Timeless by: emveek

timeless.jpg

Author : emveek
Group : Sechskies
Pairing : JinHoon
Other pairings : WonHoon, SuDuc
Genre : Songfiction, angst, romance, smut
Raiting : PG-13 (NC-17 on some chapters)
Warnings : None … Except some swearing and bad English.
Plot : Years can’t change the power of a strong love.

WARNING: contains mature content

 Timeless, chapter 1.

Spring 1999.

Aromatic morning coffee and the fresh kiss that wakes me up in the morning

Soaked in the sweet dream, I will probably say “just a little more…”

The morning sun slowly rose in the sky of this pretty spring day. Sunny weather with no clouds was expected, and the city was waking up in the calm, little by little.

Kang Sunghoon woke up in this atmosphere. Yes, THE Kang Sunghoon: Sechskies’ singer, with his heavenly voice and his bright smile. The boy making girls, and even boys, fall for him with just a delicate look.

As usual, he was the first out of bed in the apartment. His optimism never left him, even at early mornings or even if he was exhausted because of their schedules, that means, almost every day. He was as adorable as he used to be, even with his members.

He would always make them some coffee and prepared breakfast. Then, he would go into the bedroom of each member to wake them up, with an affection that sometimes felt so rare for them. In fact, he acted almost like a second mother.

He used to have a particular routine. He would always begin with Jiyong. Ko Jiyong, who was always so cheerful. He would just need to rub his back softly for a few seconds to take him away from his beauty sleep.

– Wake up, Jiyong, time to be out of bed!

– Mmmh … ‘kay … I’m coming …

Sunghoon smiled and rubbed his back one last time before leaving.

Then, he would go into Suwon’s room, his shy maknae. Sometimes, he would massage his neck until he woke up, always half-asleep.

– Hm …?

– It’s time to get up!

– Aish …

– Let’s not be late. Your breakfast is ready in the kitchen.

– Hmm … Thanks. I’ll come in a few minutes …

Sunghoon left when those words were said. Next, he would go into Kim Jaeduc’s bedroom. He would sit on the bed and kiss the dancer’s cheek to wake him up.

– Wake up, Jaeduc hyung! Breakfast is ready!

– What the heck … Stop acting like a mom, dude.

Yes. Jaeduc would always be awake in these moments. He would always wake up at the same time as the younger. However, contrary to him, he would stay in his bed, meditating, as he would always get up on the wrong side of the bed. Sunghoon smiled:

he was used to it.

– I let you with your thoughts, then. I will wake Jaejin and Jiwon up.

– ‘kay.

Then, he would go into Jaejin’s room. He was the hardest to wake up, and Sunghoon wouldn’t know how to react to him.

He would always be sunk into a deep sleep when he would come. A real sleeping beauty, with always a slight smile on his lips, hugging his pillow. Sunghoon sat next to him and began to rub his back.

– Hyung … Wake up …

Jaejin groaned and turned his back to him. The singer laughed quietly and kept rubbing his skin, feeling the muscles of the elder under his fingertips. His hand sneakily went under his shirt, rubbing and massaging his cold skin with the hot palms of his hands.

The dark haired boy shivered at this touch, groaning a bit more. Seeing him react, the youngest pouted.

– Come on, please, we’ll be late.

– Mmh … No …

The singer frowned, hearing this answer, and tried to use a rougher manner to wake him up by taking his pillow away from his arms. Without something to hug, Jaejin groaned once again, annoyed, and took Sunghoon in his arms, hugging him so tightly that he couldn’t escape his embrace. The youngest laughed and turned his face so he would meet Jaejin’s.

– Yah, hyung! I’m not a damn pillow!

– Mmmh … ‘don’t wanna wake up …

– But we don’t have the choice!

– ‘don’t care … Let’s sleep again …

The black-haired boy laid him on the bed with him so he wouldn’t move anymore, still hugging him. Sunghoon pouted and sighed a bit.

– What should I do to wake up? It’s the same thing every morning …

– … nothing … Just lemme sleep …

– If I give you a back massage, will you wake up?

At this question, the dancer slowly opened his eyes. Both were smiling. Still embracing him, Jaejin said, with a bit of tiredness in his voice:

– I might go out of bed if it’s the case …

– You’re such a lazy boy, Sunghoon laughed.

– I love your morning routine, the eldest recognized, ending the hug by slowly pushing the youngest and taking his shirt off. You are so kind and patient. You should sleep a bit more instead of thinking about everybody.

– I’m okay, hyung. I promise you.

Jaejin laid on his stomach, closing his eyes, as Sunghoon sat on his lower back. The singer began to touch the shoulders in front of him, feeling the boy’s soft skin under his hand and began massaging. Jaejin was humming with pleasure, shivering under the magical touch of his friend. After a few minutes he spent rubbing his shoulders, his arms and his back, he finally felt the muscles relaxing under his fingers. Sunghoon stopped and sat on the bed, soon followed by the dancer. The youngest smiled and kissed his cheek.

– Congratulations, you finally get up!

– Thanks, Hoony.

– You’re welcome. I prepared some coffee. You better put your clothes on and go to the kitchen. Everything is ready.

– Okay, see you, then.

Sunghoon left, still smiling, leaving Jaejin all alone in his room. The dancer sat on the edge of his bed, touching the cheek kissed by the brown-haired boy with his fingertips and sighed, looking at the floor.

– Damn …

He bit his bottom lip, before taking his head between his hands, thinking. If only those precious moments could last forever … Firstly because he was the only one who would wake people up in such a gentle manner. If it were Jiwon, every member would have gotten the water bucket treatment if they wouldn’t be awake in time.

Then, it was because he loved him. He loved him to death. Since their debut. The first time Jaejin had seen Sunghoon, it was love at first sight. But his love grew the more he knew him.

He was sweet in his look but also in his personality. He was the only one to be kind to him. Even if he was his hyung, Jaejin had been so shy when he first met the singer.

However, as time passed by, his shyness became a kind of indifference, to mask the burning and impossible love he got for him.

He dreamt a lot. In his dreams, they would live another life, a less tiring one, just the two of us.

He would be woken up by the scent of aromatic coffee and by sweet kisses. His husband would have prepared his breakfast for him, wearing a white apron that would make him even cuter. He would help him fix his clothes. He was craving for a life like this: they would only belong to each other. But there were so few chances to happen, sadly. He knew that. It was pure madness. Why ? Because they were men. Because they were idols. Because they lived in South Korea, where homosexuality was strongly criticized. Because there were few chances

he could seduce him, he, Lee Jaejin, who was awkward as hell in everything he said or did, not that good-looking compared to his fellow members, not that popular and too nervous to try any types of seduction. Because he wasn’t an exception: Sunghoon was sweet and bubbly with everyone. And because Sunghoon’s body and heart seemed to belong to another person.

He saw that. He noticed that. He sometimes wondered if the other members were aware of that, he was sure they were but didn’t say a word about it because they just didn’t give a damn about the situation.

It wasn’t for nothing that Jiwon was the last to be woken up by the singer.

Both would always be the last to reach the kitchen for breakfast and Sunghoon would spend tons of minutes « waking up » the group’s leader in his bedroom. The dancer wasn’t naive: they were not children anymore. Sometimes, at nights, he would hear footsteps in the corridor, doors shutting, Sunghoon’s whispers in Jiwon’s room and cracking noises coming from the bed. He hated that. He hated picturing Jiwon making love to the person he wanted, his hand on the youngest’s mouth to prevent his moans, their bodies uniting into one at each thrust, their sweat melting altogether, the oldest’s name whispered by the tongue of the man he was loving.

He tried to forget this imaginary vision, in vain. It brought pure pain to him.

He didn’t know for how long it has been lasting, but he was sure it was since their debut or even sooner, as they had been « friends » for quite a time already.

He was stupid. He had no chances. And this would lead to the group’s destruction. He clenched his fists.

It’s been years since he fell in love with him, but he couldn’t forget him. No man, no woman could beat the beautiful Kang Sunghoon in his heart. There were many people around him, but Sunghoon was still here, making his skin shivered at his touch and making his heart beat faster with a simple smile.

Jaejin sighed and got up, putting some clothes on. If his destiny was supposed to be like this, he should live with it. He tried to see the positive side of things. Even if they weren’t lovers, they still were friends, weren’t they? Moreover, they lived under the same roof, ate together and the voice of the younger was his daily melody and his heartening lullaby. He felt alive because he was by his side. That was fair enough.

Moreover, no matter how hard he tried to forget his feelings for him, Sunghoon was the only one he loved like this. And he would never cherish anyone besides him.

Today I begin my day by imagining you and I being happy together
I paint my future with you
With my only hope that someday, it’d really be like that

Timeless, chapter 2.

Autumn 1999.

Though you’re always with me, I feel lonely
This is harder than when I can’t meet you

The rain was slowly falling from the gray sky and everything felt moody for all the inhabitants of Seoul bearing the bad weather.

Sechskies members were tired, so tired. They released their fourth album Com’back a while ago and their company imposed them hectic schedules that could have led every normal human to madness. They were on the verge of becoming crazy, but they managed to survive. How ? It was still a question within the group. Because of their passion, maybe.

They were alone in their practice room, exhausted. They had been dancing for hours but, hopefully, they were almost done with their daily training.

Jaejin was lying on the floor, breathless. He was fed up with dancing, even if it was the second love of his life.

He turned his head and looked at the room’s mirrors to look at himself. He felt drained by all these hours, he couldn’t feel his body anymore because of pain. He was all sweaty, his eyes half-closed, his sleeveless shirt stuck to his abs … This sight could have been pleasurable but it wasn’t, because of the huge dark circles under his eyes and because of the ghastly color of his skin. He lacked so much energy and it could be seen just by looking at him.

Looking at the mirror, he could see what every of his friends did at the moment. His fellow members seemed to make their own businesses : Jiyong and Jiwon were sitting on the floor, talking cheerfully about the success of their last performance. Then, the dancer noticed Suwon who was still lying on the floor in the back of the room, from what he remembered, he had been catching up some sleep for half an hour.

Finally, Jaeduc and Sunghoon were still practicing, working on their dance steps for their song Yegam.

Both were really eager to be perfect on stage and Jaeduc, as one of the best dancers, was a good help for the singer, as he would give him very useful pieces of advice.

Jaejin stared at Sunghoon. How he wished to have a pencil in his hand, to be the only one looking at him dancing so he would draw and print on a white sheet the beauty of his body and his moves … The dancer always loved designing and having the brownhaired man as a model was one of his dreams. So at least, he would keep a unique piece of him in a drawing, just for himself. He wouldn’t share this part of the youngest to anyone.

He was so stunning. His brown hair with blond locks seemed soft at the touch and was still well-combed even after hours of training. What he cherished the most was his face.

It was flawless to his eyes, and even the smallest drawbacks of his physical features made it flawless to him. It was marked with a huge tiredness but it was still shining of a natural happiness. His dark eyes were sparkling with a glow of ambition and were so concentrated on his moves he couldn’t see the eldest observing him with discretion.

He loved this look too. He could tell so many feelings just with one stare. It could be either tender when he was in an affective mood, or playful when he was joking, or also very deep with concern when he was serious. Jaejin would feel so important every time the youngest would meet his eyes.

He stared at the level of his chin. Few sweat pearls were dropping off his jawline and his Adam’s apple.

Jaejin slightly blushed at this sight and looked down, at the youngest’s body.

He was way too thin according to him. At their debuts, he used to have a bit of fat and he looked really healthy but he lost so much weight because of stress. Even though, he was still very attractive to him. He seemed so fragile and wanted to hold him, to protect him …

Jaejin’s eyes were caught by the sight of the singer’s bottom moving while dancing. He tried looking in another direction, suddenly feeling unease.

The dancer wasn’t the kinky kind : his members were actually worse than him about their perversion and he was always very awkward when sex was the main topic of a conversation. However, the dark-haired man was still human and loved Sunghoon to death : he was the only person in his heart but also the only in his deepest fantasies. He was the source of his occasional nasty thoughts.

His ass was well-rounded and he couldn’t take his eyes of off it. His tights were also a very interesting part of his body : they were plump , but, alas, always hidden under large trousers.

If only they were loving each other … He would touch this butt he desired so much, grab it,  massage it while nibbling at his earlobe or his neck. He wanted to touch his whole body so bad, to cover it with wet and passionate kisses, to leave love bites everywhere so he would be only his, to make love to him as if there was no tomorrow … Nothing could describe how eager he was for him since he met him.

Jaejin sighed, daydreaming. He was taken out of his thoughts when he felt a heavy weight on his stomach.

– What are you looking at, hyung ?

He looked right in front of him. Jiyong had stopped talking with Jiwon and was sitting on the dancer’s tummy, lazily, with a slight smirk on his lips. Jaejin frowned. He knew the youngest was ready to say something kinky with that kind of face expression. He knew him way too much.

– Nothing. Just dreaming.

– Thinking about yadong, don’t you ? Jiyong suggested with a bigger grin.

Jaejin rolled his eyes. The worst is that he was not that wrong about his thoughts as he was imagining himself in an erotic scenario with Sunghoon. He replied :

– It’s not everyone who’s being obsessed with girls like you.

– I might be obsessed with them but I got several girlfriends since our debuts.

– And ? What’s the point ? You can have relationships but still be discrete, which is my

case.

– But you’d never show us one of your girlfriends. In fact, I had never seen you with a

girl, even as a friend.

Jaejin sighed with exasperation at this sentence and pushed Jiyong so he would be able to get up. He was kind of surprised to notice that everyone had stopped what they were doing to stare at him, waiting for an answer.

He liked women, at least, he liked their bodies. Even if he was madly in love with Sunghoon, he would occasionally feel the need to make love. As the man of his dream wasn’t his, he would sleep with women when he was going clubbing or drinking outside of Seoul. It was really rare, though. Most of the times, these women were already married and older than him. They weren’t intrusive into his life so they weren’t really aware of his idol career, it was a luck for him.

The only thing that was true in Jiyong’s words was that he never showed them one of his girlfriends. He hadn’t been in a relationship for years, as he didn’t feel the urge to be in couple and loved Sunghoon. If he were to be in couple, his relationship would be a failure and he didn’t want to make suffering a girl for nothing.

But all his friends brought a lot of dates at home. Jiyong and Suwon were the womanizers of the group.

Sunghoon was considered as one too among the celebrity world so he needed to keep this reputation, even in front of his members, although everyone in the group knew he slept with Jiwon. It was the same for the leader too.

Finally, Jaejin and Jaeduc were the one without dates : they weren’t really popular but it was considered as « okay » for Jaeduc not to bring one because he already had dozen of female friends and he would occasionally show them to the other members. One day, Jiwon concluded about that he may had slept with all of them at some point. This being said, compared to the other dancer, Jaejin didn’t have true reasons not to date, except his secret love for Sunghoon. His answer came, as cold as he could be :

– Just mind your own business. I don’t need to show proofs for every choice I make.

– Are the people you date that ugly you’re so afraid to show them ? Jiyong replied with a huge smirk.

– Do you wanna die ?

– Yah, I was just kidding.

– You’re not funny.

– It’s weird, though. You can’t hide everything to us like that just because you’re discreet, Suwon declared, stretching a bit.

– Leave him alone, Jaeduc sighed. There are a lot of people doing that. It’s his life.

– It’s true, Sunghoon said, crossing his arms, still a bit sweaty. Maybe Jaejin wants to take time before showing us the person he loves.

– If there’s one …

He muttered these words, looking at the floor, feeling depressed at this thought. There was one he loved, yes, but it was one-way love. An impossible love.

Sunghoon smiled to him :

– I’m sure you will soon find a very beautiful person you wouldn’t wait to show us. I feel confident about it.

A slight smile appeared on the eldest’s face. He always felt reassured with his words because he wasn’t underestimated to his eyes. He really had the power to brighten his world with just a few sentences.

After a short silence, Jaejin declared, still smiling.

– Thanks, Sunghoon. But let’s stop talking about that. My love life isn’t a hot topic, anyway. We need to practice one last time before leaving.

– Yeah, let’s work again.

All of them warmed themselves up before dancing for one last time. Jiwon came next to Jaejin, saying with a low voice.

– What a joke. It’s impossible to find someone able to bear you.

– Excuse me, what did …

– Let’s start !

Jaeduc interrupted the dancer and they began dancing in full sync, their bodies uniting for each movement. Their training had been efficient because their dancing was perfect. Jaejin was sometimes staring at Jiwon with a deep hatred shining in his eyes. They grew to loathe each other more and more over years. When they first met, everything was peaceful between both but they would soon begin to quarrel and fight, even over the stupidest matters. In fact, all the Black Kies : that means Jiwon, Jaeduc and Jaejin ; very often argued but the two oldest were the most in conflicts. They could not understand one another : Jiwon disliked Jaejin’s weird personality and hated that he was one of the few who didn’t show respect to him when it was needed. Jaejin thought that Jiwon was just a dictator and that he would have made a way better group leader than him. That would have been enough reasons for their complicated relationship but Sunghoon’s presence made it even worse.

Jaejin was going nuts knowing his crush was sleeping with the leader : life would have

been easier if he was loving a girl because he would have been conscious there was no chance he could love him. However, it wasn’t the case. He would have understood if he fell another guy but … him ? Seriously ? According to him, Jiwon was boring as hell and did not even seem loyal, he was sure he was seeing other people without the youngest knowing. Jaejin couldn’t tell if Jiwon was aware of his feelings but every time Sunghoon was acting with kindness towards him, the rapper would act really harsh towards him and be sharp with his tongue straight after that. At first, he thought it was just jealousy but seeing Sunghoon hugging the other members and sometimes kissing them in front of Jiwon, he quickly changed his mind : they were just hating each other.

