All skin and no shame

...innocence is just an illusion...


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YJ01
beeswaxing

Title: I’m Wishing On A Star
Pairing: Yunho/Jaejoong
Length: Oneshot
Rating: R
Genre: Fantasy, fluff, supernatural, a little non-AU
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the story.
Warning: VERY BRIEF, mild underage kissing.

Summary: A little boy makes a wish, not realizing that all magic has a price…even the magic of Christmas.</i>

AN: I feel rusty writing something like this but no matter… Happy 10th Anniversary and Happy Holidays everyone… May the holidays bring joy to you and your loved ones, and maybe…just maybe we’ll find some magic too…


~~~
I’m wishin’ on a star
To follow where you are
I’m wishin’ on a dream
To follow what it means…
~~~


The little boy pouts as his parents pay more attention to his younger sister than to him. He likes the noisy little thing about as much as any other big brother, but really, enough is enough. It’s Christmas and surely he deserves some attention. It’s not like she’s a brand new present. She’s been around practically a year but looking at the way his parents act, you’d think Santa only just dropped her in a sack that morning for everyone to marvel at.

Yes, she’s very pretty and cute and the way she follows him around and bugs him makes him secretly smile, though he’d never admit it to anyone, not even his parents.

But enough is enough.

He wants some attention too.

He stares sadly as his parents coo at the gurgling toddler, before he quietly leaves the table, slipping out the door and into the living area.

There is a great big tree in the living room.

A first for him, and he remembers the awe he’d felt at how small he is in relation to the giant tree. Why, the tip practically touches the ceiling!

The young boy steps forward, inhaling the fragrant pine needles which tickle his nose and make him sneeze.

The sound seems loud in the empty room, but sadly, not even his sneezing brings either of his parents to him.

The little boy steps back, tilting his head till he can see the very pinnacle of the tree where a bright star is perched.

When his father had first unveiled it, he’d been upset.

Stars are meant to be white, or maybe even yellow.

Stars are not meant to be red.

But his father said that it’s a special star, the only one of its kind, and the adorable little boy believes him for his father is the world to him. When he grows up, he wants to be just like his father.

His smooth brow furrows.

With one tiny amendment.

If he has two children, he won’t forget the first one.

He stares at the red star.

It twinkles at him.

The little boy blinks, shaking his head, wondering if he’s imagining it.

He steps back a little further to get a better view and to ease the ache in his neck.

The star twinkles at him once again.

“Oh,” the young boy gasps. And the star twinkles in reply.

The tall, almost four year old takes another step back, feeling unafraid for it is just as his father had said.

The star is special.

”Make a wish…”

A whisper in the windless room caresses the child, a breathy young voice of another child, but that voice is so pure like the sound of tinkling bells and the chime of crystal drops.

“What?” the little boy looks around wildly, trying to find the source of the voice. The voice seems to very loud, yet so very soft. His eyes dart to the door to the living room, and yet again he is disappointed as it remains shut.

No parents to come to his rescue from the voice.

”Make a wish…”

He scrunches his eyes shut, hands clasped tight. He can feel tingles and ripples as if the air itself is moving around him, and he is starting to feel a brief sense of alarm.

But just as the alarm increases, a strange warmth wraps itself around him. A warmth that is familiar to him, for he recognizes its touch.

Love.

He calms down.

”Make a wish…”

“I wish…” he stops. What does he want? “I wish…” the almost four year old chews on his pouty bottom lip. A bad habit that his mother is trying to break him out of. “I wish…”

”Make a wish for yourself…”

His eyes spring open in surprise, mouth dropping open. “How did you know?” he demands, his voice loud in the silent room. He’d been about to wish a wish for his parents and his sister even though they’re all aggravating him at the moment. But he is the kind of little boy who can never wish ill on someone, and in his little three year old wisdom, he decides to make a happy wish for them.

”Make a wish for yourself…”

His eyes are drawn to the twinkling red star sitting atop the tall Christmas tree. The twinkling is so bright, he wonders how its light hasn’t penetrated the walls to alert his parents as to what is happening. The warmth around him intensifies. He feels safe, protected, and so very loved. A feeling he is missing from his parents’ that day as his sister takes her first steps, her achievement eclipsing the significance of the day itself for him. He doesn’t like being left alone, and a little surge of selfishness that has been hiding within him rears its head.

