augmenti: (태연。holidays。)
augmenti ([personal profile] augmenti) wrote2011-12-22 05:01 pm

shinee; the leaders' guide.

The Leaders’ Guide
SHINee goes to Japan and Jinki gets a little help.
gen; g; 3,086 words.
notes written for [livejournal.com profile] kpop_ficmix as a remix of first time, by [livejournal.com profile] kat_elric. also, special thank you to [livejournal.com profile] acousticscenery for going over this with a fine-toothed comb. ♥



After they were nestled into the small Tokyo dorm and set free to their own devices, Jinki pulled out Yunho’s guidebook of things to do in Japan. Certain phrases that are essential for everyday use and intonation markers are all scribbled in between the lines and in footnotes. There were guides for what to do and what not to do in certain places, how to bow, how to avoid conflict, but the best part was the footnotes he’d written in as what Jinki liked to call “leader notes.”

Yunho’s advice, “when meeting someone important, be careful not to be direct,” was difficult to handle when the director handed them each sake - even Taemin, who looked at the ceramic cup like it was poison. But the translator had left the room and they all thought it might be a good learning exercise, so they had all eagerly jumped forwards to blabber in the language they barely knew.

“Dozo,” said the man, pushing glasses of sake into their hands. They glanced at each other, hesitantly, excitement from the previous moment quickly forgotten. Jinki’s throat felt thick with nervousness as he knocked the alcohol back. It went down smooth, like soju. He didn’t even choke it back up.

Another one was pushed into his hands with the same smile and the same instructions and he smiled politely, widely as he could, and downed that one too. After about eight more shots and fifteen more minutes had passed, he fell into a chair, significantly more red in the face. He felt the pages of Yunho’s guidebook crumple in his back pocket.

“Oops,” he shifted, leaning against the arm of the chair and watched as Taemin leaned too hard into Jonghyun, who fell against Minho, who was somehow upright, acting as the pillar as they fell against him.

“How are you not dying?” Jinki asked, squinting up at him.

“Ricky-hyung helped me,” he said, with a beaming smile so bright that Jinki couldn’t even doubt it. Taemin drooled on his shirt as he climbed into his lap and reached across the table for more to drink. He pulled it away from Taemin’s reach, his instincts telling him that he’d already had more than enough. To get it away from him more efficiently, he downed it himself.

“Hyung!” Taemin whined. “That was mine.” He glared at him until Jonghyun provided a distraction by falling on his face.

Jinki fumbled with the book, flipping open the cover to look at the list of don’ts. “Oh,” he frowned at the capitalized DO NOT LET JAEJOONG DRINK. “Oops,” he frowned, looking up as Kibum burst into a spontaneous bout of every girl dance he knew. He mentally told himself to add “do not let SHINee drink” to the list of things not to do and went to find the manager for back up.

-

Even with his splitting headache of a hangover and eight hours of work later, Taemin dragged him out to go exploring - which really meant getting lost. Jinki was starting to wish Yunho’s guidebook was a book of maps, when Taemin stopped dead. Jinki, who had been trying to make out the best way to say “help us, we’re lost,” walked right into him.

“Oops, sorry,” he said, and glanced up once before looking back down. He did a double take at the pachinko parlour in front of them.

“Hyung,” Taemin turned to stare at him. “Hyung, can we go?”

Jinki’s objection was still on the tip of his tongue as Taemin dragged him bodily inside.

He’d need to look into shoe lifts or something to grow taller than him, again. Taemin grew too fast. Inside they were met with a shady looking man and enough casino smoke to make his eyes water. As Taemin quickly exchanged yen for tokens and jumped on a machine to play, Jinki flipped through the pages of the guidebook until he found Yunho’s quickly scribbled, “don’t let Yoochun inside.”

Jinki looked up and found Taemin playing on a machine that matched up boob sizes for wins. Even worse was the creepy worker who was pressing up against him from behind. He swallowed the thrill of fear for his youngest member and snatched him away.

“We’re leaving,” he said in his sternest voice, the one reserved for telling dogs not to pee on the carpet. He dragged Taemin outside with a strength he didn’t even know he had.

