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: For the first time, people who read ICE but don’t read LITI will be missing out on something… ;-) Lol but you will see it eventually I guess so perhaps it’s a spoiler of sorts? This chapter in its entirety is also longer than any chapter in ICE so yeah… IDEK. Wordy Nikki is really too fucking wordy.
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…
“Is it usual to have a rewrite this late in the production?” Yunho asks Ah In seated next to him. Both of them have become fast friends, and this is the third and final script reading. They will be starting filming mid-week, and Yunho is raring to go. After the debacle of the first reading, the PDs have wisely opted to skip any and all future love scenes, since they basically only involve Yunho and Jaejoong.
Unsurprisingly, no one complains about it.
“Not unusual, but apparently the entire last third is being rewritten and this is just the beginning.”
“Jaejoongie happened,” Joong Ki answers cheerfully as he slithers in between the two tall men, plonking squarely down in Ah In’s lap, making the younger man grunt and glance over meaningfully at Yunho who does not miss the look.
A green eyed monster rears its ugly head within him, bitterness slowly pooling in, wondering why this pretty open faced man is allowed to call Jaejoong by that nickname and he cannot.
Not that he has tried, but the fear of rejection is strong, and so Yunho does not attempt it.
Not yet anyway.
He examines the man who has just joined them with a critical eye, wondering what is it about Joong Ki that is so different to him?
“What happened?” he manages to ask again, but the words come out a little garbled, as if he is trying to talk with a mouthful of marbles. Joong Ki is blissfully unaware of Yunho’s thoughts as they turn a little sour in content. He almost grimaces as the other man sends him a blinding smile.
Yes, Jaejoong sure as hell knows how to pick his friends. They always on either end of the looks spectrum. Yoochun, Seung Hyun, Hyun Joong, Joong Ki, among a select few on one end, and everyone else on the other end.
“You know how his repackaged album is coming out right? Well, he gave the PDs a preview of it last week and they almost tripped over themselves or something. They called up the scriptwriter immediately and hence the last third is being re-written.”
“I don’t know. Something about one of the songs. We already know his album is going to be the main soundtrack for this drama and has been written into it, but apparently there’s something about this song that gave the PDs a boner.”
“Literally,” Ah In mumbles under his breath rather unhelpfully, and Yunho turns his gaze on him.
“Are you holding out on us?” Joong Ki’s voice is teasing as he pinches Ah In in the side, making the man growl and make as if to push him off his lap, but he doesn’t as he answers his friend.
“No, I was there. I heard part of it…and well…let’s just say I’m interested to see exactly how they are planning on writing this in.”
Not good. Not good at all. Ah In is pretty mellow and easy to be around. He can be both serious and playful like Yunho, and like the leader of TVXQ, he too is harbouring a rather large secret.
Yunho is only guessing as to the secret, but considering the way the younger man has gotten into the habit of following him around and asking strange questions, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out exactly where Yoo Ah In’s inclinations lie. He feels sorry for the man though, because his partner on screen is making it hard for him, insisting on them immersing themselves into their characters “like YunJae”.
Like YunJae? That’s a bit of a joke isn’t it? Especially since Jaejoong is true to his word, treating him like a stranger, but as politely as he would an acquaintance. That evening they spent at his parents’ is but a distant memory, though Yunho can still feel Jaejoong’s body against his every time he looks across the table at the man who has smiles for everyone but him.
Well, that is not quite being fair. He does smile at Yunho, but his eyes are empty, as if he is looking through Yunho rather than at him. But Yunho is not disheartened just yet, because he knows Jaejoong stares at him when he thinks he isn’t looking. The room they are in has a panel of mirrors, and he has caught the lead singer on multiple occasions, staring at the back of his head. He will rue the day Jaejoong realises just how expressive his eyes still are, and the fact that the mirrors reflect more than just his reflection.
The older man has not quite changed in that aspect. Jaejoong still only sees himself in any shiny or reflective surface, and it isn’t completely due to vanity, but a deep insecurity about his looks.
Not unlike the rock star character he is playing.
“Ah In-ah. You need to give us a little more than that.” Joong Ki pouts, leaning back in the embrace of his friend. “Come on, tell us!”
