by Rana Eros
For the occasion of Changmin's birthday. Betaed by Eliza, who also supplied the inspiration.
Changmin practices with Yunho, who's not as advanced on the keyboard as Yoochun, or even Jaejoong, so it's less that he's holding himself back to the pace of Changmin's slow, careful strumming than that they're learning together. They warm up with ballads, then move on to mid-tempo pieces a little faster than either of them have the skills for. Changmin has to watch his fingering, which is just as well; before he decided on the guitar, he'd watch Yunho at the keyboard, the look of concentration on Yunho's face, the way Yunho's long fingers spanned the keys. If he watched Yunho now, he'd miss more notes than he already does.
They're improving, and if Changmin feels his own progress is slow, he bites his tongue on the sentiment so Yunho doesn't feel it applies to himself. Yoochun always compliments them when they come out of the workroom.
"You're getting better," he says, then grins in that way that looks far dirtier than what he's usually thinking. "You should try to have a little fun with it, though. You two are always so serious."
The next day, by unspoken concensus, they play scales, deliberately missing notes, until Yoochun opens the door and says, "All right, all right, I'm sorry, you'll do it your way. Now will you please stop before Junsu murders me for saying anything?"
"Stop what?" Changmin asks innocently, twanging a sour note.
Yunho adds in a deadpan tone, "We have to practice our scales, Yoochunnie. It's the only way to learn."
"Be nice," Jaejoong says over Yoochun's shoulder. "Chunnie-ah said he was sorry."
Before either of them can answer that, Jaejoong reaches around Yoochun and closes the door, probably because he knows letting them have their laugh is the fastest way to end the torture. Yunho turns his head to give Changmin his most mischievous smile, finishing his scales with an extra flourish of mistakes. Changmin matches that smile and keeps up with his eyes on Yunho's face, because it doesn't matter if he gets the notes right or not.
Yunho brings them to an impressively flawed crescendo, then muffles the keys and tilts his head. "Ready to get to work?"
They're close enough that Changmin only has to shift the guitar slightly and bend down to reach Yunho's mouth. Yunho tilts his head again to make it easier, and lifts a hand to Changmin's hair. Changmin makes a soft, approving sound as Yunho strokes his scalp just above his ear, and Yunho echoes it in a deeper register. Changmin likes the way that feels too, likes the vibration through Yunho's soft lips and wet tongue into his own mouth. If they didn't have other instruments to practice at the moment, he'd be happy to learn what other notes they could coax out of each other.
When he pulls back, Yunho lets him go with one last caress, smile sweeter and more brilliant. "I think we should start every session like that from now on."
"I'm not sure that's a good idea," Changmin says honestly, "because I'm not feeling terribly enthusiastic about practice now."
That makes Yunho laugh, then reach up to pull him down again for another kiss. This one is faster, and Yunho ends it by turning and placing his fingers deliberately on the keyboard. "Okay, how about we end every session like that, then?"
"Okay," Changmin says, then considers. "So, are we counting the scales as part of today's practice, then? Because that means we only have half an hour to go."
Yunho's smile lights up the room even when Changmin can only see it in profile. "I think that's only fair. We still make mistakes without trying, after all, and Yoochun did say he was sorry."
"It wouldn't be right to torture him with extra practice," Changmin agrees gravely, then feels his own smile breaking loose. "All right, hyung, let's play."
"And then we'll play," Yunho says with a wink, and though it means his playing is going to be less than stellar, Changmin finds he can't look away.