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Mods butterflyweb and nemesis_cry welcome you to Elysian Knights, a community dedicated to the fictional universe of the DBSK fanfic Acts of Contrition and its subsequent sequel, Acts of Insurrection.

Fics can be navigated according to the tags found here.

A tentative chronology of events in the verse:

Soulmate (JaeChun)
Ego (Yunho-centri, HoMin)
Transient (MinSu)
Acts of Contrition (eventually OT5)
Triangle (MinHoSu)
Contract (Heechul, Shihan)
Acts of Insurrection (OT5)
Amethyst (JaeMin, OT5)
Acts of Succession: Sunderance (OT5)
Acts of Succession: Solitude (broken!OT5)
Acts of Succession: Strength (YunChun, JaeMin, OT5)
You Make Me Want to Be A Man (HoSu, OT5, Utada/Bora)
Etchings (HoMin, YooSu, JaeHo, YooMin, JaeSu, MinSu, OT5)

Other AUs in the same verse:
Dune (YunChun)

July 2008
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6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

Beware of the Leopard [userpic]

Title: You Make Me Want To Be A Man
Authors: butterflyweb  & nemesis_cry 
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Acts!verse
Pairing: Changmin/Utada (friendship), Yunho/Utada (friendship), Jaejoong/Utada (friendship), HoSu, OT5, Utada/Bora
Summary: Five scenes of portraying life after marriage, love after marriage and the Empress' place in it all.




It was barely tiffin when Changmin first heard of it. The court had been buzzing with one problem or another for days, but this, this was new. This somehow drew everyone's attention, from the guards to the nobles to the servants whose eyes he felt on his back on his way to his private study. He assumed they were new.

He also assumed that finding the Matron Housekeeper - whose name was never used, only her title - waiting for him when he entered had to do with some matter of what the soothsayers advised for the menus or not. Anything, he thought, so that the Empress would get pregnant.

"What is it, Matron?" he sighed, not bothering to ask her to sit down. The old woman never did.

"Forgive the intrusion, Your Majesty. A matter of great importance has come up." She folded her hand in front of her. "Her Majesty's handmaidens came to me this morning."

"With what?" He sat up a little straighter, expecting the worst. Why hadn't he been alerted?

"Her Majesty... she has cut her hair."

Changmin blinked, arching an eyebrow and waiting for her to continue. "And...?"

The woman looked aghast. "Your Majesty..."

"She didn't accidentally cut herself or something, did she?"

"Well, no, but--" At a loss for words, she gestured blindly through the air. "She cut her hair. Herself. This morning when the maids found her, she was already finished." A pursing of the lips. "What is to be done? Should one of the healers see her?"

Hair, like all physical symbols, still meant something in this old world, he remembered. Superstition ruled them. And it would be very, very unwise to laugh, no matter how much he found himself wanting to.

"I'm sure she's not sick."

The woman looked unconvinced, ducking her head. "Perhaps it is the heat."

"The heat?" He hoped she wasn't insinuating Utada was losing her mind. "And all her maids are crying because of this?"

The matron wrung her hands, heavy rings clinking at the action. "It came as quite a shock."

Changmin bit the inside of his cheek. "I'll speak with her."

She looked relieved enough to faint. "Oh, thank you, Your Majesty, I know you'll handle this with wisdom."

With her gone, he rested his head in his hands. His wife had cut her hair and it was a matter of national importance. No wonder the old regime had been overthrown the first time around if this constituted a serious problem for them.

Still, there was nothing to be done. He had to fix it, somehow. A wig? A public statement? What would be appropriate?

Flicking a switch on the control panel, he sighed. "Jaejoong, are you free?" Handling it with wisdom, he thought. Yeah right.

"I'll be right with you."

"Wait. Do you know if Utada is with Yunho?"

There was a brief pause. "I think so, why?"

Changmin pinched the bridge of his nose. "What do you know about..hair?"

"Hair?" he heard repeated into the comsys. Maybe Jaejong thought he was using code.

"The Empress cut off all her hair. For all I know she's bald."

Another pause, this one a good bit longer.

