word count: ~8,100
In which Jonghyun has some deepset depressive/arsonist tendencies; when he, along with his friend Taemin, are caught in a delinquent act, he is forced to attend psychiatric sessions. In the process, he discovers something very unsettling.
A/N: Auction-winner-fic #2 written for the REPLAY4JAPAN fundraiser. This is written based on a prompt I was given, so it's pretty specific, and also a crazy-long oneshot! Don't read this if you're expecting something really romantic because it isn't... While I was writing it, it reminded me a bit of The Club, my previous fic- but they are quite different, I assure you :)
When Jonghyun’s angry, he likes to set things on fire. He reckons that’s the reason he has to sit in so many principal offices while they shout angrily on the phone with his parents about burnt tables, chairs, school photos, and the occasional article of clothing- still attached to the person.
He’s a bit of a delinquent, he knows, but at twenty (he failed three years), he knows he doesn’t really give a shit about high school. In fact, he knows there’s very little in life he does give a shit about. Maybe his bass, his CDs, various other little material things, oh, and occasionally his family.
He cares about Taemin, too, and it doesn’t make sense to most people because he’s so young and innocent, and he has that sort of smile that’s reminiscent of a young school-boy on his lunch break. Jonghyun doesn’t care though, and neither does Taemin because he’s still hanging out with him when he full well knows Jonghyun is a lost cause in terms of futures.
What most people don’t know is that Taemin loves watching Jonghyun do these acts of vandalism, and in fact, was the one who had initially introduced him to how fun burning things was when he killed an entire family of ants outside of Jonghyun’s apartment complex when they were six and nine. Jonghyun laughed and took the magnifying glass. “But it’s kind of sad isn’t it?”
Taemin had shrugged. “It’s fun.”
He was right.
He reckons Taemin would do it himself, but he has too much of a spotless reputation to uphold. Which makes sense.
Now he’s standing outside of a trashcan near the side of the road, holding a lit match, chewing the sides of his lips nonchalantly as he watches the orange flame burn against the little stick. Orange, yellow, orange, yellow, white: it’s hypnotic, and Jonghyun stares for a few moments; the only light in the world for blocks is this little flame possessed in his hand right now. He’s discovered light!
He grins and tosses the match against the trashcan, watching it fizzle and burn against the empty pop bottle and failed papers and Valentine’s letter or whatnot that riddle the inside of the trashcan. As it burns, he likes it, everything about it; the sound, the smells emitted from the flames, the way the smoke burns his nostrils. Hell, this is the closest he’s come to crying in years.
Taemin shows up, finally, jogging up to him with his hands stuffed into his pockets. “Hey,” he says, smiling.
Jonghyun is still transfixed so he doesn’t look over, just nods slowly, watching the growing flames. “Hey. How was cello class?”
Taemin is looking down at his cellphone screen, shrugging, mumbling about how it was okay and how the teacher had really nice boobs and he couldn’t stop staring when she bent over to fix his strings, but Jonghyun’s so condensed into his own world by this point that he doesn’t hear a thing, just white noise surrounding the roar of fire.
He’s so engulfed, that he doesn’t hear Taemin suddenly yelling for him to run, and by the time Taemin’s grabbed his arm to get his attention, he sees the sirens closing in. Now he’s fucked.
Jonghyun sits in the white office, staring at the photos of various famous psychiatrists on the walls. ‘Norbert Norberts’- why would you give someone two first names? He scoffs and turns his head to the table, looking at the pendulum, leaning in and flicking the side of one of the metal balls, watching it sway from side to side. He burps and leans back into his prior state, turning over to the small mirror and fixing his hair. Regardless of his life failures, he was still sexy, at least he had that, right?
His eyes travel around the room; there’s a leather couch behind him, the ones like you’d see in movies where Freud-like psychiatrists sit with a pipe, asking patients how they feel about everything they feel about.
The room is immaculately clean, and even the tissue sticking from the tissue box looks perfect in its papery goodness, and Jonghyun’s pretty sure the box is full. So people don’t tend to cry in here. Unless they cry so much that the shrink is forced to change boxes very quickly, and this could be a new one.
Before Jonghyun can start thinking about another ridiculous thing, the doorknob turns and clicks open, entering what looks like a young, tall, incredibly handsome man holding a clipboard. He’s dressed in a black sweater vest, with a black dress-shirt underneath, his long legs concealed by black fitted pants. His hair is styled to the last strand, and his long fingers flick open the clipboard as his dark, heavy browed eyes skim through the papers.
Jonghyun feels a little emasculated.
Finally, the tall bloke looks down at Jonghyun sitting in the chair and smiles kindly. “You must be Kim Jonghyun. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he extends his large hand and Jonghyun stares at it for a moment before he reaches out his own to have it gripped in an incredibly firm handshake. “I’m Dr. Choi, but you can call me Minho. I’m a training psychiatrist and I’ll try to do my very best and help you with whatever it is you’re going through.”
Jonghyun feels like his lines have been rehearsed. He smiles slightly and nods in response.
