Length: 3 Parts, Complete (~11,500 total)
Disclaimer: This story is fictional except for some scenes inspired by video clips.
Summary: Five times Jaejoong said no to Yunho (and one time he said yes). Prompt chosen: proposal.
Written for the 4th Anniversary Fiction Contest at ! Check out the other entries HERE, too.
Video/Pictures Link List
Balloons MV + Making of Balloons MV (JaexColumn!)
Balloons MV Sketch ~ Part I + Part II
Jaejoong’s RAWR (animated)
III. A Little Lion Dream (or, “Yunho + Animal Costumes + Balloons MV = Near Disaster.”)
It really shouldn’t be fun. There’s more fluff and stuffed animals in the room than should really be around five little kids, let alone around five teenage boys. It’s just so pink. And fluffy. Plus, they’re supposed to spin and dance and generally do all sorts of ridiculous things, all while they’re wearing these…well, Yunho can only describe them as life-sized stuffed animal costumes. Someone always does something stupid—unscriptedly stupid, that is—and so they have to do another take. Again.
Music videos always take more effort and time than he expects, no matter how many they’ve done already. This one is really, really different from the other music video they’ve done—you know, the apocalyptic one where they all have some badass swagger and Yunho gets to show off his dancing skills? Stuffed animals don’t even exist in that world and they can act like they’re 22, not 12. The kids for that MV looked like war orphans instead of these little mini-me, smiley tigers. Although, tiger suit or not, Yunho still maintains that his kid is definitely the cutest.
So, because of the cute overload, Yunho’s just a bit nervous at first about all this, except then he caves about ten minutes into it. He’s letting Junsu spin him around and he has to admit that the dance choreography really is pretty good for the song, though practically spastic. Even the Tigger that’s stuck onto his shoulder, which keeps hitting him in the face and randomly falling off, isn’t so bad. Besides, who can resist laughing at Changmin in baby antlers and those huge mittens?
It shouldn’t be this fun, but approximately an hour into the filming, it’s devolved into total hilarity rather than everyone getting annoyed and tired. Yunho’s face aches from smiling, even though it’s getting hot inside the costume he’s wearing, especially after dancing. It’s furry and soft on the outside but kind of itchy on the inside. Jaejoong’s sleeveless top and furry overalls look good for yet another reason now.
“Make it appealing!” they’re told and Yunho does his part four more times before they’re satisfied. Jaejoong gets “make it pretty and cute!” when he’s doing his solo scenes, which makes Yunho smirk at his boyfriend.
“Okay guys, take a break! Ten minutes!” the director shouts out later, much to Yunho’s relief since he’s being mock bullied by Changmin and Bambi just accidentally jammed his bony elbow into Yunho’s side.
Changmin bounds off to play with Junsu and the two of them put their heads together, sneakily collaborating. Thirty seconds later, they pounce on Yoochun, who’s just too irresistible of a target in fluffy white. Yunho spares a moment of worry for the rabbit of the group, but then he’s distracted.
His blond kitty comes up to him now and almost leans on one of the tall Greek columns on the set before he remembers that it’s fake and won’t hold his weight. In true cat fashion, Jaejoong covers for his lapse by tilting his head curiously at Yunho.
“So…what are you anyway?”
Yunho can practically feel the sweat break out on his forehead, because he knows he’s in for it now. He answers quickly. “I’m a tiger, of course! What else could I be?”
When he had first seen what his wardrobe assistant was giving him, he’d asked the exact same question, of course. It hadn’t gone over well and had earned him a speech about professionalism. Jaejoong, of course, has no such restrictions on expression his opinion of Yunho’s “tiger” suit.
“But you don’t have stripes. You have spots.” To make his point, Jaejoong sticks out a finger and pokes one of the spots—or at least he tries too, because he’s still got his mitten paws on and his “finger” just bends when it reaches Yunho’s solid chest.
“I’m a tiger,” Yunho insists, embarrassed, as their song suddenly blasts through the set so that the backup dancers can run through the routine again. If a red balloon flies in the sky, my heart remembers beautiful memories… Then Jaejoong’s husky voice goes onto his solo line before the song switches to Yunho’s reply.
“No you aren’t,” Jaejoong retorts, an impish smile spreading over his face. “You’re some kind of…” He pauses to think of something suitably insulting, but settles with “…Cat Thing!”
