glitterburn: (TVXQ: Changmin creeping on Yunho)
[personal profile] glitterburn
Title: Naufragis
Fandom: Paradise Ranch/Poseidon crossover
Pairing: Han Dongjoo/Kang Eunchul
Rating: R
Summary: All his life, Dongjoo has thought of himself as a failure. Until he meets Eunchul, who teaches him there's no worth in regrets.
Notes: For the prompt 'two worlds collide' in [livejournal.com profile] diagon's Twelve Months of HoMin challenge. naufragis is Latin; it literally means ‘shipwrecks’ and thence poetically ‘men who've suffered ruin’.


Naufragis

Dongjoo joins the army to forget.

It’s his duty, too; the duty of every reasonably healthy, reasonably sane man between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. He feels neither sane nor healthy when he presents his papers. It’s duty that’ll get him through the next two years. He hopes that duty will subsume the losses he carries with him.

An NCO directs him to a hut on the other side of the parade ground. He queues with a few dozen other recruits and receives his fatigues in exchange for his street clothes. He goes into the changing rooms and takes off each garment, stripping away the layers of his old life. No more designer jeans. No more cashmere jumpers. No more luxurious cotton shirts. No more lie-ins and expensive meals, no more comfortable bedding, of being able to loaf around all day watching television. No more privacy.

No more Daji.

This thought still hurts the most, even though Daji hasn’t been part of his life for five months.

He folds his clothes into a neat pile, ready to package them up to send home. Mothers are supposed to weep over their son’s clothes when they receive them, but for all her sentimentality and affection, Dongjoo knows his mother won’t cry for him.

He puts on his army fatigues. The cloth is olive drab, stiff and cool. The fabric chafes between his legs. Maybe if he washes it, the cloth will soften. He doesn’t know how to use a washing machine. He supposes he’ll just have to learn.

The changing room is silent except for the sound of zippers and fasteners and the curdled breathing of men. Everyone avoids looking at their neighbour, as if overtures of friendship aren’t allowed. Everyone is trapped inside their own skin, even as their outward shell becomes the same.

Dongjoo finds this comforting. This place will serve him as well as he serves it. He thinks he’s the only man here to have joined the army because of a broken heart.

He’s wrong.

* * *

He’d announced his decision ten days ago. He’d sat on the sitting room couch in meditative pose, his back straight, his chin slightly dipped so he was aware of his breathing, and he’d closed his eyes and mapped out his future. Bravely, as befitting a soldier; cleverly, as befitting the heir to a business empire. In those twenty-six minutes of meditation, Dongjoo put aside his childish dreams of Daji and his silly belief in romance and happily ever after, and decided to be a man.

When his parents and grandfather came in, he’d opened his eyes and told them he was ready to do his army service.

None of them reacted the way he’d expected. His father’s response was perhaps only two shades away from normal. Instead of blustering and waving his arms and turning red in the face, his father blinked, silent for a moment, then said, “I have contacts. Favours I can call in. We’ll get you a level four position in the city. A nice desk job. Your mother will appreciate that.”

His mother had shot her husband a look of scorn. “I do not appreciate your inference that our son is a coward.”

But I am a coward, Dongjoo wanted to tell her, but his tongue felt stuck to the roof of his mouth, and his throat was dry and his palms damp as they discussed him as if he weren’t there.

“You want him to go to the front line? Is that how you show your anger towards me now?” His father turned, cutting Dongjoo out of the discussion they hadn’t been having. He faced his wife, gestures tight even as words spun out of him. “You want my son to come back maimed, with a leg blown off from a landmine’s blast like the Song’s boy? Do you hate me that much that you’ll do this to my only child?”

“Dongjoo is my only child,” his mother said with quiet dignity. “But perhaps you have another elsewhere.”

Dongjoo uncrossed his legs, pins and needles white-hot in his feet when he set them on the floor. A small pain that would swiftly be gone, unlike this long, endless attrition of a sniper’s war between his parents.

“I have made my decision,” he said, rising to his full height, trying to look calm despite the stabbing discomfort of the cramp.

His grandfather stood gazing at the bonsai, an elegant Japanese pine, displayed on the table at the head of the room. It was his habit to talk to the tree each day, to check its sprouting growths and to test the moisture in the moss that covered its twisted roots. He allowed no one—not even Dongjoo—to touch the tree, lest clumsy prodding result in fallen needles and bare branches.

Now he stared at the bonsai, seemingly lost in contemplation while his son and daughter-in-law trod the well-worn paths of argument and while Dongjoo looked at him for guidance.

“In ancient times,” his grandfather said at last, talking over the bickering, “a man would join the army for one of two reasons.”

“Patriotism,” Dongjoo said.

His grandfather smiled, but kept his gaze on the pine tree. “No. That was always given as a spurious reason. It was an excuse, but it was not the cause.”

“Money,” his father said.

Again his grandfather smiled. “Only a man of infinite foolishness would join the army in search of wealth.”

Dongjoo lowered his head to hide his expression. He shouldn’t be amused by his grandfather’s continual digs at his father. Daji had once said his family was toxic: his grandfather belittling his father, his father belittling his son, his father betraying his mother; but he hadn’t agreed.

“They all love me,” he’d said, because they did. His mother doted on him, his grandfather spoilt him, and if his father put him down, why, that didn’t matter because his father was a fool, and fools showed affection in peculiar ways—like coming to his room drunk late at night and patting his head, clumsily, and whispering, “My son, my precious son.”

Daji had wrinkled her nose. “I wish your father was more like mine.”

“Constantly worried?” Dongjoo had asked, raising his eyebrows. “Leaving his daughters to fend for themselves while he scrapes at others’ feet to support you?”

“At least he understands the importance of family,” she’d argued, and then, because he hadn’t known how to respond, he’d huffed and looked angry, and she’d backed off and giggled, and nothing had been resolved.

The same way nothing was resolved now, even though his decision had already been taken.

His mother crossed the sunken floor space and stepped up beside the bonsai. Her gaze was calm and peaceful, resting first on Dongjoo, then on her father-in-law. “Men joined the army to escape from a situation.”

His grandfather nodded, pleased with her answer. “Exactly.”

“You said there were two reasons,” Dongjoo said. “What’s the other?”

“They are one and the same,” his grandfather said. “Two sides of the same coin. A man voluntarily joins the army because he has nothing left. He’s driven to it by an absence of emotion. Another man joins the army because he has an excess of emotion. Both of them are running away, although they’ll be lauded for their courage. Both of them expect to find something, even if it’s nothing.”

He fixes Dongjoo with his gaze, old and weary and sad but also full of hope. “Know which one you are, Dongjoo, and this will be the most valuable experience of your life.”

“What if I don’t know?” Dongjoo asked, although he thought he did.

His grandfather smiled. “Don’t shut yourself off from possibility. You have not yet learned everything.”

* * *

Basic training is well named. They’re taught to march, to climb ropes and drag a pack twice their weight; they’re expected to run five miles in full kit without collapsing. They learn how to phrase their complaints and miseries in gruff remarks and crude jokes, and they learn that the old-timers are telling the truth when they advise the raw recruits to piss in their boots and let it stand overnight to soften the leather. They’re taught to handle a firearm, and gimlet-eyed instructors grade their every movement and scream at them rather than offering words of praise.

Dongjoo expected it to be tough, but it’s not. Even though he’s never lifted anything heavier than his suitcase, he finds himself falling into the rhythm of the physical exercise. He doesn’t have to think when he’s running, when he’s climbing, when he’s crawling through the mud, and though he needs to think when he goes for firearms training, it’s a mechanical process, not creative.

He’d come into the army believing he had an excess of emotion. Now he reconsiders.

The social aspect of his new life troubles him. He’s a model soldier on the field, but in the billets he’s quiet and reserved. He tells himself there’s no point in making friends here. Basic training lasts a matter of weeks before the recruits are shipped out to complete the rest of their service in specialist units or on bases elsewhere. It’s common sense that stops him from forming friendly attachments now.

Except Dongjoo knows it has nothing to do with that. It’s shyness, and perhaps it’s pride, but most of all it’s self-consciousness.

He’s not the richest of the recruits. Amongst their number is the son of a billionaire, who hides behind his father’s wealth and influence and refuses to do any of the tasks assigned to him. The instructors take a dim view of this. They don’t seem intimidated when the boy shouts that his father will have them all sent to the front line, dismissed without their pensions, or sued through every court in Korea. They simply laugh and carry him out of the hut after lights out. The next thing Dongjoo and his hut-mates know, the boy has been downgraded to a level three due to health reasons.

There’s also an idol actor living amongst them. Dongjoo recognises him from the dramas Daeun watched. Back then, Daji had said the actor was too pretty—“How can a flower boy survive growing up? Better for a man to be handsome,” and he’d said, “But you call me your flower boy,” and she’d laughed—but to everyone’s surprise, the actor proves himself more than competent.

“They all think I’m weak, so I have to be strong,” the actor tells Dongjoo after they’ve completed a training exercise, the only two in their squad to have beaten the record set by a previous batch of recruits. “It’s all fake, though. I just want to go home.”

Dongjoo ponders on this. Like the actor, he’s hiding his weakness, but he doesn’t want to go home. He’s failed as a husband and he’s failed as a son. He can’t go back until he can regain the face he’s lost, but he doesn’t know what he wants and he doesn’t know how to get it.

* * *

He’s sent to Busan. Only three others from his squad go with him, and he loses sight of them as they’re packed onto the military transports that’ll drive them the length and breadth of the country. It feels like they’re going to the ends of the earth. Dongjoo has been away from Seoul before. He’s been to Australia and Fiji and Japan and America on holiday, but none of those places seemed as far away as Busan.

He relaxes a little when one of the other soldiers, Hyuksu, tells him that Busan is considered an easy posting. “Sun, sea, and sex,” Hyuksu says with a laugh. “Better than freezing your bollocks off up a mountain in the north or fiddling with missile systems in the east. Biggest challenge in Busan is finding a way off the base so you can go on the pull. Place is crawling with pussy and cheap bars. Russian girls everywhere looking for a good time.”

His words are greeted with ragged cheers from the rest of the men clustered inside the truck. Dongjoo forces a smile. Maybe a Russian girl will help him get over Daji.

Turns out that most of the Russian girls are prostitutes. Busan is the entry point for many of the country’s most lucrative trade deals—drugs, guns, and human trafficking. The army base is there as a symbol of force and power, a deterrent against the smugglers and drug dealers.