The tall guy smiles back and breathes out, making little noises with his mouth as he sits down in his black leather swivel-chair and flips through the clipboard, “So I went through your files,” he says, prolonging the word ‘files’ in a way that peeves Jonghyun, “and looks like you’re a bit of an arsonist. Would I be correct to say you have urges to set things on fire?”
“I guess so.”
“What kind of things do you enjoy setting fire to?” he asks, taking out a black shining pen and beginning to write on a pristine sheet of bone-white paper.
“Uh, trashcans, little wooden-structures, paper...”
Minho makes little ‘mhm’ noises after everything Jonghyun says, and he’s forced to pause slightly, listening to the sounds of scratching pen on paper; it’s pretty annoying.
You, if you say ‘mhm’ one more time.
Minho finishes up writing the last thing and looks up, putting the pen down and leaning back in his chair, smiling. Jonghyun doesn’t really know what to do so he smiles back, his hands are folded in his lap and he feels like he’s in some kind of audition to play a serial-killer in a movie.
Minho extends his arm over to the left side of the room where a coffee machine sits. “Help yourself to coffee, tea, water, anything you’d like before we continue.”
“No, thanks. I’m good.”
“Excellent,” Minho clasps his hands together and leans in. “So can you start by telling me a little about your past.”
Jonghyun shrugs, looking at the ugly carpeting. “I have a pretty boring life. I suck at most things."
“So you consider yourself pretty useless, then.”
“Uh, yeah I guess I do.”
Minho nods and looks over at the box of tissues as if Jonghyun might need one soon. “So you don’t think you’re good at anything.”
“Not really, no.”
“Not really, or no? Is it something that changes with the things going on in your life?”
Jonghyun pauses. “Uh, I don’t really know.”
“Do you feel like you’re good at setting things on fire?”
“Are you being sarcastic?”
Minho smiles. “That would be very rude.”
“That doesn’t really answer my question,” Jonghyun tests, feeling the side of his mouth twitch.
“Why don’t I ask the questions here, you haven’t answered a single one appropriately so far except for when I asked if you’d like coffee,” Minho continues calmly, reaching over to put on his glasses. “So let’s try another question, it might be easier for you: do you find yourself getting angry more often than not?”
Jonghyun raises a hand to his head. “I don’t kn- I’m usually pretty calm.”
“Why do you burn things then?”
“I don’t kn-“ he looks over at Minho who’s watching him over the lenses of his stupidly fashionable glasses, waiting for him to finish the sentence so he can call him out again. “Because I like the way things look when they’re on fire.”
“Do you find that it calms you when you’re agitated?”
“So you’re agitated when you burn things?”
“No,” Jonghyun says quickly, leaning forward a bit in his chair and licking his lips. “Not really.”
“Do things agitate you often?”
“Are you agitated right now?”
Minho nods and begins to write more things into his prestigious notebook and Jonghyun is grinding his teeth so hard he feels his enamel failing. “Are we done?”
Minho looks up, surprised. “I don’t know what would give you that impression.”
“I think I need a break,” Jonghyun says, beginning to stand up.
Minho sighs and leans back in his chair, taking off his glasses. “Do you find yourself having commitment issues?”
Jonghyun walks over to the coffee machine and takes a cup in his shaking hand. “Yeah,” he realizes Minho isn’t someone who’s willing to take breaks.
“Are you sexually active?”
Jonghyun looks over at him, his eyes bulging out of his head. He holds the coffee cup against his stomach contemplating how that question is relevant to anything that’s being discussed. “Not at the moment, no. Sorry, but what the fuck does that have to do with all of this?” he asks, waving his hand around the office to signify ‘this’.
Minho smiles again and Jonghyun is about to throw the coffee cup over his shoulder and crawl across the table to wrap his hands around his throat-
“You seem like someone who has no direction in anything, even relationships."
-and then set his office on fire.
“I also believe that you’re probably more likely to have physical encounters with people than emotional ones.”
Jonghyun walks back to his chair and sits down, bringing the coffee cup up to his lips. “Go on.”
“Tell me about your friend,” he looks down at the paper, “Lee Taemin.”
Jonghyun frowns, scratching his knee. “Uh, he’s a really nice kid, I’ve known him since I was young.”
Minho folds his hands on the table looked straight at Jonghyun. “Have you been having these problems since before you met him?”
Jonghyun thinks for a moment. “No, actually,” he starts slowly and when Minho begins to write, he panics. “But he’s not, like, responsible for this or anything, I just fucked myself over.”
“I don’t know I can’t-” he pauses and Minho expression takes another calm look bordering on ‘going to be slightly annoyed soon’. “I was pretty lonely as a kid, and Taemin was the only person that would talk to me, and I don’t know, I kind of stuck to him.”
Minho nods then closes his notebook. “Okay, well that’s all for today then, I’ll have to look over this information.“
Jonghyun is already standing up and ready to go before Minho stops him by putting a firm hand on his shoulder. “Can you call in Taemin please? He’s waiting outside.”
Jonghyun looks over at him, confused. “Wait, why do you need to talk to him?”
Minho leads him to the door and opens it, looking down at him as he is quite a bit taller. “Well, he was with you when the police came, wasn’t he? I’m supposed to talk to you both.”
