Title: Beginnings in San Francisco
Pairing: Jaemin (jaejoong/changmin)
Genre: Fluff, Romance, Drama
Description: Jaejoong is a Korean Transferee at a prestigious school in the outskirts of San Francisco. Changmin is a high school student under the high school department of that same university. Jaejoong felt out-of place, Changmin blended in just fine. Jaejoong had no friends, Changmin had many. Nobody knew Jaejoong, Everyone knew Changmin. It's strange how fast the tables can turn. But in the end, no amount of friends or popularity can replace the other. Though things might have turned out a little too messy by the time they realize this.
A/N: I never liked ending problems LOL
By morning everything was a haze, both Jaejoong’s memory and his vision.
Squinting his eyes open he tried to adjust to the bright rays of sunshine glowing through his closed curtains. It seemed like ages since he last saw the sun, the pouring rain last night had felt as though it had been going on for a week or so. Slowly grounding himself back to reality, he stretched in the comfort of what he guessed was his bed, in what he guessed was his dorm, in what he guessed was his University in what he guessed was none other than San Francisco.
For a minute or two he thought that everything that he ever remembered happening was all a mere dream. Because looking around, he couldn’t help but notice how nothing’s changed. His roommate’s constantly empty bed, his pile of (untouched) college books, His thesis papers scattered on his desk, his lava lamp beside his little elephant knick-knacks. Nothing at all. Jaejoong sighed. He was ready to believe this, he was ready to stand up and go back to the monotonous life he had as a nobody-Korean-transferee a few months ago.
But then something under the covers of his bed prevented him from doing so.
At first he was confused, momentarily forgetting what had happened the previous night or any other day before that. That is, until he felt a pair of arms encircle his stomach and pull him closer, watching locks of soft brown hair poke out from underneath the sheets of blankets.
Lifting covers up, he revealed the sleepy mess known as Shim Changmin.
The sudden exposure to light had the younger boy groaning and burying his face further into Jaejoong’s body.
“Goodmorning to you too.”
He couldn’t picture exactly what had happened yesterday. He remembered Changmin knocking on his dorm soaking wet, he remembered their talk, he remembered Changmin crying, and finally he remembered their kiss. But everything else after that happened like a dream.
If he tried hard enough, he could remember asking Changmin to take a shower.
Because of the rain and all.
He remembered listening to the shower water as he waited for the younger boy out in his room. And then he lent him one of his shirts (which was slightly oversized) and one of his sweat pants.
If he tried harder, he could remember heat.
The heat of his lips against the other’s, the warmth of his skin against Changmin’s, the trickle of Changmin’s sweat down his forehead as Jaejoong watched him from on top, Changmin’s eyes in half-lids and his hair sticking to his face, the repeated call of his name, and the faint sounds of huffs and pants and occasional moans.
You get the picture.
Though he couldn’t really remember how they got to that point. Or how they managed to get their sweatpants back on before they fell asleep. But that was that and there was no sense dwelling.
Jaejoong smiled to himself. He couldn’t help but admit that he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Just as he was about ready to drift back to sleep in the comforting thought of the younger boy right beside him, He was yet again awakened by three soft knocks on his Dorm door.
He groaned, getting off the bed and leaving Changmin’s (rather tight) grip was the last thing he wanted to do right now. It was like making him choose between sweets and vegetables, and he never really did like the latter.
Without moving or opening his eyes, he gave one last groan before shouting “IT’S OPEN.”
Though little did he realize what a big mistake that was.
“Jaejoong? Don’t tell me you’re still in bed.”
It was Jessica.
It only took a second or two for her high pitched, feminine voice to sink in Jaejoong’s chain of hazy thoughts, before he was fumbling out of the covers and stumbling onto his feet. His sudden actions had awakened the sleeping boy though, causing him to stir and let out a hushed yawn. Jaejoong would have loved to just bring out the nearest camera and snap a photo of this adorable scene unfolding in front of him, though he knew better than to dilly dally.
“Mian, mianhae.” he whispered. But he didn’t even give Changmin any time to reply, startled by Jessica’s voice which he heard a mere few feet away from his bedroom door.
“Jae? Bwoh-yah…Is someone in there with you?”
“O-OPSEO!” He shouted almost immediately. Panicking, he managed to topple down a pile of books laying on the floor on his way to the door, causing a loud thud to echo all the way out to where Jessica was standing. Mental note Jaejoong: Clean your room.
“Yaaahh…What’s going on in there, are you okay? If you don’t come out right now I’m coming in myself.”
Hissing at the stinging pain in his toes, he forced himself to stumble further to the door. “A-ani! I’m coming I’m coming!”
Finally, pulling his last pained expression away, he breathed in deeply and poised his one hand on the door knob. Ruffling his hair with the other and trying the best he can to capture a perfect I-just-woke-up look.
Opening it, he leaned over by it’s edge and gave out a fake yawn. “…morning.”
“….Goodmorning…are you ready to go? … though…obviously you aren’t.”
