Genre: Non-AU, angst, 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: A script for a new mini-series is left in Yunho’s apartment by his manager, and as he reads it, he becomes more and more intrigued. Unbeknownst to him, one of the leads has already been cast, and the contracts signed. When he too is cast in the project after expressing interest in the part, he gets the shock of his life when he arrives for the script reading to be faced with a person from his past. Someone that he has spent years trying to pretend never existed. How will they be able to get through filming this without killing each other? Or worse…
AN1: Bandfics make my belly ache TT__________TT I wrote half of this while working on an awful case for work yesterday, and then the other half in the hospital. In fact, I’m still in hospital so please forgive any shortcomings.
AN2: Oh and if you’re a new reader who has never read ICE, I really think you should because I will make a few references to it without actually spelling it out because the assumption is that everyone has read ICE and are familiar with the plot…
“I cannot come all the way here and not go in and pay my respects.”
“Don’t even think about it.”
Jaejoong is seated in the passenger seat of his Lamborghini which has come to a halt outside a familiar house. He had not told Yunho where to go, and yet the man still remembers the way.
The drive had been silent. Neither speaking, both lost in their own thoughts. Jaejoong, normally curious as to what is on Yunho’s mind, this time has no interest whatsoever in finding out. Perhaps it is because if the younger man’s thoughts resembles his in any way, than they are certainly in trouble.
Yes, that’s the more appropriate word.
He spent the better part of the drive recalling the script of the drama, and dying a little inside bit by bit as he realises how much it parallels their former life together.
Almost every single major scene can be taken from a memory dredged up from within him. He is sure that he must have noticed it on some level to have wanted to take part in this project, but it never really occurred to him just how familiar everything is till he is faced with the prospect of acting it all out in front of Yunho.
They will not be acting.
They will be re-enacting.
For the most part anyway, because their separation definitely did not come off as smoothly as it does in the script.
It is towards the second half of the drive that Jaejoong realises this, and he spends the rest of the way dwelling on the difference between the reality of their split, with what happens in the script and he cannot help but feel an irrational sort of annoyance at the whole affair.
Why didn’t Yunho just fucking listen?
The lead singer is snapped back to his reality by the soft voice of his leader.
He growls under his breath as he realises what he has mentally already associated with Yunho, fighting with himself as his heart and mind bicker back and forth in a growing battle.
But it isn’t really a battle, because cliche as it is, his heart, mind and soul all belong to Yunho.
Jaejoong really does not want to give in though. He is stubborn enough to cut off his nose to spite his face in this instance.
Fuck his nature.
Fuck what his soul wants.
Fuck what his mind knows.
Fuck what his heart craves.
He is a walking Korean drama himself. Completely irrational, doing things that the viewers watching at home will probably all groan about, going why did you do that you stupid fool?
But Jaejoong is stubborn, and right now, he is stubbornly going to ignore everything he wants because to succumb means to be subsumed into Yunho all over again. He has forged a new life without the man, and he is damned if old feelings throw him off course.
And even as he thinks that, a tiny little voice within him is questioning incredulously.
Jaejoong growls again, thoroughly annoyed and pissed. He feels like he is trying to control a split personality.
A part of him wants nothing more than to crawl across the console and straddle Yunho’s lap and kiss the hell out of him.
Another part wants to do the exact same thing, but instead of straddling, he wants to curl up in the younger man’s protective embrace and cry his heartbreak.
And yet another part would dearly love to punch the living daylights out of the man for making him suffer for so long for no good reason whatsoever apart from some perception of betrayal.
And then there’s Jaejoong himself, flat out not wanting to give in to any of those three “personalities”, because those are the reactions of a lover.
Jaejoong is just a friend.
He is going to have to keep telling himself this over and over and over again in the weeks to come.
“Jaejoong?” Yunho tries again, seeing the variety of emotions sweeping across the lead singer’s face. One second he looks sad, the next he looks furious, and then the next he looks confused. It doesn’t stop there, extending to other unnamed and unknown expressions that twist the older man’s beautiful face and makes his forehead furrow.
Luminous doe eyes turn towards him, unseeing, and then they blink, and Yunho sees the recognition, and in that recognition, Jaejoong’s pupils contract as his eyes harden.
“No, you are not fucking coming in.”
“But I thought we’re friends?”
