Rating: Eventually NC-17
Jaeho Pimpage and Beta: ranalore
Summary: Section Four.
The beginning of a shifting relationship. Hot Korean boys. Sex. Dancing and some angry words. Not necessarily in that order. Not necessarily in each section.
Section One; Section Two; Section Three
Yoochun closed the bedroom door behind him, the soft click of a metal tab sliding past into the striker plate making him pause. His attention was keenly attuned for any sound from inside, a slumbering Jaejoong sprawled half naked on one of the beds, a coverlet loosely draped over his prone body. The rest of the apartment was filled with a welcome silence, a serene peace finally having fallen to settle over the fierce tension they’d all be avoiding. There was no light coming from underneath the door to the bedroom Changmin usually shared with Jaejoong and Yunho. Yoochun touched the wall of the hallway, turning the corner, reassured that the youngest of them had finally succumbed to sleep.
The living space shone bright, every lamp burning circles of white light onto the pale walls. Yunho stood in the kitchen area, an unwieldy bundle held up to his face. A tea towel, packed with broken chunks of ice cubes, crackled loudly, Yunho wincing visibly when he pressed it up against his jaw.
“That looks painful, hyung.” Yoochun spoke softly, rubbing at his own face in sympathy. Yunho grunting in acknowledgement, padding into the living area. The bulky towel did little to hide the swell in the his puffed-up mouth, a thin split creasing his upper lip. More concerning was the purpling mark stretching a thin line over Yunho’s jaw, the bruise just rising out from under his skin.
“It is painful.” Yunho fought the instinct to nod, the slightest movement appeared to open up the slice on his lip. He’d just gotten the bleeding to stop, a drabble of crimson ruining another one of the kitchen’s many towels. His tongue seemed to need to find the cut, tasting the copper of his body. “Our Jaejoong seems to always wake up at the wrong time. He came awake in the car and just seemed angry. I was afraid he was going to bite me.”
“He definitely woke up mad.” Yoochun busied himself for a moment, turning a can of mineral water around in his hand. “And for someone so slender, he’s very heavy. I don’t ever want to try to get him into the house like that again. My back hurts.”
“I know. He hits hard too.” Yunho nodded, hissing at the slight pain in his jaw. The skin felt tender and bloated, hot to touch when he ran his fingers along the edge of his chin. “One of the club’s bouncers helped me to the car. I’m glad you were awake. I don’t think I could have gotten him up to the apartment by myself.”
“No, probably not. Changmin would have fallen down under his weight and Junsu would have told you to leave him in the car until he woke up enough to walk.” Micky tousled his thick dark hair, easing the stress in his scalp. There were questions floating in the back of his throat, words begging to be spilled but caution told him to tread carefully with Yunho, the leader’s face closed and tight.
“Did Jaejoong fall asleep?” The query was so nonchalant, seemingly innocent except for the twist of mild anguish hidden in the mention of the nearly unconscious young man they’d carried up from the car. “Or did he argue with you too?”
“No arguing and I put him in Junsu’s bed. Su went to stay the night with his brother. After I got Jae’s shoes off, he was easier to handle.” Yoochun laughed softly. “Although he did say that you stole his jacket.”
“Oh, I left it in the car. It smells.” Yunho wrinkled his nose. “I should have tossed it away and told him he lost it but he’d just go back and dig around for it.”
“There’s no one more stubborn than our Jaejoong.” Yoochun silently wondered if that were true. Yunho seemed to be just as pig-headed when they were trying to manhandle the singer’s limp body through the front door. They’d nearly tumbled Jae to the snow-covered ground just getting him out of the car and their legs were damp from the fight to get him up the short flight of steps to the lobby of the apartment building, Jaejoong’s twisting struggles sending them into the wet shrubbery growing along the entrance.