“I wish to have someone that is just mine, always and forever.”



He is woken by someone playing with his toes.

The little boy scrunches his face, grumbling about it as he tries to hide his feet under the covers, only to find his body bare of covers.

He opens his eyes, surprised, yet unsurprised at what he finds.

“Hello.”

He sits up quickly, scooting backwards till his head bangs against the headboard of his bed.

In a flash, the one who’d greeted him is by his side, rubbing his head, his little lips framing a perfect ‘O’ of dismay.

“I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to surprise you. I thought you were expecting me.”

He shakes his head, and the strange person stops rubbing.

“You weren’t expecting me?”

He nods.

The newcomer pouts, taking his hands back, he clasps them in front of him and tilts his head, staring at the wide-eyed boy in the bed. “I’m confused.”

Little Jung Yunho is just as confused, resisting the urge to scratch his head and touch where the angelic child has touched him, oddly missing the contact, and wondering how he might be able to get more. He doesn’t think banging his head again will be a good idea though. The boy…or girl, he’s not sure yet, looks like one of the cherub sculptures he’s seen in church.

There is not other description for the chubby child who looks about his age.

“What’s your name?”

The angel pouts even more. “I know your name, why don’t you know mine?” His eyes dim for a brief moment, before they suddenly brighten. “Oh! I forgot!”

To Yunho’s shock, the child leans forward, pressing his pouty mouth against his lips in a brief kiss that tastes of peppermint candy.

Yunho’s mouth parts, and a name escapes in a breathy whisper just as the other child pulls back.

“Jaejoong.”



He’s not an angel.

Yunho is struggling to hold onto the memories of the little boy from the previous night who’d shown him wonders even beyond his own imagination. The glowing, giggling boy had pulled the covers over their heads, and when he’d pulled them back, Yunho had found himself in a room not his own, and yet it is.

”This is my room!”

Yunho looks around, taking in the familiar yet unfamiliar.

“It looks like mine.”

“Of course it does, silly,” Jaejoong pokes his cheek cheerfully as he bounces out of bed. “I am yours and what is yours is also mine.” He hurries to the bedroom door before turning and cocking his head at the still boy in the bed. “Are you coming? We’ve got lots to do and I want more peppermint candy.”

“What if my parents see you?”

Jaejoong beams. “You have me. You don’t need anyone else.”

And apparently, that is that. Yunho is too young to question it, and for the moment, it makes sense to him. His sense of curiosity and adventure far outweighs the strange events and in the back of his mind is the thought that perhaps this is just a dream, and if it is, he will enjoy it.

Exiting the door tells him instantly that he is no longer in his home.

He’s not even sure if he’s in Korea.

People of all shapes and sizes and colors are bustling around. For a little boy who is used to only seeing Koreans, seeing a pretty girl with flowing blonde hair pat his Jaejoong on the head before kissing his cheek makes his mouth drop.

“Why don’t you introduce me to your new friend?” the beautiful girl with the sparkling blue eyes and long blonde hair coaxes the vibrating Jaejoong who is rocking on the balls of his feet, mouth tugged into a smile so bright he is practically incandescent.

“This is Yunnie! I’m his.”

“Ah,” the girl’s smile widens as she gestures for Yunho to step forward.

The little boy suddenly remembers his manners despite the sudden attack of shyness as he bends over as far as he can go, almost toppling headlong to the floor, but a steady hand against his shoulder stays him. The giggle in his ear is like music as Jaejoong cautions him to be careful, still accompanied by a brilliant smile.

“So you found your elf?”

“My elf?” Yunho’s wrinkles his nose. “What elf?”

“I’m an elf, silly!”

And before Yunho can react, he gets another peppermint filled kiss to the mouth. He licks at his lips, tasting the sweet candy, and he wonders briefly if Jaejoong will always taste like Christmas. To a three-almost-four year old boy, Christmas means candy canes.

He pulls back to cast a serious eye over the beaming little boy next to him. He leans forward to check his ears.

“Aha!”

“What?” the blonde girl and Jaejoong chorus together, their voices sounding like the chiming of bells.

Familiar bells.

“You don’t have pointy ears.”

Jaejoong pouts. “I’m growing into them, ok? I’m still small.”

