Without U


Victoria was back in Beijing. Per Xiao Li's advice, she opted to rest before getting back to work. She had a fashion magazine photoshoot in 3 days' time and that wasn't getting canceled. However,  Victoria complied that she would rest at home until that. 

One night, Leo rang the doorbell to Victoria’s apartment, his concern evident in his eyes. He had missed her, and despite his own busy schedule, he found himself wanting to check on her when he learned she was back in China. After a few moments, the door opened, revealing a tired but genuine smile from Victoria.

"Hey, Leo. Come in," she said, surprise in her eyes, and ushered him into her home.

The apartment was dimly lit, reflecting the subdued atmosphere within. Leo took in the surroundings, noticing the traces of exhaustion on Victoria's face. "You don't look well. Are you okay?"

Victoria sighed, sinking onto the couch. "I've been better. It's been a rough few days."

Leo took a seat beside her, offering a comforting presence. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Back in Korea, Nichkhun decided he was done with Victoria. It was high time he moved on and so he resolved to focus instead on the rehearsals for the 2PM concert slated on the weekend of  25-26th November.

"Leo YunXi spotted  in the early hours of the morning, coming out of the apartment building of ‘idol turned actress’, Son Qian." headlined the gossip online after a couple of days. This news reached Nichkhun, who still would look at news feeds about Victoria, while he was out on an ice cream date with "Ji-Hye ^_^ yaong [meow]" and "gwiyeoun [cutie] Sun-Ah". They were the 9 and 11 year old daughters of one of the 2PM's previous codi who was like an elder sister/mother to them. The girls were close to the 2PM members like they were their own nieces.

"Samcheon, why are you sad?" Sun-Ah asked while the younger Ji-Hye was looking at her favorite 2PM samcheon, tears welling up her eyes.

That night Nichkhun turned to drinking. He was trying to drown the pangs of jealousy and betrayal that were swallowing him up.  Taecyeon who was with him in his apartment to commiserate with him only said "Tsk, tsk. I don't get you, man. Didn't you say before that you realized Victoria nuna was the only woman for you? I don't understand why instead of doing everything to pursue her -- y'know, manning up -- you decided to have a fling with Dana instead? What goes---"

"Yeah, yeah, I know. What goes around, comes around!" Nichkhun finished Taecyeon's sentence with a dejected tone. "But the woman just wouldn't let me in!” referring to Victoria. She's mercilessly cold; unfeeling like an iceberg. I didn’t think I’d ever had a chance with her, definitely not then. And I realized, not ever. I have to stop this madness!"

It was getting dark and Taecyeon had already gone home. Nichkhun, still very much in his cups, sat in his equally dark living room. He hadn't bothered to turn on the lights yet and continued to stare at his phone. Thoughts of Leo and Victoria together filled his mind and when it overflowed, overwhelming his alcohol filled system, he finally pressed that green button to call her.

Victoria on the other side was a bit hesitant, she still hurt; very much so. However, she was beginning to have second thoughts and regretted that she didn’t give Nichkhun the chance to be heard and explain. She answered the call as she wanted to hear his voice; hoping it could tide her over and keep her sane enough now that she was gonna be idle again, after having finished the fashion magazine photoshoot. But she really didn’t know what to say to him so she waited.

"Wow, it's been only a few days and you're already shagging Leo. So much for telling me you’re just friends with him. Friends with benefits–is more like it." he blurted out callously.

"And so you called just to tell me that?" Victoria’s disappointment and hurt were hidden in a voice cold and distant.

"And I hope he's good in bed!" Nichkhun retorted. That was way out of line, but getting her mad seemed better than the aloofness and distance he heard in her voice. He regretted it as soon as he said those words.

It was the final straw that made Victoria blow her fuse. "He is, don't worry." she hung up.

A couple of days passed. Nichkhun found himself in an unexpected situation, bumping into Tiffany at the JYP lobby. Both acknowledged each other’s presence and maintained a polite and friendly demeanor. Tiffany explained her presence, mentioning a collaboration project with one of Nichkhun's hoobaes.

"Sorry about the rumors," Tiffany offered, her voice tinged with a hint of regret.

