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.
WARNING: I’d rate this chapter as R21 in the comms if I could, but I know it’ll be futile. Proceed at your own peril, and I am not joking. I actually threw up into the wastepaper basket under my desk at work while writing part of this, but then I have a weak stomach and an overactive imagination… Trigger warning for a variety of abuse.
AN: I would honestly recommend people skip this chapter and wait for the next one… :-/ Writing this put me in a seriously foul mood and people are actually running for cover away from me...
He goes through all seven DVDs, and all hold the same. Twenty names in each. He does not watch every single clip, but he does click on the more familiar names. Most turn out to be just random people who happen to share the same name, but some… some of them stun him speechless because he recognises them. One of them in particular is an older friend of the Kims, and he is thoroughly sickened through his tears when Sun Ye comes up right to the camera, a cruel smirk twisting her beautiful face as she goes into a brief soliloquy about power, and how men are all bastards. To say she gets a thrill out of this is an understatement. However clearly, the ones whose faces he recognise, go to her wanting to be hurt. It is the only reason he can think of. His mind is numb and he shakes his head in disbelief. The sessions with the “known” people are less violent, none of them even draw blood, but the rest. The rest border on demonic. He has already thrown up three times since he first starts watching. Not in a single one though, does she actually engage in sex with the person. It is all about power and pain for her. She takes a thoroughly sadistic pleasure in inflicting it, and sometimes Jaejoong gets the feeling that the matter is personal, even though the person lying prone on the bed may have nothing to do with the imagined hurts and slights that she seems to feel as she takes it out on their body, heinous curses spilling from that beautiful mouth.
How did nature get it so very wrong with her?
He cannot distinguish the difference between the random men and women that she tortures. She seems to take an equal pleasure in maiming both genders, though a few sentences here and there that he hears through the screaming seem to indicate that she believes they deserve it. Why? This is not clear to Jaejoong and he honestly cannot even begin to imagine how anyone can justify this. Sun Ye is most definitely certifiable in every sense of the word. Why did she not seek help because there is no way she can be sane? Why did her parents let her run wild this way? So many questions and yet, no answers. And in all honesty, Jaejoong does not want to know. From his brief experience with psychology, he can see the signs of abuse, and while he cannot excuse her behaviour, he also does not want to consider what might have driven her to this point because surely..surely no one is born this way?
Every new random clip that he clicks brings a fresh wave of pain and tears, and by the end of the final DVD, he is shaking and trembling, almost incoherent in his anguish. Every time he watches something, his mind immediately turns to Yunho. And while he feels absolute misery for the person in the clip, his mind recoils in horror at the fact that she probably did the same to Yunho, and more. He has seen every inch of Yunho, and he knows of every scar. He doesn’t ask how each was inflicted, because his innocent mind just cannot fathom such cruelty, and Yunho does not volunteer the information. His husband glosses over the details, and Jaejoong does not push for them, because he does not want Yunho to have to relive them, and in his childish naivety, believes that what he does not know cannot hurt him.
All that has been shot to hell now. Jaejoong has seen far more horror than he can fathom. His brain has all but shut down, and he is reduced to a whimpering mess as he curls within himself, trying to get warm. The coldness that touches his soul is making him weep from the pain of it all. For the pain of everyone in those videos, and for the pain of Yunho, who endured it all for over a decade without breathing a word to anyone. He knows why Yunho kept silent, but in all honesty, coming forward would have been better than this. Every single DVD, at every menu, his eyes scan the names, and he holds his breath because if he sees Yunho’s name, he knows he will break.
7 DVDs. 20 names. 140 people.
And Yunho was not in any of them.
He has no idea whether to be thankful, because relief is honestly far from his mind. His stomach is hurting so badly, and his throat burns from the bile he has thrown up when his stomach is emptied of its contents the first time he vomits. The depravity knows no bounds. In several of the videos, her “victims” had actually fainted from shock. At least that’s what Jaejoong ascertains from watching. Sun Ye seems to take an equal amount of satisfaction and anger from it when it happens. Satisfied that she has inflicted so much pain that the person’s brain shuts down, and anger because they are no longer able to feel her claws digging into their flesh.
He shudders violently as he recalls one particular clip, where the terrified girl had been tied up spread eagle, and Sun Ye had proceeded to taunt her about her obvious breast augmentation, because the scars are visible. She offered to cut them out and give her money to pay for new and better ones because the ones she has makes her look like a cheap harlot. The poor girl was already covered in a variety of cuts by then, her topless body is streaked with blood. She must have believed Sun Ye though, because when the woman sticks her knife into the fleshy part of her left breast, the tip sinking easily into her, the girl had passed out. The memory of that is all the more horrifying because Sun Ye had spent the rest of the video sitting next to the girl, and musing matter-of-factly into the camera about whether men got penis implants because she knows of a particular one that she believes had one, and she’s just biding her time. He remembers the way she spoke, and the complete emptiness behind her eyes as she details out exactly what she wants to do, and it leaves Jaejoong weeping so hard that he makes himself sick for the fourth and final time, as he runs to the bathroom and heaves into it.
