Genre: AU, fluff, romance, mild angst, drama
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: I have no fucking idea how a press conference is supposed to go and I’m just working from what I know from my super limited experience with them and how I’d deal with dumb questions lmao. I’m busy at work (both here and NZ omg) and overwhelmed by emails so I’m not going to check it out. Forgive my shortcomings as a lazy author in this instance ;;
AN2: This banner was done by taigrin
“Dude, is that your mum?”
“Mum? Why is Mum there? Wait. What’s going on? Shouldn’t she be wanting to strangle oppa two like me? Why is she there?”
Yoochun lets out a low whistle as the camera zooms in on Mrs Jung. The cameraman must have the same idea he has because the shot pans from her Louboutin clad feet, up her shapely calves, slowly travelling up her body till it reaches her face. Her expression is icy apart from the slight tilt of her mouth. He has seen it often enough to know what it conveys despite the hardness of her eyes.
To anyone else, it means trouble.
To those who know her enough, that mouth is more of an indication to her mood rather than her eyes. Mrs Jung speaks volumes with her eyes, but that is usually for the benefit of an audience. She gives nothing away with them in public. But her mouth is another matter altogether.
The President of Jung Group is amused.
“Mama is going to have fun.”
Yunho nods, his eyes not moving from the screen as his mouth quirks to form an identical half smile to that his mother is wearing.
“It sure looks that way.”
Changmin is shaking his head as he takes in her outfit. “I sure hope they at least used the cows for meat or something. That is one killer outfit. Literally.”
“Do you really want to go into this meat discussion again?” Jihye huffs irritatedly from his lap, her arms crossed over her belly as she watches her mother take a seat at the table.
Changmin rolls his eyes, a motion caught by his teammates who all chuckle. But their amusement is short-lived as the are silenced by a very unimpressed female voice.
In a perfect imitation of her mother, Jihye’s warning sounds more dire than it actually is. “I don’t need to turn around to know you just rolled your eyes at me. Do it once more and I’ll put you over my knee and spank you.”
And like her mother, the tug of her lips is her tell that she is more amused than angry. Yunho catches this and smirks while Changmin simply lets out a long suffering sigh. The goaltender is still trying to wrap his head around what just happened in the last half hour or so, and fighting with Jihye again in front of everyone is probably not a very auspicious way to start their relationship.
But when he gets the time, he is definitely going to school the little brat.
Yunho’s phone chimes again, and he ignores the conversation around him as he opens his phone.
Seen your mum? Am I right about the herd of cows?
He laughs as he reads it, prompting Jihye and Changmin to lean over to look at his phone. The other four are busy discussing the pros and cons of dating a vegetarian and pay no attention to them.
Jihye snorts while Changmin chuckles as he reads the message.
“Great minds think alike.”
“Fools seldom differ,” the teenager counters, earning her a bout of tickling from her brand new boyfriend.
Yunho shakes his head, smiling fondly at the two before replying.
Changmin said something similar. And you’re one to talk with all your leather jackets and pants ;-)
Jaejoong scowls at his phone, typing quickly.
Do I really need to castrate that boy? Why the hell is he with you?
Yunho’s sharp bark of laughter draws everyone’s attention to him, but he waves them off airily, holding his phone protectively as he thumbs his reply.
Snatching the phone away from the young man crosses everyone’s thoughts at about the same time, and yet nobody moves to do it, all of them deciding against it for a similar reason.
Outside that room, only a handful of people have Yunho’s private number, and out of all of them, only one person can make the maknae captain laugh like that.
And they are not about to interfere, whether out of self-preservation or just the simple joy of seeing him smile again.
Sheathe your claws. He and Jihye just made it official about twenty minutes ago. I really doubt she’d be very pleased about you castrating him…
Does she know about you two?
Yunho winces, chancing a sidelong look at the new couple who are busy bickering before replying.
There’s no “you two”. It was one time! And I think he’s going to tell her…
Maybe I should worry about her castrating you instead?
Yunho groans, massaging his temple. His sister is a little unpredictable so who knows?