Yunho manages to stare in offended surprise for all of two seconds before he can’t pretend any more and cracks up madly. But before he has time to tease Jae about the oh-so-terrible insult, the director suddenly yells for them to all get into position again. Jaejoong smugly saunters off and joins Yoochun in laughing at the totally clueless Changmin, who earnestly starts dancing before the cameras actually start filming.
It’s total chaos. Yunho lets Min beat him up again—really now, why this scene again?—only on this take, Yoochun decides to help and climbs onto their leader piggyback style. He barely stays upright as out of the corner of his eye, Yunho sees the blond lion sneak in front, competing for screen time with Junsu.
The director’s gesturing at him to do something, so Yunho starts spinning around in some kind of weird dance and waving his arms around. He has no clue what he’s trying to do, but why not? In any case, he turns around just in time to see Junsu, the not so innocent sheep, bite into Jae’s neck in classic vampire style. Jaejoong goes down like a wounded deer. Two seconds later, something white, ginormous, and fluffy smashes into Yunho’s face and he recovers only to see Changmin cheekily grinning in victory.
“Cat Thing!” Jaejoong calls Yunho while his pride is already stinging, and then dances away to avoid retaliation.
Yoochun overhears and takes it up, annoyingly enough. Yunho gets him back by punching him on the side of his face with a stuff animal puppet just before he smiles sweetly into the camera. It’s almost like they’ve been sucked into an alternate dimension where only cute stuffed animals exist. Bambi prances by in the background, chased by a fluffy white sheep.
“Cut!” The director’s delighted and sure that the moment will make the final version of the MV.
The five of them end up messing around again during the slight break and Jaejoong grabs Yunho’s tail and tells him to watch out for it. “You have leopard spots but a tiger tail, Yunho,” he observes seriously. “Then again, I’m a lion with…this kind of tail.”
Jaejoong turns around to show the camera the round, red puff that’s his “tail” and, just for emphasis, wiggles his hips. Yunho pretends to be completely engrossed in something else, or rather, anything else other than Jaejoong shaking his ass like that with a smile on his face.
“Cat Thing,” he whispers into Yunho’s ear as they start shooting again.
“At least I’m not a lion that gets taken down by a sheep!” Yunho retorts the next time they’re smashed together, knowing that the camera’s going to go for a closeup of Jaejoong’s face next.
Jaejoong’s comeback two scenes later almost has Yunho rolling on the floor in laughter: “I’m a strong lion!”
And to prove it, Jaejoong grabs the nearest stage prop—one of the white Greek columns—and lifts it up, bouncing in place. It looks more or less like he’s humping the column, but Jae’s so innocent that he sets it down and then manfully curls his bicep with his best ferocious lion smile.
He’s the most ridiculously adorable kitty that ever lived, Yunho thinks, and gosh darn it, why isn’t Yunho the lion? He has the lion hair and he’s the leader! Being a lion looks like a lot of fun and, well, he doesn’t want to be the tiger/leopard Cat Thing, especially since he knows Min won’t ever let him forget the nickname. Yunho’s strong…and lion-y…and Jaejoong should be the unidentifiable cat thing, if anything…because surely out of all the animals, only cats are seductive even when trying hard to be cute.
A couple hours later, Changmin and Junsu are doing their solo takes. The rest of them are in the middle of changing out of their animal costumes and into brightly colored uniforms when the idea occurs to Yunho. It’s not the most romantic, but he just has to ask, and this moment is as good as any because what matters most in the end is just the question and the answer, right? He really, really wants this. He pulls at one of the furry strings dangling from Jaejoong’s overalls to get his attention and puts on his best puppy face.
“Jaejoong-ah…” Yunho says slowly, drawing out the name. His heart seems to be hammering away in his chest and he can actually feel his mouth going dry. “Will you m—”
And then the words just get stuck…the words he knows by heart. His mind spins furiously. It’s totally the wrong place. It’s an absurd time. It’s the wrong way! It’s just wrong, and Yunho freezes in mid-word. He clears his throat and hears himself ask timidly, “Can I be the lion?”
Jaejoong just looks at him for a long moment. Then he raises an eyebrow, unimpressed by Yunho’s puppy eyes—even the ones that have a hint of panic in them—and... “No.”
