Title: Simple Gifts
Pairing: OT5, Changmin-centric, implied Yunjae
Rating: Pg-13, Fluff
Summary: Changmin wants the best for his hyungs forgetting that maybe they’d what the best for him too.
A/N: I took some liberty with the timeline and events, but it’s still in SM!verse
As the youngest of the group, Shim Changmin always looked up to his older band mates, not out of obligation but out of respect. Not only were they older than him but they had experienced life far more than he had and went through worse things than his parents saying ‘no’ to his wanting to be a singer. When he found out that Yunho had lived on the streets Changmin didn’t think he’d be that good-natured; Jaejoong had been struggling on his own before SME, the youngest realized there were things much worse than failing a test, Yoochun had family issues, Changmin wasn’t sure he’d be able to function, and Junsu had been on the verge of never singing ever, Changmin didn’t know if he really deserved to be in a group that held their dreams. Before doubt could force him out of the group, he saw that they were all just as nervous as he was performing on stage for the first time and thought maybe he’d be able to get along with them after all. When he saw that they were each other’s support during their first award, he thought they’d all make it just fine. But it was when they reconciled after their first group fight, a petty argument Changmin couldn’t quite remember what about, he knew he wouldn’t have been happier in any other band.
Once he was comfortable in the band, Changmin saw that not only were the other four more acquainted with life’s experience than he, the youngest noticed his hyungs intriguing quirks; making him almost obligated to watch, to study them and learn more about his band members. Changmin was sure it freaked them out on more than one occasion to see him creeping around the corner, just staring, but he couldn’t help it; if they knew he liked to watch them, he was sure they wouldn’t act natural. Whenever Jaejoong closed the spices cupboard, Yoochun moved away from his keyboard, Junsu turned away from his video game or Yunho looked up from his textbook and caught wide eyes staring at them, Changmin said he had to watch them to become a better person, though it mostly worked on their leader; the other three only bought it the first four times, afterwards Changmin decided he had to plan better to stalk his house mates. Eventually, they became comfortable enough with each other that Changmin didn’t have to study them at all; especially when it came to birthdays and it was Jaejoong who started it.
During dinner one night, Changmin happily enjoying his Jaejoong-cooked meal, Jaejoong cleared his throat, effectively gaining the others attention.
“I made a list of things I want for my birthday.”
The table was quiet at the announcement, though it didn’t stop Changmin from eating; he just made sure to not slurp on his noodles. He looked around from Jaejoong going to the shared music room to the other three. They all glanced at each other with amused looks in their eyes. They all knew their eldest loved receiving presents, but really, if he gave them a list where was the surprise?
Jaejoong returned quickly with a folder piece of paper. Yoochun took the paper from his hand and stared at it. From the way his eyes widened, Changmin assumed there were some pretty extravagant things on that list.
Yoochun passed it to Yunho, whose facial expression changed just as Yoochun’s did. As he passed it to Junsu, he looked at Jaejoong.
“Do you really need all that stuff?” Yunho sounded more curious than exasperated with the list.
“That’s stuff I thought I could use at some point in the future,” Jaejoong said, shrugging as he scooped a second helping of rice for Changmin. The youngest reached for his bowl just as Junsu passed the list to him, laughing as he did so. Changmin understood the other three’s reactions when they read through the list. On the paper was a list of three music players, with various headphones next to them, a new keyboard, a list of cooking ware, two digital cameras, and a multitude of CDs. It really was a lot of things to ask for and expensive too.
Yunho stared at Jaejoong. “’Could use at some point in the future’? I don’t think you’ll need three music players within the next year.” Yunho picked up the list where Changmin placed it to look over it again. “And what’s wrong with the cooking stuff you already have? Really, I don’t see why you need to have any of this stuff…” Yunho looked at the paper like it offended him with its words.
Jaejoong rolled his eyes, “I don’t need three music players within this year. I said for the future. And I need more dishes if I’m going to be consistently cooking; Changmin eats twice as much as you guys.”
At the comment, the youngest ducked his head in embarrassment.
Yoochun leaned over to pat his back. “You can’t help having a black hole for a stomach, Minnie.”
Changmin nodded and with the reassurance dove into the rest of his meal with no hesitation.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Junsu said.
Yunho and Jaejoong looked at the younger man, one with a look of shock, the other grinning.
“It gives the rest of us an idea on what to get when we get time to shop.”
Jaejoong nodded. “See, my logic makes sense.”
“You know, it really does.” Yoochun pushed his chair away from the table, the scrapping of wood drew the attention to him. “I’m going to make my own list.” With that Yoochun went to the music room Jaejoong disappeared into earlier.
