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All skin and no shame

...innocence is just an illusion...


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[18b] Embracing the Intangible
YJ01
beeswaxing
Title: Embracing the Intangible
Series: The Trophy Wife
Pairing: HoMin
Rating: PG-13
Length: One-shot in two parts
Genre: AU, mpreg
Disclaimer: I don't own anything apart from the story. Please don't kill me.

Summary: The words have been exchanged many times now, but as the young supermodel finally realises, it is the actions that have always spoken loud and clear…they just hadn’t been listening.

AN1: This was really slow to write and the mood is just really slow in general so idk…I guess it’s not really the usual TW update. Also, there are random photos in here for whatever reason… I was in a photo mood so apologies if that isn’t your thing. Let me indulge cos this was very hard to write :3

AN2: I wrote this in pieces and I just hope they were glued together properly. All mistakes are mine.







“Even then. I’m not infallible so I know I will fail, but ultimately, just know that I’m on your side.”

Yunho feels his wife’s body tense up. He remembers the conversation now. He remembers it like it was yesterday, his eyes closed, he can see the fiery supermodel back then fighting tooth and nail to gain an inch when Yunho would have given him a mile had he simply asked. Running a soothing hand up and down the young man’s stiff back, Yunho simply holds the supermodel the way he did all those years ago, willing to wait for as long as necessary for him to decide what to do next.

The decision lies solely with his wife.

Changmin’s mind is whirling like the typhoons that visit their part of the world.

The crash of memories come at him over and over like incessant waves pounding at the wall he had built over the years, hitting him with hazy recollections that slowly coalesce into something more vivid, breaking through that wall he had thought impenetrable.

Emotional winds of feelings he had suppressed for so long being forcefully pulled from those crashing memories and swirling around him, suffocating him from their sheer velocity at first, the deep gusts push him, teetering towards the edge — a potential drop into oblivion.

A lashing rain, each drop is like a taunt, echoing in his mind that he should have seen it, he should have felt it, he should have accepted it, he should have known — the sting of precipitation sending goosebumps racing across his skin, a physical manifestation of the tempest within his mind.

Lightning illuminates, even if it is only fleeting, but it is enough, showing him what the waves, the winds and the driving rain were trying to point him towards — it shows him what he missed before, nearly two and a half years ago and asking him to see it for what it is now and lay it to rest for good.

Leaning back, feeling Yunho’s hands drop to rest in the small of his back, just above the slight curve of his ass, he pulls the sunglasses from his face and tosses them aside, exposing red rimmed eyes wet with tears, heartbreak within them, yet it is all overlaid by an uncharacteristic sheen of desperate hope. The supermodel does not realise that he had been lying in the protective circle of his husband’s arms for the better part of thirty minutes as the hurricane assaults him from within, culminating in the deafening thunder of his heart, sounding like a knell in his ears as he says the words.

“You know.”

It isn’t a question, but a statement. A conclusion he has arrived at after the turmoil of the last half hour. It isn’t accusatory in the slightest, merely an assessment of the facts laid out before him. And despite the flood of emotions that are severely threatening to overwhelm him and his very existence, the new university student feels preternaturally calm, as if he is sitting in the eye of the storm, a small respite from the past half hour.

If Yunho thought he was in pain earlier, it is nothing like what he feels now. He knew Changmin had been crying in his arms, able to tell from the change in his wife’s breathing as he lay against him, the deep breaths he takes through his mouth and how he exhales bypassing his nose. However he only started about ten minutes ago and the shade of his reddened eyes, practically bloodshot, betrays a lengthy bout of tears that Yunho had not been present for.

He has been responsible for more tears than he should have been allowed, a quota of a loving husband should never exceed the amount he knows he has already caused in their three plus years of marriage. Dry spells are never good but in this instance, he’d be happy for a perpetual dry spell for the rest of their lives if it means never causing his wife to cry again.

Reaching up, he gently cups the younger man’s cheek, thumbing away at another tear that loses its fight with gravity. More tears fall when Changmin closes his eyes, lifting his own hand to Yunho’s that is cradling his face as he tilts his head into the tender touch.

The Jung CEO pulls the supermodel towards him, kissing away a couple more tears before dropping his hand from his cheek to take his hand instead.

Changmin’s eyelids flutter open at the loss of his husband’s quiet touch, eyes questioning.

Yunho’s next words are deliberate, and he infuses it with as much love and care that he can. Both he and his wife have always been able to communicate without speaking about most things to the envy of even the Parks, but they have years worth of missed cues on what matters the most

“Come on,” his voice is hardly more than a soft whisper, eyes never leaving his wife’s. “Let’s go to bed.”

Changmin stares at his husband.

Through the haze of a fresh wave of tears, he does not look away.

Perhaps it is a trick of the light or perhaps he is simply going blind from the tears clouding his vision but he swears he sees a tear that is not his own.

And his very being is shattered from his new reality.

A reality that has always been there far earlier than he had imagined or even hoped for.

A reality he had been blind to.

A reality they were both blind to.

Lifting his hand to mimic the tenderness his husband had accorded him earlier, his thumb catches the tangible evidence of that intangible thing he missed all those years ago.

Yunho turns his face into his wife’s clammy palm, closing his eyes and kissing the very centre, not realising that another lonely tear has escaped his warm eyes.

“You’re not allowed to cry.” Changmin’s voice is equally soft, a little husky, his throat parched and aching.

A small smile tugs the corner of Yunho’s mouth and he opens his eyes to look at the gorgeous man he married out of hand for no true reason except the fact that he had fallen for the mouthy teenager on sight. Fallen in lust will always be his excuse. He kisses his wife’s palm one more time before tugging the hand from his cheek and dropping it gently on his shoulder.

“Are you staying where you are?”

Deliberately misunderstanding, the younger man tilts his head, eyes never leaving his husband’s. “Of course.”

