Genre: AU, fluff, angst, drama
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 civil-unionised here
Summary: Jaejoong just wants somewhere to call home again. Living by himself is really not as great as his sisters made it out to be and he yearns to be around people again. He misses the hustle and bustle and even the crying babies that make up his parents’ household but he’s too proud and stubborn to return. He is nineteen after all and fully capable of living his own life away from his ridiculously large family. Enter a tiny little girl who captures Jaejoong’s heart in an instant and he finds himself with a family…of sorts. And for a sheltered, very well-loved boy, complicated doesn’t even begin to describe his life from the moment the tearful baby crawls into his lap looking for comfort.
AN: I've had death threats for the last chapter...hopefully i'll be forgiven? :O
Hope? Yunho had been given a ray of hope. Hope that he had never had for over a decade. The pain of the years of his marriage to Sun Ye is nothing to the pain he is feeling now. At least that pain, he was mentally prepared for to a certain extent. He knew what he was getting into. He knew what he was doing when he made his choices. But this pain, the pain of having the light in your life snuffed out in an instant. The pain of having his heart ripped out. The pain of such acute loss he cannot even wrap his head around it. Around the reality of it. This pain is like liquid hot lava, burning its way through him. This pain sucks the breath out of him and the will to live. For the first time since Jiyool’s birth, he really has no idea how he will go on.
Yunho had to be half carried up to the suite of the Kim parents by the husbands of Jaejoong’s two oldest sisters. Upon the arrival of his parents-in-law, he started talking. No power on earth could have stopped the flow of words as he poured his life out to Jaejoong’s parents, talking non-stop for an hour, as the two Kims sit listening, stunned beyond belief. He tells them everything and then he begs.
He begs for them to take him in because he is afraid he may do something he will regret. He begs them to keep him alive for Jiyool’s sake because he doesn’t believe he has the strength to do so himself. He begs for his life, even though he has indirectly taken the life of their son. And despite the pain and shock of Jaejoong being missing, and the horror of his tale, the Kims welcome him with open arms. They embrace him in his nakedness, his life exposed for the first time in its entirety. Not even Jaejoong knew the entire story but his parents do. And instead of throwing him away, reviling him and hating him for everything, they embrace him. They take him in their arms, and they hold him, crying for his pain, for their son, and for the man who has known so much hurt in his relatively short life that it is by sheer miracle that he is still functioning.
Yunho is barely able to draw breath. The pain is so acute, that it has manifested itself physically. It is like he is lying on his back, in the hot midday sun in the middle of some desert, and a boulder is pressing down on his chest. Every intake of air is a fight to force it down into his lungs. He cannot cry. He cannot breathe. How is he going to live?
The Kim parents don’t mention to Yunho, as he sits at their feet, a hand clutching each of theirs as he struggles to regain control of himself, that they believe Jaejoong is still alive. Surely a parent can sense if their child is gone and for both, they can still feel Jaejoong. It makes no sense, but they are not going to give the broken man before them false hope, especially hope based on a sixth sense rather than anything tangible or concrete. They have lived too long and seen too much, and are more than able to survive the death of their beloved youngest child if that is indeed what has happened. But the man here, who has moved to let go of their hands to prostrate himself at their feet, begging for their help, they cannot give him hope if it will simply be cruelly taken from him. They will care for him, the way they know Jaejoong would want them to care for the only man he has ever loved.
Yunho kisses the floor at the feet of Jaejoong’s parents in supplication. He can do no more. He has done them so much wrong, and yet in his desperation, he knows they are the only ones who will be able to pull him from the abyss. The great Jung Yunho, finally brought willingly to his knees. Oh how the Chois would gloat, their dead daughter especially. But in that glee would be anger. Anger that he has never ever deigned to do the same for her. That his sacrifice is also his defiance. Yunho prostrates himself not out of fear or weakness, but out of love and strength. His love for Jaejoong, and the strength he needs for Jiyool. He is not too proud to beg for his survival, the depth of his character is evident in the humility of his position.
