i n y o u r h a n d s (dewberrie) wrote,
i n y o u r h a n d s

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#15. back to the basics (i.e. changmin's doorsteps);

: back to the basics (i.e. changmin's doorsteps)
: jaejoong/changmin | pg
: hyunjoong kicks jaejoong out, so he decides to crash at changmin's for a week
: for swallowtt as a birthday present ♥

Jaejoong is crouched down at the top of the stairs leading to Changmin’s hallway on Monday.

“Hey,” Changmin says, nudging him in the thigh with his left foot, and raises his eyebrows in what he thinks is an appropriate questioning manner. “What are you doing here?”

Jaejoong blinks up at him and says, “I thought I might visit you,” through a yawn.

That doesn’t really explain the large suitcase and small man-purse blocking the entrance to his doorway. Changmin shuffles his bag higher on his shoulder, stuffing his hands in his pockets and rocking on his heels. He nods his head to the said items, and takes in the sheepish expression on Jaejoong’s face.

“Hyunjoong kicked me out,” he says and motions his hand about, as if by doing so he’s telling Changmin all the specifics and the details and everything else in between. Changmin doesn’t know sign language, though; actually, he just doesn’t understand Jaejoong’s sign language. Jaejoong grins. “I thought I’d take you up on your offer!”

“What offer?” Changmin pushes past Jaejoong’s crouched figure and into his apartment, stumbling over the strap of Jaejoong’s purse. He settles his things on the countertop and flicks his gaze back to where Jaejoong stands at the doorway now. “I never said you could stay here.”

Jaejoong winks. “You never said I couldn’t stay here, either.” He hops onto the counter beside Changmin’s bags and runs his index finger along the marbling. “Besides, it’s only for a week and it’ll be just like old times.”

Changmin still doesn’t look too pleased with the circumstances. Jaejoong hooks an arm around his neck and pulls until their foreheads touch. It’s almost intimate and Changmin thinks that a couple years back he would have been elated to be so close. Changmin sighs and drops his gaze to their fingertips, kissing barely along the rounded ends.

“I’ll cook for you and do the laundry and clean up after myself,” Jaejoong promises in a teasing lilt, a smile on his face that Changmin sees spreading, even from beneath his shaggy bangs.

He groans, but he’s not all-too uncomfortable with having a housemate again. He misses the head noise and the laughter. So, Changmin pulls away from Jaejoong, replying, “fine, fine,” and ignores the way Jaejoong’s grin makes his heart catch in his throat.

Late Tuesday night, or early the next day, Changmin is messily piled on the couch. He's flicking idly through television channels when Jaejoong jumps him.

“You,” he says threateningly, fingers digging into Changmin’s sides and knees pressing uncomfortably into his hips, “have not been eating properly.”

“I’ve been eating just fine, thank you,” he wriggles his lower body trying to throw Jaejoong off. “You, however, seem to have been eating too well.” Changmin rolls underneath the other's weight and pokes Jaejoong’s cheek.

Jaejoong huffs and crosses his arms over his chest like he’s waiting for Changmin to apologize. Then, he removes his body and sits down on the armrest, simply staring at him with unreadable eyes. Changmin props his sock-clad feet in Jaejoong’s lap, releasing an insufferable sigh.

Jaejoong blows his bangs out of his face, thoughtful, and says, “I don’t know how I’m going to survive this week,” but then he grins and worms his way between Changmin and the backrest, “I’ll manage somehow.”

Changmin rolls his eyes, leaving the channel on a particular infomercial with an incredibly catchy tune, and listens to Jaejoong’s voice hum along to the jingle.

By Wednesday afternoon, freshly showered and not-so-freshly shaved, Changmin has had time to sleep on things. On Jaejoong. The idea of Jaejoong staying with him again.

He has gotten nowhere, but at least he has let the thought run through his head a few times. Enough that Yunho wouldn’t call him impulsive.

“No, you’re not impulsive,” Yunho says, voice clipped and Changmin can tell his right brow is twitching. He thinks Yunho might be busy with the musical. “Maybe you’re just too nice to him. Or, you know, whipped.” He hums in thought and there’s a scramble along the other line coupled with enthusiastic voices. “Probably the latter.”

Changmin presses his feet to his headboard, rubbing wearily at the stubble on his jaw. The light fixture is crooked when he stares at it from this point of view, the ridges in the plaster of the ceiling looking a lot like tiny mountains so out of reach. He moves his hand to cover his eyes, groaning.

Yunho sighs, shifts on his side of the city and his clothes rustle when he moves. “Look, he came to you. Not me, Yoochun, or anyone else for that matter.” He says it plainly, the no-nonsense tone in his voice unconcealed by words. He always had taken it upon himself to be the most straightforward with these things; he hadn’t been their leader for nothing. “That has to mean something, right?”

