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 thousand 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.
Changmin stood up quickly knocking his chair out from underneath him; everybody stopped and stared as the chair crashed to the floor. Changmin only had eyes for the three men on stage who he gave a look of total loathing to before he turned his back on them and stormed off.
Cassiopeia who had been cheering loudly for JYJ stopped. Junsu, who has been singing, went terribly off key as Changmin walked away with a new determination in his step. He had one goal and he would not be swayed from it.
The members of SHINee who had been sitting with Changmin flew out of their seats and chased after him. He swerved around tables eager to escape the awards and to face his greatest fear. Nothing would stop him, nothing. He had been a coward too long, and he would no longer live in his own self made world of pity.
“Changmin, stop,” Leetuek said, standing directly in his path stopping him as Changmin approached the tables where the members of Super Junior sat.
“No, I can’t. I’m sorry, Hyung. I just can’t,” Changmin told him, pausing for the man who had done his best to advise him in this last year of hell.
“I can’t imagine how hard it would be but this scene…this scene doesn’t help anybody,” Leeteuk warned, taking Changmin by the arm attempting to calm the younger man.
“This isn’t a scene. If I went up there and smashed all their faces in that would be a scene,” Changmin told him hotly, pulling his arm away from Leeteuk.
“And I would help you,” Kangin, who had been sitting next to Leeteuk, said quickly getting up from his seat and rubbing his fists together. The stern look that Leeteuk gave Kangin had him sitting back down fast.
“I have to go. I have to see Yunho. I have put it off for too long. I can’t continue to avoid him…it isn’t right,” Changmin closed his eyes and confessed to Leeteuk his shame evident in his every word.
Heechul who had been sitting quietly, listening was suddenly up and beside Leeteuk. “Why tonight?”
“I don’t know…I just know I have too. You can’t stop me so don’t even try,” Changmin said, pushing past them.
“Fuck!” Heechul blurted out and then held up a hand to the SHINee boys, who were still intent on following Changmin. “You five back to your seats now.”
“Hyung, he needs us,” Minho told Heechul, trying to squeeze between Heechul and Leeteuk.
“No, he doesn’t. He is about to get what he needs so go back to your table,” Heechul told them as he turned around and pointed a finger at Kyuhyun and then Ryeowook, who were sitting at another table. “You two go with Changmin now.” They both got up immediately and chased after Changmin.
“We should go too,” Onew pleaded to the two older hyungs as Jonghyun, Key, Minho and Taemin nodded their heads in agreement eager to follow after Changmin.
Leeteuk, who was watching Heechul with curious eyes, turned to Onew. “No, gather your members and return to your table.”
“Yes, Hyung,” Onew said, turning and taking Minho by the arm and leading them all back to the table.
Leeteuk turned on Heechul. “What exactly is going on? You can’t just send Ryeowook and Kyuhyun off with him we still have to perform we can’t do it without them.”
“We are going to have to…” Heechul paused. “Changmin is going to need them there with him. Yunho is going to need them there.”
“Yes, Yunho. I have a feeling everything is going to change after tonight…everything.” Heechul eyed Jae who had just finished with the performance. He remained on the stage his eyes locked on Heechul and full of questions. Junsu and Yoochun were soon beside him taking his arms and leading him off the stage. Heechul turned back to Leeteuk and told him, “There is something I have to tell you.”
“Changmin!” Kyuhyun screamed as he chased after Changmin with Ryeowook running right beside him.
“Don’t try to stop me!” Changmin yelled back at them never slowing down his pace.
“We don’t want to stop you…we want to go with you,” Ryeowook yelled after Changmin making the other one stop in his tracks.
“You do?” Changmin asked them as he stopped and turned around to face them.
“Yes, but let’s talk first,” Kyuhyun said, grabbing Changmin by the arm and dragging him down the hall to an empty supply closet. Kyuhyun opened the door and pushed Changmin in as he and Ryeowook followed.
“Why are we in a closet?” Changmin said, trying not to trip over the cleaning supplies.
“We have to tell you something…and it’s really good news so you shouldn’t try to kill us for keeping it from you,” Kyuhyun told him ready for the lies to be over.
“We should wait and tell him in the car,” Ryeowook said, slapping Kyuhyun’s arm.
