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: Alright so I was actually gonna skip the day after thing and jump ahead in time… but then I decided not to lol! And my MIL is the editor of a paper and she will cry at my attempt at an article lmao. And also, uh, PLEASE REMEMBER MY JOURNAL IS 18+… Proceed at your own risk lmao!!! Also, barely made the LJ cut off because crazy word count OTL
AN2: This banner was done by atriums
“Ok, I’m convinced. Absolutely convinced.” Junsu speaks as he gawps at the top story of a well-known tabloid website that morning. He’s not sure how accurate the news is, but the coincidence is just too uncanny for it to be really a coincidence.
“Ok, if this story is true, I approve of the guy. They have my blessings.” Kangin’s voice is grim, uncharacteristically so, as he too stares at Changmin’s laptop lying open on the table in the VIP lounge. The goaltender had called them all up that morning, asking to meet an hour earlier than planned, without Coach Kim or Yunho. It is 8am, and the two left out will be there in about half an hour. Possibly earlier because Yunho is almost always punctual or early, but never late.
The news headline is sensationalistic, aiming for attention rather than accuracy as the body of the text underneath the headlines are somewhat different.
Hero Jaejoong, rock superstar currently on indefinite hiatus after his suspected attempted suicide last month, was called in for questioning early this morning by Police investigating the assault on Choi Seunghyun at a record label party last night.
Choi Seunghyun, sometime producer, was taken to hospital last night with a broken finger. While the man had been stone cold drunk, he had enough wit to claim that Hero had broken his finger. He claims the attack was unprovoked, but our sources say that the two had been engaged in a heated argument beforehand, and Seunghyun had touched Hero first.
“Hero was standing at the bar by himself when Seunghyun approached him. I couldn’t hear the conversation, but Hero looked extremely angry. And then Seunghyun poked him in the face or something and he grabbed his finger. He must have broken it then.”
As of right now, Hero Jaejoong is still in custody. We will update with further news as soon as it comes in.
“I hate that they won’t leave him alone. Imagine how Coach Kim feels right now? We better play our guts out tonight for him.” Yoochun stares at the blurry photographs of Hero Jaejoong, presumably taken at the police station that morning. He was right, the man’s eyes are breathtaking. There is only one real shot where his eyes can be seen, and the coldness in them sends a shiver down his spine.
“And Yunho… I wonder how he feels about this.” Han Geng speaks up quietly, still staring at the screen, feeling anger at Seunghyun for somehow messing with his team captain’s life yet again, albeit indirectly. “I can understand why he sounded so cold and angry last night when we met him.”
The other four men nod immediately, agreeing with his words.
They don’t notice that Yunho has come up behind them, practically bouncing with every step.
“Hey! You guys are early. That’s a first.”
Junsu squeaks in surprise, and he starts to choke as he’s managed to get his saliva going down the wrong pipe. Everyone suddenly makes a huge show of thumping the poor center forward on the back violently, as Changmin tries to shut his laptop in the chaos.
“What were you looking at?” Yunho drops his duffle at his feet as he sprawls out on the seat opposite his teammates. He slept like a baby, and right now, he feels like he can conquer the world. Nothing can get him off this high. Absolutely nothing.
“Nothing,” comes the too-quick reply from Changmin and he winces immediately, knowing his mistake.
Yunho grins, arching an eyebrow at him. “We can do this the easy or the hard way. Either you hand me your laptop, or I chase you down for it, and you know I will win. Though your precious laptop might not survive.”
The team is silent, as they watch the goaltender give up his laptop to the captain. Yunho isn’t kidding. He has destroyed two laptops already from roughhousing with them. They want to hide it from Yunho, but at the same time, they also want to know how he’d react. Perhaps it’s a little selfish on their part, especially with the game that night at stake, but they’ve been curious for far too long, and their belief that their determination to play well for their coach will sustain them through the match is strong. Unknowingly, each of them are vowing to win the game tonight, no blood or foul will stop them. They are playing for their coach and their captain.
Yunho is completely oblivious to these thoughts, smirking to himself as he takes the laptop from Changmin. He pops open the lid, and the first thing he sees are the blurry photographs.
“Who is this?”
“You don’t recognise him?” Yoochun asks incredulously. Hero Jaejoong is impossible to forget.
Yunho looks up, slightly perplexed. “No…should I?”
“That’s Hero Jaejoong,” Changmin says simply, watching his captain closely. He gets a heavy heel to his toe from Han Geng for his lack of tact or finesse but he ignores the older man, as Yunho’s face changes suddenly.
At the name, Yunho in unable to stop the smile that cracks his face practically in half, as he is transported back to last night. He doesn’t care about Hero Jaejoong at all. He is simply remembering his Jaejoong. Or Jae.
The men watching him feel their collective hearts sink. That smile is a familiar one to them. It’s a smile of a cat that got the cream. Their captain totally got laid last night, and by the man in the photograph who is currently cooling his heels in some police station in the heart of Seoul.
“So…you recognise him now?”
Yunho is nudged from his memories by Junsu, thankful for the interruption because he is about to pitch a tent in his pants and that would be hard to explain.
Hard. Haha. He’s such a teenager.
He turns to look at the photos again, his brow furrowing, once again confused as he looks back up at his team mates. “Now that you’ve mentioned it, it does look like Hero, though the poster that I saw of him was different from this. I don’t know him well enough to be able to identify him from his eyes or that super blurry photo of him looking down, but if you say it’s Hero, then it’s Hero.
The five men exchange looks, now themselves confused.
