Jaejoong learns how to smoke, thanks to Yoochun's expert guidance.
It's one of those lonely and stressful trainee days, and he and Yoochun are hiding in the fire exit. "They won't find us here, won't they?" Jaejoong asks, timid and unsure, much unlike what he will be years from now. He shivers a little in the chilly December breeze. "Not that they can kick us out if they do, anyway, but y'know what I'm saying."
Yoochun shrugs and takes a long drag from the stick between his lips. He sucks on the stick lightly and says, "Chill. Have a cigarette."
Jaejoong takes the stick absentmindedly, and before he even knows it he's got the cigarette stuck between his lips, begging to be sucked. He takes a deep breath, then a long drag, and when he exhales it's all smoke and Yoochun.
"Feel better?" Yoochun glances at him. How Yoochun can stand leaning against the cold railing, Jaejoong will never really know. How Yoochun has just convinced him to smoke, he surely wouldn't know either.
"Yeah," Jaejoong replies, croaking a little. He coughs, then takes another drag.
It becomes a faithful habit, smoking, Yoochun. After debut, when their schedules become tighter and all the more suffocating, Jaejoong escapes through the back door of the van for a smoke. Yoochun who isn't so stealthy buys time for him, because Yunho is perpetually curious about Jaejoong's whereabouts and only Yoochun's deadpan face can stop him from wondering.
"He's out back, just practicing. You know how hard he can be on himself." Yoochun feels for the pack of cigarettes in his pocket. Jaejoong takes it as a sign of good things to come.
Yunho nods slowly after a while. "Yeah, you're right."
Yoochun is right in every possible way, Jaejoong thinks — he is just hiding behind the bushes, playing with the cigarette in his lips, hard at the thought of Yoochun joining him there in a few minutes and possibly doing more. And if Yunho doesn't pry hard enough, they can even do some groping and touching.
Jaejoong takes a deep breath, looks at the bulge in his pants and thinks, he's not even here yet.
"I see you've started." Yoochun's in front of him now, legs apart and eyes flitting from his own to his erection. "I always miss out on the good stuff."
"Shut up, Park. Start working."
Jaejoong thinks everything starts with that, or maybe that's where everything ends.
"Do you want to tell me anything?" Yunho asks one day. He scoots just beside Jaejoong, legs propped close to each other, lips drawn to a tiny upward curve. Jaejoong doesn't have to look for further clues to tell that Yunho's nervous about the entire 'confrontation'. But then it's Yunho and he's perpetually nervous about everything — his outfit for today, what Junsu can possibly be up to in the balcony, Yoochun's eating habits and Changmin smashing the console after losing to Junsu for the nth time.
"No, not at all," Jaejoong replies, straightforward and brief. He throws his head back against the headrest, letting the fatigue sink in faster than the usual. Times like these, he just wishes Yunho isn't so curious about everything. Other times, he wishes Yunho could care a little less.
"You sure? Because y'know, I'm just here if you need to talk."
Jaejoong scoffs. "You won't kill me for this?"
Yunho shrugs. "'Depends. If you smashed my Game Boy then I guess I would, especially since my Dick Tracy game is still—"
"I had sex with Yoochun," Jaejoong quickly says, effectively cutting off Yunho midway through his sentence. He figures it's better to say it like it's the most usual thing in the world than to go through long-winded sentences since this is Yunho, and Yunho likes prompt replies and direct approaches. "Well, I mean, it shouldn't be bad. Just letting you know since you're the band leader and all."
Yunho clears his throat. "There are things that I'm not supposed to know, though, like the color of the underwear you're wearing right now—"
"Green," Jaejoong says matter-of-factly. "It's green."
"Right. Um." Yunho fumbles with the hem of his shirt. "And you banging Yoochun."
"It's for the group's common good, okay; it should be of your concern!"
"And how is it for the common good?"
"He's depressed." Jaejoong pauses. He hangs his head low, and his throat and lips feel so dry. "Been missing his family and ex-girlfriend. Just thought I'd help him feel better."
"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" There's a definite strain in Yunho's voice when he looks at Jaejoong in the eye for the first time since the start of the conversation. "Being his savior and all."
