Genre: AU, Friendship, Romance, Drama
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. I own nothing and know even less. This story is a stand alone, but it does take place in the TFAN universe where Yunho played a crucial role.
A MILLION thanks to Amy!
For everybody who takes the time to comment you are why I share this story!
Summary: On a cold winter’s day he cast their love away for the sake of his family. The following autumn an act of vengeance left their love beyond the reaches of forgiveness. Two summers later a fan’s anger and the ultimate act of self-sacrifice would redefine everything they knew about love, pride, selfishness, and forgiveness.
Yunho awoke to a world of blinding bright lights. His eyes fluttered open and closed several times before he could make out his surroundings. He found that he was sitting on the ground leaning against a red phone booth. He jumped to his feet quickly before remembering to look for his walker...but he soon found he didn’t need it.
“Where am I?” Yunho asked as he walked around the phone booth amazed at how easily his legs obeyed him. He noticed that the bright lights were actually set up all around him in a circle focusing on the red phone booth and there were cameras too. Behind the lights and camera’s he saw only darkness.
“It’s like I was never hurt.” Yunho said in awe as he jumped up and down and did a once loved dance move in delight as his legs were at his total command again.
The place was suddenly filled with music as he danced to Mirotic, Rising Sun, and O Jung Ban Hap perfectly never getting tired. His relief was so great that tears of absolute joy ran down his smiling cheeks. He had no fear of this strange place that had granted him his greatest wish. Yunho danced on and on unable to take his eyes off his feet. How he had missed dancing what had been dead inside of him was suddenly alive again.
The sound of somebody clapping made Yunho look away from his dancing feet and he smiled as he saw Jae walking up to him. “Yunho, it’s so good to see you dance again.”
The music changed to Hug and Yunho gasped as Jae walked closer to him looking exactly as he had years ago, “Jae, you are so beautiful.”
“Thank you.” Jae told him blushing.
Suddenly Yunho remembered, why everything seemed so familiar to him…the lights, the cameras, and the phone booth. “Are we filming Dangerous Love again?”
“Do you want to film it again?” Jae said walking up and putting an arm around Yunho and leading him back to the phone booth.
Yunho gave a surprised smile as he looked into the glass panel of the phone booth and saw his own reflection, “I am just the same too. It’s like the years have never passed.”
“Like nothing bad has ever happened.” Jae said leaning into Yunho smiling at their reflections.
“This is wonderful! Do we get to do it all over again?” Yunho said happily wrapping his arms around Jae and hugging him tightly then lifting him up and twirling him around in circles.
Jae laughed as Yunho swung him in circles, “We can have this day forever.”
“Forever!” Yunho agreed speeding up and laughing like mad.
“Happy always.” Jae told him his face full of joy as if he had never been touched by disappointment, rejection, or sorrow.
“I missed this.” Yunho said as he put Jae back down but continued to hug him tightly. “I missed holding you like this. So tight, you should always be held tight. You need to always be held tight so you will know how much you are loved.”
“Yunho, nobody hugs like you.” Jae told him pressing in even closer.
“I love you…I have always loved you so much.” Yunho told him not letting him go.
“But why Yunho? Why did you fall in love with me?” Jae asked pulling away from the hug as Doushite starting playing in the background now.
“I don’t know I just did. I never had any control over it. I guess it was just meant to be.” Yunho explained as he took Jae’s hand and tried to warm them with his. It was winter he didn’t want Jae to get cold.
“Let’s stay here forever.” Jae pleaded as he watched Yunho’s hands warm his. “Your hands are so beautiful, and they are always so gentle.”
“Won’t we get cold if we stay here forever?” Yunho asked suddenly puzzled as reality began to seep in…where had all the snow gone?
“Are you cold now?” Jae asked him as he pulled his hands away from Yunho sliding them under Yunho’s coat and pressing himself firmly to Yunho’s chest.
“No, I am warm.” Yunho told him as he smiled kissing the top of Jae’s head. “So warm.”
“Then we should stay here forever. We will be forever warm, young, beautiful, beloved and perfect.” Jae told him mouthing the words in to Yunho’s shirt right where it covered his heart.
“Yes, forever.” Yunho told him hugging him tighter and loving him more than anybody had ever loved him before. The old world he knew started to slip away as the warmth of Jae’s body so close filled him with happiness and a feeling of truly being at peace with the world.
“We will always be like this.” Jae promised him.
“Yes! We will always be together and I can dance.” Yunho said opening his eyes and he saw the same sparkly snow again and smiled. The snow had taken him back to the happiest time of his life.
“Yes, you can dance. I know how much you missed dancing.” Jae told him pulling away from him and reaching out a hand.