“You’re kinda round,” Yunho points out, the honesty of a young child is something even other young children need to contend with.

Jaejoong’s mouth drops open, as the blonde girl chuckles.

“He’s perfect for you, baby Jae.” She straightens, ruffling the indignant round boy’s hair, chuckling as she does so. “You’re just as blunt. Who was it that told me I looked better as a blonde than a brunette?”

“Me,” comes the pouty response.

Yunho notices his new friend’s eyes are twinkling merrily though despite the pout, and he heaves an inward sigh of relief. Wanting to take attention from his slip, he turns to the beautiful tall blonde girl.

“What do you mean he’s my elf?”

She holds out her hand, and he grabs it, noticing that Jaejoong grabs her other hand as they walk down a giant hallway full of people running back and forth. Everyone pauses, to shout a greeting at them, but no one ever waits for a response. Yunho learns that the girl’s name is Joy.

“Every year, some special children get an elf. Some years, no children get any elves for they are all much too naughty or they are in no need of an elf. Jaejoong here has been waiting for you for years.”

“Four years?”

Tinkling bells cascade over the little boy as the blond laughs. “Much, much, much, longer than four years my little Yunnie.”

Yunho skips a little ahead to try and look around the girl’s long legs at his new companion who grins at him and does a little finger waggle in place of a wave, which brings a smile to Yunho’s face as he falls back in line with the other two.

“But he looks my age!”

“He’s a little older than you, love.”


He’s not an angel.

And the little boy knows he isn’t dreaming, for he can still taste the sweet, sticky peppermint on his lips as his Jaejoongie kissed him goodbye at the end of the night.

~~~
I never thought I’d see
A time when you would be
So far away from home
So far away from me…
~~~


“I think he’s forgotten me.”

Joy stares at Jaejoong kicking dispiritedly out at his bed. His room is transformed, growing along with the boy he is bound to. Pictures of girls adorn the walls, and yet, she knows neither boy cares about them. It is just something expected of Yunho, and whatever interests Yunho, interests Jaejoong too.

“It’s only been one month, love.”

“One month, two months, three months, forever.” Jaejoong’s reply is filled with gloom, completely at odds with his normally effervescent personality. All the older elves know what’s in store for the thirteen year old, but for the first time in their history, they no longer have any idea what to expect, for everything related to Yunho and Jaejoong is already different to anything they have ever experienced since humans walked the earth.

Yunho has been a fixture in their world since the two boys met all those years ago.

Joy always has to intervene, to make it seem like Yunho is dreaming at the end of every night, but the older they get, the harder it becomes. They are not meant to breach the thin veil between the two worlds, but Yunho has come across so often that she knows that her powers will be of no use soon.

And then it happens.

Yunho hits puberty.

Someone should have warned Jaejoong.

Heck, she should have warned Jaejoong.

And really, Jaejoong should have known.

She knows that he probably chose to forget though.

And like all the other elves, none of them could bear to remind the beguiling young elf that his days with his ward are numbered.

Only children are allowed to believe in elves you see.

In their world, puberty is the line between childhood and adulthood.

There is another reason why only children are allowed to believe in elves.

Once an adult crosses the divide, they will always remember it, and nothing anyone can do will ever erase the memory, unless that said adult chooses to forget.

Imagine adults believing in elves?

“We lied to him.”

Joy is broken from her brief reverie, to face an anguished Jaejoong. His eyes are so full of sorrow, even she feels his pain.

“What do you mean?”

“You made him wish. You made me make him wish. And he wished for me, but we lied. You lied.”

“It’s not a lie, Jaejoong. You are still his, always and forever.”

“But he doesn’t know that!” The teenage elf wails, pain and anger lacing his voice as he stalks around his room, resisting the urge to kick out at things. The connection between elf and human is so strong that if Jaejoong messes up his room, chances are, Yunho will end up messing up his room too. Unlike Yunho though, Jaejoong answers to nobody.

Well, not quite. He has rules, but no one to bug him like a parent for his messy room.

“I am not an angel.”

“You will be,” Joy adds. “You know this. Have patience, Jaejoong. You’ve spent too much time with him to become this impatient.”

“I don’t want to be one if it means he can never see me again.”

“Jaejoong!”

“Let him speak,” a voice calls out from the doorway.

Joy immediately prostrates, as does Jaejoong, but the latter does it begrudgingly and everyone in the room can feel it.

