Title: Always be here...
Pairings: Jaemin, yoosu implied.
Disclaimer: I don't own them, cause if I did, I'd be locked in a closet with jae and min right now. Not beta'd.
One, two, three. Three steps up to the top of the landing, two moments for the jingle of keys, one click as the lock unbolted. A heated breath as the door swung open, let out on a sigh, as silence was the only answer that met the young man's entrance. Relief etched the features of the dark haired vocalist as he stepped quickly and quietly into the entryway of the flat he shaired with his four bandmates, the space lit only by the mid-morning light streaming through unshaded windows.
Noone was around to ask questions. Questions about why he had left them so suddenly. Why he had claimed need for a break so close to the summer tour. So many whys, that he wouldn't be able to adequately answer without facing some painful truths about himself....and about the band. He almost wished that at least he had stayed home, smile lighting up the room as he gasped out a welcome. Maybe there was still a chance that the youngest would be home. He was always the least likely to leave when the others go out, and always the one that Jaejoong most wanted to see smiling when he walked through that door.
Quick, sure steps brought him forward into the living room, where the large screen television beckoned him with its smiling idols, offering up the chance of a lifetime in exchange for his soul, and pocketbook. A small niggling concern touched the back of his mind, as his eyes fell upon the remote control, carelessly lying on the mohagony endtable, tossed aside with the muting of the set. The phone blinked the time at him from the deths of the couch, not connected, but also not where it was supposed to be. The last call on the id screen was three hours ago.
An almost nonexistant altering of expression graced the band umma's face as he replaced the phone on its cradle, inches away from the forlorn remote. The television was silenced with the flick of a button, and attention focused upon the hallway leading off to the room the boys were sharing. Something was wrong. Yunho would never leave the house with everything on, especially if he wasn't going to be coming back soon. A quick glance into the kitchen reassured him that the stovetop and oven were turned off, and the apartment wasn't likely to burn down around him anytime soon.
A silent moment as he moved to the hallway leading toward the room he shared with Changmin and Yunho. Bated breath as he opened the door, a sigh as he realized that nothing was glaringly out of place. A movement across the hall carried him to the room of Yoochun and Junsu, and he hesitated in front of the door. Deep breaths, one two, in out. There was really nothing to be afraid of, right. Nothing was wrong. There was always an explanation. Even for the most impossible things. His hand reached out, testing the door handle and his own courage. He turned it, and slid the barrier open, stepping inside, eyes closed. He wasn't sure he wanted to find an explanation of fate within these walls.
Destined for disappointment, beautiful brown orbs met only silent empty space as he viewed the room where he had hoped an answer lay. This was not his day. Alone in an empty house, no explanation of where they had gone in such urgency. Left only to wonder. It rankled upon him, this thought that he had nothing to do but wait. No way of contacting the others, their cell phones having been discovered in the cursory inspection of living spaces, which held nothing living within them any longer.
The silence of the house hit him then, suffocating in it's splendor. No longer was this a relief to the senses, the man known as Hero was drowning in the empty spaces left by his friends, his family. The sensation of abandonment so strong, he literally ran back to the main room, desperate to hear a voice, any voice, aside from his own. Fingers shaking, the boy reached outward, feeling the cool plastic of the television control in his palm, pressing the button that would bring noise into his life again.
Too much noise, as the sound of sirens wailing filled the cold white room, bouncing off the walls and the pale furniture, a remnant of the questionable decorating sense their manager sometimes portrayed. Eyes glued themselves to the flashing screen, watching in morbid fascination as the newscaster detailed the scene of an accident. A train had derailed just outside Seoul. Hundreds dead, more injured. They were removing bodies from the wreckage. Only half listening to the broadcast, the boy tensed. Why was Changmin there? Why was he crying? Had something happened to Mrs Shim?
The others....their faces played across the screen, all set in a greif so thick it threatened to engulf everything. And Jaejoong felt the pain in his hand, the edgest of the remote biting into his skin, not even a small destraction as he saw his own face, eyes closed as if in sleep, as he was carried past the camera. There was no way. He never....he didn't remember getting off the train. And that's when it struck him. The train had crashed, there were bodies everywhere, and screaming. He had lost conciousness. And the next the he remembered, he was standing outside this place, happy to be home, worried that they would yell at him for being late.
But they weren't here. They were THERE, and he didn't know how to get back to that place. But he had to try. He had to know. Was he really dead? Another newscaster took over for the first, as she started sobbing so hard that the pretty girl couldn't speak any longer. This time, it was a ster looking man who swallowed thickly before stating that Youngwoong Jaejoong had been taken to a nearby hospital, where he was comatose, but stable. Unfortunately, there were no signs that the lead vocalist for DBSK would be waking up.