“Go? go where?”
“School. College. It’s a tuesday Jaejoong.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Where are your things?”
“Did you finish your thesis?”
Jessica squinted her eyes at him.
“You’re so out of it today….Usually you’re up earliest…how late did you sleep last night? You didn’t catch a cold did you? And….and why are you sleeping without a shirt anyway?”
Jaejoong looked down at his topless, bare torso.
“I-it’s…You don’t feel warm? It’s pretty warm.”
“Jaejoong. It’s autumn.”
“Earth to Jae! What’s the matter with you? Maybe the heater in your room’s up too hi—“
Jessica was just about to make her way inside Jaejoong’s room when he abruptly stopped her from doing so by blocking the door with his one arm and obscuring her view of the inside. She looked at him suspiciously, and Jaejoong seriously wanted to melt that very moment. He never liked lying. Which is probably why he chose to avoid Changmin the past few months rather than tell petty lies about his whereabouts. He was amazed at how he constantly thought about the boy, even though he wasn’t aware of it himself.
“…Are you…are you hiding something from me?”
He let out a nervous laugh.
“Aha-aniya…Listen, I’ll go get dressed now. I’m fine I promise. Why don’t you go on ahead to class.”
“…Are you sure. Are you absolutely sure.”
“Ne.” He smiled. “I’m sure.”
He smiled wider. “Kamsamnida.”
Just when he was about to leave, Jessica held the door by it’s knob before it closed all the way. She looked at him straight in the eye and at that moment Jaejoong felt a surge of guilt course through him. In her eyes reflected several mixed emotions he couldn’t really quite explain, it was a mixture of sadness and loneliness, of unsaid questions and I love you s. It was too much to take in, he couldn’t help but feel as though he were the reason behind it all, and as a result he couldn’t really stare back, shifting his gaze anywhere but at those pair of eyes.
“I worry about you sometimes Jae.” her voice was soft and tender.
“If…if this is about last night…everything turned out alright. Okay? … we can go back to what we used to be. Changmin’s a good boy.…”
With that her voice drifted off. And Jaejoong swore he saw a glimmer of wet tears from the corner of her eyes.
Though this silence only lasted for a mere half second before she finally broke her gaze and smiled back.
“See you in 10.”
Those were her final words before she kissed him on the cheek goodbye, turned around, wiped the tears from the corner of her eyes and walked off hoping nobody notices.
And then the room was silent again. Jaejoong sighed, leaning his head against the edge of the door. He had finally woken up from the dreamy state he had been in all morning, and had finally grasped the reality of his situation. No matter how he looked at it, no matter what he reasoned out, he came out with only one conclusion.
He had cheated on Jessica. With one of their friends. Who happened to be a boy.
Now, he knew that he had feelings for Changmin ever since he first hung out with him, but then blinded by the attention he kept getting, he was forced to adhere to what society expected of a boy like him rather than to what he really felt. And that only lead to a chain of more problems, Jessica liking him back, and his feelings for Changmin only growing stronger by the second.
Now he was tangled in a web of problems he had no idea how to solve.
Breaking-up with Jessica would have been one of the easy ways out. But that would definitely label him heartless, after all, how could he explain him liking their dongsaeng? How could he do so without breaking their friendship? It’s the only reason to give out, especially since she’s been nothing but what most guys would call a “perfect” girlfriend. But she just wasn’t…
…She just wasn’t Changmin.
It was all frustrating to think of. And Jaejoong didn’t know how long he stood there by the door, simply letting his mind wander.
Finally, he pulled himself back inside the room, closed the door silently, and moved to crawl back into bed.
Though, as soon as he laid eyes on the younger boy who now sat up on his bed and stared at him with the same expression Jessica had worn just a few minutes ago, he stood stunned.
Changmin just smiled. Though Jaejoong now saw what kyuhyun had been saying all this time.
He always smiles no matter how hurt he is inside.
“...Hyung. I’m sorry but…but can you forget what happened last night?...”
Jaejoong didn’t respond.
“I...I’m sorry I went too far. I wasn’t careful with the things I said.”
Jaejoong couldn’t help but wonder what the hell Changmin was saying.
“….I’m going now.”
Changmin stood up and quickly paced around the room, picking up his belongings, more specifically his damp hoodie, his shoes and his pants, and pulled Jaejoong’s shirt back over his body. The older boy could do nothing but watch in confusion.
“If you don’t mind I’m going to borrow these for a while.” he gestures to jaejoong’s sweatpants and shirt which he was still currently wearing. By this time he was standing in front of Jae, who in turn, was standing in front of the doorway, still too stunned to move away.
“…Changmin-ah. Why should I forget?” Were all the words Jaejoong could force out. He felt something inside him slowly crumble to pieces.
It took all of Changmin’s courage to lift his gaze and meet the other’s piercing stare, he hoped that his eyes didn’t seem watery like how they actually felt and stung right now.
“…Tell noona I’m sorry.”