“I can’t wait any longer. We have waited long enough…too long,” Kyuhyun insisted. “First off, you should know that I always wanted to tell you. It was…”
“Dude, I know you two are totally gay. I personally like women but whatever floats your boat. Who am I to judge? I don’t care! All I care about right now is seeing Yunho,” Changmin told them not the least bit impressed with what he thought was their great confession.
Kyuhyun’s mouth dropped open completely surprised at Changmin’s unexpected response. Ryeowook found his tongue first and demanded, “How did you know?”
“Are you serious? You two should never be allowed to drink together…especially at Kyuhyun’s house,” Changmin told them, smirking as if the question was the most stupid one he had ever heard. “And not with company around, especially me, I was practically raised by Jae and Yunho. I know gay when I see it.”
“Oh,” Ryeowook said blushing trying to think back to what exactly they had done in front of him.
“Well that isn’t what we were going to tell you, but yes we do love each other but that isn’t important right now. What is important is Yunho,” Kyuhyun insisted after recovering from his initial shock.
“Exactly, that’s why I have to go to him. I just have to. I have waited long enough…he deserves so much better. I have failed him long enough,” Changmin said, swallowing down his emotions and reaching for the door as the guilt ate away at him.
“Yunho is back,” Kyuhyun blurted out before the man could escape the room.
Changmin hand that had been about to open the door paused. “What did you say?”
“His mind is back…” Kyuhyun told him softly.
“He didn’t want anybody to know. He felt like he would be a burden on the people he loved. He wanted to be able to walk before he told anybody,” Ryeowook finished for Kyuhyun.
Changmin turned around slowly his eyes huge and his voice childlike, “A burden…walk? How is that even possible?”
“It’s Yunho,” Kyuhyun said with an affectionate smile as if that name alone explained endless miracles.
“His recovery has been amazing. When he first woke up he couldn’t move his right side at all and he was so weak… but now he is using a walker. He was going to tell you all at Christmas. He wanted to surprise you,” Ryeowook added happy to explain more to Changmin.
“He isn’t lost,” Changmin told them his voice full of hope and his eyes glistened with tears. He leaned up against the door as his legs started to wobble. “Yunho, isn’t gone after all?”
“He’s as amazing as he always was. He asks about you all the time. We didn’t tell him about…we told him you are doing good. We told him how much you missed him,” Kyuhyun told Changmin as he reaching out an arm to steady his suddenly shaky friend.
“Why didn’t you tell me? How could you not tell me?” Changmin asked confused, still taking in the news he never dreamed of hearing.
“He begged us not to. He didn’t want you to see him like that. His mother doesn’t even know. He didn’t want anybody to know. We respected his wishes,” Ryeowook answered his eyes full of tears as he watched the huge weight be lifted from Changmin’s soul.
“I can’t believe this…he’s alright. Jae was right all along. I didn’t curse him to a life like that,” Changmin asked his voice full of wonderment.
“You didn’t curse him…by stopping his father you saved him. You and Jae saved his life,” Kyuhyun told his friend, feeling his own tears build in his eyes.
“I can’t believe it,” Changmin told them, relief flooding him.
“His recovery is like a miracle…nobody can believe it. Jae has barely left Yunho’s side and he has guarded his secret with his life,” Ryeowook added, hoping to ease even more of Changmin’s mind.
Something in Changmin’s tearful eyes hardened. “Jae guarded Yunho’s secret?”
“Yes, per Yunho’s wishes,” Ryeowook said suddenly feeling like he had to defend Jae.
“So Jae knew all along?” Changmin asked his eyes darkening right before Kyuhyun and Ryeowook’s causing them to take a step toward each other unconsciously.
“He was the first person to find out…Yunho didn’t want him to know but he figured it out,” Kyuhyun explained uneasily as he watched Changmin closely.
“How did you find out? I mean if he guarded Yunho’s secret so passionately how did you find out?”
“We showed up when Jae was away and the nurses let us in,” Kyuhyun answered, sensing a sudden change in Changmin. “Heechul was with us…I am sure that is why Yunho let us in. It was Yunho’s idea to keep it a secret.”
“Do Junsu and Yoochun know?” Changmin asked the tone in his voice becoming icy cold.
“No…” Ryeowook answered eyeing Kyuhyun suddenly feeling nervous. “I am sure they don’t know.”
Changmin pulled away from the door and opened it. He turned back to them and handed Kyuhyun his keys. “You two need to go get my car and meet me out at the back entrance.”
“Why what are you going to do?” Ryeowook questioned, he could sense the anger brewing inside of Changmin.
