A/N: Five kisses through the years. Angsty. um. idek. I...can't seem to write happy!Jaeho D= Lyrics from Dashboard's Hands Down
i. breathe in for luck
They’re young and reckless, and more than a little tipsy. All Jaejoong can think of is how not-weird this is, how different Yunho feels under his hands, all lines and smooth planes where soft curves should be.
Yunho’s eyes are wide when he pulls away, face flushed by more than the alcohol. Jaejoong wonders if Yunho’s going to hit him.
“You’re good at this,” Yunho breathes, voice wondering, and Jaejoong laughs.
“Yeah,” Yunho agrees; presses Jaejoong to the wall.
ii. the words are hushed, let’s not get busted
They indulge in the occasional clandestine meeting after Dong Bang Shin Ki’s debut until Junsu walks in on them.
“Oh– shit, sorry–” Junsu’s face is a violet shade of crimson, and his mortification is evident in the hasty way he backs out of the closet, pulling the door shut and almost tripping over his own feet in the process.
Jaejoong sighs wearily. “Do you want to go, or should I?”
It doesn’t take long for a visibly distressed Junsu to be tricked into spilling the beans to Yoochun, who shares it with an unusually unperturbed Changmin in the privacy of their bathroom.
“I knew, by the way,” Changmin offers, when Yunho comes to him, the intention to carry out some damage control writ plain on his features. “And I’ve known for two months, so, yes, I can keep a secret, don’t worry.”
“Um.” Yunho gropes for the words. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Changmin hesitates, then plunges ahead. “You could have told us, hyung.”
“It isn’t a big deal.” Yunho flushes at Changmin’s sardonic smile. “Don’t look at me like that.”
Changmin shrugs, makes a noncommittal sound, and turns back to his book. “If you say so.”
“You don’t believe me.”
Changmin looks up, impudent grin stretched wide across his face.
“I know everything, hyung. Remember?”
iii. my heart is yours to fill or burst
Jaejoong turns twenty-one with little fanfare. The five of them huddle around the small cake Yoochun had snuck out to buy earlier on in the evening, swathed in a scarf, eyes hidden by large sunglasses and praying fervently not to be recognized. Tomorrow there’ll be a celebration, a fan-meeting, banners raised high by a crowd of well-wishers. Tonight there’s Yunho on Jaejoong’s left, Junsu on his right, and a verse sung in four-part harmony. Jaejoong joins in, out of habit; blows out the single candle.
“Happy birthday,” Yunho says, voice as warm as his lips by the corner of Jaejoong’s mouth.
“Get a room,” Yoochun says, then yelps as Changmin tackles him. “Ow! What?” He launches into imprecations when Junsu jumps into a fray with a loud laugh. “Son of a– ”
Jaejoong decides to take advantage of the distraction. He dissolves into laughter when Yoochun starts whooping and Junsu calls for someone to “cover his eyes”, much to Changmin’s indignation.
Jaejoong wonders if he, like Yunho, is also grinning like an idiot, figures he probably is, and decides he doesn’t care.
iv. and you kissed me like you meant it
Yunho corners Jaejoong before their last performance, hands grasping, grasping, desperate. Jaejoong’s never seen him like this. He blames himself, for not knowing what to do, to say; blames Yunho for not knowing how to ask for what he needs until it’s too late.
Jaejoong gives what he can. He unfurls under Yunho’s fingers, arches into his touch, lays himself open. Here, he says, without words, or voice, take what you need want have to have–
Jaejoong tastes salt on Yunho’s cheek; imagines he can hear the soft sharp crack of ice, glass, hearts. “Jaejoong,” Yunho says, “I–”
“Don’t,” Jaejoong says, perhaps a little too forcefully. “Don’t.”
Yunho exhales loudly. “Okay,” he says, “okay.”
“Our secret,” Jaejoong offers, smile crooked, almost rueful. Yunho tastes of cherry lip balm, of coffee, of ends and longing and premature goodbyes.
v. and i knew that you meant it, that you meant it
Changmin meets Jaejoong at the entrance to the church.
“Hey.” His eyes are searching, searching, roving, and Jaejoong offers him a wry smile.
“Something on my face?”
Changmin scowls and punches him on the arm. “My affection is wasted on you, hyung.”
Jaejoong laughs, and slings a companionable arm about Changmin’s shoulders. “So. Have you met the bride?”
He can feel Changmin stiffen. “Um. Yeah. Kind of.”
“Hm. What’s she like?”
Changmin shrugs. “Pretty. Vivacious.”
“Just right, then.”
Changmin stops abruptly, and turns to face Jaejoong. “Hyung, you don’t have to do this.”
Jaejoong attempts an incredulous look. “Of course I have to be–”
“Hey, you.” This is a mistake, Jaejoong thinks, too late, as Yunho comes closer to embrace him. Yunho holds him a second too long; lets him go a little too reluctantly. He shouldn’t have come.
“I didn’t think you’d come,” Yunho says.
“I’m going to find Junsu,” Changmin says, and promptly vanishes. That traitor.
“Congratulations,” Jaejoong says finally, after a few awkward seconds of silence. He mourns it, this distance; feels foolish for feeling it.
“Thank you,” Yunho replies formally. There’s a tightness to his jaw, a stiffness to his shoulders. “Jaejoong–”
“I should go,” Jaejoong interjects. Foolish, to even be here. Now he’s sorry he even came. “The wedding is going to be great.” There’s no one looking, no one in the vicinity. The kiss is chaste, fleeting, too much too little too late.
Yunho’s grip is tight on his forearms. “This isn’t what I want, Jaejoong.”
Jaejoong thinks of hellos, of goodbyes, of the colour of Yunho’s hair in the sun. Of the girl waiting in her wedding dress, of secrets kept and promises made in cramped changing rooms; of loss, of need, of letting go. “I know,” he says, and disentangles himself. “I know.”
“I love you,” Yunho says, and Jaejoong thinks of the crash, the burn, the fall.
“Our secret,” he manages. Yunho’s hand is warm in his, his smile belying the wetness of his eyes.