"That was weird."
The director has just called 'cut' and Yoochun's breathing heavily against Jaejoong's neck. "That was really weird," he repeats, because in all the times they've acted a scene like this they've never done the real thing. He sits upright as the make up artists flock them and do touch ups on their make up. It covers the scars really well.
"You're right. It's weird." Jaejoong laughs a little, then coughs when he inhales too much powder. "I'm sorry."
Yoochun just shrugs because he knows it shouldn't mean much, but the peculiar curve of Jaejoong's lips tells him otherwise.
i. Yoochun lands a job as an adult movie actor. It's his first big role in a while, and while it's not the best project out there, it's definitely something he's interested in doing. Not that he has a choice; his manager has so enthusiastically signed him up for the role and there's no way out.
"You'll be working with Kim Jaejoong," says the director, moving to his side as he introduces Yoochun's co-actor. "I expect you've read the script?"
Yoochun nods and smiles mutedly. Jaejoong just smiles a little.
They don't get to talk much, but Jaejoong does take a liking to shooting him the occasional glance over his shoulder, asking him if he's doing just fine and is this too invasive? It's the first shooting day and they're already filming intimate scenes; it's hard not to get a bit thrown off and look as if his privacy has just been breached.
Jaejoong's lips linger long after the director calls "Cut!".
"Okay, let's call it a day. Good job, everyone!" It's the best thing Yoochun hears all day, second only to the pat on the back Jaejoong gives him and the compliment Jaejoong whispers in his ear — "You were awesome." Yoochun doesn't take any of it to heart, but there's no denying he's taken a bit more pride in his kissing skills.
He almost laughs to himself. Jaejoong hasn't seen anything yet.
ii. In this movie, they're the best of friends.
Best friends with benefits, to be more specific, Yoochun tells himself as he runs through his lines a second time. They're childhood enemies turned best friends after a cookie dough fight when they're twelve. Jaejoong uses him as his test subject for a lot of things — classroom experiments, a confession to this girl he's long been pining after, a kiss. Yoochun seems to be unrelenting at first, but then he figures, "We're best friends, anyway, so what's wrong with that?" Yoochun tries things out with Jaejoong, too — a sorry opponent for fencing practices.
Jaejoong likes cross-stitching, and Yoochun is supposed to be enamoured with extreme sports. In reality, though, biking is as extreme as Yoochun can get.
"To tell you the truth, I hate needles," Jaejoong whispers from behind him halfway through their practice. There is soft laughter playing on his lips for a while until he finds himself laughing heartily, with Jaejoong hitting him mindlessly on the arm for laughing too hard.
They do not know this, but the cameraman films them. "Production value," the director says. They can always use more fill in shots, after all.
iii. Jaejoong doesn't show up for a week.
The staff lose contact with him. Even his manager doesn't know where he is. This pisses Yoochun off because he's finally accepted to himself that waking up at five in the morning is a part of life, especially the one he leads, but to a certain extent he can't help but feel disturbed and concerned. So when Jaejoong calls him at two in the morning and asks him to meet him at a coffee shop nearby, he pushes himself away from his desk (he's been trying to compose for hours, but to no avail) without any hesitation.
Thirty minutes after, Jaejoong has already explained everything and they're halfway through their fifth cigarette stick.
"I had to take a break. I couldn't crack the line, so I had to go looking for inspiration somewhere," Jaejoong says faintly. He's blowing puffs into his hands, trying to catch some warmth. "I don't even know why my manager panicked. I told her about this."
Yoochun frowns. "Well apparently, you didn't tell her where you were going."
Jaejoong rolls his eyes. "I was only gone for a few days. It's not as if—"
Jaejoong holds his breath when their eyes meet, a stream of smoke escaping his lips in a slow and steady manner. Yoochun blinks. They sit in companionable silence until Yoochun mumbles, "It's rude to stare," and if Jaejoong even replies he only ever chuckles.
iv. The particular scene Jaejoong has been having a hard time with is the one where he realizes he's been in love with Yoochun all this time.
It's Yoochun's favorite part — Jaejoong is struggling to tell Yoochun about his feelings, trying to look for an opening, but all Yoochun ever does is to go on about how unbelievably attractive law school sounds, how much he'd like to go trekking sometime and, "Sasha, remember her?" It's not scripted, Jaejoong rolling his eyes and looking completely pissed off, but Yoochun passes this off as an adlib. He goes on with his lines until the director calls, "Cut! That was good. We should consider including that in the final edit," and Yoochun wonders briefly if Jaejoong is a man of surprises.
v. They're filming their first real love scene.
"Just relax," the director calls out. "Get used to your bodies being all over each other. There will be more of this in the days to come!" The members of the staff laugh and so does Jaejoong, and Yoochun just shakes his head and smiles a little.
He's still not so sold on the idea of doing 'the deed' in front of a camera.
"I'll be gentle, don't worry." Jaejoong offers a soft smile, then a pat on the back.
There's a pause before the director calls out, "Action!" Jaejoong motions Yoochun to lean against the headboard, guides him throughout the entire process. When Jaejoong touches, it's feather-light, like Jaejoong's always afraid to press any further that Yoochun might break. Yoochun tries to fight Jaejoong off; he stays true to his character, and this makes him feel proud for a while until Jaejoong captures his lips in a kiss in a moment of surprise.