“Maybe it was just convenient.” Changmin knows he’s coming off as whiny, but figures he’s allowed to be every once in a while. Make up for lost time where he had to be mature and level-headed.

The other line crackles, and Changmin vaguely muses the idea of Yunho ignoring him. Then Yunho's voice comes through again, a little tired but fond all the same, as he says, “Maybe you’re just in denial.”

Changmin hangs up then, glares at the spiral of the light bulb and blames it for his headaches.

Between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, Jaejoong sneaks into Changmin’s room and curls into his side.

“Why are your lights off?” he asks as he slides the sheets over his head, finding Changmin’s face when he squints in the darkness.

Changmin mumbles against his sheets, linking their hands together to keep Jaejoong from poking his eyes out. “Why are you in my bed?”

“I asked first,” Jaejoong singsongs, tugging their interconnected hands to his chest; Changmin flexes his fingers while Jaejoong loosens his a bit. He laughs a little and slides out of the bed again, releasing Changmin's long fingers as he does so. “But as answer to yours, I have this.”

Jaejoong leans forward just slightly, finding the curve of Changmin’s nose dip down to his lips through the covering of black, and pauses. Then, he presses his lips to the blankets, which, in turn, press into Changmin’s lips as well. But it’s not only that. There is a kiss.

Thursday comes with a rush of wind and a hammering pour of rain. Jaejoong builds a fort of pillows on Changmin’s bed, cocooned in a heavy blanket, with a cup of ramen in hand. Changmin rolls his eyes and tries to find a channel not affected by the current thunderstorm.

“Don’t spill anything,” Changmin says to the television, eyes focused on the rolling pictures, crackling with the weather.

Jaejoong scoffs from his fortress. “I’m not a child, dumbass.” He pauses and the bed shifts.

Changmin rubs his eyes wearily and yawns with his arms above his head, t-shirt lost somewhere in the floor of his room where he had discarded it earlier. Jaejoong pokes at his shoulder blades with the toe of his socks, ramen cup on the bedside table with a few strands of short noodles lingering in what’s left of the soupy liquid. They haven’t spoken of the kiss, and neither seems to have the initiative to do so.

“You’ll miss me when I leave.” Jaejoong grins and rests his chin in his palm, just watching the other. “Admit it.”

Changmin smiles and rests his head in Jaejoong’s lap, replying, “Yeah, yeah. But I’ll manage to live without you somehow.” It’s said as a joke, and Jaejoong just laughs, threading his fingers through Changmin’s bangs. The closeness is back, and it’s easy to fall into old habits because nothing has changed.

“You look tired.” Changmin makes a sound of agreement, eyes closed, and Jaejoong’s fingertips scratch lightly over his scalp. “I should probably go.”

And, as he slides from underneath Changmin, he smiles, shuffling to the door. Changmin reaches his hand out, sleepy, and murmurs something that sounds like, “stay,” but Jaejoong just shakes his head fondly and closes the door.

“Is this how you spend all your Friday nights?”

Jaejoong glances at Changmin quickly and then turns back to age old reruns of Explorers of the Human Body. Jaejoong hides his smile against the inside of his wrist, rubbing his forehead with the tips of his fingers.

“No,” Jaejoong answers and turns the channel before he says anything else, settling on an older drama that has Changmin rolling his eyes, but quiet at least. “Sometimes, when I was at Hyunjoong’s, I’d have wild parties. Drugs, alcohol, sex galore.”

Changmin raises a brow, disbelief written all over his face. “Really now?”

Jaejoong hums, concentrating on the actor’s face, the tall male standing close to the pretty girl. Jaejoong’s always been a hopeless romantic and when the actor makes to kiss her, he practically gravitates to the edge of the couch. His toes curl when he feels Changmin's narrowed eyes on the back of his neck, but he keeps his eyes on the actor’s lips, a smile coming on. Then the moment’s over, Jaejoong no longer caught in the moment and Changmin no longer interested in staring at his hairline.

Jaejoong sighs, becomes one with the couch. “Usually I’d just go drinking with Yoochun. Sometimes Hyunjoong and Seunghyun, nothing much.” He pulls his feet up on the seat, wondering if his right sock always had that hole near his smallest toe. “Most of my time was spent sleeping, or doing the things I've always wanted to do.”

“Sounds nice.” Changmin swirls the kernels of popcorn around in a red bowl, watching them finally collect in the buttery residue near the center of the circle.

Jaejoong grins. “It’s okay.” He mutes the television because he knows all the lines by heart and he’d rather hear the actor say them to him in person anyway. “I like this more. I’ve missed irritating you.”

Changmin lolls his head to the side, peering through his lashes, obviously amused by Jaejoong’s honesty. Jaejoong pokes him in the middle of his chest, then lets his hand fall and rest against the space between them. Changmin looks down momentarily, seemingly weighing all his options and deciding on his next course of action.