“Just something I should have done a long time ago,” Changmin told them, turning and walking away back toward the award show.
“Fuck!” Kyuhyun cursed knowing nothing good would come of this.
“Everybody is staring at us,” Junsu told the other two as he sipped on his water. Junsu was back at the JYJ table with the other two members after their performance and he couldn’t help but feel self-conscious.
“Then everything is completely normal,” Yoochun, who was sitting between Junsu and Jae, mouthed back to Junsu as he reached over and grabbed Jae’s phone. “He’s fine.”
Jae, who had been about to text Yunho, shot a look full of daggers at Yoochun as he reached for his phone back. “I just need to make sure.”
“No, this night belongs to us. You can return to your comatose lover after we win the award of the night,” Yoochun said, sticking Jae’s phone in his pocket.
“Changmin looked…” Junsu began in a voice full of remorse but was quickly interrupted by Yoochun.
“Stop it. Changmin is the one that made the scene; we didn’t do anything wrong. We were asked to sing the song and we had permission to sing the song. No foul on us,” Yoochun snapped at Junsu. Yoochun then took a big drink of his champagne ignoring Junsu’s hurt look.
“Yunho is going to kill me,” Jae moaned, covering his hands with his face. He could only imagine Yunho’s response once he found out.
“Jae…” Junsu started to comfort him but stopped as he looked at the man confused.
“Yunho can’t even roll over much less kill you,” Yoochun told Jae, giving Jae a look that suggested he thought the man was certifiably insane.
“You are such a jerk!” Junsu blurted out as he frowned full of disappointment at Yoochun and his harsh attitude.
“How am I a jerk? I am telling the truth. We can’t start feeling guilty for things we have no control over,” Yoochun told Junsu, defending himself. “We didn’t do anything wrong.”
“I can feel guilty if I want too. I can feel guilty that Changmin was hurt. That he was hurting so bad that he got up and had to leave. I can feel guilty about that if I want too,” Junsu angrily told Yoochun.
“He was pissed he wasn’t hurt,” Yoochun told Junsu, finishing off his glass of champagne with one big gulp and then immediately poured another one.
“Shut the fuck up,” Jae hissed at Yoochun. “Don’t act like you don’t know that Changmin always hides his pain with anger. Asshole.”
“Asshole,” Junsu agreed smiling at Jae who had snapped out of his own secret misery to stick up for their lost maknae.
“Oh, I am the asshole. I think we all agreed to sing the song,” Yoochun bit back at them but his bravado was starting to dissipate.
“I know,” Junsu agreed, picking at the label on his water bottle. “Mom and Dad said I should, but I really wished I hadn’t.”
“I didn’t vote on anything,” Jae said, eyeing Yoochun pocket debating on whether he could snatch his phone back.
“Gee, I wonder where you were when we voted,” Yoochun replied sarcastically. “Don’t even think about grabbing for your phone.”
“Do you really not feel bad for Changmin at all?” Junsu asked not letting it go. “How do you manage that? Not that I want to know how to become a soulless person but I am just curious.”
“Soulless? I am not soulless. Do you think I don’t know how fucking miserable it must be for him? Do you think I don’t know how hard it is for him to be alone…after Yunho took a bullet meant for him? I would have committed suicide already if I were him...” Yoochun paused to collect his breath and then gulped down another glass of champagne. “So yes I know how hard it is for him. How terrible it must hurt, but we tried to reach out to him and he said no. He hates us.”
“Maybe we should keep reaching out…never give up,” Junsu said, reaching out to hold Yoochun’s hand.
“He will never forgive us. We don’t deserve to be forgiven,” Yoochun said with certainty his eyes full of pain. “Not after what we did to Yunho.”
“Never talk about that,” Junsu said, wincing at the memory and jerking his hand away.
“Changmin?” Jae muttered as he noticed Changmin heading for their table.
“This can’t be good.” Yoochun groaned turning to motion for their manager.
“What should we do?” Junsu asked eying Changmin too. “He can’t be very happy right now.”
“Changmin,” Jae repeated as he got up from his seat to meet the young man who looked strangely relieved but at the same time angry.
Changmin came to a stop in front of Jae and gave him a look full of contempt, and then he pulled back his arm and slammed it hard into Jae’s face. Jae went flying backwards and collapsed to the floor as his face gave way under Changmin’s power punch. “He wanted to protect me. He always wanted to protect me, but you…you are just a selfish bastard!” Changmin spat out at Jae his voice filled with rage as he towered over the other man.
