title: a little bit of summer
prompt: "Changmin goes for vacation to the country and meets Yunho. They become friends and together make a list of adventures. Changmin has to back to Seoul and the end he gives Yunho his cell number and a peck on the forehead."
beta: thier_sess, what would i ever do without you? ; A ;♥
notes: ... uhm. it's probably not what you expected, but i hope you enjoy anyway? :D;;
By the time Changmin reaches the resort, he is sweaty and pissed off and the only reason he doesn't leave right there and then is because of his nosy asshole of a boss. Go take a vacation, Heechul had said, I can tell you're not tanned from the summer at all, go relax a little! Changmin should have suspected that weasel smirk on Heechul's face, he should have known that Heechul would be dastardly enough to send him to a motivational camp of all things.
Huffing, Changmin leans his hip against the receptionist desk, foot tapping impatiently. Summer vacation's just over so the front lodge is empty. A minute passes and still no one comes, save for a group of pretty women, young and sweet, flocking around a tall young man with tanned skin and pearly white grin. Jock, Changmin thinks distastefully, this must be what his bullies grow into, and feels slightly better when he takes note of the sunburn freckling his shoulders, the pathetic state of his fraying sneakers as compared to Changmin's Italian shoes. And then the man looks over, whoops, Changmin hurries to wipe the smirk off his face but then he shoos the women away and walks briskly towards him and his smirk is immediately replaced by a frown.
"Hello, welcome to SM Lodge," he chirrups, so cheerfully that Changmin wants to punch him. "Sorry about the wait, there's only me about today -" he reaches behind the desk and pulls out a clipboard. "You'll be one Shim Changmin, yes? I'm Yunho, it's nice to meet you!" he sticks out his hand in greeting and after seeing him run it through his sweaty hair, Changmin doesn't really want to take it but -
"Hello, Yunho-sshi," Changmin returns, attempting a smile that is more a wince as Yunho squeezes his hand extra tight. "It's nice meeting you and I have no idea what I’m doing here."
Yunho laughs at that, a bright clean sound and picks up Changmin's bag. "You're the one Heechul sent out here against his will, right?" As he speaks, he walks further into the grounds, passing little huts. The wooden floor turns into sand beneath their feet and suddenly Changmin is a lot less gleeful about his current choice in footwear. "Since you're not here for any formal programme, just feel free to use the facilities as you please."
"All of them?" Changmin inquires, to be polite. He's pretty sure he doesn't actually care, so he feels bad when Yunho beams at him and answers so enthusiastically.
"You got it, even the big ones! Rock climbing, bungee jumping, I can arrange for you to try any of those too."
The bungee tower sticks sorely out of camp grounds; Changmin thinks it rather looks like the camp is flipping him the bird. He snorts loudly. Yunho turns at him, eyes wide. Changmin widens his eyes right back.
"You're not serious," Changmin says at last, "no way I’m jumping down that thing!"
"It's perfectly safe," Yunho argues. "I'm more than qualified and the camp has never had an accident since its establishment."
"Do they teach you nothing about gravity where you're from?" Changmin demands. He meant it as a jab towards the obviously ridiculous notion that jumping off high platforms is anything but dangerous and suicidal, but in light of Yunho's country accent in contrast to Changmin's polished city talk? Yunho tightens his mouth to a thin line and Changmin, well he's not about to apologise but he does resolve never to speak again for the remainder of his time here. Ever. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. So he nods a thank you when Yunho shows him to his room, nods again when he's informed of dinner at five, nods at Yunho's forcefully enthusiastic "call me if you need anything," and manages what can be called a smile as Yunho leaves.
And now he is alone.
There isn’t anything he can do in the stuffy room. It's a typical camp room, a bed and a chest of drawers and curtains that hide a window that is grilled and cannot be opened. Well he's certainly not going to unpack because he's only going to be here for a few days so. So he can totally survive this, never mind that there is nothing safe to do here, that the only instructor hates him, that Heechul had taken up what few free days he has so this is the only vacation he's getting for the year.
A strangled scream of frustration escapes him, and Changmin flops heavily down into onto the bed. The sheets are scratchy beneath his palms but in an even, freshly laundered sort of way so with dramatic flair, he tosses himself down onto the mattress. In a moment, he will head on to the rec room with those old arcade games he saw on his way in, but right now he is content to try and smother himself out his misery.