“But you look like you got laid last night!” Kangin blurts out, and Yunho starts laughing at his outburst.
“What does me getting laid have got to do with a blurry photo of some rock icon?”
Changmin, once again the first one to catch on, changes the subject immediately before someone else puts their foot in their mouth. “Have you read the article accompanying the photos? That was what we were reading.”
Yunho turns back to the laptop, still chuckling at Kangin. Is his face so transparent? Well, he didn’t technically get laid but since they are dating “online”, he figures this is about as close he will come to actually getting laid in the meantime, so he doesn’t correct his teammate’s assumption.
His eyes run over the article, and his smile turns into a frown.
“So he’s still around. You’d think he’d have disappeared into a hole in the ground somewhere by now, worrying that he’ll bump into you guys on every corner.”
“He best pray he never meets me in a dark alley somewhere.” Han Geng, the normally placid defenceman, is venomous in his tone as he grinds the words out.
“Hyung, don’t please? Clearly, he hasn’t changed if he’s managed to piss off Hero too. I don’t like rock, but I might just start listening to him since he has the good taste to dislike Seunghyun hyung.”
“Don’t call him hyung.”
“Sorry, force of habit.”
“So…nothing else captures your attention?” Yoochun prods.
Yunho stares at him, then at everyone else’s faces. Yoochun has a strange expectant look about him, Kangin is confused, Han Geng and Changmin both have no expression, and Junsu is curious.
“What’s with you guys?”
Changmin finally speaks, taking a chance, because Yunho appears to be in a very good mood. “We’re just up a little too early. I confused our meeting time and told everyone to be here at 7:30 so you’ve had an extra hour’s sleep almost compared to the rest of us. And speaking of sleep, how was your night? You look, uh, well-rested.”
“You’re very obvious, Max.” Yunho makes tsking sounds at the goaltender, shaking his head, but he cannot help the smile that stretches his cupid bow mouth once again.
“Are you going to smile like that all day? Coach is going to have a fit.” Junsu blurts out, getting an elbow in the gut from Yoochun for it.
“I think all of you should sleep on the plane. Clearly the lack of sleep is making all of you say the damndest things. Why would Coach have a fit? If nothing, he should be well pleased! I feel like I can conquer the world today. I’m definitely planning on wiping the ice with the Eagles. What say you?”
He gets various fighting words from the rest of the team players, all of them attracting some unhappy looks from the other occupants of the VIP lounge. However, the six men are much too big for the businessman-type folk that populate the room to confront, and so they are left alone with their back thumping and expletive laden expressions towards the other team.
Yunho is relieved that he’s managed to distract them from asking him about his night, but he is also a little regretful. He’s never really been one to hold back in anything he does, and not telling his friends about Jae feels a little deceptive. Struggling with his thoughts for a few more minutes, as everyone breaks off and starts to discuss which warm up drills they will be practicing when they arrive, Yunho finally makes a decision.
His voice is soft, but it silences everyone immediately. The entire team is in tune with their captain, giving him the respect he deserves even though they tease him and treat him like their baby brother most of the time. Yunho has earned that respect, and none of his friends begrudge him his position. In fact, all five try their best to make it as easy as possible for him, as they genuinely love the tall and good-natured young man.
“I’ll tell you about my uh, my uh…the person I’m dating, but only if you promise not to tease me about it? This is all new to me, and I want to keep it as quiet as possible because it feels different. I’ve told my parents about him, so I guess I should be able to tell you guys too.”
If Yunho finds the unwavering attention his team is giving him odd, he doesn’t comment on it. Every single one of those men, aged between 24 and 28, are practically hanging onto his every word. Some, like Junsu for example, have actually stopped breathing in anticipation.
“His name is Jae… but I guess you already know that. He signs off as Jae so I guess that’s how he prefers to be called.”
He pauses, waiting for a response, but apart from Junsu who starts coughing, no one bats an eyelid. Shrugging to himself, Yunho continues.
“This is the part where I don’t want you guys to laugh at ok? Promise you won’t laugh?”
“Cross our hearts and hope to die, poke a finger in our eye.” Yoochun says immediately, making everyone chuckle. Yunho kicks out playfully at him, but he believs them.
“I don’t actually know what he does, or what he looks like apart from the profile photo and a couple of baby photos he sent me yesterday morning.”
“So…you’ve been talking to He—“ Han Geng stomps on Kangin’s foot just in time, making the man growl, but he manages to recover. “…Him. You’ve been talking to him for what? A week now and you don’t know what he does?”
“Well, we talk about a lot of things. We mainly just chat and stuff but not about specifics. He doesn’t know I play ice hockey, and he definitely doesn’t know who my family is. I think he just thinks I’m an intelligent basketball jock who happens to help out at his family’s office every now and again.”
“Well, he spent a good half hour teasing me about being a Maths and Economics major, so I guess he found it funny to find a smart jock. I don’t know.”
“So what do you know about him?”
Yunho immediately remembers last night, and he grins happily. “He can definitely sing.”
This time, Yoochun, Junsu and Kangin all start to choke.
Yunho helps to thump Junsu on the back since he’s closest to him while Changmin does it for Yoochun and Han Geng for Kangin. His team is acting very oddly. Perhaps they ate something at breakfast that didn’t agree with them?
“Do all of you have gas or something?”
“Huh?” Changmin replies for them all.
“Well, all of you are choking and coughing and making weird noises at random times. Well, except for you, Min. So what gives? Should I avoid the breakfast buffet here and eat on the plane?”
