Length: Part 3 of 3 (~7300)
Disclaimer: This story is fictional except for some scenes inspired by (but not necessarily related to) various video clips.
Warnings: So after all those kink warnings, it turns out not to be that big of a deal, really.
Summary: When Jaejoong looks into the future and wonders what will happen to them, Yunho finds a way to remind him that he has nothing to fear. After all, time may be both circular and linear, and the promise in a ring is forever.
A/N: This took me forever to write and after I finished the whole thing, I kind of stared at my screen and wondered what the hell did I just write? I think I really did end up with two different stories based on how the parts are arranged, I'm not actually sure which one I like better.
This one does make sense in a twisted way, and the implications are definitely darker. The chronological version is not as interesting, but it's nice to have something easy to follow and because the storyline goes in a particular way, it's actually rather sweet and romantic after all, lol.
You can get the chronological version (omg, it's 33 pages total) HERE, which is a separate post. The link is posted again at the bottom of this too, though, so don't worry about it yet.
* * * * *
* * * * *
Twelve AM (Midnight)
Jaejoong woke up to the furtive sounds of his lover from last night trying to dress and slip out the door. When the man's eyes met Jaejoong's, he looked away hurriedly. Still, it only took about twenty seconds before his gaze returned to the smooth, bare skin so enticingly displayed before him.
That glance pretty much summed up everything between them, Jaejoong thought as he watched the man fumble with his belt buckle. In the daylight, he wasn't as cute as he had been the night before, and he sure as hell didn't look like he was the 24 that he had told Jaejoong he was last night. He looked more like a businessman caught with his pants down in front of a hooker, everything about him radiating equal parts shame and desire.
Jaejoong found that he didn't really have the energy to care. This routine was almost familiar by now. He seemed to have a knack for always picking the respectable sort, the kind of man that would never usually do this kind of thing and who women would describe as gentlemanly. Jaejoong supposed that the fact that he picked up all the princes—the rich, rebellious sons of business magnates, like out of a drama—just made himself the disreputable one.
"I think it's better if we don't see each other again," the man said, anger and embarrassment flushing his cheeks. Right, because they were both pretending to be undercover.
"Sure," Jaejoong agreed, making no move to get up or even cover up. For a moment, he let himself imagine the multiple scandals that would unfold if they were found right now.
Either his easy agreement didn't sit well with his supposedly anonymous lover or his face must have given away the direction of his thoughts. "I don't think you get it. Lose my number."
Did we even exchange numbers? Jaejoong was tempted to ask, but he just let one pale shoulder rise in a casual shrug. He closed his eyes again and over the next minute, heard the door open and close.
* * *
The pieces come together in his mind a couple days later, and it's totally by chance that they do. He's goofing around with Yoochun in their room when the variety show comes on and Yoochun realizes that it's the one that they taped. As a general rule, they don't spend a lot of time watching themselves. It's too weird and narcissistic most of the time, plus sometimes it sucks to find out what parts got cut and what parts made it to the final airing.
Still, the TV is already on and Yoochun really likes Eun Hee, so Jaejoong ends up watching it with him, even though his pride is still smarting over her inexplicable slap.
"Trust me, you do not want to get with her," he tells Yoochun. It's all he can do to stop himself from adding some highly uncomplimentary descriptions of the girl.
Yoochun snorts. "Ahh, you're just jealous because she didn't seem to like you at all."
Yeah, no kidding, Jaejoong thinks. He's tempted to tell Yoochun about the slap during the commercial break. The show comes on again before he makes up his mind, though, so he just settles back. It's too embarrassing to admit that some girl randomly slapped him and his stomach still does a nervous twist when he thinks of what she'd said after that.
Why did the bitch have such a personal grudge against him anyway? Even if he had dated one of her friends in the past or something, it was beyond a doubt that the friend had ended up dumping him, not the other way around.
He barely remembers what scene Junsu had acted out with her, since Junsu had gone right before him. At that point, Jaejoong had been too busy frantically brainstorming what to do and how to act for his own scene, especially since Changmin had gone just before them both and Min had been ridiculously good.
"Poor Junsu," Yoochun laughs as they watch as Junsu pretended to pine after his first (and childhood) love while Eun Hee tried to figure out who has captured his attention so completely.
"I can't return your feelings because I'm already in love with someone else," Junsu explains. "I'm sorry."