“What are you doing?” Yunho asked laughing as he took Jae’s hand.
“Let’s dance together.” Jae told him positioning himself in Yunho’s arms and moving to dance, “Let’s waltz.”
“I don’t know how to waltz.” Yunho told him but he was already waltzing with Jae before the words ever left his mouth.
“You do know how.” Jae told him as they danced. They danced perfectly with the snow falling all around them and the lights shining brightly down on them.
“Guys shouldn’t dance like this.” Yunho said trying not to blush but failing miserably.
“We can do anything here. This is our world. We are the kings and we are never wrong.” Jae told him as Yunho spun him in a circle.
Yunho stopped dancing and pulled Jae even closer. “I love this world, but not as much as I love you. I am so glad you are here with me.” Yunho told him as he pulled Jae in for a kiss. Their lips met without hesitation only perfect understanding and mutual love.
Yunho was pulled from the sweetness of Jae’s lips by a tug on his coat. Curious Yunho broke away from the kiss and looked down; he found a young boy no older than five pulling on his jacket.
Yunho who had always loved children knelt down and smiled at the boy, “Hello.” The boy looked at him and smiled. Yunho breathed in sharply as big, brown, mismatched eyes looked at him with nothing but pure affection. “Changmin!” Yunho said pulling the boy into his arms, lifting him up and holding him snugly against his chest. “Oh, how I have missed you.”
“I thought you were gone.” Changmin said crying into Yunho’s shoulder. “I thought you left me because I was bad.”
“No, I would never leave you. You aren’t bad you are my perfect boy.” Yunho told the child hugging him tightly as the sparkly snow began to fall heavier upon them.
“You promise?” Changmin asked pulling away and placing both his hands on Yunho’s cheeks.
“I promise.” Yunho answered smiling at him with nothing but love. He didn’t know how Changmin had gotten here but he was so glad to see him. How he had missed him.
“Yunho,” Jae chastised from beside him. “Changmin can’t stay with us.”
“Yes, I can he promised.” Changmin pouted letting go of Yunho’s cheeks to turn and glower at Jae.
“No, you have your whole life in front of you. You are going to get married and have babies and even grandchildren.” Jae said reaching up to ruffle Changmin’s hair. “Although he is awfully adorable I am tempted to keep him…but alas we can’t. He has many more years to live.”
“No!” Changmin cried as he turned back to Yunho and wrapped his arms around his neck. “I can’t be alone anymore, no more! You can’t leave me again.”
Yunho was frowning suddenly realizing where he must be, “But Jae how can you be here? You have your whole life ahead of you too.”
“Silly, you are my life. We will be together forever!” Jae told him excitedly as he slapped his hands together. “I will follow you anywhere. I would have followed you before, and I will follow you now.”
Yunho backed away quickly panicked putting Changmin down realizing what Jae was saying, “No, I never wanted this. No, nobody is going to die to be with me. No! I won’t allow it.”
“Please, hyung. Please. You promised me.” Changmin pleaded running and grabbing a hold of his leg. “Please don’t leave me again.”
Jae was just smiling at him, “It doesn’t matter what you say. The moment you take your last breath I am already dead.”
“No, this isn’t right. I can’t let this happen. No!” Yunho pried Changmin off his leg and took off running away from the lights and toward the darkness beyond them.
“Yunho!” Changmin screamed as Yunho ran faster and faster into the darkness. He didn’t slow down he just kept running; running as fast as he could for their precious lives.
Changmin almost tore the door off the hinges as he flung it open expecting to find Yunho, but instead he stumbled into an empty room. “Where is he?” Changmin demanded as Ryeowook and Kyuhyun followed him into the room.
“He’s supposed to be in here.” Nurse Kwan told him as he walked into the room behind them. “He is probably just in the bathroom.” He told them as he knocked on the door but he didn’t get an answer. He opened the bathroom door to find the bathroom empty.
“When was the last time you checked on him?” Kyuhyun asked not bothering to hide the accusation in his voice as he looked around the empty room.
“Hey, somebody was sick so they called me in. I haven’t been here long so I hadn’t checked on him yet.”
“And this is supposed to be the best facility of its kind in South Korea what a joke.” Changmin told him disgustedly turning to glare at the man; trying his best to fight down his fear.
“Hey, he is mostly self-sufficient and I don’t usually watch him…his friend doesn’t approve of my nursing skills.” Kwan sneered and told them defensively.
“I might actually agree with him for once, but that doesn’t matter now. We have to find him…something isn’t right.” Changmin insisted unable to control the fearful feeling he was having that something was horribly wrong.