If nothing else, Yunho has remarkable skill in covering for his momentary lapse into insanity. “C’mon, let me just try it on,” he coaxes automatically. “For five minutes! Pleeeeease?”
Jaejoong pokes one of his “tiger” spots and looks up, then flaps his mitten paws at Yunho in a mocking wave. “Nope. I’m the one and only lion around here.”
“Okay,” Yunho replies, for lack of anything better to say. Jaejoong takes it as a challenge.
“I’ll prove it,” he says, and then he bares his teeth, scrunches up his face, and goes RAWR.
All thoughts of his failure erased in that moment, Yunho nearly falls over in surprise. Jaejoong does it again, curling his hands/paws as if trying to attack with his nonexistent claws: RAWR. Yunho stares, blinks, and then doubles over, laughing so hard that tears come to his eyes.
Jaejoong pounces and ends up sitting on top of Yunho, who doesn’t resist. He’s almost lightheaded from laughing and he’s relieved and thankful all at once that it turned out this way. Yunho suddenly feels a strong surge of love for this person on top of him, his lover who has no clue how close Yunho just came to asking him to officially be his wife.
Jaejoong’s lower lip juts out in a pout as he looks at Yunho laughing his head off at his mighty roar. His expression just makes Yunho laugh even more, because he is simply so loveable, and because it is in these moments that Yunho remembers just how much he cherishes Jaejoong.
When Yunho finally recovers from all his laughter, he reaches up and tweaks Jaejoong’s plush ears. “Psh, it’s not like I really want to be your stupid four fingered lion anyway.”
But he does, a little, and in the end, Jaejoong relents...sort of. Yunho doesn’t get to be the lion, but he’s more than satisfied with the soft, plush kitty that curls up next to him. What he wants the most isn’t really a yes after all, Yunho realizes. It’s Jaejoong, and Yunho already has him.
IV. Princess Proposal (or, “Jaejoong has an unexpected proposal of his own to make.”)
“Dearest Princess,” Yunho says, sinking down on one knee and looking up at his true love. His voice is as gentle and loving as he can manage. “Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
To his dismay, the woman dissolves into giggles. “Yunho, your expression! You look like you’re about to be sentenced to death, not shooting the scene for a happily ever after!”
Yunho lets out a sigh as the director yells out rapid-fire instructions at the film crew and stalks over. It’s close to the end of the day and they’re on the sixth take of the same scene. He just can’t seem to get it right.
His co-star, the princess, takes pity on him and intercepts the director. “Director Lee, I think we’re all tired,” she says quickly. “Perhaps we should call it a day and shoot the scene again tomorrow. I’m afraid I keep messing up Yunho-shii because I don’t react as he expects.”
Yunho’s thankful that she’s covering for him, but at the same time it’s depressing that she needs to. At least the director is appeased by Minhee’s apologetic and fatigued smile, however, and lets them all go.
“Thank you,” he tells Minhee later when they run into each other again, after they’ve both had their makeup removed and are dressed in regular clothes. It constantly astonishes him that she’s truly so nice in person.
Minhee is famous. Well, so is Yunho, but Shin Minhee is on another level after starring in two consecutive number one dramas. Even a single drama with such good ratings would have made her known throughout Korea and abroad as a leading hallyu star, but Shin Minhee was not an actress interested in resting on past laurels.
“I hear you have a visitor waiting for you to finish shooting,” she says, making conversation since they’re headed in the same direction. “It must be nice to have such caring friends.”
“Jaejoong’s waiting to go to dinner with me because he wants to make sure I’m eating properly,” explains Yunho. “He knows I’ve been forgetting to eat because I’m nervous about my role.”
“For a new actor, you’ve been doing a great job,” Minhee assures him. “Don’t worry about the director. He wants the last episode to be perfect, but he knows that it’s a hard scene to get right.”
“Thank you,” Yunho says, his gratitude is heartfelt.
“Still, you should probably practice a little tonight,” she remarks, glancing over at him. “You could probably run through the lines with your friend.”
Yunho tries not to cringe at the thought, but Minhee catches his expression anyway. “Maybe not, then? I’m free for a few hours now if you want to go over it.”
It’s a great idea and Yunho would jump at the opportunity, except for one thing. “Ah…”
“Oh, right,” Minhee says with a laugh, quick to understand. “Your friend is waiting to feed you. Is he the one I met last time, the youngest of your group…Changmin-sshi?”