He knows he needs to settle everything for Jiyool before he succumbs to the darkness. He can feel it creeping in on the edges of his vision, and he wants to throw himself into it. He may not be able to forget forever, but for a few days, he doesn’t want to exist. When he finally raises himself, coaxed by both his parents-in-law up into a sitting position, he starts talking again. Asking if they will allow him time to grieve alone, and asking that Jiyool be cared for in his absence because he cannot bear for her to see him this way, and neither can he bear to look at her. She’s taken on a lot of Jaejoong’s traits, and he just cannot look at her. And he cannot hear her, because if she asks for her “Mama” once again, Yunho will lose it. It is a cruel reminder of the heinous confrontation in his office. His daughter knows damn well who her Mama is, and Yunho cannot face it. Call him a coward, he really doesn’t give a fuck. He just wants to disappear.
Mrs Kim sighs, as she looks over at her husband. Her face is wet with tears and she can see that his is too, but his face is stoic. They converse without speaking, their eyes communicating a wealth of words, and she nods imperceptibly in agreement. They both agree to what Yunho is asking, and they will not say a word to him about their irrational feeling that their son is not dead.
Jaejoong throws himself onto the luxurious bed, growling in annoyance as his body protests the violence. He flips over on his back and stares at the ceiling, taking in the pristine plaster, the elaborate cornices and the fucking ugly chandelier hanging in the middle of it all. Really? How ostentious and pretentious can you be. He sits up, his face wearing a fulminating glare as he tries to take offence with more of his surroundings. The upholstery on the chairs are too ugly, the carpet looks like someone puked on it, the art are all cheap imitations framed in expensive wood, the covers are too scratchy, the bed too hard, the mirror has a smear in the top right-hand corner, the television screen is mounted on the wall and therefore cannot be moved, the airconditioning is too cold, the windows are facing the stupid Han River.
The stupid fucking Han River that just ate his car up. Ok, so it might have been his fault for leaving it parked on a slope and leaving the handbrake off, but really? Did it have to be all melodramatic, and roll oh so charmingly into the river, practically in slow motion, ignoring Jaejoong’s howls of protests, and even giving off a great hearty gurgle as it sinks out of his sight. Even his car was mocking him. Stupid fucking car. Stupid fucking river. Stupid fucking room and the worst one of all? Stupid fucking husband.
Jaejoong grunts as he rolls into a standing position, stripping off his clothes as he enters the bathroom of the luxury suite. He is in one of the hotels that dot the Han River, taking advantage of the beautiful view it accords. He doesn’t even know what hotel he is in, simply walking into the first reasonable looking one. He’d found sunglasses in the car as well as a beanie on the seat, and so he feels sufficiently disguised when he charmed the hotel clerk into giving him their best available suite without a credit card as security, promising his husband would pay for it all. He has no clothes, no wallet and no phone charger. Sure, he can probably ask the hotel for one since iPhones are pretty common, and he is a VIP guest for all intents and purposes, but Jaejoong just wants to disappear from the world for a bit.
He runs a bath, glaring at the gleaming white bathroom. Everything is too white. It needs some colour. He is going to buy green tiles, and make the bathroom to the master suite of their new home green. Yunho likes green. Wait, why should he care what Yunho likes? Maybe he can make it puke green just for the hell of it. But then he has to look at it too so maybe not. He likes black. He is going to make their bathroom black. And red. Yes, red too.
Jaejoong frowns at his reflection in the mirror. No, that would make it look like the bedroom in Jung Tower. He hates the bedroom in Jung Tower. Actually, he thinks he hates fucking Jung Tower in its entirety because that wretched woman has left her claw marks digging into every available surface and he cannot bear it any longer. Jaejoong makes a sound of annoyance, pounding the side of the bathtub as if it has personally affronted him, as he shouts his frustration.
“Fuck you, Sun Ye. I’ve never hated anyone in my entire life like I’ve hated you. I almost wish you were still alive so I can give you a piece of my mind, you wicked wretch. And then expose you to the world for who you really are, you evil, twisted, sorry excuse for a human being.”
Even as those ugly words leave his lips, Jaejoong sighs and curls into himself, crossing his arms across his chest as he hunches over. He wants Yunho. He wants the man to kiss him and hug him, and love him all better. And then once that is done, he is going to yell the house down at him. Ok, maybe not quite yell the house down, but Jaejoong is going to have quite a few choice words to say to the older man. Did he seriously think it was ok to keep the Chois’ custody claim over Jiyool from him? He sighs again, unfurling himself and climbing into the warm water. He sinks into the welcome warmth, his knees up, hugging them. It is not the most comfortable position in the world, especially after the rather thorough love-making session from last night, but he needs something to hug and since his husband is nowhere close, his knees will have to do.
