Title: Love In Between WordsSummary: Yunho has fallen for Kim Jaejoong, but the book store owner hates him. He promises to win the cold man's heart over by Christmas Eve. Rating: NC-17Pairings: Yunho/Jaejoong, Yoochun/Changmin, Junsu/Seohyun~ o ~ ~ o ~ ~ o ~ ~ o ~ ~ o ~ ~ o ~ ~ o ~ ~ o ~Saturday, December 10th
Cold nights are best for long walks and phone calls
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It was nine in the evening. The weather had become colder than it was in the morning, soft snow and below ten degrees, and Jaejoong was glad he had invested in heating for the store. Eleven was the latest he had ever closed. It was only during Christmas, that he did it, wanting the extra sales to buy presents, and to restock coffee beans and milk and takeaway cups. Novels usually went quickly during the season, and Jaejoong had to keep checking inventory every night for the best seller lists, and the young adult novels that had begun to sell out since late November.
A few customers were still trickling in for warmth and hot drinks. Seohyun took orders and he made the drinks. Every few minutes he would look over the counter to where the trio was – Changmin, Yoohwan and Hyunjoong – working, laptops open. Yoohwan didn’t know much about computers and engineering like Changmin and his younger brother, but he was helping to promote the conference and the ball, and using his overseas contacts to increase the guest list.
Seeing them was a reminder that Yunho hadn’t called in two days. He had become accustomed to seeing him with Changmin, with his loud mouth and crinkly eyed smile. He had teeth that needed fixing, but his teeth did not subtract from his handsomeness. Jaejoong would never tell Yunho that he was handsome, but he could think it.
It was because Yunho had made himself present. Jaejoong had no need to miss him, but he did. He had managed his way into his every day life like Changmin and Junsu and Seohyun, and it was a slow realization that he didn’t mind that.
“You feeling okay?”
Yoohwan was smiling at him, eyes worried.
Jaejoong nodded, and blinking away his sleep, handed the closed takeaway cup to the woman standing next to him.
“Do you want something?” Jaejoong asked him. Yoohwan grinned, and Jaejoong turned his head in embarrassment.
“No I don’t want something,” he laughed. “We’re going to go for a walk when you close up. Come with us.”
Jaejoong looked on at the couple that had now entered, and then at Seohyun, who was rubbing her eyes as she spoke.
“By ten,” he said to Yoohwan, “I’ll close by ten.”
Jaejoong locked the door to the coffee and book shop, fingers trembling from the cold. Hyunjoong was holding his drink for him, a vanilla latte sweetened with stevia and honey. He gave it to him when he pocketed the key, drinking from his own.
“Hyuna called,” said Hyunjoong, “Said that mum’s making dinner. And eggnog.”
“Eggnog? Since when do we make eggnog? And why isn’t mum resting?”
Changmin was grinning, and Hyunjoong continued, trying to draw as much warmth as he could from his cup. “Since Taeyon showed her a recipe from online. They were watching Christmas movies whole day. And mum’s feeling fine. She’s looking better. It’s like she hasn’t been sick for fucking ever.”
“Don’t tell me shit about my cursing. You cuss more than I do.”
Jaejoong glared at him over his cup and icy fingers. “I’m just worried that she might faint again. She’s been lying down in bed for nearly two years.”
“Exactly why she needs the exercise.” Hyunjoong walked closer to his brother. Yoohwan and Changmin were listening to them and grinning. “I have a theory,” he said softly, “About mum. I’ll tell you later, when we’re back home.”
“The lights are up.” Yoohwan pointed to the line of trees. He took out his smart phone to take pictures of the decorations and lights, running ahead of them.
“He really likes Christmas,” said Changmin, and Jaejoong nodded, because he knew, and he remembered. “He missed you, you know, during Christmas time. I know you forgive me but, I hated that it was because of me. I never thought it would be you.”
Jaejoong was still trying to rub warmth into his fingers. Hyunjoong flicked at cheek.
He held out a pair of gloves, shoving it in Jaejoong’s face. Jaejoong had to reach for it quick enough before it fell to the dirty pavement.
“Use it. I don’t need it.”
“Hyun, you should wear it.”
“I’m not the one that’s fucking chattering and rubbing their fingers together every minute. Use it. You’re annoying me.”
Changmin chuckled, and Jaejoong scowled while he put them on. He didn’t know how Hyunjoong had a personality so different from his sisters, from his mother. But he was unlike the women in his house too, and he and Hyunjoong clashed too many times, as they grew from teenagers to adults.
“Are you sure you’re not cold?” He reached for Hyunjoong’s hands, and clasped them between his palms, before his brother could answer. Their breaths were little puffs of white, and he laughed a little at the redness of his brother’s cheeks and nose, brought about by the night air.
Jaejoong let go when he was sure enough that Hyunjoong wasn’t shivering from the weather, and quickened his pace to match Changmin’s. He was watching Yoohwan as he snapped more pictures of the surrounds.
“Things were probably meant to work out that way,” said Jaejoong. “And I found out the truth now, didn’t I? Things are awkward between us, but it’s not that awkward. Me and Yoohwan…we were meant to meet again. And I can’t say that we’re as close as we were before, and we’re no longer the same persons we were when we met, but we can start over.”
