Title: Butterfly Fingers
Word Count: 2,500
Summary: Jaebum gets casted in another drama, Jinyoung falls sick, and the rest of Got7 are in on some jokes. All of these events are drown out by Jaebum’s and Jinyoung’s disgustingly sweet co-dependency.
Prompt: A simple 'falling in love in the middle of their busy idol life', where the whole group sees it before them.
The 2012 boygroups fell like houses of cards, and Jinyoung watched them with the kind of detached feeling you could only develop with comrades who fought the same war as you but did not have the luxury of being in the surviving squad.
Jinyoung didn't think he and Jaebum could be categorised as successful either, but they weren't meant to be something solid from the start. They were just a project, scraped if failed and kept for further development if not. Jinyoung felt himself trapped in a limbo, because while Got7 wasn't bad, not at all, he hadn't felt his blood burning since their last music show performance of 'Bounce'. When Jaebum was his only support, but it was enough and he felt like he could conquer the world.
There was something to be said about selfishness, he was sure. Jinyoung didn't care enough to figure it out.
They got Mondays free, because Monday was the only day without music shows and management had taken pity on them, three weeks into another promotions without a music show first place to show for it.
It was so close, their managers said. They clashed with titans, there was no way they could win but their scores were satisfactory. It was all about timing now.
Jinyoung woke at half day, his head spinning. And Jaebum wasn’t in the dorm.
“Drama audition, I think. Remember that script the managers gave him before the comeback?” – Jackson said from the kitchen table, his face dangerously close to joining the cereal in the bowl.
Jinyoung did remember that. He also remembered the way Jaebum beamed when he reached the ending of the script. Of course Jaebum would go for it, of course.
Someone tapped his shoulder, and Jinyoung instinctively moved out of the way. Mark ruffled his hair before walking past.
“He should be back soon. Stop with the separation anxiety.”
Jinyoung ignored him and went to do some cleaning.
Jaebum came back three hours later, carrying fried chicken from Got7’s favourite chicken place and a big smile. Seemed promising, Jaebum said as he intertwined his fingers with Jinyoung that night, both of them sprawled out over the only couch in their dorm.
Jinyoung felt infinitely better about the day.
Two weeks later, and it’s officially confirmed that Jaebum was casted for the role. He should be in 12 episodes, give or take, among the 24. It’s a supporting character, but the drama was on one of the three main networks. It’s a pretty good chance, and great timing too, one of their managers said. It’s Jaebum’s first drama after their debut as Got7.
Jinyoung wasn’t with him.
It felt so weird, either of them filming without the other. Jinyoung only remembered drama filming as long periods of waiting, a lot of free foods which he couldn’t touch due to his diets, and the director yelling “cut!” every five minutes. He only got through them because Jaebum was there to joke with him about all the terrible works that had to be done so that the drama could come out right.
He didn’t understand how Jaebum could get through those filmings by himself.
But of course, Jaebum came back from the script reading exhausted but happy. Figures, Jinyoung think.
“Stop with the grumpy face, did you miss me that much?”
Jinyoung intertwined their fingers and didn’t dignify that with an answer.
(Though he consciously smoothened his face.)
They all got swept up in post-promotion activities, and Jinyoung didn’t have more time to contemplate Jaebum’s acting. They had a fanmeeting tour planned in a month’s time, so they’re shoved into the practice room as often as possible. Added that with the usual schedule of magazine photoshoots, variety appearances, radio appearances, and a billion other things, Jinyoung was surprised he could still keep himself awake.
Jaebum had it even worse, because as it turned out, the bunk of his scenes were scheduled for the start because one of the cast members have scheduling conflicts and her filming was pushed back.
Jinyoung hadn’t seen Jaebum in two days, when the front door banging startled him out of his morning coffee. Most of the members were in their respective beds, except for…
Jaebum was sat against the wall of their entrance hallway, slumped and Jinyoung realised he hadn’t seen Jaebum in two days because Jaebum had been at filming for two days.
He pressed the hot cup of coffee against Jaebum’s cheek, making the elder startle awake.
“Get to bed, hyung.”
“Too tired. Can’t move.”
Jaebum slurred whatever he could get out, and reached for Jinyoung’s hand. Jinyoung put it out, but didn’t grab Jaebum’s. After a few half-hearted attempts at finding Jinyoung’s hand by swatting at thin air, Jaebum gave up and pulled at what he could grab of Jinyoung. Which turned out to be the hem of his shirt, making Jinyoung crash down onto him. Surprised, Jinyoung barely managed to save his coffee.