When they finished, they all came back to the dormitory. It was late night already. They all stayed there.

Jaejin directly went to his bedroom and changed clothes, putting his underwear, ready to sleep. He felt too weary to say goodbye to everyone. He would have made an effort for Sunghoon but he was sure that he was stuck to Jiwon at the moment.

He heard knocking at the door when he got into his bed.

– Who is it ?

– Jaeduc. May I come ?

– Sure.

He was under his sheets, in the bed. The other dancer came in the room. Jaejin wasn’t

ashamed being half-naked in front of another member. They’d been knowing each other for years, they were used to that already. They even shared the same apartment for a while, years ago. Jaeduc sat on the edge of the bed.

– Already tired ?

– Yup.

– We began watching a movie in the living room. You can watch it if you want. But it’s

too boring.

– Don’t they remember we’ll have schedules tomorrow ?

– Yes, but they really need to change their minds. Even if that means less sleep. It’s their choices.

– I’m too exhausted for this shit.

– I feel you, you know.

Both smiled. Actually, Jaejin felt so much at ease with Jaeduc. They were born the same year, lived in the same town, they used to belong to the same dance group and they lived together for a while, just like brothers … Sometimes, Jaeduc would be rude with his words but there was always a good intention behind this harshness. Moreover, he could be extremely kind and attentive to the people he appreciated. Jaejin felt grateful for that. Suddenly, the youngest’s face turned into a soberer one. It would be rare to see him like that. He would usually be as such when he was on the verge to say something important or rather serious.

– May I ask you something ?

– Sure.

– Since when are you feeling that ? Jaejin frowned. On the moment, he couldn’t understand what he was talking about.

– What ?

– Stop hiding that, it’s too obvious.

– What is obvious ? Jaeduc, I don’t understand.

– Your feelings.

He then felt a bit more stressed. Was he aware that … ? Jaejin prayed it wasn’t the

case. He didn’t need his feelings to be known from someone. So, he lied, feeling pressured by the weight of his secret.

– … What ? I … really don’t see.

– Stop that, you can’t hide something from me, my intuitions are too good. I saw you looking at him while we were dancing.

Jaejin couldn’t answer to that and looked down. He wasn’t that discreet, after all. No sounds could come out of his mouth. He was too afraid to let someone know his feelings. Jaeduc, seeing him that afraid, put his hand on his shoulders to reassure him.

– This is between me and you. I swear to God that no one will know about our conversation. You know you can trust me. I’m your friend.

Jaejin bit his lips hearing these words and declared, with a sigh, after few long seconds of silence.

– Since debuts … It’s been since debuts …

– Really ?

– Yes … And I can’t take him of off my mind.

– You must, Jaejin.

They looked at each other. The oldest looked down and sighed again, he knew he was

going to say something like that.

– I know.

– I won’t judge you, Jin … You are my friend for what you are, not what you feel. However, this love is bound to be a poison to you. You might be aware that he’s been loving Jiwon for years already, even if we don’t dare to talk about it …

– Yes …

– Moreover, we are a group. We’re in a bad state, actually. We don’t need more shit with love matters, our managers and the company brings us enough stress like that.

– I didn’t choose those feelings, Jaejin muttered, a bit upset with the dancer’s words.

– I know you didn’t. But please, try forgetting him. For you. For Sechskies. For you.

– Don’t you think I tried already ? I felt in love the first time I saw him, it’s a lost cause.

– I’m pretty sure you did, Jin. But please, force yourself. Think of your well-being, let it go and find someone who truly loves you.

Jaejin sighed. He wanted to stop loving Sunghoon, of course … He tried so many times to forget his smile, his eyes, his voice … But he couldn’t do it. He fell too much for his charms that he couldn’t forget it. It was true love. He was sure about that. He didn’t want to start a love story which will turn to be a failure. Jaeduc declared, thoughtful :

– You know … If that could reassure you … I think I’m the only one aware of you being

in love with him.

You hide it well to everybody. But my intuitions are too good, I had doubts before, too. I would have noticed if the others were doubting, I’m an observer you know. However, I notice that Jiwon grows more upset when you are close to Sunghoon …

– It’s not my fault if he acts like an asshole ! I don’t dare touching Sunghoon or even talking for the sake of this dude !

– This « dude », as you call him, is our leader. Don’t you notice everything he is going

through for the group ? Our CEO and our manager aren’t the kindest people on Earth.

It’s true he is harsh with you but you don’t even try to support him in his task. Be more

comprehensive towards him. Otherwise, Sechskies will be dead as a group and you will forever loose Sunghoon.

Jaejin suddenly became a bit paler at this thought. He was afraid : it was the last thing

he wanted. Losing Sechskies would mean the end of his career and losing Kang

Sunghoon would mean the end of himself.

Without the singer, he was nothing, he felt nothing.

Jaeduc added :

– Moreover, the guys could begin to get doubts : as they said, you never date a single woman since our debuts, they could think you’re gay.

– Yah ! I’m not gay ! It’s not because I never brought a date here that I’m gay ! Don’t  worry about that, I fuck tons of women !

– If you’re not gay, find someone and forget Sunghoon, then. You’re not that much crazy for him if you’re not gay.

The oldest blushed at those words. Jaeduc said that very calmly, his arms crossed, looking at him. Jaejin sighed. Again.

It was hard to explain what he could feel. He knew that he could trust his friend so he tried, hesitant :

– No … You don’t understand. I love him. I could give my life to him. Everything. But …

other men … I just can’t. I can’t watch gay porn or stuff like that, I’m not aroused by this.

He is … an exception. And even when I make love to a woman or watch average porn, I don’t feel that excited … I can’t kiss her, cuddle her after sex, even look at her straight in the eyes … I … just can’t. I’m not gay … But I don’t feel heterosexual too. It’s too weird.

– You mean you only love Sunghoon and only see your sexuality through him ?

– Yes.

Jaeduc remained thinking for a while, his hand on his chin. Then, he said :

– Still, you’re sleeping with women. So why don’t you try dating one ? From what I’ve

understood, you never really tried.

– I … didn’t feel the need to.

– So you should try, you could forget Sunghoon then. If you want, I can fix a date for

you.

– You ? Are you Cupid ? Jaejin asked, laughing.

– You know I’ve many hot friends. There’s one girl that you might like.

– What does she look like ? The dancer asked, not feeling that much concerned about

that girl.

– Hum … She’s really cute. Petite, thin, big eyes, long hair, a pretty smile … She could

make one fall in love with her with only one look. She is also very kind, discreet, loyal,

and loves guys like you.

He shrugged. He needed to give it a try, anyway.

So after a short discussion, they decided to set a date in a few days, when they weren’t too busy.

Jaejin really wanted to try loving another person, to give his love to somebody else. But he knew it was going to fail.

These are sorrows that I must hide in your excessive indifference
I fall while looking at you

He wasn’t into the date at all.

He had followed her all day long, his hands inside his pockets, looking indifferent while she was all smiling, clinging herself to his arms. They shared a simple date : they ate an ice-cream and they watched a movie. Jaejin wasn’t assured at all and acted rather shy and distant  towards her.

She was his opposite : she was so into him, always talking or staring at him, her eyes

already filled with love for him. He felt so awkward he barely talked or entertained her.

Jaeduc was right : she was lively, bubbly, caring and really cute. Any man would love

her at first sight.

However, it wasn’t his case. He was only thinking of Sunghoon. He wasn’t feeling attraction to her, even after spending hours with her.

He decided to bring her to the apartment before driving her back to her place, so the others would see her.

When they arrived, all of them were so shocked when they saw her. She was so pretty, talkative … She was his total opposite. They were curious so they asked her tons of questions about her and the date. Jaejin didn’t listen. He sat on the living-room sofa, looking at them talking in front of him. He concluded he wasn’t normal at all not to care that much. At the moment, the dancer just felt the sudden urge to be alone.

Sunghoon talked with the girl, smiling, he seemed to be very happy to find somebody as bubbly as he could be. After a few minutes of conversation, he sat next to Jaejin. He slowly rubbed his back.

– See, you can find someone who is nice. You met a very pretty girl. She is very kind.

Jaejin had felt his heart racing when he felt Sunghoon’s palm on his back, his whole body burning with love while it was always so cold. He said, with a small smile.

– Yes … Thanks … Hoony …

Sunghoon smiled back and got up to see the others again. Jaejin sighed. He didn’t know what to do with the whole situation.

After half an hour, he decided to bring her back home. They reached her house after some minutes of silent driving. He stopped in front of it.

– Here we are …

He looked at her. Her eyes were bright and he knew she was waiting for a kiss to end

the date. But he didn’t want to act romantic with her if he didn’t love her.

He remained still, waiting for her to leave the car. She asked, with a shy voice :

– Thanks … When are we going to date, next time ?

He slightly raised an eyebrow when he heard the question and answered, with a sigh.

– I don’t know … You know, we’ve been busy lately … I will let you know when I’ve some free time, ok ?

The truth was that he didn’t want to date her again but as she was Jaeduc’s friend, he needed to lie. She outed, disappointed with that lack of romanticism and said :

– Okay … See you, then.

She left the car, looking at him one last time. Jaejin drove back to the apartment. All the members harassed him with questions but he did as he always did : he remained discreet about his privacy, telling it wasn’t their business.

He never saw the girl again. He told Jaeduc he met somebody else fitting more his expectations rather than her. Of course, it was a lie but at least, he wouldn’t try to make him forget Sunghoon again.

He was fine with that one-sided love. Being with the brown-haired boy was enough to make him happy.

He was doomed to love him but it was the sweetest torture he could endure, as long the singer was here to cheer him up every time when he needed.

As long as he was living with him, he would be fine and endured the pain.

I know my love sank into a slumber
But I’m not confident to destroy it

Timeless, chapter 3.

Spring 2000,

Jaejin was lost, he didn’t know what to do anymore.

He had roamed in Busan for days, without neither specifics goal, nor desires, giving no sign of life to whoever. His parents might have worried. However, he didn’t care. He didn’t forgive them of accusing him of something he never wanted.

The dark-haired man was drinking another bottle of soju, all by himself, on the terrace of a desert bar of Busan. He couldn’t care less to be recognized by his fans or medias anymore while drinking himself to death. He needed to change his mind by anyways.

He looked at the sky. Twilight had fallen already, all he could see looking up was the darkness covered with small shining pieces that were stars. It was a beautiful night.

Way too beautiful for his sorrowful spirit.

Tears came at the corner of his eyes. Once again. He bit his lips, trying to hold them but failed, because this situation was too much to handle. He was sure his heart wouldn’t bear such a thing: it was inconceivable to him. He was torn apart by an unendurable pain caused by  betrayal, illusions, and fear.

April had come. He ignored all these calls telling him to go back to Seoul. The dancer

hadn’t had the nerves to announce the sad news to fans and undergo something neither approved nor wanted. He was alone, fighting with his own ways, to protect Sechskies, their careers, all the hardships they’ve been through for three years.

He was fighting by himself to be with Sunghoon forever.

To keep by his side his most beloved crystal, with his soft brown-haired and eyes that comforted him at each gaze.

Soon, the only man he ever loved was going to pursue his path. At his thought, he felt tears rolling on his cheeks and he began weeping, hiding his face between his hands.

Nothing could help him feel better: his two sources of happiness had been destroyed for reasons he couldn’t understand, and that made him sick.

At this point, he didn’t care to be loved: all he wanted was to remain with the youngest,

to protect him and keep singing, dancing, as he did for three years. He didn’t care to be DSP’s slave, he just wanted to perform and be the singer’s guardian angel.

He wished that meeting in the company’s building never happened … He hoped to have foreseen the events so he would have avoided them …

The last month he had been living in Seoul was haunting his mind.

You always took care of me and worried about me above anyone else
And you gave me courage so that I can fly farther

A month ago,

The weather was cold and rainy at the beginning of March. Jaejin had been staying home all day with Jaeduc: both relaxed and played some video games. The atmosphere was chill when they were together, they laughed a lot and time went very fast because they had a lot of fun. It’s been some days they hadn’t trained in the company’s practice room, but they couldn’t care less: they finally had some time for themselves and were rejoicing about that.

At night, Suwon and Jiyong joined them. Contrary to the dancers, who were more sedentary, the two youngest liked hanging out with friends on different types of places and often came back late.

Nevertheless, they enjoyed coming back at the dormitory and reuniting with the Busan boys. Everybody would play some Mario Kart on Nintendo 64.

Jaejin remembered that particular night they played together. The mood was cheerful:

Jiyong was teasing every person he could, Jaeduc was cooking meals for everyone,

Suwon tried to remain as concentrated as possible on the race and Jaejin was groaning every time he lost because he hated losing. It was a casual night at the dorm.

They soon took a break to eat what Jaeduc prepared, sitting all together on the couch.

Jaejin was by Jiyong’s side, silently listening to the conversation.

– Don’t you find it strange that the company hadn’t called us for days to prepare new

schedules? Suwon asked.

– Strange ? I’m more than happy, Jiyong declared. Let’s be honest, we had been overworking for years. I’ve been craving for that hiatus to happen, I thought I was going nuts.

– True … It was kind of the same thing for me …

They kept eating, telling about how joyful they were of their break on their schedules.

Jaejin silently kept listening, until something important came to his mind.

– By the way, where are Jiwon and Sunghoon? I got the impression we hadn’t seen them for days.

– Yeah, it’s true, do you know what they’re doing? Jaeduc asked, frowning.

Suwon shrugged, remaining silent. After a short silence, Jiyong replied, holding his chin:

– Hum … It seems like Sunghoon went to his family’s place, from what I’ve understood. I don’t know about Jiwon hyung, though. Both always come back here late, I don’t have much the occasion to talk with them.

They had been pretty discreet, lately.

All of them nodded and kept eating their meals without saying more words. That explanation was enough to them. Jaejin remained thoughtful for some minutes, but these words came out his mind when they decided to play again.

They had played for hours when they heard the entrance door being closed. A man with brown locks appeared behind it, surprised to hear noises inside the apartment. It was Sunghoon. Everybody stopped playing when they saw him. Jaejin felt his heartbeat going faster when he met those lovely eyes he cherished. Everybody got up and approached him, smiling.

– Sunghoon-ah ! It’s been so long ! Jaeduc cheerfully said.

The latter looked at them, without saying anything. The boys’ sudden presence seemed to have taken him out of his thoughts. He smiled, with a bit of unease. The singer wasn’t as joyful as usual, and Jaejin well noticed it: he was too good at perceiving his feelings or behavior’s changes.

– Hi, everyone … It’s been long, yeah, he said, embracing everybody.

– Would you stay with us? We left you something to eat, and we were about to play some video games.

– Thanks, but no. I’m kind of … drained, tonight. I’ll just go to my room and rest.

– Ah … okay, then … Sleep well.

– See you, guys.

Sunghoon moved towards his room, under Jaejin’s astonished eyes. The times the handsome man refused to share a meal with his fellow members were rare and, usually, were signs that he had an awful day. The youngest members showed their disappointment, while the dancer remained thoughtful and reserved.

– Woah, that was fast …

– He barely greeted us …

– Guys, he might be exhausted, Jaeduc concluded. It’s past midnight, we should have gone to sleep for hours.

– True. In case DSP calls us tomorrow for new schedules.

– Hahaha, don’t doom us, for God’s sake!

After the last round of Mario Kart, they all decided to go to bed. Jaejin wanted to check after Sunghoon to see if everything was alright. He was sure that his strange mood was more than mere tiredness. Yet, he chose to come back to his own bedroom: he didn’t want to bother him at such a late hour.

Soon, no more noises could be heard in the dorm. Everyone seemed to be asleep.

However, Jaejin wasn’t: he always had troubles to find sleep.

Jaejin could see thick darkness behind his windows’ curtains when he heard the entrance door being shut again and slow steps in the corridors, heading to the bedroom next to his. The leader came back. A minute after, he could hear way more careful moves towards the said room and hear somebody entering inside.

Jaejin didn’t need to think twice about who the person could be. The dancer began to listen carefully.

– How was your day?

Sunghoon’s voice was calm but sounded rather grave. Jiwon answered, his voice as sober as the youngest’s.

– Like shit.

They began muttering, so he could barely hear what they were saying. However, at his

own surprise, the conversation soon graduated to what seemed to be arguing.

– I couldn’t do anything … I tried, but it’s impossible …

– Don’t tell me you tried, Jiwon, I don’t believe it!

– I swear I did!

– Rubbish. How could you let it go like this, seriously ?!

– Honey …

– No. I’ve had enough, leave me alone.

The door of Jiwon’s room opened up with a loud sound, and the singer’s steps could be heard until he reached his own bedroom. Jaejin heard the leader sighing loudly, and silence came again between the dorm’s walls.

The dancer remained still, lying on his bed. It just seemed to be relationships problems that preoccupied Sunghoon’s mind, so it was nothing much important to the dancer’s taste.

As long the man was safe, and Jiwon wasn’t violent with him, it was alright. He soon got back to sleep, without worrying anymore.

Days slowly passed. DSP wasn’t calling them or hadn’t sent a manager for a week. Jaejin wasn’t that preoccupied about that but the more time went, the more he felt alone. This sensation began because of Suwon. His maknae had always been the shy kind and wasn’t showing his emotions. Yet he liked sharing moments with the oldest boys and was always ready for having a meal with them. However, just like Sunghoon and Jiwon, he became more distant and wasn’t staying much in the dorm anymore. Jaejin tried talking with him, but their conversations were too quick. Way too quick compared to some days before. It’s not like they weren’t close, the dancer was worried by this sudden distance.

