Length: Chaptered (if there's interest)
Genre: AU, fluff, romance
Disclaimer: I don't own anything apart from the story. I wish I had YunJae and if I had my way, they'd move to New Zealand so they can be civil-unionised here
Summary: Yunho knows ice very well. He is the youngest team captain in the history of the best professional hockey team in South Korea, bringing his teammates to glory time and time again. But a little something has been missing lately, a spark that everyone has grown to recognise from the young man. His teammates know exactly what’s wrong but he refuses to acknowledge it. Jaejoong is much too young to be this cynical and jaded. At least, that’s what his parents say, but what do they know? They love their only son and only want him to be happy despite not agreeing with his rock star lifestyle. When the 29 year old finds himself in rehab after a sort of accidental overdose, his tearful parents give him an ultimatum. Now he has to figure out what to do with the ball of ice that is his heart…
AN1: No catastrophic ANs this time thank god… Well, apart from the fact that I’m going to be busy this weekend and there probably won’t be an update till Monday at the earliest… :O And because of that, you get an extra long chapter OTL
AN2: This banner was done by atriums
“Coach Kim tells me you’re playing really well again. I’m sorry we haven’t been to a game in the last two months. Your mother and I will try and make it to your next home game.”
Jihye arches her eyebrow, staring at her brother across the table as he smiles at their parents. “You’re playing well? Oppa, do you have a boyfriend again?”
“Or girlfriend?” their mother interjects, narrowing her eyes slightly at her eighteen year old daughter, before turning back to her son and smiling at him.
“Well…” Yunho drops his chopsticks, placing his hand on the back of his neck and rubbing it nervously. His parents were shocked when they found out he was dating Seunghyun, and even though they told him it was his decision, they were never very enthusiastic about the relationship. His sister had hated him on sight, and his parents never really warmed up to the man. Turns out, it was for good reason, but at the time, Yunho had believed that it was because he was a man instead of a pretty girl like Go Ara.
Though to be fair, they weren’t too enthusiastic over Jihyo noona either, believing that she was using him to further her career. They turned out to be right as well.
The only relationship they had approved of had been Donghae. Jihye had actually been upset when that relationship ended, blaming him for the break up. His parents took it in their stride, letting him crash at the house for two weeks as he moped over his unlucky stars in love. There had been nothing wrong with Donghae really apart from the fact that the man decided that he was straight after all.
Is he so bad that a person either wants to be with him to get something like his first three relationships, or he is such a bad lover that they turn straight? He really doesn’t think he’s bad at anything, but the proof is in the pudding. Donghae is now engaged to be married to some girl and Jihye is actually attending the wedding. Yunho doesn’t really care anymore. He feels a bit of a pang, but he did love Donghae, and if this is what makes the man happy, then he will be happy for him.
Yunho is not the grudge-bearing sort, believing in the it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all adage.
“Well?” Jihye echoes impatiently, tapping her chopsticks on the edge of her bowl till she is silenced by a look from her mother.
“I’m not sure if I am seeing someone,” Yunho begins, only to be interrupted yet again by his obnoxiously bratty teenage sister.
“Oppa, I think you’ve had too many knocks to the head. How can you not know if you’re seeing someone? You either are or you aren’t. Which is it?”
“Jihye, zip it.” Mr Jung sends a stern look to his only daughter. She opens her mouth to protest, but he shakes his head at her and she settles back in her chair, a pout in full evidence. She has the same full mouth as Yunho and his wife, and so her pout is pronounced indeed. He loves his children and he really does try not to spoil them, but clearly Jihye has managed to inherit her mother’s precociousness. The Chief Financial Officer of Jung Group can be just as bratty as the teenager. He should know. He’s spent the last twenty five years trying to tame her.
It hasn’t really worked.
“What do you mean?” Mrs Jung too sends a look to her daughter, warning her to keep silent. You would think Jihye too old to be needing warning looks from her parents, but as her mother, she knows the girl needs as many looks as possible. The teenager has about as much tact as a goat, and that’s to say, none at all. Her friends laugh it off as her being honest and forthright, but she knows better.
Her daughter is an obnoxious little shit. Her mind wanders off briefly, thinking of a certain tall young man who has just as smart a mouth as her, thinking they’d actually be a good match if they didn’t tear each other to pieces like cats and dogs every time they met.
“The guys signed me up to this online dating place.”
Jihye is unable to help herself. Despite the warnings from both her parents, she lets loose a guffaw. Chortling uproariously as the other three Jungs at the table glare at her.