It seems a rather emasculated symbol, in Dongjoo’s opinion. There’s not much opportunity for the recruits to go off-base and sample the cheap moonshine and expensive white flesh of Busan’s most notorious hotspots. Their COs keep them confined to barracks and endless rounds of PT combined with drill and firearms practice.

It’s a boring existence made worse by the knowledge that, beyond the gates, real excitement awaits. Hyuksu now rages against the system that sent him here. “Better to be up a bloody mountain in the fucking snow than suffer this torment,” he complains to Dongjoo as they run their twenty-sixth lap of the parade ground under the midday sun. “No leave for another eight weeks, and even then we’re fucking chaperoned! Christ, it’s enough to make a man rethink his decisions.”

Dongjoo sympathises, but secretly he’s pleased that he doesn’t have to go out and embarrass himself on dance floors and at bars in the name of chasing tail.

He’s got a reputation, one that’s spread to other billets. He’s the second youngest in the hut, which would usually mean that he’s invisible. Instead, the others come to him for advice, romantic and sexual, because of his six-month marriage.

“I’m divorced,” he tells the men when they sit on the edge of his bed before lights out and ask all manner of questions in halting, embarrassed tones, but this doesn’t stop them. In fact, it seems to elevate him even higher in their collective opinion. A married man knows things about women, the assumption goes; therefore a divorced man must have needs and expectations that his ex-wife couldn’t fulfil. What for Dongjoo is a source of shame to his hut-mates is a source of pride, and he finds himself in great demand as advice-giver and sage.

Most of the guys who come to him with their questions are country boys or sheltered young men from good families, like him. Dongjoo doesn’t want to disappoint them, so he pretends a greater knowledge than he possesses and relies on information gleaned from the Western magazines his mother reads, from books and foreign films and most of all, from porn.

It’s fine when he’s advising men of his own age, but when older men, experienced men, start seeking his help, Dongjoo feels like a fraud. He has no idea how to counsel a soldier eight years older than him who suspects his fiancée of cheating on him. He’s tongue-tied when a simple-minded but much-feared sergeant from another hut corners him in the showers and asks, voice breaking with fear, if the red weals on his genitals are something serious or completely normal.

Dongjoo does his best to advise and assist where he can, and his reputation spreads. When his words of wisdom bear fruit, his grateful ‘clients’ reward him. This makes Dongjoo feel even worse, so he accepts the gifts only for the sake of his hut-mates. The first time he’s offered a twenty-four hour pass out of the base, he gives it to Hyuksu, who goes out excited and returns deflated and in need of advice on how best to woo a Russian girl.

Dongjoo tells Hyuksu to be himself. He wishes he could do the same.

* * *

Five weeks into his service at Busan, Dongjoo and a couple of other soldiers from neighbouring huts are called in front of a CO. In that uniquely military manner that divulges information without giving anything away, the Major tells them that they’ve been selected on the basis of their expertise during basic training and that they’ll be assisting the coast guard with an important duty. The Major then exits the room, leaving them none the wiser.

Despite the fact that he’s the youngest, the other two soldiers turn to Dongjoo and ask him what the hell is going on. He wants to say that his perceived expertise as a relationships counsellor doesn’t extend to mindreading or prophecy, but instead he uses logic and asks, “What were you good at in basic training?”

Their skills are disparate. They can find no common thread, and so they spend the next fifteen minutes concocting wild scenarios that would show off the best of their abilities. Mainly this involves sprinting along the beach resuscitating pretty girls before abseiling down a cliff under cover of darkness.

“That can’t be it,” Dongjoo says over the laughter of the other two men. “The coast guard probably has specialists who do that sort of thing all the time.”

“We do,” says a voice from the open door. “We have very intensive training. Especially in resuscitating pretty girls. Or pretty boys. These days we have to be aware of equal opportunities.”

They fumble to their feet, uncertain of protocol. Should they salute? Dongjoo skims a glance over the coast guard standing tall and still against the doorframe, gaze going to the flashes worn on his shoulders. A sergeant by anyone’s reckoning. Dongjoo salutes; the other two copy him. “Sir!”

“At ease.” The sergeant strolls into the room and takes up position at the window, looking out onto the parade ground. He seems to be in no rush to explain what he’s doing here or what he wants with them.

Dongjoo studies him. The coast guard’s uniform is a source of envy to all soldiers, especially the SSAT uniform. It’s black, worn either smart and flattering or padded and armoured. It seems to be the only uniform that’s designed to be worn with cool sunglasses. The sergeant’s boots lace above his ankles and have straps and buckles that wouldn’t be permitted on a soldier’s boots. The leather looks soft yet sturdy. Dongjoo bets the sergeant didn’t have to piss in those boots to make them wearable.

The sergeant continues to stare out of the window as if oblivious to the attention directed his way. His hair is short, black and glossy like a raven’s wing, but longer on the front, flicked forwards like a spiked wave. The style balances the shape of his face—slashing brows, a sharp chin and fine jaw, a full lower lip, and dark, assessing eyes now turned on Dongjoo.

“Like what you see?” the sergeant asks, unsmiling.

Dongjoo is too surprised to be flustered. “Sir?”

“Never mind.” The sergeant leaves the window and takes up position at the head of the room, demanding their attention. “I am Sergeant Kang Eunchul, liaison officer between the coast guard and the army. Largely this is a thankless task, so if you’re still labouring under the belief that your CO selected you for this duty as a reward for good behaviour, think again.”

Eunchul looks at each man in turn. “What the powers that be define as ‘liaison’ is open to a certain degree of interpretation. This is how I see it: the army lends its assistance to the coast guard as and when we deem necessary. The coast guard knows itself to be more than capable of handling whatever situation arises, but acknowledges that sometimes it’s practical to employ cannon-fodder. The army gets to feel righteous and thinks the coast guard should be grateful. Meanwhile, the navy looks down on us both, and so the army and the coast guard are united against a bunch of web-footed wankers.”

The other two soldiers laugh. Dongjoo keeps his gaze fixed on Eunchul.

“I need an assistant,” Eunchul continues. “I don’t need three. Just one.” He pauses; even smiles after a fashion. “Let me state again—this is a thankless task. It does not involve abseiling off cliffs and resuscitating babes in bikinis, although if the opportunity presents itself, you have my blessing to do both of these things, and at the same time if necessary.

“You will report to me. You will work off-base for as long as I require your assistance. Mostly you will be engaged in clerking, filing, or follow-up work. Essentially this is a desk job, so I assume the Major chose you because you all display some sort of competence with the written word.”

Dongjoo blinks. He doesn’t want a desk job. He doesn’t want anything that’ll take him from the familiarity of the army base. He certainly doesn’t want to be forced into close proximity with this hard man and his sharp edges and his clear eyes that seem to see right through everything.

“You will not be paid for this duty,” Eunchul says, sounding as bored as if reciting from the dictionary. “You will receive no other form of compensation. In fact, you will lose most of your free time and a good eighty percent of your leave will be curtailed. You will still be required to take part in your squad’s proscribed activities, though you will be excused general fatigues if and when the situation requires it.”

Into the ensuing silence, one of the other men says in horrified tones, “It’s a punishment.”

Eunchul smiles, and for the first time he looks genuinely amused. “It’s your duty. You should embrace it.”

“It’s voluntary, right, sir?” the second man asks.

“You’ve already been volunteered.” Eunchul takes a step back and perches on the edge of a desk. “All that remains is for me to select one of you.” His smile fades, expression turning businesslike once more. “I left you alone for fifteen minutes for a reason. Now you all know one another at least on a superficial level, perhaps you’d tell me why your colleagues—not yourselves—should be given this duty.”

There’s a moment of silence. Dongjoo narrows his eyes and presses his lips into a line, aware of the ramifications of what Eunchul is asking.

Eunchul looks at him. The smile is back, just the hint of it, a tease, a challenge. Dongjoo refuses to drop his gaze. He already knows what his answer will be, but the sergeant doesn’t call on him first. Instead Eunchul gestures to the soldier at the end of the row. “You. Begin.”

The soldier shoots them an apologetic glance and mumbles his way through mostly invented reasons as to why Dongjoo and the other man should be picked as Eunchul’s assistant.

The second soldier repeats him almost word for word.

“Now you,” Eunchul says, turning to Dongjoo.

Dongjoo remains silent. The other two soldiers look at him in confusion.

Eunchul smiles, his eyes gleaming. “I know you’re capable of speech. I’ve heard at least one word from you.”

“Sir,” Dongjoo says, stiffly.

“That’s the word I heard.” Eunchul slides off the desk and takes a step towards Dongjoo, still smiling. There’s something dangerous about him, something that makes Dongjoo want to run away and go closer at the same time. “Tell me why your colleagues should be given this duty.”

Dongjoo takes a deep breath; lets it out slowly and carefully. “Sir, I choose not to speak, sir.”

Eunchul stops right in front of him. “And why is that?”

“Sir.” Dongjoo flashes a glance that’s pure insubordination, though he keeps his voice polite and respectful. “We are the army, sir. We are all equal.”

The other two soldiers shift in their seats and murmur belated agreement.

Eunchul’s smile is perfect and deadly. “Well said. What’s your name, soldier?”

Dongjoo lifts his chin and meets Eunchul’s hard gaze. “Han Dongjoo, sir.”

“Han Dongjoo.” Eunchul says his name slowly, thoughtfully, as if savouring it, and then gives him a mocking bow. “I look forwards to working with you.”

* * *

The Busan coast guard headquarters is a large, modern building, all glass and steel, filled with the kind of high-tech equipment Dongjoo has only seen on television. Banks of computers, screens that can be scrolled and dropped and retrieved with the wave of a hand, radar and satellite images, things that churn out coordinates, infra-red and GPS and cameras on tiny armoured submersibles with grabby mechanical hands.

The coast guard clearly has more money than the army. More resources, a better uniform, and it employs women. Some of them are pretty, and Dongjoo is embarrassed to be seen wearing his ill-fitting army fatigues.

“Chin up,” Eunchul murmurs. “You’re here to do an important job.”

Bolstered by this statement, Dongjoo draws back his shoulders and imitates the cool, confident way Eunchul moves. He catches sight of his reflection in the smoked glass windows of a conference room and realises he looks like an idiot. He feels stupid, too tall, too skinny, not yet in complete control of his limbs. His eyes look huge in his pale face, the effect exaggerated because of the short crop of his hair.

He puts his head down and shuffles after Eunchul.

After the tour, which both cows Dongjoo and also fills him with a kind of misplaced pride, Eunchul drives him across town to an older concrete building with a corrugated roof and a triple-locked door and bars on the windows. A faint smell of damp permeates the air.

