Kris groaned, joints aching after another day wasted in the practice rooms, although if he had voiced that opinion, Lay would have strongly disagreed and might have even taken a stab at Kris' poor flexibility. The tall man made a noise akin to a whine, sinking into a small, cushioned chair in the corner of the room as the others dragged themselves to their rooms, too exhausted to worry about dinner.
Reaching out for the mouse, Kris turned on the constantly running desktop, waiting impatiently for the contraption to come to life. He could hear the clanging and banging of cupboard doors behind him, and glanced over his shoulder to see Lay reaching for a bowl, bags of food clutched in his left hand and arm.
An almost silent ringing came from the computer, and Kris whipped around to log onto the administrative account–sadly, the only account, as the managers had said something about privacy not being an issue, at which point Kris had almost called bull–and opened google chrome.
The browser popped up quickly, calming Kris down with the soothing rainbow of Google's lettering. Ignoring the whimper behind him as Lay stumbled and dumped his bag of snacks all over the linoleum flooring, Kris went through his daily routine, beginning with the popular news sites.
More mindless chatter about Block B.
Apparently B.A.P. had made another comeback. Kris paused on the article and cocked an eyebrow wondering how in the world the group managed to come out with a new song practically every other month. He pitied the group as a dull ache settled in the soles of his feet, reminding his of choreo practice. He could only imagine the blondes' pain.
Kris grimaced when he saw one lone KCON article. He bypassed it as soon as he saw the telltale title, containing the word 'secret.' He clenched his teeth. It wasn't his fault that everyone had neglected to tell him that it would all be broadcasted live.
Continuing on, he spotted yet another story about PSY. This time he was getting featured on some MTV Awards show. He silently applauded the man. He had seen the stats, and knew America well enough to know that the senior would continue for quite a while. A frown slipped onto his face. But what about after that? When people eventually came to hate the song? He clicked off the article, dismissing the thought. It wasn't his problem, although he was starting to get tired of the thing they had going on. If he had to cry out MAMA one more time in the next couple days, he swore he was going to–
“Careless, careless. Shoot anony–“
“Yixing,” Kris hissed, turning in the seat, “shut up. Why are you awake anyway? Go to bed.”
“Don't boss me around, Leader,” Lay sang playfully, biting down on a cracker that had escaped the untimely demise of its cousins- the cookies sprawled across the expanse of the not even close to spotless floor. “I'm hungry. I shall go when I want to. Plus, Luhan gets crabby when he stays up too late. I don't want to be around that. Just ignore me until he goes to sleep; give me ten minutes.”
Kris narrowed his eyes at the dancer and turned back to the screen, opening a new tab and closing the previous ones. He glanced over his shoulder before quickly typing in the URL and hiding the screen from the other's sight. He'd erase the history later; no one would be the wiser.
From time to time, Kris enjoyed checking up on what was going on with American fans. He made up some about learning trends and familiarizing himself with the current slang whenever questioned by the others, but really, it was very entertaining.
Tumblr popped up, its glorious hue of blue filling the entire screen. Kris greedily went through the usual tags, chuckling here and there, causing the curious Lay to frown, feeling quite left out.
“What are you–“
“Eat your crackers,” Kris commanded, quickly moving over to the EXO tag before deleting the history, wanting to do that one last thing before attempting to shoo Lay away and off to bed.
It started out well, a few questionable things Kris quickly skipped over. It was all mainly pictures from recent times and not-so-recent alike, even a few pre-debut pictures which led Kris to wonder how in the world fans had gotten their hands on those.
He kept scrolling until he reached a picture of someone who he had never seen before. Slightly curious, and slightly confused, he glanced at the tags. Big mistake. He stared at the picture in shock for a full minute before pushing his chair away from the desk in disgust.
“THE IS THIS?!”
“What? What is it?” Lay set down his boxes and wandered over, easily making his way around the fuming Canadian and stared at the screen, growing increasingly confused. “I don't get it. It's a Thai boy? What about him?” He turned to face the leader. “Why are you looking at Thai boys anyway?”
“Not him.” Kris growled, pulling himself closer and effectively blocking Lay's exit. He zoomed in on the comments below the picture. “Read that.”
Lay grimaced and leaned in, squinting at the screen. “Th-tha-no, wait-that. That? Am I saying it right? T-that b–“
Kris sighed in exasperation. “Stop. It's talking about how hot he is,” He explained, translating the short paragraph after suffering through Lay's poor English skills. At least, those pertaining to reading.
Lay frowned. “Okay? Am I supposed to agree with you?”
“NO.” Kris pulled at his honey-tinted hair. “He's–you don't understand!”
“You're right,” Lay agreed with a tired sigh, “I don't.”
“They think he's one of us.”
“But he's not! It's obvious!”
Kris groaned, refraining from moving his aching arm to run an irritated hand through his hair. “Not like that! Like, as a replacement!”
“SM's replacing us?” Lay asked, deeply confused, a crease forming on his forehead.
“Ugh. NO! You're so dense!”