Changmin was in a turtleneck, and it made him look even taller. His hands were stuffed in his pockets, gloved fingers that held on to the sides of his pants.
“I know. You’re starting to like Yunho. Or do you already like him?”
Changmin wasn’t looking at him, and he didn’t have to. It was a serious question, and it was just the two of them, with Hyunjoong walking slowly, phone out, but watching around instead of using it.
“I think I do. It’s not easy for me to like someone, Min. Not in the romantic sense.”
“I’m not saying this because he’s my cousin, but you should take a chance. I know that he came on strongly. He’s an idiot, but he’s a good man, and I’m saying that as his cousin. But, there’s nothing to lose by trusting and giving in to your feelings. If you’re not sure that you like him, or if you want to like him, give it a chance and see if you do. I did that, with Yoochun. He was the one that pursued me, and I ignored him for months until I started paying attention to him, accepting his offer to go out for lunch or coffee, or to stay back and help him code a program. That was a few years ago, when I was new to his company. I’ll never regret that.”
“Do you love him?”
“Most days. Except the ones where he makes me want to smash his face but most days.”
Jaejoong laughed, gloved fingers coming by his lips and frosty breath.
The girls were still up when they came home, bundled on the couch under a fleece blanket. There was a nopen pack of honey chips and an empty ramen container on the glass table, and Hyuna was holding a coke can as she leaned over the couch when she heard them by the door.
“You’re back! Hyunnie’s spending so much time with hyung these days.”
“I’m your hyung too,” said Hyunjoong, and Hyuna stuck her tongue out, sitting back down to stare at the television.
“What are you two watching?” asked Jaejoong. He hung up his coat, taking Hyunjoong’s and hushing him before he could fuss.
“Home alone!” Taeyon’s voice came from the couch, and her hand snagged the bag of chips.
“She’s asleep. She made dinner and this awesome eggnog Jae hyung. You guys need to taste it! She left the pot on the stove for you guys to heat it up.”
Hyunjoong went into the kitchen, and Jaejoong went over to the couch. He messed with his sisters’ hair, and glanced at the television, before going into the kitchen. His slippers made sharp noises on the tiles, and he pushed Hyunjoong’s bag further on the table from where it was, hanging off from the edge.
“Eggnog?” his brother asked. When Jaejoong nodded he started up the stove, peering in under the cover at the drink inside the pot.
“She probably put in alcohol, even though Hyuna and Taeyon are underage.” Hyunjoong got a bottle of green tea before joining him by the table.
“Not like they’ve never drunk alcohol before. I remember you quarreling with me for drinking at sixteen.”
“You were sixteen!”
“And I hated you acting like a father. You were my brother, my hyung.”
“You never address me properly.”
“Do you want me to call you ‘hyung’?” Hyunjoong’s eyes were narrowed, and Jaejoong looked away from his stare.
“I’m already accustomed to you never using it. Don’t bother.”
He saw Hyunjoong’s side ways grin.
“How’s the work coming along with Changmin?”
“Challenging,” he said, “But good. I like a challenge.”
“I know. That’s why I called you. Changmin’s insufferable sometimes, just like you.”
“You really like him,” Hyunjoong remarked, playing with the bottle wrapper.
“Jealous?” Jaejoong teased. Hyunjoong’s dyed hair was long, and it covered his flush.
Jaejoong checked on the pot, and lowered the heat to medium. The phone was ringing, and he was closer than Hyunjoong, walking across to answer. It was late. No one ever called the house phone at late hours, not even his sisters’ friends.
“Good evening?”“Good evening Jaejoong.”
It was Yunho’s voice, and he recognized it as quickly as Yunho had recognized his own.“I was thinking we could Skype instead of talking over the phone. If that’s okay with you.”
“I don’t have a Skype,” Jaejoong mumbled into the phone. Yunho laughed, and Hyunjoong was staring at him, intrigued.
“Who wants to skype you? I can set up one for you.”“Can you make one?”
“Yeah, I can.”
Jaejoong wrote out Yunho’s Skype name, hanging up as he turned off the heat and shifted the pot.
“Who was that?” Hyunjoong asked him.
“Someone who wants to Skype me.”
“Hyung,” Jaejoong muttered. Hyunjoong had his arms folded, leaning back on the cupboards and counter. “Changmin’s cousin.”
“Changmin’s cousin? You’re friends with his cousin?”
“Sort of,” Jaejoong answered, hip hitting into Hyunjoong’s as he took down the larger Christmas mugs. They were red and green mugs, with an ornament like Santa handle.
Hyunjoong's face was close to his, and he trapped him before he could move. “You like him.”
Jaejoong hit away his hand, and went to pour eggnog into the Christmas mugs. “I’m thinking about liking him.”
“No, you like him. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be so reluctant to answer me. You never really care about the guys you fuck, so you don’t care about what you say about them.”
“Stop with your fucking genius shit,” Jaejoong told him, giving him the green mug.
“I want to see him,” said Hyunjoong.
“I’m setting up Skype for you. I want to see him.”
