Pairing: Heechul/Jaejoong, Jaejoong/Yunho
Written for heyy13's prompt of Jaejoong and Heechul meeting in the same cell in the police station, and also for the Jaechul challenge here (I hope this counts, even though it came from a prompt!). Cross-posted several places. Am also very sleepy now, and I apologise for Heechul's OOC-ness, it's my first time writing Heechul as a main character =X
Kim Heechul is too drunk and sleepy to care when the cell door is opened and then closed again, but his eyes do fly open when the new arrival starts shouting, voice slurred with drink, something about how they can’t do this to minors. Heechul groans and sits up with a sigh, forcing his eyes to focus.
“Ya! Stop making so much noise!”
The other boy subsides, albeit sulkily, and moves over to sit in an opposite corner of the cell, away from Heechul. He is pale and young and too skinny, hair cropped close to his head, and Heechul wrinkles his nose at the bad haircut, even as he notes the long lashes, the full lips. Heechul almost feels bad for the boy, who’s now sitting with his knees drawn up to his chest, head lolling back to rest on the hard wall behind. Almost, but not quite.
“They can legally do this to us, you know.” Heechul smirks, and waits. It was getting sort of lonely in here all by himself, anyway.
The other boy glares, but doesn’t say anything, and Heechul’s eyes narrow. Nobody ignores Kim Heechul. Or looks at him like that.
“I expect I’ll be gone soon. Did you get to make a call yet? They might keep you here until morning, though.” Heechul tries to make his tone flippant, casual, notices the way the younger boy’s brows draw down in consternation, teeth worrying at his lower lip, and capers madly inside in glee. Of course they let you go when people come for you, it’s the law, but apparently the other boy doesn’t know that. That’d teach him.
“I thought you were a girl, at first”, the other boy blurts out, then flushes hotly. Heechul resists the urge to go over and slap the living daylights out of him. He’s lucky it isn’t Heechul’s first time being told that.
“Ya! Just because I look–” Heechul is cut off mid-sentence when a middle aged woman bustles up to the bars behind a bemused officer, at least five girls trailing along behind her. “Umma! Unnie–”, the younger boy stops to gulp and looks strangely stricken as he is hauled out of the cell, his sisters already starting to berate him about drinking at his age, and what were you thinking, Jaejoong-ah, and the other boy –Jaejoong– turns to shoot Heechul a last, pleading look, which Heechul acknowledges with a cheery wave before bursting into peals of laughter, and only stops five minutes later.
Well, Heechul struggles to suppress his mirth, still wiping tears from his eyes, that was interesting.
Heechul barely recalls anything about that night, until he meets one Kim Jaejoong again two years later in the hallways of SM Entertainment. Heechul doesn’t recognize him, until Jaejoong opens his mouth to blurt a single “You!” and is promptly rapped on the head by Youngwoon for being rude to a hyung.
“You clean up nice”, Heechul admits grudgingly. Jaejoong’s grown out his hair, the long dark strands framing an exquisitely pretty face, and Heechul is impressed. He didn’t think he’d ever meet anyone, male or female, even half as pretty as he is (that was before Siwon, of course) and while Kim Heechul hates feeling threatened, even by a dongsaeng, even if it isn’t much, he does appreciate pretty things.
“Thanks.” Jaejoong shuffles almost uncomfortably, and the Youngwoon’s intercepted Yunho, on his way to practice dancing again –it’s about all he does these days, Heechul thinks, annoyed– and is making introductions, and Heechul notes the way Yunho’s eyes widen before his confident smile reasserts itself, and holds out a hand for Jaejoong to shake; notes the way Jaejoong smiles, tremulous and oddly shy, and how his gaze never leaves Yunho’s face. Heechul sees these things that are swift, fleeting, gone in almost the blink of an eye, but of course Kim Heechul has more important things to think about, things that actually involve him, and he doesn’t remember this, this first meeting, until a long time later.
Jaejoong moves in with them, the four of them crammed into one bedroom, their apartment shared with at least four other trainees. Heechul remembers the first time they hear Jaejoong sing, a slow and oddly wrenching rendition of an old love song, his voice dipping and then soaring effortlessly, and Heechul remembers Youngwoon’s wondering expression, Yunho simply staring, enraptured, remembers hugging the pillow tight, tighter, tighter to his chest, afraid they’ll hear the clenching of his heart. Jaejoong is a delightful blend of snarky wit and unwitting honesty, his humour nowhere near as crass as Heechul and Youngwoon’s, but a welcome counterpoint to their crude jokes and over-the-top antics. Heechul finally has someone to take endless pictures with (before there was only a reluctant, complaining Yunho, who doesn’t see the need to camwhore all the time) and Jaejoong, much to their amazement, actually cooks.
“Who’s the girl now?” Heechul can’t help himself. The sight of Jaejoong in an apron is too good an opportunity to pass up, and Heechul cackles and dances out of reach before Jaejoong can grab him and muss up his carefully styled hair.
