Rating: NC17 (Art also NWS!)
Summary: Yoochun wakes up as a girl. Oh really? Yeah really. No way.
Warnings: genderswitch, language, sex
Word count: 13,248
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with DBSK, and Yoochun, as far as I know, has never turned into a girl.
Author's Note: Thanks so much to Caitlin for the beta. ♥ And Di for holding my hand very tightly through the entire writing process.
The consensus is that it's Jaejoong's fault. But come on, he'll say every time anyone brings it up, I didn't know calling him a girl would actually turn him into a girl.
Anyway, Yoochun wakes up one day with boobs. He's shirtless so they're pretty obvious. Jaejoong watches from the doorway, brushing his teeth, as Yoochun rubs the heel of his palm against his eyes and looks down.
"In this dream, I'm usually already having multiple orgasms," he says with a yawn.
"I think this is real," Jaejoong says helpfully around a mouthful of toothpaste, because he has no idea what else to do. Yoochun's as skinny as he was before, but now his geometry is full of soft curves, not just fluctuating weight and birdcage bones fighting to be seen. The roundness of his cheeks works well on a more feminine face. His stomach is pale and smooth, and even with the blanket in the way, Jaejoong can tell how Yoochun's sweats are a few sizes too big, the waistband loose around his new hips. His hair is long, past his shoulders, messy after sleeping with it still wet. Jaejoong has always loved girls with long hair.
Wow, he thinks. I'm so royally fucked.
Jaejoong swallows foam on accident. Yoochun hasn't stopped staring at his own boobs. "Shit," he finally says, and squeezes one experimentally. "I thought they'd be bigger."
So Yoochun's a girl.
"Changmin," Yoochun says into her customary mug of morning coffee, "quit looking at me like you want to take me into your secret laboratory and do unspeakable things to my body."
"There are so many things wrong with that sentence," Changmin says. He has his laptop on the kitchen table, and Jaejoong watches from over his shoulder as he googles 'spontaneous female genitalia'.
Junsu's voice carries from the hallway. "Yoochun's feeling really sick," he says into the phone. "He's all bloated, too."
Yoochun flips Junsu off over the kitchen counter. She's drinking her coffee black, keeping her eyes down as she crosses her ankles and swings them under the table. It means the novelty's fading off, and as a girl Yoochun still wears confusion the same way. Jaejoong thinks about how it'd feel, having a body that doesn't fit, pulled too tight around who you remember being. He tries not to think about the shape of Yoochun's calves under all that gray fabric, or the skin he'd seen as he helped attach safety pins to her sweats so they'd stay up.
He takes a chair and curls his arm around her, because Yoochun has always received touch well and Jaejoong doubts that's changed. "Do you need anything?"
Yoochun shrugs, half-smiles. "My dick?"
It's still Yoochun in there. Jaejoong smiles back. "How about pancakes?" he asks.
Yunho leaves to steal the phone from Junsu and negotiate something with management. When he comes back, it's been over an hour since this all began, and he looks like he's wondering if it's too early for alcohol. "I got our schedule cleared for today," Yunho tells them, "so Yoochun won't need to be alone."
"What makes you think this is only going to be for a day?" Changmin asks. He pauses. "I found an article about a woman who suddenly grew a penis."
Yoochun answers around a mouthful of traditional blueberry pancake therapy: "My goal is normality, not hermaphrodite."
"Super Hermaphrodite," Junsu says, circling the kitchen counter to join the group again. "This is like one of those superhero stories. Peter Parker wakes up with spidey senses and Park Yoochun wakes up with tits."
"You're not really helping," says Yunho.
"I think he's helping a lot," says Changmin.
Yoochun stretches her arms behind her back and everyone watches. "It's okay. Junsu's just jealous cause even when I have tits, he has to stand on his toes to be taller than me."
"Slander!" Junsu says.
"Fuck," Yunho says, rubbing his hand down his face. "Yoochun has tits."
Jaejoong smacks Changmin, who's laughing over his laptop, because it feels natural to. The weird relief has a body of its own; it covers him until his blood circulates again, flushing out the fresh hit of fear. It's still Yoochun.
Being a girl doesn't stop Yoochun from smoking too much or listening to music too loud when she's trying not to panic. After Jaejoong finds her on their bedroom's windowsill, slouched against the red cushion behind her and halfway through the usual number of cigarettes it takes for her to feel better, he just goes back into the kitchen and fixes up a mug of white tea.
"How do things like this even happen?" Yunho asks, waiting with Jaejoong for the water to boil. "Or have I not been watching enough of the recent news?"
"It's a celebrity epidemic," Jaejoong tells him. "Hyori has a dick now. I can't believe you didn't know."
