Pairing: Jaemin, Jaechun
Rating: PG-13 to R
Warning: sappy sappy sappy sappy did I mention sappy??
Summary: Just another campus life story
Changmin's friends came into my room the next day to collect the rest of his belongings. That confirmed that he was no longer my roommate. It pained me so much to find the absence of the things I usually saw, but the reason why I couldn’t interfere with those people (Though I wanted to stone their sorry heads to death) was because by the time they did it I was restlessly grunting in front of the student administration office, after a hippopotamus whose charge is student’s data kicked me out, saying that she was prohibited to leak a private information such as Changmin's address in Hwanseong. Soon I knew it was a fucking bullshit when Yoochun came out from the same office right after me, with the wanted information plus three buttons undone, messy hair and a greasy grin. I didn’t even want to imagine what he had done.
And so I headed to Hwanseong without second thought, regardless the fact that I couldn’t read map and practically inexperience in using public transportation. I didn’t use any driver or car since it’d mean letting my family knew about me skipping class (and it was a big matter for them). I reached Changmin’s house the next day (because yeah, I was lost and such), and, without wasting time to wonder at how Changmin could spend his life in such simple place that lacks department stores, went straight to the door. My heart pounded with every step until Mrs. Shim greeted me, giving a reaction that was against my expectation.
“Jaejoong-ah?? Why are you alone? Where’s Changmin?”
It was like a tower of hope that I’ve meticulously build crumbled into pieces. Changmin didn’t go back to his hometown. I should’ve had guessed it. There was no way he’d let his mother knew about the thing he had done, considering the disappointment it may caused.
“Oh… hmm… he’s still in the dorm… his department hasn’t given any holiday…” I decided to respect his decision. ”… but mine gives three days off… and I just coincidentally visited a relative nearby…” I laughed uneasily.
“So you drop by to see how I’m doing??” She smiled happily, eyes sparkled.
“Yeah… kind of like that…”
By the next second she already dragged me into the living room, served me with pear pie and melon juice and heated conversation about harvesting season. The only information I got was that Changmin called her a day before to tell her that he had lost a phone therefore would be unreachable for a while. Little did she know what was going on for real. At first I kept thinking to leave, but when she began talking about Changmin’s childhood and showed me some albums, I was glued to the seat.
In the old photos, little Changmin also owned that straight and pure gaze, even that adorable mismatched eyes when he laughed.
“He’s beautiful, isn’t he? I can’t believe he’ll soon be a doctor, his childhood dream…” Mrs. Shim stroked one of the photos with love filled her eyes.
I couldn't agree more. Even his milk teeth were as pretty as nowadays teeth, how could that be?
“Sometimes… we get into misunderstanding.” I didn’t know why suddenly I blurted out with the matter. “But he never lets me know what he feels, so it's kind of difficult..."
“Believe me Jaejoong-ah, even his own mother is often get confused by such trait of him. As you may predict, the girls in this house are into yelling and fighting to solve problems. But he's nothing like that..."
I chuckled. "He often got slack with his sisters, then?
“Oh, no, on the contrary... Minnie spoils his sisters too much and his range of patient is a little too wide. He rarely gets angry but there was one time when he did, he turned silent and it was enough to make those naughty girls knelt for forgiveness with bloody tears… “
“...and by that time it was too late?"
"No, he cried with them, 'Oppa did it because Oppa loves you so please don't speak like that again'... kind of.” She mimicked Changmin’s tenor voice.
I choked on my pie -should have had predicted, the woman always makes me choke on something. "You sure it's something I'm allowed to know!?"
"You won't tell Changmin I told you that, right?" she shot me with puppy eyes.
I was lucky Mrs. Shim didn't suspect my sudden visit. Honestly I wanted to hear more of her story, but my mind couldn't be at ease knowing that Changmin was still somewhere I didn't know. In the end, I bid farewell, still couldn’t get rid of the anxiety.