The man waiting in the doorway never interferes with his elves. He barely interferes with the angels.

However, there’s been so much talk about the only paired human and elf in the last decade that even he knows about them.

Unlike everyone else though, he knows a little more.

But he always works within the realm of choice, which is why he is here.

“Stand up, Jaejoong. Tell me what you want.”

Jaejoong gains his feet slowly, trying to quash the hope in his heart. He misses Yunho more than he can articulate. He’s been around many humans and their elves, but as the term “elf” implies, most of the interactions occur around Christmas where their need is greatest. Contrary to popular belief, the holiday season is not always a time of joy, and children whose attention towards the luster of new toys are diminished for one reason or other are especially in need.

Yunho’s need for Jaejoong though, unlike all the other children and their own elves, outlasted the holiday season. Try as Joy does, and Jaejoong knows she’s tried hard, Yunho always wakes up with a ghost of a memory of his elf. A memory strong enough that it is sustained throughout the day, so much so that Yunho falls asleep every night with the name of his elf on his lips.

An elf is not allowed to ignore the call from their human.

This is Jaejoong’s doing.

The peppermint kisses are a powerful memory trigger, something he’d discovered by accident on the eve of the New Year of their first week together. He has since continued to use this information for his need for Yunho is just as great as the human’s need for him.

There has never in the history that he’s known, where an elf is this tied to their human. Many of the other elves, Joy included, go through dozens upon dozens of children. Sometimes, one elf may have several children attached to them. Jaejoong has never paid any attention to it for he knew he was created for only one reason.

To be Yunho’s everything.

For this reason, he’s always been seen as a quirky elf.

Different.

He’d insisted on staying as a young child for a score of years, till Yunho was finally born, much to the confusion of the other elves.

But no one questions it, for Joy insists they leave him be.

Joy is no elf.

She is the angel who oversees the elves, to help them in their transition towards the upper realms, and to guide them when they need her.

Unfortunately, her powers don’t seem to work on Yunho and Jaejoong.

“Yunho.”

“You need Yunho?”

“Yes,” Jaejoong nods, eyes downcast as he stares at the marble floor.

“Do you know what that means?”

“I know it’s not good for me,” Jaejoong’s voice comes out in a whisper. “I’ve heard the other elves discussing it, though no one seems to want to address it to me directly.”

“That’s because they don’t know, child. Everything is speculation as far as they’re concerned for nothing like this has ever happened before.”

“Did I break heaven?”

The man suddenly laughs, a great big hearty laugh that rolls down the corridors, echoing through every room in the immense complex that houses Jaejoong and his fellow elves.

Everyone stops what they’re doing, frozen by the laughter, the beauty of which mesmerizes them into stillness.

Everything touched by that laughter, pauses to listen.

Even the laughing brook outside the complex in the beautiful gardens of their world stops gurgling, in awe of that sound of mirth.

The only ones not affected are Joy and Jaejoong in the presence of the man, for in a juxtaposition, his presence in the room protects them from his effects.

“You didn’t break heaven, child, but you have definitely stumped almost everyone within it.”

Jaejoong opens his mouth to speak further, but is cut off by a soft whisper in a windless room.

”Jaejoongie…”

The elf crumples over immediately, bending over in pain as the whisper lingers within his room.

Joy’s eyes fill with tears as she sends a hapless look towards the man in the room whose countenance is now serious.

”Jaejoongie…”

The sound grows, and an anguished sound is ripped from Jaejoong’s throat as his will seeks to find his human, but his body is bound by the rules that govern it. He is literally being ripped in half from within.

”Jaejoongie…”

Jaejoong is choking on his pain, his eyes filling with tears as they spill over and streak a hot path down his cheeks.

The man braces himself, knowing what is coming.

Never has this happened.

Never in a million lifetimes.

And it had to happen on his watch.

He hopes Jaejoong is willing to reap what he has sown.

”Jaejoongie, please… I love you…”



Yunho squeezes his eyes shut, the pain in his chest is intense.

For a month, he has gone about his day, wondering why he feels different.

Why he feels heavier.

Why it feels as if a dark cloud has settled over his head.

For a month he has stared listlessly at the walls of his room.

A whole month of barely eating, the slightly pudgy young teenager has practically overnight, not just shot up in height, but also dropped some excess weight.

