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Title: Lotus Roots - Chapter 6
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: YunJae
Length: Chaptered
Summary: It's the twenty-first century and the royal family is an extension of a democratically elected government but that does not mean the Crown Prince can marry whomever he chooses. In a world with a rapidly changing social landscape Jung Yunho's marriage is used as an instrument to force social reform and Kim Jaejoong finds out that for someone like him, a rise in status comes great danger and intrigue.
A/N: I have no good excuse. My absence was due to procrastination, getting distracted reading Woogyu fics, and procrastination. But it's NaNo so fingers crossed, I'll do my best to finish this.
Previous - Prologue - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

-
Chapter 6

“What is wrong with you?” Changmin asked Yunho. Their grandmother wasn’t quite refusing to speak to Yunho but Changmin could tell something had broken in their relationship since Yunho had come home.

It wasn’t difficult to guess what the reason for that break was. Changmin hadn’t seen Jaejoong for a week and he’d grown used to having the other boy around every day. Their grandmother had taken Jaejoong under her wing of sorts, something Changmin was grateful for because he hadn’t been prepared to do so himself. But now Jaejoong was nowhere to be found.

Changmin found the whole thing unsettling. Yunho wasn’t wishy washy like this. When he said he would do something, he did it. He wasn’t a liar. He didn’t hurt people. He wouldn’t give someone hope and then crush their dreams. That wasn’t Yunho.

This wasn’t Yunho.

The person standing in front of him was unrecognizable. Yunho had seemed a little off whenever Changmin had talked to him on the phone, evidenced by the fact that Changmin had never had to scold him before, but he hadn’t been expecting a radical personality change.

“I don’t even know you right now,” Changmin said.

Yunho ran a hand through his hair. “There’s nothing wrong with me.”

Changmin wasn’t accepting that. “Hyung, what are you doing?”

Yunho groaned in frustration. “I’m not doing anything you wouldn’t do yourself.”

Changmin stopped him there. “No. Seriously, what the fuck?” Changmin would never behave the way Yunho was behaving.

But he never would have agreed to marry someone he wouldn’t even think about being attracted to. He also never would have claimed someone he’d never met before either.

This was not Yunho.

“I’m not gay Changmin.”

Changmin thought back to the conversation he’d had with Yunho after first finding out their grandmother wanted his cousin to get married.

“Hyung, do you like boys?”

Yunho had talked around the question and Changmin had just assumed his hyung was flexible enough to marry a man, especially after Yunho had chosen the man himself.

“You’re not gay?” Changmin echoed back.

“No. I’m not,” Yunho paused, “attracted to men that way.”

“What the fuck hyung!” Changmin shouted.

Yunho stepped back at the uncharacteristic outburst. “Changmin.”

It was one thing if Yunho really wasn’t attracted to men, wasn’t attracted to Jaejoong (which was stupid and completely untrue. Yunho was stupid) but there was another issue here affecting Changmin.

“Why did you make me tell halmeoni you would marry Jaejoong? Why did you make me tell her he was acceptable, that it was ok if it was him?”

“He is acceptable,” Yunho said quietly. “He’s just not acceptable for me.”

Jaejoong was acceptable for Yunho. He was probably the person most acceptable for Yunho. “You made me a liar,” Changmin said.

“I know. I’m sorry.”

Changmin would forgive Yunho eventually but for now he was going to be angry. Yes, he agreed that there were other ways to fix his uncle’s mess and thought the president and ministers were probably trying to push a personal agenda, something he never said out loud, but he liked Jaejoong. Jaejoong was bossy and a little bitchy but he was also sweet and considerate. Changmin liked him, so he didn’t like Yunho right now.

“Sorry isn’t good enough hyung.”

-

Junsu didn’t know what to do about the Jaejoong Situation.

So he stopped talking to Yunho.

Unfortunately, Jaejoong and Yoochun had proven true to history and the Jaejoong Situation had also become the Yoochun Situation.

Junsu didn’t know what to do about the Yoochun Situation.

So he stopped talking to Yoochun.

Tried to anyway. Junho hadn’t really been on board with that and Yoochun insisted on talking at Junsu even when he refused to answer back. But Yoochun had had over fifteen years of practice at provoking Junsu into a response so not answering didn’t really work.

Which was unfair. Yoochun was not his responsibility. Jaejoong wasn’t Junsu’s responsibility. Blood relation to someone did not make him responsible for a person despite what the rest of their family thought. It also didn’t obligate him to be on his cousin’s side.

Junsu didn’t stop talking to Yunho because he agreed with his family and Yoochun, because he didn’t. They were delusional and Jaejoong was in the wrong. His family should be happy Jaejoong wouldn’t be thrown into the spotlight. Junsu didn’t know why his uncle had accepted that ridiculous proposal, royal family or not, but he was sure it was probably Jaejoong’s fault.

Probably.

Junsu stopped talking to Yunho because Yunho had lied to him. Yunho never once said that he had met Jaejoong, never said they were pseudo engaged or something. That was not how you treated your best friend so Junsu revoked Yunho’s friendship rights.

If everyone wanted to think he did it because Yunho had made Jaejoong miserable then that was fine. At least no one would nag him about supporting his family.