“I'm dense?” Lay scoffed. “You're the one who's not making any sense.”
Incensed, Kris opened his mouth to shout back a reply, but was interrupted by the creaking of a door.
“Guys, we're tired. Tao's trying to sleep. Think you could keep it down a bit?” Xiumin croaked in a tired voice, stepping out into the main room, rubbing his eyes.
Kris coughed. “Yeah. Sorry, I'm trying to get Lay to go to bed, but he won't–“
“Xiumin's name is Ninja?” Lay wondered aloud, leaning closer to the screen. He had spied the familiar words shortly after Kris' insult and had read the following paragraph below the one that had seemed to worry the Chinese man.
“What is he talking about?” Xiumin slowly made his way forward after receiving a shrug from Kris. He stared at the screen for a full minute before speaking. “What are you looking at, exactly?”
“These guys,” Lay motioned to the bunch unhelpfully, “apparently they're hot, according to Kris.”
Xiumin sent the younger a concerned stare. “Is there anything you should be telling me, Kevin Li?”
Kris groaned and leaned into the chair. “No! And I never said that! He's twisting my words!”
Xiumin raised an eyebrow, but said nothing, reading whatever was on the screen. He froze halfway through. “So, wait. They're supposed to be us?”
“That's what I said!” Lay exclaimed, throwing his hands into the air. “But he said no!”
“GUYS!” Chen growled, stomping into the room. “You're being louder than I am. And that's bad. And kind of impossible.”
“I agree.” Luhan dragged himself over, collapsing on the couch. “What are you doing, anyway?”
“Staring at guys.”
Chen blinked at the eldest. “Wait. What? I expected that from Lay, not from you.”
“You guys,” An almost silent whine carried over from the hall, “why are we all being so loud?”
Kris bolted out of his chair. “Tao, it's nothing. Go back to bed, you worked hard today.”
Nevertheless, the youngest peered over the blonde's shoulder, frowning. “What's going on? What is everyone doing at the computer?” Suddenly, his eyes became as wide as saucers. “Are they watching...” He trailed off, not really wanting to tread that territory.
“NO!” Kris shouted, horrified that his innocent didi would even think that. “God, no!”
“Kris, get over it,” Lay called from the computer. “He's nineteen, it was bound to come up sometime.”
Kris spun to face the now-seated dancer. “Did you tell him about that crap? Because if you did, I'm giving you chores for the next month.”
“It wasn't him,” Tao stretched and bounded over to his fellow housemates, “we do have cable, I hope you know.” He squeezed his way in between Luhan and Chen whilst Kris clenched his jaw and wandered away, trying to figure out how to disconnect the cable from their television.
“Wait! Hey, I have a person!” Luhan grinned, pointing at the screen. “Wait... Coco?” He grimaced at the name. “Well,” he began, crossing his arms, “that not very manly.”
Chen rolled his eyes and continued scrolling. “Kris... there's a lot of these.”
Kris nodded, giving up mid-yank at the powerful cord, instead making his way back to his assembled group. “Yeah.”
Lay glanced up from the comfortable swivel chair. “Well... what do we do?”
Luhan screwed up his face. “Is there anything to do? I mean, they're just fans having fun, right?”
Tao stopped Chen from continued his journey through the page. “Look, it's a video!” He announced gleefully. “Let's watch it!” He leaned forward and pressed play before anyone could object.
MAMA began playing from the speakers and Kris repressed a loud cry of agony. Luhan leaned in closer to the screen, looking for the manliest among the group; Xiumin watched judgmentally as six began to dance; Lay danced along; and Chen stared at the screen in confusion.
“... they're not even singing.”
Tao shushed the Korean man, grinning as another six took the stage. “Look! They're even doing what we do!”
“Well, yeah,” Xiumin huffed, unimpressed. “It's a cover; that's the general definition: to copy the original.”
Tao frowned slightly, until the front parted in time for the person whom he assumed to be his representative in the group to do a backflip, springing off his hands and landing perfectly on his feet, despite in the small space. Tao clapped his hands. “Did you see that? Yifan, did you see that?”
Kris nodded slowly, slightly frightened by the adoring look in the younger's eyes.
As soon as the performance was done, Tao leaned forward and embraced the screen. “That was perfect.”
“Tao, they were just copying us.” Lay stated as Xiumin worked to pry the youngest off the screen.
“But they did a really good job.” Tao whined, refusing to detach himself from the monitor. Finally, Kris had to come over and drag him away.
Xiumin groaned as soon as the comments were visible. “Looks like Tao wasn't the only one who thought they were good.”
Chen scrunched up his nose as he read through the comments, most of which were written in Thai. The ones he could make out all sang high praise for the twelve boys. He turned to Kris. “Do you think we might have a problem?”
“Of course not.” Kris spoke over Tao, resting his chin on the boy's shoulder. “We have a company and a huge fanbase. We shouldn't have to worry.”
“Um, might want to rethink one of those.” Luhan stated, navigating over to a site dedicated to the cover band.
Kris' expression hardened. “Someone get me a phone. I need to call Suho.”