“Oppa, oh my god,” she manages to choke out in between laughing. But then she takes one look at his irritated expression and she goes off again on a merry peal of laughter. “Are you so useless that you need to find someone online? Oh my god this is too precious. I can’t wait to tell my friends who are all always so googly eyed over you. I’m so sick of hearing about how perfect you are. Now they won’t think you’re so wonderful anymore!”
“Jihye!” Mrs Jung’s voice is sharp, speaking before her husband has a chance to and she knows he was about to as they exchange looks. “If you breathe one word of this to anyone not sitting at this dining table right now, I will cancel every single one of your cards and you will be grounded for a month.”
“Mum! You can’t do that!”
“I can stay with friends.”
“Do it, and see what happens to your room. I do think we need a new parlour. Perhaps a yellow room to go with the blue and green rooms we already have. What do you think, dear?”
Mrs Jung turns to her husband who is trying to hide a smirk. His daughter is a brat alright, but his wife has perfected the art.
“Feel free to do whatever you want, love.”
“I hate you, both.”
“Aren’t you a little old to be playing this game?”
Jihye’s pouts at both her parents, then turns to her brother, glaring at him as she folds her arms across her chest, done with her dinner. She knows better than to try and storm off to her room in a snit. Her mother will probably instruct the servants never to feed her or something. She wouldn’t put it past the woman.
“Are you going to be quiet now?” Mrs Jung asks her daughter, fully aware that she is treating the teenager like a child, but Jihye is acting like one and thus, she will be treated like one.
Jihye nods grouchily, bottom lip jutting out petulantly. The girl is beautiful, her features so similar to her brother that one cannot help but see that they are siblings. Their most identifying characteristic is their mouth, a perfect cupid bow inherited from their mother. Though it already looks sinful on her, the girlish mouth on her brother makes him look absolutely divine.
Mrs Jung, satisfied that her daughter is done being silly, turns back to her son, smiling apologetically at him.
“Alright, start from the top please.”
“Top,” Jihye echoes, before snorting.
Everyone ignores her this time, knowing the more they pay attention to her, the more she will probably keep going. And the girl is nothing if not stubborn. If she had her way, they’d probably be sitting there trying to finish their dinner at midnight.
Yunho rolls his eyes at his sister, extremely tempted to stick his tongue out at her when she does it to him. He wasn’t kidding when he told Jae that living with his sister was hideous.
“You know how we’ve been playing badly right?”
All three other Jungs nod, and Jihye has her mouth parted as if to say something, but she is interrupted by her mother.
“Jihye, remember that charity concert at the Tokyo Dome that you’ve been talking about for weeks that you’ve managed to get backstage passes to? The one with all those rock and pop people whose posters you have all over your bedroom? If you don’t let your brother finish his story without interrupting him again, I promise you, I will make sure you don’t make it to that concert.”
Jihye’s mouth drops open, her eyes wide and absolutely horrified. Alright, so the other threats didn’t really faze her but this one definitely does. No bloody way in hell is she missing that concert. She has backstage passes.
Doesn’t her mother understand how difficult it is to get those? Even if you have lots of money, it’s about who you know not how much you have, even though that’s plenty useful. As she thinks about it, she realises that her mother probably does know what diamonds those passes are, and thus, Jihye is done for the night. Not a peep will come out of her till she goes to bed.
“That’s a bit harsh, Mum.” Yunho is a little disturbed by the colour draining out of his sister’s face. He can actually see her turning white. It’s a little funny to watch, but worrying too.
“Don’t worry about her, keep going.”
Yunho stares at his sister who is now looking at the tabletop, her eyes downcast, her hands in her lap. After a few seconds, he starts again.
‘Well, the guys seem to think that our failure on the ice is directly linked to my personal life.”
“What? You’re a smart man. Surely you’ve noticed the coincidence. And it’s hardly a coincidence when it occurs four times. It’s a pattern.”
Yunho sinks lower in his chair. It is now his turn to pout as he crosses his arms over his chest. He is way too tall to slouch properly, but he is definitely trying his best. He can see his mother out of the corner of his eye trying not to laugh, and that grates just a little.
“Anyway, they agree with you, so they decided to whore me out for the team.”
“Excuse me?” Mrs Jung sits up now, leaning forward in her seat, her eyes narrowed on her son.
“See? You’re angry right? I was angry too! I mean, ok so maybe my personal life is tied in with us winning or losing, but to make me exchange my body for the championship title is a little immoral don’t you think?”
“Explain, before I ring up Coach Kim and make him send those boys to do laps around the stadium till they fall over.”
“Calm down, love. I’m pretty sure our son here is exaggerating. You are exaggerating, aren’t you?”
