((also yay for 5200+ words!)) ((not yay for having to split it up into two parts again thanks to client errors!))
Part 1 | Part 2A | Part2B | Part 3a
Time flies by and Changmin finds that he doesn’t have to worry too much about his problem since the chances of him and Dongwan bumping into each other again are not as high as he originally had thought and they don’t even see each other for weeks--which are fast to turn into months.
In this abundant amount of Dongwan-less time, he’s luckily managed to formulate a plan: he’ll avoid the older man until it’s Dongwan’s time to go into the military and life will be grand because there’ll be no chance whatsoever for them to talk about this thing and then, when Dongwan gets out, he’ll just go in the military himself whether or not it’ll be mandatory for him by that time (he hasn’t gotten around to doing the math, because it’s not that important, really) and tada, problem entirely avoided for like four years or so (again; the math, not that important).
And by then Dongwan will have completely forgotten about it and Changmin will have completely gotten over it and there’s his solution to this stupid problem.
He’s one hundred percent (hoping) sure it’ll work.
So he’s mortified, no, more than mortified, basically feels like a dead man walking when, backstage, Minwoo sunbae comes out of basically nowhere, congratulating them on the wonderful performance they’ve just delivered, (with Dongwan’s wrist clutched tightly in one hand, dragging him along with him,) and Jaejoong thanks him for attending the show (and shoves Changmin headfirst into Dongwan’s chest. Again.).
Changmin can see his plan falling to pieces right before his eyes all because of Jaejoong and Minwoo. And it sucks.
“Um,” he says to Dongwan’s clothed right nipple, staring at that instead of Dongwan’s face, “Imagine seeing you again.”
…oh god, Changmin senses on how many levels of wrong that sounds when directed to a nipple, when directed to Dongwan’s nipple, when directed to the nipple that’s part of the body, person, whatever, that he’s had sex with. He’s had SEX with that nipple! Body. Person. Whatever.
“…Excuse me?” Dongwan asks and, oh freaking hell no, he said some of that out loud whhhhy, in the name of all that is good and sacred did he have to say any of that out loud?
And he can distinctly hear Minwoo and Jaejoong snickering in the background. They must have planned this, he’s sure of that, since they both must get their kicks off of seeing the two of them all uncomfortable and self-conscious and god, did he really just say that to Dongwan’s nipple and then say things about Dongwan’s nipple out loud that must have sounded totally creepy?
“I’m sorry. I…we’ve been in this situation before, haven’t we?” Changmin says calmly, voice reflecting the complete opposite of the panicky desperateness he feels inside, “I probably need to get my face out of your nipples--I mean shirt. And chest. And nipples. Not that I’m obsessed with your nipples or anything, I’m just saying that because you do have nipples and my face is currently smashed into them and--and I’m going to get off of you now.”
Dongwan blinks and nods slowly, “Alright then. …And on that, er, intriguing note, how have you been?”
“Great.” Changmin returns easily and they’ll be having a normal casual conversation if they keep this up so, he tells himself, think casual and normal. Casual.
Dongwan visibly relaxes, probably relieved to be off the subject of his nipples, and smiles serenely. “That’s nice to hear. But listen, I have to tell you, and you’re probably going to laugh, but you left--”
“Nipples!” Changmin blurts out and he has no idea why and.
Oh. No. What?
He consequentially smacks himself in the head repeatedly as Dongwan, Jaejoong, and Minwoo stare blankly at him. He now definitely needs to get himself together or let the ground swallow him up soon--one or the other--because this, once again, is getting ridiculous. Extremely so and he’s suffering here.
“I…” Dongwan trails off, eyebrows drawing together in confusion, then he lets out a small shaky laugh. “You know, I really can’t have a conversation with you if you keep saying these random things that throw me completely off.”
Changmin closes his eyes and tries to shut his brain off. “I know. I’m sorry. But hey, yeah you’re shirt? I don’t have it with me, didn’t know you’d be here, I’m sorry.”
Dongwan might be smiling again, a friendly smile or a laughing smile or a I’d like very much to get the hell away from this crazy guy but I’m too nice to say it or try and outwardly show it so I’ll sit here and bear it and hope this ends soon smile, but Changmin wasn’t gifted with see-through eyelids at birth, so he doesn’t know and prefers to keep it that way if it gets him out of this whole thing in one piece.
“Okay,” Dongwan’s voice definitely sounds like he’s smiling, like he’s amused (and this is not at all amusing, the sicko!), “I’ll get it some other time I guess. But back to what I was saying early, before you…um yeah, so I have your cell phone, you left in my car actually. I guess you really did have it back when--”
“Then you should come by our apartment!” Jaejoong blurts out and Changmin’s eyes fly open as he turns to look at Jaejoong with a horrified stare. No no NO Jaejoong, why exactly would that be a good idea? Oh that’s right. IT WOULDN’T BE, DAMMIT.