“You’re going to find out in a few minutes anyway. Just be patient for once!”
Changmin walks in then, eyes wide as he searches out his leader, and then groaning when he sees him looking stiff and vaguely annoyed as Joong Ki chatters animatedly in front of him. So much for hoping to find Yunho in a good mood because it is about to get very bad for him.
What the hell has he done?
Deny, deny, deny, is the mantra he keeps replaying in his head as he watches his leader listen disinterestedly to whatever it is that Joong Ki has to say, his eyes continually straying over to the empty seat opposite him.
Jaejoong is late.
Yeon Hee sidles up next to him, following his gaze.
“Are you worried?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Come on, Min. Do you have to be so difficult all the time?”
“Aish! You’re hopeless,” Yeon Hee huffs as she pouts, stalking to her chair and throwing herself into it. She really wants to talk to someone about this, but Changmin is being oddly reticent and she cannot figure out why. In fact, he looks almost guilty.
“Changmin!” she hisses under her breath as he settles down next to her. The tall man turns to her, and she sees worry and yes, definitely guilt in those dark eyes. “What have you done?”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t play innocent maknae with me. I can see the guilt in your eyes. What have you done?”
Yunho looks up just then, meeting her eyes and smiling a greeting though the smile does not quite reach his eyes just as she feels a large hand clamping over her mouth. The startled expression on Yunho’s face, as Changmin explains to him that they too are taking Ah In and Joong Ki oppas example and being in character 24/7, slowly slides off as he nods. Though his features are dark, his mouth grim, and she has no idea why as he turns back towards the empty seat that belongs to Kim Jaejoong.
She feels warm breath against her ear, as Changmin whispers into it.
“You overheard the PDs same as I did. This is not going to be good.”
Yeon Hee shakes her head, elbowing Changmin in the centre of his chest in an effort to extricate herself from his grasp. His hand smells like food and it’s making her hungry, having skipped lunch.
But his grip does not loosen, tightening instead as he practically hauls her off her own chair and onto his lap.
“Play along, noona. Hyungs are watching us. Play along.”
Play along to what? What the heck is going on? What is the matter with this boy?
“Yunho hyung will be able to see the guilt in my eyes just as you have. I need you to distract him. Please, just play along.”
Fine, she’ll play along.
Yeon Hee sticks out her tongue and licks Changmin’s palm, making the man exclaim loudly in shock as he drops his hand in a hurry. She realises every eye on the room is on them, as she turns, sticking her tongue out at him, screwing up her face and wrinkling her nose.
“Oppaaaaaa,” she whines, making some at the table chuckle, including Joong Ki and Ah In. She imagines Yunho smiling slightly, but she cannot be sure out of the corner of her eye. “You taste gross! You smell like food but you taste like… sweat.” Her eyes widen in horror as she legitimately starts to flail, sticking out her tongue and brushing rapidly at it with her fingertips, making disgusted sounds, causing laughter to echo around the table at her expense.
She doesn’t think, turning to grab the closest available thing to wipe her tongue on, and the closest “thing” just happens to be the front of Changmin’s shirt.
Changmin stares at the crazy woman wiping her tongue on his shirt, all memories of guilt fleeing his mind and most definitely his eyes. He places the flat of his palm on her forehead, pushing her back gingerly as she laps at air, her pink tongue darting in and out, still making squealing disgusted sounds.
“Noona-yah…you can stop now,” he whispers, as the table continues to laugh at them. Yunho however is back to staring at Jaejoong’s chair and so Yeon Hee’s acting is no longer necessary. He has to hand it to the woman, she’s pretty good at thinking on her feet.
“Changmin-ahhhhh,” though the words come out completely unintelligibly as she still has her tongue hanging out as she whines, eyes wide and innocent as she stares up at the bemused younger man. “My tongue tastes like cotton.”
“Of course it tastes like cotton you idiot! My shirt is made of cotton, and now it has your saliva all over it!” Changmin belatedly realises that he too should be disgusted as he brushes at the front of his shirt. He can actually see a wet patch on it.
“Your sweat was on my tongue!”
“Well better my sweat than something else!”
