Damaged, Chapter Forty Four

Title: Damaged
Author: aquariuslover
Pairing: Yunjae
Rating: R
Genre: Future AU, Drama, Angst

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.

Previous Chapters

A loud banging on the door later that evening aroused Yunho from a deep sleep. Jae was sleeping on top of him, oblivious to the world around them. Yunho went to scoot Jae off of him but the other man awoke long enough to cling tightly to him. “Jae, there is somebody at the door.”

“No,” Jae whined in his sleep, not moving.

“Jae, slide over. I will go check it out.”

“No,” Jae told him, refusing to let go, “it will go away.”

“Yunho!” Changmin’s high pitched scream pierced throughout the apartment. Yunho sat up immediately, pushing Jae off of him.

“That was Changmin,” Jae said, sitting up fully alert now.

Yunho was already out of bed searching for clothes and quickly putting them on when he stopped, wincing. “Damn,” he groaned, holding his crotch.

“Are you hurting?” Jae asked, sliding to the side of the bed eyeing Yunho.

“I think you chaffed me,” Yunho told him as he slid on a pair of sweats.

“Should I apologize for riding you for hours?”
“No,” Yunho said, shaking his head as he hurried towards the door.

As Yunho exited the room, Jae sighed in relief. It was just Changmin, but how did Changmin make it up to his floor, Jae wondered. He had given security strict instructions that no visitors were allowed. Jae listened carefully as he heard Yunho unlock the front door.

“What’s wrong?” Yunho asked immediately as he flung the door open.

“About fucking time! Do you know we had to convince the security guards downstairs that your life was in danger before they would let us up here?” Changmin snapped and stormed into the apartment.

Heechul followed him and paused to take in the clothing that was thrown haphazardly around the entry way and added, “Fucking indeed.”

“What’s wrong?” Yunho repeated as he watched the two other men enter Jae’s apartment.

Changmin, who was carrying a black suit with him, thrust it into Yunho’s hands. “Get dressed. Lee Soo Man is dying and he’s asking for you.”

“Please shower too,” Heechul added as he took a seat on the long, black leather couch in the living room.

Jae, who had been listening in the bedroom, felt his heart clenched. Panicking, hurried out into the living room, not bothering to dress himself. “Why does he want to talk to Yunho?”

“Jae...” Changmin said, diverting his eyes to the ceiling. “I didn’t ask. You know it’s his dying request and all. I didn’t think it was appropriate to question it.”

Heechul who had also turned around was now looking at a naked Jae with a very unimpressed expression. “I would like to thank Yunho for taking the time to get dressed.”

“Jae,” Yunho hissed, grabbing the other man by the arm and dragging him back into the bedroom with him.

“I can’t believe you,” Yunho said as he let go of Jae, and hurried to the bathroom and turned on the shower.

Jae’s sense of panic was increasing and threatening to overtake him. What if Lee Soo Man wanted to confess? Isn’t that what you did on your deathbed? What if he wanted to show Yunho once and for all what the man he loved was really like? “Bastard,” Jae cursed and vowed the old bastard would not beat him.

Jae walked into the bathroom and his fear of Lee Soo Man’s deathbed confession was forgotten momentarily as his protective instincts flared up after seeing that Yunho had taken the shower chair out of the shower. “What the hell do you think you are doing?”

“Showering quickly,” Yunho answered from inside the shower. Yunho was barely holding himself as he stood with his arms out, bracing himself against the walls of the shower, regretting his hasty decision to attempt to shower without the chair.

“Don’t you mean dangerously?” Jae asked as he slipped inside the shower behind Yunho and wrapped his arms around him.

Once Jae’s arms were around him Yunho felt safer and turned around to face him. “I know, but he’s dying and he’s asking for me…me.”

“I know,” Jae told him comfortingly and then tenderly kissed Yunho. He couldn’t see Yunho’s tears but he knew they were there being washed away by the water. Jae pulled away from the kiss, and told Yunho softly, “I will wash you. Just brace yourself and I will catch you if you slip,” Jae told him as he reached for the soap.