Jaejoong laughed as Yunho sighed, shaking his head while Changmin slurped his noodles, eyeing the paper on the table.
It took a day for Jaejoong and Yoochun to convince Junsu to make his own “future birthdays” list and close to a month for Yunho to agree to make his own, though Changmin suspected a large part of Yunho’s caving had something to do with his conversation with Jaejoong.
Yoochun and Jaejoong kept bugging Changmin to make his own list, but Changmin refused to write a list, saying it was too selfish. Eventually, the two stopped asking for his list; Changmin did think it was selfish-for him. For the others it was perfectly okay to write out a list of what they wanted. Changmin wanted to the best for his hyungs, and the list helped him see what they wanted, without risking the mistake of getting an unwanted present. He would feel just a little sense of pride to be able make each one of his band members happy with his gift; he wanted them to know that he cared about them and was grateful for them accepting a shy kid like him into their midst. But soon he wasn’t that shy kid anymore and he became the sharp-tongued member of DBSK; his wit and height sometimes confusing interviewers to thinking he was the oldest, not Yunho or Jaejoong. Changmin enjoyed exercising his wit on his band members, especially Junsu; he was so easily flustered, Changmin couldn’t help but to make fun of him. Of course, Junsu wasn’t the only one that Changmin liked to pick on; Jaejoong was perfect to exercise his growing muscles. It was all for love, the hits they exchanged, though sometimes Jaejoong would pull that “abusing his hyung” crap; Changmin would have no choice but to hit him harder than before.
And while Changmin enjoyed exercising his strengths over the other’s, he still had a sense of appreciation for his older members and still tried to show his gratitude, though he learned not to be so obvious with it as he had a few years previous. He’d still see the occasional list hanging around the apartment and try to pick one he could afford and still make the owner of the list happy, because really that’s all he cared about. So concerned with the other four members, Changmin never noticed how much they watched him in return. They probably watched him their own ways, like Yunho listening to him rant over something or the other; Jaejoong watching him, making sure he didn’t stress himself over his school work; Yoochun just listened to him so maybe that wasn’t too secretive; and Changmin suspected Junsu took advantage of his sleep-talking, but of course the younger didn’t have solid proof. He couldn’t be sure exactly when they started their own observations, but they had to; the gifts they gave him for his 21st birthday were perfect. With all their activities between Korea and Japan, Changmin knew they wouldn’t have time to do anything special, especially after their little celebration for Yunho they already had, but somehow they managed to go out and get presents, which surprised Changmin more than the presents themselves.
Yunho was the first one to hand him his gift, responsible and attentive as only his leader could be. Changmin sat at one of the tables in the green room, waiting for his turn at the solo photo shoot.
Bored, he rummaged though Junsu’s bag looking for his DS.
“Haha!” Finding his prize, Changmin readied himself to be engrossed in a game of DragonQuest, when Yunho sat across from him. Changmin glanced at the leader, seeing him smiling his dorky grin.
“What’s up, Yunho?”
Something thunked on the table. “Your birthday present.”
Changmin looked up as Yunho slid a bag across the table towards him. Putting the hand game down, Changmin reached for the bag, surprised at the weight of it. Peering past the edge, the youngest saw it was a bag of books. Excited, Changmin reached in to pull out what his hand could wrap around, which was most of the books. The covers showed him that they were all by authors he had mentioned before on some interview.
“I can’t believe you remembered all of them.” Changmin didn’t look at Yunho when he spoke, too engrossed skimming the pages of the books.
Yunho laughed, understanding the distracted tone.
“I only remembered two. I had to ask for a copy of the show for the rest.”
At that confession, Changmin put down the book he was flipping through to stare at his hyung.
“Seriously, hyung?” Changmin laughed as Yunho nodded, unashamed. “You fail so hard.” Changmin placed the books back into their bag, and laid his hand on top possessively. “But, despite you showcased how much you fail,” Changmin got up and went to Yunho’s side of the table to give him a one armed hug. “I wouldn’t want our leader any other way.”
Yunho smiled and hugged back, happy the youngest appreciated him and his gift.
Jaejoong’s gift came a few days after Yunho’s, which was unexpected and even more selfless. They were together, waiting for an interview. Changmin was about to complain about being hungry when something hit his arm.
“OW!” Changmin automatically raised his fist to counterstrike, when he noticed the other’s hands held up in surrender.
“Why the hell did you hit me if you’re going to surrender? You better have a good reason.” Changmin’s fist was still raised, waiting to launch out.
“I needed you’re attention.” Jaejoong rummaged into his bag before pulling out a wrapped package. He held it out to Changmin.
