Today's Catch (The Place You Are Remix)
by Rana Eros
For various reasons, "Catch of the Day" has been on my mind a few times the past several months, and I've pondered how a story with the same basic premise would be different if I were writing it now. Yoochun would be in it, for one, napping in a hammock nearby. Maybe Junsu's in there with him, too restless to sleep, so he leaves Yoochun to the napping and goes to pester Changmin, and of course Yoochun would pout over his abandonment....
And that was when I realized, there was another side of the story to tell, from the viewpoint of a character who was only notable in his absence the first go-round.
It's after lunch and Yoochun is happily drowsing in a hammock that faces the ocean on one side, and the beach chairs where Jaejoong, Yunho, and Changmin are lounging on the other. Junsu's in the hammock with him at the moment, but he can tell by the tension in Junsu's body that probably won't last long. Junsu is all golden energy down here, invigorated by the balmy air and warm water, whereas both just mellow Yoochun out.
"Sorry, Chunnie-ah," Junsu finally says, gives him a quick and fruit-flavored kiss, then somehow manages to just flow out of the hammock without disturbing its rocking rhythm. Yoochun would feel more put out about that, except he gets a fantastic view of Junsu's backside out of the deal, which is no minor bonus. Too bad it means Junsu is walking away from him, and just when he'd gotten comfortable too.
He shifts around a bit, looking for a suitable arrangement when it's just him in the hammock. He's still shifting around when Junsu suddenly tips Changmin's chair over, and he very nearly dumps himself out of the hammock laughing when Changmin takes off after Junsu, down the beach. Jaejoong's having the same reaction. Only Yunho appears to remain sober and adult, though his mouth keeps twitching above the book he's pretending to read.
"You know," Yoochun manages, when he's recovered his breath a little, "it's more convincing if you turn a page every once in a while."
While Jaejoong laughs again, though this time behind his hand, Yunho says, "You've had your eyes closed until now."
"I can still hear. No rustling."
"So can I. No snoring."
"I was getting to that part, but then I was cruelly abandoned." Yoochun puts on his best exaggerated pout and attempts to lean enticingly toward Yunho and Jaejoong, except the shift in his weight tilts the hammock, and he has to lean back again so he doesn't end up on the ground. Now Yunho's not even pretending to read, and the twitch of his mouth has become a full-blown grin. It's Jaejoong who stands up, though, walking toward him with concern every bit as overdone as Yoochun's pout, eyes bright with mischief.
"Careful, Yoochun. That hammock may not be hung properly."
Yoochun drops his eyelids and lets his limbs go slack against the hammock's weave. "You can help me test it."
Over Jaejoong's shoulder, Yoochun sees Yunho rise, book completely abandoned. "How thoroughly do you want it tested?"
"Manager-sshi will kill us if we break it." Yoochun reaches out automatically to steady Jaejoong, climbing gingerly into the hammock. Yunho is right behind him.
"That's not really an answer."
"There's room for more than two people," Jaejoong points out as he settles in against Yoochun, warm and coconut-scented from the sunscreen that Yoochun can already tell isn't going to save his shoulders. Which is a shame, because they're excellent shoulders, and for all the defined muscle Junsu's justifiably proud of, still Jaejoong's more muscular. And heavier. "Especially if they're close."
Yunho eyes the hammock, then eyes Yoochun. Yoochun ponders the likelihood they're going to send the hammock dipping dangerously toward the sand. He has no idea how deep the roots of a palm tree go, but it'd probably have to be pretty far to flourish in sand, so they're probably not going to bring a tree down. He holds out his hand to Yunho. The media does like to call him adventurous.
Yunho takes that hand, lets Yoochun and Jaejoong maneuver him onto the hammock, which does sink a bit under his weight, but not so much Yoochun's worried it'll give. Of course, Jaejoong arranges it all so he ends up in the middle. Yoochun might protest if he weren't so amused, and really, just happy to be here, lazing on a tropical beach with his bandmates.
Besides, the guy in the middle's going to be the one to suffer most if they do end up breaking this thing.
