Fragile Essence, Chapter Eight

Fragile Essence
Chapter Eight
Author: Aquariuslover
Pairings: Yunho, Jaejoong
Rating: R
Genre: Romance, Angst, AU
Length: Chaptered
Beta:  tahoeturquoise

Summary: Jaejoong, the half Korean child nobody wanted, and Yunho, the beloved golden son of a town, form an unlikely bond; one that is forever evolving through the passing years as it is repeatedly tested by love, loss, and fire. This is part one of their story.

Author’s Note: I suck! Like really suck for not replying to all my comments—but life kept getting in the way, and then I wasn’t sure when I was going to be able to update. I would have done a commenter appreciation chapter…but I didn’t have time to do that either. I love you all! Thank you for your wonderful feedback! Thank you!

Chapter List

Jaejoong awoke wrapped snugly in the arms of another; another he knew well. He kept his eyes closed, not moving; mentally bracing himself before the memories of the past three days hit him again. Yesterday had been his aunt’s funeral, but most of it was a blur to him. Everything after the fire was a blur to him. He’d shut down; he didn’t remember going to bed, much less falling asleep.

He opened his eyes to find himself in Yunho’s room. The early morning light was just barely disrupting the darkness of the room. He easily slid out of Yunho’s arms. Even as boys he could always ease away from Yunho without waking the other boy, but if Yunho even slightly stirred Jaejoong would fully awaken.

Jaejoong looked down, noticing he was still in the white dress shirt and the black pants he had worn to the funeral. He only briefly wondered where the black jacket that went with the pants was. He vaguely remembered that on the day before the funeral a tearful Jennifer had brought the suit along with more clothes to him; the Jungs had given her money to shop for him.

He stood up and looked back down at Yunho; the other boy was sleeping on top of the covers dressed in gray sweats and a black t-shirt. Jaejoong frowned and moved toward the window. Yunho’s window faced…faced the place where Aunt Bessie’s house had once stood. He pulled back the blinds to see a lone figure standing next to the ruins of the house.

Jaejoong quickly made his way out of Yunho’s room and then the Jung house, heading toward the lone figure. He now remembered that she had returned for her sister’s funeral. He hadn’t spoken in days, not even to her, but he suddenly felt compelled to speak his mind.

He walked, barefooted, to the property that had belonged to his aunt. The house that he had lived in since he was ten was completely destroyed.

“Grandmother,” he whispered as he approached her.

She was not dressed in black; instead she was in bright colors. Bright colors that were similar to what had filled her sewing room so long ago. He hated bright colors, always preferring pastels. Bright colors reminded him of her, reminded him of being left behind for colorful places.

“You’ve grown into beautiful young man,” his grandmother told him, not turning away from the pile of burnt rubble that had once been her sister’s home.

“Beauty is over rated,” Jaejoong told her harshly.

“Yes, it is,” she agreed, turning to face him. She looked younger than he remembered her. When he had been a child she had looked so old, but now she looked so young compared to Aunt Bessie. “Our family has always been blessed with beauty, but it never brought us any happiness.”

“No,” Jaejoong agreed, looking at the rubble.

“It was a nice service.”

It had only been a graveside service. Aunt Bessie had planned her own funeral years before, insisting that she had never gone to church when she was alive and she had not wanted that to change just because she was dead. She had asked that Mr. Jung preside over her graveside rites. She did not like organized religion, but she had always said that Mr. Jung was a good man. “I don’t remember much of it, but I am glad it was nice.”

“She would have approved,” his grandmother told him, turning back to face the charred ruins. “What will you do?”

“What do you mean?”

“When your aunt died, I resumed custody of you. Ms. Brown cornered me at the funeral yesterday and she wants me to sign emancipation papers relinquishing all rights to you and declaring you an adult.”

Jaejoong stepped up to stand beside her. “Laura’s mother…”

“Yes, she and the Jungs are very concerned for your wellbeing. They want you to stay in Red Fern and they want you to finish your senior year here. It seems they have all kinds of demands where you are concerned.”

“And you?”

“You will be eighteen in four months. I think you are old enough to make your own decisions. They seem to think of you as a child, but I don’t remember you as a child. Only as a fragile little man, who felt things too deeply.”

Jaejoong closed his eyes. “I…I found my childhood here.”

“Mr. Jung and Ms. Brown both think you should go live with them. I know you’ve been in a daze, but there has been a lot of discussion about where you will live.”

