“The only reason she knows about me is because I got mad at you and wanted to hurt you. I am not a saint. I have my faults and maybe my biggest fault is never making it hundred percent clear to you how much I value you.” Yunho said ignoring his pride for once for Jae’s sake. Jae was reminding him very much of a beaten dog. He could handle Jae being manipulative, vain and even cruel but not this.
Jae took a step back to face Yunho, “Why did you get so upset with me that day? You never told me.”
Yunho shook his head embarrassed at himself remembering back, “It doesn’t matter I have dealt with it or made enough progress that it won’t be an issue again. For the first time in a long time I am okay with how everything ended. I’ve accepted it…the best I can.”
“How we ended?” Jae said unable to keep his nasal area from flaring. Jae knew that he would never be okay with how it ended between them.
“No, how the five of us ended…I don’t like it and I never will, but I have accepted it. I have all kinds of issues, but I should have behaved better. I sincerely hope it was the brain injury or medications that made me act like such an ass most of the time.” Yunho explained trying his best not to bring up the tattoos.
“You weren’t that bad.” Jae said as he eased closer to Yunho his hand finding Yunho’s hair and running through it for the first time since his return.
“I think you might be bias.” Yunho told him with a grin as he enjoyed the feel of Jae’s hand in his hair. How he had missed it…him
Jae to Yunho’s utter shock sat down in his lap and wrapping an arm around Yunho’s neck, “I am so tired, Yunho. I know we have to be friends and I respect that but I was so spoiled…it nearly killed me being away from you.”
“Spoiled?” Yunho questioned as Jae leaned into his chest.
“I had adapted to not being around you before your injury. I hated it but I had adapted, but then you got shot and I was back with you. While you were lost in your mind I could easily balance my time between JYJ and you. I could leave you do what I had to do and return…but then you woke up, and it was like old times. That old need to be with you constantly started consuming me again. What am I going to do when you leave this place? I won’t be able to see you. Twelve days about killed me.” Jae mouthed the words into Yunho’s shirt not looking at him.
Yunho found himself wrapping his arms around Jae, who was about to slide out of the wheelchair onto the floor. “Jae, I never didn’t want us to be friends. I know that’s selfish of me but if you are willing to try then I am will handle the backlash when I get out of here.”
Jae sat up instantly eyeing Yunho his face full of doubt, “What about your father…what about Changmin? And not to mention SM I can just imagine their response to our new found friendship.”
“Like Heechul said SM will not be able to refuse me anything when I get out of here. I will handle my father and Changmin.” Yunho promised.
“Spoken like somebody who has not had to face them in a long time. I think you forget that your father always gets his way with you.” Jae told him biting on his bottom lip.
“I promised my father that I would stop being your lover and I have. I never promised that I would cast you from my life. Never. I would never promise that. I don’t think you completely understood that in my crazy head we would go on being the greatest friends ever after our break-up.” Yunho explained to Jae who had gotten up out of his lap after finding it not nearly as comfortable as he had imagined.
“Crazy head indeed.” Jae said standing up and stretching. “So you better call Go Ara and tell her to stay lost. I intend on doing lots of catch up sleeping and I don’t need to wake up to her bright smiley face. You have a phone right?”
“You were right about a phone. If I had one I would just bother all my friends who are very busy all the time.” Yunho replied trying his best to answer without really answering.
Jae looked at him and smiled, “It’s in your pocket I could feel it when I was in your lap. You are so silly.”
“I didn’t say I didn’t have one.” Yunho pointed out but he couldn’t fight the grin on his face.
“I knew it was you. Knew instantly and it was like a huge fog was lifted from me. Bong Cha refused to tell me if you had a phone or not…that woman. I swear she is the worse spy ever. She…”
“Bong Cha! She spied on me?” Yunho asked feeling terribly betrayed.
“No, she didn’t that’s why she is the worse spy ever. As the person with power over your medical decisions she had to give me the pertinent updates but she never told me what I wanted to know. I just knew you were safe, healthy and progressing.” Jae explained as he moved away from Yunho and collapsed on the bed.
“Why not Hana or Soo Jin?” Yunho honestly wondered.
“Hana’s loyalty to you exceeds her loyalty to me…not sure when that happened. She would have told you everything and then told me what you wanted me to know.” Jae explained as he curled up on the bed.
“Why can I not know you are checking up on me?” Yunho wanted to know as he wheeled closer to the bed.
“Why can I not know that you sent me a text message saying you missed me?”
“Because I am stupid?” Yunho told him as he stared at the man who had stolen his bed.