Can we change the subject? I’m feeling a twinge in my crotch and it’s not for a good reason.
Hero Jaejoong smirks as he pulls up the most recent photo from the album in his phone, typing a brief message before sending it quickly, putting his phone on silent and pocketing it.
Maybe this will give you a better twinge? You’ll see me in a few seconds but since you’re my boyfriend, you get a preview… This will accompany any press releases from the conference later.
Jaejoong is sinful without trying.
And when he tries, all bets are off.
And Yunho is far from immune.
Yunho swallows his low moan, though not quickly enough because both Junsu and Yoochun look suspiciously at him. He does not bother replying as he drops his phone and hands into his lap, tugging surreptitiously at his shirt to cover his growing arousal.
But he is not quick enough as Yoochun starts laughing, and shaking his head.
“Really, Yunho? Really?”
Junsu smirks, leaning forward and wrapping his arms around Yoochun’s neck, whispering in his ear. Whatever he says must have left an impression because Yoochun does not bother hiding his own moan.
Cushions suddenly fly from everyone, thrown at the canoodling couple, distracting everyone momentarily as they tease the two forwards.
Five minutes after the press conference is scheduled to start, Hero Jaejoong walks out.
“Oh fuck.” Kangin’s awestruck voice causes everyone’s heads to turn to the screen, and everyone lets out similar shocked exclamations.
“Oh yes, I want to fuck…”
“Oh my god, oppa…” Jihye has no idea whether she’s referring to her boyfriend who just blurted that out or the man on the screen. In the end she decides she’s talking to them both. Oddly, she really can feel no jealousy whatsoever at Changmin’s obvious appreciation of Hero because let’s be real, everyone wants a piece of that man. Her included.
“There is definitely a god…”
“I wonder if Yunho would be up for a swap… I know Hero probably would be.”
“I really do NOT want to fuck my best friend so you can stop right there Micky Yoochun.”
Yunho merely arches his brow, rather amused at everyone’s dumbstruck expressions as he settles back comfortably, watching his boyfriend stalk out from backstage. The feathery whatever it was from the first photo is nowhere to be seen, his boyfriend dressed in the cropped leather jacket of the second photo, and he watches as Hero casually shrugs it off, dropping it carelessly on the table, exposing his black mesh net top underneath in full.
The camera zooms in, and Yunho can make out the piercing, and he knows his teammates do too as one by one, low whistles of appreciation echo in the room. It is testament to how open his team is about their sexuality when even Changmin and Han Geng, the more placid ones remark on him just as much as the other three.
“You guys are disgusting. That’s my oppa’s boyfriend!”
“Says the girl who has half naked posters of her oppa’s boyfriend plastered all over her walls,” Changmin quips, eyes still on the screen though his arms are securely around his brand new girlfriend.
“Do you care?”
“Maybe, but I really wouldn’t want to go toe to toe with him with my injured leg. I’d also be a hypocrite because that man is unbelievable.” He tightens his hold on Jihye who starts to wriggle in his lap, trying to get away from him, before he continues. “And besides, he has eyes for no one but your brother. I thought he dumped him this afternoon and yet there he is with your scary as fuck mother next to him. That man has balls and the reason he does is in part because of your brother I’m sure. ”
“Don’t forget he threatened to castrate you.” Junsu points out cheerfully, earning himself a jab to the shoulder from Changmin.
“He what!” Jihye whirls around, eyes wide and her mouth gaping. “Why would he want to castrate you?”
Everyone is laughing now, even Han Geng who is bent over double, chortling as he gasps out. “Good luck, man.”
“Good luck?” Jihye looks around her confusedly.
Yunho, feeling sorry for his friend, directs everyone’s attention back to the screen. “Shut up, everyone. You can all leave if you want to discuss other stuff because I want to watch this.”
The room falls silent once again as seven pairs of eyes turn to the screen.
Jihye leans back, mouth against Changmin’s jaw. “I’m not forgetting this. You’re going to tell me what the hell is going on.”
Changmin merely squeezes her waist in response, dropping his head back against the sofa and swallowing his groan.
How dead will he be at the end of the night?