Helpless to explain the strange behaviour of his teammates, Changmin simply nods, and thankfully, Yunho appears to accept this. Is it still lying if you don’t say anything? Is it noise if a tree falls over in the woods but there’s no one to hear it?
“Anyway, so yeah. I’m really enjoying this way of getting to know someone. I think I know more about him as a person in this one week than I ever knew Seunghyun, or even Ara, and maybe even Donghae for the duration of our relationships. It’s quite free-ing to be able to converse without being distracted by how they look or what they do, or worrying about any of those annoying interpersonal things you have to be mindful of when dating in person. Like, I don’t have to worry about whether he wants me to hold his hand, or if it’s too early for a goodnight kiss, or who should pay for dinner, or even what restaurant he might like for lunch. I don’t have to wonder if I have food in my teeth, or whether I’m accidentally spraying him with spit when I laugh or my hands are gesturing a little too wildly when I’m describing a great shot I made. It’s all rather relaxing to be honest.”
“That still doesn’t explain why you look like you had one hell of a night last night, dongsaeng.”
Everyone laughs as Yunho colours immediately, wrinkling his nose at Kangin. Trust him to latch on to that.
“Well…” but before he can speak, Yoochun suddenly crows loudly, jumping up excitedly.
“Oh my fucking god, you had chat sex! You were sexting weren’t you? Weren’t you?”
“No!” Yunho even manages to look a little scandalised at the thought, heartily embarrassed because they are now once again the centre of attention thanks to Micky’s rather loud outburst as he practically jogs on the spot, he is so excited. “Keep you head down, you idiot!”
“Why, keep your head down?” Changmin snorts. “You mean voice don’t you?”
“No, I meant head. Sit the fuck down, Yoochun. What the hell?”
“Hey, wait! He said no.” Junsu points out suddenly, and his face too twists with amusement. “Did you have phone sex?”
To the amusement of the five older men, Yunho suddenly covers his face with his hands, mumbling something indistinct into his fingers, and they all have their answer.
Yoochun, the perpetual grease monkey of the team, starts moaning and running his hands down his body as he utters breathily, “I really wanna touch myself.”
Yunho clearly hears him as he lifts his head, looks around, and grabs Changmin’s backpack to hurl at the unrepentant left-winger. Yoochun sits back down next to Junsu, hiding behind the centre forward as Yunho tries to lunge across Junsu at him to smack his head while at the same time, trying to avoid being punched by Changmin for utilising his bag as a weapon.
And it is into this fray that a distraught Coach Kim walks into.
The men stop squabbling immediately when they see him, though Yunho is the last to notice, landing his punch onto Yoochun’s shoulder. He finally notices their coach’s presence when Yoochun doesn’t react at all to his punch. The five men stare at Coach Kim who is massaging his temple wearily. However, before he reaches the six men, Han Geng breaks away from the group and pulls the coach aside, whispering hurriedly.
“Yunho doesn’t know Hero is your son. We haven’t told him, and we won’t unless you want him to know.”
Remembering his promise to his son, Coach Kim shakes his head tiredly. “I won’t tell him. My son said not to tell unless he recognises him for himself and since he wasn’t at dinner yesterday, I can’t tell him. Thank you for keeping silent though. I know it’s hard especially after what happened this morning. I’m assuming you heard?”
“Yeah, we saw it this morning. I didn’t know he knows Seunghyun.”
Coach Kim’s lips curl in distaste at the mention of the man. “I didn’t know either. And I’m glad he seems to dislike him as much as all of you. I asked him what happened and he refused to say anything. I didn’t want to push him.”
“Hey, stop hogging the coach! Are you trying to supplant me as captain or something?” Yunho jokes, and both Han Geng and Coach Kim manage a smile for him.
“No, he was just tattling on all of you behaving like louts in the middle of this exclusive lounge. Do I have to go round the room and apologise to everyone for your behaviour?”
Six heads shake at Coach Kim.
“We’re still early for the flight. I’ve had a horrible morning so if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to find some sustenance.”
“The food might give you gas.” Yunho pipes up helpfully. “The guys have all been choking and coughing since I got here so you might want to just have cereal or something.”
“Cereal works for me. Thanks, Yunho.”
As they watch their coach walk away, Yunho’s phone beeps. Unlike the other night, no one tries to sneak a peek, watching his face instead as he breaks into the widest smile yet.
I forgot to wish you all the best for your game tonight. I’d normally say good luck, but I know you don’t need luck to win :-)
Changmin though, is distracted by the news that is playing on the monitor. The sound is on mute but there is a giant “LIVE” on the top right hand corner of the screen. The ticker tape on the bottom reads that the news is currently coming live from outside the central police station in Seoul where Hero Jaejoong has been released. Apparently, Choi Seunghyun has dropped all charges. He looks over at Coach Kim who is staring silently at the screen. However, what really catches his attention is the fact that Hero Jaejoong is now wearing a black mask, his head down and looking at his phone as he walks through the throng of people, surrounded by a police escort, presumably to get him safely to his car.
He nudges Han Geng. “Look at him.”
Yunho, in the meantime, is completely oblivious to his teammates as one by one they all elbow each other. Their eyes are darting from Hero on the screen to Yunho who is texting into his phone with a cute smile on his face. They know that smile.
Yunho is lovestruck.
Which means it can only be one person he is texting.
Thank you ^^ I kinda feel like I can win anything today. Maybe I should by a lotto ticket. I feel lucky.
The reply is quick.
