i'm yours tonight / pg / 5800+ words
they pretend that they're friends with benefits but they're not even friends.
“Did you just save my name as Romeo?” Yunho said incredulously.
“You’re snooping through my phone?” Ryeowook rushed out the bathroom with a yelp, a comb stuck in his hair and eyes wide with horror.
“Does that make you Juliet, then?” Yunho guffawed. He was sprawled across the bed, legs spread wide enough to match the obnoxious grin on his face.
Annoyed, Ryeowook fished Yunho’s cellphone from his jeans discarded on the carpeted floor of the hotel room, quickly dialing his own number.
“Is that all I am to you? A piece of meat?” Ryeowook shouted, throwing Yunho’s phone to the covers where Yunho was wildly laughing. Ryeowook jumped to the bed, attempting to pin him down by straddling his legs, lips hovering teasingly over his.
Six months prior, Ryeowook would never have dreamed of being friends with SM Entertainment's Golden Boy, the disadvantage of joining the company much later than the others. But being on the receiving end of this side of Jung Yunho--funny, ridiculous, teasing and affectionate Yunho-hyung--made the bed much warmer than it had ever been before.
Yunho looked up with twinkling eyes, the crinkle by his lids pronounced by laughter. Wearing a pout, Yunho reached up to twiddle at Ryeowook’s ear.
“Of course not, babe,” he cooed.
“Babe?” Ryeowook scrunched his nose.
“Darling?” Yunho supplied helpfully.
“No pet names, remember?” Ryeowook bent down to kiss the tip of his nose but Yunho tilted his face up so their lips found each other, tongues dancing a languid caress, smiles pressed closer than their bodies. They pulled away, matching grins on their faces and slightly breathless.
“Changmin saw this during wardrobe yesterday,” Yunho admitted softly, showing the faded words Ryeowook had scribbled on his arm with a hotel pen one of those nights.
If my bones were wrapped around you,
If my skin was right in front of you.
Would you smile and close your eyes,
I’m yours tonight *
“What did you say?”
“That they were lyrics to a song I was working on,” Yunho snickered.
“He believed you?”
“He looked at me funny so I tried to be more convincing by singing the words out loud with a random melody I conjured in my head,” Yunho chuckled in shame and Ryeowook started to laugh.
“Good thing I didn’t write on your ass, or he’d have asked how you could have reached so far behind,” Ryeowook grinned.
He crossed his arms across the broad expanse of Yunho's chest and Yunho only smiled, brushing Ryeowook’s hair away from his face, “I hate lying to him.”
“Yeah,” Ryeowook mumbled in a small voice.
“What I hate more though, is keeping you a secret,” Yunho said, running his hands along Ryeowook’s sides. He tickled lightly at the smooth expanse of skin, causing Ryeowook to giggle and squirm.
“But I like being your exclusive little secret,” Ryeowook grinned.
"Okay, and Won Bin's too," Ryeowook teased.
"Invite him over next time," Yunho said huskily, catching Ryeowook's lower lip in his.
"Kinky, are we?" Yunho could feel the soft rumble running through his chest as Ryeowook let out a laugh.
Yunho was not the least bit worried, knowing he had mentioned it in jest. Though he would never admit it to Ryeowook, a large portion of his assurance stemmed from the relief he felt upon finding the first page of Ryeowook’s KakaoTalk inbox absent of intimate messages from other possible partners. It could only mean that Ryeowook had been keeping his word just like he had. In his defense, he was not snooping around; Ryeowook’s phone happened to be unlocked and KakaoTalk opened, which explained how he got to know of Ryeowook’s romantic alias for him, as well as his singlehood.
“You’re the best Juliet anyone could ask for,” Yunho said, trying not to mean it.
“Yeah, because I have sex with you. And because I won’t die on you.”
“Mmmm. I’ll send you a card the next Valentine’s Day.”
“Best boyfriend ever,” Ryeowook bantered as he stretched himself along his body, showering barely-there kisses on his face.
“No pet names, remember?”
“Got it, babe.”