Joong Ki’s raucous laughter pours over them, as Changmin realises what it is he has said.
He wishes the floor would just open up and swallow him whole.
His cock twitches and he slams his head face down on the table top, ignoring everyone and pretending he is somewhere else. It is a mind calming exercise he utilises sometimes, something the therapist he used to see suggests he do when feeling uncomfortable in a situation.
He feels a tiny hand rub tentatively at the top of his jean-clad thigh, and he exhales noisily. The hand disappears immediately, and he feels contrite. He shouldn’t make Yeon Hee feel bad for something he asked her to do.
Yunho stares at his maknae, and then at Yeon Hee who is looking extremely sheepish as she too puts her head on the table next to her onscreen boyfriend. Changmin is acting really strangely. He knows that he and Yeon Hee are pretty close after filming Paradise Ranch, and just as it is with Ah In and Joong Ki, he really does not think they need to be “in character” all of the time. Hell, he would use that excuse himself if he can get away with it but Jaejoong is not cooperating one bit.
Even as he muses over it, the current in the room shifts imperceptibly, a tingle of awareness courses through him, and he knows Jaejoong has entered the room. He does not turn, hearing the man panting for breath and giggling slightly as he apologises profusely for being late. Apparently it has something to do with the fact that the repackaged album will be out the same day filming is meant to start.
The panting gets closer, and Yunho’s pants tighten in response. Jaejoong’s airy puffs of breath as he exhales with a smile reminds him too much of a time long ago.
A breathless and smiling Jaejoong soon appears in front of him, sitting in his chair, apologising to the whole room, grinning in Changmin’s direction and getting a rueful smile in return. Yunho’s dark gaze does not lighten up though, and when those doe eyes finally land on him, he can see Jaejoong blink in surprise, before looking away quickly.
“Ah, now that Jaejoong-ssi is here, we can start,” one of the PDs steps up to the table, all eyes on him as he grins at his actors and idols. “The re-write is not a major one, though it may progressively become bigger. As all of you already know, we are extending this to ten episodes. The networks are already buying the series in advance without us having shot a single scene! Isn’t that wonderful?”
His eyes slide over to Yunho and Jaejoong, the reason why overseas cable networks are clamoring to buy the series. The press conference is not till Wednesday morning, the same day they start shooting as well as the release of Kim Jaejoong’s repackaged album. It will be an explosive day for sure, and he, for one, is looking forward to it.
Only industry insiders know of Yunho and Jaejoong’s parts, the network executives who made the purchase of the series bound to the same NDAs as the cast and crew.
Neither man is looking at him though, Jaejoong shuffling the papers in front of him, while Yunho merely stares at the other man’s bent head.
Unperturbed by their lack of attention, already used to the couple’s odd hot and cold behaviour, he continues.
“The love scene during the break up has been amended slightly to fit one of Jaejoong-ssi’s new songs. Haneul is handing out the scripts now, but don’t look just yet. I’ll just run through the change with you verbally. It mainly involves Yunho-ssi and Jaejoong-ssi of course, but we also welcome your input as the writer isn’t quite sure how accurate the depiction of the scene is.”
The man looks almost gleeful as he rubs his palms together.
“As you know, Kyungtae is going to leave Dohoon. Their lovemaking before their final goodbye is going to inspire, quote unquote, his new album,” the PD speaks, complete with finger gestures to accentuate the quotations. All eyes are on him now, including Yunho’s and Jaejoong’s. “Jaejoong-ssi gave us a preview of the two new songs he has added to the repackaged album and we think both will be perfect for the drama.”
He turns towards Yunho, smirking slightly, causing the leader of TVXQ to arch his eyebrow questioningly. The man really is too handsome for words. Getting him for this drama was a coup indeed, and he is not about to question the coincidence of his casting.
Neither is he going to question the lyrics of Jaejoong’s new songs. A glance back at Jaejoong and he suspects that this is going to hit just a tad too close to home.
But the man had offered and agreed, and well, he is nothing if not a complying and wonderful PD is he not?
“Yunho-ssi, you will be playing a bigger part this time. Dohoon will be making a special appearance at Kyungtae’s comeback stage or concert. We haven’t quite decided which yet. You will be performing with him.”