A day or two after, it was Jiyong who started changing. The handsome was always cheerful. He liked joking and was like a little sunshine in the dancer’s life. But his mood soon changed too. He was thoughtful, and unease every time he would meet the Busan boys. So both would stay alone in the flat. It wasn’t a problem for Jaejin, as he had always been very close to Jaeduc. However, the atmosphere soon became awkward and tense for reasons the eldest couldn’t find.

Soon, Jaeduc wasn’t staying in the dorm too, without telling the other where he was going for the day or the night.

Everyone was leaving the apartment, and nobody bothered to tell him where they were

hanging him and even less to greet him when they came back late. He stayed there.

Alone. Waiting for someone to come.

However, his days were bound to change forever on a cold afternoon of March.

He was playing on the dorm’s computer. He has been gaming for hours, it was his only

hobby, as he was alone in the flat. He didn’t like much this loneliness but forced himself to be used to it, he was sure DSP would call them to prepare new schedules.

He heard the door being knocked at the beginning of the afternoon. Frowning, Jaejin went opening it. He wasn’t expecting somebody at such an early hour. He opened it. His eyes grew wide when he saw the person in front of him.

– Manager-nim ?

A man appeared in front of him, with cold eyes and a stern face that didn’t show a single ounce of consideration. This face was similar to his mind, that had intentions that were far from kindness. Jaejin didn’t like him, neither did the others.

He only said, crossing his arms.

– Get ready. We have to go.

There were no “it’s been long, hope you were fine”, “how are you ?” or even less a simple “hello”. The dancer almost forgot they were their machines, their robots, existing only for money purpose. And robots aren’t supposed to have feelings.

The dancer looked at his own clothes. He was wearing his casual sportswear clothes,

those were fine, even for practicing.

– I am. But …

He remained silent for mere seconds and added, a bit doubtful:

– The other members aren’t here, it must be a problem.

The manager looked at him, annoyed by his remark, and replied with a dry tone:

– They already are at the company.

Jaejin frowned, hearing those words. Something seemed fishy. If the boys knew they had a schedule planned today, they would have stayed in the dorm and gone to the company together, like they always did.

Without wasting time, he left the apartment and followed his manager into his car. He

remained thoughtful during the trip to DSP’s building. He tried to understand why this was so sudden because it wasn’t normal. They always called them before a schedule, to be sure they were in the dorm and not in another place. However, there was also a possibility that several managers got them back at different places, but that didn’t make any sense too, as most managers took care of Fin.KL, Click B or potential group projects that were supposed to be created.

The distance between DSP and the dorm wasn’t huge. In some minutes, he was out of the car and had entered the building with his manager.

He followed him in the corridors. He felt taken aback when he went past the practice rooms, that were already busy.

– Wait … Aren’t we supposed to practice?

No answer came from the man’s mouth. They kept walking, going upstairs in the building.

Their pace became slower when they reached the final floor, which had only one office.

One that the boy didn’t like: Lee Hoyeon’s office.

The manager knocked on the door when he had reached it, and let Jaejin go inside the

room.

Everybody was waiting there.

The dancer was astonished to see his fellow members there. He knew he was about to see them but couldn’t understand why this meeting seemed to be so stressful and even tenser than the preceding days.

Jiwon’s face seemed sober and tired, Jiyong was twitching his hands with unease and even Suwon, who was always calm and expressionless, tried to hide his nervosity by biting his nails. Jaeduc seemed pretty pitiful and was on the verge of crying.

His eyes met those of Sunghoon. It was the first time they were seeing each other for days, but the singer seemed to have changed so much in a short pale. His complexion was too white, way too much according to the dancer, and his look was blank and hopeless. Their eye-contact was quick, as soon their eyes met for a for seconds, the singer began watching the floor awkwardly, not trying to meet his eyes anymore.

DSP’s CEO said, with a calm voice:

– Good afternoon. Sit down, Jaejin, we were waiting for you.

Unease, the dancer, looked around him and sat next to Jaeduc, who looked the other way not to meet his friend’s eyes. A huge and awkward silence was settled, with the CEO looking at them. Not afraid of letting his thoughts known, the dancer asked, tensed:

– What the hell is going on ?!

No one answered. Jaejin looked around him but only met sad, grave faces. He felt his own face becoming paler … What was happening?

He got his answer as a few words. Few words that were about to destroy his dreams and existence. Few devastating words.

– Well … It’s been days we’ve been trying to decide the group’s future with Eun Jiwon.

And after a lot of … discussions about it, we decided it was time to disband Sechskies.

You don’t bring much profit anymore, and it seems like some of you aren’t satisfied with the company. It must end.

Jaejin felt his heart on the verge of stopping beating the more he heard what he was saying. He remained silent, having the impression to live a bad, very bad nightmare.

Lee Hoyeon continued:

– Your sales have never been good, compared to H.O.T. That won’t improve, even with a hit song like “Couple”. We want to prioritize Fin.KL’s career and to focus on Click B. We’ve been giving your chance for three years, it’s already too long, you will never be able to reach  H.O.T’s success and popularity.

The dancer stared at him right in the eyes, still shocked by what he was hearing. He slowly muttered, in a short breath:

– It’s a joke, isn’t it?

– It’s serious, Jaejin.

– You’re lying, he replied, his eyes becoming darker. You can’t do that, you have no rights to make such a thing happen, we still have people who support us! Guys, am I right? He looked at his fellow members. Once again, none of them answered. He got paler and paler the more the silence kept going. Lee Hoyeon answered instead of them:

– Well … While waiting for you, I was discussing with your friends and wanted to know what they want for the group. And it seems like we all agree on the same solution. I’m happy we came to an agreement: we never made contracts for you, it was an act of charity to give your chance, it’s time to stop and leave an opportunity to more talented people.

Jaejin began clenching his fists and was biting his lips, trying to hold his anger as much as he can. He stared at each member, without believing it. How could they do such a thing? They loved Sechskies as much as he did. None of the members was answering and didn’t try to meet the dancer’s black eyes. They should have fought for their career, their future together, he always wanted that. He just couldn’t believe it.

He got up, giving a deadly stare to the CEO. With impudence, he answered:

– You won’t buy me with those words.

– I’m serious, Jaejin.

– I am too. I don’t agree with your methods. I am one of the Sechskies members, and I don’t want to disband. Find another solution.

All of the other members looked at him with incredulity. Lee Hoyeon frowned and said,

calmly:

– Jaejin, I do not leave you the choice.

Jaejin slowly walked towards the door and turned to look at them one last time before leaving the room, his voice firm.

– Me neither, sunbae-nim.

On these words, he left the room. He suddenly felt an inner weakness invading his heart and stopped himself a bit farther in the corridors. He pushed himself against a wall, clenching his fists more and biting his lips. He felt anger building inside him. How could this be fucking real? He suddenly regretted not to have punched the CEO in the face for telling such lies.

He turned when he felt a presence behind him. He turned around. It was Jiyong. He was slowly approaching him and seemed worried about the dancer’s condition. The latter was about to let him come closer but stopped him with a cold voice:

– Is it the truth, Jiyong? Did you all actually say you wanted Sechskies’ disband?

At this question, the brown-haired man stopped and tried looking elsewhere. He answered, trying to keep his voice’s composure:

– He … He is right, hyung. We said that.

Jaejin stared at him, his eyes invaded by a bitter mess of anger, sorrow, and disbelief.

He felt his whole body was trembling with rage and tears coming at the corner of his eyes. Tons of knives seemed to have crossed his entire body. He muttered, his teeth tightened:

– You’re fucking kidding me …

– I’m so sorry, Jaejin hyung, we’ve tried to find solutions, but there was nothing we could do …

– Stop lying! I can’t believe you want such a thing to happen! I can’t! Was it why you ignored me for days ?!

– We didn’t know how to announce you that …

– You should have warned me! Damn, Jiyong, you know me! I would have stopped this, we would have stopped everything! We would have chosen another company, I don’t know, but we would have found a way to get out this hell ! Were the others also aware of that?

Jiyong remained silent, biting his lips. Jaejin grabbed him and shook him, his voice

growing louder, his anger becoming like a huge fire ravaging and hurting his body:

– Answer me, for God’s sake!

– They are! They knew way before me, Suwon told me everything … He also told Jaeduc, after me …

Jaejin let him go by firmly pushing him and looked at him with a light of disgust.

– You never trusted me, right? This was why you ignored me for days … I’ve never been a friend to you …

– No, hyung … Of course, no, you know how much I care for you …

– So what the fuck were you thinking ?! Why didn’t you trust me ?!

– Nothing was possible anymore, there was no need to hurt you more. I tried, with Suwon and Jaeduc hyung to stop everything but the CEO had made his decisions already. He discussed a lot with Jiwon hyung … We tried, even with him but … There was nothing we could do. Hyung was tired of fighting for a lost cause and for people who didn’t even care for us … Jaejin’s eyes got darker at those words. Of course: that was Jiwon’s fault. Everything was happening because of him.

He felt even more fooled hearing this. He tried so much with him, he engaged himself to improve his relationship with the leader and tried to keep this promise, as much as possible. After all, he was the leading strength of the group so almost everything depended on him. Jaejin had taken conscious of the danger represented by their strict schedules and really wanted to help the eldest. So he put aside their conflicts and tried his best to support him. Because he wanted to stay with his group. Because he wanted to remain by the side of Sunghoon, whom he still loved with intensity.

Though, he destroyed everything … Because he had that power.

He heard the other boys getting out the CEO’s office behind him. His eyes darkened when he saw Jiwon between Jaeduc and Suwon, staring at the floor. Seeing him, he couldn’t retain his feelings anymore and move fastly towards him, ready to punch him.

– You, bastard!

He was about to jump on him but was stopped by Jiyong’s arms, who maintain him with all his strength so he couldn’t move anymore. He whispered, panicked by the sudden move of the eldest:

– Stop that! It’s useless, that won’t change anything, it will only make things worse!

– Bullshit ! He destroyed our futures, how do you want me not to punch him ?!

He was staring at Jiwon, his black eyes filled with his deepest hate. Jiwon glanced at him. His eyes weren’t full of anger, they were loaded with an immense emptiness, and his face was marked with tiredness. He seemed discouraged. The leader didn’t try to move away from him. He lowered his look again, just one sentence came out his mouth:

– Jaejin … I’m sorry … For everything.

Jaejin frowned and moved backward by surprise. It was rare for the leader to acknowledge one of his mistakes.

They were the same: two rebels spirits, the blackest crystals of Sechskies. They were so opposed and similar at the same time. They often argued because of their differences but Jaejin sometimes managed to perceive how he thought. But here, he couldn’t understand him. He was a fighter, a rebel, confident in his thinking, why did he let himself and the group down like this?

He tried to reason himself. But soon, his violence invaded his brain again.

– … Liar ! I tried so hard to help you with the group, to support you. I tried to understand

you, to feel your pain but you’re so fucking selfish you only thought of yourself!

– Jaejin … I’m so …

– Shut the fuck up! I hate you!

He roughly shifted Jiyong on the side and was about to hit the eldest right in the face when Sunghoon moved between them and stopped Jaejin’s hand by holding his wrist.

– Don’t!

The singer stared right at him, his black eyes sunk into his. Jaejin felt all his violence vanishing at the sight of the man he secretly cherished.

– … Sunghoon ?

– Don’t do that. I don’t want you to hit Jiwon hyung.

– But … It’s his fault! He decided to disband, the CEO told us so.

– We already argued a lot about this, there’s no need to add your opinion to this problem.

Jaejin felt his heart tighten at those words. Was it why he heard the couple argued during that night? It was way more than relationships matters. He looked at him, puzzled and confused.

– But … Why ? Why did you also agree with that? Sunghoon, I thought you cared for us.

That’s unfair …

– Jaejin … Everybody is right about us. It was time for us to do so.

He felt a dagger stabbing his heart at those words. The dancer’s eyes grew wider at those words. He remained silent as if the world stopped around him.

– I think it’s better disbanding while we’re still at the top … The fans won’t stay forever by our sides. We can have good solo careers, too. It’s better for everybody …

Jaejin lowered his face, not meeting Sunghoon’s eyes anymore. He bit his lips and felt his eyes suddenly became teary. His mouth couldn’t say any words, he was too weak in front of the man he loved and couldn’t fight, defend himself.

– Moreover, it’s not like we were going to live together forever …

Hearing this, tears began dropping, and his legs were shaking with nervosity.

Vulnerability attacked his body. He was destroying his dreams, hopes, and fantasies he had built all over the years just by saying those words, those cruel words that broke his heart into sharp shatters that hurt each part of him.

– Hyung … Are you crying?

Sunghoon looked at him, worried and slightly touched his shoulder. His skin began trembling under the youngest’s touch, and the dancer pushed him slowly and tried to say, his words stuck in his throat.

– No … I … I need to … To go …

Tears began to fall down his cheeks and could be seen by his fellow members.

Sunghoon was about to come closer, but he turned and started running away, shutting his own mouth with his hand to prevent sobs, not turning so he won’t meet his friends’ shocked faces. He ran fast, so fast nobody would catch him.

In a few seconds, he was outside, tears still flowing on his face. He kept running without stopping and stopped when he felt his bones were so weak he couldn’t move anymore. He was far from the company. Alone. In an empty street, that reinforce his loneliness. Jaejin let himself fall on a bench and couldn’t hold his sorrow anymore. He cried in agony, his face barely hidden behind his black locks and his shaky hands. His whole body was quivering, and he had trouble breathing. He remained as such for hours: empty, hurt, broken, and the one who caused these painful sensations was the man he ever loved.

When he felt he was able to move again, he came back to the dorm and took his belongings. Hopefully, the others weren’t there. And, without telling them, he left Seoul to go back in Busan, his hometown. What was the use to stay there? Everything was over and make his team see his despair about the whole situation would only make it more uncomfortable to everybody.

Since that day, his life had slowly turned into a nightmare.

When he came back, his parents put themselves inside the matter. They came to DSP to try to find a solution, but their presence didn’t help it. Jaejin didn’t come back there: the pain would only be wider if he would see those buildings, that CEO who destroyed his dreams, his members and the man who broke his heart …

He quarreled a lot with his parents about that. They told him that leaving Sechskies has been the worst thing he had ever done and that they weren’t going to talk to him if he did not resolve that matter. That made him sick: he never wanted that and was accused of disbanding while he never wanted that.

Their relationship degraded so much he decided to get a small apartment in Haeundae.

All by himself. He was lonely for real now, spending his time between the white walls of his flat or roaming the streets without goals. Most of the times, he was drinking himself to death, alone. Alcohol sometimes helped him feeling better when he was depressed.

Since he came back, he tried to think about a solution to slow the disband down and even to prevent it from happening. But no matter how hard he tried, nothing came to his brain.

At the beginning of April, the month of when the disband was forecast, the company contacted him on his cellphone so he would come back to Seoul, record the farewell song with his members and prepare all the events about this announcement.

Seeing that they couldn’t get him, the company tried to reach him again. Once. Twice.

Several times. Jaejin couldn’t bear hearing the cheap ringtone of his phone, that came as a remindful pain about the end of his life with Sechskies.

It’s at that moment the solution came, as evident to him.

One April’s night, he went on the beach, after a walk. He sat on a rock near the sea, looking at it. It was beautiful and was lightened by the orange sunset, the man always appreciated this view when he was living there. He pulled his phone from his pocket and looked at it, thoughtful. The only way he had to prevent all these things to happen was to simply disappear to their eyes. Then, maybe, they would worry and think twice of their decision.

After a few seconds of hesitation, Jaejin threw it in the sea. He stared at it being sunk by the huge waves, and it soon disappeared, just like the happiest times of his life in the capital city, with his fellow members and that bright crystal that lightened his days up.

Didn’t you know?
Couldn’t you be aware of my mind?
I always longed for you alone …

Jaejin ended his soju bottle in one sip, his teardrops slowly drying on his cheeks. He was about to get up and ask for another bottle when he felt somebody sitting by his side.

He slowly turned his head. It was a familiar face with a short blond hair he never expected to see on that person.

– Hello. Jaejin.

It was Jaeduc. He was staring at him, with a serious face. He looked healthy but also tired, as his facial features were drawn-looking. Jaejin mumbled, looking elsewhere.

– Hi … Dude …

Jaeduc kept staring at him and, slowly, began counting the bottles Jaejin had been drinking.

– One, two, three, four … Woah, and you’re still sober with all this soju inside your veins?

– Mh …

– You seem to take it as a habit, isn’t it?

– Mh … I guess …

Jaejin was staring in front of him and sighed, his eyes still red because of his cries.

Jaeduc calmly asked:

– Where were you for all this time?

– Well … Here … Doing nothing special … Resting a bit and enjoying life …

– Mh … Do you know DSP tried to call you?

– Oh ? I didn’t know about that, he calmly lied, drinking his bottle. I broke my phone …

– They even came to your parents’ place to see if you were there.

– I’m not living there anymore, and I didn’t talk to them for quite some time.

– That’s childish of you, Jaejin.

The latter stared at him, slowly raising an eyebrow.

– What is wrong?

– Don’t you know how much we were all anxious? When the company told us you disappeared, I looked for you in the entire Seoul and Busan, questioning your friends, your family! Something could have happened to you! You worried us to death!

– Well … As you can see, I’m still alive …

– That’s all you have to say ?!

– What else?

– I don’t know, maybe “I’m sorry” or maybe “Excuse me for behaving in such a selfish

way”?

