We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at stars.

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Penance: Chapter 2b
Title: Penance
Pairing: YunJae
Rating: R (for this chapter)
Warning: Self-harm
Length: Chaptered
Genre: Angst, drama
Summary: Yunho once chose kinship over love, and is now willing to do anything as penance for his act of betrayal.

Note 1: This is still present day, and is the same day of Jaejoong's release.

He would like to believe that he is a patient man. Jaejoong used to scoff whenever he listed patience as one of his qualities…or was he not? He had waited for the younger boy to open up to him, waited for him to think of him as more than a brotherly figure, waited for that exhilarating first kiss and beautiful first night.

He had waited for the past eight years. He was still waiting.

Yunho pressed his forefingers into his temple in a bid to ease the throbbing headache that had diverted his attention from the pile of proposals he had to peruse. He had taken the day off in anticipation of his return, but the person in question had yet to make an appearance. He will come back. Changmin had promised him, hadn’t he? Still, he couldn’t help but feel worried and insecure. Jaejoong had shut him out for the past eight years, and he had relied on small bits of information that Changmin had grudgingly let on about his lover only after his rigorous probing. There was also that burly prison warden, who now had a tidy sum sitting in an offshore bank account for keeping a watchful eye on Jaejoong and accelerating his release. Regardless of what the warden and Changmin had said to reassure him of Jaejoong’s well-being, he couldn’t cease worrying until the man himself was safe once again in his arms.

Did he sleep well?

Was he roughened up or harassed?

Had he lost a lot of weight?

Was he tired from all the menial labour he had to do?

Was he healthy?

Will he ever forgive him?

Will he come back and let him make amends?

Yunho was wound up in guilt, frustration and sadness as his thoughts were assaulted by the same old unanswered questions that had plagued him since his mistake. He felt the pricking of tears at his eyes, but forcefully bit them back. How dare he have the cheek to cry? He had deserved every dirty wave of shame and regret that had surged towards him and inundated him over the years. He deserved to drown in regret and languish in his guilt for prioritizing them, and practically throwing Jaejoong into the dungeons, free for those bloodthirsty hounds to devour.

He wrapped his hands around himself. His body involuntarily shook as he willingly let every bit of shame, guilt, anger, regret assault his mind and heart in a self-imposed penitential routine. He saw those beautiful doe eyes tainted by the pain he had inflicted. They were crying tears of blood, protesting his innocence vehemently, and promising vengeance. His heart palpitated harshly against his chest cavity, and his jugular throbbed almost violently as a welcome sense of asphyxiation hit him. He gasped and gasped and gasped and fuck why were those disgusting tears threatening to spill again, and he tightened those large hands clasped around his throat some more. He gasped and choked. His eyeballs hurt. It still wasn't tight enough. Tighter, tighter!

Soon, a welcome blackness greeted him.

This was his way of consoling himself. By punishing himself.


It was already dark outside when he awoke. His eyes hurt, his throat was raw, and his horrible migraine was still clubbing viciously at his head. He felt better now.

He shifted around, and realized he was currently resting on his bed, and not lying pathetically on the cold floor of his study as he had intended. There was a pair of huge eyes staring at him, trying to assess his condition, silently disapproving. He glared back at him coldly.

“Why are you here?” He croaked as his traumatized larynx struggled to recover. 

“Why are you doing this?” The man questioned softly, looking genuinely worried.

“Are you seriously asking me this? You, of all people, should know best.” The fair, porcelain face paled as he looked to the floor as if he had been slapped in the face. Was he even sorry? Was he even feeling guilty? Yunho was boiling internally while the man ruminated to come up with a proper response. His day had already been bad enough after a futile wait which had triggered an old harmful routine. His body and spirit were weary, and he was in no mood to deal with the spiteful hypocrite vying with him for precious air. The selfish narcissist he had for a brother.

“I- ”

“Why are you here? Uh? Tell me! You know I can’t stand seeing you anymore, so why do you persist in antagonizing me?” Yunho bit furiously as his voice regained its momentum.