Because you got lucky? ;-)
Yunho’s mouth stretches into a wicked smirk that actually makes Yoochun blink at him. He, along with Kangin, Han Geng, Junsu and Changmin currently have their eyes on both Hero and Yunho. Hero had looked at his phone the second Yunho put his down, and their hearts are all racing.
Mmmmm, maybe. Can I have a kiss?
He presses send quickly before he can change his mind. His heart is thumping, his hands are feeling clammy once again and his belly churning, but he is hopeful. His phone beeps quickly, and he flips it face up, grinning when he sees the message.
Pushing you luck now, young man :P *kiss*
He is feeling giddy, as he types his reply.
*pouts* I want one like the one you got last night.
Yunho purses his lips as he waits, his pout pronounced indeed, as he sucks in his cheeks and makes kissy faces to no one in particular. He leans back, stretching his long legs out ahead of him as he stares at his phone. He is utterly oblivious to the sudden chaos on the television screen when Hero Jaejoong pulls his mask down, mouth twisted into a smirk.
“Oh fuck…” Changmin exhales, whispering under his breath as he hears Yunho’s phone ring just as Hero on the screen puts his phone to his ear.
Although he is waiting for it, he is still surprised his phone actually rings, and he almost drops it.
“Hello yourself,” comes a familiar voice, but there is a lot of background noise, and Yunho’s brow furrows immediately.
“Why does it sound like you’re in the middle of a soccer field during a world cup match?”
Yunho doesn’t hear the gasps from every single one of his teammates, whose eyes are on the screen as Hero Jaejoong grins, before disappearing into his car. The news cuts then, but to the five gaping men, that is more than enough for them to believe.
Even those who had been mildly doubtful now believe.
All their eyes turn to their captain, inching closer to try and listen to his side of the conversation without being too obvious about it.
Yunho hears a door slam, and the noise is now muted.
“Trust the jock to compare it to a soccer field. I was thinking concert myself. Better?”
“Much better. And trust you to think that it sounds like a concert Mr. Singer.”
Yoochun has to swallow his yelp as his eyes dart to Changmin’s wide ones.
Jaejoong laughs, feeling happy for the first time in hours as he slowly backs his car out, watching the policemen clearing a path for his Lamborghini. Throughout the annoying questioning, all he’d been thinking of was the fact that he hadn’t wished Yunho well for his game. The dual lines of thought of explaining to the officer about Seunghyun, and thinking about Yunho, had unwittingly made the singer more mellow and less snide with the police. The officers, prepared to face a rockstar throwing a fit in their office, instead was met by a cooperative man who answered their questions without hesitating, the ring of truth in every word he spoke.
When the call came in that Choi Seunghyun had dropped the charges, the officers were more than happy to let Hero Jaejoong go. The man had even been willing to sign autographs, something he rarely does outside actual fan meets.
Jaejoong kisses his phone loudly and exaggeratedly, making a lip smacking sound that sends Yunho into a fit of chuckles.
“That sounded like you just tried to swallow my face!”
“I’ll swallow anything.”
Yunho chokes on a groan, sitting up abruptly. “No, no, no, stop. I’m in the airport lounge surrounded by a lot of people!”
The older man chuckles wickedly, licking his lips, before dropping his voice, almost purring, “Are you getting hard for me?”
Yunho clamps his legs shut, wincing as he tightens his grip on the phone. His eyes are wide, the colour high in his cheeks, and still, completely oblivious to his rapt audience.
“I love it when you say my name…” Jaejoong allows a bit of a moan to enter his voice. He is playing with the man, feeling utterly amused and for some reason, very happy and exhilarated despite the shitty morning he’s had. Yunho is reacting to him, Kim Jaejoong, not Hero Jaejoong, and to the rockstar who’s been surrounded by fakers for over half his life, Yunho’s honest reaction to him is melting his heart of ice.
Yunho groans as he sinks lower, almost till his butt is hanging off the edge as he leans his head back against the back of the rather comfortable lounge seat. He closes his eyes, covering them with his hands as he growls into the phone.
“You are a bad man.”
Grinning unrepentantly, Jaejoong kisses the phone again. This time, a simple peck. “There! Your chaste kiss.”
As he listens to Yunho laughing and sending his own chaste kiss back, he hears the beep of an incoming call. He checks the screen and is unsurprised to see his father calling.
“My father is calling. I have to go. Email me when you can. I’m feeling inspired today and might fool around on my piano and I usually turn my phone off for that but I’ll check my inbox when I get the chance.”
Yunho groans heartily as he imagines the baby grand piano in his living room with a certain Kim Jaejoong fooling around on it. Preferably with him being on it too…
Jaejoong cracks up when he hears the groan.
“I know what you’re thinking. And while I’d love to indulge, we will have to revisit that visual in your head some other time. I really have to go.”
Yunho cannot help the pout that forms, but he knows this is definitely the wrong time and place.
“Alright, talk to you later. Say hi to your dad for me and have fun imagining me on your piano.”
All he gets is a sharp bark of laughter before the call is cut off.
He brings the phone down, staring at it as he mutters under his breath. “Jae, you really need to work on your goodbyes.” He looks up then, stunned to find five faces gawping at him. “What?” he asks self-consciously as he pockets his phone and tries to surreptitiously move so his hard-on isn’t so noticeable.
“Wow…” Kangin shakes his head, really not able to say anything else, fully aware that Coach Kim is now talking to his son because he heard him say Joongie into the phone.
