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Lost and Found 10


The air in the van was suffocating. Try as he might, Jaejoong could quell the nervousness that flowed through his body. He watched the street for any movement.

He jumped at the crackle of the walkie talkie.

“Jae. Do you see Jiyong yet?” Yoochun asked through the static.

“Not yet.”

“Keep me posted.”

“Kay.” Jaejoong set the walkie on the seat next to him and turned to Joonhee. She gave him an encouraging smile.

The minutes stretched out and finally he saw a lanky figure coming towards the van. It wasn’t Jiyong.

This boy was older and taller. And he was carrying something. Jaejoong’s heart was in his throat; he couldn’t breathe. He didn’t know how to react to the young man, so he sat farther back in the van, never taking his eyes off the boy.

“Are you Jaejoong?” the boy asked. He couldn’t have been more than 17.

“Yes…” Jaejoong sat frozen as the boy came closer. He realized what the boy was holding; a tiny baby. Jaejoong was sure it was no more than a few months old.

“Ji sent me out. I’m Daejin. This is Yoomi. Ji said you’re gonna help us? All of us?”

“Of course. This isn’t a safe place for kids. Can I hold Yoomi?” Jaejoong calmed his voice, hoping to keep Daejin at ease.

Daejin was hesitant at first, but slowly handed the baby over. She was under weight, but healthy. She cooed up at Jaejoong and he smiled at her.

“Where’s her mother?” Joonhee asked.

“Dead.” Daejin replied, his voice void of emotion. “We don’t know who the dad is. Was. We try our best, but formula is hard to steal.”

“You don’t have to worry about that anymore. Where are the rest of the children?” Jaejoong asked.

“Waitin’ for me. I wanted to make sure this was legit. That’s why I brought Yoomi with me. What cop would shoot a kid holding a baby?”

“Good point,” Jaejoong said. “Do we measure up?”

“I guess. I mean, I don’t necessarily trust you, but Jiyong seems to think you’re okay. And he said you helped Yunho, so…  I’m gonna get the kids. Ji and I are gonna bring ‘em out in groups. There are 14 of us. Ji’s bringing out a group of the youngests. Then I’m gonna go get the rest. there’s like 5 of use over 15. 4. Yunho’s gone now.”

Pain flared through Jaejoong’s chest. How much did Daejin know? Would he still trust Jaejoong if he knew? Jaejoong pushed those thoughts out of his head. He had to focus on the kids.

He took a deep breath and steadied himself. “Joonhee. I’ll be right back.”

Joonhee watched Jaejoong slide the walkie into his pocket. He needed to discreetly inform Yoochun on the situation. He walked around to the back of the van, hoping he was far enough away from Daejin so the kid won’t hear.

“As soon as all the kids are out I’ll give you the go.”

“Okay. Be careful Jae. Drive slowly back to the station and take as many turns as you can.”

“Okay.”

Jaejoong walked to the front of the van just in time to see Jiyong herding 10 very young children down the street; the youngest barely walking and the eldest no older than nine.

Jaejoong cursed to himself. All the kids looked tiny, thin and dirty. He thanked god that Junsu was waiting at the station with Sooin to give all the children a check up. They probably all needed booster shots. And a hot meal; which Jaejoong was going to provide once all the kids got checked out.

Daejin came down the street with three other people a few moments later. One of them Jaejoong was sure was a girl, maybe 16 years old. The other, a hair taller than the girl, he wasn’t so sure about it. The final kid limped behind slowly. Daejin walked in the center, keeping any eye on the limping boy.

“That’s all of us.” Jiyong said as he secured Yoomi into a car seat. Jaejoong took a head count before sliding the van door closed. They were over packed but they didn’t have enough time to call for another van.

He took a few steps away from the van and radioed Yoochun, telling him it’s a go. All the kids were out of the house and they were heading to the station.

