PAIRING: HenBer[Henry x Amber]
GENRE: fluff ,romance, (AU!school life)
WORD COUNT:10600 words
DISCLAIMER: I own both Henry and Amber. jelly bishes? ;P
SUMMARY:Henry was having the worst time of his life...that is, until the hero came to save the day.
A/N: Alright, so it's been literally forever since I last updated and I feel like jumping off a cliff for being such a lazy ass. It's 10600 words of it now so, enjoy? ^^
After what felt like an eternity of running at a speed that could, in Henry’s opinion, be compared to nothing but superman’s flying, the school gates drifted into view.Finally!Henry thought, sighing in relief.
He was just beginning to consider taking a break to catch his breath before walking up the rest of the way like a decent human being when the sound of the school bell ringing started reverberating through the air. Halfway through an intended halt he lurched his weight forward again, making a dash for the narrow gap that now remained of the grand entrance, slipping past the black gates just as the second bell began to ring, signaling the prefects to seal the entrance completely-no more students entering or leaving the school premises until pack-up time.
Henry dropped his backpack to the ground and ,leaning on his knees, panted heavily, trying to catch the breath that had very conveniently decided to abandon him.That's reasonable,he thought. He had practically been running at a thirty five miles an hour.The pros of running at a speed that could put Usain bolt to shame had to have its cons.
It took a couple more minutes of heavy breathing for the ache in Henry's chest to subside;oxygen supply by the heaps working its magic. He collapsed next to his backpack, hitting the ground with a soft thud and dropped his head into his hands,heart no more beating like an 808 drum.
Looking around at the mobs of hurrying students scurrying away in all directions Henry felt more like a fish out of water then ever.Lost in a stupor of fatigue and a sense of isolation, He didn't notice Donghae approaching him and heard, instead , just the shuffle of feet directly behind him, dry grass shifting under brisk footsteps-Too close. He jerked back in alarm,thoughts already in a frenzy . Daunting memories from the day earlier suddenly invaded his mind and made the hair on his arms stand at end.
The mess of honey brown curls met his eyes first before the rest of Donghae followed and a sigh of relief, audible even above the cacophonous chattering of hundreds of students, escaped him. " Hyung!” he let out a sotto voce cry, “You scared me!” he exclaimed, hand automatically finding home over his heart.Donghae noticed he did that a lot.His heart apparently always on the verge of leaping out of his chest. Then, puzzled by Donghae's mysterious appearance, he asked, " How did you find me anyway?"
Donghae responded with a question of his own, “Is that how you greet your elders in Canada?And in case you didn’t notice, you're kind of like a blot on the landscape right now. ”
“I’m sorry! I just--” Henry trailed off, pondering over how best to explain his reaction while dodging the mention of his paranoia.
“Hey, Hey. It’s okay. I see you’re still a little shaken from yesterday’s incident.” Donghae cut his uncertain silence off, placing a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry I startled you.” He added.
“Hyung you don’t have to apologize, it’s my fault for jumping out of my skin at the smallest of things, really.”
Donghae smiled at him “ Sure, sure. Whatever you say Henry. By the way, why are you sitting here like this?” He asked, curiosity aroused.
“I wanted to catch my breath. The bus broke down a couple of blocks away. I had to run all the way up here.” Henry answered.
“You ran all the way up here?! What was the rush? You could have just skipped the first class.” Donghae exclaimed, voice heavily laced with concern.
“But the people at the office said every absence would affect our final grades.” Henry responded like the picture perfect nerd he was.
“Yeah, But this was an emergency. You could have explained it to them. They would have checked with the driver and let you off the hook. No big deal.” Donghae stated matter-of-factly.
“I didn’t really think of that…”
“Well you’re here now. You should as well get up. First class starts in another twenty minutes. I have to get Amber breakfast too. We should get going.” Donghae informed as he reached for Henry’s arm again, getting a death grip on him just like he had the day before.
Henry tried to roll his eyes at that and barely managed as Donghae went from being a caring ‘Hyung’ to a wind whirl out of control again. He had almost forgotten that part of the day.
Donghae went this way and that, dragging Henry behind like he didn't weigh an ounce.Strange comparison but Henry felt kind of like a ken doll in the custody of a five-year old schoolgirl.
“Hyung, where are we going?” Henry asked as they entered a hallway he had never been in before.
“To the cafeteria. I told you I have to get Amber breakfast .” Donghae responded flippantly, still dragging henry behind.
“Yeah, about that, Hyung! Are you quite sure the pres is a girl?” Henry asked, suspicion creeping into his voice.
“Henry, we already had this conversation yesterday.” Donghae argued.He still remembered the hardships he had had to endure just for the sake of getting the truth across. And he would rather not have his face showered with salivated water right out of another guy's mouth again.Thank you.
“Yeah, but I doubt you’re giving me the right information here.” Henry insisted , still dead sure he was being lied to.
“Why would I lie to you?” Donghae demanded, pace unfaltering, the slight rise in his voice the only indication of his impatience wearing thin.
“It’s not that I think you’re lying to me deliberately. I’m just saying you might have misunderstood the whole pres situation yourself, you know?” Henry blurted, adding fuel to the fire without thinking.
This did it.The impossible.It stopped Donghae in his tracks and he spun around to face Henry “Are you seriously saying what I think you’re saying? Are you implying I’m so slow that I can’t tell a boy from a girl?” He demanded.
“Hyung that’s not what I meant. Well, not entirely. You sure as hell aren't slow.” Henry excused. Donghae was anything but slow.Henry wouldn't call him slow if that was the last word that remained of his already limited vocabulary.No.Not slow.
“Okay fine then. You can check it for yourself today!” Donghae exclaimed in Henry’s face, arms shooting out and missing his face by mere inches, if not centimeters.
“Check what?” A voice asked from behind Henry, startling him yet again. He turned to find a random stranger walking up behind them. “Uh—Hi?” Henry asked, uncertain.
“Hello Key!” Donghae’s voice nibbed in on Henry’s confusion as he greeted said stranger enthusiastically. The merest fraction of a second of silence that followed was enough of a cue for Donghae to jump to the introductions.
“Henry, this is key! Key this Is Henry!” He introduced them, enthusiasm lighting up his face and making him look more than ever like a child showing off his vast collection of toys.