“Ditto.” Junsu says, staring at his best friend, and then side-eyeing his coach. “When did you get so cheeky? I don’t ever remember you being like that with anyone. Well, you are like that with us and with me and Max especially, but never really with anyone you’re going out with. Maybe this online thing is a good thing after all. I think you’re actually being yourself with this guy.”
Yunho sucks on his bottom lip, before shrugging, noting that their coach appears to be in deep conversation on the phone.
“Like I said, it feels freer. I can be honest, and not worry. It’s like he already knows my bad traits. He knows I’m a dork, I’m a jock and I can be a nerd. Plus he’s seen that horrid baby photo of mine where I look round enough to pass off as a basketball. And he still wants to talk to me. How much worse can it get?”
“Did you just almost have phone sex in the middle of the damn airport lounge?” Yoochun demands suddenly, making everyone laugh. “Seriously, U-Know Yunho? I need to meet this man. He’s making you a lot more fun. I never pegged you for the phone sex type. I just imagine you blushing like mad and stuttering, not the man who just told a hot older man to imagine you splayed out on his piano!”
“I did not say splayed out!”
“Are we going to argue semantics? What else would you be doing on the piano if not splayed out? Silly, dongsaeng.”
Coach Kim hangs up just then, stopping Yunho just in time before he tries to find something else to throw at Yoochun.
“Alright kids, let’s go.”
“Joongie, are you busy tonight?” Mrs Kim asks as she watches her son scribble notes while trying to eat at the same time. He is sitting on her right, his hood up, chewing on the back of his pencil, replacing it with a mouthful of kimbap as she watches.
He hums, but he doesn’t look up, closing his eyes briefly as he tries to envision the set on stage. He is planning his short two song piece for the Dome concert coming up and while he had originally just intended to turn up and bitch at everyone, the fact that it is a charity concert is making him put a little more effort into it.
“Joongie,” Mrs Kim tries again and this time her son looks up, pencil dangling from the edge of his pout.
“Are you busy tonight?”
Jaejoong pops the pencil out of his mouth and sticks it behind his ear, looking like a slightly frazzled artist, as he stares wide-eyed as his mother.
She smiles softly because her son is looking very young with his tousled hair that is free of product, his face scrubbed clean of makeup, and his large eyes shining at her.
“Are you staying in or going out?”
Jaejoong leans back, stretching his arms up over his head, arching his back and groaning when it pops. He pushes his hood back, ruffling his hair and shaking it out before smiling at his mother. She had been very apprehensive when he had gotten home that morning. It looked like she had aged overnight, and he feels a great deal of remorse for worrying her. When he is Hero Jaejoong, he is responsible to no one and for no one. But now that he is living a life with a foot in his life as Hero and another foot firmly planted in his life as the 29 year old bachelor son of a housewife and a coach, he suddenly has two more people to think about.
A frown crosses his face as he remembers Yunho. What is he going to do about the man? He can only hide behind Kim Jaejoong for so long. No matter how much he wants to admit otherwise, Hero Jaejoong is as much him as Kim Jaejoong is. Yes, he’s strayed off the path way too often as Hero Jaejoong, and right now he is trying to find himself again, the Kim Jaejoong who left home fifteen years ago. However, he has been Hero for almost half his life, and he cannot erase that fact.
“Jaejoong?” Mrs Kim watches the play of emotions across her son’s face. When he is unguarded, his face is actually very expressive, but as Hero Jaejoong, she has come to terms with the cold exterior her son projects. It makes her sad that he has to hide that way, but she cannot knock whatever keeps him sane in that crazy world of his.
Jaejoong shakes his head, smiling gently at his mother as he leans forward to pick up his discarded chopsticks to finish his dinner. “I’m not going out this weekend. I should probably stay low don’t you think?”
“Only if it makes you happy, Jaejoong.”
“Staying here makes me happy, Mum. Don’t worry about it. Are you feeling lonely without Dad or something?” his voice is teasing as he nudges his mother’s foot under the table.
She nudges him back, laughing and tries to take a swipe at him which he ducks easily, grinning mischievously back at her. Jonghyun is right, her son is still in there somewhere and each day, she sees glimpses of him. She can see the change in him over the last week or so, and in her heart she wonders if they really are enough for him. Being home has softened her son’s hard edges, and apart from the rockstar image he’d kept at dinner the previous night, she can almost imagine the man sitting next to her had never left home.
“I always feel lonely without your Dad, you know that.”
“Well, now you have your overgrown son to keep you company. Did you want to do something? I’m in the middle of figuring out what I want to do for an upcoming concert, but I am more than happy to keep you company.”
Mrs Kim’s smile falters at the mention of a concert. Isn’t Jaejoong on hiatus? She knows his punishing tour schedules was one of the reasons that drove him onto that hedonistic path he is trying to get away from, and him mentioning a concert makes her heart sink. All that alcohol, those groupies willing to do anything and everything, not to mention half his band members are drug addicts and more than happy to lead her son down their own destructive path.
Jaejoong sees her face fall, and he knows why. He covers her tiny hand, sitting on the table with his own warm palm.
“It’s a charity concert, Mum. A benefit concert fundraising for the children orphaned by the earthquake and tsunami. The agency wants me to do a string of charity concerts as an attempt at good publicity after all the bad publicity, and perhaps to remind people I still exist. I don’t know if they’ll succeed but you know I enjoy helping when I can. My fan club has already pledged almost 20 tons of rice for the event. 20 tons, Mum! That’s more than twice the next artist has.”
