“An americano with soy over ice,” Changmin calls and then glances down at the name. “For Jaejoong-ssi.”
A man comes forward, shoulders stiff, hands stuffed deep into his skinny jeans pockets, and Changmin has a brief moment to wonder how he even managed to do that considering how skin tight the jeans looked. Changmin eyes him, the way the man glances at Changmin’s wings and how quickly he averts his eyes -- was he human? -- and then takes the americano, mutters a thanks, and walks away, eyes diverted very carefully away from Changmin’s.
He comes back the day after and the day after that. Every so often, Changmin notes, and sometimes, if Changmin finishes making the americano early enough, he can catch Jaejoong-ssi eyeing him with the most peculiar expression.
Once, after having enough of it, Changmin scowls at Jaejoong-ssi.
“What are you looking at?” Changmin growls.
Jaejoong-ssi looks surprised at first, like he couldn’t believe that a barista was being rude to a customer, but then he quickly sculpts his expression back into a cool glance.
“Wondering if you can fly,” Jaejoong says and then squints at Changmin’s name tag. “Changmin-ssi.”
“Of course I can,” Changmin says and then feeling reckless, adds, “I’d be willing to show you sometime if you’re up for it.”
Jaejoong scoffs. “Like you can carry me, twig,” he says.
Offended, Changmin scrambles for something to say, but Jaejoong-ssi is already heading out the door, bell ringing.
“Yeah?” Changmin mutters. “Well maybe you need to cut the americano.”
From the other side of the counter, Victoria sighs.
Some days, Jaejoong-ssi arrives dressed to the nines; hair perfectly brushed back in waves, eyes lined with kohl, a fitted collared shirt let loose around a pair of skinny jeans. Other days, he arrives looking -- more normal -- v-necks showing off a creamy expanse of a skin and a pair of casual sweats.
Those days, Changmin can’t help but tease him.
“Looking a little rough today, Jaejoong-ssi,” Changmin says, handing over the americano although Jaejoong always seems to look perfect.
Jaejoong scowls, but takes the americano.
“Shut it, angel face,” Jaejoong says. “Just because you have wings doesn’t mean you’re an angel at heart anyway.”
Changmin’s wings flutter in mock offense.
“How dare you! I’ll have you know that my parents know that I’m the kindest, most wisest, and most handsome angel they’ve ever seen --”
Jaejoong rolls his eyes, tosses a bill in the tip jar.
“Okay, angel face, bye.”
“This fucking kid,” Jaejoong says as soon as he gets to the set.
Yoochun barely gives him a wave from his position, lounging on the beach chairs, a One Piece manga in his hand.
Jaejoong takes off his jacket, stuffs the scarf inside the folds of the coat, and tosses it onto his seat as a couple of women walk up to him, to help him change into the outfit for the set.
The stylists help him out of his normal clothes and then pushes him into the ones laid out for him -- a pair of white shorts complete with a striped top. Another stylist comes up, motions towards the seat, and starts working on his hair.
“You’re late,” Jihyo huffs.
“Sorry,” Jaejoong says. “Had a run in with an irritating kid.”
“That Shim kid again?” Yoochun finally says.
Jaejoong clenches his fists.
“Unfortunately,” he says.
From the corner of his eye, Jaejoong can see that Yoochun’s set down the manga with a sigh.
“I really need to meet this kid, if he gets you riled up like this every time you visit that cafe,” Yoochun says. “Why do you even go to that cafe anyway?”
“Yeah,” Jihyo says. “You know you can just use your incubus powers or whatnot to tell him to scram?”
Jaejoong exchanges a glance with Yoochun, who shrugs, and then turns away. He mutters something about liking their americano best and that even the cafe nearby couldn’t compete in terms of the tea quality, but honestly, he’s not too sure (aside from the incubus comment). Everytime he walks inside that cafe, he already knows what he wants and he already knows who he’s going to see --
-- that tall kid angel with the snarky mouth and a bitchy smirk who seemed to Know It All. God, Shim was too fucking irritating.
