Jaejoong didn’t know what to think when he saw the nineteen year old standing at his door, a bag in hand. As shallow as it was, the first thing he thought of was how handsome the other looked. No longer was Jung Yunho the same boy that he’d first met in high school.o-o-o
He was so much more different now even though high school was just a few steps back in the past. It was like the glorious aura that had surrounded the other had dimmed and slipped away, only to be replaced by something more serious and cold. It wasn’t that he was any less of the person that he’d been when they’d first met…he was just different now.
And to be honest, Jaejoong couldn’t really say that the change was a bad one, because he was just in love with the present Yunho as much as he’d been in love with the Yunho he’d been back when they were still in high school.
“Why are you here?” Jaejoong breathed out, his hand clenching his door knob tightly. “I thought you told me that…”
“Let’s go out today,” Yunho spoke, ignoring Jaejoong’s question entirely. He glanced past Jaejoong’s shoulder at the messy apartment before he turned his almond eyes back to the other’s face. “The weather’s nice out.”
The older man blinked, and after a few seconds of tense silence, he gave in. He shook his head and met Yunho’s gaze. “Just give me a few minutes. I’ll grab a jacket and some other stuff.”
Jaejoong turned around and took a few steps into his apartment before he turned around. “You can come in you know,” he said carefully, well aware that something was amiss with Yunho today. “This is almost as much your home as it is mine.”
“I…I know,” Yunho replied, his cold expression slipping down momentarily. It took him a bit longer before he went inside, and as soon as the door was shut, they stared at each other once again. The question was on the tip of his tongue, but Jaejoong didn’t know if it were the right time to voice it out. Yunho never liked being pushed into anything, and he didn’t like being asked prying questions.
He studied Yunho carefully, raking his eyes over the messily thrown on clothes and the duffel bag in the other’s hand.
Something was most definitely amiss.
“Should I bring food?” Jaejoong asked with a sigh as he tore his eyes away from the other and began to head for his kitchen. He could hear Yunho walking behind him quietly, and when he turned around, the other was by the kitchen doorway. “Where are we going anyway?”
“I was thinking we could go to the beach,” Yunho answered as he leaned against the doorframe. “I know it’s October, and it’s hardly ideal beach weather, but –“
“I should bring food then,” Jaejoong cut in, sparing Yunho the need to explain the odd situation that he was pulling Jaejoong into. He turned away from the younger man and opened his cabinets to bring out a couple of bags of chips, “What do you want me to bring? I know you hate Doritos, and you’re still an idiot for having that opinion, but I guess I have to bring something that you’ll eat –“
The older man turned around, and he quirked an eyebrow. “Yes?”
Yunho said nothing for a few seconds, his eyes doing the talking for him. It was a look Jaejoong was so familiar with, and one he’d seen several times in the two years that they’d known one another. It was the look that Yunho had whenever he was going to say something that he really meant and felt, and it was usually a look that was then followed by Jaejoong kissing Yunho roughly and pulling him into bed.
But once again, today was different, so Jaejoong had a feeling that they wouldn’t be tumbling into bed this time around.
A small smile crossed Jaejoong’s lips before he spoke, “I’m still bringing the Doritos.” He teased, his smile widening as he grabbed the bag of chips off the counter and tossed them at Yunho, who caught them and was now smiling too.
Jaejoong drummed his fingers on the car door on his lap as he watched the city zip past. He let Yunho drive without saying a word, simply content to hear Yunho complain half-heartedly about Jihye’s newest boyfriend and to listen to the song from The Killers that was playing from the car’s sound system. As the song ended, Jaejoong took the opportunity to speak.o-o-o
“When did you start listening to The Killers?” Jaejoong questioned, well aware that his boyfriend didn’t hold music as high in regard as he did.
“I know you like them,” Yunho replied as means of explanation. He slowed down the car as the streetlight turned red and looked at Jaejoong. “So, I bought the CD since I drive you around a lot anyway, so...I figured you’d appreciate it. I don’t usually listen to it, but since you’re here…do you want it?”
A slight blush dusted across Jaejoong’s face, the gesture sweet. It was during these moments that he was reminded of why he loved Yunho. The small gestures that he did in order to keep him happy were subtle, but greatly appreciated. “No, it’s okay. I already have the album.”
“You downloaded it illegally, didn’t you?”
“I can’t afford it right now.” Jaejoong’s lips curved into a smile, and he rested his head against the cool glass of the car window. “Don’t tell anyone. You know I love them even though I don’t buy their albums.”
“How much are those pants you’re wearing?” Yunho questioned, his voice teasing.
The older man turned his head and looked at Yunho. He placed his hand behind his head and smirked. “I don’t know. Why don’t you take them off of me and check if I still have the price tag on them?”
Yunho shook his head in amusement. “You flirt.”