Dinner is saved by the fact that half the girls are professional chefs, and that Yunho and Changmin really, really aren't. Nothing like good old distracting work to distract from horrible first impressions, and being utter failures together does wonders as an ice breaker.
If ever there were a moment that made him feel utterly inept, it is now as Victoria takes one look at his chopped vegetables, and has to hide her little snort behind her hand. His knife is taken from him and he's put in charge of the much less manly task of tossing salad instead. At least, Changmin consoles himself, it could be worse. He spares a glance to where Yunho's struggling with meat skewers, stabbing his fingers more often than the food, and then at the girls doubled over with ill concealed mirth, pointing blatantly at his fail. Yeah, so much better. He cracks a grin at last, turning back to his own station, and Victoria rewards him with a dazzling smile.
Dinner is fun, dinner is delicious, dinner does wonders for the tension present in Changmin's shoulders ever since he came here. Around the barbecue pit (Changmin discovers fire! That he can burn stuff on! The inner child in him rejoices and he hasn't left it since), he learns that they're part childhood friends, part colleagues. Victoria had been an instructor here once, but left to live out her dream of owning a Chinese restaurant. Two years later it had expanded into a bakery thanks to the rest and then inevitably, fights and squabbles had escalated. The vacation for them is mainly to fix their relationships with one another.
"As it turns out, business partnering your friends really fucks up your relationship with them," Victoria says, pouting, "who knew?"
"I did!" Luna raises her hand. "If you'd just listened to me, this wouldn't have - "
Before a fight can break out however, Yunho steps between them, quite literally, and takes off his shirt. "It's getting so stuffy around the pit," he explains, which is a lie because he sends this horrible eyebrow waggle in Changmin's direction when the squabbling suddenly dies off into awed silence. Changmin tries very hard not to stare. His own silence, he decides stubbornly, is not awed in anyway except at Yunho's utter shamelessness. It has absolutely nothing to do with Yunho's tanned skin or his rich chest or his sculpted abs at all. Absolutely. Nothing to do with any of that at all.
"Sneaky," comments Amber in English and when Changmin turns to her, the only one there who understands her, she smirks conspiratorially. "Me next!" she announces, Korean this time, and tugs the hem of her tank top up. She barely gets it past her belly before Krystal is tackling her down, yanking it back down and thwacking her over the head.
"Group hug!" Luna announces, and very casually throws herself into the fray. Sulli barks with laughter, red faced and breathless.
"And this is why we're here." Victoria sighs dramatically, but it does nothing to dim the fond looks she sends them. "What about you, Changmin-sshi?"
"I have no idea why I'm here," Changmin says very seriously, and makes a severe face when Victoria giggles at him. "No, really! My boss took one look at me when I went in for work one morning, and said I didn't look tanned enough to have enjoyed summer properly." Arms flailing, Changmin pouts terribly, all worked up. "But my skin is already darker than average! I am always tanned! We're not even students anymore, what the hell did he mean by summer break?! We're working adults! Responsible working adults, and he's the only one who didn't get the memo!"
"My boss is a jerk," Changmin concludes loudly, utterly sure in this declaration.
"Heechul's my best friend," replies Yunho, arching an eyebrow in mock indignation.
"Then your best friend's a jerk," Changmin tells him without skipping a beat, "and you have objectively bad taste in men."
"I don't know about that," Yunho replies, suddenly leaning forward, all up in Changmin's space with his wide, annoying grin.
Victoria laughs as she politely excuses herself to pull her employees apart, and then laughs even louder at the betrayed look Changmin sends her way.
"Maybe she's just running away from cleaning up," Yunho suggests. When he gets up to clear the plates, Changmin leaps up after him. Customer or not, Changmin's still younger than him and he figures this is also a chance to make up for his mouth.
"I can do that," he calls, taking the plates from him with one hand, black trash bag in his other. "Go on, hyung, I've got this." And so he does, methodically clearing every last used cutlery and plate, then wiping the tables down until they're possibly cleaner than they had been even before dinner. The trash bag once full needs to be cleared too, and on his way, he grabs the grill to dump into the sink. When he's finally done, back at the tables to make sure everything's done, he finds Yunho watching him with the strangest expression on his face.
"What?" he demands, shifting around self-consciously.
"You're not a bad person, are you?" Yunho blurts out. Then he grins, like it's a compliment and Changmin tries not to feel inordinately pleased.
"I'm - an okay person?" he tries, wringing his hands together.
