milena_1980: (jaejoong)
[personal profile] milena_1980
Title: Sleeping With Ghosts 26/27
Author: Milena/[livejournal.com 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: So, hi, it's been 2 years since chapter 25. Hope you like.
A/N 4: Yoochun angst'ing after the end of chapter 25.



Title: Through

You can go to hell for all I care.

You stare at him for what seem like several minutes, yet you know that only a few seconds pass. Jaejoong looks angry, a change from the apathetic attitude he had adopted for the better part of two weeks. You bore with it, of course—he's your lover, the boy you love, whether crazy or . . . crazy. Because that is what he is. Even now, his brown eyes cold and cruel, his beautiful features twisted into a scowl, he is acting like a crazy idiot, pushing you away. Again.

Are we doing this again? you ask. You know you sound cold, nearly mechanical, but you don't care. How else can you deal with him?

Fuck you, he growls. "Again"? What is that supposed to mean?

It means what it means
, you reply.

Suddenly, he gets up from the bench and grabs his backpack.

Seriously, fuck off, he says, visibly angry . . . and hurt?

You watch him walk away from you, leaving you alone, standing in the park. Like the idiot you are.

You go to hell, you mutter. At once, you leave the park and head home.

Why do you put up with him? With his mood swings and all the idiocy he makes you go through? Every day, you wonder, only to tell yourself that it is the way he is, and, really, you wouldn't have him any other way. Except for today, today he has been complete prick.

First, he went to school without you. You waited nearly fifteen minutes, figuring that he was late. However, you didn't want to be late, so you forgot him and headed over, only to find him at school. He was whispering secretively with one of those guys he talks to on occasion.

When he finally noticed you, his face turned blank.

What the hell? you thought. He had planned on ignoring you, you realized at once. You didn't let him, though, following him around and after school, much like he had when you first met.

You were following him across the park when he finally turned around and faced you. He sat on one of the benches to wait until you were close enough to listen to him.

What in the hell is wrong with you? he growled. A rather bitter and angry exchange followed, then ended with him sending you to hell (he seems to love the place. Asshole.) and looking at you like you had kicked his (nonexistent) puppy.

As soon as you arrive home, you go to your room and throw yourself in bed. Who cares if Jaejoong is having another weird mood swing? You don't need to put up with it. Why should you?

*****

Five days have passed, five long days during which he has completely ignored you. That's fine, you think, great, in fact. He can be crazy all he wants and you can be free, blissfully so (never mind that you feel lonely without him; everything seems cold and empty. Even watching your favorite drama feels pointless).

Today, you went to school, then came back home right after. You had dinner early. The rest of the evening you have been lying in bed doing nothing. Like the moron you are. It's nearly midnight and you haven't even moved.

I hate myself, you mutter into your pillow.

A clink on your window wakes you up just as you are finally falling asleep. Could it be?

You sit up in bed and look at the window; there he is, your idiot boyfriend who has ignored you for nearly a week. He looks . . . like his normal self.

Hey, he greets you with a happy smile when you open the window. Come on, let's go to the beach!

You stare at him, at his weirdly happy demeanor. You open your mouth to accuse him, but then decide not to. Oh, well.

Give me five minutes, you say. He smiles again and leaves to the car. You get dressed and follow him. Like the moron you are.


Title: Outside

I'm not enough?

You have been driving for hours, aimlessly, doing your best to get as far away as you can from home. From reality.

Is that it?

Your own words haunt you, you can't get them out of your mind, nor can you forget the sight of him sitting on the floor, watching you almost fearfully. You didn't mean to scare him, you were just so angry and desperate. How could you not be? He has been lying for months, hiding the medication he promised he would take. You hate your life, but you bear it, because that is how you can protect him: giving him a home and the care that he needs. Now you've found out that none of it matters. Jaejoong doesn't care.

Damn it, you curse, angrily. What have you been working for all this time? Years you have thought about him, tried to give him what he needs, and all for what?

Now you are certain that he has reversed to the old Jaejoong: careless, mindless, and crazy, the Jaejoong that takes risks regardless of the consequences. And he did it for you? What a joke! He did it for himself, because he is a selfish prick, a crazy, careless, and selfish asshole who cares about nothing and no one but himself. Even you, you are just convenient. He needed someone and you were there, his willing slave. Who cares that you have given him everything and then some? What does it matter that you're mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted? You are no masochist, no matter what your friends think.

You're spreading yourself thin, Yunho has remarked more than once. You'll collapse. Who will take care of you then? Of him?