That was on the final DVD, and Jaejoong knows exactly whom she is referring to, and he just wants to die. There is nothing left in him, all the energy sapped from his broken body, as he slumps against the porcelain bowl of the toilet, chest heaving, eyes swollen and nose running. He can barely suck in air as he drags himself back to the study. He is on his hands and knees because his legs are failing him. He cannot stand, because he is afraid he will just fall over.
He cannot figure out the dates for the DVDs, but they all seem to be chronological to some extent. Her hairstyle changes, and does her face, and he knows that the clips that he has seen span years. Years of abuse. He shakes his head at how she has managed to get away with this for so long. What does it say about the society they live in? He doesn’t want to know and it is just too much for him to swallow. He knows of one thing though. He cannot show these DVDs to Yunho. It will kill him. He knows his husband enough to realise that Yunho will blame himself for it all, and Jaejoong is not going to give him that opportunity. He does not want the man to relive the horror either of his own torture at the sadistic hands of the woman so depraved that there has to be a special place in hell for the likes of her. He will see Sun Ye in that top level of hell first, before Yunho lays his eyes on these.
Jaejoong has no idea how long he sits in the study, but he is finally pulled from his grief-stricken thoughts by Jiyool who wakes, and immediately starts to cry when she finds herself alone and in an unfamiliar room. He finds enough strength within him to stand to go to his baby girl, grabbing a pair of sunglasses from the master bedroom first, in order to hide his swollen eyes. Jiyool may be young, but even she will be able to tell that something is wrong because he can feel how disfigured his face is from the swelling of his eyes. They are so puffy that he can barely see out of them, his formerly large doe eyes, the pride of the Kim family, has been reduced to mere slits.
Jiyool quietens immediately upon seeing Jaejoong. Simply lifting her arms when she sees the teenager, her voice demanding.
Really though, it is not as if Jaejoong does not carry her around all the time. It is little wonder she has not yet learned how to walk, as both her parents enjoy carrying her tiny frame. She is still on the small side, petite for her age, but she is healthy and that is all that matters. Jaejoong picks her up, hugging her close, inhaling her soft baby scent that has traces of her father mingled in there. He feels tears prick his eyes again, but he forces them away, taking the comfort that Jiyool gives him. The baby girl, as if sensing his mood, is quiet and contemplative, fingers back in her mouth, other hand patting Jaejoong’s shoulder reassuringly as she tucks her head under his chin.
He feeds her, unable to stomach anything himself, content to watch her suck down a hefty bottle of milk and then beg him for a teething cookie afterwards when she catches sight of the jar on the kitchen counter. She demolishes it quickly, finishing it just as Jaejoong’s phone goes off, playing Love In The Ice. Her face is covered in crumbs, but she gurgles happily, calling for her father, recognising the song. Jaejoong lets it play for a little before answering it.
“Jae? What took you so long?”
“Nothing. Jiyool was enjoying the song so I let it play a little longer. Wanna talk to her?”
Jaejoong puts the phone to his baby girl’s ear, uncaring as she smears crumbs and remnants of cookie all over his precious phone. He really cannot care less about anything material right now, struggling to get a hold of himself because he knows Yunho will be able to tell if something is wrong. He cannot even summon enough energy to smile, when she looks at him with wide almond eyes, listening to her father on the phone. She starts to babble, most of the conversation made up of “Daddy” every now and again. Who knows what Yunho is saying to her, but she looks like she is enjoying herself.
After a few minutes, he finally retrieves the phone, pressing the pad to put it on speaker, and Yunho’s baritone is heard around the kitchen singing the three bears song.
“Aish! What are you doing?”
“Oh.” Yunho’s voice is sheepish and for the first time in hours, Jaejoong cracks a smile.
“Who’s the cute and silly one now huh? I hope you’re alone because I don’t think anyone will take you seriously after hearing that. The great Jung Yunho singing a nursery rhyme. And rather happily too I might add.”
Jaejoong injects his voice with force cheer, hoping Yunho will fall for it. Jiyool’s giggling helps to mask the catch in his voice after he says his husband’s full name, aware that it is partly because of Yunho’s very essence of being a man that drove Sun Ye angry and insane at being unable to break him.
“Yah, I’m in the bathroom.”
“Dirty old man.”
“Little teenage brat.”
“Alright, large teenage brat.”
“I’m not going to win this one, am I?”
“Nope.” Jaejoong lets his lips pop loudly at the end of the word, eliciting chuckles from both his husband and his baby girl. Without realising it, Yunho has managed to cheer him up, hearing his husband’s voice gives him strength. If Yunho can live through that horror for a decade, then Jaejoong can be strong enough to do what needs to be done.