There was screaming everywhere as fans in the balconies lost their minds after seeing Changmin send Jae flying. Junsu and Yoochun rushed to Jae’s side. Jae didn’t even try to get up as he looked up at Changmin and reached for his now bleeding face.
“Have you lost your mind?” Yoochun screamed at Changmin. “Changmin, you can’t do this!”
“I just did!” Changmin yelled back at Yoochun while all the time giving Jae an accusing glare.
“I want him arrested! This is assault!” Their manager demanded as he stormed up to the table.
“Changmin, let’s get the hell out of here!” Kangin exclaimed as he and Siwon both grabbed an arm and starting pulling Changmin away.
Leeteuk, who had watched it all immediately went to Taeyeon, whispering in her ear. She instantly nodded her head in agreement and told him, “We will make sure he gets away.”
Now people from other tables were calling for security as Junsu and Yoochun pulled Jae back to his feet. Jae had blood dripping down his face and splattering on the floor.
“Look at that face! Do you have any idea how much that face is worth?” their manager fumed loudly. “I want him arrested!”
“We need a doctor,” Junsu yelled as Jae removed his hand from his face and he saw the extent of the damage.
“Shit was that a tooth?” Yoochun said, jumping back as something fell out of Jae’s mouth and hit the floor.
Jae blinked his eyes trying to focus. Did Changmin know? He must know. Jae knew that he had to get out of here. He had to get to Yunho before Changmin did. The pain in his face didn’t even register as he saw everything falling apart. “I have to go.”
“You are not going anywhere but to the emergency room,” Yoochun told him, handing the man napkins to press against his face.
Heechul watched it all in silence. He smiled to himself as every security guard in search of Changmin came face to face with a beautiful female SM artist. Who couldn’t help but run their hands up and down the guard’s shirt and tell them how attractive a man in uniform was; distracting the men so completely that they totally lost track of what they were doing.
His fellow Super Junior members were doing their part to make sure Changmin got away too. Shindong and Sungmin had accidentally knocked a table or two over, Eunhyuk, Yesung and Donghae had got on stage and started doing a crazy, distracting dance, Siwon and Kangin were getting Changmin through the crowd to the car and of course Kyuhyun and Ryeowook would drive the getaway car. He watched as Leeteuk worked a kind of magic over the room, not even needing to talk as he gave all SM artists silent instructions with only his eyes. Heechul couldn’t help but think yes his fellow label mates might be slaves for the company, but they were family and they protected their own. He had never felt as proud as he did now.
“I have to go!” Jae screamed as he broke free of the hold Junsu and Yoochun had on him.
“You have to get your face stitched up,” Yoochun said, reaching out for Jae again.
“You don’t understand…I have to go,” Jae pleaded as both Junsu and Yoochun took a hold of him again.
“He got away? The police better be looking for him. I want him arrested!” The manager yelled at the head of security.
Heechul walked up to Jae. “Jae, do you know your fat ass manager over there is trying to get Changmin arrested?”
“Look at his face? He did this in front of witnesses…of course he is going to be arrested!” Yoochun told Heechul in disbelief. “This isn’t okay.”
“Does he know?” Jae demanded of Heechul as he shook himself free of Yoochun and Junsu again.
“He knows and he is on his way now,” Heechul informed him as he eyed Jae’s once beautiful face and couldn’t help but cringe.
“Knows what?” Junsu asked as he bent down and picked up what appeared to be one of Jae’s teeth.
“He knows he is going to get his sorry ass in jail!” The manager shouted still fuming as he walked up to them.
“No!” Jae screamed suddenly becoming frantic. “He will never forgive me. I am not filing any charges against Changmin.”
“Who cares if he forgives you now? Your face is a mess. Have you lost your mind?” Yoochun demanded the front of his shirt covered in Jae’s blood.
“It’s nothing. You know how the mouth bleeds. Give me my fucking phone now!” Jae commanded and Yoochun handed him back his phone without an argument. “Heechul…I won’t be able to drive. I have to go to him.”
Heechul nodded in silent agreement knowing what Jae wanted. “Let’s go, but so help me if you get any blood on me.”
Heechul turned to leave and Jae took off after him. Junsu who still held a piece of Jae’s broken tooth in his hand looked at Yoochun confused, and asked, “What’s going on?”
“I don’t know…but is it possible?”