Do you think I don't know that!?
you scream now. He isn't here (not that you want him to be), but how you have wanted to scream at him and hit him until all the anger and frustration finally abates. However, he is your friend, so most days you swallow down your feelings and shrug, as if it did not matter.

Pathetic tears fall, but you let them. Maybe you'll feel better if you cry, maybe the pressure inside your chest will disappear.

God, I'm so tired, you whisper to yourself. Everything hurts. You're so angry, so sad and miserable; you just want to disappear. It would be so easy to step on the accelerator and let go, until you hit something—another car, a tree a truck—and death finally finds you. So easy. It would be. You could do it now, in the cover of night, just . . . let go.

The phone rings again. It has been doing that nearly since you left the apartment, every few minutes he calls, and lets it ring and ring and ring. It drives you crazy. You glare at the device lying on the passenger's seat. You should turn it off, until you can't hear that song he loves so much, which you chose for his personal ringer, just because it made him smile.

Idiot, you mutter. You are such an idiot. Always believing in him, even though he has disappointed you over and over again. Will you never learn!? You scream the question at yourself. When the fuck will you learn? He is not normal, he does not love you. Why do you keep holding on to him? He isn't yours, he never will be, you fucking idiot!

The phone rings and rings again, over and over, that stupid song, that stupid, annoying melody grating on your nerves until you finally explode.

Shut up! you yell at it. Stop calling me, damn it!

It only rings again.

Fuck!

You pull over on the side of the road, grab the phone and step out of the car. The sound it makes when you hurl it at the asphalt is wonderfully satisfying. Stupid phone, making your life even worse than it already is. It cracks when you step on it, over and over again, until only pieces remain, little pieces of broken plastic.

You take a deep breath and exhale, already feeling better. Finally, you can breathe. You get into your car once again, close the door and drive away, the silence easing your troubled mind.


Title: Inside

You're an idiot, he says and laughs hysterically.

Anger fills you, but you push it down. He needs the levity, you noticed the instant you lay eyes on him. Three days had passed since you had last seen him, but, now he is here, in your bedroom. He looks tired, with dark rings around his eyes; his hair looks dirty and unkempt. Has he even showered recently? His eyes are filled with desperation, though. You have to give him what he needs so that he will go back to normal, his dark eyes shining with joy and mischief, until you, too, feel like the world is full of wonder (instead of sadness, bitterness and disappointment).

You're my idiot, though, he softens the apparent harshness of his first statement, a tender smile on his lips. Your heart flutters. When he calls you over, you obey, lying next to him on your bed, his body warm and wonderful against yours.

*****

You open your eyes to a low and gray ceiling. Your body aches all over, every muscle screaming as you stretch. You were dreaming about Jaejoong. He was young and beautiful, and as crazy as ever . . . but, also tired and desperate. Desperate? When did that ever happen?

All thoughts of dreams disappear mere moments later, as soon as you sit up and groan in pain. Your back and waist hurt; you think you hear them creak loudly in protest. Cursing under your breath, you look out the window, and realize you're in a parking lot. You don't recognize the place. When did you get there?

You lie back again despite the aches all over your body, and stare up at the gray ceiling. Sleeping in the car, is that what you have been reduced to? Finding a cheap hotel should have been easy, if you had tried. No, your mind is a mess, it is only fitting that your actions should be, too. To think that you could be home, in your own bed—it is rather expensive, one of the few luxuries you have allowed yourself. And, next to you, he . . .

Suddenly, your stomach growls, loudly. Ah. Food, right. One or two food joints should be open at six in the morning.

You find a shop open and order a simple meal. Your appetite has disappeared, but, well, you need some kind of nourishment. After all, you have no idea where you are; you plan to go on driving, until you feel that there is more than enough distance between yourself and your lover. You will miss work, you realize while you eat. Whatever. You might as well forget about it. Why go back to that terrible, painful life? He could be gone from the apartment. Really, you don't want to find out. You plan to wander about, until you find someplace that awards you some kind of peace. Maybe you will get your wish and find oblivion.

Once you're done, you return to your car. You see a gas station nearby, so you fill up the gas tank and go on.

Not much time has passed by when you remember the dream. Young Jaejoong's haunted gaze stays in your mind as you drive. Somehow, you know that the dream is a memory, except that you can't remember any of it ever happening, or, rather, you being aware of his pain and suffering. Jaejoong was usually happy and crazy, it is what you remember most—or, perhaps, what you have chosen to remember. Thinking about him was unbearably painful, even before he ran away that awful night. It does not surprise you to realize that you selected all the good times you had together, and pushed everything else to the back of your mind. The Jaejoong in your memories almost always wears a smile—whether mocking, crazy or genuine—and is nothing like the sickly, dirty, desperate and broken-seeming Jaejoong of your dream.