“This is your office,” Eunchul says, pointing to a battered desk in one corner of a large, mostly empty room. An old computer terminal stands on the desk beside a pile of files easily two feet high. There’s six filing cabinets against the back wall. Two of them bear the imprint of booted feet. The walls are covered with maps showing the Korean peninsula and the surrounding waters. There’s also a blackboard with a long list of operation names and personal names painted on it. Some are crossed through.

“Your caseload.” Eunchul gestures at the names on the board. “If you manage to clear even one of those, we’ll be grateful. Your predecessor managed to file about a third of the paperwork for Operation Hippocamp before he finished his term of service.”

“Hippocamp?” Dongjoo stares at the list, not relishing the enormity of the task ahead of him.

“My CO has the habit of naming operations after ancient shit.” Eunchul sits in a swivel chair behind a similarly battered desk with a slightly more modern computer.

“A hippocamp is a seahorse.” Dongjoo takes a seat. The back of his chair creaks alarmingly and almost tips him onto the floor.

“I’ll requisition you a new chair.” Eunchul boots up his computer. “And yes, a hippocamp is a seahorse. A made-up one.”

“They’re in Roman mosaics. I saw some at the Getty in Los Angeles.” Dongjoo doesn’t know why he’s still talking. He copies Eunchul and turns on his computer, too. It’s so crappy it doesn’t even prompt him for a password.

“Rich kid, huh.” Eunchul doesn’t sound as if he’s judging him.

“Yes.” Dongjoo opens the first file on the teetering pile. It’s a report on the theft of a fishing boat.

“Me too,” Eunchul says, almost as an afterthought.

Dongjoo glances up, startled. He hadn’t pegged Kang Eunchul as someone who came from money. Men raised in privilege have an air about them, a gloss that renders them sleek and smug. Dongjoo recognises it in himself occasionally. He thinks his gloss is more transparent because he lives with his father’s example, and he knows he can’t feel self-satisfied when his marriage failed after only half a year.

But he hasn’t seen any of that gloss in Eunchul. Quite the opposite, in fact. Dongjoo waits, hoping for more, but Eunchul taps at the keyboard and reads something on his computer screen.

“I’ll make a start with this,” Dongjoo says. “Sir.”

It’s only then that he realises it’s the first time he’s called Eunchul sir all day.

* * *

Though the army permits him to leave the base every morning, they don’t give him a mode of transport. His first proper day of liaison work sees him walk-running, army-style, for almost seven miles. He has no phone and no money, and by the time he reaches the office, he’s forty-five minutes late and his fatigues are wet with sweat.

Eunchul looks up from his paperwork, then checks the time.

“I’m sorry,” Dongjoo pants, bending double and resting his hands on his knees in an attempt to catch his breath. “Sir, I’m sorry I’m late. It won’t happen again.”

“No, it won’t.”

Dongjoo straightens and goes over to his desk. His legs feel rubbery with adrenalin and his hands shake when he boots up the computer.

A moment later, Eunchul brings him a cup of coffee. “Seven miles in forty-five minutes.”

“I got lost. Took the wrong turning and found myself at the port. Had to backtrack.” Dongjoo pulls the coffee towards him, inhales the heady scent, and takes a grateful sip. It’s exactly how he prefers it. Right now, he thinks he loves Sergeant Kang Eunchul.

“Seven miles in forty-five minutes when you got lost and when you didn’t expect it,” Eunchul says. He smiles and ruffles the soft re-growth of Dongjoo’s hair. “You’re tougher than you think.”

Dongjoo blinks, lips wet with coffee. “I didn’t want to let you down, sir.”

Eunchul smiles again. “Tomorrow, I’ll pick you up.”

* * *

They fall into a rhythm. Eunchul meets him every morning at the gates of the base and drops him off in the evening. During the day, Dongjoo works his way through the files. He tells his hut-mates that the job is so tedious and boring he often falls asleep at his desk. He tells them the most classified thing he’s ever handled was a dispute over where to drop crab pots. His hut-mates make sympathetic noises of the ‘rather you than me’ variety and eventually stop asking if he met any hot girls at the coast guard HQ or in a coffee shop or the post office or just walking around the town.

Dongjoo enjoys his work. He doesn’t want to tell anyone in case it’s taken away from him. Given a clear directive and left alone to do things in his own way and at his own speed, he’s surprised to find himself more than capable. Most of the files relate to minor disturbances and petty theft as well as to applications for extending marine berths, reports of accidents, and investigations into cargo manifestos. He’s never been academically gifted, but he remembers things and he makes connections, and by the end of his third week with the coast guard liaison, he’s drawn a line through both Operation Hippocamp and the next name on the list.

Dongjoo enjoys working for Eunchul. He’s never going to tell anyone that, either, because they might get the wrong idea. Even though Eunchul is only a few years older, Dongjoo looks up to him, perhaps even hero-worships him a little, because not only has he done his military service and holds rank and wears a hot uniform, he’s also confident and seems so certain of his place in the world.

In that respect, Eunchul is a lot like Dongjoo’s grandfather. Unlike his grandfather, Eunchul doesn’t play games. He’s straightforward, tells Dongjoo what he wants, compromises when necessary without making a fuss, and when Dongjoo produces results, Eunchul offers uncomplicated praise. He smiles and says, “Good job,” and puts a hand on Dongjoo’s shoulder, ruffles his hair and brings him coffee the way he likes it.

Even though Dongjoo feels as if he could burst with pride on those occasions, he tells no one. Not even his mother or his grandfather, in his occasional letters and phone calls home. He wants to keep this sense of achievement to himself.

As the weeks wear on, Eunchul is in the office less and less as he attends to his coast guard duties. He doesn’t talk about these operations and call-outs directly, but instead takes to dictating his reports to Dongjoo. Most of what is reported is classified. Dongjoo knows that probably he shouldn’t be hearing these things. He also knows that, as a soldier, he’s automatically bound by oath and duty to remain silent in a way that the stenographers employed by the coast guard aren’t.

In a straightforward, roundabout way, Eunchul is showing Dongjoo how much he trusts him. How much he values him. Dongjoo thrives on this unspoken regard and works harder, setting aside his allotted tasks to transcribe Eunchul’s reports and then printing them out for him to check over.

“Your spelling,” Eunchul chides him gently, making corrections with a green pen.

“Daji scolded me for the same thing,” Dongjoo says one time. “I would never have passed my exams without her help.”

Eunchul looks at him. “Your girlfriend?”

A blush creeps across Dongjoo’s face. “My wife. Ex-wife.”

Incredulity lights Eunchul’s expression. “You were married?”

“Six months.” Dongjoo drops his gaze and fiddles with the selection of coloured pens he uses to annotate the files. “We were very young. We made a mistake.”

“In getting married or in getting divorced?”

Dongjoo glances up. Eunchul is looking at him. He doesn’t know how to reply.

“You’re so full of regrets,” Eunchul says after a moment. “That’s not the way to live. Not for someone like you.”

“What about you?” The words blurt out. Dongjoo adds “Sir”, as if that’s going to make the question more palatable.

Eunchul continues to look at him, gaze gone dark and thoughtful. “Tonight,” he says, returning the corrected report to Dongjoo, “we’re going out drinking, you and me.”

“But sir, I need to be back at the base for dinner at nineteen-hundred hours,” Dongjoo says.

“Not tonight. I’ll get you the necessary permissions. We’re going out.”

That becomes a habit, too. Once a week, at first, and then twice a week, and though they spend part of the evening talking about work, the rest of the time is their own. Despite the difference in rank and service, Eunchul is easy to talk to. He’s a good listener and he always knows the right thing to say, whether to draw out a confidence or to turn awkwardness into humour. Dongjoo is grateful to find someone who won’t judge him and who seems to respect him.

For the first time in his life, Dongjoo feels like a man.

One evening, as they sit in what’s become their favourite bar, Eunchul says, “Your army buddies say you’re the font of all knowledge in dealing with women.”

“They think that because I was married.” Dongjoo slides his beer bottle across the gleaming surface of the bar. “In actual fact, I know nothing.”

Eunchul lifts his drink to his lips. “Oh?”

The truth has been a burden for so long. Dongjoo needs to shed its load. He trusts Eunchul. Clutching his beer, he says in a rush, “We never slept together. Daji and I, we didn’t... I mean, I wanted to. And we were married. It’s not like it’s wrong for a husband and wife to... But we were so young. And I was afraid of making her pregnant. I didn’t—I didn’t want to hurt her.”

Eunchul puts down his drink. “You thought you might hurt her?”

“Yes.” Dongjoo isn’t thirsty any more. He hangs his head. “I know it’s stupid.”

“Fear isn’t stupid.” Eunchul covers Dongjoo’s hand with his own. “It can be irrational, but it’s never stupid.”

Dongjoo stares at him. “I bet you’re not afraid of anything. Sir.”

Eunchul laughs. He doesn’t take his hand away. It feels nice there. “I’m afraid of everything,” he says, smiling. “That’s the only way I can keep ahead.”

“Ahead of what?” Dongjoo asks, thinking that, because of the smile, Eunchul is joking.

“The regrets.” Eunchul stops smiling. He lifts his hand and signals for another drink.

* * *

Occasionally Eunchul’s friends and colleagues from the SSAT join them on their nights out. Dongjoo feels like an outsider then, especially when a guy called Kim Sunwoo tries to monopolise Eunchul with conversations that invariably begin with ‘Do you remember when...’, but Eunchul balances his attentions with careful skill and never, ever makes Dongjoo feel like an unwanted guest.

Sunwoo remarks upon it one time, smile broad and easy, his eyes hard and sharp. “You hoping this kid will switch allegiance at the end of his term of service and join the coast guard?”

“No.” Eunchul leans back in his chair. “Dongjoo will follow his father and grandfather into business.”

Sunwoo frowns. “Then why are you...” He pauses briefly, long enough for Dongjoo to insert the words wasting your time before Sunwoo continues, “mentoring him?”

Eunchul raises his eyebrows. “Am I mentoring him?”

“Bro.” Sunwoo laughs. “You guys are in here twice a week. Are you telling me this is a social thing? A date?”

Dongjoo frowns. “What’s wrong with a guy going out with a friend?”

Sunwoo gives him a withering stare. “Eunchul doesn’t have friends. He’s a career man. He has five-year plans, ten-year plans, twenty-year plans. He’s going to run the coast guard by the time he’s forty. All those plans don’t leave a lot of room for friendships unless they’re politically useful.”