Yunho’s hands curl around Changmin’s waist. His large hands not quite spanning the circumference but it’s close enough. His thumbs slip under his wife’s tee, caressing the planes of his abdomen near his belly button, just shy of touching his faded C-section scar. He hears a choked sob at the gentle touch and he moves quickly, shifting to cup his wife’s ass, he stands in one fluid motion with the supermodel in his arms. He doesn’t get a glimpse of Changmin’s face as the taller man curls around him like a sad little koala, face buried against his shoulder as the shuddering sobs starts again.

The Jung CEO doesn’t speak as he strides to their bedroom, covering the distance quickly with his long legs despite his additional load. He can tell Changmin is trying desperately to contain his tears, feeling the man’s fingers digging into his back as he tries to gain some semblance of control. He can also tell when he gives up as his wife curls tighter around him, long legs squeezing around his waist, arms holding on as if he’s afraid that his husband may disappear.



Changmin presses his face against the side of Yunho’s neck, hot tears streaming down his cheeks as he lets go of his defences once again, opening up to the raw pain threatening to consume him. Yunho’s absentminded caress, something he’d been doing a lot since that day at the photoshoot, felt like a hot knife slicing through the butter that is his heart. Yet despite the consuming agony of his loss, there is a little voice in his head that keeps repeating the same two words over and over again.

He knew.

He knew.

He knew.


He knew and he never said a single word of blame, not even once in anger.

He knew and he still loved him anyway, even though it was over nine months later that he finally vocalised it.

He knew and gave him his space to deal with it, for Changmin remembers the subsequent few months after his return from Los Angeles.

For many couples, he is sure they would prefer to deal with it together, but back then, he was still eighteen, still unsure of his position, and too afraid of getting hurt even more yet wanting and needing his husband nonetheless. He just couldn’t vocalise it and from memory, he is sure he didn’t actually want to vocalise it either.



He remembers how Yunho was always there for him, to the point where he had complained, not very seriously, that the man always seemed to be underfoot. He wrote it off back then as Yunho having one of his usual bouts of possessiveness for the man had followed him to every single schedule for a good three months. Meetings were rearranged, business conducted in hotels rather than offices, and after a particular incident on a flight back to Seoul from London, the magnate had decided they would fly on a private jet for awhile. He remembers thinking at the time that Yunho probably doesn’t want the tabloids to get hold of the fact that his wife had absolutely lost his shit in first class.

Now, with the benefit of retrospection, his assumption for Yunho’s actions made no sense at all. Not once did the businessman chastise Changmin for his shocking behaviour, and in fact, he had had a word with the captain when they disembarked. In the limo on the way back to their apartment, he had chartered a private plane to be on standby for the next three months without a word of consultation with his errant wife. Still sore from the blow-up on the plane, and guilty for acting exactly the opposite of what his position as a trophy wife entailed, the supermodel hadn’t paid much attention to his husband, feeling sorry for himself for most of the ride, curled up in a corner of the car and staring at the falling snow outside.

He had been absolutely sick of the flight attendants who always seemed to do their best to fawn like fucking thirsty harpies over his husband. Bad enough Changmin was already feeling like a broken product, the emptiness within him a constant reminder of his ineffective body, and with nowhere and no one to share his sorrow, he had lashed out when one of the giggling female attendants practically shoved her boobs into his seemingly amused husband’s face as she tried to convince the man to remove his baseball cap for takeoff.

Changmin when angry, can be unkind for he does not bother with a filter, brutally effective in his choice of words. While his best friend tends to utilise the volume of his voice to show his displeasure, Changmin maintains a perfectly level cadence, his tone quite reasonable on occasion, but the missiles shooting from his mouth would blow up anyone in his path.

He speaks his mind, something Yunho had always appreciated, but perhaps not quite in a setting like that, being the stickler for proper behaviour that he is. The flight attendant had burst into tears, and still the supermodel had not let up on his scathing words, his eyes flashing the depth of his anger at her audacity. He cut a stunning figure to be sure in his woolen long coat, and he hadn’t even had time to remove his scarf as he ripped her to shreds in front of three other couples and a single man in the first class cabin, not to mention her fellow flight crew. Interestingly the other wives, two female and one male, sitting in first class had applauded when he finished though their husbands had looked varying degrees of appalled.

His husband’s face had been wiped of any expression, though Changmin saw the tick in his jaw that signifies the fact that his patience is being sorely tried, but he will deal with it later, outside of the public eye. The supermodel had felt a twinge of remorse about his behaviour almost instantly when he saw Yunho’s face, but he felt like the victim in this instance and had not tried to apologise with any words, though he does try with his hands, rubbing Yunho’s forearm while he read his fashion magazine, moving to his thigh while they ate lunch in silence, sending meat from his own plate to his husband’s and feeling at least a little better when Yunho ate everything without a word.

To his husband’s credit, he did not push the teenager away, but he did not reciprocate overtly either though he did keep his cap on the entire duration of the long flight.

They did not speak for the rest of the flight, and that later he had expected never came.

Yunho never mentioned the incident to the point where at times, Changmin still occasionally believes he imagined the whole thing.

He never brought it up either.



His wife’s crying has subsided, something Yunho is thankful for, but he is still loathe to let the younger man go.

He is sitting on the bed, just waiting for Changmin to emerge when he feels ready, content to just hold his wife.

Twenty minutes pass with neither man moving, until a low growling sound breaks the silence.

Changmin rears back immediately, an imprint of the button that secures Yunho’s collar to his shirt on his chin. The indentation accentuates the youthful features of the normally poised supermodel, giving him a tiny air of whimsy that fits in nicely with the mess of his hair sticking up on one side and flattened on the other, his dark brown bambi eyes, while still holding a measure of his sorrow, is overwhelmed by concern for his husband’s rumbling belly.