“Singing? I’m going to be singing with Jaejoong?”
“Not quite. You will be rapping.”
Changmin swallows a groan, and he acknowledges Yeon Hee’s comforting squeeze of his knee. Both of them had overheard the PDs talking about this earlier, and he well knows what is coming up next. He has absolutely no idea what to do though, feeling like a helpless bystander as the train hits a gap in the bridge that will plunge it down a thousand foot drop.
In his defence, this had not been in the script that he had read. Not the performance and certainly not the song.
Good grief, the song.
They are all dead.
Jaejoong hyung is going to die first.
His dire thoughts are interrupted by Yunho whose brow is furrowed deeply as he turns to the only member left of his group.
“Am I allowed to even sing with him?”
Changmin’s shrug is nonchalant though in truth, he is anything but. His clammy hand is firmly clasped in Yeon Hee’s under the table and he takes whatever she gives him as she squeezes his hand comfortingly.
“Surely they wouldn’t have put it in if you cannot?”
“Yes, yes, Changmin-ssi is right. We cleared it with your agency before our writers even started to write the scene. They are fine with it.”
Yunho turns back, eyeing the man incredulously.
“Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure. I’m not crazy enough to go up against SME.”
An awkward silence descends on the table, and the PD clears his throat nervously as he eyes a rueful Jaejoong who is shaking his head somewhat amusedly.
“I don’t mean you. You’re not crazy. Well, maybe a little, but I really didn’t mean you! I’m so sorry,” the man practically trips over himself trying to apologise, but he quietens after a wave from Jaejoong.
“Anyway, so we’re here to test the scene out I guess.”
“The love scene?” Yunho questions, ignoring the looks being thrown at him, including the dirty one from Jaejoong.
“Uh…no. That scene is going to be a closed set. A very closed set. A very very very closed set.”
Yunho’s eyebrow goes up again, but he decides not to ask. In this case, not knowing is probably for the better, and the scene won’t be for a few episodes yet anyway.
“So what are we testing? The singing?”
“Yes, Jaejoong-ssi would you like to sing a couple of lines for us while we wait for the speakers? I swear the people who are supposed to make sure everything is running smoothly purposefully disappear when I need them,” he grumbles as Jaejoong starts fiddling with his phone, looking down and scrolling through something on it.
Large doe eyes glance up through his lashes, and Yunho’s heart almost stops beating right then. He recognises that nervous look, and he aches to reassure the man with his gaze, but as usual, Jaejoong is looking anywhere but at him.
In fact, he is looking directly at Joong Ki as he starts to sing.
”Neoege jugo sipeo… niga johahaneun aiseukeurim…”
“Hayanbanillakeurim…” Joong Ki sings along as Jaejoong sends a meaningful glance at him, smirking as he recognises the song, present the night Jaejoong and Lee U penned it. Well, saying Lee U penned it might be exaggerating. The man helped with a line or two. and Jaejoong had been generous indeed to include him in the credits for the song on his new album. Perhaps the man helped more with the composition.
However, he is more interested in the reaction of the man next to him. He can practically feel the dark vibes radiating off Yunho, and he knows it is directed at himself as Jaejoong continues to sing to him. He is just an innocent man caught in the crossfire! He leans back, and Ah In wraps his arms around him, whispering in his ear.
“I know how Yunho hyung feels right now.”
Joong Ki shivers, as he feels Ah In’s warm breath trickle down his sensitive ears to his nape, ignoring how weird it feels, and the younger man’s strange words.
”Soljikhi japgo inneun nisonboda… neoui kiseuga joha…”
Jaejoong’s voice is like a hot caress, the low tone promising so much more, not to mention the teasing lilt at the end. Yunho catches Jaejoong’s eyes flashing quickly at him, as if trying to see a reaction.
He is frozen though.
”Uri, uri, mane bimil… moduga jiltuhalgeoya…”
Jealous? Jealous? The jealousy pouring through Yunho right now is like molten lava. The poker face he still has is wavering as he stares at the singer who has stopped, chuckling as he speaks to the PD.
“I can’t really sing this song by myself PD-nim.”