One month of changes wreaking havoc to his body, with no focal point.

Nothing to ground him.

For almost a decade he’s always had something.

And now that something is gone, and for the life of him, he cannot quite remember what it is that he’s lost.

The memories are like whispers in a strong breeze.

His sister comes in then with a bowl of chicken soup.

“Oppa, umma says you need to eat. You’re a growing boy and she doesn’t want you to become skinny.”

“I don’t care, Jihye.” Yunho turns over, his back to his sister as he curls into himself, stifling the sounds of pain as his chest feels like it has a fist around his heart squeezing the life out of him.

“Oppa…” the almond eyed beauty stares at her brother. She can see he is in pain. She can see the light leaving him about a month or so ago. She doesn’t know what or why, but she wants to fix it. She loves her brother more than he knows and his pain is also her pain though she cannot feel it. She is a kind young girl, growing up being doted on by both parents and her brother, and she is more sensitive than most children her age.

She knows something happened about a month ago, and she can barely recognize her brother now.

Jihye puts her hand into her pocket, drawing out something from a holiday past.

A small candy cane she’d found in her school bag.

It is a little dusty, and grimy, but the plastic wrapping is intact.

She wipes it on her dress, cleaning it as best she can before she steps forward, knees against the side of her brother’s bed as she gazes at his back.

“I know you love Christmas,” she whispers. “I hope this will make you think of Christmas, if even just for a little while,” she drops the candy down his front, before turning and fleeing his bedroom before he has a mind to scold her.

Not that he ever does, but she doesn’t want it to start now in any case. Her brother’s moods have been unpredictable for weeks, and their parents let it pass, knowing he is going through puberty.

Yunho feels the slide of plastic against his skin, and the telltale crinkling sound.

He feels it fall against his chest, the pain easing for a brief moment as he reaches blindly to grasp at the item.

A soft sound of surprise leaves his lips when his fingers curl around the familiar shape of a small candy cane.

The smile that breaks across his face is his first genuine smile in weeks. His sister knows him too well. Christmas is indeed his favorite holiday, and this is his favorite part of the holiday.

Why?

He cannot explain.

How many teenagers look forward to candy canes on Christmas?

Even more so than any gifts.

This teenager at least.

His fingers fumble as he tries to strip the plastic wrapping quickly, his mouth dry and his throat parched. He can feel his heart pounding in anticipation of that first taste, and his saliva glands explode in preparation just as he manages to free the sticky treat from its confines.

The first taste of the sweet, peppermint candy is heaven on his tongue.

Just one second of heaven.

A second of blissful unawareness, a teenager simply happy at being given a sweet treat.

He licks his lips.

Yunho’s entire body stiffens instantly, awareness flooding through him as his mind opens up, freeing the locked memories now triggered by the candy.

He sweeps his tongue across his lush bottom lip.

The sound of breathless giggles fill his ears, laughter at his expense after he’d gotten into trouble for “borrowing” a jar of cookies from Joy.

“Jaejoongie…”

His hand trembles as he raises it to his mouth, rubbing the hooked end of the candy cane across his mouth, eyes staring at the wall opposite, eyes unseeing.

He runs the tip of his tongue along his top lip lightly, tasting the sweet essence left by his candy cane.

He can practically see the pout on the other boy’s face, unhappy at being bested at a game he’d invented. What the game is, is anyone’s guess, but the important thing is that Yunho won and the other boy didn’t.

”You cheated!”

“No, I didn’t! I never cheat!”

“But I’m an elf! How can you beat me?”

Yunho darts quickly forward, pressing up against the smaller boy who lets out a sharp gasp at the contact but he doesn’t move away. He pushes a lock of jet black hair behind his ears, peering at them.

“Still not pointy, Jaejoongie.”

“I’m still growing into them!” The shorter male exclaims huffily pushing his companion away, making Yunho laugh.

“I won! More kisses for me. Come on, and pay up!”

The elf begrudgingly digs into his pocket to unearth what’s left of the very hard to find Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses.

Yes, even in his world they’re impossible to get in the middle of April.


“Jaejoongie…”

Yunho’s voice is hushed, his eyes clenched shut as the memories assault him.

How could he have forgotten?

How long has it been?

Where is his Jaejoongie?

