gen, drama, bandfic
summary: Changmin gets an unexpected visitor while he's in the hospital.
an: ugh, i promised myself that i would not write anything related to the lawsuit, but i did it anyway! it came to me in a dream and i just had to write it. it was partly inspired by this article where it was rumored changmin was in the hospital and junsu was trying to visit him. i changed it to jaejoong visiting instead because i feel they'd have more to say to each other. it's been awhile since i wrote anything this serious, so i apologize for the fail. T-T
The bed sheets sounded like paper as he shifted across them to get more comfortable. He hated the feeling of hospital sheets. They were stiff and dry and left his throat feeling itchy. It’s only one of the many things Changmin hated about hospitals. It was lonely and there was nothing for him to do but be left alone with his thoughts. It’s at times like these that he thinks back on how things used to be and that awful feeling of bitterness and resentment coil up in his gut like a cold unfeeling snake.
He liked to think he was past all that. But sometimes, sometimes-- he just couldn’t help it.
Being in the hospital reminded him of being sick; being sick when he still had to go through 18 hours of dance practice and recordings and other such schedules. Times were hard back then, but he got though it with the support of the others. A comforting pat on the back from Yunho, a warm hug from Yoochun, a cold joke from Junsu to make him laugh and of course Jaejoong’s incessant mothering. It used to annoy him back then but like they say; you don’t really appreciate something until it’s gone.
He may never say so, but he misses the way things used to be. They struggled, and fought, and went through hard times, but they were in it together. Dong Bang Shin Ki was his family, his support system, his everything. Only now did he realize how truly dependent he was on that name.
And he always thought he was the independent one in the group.
Sighing, Changmin sits himself at the edge of the hospital bed and runs a hand through his hair. It’s his last day and Yunho said he’d pick him up when he was done filming but that wouldn’t be for at least another hour or two. He sighs; he really didn’t want to be here any longer. He’s had enough time reliving the past. He wanted to be over it now. He wanted to move on with his life.
Standing from the bed, he walks over to his bag on the other side of the room to get his iPod, hoping for some sort of distraction. He’d been listening to music a lot more lately because of that.
There’s a knock at the door, but Changmin doesn’t bother to turn around. It was probably just another nurse checking up on him, anyway.
“Hey,” a decidedly male voice called hesitantly from the doorway. Changmin momentarily freezes in his actions. That voice-- he’d know it anywhere. But it couldn’t be. He hasn’t heard that voice in over six months. He assumes he’s imagining things until he turns around and actually sees him.
He looks the same. Maybe a little more mature, but he was still the same old Jaejoong. He’s wearing that awkward smile of his that he does when he’s nervous and he still has one hand placed on the door knob as if ready to leave at any moment in case Changmin told him to. It’s their first time seeing each other since the whole ordeal happened and it felt more like they were meeting each other for the first time.
“Hey,” Jaejoong said again after the silence became too hard to bear. Changmin didn’t know what to say. He felt like there was something he should say, but he can’t think of what it was. So he said the first thing that came to mind instead.
“What are you doing here?”
He didn’t mean for it to come out harsh, but he was surprised. Jaejoong didn’t really seem to be offended though. He only smiled sadly as if he was expecting such a greeting. It’s not as if they left each other of the best of terms.
“Can I come in?” He asked hesitantly. Changmin wasn’t resentful enough to turn him away. Especially not when Jaejoong was standing there looking like a kicked puppy. But it’s not as if he was going to invite him in with open arms either. So Changmin only nodded mutely and went back to sit on the edge of his bed. Jaejoong entered cautiously and stood by Changmin’s bed side.
“So… how are you feeling?” The older asked conversationally. Changmin wasn’t going to play that game though. They weren’t going to pretend this was a casual visit.
“Better,” he said. “How did you know I was here?”
Jaejoong fiddled with his ring absently; an old habit that he’d probably never grow out of, Changmin noted. “Junsu told me,” he said. “I’m not sure how he found out either. He must have heard it from someone, though.”
Changmin only nodded and looked away. He wasn’t really surprised that Junsu somehow found out.
“He was actually planning to visit you himself,” Jaejoong continued. “He had the hospital map up and everything but his schedule got in the way. And Yoochun--” Jaejoong paused and looked down at his boots. “Well, you know. He’s… He’s just not ready yet.”
“I understand,” Changmin said. And he did. Yoochun had always been the sensitive one and no matter how much he convinced himself that going this route was for the best, he couldn’t help but feel guilty. Changmin had seen that magazine interview where the other said he had no regrets about what happened. They all knew that didn’t stop him from feeling guilty though.
“He does miss you guys you know,” Jaejoong said. “We all do.”
Changmin didn’t say anything to that. “We’re not even supposed to be in contact, you know. What if someone sees you?”