Jaejoong perches his chin on his knees, staring forlornly at the swirling water. He doesn’t want to go home. He doesn’t want to go to the Kim mansion. He doesn’t want to be anywhere around people. He just wants to hide, and feel sorry for himself. He is entitled to that, isn’t he? He has practically been a super teenager the last couple of weeks and he just wants to go back a couple of years. Back when he was a carefree teenager, with not a care in the world. He wants to be the spoiled brat everyone keeps insisting that he is. He had every intention of going to his wedding, but after the loss of his car, well, that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Even his sacred thinking place, that little quiet bit of river that he goes to when he wants to be alone. Even that is against him. Jaejoong has had enough with the world and he just wants to disappear. Even if it is only for a day. Maybe two. He just needs to regroup, find his thoughts and find himself. Has he done something bad in his life that every time he feels like he’s on top of the world, he comes crashing down? If this is what it means to be an adult, and not be baby Joongie anymore, then he wants to wave the white flag. He’s tired. It’s tiring. The whole week, plus the Chois both the dead one and the alive ones, not to mention the goddamn Jung.
He bites his lip, trying not to cry as he rubs his upper arms. His life has been crazy since meeting Yunho. He’s never felt so full of life, so happy, so vibrant. He just feels so alive. Every emotion is a revelation, every touch is something to cherish, every smile something to remember. And Jiyool, little Jiyool. The tears he’s been holding in slide slowly down his cheeks as he thinks about the beautiful baby girl he considers his. The memory of Yunho’s words in his office reopen the wound that hasn’t even had time to close, pulling apart the torn flesh, and bleeding him once again. The tears flow, his heart aching so much as he sobs his heart ache and his disappointment. His disappointment with Yunho for hiding this from him. And his disappointment with the man for allowing his anger to get the best of him yet again. And he sobs out his heart ache because Jaejoong knows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he is not enough. Jaejoong can be everything for him. He can try to be everything for Yunho. But it will never be enough. Yunho needs professional help, and Jaejoong is willing to play hardball to get the man to go. Exactly how he will go about it is another matter altogether but he is not going to back down on this again.
However, that is a fight for another day. Today, he just wants to be alone. He finally wants to be alone. He doesn’t want Yunho anymore and he doesn’t even want to be with Jiyool, that’s how hurt and upset he is. He just wants to be alone.
He unclasps his arms from around his knees, leaning backwards and submerging himself, straightening his limbs and sinking into the water. He doesn’t even flinch as water closes over his face and nose.
They say a man has to lose everything, before he realises and appreciates just what it is that he had. Yunho knows very well what he had, and yet he had allowed it to slip from his fingers. He sits in the Kim’s music room, much larger than his own and there are an assortment of musical instruments within it, although a polished grand piano sits in the position of honour in the centre of the room. He leans back against the chaise lounge, nursing a bottle of soju as he stares unseeing at the piano.
This is his first drink in over a decade, though he is already on his third bottle of soju. He doesn’t like the taste, but he enjoys the burn, and he wants to forget. After the Kims had reassured him that he will always have a home with them, he’d left Jiyool with them and went in search of the music room. He hasn’t bathed, nor shaved, and his wedding clothes are discarded in a haphazard heap on the floor. His and Jaejoong’s bags, packed for Jeju, are sitting just inside the door, left there early that morning by someone. Perhaps it is a hint to put on more clothes since he has been sitting there in just his boxers, but he really doesn’t give a fuck. He just wants to drink himself into oblivion, everything else bedamned.
A tray of food lies untouched on the floor next to him, made up of an assorted array of various tasty morsels handpicked by Jaejoong and his mother, that had been meant to be served at the wedding yesterday. It is out of respect for his parents-in-law, that he doesn’t upend the tray in a fit of anger. But that is not the only thing that stays his hand. He is in this because of his anger and inability to control it properly. His last words to Jaejoong resound in his head like an accusation, pounding and pounding and pounding at him. Hammering within him. Not giving him the slightest respite. His hand tightens around the practically empty bottle, tossing the contents back down his throat, as he fights the tears that threaten to overwhelm him.