Yoochun was a whole other problem.

-

Jaejoong had stopped crying after the first week. Yoochun knew this because he had been there. He had been there when Jaejoong had stumbled into Yoochun’s bedroom, pale faced and puffy eyed. He had been there when Jaejoong couldn’t speak, when all that had come out of his mouth were despairing cries. He had been there when Jaejoong refused to answer his parents’ and sisters’ phone calls and refused to go home. He had been there when Jaejoong had locked them both in Yoochun’s room when Jaejoong’s father had finally come to bring his son home. He had been there when Jaejoong had begged to be left alone. And he had been there when Jaejoong stopped crying because that was when Yoochun had stopped crying.

He had stopped crying and wrote nasty things about Jung Yunho on the message boards of the fan sites dedicated to the royal family. It was impulsively vindictive and not something Yoochun would usually do, but it made him feel better, even if Jaejoong had asked him not to do it.

Yoochun was still doing it.

“It’s not his fault,” Jaejoong said from his spot on Yoochun’s bed, his face still scarred with sorrow, even if it was no longer red and tear streaked. He hadn’t left Yoochun’s room in two weeks but that was okay because Yoochun would let him live there forever if he wanted.

“The hell it isn’t,” Yoochun grumbled as he pounded angrily at his laptop keys. It was childish but each message made him feel a little less like committing homicide.

“How much longer are you going to do that?” Jaejoong asked.

Yoochun glanced at him quickly. Jaejoong was sitting hunched over, arms wrapped tightly around a pillow that had been perfectly plump and plush but had transformed into a lumpy mass after two weeks of punching and squeezing. “Until I don’t want to kill him anymore.”

“Don’t be mad at him,” Jaejoong said. “It’s my fault.”

The hell it was. “No, it isn’t.” Yoochun scrunched his nose up and typed again. The netizens weren’t tolerant of his criticism of their most beloved Crown Prince. So far Yoochun had been called a liar, been accused of treachery, and threatened with disembowelment. He was reveling in it. The arguments with strangers were a good source of stress relief.

He heard Jaejoong shifting around on the bed. “What are you posting?” Jaejoong asked.

Yoochun pursed his lips. Jaejoong had asked him the same question every hour he was awake since Yoochun had first sat at his computer desk. “You know what I’m posting.” Just because he disapproved of Yoochun’s activity didn’t mean Jaejoong had to keep checking up on him. He should just ignore Yoochun unless he wanted to be comforted like a normal person with a broken heart.

Jaejoong sighed loudly. “I wish you wouldn’t.”

Yoochun sighed back at him in exasperation. “And I wish you would. But you won’t. So I’m doing it for you.”

“But—”

“But nothing,” Yoochun interrupted. He turned around in the chair to see Jaejoong flopping onto his side, body still curled tightly around the abused pillow. “He’s an asshole. I’m just making sure the world knows it.”

Well, maybe not the world. But Yoochun was sure he had converted at least a few of his Korean brethren to the evils of Prince Yunho. If he was honest, it was more like two, but that was still two less Prince Yunho worshippers than there were before. He could be satisfied with that.

“I just want the two of you to get along.”

That was something that was never going to happen. Yoochun was more than happy not being friends with that lying, deceitful—

Wait. “What?” Yoochun asked because he had obviously heard that wrong. There was no reason for him and the Crown Prince to get along because they would never have any reason to meet.

Jaejoong buried his face in the pillow. “I want you and Yunho to get along.”

That’s what Yoochun thought he’d heard.

“You’re my best friend,” Jaejoong continued, “and he’s—“

“Jaejoong.” Yoochun shook his head slowly. “Why would we need to get along?”

Jaejoong looked up. “For when I marry him.”

Yoochun covered his ears and shook his head faster. He knew something was wrong. Jaejoong had gotten past the heartbroken crying stage too fast. Yoochun just didn’t know if he wanted to know whatever crazy thing Jaejoong was planning now.

-

Jaejoong wasn’t crazy. The things he did might have seemed crazy to some people but he always did them with a clear and rational mind. Deep down Yoochun knew that. Jaejoong’s best friend just thought it was his duty to make sure Jaejoong wasn’t doing anything to get himself in trouble.

When Jaejoong had first stopped taking the heat suppressants it had been out of curiosity. However, it wasn’t the reckless curiosity of a teenager just wanting to do something because he could. It was scientific curiosity.

Jaejoong had a computer log of the observations he’d made from the day he stopped taking Anestra to the day he’d gone back on it. The experience had been enlightening.

Theoretically, a male omega’s estrus cycle shouldn’t be any different from a female’s but there wasn’t exactly a multitude of information in Korean on the subject. Jaejoong’s very existence was taboo in most circles so he’d gotten the information through the only channel he had readily available. Himself.

It had paid off because he knew what to expect now. The only problem he had to work out was how to make sure he would be around Yunho at the right time. But he had a while to figure out what to do about that, three months give or take a few days.

Jaejoong shook one small blue pill out of a bottle into his hand. He placed it on the edge of the sink and crushed it with the end of his toothbrush. When the pill had been reduced to a fine powder he brushed the powder into the sink with his hand and rinsed all traces of the blue dust down the drain.

Three months.

No problem.

-

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