He taps the mic, checking for the sound before pulling it towards him, leaning forward slightly and pressing his lips against it. His voice is low and he drawls a little lazily, giving the impression that he is in no hurry and honestly cannot care less about whatever the hell is going on around him. He is squeezing Mrs Jung’s hand under the table, but no one can see that.
“Do all of you have your press packs?”
A ripple of sound from the quiet crowd answers his query.
Hero arches an eyebrow. His eyes are expressive and unfettered by his usual accessory of expensive sunglasses. His hair is styled up high and out of his face, and he knows he looks every inch the rock star. Mrs Jung had taught him how to keep his eyes hard if necessary, regardless of how he is feeling, and while he understands the lesson, he is not sure how well he can pull it off. He has always hidden behind his shades and his pair of Dita sunglasses are on the table within easy reach should he want them.
Mrs Jung however had suggested doing without the shades in an effort to be a little more…human. Less untouchable, though still strong. Everyone needs to know that he means business, and he needs to learn to convey as much with his eyes. The impact is a lot more visceral she assures him, because his eyes are so beautiful that everyone cannot help but be sucked in.
”Don’t hide that power. Use it. Wield it like a weapon and strike them with it. Use your god-given strengths Hero Jaejoong. Don’t just rely on your mask because you may not always have accessories to hide behind. You certainly know how to fuck with your eyes, now use them to command. You shouldn’t limit yourself to anger and lust. Show your passion for what you love in your eyes. People can see and understand that. You have to give something of yourself to get something back. I know it’s hard but you have to put yourself out there today.”
Jaejoong makes a mental note not to get on Mrs Jung’s bad side if he can help it. He wasn’t kidding when he told Yunho his mother is terrifying. He had coughed when she swore, and one simple arch of her eyebrow had him swallowing the rest of his bubbling almost hysterical laughter as she coaches him.
After the whispers and conversation dies down, Hero asks once again in a perfectly level tone, giving away nothing in his voice.
“Are there any questions before we begin?”
A few hands shoot up and he gestures to one of them. An usher runs to the man to hand him a microphone, and the reporter introduces himself and the media outlet he represents. It is a local tabloid, and Jaejoong hides his grimace of disgust as the man asks his question.
“How long will you be giving us? Can we ask any question we want? No topics are off limits?”
Hero frowns, letting go of Mrs Jung’s hand as he turns to face the man, pinning him with a cold gaze.
“Did you read your press package?”
“Then perhaps you need someone to translate it into idiot for you.”
He turns away immediately, dismissing the stupid man as his unflinching gaze roams over the rest of the audience. Camera flashes are going off non-stop but Hero Jaejoong is used to it, and he does not bat an eyelid.
Once done with sweeping the hall, and no further questions appear to be forthcoming, he leans forward to press his mouth against the microphone again. He makes his voice purposefully low and husky, lips pulled into a slight smirk that translates into his tone.
“Well then, the first part will be about my work. You have five questions and I will veto anything I prefer not to answer.”
Hands shoot up immediately, and the noise in the hall swells. His hand has once again found Mrs Jung’s, and he finds it reassuring that her hand is perfectly dry in contrast to his own slightly clammy one. He has been to many press conferences before, but there is always someone leading it, and other people around him from the agency or whatever acting as a buffer between him and the press. He answers the questions yes, but most of the time the questions are pre-approved and he has stock answers. The press conferences start to thin in the last few years especially since he tends to deviate from the standard answers with a few choice comments added for shock value, and his usual colourful vocabulary.
He gestures to a familiar face. A Japanese man he knows represents a reputable network from the neighbouring country. Like the earlier reporter, this man introduces himself and his network before asking his question.
“I apologise if this is not strictly a work related question, but I’m hoping it is close enough that you will consider answering it.”
Jaejoong remains silent, and the man takes that as his cue to continue.
“All of us cannot help but notice Jung Ji Young, the President of Jung Group seated next to you. You are now without representation in the East Asian entertainment industries although apparently your international contract with Universal still remains intact. Jung Group does not have any stakes in the entertainment industry in either South Korea or Japan although they hold exclusive contracts with the various entertainment agencies to export and distribute their products. Jung Group—”
Jaejoong interrupts the man, cutting him off.
