A/N: this was written for the JongKey fanfic remix challenge, and is a remix of black_goose's Easy Like Sunday Morning. And I have to apologize now because I'm no good at writing under pressure, or writing with limitations, and I had to deal with both so this was really hard for me to write and I know it's kinda bleh (or really bleh) but I did my best so. yes. :(
There are times when Minho thinks that in SHINee, he’s the member with the strongest leadership qualities.
Of course he keeps such thoughts to himself, because they wouldn’t do him or the group any good. Especially with the way the other members thought. Jinki was convinced he was a perfectly capable leader, which he kind-of-sort-of was, when he wasn’t messing up on stage, falling down all over the dorm, choking on his own spit, or just failing in general. Jonghyun liked to think that since he talked the most in interviews and was always in the middle and got the most singing parts, that meant he was more leader-like than anyone else. Of course Jonghyun also liked to think that Star Wars was based on a true story and that he was a descendant of Han Solo, so Minho wasn’t too worried about what Jonghyun thought. Kibum had more of a quiet air of superiority about him - he certainly saw himself far above their leader, and while he kept it to himself for the most part, it definitely showed. As for Taemin, well, Minho had a suspicion that the youngest member considered himself above all of their influence - he knew that was more youthful pride than anything else, though.
Minho’s feelings were not simple youthful pride, however. After all, he was the one who cleaned the dorm when the other members left messes behind, which they were doing more often since he started cleaning up after them. Taemin had this nasty habit of leaving his school work on the table in the living room and forgetting about it, so Minho always checked every night to make sure his work was in his school bag and that said school bag was hung up in the closet. He had even taken it upon himself to cover for them - Jonghyun and Kibum mostly - by lying to their manager, putting his own ass on the line to save theirs.
Kibum once had the nerve to accuse Minho of never doing anything for him when Minho refused to make him tea when he had a tickle in his throat. He had been as dramatic as usual, eyes wide, huffing and puffing, arms flailing a bit, saying things like “If one of the hyungs in Super Junior wanted some tea you’d fly, wouldn’t you? I’m sure you’d even put a slice of lemon in it and serve it to them on a silver platter.” which was ridiculous, since none of them would demand him to make them tea at eleven o'clock at night like Kibum was right then. Which is what Minho said.
“Doesn’t change the fact that you’d do it,” Kibum had replied, throwing in a cough and a pitiful look, the sneer gone from his face. Clearly he’d decided to change tactics. “God Minho, it’s like you hate me or something. So selfish.”
The word ‘selfish’ coming from Kim Kibum’s mouth, in an accusation no less, was so shocking that it stunned Minho silent. He sat there, staring at Kibum, who seemed to think that the younger boy’s silence meant that he was feeling bad or something, since he patted Minho on the leg and said “It’s okay though, just make me some tea and all is forgiven,” which only made Minho’s mouth open wider as he continued to stare.
Minho had collected himself before calmly and quietly reminding Kibum of Inkigayo two days before, when he and Jonghyun had snuck off a half hour before their performance and didn’t show up until ten minutes before they had to be on stage. Kibum’s expression had been telling; he’d thought nobody had noticed. Minho told Kibum about the excuses he’d made to their manager, how he’d covered for them by saying Jonghyun had gone to the bathroom and Kibum had said something about having to make a personal phone call. It was only one of the many times he’d covered for the two of them, and not because he had to, but because he wanted to.
He’d been wondering if they were grateful, and it turned out they hadn’t even known. The way the two of them lived in their own little world, it wasn’t exactly shocking. Minho would have been lying if he said it didn't hurt, though. They'd since acknowledged his efforts, Jonghyun giving him quiet thank-you's, not saying what they were for because he didn't have to.
However that night, Minho hadn’t gotten a ‘thank you’ for his troubles. Kibum had simply sighed loudly, rolled his eyes, and stalked off to the kitchen wordlessly. He had come back with two cups of tea, one for Minho, along with a small nudge while they sat on the couch drinking together in the dimly lit living room.
That was just how things worked with him and the members; he’d do things for them, and they’d show their gratitude in their own little ways. It got easier as time went on and he got used to cleaning up after them, making excuses, listening to their problems - people said Kibum was the jack-of-all-trades on stage, and Minho liked to think he was the same, only behind the scenes.
But no matter how much Minho liked doing things for the others, mornings were never easy. It was as if each of them reached their peak of neediness at exactly the same time, and his patience was never tested like it was then. He’d make sure Taemin grabbed something to eat before leaving to school and didn’t forget anything, would keep Jinki away from things that could spill, stain, or light on fire while he fumbled around the dorm with his eyes halfway open, and he’d try to accomplish the increasingly difficult task of getting Jonghyun and Kibum out of bed.
The two had a habit of sleeping in each other’s beds - clothed thankfully, though there was a time Minho woke up at around three in the morning and caught them doing Things on the couch in only their boxers and he really liked to pretend that night never even happened because ew - and while Jonghyun and Kibum were hard enough to wake up individually, they were twice as hard to wake up when they were together. It was becoming a mission to get them out of bed each morning, and more than once Minho had been tempted to just throw a bucket of water at them and be done with it.
Of course, being the kind, well-behaved dongsaeng he was, there was never any water involved. Minho would simply stand there and call out to them, their sleeping bodies tangled together in a mess of limbs and blankets. And it was the same every morning; they’d slowly start moving their bodies, which only led to them touching each other, which either led to them curling together and quickly going back to sleep, or a rare morning make-out session. Either way, Minho would leave them for a few minutes, not wanting to risk Jinki’s safety just to get the two of them out of bed, and he really didn’t want to see them kissing and doing other Things any more than he had to. That cycle of him calling from the doorway, them not getting out of bed, and him leaving would repeat itself until they were good and ready to get up.
Minho knew he did too much for them, and he’d often tell them so, usually in the mornings, which was when things were most difficult and he was more likely to complain. The usual response was a wave and a nod from Jonghyun, a exasperated sigh from Kibum, and a sleepy-eyed empty gaze from Jinki.
But he would complain anyways.
And they would listen.
And later, he’d guilt Jonghyun and Jinki into playing Winning Eleven with him, and they‘d play until he beat the two of them back to back by at least ten goals. He figured his hyungs owed him at least that much.