"Who is it?" Eun Hee demands of Junsu, not bothering to hide one ounce of the jealousy in her voice. The show's audience members oooh over the impending drama, but it's her tone and the intensity of her disappointment and anger that's captivating.
It clicks, just like that.
Jaejoong snaps to attention and his head turns to the screen, though he's not really looking at it. His mouth falls open in surprise but he says nothing, because his mind is churning. Junsu's acting out the rest of the scene and Yoochun's almost in tears from giggling over it, but Jaejoong is frozen in place. He's heard her voice before and he's heard her saying the exact same thing.
That day…he had been much too focused on Yunho's response back then to really pay attention to who he had been talking to, but without a doubt, it was the same woman.
Somehow, Eun Hee had pursued Yunho before.
Yunho had rejected Eun Hee.
Then she had confronted Jaejoong.
The chain of events kept tumbling over and over in Jaejoong's mind without making sense. Eun Hee had accused Jaejoong of being a slut...he hadn't known that there was any connection to Yunho at all. Instead of taking out her anger on Yunho, who was the one who had rejected her, she had turned it on Jaejoong. Eun Hee had implied that Yunho had rejected her…because he was sleeping with Jaejoong.
Yunho wouldn't have told her, so she must have figured it out on her own or heard it from someone else. Had it been during the variety show—had Jaejoong's feelings been so painfully obvious? But the part that really hurt was that Jaejoong had no such claim on Yunho—from the start, it had never been that way.
Jaejoong jumps up and tells Yoochun that he'll be back later, that he forgot that he's meeting with a friend and that he's late. He doesn't really even know what excuse is pouring out of him, but his panic is genuine enough and Yoochun just nods and tells him to go.
In reality, Jaejoong knows that Yunho might come home any second with Junsu and Changmin, and he can't face Yunho right now. Not with his thoughts spinning all over the place, his emotions so turbulent that he's afraid that if Yunho walks through that door, he might just confess everything.
And then there would be no dramaless breakup scene and there would be no telling how their friendship would ever recover, not to mention they still would see each other almost every hour, work together every day, spend maybe years together as members of the same band.
All these thoughts cross Jaejoong's mind and he leaves the house before he even catches his breath, the newfound knowledge he has pieced together making him impossibly confused. What does it mean? What should he do now? Does it mean that Yunho has actually been faithful to him—and if that was true, then what did that mean?
He desperately needs advice, but he has no one to go to, no one who can listen to this objectively while having no stake in the problem. It's out of the question to try telling Yoochun about this, let alone Junsu or Changmin. He can't put this burden on them, but there's no one else to turn to… Then he remembers someone gently saying, it's a member of the band, then. I thought so.
With shaking hands, Jaejoong gets his cell phone and scrolls down to the initials JK. He selects the top secret number that belonged to his past lover and waits in the street, shivering in the cold, as the phone rings. He breathes out a sigh of relief when it's picked up and then he's asking, almost begging, to meet. He can't stand being alone right now with only his thoughts to torment him.
Hours later, Jaejoong feels worn out but strangely at peace. After so many months of emotional tension, he finally feels hope for the first time. He's been convinced. He's going to tell Yunho everything, including the sordid parts that Yunho has probably already guessed and the other parts that Yunho might not know... He'll come clean about it all, and most importantly, he's going to tell Yunho exactly how he feels.
I've been falling for you for so long that I don't think anyone else can ever raise me up. I've been waiting, pretending, denying, but it's no use, because this will never change. I love you.
The words come to him with a startling clarity and it's almost as if Jaejoong can see it all playing out. He's afraid, but he's also determined. He knows what he wants now, exactly what he wants and whom he wants it from, and he might as well risk everything, because if it's true, if Yunho really does return his feelings, then it doesn't matter that no band stays together forever. Whether they're members in the same band or broken up and starting separate phases of their careers, they'll still have each other.
When he gets home, it's three in the morning and all the members are asleep. He feels a short stab of disappointment at that, because no one had tried to contact him even though he hadn't stayed out all night in a while. Did Yunho really even care? Despite himself, the doubts creep in as he unlocks the door. Jaejoong slips into the house just as he's slipped in countless times before, keeping the noise to an absolute minimum, leaving the lights off.
Only this time he doesn't make it past the living room, because all of a sudden he's being shoved up against the wall and there's a hand pressing hard over his mouth to keep him from making any sound. Oh God, it's a robber, he thinks for a second before Yunho's voice is hissing into his ear.