Jaejoong makes a scoffing sound as he unbuckles his seatbelt. “Please. I don’t let my friends near my family. Give me my key and you can be on your way. I hope you’ve arranged for someone to pick you up because I’m not going to be held responsible if fucking sasaengs see you here.”
Yunho looks out the tinted windows and sees a small group of girls with their phones out, aimed at the car they are in. While seated within it, they can probably make out two people in the confines of the Lamborghini but not actually who is in it. But Yunho is going to have to get out of the car, and then what?
And he says as much, causing Jaejoong’s head to whip to the side and his mouth turns down unhappily as he gazes at the sight.
They both sit there silently for a few minutes, Yunho just waiting, while Jaejoong is frantically trying to think of a way out of this. Either way he is fucked.
“Give me your phone.”
Yunho hands it over wordlessly.
The screen is locked, and Jaejoong looks over at Yunho who simply says, “Five.”
It can’t be.
But it is, as Jaejoong draws the pattern familiar to him because his phone has the same unlock pattern. He exhales shakily, not realising that he has done so as he starts dialing a number from memory.
Yunho notices though, and he wonders at it, but yet again he keeps his silence.
Instead of a hello, there is an ear piercing shriek at the other end of the line, and Jaejoong pulls the phone away from his ear in pain as he winces from the ringing in his ears.
The shriek becomes even more pronounced, and for the first time since getting into the car, both Yunho and Jaejoong are in accord as they stare at each other, confusion mirrored in their eyes as Jaejoong’s youngest older sister screeches unintelligibly into the phone.
“What’s the matter? Why are you screaming? Did something happen?” Jaejoong’s voice holds a thread of panic as his sister shrieks all over again instead of answering him. He can hear a huge commotion in the background and very many voices speaking rapidly. He cannot make out most of what is being said, but he does hear something familiar.
And his blood runs cold.
In his search for a solution to their problem, he had forgotten about caller id, and clearly his sister still has Yunho’s number saved on her phone because his name must have come up when he called.
Well he really is fucked now as his mother comes to the phone.
“Where are you?”
“If you look outside the front window, you’ll be able to see me.”
“I see…are you alone?”
And there it is.
Jaejoong knows Yunho heard because the other man’s eyes widen at the question, and he leans back in the bucket seat, suddenly looking worried. Well, he did want to come in didn’t he?
There is a pause, and then his mother starts speaking rapidly, though not to him, and in seconds the garage door opens. Trust his mother to know exactly why he had called his sister in the first place.
Yunho starts the car again, and then drives slowly into the large garage, just as Jaejoong hangs up the phone.
“Why don’t you have a remote for the garage?”
They fall silent, as the engine dies, Yunho pulling the key out of the socket and handing it to Jaejoong. They both don’t move though, waiting for the garage door to shut completely. They have done this so many times before that each are transported back to a time gone by.
Neither welcome the memory.
The second the rolling door hits the concrete floor, Jaejoong opens his door.
However, before he gets out, he turns on Yunho, eyes flashing in suppressed frustration. “Don’t you dare give them any hope. Don’t you say a single word to give them any hope. Got that?”
Yunho simply holds up his hands in mute surrender, before turning and exiting the car too.
Saying he wants to come in and pay his respects is one thing.
Faced with the reality is a completely different story as they enter the internal access door to be faced by six females, two of which have visible tear streaks running down their faces, while two remain somewhat expressionless, and yet another two looking like they would love nothing more than to dismember him.
He knows all of them of course, bowing low and greeting the majority of Jaejoong’s older sisters that he hasn’t seen in so long.
Two seconds after he straightens, in a blur of long hair, a slim body slams into his, making him stagger backwards slightly as a small woman starts to sob against his chest. He looks up, noting the faces staring at his, to be able to determine by process of elimination exactly who is in his arms.
“Noona…” he whispers, unsure what to do. Does he wrap his arms around her? Though even as he thinks it, his arms move of their own accord as he hugs the upset woman gently, patting the back of her shoulder as he searches for Jaejoong.
The other five women see Yunho looking for their baby brother who had disappeared sometime during Yunho’s greeting bow. Even after so many years, none of them can forget the way Yunho almost always searches for Jaejoong in a room, always looking lost, till he sees their baby brother within his line of sight again, the smile that stretches across his face made all of them envious of the only son in the family. And even though so much time has elapsed, Yunho’s habit has not left him.