“Jaejoongie…”

Something isn’t right. He can feel it. He’s changed, and therefore something has changed. The pang in his heart grows worse as he chews on his own bottom lip, sucking on it as he clenches his eyes shut, his hand fisting the small candy cane so hard it snaps in half.

“Jaejoongie, please… I love you…”



Yunho hears the sobbing, and he thinks his ears are playing tricks on him.

He opens his eyes and is faced with a wall.

Identical to the wall of his bedroom.

Yet not.

He whirls around instantly, barely registering the other two beings in the room as he sees his elf curled up on the floor sobbing his beautiful eyes out.

Yunho moves in a flurry of limbs still a little too long for him to be able to contend with properly, but he makes it work as he scoops up the crying boy off the floor, mouth pressed against a damp cheek as he whispers his apologies.

“Jaejoongie…Jaejoongie I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I don’t know how I forgot you, but I’m here now. I’m here now. Please don’t cry, love. I love you so much, please don’t cry.”

Their mouths meet for the first time as adults.

Peppermint kisses sprinkled liberally with a tiny hint of salt.

Neither teenager cares, Jaejoong wrapping his arms tightly around Yunho’s neck and he shyly licks at the younger boy’s mouth which parts instantly, their tongues touching gingerly, before they both deepen the kiss instinctively.

Joy and the man exchange glances as the teenaged boys topple back into Jaejoong’s bed, no more flailing limbs.

Instead, both boys are wrapped up against each other, hands stroking and caressing each other’s faces, mouths still fused together.

“You knew this would happen.” Joy remarks softly as she snaps a thin veil between the boys and herself and the man to keep them separate within the room. They can still see the two boys, but neither side can hear the other.

It isn’t a question but a statement, for she knows better.

“There was a possibility. Humans are frail creatures, but the strength in that one is remarkable. He would make a glorious angel.”

“Not an elf?”

“His love is only meant for one. He cannot be shared. Not in a way needed for an elf to share their love.”

“Jaejoong truly was unique then?”

“They both are. We were testing a new theory when Jaejoong came into being.”

“What theory?”

“The red string of fate.”

“What—“ but Joy is cut off for she suddenly catches sight of it.

A red string that seems to flicker with the movements of the teenagers. Jaejoong is on top of Yunho, cupping the younger boy’s face between his hands as he peppers the larger boy with kisses all over his face. The words of love cannot be heard by her, but she can imagine what they sound like, for Jaejoong is practically incandescent once again.

The string is linked from Jaejoong’s pinky finger to Yunho’s.

And no matter how they move, the string never ever gets tangled up.

Not even when Yunho flips them over with a laugh, nuzzling and kissing Jaejoong’s still-not-very-pointy ears and presumably teasing him about them as he is wont to do.

Both Joy and the strange man smile at the boys as they wind down, content to exchange Eskimo kisses as they talk quietly. The happiness emanating from the two is palpable despite the barrier and even the distance.

“They were created for each other.” Joy finally speaks, not taking her eyes off the boys. Jaejoong’s glow is moving to Yunho, and even though she knows it’s technically impossible, her eyes are not deceiving her.

Yunho too is glowing.

“That’s the premise, yes. But it has yet to be tested.”

“What do you mean?”

“You know what it means, my child.”

Joy closes her eyes, sighing softly as she sends a small prayer out for the two boys quietly nuzzling each other now.

“Do they know?”

“About the red string of destiny? No.”

“Are you going to tell them?”

The man’s smile is soft. “What? And ruin the surprise?”

“Begging your pardon, but I don’t think you should toy with them.”

“You’re fond of Jaejoong aren’t you?”

“And Yunho,” Joy adds, turning once again to the teenagers wrapped up in each other on the bed. “That boy’s soul is so pure,” her voice is laced with sadness despite her meaning behind her words. He is too good for the world, and she knows that Jaejoong knows this.

“Do you think he would like to be an angel?”

“And leave Jaejoong? Never.”

The two adults watch in silence, Joy keeping her thoughts, though she knows the man can filter them from her mind if he wishes. But he’s good at allowing his angels and even his elves to a certain extent, a measure of privacy, so she knows he will not intrude.

Yunho is here as an adult, he will always remember Jaejoong unless he chooses to forget.

She has no idea what’s in store for the two young boys.