"Is that bad?"

"Of course it's bad! Her maids are having a coronary over it. Half the palace is." Fix it, he thought. "Can you... I don't know, talk to her?"

"Why me?" The tone was slightly defensive. "You're her husband."

"I don't know what to tell her," he protested grimly. "I don't know anything about hair."

"And what, I do?"

"Seeing as you had it down to your ass, I think you know a bit more about it than me!" he retorted, massaging at his temples.

On the other end, Jaejoong must have been enjoying this. "You used to look at my ass? That's not very appropriate, Your--"

"Jaejoong," it came out as a whine more than a reprimand. "Please... take care of it. I think they're going to send her soothsayers, healers and midwives if you don't. And you know she'll do something worse then." Like get a tattoo because she saw one on Yoochun's shoulder.

The roll of the other man's eyes was nearly audible. "Fine. I'll figure something out. Avert the civilized world from crisis, all in a day's work."

Changmin hung up on him.

*

They decided on a bedroom that wasn't his and wasn't hers for the nightly visits. The healers did their work blessing and protecting the damn room from evil spirits and within two nights, they found it usable. That way, at least she could feel she had her room and he had his and there wouldn't be any jealousy.

With a yawn, he keyed open the door, no longer bothering to knock.

"Mock me and you're dead." So greeted his wife.

Changmin blinked, the door shutting with a whisper behind him. He seemed to be doing that a lot lately.

"You look...like a pastry," he said dumbly.

Her hair cropped so short it barely reached her ears, Utada glared. "Thanks a lot. I feel like one too." The top of her dress was like tinfoil or paper, twisted into shape, fixed with too many butterflies to look remotely like something she'd wear. Worst of all, it was pink.

"How do they expect me to take that off of you, exactly?"

"Changmin-ah," she whined, sitting down huffily--well, as huffily as she could in the binding clothing. A sigh. "I think that's what the slit in the front is for, see?"

"No, that's okay." He turned a deeper shade of red for that one. "I don't need to see." Sitting down beside her, he patted her shoulder comfortingly. "I'm really sorry." It would have been better if he managed to say it without a broad grin.

She shoved at his arm. "Do you know how long this make up takes? Do you? If I hadn't chopped off my hair, I would've never left the damn chair."

"Would it help if I told them you look beautiful without it?" he sighed. "Would it help if you told them? Utada, your handmaidens work for you... not the other way around."

She snorted. "Could've fooled me. I feel like a doll everyone's using for dress up." She kicked the floor. "At least Yunho-ssi liked my hair. He said it was a smart thing to do." The words are spoken with no little pride.

"He said so?" Figured, Yunho would be the one to miss the point and undo all the good Jaejoong had tried to do.

Utada grinned. "He said it wouldn't interfere with my training so much anymore."

Changmin groaned, falling back to lie on the bed, legs still hanging over the side. "And how's that going? He have you killing wild animals with your bare hands yet?"

"That's in the study plan--ow." An attempt to twist her body so she could see him evidently resulted in pain, but rather than stop her, it only made Utada try harder until she more or less tried to throw herself on her stomach on the bed. "He had you do that in the Guard?"

Sighing, Changmin forced himself to sit up despite how tempted he was just to sink into the mattress, eying the outfit critically. "Here, let's see if we can get you out of that." He rolled his eyes as hers widened. "I'll give you my shirt. Come on, you're going to hurt yourself."

Shoulders slumping, she started working the ties. "Okay, but I warn you, I have nothing on underneath. Nothing at all." From the days when she had been afraid of him until now, things had changed. For one, she was teasing him at least as much as his lovers did.

"I'll close my eyes," he promised, aware of the irony in the statement. He shrugged out of his tunic, knowing it would come down near to her knees on her short frame.

"This is ridiculous," Utada muttered, wincing as too sharp of a movement made the garmet tighten. "All this for something that's never even going to..." She halted, flushing before starting on the corset binding her waist. "Sorry."

He quirked a smile at her sudden blush. Sometimes he forgot how young she still was. "Don't worry about it." Turning around, he started on the buttons on his shirt, a thought insinuating itself in his mind and refusing to be silenced once it had taken root. "Is that something you'd want?"

