Rating: PG-13 for now
Genre: AU, fluff
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 MARRIED here
Summary: Nothing has ever fazed him in his life. At 29, he is successfully self-employed, and doing something he loves which means going to work should really be enjoyable. What is that saying? If you work in what you love, you will never work a day in your life? This would be true if not for just one doe-eyed problem…
AN1: So… I am DETERMINED to keep this fluffy regardless of what my fucking muses want… famous last words? I hope not.
AN2: Also, this gorgeous banner is made by shinkinism on tumblr!!! She almost gave me a bloody heart attack when someone tweeted it onto my timeline lol.
The game continues all through dinner, Changmin, Nicole and Jaejoong all choosing truths after Yunho’s rather spectacular dare. He is sitting with Changmin as Jaejoong and Nicole have volunteered to clean up. The blonde had wagged her finger, warning the older men not to get too used to them cleaning up but since they paid for dinner, it is the least they could do.
Jaejoong is cheerful, though he admits he prefers cooking to doing the dishes, promising to bring something nice for everyone during the weekend.
His sister, Jin Hee had called at the start of dinner, asking what time the teen would be home. Nicole, being the ever doting surrogate sister, had asked his biological sister if it would be ok for Jaejoong to spend the night. If anyone found it odd that his sister had not hesitated at saying yes, nobody remarks on it.
But it bugs Yunho nonetheless. He comes from a family that will protect at all costs, and to him, it seems as if Jaejoong’s sisters are leaving him to fend for himself this night.
Not to mention the revelations of the truth questions from earlier.
“Don’t you find it odd that his sister is letting him hang out with us? People way older than he is? Shouldn’t he be with kids his own age on a Friday night?”
Changmin takes a sip of his bottle of water, as he watches Jaejoong chasing Nicole out the door. They are presumably going out to buy dessert, if Jaejoong’s cajoling from earlier is anything to go by.
Noona, can we get ice cream?
The boy is really persistent, and he clearly gets his way in the end.
“You heard the kid about what happened in school. I don’t think he particularly likes school. And besides, with that mouth of his, do you honestly trust him to be around anyone else?”
Yunho clenches his jaw, his fists mimicking the same movement, knuckles cracking.
“No, and I think he’s alright with school. His teacher on the other hand…” Yunho doesn’t complete his sentence, but his voice is bleak, darkness drowning it as his eyes tighten.
“Don’t do anything stupid, hyung.”
Yunho’s gaze narrows on Changmin’s contemplative face.
The younger man holds up his hands in surrender, as he hurries to clarify. “I don’t mean you will, it’s just that it’s over and done with. The teacher was disciplined and so was Jae. You have to admit the kid was also in the wrong for letting fly like that.”
Yunho is far used to a more equitable system of punishment, and as far as he’s concerned, the teacher got off scot free. You protect the young, you do not treat them like trash.
“We’ll see,” his voice is low, the menace within it clear, and it invites no further discussion.
Changmin stares at his hyung, suddenly feeling as if he doesn’t know the man anymore. Something about the teenager brings out a very visceral part of Yunho, something he has never seen or known about his friend in the years they have been together. There were brief sparks of the Yunho he knows during dinner, as they bickered good naturedly over the food, and laughed at Nicole’s confession about wanting to get into Park Bom’s pants, though the girl admits that she really isn’t interested in females, but if she really had to choose, it would be Bom.
His own truth question was a little awkward, being made to tell everyone in the group about how he honestly feels about them. The result is a slightly strained interaction between Nicole and himself that hasn’t quite diminished over the course of the meal, and he is eternally grateful at having Jae around to distract her.
“So…” Changmin starts, trying to figure out a safe topic to broach. “…You and the kid are a thing?”
“We are not a thing.”
And really, even Changmin has to admit that this is true, because even Jae’s actions show the same. The teenager hasn’t changed a single bit, still carrying on the way he normally does as if all the dares had not happened. There is no shyness, just an easygoing teenager, who is a little self-conscious at times, but then who isn’t at that age?
But the teen is more than able to tease Yunho into smiles, still saying the damnedest things imaginable, seemingly unaffected by the electric connection he had with Yunho during the first dare, and the tender sweet kisses they exchanged in the second.
Changmin is quite confused to say the least, but he lets it pass. He knows his hyung is a little puzzled too, but as usual, he keeps his own counsel.