They chat for a few more minutes, Yunho saying that he can possibly take an earlier flight and be home by eight instead of nine, and Jaejoong latches on eagerly to that. A little too eagerly perhaps because Yunho calls him out on it. The teenager side steps it neatly, before they exchange I love yous and a lot of phone kissing for Jiyool before hanging up.
Jaejoong pockets the phone and places the baby girl on the counter, staring into her almond eyes that are so like her father’s, he feels a shiver going down his back, feeling as if Yunho himself is watching him.
His voice is soft, filled with sadness, but there is steel underlying it.
“Jiyool-ah, we need to go out. You’ll be Mama’s rock, ok? Because I don’t know if I can handle what might be at the bank. But we’re doing this for daddy, and for you. Mama will protect you and daddy, even if it kills me. But hopefully, it doesn’t come to that. And then, we will stop by the pharmacy because I’m feeling very weird. Do you think you’ve got a baby brother or sister on the way? They say they can pick up male pregnancies within three days of conception, and if I get my wedding night baby, it’ll be almost a week now so it should be able to tell, right? But what if I’m not? Do you want a baby brother or sister? You’ll be such a good big sister.”
Jaejoong stops and sighs as Jiyool simply stares smilingly at him as he rambles.
“Come on, baby girl. Let’s go.”
Jiyool picks up on the last word, bouncing excitedly as she recognises it.
“Go, go, go!”
“Yes, baby. We’re going.”
Jaejoong picks her up, holding her close again as he makes his way to the study. He picks up everything on the floor, turning the television and DVD player off. He packs everything he has found securely in his bag and then he leaves, opting to sneak out in one of his new cars instead of using the driver that Yunho has placed at his beck and call.
It is one of the stranger outcomes of Jaejoong going missing in the weekend, with Yunho buying him basically anything and everything he turns his eye on, so much so that Jaejoong has ceased commenting about anything for fear that Yunho might just go out and buy it. His protests fall on deaf ears most of the time, and Jaejoong really hopes Yunho will get over this weird inclination. What if he likes the Eiffel Tower? Looks like Paris might be out of the question for a holiday…
He secures Jiyool in her seat, a lot snugger than usual in the back of the four seater. The new car smell tickles his nose as he slides onto the soft leather of the Bentley Continental. The good thing about the car is that it was only delivered yesterday and so no one knows of it. He is thankful for the heavily tinted windows, and he is highly adaptable when it comes to learning the machinations of cars since it is a pet love of his. He keeps his eye on the rearview mirror as he leaves the garage, satisfied that the car and driver that Yunho has set on him is not following them, before pulling smoothly into the pre end-of-day traffic.
The drive takes about fifteen minutes, and Jaejoong is accompanied by the sound of Jiyool chatting excitedly in the back. She is still not able to string sentences together properly but her words are recognisable. The recurrent one happens to be “daddy” though, and he feels a pang when he realises the baby girl thinks they are going to go see her father. He looks at the clock on the dash, noting that it is just after 4pm. He needs to hurry.
Upon entering, he immediately enquires about a safe deposit box for himself. Recognising the boy despite his sunglasses, the bank clerk hurriedly calls his manager, who practically kowtows at Jaejoong’s feet. He wants to put away the seven DVDs as he can feel them burning a hole in his bag and the burden is too great for him to handle. He is immediately whisked away into the back, and down into the vaults of the building, the bank manager keeping up a constant servile chatter about how exclusive his bank is, the services they offer, the complete confidentiality, and even the non-disclosure agreements that the staff have to sign not to mention their police clearance. Jaejoong listens carefully, because he cannot take any chances. For the man’s sake, he hopes that there is truth in every single word he is saying because if there isn’t, then the wrath of the gods would be nothing compared to Jaejoong’s fury if those DVDs come to light somehow.
There are several levels of security, and Jaejoong finds it interesting that Sun Ye had chosen the second highest. Basically having the one key to the box and the 16 digit password. Jaejoong does not believe that to be enough though, opting for the highest; basically identical to Sun Ye’s safe deposit box, but with the additional security of his thumbprint. Basically, no thumbprint, no box. There is also no option for the bank to open the box for you if you’ve lost the key. There are three attempts allowed with the password at Sun Ye’s level, and only the one attempt at the level Jaejoong is requesting.
After a lot of detailed explanations on the virtues of their highest tier of security, and how to go about arming the safe deposit box, the manager finally leaves him alone with Jiyool and the box in a sealed room that can only be opened from within except in cases of emergency. Jaejoong cautions him before he leaves that he is also here to open a safe deposit box, and the manager bends at the waist, fawning over the teenager and promising that he can have the safe deposit box brought to him now if he prefers. He declines though, saying he prefers to be in another room for that, showing the manager the key so that he has an idea of where to collect the box from wherever it is, ready for him when he is done putting away his own secrets.