Jae hurriedly washed himself and Yunho. Yunho was out of the shower instantly, toweling off and putting on the suit that Changmin had brought him. Jae slipped into his closet and also put on a suit out of Yunho’s eyesight.

“Jae, I am leaving,” Yunho told the man who was still in the closet getting dressed as he walked out. Changmin and Heechul were both sitting in front of the television completely absorbed in what they were watching. “I’m ready,” Yunho told them, walking back into the living room.

Heechul and Changmin looked up at him as Heechul lowered the volume to the television with the remote. Changmin nodded his head and told them, “Okay, let’s go. We don’t want…where do you think you are going?” Changmin asked suddenly as Jae stepped out of the bedroom.

“I am going with you of course. Yunho needs me,” Jae explained as he walked up to Yunho and took his hand.

Yunho pulled his hand away from the other man. “You can’t possibly be serious. You hated him.”

“But I love you and I should be by your side,” Jae explained matter of factly.

Yunho looked away from Jae, and when he looked back at the man bitterness had seeped onto his face. “But the world can’t know that, can it? To the world you are my friend…my friend that hated this man. You can’t come.”

Jae gritted his teeth. “As a good friend I would of course go to provide you support.”

“Jae, don’t be stupid. Yunho doesn’t need you today. He has Heechul and me. Your going would be like spitting on the man’s grave before he was dead,” Changmin tried to explain as he took Yunho’s hand. “We need to go.”

“Then I will go and apologize,” Jae shouted out, grasping at straws. There was no way in hell he was letting Yunho take Lee Soo Man’s deathbed confession without him there to run interference.

“You’re not sorry, Jae.” Yunho told him, shaking his head and heading for the door.

“Heechul, are you coming?” Changmin asked the man who was still sitting in front of the television watching it with great interest.

“We are all going,” Jae insisted.

“Actually Jae, I think there are other things that demand your attention,” Heechul informed him as he turned up the volume on the television. The room soon filled with news of criminal charges filed against CJeS and how all their assets were frozen. The news reporter spoke of a multitude of charges that were being brought up on various employees and shareholders of the company.

Jae froze as he his eyes and ears took in the results of his betrayal. He had waited for weeks for the news to break, and finally it had. He had known the news was close to breaking when a couple of days ago a concerned friend from the District Attorney’s office had warned him. Waiting for the news to break had made him a nervous wreck, but finally the dreaded day had arrived. The new empire was now destroyed as the old empire’s emperor lay dying.

“We need to go,” Changmin said regretfully as he watched Jae. He had warned him. “Yunho, let’s go,” Changmin said, tugging on Yunho’s arm.

“Jae…” Yunho said softly, sending Jae’s eyes flying to him. Yunho looked into those eyes and inhaled a deep breath and then Yunho reached out his hand to his lover. Jae didn’t hesitate before he moved swiftly across the room and took that offered hand.

“Let’s go,” Yunho said as he walked through the door with Jae beside him. Heechul and Changmin shared a concerned look and followed.


Jae sat beside Yunho on a leather settee that had elaborate wood carvings outlining it. Jae was leaning against Yunho’s shoulder and Yunho’s head was resting against Jae. Their hands were clasped together. Jae could feel Yunho’s sadness radiating off of him.

Jae had a million things running though his mind. What must Yoochun and Junsu be thinking since he had avoided their calls? His excuse for being oblivious due to constant love making was blown to hell thanks to the old man picking today to die. Jae looked around the lavish room and could not help but be impressed. Lee Soo Man had built himself a magnificent home. Jae had never ever been here before but he could not help but appreciate the splendor. He had been to Lee Soo Man’s penthouse in Seoul though and it was very nice also. He secretly hoped the man did not leave the penthouse to anybody in his will. Jae would like very much to buy it. It was nice, but not nearly as nice as this mansion though. Jae had once imagined living in such a place with Yunho, Yoochun, Changmin, and Junsu. A smile formed on his face as he remembered back to those more innocent times when he imagined the five of them living together forever.