“There,” Jihyo says, pats Jaejoong’s hair, and then looks at him. “Try not to mess it up too much, alright?”
“Thanks, Jihyo,” Jaejoong says, and lets himself get ushered into photoshoots.
Before he disappears, Yoochun turns to him, eyes gold.
“You need me to sing a song to calm you?” he asks.
Jaejoong waves him off.
“Nah, it’s fine,” he says and then leans in to whisper into Yoochun’s ear. “I think Jihyo used her witchy thing on me.”
“Heard that,” Jihyo says. “Don’t make me go all witchy on the both of you.”
“Hey Hyung,” Changmin says.
Yunho slides into the seat across from him, rubbing tired eyes. Underneath one arm is a pile of textbooks, presumably checked out from the school library. In the other hand, he manages to balance his lunch tray.
“Hey yourself, Changminnie,” he says.
Changmin wipes his hands.
“More papers to grade?” he asks, eyeing the pile of essays Yunho plops down in front of them.
“Why did I take this job?” he whines. “Why couldn’t I have picked some other desk job?”
“At least it pays well,” Changmin reminds him, thinking of his own part time position.
Yunho sighs and takes a bite of his rice.
“Is hottie still bothering you?”
Changmin rolls his eyes.
“He never really bothered me --”
“-- oh right -- because he’s your only source of --”
“-- entertainment, that’s right.” Changmin steals a piece of bulgogi from Yunho’s tray, chews it thoughtfully. “He makes it too easy,” Changmin smirks.
“Want me to drop by sometime and --”
Changmin shakes his head, wings ruffling along with his movement.
“No -- nah,” he says. “No need for your sex thing.”
Yunho glances around the cafeteria, surveys for any potential eavesdropper. When he finds none, he turns back to Changmin, sighs.
“A little louder next time, yeah?”
Changmin takes another piece.
“I don’t get you,” he says. “Why don’t you want to just let everyone know you’re an incubus? What’s wrong with that?”
Yunho blinks and turns his attention to his food.
“Why pretend to be a vampire?” Changmin asks.
“You wouldn’t get it,” Yunho says, after a moment’s silence. “You’re an angel.”
From his position lounging on the couches complete with a mouthful of potato chips and an Xbox controller in hand, Junsu groans and pauses the game, knowing that there would be no way he could complete the level with --
Jaejoong walks in, an air of dramatics and Yoochun following behind him.
-- with Jaejoong and Yoochun now invading his apartment.
“WHAT,” Junsu barks, spewing a handful of potato chip crumbles from his mouth.
“Tell Yoochunnie to stop,” Jaejoong whines, stomping over to Junsu. He stands in front of the younger man, one hand on his hip, and the other pointing an accusatory finger towards Yoochun.
Junsu turns to Yoochun, face impassive.
“Stop,” he simply says. As if that simple demand would stop Yoochun from doing -- whatever.
“No way -- Hyung, fight your own battles!” he says, incredulous.
Junsu sighs, unsure if he wants to get involved.
“What’s going on,” he says, dreading the response.
Jaejoong sneaks onto the couch, tucks himself close to Junsu.
“He’s using his stupid siren Song and making me think weird things!”
Before Junsu can even say anything, Yoochun bursts out in a series of huffs and puffs.
“I am not!” Yoochun says, affronted.
“You are too!”
Junsu rubs his head and then winces when the long fake nails he had put on scratches him. He just wants to play his fucking video game before rehearsal tonight, damn it.
“C’mon Junsu, I need you to tell him to back off -- your Gaze should do it!”
“But I’m not even using my Song!”
“Why don’t you just Growl at him,” Junsu mutters, turning back to his video game again. No way was he spending his free time watching two friends argue over something so senseless.
Jaejoong turns to Junsu, eyes flashing gold.
“No,” he says, lip pursed. “I swore off my powers, remember?”
“And I don’t know why!” Yoochun shouts. His arms fly up. “There’s nothing wrong with being a werewolf!”
“Says the siren,” Jaejoong mutters.
“Quiet children,” Junsu says. “Hyung, what weird thoughts were you having?”
