Word Count: 640
Summary: Mistakes, followed by more mistakes. (Title from "Crown of Love" by The Arcade Fire.)
“You could’ve killed someone.” The door clicks shut and Yunho’s voice is in fragments. Jaejoong can see them like stones around his feet. “You could’ve killed someone, Jae. You could’ve killed yourself. You could’ve been wrapped around a telephone pole. Do you know what that would do to the fans? To us? Yoochun is on the phone with the manager now. This isn’t even the worst that could’ve happened and it’s still going to be a press fiasco. They don’t know if you can even come back from this, Jae. Did you just forget everything?”
Yunho’s words pile up in Jaejoong’s chest, in his throat. It’s 3am and the moon outside is round and heavy. The light doesn’t cut through the glass. Jaejoong sits on his bed. He presses the palms of his hands into his eyes.
“Is that what happened, Jae? You forgot about us?” Yunho moves through the rubble. He stands next to Jae and foams with the quiet, condescending anger that he’s so good at.
Jaejoong drops his hands and looks up. Yunho’s eyes burn him and his words press on his chest from all sides. “Drop the stupid fucking ‘leader’ act. Call me an idiot, hit me or something, but the fans? The group? Really? Fucking press fiasco? Do you actually give a shit about any of that bull?” Jaejoong breaks.
“Of course I fucking do, that’s my job. That’s our job. This group is our entire life. Without the fans and the job we have nothing. Take that into consideration for once in your life. Being in this group isn’t just a hobby, Jae. It’s a job. And you fucked up big time.”
“Without this shit job I wouldn’t be like this now!” Jaejoong stands; his eyes meet Yunho’s and they burn, burn like fires are glowing in his skull and the smoke is fogging his vision, yeah, that’s it.
“You can’t blame the job for your own problems.” Yunho’s edges fade.
“You can’t blame me for being human.”
“The fans can.”
“Fuck the fans! I don’t give a shit! I’m tired of walking out of this goddamned apartment and getting mobbed and shrieked at and fucking stalked and attacked and I just want to go out and drink and be normal and anonymous but then how do I get home because fuck, fuck I am so tired of all this bullshit, the whole world loves someone who doesn't know how.”
Silence. Yunho kicks the rocks aside and steps forward.
“I can’t do this alone.”
“You don’t have to. We’re in this together.”
“I’m your fucking coworker, Yunho. If I died all you’d be worried about was how we’d sound on the next album with only four voices. We're all fucking alone.” Jaejoong’s head hurts. He watches Yunho’s face crack.
“Do you really think that?”
“I know that.”
Yunho steps forward and Jaejoong steps back. Yunho traps him against the wall. “No, you don’t.” He touches Jaejoong’s face; his fingers sprawled across skin like a mask, a map. “You don’t.”
Jaejoong’s tears are hot and sharp and promise scars.
“Don’t do this.” Jaejoong chokes on his words, buried under Yunho’s fingers, like always. “Don’t do this to me.”
The kiss is slow and bitter, heavy with years of things unsaid. Yunho’s hands fall to Jaejoong’s shoulders, and Jaejoong’s knuckles turn white in the hem of Yunho’s shirt. A little bit of Jaejoong’s heart escapes with every breath.
It’s not romantic or beautiful. It’s dark and alone and far too late.
They break apart. Jaejoong’s eyes stay closed. “Jae,” Yunho whispers, his lips ghosting over Jaejoong’s cheek, against tear tracks.
Jaejoong’s hands release Yunho’s shirt and crawl up his chest to his heart.
The force of Jaejoong’s shove makes Yunho stumble backwards.
“You have a press fiasco to deal with, Leader.” It’s the only strength he has left.