Jaejoong’s voice is shining with pride, his face earnest as he tries to convince his mother it will be ok. Those two weeks in rehab had been hideous, but not for the reasons one might think. Alcohol has always been his crutch, and he loses himself in it more often than he can count. He’s not really a drug addict, not liking the feeling of crashing down from his high. Being dependent on it has never appealed to him, and so he sticks to alcohol abuse. The hideousness stems from how devastated his parents had been. He hadn’t really been thinking straight when he’d wanted to sleep forever, considering his parents, but figuring they’d be better off without him.
That is so far from the truth it is practically laughable.
No matter how bad it got, his parents would have never wanted him dead. They’d rather have him in all his broken glory, than in a coffin in the ground or in an urn on the mantelpiece. He knew then, he had to fix his life somehow. It will be hard, but he will fix it, and Jaejoong is nothing if not determined. That determination made him the lead singer of his pop group when he could barely keep on pitch when they had scouted him. His voice has a natural quality to it that makes people want to listen, but his technical skills were a little lacking. Barely two years of vocal training, and Jaejoong became the best in the company.
After the split, Jaejoong had enlisted in the army, much earlier than anyone else in the industry, but he needed to regroup and rethink his course in life. He no longer belonged anywhere, left floundering, even dropped by his own company although that wasn’t much of a loss.
When he was done with his stint, he had come back with a new determination and a sense of purpose. He loves to sing, and while he enjoys pop, his love actually lies in rock, and so he re-invented himself.
In two years, he was once again at the top of his game. No one can touch him, his fans one of the most intense in any fandom, Western or Eastern. They are protective as hell, and Hero Jaejoong can do no wrong in their eyes, despite the multiple DUIs, and even a few altercations with paparazzi and sasaengs. He was held up as the epitome of bad boy rock star with a tragic past who doesn’t give a flying fuck about anything or anyone. He lived by his own rules, and if you didn’t like it, you can just fuck off.
That total lack of disregard seemed to appeal for some reason, in a country where everyone tries to live by the book, Hero Jaejoong thumbed his nose at it. Hell, he tore it up. He wore makeup, women’s clothing, and had piercings in odd places. He talked about sex openly, and was one of the first bisexual stars to come out. Instead of adversely affecting his popularity, it skyrocketed his infamy. No one pushed the boundaries as far as he did. His concerts are almost always rated, and even if they weren’t, you’d better be ready to accompany a minor to it just in case because Hero is unpredictable as hell.
And if Jaejoong admits it to himself, the unpredictableness was contrived in the beginning, but then it became such a part of him that he forgot himself. His public persona is a caricature of his real self. Everything the public sees, holds some hint of truth in what he truly is like inside. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire as the saying goes. However, no one really knows this. Not even his parents.
Now, looking at his mother who is trying to hide her concern for her only child, he feels regret for making her worry so much. Fame and fortune are fleeting. He just wants to do what he loves, and he wonders when it became so hard to do something as simple as singing.
The urge to cut back, and strip right down to the basics for the Dome charity concert is extremely tempting, but he owes it to his fans, and he owes it to the public to put on a show. Perhaps he can do both, he still hasn’t decided.
“Your father’s team is playing tonight and it will be shown live on the sports network, and I was wondering if you’d like to watch it with me.”
“Huh?” Jaejoong’s eyes widen. “Dad’s team is playing and it’s being shown on tv? What time?”
Mrs Kim glances at the clock on the wall, noting the time. “In about 35 minutes. They usually show the team warming up if you want to watch it now?”
“Wow, that’s primetime. I didn’t realise Dad’s team was that big.”
“It’s the biggest ice hockey team in the country. Yah, Joongie. You don’t even know what your father does?” Mrs Kim chides her son, tapping him lightly on the wrist, and shaking her head fondly at him.
“So those guys from last night?”
“All of them are the A team. I’ll point them out to you. Come on. Leave the dishes, I’ll do them later.”
Jaejoong follows his mother over to the living area where she turns the television on. The channel is already set to the sports network, and the first thing he sees is three men skating like a hellhound is on their tails, doing sprints from one end of the rink to the other.
“Remember the guy who commented on your face last night?”
Jaejoong wrinkles his nose, remembering well indeed. “That rude one?”
Mrs Kim laughs, shaking her head. “Yoochunnie is a sweet boy. He can be very off colour in his jokes and innuendo but don’t be fooled. He’s very well and truly attached. He was just stating the truth, wasn’t he?”
Jaejoong shrugs, his eyes on the television. He really isn’t that interested, but he can play around with his music while keeping his mother company.
“Well, he’s number 10 on the screen skating right now. The man in the number 12 jersey next to him is Junsu, and the one on the far end, who also happens to be —“
She is cut off by a loud roar from the crowd, and the announcer exclaiming loudly about an ice speed record being broken. Jaejoong stares disinterestedly at the screen as the camera zooms in to a player with the number 9 on his jersey surrounded by his teammates.
“Mum, is it ok if I work while you watch? I need to get this done while I’m inspired.”
Mrs Kim sighs, as the camera finally pans away from Yunho. Her son has barely even looked at the screen. So much for trying to match them up. She rubs his knee, squeezing it before telling him she’s off to do the dishes. He barely acknowledges her leaving, once again scribbling furiously into his notebook.
Jaejoong is reading a book, when his phone beeps. He had been quite lost in it that he hadn’t noticed the time, and is surprised to see it is almost 11:30pm.
The message is an alert that he has an email in his DreamDate inbox and he smiles immediately, his heart speeding up in anticipation. He tosses his book aside, picking up his laptop immediately, and within a minute, he is reading Yunho’s email.
