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if you ever come through here (come and take me away)

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It’s June 9th. Changmin is eating dinner.

He’s hot. It’s hot out and he’s eating spicy food and he’s been in closed buildings all day. His hair is sweaty enough to push straight up. He hasn’t seen Yunho at all since Monday, which is mostly unheard of because it’s Wednesday. He can’t even remember the last time he didn’t see Yunho on a Wednesday.

He finishes his food, washes his plate with cold water, and sits back down.

Yunho is doing his own thing. They don’t live together, really, but it’s like when people who don’t share a room call each other roommates. It’s a common vernacular. Everyone knows what they mean. They’ve done separate things before, obviously they have, but hardly ever the singing and dancing things. That’s new. Yunho is filming his own music video, which is new.

Changmin hasn’t seen or heard any of it. It’s not like he doesn’t want to or he’s jealous or anything. It’s just that they’ve been doing things together for twelve years and he doesn’t want to seem too overzealous. Or needy.

They’re not even roommates.

His phone buzzes.

Done filming!! says Yunho.

Changmin waits three minutes and then says yay.

Changmin doesn’t know anything about this album. All Changmin knows is what Yunho hums all the time, but he never sings to himself with words so all Changmin has is a vague melody.

They’re finishing it tomorrow and then it will be up!! Are you home?

Changmin walks into his room and sits down on his bed. He texts back yeah, lays down, and falls asleep before Yunho arrives.

-

He apologizes with breakfast.

“I drank your wine and fell asleep on your couch Changminnie, I forgive you.”

Changmin flips the egg over.

“I can cook my own eggs,” Yunho insists.

“Not doubting your abilities, hyung.”

Yunho sighs and yawns, stretches, sweater bunching around his shoulders and lifting up at his stomach. Changmin looks for the pepper grinder, which is on top of the fridge where Yunho always puts it.

“How’d the shoot go? Have you seen the video yet?” Changmin asks. He uses his most casual voice. Casual cool, like the face he puts on when he thinks about Yunho and the army.

“It’ll be up tonight, I’m not sure. If you come to the studio you can see the final cut if you want.”

Changmin doesn’t want.

“I thought you were done at the studio?”

Their eggs are ready and they pause for a minute to eat. Changmin’s eggs are perfect, as they usually are.

“Recording still,” says Yunho around a yolk. “Almost done.” He holds up two fingers. Two more songs.

Changmin wonders what they sound like. He’ll listen to the album when it comes out.

They finish their breakfast in silence, watch TV for half an hour, and then Yunho leaves to record. Changmin searches for “Yunho Burning Down” and only refreshes the page every half hour.

-

Once, when Changmin was sixteen, he got a boner watching Yunho change into his stage clothes.

He made the mistake of looking at how Yunho’s hair went from soft to edged, at the specific way his shoulderblades moved with the motion of pulling on a shirt. Changmin made the terrible, collosal mistake of watching the stubble on Yunho’s chin disappear under makeup, of watching his eyes as they were ringed with black. Sixteen and looking at his hyung and feeling his pants get tighter, Changmin decided not to look at Yunho anymore.

Changmin is looking at him now.

In a fucking white shirt and sparkling jacket, hair all slicked back, dancing like he was made to do it, making these noises, and –

Yunho isn’t even in the room, but he’s looking right back and Changmin is getting fucking hard.

Yunho staring at him with his eyes like that, saying you got me so hot baby and holy shit it’s like Changmin’s never seen him before. Like this isn’t the person he’s been next to for so long. Like his mouth hasn’t always moved like that, like the up and down movement of his jaw is brand new.

Maybe that’s the problem – they’ve always been next to each other. At least when there were five, they could have been adjacent or kitty corner or complementary. But for all the time spent together, they don’t often stand face to face.  And it’s stupid and untrue, but here looking at Yunho all glammed up and owning his own screen, Changmin feels like something has changed.

The part where he’s jacking off watching Yunho dance is definitely new.

The weird thing is, Changmin thinks as he moves his fist fast and rough over his cock, is that this hasn’t happened before. He remembers last week when he showed up at Yunho’s house and Yunho was fresh out of the shower and half naked and smiling and Changmin didn’t even blink. Changmin has raked his nails down Yunho’s sweaty chest more times than he can count and hasn’t thought twice about it.

But now, now, because of one fucking music video Yunho looks like the sharp jagged edge between beautiful and dangerous, and Changmin curses himself and grips his cock harder. Everything hurts.

-

Changmin avoids Yunho for a long time. He doesn’t count on purpose because he can’t look at the days disappearing before now and the 21st and he can’t think about how ridiculous he’s being wasting them. But Yunho’s video was still up on the screen and Changmin had a fistful of come and he can’t look at Yunho right now.