Her blush deepened, keeping her back turned to him as the dress fell to her waist. "People are going to talk about more than my hair eventually," she murmured, evading and answering at the same time.

He didn't answer. People would talk anyway. If she was without child for too long, they would talk. If she was with child, they would talk. If the child looked too little like him, they would talk.

"Do you... like anyone in particular?" He settled the shirt around her shoulders, watching as she slipped her arms through, buttoning the hooks quickly.

"No," she mumbled, giving him a grin over her shoulder. "And why should I tell you, anyways?"

"Because I'm your husband?" he suggested. In their relationship, that somehow made sense. "You don't have to tell me, of course," he sighed, turning away again. "It's just better if I know. I can make sure there are no rumors..."

She sighed, shifting on the bed, her restrictive clothes falling to the floor. She sat on her knees, his shirt loose on her thin body. "No. There's no one." She touched his hand, smiling at him. "I'd tell you if there was. I promise."

"Good," he smiled, now on his back and really thinking some sleep could do them both good. "Me or Yunho or... whoever you feel comfortable." The mattress was soft and he'd had a long day. He was ready for a good night's sleep.

"Changmin-ah?"

"Mmm?"

"I think one of the handmaids has it out for me." She shuffled closer to him, resting her head on his shoulder.

He laughed softly, opening an eye to look down at her. "Why do you say that?"

"She keeps looking at me. All the time." A sigh. "When I'm eating. When I'm bathing. When I'm out with Yunho or you... It's creepy." Glancing up at him, she arched an eyebrow. "Don't you think it's creepy?"

He made a noncommittal noise. "You know Yoochun and Yunho went over each of them with a fine-toothed comb. I'm sure she's just afraid to let you out of her sight, in case something might happen."

"Hmm, maybe you're right," she finally relented, settling more firmly against him. Like Yoochun, Utada had a habit of clinging in her sleep. He'd grown used to it quickly enough. Sleepily, she added: "She's the one you didn't marry, by the way."

"What?" he mumbled, frowning, but she'd already tumbled into sleep.

*

"You parry the kicks with kicks. That frees up your hands, see?" Yunho mimicked the movement a third time, in slow motion and then once, just so she could see it, in fast succession. The fact that he was doing it with thin air took away from the demonstration, but she didn't mind.

It was already good enough that he was bothering with someone like her.

Determined to get it right, she nodded, pushing up her sleeves. She was wearing Junsu's clothes, the only one of them short enough to be suitable, even if he wasn't aware they were missing. Yunho had told her outright that he wouldn't tolerate 'any of that frilly shit'.

"Ready?" he asked, but without waiting for her to answer aimed a kick to her side. It caught her unawares, straight against a kidney.

"Ow, shit!"

Unlike any of her other subjects, Yunho didn't bother to come see if she was alright. "Never drop your guard."

Scowling, she pushed herself back to her feet, shifting back into the stance he'd taught her. She fought the urge to snap back. Last time it had happened, she'd been doing pushups till her arms gave out. Changmin had laughed when she told him. Jerk.

She managed to get in a kick this time, not that it connected anywhere, Yunho sweeping her leg before she got the chance. Fucking hell.

He was a slave driver. Really. When she had asked for some training - or well, been conned into it, as she'd come to believe since the physical exertion got tougher and tougher - she hadn't expected it would mean this. As hard as she tried, she couldn't manage to get a kick or a punch in. Only sweat. There was plenty of sweat.

"Mind your balance," he told her, cold and calm and barely sounding fatigued. "Again."

Again, she attacked, spinning on one leg and aiming the other to his cheek. He parried it, twisting her foot in midair. It wasn't enough to break the joint, but it threw her to the ground.

Fiftieth time she was eating mat that day alone. Decidedly not fun.

This time, he was the one to haul her up, grabbing her by the back of the shirt and pulling her to her feet. "Better. But you're not anticipating. You're leaving yourself wide open for a counter attack."