“Ah!!! Henry! The guy our Amber went all ninja for yesterday!” The guy-Key, exclaimed , turning to Henry he said,” Hi Henry! You don’t know how I’ve been looking forward to meeting you!” the smile the guy fixed at him was…disturbing, to say the least.It was wicked and knowing and above all else, it clearly spelled trouble.
“So, what were you talking about checking?” He asked Donghae.
“ Henry doesn’t seem to believe me when I tell him Amber’s a girl. So I told him to check for himself.” Donghae informed with an air of superiority.
“And how exactly do you suggest he does that?” asked Key, folding his arms across his chest and shifting his weight to one leg.
Uncertain about how to proceed, as he had, all too late, realised how gravely absurd his suggestion must have sounded, Donghae opened his mouth, closed it,then opened it again. He looked like a frikin’ fish. Henry knew better than to point it out.
"I--" Donghae began, giving up on trying to sort it out on the spur of the moment, "guess I didn't really think it all the way through." He murmured.
Since the Sacred war of wits against Donghae had earned him an easy victory, Key must have decided it was Henry's turn to taste the bitch in him.Something told him he wouldn't be getting along too well with the guy.
“But whatever the case” Key started, “ I still can't see why a random stranger's gender should be a matter of such interest for you.” he told Henry.
If Henry read accusation there he pretended not to have noticed.He couldn't deny it though.Such interest on his part was uncalled for.
But unlike Donghae, Henry, with all his lofty ego and pluck would rather consider spending a full thirty seconds alone with the pres then give in to the likes of Key.
The Pres again... A voice in Henry's mind taunted and Heny shut it up with a firm imaginary hand on its mouth.
Henry thought he sort of- kind of - knew why he was so concerned with the issue. Because maybe, just maybe he was a little infatuated with the president? And maybe he'd like to get his own sexual orientation in order in case Donghae really was wrong? But he couldn't tell them that now,could he?So he decided on spurting out the first thing that came to his mind , coherent or not, intelligible or not, and use the weapon of mass confusion to give Key thin air to munch on.
Key beat him to the punch. Why was Henry not surprised?
“I do hear you ran into some trouble yesterday...And someone tells me Amber had to save your ass.Sounds like quite the food for gossip, doesn't it?” He said, trying to exchange a meaningful looks with Donghae.The operative word being trying because whatever signal Key was trying to send was definitely missing Donghae's radar, who continued to stare at the laces of his shoes, lost in the complexity of the intricate pattern in which they were tied.
Henry wondered if he even tied them himself.
Key grunted in displeasure at the lack of response from Donghae. He needed backup. he needed Luna.
As if on cue just then a high shrill voice shouted from behind them, “Hey, could you stop bringing up that traumatising experience, again and again?”
Smiling internally Key acknowledged her by greeting, “And who are you, his mother?”
“Oh no, Oppa." Luna retorted." I saved that spot for you." She gave Key a cheeky smile before diverting her attention to Henry. “Hello there.” she barely completed the greeting before reaching out to pinch his cheek.
Completely taken by surprise by the lack of any prior hint of the attack, Henry flinched away, crying, “Hey,cut that out!” as the intruding hand continued to linger around his face, warning of persisting dangers.He was quick to cover his cheek, the subject abused, trying to keep it out of harm’s way
“What?Why?” Luna demanded, making a pouting face and giving him puppy eyes, face portraying pure innocence. Henry knew better than to let his guard down over that faked innocence so he was prepared for it when quite suddenly a finger popped up into his direct line of vision and he jumped back, breaking away from the little circle they had formed in the lobby, happy with himself for being so vigilant as to have dodged that attack.
He smacked Luna’s hand away lightly, struggling to put a little more distance between their bodies.The girl was freaking him out with all the crazy pinching!Where did she get such insane strength anyway?
“Stop it!” He shrieked ,both hands covering his face by now.
“I wish I could.But you're just so squishy!” Luna gushed before proceeding to make strange baby faces as she continued in her attempts to steal herself another pinch.
Henry ducked, just in time as he grabbed hold of Donghae’s shoulders, making him his shield.
“I’m not squishy! you're crazy! get away from me!” Henry’s protests were half drowned by Luna’s lunatic laughter as she tried to get past Donghae,almost getting through this time when an angry voice demanded, stopping her dead in her tracks.
“What the hell is going on here?”
“Pres! Look! Henry wont let me pinch his cheeks!” Luna complained, at once latching on to Amber's arm.
“No need to be so noisy about that! Just knock him senseless with a punch or too and tie him to a tree or something.You can pinch him as much as you want then.”
“Are you crazy too?” Henry asked,peeking out from behind Donghae at Amber with disbelief in his eyes, dumbfounded by the absurdity of the conversation unfolding in front of him.
“No.Just hungry.” She replied plainly,barely sparing him a glance as she said that.Yet by the time her eyes met Donghae’s , she was distantly aware of the a sparkle in his eyes that hadn't been there just seconds ago.Something in his eyes was so stupidly agleam as he opened his mouth to chip in “Morning, princess!” a huge smile stretching across his face from ear to ear.
The two of them look so cute to--- Donghae began to think but didn't get to complete that thought because just then something heavy landed on his head, jolting him out of his reverie, blowing his happy little bubble into a puff of smoke as he faintly registered stars beginning to tap dance in his vision.
Realising Amber had hit him with her one ton constitutional law textbook , Donghae cried, “Hey! What was that for?!” sounding for all the word like a sulking child.
“For smiling at me like a complete creep Donghae! You were freaking me out!” Amber snapped, sounding equally distraught.
Then,remembering the task she had assigned Donghae she narrowed her eyes, furrowing her brows she took in the sight of his empty hands.
“Hae, what is the meaning of this?” It was when she fixed her gaze on his empty palms that Donghae remembered why he was there, making small talk in front of the cafeteria in the first place.
It took one second for Donghae's heart to sink to the floor..Another for Amber to stride up the couple of feet between them, an arm pinning him against the wall as she demanded, “ I think I asked you to get me something?” She asked, voice as calm as her face screamed Angry.An open contradiction.
