Pairing: Yoosu, Jaeho, Yoomin
Genre: Romance, fluff, angst
Rating: PG – PG13
Summary: It’s the umpteenth time Kim Junsu is out of love. Feeling thoroughly exhausted, he vows never to fall in love so easily again. Meanwhile, Park Yoochun is in need of money and stumbles upon a deal to make Junsu fall in love with him – then dump him heartlessly.
Chapter Six: Denial
Junsu tapped his blue pen on the table, the unease from Saturday’s incident still floating in him. He turned to look at the only person that appeared to be listening attentively to the droning teacher, three seats away from him—Changmin. The lack of unhappiness on his chiseled features made Junsu feel a thousand times worse.
The three of them had stood there like statues that night until the elevator doors threatened to close on Yoochun and him. After heading to their respective rooms with barely a murmur of goodbye, Changmin complained of a headache and retreated to bed without another word. Junsu did the same, but he laid awake with his eyes blinking at the old, flaky ceiling till he heard Changmin’s peaceful breathing. When Junsu woke up that morning, he was already gone (probably to the library). Junsu then spent the whole of his Sunday trying to finish his homework, wishing Changmin was there to bother him and lecturing his reflection in the mirror whenever his mind drifted back to the kiss.
A distant cough brought him back to reality. Junsu lifted his eyes to see a trembling frown on the Math teacher, gave an embarrassed cough and fixed his body back to the front again. From the corner of his eye, he could see that Changmin was focusing on the grumpy woman, still determined not to look at him.
“Okay,” she gave him a final glare before turning to the board, “back to this. X equals…”
Letting out a soft sigh, he stole a peek at the classroom clock—four more minutes.
The unease and guilt was killing him; he had to catch Changmin before he could run off again. He had to tell him it was all a misunderstanding.
That’s right. He wasn’t interested in Yoochun at all, not in the least.
Junsu shut his eyes tightly for a couple of seconds, wondering why the absurd fluttery feeling from the date was still there.
“Hey, it’s Junsu.” Jaejoong chirped, jerking his chin towards somewhere behind Yoochun.
Yoochun didn’t know whether to turn or not. The atmosphere was so tense that night—he knew he did the wrong thing again—but he wasn’t very sure why. Changmin likes Junsu? That wasn’t right. Which means—
“Junsu—” Yoochun heard Jaejoong try to greet cheerfully, but as he expected, Junsu hardly gave a brief nod and hurried past the both of them, keeping his eyes on the ground all the time.
Jaejoong stared and blinked. “What’s wrong? Do I have snot on my face or—wait. What did you do on Saturday, Park Yoochun?”
“Nothing,” Yoochun mumbled, slamming his locker door shut. Gone. Everything’s gone. Finished.
“I’m not a three-year-old kid,” Jaejoong said pointedly, dragging him away from the lockers to head home. “No wonder you were looking out of sorts yesterday. And you’re not working today so I have the rest of the day to bug you if you don’t come clean right now.”
Yoochun made an irritated noise as they neared the school gates. The thought of Jaejoong bugging him the whole day was enough to drive him crazy. “Fine. I just… I kissed him, okay?”
“I’m not repeating that,” Yoochun kept his eyes away from Jaejoong, but he could guess his expression right now—probably very much amused.
“Whoa,” Jaejoong said excitedly. “How did he feel like?”
“I… He… I mean—h-hey, I wasn’t thinking at all when I kissed him, alright?” Yoochun stammered at the memory of Junsu’s cotton candy-like lips. “I just… wasn’t thinking.”
“Okay okay,” Jaejoong brushed his fingers through his fringe impatiently. “But why is he avoiding you?”
“Maybe I’m a bad kisser. Maybe he just doesn't like me. Or maybe he thinks I'm disgusting,” Yoochun tried to shrug casually, but his heart seemed to sink at every word. “But Changmin saw us.”
“He saw the two of you kissing? Maybe—” Jaejoong stopped walking to turn and look at him, appearing to have thought of something.
“It doesn’t matter now anyway. It’s over,” Yoochun tugged at Jaejoong’s arm to get him to continue walking.
Yoochun searched his brain for a way to stop Jaejoong from talking about it; he had to get this out of his head for a moment before he actually exploded. “What were you doing over at Yunho’s that day?”
It worked, because Jaejoong grinned and shrugged. “Tuition.”
He snorted. “Right. Tuition for practically half the day, Kim Jaejoong.”
Jaejoong stuck out his tongue. “I fell asleep for quite a while.”
“You mean you slept with him—” A smack to the back of Yoochun’s head cut him off instantly.
“I fell asleep for a few hours, and we had dinner after that. That’s all,” he told a grimacing Yoochun.