He doesn't sound at all like himself and this distracts Jaejoong for a moment until he catches what Yunho is actually saying. "So this is what you're really like, Jaejoong? You'll just let anyone who wants you have you?"
Jaejoong's eyes widen as the meaning sinks in but he can't reply and he feels boneless beneath Yunho's wrath. Yunho's chest heaves as if he's showing restraint and his eyes reflect the sheer fury that keeps Jaejoong pinned against the wall.
"I've heard the rumors, too, Jaejoong. All of the members have. But I didn't care. I've done my share of stupid things too, in the past." Yunho's voice is heavy with disgust, his gaze condemning. "But you, Jaejoong—you, telling me that I could be the only one in the world for you and then sneaking off to meet your lover when you should be with me."
Suddenly Yunho's hand is removed from Jaejoong's mouth and his weight is shifted completely off, the absence as startling as his sudden attack. He takes a step back, and then another.
Adrenaline is rushing through Jaejoong's veins as he watches the situation spiral hopelessly out of control. His back is pressed against the wall and he can't even move, can't even breathe.
It's a misunderstanding, a terrible mistake…or is it? "Yunho—it's not—"
"What, 'it's not like that'? Is that what you're going to say?" Yunho says for him, his voice soft but so furious that Jaejoong's heart jumps in his chest and gives one painful spasm. "Fine, then. Just tell me that he's never been your lover and I'll believe you."
Their eyes meet and there's hope and belief still beneath the anger. "I'll believe you," Yunho repeats. "Tell me."
It's like his world is caving in. Jaejoong can't explain, not in a way that Yunho will accept. He can't find the right words and even if he did, they would stick in his throat. For one second, looking into Yunho's eyes, Jaejoong is tempted to lie. Yunho would believe him. And what did it matter, when it really hadn't been that way?
But he's taken too long and he sees Yunho's expression twist, the shadows and lack of lighting not quite concealing the hurt and rage that cross his features. Yunho spins around as if he can't even bear the sight of Jaejoong's face.
"You really will fuck anyone who asks you, won't you?" he tosses over his shoulder, and the vulgarity of his language makes Jaejoong just as sick as the actual meaning, because Yunho never loses control like this. Yunho never judges and condemns with one breath.
But Yunho doesn't say another word. He just leaves Jaejoong there and disappears into his room.
* * *
Jaejoong waits until there's a lull in the usual sounds of the house, the sense of life diminishing as people leave. He hears Yunho's door open and close, then waits another half hour, his sense of anxiety feeling like a poison in his veins.
When did they start sneaking around each other? It's been like this for weeks. Actually, he's not even sure if that's what they're doing, or if it's all in his mind. Maybe Yunho hasn't even noticed it, since if he does, he's never given any indication that he's found their pattern of non-coinciding arrival and departure strange. Regardless, the knowledge of it still settles into Jaejoong's stomach like a lead weight.
He's about to overthink this, so Jaejoong grabs everything he needs, takes a glance at the mirror to check that he doesn't look the way he feels, and exits his room. The lights are off in the common area and his hand's already on the doorknob when he hears, too late, the unmistakable sound of someone about to unlock the door on the other side.
A few months ago this would've been a moment for a laugh, but Jaejoong opens the door and freezes in place when he comes eye to eye with Yunho. What is he doing back? every nerve in his body screams.
"Oh, I didn't realize you were going out. Thanks," Yunho says far too casually, keys jingling as he puts them away.
Jaejoong can't seem to move his feet so that Yunho can pass. Instead, he feels himself going pale and then flushing. Yunho stares at him with a look that is indecipherable, although Jaejoong sort of desperately wishes it were concern and equally desperately wishes it were indifference.
"I just dropped by to grab a jacket," Yunho informs him, and Jaejoong probably has a look of confusion on his face—Yunho is wearing a jacket right now—because he goes on to clarify. "My date didn't bring one and I was going to offer her mine, but she wouldn't take it. Since we're in the area, I figured I'd just grab another one for her."
It's a lot of unnecessary information to volunteer and Jaejoong's still trying to process it when Yunho eases by him and disappears. The smart thing to do would've been to just carry on with his own business, but Jaejoong lingers and Yunho reappears in the next moment with the jacket, ready to go.
