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[Dong Bang Shin Ki] A Man Who Wasn't There [7/?] - Eve of Our Destruction
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kai_yukashi
kai_yukashi
[Dong Bang Shin Ki] A Man Who Wasn't There [7/?]
Title: A Man Who Wasn't There
Author: kai_yukashi
Length: Series [7/?]
Rating: R
Genre: horror, mystery, romance, AU
Pairing: Jaeho, Yoosu, Changmin
Summary: Jung Yunho thought he knew everything about himself and the people around him.  Well he thought wrong.

Note: xposted to a couple of places.  BETAED thanks to my dear friend Melina.  :D  I'm hoping she does have a LJ account so I can properly credit her. 

I apologize for this chapter being so slow in coming.  I didn't have too much trouble with it, however, I felt a bit unsatisfied with the lack of action in the chapter, which made me reluctant to post it.  However, since I keep putting it off and basically writing more of it, it turned out to be 9 1/2 pages, so it's one of my longer chapters. 
Some of the things I mentioned in there, 1USD is approx 1000Won, which is the basis on which I used my numbers in the story, so please don't freak out when i started tossing the word "million" around like nothing, lol. 

Chapter 7

Believe those who are seeking the truth.  Doubt those who finds it.

            - Andre Gide (1869 – 1951)

 

            "Welcome back, hyung," Changmin greeted as soon as Jaejoong stepped through his apartment door. 

            "Yah, why are you up already?" Jaejoong immediately began, toeing his shoes off hastily and moving forward to check the taller boy's forehead.  Changmin grinned, both happy yet embarrassed at the older man's worried attention, as he really couldn't merely be called a "boy" any more, being almost eighteen.  Despite the fact that the brown-haired young man was several centimeters taller than Jaejoong and clearly no longer a child, Jaejoong still worried over him like a mother for her young.  After a few minutes of fussing, he finally gave a sigh of relief.  "Your fever's gone, thank God."

            "Yup, I'm all better," the young man replied, and the embarrassed grin changed to a genuinely happy smile.  Jaejoong noted that Changmin's lips were still somewhat white and dry looking, but color was returning to the tanned boy's face.  The fever that lasted more than three days finally broke.

            "But you shouldn't be up for too long," Jaejoong finally decided.  Amid laughter and mild protests from Changmin, the older man pushed the boy back through the living room and onto the couch.  The messy couch cover and pillows, and the small stack of books on the coffee table revealed the taller boy's previous position.  Jaejoong smiled fondly as Changmin put back on his black-rimmed glasses and opened the book he was reading before.  He wondered how the boy, barely reaching adulthood, could look so much older and mature with just the addition of black-rimmed spectacles. 

            Jaejoong headed toward the coat hanger, slipping the trench coat off his slim form as he stepped across the living room.  As he moved to hang the coat up on one of the pegs he hesitated, memories of the past few hours returning as quickly as they had left. 

            "Hey Changmin," Jaejoong began with his back facing the younger man, hands latched but limp on his coat. 

            "Yeah?"

            "If..." Jaejoong paused, unsure how to word whatever he was trying to say.  "If something happened...or if you did something..."  He turned around, hands behind his back, and looked at Changmin straight in the eyes.  "You would tell me, wouldn't you?"

            Changmin blinked behind his glasses, one eyebrow rising up toward his hairline as confusion made its way into his eyes.  "What?"  He frowned.  "Jaejoong-hyung, did something happen?"

            Jaejoong shook his head quickly.  "No, nothing happened.  I just thought...you know...if anything happens at all, you should let your hyung know.  Maybe I can help." 

            Changmin nodded slowly, wondering what was going on with the older man.  Now that he was looking at him, he realized that Jaejoong looked just a little pale.  "Hyung, you don't look so good.  Are you feeling alright?"  A thought crossed his mind and he sat up straight.  "Oh crap, did I pass my fever to you?" 

            Jaejoong took one look at the almost comical panic on Changmin's face and burst out laughing.  "No!  I'm fine, no fever whatsoever, honest."  He smiled at the taller boy's unconvinced look.  "I'm sure you're hungry after three days of no real food.  I'll cook all your favorite dishes, just for today as reward for getting through the past few days.  You better appreciate it, because you won't be getting this kind of treatment for a while!" 

            As Jaejoong moved toward the kitchen with his back toward Changmin, he failed to notice the hard look behind the young man's eyes. 

~*~

            Park Yoochun found himself, within the course of only a few hours, back on the couch he sat on before again.  This time, however, there was no pleasing views to a round bum to pass the time. 

