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06 June 2014 @ 04:40 pm
cold war (1/2)  
cold war (1/2)
pg
yunho/jaejoong
growing up, growing older. an interactive fic.





0. breaking point

It’s 2009 in Japan.

Jaejoong is starting to feel delirious as he watches the sun creep up the horizon again. For the third day in a row.

Counting today, they've been awake sixty three hours and twenty nine minutes.

Jaejoong's not even sure where today begins or when it blurred into yesterday or the day before.

They’ve been doing this for months now; a grueling schedule consisting of tour upon tour, album recordings, interviews in both Japanese and Korean. He can’t remember a time he could breathe, think without a camera four inches from his face to catch every human emotion, every sincere mistake.

They’ve schooled themselves so much in the art of acting that on the one vacation they have this year, Jaejoong sits at home and wonders why he can’t shake off the feeling he’s being watched.

“You can’t afford mistakes,” Manager-hyung chides, jaw clenched disapprovingly around the words. “The Internet is permanent, Jaejoong-ah.”

Yunho sits next to him, nodding dutifully, his hand a constant weight on Jaejoong's thigh, unconsciously restraining him from lashing out. Their image as a band, their schedules, their time, their lives are all determined by one man they never see, who sits in an office in Seoul.

Yunho accepts this as part of their reality, all schooled, all charm and perfection. He lives for the industry; Jaejoong spends every waking moment finding ways to defy it.</p>

“I can’t do this, Yunho-ya,” he murmurs softly, as the door clicks and they’re finally, blissfully alone. “I can’t live with them watching over our shoulders, waiting for the next screw up. This isn’t me. This isn’t us. I can’t fucking pretend anymore.”

Yunho glances around first, cautiously, then leans in, pressing a discreet kiss to Jaejoong’s hair under the guise of whispering into his ear.

Please, Jaejoong thinks, say something. Anything. Tell them to fuck off, tell them we’re not their puppets.

“It’s going to be okay,” Yunho says, the warm dulcet tones of his voice comforting. Jaejoong knows they really mean, nothing’s ever going to change. But we’ll deal, we’ll get through it.

Jaejoong is tired of the rehearsed answer.

Jaejoong is tired of the way their pretense seeps dark and ugly into his skin. Their life is golden, gleaming and empty. These are the thoughts Jaejoong has when he is too exhausted to suppress them.

Jaejoong opens his mouth but the eyebags around Yunho’s eyes are dark and heavy and his smile is brittle and Jaejoong decides he can carry this burden alone.

Or at least, he can bring it to Yoochun instead.





i. ammunition

It is a fuzzy memory of Tokyo. He remembers the studio, the yellow wallpaper and bright studio lights, beating down and baking his skin. They leaned against one another, shoulders casually touching.

The interviewer asks a question and Jaejoong leans forward, laughing, his hand brushes the back of Yunho’s carelessly as he gestures. But Yunho knows Jaejoong, and everything he does is purposeful, deliberate.

There’s a commercial break, Yunho smiles dutifully at the camera and nods as Jaejoong’s fingers skim the inside of his wrist.

The sun rises, filtering through the studio windows. The pink glow plays across Jaejoong’s features, softens the dark circles around his eyes, makes him look young and carefree again.

They’re back on. Jaejoong is smiling at the reporter, attention rapt.

Tentatively, his fingers brush Yunho’s under the table.

In a moment of rare stupidity, or recklessness, or both, Yunho reaches for his hand and interlaces their fingers.

He doesn’t have to glance over at Jaejoong to know the smile on his face is echoed, right like summer sunshine.

Yunho doesn’t know why that’s the memory that replays in his mind whenever he’s too exhausted to stop his mind from wandering. It catches him off guard, this acute, empty feeling when he sits in their apartment, his sheets cold, his bed neatly made.

The sleeping pills stop working.






ii. consequences

The lawsuit turns ugly quickly. With speculation abound and the media outlet hounding every press conference, the rumor mill swirls and spits out lies and rumors, inciting fan wars and tempers.

Immediately, managers step in to handle the damage control. TVXQ is a household name now and since they were the last to know, the two of them, hurt and betrayed, stick together.

So fucking selfish, everyone murmurs around them, as if badmouthing Jaejoong, Yoochun or Junsu will make Yunho feel better. Yunho bites his tongue so he doesn’t accidentally defend them. Because regardless of legislation, they’re still his members, and he’s still their leader.