They took the most scenic route they can. Jaejoong talked to the kids as Joonhee drove. He could see the fear and uncertainty darken their expressions. One small boy, who couldn’t have been more than 8, was sitting pressed against the window his eyes focused on the floor.

“What kind of food do you like?” Jaejoong asked.

The boy said nothing and continued to stare at the floor. “That’s Haneul. He doesn’t talk anymore,” a little girl with pigtails said softly.

“Oh,” Jaejoong said. “Do you know why?”

The girl shrugged. “Saiji was mean to all of us. But one day Haneul was playing in the back lot and Saiji wanted him to run an errand, but Haneul just ran off. Saiji waited until he came home and hit him with a belt.”

“He tied the belt around Haneul’s neck. I think he damaged the vocal cords.” Jiyong reached over the seat and patted Haneul’s hair. “He stopped talking after that day.”

“We’ll figure it out. My friend Junsu will make you all better.”

“All of us?” the little girl piped up.

“Yes. All of you. And we’re going to work really hard to find all of you good homes.” Joonhee said with a comforting smile.

It seemed to Jaejoong like it took forever to examine all the kids. But in reality, Junsu got everyone looked at in about two hours. Jaejoong didn’t even notice when Yoochun and the officers returned with 4 very pissed off criminals.

He was too concerned with settling 14 terrified children down. He made them dinner in the station’s tiny kitchen. While the children ate, Jaejoong fed baby Yoomi and walked her up and down the halls. She was a quiet, content baby and Jaejoong couldn’t help but get a little attached to her.

“Joonhee told me you were wandering aimlessly. She didn’t tell you stole a baby as well,” Yoochun smirked and leaned against a wall.

“Everything went well I take it.”

“Mostly. Saiji wasn’t in the house at the time, but we have a team staking out the place. We’ll get him.”

Jaejoong hummed.

“I personally questioned all four of them. None of them has seen Yunho.” Yoochun wrapped his arm around Jaejoong’s shoulder. “We’ll find him, Jae. I know we will.”

Jaejoong nodded. He rocked Yoomi back and forth. She had been asleep for over an hour, but Jaejoong didn’t want to set her down. The officers had set the kids up for the night in the back rooms with some cots, but no one had a bassinette handy. Yoomi was going to have to sleep in the car seat, if Jaejoong ever put her down.

“Can I hold her? Joonhee told me that there was a baby, but I didn’t think she was this tiny.”

Jaejoong hesitated. He really didn’t want to let go of Yoomi. “Careful. Support her head,” he chastised Yoochun’s method of holding the baby.

“I know how to hold a baby. She’s so little. How old is she?” Yoomi stirred in her sleep from being jostled from one person to the other. She opened her eyes for a moment, then closed them again, content and warm with this new person.

“Three months. Her mother died two weeks ago.”

“Poor baby. Miss Yoomi, we are going to take good care of you, okay. I promise you will grow up to be a doctor or a lawyer or a famous singer. What ever you want, Sweetie.”

Jaejoong suddenly didn’t want to take Yoomi back. Yoochun’s entire demeanor changed when he held her. His face softened, his posture relaxed and his voice had a little less strain in it.

“Yoochun?”

“Yeah?”

“Have you ever thought about settling down? Starting a family and maybe retiring from such a dangerous position?”

“Jae, is this a marriage proposal? Do you want to marry me and raise children with me?”

Jaejoong would have slapped Yoochun, if he wasn’t holding the baby. “No, you asshat. I’m talking about you starting a family. I think Yoomi likes you. She started screaming when anyone else tried to hold her.”

“Jae, are you trying to suggest I adopt a three month old baby girl. You know I know next to nothing about girls, let alone raising one of them.”

“You’d have the next 20 or so years to learn.”

“Jae,” Yoochun warned. But he looked back down at the baby in his arms and his heart softened. “20 years is kinda a long time. That’s lots of birthdays and Christmases.”

“And report cards. And first dates.”

“Oh no. Little Princess isn’t dating until she’s 30.”

Jaejoong laughed. “You’re getting keen on the idea, aren’t you.”