Yunho's forehead wrinkles like he's trying to decide whether or not Jaejoong's kidding.
"I'm kidding," Jaejoong says.
"Jaejoong," Yunho says.
Jaejoong shrugs, drawing D-cup boobs on the kitchen floor with his bare toes. "I called him a big sappy girl yesterday, if that could've done anything."
"Only if Changmin turns into a goat in the next few hours too."
Jaejoong pictures Changmin sullenly chewing on a shoe. "That'd be really funny." He adds afterwards, from behind the fist he's shoved against his mouth: "And bad and awful and I hope it never happens."
Yunho punches Jaejoong's arm, but Jaejoong likes to think it's ninety-nine percent fond. "Go give Yoochun his tea," he says, and hesitates. "Her tea. We have leftover pancakes, right?"
Yoochun hasn't moved from the window, but she's paused her chain-smoking and her arm's hanging slack instead. Jaejoong doesn't know how long it's going to take to learn to ignore Yoochun's smaller, smoother hands. He wants to see them on a keyboard and find out if they'll play jazz the same way. Nothing fits anymore: her shoulders are too narrow for her shirts and hoodies, and the hem of her jeans cover her toes. It makes her look like a child playing dress-up in adult clothes.
"Hey, you," Jaejoong says. He sinks down across from her and holds out the mug as Yoochun pushes her headphones down around her neck.
"Is it hard liquor?" she asks.
Jaejoong pulls his legs up to his chest. He props his chin onto his knees and smiles. "If you close your eyes."
Yoochun takes it anyway. Her headphones stay where they are. Jaejoong stays too, watching her mouth lyrics against the mug's ceramic until he hears a song filtering through that he knows.
"Remember that time we were listening to this too loud and the hostel manager was really angry?"
Yoochun's voice is a little low for a girl's; it becomes full of air when she laughs. "You mean he was really angry at how bad your Freddie Mercury impersonation sucked."
Jaejoong swats at any part of Yoochun he can reach. He ends up catching Yoochun's ankle, tugging it forward from under the extra denim. Yoochun's toes wiggle hello at him. "Tell me that again after you make the air guitar championships."
"You're the one who fell onto the lamp."
"You tripped me and I fell onto the lamp!"
Yoochun flaps her sleeve at Jaejoong to call a ceasefire. "Shh, hang on, I love this part. Everybody wants to put me down, they say I'm going crazy!"
"Got no common sense, I got nobody left to believe!" Jaejoong sings along, off-tune but with attitude. He rocks back and forth with Yoochun's leg like they're slow dancing, and Yoochun's held up on her elbows now, laughing harder as she tries to push her foot into Jaejoong's face. They did this all the time when they were younger, blasting music whenever they wanted to be someone else for five minutes.
When the song ends, Yoochun nudges Jaejoong's shoulder, kind of breathless. "Anyway, I didn't trip you."
Jaejoong blows a raspberry against the bottom of her foot, and gives her room to sit back up.
Yoochun plays with her iPod afterwards, brushing the bangs out of her face, the same habits on a different body. "Thanks," she says. "The tea was good." Jaejoong doesn't tense up when she scoots in and gives him a hug. The new fit is strange, but it doesn't feel any less right. Even though Yoochun's lost that extra millimeter of height over Jaejoong, she holds onto his waist like she's as tall as she was before, so Jaejoong wraps his arms around her shoulders and breathes in something a little sweeter.
Yoochun spends the rest of the day playing Super Smash Bros with Junsu, and beats him five times in a row, but only, Junsu says, because I'm a gentleman. The next day, Yoochun's still a girl, and she stays locked in the bathroom for a long time. Yunho takes a shot of soju and retreats into the workroom to make an hour of phonecalls. Jaejoong just calls Boa.
"Hang on," Boa says. "Give me a minute."
Jaejoong gives her a minute. He's pretty sure she's using it to laugh her ass off.
"You're kidding," Boa says once she comes back over the line. "Is this a mission? Which show is this for?"
"The Even Park Myung Soo's Humor Isn't This Fucked Up show."
Boa doesn't respond right away. "You mean he's actually a girl?"
"He's a legit girl," Jaejoong says, lying on the couch with his calves propped up on the arm. "You can tell when I'm messing with you, okay? I'm not messing with you right now."
"Oh," Boa says, hushed. Jaejoong can picture the wide eyes that go with it. "So it just happened? Like, boom, girl-parts?"
Jaejoong mimes an explosion with his hands, his cellphone trapped snug between his shoulder and cheek. "Like, boom."
"And you can't boom his boy-parts back?"
"I'm not a reproductive system fairy."