Instantly, Jaejoong turns red, mutters something inaudible, and storms off into the kitchen, argument completely forgotten. The curtain separating the two rooms flutter behind him, leaving confused silence from Junsu and bemusement from Yoochun.
Yoochun sighs, takes Jaejoong’s empty seat, and sinks into the couches.
“Bet it was about angelface,” Yoochun says, after a few minutes of watching Junsu’s characters kill off the haunting ghosts on screen.
It takes Junsu a while to respond.
“From the cafe?”
“Yep, Hottie with the Long Legs and Cute Smile,” Yoochun says. “And the Wings.”
Junsu grunts in reply, too enraptured in his video game.
Yoochun watches Junsu’s character fight a larger monster. Then, a thought occurs to him.
“Junsu,” he says. “I’ve got an idea.”
Oh no, Junsu thinks immediately and accidentally presses the jump button. The character on screen falls to his death.
Fuck Yoochun and his ideas.
Jiyeon averts her eyes from the TV and to her brother walking through the front door.
“At cram,” she says. “She'll be home late.”
Changmin gives Jiyeon a look of disbelief.
“And why aren't you at cram?”
Changmin sighs, sets his bookbag down on the kitchen table and makes his way to the couch where Jiyeon is snuggled between the ruffles of her dusky gray feathers and a large throw blanket. He nudges her knee with his own.
“Move,” he says.
She grunts when she makes room for him and again when he lets his body fall onto the couch, body pressed next to hers.
The woman on the TV screen runs dramatically through the streets of what looks like Seoul -- though Changmin guesses it was probably filmed in the middle of the night, when most of the city was asleep -- and yells after someone.
“What’s wrong?” Changmin sighs.
“Nothing,” Jiyeon says.
He elbows her.
“Ow! What the fuck, oppa?” She pulls the blanket closer to her body, uses her wings to push back against her older brother. “Go away!”
“No way,” he says and pushes back.
“Ugh,” she mumbles, settling back to her peace.
He elbows her again.
“Ugh, fuck,” Jiyeon says, gathers her blankets tighter around her. “Fine,” she says. “I”ll talk.”
She pauses, closes her eyes as if to gather her thoughts before speaking.
“Got into a fight with Umma and Appa,” she admits, eyes focused on the TV screen, away from Changmin’s face. “They didn’t really seem to like the fact that…” she pauses, then, “that I want to go into entertainment.”
Both of Changmin’s eyebrows fly up.
“You know Angels don’t --”
“--go into entertainment, got it, oppa,” Jiyeon finishes, rolling her eyes. “But fuck, it’s just sucks you know? I want to be able to do what I want, not let the fact that I’m an Angel dictate my career path.”
Changmin bites his lips.
“I want to act,” she says. “Or like, sing or something. Anything really.”
Jiyeon takes a breath.
“I just know that I don’t want to be a doctor or be a professor or whatever else Angels are supposed to be,” she says. “I know it’s not for me.”
Changmin wants to tell her to go for it; screw the rules. But he knows he can’t. Angels who don’t follow the rules, Supernaturals who don’t follow the rules, who don’t do what they’re supposed to -- well -- they can’t really thrive. They can’t live, really. They end up lost, homeless, stuck in an endless cycle of poverty and homelessness, cycling through shelters.
He doesn’t want that for Jiyeon.
But he can’t really see JIyeon as anything but an actress, as someone in theatre. She lives it, breathes it; entertainment fitted her.
“I’ll help you,” he says, finally making a decision. He squeezes her shoulder. “You want to be in the entertainment business? Let me help you.”
JIyeon looks at him, eyes a little watery.
“Nice hair,” Changmin says, hands over the americano, and turns back to the next order.
Jaejoong pats his newly-dyed blond hair, frowning. It’s styled today; one side is brushed back against his head and the other lays out in waves in front of his face. He actually thinks it looks a little strange on his head, but Yoochun and Junsu had reassured him that he looked great -- which was nice, because they usually opted more for the blunt honest truth, even letting him know what exactly they thought when he had that disastrous short cut a while back.