He tries another topic, because the dark look in Yunho’s eyes has not dissipated. He suppresses an involuntary shiver, remembering exactly what Yunho was like when the Japanese twins had harassed Jaejoong. That little harassment of the teen in their shop yesterday is exceedingly mild in his book compared to what his teacher had done, and he shudders to think as to what may happen if the teacher does anything similar in the future.
“I have a bad feeling about the ice cream.”
“I’m already girding my loins,” Yunho admits with a wry grin.
“Girding your—“ Changmin’s mouth drops, as Yunho starts to laugh.
“You should’ve seen your face.”
“You’re an ass. But the sentiment isn’t far off I have to say.”
“Did you actually listen to the kid?”
“Which part? The one where he told us he likes sucking on teabags, or the part where he said he likes to sit on poles, especially outside his school?”
Changmin cannot help it, because Yunho’s expression is exceedingly pained as he recounts Jae’s more colourful, and still apparently innocent statements and expressions.
“I was referring to all the things he’s said as a collective.”
“Changmin,” Yunho’s voice is about as serious as he’s ever gotten, minus the earlier darkness. “If I took the kid’s words as a collective, I wouldn’t survive. As it is, I’m barely holding onto my sanity with the stuff that comes out of his mouth.”
Changmin smirks, understanding the man completely. “How about the stuff that goes into it?”
Yunho sends his friend a sour look. “Don’t even start.”
“But seriously, ice cream and Jae is not a good combination.”
Yunho shakes his head as he cracks open a bottle of beer. “Don’t I fucking know it. Nothing with Jae is a good combination. He manages to make even chopsticks look sensual somehow and I am feeling like the biggest fucking perv on the planet. I don’t know how he does it, but the kid is almost like a walking kink and it is really fucking disturbing. And what makes it worse is that he is completely oblivious to the effect he has on people.”
“So you’re of the Nicole school of thought regarding Jaejoong then?”
“Nicole thinks Jaejoong really is as innocent as he seems, despite the shocking things that come out of his mouth.”
“And you don’t agree?” Yunho smirks slightly as he takes another long pull of his drink. He hasn’t drunk much because the teenager keeps pilfering his bottle, but he finds that he rather likes it. If they go by the kid’s standards, they’ve been kissing all afternoon.
“Well, it depends. I’m going to ask you something, and what I think of the kid hangs on your answer.”
“Why so serious, Changmin?”
“Not serious. I’m just trying to understand the kid. I really like him, and I think he likes us. I just want to figure him out a little. He’s never spoken much before working here, but he is always around, doing his homework, trying to stay out of our way. I don’t know how long you’ve noticed him, but he is impossible to miss despite all the hoodies he pulls over his face, and how he hunches over, trying to make himself as small as possible. In the last few days, he has literally blossomed before my very eyes. The butterfly analogy isn’t really a joke. He really is like a beautiful creature that has finally been allowed to break free from his cocoon, and I have to admit, I’m really enjoying watching him spread his wings. That boy was not meant to be contained.”
Yunho stares incredulously at his friend, his bottle of beer arrested somewhere along the way to his mouth. “Shim…what the fuck has the kid done to you?”
“First, you tell Nicole you love her, and now you’re practically waxing poetic over a teenage boy. What the fuck?”
Changmin makes a disgusted sound. “Please don’t remind me about Nic. I know she probably doesn’t feel the same, but I figured what the hell. I don’t really have anything to lose. I do love her, but I’ve also kept my distance in a way. It’s confusing as fuck because I honestly expect her to just disappear one day.”
Changmin sighs and nods, reaching for a bottle of beer himself. “I really do think I’m going to wake up one day and just find strands of blonde hair on my pillow, and a note with a kiss, and that’s it. She’s not the kind of girl you tie down. Hell, I’m not the kind of guy anyone ties down either, but she suits me somehow. She gives me my space, but she knows when to get all up in my space. Every single female I’ve ever met or known, annoy me to no end compared to her. Am I even making any sense?”
“I really couldn’t care less if you made sense, Shim. Did you just hear yourself? We’ve turned into a bunch of fucking housewives,” Yunho spits out a little disgustedly. “No offence to housewives since I guess my mother is one in a way. but look at us. If my father could see me now he’d probably have a heart attack.”
“Speaking of your father…”
“Don’t ask, Changmin. You really don’t want to know.”
“But I do.”
“Ok, put it this way. If I told you, I may actually have to kill you.”
Changmin’s eyes widen at the seriousness in the man’s voice, missing the twinkle in Yunho’s eyes. He leans back, away from his friend, fiddling nervously with his bottle. His eyes dart down to the man’s torso, Yunho never bothering to put on his shirt again after Jae had asked him to take it off in the first dare.