The door closes behind the simpering man, with a soft whoosh and a click, and Jaejoong finds himself alone in a padded room with Jiyool, his bag, and a steel box on a leather covered desk with matching chair. He looks around, feeling like a mental patient in confinement. Too much is swimming in his head, and he is feeling too many different things. However he hardens his resolve, knowing this has to be done. It is the only way. He has to protect his family. He places Jiyool on the table, giving her a cookie to keep her occupied, before he upends the contents of his bag on the table.
There isn’t much. Just the items from that hidey hole in the closet. He had emptied his bag before putting Sun Ye’s things in there, not wanting her filth to touch anymore of his belongings more than necessary. He is going to need more than a hot bath after this. Jaejoong has learned too much about the horrifying actions a human is capable of to last him for an eternity. And yet he knows, deep down, that what is waiting for him in Sun Ye’s safe deposit box will be infinitely worse. He cannot even comprehend what might be worse than what he is currently placing in the steel box right now, but he knows in his gut that it will be. His mind is already racing forwards, imagining the horrors, assuming that it will have everything to do with Yunho. He has no idea how he can be strong enough for this, but he has to be. He has to protect his family.
He is numb, watching himself pick up each DVD and putting them into the box. It is almost like he is having an out of body experience as he watches his hands move. His inner self is screaming and crying, the need to destroy is strong. But Jaejoong knows he still needs the DVDs. It is a form of insurance. A despicable form of insurance, no doubt what Sun Ye had intended them to be too, ensuring the silence of the powerful people he has seen her abuse. The rest? He doesn’t care to know why she keeps them. Her blood lust is so palpable, her cruelty so complete that he does not put anything past her. He has to fight to drag himself out from thinking like her though, because he can feel his soul turning black just from association. This is why Yunho cannot know of the existence of these DVDs. If it is killing Jaejoong already, it will definitely kill him.
He keeps the blood red journal, replacing it in the bag with the box holding the key to Sun Ye’s secrets. He seals the box, keying in his 16 digit password, and placing his thumb on the pad when prompted. When the light turns green, confirming that the box is locked, something within him relaxes infinitesimally. Jiyool has been quiet this whole time, chewing her cookie as she watches the goings on. The surroundings are unfamiliar, and the vibe from Jaejoong is such that she knows to stay quiet. She has her Mama in her sights, and that is enough for her.
Jaejoong picks up the heavy box, a little surprised that he cannot hear nor feel the DVDs rattling inside, and somehow this reassures him. If you cannot even tell what a box contains by shaking it, then there might be hope after all. He is starting to believe the effusive words of the bank manager. He slings his bag over his shoulder and picks up Jiyool who immediately curls around him. His precious baby girl.
He exits the room, going back up the way he came, till he bumps into the manager who appears to have been waiting for him. He gives him the box, and the manager politely requests Jaejoong follow him. They go in a different direction from earlier, and when Jaejoong questions it, he says that the different levels of security all have their own sections. They reach a room where the manager scans his thumb before keying in a long password. Jaejoong doesn’t bother keeping track, simply holding onto the quiet baby girl in his arms as his heart starts beating erratically, a pounding rhythm in anticipation of what lies before him. The sound is loud in his ears, and he feels close to swooning in the artificial air, and he clings to Jiyool like she is his lifeline. His steps are heavy, not wanting to go through with this, but he knows he has to. He follows the manager into the room where he is faced with a bank of security boxes. The manager requests the key from him, which he then sticks into a wall. A clicking sound is heard, and a box suddenly pushes out from the top left hand corner accompanied by a soft whirring. The bank manager reaches up to retrieve it, gesturing for Jaejoong to follow him again, and they leave to enter an identical room to the one he was in earlier. The manager places the box gently in the middle of the table, the key next to it, and takes his leave.
Jaejoong stares at the metal contraption. There is a keypad embedded into the top, but no thumb pad. He places his bag onto the table top before dropping heavily into the chair, the motion causing a tiny giggle to come from Jiyool. The beautiful sound is a sharp contrast to wealth of trepidation and fear that Jaejoong feels. He suddenly wishes he didn’t have Jiyool with him. He doesn’t want her anywhere near this. But it is too late.
He does the next best thing, leaning over to put her on the floor, after scanning there is nothing around that she can possibly eat. He has nothing to give her save the sunglasses he is still wearing and his cellphone. He keeps the sunglasses, giving her his phone, but not before putting Love In The Ice on repeat and then locking the phone. The heavenly voices of Tohoshinki fill the room, and instead of feeling lighter, Jaejoong feels claustrophobic. However, Jiyool is content, gurgling happily as she fiddles with his phone, and that is enough for him.
He can feel tears prick his eyes as he stares at the box, unable to move, his heart heavy and distressed. The song reaches the duet he usually sings with Yunho, and a tear falls, slipping out from under the expensive pair of sunglasses, tickling his chin as the drop hangs, not ready to leave him. Another tear falls, and another, and the drop on his chin loses the battle with gravity as it gets bigger, dripping onto his top.
