They are all having fun watching Very Big Star and talking about the embarrassing situations that Super Junior M undergoes in China.
“The dance is the best part,” Siwon says, referring to when they imitated each other’s steps and completely failed at it. He laughs with Donghae, who’s sitting between him and Henry. Ryeowook is beside Henry, and the three remaining members are sitting on the floor. Hankyung is at Siwon’s feet, with Zhou Mi between him and Kyuhyun.
“You keep saying that because you managed to escape the worst,” Kyuhyun says dryly, though there’s a small smile of amusement on his face.
“Henry was so cute saying ‘wo ai ni’,” Hankyung teases, and the younger one looks sheepish as Donghae and Ryeowook hug him through chuckles and add up to their leader’s comment.
“Oh, here comes an interesting scene,” Zhou Mi says in Chinese when he looks at Hankyung, who gazes back as if he didn’t understand what was meant by that.
“What did you say?” Donghae asks curiously, but he’s suddenly stiff as he focuses on the screen again. It’s showing Hankyung and Siwon acting together each time Henry says ‘wo ai ni’ in a different language. “From this angle, it really looks like you two were going to kiss.” His mouth remains slightly open as he stares at Siwon.
“Well, you all know we didn’t, and Siwon was just being playful,” Hankyung says, looking at Donghae, but the latter doesn’t seem to have listened.
“What?” Siwon asks, uneasy under Donghae’s scrutiny.
“Nothing.” But his tone hints that the conversation might not have ended there.
Kyuhyun frowns at them, not expecting the sudden tension, while Ryeowook watches the other two with some concern. During the remaining of the program, Donghae keeps looking at Siwon every now and then, sometimes directing his gaze at Hankyung, until the TV show ends and he excuses himself, saying something about calling Kibum to ask if he watched the show.
It’s already four in the morning when the phone rings, and Heechul doesn’t answer it. He’s awake, doing nothing besides staring at the ceiling. Despite the warm spring weather, he has the covers all around himself, and he doesn’t want to get rid of them. At the moment, he’s like a crab in its shell, so he doesn’t want to do anything.
There’s a loud knock at the door, and then he hears Kangin’s sleepy voice in the corridor. “Either answer that or turn your cell phone off. It’s the third time tonight, and some of us are actually trying to sleep.”
Heechul doesn’t even bother telling him to fuck off; he just raises his middle finger at the closed door, even though it’s clear that Kangin can’t see that.
“Heechul hyung? Are you okay?” It’s Sungmin’s voice, and Heechul snorts in answer, because he’s obviously not okay. The phone rings again and he feels like laughing, but the sound dies in his throat and almost chokes him while his eyes burn from some pain that is not physical, so much so that he wants to rip the orbits off.
“Just leave him alone, Sungmin. You know he’ll eventually come around by himself.”
Heechul agrees silently with Yesung, who says something about the three of them grabbing some food since they are all up anyway. He can still hear them as they walk to the kitchen, though.
“It’s because of Hankyung, isn’t it? I saw the video too, and—”
“Nah, he’s been in China for a few days only, and this is not the first time he went there. Heechul is just living up to his Drama Queen title.”
“Tsk, Kangin, I bet if it were Leeteuk you would get much worse.”
“What does that—”
The phone rings again. Heechul knows he really should turn it off—no way he’s going to answer the call—but he prefers to torment himself a bit more, and thus lets the ring tone keep him and the other members awake.
Hankyung is not the most organized person in the world, but he likes to be able to find his stuff when he’s looking for something in his bedroom. So one day, when he enters it to see a disheveled, mad looking Heechul throwing things all around, he’s so shocked that he stops at the door, still holding the handle with his left hand. There are clothes on the floor, hanging from the wardrobe’s doors, a messy pile of shoes on one corner and many different things spread on the bed and on every missing space of the room.
“What. The. Hell.” He states, eloquence temporarily lost, and Heechul swirls around with a half frightened, half guilty look on his beautiful face.
