(Final day of the O Henry series.)
Day Ten: Home free
He stretched his arms to the ceiling as he yawned while walking out of the men’s bathroom. He began walking back towards the others when he saw they were all gone save one. He paused a moment, just watching him.
Dressed in sweats and a simple t-shirt, the maknae sat in the middle of a row of seats, surrounded by an assortment of suitcases and duffle bags while only one small luggage belonged to him. He had his earphones in, his face tilted towards the large windows that faced the runway. In his lap was a simple, black baseball cap and the leader of SJ-M had to smile.
Just an hour ago, Henry’s parents had bid them all farewell and safe travels before the seven men went through security and on towards their gate in the airport. The members had politely averted their attention as Henry said goodbye to his parents, but Hankyung had overheard a part of their conversation.
“We’re so very proud of you, Henry.”
His father had said, clapping a hand on the young man’s shoulder. From the corner of his eye, Hankyung had seen Henry suddenly leap towards his father, enclosing him in a bear hug. Silently, his father returned the embrace. When Henry turned towards his mother, she began listing off ways to take care of himself while he was gone.
“And Henry, I lo-… we lo-…”
Hankyung saw she simply raised a hand to his cheek, pressed an affectionate kiss to the other cheek and then run her hand to his cap, gently taking it off his head,
“You know better than to wear your hat inside.”
Taking his hat from her, Henry had leaned his forehead on his mother’s shoulder as she wrapped slender arms around him. When they headed off towards security, Henry had put his hat back on, tugging the bill low to shade his eyes from the other members. Seeing that the maknae had now removed his hat while the others were gone, had made Hankyung miss his own family.
Slowly, the leader made his way over and sat in one of the empty seats beside the maknae. Henry looked over at him and smiled,
“Where are the others?” Hankyung asked,
“Souvenir shopping. Although, I’m pretty sure Shiwon’s looking for a Tim Hortons and a place to buy maple syrup,” Henry said, shaking his head slightly as he smiled.
“We learned a lot about Canada from you, Henry,” Hankyung said, “Had we all believed everything we read on the internet… or, you know, everything Kyuhyun said… we would’ve been so misinformed about Canada.”
Henry nodded as his smile broke into a grin, “Yeah well, Canada can’t be that bad, right? I am Canadian, and I am pretty awesome.”
Hankyung laughed as he reached over and gently ruffled Henry’s hair, “Yeah, you are. Did you enjoy the vacation though? I know with all the misconceptions and Kyuhyun’s mischievousness it was trying on you.”
“It was frustrating at times,” Henry admitted but added immediately, “but it was fun. And really, what can I expect from Kyuhyun-hyung besides his little tricks?” Henry sighed heavily, his grin retreating into a small, almost bittersweet smile, “It felt good to be back here. I didn’t get to see a lot of my old friends, but I talked to some of them… Seeing Mom and Dad – and even my sister – was… well, it was…” He looked down into his lap, toying with the black hat before finishing in a subdued, “…good.”
“I’m glad we did this, then,” Hankyung smiled at him.
“Yeah… thanks, ge,” Henry looked up at him, “You’re pretty awesome, too.”
Hankyung dramatically threw back his head, running a hand through his thick hair, “I know,” he said before looking back at Henry and laughing heartily.
Suddenly, Kyuhyun came running back towards them, managing to jump over the seats and crouch behind them as Zhou Mi slowly followed, a bag of souvenirs in one hand, arms crossed and shaking his head.
“What happened?” Hankyung asked suddenly, turning narrowed eyes to the hiding member,
“Zhou Mi wanted to know where the police guards’ horses were, and when he was asking them, they probably thought he was calling them horses and started chasing him,” Kyuhyun explained as Zhou Mi finally reached them, standing just beyond the barrier of suitcases and duffle bags, his permanent smile somehow missing.
Ryeowook came back, one hand holding Shiwon’s arm, the other holding bags of what were presumably souvenirs and Donghae hanging off of Shiwon’s shoulders. The leader raised his eyebrows in a silent question.
“Shiwon put too much maple syrup in his coffee,” Ryeowook explained as they reached them, releasing Shiwon’s arm and hopping over the various pieces of luggage to sit beside Henry.
“This was the only way we could stop him,” Donghae exclaimed, still hanging on Shiwon who was now crossing his arms over his chest, “He was getting a sugar-high and we were sure he was going to tax himself through gestures – THROUGH HAND GESTURES!”
“Exaggerating,” Shiwon rolled his eyes,
Donghae shook his head in a negative reply, “He’s crossing his arms to further stop himself from gesturing.”
Henry looked at Hankyung, who had begun to pinch the bridge of his nose in an exasperated manner, “It’s back to reality, ge.”
Hankyung sighed as he lowered his hand from his nose and looked at the bickering parties of SJ-M, “Yeah… but it’s…”
“Good?” Henry offered with a grin.
Hankyung smiled at him, picking up Henry’s hat, he slid down enough so he could lean his head against the back of the seat and covered his face with the hat, “It’s still vacation until we board our plane.”
Henry chuckled, “Oh, ge.”
Hankyung tipped the hat off his face enough to look at Henry, “I believe, Henry, that it’s ‘O Canada’.”
Henry’s jaw dropped in silent amusement. Hankyung flashed a grin at him as he pulled out a new stick of Henry’s raspberry-flavoured lip balm and handed it over to the maknae.
“Besides, China has Super Junior – M. So, I win.”