The song starts over, and still Jaejoong hasn’t moved. He closes his eyes, seeing stars behind his eyelids, imagining the wide expanse of sky, imagining that he is free. Imagining that they are free. Free to live without fear under the bright night sky. Free to live without the taint of Sun Ye that reaches out even now to touch them. He wants to be free. He wants his family back. But this freedom will certainly come at a price. The question is, will Jaejoong be willing to pay it?
He takes a deep stuttering breath as he struggles to collect himself. If he can barely open the box, what will happen to him when he is faced with the contents? He hears a happy giggle, and his eyes pop open to look over at the little baby who has the corner of his phone in her mouth, chewing on the protruding Hello Kitty head at the corner of his phone cover. She smiles a slobbery, gummy smile at him, and Jaejoong once again firms his resolve. He cannot remember how many times he had to go through this exercise today, but the reminder of Jiyool, of everything he has to gain, finally gets him moving. He reaches for his bag, digging for the card, pulling it out with a trembling hand. He stares at the seemingly random numbers and letters, finding it odd that she has only used the letter ‘U’. But he does not dwell on it.
He keys in the code slowly, carefully, not wanting to get it wrong. There is a beeping sound, and the dial lights up with two simple words.
He picks up the heavy key, pushing it in, and a click is heard. Jaejoong takes another deep breath, holding it, mentally steadying himself as he pushes the lid up.
He stares at the contents, blinking, unbreathing.
Two innocuous DVD cases lie in the box. Before he can formulate clear thought, he grabs the two cases and shoves them into his bag, slamming the lid down, startling Jiyool who starts to whimper. He grabs the key, his bag, picks up Jiyool and his phone and leaves the room without a backward glance. He rushes through the hallways, seeking the exit, barely acknowledging the manager as he blows past him, just wanting to be outside. Wanting to be in the sun, in the light, needing his husband desperately.
As if Yunho can somehow sense his thoughts, his phone rings, but Jaejoong ignores it. He wants to get away. He wants to get home. He needs his life to be normal for just one hour. Surely that isn’t too much to ask for? He buckles a sniffling Jiyool into her seat, tossing his bag into the passenger seat before getting into the car, hands clenched tightly around the steering wheel, knuckles white as he stares out unseeingly at the hood of the car. His breathing is harsh, as if he has just run a marathon, and he can feel his heart racing.
He just wants everything to be normal. Just for short time. Even though he knows it is only delaying the inevitable. He wants it to be normal. Even if the normalcy is fake and contrived, he wants it. Just for a short time. And what Jung Jaejoong wants, Jung Jaejoong gets.
His phone rings again and this time he answers.
“Jae? What’s the matter?”
“N-n-othing…” he leans forward, slamming his forehead against the steering wheel, unable to hide the pained sound as it slips from his lips.
“Jaejoong, talk to me. Something is wrong. I can feel it. Please, talk to me.”
Jaejoong can hear a thread of panic slipping into Yunho’s voice, and he sucks in a breath, forcing himself to get a grip. To calm down. He breathes through his mouth, aware that Yunho on the other end of the line listening closely, silently, just waiting.
“I’m f-fine. I just hit my head and it hurts.”
“Is it bad? Did you pass out? Jae, please, you’re making me worried.”
“It’s ok.” Jaejoong takes a deep shaky breath, exhaling loudly, and doing it again. Each breath is measured and slow, as he fights against the need to cry. “I’m going to the pharmacy.”
“Is it that bad? Is the driver with you? Get him to go instead. Can you call one of your sisters to stay with you till I get back? I can catch the next available flight and be home as soon as I can.”
“Yunnie-ah,” Jaejoong is finally in control, and he smiles a shaky smile, hoping it will translate into his voice. “I’m really ok. I’m going to the pharmacy to get a pregnancy test kit.”
Everything else is forgotten as Yunho absorbs Jaejoong’s words, a little stupefied as he stands surveying the expansive view of the sea from the top floor of a hotel on Jeju Island. His heart is suddenly beating a little quicker, and he checks the time, unhappy to find that he will not be able to make the next flight since it will be leaving in five minutes.
“Yunnie? Are you there?”
“I’m here, Jae. I just wish I’m there with you right now.”
“I w-wish you w-were h-here too.” Jaejoong’s voice is shaky again, and he really wants to cry, but he can’t. Not yet.
“I’ll be home soon, ok? Wait for me.”
“Do you want me to wait to do the test?”
There is a short pause, as Yunho thinks about it. And then he shakes his head, speaking as he does.
“No, I don’t want a stick to tell me I’m going to be a father. I want you to tell me.”
Jaejoong cracks a watery smile, eyes full of unshed tears.
“Are you a believer now?”
“I believe that if Jung Jaejoong wants something badly enough, he will get it.”
“It’s also helpful to have a husband with a bottomless bank account.”