His bedroom lights were set to low, and the humidifier was on with the air conditioning. Hyunjoong had stubbornly stayed on his bed, pressed next to him while he set up a Skype account. His younger brother had ran him through the workings, even though Jaejoong knew how to. It wasn’t that he was technologically challenged. He never had a reason to use Skype, so he had never downloaded it.
“It’s calling,” said Hyunjoong, with the laptop still on his thighs. Jaejoong had tried running him, but his brother refused to move.
The screen was blank until the call went through. Yunho’s face came up, and it was sudden. His face was narrow, lips thick, hair messy, and Jaejoong’s legs curled together, because Yunho was shirtless, coming to his laptop with his low slung jeans and taking a seat.
“Hey,” he said, grinning. “Who’s that with you?”
“His brother,” replied Hyunjoong, pulling the laptop closer to stare at him. “At least he’s good looking.”
Yunho laughed, elbows propped on the table. “Thank you. Playing the over protective brother?”
“I just wanted to see what you looked like.” Hyunjoong shrugged, and handed over the laptop to Jaejoong. “Since Jaejoong likes you and all.”
Jaejoong closed his eyes, and resisted tossing a pillow after his brother. He fixed his legs and looked back at the screen, to Yunho’s amused smile and crinkly eyes.
“You like me huh.”
Yunho grinned. “I called you to talk.” He leaned back on his chair and pulled the laptop closer to him. He must have put on a light, because suddenly the video was brighter, and Jaejoong could see his face better. “So how was your week?”
“Busy, more customers. People drink too much coffee and buy too many books which is good, for me.”
“Changmin’s been over?”
“And Yoohwan. Hyunjoong’s been helping them. Changmin’s barely sleeping with the work he’s been doing.”
“I know. I talked to him yesterday, when you guys came back from your walk. He was contemplating injecting caffeine.”
“I told him that wasn’t logical or possible.”
Yunho laughed, hand running through his hair. “I told him the same, but knowing Changmin, he’d probably find a way to do it without dying….I hope.”
Jaejoong took a minute to watch him. Yunho was staring right at him through the video, and he could see him and feel the way he was taking in his features.
“How’s America? Are you getting enough sleep?”
“I never get enough sleep. But it’s been good. Busy too. I’m shadowing this Korean-American lawyer. His Korean’s so damn good, but he’s so American that it’s fucking hilarious. He’s a great guy.”
Jaejoong nodded. He was feeling nervous, with a laptop on him, and staring at Yunho through a screen. It made it easier for him to stare, and it made it easier for Yunho to stare at him without being rude. The silence stretched on, and Yunho seemed content to watch him.
“Yunho…why are you shirtless?”
Yunho grinned. “Because I not too long showered. And it’s hot.”
“Put on the air-conditioning.”
“Naw, don’t feel like it.”
He propped his hand up, fingers by his chin and lips. “Is my state of undress making you uncomfortable? It’s just a chest.” He looked down. “And my poor excuse for abs.”
Jaejoong scowled, because Yunho did not have a poor excuse for abs, and it was more distracting than uncomfortable. It was uncomfortable because he couldn’t tear his eyes away from his screen.
“And you’ve seen it before anyway.”
Yunho’s gaze was so heavy. It must have been, for Jaejoong’s breath to catch, and feel the way Yunho’s eyes seemed to swallow him. That look made Jaejoong remember, the way Yunho looked up at him with his cock in his mouth, how his teeth had felt, gnawing marks of possession into the skin of his neck.
“Are you missing me?” Jaejoong’s voice came out soft. He hadn’t meant for it to drop, but the mood had changed, now that the silence stretched out, since Hyunjoong had left. He was too old to feel this shy, this nervous, but his cheeks felt so hot, and his chest was a fiery mess with intermittent coldness.
“Like crazy,” Yunho groaned. “My plans to woo you before Christmas, they’re going to happen. Have I wooed you yet? Your brother said you liked me didn’t he? So is it true?”
“Hyunjoong’s a piece of shit,” he said, sliding lower on the bed. His lips parted, and Yunho’s stare was relentless. “Don’t stare at me like that Yunho. Please.”
“Why not? I like staring at you. It isn’t like you’re not staring at me.”
Jaejoong closed his eyes, because it was the only way that he could escape Yunho’s gaze for a few seconds. This was insane. One man-child should not have him this way, years beyond his age, with a personality that kept switching too quickly for him to keep up with.
The way Yunho said his name broke the wall he kept up, chipping away the outer layer of coldness and security he had built since Yoohwan had left. It had him sucking in cold air, eyes lowered, and hating himself for feeling.
“I do like you,” he said, shuddering breath and fingers tracing the edge of his laptop. “And you’re going to shut up and let me end this call, because I’m done talking to you.”
Yeah so…Jaejoong’s a special one. And I like writing his personality in this. I don’t see him in this fic being the type of person to have sexy time on Skype, even if he’s bold when it comes to sex and his relationships with other men. But his feelings for Yunho is scaring him somewhat, and he’s coming to terms with that.
But he finally admitted to liking him, and it’s all thanks to Changminnie.