I returned to Seoul empty handed. The next day I was already at the peak of despair and bottom of patience, so much that I confronted Kibum in the middle of our ward hours, demanding him to tell me where Changmin was.
"He's in my place... but you really think I will tell you the address? What makes you so full of yourself?" lifting his chin and crossing his arms, his answer was predicted.
I hissed and rolled my eyes. "…the fact that I can break your neck unless you spill the secret in the next five seconds?"
He asked so I did; I hit his head with my ten cm width, hard covered medical dictionary and almost strangled his neck with the stethoscope hanging on my shoulders if only those residents didn't come to stop us from making the ward patients suffered from heart attack. Needless to say, they dragged me (as the culprit 'who started it first') to the resident's room, precisely to Yunho. The man could only massage his temple while I glared a murderous look at him.
"Sit down." he jerked his head towards a long sofa behind him while pouring tea into a paper cup. I dropped myself onto the sofa, thorn between wanting to scream and should stay silent.
"Drink." He handed me the cup. I also did that, scowling.
Then he turned back to his previous work on the table and commented the unexpected, "You remind me of Yoochun, really. When he was ten."
I was too flared with anger to demand an explanation of that statement. After few minutes of silence I asked resentfully about the thing he wanted me to do there, and without switching attention from his work he told me to sleep until the ward hour ended.
And so a week becomes two weeks, two weeks becomes a month. I'm going crazy; many of my nights were tearful and sleepless that sleeping pills often came in handy. Yoochun had returned and now I think he could make a biography of Shim Changmin, that's how intense my rants were. I did aware of the possibility that Yoochun might get tired with my endless slump episodes but then he said,
"You know I like cuddling you, and if you feel bad for whining, man… you've been whining almost all the time since three years ago, if you suddenly stop now it'll be weird."
It doesn't even feel strange that our relationship becomes platonic now.
What’s strange was that no one stayed awake until late, typing with the noisy clack clack clack sounds and Spitz songs on endless repeat. It’s strange that no certain hand touches my cheek to wake me up in the morning. It’s just strange that no certain voice called me ‘Hyung’.
My study performance sank down, however my rotation in surgery department came to an end before it got any worse. My previous good marks made up for the latter pathetic ones that I could pass the department even with score just thinly above passing grade.
On my last day in the ward, I came to Yunho and hugged him. He was startled for real.
“Thanks.” I said. “… I’ll tell Yoochun to stop running away from you.”
Yeah, they never told me anything but I could somewhat read it; one of the reasons why Yoochun chose that time to go to Japan, the change in his face whenever I mentioned Yunho’s name, the tension when they were side by side.
The stoic guy froze for a while before he ruffled my hair, “In your new department, don’t yell too much at your seniors.” He said.
And one day, just like a miracle, I saw Changmin walked down the dorm garden, striding slowly with back rather slouched, his usual posture. I thought the side effects of those sleeping pills plus my desperateness caused me to hallucinate, but after I he was closer I found out that it was really him. He looks frail and distant, wearing a long sleeved shirt to cover his scarred arm, something that made my chest shrunk in pain.
The pain multiplied as I saw how his face tensed upon seeing me. I could no longer prevent myself from choking on the lines of unhelpful words.
“… why do you look at me like… that? As if…as if I’m people with horrible disease…?”
That wasn’t how I wanted our encounter to be, but uncontrollable worlds just spilled out, worse when he gave no respond.
“I miss you, Changmin-ah… please… please forgive me…" I stepped closer and slammed myself into him, driven by the torturing yearning. He secured my shoulders and pushed me away.
It hurt me more than those slices of knife.
“Hyung, stop it…” His tone was nowhere near cold, I knew. It was weak, almost a whisper, pleading.
I forced myself but his hands blocked me strong. “Min… don’t do this to me…. if you hate me just yell at me or hit me, anything…."
“It’s not that, it’s…” He bit his lower lip and inhaled. “I’m sorry…”
Again, that sorry.