Before he started on his drinking the previous night, he’d rung up one of his associates, calling in a favour owed, and telling the man to send his own dive team out because he doesn’t trust the competence of the police divers. It might be unfair on his part to think this way, but he is not leaving anything to chance. The car had been found with the driver’s side door open, and the conclusion that it did not open on impact with the water, and so the search for Jaejoong continues. He is given an update every hour, the divers searching tirelessly even in the dark of night. Each update that brings forth “nothing”, crushes him even more.
As he tosses the now empty soju bottle aside carelessly, the sound loud as it hits the polished wooden floors, the door to the music room cracks open. He turns toward it, taking in the dark head of his lawyer. She comes bearing gifts; a bottle of soju and a covered plate of food, and for that Yunho doesn’t say anything, allowing her entry without protest. He is not interested in the food, but the drink is more than welcome.
She enters quietly, body tense as if waiting for a fight, but none is forthcoming. The silence in the room is loud and unnatural, and she almost wishes Yunho had ranted and railed at being interrupted. She eyes the untouched tray on the floor and sighs. Her mother had wanted to force food into the grieving man, and she had offered to see him instead of letting her mother do it for fear of Yunho’s state of mind. She is well aware of what he is capable of, and guilt is eating at her for being the cause of his recent blow-up.
She places the plate carefully next to the tray, before unscrewing the bottle of soju she is holding and handing it silently to the brooding man. His presence suffuses the room, his grief rolling off him in waves, and she is struck by the changes to his face, and even his body in just 24 hours. His eyes are empty, his lines of his body seem to echo despair, and he doesn’t even bother turning to look at her as he takes a sip of his drink.
Unable to stare at his profile any longer, her eyes drop, taking in his bare torso. Her brow furrows when she sees the scars on his shoulders and whatever part of his back that she can see, and she wants to ask him about it, but she doesn’t. For some odd reason, the scars make her think of his dead wife, the Choi bitch, and she has no idea why she even makes the association.
His dead wife.
A gripping pain suddenly hits her, as she bends over at the waist, gasping is shock at the intensity, as the horror of what may have come to pass overwhelms her. She sobs, crying for her brother, and crying for the silent man seated next to her. He is burying two wives in two months. That kind of pain, no one should have to bear, and definitely not alone. She is forever grateful that Jaejoong has managed to get through to the man enough that he is willing to take any help and comfort the Kims can offer. However what she knows of Yunho is enough for her to know that he is in all likelihood blaming himself for this tragedy. She is here to confess her part in it.
Her choked apology seems to fall on deaf ears, as Yunho gives absolutely no indication that he has heard her.
“It w-was m-me. I accidentally told him about the custody petition.”
“I’m s-s-sorry, Yun-Yunho…” she trails off, unable to continue speaking as tears flow down her cheeks.
They sit there, next to each other, the only sound in the room is the harsh sobbing of Jaejoong’s oldest sister. Tormented by her guilt and grief, Yunho giving no indication at all as to whether he accepts her apology. But really, she doesn’t expect him to. The only motion the man makes is to bring the bottle to his mouth, taking slow sips. She stifles her sobs, swallowing them, trying to stop them, and when she finally regains control of herself, Yunho finally speaks. His voice is soft, and he only speaks two words, but the wealth of pain infused in them is so strong that it leaves an acrid taste on her tongue. A taste that serves as a reminder that she is not blameless in this.
She stands up, placing a hand on Yunho’s bare shoulder, but he flinches away at her touch, practically throwing himself against the opposite end of the couch.
She bites down hard on her lip, wanting to say more, but she knows she cannot comfort him. No one can. She whispers her apology once again, but she knows Yunho can’t hear her. He is staring at the piano, eyes dark and unseeing, lost in his thoughts and memories. She steals out of the room, shutting the door quietly behind her before leaning against the wall next to it and sinking to the floor, body wracked with sobs.