Yoochun half shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s an awfully big decision to make.”

“You’ve already made it,” Jaejoong smiled. He knew Yoochun was going to try to adopt Yoomi. And honestly, Jaejoong couldn’t think of a more qualified person. He kissed Yoochun’s cheek and smiled. “I’m going to go check on the kids. Her car seat is in the kitchen, if you ever decide to put her down.”

Jaejoong smiled to himself as he made his way down the corridor. He planted that tiny seed into Yoochun’s brain. A seed that would grow into a family for Yoochun.

Jaejoong peaked into the room which housed 13 sleeping children. Thankfully they were all snug and quiet. He moved through the room to the cot Jiyong was sleeping on. The blanket was pooled around Jiyong’s waist. Jaejoong carefully fixed the blanket and placed a small kiss on Jiyong’s forehead.

His phone buzzed in his pocket indicating a new text. He walked into the hallway and viewed the message; ‘I have information. I want my money’. Jaejoong sank to the floor, his heart beat so fast he thought it was going to explode.

‘When do you want to meet?’

‘Tomorrow- noon.’

Jaejoong didn’t text back. He simply stared at his phone and prayed the information he was going to get was worth it.

Jaejoong paced the police station the next morning. His back was in knots from sleeping on a sofa, but he didn’t care. In a few hours he was going to get information that would hopefully save Yunho’s life.

An hour later Jaejoong was sitting on a park bench, feeding a couple pigeons the better half of his lunch. A small brown paper bag containing 400,000 won sat next to him. He tried to stay calm.

“How much is in the bag?” A small man wearing dark glasses and a hat sat on the bench next to Jaejoong.

“You know how much you asked for.” Jaejoong had never fully seen his contact’s face, nor did he know his name. “I don’t want to play games. I don’t want trouble from you. I just want the information that I’m paying for.”

“I don’t have a lot. I have a street and a name.”

“What else do you want?” Jaejoong knew it wasn’t going to be that easy.

“Oh baby, you’re the one thing I want the most.”

Jaejoong sighed. “Look. I’m tired. I’m worried sick. And I don’t have the energy to deal with your pathetic advances right now. There’s 400,000 won sitting in this bag for you and I will get you more if you want. Just give me the name and the street.”

“You’re no fun. I don’t have the house number, you’ll have to figure that out on your own, but it’s a place on Evergreen Dr. The name floating around the most about freaks is Chulwon. Probably an alias. But, what the fuck it’s something.”

Jaejoong stood and left the bag sitting on the bench. He walked away, ignoring the calls that followed him.

He managed to get to his car before he broke down crying. Evergreen Dr. was one of the longest roads in Seoul. It was lined with houses and apartment complexes. There would be no way to check all the houses before someone became suspicious. And that could mean a death sentence for Yunho. He dialed Yoochun’s number, unsure if he would be able to talk.

Yoochun answered on the third ring. Jaejoong cried into his phone, unable to say a thing.

“Jae, where are you?”

Jaejoong barely managed to squeak out the name of the park he was in. He rested his head on the steering wheel and continued to cry.

Yoochun pulled up next to Jaejoong’s car. He climbed into the car and sat there for a moment. Jaejoong threw his arms around Yoochun’s neck and cried into his shoulder.

“What happened Jae?” Yoochun threaded his fingers into Jaejoong’s hair, comforting his friend.

Through his tears, Jaejoong explained. “It’s hopeless. We’ll never find him with out an address or a solid lead.”

“There’s always hope, Jae. Always.” Yoochun stroked Jaejoong’s back.

“Not this time. I don’t know how we are going to check every house on that street with out raising suspicion.”

“We’ll figure something out. Trust me. Please trust me. We will find Yunho and he will be alive.”

“You can’t promise that.”

“I know. But I’m not about to lose hope. You said yourself, Yunho is a strong kid. We will figure this out.” Yoochun ran his hand through Jaejoong’s hair. “Let’s go home. I’ll drive.”

