Chapter Title: Space
Pairings: Changmin/Junsu. Yoochun/Junsu implied throughout. Changmin/Jaejoong (friendship).
Summary: Junsu invades everyone’s personal space. Changmin kindasorta thinks it’s cute it comes naturally to him. Jaejoong puts things into perspective for our maknae. The first story in a series of (unfinished) vignettes set in the Café Bisco fic-universe.
Un Petit Bisco[tti] Pour Toi
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:: Un ::
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Changmin didn’t even notice it at first.
Changmin’s world was constructed of sensibility and subtle nuances, of unspoken possibilities and intellectual banter tinged with snark. The latter was more a defense mechanism than anything.
But he never really felt like he had a good enough handle on people – and especially people like Junsu.
Comparisons between people and animals were the only way he knew how to better understand how people ticked. But Junsu was less like an animal and more like a hummingbird, flitting from flower to flower in search of sweet nectar. For Junsu to be deeply engrossed in something within a group of people was rare; sticking to one activity or even chatting with one person for over five minutes even rarer. Changmin wondered if it had to do with a lack of an attention span or due to Junsu’s genuine empathy for strangers and friends alike.
It was probably both.
But Changmin had truly begun to take notice of it now, spending one night a week walking back home with a breathless Junsu followed close behind, barreling him over in a tight tackle-hug and giggling over whatever insulting name Changmin could think to call him at a moment’s notice, excitedly babbling about how he couldn’t wait to beat Changmin in Mario Kart and raid in Star Quest with him.
It was official: Junsu had no concept of “personal space.”
Granted, the elder teen didn’t only act this way around him. Ever since the incident with the Black Hornets, it seemed Junsu was clingier than ever with everyone.
Getting piggyback rides from Yunho on the way to the train station, for example.
Snuggling up to and sharing headphones in a corner with Jaejoong during their breaks, for instance.
Prattling on and on about inane subjects with Yoochun, letting the older man rest his head on Junsu’s shoulder, nodding indulgently to everything Junsu said even if he didn’t agree, sliding a friendly arm around Junsu’s waist and chuckling with Junsu as they watched a flustered Jaejoong trip over his own two feet and be steadied by none other than the ever-helpful Yunho.
It was times like these that Changmin especially felt like an outsider to his hyung-deul. Again.
Yet Junsu would always chase Changmin down minutes later, peering up at him with that eternally bright, blithe, and brilliant smile, offering the magnae a piece of candy or the promise that tomorrow, on their day off, they could go down to the local noraebang and sing their hearts out and maybe, Min-ah, could you show me that really cool breathing technique from that one lesson last week or the week before that, ‘cause I know this one song that has this one long part that’d be perfect for something like that so I was kindasorta wondering if that’d be okay?
No matter how frustrated or tired or jealous Changmin was, he always took notice of the times when Junsu proved himself – again and again – to be maddeningly, irrevocably adorable.
Sticking his tongue out in concentration when he was thinking particularly hard about something or another.
Rambling on about what he had just realized a minute ago and taking the next five minutes to explain to the other four what he was talking about.
Borrowing Yunho’s sketchbook during a slow period in their workday or on their breaks to doodle a giraffe (or what looked vaguely reminiscent of one, anyway) and having Changmin guess what it was – and when he did, enthusiastically clapping and laughing that ridiculous laugh with an elated, breathless trill as Junsu praised the magnae’s identification skills.
Changmin hated over-thinking things, but it was hard not to reduce his mind to mush when it came to Junsu. There was so much to consider. And so much more about the older boy that he still had yet to learn.
Like the nature of Junsu’s friendship with Yoochun.
“I already told you what I thought about them,” was Jaejoong’s jaunty reply when Changmin approached about it. “Wait.” A thoughtful hum. “Or was that with Yunho-ah…?”
“I don’t really care what you think you said or did actually say,” Changmin groused, rocking back and forth on his stool, facing Jaejoong, “just tell me what your take on their relationship is.” The frown displayed on Changmin’s face left winkles on his brow. “I mean…you and Yoochun-hyung have ‘psychology sessions’ once a week, don’t you?”
Jaejoong’s eyebrows rose into his blond-streaked bangs. “Who did you hear that from?”
Changmin met the eldest’s questioning gaze with a pointed glare. “Who do you think?”
Jaejoong’s cheeks glowed pink. “Oh…I guess that would make sense, wouldn’t it?” Sheepish. “Yoochun-ah tells Junsu-yah everything and Junsu-yah tells you everything.” A light bark of laughter. “It’s an endless cycle of secrets.”
