This is just a simple two-part YunJae story about Christmas, family and love. And also cancer... Sorry.
“What are you doing out here?”
Jaejoong jumped at the sound of his lover’s voice. He was sitting with his back to the sliding glass door that lead to the balcony.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.” Yunho wrapped a fuzzy fleece blanket around Jaejoong’s shoulders. “I was worried. I woke up and you weren’t there.”
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t sleep and I noticed it was snowing.” Jaejoong stood to go back inside.
“Wait. Come on. We can watch together for a little while.” Yunho sat down in the seat that Jaejoong had just vacated. Jaejoong smiled as he settled himself on Yunho’s lap.
“You’re nice and warm,” Jaejoong sighed. He slid his hands under Yunho’s shirt. Yunho jumped at the coldness of Jaejoong’s hands.
“You’re freezing! How long have you been out here?” Yunho tightened his arms around Jaejoong hoping to warm him up quicker.
“I don’t know. I guess I lost track of time; it’s so beautiful out tonight.”
Yunho nodded in agreement. He sighed internally; Jaejoong was losing weight again. He feared the worst, but they wouldn’t know anything until after tomorrow’s test results were back. Yunho prayed silently as they sat together watching the snow fall beyond their covered balcony.
“Jae, let’s go back inside. It’s really cold and you have an appointment in the morning.”
“I’m not tired. And it’s so pretty.”
“I know. I just don’t want you to get sick.”
“You mean sicker,” Jaejoong frowned. “Yunho, I’m fine. I’m feeling better.”
“Jaejoong, I don’t want to fight. We’re going inside now.” Yunho stood up quickly, Jaejoong still cradled in his arms. Jaejoong squeaked at the sudden movement, causing Yunho laugh.
“Yunho! Stop!” Jaejoong said through a fit of giggles.
“Stop, what? You’re so silly,” Yunho laughed again.
“Put me down right this minute.”
“Nope. I don’t want to.” Yunho stood in the middle of the living room, cradling Jaejoong close to his chest. “I don’t ever want to let you go.”
“Then don’t,” Jaejoong purred. Yunho kissed him softly.
Yunho laid Jaejoong on the loveseat and covered him with an electric blanket. “There, now you can watch the snow fall and be warm.”
“What are you doing?” Jaejoong asked as Yunho entered their small kitchen.
“Making us hot chocolate,” Yunho pulled two large mugs from the cabinet. He scooped three heaping spoonfuls of the chocolate mix in each cup and waited for the tea kettle to whistle. Yunho stared into space as he thought of the last 5 years. He had officially retired after completing his military service. He never thought he would be with Jaejoong again. He doubted the older man still love him.
Then Jaejoong showed up at his door with devastating news. Jaejoong was sick; leukemia. Jaejoong was convinced he was going to die and he had to say good bye to Yunho, one last time.
Yunho promised Jaejoong right there and then he would stay by his side for the rest of his life. It took two years, but finally the leukemia went into remission. Jaejoong was given a clean bill of health and they thought he was in the clear. Five years. Five wonderful years of a healthy, happy Jaejoong. Then, three months ago Jaejoong started getting sick a lot. He would wake up in the middle of the night, crying in pain, soaked in sweat. Yunho prayed that wasn’t all he was allowed.
“Jae, are you warm enough?” Yunho asked when he noticed Jaejoong shiver slightly.
“Getting there. My feet are still really cold.”
“Why didn’t you put on slippers?” Yunho asked as he walked to the bedroom.
“I don’t know.”
Yunho returned to the living room with a pair of fuzzy wool socks. “Give me your feet.” Jaejoong pulled the blanket up, exposing his feet. They were still cold to the touch.
Yunho kissed the tops of Jaejoong’s feet before putting the socks on him, cause Jaejoong to chuckle. “The water’s ready,” he whispered hearing the kettle whistle madly.
Jaejoong enjoyed the warmth of the mug in his hands, but what he enjoyed more was watching Yunho drink the hot chocolate. Everything Yunho did was graceful. The way his long fingers curved around the cup fascinated Jaejoong. He shudder slightly at the memory of those fingers on his body. How long had it been? Too long, in Jaejoong’s opinion. Way too long. Still he started feeling sick again, Yunho began treating him like a porcelain doll that would shatter if touched.
Jaejoong’s feet were nestled snuggly under Yunho’s thighs. Warmth was spreading though his body and he was beginning to feel sleepy. He placed his mug on the coffee table as he moved to curl onto Yunho’s lap. His legs were bent at an awkward angle, but he just wanted to be on Yunho’s lap.