Knowing full well how bad the situation was Donghae scrambled to explain what had happened, “ I was just about to but then these guys won't stop bickering and Henry wont stop going on and on about how the ‘pres’ is a guy and not a girl no matter how many times I tried to explain your gender to him and then Luna jumped Henry and started going all about wanting to pinch him and things hardly even made sense any more ….” he took a deep breath, “ to cut a long story short, I never really got far enough to get into the cafeteria and by now,” he said, raising his wrist to check the time on his wrist watch, “ I believe there's hardly any chance there’ll be any food left.”
A disinterested grunt followed as Amber let go of Donghae. The blasé expression making her look so much less menacing. “ You're such a good-for-nothing, Hae..” she murmured “ I don't know why I even bother with asking you for favors.” she mumbled, pouting slightly.
Pouting! Henry registered as he double checked to make sure his eyes weren't playing tricks on him.
The pres pouts too! Henry marvelled at the latest discovery. Of all the things he would have expected of her, given the image of the pres that had formulated itself in his mind over the course of their last meeting, pouting was the furthest thing from any of his expectations.
Henry had somehow come to the realization that the pres was,indeed a girl. He didn't know how he could have been thick enough to assume otherwise as he observed the dejected face of the person in question and the word cute popped into his head.
He didn't get much time to ponder on the subject because just then the bell for the first class began to ring.
Luna held on to Amber's arm for dear life as Amber turned to Donghae, "You go on ahead, Hae, I’ll see if I can find myself something to eat. We have P.E first class anyway.”
Donghae guided Henry towards his class as Key went off in the opposite direction, bidding them a fleeting farewell as he murmured something about meeting again later.
Henry threw a quick backwards glance only to see Luna’s profile disappearing behind the swinging doors of what he assumed was the cafeteria.
From behind the service counter a guy emerged, fumbling to take his apron off. Having untied it he was just about to begin folding it hurriedly when Amber called, “Joon,my love!” voice honeyed, before breaking free of Luna’s grip and latching onto his arm, “Can i get some food, please before I die of starvation?” She pleaded as she looked up at him, attempting to act cute and failing miserably.
Amber cared enough about Joon to try honeying before asking a favor. Luna tried not to look too deep into it.Everyone knew the two were pretty close.No surprise there.So she looked away, choosing to stare at the doors instead.
Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of Joon smiling down at Amber before reaching out to ruffle her hair, an attempt she easily dodged, landing at least a foot away from him in the process.
Joon looked down at his outstretched hand , then at Amber, and shook his head, faking dejection.
“Not if you're going to be like this honey.You ain't getting no nothin’. ” He said, face drawn in mock sadness.
Luna hadn't realised she was watching the two until Joon's eyes met hers.He nodded in greeting and she hoped she wasn't being too blunt when she answered with an inaudible grunt and turned quickly instead to the door, eyes boring holes through it.
“Joon-ah! Don’t be such a girl” Amber complained, poking him in the ribs for emphasis. “I’m going to die a hungry death and my blood will be on your hands!” she continued.
“Oh,well we wouldn’t want our princess dead, now, would we?” Joon asked , the question directed more towards himself then to her as he ruffled her hair, this time with success, earning a small squeal of annoyance from her but she remained where she was.
The moment Joon disappeared behind the kitchen doors, Luna turned to Amber, “Something’s up Am,and you're not telling me.”
“What do you mean something’s up?” Amber asked, looking anywhere but into Luna’s eyes.
“Your mood.It’s not just breakfast is it?” Luna probed.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Amber insisted, still not quite meeting her gaze as she grabbed a chair and swung it around, crouching down on it with her shoulders slumped on the backrest, arms looping around it.
”Amber!” shrieked Luna, annoyed by her persistence, her voice piercing.She wasn't taking no for an answer and she wanted Amber to know that.
“Alright! Something happened.” Amber exclaimed. “But I don’t even know how to put it...”
“Well I guess we’re in luck then” Luna chipped, face lighting up at the hard earned victory. ”Mrs. Lee won’t mind even if we skip class.You have all the time in the world to sort it out.” she said, grabbing a chair for herself. She settled into it.Turning towards Amber she watched her like one would an interesting movie. "start at the beginning." She prompted, patting her arm.
"That's helpful." Amber snickered.
"Thanks." Luna replied,not in the mood for paying her sarcasm any heed "Now spill."
“I---” Amber started, uncertain, “ You know that freshman,Sulli?”
“The one in I-B, yeah?” replied Luna, attentive, nodding for her to go on.
“Well this morning, she asked me out!” Amber exclaimed, making the face Luna usually did after swallowing some bitter medicine.
“She...what?” Luna asked, dumbfounded. This was unexpected.Not good.She couldn't let Amber get booked now.Not now that she had found her just the perfect match.
“Jesus! I know right! I mean, why does it always have to be the girls falling for me?” Amber cried, encouraged by how stunned her friend looked.
“But why are you fretting over it?” Luna inquired,brows furrowed as if confused “I think it’s a good thing you got asked out.Now you’ll have a date to accompany you to Victoria Unni's party.” she informed.
“What the hell? Are you insane? Taking a girl to a party, what do you think I am,crazy?” Amber choked.
Then as her words set in Amber’s dismay rose to a whole new level, the crisis from a few minutes ago all but forgotten as horror for the unknown set in. Hesitant, she asked, “What party are you talking about,anyway?”
“Victoria unni’s party.” Luna repeated, completely unaffected by the havoc she knew she was wreaking on Amber’s nerves with every word she said. ”Her parents are out of town on a business trip .They won’t be back for another couple of days or so.” taking a small break before continuing Luna dropped the volume of her voice a couple of decibels before leaning in to continue in a highly secretive manner, “ Things are gonna get real fun this time.” she whispered.
Amber shivered at that.Trying not to think about the 'fun' things Luna was talking about.She remembered the last time She had been dragged to a similar ' fun' party and the mobs of drunk teenagers that had swarmed the place like zombies right out of a horror movie.
Concern crossed over Luna's face as she saw her shiver. "What?" she asked.
"Count me out." Amber stated, asking herself why she had friends like that in the first place.Why couldn't she be friends with the any of the good guys?The one's who turned in all assignments on time and did homework past school hours and spent lunch break in the library and stuff like that. Why these savage creatures?