“Did you eat anything more than strawberries today?” he questions, his voice laden with suspicion. His heart tugs when his CEO husband suddenly looks guilty and a boyish expression of contrition appears on his handsome face. “Old man…” Changmin sighs, looking down, running his fingers up and down the row of buttons on his husband’s business shirt before he starts unraveling the man’s tie.

Yunho is content to watch his wife, not answering really because he doesn’t need to. His heart still hurts for the evidence of the multiple crying bouts are obvious on the supermodel’s expressive face.

The dried tear streaks.

Red-rimmed eyes.

Yet everything is overlaid by his clear concern.

Changmin folds the tie neatly, hoping the heat in his face isn’t too obvious. He has rather fond memories of Yunho’s ties and whenever he touches one, which is rather often, he wonders if his husband will play with him the way he did when he was punishing him for his laughable trick about the Handbook. He has never asked for it himself because…well how do you ask for something like that? He also knows Yunho has likely never repeated it because Changmin had told him in not so many words that he would never forgive his husband for that stunt he pulled.

“What are you thinking about?” Yunho asks, curious about the colour slowly rising in his wife. The younger man’s ears are practically on fire.

The sometime supermodel doesn’t reply, willing his body to behave, but Yunho’s proximity is dulling his senses, plus they are already on the bed.

He moves to undo the remaining buttons on his husband’s shirt, head resolutely down.

Fingers caressing and stroking the man’s chest as he frees each button from their hole, concentrating quite avidly on his task because he knows if he looks at Yunho’s face, all will be lost.

Or won, depending on how you look at it.

Changmin has never ever lost in the bedroom, and he’s not referring to their battles for dominance. Even when Yunho ultimately has his way, it’s always what he wants anyway, he just doesn’t want to be a pushover. That primal attraction he felt for the older man that made him throw away whatever good sense he had at the time when he was seventeen is still very much in evidence at twenty-one, perhaps even more so now since the intense attraction is coupled with a very large helping of love.

Yunho leans back, observing his wife closely. He can tell that Changmin, for one reason or other, is growing increasingly aroused, one of the few things the supermodel has never been able to hide, but this time he appears to be valiantly trying his best to do so. The colour is high in his cheeks, accentuating that crystal bone structure he is so known for, still apparent even when his face got puffy during his pregnancy.

It is that memory that reminds Yunho as to why his wife is here with him in Japan, unplanned, and their children are asleep in the Park Mansion in South Korea. It is a sobering thought, and it momentarily dulls his own inclination to indulge his wife. After so many years, he knows sex is something Changmin holds onto when there is some type of conflict, because since the day they met, that was the one thing that was completely and utterly honest between them.

It never needed to be said.

It was so tangible you could feel it.

Changmin tugs his husband’s shirt from his waistband, doing his very best not to give in to the temptation of stroking lower.

He wins that battle.

Yunho leans forward to push Changmin’s leather jacket from his shoulders, and the supermodel allows the manhandling, his body automatically cooperating as if on muscle memory to people tugging clothes off him or putting them back on him. It’s not something he thinks about, and many a time he’s found himself stripped naked by a very amused husband, and none the wiser.

A louder rumble breaks the tension laden silence of the room, and both husband and wife look up simultaneously, their eyes meeting properly for the first time in over thirty minutes.

The younger man smiles softly at the sound, his reaction much more mellow than usual, unfurling himself carefully from his husband’s body. His legs feel like deadweight but having had to sit for some photoshoots where he’s been stuck in the same pose for much longer, his body adapts quickly and he manages to gain his feet without so much as a sway, though he does keep a hand against his husband’s shoulder.

He is still wearing the same button down from that morning, his face expressing his displeasure at the thought. His fingers make quick work of the shirt, and he’s out of it, and into Yunho’s discarded shirt in seconds. He is essentially topless, merely doing up a cursory button on the shirt too large for him before grabbing his husband’s hand and tugs.

“Come on. I’ll make you something otherwise you won’t be able to go to work tomorrow. You can chew on one of those chalk pills while you wait.”

Yunho makes a face at his wife’s words, for he hates those pills, tugging his wife towards him instead as he stands so the model falls right into his arms.

“Yah!” the younger man exclaims, but before he can protest further, a warm mouth closes over his, silencing him rather effectively.

One hand still clasped within Yunho’s larger hand, his other moves back up to his husband’s shoulder, as there is now something that can easily knock him off balance, and it is not odd at all to him that he is seeking strength from the very person who can throw him off his axis.

Yunho wraps his free hand around the back of Changmin’s neck to control the intensity of the kiss because his wife can make him forget every single good intention he has.

He needn’t have worried though. Husband and wife are completely in accord that evening.

Their mouths slant over each other’s, Yunho’s tongue delving into the warmth of his wife, the other welcoming it and suckling on it, a beautiful moan escaping between them.

The kiss is slow, more of a languid greeting between spouses than a prelude to bedroom activities, their tongues stroking each other’s without any sense of urgency, tasting each other and savouring it. Yunho’s gentle stroking of his wife’s nape with his thumb causes goosebumps and the kiss naturally deepens, another soft moan escaping from the supermodel’s throat as he rubs against his husband, and in that very moment, content to continue kissing forever if he could.

Changmin’s moan is of pleasure, and not just of the physical kind for that is inevitable, but of the emotional kind, for he truly missed his husband’s touch and his husband in general, well before the event that had all but driven him to Japan that day. Yunho’s scent, taste and just the profound emotional pleasure he gets from being in the man’s arms and kissing him quietly brings a level of contentment that can right every wrong in his day, that he recognises and accepts for what it is.

He derives a lot from his husband, and has always done so over the years.

Their age difference is something that cannot be ignored by either man, and while always demanding to be treated equally and to be given the independence he thought he wanted, Changmin has also, rather contradictorily, needed to be led and looked for affirmation from his husband in this regard.