Kris punched in the number as Tao continued to fawn over Ton, asking the others if they thought that the blue-haired boy would show Tao how to do the flip if he asked. When all replied in the affirmative, Tao grinned and danced around the room ecstatically. Kris clenched his jaw.
“Yeah, Suho, it's Kris. We have a problem.”
There was a little amount of shuffling on the other line, and then a noise that sounded oddly like a sob. “Yes, we do have a problem. IT'S THREE IN THE MORNING, KRIS. WHAT IN THE WORLD COULD YOU WANT AT THREE IN THE MORNING?”
“What...” Sehun spoke drowsily in the distance.
“Go back to bed, Sehun. Listen, Kris, is this really that big of a deal? Can't it just wait until later on?”
“No. Now get on your computer.”
The line went silent for a moment. Kris through that he'd lost Suho, until an answer came softly and held somewhat or an annoyed tone to it, “what.”
“Go. Get on your computer.”
“I swear, if this in an interview, I'm taking everyone out for lunch and you're paying.”
“It's not an interview.” Kris stated impatiently.
“Then what is this about?”
Kris could hear shuffling from Suho's side. “It's about... fanboys.”
“Jesus ing Christ, Wu. You woke me up to talk about fanboys?” Suho hissed, “That's it, I'm going back to bed.”
“No!” Kris shouted, making all those in the room jump slightly with his outburst. “Just do it, okay?”
Suho grumbled something about being too agreeable, but did as Kris told him, pausing when he reached a search engine. “What now?”
“Just type in EXO fanboys. You'll find it.”
Suho sighed and did so, eyes falling shut slowly. He yawned and flipped through the results, wondering what he was looking for. Then he found it. “Kris... since when did we have a cover band?”
“We have a cover band?!”
“Chanyeol,” Suho groaned, “why are you even up? And how are you smiling?!”
“I don't know either. He's a freak of nature.”
Suho groaned, “And you dragged Baekhyun with you?”
Kris exhaled. “Hey, put me on speaker.”
Suho pressed the button and set the phone on the desk, continuing his trek through the cluster of pictures. He felt Baekhyun and Chanyeol join him on either side, staring at the screen.
“We're here to join the party,” Kai laughed as he pushed Kyungsoo forward, joining the three at the computer. “What's going on?”
“Fanboys,” Luhan's voice announced from the abandoned device.
“You mean the two in California?” Kai frowned.
“There were more than two,” Kris defended quickly.
Kai rolled his eyes. “Whatever. What's so special about them?”
“They're different fans,” Baekhyun began, “it seems that we have a cover band.”
“Wassat?” Sehun came stumbling out of his bedroom, rubbing his eyes and teetering over to where the others were gathered.
“They even have an insignia!” Lay called out appreciatively. “Wow, they've pretty much covered everything.”
Suho paused. “Is everyone up over there, too?”
“Pretty much,” Kris sighed as a chorus of greetings were shouted from the phone.
Lay continued snooping around, going from site to site to find more. He burst out laughing when he came across a group of pictures. “You guys!”
“What?” Kris was immediately by his side, fearing the worst. Had they signed a record deal? Were they going to be eclipsed by this group of Thai boys?
“They do ships.”
“What.” Luhan wormed his way to the front, staring at the screen. “So, wait. Is that...”
“Hunhan,” Lay stated with a small smile. He nudged Luhan with his elbow. “You think they go on bubble tea dates, too?”
Luhan let out a nervous laugh before retreating to his room. He grabbed his phone off the bedside table and called his first speed dial, worrying his lip between his teeth. The call was received, and before the other could speak, Luhan whispered, “Sehun, they know.”
Suho furiously ripped through page after page, paying no mind to the whispering teen behind him or the hysterical boys flanking his sides. He came to a complete stop when a video flashed by and he caught the view count. No way. He pushed away and stalked into the living room, ignoring the fact that Baekhyun had taken his place to switch over to SNSD videos, Chanyeol standing faithfully by his side and only Sehun standing behind them, whispering soothingly into his phone; Kai and Kyungsoo had given up and gone back to bed long ago.
“What do we do?” Suho questioned the elder, not liking the fact that he didn't know the answer. He ran a hand through his unnatural curls and tried not to imagine someone else playing his part in a country a few hours away.
Kris wandered away from where Lay was delightedly flicking through pictures, talking animatedly with Chen and Xiumin, Tao examining each with an adoring gaze over their heads.
“There's only one thing we can do,” He began, throwing a look over his shoulder. He lowered his voice, “there's only one thing that can stop this madness.”
Suho groaned, not liking the sound of that. He wandered further away from Twinkle being blasted from the living room, Baekhyun squealing in excitement as he appeared on screen, if only for a moment. “And what is that, exactly?”
Hahahaha. Don't ask. I don't even know. More word throw-up than anything else. Just felt like writing something...
If you haven't heard of Millenium Boy, you should look them up, if only to have something to do while EXO "prepares for their comeback."
I'd tell you that I'd add another chapter, but EXO would have to make a comeback for that to happen.