Whenever you look back to your teenage years, only the good things pop up. Somehow, it sickens you a bit that you need to dig deeper to find all of the sadness, anger, despair, and confusion that made up half (or more) of the time you spent with him.

Does it even matter, though? you think, tiredly. He has given you enough negatives in the past few years to last you a lifetime. Yes, you should leave the past alone, remember only the good, because you did have good times, as friends and as lovers.

You are not sure of how much time has passed when you realize that anxiety has crept into you and you can barely breathe. Your immediate solution: alcohol. You find a store in the way and stock up on your drink of choice, whiskey. Almost as an afterthought, you buy some snacks to keep in the car. And drive on.

Hours pass and you drink, then drink some more, until your chest stops aching and the memories stop hurting. They don't go away, though, old and recent images of your lover assaulting your mind mercilessly.


Title: Real

What would you do if I died?

It is dark, but you can hear rain hitting the window panes. You are in your bedroom, lying in bed, your lover between your arms. His presence comforts you more than you could begin to say. How many days has it been since he last came over? Two? You hate it when he disappears, without even a simple message. It does not matter, however. He is back, he is here. That is all that matters.

He did not meet your gaze when you opened the door for him earlier. You don't know what to make of that. Is he ashamed of something? The selfish, jealous part of you thinks that he should be. For all you know, he was out meeting those friends you know he hides from you. Friends . . . and lovers, most likely. You hate him for it; you resent him more for not giving you the reassurances you need. Nevertheless, once he comes back, you receive him and hold him close, lest he disappears once again.

What would you do if I died? His voice is nearly drowned by the sound of the heavy rain falling outside. Nevertheless, you hear him clearly. There is nothing light nor whimsical about the question; there is barely any emotion in his tone.

He should know the answer to that, you think. How long have you been together already? How many things have you gone through together? If he doesn't understand just how much he means to you by now, then he's more of an idiot than you thought he was. At the same time, a part of you understands that he needs to ask and that he needs an answer.

What do you think? you ask back.

*****

It is dark outside again and beginning to rain. Fitting, you think, remembering all the movies and dramas where rain signifies sadness, loss, heartbreak. You certainly feel all three of those.

You've spent most of the day driving, same as yesterday, just moving around until your car asks for gas; you feed it, and then you move on, driving and driving. The radio plays in the background, unwillingly providing a soundtrack to your dramatic existence, a mismatch of slow and fast songs, happy and sad, etc., etc. Then the alcohol wears off and you have to stop to take a few more sips from one of the several bottles now keeping you company inside the car. Once you feel relaxed or numb (or both) again, you turn on the ignition and drive on.

You're not sure how much time has passed since you left home, about two days, you suspect. Not that you really care. With your wonderful companions, Bottle and Radio, you have everything you need.

It is dark outside again, though, and, suddenly, you feel sadness and loneliness creeping back in.

You're such a crybaby, he would accuse you back when you were younger. The child who cried at dramas and movies, at emotional songs. Well, you were a sensitive boy, what else could you do? Jaejoong never seemed to understand. Then again, you barely saw him cry during your teenage years. He was sad a lot, yes, and talked about death at least once a month, but tears rarely made an appearance. You, on the other hand, would have cried every day if allowed. There was something liberating about it, about letting out a strong emotion that felt suffocating otherwise.

Now, the sky is crying for you. Your tears dried up a few miles back, and, thankfully, they don't seem to want to make a comeback. They can fuck off, for all you care. No more tears, no more sadness caused by the selfish jerk that is Kim Jaejoong.

I miss him, you mutter not a second after. What is he doing? Is he sad? Does he miss you? Has he left the apartment? Gone back to Yunho and eloped with him? Swallowed all the pills and left you irreparably alone? You don't want to think about it; you swallow a few more drops to make sure that you don't.

Leaning back in the driver's seat, you glance out at the dark world surrounding you. There are trees, vegetation, you think—you aren't really sure, and you don't really care, either—and the sky, now covered in purplish pink clouds. Why do clouds look pink at night? Does it even matter? Do you matter?

You sigh, righting your seat and putting on the seat belt once again. Soon you must find a place to sleep. It's late and you shouldn't be outside. No, you should be home, sleeping next to your chosen life partner instead of sitting in your car, out in the rain.

