Changmin forgets to ask Jaejoong later and get details on the shirt retrieval plan (and he doesn’t know if Jaejoong forgets to fill him in on everything or if he has planned on not telling him or what), but he does sort of kind of half keep in mind that Dongwan is indeed coming over, something that’s priority comes after all the thoughts of performances, harmonizing, lyrics, dancing, hitting his notes on-key, and just surviving their lifestyle. Time just flies by when you’re living day to day and just until the next time you get to eat and sleep and take a breathe, and then it’s been even more weeks since the last incident.
So he really isn’t expecting Dongwan to be the one knocking when he answers the front door in what he’s lovingly dubbed his ugly glasses, (of all the pairs he owns, of course it’d be the ugly ones he’d decide to don around the house today) hair ratty, uncombed and a bit tangled after a long car ride home wearing a ski cap, but to this day he is still proud of himself because, despite all this, he doesn’t (immediately) freak out.
Changmin comes to the realization that he is starting to feel more and more in his element with each and every meeting they have, as he groans out playfully, “Oh man,” reaching up wistfully at his messed up hair, “I can’t catch a break with you.”
Dongwan grins. (and Changmin notices how he hesitates to step into the apartment, is still mostly in the hallway, foot hovering over the small front door step and hello, what is this, someone else is feeling not so very confident today?) “I just don’t roll like that, you see. You’ll be having bad days for as long as you’re acquainted with me. Hyesung just can’t stand that about me, either, and I think he’s counting the minutes until he leave us for his mandatory duty to the country, and that makes me sad and weepy inside.”
A thoughtful expression passes over his face at this moment. “…Well, at least, until I think about how me and the rest of the guys will either already be in the military waiting for him or will be right behind him, so it totally won’t matter that much. Then I laugh about his false sense of getting away from Shinhwa, which, I think, is an impossible feat.”
Changmin scoffs and leans onto the door, crossing his arms and thinking, I’ve got this, he’s in my territory now, I can be unfazed, I can keep my cool. “That’s…fascinating and slightly frightening at the same time. But anyway, I’m sure you’ve got places you need to be so, my cell phone?”
“In my pocket,” Dongwan answers without any hesitation, reaching into a pocket and withdrawing the rectangular device, handing it to Changmin. He wastes no time in responding, “Now, my shirt…”
Changmin remembers to protest, “I was drunk, give me a break!” Before remembering to keep his cool and says, “It’s on my bed, I’ll get it.”
And he’s almost done with this, all he has to do is get the shirt, return it, have a very very very very short little conversation with Dongwan and then close the door in his face and wish away his erratically beating heart and silly little crush.
But Junsu, who happens to be walking through to the kitchen at this moment, overhears them, and just has to add in his own two cents. “Are you talking about that shirt that you’ve been snuggling up with in bed and falling asleep with for this past, like, two months?”
…It is truly an unfortunate two cents that Junsu has to add.
Changmin freezes and thinks, well yes, Junsu, that is the very shirt we are talking about, but had it been necessary to say that out loud?
And then he freaks.
Without thinking, he throws himself onto the door and slams it close, (Dongwan’s foot is easily pushed out into the hallway with the rest of him with the force Changmin exerts on the door and the older all but squawks in surprise) spinning around furiously, back pressed against the wood frame, and glares viciously at Junsu. “Hyung!”
Junsu pouts innocently, “What?”
Changmin closes his eyes, exasperated. “Hyung, think about how weird that sounds. You can’t just say that in front of him about his shirt! It’s--it’s really weird!”
Junsu looks at him skeptically. “Then maybe,” he says slowly, “You shouldn’t do it if it’s that weird. Or maybe you should tell him how in love you apparently are with him or whatever, since it’s painful to watch you in this predicament right now. Really, it is Minnie. Crazy painful.”
He pauses for a moment before letting a thoughtful gaze linger on the door, “And you totally shut the door in a sunbae’s face. Way to go.”
Changmin squeaks and flings the door open again, bowing and searching for a believable excuse. “I’m sorry, I just--Junsu hyung, he--there was a draft!”