Nichkhun shook his head gently, offering a reassuring smile, "It's not your fault, Tiffany. These things happen."

Their conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Nichkhun's hoobaes, who spotted the two and suggested going out for dinner that evening. Nichkhun hesitated momentarily, but seeing Tiffany's stranded situation without a rental car, he decided to offer her a ride. Tiffany accepted his offer with a grateful nod, Nichkhun didn’t care anymore if the paparazzi caught sight of them together.

Guilt started to tear into Nichkhun’s conscience right after that call with Victoria. He knew he was way out of line. He had wanted to apologize, however, instead of the press release he was waiting for from both Leo’s and Victoria’s respective management teams to deny the relationship between them, the next news he read was that Leo visited Victoria again in her apartment. That was why, the following morning while he was preparing to go to 2PM rehearsals and his phone rang with "❤️茜 내거❤️" (Qian [is] mine) flashing on the screen, he ignored it. Two more calls followed that night from Victoria. Even his other phone, the business one, rang alternately. He deliberately ignored the calls”. Why is she calling me when she’s obviously getting along well with Leo.” he muttered as he proceeded to block her number before he hit the sack that night.

Rehearsals for the 2PM concert continued and the boys were busy practicing as usual the next day. “Ya, you and Tiffany nuna are in the gossip columns again this morning. Did you sleep at her place like it said in the article?!??”

Nichkhun threw his towel at . “She didn’t have a car yet. I just gave her a ride home. Don’t you know me at all? Why would you believe those malicious gossips?”

“I just couldn’t help but wonder a bit.” Junho explained.

Chansung butted “And you both have a history, it can’t be helped. Imagine all the buzz about you Victoria nuna when you never were really an item–”

“Let’s get lunch! I’m starving!” it was Jun-K who cut Chansung out. Taecyeon and Wooyoung were quiet but their glances at Nichkhun implied they were worried that Victoria’s name was mentioned again.

During lunch, Nichkhun was in deep thought. It was true that he and Tiffany grew apart and that was why they broke up, but in addition to that–the most important reason–was that she’d always felt that his heart had been elsewhere, never with her. Even when they slept together for the first time and a few other times before they split up, while in the throes of passion, Nickhun would always call out another name. He couldn't make even the lamest excuse that it was just some random girl because Tiffany knew that name very well: Qian. 

He did the same thing with Dana. No woman deserved to be called another woman’s name when she gave herself intimately to a man and so Nichkhun couldn't really go on seeing her beyond a one-night stand. What irked him then and until now was that he was undeniably whipped by Victoria from way back then, until now. The farthest he'd gotten with her was that pathetic "poppo" from their "wedding photoshoot" all those years ago. Indeed, it had started as a bet with Wooyoung; when they learned Victoria had had a relationship in university that lasted 2 years, they thought it was a good idea to “learn from this much experienced nuna” and so Victoria would be the one to kiss him first he decided. But, in the end, that had obviously backfired and she was all he could think of from then on, especially when he was in the middle of that intimate act with someone else. As if she had branded him deep in his soul.

Nichkun’s mobile phone rang again and broke the trance he was in. It was Xiao Li’s number. He ignored it and switched off his phone instead. He was going to block her later, after he had finished his lunch. He was going to move on. He had to.

That night, he was brushing his teeth and stripped to his boxers and tee, ready to go to bed when his landline phone rang. It startled him because that thing hardly ever rang in the five years he had been staying at his place. He quickly rinsed his mouth and rushed to the receiver on the coffee table in his living room.

"Why you don't answer? Er bai wu!" he heard someone shout in a mixture of broken English and Chinese, as he picked up.

"Er bai wu…2 hundred what? Who's this?" Nichkhun asked in confusion.

"Qian call you! You no answer!" the woman furiously bellowed on the other line.

"Qian…Xiao Li?" Nichkhun was surprised. How did Victoria’s manager even get his landline number? Even he didn’t have his own landline number memorized.

"Ni zhe ge hun dan! Ni rang ta huai yun le! You go other woman!" Xiao Li was running breathless as she continued shouting and cursing at him.