Jonghyun feels a guilt sinking into his stomach as he walks out of the door, looking back at Minho who smiles and waves his hand while it closes. “Until next week.”
Click. He stares at the closed the door then turns his head towards the hallway. Taemin is sitting on the bench listening to his mp3 player, swinging his feet, staring blankly at the opposite wall. When he notices Jonghyun walking up to him he reaches up and takes out an earphone. “Hey!” he swings off the bench and jogs up to him, smiling. “What happened? Is it my turn yet?”
“Listen, Taemin,” Jonghyun starts, looking at the cheerful boy. “I’m really, really sorry that you’d have to experience this. It’s all my fault.”
Taemin laughs and punches his shoulder. “Shut up, it’s not your fault, I stick around all the time. I’ll talk to you after okay?”
Jonghyun stops him. “Wait, can I listen to your mp3 while I wait for you?”
Taemin pauses, looking at him, then looks down at his mp3. “Good luck, the battery just died,” he says, laughing and handing it to him.
Jonghyun watches him leave and he sighs, feeling the guilt rise again. Minho was right, he did suck at everything, even being a friend.
The next few sessions pass without any interesting developments. Minho asks continuous questions about his life, writing things down now and then. Jonghyun sits in the chair and blabs for hours.
One thing Jonghyun did notice, however, was the sudden amount of sexual tension within the room every time the two of them talked. Jonghyun is sure Minho stares at him longer than he’s supposed to, and Jonghyun’s fascination doesn’t seem to end with the outside of Minho’s fashionable pants.
It’s something they don’t discuss of course, because it just seems to be there, floating in the room like an allergen. But Jonghyun is sure the both of them are aware of its presence. Either way, Jonghyun knows his physical attraction to the shrink disappears the moment he begins asking him questions. No matter how nice his ass looks in those navy jeans.
While Jonghyun sits in Taemin’s room, attempting to do his homework, he suddenly flings his pen across the room. “You know who’s fucking annoying?”
“You know who I want to beat the shit out of?”
“Who?!” Taemin asks excitedly, putting his book down onto his lap.
“Dr. Choi Minho,” Jonghyun says between his teeth.
Taemin laughs. “Really?” he closes his textbook and starts to chew on the side of his nail. “I found him annoying too.”
Jonghyun rubs his palms against his eyes. “I feel like he’s trying to embarrass me on purpose.”
“Yeah, he said something about you being a failure,” Taemin adds, his finger still up to his mouth.
“Wait, what?” Jonghyun says, sitting up straight and looking at him. “He said that about me?!”
Taemin nods, then looks worried. “Shit, I’m not supposed to talk about what was said in the room or something, right?”
Jonghyun looks furious at this point. “Isn’t he, like, not allowed to say stuff to other patients?”
Taemin shrugs. “Maybe he was trying to get me angry to see what I’d do. They always have a plan,” he says sticking his tongue out of the corner of his mouth.
Jonghyun stands up and grabs a cigarette from his bag. “Whatever, I just want this to be over,” he says, lighting it and taking a long drag.
Taemin watches him, then his eyes light up and he sits cross-legged on his bed. “Maybe we should mess with him.”
Jonghyun raises an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”
“Like,” Taemin thinks for a moment. “We’ll just lie to him about everything, just for fun.”
Jonghyun exhales and nods slowly. “Won’t he find out?”
“So? He’ll never know for sure, he’ll just know we’re messing with him but won’t be able to figure out the truth,” Taemin adds, giggling under his breath and rolling onto his back. “He’s a trainee anyway, he doesn’t know shit!”
Jonghyun smiles. “I like the way you think.”
Jonghyun sits on the couch this time, staring at his watch. He smiles up at Minho when he walks in, wearing a grey sweater with the white collar of a dress shirt poking out from the top. His glasses rest on the tip of his nose as he smiles back and closes door, walking past Jonghyun and sitting on his chair, exhaling loudly. The smell of expensive cologne lingers on the air and Jonghyun almost asks him what type it is but realizes he fucking hates him and decides not to.
He watches the way the muscles in the shrink’s neck stretch as he leans his head from side to side to relieve tension in his shoulders.
“So, how are you feeling today?” Minho asks, taking off his glasses and rubbing out the small marks on the sides of his long sharp nose.
“I’m great, how are you?” Jonghyun says, beginning to lie already.
“I’m great too,” Minho says looking down at his papers. “Today I want to talk about your school. Do you enjoy it there?”
“I like it, I love to learn about things.” Easy.
Minho nods and writes on his paper. “And your teachers?”
Jonghyun feels the vein in his neck begin to throb but he continues on. “They’re nice, they let me do my thing. They’re understanding of what I’m going through.”
“That’s good,” Minho says, stopping his writing. “Do you get into a lot of fights at school?”
“No, I’m generally pretty quiet,” he says, smiling. “I get along with most people.”
Minho nods slowly, looking at him but not raising his hand to write anything. “One more question, Jonghyun.”
“Do I look like a fucking idiot to you?”
Jonghyun leans back. “Hm, I might have to think about this one for a bit longer.”
Minho, for the first time since they began to talk, exhibits what looks like a flash of anger across his eyes. “You do realize I want to help you, right?”