Dongwan blinks, looking dazed. “…I feel like I’ve been in this position before--is this going to be a regular occurrence? You completely confusing me, that is.”
Changmin smiles weakly and shakes his head, “Oh, no--”
At this moment, Jaejoong waltzes around the corner (and Changmin flinches and now also feels like he’s been in this position before and doesn’t like it, not at all) and he grins like a Cheshire cat at the sight of Dongwan.
“Well hi there.” He’s singing out his words and Changmin knows when the blow is about to hit, he’s only lived with Jaejoong for several years and can just tell these sorts of things, “Have you two kissed and made up yet? Seeing as sober sex would probably do wonders for you and the awkward--”
Really not needing to hear anything else, (well yes, he expected it, but that doesn’t mean he was ready for it) Changmin slams the door shut again, spins around, and stares in wide eye horror at the oldest of their group. For someone who had previously apologized profusely for spouting off stupid babble that had ultimately screwed Changmin over in the first place, he sure didn’t seem too concerned with trying not to do it again.
There’s a small pregnant pause in which Junsu props himself up against the wall with a terribly amused expression and Jaejoong is just grinning away at Changmin’s blanched face.
“…What the hell is wrong with you?!” Changmin shouts, flailing his arms, “Why would you say that to him?! Why?!”
Jaejoong’s hand simply raises over his mouth as he goes into a fit of giggles. Taking a deep breath, Changmin simply chooses to take the higher road and ignore them and goes to open the door again.
He pauses, though, turning back to the two older boys. “Actually, go away. Just go away.”
Jaejoong snickers and he makes his way over to the grinning Junsu, draping himself all over the younger, not even bothering to grace Changmin with a response of any kind.
“Guys.” Changmin whines, he’s getting desperate and he’ll pull the innocent victim of hyung abuse if need be, “I’ll get Yunho to come here and send you off.”
“With all the door slamming and screaming you’ve been doing Changmin,” Jaejoong playfully wonders out loud, “I’m actually pretty surprised that he hasn’t come already.”
And as if on cue, Yunho ventures out into the living room with an inquiring expression. “What are you guys doing? You’re making a lot of noise and the neighbors and landlord will probably get upset, so please stop it.”
Changmin growls in his throat and tightens his grip on the doorknob. Fine, if they won’t go, he can learn to deal with them just being there. He’s getting better at the whole normal interaction with Dongwan thing, after all.
Reassuring himself that he can handle it, he reopens the door. Again. Breathe, he reminds himself, breathing is good and healthy and normal.
(How he is hoping to the Powers That Be at this moment that he doesn’t mix those ideals up when it comes time to speak.)
Dongwan looks like he’s about to make his way down the hall and starts when the door swings open and they all look out at him curiously. Noticing how there are more people gathered than when this odd cycle of the door being opened and closed in his face had begun, Dongwan attempts to laugh it off. “I take it we’re attracting an audience?”
Changmin rolls his eyes. “Something like that.”
Yunho, who is catching up on the whole adventure they’ve been having, looks at Dongwan, then looks at Junsu and Jaejoong, then asks, “Why is he here?”
“That shirt.” Jaejoong answers briefly, vaguely, loudly, and oh he just wants to see Changmin squirm.
“The one Changmin keeps sleeping with every night?” Yunho queries and Changmin really wants to hit him for not trying to be subtle. Both of them. All of them, actually.
“Hyung, shut up please.” he grumbles, resisting closing the door again, using all his willpower to not give in to the twitch he experiences in his arm at this moment. Dongwan has to be getting tired of dealing with the lot of them, so Changmin’s set on trying to act normal, as his previous mantra instructs him to, and not cause anymore trouble for him.
But that obviously is not meant to be.
“What’s everyone doing out here?” Yoochun asks as he appears from down the hallway, “No one’s working and I’m lonely and.” And then Yoochun notices Dongwan.
No, Changmin pleads with any and all deities who are tuning in to the most recent episode of his suffering as Yoochun’s eyebrows do this unpleasant lowering thing that implies thinking and general displeasure, please just let Yoochun stand there and look pretty or something.