"Oh," Boa says again, this time more wicked. Jaejoong's pretty sure he knows what Boa's new nickname for him is going to be. "How's Yoochun?"
"He's not feeling great about it, but he's the same person. Only, you know, with boobs."
"The boobs do not make the woman."
Jaejoong grins into the phone. "So it's okay if his are bigger than yours?"
"That's what you used to say about Yunho," Boa accuses. "And I want pictorial evidence of the surpassing boobage, too."
"He'd kill me for that," Jaejoong says, and rubs the side of his palm into his eyes before he leaves his arm thrown over his face. "Um, she'd kill me. Shit, that sounds weird."
There's static as Boa sighs too close to the speaker. "How're the rest of you?"
Jaejoong wishes he had a phone cord to play with. His hands don't have anything to do but compare how touching the curve of Yoochun's elbow feels before and after. "We're dealing with it. She's got it the hardest, though."
"Have you told anyone?"
"Only the people who need to know. Yunho's taking her to see a doctor and some of the powers that be. I think we can get away with leaving her parents out of it."
"Is she hot?"
"She's pretty hot," Jaejoong answers, caught up in their game of twenty questions. He bites his tongue right after. "That was off the books, right?"
"For now," says Boa. Personal experience tells Jaejoong that for now is a really short period of time. "Find out Yoochun's new measurements for me, I can send her some clothes. And keep me updated, okay? Like if the rest of you guys want to join Team Estrogen next."
Jaejoong sticks his tongue out at the phone. Boa giggles, knowing him well enough to guess it.
"It's natural," she consoles. "I mean, we have all the cute shoes."
Yoochun gets back looking like the Antichrist just ran her over with a public bus. She's still cocooned in glasses and a beanie and all the black clothes she wore to sneak out of the apartment. Her hospital mask's balled in her fist. When she collapses onto the couch, she doesn't notice or care that Jaejoong's already there.
"Ow," Jaejoong says, and moves around so Yoochun's elbow won't become permanently lodged in his body.
"Sorry," Yoochun says, her face buried into Jaejoong's thin shirt. "Long day."
Yunho comes in a few minutes later, and he looks just as much like human roadkill. He slumps against the door once it's locked, and performs urgent hugging motions when Jaejoong mouths to him, how'd things go and what do I do?
"You should take a bath," Jaejoong says, hugging Yoochun on cue. He uses one of his hands to make covert the salts and oils are in the closet signals at Yunho. "A super long and relaxing one. It'll smell good."
Yunho, who has started down the hallway, waves back into the room to tell Jaejoong, maybe you should access your hidden tact. Jaejoong says in a rush, "Even though you already smell good."
"The only thing I smell like is misery and despair," says Yoochun.
"You told me you'd stop using that cologne. Scoot up before this gets awkward."
Yoochun's tiny exhale presses to Jaejoong's skin through cotton. She scoots up so her breasts aren't being shoved into his stomach anymore; now they're just being shoved into his chest. Jaejoong tugs off her beanie and makes sure she's comfy, asking, "Wanna talk about it?"
Yoochun says a couple words into Jaejoong's shoulder. One of them is gynecologist and another is exam. Jaejoong really wishes Yunho hadn't gone.
"Get up," he says. "It's bathtime and you're going to smell like hope and marshmallows."
Hope and marshmallows turns out to be vanilla. Jaejoong's balanced on the bathtub ledge, trying not to watch Yoochun too much. Anything more than a few centimeters below Yoochun's shoulders disappears under the thick layer of bubbles, but her hair's clumsily tied up too and it leaves her neck exposed. Jaejoong's first instinct is to kiss it; his second is to run away.
Yoochun sinks even lower into the water. "Fuck, this is perfect," she says, and Jaejoong flicks water at her, smiling at her same attitude, same vocabulary.
"Feeling better?" he asks.
Yoochun breathes out and says, "Starting to." The curve of her knees peeks out from the bubbles, and both of her legs are crossed on the opposite edge of the bath. Jaejoong stops looking altogether. "Doesn't this kind of thing usually come with champagne, though?"
"I'm keeping you away from alcohol," Jaejoong says. "Since you're an even bigger lightweight now."
Yoochun's comeback is to splash him and turn his white t-shirt transparent. All the floor tiles are wet and soaking through Jaejoong's socks. He throws a handful of foam at Yoochun in defense but it doesn't go where he wants it to.
"Um, hi," Junsu says, crinkling his nose as water drips from it. The bathroom door is open behind him.
If Yoochun giggles any harder, Jaejoong's pretty sure she's going to drown. He helps wipe the soapy blob off of Junsu's cheek, and smears it back over Yoochun's, where it belongs.