Yunho laughs and says without the slightest hint of mockery, "if you say so."
After the previous night's gorging and blissful, restful sleep, Changmin is surprised to find breakfast is as luxurious, cafeteria table piled high with syrupy toast and breakfast muffins.
"Luna's our pastry chef," Victoria informs him cheerfully, "whipping this up is no problem for her!"
"Luna's cleared out most of our pantry," Yunho echoes after her, equally bright, "so they're on grocery duty for the rest of the day!"
Sleep fuzzy and lethargic from the muggy heat, Changmin merely squints and mumbles something incoherent at them. Breakfast is a haze of robotic face cramming and swallowing and grabby hands at the coffee so many times that Sulli takes to slapping him away with her fork.
He doesn't surface out into the conversation until after his forth cup of coffee.
" - bungee jumping maybe next afternoon?" He hears Yunho saying, and then a smattering of approval but surely that can't be right, he has to do something before they're scheduled for their doom!
"NO." Changmin blurts out. Everyone turns to him, and Changmin is suddenly distinctly aware of how he looks, hair rumpled, eyes wide and manic, butter knife clenched in his fist like a weapon. Slowly, he lowers his hand and glares when Yunho makes a big show of taking the knife away from him with exaggerated caution. "No, don't distract me! We're not really bungee jumping, are we?!"
"... Of course we're not," Yunho replies a beat too slow. The girls echo after him with equally suspicious grins. This is such an ominous way to start the day; Changmin swallows a frustrated groan and glares into his coffee.
By midday however, tired from impromptu soccer games and sticky with sweat, the girls have loaded up into the resort's lone van, puttering away to the nearest town, armed with a long list of groceries.
"We're not seeing them again until dinner, huh?" Changmin says, as Amber lets out a loud cheer, shopping!
"Probably not." Somehow, Yunho doesn't seem upset at all that most of his clients have upped and run off. Instead, he looks inordinately cheerful. "I guess it's just you and me!"
As if that creepy grin isn't suspicious at all; Changmin snorts and steps to away to one side, and grumbles when Yunho slings an arm around his shoulders, undeterred. It's easy conversation for a while, how do you like it so far, what do you want to do next, squabbling over who does the dishes (Changmin volunteers again, it's only polite, but Yunho insists that he is camp instructor, and that he should. It's a dumb squabble), Yunho chattering enough to make up for Changmin's stilted attempts at speaking. By the time they're done with chores however, an awkward silence pulls between them.
"So!" Turning away from the sink, Yunho wipes his hands down his jeans and smiles hopefully down at Changmin. Chin against the table, arms splayed out in front of him, Changmin stares back at him, blank. Yunho tries again: "So. What would you like to do next?"
Changmin lolls his head on the table, pressing his cheek to its cool surface to get a better view of him. "I don't know," he mumbles half heartedly. "What do normal people who come here willingly do?"
"Well for corporations we normally have team bonding games for their employees," Yunho says, "but we can't really do that for you so... We have a variety of sports equipment if you're up for it? A rock wall? A forest trek?"
All of his suggestions are immediately shot down: "It's too hot," Changmin whines, and to prove it, runs a hand through his hair. The sweat slicks his fringe up. Gross. "I'm gross," he says sadly.
"Nonsense, you're not gross. You still look pretty," Yunho informs him, and laughs awkwardly when Changmin squints at him with this peculiar look on his face. "A-anyway, there's a uhm, a lake? Swimming! You swim on hot days right?"
Changmin hums thoughtfully, peels himself off the table in the process. "I guess," he says slowly, "that a swim would be nice."
"Excellent!" Yunho rubs his hands together gleefully. "Go grab your swimming costume and we'll -"
"Wait, I don't have one." Changmin frowns. "Damnit, I guess we'll have to think about something else."
Beaming, Yunho thumps him on his shoulder. "Don't give up so easily!" he tells him, "I'm sure we'll think of something."
The lake is a quaint little thing in the middle of a small forest clearing, its tiny dock marred by past visitors. Surrounded by trees, it is quiet save the sounds of nature, water still and clear. A knotted rope swing sways beneath a low hanging branch.
The surface ripples, Changmin emerges from the water, rivulets running and dipping down his toned muscles. He looks down at himself, splashes back into the water at once, and decides never to leave the water again.
"What are you doing?" Yunho calls from the dock. He's got the rope swing in his hands, ready to toss himself into the water again. "Hurry up, come out, this is fun!"