Yunho finds the silence blissful, but only for a moment. The piano here is pretty much identical to the one back in the apartment, and all he can see is Jaejoong. He leans forward, placing his drink on the floor next to his foot before burying his face in his hands. What he wouldn’t give to have the teenager back. He welcomes the darkness, letting it take over. Sun Ye is silent in his head, he cannot hear her. He can only hear the damning words he spoke to Jaejoong in his office. And under that lies the memory of their love-making from the night before last, and the younger man’s conviction that he will have anything he wants. He’s never been disappointed before. Yunho would gladly lay the world at his feet.
But it is too late.
Jaejoong sniffles quietly as he pulls the covers up to his chin, feeling immensely sorry for himself. It’s been almost 24 hours since he’d secluded himself in the hotel room, not letting anyone in apart from room service, and even then, they are to leave the food in the outer room. He hasn’t seen a soul since the pretty hotel clerk yesterday morning, and yet, he still doesn’t want company. He is currently on a crying bout, having alternated between crying and ranting and sulking for most of the last day. It is basically rinse and repeat as he struggles to get a handle on everything he is feeling, as well as using his intellect to rationalise his life. With each set of revelations his journey deep within himself reveals, he behaves correspondingly. So far, his crying and ranting have outweighed his sulking. Jaejoong has been careful to expend his bouts of anger vocally, instead of on willful property damage, though late last night, in a heightened fit of frustrated anger, he’d pounded the bed with his hands, pretending it was Yunho’s silver Lamborghini, getting some sort of strange perverse pleasure out of the random act of violence.
At that memory, he bursts into more tears. That Lamborghini is really his, Yunho buying it for him when he’d casually expressed his admiration for the car on one of their walkabouts around the city. It was a passing comment because one had stopped right next to them, and Jaejoong really hadn’t expected Yunho to actually go and buy him the car. But he did, and Jaejoong was extremely enthusiastic in his thanks, prompting laughter out of Yunho right in the middle of an intense love-making session. But Jaejoong is used to that, and completely unperturbed at being laughed at in bed. Maybe he got a little pouty, but that always ends up well for both of them.
He pulls the covers up over his head, when his crying gets a little too noisy. He’s not holding back, letting it all out and wailing loudly just like Jiyool. It is more noise than actual unhappiness, again just like the baby girl, but the sound is oddly satisfying. He buries his nose in the pillow next to him, unable to smell anything because his nose is clogged with mucus from all the crying, but he knows it won’t smell the way he wishes it did, and that sends him into yet another fresh bout of tears. Jaejoong is finally done with picking apart his thoughts and feelings, looking at both rationally with his mind and emotionally with his heart. Now he just wants to wallow for a bit.
And he wants his husband.
“Umma… I think we should try and get him to the hospital or something.”
“Leave him alone.”
“But…he hasn’t eaten anything in almost two days. I’m not taking him more alcohol. He’s had enough.”
“I agree. But leave him alone. If he wants more to drink, he can come out. But don’t go in there. Just let him be.”
“But umma —“
Mr. Kim walks into the kitchen to see his wife uncharacteristically angry at their oldest daughter who sits down heavily on one of the chairs at the large breakfast table, staring at her mother, her eyes filling with tears. He sighs tiredly. These last two days have been almost unbearable. Only his wife sees his tears for their only son, as he tries to stay strong for the rest of his family. The grandchildren, those old enough to understand, have been inconsolable. They both still believe Jaejoong is still alive somehow, but with each passing hour, and the reports of finding no trace of the boy, their hope wanes. Jaejoong’s phone goes straight to voice mail, and no one has seen him. Various photos and film footage of him have played, with both the Kims and Jung conglomerate buying up every available air time on various networks to put out ads in the search for Jaejoong. Their son is striking, and almost impossible to forget and for no one to have seen him is difficult to believe. South Korea really isn’t that big, and Seoul itself even less so, and for absolutely no one to have come forward with a plausible lead is hard to fathom. There can only be one conclusion, and it is not something he is willing to consider. Not until he sees his son’s body, he simply refuses to believe it.
He turns on the mounted television, flicking through the channels till he finds one with a news bulletin.
The search for Jung Jaejoong continues. Just this morning, the Police commissioner has confirmed that it is no longer a search and rescue operation but a search and recovery. No leads have turned up as to the whereabouts of the new spouse of Jung Yunho, recently widowed a couple of months ago, and now yet again. Police are not ruling out the possibility of foul play…
“Turn that rubbish off!”
