Pairing: Jaejoong/Changmin, implied Yoochun/Junsu
Genre: AU, Futuristic, Action, Suspence, Romance, Smut
Warning: possible presence of violence as the story goes on.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the boys. The plot is mine and entirely mine, even if I still don't know where those crazy thoughts came from.
Summary: Changmin and Jaejoong are long forgotten Outcasts, though Changmin still unofficially works for the government in the form of one-week long assignments at the Facility. When his lover disappears for two weeks, and reappears on Heat’s Day, wounded and barely conscious, Jaejoong wonders if their love was really worth defying the Rules. As Changmin wakes up and realizes the last seven years of his life are gone, Jaejoong is determined to think love is the one thing that will save the both of them.
A/N: I'm back chingus!!~ *berserk mode* this took a lot less time than I initially thought it would and it's all thanks to you all who commented. (and fed me with way too many candies OTL. I can't even zip my jeans now.) ^^ Since you seem to like this story I shall continue to ship this with you~
-The Shelter, 7th Moon of the Glorious Year 2125, Rain’s Day.
Day six since they entered the underground base, Jaejoong gets hold of a device containing the Shelter’s map, and a few useful indications such as the time and date. His inner watch is still out of order and being able to keep track of time again puts a semblance of order back into his life.
Jaejoong follows Changmin inside the elevator.
Changmin doesn’t leave his side unless necessary, but the man now keeps the warm hand Jaejoong craves so much to himself. He will laugh and joke with him; scoff at Yoochun, but there is only awkwardness once back into their room. Jaejoong doesn’t want to push Changmin too much, even as he can’t hide his obvious execrable mood.
He sighs as they walk inside the elevator and take the direction of library. Yoochun is not accompanying them this time, either busy with Junsu or attending a meeting for the excursion planned at the end of the week.
His days are revolving around three actions: sleep, eat, and read. Jaejoong can get past the sleep but at the end of the second day, he was already knocking on Yunho’s door, once again begging him to let him train. On the fourth day, the door stayed categorically shut no matter how hard Jaejoong was shouting.
‘Hey, you alright?’ Changmin asks, eyebrows furrowed in concern.
‘Yeah, I’m fine.’
‘I told you it’s no use lying to me, Jae.’
‘I feel confined and this is starting to piss me off.’
‘That I saw,’ Changmin scoffs. ‘Can’t you just relax and enjoy the fact that they’re actually asking you to rest?’
‘Don’t act like you know me, Minnie. I’m one to stay inside doing nothing, and a forest display in my room won’t trick me into thinking that I can actually go out whenever I want to.’
Changmin glares at him and walks towards the cafeteria in long strides before turning back and muttering, ‘Selfish bastard.’
Jaejoong takes a step forward to catch up to him when the device in his hand twitches. He watches Changmin disappear around the corner and sighs, eyes looking down on the screen.
“Leeteuk is back. My office in two minutes.”
Not even pondering the identity of the sender, Jaejoong goes back into the elevator and pushes the last button. He doesn’t stop to listen to Heechul’s snarky joke once in the corridor and barely stops before the oak door. The scanner appears and his entire body is shaking in impatience.
Storming inside the room, Jaejoong stops on the middle of the carpet as Yunho and a tall man raise their heads as one.
‘Jaejoong. Good you came so fast, though I wouldn’t have expected less. Now sit down and chill, we don’t have much time,’ Yunho demands calmly.
‘Why were you ignoring me?’ Jaejoong asks as he takes a seat on the couch.
‘You’re incredibly annoying and childish when you don’t get what you want, dongsaeng,’ he smirks.
Jaejoong pouts and reports his attention on Leeteuk. The latter’s lips stretch into a fatigued smile, and he nods in acknowledgment.
Jaejoong nods in return and intently stares at Yunho, waiting for him to start. He knows that any of the words likely to escape his lips at the moment would sound rude no matter what.
Yunho glances at him before exchanging a knowing look with Leeteuk.
‘Well, first of all, we’re not starting this today, though I’m sure you already know that.’
Jaejoong is aware of it. That doesn’t keep him from pouting again, and he crosses his arms on his chest. ‘I know. I just wish everything could come to an end as fast as possible.’
‘So do we, Jaejoong-sshi,’ Leeteuk starts. ‘I only need to rest a little before I start working with you two. This isn’t going to be an easy task.’