Jaejoong smiled that devilishly cheeky smile of his and it almost felt like nothing had changed. “After what I did, do you really think I care about what those bastards say?”
Changmin cracked a small smile at that and Jaejoong took that as an opportunity to sit beside him. They sat quietly for a moment as Changmin fiddled with his headphones and Jaejoong with his ring. It was awkward now, and Changmin hated it. They were like brothers before and now they can barely talk to each other. That’s what Changmin hated most about this ordeal. Even back in the day when he thought about their eventual end, he always thought they’d remain close and that’s what made it bearable. But this… this is the worst.
“So, how’s… Yunho?” Jaejoong suddenly asked cautiously as if it was some sort of taboo. But Changmin couldn’t blame him. Yunho was probably a sensitive subject to him.
“I don’t know,” Changmin said honestly.
Jaejoong looked surprised. “Don’t you two still live together?”
Changmin nodded. “Yeah, but he doesn’t talk about you guys much. He mostly just acts like nothing happened. You know how he is. I guess he’s still upset, but he’s moving on I think.”
“What about you?” Jaejoong asked quietly. “Are you still upset?”
Changmin doesn’t answer immediately. It’s a loaded question but he should have been expecting it. “I don’t know,” he said. “I’m not so much upset with you guys anymore so much as I am upset with how things turned out. I won’t lie and say I’m not a little bit bitter towards you though.”
Jaejoong smiled a sad little smile. “I guess I can’t blame you for that.”
Another silence settled over the two but this time it was a little less awkward, but a little more sad. They’re both lost in their own thoughts and memories and it makes everything a bit more heartbreaking. None of them were naïve enough to think that they would last forever, but none of them knew it would turn out like this.
“Hyung,” Changmin suddenly called quietly and he doesn’t have to look up to see the surprise on Jaejoong’s face. He hardly ever referred to him as Hyung unless he needed to and there was no hiding the brokenness in his voice. He almost sounded like he was sixteen again. “I-- It’ll never be the same again, will it?”
Jaejoong’s eyes widened and he looked away for a moment. “I don’t know what to tell you, Min,” he said. “I wish I could tell you it will, but I can’t. All I can tell you is I’m sorry.”
Changmin nodded but still couldn‘t bring himself to look up that the other man. Now would have been the time Jaejoong would place a comforting hand on his leg, or tease him until he was one touched, but he does neither and Changmin feels grateful. He wasn’t sure he could handle that and he thinks he’s cried enough.
“Yunho will probably be here soon,” Changmin said suddenly and Jaejoong didn’t need to be told what that meant.
“I should probably be on my way now, anyway.” Jaejoong said and stood to leave. “We’re heading to the US soon for a tour… in case you haven’t heard.”
“I did,” Changmin said. “Good luck.”
“Thanks,” Jaejoong smiled and he backed away to the door slowly as if he had something else to say. But he didn’t. Changmin only watched as he waved lightly and turned away to the door. As soon as he saw the other’s back, it felt as if his stomach had dropped to his shoes. It wasn’t right. He knew he didn’t want Jaejoong to walk away like this again. He needed closure, they both did.
“Wait!” Changmin called and stood from the stiff hospital bed. Jaejoong turned around just as he was about to open the door and Changmin wrapped his arms tightly around the other man’s shoulders. Jaejoong stood frozen for a moment. He wasn’t expecting this, nor was he used to it. Changmin was never one for skinship but now he was clinging on to him like his life depended on it.
“I miss you guys, too,” Changmin said quietly, tightening his arms around the older man’s stiff shoulders. Jaejoong blinked a few times, still in shock at the sudden turn of events but he couldn’t help but feel happier than he’s felt in a long time. He closed his eyes and smiled as he finally brought his arms up to return the embrace just as tight. It felt as if they were making up for lost time and neither of them were in a rush to let go.
“Thanks,” Jaejoong whispered into the taller man’s shoulder. He had no idea how much those words would mean to him. He felt a sudden wave of relief wash over him and it gave him hope that everything would be okay. Even if they could no longer be Dong Bang Shin Ki anymore, they could still be a family. They could still support and love each other like they always did.
It would just take some work.
Changmin finally pulled away and smiled. It was a genuine smile, the one where his eyes mismatched and Jaejoong forgot how much he missed it.
“Keep in touch,” he said.
“You know I will,” Jaejoong replied.
And that was the most they could ask for at this time.
continuation: of gods and dogs
an: i know the time line is probably a little off and i switched pov's at the end but lets just chalk it up to poetic license, k? ( lol cwidt?) this is kind of fail because i'm rusty with dbsk fics and i just felt like it needed to be written anyway. i think i'm just going to stick with writing fluffy, humorous fics from now on. >.< anyway, i hope you enjoyed! comments are greatly appreciated!