She cannot even begin to imagine.

But that little red string joining the two boys gives her hope.

“What now?” she finally asks.

“Now, they have a choice.”

The man snaps his finger and the barrier Joy had erected earlier drops with a hushed whoosh.

Both Yunho and Jaejoong turn their heads to the adults.

Yunho’s eyes are alight with a soft fire, and he slowly moves off the smaller boy and sitting up, putting himself bodily between Jaejoong and the other two.

Jaejoong seems to accept this, even though he is the elf and far more capable of protecting either of them. He curls himself behind the younger but bigger boy, wrapping his legs around his waist with only his luminous doe eyes glowing behind his shoulder as he stares curiously at Joy. Nothing else from nose down of the elf’s body can be seen of Jaejoong, so completely does he fit behind Yunho.

The man opens his mouth, but he is cut off by a quiet voice, slightly muffled behind the fabric of Yunho’s teeshirt.

“I don’t want to be an angel.”

Yunho tries to move, but Jaejoong’s arms are locked tight around him.

Joy can see the elf’s lips caressing the bare skin of the nape of the younger boy’s neck, and she can hear him whisper soothing words of love.

Words that bring a tear to her eyes for she knows what he is doing.

There isn’t any other way, especially if Jaejoong doesn’t want to be an angel, and Yunho will always have the memory of their realm.

“Jaejoong…” Yunho’s voice is quiet. He finally appears to see who is before him, and locked in position, he is unable to prostrate, conveying with his eyes his intention. The only movement he is able to make is with his hands, to caress Jaejoong’s legs that are locked tight around him.

The protective stance is but an illusion, for Jaejoong has him where he needs him to be.

“Are you certain, child?”

“No. No, Jaejoongie has to be an angel.”

“He’s not speaking to you, love. I’m your elf.”

“And I’m…i’m yours.”

Jaejoong smiles, the brilliance of it causes him to shine brightly once again. The white hot light of his essence is once again shared with Yunho, bathing them both in a brilliant light that has Joy closing her eyes from the pain of what she knows has to come to pass.

The man takes a step back, surprised at the sheer light force coming from the young elf, for Jaejoong is the youngest of his kind.

None have been born since, for no more have been needed since this elf paired with his human.

When the light finally dims, both adults are surprised to find the boys locked in an embrace.

Jaejoong astride Yunho’s lap, wrapped around him as always but he has the young teenager’s face in his hands, kissing away the tears that are slowly streaking down his cheeks.

“No, please…”

“I can’t leave you. I promised I’d be yours forever. Only yours.”

“And if you’re an angel, you have to leave me?”

“If I’m an angel, I will always be with you, but I can never be with you,” Jaejoong whispers, his own tears finally losing the battle once again as one slips out, sliding down his cheek. He presses a peppermint filled kiss against Yunho’s mouth, making the boy whimper in pain at the taste. “I’m not strong enough to let you go.”

“I don’t want you to let me go,” Yunho breathes, biting his lower lip and tasting Jaejoong.

“This is why they should’ve only met at Christmas,” the man sends his thought to Joy, a mild note of chastisement behind his comment.

”You were never around and you’ve never seen them. I tried everything. Not even the strongest magic could make Yunho forget Jaejoong.”

The man stares as Yunho licks his mouth, watching as the boy leans forward to peck Jaejoong lightly on the mouth, before leaning back and licking at his lips once again.

He shakes his head, realizing how Yunho has managed to remember his elf when no other child has ever managed to do so. Jaejoong is one determined elf, that much he can ascertain. A whole decade of this and his Joy none the wiser.

”Jaejoong gave him a powerful memory trigger. Watch the way he licks his mouth whenever Jaejoong kisses him. They kissed far more than normal children, didn’t they?”

“I never thought anything of it for Jaejoong was always an affectionate child. It was the peppermint kisses? I never even considered it because it’s so much a part of him.”


He sighs inwardly as he watches the beautiful young elf trying to convince his human to allow him to give up eternity for him. He is sure the human cannot fathom the magnitude of what Jaejoong is doing.

In fact, he doubts Jaejoong himself understands fully the consequence of his choice.

To give up Heaven, means to give up everything.

Jaejoong will not have any memory whatsoever of his time as an elf.

It will be as if he never was one.