Jaejoong snorts and rolls his eyes. ‘As if any of us ever expected it would. But may I ask the reason for my presence here, then?’
Yunho pushes back his chair and gets up. He goes to stand in front of the screen. This one is displaying a ravaged world. One of the War’s battlefields.
‘Leeteuk has one or two things he’d like you to be aware of. Since memory-wise, Changmin is underage, we decided you would act as his tutor. For important decisions concerning him or both of you.’
Jaejoong tilts his head towards Yunho. ‘I’m not a nanny.’
Eyes leaving the desolate landscape, Yunho turns around and smirks. ‘Come on, Jae. You’ve been displaying this mother hen act you had back in our college days ever since you and Minnie got there. Just listen to what Leeteuk has to say, for once.’
Jaejoong mumbles something and glances at the man sitting on the chair. Leeteuk is observing him with amused eyes.
‘This is very important, Jaejoong-sshi.’
‘Cut the crap and stop calling me that. I hate this.’
Leeteuk chuckles and turns his chair towards him, leaning forward. ‘Fine. I won’t start explaining the process introduced to make one’s memory come back, all of this will be explained to you and Changmin tomorrow. The only thing I want to know is if you’re ready to take risks. Big ones.’
Jaejoong uncomfortably shifts on the couch. ‘What kind of risks?’
‘This is a double-edged sword, Jaejoong. There are high chances that Changmin will never remember anything, but chances of him forgetting his entire life are even higher than that.’
Breath caught in his throat, Jaejoong eyes the man suspiciously. ‘I’m sure you said he’s one of the most competent brain experts, Yunho.’
The man chuckles. ‘That’s what I said. God, aging up didn’t do you any good, dongsaeng.’
Jaejoong casts his remark away and focuses on Leeteuk. ‘And I suppose the chances that he actually recalls everything are close to none, as well.’
‘Why should we trust you with this, then?’
‘Careful Jae, you’re using the plural here,’ Yunho scoffs
‘Shut up, old man.’
‘But don’t you want Changmin to remember more than anything else?’ He continues.
‘I told you to be quiet,’ Jaejoong snaps. ‘What matters to me is that I don’t know what you guys’ motivations are. You would certainly not help Changmin so willingly if you had nothing to gain from his potential recovery.’
The timepiece ticks down. Jaejoong’s chest clenches as he thinks of what he just said; and Yunho is obviously holding his breath.
The two other men exchange a glance, and Jaejoong knows Leeteuk is about to answer him. He’s not sure why he doesn’t like the idea of it, though.
‘We don’t want anything from Changmin. All we want to know is what he’s been doing at the Facility… if his memory is a voluntary Erasing and if it is, why They put so much effort into making him forget.’
‘So in fact all you need is information. And if you don’t get what you want from him?’ Jaejoong asks, anger barely contained in his voice.
‘Calm down, Jae. We’re not using him.’
‘God, give me a break, Yunho. You guys are only testing on him whatever you’ll be using to see if it works, and I’m sure you wouldn’t say no to a bit of insight on the Facility’s discoveries and whatnot.’
Leeteuk turns his head towards Yunho and smiles. ‘Smart kid.’
‘Told you so,’ Yunho answers in the same tone.
Jaejoong rolls his eyes a second time and takes turns examining the both of them. ‘I swear to god, if you start saying bullshit about some sort of win-win situation I’m taking Yunho’s head and I smash it against Leeteuk’s.’
Yunho snorts and takes a seat on the couch, next to Jaejoong. ‘I knew you wouldn’t like it, Jae. But that’s the only option.’
Jaejoong pinches the bridge of his nose, and after taking a deep breath, stares at Yunho. The older man smiles and holds his arms out in a familiar stance. Jaejoong hesitates, but finally leans in and lets himself get wrapped by strong, caring arms. He closes his eyes and relinquishes enough self-control to relax, but not enough to cry. Not in front of Yunho.
‘I want to try it out. I do. But don’t put the blame on me if Changmin is against it,’ Jaejoong whispers against Yunho’s shoulder.
‘Of course I won’t, dongsaeng.’
Jaejoong feels a warm smile stretch against his neck, and Yunho’s breath on his skin.
There’s no way in hell I’m letting some stranger process experiments on my brain. I’m too smart for the government to lose such precious knowledge.’
Jaejoong glances at Changmin from his bed. ‘Well, technically the government has already lost your knowledge. And technically, you lost it too.’