Jaejoong either ignores the death glare burning a hole through his skull or is much too used to it to be affected. “I don’t mean right now, of course, but we could make a meet up date or whatever for you two to exchange items…”
Minwoo is biting on his bottom lip in an attempt to not smirk evilly and he nods, going right along with their little devious plot. Damn them. “That sounds like a plan. When are you all going to be in the country and not overwhelmingly busy, then? He’ll drop by whenever he’s free, I’m sure…”
Both Dongwan and Changmin can only watch as Jaejoong and Minwoo plan (for them) when they should return each other’s things.
“…Is there even any point in trying to stop them?” Dongwan sighs out after a few moments, shaking his head in dismay, “I like being the one who causes trouble rather than having to be a passenger along for the ride.”
Changmin lets out a squeak meant to be a laugh, focusing on other things, (like how badly this is surely going to turn out and how he can’t do anything but watch it be set into motion before him) not really hearing the other’s comment. All he really can think to say is, “I guess I did have my cell phone that night after all.”
And he really should have just left it there, but something inside him tells him that no, it’s okay to go on, this is so not going in a bad direction, no not at all, and fuck you dignity, you’ll just have to be picked up off the floor afterwards. “Sorry about saying that I didn’t back then and causing trouble and making you take me back to your place and--”
…Well. Well, good job brain, way to not keep up with the mouth and foresee where that thread of conversation was going. Thanks for the awkward being reinstated right about now.
So of course Changmin just stops there because going any further would be acknowledging it and he just wants to ignore it instead--he’s only been over that a million times in his head.
Ignore ignore ignore. Then, miraculously, it’ll all get better, of course, yeah, and this is what he’s had to resort to, with all his careful planning having gone down the drain in three seconds flat. (And that has to be a new record for Jaejoong hyung’s plan destroying skills.)
Dongwan shifts uneasily, chuckling nervously again, “You were drunk. I…understand.”
Changmin gulps; for some reason things are starting to hit close to the very thing they’re trying to avoid and he should definitely make a random comment about the weather right about now. “So no hard feelings?”
…What happened to that weather comment?!
Dongwan runs a hand through his hair, shifting on his feet again and the mood freaking changed really fast, when did Changmin blink and miss it?
“Well actually,” Dongwan starts, pausing to clear his throat, “About what we…did. About that…” (Shit, Changmin thinks once again because Dongwan makes him think in incoherent strands of cursing, shit, dammit, no, shit!) “I…you see…it’s weird…and…”
“Oh.” Changmin can figure out what Dongwan means, he doesn’t need hard cold words to get the point, “I’m sorry, then. I get it. I’m sorry.”
Dongwan’s eyes widen and he peers over worriedly at Changmin, “No no, don’t be, it’s not, I didn’t mean, you’re not letting me explain…wait…what I mean. That. Uh.”
As Dongwan stops here, thinking and trying to not get more tangled up in his own words, Changmin feels a little hope flower in his chest, right next to the burning hurt of predicted rejection and the sparkle of twisted happiness of not being the only one with foot in mouth syndrome more and more lately.
He probably shouldn’t let hope blossom within him, he knows this, but he also can’t help it, because maybe this could turn out nicely, happily, and easily, in the matter of the next few minutes? Plus the three sensations going at once are giving him this really intense interesting tingling feeling that makes him feel like his heart is going to flip flop its way right out of his rib cage and through his shirt and onto the floor and it’s kind of cool in a slightly painful way.
“So it’s decided!” Jaejoong crows out loudly, startling the both of them, and Changmin should known better than to even think that he can have anything turn out easily for him when Jae hyung is involved, “Thank you, Minwoo sunbae, for your help!”
Minwoo simply smiles. “No problem.”
Jaejoong makes his way over to Changmin and grabs the younger boy’s hand (and what if Changmin’s not ready to go? And he’s not! Nooooo--), grinning at Dongwan. “Thank you for taking good care of our Minnie. We have to be going now, though, because Yunho doesn’t know we’re not in the car and is probably getting ready to have a heart attack right about now because he has no idea where we are.”
Changmin is going to try to at least ask when Dongwan is supposed to be coming over for his shirt or say a goodbye of his own or something, but Jaejoong yanks him away and is rambling about something else entirely before he can even open his mouth wide enough to talk. This also has to be some kind of set up and Changmin isn’t at all appreciating being set up.
And maybe he really shouldn’t get his hopes up, (because that’s all been about a shirt and a phone and so what if they managed to have a somewhat semi-not-awkward conversation? Well, before it turned totally retarded in a faltering, bashful sort of way.) but he lets them begin to soar anyway, butterflies fluttering madly in his stomach at the thought of it.
Hey, he can dream, can’t he?