Genre: Not really comedy, not really crack, not really romance, sort of fluff
Summary: Changmin wonders how people would react if he had cancer.
A/N: I intended to make this like super crack, but then it turned into this bland... 96. Experiments. There will be two more parts using two different prompts, but they will follow the same storyline. Actually, I wrote part 2 before part 1...
The idea came to him when he was feeling feverish from what would later become an intense bout of seasonal flu. He missed an entire week of work, not that he was complaining for that matter; he hated accounting as much as the next guy. The idea didn’t really take shape until after the New Year rolled in and he got a call from his mother that his great aunt had passed away.
Changmin couldn’t ever remember his great aunt, and he didn’t remember ever feeling sympathetic towards her for her illness. Sure, he had heard about how deadly cancer could be, but he had never paid attention to what type she had and how bad he chances were, so he had just assumed she had the mild type and would heal with a little bit of surgery and time. Then he began to wonder, do people ever really care when someone has some deadly disease?
His social experiment began to take shape just days after he got the news. It took a lot of preparation to convince people that he was gravely ill, and it took a lot of effort to maintain that notion. Changmin first started off by applying a coat of bb cream and powder a few shades too light for his skin.
A young girl from sales noticed it first. “Ooh, your skin is so pale, are you okay?” She said in a hushed voice by the copy machine, examining the pallor of his skin. Changmin was about the respond until he recognized the glint of envy in her eyes, so he just coughed haggardly into his shoulder and took his bundles of printouts.
Still coughing –because for some reason fake coughing turned into real coughing -Changmin dumped the printouts on his manager’s desk. His coughing didn’t subside until his wide eyed Hyung nearly drowned him with a paper cup of water. Instead of thanking him, Changmin stared at the fine pale skin of his boss. Maybe he needed to go a few shades lighter.
The next step he took was refraining from eating meals with his colleagues. The usual big-eater Changmin came to work without food and almost all the other females in the department flocked to him with homemade lunchboxes or money for the canteen. He just shook his head gingerly and denied with a polite smile.
“Sorry ladies, I don’t have much of an appetite.” His coworkers weren’t sure which to be more shocked about, the fact that he rejected food, or the fact that he treated the women so nicely.
When he returned from a board meeting about the upcoming tax season a few days into his work fasting, he found a lunchbox with all his favorites packed together, a three layer lunchbox to be exact. Changmin didn’t eat it there, but he secretly took the dish home and cleaned it out for dinner. Everything was absolutely delicious and it made him regret ever starting this stupid experiment in the first place.
He took some days off at the end of January just to really mess with everyone at work. During that time, he helped his older brother, Yunho, move into his new house. His new sister in-law was really sweet, offering to pay him for all his troubles. Yunho, of course, voice his objections. In the end, Changmin left their house a few days later with Yunho old suits. They were exactly the same style as his, only a size or two larger.
Changmin took one more day off to shave his head.
“Are you going to do your military service soon?” Changmin slowly shook his head at his manager and smiled bitterly.
“Hyung, you know as well as I do that this company doesn’t hire a male if he hasn’t already done his time.”
His manager, quite a bit shorter than him but still handsomely tall for a Korean, peered over the wall of Changmin’s cubicle with the latest report from the head honcho. While endearing on some levels, Jaejoong was becoming quite a nuisance when it came to disturbing him when Changmin was getting work done.
“Yeah, I was just hoping,” and Jaejoong returned the bitter smile. He set the files on Changmin’s computer and took a seat on edge of his desk. “Changmin,” he whispered softly, running his hand across Yunho’s loose suit.
Changmin huffed slightly and batted Jaejoong’s probing hand away. “Please Hyung, I want to get this done while I still have time.” And Jaejoong let out a choked whine and quickly left.
It was a week later at the annual Valentines party that Changmin decided to reveal the “truth.” He’d had maybe two glasses of water, not really satisfying in the least, when he started to cough up another storm, though this one much more bogus and controlled. His boss/manager Jaejoong was at his shoulders in seconds, rubbing soothing circles into his back. Changmin just hoped that he didn’t notice how not bony his body was.
As the party was starting to wind down, Changmin sagged into a couch and just breathed slowly for a second. Even with a weak scratchy voice, he managed to snag the attention of most of everyone remaining at the party. He hardly wavered as he said it, and only slightly did he feel any regret about what he was doing. Conning everyone for sympathy…
“I have cancer.” And to his surprise, Jaejoong curled up in his side instantly, clenching the loose fabric of Yunho’s old suit so strongly that Changmin thought it might rip. Changmin has such an overwhelming urge to just lift the crying man’s face up and kiss the tears away that he almost spills the secret.
“Jaejoong Hyung, please, stop.” But Jaejoong didn’t stop his uncontrollable sobs, in fact, he only got worse as Changmin stroked his feathery hair. “Please, I need is one thing.”
Jaejoong looked up, face absolutely ugly, and covered in snot and tears. But still, Changmin didn’t find him disgusting. “Jaejoong,” he whispered into the older male’s ear. “All I need is for you to love me.”
Changmin remembered reading in some psychology book, back when he was just fresh meat at University, that terminally ill or recovering patients stand a better chance of survival if they have social support from friends, family, and other associations. While his family might not have been he most supportive to his great aunt, he’s sure Jaejoong would care and love for him even after he told him to truth.
Maybe, because this experiment was kind of a big one and cancer isn’t just any white lie