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Summary: Jongin likes sleeping and has opinions about his sleeping places


The in-betweens of comebacks remind Jongin of three things: a glorious string of naps, individual schedules, touring. The weeks following their latest round of comeback promotions Jongin falls into casual sleeping relationships with the tour bus seats, the airplane headrests, the stage floor, a member's shoulder, a nearby couch. If he's left to his own devices in the dorms for like a week he'd probably be permanently attached to the couch of the K dorm, barring practice sessions, the need to check up on his dogs, and then maybe eat something sweet.

“I swear you haven’t moved since this morning,” Minseok says to him and Jongin blinks, rubs at his eyes, thinking he’s dreaming because he hasn’t seen hyung for days now, let alone know how to make sense of why Minseok has come down to their dorm at an undecipherable hour of one in the afternoon. When Minseok nudges at him to move from the couch Jongin shifts his legs to make space for him. The couch cushions dip beneath Minseok's weight, Minseok who's becoming more solid and real by the second. Jongin blinks again and reaches out a hand to paw at something of Minseok's he can reach. Not a dream then.

“You need to sleep too,” he mumbles and squeezes his hand around Minseok’s wrist, up at his arm, warm sweater and the growing softness at the underside of Minseok’s biceps. Months before comeback Minseok would usually disappear into the gym for hours at a time, and Jongin would idly complain about how completely unnecessary it was and could he please bring his cuddly hyung back and Minseok would just shake his head in response.

This time, Minseok raises a singular eyebrow at him, though he chuckles easy and laid-back, like he has all the time in the world to sit in the couch and miss out on all his plausible gym time. “Are you checking me out?”

“Can’t have hyung turning into a tiny Hulk, I don’t think you’d be very comfy to sleep on. Taemin has told me horror stories about members growing one too many muscles."

"Taemin also doesn’t treat people like furniture,” Minseok says.

Because Jongin is not a kid he doesn’t pout. Instead, Jongin scoots to the back of the couch, tugs at the sleeve of Minseok’s sweater, an invitation. He meant it when he said Minseok needed sleep.

But Minseok doesn’t really come down to the K dorms for no reason. Minseok doesn’t hang out with Jongin on the couch. Theirs is a long, friendly and comfortable association, grown from the familiarity with each other’s personalities and each other’s skin in-between concert tours and dance practice and lounging in all the waiting rooms. Minseok takes care of him like a proper hyung should, Jongin wheedles like a proper dongsaeng. What Minseok does is indulge Jongdae and Yixing, listen to Sehun whine, and recently, get his temper poked about by Baekhyun who has a death wish. Jongin just rolls over and sleeps on him during rehearsals and breaks.

Minseok sits up then gets to his feet. “I’m just waiting for manager hyung. Go back to sleep. I heard you have a schedule later right? “ No ruffling of hair, just a solid goodbye pat at Jongin’s shoulder. Jongin lets him go.

Chanyeol swans into the living room, not as much noise as Baekhyun used to before evacuating himself to “the M digs”. But Chanyeol is visually noisy nonetheless, angles and big clunky movements that hurts Jongin’s eyes some days. He feels a sudden pang for stillness.

“Jongin-ah! I want to show you something!” Loud. Jongin turns to snuffle back to sleep.

***

He comes by Kyungsoo’s row in the business class section, carrying a neck pillow he’d stolen from Joonmyun under his arm.

Kyungsoo looks up from the script he’s trying to read and pulls out one earbud from his ears. “Nap?” Before Jongin can say a word, Kyungsoo’s reaching into the seat beside him and methodically and systematically misplaces Chanyeol’s things to the back row. Jongin sinks into the newly-emptied seat gratefully. It’s 2am back at home but the view at his stolen window seat is that of a bright blue sky and warm blinding sunlight. Jongin yawns.

“Joonmyun hyung is being too loud,” he declares, then drops off like a rock.

He wakes up later to a gentle noise of chatter, someone tearing open a chip bag, Joonmyun trying to capture “candid” and “exciting” video footage of EXO members sitting around bare-faced and heavily jet-lagged inside a cramped airplane.

Jongin amends his earlier statement, “Joonmyun hyung is being too embarrassing,” when Joonmyun makes lightsaber whooshing noises under his breath. Someone laughs in a high voice.

Kyungsoo smiles. “Let hyung have his fun.” He goes back to glaring at the script, which means he’s either forgotten his contacts or he misplaced his glasses again. It’s less threatening and scary when it’s directed at a piece of paper though. Jongin rests his head against Kyungsoo’s shoulder--he’s been working out, he remembers, for that movie or another, and that should inspire some kind of diatribe about too much exercise that makes one an unrecognizable muscle mass. He shoves the neck pillow under his head and the diatribe doesn’t come. He tries to read Kyungsoo’s script. He looks up and it’s Minseok laughing with abandon, voice high, eyes lit up at Baekhyun trying to upstage Joonmyun in his own joke.

Jongin has seen Minseok laugh before. But he’s paying attention now and it prompts him: “Minseok hyung visited you once during your filming, right?”

“Yeah.” Kyungsoo turns to him, puzzled. “He brought food and we talked a bit on the set.”

“Un.” Jongin nods and does not ask about what it’s like and what they talked about. Sometimes he watches the two of them out of the corner of his eye, sitting side by side in silence, while they wait it out in the broadcast station rooms during promo cycles. How similar they are in so many ways. How Jongin can read Kyungsoo so much better.

“If I’m disturbing you, hyung, I can transfer to another seat,” Jongin prompts when Kyungsoo shifts, shoulders moving.

“It’s fine. Go back to sleep.”

Jongin closes his eyes and he can still hear Baekhyun’s exaggerated yell of pain as Minseok punches him in the arm.

***

He came into the company a couple of months before Minseok, making Jongin technically a sunbae, and a couple of other socially complicated things that made Jongin just stick with his chingus to avoid having to think too much about it. It meant they hadn’t really talked much except for the polite greetings in hallways. Maybe shared a dance class or two. By the time debut happened they were too busy working on their own and promoting their separate sub-groups.

Then there was that long unplanned hiatus after debut, Jongin just going in and out of the practice room to shake off the restlessness and uncertainty in his bones with more dancing, and Minseok was there with him, and the other members too. Jongin had nodded off, uneasily, in a small warm spot on their practice room floor at some blurry hour of the morning or afternoon. He started awake at someone settling down close to him. Round-faced Minseok hyung, stretching out on the floor, watching the shapes on the mirror with a calmness that Jongin didn't feel. He was alone.

Jongin didn't think too much about it--he was groggy still and his right arm had gone numb--but he scooted over at Minseok, and made the perfectly sound decision of resting his head on Minseok's tummy. It seemed like a soft place. Perhaps he'd been watching him with the other members far longer than he'd thought.

The tummy tightened a bit underneath Jongin's head. Minseok giving off a pitchy laugh like he was nervous.“Go back to the dorms and sleep properly! Yah!” He laid his hand on Jongin’s neck but the touch was warm and light and didn’t shove him away.

“But you’re so comfy, hyung,” he whined, too tired and too cold to care. He buried his nose into the fold of Minseok’s gray sweater, which still smelled of clean soap even after hours of dancing. Jongin thought Minseok might be made of magic.

“I just brought a change of clothes, you dummy,” Minseok said. He didn't sound offended. He was patting Jongin’s head.
***

(tbc)
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