"No thanks, I don't like rope swings anyway," Changmin yells back. He knows this is a lie, especially when Yunho looks like he's having so much fun, splashing into the water with a loud whoop, but. Well. The last time he’d gotten any further than his waist out of the water... As it turns out, his thin, clingy boxers are not the best replacement for swimming trunks, especially when the sight of Yunho, wet and sun kissed and mostly naked, causes certain involuntary bodily reactions. He should have worn pants, Changmin thinks mournfully, his dress pants if he had to, so he could stay at the lake with a bit more dignity, because he certainly wasn't going to miss watching Yunho now.
"You're a stick, you know that?"
Changmin looks up in surprise, eyebrow arched. When Yunho only cringes at his own wording but doesn't explain further, Changmin takes a gander at it. "... Because I'm skinny?"
"Well, that too, if stick skinny meant muscles like yours, seriously, I didn't know city boys could look like that." Not the least bit bashful, Yunho drags his gaze down then up again, grinning fantastically at Changmin's flushed face. He exaggerates shielding his eyes to protect Changmin's dignity and chuckles at Changmin's amused snort. Quickly though, his expression turns serious again. "I meant, actually, that you're kind of stiff, you know? Maybe you should consider loosening up a bit. That's why you're here right?"
Changmin blinks at him, eyebrows slanted together in indignation. It strikes him that getting mad now would probably prove his point - though he is pissed, who the hell does Yunho think he is? - so he opts for wordlessly pushing off the dock. Once in the water, he swims, strong angry strokes that take him as far away as possible. There is an unnatural ripple of water behind him; he doesn't have to look back to know that Yunho is following him. Jerk.
Yunho doesn't catch up until Changmin finally runs out of space to swim, until Changmin gets tired of running away and have to watch his hyung fumble after him, none of his usual easy grace in the water. What sort of stupid camp counsellor can't swim well? Changmin wonders. He kicks out a leg and just barely nudges Yunho in the ribs when he's close enough, and it's enough to unbalance the man, have him flailing as he suddenly sinks further into the water. A petty bark of laughter escapes him, but Changmin's smugness is short lived when a hand fastens over his ankle and tugs.
"This is not proper pool safety!" Changmin yells, splashing about. Okay so Yunho's not actually trying to drown him but that's not actually going to stop Changmin from backstroking out of there... okay, maybe it is. Stupid deathgrip on his ankle. Giving up, he floats on his back, waits for Yunho to regain his bearings. "You're a jerkface," Changmin hisses at him, because sometimes, all the big, fancy vocabulary of a journalist just doesn't cut it.
"This isn't a pool," Yunho points out, but he backs off, treading water desperately to keep alongside Changmin. "And this is the only way to get you to listen!"
"... I'm not stiff," Changmin mumbles at last. As he squints against the glare of the white sky, he hopes that Yunho's too busy trying not to drown to hear him. "I'm a journalist, you know? That's an artsy fartsy, creative job, no way I'm stiff."
"That's not what I’ve been told, look I just want to talk alright? Why'd you pick journalism anyway?"
"Childhood dream," Changmin answers automatically. A second after, he winces.
As expected, Yunho isn't as awed as everyone else he's half-lied to. "Really? You're not just saying that?"
"I don't know, I just fell into it, I guess. I did well with languages in school and the publishing company had the best starting pay and… I just really wanted to watch baseball games for free."
There is a pause. Yunho reaches over and slaps his hand atop the crown of Changmin's head, pushing it from side to side with a befuddled look on his face. Changmin slaps his hand away, huffing, and Yunho laughs. "Okay, not a stick then," he admits. "So what's changed?"
This is why Changmin's here after all, so reluctantly, unwillingly, he begins to talk. He tells Yunho the bare basics, of how he hadn't expected to many responsibilities of his job, and how he need to be the best, how the paperwork kept piling up until all he ever did was sit at his office desk before going home and burying himself in research. Try as he might to keep it simple, Yunho pulls out everything written between his lines anyway.
"So what you're saying is," says Yunho, furrowing his brows together, "that you were so stubborn and such a perfectionist that you overworked yourself? That's it?"