Jae was still smiling when he noticed that Kangta was frowning at him, full of disapproval. Jae stopped smiling instantly. “I was just thinking back on old memories…when we were trainees and how much patience he had with us,” Jae hastily lied, trying to explain why he would be smiling as they waited for the old man to die.

Kangta nodded his head in understanding and Yunho squeezed his hand tighter. Heechul who was sitting on the other side of Yunho in a chair let out a cough that sounded suspiciously like a snort. Jae didn’t dare to turn around and face Boa and Changmin who sat together on another settee in the room. The sound of footsteps approaching had Jae looking down at his hands. He waited for Yunho to pull away from him, but his lover made no effort to move away.

Jae frowned as the steps got closer. Yunho still didn’t move so Jae quickly pulled his hands free of Yunho’s and scooted further away from his lover. Jae hurt when he saw Yunho tense as if he had been physically struck by Jae. Lee Soo Man’s words replayed in Jae’s mind, ‘perhaps, you hurt him in ways that you can’t even imagine’ causing Jae to frown.

Yunho was crazy for wanting to come out…crazy. Yunho was rich now, but it wasn’t like he was anywhere as rich as Lee Soo Man. For a man to survive that kind of scandal it would take more than twelve percent of SM and martyrdom. Plus Jae didn’t want to come out. He had worked too hard to build up his reputation. He liked the thought of women all over the world drooling over him and wanting to be with him. Why should he break all their delusional hearts?

Two men that Jae did not recognize entered the room and approached Yunho. “Mr. Jung, Lee Soo Man is ready for you.”

“Okay,” Yunho told them as he got up slowly, fighting to control his sorrow. Jae hated that Yunho was hurting so much. He knew he made the right choice when he insisted on coming. Maybe his motives weren’t altruistic but he did love Yunho…God, he loved Yunho.

Jae stood up to stand beside Yunho and took his hand. “I am going with you.” The look in Jae’s eyes put an end to any resistance before it started.

Yunho squeezed Jae’s hand and they walked out of the room hand in hand. Jae shook his head trying to gather his thoughts. He needed to be thinking of excuses for whatever might sprout out of the old man’s mouth, but instead he just wanted to comfort Yunho. Yunho was hurting so much right now. His beloved Yunho, who was mourning a man who he had stayed loyal to while he, Yoochun, and Junsu had fled his suffocating grasp. Jae never ceased being surprised at the complexity of humanity. He could love Yunho with all his heart and still value different things, and see things in a light that Yunho could never view them in. Yunho could love people that Jae absolutely hated, but still their love for each other was strong. Jae vowed no differences would ever come between the two of them again.

They walked up the staircase to the second floor, making their way to the master bedroom. A nurse greeted them at the door. A middle aged woman in her late forties Jae would have guessed.

“He’s on a lot of pain medication. He might not make perfect sense. He tires very easily. He could pass anytime,” the nurse advised as she opened the door and escorted them into the bedroom.

Yunho gasped as he saw the man he respected so much laying out on the bed bloated and pasty white. Jae would have been bothered by the sight too if a second nurse…a younger one standing beside Lee Soo Man’s bed did not just check Yunho out. He clung to Yunho’s hand tighter and glared at the woman. Yunho, who thought Jae was being comforting, squeezed his hand back as the second nurse fled the room.

Yunho stepped closer to the bed dragging Jae along with him. Jae could feel Yunho shaking but when the man came into Lee Soo Man’s sight his shaking ceased. He let go of Jae and kneeled down beside the bed and took Lee Soo Man’s weak hand in his.

Lee Soo Man opened his eyes and looked at Yunho who was holding his hands with a look of deep sorrow. “Yunho...you must not mourn me…too much. I want you to take all that I have given you…knowing it was my wishes. I have no children…but if I had a son…I would wish he were like you.”

Yunho smiled at him taking his compliment graciously. “You honor me so much.”

“Because you have always honored me…even when I failed you,” Lee Soo Man told Yunho in a weak, sad, broken voice. Jae cringed because the old man was crying and he looked awful. He had seen him weeks ago and the rapid demise in his condition was unreal.