“ Yunho, I’m your brother! I care for you! Do you think I can just sit back and do nothing while you turn into a self-destructive freak that I no longer recognize? I know that you detest me but I’m working on it! I’m a changed person now. Can’t you try to see things from my perspective and see the effort I’ve put in? You can’t possibly dismiss me for the rest of your entire life!” Streaks of fat, angry tears spilt down the man’s face, and Yunho saw red at the man’s audacity to cry.

“How dare you claim that you care for me?! You’ve only acted with absolute disregard for my feelings. You’ve changed? Your spiel only revolved around you and your feelings. You, you, and you! You’re the same old selfish, pompous narcissist who wallows in self-pity at merely one person refusing to bow at your feet. Why shouldn’t I treat you differently? Look, I’m not in the mood to feed your self-importance, and I’m not interested in the kind of character that you are trying so hard to play. Never, and never will be. Now get out!”

Yunho angrily fumbled around to disentangle himself from his sheets, got out of bed, and dragged the resistant man out of his room. He threw him out, slammed the door in his face, and secured the lock, determine to shut the man out. Out of his mind, out of his life. But the man was equally, if not even more determined. He doggedly rapped at the door from outside.

“Yunho, stop it! Just hear me out! Mother is worried for you. You have to think of her! How long are you going to torture yourself? And how many more times will there be until you overdo it and kill yourself eventually?!”

Yunho slid down against the door, contemplating Heechul’s words.

No, he had been careful. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. If he did it, he would have to see Jaejoong one last time first.

He had to see Jaejoong again.

Which is why he kept himself alive, and never gave in to those overwhelming urges. He had to stay alive to take whatever Jaejoong would throw at him when he came out. He had to stay alive to plead, beg, and grovel for his forgiveness.

He had to stay alive to win Jaejoong’s heart back.

Note 2: And present-day Yunho finally appears. I had intended to post this earlier, but early lunar new year celebrations got in the way. How has your weekend been? I hope you guys will be open to Yunho's perspective after this chapter. Was it too angsty again? Do let me know your thoughts on this chapter, and if you have any questions in mind, just shoot (:

whoa, Heechul's appearance was totally unexpected. but it makes sense i guess :P was he in any way responsible for what happened to jaejoong or am i just reading too much into that
it's nice to see that Yunho hasn't really forgiven himself either - i noticed a lot of other readers were bitching about complaining that Yunho shouldn't have left Jaejoong to "rot in prison for 8 years" and whatnot. but he probably had a good reason for it...otherwise i'll throttle him :P

in response to your reply to my last comment: you don't think Changmin resembles Yunho? not trying to be rude or anything but in my mind, they're really similar - loyal, responsible, hardworking, etc. of course they're different in some ways too - Yunho's really talkative/Changmin never talks, Yunho's a romantic/Changmin's a realist, etc. i would really love to hear your thoughts on why they are or aren't similar ^^

it will definitely make sense why he's there i promise. it's not a matter of why now, but how?

hmmm, i don't know whether his reasons are justifiable really. you'll have to see...

yup they have those same attributes, but over those they seem to be different in everything else? their appearance, their styles, their preferences (what they have divulged so far) and way of articulating themselves. They are both hardworking, but I get the impression that Yunho works to the point of over-exerting himself and sustains injury, while Changmin will work as hard as he can without getting injured. Also, i was watching recent interviews (Missha, Do Dream, etc) and i realised that Yunho is really hyperactive? He's constantly itching to reply to a question, and when he's not, he really fidgets a lot. Like a lot. haha i could go on and on but i think it's those differences which make watching them really enjoyable.

It is worse if j was innocent but still got locked up for 8 years. But we all know j has a big heart n will forgive yh or anyone for that matter. I am still bitter with yh even if he self punish himself cos j got raped n that is more traumatic in itself..lets c what nx chapter will bring..update soon ya!

haha i will try my best to update soon. poor yunho, everyone is on jae's side...

thanks for reading and commenting!

How will Yunho react once he finds out that the warden did more harm to Jae. Oh boy, wonder how is he going to compensate Jae for that horror experience. Maybe he should donate his wealth to Jae first.

lol i'm sure he would donate all his wealth any time if jae would give a hoot!

thanks for reading!