“Erm. Ahn. I thought you were out with Shindong and Sungmin?” Heechul seems to realize that his statement puts him in a bad situation, so he is quick to change into an innocent expression, although Hankyung doesn’t miss the motion of his left arm—Heechul has hidden something behind him, and if he took it from Hankyung’s stuff, he has the right to know what it is.
“What exactly were you doing, Heenim?” he asks, stepping into the bedroom and noticing how Heechul takes a step backwards when he approaches. He raises an eyebrow at him, but Heechul is all innocent smiles and deceiving eyes. The Chinese decides to close the door, then, relying on the chance that being alone might make Heechul confess whatever mischief he’s done.
“I—couldn’t find a sketch I made some weeks ago, and I remember being here the day I drew it.” He shows his right hand, which really holds a piece of crumpled paper, and Hankyung almost believes him—almost, because if it were an ordinary drawing, Heechul wouldn’t be so desperate to retrieve it.
“And you had to look for it like a hurricane…” he says, sarcasm pouring into his words, and Heechul’s lips form a thin line that gives too much away.
“Well, at least I found it, so…” and he moves to leave, but Hankyung blocks his way with a reproachful look.
“First you’re going to clean this mess,” he says, and it’s only fair that Heechul does that, after all. “And show me that drawing.”
“Nah, it’s really nothing—” Heechul interrupts himself, since it’s obvious that it’s something important. “It’s a surprise, okay? I’ll let you see it when it’s ready.”
Hankyung still doesn’t believe him. “You’re just going to make another drawing to replace this one.”
Heechul lets out an offended sigh that doesn’t really work on Hankyung, and then he looks angry, which has an even lesser effect. “Fine.” He hands him the paper, and tries to get out again, but Hankyung holds his arm when Heechul is almost behind him, ignoring the Korean’s protests as he looks at the sketch.
There’s a bed and what seems to be two people sleeping, but what calls Hankyung’s attention is their faces, which look familiar and are close to each other, and their hands, barely touching. The scene—it rings a bell. Too many bells, actually. He recognizes it from cold nights—and not so cold ones—when Heechul would climb into his bed at a late hour, mumbling incoherent words about too many people and not enough covers, or simply lying down next to him, fitting so perfectly that Hankyung would stay awake and regret that they couldn’t—or didn’t dare—do that more often. On the right corner of the drawing, crossed out—Hankyung has to squint his eyes and bring the paper closer to his face in order to decipher the Korean ideograms—it’s written something like ‘Why don’t you know?’
Hankyung’s hold on Heechul’s arm strengthens, and Heechul complains about getting a bruise and how rude Hankyung is, but the Chinese doesn’t really listen to it at the moment.
“This is you and me,” he says, with a certainty that increases every millisecond he keeps staring at the sketch. Then he looks at Heechul, who’s facing the door stubbornly, not hiding his displeasure at being trapped.
“Can you let me go, now? My arm is beginning to hurt, and you’re going to pay for it if I—”
“Stop.” Hankyung interrupts him unrepentantly, and he pulls Heechul so they’re face to face, though the fact that his right hand is still holding Heechul’s right arm keeps them from being really in front of each other. However, they’re still close, and Hankyung feels the air between them twisting and turning, from tense to hauling, from uneasy to warm, from distant to intimate.
“Do something,” Heechul utters eventually, looking at him with curious, remarkably vulnerable eyes, and Hankyung remembers a time when Heechul kept staring at him with those huge orbs and Hankyung told him he looked scary like that. Right now, though, it’s quite instigating, as if Heechul was challenging and at the same time welcoming him. Hankyung understands that Heechul’s words are an invitation to advance as much as a plea to let him go.
He doesn’t think before advancing, and Heechul looks anything but surprised when they are kissing—maybe surprised at Hankyung finally doing it, but not at it happening. It’s awkward and soft and tentative, their eyes are not fully closed, and Heechul pulls back.