Crossing the threshold of their home, Jae woke, irate at something and struck with clenched fists. Yoochun escaped with a glancing blow to his temple, easily stepping away from Jaejoong’s flailing by holding him at arms’ length. Yunho had not been as lucky, drawing Jae closer for some reason, cradling the young man’s waist and trying to coax him into the hallway.
Jaejoong responded with a mumbled stream of curses, rambling strings of words barely audible except for the clear pronunciation of Yunho’s name amid more obscure country slang. Yunho’s hushed pleas for Jae to be quiet fell on deaf ears, the young singer baring his teeth, eyes slitted tight and struck out again, his fists whistling in the air. Their leader tried to duck, all the while not dropping his burden. Jaejoong’s knuckles creased Yunho’s upper lip, splitting the tender flesh on his front teeth. Another blow landed wildly on Yunho’s face before Yoochun decided to take pity on their distressed leader and wrapped his arms around Jae’s back, sandwiching the singer between them.
A few shuffles gave them room enough to close the front door behind them, Yoochun kicking it closed with his foot. Jae mumbled in Yunho’s ear, the hot whispered words bringing a flush to the young man’s cheeks. His breath warmed Yunho’s neck, a delicate brush of lips against his earlobe brought a rushing thickness to his stomach, twisting a dance of butterflies through his guts. Yoochun nodded at Yunho’s face, trying not to grin at the blush in the leader’s cheeks. The first drop of blood struck Jae’s white shirt, immediately spreading through the slightly damp fabric, darkening the seam with a vermilion kiss.
Yunho jerked loose, frightened that Jaejoong was bleeding then dismissing Micky’s look of concern at his own bloody nose. He allowed Yoochun to guide the now placid Jaejoong into the smaller of the two bedrooms standing motionless in the main room, his fingers finding the warm spot of Jae’s breath on his neck. It cooled much too quickly, leaving nothing behind but the remembrance of a near-kiss and the erotic brush of teeth on Yunho’s tender throat.
Yoochun kept quiet, watching a pacing Yunho circle around a squat glass table before collapsing on the far end of the couch, the watery image of his face reflected back at him. The leader glanced at the silent young man sitting near him, unsure about so many things…especially the hurt that seemed to spread from his heart into the rest of his body.
With a heavy sigh, Yunho gripped the ice pack between his hands, not wanting to look up at Yoochun’s face as he spoke. The past few weeks wore him down, each misstep Jaejoong took aggravating him until he finally burst out in mindless anger, striking out with curt reproach. He’d seen the initial stroke of pain in Jae’s dark eyes, tender as bruises before hardening behind a cold mask of acceptance. Soon, those flashes of hurt never surfaced, masked by a brittle, stoic pretty face…Jae’s sensual mouth set against any comment that might be misconstrued as an objection.
Soon Yunho was finding fault in nearly everything Jae did, a cracked note or a single grain of uncooked rice he might find in his bowl. The others spent a lot of their time either avoiding the rippling tension between the two or teased Yunho into a better mood. Only Yoochun reached out to scrape away the granite mask of neutrality Jae wore, often dipping his head over and whispering below the others’ hearing, a burst of laughter usually transforming the iciness of the lead singer’s chilled expression into an angelic landscape.
“You and Jaejoong are…close.” Yunho tentatively ventured, unsure if his speaking with the other young man would be taken as a sign of weakness.
Yunho took his role as their leader seriously, too seriously the others sometimes thought but he’d failed so many times in the past, not doing enough to lift his family out of their troubles or even being there when his sister felt overwhelmed. He’d always did too little too late in his mind, a driving ambition coupled with the desire to never let anyone down, especially the four young men who depended on him to guide them through their lives and careers. At that moment, Yunho felt the pressure of being more than just himself, the anger in Jaejoong’s face finally widening the crack of self-doubt he’d felt starting in his control.
“He’s my friend. A very good friend.” Yoochun agreed with a nod, sipping carefully at the canned water, letting the semi-salty bubbles float over his tongue. “I depend on all of you so much for support. You are all the family I have here most of the time. Jaejoong… he gives comfort and stability.”
