DBSK, Leftovers are Always Better the Next Day

Title: Leftovers are Always Better the Next Day
Rating/Warnings: G
Summary: Changmin can’t figure out what the secret ingredient in Jaejoong’s curry is.
AN: I don’t know what happened here but I wrote DBSK? Like really, who even am I. I did happen to watch Make Your Move, which Yunho has a cameo in, last week, but other than that I’m not even sure what happened here. Written for Shiritori.

Leftovers are Always Better the Next Day

For the world, Changmin can’t figure out what the secret ingredient in Jaejoong’s curry is. He’s tried like 57 different recipes, and he used to help Jaejoong make it even, but it remains a mystery. It’s been four years and he still can’t get it right.

“I don’t even know what that means,” Yunho tells him, shoveling spoonfuls into his mouth while still trying to check emails on his laptop, making Changmin cringe at the potential for disaster. “It’s really good and you know it.”

“I know it’s good,” Changmin says, after four years of practice anybody’s would be. “But it’s not right.”

Yunho pauses in his gorging to give Changmin a sympathetic look and Changmin lets it drop. When he gets up to put his bowl in the sink, Yunho leans over to kiss Changmin’s forehead and says thank you for the meal. Their table manners haven’t changed from the days when they were all crammed into that tiny Tokyo apartment for weeks on end; Jaejoong drilled them into them too deeply for that.

It’s been a long time since the two of them got used to living alone together, Changmin rolling his eyes at Yunho’s socks on the floor and Yunho leaving half-drunk cups of coffee all over like lukewarm booby traps. It’s easier in a lot of ways, like not having to fight over the mirrors when they oversleep in the morning, but when he’s “having a sad” as Junsu used to call it, Changmin thinks that he always felt the most comfortable when they were jammed together the most tightly. Maybe it’s because he grew up that way, with them.

Some day, when all of them are too wrinkly for schedules so packed with screaming fangirls, Changmin is going to drug everyone’s tea, shove them all in a car that’s just this side of too small for them, and drive them someplace where they have to sleep back-to-back with their futons all shoved together.

“Don’t be dramatic,” Yoochun’s email reply says when Changmin lets him in on the plan. Yoochun always was a sucker for a good plot. “We could do that literally next week, if any of us trusted you to make us tea without drugging it. So it’s your own fault your plan is destined to fail, really.”

“Your face is destined to fail, asshole,” is Changmin’s response to that, because he’s still the baby and he can get away with it.

“Minnie-ah?” Yunho asks in half-asleep confusion when Changmin crawls into his bed that night and throws an arm over Yunho’s waist. Changmin mumbles that he can’t sleep, or something; Yunho pats his head without asking anymore dumb questions and shifts over far enough that they might make it until morning without one or both of them ending up on the floor. When Yunho rolls onto his side, Changmin wraps around his back like curly quotes and slows his own breathing to match, tugging the blanket tight enough against his back that it almost feels like someone else is on his other side.

It took more than a year for Changmin to stop expecting Jaejoong’s voice around the corner, so when he comes home late from a meeting and hears exactly that, Changmin freezes with his keys still in the door, one shoe half off. Then he can’t kick the door closed fast enough, sliding down the polished wood of the hallway in his socks and skidding to a halt in front of Yunho’s room, but inside is only Yunho.

“Sorry,” Yunho apologizes when he sees Changmin’s face, holding up the plastic CD case to show Jaejoong’s face, pale skin slick with tattoos and eyeliner. “He sent us a copy early and…”

“It’s okay,” Changmin assures, dropping his bag with a careless crash and flopping across the end of Yunho’s bed to stay and listen too. He’s heard most of the songs before, in various states of composition or decomposition, depending, but it’s satisfying to hear them finished, polished. It’s nice to have Jaejoong’s voice filling the apartment again, and when Changmin closes his eyes it’s almost the thing that he wants, close enough.

Three days later Changmin’s phone rings while he’s trying to finish scribbling down a chord progression before he forgets it, and Changmin answers it without really looking.

“What’s up, maknae?” Jaejoong’s voice cuts through Changmin’s concentration, pausing his pen with a note only half filled in. “Yunnie-ah says you’re having an episode.”

“Yunnie-ah,” Changmin says with a sneer, “thinks I’m having an episode every time I yell at him for crushing takeout into the couch.”

“You’d think he’d want it to be clean too, since he watches all his porn there,” Jaejoong comments fondly, making Changmin laugh and drop his pen. “You liked my album, right?”

“Yeah,” Changmin tells him easily. “It suited you perfectly. I missed your voice, I…” Changmin swallows the rest of what he misses, wanting just to make Jaejoong happy with praise instead of making it something melancholy. “I’m glad you sent it.”

“Not as much as you miss my curry, I bet,” Jaejoong teases, making Changmin whine. “Yunnie-ah says you’ve tried 57 different recipes and still can’t get it right.”

“Come over and make it for me then,” Changmin insists, pouting into the phone so Jaejoong will hear it and spoil their youngest like he’s supposed to, dammit. “When you’re in Seoul again. Promise!”

“It’s no fun if you know the surprise is coming, Minnie-ah,” Jaejoong reminds him, and his laugh is still ringing in Changmin’s ears when he hangs up the phone.

Changmin and Yunho do try to keep up with what the others are up to, or at least what country they’re in, but they’re busy with their own scheduling dramatics, and it’s easy to let the weeks slip by focused on only what’s right in front of them. Changmin is trying to shoulder open the door one-handedly, other hand busy trying to keep from spilling his iced coffee into his bag and thinking about tomorrow’s practice and the song that’s half-finished and due at the end of the week, so it’s more of a surprise than he’ll admit to when the smell of curry, the right curry, hits his nose as soon as he steps inside.

For a long, perfect moment, Changmin just stands in the doorway, eyes closed and breathing in deeply. When he opens them, Jaejoong is leaning his shoulder against the corner of the hallway, hair tied up in a palm tree and one hand on his hip.

“Welcome home, brat,” he says, eyes fond but mouth pressed in a scowl at Changmin’s failure to call his greeting into the apartment properly. “Didn’t I teach you any manners?”

“Blame the other parent,” Changmin tells him, letting himself be drawn into a tight hug and happy to hear not just Yunho’s voice in the other room. “I didn’t miss you adding the secret ingredient, did I?”

“For somebody so smart, you’re really dumb,” Jaejoong tells him, which is as much the pot calling the kettle black as Junsu telling Yunho his hat is weird. “Obviously the secret ingredient is love, stupid.”

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