Words: 1 956
Genre: drama, angst?
Summary: Unfortunately, real life does not do fairy tale endings.
A/N: Please note that this has an open-ended/unresolved ending. It's meant to. If that kind of thing drives you nuts, please don't read it. ^^;
Jaejoong worked at a diner in the middle of the seedier side of town. It served cheap coffee and hamburgers and greasy breakfasts to anyone who cared to come into it. It wasn’t anything to look at, but the owner was not so hard to work for, and Jaejoong knew there were worse things that he could be doing.
For how he’d grown up, he wasn’t a bad kid. He kept his head down, didn’t party too hard and managed to pay his bills on time. It wasn’t a particularly interesting life, with no glamour in it what so ever, but, like his job, there were worse things it could be.
It was a slow Tuesday when Jung Yunho stepped into that life, and shook the rain from his hair. He shrugged off the faded blue jacket he was wearing and tried to get the wetness and chill to disperse from his skin.
“You want me to hang that up for you?” Jaejoong had asked the young man, a coffee pot still in one hand as he motioned towards the skinny rack in one corner. The man had looked up, and Jaejoong had blinked.
They rarely got clean, handsome young men in the place. Most of the patrons tended towards the older, more broke and greasy side, who tried to feel up the waitresses, or (when drunk or desperate enough) sometimes Jaejoong as well. Yunho, however, was a misnomer. One that Jaejoong was perfectly happy to have an oogle over while it lasted.
“Sure. Thanks,” Yunho said gratefully, looking around the small, run down room impassively. The only thing attractive in the place was the young waiter before him, the skinny, pretty man drawing Yunho’s eyes as he took his coat and came back with a beat up menu, dropping it onto a table that he showed Yunho to.
“Coffee?” Jaejoong asked. “You look like you could do with one,” he commented, a little wirily, looking at Yunho’s harried form. He’d been caught unawares by the sudden storm, too busy with his own thoughts to pay much attention to the gathering clouds.
Yunho laughed at the comment, the sound loud in the fairly empty place. Old Joe, half passed out at his table, looked over groggily at the bright sound, before collapsing back against the wall.
“I guess I could. Is it from that pot though?” he asked, nodding back towards where Jaejoong had deposited the black swill he’d been holding before. Jaejoong gave him a lopsided smile, shrugging.
“I can make a fresh pot if you want. Take me a moment though.”
“That’d be nice. Thanks,” Yunho replied, nodding. He picked at the collar of his t-shirt, which was damp and sticking to his skin uncomfortably. Jaejoong went back into the kitchen, pouring the slightly stale coffee down the sink out the back.
KangHae looked up from the newspaper he was reading in the kitchen, watching as Jaejoong set on the kettle and got the coffee mix ready.
“Someone actually came in, with this god-awful weather?” he asked the boy. Jaejoong hummed absently, pulling out a mug and checking it’s cleanliness before popping a creamer sachet on the counter beside it.
“I think he’s here because of it. Looked rather wet,” was Jaejoong’s reply. The words sparked a thought though, and he rustled around to find an unused dishcloth, slinging it over one arm. KangHae observed this, and snorted.
“Cute, is he?” he asked, almost snidely. Jaejoong ignored him, and poured the coffee.
The coffee was instant, bitter, even with the creamer (or because of it? Yunho had eyed the sachet with suspicion before upending it into the mug). Jaejoong had passed him the rag, promising it was clean, and he patted down his hair with it gratefully.
The sandwich he got was nothing special either, but when Jaejoong emerged from the kitchen a third time, Yunho managed to get him to sit down with him. Anything would have been preferable to the eerie silence of the diner, filled only with the static, tinny voice of the TV and the snores from the old man in the corner. Any conversation would have done, but Yunho found himself enjoying Jaejoong’s company.
Jaejoong was a pretty face. He was lackadaisical and baldly witty, and Yunho found himself laughing at his blunt observations of the world. Jaejoong, Yunho thought, was refreshing.
Jaejoong’s apartment was small. Dingy. Yunho would have hated it had it not housed Jaejoong, and had he time to really look at it. He was only interested in the bed however, Jaejoong’s pale form spread out on the sheets, and the sounds Jaejoong made as he pushed inside the waiter, hot bodies pressed together tightly.
Jaejoong had rather thought that would be that, and that he would never would see the handsome young man again. His mundane life plodded along quite placidly with this knowledge until Yunho turned up a week later at the diner near closing time and drank horrible coffee before walking Jaejoong back to the apartment.
This time, Yunho stayed for a very early morning breakfast, made in the tiny corner of Jaejoong’s apartment that contained a small fridge, microwave and stove. They ate it on the bed before Yunho left. And this time, Jaejoong wondered whether he might see Yunho again.
It wasn’t every week, and sometimes it was twice a week, but Yunho would stop by the diner just before closing, have his obligatory cup of coffee, and then spend the night entangled in Jaejoong’s arms. Their harsh pants and groans of pleasure filling the small room, a room that Yunho began, in time, to become accustomed too.
