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All skin and no shame

...innocence is just an illusion...

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A Thousand Years... [3/3]
Title: A Thousand Years...
Pairing: YunJae
Rating: PG
Length: Three-shot
Genre: Angst, non-AU
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 :P
Summary: The lawsuit is over. All that is left are two parts of a whole, fighting for their own survival, and fighting against each other. Forgetting is impossible, forgiving is another matter altogether. Time heals all wounds they say. But this wound…

AN: I think this might be the last non-AU fic I write. It just evokes too many stupid feelings and IDNW these feelings. Lyrics are not mine or theirs. I was a little stuck tbh but that gif I saw on tumblr gave me a much needed burst of inspiration…so here you go.

Part 1 Three Years Later…
Part 2 Still In Love…

It’s been hours. Hours and hours and hours. He’s going to die of pneumonia if he doesn’t freeze to death first. In that instance where he believed he was about to die, Jaejoong did not see his life flashing past his eyes.

He saw Yunho.

He remembers teasing his leader about his quickening heartbeat when Jaejoong lays his head on a welcoming shoulder. Comfort. That’s what Yunho is. Every time Jaejoong falters, Yunho is there to catch him.

But not now.

Not today.

His mind rejects the two words skirting about the edges of his conscience.

Not ever.

He can see the sunlight filtering through the thick cloud, lighting his surroundings, and in the light, his stupidity seems a lot worse than it did the previous night. The light hasn’t reached far enough to touch him though. He is still seated on the steps, in the shadows where he belongs.

Why did he give him up?

On a good day, Jaejoong convinces himself that it is all for the better. Yunho is better off without him, able to lead the life his parents want for him with dozens of grandchildren. He convinces himself that he did what he did out of the goodness of his heart. Wanting the best for his love.

But his conscience isn’t able to let him have very many of those good days. Jaejoong is selfless in all but one thing.


Yunho was his.

Is his.

Always his.

He remembers Changmin’s tearful call to him, crying that Yunho had tried to kill himself. If it hadn’t been for the maknae being on the balcony at the right time just as Yunho dove headfirst over the railing, the news of the SM/JYJ lawsuit being over would be nothing compared to the headlines that will rock the Kpop world. Yunho hadn’t said a word of thanks to Changmin, who had lunged after him, managing to grab the leader of TVXQ before he fell off beyond anyone’s reach.

Beyond salvation.

And the reason why Changmin had called Jaejoong?

In Yunho’s clenched fist was a piece of paper with Jaejoong’s handwriting that Changmin had recognised. And the leader had been shaking, crying even, shocking the youngest member even more than he already has as he repeats a broken litany over and over again as he sits on the floor of the balcony.

”I can’t let him go… I can’t let him go…”

What has he done? Yunho remembers. Yunho still has that note. And Yunho is still hurting. The amount of loathing that Jaejoong has for himself is beyond anything he has ever felt and in all honesty, he wishes the river had taken him because that pain would be brief compared to a lifetime of torment, knowing how much he has hurt the man he loves with everything he has. Of looking at Yunho through a screen, unable to be close, unable to touch him.

And he had brought it upon himself.

Perhaps the universe is punishing him. But why is it punishing Yunho? Yunho should move on. Yunho should let him go. Yunho deserves someone far better than him. Yunho deserves those 2.53 kids or whatever it is. Jaejoong chuckles mirthlessly at the random number, because in Yunho’s case, perhaps the decimal point needs to be moved over.

He stares out into the glittering water in front of him, as the sun moves higher in the sky, the angle of its rays managing to penetrate the darkness underneath the bridge. The light illuminates the reason why Jaejoong is still in the land of the living.

Sometime in the last few years, perhaps due to the depth of the river, a concrete platform had been built about knee deep under the water from the bottom step. Jaejoong had fallen onto that, getting thoroughly drenched, not to mention bruised from the unexpected impact. He is still sodden, his clothes water-logged. His phone is dead and he is cold. Frozen even. But somehow, this seems like a small price to pay for everything he has done.

As he stares at the light hitting the surface of the water, making the murky depths of yesterday seem a lot friendlier, he starts to sing a song he keeps hearing recently, understanding the meaning of the words as he had asked Yoochun to translate the parts he doesn’t know.

Heart beats fast
Colours and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall?
Watching you stand alone
All of my doubts suddenly goes away somehow
One step closer…

Yunho leans against a damp wall, about to move when Jaejoong starts to sing. He recognises the song, having heard it on the plane to Vietnam as he watched some random English movie. He’d had Changmin explain the lyrics to him because he’d been drawn in by the whimsical longing in the song. He has the song on his iPod, but Jaejoong sounds even better to him. The acoustics underneath their bridge is oddly good, and the lead singer doesn’t hold anything back, perhaps believing that no one will be about to listen to him here in this secluded area so early in the morning.

He has actually been standing there for a good hour at least, coming direct from the airport. He did not expect Jaejoong to still be here, not even wanting to come, but Changmin had insisted. Guilting him into it even. But what pushed him to finally come wasn’t just Changmin, but his other two dongsaengs, both of whom had called saying that Jaejoong hasn’t been seen since yesterday afternoon and they cannot reach him on his phone.