"See you in the morning then," Yunho says as Jaejoong locks up behind them. His tone is odd and has an edge, but it's impossible to tell what kind. Anger? Sarcasm? Annoyance?
For a second, before Jaejoong turns around, he's dead certain that this is it—Yunho's going to call him out on his increasingly reckless behavior. But Yunho's back is toward Jaejoong and he's already walking off.
They don't see each other in the morning, either, until work starts.
* * *
He doesn't normally get the chance to slow down enough to wonder what's going to happen to him—or more importantly to them—in five, or ten, or fifteen years. It's hard enough to get through their packed schedules and Jaejoong considers himself lucky if he can manage to reserve a few hours for himself. He takes each day as it comes because it's crazy to do otherwise, but before he realizes it, they've already been in this business, in this particular configuration of five stars, for years.
It's not a long time, not out in the real world, but they're practically veterans now in the celebrity world. He ends up looking at their old videos sometimes and it startles him just how much they've changed, not only in looks, but in their relationships and mindset. Of course, the entertainment world naturally would have made them more cynical over time, and the process of growing up itself is practically all about learning to deal with reality and failure.
Jaejoong actually thinks about the future so much because he doesn't want to think about their future, or be reminded that they don't actually share one, except as members of the same band. Eventually, they'll grow apart and go on their separate ways. Maybe it'll be a positive thing—they'll become solo artists. But realistically, not all five of them will probably make it.
He's realistic about a lot of things these days, unlike when they were just starting out. The problem with finding such happiness, reaching such a high point in one's life, is that there's also the awareness that it has to end sometime.
He can't help but think he's already peaked, regarding his relationship with Yunho. They were trainees, friends, members, and now, lovers. But it's slowly becoming clear to him that while Yunho lusts after him, that doesn't necessarily mean he wants him. No matter how much Jaejoong pretends that it doesn't matter, it's like a grain of sand in his oyster shell. He tries frantically to distract himself from the irritation of it, to pretend that there isn't the equivalent of a shard of glass floating around in his heart.
So he comforts himself with the past in order to have the courage to face the future. It's surprisingly hard to remember what they were like in the beginning. During the "Hug" days, Jaejoong remembers that they spoke a lot about the future, and they'd done so with enthusiasm and awe, scarcely able to believe that they were somehow on the trajectory of success.
Just a couple of days ago, they'd done an interview, and one of the questions was one of those generic, "where do you think you'll be in ten years?" That, coupled with the disturbing conversation that he'd had about how no band stays together forever, is enough to make it impossible to think about anything else, even if thinking about it accomplishes absolutely nothing.
"What do you think it'll be like in ten years?" Jaejoong asks Yoochun later, because while none of them talk about these things, he at least knows that Yoochun thinks about them as much as he does.
Yoochun shrugs. "Honestly, it's so unpredictable, who knows? Ten years ago, we wouldn't have even existed. Maybe the music industry won't even be as big in the future, or maybe we'll expand overseas."
Jaejoong bites his lip, because he can all too easily imagine the company going overseas—the same way he can imagine people moving on to the next generation of stars. It's impossible to shine forever and after all, they are already working with new groups. Bright-eyed trainees come in to observe their group dynamics and to watch them practice. Yunho mentors a few of the most promising students, the ones who have a natural gift for movement.
They'll debut as singers and dancers in the next few years and become the new focus for the media. It's this thought that makes him say to his roommate, his tone soft, "I guess we'll be forgotten eventually, right? We'll become less popular and then just… We'll probably be replaced."
Yoochun flinches at the blunt statements, no matter how gently they are delivered. "Hyung, why are you even thinking about all this? We're on top of the charts, we're winning every award, and the fans adore us. We're in a good group together and we're all close. We should just enjoy the success we have now."
"We were made," Jaejoong says, unable to keep a tinge of bitterness from his voice. "How can we be anything but successful?"
"You think we're only here because of SM?" Yoochun asks, surprised.
Jaejoong shrugs and is secretly relieved when Yoochun lets it go, neither of them willing to really pursue the suddenly serious conversation. It's not the question that truly concerns him.
It comes to him in the middle of dance practice like the silliest epiphany he's ever had in his life. What's really been eating him up inside isn't about the future, or SM, or anything else: he just doesn't know where he stands with Yunho. Not anymore.