Jaejoong laughed. “I swear, okay? Although I wouldn’t mind if—”
“I don’t want to know what you won’t mind, thank you very much.”
Sticking out his tongue cheekily again in reply, Jaejoong grinned to himself as they resumed walking, recalling the way Yunho helped him fix his hair and the satisfying dinner (or rather, buffet dinner) they had.
A light poke on his cheek interrupted his thoughts, and he turned to see Yoochun with a small smile. “Just don’t get hurt again alright?”
He had actually told Yoochun a long time ago about the relationship he had with Shiwon, but with one major detail missing—Jaejoong had refused to tell him who the other party was, because he wanted to forget him. He always hoped to wake up one day and realize that he couldn’t remember who Shiwon was anymore. Obviously, it didn't quite work out that way.
Jaejoong nodded despite the uncomfortable lump that had formed in his throat, and Yoochun took out his cell phone and fiddled with it, finding something to distract himself with.
Yoochun’s words seemed to take away his earlier thoughts and push in new, unfamiliar ones. Now that he was made to think about it, Jaejoong didn’t know much about Yunho at all. He was rich, and that was about all that Jaejoong knew.
Rich. The overdue realization hit him like a harsh slap in the face. It’s going to be another Shiwon all over again.
Jaejoong stared quietly at the ground, unconsciously observing each step he took. He didn’t want to get hurt anymore, but it seemed like he was already in for another mess.
“Sir, there’s news about Kim Jaejoong.”
Shiwon looked up sharply from his computer game. Although they weren’t supposed to see each other again, his personal assistant had been secretly tracking Jaejoong’s whereabouts for him. The useless assistant had of course lost track when Jaejoong moved out of the old apartment that he shared with his mother. “Where is he now?”
The short and slightly plump middle-aged man adjusted his glasses briefly. “According to the data I have on hand, he’s staying in the hostel at his school. Furthermore, he’s rooming with Park Yoochun.”
“What?” Shiwon frowned, turning to face his assistant fully. “…Park Yoochun? The one I signed the contract with?”
“That is correct, sir.”
“Got that,” he gave a dismissal wave of his hand as he tried to process the information. How coincidental was that? “You can leave now.”
“But sir, there’s another person you know that is linked to Kim Jaejoong currently.”
Shiwon gave an annoyed sigh and rapped his fingers on the desk. He hated how this man always took his own sweet time to break new information to him.
“It’s Jung Yunho, sir.”
“What? Yunho?” Shiwon’s frown deepened. “Out.”
He leaned back in his chair as soon as the assistant hurried out of the room. Jung Yunho.
They weren’t exactly close, but they did bump into each other once in a while during stupid company dinners and gatherings that Shiwon was forced to go. From what he remembered, Yunho was kind of subdued and polite, but he could feel a faint hostile vibe from him. Not that Shiwon liked him any much either. Is Jaejoong with such a person now?
Taking off his black-rimmed glasses and throwing them on his desk in frustration, Shiwon glanced at the desk drawer on his right. He moved forward to open the drawer and took out a simple-looking titanium ring from a small velvet box. The ring had Jaejoong's name engraved on the inner surface. Looking at it seemed to remind him of the time when he and Jaejoong first met, and he closed his eyes, picturing everything in front of him again since two years ago.
On that day, somehow, he couldn’t stop looking at the unfamiliar face in the nightclub. Maybe it was the ridiculously bright colored lights, or how he looked better in the uniform than the rest of the waiters, or the slightly defiant air around him. Anyhow, it had to be normal for Shiwon to rescue him from that bunch of old perverts.
“If you didn’t mean what you said, thanks.” Jaejoong told him, after Shiwon managed to pull him out of the old man’s lap and claim that he had already booked Jaejoong for the night.
Shiwon laughed and leaned towards him from the other side of the counter. “But I don’t help people for nothing, you know.”
“What do you want, then?” Jaejoong lifted his head from the wine glasses, as if daring him to say the impossible.
He studied him for a moment, from the intense eyes to the rebellious pouty lips, and moved back with a smirk. “Just kidding.”
Jaejoong continued wiping the glasses. “I owe you one anyway.”
“Fine with me,” Shiwon gave him one last glance before going back to his usual table.
It was strange how he didn’t end up asking for sex when he had the chance. If he did, they might not have ended like that.
Shiwon swiveled his chair to look out of the window.
Even so, if he couldn’t get Jaejoong, nobody was going to get him.
“Kim Junsu, you idiot!”
Junsu shouted into the pillow and kicked his legs like he was in the middle of a tantrum. He hadn’t managed to catch Changmin today because the teacher told him to stay back the moment the bell rang. Changmin was already nowhere in sight by the time she finished telling him off for not paying attention in class.