“And what about Mrs. Jung?” Jaejoong questioned, extremely sensitive to the exclusion of her name.

“She thinks it should be left up to you to decide.”

Jaejoong pondered his grandmother’s words. Mr. Jung, who only saw him as a beloved son, wanted him with his family. Mrs. Jung, who had never been anything but kind to him, wanted him to decide for himself…but was that all? Jaejoong couldn’t help but remember that night long ago. The night he had exited a bathroom to find Mrs. Jung watching him; did she remember that night? Did she fear that night? Did she fear for her son, no Jaejoong corrected…she feared for both, him and her son. Jaejoong closed his eyes remembering a tumble in the park, and when he opened his eyes, he answered his grandmother, “I will live with the Browns.”

He felt her sharp eyes on him. “Perhaps, that would be for the best.”

Jaejoong did not turn to look at her. He was sure his Aunt Bessie and confessed all to her sister. He didn’t need to look into his grandmother’s face to confirm anything. “I would also like for you to sign any papers Ms. Brown asks you to sign.”

“Of course,” she told him, nodding her head. “You should also know that Bessie left everything to you. She was not rich by any means, but she was not poor. When everything is settled you could get an apartment.”

“Not until after school, for now I will live with the Browns.”

“The Browns?”

Jaejoong spun around quickly to find Yunho standing behind them. He did not look happy. “You are awake?” a nervous Jaejoong blurted out, asking the obvious. Yunho had not bothered to change his clothes.

“Why would you want to go live with Laura?” Yunho demanded as he stepped up closer to Jaejoong. “My house has always been a home to you.”

Jaejoong turned his head to stare at his grandmother to see if he would get any help from her. She gazed at Yunho and then back at him, telling him, “I think I should leave, and let you two discuss this. I will contact Ms. Brown and tell her I’ll sign the papers.”

“Okay,” Jaejoong replied at a loss as he watched her walk away toward a cab that he had not noticed earlier, parked on the side of the street.

Yunho, who was beside Jaejoong now, grabbed a hold of his hand and repeated, “Why would you want to live with Laura?”

“Goodbye!” Jaejoong shouted awkwardly at his departing grandmother as the cab driver opened the car door for her. He felt like there should be more said between them. It felt wrong to just let her leave, but he lacked to the strength to chase after her.

She turned back to look at him one last time before getting in the car. “Goodbye, JJ.”

Jaejoong watched as she departed in the cab, feeling terribly unsatisfied; as if something had been lost, something he could never get back.

Yunho, who would not be ignored, demanded louder, “Jaejoong, answer me.”

Jaejoong jerked his hand free of Yunho, and hissed at the other boy, “Can you give me a moment? If you didn’t notice, that was my grandmother! I haven’t seen her in a really long time. I might have wanted to talk to her. There might have been things I needed to say to her. I might not ever see her again.”

“Do you want to talk to her about how you are going to live with Laura?”

“Would you stop?” Jaejoong demanded in exasperation.

“No, I won’t. You haven’t talked for almost three days, and when you finally decide to talk…you talk to a woman that all but abandoned you. I don’t give a shit about your grandmother. I do care about you living with Laura, though!”

Jaejoong rubbed his face with both his hands. “I wish you hadn’t woken up.”

“Well, I did…I’ve been worried about you,” Yunho told him, reaching out for him again.

At Yunho’s touch Jaejoong flinched, taking a step back. “Don’t touch me! I don’t want to be touched!”

“I’ve noticed. You won’t let anybody touch you…comfort you…not even my mom.”

Jaejoong stared at the ground. “I just...I just want to be left alone.”

“Is that why you want to live with the Browns, because they will leave you alone?”

Jaejoong looked up at Yunho. “Have you met Laura? She doesn’t know how to leave anything alone.”

“Then why do you want to live with them?”

Jaejoong looked at a clueless Yunho, and wondered if he had imagined everything that had happened before the fire. “Are you really asking me that?”

“Yes, I am. I know you love my mom and dad, way more than you do Ms. Brown. I know you love Hana and Junsu. Laura may be a better friend than I have been in the past, but I still think I outrank her on the friend hierarchy scale. I know I was kinda a jerk for a long time, but before that I was a great friend, and I have been since then…so for you to still hold a grudge…that’s kinda shitty of you,” Yunho told Jaejoong, while somehow managing to look offended.