Yunho laughs, and the sound breaks through, and Jaejoong answers with a soft smile, though he knows Yunho cannot see him. Normal. He can make it seem normal for a short time.
“Which flight will you catch?”
“I can probably make the 5:45 so I should be home before 7:30. Will you be at home or at the mansion?”
“Ok, love. I’ve got to tie up a few things before I make the mad dash to the airport, I’ll see you in a bit.”
“I love you.”
“Love you too, and kiss Jiyool for me.”
The phone goes silent and Jaejoong pulls it away from his ear. His heart has calmed down somewhat, and he looks up at the rearview mirror to find Jiyool with her fingers in her mouth and fiddling with the buckle on her car seat. He smiles at the view, as he starts the car, ignoring his bag next to him as he pulls smoothly out of the parking lot. He feels like he has a semblance of control now, and he can still hear Yunho’s warm voice in his ear, soothing and calming him like nothing else can.
He stops at the closest pharmacy to Jung Tower, taking care to take everything with him when he makes the quick stop, not leaving anything to chance. The transaction takes less than five minutes as he makes small talk with the pharmacist who comments about Jiyool and her age, expressing some concern about the children being so close together in age especially because of his youth. The woman does not recognise him, and Jaejoong is fine with that, chatting amiably with her. He is getting his fifteen minutes of normalcy. He will prolong it for all he’s worth.
Twenty minutes later, he is in the kitchen feeding a hungry baby. His eyes keep sliding over to his bag sitting on the counter. He does it several times, till he realises he is so distracted that he has been trying to shove the spoonful of porridge into Jiyool’s nose and cheek instead of her mouth. The baby girl is unharmed, just perplexed and slightly aggravated at not being fed, but Jaejoong is miserable. He banishes any thought of what lies waiting for him, to concentrate on the cheerful baby girl gobbling up every spoonful of food he feeds her. She finishes two baby bowls of porridge, squawking for more whenever Jaejoong takes too long to feed her. She barely breathes, inhaling her food so quickly that Jaejoong has a fleeting thought about whether he is being a good parent. Clearly his baby girl is not getting fed enough. He frets and fusses over her, cleaning up the mess from the meal before wheeling her mobile swing into the study and settling her in it.
“It’s a swing, baby. You sit there and be good, ok? Mama needs to do something.”
Jiyool sends a gummy smile up to Jaejoong, already preoccupied by the baby laptop the teenager has snapped into place in front of her. He gives her a gentle push, and the swing moves, causing the little girl to giggle happily before she is once again preoccupied by what is in front of her, punching at the keys and babbling to herself as her screen comes to life, speaking to her about animals and the sounds they make.
Jaejoong watches her for a few minutes, loathe to look away and face what he does not want to. She is set back in the corner of the study so he can see her, and she can see him, but she cannot see the television screen. After pushing her gently one more time, he turns to head back to his earlier place, in front of the television. This time he flicks on the wireless headset on the table next to the screen, putting it on and turning the volume down. He has half an eye on Jiyool, who is mesmerised by whatever it is she is watching, not paying him any mind. His stomach lurches painfully, not wanting her so close to him, but not able to leave her. She would have been relatively happy playing on her own in the master bedroom or her now emptied nursery, but he just cannot seem to let her go. He does not want Sun Ye’s filth touching her, but yet he does not have enough strength to give up drawing his strength from the beautiful child. A child that has somehow defied the nature of her biological mother.
As if sensing that she is being watched, Jiyool looks up and catches Jaejoong’s eye. She grins widely, wiggling in her swing, causing it to move on its own. She calls out to him once, and when he responds with a wave, she waves back before returning her attention back to the riveting lamb currently singing and dancing on her screen, content that the boy she knows as her mama is watching over her. The sound on her laptop is turned up, and Jaejoong can hear the faint sounds of a nursery rhyme about black sheep and wool. He hopes it will be enough to muffle his sobs, because he knows without a doubt he will break down. For Sun Ye to have kept these two DVDs in a safe deposit box does not bode well at all.
He finally looks away from Jiyool, picking up his bag and pulling out the two DVDs. They both have a red cover, with ugly black handwriting on the outside.
The bold black letter scream out at him. Jaejoong empty stomach rolls at the word, already knowing what awaits him, but not prepared at all for what he will actually see. Yunho told him the footage was less than five minutes long. That was Sun Ye’s deception though, but neither Jaejoong nor Yunho know this, and the teenager is about to find out the hard way.
JIYOOL - MY MASTERPIECE
That second DVD scares the fuck out of Jaejoong even more than the first. To make matters worse, this DVD case is covered in ugly smiley faces and crudely drawn hearts. He bites his lower lip hard, feeling the familiar prick of tears. He just knows, he knows this will be the worst thing he will ever see. He just knows, and yet he cannot stop himself from watching it. He has to. He is doing this to protect his family. How that works in his head, he has no idea. But that is what he believes and that is what matters to him. He believes he has to do this, to protect Yunho and Jiyool.