The perfect trophy wife who can carry on an intelligent conversation about anything, yet despite his own confidence in his intellect, he is always looking towards his husband for direction whether he realised it or not, wanting the assurance from the older man that what he is doing is ok.

Their friends and acquaintances notice, and a lot of them are jealous for they see it as the Jung couple being able to communicate with their eyes. By far, this is true, but Changmin is also looking for signs that his husband is satisfied with him.

For a long time, Changmin believed Yunho married him purely for the unique skill set required in the wife of this particular businessman.

“Men like me don’t have the luxury of wading in sentimental bullshit. A marriage is a contract for services performed and rendered. I’ll be a good husband, and you’ll be a good wife. Anyone who breaks the contract, simply pays the consequences. I don’t want your money, I just want a wife who doesn’t make me cringe every time he opens his mouth, who is intelligent and capable enough to run a large household and manage the finances associated with running such a household, and despite the comfort you will be afforded, will not simply laze around doing fuck all. The fact that you’ve been working since you were fourteen is a shining star on your resume if this role actually required applications.”

And since that was how his marriage began, he never imagined it would be anything but exactly that.

The changes over time were subtle. So subtle that both men were either blind to the signs or chose to attach other reasons to their strange behaviour, completely and resolutely in denial.

When upset about anything when the source isn’t his spouse, a simple touch from Yunho can ease the supermodel immediately. While he may not be over his anger or annoyance, it becomes a lot less palpable as the thundercloud becomes tangibly smaller.

He would have made up any excuse to fly over with the children despite Yunho’s long hours because sharing a bed would have been enough to soothe him for now, but fate had other ideas for them.

His hand curls, squeezing Yunho’s shoulder, feeling the prick of tears as his thoughts once again returns to the matter at hand.

How to be brave?

He knows Yunho will never push him for answers.

He knew and he never said a single word about it in thirty months.

He knew and gave Changmin all the time and space he needed to come to terms with it.

Thirty long months when there was ample opportunity to ask, to demand, to get to the truth.

Thirty months where he could have brought it up during an argument, to be used as a weapon to hurt.

But there was not once that Yunho even hinted that he knew. He kept his wife’s secrets, for they were not his to share - not his to disclose no matter how intimately he is tied to it.

Changmin had thirty long months to think about it, because that twinge of guilt is always at the back of his mind. Yunho deserved to know, but he didn’t know how to tell him. He carried the burden, not as a martyr, but as a rogue.

“How to be brave?” he whispers against his husband’s mouth, not realising he had vocalised his thoughts. The tears spill out once again, his mouth and breath stuttering against his husband’s cupid bow lips.

Yunho opens his eyes, and sees that his wife’s eyes are closed, but hot tears are once again leaking out. He kisses away the ones from the left cheek and moves his hand to cup the other cheek, thumbing away the tears on that side.

His voice is achingly soft and filled with love. “Changmin-ah…you don’t have to talk about it. All I need to know is that you are ok.” He places quiet emphasis on the word and hope his wife understands. “You don’t have to be brave because there is nothing to fear. It’s just you and me. It’s just us. It’s always been just us, and you need to remember that and remember what I said two and a half years ago because I meant every word I said. This marriage only has two people. You and me. Children are a bonus. The twins were a blessing and if they’re going to be our only blessing, then I will not love you any less.” He stops again, closing his own eyes and pressing his forehead against his wife’s, nose to nose, his voice growing hoarse and cracking slightly from emotions he almost never shows. “I love you more for it because you went through that fear alone, and yet you were strong and brave enough to give me our daughters even though I treated you abysmally for quite a period there that made you question my avowals of love. There are not enough apologies in the world from me to make it up to you for the strength you showed, and yet you forgave me anyway. No man can ask for any more from their spouse. I don’t need more, I just need you.”

Their hands are still clasped and Changmin pulls back slightly to lift their intertwined fingers, twisting their hold so he kisses the back of his husband’s hand, before dropping it and holding their hands against his heart.

His eyes are still leaking fluid and he can’t seem to stop them for they just keep flowing, and when he speaks, his tone mirrors that of his husband’s, soft and husky, the emotion within them so strong you can practically touch it.



“When I was seventeen and you had that business trip to Hong Kong, just before we had that rather unfortunate trip to Japan,” he smiles through his tears when Yunho winces, remembering the trip no doubt. “And I couldn’t go with you because I was booked to walk in two shows and shoot that catalogue,” he pauses, his voice lowering till it is practically a whisper. “I missed you so much it physically hurt.” He closes his eyes, reliving the memory. “I hated being so weak back then. I hated that I had fallen for you despite not wanting to and despite me trying to protect myself, I couldn’t. And in Japan, right here, just before you broke that door down and I was ready to walk away,” he pauses again, drawing in a deep shuddering breath and squaring his shoulders. “My heart felt like it was shattering. I heard my own words, but I didn’t feel any of it.”

“What are you saying…” Yunho asks quietly, feeling the tempo of his wife’s strong heartbeat against the back of his hand. His own words on the tip of his tongue. His own confessions, but he wants to hear what his wife has to say because…just because he never imagined…

Changmin smiles again, still tearful but the smile reaches his eyes. He drops their hands and leans into his husband, letting the man take most of his weight. “I’ll say more after you eat.”



The meal is a simple one of gimbap handmade by Changmin.

Yunho is usually banned from the kitchen when his wife is attempting to cook, or cooking, but not that night.

If Changmin were a tortoise, he’d be the shell.

Well, a shell that has to follow instructions to the T if he knows what’s good for him, his wife bossing him around so thoroughly he’d make any drill sergeant proud.