I clutched his collar and tugged him closer, as no voice came from my throat. Not even the declaration I wanted him to hear. “…. And why is that…? Why are you sorry…?” My face was drenched shamelessly.
“…I was greedy…” His voice trembled as he inhaled another breath. “… and I…I make you cry…”
His last word of another apology was barely audible and I swear I saw a glimpse of tear in the corner of his eyes, before he detached my hands from his collar and walked away in a rush.
I didn’t run after him. I guess I got it; he prefers anything but showing tears, that’s his unchangeable rule. Nothing but silence can keep him from breaking the rule now.
“Minnie is in internal medicine…” Junsu informs the thing that I’ve already heard and drops himself onto Yoochun’s bed. Lately he has been visiting me often, maybe to imply support though I don’t really feel it since he talks too much. “You know what? People assumed that the incident was related to you… ”
I flip my Radiology book while poking a pencil into my mouth. “Maybe they’re right…” my answer hangs, kind of ignorant.
“I know how you weren’t really nice to Minnie… but what kind of ‘not nice’ would push him into suicide? If it was really suicide, I mean. Anyway, we’re not high school kids and I don’t really see you as someone who’d do the bully by soaking someone’s head into the toilet or something like that… not if that someone succumbs to you, I mean...”
There’s a hint of sarcasm inside his words but I believe he doesn’t mean it, so I only huff.
“Internal medicine is too tiring… lots of patients… ignorant seniors… I don’t think he’s ready yet with such condition. Why didn’t he choose Radiology? That department has just started as well. Radiology is less tiring and Kibum is there too…” He adds.
“I’m also there.” I cut his musing. After all what he’s thinking is what I’ve been thinking for quite a while.
Junsu raises his eyebrows and nods with the face that says ‘Oh I see’. “No wonder people believe that was related to you…” He pauses. “So… it’s true you soaked his head into the toilet-“
I groan. “You better find me a way to talk to him because he’s been avoiding me like plaque…”
“Handcuffs. Blindfold. Rough se- ”
Junsu sighs forlornly as if the absurdity was really his sincere suggestion.
Well, I really don’t know how long Changmin will treat me this way. I used to think that blurting out a love confession would solve the problem, but hey… so full of myself, aren’t I. What if he already sick of me? Plus the words just won’t come out, considering the tension each time we met. I wonder if I should bring a tape recorder and play it in front of him, so I don’t have to use my own vocal cord.
“…or you sneak into ER and confront him during his night duty. He won’t be able to run or hide right.” Junsu continues the advice.
“Well… as you know, his friends are barbaric hobos. If only I’m allowed to use mass murder weapon…”
“No, no friends. He’ll be alone. They put one student per night duty, that’s why I said internal medicine is tiring. Just don’t forget the handcuffs and--”
He can’t continue the line since I’ve strangled his neck for not giving such information earlier.
And so, here I am, hiding inside one of ER internal medicine chambers, feeling like a suspicious sociopath in those thriller movies. My luck depends on how ignorant tonight’s residents are. If one them shows up or lingers around Changmin or fusses over me being here as an intruder, then I’ll lose my chance.
First, act cool. Say everything calmly, don’t freak him out, don’t pressure him and definitely don’t disturb his work here.
Second, if anything runs out of control, I’ve prepared a letter to continue my interrupted explanation.
Third, I should be ashamed of myself since I’m a 22 years old guy with numerous one night stands (one of them were forced though) and kinky sex experiences and here I’m planning to confess a love with a letter.
Fourth, my mind goes blank since a pair of round eyes lies on the tanned skin that goes pale are now staring at me.
“Yo.” I wave a hand, behaving according to my first rule.
“What are you doing here…?” Looking surprised but trying to maintain calmness, he enters the chamber and walks pass me to put a medical file on the desk. I can see that he kind of depends on his left hand to hold things and having a difficulty to write since his right hand hasn’t really healed completely.
“It looks painful.” I comment the tremor and fragile-looking fingers.