"Yunho says we're finishing the rest of the week's schedule pretending Yoochun's really sick and using that to start pulling back from the spotlight," Junsu tells them a little later. He's sitting against the wall, ankle-deep in the tub with his pants rolled up. "We'll still be working, just low-key and on our own until this blows over and Yoochun gets her Y-chromosome back."
Yoochun's been building world landmarks out of foam, chewing her bottom lip red. Soon she slides down until the bubbles come up to her chin. "What if it never blows over?" she asks.
Jaejoong angles his fingers together into a camera frame and aims it at Yoochun and the Eiffel Tower replica in front of her. "Park Yoochun, The Next Harisu."
"We could fake your death," Junsu says enthusiastically, kicking down Mount Fuji. "Then you'll be the long lost twin sister taking his place. We can call you Minnie."
"It was a tragic boating accident," Jaejoong offers.
Yoochun pushes away the rubber duck that Jaejoong's squeaking in his face. "You both have really shitty bedside manner," she says, with that smile Jaejoong's been stuck on for years. He and Junsu team up to force her the rest of the way underwater, and Jaejoong's a little jealous of how Junsu doesn't have any impulse to hold onto her longer than he needs to.
Jaejoong wakes up with Yoochun in his bed competing for more blanket room, her oversized shirt and cold feet making her easy to recognize. She feels even smaller and more exposed like this, when there's no light, and it's worse than when Jaejoong caught her in a towel, staring into the bathroom mirror and dripping all over the floor, or when he finally just threw her over his shoulder one day, carrying her around the apartment until she got tired of hitting him.
("What are you doing?" she asked.
"Friends don't let friends act like boring rainclouds," he said, and could feel her loosen up a little, right before she reached down to smack his ass.)
Jaejoong yawns into his pillow and asks, low and groggy, "What time is it?"
Yoochun stops moving. "Past four," she says. "I had a shitty dream."
Jaejoong opens his eyes so he can search for the poor outline of Yoochun in the dark. He knows how bad the nightmares are sometimes. He says, "Come here," and pulls her in, ignoring the thinner waist, more delicate body, to focus on what's familiar. "Are you gonna be able to go back to sleep?"
"Think so," Yoochun says, her mouth barely moving against Jaejoong's neck when she talks. "Just give me a minute."
She hasn't cried so far; she never does when it's over something she isn't confident she can deal with. The idea is that if she stores her issues away and waits long enough, they'll be gone the next time she checks. Jaejoong's worried because Yoochun's never good at it. Something always builds too high. "You should stay," he tells her. "Wouldn't be the first time."
"First time as a girl, though," Yoochun says.
Jaejoong shrugs. "So?"
Yoochun doesn't go, even though she makes a few false starts. Jaejoong gives her the time she needs, counting the bumps of her spine to pass the time as her skin warms up against his own. He's shut his eyes again when she says, "No one recognized me. You know, in my dream."
There it is, the fear that now the world doesn't work the way it did before, and she isn't who she used to be anymore. Jaejoong draws little circles around Yoochun's shoulderblades and lets her continue.
"And I kept growing new boobs. I had eight pairs by the time I woke up. I was a walking freak show."
"Old news," Jaejoong says, and Yoochun kicks him in the shin. "Ow. Anyway, Boa says the boobs don't make the woman."
Yoochun laughs, husky. "Thanks."
Jaejoong runs his fingers through her hair and continues, "You're Yoochun, okay? Nobody's forgotten. You like walking zigzag in the fall so you can step on all the leaves on the sidewalk. You have a huge mother complex. You write really pretty songs." He rubs his other palm against the small of her back, where her tattoo has stayed. He does it the way he's done it a hundred times before, and the sudden sting he gets over how close they're lying isn't new. "We'll still know who you are when you wake up."
There's no automatic answer. The skin under Yoochun's eyes is damp; Jaejoong can feel it on his shoulder. He thinks it's a good thing. "Okay," she says, and curls up against him. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight," Jaejoong says softly.
He doesn't move towards her or away, doesn't move at all as he waits for Yoochun to fall back asleep. He tries to stay conscious and memorize every detail so he can keep this with him for as long as he can.
"Holy shit," says Changmin, looking into their room.
Yoochun holds up a lacy bra and says, "Help." Changmin gives her an encouraging thumbs-up and walks back the way he came.
Jaejoong's lounging cross-legged on the bed, various other bras laid out in front of him. He picks one out, studies Yoochun's chest, and asks, "What size do you think you are?"
"Um," Yoochun says. "Let's do something else first."
