Word Count: 640
Summary: Sometimes Jaejoong's fail is all in his imagination.
One, two, three. Three, two, one.
Jaejoong counts the number of times he stirs the jjigae, thinks maybe the counting would be more successful if he got past the first three digits.
Yunho laughs from the living room.
One, two, three. Four.
"Jaejoong-ah. Water, water, water – need water!"
Jaejoong wipes his face with a towel and rolls his eyes at Yunho, sprawled all over the couch, and sighs. "I'm not going to be here to take care of you forever." He raises his eyebrows – catch –and swings a bottle in his hand.
The latter is received with gratefulness; the former, ignored. "Oh, you're so good to me, so good!"
The shower calls and Jaejoong pads into the tiny dressing room bathroom, shirt bunched up past his stomach by the time he reaches the door.
But it hasn't even hit the ground when he's being dragged out again, nails digging into his shoulder, and Yunho is being shoved in to take his place.
"Hyung." Changmin tugs on his wrist and Jaejoong decides then he never wants to see that expression on Changmin's face ever again. "Whose water was that?"
He hears words being shouted right behind him, but it all seems muted compared to the sounds of Yunho retching into the toilet.
Jaejoong feels his own stomach turn.
"Mm, something smells good."
Arms wrap around Jaejoong's waist, a feeling that was comfortable and familiar, but now is foreign and makes his skin feel tight. Jaejoong tenses and flicks off the stove, twisting out of Yunho's hold with an uncertain smile. "Hungry?" he asks and walks over to the cupboard to grab a bowl.
"Jae," Yunho says quietly from behind him and Jaejoong can feel the hairs on the back of his neck raise as Yunho's hand nears and he moves away quickly again, back to the stove.
He fills the bowl up halfway and sets it on the table along with a spoon. "I'm going to go to bed early," he tells Yunho, looks up and focuses on Yunho's nose rather than his eyes. "Don't stay up too late, okay. The doctor said to rest a lot."
He turns to leave but Yunho stops him with, "How long are you going to be like this?"
Pretending that he doesn't know what Yunho's talking about makes it easier to turn the corner and continue walking.
"Hyung, you know you're not being fair, right?"
Jaejoong looks up from the list of Japanese he's trying to memorize and holds his hand out. "Can you hand me the dictionary?"
"The dictionary, Changmin."
Changmin slams the book down in front of Jaejoong. "He never blamed you in the first place. None of us do."
"Warui," Jaejoong reads quietly, even though all the words on the open pages start with m.
"Just forgive yourself already, hyung," Changmin says, standing up. "You're making things worse for everyone like this."
Another apology makes its way up Jaejoong's throat but he forces it to stay there, afraid of what Changmin might do if he hears it.
"Go talk to him," Changmin murmurs, giving Jaejoong a touch on the arm that doesn't leave a bright, red mark; a rarity, but increasingly frequent these days. "Please?"
Jaejoong nods but Changmin doesn't seem convinced. He thinks about how much easier his life would be if only Changmin was dumber.
The first time Yunho corners him at the end of the hall, Jaejoong refuses to look up and an entire 20 minutes pass by before Yunho sighs and walks away. He takes three steps, and then stops and turns straight back around, using his momentum to shove Jaejoong against the wall.
One, two, three, Jaejoong counts in his head.
Yunho's mouth swallows up four – steals it.
"I'm not dead. You couldn't have known. I forgive you."
Jaejoong asks for it back.