“You’re my friend,” Eunchul says, mildly.

“We trained together!” Sunwoo lifts his hands in an exasperated gesture. “We’ve known each other six years and I still don’t know you. Not properly. It’s like we’re friends because we’re colleagues when it should be the other way around.”

Eunchul half smiles. “Are you jealous, Sunwoo?”

“Of that child?” Sunwoo jerks his chin at Dongjoo. “Hell, no. I just don’t get why you’re hanging out with him if he can’t do anything for your career.”

“I like him,” Eunchul says. “Dongjoo is interesting and funny and kind.”

Sunwoo’s mouth drops open. “Kind? What—”

“It’s important.” Eunchul slides his gaze towards Dongjoo, his smile warming. “Kindness is important.”

* * *

“Do you really like me because I’m kind?”

The question has been pushing at him all night, but Dongjoo only feels safe enough to ask it now, well away from the bar and even further away from Kim Sunwoo.

They’re in Eunchul’s car, parked a short distance from the gates of the army base. He can see the glow of illumination from the sentry hut and the arc-lights cutting across the parade ground further ahead, but the sanctuary of the base seems miles away, a fantasy, and this moment, here within the front seats of the car, is the only reality.

He turns his head to look at Eunchul, waiting for an answer.

“Yes,” Eunchul says at last. He’s gazing through the windscreen at the army base, but then he turns his head, too. He meets Dongjoo’s gaze. Holds it. “And,” he adds, very softly, “because of this.” He leans across the gap separating them and kisses Dongjoo.

Eunchul’s lips are firm. His mouth is warm.

Dongjoo freezes for a heartbeat. It’s the first time he’s kissed a man. It’s only the second time he’s been kissed by someone who wasn’t a member of his family. Strangely, it feels right. Daji took his first kiss, awkward and hesitant, the fumbling of a boy with his first girl. Eunchul is giving him the chance to learn how to be a man with another man.

Dongjoo kisses him back. He does it on instinct, parting his lips and allowing more heat into the embrace. Eunchul tastes of beer and confidence. Dongjoo hopes he tastes just as certain.

They’re both wearing seatbelts, so they can’t get too close. Probably that’s a good thing, considering where they are. Eunchul makes a soft, hungry noise and mouths at Dongjoo, giving him gentle love-bites that rouse a fierce throb of desire, more urgent and primal than anything he’s experienced before.

Lust, Dongjoo realises. This is lust.

He likes it. He wants more of it. Most of all, he’s glad it’s Eunchul awakening it in him and not a Russian prostitute.

When it comes to an end quite naturally, there’s no embarrassment, even though Dongjoo thinks perhaps there should be. He looks for it, but it’s not there, and so he forgets about it and focuses instead on how much he’d enjoyed the sensation of Eunchul’s mouth on his, the warmth and taste of him.

“I’m not gay,” he says into the darkened silence.

Eunchul smiles. “I don’t want you to be.”

“Then what do you want?”

After a moment of silence, Eunchul reaches out and strokes a thumb over Dongjoo’s cheek. He looks thoughtful and slightly lost. “I want you to be kind.”

* * *

They become lovers slowly, in increments. Kisses at first, more and more kisses, snatched and stolen whenever work allows. Dongjoo looks forward to them, goes to the office every morning with the hope that he’ll see Eunchul. If he’s not there, it’s okay. Dongjoo does his work and strikes through another name on the list. His day is absorbing enough without the need for Eunchul’s kisses. Those are just a bonus.

But when Eunchul is in the office...

They ration out their kisses. One when Eunchul brings Dongjoo a coffee. Another when Dongjoo types out a report without any spelling mistakes. A third, hot and hungry and desperate, before they leave the office in the evening.

In back alleys and the back seat of Eunchul’s car, they touch one another and explore their bodies and their limits. Dongjoo realises there’s more than one way to masturbate. The first time he and Eunchul press together, grinding and rubbing, all sweat and deliciously hard pressure, Dongjoo comes just from the pleasure of Eunchul’s tongue-tip tracing the shell of his ear. He knows logically it was all that shoving and thrusting that got him there, but what pushed him over was the delicate lick and the hot breath and Eunchul’s soft moan of need.

The first time Eunchul goes down on him, Dongjoo comes way too fast. He’s advised his fellow soldiers about blowjobs based on porn he’d seen and things he’d read, but the reality is quite different. It’s the first sexual act he can’t imagine Daji performing on him. It seems too wicked, too much to do with lust rather than love. He thinks he wants to save this as something he only does with Eunchul.

“I want to do it to you, too,” he announces when he’s caught his breath and the swim of sensation has quieted. Partly it’s to cover his embarrassment at shooting so soon, but mostly it’s because he’s curious. He’s never seen another man’s dick before. In public toilets and shared showers it’s impossible to miss the flash of cock, but he’s never seen one like this, so up close and personal, and Dongjoo takes his time examining Eunchul’s dick, touching and stroking and tasting every inch.

There’s a lot of him to study. Dongjoo finds it thrilling, the knowledge that he’s the one to arouse Eunchul so much, and when he finally parts his lips around the head and takes Eunchul’s big, thick cock into his mouth, Dongjoo is more excited than he’s ever been in his life.

“I’m not gay,” he says again afterwards, the taste of Eunchul’s seed both sweet and bitter on his tongue.

Eunchul murmurs a laugh against his throat. “No, you’re not.”

Dongjoo strokes through Eunchul’s hair. It feels like silk, shorter and softer than Daji’s windswept, slightly frizzy locks. “Are you gay?” he asks, because he honestly doesn’t know.

“I’m...” Eunchul pauses, “complicated.”

Dongjoo smiles and hugs him. “That’s what my grandfather and parents say when they don’t want to talk about something. They say it’s complicated.”

Eunchul lifts his head. His eyes are very dark, glinting in the shadows of night. “One day I’ll tell you everything. But not now.”

* * *

One evening on the base, Dongjoo is approached for advice by a soldier who seems nervous and afraid. Conscious of listening ears from the surrounding beds, Dongjoo suggests that they go out and do a lap of the parade ground. Almost three-quarters of the way around their second lap, the soldier admits that he has feelings for one of his hut-mates.

Dongjoo thinks before he speaks. “Have you felt like this before? Because it’s perfectly normal to have a crush on someone of the same gender, especially if you admire them in some way—if they’re strong or athletic or clever or...”

The soldier keeps his eyes fixed ahead. “It’s not a crush. I think I love him. I’ve felt something similar before. I mean, I’m gay, I know that. But I don’t know if he is, and... It hurts.”

Dongjoo stops jogging. The soldier turns back. “Shit, I’m sorry. You must be disgusted. I’m sorry.”

“No.” Dongjoo waves away the apologies. “I’m not disgusted or shocked. I just... I don’t know how best to advise you.”

The soldier exhales. “Yeah. Shouldn’t have asked a straight guy. Sorry.”

Dongjoo shakes his head. “No, no, it’s not that. People are people and relationships are relationships, no matter what goes where.”

He thinks some more, and they resume their jog and their discussion. By the end of the fifth lap, they’re walking, and Dongjoo has offered the soldier and his friend twenty-four hour off-base passes and has given him the name of a gay bar that they could ‘accidentally’ stumble into on their night out, just as a way of testing the other guy’s reactions.

“How do you know about gay bars in Busan?” the soldier asks, puzzled.

Dongjoo gives him a mysterious smile. “I know everything.”

* * *

The incident makes him think about his relationship with Eunchul, especially when the soldier and his friend return from their twenty-four hour leave looking smug and telling everyone they scored big time. The soldier gives Dongjoo the thumbs up and then rough-houses with his friend, touching and laughing as their mates gather round, eager to hear about their adventures with the Russian girls.

Dongjoo goes to the office next day and works hard, his thoughts not quite confused but not altogether steady. When Eunchul arrives mid-afternoon with a cup of coffee, Dongjoo delays the accompanying kiss, turning his head from the sweet temptation of Eunchul’s lips.

“What is it?” Eunchul asks, straightening but not sliding away from his perch on Dongjoo’s battered old desk.

“I like you.” Dongjoo looks up at him, serious and wide-eyed, not wanting any of this to be misunderstood. “Eunchul, I like you very much. I admire you. You’re handsome and smart and you’re confident and you know how to talk to people and you’re cool and interesting and you wear a hot uniform and... I really like you—”

Eunchul smiles. “But.”

Dongjoo closes his eyes. Opens them again and meets Eunchul’s gaze. “I don’t love you. Is that okay?”

“Oh, Dongjoo. Of course it’s okay.” The smile broadens. “Really, truly, it’s okay. You’re straight. I know that. And you’re still in love with Daji.”

“I am?” Dongjoo stares at him, at first doubting and then accepting the truth. “I am.”

Eunchul strokes the back of a finger down his cheek, still smiling. “Yes, you are. And that’s okay, too.”

“But...” There’s something more, something Dongjoo has to ask. “Do you love me? Because it doesn’t seem fair if you do. Because unreciprocated love hurts, and I don’t want to hurt you.”

“The same way you didn’t want to hurt Daji?” Eunchul’s eyes are very bright.

Dongjoo swallows. “It’s different. Everything’s different with you. And not just because you’re a man.”

“Because you don’t love me,” Eunchul says, and leans forward.

Dongjoo kisses him, long and lingering. “Maybe,” he says when they part, “maybe I love you a little.”

Eunchul nuzzles at him, words soft and careful. “You can love me a little. As long as you don’t try to tell yourself that you’re in love with me. Because that would hurt us both, and that really wouldn’t be fair.”

“How do you know so much?” Dongjoo asks, yearning.

Eunchul’s smile is worn through with an odd sort of sadness. “I told you—I’m complicated.”

* * *

Dongjoo loses his virginity on a boat.

It’s his first weekend of leave, and though his hut-mates have invited him to spend forty-eight hours on a mammoth pub-crawl through the city, he pretends he has to work for part of the time and says he’ll catch up with them on Sunday afternoon. While they all rush for the bars and clubs and girls on Friday evening, Dongjoo heads for the marina.

Eunchul is waiting for him. The pretence is that they’re going fishing, but they both know what’s going to happen. Dongjoo is nervous and excited. He’s been in a permanent state of semi-arousal since Eunchul extended the invitation, and he can hardly wait till they’re alone together.

The yacht is a surprise. Dongjoo has been on cruisers and catamarans, but never a smaller class of boat. It’s a racing yacht, its hull low and sleek, the cabin for’ard beneath the lateen rigged mast—or at least that’s how Eunchul introduces it.