“Hey! why not?” Luna demanded.” Its gonna be fun! And you won't have to just sit around like a sore loser either!You’ll have Sulli to keep you company this time around.” She said.Then as if remembering something important that had slipped her mind before she said, ”by the way,remind me to give her an invitation later.”
“Enough of all this Sulli crap!” Amber commanded, putting her foot down quite literally.
Feeling smug and completely satisfied with her friends reactions, Luna leaned towards Amber again.
“If you have someone else in mind I’m sure unni won't mind you bringing him along” she said, Amber noticed the Him Luna had carefully planted into the suggestion although just moments ago she had been going on and on about how Amber should bring a girl to the party with her,”any particular person you might have in mind?” Luna asked,voice full of cunning.
Any softness that had still managed to linger around Amber’s face evaporated in the instant that she caught on to what Luna was trying to pull off. This wasn't the first time the other had taken on the task of getting Amber together with someone.And all of her previous attempts had yielded nothing but disaster.
“Whatever it is your pretty little delusional head is up to now, trust me, never gonna work.” She assured, regaining her calm.It was almost funny,the things that went on in Luna’s mind.Amber would have found it just so had the annoyance there not taken the better of her first.
Before Luna could make a comeback the kitchen doors swung open and Joon emerged with his arms full, cuddling a tray of food. Atop the tray lay a bottle of chocolate milk and a sandwich.
“Just peanut butter sandwich and chocolate milk Amber.That's all that was left. There were a few eggs but they seemed stale.” He informed as he handed her the tray.
Amber dug in without a second wasted. “dawn wolli--” Amber started, speaking with her mouth stuffed to the rim,then, gulping down half of the chocolate milk in one supposed ‘sip’ she added, “This’ll do!”
She took the next bite, not so rushed by greed this time, And couldn't help but moan in delight,
“hmm-mm...” she began, the taste of peanut butter and chocolate ambrosia to her taste buds
“ Love you Joon! keep doing this and I’ll sure as hell marry you someday!” She promised, patting him reassuringly.
Even in her elated state Amber didn't miss how Luna tensed up at her comment and took a mental note.
“Oh,sorry Luna I completely forgot to get you something too!” Joon apologised, looking genuinely guilty.
“thatsokayIhadbreakfastalready.” Luna mumbled an incoherent sentence before grabbing her bag off the table with one hand and half-dragging Amber behind her with the other.
Amber gave Joon a flying glance and a half wave as she let Luna pull her out of the cafeteria in unexplained urgency.
Outside, Amber caught Luna by the wrist to slow her down.”Luna! stop. What’s going on?” she asked, taking the straw back into her mouth to gulp down what little was left of the milk in a final go.
“What do you mean what's going on?” Luna asked,” You wanted food,you got the food. Leaving naturally comes next.”
Naturally.tsk Amber snorted inwardly. “ But I didn’t even thank him properly!” She said, slurping on the little droplets that still remained of her late milk as she continued sucking at the straw, the carton getting indignantly disfigured in the process.
"You went far enough as to promise him a marriage.Excuse me for taking that as enough of a gratitude speech.Didn't know you wanted to decide the date and the number of kids you wanted right that second too.” Luna shot back, turning around and crossing her arms over her chest in a gesture that Amber found both completely unclassy, even for a girl about to throw a fit, and cute.Because that was Luna and she was jealous and she was so crushing on sort of like her best friend. And it was all just so fucking cute.
Amber wanted to throw her arms around Luna’s shoulders and poke her and pinch her and do all kinds of those BFF things they did when they were in elementary school.
She just raised her eyebrows, ignoring the fuming Luna, and started walking back towards her first class which would by then,without a doubt, be halfway over. “I think I smell a rat.” she observed vaguely, knowing without having to look that Luna had followed.
“I don't know what youre talking about but hey, quit trying to change the subject.” Luna insisted as she followed at Amber’s heel.”You are coming to the party saturday and that is a decision made!” Amber almost snickered.
“I am trying to change the subject?”Asked Amber, amused at how subtle Luna was being about that whole 'crushing-on-Joon' thingy.
Then, thinking over it quickly Amber said, ” Okay fine,here’s the deal.”
“You ask Joon out to the party first and I promise I’ll be there.” she said,”Alone of course.” she added.
“What did you---what are you even saying? Why would I ask him out?”
“Ahh,right! “ Amber nodded solemnly, in complete understanding, “You’re a girl..." she started.Talking about the creatures called girls like she wasn't one herself . " You'd want him to ask you out first. I should just go tell him you like him so he can ask you out himself.”
“Stop it, Amber! Shut up.Who would want to go out with a guy that lame anyway? ew” asked Luna, sticking her tongue out in disgust. It didn’t help her case when just seconds later, a light blush spread over her cheeks showing exactly how lame she really thought he was and how disgusted she really felt.
“You would.” Amber answered plainly. “And what do you mean ‘lame’. For all we know, Joon’s a pretty decent guy.”
“A decent guy you’d so readily marry” snorted Luna just as they rounded the last corridor, arriving in front of the large swing doors of the gymnasium.
“You know I was only joking about that Nana, don't be so petty.” Amber scoffed. When she didn't hear Luna reply immediately she turned to find her standing a couple of feet away.
“What?You're not coming?” Amber questioned..
“I-” Luna said, “could you tell the Mrs.Lee I'm out sick?" she asked." Tell her You got late taking me to the nurse's office."
"hm.Sure." mumbled Amber, not caring to ask for elaboration.Luna didn't provide any.
Just as she slid in through the door Amber turned back and called, "hey,Luna?" Luna who had begun walking away in the other direction turned around, waiting for Amber to go on.
“You have until the party to tell Joon .If you don’t, I will.”
She left a gaping, infuriated Luna outside and disappeared behind the heavy gym doors.
"Give me your hand. Come you from old Bellario?" Mr.Jung asked as he continued on with the reading, voice rising a couple of decibels as he tried to 'put emotions' into it.
Amber felt her cell phone vibrate in her jeans pocket.She didn't have to check to know who it'd be. Amber watched her English teacher from beneath her lashes, checking to make sure he was still lost in getting the character right before pulling it out.She flipped it open and sure enough,it was -you got it- Luna.
