by Rana Eros

Written for the occasion of Yoochun's 22nd birthday, riffing off the "five kisses" format. Titles taken from various songs, with much gratitude to my musically savvy flist. Betaed by Eliza.

Blankest Year

Yoochun spends his eighteenth birthday in the dark, silent dorm SME's set aside for recruits who can't live at home. He's been in Korea mere days, and while he doesn't miss Virginia, he misses his family so bad that he's been swallowing tears for the past hour.

He can't help wondering if he's screwed up his life. He won the competition, which is why he's here, but he's way behind the other recruits. He already knows SME likes to debut their artists young, and he's far from ready.

"Happy Birthday, Micky," he whispers, wondering how many more he'll spend here.

One Year of Love

"Happy Birthday, Yoochun!" the others say, and they've already had a public celebration, with singing and cake and surprised tears on his part, but they like their private celebrations too. This one involves a cake baked by Jaejoong, with proudly proclaimed help from Yunho.

"I got to frost it, though," Junsu says. "Changmin asked, but Jaejoong-hyung was afraid he'd eat it all."

"Whereas you only ate a little bit," Yoochun says, watching the flicker of Junsu's tongue, the smudge of chocolate at the corner of his mouth.

"I had to taste-test it." Then Junsu laughs.

Yoochun has to taste-test that.

Greatest Time of Year

Jaejoong makes him a pineapple-flavored cake, doubtless to coordinate with the cheap souvenirs they all got Yoochun as gag gifts in Bora Bora. Junsu and Changmin top it with coconut over Jaejoong's protests that he wants to decorate it like a pineapple.

"I like coconut, Joongie-ah," Yoochun says, drawing Jaejoong from the kitchen, "and you've worked hard enough today."

Yunho's in the living room, inflating a fake palm tree. He sees them and puffs out his cheeks provocatively. Yoochun tackles him, then looks to see Jaejoong's forgotten his pique.

"Help!" Yunho shouts.

Jaejoong helps Yoochun wrestle him to the floor.

My Only Wish This Year

They're on tour, so the public celebration is the private one. The cake is store-bought, but he doesn't care. He doesn't need a cake, just all of them there, onstage. He knows it won't last, but he'll take it while he can.

They sing to him before he blows out the candles. He hasn't made a wish since he left America, but he makes one now and blows before his breath's too shaky.

Jaejoong hugs him, dabs him with frosting to make him smile, lets go so he can lunge for Yunho, gather them all close.

Hold onto his wish.

Story of the Year

All the travelling back and forth between Japan and Korea means it takes him a few nights to adjust to where he's sleeping. It's back to Korea in just days, too, for the SME concert. He'll probably get another onstage cake, a round of the birthday song from several dozen sweet voices.

The sweetest are murmuring in the darkness around him, caught in dreams in two languages. Blankets rustle, somebody practicing choreography in their sleep. Beside him, Junsu exhales a soft quarter-note, rolling closer at Yoochun's touch.


"Go back to sleep, Susu."

"Happy Birthday."

He swallows tears. "It is."


Dong Bang Shin Ki
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