Escrita por: Shoujo_Camui
“Son, I hope you can tell me your version of the story. Some kids say you started the fight.” Mr. Lim sighed in concern as he eyed JB. “You already had an altercation with some members of the soccer team not long ago. I wish you could tell me what’s going on with you. Jackson here used to be your friend for quite some time, and now you’re throwing punches at him too. This recently behavior of yours is quite disturbing. Suddenly you and Jinyoung seemed to have switched places.”
“Dad, it’s complicated.” Jaebeom didn’t know how to explain himself. He was ashamed by what happened in the music room, but he didn’t regret punching Jackson. He didn’t think Mark’s first time should’ve happened with Wang. He considered Jackson a player, and also too immature to maintain a serious romantic relationship with anyone. Mark didn’t seem like the kind of guy who would be with someone without actually ‘being’ with someone. JB was given the impression that the American was looking for something solid, a real committed long-term relationship, like the one he had with Eric in L.A. The Korean imagined that Jackson was incapable of being faithful to Mark, let alone properly date him.
“I started the fight, sir. But your son was obviously asking for it! Have you seen Mark’s state?” Jackson still sounded pretty mad. He had no idea why JB attacked Mark, and he wished he could’ve gotten some answers from him before they entered the principal’s room.
“JB didn’t start the fight. Jackson punched him first, because he thought JB meant to hurt me.” Mark chimed in. He thought that a made up story would be much better than the truth.
“Why would Jaebeom want to hurt you?” Dorine looked alarmed, as she furrowed her brows.
“Because he found out I’m sleeping with his brother’s boyfriend.” Mark said quickly. Jackson eyed him in surprise, but JB only looked down.
“My son Jinyoung has a boyfriend? Are you sure of that?” the principal asked, eyes wide. Surprise etched on his face. He was aware of Jaebeom’s sexual orientation, but he had little knowledge about his rebellious son’s love life.
“Yes. Jackson Wang here is Jinyoung’s boyfriend. I told JB that Jackson and I hooked up, and he went ballistic, because he thought I meant to steal his brother’s lover. Things got a bit physical, so I kicked his balls and ran to the cafeteria. Jackson tried to defend me when JB came after me, and they fought. End of the story.” The American didn’t give anyone a chance to actually explain themselves. Jackson was too taken aback because Mark had just outed Jinyoung to his father, and Jaebeom was too conscience-stricken to even deny his stepbrother’s version of the events.
“Mark, what about Eric? You have a boyfriend already! Why are you sleeping with another kid? And why this kid has to be your stepbrother’s boyfriend?! What the hell is wrong with you? Have you lost all your sense of dignity?!” Dorine sounded more than disappointed, she was outraged.
“Well, it just turns out I’m a home wrecker just like you, Dorine. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the three.” Mark didn’t mean to say that. He knew his mother wasn’t to blame for the divorce of Jaebeom’s parents. But Mark was angry now, and he needed to vent his anger on someone, anyone.
The slap he received bruised his cheek. Dorine regretted hitting her son as soon as her hand landed on his face, but the American wouldn’t listen to her apologies even if she tried to apologize. On the other hand, Taek-geun was horrified by Mark’s behavior towards his mother, so he decided to suspend the three boys. He also told Jaebeom to return home immediately. He thought the kid’s grandfather was having a bad influence on him, just as he imagined it had happened previously with Jinyoung.
As soon as Jackson and Jaebeom left the principal’s office, they looked ready to resume their sparring match, but Jinyoung pulled Jackson to a corner while Yugyeom and Bambam pulled JB to another. Got3 soon found out that both boys were suspended for a week, as well as Mark, for different reasons. The latter remained in the principal’s office, since his mother wanted to talk to him alone. Fearing that his brother and Jackson could end up fighting again, Jinyoung decided to skip the rest of his classes to accompany the Hongkonger home.
As they left the school, the foreigner told Jinyoung what happened in the principal’s room. Jackson informed the Korean about his twin’s return to the Lims’ residence, and also about the slap Mark received from his mother. Jinyoung’s heart was in his mouth. He couldn’t stop thinking about what could happen between Jaebeom and Mark now that they would be under the same roof once again. He had to keep those two apart, at least until Youngjae returned to Seoul. To the Hongkonger’s bewilderment, Jinyoung told him he’d leave his grandfather’s mansion too, and finally return to his father’s house.