“I’ll sing with you! You didn’t change the lyrics from when you and Lee U wrote it right?” Joong Ki has half an eye on Yunho even as he speaks cheerily to Jaejoong who has stiffened visibly.
Lee U? Who in the blazing fuck is Lee U?
Changmin groans quietly, as Yunho stands up quickly, his jaw clenched so tightly a muscle ticks in it. He is pretty damn sure Yunho did not realise he’d asked his question out loud, though thankfully, his leader hadn’t shouted it. As it is, only himself, Yeon Hee along with Ah In and Joong Ki appear to have heard.
Well, and Jaejoong himself of course if the flush of angry colour in the beautiful man’s cheeks is anything to go by.
“Jaejoong, a word please?”
Jaejoong is furious and embarrassed and if he resists Yunho’s rather polite request that follows his angry muttered demand, it will likely draw more attention to them. As it is, everyone who did not hear Yunho’s initial question is looking slightly confused while the PDs look like predators, an unseemly gleam in their eyes as they watch the two of them.
Without a word, the singer stands up, nodding in acquiescence, before turning and striding out the door quickly.
Changmin stands up then, making as if to follow.
But Yunho’s not-so-gentle grip on his shoulder stays him, squeezing warningly, as the furious man strides past, his face as dark as the suit he is wearing.
Jaejoong hears Yunho’s rapid footfalls behind him, and he actually briefly considers running.
Unfortunately, his body reacts before his brain can draw back the thought, and he does run, heading straight for the stairs leading up to the roof. He hears the surprised growl before feeling rather than hearing or seeing Yunho taking off after him.
A frission of actual fear runs through him as he dashes up the stairs, two or three steps at a time. The exhilaration and adrenaline is making him confused, wondering if he is about to keel over from how hard and loud his heart is pounding. He knows it is nothing physical, because he has done more strenuous exercise without breaking too much of a sweat.
The blood roaring in his ears.
The numbness in his fingertips and nose, as fear takes over him.
Fear and anticipation.
The kind that makes his blood boil and his balls ache, as his body reacts to what might come, readying itself for anything.
Jaejoong can feel his ass clenching reflexively, as his cock fills so rapidly, it hurts as it presses hard against the confines of his zipper within his already tight jeans.
And still he runs. He runs like the wind, knowing there is no escape once he hits the roof.
He could have run down, but he had chosen to run up.
And he knows exactly why that is.
“What did I say?”
Ah In huffs annoyedly, this time he does push Joong Ki off his lap and the man lands in a confused heap on the floor.
Changmin glares at the older man as he takes his seat, everyone else silent and staring at him.
“Whose idea was this?” Sungryung’s curious voice turns everyone’s head towards her, before moving in unison to look at the PD.
“The singing or the song?”
“Well…” the PD pauses, thinking back. He would dearly love to claim credit for the stroke of brilliance, but in all honesty, it is a bit of a blur. “Jaejoong-ssi asked if we wanted to listen to the new songs, and I guess one thing led to another and here we are.”
“He suggested it?” Changmin asks incredulously, as he flays his damn hyung in his mind. Jaejoong and his games. When he gets jealous, the sight is not pretty at all. Far less so when Yunho gets jealous and the infuriating man damn well knows it. Yunho is the only one who can stay Jaejoong’s jealousy, but Yunho’s jealousy is like a runaway freight train. The usually composed leader of TVXQ has been known to completely lose his cool when he gets jealous over Jaejoong.
Possessive is one thing, both of them are possessive as hell over each other.
But when either of them feel even remotely threatened, when they feel jealous…is when all bets are off.
Changmin can remember with crystal clarity every single time Jaejoong had accidentally or on purpose made Yunho jealous. Their leader loses his head and his rationality when it comes to the ethereal lead singer.
Jaejoong takes out his jealousy on Yunho’s belongings.
Yunho takes it out on Jaejoong.
Changmin’s eyes widen as he sits down heavily in his chair, taking out his phone and texting furiously, not even waiting for the PD to reply. He knows he is being rude, but he has to run interference and plan for damage control.
Did you know about Jaejoong hyung’s new song?