---

”Two minutes! I said two minutes not twenty! It’s instant sushi rice, you’re not cooking it from scratch! Yah, do you even know how to work the microwave? Why do you have to buy the newest in technological advancement when you know my technological age was from ten years ago and I can’t help you with this fucking piece of shit? Where’s the manual for this stupid thing?”

“Matchsticks. You need to slice them matchstick size. Old man, we are not trying to light a bonfire! That’s too thick! DON’T YOU DARE SAY IT.”

“I’m going to burn this egg if I have to watch you every second.”

“Never mind…never mind we don’t need roasted seaweed. Any seaweed as long as it’s edible is fine. JUNG YUNHO DO NOT TURN ON THAT OVEN!”


---

He has just finished rolling the last of the gimbaps, Yunho already devouring three as soon as they were made with no comment from the supermodel because his husband needs to eat. He isn’t hungry but he knows he needs to eat as well otherwise he too will be feeling miserable tomorrow so he kept making more until they finished the rice. Yunho had gone overboard as usual with the task given to him. Changmin asked for carrots, Yunho sliced the entire bag of five when two would have been more than sufficient so he currently has a mountain of unevenly sliced matchstick carrots on one chopping board that will likely go into more gimbap tomorrow. They still have eggs and he saw some tuna. He finished the kimchi for their meal that night but you don’t need kimchi all the time.

Carrying the plate with five rolls of gimbap, able to finish the last two without Yunho hanging off his back as a work call intruded, he is just about to leave the kitchen when a sudden spasm in his belly hits him like lightning.

The plate clatters back onto the granite island, the sound sharp, echoing in the apartment, but Changmin’s shocked gasp of pain is louder still and brings Yunho running from the study, hanging up on Jiyong mid-call.

Yunho finds his wife bent almost double, fingers gripping the granite edge of the island so hard his knuckles are white. He kneels before his wife instead of making the man stand, pushing up his wife’s fringe, his voice gentle.

“How can I help?”

Changmin squeezes his eyes tighter, the spasming easing somewhat but it is still there, just not as intense. He reaches out blindly to place his hands on his husband’s broad shoulders. “S-stand.”

He does exactly that, concerned almond eyes never leaving his wife’s face as he moves slowly into a standing position.

The second they are upright, the supermodel collapses against his husband as another spasm hits him, burying his face against Yunho’s throat, this time only a hiss of pain escaping his lips.

“Will you be alright if I carried you?”

“Wa-wait.”

The spasms have once again subsided enough that he is sure he can walk. He steps out of the protective circle of his husband’s arms, moving quickly because he has no idea when the next one will hit. He grabs two containers and scoops up the carrots into the first, and three rolls of gimbap into the second one before handing both to his husband. “Find the lids and stick it in the fridge please.”

Yunho takes it, but stops his wife when Changmin moves to clear the chopping board and the other bits and piece. “Leave the cleaning. Yuri-san is coming in the morning. She can deal with it.”

Changmin nods tightly, getting a warning this time as he can feel the build up of another spasm. He leans heavily against the island, watching Yunho place both containers into the fridge. He can feel sweat gathering at his hairline as he rides out this more bearable wave, though he feels horrible in general. The pain is just a reminder he doesn’t need. The last hour had almost felt normal again.

“I don’t think you need to carry me, but I need a bath. Will you join me?”

Pressing a kiss against his wife’s sweaty temple, Yunho’s response has a teasing lilt to it though his eyes are full of worry. “I’d join you even if you hadn’t asked.”

“Don’t I know it,” Changmin remarks lightly, turning fully into his husband and looping his arms around the man’s neck, looking deceptively casual even as his body tenses against another wave of pain. His shirt is parted, the sole button he had secured earlier having lost a battle with Yunho’s roaming hands somewhere between the Changmin cutting up the kimchi to Yunho devouring the first gimbap roll in two giant bites. His bare torso is pressed against Yunho’s singlet clad one, and the older man can feel the tension in his wife’s body.

He can see the request in the younger man’s eyes and he complies with a smile, bending over to scoop up his wife easily, Changmin’s hold around his neck never loosening.

“The jacuzzi is already filled and should be the right temperature by now. I ran it earlier while you were frying the eggs, but if you prefer a conventional bath and don’t want bubbles, I can run the tub in the bathroom too.”

Changmin shakes his head, nuzzling against his husband’s cheek. “I need the jets. They’ll help the pain.”

“Are you in a lot of pain?” Yunho asks quietly, walking slowly to their bedroom.

“It comes and goes,” Changmin answers truthfully. “It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the contractions I had with the twins. At least I’m not feeling sick. I’ve been nauseous off and on the last few days but today has been good.”

This time it is Yunho who tenses, his grip of his wife tightening, and his voice is a little sharper than he means it to be, though his growing anger is not at all directed at his wife. “You saw Dr. Eri right?”

“Of course.”

“Has she become so fucking incompetent that she did not prescribe you any medication for this? I know there are several different kinds in the market that you can take so for her not to prescribe even one?” his voice shows his disbelief and displeasure very clearly.

The supermodel goes silent for a long moment. Yunho is already standing by the jacuzzi when he finally answers.

“I refused the medication.”

“Changminnie…” Yunho presses his forehead against his wife’s, closing his eyes against the supermodel’s words and the implication, willing himself to be strong for his spouse and not ask. He already knows why, because he researched it practically to death two and a half years ago based on a strong suspicion and from watching his wife closely. He knows of every single option there is, and he knows which one Changmin was taking back then. He had a doctor on standby, but his wife never showed any signs of discomfort in the weeks following.

A complete contrast to today, and he knows why.

It hurts but it’s not his choice to make because it is not his body, but his wife’s. He will trust in that.



How can I love when I’m afraid to fall?

