Pairing/ Characters: Yunjae
Form: Chaptered ( 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 )
Genre: AU, Fairy tale, Fantasy
Summary: Prince Jaejoong has a frozen heart from a curse when he was young, and Prince Yunho itches to explore beyond his kingdom.
Also known as the one where Jaejoong has fairies or the one where Yunho has a talking horse.
"No, you're supposed to do it like this!" His pointed to his face as his lips curved upwards, his eyes twinkling in mirth without any particular reason apart from the education of his companion.
Jaejoong pouted in disregard and Yunho made a broken noise, rising from his seat in exasperation before remembering his manners.
"No! You only do this-" he scolded before jutting his bottom lips out in imitation. "When you want something from somebody, or you're a little- just a little," he repeated for emphasis, "upset." The prince watched as the other's bottom lip protruded further in defiance. Holding onto the corner of the table as the other’s pout quivered, Yunho sank back into his chair heavily as his soul shrivelled within himself in agony. Why did he even think himself strong enough to help with the expressions Jaejoong had trouble with?
"I know! My previous tutor taught me about the pout," Jaejoong explained as he pushed his face towards his friend as if worrying that the boy had failed to notice his diligent pout. "But he failed with the smiling eyes." He singsonged as he sat back down properly with a pleased smile.
“Anyway, I pouted so that you would end the lesson,” Jaejoong confessed before immediately bursting into laughter at his companion’s shocked expression.
“There!” Yunho slammed his hand onto the table loudly as he bolted onto his feet. “You just did it! The eyes thing!” He yelled as he waved the gilded mirror excitedly at his friend whose expression had reduced to a frown as he took the mirror over.
“I don’t see it,” Jaejoong appraised his reflection as he moved his head from side-to-side before prodding the corner of his eyes.
“It’s obviously not there anymore!” Yunho reproached as he beamed at his friend. “Hurry, think of a happy thought!” He coached as Jaejoong fell back to a pout.
“Happiness is a feeling of pleasure or contentment, applicable to when you find something you thought lost,” Jaejoong repeated for the umpteenth time at his reflection as Yunho pursed him lips in worry. Listening to Jaejoong repeat the academic definition of different emotions always made him inexplicably frustrated.
“Pleasure or contentment. I just found my favourite book I thought lost,” the boy recited as he forced his lips to raise, revealing his teeth in a careful imitation of a smile.
"Now curve your eyes," Yunho instructed carefully as the other boy squinted instead under his direction. Yunho appraised his effort with a frown.
"Well, I look simply dashing," Jaejoong announced drily as he dropped the instrument onto the table with a huff.
"No, you did good,” Yunho lied easily in motivation. “Curve your eyes a little more and relax your facial muscles the next time." Yunho advised, mirroring his friend as he collapsed onto his seat in exhaustion, watching his companion walk his fingers across the table with a pout.
“Do you remember what you were thinking when you laughed just now?” Yunho asked idly as Jaejoong made his fingers jump on the polished surface.
“Your silly looking face,” Jaejoong said as he looked up from his fingers with a faint smile. “Your silly looking face was amusing and it made me very happy,” Jaejoong admitted as his fingers started to take gigantic, impossible strides on the polished surface. Eyes widening at the easy manner of the words and the openness on the other boy’s face, Yunho’s froze as heat rose on his cheeks.
“Oh, Yunho!” Jaejoong exclaimed at the climbing scarlet as he forgot his fingers immediately. “What are you embarrassed about?” The prince crowded over his companion as he placed both hands on the boy’s shoulder. “Was it my words?” He asked in worry as Yunho tried to block out the soft powdery jasmine scent of the prince while studiously avoiding his eyes.
“Yunho, you are turning redder!” The boy cried as he cupped his friend’s face in alarm as he began to pat it in attempt to relieve the symptom.
“Stop,” Yunho gasped, swatting the boy’s hands away frantically before straightening his collar with racking coughs when he finally recovered his wayward brain.
