The Road to Okinawa
by angelacaduca, Eliza, Jemz, Mousapelli, and Rana Eros
This was all mousaPi and Eliza's idea from the start. The rest of us joined in for the fun ride. Enjoy!
Truth be told, Yunho dislikes the heat almost as much as Changmin. Cold encourages movement, blood pumping briskly through his veins, and, well, cuddling. Nobody wants to cuddle when it's hot, particularly when they're dressed in layers they're not allowed to shed.
Yunho's a professional, so he keeps his discontent to himself. Instead, he focuses his energy in order to get his solo shots done in as few takes as possible. Before he sweats through his rather stifling hoodie would be nice.
"Watch your head!" the director calls, and Yunho does not point out that perhaps it's not the best idea to put one of the band's taller members under a low overhang and require him to do a lot of jumping. Instead, he watches his head, adjusts his hoodie, and does his best to ignore both the faces Changmin is making off-camera, and the way Jaejoong has to keep being herded back on set. If heat makes Changmin extra grumpy, it makes Jaejoong extra distractible, and the sun gleaming off so many shiny surfaces doesn't help.
At least they'll be able to keep track of him in the upcoming group segment. There are only so many things even Jaejoong can get into when riding in the backseat of a car. The thought of it improves Yunho's mood. The last time they filmed in a convertible was three years, one country, several growth spurts, and a lot of intimacy ago.
He's looking forward to seeing how they all fit now.
Changmin isn't sick for this summer video shoot, but dancing in the hot sun is never pleasant. At least now he's in reasonable clothes, and they're about to go for a ride.
But first they have to make it to the car. The set up is taking forever, as usual, and something has caught Jaejoong's eye. Changmin keeps half his attention on his distractable hyung while waiting for their cue, but the other half wanders to the last time they were shooting in a convertible.
Their first summer MV was their second video shoot EVER. "Drive" wasn't high concept and rehearsed forever like "Hug" was; it was just the five of them stuck by a car. Jaejoong was still calling the camera "the enemy" at that point and they'd fought over who was going to get to sit in the front seat. It was eventually settled by Yunho sacrificing himself to sit in the middle. This time Yunho insisted that he get the front seat to make up for it, and Changmin smiles remembering his pout when no one fought him for the honour.
Changmin looks up to see Junsu and Yunho standing in front of the car, Junsu's body language shouting, "What the hell do you think you're doing?" He hates doing things twice. Changmin puts on his most convincing "It's not my fault" expression and angles his head toward Jaejoong, who is still focussed on something only he can see.
Jaejoong can sit in the middle today.
The heat is comforting, Jaejoong thinks. He doesn't mind it like Changmin or Yunho. It makes his clothes stick to his skin but he merely shrugs it off, fascinated by the way the heat transforms everything around him. He loves the way the plants around him bloom even brighter under the hot rays of the sun and the way sweat rolls down Yunho's skin as he glares at the sky, the way the heat shimmers off the car where Yoochun runs careful hands over the steering wheel.
Patiently waiting for the crew to finish setting up, Jaejoong turns to gaze overhead where a bird lazily flaps its wings. Suddenly, three pairs of hands grab him, some gentle and others tickling, steering him towards the car where Yoochun sits in the driver's seat, grinning. Jaejoong laughs, flinging his arms around those closest to him, ignoring Changmin's exasperated mumbles and Yunho's yell of "Joongie!" and squeezing them close, unable to articulate his joy in words.
Jaejoong puts up a token protest about sitting in the middle but he doesn't really mind. He likes being surrounded by his family (and it gives him more room to attack Changmin's belly or pinch Junsu's sides), likes the way he feels carefree when he's with them, free to be himself, free to the possibilities of the open road ahead of them.
Plus, Jaejoong thinks as he leans forward to kiss Yunho's cheek unexpectedly, there are a lot of possibilities for mischief when sitting in the middle.
Yoochun loves to drive. He always has; it reminds him of how before "Drive" he felt out of place, out of his league, surrounded by idols, contest winners, and prodigies. Even then Yoochun recognized that the concept of the PV was about as solid as Jaejoong's shirts, but he didn't care. "Drive" was the first time he felt that he had something to offer the group that no one else was already doing better and prettier and more practiced.
He knows it was silly, now, to feel that way. But he still loves to drive, loves the way everyone turns to him as soon as a car is mentioned, happy to leave the matter entirely in his hands while they turn to more pressing pursuits: Jaejoong and Changmin shoving at each other, Junsu whining to Yunho, half-teasing, that they are taking forever and it's so hot.
Yoochun loves how the car holds them close together, how it takes only a glance to the side to find Yunho tilting his face into the wind, a glance behind to find Changmin pretending he's too mature to laugh at the squirming, twisting dance Junsu and Jaejoong are performing amidst calls for Yunho to turn the radio up and for Yoochun to go faster.
His family is together, happy. If the grin he flashes the rearview mirror is wide and silly, Yoochun can't help it, because he loves to drive.
He doesn't have any idea what excuse those other dorks in the car have.
Junsu thinks that bringing them to Okinawa and setting them loose in a car was one of the best ideas management's ever had. Yoochun looks genuinely happy behind the wheel, one eye on the road and the other on the rest of them. With the breeze the car's movement produces cooling him down, Yunho's given up his earlier crankiness, his real smile breaking out all over his face, widening every time Junsu catches his eye and smiles back. Changmin's relaxing enough to play, to get up on the seat back with them and stick his arms in the air like any other teenager out for a drive with his friends. And Junsu gets to snuggle up next to Jaejoong in the back seat, sneak a hand onto his thigh where the camera won't catch it, and think up ever-sillier things that they can do for the others to watch, to make them laugh. It's almost possible to forget the camera's there at all, to pretend that it's just them, driving for the sake of it, going wherever Yoochun wants to take them.
For all that they're working, this bit of the day's been something like a holiday. They've got a little filming left to do, a sunset walk along the beach and a dance sequence in front of the hotel pool, and then it'll be back to their rooms. It's been a good day. He can't wait to see if the night lives up to its promise.