(Day 20 of the Fanfiction series.)
It had been twenty days since Heechul proposed the fanfiction challenge and still the cursed thing reigned over the boys of Super Junior and Super Junior-M. Each one was determined to prove Heechul wrong, to try and keep their mouths shut. However, each day one of the fifteen would make a complaint, further proving Heechul right. The twentieth day was drawing to a close and the other fourteen members were tensed with bated breaths as they willed the hours to inch faster. The closer it got to midnight, the closer it got to the possibility of the challenge being over with since no one had made a complaint that entire day. If the challenge could be finished that day, then that means ten more days without the challenge and it meant Heechul would be wrong; no one wanted him to be right because that path could only lead to more chaos.
All fifteen members were at dinner that evening, a slight respite from their ever-busy schedules and their monitoring managers (although they all had suspicions the managers were avoiding them due to how that challenge was affecting them all). As the meal wore on, conversations were being held up and down the long table that consisted of smaller tables pushed together to accommodate the over-sized boy band. However, it was words from one person that drew all conversations to a close and brought a new topic to the table. Naturally, that one person had to be Heechul.
“I may lose today,” he admitted nonchalantly as he waved his chopsticks in the air, noodles twirled and knotted about the tips.
Clinks and clatters were heard as dishes and cutleries were dropped at the sudden admission. Suddenly, fourteen pairs of eyes slowly turned to the second-eldest who popped his noodles in his mouth and chewed as if he hadn’t just baited them with gold.
Suddenly, the members began to chat and reminisce about the past complaints against fanfiction, bringing them together against a mutual enemy. It was on the opposite end of the long table that Henry grew silent, situated between Ryeowook and Donghae. Across from him, Kyuhyun looked up from his soup and raised a brow.
Henry, immediately see the silent question, shook his head almost violently as he looked back down at his plate, one hand slowly rising to cover his lips as if holding something in. Seeing the action in his peripherals, Ryeowook disengaged from his conversation with Yesung on his other side, to turn and look at the younger man,
“Henry? Is something wrong?”
Henry shook his head, “No… Yes… but I’ll tell you later.” He raised his other hand to glance at his watch, “In a few hours, actually.”
Ryeowook blinked and then looked at his own watch, “In a few hours… oh!” He lowered his voice considerably until he was sure only Henry could hear him, “Is this about the challenge?” Henry nodded. “You don’t want Heechul to win, right?”
Henry nodded violently, “I’ve been holding it in all day… I can wait a few more hours.”
Kyuhyun, who had been watching the byplay between the two but was too far to hear, watched, trying in vain to read their lips. When he couldn’t make any of the words out, however, he placed his bowl on the table, straightened in his seat and cleared his throat, “Henry. Is something wrong?” When the younger man looked at him with wide, alarmed eyes, Kyuhyun folded his arms over his chest and smirked, “Ah… I see… You have a complaint don’t you?”
Henry opened his mouth to talk when he realized how silent it had gotten around them. Slowly, he looked to his left and right and was horrified to find all the members watching him. He opened and closed his mouth a few times before managing a weak, “No.”
“The challenge demands complete honesty from the members,” Kyuhyun reminded solemnly, a slight taunt in his tone.
Henry swung his gaze to Eeteuk who was now covering his face with a hand as he shook his head. Beside Eeteuk was Heechul who nodded in support of Kyuhyun’s words. Henry looked at Ryeowook desperately, “I… I…” He swallowed hard as he dropped his gaze to his plate, “I have a complaint.”
Amidst the groans and muttered words from the other members (most of which sounded like "damn Kyuhyun" and "you are evil" and "spawn of Satan" - the latter making Eeteuk say he wasn't Satan), Heechul prompted, “And what has fanfiction done to you today, Henry?”