There's a big cardboard box in the middle of their styrofoam-littered floor. It had come with a pastel pink card that'd read, Congratulations, It's A Girl! Yoochun'd left an explicit message in Boa's voicemail before browsing through all the panties. Now she grabs an armful of clothes and jumps onto the bed where they've set up a comfort zone of pillows and bars of chocolate. "The categories are Yes, Wearable, No, and Just Because I'm A Guy Who's Turned Into A Girl Doesn't Mean I Need To Look Like A Drag Queen."
The first thing Jaejoong pulls out is a mini-skirt. "Is this in Wearable?"
"It's in Stop Trying To Dress Me Like An Underage Slut," Yoochun says, but she accepts it anyway.
They spend the next ten minutes sorting clothes and tossing around the small Drag Queen category. Boa can be relied on for fashion just as much as she can be relied on for sticking in a couple surprises. Jaejoong's wearing the tiara they found under the jeans, and Yoochun has slung the boa scarf around her neck. Near the bottom of the box, they discover a pair of bright yellow hot pants with a fake bunny tail glued to the back.
"We need a Sabotage category too," Jaejoong says.
Yoochun groans into a pillow. "Girls."
Changmin has brought company back with him, and Junsu's laughter is unmistakable from the hallway. "Those are cute," he says. Yoochun throws a bra at him. Junsu catches it and blushes. He passes it off clumsily to Yunho beside him, who holds onto it like he isn't sure what else to do besides look very awkward.
The rest of Boa's box includes too much leopard print, a corset, a naughty nurse dress, and a silk negligee.
"Wow," Jaejoong says, impressed. He reaches for his cellphone to snap pictures. "She really didn't hold back."
Yoochun bites sullenly into a chocolate bar. She makes them marathon James Bond movies with her after dinner, snacking on caramel-soaked popcorn and delivering all of Pierce Brosnan's dialogue until she feels like one of the guys again.
It's early evening and Jaejoong's just getting back from a session at the recording studio. Junsu and Changmin are both taking time to spend a couple days with family, and the apartment's gone flat, like when you've collected all these blurry places where things used to be. Jaejoong's felt it for over a week already, when none of his clothes are borrowed in the morning, or when no one's fighting him for the bathroom mirror to shave.
Yoochun's playing the keyboard today, and it's expressive and slow, something that belongs on a piano, running through a red and gold recital hall instead of a high-rise apartment. Jaejoong watches from the workroom door as she moves from key to key, and wishes he could be that, her hands or the song.
"It's Debussy," Yoochun says when she's done. Her voice is soft and romantic like it always is when she hasn't left the music yet. "The girl with flaxen hair."
Jaejoong sits next to her on the bench and does a sloppy glissando; Yoochun continues it to the end of the keyboard, the back of her fingers running against ivory color. "I haven't heard you play lately," says Jaejoong.
"Didn't know if I knew how in this body." Yoochun's eyes stay down on the keys where she's begun a simple scale. Jaejoong plays opposite of her, contrarian motion, their thumbs meeting back at C.
"How different is it?"
She spreads her thumb and pinky over an octave. "I can't reach some of the chords as well anymore, but all the muscle memory's there."
"Like riding a bike," Jaejoong says.
Yoochun dimples at him. "Yeah. Hey, I like your glasses."
The attention makes Jaejoong automatically shove his bangs from his face and mess around with the black plastic frame. The glasses pull his eyes to Yoochun and the wall beyond her shoulders, the end of black and white keys. They keep everything else along the border a little out of focus. "I ran out of time for contacts this morning," he lies.
"I already saw you dropping them down the sink," Yoochun says. Jaejoong gets ready to make excuses but she's reaching up and stealing his glasses, her fingertips brushing across his temples. She puts them on, resting them across the bridge of her nose, above the openness of her mouth, and asks, "Can you see me without them?"
The world softens. Jaejoong tells her, "I can always see you."
Watercolor vision peels down dirt and skin, everything physical, so all you know people by is what's left, like how Yoochun has everything planned out until her heart jerks her in another direction, has a bad habit of waking Jaejoong up to watch the sunrise from the wrong part of the city. Jaejoong fills his lungs with her recycled air and it's already enough like kissing that he shouldn't be wanting to find out what kind of real kiss it would be: a behind the buildings kiss, a what are we doing kiss, an I know you like a river across the palm of my hand kiss.
Jaejoong pushes a stray piece of Yoochun's hair back behind her ear, and the shock of skin goes through them both. She doesn't say anything. Behind Jaejoong's glasses, Yoochun's the ocean at slack water, waiting for a current. She wants him to kiss her, and it's that realization that makes the ground kick back in.
Jaejoong's hand hits the keyboard on its way down, brutal and on accident.
"I think," he says, feeling small, more and more like he needs to get out of there, "I'm gonna make dinner today. Is there anything you want?"
