Summary: Predebut; based off the real life premise that JaeHo were poor as trainees and they once had to share rooms.
Author's Note: Dedicated to belchan and inspired by her Warmth fic. This is a sequel of sorts.
JaeJoong struggled as he squeezed into the Go Si Won. It was a tiny space, barely enough for 3 people to stand in. And just right for one person to sleep in. He glanced outside and sighed as he took in his friend’s bedraggled state. It seemed Yunho had had no luck finding a job today.
He looked at the younger boy, studying the hesitant expression on his face.
“Here, come in!” he dragged Yunho inside with one arm, letting out an oomph as the larger teen fell on top of him. It took a few minutes to untangle their limbs in the small enclosure, but to JaeJoong it seemed like hours. The moment he got free, he turned around and buried his head in the moth-eaten, musty smelling sparse bedding that the floor was covered with.
He closed his eyes and ignored Yunho’s concerned queries, concentrating on the fact that this was his best friend. His only close friend, whom he could not afford to alienate. This wasn’t someone he was supposed to have such a reaction towards when they had just touched.
It’s more than touching. He was sitting on top of you.
JaeJoong ignored the insidious thought. They had wrestled plenty of times and those bouts of playfulness had ended in much the same situation, with the heavier Yunho pinning JaeJoong under him. So why was this any different? Exactly. It wasn’t.
A weight suddenly landed on top of him and JaeJoong yelped.
“Yunhoyah!” he yelled incredulously at the other boy. Yunho just grinned and rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
“Eh, you weren't answering. Besides, I thought I hurt you,” the boy finished softly, looking away from JaeJoong. JaeJoong sighed.
“Aish. Jung Yunho, you’re heavy. But you aren’t that heavy! Ahh, we should sleep. We have an 8am shift at the hotel kitchen tomorrow remember?”
Yunho’s face fell as he remembered their dish-washing job. “Huh,” he grunted.
“Heyy! At least we’ll have money to eat tomorrow!” JaeJoong exclaimed, his stomach growling at the reminder. JaeJoong heaved a soft sigh of relief as Yunho turned around, and he patted his still warm cheeks. Thank god the other hadn’t noticed a thing. For once, JaeJoong was thankful for Yunho’s obliviousness to his…reactions.
He smiled absentmindedly as he recalled another time Yunho’s sweet affections had made him red - Yunho had draped a jacket over a supposedly-sleeping him. JaeJoong couldn’t remember blushing more around anyone else. As a matter of fact, he didn’t blush at all when others were around. It was only Yunho –
He sighed. The soft smile on his face morphed into an unhappy press of the lips as he surveyed the floor. There was no space for them to sleep together in this room. He bit his lips.
“Jae? Are you alright?” The affection and the concern in Yunho’s large brown eyes almost made him blush again. Almost. But he didn’t. He just looked at the floor. Yunho followed his gaze from his resting place. His eyes widened. There wasn’t enough space. They looked at each other; JaeJoong was chewing on his lips by now.
“I – it’s alright. I’ll just leave,” Yunho got up and walked towards the door. JaeJoong barred him.
“No. We can share!“
“There isn’t enough space. You shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable!”
“But we can –“
“Jae, it’s okay. I’ll go crash Junsu’s apartment. Or Heechul-hyung’s...”
“At this time of the night?”
“Yeah, I’ll just –“
“No!” JaeJoong grabbed at Yunho’s shirt. He could make this work. Like he had been thinking earlier, this was Yunho. His brother. They could sleep pressed together.
“Just lie down. We can fit. We aren’t that big you know, Yunho?”
“Yah! Just do it,” he tugged at his friend’s arm. He gave an exasperated sigh and lay down, not relinquishing his hold on Yunho. He forced the other down beside him and wrapped his arms around him, somehow managing to squeeze both of them together.
He stared at the black tank top he was holding, feeling the blood rise in his cheeks. He was holding Yunho. He bit his lips again, tasting salty blood in his mouth this time.
Yunho. It’s just Yunho. Yunho. Friend. He’s my friend. Aish no. He’s closer than that. He’s my brother. Friend. Brother. Friend. Brother. He’s my Yunho. My Yunho –
Somehow JaeJoong fell asleep that night, a recurring litany running through his head.
“JaeJoong. JaeJoongah,” a hoarse voice awoke him. He stirred and mumbled, burying his head in Yunho’s. The strangled moan that echoed through the tiny excuse of a room wasn’t heard by JaeJoong. He was too far gone for that. He did however feel the loss of warmth when his pillow lurched uncomfortably. He whined and grabbed at his soft pillow.
His eyes flew open. He blinked in disorientation. Who? What? Where? Why was everything still black? Was that his mother?
He moved his head upwards and met with a pair of familiar Bambi orbs. Yunho! He looked at his arms. They were wrapped firmly around Yunho’s lower back. And his head had been buried in – he stared in abject horror now – the soft pillow his head had been resting on…
Had been Yunho’s chest.
JaeJoong turned scarlet. He grabbed his meager belongings and flew out the door, heading for the common bathroom. He groaned. Aish, what would Yunhoyah think of him now!
It was a pity he didn’t see Yunho’s sleep-deprived eyes, identical flushed face, and the stiff, awkward gait with which the other boy limped to the bathroom.