milena_1980: (jaejoong)
[personal profile] milena_1980
Title: Sleeping With Ghosts 25/27
Author: Milena/[ profile] milena_1980
Rating: NC-17 overall
Pairing: JaeChun (main), YooSu, YooMin, JaeHo, HoMin, HyukSu
Genre: AU, Angst, Romance
Warning: Underage sex (17, but, just to be safe); suicidal feelings; references to substance abuse; self-harm
Summary: Soul mates never die
A/N: A series of connected drabbles/ficlets. Not always in chronological order! Title and lyrics from Sleeping With Ghosts by Placebo
A/N 2: This chapter may be revised later on. Feel free to point out grammar mistakes.
A/N 3: A huge sorry to everyone who friended me because I got paranoid and locked this fic. Feel free to defriend; I really won't be offended if you do ^^

Very Long Notes
A/N 4: To most of you, this is just another story. For me, it has been a long, long journey, 4 and 1/2 years with long periods between chapters, writer's block, and other things. I feel like it's a miracle I even got this chapter written, and the one that follows is almost there, too. (Damn, I am literally shaking)
And I have all of you to thank, especially those who were my "cheerleaders" along the way. How did a 4-part story become this? I have no idea. I've always written for me, but this, I couldn't leave it unfinished, even though I seriously do not want to end this story, I swear I would go on and on about this dysfunctional couple, I love them that much. That's probably why I haven't been able to write more: I don't want it to end.
Obviously, this chapter isn't the end, but I just wanted to thank those people who stood by me; you guys know who you are.

A/N 5: Whether this meets your expectations or not, deal with it LOL

Each Other

1. Again

Is it really all right with you?

You sit out on the balcony, a bottle of something in your hand. You don't really care what it is, as long as it makes you feel good. It burns while going down your throat and makes you choke a little, sometimes, but that's fine. Burning is good, it is. It makes you feel something. Alive. Or something.

It's feeling cold lately, the first indicator that winter isn't far off. You used to hate winter; they used to be painful reminders of all the things you didn't and couldn't have.

Now, this year, you should be ecstatic. After all, you have everything you ever wanted: Jaejoong sharing your apartment, in your bed every night (well, most nights), his eyes filled with that lovely, yet mischievous light you had loved all those years ago. For all that his personality seems to have reverted from the quiet, nearly lifeless person he had turned into, he is now more . . . lively (if you have to pick an adjective), he isn't taking the same risks he used to (that you know of).

I need to trust him, you tell yourself several times a day, whenever you can't get your lover out of your mind—which seems to be more and more often lately.

Take tonight, for example. You got home after ten, and after a particularly horrible day at work, too. You could have done with some talking or just some comforting, no matter how minute. However, he wasn't there. It's worse on the weekends, when you've made plans and promises, only to have his cell phone play that particular ring tone, and all is shot to hell. As of two weeks or so ago, you finally stopped asking questions.

Trust me, he will say, in that wonderful, soothing voice. I'm not going anywhere.

Anyway, back to tonight. You were tired and hungry, but you lost your appetite the moment you realized the apartment was empty. The meal carefully prepared and set at the table, covered in protective plastic, was left untouched. Instead, you grabbed a couple of bottles from your ever-increasing liquor cabinet and sat outside, on the uncomfortable chair you really should replace soon, propping your feet on its matching companion.

You have been doing rather well the last hour or so, in your opinion, when your cell phone rings, over and over. It takes a few tries, but you finally get your phone to your ear.

You're drunk, Junsu deduces after exchanging a few words.

Yeah, I'm busy, you reply, unable to hide how irritated the unwelcome intrusion makes you feel. Did you need something?

I was just worried, Junsu replies, tone somewhat subdued. I met Jaejoong in the elevator earlier. I was just wondering if he'd returned home.

You know he hasn't, you want to say, but mask the passing answer with indifference. He'll be home soon, you reply, instead. Junsu sighs.