"You've got a few years on me," she retorted, pride injured but the rest of her not so much. Not enough to put Yunho off sending her to try again.

"Come at me head on," he ordered and returned to his position.

She nodded, teeth gritted against the urge to get one kick in. Just one. He said to come at him head on. One kick and he would parry it the same way. If, one the other hand, she went for the kidney in a proverbial eye for an eye...

Moving as quick as she could, she went low instead of high, locking herself in place and delivering a solid kick to his side. There was a brief, split second of triumph before she was on her back again, wind knocked from her lungs and Yunho standing over her.

"I said come at me head on," he observed calmly. "You're not good with directions, are you?" Extending a hand, he pulled her up, dusted up her sides with a paternal hand.

"I was going to surprise you," she grumbled, chastened and tired.

Impassive features cracked into a grudging smile, slapping her hip lightly. "And you got a kick in. But control before improvisation." A nod towards the edge of the room. "Get some water and we'll go again in ten."

"Thanks," she sighed, dragging her feet to the pitcher of scented water her handmaids insisted on having her drink because it was supposed to improve fertility. The stuff tasted the same to her as all their teas and general bullshit, but then she wasn't ever going to be pregnant at this rate and she wasn't sure she minded.

Junsu poured her a glass before she could even touch the handle. "Not that I'm not honored, but why are you wearing my clothes?"

She flushed. "Yunho-ssi didn't deem any of my clothes suitable for practice. Sorry."

He snorted, pouring himself a glass as well. She stifled a giggle, deciding omission was the better part of valor.

"Practice? From what I'm watching, looks more like he's kicking your ass up and down the mats."

"Oh, thanks a lot," she snorted. "I still outrank you. Or whatever you say in the Guard... I do, don't I?" To Junsu's smirk, she just rolled her eyes. "He's impossible. I thought he was suppose to be old and arthritic..."

"Yunho? He'll outlive us all and look twenty-five while doing it." The shorter man - one of her husband's lovers and wasn't that a strange thought - patted her shoulder. "Want me to tire him out for you?"

She smirked. "I'd love to watch you try."

Junsu grinned, tugging on her hair before heading over towards the other man.

"How about it, Yunho-ssi? For old times' sake?"

Utada found herself a spot with her back against the wall. Best vantage point. Or it would have been, if one of her handmaids didn't decide to intervene.

"Would you like me to bring you a chair, Madam?"

God, did she have to follow her around everywhere? "No thank you, Bora, I'm fine," she muttered, trying her best to be polite. Now be quiet so I can watch Junsu get owned.

Yunho was looking at her, then at Junsu, no doubt arguing this was interrupting her training. Then Junsu said something, something she couldn't hear and probably didn't want to and he looked away, the strength of his jaw belying a soft smile.

Finally, he nodded and Junsu shot her a grin.

In reply, she gave him a thumbs up. He had no chance.

They bowed like it was a formal match, taking stances, Yunho's strong and immovable, Junsu rocking lightly on the balls of his feet. She resisted the urge to bit her nails, knowing the handmaiden would say something about it and she didn't want any distractions from this.

The first lunge came, surprisingly, from Yunho. He must have been trying to keep the interruption to a minimum, because his aim, usually so clear and relaxed, faltered right above Junsu's shoulder, just an inch away from his jugular.

She gaped. Junsu recovered it with a sweep of his foot, one that Yunho sidestepped easily. And okay, she had to admit that there was some fluidity to their movements that she would never possess. But she could try. She watched fixedly as Junsu circled the older man, pivoting quick to kick high, his foot bare centimeter's from Yunho's cheek. Utada gasped, even as she waited for Yunho to take him down, eyes widening when Junsu slipped away, evading the man's hands.

He was unexpectedly good at this, she noted, because Yunho didn't have it in him to go easy on anyone. As if to prove the point, he swept ahead, tackling Junsu to the mat in a fit of manly strength. Or maybe he was just bored with the attack and evade technique his lover had going.

Propping her knees under her chin, Utada grinned. He's got you now.