How about we forget about that party business?you can skip it if you want.
oh wow! the deal's off? i'm still telling Joon though.
you wouldn't dare >/
bitch... it’s still on then.
p.s. I get to dress you up.
ur in no position to negotiate. It is as I said.Take it or leave it.
T____T but I'll cry!
Amber felt a strange discomfort creeping over her, the feeling of being watched, and glanced over at Mr. Jung only to find his grey small eyes fixed directly at her. Shit she muttered under her breath .
me too, if I don't stop texting in class soon.c'ya!
And she stuffed the tiny thing into the deepest corner of her backpack.
Luna tapped her fingers on the wooden table top ,waiting for Key to join her at the library, forehead wrinkled in distress as she continued worrying her bottom lip . Her head was buzzing from thinking too hard .She knew Amber was serious.Amber was always serious.
She was in a fit and she blamed it all on Joon.
Joon the frikin' lame-ass transfer student with the frikin' lame-ass glasses he wore everyday on that same old frikin' lame-ass face of his!
She tore a random page off her notebook,rumpling it in frustration. Fuck. She thought Why did I have to let her see through me so easily?!
"I mean I don't even want to get into his pants all that bad!"get together with him,she corrected herself herself, realising,only seconds later that she had actually spoken that first part of her 'thought' aloud!
sweet she thought once before squirming in her seat, wishing the ground would open up and swallow her right that moment because if the library was hushed before, it was a muted graveyard somewhere in the sahara now.Pin drop silent.
"Thanks for sharing that very interesting piece of information with half the school Luna. I'm sure everyone will benefit from it greatly." she heard Key murmur as he pulled up a seat next to her.
Luna ignored the remark, choosing instead to hide behind a seemingly ancient volume of shakespearean sonnets and plays.How she got her hands on it, she didn't know.
She couldn't ask the guy out.Not before the party anyway.And she didn't see any other way out of the situation.
Key paid her no heed and immedietly busied himself with opening up textbook of all shapes and sizes and spreading them across the twelve seater table.Then, with all the symptoms of a nerd getting ready to charge into the battlefield of schoolwork, he pulled his conway stewart out, setting the thin box that contained it gently in front of the book that lay open in front of him.At last he pulled out a pair of large,thick rimmed Raybans from inside his backpack.Putting them on he crossed his arms over his chest .
Luna didn't even bother asking about it any more.You know I've gotta keep up to my image as THE hot nerd of s.m.High he'd say every time he was questioned about it.
" So damsel, why the long face?” Key asked after he had made sure everything was in perfect disorder.
Luna didn't want to tell him about her 'issue' with Amber.She chose, instead, to get right down to discussing Amber's relationship status.
You might have the upper hand but I'm not going down without a fight,Amber.Luna thought, determination washing through her panic stricken body.
"My face is not long." She flatly stated, " And our pres is still single."
"What's that gotta do with your face?" Key asked.
"er-nothing?" Luna answered.
"Then Why is it all long?"
Luna slammed the book in her hands shut, "My face is NOT long!Stop talking about my face!"
"What do you want me to talk about then,why'd you call me here?"
"Its about Amber.I think I know someone suitable to set her up with." Luna said, aiming to appeal to his match-maker instincts.
Key looked at her with eyebrows raised.She was talking the KEY-language and he loved her for being such a cauldron-full of wisdom.
Just to make sure they were on the same page he inquired, " You mean someone besides her nutella and chocolate milk lovers?"
Luna made a point to roll her eyes right in his face before saying "What do you say we set her up with Henry? Don't you think the two will look absolutely cute together?" She asked. Key didn't respond right away. So Luna continued.
"Those two are meant for each other.There is definitely something there.A spark I see every time the two of them are together." Luna continued.
"And have you seen the way the guy ogles at Amber?"
"um..yeah?" Key said, not quite agreeing and hesitant himself.Henry had been asking a lot of questions about Amber.
"And Have you noticed how Amber's soft as a marshmallow around him?"
"yeah?" Key asked, confused." The last time I saw them around each other Amber was ready to rip anyone's throat out at the slightest invitation of it.Not so mellow if you ask me."
Key thought about Sulli. The girl had been so nervous about asking Amber out earlier! He had overheard her conversation with her friends-only because the girls were being complete loud-mouths about it.Not that he had been trying to eavesdrop on them or anything.Of course not.
He thought to keep his mouth shut but the words ended up spilling out anyway."I think she'd look pretty cute with Sulli too."
"This isn't about Sulli! Stop trying to fit every girl you have a crush on into the picture."
"I don’t crush on girls! I'm gay!" Key defended.
"Being in denial over being straight.How conventional." Luna huffed.
So they sat in silence while Key thought about it and the more he did, the better he thought the idea looked.The two did look kinda cute together...
"So you are saying we should...?"
"Victoria's party! Get the two to come together!"
"Woah. Woah. Hold on a second. We know Amber doesn't go to parties." Key said,taking a break from scraping through the pages of his book just a couple of students passed by them disappeared out of sight. "Making her come alone would be difficult enough, let alone coming with Henry."
"She doesn't have to come with him. We just need to give the two some alone time together.The spark that is always lurking in between them will soon ignite into a wildfire!" She exclaimed.
"How do we make her come though.I wouldn't even dream of tricking her into it. I love life on this planet a lot, thank you very much."Key said.
"I say, we put Henry up to it. There is a fair chance he'll successfully convince her and nobody has to get hurt either."
"I think a mission of this nature could posses a death threat to the guy's life.What do you mean nobody gets hurt?"
Luna explained impatiently. "When I said 'nobody', I meant 'neither' of us.Any problem with that?" She asked.
"n-no problem at all I guess.None whatsoever." He replied.Sinking back in his seat and taking a mental note about never displeasing Luna. Nobody knew how frightening she could get she could get once she set her mind to it.
Donghae was one big ball of excitement, radiating rainbows and sunshine, when Key told him about the tickets to the football match.
"And you're certain? You're absolutely sure you wont snatch them back right after I get all perked up?" Donghae asked, bobbing up and down as he tried but failed miserably at keeping excitement at abeyance .As if he wasn't perked up enough already.