Jonghyun scoffs. “Wouldn’t it be detrimental to your cause, then, to tell my friend that you think I’m a failure.”
Minho opens his mouth to say something, then considers otherwise and leans back in his chair, his eyes traveling to his desk as though he were deep in thought, his eyebrows coming together.
“Well? Do you have nothing to say for yourself?” Jonghyun asks the now silent Minho, feeling his manhood inflating in the presence of the now quiet giant.
Minho looks up. “I think he may have interpreted my words incorrectly. I understand you two are friends who look out for each other, I don’t find it common practice to abuse the privacy of my patients in order to turn them against each other.”
Jonghyun taps his foot impatiently. “Whatever, are we over?”
“We barely started,” he presses, flashing him the first ‘Minho smile’ of the day and Jonghyun can feel the bile rising in his throat.
Minho flips through his papers for a few seconds in silence before spinning his chair to the left and standing up, beginning to pace around the office. “I have a bit of an analysis prepared, and I’d appreciate if you could listen and tell me if I’m completely off mark.”
Jonghyun shrugs. “I don’t have a choice, so go ahead.”
“You have a case of chronic depression, and this depression leads to anti-social behavior. This behavior began at a young age, and although it is not an innate problem,” he continues, looking at him, “for you...it is something that crystallized with your growth and now tends to control your life. In order to deal with your feelings of hatred you believe to have for humanity, you burn things because you believe they hold no substance to the reality of the world we live in. They’re just things.”
Jonghyun stares at him, listening intently, not speaking a word.
Minho pauses and when Jonghyun doesn’t say anything, he asks. “Do I have permission to continue?”
Jonghyun mouths a ‘yes’ and Minho nods in thanks before continuing: “At the same time, you’re not exactly sure why you do it. You feel like you have to. I believe you’re weak, and you’re easy to manipulate, and you can’t control your own urges so you have a deep reliance on the opinion of others, though you make it seem as though you don’t. Your own physical appearance is the only good thing you believe you have going for you, and you use this trait to the best of your ability, having frequent liaisons with individuals with no chance of following up. You want to feel loved and you want to belong but you don’t know how and it’s hurting you, making you more vulnerable, making your depression deeper and your reigns around your own actions deteriorated.”
Jonghyun is shaking at this point, staring at the ground. He feels tears in his eyes but he doesn’t want to cry, not in front of this guy. His hands are picking at the plastic of the chair, which he realizes is the only imperfect object in the room, with the nail marks of numerous other patients carved into its arms: he thinks maybe the chair wasn’t replaced intentionally, so when the patient has an epiphany he/she can realize how right the psychiatrist really is.
“Is that all?” Jonghyun finally asks throatily, his eyes still fixed on the carpet.
Minho walks up to him and leans against the table. “That’s all.”
“So I’m crazy.”
Minho shakes his head. “No. I don’t believe you’re crazy at all, Jonghyun. I think you’re very sane.”
Jonghyun looks up at him. “You just read me what seems like the most depressing story about the most depressing person on earth and you’re telling me you think I’m sane?
“Depression doesn’t make you ‘crazy’,” Minho eases, smiling handsomely, “In fact, being able to experience a thing like depression means you’re an emotionally capable person, you just don’t know how to deal with your sadness or rage.”
“So what now?” Jonghyun asks, looking at the table. “What am I supposed to do?”
“I’ve written you a plan of the things I want you to think about,” Minho speaks then reaches behind him to take a thin folder, handing it over Jonghyun who stands up and begins to leaf through the pages within it.
“During our next session, we’ll talk more about them,” he says as he helps Jonghyun towards the door, but Jonghyun stops near the exit, looking over to him and holding up a small post-it he found stuck to one of the papers.
“Is this a phone number?”
Minho crosses his arms and looks at him calmly. “Yes it is.”
“Is this,” Jonghyun starts again, “your phone number?”
“You think I’m attractive, and you’re trying to convince yourself that you hate me but you don’t. In fact, you kind of like me. I think you’re attractive too, and not as dense as I was close to concluding during our first session,” Minho continues, fixing the ends of his sweater, “And I’d like to get to know you out of the office, so to speak.”
Jonghyun stares at him, not knowing whether to be offended, or touched, or horny, or a mixture of all three. So he decides to be completely indifferent. Nodding, he puts the paper in his pocket and turns back towards the door. “Wait, isn’t this, I don’t know, against the rules for psychiatrists?”
“Oh,” Jonghyun says, turning the handle. “Okay, so I’ll see you later I guess.”
Taemin is waiting for him in the hall as usual afterwards, and he gets up, smiling. When he notices Jonghyun looks a little distraught his smile quickly fades. “Are you okay? What happened in there?” he asks, putting his hand on Jonghyun’s arm.
“Everything’s cool, I’ll see you after your session,” Jonghyun decides not to tell Taemin about what happened, well, at least the last part of what happened. The part with his psychiatrist giving his number and telling him that he found him sexually appealing and how Jonghyun was totally okay with it.
Minho opens door before Taemin can respond and ushers him inside, smiling. Taemin raises a hand and waves at Jonghyun before the door closes.