Ryeowook who had been at the table looking at the broken computer asked, “What do you mean?”
“I can just feel it. There is something wrong.” Changmin said looking out the window his fear easily seen on his handsome features.
“Where else could he be?” Kyuhyun asked Kwan starting to feel uneasy himself.
“Shit! I forgot, Hana said he was watching television in one of the waiting rooms his television was broken. I just figured he would be done.” Kwan told them. “Maybe he fell asleep in there.”
“Which waiting room?” Kyuhyun asked eagerly as Changmin walked up beside him his anxiety pulsating off of him.
“It’s the one in the back by the backdoors.” Kwan told them as he hurried out of the room in search of his lost patient.
“We know that one.” Ryeowook told Changmin as they all hurried off toward the waiting room in question.
“So he could just be watching television.” Changmin said mostly to reassure himself as they hurried down the hallway toward the waiting room.
“He could be.” Kyuhyun agreed keeping pace with Changmin.
“His computer was broken too. Did you two notice that?” Ryeowook said struggling to keep up with Kyuhyun and Changmin.
Kyuhyun slowed slightly to let Ryeowook catch up with him. “Do you think Jae broke it?”
“I wouldn’t put it past him.” Ryeowook told Kyuhyun as he caught up with the other man. “Especially considering what he did to the television when Yunho first woke up.”
“Do I even want to know?” Changmin asked not even bothering to look back at them.
“No,” Ryeowook and Kyuhyun both answered.
Before Changmin could question them further they reached the waiting room to find it empty. “What the hell!” Kwan cursed as he picked up the phone and starting dialing.
“There is something really wrong. I can feel it.” Changmin said taking a seat suddenly to control his shaky legs.
“Where could he be?” Kyuhyun asked in general and Ryeowook studied the television.
“Yes, we need to do an individual room search. I can’t find Jung Yunho.” Kwan spoke into the phone.
“This is the channel the Awards were on.” Ryeowook said as a feeling of dread came over him as he looked at the television.
Changmin looked up at the television, “I don’t know what he is like right now, but if he is anything like he was before…that had to have hurt.”
“I am sure it hurt worse.” Kyuhyun said walking to the glass doors that lead to the grounds out back.
“We have to think. Where would he have gone? He can’t drive. He is dependent on his walker.” Ryeowook asked trying to think rationally.
“The creek?” Kyuhyun questioned turning around to face Ryeowook. “When he first showed it to me and Heechul he called it his favorite place?”
“But it’s so far.” Ryeowook said walking over next to Kyuhyun to look through the doors to the outside.
“The doors are locked he couldn’t have gotten out of them.” Kwan told them. “They lock at six pm.”
Kyuhyun furrowed his eyebrows and pushed on the door testing whether it was locked just in case. When it opened easily he paled, “This isn’t good.”
Changmin jumped up and pushed his way out the door quickly looking around. “How far is the creek…could he have made it?”
“No, there isn’t any way he could have.” Kwan insisted as he stayed back in the waiting room. “He would have to be…he would freeze. It would be too hard in a walker.”
“Changmin!” Kyuhyun and Ryeowook yelled at the same time as the younger man jumped off the patio and took off in a dead run.
“You don’t even know where you are going!” Ryeowook screamed after him when Kyuhyun grabbed his hand.
“What are those?” Kyuhyun said pointing at unfamiliar tracks leading from the patio that Changmin seemed to be following in the snow.
“Dear God, it’s from his walker?” Ryeowook said his nails digging into Kyuhyun’s hand. “He went out there…” Before Ryeowook could finish his sentence Kyuhyun had pulled him off the patio and they were soon chasing after Changmin who was screaming for Yunho over and over.
When consciousness finally returned to Yunho he fervently wished it hadn’t. He was freezing to death literally. His eyes barely opened for him and he could see ice on his eyelashes. He awoke to find himself lying at the creek’s edge his head was against a rock and his body was submerged in the freezing water.
He tilted his head and pain shot through his entire body, and he realized he must have hit his head on the rock when he fell. The pain in his head was not helping the panic that was setting in. What had made him fall he wondered had it been a seizure? He remembered the doctors and nurses describing them to him for months and they had warned him that a seizure was not to be unsuspected. Yunho cursed his luck of course he would have his first seizure while he was out in the cold like an insane man hovering over a frozen body of water.
Yunho tried to move but with any movement a piercing pain spread across his abdomen adding to the severe pain in his head. He found that he was being pressed down into the water by a log that had lodged up next to him. Yunho couldn’t help but feel disgusted at the thought that in the end it wasn’t the bullet that would kill him but his stupid pride. His stupid, endless pride would finally be the death of him.