Yoochun is practicing choreo with Junsu when his phone beeps. Normally he ignores his phone during practice, but not in this instance. Every single one of his members has a special assigned tone to their calls and their text messages and he knows this is Changmin, who should be in the middle of the final script reading right now with Yunho and Jaejoong.
He calls for a breather, ignoring Junsu’s protests.
“Hush, Su. Min just texted.” Yoochun frowns at his phone even as Junsu settles down on the arm rest next to him, arm along the back of the couch and he curls into the younger man’s side naturally as he sends a message back, leaning his head against Junsu’s jaw.
Yes, and trust me when I say I did not need to know that much about them.
Changmin exhales loudly. Alright, so he guessed right, but he has a horrid feeling Yunho is not going to see that.
So you’re sure it’s about hyung?
Yoochun’s brow furrows even more as Junsu squeezes closer, looking at the screen.
Who else would it be about?
Oh I don’t know… Lee U maybe?
Junsu bursts out laughing then, his trademark laugh bouncing off the walls of the private dance studio. There is no one but them in the room, and the blonde man lets loose, guffawing loudly.
Yoochun ignores the outburst, typing back quickly.
Hyung is waaaaaaaay out of that kid’s league. He’s harmless, but he did help Jaejoong hyung with the rap because his English is better and he also helped with fitting it into the song. The words are all hyung’s though because Lee U simply translated it from Korean to English for him. I was there when they wrote it out. And besides, his repackaged album is called “Y”. I mean come on! Even the blind can see there is no other reason why it would be titled as such.
Changmin is shaking his head, muttering to himself as he stares at his phone. “Y? Is he for real? Y? Hyung, what are you playing at…?”
Y? Y? Y? Are you serious? What the hell… And why didn’t you help him write it?
I was too busy laughing actually. It was one of those nights… I really didn’t think he’d actually go ahead with the song because it is seriously rated. In fact, even if anyone else sings that song, it will likely be banned. And yes, I’m serious. Here… see for yourself.
Changmin’s jaw drops. The Y was bad enough… but the subtitle?
Both Yoochun and Junsu sigh. A part of Jaejoong may want to forget Yunho, but his soul won’t let him. Both of them had side-eyed their hyung when they saw the repackaged album and heard the two extra songs, but Jaejoong’s glittery doe eyes had stayed their tongues. The look in them had been haunted, resentful and defiant all in one, and they both chose not to question him.
The only person Jaejoong is fooling is himself. And until he can see that, no one can convince him otherwise.
I told you, you had to be blind not to see it.
Yunho hyung is not going to see it that way.
Why? What happened?
Joong Ki hyung let slip that Lee U helped him write it.
“Oh shit…” Junsu whispers, tear drop eyes as wide as they can possibly get as he stares at Yoochun’s phone in growing horror.
“I think oh fuck might be more appropriate,” Yoochun replies as he types a response to their maknae.
My sentiments exactly. This is going to be Japan all over again. Where the fuck are you guys to play referee? I can’t do this by myself.
Junsu’s heart lurches at the words he reads and he lets out a soft sound of sadness that Yoochun does not miss. The older man squeezes his knee, tucking his head against Junsu’s throat.
You know we would come if we could. Where are they now?
I don’t know. They’ve both left the room and Yunho hyung looked like a fucking thundercloud. And this is only from hearing the first three lines of the song!
“Oh fuck…” Junsu exhales, swearing uncharacteristically, but this is definitely one of those moments where the word sums up exactly how he feels.
Not good. Not good at all. The rest of the lyrics are far worse!!! Far far far worse oh fuck. I really hope Jaejoong hyung manages to convince him that he wrote the damn song himself and it was about them!!!!!!! Seriously, you’re going to need to remember what we did back then. Just deflect. Deflect deflect deflect. Make a fool of yourself if you have to, but don’t let anyone look too closely at either of them. Jaejoong hyung will be fucking lucky to come out of this unmarked.
Changmin sucks in a sharp breath as he checks his wristwatch. Over ten minutes has passed since the two men left the room, and the PDs are conferring quietly with each other. Everyone else is chatting amiably, but more than once, he sees them independently look towards the door and then back at the empty seats in the middle of the table.