“It wasn’t that bad, people were exaggerating.” He answers while keep writing. He tries to write faster under my observation and ends up dropping the pen. Seriously, he’s in no condition to do any scut task (which requires lots of motor skills) at the moment.
I take the pen from the floor and place it near his arm. “Say what you want to write, I’ll write them down for you.”
“It’s okay… I can do this by myself.” He continues writing.
“What about IV line, NGT, catheter, you sure you can do that by yourself…?”
‘Not to pressure him’ was within the first rule, but I really can’t stop myself now. As a result he sighs, looking a bit uneasy. “I’ve told you it wasn’t that bad…”
“What about… you speak to the patients and I’ll do the things that use hands.” I guess with his condition the residents won’t mind.
“It’s okay, Hyung… Kibum will come to help me soon.”
“Then tell him he doesn’t have to because you already have me.”
I wonder if it’s just my imagination that his ears turn red.
“Hyung, you better—“
“Here’s the patient…” A nurse opens the curtain and pushes a man on the cart in, cutting our argument.
Changmin quickly approaches the man and talks to him while I stand by their side, writing down the patient’s history he’s asking. He can’t protest and only quirks his eyebrows non-stop.
I’m glad I came, because it turns out that tonight is a hectic one. New patients keep coming, flooding the ER with numerous complains. Kibum hasn’t come (and I don’t expect him really) and the seniors are too busy with the more severe cases to care about Changmin’s simpler ones. They found out that I’m not from internal medicine, but instead of telling me to leave, they’re happy and praise me as ‘a junior with high curiosity’. Well, actually they say it just because scut reinforcement allows them to do less work. Sometimes they don’t even explain anything and just order us like a mere laborer, leaving us uncertain sometimes, of what medicine should be administered to who and how.
Then it happens, what I was afraid of.
An old man, that's already unconscious, is now convulsing right after Changmin injects the content of a syringe.
“Min… what happened…!?” I whisper, trying not to sound panic.
His face goes pale. “He’s…”
The man stops convulsing. And stops breathing.
“What have you given him?” I ask, now obviously panic.
“I… I don’t know… a senior told me to give this to him…”
He’s speechless. He can’t answer because he doesn’t remember, because he didn’t pay attention, because he was distracted that I was here. I quickly peer at the patient’s instruction board and match the medicine list with the empty bottles around. I find the culprit and it doesn’t look good.
“Min… has someone injected potassium chloride into his liquid…?”
He glances at the clear bottle of saline liquid that’s hanging above us, and shakes his head. “I think… not yet…”
“Okay.” I take a deep breath. I’ll be doing this. “Go look for another saline bottle, hurry up.”
He rushes to do as I told, so obedient like he always is.
In this case such attitude is helping. He has injected potassium chloride straight into the veins instead of diluting it with saline. The same way was used in the past to execute people.
I take the empty syringe he just used and call the residents. They come in a rush; some of them get the most likely dead patient into the resuscitation unit, the rest surround me and chop my neck with loud yelling.
They drag me to the department. I meet Changmin on the way, with a bottle of useless saline in his hand. His eyes widened as I whisper, “Keep your mouth shut.”
Being a doctor is his dream since he was a kid, and he's always striving for the best. How could I let this happen to him?
I don’t blame Changmin. Not because I love him, but it was really not his fault. No senior at his sane mind would trust a risky medicine to a scut with just ‘give this to him’ as the only instruction. Even if he remembered which senior did that, the faculty wouldn’t sacrifice a fully bloomed doctor over a fourth year scut, let alone a problematic one.
They have a reputation to save, and should bear responsibility for killing someone.
I was expelled.
In that case, even my father couldn’t help. He had spent so much from the suing thrown by patient’s family. The victim was an elderly with handicap and no one seems to treasure him anymore. His family wants nothing but money and so it was solved like a piece of cake. Still, a life is a life.
My father brought me home a day after. He looked tense, but no anger was thrown at me. Even at home, I was greeted by my mother’s tears and smile.