“Is there a question in there somewhere? I don’t need a lesson on Jung Group’s business dealings. The extent of their association with the local entertainment industry is not a secret. Jung Group is the sole exporter for the big three agencies, all of which I see are represented here. Move it along please.”
The man flushes, blurting out his question quickly without thinking more about it.
“My question is whether President Jung is here with you in a personal or professional capacity?”
Jaejoong had been expecting this question, and so he leans forward, looking purposefully amused.
“I expected a better question from you, Kensai-san. You’re just toeing the line right there. Direct your question to President Jung herself since it pertains to her.”
Hero leans back, his mouth curled into an amused sneer as he sees the reporter looking back and forth between him and Mrs Jung. He has let her hand go, and the urge to cross his arms across his chest is high, but he knows the body language it conveys will be unfavourable to him.
Instead he nonchalantly picks up the bottled water sitting ready, pouring a glass out as the entire hall waits for the reporter to get a clue and ask President Jung his question.
“President Jung, are you here with Hero in a personal or professional capacity?”
Mrs Jung leans forward, her mouth close to the microphone but not quite touching it.
She leans back, her gaze level, and the reporter shifts his weight on his feet. The flashes are still going off, but other than that, the Diamond Hall of the Grand Hilton Seoul is silent.
When it is clear no further answer is forthcoming, the reporter sits down helplessly, angry with himself for the way he had phrased his question. President Jung is an unknown entity. CEO Jung is the one who normally attends press conferences or conducts interviews. The man is charming and engaging and has the knack of putting people at ease immediately.
President Jung on the other hand is usually hidden away in boardrooms. The beautiful woman is absolutely breathtaking and more than capable of being the face for Jung Group, but her countenance is such that it will take a daring reporter indeed to face her. The impression that she does not suffer fools is blaring loud and clear in the hall, and Hero Jaejoong’s clear amusement when he speaks into the microphone again speaks volumes.
“I’ll think about whether I’ll consider that as a full question since it really didn’t require anything apart from a multiple choice type answer.”
The reporter winces as the crowd titters. It is his own fault and he knows it.
The press conference continues, Hero once again selecting another person, someone he does not recognise this time. Clearly recognising someone does not always mean it is a good thing.
“How will you promote without an agency representing your interests?”
Hero scoffs immediately as he leans in to answer the question.
“My interests? The only interests an agency is interested in looking after is their own. All of you here know better than to believe the glitz and glamour of the industry. There is a bottomless cesspool of filth that underlies the veneer of rainbows and unicorns that you see.”
He takes a deep breath as Mrs Jung’s hand wraps around his wrist, squeezing it. He schools his face, his mouth turning down into a sardonic smile.
“But don’t worry, I’m not here to expose it to the world. I move in that cesspool, and my hands are just as dirty as everyone else involved in this industry. To taint them is to taint me. But I guess you could say that I don’t intend on staying neck deep in it. I intend to change it.”
His gaze is cool, giving away nothing as it roams the large hall. His own face stares back at him from flag banners on the sides.
“As mentioned previously by the helpful reporter, I am still signed to Universal and have been assured that everything will still continue on as normal. As for my local activities, I don’t have anything to promote just yet. I am currently in the studio once again since I am no longer tied to the hiatus requirements by my former agency. I will be back in a month for the Fukushima Earthquake Anniversary Charity Concert.”
“A month? Isn’t that too short a time to prepare a new album?”
“It will be a mini-album. Something a lot more honest and genuine. It will be written, composed and produced entirely by me without any meddling from management or industry bureaucrats.”
“What about promotions then?”
“I have spoken to the organisers of the charity concert and they are happy to host my comeback so to speak. As for South Korea, I have not been boycotted by any networks as far as I know, though if it comes down to it, even if networks choose to put roadblocks in front of me, I still have my people.”
“My family. My fans. They are my family. Hurt me, and you hurt them. Hurt them, and believe me,” he pauses, the silence dragging out seemingly endlessly before he continues. “You will pay.”