“You’re extra cuddly tonight,” Yunho chuckled.
“Shh. Let’s sleep.”
“Right here? On the couch?”
Jaejoong nodded and snuggled down farther, tucking his head in the crook of Yunho’s elbow. Yunho kissed the top of Jaejoong’s head. He straightened Jaejoong’s legs out and tried to relax. It was a little difficult, but he managed to find a comfortable position. He set the alarm on his phone and drifted off to sleep.
Yunho woke the next morning with a kink in his neck and drool on his shoulder, but Jaejoong had slept soundly. Yunho would deal with a thousand kinks if it meant Jaejoong got enough rest.
He fiddled with his cell phone until the alarm was shut off. He looked down at Jaejoong who was still asleep and debated just staying on the sofa all day.
“Jaejoongie,” he whispered softly. “It’s time to get up.”
Jaejoong groaned and attempted to roll over, running out of sofa in the process. Yunho caught him inches from the floor.
“Be careful.” Yunho chuckled and pulled Jaejoong back on to his lap.
“Don’t laugh at me. I could have died!” Jaejoong feebly smacked Yunho’s chest.
“I’m sure your head is bouncy enough that you’d be fine. Go take a shower and we’ll go out for breakfast before your appointment.”
Jaejoong straddled Yunho lap. “Come shower with me,” he purred.
“We won’t have time for breakfast,” Yunho moaned as Jaejoong nipped his ear.
“I’m okay with that.” He wrapped his arms around Yunho’s neck. He was becoming desperate for Yunho’s touch.
“We can’t be late and you need to eat before we get there.”
“What’s the point? I’m just going to throw it all up anyway.”
“Jae,” Yunho sighed. “Doctor’s orders. I promise we’ll do something special tonight. I’ll treat you like the royalty you seem to think you are. I’ll feed you strawberries and cream in bed.” He lowered his voice and whispered into Jaejoong’s ear, “I’ll lick chocolate off you and worship you like a god.”
Jaejoong moan as Yunho gently sucked on his neck. “You’re a horrible tease.”
“I know. Now go shower. I love you.”
Jaejoong kissed Yunho’s cheek. “I love you, too.”
As Jaejoong showered he noticed several more bruises on his body; some that weren’t there yesterday. He didn’t want to tell Yunho about the new bruises. He sighed, knowing Yunho would see them sooner or later.
He stood in front of the closet trying to pick out a comfortable and fashionable outfit. All his jeans were getting too big for him. ‘Not a good sign,’ he said to himself lowly. He eventually found an older pair, a near-forgotten relic from his teenaged years. After a failed attempt to find a shirt of his own that he wanted to wear he went to grab a shirt out of Yunho’s dresser.
He chose a dark green tee shirt. As he pulled the shirt over his head, the corner of a picture frame caught his eye. He pulled it out of the drawer and sank to the floor; trying not to cry.
It was from the Rising Sun era, Jaejoong noted due to the hair styles. In the photo they look so young and so exhausted. Although in truth Jaejoong was probably drugged out of his mind; it was taken shortly after his knee surgery. The tears that had been welling in his eyes overflowed when he heard Yunho at the door.
“Baby? Are you okay?” Yunho rushed to Jaejoong’s side.
Jaejoong threw his arms around Yunho’s neck. “You’ve always taken care of me,” he mumbled, barely audibly into Yunho’s shoulder. He sobbed, clutching Yunho tighter.
“What? Jaejoong, what’s wrong?” Yunho scratched Jaejoong’s back lightly hoping to calm him down.
Jaejoong pulled away slightly. “You. You’ve always taken care of me. Since we met. You’ve held my hand every step of the way. Even when we left. When I left you. And we filed that stupid lawsuit.”
“Because I love you, Jaejoongie. Unconditionally and completely.”
“But… Why? What have I done to deserve you?”
Yunho cupped Jaejoong’s face and tilted it up to look into his eyes. “You accepted me,” he said like it was the simplest thing in the world. And to Yunho is was. Jaejoong had accepted him completely and with out judgment. Yunho kissed Jaejoong’s forehead. “Let’s get off this floor and get some breakfast.”
Jaejoong wiped the tears from his face. He smiled. He and Yunho were meant for each other. They found each other time after time, trial after trial, heartache after heartache.
“Where do you want to go?”
“Anywhere you pick is fine.”