“You must not speak of such things. Everything is forgiven in the end. You have given me so much. I would be nothing without you. I was just a foolish boy and you made my dreams come true. You made so many people’s dreams come true. I will never forget that or you. I will always honor your memory,” Yunho told the dying man as he reached a hand up and rested it against Lee Soo Man’s forehead.

Lee Soo Man smiled up at Yunho as if he were his own personal angel sent from Heaven to save his soul. “Who is with you?”

“Jae is with me, he wishes to tell you something,” Yunho told Lee Soo Man as he kissed his hand.

Jae groaned quietly he would have to apologize and make a good show of it too. His only solace was that the old man would know he was lying. Jae stepped up and placed a hand on Yunho’s shoulder and swallowed his pride. “I am very sorry for any distress I might have caused you. You taught me so much. I am sorry you have to die this way.”

Lee Soo Man’s dying eyes twinkled up at Jae and a small grin formed on his blue lips. “Lying to somebody on their deathbed…is considered in bad taste.”

Jae blanched and replied, “I would not lie…”

“My good one…and my strong one,” Lee Soo Man said as his eyes diverted back and forth between the two.

Jae smiled because he knew he wasn’t the good one so he had to be the strong one. He would much rather be strong than good. Yunho could be good and he would be strong for them both. “Thank you,” Jae told him, really meaning it.

“I suppose I am the good one?” Yunho asked with a kind smile.

“Yes…so good. Your capacity to love is no small feat. Your heart is amazing…how it binds people to it. People that others would consider odd, cold hearted, introverted or damaged…they bask in your love.” Lee Soo Man whispered softly, his voice growing weak and his breathing growing more labored and irregular.

Jae was astonished to realize he was feeling true sorrow for the man…this suffering man. The fight he had lived with was leaving him. The malice was gone and Jae was wrong to think he would have betrayed his secret. Jae watched as Lee Soo Man smiled up at Yunho as if he was his last great hope and knew he would never inflict harm on Yunho by telling him the truth.

Jae had a sudden realization and fell to his knees beside Yunho and reached out and took the older man’s hand with Yunho. Anybody who loved Yunho so much and saw his worth was no enemy of his. Anybody who gave Yunho such power and wealth couldn’t be all bad. “I really am sorry,” Jae told him again meaning it.

“You shouldn’t be. I was a bastard to you,” Lee Soo Man told Jae between gasps for air. “Make the nurse leave.”

Jae turned to tell the remaining nurse to leave but she was already on her way out and shutting the door behind her.

“She’s gone,” Yunho told his mentor. “What did you want to tell us?”

“Never leave each other…so different, but ….so strong together…it wouldn’t be safe…for you, Yunho,” Lee Soo Man said, struggling to find the words as he fought to breathe.

“I won’t,” Yunho assured him as Jae paled from beside him. Even if Yunho missed Lee Soo Man’s warning, Jae didn’t. Lee Soo Man feared what Jae would do to Yunho if he ever left him again. Was he right to be worried? Jae himself could not foresee what he might do if ever he lost Yunho again…the thought was too terrible to even imagine.

Yunho loved him and he wouldn’t ever leave him…unless Yunho found out what Jae did. What would Yunho…Yunho who valued loyalty above all things think of him if he found out how Jae had stabbed Junsu and Yoochun in the back? Jae had betrayed so many that had trusted him…and how many would be sent to jail because of him? Jae vowed silently that Yunho would never know what he did. No matter how much he pleaded or begged Jae to tell him…he would never tell Yunho. Yunho must never know.

“Yunho…what…I…leave you…I leave you…because I wish for you…to have it…honor my wishes…my chosen son,” Lee Soo Man said, his eyes closing, no longer fighting against his fate.


Yunho and Changmin’s families had gathered at their apartment decked out in black. They had decided to go to Lee Soo Man’s funeral together. Ji-Hye watched as Changmin, his parents, and his beautiful sisters got in the first elevator as the Jung family waited for the next elevator. The tension in the Jung family was almost palpable. Mr. Jung had voiced his displeasure repeatedly at not being informed of his son’s sudden new found wealth. “It really is too bad you are gay, Yunho,” Ji-Hye said randomly to break the tension.