“Is that a threat?”
Hero shrugs delicately, a mocking smile on his face as he pins the reporter who has far exhausted his one question limit. But he is adaptable and fluid, and it has not inhibited the flow of the press conference so he allows it for now.
“Take it as you will. But think about this. Who watches the programs? Who buys the products? Who fuels the entertainment economy and to an extent, the South Korean economy in general? Who buys up endorsement products simply because I represent the brand? If you have done your homework as I have, you will know that anything I touch turns to gold. I am not being boastful, I am merely stating fact.”
He pulls his hand from Mrs Jung’s grasp, holding the microphone to his mouth, his wrist draped loosely over the length like he would if he is performing as he continues to speak, smirking confidently, his voice carrying a hint of smugness.
“And besides, the lucrative funding from advertising on all the major networks are in part fueled by Jung Group in a roundabout manner. Everything is interconnected. I really don’t think anyone wants this complicated web to unravel.”
“Are you saying Jung Group—”
And Jaejoong cuts off this reporter as well.
“I’m pretty sure you have reached your limit of questions. Next please.”
The whole process starts all over again, and Hero is drumming his fingers impatiently as the new reporter fiddles with the microphone. The girl is from the Seoul University paper and looks extremely nervous. He relaxes slightly, feeling for her as he leans back and waits.
“Uh…I’m sorry I wasn’t expecting to be picked.”
To the entire hall’s surprise, Hero smiles, as he take the microphone from the short stand on the table, pressing it against his lower lip as he speaks, his voice low as he drops it a tad.
“Take your time, Jiyeon-ssi.”
The girl’s eyes widen, and she clears her throat into the microphone.
Even at the distance, Hero can see her hands shaking.
He remembers Mrs Jung’s advice from earlier about distracting and manipulating should things get a little uncomfortable. He does not want to put her in a spot about Jung Group, and he hopes to turn the audience’s mind away from the end of the last reporter’s spate of questions to something else. Easing the anxious young woman is a good an excuse as any, so he starts to hum into his microphone, his bottom lip dragging on the head of mic suggestively as he starts to sing.
”Neoege jugo sipeo… niga johahaneun aiseukeurim…”
The girl freezes, and he waves his hand at her, as if to tell her everything will be ok.
”Soljikhi japgo inneun nisonboda… neoui kiseuga joha…”
That beautiful voice that has two countries spellbound, and millions across the world in awe, cascades over the privileged live audience as well as the thousands watching on YouTube. The smooth melody is unlike what many are used to, but the promise of everything sexual in Hero Jaejoong’s voice, a trademark of his that gives his rock songs an edge, has his captive audience on the edge of their seats.
And his boyfriend back home staring slackjawed at the screen, his mind full of utterly vivid memories that has him shifting uncomfortably.
”Uri, uri, mane bimil… moduga jiltuhalgeoya…”
The pause this time is much longer than earlier, the hall dead silent as everyone waits breathlessly for the next line.
But it never comes as Hero chuckles huskily into the phone.
“Are you ready now, Jiyeon-ssi?”
“W-w-what was t-that?” The poor girl stutters and stumbles, eyes so wide it practically takes over her small face.
“Is that your question?” The timbre of Hero’s voice is still very intimate, as he focuses his gaze on the girl who is already his to do whatever he pleases should he have a mind to.
Even the more seasoned reporters in the audience are swallowing hard, their eyes on the big screen that shows a closeup of the gorgeous rock star’s face.
Lips curled up in amusement, he flashes his piercing as he sweeps his tongue across his bottom lip, eyes dark and full of sensual promise.
Only Hero Jaejoong can make a simple question sound like an invitation to fuck.
Hero smirks, and back at the Jung mansion, Jung Jihye is fanning her red face with a pillow while all the males are in various states of arousal. Yunho is no different, but at least he has a very good reason for it. He has no idea what the hell just happened there. Ten minutes ago he is certain Hero Jaejoong is slowly but surely being pushed into a corner, but now he will be completely unsurprised to find everyone willing to lick the man’s heeled boots.
