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Donghae: He’s putting you through a lot of things, huh?

Changmin: Wait, the last time we met, you were ranting about how he’s ignoring you and now he’ll introduce you to his parents?

Donghae: That’s so weird.

Changmin: At least, he’s spicing up your life. But really, I don’t know what to say. I absolutely have no idea how to comfort you.

He was high on insecurities all the more, and his so-called friends weren’t of any help at all. The things they’ve said when he told them the story weren’t exactly encouraging. He huffed in aggravation before forcing himself to sleep. Was this Jaejoong’s way of getting what he wants from him?

The pep talks, the teasing motivational punch lines, the insincere compliments he heard as he walked out to the city and into that luxurious hotel again, they kind of worked but he was still building up the thought, What if whatever I did or will do, Jaejoong and I will never end up together? It horrified him, and he could feel his resolve crumbling every step of the way.

“Good evening,” he greets, bowing at them before Jaejoong stands up to officially introduce him.

“Mom, Pops, this is Yunho. My boyfriend of almost four months.” He smiles as he said it. His parents smile as well, but it doesn’t take the tension off of Yunho’s shoulders.

“Take a seat, please,” the dad says, “How exactly did you meet each other?” He sounded friendly, quite a contrary to how Jaejoong would describe him when they told of stories from their growing up years.

The beginning of the night was actually pleasant. Neutral conversations about him, his life, how he lives and everything that involved Jaejoong, flowed out like bullet after bullet in the midst of a sudden death war.

Her face was unreadable as she asked questions, as if she and Yunho were the only one’s on the table, “I heard quite a few good things about you, Yunho, mostly from Mama. And this meeting, I’m guessing Jaejoong might be serious this time around. But,” as she said that Yunho’s heightening hope flew out of his hands, “You know how it is, right?” He doesn’t answer. Instead, he looks at her straight in the eyes as an affirmation.

“He deserves a chance, just saying,“ Jaejoong speaks up, a little louder than he should have, “Aside from introducing him, I have a few things I want to clear up with you and Pops, too.” Yunho holds his hand from under the table, reminding him to calm down because they’ve seen this coming.

“Like what, Jaejoong?” His dad asks, “Can’t it wait until we’re home?”

“I’m sorry, but since Yunho and I have talked about this, I believe he should be here when we discuss it, too.” His father nods, signaling for him to continue, “In all honesty, and with all due respect, I would just ask this one thing from you, so please just give him a chance to prove himself? To me, the difference between us isn’t about what we have or this family background, but how we live our life in our own pace itself.”

They listen to him, Jaejoong growing more nervous by the second, “He had known from the beginning what I was, and how I tend to be but it didn’t change the way he looked at me. Yes, people could only look at us like there’s a world of a difference between us but we could see past it. And to me, that’s what’s relevant. He knows me too well, and he knows how to set our limits. He taught me things I would never have thought about if he never insisted that I listen or take a second look.”

“Most importantly and the whole point of this all is that I don’t want Pops’ business to be the center of my future life but since I’ve made a deal with you that I’ll study to be able to keep it going, I will not leave that responsibility. But please, I don’t want to be married off to some company’s daughter. First of all, as you already know, I can’t be with women. And second, I already have someone who could keep me grounded and can keep me from flying off away from reality.”

“Jaejoong,” his mother cuts him off, but his father retaliates instead, “I can see you’ve really thought about this.”

“Yes, Pops, of course. I wouldn’t go to war unarmed.” He murmurs the last part to himself, but his dad chuckles at that.

“You do understand what could possibly happen if you dare hurt my son, right?” He turns his attention on Yunho, “Not that I’m threatening you, but its gotta be clear to you now, I’m only protecting my son. We wouldn’t want the past to repeat itself.”

“Are you seriously allowing this boy to-“ Jaejoong’s mom was seething in shock.

“Watch your words.” His father commands. The exchange has made it clear to Yunho what Jaejoong’s family is like. It was quite odd that the mother was less inclined to her own son’s affairs and a lot weirder that the dad was more open-minded, “I’ll do this only once, for Jaejoong. So?”

“Yes, sir.” Yunho firmly assures him.

Jaejoong reaches out to his grandmother for a hug as the slow sinking of what had just transpired hit him. “Congratulations, baby boy! Take it easy, hm?” He cried in her arms and she squeezes him to stop his tears.

“So, can we like, live together now?” Jaejoong segways.

“No.” His parents and Yunho all answer firmly, Jaejoong huffs in disappointment.

Seven months, going eight. Things were still quite perfect for them, except Yunho had been losing more time for Jaejoong because of university. They were graduating in a couple of months, and toxic days have turned into hell weeks.

He came to a point when he’d allowed Jaejoong to stay over at his place for almost two weeks, almost convincing himself that maybe it was cool to live together. But just from those two weeks, their expenses had soared and he couldn’t fit things in the budget, he got another part-time job without Jaejoong’s knowledge.

It was the first secret he ever kept but it will soon be over as soon as he pays his bills and stacks up on food in the cupboards again. He thinks he’ll get away with it.