“But hyung, I was going to win a panda,” Taemin sucked on his bottom lip and gives Jinki a look that made him regret every decision he ever made. He shook it off.

“Come on, lets get cake.”

“Cake,” Taemin exclaimed loudly, in a horrible Japanese-Korean accent that was far too loud on the quiet streets of the foreign country. Jinki winced and pulled him into a shop to overload him on sugar. Kibum could kill him later because he needed sweets now.

-

“I sing better than them,” Jonghyun said loudly, cross-legged on the couch and sucking on the end of his chopsticks. He had cup ramen in front of him, courtesy of a convenience store run earlier. His eyes were glued to the television and KAT-TUN on music station. “We all sing better than them.”

“I like them,” Kibum said, eyes on Kamenashi’s hips wiggling back and forth on Japanese television.

“They aren’t even in tune,” Jonghyun critiqued. “How can you like them?”

“They have good music. Their dancing is hot.”

“You like their hips,” Jonghyun snorted. “You don’t even know all of their names.”

“Of course I do,” Kibum snapped. “Kame, Koki, Nakamaru, Junno, Ueda, Jin-”

“Jin doesn’t even count.” Jonghyun frowned.

“He does too.”

Jinki was flipping through the book aimlessly for advice before the two friends killed each other, when he came upon the note, “do not let Jin and Jaejoong party together ever again.” He frowned at it.

Underneath it, Jaejoong’s handwriting scribbled, “do not let Yoochun beat-box on Japanese television ever again.”

Yoochun’s writing followed. “Beat-boxing is cool.” Jinki always thought Yoochun-hyung was cool. He had good ideas, and his English was popular.

“Minho, you should take up beat-boxing,” Jinki told him. “Think of our ratings!”

“Hyung,” Minho said patiently, working his mouth around a piece of melon bread. “I know you’ve been stressed lately, but I don’t need to start beat-boxing, I’m already the coolest.”

Jinki flipped through the pages of the book in the middle of the night in an empty kitchenette that had no food in the fridge, his fingers drummed restlessly against the counter. Clothes hung out to dry on the balcony outside, still dry from the morning but they’d had no time to bring them in. Jinki flipped to the last page of the guidebook and the message scribbled there and let it fall closed. The cute little deer stared up at him with an apple in its mouth. He tossed it on the table by the couch and walked outside onto the balcony, swallowing hard.

He supposed that Yunho never had to be homesick when his members were with him, and he wondered why his weren’t enough to take it away from him. DBSK’s legacy slapped him in the face every day but they broke up. But no one was allowed to talk about it, they were supposed to ignore how close they’d all been. They’d all moved on, but Jinki was afraid that SHINee wouldn’t be able to live up to the legacy. Maybe it was the homesickness, or maybe it was the guidebook in his fingers. But in Jinki’s mind, nothing compared. Yunho was the best leader, the most natural of leaders. If Yunho hadn’t been able to hold DBSK together, how could Jinki hold SHINee together?

Jinki brought the laundry in at midnight and dropped one of Taemin’s socks over the edge by accident because he was too impatient.

“Oops,” he squinted down through the darkness as it fell the twenty-something stories to the ground. Thankfully, they were Taemin’s least favorite pair, but Jinki couldn’t blame the dryer for eating it here.

Miso was on the menu in the morning, and Kibum liked to flaunt that he’d gotten pretty good at making it. Jinki stirred it soundlessly and smiled and pretended he wanted to eat it instead of kimchi stew. He drank it all and ignored the aftertaste left by the seaweed.

They were on their way to Music Station and Jinki was brushing up on his cue cards, when Minho leaned over the back of the seat and pulled his hands down so he’d have no choice but to look up. “Are you okay, hyung?”

“Of course I am,” he smiled, glad that his eyes disappeared when he smiled so he wouldn’t have to force them to look like it meant something. Minho’s eyes were too dark and too intense when they stared at him. Jinki broke the gaze, smiling fading slowly.