“Tell me you can do better than that,” he demands, teasing yet serious, and Hankyung lets go of his arm in order to circle his waist and hold his pulse without putting much pressure to it. He’s somewhat apprehensive that Heechul might change his mind and try to get away, although it doesn’t seem likely by the way he holds onto Hankyung’s shoulders and presses their bodies closer together. The sudden friction makes his blood boil and he kisses him again, at last parting the full lips with his tongue and moving to render Heechul as breathless as he feels himself. Heechul gives as good as he gets, raking sharp nails against Hankyung’s neck and unhesitant when pushing him against the door so that their exploration will become more intense. There’s a loud bang as Hankyung’s back hits the wooden surface, but neither of them pays mind to it, what with Heechul biting the corner of Hankyung’s mouth while Hankyung caresses the small of his back and traces up his spine.
“Oy, you two are not fighting again, are you?” comes Donghae’s startled voice from the hallway, and Siwon or Kangin or both tease him for sounding so informal or for being innocent—Hankyung doesn’t make such an effort to hear them, for what’s happening inside the bedroom is much more worth his attention.
Heechul is not surprised when, a few days later, Leeteuk approaches him while he’s having breakfast. Some members have already gone out to work their schedule, while others are still sleeping. For now, it’s just the two of them in the kitchen, and Heechul considers if he can get through the next hours without eating anymore.
“Good morning,” Leeteuk tries to sound casual and fails miserably. When Heechul just nods, though, the leader doesn’t retreat—he takes a seat in front of Heechul and smiles a little. “Are you leaving soon?”
Heechul sighs. “If you want to have one of those heart-to-heart conversations, yes, I’m leaving.”
Leeteuk shakes his head. “We’re worried about you, Heenim.”
Heechul shrugs and stands up, suddenly not hungry at all. “Can’t help it.” The truth is that he doesn’t want to lay his burden on the other members, but it’s also none of their business, so they might as well just let him be.
“You shouldn’t keep it all to yourself,” Leeteuk says, though his voice sounds defeated.
“Why don’t you ask Siwon?” he blurts out before he can control himself, but the bitter taste in his mouth makes him want to spit it all out. “I’m sure he can tell you everything you need to hear, hyung.”
Heechul almost regrets telling him that, but he doesn’t take it back. He even feels slightly better, although he knows it’s not Siwon’s fault—not just his, at least. Nonetheless, he welcomes the feeling of revenge, since as long as he has that, he doesn’t have to feel anything else.
Hankyung doesn’t answer. He’s holding the cell phone and staring at his hand with a look of complete loss. The Chinese is not good at hiding his emotions, and Siwon doesn’t know how long he’ll be able to take it anymore.
“Why don’t you call the others and ask to talk to Heechul?” Donghae suggests, and Siwon agrees, but Kyuhyun shakes his head as if saying that that’s not going to work.
“He doesn’t want to talk to me,” Hankyung says matter-of-factly, not looking at either of them. The silence that follows is tense, but Donghae doesn’t seem to care.
“You can’t know that,” he says, but Siwon gestures for him to stop, which leaves Donghae gaping at him for a moment.
“I think we should all get back to our rooms,” Zhou Mi suggests, and Siwon nods reluctantly as he watches him go with Kyuhyun to the room they share with Ryeowook. Siwon feels Donghae staring at him intently before dropping out, too. Now it’s just him and Hankyung at the bar of the hotel, and Siwon doesn’t think it’s a good idea to leave the other there alone. After another useless try, the Chinese puts the cell phone back in his pocket and stares hopelessly at his surroundings, not looking at Siwon when he speaks.
“I shouldn’t have left him like that,” he mutters, and Siwon just nods, because he doesn’t really know what Hankyung is talking about, but at the same time, he does. Every one in the band—original and new members—has their own guesses about the relationship between Hankyung and Heechul, but at the moment what Siwon sees is an anguished friend of his being ignored—and consequentially hurt—by another one.
