#don’t mind me I’m just thinking about the way that Ji Woo lies in order to shelter Seo Joon
pajindapat · 13 days ago
But it makes sense that the thing Ji Woo most admires about Seo Joon, the thing that gives him the bravery to be vulnerable about his own feelings and initiate that kiss, is non other than Seo Joon’s sheer, unfiltered honesty. It makes sense when all Ji Woo seems to do is lie, from “what happened between us… thinking about it disgusts me” to “it’s just that our attitudes are so different that we simply don’t fit together.” It makes sense that the first truth that Ji Woo utters to Seo Joon in 12 months is that it’s Seo Joon’s honesty that makes him unable to keep lying: “How are you so honest? How do I ignore you now?”
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byul153 · a year ago
[Countdown to 2021] Top 5 Kdrama of 2020
This past year of what was undoubtedly an absolutely horrendous year of 2020--for a variety of reasons--I can honestly say that one of the reasons why I stayed sane was because of Kdrama. Being at home all day, even for an extreme homebody for me, can get harrowing because the choice of going out or not was taken from me when my area went into lockdown.
And so....to Kdrama it is. I think that 2020 was one of the very few years that I’ve seen nearly all of the Kdrama that aired on MBC, SBS, KBS, TvN, and jTBC...which is....a lot, I’ve come to realize. That brought me to think--which would I consider my top 5?
Hmmm.....Well, here I go.
Please note that my top 5 are not in any particular order. Each one that made it to my top 5 is beloved for a completely different reason. I also don’t go down the critic route and pick apart the direction, the story, yada yada. I just made this list purely on how much I enjoyed them and how much they’ve made an impression on me.
#5 -- The Tale of the Nine-Tailed
Starring Lee Dong Wook, Jo Bo Ah, Kim Beom, Hwang Hee
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I like Lee Dong Wook as a Grim Reaper, and I like Lee Dong Wook as a gumiho/nine-tailed fox. What can I say?
That being said, The Tale of the Nine-Tailed was really about Kim Beom’s character Rang. He started as a villain (sort of), then became a reluctant ally (sort of), and then met his end with a smile. He redeemed himself throughout the entire drama, and I shed a lot of tears in the final episode, because he finally was afraid to die because he had something to live for, but his desire for his brother to come back was so strong that he’d gladly give up the remaining time he had, stolen as it was, to give his big brother a final gift. His sacrifice made an impact more with me than any other character because it was so out of character for him, and yet not. His choice wasn’t unexpected, and yet I felt like a train wreck when I finally saw it on the screen.
#4 -- Half of a Half/A Piece of Your Mind
Starring Jung Hae In, Chae Soo Bin, Lee Ha Na, Kim Sung Kyu
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Or....known as the drama that is known for being tragically cut short. Let me tell you, I loved this drama. It’s not an epic romance drama by any means, but the tone of the drama was really calming and healing, which is basically the premise--two lonely souls grieving find solace in one another.
I do wish that they didn’t drag the mystery of “Who is the husband?” for so long, but I enjoyed the dynamics between Moon Ha Won and Ha Seo Woo so much that I really didn’t mind it. I really wished that they would’ve kept the original run of 16 episodes instead of slashing it to a mere 12, because it really limited the writer and directors to wrap up the story, but I also do think that if they went with the 16-episode route we would definitely have the noble idiocy trope inserted, some way or another, instead of the really lovely way that Seo Woo wanted distance from a devastated Ha Won, to get over her sadness and fear of happiness, in order to run to him.
#3 -- The Flower of Evil
Starring Lee Jun Ki, Moon Chae Won, Jang Hee Jin, Seo Hyun Woo
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If Kairos was a suspense drama, The Flower of Evil was definitely a thriller teetering on the edges of horror. My God, this drama scared the living daylights out of me. Lee Jun Ki as a (alleged) sociopath I could see, considering that he acted a similar role in the drama-that-must-not-be-named, but in the flashbacks his serial killer father’s eyes was enough for me to shut my laptop and just breathe.
....And that was before the introduction of Kim Ji Hoon’s character.