Yunho, who was holding his mother’s hand and avoiding his father’s wounded gaze, turned to his sister shocked. “I never expected you to say that.”

Ji-Hye smiled wickedly and told him, “Well if you weren’t gay then you could marry one of Changmin’s sisters and we and the Shims could be a real family.”

“Ji-Hye, the Shim family is our family. Yunho doesn’t have to marry one of Changmin’s sisters to accomplish that,” Mrs. Jung said, chastising her daughter.

“Wait mother, I like this idea. I fully support marrying into the Shim family,” Yunho told them much to their surprise.

“Are you two tormenting me on purpose?” Mr. Jung asked, his hands in his pockets looking at both of them full of disapproval.

“No,” Yunho answered quickly. “I obviously can’t help how I feel for Jae…because believe me I have tried, so marrying one of Changmin’s sisters isn’t an option for me, but I see no reason why Changmin and Ji-Hye can’t marry.”

Ji-Hye turned red. “Hey, I was just teasing!”

“Well I’m not. My favorite sister and my favorite brother married…sounds like an awesome plan to me. Just thinking of all the nieces and nephews I would get to spoil rotten makes me very happy,” Yunho told her with a huge grin, as the elevator door opened.

“They would have lovely children,” Mrs. Jung concluded, stepping into the elevator.

“Hey! This better not get back to Changmin. I could never face him again!” Ji-Hye complained, following the rest of the family into the elevator.

Mr. Jung frowned disapprovingly and told them, “This is not really appropriate talk considering where we are going.”

“Yes, of course,” Yunho agreed quickly. He had invited his father to attend the funeral with them after discussing it with his mother. The entire Jung and Shim family had supported SM and its founder together and they had decided they would say their last good bye together. They had also chosen this time to share the information about Yunho’s sudden wealth with Mr. Jung and the Shim family. The Shim family had been delighted for him but Mr. Jung had been hurt that he had not been informed earlier. Mr. Jung had not liked being kept out of the loop, or the fact that Yunho had made it clear that his mother would be his only family member involved in his finances.

The elevator stopped. When the doors opened they found the Shim family waiting for them. Both families, tall and beautiful, walked together toward the waiting limos. Yunho walked arm in arm with his mother. Changmin walked behind him arm in arm with his mother. The fathers followed closely behind with the daughters taking up the tail.

“What time is the will reading?” Changmin asked from behind Yunho.

“It’s at 6pm tonight,” Yunho answered without turning around. The lawyers had informed Yunho he had to be present for the will reading.

“Do you want me to go with you? The family might not be happy when they find out that you got half of the pie.”

Yunho turned around and gave Changmin a grateful smile. “Mom is going with me but yes, I definitely want you with me too.”

“We should ask Heechul if he wants to go. He isn’t taking it too well, especially with most of his members off in the military. I think being around you comforts him…reminds him of old times,” Changmin advised as they walked toward the doors to exit the building.

“Oh dear, isn’t that Mrs. Kim?” Mrs. Shim asked suddenly from beside her son.

Yunho let go of his mother’s arm quickly and turned in the direction that Mrs. Shim was looking and saw Jae’s tiny, little mother being held back by building security. “You guys go on to the cars. I will go see what she needs.”

Changmin was suddenly beside Yunho. “Do you want me to go with you?”

“No, it’s fine. Go on with them,” Yunho said, heading off in the direction of Mrs. Kim. His bodyguards who had lingered behind him were immediately beside him.

“Mrs. Kim, what are you doing here?” Yunho questioned, concerned as security immediately parted letting him through.

The older woman was tearful when she looked up at Yunho as he approached her. “I am sorry for bothering you, but I can’t get a hold of Jae. I didn’t want to call and disturb you…I know today is a very sad day for you. I thought if I could just see you. I could ask you really fast and not bother you. Yunho, my girl…is…I know I shouldn’t ask you because she wasn’t very kind to you. She was so concerned for Jaejoong. We told her that he wouldn’t always be angry with you…that he would forget his hurtful words about you but remember hers. We warned her. She wanted to support him so badly. You know me and the other girls love you and my husband too. It’s just she has always been…”

“Mrs. Kim what do you need?” Yunho asked, interrupting the distressed woman’s ramblings.