They’ve been gone for more than 10 minutes…
“Oh my god…” Junsu stands up and starts to pace. “Not good, hyung. What are we going to do? This was a bad idea! A bad, bad, bad idea! What if Yunho hyung hurts him? What if they hurt each other? Hyung, what did we do!?!!”
“Calm down! I’m trying to think. Jaejoong hyung is like a caged predator when it comes to him so he will give as good as he gets.”
“But Japan! And that afternoon…”
Yoochun winces, remembering his shaken soulmate. Jaejoong may be physically weaker now, but he is pretty sure he can hold his own against Yunho’s raging.
Never poke a hurt animal.
Especially not a predator.
“Why did he even do this?” Junsu finally sits back down next to Yoochun, his face a picture of confusion as he looks to his hyung for guidance.
“Tell Yunho hyung about the song. The album isn’t even out yet!”
“Now that’s a very good question…” Yoochun starts to type rapidly into his phone.
How did this even come up anyway? The album doesn’t come out till Wednesday and it’s only Monday now.
“Goddamn it,” Changmin bites out quietly, his soft exclamation only heard by Yeon Hee who is chatting with Sungryung.
She starts talking even more animatedly, sensing Changmin is growing more and more restless as the time passes. Everyone is too, wondering where the two leads have gone. The assistant the PDs had sent to look for them had returned perplexed, saying they are not on that floor. The PDs had called for a break then, and disappeared.
His thumbs fly across the screen of his phone as he types a hurried reply, getting up to go looking for his hyungs himself before someone else finds them.
You really don’t know? This third script reading is focusing primarily on the fact that they are changing the script because of these two new songs. The break up sex scene is going to be changed to suit the song, and then Kyungtae and Dohoon are going to be performing that song at some later date. Fucking hell, hyung. I don’t know about you but I’m getting the feeling that Jaejoong hyung is pushing buttons on purpose.
I’m getting the same feeling, but the question is why.
Changmin growls annoyedly, dialing into his phone as he stalks out of the room, heading to the lift lobby.
Yoochun answers before the first ring even manages to finish, and Changmin launches into a rant immediately.
“Why do you think? They’ve been so weird and Yunho hyung refuses to talk to me about it. They’re literally dancing around each other. Yunho hyung goes close, and Jaejoong hyung flits away, but he ALWAYS fucking turns around and makes sure by some action or other indicating that he wants Yunho hyung to keep chasing him. And let me tell you, being caught between them is not as fun as everyone thinks it is. He never looks hyung in the eye, but the second hyung looks away, Jaejoong hyung stares at him like a fucking vagrant starving to death or something and hyung is his food. But the second hyung turns back, he puts up this cool front, talking and even flirting with everyone else but hyung. If this is some elaborate plan at payback, I’m going to break his new nose myself.”
“Calm down, Min-ah. I know where you’re coming from and where you’re getting at but Jaejoong hyung would sooner cut off his arm then hurt Yunho hyung.” Yoochun tries to placate the irate maknae, even though his words sound a little hollow even to his ears. Jaejoong from four years ago may not have intentionally hurt Yunho, but a frustrated and angry Jaejoong from 2013? Even he is not sure anymore. The man has tunnel vision sometimes, especially when it comes to Yunho, whether in a positive or negative manner.
And clearly it is negative right now.
“Then what the fuck is he playing at?” Changmin fumes as he enters the empty elevator, stabbing the button for the basement. “The love scene is supposed to be a VERY closed set. How more closed is it going to get? They defined closed as non-essential personnel are not to be present. What the hell is VERY CLOSED then? I haven’t even heard the full song but I’ve heard enough and this is just not what I envisioned. I wanted them together. I wanted them to sort their shit out. But if they’re just going to hurt each other even more then I want out.”
Junsu who had been listening carefully, speaks up for the first time.
“Don’t you think it’s a little interesting that two people who have spent the last three or so years pretending the other doesn’t exist are essentially going out of their way to get the other’s attention? Jaejoong hyung definitely has Yunho hyung’s attention, and the fact that he is actively seeking it tells me Yunho hyung has his undivided attention as well. Isn’t this what we wanted?”
“But hyung…that song…they’re going to kill each other.”