WE WONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!! I WAS NAMED MVP FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MONTHS AND IT FEELS DAMN GOOD. I SCORED NINE POINTS! N-I-N-E POINTS! THAT’S LIKE CRAZY. NO ONE SCORES 9 POINTS BUT I DID AND DAMN AM I HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!
Ok, sorry for the capslock. I kinda wanted to shout it to the world and my phone is dead so I can’t call you and shout at you. Although, you probably don’t want me to shout at you. I’m so buzzed right now oh my god. Coach took us out to dinner and drinks and he never takes us out. Well, he does for dinner but not drinks. We had a real nice dinner but I my phone died and I wanted to tell you about it so I didn’t join them for drinks.
Is that too weird for you? I wanted to share my good news with everyone I know who’d be interested and well, most interested parties were with me at dinner. I already called my parents and that’s why my phone died because my sister wouldn’t stop talking. ISTG I wish I was an only child sometimes. But then I remember how she’s always giving me stuff and telling me to shower more and to take care of my skin, and I really cannot hate her.
Anyway, I could call you from the hotel phone but I figured you might be asleep or something.
Jaejoong is smiling so hard he feels his face aching from the rarely used muscles. However, he is also a little confused.
Well, I’m sorry that’s so lacklustre compared to your enthusiastic email. Just know that I’m grinning from ear to ear right now and that’s saying a lot. My face actually hurts from smiling and I never thought that was possible. And no, it’s not weird especially since I already know you don’t really drink. I’m a convenient excuse huh? ;-)
And your sister sounds hilarious. Do you not shower enough or something? What sort of stuff does she give you? She’s probably right to do so since you’re a jock and probably stink 90% of the time :P
And no, not asleep. I’m just reading a book. I am a little confused though…
Isn’t it easy to score 9 points in basketball? Why are you so happy about it? Or did I make a lame assumption based on your profile outfit and height and you didn’t bother to correct me? Hmmmm………
“Fuck!” Yunho exclaims as he reads the email. He almost face palms himself, but stops just in time. He is alone in his hotel room. He normally shares with Junsu or Changmin, but for whatever reason, their room allocations were mixed up and he had been given his own room while the coach shared with Junsu. He had offered to switch of course, but Coach Kim was having none of it, saying that he deserved his own room with the way he’s been playing. It seems a little unfair to him since his teammates have been playing well too, but everyone had been loud in their agreement for him to room alone and so here he is, sprawled out topless on top of the covers of the comfortable king bed. It feels a little lonely to have such a huge bed and no one to share it with. The bed is much wider than his California King bed at home, but shorter which is slightly annoying but he can live with it.
He bites his lip in concentration as he types a reply.
I’m really sorry ;______; I didn’t mean to deceive you, but you never actually asked and I know that’s technically lying by omission on my part but you said in your very first email that you didn’t want to share specifics about things like occupations so I never pushed it. I do play basketball, but not professionally. I play a lot of sports actually, but you already know that.
I can tell you if you like, but I think it should be a fair exchange. What do you think?
I just ruined the mood didn’t I?
“Oh, baby…” Jaejoong whispers softly, having the sudden urge to want to pet the poor guy. It’s not Yunho who ruined the mood, but him for asking. He didn’t mean it to sound accusatory, and now he feels really bad for making the younger man upset.
No, no, no! I’m so sorry if it came out wrong. I was teasing you, not accusing you. I remember my first email, and I’m fine with it because you’re right, I didn’t ask.
Damn, I’m really sorry for ruining your buzz. I can fix that though…
And I’d love to tell you what I do… I’m actually a little surprised you haven’t figured it out. But can we leave it for now? I’m not intentionally deceiving you either. I just feel like there’s no pressure with us talking like this without knowing what the other does because I’m afraid my occupation might affect how you treat me and that’s the last thing I want. I feel like I’m getting to know you and you’re getting to know me, without our occupations getting in the way.
Does that even make any sense? I feel like I’m rambling right now. Just know that I’m not mad at you. Far from it. I’m really proud of you. I’m guessing scoring nine points in your sport is like scoring nine points in football? If so, that’s fucking amazing and I’m really happy for you.
Yunho exhales noisily, emptying his lungs in relief as he reads Jae’s email. He is even more curious about the older man’s occupation right now, but clearly Jae believes it will somehow change the dynamic of their “relationship” and Yunho does not want that at all.
He fiddles with Photo Booth on his Macbook Pro, angling the camera down, so only the bottom half of his face can be seen, before he smirks, and takes a photo. He had also decided to be naughty, and to make sure the piercing in his left nipple can be seen as well. He attaches the photo to the email before typing a reply.
I’m definitely smiling ;-)
And yes, it’s like football :P
Jaejoong jaw drops as he gapes. Well, he knew Yunho was well built, but this… this… He was not expecting this. And goddamn the man what the hell is that piercing! He has an identical one, a simple barbell. And good lord that mouth. That mouth close up is even more beautiful that he imagined. He has to suppress a moan at the thought of sucking on that plush bottom lip. His mouth is the most perfect cupid bow he has ever seen, completely at odds with the raw masculinity practically dripping off the rest of whatever he can see in that photo. If he had any lingering doubt that Yunho had just put up a photo of his friend or something, it is pretty much all but gone.
What makes him grin though, is that it isn’t just the man’s feminine mouth that is at odds with the rest of him, but the extremely pretty mole over his lip. He didn’t notice it in the profile picture, probably due to the distance, but up close, that mouth tugged up to the left in a smirk, the mole is very obvious.