He spends days away from the other man, and Jaejoong understood. He’d shower him with ‘I miss you’s’ and all because he means it, and asks if he’s still doing good, and that he shouldn’t overwork himself because he’ll graduate without a doubt. Yunho cringes at the other’s worries, the guilt of sacrifisng his time for him for another job just to keep up was eating at his mind. You didn’t have to refuse his offer to help you out while he stayed there, you know. His mind lectured himself, he bets he’s going crazy.

“Jae-“ he covers his mouth, just when Jaejoong was about to hang up on the phone, “Yes, Yun? Did you forget something?”

“I- Can you stay over tonight?” he didn’t even try to hide the longing. “Oh, Yun. I’d love to but I have business to take care of until the day after next. I’m sorry. Pops is here, too. Gotta catch up wtih him. I’m really sorry, I’ll meet you up on your break time maybe tomorrow, hm? I love you.”

“I love you too.” He replied. He breathed heavily and warm tears were brimming his eyes as soon as the phone line cut off. Yeah, you promised not to depend on him on these kinds of matters. But still you shouldn’t have kept anything from him. You’re worrying him much more than he has to. Mental arguments, they’ve been bugging him nightly now.

Life was beginning to move faster than it should. And it was getting harder to keep up when your shoulders carry more burden than they should, specially when they’re not even supposed to be burden in the first place. Yeah, I guess I should have. He, of all people, would understand.

He fell asleep with regret filling his heart. Waking him early the next dawn with loads of plates and papers to finish still.

Today was another long day for Yunho.

He occupied himself with the list of things he still had to do before the semester ends, going from class to class and grabbing coffee in between barely there breaks. His sense of time was fading and the last thing he needed was a crowd of cheering hooligans in the hallways, screaming how excited they are that vacation was coming in a matter of weeks.

That feeling of sleeplessness when you just seem to be floating around in a dream, right before you turn into a mass of anger with a burning passion towards all of your professors, that’s how he feels, rather has been feeling for a couple of days now. He was kept in a daze of having done every one of his requirements and assuring himself that he had done great in school. His phone rings and he’s brought back down to earth, “Jae!?”

“What’s with the voice? You sound like a dying man.”

“I’m already dead, you’re dating a zombie.”

“Weeeeeell…” Jaejoong breathes into the receiver, “Doesn’t mean you can miss our lunch date today, hm?”

“OH SHIT!” Yunho dashes out to the south gate as soon as he realizes what he’d forgotten a while ago. Hopes he’s not mad or anything as his senses wake up. He’ll finally see Jaejoong again.

He catches him in an embrace, tight and warm, comforting and all. “You’re spaced out cold last night, weren’t you? Well, you still are cold today, how many hours have you been awake?”

Yunho counts in his head, “Around forty, I guess. I can’t sleep, knowing I still have a lot of shit to finish. I missed you, when are you staying over?”

“I don’t know, Yun, maybe I won’t. Not when you treat me like a guest, its uncomfortable. What do you want to eat?” Jaejoong puts a little and tries to smile at the end.

“Anything, I’m sorry I haven’t been eating well since the other day. I have something to tell you.” Yunho had been saying sorry too much, it feels like it doesn’t mean much to Jaejoong anymore, and it was wrong to assume that, too.

Jaejoong calls the waiter and orders, in a few minutes the different dishes were served. “Ah, I should have brought you food when I can. I keep thinking you can take care of yourself in these situations. Oh! What was is it you we’re going to tell me?” Worried tones were all the escaped his lips, he can’t help it.

“I got another part-time job for a month or two,” he says, not looking at the man in front of him.

“Why did you do that? I told you not to overwork yourself.” Well, he wasn’t mad, he was just sad and disappointed, and a lot more worried. Which was more horrifying for Yunho.

“I just needed a few extra cash at the moment,” he wasn’t lying, technically. And he was pretty sure Jaejoong will have it all figured out in no time.

“This is why I told you to let me cash in while I was over at your house,” he extends a hand and takes Yunho’s in his, “I understand that you’re trying your best to not make me worry, or not lose face in front of my parents but there’s things that can be solved with compromise. Right? Its not bad to show a few weak sides once in a while, specially you. I know these things are easy for you to overcome.”

“About that, how’ve you been with your parents?”

“We’re good. Pops is getting the hang of getting more rest because I’m beginning to take over the sub-companies. We’ve separated duties, which means we’ll get to meet more often now. I get my parents back, Yun! Well, just Pops, honestly.”

“At least. That’s good.”

“Its weird that he listens to me, now. Like they have given me their trust that I can do things on my own without the fear of me screwing up every chance I get.” Jaejoong sighs, a smile gently gracing his face, “So… will you please, please back out on that part-time job and let me in?”

Yunho’s hold tightens on his hand and nods sleepily. They eat in subtle silence, teasing each other about random things and ranting about professors.

A/N; Only once the drugs are done... I feel like dying~ I feel like dying~ MY BRAIN IS FRYING! OH SHIT AND I'M NEVER GOING BACK TO ENCHANTED KINGDOM AGAIN, I'm thinking I'm too old for it coz I didn't enjoy it as much as I did 10 years ago.
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July 2012

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