When he ran out to search for him, he spotted Jaejoong and Yoochun instead. Jaejoong had tried to say hi, but Junsu managed to walk past without stopping. It was rude to ignore Jaejoong, but he had no choice. He had to avoid Yoochun.
The door clicked open suddenly and he jumped up from the bed. Changmin had just entered the room, and was closing the door behind him.
Junsu stayed still and chewed on his lower lip. Now that Changmin was right in front of him, he realized he didn’t know what to say, or how to start.
“Min?” he tried softly. Please don’t ignore me.
Changmin dumped his bag on the chair and slowly looked up at him, eyes not exposing the betrayal he had felt the other night. “Hmm?”
“Are you angry with me?”
To his surprise, Changmin walked over and sat next to him on the bed with a faint smile on the corners of his lips. “No.”
“Really?” Junsu said anxiously, hugging his pillow in relief. “But it’s all a misunderstanding, I don’t—”
“I know,” Changmin told him, staring down at his hands. “It’s just that… I’m kind of sorry for avoiding you for the past two days.”
Junsu reached out to hug him tightly, taking no notice of Changmin’s muffled protest. Changmin soon relaxed into the embrace and patted his back gently.
“I just want you to know that I’m not interested in Park Yoochun at all, alright? It’s all a misunderstanding. It wasn’t a real kiss at all.”
“You really like him, right?”
“I won’t go too close to him anymore, so don’t worry.”
With that, Junsu loosened his grip and both of them pulled away from each other. Changmin looked at the earnest expression in front of him. He wasn’t sure, but for a second, Junsu’s eyes seemed to flicker indecisively.
Erasing any more absurd thoughts from his head, he smiled at his roommate. Even though he had been contemplating giving up, he should probably trust Junsu again and give all of them another chance.
“Let’s go out for dinner, I’ve been craving for pasta since this morning.”
Jaejoong shook his head at the spaced out person in front of him at lunch. Even though Yoochun had been trying to act like he was okay, the constant spacing out wasn't convincing Jaejoong. Three days had passed, and Junsu was doing a great job of avoiding them—or maybe only Yoochun. After all, he did see Changmin and Junsu when he was on the way to the washroom the last morning, but Changmin did most of the talking. Junsu appeared to be out of sorts, just like the one before him now.
Yoochun reacted after approximately a minute. “…Uh?”
Jaejoong sighed. “Your food. It’s getting cold.”
“Oh,” Yoochun poked at his spaghetti. “It doesn’t taste as nice as that time.”
“Oh, uh. Never mind.”
Slightly exasperated, Jaejoong leaned over and gave him a gentle yet firm knock on the side of his head. “What’s the matter with you?”
“Who, me?” Yoochun rubbed the side of his head carefully.
Jaejoong couldn’t help but smile. “You really like him, don’t you?”
He knew it; all that crap about being straight was gone from the face of Park Yoochun’s head. All that he said had come true then. Kim Jaejoong the genius.
“H-Huh? You’ve got to be joking.”
Upon seeing Yoochun sink back to his alien state, Jaejoong couldn't help but feel his grin fade a little. Sure, he had been joking about him falling for Junsu and all, but to be serious and perfectly honest, this wasn’t good at all.
There was nothing good about it. Like Shiwon and him, they couldn’t be together.
Junsu smiled to himself as he skipped home after staying back to help Changmin with his numerous after-school activities. Nonetheless, Changmin was still trapped in school for the night because he needed to finish a Math club project by the next day. Being able to hang out with Changmin like normal again was great, and the guilt in Junsu was almost completely gone.
Still, it had been quite a while since he saw Yoochun, and Junsu was considerably proud of himself for being able to avoid him for nearly a week. He began to wonder how Yoochun had been for the past few days as he exited the elevator, and promptly shook his head when he remembered what happened in that very elevator not long ago.
Stop it, Kim Junsu. Why are you thinking about a kiss with a guy?! Get into the room and sleep. Key, get your key and open the door.
He slipped a hand into his trouser pocket and blinked when all he could feel was empty space. He tried the other pocket—nothing except for his cell phone. His bag—nothing except two textbooks, a pen and the tissue he blew his nose with that morning.
I left my key inside the room.
Junsu looked at his watch quickly—only five minutes before the curfew—he wouldn’t be able to run to school to get Changmin’s key and rush back in time.
He automatically glanced at the room door next to him, but his foot took a step back, seemingly serving as a warning of some sort. Feeling a silent, frustrated scream run through him, the foot swung to the front and connected with his own room door. Instantly, the rattle of metal echoed throughout the empty corridor. Junsu slapped a hand to his forehead and turned to walk towards the elevator, hoping to escape in time. A sharp click of a doorknob told him it was too late.
A/N: Shiwon finally appears again. And please ignore the lack of creativity for the title of this chapter D:
Comments appreciated! ♥