Even through the blinding rage, the disappointment, the fucking betrayal, Yunho can’t help thinking about them all the time.

Yunho barely registers the tweets printed out in front of him. There’s a prepared statement too for him to read off of, his manager says encouragingly, in case you can’t think of the right things to say.

Yunho looks at the harsh comments, imagines Junsu’s face, eyes widening, expression crumbling as he stares at the screen.

Junsu had always been more than a brother to him.

”Maybe you should have thought of this, Jaejoong-ah,” Yunho thinks, angrily. Thought about all the people you'd hurt along the way. This is bigger than us now.

Jaejoong doesn’t hear him because he’s already fighting the next battle; eyes on the horizon, casualties already forgotten.







iii. retaliation

The words that come out of his mouth at the press conference are empty and hollow. But the reporters don’t care; they eat it up, spinning into one dramatic story after another. Yunho turns off the TV, throws away the newspapers and lies on the big empty couch, feeling empty, spent, exhausted.

Alone.

Changmin doesn’t look at him as he enters the backroom, his eyes rimmed red.

When Jaejoong sends the first text, Yunho deletes it without even looking. He wants to be angry, but he can’t.

Everywhere he looks Jaejoong is there. He’s in the scent of shampoo in the shower, the coldness in his bed, the fact that now in interviews, rehearsals there’s only him and Changmin, empty spaces no one knows how to fill.

Yunho deals with it the only way he knows how; he throws himself into work. He goes to all the recordings. He sings over Yoochun’s lines, he wills away the muscle memory and re-memorizes the choreography to all their old numbers, this time with two members instead of five. And if they play an old version of ‘Maximum’, Yunho ignores Jaejoong’s lovely voice, grits his teeth and dances, dances like the world is ending, because in a way it is.

It has.


Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu have moved on, they've made music, and Changmin and Yunho have been left behind.

It’s taken a long time for Yunho to get to this point, the waiting, the disappointment, the begging, the cajoling. The hoping its nothing but a bad dream and waking up to find he's still living it.

But he’s here now, and he’s not about to go back.






iv. casualty

Junsu takes it the hardest.

“How could they?” He asks, over and over again, “I thought we were Dongbangshinki. I thought we were playing for the same team.”

They had sat down and talked all night – what it would mean for the company, for them, for the group. Maybe Yunho hadn’t quite agreed, but when they had moved out of the apartment, they’d made promisesthis isn’t going to change us, this isn’t. We’re still going to be the same. We are five.

They had argued, Jaejoong had cried, Yunho had shouted, Yoochun had pleaded and Changmin had stormed out.

But the fact was, the five of them were brought together by a special kind of fate. And if there was something they could agree on it was that they had to stay together.

At least, that's what Yoochun had thought.

“Things change,” Yoochun tells Junsu, then softer, “come on, let’s not look at these reports.”

“Yunho-hyung. We’ve always. He’s always--”

Protected us goes unsaid. Yoochun doesn’t have the words.

“I know.” Yoochun takes Junsu’s hand, and doesn’t say, it’s not his duty to protect us anymore. He needs to protect Changmin now.

Junsu glances up from the screen, eyes defeated. The realization dawns haunting and ugly in his eyes, and Yoochun turns away so he doesn’t have to see it.

“They’re not going to join us, are they?” Junsu says quietly.

Yoochun doesn’t say we’ll be lucky if they even talk to us again.






v. negotiation

They start a song writing war, Jaejoong with his quiet, desperate love melodies, his brittle apologies; a thousand and one ways of, I’m sorry, come back to me, don’t walk away.

Yunho with his curt and unwilling replies, speaking more eloquently by swallowing the words and tunes SM puts in his mouth. Dancing like a puppet on their strings. Yunho choosing not to leave, Yunho choosing to openly voice his support, Yunho choosing, always choosing them over him.

The radio silence is all the reply Jaejoong needs.

Jaejoong knows Yunho like he back of his palm, Yunho and his pride, Yunho and his fierce loyalty. Yunho who will never back down, Yunho who would get upset and need to be cajoled with warm lips and hugs and kisses. This is what Jaejoong tells himself when the texts he sends, the calls he makes, dead drunk in the middle of the night, high on liquid courage, when the songs he writes are met with stony silence.

Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe next month.

Maybe never.

It never stops hurting, but at least Jaejoong learns how to stop expecting an answer.

Eventually, Jaejoong starts giving his songs away. It hurts less knowing that Yunho isn’t steadfastly ignoring his efforts if they’re coming out of someone else’s’ mouth.

Still, he doesn’t stop writing.





vi. resolve

At first Yunho thinks he wants Jaejoong to leave him alone, so he can forget about the way he kisses, the way he feels, warm and pliant beneath him. The way he smiles, the way he talks, slow and sleepy in the morning. The way he’s demanding and affectionate one moment and recklessly thoughtless the next.

They’ve never been good for each other. Jaejoong’s always been the rebel and all Yunho has ever wanted is to live simply, fruitfully.

Normally.

But Jaejoong’s always wanted something more; always made him question and push and want. More, of everything. Anything. Want even things maybe he shouldn't have.


One night, right after they release their first album as just the two of the them, Yunho stays up all night listening to an old Youngstreet recording, a telephone call between them, and Jaejoong’s voice, warm and silky like liquid honey, saying his name yunhoya, yunhoya, yunhoya over and over again.

Jaejoong makes him crazy, reckless, Jaejoong makes him feel alive.

Maybe, Yunho thinks wearily, it’s time to step back into reality.






vii. fall out

The lawsuit falls apart. Their album launches to a billion screaming, excited fans. It’s all they can do when they trudge into the restaurant for a celebratory dinner, relieved and giddy that it is all over.

“We’re going to be okay.” Jaejoong says, but he's smiling too widely, his eyes a touch too bright.

Yoochun pulls him into a hug.

“Yeah,” he says softly, “I think we are, hyung,”


Jaejoong lets out a loud sigh against his chest, and Yoochun pretends not to notice as his shoulders shake, and huge wracking sobs tear through his body. Yoochun doesn’t know how long they stand in a hidden corner outside the restaurant, until Jaejoong slumps against him.

Yoochun offers him a cigarette and Jaejoong accepts it gratefully, bringing it to his lips with shaking fingers.

“Thanks,” he says.


They sit like, that, knees pressed against each other, Jaejoong holding on desperately to Yoochun’s fingers as he takes huge calming puffs of his cigarete.

“This is it, isn’t it?” Jaejoong says, quietly. He drops the cigarette, unfinished onto the floor, crushing it with the heel of his boot. “They aren’t going to forgive us.”

Yoochun looks at the cigarette, the embers dying beneath Jaejoong's heavy boot and says nothing.

“They’re never coming back,” Jaejoong says finally. It's not a new realization, but somehow voicing it aloud makes it terrifyingly real. They will never be five again.


Yoochun swallows past the lump forming in his throat.

“Give it some time,” he says, gently. “There’s nothing a little time and distance won’t heal.”


Jaejoong shakes his head, “That’s what I’m afraid of Yoochun-ah. It’s like we never happened at all.”

Yoochun wants to shake him, “if you don’t know how Yunho feels for you, you’re crazy,” he wants to say, but he doesn’t.

“I’m done with this, Yoochun-ah,” Jaejoong says softly. “I’m done with this.”

Yoochun knows better than to ask, done with what, because he doesn’t want to hear the answer.






Jaejoong had been waiting outside his trailer, collar turned up against the rain, his hair dripping wet, he looked like he’d been waiting outside for hours.

Yunho steels himself, surprises himself by finding nothing. No emotion. Nothing. “What are you doing here?”

“What does it look like?” Jaejoong says a little bleakly. The little muscle in his jaw jumps, Yunho wouldn’t have caught it if he hadn’t been looking so hard. “You wouldn’t talk to me. I had to ask Heechul.”

“Its been a long day,” Yunho says, tiredly. The alcohol on Jaejoong's breath is overwhelming. “Please. Go.”

“Five minutes.” Jaejoong says softly, raising a hand when Yunho makes to protest. “Five minutes and I’m going to go.”

Yunho steels himself for a long speech, of Jaejoong begging and crying and apologizing, but Jaejoong just stares at him, eyes softening and unreadable. He studies Yunho’s face, lifting his fingers to Yunho’s cheek. The familiarity of the action almost makes Yunho flinch, but Jaejoong drops his hand before their skin makes contact.