Jaejoong's not paying attention to the beat and before he knows it, he's out of sync and out of position. The moves that look so effortless when they're onstage become chaotic and he twists right into Changmin's space. He's jolted back to the present just in time for him to narrowly avoid being socked in the eye—he ducks, but they still collide and he goes down hard, sprawling across the floor.
It knocks the breath out of him and Jaejoong feels his stomach sink even more when he looks up to find Yunho glowering at him. It's understandable enough, since this is the fifth time that he's messed up in the last hour alone—each time just unnerves him more in a negative feedback loop until he's making mistakes he never usually would.
Besides, Yunho hasn't even looked Jaejoong in the eye for days.
Yunho doesn't even say anything, he just stalks over to reset the music to the beginning of the dance segment that they're working on. Jaejoong's neck burns with shame as he's suddenly aware of how many people are in the room—not just the five of them, but the backup dancers too, plus a few people who have come to observe them.
"It's okay, hyung," Min says in consolation as he extends his hand to Jaejoong. There's nothing Jaejoong could do but start over, but when he lets himself be pulled up, he squeezes Changmin's fingers too hard as a white-hot pain shoots up his leg.
No, no, no, Jaejoong thinks as he gingerly tries to rotate his ankle, biting his lip to keep silent when it's clear he's twisted it somehow. He doesn't say anything, but he's probably turning white as a sheet and both Yoochun and Junsu are looking at him instead of paying attention to what Yunho's saying.
Jaejoong smiles and pretends he's fine, waving off their concern. He tries to work through the stabbing pains and manages to get through the routine one more time, but by the end, he knows he isn't going to last another minute. Still, looking at the clean lines of Yunho's movements in front of him, he refuses to admit defeat.
But then, without ever looking at Jaejoong, Yunho calls it a day. It's more than half an hour before the practice should have ended, but no one says anything.
A few hours later, Yoochun helps arrange ice packs around Jaejoong's ankle to control the swelling and numb the pain. They're alone in their room and Yoochun was expressly told not to say anything, but the expression in Jaejoong's dark eyes is just too miserable. Yoochun wraps elastic bandages around Jaejoong's foot and ankle for compression and as he does so, he tells Jaejoong that Yunho was the one who gave him both the ice and the bandages.
* * *
It's a letter.
Jaejoong has no other choice; he's never able to catch a moment alone with Yunho, let alone a long enough period of time where he can say all the things he needs to say. So he's been reduced to these paltry tools—pen and paper.
Well, many, many sheets of paper. He writes a line down, maybe two. Then he can't help but feel that it's all wrong. It's a constant emotional see-saw between cautious hope and crushing despair. After the third try, he decides to stop wasting paper and simply crosses it out. He tries to start over, but the bold black ink just mocks him. People have been doing this from the beginning of time. Surely he, too, can do this.
He writes three pages worth of confessions, justifications, and explanations. He discovers that the details overwhelm what's most important.
He writes one line, the bare essence of what he feels. It isn't adequate.
He wishes he could write with his tears, with his blood, or something essential like that. Maybe then the emotions that are bursting inside of him can actually translate to words on paper. He wishes that this can be made into a song, because it's the way he best expresses himself.
Jaejoong would let Yunho carve out his heart with a spoon, if he thought it would be enough.
The words come awkwardly. They don't sound right. In the end, it's not very good—it's painfully bad, even—but all he can do is hope that it's enough.
I can't make you listen, so I can only ask that you read these words. There are so many things I want to say to you, but I think you already know them all…or you can guess.
That night, you asked me the wrong question. I've always been yours, even before I realized it and even when you couldn't see it. You are the only person who has ever meant so much to me. I just didn't think you'd ever be mine.
If what we had meant anything to you, then don't throw away our chance. This could be our time now.
Jaejoong hands an envelope with the folded letter inside to Yunho. It's front of Yoochun, who doesn't say anything, even when Jaejoong simply turns and walks away.
It's later that night that Yunho finds him and Jaejoong is all too aware that they're alone together at last. There's no one else to provide a buffer or to help break the tension. Yunho extends his hand and he's holding the envelope; Jaejoong's heart drops to somewhere in the vicinity of his feet when he sees that it's not even opened.
"I'm sorry," Yunho says softly, and Jaejoong is sure that this is it. It's the part when Yunho tries to both let him go and smooth things over, because tomorrow they'll still have to face each other. "I was a fool, Jaejoong."