And they all know, without needing to turn around, the second Jaejoong steps back into the room because Yunho’s mouth curves into a soft smile.
It is not a smile of relief at seeing a familiar face, of someone feeling awkward in a home he has not been in for years.
It is the same smile he has always worn when Jaejoong is once again within his vicinity.
It is the smile of love.
Two of the five watching sisters sigh as their formerly belligerent expressions slide off their faces. This is for their brother to sort out, not them, as they finally turn to see the shuttered look in Jaejoong’s eyes, and his mouth drawn tight in a grim line, not even looking in Yunho’s direction as he stares at the floor. They can only sharpen their knives and hope for the best, though judging from Yunho’s expression, perhaps they might need to protect him from their baby brother instead.
“Aish, this girl…” Jaejoong’s mother comes bustling in after Jaejoong, pushing past her son and pulling the weeping woman from Yunho’s arms and clicking her tongue, shaking her head at her youngest daughter. She turns to both Yunho and Jaejoong, eyes shining, but giving nothing away as she nods towards the stairs. “Go greet your father then come down for some dinner. Knowing the two of you, neither of you have probably eaten.” She pinches Jaejoong’s cheek, making him squeak, and then she makes to do the same to Yunho too, but at the last moment turns it into a gentle pat on his jaw instead before shooing them away.
Both men can feel the eyes on their backs as they walk up the stairs.
“Remember what I said?” Jaejoong grits out under his breath. “Hugging her is not what I meant by not giving them hope.”
“What was I supposed to do? Shove her away?”
Jaejoong makes a frustrated sound. “I don’t know, but you better fucking behave with my father. I swear to god if anything bad happens to him because of you, I will skin you alive myself.”
They both pad towards the first room at the top of the stairs, Jaejoong once again unable to help noticing how familiar Yunho is in his parents’ home. Normally, his father would actually be in one of the lower rooms during the day because going up and down the stairs is too strenuous for him. But he is in their usual bedroom today, the bedroom Yunho would have remembered.
Mr Kim’s eyes are closed when Yunho and Jaejoong enter the room, his breathing shallow but reasonably strong. His mother had assured him that his father is awake, and so Jaejoong does not hesitate in greeting the man as he moves to kneel by his bedside.
The corner of Mr Kim’s mouth twitches, as he smiles upon hearing his son’s voice. He feels a smooth hand taking his, and he squeezes, putting all his strength into it. His can feel how skinny his son has gotten just by his hand, and his heart aches figuratively for it. Even the physical pain of his heart cannot overcome the metaphysical pain of knowing his son is slowly wasting away in his unhappiness. Jaejoong puts up a very good front, but his son has never ever been this thin or this tired. Not even when he was in Japan back in 2005, where the Tohoshinki boys barely had any sleep trying to promote in a language not their own, in a country alien to them, and essentially cut off completely from their families. Coupled with the emotional fatigue of coping with their own perception of failure after being used to accolades and adulation in their home country, Jaejoong should have been at his worst during that time.
But he hadn’t worried then because a certain boy with a crooked smile had clasped his hand at their dorm, just before leaving, promising earnestly that he will look after his son.
And look after he did, and then some.
Mr Kim shakes his head slightly at the memories, wondering if that is the true reason why Jaejoong is now the way he is. Until he met his wife, and until he saw Jaejoong with Yunho, he never really believed in an undying love. A reticent and traditional man, he is not one for showing love. The way his sons-in-law are with their wives grates on him a little sometimes because he gets the feeling that they are purposefully more affectionate around him. Yunho though, the man says more with one look than he does with a touch. Both are always careful not to be overly affectionate beyond the so-called societal standards of proprietary when they are in his home, but their eyes speak enough.
Actions speak louder than words in most cases, but in the case of Yunho and Jaejoong, the eyes are the windows to the soul, and their souls are constantly seeking each other out wherever they are. It cannot be hidden.
Which makes their non-action even more astounding. He has felt more love from one look Yunho happens to send Jaejoong’s way than any of his other sons-in-laws have ever conveyed towards his daughters through their actions or words.
None of his other sons-in-law smile the way Yunho smiles when he catches Jaejoong’s eye.
None of his other sons-in-law have half an eye on their wives while in the same room in different conversation circles.
None of his other sons-in-law ever search for their wives when are not by each other’s sides, leaving the family to tease Yunho and Jaejoong a few times about there being an invisible bungee cord between them. It will stretch and stretch but it will never snap, and eventually, they will spring back towards each other.