“Only for you baby,” Jaejoong replied in a sing song tone as he turned away and looked out of the window. “Where are we going again?”
“To the beach.”
“Without swimsuits?” Jaejoong laughed again, and he shook his head. He turned back to look at Yunho, and his smile was wider this time. “Are we going to be skinny dipping? If so, I have a few issues. I don’t want anyone seeing your dick because it’s mine.”
Yunho spluttered, and Jaejoong chuckled. He watched Yunho’s face carefully, trying to find any of the tiredness that he’d seen earlier. Yunho was a more talented actor than he thought he was. He was more than capable of hiding his emotions, and Jaejoong liked to blame his parents for that.
In fact, he liked to blame Yunho’s parents for a lot of things.
“Why are you frowning now?” Yunho asked, having finally recovered from Jaejoong’s words from earlier. He cleared his throat and looked at the older man, “I promise that we’re not going skinny dipping. I just need to clear my head, and I thought that maybe looking at the ocean would help.”
Jaejoong pushed away his dislike for Yunho’s parents and fixed a smile back onto his face. “And you call me the weird one. What’s next? Should I start being worried that you’re going to shave all your hair off and start listening to whale noises?”
“I already listen to whale noises.”
A frown crossed Jaejoong’s features, “What?”
“Well, during sex, you make whale noises –“
Regardless of the fact that Yunho was driving, Jaejoong hit his boyfriend so hard that the car nearly swerved off the road and crashed into a tree. He didn’t care if Yunho’s expensive car got wrecked – his pride was ten times more important.
They took a break at a gas station because Jaejoong had to go the bathroom. He left Yunho behind and made his way to the dimly lit area. The bathroom wasn’t clean at all, but Jaejoong held back his complaints, did his business then headed over to the sink to wash his hands.o-o-o
As soon as he was done, he looked at himself in the mirror. The tiredness was rather evident on his features, and Jaejoong sighed as he traced the dark circles underneath his eyes. He’d been studying his report carefully for days, pouring as much effort into it as possible, and as a result, he’d lost a bit of weight and the fatigue was extremely evident on his face.
Jaejoong patted his cheeks, hoping some color would get rid of the deathly pale vampire look he was currently sporting. He pouted at himself in the mirror, proceeding to make several cutesy faces until he heard someone clear his throat. He turned around and blushed when he saw Yunho staring at him from the doorway.
“I was wondering why you were taking so long.”
“I was cheating on you,” Jaejoong replied idly as he turned back around to look at himself in the mirror. “The guy I was with just left the bathroom.” He watched as Yunho approached him, and familiar arms made their way around his waist.
Yunho buried his face into Jaejoong’s shoulder, and Jaejoong leaned back against the other man. He said nothing, allowing Yunho to simply breathe him in deeply. Their relationship had always been like this – he was used to Yunho’s silences and Yunho’s eventual outbursts. While it’d been tiring at first, him always dealing with Yunho’s issues, the rewards outweighed all the difficulties as soon as Yunho began opening up and revealing the personality that’d been hidden because of years of oppressive parenting.
“Are you okay baby?” Jaejoong whispered, rubbing his hand slowly up and down the arms that encircled his waist.
Yunho’s reply was muffled, and Jaejoong waited for him to repeat it. Yunho made sure to look up and meet his eyes through the mirror before he spoke, and the look he gave Jaejoong was intense and serious.
“I quit the football team,” Yunho replied as he pulled Jaejoong tighter. “I quit, and I’m not going back – that’s why I’m here. I left training camp and came back. I couldn’t do it anymore, because…”
“Don’t you love football Yunho?” Jaejoong asked softly. He tried to turn around, but Yunho’s arms held him in place. “Baby?”
“I’m tired,” Yunho whispered, his breath ghosting against Jaejoong’s skin. He couldn’t bring himself to look at Jaejoong anymore and simply squeezed him tightly. “I can’t do it anymore. I’m sick of it all, so sick.”
Before Jaejoong could say something, there was a disgusted cough. They turned around sharply, and a trucker glared at them. Yunho’s eyes lowered then slipped past the other man quietly, and Jaejoong felt his heart clench tightly in his chest. He walked in a slower pace and he could see that the man was glaring at him.
Just as Jaejoong was about to leave the bathroom, he turned around. “Hey! Before you fucking judge us –“
A hand was placed over his mouth, and Jaejoong flailed. Yunho refused to let up, and he dragged Jaejoong all the way back to his car. He opened the car door and pushed Jaejoong into the backseat. Jaejoong fell in, and he scowled at Yunho as soon as he sat up.
Yunho ran a hand through his hair, “Why do you go around picking fights?”
Jaejoong pursed his lips. “Why don’t you?”