"It's okay," he responds quickly, numbly. Part of him is screaming inside: oh God, this is actually happening. Another part of him is thinking that at least he'll still have Yunho as a friend if he can just keep his emotions from betraying him. He has to stay in control.
"No, it's not." Yunho steps closer. "I said terrible things to you and you didn't deserve any of it. I was just so angry—I couldn't stand thinking about you with him, and—" He faltered, his eyes dropping to the floor in shame and anguish. "I didn't have any right to be so jealous and knowing that just made me angrier."
Jaejoong's breath caught in his throat. "Yunho—"
"I've been a fool," Yunho said again. "It made me crazy, wondering if you were only willing because I asked it of you."
There's a question in his voice and suddenly Jaejoong feels the laughter welling up in him, because they're both fools indeed, and how long had he tortured himself, wondering if Yunho only came to him because he was there and willing?
Yunho flinches at the sound of his laugh but then Jaejoong grabs his face in both hands and brings their lips together in a kiss that answers all their questions, and more. It's sweet and cautious at first, and then Jaejoong loses himself in Yunho's touch and he's almost dizzy when he draws back.
His heart is too tender for him to say anything but he's not sure Yunho's ready to hear it, anyway. Maybe Yunho will never be ready. It's enough for Jaejoong that they have this and that they've survived their first fight. It's enough that Yunho is looking at him this way: there's a new tenderness to his gaze now that they've both realized how close they were to losing each other for no reason at all.
* * *
It feels like he's waking up from a dream. It feels like five years have passed since he was last awake and so full of sensation that time stops making sense. In the past, he built up a circle around himself, pouring out a perfect ring of salt that stops the ghosts of his wants and needs from haunting him. Jaejoong's defenses were solid and impenetrable—right up until the moment when he stepped over the line he had drawn himself, and stumbled out of the circle that protects him even as it traps him.
Now he's assaulted by so many different feelings, and they're all so intense that he feels himself eroding beneath them. Yunho has brought everything into focus as if he were a magnifying glass in the sun. Pleasure and pain; hurt and comfort. Jaejoong can feel the light burning on his skin and he almost exults in it.
The morning sun turns the room an astronomical white, chasing away the shadows from last night. Yunho's skin is a creamy gold against the sheets and it hurts just to look at him, so content in his sleep. Jaejoong is afraid to breathe, afraid to even move the slightest bit. Yunho's curled up around him, his chest warm and hard against Jaejoong's back, and they're pressed so tightly together that he can feel the rise and fall of each breath.
The connection between them is real in this moment, as surely as they are both in this room. In the light of day, Jaejoong is overwhelmed by a sense of wonder. He raises his hand up to shield their eyes from the sunlight streaming in from the window. His fingertips turn pink and almost glow against the light, as if it is a blessing that penetrates to the bone. All he can do is marvel at the mystery of it: that the light does not pass through, because he exists, and he is here, and Yunho is here with him.
This moment is perfect and all he can think is that he wishes things could stay this way forever. Jaejoong commits every detail to memory because he knows that it can't. He drinks in the serenity that is derived from the harmony between them. He savors the lingering taste of Yunho on his lips, the sated exhaustion that relaxes his every muscle.
It was what he had thought it would be like when he was a child, wondering about something that would happen in his life on some distant, special day. This was what it meant to make love—it was not just about the physical union, but about a collision of sheer want and need that turned it into an act of creation.
It stuns him, the realization of what he had been missing, what he hadn't even been able to imagine. He knows without a doubt that Yunho has never experienced it either. It's been like this from the start, only neither of them understood what it was.
Jaejoong closes his eyes against the intensifying light and remembers, except it isn't a memory yet. The past is too close to the present and he's struggling to keep them together even as the precious minutes and hours pass. The night is turning into day and any moment now, Yunho will wake up and look at him.
Time is what keeps everything from happening at once, Jaejoong thinks, and he never really understood the saying until now. He knows for the rest of his days, he'll always relive the secret moments he had shared with Yunho during the night, the hot and beautiful passion that they shared while riding high on the most powerful feeling in the world
Jaejoong breathes as Yunho breaths until he feels as though his heart is full of grace.
* * *
He's a little nervous as he opens the present and Jaejoong understands now why Yunho didn't want him to unwrap it while he was around. There's an understanding between them and they're a couple, but Jaejoong has still never said anything about love to Yunho, nor heard anything back.