Jaejin’s eyes grew darker hearing this. He looked away, uneasy. He didn’t want him to

know he went out of sight because he wanted to prevent the disband from happening.

He muttered, irritated by his words:

– Excuse me, but you’re not in a good place to talk about selfishness …

– Come on, stop acting like a child! We all tried so much, I begged the company not to

make that happen but we were doomed, we never made contracts so we don’t have the choice!

– But Jiwon …

– Stop rejecting everything on him just because he is the leader. You have no ideas how much he suffered.

That hurt him a lot to make that happen, but you don’t see it, you only think of you and what matters to you … He knew everything way before us and fought a lot for Sechskies, but DSP doesn’t give a damn for us now.

– That’s bullshit, we could have signed in another company …

– It’s not that easy. Think whatever you want, Jaejin, but I needed to tell you something important.

The dark-haired man looked at him, raising an eyebrow. Jaeduc remained calm and continued, with a quiet voice.

– Sunghoon worried to death for you.

Jaejin’s expression changed a bit at those words. His friend remained calm, he perfectly knew he hit a sensitive point, and kept talking:

– You have no idea how much he had been anxious … He wanted to go here to look for you and was sorry for the way he talked to you last time … He didn’t know you cared so much about Sechskies …

The dancer’s cheeks became a bit red at those words, internally feeling touched by this kind intention. The dark-haired boy muttered, hiding his feelings:

– Why would I feel concerned about that? I don’t care, I’m not the one he loves …

– Oh god, stop lying … You never stopped loving him, even if you tell the opposite, you can’t help it.

– Shut up, I’m over it, Jaejin lied.

– Don’t lie, it’s pretty obvious you wouldn’t care much for the group if he wasn’t here.

– Shut the fuck up!

He was about to jump on the other man to hit him when he heard those words, his body trembling from nervosity. However, instead, he stopped and began breaking down, his teary eyes meeting Jaeduc’s again.

He stopped his sobs by sealing his mouth with his hand, but Jaeduc slowly caught his wrist, saying with a soft voice:

– You can cry, that’s fine …

Both looked at each other, and Jaejin fell into the other man’s arms, sobbing loudly.

Jaeduc embraced him and slowly caressed his soft black hair, without saying a word.

He knew his feelings too much and even though they were Black Kies, both were very sensitive and expressive in their emotions.

Jaejin sorely muttered in his neck:

– You … You are right … I can’t help it … I … I love him … Jaeduc … I love him so freaking much! I could die for him! No matter … how much I suffer because of him … The other dancer slowly patted his back, still hugging him, and said:

– If you love him … Just go back to Seoul. Let’s disband as six … Sunghoon will be reassured if you’re here

– But … I still don’t want to …

– I don’t want to dissolve the group either … But there’s nothing we can do. DSP won’t wait for you, next time. Let’s face this hardship as six. He’s going to be happier if you’re here, and that will be my case too.

He slowly detached from the eldest man while saying these words, his eyes a bit teary.

Jaejin slowly lowered his look and muttered, with a quiet voice:

– I’ll be there … Even if it hurts …

He slowly stopped crying, biting his lips. Sechskies was already buried to DSP’s eyes.

No matter if he tried running away, the disband was settled, and there was nothing he could do. His missing would only bring more problems.

Jaeduc attempted to smile, hearing those words, and proposed him to stay the night at his place so they could go back to Seoul the day after. Jaejin agreed, feeling the need to have a friend by his side to talk and accompany him through his hard journey to face his destiny, the end of his team.

He really thought he was a fool for coming back. He could have stayed forever silent like this and let everything go this way. But there was Sunghoon. And for him, through pain, despair, and tears, he remained a fool. A fool in love.

I’ll be loving you, forever I’ll miss you
I was afraid that I might lose you someday

Timeless, chapter 3.5 – In Jaejin’s mind.

Spring 2000,

Dream Concert, 20th May.

So, this is the end …

Everything is over. The doors of what could have been the happiest times of my life are closing, and there’s nothing I can do to keep them open.

I’m looking in front of me. There are so many balloons, it’s making a rainbow ocean in the middle of the night … I can perceive sky blue, green, red colors … But most of them are yellow, it’s our bright and happy color. What a sad irony for us … The view we have to see is way too marvelous for what is happening right now.

So many people came today. I’m feeling weak. I wish I would have avoided this situation to occur, but I wasn’t powerful on my own for that.

We are singing “Would You Remember ?” for our final performance. I’m trying to hold my tears back but I barely can. I’m feeling so sorry for what is happening …

Our fans burst into tears, so the other fans do. The whole stadium is overwhelmed by sadness, because of us. I can’t handle it … I never wanted such a thing to happen … I’m listening, without moving. Tears are coming at the corner of my eyes and I’m trying to hold them back lin front of our fans …

I don’t have the courage to look at my fellow members. However, I noticed that Jaeduc has already been shedding tears for some minutes, he has never been the kind to hide his emotions. I observed Jiyong’s watery eyes behind his small eyeglasses. It hurts. It hurts to know that tonight is the last time we are performing together and that, next, there will be nothing left of our team, except memories.

The chorus is coming. Here comes that voice, that angelic voice … Kang Sunghoon is so heartbreakingly beautiful tonight, with his eyes shining with a glow of despair behind his soft blond locks. He is singing those lyrics, with such emotion it directly strikes my heart.

“Whenever we met, I saw sadness on your face
Though I wanted you to stay with me, your silence made me sad even more
If you say that you hate me, I would rather feel easy
Did you ever know that my love is you ?”

I feel my heart tightening while hearing those words … If only he were aware how well

they transcribe what I’m feeling for him …

I’m … such a loser. I failed at keeping by my side everything I love. I wasn’t smart enough to notice everything was going wrong. I acted selfishly and only thought about what matters to me. I hurt my members by running away and hurt myself too, and the worst is that I hurt him.

I … failed at loving him and proving it. I couldn’t even erase his sad smile while we were preparing our disband, a few days ago. I saw how sorrowful he was, but I didn’t even have the guts to hold him in my arms and reassure him. Because I’m a coward …

Our part is coming. Holding the mic, I’m singing it, staring in front of me:

“Your words that do not make you my everything
You may not shed tears because you’ve prepared today.”

I’m feeling my body trembling, and I’m trying to contain my grief again. Why does it sound so false to say?

No one has prepared this moment … No wonder why everybody is crying. We weren’t supposed to die that early as a team, we deserved so much better, and so did our dear fans. But no … We are disbanding, right in front of them, and seeing their tears is even more painful.

I didn’t prepare too. I don’t want to accept this fate. I don’t want to be on my own … I’m afraid, and I don’t want to let in the past everything I cherish … My team, my career as a dancer and rapper, and the man I love … I don’t care about being just a friend to him. I only want him by my side …

Sunghoon keeps singing the chorus’ lyrics, with his emotive tone:

“Though I will leave you with the words “Goodbye”

Would you remember that we loved each other.”

Why do these sentences sound like something he’s telling to my heart?

Today marks the end. It’s our last night as Sechs Kies members. Tomorrow, he’ll be Kang Sunghoon, and I’ll be Lee Jaejin. We will pursue our paths as artists, and he won’t care about me anymore.

But how can I forget him? He’s the only one … No matter how many seasons go, how cold my heart is, how painful I feel, how lonely I am: he is the only one my heart can love. Even if that means dying of solitude and killing the fragments of happiness that remain inside my heart … My love for him will never change.

I’m looking in front of me while listening and singing the chorus again. I feel … apart, in a different dimension. I don’t want to tell myself that it’s the end … I’m imagining that we are performing as usual, in front of fans. It helps me feeling better. But there’s a huge gap between the other five members and me …

They are here, experimenting the sad thing that is happening while I’m still stuck in Sechskies land, daydreaming.

However, the last notes of the song are bringing me back to the reality … Gosh … I can’t handle it … Why does it have to end that way? Tears are flowing and this time, I can’t stop them. Jiyong is looking at me, and I’m slowly coming to his side, smiling clumsily. I’m trying to hide and dry my tears so I can say goodbye with an ounce of dignity. Here comes the time to say farewell, to all those people who love us, worry about us, and cry because of us… I don’t want to do it. I’m the first member to talk. I’m slowly taking my mic, and I’m saying with a voice as composed as possible:

– I’m sorry … for shedding tears on our last performance … I wanted to say farewell with gusto …

I’m pausing for a few seconds, looking at this crowd full of people wailing loudly at my words. This view hurts my heart so bad … I never wanted to do that … I’m sorry, so sorry … Smiling with difficulty, and about to cry again, I’m finishing:

– I’m sorry …

I’m feeling the other performers and groups coming behind us, enquiring about us, asking us if we are fine. Of course, we are not … But I’m not in the mood for answering them. My mind is being away from the current events after my talk. I’m still living in the past, far in the past, when everything was alright, but I’m still able to hear my members’ kind words to the fans, which brings me back to the harsh reality.

I bit my lips to hold my tears until we’re leaving the stage. Everything is so silent and uncomfortable while we are all heading towards our backstage. I let drops rolling on my cheeks, silently, without looking around me. We are soon arriving at our room. We are all changing our suits for more comfortable and discreet clothes, in silence. It takes only a few minutes. When we are all done, we are all looking at each other, our eyes filled with tears. Jiyong has taken his glasses off, drying his tears. He is the first to talk and is saying, smiling with awkwardness:

– Let’s meet soon, guys. Disbanding doesn’t mean we are dead. We are still alive. We can meet after that.

I weakly smile too. Our Jiyong is right. But I feel weird. I don’t want this night to stop. I want to have the guts to ask “Hey, let’s have a drink now !” but the words can’t come out my mouth. I have the feeling that tonight is the last night we are sharing a moment as six.

Jiwon is slowly replying to this:

– For sure … Whenever and wherever. Let’s do that as soon as possible, when we will all have free time on our schedules.

We are remaining silent on these words. Our leader, smiling, is embracing each one of us. We will all soon leave this room and will pursue our paths without anyone around.

I’m hugging everybody, without saying a word, tears rolling on my face. The only moment I raise my eyes is when I’m in front of Sunghoon, so I can look at him one last time and print his beauty inside my brain.

He is wearing thick black clothes, his sad smile hiding behind his light blond locks and his eyes dazzling, almost teary.

Without a word, he is attracting me in his embrace … God … I feel like melting into it. I’m going mad at this touch. I’m feeling my heart is going to explode … I want to cry inside his neck, but I’m just nuzzling my nose into it for a few seconds, smelling his sweet scent for a last cruel time. I’m lifting my eyes, looking around us for a few seconds. Everyone has left the room as many groups are waiting outside to talk with us.

I’m slowly muttering, trembling a bit:

– Sunghoon …

He is slowly detaching from me and is staring at me with his bright dark eyes:

– Yes ?

– I …

I want to say “I love you.” There’s nobody around us. It’s my only chance to let him know my feelings for him and free my heart from its heavy burden. I don’t care to be loved. I want him to know how much I care for him and cherish him.

But soon, we can hear a voice coming closer to us.

– Sunghoon, are you ready? Let’s leave together.

Jiwon is coming towards us, with his tired face, his hands inside his pockets. My cherished singer is still looking at me, waiting for an answer. But I can’t tell him … My words are stuck in my throat, now. As a weak reply, I say:

– I wish you good luck for the future …

He looks at me with a questioning face, wondering why I take such a solemn tone to say these words. But soon, he is smiling, as weakly as me.

– I wish you good luck, too, hyung … I sincerely hope we will meet, after that.

– Ye … Yeah … That would be … great …

I’m trying hard to smile. I want to cry for being such a coward. I’m lowering my face, seeing Sunghoon leaving towards our ex-leader, without turning one last time. And I’m feeling my heart shattering into pieces when I see their hands holding discreetly in the dark corridors, among the crowd of people.

I lost everything in one night … My career, my fans, and that chance …

I … can’t stop crying … I don’t know if I will manage to live without your presence by my side, Kang Sunghoon …

I love you … But you will never be aware of my love, and you will never care anyway.

Timeless, chapter 4.

Winter 2002,

Another morning, for another dull day …

A man in sportswear was sipping a hot coffee in a small café in Itaewon. It was the result of a habit he had taken since he began a solo career as a singer and since he had lived in the capital city. The drink was tasteful during these cold days. It was warm and recomforting.

He was easy to recognize among the crowd of people, but he couldn’t care less. He managed to get even more handsome after years and became a good-looking young man, with long silky brown hair, fair skin tone and still wearing that beauty mark near his lips, cherished by many fans.

Lee Jaejin was glancing around him while drinking this warm coffee.

He still had free time before going to the company. He used to spend it watching people, more particularly girls.

The dancer was a good observer and noticed some beautiful women drinking chocolate and giggling with their friends. Of course, he even saw some who were staring at him, with either curiosity or more deep interest. The man liked that. He stared back at them seductively, sometimes winking, and liked the way those girls blushed under his eyes.

However, he never got up and talked to them. Jaejin wanted to try having more interest than that for them, but he couldn’t. His solo career helped him feeling confident, but he didn’t want to play more than this seduction game with them. His heart felt empty. He didn’t feel the need to love or be loved.

Because the only one he cared about had left his life quite some time ago. Now, he is just a remembrance, an “old friend” to him.

Yes. Years couldn’t change his impossible love for Kang Sunghoon. No matter how hard he tried. He silently watched, followed his two first albums promotions and he couldn’t help but falling more in love with him seeing how beautiful, sweet, talented he was. They met once or twice. But that was fast, too fast, as if it didn’t happen. The two men acted as if they were strangers. That hurt Jaejin, but he didn’t feel pain anymore because of that. He already suffered so much, what was ignorance to him now? He had never truly been part of his life, except as a colleague. That was justified.

The dancer sighed, and ended his coffee with one sip. He was about to get up and leave the café when he felt a hand touching his shoulder.

– Jaejin ?!

He frowned hearing his name, but his eyes grew wider when he perceived the tone with which it was pronounced. He could recognize it among thousands. His hometown’s accent …

He turned back and faced a smiling Jaeduc with bright eyes. He smiled back:

– Duckie …

– Dude, it’s been so long! He exclaimed, hugging his friend. I missed you so much!

– Me too, Jaejin said, patting his back. What the hell are you doing here?

– I was promoting in Seoul, what a question! I was drinking coffee with Suwon. Come with me. He will be happy to see you!

– Su … Suwon ? He said, a bit surprised.

– Yeah, follow me.

Without saying more words, Jaeduc took Jaejin’s hand and guided him toward a table hidden from looks, in a corner. Soon, he could see Suwon, wearing casual clothes and also drinking a cup of coffee. When the dancer came closer, the ex-maknae raised the eyes and looked at him with a surprised expression.

– … Hyung ?!

– Hi, Suwon, it’s been so long!

– … What is he doing here? He asked to Jaeduc, after a short silence.

– I don’t know, why would we care about that? What a way to welcome a hyung after so much time! Stop acting like a kid and greet him.

Suwon looked at the dancer and ended up giving him a hug, smiling a bit. Then, they all sat around the table. Jaeduc said:

– We freaking missed you … What are you doing on your free time lately? You’ve been so good as Double J. I hope you’ll come back soon.

– Well … I’m supposed to go to the company in an hour to work there and choose some songs I’ll work on for the next album. So, it has been foreseen already …

– Woah, so good!

– And you, guys?

– We ended J-Walk’s promotions for Someday, Suwon declared.

The youngest said that staring at Jaejin right in the eyes. The dancer looked away, feeling a bit uncomfortable. He was supposed to be part of the J-Walk project but never answered to them when it was settled.

– Oh … I see …

– I never understood why you never answered when we wanted to record the first album. You seemed to care for Sechskies so much!

– Suwon, please stop that, Jaeduc calmly said.

– No. Jaejin hyung, I want to know why.

Jaejin bit his lips and looked away for a moment, before staring back at him.

He had his reasons. He was a Sechskies member. He loved his old group. But being part of a sub-unit that would remind him of their past was painful to him. If he stayed an artist, he would stay alone. He was used to the loneliness of a solo career. And he missed Sunghoon so  much, being with people that reminded him every day would, even more, depress him.

But he couldn’t tell that. Smiling, he answered:

– Well, you know, I had been busy with my solo career … And more over …

He laughed, adding those words:

– I didn’t want to be part of a jTL ripped-off.

Both the men in front of him looked at him, raising an eyebrow.

– O … kay …

– That’s a weird reason. Are you sure there’s only that? Suwon asked.

– The funniest thing right now is you two being in a duo, Jaejin answered with a smirk.

Why the hell did you choose to stay together? I was shocked: you couldn’t bear one another while we were Sechskies.

The duo was so surprised by this remark they forgot the initial question and looked at each other with a thoughtful expression. Jaeduc answered, thinking:

– Well … Our destinies … kinda forced us to do so. We didn’t have the guts to do solo … He knows how to sing … I know how to rap … We like performing … We talked a lot after the disband … It came as evidence to us.

– We have different personalities, but somehow, we managed to blend well, and we barely argue now, right, hyung?

– Yes, even though you are still a brat.

– And you, an old ahjusshi.

They laughed at these words. Jaejin stared at them with a smile on his lips. He was glad they were happy with their current career. However, there was something he wanted to know for a long time. Something he didn’t dare asking, but that he needed to know.

– By the way … How the others have been doing, lately? Are they fine?

The duo looked at him for a few seconds, and Jaeduc replied, sipping his coffee.

– We haven’t been in touch with them for quite a time … We promoted a bit with Jiwon hyung, as his last album came out at the same time as Suddenly. We barely talked, though. And, according to what I read from some fan websites, Jiyong has found an acting company. And, as you might know, Sunghoon promoted his song My Girl and was busy with it. We met once or twice, but our meeting was fast.