“I am stupid too. We are both stupid. Story of our stupid lives.” Jae said throwing the comforter over him.
“Why not Soo Jin?” Yunho asked quickly before the other man could fall asleep.
“You hate her. You would never tell her anything important about your life.” Jae told him barely audible as he drifted closer to sleep.
“No, never.” Yunho lied as he remembering the moment he had shared with Soo Jin as they had reminisced about the loss of Jae from their lives.
Yunho waited a moment and when Jae did not respond back to him he wheeled himself to the table with the computer on it. He pulled the other chair away and opened a JYJ fan site. He was prepared to spend time browsing but he quickly found what he was looking for.
Yunho closed the page quickly, nervously and turned back around and found that Jae had not moved. Jae must have made plans to depart soon after receiving Yunho’s text. Yunho could not fight the feeling of warmth that spread over him, but he knew it was wrong. It was wrong to put so much importance on being first to Jae when he himself couldn’t give Jae what he wanted. It wasn’t fair and he knew it.
He was so deep in his thoughts he almost didn’t notice when Soo Jin walked into the room. Yunho did a double take and fought down his laughter as he observed she had applied more make-up and fixed her hair since the party.
“He’s asleep?” Soo Jin said extremely disappointed as she once again ignored Yunho and walked up to the sleeping man.
“He was exhausted.” Yunho explained watching her.
“I wanted to tell him…” She stopped turning to Yunho suddenly, “We should wake him so we can get you into bed.”
“I am not sleepy right now and I am going to let him have the bed. I can sleep in the chair. It won’t kill me. He needs the sleep more then I do.” Yunho told her.
“You can’t get in the recliner by yourself. Somebody has to be watching you. If you fell again heads would roll.” Soo Jin explained but she was already moving toward the closet grabbing extra blankets for Yunho.
“It’s so early can’t I call you later?” Yunho asked her.
“Yes, but you should go ahead and get dressed now and take your medicine.” Soo Jin told him as she spread the blankets out on the recliner.
“I can do that by myself.” Yunho insisted but the look of warning Soo Jin gave him as she walked to his dresser made him amend quickly, “Although I know I can’t do it without one of you nearby.”
“All it takes is one slip and everything you have gained could be lost. They are also trying to wean down your dose of seizure medications and your steroids so we have to be extra alert.” Soo Jin told him as she handed Yunho his pills with a glass of water. Yunho swallowed them down quickly and handed her back the glass. She then gave him a pair of red pajamas she had grabbed from his dresser drawer.
“I know Dr. Lee explained, but I really don’t feel any different.” Yunho told her slipping off his shirt and replacing it with the pajama shirt. He struggled with the buttons but Soo Jin knew better then to assist him.
“That’s good.” She mumbled she was staring at the bed again annoyed that Jae was completely covered up and she couldn’t even see his beautiful hair.
Yunho rolled his eyes as he slipped on his pants. He could have toppled over in the wheelchair and she would not have noticed once again Jae was her complete focus. “Done.”
Soo Jin snapped out of her daze. “Oh, well. I guess I will go. Call if he…you need anything.”
Yunho didn’t even bother responding to her as she left the room turning back one last time at the doorway giving the bed a longing look. Yunho shook his head unable to completely comprehend the woman. Did she really think she had a chance with Jae? Was she that delusional? How could…
“Do you have a new friend? Should I be jealous? Stealing another one of my admirers?” Jae pulled Yunho out of his thoughts when the man snuck up behind him and hugged him tightly.
“Hmmmf. I don’t think you have anything to worry about. At times she is almost likable then she goes completely nuts again.” Yunho answered leaning back into Jae’s embrace. “I thought you were asleep?”
“No, just hiding from my admirers.” Jae said breaking free of Yunho and going to close the door and lock it.
“I know you didn’t just lock the door.” Yunho sighed not wanting to go down this road. Every time he thought they had made progress Jae pulled this. He would not indulge Jae again with another make out session. It only confused Jae and gave him false hope.
“Don’t give me that long suffering look, Yunho.” Jae said placing both hands on his hips. “I told you, you were safe with me.”
“I’ve heard that before.” Yunho told Jae his eyes full of suspicion.
Jae inhaled a deep breath and moved to the dresser and pulled out a pair of boxers and a t-shirt. “You wound me you really do. I assure you I am too tired to try anything and I am going to make the best effort I can to control myself. I can’t swear I will, but I am honestly going to try.”
“Well I was serious about you having the bed tonight, so you can catch up on your sleep.” Yunho told the man as he turned the wheelchair away from Jae as the man stripped off in front of him. Why Jae had stopped changing in the bathroom Yunho had no clue, but he wished he would stop undressing in front of him. Yunho had no wish to ever see Jae’s tattooed body again.