            After the initial outburst from Yunho, the two men had stood in a silent stand still whereupon the elder of the two proceeded to stare at the younger with an expression reserved only for the most incredulous of situations.  Yoochun had tried to stutter out some kind of explanation to the reason of his presence in his partner's home at past four in the morning, but the only reaction Yunho had was grabbing Junsu's wrist and dragging the surprised man out of the living room.  Junsu had protested, of course, at the treatment, but his words were cut off with the sound of a softly closed door down the hall behind Yoochun.  A quick glance was all it took for the young investigator to know that his partner and said partner's roommate were both in Junsu's room; there was still no light under the locked door on the left side of the hall.

            After that, all Yoochun could do was wait.  Patience had absolutely nothing to do with it; he tried to eavesdrop but other than shuffling of two bodies, or occasionally a footstep or two that could be felt by the carpeted floor, there was only a low hum of conversation that could not be made out from the other side of the door. 

             Yoochun fidgeted with the manila folder containing the information he had wanted to share with his partner.  How could he have forgotten the most important of all the Jung Yunho pet peeves? 

            He grimaced.  Probably because since becoming the older detective's partner, Yoochun never had a reason to actually consider it.  As far as he could tell, the entire floor already knew about Yunho's obsession with personal privacy, and no one dared to pry when the person involved was the Jung Yunho, next chief of the Special Homicide Investigations Unit in the Homicide Department of Seoul Police. 

            Still, it was Yunho's fault for turning off his phone at such a critical period of investigations, when the man should know very well that communication of fresh information was the most important part of their partnership. 

            Yoochun dropped the manila folder onto his lap and collapsed back onto the couch with a groan. 

            Two seconds later he shot back up at the sound of a throat clearing. 

            Jung Yunho stood by the entrance to the hallway, looking a little uncomfortable.  "I'm sorry about the outburst earlier," he apologized.  His eyes looked tired and a blood shot, and his jaws were clenched as if in pain.  From Yoochun's vantage point on the couch, he could even see the vein near the other man's temple flex continuously with each movement of the older man's jaw.  "I'm just-" he broke off with a loud sigh, moving around the corner of the couch to sit in the loveseat across from the younger detective. 

            A split second later, Yoochun realized that Kim Junsu was not going to appear behind Yunho, and that the chances of him seeing the shorter man again any time soon just went from really low to practically nil.  He wondered why he felt so disappointed.   

            Yunho gave the younger man a pointed stare.  "Look, nothing personal but I like my privacy; I heard it was a fact well circulated around the office."  He leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees before starting to rub at his forehead again.  "I didn't mean to snap at you, though.  That was rude and inconsiderate of me, and I apologize."  He looked up and offered a small smile to Yoochun, and that little knot that the younger man refused to acknowledge as fear finally loosened. 

            Yoochun let out a breath he didn't realize he was holding.  "It's okay.  I think."  He fidgeted with the folder again; the bottom corner was starting to turn dark and soft from his fingers.  "Uh, it was mostly my own fault anyway," he added.  Unconsciously his eyes flickered to the hallway again.

            Yunho's face hardened, having caught the younger man's glance.  "I would appreciate it if you don't come any more," he said, almost coldly, and Yoochun's eyes snapped back to his partner's face.  "I do not like to mix my private affairs with my work.  And-" he broke off, and for a moment Yoochun thought he could see pain in his eyes.  "-and I especially do not like to mix my roommate into any of this, as it could become dangerous for him."  The older man's eyes turned cold again.  "I've put a lot of people behind bars, and the last thing I need is one of them coming around to exact revenge."

            Yoochun swallowed thickly.  The cold look in Yunho's eyes was hard as stone, and the younger man was suddenly reminded that this was a top member of an elite group within the Seoul Police Department.  This was the man whom every criminal had to face in the interviewing room, but now it was Park Yoochun sitting across from that unwavering gaze.  He finally realized what it was like to be on the wrong side of the law, and by default, the wrong side of Jung Yunho.

            Yoochun nodded numbly, not trusting himself to not stutter if he opens his mouth.

            The tension from Yunho's shoulders melted away, and again Yoochun let out the breath that seemed to have gotten stuck halfway down his throat. 

            "Sorry, it's been a crazy night," Yunho apologized again.  He spent a few seconds to rub tiredly at his eyes.  "So what's going on, why are you here tonight.  I'm assuming you have a really good reason to try to track me down this far." 