“What? That’s it today?” Jaejoong says.
Changmin turns to look at him and then shrugs.
Frowning, Jaejoong takes his americano, and makes his way towards the counter with the condiments.
It’s not until he finishes adjusting the americano in his hand to his tastes, that Changmin walks over to him, causing his heart to leap up to his throat.
He tries to calm himself.
But Changmin is only refilling the napkin dispenser. Too focused on his task, he doesn’t acknowledge or even ask Jaejoong to move.
And if anything, Jaejoong frowns harder. It’s...not like he expected attention, but he sort of did. When he walked into shops or grocery stores, he already stood out because of his height, but with the addition of the hair color change --
he was sure to get more attention from Changmin-ssi than he was now, right?
Jaejoong bites his lip and then spins around, heading out the door without another thought about Changmin-ssi. Screw him, he thinks. He can hit on other men. He’ll get over that kid.
Except he can’t.
“What’s up with you?” Yoochun asks, when they’re taking a break from a photoshoot. “What’s wrong now?”
Jaejoong presses his back against the couch, wants to enjoy the softness of it, but can’t quite. His mind is too preoccupied on More Important matters, like why Changmin-ssi isn’t paying attention to him and snarking back at him like usual.
“Nothing,” Jaejoong says, stares at nothing.
Yoochun rolls his eyes.
“Obviously there’s something,” he says. “Otherwise, you wouldn’t be sitting and sulking and sighing. Is it that Shim kid again? What’d he say to you this time?”
Jaejoong bites his lip.
“That’s the problem,” he finally says. “He didn’t say anything.”
Yoochun raises an eyebrow.
“Really,” he says. “How...interesting.”
Jaejoong frowns. “Why are you saying it like that,” he says. “What are you thinking about --” he moves closer to Yoochun. “What are you planning.”
Yoochun shakes Jaejoong off, grins at his hyung, and then scoots back towards the hairstylists.
“Nothing~” he sing songs, lets the music of the Siren wave over Jaejoong and calm him down. “Nothing at all~”
A werewolf can’t fight against a Siren Song too well, so all Jaejoong manages to do is flick him off before he finds himself following Yoochun back to the stylists.
The bell above the front door rings, signaling another customer’s entrance. Changmin lets an automatic greeting slip from his lips and turns away from cleaning out the cappuccino machine.
A well dressed man walks forward, someone Changmin has never really seen visit this cafe before. Rather than peering curiously at the menu above Changmin’s head, like a newcomer, the man’s eyes hone onto Changmin’s name tag and then slides to his face, as though pinning him down with a single stare.
“How can I help you?” Changmin asks when the man walks forward.
The man gives him a rather flirtatious grin.
“I’m not too sure,” he says, “since this is my first time here. What do you recommend?”
Changmin sighs, suppresses the urge to roll his eyes.
“Well,” he says. “One of our popular drinks is the coconut milk latte; it’s also our month special.”
Well-dressed-man smiles and nods.
“That sounds… great,” he says.
Changmin rings him up.
“Jaejoongie,” he says.
Changmin’s eyebrows automatically raise. He pauses and turns to face the well-dressed man. Coincidence? he wonders. Maybe not so much.
But “Jaejoongie” tries to look innocent, shrugging when Changmin eyes him.
So Changmin turns back to the cup, marker in hand, and without thinking about it, he writes “Jaejoongie” in his best handwriting, complete with a smiley face.
“So,” the man says, while Changmin works on the latte. “Are there any other specials?”
“If you look at the menu, we list our specials,” he says.
The man chuckles and Changmin has the urge to hit him in the face.
“Really? What about specials -- just for me?”
Frustrated, Changmin spins around, drink in hand.
“Look mister,” he says through gritted teeth. “I’m really flattered, but I’m not interested.” And he hands the man his drink.
“Not interested in me? Or already interested in someone else?”
“Both,” Changmin says, without thinking.
And the man smiles.
“Thanks Changmin-ssi,” he says, and slinks away and out the door.