Lee Jun Ki is the main lead, and the story focuses on him, but the one who shone in this drama was definitely Kim Ji Hoon. I’ve watched Kim Ji Hoon over the years, and I am somewhat convinced that his sudden appearance as a very psychopathic killer will jump out at my screen and strangle me in my chair. It’s very different from his usual roles and, my God, I am looking forward what he’ll choose for his next project.
#2 -- The King: Eternal Monarch
Starring Lee Min Ho, Kim Go Eun, Kim Kyung Nam, Woo Do Hwan
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Ah, the epic modern-Korean monarchy...but with a twist of parallel universes, and more! (Let’s sprinkle in time travel while we’re at it!)
I think that this is the one drama in 2020 where I was simultaneous satisfied that it was finished, and yet still full of unanswered questions. Like, how does a cross-universe couple happen? Especially with doppelgängers?? And why can only certain people remember what happened??? What happens now????
Putting that aside, The King: Eternal Monarch had one major flaw: Lee Rim, played by veteran Lee Jung Jin. I felt that they completely his potential as a very potent villain in the interest of creating an epic love story. I did love the Lee Gon-Jung Tae Eul couple and chemistry (which they did, contrary to some people’s opinions), and it was the characters that really stayed with me--i.e. Jo Young/Jo Eun Sup. Woo Do Hwan really outdid him in both his characters. He nearly convinced me that it was two different actors play two characters!
And...now to #1.
#1 -- Do You Like Brahms?
Starring Park Eun Bin, Kim Min Jae, Kim Sung Chul, Park Ji Hyun
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OK....I said that I loved each drama differently, right? Ahahaha....yeah, all lies. If I were to pick just ONE drama of the year, it’d be Do You Like Brahms? 
How many ways can I wax poetic about this one? I am still obsessed with this drama, and so very happy that Kim Min Jae and Park Eun Bin won the Best Couple Award for this drama at this year’s SBS Drama Awards. I have my gripes about the drama, but they don’t in any way outweigh the highs.
I just loved the respect and communication between Park Joon Young and Chae Song Ah, both before as acquaintances/friends/comrades in respective unrequited loves, and afterwards as the giddy, heart-fluttering moments as a couple. They understood each other, and accepted one another, as two people experiencing the same pain. They didn’t try to sugarcoat it or hide it behind a smile, which they did towards everyone else. Even with Joon Young’s missed opportunities to communicate, Song Ah tried her very best, when she clearly told him that she didn’t appreciate being in the dark, and that she wanted to lean on him. I also loved how in the drama, their words and actions mirrored one another, in the way that they confessed their feelings, and asked the other to wait--not a rejection, but for an opportunity to catch up.
Honorable Mention -- Forest
Starring Park Hae Jin, Jo Bo Ah, No Gwang Sik, Jung Yeon Joo
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I really like Park Hae JIn, and I really like Jo Bo Ah, so put them together? Yep, we have Forest--a drama that mixes romance, mystery(?), and the proverbial forest. The drama did fall kind of flat, which was a disappointment, considering how much news I’ve heard about it, and the villains didn’t get as much development they needed to seem as “evil” they should be.
One of my favorite lines of the drama I think will stay as one of my favorites is a line made by Park Hae Jin’s Kang Sang Hyeok in the final episode (yes, I know): “The reason why I’m acting like this now...is solely because of my personal revenge--the sacred sense of duty that you think I have...I don’t.” He acknowledges his wrongdoing and is making amends, but he doesn’t apologize or try to coat his actions as anything but self-serving. He’s not someone who immediately changes due to the power of love, but takes it slowly.
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sakuari · 5 years ago
White Chrysanthemums
(Bawn Bawn x Yolo/Ban Ryu x Yeol Woo) A Hwarang fanfiction
Yeol Woo loves poking into people’s love lives. He just as equally loves matchmaking like the devilish cupid he is. He’s helped, flirted, and destroyed relationships in all of Silla like the heartbreaker he is. He’s mended a few too - but only the ones he found worthy of surviving to entertain him. He’s seen it all: the dramatic confessions, the mouth-gagging public displays of affection, and the trembling breakups. But he never truly experienced it all. He wonders every once in a while, but he rather watch from a distance.