He takes in the intricate detail of the tattoo, unconsciously leaning closer to get a better look.
And he suddenly realises that the kois are not just kois. Their bodies are made up of words.
The lettering is so very small, and made to look so much like the scales of the fish that is is very very easy to miss. The detail is remarkable, and simply exquisite, whoever tattooed Yunho is a master of his craft, no doubt about it. The kois are huge, as big as Yunho’s hands, flanking the centre of his belly where the tail of the phoenix drops.
And as he looks closer, he realises that the phoenix’s tail too is made up of words.
Or rather, a symbol.
A very familiar symbol to the former history major.
Changmin’s eyes fly up to meet Yunho’s unreadable gaze, feeling a true shiver coursing through his body as the older man crooks an eyebrow.
“I told you I may have to kill you.”
“Oh dear fuck… you have got to be fucking with me. And here I thought you were a simple med student who’d decided to drop out of school to have a change of lifestyle or something.”
“I did have a change of lifestyle,” Yunho is trying to hide his amusement at the man’s clear horror. Really, Changmin is rather unobservant where it matters. But then again, he cannot expect the very straight man to look this closely at his torso. He does not bother hiding who he is, because he knows it isn’t actually very well known in the part of Seoul that he’s in. Meeting those unforgivably rude Japanese twins had been the first time anyone has recognised him for who he is since he opened Mirotic. It probably helps that most of his clients are simpering girls who only know about hearts and fucking hello kitties.
His mouth thins into a straight line as he remembers those twins. He hates to do it, but they need to be dealt with. They can bow and apologise all they like, but the fact that they touched Jaejoong, requires recompense. It cannot go out on the street, and especially not back to his father, that he had let someone get away with touching what is his.
Is he admitting that Jaejoong is his then?
“You are…fuck, hyung. What the hell?”
“Are you going to keep your mouth shut about it?” Yunho’s voice has a mild teasing lilt to it, but the look in his eyes is anything but. He has been allowed to live free from that life when he had left Japan, but really, you can remove the man from the family, but you cannot remove the family from the man. He is where he is by the grace of his mother, his father’s most favoured and beloved partner. She had wanted him brought up as normal as possible, but Yunho is still his father’s son.
“Do you even have to ask? How long have we known each other? I know what a good person you are and…and…” Changmin is at a loss for words as a whole new dimension has just been added onto his reticent friend. A friend who is far more easy going than even himself. A friend who smiles readily, and helps old ladies cross the road, and old men onto the bus. A friend who will not hesitate to help another in need no matter the cost to himself.
If he is right about that symbol and the markings around it…then this man, his friend…
…is the previously MIA youngest son of the head of the biggest and strongest yakuza family in the world.
“Hyung…oh god my legs are actually shaking.”
Yunho laughs, leaning forward to clamp a hand on the man’s knee. “Chill, Min-ah. I’m still the same person.”
“Yes, with the ability to slice and dice people at the blink of an eye.”
“I’ve never sliced and diced anything that wasn’t already dead.” Yunho smirks. “Or do you want to hear about all the volunteers I got when my father found out I got accepted at medical school?” He chuckles as Changmin’s eyes take on a stark edge. “Seriously, chill. I’m just kidding.”
“Do you honestly expect me to chill? How the fuck did you end up here? Excuse my language. Fuck. I don’t even know how I’m supposed to act around you. Hyung, what the hell?”
“Would it help if I ordered you to chill?” Yunho asks half-seriously. Changmin really looks like he’s seen a ghost.
“Yes?” Changmin answers a little unsurely. He is honestly a little shaken. Ok, a lot shaken. He had suspected, especially with the way the Japanese twins had reacted, but he had expected Yunho to be normal yakuza.
Is there even such a thing as normal yakuza?
Whatever it is, Yunho is about as far from normal as possible. His family’s presence is strongly felt in almost 40 out of the 47 Japanese prefectures, and is the most international out of all the operating yakuza clans. At least, according to that paper on crime families that Changmin took back in college. In fact, if he recalls rightly, Yunho is probably what might be considered as yakuza royalty if they actually had such a thing, with his mother coming from a powerful Korean yakuza background herself. He actually recalls reading about the loosening of the strings by the oyabun over his sons, especially the youngest whose whereabouts, at the time of his class, were stated as unknown.
Well, he sure knows what happened to that stray youngest son.
“Where is Jae when I need him? I need his runaway mouth right now so I can stop thinking about this.”