Jaejoong decides for him. And, this time, nothing comes between them.

“Your decorating skills suck,” Jaejoong says, one foot pulled onto the counter with him and the other barely skimming the floor with his toes. He props his chin onto his knee, eyeing Changmin. “Like, you have worse style than Junsu.”

Changmin glances up from untying his shoes, fingers tangling in the white laces. “I’m sorry?” He laughs and steps out of his sneakers, padding across the entryway. Changmin leans against the countertop beside Jaejoong, tilts his head awkwardly to stare at him. “What’s wrong with it?”

Jaejoong shrugs with just his left shoulder, pressing his lips into his pant-clad knee, and lets his words muffle in the denim. “Everything,” he moans dramatically; then, after pausing, says, “The color scheme is terrible, and your furniture is outdated.”

“I think the words you are looking for are original and antique.” Changmin rests his forearm against Jaejoong’s thigh, moves a bit closer, and Jaejoong allows the intimacy. “What should I do to remedy this problem?”

Jaejoong taps his forefinger against his chin, then pokes Changmin’s shoulder blade, a sneaky grin on his face as he hops off the counter. “We go shopping of course!”

They stumble into their shoes, down the stairwell where they spend time familiarizing themselves with the area, and into the taxi that takes them anywhere as long as Changmin has the right amount of change. Jaejoong runs around the department store, and they spend a longer time than necessary testing out all the mattresses.

They never find the time to redecorate Changmin’s apartment, newly purchased items kicked into the spare closet, and they settle into old habits of wrestling on the couch and rolling around in the floor.

And in the aftershock of their laughter, Changmin finds enough space to push air back into Jaejoong. With just a kiss.

On Sunday, Jaejoong stands at the doorway with his bags at his feet. Changmin lingers at the countertop, feeling as awkward as the gangly teenager he once had been, and settles for tapping along the surface to give his hands something to do. The silence among them is thick and Changmin would give anything to have Junsu and Yoochun fighting over the remote or to hear Yunho drone on about upcoming events - something he could work with besides Jaejoong’s persistent staring and his stupid gut twisting with nerves.

Jaejoong makes a grand sweeping gesture with his hands, large grin present on his face even behind his fingertips. “Where does the time go?” His features soften, the pink of his cheeks still offsetting the too-red hue of his lips. He holds his bags steady in his hands, and he makes to nod his head a little in gratitude, bangs falling over his eyes. “Thanks for letting me crash here for a while.”

Changmin finds his lips dry, mouth even dryer. He licks them but it provides him with little comfort. “I didn’t let you,” he says in monotone, eyes half-lidded in mock annoyance, “you just wouldn’t take no as an answer.”

“You enjoyed my impromptu visit, bastard.” Jaejoong’s smile stretches further than just the corners of his mouth, uplifts until it raises his cheeks, and his hands are too preoccupied to hide it from the world. “You’re just too much of an asshole to admit it.”

“Of course.” He rolls his eyes and glances at the time. Anywhere but at Jaejoong who stands quite content in the doorway, rooted there for far longer than necessary. He sweeps his gaze back across the room to Jaejoong, finds his throat constricting unlike the first time because there’s still so much to say. Instead, he lets his mouth form the words: “I guess you should go.”

Jaejoong’s shoulders go lax, and the smile drops into something akin to a farewell. “Yeah. I’ll see you around, alright,” he nods as if he’s comfortable with the idea of chance encounters that might be rare at best, “and call me sometime in case you need some food or more tips on how to live life a little more fabulously.”

Changmin grins and watches him leave. Jaejoong had forgotten to shut the door, and when Changmin really thinks about it, maybe it wasn’t unintentional at all.

It takes him two seconds to tumble into the hallway and only another moment to call out, “stay,” to Jaejoong’s back.

Changmin doesn’t give him the chance to decide because he’s already pulling him into a tight embrace, dipping his head low, and making Jaejoong’s mind up for him for once. And it’s a pleasant feeling.

Four weeks later and it’s Monday again.

The elevator is working again, but Changmin takes the stairs despite how huge a convenience the lift is, feeling the strain in his calves after shopping all day and his morning jog from earlier. Grocery sacks weigh heavily in his arms and mostly block his view of the stairway, but he’s been here long enough to have familiarized himself with the area. And there’s impatient yelling at the top for him to, “hurry up, dammit,” which he rolls his eyes to, but concedes to the demands anyway.

This time, however, Jaejoong waits for him by his doorway, and the week stay has ebbed away into something remotely similar to forever.

Changmin makes the last few steps with a smile.

a/n: i just really, really love these two together. and i love the birthday girl. best wishes, hugs & kisses ♥ and to the rest of the flist/fandom, i miss you all so much & lots of love!
Tags: p: changmin/jaejoong
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