Junsu tamps down the tiny thrill he feels at being called thus by the indomitable maknae. “I was worried they would hurt each other…but now that I think about it, they need to get it out of their system.”
“Get what out of their system?”
“Whatever it is that is driving Jaejoong hyung to push Yunho hyung this much so early. It was completely unnecessary, but yet he is doing it. Why do you think?”
Yoochun chokes, before breaking into laughter. He is joined by Junsu, but the maknae is surprisingly silent.
“I’m not kidding. If he’s anything like Yunho hyung, then he was bloody celibate this whole time.”
“He wasn’t?” Changmin can hear the hesitance in Yoochun’s tone and he draws in a breath as he exits the carriage, going quickly to his car. He had opted to drive there with Yunho and Yeon Hee, and was planning on contriving needing to disappear quickly, leaving Yunho without transport. Their usual driver is on medical leave that day, and he knows that Yunho will not want to trouble anyone else.
Which hopefully leaves Jaejoong.
He can certainly see the flaws in his plan but he knows Jaejoong hates the sasaengs as much as he does not to leave Yunho in the lurch.
But now he is definitely rethinking that plan.
A quick look around reveals the garage to be empty, and as he enters his car, he wonders where the hell his two hyungs have disappeared to.
“He was. Is. He is. There was just this one time where he did try with someone but it was a mess.”
“What do you mean?”
“He called me in tears and I came over and stayed with him. Nothing happened with the other guy but Jaejoong hyung was crying in his sleep for Yunho hyung that night.”
“Hyung has tried with other people too, but it never got that far. One date, maybe two, and he comes home in a temper. Once he actually hurled a bottle of soju at the wall, drunk out of his mind, asking me why he cannot get Jaejoong’s face out of his head even when he is with other people. He said it feels like he’s cheating. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t remember the incident though because he really was wasted. In fact, come to think of it, he drinks himself to sleep after every date.”
“Since when does hyung get drunk like that?”
“He changed when all of you left.”
The silence stretches between the three men. Regretful silence.
Changmin is only stating a fact though. He does not mean to hurt.
But it hurts nonetheless.
Yoochun is the first to break the silence, his voice quiet. “I can’t change our past Changmin-ah…but I want to help change our future. And it starts with them.”
“You need to find them, Changdol-ah.”
Changmin squeezes his eyes tight against the affectionate term. His hyungs have been careful not to push too far with him. Junsu especially has been walking on eggshells. But that little slip from him makes him feel a strange sort of peace. As if something has just clicked into place. Changmin is not one for fanciful notions or believing in something intangible. The bonds between the five of them are intangible, but in that moment, a simple slip of the tongue from Junsu reveals a bond to him that has withstood the test of time and pain.
It is so palpable he can almost see it as he sits in his car with his eyes clenched shut.
Ribbons of red tightly bound around his body. He counts four ribbons. Four ribbons shooting from him, out into a void, the lengths are slackened. And even as he watches, they all suddenly pull tight.
He reaches out in his mind, gathering two ribbons with each hand and he pulls.
He wraps each length around his fist and he pulls.
And he is transported back over six years ago, to a time where he had been the anchor in a mock tug-o-war battle.
One by one his hyungs fall into line in front of him. First Yoochun, then Yunho, then Jaejoong, and last but not least, Junsu.
He opens his eyes, staring at his steering wheel, unaware that his cheeks are wet.
“I know where they are…”
AN1: This was getting too long… And I’m in hospital right this second with my laptop and my husband is REALLY not happy with me so please sheathe your swords >>____________>>
AN2: Don’t ask how I’m keeping the two fics separate in my head. I don’t know either… In fact, IDEK if I’m managing to keep them separate OTL
AN3: And yes, I named him… #HALP Though tbh after yesterday, I have this urge to change Yunho’s name ugh… NEW GOOD ASSOCIATIONS WITH DOHOON even if it kills me. In case anyone is worried, I’m not killing ANYONE in this fic.
AN4: So many ANs omg… But uh… here’s Jaejoong singing that part… I died a million deaths http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Egva81A4SeI&feature=player_detailpage#t=122s
AN5: And don't worry, i'm fine! Just some ongoing stuff I have to deal with and this is just a follow-up visit.