다함께 손을 잡아요 그리고 하늘을 봐요
Let's join our hands together and gaze up to the sky
The center stage was small and it did not help that everyone was pumped up and abusing the lack of space like bullies in a playground, throwing props and splashing bottled water at each other. It was a waste of water, Ryeowook thought, and he remained huddled in the middle of the stage, away from the cliques and the rabid fans on a relentless quest to touch every single one of them. It was also a great excuse to shy away from Jessica and Krystal who seemed intent on pushing anyone down for an involuntarily stage dive.
Minho must have bumped into him while jostling around with Changmin for Ryeowook could not recall how he ended up with his face smacked into Yunho’s chest and an arm protectively wound around his waist to break his fall. His lips formed a surprised “o” when their eyes locked, but Yunho only grinned down on him, holding the microphone to his lips in a bid to make him sing the next line of Hope.
So he did.
눈이 부시죠 너무나 아름답죠
The world is dazzling and beautiful
Kangta-hyung announced the end of the finale and everyone squeezed into a single file, hands interlocked as they did a collective bow.
From where he stood, Ryeowook blindly reached for a hand to clasp but there was none. He bowed anyway, arm hanging limply his side.
The gentle tickle of his waist felt vaguely familiar and it suddenly hit him that Yunho had never let go.
“Changmin will be making an appearance on your next K.R.Y. gig in Japan,” Yunho whispered into the shell of Ryeowook’s ear.
“Mmhmm? And you?”
“That depends,” Yunho hesitated, “Do you want me there?”
“As long as we're sharing a room, you’re welcome to come,” Ryeowook mumbled sleepily.
“You only want me for my body,” Yunho teased.
“My body only wants you,” Ryeowook lamented.
“Pasta!” Changmin cheered.
“We’re in Japan and we’re eating spaghetti with meatballs?” Kyuhyun whined.
“Eat up, you brat,” Jongwoon kicked his foot under the table.
“It’s good beef,” Ryeowook added upon tasting a bite.
He continued inspecting the sides that came with the pasta bento, unaware of the stare Kyuhyun was giving him as Yunho wordlessly reached over to dump his share of meatballs into his lunchbox. Ryeowook casted the meatballs to a corner, halving the portion of his spaghetti before transferring it across to Yunho. In unison, they began mixing, noodles evenly streaked with sweet sauce.
The silent exchange seemed completely rehearsed, like it had been done countless of times before. No thank yous, hell, they did not even look up from their meals.
“KRY fighting!” Ryeowook playfully nudged his shoulder backstage that evening.
Kyuhyun returned with a jostle, gazing at Changmin and Yunho as they retreated from the stage upon finishing their first set. He pretended not to notice the way Yunho hovered around the wings, eyes peeled on the platform as Ryeowook belted out ballad after ballad during his solo set, wondering if his observations had anything to do with Yunho’s sudden addition to the concert line-up and Ryeowook’s request for an individual room that night.
The next morning, Kyuhyun paused outside the mahogany door of Ryeowook’s hotel room, the bronze door handle canted with the weight of the “Do Not Disturb” sign and the bag containing the daily newspaper. At his feet was a tray with a metal cloche lid cover, what Kyuhyun guessed were remnants of last night’s supper.
He curled his fingers into a fist, swallowing before knocking on the door.
“Ryeo-Ryeowook-ah!” Kyuhyun closed his eyes, hating the way his voice wavered, “Let’s have breakfast!”
“Go ahead, Kyuhyun! I’ll be a while!” Ryeowook’s voice came immediately from the other side of the door.
Two things he was certain of: Ryeowook never woke up that early. Ryeowook hated eating alone.
The signs all pointed to a single direction, Kyuhyun thought, gazing helplessly at the person by his side.
“They’re in there, aren’t they?” Changmin concluded softly.
“Got your passports ready? Junghoon has already loaded your luggage to the counter. He’s given us the signal to go,” Seunghwan announced as soon as he climbed back into the vehicle.
“What time is it?” Jongwoon groaned, groggy and lethargic.
“Time for us to head home,” Seunghwan replied, patting the others awake.
They piled out of the car and was thankful that the ungodly hour provided a deterrence for rabid fans from clogging the airport. Yunho gazed out the tinted windows, eyeing the small crowd of girls scattered about the area. He pulled on his shades despite the hours of the night, noticing the girls gravitating quickly towards them.