When JB got home, he tried to concentrate on his homework, but he was still too upset by what had happened at school. He never meant to hurt Mark, nor make a scene in the cafeteria. He wondered what came over him to act like that. He was neither the jealous, nor the violent type, yet, he couldn’t control his wrath when he learned that Jackson was the one who took Mark’s virginity. That simple thought made his skin crawl. He wasn’t mad at his stepbrother. He knew Mark was tired of being rejected by him, and JB quickly assumed that Jackson had taken advantage of the American’s vulnerability. While he tried to collect his thoughts, he sat on his bed, put some music on, and told himself that as soon as Mark returned from school, he’d find a way to properly apologize for his behavior that morning. He wouldn’t give up on the elder yet, he believed he could still fix things between them. Then, he opened his notebook, and decided to put his feelings on the paper as a way to relieve his disquieted mind. Hours passed, and he was still unable to write anything concrete. Suddenly, he heard a whistle that distracted him from his frustration. That was a sound he hadn’t heard for a while.
"Jin?" Jaebeom immediately lifted up his eyes from the paper, and was startled to see his twin leaning on the door of his bedroom. It was a familiar scene that one. His brother there, with his arms folded across his chest, simply watching him. JB wondered if he was seeing things for a moment.
"What? You said yourself that I should come back home, right? Why do you look so surprised?" Jinyoung shrugged, as he entered the room and sat on the bed across from JB's.
"I didn't think you would take it serious this time." Jaebeom still eyed him astonished.
"Who else is gonna keep an eye on you and our dear stepbrother?" he raised an eyebrow at him.
"That's why you came back?" JB squinted his eyes at him.
“Even though I tried to keep you two away from each other at school, I knew you would find a way to get his attention again.” Jinyoung replied, sounding judgmental.
“So you know what has been going on. Good, I didn’t intend to hide it from you anyway.” JB put his notebook aside and waited for Jinyoung’s response.
"What the fuck was that this morning? Were you trying to rape him or something?" Jinyoung demanded, giving him a reproving look. Deep down he wished he could slap his brother a few times, but Jackson had already taught him a lesson, so Jinyoung kept his feelings in check.
"As if he would let me! Mark is not that helpless, okay? Plus, I guess I was just trying to prove a point." Jaebeom said in his defense.
"By ruining his school uniform? And biting his fucking neck? What exactly you were trying to prove, brother?" Jinyoung struggled not to raise his voice. He hated to see Mark in that state, he abhorred that bruise on his neck. That long, seductive neck he ached to touch again.
"Look, you wouldn't understand, okay?" JB sighed in frustration, averting his eyes from the other.
"What I understand is that you haven’t pondered the consequences of your acts. Why the heck are you pursuing him? I mean, how do you think this incestuous-like fling is gonna work?” Jinyoung raised his eyebrows at him. “This kid is clearly not good for you. Because of him, Jackson could've hurt you pretty bad today. You're lucky he went easy on you." Jinyoung gritted his teeth, striving to control his temper.
"Oh, right! Next time I see him remind me to properly thank him for not breaking my fucking arm, dear brother." JB said in a mocking tone.
"Seriously, what do you see in the American? He’s the son of our father’s mistress, remember? He's cute, but he's not worth all the trouble, okay? It’s already the second fight you start because of him. Wake up!" Jinyoung wanted to tell his twin to keep his hands away from Mark, yet, he would have to explain why he was demanding that from him, and Jinyoung certainly wasn’t ready to answer that. He wasn’t happy with the way Mark and Jackson kept flirting with each other. He wasn’t happy with JB’s infatuation with the elder either. He just wished his stepbrother wasn’t so desirable. All the time he felt like he had to control himself when he was around him. He longed to be the only one allowed to touch the American in every single way.
"Like I said, you wouldn't understand." The other replied without much energy for that argument.
"I'm with Jackson for quite a while and I'm not that jealous. What's up with you? Have you forgotten Choi Youngjae already?" Jinyoung insisted, as he wondered if bringing Youngjae back would really fix his brother’s behavior.
"Don’t you dare bring him up!” JB hissed, giving him a warning look. “I'm trying to move on, you know? Mark is the first guy who makes me believe than I can truly forget Jae."
“Perhaps you don’t have to forget Jae. Go after him, goddammit! If you think I’m gonna give you my blessing and let you and Mark become a couple- ”
“You and mother did all you could to separate Youngjae and I, and now you want me to go after him because she’s already dead!? Or is it because I’m starting to like someone else?! It seems to me that making me miserable has become the main purpose of your life, brother.” JB accused him with a contemptuous smile on his lips.
“Jae only left because he knew about mom’s condition. He just couldn’t be with you and keep mother’s secret at the same time.” Jinyoung said at once, as he got up, and approached his bed. Jaebeom was shocked, yet, he soon recovered from the news.
“Look at that! It seems the whole Seoul knew about mother’s cancer, and I, her own son, was left in the dark. Thanks for letting me know that, Jin.” He commented, eyeing his brother in disbelief. “One more reason to stay away from him. If he really cared about me he would tell me that my fucking mother was dying!”