“This is yours?” Dongjoo asks, staring at the wheel and the furled sails. On the stern is the name, spangled with the stars of two constellations: Sky Painter.

“Yes.” Eunchul carries Dongjoo’s bag aboard and then holds out his hand.

Dongjoo takes it and steps from dry land into Eunchul’s arms.

They look at one another. “My father wanted to buy me a yacht as a graduation gift,” Eunchul says, tightening his hold on Dongjoo as a swell rocks the boat. “But I didn’t want that. I wanted to buy it myself. The advantage of working in the coast guard is that you know what’s going up for auction before most other people do, and there’s always a favour that can be called in if you want something in particular. Even so, I got Sky Painter above board and legally.”

It’s strange, the way he says it. Dongjoo laughs. “And your father’s gift would have been illegal?”

Eunchul slides his hands free and moves away. “Come and look at the cabin.”

While Dongjoo unpacks and familiarises himself with the low but surprisingly spacious dimensions of the cabin, Eunchul gets them underway. They leave the marina and set a course north, following the coastline. Dongjoo studies their route on the chart as Eunchul powers down the outboard and sets the mainsail to catch the late evening breeze.

It’s peaceful on the water. Eunchul keeps them clear of the main shipping lanes, and although as night falls they see lights from the occasional fishing boat, mostly they’re on their own. It’s the same on land, too—once the sprawl of Busan and its environs is behind them, the lights from houses become few and far between.

Dongjoo lies on the bench at the stern and listens to the sound of the waves, the splash and slap of water against the hull, the creak of the sail and the metallic jingle of the wind in the ratlines. The scent of salt and ozone surrounds him until Eunchul drags out a hamper of food and unpacks it, revealing tubs of cooked meat and kimchi and cold soba noodles and sweet, tangy sauces. There’s wine, too, an excellent vintage Eunchul says he liberated from his father’s cellar, and Dongjoo says his grandfather would have approved.

They eat and drink, and before it gets too dark to navigate, Eunchul casts the anchor and moors the yacht within the sheltering arms of a small bay. They drink another bottle, and Dongjoo feels giddy with wine and happiness and anticipation.

Eunchul moves closer. “I love you,” he says, holding Dongjoo’s gaze. “Let me say it. I love you because you don’t love me, because you love Daji. I love you because you’re kind, and that’s all I need right now.”

Dongjoo stares at him, then swigs down the last of the wine and kisses Eunchul, lips wet and sweet. “Take me to bed,” he says when they break free. “Love me.”

The first time is a surprise. They tangle together on the bed, the quilt rucked up to one side and the yacht listing with the swell, and they kiss and kiss and touch one another until they’re both comfortable with the movement of the waves, and they’re both ready and hungry for one another.

Eunchul rolls a condom over Dongjoo’s cock and slicks lube all over him. Dongjoo is so lost in pleasure that he doesn’t entirely realise what’s happening until Eunchul arranges himself on the bed, a pillow beneath his hips, and he holds out his arms for Dongjoo to come to him.

“You want me to...?” Dongjoo crawls over Eunchul, tense and shivering with excitement. “Oh God, you want me to fuck you?”

“First time for me, too.” Eunchul hooks one leg around Dongjoo’s waist, opening himself up. “I’ve never done it like this before.”

“I don’t want to hurt you,” Dongjoo says, guiding the head of his dick to Eunchul’s lubed hole.

“You won’t. You’ll see. It’ll be good. So good.” Eunchul arches up, pushes down, and Dongjoo is inside him, gripped by tight heat. They both gasp and hold still, and then the boat rocks and they go with it. The swell makes it easier, makes it natural, and Dongjoo forgets to be nervous and instead loses himself in the sounds Eunchul makes, in the taste of his skin and the smell of his sweat, in the heave of their bodies and the glorious crashing pleasure of their release.

The second time, Dongjoo turns onto his front and presses his knees into the mattress and takes Eunchul’s weight over him, and he moans into the quilt as Eunchul licks him out and then fucks him, sensation bright and wonderful as it spikes through him over and over again.

Afterwards, Eunchul fetches another bottle of wine and they toast one another, wrapped in the quilt with the pillows shoved against the bulkhead as they sit up and cuddle together.

“I’m North Korean,” Eunchul says, his hands steady as he pours more wine into Dongjoo’s glass.

Dongjoo stares at him. “What did you say?”

Eunchul puts down the bottle without pouring another glass for himself. He looks at Dongjoo. “I’m North Korean. I’m a political orphan. I was smuggled into Busan in a shipping container when I was seven years old.”

“Oh,” Dongjoo says, aware of how grossly inadequate his response is but not knowing how else to react.

Eunchul smiles. “Drink.”

Dongjoo takes a sip of the wine, then offers out the glass. “You, too.” He watches Eunchul drink, remembers those lips on him, over him, and says, “It doesn’t matter. Why should it matter? You’re still you. Even if you came from Saturn.”

“It does matter.” Eunchul curls a hand around Dongjoo’s arm and slides a caress all the way up to his shoulder. “I’ve grown up here, been educated here, and I work here, but inside...” He hesitates; slips into silence.

“Your father,” Dongjoo says, retrieving the glass. “Is he...?”

Eunchul shakes his head. “He’s not my real father. I was placed into care, a shelter for North Korean kids, and he adopted me. He’s a philanthropist. No children of his own, so he adopted me and a couple of other kids. He says I’m his brightest hope for the future.”

Dongjoo smiles. “That’s nice. He sounds like a good guy. Supportive. He must be proud of you being in the coast guard.”

“Yeah.” Eunchul takes the wineglass again and drains it. “Yeah, he is. But...” He stops, sets aside the glass and puts an arm around Dongjoo. “Sometimes it’s hard to do what a parent wants you to do.”

“Yes.” Dongjoo tilts his head and leans into Eunchul’s embrace, enjoying the feeling of warm, naked skin against him. “Sometimes parental expectation is too much. But in those circumstances, you have to do what your heart tells you.”

Eunchul studies him. “That’s what you did when you married Daji.”

Dongjoo nods. “I don’t regret it,” he says. “Not now. Not now I’ve met you. Now I’ve known you. Does that sound weird? It’s like knowing you made me realise things. Made me put things into order.” He’s quiet for a moment, listening to the sound of Eunchul’s heartbeat. “I won’t have regrets from now on. Even if I never meet her again, even if I never tell her all the things I want to say. Even if I never fall in love again. I won’t regret it, not any of it, and that’s because of you.”

He shifts around in Eunchul’s arms and looks at him. “Thank you.”

Eunchul is wearing the same lost expression as the first time they’d kissed. “Dongjoo,” he says. “I love you.”

They kiss, the boat rising and falling, the swell nudging them together, and Dongjoo thinks I love you too, I love you, I love you, and in that moment it’s true, and it’s forever, and he won’t regret it, not even when they part.



Date: 2012-10-14 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diagon.livejournal.com
Well don't I feel greedy! Not content to tie you down to 12 Homin challenges for the year, I also get my random musings turned into better-than-ever-imagined fics.
I say: "Imagine if Dongjoo met Eunchul - he'd be eaten up" and you write something as wonderful as this that turns my preconceptions on their head.

Because despite being what he is and keeping the secrets he does, Eunchul is kind too. Gentle, able to be amused, able to let himself trust - even if these are frequent and far-between it's better than nothing.

Even before you have them meet this story is full of contrasts. The push and pull of Changmin's parents; The idol who fakes wanting to do his best; Hyuksu (love the name!) glad to be out of the mountains and wishing he was there.

The contrasts work so well when you are engineering the coming together of two people who should have nothing in common.

You give Dongjoo enough of a reason to be able to act differently. Before he was the son his parents expected, the grandson, the husband - but he knows he failed. Now he succeeds as the barracks sage but it's not what he set out to be. Still balances and checks.

You take him from a position of inferiority to one of power and neither sits right with him. He just wants people to see him. He wants to see himself. He's too young to know himself and that's why he keeps getting it wrong.

Then you have Eunchul who knows himself so well because he's the only one who can. All the secrets he keeps are burdens and he can never trust to share them - until he meets Dongjoo.

His hair is short, black and glossy like a raven’s wing, but longer on the front, flicked forwards like a spiked wave. The style balances the shape of his face—slashing brows, a sharp chin and fine jaw, a full lower lip, and dark, assessing eyes now turned on Dongjoo.

“Like what you see?” the sergeant asks, unsmiling.

Dongjoo is too surprised to be flustered. “Sir?”

“Never mind.”


Oh Eunchul. It was worth a go. Don't give up! Eunchul hwaiting!! I do a breathless-melt at the description of Eunchul and then want to hug him so much for it overwhelming Dongjoo.

And then with everything at contrast they start to find balance. Both with their battered desks. Both rich kids.

But you keep feathering in the contrasts too: He smiles and ruffles the soft re-growth of Dongjoo’s hair. “You’re tougher than you think.”
I love the idea of this exchange and what it means. *mushes*

And then I get seriously mushy at Dongjoo not knowing if it's the getting married or getting divorced he regrets (trust me DJ honey, it's the divorce - I can see it all over your pouty, grumpy face in PR)

This line is pretty much what I see at the crux of everything, ever. Both fic and generally: Dongjoo is grateful to find someone who won’t judge him and who seems to respect him.

I hope everyone can find someone like that, even if it's not for forever.

"Kindness is important" is my second favourite line, although it leads to my favourite action - really Eunchul's mouth was just made for kissing. That bottom lip is truly mesmerising. Such a soft and warm contrast to his sharp, hard eyes.

And then they ration kisses. Kisses for coffee. Kisses for good spelling. Kisses for Dongjoo just being himself. LOVE THAT!!

And the contrast (again) of Eunchul's delicate lick and soft moan at the same time as the shoving and thrusting. You make it work in with so much all at once.

Dongjoo gives him a mysterious smile. “I know everything.”

All it takes is a little confidence and a first blow-job and Dongjoo realises he can live up to the hype. Such a contrast to when he started, both in the advice he feels confident to give and how he gives it. And yet he'll still bow to Eunchul and ask "How do you know so much"

Boat sex. Oh well you don't expect any rational continuance now do you? Boat sex. Sex on a bot. A yacht. A yacht and it's not even on the Mighty Pacific TM. Boat sex.

Blew my mind. Dongjoo you are one very lucky boy.

But at the same time: Boat emotion too. You always manage to sneak it in even when my brain is just doing the neon-light Boat Sex liek woah distraction.