Now isn’t that a rather intriguing thought?
Yunho coughs, bending over at the waist, pretending to fiddle at the hem of his jeans. His pants are feeling way way way too tight. His brain has taken a turn down a rather deviant path, and he lays the blame wholly and completely on his boyfriend. Before Jaejoong, he never had thoughts like these. But Jaejoong is like a walking kink.
His walking kink.
Yunho groans, and there are a few sympathetic murmurs around him, everyone strangling on their own reactions to the man in all his Hero Jaejoong glory.
“What is this man?” Han Geng questions, staring at the screen.
“A manipulative bastard,” Jihye whines, rubbing her arms. “He’s done this before and it makes everyone forget their fucking names.”
“What’s your name?” Yoochun quips cheekily, though his voice is slightly shaky, eyes never leaving the screen.
The media room fills with laughter, as Hero Jaejoong finally answers the question.
“Just a sample of one of the songs from the new album.”
“H-how m-many s-s-songs…” she trails off, dropping the microphone from her mouth when she realises she’s asked a second question. Her face is flaming.
Hero purses his lips, pouting, pressing it against the head of the microphone as he runs a fingertip along the length of the body.
Up and down, his eyes unwavering as he seems to contemplate his answer.
His gaze is piercing, bedroom eyes as his eyelids droop a little as he turns towards the camera.
“I have three already half written. Perhaps another couple to round it off. I haven’t quite decided yet. One of these three will be the charity single for the Fukushima Earthquake Anniversary Charity Concert. I am fucking serious about coming out of this hiatus. This album will be for my fans to see who I am. One of the songs is dedicated to you.”
His lips never leave the head of the microphone, which in turn gives his words a breathy quality. Coupled with the husky timbre of his voice, the large hall is lost.
The girl sits down abruptly, her legs finally giving out on her and an usher quickly moves to take the microphone off her.
Hero leans forward, elbows on the table now, both hands holding the microphone, his accessories glinting in the light as his eyes travel over the audience once again, a very amused smirk playing about his mouth.
The cycle of choosing and introductions happen again, though this time only a handful of people raise their hands, most still a little befuddled by the rock idol.
“Are you worried about the quality of this album with it seemingly a little rushed and without the usual production budget that you are probably accustomed to?”
Hero Jaejoong scowls as he straightens up. Instead of staying seated, he stands, microphone in his hand as he steps away from behind the table at his full height, hip cocked out to give the audience the benefit of his outfit. His boots send him over six feet tall, and his long slim figure is a sight to behold coupled with the flashing eyes and his shapely unique mouth.
“You heard that sample. Tell me, do you really think there will be quality issues?”
His voice is arrogant and demanding as he sneers at the man who shakes his head mutely.
“Love me, or hate me, but you cannot deny one thing. I am a hard worker. I do my best even when I am feeling my worst. And Korea does love a hard worker. Why do you think I have so many fans? This album will be me. I am putting myself out there. I do not want to be judged based on how much money is spent on production. All the money in the world is not going to make me want to return to being told what I can and cannot sing. What I can and cannot write. What I can and cannot do. I want to be treated like a human being. I am not a drone or a robot. Nor am I a money-making machine sent out to the masses to make millions for people who sit in offices and do nothing all day but plot on how to gain the maximum output from the minimum of input. I don’t give a flying fuck about production budgets. I can write a song in an hour. My fans are familiar with this fact even if you clearly aren’t. I am giving myself wholly and completely to this album. That cannot be bought with money.”
Hero Jaejoong’s voice is strong and passionate, his eyes glowing with a light rarely seen in the hedonistic rocker. His stance is challenging as he glares out at the body of people.
More hands shoot up this time as Hero stalks back to his seat, throwing himself into it. He drops the microphone with a loud clunk, irritation is clear in his body language as he downs a glass of water quickly.
Mrs Jung leans over, her dark hair melding with his as she whispers in his ear.
“You’re doing good. Everyone is a little off balance right now, and you should keep them off balance. Maintain your equilibrium, but do not give them time to recover.”