“Do you know where my son is? Have you seen him? Is he here?”

Yunho’s face saddened. “No, he isn’t here. I haven’t seen him for days he’s off with Junsu and Yoochun. He won’t even take my phone calls.”

Mrs. Kim lips quivered as she explained, “My girl…she got…they are holding her. We can’t get her out…we don’t have that kind of money…it’s too much. I really must speak with Jae. He must not know that’s she’s...she’s in jail. My poor girl.”

“He won’t return any of my phone calls,” Yunho explained further. Jae had left Yunho the night Lee Soo Man had died and had cut any communication between them.

Mrs. Kim took on an even more grief stricken expression. “But why would he ignore you? He loves you so much. He must be so ashamed. It wasn’t his fault. He can’t be blamed for what happened to the company. He must feel so ashamed.”

“Yes, ashamed,” Yunho agreed, “but I know he is listening to my messages. I know he is,” Yunho said, pulling out his phone and calling Jae. Yunho waited till the voicemail picked up. “I said I wasn’t going to call you again till you showed yourself, but I lied. I know hearing my voice will just make it easier for you to hide away longer. While you hide away plotting ways to bind your secrets to you forever…or maybe just to punish me for wanting a better life… your mother is in front of me and her heart is breaking. You just piss me off so much at times! You will call your mother and give her the money she needs or I will.” Yunho said quickly and hung up the phone and tried to control his anger.

“Thank you,” Mrs. Kim said, hugging Yunho tightly.

Yunho hugged her back and pulled away. “I mean it Mrs. Kim. If they have frozen his assets too and he can’t get her out, then you call me. I will have my phone on silent but I will check my messages.”

Mrs. Kim nodded her head and wiped her nose. “I am sure everything will be fine now. He just didn’t know.”

“Of course not,” Yunho lied. “I have to go now.”

She smiled at him. “You are a good man. I have….” Mrs. Kim stopped as her phone started ringing. She immediately answered, “Where have you been…he looks very angry at you…ignoring your mother’s phone calls…thank God Yunho is a better son than you…your sister…your poor sister…if you want to know how Yunho is you should stop hiding and go to him…he needs to find a better boyfriend…one that doesn’t ignore his mother…”

Yunho walked away from her smiling at her words but stopped when he noticed that his father had not gone to the car with the others. Instead he had stayed back and overheard everything. Yunho sighed, walking past his father. “Please don’t start with me.”

“Do you know which sister of Jae’s you just offered to pay bail for?” Mr. Jae asked, walking beside his son.

Yunho exhaled and explained, “It doesn’t matter because she’s Jae’s sister.”

“Then why isn’t he paying to get her out of jail?”

“Because he has a misplaced sense of loyalty to me,” Yunho said, summing it up too easily. That wasn’t the complete truth. Yunho could only imagine how troubled Jae was right now. He could not even begin to imagine the crazy thoughts floating around in Jae’s mind.

“Perhaps, you should encourage this feeling. The woman never did you any favors,” Mr. Jung pointed out.

Yunho stopped and faced his father and pointed to Mrs. Kim who was still ranting to her son on the phone. “No, she didn’t, but that woman over there. The distraught mother…she never did anything to me but show me kindness. I will not punish one person at the cost of another. That isn’t who I am.”

Mr. Jung closed his eye and nodded his head. “No, it isn’t.”

“And it never will be,” Yunho promised as he headed through the doors to the waiting limos. He paused only for a second on his way to the limo as he noticed the huge crowd of fans and reporters waiting for a chance to catch a glimpse of him on his way to bid his final farewell to his mentor.


Heechul hesitantly walked out onto the balcony that overlooked all of the estate that had once belonged to the late Lee Soo Man. He watched the man he had known for long over a decade cling to the edge of the balcony as he surveyed his new kingdom.

Heechul took a deep breath and put on his well-used cynical mask and was about to approach his friend when his friend pulled out his phone and soon a voice full of anguish filled the air. Heechul’s already wounded heart winced for his old friend as he listened to him.