“What the fuck is this,” Jaejoong says, eyes the drink hovering in front of his eyes.
“An apology,” Yoochun says, shoving the coconut milk latte into Jaejoong’s hands. “For using my Song.”
Jaejoong takes a sip.
“It’s actually -- good,” he says, surprised. “Thanks.”
Yoochun shrugs and disappears for his next shoot.
As the day wraps up, Yoochun disappears to his classes, trying to cram music theory study sessions between photoshoots, so Jaejoong decides to go bother Junsu. Since dusk was just beginning to fall, Junsu should be up.
“Mind cleaning up Yoochun’s spot also?” Jihyo asks as she walks by with an armful of clothing.
Jaejoong glances at Yoochun’s makeup station, eyes its barren surface, and wonders if Jihyo meant someone else.
Before he can ask, she disappears into the clothing van, presumably putting away the extra clothing.
He sighs. Mind as well pick up his own makeup station, he thinks. As he does so, he picks up the nearly empty cup of latte, finishing its last dredges. The marker at the bottom of the cup catches his eye -- “Jaejoongie :)” he reads. And then -- “hope to see you soon.”
And he spins the cup until he finds the logo of the cafe that Shim kid worked at.
God damn it, Yoochun, he thinks. But he can’t help but smile at the message.
The bell rings and Changmin looks up. It’s well dressed man again, he thinks annoyed, but Jaejoong-ssi trails after him, a strange air of apprehension fluttering around him though well dressed man seemed calm and casual.
Jaejoong leans into well dressed man’s personal space. A little too close, Changmin thinks darkly but says nothing when the two of them walk forward.
“Hello, how can I help you?” Changmin deadpans. He tries to be happy most of the time -- really -- he does, but seeing Jaejoong-ssi and that irritating man standing way too close to him was. Well. Was it really necessary for him to be a hair’s breadth away?
Jaejoong doesn’t seem to notice the animosity towards his friend; he only gives Changmin a little wave.
“The usual,” Jaejoong says, with none of the underlying bite that usually accompanies his orders. “Thanks Changmin-ssi.”
A little caught off guard by the sudden -- could Changmin call it friendliness? -- friendly tone in Jaejoong’s voice, Changmin stumbles over writing Jaejoong’s name onto the cup.
“And you?” He turns to Jaejoong’s friend.
“Ah! Yoochunnie will have a dirty chai,” Jaejoong says, smiling. He slings an arm around Yoochun’s shoulders.
Changmin punches in the order a little too hard and when he tries to write “Yoochun” on the cup, he manages to poke a hole through it.
Sometime after ordering their drinks and Changmin turning to finish up, Jaejoong disappears, leaving behind an anxious looking Yoochun.
Who starts walking over to the front counter and fuck -- was he going to chat Changmin up again?
But Yoochun wrings his hands, head a little bowed.
“Sorry about yesterday,” he says, shrugging a little.
“I mean it -- I shouldn’t have come on so strongly,” Yoochun continues.
Changmin sighs. Maybe he should take his break. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea, he thinks. Before Yoochun can finish whatever he was saying, Changmin turns to Victoria, hanging out by the pastries.
“Taking my break,” he calls out to her. “Back in ten.”
She waves and Changmin has enough time to catch a glimpse of Yoochun’s face -- oddly anxious, again -- before he disappears behind the “Employees Only” door.
He settles into one of the chairs, a hard plastic one with wire backing, and pulls out his phone, with every intention of just surfing the net during his break. Maybe he needed coffee, he thinks, fluttering his wings a little. Even Angels needed caffeine.
It’s only been a couple minutes before there’s shuffling outside the door and then some voices. A little irked because he had only just gotten on break and he and Victoria were the only ones there, he gets up.
“Victoria? I’m still on break, remember?”
The door flies open, a body is shoved into Changmin’s arms, and Changmin -- who wasn’t excepting a flying body to land in his arms -- lets his wings fly out to cushion their fall, and the door slams shut, locking behind the two. The sound of something scraping across the floor echoes from the other side of the door, followed by a thud.
