Feat. Tablo and Henry/mentions of Jay Kim and HeeChul, with appearances from the rest of Epik High and Super Junior.
PG13 for now
Disclaimer: So about Henry and that violin. And nudity. Yeah. That would be occurring while Tablo serenades me with a hawt rap.
Notes: This was written for starbeams after an amusing exchange of comments on my previous fic. <3 I hope you enjoy it, though it's not BloHyuk~!
Henry knew there had been something different about him the first time his eyes met Tablo’s. He could hear HeeChul beside him, the older man going on about something to Mithra, something the rapper had found humorous, because he could hear a pleasant lilt of laughter. It was a conversation he was included in, as his hyung had been insistent upon introducing him to his preferred company in the Korean entertainment industry in the form of a party thrown at the Super Junior dormitories, but he found that at that moment, words escaped him. He knew he was staring, and he knew he ought not to be staring, but as the charismatic front man flashed him that smile, it came so naturally to him to forget all about averting his eyes politely. He wasn’t sure what it was that demanded his attention so thoroughly- there was just something in Tablo’s eyes, and then, in the way he spoke to him.
“It’s nice to meet you, finally,” he said, and what struck Henry most was his use of nearly perfect English, his accent only highlighting his words. “My name is Tablo.” He likely would’ve continued staring at the older man until he felt a sharp elbow in his side, rousing him from his own mind, and the darkness of the rapper’s eyes.
“Don’t be rude, Henli!” HeeChul reprimanded, and Henry felt his cheeks grow very hot.
“Ah, mianhae…“ he said, his voice soft as he lowered his head.
He’d seen Tablo a few times after that, most often at parties after the award ceremonies Super Junior seemed to frequent. The glamour, it was almost overwhelming, and it kept him constantly worrying. What if he spilled something on his shirt? He couldn’t bear to embarrass himself in front of so many celebrities, he didn’t want to blacken the Super Junior name somehow- not to mention, the shirt he wore likely cost more than his violin. It wasn’t until one day that he’d walked into one of the dorms to see RyeoWook that Tablo made an effort to speak to him again, his presence a shocking one as Henry found him, Tukutz, and Mithra, as well as HeeChul, Jay Kim, and LeeTeuk sitting at the kitchen table.
“Henli, come sit down!” LeeTeuk called to him, the first to notice his presence, and once again, Henry felt the pink flush as it powdered his sweet cheeks as Tablo’s eyes came to rest upon him, his lips curled into a soft, almost unsure smile. Surely, he must’ve thought Henry hated him, or perhaps felt that way towards Henry, after their first awkward meeting.
“Ah, nae,” he replied in his halting Korean, and he moved to sit down at the table beside the band leader. He didn’t know why he was so nervous, it was a completely normal thing to hang out with your friends and tip back a few beers- he’d done it himself when he’d been in Canada quite a few times! But suddenly, surrounded by stars he ought to look up to, it seemed so foreign to him. His knees came together stiffly, his eyes lowered to the table as his hands rested in his lap.
“We were just talking about you,” HeeChul said then, and Henry looked up, watching as the older singer’s lips began to curl to one side in a smile that he was so well known for. “Tablo here was saying how he wanted to borrow you for a few of their songs, too!” Henry’s eyes widened, and his heart was beating so hard, he was sure LeeTeuk beside him could hear it. HeeChul’s smile grew, and he turned his gaze onto Tablo, his look knowing.
“Oh… R-really?” Henry choked out, attempting to seize this opportunity to redeem himself. If he could only get the words out, perhaps he’d be able to have a decent conversation with the musician he was beginning to admire so much. His feelings were innocent, he was sure, it was just that Tablo’s music seemed to speak to him. The meanings were deep, and here and there he’d catch a word in his native language, deepening to meaning to him.
“Yeah-“ Tablo started, seeming a bit caught off guard himself as he shot HeeChul a look that was unreadable to Henry. “You’re really amazing at the violin, it’d be a nice new sound for our music.” Slowly, plush lips began to warm and curl upwards in the corners, and Henry found himself speaking again, more comfortably this time.
‘I’d like that,” he said, and Tablo returned his smile.
Henry didn’t know how much time had passed, all seven of them laughing a little too hard at one of Mithra’s jokes, or listening to a nearly unbelievable account of something that had happened to Jay in Japan. Henry was quite content to sit there all night, his smile contagious as he felt for once that he was truly fitting in. It wasn’t until LeeTeuk had stood to get a beer that a silence fell over the group, a frown pulling his charming features.
“Guys, we’re out of beer,” he said, and at the moment, it seemed like the end of the world, though, from the redness of LeeTeuk’s cheeks, it really was.
“I’ll go run out to get more,” Tablo offered offhandedly. “I think I’m the most sober here.” And it was likely true, all except for in the case of Henry, who was still nursing his second bottle of alcohol. It seemed to be alright to the everyone, until HeeChul spoke up.
“Henli, go with him!” HeeChul interjected, his grin bright and fearsome. “You know where the store is, you can show him!” Henry wanted to protest, his face hot as he looked about at the few members of Super Junior who were there. LeeTeuk was, in short, gone, his playful eyes glazed, and HeeChul wasn’t far behind, half-draped in Jay’s lap. Looking to Tablo, he had no choice but to accept, and so he nodded.
“Alright, let me just grab my coat.”
It was only a little chilly out that evening, the wind gentle as it lifted their hair and brushed over their skin in a soft caress. Every now and then, Henry would dare to glance over at Tablo, the rapper seemingly oblivious of his wander eyes, fixated on the sidewalk. There silence was uncomfortable, the air between them filled with something Henry couldn’t quite put his thumb on. Softly he sighed, letting his eyes take in the deep navy sky, occasionally shielded by the yellow of a streetlight as they passed beneath the glow.
“You didn’t have to come along, I know the way,” Tablo said suddenly, his voice piercing through the still night. It always caused a certain warmth to wash over Henry when the older man spoke in English even in one of his songs, but when it was directed towards him, it made his stomach twist awkwardly.
“Should I have stayed home, then?” he asked tentatively.
“No…” came Tablo’s offhanded reply. “I’m just saying, you could’ve if you wanted to.” The silence between them lingered once again, until Tablo finally looked at him as well. “I just thought that you wouldn’t be interested in hanging around me. Whenever I try to talk to you, you ignore me…. Or something…” he added slowly, and Henry’s eyes widened.
“Ignore you?” he asked incredulously. “Tablo-shi-“
“Just Tablo,” the older man said, cutting off his words gently, and Henry couldn’t help but smile despite himself and the situation.
“Tablo-“ Henry started again in English. “I don’t feel that way at all, I just… Don’t know how to talk to you… I’m just some kid with bad Korean.” He chuckled weakly, a hand coming up to brush his hair away from his eyes.
“Well, that’s funny… Because I’m just some guy who speaks English.” A soft smile came to play about his lips as well.