“Have a safe trip back home!” the fans tittered as Yunho clambered out the van after Ryeowook.
Yunho nodded, catching Changmin pulling on his headphones, ready to tune out the world.
“Yunho-san, stay handsome!”
“Ryeowook-san, you sang beautifully last night,” a fan praised in Japanese and Yunho caught the glimpse of a hesitant, close-lipped smile on his face as a result of not understanding the language. He followed close behind, long strides covering the distance between him and the smaller man.
“Oppa, accept this!”
“Sorry, they can’t,” Seunghwan muttered as he maintained a clear path for the boys.
“Ryeowook is a fag,” came a voice in Japanese.
Ryeowook had smiled at her but Yunho paused in his tracks, boring his eyes into the face of a lanky girl with short-cropped hair and a vandalized Ryeowook poster in her hands. She beamed brightly at Yunho but before she could say a word, Yunho slapped the poster away.
“Never say that again,” he snarled in her native language. She stood, bewildered by his outburst but Yunho remained rooted to the spot, glaring at her.
“Yunho, come on. Move along,” Seunghwan whispered, pushing his back.
As he headed for the counter, Yunho could register the faint chorus of girls pleading for his forgiveness on her behalf but all Yunho could see was the lost expression of Ryeowook’s eyes when he smiled uncertainly at the words she spat into his face. It was when Ryeowook caught a glimpse of the ruined poster she held proudly in full-view that he had quickly turned away, cheeks pale white and lips pressed thin.
Seunghwan led Yunho through the sliding doors leading to the check-in counters where the group stood waiting after witnessing the whole spectacle. Changmin stepped forward and touched his arm and it was then that Yunho realized his own hands were trembling.
"Hyung, calm down," Changmin warned.
“That fucker,” Yunho’s voice shook as he gripped tightly onto his passport.
His eyes fell on Ryeowook but the singer turned away, jaw clenched tight. Junghoon ushered him to an available counter and Ryeowook marched forward, not sparing Yunho a glance.
As Ryeowook handed his passport to the staff, Yunho saw that his hands were trembling, too.
They have never requested to sit by each other on plane rides, made a concerted effort to remain strangers during combined performances and company parties, even went so far as to disguise their names on their respective phones and communicate hotel locations via coordinates. They were living a romance shrouded in secrecy, behaving like a couple hiding a shameful affair and purely existing as a response to a basal function.
Even functions fail and when cracks are brought to the surface, meanings are inevitably revealed and intentions confronted.
“I knew she was an anti-fan! Did you think I was that stupid?” Ryeowook shouted, the empty recording studio reverberating with his voice, this time, for a contrary purpose.
“She called you a fag!” Yunho thundered.
“I was smart enough to ignore her the first time! You should have, too!” Ryeowook turned away, controlling his tears as he pressed his palms flat against the wooden surface of the console. He shut his eyes, not wanting Yunho to see him cry. Barely a day from touching down in Korea and their managers had demanded explanations.
“She was maligning you, don’t you get it? Don’t you understand how that makes me feel?”
“So that’s the reason, huh? The fact that she’d give the game away?”
“This is not a game and you know it,” Yunho whispered.
“Then what is it?” Ryeowook said angrily, shoving him, “We’re not friends or buddies. You and I, we fuck. Why did you have to be so moralistic about it? She called me a fag, I get that every day. It wasn’t so far from the truth, anyway!”
“No,” Yunho bit the insides of his cheeks, voice wavering, “No one gets to talk about you that way. I was there. I stood up for you. I protected you.”
“By jeopardizing our jobs? How are you going to defend yourself, Yunho-sshi? What you did was careless and inexcusable!”
“You’re right. I was out of control. I cannot explain myself,” Yunho strode over, glaring into Ryeowook’s eyes, “But it was not inexcusable.”
“This is just sex, Yunho! Having sex does not make us anything! I am not your responsibility! You’re going to want to start a family and put all of this behind you! This is temporary because our careers are temporary. We are temporary.”
“Really? Since we’re not going to last, why are you so hellbent on making it ‘viable’?”
“Because what we had was ideal. We had our careers and we had each other. It was neat, clean. We were perfect!”