“There’s nothing to think about. And for the love of all the gods, do not mention this to Nic or the kid.”
“I think Nic suspects as well. She’s not stupid, hyung.”
“You won’t hurt her, right?” Changmin has to ask, hating himself for it, but he is seriously on the back foot right now and continuing to back pedal like crazy.
Yunho places his bottle down onto the coffee table with a firm thud. He stares at his friend, eyes betraying nothing, before he finally speaks.
“Changmin, I’m only going to say this once. You are like family. In fact, I consider you my brother. Nicole is yours, and therefore she is part of the family. If anyone messes with you, they will answer to me. If you mess with me, I will just slap you around for being a stupid kid brother but other than that, you are in no danger and neither is she.”
Silence between the two men, as Changmin considers Yunho’s words carefully.
Yunho picks up his drink, sipping from it as he watches the younger man. This is not exactly the best time for the subject to come up, especially since he is really feeling out of sorts himself thanks to the kid throwing him for a loop with every innocent smile and doe-eyed promise of more if he likes.
“Does that mean I’m yakuza too?” Changmin teases, feeling a huge measure of relief at his hyung’s quiet words, finally processing through them.
Yunho lets out a sharp burst of laughter, chuckling as he shakes his head. “No, but you really don’t want to be. Knowing you and your insubordinate ways, you’d be down to three fingers before the week is up.”
“They still practice that?”
“Still?” Yunho quirks an amused brow. “We never stopped.”
Changmin darts a quick look down to Yunho’s hands. The long fingers with the over-large knuckles.
“You clearly toed the line then.” Changmin nods towards Yunho’s hands.
“Hardly. Do these look like full yakuza tattoos to you?” Yunho turns to show off his back.
“Westernised yakuza? Your family’s reach is very extensive, hyung. And you’re the favoured son, aren’t you?”
“True, to a point.”
Yunho’s tone, yet again, does not invite further conversation and if Changmin is being honest with himself, he is more than happy to leave it where it is. He sits back, trying to remember where the conversation left off before it got so side tracked. He definitely understands now why Yunho chose to pass on his truth in the previous round because trying to explain those tattoos would mean revealing who he is.
He smirks at the thought of Yunho trying to explain the one-eyed snake to the kid. That truth had been his, primarily because he did want to find out about Yunho’s tattoos, and since neither Nicole nor the kid have tattoos, he had to amend it to body mods should the question have landed on either of them.
“Do I want to know what you’re grinning about? It seems to be at my expense.” Yunho observes drily as he takes another sip of his drink. He is finding that he actually misses the kid, and the way he steals his drink.
“If you must know, that question you passed to Jae was mine. I was just regretting saying body mods because that’s the only reason why you passed it on wasn’t it?”
“You do know that they’re going to find out eventually, right? Jae is flighty, but he is smart, and I doubt Nicole would forget the terror on those boys’ faces from yesterday when they realised who you were.”
“Drop it, Min.”
And Changmin does with a sigh.
“So what were you going to ask me earlier? Something about the Nicole school of Jaejoong? Whatever the fuck that means.”
“Did you put in that Kiss B dare?”
“I see…” Changmin’s expression is thoughtful.
“Because neither did Nicole or I.”
Yunho coughs as his beer goes down the wrong tube, sputtering as he chokes, trying to clear his airwaves.
Changmin thumps him on his back helpfully, till Yunho manages to regain his breath.
“Please tell me you’re fucking with me.”
“Nope. Nicole wouldn’t lie about this, or anything really, and why would I lie to you when I know you can probably cleave me in half in my sleep?”
“You really need to quit those jokes, Min.”
“Sorry,” Changmin grins, somewhat repentant. “But seriously, do you still think the kid’s innocent?”
Changmin cannot hide his surprise as he watches Yunho peeling the label from his beer bottle, lost in thought.
“He may have put that in, but I’m pretty sure he had no idea what it was.”
Before Changmin can continue asking, the door bursts open and a giggling teenager runs into the room, heading straight for Yunho.
“Save me! Yunho, save me!”
Yunho almost loses his breath as the rather lanky teen throws himself onto his lap, scrambling madly across his legs, and actually manhandling him to lean forward so he can hide behind his back. It happens so fast that by the time Yunho realises what has happened, he has a gasping and giggling teenager with his nose buried against the back of his neck.
A furious Nicole, and it is understandable why she is furious when the older men catch sight of her, walks in.
“What happened to you?”
“Ask that no-good brat.” Nicole bites out as she heads to the back to change.