Siwon hugs him, and although Hankyung doesn’t really return the embrace, at least he doesn’t stiffen nor tries to get away. Siwon circles his waist from behind and moves his head next to Hankyung’s—something they’ve done in public already, either the same or something similar, so it should feel natural for him to do that. Maybe it’s because they’re in private, maybe it’s the fact that many seconds go by without either of them moving, or it’s just that Hankyung leans back against him with his eyes closed, but Siwon feels that it’s wrong, that he shouldn’t be holding Hankyung like this, and he remembers Donghae looking at him with a strange gaze that he knows it’s related to this.
“I’ll try calling the others tomorrow,” Siwon says, as Hankyung escapes their embrace and nods, turning to look at him. There’s a small smile of thankfulness on his face, the same emotion that’s reflected in his eyes.
“Thank you,” he says in Chinese, and Siwon smiles softly back. “I know it’s late and you’re tired, so I really appreciate you staying with me.”
“You should rest too, landlord,” he bows, and it feels good when Hankyung grins at his words and gestures. As long as he doesn’t think about Heechul for some time.
Heechul stopped counting Hankyung’s calls when they reached twenty, but he guesses it’s something around thirty now. The sun burns his skin while he walks back home. A black hat and a pair of stylish sunglasses protect his face from the rays of sunlight but not from some curious stares here and there, and someone is phoning him once more. This time, though, the ringtone is different, so he takes it from his bag without checking the screen to see who it is.
“Hello,” he says as he enters the building, absentmindedly getting into the lift and going up to his dormitory.
“So you’re really avoiding me.”
Heechul freezes upon hearing Hankyung’s voice—his slightly sad, almost broken voice—and takes a look at the screen, which says the phone number is Zhou Mi’s. No wonder he didn’t expect this, and he hates being unprepared.
“Eh? Avoiding you? No such thing,” the bluff coming out so easily that he doesn’t even think about it. “My cell phone must have something against you being in China, that’s all.”
Silence. Heechul imagines Hankyung holding back a sigh, or biting his lower lip, or staring at the ceiling and asking for God to help him—there’s a chance he might have picked Siwon’s habits enough to do the latter.
“Heechul,” Hankyung’s tone is serious and he knows immediately that the Chinese is not falling for any of his lame excuses. “We’ve never had problems calling each other before, and I’m sure—or I was—that you’d have taken care of it if there was any problem with your mobile.”
Heechul curses himself silently and damns the Chinese’s perception of him. Hankyung is one of the few people in the world that Heechul has a hard time trying to fool—when it comes to his personality and behavior—, even though he’s actually doing this for good. He’s just not sure whose good it is.
“Look, I have a radio program to prepare for now, so you’d better stop spending Zhou Mi’s money and, I don’t know, maybe I’ll call you later.”
Hankyung’s exhaling breath is weary, with a hint of exasperation to it. “Please, Hee. There are some things we really need to talk about, and—”
“Don’t worry about it, you moron. Focus on the work you and the others have to do,” and Heechul feels proud of how genuine he sounds, at the same time as he wants to bang his head against the wall repeatedly.
Hankyung sighs again. Heechul can picture his somewhat disgruntled expression perfectly. He wishes for Hankyung to call him ‘Hee’ again, because he damn well misses it, but he also doesn’t feel like calling Hankyung by any tender nicknames right now. Therefore, Heechul holds everything back and puts on a neutral mask to enter the dormitory. He goes straight to his bedroom and closes the door.
“Do you miss me at all, Heechul?” Hankyung’s asking softly, and Heechul wants to tease him for it, but the problem is that he knows it must take a lot of courage for the Chinese to ask that. It triggers his memory and he thinks about the time when Hankyung went to China for ten days. Just ten days. How’s he supposed to handle so many months away from Hankyung? How?
He leans against the wall and swallows with some difficulty. “Well, I don’t sound like I’m dying, right?” he answers, and thankfully hears Hankyung chuckle, though it’s much shorter and lower than usual.