They still drink, sometimes, sneak out when the lights go off, and sometimes Youngwoon comes with them, because he’s not one to miss out on the fun, even if he is a terrible drinker, and Yunho usually does, too, if only to make sure his drunk friends get back to the apartment safely. Today, though, they’re on their own, Youngwoon sick with the flu and Yunho off for late night advanced dance classes, and without a nearly passed out Youngwoon –whom they usually have to carry back to the apartment, between the three of them– and a sober Yunho as the voice of reason, both Heechul and Jaejoong are unabashedly, shamelessly drunk, and end up stumbling back home at nearly three in the morning, leaning on each other and stumbling every two steps and giggling like schoolgirls.
“You…pretty”, Heechul slurs when they finally fall in a heap on the cold ground in the deserted park, Jaejoong’s sneaker clad foot finally getting in the way and tripping them both over. Jaejoong giggles into Heechul’s shoulder.
“You’re prettier”, Heechul breathes, and it’s the truth, he knows, and then Jaejoong is looking up at him, eyes confused and imploring and Heechul does the only thing he can think of, and leans down to kiss him.
Somehow they manage to lurch their way home, arms about each other’s waists, occasionally breaking out into spirited song, and tumble into Heechul’s bed, careful not to wake the others. Jaejoong murmurs sleepily into Heechul’s chest as Heechul draws up the covers, and they are both asleep in two minutes.
It’s usually Heechul who initiates contact first, after the first night; cornering Jaejoong by the vending machines and in stairwells, leaning in to kiss him briefly before ghosting away, but it’s Jaejoong who crawls into Heechul’s bed every night when the others are asleep, Jaejoong who falls asleep with his head on Heechul’s shoulder, Jaejoong who wakes up, every time, almost as if by instinct, at the crack of dawn to return to his own sheets before the rest can see. Heechul tries to draw him in, hanging off his arm and dancing circles about him and challenging him with his smiles, his eyes, his antics, but Jaejoong remains as distant as ever, for all his efforts, and Heechul can’t help but wonder, and worse, doubt, and wait for each time Jaejoong comes to fall asleep next to him.
Heechul sees the way Yunho watches, when his hand lingers too long on Jaejoong’s waist or lower back, when he feeds Jaejoong, when he rests his head on Jaejoong’s shoulder after a long day of practice. Heechul sees the way Jaejoong flushes and draws away when Yunho’s around, sees the way his eyes flicker and dart to the other boy almost anxiously, but pretends he doesn’t, because they’ve been told they’re about to debut, the four of them, together, finally, and Heechul doesn’t think he’s ever been this happy in his life.
It’s all coming together now, he thinks, ignoring Yunho’s growing silences and Jaejoong’s growing awkwardness when the three of them are alone together, it’s all coming together now.
It comes as a shock, not just to the four of them, but to the rest of the trainees that they know, because Youngwoon, Heechul, Yunho and Jaejoong would be great together, they’re such good friends and they work so well together, but management is firm.
“You’ll still be debuting soon, you and Youngwoon”, their manager is saying, but Heechul doesn’t listen, doesn’t care.
“And now I have to work with people I don’t even know”, Jaejoong is saying, voice full of pent up frustration, and Heechul wants to say, at least you’re debuting, but doesn’t, and continues to thread his fingers through the other boy’s hair.
They are alone again, Youngwoon off somewhere in a foul mood, Yunho off to a meeting with the managers about his and Jaejoong’s new group, and Heechul thinks that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to end it, now, and forces himself to speak.
“You’ll still have Yunho-ah.”
Jaejoong stiffens slightly, then relaxes when Heechul’s fingers keep stroking, stroking. “Yes, I guess so.”
Heechul makes a noise, halfway between an exasperated sigh and a growl. “Ya, do you two think I’m stupid or something?”
Jaejoong sits up abruptly, blinks. “What’re you talking about, hyung?”
Heechul pretends to scowl and huff and prays fervently that Jaejoong doesn’t see the truth in his eyes. “You love him, don’t you.”
Jaejoong flinches as if he’s been struck. “I– no, I– What–”
“It’s fine. He doesn’t see anyone else but you. God, it’s so glaringly obvious sometimes I’m amazed you haven’t caught on yet.”
“I– what?” Jaejoong looks astounded, caught between relief and joy and disbelief and a desperate wanting for it to be true, and Heechul wants to laugh, but is afraid of how it’ll come out sounding, bitter and cracked and painful.
“Of course he does. It’s just that Yunho-ah can be so stupid sometimes.”
“I– Yeah, I know.” Jaejoong looks down at the sheet, the wall, the window, anywhere but at Heechul. When he finally meets Heechul’s eyes Heechul wants to swear and cry and run away, all at the same time. “I’m sorry.”
“Ya, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Heechul forces himself to smile, to reach out to brush his fingers on Jaejoong’s cheek, for the last time, to walk out the door, to not look back.
Heechul doesn’t think he’s ever been this proud of both of them, doesn’t think he’s ever seen either of them shine like this. He watches interviews and performances and laughs and smiles and tries not to cry, and looks away whenever Jaejoong turns to smile over at Yunho, whenever Yunho reaches out to touch, whenever Heechul is reminded of the look in Jaejoong’s eyes that very first night, the first time Heechul actually believed.