail in the simple song arrangement.

Jaejoong’s voice echoes in the auditorium, before falling silent.

Before anyone can start reacting, the band continues to play, smoothly transiting as he launches into the booming chorus of another song.

A song many people recognize despite the fact that it is an English song, for the scandal that had come with the video had reached far and wide across the world.

And despite being banned, almost everyone knows it, many shocked and aghast at the man’s choice.

The graphic and blasphemous (in some minds) subject matter of the song.

For Hero Jaejoong to sing it here in Gwangju of all places, to the audience that he has.

The singer has lost his mind.

When his eyes open to the soaring chorus, they are no longer dead, but blazing in challenge as they lock once again with warm almond eyes. He takes the microphone from the stand, stalking to the front of the stage to make his point.

Take me to church, I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies. I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife, offer me my deathless death. Good God, let me give you my life.

There is no question to whom he is singing to, for his hand is outstretched, curled in want and frustration in Yunho’s direction, before he flings it out to encompass the entire auditorium, as he repeats the chorus once again.

b>Take me to church, I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies. I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife, offer me my deathless death. Good God, let me give you my life.

Begging their indulgence.

Demanding that they listen to him.

Offering himself to the world to do as they please.

No Masters or Kings when the Ritual begins. There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin.

Jaejoong starts to walk backwards, back to his mic stand as he replaces his mic in its cradle.

His eyes never leave Yunho.

In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene…only then I am human…

The singer’s eyes finally close, and he doesn’t see Yunho standing up, causing a stir amongst the people around him. Jaejoong’s head is bent, practically clinging to his microphone for dear life, giving the impression that if he lets go, he will fall.

Only then I am clean…

Cameras pan towards the grim faced leader of Anyang Halla, the ice hockey chaebol loosening his tie as he stalks off backstage.

Jaejoong opens his eyes and his gasp is captured by his microphone when he finds Yunho no longer in his sight. His voice trembles, but he sings it true.

Amen.







AN1: We’re heading into the final quarter or so of the story. Final chapter will be in the 20s and may hit 25 like ICE but I doubt it.

AN2: I apologize btw, because I know I probably failed at showing how dramatic that performance was. It’s hard to show because Jaejoong’s attention was 100% on Yunho. It’s like he doesn’t give a fuck about the world and his needlepoint attention is just on one man, and to involve everyone’s reaction to him was difficult for me because I really only saw Jaejoong and Yunho too ugh. I’m sorry.



Ok so I hopped on one last time before bed thinking maybe something nice and fluffy and then I see you posting this.  Can I walk away?  Hell no!  Argh!!!!


Oh god LITI is really becoming the most emotionally draining story I've ever read. Jaejoong's pain is so evident... god...my heart hurts.
And poor Yunho, oh dear god. His mother really is right. They need to learn to btrust each other again.
It feels so odd to think the end is in sight for LITI lol. It's always going to be one of my absolute favorites because I think this is the first non AU fics that I got so emotionally invested in. Kudos to your wonderful writing and thank you for sharing it with us!

I think I need to go watch cat videos or something because god the images of YunJae in their pain will just not go away...

this chapter is so emotional so much pain and sorrow

with every mew chapter it is more difficult to wait for update as it is commimg to the final and i hope so much for the happy end for Yunjae

Hihaaaaaa new chapterrr... gonna read it *runnnnnnnn

All my energy drained as I finish this...
So much to heal in their relationship...
I hope Jaejoong never give up even if it mean to protect Yunho.

Edited at 2015-05-02 07:56 am (UTC)

They're so frustrating, how do you put up with them? Maybe it's just to reminiscent of real life; Jaejoong stands on stage singing song after song to his lost love and Yunho maintains complete silence as if JYJ and Jaejoong especially never existed. I hope you can knock some sense into them! Fighting:)

Omg this chapter is so emotionally wreaking and here I am reading it with my younger brother studying for his finals beside me and I can't freaking make a sound to disturb him! T___T *sniffles*
Erm... I think my mind gone bonkers towards the end to understand it, correct me if I am wrong, did Jaejoong just come out to the whole stadium of audience by singing that song...?

Goshhh this chapter is yet another one of stress. ;_; love is simple yet so complicated that many times you can not only love by heart but by brain too.

I haven't read the fic yet because I'm listening to Take Me To Church nonstop. The song is so good. I tend to like most of the song you include in your fics ^^
Also, thanks for the update, nothing better to start the day where I'll see Yunho than a new chapter for LITI.

Crying... And crying.. I couldn't stop...

i felt the pain in this part of the chapter alright.

i actually thought that yunho's mother will be an enemy... turns out she was just testing jaejoong and yunho... and jaejoong had failed her test because of the way he acted. but i really can't blame him. mama jung is right, though. both yunho and jaejoong are at fault and they really have to try and gain that lost trust in each other back... more so for jaejoong before both of them self destruct.

jaejoong has this kind of twisted love in yunho but it is love nevertheless and the same goes of yunho... but in this universe, jaejoong let his demons get the best of him and yunho... bless him, mama jung is right once again, as is changmin, that yunho does the right things... except when it comes to jaejoong... and mama jung will definitely interfere when jaejoong destroys yunho's happiness because of his insecurities and lack of trust in yunho. gotta give some props to papa jung as well because he did give his blessing as well... condition attached.

i followed your instruction and listened to both songs when i was reading the concert part of this and wow. that hurt. the songs and your writing... that hurt... i hurt for jaejoong and i hurt for yunho... and this one question keeps flashing in my mind: "what will happen now?"

and that moment when yunho had stood up and stalked back stage when jaejoong's eyes were closed... and then jaejoong's reaction at not seeing yunho when he opened his eyes...

i can't. my mind keeps asking "what will yunho do?" "what will jaejoong do?" "what will happen now?"

excited to read more but kind of sad that this story will be nearing its end. :3

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I hope jae realizes that what yunhos mom meant is not what he is thinking. But so far it doesn't look like it will be that way. Poor them. Thanks for the update.

so sad , trying to hold tears ;;;;thanks for writing &sharing