Jaejoong looked at Yunho in utter confusion. Was Yunho being for real? Was he really picking now to have a jealous fit over who Jaejoong considered his better friend?

“Or are you just pissed at me?”

A confused Jaejoong shook his head, asking, “Pissed at you?”

“If you hadn’t been at my game, you would have—”

“Stop!” Jaejoong ordered, growing angry. “I am not mad at you, but you drive me crazy. I just need to be left alone…I need to be away from you!”

“If you stay with us I will leave you alone,” Yunho promised.

“Yunho…”

“If you go live with Laura, I totally won’t leave you alone till you give up and move in with us. Dad won’t either, and Hana will side with me. We will like…I don’t know…we will play banjos on their front yard till you change your mind.”

“Banjos?”

“Yeah, or anything annoying and loud…you might get us thrown in jail. Won’t you feel bad for sending Hana to jail?”

“Stop it!”

Yunho spread out his arms, and declared, “I am being serious. If you stay with us I will tell everybody to respect your wishes. We won’t touch or talk to you…until you are ready.”

An irritated Jaejoong headed back to the Jung house but spat out, “Crawling in bed with me is not respecting my wishes.”

Yunho reached out, grabbed Jaejoong by the arm and yanked him back around till they were facing each other. “You were restless, and you hadn’t slept in three days…I just thought it might help you.”

Jaejoong darted his gaze away from Yunho, grateful that he had not pointed out that it had indeed helped. Jaejoong always slept when he was with Yunho. Jaejoong was waging a mental battle with himself. The part of him that felt like he should always be punished insisted that he stay with the Browns, and the part of him that feared for Yunho also whispered that staying with the Browns was for the best.

But Jaejoong also knew Yunho wasn’t lying. Since childhood Yunho rarely gave in, and if he thought Jaejoong was better off with his family he would be relentless. Jaejoong knew that Yunho wouldn’t leave him alone if he stayed with the Browns, and the Mr. Jung would be hurt. Hana would probably cry. “Your mom…she doesn’t want me to stay with you.”

The look of utter disbelief on Yunho’s face filled Jaejoong with relief. “She does want you to stay! Are you crazy? She totally does, she just knows you feel weird things sometimes and she wants to give you the choice.”

“Feel weird things?” Jaejoong repeated, thinking perhaps that was the greatest understatement ever.

“Like guilty for things you have nothing to do with. Feeling like you are burden when you are a blessing. Weird things like that,” Yunho clarified innocently as if they were ten years old again, and nothing but pure friendship had ever existed between them.

Jaejoong narrowed his eyes at Yunho, pulled his arm away, and whirled around dramatically, surrendering. “I will stay with your family, but you have to give me time. I don’t want to talk about anything.”

“Okay,” a very relieved Yunho replied as he easily caught up with Jaejoong.

Jaejoong came to abrupt stop as the sting of emotions hit him. “I can’t think about her…I just can’t.”

“I know.”

“It’s too terrible.”

“I want to help you.”

“You can’t help me…and I don’t want you to try…I mean other than leaving me alone,” Jaejoong tried to explain. “I feel…like I am going to break.”

Yunho resisted the urge to reach out and pull Jaejoong into a hug. “I think you already did.”

“No; maybe the night of the fire…but since then…I have been better, it’s not like…” Jaejoong trailed off, remembering how he had been those first days after Yunho had walked away from him. How his Aunt Bessie had tried to comfort him, but nobody could. Jaejoong wondered sometimes what would have happened to him, if Yunho and his dad hadn’t appeared that day; if Jaejoong hadn’t felt like Yunho was concerned about him. Would he still be alive? He loved his Aunt Bessie dearly, but he knew he would survive her passing; but this boy standing beside him…this boy meant everything to him. Too much, he needed him so much, loved him even more, more than anybody should ever be loved or needed.

“Like when your mother left?”

Jaejoong looked up at Yunho, and wondered if he really was so dense as to believe anybody had ever meant more to him than he did. “I don’t want to talk about that.”

“We won’t.”

“I know you are going to bother me and not respect my wishes.”

“I won’t.”

“No, hugs! None from you, your mom, your dad, or Hana!”

Yunho held up his hands. “We are the hug free zone.”

Jaejoong swallowed, feeling both like he had made a horrible choice, and also feeling like he had made the only choice he could. “I don’t want to go to church.”

“They would never make you go.”

“I know, and I don’t want to go to any of your games.” The hurt look on Yunho’s face had Jaejoong rolling his eyes, and amending, “Not for a while.”