“Alright,” he gave in, turning back towards the front and flipping through the songs on his Ipod. Jinki swallowed back the world of problems in his throat and refused to open his mouth again until they got to Music Station, and then it was all in the wrong language - it felt wrong on his lips, felt wrong in his throat. He wanted Korea, and home.

A few days later, Taemin woke him up by spilling milk tea on him when he tripped over Minho’s soccer ball. Jinki made a sound like a drowning parrot and fell off the couch with a heavy thump. He’d been dreaming that the Han river had turned into syrup and how Taemin had fallen into it and came out tasting like waffles.

“Sticky,” he whined, and wiped it off with the back of his hand.

“Sorry hyung,” Taemin grinned sheepishly, and stepped over him to settle on Jinki’s makeshift bed. He picked up the remote and flipped through the channels until he came to one about cremating dead animals.

“Cheerful,” Jinki commented.

“Is that a dead cat?” Kibum asked, stumbling out of the bedroom and joining them with his hair a mess around his head.

Jinki nodded, trying to read the Kanji that flashed by too fast, “rest in peace Fluffy.”

He’d forgotten about it until they were on the bullet train to Nara because management wanted them to have a few days to experience the culture of Japan. Taemin shifted uneasily beside him. “Why did the lady keep Fluffy’s ashes?”

“Because she loved her so much?” Jinki shrugged, he’d been trying not to think about it.

“...She should give her a grave, then.” Taemin nodded to himself. “I mean the urn was nice and all, but what if Fluffy wanted to be in the ground? What if the urn breaks?”

“Maybe she just didn’t want to lose her,” Jinki said, turning away from the real Taemin to watch his reflection in the window. Taemin opened his mouth to say something else, closed it, stared at Jinki, and then looked away. Jinki had just started to think he was safe, when Taemin turned to him again, tilted his head, and stared at his eyes in the reflection.

“Did we do something wrong, hyung?”

Jinki turned to look at the real him, shaking his head. “No, why would you say that?”

Taemin rolled his shoulders in a shrug. “You’ve been distant, and snappish, and not yourself.” He tilted his head. “I know you’re stressed and you’re the leader but you don’t have to take all of the pressure on yourself, okay? We’re a team because we’re supposed to handle these things together.” He pushed on his arm. To Jinki it felt like he was pushing reason into his skin. “A team means we work together, not separately.”

“Did you learn that on Dream Team?” Jinki grinned.

“No,” Taemin said quickly. “That’s not the point.” His ears colored bright red whenever he lied. Jinki felt a laugh start up in the middle of his chest and let it, leaning over to tug on his ear. “Hyung!” Taemin shrieked and jabbed him in the chest. Jinki retaliated by poking him in the ribs and all talk resolved into a tickle fight that only ended when the manager told them to stop because they were disturbing the peace.

At Nara, a deer ate Jonghyun’s glove, Minho found his likeness in a statue, Kibum got a mouthful of sakura blossoms and Taemin found a Kamen Rider mask. Jinki’s green tea ice cream became forfeit to a fawn and the manager broke his heart by telling him he couldn’t keep her when she followed him around the deer park. Kibum dubbed every deer Bambi and tried to feed all of them at once, but ended up in the water trying to run away from a stampede of them. Jonghyun roared at him safely from the bridge.

After being reminded how small they really were by ogling the Buddha at Todaiji, they ogled the souvenirs inside the temple.

“Who has a souvenir shop inside the temple?” Kibum hissed to Jonghyun as they peered over the crowds of tourists to look at the stalls.

“Why is Hello Kitty Buddha?” Jonghyun hissed back. Taemin bought them both some Hello Kitty key-chains and slipped them into their pockets when their backs were turned.

In the train station Jinki walked into a life-sized deer-man-Buddha and lost half of his lifespan in the shriek that erupted out of him. “He’s not that scary, Jinki.” He pictured Kibum rolling his eyes as he rapped his knuckles on the stall door for the umpteenth time.

“His head was huge,” Jinki moaned between his hands, refusing to look up, or down, or over, or anywhere, because all he could see was that baby face staring at him with antlers going to kidnap him. “He’s going to kill us all.” He mentally prepared his will.