"I'm certain Hae.There’s absolutely no way I can go.Amber's going to chop my head off if I don't stay behind to help out with the mid-term exam's result compilation."
"What time did you say it was again?" Donghae asked, this time, with much less uncertainty.
"Its starts at four.You should get going now if you want to be able to get there on time.You have to pick the entrance tickets off my place too."
"How will I leave at this hour?" Donghae asked, sounding just a little more worried this time.
" Dont worry about a thing.I got the sick leave slip signed for you already."Key responded, pulling said slip out of his pocket and holding it up in triumph.
"Oh my God! I love you! you're such a genius. God, oh God, oh God...is this really happening?!" Donghae ranted, jumping up a little to grab the slip from Key's grasp.
Then, before another second wasted, he dashed out towards the gates.
Another ring of the electric bell had just announced the lunch break time and while the entire school paraded the cafeteria, Henry sat rooted to his seat, watching Key play with his cell phone.He eyed the door.Calculating his chances of making it out alive if he decided to just snatch back his phone and make a dash for the door.Optimism failed him.
His eyes travelled back to the seat of his chair where Key's legs were planted firmly on either side of him. Key's choice of seating left them in a compromising position but he didn't seem to notice, so Henry kept his mouth shut.
"mm-hm." Key would mutter to himself from time to time, concentration gracing his features at some times, annoyance at others.
Henry was amazed at the satisfaction he got out of causing Key that frustration.English wasn't exactly their field of speciality at his new school.He felt his cell phone giving Key trouble with whatever it was he wanted to accomplish with his phone made up for some of the headache the later had caused him over the school tradition matter.tradition Henry scoffed.whatever.
He tried to get all the joy out of life in that short moment because in the future that Key had painted for him, things didn't seem quite so good.Key’s words rang through his mind.
His first party since admission.Completing a task given by the seniors. Punishment following a failure..
Running barefoot across the length of the school grounds in a cheetah printed leotard, lips painted blood red, shouting,
"I will not disobey my Hyungs again" at the top of his lungs. Henry thought it would go down as the understatement of the century to call that a punishment. It was suicide.
Tugging lightly at Key's sleeve he tried to get his attention and asked in a small voice, "Hyung, you didn't tell me what I have to do."
"It’s simple enough,really." Key mumbled still not looking up from Henry's phone as he spoke," You just have to convince pres to come to the party this saturday."
Right!Henry thought This is it.This must be it.He must have caused the destruction of an entire nation in a past life.Razed it down to dust. Must have lead a bloody massacre for all he knew.That was all the explanation his mind could conjure for the given situation he was facing.
Henry momentarily considered flinging himself at the floor, kneeling before God almighty and begging for forgiveness. Better get the deities on his side and save himself the life of eternal misery at the hands of his half crazed seniors than continue living in denial of his past sins. Since both options ensured he’d end up sprawled on the floor in the end, what difference did it make?He would rather man up and own his mistakes then be dead meat at the hands of these lunatics.
"How will I do that?" He asked, voice devoid of emotion.
"Thats for you to decide." Key answered as his own cell phone began to ring He took another few minutes before looking up at him, tossing the cell phone into his lap and climbing off the table.Halfway out of the classroom he turned back to Henry and said, "By the way, don’t go around lurking through corridors by yourself again today.Wait here for Donghae."
Then he disappeared into the corridor,leaving Henry to fend for a throbbing headache, a grumbling stomach and a frantic mind all by himself.
Just a few minutes after pack-up time and most of the kids had already left. The few that remained were now fast busy stuffing books and notebooks into their backpacks.Henry stayed put, not making a move to leave the classroom.He remembered Key’s advice.He knew better than to go out wandering alone again. He planned on staying put but the professor made no move towards leaving either and he had no choice but to sling his backpack over his shoulder and move towards the lobby instead,waiting for Donghae there.
Tired after a long day of working like a maniac, Henry found it growing impossibly hard to keep his eyes open.With each passing second his eyelids grew heavier.He felt sleep building up on his mind,lulling it into unconsciousness slowly.
A yawn snaked its way out of him and his eyes watered as he tried to keep them open.
He was tired.Way too tired and there seemed to be no sign of Donghae anywhere.He felt a little panic stirr up inside him as he watched the professor get up and leave the class too,leaving it now, completely deserted.
Thoughts from the events of a day earlier started coming back in flashes and he tried not to let himself panic.The lobby, the classroom, the corridors and the school grounds visible through the large windows all lay uninhibited.More than half an hour of waiting and there was still no sign of Donghae.
Henry's shoulders ached, the muscles of his legs sore from standing still for so long.His stomach growled once from extreme hunger.He paid it no heed though.Far too occupied in trying to keep his nerves under control as terror began to gnaw at him again.
He went back into the classroom,settling back into his chair, hardly even realising as his heavy lids fell completely, he did not know how his arms got crossed on the desk, nor how his head ended up cradled by them.What he did realise though, was that he was suddenly stranded on clouds. He couldn't move his limbs,nor show any other sign of motility but the clouds were soft.Softer than his bed back home.Softer then the whipped cream he liked to top his cappuccino off with.
And his position was comfortable despite how stiff the nape of his neck felt for whatever mysterious reason. But he was far too absorbed into the velvety softness of the clouds and the ethereal beauty of the night sky that hung above him to really notice. The loud complaints of his stomach as it churned and constricted painfully hardly registered dully too,if at all.
As for the hurried footsteps that fast approached him,Henry Lau, could not have been more clueless.
Henry was lost in a magical world.Clouds resembling huge cotton balls hung above his head.He sat on one, he realised with glee as he looked down at himself.He was floating! up in the sky the air was cool.Refreshing, he thought as he drew in a deep breath. From somewhere far behind the clouds, stars spied on him, gazing at him with tentative shyness.Henry smiled at that.Smiled at how cute the spectacle was.He smiled, his smile so wide that his eyes nearly disappeared under the shift of his cheek fat.
His stomach constricted painfully and he wondered if it was because of smiling so hard. But with the ecstasy he felt he didn’t really pay it much attention and just concentrated on smiling-Although he couldn’t really find any particular reason for the joy he felt.