            Yoochun nodded again, taking the folder in his lap and handed it over to the older man.  As Yunho skimmed through the information, Yoochun's eyes automatically took note of the few bruises dotted here and there on the other man's arms.  At some point during the night Yunho had unbutton the cuffs of his white button down and had rolled the sleeves up, revealing powerful forearms.  The top few buttons were also open and Yoochun caught sight of a thin silver chain half hidden behind the shirt collar.  The white shirt was wrinkled and stained with what looked like sweat and dirt, and the normally creaseless black dress pants showed signs of negligence.  Now that the younger man wasn't being scrutinized and glared at by his partner like a lab experiment subject, it occurred to him that this was the first time in three months where Yunho's appearance was less than perfect.  Yoochun wanted to ask about what had happened immediately, but he knew the last thing he should do was set off one of Yunho's pet peeves a second time within the same day; Jung Yunho didn't appreciate being interrupted. 

            The older detective scanned the papers, taking a few moments to read over the important bits of information.  "Lee Jinho had been spending large sums of money somewhere, using capital from a private account," he finally said, looking up from the documents and placing the folder on the coffee table.

            "Yeah, and it was all spent in a limited amount of time."  Yoochun leaned back into the couch; now that they were back in his element of information acquisition and analysis, he was finally able to relax a bit.  He quickly gave Yunho an overview of the statements he took from Lee Jinho's coworkers and family, stopping only when he got to the information regarding the bank statements.  "Look at this," he said, pointing to a table that had the dates Lee Jinho had made deposits and withdrawals, as well as the associated amount.  "He makes his deposits every month on the same day, at approximately the same time; the 8th at five in the afternoon.  This is probably payday, and he most likely made the deposit before heading home.  His wife mentioned that he always brings back the bank statement for their joint account on paydays and that's how she and her daughter know how much money they would be squabbling over.  In other words, she had never seen the original pay check, and only assumed that the victim, being a usually timid and overlooked type of man, would never think of cheating her out of the money."

            Yunho looked up from the paper.  "She never noticed or mentioned a sudden decrease in the amount of money he brings back?"

            "I don't think she knows.  He's been doing this since they got married four years ago."  Yoochun flipped to the last page of the stack of papers and then pointed to the very last entry on the table.  "This was the date the account was first set up, and it was also the first deposit he made.  The victim and his wife were married not very long before the setting up of the account; maybe a month or two before this date.  He started this job a month after their marriage."

            "So he had it all planned out from the beginning."  Yunho frowned.  "Why?" 

            Yoochun looked up and let a self-satisfied smirk lift his lips.  "Because this was his second marriage.  They married four years ago but the daughter's almost eighteen.  The numbers didn't match up, so I questioned all the neighbors, including the gossipy wives."  Yoochun grimaced at the memory.  "The lot of them wouldn't shut up, which I suppose was a good thing, considering.  The victim and his wife had been living in that apartment since their marriage, the daughter's the new wife's from a previous husband.  According to rumors, she chased after Lee Jinho like a woman possessed, but the buttering up didn't last past wedding night.  She did some manipulating to ensure that he wouldn't dare to call for divorce, and then just let him loose to become her and her daughter's money tree.  She was the one who found him the desk job, actually, but she didn't think to check and make sure the entire paycheck made it back to her own pocket.  Probably thought he was too docile to do any tampering." 

            "So from the very beginning, he was already making sure to have his own separate savings," Yunho commented.  "Smarter than I thought."

            "Yeah.  Now back to the original topic..." Yoochun flipped back to the front again.  "He made the deposits to the separate account on pay day, then deposited the rest to the family account, taking back a copy of the bank statement to let the wife know how much he supposedly earned.  He did this for almost four years, very rarely taking any of his savings out."  Yoochun flipped a few pages and moved his finger about half way down the page.  "Until four months ago that is.  All of a sudden he started to make withdrawals at a rate faster than his deposits.  Based on this monthly table, half a year ago he made a withdrawal of only 183,000 Won, but within the last five months, he had withdrawn almost 8 million.  He didn't buy any material goods, as his wife would've noticed if he brought back, say, a 2 million Won digital camera.  So the question is, on what has he been spending so much money?"  He flipped a few more pages.  "Here's the more detailed report for just the previous five months.  Here, in March, the first withdrawal of a million Won, then at the end of March, a debit card swipe for-" Yoochun squinted down at the paper, "half a million.  Then just April alone he withdrew two and a half million Won, and then another half a million Won at the end of the month by debit card.  More or less the same pattern in May and June, a large amount pulled out about mid-month, and a card swipe at the end.  Now July, two weeks before his death, he was down to not even a million Won in his account, the very bare minimum to keep the account floating." 

            "Big spender," Yunho commented.

            Yoochun's eyes flickered up briefly at his partner before he leaned back into the couch, away from the coffee table and the papers spread out on top.  "But he really wasn't a big spender at all, having grown up in a regular lower-middle class family.  His first marriage and divorce stripped him much of his monetary gains of his earlier years in the work force.  I've actually seen many upper class women spend the amount he spent in a month within the course of a single week.  The question is why and for what did he suddenly started the, by his standard, mass spending."