Changmin is gazing at the bubbles in the jacuzzi. It is much smaller than the one in their penthouse, but that’s simply because this was an afterthought on Yunho’s part. Seeing how excited he had been over that jacuzzi, and for a period, their increased time spent in Tokyo from both their jobs, Yunho had commissioned the installation of one in the corner of their bedroom. An elaborate air system had to be added too to manage the humidity in the room because of it, but nothing is too much for Jung Yunho. He remembers the first time his husband had brought him back to the apartment after it was installed, and how extra appreciative he had been over his husband’s extravagant gesture that he almost didn’t make it to his noon shoot the next day. This was only a few months after they got married, and he doesn’t remember thinking much of it except being surprised that his husband noticed that he rather liked reading in the tub with the jets pounding all the soreness from his muscles from being on his feet for fifteen hours. Most people probably think that being a supermodel is easy, but it isn’t.

Would a husband who didn’t care cause such upheaval in his own life that he had to stay in a hotel instead of his perfectly good apartment for a wife he’d been married to for just shy over three months? A wife who never imagined the type of life he had been given, and was already perfectly happy with what he had, never once complaining about the lack of a jacuzzi in their Tokyo home. A wife who was still trying to find his way, while trying to keep his distance from the mercurial man he married, and failing.

Utterly and completely failing.

It’s practically laughable now that he thinks about it, how hard he fought a battle that was already lost years before he conceded.

He loosens his arms from around Yunho’s neck and shifts in the man’s arms, his need unspoken and yet answered perfectly as if he voiced it, his husband dropping him gently.

Like earlier, Changmin loses his clothes quickly, and is naked and in the tub in less than a minute, sinking low in the water and letting out a relieved sigh as the jets find the right spot in his back. Another spasm hits just after but his expression doesn’t change, now mentally prepared for them.

Yunho doesn’t get in though, simply watching his wife, hands in his pockets.

Changmin can see the play of emotions on his husband’s normally inscrutable face.

Regret.

Sorrow.

And love…

Their eyes meet and they gaze at each other, the room silent apart from the bubbling of the water from the jets.

There are a million questions running through his mind that he wants to ask, but how do you keep asking what is essentially the same question over and over and over again?

When?

When?

When?

And even as the word plays in his mind, another question pops up.

Should it even matter?

Their marriage is not a scorecard.

Not anymore anyway.

It started off that way, a fight with himself constantly well before they were married. When it became Changmin 0 Body 11, he just gave up counting against himself. It was too depressing how easily he succumbs. Even when he tries, his traitorous body knows what it wants and it just wants Jung Yunho.

So he started tabulating the scores against his husband, and if he’s being honest, he cheats at those scores constantly, justifying it to himself somehow.

Yunho normally leads at the get go, practically every single day, but the moment Changmin pulls ahead, he stops counting and assigns that day to himself.

He stopped counting the day Yunho confessed.

So does it really matter?

He is still holding his husband’s gaze, and there is a new feature that he can now see in his husband’s eyes.

Uncertainty.

Watching you stand alone…all of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow

Changmin cannot have that. His husband is the best man he knows, and if he has caused this uncertainty, then he better fucking fix it.

Tilting his head back and sliding forward in the water, he lets out a deep breath as his hair dips into the turbulent water behind him. He dips to his hairline, inhaling and exhaling slowly, trying to fixate his thoughts into something that makes sense other than the annoying jumble it is currently in.

Yunho is the only one who knows him best, even more than the pretty-much-always blond spitfire of a best friend.

His husband is his best friend.

Yunho is the first person he thinks about when he gets good news.

And the first person he thinks about when he gets bad news.

Even when he is the source of his pain, Changmin’s forerunning thought is always to ask the man who broke him, to fix him - and this kept him angry and his defences as high up as he could possibly manage quite a lot of the time during the first half of their relatively short union.

He’s kept a lot to himself during the entire duration of their marriage. He’s opened up a lot more in the last two years then he ever has, but he’s never felt the need to discuss the past. Apart from that one event thirty months ago that he should have told his husband about, he’s never really felt it necessary to look back into their history, and it’s a shortcoming because retrospection can be useful.

Keeping to himself is as natural as breathing, and it even took Jaejoong quite awhile to get him to open up. He’s a loner by nature, yet the two most important people in his life are the complete opposite.

Jaejoong thrives in a crowd, able to wind everyone around his little finger should he choose, manipulating any situation whether for his amusement or advantage. It’s like a game to him, though never cruel, it is still a game Changmin never wants to partake in. He socialises for the sake of his work and that’s it. He rarely speaks unless spoken to and even then, he can be abrupt enough to be written off as rude and aloof. The only time he truly comes out of his shell is when his husband is by his side.

Yunho was born to command a crowd. The second he enters a room, whether you know him or not, your eyes are drawn, as if compelled by an unseen force. Changmin has met many accomplished businessmen and other types of powerful people since being married to Yunho, and whether biased or not, he’s always felt a certain kind of pride only a wife can feel when he sees the difference between his husband and everyone else. Yunho is a natural predator, and he dominates without even trying.

Yet he tried very hard the day they met. To have a man like that zero in on you with laser-like focus, he didn’t have a chance in hell.

Changmin sighs again at the memory, his expression rueful when he finally sits up, wet hair plastered to his head like a close-fitting helmet, returning his gaze to his husband who is still standing there alone, like he never ever should be while Changmin has breath left in his body, and watching him.

“Did I ever tell you that you had me at I?”

Yunho is pretty sure his face mirrors his confusion. And it must be obvious because his wife lets out a soft chuckle when he questions him. “I?”

“I’m glad to see you’re in high spirits,” Changmin mimics, capturing the masculine amusement of his husband’s tone that day, but not quite that intense sexual confidence that adds a certain twist to the magnate’s voice that he had heard as a seventeen year old that had caused a tumultuous clanging of alarm bells to ring so loudly in his head he’s still surprised he didn’t just jump out the nearest window to get away from it. Even the memory causes a shiver to run up his spine, a feat indeed for he is sitting in a tub of very warm water. Hugging his knees again, he runs his eyes up and down his husband’s body. “Why aren’t you in here with me?”