So it is with his eyes arched into slits that he first felt it.A slight wetness on his face.The moisture felt good on his skin.He welcomed it with open arms.But then there is another round of it.It’s almost like someone is spraying water at my face he thought, panicked all of a sudden. He wondered if the clouds had started melting with him still on them.
He didn’t get to dwell on that thought for long because just then the clouds gave way beneath him, the ones above him turning into bucket loads of water, drenching him in cold wet and sending him straight back to reality.
Henry felt his entire body jerk back as his eyes flew open.His mind, still stuck in the clouds, didn't understand what was going on when his eyes landed on Amber’s face just inches from his.She was leaning forward in order to look him in the face, which, he realised, was still nestled in his arms.He took in the empty water bottle in her hand.The glint of evil in her eyes as she inched even closer to whisper, "Morning, sunshine!"
If her warm breath on his ear wrung a shiver out of his sleep-clouded mind he pretended it was because of the water she has dumped on him.
Henry found himself making his way through the complex building, identical corridors winding and unwinding as he towed behind Amber, walked past rows and rows of empty classrooms-all done in an identical shade of yellow.
Once outside Henry allowed himself to breathe in the fresh air.The cool breeze was sending chills down his spine.His wet shirt had been blowed almost dry. His legs were begging for mercy after all the walking he had done. He didn't expect a school building to have elevators or anything but with as huge as the place was, he couldn't help but wish there had been something along those lines going at their school.
Walking a few steps ahead of him Amber's head was bent over her bag, hands rummaged through its contents.Henry watched her with her side bangs falling into her eyes.The skin under her eyes was beginning to darken.He wondered how tired she must have grown after long hours of such heavy duty.Yet, she didn’t seem quite as grumpy as she had earlier in the morning.He wondered if it would be a good idea to brooch that party subject now.
Henry didn't realise he had been staring at Amber until she turned to him. His cheeks heated up in embarrassment and he hoped she wouldn't notice the pink spreading across his face . She just held out a packet of cheetos to him and said nothing.
Henry couldn't hide his surprise in the way his body seemed to have frozen momentarily.How did she know he was hungry? As if hearing Henry’s thoughts Amber provided " Your stomach is a whiner.It complains too loudly when displeased."
"It does what?" Henry asked,quizzical, reaching for the heaven in Amber’s arms.Food!
"It was crying like a baby when I found you upstairs." Amber said, the slightest trace of a smile tugging at the corner of her lips. "How long exactly have you been starving it?Didn't you have anything for lunch today?" She asked,talking about his stomach like a concerned teacher discussing a student annual record.
"Nah.” Henry shrugged, trying to rip open the packet but his attempts proved futile, ”I didn't remember what way the cafeteria was.Also, Key wasted most of my break,talking.”
" You still don't know where everything is? Didn't Donghae show you around the place?"
"Not exactly.Donghae hyung just keeps disappearing all the time.He said he would but we never got around to it."
"Why am I not surprised?" Amber wondered out loud, sounding resigned.
Henry waited for her to inquire about what Key had wanted with him but the question never came.
Henry considered touching on the subject, discovered he was too chicken to, but finally ended up deciding it was now or never.
"So hyung was saying-" He started,shoving the words through his tight throat. He never got around to finishing that sentence because Amber shut him right up. "Not interested." She deadpanned.
"Huh?!" Henry asked,how could she cut him off when he had hardly gotten a sentence out? "Whatever it is that Key was saying, I don't want to know.Its probably going to be some mindless gossip anyway, all that vain bull." Amber retorted as they exited the main gates, headed, now, for the nearest bus stand.."Nothing that would really be of interest to me in any case so save your breath"
A position of such high respect you hold in everyone’s heart Key hyung., Henry thought as laughter nearly escaped him.
They reached the bus stand and Henry immediately slipped down onto the plastic bench, still going strong in his useless attempts to rip open his cheetos.The thing won’t budge.
Next to him Amber was already gulping down a second bottle of chocolate milk.The girl was addicted to that thing,Henry decided as his mind tried to think in a thousand directions at once.
No matter how long he thought about it, he couldnt seem to come up with a creative way to bring up the topic again.Deciding, Tact be damned, he blurted, "I think you would be interested.At least hear me out first."
Henry wouldn't hide it came as a slight surprise when Amber didn't try to oppose him and muttered, instead, a small, "okay."
Henry figured now was not a good time to appreciate how pleasant it felt for the pres to speak a little more like a normal person and a little less like a time-bomb ticking to explode and dived right into the story; telling her about the party at Victoria’s place;how he had been asked to come.
His shaky train of thought met a gridlock when Amber inquired, “And?”
"And,well, I didn’t know if you knew about it.So I thought I'd ask you to come too.It’s probably going to be alot of fun."
"Oh”, Amber mumbled, “ I do already know of the party” She added, her voice getting a little stronger. “And I don't think I’m gonna come."
"But why not?!" Henry demanded.
"A Lot of reasons.None of them solid enough to be pointed out.” Amber answered,sounding nonchalant “So yeah,” She shrugged , ”Just because."
Henry found his mind swirling in a sea of thoughts,This doesn't sound good, went one and he furrowed his eyebrows in disappointment.Not good at all.he thought, pursing his lips as he recalled the punishment Key had promised. He couldn't help but puff out his cheeks as his heart sank to the floor.
Henry was sure that if he continued to think about the crazy-ass severity of the punishment and the embarrassment of the aftermath, he’d end up in tears. He couldn’t help but lament over all the lemons life seemed to be throwing at him. He was so far gone mourning over his misery he didn't realise he was pouting.Neither did he notice how Amber was watching him really carefully, her features softening at the expression of almost ambrosial melancholy on his face.
Henry didn't have any idea of the effect he was having on her until she exclaimed,“Henry, don’t make that face!", throwing her hands up in the air. " I have my reasons, okay?”
“What reasons?” Henry demanded,still sulking.
She was quiet for a while, as if contemplating whether or not to go ahead, “I—Henry, look at me damn it!“what the heck am I gonna wear to a party??” she blurted out.
Henry was taken off guard by the irrelevance of the question but kept a straight face since the pres seemed to be giving the question some serious consideration. “Is it because you can’t afford a nice dress?” Henry pondered out loud, genuine concern written all over his face, since that was the only deduction he could draw from Amber’s statement.