‘Thank you for reminding me, Jaejoong.
‘Whatever. Give me one good reason why I should do this,’ the younger man says, arms crossed on his chest.
Jaejoong gets up and faces the forest. It’s already dark outside and the only light sources are coming from bright particles flying between the massive trees.
‘Did you take a look at yourself in the mirror?’
Changmin frowns and gets up as well. ‘I did.’
‘You don’t want to remember? Do you want to look at your face every single day and wonder what caused it to change this way? What you’ve been through to have so angular a jaw, what caused the scars on your body… you really don’t want to know?’
Silence stretches between them. Jaejoong doesn’t dare looking at the taller man and focuses on the ragged breath next to him.
‘Most of my questions are about you, to be honest.’
Jaejoong feels strong hands land on his shoulders, and Changmin forces him to turn. After a moment, he finally looks up and loses himself in the other man’s piercing stare.
‘I get a feeling that everything is linked to you. I wish you could tell me… about everything.’
Jaejoong’s frown deepens. ‘That’s not for me to tell, Minnie.’
‘I know. That’s why I’m mad.’
‘Then stop making a fuss about everything and just accept to do Leeteuk’s experience.’
Changmin stares at him for a good minute, and sighs. ‘Okay. But only because you’re in, too.’
A bright smile lights up Jaejoong’s face. Arms wrapping around Changmin’s waist, he pulls him into a tight hug. ‘Thank you.’
‘That was unnecessary, old man,’ Changmin mutters, shifting uncomfortably in his hold.
He says nothing, appreciating the younger man’s body heat pressed against him. He breaks the embrace when it gets past what would be considered a friendly hug and goes back to his bed.
After another dreamless night, Jaejoong opens heavy-lidded eyes on the ceiling. He still feels bored to the core but the perspective of the day that’s to come is enough for him to get on his feet quicker than he expected. Flinching as his vision blurs, he turns his head to the right after hearing Changmin’s laugh.
‘What’s the hurry, hyung?’
The younger man bites his lips. ‘I figured I should call you that. Why, you prefer Jae?’
Jaejoong’s lips stretch into another smile. He has smiled more in the past week than in the three years spent at their cranked apartment in the Suburb.
‘I like both.’
‘When are we supposed to meet with Leeteuk?’
Opening the closet, Jaejoong rummages through the few clothes and picks a new blue uniform. He hates uniforms. ‘Later this afternoon. I’m going to shower.’
‘They said we couldn’t take more than one every three days,’ Changmin protested.
‘I don’t give a fuck about what they said, I want a shower.’
Jaejoong goes into the tiny bathroom and lets his loose sweatpants fall on the cold tiled floor. He steps into the tub and presses the shower head against his clavicle. Warm water flows down his chest and back and he relaxes into the sensation. The door opens and Changmin walks in.
‘I told you to stop going in and out as you please, Min-ah.’
‘Come on hyung, we’re both adults here,’ Changmin scoffs.
Jaejoong lifts his head and stares at him blankly. ‘What do you mean?’
The younger man frowns ‘What I mean? I mean that it shouldn’t bother you that I enter the bathroom while you’re showering.’
Cheeks flushed, Jaejoong shifts to face the wall and gets up. ‘Get out. Now.’
Changmin observes him for a while, puzzled. He shrugs and finally turns around, throwing the towel he was holding on Jaejoong’s face. Their last towel. As Changmin closes the door behind him, Jaejoong shouts obscenities at him before sinking back into the tub.
There’s no changing the man, he guesses.
It’s a little past noon when Jaejoong steps into the cafeteria. His hands are trembling and the tray he’s holding onto is dangerously shaking. Changmin is in Yunho’s office, probably having a discussion similar to the one they held earlier this morning. Jaejoong spots Yoosu sitting together at a table, casually feeding each other and laughing out loud.
Yoochun looks up at him as he takes a seat across them and smiles. ‘Hey man. How’s it going?’
Jaejoong shrugs. ‘Fine, I guess.’
‘There’s no use hiding things from me, Jae. You’re cowered out, right?’
Junsu chuckles next to him, but a single disapproving glance from his lover is enough for him to regain a serious face. Jaejoong observes them for a moment, pained smile on his lips. Chest clenched and painfully tight, too. He misses the warmth the two men are displaying more than anything.