And with that Changmin quickly turned, squeezing his way past the older boy and out the door. Leaving Jaejoong there, confused, stunned, and completely heartbroken.
* * * * * * *
Changmin didn’t go to school that day.
Jaejoong did, though he might as well have skipped, because he spent half of the day spacing out, and another half he spent absent-mindedly with Jessica.
By 7:30 in the evening, the two of them were sitting silently beside each other on a park bench. Jessica’s hand clasped tightly onto Jaejoong’s, who in turn, returned nothing more than a loose grip. Neither of them spoke, and all that could be heard was the constant chirping of the crickets which reminded them of the coming of night. Normally this would have been a peaceful kind of scenery for a couple, a scene were no words were needed, because their presence beside each other would have been enough. But it was exactly the opposite. Both of them knew that something was definitely off, and that only caused a bubble of awkwardness to grow bigger and bigger in between them.
Truth be told, Jaejoong couldn’t care less right now about dates with Jessica. His mind was too busy thinking about Changmin.
“Waah Yepudah, The stars are pretty tonight…” Jessica whispered. Looking up to the heavens, trying her best to return the once relaxing and comforting atmosphere they shared.
But Jaejoong knew it was something long gone. Something he could now only find when he was with Changmin. And it was driving him mad.
He couldn’t take it anymore. He was tired of pretending.
“Jaejoongie, look up there, It’s a full moon! That’s really rare.”
“Is that venus? They say the brightest star in the sky is actually the planet venus..”
Her voice began to quiver.
“…But shouldn’t i-it be the north start that’s brightest???”
Jaejoong kept silent this time. Unknowingly, her tears began to flow.
“Shouldn’t it Jaejoong????”
Jessica was crying.
Still looking up to the now dark skies, she let the tears pour down her temples. Eventually she lifted her one hand up to her mouth and shifted her gaze to the ground, crying profoundly.
“…Let’s break up.” was all Jaejoong could finally let out. He felt guilty. He felt heartless. But he needed to do this. He needed to do this if he wanted to be with Changmin. It’s what he repeated in his head like a mantra.
And Jessica couldn’t help but break down to tears because somehow she knew this was coming. Sometimes girls can read people like books, and from the way Jaejoong had been acting, last night in the rain, this morning in his room, the whole afternoon, she could tell, that someone else had his heart. From a very long time ago. Specifically, a few months back. She thought that maybe, when he asked her to be his girlfriend, maybe she had actually won him over. But now she knew she was wrong. Still wrong.
“It’s Changmin isn’t it.”
“I saw him in your room this morning by the way.” She said, in a more ‘matter-of-fact’ way. Though she could never hide how hurt she was.
Taking one big breath, she tried to hold the tears back, wiping her cheeks with the back of her hands. Standing up, she stretched her one hand in front of Jaejoong, giving out her best, make-believe smile.
“It was nice doing business with you Kim Jaejoong.” She said jokingly. Though Jaejoong didn’t laugh.
Instead, he stood up, held her hand in his and pulled her into a light hug.
“Mianhae. Jinja mianhae. You deserve someone better.” He whispered. And despite her efforts to hold it back, Jessica cried again. Harder this time.
* * * * * * *
By 7:30 in the evening, Kyuhyun sat by his bed and watched Shim Changmin wrap himself in a cocoon of blankets.
“Hyung, I told him to forget about it.” The younger boy whined.
“How can you tell him to do that when you can’t forget about it yourself.” Kyuhyun snarkily remarked.
“Hyung I had sex with him.”
“Hyung. Hyung I like him a lot.”
“….But…But I did something really bad to Jessica noona.”
“Technically, my blame’s on him here.”
“I don’t want to hurt Jessica noona…I really like Jaejoong hyung, But Jessica noona likes Jaejoong hyung…” Changmin used his fingers to picture the situation. Pointy finger 1 was Jaejoong, Pointy finger 2 was Jessica, and poor pinky finger was him. “…and I don’t know who Jaejoong hyung really likes….”
“Hyung…I don’t know what to do…” The younger boy’s voice faded. Slowly turning into a muffle of sobs and hiccups.
Kyuhyun sighed. As much as he loved being snarky, he hated to watch his dongsaeng stress over such matters.
“…Look Changmin-ah…it’s not like you have much time to do anything anymore…”
He hated to be the bearer of bad news, but he had to break it to him somehow.
“...yesterday, Yesterday was your birthday correct? If I’m not mistaken your one day overdue with your agreement with your parents.”
Changmin quieted down. He knew exactly what Kyuhyun was talking about, though he wished that he could just avoid the conversation forever and pause time till whenever. Though what was impossible remained impossible, and he had to face the fact.
“So when are you planning to leave…”
“…….Appa already booked a flight for me tomorrow morning.”
“Tomorrow huh……I’ll sure miss you. Won’t be the same at all around here.”
“I’ll miss a lot of things…a lot of people.”
The fact that he was finally returning to Korea.