Yunho is still an intrusive dick but also a deeply insightful one and Changmin hates it - the having his flaws pointed out part, not the Yunho part, because the Yunho part is wet and distracting and a horrible swimmer so he has an arm around Changmin's waist the entire time and if Changmin does this right, slides their legs together and drags wet, bare skin together…
"Changminnie, stop trying to distract me!" Yunho shields his eyes from Changmin's pout, clings on harder when Changmin tries to squirm away. "Okay, I'll make it short for you okay? Here: you have a great job and maybe you weren't sure when you got into the business, but you still have to get used to it right? You like writing and you're good at it. Relax a little, go take advantage and get all the free baseball tickets. Go watch all the games! Go, shoo, be happy, don't give Heechul another chance to send you back here. Got it?"
"This would be a lot more impressive if we weren't half naked and if I didn't know that you'd drown without that arm of yours," Changmin says instead, pinching his arm and desperately looking everywhere but at Yunho. He doesn't want to admit that he does get it, maybe a little bit, that he's feeling lighter all of a sudden, but Yunho bops him on the nose and forces him to make eye contact. "Fine, aish, I got it! Stop looking at me like that!"
Yunho laughs, rich and warm, and it trembles through the both of them. "Would you look at that!" His friendly thump on the shoulder sends Changmin splashing messily to regain his balance. "It's only the second day and I've already cured all your woes and worries!"
"You worry me the most!" he yells, and tackles Yunho into the water.
There's some sort of bonding activity after dinner and even though it's summer, the evening breeze is cold enough that it's only warm and cozy around the campfire. Amber breaks out the guitar, and Changmin gives it ago. He's lousy at it, only learns a chord or two from Amber, but he's inspired to take up lessons more, especially now that everyone's complimented his singing voice. It's been a while since he's had a hobby, and this seems fun. It's got nothing to do at all with the way Yunho nods approvingly at him when he asks Amber for lessons after camp at all.
As he always is in group settings, Changmin is quiet; Yunho is his exact opposite. He keeps the pace with every conversation thread, even ones that are happening at the same time, that are tangling with each other so dramatically that Changmin has no idea what's going on. It's nice though, he supposes, to listen to the laughter that Yunho orchestrates, to have Yunho next to him, reeling him back in so that he can laugh along with them.
Changmin sidles closer, closer until they're sitting on the same log, closer until their knees knock, closer until Yunho's wayward, flailing hands end up on his thigh more often than not. It's immature to do a little gig of triumph at something like this, but oh how he wants to. Instead he settles on silly grinning and hoping. Across the fire, Victoria twinkles at him and gives him a sneaky thumbs up, which Changmin reciprocates. Of course Yunho misses Victoria's and catches Changmin's. He snags Changmin's wrist out of the air, tugging it over playfully.
"What? What'd I miss?"
"You guys went to the pool without us?"
"You are the first group of boys who waited until after the girls are gone to have a pool party," Krystal points out, smirk just barely hidden.
"Yeah, why is that I wonder?" Sulli's expression is a face of blissful obliviousness and no one's sure if she's being sarcastic, so they leave it at that.
"More marshmallows!" Luna suggests brightly, and the conversation veers off into safer territory.
As the fire dies out and the coals begin to smoulder, Changmin lets contentment turn to complacency. It isn't his fault (probably) that everyone else has turned in for the night but Yunho is still so close to him, thighs pressed together, making it so, so easy to turn around and - Yunho's profile is gorgeous - kiss that little mark above his lip. When Yunho turns to him in surprise, Changmin crowds into him, kissing him in earnest this time. He's never made kissing strangers he's only known for a day or two into a habit but with Yunho's mouth warm and wet against his, he think he just might. Hands smooth down his chest, a thumb brushes over his nipple, and Changmin groans, arching closer - suddenly, he is shoved away.
Breath uneven and cheeks pink, Yunho frowns at him, worrying at his bottom lip. "Sorry," he says, clearly conflicted. He bites down on his lower lip. "I really am, but it's against company policy for instructors to... have relations with clients."
"It's - what? Now you care about the rules?" Jerking away, Changmin slaps his hand off his arm, scowling terribly. His ears burn. "You've been hitting on me the whole time I've been here, what the hell was that about then?"
"I'm just a naturally touchy person," Yunho winces when Changmin's expression shutters off with hurt and humiliation. "No sorry that's a lie - okay, no, it isn't but, I really - "
"Forget it!" Changmin waves him off, and makes to stand, eyes darting around like a frightened animal. "I don't want to hear any excuses."