Is it really all right with you? he asks. How he just disappears and . . .

Of course it isn't all right! You want to scream at your friend, maybe throw the bottle in your hand at him. Still, you force yourself to calm down.

I trust him, you say (you lie), and sit down once again. You gulp down some more liquor. Ah, there it is, that calm place you were in before this stupid phone call. Look, I really need to get to sleep. Long day tomorrow.

Junsu agrees, albeit reluctantly, and then you're finally alone again, on your empty balcony—save for those two ferns Jaejoong loves so much—in your empty apartment. You snort and raise your bottle the ferns' way.

To being quiet, mindless beings who can't feel. Cheers!

You chug down some more liquor.

It isn't long before sleep finally claims you.

2. Daze

It's just like dancing.

You look up from your history text book (because there is homework to be done, whether you like it or not), your elbows sore from leaning over the desk for far too long. He's lying on your bed, staring up at the ceiling dazedly.

What is? you finally ask when you realize he won't go on without prompting.

You're not surprised when he doesn't answer. Instead, he lets out a giggle and extends his arm toward you.

Worship me, he demands. Your father will be home in less than an hour, and you really must finish your homework. You really shouldn't be considering this. But then he whines softly, eyes filled with amusement and need . . . Would it really be so bad?

He laughs when you pounce and straddle his hips before you take off your shirt.

Skinny little kid, he teases you, but you're used to it—it's an endearment of sorts.

Oh, yeah,'cause you're so buff, you snap back, leaning down and sucking on his lower lip. He laughs, the sound vibrating against your mouth.

You groan when he suddenly grabs you through your shorts, his warm hand cupping your hardening cock. The sensations take a hold of you, you can't help but close your eyes, unwilling to miss every little feeling. You're already hard and panting—you can feel his erection underneath you—when you finally manage to open your eyes. You find him watching you, deep brown eyes hooded with desire, biting his lower lip.

At once, you want to kiss him, you want to take this one step further, but he stops you, slightly shaking his head.

I want to see you like this. The rush that follows surprises you. You have never felt so wanted, so . . . desired, and now, the way he watches you, so focused on your face, on your heaving chest . . .

He teases at the head of your erection, before he licks the palm of his hand and grasps you, pumping with swift and determined motions. You're lost in the pleasure of it, his motions, the force behind your every action. When your eyes close, you curse them; you want to know what he looks like now, still watching you (worshipping you).

Your body betrays you, though; you can only fall on the bed beside him, let him pull you close for a wet kiss, swallowing his gasps as he brings himself to orgasm.

3. Ribbons

Jeez, again? you complain, like you always do, but you still pick up the discarded piece of clothing off the floor. How completely unlike Jaejoong. He's almost as fastidious as you when it comes to cleaning—except for the dishes, you both despise washing those.

Anyway, right now you find yourself holding a satiny shirt, like those you have seen in those stupid magazines and catalogues the office keeps around for reference material. You've never been into fashion, not really, but it's still easy to recognize the clothing item and the store it probably came from.

He's probably doing well at his new job, you think (as you often do), before you put the shirt away on a hanger, in your lover's side of your closet. Looking at both your wardrobes, you realize just how boring you are. Your side is filled with suits you use for work; otherwise, you can find flashes of color here and there, but black and gray and drab would best describe it. In contrast, Jaejoong's wardrobe is a mess of colors: red, purple, black, green, turquoise, black and some more black, all of which will likely go together in some fabulous yet not quite flashy outfit created by self-proclaimed fashion genius, Kim Jaejoong.

Jaejoong comes home with new purchases every few days, especially boots. He loves boots (more than he loves you, you suspect childishly, sometimes) and he keeps reminding you of how they were on sale and he just had to have them. You can still remember his complaints about too expensive boots when you were kids, so you say nothing, allowing him the happiness of finally owning things he has wanted for so long.

Aren't they beautiful? he gushes over them. You just smile and nod in agreement.