            Yunho leaned back slightly, as if to look at the clues with an eagle-eye view.  "Or for whom," he added slowly.  The detective stared down at the papers and then spread the pages on each individual months out so that he could look at them side by side.  "Here, here, here, and here," he said, pointing down at a place on each of the four pages dating from March to June.  "The card swipes at end of each month, specifically the 30th, and all for the same amount."  Yunho traced his fingertips to the name of the store where Lee Jinho was spending the money.  "Do you recognize this name?"

            Yoochun leaned forward and squinted down at the small text.  "Uh, Nepenthe?  No, never heard of it."  He frowned.  "What the hell, it doesn't even say what kind of place it is."

            "Suspicious, isn't it," Yunho said.  "But it looks surprisingly familiar." 

            Across from him on the couch, Yoochun raised an eyebrow.  "Familiar?"

            "Ever heard of the Club Shion?"

            "No.  A bar?"

            "A gay host club."

            Yoochun blinked.  "A what?"

            Yunho let a small smirk flit across his lips even as his hands automatically started to straighten out the various pages spread out in front of him.  "Club Shion, gay gentleman's club is the official moniker for the place.  Guess what I found there.  Or rather, who I found there."

            "Kim Jaejoong," Yoochun breathed, the small pieces of the puzzle sliding into place.  "A host club, of course.  That explains the looks, the makeup, the clothes, and the late night schedule." 

            Yunho leaned back into the loveseat, crossing his right leg over his left knee and feeling his back pop and crack audibly.  "The place's expensive with a really tight security.  The patronages of that place were all rich men of the upper echelon.  Guess how much the membership fee is, per month."

            "Five hundred thousand Won."

            "Guess when they charge the fee."

            Yoochun let out a breath that he wasn't aware he was holding.  "End of the month." 

            Yunho nodded.  "The only reason I know the price and when they charge it was because they offered me membership; if this Nepenthe really is an alias for Club Shion, then you can see just how tight the security is.  Kim Jaejoong works there as a host, and from what I could tell he's been working there for a while now.  He's their Number Two."  The older detective fixed a look on the younger man.  "What's the most obvious thing we know from Lee Jinho's bank account."
            "He spends an exorbitant amount of money every month on something, but never brought back any physical evidence of his spending."

            "And what do we know about host clubs in general?"

            Yoochun shook his head abruptly, feeling the puzzle slide into place, only to realize that he had lost the most important piece.  "What the hell.  Yunho, are you saying Kim Jaejoong killed Lee Jinho?"  The look he gave his partner was full of confusion and disbelief.  "This goes against every single piece of hard evidence we managed to salvage from the crime scene and from Kim Jaejoong.  We didn't find anything on him that could've constituted as a weapon, not even a freakin' nail filer that could've stabbed an eye out.  There were no traces of blood on him except for the bottom of the shoes where he stepped in a puddle of congealed blood.  There were no fingerprints; he never touched the body.  Well, granted there weren't a lot of prints we could lift off the left over pieces of the victim anyway.  But most important of all, let's not forget that there was no record of the two ever knowing each other." 

            "You're right, although I question your trust in Kim Jaejoong's statements of ignorance" Yunho said, and Yoochun shot him a dirty look.  "I'm not saying he killed our man.  But look, Jaejoong is a beautiful man; you said that yourself.  This guy also works at a gay host club, and the second most popular out of all those pretty boys.  Needless to say, he should have quite a following."

            Yoochun considered for a moment.  "You're saying one of his customers did the dirty deed."

            Yunho was silent for a moment, thinking.  "Something like that.  I took him home tonight after his shift ended and he doesn't live alone."

            "Woah, woah, back up a second here," Yoochun interrupted, holding up both hands into the air as if to physically stall his partner.  "You took him home?  Since when were you two so buddy-buddy like that?"

            Yunho huffed out a breath, and when all Yoochun did was blink at him, he decided to just recount everything that happened.  He skimmed over the conversations with the club's owner, Lee Junki, as well as finally finding his target after half a day of searching.  When he got to the point about the attackers, however, Yunho paused.  He still wasn't sure if that was really related to the case, or if it was just a coincidental drunken robbery.  While he believed in the sharing of information between partners, even he had to admit that the idea of these four clearly drunk, and possibly foreign teenagers, at three in the morning could've somehow been related to a gruesome murder of a middle-aged office worker was a bit of a stretch.  The memory of the screaming girl wasn't one he wanted to revisit either, so rather than giving some elaborate idea of a plot or conspiracy, which would've been what it seemed like had he given a true account of it, Yunho just gave a skeletal repeat, leaving out the gibberish language and the near-death experience of Kim Jaejoong. 