"But!" No other chance, Yunho reaches out, locks a hand around Changmin's wrist and doesn't let him escape. "I do like you, Changminnie, it's just that," Yunho pauses, helpless, "rules! I have to follow them."
And just like that, the sting of rejection is quickly swept aside for this dangerous welling of hope, hot and near bursting in Changmin's chest. "After that then," he blurts out, and it's kind of pathetic how far he's fallen in a matter of days, but he barges on anyway, "I mean, you don't have to promise anything, but after I'm done with the camp, if you still like me, maybe we could, we could uhm see each other? For coffee? Maybe?" he finishes lamely. A stilted, nervous laugh spills out as he scrubs at the back of his neck sheepishly, staring at the ground.
A thumb lifts his chin up and Yunho smiles at him, soft. "Yeah, sure, why not - " he stops to let out a chuckle, self-conscious " - let's do that."
"Great! I mean, fine, good, I'll just - " Changmin begins to back off, Yunho's hand slips from his wrist down to his palm, to his fingers, reluctant to break contact. But they do, and Changmin waves awkwardly. "I'll just, I'll be in my bunk! Sleeping! Bye!"
It's testimony to how far gone he is when he doesn't check any of the girls out in their tiny shorts, clinging in the humidity. The boy on the other hand... Changmin spends an inordinate effort dragging his gaze away from the fitted tank top that stretches across the broad expanse of Yunho's chest, and promptly gets distracted by Yunho's ass. Such nice thighs, he thinks admiringly, but where is his ass?
It's a testimony to how far gone he is that he's getting distracted by Yunho's ass when the day's agenda includes bungee jumping.
"Way, way far gone, oppa," a voice pipes up behind him. Changmin jumps, spinning around. Amber smiles lazily up at him. "I mean look, he doesn't even have an ass."
"That's exactly what I was thinking." Changmin retorts, stubbornly ignoring the flush crawling down his neck. "That's exactly why I was thinking it."
"You guys should know that he's right behind you," comes another voice, and Changmin just barely resist jumping this time. What is it with people sneaking up on him? He turns, protest ready, and then the words die at his lips. Krystal smiles angelically at him, arm looped with Yunho's.
"And I heard everything~" Yunho grins at him. In fact, everyone grins at him and Changmin smiles back but in that painful manner in which he can't really control his mouth and it's a laugh or cry situation and his face must be in flames right now.
Changmin attempts to avoid Yunho for the rest of the day; it lasts twenty minutes, in which they've made it to the bungee platform and Changmin finds himself right by Yunho's side again, fingers digging into his arm.
"This is so stupid," he hisses. It's too high and too windy and the sun is too fucking glaring that Changmin can barely stay upright. Somehow, he is wrestled into his harness anyway. "This is so stupid and we are going to die."
"I'll jump with you," Yunho tells him, hand firm on his shoulder, and true to his words, he steps into a harness as well, pulling it tight around him. "Tandem bungee jumping is a lot less scary for first timers. We'll be fine!"
"We can do that? We can't do that!" Changmin whimpers, "You can't strap yourself in, it's not safe!"
He nearly jumps out of his skin when Victoria slaps him on the shoulder. "Don't forget about me!" she chastises. "I'm qualified too, I'll make sure it's safe for the both of you."
And like that, Changmin is out of excuses. Yunho presses firm and solid and dependable against his back, the straps that Victoria secure around them are at once annoying as they dig into his flesh, and a lifesaver because they tie him to Yunho and he wouldn't have jumped otherwise.
"Ready?" Yunho murmurs against his ears. Changmin grabs on tight and attempts to break his ribs. "I'll take that as a yes!"
They topple over the platform.
It is thrilling and exciting and seems to last forever, Changmin keeps falling and falling and wind rushes all around them. Then the cord jerks, and they yoyo up and down in the air in short little burst. Changmin hears disbelief and laugh spilling from his own mouth as Yunho shouts happily in his ear. When the cord begins to drag them back up, he can see the scenery a lot better this time, so fucking high up, and he clings on to Yunho's steady frame.
When they're on the ground, it feels like it's gone by in a flash. Changmin stands on shaky legs, useless and unable to help as Yunho untangles the both of them from the harnesses. That curious sensation of free falling stays with him like a ghost. Changmin feels lighter.
"You look a little pale." Frowning, Yunho presses his palm against his cheek, cups the back of his neck, peers at his face. "Are you alright?"