“This is the last time I am calling you…if you don’t call me back. The very last time. I have begged you for days and you won’t do me the courtesy of speaking to me. If this is some kind of punishment for wanting…I told you I would never come out without your approval. I know you are suffering from a huge blow right now…but Jae I feel so lost right now. You have no idea what has happened, and I am not going to tell you over the phone. I love you and I need you,” Yunho said, disconnecting from Jae’s voicemail.

Heechul lingered in the doorway several moments giving Yunho time to compose himself before he walked out onto the balcony with his customary bravado. “Your mother was looking for you but she couldn’t find you. I told her just to sniff the air and follow the scent of money. I mean before you were rich and now you are filthy, stinking rich.”


“Don’t what? Harass you? Why should I give you special treatment?” Heechul asked Yunho as he walked up to stand beside him on the balcony.

Yunho turned to look at him still dressed in his black suit from the funeral earlier in the day. “I’m just sad.”

Heechul arched his eyebrows. “Sad? Does inheriting hundreds of millions of dollars make you blue?”

“Yes,” Yunho said, nodding his head.

“Or is Jae still avoiding you like you have the crazy plague?” Heechul asked. “You confessed your secret desire to him didn’t you?”

Yunho closed his eyes. “Yes, I did and he does indeed think I’m crazy.”

“I warned you, but you didn’t listen to me.”

“You did, but I thought honesty was the best policy and all.”

“Stupid, Yunho.”

“Stupid indeed.”

“I must admit his avoidance of you does seem a little drastic, but then again I suppose the JYJ disaster is distracting him. I have to be honest, the fact that he hasn’t shown up is very unlike him,” Heechul admitted. Heechul could not imagine Jae not responding to the message that Yunho had just sent him. What was going on in the Flowery Queen’s head? And as if Jae was listening in on Heechul’s thoughts Yunho’s phone beeped alerting him to a new message.

“Oh look, he responded,” Yunho said, looking at his phone bitterly.

Heechul snatched the phone from Yunho and read the message aloud. “We can’t be together right now. What’s wrong? Please tell me. My love never wavers, never.” Yunho grabbed the phone back from Heechul and threw it has far as he could off the balcony. Heechul watched as the phone sailed through the air. “Tad bit dramatic don’t you think?”

Yunho let out a deep breath and straightened his shoulders. “Just in case my resolve weakens,” Yunho said, turning to face Heechul. “I don’t want anybody giving him any information about me. He can watch it on the news tomorrow with everybody else. Don’t tell him anything if he contacts you.”

“Oh, but you know we are best girlfriends I can’t lie to my JJ,” Heechul said sarcastically, rolling his eyes.

Yunho fought the grin that was threatening to overtake his face. “What was I thinking? Maybe I do have the crazy plague after all…but Changmin might tell…”

“Changmin is…busy,” Heechul said in a very suggestive tone.

Yunho looked up at the sky and shook his head in dread. “Not again. I love her like a sister, but why must she toy with him?”

“Apparently they are just ‘comforting’ each other,” Heechul told the younger man.

“Comforting, my ass…he will be moping for six months after she decides she is done with him this time,” Yunho said, his eyes darkening as his protective instincts flared.

“Well he has put up with plenty of your moping so it’s only fair.”

“I knew it was starting up again on tour! I knew it. I should have spoken with her…not like she would have listened, but I should have tried,” Yunho said, sighing as he sat down on a decorative bench that was on the balcony.

Heechul sat down beside Yunho. “Well now since you are the big boss you can send her off to America again.”

Yunho folded his arms. “Don’t tempt me.”

“What good is power if you aren’t willing to misuse it?”

Yunho turned to look seriously at Heechul. “I could do it. It’s already a well-established fact that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to protect Changmin.”

Heechul nodded his head. “It is an established fact…and Changmin is worthy of that fierce protection.”

Yunho snorted. “Are you suggesting that somebody else isn’t?”

Heechul looked away from Yunho. “Jae doesn’t need protecting. I might call him the Flowery Queen but he’s made of steel.”