It's just a word, of course. There are a hundred different little ways they show each other they care, but nevertheless, Jaejoong has a hard time opening himself up to that level again. The last time he had made himself that defenseless, Yunho had completely destroyed him with only a few cutting sentences.
Since then, they've been careful with each other. It's odd, because since the fight they've been completely unrestrained when it came to physical affection. They're almost insatiable for each other, perhaps because sex is one area they both really excel at. The attraction is never complicated and never lessens.
Yunho's cryptic hints about the present make it obvious that this is something that means a lot to him, though. Jaejoong's left wondering what other kind of ring there could possibly be as he unwraps the gift.
It's definitely a ring, just as Yunho described, nestled in the center of a black velvet pillow. Jaejoong stares at it in puzzlement, feeling the smooth metal circle warm in his fingers. It's simple and elegant, with a silky finish that feels good against his fingertips. It's light and he gets the feeling that it's meant to be worn somehow, yet it's surely too small to be a bracelet.
It gleams faintly and suddenly Jaejoong figures out what it actually is. Then he blushes so hard that he's almost dizzy with the force of his embarrassment. They've done pretty much everything that can be done in bed together, but this—he could've never seen this coming. He's ridiculously glad that there is no one else around to see this, because it's so private and ridiculous and…
The more he thinks about it, thinks about Yunho specifically selecting this and giving it to him to wear, the more he's getting turned on by the idea. He imagines himself wearing this and nothing else and the highly sexual look that would be in Yunho's eyes, the possessive need that inspired him to choose this gift in particular. All the blood that rushed to Jaejoong's face is suddenly heading down another direction and he bites his lip.
He actually remembers now, in hindsight, when Yunho was probably planning it. There was that one night when Yunho had seemed especially focused—he had wrapped his fingers around the base of Jaejoong's erection and murmured something appreciative about "the right size." Jaejoong had thought Yunho was just saying something flattering—after all, a lot of flattering things came out of that man's mouth when he wanted them to—and then he'd forgotten all about it in the activities that ensued.
Now, staring at the highly personalized and personal gift in his hand, Jaejoong understands perfectly. It's kinky and it's almost funny, but a big part of Jaejoong neither laughing nor reveling in lust, because this gift is undeniably possessive in a way that makes his heart soar even as his body becomes flushed with want.
Jung Yunho has given him a sex toy. And not just any toy, but a cock ring.
It might be possibly the most unusual prelude to a confession that he can ever imagine, but he'll take it.
* * *
He's naked beneath the sheets and covers and it's the most erotic kind of thing, knowing and feeling this ring encircle him. The lights are dimmed and Jaejoong's eyes are closed, but he's not asleep. Having his other senses muted just heightens his focus on the only thing he's wearing. The more he thinks about it, the more he's aroused. Ever since he's slipped it on over his shaft, he's been half hard, but he denies himself the slightest touch.
Fortunately, he doesn't have to wait long. Yunho's slipping beneath the sheets before Jaejoong even realizes that his lover is in the room. He's free of clothing already but there's a hesitancy to his movements that makes Jaejoong realize that Yunho is still a little unsure, maybe even embarrassed.
Unlike Yunho, Jaejoong has had more than enough time to get over any embarrassment. There's nothing left but desire. Something about wearing this, Yunho's symbol of ownership, releases every last inhibition. He can practically feel the walls crumbling around his heart, but instead of feeling defenseless and vulnerable, he feels free.
Instead of letting Yunho draw the sheets over them, Jaejoong pulls them aside. He rolls over and straddles Yunho's thighs, looking down at his lover with eyes blown dark with need and love. Even with the lights half off, the metal ring around the base of his arousal shines and Yunho swallows hard when he sees it. The simple design makes it almost like an obscene version of a wedding ring. The thought does funny things to his stomach and desire spreads through his nerves like an uncontained fire.
Jaejoong stretches like a cat, letting his long limbs twist sensuously, as if completely unconcerned about how aroused they both are. Yunho's arms circle around his back and bring him down for a kiss, his tongue plundering Jaejoong's mouth, his mouth forceful and demanding. Jaejoong revels in the ferocity of it and lets his body rock against Yunho's; both of them groan when their hardened shafts rub together, trapped between their bodies.
