The banging at the door caused Hankyung to sit up suddenly in his chair. He glanced to his office door. He always kept open in case someone needed him all they need to do was yell. Standing in the doorway was Kibum and Henry, the busy kitchen beyond them,
“I told you it doesn’t take much to wake him,” Kibum said bitterly,
“I insisted he didn’t have to wake you,” Henry said immediately, seeing the head chef narrow his eyes, “We all know how unwell you are-”
“And THAT’S why he should’ve stayed home!” Kibum exclaimed, crossing his arms, “I told him I’ve handled the kitchen on my own before and he keeps himself in his office anyway -”
“And I refuse to stay at home,” Hankyung interjected, his voice nasally. Kibum scoffed then turned on his heel and returned to the kitchen.
“Why are you here if you’re sick?” Henry asked,
Hankyung glanced at the open door, “Three years ago, today was when Kibum first kissed me,” He grinned,
Henry rolled his eyes, taking out his lip chap and applying a thin layer of the raspberry before pocketing it again, “This is definitely love.”
“So what’s up?” Hankyung asked, slipping back into Korean,
“Have you ever hurt Kibum’s feelings?” Henry asked, prompting the need to keep their conversation private.
Hankyung raised his eyebrows in curiosity before answering, “Honestly? Yes.”
“I don’t know how much you‘ve heard, but I hurt Ryeowook before I left. Now that I’ve returned…” Henry shrugged helplessly,
“You wanted him only when you left?” Hankyung replied seriously, crossing his arms over his chest,
“Because I’m stupid. Because I thought I no longer loved him,” Henry answered. An anger, a darkness laced his words- not because of what was happening nor at how things had become, but because of himself and how he had LET things become as they were.
“Now? Do you still love him?” The elder of them prompted, watching him carefully,
“When I lost him … in France … I knew when I got there that I love him,” Henry blinked back tears that threatened to fall; “I love him! But I don‘t know what to do!”
“Talk to him,” Hankyung said simply, calmly.
“I’ve tried!” Henry exclaimed, suddenly covered his mouth; not because he remembered the door was open behind him, but to also stop himself from crying aloud.
“Keep talking to him. There’s nothing else,” Hankyung told him, making to stand up.
Henry waved him off, silently telling him to stay sitting. He did so because Hankyung was sick and didn’t want to tax him. Also, he did so because if Hankyung did anything to comfort him, he wouldn’t be able to stay strong.
Hankyung stood up anyway, putting on a face mask over his nose and mouth. He walked past Henry and patted his shoulder comfortingly, “Talk to him,” He reiterated, his voice muffled by the mask. He took one stop out of the office before Henry heard Kibum yelling at him,
“Either go home or get back in there!”
Hankyung took off his mask as he sat back down at his desk. He smiled at Henry’s startled look; “That’s his way of saying ‘I love you’.”