– I see …

– I’m surprised you didn’t contact Sunghoon, Jaejin hyung, Suwon declared.

– Why ?

– Because you love him, don’t you?

The dancer froze when he heard that question. He stared at him, raising an eyebrow.

– Excuse me?

– You still love him, don’t you? Jaeduc hyung told me the feelings you had for him while we were in the group.

His eyes grew wider at this announcement. He stared at the other dancer, his face marked by shock and disappointment.

– You told him ?! It was confidential, dude, you are such an asshole for telling him!

– I said nothing, I swear! He guessed it all by himself. I just confirmed it!

– Shut up. You didn’t need to do that. As if … Living with it was easy. No one can understand.

– Dude, I feel you, stop that.

Jaejin looked away, ashamed, while Jaeduc tried to meet his stare, feeling sorry. Suwon said nothing, sipping his hot drink. When he had finished it, he slightly bent towards Jaejin and whispered:

– Hyung … I can’t understand what you’ve been through and what you are feeling … I won’t judge you … I swear I had no negative reactions when we talked about it.

– Hm …

– But, I want to understand you … You always seemed so depressed, in the past … Do you still love Sunghoon? Jaejin slowly raised his eyes, which became sadder at this question. He replied, with a quiet voice.

– Of course, even if there is a gap between us … I can’t help it … It’s been years, but this love grew stronger with time going.

– So why don’t you go and talk to him?

– He doesn’t care about me … And, as you might know, he has Jiwon …

– Bullshit. Forget about it and go.

Both dancers stared at him in awe when the youngest said those words with a determined face. Shocked, Jaejin muttered:

– Wh … What ?

– Sunghoon likes you a lot. He cares for you. Stop putting you down. Love is war, hyung. If you love him, you should fight to win his heart, even if that means fighting Eun Jiwon.

– Suwon, stop saying rubbish to him, we will break the group’s friendship, Jaeduc carefully said.

– Sechskies is dead, now, he sharply replied. I would have understood you if we were still a team but we disbanded, we have nothing to protect anymore.

Jaejin bit his lips hearing those words. The ex-maknae was right. There was no need to hide this affection as they all weren’t members anymore. Suwon continued:

– You can’t stay like this forever … You need to confess to him.

– I’m going right into a wall …

– What you tell is only a way to make him even more suffer. Jaejin enough suffered, when the moment will come, he will do it. He doesn’t need that, Jaeduc replied.

– How can he guess the right time if it doesn’t happen? He loses nothing by trying. If he doesn’t try, he will only get regrets. Moreover, the relationship between Sunghoon and Jiwon hyung is going bad lately.

– Bad ? Jaejin repeated.

– Yes. They argued a lot since both went solo. Last time we saw hyung, he hadn’t wanted to hear a single word about Sunghoon. And Hoony seemed bitter about him too. I don’t have more details about that.

The dancer felt hope invading his heart at this sentence. Somehow, he was feeling bad for being happy about a potential end of their couple, but he agreed with the youngest: it was a golden occasion to step in the game and show how much he cherished the singer. Jaeduc looked at Jaejin, puzzled, then smiled a bit:

– As you are my friend, I don’t want you to hurt yourself because of this love. You experienced enough pain like that … But … I won’t stop you from confessing if you want that. I know how much you love him, and you deserve to be loved in return.

Jaejin smiled, biting his inner lip and slowly muttered:

– I’ll think about that …

Suwon, with a grin on his lips, caught a pen and a writing pad. He pulled his phone out of his jeans’ pocket and began writing on the pad while looking at the screen. Then, he gave one paper to Jaejin, who had been looking at him with curious eyes while he was writing.

– It’s Sunghoon’s phone number. In case you want to contact him … There’s also ours if you want to talk.

Jaejin stared at him with surprise. His friends just smiled. He smiled back, his heart filled with hope. After a short conversation concerning their respective schedules for the day, they all left the café, promising themselves they will meet soon.

For the whole day, the dancer kept staring at the numbers written on the paper, thoughtful. He was afraid

… It was the opportunity to recreate a link between them, but he feared his reaction.

Would he still care?

Would he be angry?

Would he remember?

He was taken out of his thoughts when his producer came and proposed him the songs for his awaited second album. He carefully listened to the sample of the chosen tracks.

None of them pleased him …except one.

The melody of this track was cheerful, and the lyrics’ first draft suited his tastes. He quickly asked for the title and got his answer in a single word.

Uri.

The dancer remained thoughtful for a few second and grinned, repeating the word again. Uri … He thought it could be a good idea to sing it as a duo, or with even more people. Like with members of his exgroup

… With his friends … With the man he loves. The lyrics suited them all, and the melody had a nostalgic Sechskies’ vibe, similar to their old songs.

He asked his producer if a collaboration was possible for that song. The latter encouraged him in this choice. Being with other artists was the best way to promote.

The six crystals could reunite in this manner.

After choosing his songs and training, the long-haired man left the company and came back home. When he arrived, he went on his bed, slowly pulled his phone and the small paper out of this pocket and looked at them, biting his lips. With all his courage, he dialed the numbers next to the name of the one he loved and waited, holding the phone to his ear, waiting for his voice, sweet voice.

It didn’t take much time to hear it.

– Hello ?

He gulped when he heard the familiar voice on the line. After a few seconds of silence,

biting his lips, his heart beating like crazy inside his rib cage, he slowly said:

– Hi, Sunghoon … It’s me, Jaejin.

There was a short silence before the youngest man whispered:

– Jaejin hyung …

Jaejin remained noiseless. He didn’t know how what he was going to tell after that.

After few seconds of silence, the singer sighed:

– It’s been so long … I missed you …

His voice seemed reproachful. The dancer’s eyes grew wider, as he never expected such a sentence from the handsome man’s mouth. He could already picture him, either laid on his bed or sit on a sofa, with a pout on his face, saying those words. Jaejin blushed and clumsily replied:

– I’m so sorry … I missed you too. I wanted to call earlier, but I was afraid to bother you

– You’re such a dummy … Why would you bother me?

– You … had tons of schedules …

– And ? It’s not important. You worried me. I thought you were angry at me … You weren’t, right?

Jaejin bit hard on his lips when he listened to him. He felt stupid, so stupid for acting this way, and for thinking during all this time that the youngest didn’t care about him.

– Of course, not, Sunghoon. I’m sorry … You shouldn’t have worried to that point …

– You don’t have to be sorry. I should have called you too … By the way, everything’s fine now … We are talking, and that’s the most important thing, right?

– Yeah … Yeah, you’re right, Jaejin awkwardly replied.

– You see … Tell me, how are you, hyung?

– Fine, he answered, smiling a bit. And you?

– I’m fine too. I followed your whole promotion for S.Wings album. You improved. Long hair strangely suits you … I thought you looked weird with it, at first, but you’re still very handsome.

Jaejin felt his heart exploding when he heard the singer’s point of view about him. He was glad to fit his tastes regarding beauty. He replied, laughing and blushing:

– Thank you. I also followed yours, for your two albums. You were as good as before …

Even better … And

… Even more handsome, haha.

– Awh, that’s so sweet. Did you call to say that to me or was there another reason?

The dancer remained silent for a while at this question and answered, sincerely:

– I wanted to hear from you because I missed you … I also wanted to talk with you about my new album.

There is a track I want to sing … with everybody. I mean, with the other Sechskies members. I want you to sing it with me if you aren’t busy.

For short seconds, Jaejin couldn’t hear the sweet voice of his fellow ex-member. The latter answered, thinking:

– There is no problem to sing it with you, even though I might prepare my third album. It could be an excellent occasion to reunite. I’m not sure about the others, though …

– The others?

– Not Jaeduc and Suwon, I’m pretty sure they will accept it. But Jiyong, for example …

Contacting him is hard. And Jiwon hyung … has been busy lately. You lose nothing by trying, but there’s a high possibility they won’t be here.

Jaejin remained silent. He was right … He would need to think about it. But in a way, he didn’t want Jiwon to be with them and ruin his moment with the other man. As Suwon said, both  were in a love war: there was no place for kindness or friendship anymore.

– Hm … I’ll think about it. But as long as you can sing with me, that’s fine. You are our main singer, after all.

– Will we meet to sing together before the recording?

– Of course, Sunghoon. It’s obvious. Why?

– Because I can’t wait for that moment to happen.

– Nei … Neither do I …

Jaejin blushed and couldn’t say more words than that, his heart beating so loudly it was the only thing he could hear inside his noiseless bedroom. After few seconds, Sunghoon sighed, and said:

– Crap, I didn’t watch the hour. I’ll let you, hyung. I’ll go to sleep.

– Oh ? See you soon. Okay, have a good night, Sunghoon.

– See you soon … Oh, by the way, hyung …

– Hm ?

There was a short silence. The youngest slowly whispered:

– I missed you …

Jaejin smiled and uttered back:

– I missed you, too … Sweet dreams, Sunghoonie …

– Sweet dreams, hyung.

The singer was the first to hang up the phone. The dancer felt his body as light as a feather, for the first time in years. Slowly, he let himself sink into his comfy bed, his phone against his breast.

He felt needed. Appreciated. By the man he always cherished. That made him felt alive and melt the ice walls around his heart.

And for the first time, he felt like his days were about to be as bright as the sun.

Timeless, chapter 5.

Spring 2003,

– Hyung … It’s been so long … I missed you.

At last. The two men faced one another.

Jaejin’s heart exploded when he heard these words coming from Sunghoon’s mouth. The day they were supposed to practice together finally came. The dancer couldn’t believe that he was in front of him after three years of pain and silence.

He remained motionless like a rock when he saw him entering the practice room with light steps. His eyes became watery when he saw his marvelous smile on his face. Finally, he had melted inside his arms when the youngest was done greeting Jaeduc and Suwon. They had hugged for a long minute, and Jaejin didn’t say a word, his eyes closed, preventing himself from showing his emotions.

Now, the cheerful man was observing him and was as good-looking as ever, maybe even more, with his beautiful tanned skin and his soft brown locks. His features bore signs of joy, and that made him even more attractive.

The dancer just couldn’t hide his eyes filled with love for him.

– You are beautiful.

He whispered this sentence, smiling, without noticing that his heart spoke for himself. His face reddened when he felt the intriguing eyes of his ex-members on him, following those words.

Sunghoon rose an eyebrow and laughed:

– Well … Thank you. You are very handsome too, hyung, haha.

Jaejin kept blushing and smiled with nervosity. He felt stupid for losing control this way, in front of everybody. Suwon was grinning to him, looking at the two men. Jaeduc looked at them with unease and slowly came to them.

– It’s good to see you after all this time.

– I craved all of this, Sunghoon sighed. You know … Training, performing, with you. It’s

not the same when you’re alone …

A short silence followed this words. Everybody seemed to agree with the singer’s feelings.

Inside of their heart, all of them wanted to be as Sechs Kies again. But even today, as four, they felt and were incomplete. Sechs Kies meant “six crystals.” Without Jiyong and Jiwon, it wouldn’t make sense to say it’s a reunion. The song they were about to sing together would only be a track from Lee Jaejin’s new album, featuring Kang Sunghoon and J-Walk. Not a Sechs Kies’ song. And all of them were aware of it.

Jaeduc looked at the singer and smiled weakly at him:

– I know … Well, at least, we can spend some time together. Moreover, we’re helping

Jaejin for his new album.

– Yeah … Thank you again for coming, guys …

– You’re welcome. We’ll give our best for you. It’s our first song together since isbanding, fans will care about it. It’s been so long we sang together, Jaeduc said.

– I hope everything’s gonna be alright, Jaejin sighed, worried.

– Don’t worry, hyung. We still have time to polish our singing together. The more we practice, the best we will be.

Sunghoon said these words with a reassuring tone, smiling. Jaejin smiled back, without  talking, just looking in the youngest’s eyes with an affection he had troubles to hide.

However, his contemplation had been short, as Jaeduc brought him back to reality:

– Well, let’s start, shall we?

– Yes !

– Y-Yeah.

Jaejin shook his head and looked at the ground, clumsily, as all of them began their vocal warming up. He quickly smiled, harmonizing his voice with their owns. He always enjoyed how all of their voices blended well together when they were all in Sechs Kies.

Finding this sensation back after these years made him more than happy.

Following this, they began singing. Everybody tried his best not to make mistakes.

Except him.

Jaejin was aware that, this time, he was the main singer. He was supposed to be the most concentrated but he just couldn’t. His stare often met Sunghoon’s dark tender eyes while he was singing and that made him lose control of his voice. The dancer couldn’t help but be hypnotized by the handsome young man, even after all these years.

All of them didn’t speak much while practicing, except when they were correcting mistakes or when they were taking a break. When they ended up their training session, it was night already. And all of them didn’t want to leave, even if they were supposed to meet again.

Jaejin’s eyes were spying on Sunghoon, while he was preparing himself to leave. He got interrupted by Suwon, who had been speaking with Jaeduc for quite a minute:

– Guys, are you ok to hang out tonight? We have free time to spend before going home.

Sunghoon looked at him, surprised by his suggestion, and answered:

– Well … I have no plans for tonight … So I’m fine with it.

– Jaejin hyung?

The oldest of them looked away, a bit uneasy with the question. The dancer was feeling too nervous to be in the same place as Sunghoon, doing something that wasn’t involving the group or their careers. It would be just them. Chatting, drinking and staring at each other.

– I … I don’t know … I’m not in the mood for going out …

– Come on, Jaejin hyung! Make an effort! Suwon exclaimed.

– Please hyung, come … It’s been so long since we last saw, we will have fun, there, Sunghoon said while pouting.

He bit his lips and looked at J-Walk members. Jaeduc shrugged while Suwon only sighed and looked at him with disappointment. He could read in his eyes that he suggested this because it would be an opportunity for them to get closer. He was trying his best for him and appreciated that, but he felt like Suwon was just wasting his energy, as Jaejin wasn’t expecting much from himself.

He sighed:

– Okay, okay …

– Yeah ! You’ll see, it will be cool!

– You know that Jaejin hyung can’t resist you, Sunghoon. You just need to smile, and he would give you the world.

Suwon said this, calm and grinning. Sunghoon laughed at this sentence, while Jaeduc smiled awkwardly.

Jaejin scowled at the maknae. He was about to reply back, but Sunghoon stopped him by putting his hand on his shoulder.

– Well, as long as he stays with us and pays me drinks tonight, I think it’s better than the whole world.

The youngest smiled and winked at him. Jaejin tried hard not blushing while he did that to him on purpose and laughed, patting the youngest’s hand with his own.

– We’ll see, we’ll see.

– So let’s hurry, then!

The men quickly left the building and began looking for a pleasant place to enjoy their night together. The members of J-walk were walking at the front, talking to each other, while Sunghoon and Jaejin were behind them, silent. The dancer was peeping at the brown-haired man from the corner of his eyes. His heart was still beating very fast. The mood was perfect to start a conversation, but Jaejin felt so uncomfortable at this idea.

He doomed the other two men for not helping him with it, but he didn’t want to ask for help again: they had done enough for him. Thus, he remained silent until they found a pub fitting their tastes.

Jaejin sat next to Sunghoon and was the first to buy a round of alcohol drinks. He stayed quiet, listening to the conversation. He wasn’t much in the mood to talk and secretly enjoyed hearing what his ex-members were telling. He missed those moments they all spent together, talking while eating, playing games, resting or watching TV.

Hours went, and all members stopped counting glasses they had been drinking. Jaejin stopped drinking when he felt like he reached his limits. So did Jaeduc and Suwon. However, Sunghoon didn’t watch out his boundaries and ended up being drunk. After a few drinks, he was bursting into laughs for nothing, all smiling, and could barely talk without stammering. He wanted to get up but failed, as he couldn’t walk straight.

Jaejin helped him sitting down to his seat, worried. Jaeduc stared at the singer, raising an eyebrow:

– Well … I guess we’ll need to call a cab to drive him back.

– No, I don’t want to leave you! Sunghoon grumbled, pouting.

– We can bring him back by ourselves, though.

– Don’t be stupid, Suwon. We’ve been drinking too much to drive.

– Then, what should we do? Is it right to let him go home with that state, even by taxi?

He acts like a child.

– Jaejin hyung, keep me with you! Let me stay with you!

Sunghoon whined those words, clinging himself to the concerned man. Jaejin stared at him, shocked by the sudden needy behavior of the youngest. But he was so cute … He couldn’t resist to him. The singer was staring at him with sparkling puppy eyes, a sweet pout on his lips. Feeling more courage since he had drank, the dancer declared:

– Don’t bother yourself with him, guys. I will bring him back.

Jaeduc looked at him, doubtful:

– How ? You can’t drive. You’ve been drinking as much as we did.

– We’ll be okay. We’ll walk to my apartment. It’s the nearest place from here.

– But … What if something happens to you ?! Fans can see you, it’s not smart!

– Come on, they will be good, hyung! Suwon smirked. Jaejin hyung will be careful; you don’t have to worry.

Jaeduc looked at the maknae, who was still grinning. He didn’t seem to agree with Suwon, whose goal was only to help the dancer having a private moment with Sunghoon. After several seconds of silence, he sighed:

– Fine, fine. But be careful, for God’s sake, Jaejin …

– Don’t worry!

Jaejin got up and helped Sunghoon doing the same. The latter seemed too drunk to move. The oldest whispered to him:

– Cling onto me if you feel you can’t walk on your own.

