Lu Han made the mistake of moping after the party, which resulted in his parents launching an investigation and interrogating him as to why he was so unhappy. It was easy to distract one or the other when they were alone, but together, they were an unstoppable, incredibly nosy force.

So Lu Han gave an abridged version of The Plastic Problem.

"They seemed very courteous when we met them at the recital."

Lu Han snorted into his cereal. "Yeah. They always apologise after kicking you."

"If you feel like this, why are you friends with them?"

"It's a long story," the boy replied, hoping his parents would drop it. Unfortunately, parents have a thing where no matter what dismissal they're given, they persist until they get the answer they want. If roles were reversed, the kid would just get grounded and the subject dropped.

Life just wasn't fair.

"It's Sunday morning." Jinki grabbed Jonghyun's thigh under the table. "We're not going anywhere." He squeezed his husband's leg when he threw a pained look, but Jonghyun sighed and settled back in his chair.

After some moments of silence, Lu Han dropped his spoon in the empty bowl and dropped his cheek to his hand, elbow on the table. "There are only two things I dislike about Kyungsoo: his faces."

Jonghyun snorted; Jinki pinched his thigh.

"He can be the nicest guy when it benefits him. Simply turning around, and it's like his brain re-calibrates to prick mode. The whole group--except Yixing. He's pretty nice, but I don't think he's all there. He seems to be lost in thought a lot, and it's unfamiliar territory.--they spread rumours and gossip about EVERYONE. Teachers and staff, students, celebrities. . . Yeah, I know, talk is cheap, but so are they." He squashed the memory of Jongin and Kyungsoo and looked at his parents through his bangs.

Jinki spoke first. "I still don't understand. Why are you hanging out with these people if you don't like them?"

"It. . . It was all just a joke at first. A couple friends have known Kyungsoo and the others since elementary school, and they really want him to be taught a lesson or just to know how they feel. Since I was new, they didn't know me. I could get into any circle I wanted."

"You've been spying on them?!"

"No! Yes? I don't even know anymore!" Lu Han's hands flew in the air helplessly. "I had to change my hair and how I dress and how I talk, and it got a lot of attention, but it got bad pretty quick. Ever since that Halloween party, I've been COMPLETELY miserable, but I don't know how to get out of it. The only real friends I had hate me, now, and the plastics only like me because I sing and look good, but Kyungsoo has it out for me, because his ex supposedly likes me, but he'd been giving Kyungsoo a pretty thorough tonsil examination last I saw them." That memory popped right back up, resisting being squashed again. It still hurt, and Lu Han didn't know whom he disliked more for hurting him.

Jinki and Jonghyun sat looking rather shell-shocked. This was a boys' school. They could only imagine the stress and angst in a girls' school. They both co-ed high schools and did not experience half the drama their son was relating.

"I'll deal with it. Don't worry." He stood to put his dishes in the sink.

As he left the kitchen, Jonghyun called after him "We're your parents; it's our job to worry."

Lu Han didn't know if that made him feel better or worse.

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