“You are my best friend.”

Jaejoong frowned and started walking away. “I don’t want to talk to you.”

“I totally respect your right to be a mute,” Yunho assured him, walking quietly and protectively behind him.

****************************************


“What are you doing?” Yunho asked as he walked into the bedroom he shared with Jaejoong.

Jaejoong didn’t look up from the desk where he was sitting. “I am doing my homework.”

“Really?”

Jaejoong could feel Yunho looking over his shoulder. “Yes, I really am doing my homework.”

“Ummm…well, that’s nice…I suppose.”

Something in Yunho’s tone had Jaejoong asking, “You are totally going to redo it, aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” Yunho admitted. “I have been doing your history papers all this year. We should keep them consistent…you can’t really blame test anxiety on this.”

Jaejoong turned around and asked, “What is so wrong about it?”

Yunho told him kindly, “Well, it’s supposed to be about the war of 1812 and you keep mentioning the Confederacy.”

“Oh, wrong war,” Jaejoong said sheepishly.

Yunho nodded his head. “Wrong war.”

Jaejoong got up from the chair, walked over to the bottom bunk bed, and sat down. “I was trying.”

Yunho sat down at the desk, taking the abandoned seat. “You were.”

“Laura would be proud.”

“Not if she read what you wrote,” Yunho mumbled under his breath.

“I am not emotionally healthy enough for you to be making fun of me,” Jaejoong snapped. It had been four weeks since his aunt’s funeral. The Jungs had been remarkably understanding with him; Yunho being the least understanding of them all…just as Jaejoong had known he would be.

Yunho turned around to look at him. “Sorry…you know Laura just brings out the worst in me.”

“She’s my friend.”

Yunho gave him a big fake grin. “I know…she is the best friend ever.”

Jaejoong grunted and got up and left the bedroom without another word to Yunho. He didn’t have time to feed Yunho’s ego, nor the desire to do so. Yunho and Laura’s relationship had always had an edge to it, but it had grown worse since Yunho learned that living with Laura has been Jaejoong’s first choice.

For weeks Jaejoong had just ignored Yunho’s stupidity, but he found that this week he was feeling more annoyed than usual. Sometimes he wanted to shout at his friend that he wanted to live with Laura because he wasn’t in love with her. He wasn’t afraid of something happening between them and bringing ruin on everyone. Jaejoong has done his best to put as much distance between him and Yunho as possible. He was going to respect the Jung family’s beliefs. He would not live in their house and moon over their son. Not mooning over Yunho was rather easy at the moment, since almost everything Yunho did irritated the hell out of him.

Jaejoong sat down at dining room table, frowning. Because as the weeks passed, he became less and less sure of that moment in the park. Yunho had not dumped Jennifer, much to Laura’s surprise, and nothing had happened to even hint that Yunho wasn’t the straightest of the straight.

Although Jaejoong had to admit he had been rather reserved, shrinking away from physical contact with anybody. Hana had finally learned not to hug him upon seeing him, only Junsu ignored Jaejoong’s mood, demanding to be held whenever it suited him.

“What are you doing?” Mrs. Jung asked as she sat down at the dining table across from him.

Jaejoong looked up to find her watching him closely. He hadn’t heard her in the kitchen; he had hoped to be left alone, but found that he wasn’t displeased to see her. “Yunho is doing my homework.”

“I will pretend I didn’t hear that.”

“I tried to do it myself, but he read it over and wouldn’t allow it.”

She smiled at him. “My son is a rather odd mix of jock and nerdy perfectionist.”

“Oh, the papers he writes for me are never perfect; he makes them realistic and only B worthy.”

“You seem better.”

“Do I?”

“You do.”

“I’m feeling more annoyed these past couple of days.”

She arched her eyebrows and asked, “Annoyed at whom?”

“Mostly with Yunho.”

“Have you ever shared a room with anybody before?”

Jaejoong shook his head. “No, not that I can remember but I have stayed with you guys a lot, so I don’t think that is it.”

“Also you are still grieving. I think they say anger is a natural stage of the grieving process.”

“I am not…” he paused. Was he angry? He was definitely annoyed, that was for sure, and he had been unusually sharp with Yunho. “I don’t want to be angry at him.”

“I know you don’t, but sometimes those we are closest to get the brunt of our moods.”