Hero nods brusquely, pulling away, his mouth drawn in a tight line, annoyance mirrored in his eyes. Perhaps he is being a little defensive, but no one questions the quality of his work.
He is arrogant for a fucking good reason. One week? One month? Heck, one day. He will give it his all.
He picks someone from the back of the room, an older female this time.
“Are you planning on setting up your agency at some point?”
The smirk on Hero’s face is of a different quality this time, as he turns his gaze from the reporter and his live audience to the camera instead. His eyes are like shards of ice, as he glares at the lens. His mouth crooks into a cruel smile as he parts his mouth, exhaling into the microphone as is his habit, lips caressing the rounded head of the device. But instead of a sensual promise, the tone of his voice is deep and dark.
Menacing even, and utterly cold.
And no one understands why except two men watching the live stream at that very moment.
One of them is a tad annoyed, while the other is ready to piss his pants.
“I am looking into acquiring a management company of my own. Both President Jung and I have looked into entering a partnership to acquire one and we are in accord. There are a few out there ripe for the picking, but we have our eyes on a particular one. I think it’s about time I do my share of purging the filth from this industry.”
His eyes narrow, his cherry lips twisted into his characteristic sneer as he stares down the camera.
His eyes are flat and completely devoid of emotion.
Twin black diamonds framed by fake eyelashes and a face so beautiful some claim he cannot be real.
But Hero Jaejoong is real alright.
“You can run but you cannot hide. Not from me, and certainly not from President Jung so come out, come out, wherever you are…”
His voice is taunting, mocking as his eyes harden. The coldness in his voice sends a shiver through the audience, all wondering which unfortunate company it is. To question if his next words are a threat is redundant because everyone can see and hear it for what it is.
“…because I promise, if we have to hunt you down, it will be far far worse for you.”
“Fucking hell, does he know about Seunghyun?” Changmin exclaims loudly as he stares at the television screen that is currently showing an old music video of Hero Jaejoong’s. There is a ten minute break before the next half, and the media room is quiet apart from it. “Everything about Seunghyun,” he corrects.
“Of course he knows,” Kangin scoffs immediately. “Only one person would cause Hero and Mrs Jung to unite like that, and that is Yunho. I think the bastard would probably prefer I break his legs compared to what those two have in store for him.”
“But she doesn’t know though? Right?” Junsu looks at his best friend who is frowning and staring at his phone.
“Doesn’t know what?” Jihye asks quietly. The mention of Seunghyun has her curling up internally within herself.
“Nothing, Jihye.” Yunho’s voice is firm as he stares at the screen. He stands up, and everyone watches as he presses his speed dial, no one saying a word as they watch their captain leave the room.
The phone rings for what seems like ages, and he is about to hang up to redial when it is answered.
But it is not Jaejoong who answers, but his mother.
“Don’t distract him, Yunho.”
“Mum, what the hell is going on?”
“Hero is having his press conference.”
Yunho growls at the obvious answer, running his hand agitatedly through his messy hair.
“I can’t believe he told you.”
“Told me what?”
“What about Seunghyun?”
“How he…” Yunho pauses, trailing off as he scowls at his reflection in a hallway mirror. “You’re trying to trick me aren’t you?”
“Me? Trick you? Why would I do that? Are you hiding something from me?” Mrs Jung’s voice is mildly amused, irritating her son further.
Yunho takes a deep breath, thinking quickly and phrasing his question carefully.
“Did Jaejoong tell you anything about Seunghyun that you did not already know?”
She smiles, just as Jaejoong exits the bathroom and he catches it. He mouths Yunho’s name and she nods and he shakes his head, to which she nods again.
“No, he didn’t.”
Yunho sighs as he pivots on his heel and starts walking slowly back to the media room.
“I know this might be a futile request, but remember I’m your son, and I would really prefer if you did not do this.”
“It is futile, but I am not doing it because you are my son. Remember what Hero said during the press conference? Everything he touches is gold, and he is not exaggerating.”
“Please, Mum. I’m not that stupid. We have more than enough money to live several lifetimes at this level of comfort.”