“More like a lack thereof,” corrected Changmin. Then, he sighed, slumping over the counter.
“Anyway, you’re wrong about one thing, hyung. Junsu doesn’t tell me everything.” A cursory glance to the corner where Junsu had abandoned his lunch, having gone outside with Yoochun to take a walk and ‘get some fresh air.’ “If he did, I wouldn’t be talking to you about this right now.”
Jaejoong seemed to consider this.
“Point taken.” Grinning suddenly. “Alright. So you want to know what I think of YooSu couple?”
“Stop talking like Jihye.” Changmin pressed his palm into his forehead, groaning. “But yeah, I guess I do. If you’re actually gonna tell me instead of keeping me in suspense for the rest of our lunch break.”
Jaejoong just threw his head and laughed.
“Changmin-ah.” Jaejoong’s indulgent smile was gently reproachful. “Have you ever met someone that took your breath away from the second you saw them smile?”
For a split second (only for a second; he doesn’t dare linger on the thought longer than that), Changmin thought he might be seeing through Yunho’s eyes, looking upon a specimen of a twenty-something-odd year old man with enough soft, knowing little smiles and sharp, insightful remarks to shape anyone’s opinion of him into admiration and a fair amount of disbelief over how he had never met any person that have such a magnetic aura that made it impossible to turn away from.
And then he thought about it – realizing that he already had.
“Yeah.” Changmin slowly nodded, biting his tongue to keep from grinning (smiles like sunshine, rich boisterous laughter, eukyangkyang, and butterflies treating his stomach like the boundless blue sky). “I think I have, actually.” His head lolled forward, a mirthful chuckle spilling past upturned lips. “Weirdest feeling in the world. But it’s kinda…nice.”
Jaejoong shook his head. Reverie broken, Changmin stared.
“What?” Changmin snapped, a bit irritated.
“It’s just…ironic.” Jaejoong smirked. “The way you answered my question…you’re really similar, you know that?”
“Hyung.” His brain was already flying in ten different directions at once, trying to work out the meaning behind Jaejoong’s words (because there always was one). “I love you for being so understanding, but…I-I don’t follow.”
“You.” Jaejoong intoned, flailing his arms about. “And Yoochun-ah.” Changmin’s eyes widened. “Are very similar.” Making a wide circle with his hands. “Following that so far, Changmin-ah?”
The door to Café Bisco slammed open, accompanied by a chipper voice calling a familiar pet name.
“Min-ah!” Junsu shrieked, tumbling into Changmin’s open arms. “Guess what, guess what, guess what!?”
“Uhh.” Changmin barely had time to respond when Junsu plunged on without him.
“Yoochunnie and I, we found this awesome crepes place down the street and it’s totally cheap and, I was thinking, can we go there later on our way to the park since it’s right along the way—‘cause, seriously, I’m really craving some chocolate banana crème right about now and—?”
“Okay.” That word alone placated the frenzied Junsu, Changmin grinning in response to Junsu beaming mere inches from his face. “We’ll get some later, then. But you’re paying.” Serious. “A hyung’s job is to treat his dongsaeng, right?”
Junsu giggled, turning briefly to a smirking Yoochun behind them and an obviously amused Jaejoong in front of them.
“Uh-huh! Don’t worry, Min-ah,” Junsu seemed to sparkle with every syllable, round cheeks rosy with anticipation, “s’long as you don’t order an extra large pizza crepe or anything, we’ll be safe on the money front!”
“Hmm.” Feigning a thinking face. “That actually does sound good—”
Yoochun snorted, Jaejoong crumbled to the floor chortling, and Yunho came out from the kitchen baffled, flapping his mouth uselessly in question. No one bothered to fill him in on the details.
“I was kidding, Junsu,” Changmin assured him after he stopped snickering. “Did you really think I was serious?”
“Sometimes it’s hard to tell with you!” Junsu whined, lower lip jutting out. “I keep telling you not to mess with me like that, but you never listen…!”
“When you listen to me about respecting other peoples’ personal space,” Changmin patted Junsu on the head (supportively, just to make a point), shaking his head, “then I’ll listen.”
Either way, it was definitely official: Junsu didn’t know the meaning of personal space. But that was alright.
Changmin appreciated being an idle spectator to the marvel that was Kim Junsu nonetheless.
[ fin. ]