Wow,,this is very intense. Yunho is being self-destructive. The guilt is really eating up on him badly n I wonder how he will react if he knows that jae was raped in jail.

I can't wait for yun n jae to meet tbh but have a feeling it'll be angstsy. This story itself is so full of angst until now,I'm scared for what to come.

yay, the first person who shows some semblance of sympathy for yunho. i guess topics on rape and self-harm are always intense and controversial. i wonder whether this chapter has turned people off ):

YJ will probably have to meet soon, maybe a couple of chapters down since the next chapter will bring us back to the past and how their relationship was slowly established. there will be some sweet romance coming up soon, it's not all angst..

Edited at 2013-02-04 09:13 am (UTC)

What did Yunho do to himself? O_O
Part of his actions stems from guilt but I think for the most part he loves Jaejoong.

From this chapter here, I am guessing that Heechul is the reason why Jaejoong is in prison.

I wonder is Changmin bring Jaejoong to Yunho or Changmin will come to Yunho after he has place Jaejoong somewhere safe.

He strangled himself till he fell unconscious ): and omg yay you got it. The self-destructive behaviour really stems a lot from his love for jaejoong and his need to see him. I am really really happy that you picked that up (:

haha those are interesting guesses, I'm really curious about what you all think.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Love this...Love this...Love this.......Love this
OK, I am going to stop writing monosyllable comments. I really love this. Story is good, so is grammar and spelling (yeah...I am sucker for this!) I am still dying of curiosity but if it is part of the plot to be "slow and steady", so be it!!!! Just curious to see how JJ is going to treat YH. What the hell did YH do?????

Thanks so much, you have no idea how encouraging your comment is (: And i'm sorry but the suspense will continue since it will be a slow build to the truth.

Oooooooooohhhhhh Yunho doesn't know that Jae was raped in the prison right? Wonder what would happen when he gets to know that. And this chapter is so good. Your writing is great too. Keep it up :)

yeppers, yunho has no idea AT ALL.

and thanks so much for the encouragement! i had no idea that comments could be this motivational and uplifting for writers (:

Thanks for the update. I guess it did came to a shock that heechul is yunho's brother. Now I'm more intrigued as far as what kind of betrayal Yunho did to joongie. Can't wait for the next update.

I hope joongie doesn't give in to Yunho fast. I mean I've read a lot of stories where joongie gave in to Yunho and forgave him too fast. I wish it could be where in Yunho does realize his mistake fully and starts to acknowledge that his love for Jae should always prevail before he is forgiven.

And also is the warden that raped Jae the same warden that Yunho paid?

Omg you're so fast at commenting i can't keep up! yes, that can be inferred. *shudder

Yunho is seriously beating himself over what happened with JJ, but I don't want to judge him just yet just like Heechul. I want to know what everyone that contributed to Jaejoong's sentence did, even though I have a couple ideas.

On to the next :D

There's too many running around in my head but I'll b patient n findthe answers in your updates. But this is really gripping. of to read the next chap

I've read angst before but never this much!!! That's pretty heavy.... And I'm quit interested in the reason behind it so I'm looking forward to the next chapters!


Haha I guess other readers were shocked speechless by this part. BUT BUT BUT, this is definitely not the most angsty thing I've read, and there's some fluff interspersed here and there to lighten the tone of the story. There will be more angst in later chapters though...

Thanks for reading!

Aw Yunho is overcome with guilt, so sad. Can't wait till they meet again.

Gosh, poor Yunho! I know he did something terrible, but he must've felt he had no choice? We'll see I guess. It's obvious Yunho has felt serious remorse probably every day since then, whereas Heechul (the true culprit?) doesn't seem to get the seriousness of what he's done. Yunho's love for Jae alone would torment him every day he was in prison, but to know he somehow helped to put him there is overwhelming him wwith grief. Sad to see how he was once so happy and is now depressed and suicidal... I know some people will say he deserves it but we don't know the whole story yet.

So, Heechul is Yunho's brother? I loled at this becase it's Heechul and Yunho omg
And Yunho is a masochist O_O Woa I can't wait for him to meet Jae...

What really happened with Jae and Yun tho, okay to the next chapter XD


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