Yoochun swallows. Jaejoong watches her throat move, the absence of an obvious adam's apple. She takes his glasses off and gives them back. "Something really spicy."
"Yeah," Jaejoong says. "Okay. Sure."
In the kitchen, he closes the refrigerator door too harshly, spills water over the counter. He can hear Yoochun playing Debussy down the hallway again.
"Is something going on?" Yunho asks him the next day.
"Nothing's going on," Jaejoong says. "Why do you think something's going on? Did Yoochun say something? Does she think something's going on?"
"You're binging on comfort food."
Jaejoong sticks the spoon back in his mouth and answers around it: "Cinnamon ice cream is the food of the gods."
"You're binging on comfort food and listening to Lola," Yunho says, patient as anything.
"It's a classic song."
"About a guy who falls in love with a transvestite."
"Whatever. You're making me miss my infomercials."
Yunho quits blocking the screen and drops onto the couch cushion next to Jaejoong. He slings an arm around Jaejoong's neck. The television's on mute so it's just dentist-approved smiles set to The Kinks. "What are we watching?"
"Mighty Putty," Jaejoong says, feeding Yunho a spoonful of ice cream. "Repair fast and make it last."
Yunho says, indistinct: "Repair, huh."
"Don't try to psychoanalyze my choice of adhesive."
Yunho shrugs and swallows. "I thought it was in my contract."
"No," Jaejoong says. "That was replaced with the new Will Take Off Shirt For Money clause."
There's a hint of color in Yunho's cheeks. "The point is."
"The point is, you keep taking off your shirt for money," Jaejoong interrupts.
"That's the antithesis of the point."
"You're like an executive stripper."
"I heard stripper," Yoochun says. She's walking out from the kitchen, though neither of them saw her walk into it, and juggling an armful of clementines. "Are we getting a stripper?"
"No," Yunho says, at the same time Jaejoong says, "Yes." He looks at Yoochun for any cue that'll tell him things are weird between them, but all she does is pile fruit on top of him and get comfortable on the couch, legs folded up, knees tucked next to Jaejoong's thigh without hesitation. She's wearing the clothes that Boa sent, her hair down, casual and pretty like she's learning to be comfortable in her new body.
"Hey, it's Mighty Putty," Yoochun says.
"Repair fast and make it last," Jaejoong says, automatic.
"I'm just not on the same brainwave here," Yunho says.
Jaejoong peels clementines, Yunho feeds him ice cream, and Yoochun sings Lola. They gamble house chores on how many seconds go by before A Deal You Don't Want To Miss! scrolls across the television screen again. Jaejoong's going to be washing dishes for the rest of his life.
"My karma's fucked," he announces after he's stuck doing everyone's laundry too.
Yunho messes up Jaejoong's hair to show sympathy. Jaejoong makes an insulted sound. "That's what happens when you run over a would-be messiah in your past life."
"Pick on Buddha too much at school," Yoochun adds. She opens her mouth up round, saying aah, and Jaejoong sticks a piece of clementine into it, forgetting about the kiss that wasn't a kiss. He's missed how normal this entire thing feels.
"Phone," Yunho says, getting up to answer it, and catches the fruit that Jaejoong tosses up in the air in his mouth.
"It's not like you were best friends with Buddha either," Jaejoong continues with Yoochun.
"I'm best friends with the guy peeling all the clementines."
"You only want me for my clementines."
"And your body," Yoochun says cheerfully.
Jaejoong elbows her, laughing, before holding out another slice.
This time Yoochun's mouth closes around the end of Jaejoong's index finger and thumb, and all the air stops halfway to Jaejoong's lungs. She pulls back slick and warm, two seconds slowed down to feel like a hundred years, and Jaejoong's throat goes dry with imagination, curious how it'd be to suck the same sour-sweet taste from her tongue.
Yoochun says, "Sorry," really fast after she finishes eating the piece of fruit. Her eyes are wide, lips wet with juice, and Jaejoong can guess the meaning. Sorry, I wasn't paying attention. Sorry, it was just a stupid accident. Jaejoong's fingertips are wet. He wipes them off on Yoochun's jeans carelessly, gets back the oxygen he needs, and throws a clementine peel at her.
"Telemarketer," Yunho says when he's back on the couch. He checks his watch. "And this week's vacuuming is all yours, Jaejoong."
Jaejoong's isn't listening, busy maneuvering Yunho into the middle, a little to escape how Yoochun's throwing whole clementines at him now, a little because his hands haven't cooled down and he can't remember normal at all.