A shout of laughter makes him look toward the water, and down the beach he spots Changmin staggering under Junsu's weight on his shoulder.
"Three, two," Yunho says from the other side of Jaejoong, and on, "one," Changmin goes down, Junsu laughing again as they both hit the sand. Junsu rolls up onto his knees and straddles Changmin, keeping him down with a hand on each shoulder. "Now Junsu can brag about how he caught the big one."
That makes Yoochun laugh, which sets the hammock to swinging a little wildly. It doesn't help that he's set Jaejoong off, and even Yunho's grinning as he grips the side and widens his eyes in mock alarm. "Hey, hey, who's driving this thing?"
"Not it," Yoochun manages past the laughter, and Jaejoong flaps his free hand helplessly, the other covering his mouth.
"Right," Yunho says, as though that was exactly the answer he expected, which it probably was. He reaches up and sets his hand on the dowel across the top of the hammock, though Yoochun has no idea what good that's supposed to do. Especially when Jaejoong decides it's an invitation to run his hand up Yunho's stretched-out side. That makes Yunho shiver and jerk a little, both moves transmitting across the woven ropes of the hammock, and suddenly Yoochun's feeling less like laughing and more like putting his mouth to other uses.
"Jaejoong," he says, but Jaejoong is already ahead of him, literally climbing Yunho to roll to the other side of the hammock, pushing Yunho down into the middle, where Yoochun can reach him. "Thank you."
"Me first," Jaejoong says, tilting Yunho's face to a good angle for a kiss. A very long, very deep, very wet kiss, and Yoochun could pout again, but instead he decides to test how sunscreen tastes on Yunho's skin, pressing his own mouth to Yunho's throat. He has to get even somehow, though, and reaching across Yunho to brush his fingers lightly over the bulge in Jaejoong's board shorts seems a good way.
Of course, Jaejoong grabs his hand before he can pull back, and if manager-sshi finds them like this, he's really going to kill them, broken hammock or no. Which doesn't stop Yoochun from cupping Jaejoong obligingly as he works his other hand under Yunho's tank top, because some things are just worth it, and he can't let Junsu have all the bragging rights for today.
"That looks like fun!" In Virginia, there'd been a popular phrase about speaking and the devil, and one day Yoochun's going to share it with Junsu, just to see Junsu's indignation at the comparison. Right now, though, he pulls his mouth away from Yunho long enough to issue a warning.
"I don't think it's gonna hold--"
"It's barely holding the three of you," Changmin says. "Also, manager-sshi is gonna kill you."
"Manager-sshi's probably taking advantage of our absence to nap," Junsu says, "or hit the bar. Possibly a bed would be safer, though. The tree's kind of bending."
Yoochun finally turns his head, then grins. "You're not even looking at the tree."
"Would you? But I'm still not getting back in that thing, and I want some, so that means you all have to come out."
Yoochun's fast, it's kind of an open secret among them, but he thinks sometimes Junsu forgets. All he has to do is tug slightly at his hand, and Jaejoong lets go, so he can reach up and grab Junsu's arm and pull.
Unfortunately, his angle is bad, and Junsu manages to tip the hammock so far that they all come tumbling out of it, landing in a pile at Changmin's feet. Yunho groans, and Junsu manages to eel himself through the pile until he's got Yunho's face in both hands. "Sorry, leader-sshi. Let me kiss it better."
"You!" Jaejoong sputters, and tackles Junsu, taking him down to the sand the way he took Changmin down earlier. As they dissolve into a wrestling, swearing, laughing pile of limbs, Yoochun rolls over to face Yunho, who looks slightly pained.
"Jaejoong bit me when we went down," Yunho explains. There's no answer to that except to reach out and brush Yunho's mouth with his own fingers as he moves closer.
"Guess that leaves me to kiss it better."
"And me," Changmin says, coming down on his knees beside them.
Yoochun looks up, and smiles, but he doesn't let go and he returns his attention to Yunho just before he says, "Me first."