“There was nothing to fight over. I’m…” Yunho stopped and sighed. “Jaejoong, I just want to enjoy this day with you. I don’t want drama, I don’t want you beating people up, and I don’t want to deal with any bullshit.”
Jaejoong let out a sigh and nodded. He scooted over so that he would be closer to Yunho, and he tilted his face up expectantly. Despite the fact that they were in public, Yunho leaned down and kissed him chastely. It was enough for now, but later, Jaejoong knew he would ask for more.
Yunho pulled away, and Jaejoong looked up at him.
“I could’ve probably taken him on, don’t you think?”
An amused smile made its way across Yunho’s lips, and he ran a hand through Jaejoong’s hair. He cupped Jaejoong’s face, “He was more than twice your size, and his hand looked about the same size as my face.”
“Well, your face is pretty small,” Jaejoong teased. He smiled, “But really, what do you think?”
Yunho laughed, kissed Jaejoong again, and then pressed their foreheads together before he spoke, “Baby, I think you can take on anything.”
Jaejoong knew that Yunho loved him.
He could feel it when they made love, when they kissed, when they ate together, when they talked – he could just feel it and knew that it was there. But there was still a nagging fear in his heart that came whenever Yunho came to him, troubled and bothered. He’d heard stories of men who’d been dumped by their boyfriends, only to find out later on they’d gotten married and had kids, and he didn’t want to become one of them.
After all, Yunho was very much his parents’ golden boy, and he was Yunho’s secret boyfriend. He hated Yunho’s parents because they pressured him, they demanded things of him, and they pushed him around. If Yunho only let him, he would’ve gladly let the other move into his apartment in order to escape them.
But no, Yunho still hoped that they would change someday, and he would have to respect that.
Jaejoong glanced at Yunho and yawned. He rested his elbow against the car door, his hand behind his head. “Are we going to stay in the car, or –“ he yawned again and covered his mouth with the back of his hand.
Yunho shook his head and smiled. He reached over to brush something off Jaejoong’s cheek, “Sleepy kitty.”
“I am not a cat,” Jaejoong mumbled as he relished the feeling of Yunho’s thumb against his skin. “But I very much like the fact that you’re stroking me.” He leaned against Yunho’s touch and met the other’s eyes, “Perhaps later…you can stroke me elsewhere?”
Yunho jerked his hand back sharply and laughed. “Do you always have to do that?”
Jaejoong yawned again before he replied, “You know you like it.” He rubbed at his eyes and unbuckled his seatbelt. “Let’s go.” He got out of the car, and the sand crunched beneath his feet as he made his way closer to the shore. Yunho placed his arm over Jaejoong’s shoulder, and Jaejoong relaxed against him.
They walked close to the shore, so close that the tip of the waves crashed and touched the soles of their shoes. Jaejoong basked in the feeling of the warm setting sun against his skin and shut his eyes, enjoying its comfort and Yunho’s embrace at the same time. He felt Yunho kiss his cheek, and he opened his eyes to look at the other.
His eyes raked over Yunho’s peaceful face, his eyes shut, and a smile graced its way across Jaejoong’s lips. This was the man he loved, the man he believed in, and the man he cherished. Yunho opened his eyes, and he turned his head to look at Jaejoong.
“I told them.”
Jaejoong’s heart stopped in his chest, and he stared at Yunho questioningly. He didn’t know what to say. For so long, he’d waited for Yunho to say something to his parents and now that it was here…he didn’t know what to say or do. Was he supposed to be happy? Was he supposed to cry?
Yunho turned his eyes away from Jaejoong and looked out at the horizon.
“They told me to get out of the house a few days ago, and I quit the football team not long after.”
“Yunho, I’m so –“
“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now,” Yunho said softly, his voice tight and filled with emotion. He looked at Jaejoong, “But I feel free Jaejoong. I feel freer than I’ve ever felt in a long time, and something tells me I shouldn’t care about what they think –“
“You shouldn’t,” Jaejoong choked out, his eyes brimming with tears for some reason unknown to him. He pulled Yunho close, “They’re terrible people Yunho. Jihye loves you, I love you –“
“Will you love me even though I’m homeless, penniless, and –“
Jaejoong didn’t know whether to laugh or sob, and the noise that came out of his mouth was a strangled sound that mixed both. He held Yunho so tightly, pouring in all the love and care that he’d held for the other for so long.
“Of course, of course I will. I don’t care about that Yunho, I don’t care about any of that at all,” Jaejoong murmured. He broke away from Yunho and cupped his face, forcing the other to look at him. “You’re free baby, you’re finally free.”
They’d face the future together, and everything would be alright.
Author’s Note: A little dramatic and on the heavy side in comparison to my previous updates, but I hope you guys all liked it nonetheless. :) The title is a play on “freedom of speech” and not a typo or something, just in case any of you were wondering. Hahaha. XD Thank you for reading and commenting! ♥