‘Well, not quite. They signed me up to the online dating place. They also made up a profile for me and put down the exact opposite traits I’m seeking for in a partner, based on the last four relationships.”
“That’s probably Changmin’s idea. Smart.”
“What? You have to admit it’s a good idea. All your ex boyfriends and girlfriends were not really a good match for you, so it makes sense to find something that’s not them.”
“I thought you liked Donghae?”
“I did till he dumped you and said he was straight. Now he’s persona non grata. Didn’t I tell you? Jihye will be grounded the weekend of his wedding.”
Jihye’s eyes widen at this “news”, but she keeps her trap shut.
Mr Jung is shaking his head at his wife. The woman is protective as hell, a trait he greatly admires, but sometimes she does go overboard.
“No, love. Jihye, you can go to the wedding.”
His wife shoots a glare his way, but she doesn’t counteract his statement.
“Anyway, uh, so I did get a match. Just one, and we’ve been talking for little over a week now.”
“Why just one?”
“Their specifications were a little too specific. Let me see…” Yunho closes his eyes, as he recalls Changmin’s words. He recites them verbatim. “Male or female, aged between 20-30. Must be able to cook, sing, play an instrument. Fond of poetry or other artistic pursuits such as painting, drawing, writing or composing. No sports fanatics. Must be between 5”8 and 5”11. Must love to travel and be adventurous and willing to try new things. Must not be clingy or naggy. You must have your own life and be your own person. If you’re a guy, being a top or bottom is fine.”
Jihye starts choking then. Nobody moves to thump her on the back because she is clearly choking on air as she coughs and splutters, trying to get a hold of herself.
“I have to say I’m surprised,” Mrs Jung starts, “I would think their criteria would be more, I don’t know. More specific to a guy.”
“I thought you wanted me to go out with girls?”
“It’s really your choice. And in all honesty, you were happier with your boyfriends than you were with your girlfriends. I can always get grandkids from this little brat here, so don’t worry about it.”
Jihye is really fighting to stay silent. Those passes are worth more than life itself so she is damn well going to keep her mouth shut even though the urge to yell out, asking her mother what if she’s lesbian, is extremely strong.
“Well, that’s good to know, because the only hit I got happens to be a guy.”
“A man fits that criteria?”
“Trust me, that was my exact reaction.”
His parents along with his sister blink silently at him. Suddenly Yunho feels nervous. He hasn’t spoken about Jae to anyone. Not even his teammates who constantly pester him, but all he does in reply is wipe their asses on the ice, skating circles around them. Even Kangin no longer holds back when trying to defend against him as he normally does with his teammates for fear of accidentally hurting them too seriously because Yunho really is untouchable on the ice. They have an away game tomorrow night which is why he is having dinner with his family that night instead of at the Kims with the rest of his teammates.
What does he tell them though? That in the space of little over a week, he has fallen madly in love with a stranger? Ok, perhaps Jae isn’t really a stranger in the normal sense of the word, because they talk pretty much every single night from 10pm to midnight. He had to enforce the midnight curfew on himself, because surviving on 3-4 hours sleep is not sustainable in the long run no matter how fit he is, especially considering the type of days he has. Jae had been more than willing to adhere to it, and they’ve clocked up a considerable amount of time chatting over the email function of the dating site. Both their profiles are now closed to the public since they have both ticked themselves off as “dating”. He had laughed over the terminology but hey, they are dating, albeit online.
Apart from that first night, they actually rarely text each other. Perhaps it’s because of how close they both got to pushing the “relationship” a little too far so quickly. Both of them seemed to have a sense for the other, and when they had each gotten home that night, neither had mentioned the texting. It was during that conversation that Yunho had suggested the curfew. Thanks to the upcoming game, Yunho is far too busy at practice, and it seems as if Jae is too. He still has no clue what the other man does, but he does know that it has something to do with music. He recalls some of the emails from a couple of nights ago.
Well, you better believe it! I’ll send you photos if I can find them but I really was short and round as a kid. And then when I hit 12, I shot up like a freaking weed. It was hideous. One minute I was barely 5”4, and the next, I was 5”11. And I kept growing. Don’t lament about being 5”11. I think that’s the perfect height :P
Can we stop talking about school? I don’t have a lot of fond memories. Well, I do, but I don’t want to revisit them. My high school girlfriend dumped me to become some trophy wife, and every time I think about school, I think about her for some reason and I cringe. I don’t feel anything for her anymore, but it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
What do you like doing in your spare time? I’ll go first. I don’t have much spare time lol! It’s practice and then endurance training and then working with my mother. Strangely enough, I really like being her intern. She is a real nasty piece of work at the office (ohmygod please don’t tell her I said that, because she will bust my balls for it) but she is fair and a very good teacher so I’m enjoying learning the ropes. I still can’t see myself as a pencil pusher, but I guess it’s the least I can do after how supportive they are of my choice of work.