Yunho’s heart is thudding so loudly he can barely hear anything, the roar of blood in his ears at the sudden head rush his wife’s words had given him.

He remembers that.

How could he forget?

The second Changmin had turned, he thought he had been hit by a train and he could barely breathe. He remembers the goldfish he was doing a very good job of impersonating and yet he could not control his reaction in that moment for the supermodel had managed to render him completely and utterly speechless.

And he feels it all over again as he strips off his clothes to join his young wife in their bath.

Changmin stays on his side keeping his eyes on his husband’s face, seeing the glazed look in the man’s eyes and curious about it. The look stays even as he steps into the bath and settles in, the level raising just shy of first lip, both husband and wife having long ago mastered the art of filling the bath exactly right.

The older man lets out a lusty sigh as the jets pound against his tense body, leaning back alongside his wife and closing his eyes, remembering the handsome teenage beauty in his mind that he proposed to out of hand, justifying his actions to himself somehow, but even thinking about it now, he knows he was trying to rationalise it to himself.

Jung Yunho is a singularly rational man, not at all prone to impulsive actions of any sort.

And yet on that one fine day, he had done every single thing possible to make sure the teen never left his arms because he simply could not bear it. Not the thought, nor the reality. He didn’t even go about it the right way, almost going insane with jealousy that could have lost him the brunette less than 12 hours after meeting him. His offers were those of a desperate man, and in that desperation, he had made overtures that would have sounded extremely callous to an impressionable young supermodel.

He asked Shim Changmin to marry him twice, and he remembers telling himself he would not ask a third time.

For a man who prides himself on not lying and having never lied to his wife, Yunho did a damn good job of lying to himself because he would have asked a thousand times more if that was what it took.

Changmin watches his husband’s profile for another minute, before he moves.

Tugging at his husband’s outer leg, he pulls the man’s legs apart to make a Changmin-sized space for himself between the older’s man’s legs. They are practically drowning in bubbles now, the churning water having done a very good job of blowing up the minute amount of bubble bath Yunho had poured in. Leaning back against his husband’s chest, he turns the jets off.

The silence is practically deafening after all the background noise, and their breathing is synced as Changmin leans his head back against a shoulder and pulls his husband’s arms around himself like a comforter, just as another spasm hits, the last one for the night but the supermodel will not know this.

Yunho feels his wife’s body tense abruptly and he drops his hands low, spanning the younger man’s abdomen, he massages gently, hands framing the belly and pushing in gently towards the bellybutton and downwards, the way the numerous videos he had watched two and half years ago had taught to do. He did it when Changmin was asleep, knowing the supermodel never knew as he stared out into the darkness, spooning the sleeping teenager, able to only perform the massage with one hand at a time, but he did it unfailingly for a month. It was one of the reasons why he didn’t let his wife away from his side overnight after he returned from L.A.

Silent tears are falling from Changmin’s eyes, and he closes them, beyond overwhelmed by what his husband is doing, and feeling a love for the man that he can barely articulate.

And so he settles for answers instead.

“How did you know?”

The older man turns his head to press a soft kiss to his wife’s temple, whispering his answer against his warm damp skin.

“You were so sad that day. I’ve never seen you like that, and I just wanted to make it all go away. I suspected when you kept talking about children, and I knew you had left the shoot because you had a medical chit even though you told me otherwise,” he pauses when he feels his wife tensing in his arms. “Hush, baby it’s ok.” He kisses him again before continuing, lips never leaving his skin. “I was never certain that day because I didn’t get the confirmation until I saw your medication a few days later while you were moving your things from one bag to another, but it was just confirmation of something I already knew.”

“How?” Changmin’s voice is a mere whisper.

“That night,” Yunho’s voice cracks, closing his eyes at the memory. “You kept whimpering in your sleep and cradling your belly. I think you were crying in your dreams and no matter how many times I moved your hand away, you kept moving it back, as if trying to protect your body somehow.” He pauses again, opening his eyes this time and kissing his wife again. “I’m so sorry you went through that alone. I couldn’t ask because it was your secret to tell and I was afraid I would hurt you more if I made you talk about it, so I left it…” he trails off, taking a deep breath. “…But I tried my best to make sure you were ok. I knew you got annoyed that I was always around but I couldn’t let you go through it without supporting you in any way I could without actually telling you I knew. I read every article, consulted the best doctors I could find, and just made sure I knew everything there was to know about it in case you needed me.” Yunho’s follows his words with a hoarse chuckle. “But you didn’t need me. You were so strong, Changminnie and —“

“I did need you.” Changmin interrupts, cutting his husband off. “I just needed you. You to be there, and you were there. I just needed you. I’ve always only needed you, don’t you know that?” he asks, his voice full of tears. “Just you. I just need you. Nothing else,” his voice cracks badly as the tears flowed freely. “You could have been the janitor and I would still want you. I didn’t want to need you for the longest time. I thought I was insane to need someone this badly. I wanted independence remember? And you ruined it. I blamed you for ruining it because I needed you. I knew the day we met that you would be the end of me. That you would ruin me and instead of running away like I knew I should, I couldn’t because I already needed you then, even if I didn’t understand why, and I fought with you over stupid things because I didn’t want to need you. If I was ever given a choice, I would always choose you. Sometimes, I even hated that I needed you because all you wanted was a trophy wife and I wanted to just be your wife. Someone you love.”

“Changmin,” Yunho leans back and turns his wife’s face towards him, thumbing away at the flow of tears that are falling unabated, feeling the hot streak of his own tears falling one drop at a time. “I have loved you since the day I met you.”

One step closer…

The supermodel chokes on his tears and turns inward, sloshing water over the edge but nobody in that room cares, as he wraps his arms around his husband’s body and cries, hugging the only man who can ever soothe any pain he has ever felt.