Where the lead singer goes, the leader will always follow.
The leader becomes the led.
Clearly, always is not the reality.
He shakes his head again, sighing at himself at where his thoughts have drifted. Perhaps it is the fanciful daydreaming of a sick old man who wants his only son to be happy again.
Unfortunately, Yunho is an unmentionable memory.
He understands filial piety, and as Jaejoong had spoken up to defend Yunho to him, he had told his son there was no need. Yunho would not have given up Jaejoong for the company, but he can see the younger man giving him up for his family. His own son would have done the same once upon a time.
A long time ago, he had asked Jaejoong, if he had to choose between his displeasure at his unnatural relationship with Yunho, and being with the man but never seeing his family again, which would he choose?
It had taken several days for his son to respond. His hot-headed, impulsive, occasionally reckless son had taken almost a week to answer.
And it was in that length of time that it had taken him to respond, that he had realised just how serious their relationship was to the then barely twenty-one year old young man. He had expected a straight up choice for Jaejoong, who had once confessed in a moment of complete honesty to his parents that he would have followed Yunho in death had the man died from the poisoning incident a few months ago.
But his son had surprised him. And in that moment, he knew no matter how he feels or how society thinks, what kind of father would he be if he knowingly cleaved his son in half?
”I don’t know how I will do it. I still don’t know how I will do it even now. Every time I try to imagine it, my brain shuts down and protests. It has taken me this long to be able to face even the thought, and…I believe that the memory of his love will be enough for me to endure not being with him because I know he will never ask me to give up my family for him. Maybe in a few years, when the world is ready for us, we will find each other again, but I will respect your wishes, and I know he will too.”
And he shakes his head again for the third time, wishing that whenever he thinks of his son’s happiness, that his thoughts do not invariably end up back at Yunho, because surely that is a sign in itself.
Whenever anyone says “Jaejoong”, most people come up with words such as beautiful, talented, singer, idol, JYJ, TVXQ etc.
But within the family, whenever anyone thinks of Jaejoong, their thoughts will almost invariably lead to Yunho, unbidden in their minds. It is as if the two are no longer separate, even though they physically might be. He is sure his son still harbours feelings for the man the way he flat out demands his family not to speak of him ever again in his presence. He does not know the details of what happened between the two, but whatever it was, it still hurts his only son.
Even after all this time.
“Abeoji…” he hears his son’s voice again and he squeezes his fingers in response. All this thinking is making him tired, and he just wants to sleep.
Yunho can see the pain in Jaejoong’s eyes as he sees his father’s weakened state. Not knowing what else to do, and not thinking anymore beyond alleviating the beautiful man’s pain somehow, Yunho finally moves from his spot at the foot of the bed, kneeling next to Jaejoong. He feels Jaejoong stiffen next to him as their thighs touch, but he does not flinch away and that gives Yunho some hope.
He reaches out, placing his hand over Jaejoong’s and Mr Kim’s, and he sees the tiny twitch of surprise on the old man’s face.
“Abeoji…” Yunho’s voice is hoarse, the emotions clogging his throat as he looks at the man he made a promise to so many years ago. A promise he still remembers to this day, and the fact that he has failed him is more painful than he can ever imagine.
Could it possibly be…?
He recognises the voice, but he must be hallucinating. All those medications are finally doing a number on his head. He told his wife he could endure the pain but he cannot endure being all foggy in his mind. That is something he can do without. And now, he is past foggy and straight up into hallucinations.
Jaejoong is fighting the urge to turn into Yunho’s arms. It is so hard seeing his father like this, and he knows what Yunho is trying to do, but taking comfort from him will only help with the pain temporarily. What happens when they leave the house? He started thinking long-term back when he left SME and the man next to him, so why does he want to regress into thinking short-term again?
But this is his home, his private life. Who the fuck cares what happens outside? He has little hope to give his family, and he wants to give Yunho even less hope, and himself much less still because he knows a tiny drop of hope will germinate and turn into something uncontrollable in a matter of time. He feels somewhat in control right now, but the barest twinge of hope is going to send him spiraling, and he does not know if he will be able to survive a second separation.
Mr Kim’s voice is soft, and almost fearful, and Jaejoong’s heart clenches in pain. He has to think beyond himself.