“Help…help…” Yunho opened his mouth to scream but only the faintest whispers escaped his frozen lips. His lungs felt tight and he needed to cough but he lacked the strength even to cough.
Yunho closed his eyes and wished that he had just stayed and played cards. He should have been a bigger person and just stayed and played with Eun and Bae but no not Yunho. He had to let his jealousy, self pity, pride, and regret push him to this place. He closed his eyes and felt horribly remorseful as he realized what this would do to Jae. Jae would be the one to find him frozen to death…he knew it. Jae would never be able to live with this…this would be the final destruction of him.
When would he ever stop hurting Jae? When he was dead Yunho thought bitterly. He didn’t want Jae to find him like this. Please let Jae stay late in Seoul tonight he prayed. Let him go to an after party, get drunk and wake up tomorrow morning after it was all over and done with. Let him hear this news surrounded by Yoochun and Junsu who would know not to leave him alone.
Even as he prayed for this he knew it to be useless. Jae knew their time was running out and he would never waste a minute away from him. Jae’s love never wavered it might become tainted by his insecurity, anger and jealousy, but it never changed in its intensity. Jae’s love was a constant and Yunho had been a fool to ever think otherwise.
His father would abandon him as a lost cause, his mother and sister would both move on with their lives, but Jae would cling to him till that last breath. He might be able to push Jae away if he was cruel enough if he tapped into Jae’s fear of rejection, but Jae’s love for him never diminished. How he regretted ever listening to his father and casting Jae’s love aside in the delusional belief that he could keep Jae tied close to him as just a friend. All the insanity that Jae had inflicted on both of them and everybody else had come from that one choice. If he had just chosen Jae everything would be different now. He would have never walked into the room and been shattered emotionally. He knew the moment he walked into that room an invisible barrier had gone up between him and Jae separating them and no matter how hard he wished otherwise they were forever lovers lost.
Yunho had many regrets and as he laid there in the freezing water while his life slipped away he mourned them all. How would Changmin and his family feel knowing he had been his self for months and has never reached out to them. Could Heechul make them understand that it wasn’t done in anger that it had been done…in what exactly had it been done in? Yunho questioned as he his body grew colder. Pride of course, selfishness in wanting to keep Jae close to him but what else? At first he had not wanted to worry them he had been so afraid of being trapped in his body, but what about later? Was it only his love for Jae’s proximity and his pride that kept him from calling them in the last few weeks? Or was it something else? Had he held their abandonment of him against them in the deepest parts of his soul? They had abandoned him had they not? They had cast him aside and went on living their lives and left him in the hands of the ex lover that they had deemed unworthy of him when he had been in the prime of his life.
“No,” Yunho groaned his voice barely making enough noise for his own ears. That was true he told himself but only of his father. His father had asked…demanded, threatened, and guilted him into giving up Jae. His mother and sister had never asked any such thing of him, but they had never spoken up against his father either…no one ever did. His mother had only found her strength to stand up to his father after his injury. She had never gone against him before. Not even when he had left a very young Yunho moneyless, basically homeless and dependent on the mercy of strangers. Suddenly a vision of Junsu’s young face appeared in Yunho’s mind telling him that he could live with him. Yunho’s heart palpated and skipped a beat and he felt even colder. Had it really been three years since he talked to Junsu…how was that even possible?
Yunho used the last of his strength to force his eyes open to stare into the crystal clear night. The moon was shining brightly and reflecting off the snow it seemed almost like morning. He knew he would soon be dead and only misery lay ahead for all the people he loved. His frozen eyes would not allow any tears to escape but inside he did not cry for himself but he cried for all those who he had loved and failed.
And when hope had all but left him he thought he heard a much beloved voice calling out for him in the distance. Was he dreaming? Was he returning to his heaven? Would Jae be waiting for him?
“Yunho!” The familiar voice yelled out panicked breaking the silence of the winter night.
“Yunho!” Yunho’s heart fluttered as the voice grew louder. Was he going to be saved? He hadn’t been forgotten.
“Yunho, oh my God!” Yunho heard and then felt the impact of somebody landing on the ground beside him as they jumped from the bank above him. Soon he felt the log that had been pinning him down be tossed aside as if it were only a mere twig.
“Hyung, you are going to be alright.” Yunho could hear Changmin clearly as he reached down, picked Yunho up easily, and cradled him in his arms. Yunho’s eyes latched on to Changmin’s and he could see the fear and worry so clearly radiating from the big, brown eyes he had missed so much. Yunho wanted so badly to comfort him, and to tell him how terribly sorry he was but he never had the chance as his world returned to blackness.