Was that it? Yunho, who he loved the most, was getting the brunt of his bad mood. He knew he should talk about his aunt. He should talk through things, and maybe that would help him, but instead he asked something else. Something he had wondered about for years, “Did you know my mother?”

Mrs. Jung’s eyes widened. “Yes, I did.”

“Why have you never mentioned her?” Jaejoong asked, resting both of his hands on the table, eager to hear her response.

“The only time we really ever discussed your mother was when I accidently called you an angel and after that I thought it best if I not bring her up,” Mrs. Jung explained calmly.

Jaejoong looked down at the table and confessed, “When I first found out she had stayed with Aunt Bessie too…I had hoped it was Mr. Jung that had lived here then.”

“You did?”

Jaejoong paled. “You see…I never knew who…I kinda hoped that—”

“That he was your father.” Mrs. Jung finished for him.

Jaejoong squeezed his eyes shut in embarrassment. “Yeah…I did, not all the time, but for a little bit…I kinda wished that….but that was weird. I didn’t wish it long…I…” Jaejoong trailed off unable to explain to Mrs. Jung that imagining Mr. Jung as his father was complicated because of his feelings for Yunho.

“My husband never met your mother.”

“Oh, I kinda figured that out. Yunho said this house used to belong to your dad.”

“It did. I was raised in this house just like Yunho. Your mother was older than me, but she was always very sweet to me. I used to think she was a beautiful princess. My mother adored her.”

“She did?”

“Yes and your mother adored my mother in return. Do you know what my mother’s name is?”

Jaejoong shook his head.

Mrs. Jung smiled and told Jaejoong, “My mother’s name was Jae-Hee and my father always called her Jae.”

The first real smile in weeks graced Jaejoong’s face. “I didn’t know.”

“Your mom…at times was very vibrant. She lit rooms up with her joyful personality, and everybody adored her. We were all sad when she stopped coming to visit your aunt.”

“She was a happy person?” Jaejoong asked, strangely relieved that somebody who had brought him so much unhappiness had been happy.

“I thought so then but I was very young. I think my mother always knew otherwise. My mother once told me that your mother hid her wounds well. Not till I met her son and reflected back on my childhood idol did I realize just how wounded your mother truly was.”

Jaejoong was taken aback. “She had wounds? She was beaten?”

“No, no, no,” Mrs. Jung quickly corrected. “I was talking about different kinds of wounds…the wounds somebody gets if they don’t get enough love.”

“Oh,” Jaejoong sighed. “I have those kinds of wounds, don’t I?”

Mrs. Jung nodded her head.

Jaejoong looked away from her and down at his hands, picking at his fingernails and admitted, “I just remember her being lots of fun. All my memories of being with her as a kid are like a whirlwind…like a fun ride, but they never lasted. I mostly have memories of waiting for her to come back. When I lived with my grandmother we lived in an apartment building and there was one window that looked out over the parking lot, and I would…I was always waiting for her to come back.”

Mrs. Jung reached across the table and held his hands. “I really wanted to get a hold of your grandmother when she was here, but I restrained myself.”

Jaejoong continued to look at the table avoiding her gaze, and questioned, “Why did you restrain yourself?”

“Because you never know what makes a person like they are. I couldn’t rightfully judge her. I could be angry on your behalf and maybe even for your mother, but I don’t know what made your grandmother the way she is.”

Jaejoong looked up at Mrs. Jung. “Aunt Bessie was kinda like my grandmother…she got less like her over time, though.”

“I know, but your Aunt Bessie was smart enough not to have kids.”

Jaejoong frowned at Mrs. Jung…hadn’t he been Aunt Bessie’s kid?

“She was smart not to have kids, and then God blessed her with you. The most wonderful kid in the whole world and she loved you. She loved you so much.”

Jaejoong felt his upper lip quivering, and sniffled back his tears; emotions threatening to overcome him.

“Baby, do you mind if I give you a great big hug?”

Jaejoong shook his head, getting up out of his chair to meet her halfway around the table as she engulfed him in a warm, healing hug.

*************************

“I wonder if you winked at him if we would get some pound cake for free,” Jim mused as he looked at Rick who was standing behind the counter.

“I am not winking at him.”

Laura looked up from her books to smile at Rick. “He’s cute. You totally should go for it.”

Jaejoong folded his arms. “I’m in mourning.”

“JJ, I love you dearly, but your aunt died, not your spouse,” Laura told him, looking back down at her books.