Shit.

Shut up, you mutter at your hyperactive mind. After a few more drops, you start the car again. And drive on.


Title: Intention

We'll be happy forever and ever.

It's early in the morning and you realize, with no small amount of dismay, that you have just driven into your hometown. You thought that you would find a hotel or another dark spot to park your car in and sleep. Instead, you were unable to stop, anxiety keeping you wide awake. Now, only a few minutes after sunup, you notice just how familiar the buildings around you look.

Fuck, you mutter. Of all the places to go, why did it have to be the town you once used to call home? There are too many memories here, not only of your lover, but of the family life your parents denied you, of lonely nights while your father went out drinking or out with his girlfriends. You wish you could forget about all of it. Normally, you don't hold grudges (unless they're against Jaejoong, or Yunho, and maybe Junsu), but you just can't forgive your family, especially your mother. If she loved you as she claimed, she would have come see you more often, maybe even come back to take you to her home and Yoohwan. If not for Jaejoong, you might have obsessed over that your entire adolescent life.

Come to think of it, the last time you came back home . . . wasn't it to get Jaejoong back? And, like now, you had also sent your job to hell. The parallels are almost annoying. Only, this time you're not trying to get your lover back, but running away from him.

Isn't that just adorable, you think, sarcasm dripping from your mind's voice.

You briefly consider driving by your father's house, but quickly decide against it. Considering just how supportive he has been of your life choices, it would be a pain to have to admit to any of your current problems.

That boy is not normal, he said numerous times after he realized that your relationship with Jaejoong seemed strange. He was probably trying to protect you from getting hurt, while you inwardly cursed him for daring to speak ill of the boy you loved.

Well, Dad, you were right, you think at your father now. Oh, how much pain you would have saved yourself if you had listened to him from the very beginning. But no, you knew better; love would conquer all and some such shit.

We'll be together forever, right? Jaejoong would promise on the days, weeks, months leading to his first disappearance. We'll be happy forever and ever. His eyes always looked wild and his mood kept swinging back and forth from happy to depressed and insecure. Still, you followed your instincts, because, as you know now, they never steer you wrong. If you have learned anything, is that you can't live life solely on promises, not where Jaejoong is involved.

While driving toward your side of town, you note the stores along the street. There's the tiny hotel you stayed at last time, too. Maybe you should get a room there, lie down for a while, take a shower . . . Yes, that sounds good.

The lady that runs the place is already at the front desk, and, without much ceremony, rents you a room on the second floor. Sadly, the room is almost an exact replica of the room you stayed in last time. You try to ignore it, getting into the shower.

You had a change of clothes in the car (you didn't even remember you had thrown the duffle bag in the trunk of the car, planning for those long nights at work; they smell a little) so you have something to change into when you come out, feeling refreshed. You don't feel like shaving or anything else. Instead, you lie down in bed and try to rest.


Title: Ugly

Unrequited love is sweet torture, he says. You're left with the if's and the could have beens. But then, there's no jealousy, no break up, no disappointment.

In your dream (because it is a dream, of a memory, but a dream, nonetheless), he looks as pretty as you thought he was at the time. He smoked a lot, and once or twice you imagined him with rotten teeth by the time he was thirty. You know now that it was just your teenage imagination, certain that anything close to age thirty is old. Sometimes, you agree with your adolescent self; you certainly feel old, and even a bit haggard.

Back then, you had thought he was speaking about some girl he couldn't have—ridiculous, you thought, the guy was pretty and perfect, any girl would love to date him. You don't know when it was that, in the course of the next few months, you realized that he was talking about you. Of course, back then, he had believed he had no chance with you, which changed little by little not too long later.

Who's melodramatic? You've thought this many times along the years. He was the one sighing and throwing hints about his feelings for you. Once he made his move, you were caught in his trap. Even if you had wanted to, you wouldn't have been able to pull away from him.

Unrequited love. Maybe at the beginning.

Why do you look so sad? You can almost feel his lips as he whispers those words. After that night at the beach, on your birthday, you had thought that it had all been a game, that your feelings were unrequited.

The if's and the could have beens. No jealousy, no break up, no disappointment. Maybe unrequited love would have been better. Surely, the so-called "sweet torture" would be far more bearable than the pain and constant insecurity and stress of a real relationship. With Jaejoong, the "torture" had been anything but sweet.

No, you don't want to remember anything that happened after he left that first time. Coming and going, disrupting your life, feeding angers and insecurities and a myriad of other negative emotions you wish you had never known.