He complies immediately to his wife’s anguished cry. Dropping the remote, he moves to embrace the shaking woman. His wife is so strong, but if there’s ever a time to break, he doesn’t blame her for giving in now.
Jaejoong stares blearily at the bedside clock. It is just after 11am and he feels like his entire head is stuffed with cotton wool. His eyes feel heavy and swollen and his tongue thick and dry in his mouth. He sits up slowly, staring at his surroundings, brow furrowed till he remembers where he is. He sighs, lying back down and staring at the ceiling. He’s done with feeling sorry for himself. He’d spent almost the whole night at the piano. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least to see the baby grand piano in the suite, and he now has a song to show for his brief interlude to find himself. He has composed songs before for school plays and small productions in high school, but nothing like this. Nothing that he has composed for himself, out of every raw emotion he feels. He is satisfied with the melody, though the words still feel a little strange to him as he’s never written lyrics before. It is a love song. He wrote it for Yunho. He wrote it when he despaired over being enough for the man, thinking ever so briefly, that maybe he might be better off without him. But no, he cannot let him go, because it will hurt so much more than dying.
He really needs to get home to his husband and baby girl. If he still has a husband that is. Jaejoong has practically left Yunho standing at the altar even though technically they are already married. He grimaces as he thinks of the guest list, and the fact that he’d left the man standing amidst those people, waiting for him to turn up. Belated remorse fills him, and he hopes that Yunho will forgive him for causing needless embarrassment, not to mention his parents. His mother is going to kill him.
He stretches, grunting as his body creaks and crackles. Unfortunately, no matter how much he wants to be with his family right this second, on a practical level, he has no way of getting himself home unless he gives in to his pride and calls for help. He lets out a disconsolate huff, as he turns to pick up the phone by the bedside table. First things, first though…
“Hello? Can I have some ice cream? Vanilla is fine. I just want something sweet and cold. Thank you.”
He hangs up, licking at his dry lips as he falls back onto the bed to stare once more at the pristine plaster on the ceiling and the ugly ass chandelier. It is surely too early for random cravings. He smiles slightly. He is rather looking forward to sending Yunho on useless food errands in the next few months. Despite everything, Jaejoong still has faith. Jaejoong still believes. His certainty is unshakeable. The world has dealt him a little too much heart ache in the last couple of weeks. Surely it is time for it to balance it out by giving him something he wants.
He lies there for what feels like forever, daydreaming about his little family, when he is jolted from his thoughts by the soft bell of the door. Suddenly feeling like some company, he gets up quickly, pulling on a bathrobe since he doesn’t have any clean clothes, and hastening out to answer the door.
He is wearing a grin as he pulls open the door, his smile broadening even more when he recognises the pretty hotel clerk who had let him check in despite not having any money or even a form of identity. Her expression however, is less than welcoming, her mouth dropping open in shock when she sees him.
Jaejoong doesn’t notice though, his attention diverted to the wonderfully large vanilla ice cream cone in her hand. He grabs it out of her hand, apologising for his rudeness, before taking a great big bite out of it, moaning happily at the sweetness. He stands in the door, with the girl still staring at him as if he’s grown horns or something, unable to believe her eyes, consuming his ice cream hungrily as if he hasn’t eaten in ages, which he really hasn’t having skipped dinner last night. He finally looks up, and frowns when he sees the look on the girl’s face.
“What’s wrong? Do I have something on my face?”
Jaejoong rubs his face with the sleeve of his bathrobe, and it yields some traces of ice cream but nothing else. The girl’s expression doesn’t change though, but she does speak.
“Have you watched any television since you arrived?”
If Jaejoong thinks that is a strange question, he doesn’t show it, merely shaking his head as he continues to eat the heavenly cool treat in his hand. It makes him think of his actual wedding day, when Yunho and Jiyool were more than content to lick ice cream from his lips, and he clings to the memory even as he eyes the strange girl who is still looking a little wild about the eyes.
“Um… I think you should turn on the news.”
“Why? Has something happened?”
“Just…it’s hard to explain, but I really think you should watch the news.”