“Why were you embarrassed, Yunho,” Jaejoong pressed with a concerned pout as he continued to scrutinize his friend while the other boy sighed as he finger-combed his hair in frustration. Jaejoong’s unintentional cuteness had been a problem of late. Yunho sank further into his seat as he made a face.
“You were really adorable and it made me happy.”
“Oh, it’s one of those complex emotions again,” Jaejoong sighed as he returned to his seat. “I never quite understood those, you know.” He admitted with a grimace. “The worse was Mi Rae crying when she was happy. I simply didn’t know what to do,” he said pointedly before picking the mirror blandly.
“As usual, emotions, expressions, and matters of the heart are inexplicably complex,” he finished with a disapproving shake of his head before resuming his smile practice.
- - - - -
"Nothing has ever been more pleasurable than your miserable company in my cramped stall. I find it hard to believe that the prince does not welcome the presence of that well-perfected, sour expression." Prometheus interjected, huffing disapprovingly with a flick of his tail when he received an angry glare from his ward.
"You must have too good a life at home if you think that this-" Yunho replied, forgoing the stallion’s jab as he gestured at the wide area, "is cramped. I'll personally review the size of your stall for excesses when we return."
"Ooh, the boy's touchy..." Prometheus commented under his breath as he trotted away from the sullen company. "The maiden wouldn't accept your hand?" He began when at safe distance.
"The maidens love me!" Yunho denied sharply as Prometheus replied with a noise that sounded vaguely like an incredulous snort.
"They do!" Yunho protested as he stomped his winter boots on the wooden floor angrily. The maidens did love him! Well, perhaps not as much as they loved Jaejoong, but still...
The king had thrown another ball for the peasants in the castle the day before, and the girls had all made a mad dash for the other prince, clambering for dances which the other had complied to with the same frustratingly placating smile that had been plastered on his face for days. It wasn't even fair- he was sure that he had property over it despite how patronizing Jaejoong looked with that smile, and he didn't like how beautiful Jaejoong had looked as he spun his dizzy dance partners around.
The prince groaned into his hands as the violent urge to wrench every single insulting hand off Jaejoong's shoulder surfaced once more even as he relived the memory of the ball.
‘Jaejoong’s mine!’ he wanted to scream at into the face of every greedy individual who merely saw Jaejoong as an estate to conquer, before dragging the boy back to his room and making the other sing to his awful harp-playing.
He had asked Jaejoong in between the music about the balls in his kingdom, and the other had shared with an unnecessary pout that his condition would be reversed if he found somebody whose love could thaw his heart.
Maybe Yunho was selfish, but he never understood Jaejoong’s desperation. He enjoyed the deep camaraderie he had forged with the prince, and he particularly enjoyed the other’s untarnished innocence, the headstrong impulsiveness and the earnest, bumbling apologies that inexplicably flustered him. Maybe Jaejoong’s responses with his condition was but an amalgamation of the teachings he had internalized, but the personality was all him anyway and Yunho enjoyed the entirety of the boy’s temperament, even when the boy was being prickly and uncooperative. Besides, Jaejoong’s flashes of emotions had been increasing anyway, which surely meant that his condition was improving with age.
Nonetheless, the overall combination was still perfectly endearing and the prince had therefore, absolutely no fault that he could pinpoint. As Yunho searched for the right words to convey his opinion, a blushing commoner had interrupted shyly for a dance with his prince, ruining his opportunity to affirm the boy.
The consequential frustration at the failure to defend the boy from himself piled dangerously with his separation anxiety after being attached to the boy for close to a month, souring his mood horribly as he glowered at the partygoers, his temper aggravating further when the audience insulted his dance skills by making a wide berth around him. The night before had been absolutely terrible, and Yunho was still stewing in the wake of the utter fiasco.
Prometheus sighed unhappily as he looked at his ward, possibly frowning if he had the capacity to. "What's on your mind, my boy?" He asked as the prince looked up despondently from his fingers with a furious pout.
"Everything! There’s yet another ball for nobles and Jaejoong seems so happy about it and I’ve been in a rut recently and I don’t know how to respond without ruining his good mood and I wish that he wasn’t getting better and it makes me such a selfish person and I want to- " he flopped backwards onto the pile of hay with world-weary groan before throwing a tantrum as he trashed wildly in frustration on the prickly surface.