“Well… nothing specific, not really… it’s just… it’s just… I’m sick of all of these popular ships! People need to write different pairings! Think outside the box and all of that!” He exclaimed, “If your plots are going to be cliché, at least switch up the characters. I mean… it doesn’t help that the writers have some of it right…” He glanced at Ryeowook, “Sorry, hyung… but you and Yesung are just too obvious in public. And Eeteuk and Kangin are even worse –”
“Was I just scolded by my own son?” Eeteuk looked at Kangin who sat on his other side.
Kangin slanted him a look before shoving a forkful of kimchi into the leader’s mouth, silencing the older man as he dealt with the sudden onslaught of spiciness.
“I just… I don’t know,” Henry threw his hands in the air. He crossed his arms then, “I just think I could write better than half the writers out there… AND I would use unpredictable ships, just to keep readers on their toes.” He looked around the table, “Like… like… Shindong and Donghae.”
Shindong stroked his chin, “At least I’d finally be in a pairing.”
“We do dance together a lot,” Donghae nodded. Almost immediately, however, he looked at Kibum at his side, “Kidding… I was kidding.”
“What’s with you and dancers?” Kibum scoffed as he turned his face the other way.
“Or… or… Eeteuk and… and Kyuhyun,” Henry suggested,
Eeteuk blinked as he put down his glass of water, “Why do I keep getting pulled into this?”
Kyuhyun stared at Henry, finally shaken out of his smug stupor, he glanced at the leader and then back at Henry, “Me and him? But he’s so old!”
“Kangin!” Eeteuk whined as Zhou Mi asked tentatively, “Am I too old!?”
Kyuhyun glanced at Eeteuk who was now glaring at him and then at Zhou Mi who stared imploringly at him. Sighing, he moved to stand, “I’m going to the washroom.”
“Oh, no, no, no,” Shiwon pulled him back down to his seat, “You started this, you’re going to have to suffer like the rest of us.”
Henry blinked, “See, or Kyuhyun and Shiwon.”
Shiwon, startled, raised both thick eyebrows in surprised, his grip slack on Kyuhyun’s arm. Meanwhile, the latter was blinking rapidly, “Me and Shiwon? But he’s so ol…” He paused when he slowly turned to look at Zhou Mi. The Chinaman had an eyebrow raised in a silent question and challenge. Kyuhyun cleared his throat as he looked away, “Religious. I was going to say religious.”
“And… I don’t know… maybe writers can pair me up with people who aren’t in SJ-M,” Henry shrugged, “I’m almost always paired with Donghae or Ryeowook, but, I mean… we all get along good, why can’t I be paired up with someone like… like…” He looked around the table, “Sungmin.”
Sungmin grinned, pointing to himself with his spoon, “Me? You want to be paired in a story with me?”
“S…Sure?” Henry shrugged again,
“Hey!” Both Donghae and Ryeowook turned to the younger man between them,
“What’s wrong with being paired with me!?” Donghae demanded,
“Or me?” Ryeowook questioned,
Eunhyuk, who was sitting beside Sungmin, leaned forward across the table, “Hey Henry, what about pairing with me? I’m a pretty cool guy!”
“What are you getting so excited for? You’re straight,” Hankyung reminded,
Eunhyuk looked at him, “So? I’m tired of the predictable ships, too! I’m always paired with Dong…” He paused and slowly glanced at Kibum who was now glaring daggers at him. “Bang Shin Ki’s Junsu,” He finished lamely, “Yes… that’s what I was going to say.”
Shindong, who had pulled out a notepad and was writing, paused and looked up at Henry, “Great job, Henry.”
He smiled sheepishly, “I didn’t mean to cause such an uproar.”
“It’s fine,” Shindong insisted, waving his pencil in the air, “Any other unpredictable ships? If I get inspiration, I’ll write some stories for you. Go on, what ship do you want?”
Henry laughed as he spiked his fingers through his hair, “Actually, my favourite ship is YeWook.”
Unfortunately for the maknae, his statement was heard by everyone else. As the members got into another heated discussion and debate about ships, Heechul sat back in his chair and laced his fingers behind his head,
“I love the sound of me being right.”
(Day 21: He's a homewrecker)