Jaejoong cocks his head at the girl. She’s looking terribly earnest and vaguely worried, as she wrings her hands nervously. He pops the rest of the ice cream cone into his mouth, chewing industriously as he steps out into the empty hallway to take her hands, squeezing them.
“Thank you again for letting me stay here. I promise you won’t get into trouble for this. I’ll get my husband to settle the account.”
The girl lets out a choked sound at the mention of husband but Jaejoong doesn’t really notice. He’s used to people reacting oddly in his presence so he thinks nothing of it. He gives her hands another squeeze. And then, in a gesture reminiscent of his usual self, he lets go of her hands and engulfs her in a hug, happy at the human contact and grateful for her kindness.
He steps back quickly, apologising for his forward behaviour as she stands there in shock, sending her a final disarming smile before turning to head back into the suite, shutting the door quietly behind him. He hums to himself as he heads into the living area, picking up the remote from the coffee table and flicking the television on. He settles back into the comfortable couch. He flicks through the channels till he finds one with the news. His eyes stray off back to the piano, itching to have another go at the new song he has composed, when his name coming from the television shocks him back to giving it his full attention.
…Jung Jaejoong continues. Just this morning, the Police commissioner has confirmed that it is no longer a search and rescue operation but a search and recovery. No leads have turned up as to the whereabouts of the new spouse of Jung Yunho, recently widowed a couple of months ago, and now yet again. Police are not ruling out the possibility of foul play…
He is deaf to all sound the second his face and Yunho’s appear on the screen, along with a photo of Sun Ye. He stares in growing horror as the news bulletin shows his car being pulled out of the river, and footage of divers diving in both in daylight and at night with the use of huge floodlights to light the part of the Han River where his car was found. He is utterly speechless.
The second the bulletin ends, Jaejoong gets up in a flurry of motion, rushing to put on his clothes, not caring that they are dirty. He is pulling on his shoes when the bell chimes indicating someone at his door once again. He growls irritatedly, not wanting to be delayed any further, pulling open the door, only to find an angry man at it who forces his way into the room, making Jaejoong back track as the man crowds him.
“How long are you staying here for?”
“I’m leaving now.”
“Are you planning on paying?”
Seriously? He is being held up for this?
“My husband will pay for the suite.”
“Alright, we’ll sit here and wait for your husband. Please call him.”
The man grabs Jaejoong’s arm, his grip tight as he half drags him to the couch, sitting them both down and gesturing to the phone on the side table. However before Jaejoong can even react, or say anything to the odious man with a death grip on him, the pretty hotel clerk from earlier comes running in through the open door, eyes huge as she takes in the scene before her.
“Let him go.”
“What? Why? He owes millions! I cannot believe you let him have a suite without a credit card. And the presidential suite no less! Are you insane?”
“Look at him. Don’t you recognise him?”
“No, should I? He’s no celebrity I know.”
“He’s not a celebrity.”
“Than why should we let him go? We need to call the Police or something.”
“His husband owns this hotel you idiot!”
Silence as the man turns and gawks at Jaejoong who smiles faintly at him. The man drops his hand from Jaejoong’s forearm in a hurry, as if the teenager has suddenly turned into a hot potato.
“Oh my god I’m going to lose my job.”
The man stands up and starts doing 90 degree bows, apologising profusely, backing away from Jaejoong as he goes, till he is able to escape the room, running in the opposite direction as far as he can go.
“How long have you known?”
“Just today when I delivered your ice cream earlier. Your face is not one that’s easily forgotten, especially not since every single television network has been broadcasting you in between their programs. My colleague has been working double shifts for the entire weekend so he probably hasn’t watched the news. Your family really want to find you, Jaejoong-ssi.”
“Thank you,” Jaejoong pauses, looking at her name tag, “Anne.”
The girl blushes, but she doesn’t look away, squaring her shoulders, and speaking before she loses her nerve.
“I can take you home. My car is here and my shift ended when I dropped off your ice cream.”
Jaejoong, still a little dumbstruck by the gravity of what has happened, simply nods his acquiescence, getting up off the couch to follow the girl who will take him home to his grieving family.
AN: I have to go into a meeting but will try and post the second half after i'm done. But if I can't... then it may not come till Sunday/Monday because it's my brother-in-law's birthday and we're going to visit him.