“Don’t worry honey, if you still want med school, we can send you abroad…”
I smiled back, and while I was still thinking for an answer she continued, “But if you did it just to make me proud, then you really don’t know your mother.”
I looked at her questioningly with knitted eyebrows.
“You’ve already made me proud since the first time I saw you.” She answered.
My respond was a mumble of ‘what are you talking about that’s cheesy’ before I ran to my room.
On that same day, Yoochun came to my house with Yunho. I didn’t know who took who, but right when I saw two troubled faces popped up in front of my room I screamed, “Omo you guys are really together now!” to distract their attention.
Apparently they weren’t me who am easily distracted. Ignoring my attempt, Yoochun closed the door, hugged me and said, “You can’t cry in front of your family, right? Go on, here’s your chance.”
I will hold a lifelong grudge against the bastard for making me cry in front of emperor Yeti (as expected Yeti suits him better than android)
“So, you guys are together…?” struggling to be free from his embrace, I interrogated with wet face.
“We’re not, stupid… he said he wants to come, now shut up and keep crying.”
I pushed him, pouting. “I can’t believe you rejected me for this Yeti!”
Yoochun blushed while Yunho’s ears twitched. “Y-Yeti??” The latter almost shrieked.
“What, big, cold mammal? For your information Yoochun only loves me so there’s no way you can—“
“Okay, okay…” Yoochun grabbed a pillow and muffled my face. “Hyung, you know him in normal situation right, not to mention now…”
Yunho sighs. “I know him very well, don’t worry…”
I really didn’t understand why Yunho came that day. He almost said nothing, only watched at me and Yoochun chatting (which only became awkward under his observation). So I used him as a target of my sarcasm, such as ‘What Yeti!? Stop looking at us and go eat fish’ ,taking advantage that I was no longer part of the Yeti circle. Yoochun blushed when Yunho only smiled at my insult. In the end, I still couldn't believe I'm no longer his junior.
On our way to my house’s gate, Yoochun told me that he would always be there for me. I scrunched my nose as an answer and glared to Yunho, “See? Yoochun is mine.”
The guy chuckled. I guessed the reason why Yoochun became that desperate was because Yunho never took anything other than his job seriously.
Before he turned against me he patted my head, “I still believe that you’re not a bad doctor.”
As they walked away I regretted for not keeping them any longer.
An unknown number has been calling me over and over. Numerous text messages reached me but I didn’t really read it, they were too painful.
Junsu called me, showing his supports and asked many things. He told me that actually, right after the incident Changmin went to the chief of department to confess that he was the one who caused it all. However, due to his recent tragedy people didn’t believe him and thought that it was only the manifestation of his depression.
And so, today I’m officially expelled, and have to empty my dorm room as soon as possible. I choose to collect the things during the ward hour to avoid people’s ruckus.
I tell the driver and some employees to wait in the car until I call, knowing that I need time to adjust with the sudden situation I’m in. It’ll be embarrassing to break down in front of my father’s people.
Walking as fast as I can, I head straight to my room.
… only to jolt slightly to find Changmin there, waiting for me.
Either Junsu or Yoochun had told him, I don’t know. I did plan to meet him and talk, but this is unexpected.
“Hyung… “He looks greatly stressed. He must have felt guilty and I don’t want it. He had enough of such thing.
"Okay, before we continue, please know that I don't want to hear the word 'sorry'"
He's speechless for a moment but then continues, “Why… what is… seriously, what have you done!?”
Sighing, I sit onto a chair. “That’s my question… I’ve told you to shut up, right? Luckily they thought you’re just crazy…”
I yelp when he tugs my collars and slams me roughly onto the bed. Not giving me a chance to get up, he pins me down, weighing either sides of my shoulder blade with his palms.
“Stop this…!” He snaps.
I think I’ve just dead from a heart attack.
What get me back to function are the tears that roll down my cheek. They aren’t mine. They’re his. They keep pouring onto my face like rain, from his flushed face above me. Just as warm and beautiful as him.