“What about your car?” Jaejoong sat up and wiped his tears away.

“I’ll have Changmin bring me to pick it up later.”

Jaejoong buried himself in paperwork; he had to or he felt he would go crazy. He was running on caffeine and sugar by the time he and Changmin were finally done processing all the children.

The biggest problems were trying to prove kinship between the children and finding homes that could keep the siblings together.

The most difficult placement was a set of twins; two tiny 4 year old girls. Neither girl talked and didn’t seem to be developing at the normal rate. Junsu said between the abuse and malnutrition he didn’t think they would ever fully recover. Jaejoong on the other hand held out some kind of hope.

They were finally able to place the twins with an elderly couple that seemed kind and patient and willing to care for two very troubled little girls.

Jaejoong was beside himself with joy when Yoochun announced his decision to adopt Yoomi. He felt it was a tiny victory in making Yoochun settle down. No one could deny the fact the Yoomi seemed to adore Yoochun. She would cry for hours and no one would be able to quiet her. Except for Yoochun. The moment he held her, she was all smiles and laughter.

The biggest surprise came from Changmin and his decision to foster Jiyong. Changmin had said it was going to be temporary, but something in the way Changmin acted told Jaejoong it wasn’t. Changmin had always been a very serious person and he never made a decision on the fly. Everything he did was calculated and Jaejoong was sure Changmin would be adopting Jiyong soon.

He threw himself into his work hoping that he could, even temporarily, not think about Yunho being missing.

Every night Jaejoong took the long route home driving up Evergreen Dr. looking for any sign of Yunho. Or anything that looked off.
Yoochun was doing the leg work, searching for more leads. He had a few very trusted contacts keeping an eye out for anything.

It was almost two weeks before Yoochun got any leads. It was a long shot, but one of his contacts was able to find out a house number.

“It’s too dangerous, Jae. I don’t have enough evidence to get a warrant. Legally I can’t go stake out the place out.”

“But I can. Yoochun, I can go and see if he’s there. Please. Don’t make me lose this chance.”

“Jae, I can’t. If something happens to you. Oh god, I couldn’t forgive myself. I’ll bring the info to the station and we’ll go from there.”

“Yoochun, he could be dead. Or dying. Please. Just wire me up and send me in. I’ll call for help and you can rush in. Right? That would be probable cause.”

“Jaejoong, I really can’t. Please don’t ask me to do this.”

“Then I’ll go myself. You have an address. You have to help him, Yoochun, please. We need to find.” Jaejoong was on the verge of tears. He knew the danger, but Yunho’s life was more important to him. If he could just see Yunho, find out if he was alive; they could rescue him.

“Okay. Jaejoong, okay. We’ll find him. Just give me 24 hours to pull some people together. I’m not sending you into danger without backup.” Yoochun pulled Jaejoong close and carded his hands through Jaejoong’s hair. Yoochun held Jaejoong close, rubbing his back and shoulders in soothing circles. “It’s gonna be alright.”

Less than 24 hours later Jaejoong was sitting in the back of a black van, shirtless in just his boxers. If it was anyone other than Yoochun, Jaejoong would have been horrified.

“This is the receiver. It gets taped to your back. I’m going to tape the wire up your back and over your shoulder. Try not to bend over or the wires will show and you’ll be in trouble.”

“I know.” Jaejoong shifted uncomfortably. It was unseasonably warm and the van was claustrophobic. Sweat rolled down his back as Yoochun taped the wire down.

“This ear piece allows me to talk to you. It looks like a hearing aid, so hopefully it won’t be too suspicious.”

“I’ll be okay.”

“Done. Get dressed.” Yoochun stepped out of the van and waited for Jaejoong to dress. “Remember, do a sweep of the perimeter of the house. If anything seems off or you see Yunho, call for backup. Unless someone else is in the house, then get out of there. We’ll regroup and figure something out.”