Silence reigned once again as Jae stared at the darkened screen, once again coming full circle against the path he had walked since reaching this place. Limbo? Purgatory? Was this where he decided whether or not to die? It didn't matter anyway. He wasn't going to stay here forever. Determination set itself in features cast even paler by the light within the room. Tossing the remote aside, Jaejoong sprinted out the door, not even bothering to grab a jacket to protect himself against the cold of midafternoon that he could still feel against his skin.
Jae never stopped to think it was odd that the cabdriver saw him, that he was able to speak, and pay with cash. That the driver knew exactly where he was going, or that the man's face was too obscured in shadow to see clearly. All he cared was that it was there, the place where his body lay sleeping without a soul. The place where his fate would be decided.
White, white walls, tunnels that seemed as if they would never endl, as spectral figures in blinding smocks bustled to and fro about their lives, smelling of disinfectant and other people's blood. The nurse on call was able to point him in the right direction, her expression one of disbelief as she watched the victim himself sprint through the hispital corridor, dodging people and objects with uncanny grace. After he disappeared around a corner, the poor girl signed herself off duty and sat down, determining to get an appointment with a psychiatrist at the first available opportunity.
As he dashed down one hall after another, everyone seemed to flow out of his way, leaping backward to avoid being barrelled down on. Several near collisions and an overturned stretcher later, the effeminate vocalist slid to a stop before room 332, grabbing onto a nearby chair for support as he felt his center of balance shift with the act of halting his momentum. Two deep breaths, and he leaned his forehead against the door, listening to the soft sighs and sobbing coming from the other side.
Opening this door was much much more frightening than the entrance to Junsu and Yoochun's room had ever been. Sweat trickled down his neck as he stared at the silver handle, cold light beckonging him to touch the metal facade, to test the reality of it all. But until then, everything had been real, felt as it should. the only thing that seemed out of place was the looks being given to him by people passing by, as if they'd seen a ghost. But then again, wasn't that what he was? An out of body experience gone horribly wrong.
Bravery would never be more forthcoming than it was right then, his strength of will fading with each passing moment. Tentatively, every second an eternity fading into even more eternity, the long, slender fingers extended, wrapping carefully around the gleaming vestige and pushed, ever so gently, moments ticking by in time like centuries, each one longer than the last, as he braced himself for what he would face.
But nothing could have prepared him for the sight that met his bemused gaze. Yunho, splayed over a couch, his face looking more drawn and tired than he'd ever seen it. Junsu sleeping on the floor like a child, fetal position and all, head resting on the lap of an exhausted looking Yoochun, who's eyes were swollen red from strain. All three sleeping soundly, the only sounds permeating the room were soft sobs coming from the form whos face was buried in the mattress of the too white bed, fingers twined, holding so very tightly, with a pale hand. Eyes following those slender, off-white digits up a slender arm, too thin by far, not just brought to that from injury, but borne of overwork and strenuous living. A breath, a moment, and eyes travel ever upwards, to a slender neck and soft, sleeping features. There were no eyes to meet his own, closed against the world in a shell that used to be a man, a large bruise marring the temple over the left eye, and a slender cut along one cheek. Not enough to scar, but enought to worry. And the breath stuck in Jaejoong's throat, because he knew, without a doubt, that he was looking at himself.
The steady beep beep of the heart monitor was a counterpoint to the hiccuping gasps of breath coming from the figure sitting next to the bed, each gasping sob a catch in Hero's chest. This was his time to choose. But all he really knew, is that he never wanted to be the one to make Changmin cry. And this...this was his fault. Those sobs were for him. For the fact that he was lying there, and nothing he could do would ever make this right. It was him. All the love held in that small form was spilling out in great wet drops of saline onto two entwined hands, one too pale, too thin, the other slightly browned from the sun, gripping with an almost desperate strength.
Staring at himself, wishing he could make his sleeping doppelganger just move, Jaejoong stood silently behind his lover, waiting just like the rest of them, for that moment when the world would change, fall on its ear once again. But was this the only reality left for them? There was no way, nothing in him would allow it to end like this. So with a surety not shown before, not when facing the empty rooms, or the unfamiliar hospital room door, not in any of the interaction he had held with any of them in all the years they'd known him, Kim Jaejoong reached out. There was no hesitation, not this time. There was no reason to stop. The driving force of his being, the only thing left that had not been burned away by the sight of what he was doing to his friends, was this. He had to make Min stop crying.
Slender digits wrapped around joined hands, and Changmin looked up to see Jaejoong smiling at him from the hospital bed. Twined fingers disengaged from his own and reached out, smoothing back damp strands of hair from the youngest one's face, as the hand that had so startled him slid over to hold his, palm to palm. "I'm not going anywhere. So don't cry."
As gentle lips ghosted over his forehead, Changmin smiled through the teardrops, reassured at last. Everything was going to be fine. Because noone could deny Minnie anything, especially not Jae. And Jae would move both heaven and earth to make his beloved smile.