I am strangely comfortable in both a jersey and a suit though… Funny huh?
Hmmm ok maybe hanging out with friends would be what I do in my spare time. You’d think I’d be sick of my teammates by now but I really love them. I can’t imagine life without them. So I guess I spend a lot of my free time just hanging out. Wow, how exciting is my life? Sad sad sad -____-
Your turn ;-)
I’m going to remember what you said about those photos :P I’ll try and find some of mine too. I looked like a girl. I wish I was kidding. Barely anyone believed my mother when she said I was a boy. And then it got even worse at school so yeah, I’m fine with us not talking about school because school was definitely not fun for me. Imagine the looks I got in the boy’s bathroom. I learned how to fight just to protect myself.
Your ex-girlfriend is blind btw. Just saying.
My work never gave me room to breathe. It was always do this do that fly here fly there say this say that. There was always SOMETHING that needed doing. I felt like I was suffocating so I took an extended leave of absence. I’m now a free agent! Ok, well, maybe not completely free since a job like that won’t let me go so easily but it’s fine.
Lately, I’ve been writing a lot. Like A LOT. I’ve already filled a little notebook of random scribbles. I suppose you might call them poetry. I call it discharging the rubbish in my head. So I guess that’s what I do in my free time. I don’t have much of an interest in anything else at the moment. I’m just being a slacker, sponging off my lovely parents.
Trust me, I’m sadder ;____;
PS: Don’t think I missed that sneaky thing about your mother ;-) And I don’t even want to try imagining you in a suit…
I would have protected you in school :( I learned how to fight too thanks to my father. He said it builds character. I’m not sure if it did to be honest, it just filled up my spare time when I wasn’t on the field kicking or throwing a ball around. However it did make me more flexible than most other athletes and it has definitely served me well.
You’re making me real curious about what you do, but I won’t ask! I’m just glad you got out of there before you burned out completely. It sounds like you definitely needed a break. I tend to give everything till I keel over and pass out. That’s not really a good thing…
Maybe you’ll share some of your scribbles with me some day. I can’t write poetry for shit. I’m sorry if my friends misled you on that point.
And you don’t miss much, do you? ;-)
Flexible huh? :P
Trust you to latch onto that o_O
I just collapsed into a fit of giggles over “latch”. It’s not quite midnight but I think you should go to bed before I decide to try and have my wicked way with you :P
You really suck at goodbyes. How am I going to sleep after that?
I’m not even going to TOUCH that one.
GOOD NIGHT YUNHO
NOT TOUCHING THAT ONE EITHER
GOOD NIGHT JAE
“EARTH TO U-KNOW YUNHO!”
Yunho is startled from his reverie by his sister, who punctuates her loud bellow with a kick to his shins.
“What the fuck, Jihye?” Yunho glares at his sister who is batting her eyelashes innocently at him.
“Don’t swear at your sister. We did lose you there. I kept calling your name but you were completely lost in your thoughts.”
“They looked like good thoughts too if that smirk was anything to go by.” Mrs Jung, wearing her own smirk, watching as her son blushes.
“Mum! I don’t want to know about his thoughts. Ugh now I feel like I need a shower. Too many unwanted thoughts just entered my head. I need brain bleach!”
“What on earth are you prattling on about?”
“I have yaoi images THAT I DO NOT WANT in my head. Thankfully, they are of the actual manga I read yesterday… but still… to associate it with my brother…” Jihye shudders dramatically. “I’m going to need therapy. Family dinners with Yunho require therapy for me the following day.”
“What the hell are you doing reading yaoi?” Yunho’s mouth is hanging just a little as he stares at his baby sister. His baby sister! What is the world coming to when she reads yaoi and he has barely looked at them?
Mr Jung shakes his head, pulling the napkin from his lap and dropping it on the table as he stands. “I’m lost. I think I need a drink. Yunho, join me in the study.”
“What about meeeeeeeeeeee?” Jihye whines, sounding like a five year old as she kicks her heels against the legs of her chair.
This time it is Mrs Jung who stands, depositing her napkin on the table. “You are coming with me. We need to have a good long talk about appropriate behaviour at the dinner table, and then maybe I’ll give you your passport.”
“What! You can’t hold my passport hostage!”
She merely arches an immaculate eyebrow at her screeching daughter. “Care to try me?”