“Hey,” Yoochun says with a frown, “DBSK doesn’t do booty calls, especially not Changmin, our band baby after all, you perv.”
…kjsldafuaisl;dlafsdl;asdifkalsdf Goes Changmin’s mind.
And he is so fed up with every single one of them at this point and he snaps. Just snaps. All his patience and common sense and everything, it’s out the window, and if they’re all allowed to act like crazy fools, he is too.
“Oh my god. Oh my god!” he throws his hands above his head, “Do you all just want to embarrass me? I’m going crazy here, you all are driving me insane!”
He glares at all of them, his bandmates and Dongwan, no one is excluded or special by this point. “Okay, so I’m doing a pretty good job of falling flat on my face as it is, but do every single one of you have to drag it out and make the suffering as long and painful as possible? I get it already. I can’t be with Dongwan hyung for two minutes without completely making a fool out of myself. I KNOW. Please, all of you, stop rubbing it in!”
Jaejoong steps forward, “Min, before you say something you think you’re going to regret--”
“SHUT UP.” Changmin almost screams, “YOU ARE THE ROOT OF MY SUFFERING RIGHT NOW, DO NOT TALK ANYMORE OR I WILL SLAP YOU.”
And he abruptly turns to Dongwan, vowing to ignore Jaejoong for the rest of his life, (which in reality equates to maybe an hour at the most) and takes a deep breath. “Look, in case you haven’t figured it out, in case I haven’t been blatantly obvious, in case Jaejoong hyung or Minwoo sunbae or whoever else knows hasn’t told you already or tried to tell you or hinted it to you or whatever, I’m like in love with you.”
Changmin pauses at this moment and thinks about the validity of his words; if he’s going to get it all out in one blow, might as well be brutally honest.
“…Well, okay,” he amends, “Maybe not love-love, maybe I just like you a lot, but I definitely do like you, a lot, and I like what we had even though I was so drunk I didn’t even know where my phone was or where I lived or who the hell you were until the morning came around and I know you were probably just pitying me,” he’s talking so fast now that his words are beginning to mesh together and everyone’s just staring at him like he’s crazy and he really kind of is right about now, “And it’s really just that I’m incredibly annoyed with this whole thing, I’m tired of it, so there, it’s out there, you know, I know, let’s just keep going on about our business like this never happened.”
Changmin nods and exhales, relieved. There’s the start of a tense stillness and then he remembers one last thing. “Oh, and I’ve decided that, since you’re probably going to reject me callously, I get to keep your shirt. I can, can’t I? Because I am.”
There is a long pause in which no one talks or answers his innocent not-question.
And then Yoochun breaks the silence with an awed, “Wow Min.”
Dongwan finally speaks. “Am…am I going to have to sit here and take five minutes to translate whatever he’s saying, what he means and what his thought processes have been for the past forever that he decides he shouldn’t have to share with the world or anyone else until he compresses them all into this one single moment, often? Like, just about every time he rants?”
“Pretty much,” Jaejoong answers with a shrug, “It’s annoying at first, but soon you’ll get used to this language that we call Minnie talking and it’ll take you a matter of seconds to break it all down and respond to it. Trust me, I couldn’t stand him when we first started out.”
Changmin frowns as Junsu laughs. Then he frowns even more when he realizes that…he’s confused. “…Wait,” he says, furrowing his eyebrows, “I think I missed something just now.”
“You did,” Yunho states wisely, nodding. “You really did. This is why you ought to stop ranting like this. You go brain dead shortly after, no offense or anything, and it’s hard to communicate with you for minutes afterwards.”
Dongwan clears his throat loudly, garnering attention. “Well, for starters, I wasn’t pitying you,” he announces, “But the thing is you’re so young and…”
He stops, crosses his arms, and stares meaningfully at the other four. “And, not to be rude, but privacy would kind of be nice right about now.
Changmin snorts. “Good luck with that around here.” He mutters under his breath.
Yoochun and Jaejoong groan while Junsu and Yunho take the two of them by the arm and lead them back down the hallway.