“Brat. There, better.” – Jaebum mumbled against Jinyoung’s neck, holding Jinyoung’s hand, the one without the coffee.
Jinyoung sighed fondly, and put down the cup. His hand was still warm, and he used it to card his fingers through the elder’s hair.
His leg was bent at an awkward angle, but he ignored it, and settled into Jaebum’s warmth. They normally weren’t this affectionate, but Jinyoung liked it, growing up with two sisters and a household full of tactile touches.
They felt asleep.
“Should we wake them? That doesn’t look very comfortable.”
“Nah, let them suffer. If they could just admit that they missed each other they would be cuddling on their bed. Lovesick idiots.”
Jinyoung vaguely heard voices strangely familiar to Yugyeom’s and Mark’s, though there was a fuzzy edge around everything he could hear and feel at that moment, too dream-like to be real. Jaebum tightened his hold on Jinyoung’s hand, and he forgot all about it again.
Youngjae got weird after the day, which Jinyoung didn’t notice until Bambam said it out loud. Jinyoung hit himself internally, because he was supposed to be the mom of the group and he should notice that kind of thing.
Jinyoung caught Youngjae’s eyes for a moment, but the kid seemed embarrassed and turned away hastily. Instead, he answered Bambam.
“Remember when I told you I felt like I’m missing out on some big secrets half of the group knows? I think I figured it out.”
Yugyeom perked up at that, and Jackson cut into the conversation, eager.
“We have more than one?” – Mark asked from his sofa, lying down like a sloth with a magazine over his face.
“Exactly! I think I know it. The… wait, I remember Jackson hyung said it once. Vulcan kissing?”
Youngjae said the last part in English and Jackson ruffled his hair, before high fiving the kid. Mark snorted. Yugyeom and Bambam made disgusted faces at each other, before breaking into giggle fits.
It’s Jinyoung’s turn to feel out of the loop.
He told Jaebum that night, both of them pouring over schedules with a bottle of soju.
“They are probably messing with you. I don’t know what that is, either.”
Jinyoung wasn’t convinced.
They were even busier afterwards, a scheduled comeback barely a month after their tour was over. There were suddenly choreographers entering their practice room at the early hours of the morning, teaching them new moves after they had exhausted themselves on repeating the old choreographies, a body mantra learnt and never forgotten, as close to instinct as it could be.
Jaebum were excluded from the practice due to his schedule, but his leader mindset brought him back to the practice room between three hours of sleep and seventeen hours of filming, learning as much as he could.
Mark bore the brunt of it with him, being the eldest and one of their better dancers. He learnt Jaebum’s part, and whenever Jaebum could manage enough energy to hit the practice room, Mark was there to correct the angle of his arm, the beat of his footwork.
Jinyoung tagged along, and realised he was kind of useless. His health had been deteriorating for reasons he couldn’t understand, and management had forbid him from over-exerting. So he sat against the back of the room, and smiled at the mirror every once in a while, catching Jaebum’s eyes.
“It helps to have you here. For him, I mean.” Mark said, chugging down his water. Jaebum had gone to the toilet.
“I’m literally not doing anything though.”
“Trust me, you’re helping tremendously.”
Mark said, and it sounded like one of his hyung voices, the one which made him sound Mark and quiet and mysterious, knowing far more than anyone could. Jinyoung nodded.
When they decided to go home at 7am and Jaebum pulled him up from the floor, holding so tight Jinyoung was sure his blood flow was cut off, Jinyoung understood.
He had Dream Team filming on Thursday; fell into the water three times in addition to countless water guns spraying at him. Jinyoung had never been good at enduring the cold, and when the chill never left his bones that night, he knew he was doomed. He took his cold medicine as a preemptive, pulled another blanket around himself and held on.
He felt sick on Sunday, three days before their comeback. Almost fainted during practice.
(Almost gave Jaebum a heart attack as well.)
Jinyoung woke up to Monday, a thirty-nine degree fever and Jaebum slumped against his bed, sleeping soundly.
He reached for Jaebum’s hand, intertwined their fingers, and fell back asleep.
Idols did what idols must, so despite his health, Jinyoung took on their comeback stage with the vigor of a desperate and hungry lion.