He turns his head, just as Yunho leans forward, and his mouth meets the other man’s ear as naturally as breathing.
“Outside this house, nothing changes, understood? But for my father…I think he needs a little hope. But help me god you will be blamed if this turns out to be a bad idea.”
Instead of answering, Yunho slips his arm around Jaejoong’s painfully narrow waist, his fingers gripping the sharp hip bone familiarly, before caressing his agreement.
Jaejoong responds by sagging against his side, allowing Yunho to keep him upright, drawing from the firm strength of the younger man. He can feel how solid Yunho is, and in that moment he feels his physical frailty acutely. His knees are aching from having been on the hard floor for longer than accustomed to already, but leaning his weight against Yunho’s frame gives him more comfort than he cares to examine.
He is doing this for his father.
Yes, he is.
Though really, the logic behind it is completely skewed because isn’t false hope worse than no hope?
And that tiny little voice deep within him retorts somewhat sarcastically.
False? Are you sure about that?
Before he can examine himself deeper, Yunho speaks again.
“Abeoji…open your eyes.”
“Yes, Abeoji…open your eyes,” Jaejoong echoes him, his voice soft, as he moves his free hand to his waist, placing it over Yunho’s hand, linking their fingers.
After a long drawn out minute, Mr. Kim finally opens his eyes, and his rheumy eyes find two faces he never thought he would see next to each other again in his lifetime.
He squeezes his son’s hand tight, but it isn’t his name that spills from his lips.
Jaejoong’s stomach is churning.
His sisters had been angry with him, even his youngest noona who had been more than happy at seeing Yunho. Only his mother seems to understand, trying to broker some peace between the males and females in the room at dinner. He had needed to explain the tiny deception to all of them to get them to play along, and all of them had been furious. For the first time in too long, Yunho and Jaejoong are united on one side. The leader of TVXQ mostly stays out of the immediate fray, as words get thrown across the dinner table, but he always steps in where he deems necessary. It is testament to how much a part of the family his mother considers Yunho that she doesn’t even chide his sisters for their behaviour in front of him.
And now they are back in the confines of his car, Yunho in the passenger seat this time as they stare at the inside wall of the garage. The feeble light from the sole light bulb does not penetrate the heavily tinted windows of the expensive car, and Jaejoong is thankful for the darkness. He can feel a tear slipping out the corner of his eye as the two hour deception takes its toll on him.
“This changes nothing.” His voice is hollow to his own ears as he pushes the key into the ignition and the dash lights up.
“I heard you the first time.”
“Just because you heard me doesn’t always mean you understand me,” Jaejoong answers tiredly. Being with his family always saps his strength because he has to put up a false front of being happy. Only his mother truly suspects the depth of his pain and unhappiness, but she allows him his charade.
This time though, the deception goes even deeper. The almost near constant battle he wages with his instinct to touch, kiss, stare and speak with his gaze and nothing more with Yunho had been overwhelming.
And completely and utterly draining. If Yunho does not continue to try and feed him, he might actually disappear into nothing from all the stress of maintaining vigilance over himself and his actions.
What happened during the script reading? That can never happen again.
Yunho’s jaw flexes as he bites back a response. What can he say though? The man is right.
“Where am I taking you?”
Jaejoong’s revs the engine, a not-so-silent cue to his sister standing in wait to open the door, and she scowls at the loud noise. He is way too tired to care though. He will apologise to her later.
“You two aren’t living together anymore?”
“I moved into my own apartment a few months ago.”
They fall silent again as Jaejoong concentrates on backing out of the garage. Not unexpectedly, the small group of girls from earlier have swelled in numbers to at least a hundred. They are all keeping a respectful distance, across the road from his parents’ house but a couple have strayed over. The urge to press the button to wind the passenger side window down is very strong, and he even moves his finger to the button, but Yunho must have read his mind.
“Don’t do what you’re thinking of doing.”
“I wasn’t. I’m not stupid.”
“But you are impulsive.”
Jaejoong bristles at that quiet observation of his character. Yunho needs to remember exactly what they are to each other right now.
“You don’t know me, Yunho. I’m nobody to you.”
“You’re not nobody. You’re—“
“Nobody,” Jaejoong bites out, his voice holding a very strong warning note, his jaw tight as he maneuvers down the road, lined on both sides now by girls and the odd male or two, all snapping photos fervently. Had Yunho not been in the car, he might have waved at them, because he is feeling a little cheery at the improvement he’s seen in his father from his arrival to his departure. He is sure it has something to do with Yunho, but he will take what he can.