Changmin blinks. Looks up and stares straight into Jaejoong’s wide eyes.
“Did they just lock us in here,” Jaejoong says.
“Yah!” Jaejoong yells, fist pounding at the door until he’s sure he has bloody knuckles. “Let us out of here!”
Changmin sighs, stands a little ways away.
From the other side, they can hear whispering and then --
“Not until you two kiss!” comes Victoria’s voice.
“What?” Changmin and Jaejoong chorus.
“We’re tired of you two complaining to us about each other,” Yoochun says. “Jaejoongie -- you’ve already said that you would totally fuck him already if you had a shot.”
Jaejoong colors when Changmin looks at him.
“And I can’t deal with your ‘Jaejoong-ssi this’ and ‘Jaejoong-ssi that’ whining anymore Changmin,” Victoria says. “All of us -- here at Cafe Latte -- are tired of it.”
And silence envelopes the room, sinking into the awkwardness that now lingered in the air between Changmin and Jaejoong.
What the fuck did a person say to that, Jaejoong thinks. How the fuck does he salvage this.
“So hey, I think you’re hot,” Jaejoong says, shrugging, trying to make the best of it.
Changmin stares at him and then lets out a guffaw.
Without realizing it, Jaejoong starts laughing too, and the two of them descend into peals of laughter, leaning into each other for support when their sides began hurting and when they couldn’t hold themselves up.
“Fuck,” Changmin says, once they’ve calmed. “This is ridiculous.”
“Fucking ridiculous,” Jaejoong agrees.
Now that the laughter was gone, the air of awkwardness slowly comes back. Jaejoong scrambles for something -- anything -- to prevent it from seeping back, but before he can say anything (or do anything), Changmin speaks.
“So do you want to kiss me?”
“Only if you want to.”
“What if I don’t want to?”
“How can you now want to kiss someone like me?”
“Why the fuck should I?”
Before Jaejoong can say anything, a soft “oh my god” and “what the fuck” wafts through the locked doors.
“Okay, if we’re going to get out of here, we just have to kiss, right?” Jaejoong says. “Let’s just kiss and get out of here -- regardless of whether or not you find me attractive.”
“Okay,” he finally says. “Give me your hand.”
“It helps me kiss better!”
“It’s not like we’re going to be Frenching though --”
Though Jaejoong would definitely not mind.
“Wait, so you think they’re going to be satisfied with just a peck?”
“Well, it’s not like they’ll know,” Jaejoong says.
Changmin rolls his eyes. “They’ll know,” he says. “I don’t know how, but they’ll know. Now, are we going to hold hands or --”
And without warning, Jaejoong slips his hands between Changmin’s, pushes the taller boy against the locked door, and kisses the life out of him.
“You were getting a little too talkative,” Jaejoong says, a little out of breath, after pulling away from the kiss.
Dazed, Changmin grins.
“I think that was you,” he says, and then spins them around, pushes Jaejoong against the walls, and proceeds to fucking French him.
Not like we’re going to be Frenching, my ass, Changmin thinks.
“So he’s a model?”
Changmin nods, pulls his laptop closer, and tries to focus on the medical terminology that he has to cram in his brain for the upcoming exam in -- he glances at his watch -- in half an hour.
Yunho gives Changmin a hard nudge.
“Well?” he says. “What kind of modeling? Is it famous? If I open a magazine, will I see him in it?”
Changmin shrugs, types a few words, glances at the flashcards laying scattered in front of him.
“I don’t know,” he says. “Would you quit bothering me?” He shoves Yunho back, hard enough to push the incubus off the chair. His wings flutter with a sort of glee.
“Rude,” Yunho says, moving back to his seat across from Changmin. He lowers his voice. “So he’s an incubus then?”
Changmin nods, eyes focused on hypertension in front of him. “I think so -- most models are in that realm anyway. Incubi, sirens, vampires… Anyway, it shouldn’t be a problem.”
“What did you say his name was again?”