Both Jihye and Yunho stand, mutely following their parents as they leave the room.
Yunho settles into the hunter green leather couch in his father’s study, holding a snifter of cognac that his father has just handed to him. He had chanced a glance at his cellphone on the way, and was a little disturbed to see that it is almost 9:30pm. Jihye’s dinner table theatrics have dragged the meal out longer than usual, and he is going to be late getting home. He fiddles with his phone, wondering if he should text Jae, and then remembers what his own “ideal match” says about not being clingy, and he pockets his phone immediately.
“So,” Mr Jung settles into the couch opposite his son, “tell me about this man.”
“I’m not sure what to tell you, Dad. I like him. I really do, but I don’t really want to share him yet because of the circumstances.”
“Fair enough. What is he like though?”
“He seems quite guarded some moments and quite free in others. I get the feeling he doesn’t trust very easily, especially with the way he avoids some questions or statements of mine, when he replies to everything else. I don’t blame him though. It is a rather strange medium to meet someone on.”
“What about you? Are you truthful? Does he know who you are?”
Yunho takes a sip of his drink, trying not to wince at the strong liqueur, but it doesn’t escape his father’s notice who chuckles at him. He sends a returning smile, before speaking.
“He doesn’t even know what sport I play. I get the feeling he assumes I play basketball because of some of the things he says, and I haven’t set him straight.”
“So he doesn’t know you’re the heir to Jung Group?”
Yunho looks up sharply, but he only sees concern in his father’s eyes, nothing more.
“No. He knows I work with Mum 2-3 afternoons a week if practice allows it, but that’s it.”
Mr Jung leans back, swirling his glass lazily as he eyes his son thoughtfully. His knee-jerk reaction to the whole thing was a great big red alert because internet or online dating just seems wrong to him. What if the person on the other end is some predator like Seunghyun? His lips twist angrily at the memory of the older man. He would definitely not have chosen a man such as that as his son’s first experience but if Yunho’s subsequent choice of male partner is any indication, he seems to have learned his lesson. People in the entertainment industry are shallow and self-serving, Seunghyun the worst of the lot.
However, if this other man has no idea as to Yunho’s background, and still seems very interested in his son, then who is he to knock their method of getting to know each other? Sure, it’s a little strange to a traditionalist like him, but as long as Yunho is happy, that is really all that matters.
“Are you planning on eventually meeting him though? You can’t stay online forever. Do you even know what he looks like?”
Yunho breaks into a smile, remembering the photoe Jae had sent him that morning. He had woken up to a message on his phone.
This is a photo of a photo. You don’t have to reply, but you can see what I mean by a girl… DON’T LAUGH
And he really wasn’t kidding. Jae was a wide-eyed toddler who really looked like a pretty baby girl. He wonders what the man looks like now, trying to put the top half of the toddler’s face to the bottom half of what he can see in Jae’s profile, but not quite succeeding in visualising it. He has a feeling the man leans more towards feminine in features, but he doesn’t really want to assume too much. He would personally not appreciate someone pointing that out. He had replied with his own photo of a photo.
I told you I was short and round! AND I KNOW YOU’RE LAUGHING RIGHT NOW
“I don’t think I need the answer to that question,” Mr Jung smiles at his son, speaking more to himself as Yunho is so obviously lost in thought. The young man sitting opposite him is positively glowing. Anything that can make his son this happy, can’t be bad. He’ll reserve ultimate judgment when he finally meets the young man, and he has no doubt he eventually will.
He stands up, grabbing Yunho’s drink, downing it himself, knowing his son won’t want it. He is glad that Yunho isn’t much of a drinker, especially in the heavy drinking culture that they have.
“Why don’t you go home, son? What time is your flight tomorrow?”
Yunho shakes himself, looking up at his father, before standing up. “We’re catching the 10am flight to Sapporo.”
“I wish we could have gone to the game. I have a feeling the Oji Eagles won’t know what hit them.”
“You don’t know that!”
“I know you. Have a safe trip, and send our regards to Coach Kim and your friends. We can talk about this new love of yours when you get back.”
“Why is everyone saying I’m in love…” Yunho mutters under his breath.
“Because we can see it. Now go, because I have to rescue Jihye from your mother.”
Yunho snorts at that as he leaves the study with his father, getting a good natured punch to the shoulder for his troubles.
He texts Jae on his way out, telling the man he’ll be home in twenty minutes.
AN: And omg I actually hope I got the photos right… Shame if I haven’t lmao. I laughed so hard at YH’s though. I can’t imagine Jaejoong keeping a straight face after seeing that.
Part 2 - 4b