“Then, let’s be imperfect! Let’s quarrel and argue! Let’s be jealous! I’m tired of pretending not to know you. Fuck it, I can’t even hate you—”
Yunho suddenly stopped. Swallowing, he managed to spare Ryeowook a scathing glare before storming for the door. Before he could pull on the handle, Ryeowook grabbed his arm roughly, nails pressing crescents into his skin as he held on.
“Is this how this ends?” Ryeowook whispered, eyes glistening.
“I broke a condition. I cannot give you perfection.”
Ryeowook’s tears were now wetting on his face, “That’s not a condition. You said we’ll part ways if either one of us gets bored, enters the army, meets someone new or falls in love. You said this.”
Yunho leaned down, whispering, “I cannot give you perfection because somewhere along the way, I wanted more than your body. I wanted your your heart, your affection and attention. I fell in love with you, Kim Ryeowook. I want to be with all of you.”
“What makes you think I don’t feel the same way?” Ryeowook voiced softly, “Did it ever cross your mind that this entire time, I’ve been trying to protect us by not letting the idea of us even happen? I didn’t dare get greedy because I wanted this to last as long as it could. I thought, if this was the only way I could have you, then this was going to be the only way I would allow myself to love you,” Ryeowook finished, his grip on Yunho’s arm weakening, “You’re not the only one hurting, Yunho-sshi. It hurts to love you. But I do.”
Yunho wrenched his arm free from Ryeowook’s grip before closing the distance between them. The kiss that they shared was bruising, angry and bittersweet, hands desperately clutching each other, tears salty on their lips. Yunho backed Ryeowook against the door before pushing the collar of Ryeowook’s shirt, trailing his lips down the valley where his neck met his shoulder, nipping at his skin till it was swollen and raised.
It became clear why Ryeowook had drawn, though eventually broke, as many boundaries as he could: resisted talking informally with him, discouraged from using silly pet names. It became clear that he was afraid of having to share himself in ways beyond the physical pleasures of body and flesh, giving away parts of him which are intangible, immeasurable and emotional. Affection would eventually grow into habits, noticeable and explicit to all. Before they even had time to realize, what they had had grown so big that the sheer impossibility of hiding it was a step away from consuming their careers.
“I’m sorry,” Yunho wept.
Ryeowook’s fingers were stroking his hair but Yunho could not remember how long he remained, unable to lift his head from the singer’s collar, crying into the skin he had newly branded. The bruise was awash again and again with every wave of tears but it stayed etched into the layers of flesh, stubborn and dull.
The last time Yunho received a text from Kim Ryeowook was not the coordinates to a hotel or a room number.
Instead, the text contained a time, accompanied by a location. A public location.
Ryeowook stared ahead, the distorted reflection of the cityscape rippling at the surface of the Han River. He remained still, breath released in small puffs of mist which dissolved quickly in the cold autumn wind. They weren’t touching but they were mirrored by their stance, standing a feet apart and hands buried deep in the pockets of their jeans.
“We need to stop destroying each other like this,” Ryeowook whispered.
Cold, helpless silence punctured the calm midnight air and when Ryeowook felt Yunho’s hand reaching for his own in the dark veil of the night, he took a deep breath before letting his tears fall and gripping tighter, knowing what exclusive finally meant.
They could have hugged, they could have kissed, they could have made love for the last time as they articulated their goodbye. Anything was better than empty promises of “I will wait for you”, “I’ll never let you go” or “I’ll only be yours” because the future was uncertain with paths unknown and fates untold.
Yet, they were more intimate than they had ever been before in their choice to be apart, away and exclusive from each other.
Thank you for reading, guys =)
They're broken for now, only because I plan to put them back together again. I just thought this would be a more realistic and most appropriate ending, for their relationship was not given the best of starts. Also, there are things unresolved in this story which I plan to address in a second part! Thank you for all the encouraging comments you have posted, truly, you are LOVE. Thought I was crazy for shipping this pairing so hard but I realized that I've found myself surrounded by a lovely bunch of crazies, too *___* This is why fandom is just so awesome ^___^
Thanks, again! <3 Please let me know your thoughts, feedback and concrit are always welcome!