“I didn’t tell you anything either. So what?” He reasoned.
“You tried, in your own insane way, you tried. You begged me to come home without saying a word about her condition. Your silence was deafening. All the time you denied me the truth, you were just trying to respect her wishes.” Jaebeom said, as he stared deep into his twin’s eyes. Jinyoung wondered how his brother could read him so well. JB could’ve chosen to be mad at him for not telling him about Jiyeong’s cancer before it was too late, but instead, his brother simply understood his reasons, and forgave him. He was grateful for that.
"Anyways, what you’re trying to do is stupid. You can't use a guy to forget the other. It's not fair on him." Jinyoung said in a softer tone, as he sat on the edge of his bed.
"Look who's talking! You use Jackson to forget most of your problems." Jaebeom inhaled. He felt a bitter taste on his tongue when he spoke the Hongkonger’s name. Jinyoung didn’t like the way his brother talked about the foreigner. Jackson was a great support for Jinyoung while he dealt with his mother’s sickness. He filled an empty space that JB had temporarily left in his heart. He stuck with him through thick and thin.
"You don't know the first thing about Jackson and I." Jinyoung said, but he really wanted to include Mark’s name in that sentence, just to make his brother give up on the American. JB was unaware of a lot of things regarding their stepbrother. Jinyoung wanted to rub in his face that he was the first to find out that Mark was a perfect bottom and a marvelous top. He wanted to scream at JB how Jackson and him found out that Mark had a fetish for dirty talk in Mandarin. He yearned to reveal how the elder loved to ride dicks, and how his earlobe and neck were some of his most sensitive areas during sex. But he held his tongue. His brother didn’t need to know that, at least not now. Jinyoung wanted to believe that as soon as Choi Youngjae returned, Jaebeom would go back to him. It was only a matter of time.
"I know he's like your fuck boy. Can you even say that you two have a relationship? I mean, if you were really serious about Wang, you would keep him from fucking around, and maybe, now he wouldn't be after Mark." JB ran a nervous hand through his hair and huffed.
"Oh, now it's my fault that they slept together?" Jinyoung feigned offense. "The boy was dying to get fucked for Christ sakes! We both know you wouldn’t have the balls to do it. It could've been any guy! Jackson just happened to be available at the time." Jinyoung raised his voice now. He felt tempted to say that he was the one who fucked Mark first, but he couldn’t predict the outcome of that revelation.
"How long has this been going on? You clearly know all about it."
"Not long. It happened only once anyways. Does it really matter?” Jinyoung rolled his eyes at him. His brother sighed defeatedly.
“It matters to me.” He whispered.
“Well, get over it.” Jinyoung exhaled as he stood up. “By the way, he’s sleeping in my bedroom, right? I saw some of his stuff there. We gotta take this spare bed out of here. Unless you want me and stepbrother to share the same bed there.” Jinyoung winked at his oblivious brother playfully. The latter grunted.
“He can stay with me.” JB suggested, but he was aware that Mark himself would be against that idea.
“The fuck he will. After you attempted to violate him this morning, I don’t see this happening.” The younger Lim said in a sarcastic tone. “Now help me put his damn bed in the other room.” Jinyoung demanded, and although JB wanted to protest, he knew his twin was doing the right thing. Therefore, he got up from the bed too, and helped Jinyoung move the bed out of his room.
Mark only returned to the house later, followed by Taek-geun and Dorine. When he trio entered the house, they were completely astounded by the scene they witnessed. The twins were simply in the middle of the living room following the choreography of some random k-pop group that was performing on the TV before them. The pair looked happy together and their movements were quite accurate. Mark couldn’t help but smile at the scene. He finally had a glimpse of JJ Project in action, and in his opinion, they were truly amazing. He was suddenly eager to listen to their singing, he wondered if their live performance would sound as good as the recorded songs Jaebeom kept listening in his bedroom. When the song came to an end, Mr. Lim applauded the two boys, and only in that moment, the brothers noticed the presence of their audience.
“That takes me back.” The man smiled widely as he approached the two teenagers. “I can’t believe my own eyes! I’m glad to see you home, son.” He ignored the coldness of Jinyoung’s stare, and enveloped him in a strong hug. The teenager didn’t reciprocated the gesture. The change was sudden. The smiling and enthusiastic boy of minutes ago was gone. That bright Jinyoung only manifested while he was unaware of their presence. Yet, as soon as he laid eyes on the trio, he became stoically dispassionate. He stood there frozen in the middle of the living room, even when his father gently ruffled his hair and eyed him with affection. Mr. Lim was obviously overjoyed.