“I don’t even know why we have to come here,” Jaejoong whined. It had been eight weeks since his aunt had died, and Jaejoong was slowly returning to his old self.

“For the free stuff,” Jim explained, while guzzling down at his frappe.

“It just feels wrong, like I am leading him on. I am going to start paying for everything. It’s wrong to lead him on,” Jaejoong insisted.

“Are you with somebody else?” Laura asked.

“You know I’m not.”

“Then it isn’t wrong.”

Jim nodded his head in agreement. “There is still hope for him.”

“No, there isn’t…there is no hope for him,” Jaejoong assured them.

Laura closed her book and asked, “Are you ever going to date?”

Jaejoong just shook his head.

“What about when you go to that fancy cooking school? I am sure there will be a lot of gay guys there,” Jim told him helpfully.

“Because all men that cook must be gay,” Jaejoong snapped, feeling sensitive.

“You are,” Jim pointed out.

Laura tilted her head and questioned, “What if we were wrong? Maybe Jaejoong isn’t gay. He does seem more sexless now than usual…and that is saying a lot. He isn’t even pining over Yunho anymore.”

“Oh, that’s true. He is very snippy with Yunho.”

“I am not! I stopped being snippy!” Jaejoong replied, feeling defensive. “I am totally not snippy anymore.”

“Does living with one’s true love…make him less shiny and perfect?” Laura asked sarcastically.

Jaejoong pointed at her. “You are not allowed to be mean about Yunho. It is forbidden. Not allowed.”

“Okay, I get it. You are the only one allowed to be mean to him,” Laura retorted, causing Jaejoong to frown.

“Least he isn’t smitten anymore; if he had gotten any more smitten everybody in the school would’ve figured him out. It worked out for the best,” Jim told them.

“The smitten days are over,” Laura agreed.

Jaejoong was fighting the urge to deny not being smitten because he felt it was kind of insulting to Yunho for him not to be smitten, but he knew it was for the best if others believed he was no longer in love with his best friend. Jaejoong was trying to think of a proper response when a very familiar voice asked, “Who isn’t smitten anymore?”

Laura looked up and grinned at Yunho, happily informing him, “JJ; he isn’t smitten with you anymore.”

Jaejoong’s mouth fell open as he gaped at Laura.

“Nope,” Yunho agreed as if he wasn’t the least bit bothered by Laura bringing up such a delicate topic. He sat down next to Jaejoong unfazed and stated, “I thought you were talking about Jennifer.”

“Why would I be talking about Jennifer?” Laura asked nervously, trying her best to sound casual and failing at it.

“You are going to make a horrible attorney someday,” Yunho told her as he grabbed Jaejoong’s frappe and started drinking it.

Laura opened her book, looked down at it, avoiding Yunho’s gaze and asked, “Why would you say that?”

Yunho very nonchalantly told Laura, “Jennifer dumped me today, and I know she discussed it with you first.”

Jaejoong gasped, and Laura looked up from her book guiltily. “Honestly, I didn’t know it was going to be today…she’s been talking about it for awhile.”

Yunho shrugged. “Best friends have to keep each other’s secrets.” Yunho then bumped into the shocked Jaejoong’s shoulder and asked, “Did you know?”

“No,” Jaejoong quickly answered. “I knew she thought you were—nope I didn’t know.”

“She thought I was what?” Yunho asked, looking at Jaejoong suspiciously.

Jaejoong smiled back at him, babbling, “Athletic, smart, tall, handsome, kind—”

“Stop, you are so full of bull,” Yunho ordered, interrupting Jaejoong. “Before you were Laura’s bitch you never kept secrets from me.”

“I am not Laura’s bitch!” Jaejoong denied. “I didn’t know! She said something about Jennifer not being happy before…at homecoming, but I completely forgot about it.”

“Whatever, JJ is totally my bitch, and don’t you forget it,” Laura announced as she stood up, gathering her books. She was eager to find Jennifer and to find out more about the breakup. “He would be living with me right now if you weren’t such a whiney ass.”

“Laura!” Jaejoong warned.

“Poor Yunho, neither Jennifer nor Jaejoong are smitten with you anymore…must be tough for you. How the mighty have fallen,” Laura couldn’t resist from taunting Yunho as a parting shot as she turned and left the coffee shop.

Yunho didn’t say anything, he just sucked on Jaejoong’s frappe while glaring after Laura.

“I still think you are cool,” Jim told Yunho encouragingly.