God, I'm tired, you think again, sleepiness beginning to recede. The dream fades away, but not the feelings it elicited. Excitement, fear . . . It had been thrilling, at the time. At your current age, however, after so many years, you don't think you can deal with it anymore.

You've been sleeping for hours, trying to rest, but not really managing to. All those thoughts running through your head have almost managed to drive you crazy. You thought that spending time alone would help (but you're never really alone, are you? Not when he occupies your mind 24/7). Instead, while your body is heavy with fatigue, you feel restless, wishing you had the energy to burn the anxiety that just won't go away. Maybe another drive would help you clear your mind. Being still just makes everything worse.

The car keys are back in your hand before you realize it.


Title: Shadow

You're insane! you yelled at him, barely audible over the wind. However, he ignored you, stripping down and jumping into the freezing water.

Tonight, many years later, is the water as cold as it was then?

You're sitting against the windshield of your car, drunk after downing yet another bottle (bottles?) of the biting, yet sweet alcohol that has been keeping you company the last few days. The radio is playing loudly enough that you can still hear it despite the wind. Looking up at the sky, stars blinking at you, it feels every bit like those nights you spent there as a teenager. The music is different now (though you've gotten used to the new stuff thanks to your lover; he turns on the radio nearly every day), new artists, new melodies. Every once in a while, the DJ will play an oldie (God, music from your adolescent years is already considered "oldies"), some song that will inevitably send you back to some event in the past.

Your teenage love was accompanied with quite the extensive soundtrack: Pop, Rock, Dance, every genre playing on the radio at the time. And Jaejoong had known most of the songs; his mind seemed to pick up the lyrics easily, and he would sing along every damn song. You always wondered how such a thing was possible: someone who did so terribly in school could memorize dozens, hundreds of songs. You suppose it's true what they say about people learning the things they enjoy far more quickly than they would anything else. Hell, it makes more than enough sense.

Was there music that night?

Let's go skinny dipping! You can almost hear his happy, excited voice, coming through your bedroom window. By then, you were so used to his sudden appearances (or reappearances) that you had taken to leaving your window unlocked most of the time. However, like every single time before, you had followed, because back then (like now) his word was law and refusing any of his requests felt absurd.

That night was cold, so cold, you could barely feel your fingers. The idea of going skinny dipping had not been at all appealing—well, it had, since it meant being naked with him, and hell if your hormones hadn't been driving you crazy with dreams and bits of imagination that just wouldn't leave your mind. Still, it was so cold! How could anyone even consider going into the water? If your parents had ever found out, they would have killed you. Asthma could quickly turn into other, more dangerous health issues. You were so lucky, you think now, that you never got sick during those times.

Come on! he called out to you, doing his best to convince you. In the end, you gave in. You always gave in.

That night, the first time he kissed you, the first time you felt his skin against yours, the beginning of a love that doesn't seem to want to end. The problem is, you don't want it to end, not really. Else, why would you have left Changmin for him? Why would you deny yourself new opportunities on the off chance that he would suddenly decide to come back?

Pathetic, you mutter to yourself. You know that—he knows that—and yet, here you are, drunk, miserable, over him one more time. A part of you knows that you should go back, or call him, at least (not that you can, since you destroyed your cell phone, even left the pieces on the side of the road, along with every single phone number you never bothered to memorize). The fear paralyzes you, though, and, you think, you rather like being unable to move (another excuse not to act).

What do you think happens after you die? Yes, what happens, you wonder. Maybe you're dead right now and you don't know it. And maybe the water will feel warm and inviting instead of freezing, unlike that night so long ago, or any of the nights that followed.

What are you afraid of? Indeed, what are you afraid of?

You get off the car, your bare feet stepping on the sand, tiny, grainy stones digging into your skin. The wind is cold on your bare skin when you take off your shirt, just like you remember; it feels funny on your legs now, but that's probably because of the hair covering them now (you giggle drunkenly, amused by the mere thought). Your mind is somewhat fuzzy, but that's fine; all you want is to feel that again, that freezing, yet liberating feeling you could only have as a naïve high school child.

Decision made, you walk over to the shore, cold waves washing over your feet, then your knees, your thighs. Once you're in far enough, you close your eyes, and dive into the water. It envelops you, fills your ears, takes you in deeper until there exists nothing else. You smile.

Hear nothing. See nothing. Feel nothing.


tbc...


<<Oneshot: Slipping Away | Oneshot: Volatile>>

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