Sunghoon nodded. He slowly pressed himself to the dancer and passed his arm around his neck. Jaejin attracted the youngest to him while leaving, and waved a short goodbye to his two friends.

Thus, both were outside. The night was dark, fresh. Nobody was outside at such a late hour. Jaejin was blushing, his hand resting on the singer’s waist. They were just the two of them from this moment.

Both were walking in the desert streets, silently. It was peaceful but very awkward at the same time for Jaejin. He didn’t know what to say but decided to break this silence, laughing:

– What an idea to drink if you can’t bear alcohol.

The singer remained speechless and was looking at the ground. Jaejin cursed himself for his words and felt like he made the situation even more awkward. However, he heard the youngest whispering:

– I’m happy … I’m so damn happy …

Sunghoon then looked at him with a weak but beautiful smile. Jaejin smiled back and muttered, slowly:

– I’m happy, too.

They kept walking for a minute until Sunghoon stopped himself, pouting, staring at the other man:

– I’m tired of walking …

– Seriously ? Jaejin asked, raising an eyebrow. We just left the pub.

– But I don’t feel my legs anymore!

– Gosh …

Jaejin sighed and leaned forward, showing his back to the brown-haired man.

– Get on my back. I will give you a piggyback ride.

Sunghoon nodded and got on his back, embracing the oldest’s neck with his arms. The latter winced. The young man was too heavy for him but considering the remaining distance to his apartment, Jaejin would bear his weight to please him. While he was walking, Sunghoon muttered to his ear:

– Somehow, Suwon is right …

– About what? The dancer asked, looking at him.

– You always do everything I want.

Jaejin felt his heart speeded up and looked at him, trying to remain confident:

– Why wouldn’t I? It’s been so long since we last saw, I want you to enjoy the time you’re spending with e. You’re far from bothering me …

Sunghoon smiled more when he heard that and nuzzled his face into the oldest’s neck, whispering:

– Still … I don’t know many people who are that kind.

Jaejin flushed and shivered when he felt the youngest’s hot breath against his cold skin. He quickly bit his lips. Why was he more loving than ever, now that they were just the two of them? Did he want the same thing as him? Jaejin didn’t know how to interpret those words and was thinking too much, way too much.

Both drank, maybe more than they should had and the dancer didn’t want to act dumb.

So he stopped talking, remaining silent and thoughtful.

Jaejin managed to carry the youngest until both reached the apartment and entered it.

He slowly guided Sunghoon towards the bedroom’s door.

– You will sleep there. You have the bedroom for yourself. If you need me, I will be in the living-room.

– Hyung?

– Yes?

– Can you sleep with me?

Jaejin turned around, looking at him with wide eyes. He thought that his most secret desires played with his mind and he wasn’t sure of what he heard.

– Wh-What ?

– Can you stay with me? I don’t want to sleep alone, tonight …

The dancer’s face turned red, and he could hear his heart beating loudly. Was it for real? It sounded crazy.

Jaejin was on the point to ask why he needed to be with him but, instead, he followed what he had always wanted.

– Of course, as you wish.

Sunghoon smiled to him, and both entered the bedroom. Jaejin sat on one side of his bed and undressed, a bit awkwardly. He didn’t dare glance at Sunghoon, who was sitting on the opposite side and seemed to strip too.

When Jaejin had removed the last of his clothes, he was in his black underwear. He was either sleeping with that type of apparel or entirely naked. When he dared turn his head towards Sunghoon, the latter was already under the sheets, turning his back to him, and seemed to be half-naked too. The oldest switched the light off and laid under the sheets, keeping himself away from the singer.

Both were in this bed. Alone. Quiet. Almost naked. The dancer’s breath was heavy.

Jaejin wanted to draw nearer to him. His entire body had been craving for a more intimate contact since he felt in love with him, but he was afraid to try any move without being sure of the other man’s consent. So, he just looked at the ceiling, biting his lips, excited and frustrated at the same time by the youngest’s presence in his bed.

He froze when he felt a presence getting closer to him.

– It’s like in the past …

– Huh ?

– I feel like a child, tonight. I haven’t slept with a friend for years.

– Oh …

– When a friend would sleep at my house, when I was young, we would tell stories

under the sheets, laugh, and try staying awake. It was such good memories.

– I see …

– Now, I’m an adult. I feel lonely. So damn lonely …

– Why are you saying that?

Jaejin turned and found himself facing the youngest, who was looking down, with sad eyes full of melancholy. It was the first time he was seeing him that way in private. Sunghoon said, sighing:

– We all grew up so fast. It was too short. I’ve never felt as alone as the moment I went solo. It was a dream coming true to sing by myself but … I felt abandoned.

– Really ?

– Yeah. I missed you all … I missed you, hyung. I should have come talking back to you earlier … But I didn’t want to disturb you.

He came even closer to Jaejin and sighed again. The latter blushed and declared:

– You would have never annoyed me, I swear.

– I know, now. Still, I feared that. You know, I feel like nobody cared for me during all this time, you were the first contacting me since the disband. Jiyong has been a ghost since that day, Suwon and Jaeduc seemed too busy to take news and Jiwon … Jiwon changed so much.

He closed his eyes for a second, before raising them towards the eldest’s surprised face. Jaejin didn’t expect that from him. Sunghoon never told him what could be his feelings, even when they were in Sechskies, it was the first time he could know what could be on his mind. Jaejin frowned a bit hearing Jiwon’s name. The singer seemed to need to talk about him but refrained himself because of his relationship.

Sunghoon continued, staring at Jaejin in the dark, with bright eyes full of emotions:

– But you … You are the same as before. I felt so happy when you called, a few time ago … I missed the others but … I felt like somebody was missing in my life when I left the dorm. Somebody protective, loving, that I had troubles to awake on mornings and who was always looking after me.

Jaejin felt his blood rushing to his head, as his eyes grew wider by surprise and emotion. Without thinking twice, he took Sunghoon in his arms and embraced him firmly.

– I’m here now. I will never leave you alone again. I will be by your side. I promise.

Jaejin suddenly froze when he noticed what he was doing. Sunghoon looked at him, sinking his dark eyes in the oldest’s stare:

– Jaejin …

The oldest was holding the singer’s body next to his and could feel it warming up by his contact. His skin was soft to the touch. Their faces were close, their lips being only a few inches apart. Sunghoon’s eyes were half-closed, and his cheeks seemed rosy in the dark.

Jaejin felt his heart beating in his chest loudly at this sight. This situation would only happen in his deepest dreams.

However, he couldn’t move his lips towards his. He felt like he was taking advantage of him, and hated this sensation. What would he think, next morning, when he wouldn’t be drunk anymore? Jaejin would rather die than losing the youngest man because of his selfish fantasies.

Sighing, the dancer attracted his head against his shoulder and whispered:

– Sleep, Sunghoon. Otherwise, you’ll be tired tomorrow.

To his surprise, the handsome man remained in his embrace, nuzzling his face into his neck. After a short minute of silence, he laughed and muttered:

– You are sweet … If I were a girl, I would date you on the spot, haha.

Jaejin blushed at the compliment.

– Ah ? Erm … Well … Thanks …

– You’re a hot guy, with protective arms, sexy shoulders, caring and tender stare … ‘must be good to be your girlfriend.

– … M-Maybe …

– You might be a sex god, too.

– Wh … What ?!

Jaejin slightly jumped at this sentence, looking at him in awe, while Sunghoon began giggling, blushing, inside his arms. The dancer rolled his eyes, sighing, holding him close. He wanted him so bad but was certain the singer didn’t think a single word of what he was saying. He was drunk, after all.

– You’re such a child.

– I know~. You’re so easy to bother.

– You better stop bothering me if you don’t want to end up on the floor.

– Noooo, keep me in your arms … I feel good in them.

– So, sleep, kiddo.

Both stopped moving. Jaejin sighed again. He knew he had wasted a golden opportunity. Suwon would kill him after talking about it, but he didn’t want to act without the youngest’s consent. Sunghoon’s voice rose in the silence:

– Hyung ?

– What ?

– You’re thinking it for real when you say you’ll never leave me alone?

– Of course, why would I lie to you?

The singer remained speechless for some seconds before he whispered, smiling:

– From tomorrow, I want you to spend more time with me. You better keep your promise.

– I will, Sunghoon, I promise.

– So I can sleep in peace, then.

The youngest rose his face to kiss Jaejin’s cheek with gentleness. The latter blushed, while Sunghoon muttered, nuzzling his face in the dancer’s neck.

– Sweet dreams.

Jaejin stayed still because of his action, biting his lips to refrain himself to do things he would regret afterward. He slowly placed his hand in the singer’s hair, caressing it slowly.

– Good night, Sunghoon …

Soon, the latter started sleeping in his arms, breathing against the oldest’s neck. Jaejin couldn’t find the courage to do the same and spent his night caressing the youngest’s hair, neck, and shoulder until he fell asleep.

It was that night Jaejin had felt something changed between them. Their bond was strong. His love for Sunghoon became even more powerful … and harder to hide.

Timeless, chapter 6.

Winter 2004,

I’ve come to love you
And risked everything,
Trying to protect you.

Sunghoon had been particularly excited on that snowy night.

It was the first time for months that he was going to hang out, with Jaejin, Jaeduc, and Suwon. He barely had time to go out and meet his friends when he was promoting his last album. For the occasion, all of them decided to go to some very chic night club so they wouldn’t get stalked while they were together.

The singer has been preparing all the day for this moment. He did some shopping in Gangnam to buy new clothes and spend hours taking care of himself and fixing his brown locks.

When he was ready, he looked at his reflection in the bathroom’s mirror and sighed with satisfaction.

His complexion was perfectly unified. His hair had found back its softness and silky appearance. He was wearing pearl white clothes that made him looking like an angel.

He smiled brightly. He was good-looking. It’s been months he didn’t feel that way. He had got so many activities that he almost forgot to take care of himself.

Moreover, there were not many people to tell him how handsome he could be.

Not even the one he loved …

A door knocking took Sunghoon out of his thoughts. He checked his clock. It was time, already.

– I’m coming!

He went to the corridor and opened the entrance door. Suwon appeared in front of him, wearing classy black clothes, smiling.

– Hello !

– Hey ! Woah, you’re fancy!

– Haha, you are, too! White still suits you well.

– True. No wonder you were Sechskies’ angel, Jaeduc declared.

The dancer was by the youngest’s side, a joyful expression on his face, wearing a comfortable attire for partying, his eyes hidden behind long black locks. Sunghoon giggled at the compliment, and he hugged both as a greeting.

– Come inside, make yourselves at home.

They entered the apartment, allowing Sunghoon’s eyes to perceive what was behind them. His stare sparkled with joy when he noticed Jaejin’s presence.

He couldn’t remember the last time they saw one another, maybe a few months ago.

Sunghoon smiled when he saw the care he gave to his appearance for this night.

His reddish hair, which he kept from his Go Back era, were a mess on his head.

However, the clothes he chose were simplistic and classy for partying, and he didn’t hide his body behind those sports clothes he loved so much.

A simple white t-shirt and dark blue jeans. The singer always thought Jaejin was handsome. He had soft features, a beautiful look, a bright smile … He could easily have been the group’s visual back then, in Sechskies. However, he always ruined his beauty by doing some weird hairstyles or wearing clothes that didn’t suit them. It was a desolation for Sunghoon, who always paid a lot of attention to those kinds of details.

However, on this night, Lee Jaejin was attractive, just by wearing the merest things.

Both hadn’t seen one another for one or two months. Sunghoon couldn’t help but run into his embrace.

– Hyung !

– Hey …

– I missed you!

– Me too. You’re very handsome, tonight. You look like an angel …

– Thank you …

Sunghoon raised his face to meet the other man’s eyes, which were as kind and tender as usual.

He didn’t change, even after all those years. Sunghoon appreciated how sweet Jaejin was with him, without waiting for anything in return. Both grew to be close since the day the singer spent the night at his place after drinking too much. He wondered how the oldest could be so adorable and patient with him.

Whenever he needed, Jaejin was here, accompanying him doing shopping, drinking coffee, to the cinema, or simply by staying by his side …

Somehow, Sunghoon always wondered how Jaejin was treating someone on a date or in his private life.

That made him curious. Jaejin had many qualities. He was protective, caring, talented, handsome, funny.

He was sometimes awkward in his way of being but that made him even more attractive. He was a shy, cute, charming prince.

The person he would love would be happy.

Contrary to him, Kang Sunghoon, whose lover was barely caring for him …

He gradually lost his smile at this thought. Jaejin frowned and asked:

– Something’s wrong, Sunghoon?

The latter suddenly felt awkward when he met the oldest’s anxious eyes. He quickly gained his smile back, giving a reassuring expression.

– No, hyung. Everything’s alright.

At this answer, Jaejin’s stare became less intense. Sunghoon kept smiling and guided him towards the living-room, which Jaeduc and Suwon were observing. It was the first time the two members were coming.

Jaejin already got the occasion to come to his place.

They all sat around a large low table and started chatting happily. Sunghoon quickly brought the drinks.

They kept staying like this, drinking, talking, until the nightclub they were supposed to go opened, around midnight.

At that hour, they decided to leave the apartment and walk in the streets, towards a busy area of the town.

They kept speaking cheerfully, excited for the night they were about to spend together.

The atmosphere would be peaceful, as the place they chose was very selective so hardly frequented by fans.

After a quarter of an hour of walk, they arrived and entered easily in the nightclub.

They all sat at the bar counter, asking for drinks, but Jaeduc and Suwon quickly got up.

– I’ll dance a bit before drinking, the oldest of them declared.

– The same. I think I’m going to be back soon, Suwon added.

– Okay.

– Do whatever you want, Jaejin said, shrugging, his hand grasping his glass.

Both smiled at them one last time and disappeared into the moving crowd, leaving the other men alone, again. Sunghoon stared at Jaejin, surprised to see him by his side.

– Don’t you want to dance?

– Not for the moment. There are too many people.

He took a sip of his drink, calmly, looking in front of him. Sunghoon smiled and said, with a teasing voice:

– You should. You could hook up.

Jaejin almost choked while drinking when he heard those words. He turned his look towards the youngest, with an amused face, raising an eyebrow.

– Why don’t you go, then? He asked, laughing.

Sunghoon froze. He didn’t expect the oldest to answer that way. His beautiful eyes got lost on the counter for some seconds.

Of course, he could go on the dancefloor, and he could get every girl he wanted just by a mere wink. But he was tired of playing the playboy just to protect his reputation.

He only wanted to love and be loved. He was loving, he had someone who loved him, but this person didn’t seem to care anymore.

He tried hard keeping smiling. He was aware that Jaejin was observing his reactions, so he tried hard hiding his inner pain. That man could read him like a book. He stared back at the dancer, smiling.

– I don’t want to. I’m all right, being here. I’m not in the mood for that.

– Haha, the spirit will come through alcohol.

– Maybe hyung.

He stayed like this, drinking his glass, either speaking with the oldest or just remaining silent. After some minutes of conversation, Jaejin got up:

– I’ll be back. I’m going to the restroom.

Sunghoon nodded and looked back at the crowd while sipping his alcohol. His stare crossed the entire room. He tried looking for Jaeduc and Suwon but couldn’t find them among the different people who were dancing, drinking, speaking or kissing. He wondered for a short time what they could do.

His look came to the entry of the nightclub and fell on a couple coming towards the dancefloor. A young lady was holding the arm of a man next to her while looking at him with bright eyes. The singer contemplated her for a long minute. Her make-up lightened her beautiful face. She was wearing a short black dress which enhanced her curved legs. Sunghoon couldn’t deny how attractive she looked.

Then, he decided to look at the guy by her side. His face became , and his eyes grew wider when he could clearly perceive the man features.

– Ji … Jiwon …

His voice was trembling, so was his body.

Yes, his boyfriend was pressed to that woman. Sunghoon looked at his drink for a split second and looked back at Jiwon. He hoped alcohol played with his mind, but that wasn’t the case. What he just saw was the reality. What he meant to his lover.

His hand, holding the glass, was shaking with anger and despair.

He observed them sitting at a table near a corner, with teary eyes. Both didn’t notice him, distinctly looking at them at the bar counter. They were talking, smiling, laughing …

They were just having a casual conversation that Sunghoon didn’t get to experience in his couple for years.

And the worst happened.

Both sealed their lips in a passionate kiss. Seeing that, Sunghoon let his glass roll on the counter, spilling the remaining alcohol on it. He turned the head and took his face between his hands, letting tears rolling on his cheeks, biting his lips to prevent sobs.

Why? Why had everything changed since their disband? From the moment they both began their solo activities, it wasn’t the same anymore. Jiwon became distant, selfish, less considerate … and he started cheating on him.

It wasn’t the first time he was cheated on. But promises, his love for him … He always forgave him because of that. They were in a vicious circle which destroyed them.

Their years of love … In Hawaii … During their Sechskies activity …

Nothing of that seemed to remain.

He got up, crying, hiding his face. He needed to calm down. This time, he would be facing him for the pain he did. They would talk, calmly, without that girl. And they would find a solution.

He ran up towards the restroom, forgetting his friends, his body torn by an unbearable pain.

The person who should be next to you …

A minute later, Jaejin was back at the counter and was surprised to see Sunghoon wasn’t there anymore.

He frowned for some seconds, before gaining a normal expression back. He deduced he either went to the restroom or on the dancefloor.

He was about to get up and rejoin the crowd when his look got caught by the sight of Jiwon and that woman, still kissing. Jaejin’s eyes grew wider by this sight. He slowly muttered, clenching his fists:

– That bastard.