Hypertension blurs into hypochondriac; Changmin blinks, trying to wipe away the weariness. He scribbles some notes about hypochondriac and hopes the exam doesn’t actually include too many English words.
Yunho’s voice sounds a little far away so Changmin looks up.
“What are you --”
--and catches Yunho staring, with a devious grin, at his phone.
“Kim Jaejoong, was it?” Yunho says. He holds up his phone, showing a very clear and very beautiful picture of Changmin’s current boyfriend, shirtless, clad in only a pair of unbuttoned jeans.
“Definitely an incubus,” Yunho continues.
Changmin stares dumbfounded at the picture -- he’d never really asked much, never really even seen a picture of Jaejoong’s work. He takes the phone and stares, at the heavy hooded eyes, framed with smoky eye make up, at the clearly-glossed lips, and styled hair.
“Changminnie,” Yunho says. “If you don’t leave now, you’re going to be late for your exam.”
“Fuck,” Changmin says. “Fuck,” he says again, grabbing his things. Now all he’s going to be thinking about during his exam was fucking Kim Jaejoong.
“Fuck you Jung!” he says again, when he’s leaving.
Jaejoong’s body is warm against Changmin’s, the only movement -- the slow rise and fall of his chest and the every so often turn of the page of the book Jaejoong’s reading. Changmin’s left arm is going numb from Jaejoong’s head, but he doesn’t mind it so much, just tries to concentrate on writing his essay.
It’s quiet and it’s nice to have a brief moment’s respite from life’s busy-ness.
Changmin ruffles his wings, wraps one closer to Jaejoong’s left shoulder and arm.
“Mmm, nice and warm,” Jaejoong murmurs.
“Better be,” Changmin says. “You’re like a freaking volcano already.”
Jaejoong’s body rumbles with laughter, vibrating against Changmin’s side.
“Can’t help it,” he says. Then, he pushes himself off Changmin -- which, Changmin only has a moment to mourn the loss -- and then turns to him. “Want something to eat?”
Immediately, Changmin’s stomach rumbles at the thought of Jaejoong’s home cooked food.
“Hell yes,” he says. “Anything.”
Jaejoong grins. “Well, I’ve got some leftover kimchi fried rice --”
“--and some pajeon.”
Changmin watches as Jaejoong heads towards the kitchen, disappears behind the refrigerator door, and begins to pull out leftovers.
“Hyung,” he calls.
Jaejoong’s head pops over the fridge door. He lets out a questioning “hm?”
Changmin stares, at the mess of Jaejoong’s hair, piled into a bird’s nest on top of his head, wide, tired eyes, and a quirk of the lips.
Without thinking, he gets up, walks towards Jaejoong.
“Want some help?”
“You didn’t think I’d just let you sit there, right?” Jaejoong says, shoving a container of kimchi fried rice at him. “Heat this up.”
Changmin takes the container, holds it very carefully in his hands. He stares at Jaejoong, watches as he removes another container, scrutinizes the way Jaejoong lifts the cover of the pajeon container, smells it, and smiles, the way the corners curve just slightly. Something seems to click and without realizing it, Changmin says:
“I love you.”
Jaejoong stills, turns to Changmin.
“Ah,” Changmin says. “Better go warm this up.” And he skedaddles towards the cabinets for a plate.
“What do I do?” Jaejoong wails, shoves his head further on the table, and crumbles into stillness.
From across the room, Junsu and Yoochun share an unamused stare.
“Just tell him?” Yoochun tries, winces when a sharp crunch permeates the air.
Junsu doesn’t seem to notice, just keeps munching away on his bag of blood chips.
“Hyung,” Junsu says. “It’s not hard. He loves you; you love him. Just tell him. I’m sure he won’t care.”
“But he’s an Angel,” came the muffled reply.
“Well,” Yoochun says. “You’re not wrong.”
“He thinks you’re in incubus, right?” Junsu continues. “I mean, Angels usually date other Angels so this is already a good sign…”
Jaejoong lifts his head, seems to contemplate this.
“Tell him or don’t,” Yoochun says. “But he’s going to find out one way or another.”