Jonghyun throws himself onto the bench, lying down, holding the clipboard of papers against his chest, ignoring the stares from the nurses tutting and forming negative opinions about his public actions. What’s wrong with lying on a bench? And why are people so uptight about shit like that?
He reaches inside the clipboard and pulls out a random paper.
Try to explore the fields of different people, observe their behaviors and see if you can relate to any of them. People may seem cold and distant, but once you engage in conversation with them, they could prove you wrong.
Jonghyun scoffs, skimming down further. Happy, daffy, bullshit.
-almond-shaped groups of nuclei located deep within the medial temporal lobes of the brain in complex vertebrates, including humans. Shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing and memory of emotional reactions, the amygdalae are considered part of the limbic system.
Jonghyun closes the binder and puts it to his side, putting his hands up to his eyes and rubbing. For some reason he can’t stop thinking about that stupid doctor.
Jonghyun wakes up later that evening after spending a few hours ‘studying’ at Taemin’s, he looks around groggily; Taemin is eating chips and watching cars explode on the TV on the couch next to him.
“What’s up,” he says, his eyes still glued to the screen.
“Did you get a clipboard full of stuff too? From the shrink?” Jonghyun asks, his face stuck in the pillows on the couch which spritzed with Taemin’s obsessive-compulsive mother’s favorite perfume. He sneezes.
Taemin shakes his head. “Nope. I can’t stand him, he thinks he’s so smart.”
Jonghyun looks up. “I know. I think he needs a shrink for himself.”
Taemin laughs and throws the remote on the table, scratching the side of his light brown hair. “He keeps asking me about you. Maybe he likes you,” he nudges him.
Jonghyun sits up suddenly. “Really? Did he tell you he likes me?”
Taemin’s eyes go wide and Jonghyun looks down at his lap. “Look, it’s weird, he gave me his number and pretty much told me that I think he’s attractive,” he says, confusing himself with the amount of words he stressed in that last chunk.
Jonghyun shrugs. “I don’t know, I haven’t talked to him outside of the office, but yeah I guess he’s attractive to look at.” This was a large understatement on Jonghyun's part, but he didn't want to sound too eager.
Taemin looks worried. “That sounds kind of weird, is that allowed?”
Jonghyun glances over at his phone on the table. “Actually, it doesn’t end there,” he hesitates, “He gave me his number.”
Taemin throws himself back against the couch and laughs loudly, his face turning towards the ceiling.
“What? Shut up, stop it,” Jonghyun barks, kicking the younger boy’s shin.
The atmosphere in Taemin’s house is suddenly turning into something out of a trial and Jonghyun is feeling a bit victimized. “What’s so funny.”
Taemin leans in closer to him. “Are you serious? You could get him arrested for that. That’s like, harassment!”
“Not really,” Jonghyun says, turning the word ‘harassment’ over in his head as visions of guilty people being slammed against cop-cars and handcuffed pass before his eyes.
“Well, you should be careful, the guy might be a rapist or something,” Taemin says, popping another chip in his mouth.
“I’ll be fine, thanks, don’t worry,” Jonghyun says before standing up and yawning loudly. He grabs his phone from the table and starts out the living room.
“Your folders and stuff are on the table in front of the door, by the way,” Taemin’s voice calls from the living room and Jonghyun pauses, grabbing them from the table and shoving them into his bag.
He remembers something suddenly and stops. “I forgot to give you your mp3 back, what should I do with it?” he shouts down towards the living room.
“Just put it in my room!”
He steps into his room quickly, shoving his hand into his pocket to pull out the device. He spots Taemin’s messenger bag on the ground, a large blue folder sticking out of it with ‘Lee Taemin’ written across it in Minho’s handwriting.
Jonghyun frowns and looks behind him towards the doorway. He hears the TV playing from the living room.
He crouches down, inserting a finger between the pages of the book and slightly pushing it open.
Lee: Jonghyun’s my friend, and I’m not about to tell you things about him like that. [pause] You’re supposed to ask questions about me right? Why are you asking me about his personal life?
Choi: [inaudible] help him with what he’s going through, these questions are applicable to-
He swallows and flips a few more pages into the transcript.
Choi: He’s my first priority right now. [pause] You can understand why I want to help him.
Lee: You sound like you have some other kind of agenda, and it’s-
“What are you doing?”
He leaps up, holding the mp3 player. “Just putting this in your room,” he says, quickly, turning to see Taemin standing against the door, chewing on a banana.
“Did you manage to charge that thing?” Taemin says, jumping onto his bed.
“Uh, yeah you just connect to your computer. I gotta go now, I’ll talk to tomorrow or something,” Jonghyun responds, putting the mp3 player on the TV and leaving Taemin’s room.
Taemin watches him leave.
“What the fuck have you been telling my friend?”
“I’m sorry, who is this?”
Jonghyun holds the phone closer to his mouth as he steps through the puddles on his way to his house. “I said what the fuck have you been telling my friend about me?”
The other line is quiet for a bit and he hears slight breathing. “I don’t know what you saw, Jonghyun, but I can’t discuss priva-“
“Fuck the rules, you broke them yourself by giving me your number, you creep!” Jonghyun shouts, and a few people on the sidewalk snap their view to him before quickly looking away. They think he’s fucking crazy, he reckons.