They scrabbled for brief moments, before Yunho pinned the other man's arms over his head, straddling Junsu even as the other man folded his legs around Yunho's waist, attempting to throw him off. Junsu was flexible enough to manage it, and determined, by the look on his face, but Yunho had a good stone or so on him in weight and at the moment, it was the winning advantage.

What had begun as a dignified match quickly devolved into a scuffle, Junsu writhing and laughing on the floor and Yunho on top of him, trying to keep him still. She laughed with them from afar, eyes widening in shock when her trainer bent down to kiss the younger man.

She wasn't sure how to react to that one.

Her cheeks flamed red. Of course, she knew that they were lovers, but it seemed a whole different thing when they were in front of her, Junsu's hand in Yunho's dark hair. Utada's blush deepened.

"Maybe Her Majesty should go and get cleaned up," Bora said from beside her, eyes shadowed by her hood. "There is a banquet this evening."

"Yes." She swallowed in a dry throat. "Yes. Right." Dragging herself to her feet quickly, she tried to make a dignified exit. The other two would probably have no idea she'd gone, she thought, a pang of jealousy in her heart.

She'd never be allowed to have what they had.

It wasn't fair.

*


He was going to make a petition to the Emperor himself, next time he had him beneath him and tangled in the sheets, to make his presence at these damn things optional at least. Tugging at his collar, Jaejoong sighed, blowing his dark bangs out of his eyes and trying not to fidget in his place, eyes sweeping over the rest of the guests, settling on Changmin.

They were all sitting in the silence that the first course dictates, nothing but the clink of silverware and the whisper of the wind outside. It was stiff formality and nothing more.

On his left, the Empress had barely touched her meal. Normally, this wouldn't be a surprise, but today he knew had been one of her training days with Yunho. That she wasn't hungry was suspicious.

"Not salty enough?" he asked under his breath, lips barely moving so as not to disturb the rest of the guests.

She blinked, as if startled from her thoughts, eyes sliding to him from under the heavy veil of her hat. "No, I...it's fine," she murmured, her posture ramrod straight against the back of the chair.

"You're just not hungry?" he pressed, watching her from the corner of his eye and wondering why she was so pale. Yunho and Junsu had seen her only hours earlier and she'd been fine. Changmin, for his part, didn't seem to have noticed.

The Empress shook her head. "Not particularly." He noticed her eyes sliding over the heads of the gathered guests, searching for something or someone in the long crowd of nobles.

A lover, perhaps?

He followed her gaze, curious and concerned, waiting to see who it settled on. This could go badly and quick. If it was the wrong kind of man, if he was likely to talk--he would have to be disposed of. Yunho would advise it, Yoochun would no doubt end up doing it himself. He cringed inwardly.

Gathered with the other higher palace staff, a handmaid of the Empress' lifted her head as if in recognition. Just as quickly, Utada averted her eyes back to her plate.

Jaejoong did a doubletake.

Looking quicker, he realized he recognized the woman--one of the myriad of candidates that had been paraded in front of Changmin not a year ago, selected by his lover for the Empress's wife. His eyes flicked to Utada, taking in the flush of her ears, just visible under her thick make up.

"If something has happened," he whispered, "Your Majesty should know she can trust me." A casual glance in her direction. "She's not friendless here." It was an invitation if she wanted to take it, a promise if she wouldn't.

But Utada betrayed custom by looking directly at him. It was only a second, but he saw the need to speak, to confess teeter on the edge of her lips.

"After," she whispered, vulnerability in dark eyes, younger than her makeup and gowns strove to suggest.

He nodded his assent, returning his attention to the banquet.

After, as she'd promised, when the guests were mingling to the sound of a harp playing at the end of the room, she stood from her high chair, bowing her head in Changmin's direction for indirect permission and escaped to the balcony for some air. Uncharacteristically, he found her alone, no guards or handmaidens to keep her company.

"Utada..." He didn't mean to startle her. She truly looked too pale for it to be normal.

Her fingers were white-knuckled on the balcony rail, shivering though he knew the heaviness of her gown should protect her from the night chill. She swallowed hard.

"Jaejoong oppa..."