Slowly, Changmin lowered his fist and took the package from the oldest member. The size and weight had fooled Changmin to think it was a new watch, but instead it was a new music player, exactly the one they both had been admiring a week prior. Changmin stared at his hyung, eyes prickling. It was such an expensive gift it was hard for Changmin to accept it; he couldn’t form a happy enough sentence, either in Japanese or Korean.
Jaejoong smiled at Changmin’s stupor.
“I want you to have Changmin. I think you’re the only one without a music player.”
Again, at a lost for words Changmin could only bow deeply quickly followed by a tight hug that had Jaejoong squirming in his hold.
“Changmin, I’m having trouble breathing.”
“But I’m so happy you would buy me something so expensive.” Changmin’s hold got tighter, and Jaejoong whimpered a little.
“Changmin if you don’t let go of me right now, I’ll return it; I still have the receipt.”
Changmin immediately let go, putting some space between the two of them. The smile was still on his lips, “Thanks, hyung.”
Jaejoong chuckled and punched his arm playfully. Before Changmin could retaliate with his own punch, the AD came in to get them for the interview; Changmin let the attack slide.
The Saturday before his birthday, Yoochun tossed a wrapped gift on Changmin’s lap.
Changmin turned his attention from the TV to the rectangular package on his lap. Yoochun flopped onto the couch next to him, swiping the remote in the process. He flipped though the channels while Changmin tore though the paper. When the last of the paper fell away and Yoochun didn’t hear anything he looked over and chuckled. Changmin was just staring at the cover, face red.
“Do you like it? It took me forever to find it.”
Changmin could only nod at the DVD, a ’special video’ he had mentioned a few months back. It was hard to find, so much that Changmin had given up looking for the download; he looked at Yoochun, face burning in embarrassment and Yoochun smiled at him.
“Glad you like it, Minnie.”
Changmin just nodded again; he was used to finding his own porn so he didn’t know what he was supposed to say.
Humored at Changmin’s lack of words, a greasy smile appeared on Yoochun’s lips.
“Wanna watch it together before dinner, Minnie?”
That got him out of his stupor as he sputtered out, “N-no, I think I’ll watch it later. On my own.”
Yoochun laughed again; he knew Changmin appreciated that gift without saying much.
Junsu’s gift was spontaneous, just like him.
“Come on, Changmin. Let’s go!”
Changmin looked up from the book he was reading, one that Yunho gave him. “Go where?”
“Out to celebrate your birthday!”
“But my birthday isn’t for three days.”
“Yeah, I know.” Junsu grabbed Changmin’s hand excitedly and dragged him out the door, with barely anytime to put on his shoes.
Junsu’s gift was to take their day off and go the whole day playing games: sports and video games alike. Changmin laughed when he won two of their five rounds of soccer, too caught up in the game to really care about officially losing and was euphoric when he finally beat Junsu fair and square on Mario Kart. Afterwards, Junsu took him out to eat.
“Won’t Jaejoong, or the management, be angry if we don’t get back soon?” Despite his snarky attitude, Changmin still had a sense of responsibility.
Junsu just waved off his concern, “We’ll be fine.”
The waiter came up to them and Junsu responded he ready to order.
“I want two orders of the dinner crab, plate of the tuna sushi special and a Tonkatsu ramen bowl.”
“That’s a lot of crab, Junsu.”
“That was for you. Happy birthday Changmin!”
As the plates of crab were placed on their table, Changmin didn’t even mind that they weren’t Sapporo snow crabs. With all the teasing he had to put up with, Junsu was a really great hyung, Changmin had to admit.
When they finally went back to Korea, Changmin didn’t care that he had to work on his birthday; he received birthday wishes from his high school friends and his family, the people that mattered to him. The night he came home, he was more content than he has been on past birthdays; so much that he forgot about the traditional cake. The four were already in the dining room, 21 candles decorating a large cake, illuminating their faces in a glow Changmin could only describe as “soft,” especially with the lights dimmed as they were.
Changmin smiled as four variations of “Happy birthday “filled the apartment in accented, failed English; it was chaotic and it was the best he’d heard. A sound even better than his band members singing in failed English was Junsu’s loud laughter, infecting them all; Changmin smiled, eyes mismatched in his happiness when they all reached forward to smudge icing on his face.
Changmin decided on moments like a simple birthday, the best gifts he could receive were the simple ones his members gave him unknowingly. Gifts like when to be humble like and with Yunho, being appreciative of the caring but masculine Jaejoong, understanding Yoochun not too many words, and remembering to smile with Junsu; showing how much they cared for him really were the best gifts he could ever get from them.