“Thank you for being here, with us.” He whispered to Jinyoung, and then he turned to JB and kissed his forehead. “Welcome back.”
Mark’s eyes were glued to the image of the twins and their father. He felt like crying. He wished he still had a father and a brother. He wondered how Jinyoung was able to stay away from them for so long. A nostalgic feeling came over him as his eyes met his mother’s. She saw how her son beheld the scene before them. Dorine understood why he got slightly dewy-eyed at that moment. She felt bad for him, and also for herself. She had to tear her eyes away from Mark before she broke into tears. She had to be strong for both of them. Therefore, she took a deep breath, and addressed the unfriendly teenager beside Taek-geun.
“That’s a nice surprise.” Dorine commented, smiling at the youngest Lim. On the other hand, the boy simply glared at her. She was obviously aware that Jinyoung disliked her, so she just dismissed his disdainful sneer.
On the other hand, Jaebeom eyed a dejected Mark on the corner of the living room. He had a new shirt, the bit on his neck was hidden, but one of his cheeks was a bit red. He wondered if that was the result of his mother’s slap. That certainly wasn’t one of Mark’s best days. When the elder felt the burn of his gaze on him, he met his eyes briefly. A clenching pain in Jaebeom’s heart made him quickly avert his gaze from the American. It was easier to focus on his father and brother, but the tension in the air couldn’t be ignored. Jaebeom couldn’t bear to see the way Jinyoung’s rude silence antagonized Dorine’s indifference, and increased Taek-geun’s internal conflict. Therefore, he decided to lighten up the mood.
“Since you guys are finally back, why don’t we go out to celebrate Jin’s return? We could have lunch at his favorite restaurant. What do you say, dad? Dorine?” The teenager’s idea was welcomed by all. Mr. Lim and his sons got into a car, while Dorine and Mark got into another. During the ride, Dorine tried to apologize again for slapping the American, but her unresponsive son just seemed indifferent to her words. On the other hand, Teak-geun tried to make conversation with his stony-hearted prodigal son, but Jinyoung also kept to himself and didn’t talk much, except when his brother asked him a question. By the time they all arrived at the restaurant, sat at a table and ordered their food, Jinyoung became more talkative.
“I heard you were at the funeral. Suddenly felt guilty, stepmother?” the youngest Lim started, eyeing the woman with absolute disrelish.
“My conscience is clear, young man.” She said simply. Mark sighed, but kept quiet. His mother had warned him not to confront his stepbrother once he decided to attack. It wasn’t the first time Dorine had to deal with the boy’s untamable behavior, he was often called to the counselor’s room at Kirin High and she already had a taste of his bitterness towards her. She completely understood why he felt that way, though.
“How’s your grandfather doing, son?” his father abruptly tried to change the topic.
“It’s not like you care. You hate the old man as much as he hates you.” Jinyoung said shortly. Mr. Lim tried not to look offended by his straightforwardness.
“What motivated you to return home? I’m curious.” Mr. Lim inquired, clearly aware of his son’s unwillingness to forgive and forget. The kid didn’t know about J.Y. Park’s schemes and his father thought that it would be better to leave things that way.
“Mark Tuan Yi-en.” Jinyoung said casually. Dorine looked genuinely puzzled now. The American swallowed hard. He wondered what his stepbrother was trying to do. Jaebeom cleared his throat and managed to salvage the situation one more time.
“Oh, yeah. Dad, did you know that Jin is helping Mark with his Korean? They’ve gotten pretty close these days.” A disconcerted JB chimed in. He thought he knew about his brother’s reasons, and he was sure his brother would disclose that information just to spite his father. Jinyoung himself had said he was there to keep him from dating Mark and JB suddenly felt too exposed. Dorine and Mr. Lim looked surprised to hear that.
“I had no idea! That’s quite unexpected. I’m glad you two are getting along. I mean, it took some time for Mark to warm up to you Jaebeom. I would never guess that these two had become friends. That’s amazing.” Mr. Lim smiled widely. Dorine frowned at that information.
“Our stepbrother is a good influence on Jin. He’s not skipping classes as often as he used to. He might become class president again. Who knows? Mark seems to bring out the best in my little brother.” JB exaggerated a bit, seeking to keep a peaceful environment at the table.
“Well, I slept with his boyfriend, so I’m not sure if our friendship is really that solid.” A bitter Mark quickly reminded Mr. Lim of what took place in that morning at Kirin High. The American’s pained eyes searched JB’s, but the latter only looked away.
“Nonsense, Mark. I’m already sharing my father with you since you don’t have one. You can have Jackson anytime you want. I’m quite the charitable type, stepbrother.” Jinyoung regretted those words as soon as they left his mouth, but there was nothing he could do to take them back.