"What is it?" he pressed her, moving to stand closer that might have been proper, but close enough that no one would overhear. "Is it... is it a problem with your handmaids? I know you've been complaining about Bora, if she's a problem, we can dispose--"

"No." A shake of the head. "No, she's not a problem."

He was silent for a moment, debating with himself whether or not to push.

"You were watching her during the dinner."

Utada's teeth dig into her lip, stained blood red. "Was I?" she whispered, still not looking at him.

"Yes. As if her presence was making you uneasy." He'd watched her with Changmin, at the beginning, with the rest of them. Real fear had drawn itself differently on her girlish features. This, whatever this was, had nothing to do with those days. "Yunho and Yoochun screened her entire background. I spoke to her myself several times... she seems precocious and a little cynical, but otherwise I didn't think she was ill-intentioned." A hand took hers, his grip warmer than the wine they'd drunk all evening. "What's changed?"

"I..." her eyes started to well with tears, the grasp on his hand tightening. "Jaejoong, you can't tell anyone. Not Changmin, not anyone."

Fear swelled in his throat, threatening to choke him. "I won't. I swear." Not outright, at least, unless it was something truly life-changing.

The Empress bit back a sob, composing herself. "Earlier, I was with Bora and she... we were trying on the gowns for tonight. I couldn't decide what to wear. And she was... she was naked and I... I felt..." A hand came to press against her eyes, as if she couldn't bear to see or be seen like this. "She was so beautiful and I couldn't stop looking. I tried, I swear I tried but it was like... like she's a witch and she's got me under this spell..."

"Utada," he whispered, struggling to think what to say, to process this information. She let out a soft sob and Jaejoong felt his stomach twist, reaching to take her hands away from her face. "Utada, it's alright. Listen to me. It's okay."

"No, it's not! It's twisted and wrong and she knows. Jaejoong, she knows." Her chin trembled. "What if she tells? What if everyone hears what a disgusting monster I am? And I promised Changmin I'd be careful--"

Something lifted off his chest, familiar like a weight he'd borne once, many years before. Someone had told him he was a monster to feel like that too.

"You like her," he interceded. "You find her attractive. That's alright."

She shook her head, the jewels in her hair chiming. "It's not, it's...I don't--"

"You like her," Jaejoong repeated, squeezing her hand gently. "And if she's daring enough to undress in front of you, to invite your affections...she won't betray you." His features hardened. "We'll make certain of it."

"You mustn't hurt her," she begged, tone changing from pleading to hard. She was the Empress and she knew it. "Promise me."

He smiled. "Promise me you won't cry for this again," he countered. "Talk to her. Not to me. She won't reject you. And Changmin, if he finds out, will finally stop worrying about you being so alone."

The sounds of laughter and idle chatter grew close, and Jaejoong stepped back, in case there privacy was compromised. He bowed slightly. "Come, enjoy the part and don't make yourself sick over this, alright?"

Turning her face away to compose herself, Utada nodded, but he could sense she was unconvinced. There was only so much a third party could say or do. It wasn't his place to do more, but as they went back to the party a respectful distance apart, he watched the far end of the room for the woman in question.

Bora's eyes met his, momentarily not obscured by the cloak.

*

Changmin hummed softly against Yoochun's shoulder, the older man running his fingers lazily through his hair, nearly lulling him to sleep. It was all he could do to keep himself at the damned dinner when he could've been here, listening numbly to the idle discussions of one pretentious noble then the next, bored nearly to tears.

This, he decided, feeling Jaejoong's lips press along his spine, was infinitely more deserving of his attention.

"Don't fall asleep on us," Junsu murmured, his head already buried in the pillow. "You're not supposed to, remember," he slurred, too tired to move even when Yunho flopped down beside him, one arm around his waist and absolutely no strength for anything but sleep.

Yoochun groaned under him. "Give your woman a rest, really," he smirked. No matter how much they pretended they weren't jealous, sometimes Changmin had his doubts. He kissed Yoochun extra softly, just in case, tasting the traces of wine on the other's lips. Fingers stroked over his cheek in reassurance.

Jaejoong was strangely silent, even as he pressed close against Changmin's back.