“I don’t know how he can give you stability. Jaejoong is… so wild. It always seems like he’s about to spin out of control…just on the edge of madness.” Yunho sought for the right word, something to express the chaos that the other brought into his life. The sensations Jae left behind on Yunho’s body and mind were indescribable, a rolling landscape of ups and downs mingled with terrorizing joy and dark trenches of pain. “He drives me crazy with the things he does. I keep telling him to calm down, straighten out but his mouth rambles and he… I don’t know. I don’t know what I am saying.”
“You see the Jaejoong that the world sees.” Yoochun tread cautiously, trying to feel out Yunho’s emotions. “We’ve spent the first year together very polite and bowing every time one of us makes a mistake. Now, we’re more comfortable with sharing our anger and laughter but not with the bits of us that are tender.”
“I don’t see him as tender.” Yunho admitted softly, the dripping tea towel leaving a trail of tears across the glass table top. “He’s too…rough and says nonsense. And then, he stops and is shy…like he is unsure. Then…he’s back to being arrogant and pushy. Which one is the real Jaejoong? Which one do I speak to?”
“He’s all of those things, Yunho.” Micky turned, facing the leader, his handsome features soft with empathy. “Jaejoong is complex only if you think he is trying to use you or has something to gain. But he’s not. He’s brutally honest and then shy because he thinks he’s not good enough or pretty enough or doesn’t sing the best.”
“All of that is Jaejoong…” Yoochun continued. “He’s also the person who you can count on to cry with because his emotions run deep, hidden behind a layer of tough that he built to protect himself. But it is there, Yunho. I know it is. He was the first one to see me fighting the tears when I missed my family and I was ashamed, believing that the Jaejoong I thought I knew would make fun of me for being a homesick child.”
“He’s not like that.” Yunho’s voice was nearly lost, his head tilted down. “He would never…Joongie-ah would never mock someone. He’s not…mean.”
“No, he’s not.” Micky agreed. “But I didn’t know that. I thought he was cold and narcissistic but in that moment when I felt my heart breaking because it was empty of the faces I loved, Jaejoong held my shoulders and told me that he would be my brother for as long as I needed him to be. That was when I began to know the real Jaejoong, Yunho.”
“I can’t reach that Jaejoong, Chunnie.” Yunho admitted, the scared thread of a sob scraping his throat raw. The ice melted beneath his touch, leaving nothing behind but a soaked rag, much like the tears Yunho held back with an strength nearly broken by the night’s events. Everything that he felt earlier…the anger and rage had been washed away with the sight of Jaejoong on his knees, sick and alone in the darkness. That image now burned in the back of his mind, rising every time Yunho blinked.
“I think you can.” Yoochun reached over and patted Yunho on the shoulder, squeezing down on the other in comfort. “You’re tired right now. Why don’t you go to sleep? Jaejoong can stay in Junsu’s bed. I don’t mind sharing with him tonight.”
“Would you mind if…” Yunho blinked back the glitter of salt in his eyes. “If I spent the night in your room with Jaejoong? I don’t… I feel responsible for how he is right now. I don’t want to abandon him.”
Yoochun leaned back against the soft cushions, watching Yunho’s face as the young man obviously warred with the conflicting desires in his heart. Nodding, the dark-haired singer stood, picking up the damp tea towel from the table. “I don’t mind, Yunnie. I think he’d be… pleased to know you were watching over him.”
“I don’t know…if that is true.” Yunho admitted, voice tight with emotion. His face hurt not half as much as his heart, a leaden weight in his chest. “But I know I won’t be able to rest until I know he’s…safe.”
“He’s safe, hyung.” Yoochun smiled as he walked into the kitchen to toss the towel into the sink. “You brought Jaejoong home where he belongs. I’m sure he’ll feel happy knowing you were beside him as he slept.”