“Jae, don’t make me pick. I want you to eat a good breakfast. I don’t want you to give me the excuse that you didn’t like the restaurant.”
“Really Yunho. Any place is fine. I have a bit of a stomach ache and I just want like toast and juice. As long as I can get that I’ll be fine.”
“I want you to eat a bit more than that,” Yunho said as he went to the closet for their coats.
“It’s really cold out today,” Jaejoong tried to break the silence in the car. Yunho was driving to one of their favorite diners.
“Yeah it is. It’s going to be a harsh winter I think.”
Jaejoong sighed and stared out the window. Were they really talking about the weather? “So… We’re not going to talk about my appointment today…”
Yunho forced himself not to look at Jaejoong. “I figured you didn’t want to,” he said, keeping his voice deadpan.
Yunho continued to stare at the road in front of him, unsure of what to say.
“But I want you to talk about.” Jaejoong took a deep breath, “I need you to talk about it. Yunho, I’m scared. My legs are covered in bruises, I’m tired all the time. I’m scared. I’m just really scared.”
Yunho reached for Jaejoong’s hand and squeezed it, maybe a little too tightly. “I’m right here, Jaejoongie. We’ll get though this.”
Breakfast was an all around quiet affair, with only slight nudging from Yunho for Jaejoong to eat just a little more.
They sat in the doctor’s office silently for a long time.
“Do you want me to go in with you? I’ll hold your had the entire time.” Yunho gave Jaejoong a small smile.
“Thanks, I’ll be okay. It should take more than like 10 minutes, right?”
About 15 minutes later a nurse was standing in front of Yunho. “Mr. Jung, Mr. Kim would like you to come to the room. It’s just down the hall; number 215.”
Yunho nodded and followed the nurse down the hall to Jaejoong’s room. Jaejoong was sitting on the bed, pouting, with an IV in his hand.
“What happened?” Yunho asked as he sat down in a chair next to the bed.
“I threw up. Then fainted. The nurse was having a hard time drawing blood. All the veins in my elbows are shot, so she had to go for the wrists. I guess I’m dehydrated too.”
“I told you to drink more water. How many?” Yunho gestured to the saline bag.
Jaejoong held up two fingers. “Hour and a half each,” he sighed.
“So we’ll be here for a while. That’s okay. Do you want anything?”
“Can I play on your phone?” Jaejoong smiled cutely.
“What do you want to do with my phone?”
“I don’t know. Maybe text Yoochun or Junsu. Or maybe post some pictures.”
“Of you sitting in a hospital bed?” Yunho quirked his eyebrow, slightly confused.
“Why not? I’m sick. Maybe I want a pity-party.”
Yunho handed Jaejoong his phone. “You’re really odd sometimes.”
“I know. Come here and take a picture with me,” Jaejoong demanded.
“And fuel rumors?”
“Why the hell not? Everyone knows you moved in with me the last time. Maybe I want to tell the world that I have a great boyfriend.”
“Really? You’re ready to tell the world?”
“I think so. I mean this time…” Jaejoong stopped, “never mind.”
“What? This time what?” Yunho asked nervously.
“This time this could kill me. I’m tired of lying and hiding. And I really don’t care anymore. I just want to be happy and honest with people.”
Yunho moved to the edge of the bed and pulled Jaejoong into his arms. “I love you. I’ll do anything you want. You just have to promise you will fight this.”
“Take a picture with me,” Jaejoong smiled and scooted over in the bed to give Yunho enough room to sit down.
Yunho held Jaejoong in his arms in a more than friendly way; his arms low around Jaejoong’s waist. If Jaejoong wanted the world to know about them, Yunho was willing to face the consequences.
“Smile; let the world know you’re happy.” Jaejoong framed up the picture. He snapped the photo and turned the phone to critique it. “Great. You look sexy as hell and I look like death warmed over.”
“Well, isn’t that what you wanted? A pity-party.”
“Yeah. But I didn’t think I looked this bad.” Jaejoong typed the caption for the photo quicker than Yunho thought was possible. “I wrote, ‘At the doctor’s not feeling well, but I have my lovely Yunho to keep me company.’ How does that sound?”
“Like it’s going to stir up a shit storm.”
“Good. Yunho, I’m tired. I’m gonna take a nap.” Jaejoong adjusted his body a little and closed his eyes.
“Do you want me to get out of the bed so you have more room?”
“No, I want you to hug me.” Jaejoong drifted off to sleep; the sound of Yunho’s heart beating drowning out all other sounds.