Jaejoong spends fifteen minutes in the shower trying to fantasize about anyone who isn't Yoochun. He goes through ex-girlfriends and celebrity crushes, the models and actresses he's worked with, the men and women he makes up. He ends up on Boa, even if he feels bad about it, imagining her bold and wired up like she is after performing when the leftover energy needs somewhere to go. Jaejoong breathes, shallow. This is working. This is good. She'd be small and fluid on top of him, with her tan skin and straight hair, strong thighs against his waist, hands on his chest. Boa's hands are soft, pretty. Her fingers are graceful and her knuckles are too sharp to be delicate. Her wrists.
Jaejoong swears, his fist tight and slippery around his cock, and Boa's gone.
He pictures Yoochun's wrists, skinnier and paler than Boa's, and how they move above a keyboard. How they'd move if Yoochun pressed her palms into him, hard enough that Jaejoong'd wonder if he could make out each line and rise of them, sliding across his stomach, piercing, the flat of his hipbone. Yoochun's the type who would tease, not to be mean but to make sure she was wanted. The type who would wrap her fingers over Jaejoong's and force him to slow down as she guided each stroke and twist. She would leave an open-mouthed kiss on his shoulder, her breasts pressed snug against him when she finally replaced his hand fully with her own, hot and unafraid.
Jaejoong bites down on his other hand, frustrated. The pain of it jolts him away from that image. He goes back to his last girlfriend. She was cute and fun and went down on him like a dream. She wore this watermelon chapstick that he could still taste a little of even after the times she swallowed. It's too easy for her mouth to turn into Yoochun's, eager around him, her lips already flushed from kissing.
Stop. Don't think about sleepy blowjobs from her. Don't think about being able to have her shuddering apart, wanting more.
Jaejoong jerks himself off roughly under the thick stream of water around him. He tries not to imagine anyone, to just focus on the feeling, but staying in the steam this long makes him weak-kneed, and the old memory that floods through him makes it worse.
Yoochun at seven in the morning, drying off, his eyes bright and unclear as Jaejoong walked in on him in the bathroom. His hair dripped onto his collarbones. His skin was pink, glowing. Under all the shampoo and soap residue, Yoochun smelled like sex, and Jaejoong could see his thighs trembling a little. Good morning, Yoochun said, not awake enough to care, turning around as he pulled on a pair of boxers. Jaejoong watched the naked plane of Yoochun's back, the harsh shape of his spine, and said, Yeah, good morning.
Jaejoong thinks about Yoochun being in here with him, Yoochun's body pushed up against his own, slick and masculine under the heat of the shower, Yoochun's cock hard and rubbing between their stomachs. Yoochun's old voice, teasing and rough, and his old eyes full of the usual tired secrets. Jaejoong comes all over his hand, braced on the tiled wall, soundless.
He finishes washing up mechanically, the guilt making his arms feel like lead. He turns the water on as hot as it'll go and stands under it for the last five minutes until his skin feels raw and clean.
Junsu's home the next morning, chatting nonstop about what he did with Junho and when and where. He talks about all the favorite dishes his mom made for him, but near lunch the conversation comes circling back to: "But, I mean, Jaejoong's jjigae is still the bestest."
"Bestest isn't a word," says Yoochun.
"At least I'm not a girl," says Junsu.
If Junsu actually sees Yoochun being a girl as more than just another chance for mutual harassment, it never shows. Jaejoong's dull jealousy kicks up again.
He's been hiding out in the laundry room all afternoon so far, re-familiarizing with the monotony of dirty clothes and the smell of fabric softener. The chore has helped prevent him from doing anything really dumb so far, like go within a three meter radius of Yoochun. Jaejoong sings radio songs, dozes off, and considers tossing a red shirt into the whites just to see if the horror stories are true as he waits for the washer to go off.
After the third load, Yoochun asks from the other side of the door, "Getting claustrophobic yet?"
Jaejoong, who's sitting on top of the dryer, smacks his ankle against the drum of it in surprise. "Um. No. Kind of, maybe."
Yoochun continues, "What're you doing in there?"
"I'm hiding," Jaejoong says. "It's top secret."
"You hide in the same place every time. Can I come in?"
Jaejoong twists one of his shirts in his hands. "Yeah, okay."
Once she's here, Yoochun takes a seat on the washer, swinging her legs in sync with Jaejoong's. "Hi," she says.
"Hey," says Jaejoong, not ready for eye contact and making it anyway. There are too many speedbumps between them right now but Jaejoong doesn't know how to move cautiously with Yoochun. Problems like this, like looking too long, having to press his palm to his own ribcage from time to time to make sure something is still beating under there, they've always been around, just never this bad.
There's no way Yoochun is oblivious, but all she does is lean across to circle her arm around his waist. "What's a guy like you doing in a place like this?"