Yunho simply holds him, knowing he has to let it run its course. Those are not just tears for what happened today. He knows his aren’t. He has never ever felt so humbled in his entire life. People have always wanted him for something, but a mere slip of a seventeen year old that several rather stupid former business acquaintances had referred to as being a “nobody” had wanted nothing more than just him. It works both ways though, for Yunho would always choose Changmin too.

Always.



The storm of tears takes awhile to subside, and the water is practically tepid, bubbles long gone, before words are spoken again.

“You had me at fucking I,” Changmin’s voice has a tinge of his usual orneriness even though most of his face is still buried in his husband’s neck, and the salt level of the jacuzzi has greatly increased thanks to his copious contributions. “How does it feel to have seduced jailbait with a letter?”

“Fucking amazing” comes the unexpected reply, complete with a grin that can be heard in his words.

There’s a stunned pause for a few seconds.

“You’re really an old lecher.”

“And you’re an insatiable nymphomaniac.”

“That’s your fault.”

“That’s your fault too.”

“I’m wrinkly.”

“Let’s not go there.”

“Why? Cos you have more wrinkles than me?”

“Changminnie…” Yunho’s sigh is long-suffering, and the subsequent burst of laughter is welcomed even though it is at his expense, for his wife is sitting up and full of mirth, that lopsided eye-smile, though a little redder than usual, is back which is more than enough for him.

“It’s ok, I’ll keep you young with lots of exercise.” Changmin reaches out and pats his husband’s taut belly proprietarily. “Lots and lots and lots of exercise cos we can’t have you getting fat now can we?”

“Let me guess…the horizontal kind?”

The supermodel taps his chin pretending to think about it, before he gives his husband a sly look. “Can we try the vertical kind?”

“Verti—“ Yunho doesn’t manage to finish his exclamation as his wife surges against him, hot mouth open and his body more than willing, feeling the younger man’s erection pressed against him.

There was never any need to keep score.

For at the end of it all, it was always the same.

1 for Yunho and 1 for Changmin.










AN1: Sometimes…a couple just needs each other…

AN2: And as a slightly brighter aside, I asked OH what our contract would have said. His answer is classic him… “Sex twice a day.” OTL

AN3: This was Yunho muse all the way btw. He doesn’t come out very often cos it’s Changmin who usually drives any TW oneshot. The brat did try to take over at one point but Yunho basically told him to sit down with one look and he complied rather begrudgingly lol.



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Oh lord.
The emotions. Oh my god. Oh wow.

I can't even point out how many places I had to stop and just feel the emotions because wow. Oh wow. And I love how you wove in scenes from two years ago, and how Changmin realised Yunho knew.

Speaking of which, that was so heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Heartbreaking because Changmin was in such pain for so long and heartwarming because Yunho doing his best to help Changmin without him even knowing is just... ;;

The sheer love between these two is magically. This has to be my absolute favourite trophy wife chapter. The growth in them as a couple, the realisation that they actually do love and need each other. Wow....just wow. Amazing.

That bit at the end about wrinkles made me laugh too hahaha.

Also, this chapter is basically why Trophy Wife will always be my favourite couple by you.

I wonder if it's like a coping mechanism. I can't, won't and don't deal with emotions IRL so it just spills out here and you guys are collateral damage :-/

Glad you enjoyed it bb :3

reading trophy wife after a long time with soooo many flashbacks was so nice
tnx a lot
changmin muses are the best since he's a big brat, but yunho muse was eye openning :D

Yeah, Changmin can be quite the handful :D

My words fail me so I just say thanks for the wonderful update.


It's ok :) I'm sure i'm wordy enough to make up for all the comments people couldn't write. Thanks for letting me know you read this though and you're welcome :3

I don’t have enough words to describe how I feel about this.... Succintly put, it was bloody fabulous! I love the Sleeping Beauty series, but Trophy Wife is my absolute favorite. Thank you for the update.


Thank you :D Maybe one day I can be that succinct in my fanfics. SB and TW both have a super special place in my heart and i'm happy you love both :3

Nope, don’t change a thing. What seems too wordy to you is a masterfully wrought portrait of your characters for your readers; complete with wonderful settings and glorious colors, too.


I just live u for this update
I need it this
Unff i wanna cry and hug them at the same time
...
I have a break off work and nowni just love reading again ur fics
...
Thank u Yunho muse llease come more often;-)

Yeah I think Yunho muse is really the one least likely to come out cos I literally just let him do whatever he wants to do while it's a lot easier to fight with the other two. With Yunho it's more like MY BODY IS READY, DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.

OTL

i could only imagine what changmin had gone through and the pain he felt. after reading this, somehow i have a little more understanding. the love between yunho and changmin is just so real and true it's kind of spectacularly magical. hahahaha. i don't know how else to describe it. it's just... amazing to see how well they complement each other and how yunho is just so attuned to changmin's feelings.

changmin just needs yunho and nothing else. that really is humbling. it shows how powerful changmin's need and love for yunho is. even if sometimes he denies these emotions by fighting with himself and yunho... and i'm so happy that changmin had told yunho this. and with that confession, came the realization of just how much they love each other.

the "you had me at fucking i" made me laugh


This is so sweet. Loved their matured interaction and willingness to concede vulnerability. Amazing how much things had changed within 4 years, but at the same time, how they rediscovered feelings which stayed the same during the time.

Their tearful session broke (and re-taped) my heart.

Looking forward to more TW fics. Thank you for sharing!

Okay. This also bring me to tears.. CHangminnie is so strong and yunho is so damn attentive to changmin.. it break mu heart so many misunderstanding between them all this time..
but i'm happy they made it.. they need to pour their heart out more often..
Anw i hope u will write more fic for TW series.. i love it so much :)

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