“My dad’s the CEO of a fucking cell phone manufacturing firm. What do you figure?”
“Look at me Henry .What dress would look good on this figure?” She demanded.
Okay, that was one thing Henry couldn't comment on.
In a small voice Amber continued,”--- also, it’s the people--”
“What about them?” Henry asked, latching on to the fragment that wouldn’t lead in any awkward direction,hopefully.
“I don’t know…the girls, when they look at me—it’s like they wanna eat me up or something!”
Oh.So the pres was a chick magnet. Nothing his social life needed to be sacrificed over.
“Don’t worry about the girls.I'll just keep you with me all the time! “ Henry promised brightly.Then, in a small voice he added, "And boobs are gross anyway-“.Henry realised what he had just said and slapped himself mentally.What the hell was he thinking?.oh, right.He wasn’t thinking,he hissed at himself.What would the pres say? He thought, biting down on his bottom lip as he mustered up the courage and looked up tentatively, gazing up at Amber from beneath thick lashes.
Amber just blinked at him.The blinking lasted a full second. That was before a bark of laughter escaped from deep inside her.Then another one.She sank down lower in her seat, sharp edged laughter jerking out of her as she choked out,
“What are you, gay or something?” She managed to tease just as laughter took over her again.
Henry felt her playfully nudge him in the ribs with her elbow.
The sound of her laughter was like the ringing of bells to his ears and it took his mind a second to register what she was saying.
Alarmed, he exclaimed, “No! I’m not!” Henry protested, Arms flailing as he tried to make his claim persuasive.
“Chill dude!” Amber croaked between heavy breaths, “It’s not like I’m going to judge you or anything.” she assured.
“But I’m not!” Henry exclaimed.Why won’t she just listen to him already?
"Alright! Okay! I got it!!” Amber said, amused at how defensive he was getting, “I don't really care all that much about your sexual preferences.You wanted the reasons.I gave them to you.Now be a little thoughtful and stop trying to force me into coming." she said.
"You be a little thoughtful too!" Henry almost begged.He wanted to cry. Yes, that is how pathetic he felt.
"My life depends on this."
Amber narrowed her eyes in thought, scrutinizing his words. The scene she had seen earlier, Luna and Key at the library, both wearing their most conspiratorial expressions, About her making Luna talk to Joon, About Key suddenly sending Donghae off to a soccer match and everything seemed to click into place.
Voice heavily laced with suspicion , she asked, "Did Key bribe you to do this?"
“More like threatened me.” Henry replied before telling her about his entire discussion with Key earlier,filling her in on every tiny detail despite the warning Key had given him about not spilling a word.
By the time he finished he had tears of frustration stinging his eyes.Amber was in, more or less, the same state, except her eyes had watered up from laughing so hard.
"They are just ragging you, you idiot!" She choked, clasping a hand over his shoulder as her stomach cramped from the bouts of laughter .
When Henry did not respond,dubious eyes eyeing her speculatively, Amber repeated , "Stop worrying about it! It’s just Key being his usual mean self. No biggie. He won't even dare to think about going so far with his crazy ideas .He was just using your novelty."
"but the punishment--" Henry began to murmur, his eyes awestruck; an expression Amber found extremely adorable.
"Don’t worry about the punishment.I'll be here to save you from your Key inforced leotard ventures." Amber assured playfully. Then, diverting her attention to his puffed cheeks she went ahead and pinched him, still smiling.
Henry didn't make a move to stop her, still a little unconvinced.He watched Amber and got a little worried when all at once her face froze for an instant before exploding into an expression of pure ecstasy, She exclaimed, "God,Luna was right! Your cheeks really would be the delight of a Hello Kitty fantasist!"
Henry was far too drained to defend his case with a decent comeback. He just let his head wrap around the idea that all day long he had been worrying over a big fat nothing.The panic that had seemingly etched itself into his system ebbed away.With that out of the way he began to think rationally and came to the conclusion that punishment or no punishment, he would like for Amber to come to the party.
" You know what,” He began, “ Even though I know I don't have to do this any more, I still want to make you come." He told Amber truthfully. "What does that make me?" He asked, looking at her sideways.
"As much of a douche as I thought you were the first time I saw you?" Amber suggested.
"And how much would that be?" turning to face her completely.
Amber said nothing, only responding by averting her gaze towards the far off horizon, turning away so Henry wouldn't be able to see how her lips curled into a genuine smile.
He thought they were getting along just fine.All along he had been afraid of her just for nothing.How could he still consider her scary when she was being like this?
Henry thought there was something strange in the way the day was progressing, and whatever it was, it was making him poetic.Philosophical. He thought maybe it was his mind going static.
Henry checked his watch.It was five minutes before the next bus arrived.Lost in thought of how well the day had turned out he tossed a cheeto into his mouth(he had managed to tear open the packet a while ago, dropping half the contents of the bag in the process), munching on it lackadaisically and without even thinking about it, yanked Amber's bottle of chocolate milk from her hold , taking a swig off it.
In the seconds that followed, Time seemed to slow down to a crawl,moving slowly towards coming to a standstill.Henry became suddenly conscious of how Amber's hard gaze is fixed on his face-his mouth.Not much unlike the way the main characters of a movie gaze at each other right before that first,eventful kiss.The air between them crackled with something stronger than electricity.
An eternity later -although He knew it was less than a minute, Henry felt his nose scrunch up and his body jerk backwards, Not because Amber has made some kind of a romantic advance on him.But because his vision had suddenly gone out of focus; a blinding pain erupting through his jaw had him clutching his face in agony.
All sense of poetry and philosophy blew into a puff of smoke and all thoughts of just why Amber Liu was to be considered scary returned to Henry in a rush.
Henry lau learned three lessons that day.
One, All those fairy tales were full of shit.If Amber Liu gazed at you like that, it was better to sprint on cue instead of waiting for a kiss that would probably never come.Not with a jaw as sore as the one you got if you stayed, at least.
Two,if you think Amber being a tomboy would have any effect on her girly mood swings, you are dead wrong.As wrong as Henry Lau once had been and probably never will be again.
Third, never to touch Amber's chocolate milk ever .She was extremely possessive about it.
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