“It’s not my fault the puppy peed on you!” Jaejoong sings out, hiding immediately as Nicole turns to take a menacing step towards him.
“It is your goddamn fault for picking it up in the first place!”
“But it was so cute.”
“And now I stink.”
“It’s not my fault he liked you so much he wanted to go home with you. Is that how hyung caught you?”
“Did he mark you like the puppy?”
“Jaejoong, what is the matter with you?” Nicole yells shrilly, coming back and actually stomping her foot.
The older men watch, utterly bemused as the blonde with the soaked tank top, hair coming free from her pony tail growls at the kid cowering behind Yunho’s broad form.
“Yunho, you need to do something about his mouth, I swear to god his filter is not just broken, it’s non-existent. I almost died at the shop when he asked the man behind the counter if he knew how to pop cherries. And then he challenged the guy to a cherry popping contest. The man had no fucking idea what to do, and I had to drag his ridiculous ass out of the shop because some fucker in the back offered to pop his cherry.”
“Which shop is this?” Yunho’s voice is a dark growl, but Nicole doesn’t notice.
“The one—“ she is choked off, as Changmin covers her mouth, holding onto the girl and shaking his head at Yunho.
Nicole struggles violently, ripping Changmin’s hand from her mouth and elbowing him hard in the chest.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Nicole whirls around, shoving Changmin back before turning back to glare at the two still on the couch. “Yunho, seriously, you need to muzzle the boy. He asked the man with the puppy if he’s seen a one-eyed snake before. I think I’m actually going to cry.”
“What’s wrong with asking that? I’ve never seen a one-eyed snake before and since he had tattoos, I thought why not ask?” Jaejoong retorts defensively, still huddled behind Yunho, peeking out over the man’s right shoulder at the extremely irate blonde.
“Stop yelling, noona. I’m not deaf. I really am sorry the dog decided to pee on you. And I’m sorry about the shop even though I have no idea why asking someone to pop cherries with me is such a big deal, but I’m not sorry about asking the man with the tattoos about a one-eyed snake because Yunho won’t show his to me!”
“I give up! Here, you take the fucking ice cream.” Nicole shoves the plastic bag she is holding against Changmin’s chest as she storms off into his back room.
The only sound after the blonde hurricane disappears with a dramatic slam of the door is Jaejoong’s very loud sigh.
Yunho can feel the boy’s breath across his bare back as he huffs sadly.
“What happened, kid?”
Jaejoong shakes his head, looking extremely mournful as he pulls his legs up, fitting them somehow behind Yunho, forcing the man to move forward as he turns around to gaze at the beleaguered teen.
“I don’t know. Noona is really turning into my sisters. They yell at me like that sometimes. Once, I even made Suk Jin noona cry, and I don’t even know why.”
“Do you really not know why?” Changmin asks, as the boy tilts his head up, his large doe eyes shimmering.
“No. Jin Hee noona scolds them when they yell at me.”
“You don’t think it has something to do with how you speak?”
“I speak like a normal person!”
“No, you don’t.”
“I speak like you and hyung and noona. What do you mean I don’t speak like a normal person?” Jaejoong’s brow furrows deeply indeed as he stares at Yunho. “Are you saying I’m a freak?”
“I’m not saying you’re a freak, but you honestly do say the weirdest shit.”
“Oh,” Jaejoong waves an airy hand, though his eyes still hold a little hurt within them. “If you’re talking about the whole poop thing, it’s because we learned about those dung beetles in class the other day.”
“And the piss?”
“Well, you’re the one who brought it up,” Jaejoong pokes Yunho’s shoulder. “You said you can’t clean with piss and I learned that piss is mostly water, so I was just enlightening you.”
“And the…” Yunho takes a deep breath. “Semen and sperm?”
“We had sex ed.”
“You’ve done sex ed?”
Jaejoong nods, smiling slightly. “I’m not that silly you know.”
“So why in god’s name do you think it’s alright to talk about cherry popping to strangers?” Yunho asks, his tone thoroughly exasperated.
“What do cherries have anything to do with sex ed?” Jaejoong asks, thoroughly perplexed.
“Ok, forget the cherries. You really haven’t heard the term one-eyed snake?”
“Well, apparently it’s a scary tattoo you don’t want to show me. I only know of one-eyed monsters called Cyclops because I’m taking a Greek mythology elective in school. I know of multi-headed serpents like the Hydra, which I think are cool by the way,” Jaejoong’s eyes lose the tinge of hurt, brightening slightly. “Can you add to your one-eyed snake and give it a second eye and make it multi-headed?”