"I'm. I'm not alright, I'm." at a loss for words, Changmin grins up at him, awkward and charming, hoping not to be misunderstood. "That was. That was ridiculous and I’m glad I did it. Thank you."
And here, something changes in the way Yunho looks at Changmin. It is at first quiet contemplation that evolves into soft, honest affection. "Good. That's good."
Dinner isn't even done on the last night before Yunho and Changmin sneak away, their food packed up in styrofoam boxes. They head to the rec room for employees, Changmin claiming that the evening breeze is too chilly for him. The girls laugh at them a lot before they let them escape.
"This isn't a first date or anything," Changmin comments offhandedly, as he rearranges the couch pillows, dumping them off to the side so Yunho has to sit with him in the middle. Gleeful, he squishes one to his chest when Yunho does exactly that.
"Of course not," Yunho answers cheerfully. "That's saved for coffee, remember?"
It takes half a bowl before Yunho realises that Changmin's been decimating their popcorn supply single-handedly. He puts his out of reach, on the arm rest on his side of the couch, chuckling victoriously when Changmin leans across his lap and despite his long limbs, doesn't manage to reach the bowl. What he doesn't realise is that it's a part of Changmin's devious ploy all along; when he stretches too far and topples over into Yunho's lap, he conveniently forgets to get up again. A tense, anticipatory minute passes as Changmin waits to be pushed off, but that never happens. Changmin almost squirms happily, and wrestles to get his grin under control.
From above him, Yunho murmurs, "Don't think I don't know what you're doing."
"Enjoying the spectacular movie you picked out?" Changmin guesses, resolutely not looking up at him. He's rewarded with a fond head pat for his cheek, and it spurs him to make himself comfortable, shuffling around until he (elbows Yunho in the stomach) can stretch his long legs out over the arm of the sofa. He doesn't expect it when Yunho tugs at his shoulder and pulls him onto his back, and squeak embarrassingly. "... Hello?"
Yunho's hands are warm on his cheeks, preventing him from looking away. "Oh, are you now?" Yunho asks, ignoring the flushed face hot beneath his palms, "quick, tell me what the movie's about!"
"... It's about pure hearted adventure with a passable amount of action and romance, the moral of which being true to yourself is most important!" Changmin gives it his best shot, smiling widely so his eyes squint. It's one of his best methods of avoiding eye contact when he's sheepish or embarrassed, but Yunho seems to see right through it, squishing his cheeks beneath his hands.
"Yah, don't make fun of your hyung!"
"If your life were a movie, it'd be that type of movie." Changmin says in all seriousness, "so I figured that's what we're watching."
"I wonder how well travelling camp instructors would do in the box office," Yunho replies cheerfully.
Changmin scrunches up his face. "You're a what."
And it turns out, Yunho is a travelling camp instructor, no joke. He's friends with the boss and the company has branches here and there across the world, so he hops about a lot, wherever is having peak season. It's been a few years now and he's picked up a few languages here and there, decent Japanese, just passable English, and a few important phrases in Mandarin. He accompanies Koreans on overseas camp. With his qualifications, Yunho gets paid enough that if he watches his wallet, he can stay a bit longer in the country.
"That is a lot cooler than what? I thought you were." Changmin says, grinning. "Though of course I thought you were pretty cool already?"
This is cue for Yunho to convince Changmin further of his coolness. There are a hundred stories that Yunho's collected over the years and he tells every one of them with the same infectious enthusiasm. It feels as though Changmin has to step up and match his pace, but when he does, he feels childish, I go cool places too, hyung and I went to Spain once, hyung and that's cool right, hyung, right?. Yunho notices none of that, easily absorbed into the conversation, fingers stroking Changmin's hair distractedly.
"Bullfighting!" he cries at one of Changmin's more exciting trips. "I've always wanted to watch one, it seems so cool on tv!"
"Cool in theory, a lot less cool in real life." Changmin wrinkles his nose in distaste. "How about night markets?"
"Beaches! Swimming in the open sea would be nice."
"But you suck at it." The reprimanding pinch to his cheek is totally worth it. "Kidding, kidding. Probably. I could teach you how to surf?"
"That sounds good." After a moment's thought, Yunho adds, "and terrifying. You don't strike me as the most patient of teachers."
"Excuse you, I am an excellent teacher! And I'd be the hyung, right? I'd be the one leading, heh." Again, the cheek pinch is totally worth it, but Changmin's beginning to suspect that Yunho just likes touching his face.