Minho’s voice sounds tired. “Can I meet you now? Where are you?”
Jonghyun looks up at the store name, blinking through the rain. “Coffee Plus, in Yongsan-gu.”
“I’ll be there in five minutes. Wait for me.”
The line goes dead before Jonghyun can answer and he stands huddled outside the store window. It’s cold but he doesn’t mind, his head is spinning.
A few minutes later a black Mercedes pulls up in front of him and the door opens. “Get in.”
Jonghyun realizes this could be the set up to something dangerous, but he honestly doesn’t care at this point. If he gets raped and dumped in a ditch by some homosexual crazy gang-banger disguised as a psychiatrist, no one would miss him.
Minho looks as handsome as ever, his eyes on the road, wearing a black dress shirt and dark blue jeans, the long fingers of one hand wrapped around the steering wheel, his rings gleaming in the light passing through the windows. It nearly gives Jonghyun boner but he quickly realizes why he’s in his car in the first place.
Minho reaches down with his other hand and takes out a handkerchief, holding it out for Jonghyun who snatches it from him. “You’re soaking. Don’t you have an umbrella?”
“I forgot it.”
When they get to what looks like a large and beautifully painted house, Minho stops the car. “This is my house, let’s go inside.”
Jonghyun rolls his eyes. “Look, I’m pretty tough, I work out. I’m sure you could take me but I’d probably break a few of your essential bones in the process and you could be stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of your life.”
Minho looks at him, his eyes stormy, his mouth pressed tight into an irritated line. “I’m not going to rape you, Jonghyun, now can you please get out of this fucking car?”
Jonghyun steps out and shakes his head, sending droplets of water flying in all directions, then begins to follow Minho up to the inside of his house.
When he’s on the couch with a cup of tea, Minho sits down in front of him. “Did I bother you by giving you my number the other day?” he asks, glancing at the water droplets still clinging to Jonghyun's chest, resisting the urge to leap forward and lick them off.
“No, not really,” Jonghyun says, taking a sip.
“Good,” Minho says, rubbing the side of his temple with his left hand. “Now tell me what you’re talking about.”
Jonghyun puts the cup down on the glass table and crosses his arms. “I saw some ‘audio transcripts’ of your talks with Taemin. Why are you asking him about my life?”
Minho looks at him as though he’s insane, and for the first time he actually feels like it. “Is this really why you decided to call me and scream?”
“I told you that I didn’t want Taemin to get involved in this and now you’re using him to ask about my personal life?”
Minho shakes his head slowly. “This is all relevant to what you’re going through. Like I said before, I understand that you and your friend want to protect each other, but I’m telling you the motives behind the mission are pure,” he says softly, his icy strategic office-get-up much more relaxed now that he is within his own home. “Well, my motives are, at least.”
“So what’s this stuff about you thinking I’m attractive and giving me your number and shit?” Jonghyun asks, frustrated by this point to be running in circles for god knows how long.
Minho smiles. “I was being sincere, and I still am, “ he says, leaning back against the couch and rubbing the side of his eyes. His long legs are crossed, making him look like some sort of monarch, sitting atop a throne.
Jonghyun nods slowly. He looks around the room, then back at Minho, sitting elegantly on his couch. He cleared up what he was worried about, and now they were alone. Why not?
He gets up from his chair, putting down the mug and fixing the side of his hair. Minho watches him, wondering what the fuck he was planning, and when he walks over to him on the couch, he smiles. Oh.
Jonghyun forces his leg between Minho's thighs then leans into him on the couch, his arms on either side of Minho's head, fingers gripping the couch. His necklace dangles in view and Minho, making no move to touch him, watches it gleam in the light, his view then sucked into the void of Jonghyun's shirt, staring at his firm chest.
He reaches out a hand and takes the side of Jonghyun's face before lifting his own to press their lips together, softly at first, then hard, shoving his tongue inside, grabbing the back of Jonghyun's hair, pulling him in closer.
Jonghyun has one thought during this process: how did a mission to interrogate Minho for his invasive questions lead to him straddling the psychiatrist on his expensive leather couch?
And straddle him he did, Minho now on his back on the couch, his hands gripping Jonghyun's ass on his jeans, bothered by the way the fabric was reducing the amount of flesh he could grab.
Jonghyun kisses him fiercely, and the only sounds present are those of smacking lips, fabric shuffling, and the squeaking of the couch. It would have been uncomfortable if Jonghyun wasn't so horny at this point.
Minho growls and grabs the sides of Jonghyun's shirt lifting it above his head. He stares, entranced for a few moments by his tanned, toned body before reaching up to pull him down against him again. Jonghyun's getting tired of dry humping, and reaches down his unbuttoned, unzipped pants, stroking at his own throbbing cock while he makes out with the shrink.
"No, no. Let me," Minho says against his lips, using his strength to flip Jonghyun onto his back on the couch, pushing his hands away from his pants. He takes off his sweater, his pale flesh looking like that of an ideal, perfectly built Korean Fantasy Boy from those computer-games his sister played. He bites his lip, smiling as Minho shoves his hand down Jonghyun's pants and starts to work at what Jonghyun had started, the shrink's mouth pressed against his chest.