I feel my voice weakens. “I don’t know how, Min…”
“I don’t care how, just… just stop this… I don’t want this…” For the first time since a short while that feels like century, he looks straight into my eyes. Even when hindered by gleaming flood, those brown orbs are nothing but mesmerizing.
What does he want me to stop, me being expelled or him from crying?
I ask that.
“B-both…” He answers.
“You’re right, you’re greedy…”
His hands on my shoulders, they hurt me and it supposed to hurt him as well, but none of us even care about it. I wrap my arms around his neck and bring him towards me.
I kiss him softly. He quickly pulls away, startled, only for milliseconds before I search after his lips again, this time persistent and demanding. He responds hastily but timid and reluctant, as if our previous experience has taught him something.
We entangle as I expand his mouth wider with my own, forcing the tongue deeper as my hand slides along the back of his head and nape, encouraging him to give more of his real self. I close my eyes, only feeling him from the chapped surface that’s grazed against my skin and the wet, scorching heat that battles inside my cavity. He pulls away to gasp and kiss me again, and repeats that several times. When I open my eyes I notice that it’s because he cries harder.
I pause to kiss the salty tears, to vanish them from sight, to taste his sadness, something that I’ve always failed to do.
Blushes miserably and fighting back the sobs, he talks. “I was greedy…. I wanted you for myself… and… and I hated that I couldn’t… I should’ve… I mean, it makes…. And now you--”
I seal his messy explanation with another kiss; he’s not good with words, neither am I.
“I only like that part about you wanting me for yourself…” I say. I try smiling to melt the tension but I can’t. I’m flooding as bad as him.
I shove him aside so I can rise up to wipe my wet face. As if not letting me he also gets up, and again muffles me inside another bone-crushing hug. His injured hand is reddened and warmer but he really ignores it, instead insisting another “I don’t want this” and “You can’t do this” and tugs my clothes like an angry kid who won’t stop until his wish is granted.
“Please… Hyung…let them know the truth… I screwed up, I’m the one who should—“
“You screwed up once, I screwed up many times, I deserve this more than you imagine…” I run my fingers through his hair over and over. ”I suck, you’re the one who know it the most, right?
He glares in disagreement. “You can’t stop here… I’ve told you, right? You’ll be a good doctor, y-you’ll be loved by many people...” He traps my face between his palms.
I lean against his palm, the injured one. I leave chaste kisses all over his hand, the hand that’s always so kind, so gentle.
“Can I…can I ask you to love me more… than just ‘many people’…?”
My question is filled with doubt and fear and he sees it. He stiffens only for a brief moment before gritting his teeth, clutches my shirt and again pins me onto the bed.
His voice trembles. “You never knew, Hyung… y-you couldn’t have imagined… I’… it feels….“
“….that photo is yours, right…?”
Deep down inside I know I don’t deserve someone like him, but I can’t stop. His desperate kiss feels perfect, too perfect that I almost think it’s a dream.
“Do it to me…” I slide my hand down his chest. We’ve done it with moans, screams, smiles, sweet talks, even weird talks. Never once we did it with tears.
I let him dislodges every piece of my clothing hastily, even if it may seem ungentle. Love, lust or anger, I don’t care. I want to see the greedy him, the selfish him. I want to feel his suppressed emotions, and just… everything about him.
“This won’t be the last…” He says. The tone is half begging half threatening. I respond with a smile, the one that soon falters when he kisses me again, this time rougher and almost endless, as his hand travels down.
The room is filled with no words, only the sounds our lips and skins produced, together with our quiet moans, and occasionally restrained sobs. The same room that’s within the short time, filled with so much overwhelming memories. It’s where we met, where we started everything. It’s where I made so many mistakes, so many terrible deeds, the ones that only got a series of sweet smiles, timid touch and tenderness as punishments.
[to be continued]
A/N: Okay………. Next chapter is the final. *wrapped self in metal cocoon*