“I knew I shouldn’t have asked that.” He seems thoughtful and Heechul is puzzled by it. “Are you really okay? I talked to Hyuk and he said you haven’t shaved in days. Is it true?”
Damn. Fuck you and your big mouth, stupid monkey. “I’m fine. And—I’m just trying a new look. Seriously, as if our dongsaengs don’t have anything better to do. You have enough to worry about—and you worry too much about everything.”
“But it’s you, Hee.” Heechul enjoys the way Hankyung says that, specially the stress on you. He recalls the moments when Hankyung would tell him that he’s the first man he kissed, that he’s the one he wants to continue doing that, and that Heechul should stop kissing or trying to kiss every one else because sharing lips is different from sharing arms and there’s a point when being nice becomes being stupid, and Hankyung is not stupid. Heechul remembers telling him that he shouldn’t be jealous, while silently celebrating the fact that Hankyung cared enough to say those things. But Heechul has to stop going back and concentrate on Hankyung’s voice in the present, which is hard and unfair and lacks of stolen kisses and new beginnings. “I know you wouldn’t say anything even if your life depended on it.”
Heechul shakes his head, a smile making its way on his face before he can prevent it. “And Kangin says I’m the queen of drama. Anyway, Hannie, I really need to hang up now, okay?”
He hopes Hankyung is smiling, because Heechul didn’t intend to call him that. “Only if you promise to call me later,” and Hankyung is not whining or begging, he’s demanding it. “I’m not kidding, Hee,” he adds, though it’s really not necessary.
Heechul looks at the wall straight ahead, then looks around the room, and ends up sitting on the bed, a hand on his face, completely lost. He’s trying to act as his usual self, he’s trying to forget the videos he sees with Super Junior M, their strong bond and the countless moments involving Hankyung and Siwon, but he doesn’t know how long he can keep that up. Maybe it’s hypocritical of him to feel so angry and hurt when seeing them together, considering he’s done much more than just hugging, touching, teasing and sharing suspicious looks with some of his band mates, but Heechul can’t help the way he feels. It takes him too long to answer, and he can almost see Hankyung’s expectant, hopeful eyes on him. “Okay, okay, damn you, Geng. Now go find yourself someone else to bother, hmmm?”
Hankyung chuckles again, relief slipping into the sound. It makes Heechul content, no matter if it’s just for a little while. He reckons it’s going to be that way from now on.
“I thought we had something.”
Heechul rolls his eyes at Hankyung, and the mocking way he does it hurts. “We made out a few times. That’s all.”
Hankyung glares disbelievingly at him, rendered speechless for some time. “You don’t mean that,” but his voice is doubtful. Although he knows Heechul disguises what he really feels by either being angry or jesting, Hankyung doesn’t understand why he’s doing it now. This is too important for Heechul to conceal what he really feels, what his real thoughts are.
“Well, it’s the truth.” Heechul states coldly, staring at his nails as he sits down on the bed. “What did you expect, Geng? A declaration of undying love, a farewell fuck? From me?” He snorts. “Please. You should have known better.”
Hankyung has to suppress his raged indignation, because he doesn’t want to fight with Heechul. This is not the way he planned to part with him before going to China for the next four, five months—who knows how long he’ll stay there?
He sits next to Heechul and touches his pulse, almost holding it but not really making any pressure. He feels the Korean’s eyes on their arms, staring at the all-too-familiar scene. Hankyung has done that many times before, when they were in the middle of an argument and he wanted Heechul to listen to him—really listen to him—and he hopes it will work this time, too.
“Are you afraid that I won’t come back, Hee? Is that why you’re saying such stupid things? It’s because you’re gonna miss me, isn’t it?”
Heechul jerks his arm away as if burned. Hankyung is certain that he guessed it right, then, and tries to touch him again, but Heechul stands up and gets out of reach.
“Just go, Geng.”