Without thinking twice, he went towards the couple, at a fast pace. When he drew nearer them, Jiwon, who was now talking to the young woman, looked at him with a surprised look. Jaejin felt a twinge of unease inside his ex-leader’s eyes: the latter didn’t seem glad to see him.

– Jaejin ? What a surprise! I didn’t expect you to be here. What are you doing here? He asked, with an awkward smile.

– Come with me, we got to talk. Just the two of us.

He glanced at the woman, giving her a contemptuous look. Jiwon looked at her and gave her a reassuring smile.

– I’ll be back in some minutes.

She only nodded. Then, Jiwon got up and followed Jaejin, who was going to the exit, with eyes full of anger.

He guided him to the parking. It was desert, and the weather was cold, because of the snow falling from the sky. Jiwon stared at him, with a questioning expression.

– What do you want? If you wanted to talk, we should have stayed inside. I’m freezing !

– I don’t care. What the hell are you doing with that bitch?

Jiwon’s eyes grew wider with astonishment. He raised an eyebrow.

– Ex … Excuse me?

– What is this whore doing with you? Did you think about Sunghoon ?!

– What the hell are you talking about?

– Don’t act like a damn fool, We ALL know about your relationship so stop about that and tell me what you’re fucking doing!

Jaejin’s face was turning red with anger. However, Jiwon, who was a bit taken aback by the situation, tried to remain calm. He knew he acted wrong with his boyfriend.

– We have difficult times as a couple, Jaejin. But just mind your own business, we’ll deal with it as soon as I see him.

– Mind my own business? Sunghoon could have seen you with that chick. He’s here, tonight! I’m sure you wouldn’t have faced him if I didn’t see you cheating on him! You don’t give a damn about him! You don’t deserve him!

Jiwon’s face tensed up as Jaejin’s words resonated in his head. He sighed with irritation.

– I care about him. You don’t know a single thing about what’s going on between us. So,  please, just shut e fuck up and mind your stuff.

– I won’t!

– Goddamit … Why are you caring so much about him, for fuck’s sake ? Find a girlfriend and just leave us alone.

– Because …

Jaejin stared at him, with clenched fists and almost screamed, letting his anger speak for what he always felt.

– Because I love him!

Jiwon’s eyes grew wider at this revelation. Slowly, he began chuckling with awkwardness, which made

Jaejin’s stare even more darkened with hatred. The rapper couldn’t buy it.

– You ? Loving him? It’s a joke, isn’t it?

– Do I look like I’m joking?

When he understood the youngest man was honest, Jiwon smirked and looked at him with disbelief and amusement.

– Are you seriously thinking Sunghoon loves you? He’s not, and he will never get feelings for someone like you.

– I don’t mind if it’s one-sided. I love him, since day one, and I will forever do. I want to do what you can’t do: cherishing him and protect him.

Jiwon felt queasy for some seconds. He wondered how he didn’t notice that before. The rapper never paid attention to his behavior while they were in Sechskies, he was too different from him so he didn’t try understanding his actions or feelings.

The dancer was staring at him with dark eyes. Annoyed, Jiwon’s expression got back to normal, and he only said, calmly.

– Even as a friend, he doesn’t give a single fuck about you.

At this sentence, Jaejin’s blood boiled. He jumped on Jiwon, making him fall on the cold concrete ground and hit him right in the face. Taken aback by the dancer’s violent reaction, he answered with a fist on the chin, trying to push him, but the dancer was too strong.

Jaejin couldn’t stop hitting. He was blind by violence and wanted to make him pay for what he did to the man he loved. Jiwon’s capacity to avoid his fists and to fight back made his fury escalated quickly.

He was about to punch him one more time when he felt one person grasping him and holding him apart of the other man.

– Guys, stop!

– Damn, Jaejin, what the fuck are you doing?!

Jaeduc was grabbing him tight, preventing him from fighting again. Jaejin’s face was full of bruises and blood was dripping from his bottom lip. Jiwon, who was held by Suwon, remained silent for some seconds, before chuckling with disdain:

– Do you think he gives a damn about you? We’ve been together for years. He didn’t seem to care about you and will never care. He just has pity for you.

At this sentence, which purpose was only to provoke him, Jaejin escaped from Jaeduc’s arms and punched Jiwon on the nose, which began bleeding after that. The man let a scream went, because of pain.

– That son of a bitch!

– Hyung, stop that! Suwon ordered, stepping back.

Jaeduc was trying to grasp Jaejin again. The latter was about to give another punch but got stop by a man, who screamed, between cries:

– NO !

He made one step behind and looked at the man. Sunghoon ran towards him and grabbed him, crying, with his reddened eyes.

– Jaejin hyung … Stop that … I beg you … Stop …

– Sunghoon, he hurt you. I can’t forgive that. He has cheated on you.

– We will talk about it … We’ll deal with it.

– But Sunghoon …

– Can you just shut up for a moment and let me talk ?!

The youngest looked at him with eyes full of anger and despair. Jaejin got silent, shocked by the singer’s words. Sighing, Sunghoon muttered, holding him tight:

– I’m sorry … I didn’t want to talk to you like that …

– No … I’m fine … I’m the one who’s supposed to be sorry …

– We … We will be fine, hyung … I promise … We needed to talk, anyway … I swear we will be okay …

Please … Stop … Let him go …

He stared at him with teary eyes. Hesitant, he glanced at Jiwon with suspicion and only sighed.

– Fine …

At this answer, Sunghoon let Jaejin and went towards Jiwon. Suwon slowly let Jiwon go.

The couple stared at each other. Jiwon’s stare softened when he saw the sadness and worry inside his boyfriend’s look. The singer bit his lips when he noticed how many bruises he could see on his lover’s face.

Blood was also dropping from his mouth and his nose. He whispered:

– Are you alright?

– It hurts a bit …

– I’ll take you to the emergency, just to be sure you have nothing broken …

– Mh …

– You should tell her, too … That you’ll leave … I’ll wait outside …

– Mh … I’ll do it …

– Let’s go …

Jiwon left first, without looking at the other men, holding his face with one hand. Sunghoon followed him but turned back towards Jaejin, muttering:

– I had never thought you would …

– What ?

Jaejin raised an eyebrow. Sunghoon stared at him, with eyes full of sadness. Then, he sighed, lowering his gaze.

– No … Nothing …

Jaejin looked at him going away, with worry. He looked at his two friends, without knowing what to do or what to think now. Slowly, Jaeduc came towards him, getting a tissue out of his pocket. When he was close enough, he gently wiped away the blood escaping from his lips.

– Are you fine, Jaejin?

– Mh …

Jaeduc looked at Suwon, unsure of what to say. After few seconds of hesitation, he declared:

– He … heard you …

Jaejin stared at his friend.

– What ?

Jaeduc remained silent, looking at the ground. Suwon answered instead of him:

– We … We all arrived outside when you were talking to Jiwon about your feelings for Sunghoon …

At this announcement, Jaejin’s face suddenly paled. Suwon kept going:

– Sunghoon … heard everything.

– It … It can’t be … It’s untrue …

– It’s not, hyung. He heard you and remained shocked for several seconds. He didn’t even move when you both fought.

Jaejin froze. He lowered his face and bit his lips, tears coming to his eyes. Jaeduc sighed and gently rubbed his back.

– I’m sure it’s not the way you wanted him to know … But at least, he’s aware of your feelings. You freed yourself from a heavy burden …

– But … I’m sure he’s mad at me and won’t talk to me anymore …

– Try calling him in a few days. I’m sure you, guys, can deal with it.

Jaejin sighed. The three men decided to go back home after the events. That moment had been tiring for everybody.

The dancer waited several days before attempting to contact Sunghoon. He was afraid and anxious. He was sure the youngest was angry after everything happened.

He tried calling him, after days of hesitation. Once. No answer.

He tried the next day. Nothing again. The phone was ringing until the answering machine came.

He texted him. Once. Twice. After a few days of waiting, he texted, with teary eyes :

Sunghoon ...
What are you doing? You're not answering my calls or even my messages ...
I miss you …
Remember I will always be here for you, if you need …
Take care of you, please …

And no answers came, again.

His vision of future, which was so bright by Sunghoon’s side, became dark again, just like a few years before, after the disband.

Loneliness came back again in Jaejin’s life, and so did the melancholy and sadness.

Just because of his fault.

… is me …

Timeless, chapter 7.

Winter 2005,

The end of the year was close. Big snowflakes were falling on Seoul and covered the buildings with a thick white coat, which contrasted with the black starry sky of the night.

Jaejin was staring at this beautiful scenery by his bedroom’s window, drinking a beer.

He hadn’t gone out, on this cold day. The dancer has been busy drawing. It had become one of his hobbies since he took a break after the release of his third album.

Jaejin always loved designing. As he had time on that winter, he spent it creating portrays or landscapes for his artsy friends or his personal pleasure. Doing that had a significant therapeutical effect on him: even thought it was a time-consuming activity, it was the only way he had to prevent dark thoughts from coming into his mind.

However, he couldn’t hold them all. It was impossible for him to flee his life at that precise moment, and everything he secretly feared would catch him in his deepest dreams or nightmares.

Jaejin was staring at the snow, sipping at his drink. Winter was a beautiful season. He always enjoyed it.

Looking at the snow gave him some nostalgic vibes, and he had this impression that life was wonderful when he was staring at such a magnificent view.

However, life wasn’t that happy, in reality. His was dull, complicated. Jaejin sometimes wondered what was the real purpose of his life and why he couldn’t find happiness like many people he knew.

His daily life had been painful for some months, and he had nobody to share what he could feel. The dancer couldn’t kneel on his acquaintances. He managed to get tons of friends because of his artsy activities, but they weren’t much concerned about him: they only cared for his past as a Sechskies member and his talent for drawing. His only faithful friends, Jaeduc and Suwon, rarely contacted him and hadn’t the time to meet him.

Jaejin couldn’t fall in love. All the girls he had met didn’t interest him. They were average. Even though they were pretty enough to fit everybody’s taste, he couldn’t be satisfied by them.

In fact, the only one he cared for was still haunting him like crazy. Yes. One year passed, and Sunghoon was still on his mind. Even though he tried forgetting him, the singer would haunt him in his sleep. Thus, replacing him was useless: he had loved him for so long, how could he find someone better than him?

Questions had sometimes come to his mind. What was he doing? Was he still mad at him? Was Jiwon taking good care of him? And, the most important for him: was he happy?

Jaejin smiled weakly at the thought of the man he loved. Sunghoon wasn’t talking to him anymore, but the dancer didn’t hate him for that. He could understand it. Moreover, what mattered the most to him was the youngest’s happiness, more than his own.

Jaejin could only find a meaning of his life in his love for him. If living meant loving him and suffering until his dying day, he would endure it, just like he had done since the first moment their eyes met.

The ringtone of his phone suddenly took him out of his thoughts. One of his acquaintances messaged him, asking if he wanted to hang out in downtown Seoul.

Jaejin sighed and looked at his dark coat on the hanger. He wasn’t in the mood for that, but it would be a good way to empty his mind for, at least, one night. Not really convinced by the idea, he texted back, saying he was okay and that they could share a moment at his place before going out. Instantly, he got a reply: his friend would only arrive in an hour.

Thus, Jaejin took the time to polish his drawings, to take a shower and to choose proper clothing for this night. He tried to fix as good as he could his messy brown hair, even though he was bad at styling it.

When he had been ready, he went to the living-room and cleaned it for his friend’s arrival. He brought back beers and a few bottles of soju from his kitchen and put them on the low-table, as he used to drink a lot when people were around.

The entry phone started ringing. Jaejin got up and pushed the button to open the building’s entrance. He quickly checked the hour: it was earlier than expected. Maybe too early. That wasn’t bothering him, though.

He stayed by the door’s entrance, waiting. A minute after, he could hear a soft knocking at his door. He opened it, all smiling:

– Hey! How are …

His words got suddenly stuck in his throat when he got to see the person in front of him.

It wasn’t the one he was expecting. He froze because of shock, as his expression turned serious.

Kang Sunghoon was facing him. Jaejin wouldn’t have recognized him if he hadn’t loved him for so long.

His black hair had been cut short, and he hid his body behind a large black coat, that was too gloomy for his bright personality. His cheeks, rosy from the cold weather, were chubbier than the past and his dark eyes that used to be sparkling with happiness got drained of their radiance. However, he was still the same to him: the dancer couldn’t help but find him beautiful.

Jaejin felt his heart stopping for a few seconds. He barely muttered, with wide eyes:

– Sung … Sunghoon … What are …

The oldest couldn’t finish his sentence, as his eyes got lost into his. Sunghoon looked uncomfortable. With a quiet voice and a fainted smile, he said:

– Hi, hyung … It’s been so long … Sorry for coming without warning …

Jaejin was confused. He didn’t even know how to react at this precise moment. The only thing he wanted was to embrace him because he had craved for a moment like this for one year. However, he remained still and silent, afraid of showing his feelings. This reaction made Sunghoon queasy. He started looking away, without moving too.

As the mood began to be too awkward for both of them, Jaejin decided to break the ice and declared:

– No, no, that’s fine, Sunghoon, I swear! Come, come.

– Are you sure? You might have other things that are planned out …

– No, don’t worry! Come.

A bit hesitant, the singer entered the apartment, followed by Jaejin. The latter was nervous. A lot of things happened in a few seconds. It was sudden, way too sudden for him.

Jaejin stared at Sunghoon, as the latter took his coat off. The dancer noticed he took some fat. It wasn’t shocking, and somehow, it made him even cuter. The youngest looked at living-room’s low-table packed with alcohols and raised an eyebrow.

– Weren’t you expecting somebody else? If you’re waiting for another person, I won’t stay long…

– No, no! Have a seat, Sunghoon. We’ve time.

Jaejin perfectly knew that his friend could come in a couple of minutes, but he couldn’t care less at that precise moment. Sunghoon was the one who mattered the most to him.

The oldest asked:

– Do you want something to drink?

Sunghoon sat on the couch and answered, looking at him:

– Just water, please.

Jaejin nodded and went to the kitchen, to take a glass of water for him. He sat by the youngest’s side on the couch while giving him the glass. Sunghoon smiled:

– Thank you …

The dancer looked at him and only smiled back. He opened a beer can and took a sip of it. Silence filled the entire room for a few seconds. This quietness, which had used to be so tranquil and almost serene, felt tense and awkward at this precise moment.

Sunghoon would always break it before, but on this night, he seemed too nervous and uncomfortable to do it. Even though he didn’t feel at ease either, Jaejin asked:

– What’s up? It’s been quite a time already.

Sunghoon, hearing the oldest’s voice, looked at him and answered:

– Well … I was drinking at a bar near your place … So I told myself it would be a good idea to see you, as we haven’t seen one another for a very long moment.

– Oh … I see. Did you hang out with friends?

– No. I was alone … The singer answered, laughing nervously.

At this reply, Jaejin raised an eyebrow. Sunghoon wasn’t the type to hang out without somebody, even less to drink alone. Seeing his suspicious eyes, the youngest became even more uncomfortable and started looking at the low-table. Jaejin asked, with a concerned tone:

– Alone? Why are you drinking by yourself? You should have messaged me; it’s not a

good thing to do …

– I … I don’t know … I was … Afraid of bothering you …

– You perfectly know you will never bother me.

– I … You know … It’s complicated.

Sunghoon sighed, taking a large sip of water. He remained silent for a long moment, thoughtful, looking for his words. Jaejin kept staring at him. Even though seeing him made him happy, he felt uncomfortable with this sudden change of behavior. The singer was his sunshine. He was bright, joyful, always smiling …

Meeting his awkward and serious side was so particular to him. It wasn’t as pleasing to see, but he felt like he discovered another face of the man he loved. A part of his personality that only a few people could see.

Sunghoon took a deep breath and declared, with a composed voice:

– I broke up with Jiwon.

Jaejin blinked for a few seconds. It was a surprising piece of news to him.

– Ah?

– Hm … He … “did it again,” I would say.

At this announcement, Jaejin clenched his fists. He could clearly understand why Sunghoon’s eyes seemed so dull at this moment. However, even though the dancer wanted to scream his hate for Jiwon, he didn’t say a word. He knew how much Sunghoon loved him, their couple lasted for years, nothing could break them apart.

Bittersweet, Jaejin declared, with a comforting smile:

– Oh … But you, guys, will overcome it, right? You’ve loved each other for such a long time …

Sunghoon stared at Jaejin with surprise when he heard those words. Then, he lowered his glance towards his glass, sighing:

– Hyung … I … forgave him way too much. This time, we are over.

Jaejin frowned at this answer and remained silent. A bit embarrassed, Sunghoon kept speaking:

– You know … Loving Jiwon wasn’t easy, back then. We were forced to hide our relationship and, as you could have seen, he was sometimes arrogant. However … we were happy, together, even if the company treated us badly. We both enjoyed each moment as if it was the last time we saw one another. Our love was passionate. Jiwon was kind and caring with me. He was a loving boyfriend. Without his love, I wouldn’t have handled all those years under DSP’s management.

Sunghoon had a nostalgic smile while saying those words. However, it had gradually got erased from his face as he stopped talking, sinking into his memories. The dancer stared at him attentively, without saying a word. Sunghoon sighed after a few seconds of silence and put his glass on the lowtable.

He said:

– But our solo activities … Destroyed our relationship. Jiwon took his career as a rapper seriously. He had no time for me anymore. He worked more, came less at my place, and we barely had a conversation. So we quarreled … and he soon started cheating on me. I had wanted to dump him but … I just couldn’t. I couldn’t stop loving him. He was my first love. I would have forgiven everything he did just because I loved him.