They never really spoke so much, beyond witticisms of the world. Yunho knew that Jaejoong liked his eggs sunny side up, that he mewled sexily when touched just right, and that he liked black clothes and black humor; he didn’t know about Jaejoong’s family or his life outside the diner. And he didn’t tell Jeajoong anything except his name and that he liked his coffee black and his eggs scrambled. Jaejoong never complained about their encounters, or the fact that Yunho seemed to dictate when and how often they met. Yunho was an excellent lover, and Jaejoong found there was nothing to complain about.
It came to a head one day though, when Yunho turned up well before closing time, looking haggard and demanding Jaejoong take the afternoon off work. With some persuading, Jaejoong managed it, and took the perturbed Yunho back to the small room, where Yunho fell upon him like a starving man. Jaejoong let him, clinging to Yunho’s broad back as they rocked the bed, sunlight shining in through the one small window.
After, in a pile of sweaty limbs, Jaejoong hugged Yunho to him, threading his fingers through Yunho’s hair and murmuring nonsense.
“Are you okay?” Jaejoong asked after Yunho’s heartbeat had calmed from the erratic thundering he had felt earlier.
“No. Yes. I don’t know,” came Yunho’s answer, and Jaejoong felt like they were going to hit the wall they’d been skirting around all this time.
Jaejoong kissed his face, his brow, his cheeks, his lips, and rolled out of bed. He puttered through the apartment, naked, making coffee for them both. Handing Yunho a mug full of the warm liquid and sitting down beside him, one leg folded under, Jaejoong peered at the troubled young man before him over the rim of his own mug.
“Won’t your parents worry, if you don’t turn up for tonight?” he asked, and Yunho sighed, staring into the depths of his coffee.
“I guess. I- ” He broke off abruptly, eyes snapping up to Jaejoong’s face. “Wait, what?” he asked sharply, weary eyes suddenly intense as he eyed the boy opposite him, coffee forgotten.
“The party is in your honor, isn’t it? Stepping up to vice president of the company,” Jaejoong said, looking down at the flooring. “I’d say ‘congratulations’, but I don’t think that’s what you want to hear, is it?”
“How did you know?” Yunho asked, stunned. He’d never, ever, mentioned his family. Never mentioned the huge corporation his father headed, nor the millions, the mansions, the life of privilege he led.
Jaejoong looked up at him, giving him a weary smile.
“Look, its fine if you want to come down here, slumming, or whatever it is you try to do here. You don’t have to explain it to me, but you can’t expect me to be blind or stupid.” Jaejoong knew why the never talked about things, knew he was just some distraction or fun play thing for the rich boy that came down from the other side of town to his dirty diner and small apartment, looking for something he couldn’t find in hid in his extra-ordinary life.
“I… I don’t think you’re stupid,” Yunho stammered out, blindsided by this sudden revelation. “Or, uh, blind… but…” but how did you know? still hung in the air. Jaejoong laughed a little, shaking his head.
“Yunho, you might have remembered to change your clothes, but you’re still wearing a Rolex. Your hands are soft, but you’ve got writing calluses on your right hand. You have the latest mobile phone. You think this place is beneath you.” That I’m beneath you. It wasn’t immediately apparent to Jaejoong, but it became so after the first few visits. Careless words, here and there, opinions spoken and certain words used. Jung Tech was not exactly undocumented in the media, and while Jung wasn’t an uncommon name, all the little things added up just right. Jaejoong hadn’t searched for the answers, but they’d been there anyway.
“They were talking about the party… about you, on TV,” he said after a moment of stunned silence. He sipped his coffee, glad for its warmth. Yunho’s eyes on him made him feel cold, and he felt that he’d just dashed his brains out against that wall.
“I… I don’t think that this place is beneath me,” Yunho said, voice quavering, and Jaejoong wanted to laugh at his courage. The words were hollow though; he knew them to be false.
“Go to your party, Yunho. They’re all waiting to adore you,” he said, pushing back to lean against the wall, not looking at Yunho anymore.
“I don’t want them too. I don’t, I really don’t,” Yunho said, almost to himself; a whisper that reverberated around the room. “Jaejoong… please…” He didn’t have the words to express what he wanted, but he felt it, deep down in his soul. He could only hope, pray, that Jaejoong understood, and was willing to give it to him.
Jaejoong put aside his mug of coffee, Yunho’s long abandoned, and drew his knees up, toes curling into the sheets.
“What, Yunho? I can’t do anything. I’m just a waiter,” he said.
“No Jaejoong, I – ” Yunho began, breaking off again as the words choked in his throat, curling up and dying before they found the air to live with.
“Come with me,” he breathed finally, the words spilling out the way the others had refused to, his mind racing crazily as he stared at Jaejoong hopefully. “Come with me to the party. Be my date.” He implored. Jaejoong finally turned and looked at him, but his expression was incredulous.
“And do what? Turn into a pumpkin at midnight? This isn’t a fairytale, Yunho. I can’t be your Princess,” Jaejoong said bluntly. The light from the setting sun burst through the window and angled between them, dust motes flitting through the rays as silence filled the air between them.
“Then what do I do?” Yunho asked into the silence. Their gazes locked, and Jaejoong bit his lip. I don’t know, I don’t know…
And the silence stretched on between them.