“What? Heechul, you can’t be serious—we need to talk about this—”
“I don’t wanna talk about it!” Heechul turns around to face him again, and Hankyung notices the red tinge in his eyes and how his crossed arms look like a protective embrace. He wants to comfort and reassure his Heenim, but what he hears next sends a stab to his heart. “Just go back to your fucking country, go back home and leave me alone, okay!”
And Hankyung leaves. He leaves Heechul’s bedroom, he leaves the place that feels like home now, and he leaves his heart behind him.
“Donghae?” Siwon calls as he enters the room, closing the door behind him. Henry is practicing with Kyuhyun and Ryeowook, whereas Zhou Mi and Hankyung are out buying food for the seven of them. However, Siwon suspects that Hankyung took the other Chinese with him so that they could talk about something—he noticed how the duo has gotten closer to each other since the beginning of the year, which is quite understandable considering they speak the same language.
“I’m here,” Donghae answers from the couch, and Siwon goes over to him and sits by his side. More often than not, they would share a brief kiss in greeting, but Siwon decided to be cautious due to Donghae’s distant behavior in the past few days.
“Henry told me you’re unusually quiet and that all his attempts at making you open up failed.” Siwon searches his eyes and holds them in a questioning gaze, until Donghae nods, face blank.
“He’s nice and sweet,” Donghae says conversationally, looking at his hands. “But I don’t really feel like talking about it with him.”
“How about me?” Siwon touches his cheek, and Donghae bites his lower lip, a habit of his that might be out of anxiety. Siwon lets his fingers travel down Donghae’s face to his neck, and the younger one shivers a little, despite trying to refrain it.
“Siwon,” he starts, either to warn him off or just to answer his question, but Siwon presses their lips together while caressing the back of his neck with one hand and his face with the other, which causes Donghae’s resolutions to crumble little by little, until he’s kissing back, the passion between them building up slowly.
“…I missed you,” Siwon whispers against his mouth, because it’s been too long since Donghae was in his arms like this. He revels in the way Donghae’s hands explore his chest as he smiles up at him, and there’s nothing else for Siwon to do but keep pulling him against his body, to the point where Donghae has to sit on his lap—they’d have to stand in an uncomfortable position or not be close enough otherwise, and Siwon wouldn’t have that now.
“Siwon-shi,” Donghae starts once more, but this time, he uses his hands to keep Siwon from pulling him closer again, and Siwon is forced to listen. “Has Hankyung talked to Heechul since the show was aired?”
Siwon knows which TV show he’s talking about, and just shakes his head. He wants to ask if they really need to talk about this now, but since Donghae decided to approach the subject, he might as well oblige to it. Anything’s better than Donghae having the wrong idea about the whole situation and not telling Siwon he feels that way. “I don’t know what happened, but Heechul doesn’t answer him.”
Donghae looks a little skeptical, and his lips are slightly parted as he stares at Siwon. “You really have no idea? Or you’re just pretending?”
“You think I’m lying?”
“Not really,” he says, looking down for a moment. Then he returns his gaze to Siwon, who’s curious to know what has been plaguing him. “It’s just that…sometimes I think you don’t realize it yourself, but…” he exhales deeply and curves his lips in a tight smile when Siwon takes his hands and hold them to keep him still, because Donghae was already getting restless. “It seems that there’s something going on between you and Hankyung.”
Siwon is silent for a second, because he doesn’t know what to think, much less what to say. “What do you mean by that?” he asks, although he kind of knows the answer. He just needs some time to digest it and form his own view on things. Right now, the only thing he knows is that something fell into place, while others might have lost their foundation.
“I know we’re used to fooling around, hugging and teasing everybody in the band…I mean, we all love each other, but…this is different. You and him.” Donghae looks at him expectantly, waiting for him to say something that will either confirm or deny that.
“Hankyung is like a brother to me,” Siwon tries to explain, but he doesn’t know how to put it into words. Plus, he’s having some doubts as well, but maybe that’s just his mind being influenced by Donghae questioning him.