Sunghoon took a break in his monolog, taking a short breath. Then, he looked at Jaejin:

– But you came back in my life … You opened my eyes. I wish you wouldn’t have fought with him but … I felt relieved having someone protecting me. I would like to thank you for that.

– It’s normal, you know. Everyone would have done the …

– No, Sunghoon cut, lowering his eyes. Nobody would have done the same for me. Your kindness is beyond everything. I don’t deserve it. I’m … an idiot.

– You’re not …

– I am … When we came back home, that night, with Jiwon … He … He told me that if I wanted to save our relationship, I should never answer back your calls or your texts, that you were dangerous for both of us. And I … I believed him. I’m so damn stupid. Hyung … I’m such an awful person … I’m so sorry … His eyes began to be filled up with tears. He took a huge breath, trying to remain composed. Jaejin looked at him with care and said, with a reassuring tone:

– Sunghoon … You’re not. You’re awesome. You did what you thought was the best.

– But I did wrong ! I ignored you. I swear I’ve never wanted such a thing to happen … He manipulated me. I’ve lost you because I loved him and at the end, he didn’t even try to make our relationship better.

Sunghoon sighed and looked at his thighs, one tear rolling down his cheek. Jaejin slowly wiped it off with his hand, as he didn’t like to see the youngest’s tears. Silence filled the room again. Sunghoon’s sad eyes met his, and both stared at one another.

Jaejin reddened at his own action and started looking away, feeling nervous. Sunghoon kept observing him and asked, calmly:

– Tell me … Is it true what you said to Jiwon, on that night?

Jaejin blushed hard at this question. He knew what Sunghoon wanted to talk about, but it was something he feared above everything. He was so scared of his reaction. He answered, nervously:

– I … I don’t see what you’re talking about.

– Don’t act, hyung … Please. Be honest, the youngest sighed.

The dancer bit his lips. He looked at his thighs and declared, slowly:

– Yes. It’s all true.

Sunghoon smiled when he heard these words. Jaejin didn’t get the courage to raise his eyes and kept looking down. However, the more he was saying, the more he had the impression that the youngest was getting closer to him.

The singer laughed a bit:

– You know … That … That was kind of unexpected to me. I didn’t know you loved me for such a long time.

You’ve always been nice to me … But I never thought you would have feelings for someone like me … I thought you were into girls.

Jaejin remained silent, his eyes hidden behind his hair. Sunghoon continued:

– Knowing that … came as a shock to me. I couldn’t think straight after that. You …You

Sunghoon blushed and couldn’t finish his sentence, his bright eyes looking at the lowtable.

Jaejin stared at him, with surprise. It was the first time the youngest was being shy with him. He remained silent, as he wasn’t sure if it was the product of his imagination or if he was still daydreaming.

The youngest took a short breath and said, calmly:

– I think … It was one of the reasons for which Jiwon considered you were dangerous.

He acted like he didn’t care, but I’m sure he acknowledged your qualities. He didn’t want me to run to you after that. However … He failed.

– What … What do you mean?

Sunghoon reddened even more and slowly bit his lips, smirking:

– Don’t you understand?

Jaejin’s eyes grew wide at this sentence, as he froze with shock. Looking at him right in the eyes, Sunghoon slowly took the oldest’s hand in his own. As a thunderbolt hitting him, the dancer felt like his senses brought him back to reality. It was real. It was happening. Sunghoon’s warm hand was holding his, which was cold. Jaejin stared at him, with bright eyes that he never experienced to show to anybody.

Caressing his hand, Sunghoon muttered:

– Hyung … I just have one last question …

Jaejin gulped and whispered, feeling his heart on the verge to explode.

– Tell me …

Sunghoon asked, slowly:

– Do you still love me?

These words started resonating into the dancer’s brain. Jaejin sunk his stare into his and held his hand tight. With a loving smile, and tender eyes, he answered, with all his heart:

– Yes.

It seemed that time had stopped around them when he replied. Sunghoon’s smile grew with happiness.

Jaejin closed his eyes, biting his lips, blushing. He suddenly opened them when he felt Sunghoon’s arms circling his waist and his body pressing against his. The dancer remained still with shock, while the singer nuzzled his face into his neck. He soon felt the youngest’s hot breath on his skin, making him shiver:

– I … I don’t want to let you go … Stay with me … Show … Show me what’s true love …

– Sunghoon …

Both looked at each other. Jaejin’s eyes were exploding with brightness. He slowly moved his hands on the young man’s body. He started caressing his back, then went to his neck. Without thinking, and looking at the singer’s raised face, he slowly cupped it with his hands, devouring him with a stare full of love.

Sunghoon blushed, as their faces were only inches apart. As both closed their eyes, Jaejin slowly sealed their lips in a tender kiss.

The dancer was in Heaven. Everything he could have dreamed of in his entire life couldn’t surpass the sensation he was experimenting. Sunghoon’s lips were worth his years of tortuous waiting: they were soft and melted perfectly against his own. Jaejin kissed them for a long minute, slowly moving his lips against his, trembling with happiness. He felt tears of joy coming from the corner of his eyes. This was beyond beautiful, beyond magic, beyond holy. As he kept kissing him, he let his hands going down and held him tight in his arms, while a tear rolled down his cheeks.

When they both moved away, they looked at each other with half-closed eyes. Both were blushing. Jaejin smiled and hold him back against him, a hand resting on his shoulder while the other was caressing his cheek.

He slowly muttered those words he had always craved to say for years:

– I love you, Kang Sunghoon …

He looked at him with sincerity. Sunghoon blushed, speechless. Overwhelmed with passion, Jaejin pecked his lips him several times, whispering softly:

– I love you … I love you … I love you to death. Nobody can love you more than I do. I will never hurt you. I promise you.

– H … Hyung …

Sunghoon was about to answer back, but the ringing of the entry phone burst the bubble into which both men locked themselves. It brought Jaejin back to reality. He grumbled, rolling his eyes:

– Goddamit …

– Is it the person you were expecting?

– I would say so … It’s just an acquaintance who wanted to go out tonight. He was supposed to come at my place before we go.

– I should go, then. So you can hang out with your friend, Sunghoon said, while getting up.

– No.

Jaejin held the young man back, making him sit next to him again. He looked at him with tenderness and caressed his cheek, smiling.

– Let’s not care about that. I won’t go.

– But hyung … He made the whole trip to see you …

– I don’t care, Jaejin cut, whispering. You’re by my side tonight, and I’ve longed for you for such a long time … I won’t let you go.

The dancer sunk his sparkling eyes into the dark stare of the other man, as the entry phone kept ringing.

Sunghoon bit his lips and laughed:

– I feel sorry for your friend … I stole you from him …

Jaejin smirked at this statement and faced the youngest, cupping his face with his hands again. Sunghoon blushed at his action, slightly opening his plump lips and halfclosing his bright eyes. Staring at the man he loved, the dancer whispered with a husky voice:

– You’ve never stolen me from anybody. I’ve always belonged to you, my love.

Jaejin finished his sentence by melting on his lips again. The oldest was addicted to the softness, the lovely shape of his mouth and he couldn’t help but feel eager to explore more of his lover’s body. Listening to his inner desire, he let his hands coming down to stroke the singer’s back, while he deepened the kiss, closing his eyes. He slowly licked Sunghoon’s lower lip to gain quick access to his mouth. The youngest allowed their tongues to meet and dance together in slow, sensual, almost erotic moves. The dancer blushed, holding the good-looking man tight against him. He felt his whole body shaking with lust for him. The ringing of his entry phone got followed by the one of his cellphone. However, Jaejin couldn’t care less of the noise anymore: he lost himself in his desire for Sunghoon. The latter slowly broke the kiss and whispered, with a trembling voice:

– I want you …

His cheeks were pink, and his face clearly expressed how eager he was for the other man’s body. Jaejin slightly bit his inner lip at this view, trying to remain calm so he wouldn’t end up jumping on the singer and ripping his clothes. After a few seconds he spent regaining his calm, he smiled and said, caressing his cheeks:

– We have time, you know … I don’t want to do anything without your consent.

– You have it … I’m all yours. Show me the way you like me … Jaejin …

The dancer’s smile grew as the youngest dropped all the formalities with him. He pecked him on the lips and got up, offering him his hand with a loving stare. Sunghoon took his hand and let the oldest escorting him to his bedroom. When they had entered into it, darkness invaded the room. The only source of light they had came from the windows, as the black sky was lightening the city thanks to a bright full moon and shining stars.

Jaejin sat on the bed and encouraged his lover to do the same. As soon as Sunghoon had sat on the edge, the oldest embraced him and started kissing him once again, caressing his nape. Then, his lips went down inside his neck, to suck and nibble the skin. The singer tilted his head back when he felt the warm lips of the oldest man on that hot spot of his body and sighed with pleasure.

Jaejin slowly lay the young man on the bed. He went on top of him and kept kissing his skin, his teeth sometimes playing with his sensitive earlobes. His shaking right-hand traveled under his sweatshirt to caress the soft skin of his belly, as he tried his best to keep his calm. But it was tough. The simple vision of the expression of delight on Sunghoon’s face, staring at him with sensuality, excited him terribly and made him feel tight in his pants.

The singer, who hadn’t moved since Jaejin had him laid down, sneaked his hands under the oldest’s shirt, stroking his cold skin. The dancer shivered at this touch and took off his shirt so that he could feel it more.

Sunghoon bit his lips at the sight of the defined lines of his upper body’s muscles and started caressing his chest and his abs with shy hands. The dancer hummed of satisfaction under his soft touch and ended up taking off the young man’s shirt too. He was too eager for his body and wouldn’t be able to refrain himself from staring at it anymore.

His eyes became dark with lust when Sunghoon’s chest got revealed to his view. The young singer blushed a bit when he felt devoured by such an insistent stare and looked away, his teeth nipping his inner lip.

Jaejin smiled a bit at such a shy reaction and lowered his face to kiss his chin, neck, and Adam’s apple. He kept going down, still kissing the skin, until he faced his lover’s chest.

Sunghoon’s cheeks wildly reddened when he noticed his teasing smirk on his fine lips.

Smiling, Jaejin slowly licked one of his nipples, while two of his long fingers started massaging the other one. A wave of pleasure invaded the entire body of Sunghoon, who started moaning at these sensations. The dancer was skillful. His mouth was slowly licking, sucking, nibbling his hot spot and his digits were pinching the sensitive skin just the way he liked, enough to make him go wild. Sunghoon’s hand went on the dancer’s nape to caress it, sometimes digging his nails into the tanned skin.

When he had noticed the young man was craving for more, Jaejin left the two nubs on his chest and unbuttoned Sunghoon’s jeans. The latter flushed, as both stared at each other while the oldest put them down, revealing his white boxer short, a small bulge forming under the fabric. Jaejin stared at it and smiled with satisfaction. He kept going down until he reached his inner thighs. He began kissing them slowly, his face going up as his lips pressed against the soft skin, sometimes nibbling it. The dancer’s face reached the front of his hidden member and blushed a bit, as he began stroking it with slow, hesitant movement of hands. Pants of pleasure started coming out from the plump and wet lips of his lover. Jaejin looked at him moaning in delight, getting aroused by this erotic sight, and took off the youngest’s underwear, wanting to see him fully naked.

At this sudden action, Sunghoon covered his erection with his hands and hid his red face in a pillow, ashamed of his nudity. Jaejin slowly raised his face towards him and whispered, caressing his cheeks:

– Don’t be shy, baby … I want to see your body … You are beautiful.

Sunghoon sunk his eyes into his, biting his lips, and revealed himself to the oldest. Jaejin stared at him for a moment, blushing a bit, speechless. He had watched his face for years but never had the chance to observe his body. As he had always dreamt, the singer fitted his sexual fantasies, with his pearly white skin waiting to get covered with hickeys, his fleshy thighs and hips, and his throbbing length, craving for his touch only.

With a smile, Jaejin kissed him tenderly and slowly lowered his face towards his erection.

When he faced it, both stared at each other, blushing. It was a special moment for each of them.

For one of them, it was reborn of true love.

For the other one, it was the first time he was having sex with a man.

Hesitant, Jaejin kissed the tip of his member and slowly took it in his mouth, without taking his eyes off of him. Sunghoon moaned loudly, grasping him by the hair, closing his eyes. At this reaction, the dancer gained confidence and kept sucking the length, sometimes lapping it or squeezing it with his thin lips. As the youngest was losing himself into sensual sighs of ecstasy, Jaejin sneaked one of his hands inside his drawer to catch a bottle of lube. He poured some on his fingers and started caressing his lover’s hole with them, without entering inside of it. The youngest made a move of discomfort, before relaxing under the delicate touches. He mewled with pleasure when the oldest started deep-throating himself with his member. Slowly, staring at him, Jaejin entered one finger inside of him. Sunghoon opened his eyes and cried out in pain at the sudden intrusion. The dancer stopped moving and raised his face to meet his look and slowly kissed him, whispering:

– We can stop, if you want … I want to take it slow with you, baby. Sunghoon blushed, biting his lips and smiled, muttering:

– It will be alright … I’ll … get used, don’t worry. I’ll … let you know when it hurts.

Jaejin stared at him with bright eyes and kissed him with tenderness, moving his finger carefully inside of him. Sunghoon circled the oldest man’s body with his arms as the latter covered his lips, neck, chin with kisses, trying to make him feel relaxed. The dancer slowly added a second finger and stretched his entrance with slow scissors movements so that he would get used to the sensation. At first, Sunghoon whined out of pain. But soon, Jaejin’s other hand started pumping him at the same rhythm his fingers were moving inside of him, and that surpassed the pain. He mewled of delight under his lover’s touches and held him tight, scratching his back at times.

Jaejin stared at the man he loved as the latter was trembling and almost screaming out his pleasure. He somehow wondered how he could manage to be alive in front of this perfect sight. All his dreams came true, and everything was even better than what he had expected. Even though he wouldn’t be the one he made love with for the first time, Sunghoon would be his first and only man, and that was the single thing that mattered to him.

Jaejin freed the youngest’s erection and removed his fingers away from him, so he could unbutton his pants and take off his underwear, as he felt too uncomfortable inside of it. Sunghoon opened his eyes and suddenly blushed when he laid them on the oldest’s naked body. He looked away, biting his lips, secretly finding him more than stunning, but shy at the idea to compliment him on such an intimate moment.

Jaejin stared at him. Caressing the singer’s legs, he asked, tenderly:

– Are you ready, my love?

Sunghoon slowly nodded as an answer. Jaejin smiled and guided him in his actions, making him laid on his stomach and elevating his butt, so it would be easier to get into him. Blushing, the singer hid his face inside the cushions, as Jaejin caressed the soft skin of his buttocks he had dreamt for so many years. The dancer took a deep breath and entered him with a slow movement.

Sunghoon cried out of pain as Jaejin stopped for a moment, biting his lips, taking his breath. His body was tight, way too tight, even though he prepared him. Tears started dropping from the youngest’s red cheeks.

Jaejin caressed the youngest’s back and carefully bent towards him, kissing his nape.

– Relax, baby … I love you. I love you so much …

Sunghoon breathed heavily and slowly raised his face, turning it towards the oldest, with half-closed eyes.

Jaejin stopped for a short moment, kissing his skin, whispering words of love with a warm and husky voice. When he felt his lover got relaxed around his member, the oldest started thrusting inside of him, caressing his hips while doing so. He titled his head while moving, loving the way the velvety inside of his body were tightening around him. After a few thrusts, the youngest started moaning his pleasure, his nails digging into the pillows. Jaejin stared at him while slamming his erection into and out of him. He made love to a lot of women, but nothing could beat the erotic sight he had of Sunghoon, with his messy black hair and his nails playing with his bed mattress and pillow. Jaejin bit his lips, groaning:

– Fuck … I love you so damn much. You’re so good.

He attracted Sunghoon to him, making him stand on his knees as he kept moving inside of him. The latter turned his head and kissed him furiously, their tongues fighting for dominance. Jaejin held him strongly with one arm, as one of the hand came down to pump the singer at a fast pace. Sunghoon started screaming out of pleasure under all these sensations and let out a loud cry when Jaejin found his prostate and hit it without stopping.

Soon, his incoherent screams were replaced by the dancer’s name, and that made the latter even more eager to touch his pleasure spot. He soon felt his lover’s insides tightening blissfully around him:

– Jaejin~!

Sunghoon released himself inside the dancer’s hand while screaming his name. Jaejin, who couldn’t hold his desire anymore, let it go and came inside his lover a few seconds after him, groaning loudly, biting his lips. Time stopped around them. Jaejin froze for some seconds that had seemed like an eternity, as Sunghoon fell onto the mattress, on his stomach. After a  minute he spent catching his breath, the dancer laid on his back, panting heavily. He stared at the ceiling for a moment then looked at the starry sky, outside.

He smiled. It happened. It just happened.

Sunghoon slowly came by his side and snuggled against him, shyly looking at him. Both stared at each other. With a slow voice, Sunghoon muttered:

– Jaejin … I love you too …

Jaejin’s eyes brightened with emotion at this sentence. He held his lover tight, whispering:

– This is the most beautiful night of my life … I swear I’ll made you the happiest man on this Earth. I love you to death, Sunghoon.

– Jaejin …

The dancer pecked his lips with tenderness and cuddled him in silence, a loving smile lightening his face.

He looked back at the dark sky from his windows, as his lover started to fall asleep.

He wasn’t tired. That day was, indeed, the happiest day of his life and he wanted to relish each seconds of it. The day both formed one entity. One love.

The day he found his reason to live.

 

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