“Hyung, we’ve missed the train,” Minho’s voice floated from the other side of the door.

“Great,” Kibum muttered, and Jinki might have imagined the twinge of fear in his voice when he continued, “now we’re stuck here with it.”

Jinki let out a whimper and slunk a little further down the wall.

-

Jinki never thought he’d be happy to return to Tokyo, but he fell down on his bed with weak knees and a happy sigh, and breathed in the scents and smells of their dorm. And Jonghyun’s dirty sock, which had wormed its way into his bed. He fished it out and threw it at its owner, who gave a muffled yelp from his own bed.

Taemin plopped down on top of him. “Hyung, I’m Kamen Rider.”

Jinki twisted his head around until he couldn’t twist it any further and squinted at him. Taemin grinned at him from behind his mask. “You’re not allowed to watch tv anymore,” he said, and plopped his head back down into his pillow.

“What.” Taemin frowned. “Hyung, you’re kidding.” He punched his back until Jinki rolled over and rolled him off the bed too.

“I’m not kidding, you’re never going to see another tv as long as we’re here, we aren’t going to watch anymore anime at 2 in the morning and you are not going to cosplay as Kamen Rider in Harajuku, oh my god.”

“But hyung,” Taemin pouted. “It’s my dream. Haven’t you ever had a dream?” Jinki quirked an eyebrow at him, and Taemin’s pout was quickly replaced with a smirk. “Sento-kun is going to curse you.” Jinki felt all the blood drain out of his face and fear clenched in his gut.

“You aren’t even cute,” Jinki wailed, hiding his face underneath his pillow. “Do whatever you want, I resign, I quit, I can’t handle you, you are no magnae!” He whined until Taemin sat on him again, laughing as he did so.

-

Jinki had just finished hiding melon bread in his carry on luggage when he found Yunho’s travel guide under the table. He sat on the floor, cross-legged, and flipped through it again, stopping at a map with writing all over it. Yunho’s notes “feed Changmin here,” at a ramen shop in Harajuku, a star by a shop in Shinjuku with the note “when lost, Jaejoong to be found here.” A few notes about where to find the best gyms and a few more for the cheapest CD shops. He’d also circled the best supermarket.

Jinki flipped through a few more pages and stopped at a page on Nara. There, written in a red marker, were the words, “keep Jinki away from Sento-kun” followed by a smiley face. He frowned and shuffled through the book looking for more. “Do not let Jinki inside here,” Taemin had written, circling the pachinko parlor. On a list of castles, Jonghyun wrote “do not let Jinki wander here - will get lost.” Jinki frowned. It had been one time, and they’d gotten out eventually.

Inside the front cover was the list of do’s and don’ts he’d started when they’d first arrived. Under “do not let Kibum drink” there was “do not let Taemin watch Kamen Rider,” and “do not let Jonghyun eat more than three cups of ramen a day”, and “do not let Jinki put away the laundry.”

Jinki shuffled to the end of the book and smiled at Yunho’s advice but was distracted by the words scribbled in red with Jonghyun’s messy handwriting. “We’ll be okay.” The words were huge and encompassed everything else on the page, glaringly obvious and red, and bold.

It made him laugh out loud, and he shoved the book deep into his duffel-bag and went to join the others in the bedroom, blinking away tears from his eyes. In the bedroom, Jonghyun and Kibum were arguing over clothes, but they stopped when Jinki appeared.

“You guys,” he tripped over Taemin’s duffel-bag and fell against Minho, who help him up with an arm around the waist. “You guys are the best.” He wrapped his arm around Minho’s waist and pulled Taemin to him, squishing his face against his side. He motioned for Jonghyun and Kibum to join them.

“I don’t do hugs,” Kibum said, warily eyeing them, but Jonghyun pulled him in anyway. Jinki closed his eyes against Minho’s shoulder and breathed in slowly, feeling Kibum’s hand hesitantly on the back of his neck.

“Thanks,” he said, when he finally let them free.

“For what,” Minho asked, quirking an eyebrow.

“Just, for being awesome, okay?” Jinki smiled, and Minho smiled back warily.


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