            Jung Yunho believed in the power of communication and information.  What he didn't believe in was making up a guesses and theories and accepting them as truth.  He was a practical man, and a very good detective. 

            When Yunho was finally done, Yoochun let out a low whistle.  "Wow, what a night for you.  No wonder you looked like you've been ran over by a truck."  Well, Yunho's version of being run over by a truck, anyway.  The older detective would be the only one Yoochun know who could get out of a series of events like that with only a few bruises to tell the tale. 

            Yunho snorted and gave Yoochun a look.  It was the same look that Yunho frequently send the other man's way at the office, when the younger man did something really stupid.  "In any case, my point is, Jaejoong does not live alone."

            "And, of course, the man himself claimed to be living alone in that apartment of his and has no relatives," Yoochun caught on immediately but he refrained from jumping to conclusions.  A detective's number one enemy is impulsiveness; that much he learned from Yunho in the past three months of working together.  "Could be a friend visiting?"
            "At almost four in the morning?  Plus the man was already waiting for him; he clearly expected Jaejoong to be coming back at around that time of the night.  From what I caught of his clothes, they weren't the clothes of a friend coming to visit, but the comfortable clothes of someone who was certainly going to be spending the night." 

            Yoochun jumped at the low growl that practically forced its way out of Yunho's clenched teeth.  What the hell's wrong with him?  The younger man swallowed at the expression on Yunho's face; it was dark and angry, clearly recalling an unpleasant memory.  Is he that upset over Kim Jaejoong lying?  "So, uh, the guy lied about living alone.  Or at least living alone at the moment." 

            Yunho remained silent, as if waiting for the younger detective to figure whatever it was out by himself.  Two seconds later, something like a figurative light bulb blinked to life in his head, and he snapped his finger.  "Oooooooh, I see what you're getting at now.  Something like a jealous boyfriend not liking the men at Club Shion pawing Kim Jaejoong, so he offed the first one that-" Yoochun broke off and frowned.  "Uh, doesn't explain why Lee Jinho of all people."

            Yunho shook his head, exasperated.  "Was the lack of sleep destroying your brain cells?"  He spread out the document again, pointing at the top page where the most recent statement for Lee Jinho's secret bank account revealed the amount of the last of his savings.  "He's running out of money.  He got just enough to keep the account floating, certainly not enough money for him to even keep his membership at the club, not unless he want to close the account.  A host club's main profit comes from the wine and alcohol that the customer buys from the club to share with their chosen host, and the host himself acquires compensation and special rewards as incentives to working hard and get his regular patron to spend even more money.  The more money a customer spends, the more the host would shower attention on him."

            "And Lee Jinho is running out of funds to keep the attention of his favorite host, Kim Jaejoong," Yoochun picked up from where Yunho left off immediately.  The comment about his slowness in putting the clues together stung, but it also wasn't personal either.  It was just Yunho's way to keep the younger man constantly on the move and not slack off.  "You said Kim Jaejoong was Number Two at the club, that must mean various patrons are vying for his attention with expensive gifts and wine. 

            "I did the interviews from family and friends myself; his wife treated Lee Jinho like a work mule and the step-daughter was like a banshee.  His job was boring and completely without rewards, and he has no close friends.  Even his parents were somewhat estranged from him.  Kim Jaejoong must've been like an angel in disguise, if what you said about hosts showering attention on their customers was true."  Yoochun slowed down with the last words, his brain furiously churning out the final construction of the puzzle.  "So when his funds died down, he became desperate, not wanting to loose the only comfort and happiness in his life.  I'm assuming at this point he either tried to persuade or threaten Kim Jaejoong to stay with him and meet even outside the club, not knowing that Kim Jaejoong has a very protective boyfriend-" Yoochun noted the dark expression that hovered over Yunho's features at his words, "-who finally had enough of sharing his beautiful lover with various other men, and offed the most persistent and possibly dangerous of the whole lot, Lee Jinho." 

            Yunho nodded slowly, grimacing.  "That's what I came up with.  It explains why Jaejoong was so keen on hiding his real job and that someone else lives with him.  Assuming we're correct, it should also explain why Jaejoong lied about not knowing the victim." 

            "But this is still just a theory," Yoochun added.  He thumbed his lips, eyes shifting up toward the ceiling automatically as he tried to piece the left over puzzles into some semblance of order.  It was a habit that he never managed to kick off; whenever he wanted to focus, his eyes would inevitably find itself drawn up above everyone's heads and shine blankly.    After a few seconds of silence, he finally dragged his eyes back to his partner across from him just in time to catch the end of a nod.   