He loves watching the other soldiers. Hansung is a fluffy fanboy of Seon Woo’s and the latter is an awkward dog-bird who doesn’t understand how life works but tries anyways. Ji Dwi is an obsessive mysterious weirdo looking for Ah Ro’s love, but Yeol Woo got tried of watching that real quick. Soo Ho and Ban Ryu are funny to watch; they bicker and beat each other up every fucking day and he loves it. Very entertaining, eh? Soo Ho’s too playboy for WooWoo’s taste however. Adds drama and tension, but is hella predictable after repeating continuously with like twelve women. Ban Ryu was an interesting case: stereotypical tough-outside, soft-inside man. His sixth sense could tell. And he wanted to test out his sixth sense.
One fine day, Yeol Woo stal-followed, I mean, Ban Ryu to see how this open-shut case would go about his daily life. At first, Ban Ryu woke up at exactly 6 A.M, one hour before people should actually wake up, and went off to take a morning shower, summoning a VERY intrigued Yeol Woo to the showers.
“Hellooo~ Let’s see what you bring to the table.” He whispered seductively to himself before pulling never-before-seen ninja skills.
He wasn’t sure what to expect, but he knew he liked it. Maybe too much. He melted and thirsted for more after watching through a secret hole he carved beforehand, somehow not being arrested as a peeping tom. He watched the man’s muscles with eagle eyes, seeing them ripple and the water drops streaming down jaggedly on his back. His soaked hair bun gave way to a subtle contrast to his tanned skin and his stark, dark brown eyes. The drops covered up the sound of the beautiful man’s thumping heartbeats, synchronizing together into rhythm. Wait. Why is he looking here? “FUCK.” Mission abort, mission abort!
After scrambling into the thorny ass bushes and desperately trying to cover up his “following,” Yeol Woo tried to make up for lost time and move onto the next event in the main course: training. It took WooWoo five minutes to realize that it was a day off and that most of the Hwarang were off into Silla to visit family and friends. Soo Ho went into town to tease his sister, Soo Yeon, and Ah Ro went to the markets to buy medical supplies and protect Soo Yeon. Seon Woo followed close behind, lost - and Ji Dwi not far from him to study his opponent. Finally, Han Sung skipped behind to follow Seon Woo. Damn was he lucky to have an opportunity like this.
He moved to the fields (which have very little bushes) and silently watched Ban Ryu with those same silent hawk eyes. Yeol Woo chuckles to himself and finds himself blushing all shades of pink and red he’s never felt before. Weird. He’s not even his type. They haven’t even reached the juiciest parts of the day yet. Feelings of confusion poked his heart constantly as he watched from afar. All was silent, until a little butterfly crossed paths with the bushes…
“Tsk! Damn!” He exclaimed through gritted teeth. He knew of two things that bothered him. One was that the arrow missed the bull’s eye by millimeters. The other was he was being stalked by Yeol Woo. He knew. He always and already knew. His guess was between Soo Ho and that guy; it didn’t take much to figure it out after that shower moment. He scoffs and remembers how easy it was to catch him:
Yeol Woo wasn’t the greatest in stealth, so he left a trail of suspicious noises that no one would normally hear at 4 in the morning (dude can’t even tell time, Gods.) He poked his eye through a conspicuous hole that was large enough to fit a fist through; all Ban Ryu had to do was to play along to spook him and catch his peep. And he did. Then he heard the yelp and the trail of hiccups shooting out of ear shot. Easy. All he needed was some back-up evidence to firm up the case: gossip. He listened in on conversations, hearing how odd Yeol Woo was acting to everyone today. The last thing he remember doing was smirking and grabbing his weapons for training.
Back to the present, Ryu. Earth to Ban Ryu. He steadied his bowstring, calmly readying his arrow. His eyebrows furrowed, his demeanor tense. Eyes targeting the bull’s eye, he was about to release the arrow into take-off when…
“ACCCCHHOOOOO!” Yeol Woo sneezed and the butterfly fluttered away with the wind. Ban Ryu, startled, had let go of the arrow, it throttling no more than seven feet into the grass. Pissed as all hell? Check. Fuming with murderous rage? Check! Prepared with a weapon of choice? Check and check!