Jaejoong flicks her cheek. "That line is so many levels of not okay."
"Your face is so many levels of not okay."
"Sweet-talker," says Jaejoong.
Back-and-forths make it easy to act like nothing's wrong until Yoochun tucks her chin onto Jaejoong's shoulder. Jaejoong's stomach does a funny little jump. "Big dumbass," she says in return. "What were you hiding from, oppa?"
Everything inside Jaejoong stops. "What?"
Yoochun repeats, slower, "What were you hiding from?"
"You called me oppa," Jaejoong says, each word tasting sour and weighing heavy.
Yoochun shrugs like it's no big deal. "That's what girls do, right?"
Jaejoong pushes her off of him, and what he says comes out too strong: "You're not a girl."
Yoochun backs down, and she looks cornered against the same place Jaejoong is, somewhere fierce with doubt for walls. "Right," she says. "Sorry."
"We already talked about this," Jaejoong says, climbing off the dryer to collect the finished load. Frustration burns through him and makes him thoughtless. "Yoochun is Yoochun is Yoochun. You shouldn't change just to fit whatever temporary body you're in."
"I'm not changing," Yoochun says. She hasn't moved. Jaejoong keeps cramming Yunho's clean clothes back into the laundry bag. "I'm trying to adapt a little. What if this isn't temporary? Shouldn't I be making some kind of effort to make this more normal for everyone?"
Jaejoong slams the dryer door shut. "Hearing you talk like a girl isn't normal."
"But me being the poster child of an identity crisis is a lot better."
"Get over the fucking identity crisis. This entire fucking thing, Yoochun, it's not going to go away cause you've shaved your legs and put on some pretty clothes."
The way Yoochun's temper works hasn't changed. She chains it back until it grows violent enough to attack the metal and anyone standing too close. There's no middle ground. Jaejoong wonders how far there is left to push if he wants to see her give in and get angry, tear at him like he thinks he deserves. He knows how good Yoochun can be at hurting him, and part of Jaejoong wants that, to argue and mark each other with venom until he gets over her. "I'm not here to pick a fight, Jaejoong," Yoochun says. Her bones are wound with a fuse and her eyes are something explosive.
"So why are you here?" Jaejoong asks, waiting for the detonation.
It doesn't come. Yoochun smothers her own anger, tugging out her messy ponytail so her hair is back down against her shoulders, reminding Jaejoong of walls as she jumps off the washer and lands hard on her feet. "Because I'm the biggest dumbass in the world for believing that being a girl meant I suddenly had a fucking chance."
Air and aggression are sucked out fast. For a few seconds, the room is calm.
Yoochun's at the door with her back pressed against it like she's struggling with whether it's braver to walk out or stay. Her motions are jerky, anxious. Jaejoong's forgotten how to move altogether.
"Hey," he says. "Look."
"Forget it," Yoochun says. "If you don't like me, you don't like me, but don't go halfway and let me think my transformation's managed to push open a door."
It sinks in kind of like a bullet.
"You think I wanted to kiss you because of your brand new boobs," Jaejoong says.
"And my winning personality," Yoochun says, still brimming with sloppy defenses.
Jaejoong wants to hit her or drag her close, tight and waterproof. "Yoochun, I'm not kissing your brand new boobs, I'm kissing you."
Yoochun's hand drops from the doorknob. She tugs at her sleeves as she looks up at him, frozen and waiting. Jaejoong gets his heart lined up alongside hers on the shooting range so they're both playing fair.
"What if I've wanted to kiss you since a long time ago? Long like, like spanning years and continents. Not the same every day, but kind of like being homesick, you know, when you don't think each second about how you miss home, but it's always kind of there. Cause even if your brand new boobs are really nice, the boobs don't make the woman, and the body doesn't make the person, and are you really going to let me keep talking like this?"
Jaejoong bites his tongue to shut up but there's nothing to squeeze his fingers around to stop the panicked feeling that he's just spit out every little thing inside of him and now it's all floating around the room waiting for someone to take it back in. Yoochun is replaying the last five minutes over and over, and Jaejoong watches her move a little with each repeat. He measures out the distance Yoochun's lungs swell behind her ribcage, wondering if this is the breath that'll finally make her close enough.
"You're a piece of work, hyung," Yoochun says after a long time, and rises to her toes to kiss him.
Her lips are soft, a little dry, moving only enough to test the waters. The kiss is a hotel affair, quick and rash and incomplete before she breaks it. Jaejoong's toes curl from the sheer terrifying buzz. He grabs her by the forearm before the uncertainty can take over either of them, and pulls her back in.
It's an I know you like a river across the palm of my hand kiss.