“I know,” Jaejoong stepped out of the van wearing khakis and a blue polo shirt with the logo of a surveying company embroidered on it. It was the best cover story they could come up with in such short notice.

“Be careful. We don’t know who or what can be in that house.”

Jaejoong walked up to the house slowly, trying to look unsuspicious. He made a quick loop around the perimeter, peeking into windows and listening for voices or movement. Nothing.

He walked to the front of the house and up the porch stairs. He tried to peek into the windows, but they were block with heavy-looking curtains. He rang the door bell and waited nervously.

The door opened a crack. “Can I help you?”

“Yes. I’m from the Han Surveying Company. I’m here to check out the land and foundation.”

“Check it for what?”

“Soft spots. Cracks in the foundation or water leaks,” Jaejoong lied the best he could, hoping he sounded legit.

“Well, the owner’s not here right now. You need to leave.”

“It’ll only be a few minutes, just a quick tour of the house and then I’ll leave.”

“Can’t let you in.” The man shut the door.

Jaejoong walked back to the van feeling dejected. He probably fucked up his one chance. If Yunho was in that house, who ever was holding him would be suspicious. Jaejoong didn’t even want to think about what was going to happen next. Either the man would move Yunho to another place or… Jaejoong didn’t want to entertain the thought of a person killing Yunho.

“Jae…”

“Don’t. I fucked up and I probably got Yunho killed.” Jaejoong punched the van’s seat. His hand bounced off the seat, he heard a crack in his wrist and he felt pain shoot up his arm. “Shit!”

“Jae, come here. Let me look at your hand.” Yoochun tenderly took hold of Jaejoong’s hand. He ran his hand up and down Jaejoong’s arm checking it for fractures. “I don’t think you broke anything.”

Jaejoong was quiet. He tried not to think about the worse case scenarios, but it was difficult. “Ow!” he said when Yoochun touched a tender part of his wrist.

“Sorry. I think you just sprained it. I’ll wrap it up for you. We’ll find him Jae. This wasn’t the best plan of action. We need for concrete evidence of where Yunho is. Once we get that, we’ll find him.”

Yoochun wrapped Jaejoong’s wrist with an ace bandage. He pulled Jaejoong into a tight embrace.

“I fucked up bad. I could have cost Yunho his life.”

“That’s not true. We’ll get him back. You just have to trust me.”

Jaejoong closed his eyes and tightened his grip on Yoochun. He willed himself not to cry. “I do trust you Yoochun. I just feel like I’m losing it.”

“I know. I know.” Yoochun rubbed his hands up and down Jaejoong’s back and spoke soft words, trying to comfort his friend the only way he could.

Yoochun drove back to the station and tried to think of a plan. There had to be more information about Yunho floating around the darker parts of the city. He knew the answer was out there somewhere, waiting to be found.

“Jae. I need you to take Yoomi for the weekend. I have a plan, but it’s not going to be easy. I may have to move come Monday, but it will be worth it. I can’t have anyone know about Yoomi or you. If I don’t call by Sunday night at 7, assume the worst and call the police. Ask for Joo HanWoo. He’ll know what to do fro there.”

“That’s all the information you’re going to give me?” Jaejoong arched an eyebrow at his friend.

“Yup. The less you know, the safer you are.”

“You don’t have to do… What ever it is you are about to do. You need to be there for Yoomi.”

“I know. I am thinking about Yoomi. And Yunho. And Daejin. And Jiyong. And all the other kids that have had to go through all this shit. I’m not letting another kids get hurt or killed. Because I can do something about this. I can make sure Saiji and that asshole Kyujin never hurt another person.”

Jaejoong sat back in his seat. He had never seen Yoochun so angry. He knew better than to argue. Once Yoochun got an idea, it was hard to shake him from it. “I love you. Be careful. Please don’t get hurt.”

“I love you too, Jae. I’ll be fine.” Yoochun was nervous, but he knew his plan would work. It had to.

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At this point, I don't think this fic will ever end...