“The chemistry between you two is not so fraternal,” Donghae persists, and Siwon comprehends that it’s no use arguing with him right now. Donghae has a different take on things, and he doesn’t seem willing to believe otherwise.
Then a new thought comes to him. “Did you talk to Heechul about this?” Because Heechul is possessive and jealous, and maybe he gave Donghae too much to think about.
“No. But his actions say it all. Kibum told me he’s been strange, a bit off for the past few days. Have you talked to Hankyung about him?”
Siwon creases his eyebrows, confused. “What can I say about Heechul?”
“That he’s been a mess since we came to China and that he’s been avoiding us because he actually misses Hankyung?”
His frown deepens and he lets go of Donghae’s hands—he’s been caressing them for a while now. “It’s not my place to tell him that. And I don’t want to make Hankyung feel bad for being here.”
Donghae looks at him as if to say that that is what he’s talking about. But then Donghae shakes his head and leans forward, resting his temple on Siwon’s shoulder. “I don’t want to make him feel bad either. Much less you. It’s just…” Siwon circles his waist and Donghae yields to the pull, taking a deep, slow breath that is likely to release the strain in his body. “You’ll tell me if something changes, right? If you feel different…”
Siwon holds him tighter and moves his head to rest against Donghae’s, breathing the air that’s now mixed with his scent. “I will.” Not feel different, he completes in his mind, because he loves Donghae, and he doesn’t want it to change.
Wang Lee Hom’s voice sounds calming and familiar in his ears, and Hankyung closes his eyes, thinking of Heechul as he listens to one of his favorite singers. It’s ridiculous, the way he’s been feeling and the fact that there doesn’t seem to be an end to this, but right now he doesn’t really care. Their last conversation on the phone was weird, and Hankyung knows, he knows that Heechul is hiding something—everything—and that his worry is not in vain.
He’s been listening to Wang for the past half hour, trying to calm down and get some rest. The first weeks in China have been crazy and busy like hell, but he’s used to it. They are all used to the rush and never-ending list of things to do because that’s how being in Super Junior works, and that’s also why he should be able to sleep, but he just can’t. A look at the clock on the drawer by his bed tells him it’s 11:37 p.m., so it’s not so late, but he’s tired and his mind needs to get rid of Heechul for a while.
He’s not so surprised when someone knocks at the door and calls him from the hallway, but it takes him some time to answer. He doesn’t turn the music off as he walks to the door, and it’s Henry’s smiling face that he meets when opening it.
“Hangeng Ge,” the violinist bows slightly, and then puts his hands in the pockets of his pants, loose and low. “I wanted to thank you for dinner.”
Hankyung smiles despite the way he’s feeling. “You’re welcome. I guess the stain on your shirt shows how much you enjoyed the food, right?”
Henry looks down, but there’s nothing on his clothes, and Hankyung is chuckling. Henry gives him a small, sheepish smile that makes his cheeks look like they are begging to be squeezed. “We’re gonna play some games before going to sleep, so if you want to join us…”
“If you don’t fall asleep just because you’re losing,” Hankyung jokes, because Henry is the one that sleeps the most among them all. The other looks even more sheepish now, but he’s still smiling, and Hankyung feels better just by their little talk. “Thank you, Hen, but I’m not really in the mood for games tonight.”
Henry nods, a mix of much understanding and a little frustration on his young features. “Okay. Just—don’t listen to too many sad songs, Ge…”
Hankyung smiles, though it’s meaningless. “Don’t worry, Henry. I’ll be okay. Have fun with the others, okay? You deserve it.”
The younger one nods again, though a little reluctant. Hankyung watches him leave and closes the door, leaning against it, in time to accompany Wang Lee Hom singing, Oh baby, ‘I love you’ can be so hard to say…especially when it’s meant in this strong way…
Hankyung might not pronounce the words right, but he knows the meaning.
He sighs, shakes his head and turns the music off. He’s felt enough self-pity already.