And on the back side of that…

…He will not remember Yunho.

~~~
Just think of all the moments that we spent
I just can’t let you go, for me you were meant
And I didn’t mean to hurt you, but I know
That in the game of lovin’, you reap what you sow
~~~


Yunho opens his eyes, and once again he is faced with a wall.

The right wall this time.

Or the wrong one, depending on how you look at it.

He turns, bolting upright as he remembers everything.

Yunho brings his fingers to his mouth, still sticky with their last kiss.

He licks his mouth.

Peppermint.

Overlayed by a salty tang.

The teenager brings his knees up, wrapping his arms around his legs, he bends his forehead to touch his kneecaps as the first tear falls.

One tear.

Followed by countless others.

He cries for a long time.

And even that long time feels too short, for it isn’t forever.

Forever is with his Jaejoongie and he needs to find him.

That was the deal.

Yunho can remember everything of Jaejoong, but Jaejoong will have absolutely no memory of him.

The only thing that Jaejoong made the man and Joy promise them, is that he will always be his, that no matter what happens, Jaejoong on earth will only be Yunho’s somehow, forever and always.

The man had warned them that Jaejoong’s personality will follow him, and that in all likelihood, Yunho may never find Jaejoong till the end of their lives, but Jaejoong has faith.

”I always have faith. I was borne from faith and I will die by it. Yunho will find me.”

Such a weight upon the thirteen year old’s slim shoulders that have yet to fill out into manhood despite being an “adult”.

He remembers Joy’s parting words to him.

”You will find him within the next three years. I can promise you this much and it is the least I can do. I cannot interfere beyond this. It will be a difficult road, but I promise to watch out for both of you. Be well, little Yunnie. Look after our Jaejoongie for god knows he can get into mischief by just standing still.”

The teenager fists the last of his tears away, the taste of peppermint on his lips is but a distant memory now.

Jaejoong has given up eternity for him.

He will spend the rest of his life making sure he is worth it.



Two beings watch the young teenager square his shoulders, determination lining his every movement.

“Tell me of their path.”

“I can only share so much, Joy. Nothing is certain. Their path is fraught with choices. At every turn, they have a choice to make. Jaejoong may not have his memories, but you saw the way he shared his light with Yunho. There is a little bit of both of them in each other. He will not know who he is, but he will not see him as foe.”

“And I guess I should be happy with that much, huh?” Joy sniffs, wiping away a tear as she watches Yunho trace out Jaejoong’s name on the foggy mirror in his bathroom after washing his face. “I don’t know who to feel more sorry for. Jaejoong or Yunho.”

“They both have their difficulties.”

“But to give up heaven…”

“Can you see his string?”

Joy peers closer, staring at Yunho’s pinky, and true enough, that red string of destiny is still attached to him.

“If I follow it, will I find Jaejoong?”

“You know you will.”

Her eyes trace the supernatural string, following its rather straight path as the crow flies, a little startled when she reaches its end.

“He isn’t far.”

“No, he isn’t.”



2001

Yunho and his friends chance upon the group towards the end of the fight, attracted by the raucous noise and unafraid as only teenagers with martial arts skills can be, they race in to play hero.

There are clear victors, and the older boys of his group step between the two sets of boys to make sure the fight is at a complete end. These are his hapkido friends, and they are recognized by the group slinking away at least, so any lingering thoughts of retaliation die a swift death as they disappear into the shadows.

“Is everyone alright?” the oldest member of Yunho’s group asks.

“What’s it to you? We’d already won the fight, you lot didn’t need to play policemen.”

Yunho stills.

23 months, one week and three days.

“Jaejoong,” he whispers under his breath, half afraid to turn to find it isn’t so. He’s had so many false alarms, his ears trying to find even the slightest memory of the boy in anyone he meets.

“How do you know my name?”

Yunho closes his eyes, taking a deep breath as his arm is tugged from behind. He pivots slowly on his heel, eyes opening as he turns to meet a familiar pair of doe eyes, darkened by heightened emotion, confusion warring within them as their eyes connect.

“Do I know you?”



2002

How the hell did he manage to find him only to lose him again?

Yunho asks himself this so many times a day, it’s almost starting to become a prayer of some sort.














AN: Um… I was trying to battle the emoshinki but CLEARLY the emoshinki is strong within me. I might as well be Darth Vader.

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