Yunho put down the drink, grinning at Jim. “At least I still have you.”

Jim grinned back at Yunho and lifted his frappe pretending to toast him. “Till death do us part.”

Jaejoong frowned. “You two are weird.”

Yunho winked at Jim and asked Jaejoong, “Are you jealous?”

“No,” Jaejoong answered, reaching for his frappe, but Yunho quickly grabbed it and held it out of his reach. “And I am not Laura’s bitch.”

“Yes, you are,” Yunho grumbled disapprovingly. “You should make your best friend be nicer to me.”

Jaejoong gave up reaching for his drink and informed Yunho, “She is not my best friend. You are my best friend. You are my favorite person in the world! You have always been my favorite person in the world. Now give me my frappe!”

“Say it like you mean it,” Yunho said with a pout.

Jaejoong sighed and gave Yunho what he wanted. “I know I have been kinda mean to you…and stuff, but you really are my best friend.”

“You have been very mean to me,” Yunho agreed.

“I’ve been nicer lately!” Jaejoong insisted as another frappe was set down in front of him. Jaejoong looked up to see Rick standing beside the table.

Rick looked furiously at Yunho, and snootily told Jaejoong, “Since yours got taken away from you.”

“It really isn’t necessary,” Jaejoong quickly scrambled to say, feeling extremely awkward. He knew he should have never ever accepted a free drink from the other boy.

“But thanks, we love to share and I just finished the other one,” Yunho told Rick with a big smile as he grabbed the new drink and took a sip of it and set it back down in front of Jaejoong. “We live together so we already have all the same germs.”

Jaejoong elbowed Yunho, who for the purposes of irritating Rick more had wrapped an arm around Jaejoong, causing Rick to storm back to his counter.  “What are you doing?”  Jaejoong asked, aghast at Yunho’s behavior.

“Messing with your little admirer’s head,” Yunho answered honestly.  “It’s too easy.”

Jim, who was watching both of the friends, asked Yunho, “So how is preparation for State going?”

Yunho yawned as if bored.  “I personally can’t wait till State is over with, and then we will be on Christmas break.  I am so looking forward to that because Coach has such a tight leash on me; but since you asked, preparation is going nicely.”

“Why are you at the mall?”  Jaejoong asked suddenly.  “Shouldn’t you be at football practice?”

“Oh, yeah…I should be getting back to that.  I told coach I needed some time alone, since Jennifer dumped me.  I was making it look like I was heartbroken and blah, blah, blah.”

“Why?”  Jim asked, stunned.  “To make her feel guilty?”

“No, not really…I was a shitty boyfriend,” Yunho conceded.  “Believe me, she won’t feel guilty, and I don’t mind feeding her ego.  It will give her a little boost while she searches for her next prey…I mean boyfriend.”

“But aren’t you sad?”  Jaejoong asked the man, who still had his arm wrapped around him.  

Yunho leaned in and whispered in Jaejoong’s ear, “Do you not remember what I said in the park that night?”

Jaejoong froze and Yunho got up and slapped him on the back, telling Jim, “I better get back to practice.   My focus now has to be completely on the game.  Winning State during my senior year is going to kick ass.”

“Better than when you won it during your junior year?”  Jim asked.

“Totally; twice as good,” Yunho declared as he left the coffee shop with a new spring in his step.

Jim looked at Jaejoong who was still frozen in his seat.  “He doesn’t act like a guy that was just dumped.”
  • Current Mood: rushed rushed
  • Current Music: On My Own
wahahaha ninja skills are back ^^
but YUN WHY ARE YOU SUCH A TEASE UGH and needy too... -_- ok but I'm totally picturing that foam kiss from secret garden but with yun and jae.. and alkdfjlkdfj *dies*
guhh thanks for the update ^^
That scene with Jae and Mrs. Jung was so sweet omg ; v; loved it~
“He doesn’t act like a guy that was just dumped.” 100% agreed OMG YUNHO!!! completely suspicious of him once more... smh
OMG Yunho is so persistent, so spoiled, dense... etc. he sometimes overlook him self.
LMAO I totally bet Yunho is rather happy Jennifer dumped him and waited her to do that for a while. being a gentleman he is, Yunho doesnt want to.dump her first bcs it will crushed Jennifer's ego.
Yunho is an unselfish person when it comes to other people, but when it comes to JJ, well he is the most selfish!
btw thx for the update!
oh boy... whatever yunho's doing to mess with jaejoongie is starting to agitate me... still i know it's for the story line blah blah blah but i keep wanting to have jj treated like a glass ball... you my dear are an excellent weaver of words and sentences that make us feel. this is a good story (despite the pain you're about to put hs through... lol!)
I love that scene in the cafe where they are all together just talking and teasing. So fantastic.
i was tears at the first part but then grinning like a weirdo at second part. loved every scene in this chapter. thanks for update.
Totally loved this chapter ^^ esp the cafe scene where Yun was being all possessive over Jae!hehe!Atleast he hasnt forgotten what happened at the park ^^