Up and down, fiercely, the sound of his hand sliding against Jonghyun's slicked cock almost makes Minho cum right then and there, but he decides this occasion will be a gift for Jonghyun, to apologize for the audio-transcripts he saw. It doesn't take long before Jonghyun is moaning and hissing, convulsing against the couch, cumming hard into Minho's hand and against his stomach.
"Sh-shit," he groans, shivering against the couch then looking worried. "Is it on the couch? Did I get it on the couch?"
Minho shakes his head, leaning back and staring at his dirtied hand. "No. I got it. It got on me."
Jonghyun breathes deeply for a few moments, his chest rising and falling. "Did you even get off?" he asks, tilting his head up from the couch and watching Minho discard the napkins he used to wipe his hands and stomach.
"No. We'll save that for next time."
Jonghyun sits up, pushing his now soft dick into his tight pants again. "Oh, so there's a next time."
"Well it's only fair. We didn't even get naked," Minho says, putting his sweater back on and watching Jonghyun struggle with his t-shirt.
He gets up finally, grabbing his jacket from the chair he had been sitting on.
“Yeah, I should get back,” he says standing up and Minho follows him to the door, leaning against the side of the wall.
“You’re really cute.”
“I’m adorable,” Jonghyun says, putting his coat on. “Don’t you think this is stupid, though? What if I filed a harassment charge.”
“You wouldn’t,” Minho says, opening the door for him, “because you think I’m adorable too. And I don't see how giving someone an amazing hand-job is anything worth filing charges against.”
Jonghyun steps outside and looks back. “I’ll see you on Monday, then.”
Minho raises his hand in goodbye.
Jonghyun has the sexiest, dirtiest wet dream that night. He is in Minho’s office, bent over his table, taking it so hard the table is shaking.
It's so good Jonghyun is 95% sure this is all actually taking place. He remembers asking during the dream if this was part of the psychiatry process, and Minho had nodded while he thrust, then pulled back Jonghyun’s hair to turn his face towards him and crush their lips together.
It was hot, to say the least, and when Jonghyun wakes up he reaches down to scratch and realizes he came into his boxer-briefs, and this is particularly gross.
When Jonghyun gets to the office that morning, he’s a little late, what with the cleaning and showering he had to do that morning, and Minho welcomes him in with a smile, wearing a red cashmere sweater and black pants.
Jonghyun walks in, trying not to make too much eye-contact, but it’s not really possible.
“You’re late,” Minho says as Jonghyun sits down.
“Yeah, sorry I had a dream last night where you were fucking me on that table over there, and when I woke up I found out I shot a huge load all over the inside of my underwear, so it took me a while to clean it up. I also masturbated again in the shower, so that took some time too because I was really feeling it.”
The office goes completely quiet for an entire twenty seconds, and Minho stares at him, his mouth slightly open. When he doesn’t respond Jonghyun gets a little excited. “Wow, you usually have something to say after everything, this is a nice surprise.”
Minho finally seems to come to his senses and he clears his throat, reaching for his papers. “Okay, well shall we get started then?”
“So you’re just going to ignore what I told you right now? Doesn’t it kind of turn you on?” Jonghyun pressures, leaning forward in his chair.
“How about we discuss this at a later time?” Minho says, pulling out a paper, “Now, I-“
There’s a knock at the door and Minho stands up; when he sees the face in the doorway he immediately looks distraught: it’s an older woman and she does not look happy. “Uh, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
Jonghyun watches him leave. He’s alone in the office again, the second time that month. He stands up, looking around the walls, and his eyes fall on a cabinet next to Minho’s desk. He peers over and out the window towards the conversation taking place behind the closed door.
Minho looks angry, pressing forward, and the lady dismissive, holding her hand up, shaking her head. He pushes his ear against the door, but can only make out slight parts.
“-you don’t have the authority to make such broad assumptions about patients that-“
“-is dangerous, and I want to help my patient.”
Jonghyun rolls his eyes and steps back from the door. Intellectuals.
He makes his way towards the cabinet and slowly turns the dial, opening it with a ‘pop’. He starts to sift through papers:
Jun Yong – Depression, not chronic
Sue Yeon – Depression, manic
Oh sweet, patients that are just as messed up as he is.
Kim Jonghyun – Depression, chronic
He takes out the binder and flips through it, smiling at Minho’s handwritten notes about how he’s lonely and how he needs to go out and play with the other children and whatnot. He puts the binder back, looking towards the door, then sifting back through the letters towards Lee for Taemin’s name. There’s nothing there.
So why does Minho insist on speaking to him?
He’s about to close the cabinet, but he sees another drawer below the one he was looking through. He opens that one instead.
Kim Kibum – Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Patient exhibits extreme sense of self-pride. Unreasonable expectation of all others. Excessive self-importance. Need for constant attention and admiration. Pursues selfish goals.
Wow, that guy sounds fucked up. He flips through to the one after.
Lee Jinki – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Patient exhibits unwelcome, unwarranted anxiety about the things he does. Obsessive traits in the way he talks, eats, reacts.