When Jaejoong pulls away, Yoochun's lips are trembling. Jaejoong goes back to what he was doing and they proceed with what the script tells them to do.
They only ever grind against each other and the director calls 'cut' even before they can reach their peak, but the entire scene leaves Yoochun shaking inside.
Jaejoong gets up from the bed as soon as the call is made and excuses himself to go the bathroom. Yoochun lies flat on his back and closes his eyes.
vi. "I love you."
Jaejoong's character finally admits his feelings for Yoochun's in the most untimely moment — after managing to get away from the librarian who caught them taking pictures of some of the pages of a book whose title they've already forgotten (apparently, it's illegal to take pictures of books on this side of the world). They're giggling so hard, backs pressed so firmly against the wall, noses barely inches from each other. "Oh God, I'm glad we lost her!" Yoochun says all at once in a mix of words and laughter. Jaejoong's laughter draws to a crescendo, then comes to an abrupt halt when Yoochun's nose clumsily bumps against his.
"I love you."
Yoochun's eyes widen. His fingers go cold and his muscles go stiff. Jaejoong furrows his eyebrows a little as if asking, are you alright, and it takes the director's call to snap Yoochun out of his reverie.
"Cut, cut! Let's just start from the laughing scene. And Yoochun, please don't forget your lines. This is a one-take scene."
Yoochun nods blindly.
"First confession jitters?" Jaejoong asks from behind. There's a lapse before Yoochun laughs a little and replies with a faint, 'Yeah'.
They shuffle back to their places. Yoochun thinks to himself, be professional. This is just a movie and we're following a script and— Then Jaejoong catches his hand and squeezes it for a brief moment, promptly letting go when the director calls, 'Action!'
Jaejoong's fingers are cold, too.
vii. Yoochun realizes that there's more of Jaejoong in him than there is of himself.
The realization dawns upon him on their last day of filming. They're doing another love scene and by this time Yoochun has gotten used to the whole concept of rubbing against each other already, except this time Jaejoong presses his knee against Yoochun's crotch. Yoochun's thoughts go frantic when he realizes what Jaejoong's planning to do, but before he can even react and ask Jaejoong, Why, Jaejoong thrusts inside him. Soon, they're riding in a rhythm set to Jaejoong's favorite song — The Panics' Don't Fight It.
Yoochun closes his eyes, sings the song in his head and punctuates every other beat with Jaejoong's usual facial expressions as the latter sings the song, the small 'o' that surfaces on Jaejoong's mouth when he realizes Yoochun's been laughing at him silly for a while already, the small sound of defeat that escapes his lips as he tackles Yoochun to the ground (or sometimes, the bed). Everything dissolves from there and Yoochun opens his eyes wide as he comes, a single thought running through his mind as Jaejoong takes him in his arms and pulls him close.
It can't be.
Yoochun's frozen in his position for a while. "That was weird," he says, breathing laboured against Jaejoong's neck. He feels Jaejoong's fingers stiffen for a while when he repeats, "That was really weird." There's a cold sensation on the part where Jaejoong's fingers barely graze his skin, and they sit upright when the make up artists start flocking them for touch ups.
Jaejoong shifts in his position rather uneasily. "You're right. It's weird." Jaejoong laughs a little, then coughs when he inhales too much powder. "I'm sorry."
Yoochun smiles a little, visibly forced, and he shrugs because it shouldn't mean anything, not even when there's the thought of being a little too fond of Jaejoong tucked at the very back of his mind. He shakes both the feeling and the idea off, but something about the way Jaejoong bites his lower lip that tells him Jaejoong's not sorry about anything at all.
Yoochun wakes up and everything is a dream.
His face is buried in what seems like fur and there's a mix of perfume and fatigue tingling his senses. "Ah, you're awake," comes Jaejoong's remark, and only then does Yoochun realize that Jaejoong's carrying him on his back.
"Is this too invasive? I mean, we've just met and all but I'm carrying you and—" Jaejoong pauses for a sharp intake of breath, then continues, "But then you looked so tired and we didn't want to wake you up—"
Yoochun parts his lips tentatively. The Jaejoong carrying him right now doesn't sound like the Jaejoong he has been working with for the past twelve hours, doesn't sound like the Jaejoong he's seen in his dream or the Jaejoong who kissed him just moments ago. If anything, Jaejoong can be some stranger who has volunteered to carry him from the set to the parking lot, quite a long distance considering they've been filming for twelve hours straight.
"No, this is okay." A heartbeat, and then, "Thanks."
Yoochun makes an attempt at landing safely, but promptly loses his balance when he tries getting off Jaejoong's back. "Careful!" Jaejoong's chuckling when he assists Yoochun back on his feet.
"I'm sorry, this is weird," Jaejoong says in between giggles. "But you really looked funny."
Jaejoong's laugher sounds real, too real, in fact, that it tugs at the corner of Yoochun's lips hard and rough. Yoochun doesn't try to resist, even when Jaejoong offers to hold him by the arms on their way back to the car. He'll need the support now more than ever, and Jaejoong's silly smile (he still hasn't gotten over the slip) as a boost of energy.
It is a bit weird, he thinks, that he's warmed up to Jaejoong so quickly, but he doesn't need to wonder why.