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Chapter 17 – In Which EXO Learns a Violent Card Game

Deer Luhan,

Spending Christmas away from the family is hard.  In the UK, it’s a big family thing, whereas here, it appears it’s not.

Also, never play violent card games with Kai.  The reason this is illegible is because I can’t write with my right hand after that last game.  And I thought I could be competitive….

Leigh

We ended up filming the Christmas thing in the hospital with Baekhyun.  The dorm was going to need professional cleaners to get rid of all the flour, and D.O. and I had decided it would be best to smuggle a gigantic Christmas tree into the hospital rather than trying to cook in all the carnage.

“I think we’re going to have to call in a professional plumber to unclog the drains, too,” he muttered to me as we gathered around Baekhyun’s bed, waiting for the cameras to start rolling.  “I hear Suho washed off at least five kilos of flour.”

I had to work very hard not to laugh.  Suho had been so caked in the stuff that his hair still looked grey, prompting a surprised Baekhyun to exclaim: “Gramps!  Did they kill you or something?” when he had walked into the room.  For some reason, Suho hadn’t found it funny.

“Ready to roll!” somebody called out, causing the buzz of noise and activity to disappear.  There was a loud snap and Suho was suddenly counting us in for EXO’s habitual greeting.

“Yay for a cheesy start to Christmas,” I muttered as sparkling streamers exploded all over us, and D.O. snickered softly.

It was kind of hard to think of interesting things to do around the hospital bed, especially after it took the six of us who knew Luhan wasn’t really there half an hour to persuade Suho that the mood wasn’t right for Christmas songs, what with Baekhyun lying on his ‘death’bed and all.  I really had to hand it to the kid: he played it up beautifully, insisting that he couldn’t sing along and that it would ruin his Christmas if everybody but him got to sing, and that he would cry, and that he’d never forgive us, and that above all he didn’t want Luhan to sing as he was responsible for landing him in hospital in the first place (cue angry comments from all of M and none of K that it wasn’t Luhan’s fault), and we ended up with an excruciating pause that even the directors didn’t know how to fill.

Baekhyun soon did, though.

“We should exchange presents,” he announced, looking around at us.  “I’ve decided that my present to you all this year is myself, since you should all be so relieved that I’m still alive.”

“Can somebody please shut him up?” Kris grumbled, but he was smiling.

Present-giving turned out to be an odd mixture of Secret Santa and group love.  Baekhyun was pissed off that he wasn’t allowed up to decorate mine and D.O.’s tree, and Kai and Chanyeol had teamed up with Suho to get Sehun a year’s pass to his favourite bubble tea shop.  Chen presented the group with a gigantic photo album of what he called ‘candid’ shots of everybody and I spent a good hour and a half in hysterics over the fantastic collection of derp faces he’d managed to put in there.  Kris insisted that presents weren’t really his style but, when pressed, admitted to bullying the managers into getting EXO a holiday in the States in February.  Lay and Xiumin huddled in a corner, discussing the gifts they’d exchanged with each other, which left Tao to scamper out of the room, returning not long after in a red outfit and with a large sack of presents.

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