“We both are sleeping in the bed tonight.” Jae informed Yunho letting out his breath as he noticed the man had turned away from him.
“No, no backtracking tonight. I have already decided I am not going to confuse you anymore by indulging you.” Yunho said turning back around to face the man.
“Yunho, I am so tired. You can move around good in bed now. You can sleep on your side away from me. I can try not to touch you…I just need you near me. Just let me sleep good tonight and I will return to the chair tomorrow.” Jae said as he moved to the bed taking the side rails down.
“Jae, I told you I would sleep in the chair.”
“You are not listening to me. I need you close to me tonight. Please.” Jae said patting the bed.
“I am not even tired.” Yunho insisted his guilt was leaning toward Jae’s request but his better sense was rebelling against it.
“Can you please just humor me? Please? Once I crash I don’t think I could wake up if I tried. Please.”
Yunho sighed giving Jae another long suffering look, “Okay, but this isn’t a good idea. Remember what you said about no touching.”
“You know, you have slept with friends a million times.” Jae pointed out as Yunho moved the wheelchair closer to the bed.
“Those times were completely innocent though.” Yunho grabbed the lower bedrail and steadied himself getting ready to transfer to the bed.
“The king of touch, afraid to touch me it’s really insulting just so you know.” Jae said moving up close to Yunho in case he needed him.
“I will repeat…I don’t want to confuse you. I am trying to get you in friend mode…not make it harder for you.” Yunho said standing and transferring to the bed a little unsteadily but he managed without Jae having to help him.
“Pretend I am Changmin and he hasn’t slept in twelve days except for a few minutes here and there. If he needed you nearby to calm his nerves so he could sleep…would you refuse him?”
“Of course not.” Yunho said pulling himself up in bed. “Although the day Changmin asks me to cuddle is the day I stroke for good.”
“Not funny,” Jae told him but couldn’t help but laughing. “You get my point though.”
“I do.” Yunho said laying down on his back watching Jae suspiciously as the other man got in bed.
“Changmin’s always had you wrapped around his thumb. He could commit murder and he would still be your bright, shiny boy.” Jae said meeting Yunho’s suspicious gaze and turning on his side away from Yunho.
“Why are we discussing this? Changmin doesn’t manipulate me or anybody else it isn’t his style. He is always upfront with where you stand with him there is no wondering…you know him being perfect and all.” Yunho smiled remembering his missing maknae.
“Perfect? You aren’t going to think perfect when he finds out that you have kept this from him.” Jae told Yunho still on his side facing away.
“He will forgive. Changmin will understand I have no doubts about that. He won’t be happy but he will understand.” Yunho said with certainty.
“Prideful men must stick together.” Jae muttered, “He is never going to accept me as your friend. You promised to handle him but I am afraid it will be you who ends up being handled in the end.”
“Even Changmin will see what a wonderful help you have been to me.” Yunho told Jae as he turned on his side facing the man’s back.
Jae let out a bitter laugh. “Changmin won’t think this is sweet or an act of love…he will see it as my psychosis acting up again. He stopped having any illusions about me a long ago and after…he will never forgive me. You might be able to ignore your father’s warnings, but not Changmin’s.”
Yunho reached out and ran hand across Jae’s back. “Just sleep Jae, you’re tired.”
“He always thought my love for you was poisonous and I just proved him right. You yourself even said it was poisonous. He will never trust you with me again.” Jae barely got out the words they were muffled by the hand he held to his mouth.
“He didn’t always think that, but you have to realize this time it’s going to be different. We are going to be friends, wonderful friends.” Yunho said rubbing Jae’s back that was so tense it worried Yunho. What had this separation done to Jae?
“Wonderful friends.” Jae echoed, sounding like he had been kicked. “I am going to try. That’s all I can promise.”
“That’s all I ask.” Yunho told him as he knew without seeing Jae’s face that the fatigue and stress had caught up with him. Yunho slid closer and pulling Jae up against his body wrapping his arms around Jae.
“Yunho…” Jae whispered, automatically scooting farther back into him.
“Just sleep, Jae. Don’t over think it.” Yunho told him nestling his head in the pillow
Jae tried to find his breath that had suddenly left him. It had been over three years since the last time Yunho had held him. He reached out and clutched Yunho’s hand tightly. A feeling of warmth spread all over him filling up his soul. The feeling of being home for the first time in years settled over him as he soon drifted off to sleep quickly, pressed up against Yunho and wrapped in the arms he loved.