Talking of distractions - I have work just arrived. Grrr. I may be back!

Date: 2012-10-14 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
If anyone's allowed to be greedy, it's you :p

LMAO you had to mention the Mighty Pacific! I suppose the Sea of Japan is part of the Mighty Pacific, technically, although clearly it's not very Mighty there and there are no wee penguins going around.

One of the things I had to check today was if there actually was an army base in Busan. There was - it closed in 2006, five years ahead of schedule. A US Army base, though they shared it with one ROK regiment.

He just wants people to see him.
This is so absolutely true. And Eunchul needs to be seen, although he doesn't necessarily *want* to be seen, which again makes them similar and yet different at the same time.

Thank you for the off-the-cuff prompt and also for not minding when I nicked off with the laptop in order to write this while we were on holiday. Because clearly I have a strange opinion on what constitutes a holiday ♥

Date: 2012-10-28 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] badhand02.livejournal.com
why am I feelling sad? maybe because I have a thing for a past - not broken, but unsatisfied - relationship. It's always bring me a certain weight in the story. Not because of broken heart but... because it makes the story feels so real? Everyone has past... and lingering thoughts. I got to say I'm not a fan of daji XD still, i felt the heaviness in dongjoo's feeling... maybe that's why. He's becoming comfortable with others and all the other things, thanks to Eunchul and himself... as always I adore how they are growing in each other's company, in your story. oh well they are flowing on the beautiful sea with each other and i still feel not so happy! what's wrong with me!!! I better stop here.

Date: 2012-10-29 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Thank you... it is quite a sad fic, really, you're right. I always feel sorry for Dongjoo, no one ever believes he's good enough (maybe his grandfather but he's so manipulative) and he has so much self-doubt, poor lamb. So I wanted to give him the chance of gaining confidence and being given respect and love by someone very different from him, even if it can't last.

Date: 2012-10-29 12:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doovlynsidhe.livejournal.com
This was so wonderfully bittersweet. I don't know why, but in my mind I picture this as what happens right before the story of Paradise Ranch begins. I love how you always have this wonderful sense of balance between Yunho and Changmin - regardless if the setting is AU or something along more 'canon' lines. Dong Joo receives a feeling of purpose and confidence working with and loving Eunchul. In return Eunchul receives, what is for him, uncomplicated care, affection, kindness and a sense of stability when he is with Dong Joo. It makes me sad to think they may not stay together in the future, but there is something beautiful about two people who are in each other's lives at just the right time for what they have to give at that moment. Just, you always manage to make me think as well as swoon with everything you write. Love, love, loved this. :)

Date: 2012-10-29 11:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Thank you ^^ Dongjoo is so interesting, he lacks so much confidence and that's a shame because clearly he can do a lot of things well when he doesn't have his family interfering. Whereas Eunchul has a lot of confidence and an interfering 'family' and he's still just as lost as Dongjoo. And yes, you're absolutely right, they meet at a time when they most need one another and though it won't be forever, it'll be enough to carry them through. Thank you again for such a thoughtful comment :)

Date: 2012-10-29 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yunhominji94.livejournal.com
Ugh I had just typed such a long comment but it didn't go through. It described pretty much how awesome this fic was. So let me try again... ;-; Ok so first off yay!~ the fic and I'm so fucking late in reading it but that's because I haven't been on LJ. Let me just say wow. Like always your plots are always something different and well for me interesting and unique, which is pretty much why I love your stories. Plus you're an awesome writer. ;) But this really did intrigue me for a different reason and that would have to be because my brother is in the military and this was based around that. Now I never watched either dramas before so I had to get use to who is who. I have to say I completely agree with what Dongjoo's grandfather had said, the reason for people entering the military. It's most of the time from what I hear and personally know is a means of escape. Because you're trying to get away from something mostly what you have in the present or your past. For Dongjoo it was his past because of his failed marriage with Daji. He still loved her but he feels like he let her down and in turn also let his family down. So he just signed up for his two year service and to take that time to just forget and maybe get stronger in a sense. Then comes along Eunchul this serious seemingly tough and well respected coast guard who he was drawn to and looked at him in awe for who he was. Because of Eunchul's strong presence that basically reeled Dongjoo in and vice versa they were able to get close. I love the build up of their relationship with one another. With Eunchul at first I didn't understand what he meant by when he kept call Dongjoo kind but I think I understand now. Slowly he was falling for him and he was able to let his own facade he's build up over the years to slip away because of this young soldier who captured his heart. At first I was kinda sad because Dongjoo was like I don't love you and I'm like oh man I know Eunchul's in love with him even he didn't say it. XD;;; But man the ending was just so beautiful and bittersweet. And just so amazing in general this whole fic. While this comment is slightly different from the first one I attempted to post. I hope for with you can understand how I'm crazy about your fics and love your writing and this was no exception . I can't wait to read more from you when you have the time to post up more.ヾ(^∇^)

Date: 2012-10-29 11:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
LJ is being weird today, it keeps eating my comments too ;__; so thank you for re-writing all of that! Paradise Ranch is pretty good if you like romances, and Poseidon is... well, it's bad, really bad, but hilariously funny because it's so bad! Yunho is definitely the best thing in it. Anyway I'm glad this story worked for you even though you haven't see the dramas ^^

My grandfather was in the army and my uncle was in the RAF. Even when he left the service my uncle was *very* military! For him it was a place of escape, too - all the travelling, he was hardly ever in the UK, but that's what he wanted.

The bit about Dongjoo being kind is from the show, even though Dongjoo is quite snarky and get aggravated a lot, he's essentially a very kind person and he does try to help people, which usually gets him in trouble. But it's a quiet kindness, one that's maybe not obvious? Which is easier to show on TV! But I'm glad it came across eventually :)

Thank you again for rewriting all of that and thank you for such a lovely long comment ^^

Date: 2012-10-29 08:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] octopuskimchi.livejournal.com
erm.. not that i'm stalking you or anything, but i've just had a very very enjoyable weekend reading ALL your tvxq fics and half your suju fics. i'm not very familiar with suju so i find the totally au ones easier to immerse in.. i particularly love Protocol.

i'm sorry i've not been a good reader, my comments have been very short compared to what the incomparable diagon has been commenting... it's such a pain to type on my ipad so i'm commenting from my pc at work now.. bad worker...

I know you havent put up pdfs of your stories so far.. i've saved 0 - 0-60 in 3.5 and Driving With The Brakes On in doc and epub so i can read them offline, would you like me to email you?

Date: 2012-10-29 11:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diagon.livejournal.com
my comments have been very short compared to what the incomparable diagon has been commenting

You make me blush! But I should be honest and say that the more comments I make, the more muffins and brownies [livejournal.com profile] glitterburn bakes for me in return, so I have double motivation. It's handy knowing such a talented writer in person who is also a whiz in the kitchen!

Date: 2012-10-29 11:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] octopuskimchi.livejournal.com
:D the comments are as interesting to read as the story.. double the enjoyment :D

Date: 2012-10-29 11:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Thank you :D LOL when I first started getting into SuJu I was confused because there are so many of them, so I just focused on SJM, which only has one guy I don't care for, and that was so much easier!

I finally had a chance to play around with a work ipad the other day and I know what you mean about the typing thing *__* Somehow I think I won't be getting an ipad of my own!

I put all of my fics onto my Kindle when I'm editing, so I have them in prc files and a bunch of others. I didn't think of making them available in other formats, though I guess if people want that then on AO3 you can dl in mobi, pdf, epub and html. Thank you for the thought and the suggestion, though! :D

Date: 2012-10-29 11:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] octopuskimchi.livejournal.com
:) some writers are sensitve about people saving their work, and with all that plagarism going around maybe they have just cause to be. I save them so that i can read them offline on my ipad :) i solemnly swear not to distribute your fics (except to my twin sis who loves good stories but is too lazy arse to look them up herself)

i have never used a kindle, are they good? you prefer them to ipad?

Date: 2012-10-29 12:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Once it's out there, it's out there! Until it vanishes... In the bad old days of dial-up I saved sooooo many fics to read off-line and even printed out my faves. Good times. Now I just stick them on the Kindle.

I was hesitant about the Kindle at first but now I wouldn't be without it. Mine is the original Kindle though, with the buttons on the side; I looked at the Paperlight and the Fire a few days ago and the Fire is like a smaller version of the ipad with the touch screen. I preferred the look of the Paperlight, which is b&w and has a touch screen. tbh if you have an ipad it's probably not worthwhile getting a Kindle, especially not a Fire. One of my friends reads fics on her iphone and bought a Kindle and still reads on her iphone, so I guess it's just what you get used to!

Date: 2012-10-30 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cc9095.livejournal.com
It was such a pleasure to read this, both the story and comments~

Date: 2012-10-31 08:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Thank you, happy you enjoyed both ^^

Date: 2012-10-31 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yuukihitohira.livejournal.com
I think the thing that I love most about your writing is that every story drags me into a completely new world every time and I continuously fall in love over and over again with your Yunho and Changmin (or Eunchul and Dongjoo here, hehe). It's obvious how much thought and time you put into each story with every little detail and I get so excited when I see an update that I set aside at least a half hour to myself to enjoy your stories.

In short, I really love your writing and this story just adds to that love. And especially seeing you play around with their drama characters and create something amazing like this is just ;_; ♥ yeah ;____; ♥ ♥ ♥
Edited Date: 2012-10-31 04:00 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-10-31 08:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Thank you for such a lovely comment :)

Date: 2012-10-31 04:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] enolha.livejournal.com
First of all, I've read your other fics but I'm always like 1-2 months late (the last one I read was the 'Running Man' one) and I feel like it'd be bothersome if I comment.

This said, I have to tell I really love this one. I have such a soft spot for Dongjoo I can't even. I haven't watched Poseidon except for the first 4 episodes though. But I can feel Eunchul has a lot to deal with. And he's so kind in his own way. And helped Dongjoo a lot, wich is even better.

While reading this I couldn't stop thinking about the other fic you wrote with Eunchul, and it felt like they were set in the same verse. As if at the same time Dongjoo is rebuilding his life with Daji, Eunchul found Max (who is not other than Shim Changmin) and then he also found someone who sees him, won't judge him, cares about him and of course loves him just for who he is, with good and bad sides. His own happy ever after.

I'm not even making sense anymore lol. Just... I really love this and I'm so happy I got to read it 'in time' to comment. Thank you so much for sahring it with us ^^

Date: 2012-10-31 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Thank you for commenting now ^^ Dongjoo is such a sweetheart, for all his grumpiness he is a very kind person.

