A/N: IT'S FINALLY EFFING DONE. My excuse for the incredible lateness is that this went through a million edits and ended up being over three times as long as I was initially expecting. NO JOKES.
This is "a series of inter-related drabbles," so each section is on its own page. Bonus point to anyone who catches the Adventures in Wonderland reference. :3
1. After a while, it becomes difficult to find the ‘me’ in ‘us.’
Jaejoong leaves traces of himself in the others. He compiles a growing list of their “me-isms” in his head: Changmin and Junsu are picking up my accent, Yoochun now holds his chopsticks in the same tilt as mine, Yunho takes his coffee the same way I do, Yunho’s new hats are so similar to mine that he mixes them up, Yunho is growing to like the same music I do.
He checks and re-checks obsessively, and assures himself that if the group were one day ripped apart or if he died tomorrow, he would still exist, somewhere, inside all of them. Makes certain that even if no one remembers the name “Youngwoong Jaejoong,” these pieces of him would still live on.
(“Idiot. You’re not that forgettable,” Yunho says and smiles into the crook of his neck.)
But he worries that traces of the others are seeping into him as well. He can see Yoochun’s gestures in his own hands, can detect Changmin’s sarcasm in his own tone, can hear Junsu’s inflections in his own voice, can breathe in Yunho’s scent in his own clothes, until he doesn’t know how much of himself has truly been theirs all along, as if he were, in the end, just an empty vessel.
Yunho silences him with a press of warm fingers on cold lips. “You worry too much. We’re all a part of each other; each of us is necessary to make up the whole. Isn’t that enough?”
Jaejoong smiles at him and says that it is, but sometimes he has to wonder. Is it enough?