Jaejoong pries open the first case, picking up the DVD within it that has a label. A label that he is relieved to see.
He shoots a glance at Jiyool, relieved to see the baby girl wholly immersed in her toy. He takes a deep breath and pushed the DVD into the player. The menu comes up immediately, and to his horror, a familiar song plays in the background. There is only one option. One name.
Jaejoong cannot feel the hot tears already rolling down his cheeks. He is too stunned by the music. His hand lifts, pushing play, and the face of the most evil creature he has ever seen fills the screen.
Is this fucking thing working? Huh… it better be working otherwise someone’s head will roll. And we all know I’m not talking about the head on your shoulders.
Jaejoong shudders, as Sun Ye’s cold yet melodious voice assaults his ears. He wants to tear off the headphones and run away, but he cannot. Suddenly there is a commotion behind her, and Jaejoong can hear Yunho’s voice. His voice isn’t as deep as it is now, but he is clearly a man, and his breath hitches when he sees the younger version of his husband come into the viewfinder. Yunho is topless, his back is scar free and perfect. Although young, his body is lean and already well muscled, and Jaejoong has to bite his knuckles hard to keep from screaming when Sun Ye turns to him, running a lazy finger up his back, her mouth twisted into a divine smirk. He realises something odd though. Yunho is talking and walking funny, and Jaejoong finally clicks that his husband is drunk.
He watches as the couple kiss wildly, messily, Yunho filled with the aggression of youth as he tears at Sun Ye’s clothes. His inhibitions are gone, and she is only encouraging his rough caresses. Jaejoong is biting down so hard on his knuckles that the imprints of his teeth will last the night. He watches as Yunho strips off his own clothes clumsily, helped by a laughing Sun Ye. Her laughter sounds ominous, evil, to Jaejoong’s ears, and soon he will see why.
After pushing Yunho onto the bed, she leaves him, coming close to the camera, sneering into it as she lifts up an empty glass and pours soju into it. She then cracks open a capsule, pouring the contents into the glass and swirling it till it dissolves into the clear liquid.
One more just to be sure.
Her voice is low, but the amusement is clear in it as she blows a kiss to the camera and winks, before turning and heading to the bed, giving Yunho the drink. He downs the contents with no hesitation, before grabbing a giggling Sun Ye.
Jaejoong wants to look away, but he cannot. It starts soon after they begin fucking.
Fuck me, harder. Harder, Yunho. Hit me.
Don’t be such a little boy. I love you and you love me. It’s ok, just hit me.
I like a little pain, big boy. Come on, yes, like that, harder, harder.
Oooh you’re so big and strong aren’t you? You like it don’t you? Harder, baby. Do it again.
And Jaejoong realises what it is that Sun Ye showed Yunho. She showed him only the damning parts. The parts that make it look like he is raping her, abusing her. All those words, her taunts, he saw none of that. Yunho, whose lust is already raging, his inhibitions not only compromised by the alcohol but also by whatever it is the witch gave him, is a puppet in her hands, doing whatever it is she wants. Sun Ye’s shrieks of pain are actually shrieks of pleasure, but to anyone watching, it looks like Yunho is brutalising her. Her actions look like she is trying to push Yunho off, but Jaejoong knows she isn’t. This was all pre-meditated and calculated, well thought out. The pain in belly intensifies, but before he can move to flick it off, unable to take anymore, the video suddenly cuts away to a familiar room.
It is dark, the red light is sinister and Jaejoong can feel his insides curling up and withering, even as his eyes take in the form sitting up against the headboard, head lolling, arms spread wide. He cannot help it, he leans closer to get a better look, only to sit back in horror when he realises why Yunho is spread out like that. He is cuffed to the headboard. Even as Jaejoong stares, the light in the room gets brighter as someone turns up the dimmer. Red light washes the screen, and Jaejoong stifles a scream. Blood is running down Yunho’s bare chest, but he cannot see the source. He can see the man’s wrists are raw from where they chafe against his constraints, and he closes his eyes, needing to suck in some air.
Before he can barely draw in a single clear breath, Sun Ye’s voice crackles in his ear, and he opens his eyes, seeing the beautiful, naked woman crawling onto the bed, and slapping Yunho awake. She taunts him even as she slaps him, and when he finally lifts his head, Jaejoong can finally see the source of the blood. It looks like Yunho has been beaten, his face is puffy and bruised, various cuts on his face, and Jaejoong now knows the source of the scars on Yunho’s face. He wishes otherwise though. He doesn’t want this knowledge. He has a sinking feeling he knows what is about to happen, and his breath is starting to come in short pants as he starts to hyperventilate.