He didn't even know how to explain it fully. Everything had gone south after the smiling lesson, his body freezing whenever Jaejoong brightened at the sight of him or his temper rising incomprehensibly when Jaejoong's newest compositions began to sound happy as the balls neared, in contrast to his previous showy, emotionless pieces. The omnipresent frustration and self-censoring was taking its toll on his physical and mental health and he often had the urge to hold the other's hand about the palace (even during the ball) to make sure that Jaejoong wouldn’t become somebody unrecognisable the moment he took his eyes off, while simultaneously wanting to keep the boy miles away from him to contain the capriciousness within himself that Jaejoong seemed so capable of drawing out and agitating. It was simply driving him crazy.
"You know the reason for the balls, right?"
Yunho nodded mutely. And the reason behind them irritated him infinitely.
"Do you think Jaejoong is still affected by the curse? Has he been showing evidences of comprehending emotions recently?"
Yunho wanted to interject that he never really knew whether the emotions were real in the first place. Jaejoong had years of training after all, but yes, Jaejoong would smile- Yunho paused as he remembered the hurt in Jaejoong's eyes when he had snapped at the other to stop repeating that he was 'so happy' because he wasn't, because he did not comprehend emotions.
Jaejoong had turned to look at him, the shine in his eyes plummeting to the muted lustre of surprised hurt as his laughing mouth met in a downturned sorrow, his hands falling to his sides.
Yunho had realised belatedly in that instant with Jaejoong’s sorrow that the boy had been truly happy but before he could apologize, Jaejoong had done the same with a pout, leaving Yunho to suffocate in his guilt and self-disgust.
"He has," Yunho affirmed, simultaneously surprising himself with the steely conviction in his voice. He had never seen transitioning between two genuine emotions before.
Prometheus’ neck jerked sharply at the information. "Well, there is only one way to truly find out..." Prometheus mulled as Yunho sat up noisily from the haystack. "What is it?" He asked hungrily as his breath shortened in expectation.
"The prince’s blood runs blue due to the curse," the stallion revealed as Yunho gasped softly in disbelief. "If the curse has been undone, his blood will revert to its original red."
"So I have to slit him?" Yunho exclaimed with his eyes blown wide in shock.
"No, you-" Prometheus yelled, only to be interrupted. "Goodness! I've never once thought of that! You're a genius, sweetheart!" Yunho yelled as his eyes darted about the ceiling while he formulated his plan. The stallion opened his mouth, but was silenced by an impatient finger. "I've got it, Prometheus. Thank you so much!" Yunho scrambled to his feet as he pat himself down impatiently.
Blowing a kiss at his guardian before running out of the stall, the prince was a frightful sight with hay clinging messily onto his striking form while the stallion sighed heavily to himself.
"Wouldn't you like to watch him slit the prince's wrist?" The black stallion in the neighbouring stall asked in vindictive amusement.
"At this rate, the only thing the fool would slit is your prince's neck," Prometheus flicked his tail helplessly as he chewed on the scattered hay in frustration.
"My prince now, is he?" Eron laughed as he watched his counterpart continue to munch the hay calmly without reply. "Stop making it look delicious!" He hissed in disgust, continuing to protest from over the stall as the other ignored his complains.
A burst of light sudden filled the stable as a crimson lady took the place of the handsome stallion. "Stop it now!" She cried as she banged out of her stall to wrangle the hay out of the other horse's mouth in fury. Falling on her bottom when the horse released the slobbery stalk from his jaw unaffectedly, she sputtered at the brush of its tail on her face.
Scrambling to stand when the horse trotted towards the trough, the crimson lady screeched in horror when her companion began to drink.
- - - - -
A/N: For lindabelinda99, argh. stillsawake ugh.
For shinchul303, dreamer_kklg, kattan69, hitomi2oo7, hyunnyb, thank you for even playing with me.
Mistakes mine, I don't even know how the story ends. Comment if you idk