His new fashion choices don't go unnoticed by your friends. They ask about this and that shirt, especially Changmin, who is so good at hiding his intentions with little effort. You just escape the conversations, busy "all of a sudden," answering a call from work that you absolutely cannot ignore, or otherwise listening to Yunho or Hyukjae, safely staying out of earshot and line of sight. Out of sight, out of mind. Or something.

One night, you come home to find a team of workers in white overalls putting the living room furniture back in its proper place. They're all leaving with polite goodbyes, when you, all of a sudden, realize the walls of your living room are no longer light blue—they have been painted violet. Jaejoong is standing in the middle of the room, absolutely beaming as he holds a recently purchased green cushion close to his chest.

Well, what do you think? he asks, excitement making him shake all over.

You feel so tired, so drained after another terrible day, that you only manage a pathetic, That's nice, before heading straight for bed.

Heeyoung, Jaejoong's nurse, appears increasingly worried as days pass. However, she assures you that the older man is taking his medication.

Maybe you should take him back to the doctor, she suggests. Could be he needs an increase in dosage.

You're so tired, though, so exhausted by work, and worry and stress and life, that you're sure you will explode one of these days.

Therefore, it's easier to ignore it, easy to accept the meals Jaejoong so enjoys cooking, the changes in the apartment, his new clothes, the disappearances.

All of it.

It certainly becomes even easier when you drown all of it in a bottle of scotch. Every night, out on the balcony, you think you can feel your lover tipping the bottle further up, holding it in place, until you drown in a sea of alcohol.

4. Chances

Woo-Hoo!!!!!!!! Yeahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

He opens the passenger door window and slips out up to his waist, and screams happily as the wind beats at his skin. Meanwhile, you pull at his clothes desperately, driving that beat up and unsteady car while trying to keep your eyes on the road. An eternity seems to pass, of him yelling out in freedom, and you in terror.

Finally, he slips back inside the car.

Man, what a rush! he declares, laughing happily. His cheeks and nose are red, but he doesn't care (as per usual). You should do it sometime.

You frown.

No way!

Chicken! He bursts out laughing when you glare.

After that, you both fall silent. You're surprised by it—he seemed to be in one of his happy moods tonight. However, he just slides down in his seat until the side of his face rests against the open window ledge. Dangerous, you think at once. At the same time, however, you can't stop thinking just how beautiful he looks, the wind mussing up his dark hair, eyes bright and . . . alive.

Hey he speaks, suddenly. Why don't we just go on driving? See where the road takes us?

It isn't the first time he has suggested it. There is something about the way he says it, though; you don't feel like saying no.

As though in answer, you step on the accelerator, willing to face anything, just as long as he's by your side.

5. Flight

Whatever makes him happy, makes me happy, too.

Junsu likes parties, always has. Once upon a time, a young, university-aged Park Yoochun had hated them, yet put up with them, because they made his then lover happy. It is also a fact that Jaejoong also loves parties, perhaps far more than Junsu ever will. The pale-skinned man keeps pulling Yunho into the makeshift dance floor in the middle of the living room, showing off his moves—their moves—probably perfected after so many years together.

Part of you wishes you could join in the festivities—Junsu's idea, as always trying to get you to unwind and come out of that shell you have retreated into and refuse to come out of—however, the other, more honest part of your psyche, is perfectly happy to sit out on the balcony and ignore everyone. Nagging, that's all Junsu and Changmin do lately.

You should demand answers, Changmin will say, brown eyes filled with pain and worry. However, you refuse to listen, over and over. Confronting your lover will lead to one thing and one thing only: his choice to disappear from your life once again. You don't think you could survive it were it to happen one more time.

Death would be the only way out, you think to yourself whenever the idea pops up in your busy, overcharged mind. After so much time together, after all the sacrifices, you would rather just die.