Jaejoong tries sending a message he can otherwise express in words and exhales abruptly when Yunho blinks at him.
"It's not as if he won't be depressed ever again." Jaejoong sinks deep into the couch, the pillows around his serving as an unintentional first line of defense. "Tell you what, he'll go talking about being sad again in a while."
"Wanna bet on it?"
"You bet, I do."
"But really," Yunho begins, then says after a while, "You'd like that, won't you? Saving him, making him happy. It makes you happy, too."
Jaejoong shrugs. "Nothing's purely altruistic in this world anymore. Get that right, Jung." He punches Yunho lightly in the arm as if saying, hey, thanks, because Jaejoong, expressive as he may be, still feels a bit awkward having to thank Yunho for things as obscene and weird as this. Yunho puts an arm around his shoulder and pulls him close. Jaejoong submits to the gesture fitfully, then eventually relaxes.
It's for the group's common good, nothing more. That's as selfless as he can get.
"You confuse me."
"Hm?" Jaejoong looks up from the magazine he's reading and finds Yoochun in front of him, hair disheveled and all over his face, dark circles under his eyes. This is a look Yoochun sports so fashionably, even with his threadbare shirt hanging loosely from his shoulders. Jaejoong holds back the strangest urge to tug at Yoochun's shirt to further expose his skin.
"I said, you confuse me."
Jaejoong looks straight into Yoochun's eyes, then at Yoochun's hands and curled toes. This is the first time he's ever seen Yoochun like this, so unsure of himself, so frail, and that's saying a lot considering the fact that he knows every inch of Yoochun, every area of the expanse of his skin, every quirk of his lips, every single thing. Yoochun fumbles with the hem of his otherwise tattered shirt, and Jaejoong lets all inhibitions go, quickly grabbing Yoochun's hands and grasping them tight.
He doesn't say anything because he doesn't know where Yoochun is coming from or what he means by his previous statement. Yoochun takes this as a sign and explains, "We can't be fuck buddies forever."
"But we aren't," Jaejoong says, breathless. The furrows his eyebrows and blinks once, twice, taking time to let the realization sink in. "No, we're not fuck buddies at all."
He brings Yoochun's cold hands closer to his chest. This looks like something ripped off a romantic movie, or maybe something from one of Changmin's hidden stash of romance novels. Jaejoong can't really decide, but then he's never been an expert at making decisions or anything remotely related to that, so he does what he feels is right and kisses Yoochun on the lips for the very first time.
Because when Jaejoong kisses, it's always elsewhere — on the forehead, hand, cheek, neck, ear, chest. Never on the lips.
"Mhmm," Yoochun says when they pull away. Jaejoong looks intently at the latter, trying to look for any trace of approval in Yoochun's features, but to no avail — Yoochun's eyes are ice-cold and blank and just staring at him.
"I get it," Yoochun mumbles after a while. "I get what you mean."
A wave of relief washes over Jaejoong and he soon finds himself laughing. Yoochun follows suit.
Jaejoong doesn't plan to fall in love with Yoochun, and he's quite sure Yoochun doesn't plan to fall in love with him, either, but the recent turn of events leads him to believe that he and Yoochun aren't so good with plans and that they might just want to give this a shot.
"How about we go for a new brand?" Yoochun scratches the back of his neck. "I don't know, maybe my cigs are stale already."
Jaejoong grins. "Sounds like a plan."
They try a new brand of cigarettes today. Yoochun isn't fond of taking risks, Jaejoong knows this all too well, so he takes comfort in the fact that he's enthusiastically talking about how good this new brand is. "This might be my new favorite," Yoochun says, speech a bit garbled and features hazy in the smoke.
Jaejoong's an expert at seeing through smoke, so he doesn't have squint to see the small smile at the corner of Yoochun's lips, the distinct sparkle in the gleam of Yoochun's eyes. He takes a long drag from his cigarette and thinks, this is definitely a good new flavor to get hooked on.
Jaejoong learns a lot, thanks to Yoochun's expert guidance, and he's willing to learn a lot more than that. But for now, this — Yoochun's soft laughter on his skin sending tingles down his spine, leaning against the cold railing and not minding the cold for the first time, the taste of smoke on Yoochun's lips — will suffice.
A++ for falling in love.