“Are you trying your damndest to get kicked out of my car? Because so help me god, the second those girls are out of my rear view mirror, don’t think I won’t hesitate to dump you on the sidewalk.” Jaejoong interrupts again through gritted teeth. His profile is unforgiving and he is not about to let up as his jaw stands out in stark relief, accentuated due to his anger.
Yunho huffs quietly before leaning back in his seat and folding his arms across his chest, glaring at the dashboard.
When did Jaejoong become so heartless?
“Would you have dumped any of your other friends on the sidewalk?”
“My other friends know better than to ask stupid questions.”
Yunho sweeps the length of his bottom lip, just as Jaejoong turns to look at him, and the older man is unable to stop the gasp that escapes his lips his eyes are staring pointedly at Yunho’s mouth, making Yunho shake his head.
“You really think we can do this?”
“What do you mean?” Jaejoong’s eyes are now resolutely on the road, lips pressed tightly together, hands gripping the steering wheel so hard his knuckles are practically white. He knows what Yunho means, but he is stalling because he is wondering the same himself. It had been way too easy to fall back into what they were at his parents’ home. That is why his belly is making horrendous flip flops that are making him want to pull over to throw up. Yunho had barely touched him again outside his parents’ bedroom, and there had even been a reasonable gap between their chairs at the dining table that their legs weren’t touching at all.
But that is part of the problem.
Yunho does not need to touch to show Jaejoong that he cares.
He had deflected every attack from his sisters especially when their tongues were getting too sharp for his liking in the manner only the leader of TVXQ can. Whenever the attacks get too personal, Yunho steps in. And he does it oh so politely, with a smile even, diplomatically steering the conversation away from whatever he decides the “hot zone” to be.
And Jaejoong had been shamelessly willing to hide behind Yunho’s ability to command and direct. He does find it amusing how every single one of his sisters are so easily misdirected and thrown off track by Yunho’s smiling questions about their families and such that it takes them at least a few minutes for them to realise that he has thrown them off Jaejoong’s scent so to speak.
Though there is also another more physical reason as to why his belly is churning.
He has eaten far more than usual as he is distracted by his sisters and Yunho, as well as his mother playing a rather ineffective referee as she simply watches the goings on with a tiny smile playing about her mouth. Due to all this, unnoticed by him till almost the end of the meal, Yunho had been surreptitiously piling his side plate and bowl with food. And he knows this because he usually finishes eating long before everyone else. This time, his bowl is still more than half full even when everyone’s is practically empty, and he knows he has been eating non-stop the whole time.
This is going to be one hell of a fucking long shoot. He honestly does not put it past Yunho to force feed him in front of everyone. He saw the anguish in the man’s eyes as he caressed his side earlier at the police station, but he should not care about that.
“Us. Friends. I sure as fuck hell don’t gasp like that when my friends lick their lips. Hell, they can probably dance around naked and I won’t bat an eyelid.”
“Don’t be a jack ass. I wasn’t gasping at your stupid lips,” Jaejoong lies, eyes unwavering from the road now. He wishes Yunho would just shut up and leave him be. The proximity and privacy is too much in the tight confines of his car. The urge to reach over and caress Yunho’s upper thigh as he is wont to do when they used to drive together is very strong. This feels more natural to him, Yunho in the passenger seat and him where he is. Whenever they used to sneak out, it is usually him doing the driving unless they are going out to drink, and then Yunho always drives.
Yunho sucks his bottom lip in, before jutting it out in a pout, sighing in resignation. He is going to let it go. He is much too mentally exhausted to get into a fight with Jaejoong. He knows… he can feel that the older man still feels the same.
Perhaps not exactly the same as before, but there is enough there for Yunho to want to push it.
He wants his Jaejoongie back.
But he still has a ways to go. He still has to make amends. He still has to figure out why they failed, if only to ensure he does not make the same mistake twice.
Yunho is no fool. He learns from his mistakes, and his first was blaming Jaejoong for everything. It takes two to tango, and Yunho is damn well sick of dancing by himself.
Question is, will Jaejoong be willing to give him a second chance.
To give them a second chance.