Here you are. Upon looking up, you find Hyukjae closing the sliding door behind himself. He sits next to you on the floor—Junsu will probably be a pain about stains, but, who cares? It's not like he usually does the laundry, anyway. Wine? the dancer offers, showing you a full bottle of red wine. You present your empty glass; he fills it.

Getting boring in there? you question him. There's no other reason he would be outside with you, of all people. However, he just smiles as he shakes his head.

Actually, it's pretty lively in there, he answers. A bit too lively for me, actually.

I thought you loved parties. He shrugs.

Whatever makes him happy makes me happy, too. He smirks.

It takes far too long for the implication of those words to finally dawn on you. You cough, far more dramatically than warranted.

Dude, warn a guy, will you? He just smirks, clearly enjoying your discomfort.

You drink together for a while, the music coming from inside not quite as bothersome as you had initially feared.

How are things going with him? he asks, suddenly. You don't need for him to clarify what nor who he means. You shrug.

It's going, you reply, almost noncommittally.

Hyukjae sighs, one of those impatient sighs you've heard from Junsu far too many times.

Ignoring the problem won't make it go away, you know, Hyukjae says. He rarely ever speaks seriously, but you think that he's the person making the most sense this evening; hell, probably all year. Junsu and the others only make you feel uncertain, confused and miserable; Jaejoong makes you feel helpless and . . . many other things, among which "stupid" is included.

You don't have to see him right now to know that he's having fun tonight, the most he has had in what seems like forever. Inviting some of Junsu's old friends has proven to be just what the doctor ordered. Despite your own unhappiness, you know that coming over was the best course of action. However . . .

What if choosing not to ignore the problem causes it to disappear altogether? you chance. Hyukjae gives you a sad smile.

You know that saying, 'if you love something, set it free; if it returns to you, it is yours'? You nod. How many times have you let him go? How many times has he come back?

You stare at him, amazed.

We don't appreciate you half as much as we should, you tell him and even mean it. He shrugs and grins.

What can I say? It's a gift. He raises the bottle and serves both of you some more wine. Come on. A toast to lovers who are nothing but trouble, yet worth every bit of it.

You snort softly but raise your glass, nonetheless.

6. Thrice

That party sure put some things in perspective, Jaejoong says. He takes off his clothes as he walks into the living room; like always, you pick up after him.

Such as?

We're getting damn old.

Speak for yourself, you protest at once.

Surprised, he stares at you. You stare at him. Before you know it, you're both doubled over in laughter. Of all the things he could have said about the party, that was certainly not one of them; and, rather obviously, he didn't expect such a Jaejoong-like retort to leave your lips. You lean against the wall, his shirt draped over your arm.

Say that when we're in our sixties, you tell him. He stares at you, his dark eyes unreadable, like when he's trying to figure you out.

Will you still be here? When I'm sixty?

You can't help but smile gently at the uncertainty in his voice.

Unless a truck runs me over or I meet some other form of gruesome death, I can assure you. You pause, still smiling, trying to pour all your love into that one gaze. I will definitely still be here. You will never be rid of me.

The smile that widens his delicious lips makes your knees shake, all of a sudden. Oh, yeah, you think to yourself, I am definitely going to get me some tonight.

He nearly pounces on you and kisses you hard, almost desperately. He's still half-dressed, his back and chest entirely bare and warm and wonderful underneath your hands. Your senses are all attuned to him, so much that you don't even notice that he has pushed you on his side of the bed and is straddling your waist, acting so much like the passionate man who used to make you shiver with just a glance.

He's still the same man, you remind yourself, even as mismatched scarves appear from nowhere and then pale hands start fastening your wrists to the bedposts. At once, you have to make an effort to find some excuse to refuse, entirely uncomfortable with the idea of feeling helpless—even in his arms.

I'll make you feel good, he promises in his most seductive voice. It's enough to calm your nerves, so you let go . . . until you hear it, the nearly inaudible clinking of plastic against plastic.