He contemplates whether to send a photo back, but really, right now all he wants to do is pout at the man because he’s being such a tease. Alright, pout he will, as he lays down on his side, smirking.
If I hadn’t seen the rest of you and that shadow of hair above your lip and jaw, I would have thought your mouth belonged to a girl. Such a pretty mole ;-)
And this is me at you right now for being such a fucking tease!!!
Yunho chokes. He really tried not to but he did. How is that pout even real… His mind has actually blanked out as he gapes at the photo attached to Jae’s short reply. Tease? Who the fuck is doing the teasing now? His cock is already hard and the urge to ring Jae up is strong. He can remember the man’s phone number, but something stops him. He doesn’t want the older man to think he’s just some sort of online booty call. But damn his mouth. Damn his skin. Who the fuck has skin that smooth?
His reply is simple.
Are you real?
Jaejoong’s heart lurches at the sweet reply. At least, he thinks it’s sweet. Suddenly he is feeling strange things in the pit of his stomach, his hands are sweaty, and it has nothing to do with the hard-on he is currently sporting. He is actually glad Yunho’s phone is dead, because he will not put it past himself to ring him and try and replicate last night. He is glad, because suddenly it feels like a cheap thing to do.
Unable to understand how he feels, Jaejoong does the next best thing he can think of. Distract.
I’m as real as you are ;-)
And since we’ve sort of landed on the issue of piercings, care to share any others you might have? :P
Yunho smiles. His heart is pounding madly. Is it possible to fall in love with someone you haven’t technically met? He has no doubt as to the answer to that question. And the fact that they also seem to be somewhat in tune with each other still amazes him. All his relationships have been with someone older because while he is a leader on the ice, he actually prefers to be led off the ice. It’s a nice change, and he enjoys it.
He ignores his cock as he types out his response, willing it to calm down.
Just some lobe piercings along with the nipple. Two of them are actually ripped thanks to a rough soccer match so my left ear looks a little funny but eh. So yeah, apart from the nipple piercing which I got as a dare btw, instead of a tattoo, I don’t have any exciting body mods.
Jaejoong purses his lips, resisting the urge to smirk.
I have 12 piercings and a lot of tattoos… Does that bother you?
Yunho blinks rapidly at the screen, suddenly praying that all the piercings are on his ears because if not… So fucking screwed. He really shouldn’t ask because it will probably kill him.
No, tattoos don’t bother me. And wow, 12? Dare I ask where? :O
Jaejoong definitely smirks then. Well, he did ask…
Five in my left ear, three in my right, tongue piercing, one in my left nipple, one in my belly and an apadravya… And god I would pay to see your face right now. Google the last one if you have no idea what it is.
Yunho’s brow furrows as he reads. Tongue? He doesn’t sound like he has a tongue piercing. But then he remembers that his sister has one, and she talks just fine because it sits further back than the usual tongue piercings so perhaps that’s it. His cock twitches at the thought though, and he keeps glancing at the phone sitting innocently on the bedside table next to him. He opens up Google.
And proceeds to die. While he definitely had a slight suspicion, he wasn’t ready to be confronted with this.
He blinks hard, aware that he has stopped breathing, but he can’t even force the air currently sitting in his lungs out, let alone inhale.
He’s right, he shouldn’t have asked.
I think I just stopped breathing. I need resuscitation fuckmylife. I don’t think I will survive meeting you.
Jaejoong cannot help the laughter that explodes from him. He had purposefully not mentioned it on the phone yesterday, but damn. He glances at the time, and notes that it is close to one. They are way past Yunho’s midnight curfew and he feels just a little bit evil for leaving the younger man hanging like that, but hey, no one’s ever called him an angel. Well, not seriously anyway.
Speak for yourself :P I’m still thinking about your mouth…
…And with that, I bid you goodnight because it’s well past your bedtime! :PPP
Yunho’s jaw works, but nothing comes out as he types a quick reply.
You are the devil.
That’s for you to find out ;-) I wish you sWeET dreams :P
Yunho growls as he reads the message, shaking his head, his lips curved into a rueful smile.
I SAW THAT
And god, I don’t doubt it.
Jaejoong sucks in his bottom lip, stroking at it with the tip of his tongue as he replies.
Not god, Yunho…Jae…
Yunho does moan then, knowing there’s no way he will be able to sleep without jerking off. The man is evil. Truly evil.
Jaejoong’s smile is practically incandescent as he shuts the lid of his laptop.
His heart is racing, his palms are sweaty and the mere thought of Yunho makes him smile.
But the rockstar is completely oblivious as to the significance of those signs.
AN1: I AM SO JUDGING MYSELF FOR THIS ESPECIALLY THEIR CONVERSATION IN THE AIRPORT LOUNGE. U-KNOW EXACTLY WHERE I MEAN. I WAS SNORTING AND LAUGHING TO MYSELF OMG. I AM SO PATHETIC AND EASILY AMUSED *DEAD*
AN2: How many of you are screaming right now? I had the urge to lock this chapter tbh… or not be so uh… graphic? But then I figure what the hell. Y’all have read worse from me. I’m just making sure you’ve seen worse too hahahahahaha OTL I’ll keep pointing to the fact that my LJ is 18+ ok? It’s not my fault there are fetuses reading…
AN3: And I actually don’t know exactly how many ear piercings he has. I counted 8, five in the left and three in the right and websites all have different numbers so eh. I did try, though admittedly, I didn’t try hard enough lol.