"Huai yun -- what?" Nichkhun wished his Chinese was better at this point. Did something happen to Victoria; did she fall ill again?

"Huai yun: Pregnant! You make Qian-Qian pregnant! Then you go other woman! Wang ba dan!" Victoria’s manager was almost crying at the other line.

That was why Victoria was calling him and he ignored her. "!" he exclaimed at the realization.

"Shen ma!?! ? Shibal! Ni wang ba dan!" and the next he heard was the disconnection tone from the receiver. Xiao Li had hung up. Flustered, he quickly clicked redial, Xiao Li was not picking up.

He then ran to collect his cellphone and with trembling hands, took off Victoria's contact "❤️茜 내거❤️" (Qian [is] mine) from the blocked list and pushed the green button. He was almost about to bang his head on the wall after the 3rd ring, when it connected.

"Qian, I'm sorry I didn't answer your calls."

There was just silence at the other end.

"I...um...Xiao Li called..."

He waited for a couple of seconds that seemed like a lifetime and finally he heard that voice he realized he missed so much: "So she already told you about it." 

Victoria didn’t want Xiao Li to contact Nichkhun, telling her that she will call him herself. But her manager might have been alarmed when she saw Victoria so distraught after reading that Dispatch article about Nichkhun and Tiffany insinuating that the 2PM beast was spending the night at the SNSD idol. Why wouldn’t she when her charge was curled up in her bed, bawling like a grade-schooler: "He always goes back to her. He’s always belonged to her. Is it because my English is so bad?" It was so uncharacteristic of Victoria like she was out of her senses totally that must’ve made Xiao Li take matters in her own hands.

"I'll take responsibility."

"Don't bother. Just focus on taking care of Tiffany."

He realized that the paparazzi news from earlier that morning had reached Victoria. Not this again! 

"Oh of course you believe the gossip news again! You never give me the benefit of the doubt!"

"That's rich coming from you who assumed those rumors about me and Leo were true! Forget about this baby. I will do as I see fit. Just have a good life with Tiffany." 

"Don't tell me you're getting an abortion?!?" 

"You're actually asking me that question?"

"Yes or no - just answer the damn question, Qian!" Nichkhun lashed out in frustration and fear, he was haunted by the memory of that portion in My Little One that he watched where Victoria said she didn’t want to give birth because she was afraid of pain. Also, that choosing to give birth meant loving a man to the bones to be willing to go through that kind of pain. And as far as Nichkhun was concerned, he was very far from being loved by Victoria right now. 

"I’m not having this argument right now, Nichkhun-ssi." Victoria hung up.

The nerve he had to accuse her of wanting to abort the baby--her baby! Was that how he thought of her, a merciless, unfeeling woman who was capable of killing her own flesh and blood? Nichkhun tried to call her a few more times but Victoria was getting strung tight by the minute and she didn't want to get stressed again so she ignored them. At least for now because she didn’t want to have a repeat of that incident a couple of days ago: she had to be taken to the hospital after Nichkhun drunk called to accuse her of the gossip column about her and Leo.

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Sorry for the delay. I kind of am struggling how to reconcile Papa Song's objection to Nichkhun 😅 there won't be more chapters before the end now but haven't quite gotten the time to sit down and make sure loose ends are tied neatly for Papa Song + Nichkhun reconciliation.


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mayoomon #1
Continue this story, please
naranari #2
Chapter 24: Another chapter pleaseeee
lovecome96 #3
Chapter 24: Aww. This chapter is very cute and lovely. Thank you. Hope things will go well with them.
mayoomon #4
Chapter 24: So lovely chapter. Thank you.
mayoomon #5
Chapter 22: Thank you for new chapter.
mayoomon #6
Chapter 22: Thank you for new chapter.
mayoomon #7
Chapter 19: Nichkhun is getting worse but the story is more curious.
mayoomon #8
Chapter 15: Thank you for continuous update.
mayoomon #9
Hey,I enjoyed your story. Please continue.
lovecome96 #10
Chapter 6: Hi,
I really enjoy reading your fiction so please keep it up.
Hope you have a great time writing this fiction about Khuntoria. I know it’s been a while but I still love them 🥰