What is that? you ask, at once. Jaejoong leans down to kiss you, clearly trying to distract you, but you don't give in, feeling under the mattress, until you find a tear, and then an opening. Your lover sighs and gets off you, bracing himself for what he's sure is coming.

Your pills, you say, recognizing the cylindrical bottles and the colorful tablets inside them. You haven't been taking them. You don't know what's worse: knowing that he has been lying to you so baldly, or that you wanted for him to be who he used to be so desperately that you chose not to question what was so obviously happening.

How long? you ask, voice small even as you hold the plastic bag holding several months' worth of medication. Huddling in a corner, he shrugs.

Four, five months, he admits.

You close your eyes, hating yourself. You want to scream, yell, you want to blame him for every terrible thing that has happened to you the last five, ten years of your life. Except that you can't. You knew, when you let him in, you knew.

You should have told me, you go on, knowing that you sound accusatory, but not really caring. He shrugs again, hurt and anger beginning to swirl in his dark eyes.

I'll leave, he says. You shake your head. Nevertheless, he stands up and goes up to the closet, grabbing a large bag and filling it with his clothes.

This isn't the answer, you tell him, though you're not sure of that yourself. You stand up, the plastic bag of pills in your hand. Why didn't you tell me!?

He glares at you.

Because I hate them! He sounds like his true self for the first time in what seems like forever. I am not some pathetic, lazy, disgusting person who can barely take care of himself. At least this way, I can work, I can be useful, I can even fuck you, or have you not realized that, yet?

This is still not the answer! You scream, throwing the bag of pills against the carpeted floor. Leaving is never, ever the answer!

Then what am I supposed to do? He looks so hurt, so angry, yet vulnerable, kneeling on the floor. If I stay, I hurt you. I'd rather not do that. So, please, just let me go. Have your life back.

Finally, you lose it. You want to break something, so you do, grabbing the lamp on your side of the bed and throwing it against the wall. The ceramic shatters into smaller pieces, blue nearly shimmering under the dim light.

Don't go, you repeat, chest heaving, barely able to get those words past your lips.

What else am I supposed to do? he asks, sounding small. Is he scared of you now? You hate the thought of that, but, if you hadn't, if you hadn't hurt the stupid, fucking lamp . . .

You can't just run away every time things get tough! you scream at him. You have thought it, so many, many times, but you have never been strong enough to say it, always weak to his words, and his kisses. Later, you knew he couldn't leave, he depended on you; that gave you all the security you needed. This time, however, he's on the floor, a bag on the floor, shirts and pants and shoes, all thrown in haphazardly.

Fuck you! he explodes at you. You didn't know what you were expecting, but uncontrolled fury wasn't it. You're angry at him, the angriest you have ever been, and that's really saying something. You knew, when you chose to keep me, you knew this is what I'm like! His voice sounds raw, almost desperate. You know I hate taking that stupid medication. You fucking knew!

The anger comes back tenfold.

I'm not the one who picks up and disappears every time he can't deal with reality! You scream back. I'm here, I always have been. If that isn't enough of an indication of just how devoted I am to you, I don't know what else it is! Finally, you feel the anger start seeping out, only to be replaced by painful insecurity. Is that it? I'm not enough? Your heart aches painfully when he doesn't answer. I'm tired, you admit, I am so fucking tired it's a damn miracle I haven't offed myself already.

He looks about to protest, but you don't let him. You collapse, sitting on the bed.

If you don't want this, just end it. Put it to rest so I can move on, you nearly plead. I'll move somewhere else, start fresh. And you'll finally be rid of me.

Silence falls around you. Jaejoong just stays there, kneeling on the floor, the bag open next to him. He's just parting his lips to say something, but you don't stay to find out what. Needing some time, some space, you grab your car keys and your jacket, and leave the apartment, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You don't want distractions, you don't want anything that will make you change your mind.

Once in your car, you drive, far, far away from home.


<<Part 24 | Oneshot: Slipping Away>>

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