Yunho comes over anyway.

“I didn’t say you could come over,” Changmin says, because he’s an asshole.

“Can’t live without you, Changminnie.”

Yunho’s the asshole.

Changmin says, “I’m busy.”

Yunho sits down on the couch and pulls a book out of his bag. Changmin opens his laptop and tries not to think about the number of times he’s watched Yunho’s video, about the number of other videos he’s watched, and the unspeakable things he’s done in front of them. He’s sure his ears are red.

He looks over at Yunho and Yunho’s legs are crossed in loose jeans and his shirt has a V neckline and his hair is soft down across his forehead and he has a day and a half of stubble on his cheeks.

Changmin looks at his phone. The calendar app is open. He sees the little square for July 21st. he throws his phone on the floor.

Yunho looks up from his book. “Changminnie, what’s wrong?” he gets up, picks up Changmin’s phone gingerly as if it’s been injured. Ironically, the fall clicked on the day and now Yunho is staring at his own enlistment date on Changmin’s sad, hurt phone.

“Changdol,” he says, quietly.

“It’s fine. It was an accident.” Changmin stumbles over his own feet and snatches for his phone.

“Ah, Changminnie.” Yunho is holding the phone too far away. “We’ll visit. It’ll be fine.”

Yunho is leaving in two days and Changmin can’t stop thinking about him. Nothing is fine. He lets Yunho crush him up in a hug anyway. It’s unbearably warm and soft and he smells good and Changmin doesn’t remember any of Yunho’s hugs ever being this suffocating. The long front of Yunho’s hair brushes against Changmin’s neck. It’s also soft and warm and Changmin thinks about how it’s all going to be gone in two days. He feels suddenly protective of it, reaches up and into it with one hand. It’s clean. He kind of wants to cut it off himself.

“I wish you could come with me,” Yunho says in Changmin’s shoulder. Changmin’s chest goes all tight and he feels like he might cry. Yunho says sappy shit all the time and it almost never makes him cry. It’s not fair.

“Shut up,” Changmin says though his crying throat. He tugs on a fistful of Yunho’s hair. “Can I shave your head?”

He didn’t mean to say that. He doesn’t mean to say a lot of things.

Yunho is chuckling and the tiny sound vibrates down Changmin’s humerus

“Why?” Yunho’s tone is too calm.

“Because I hate you,” Changmin says. It’s not untrue.

Yunho smacks Changmin’s ass lightly. Changmin really does hate him.

Yunho lets him go.

-

Changmin wants to tell him.

He really really does. He really can’t stop thinking about Yunho’s collarbones and Yunho’s thighs and Yunho’s stomach and bottom lip. The sweat dripping down Yunho’s temple makes his dick twitch. He has a problem and he really, really does want to tell Yunho because this isn’t healthy. This isn’t normal, no human being should have to internalize this level of painful trainwreck attraction. Usually, when Changmin can’t handle things by himself he tells Yunho.

But what is he supposed to say? “Hey hyung, I’m suddenly and inexplicably attracted to you. Let’s fuck and then I’ll see you in two years.” It’s the exact opposite of the right time, right place.

At first Changmin thought it was maybe the wrong person too, but now he’s not so sure.

-

Yunho shows up to dinner with a pair of clippers.

Changmin almost can’t handle seeing him today anyway, knows it’s the last time in a while, and fuck he didn’t think Yunho had taken him seriously.

He almost says, “I had a dream about you last night.” He almost also starts sobbing.

But what he does instead is laugh and ask, “Are you serious? You still have a whole day.”

Yunho shrugs and smiles, a happy fond achy one. “Might as well get it over with.”

“Have a beer first,” Changmin says because his hands are shaking.

Yunho opens the fridge because Changmin’s hands are shaking.

“So,” Yunho says around the hiss of a beer opening. “I was thinking maybe we could go camping. Just for a night, whenever I get a weekend off. It won’t be for a long time, probably, but I wanted to go camping before I left and I didn’t.”

Changmin says, “I hate camping.”

Yunho bumps up against his shoulder and he almost spills his beer. “But you love me?”

Changmin walks away.

He can only make the distance of the couch, though, and Yunho joins him, somehow wearing a jacket while Changmin burns up.

“I’m taking that as a yes.”

Changmin grunts and doesn’t shake his head.

The thing about Yunho is he’s the worst. Changmin will definitely go camping with him. He drinks the rest of his beer in record time and grabs another, one for Yunho too, though he’s looking at Changmin like he’s worried about him.

Changmin doesn’t know what he’ll do when Yunho is gone.

“I’ll enlist too,” he says. “Right now, I’ll do it.”

Yunho looks at him with sympathetic eyebrows and Changmin chugs his beer.

“Changdol-ah.”

