(Day 7 of the Fanfiction series.)
All they knew was that it did not happen suddenly.
The first week of the challenge was ending and all of the members present in Korea had all noticed it over the previous days. First it began slowly, but then, as the days progressed, it occurred more and more until one day, Shindong woke up to find Kibum sitting at the dining table, eating a bowl of cereal.
He froze, blinked, rubbed his eyes and blinked some more. “Kibum?”
Kibum looked up and smiled his signature smile, “Morning hyung!”
Again, Shindong repeated his ministrations before asking, “Why are you here?”
“Well, I got a text in the night from Heechul-hyung and he seems a bit upset, so I decided to come over to cheer him up,” Kibum explained before spooning more cereal into his mouth.
Shindong looked at the wall clock and then back at him, “It’s seven in the morning.”
“Nothing wrong with getting an early start in the day!” Kibum said brightly,
“Heechul doesn’t have a schedule today. He won’t get up until noon,” Shindong warned,
“That’s fine! I can hang around the dorm until then,” Kibum replied as he grabbed his glass (Shindong did not notice that glass before) and sipped his orange juice (and Shindong was pretty sure they didn’t have orange juice).
To ensure his sanity and memory were intact, Shindong went to the kitchen and found orange halves that had been squeezed completely. He looked back at Kibum who held up his glass and stated,
“Nothing like a glass of freshly squeezed juice!”
“What time did you get here?” Shindong asked,
“Oh, just an hour or so ago,” Kibum replied flippantly,
“Okay… let me rephrase that… why the hell are you here this early?” Shindong questioned,
Kibum’s expression dropped immediately, “You mean I can’t just come over whenever I want?”
Shindong felt a twist of his heart as he stared at the younger man. After a minute, Kibum’s eyes filled with tears and Shindong narrowed his own eyes, “Don’t pull your tricks on me Kim Kibum!”
“I know, tricks are only for kids,” Kibum sighed, wiping away his tears,
Shindong blinked, “Eh?” But Kibum shook his head, so he continued, “Why are you really here?”
“I’m a man of my word!” Kibum stated, as he stood up and turned to the backpack he had hanging off the back of his chair. He pulled it onto the seat and began unzipping it, “I am! If I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it! Heck, I’ll even throw myself completely into the project if I believe it worthwhile.”
Shindong watched in silence as Kibum pulled out stacks and stacks of paper. He noticed that some were loose while others were stapled together. He then noted that some had pink sticky notes on them while others had blue ones, but not all of them had these colourful decorations. Kibum placed his hand over the stack,
“These are all of the stories I’ve read since Heechul started that damn challenge of his.”
Shindong blinked, “Oh?”
“Pink notes mean I was mentioned at least three times. Blue means I’m actually in the story for a good chunk… DO YOU SEE HOW MUCH WHITE PAPER THERE IS?” Kibum demanded,
“A lot of trees died for you to make your statement,” Shindong stated solemnly,
“And do you know what a majority of these stories say about me? That I’m never around!” Kibum exclaimed, “But I’m always around, I’m always with you guys here at the dorms!”
“Especially as of late,” Shindong muttered before asking loudly, “Is that why you’ve been around a lot lately? Like… everywhere? The dorms? The radio stations?… In the vans’ trunks?” Kibum nodded to each location, “Kibum… we know you’re always with us. It’s the fans who don’t know. So, popping up in every crevice of our lives won’t show them that.”
“Damn it, you’re right,” Kibum knocked the empty bag to the ground and plopped down onto the chair, arms crossed about his torso, “But I can’t appear all that much with you guys in public, I have so much filming to do when there are performances and appearances.” He raised one hand, chewing on the end of his thumb, “It’s so fortunate Heechul made this challenge, I wouldn’t have known the fans’ opinions otherwise.”
“You’re the first to be thankful to Heechul because of the challenge,” Shindong noted, “But if you think about it, whenever you do appear it’s like a great surprise to the fans.”
“Don’t patronize me,” Kibum said dryly,
“I’m not!” Shindong insisted as he walked over, “Can you imagine? They’ll never know when you’ll appear! So, they anticipate every Super Junior event in the hopes that maybe – just maybe – you’ll pop into the picture!”
“Oh great, I’m that dork in the red and yellow striped shirt with glasses that hides everywhere,” Kibum groaned,
“I’m that damn clown on a spring that hides in that cranked-up box,” Kibum attempted,
“I’m… I’m… like one of Heechul’s compliments?” Kibum tried,
“Oh! Rare!” Shindong waved the comment away, “Just think of it this way, you’re like a ninja! You can appear or disappear at any time!”
“A ninja? Right…” Kibum drawled,
“No, no, you are!” Shindong insisted with a grin before adding seriously, “You – Kim Kibum – are the ninja of Super Junior. You like being a ninja, right? I remember Donghae telling me about how in the past you used to pretend you were a ninja on secret missions.”
“What Donghae probably meant was how I like ropes and S and M and….”
Shindong blinked, “You like what?”
“O-O-Our company… S.M.” Kibum stammered, “And y-y-yeah, I like ninjas.”
“So you’ll stop this nonsense?” Shindong inquired, glancing at the ridiculous stack of paper, “Stop killing trees to further your aims?” Kibum nodded, “Good, now go home. Come back at a reasonable hour.”
“Ah, I might as well see what Heechul was so upset about,” Kibum said as he stood, following Shindong down the hall to the bedrooms,
“Can’t it wait until at least nine-ish? He’ll be pure hell this early,” Shindong sighed as Kibum reached for the doorknob,
Kibum shook his head resolutely, “No, he messaged me that he was contemplating of throwing away all of his hair brushes.”
Shindong gaped, “NO! Next thing you know, he’ll start being nice!”
Kibum opened the bedroom door and Shindong looked over his shoulder into the room. Both were speechless to find Heechul’s room empty. They were startled to find a note:
“When has he ever called us ‘dear’?” Shindong muttered,
Fanfiction is evil!
“It took him this long to realize this?” Kibum snorted,
I’ve gone off to right some wrongs!
“Does he think he’s some kind of Korean Robin Hood?” Kibum questioned,
“A who-what-now?” Shindong asked,
“Never mind,” Kibum sighed,
Later, losers! You know you miss me.
They stared at the note, then at each other. Finally, the both stated, “That last line was pure Heechul.”
(Day 8: Shiwon is God's homeboy)