I really love the characters of Yunhos' parents,Its really sad knowing that they are going to die in the future :( </p>

Thanks for the update <3

Amy liked the cafe scene, too.

Yunho hasn't forgotten the park...not at all.

Thanks bunches for commenting!
I'm sooooo happy!!!!!! I love this chapter and I hope Yunho will "confess" to Jaejoong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh i feel like i have sinned for reading this wonderful fic just now. I have lost all interest in lj because of the deteriorating quality of fics but then i found you again and im all thanks to the higher beings lmao i almost forgot how i love all your works.
Anyway, i love Jim. If i were a guy id totally go gay for him

Edited at 2013-01-06 01:20 am (UTC)
Well, I am glad the higher beings sent you my way. LOL I am really touched you like it!

Jim is the man.

Thanks for commenting!
Spott!!
Beright back aft reading

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wow, it takes me 6 days to edit my comment! I'm really sorry >< I have to go to a camp for days, really sorry!!


uh, Jaejoong's grandma, finally! annoying as ever, but still finally she's there..
and Yunho is stubborn as usual, and I'm so imagining Yunho, Hana and Mr. Changmin (lol) playing banjos in front of Laura's house and that cute and warm part when JJ talks to Mrs. Jung awww, isn't he cute?

“She was smart not to have kids, and then God blessed her with you. The most wonderful kid in the whole world and she loved you. She loved you so much.”
I guess she never dislike Jaejoong back then (uuuhhh, I'm so in love with her character)

Jaejoong gave up reaching for his drink and informed Yunho, “She is not my best friend. You are my best friend. You are my favorite person in the world! You have always been my favorite person in the world. Now give me my frappe!”
awww.. Jaejoong, that's cute cute cute and yunho and jaejoong finally have their first (indirect) kiss and yunho is such an obvious person just say it that you're jealous and blah blah

I can't wait to read the part when Mr. Jung dies T__T

great update as usual :DD and I'm sorry again it takes me ages to edit this /bow/
thank you for your hardwork and fast update :DDD kekkeke



Edited at 2013-01-12 07:29 am (UTC)
No, Mrs. Jung never disliked Jaejoong. She loves him.

I love that you are quoting.:) Thank you!

I imagine that Yunho and Jaejoong have shared many an indirect kiss, they were attached at the hip for so long.

Yeah, I won't go into too many details when she dies.

Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment!
I'm glad that Yunho insisted Jaejoong to live with them..
I'm laughing hard imagining Yunho, Mr. Jung, and Hana sat in front of Laura's house playing Banjo....
Love the scene in the cafe.. I'm surprised that Yunho brought up about the park scene and why did he isn't bother to hear Jaejoong is not smitten to him anymore.. I want him to be bothered..^^

Thanks for updating... As always, can't wait to read the next chapter..
They would have so been playing banjos out on the Brown front lawn too.

Yunho might be full of a lot of surprises.
Thanks for commenting!
Wonderful chapter as usual-every scene that i read makes me feel like am being transported into that world-I love how you've dealt with Jae's feeling after his Aunt's death-confusion, anger sadness all rolled into one.
And I love Yunho's character a lot-I now a lot of readers are out to get him lol but i absolutely adore him-He is a bundle of contradictions and while i see everyone talking about Jae's love for Yunho , I can also feel Yunho's all encompassing love for him and its a relationship which is not an ordinary one and thats why Yunho shows his myriad of emotions when it comes to Jae like one would in real life.
I sense a Rick/Jae angle? and more jealous Yun maybe :-)
Thank you so much-Such a big fan of your's-you are truly talented!
I am glad you approved of how Jaejoong dealt with his grief. The flashback thing I have going might have made it felt rushed.

Yunho is a bundle of contradictions, but he does love Jaejoong in his own way. He cares a lot for him.

I am touched you are a fan of my writing. thank you!