Yunho tucked a stray lock of hair behind Jaejoong’s ear. He studied Jaejoong’s face for a long while. Yunho really did think he was perfect. Yunho loved every part of Jaejoong’s face; his cute nose, his full pouty lips.
Yunho turned to the door when he heard a faint knock.
“Come on in,” Yunho called.
“Is he okay?” Yoochun asked.
“Yes, maybe…” Yunho didn’t want to voice his fears, as if saying it out loud would make them real.
“When will you get the tests back?” Yoochun took hold of Jaejoong’s hand lightly.
“In a couple days. He’s dehydrated so the doctor put him on a saline drip.”
“He’s gonna be okay. He’s gonna pull through,” Yoochun whispered, more for his own benefit than for Yunho’s. “Well, I was originally planning to come here and steal Jaejoong away from you and bring him out for gelato. But seeing as how he had to go and get dehydrated on me, I guess I’ll have to take a rain check.”
Yunho chuckled. “Why don’t you come for dinner tonight? We can get Junsu and Changmin over too.”
“Yeah. That sounds like a good idea. As long a Jae isn’t too tired. I wouldn’t want to…”
“It’ll be fine. We’re going to go home after this and take a nap. Well, a second nap in Jae’s case.”
“6 o’clock then?”
“Yeah.” Yunho smiled as Yoochun left. Yoochun, Junsu and Changmin were just what Jaejoong needed to feel better
It had been too long since all of them had dinner together. Junsu was always busy with musicals. Yoochun’s filming schedules made it almost impossible to see them. And Changmin. Well, Changmin flittered from solo performance to making special appearances with rookie groups. Changmin loved the stage (although in his mind, secretly) far too much to ever truly leave it. It would be good, for everyone, to have dinner together.
The first bag was nearly empty when Jaejoong woke from his nap.
“Hey, Sleeping Beauty. Sleep well?”
“I think so. How long was I out?” Jaejoong yawned and stretched.
“Little over an hour.” Yunho kissed the top of Jaejoong’s head. “Yoochun stopped by a bit ago. They’re coming over for dinner tonight.”
“I miss them. They need to stop by more often. Do you think Changmin will be Jina with him?”
Yunho smiled, “I hope so.” Changmin’s daughter had fallen completely under Yunho’s spell. It was barely a question of who the baby’s godfather would be. Jina is a particularly fussy baby; except for when Yunho holds her, she grows still and quiet.
Jaejoong turned away. “Do you want one?”
“A baby. Do you want a baby?”
“Maybe some day. Right now I’m content with Jina.”
Jaejoong turned and sat up just as a nurse came in to change the IV bag. He winced as she tugged on the tube. She murmurs an apology and speeds the drip up slightly.
Jaejoong sat on the edge of the bed as far away from Yunho as he could get. “You deserve better. Yunho, you deserve some one healthy. Maybe a woman who could give you children. Or at least a guy who could help you raise 25 adopted kids.”
“Jae, I really don’t understand what you are saying.”
“When I die, find someone else. A person who will love you and…”
“Stop. Stop right there.” Yunho cut him off. “Jaejoongie, I love you. Only you. And I’m going to stay with you forever.”
Yunho crawled to where Jaejoong was sitting, wrapped his arms around Jaejoong’s waist and nuzzled against his neck.
“I love you too, Yunho. I just don’t want you to be sad because of me.” Jaejoong choked back his tears. “Promise me you’ll be happy.”
“Always,” he replied and pressed a kiss to Jaejoong’s jaw. “Let’s take another picture.”
“I look like crap.”
“Don’t care.” Yunho pulled out his phone and squared up the picture. Just before he pressed the button to take the picture he kissed Jaejoong‘s lips.
“Yunho!” Jaejoong gasped and pulled away. “Why?”
“Why what?” Yunho maintained his poker face.
“You just kissed me. And took a picture. Why?”
“Is it any different than when you kissed me on that radio show?” Yunho tried not to laugh.
“This… This is completely different.” Jaejoong pouted. He was feeling moody today and Yunho making jokes at his expense wasn’t helping.
“Jaejoongie,” Yunho said, cutely. “Are you mad at me?”
“A doctor or a nurse could have walked in just now.”
“You just said you wanted to tell the world you had a great boyfriend.” Yunho pulled Jaejoong closer. “I’m sorry if I upset you, Baby.”
“I’m just scared. I’m not… I don’t want to die. I don’t think I have another fight in me.”
“Please don’t talk like that Jae. You are the strongest person I know. And I’m right here with you.”