“I knew about the company the second he registered it at the company’s office. I know whose money funded it. I could have acted much earlier but I didn’t because there was no need. But Jaejoong, your boyfriend, he needs a foothold in this industry. He cannot drift around without being rooted down. He can only go so far, being blown in whatever direction the wind takes him. He needs stability and I am helping him get it. Are you going to begrudge him that?”
“Of course not.”
“Then let me do what I do best.”
Yunho sighs, knowing that she is stating a very valid, very real case for her actions.
“Alright, I trust you. Can I talk to him now?”
“You can talk to him after. He doesn’t need you distracting him now.”
“Tell him I love him.”
“He knows, Yunho.”
“Tell him anyway.”
They hang up and Mrs Jung hands over the phone back to Hero whose eyebrow is raised quizzically.
“He says he loves you,”
The change in the younger man is interesting to watch as his cheeks bloom in colour, happiness entering his dark eyes lined heavily with kohl. His porcelain skin benefits from the touch of pink and the man looks even more stunning than usual, if that is even possible.
“Love becomes you.”
“This hard shell you have. It’s difficult to maintain all the time, isn’t it? Yet you thrive and look incredible with it on.” She lifts her hand, licking her fingertip and pushes at a wayward curl on the singer’s head, trying to flatten it. “And yet you are even more beautiful with love in your eyes. I think your fans will react positively to a balance between the two. People can smell bullshit a mile away but when you speak from the heart, even the hardest of hearts will listen. Wanna try it out?”
Jaejoong chuckles ruefully as he allows Mrs Jung to groom him. “I feel like your science project or something.”
She shrugs, as she tugs at his collar, pulling the jacket close, noting how slim and tiny the man’s waist is. The cropped jacket looks amazing on him. The flashes of pale skin from his mesh shirt are a sharp contrast to the black of his outfit.
“We all need a little upheaval in our lives. My children keep me young, otherwise I’d be at the office eighteen hours a day.”
“How old are you? If you don’t mind me asking that is.”
She smirks as she pats his jacket down before dropping her hands to her side, nudging at him so they start walking in the direction of the stage.
“I had Yunho when I was 19.”
Jaejoong hums, worrying his lower lip as he thinks, “13 years older than me then. You really are young. What on earth do I call you?”
“Call me whatever you want.”
“That’s factually accurate, but rather ridiculous coming from you. It’s like Yunho calling me that.”
“Calling you Mum would be weird too.”
They pause as they reach the edge of the stage. They still have about a minute.
Mrs Jung grins, the sudden softening of her features makes her look incredibly young. Jaejoong can definitely see bratty little Jihye in this woman wearing a three million won Versace dress. He returns her grin with one of his own.
“Noona it is, then.”
This is a special shoutout to one of my readers and her interns. She is a doctor and she reads ICE with her interns as a bonding exercise of sorts. I think there are two male and two (possibly three) female interns if I remember rightly. I’m sure she’ll correct me if I get this wrong. Anyway, one male intern WAS purportedly straight. I told her I had my doubts and classed him as bi-curious :P They were both getting boners from the rated scenes and the gay intern was especially vocal in his appreciation hahahaha. I think he declared he wanted to hump everything after one of them. I can’t remember which. Possibly the JaeHo. He’s a switch ;P The bi-curious intern was spotting a hard on after ch16b that was so obvious he even had a wet patch on his PANTS. HELP ME GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE?
Anyway, long story short, bi-curious intern got hot and bothered enough from ICE to take a step with gay intern who was ever so happy to help out and well, they are now officially together :P I don’t know how many fics can claim to get a real life male/male couple together but wooot! I’m so happy for them!!! Oh and they also acted out the phone sex scene hahahahahaha and I believe they had a rather good time… XDDD!
Also, I actually wrote out the second half of that press con but it was getting too fucking long and unwieldy and I just went fuck it cos it isn’t really necessary so yeah. Bye bye 3,000 words lol.
And uh... Micky Yoochun just wrecked my bias list completely. His grunting in Get Out at the concert tonight made me spontaneously combust and i'm sitting here staring at my screen and wondering what the fuck just happened... OTL