"You wish. Hey, maybe you'd like Taiwan. Night markets."
"An eating tour!" Enthusiasm bleeds into Changmin's voice. "I'll eat everywhere, I'll eat everything! All you have to do is name the place, hyung."
"There's the new Australian branch I'm due at in two months, we could check that out."
"Australia is an ocean full of creatures waiting to kill you." replies Changmin, nodding. "I wrote an article on it."
"You write the happiest articles, Changdola." At the cheeky smirk he receives in response, Yunho rolls his eyes. "We can go to Saipan. It's all sun and surf there, too hot for t-shirts."
Changmin shimmies onto his back, until his face squishes up against Yunho's stomach, flesh firm and defined. "Shirtless vacations!" he crows, "You've got yourself a deal!"
Between the two of them, there are a dozen adventures they want to go on, and their list grows longer and longer. The movie's on repeat and the credits begin to roll for the second time halfway through their plans to take over Japan. By the time they're wondering about the oddities of America, Changmin begins to doze off.
It's late enough that the warm summer breeze has turned chilly and biting and Changmin has to sit up so that Yunho can spread the afghan across the both of them. He presses into Yunho's side when Yunho doesn't let him steal more than his share of blanket. He's vaguely aware that he'd perhaps stopped making sense a while ago, mumbling incoherently into the worn fabric of Yunho's t-shirt.
"It'd be nice," Yunho says above him, voice pitched whisper sort, "if we could go on at least one of these adventures."
"Baseball tickets," Changmin mumbles, too far gone to be coherent, "you, everyone, baseball likes right? Go watch baseball with me."
Yunho laughs quietly, stroking a hand down Changmin’s hair, dipping down his neck, curling around his shoulder. "Maybe it's time to turn in for the night."
That gets a bigger response. Changmin flicks an eye open to peer blearily at him. "Come back with me to my room?"
Yunho pouts terribly. "You know that's against the rules."
"Go with you to your room?"
Heaving a sigh, Changmin stretches, back arching up, only to collapse back into Yunho's lap. "In that case, we're still watching the movie."
"The movie ended ages ago," Yunho points out, "this is the third time it's replaying itself."
"And yet I still don't know what it's about. We should correct that."
"With your eyes closed?" asks Yunho doubtfully.
"Mm hmm. You don't mind right?" For good measure, he nudges Yunho's thigh with his cheek and sighs softly, the picture of content. It would take a monster to displace him now.
"... I guess not." Yunho leans down far enough to brush his lips against the shell of Changmin's ear, lingers long enough to feel him shiver.
The girls have another few days there, so Changmin leaves the camp alone. They almost throw him a leaving party but he leaves so early in the morning that only Luna manages to make Changmin special chilli chocolate crepes for breakfast. Everyone exchanges numbers. Their cafe is not nearby at all but Changmin is bullied into promising to visit. It can't be helped that Changmin is weak against bright people.
Finally, they let him return to his car in peace, and then it's only him and Yunho, perched awkwardly on the hood.
"Those were the most hugs I've ever gotten from pretty women in my life. This place is awesome," says Changmin, a bit dreamy eyed. He laughs when Yunho pouts and points a hopeful finger at himself. "You're pretty awesome too, I guess."
"Good to hear!" Yunho beams. Then his face turns serious, and his arm winds around Changmin's waist. "Hey, so now that you're not a customer anymore…"
The way Changmin watches him from beneath his lashes, mouth quirked in a tiny smile, is full of promises. Cupping his cheek, Yunho leans in, eyelids fluttering close, mouth puckering expectantly -
Changmin shoves him off, shouting with laughter at Yunho's startled squawk.
"Payback is so, so sweet, hyung!" He takes a hold of Yunho's shoulders, at once bringing him close and holding him from any more advances. "No kisses for you!" despite this, he presses his lips to Yunho's forehead sweetly, brushes the kiss to his temple, ends it at the corner of his mouth. "If you want me," Changmin says, voice clear and light, "you'll have to come get me."
"Anywhere you go," Yunho promises, and warmth bubbles in Changmin's chest. He smiles like the sun, even as Changmin pulls away and gets into his car. Through the open window he tells him, "I'll come find you, I swear."
"I'll be waiting!" Changmin calls back. He drives away, heart full to bursting, giddy with anticipation. He has a feeling that he won't be waiting long.