While reading this I couldn't stop thinking about the other fic you wrote with Eunchul, and it felt like they were set in the same verse

Yes! That's exactly what I was going for! :D I'm so glad you made that connection! This is like a prequel to the Eunchul/Max fic - Eunchul needed to love and lose Dongjoo so he could have his happy ever after with Max. Yay, I'm really happy you spotted that, thank you!

Date: 2012-10-31 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thier-sess.livejournal.com
Finally commenting ;; Sorry for the wait~~~ 4-days long holidays starting tomorrow so I finally have some free time \o/

This was... different? Probably because the characters weren't actually Yunho and Changmin but it had quite a different vibe to it than your Homin usually does. I mean it in a good way since it's a given with different charas and so different dynamics and interactions.
I really liked the atmoshpere of this? Idk, despite Dongjoo's inner turmoil and him being lost, the whole piece had this tranquility to it? A certain ease?

Your Dongjoo is all soft and young and innocent and your Eunchul is all sharp edges, confidence and experience except not quite, not really. The way you orchestrated their coming together was so lovely and felt natural.

I also adore the message of it? Finding comfort, finding an answer of sorts (even if not the answer) in another person and even if it's for a while, even if it's not the most glorified kind of love with fireworks and all, it doesn't make it any less precious and worthwile.

(And this is just some loose musing but. This, I guess, was one of the aspects that in my eyes at least, set this apart from your Homin? Regardless the setting the common point for most of your Homin is that it's always very... intense so to speak? And I love it to bits, more than I could express with words ♥ And in this one, probably because of Dongjoo still being in love with Daji, that spark was still present but the overall atmosphere differed?~ ...What am I blabbering about, sorry /o\ So OT XD)

Also, you know that I haven't watched Paradise Ranch, don't you. But not knowing what Dongjoo is like (tho I heard he's a bit similar to Changmin himself?) didn't detract from reading experience ♥

So yeah, thank you for this awesome treat <3

Date: 2012-11-01 08:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Yay, holidays! And yes we're having fun and I really do like TW! We got up to the ep where the five of them are trapped in the school. It's a lot creepier than I expected, and it does improve vastly as it goes along. I still don't like Scott or Stiles but I like Derek, Mr Argent, Alison, Lydia and Jackson, especially now he's going into meltdown over the wolf scratch and he's starting to fancy Alison, LOL. I keep cheating and asking C 'is the teacher creepy for a reason?' or 'is that happening because of the uncle?' and she tells me small spoilers XD But yes, I'm enjoying it!

Thank you for the comment ^^ I'm sure the sense of tranquility only came about because I was on holiday when I wrote it... No, seriously, I think there is something quite 'calming' in a way about being obliged to do a duty. I guess because responsibility becomes so hierarchical in the military and the sense of expectation becomes narrower, especially for a guy who only has to serve out two years. And Dongjoo has had so much expectation placed upon him and he's failed so much that it would be quite a liberating experience to be in the army.

I'm glad you liked the message, too. We meet so many people through the course of our lives, some stay, others don't, and there's always a reason why connections form, even if only for a short while. It brings something important, so yeah, I guess it's a 'don't regret anything' thing, too, or at least don't mourn it when it passes because it was good.

Your blabbering is right on the mark! It would have been too OOC to have Dongjoo fall madly for Eunchul because he's so very hung-up on Daji. He's a very needy character (this is the only part of his personality that doesn't match with Changmin's, IMO) because he has absolutely no self-confidence. So I wanted to give him some here, even in the knowledge that he'll lose it all when he leaves the army and Eunchul.

Thank you again!

Date: 2012-11-01 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thier-sess.livejournal.com
Hah, I refused to disclose anything even vaguely spoilerish when I rewatched the series with mom 8D I see C is more benevolent, lucky you XD And I'm glad you're liking it so far \o/ And my impression of TW was similar? I guess it's partly caused by the way tumblr fandom often makes it out to be but I was expecting something idk, more cheerful when actually it turned out rather thrilling! (Tho not in actual fear-inspiring way ofc~) The episodes with them trapped in school are a good example of it. A pity about you & Stiles but at least you're original~ 8D


That makes sense? For some army (or any long-term-ish obligations with such clearly set out rules) may seem like entrapment but if Dongjoo already felt this way in his personal life, then it might've been freeing to him.

And I read the other comments (besides diagon's) only know and omg, so this is a prequel of sorts to the other Poseidon fic *____* Now I'll have to reread it soon! It's even more meaningful this way~ <3 And it's nice to know that Eunchul has such specified taste in men 8D

Also, I forgot to mention it in my comment, but like always loved the humourous bits <3 You weave them in in such a perfect way, gah. (And I'm fond of jealousy in fiction so Sunwoo being all territorial was a nice addition XD And it's kinda amusing since several days after reading the fic for the first time, I stumbled upon this (http://sessho.tumblr.com/post/10439998809) again XD)

And, I guess, Dongjoo's "I'm not gay" comments? Ah, bb, it doesn't work like this 8D Not so easy /pats. His reaction and attitude seemed very... plausible?


And on another OT note - just watched the team challenge episode from s8 of Project Runway and omg, Gretchen is such a hideous person. This episode made my attitude towards her jump from "vaguely reluctant" to "gtfo, gtfo, gtfooooo" :|


Pretty sure I meant to bother you with something else too but it keeps eluding me rn so :<

Date: 2012-11-02 08:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
2 more eps to go of the first season and then we're straight onto to s2! I think we're just marathoning as much as we can today since we're going out and about over the weekend and then we'll have another marathoning session on Monday. C doesn't like Stiles either, but he does make us laugh. Derek, on the other hand... It's such a hardship to watch him without his shirt on!

Eunchul is very lucky that Dongjoo has a hot, confident doppelganger in the shape of Max ;)

Talking of jealousy (though Changmin is more possessive, I guess LOL), tree frog only has four scenes left to go! Unless one scene becomes two, this often happens. But hopefully not in this case.

Gretchen is so unpleasant D: but like all reality show bitches she does justify her behaviour and tries to grow but we all know she's still horrible and makes one-note clothes. Must catch up with the new All Stars, there are some hilarious personalities \o/

Date: 2012-11-02 10:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snow-meow.livejournal.com
I like the plot and the way you wrote it.

Somehow it seems like both of them benefited from this relationship of their's.

Each one found peace and perhaps for Dongjoo, he has finally learn more about himself - what he wants, what he can do, what he feels.

Date: 2012-11-02 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Thank you! Yes, you're right - they did find a kind of peace and they both learned from the experience :)

Date: 2012-11-03 11:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chocolet89.livejournal.com
This is such a beautiful piece you've written :) I've been waiting for someone to write about a crossover between Yunho and Changmin's characters in Poseidon and Paradise Ranch ^^
Although I'm a bit sad that their love here won't be forever, I'm glad that they at least met (and loved) each other in this present time.

And I was just scrolling past the comments on this fic and saw that you mentioning that you had sort of intended for this to be a prequel to Rescue Me (All Over Again) :D I never would have picked it up hahaha but I'm glad I saw it, it makes me happy to think that both Eunchul and Dongjoo will eventually have their happily ever afters ^_____^ thank you for writing yet another beautiful fic ♥

Date: 2012-11-03 05:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Thank you! Dongjoo needs that bit of confidence that Eunchul can give him and Eunchul needs someone who accepts him as he is, not what he might be. They're both such interesting characters!

Date: 2012-11-03 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lolistar73.livejournal.com
Now while I wouldn't quite call myself a stalker, I do check up on your profile quite regularly so it absolutely astounds me that I missed this fic! And for three weeks no less! I've seen your 'Let Go' fic and I saw 'Headlong' and thus I have no idea why I totally missed out on this when it was right in the middle!

Anyways that aside, wow - is your mind on a completely different pathway then the rest of us? Seriously, your plots are just to die for. It's amazing how each and every single one is always so unique and stands out!

I wish you had pursued this as a chaptered fic! The plot really feels like there could have been a huge expansion and epic battles to read on. I felt the romance/friendship/role model very clearly between Eunchul and Dongjoo and I hated every minute that Dongjoo wouldn't rush into Eunchul's arms and say he's completely forgotten about his wife and wants to live the rest of his life as Eunchul's boy toy and for him to take-me-now ;D But then again I wish Changmin would do that in every HoMin fic I read. xD

It was a very sweet read, filled with a lot of self discovery. I really liked the idea of Dongjoo being the base guru for all that is love even when he has no clue. It brings a cute feel into the fic and makes Dongjoo seem a lot more human and young which I felt really set up a great base for Eunchul to come into Dongjoo's life - as a role model first and then as something more. The interactions between them - Eunchul being so mysterious and Dongjoo wanting to stay by his side regardless - was a great facet for this pairing.

I have to admit, at the end I was thoroughly confused with Dongjoo's feelings. I could tell he really meant it when he said he was straight and still loved Daji but at the same time I felt like his love for Eunchul was the right kind of love. I know there was a subtle hint that there is a difference in being *in* love and loving somebody, and I take it that Dongjoo loved Eunchul but was still in love with his wife. However, I can't help but understand that in the ending Dongjoo did fall in love with Eunchul. That's why I was hoping for a part 2 ;____; so confused.

But I can still appreciate the beauty of all the different types of loves - with Dongjoo's dysfunctional family, Hyuksu's lust, the two soldiers discovering themselves and then the weird evolution of Eunchul and Dongjoo from respect, to friends, to lovers, to something more.

Anyways amazing story. I know that it wasn't intended as a b-day fic, but since you wrote it on my b-day anyway I'm going to heart this all the more! <3 I can't wait for your November fic! xD

Date: 2012-11-04 07:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Thank you! I only unlocked it a week or so ago, that's why you didn't see it. This is standing as the November fic since the November fic is being awful and annoying and I stick metaphorical pins in it every day because it's blocking me so badly. So the old November fic is now the December fic >.<

I don't think I could've written this any longer, tbh. Because we know Dongjoo goes back to losing all his confidence as soon as he leaves the military and doesn't get up the courage to make a move on a woman for another four years, and that's kind of sad. Also, they had to break up so Eunchul could fall for Max in 'Rescue Me' XD

At the end of the fic, Dongjoo is in love with Eunchul but he knows (they both know) there's a time limit on it. So he'll give as much as he can right now in the knowledge that it won't last. Those are often the most passionate love affairs and they shouldn't be regretted. And the more I think about this fic, the more I'm convinced it's actually about regret, so thank you for prodding my mind in that direction.