Changmin, who has been watching the entire exchange carefully comes to the same conclusion Nic does, though he voices it differently, feeling a tad smug and gleeful.
“Hyung,” he calls out, his smirk widening as Yunho turns towards him, his expression truly pained. “I think he can sleep in your room tonight.”
“Really!” Jaejoong’s voice brightens considerably yet again, choosing to ignore the initial no.
“Yes,” Nicole interrupt, wearing new clothes and smelling like disinfectant, glaring at Yunho. “He can sleep with you, and give the two of us peace because I swear I might actually strangle him tonight if you don’t protect him.”
Changmin snorts loudly, but says nothing.
“Don’t you love me, noona?” Jaejoong asks, his voice small, and a little downcast. While he likes the idea of sharing Yunho’s room, he doesn’t like that he has somehow driven the blonde noona to consider committing violent acts against his person.
“Kid…it’s because I love you that you’re sleeping with Yunho tonight.” Nicole placates.
“You love me?”
Nicole huffs. “It’s impossible not to because you are so fucking impossible. I have a kid brother like you back home, and while he is by far and large nowhere close to being as stupendously innocent as you, your lack of self-preservation and ability to be both annoying and endearing reminds me of him. Trust me when I say that the more I love you, the more I will yell at you.”
“Does that mean you love hyung heaps then?” Jaejoong asks curiously. He had noticed the weird atmosphere earlier, when Nicole had refused to look at the piercer after his confession. And she really does yell at Changmin hyung a lot.
“Nic…” Changmin starts, but the blonde lifts a hand up, almost face palming him in the process.
“Don’t. Not right now. Don’t even think about it. We can talk about this later while those two,” she nods towards a smiling Yunho and a pouting Jaejoong, “sort their own shit out. If Yunho can last one night without wanting to do bad things to the kid, I will gladly listen to your mushy words and try my damnedest not to throw up.”
“This girl is such a prize,” Changmin shakes his head ruefully at the blonde who merely sniffs irritatedly as she heads to the couches, sitting opposite the other two. “What did I do to deserve you?”
“Look in the mirror and you’ll get your answer,” she answers snippily.
“Why are all of you so violent? Does Yunho want to commit violent acts against my person too?” Jaejoong asks a little grumpily as he shoulders Yunho aside, making the man move along the couch so he can stretch his cramped legs.
“You’re not afraid?” Changmin asks curiously at the pouting teen.
“Should I be? Is he going to skewer me alive or something?”
Nicole groans loudly, burying her head in her hands, muttering to herself.
For the first time in his life, Yunho actually considers running away. Jaejoong’s mouth is more lethal to him than a band of yakuza from an opposing clan. At least that, he knows how to deal with. This? He has no fucking clue. The kid is not just impossible, he is just beyond hope, period. Skewer him alive? Of all the damn things in the fucking world to say…
“Jae, why do you choose the words you use the way you do?” Changmin asks the teen, feeling a little bad at the deep furrow in his brow. The kid honestly looks as confused as they all feel. Probably more.
“What do you mean?”
“Why did you say skewer?”
Jaejoong shrugs, lifting the collar of his teeshirt to rub his nose mournfully. “I don’t know. It was the first thing that came to mind because we passed by a street hawker selling skewered pieces of barbequed meat and I wanted to buy some but noona said no.”
Nicole raises her head, blinking away the actual tears in her eyes. Her expression is vaguely surprised, and it shows in her tone. “That’s right. He did. We did.”
“Why is everyone so mad at me about how I talk? I don’t understand. Can someone please explain to me?”
Yunho sighs, honestly, this is getting them nowhere. The kid is growing more and more agitated, and he probably feels ganged up on now.
“Drop it, Min.” He orders, his hand reaching out to pat the kid’s thigh the way the teenager has been doing to him through most of the day. “It’s ok. You talk just fine. I guess we’re just not used to holding lengthy conversations with teenagers and we just need to wrap our minds around it.”
“Do teenagers really talk differently to old people?”
“Did you just call me old?”
Jaejoong breaks into a small grin. “You called me kid, so I can call you old. But you don’t really look old. How old are you?”
“Oh…you’re not that old. My noona is older.”
“And yet she’s fine with leaving you here by yourself?”
“I’ve been to sleepovers before.”
“Really? How old were you?”
Changmin and Nicole start laughing, causing both Yunho and Jaejoong to turn towards them. The cool blonde is back in Changmin’s lap, and Jaejoong briefly wonders if he can refer to him as her boyfriend now.