‘I don’t know if this is right, Chunnie. I feel selfish risking Min’s remaining memories like that.’
Yoochun stops eating and leans forward, taking Jaejoong’s hand in his and rubbing his thumb in circles on his knuckles in a familiar motion.
‘Listen, Jae, you’re anything but selfish. I’m sure Changmin wants to have his life back as much as you do, and neither you nor Yunho can deny him that right.’
Jaejoong ogles his tray and pushes it away, hunger the last of his worries for the moment. ‘I know. I just… what if everything went wrong?’
‘Then you’ll just have to be with him and start a new life. This won’t be easy, but that’s the least you can do.’
Shivering, Jaejoong glances at Junsu. The man smiles and nods.
‘I’m not strong enough to do that, Yoochun-ah.’
‘But we’ll be here for you two, love. Junsu, Yunho, me, everyone. Just lean on us and focus on Changmin. That’s all we’re asking you to do.’
A device identical to his twitches on the table and Junsu seizes it, sticking it to his ear. Through what Jaejoong learned was a phone, he exchanges a brief conversation with the receiver before putting it back on the cold surface.
He turns towards Yoochun and presses his lips on the man’s mouth, numerous times. Gentle and loving. Junsu brushes Yoochun’s hair and gets up.
‘I have to go. Don’t worry about Changmin too much, Jaejoong. He’ll be alright. You’ll both be alright.’
Yoochun watches his lover leave the room before turning his attention back to Jaejoong. The older man looks down on the hand brushing his own and sags into the chair. The shivers have yet to disappear, yes, but his heart isn’t beating nearly as fast as before.
‘I’m sorry for the other day, with Junsu and all,’ Yoochun starts with a smirk.
Jaejoong finally lets himself smile, a renewed mischievous sparkle in his eyes. ‘You’re just a horny little fucker, I wouldn’t expect less from you anyway.’
His friend scoffs. ‘Hey, that was just- anyway, did you manage to settle it down with Changmin?’
‘He’s a… fast learner. I should have known, but still, I didn’t think he’d find out this much in such a short length of time.’
‘Find out what?’ A voice on Jaejoong’s right gushes.
He tilts his head in the voice’s direction and comes eye to eye with Changmin, tip of the tongue sticking out and a playful smirk on his lips. Brat is the only word coming to Jaejoong’s mind. Well, after handsome and fuckable, but those are not really appropriate for the situation.
Yoochun waves at him and lets go of Jaejoong’s hand. ‘I proposed him to accompany me to the B-PENGS,’ he says matter-of-factly.
Changmin sits next to him. ‘The Ruins, right? Can I go too?’
‘There’s no fucking way in hell you’re going with this ass of a guy to a deserted area,’ Jaejoong mutters.
‘Come on, it could be an eye-opening experience,’ Yoochun continues, ‘I mean, I could teach him a lot of things and-
‘You stop right there, Chunnie.’
Changmin laughs and Jaejoong pouts, eyes throwing daggers at his friend. Yoochun continues on blabbering and Changmin listens to him avidly. He has never looked so much like a seventeen-year-old kid but the instant his hand goes to rest on Jaejoong’s arm, the shivers and insecurities seem to fade immediately.
And Jaejoong knows that Yoochun is right, that he is always right. Whatever his own worries might be, he has no right to hold them against Changmin’s rehabilitation and his sole role is to bring the boy comfort and a shoulder to lean onto. If he finds his own happiness in the process, then he’d be the luckiest man in the world, and if he doesn’t, then be it.
Changmin turns his head towards him, mismatched eyes sparkling with amusement. ‘I know, it’s time. I was just having fun with Yoochun.’
Jaejoong gets up, the younger man’s hand slipping from his elbow and takes his tray. ‘Do you want to keep having fun with him, then?’
Frowning, Changmin quickly gets up, not sans a contrite pout for Yoochun. ‘I’ll go. I’m coming.’
They exit the cafeteria and take the now familiar path towards the elevators. Jaejoong pushes the button leading to Yunho’s office floor. Changmin takes his hand, and tightness seizes his chest once again, but this time he’s sure it’s not from apprehension.
Leeteuk is waiting for them in front of the doors as they open.
Jaejoong looks at Changmin. The younger man smiles at him, confidence in his eyes. They nod.
‘Then let’s go for the first seance.’
A/N: Oh, cliffy. ._. I'll update within the next two days~