And I hope you had a great birthday!

Date: 2012-11-04 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lolistar73.livejournal.com
;~~~~~~~~~~; No November fic? -sad face-

Well I definitely can't complain since you've done so awesomely with this challenge so far. I guess I'll just eagerly await the Decemeber fic then lol! And blockages are never fun! I know I don't exactly have the right experience to offer you advice but maybe you should talk to a friend about your plot? They can snowball you ideas and maybe it can get the engine running so to speak. lol But no rush ;D

To be honest, I never watched Paradise Ranch. Changmin is my hardcore bias so it makes me cringe to imagine him as a spoiled coward lol. But I'm really, really eager to see him as Momo for his Japanese movie Fly with the Gold. Maybe you can make a universe with Momo one day, eh? ;D

And *ooohhhhh* this being a prequel to Rescue Me suddenly makes this story make a whole lot more sense! Now I got to go re-read that! lol

Date: 2012-11-05 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Hilariously enough the original challenge only required me to write 5000 words per fic, so 60,000 words for the whole year. I've done over 240,000 words so far *___* That's almost as much as my entire writing output of 2010! HoMin are obviously very inspirational for me o___O but seriously I'll be VERY happy to have this challenge finished!!!

Paradise Ranch is still better than Poseidon XD Though I can see why you wouldn't want to see Changmin portrayed that way. I couldn't watch Heading To the Ground, saw 15 minutes of it and had to stop, the second-hand embarrassment was too much. Yunho should stick with roles where he looks tough and gets into fights, nothing else is necessary LOL

Date: 2012-11-04 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lolistar73.livejournal.com
P.S. ;~; Can I friend you? I just realized that you said you had locked this fic! I hope you don't have any others locked :(

Date: 2012-11-05 07:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Sure! I only lock fics to certain people for editing purposes, they end up unlocked eventually so you haven't missed anything!

Date: 2012-11-04 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kina-cassie.livejournal.com
(I wanted to leave this comment on your 'Kpop fic masterlist' entry but I couldnt so I'll write it here...)

Ok I don’t know where to begin… Actually I’m not used to comment English fanfictions. English isn’t my mother tongue (I’m French, so I’m sorry if I make mistakes. I’m studying English at the university but it is still far from being perfect >.<) so I’m always afraid not to be able to say what I’d like to say. But YOU !!! You are the most amazing fanfic writer I’ve ever found on live journal !!!!! And I HAD to try to tell you how much I love what you write !!
Actually I think I’m totally in love with your writing xD And with your stories, your descriptions, your smut scenes… !! You are a true genius !! x)

One of the things I have to thank you for is that YOU are the one who has made me love Homin as a couple… I’ve always been, and I still am, a Yunjae shipper. I often say that Yunjae is my religion (xD) and until recently I couldn’t imagine Yunho (my bias !!! <333) being with someone else than Jaejoong. I mean I had nothing against Homin as brothers. I love the relationship they share (Hmm… I’m not sure I can say “share a relationship” in English…). I even think their relationship is more interesting than the Yunjae relationship (maybe because I think Changmin has the most interesting personality in DBSK), but I really couldn’t picture them as a couple ! Mostly because, to me, Changmin looks 100% straight (unlike Yunho ^^). But the thing is, I have a few friends who really love Homin as a couple so I decided to give it a try. One of my friends gave me the link to your livejournal and I started to read…

And it was the beginning of the end.

I just couldn’t stop reading !! You don’t know how many times I didn’t sleep at night because of you ! :P And you totally made me fall in love with the Homin couple, I love it almost just as much as the Yunjae couple now, and believe me that’s a miracle ! xD

Gosh, I have so many things I want to say… I’m not kidding when I say that you’re the most amazing fanfic writer I’ve ever found. I wish I could write as well as you… Everything in your fics is perfect ! There are times when I’m amazed at your descriptions, then I laugh my ass off because of you humor and then I’m dying because of your smut scenes ! >.<
And I learned a lot of vocabulary thanks to you ^_^ It’s been a while since I started to read English fanfics (and usually I like them better than the French ones) but I had forgot what it was to look for words in the dictionary quite often xDD But that’s because you use a specific vocabulary in almost every fic ! I mean you seem to master so many different topics! Fashion, cars, bikes… I was really impressed ! Do you make research before writing ?

You know, usually I’m not fond of fics in which the DBSK members don’t play their own roles... because the characters could be anyone. But your fics are different :D I loved them even if Yunho and Changmin were not Yunho and Changmin from DBSK most of the time.

If I had to choose my 3 favorites I would say “Strangers in Paradise” (I loved this one soooo much ^^ the evolution of Homin’s relationship was perfect <3), “Executive Toy” (most arousing fic I’ve ever read !! >.<), and “Come Fly With Me”, or maybe “Break Me Down”, or “0-60 in 3.5” + “Driving With The Brakes On”… Ahhhh I don’t know !! They are all awesome ! :D

Well, maybe I should stop here ^^’

I’ve just read what I wrote and I feel that I didn’t manage to say half of the things I wanted to say… -_-
Anyway, what I really want to say to you is THANK YOU !!! I hope you’ll keep writing awesome fics and I promise I’ll try to comment them :)

Fighting ! ^^

PS : Just one little remark. In “Perfect Fit”, at the end, you wrote that Isabelle de la Tour described Changmin as a stylist ‘par excellence et san pareil’. Just add an –s at ‘san’ (So actually it’s ‘sans pareil’) and it will be perfect French ^^

Date: 2012-11-05 07:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Merci :) Thank you so much for such a kind and lovely comment :D I only noticed TVXQ about this time last year so I didn't know they were originally five and was very confused when I watched earlier MVs! I was all 'Who are these extra people?' LOL!

You can absolutely say 'share a relationship', that's right ^^ And I agree, Changmin has the most interesting personality - Yunho was my number one bias and Changmin was just this pretty accessory at first, and then I started noticing Changmin more and he's very smart and very profound for such a young guy. So sometimes I prefer Changmin to Yunho!

I'm glad my fics could help expand your vocabulary \o/ Words are such lovely things. And yes, I do quite a lot of research depending on the fic. I know about cars because I've been a F1 fan for all my life, but I knew nothing about fashion so I watched a LOT of Project Runway and read fashion magazines for those fics!

I'm happy you enjoy the AUs, too. I love writing AUs but I try to keep HoMin in character as much as possible without making them too much of a pastiche.

And thank you for saying which fics are your favourites! It's always interesting to know :D

Also! *facepalm* I'm so embarrassed I forgot the -s on 'sans' - thank you for pointing that out! My ex-boyfriend is Quebecois so he would scold me for getting that wrong! I will correct it now :)

Thank you again!

Date: 2012-11-07 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uruha-hime.livejournal.com
I love all your HoMin fics... but those small remarks about Russian girls spoiled my good impression a bit... Well, I know it's just fictional, but...still.=_= Russian girls are reading your fics too ;_; and it's like a slap to me, every time I see the mention of Russian girls. I hope you don't really think so. And I love your fics anyway :')
I'm sorry my first comment isn't as good as always I wanted it to be, but it is something I can't ignore.

Anyway, I like this story. And I know I'm going to think a lot about their complicated relationships. Thank you!
Edited Date: 2012-11-07 10:25 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-11-08 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
I'm sorry you were upset by the reference - it's mentioned in Poseidon so I was simply referencing the show.

Date: 2012-11-08 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uruha-hime.livejournal.com
Oh... Excuse me, I didn't knew about that! Now when I know I don't feel that upset by the reference)) I just don't think I'll ever want to watch Poseidon XD
I'm sorry!

Date: 2012-11-08 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
No worries - it's a very bad show anyway, I only watched it for Yunho and he's only in it for about 15 minutes, so you're not missing anything!

Date: 2012-11-08 12:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-happy-twat.livejournal.com
Omg, I didn't know you've written so many since your last post in HM_Y djfhsfhsf I hate it that I don't have time for this right now!!! ;~~~;

Will read later! ♥

Date: 2012-11-08 01:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
I don't really post on the comm any more but even so, I hope you'll enjoy catching up with whatever you missed due to my laziness ^^

Date: 2012-12-06 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shunluv.livejournal.com
love this fic so much<3
well i love all your Homin fic anyway lol, you always give them amazing character and storyline xD

so cool Han DongJoo meeting with Kang EunChul<3
really hope you would also write Momo from Fly with the Gold into one of your story someday xD
and with Yunho having new drama mean new character as well<3

this story feel so sad, it is like 2 soul who searching for their inner peace finding what they need from each other..
Dong Joo getting his self confidence and Eun Chul being showered with kindness and love^^
but im thinking when DongJoo leaving the army would be so sad with both of them separating and living different life from each other.
but at least they make a beautiful memory together^^

btw is it ok to add you as friend?
i always seem to miss all your updates and end up reading your fic later than everyone else and missing your awesome story :P
well better late than never :P
can't wait for more Homin from you in the future<3

Date: 2012-12-06 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Thank you :) Yes, they are like two souls separated, that's a really nice way to describe it ^^

I haven't seen Fly With The Gold yet, I guess I'll have to wait for the DVD to be released - though Momo's character sounds very tragic! It seems as if Yunho's new drama will be happier at least, can't wait for it :D

Yes you can add me if you want, I will be posting four fics this month - very close to finishing one, actually, I should go and write some more now ^^

Date: 2012-12-06 04:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shunluv.livejournal.com
already add you just now^^

i haven't seen the movie either lol and waiting for DVD as well hopefully not too long.
but judging from what everyone else have seen saying Momo is very tragic character:(
well very good angst fanfic material lol xD
not too sure if Yunho drama going to be happier since i heard it gonna be melodrama but well maybe Yunho character going to be happy one xD
im excited as well though worried with Yunho health since they going to be really busy next year *_*

wow four fics, can't wait for them<3
ahh sorry to bother you, please go write them now<3
fighting^^

Date: 2012-12-11 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alt-reayoon.livejournal.com
These two worlds colliding - so awesome. :) love it!

Eunchul's character was very well done here, because I think in Poseidon it was mostly glossed over. Dongjoo as well, a more in depth look over the "grumpy ex husband" one. So I enjoyed it a lot! ;)

Date: 2012-12-11 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterburn.livejournal.com
Thank you. Yeah I wish we'd had more (MUCH more) of Eunchul, he was a great character. A shame Yunho's new drama isn't going to show him as a tough guy because I really like that sort of role for him!

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