Jaejoong's been kept waiting for far too long and he's in no mood for teasing. He doesn't want foreplay, he wants Yunho, inside him, and right now. He shifts up and reaches behind him to find Yunho's thick erection, grasping it and finding the perfect angle. Yunho's eyes almost roll back in his head and he lets out a choked moan as Jaejoong sinks down on him in one swift, unhesitating motion. He's hot, and tight, and slick, and Yunho just barely manages to keep himself from coming when he realizes that Jaejoong's already prepared himself with his own fingers and lube, all in anticipation of this moment.
"I'll make you mine," Jaejoong declares against his neck, before he arches up, his spine bowing back. The movement drives Yunho in even deeper and he catches the flash of silver metal again out of the corner of his eye.
Then Jaejoong is rocking his hips back and forth and Yunho can hardly catch his breath, his senses assaulted with pleasure so intense that his hands reach out to grasp Jaejoong's waist, forcing him to slow down. He isn't so much possessing as being possessed, but Yunho hardly cares about the distinction when it's his ring that adorns Jaejoong's body, his gift that's around his cock, keeping Jaejoong hard for him.
His hand slides around to the front of Jaejoong's hips and his lover shivers and gasps, his whole body shuddering with undisguised need.
"You'll ride me until you're begging for release," Yunho says huskily as he expertly strokes Jaejoong's swollen length. The ring is an unfamiliar smoothness against his hand and he wonders for a moment if Jaejoong's figured it out yet, if he knows that Yunho's ring will prolong his torture even as it intensifies his eventual orgasm.
Jaejoong can't even speak. He throws his head back and his inner muscles spasm hard around Yunho's cock, a cry torn from his throat as he's teased, brought to the edge of release but denied. Yunho watches with smug satisfaction as Jaejoong flushes pink and trembles, mouth open and pink lips swollen.
"Do you know what my ring does to you?" Yunho asks, and Jaejoong answers the only way he can, by bucking his hips against Yunho's until they're both unraveling from the sensations. Yunho's voice is not nearly as controlled when he speaks again. "It makes you harder and bigger," he continues hoarsely, telling Jaejoong everything that he's already discovered, "and because it delays your release, all the sensations are heightened...especially when you come."
"Please, Yunho!" Jaejoong's eyes flutter shut, hiding the emotions swirling in his eyes from Yunho's view. He's never felt like this before and it's almost too much—his whole body is wracked with the need for release, even while his heart seems to explode in his chest.
Yunho demands more from him, extracts his feelings even in the haze of pleasure. "Do you know what it means? Do you understand what it means for you to wear my ring?"
"Yes," Jaejoong cries, before he catches Yunho growling good, because I love you, and it's what he's waited a lifetime to hear, but he's coming undone in every way. It's surrender but it's not defeat—it's feeling Yunho thrust up and spilling inside of him and knowing that it's about more than a ring and it's about more than sex. It's the release of too many pent up emotions, with the safety of knowing that Yunho will never let him go.
He comes onto Yunho's stomach and it's slow and inexorable, each pulse of heat wrenched from him with the most exquisite sensations, as if his soul is being drawn out. He's gasping and almost crying and he understands that Yunho might have kept him waiting, but receiving his love is all the sweeter in the end.
Jaejoong falls forward bonelessly into Yunho's arms, almost blacking out from the intensity of what they share, and Yunho murmurs soothing words into his ear. Just three words, over and over again, and Jaejoong's prepared his confession countless times, but only now does he realize that what he really needed hadn't been to say it, but to hear it.
Yunho's hand traces down the edge of Jaejoong's spine and they shiver together with the aftershocks of their pleasure. Jaejoong breathes in Yunho's scent and tastes the salt of his sweat when he turns his head and kisses Yunho's neck.
He feels proud of what they have together, the love that they've both denied before and tried not to acknowledge. The time for guilt and doubt has passed; it's history. There's also no time for fear and worry over the future. It took a ring for him to see that, and yet it wasn't the kind that he ever would have expected.
But he knows now that within its eternal circle is the promise of forever.
* * *
* * *
A/N: Confused? Dunno what the heck you just read? Wishing to read this in a normal way? :]
The long awaited chronological version of this story is HERE, so definitely make sure you check it out! I think most people will like it more...certainly you'll get the full impact of some of these scenes :D
Please comment on your impressions of this mishmash version though, feedback is love <3