He flips to the next one then stops, his heart sinking.
Lee Taemin – Sociopathy
Patient exhibits complete lack of remorse or shame. Is absent of nervousness or signs of irrational thinking. Manic liar, with superficial charm, high intelligence. Complete lack of empathy. Extremely cunning/manipulative. Parasitic lifestyle.
Patient grew up with tendencies, manifested themselves throughout his life. Relies on the weak to build lasting friendships, cunningly dodges any accusations of his true nature. Likely to be destructive to those around him. Urged to take several brain scans and MRIs: request denied on counts of status in field of psychiatry. Subject denied entry into further institutions for monitory, on basis of irregular data. Subject may be of harm to those around him and is considered dangerous- passed all psychiatry tests with no abnormalities, sign of manipulation but once again denied admission to further more invasive tests.
A few more pages after that,
-sections of the amygdala remain dark, showing greatly reduced activity or none at all. This phenomenon, known as limbic underactivation, may indicate that some of these people lack the ability to generate the basic emotions that keep primitive killer instincts in check.
“Those are classified, Jonghyun,” Minho says, standing in the door way.
Jonghyun holds the papers in his hands, looking up towards him. “Are these...are these true?”
Minho looks towards the carpets and reaches down to wipe the side of his shoe. “Would I lie about something like that?”
Jonghyun drops the papers back into the cabinet and edges towards his chair. “I feel sick.”
“Look, I’m sure this is a lot to think about right now, and-“
“He told me to mess with you. His room. He knew I’d see that binder. He made me go there on purpose to read the audio-transcripts,” Jonghyun says, suddenly, ignoring Minho, staring straight ahead towards the window. “And my binder, he read it while I slept. He knew you gave me your number. He was trying to turn me against you when he found out you were on to him.”
Things about Taemin that had only slightly bothered him in the past were starting to take on a whole new set of descriptions. He remembers the way Taemin was sitting in the hallway, staring straight ahead, like he was hypnotized. Thinking, formulating plans.
The way he always took joy in watching Jonghyun do bad things and get into trouble, willing to be the innocent bystander but never the one doing the actions. How he had sparked Jonghyun’s lust for fire.
Minho reaches back to grab a cup the mug of water from his table, handing it to Jonghyun. “How do you feel right now.”
Jonghyun takes a sip and looks up at him. “Actually, other than the realization that I've been best friends with Hannibal Lecter for most my life, I feel pretty good.”
“Really? And why’s that?” Minho asks, taking his notepad from the table.
“Because I just realized I’ve been manipulated, and I don’t have to be anymore.”
Minho looks towards him. “You have to be careful. You have to be quiet. You can’t say things like this to him, I have to get more information about him before they let me do anything that’ll make it all come together, do you understand?”
“Is this why you wanted to hang out with me?” Jonghyun asks suddenly, looking offended. “Because you were worried he’d kill me or something?”
Minho shakes his head. “No,” he says. “You know, for someone who knows they’re attractive you sure make a scene about others thinking you are. I should add ‘paranoia’ to your file.”
“And I should add ‘pompous rich dirtbag’ to yours.”
Minho smiles. “How long are you going to try to try to convince yourself that you don’t like me?” his black hair looks almost blue under the fluorescent lighting.
Jonghyun stands up, walking towards the door. “As long as it takes.”
“Subject is delusional, on the path to dementia later on in life, with extended branches of fear induced paranoia and vulnerability to emotional bursts. Enjoys sexual events, but is afraid to experiment emotional.”
“Do me a favour and keep that shit to your binders,” Jonghyun says, holding up a hand. “So what do I do now, doc? I mean, with Taemin.”
Minho crosses his arms. “You pretend. Like he has for his entire life.”
“Okay. And when can I see you next?” Jonghyun says, looking over at him from the side of his shoulder.
“You can come tomorrow night, and we can discuss the sexual dream you had and I can tell you what it means,” Minho responds.
“Sounds like a plan,” Jonghyun says, turning the handle and being stopped by Minho’s firm hand on his shoulder.
“I don’t have a session with him tonight, so you’ll both be leaving now. This stuff I told you, you can’t tell him any of it. If you do, you’re putting yourself in danger, and possibly me,” Minho says quietly, looking deep into his eyes.
“I get it, don’t worry,” Jonghyun says shrugging his hand off. “I’ll see you later.”
When the door closes he turns and spots Taemin reading a book on the bench. Reading a book. As he walks closer he pays attention to his eyes. They aren’t moving. He’s not reading.
“Hey,” Jonghyun calls and he puts it down, looking up at him and smiling.
“Hey, how was it?” he asks, standing up.
“Boring, as usual,” Jonghyun says. “How’s your book?”
“It’s cool,” Taemin says, fastening the straps on his backpack as they walk out of the building.
“Oh yeah? What’s it about?”
Taemin looks at him, expressionless, as though he’s staring straight into his thoughts. Then he smiles. “It’s a variation of the story Of Mice and Men.”
“Do you want to read it after me?”
“I’d love to.”
A/N: Yes it's kind of open-ended...yes you all probably hate me now.
part ii- Cingulate Gyrus