He looks around wildly, looking for anything that might help. His chest is constricting painfully, and he is starting to panic. Even as he looks around, his gaze suddenly lands on Jiyool who is staring at him. Her fingers are in her mouth, and her head is cocked to the side, making her look as if she is questioning him. Jaejoong grips the front of his hoodie, unzipping it and shrugging it off before fisting the front of his teeshirt and tugging, feeling the neckline dig into the back of his neck. His eyes never leave Jiyool as he tugs harder, focusing on her face and and the pain, sucking in air, forcing himself to slow his breathing down. He is deaf to what is going on in the video, needing to gather himself as his baby girl watches.
Parent and daughter stare at each other. Jaejoong can feel the sweat rolling down his temple, and he loses himself in those warm almond eyes, so beautiful, so like her father’s, and he claws desperately, holding onto her gaze like a lifeline as he pulls himself out of his panic attack. As if realising that her work is done, Jiyool pulls her fingers out of her mouth and smiles, before turning back to her laptop. Jaejoong falls over in a shuddering, heaving mass of quivering limbs, on his hands and knees on the floor, shaking as he breathes through his mouth. The headphones are still on his head, and it is as if a switch is turned on, because his brain is suddenly tuned in to what is going on.
Sun Ye, no!
What are you going to do about it, big boy? You don’t have enough self control to fight this. I have you.
No, no, no! Get off me! Oh god, please—
Jaejoong jerks up and slams his palm against the DVD player, ejecting the disc. He cannot take it anymore. The player spits out the disc, as if it too cannot take it.
He wrenches the headphones off, and his ears are suddenly filled with the beautiful sound of Jiyool giggling at what he assumes is an animated rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The air seems much sweeter without the headphones, and he takes fortifying gulps, crossing his arms across his upper body. He looks at his baby girl who seems thankfully oblivious to his torment. Even as he stares, he remembers the second disc. The one with her name on it. Jaejoong starts to cry, bending over at the waist, lowering himself slowly till his forehead is pressed against the floor, his voice a broken whisper as he struggles within himself.
“No…please, no… please, god, please…no…”
He fights the urge to flee. He fights the urge to scream. He fights the urge to stay there and weep till he dehydrates and Yunho finds him like that. He fights the urge to just give in and let Sun Ye’s revolting taint affect him. He fights his own survival instincts. He fights and he wins.
He slowly raises his head up, sitting back on his ankles, face wet with tears, but resolute. He replaces the first DVD in its case, putting it back in his bag. He picks up the second DVD, also labelled the same, popping it in, steeling himself as he puts on the headphones once again, his movements mechanical. The DVD menu is identical to the other, and Jaejoong grits his teeth, vowing to make the song a beautiful memory, vowing never to let it be tainted by the DVDs no matter what happens. Sun Ye must have known somehow, and the thought sickens him. There is but one name on the menu, same as the other.
He hits play.
Sun Ye is standing in the middle of an unfamiliar room, dressed in a catsuit. She is holding a wicked looking flogger, a shortened replica of a cat-o-nine-tails. A quick flick of her wrist, and Jaejoong can hear screaming. It is coming from someone on the bed, but it is sunken, and out of sight. He cannot see who is screaming, but he can certainly hear her. She flicks her wrist again, and starts to laugh, the sound is grating and insane, even as the screaming continues. However to Jaejoong’s horror, he can hear a baby crying. And then Sun Ye starts to scream. She is screaming to someone off screen. But Jaejoong knows. He knows whom she is screaming at.
Shut up, you fucking brat. Shut the hell up. You’re supposed to be good and watch and be like your mummy. Look at me! See? Mummy doesn’t scream. Mummy doesn’t cry. Mummy is strong. So why the fuck are you crying? Shut the fuck up you stupid little brat. You’re just like your father. Weak and pathetic.
The more she screams, the louder Jiyool cries.
The horror on Jaejoong’s face defies description. He wrenches off the headphones and punches the DVD player violently. He cuts himself on it, but he doesn’t care. He wants the DVD out, he wants it gone, he doesn’t want it to exist anymore. He punches the player repeatedly, his brain shutting down, his eyes blinded by the river of tears flowing down his cheeks. He falls over and curls into a fetal position, unaware of the keening wail coming from his throat.
A wail that is not as loud as the piercing cry of a distraught baby girl watching her mama falling apart right in front of her.
AN1: Deep breaths…..this is really a reminder to myself to breathe more than anything else :-/ IDEK. I cannot breathe. I want to die, I feel awful. This fic seriously almost never got written because I didn’t think people (and myself) would be able to handle this. I just… ugh. I cannot. There is NO redemption for her. None whatsoever.
AN2: Also I find it very interesting that no one really has been able to guess where things are going with this fic. Some of you skirt the very edges of being right, but no one has actually hit the nail on the head. And I haven’t changed a thing from the conception of this fic before I started writing till now apart from what I mentioned in an earlier chapter and also reducing the drama somewhat in this final stretch… Reduce the drama…bet you don’t feel that way after this chapter huh? T____T And don’t say I didn’t warn you because I did. I have a feeling I’ll be losing readers by the truckload…