            "It is a plausible theory, but a theory nonetheless.  Running that through the chief with no real evidence other than some bank statements will definitely not get us a search warrant," Yunho said, confirming the thoughts that were running through Yoochun's head. 

            "I guess I'm still stuck doing Lee Jinho's side of the investigation.  I'll confirm some of the things I assumed, like when his paydays are."  Yoochun pulled a face at the thought of going back to that bunch of annoying people.  "And hopefully I can find some kind of evidence regarding his spending, and possible connections with that club."

            "I'm going back to Club Shion tomorrow night."

            Yoochun looked up and raised an eyebrow at the other man.

            "Jaejoong's in the middle of this, whether he knows it or not.  I want my answers and he seems to be the one who has a great deal of what I want," was Yunho's cool reply. 

            Yoochun snorted.  "Right, just don't go and do something like, oh I dunno, get taken in by his pretty face."  If Yunho's glare was just a bit darker and with just a bit more anger, Yoochun pretended to not notice.  He stood and stretched for a moment, feeling all the kinks in his body crack and pop back into place.  "Uh, do you mind if I use your bathroom before I go?"  He made a vague gesture toward the hall, looking anywhere but at the place where he was pointing; Yunho's words from earlier were still not far from his thoughts. 

            There was almost a full minute of silence while Yunho studied his partner with an intensity reserved only for criminals across the examination table, and Yoochun stood, fidgeting in place. 

            Finally, Yunho nodded.  "Alright, just make it quick."  He suddenly yawned, jaw almost cracking with the effort.  "Gah, I need sleep.  I can't believe we have to be back in the office in-" he glanced briefly at the white clock on the wall next to the TV "-three hours.  Shit." 

            Yoochun grinned.  "You mean you have to be back in the office in three hours."  He made his way toward the hall, slowly stepping his way into the darker shadows.  "I'm not going back there for at least another six hours.  It's your fault I'm up at this time of the night in the first place."  Behind him, Yunho's grumbling was unintelligible. 

            Yoochun paused in front of the still open door to the piano room, taking in the loose music sheets that still littered the top of the instrument and along the floor.  He bit his lips, taking in the details of the scene like a starving man, before shaking his head and moving on.  He'd rather not think about the reality that he would never be able to play on that baby grand again. 

            Three more steps took him to the door that led to Kim Junsu's bedroom.  Really, it was inevitable that he would arrive here, since the restroom was right next to the other man's room.  Yoochun stared at the closed door for a moment, and then glanced down to see the strip of light that still lit the hall; Junsu was not asleep yet.  But so what?  Yoochun had a crazy idea that if he knocked on that door, Junsu would open it, smile at him and offer to let him come back and use the piano any time he wanted, no matter what Yunho said.  Wouldn't that be grand? 

            Yoochun closed his eyes and physically forced his left hand back to his side again.  He wasn't a fool; he had seen the way Junsu looked at Yunho, he had seen the way Yunho spoke to Junsu.  He even came to the same conclusion the moment he found out that his partner has a male apartment mate who apparently was "just a best friend."  And then Yunho's reaction at Yoochun's presence at his home, the whole emphasis on the privacy issue, the look he had when he said he didn't want to drag his "friend" into any mess from his work.  Yunho clearly wanted to keep his "friend" away from other people, and apparently Yoochun was considered "other people." 

            Park Yoochun was a detective, not an idiot. 

            After using the restroom, Yoochun went back to the living room to find his partner already half asleep on the loveseat.  Yunho blinked back awake when he heard the approaching footsteps, slowly climbing to his feet.

            "You look like an old man," Yoochun said teasingly, going for the jacket he had left draped across the back of the couch. 

            The slightly older man groaned, feeling his bruised muscles scream.  "Yes, well you try what I did today and we'll see if you look like an old man or not."  When Yoochun went to grab the manila folder, Yunho interrupted, "Wait, leave that here, I'll take it back to the office since I'm heading in earlier than you, anyway.  I want to take a closer look at it tomorrow.  Well, today now." 

            The two men walked toward the door, the host ushering the guest out, probably hoping for the guest to just hurry up so he could finally go to bed.  Yoochun grinned slightly, for the first time seeing his partner not so perfect, disgruntled sleepiness clear on his face.  After a few minutes of struggle with his shoelaces, Yoochun was finally ready to leave his partner's home. 

            Definitely not a place I'll be visiting again soon, Yoochun thought, a little regretful.  For a split second, he wondered what it would be like to be in Yunho's shoes - a beautiful and spacious apartment, a good job, and a "friend" who cared – and he had to stop before it became too painful. 