Lines from the script come to mind, and he whispers it quietly to himself as Jaejoong pulls onto the motorway.
”Don’t cut off my legs before I’ve learned how to walk. Give this a chance.
Give us a chance.
I love you.”
Jaejoong hears, and he recognises, and he keeps his eyes on the road, blinking away the tears threatening to spill over. He wants to sneer cruelly, biting out the same word Yunho had thrown at him earlier when he said the same three words, but he knows he means his.
Question is, does Yunho?
He chews his bottom lip, grimly determined not to cry. He has practically drowned himself in his own tears over Yunho. Surely there is some other way to cope with the overwhelming emotions?
His thoughts drift back to the session earlier that afternoon, and the feelings of sadness and despair are almost instantly replaced by remembered lust. Dangerous thoughts, but safer than anything else he is considering at the moment, and so Jaejoong allows himself to be lost in them. Perhaps if he can convince himself that the attraction is merely physical, then perhaps he can deal with them.
He really is a walking korean soap opera.
And as the road stretches out ahead of them, the car speeding back towards Seoul, eating up the ground underneath them, the speedometer inching upwards, past the speed limit, neither man notice, both lost in their own thoughts.
“Where does Changmin live?”
Yunho gives him the address immediately, his body half turned away from Jaejoong as he stares out the window into the lighted streets as they approach the central city. He is sitting that way out of necessity, to hide from the older man.
His phone vibrates in his side, and he moves with a grunt to extricate it from his pocket. He keeps his eyes carefully averted from Jaejoong, having spent most of the drive still unsure how the hell they are meant to be friends. He wants to respect Jaejoong’s wishes, especially in relation to the no touching bit, but does that include no looking too? And unlike Jaejoong, he does not quite trust himself to not accidentally on purpose touch the man.
And judging from the waves of… Jaejoong he is getting hit by in the car, he is not entirely sure if he should be worried about not just his own self control but the lead singer’s as well.
We will be watching you, Jung Yunho. We will be watching you very closely. Now delete this message and pass your phone to my baby brother. I need to tell him something.
Yunho deletes the message as requested, before turning to sit normally in his seat, placing the phone gently onto Jaejoong’s thigh. He can feel and see the man twitching beneath his touch, and so he gentles his voice. Jaejoong is so skittish, and he knows why.
He can practically smell the man’s arousal in the tight confines of the car.
“Your noona. She wants to tell you something.”
And as if on cue, the phone vibrates again, just as Jaejoong brings the car to a halt.
The message is from his sixth sister, and he flicks it open as they wait at the traffic light.
They say girls tend to marry their fathers. Of all of us, you were the closest to abeoji. Remember those photos of him you tweeted recently? I found something rather interesting. Think about it baby brother… think about it carefully… Don’t jump into anything hastily and learn from your past. We will always be here for you. Delete this message if you want when you’re done with it. We love you.
Jaejoong opens the attached picture, and almost swallows his tongue trying to remain silent.
What the actual fuck?
“What’s wrong?” Yunho asks, his voice full of worry as he sees the shock on Jaejoong’s face as he stares at his phone. “Did something happen? Do we need to turn around?”
“Then what? What did noona want?”
Jaejoong hastily presses the delete button, erasing the message before shaking his head.
“She was being stupid.”
He tosses the phone back at Yunho as the lights turn green.
Curious, Yunho opens his phone, and is unsurprised to find no messages.
He flicks through his phone idly, giving himself something to do because he is acutely aware of every tiny little sigh that escapes Jaejoong’s lips, and the man is sighing a hell of a lot.
Somehow during his flicking, he ends up in his photo album, and the latest photo in it gives him pause.
He stares at it, then back at Jaejoong whose mouth is pursed unhappily, eyes far away, beyond even the road ahead of him.
And as he looks back at his phone, he cannot help but agree with Jaejoong, though his train of thought it not at all the same as what he imagines the other man’s to be.
AN: 10,000+ comments holy mother of JUNGod… Thank you everyone for all your support and words and all the time you’ve taken to read my stuff. If my approximations are right, those of you who have read EVERYTHING I have ever written would have read more than half a million words. I wrote over half a million words in a year! Don’t ask me how that’s possible… I’m still wondering that myself. Let’s hope I don’t sacrifice quality for quantity because let’s face it, I still wish I wasn’t so wordy lol! And CLEARLY I fail so far since this chapter had to be split… OTL