“No, Jaejoong is actually the one waiting for me.” Yunho looks at her briefly. Despite being co-stars, they had been very professional with each other, but they had been shooting for over two months together now. “Perhaps you could join us? I don’t think you’ve met Jaejoong before, and I know he’d be very happy to meet you.”
x o x o x
“But the proposal scene isn’t going well,” Minhee admits to Jaejoong during dinner. “Usually Yunho has such a manly and strong image, he’s able to easily dominate the scene and draw all attention to him.”
Yunho tries not to soak up Minhee’s praise, but she’s been saying things like that all night and he can’t help but feel good about himself. She’s been making her interest in him clear and he’s gratified that she finds him that attractive.
“But for some reason, he can’t propose to me the way he should,” Minhee concludes.
Yunho starts paying attention again when Jaejoong asks, somewhat sharply, “Proposal scene?”
“It’s for the very end of the drama,” she tells him. “Yunho proposes to the princess, who accepts. The only problem is, he either says the wrong thing, or his expression is too sappy, or he looks like he’s facing death itself when he’s delivering the lines. I told him to practice with someone, but he seems to think that he can’t with you, so I offered to help him go over it.”
“I see,” Jaejoong says thoughtfully, expression unreadable. “Well, why don’t you try it now?”
“Here? Right now?” Yunho turns to look at him, alarmed. “We’re at a restaurant, Jae.”
“Actors need to be able to act in all situations,” Jaejoong says considerately. “You’ll be more nervous tomorrow when the film’s rolling and the director is watching.”
“We should,” Minhee agrees enthusiastically. “Yunho, I think your skills will impress Jaejoong. You can be so intense sometimes!”
Yunho’s unease with the situation dies as his ego puffs up a little more at her obvious flattery. It would be interesting to see how Jaejoong reacts when he sees the scene and hears the lines. Besides, Yunho can even find out if he’s expecting this kind of…princessy proposal. Of course, Yunho also can’t help but wonder if he can make Jaejoong just a little jealous of Minhee…
x o x o x
“I think Minhee is falling for me,” Yunho remarks smugly the next morning as they head to the filming location together. Jaejoong had decided to tag along since his own solo modeling shoot is not far away. “You wouldn’t be jealous, would you?”
He’s fully expecting to hear an annoyed yes or at least an unconvincing no, but instead, Jaejoong grins as if the joke is on Yunho, not himself. “No, of course not. Don’t be silly, Yunho.”
It’s weirdly familiar and Yunho suddenly realizes that it’s almost the exact same words Jae had said to him when he had been jealous of Yoochun years ago. Taken aback, Yunho looks at Jaejoong, who can’t hold back a slight smile even though he says nothing.
Yunho gets his second shock of the day when Minhee is there to greet them when he arrives with Jaejoong. She’s already in makeup and she looks every bit the princess in her gorgeous Cinderella-style ball gown. But rather than focusing on Yunho, she has eyes only for the guy next to Yunho, whose jaw almost drops in astonishment. Without missing a beat, Jaejoong kisses her cheek and bows deeply before her before taking his cue from her smile of encouragement.
“Dearest Princess,” Jaejoong says to her, tenderly taking both of her hands in his. Yunho notes that the gesture somehow looks more romantic than what he’d been doing with his bended knee. “Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
“Oh…yes,” Minhee breathes, looking at him with a radiant expression. Suddenly, it occurs to Yunho that his co-star is only half acting. The rapport between the handsome man and the beautiful woman is genuine—and Minhee really looks as though she’s been swept off her feet.
And Yunho had somehow thought Jaejoong would be jealous of him because of Minhee’s flirting and for proposing to someone else, even if it was only acting.
“And that, Yunho-sshi, is how you woo a princess and propose to her,” a satisfied voice booms out from right behind Yunho. Yunho turns around and almost jumps out of his skin when he realizes that it’s the director standing there.
Jaejoong just looks up at Yunho and smiles in triumph.
Yunho comes to several rapid realizations:
1. Jaejoong has mastered the art of the princessy proposal…but apparently he’s the prince.
2. Without a doubt, Jaejoong is still waiting to be asked a certain question by Yunho.
3. As for coming up with the perfect, romantic way to propose, Yunho is totally screwed.
* * *A/N: Please comment, your feedback is love <3