“Sleepovers at ten are vastly different to sleepovers at seventeen, kid.”
“You’re seventeen?” Yunho asks, trying to hide his surprise. He had actually thought Jaejoong to be younger. Sixteen maybe. Seventeen he can deal with.
And he smashes the thought even as he thinks it.
Hulk smashes it even.
What the hell is wrong with him?
“Noonaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” Jaejoong wails unhappily, sending a glare at the girl who acknowledges it with a wince.
“I’m sorry, baby.”
“What are you going to call me next? Fetus?” Jaejoong huffs in disgust, folding his arms, his jaw set in a mutinous line.
“If the shoe fits. Or baby bootie.” Changmin teases, making Nicole grin and kiss the man soundly on the mouth.
“Leave that for later please,” Yunho waves an annoyed hand at the canoodling pair. He gets a double bird for his trouble, but the tall couple do pull apart.
“So are we still playing?” Changmin asks, stroking Nicole hair as she latches lazily onto his throat.
Jaejoong looks at his watch, frowning slightly. “It’s not even eight. I want to do more dares. Your dares are more fun than the ones we have in school.”
“Oh I’ll bet,” Nicole chuckles against Changmin’s throat before turning to smirk at the teenager, as well as the brooding man next to him. Somehow, the kid has managed to worm his way under Yunho’s arm again. Or rather, Yunho lets him.
“What kind of dares do you get in school?”
Jaejoong wrinkles his nose as he starts listing them out. “Seven minutes in heaven. Steal a girl’s underwear from the locker rooms. Walk around without underwear for a whole day. Wear a bra for a whole day. Run—“
“Wear a bra for a whole day?” Nicole echoes before bursting into laughter. “How did that go for you?”
“How did you know I had to do it?” Jaejoong pouts. “It was the most uncomfortable thing ever. What made it worse was that it was on the day of the school play and I was supposed to be the lion in the Wizard of Oz. It was the worst day ever. A hot and sweaty costume, plus this horrid contraption on my chest. And I’d just gotten my nipple pierced too so it ached like the devil. I had to ice it in between scenes. I really think it was unfair because if a girl had to do it, she’d have to wear boxers. Boxers are like shorts. Bras are like torture devices. I don’t know how you wear bras, noona.”
“Who says I’m wearing a bra?”
Jaejoong’s eyes drop to Nicole’s chest as both older men start chuckling. He leans forward, and actually stares pointedly at her boobs.
“You really are a cheeky sod. If you were someone else I would’ve boxed your ears for staring at me like that.”
Jaejoong leans back, settling against Yunho’s side as he purses his lips at the amused blonde. “How do you tell if someone is wearing a bra or not?”
Nicole laughs and stands up, bouncing on the balls of her feet.
Jaejoong stares at her chest, his head tilted, practically on Yunho’s shoulder as he stares at the bouncing, jiggling blonde.
“I think the better indication are your nipples,” he observes matter of factly, causing both men to burst into laughter and Nicole to cross her arms over her chest. “Did you have both nipples pierced at the same time?”
“Why did I even start this?” Nicole mutters, half to herself as she sits back down on Changmin’s lap. “I must be going insane.”
“Yes, she did, but I didn’t do it, mores the pity.” Changmin answers for his girlfriend, who smacks his arm, but says nothing.
Jaejoong turns to look at Yunho who is still chuckling. “So can hyung pierce my nipple? Noona has hers pierced, and since I work here too, I should match her, shouldn’t I? We can have identical piercings.”
“Then you best think about piercing your snake.” Changmin reveals, getting a very sharp jab to the chest, and pinking girlfriend in his arms.
The teenager is momentarily distracted by Changmin’s words. “I don’t have a snake. I don’t want a tattoo of a creature. Maybe later, and only if it’s not one-eyed. I want my first tattoo to be words.”
“What words?” Yunho asks curiously, gazing at the beautiful boy with the impossibly smooth porcelain skin. The idea of marking him is at that very moment, more appealing that anything he can imagine. And that is saying a lot.
He wants to mark the boy as his, and what better way than to do it with ink?
Jaejoong reddens slightly, looking down and playing with the hem of his teeshirt. “Don’t laugh at me.”
“Why would we laugh at you?”
He looks up, his gaze a little rebellious, eyes filling with hurt and mild accusation, as he stares at the adults looking at him. “Haven’t you been laughing at me all day? Sometimes I always feel like the butt of the joke, but I enjoy seeing all of you laugh so much that it doesn’t hurt as much as it does in school.”
