Summary: Public. (Private.)
Author's Notes: For jaeho_challenge; theme 3 - 10 years from now.
Yunho's birthday is, as it has been for the last few years, a lavish affair. 33 is nothing special, he thinks, doesn't quite understand the need for a banquet hall and balloons and a live band to celebrate it, but it's expected by his family, expected by the people he works with. Expected of who he is. He doesn't have a wife and children to satisfy other expectations, so he lets them have this, sits through toasts and congratulations and dinner with the twenty-something daughter of a family friend at his elbow and wishes despairingly for it all to be over.
(Thinks about later, Jaejoong kissing him breathless against the barely-closed door of his apartment, Jaejoong whispering, "You look fucking hot in a suit, you know, always did," as he tugs desperately at Yunho's tie and Yunho steals the words off his tongue.)
There's a cake, of course. Yunho blows out the candles - too many of them, and his lungs aren't in as good shape as they used to be - makes the ceremonial first cut and smiles for the camera as he feeds his mother and father and sister.
(Thinks about later, in the kitchen, Jaejoong perched on the counter and Yunho standing between his parted knees, feeding Jaejoong the cake everyone should have seen him eat in the hall; thinks about licking the crumbs from Jaejoong's mouth and Jaejoong sucking icing off his fingers.)
He accepts Changmin's hug - and Yoochun's, and Junsu's - as they pause to offer him their wishes and commiserating pats on the arm, smiles and jokes with them for stolen seconds. For a while he feels almost like himself again.
(Thinks about later, reminiscing about other birthdays with Jaejoong, times when the others blocked the door for just long enough for him to steal his share of birthday kisses; thinks about taking a long, slow taste for every too-short one in those years.)
The band starts playing music for dancing to at last, and Yunho leads Youngmi out after a glance from his father. She's sweetly, shyly nervous. Yunho smiles at her encouragingly as he avoids her feet, trying not to feel like a cradle-robber.
(Thinks about later, pulling Jaejoong into a laughing, dizzy spin out of time with the sappy love song spilling from the stereo, tumbling to the carpet with Jaejoong to break his fall and kissing his way down Jaejoong's body with the noises Jaejoong makes drowning out the music.)
He says goodbye to the guests as they drift out slowly; thinks he's the only one left apart from the staff until he turns around and sees Jaejoong, leaning against one of the tables a few feet away. Jaejoong smiles at Yunho before he walks over, having one of the rare moments of grace that take Yunho's breath away in an entirely different way to Jaejoong's usual methods. Jaejoong links an arm through Yunho's when he's close enough, leans in to murmur into Yunho's ear, "Let's go home and celebrate your birthday properly."