"I'm going to need you to move so I can move," he warned, voice thick with fatigue and post-coital endorphins. "Don't have the strength to wrestle..."

His lover laughed, kissing his shoulder. "I'd rather you stayed with us tonight. Yoochun's right."

Gods, it was tempting. But he couldn't just leave her to show up there by herself and wait alone. "I want to," he said softly, the words muffled against Yoochun's skin. "You know I do."

"Then stay." Jaejoong was rarely this clingy anymore. He understood how things were with Utada. He didn't mind her presence anymore. This was just the wine talking, Changmin decided and started the long and strenuous effort of breaking out of their hold.

"Can't. Got... a wife... to entertain." Beneath him, Yoochun giggled. Changmin grinned, biting at his ear and setting off another round of silent laughter, the older man doubling in on himself. Lush.

Jaejoong wrapped a leg around his waist. "Trust me on this one, your wife'll be fine without you tonight." His lips curled into a smile against his ear, trapping him to the bed and a near-unconscious Yoochun.

Changmin frowned, tilting his head to the side like a kid. "What do you mean?"

A kiss to his jaw. "Can't tell. Just trust me, 'kay?"

Even in alcohol-induced stupor, he couldn't let that slide. Not when it came to Utada. She was family. Turning on his side, he slipped an arm behind his head, the other wrapping around Jaejoong's waist. "I have ways to make you talk."

Jaejoong arched an eyebrow at him. "You're drunk and half-asleep. Do your worst."

"Okay... I lied," he relented. "But I don't want her to feel used. That bed is big. And cold." A sigh. "Don't want her sleeping alone when I've got you." It wasn't fair, he meant to say somehow. It was already bad enough he'd married her in the first place.

His lover sighed, tracing soft patterns over his stomach. "She won't be alone."

Changmin's eyes widened. "What? What do you mean? Jaejoong, what do you know?" The possibility that she would find a man had crossed his mind before. She was admired, she was beautiful and she could play sabbacc better than anyone he'd ever met. But still the urge to rush in and protect her from some unseen evil clutched in his stomach like a spasm.

"Your wife has feelings for another woman." Jaejoong tilted his head in mock sympathy. "Try not to feel too hurt."

Changmin stared at him for a long moment, mouth scrunching in an entirely unregal fashion, whacking Jaejoong on the arm. "Ass. Why didn't she tell me? Who is it? Can she trust her?"

"I promised I wouldn't tell you who it is," he murmured. "She asked me to keep her secret because she was afraid you'd think her twisted. You won't be surprised to hear it's the first time this has happened to her. But it probably explains why she's never paid anyone else any mind." He smirked. "Don't worry, I'll speak to her in the morning if you won't."

He sighed, letting his head hit the pillow. "I should know who my wife is sleeping with," he muttered, unable to keep from grinning when he heard the words outloud, but trying to reign in alcohol-flavored giddiness. "And how could she think that? She sees us, why would I think less of her for the same thing?"

"Because she's spent seventeen years learning that's wrong?" Jaejoong suggested. A finger traced chin, lips and nose, sliding into his hair. "She doesn't judge us because she loves us. Or you, at least." The same finger poked his cranium. "So you'd better start thinking of ways to talk to her about it because until she thinks the feeling's mutual, I'm still going to be her confidant." And if he sounded a little proud, Changming figured he was allowed. Somehow, in a few short months, Utada had become their little sister, a part of their family as surely as Junsu and Yunho and Yoochun were.

Biting at the other's finger in retaliation, he nodded, shifting a bit closer until he could tuck his head against Jaejoong's shoulder, part of him relieved he didn't have to go. "I'll talk to her. And I'll try not to fuck it up, promise."

"You'd better," a sleepy Yunho muttered from the other side of the bed and promptly fell back asleep.













*All pics from the 2007 Spring Dior by Galliano Couture Collection

Comments

Pairing: Changmin/Utada (friendship), Yunho/Utada (friendship), Jaejoong/Utada (friendship), HoSu, OT5, Utada/Bora



*sigh* I didn't see it, told you I was blinded :D