“I’m feeling some deja vu,” Junsu says.
“Oh my god, the full moon,” Jaejoong says, very suddenly, standing. “I promised him we’d go out to the country.”
“What better way to tell him,” Yoochun says.
“Fuck,” Jaejoong swears.
“Better tell him now then,” Junsu mutters between bites.
The bus rumbles to a slow stop, easing into stillness as Jaejoong nervously fumbles with his bag.
Changmin says nothing, only gives him an odd, questioning glance when the two of them stand up and head towards the door.
It’s only after they check in, only when they finally enter their rented room for the evening that Changmin spins around, frown plastered on his face, that he says anything.
“What’s up with you?”
“What do you mean?” Jaejoong says, tries to look busy sorting out his clothes. He puts the pile of clean towels on the bed; they’ll be in the hot springs soon.
“You’ve been antsy all day,” Changmin says, “and during the bus ride here, it was like something had crawled up your pants.”
“Nothing crawled up my pants.”
Changmin rolls his eyes, moves closer.
“Is this about what I said last time?” He asked, voice quieter.
Jaejoong pauses too long. Before he can answer, Changmin sighs, and backs away. The door shuts close after him.
“Fuck,” Jaejoong says.
The full moon comes out in a few hours and if Jaejoong doesn’t fucking get his tail out from between his legs, then -- then he’d probably scare Changmin half to death with suddenly turning into a wolf.
Or get killed by an Angel.
Jaejoong sinks further into the depths of the water, lets the warmth embrace him.
From the other side of the hot springs, Changmin sulks.
Okay, Jaejoong thinks, it’s doom day.
He wades over to Changmin, whose back is towards Jaejoong. Without thinking, his eyes immediately catch onto the water droplets decorating Changmin’s back, the way his wings rise from his body; he stares, eyes the way the water droplets drip down each sculpted muscle, flush past the feathers, and how, when Changmin breathed, the muscle rippled through, feathers fluttering.
“Changmin,” Jaejoong says. He reaches out, hand on Changmin’s bare shoulder.
Changmin stiffens from underneath Jaejoong’s hand, but he doesn’t push Jaejoong away.
“I’m really happy that you love me,” Jaejoong says. “Because I love you, too.”
Changmin spins around, water rippling between the two. His eyes, wide. He opens his mouth to speak, but stops only when he sees Jaejoong’s raised hand.
“But there’s something you need to know about me,” Jaejoong says. He takes a deep breath, stares straight into Changmin’s eyes.
“I’m a werewolf,” Jaejoong says. “And tonight’s a full moon.”
Changmin says nothing at first. Then --
“So you mean, tonight -- I’ll be cuddling with a wolf?”
Jaejoong gulps, nods.
Changmin turns away, stares far away.
“Huh, I’ve wasted my incubi jokes on you then.”
Changmin watches, fascinated, as the moon behind him rises; watches the way Jaejoong curls into himself, claws slowly growing out from his fingernails, fur, soft and deep jet black, slowly cover his arms, legs, face -- everywhere.
When a couple minutes pass and Jaejoong’s pained breathing eases, Changmin opens his arms.
Before him, Jaejoong stands on four legs, shakes his fur -- a sheen rippling through the deep blackness -- and lets out a happy yip.
“You’re more like a mutt than a wolf,” Changmin laughs, ruffling Jaejoong’s head.
Underneath Changmin’s hand, the fur rumbles as Jaejoong growls.
When Changmin turns to look at the wolf, straight on, it’s weird but. He can actually see Jaejoong’s eyes staring straight back at him, wide and dark. He can tell that it’s Jaejoong even though --
Even though the textbooks, the books, the news articles, the stories, they all say that the wolves are all the same, that they're all wild beasts.
“Come on,” Changmin says, slides into bed. He pats the space next to him and lets Jaejoong leap up onto the bed. He curls his body around Jaejoong’s furry one, rests.
In the morning, when Jaejoong wakes, fully human and naked, he takes one look at the sleeping Changmin, presses himself closer, and lets the even breathing lull him back to sleep.