Changmin can’t handle that tone in Yunho’s voice or the fact that, looking back, Yunho’s hardly called him by his regular name in the last 8 years, or the way Yunho reaches out a hand and curls it around Changmin’s knee, so he just makes a pathetic whining sound and slumps over. His head lands somewhere between Yunho’s shoulder and his elbow. He’s stuck between being embarrassed that he’s like this in the first place and feeling recklessly honest. On the verge.

Yunho’s other hand comes up to play with Changmin’s hair, long fingers twisting and petting and silently offering condolence. Changmin bites down hard on his tongue. He doesn’t even know what he’d say, how he’d start.

“You visit me, and then I’ll visit you when you go. It won’t be too bad.”

Changmin huffs and turns his face into Yunho’s side.

“You have to keep our fanbase. If we both leave they’ll forget about us and we’ll come back to no job.”

Changmin wants to say, “Please, like anyone could ever forget you.”  Changmin wants to kiss Yunho and then tie him to the coffee table, mostly just to keep him there, a little bit for other reasons. He needs another drink.

Somehow it turns into night. Then it turns into midnight.

Yunho gets off the couch and Changmin whines after him until he comes back, clippers in his hand.

“Now’s your chance,” he says.

Fuck, Changmin’s drunk. He follows Yunho to the bathroom anyway. Lets his eyes flicker all around as Yunho pulls his shirt off, sees again the muscles in his back moving like continents, the rise under his low jeans. Has to force himself to look away before Yunho catches him.

He’s tall enough so that Yunho doesn’t have to sit, instead standing in front of Changmin, bare-backed and close.

“Okay,” he says, and turns on the clippers.

His hands aren’t shaking anymore as he pushes them through Yunho’s hair. Through the back, over the short sides where they barely take anything off, and through the thick of the top and front. Hair falls into Yunho’s face and he sneezes. Changmin laughs and then Yunho laughs and then they can’t stop laughing until all of Yunho’s hair is on the floor and covering Changmin’s socked feet.

Still laughing, Yunho looks in the mirror and says, “I look weird.”

“You look hot,” says Changmin.

Yunho raises an eyebrow in the mirror. Changmin shrugs. He could’ve said a lot worse.

Instead, he runs his hand over Yunho’s head just once and helps him sweep the floor.

-

The thing is, Yunho is like a tree. A big, tall one. Taller than the other trees, so tall Changmin can hardly see his face. He’s an evergreen too, so the leaves don’t change or force Changmin to pay attention. He doesn’t notice the needles. He’s like how a tree – a big, solid evergreen – can give things and be magnificent and you won’t even know.

Yunho is also like a tree in that you don’t know what he’s worth until he’s gone.

-

It sort of feels like normal.

Normal like filming in America, like taking separate flights to Japan, like visiting family. Normal for the span of temporary time that allows Changmin to forget where Yunho is, what he’s doing, how long he’ll be there. Normal as not seeing Yunho on a string of consecutive Wednesdays ever could be.

He does all the things he’s expected to, like make an appearance at an airport, not text Yunho, call his parents, eat three meals a day, always wait for Yunho to contact him, take daily showers, do his laundry. He’s his normal, functioning self.

He hates it.

He thinks about the time he was eighteen and he had a fever and Yunho sat next to his bed for the better part of three days even though Changmin was sweaty and incoherent and couldn’t even muster the energy to be grateful.

He thinks about the way Yunho smells and how it changes based on how long they’ve been travelling or what brand of hairspray he wore the previous day.

He thinks about how he felt when Yunho said goodbye to him, smiling like everything would be fine and not mentioning how wet Changmin’s eyes were or how his hands lingered on Yunho’s side and slid up and down his back more than three times before letting go.

Yunho’s letters are sparse but unbearably sweet.

All Changmin can do is sit back with his twelve years of memories and wait. It’s enough.

-

Changmin sees Yunho on a Monday.

They hug for a long time. Changmin says, “Hey, hyung” into Yunho’s collarbone once he can breathe again. Yunho says hey back.

Just for a minute, Changmin melts into him. Leans all of his weight into his slightly more solid form, revels in the fact that he’s still the same height, that his arms find the same spot they always do around Changmin’s neck and waist. Breathes in and out and in again.

They pull back eventually.

Yunho looks Changmin in the eye, smiles, and says “I missed you.”

Changmin just stares, sort of freezes up and says, “I jacked off to your music video eleven times.”

Yunho has the decency to widen his eyes and act scandalized. “You did what?”

But he can’t talk about that right now, so Changmin just fists his hand in the front of Yunho’s shirt and pulls him forward again, butts his forehead against Yunho’s throat and and absorbes the shockwaves that ripple through him. Yunho, in his surprise, hugs Changmin back. Changmin sighs, happy.

“We can talk about it later.”