“Jae…” Nicole starts, pulling herself away from Changmin’s arms and standing up. She crosses over to the other couch, shooing Yunho, making him move over. Her intention was to sit between the man and the teen, but the kid has a bloody magnet attached to him, following Yunho across the couch and so she settles for sitting on his other side.
She pulls the boy into her arms, ruffling his hair softly before wiping a thumb across his sulky pout. “We’re not laughing at you, ok? We’re laughing with you, and to be honest, we’re mostly laughing at ourselves. I know I most certainly am. You do say the most godawful, truly staggering things, but it is not your fault that we take your words differently from how you mean them.”
Jaejoong bites playfully at the blonde girl’s thumb, his bottom teeth sinking into the pad of her thumb briefly, before he pulls away and continues to pout. He angles his body into the blonde, snuggling against her, his head on her shoulder and his back to Yunho.
“What do you mean?”
Nicole looks over the boy’s dark head to gaze over at Yunho. His expression is blank, as he stares at the teenager in her arms, so she’s not getting help from there. She looks over at Max who just nods at her.
“Ok, take dinner for example. You know how you talked about liking to suck on teabags?”
“Nic, no…” Yunho starts, but the teenager straightens and turns, his eyes hooded with a fair amount of hurt still left in them.
“Do you want people to keep laughing at me? I tell everyone I like to suck on teabags because I prefer my tea strong not weak. And it seems a waste to leave it like that. I like bitter things almost as much as I like sweet things, so please let her explain because people have laughed at me about it before but not the way you three did.”
Yunho has no defence against a sad little kitten like that, and so he sighs, tilting his head back to stare at the ceiling. Maybe he should run to the bathroom so he’ll miss Nicole’s enlightening explanation.
The blonde takes a deep breath, nuzzling the teenager who is stroking and petting her thigh as he huffs quietly. “Ok, so they probably don’t teach you this in sex-ed because if they do then South Korea really isn’t as uptight as I thought it was. Tea-bagging is a term for when a man dips his balls into his partner’s mouth during sex.”
Jaejoong freezes mid stroke of Nicole’s thigh. He shuts his eyes, groaning inwardly as he recalls exactly how many people he has shared that apparently juicy piece of information with. No wonder they laughed at him. He’d laugh at him too.
Oh dear god.
His eyes fly open as he turns around to look at Yunho, his expression mildly horrified.
“You almost tea bagged me today!”
He did not just say that.
He did not just say that.
Changmin’s raucous laughter and Nicole’s slightly more subdued chuckles tell him otherwise.
He really should have fucking gone to the bathroom.
Yunho opens his eyes, turning to face the teen who is surprisingly, not pink. “Jaejoong, you really cannot blurt out every single damn thought that comes to your mind.”
“Because…” actually, Yunho has no idea why.
Because you make me want to kiss you just to shut you up.
Because you make me want to touch you and stroke you, punishing you for being such an incurable tease.
Because you make me want to claim you as my own, to protect you from even yourself, because the world is too nasty a place for a boy like you.
“Because…?” Jaejoong prompts, squeezing his knee.
Yunho’s eyes drop to that small hand, looking so right over his knee.
“You are just a babe.”
“You remind me of the babe,” Nicole sings, trying to distract the teenager.
“Babe with the power.” Nicole grins, realising the kid knows the song.
“Power of voodoo.”
“Do what?” Jaejoong beams.
“Remind me of the babe!” Nicole finishes, collapsing into giggles as Jaejoong digs his fingers into her sensitive sides, giggling right along with her.
“Did you get that?” Yunho asks his friend who is eyeing the two of them with a rueful smile on his face.
“That.” Yunho nods towards the cuddling duo. Really, the ice blonde, ass-kicking girl has turned into a teenager. Not that he minds this softer side of the girl, but he is already having trouble trying to manage one teenager, he really doesn’t need a second one.
Changmin shrugs. “No, but he’s smiling again. I prefer happy puppy with a wagging tail rather than lost puppy or sad little kitten.”
“There’s a sad little kitten?” Jaejoong’s ears perk up, straightening, moving away from the girl as he looks around. “Where? I like pussies.”
AN1: Don’t ask…don’t ask don’t ask don’t ask… IDEK either. I’m going to punch a wall soon because my fucking muses are taking me on this ridiculous joy ride and they’re just cackling away as I flail after them, begging them to let me go OTL
AN2: Can Jaejoong tame this man whose very blood is imbued in the blood of countless others? COUGH
AN3: Also, NICOLE IS NOT ME. My name is NOT Nicole.