Jaejoong's lips part, and he looks like he wants to say a million other things. It’s been three years, Yunho thinks and still, Jaejoong mixes up complicated feelings in him, feelings he doesn’t want to think about. Feelings he pushes to the back of his mind, but has to confront when they are here and now and staring him in the face.

Jaejoong takes a step forward.

“I know I fucked it up, Yunho-ya.” He says softly, the rain clings to his eyelashes like tears and Yunho wonders if they’re just one and the same. “I fucked it up, and I’m sorry. If I could go back and do it all again, you know I would choose you. I would have always chosen you.”

Yunho stands, watching him silently. All around them, the rain falls harder drawing sleek rivulets down Jaejoong's hair and cheek and mouth.

“Yunho-ya,” Jaejoong murmurs, his tongue rolling over Yunho’s name, silky and warm. “God, Yunho, I love you. I love you so fucking much.”

Yunho’s not sure who moves first, maybe he does by cupping Jaejoong’s cheek, or maybe it’s Jaejoong who leans his forehead against Yunho’s, fingers digging into Yunho’s shirt. But then they’re kissing, lips warm against one another, Jaejoong takstes bitter like coffee and nicotine, but his mouth is warm and he feels familiar and safe like home, a long gone faded memory.

Jaejoong pulls away first, fingers grazing Yunho’s cheek. “I love you,” he says softly, voice breaking. “but I can’t keep fighting anymore, not on my own.”

He leaves, a shadow in the dying evening light and Yunho turns away so he doesn’t need to watch Jaejoong go.

 
 
 
lraolrao on June 7th, 2014 11:55 am (UTC)
D:
WAEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeee
The links are making it worse for me, I need to stop clicking on them!
Nevertheless nice research and writing. By the time I had gotten to the end I had forgotten it's part 1/2 cause honestly just this part would serve as a good angsty oneshot. Here's hoping to a more cheerful part 2! :)
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 08:21 am (UTC)
thank you!
katie3863katie3863 on June 7th, 2014 12:17 pm (UTC)
Oh wow. You've written the parts so well and intensely. Can't wait for part 2!
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:51 am (UTC)
aww thank you! :) it will be up shortly!
phinea2009phinea2009 on June 7th, 2014 12:19 pm (UTC)
This is breaking my heart. I too wish for a happier part 2.
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:52 am (UTC)
thank you!
tapzztapzz on June 7th, 2014 12:28 pm (UTC)
Wooowww...this is intense...hoping for a cheerful next part..:D:D
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:52 am (UTC)
♥ thanks for reading!
shinchul303: pic#68950733shinchul303 on June 7th, 2014 12:57 pm (UTC)
You've outdone yourself. This is like a horrible accident—you don't want to see it, but you can't help but watch in dread fascination.

Amazing ending to part one. Will be very interested in where you go with this.
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:53 am (UTC)
thank you for reading! i really enjoyed creating my own spin of how actual events panned out and part two will be out shortly!
elle1501elle1501 on June 7th, 2014 01:40 pm (UTC)
Oh my yunjae...this fic cud really be what happened but i can't be a delusional fan..sigh..u wrote this so well.. I always love to read post lawsuit fics as how we imagined things had been for the 5 of them... Really wonder on whether they hv really moved on from each other or not.. Waiting for jyj comeback but then the enlistment will come...

Where am i going with my babbling.. Sorry n look fwd to part 2... It is so hard to let go someone u love.. My poor2 baby jae who's gonna go to prison next week...sigh....i'm sidetracking myself again...
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 08:01 am (UTC)
thank you for reading :) i can't wait for the jyj comeback album either!
tahoeturquoisetahoeturquoise on June 7th, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
Dear God, this hurts! Wow!

I'd say 'well done', but I'm still reeling, and I'm a little afraid of part 2.