            "Alright, goodnight Yunho," he said, opening the door and feeling the chill of the early morning air despite the jacket.  Just before stepping completely across the threshold, he turned and said, "And try not to get into another fight again, I prefer my partner to have a working phone so I can reach him during emergencies."

            Yunho shot him a tired smile and gave Yoochun's shoulder a light squeeze.  "Yes, I'll get it fixed first thing tomorrow morning.  Maybe I can get Dong-Wook to do the dirty work; knock him down a peg or two, you know."  Grinning, the two men finally parted, the door closing silently between them. 

            At the time, Park Yoochun was too preoccupied with his thoughts, and Jung Yunho too distracted with tiredness and sore muscles, to realize that Yoochun called Yunho at nine in the evening, a good six hours before the moment when Yunho's cell phone broke against the tip of a pair of scissors. 

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Comments
From: alexandracwz Date: July 23rd, 2007 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)
SPOT!
From: alexandracwz Date: July 23rd, 2007 09:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay! I'm first! OMG. You've finally updated! xD
Why do I have a suspicious feeling that Chang Min's the murderer? Why did he murder when he's not Jae Joong' boyfriend? Maybe he's just really close with Jae Joong and consider Jae Joong as an older brother/hyung? I don't want Chang Min to go to jail but I have this weird feeling that he's the murderer! Or maybe I'm just imagining things? >.<
Is Yunho with Junsu? Because I don't understand why he forbid Yoo Chun from seeing Junsu. It's so sad that Yoo Chun composed that song for Junsu (but he didn't know it was Junsu) but Junsu backed out at the last minute, on the brink of stardom. WHY?! So many questions yet so little answers. But I'm sure sure you'll reveal them in future chapters in due time.
I like your writing, very descriptive and vivid and the plot's really good though a bit confusing. Nice chapter! Update soon! ^^
redmist_23 From: redmist_23 Date: July 23rd, 2007 10:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmph... Changmin is not as innocent as everyone thought.

Yunho is so protective of Junsu (was he hurt before at some point by Yunho enemies before?), interesting to see how the Yoosu will develop in this case.

Do update soon.
vrilly From: vrilly Date: July 23rd, 2007 10:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi! Thanks for the update. I enjoyed the Yoosu and Jaeho hints in here. Your writing is brilliant and the story intrigues me. I thought Changmin might be the murderer. BUT. Since Yunho and Yoochun suspect that... I don't know I predict there will be more twists coming up soon.

Update soon!!! <33
oncloud999 From: oncloud999 Date: July 23rd, 2007 10:46 am (UTC) (Link)
update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hmm, i wonder what the relationship between Junsu and Yunho really is... It does seem like they're more than just friends... but then, Yunho also seems interested in Jae...? and Junsu didn't seem completely unresponsive to Yoochun either... hmmmmmmmmm.....

and i like this whole thought processing thing, so don't worry about no action!! i mean, with all that's been going on, it's nice to have a chapter to sum up everything. =D

gah, this is so interesting!! can't wait for the next chapter!! ♥
twiglet71 From: twiglet71 Date: July 23rd, 2007 10:47 am (UTC) (Link)
What an interesting story. Love it when you update. I can't believe our little MIn would do anything wrong!!!! Can't wait or next chapter xxx
enkhgerel From: enkhgerel Date: July 23rd, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
i'll be back. Pinky Promise.
enkhgerel From: enkhgerel Date: July 23rd, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
i'm back. wow, what a chapter. i really couldn't find any clues that will lead me to the killer, but still an amazing chapter. i'm really curious about Yunho and Junsu's past.
sisca_tvxq From: sisca_tvxq Date: July 23rd, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay ! you updated !
Hm...I think changmin is not the murder but he is definetly know something...
and yunho seems like a hyung that so protective to his dong saeng...they didn't seems like a lover to me...
Update soon <3
didikoishi From: didikoishi Date: July 23rd, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi! I'm a new reader and I'm completely stuck by you awesome fic *_*
Other readers already questioned about Yunho's and Junsu's past but what about Yoochun's? And above all, how did he know that his partner's cellphone didn't work when he called him long before the fight in the street? Is he hiding something as well? I wish you could update soon.
Ah, a late sidenote: I giggled when you introduced Lee Junki as the owner of the host club, believe me I've totally seen that coming when you described him saying he was more stunning than Jaejoong. Great!
kurogoma From: kurogoma Date: July 23rd, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the update!
I have been looking forward to it.

I am hooked on this now, love the way you write and pace the story.
I am so intrigued by the Junsu and Yoochun dynamics now.