“Before Lee Soo Man died…he said I was the good one and Jae was the strong one.”

“Wise man.”
“It’s true, but just because he is strong doesn’t mean he doesn’t break. I have seen him broken. When I broke up with him…you can’t imagine how awful it was,” Yunho explained, looking up at the starry night remembering that most awful of days.

Heechul frowned. “Jae bends easily and with the most amount of angst possible, but he doesn’t break. He wasn’t broken when he plotted the most painful ways to hurt you he could think of.”

Yunho lowered his head and rubbed his fingers against his temples. “No, but he was hurt. He thought I had abandoned him…the one great sin.”

“You will always find excuses for him, so I am not going to argue Jae’s faults with you,” Heechul said as he watched Yunho rub his temples.

“It all goes back to being that tiny little boy and his birth mother giving him away,” Yunho tried to explain. “Once you touch that old wound…then hell have no fury.”

“Is your head hurting?” Heechul asked suddenly. Yunho’s head was still bent over and he looked miserable. Yunho nodded his head without looking up. Heechul frowned and started to rub Yunho’s back. “He’s wallowing in his own self-pity right now. So you are stuck with me…aren’t you lucky?”

Yunho looked up at Heechul. “Yes, you’re such a good friend to me. I hope you know how much I value our friendship, and how much I love you.”

“It’s mutual my friend,” Heechul agreed, continuing to rub the other man’s back. He could only imagine the stress Yunho was under. “I know it’s hard for you right now. Lee Soo Man has died and left you with all these new responsibilities.”
“His family must hate me,” Yunho said in an anguished voice, wrapping his arm around Heechul. “I wasn’t supposed to get it all. He never said anything about me getting it all. There are so many people more worthy of being his heir than me. So many people with more…”

“Stop!” Heechul said interrupting him, “He chose you. It was his fortune and he wanted you to have it. So screw everybody else.”


“No buts. He tested you. He gave you a part of it and watched you. He wasn’t an idiot. If you hadn’t passed his test he wouldn’t have given you all of it. He trusted you with it. Don’t disrespect him by doubting him.”

“I’m not. It’s just that…it’s so much.”

“It’s nothing you can’t handle,” Heechul promised.

Yunho shook his head. “No one man can handle this much by himself. It will be a team effort. My mom…thank God for her. Mr. Mok is a Godsend.”

“There will be a team but you will be the head of that team. Your heart and soul will guide that team.”

Yunho smiled at Heechul. “Hey, can you be the head of my moral boosting team?”

“God, no! I will never admit to such a thing much less lead a team of it. Think of what it would do to my reputation,” Heechul responded, sounding horrified.

“What was I thinking?”

“I have no idea. This is our secret forever.”

“Yoouu….” Yunho stopped and tried again, “Yoouu…”

Heechul bit his lip for a second, not saying anything. “How do we fix that?”
“Sleep,” Yunho answered without explaining further. He was afraid to say more.

“You don’t look like someone who has been getting enough sleep.”

“I haven’t.”

“Do I need to give the Flowery Queen a push? I could easily manipulate him into showing himself,” Heechul informed Yunho as he pulled out his phone.


“You have a press conference tomorrow announcing…”

“I know that! He has to come on his own. I don’t think it woouuld…”

“Do I need to get your mother?”

Yunho nodded his head. “Yes, I need to take some pain medication then I will sleep.”

“It might also help that headache you have been carrying around for most of the day too,” Heechul said knowingly.

Yunho closed his eyes and then looked at Heechul with a bitter smile. “It might.”

Heechul stood up and reached out a hand for Yunho. “Come on then. I will tuck you in bed and then go and get your mother. I swear the things I have to do being your friend.”

Yunho stood up and clasped Heechul’s hand. “If I wasn’t hurting so bad I woouuld feel sorry for yoouu.”

Heechul hid his worry. “Well tomorrow I expect lots of apologies for all this comforting shit you bring out in me.”

“Lots,” Yunho promised as Heechul led him off the balcony.
  • Current Music: Do You Really Want Hurt Me, Culture Club

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