Wow...
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:58 am (UTC)
thank you for reading and part two will be available shortly!
carissajaan30 on June 7th, 2014 10:01 pm (UTC)
T.T wow. It's too real, too sad, too much... I might be emoshinki for the rest of the day now thanks LOL *sigh* It just breaks my heart to think about how overworked they were, how exhausted they must've been, and how their decisions and circumstances tore them apart. Junsu's first quote you linked to... you can feel his desperation, it's so sad. ;; What kind of choice were they left with? It's not even a choice anymore when you physically and mentally CAN'T go on. No one should have to choose between that kind of a life and the people they hold dearest.... just... T__________T how can anyone blame them?? I honestly don't know how they even lasted that long. Sleep deprived, every move controlled and dictated, it sounds so... stifling. So in order to gain their freedom, they lost their "everything". Their group, their family, their songs, even their fans (to some degree). Ugh... I'm not JYJ biased at all (OT5) I really feel bad for both sides. Sorry for the rant, this just stirred up all sorts of emotions for me! You wrote it really well, it's really intense. Looking forward to part two! Hope it's happier for them<3
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:55 am (UTC)
♥ thank you for reading and for the insightful comment :)

i think you highlighted such an important point - the boys split because they just had different goals. and really, i'm sure all of them suffered during the lawsuit. :( there is no party to be blamed for it, they're all victims and deserve love and support in their careers.
kira_meikira_mei on June 7th, 2014 10:55 pm (UTC)
that was intense, I'll wait for the next part :)
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:51 am (UTC)
i'm glad you enjoyed it :)
shin_ah_mishin_ah_mi on June 8th, 2014 08:26 am (UTC)
those waere very hard years...i can't imagine the hurt they all felt ~and you showed it ...with simple words...simple actions...can't wait for part two
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:50 am (UTC)
thank you! i can't wait to post part two!
taemuntaemun on June 8th, 2014 10:48 am (UTC)
Oh god this is so the reason I could never write bandfic myself >____< Isn't it torturous for you??? Well I guess if you make it a happy ending... It's just, just imagining what actually went on behind the scenes and all the hurt they felt... It's so sad ;; Gahh I ended up watching the phone convo video over and over again on repeat... Jaejoong voice when he talks to Yunho... So full of concern, so gentle ;;;;;

It's so sad, but it's the truth what Jaejoong says in the end... I mean if Yunho doesn't come half way to meet him, he cannot do all the work alone. Poor Jaejoong and poor Yunho too D: Hopefully the second part will be a bit happier!!

Btw, abt your other story, winter blossom, I'm sorry abt whatever it was that went on D: It's sad if just bc you write smth that some other person doesn't appreciate, you have to face much negative response... After all, it's just your fic and no-one is obliged to read it... Hopefully you'll feel good abt putting it back online some day :(
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:50 am (UTC)
D: it totally is!! it was so hard to know that the 5 of them were living out of each other's pockets for years then bam, one lawsuit and they don't even talk to each other :( that being said, i think the lawsuit put a huge toll on all the relationships and i think time is really the only thing that can bring them back together :)

♥ thank you for your comment! its always amazing to find readers who genuinely appreciate your work for what it is :) throughout this ordeal I've met nothing but kind words and support and i am definitely thinking of ways of bringing WB back online without bringing back the drama!
snow_meowsnow_meow on June 8th, 2014 12:17 pm (UTC)
I cannot wait for the next part.
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:47 am (UTC)
thank you!
Tomorrow.Today: jaehorainy_love on June 8th, 2014 11:30 pm (UTC)
the intensity of it all break my heart T_T!! and the link add some much weight to the feelings!! it is so well done omg I can't wait/fear for part 2!
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:46 am (UTC)
aww thank you! <3 i was away from fandom for a couple of years but watching the boys interact with one another just brought back a rush of nostalgia and memories :( i hope one day they will be 5 again
hyunnybhyunnyb on June 9th, 2014 11:01 pm (UTC)
That was so well written, the pain is palpable. I am looking forward to the next part, this time I'll have tissues on standby! Thank you for sharing this<3
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:45 am (UTC)
aww thank you for reading :) i'm glad you enjoyed it!
gu2duckgu2duck on June 9th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
it's hard to reminiscice them parting ways. it brings back all the heartache of unknowing future whether they'll be together again or not. but i do believe that the long colorful memories of them together are not forgetten rather treasure by them and will always push them back together. cold war will ceased if they don't give up on hope, faith and love.
99lbs above gravitycountingcarbs on June 10th, 2014 07:45 am (UTC)
♥ i know :( db5k will always be irreplaceable in my heart. i truly believe one day they will find their way back together, and then all of this will seem like such a faraway memory <3