But I hope ChangMin is not the murderer. I don't want to imagine sweet Min to be capable of anything gruesome. He always get the short end of the stick... :/
From: mythgoddess24 Date: July 23rd, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
This update was awesome! It's really addicting. I love it.
I can't wait for the next chapter!!
crystaldee From: crystaldee Date: July 23rd, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooohhh...
Minnie is 1 of the suspect, I suppose... ^^
If relying on YunHo's theory...

Gahhh...
This is becoming more interesting!!!
I LOVE IT!!!!!
^_______^

blue__nek0 From: blue__nek0 Date: July 23rd, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting. Yunho's so protective. XD; The suspense of it all. :O
shingoon310 From: shingoon310 Date: July 23rd, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
kinda confused..so wat's wit Yunho and Yuchun? Im slow here T^T. And I smell jealousy. Uh oh, somebody is losing his senses. The plot is getting thicker. Though i try to figure out whos the real suspect..but no avail. I dun think Chang Min is the murderer. And there must be some connection between Yunho and a guy named Uknow last chapter.Im so waiting for your new chap.
joyciel From: joyciel Date: July 24th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
WAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! An update =D!!!

Wow this story is so good!! It's really suspenseful and you to0tally have me at the edge of my seat! But now I'm scared...everyone is so suspicious and secretive D=!

Update soon ^_^!!! <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3
guilty_amethyst From: guilty_amethyst Date: July 24th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Wahhhh! ♥♥♥♥ You updated! ♥♥

It's confusing. D: Not that you write in a confusing way, but there are so many factors coming in and so many things that I can't help but be more anxious for the next update for more revelations. Gah.

Update soon. ♥♥ Please? :D

♥♥♥
candy_swirlz From: candy_swirlz Date: July 24th, 2007 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

:D

I'm a new reader, but I love this story to bits and pieces <3

All the hints seem to point to Min as the murderer, honestly, its the first time I've ever seen Changmin with a dark personality, so that's pretty interesting. Also, Changmin's such a clever boy, I'm sure he'd be the perfect criminal mastermind ^___^

I'm really curious as to how Jaejoong and Yunho know each other from before? Looking forward to that part of the reveal. :D And Junsu was the up and coming singer who Yoochun was supposed to write for, wasn't he? I'm guessing it had something to do with Yunho's job that made him quit singing?

Anyhow this story is so well detailed and planned out, its amazing. All the details just fit in and flow together <3 You are love <3<3 :D
usagi_bara From: usagi_bara Date: July 24th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

YEAH!!

I can finally read your fic!!

Don't know why everytime I wanted to read it your livejournal closed

T-T!!

But I'm happy that I could fanally read it

^^!!

I was kinda suspicious about Changmin but. . .I don`t know

And Yunho being so protective with Su <3

Very well written chap!!

Waiting for next chappie!!

Kisses!!
usagi_bara From: usagi_bara Date: July 24th, 2007 08:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I mean finally. . . ¬¬!!

Sorry my english sucks T-T!!

But I like your fic so. . . so sorry
catachrestical From: catachrestical Date: July 26th, 2007 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahh, you updated \o/ (this is audient w/ her writing account--not that you'd remember me but anyway!) I've been waiting for some time to read this XD It's just getting better with every chapter :') I love your attention to details, the way you explore each character (moar ChangMin prs), and the plot in general :3 I'm a sucker for suspense AU, yes, ma'am.

Keep up the good work ^^
chuchama From: chuchama Date: August 6th, 2007 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)
So Changmin is involved somehow...and I wanna say that I think he's the murderer, but I also want to say that you're trying to trick us into thinking that Changmin plays a bigger role in this than he actually really does.

SO. I'm going to stay indecisive and wait for a few more clues to drift our way.
crimeis From: crimeis Date: August 22nd, 2007 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope Minnie isn't the killer and his words are just words.
No actions. Chopping bodies up? AHhhhhh
mandapandabug From: mandapandabug Date: August 23rd, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
this is so mysterious!!! what was his phone doing off? i can't remember... what happened? is that detail really important? why is Jae so pretty? was it really Changmin who killed those guys? what is Changmin's relation to Jae? why hasn't Yunho jumped Beauty Jae yet? Will Yoochun be able to play that piano again? Will Junsu get tired of Yunho's pertective nature and run to Yoochun lovingly? why did Junsu not go for the fame? will Yoochun be mad at him because he ruined his chance for that big break? i guess i better read the next chapter!!! (why is this story so cool?!?!) i love the quotes that you begin with... really i love quotes. they are awesome.
mickey8 From: mickey8 Date: October 4th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
guhhh...you're always leaving clues behind at the last line and it's just sad that i can't really get it..i need to read the rest!
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