Between the blinding lights of their comeback stage, the headache inducing screams of their fans, and the nervousness of we-have-to-get-a-no.1-now, Jinyoung didn’t remember much of their comeback week. He took Monday off to lay in the hospital with an IV drip while Jaebum finished the rest of his filming and the other five went over winning speeches.
Their first win was on M!Countdown, gliterred and tearful. Jinyoung let the emotion of it get to him, bawling like a kid as soon as Mark finished thanking their parents. Yugyeom held onto him as he almost doubled over in tears, and Jinyoung realised the kid was so tall now, he felt engulfed in his embrace. Jaebum finished bowing to literally everyone in the Mnet studio, before making a beeline for him. Their fingers threaded over the trophy.
And Jinyoung was in love.
The haze on winning continue until the end of the week, Got7 racking up a total of four awards. Jinyoung wished his memory was infinite, so he could carve this week into his mind and never forget it.
They had been too busy for Jinyoung to tell Jaebum he loved him, but Jinyoung couldn’t manage to feel guilty about it.
His back ached, the heat felt magnified through his back leaning against the practice room's mirror. It's winter, but the studio was a sauna, steaming hot and smelling awful. Wasn't there something their producer promised, about moving them higher up once they had been established? They just won their first no.1 last month, which should be enough, right? His head thunked back with a dull sound.
Jaebum collapsed next to him, fingers already reaching for his forehead.
“Fever's been gone for three days hyung, it won't come back.” - he shook his head, but the palm of Jaebum's hand still pressed against his forehead, insistent.
They sit in comfortable silent, and Jinyoung kept his eyes closed. He's a bit dizzy, and he's not sure if it's due to his diet or the side effects of the cold. He opened his mouth to ask if they had time for a checkup but was cut off by Jaebum:
“Management says they want a JJ Project comeback.”
His eyes snapped open, looking over at Jaebum. The elder was twiddling his fingers, an undecipherable expression on his face.
“We need to give Mark's ankle time to heal, and they depleted Got7's music backlog anyway, for our first place. We won't be able to comeback for six months at least, but Got7 can't afford to be out of the spotlight that long, considering our position. So they want a JJ Project comeback.”
Jinyoung's head thunked back against the mirror again, but the impact was interrupted by Jaebum's hand already cushioning. Damn Jaebum and his ability to know how Jinyoung would react instinctively.
The silent question hung in the air.
“I can do it.” - Jinyoung said, rubbing his head against Jaebum's palm. Jaebum gently started carding his hand through Jinyoung's hair, and the younger sighed, headache already ebbing away.
“You don't have to.”
“I want to. It's alright hyung. And we are coming back on our terms. I did not risk my health for that no.1 for nothing. I'm shoving my ballad into our album.”
Jaebum's laughter rang through the room, and Jinyoung realised it's the only sound he could hear. He opened his eyes to find the practice room empty except for them. Minutes ago the room had been full of members and backup dancers.
The privacy was appreciated, and Jinyoung couldn't even think of any camera in the vicinity, just letting his body fall against Jaebum and his head against Jaebum's shoulder.
“What is it?”
He confessed, and received a squeeze of hands in return. Jaebum had intertwined their hands together without him noticing.
Two of his self-composed songs ended up on the album, his ballad and a song he had intended for Got7, having only him and Jaebum's voice as guides on the demo. Jaebum had lobbied for the second song, saying they could always have Got7 record another version, whatever.
After the master recording was done, he didn't think he could go back to thinking like that. G.Soul made a few changes to the arrangement and melody lines, and then it suddenly sounded like Jaebum was whispering sex into his ear, wow, yes.
They came back to impossibly loud cheer, and Jinyoung almost killed himself for the choreo, but it's so worth it.
Worth it, for being able to stand on stage again
Worth it, for being able to stand on stage next to Jaebum and Jaebum only, again.
At the end of their comeback week’s Inkigayo performance, Jinyoung grabbed Jaebum’s hand and intertwined their fingers. The fans screamed, and he flashed them a grin before turning to Jaebum. Jinyoung couldn’t exactly kiss Jaebum in public, but this was close enough.
Jaebum grinned back at him.
Jaebum said, at the bottom of his exhaustion due to filming, holding Jinyoung against his chest while they sleep through a sunny morning, while Jinyoung fell sick to a cold without telling any of the managers or members, and when they won their first music show award and Jinyoung was too busy crying to hear anything.
He was lucky it didn’t take Jinyoung long to say it back.