And he knows, deep down he knew, that the beautiful man will be here.

He had watched Jaejoong shiver, coughing and sniffling miserably, but unmoving for the most part, and had been unable to find it in himself to step away from the comfort and security of the wall. If Jaejoong had only but turned to his right, he would have seen Yunho ages ago.

I have died every day waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more…

Jaejoong’s voice shakes, as tears flow down his cheeks. He barely manages to get the last line out. The memory of Yoochun’s drama from earlier in the year comes back to him, and he remembers teasing his soulmate about it, but really, he knows.

He knows.

”Even after three hundred years, I will still love you.”

He brings his knees up, hugging them as he drops his forehead and starts to cry in earnest.

Yunho waits, but no more words come forth as Jaejoong’s shoulders shudder as he bends his head. He knows it is not from the cold because he can hear the muffled sobs. Jaejoong will not be crying this hard if he feels nothing. Of all the songs in the world. Of all the English songs in the world…it is as if the universe is trying to tell him something.

He hears where he faltered in the song, and his eyes, wet for so long, finally lose the battle to hold onto the drops, as a tear spills out, down his chilled cheek, at the broken cries of his lead singer.

His lead singer.

Jaejoong will never be anything else to him.

Jaejoong was his.

Is his.

Always his.

Time stands still
Beauty in all he is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away…

Jaejoong hears the voice he would gladly give his life for to call him by name once again. But it is not his name he hears, but an adlib to the lyrics he knows from memory that lifts his head. He rubs at his eyes as he turns, and what he sees causes him to catch his breath.

Standing in front of you
Every breath
Every hour has come to this…

Yunho continues singing, but then he stops at the last line, his eyes on Jaejoong’s… waiting.

One step closer…

Jaejoong’s tear-clogged voice fills the empty space between them with those three words. And Yunho takes that step forward.

I have died every day waiting for you
Jaejoong, don’t be afraid, I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more…

His mouth quirks when he sees Jaejoong’s eyes light up at his adlib, knowing how corny it is, but he wants to see the man smile. He wants to see his Joongie smile at him once more.

Jaejoong stands up, struggling a little in his wet clothes, stripping off his sodden jacket, dropping it carelessly by the water’s edge. His eyes never leave Yunho’s as he walks up the steps till he is on level with his leader as he sings…

And all along I believed you would find me
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you…for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more…

A slight breeze flows through that space under the bridge, ruffling Yunho’s hair, blowing his fringe across his eyes and he sweeps a hand up to push it away. He sees Jaejoong shiver as the cold wind hits him, his eyes dropping to see the telltale outline of a piercing, the man’s nipples reacting to the cold, making the tips more pronounced against his thin clothes.

One step closer…

They both take the step as Jaejoong sings, and Yunho replies, taking yet another step, his movements once again mirrored by the older man.

One step closer…

Their bodies collide gently, and Yunho immediately wraps an arm low around Jaejoong’s waist, while the other cups him behind his neck, tilting that beautiful face up to him, his heart singing when Jaejoong smiles up at him, a sweet smile, incandescent to him in its brilliance.

“Why are you wet?”

“I fell into the river.”

Yunho’s eyes widen, his hand tightening reflexively against the back of Jaejoong’s neck. “But you cannot swim!”

Jaejoong chuckles quietly, luxuriating in the firm embrace of his love.

“It seems the universe had something to say about me dying without seeing you one last time.”

Yunho’s face tightens at the words, whispering hoarsely, laying himself out there to do what his lead singer will with him.

“I almost died chasing a memory of you...”

Jaejoong’s face grows serious as he stares up into those almond eyes he has all but memorised, down the contours of Yunho’s cheeks, to his cupid bow mouth, and then back up into the dark pools of his eyes, speaking the words he said over seven years ago, at this very spot, where he had laid himself out for his leader to do what he will with him.

“I would step into that river willingly for you...”

Yunho has his answer, his heart swelling at the words as he remembers, and he repeats his exact response from all those years ago.

“Why would you do that?”

Both are transported back to a time gone by where they are both teenagers again. Loving each other deeply, unknowingly, until a single action taken by an impetuous young man changes everything. A time each believed the other had forgotten…but some things are just impossible to forget.

“Because…” Jaejoong pauses, licking his bottom lip.

“Because…?” Yunho echoes, eyes drawn to the movement, the pink tongue sweeping against lush red lips just begging…begging to be kissed.

“I love you…”

And instead of answering, just as he had done back when they were still teenagers, an action borne out of impulse and instinct than any actual thought, Yunho tilts his head down, capturing those dewy lips he had dreamed of tasting for years; three and a half years, since he first saw Jaejoong at SM. And three and a half years now, since he had last tasted them.


Time heals all wounds they say.

AN1: See? No reason to warn for anything… I can’t kill them in a non-AU fic when mister @bornfreeonekiss is still around tweeting cutely and Yunho is still being dorky leadershii much to Changmin’s disgust :P Or is it amusement and fondness now? Minnie has been pretty darn sweet lately.

AN2: There’s an epilogue which I will post next week… How did a one shot turn into a mini-chaptered fic? OTL

Epilogue - Gayo Daejun 2012

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uuuu... finally!!!!
thank you for hard work!!!!

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