“Are you really going to try and disobey a sunbae, Chunnie?” Junsu asks with a lifted eyebrow; he really actually wants to see Yoochun try it. Yoochun gives a noncommittal grunt instead of answering.
“BooJae,” Yunho chides gently, “We have to give them some privacy to work it out.”
“But…” Jaejoong whines, his voice growing faint as they make their way to the workroom, “But I wanted to watch some more!”
“At least you got to see Changmin make a fool out of himself and scream out ‘nipples’! I didn’t even--” Yoochun’s pouting voice is cut off as the door is closed.
Changmin smacks his own forehead again at the memory. That was obviously not his proudest moment and he’d rather not ever talk about it again. Ever.
Dongwan clears his throat again, “Yeah, nipples? What was that about, anyway?”
Changmin scuffs his toe against the floor, not exactly happy that Dongwan wants to talk about it, and runs a suddenly self-conscious hand through his messy hair. “I…I was panicking,” he explains lamely, “It all just came out all wrong. That tends to happen around you and I hate it. I hate you, actually. A whole whole whole lot and all that good stuff.”
There’s the passing of a moment and Changmin is afraid that the older man actually believes him. “But not really, you know.” He amends hastily.
“You are insane.” Dongwan laughs and finally steps in the apartment, surprising Changmin by pulling him into a hug. “…I…don’t know, I’m not saying we’re going to be truly deeply in love and I’m not saying that this will really work out because you’re busy a lot, I’m busy a lot, our schedules rarely meet up, and I’ll be leaving to serve my military term pretty soon now and you’re so young and I’m not and the age difference is a little more than noticeable, maybe, and I should know better, that’s why I was kind of uneasy about it at first, still am truthfully, but hey, if you’re willing, I’m willing, and it’s more than likely going to be crazy and maybe we’ll totally bomb in this relationship thing. But...”
As Dongwan takes a moment to gather himself and put his emotions into words, Changmin can only lean into the embrace and into the soft jacket Dongwan’s wearing, trying to sniff in the scent that’s been fading on the shirt that he’s been sleeping with at night and teases quietly, “Who’s ranting now, huh?”
He listens to the rumbles of vibration and baritone going through the older man’s chest as Dongwan laughs and continues (less than elegantly, Changmin will admit,) with, “I really can’t promise you the whole world or anything but I really like you too, so.”
And he stops there this time around, completely done, and Changmin can’t help but start laughing. He doesn’t know why, there’s nothing exceedingly funny about it, so maybe it’s that the whole situation of the two of them is rather comical or maybe it’s that he feels really relieved and whatever, something’s funny to him, so he laughs.
“Don’t even ask,” he warns between giggles as Dongwan gives him a funny look, “I’m weird, you know that, right?”
Changmin takes a deep breath and, for the most part, collects himself. “But so. Okay. Yeah. We’re. Yeah.” Changmin stops himself from painfully stuttering and searching for words and starts laughing again, harder, and this time Dongwan joins him.
“We should definitely win an award for our lovely eloquence.” Dongwan jokes.
“We should definitely win an award for something. Though I’m thinking for hardheadedness would be better suited.” Changmin counters.
Dongwan snorts and grabs his chin, pulling his face close. “Smartass.” he whispers to Changmin, lips mere millimeters from the younger’s.
“Think you can you keep up with my brilliance?” Changmin challenges in return, leaning in close enough for his mouth to brush against Dongwan’s and accentuate every word he says.
“I can more than keep up with your so called brilliance, I’ve been around longer than you have. I know some things that’ll make your head spin.” Dongwan mouths against his lips before plunging in for a kiss.
Changmin finds that he really likes this sober kissing thing better than the drunken kind, mostly because this seems more of a long term thing he’s allowed to savor rather than something that should be rushed and enjoyed in the moment. Also maybe, he admits to himself as he involuntary shivers at the implications Dongwan’s words leave floating in the air and presses against the older’s body, Jaejoong had a point with the sober sex comment he had attempted to make earlier.
And well, he thinks vaguely as he kisses back, yes, they should definitely win an award for something.