Shit went down. LET’S LEAVE IT AT FUCKING THAT. Punches were thrown, squeals from divas were made, things happened, okay?
Both were caught fighting in the fields by Hwi Hwa and were summoned into his office. One came in pouty and with a couple bruises. The other moody and fuming with anger. Both knew they weren’t gonna get a chance to explain. The headmaster circled around them once to add some fear to set in before taking his seat at his cluttered desk filled with liquors of all sorts.
“What are two idiots punching each other in a field for?” Hwi Hwa said in a taunting yet calm manner. “Well, one of you.” He eyed Ban Ryu and the latter broke away from contact. The older man chuckles.
“No matter. We have to keep our image and reputation as a respectful place of education and training. We wouldn’t want news to get out to your families of your release, I presume?” Both boys stiffened. Ban Ryu knew what would happen if he disobeyed his fathers’* orders; it definitely wasn’t gonna be pretty. Yeol Woo wasn’t gonna have a source of entertainment anymore, and he lamented over that. Hwi Hwa knew he hit a spot, ensnaring them into his trap.
“It won’t happen again, sir.” Ban Ryu curtly replied.
“I concur for this side as well.” Yeol Woo quietly murmured.
“Good. I digress. Would you like some tea? Imported it from a province nearby.” The headmaster pours out some into simply-decorated, porcelain cups. Both deny it, with WooWoo getting even more red and Ban Ryu itching to leave to vent out his anger. The former stands up and leaves swiftly, the broad doors opening up and soon closing, engulfing the sun out a few moments later. It’s the other’s turn to leave, but is frozen in place when he hears the headmaster’s voice.
“Why don’t you keep me company a little longer?”
Ban Ryu gulped. His eyes went wide and his body trembled. He knew this could not end well. He turned around silently and sat back down on the wicker chair.
“Good. You can be obedient sometimes.” He pushed the cup in the direction of the boy with his fingertip. “You’ll need it after I’m done talking to you.”
Meanwhile, right outside the door, Yeol Woo convinced (a.k.a. flirted with) the guards to let him linger around. He (and the guards) listened in, holding their breath to hear every single biting word.
They hear through the door an exchange of sorts.
“I know you. I know your family. And you know me. I’m not afraid to pull out my cards and flush you out. I can pull tricks unimaginable to torment you in this school. It hasn’t been a day since your last brawl. Tired with Soo Ho, I guess? Switching punching bags? I can use all these little incidents against you and kick you out. Daddy wouldn’t like that, would he?” Hwi Hwa cackles with ferocity and heartiness then continues. “This is power. The strong will tame and defeat the weak. The weak will comply. The son of a high-ranking dragon has let the fear spread over his face and has been quashed by a mere man. Where’s the power left in you now? Oh wait; you never had any. Remember that, kid.” He slams his hands on the table as he stands up, making Ban Ryu and the alcohol bottles shook.
The guards exclaim, “Damn, he’s pouring it on!” “That kid isn’t gonna survive in Hwi Hwa’s world!” “Whoo! ROAST!”
Yeol Woo knew his mistake. He had to rectify it but how? He learned tidbits of things he shouldn’t have known. He sparked something that shouldn’t have been ignited.
The door was being opened. Yeol Woo ran off, thinking on his plan of action. The guards reverted to their poker faces and demeanor.
“After you, weakling,” the headmaster snarled with a smirk, pulling a courtesy to open the doors himself. A defeated Ban Ryu was paler than the moon, his red lips highlighted even more than usual and his ebony eyes were wide with fright. He walked slowly and carefully, trying not to give in to his weak knees. He breathed gravelly and heavily, almost as if his lungs were weighed down by an elephant. His anger disappeared almost instantly; fear replaced it.
He somehow stumbled back to his room and slumped himself onto his bed. He wasn’t in the mood to do anything. He felt small and useless, like a puppet. Casted away when he’s no longer needed or trampled upon when it’s his turn to perform lies. He truly was scared; he felt fear like never before and didn’t know how to handle it. He had no one to confide it, no one to turn to. His head was dizzy from all this new pressure and events he can’t wrap his head around so he closed his eyes to rest. Just a quick little rest is all he needs now…
Yeol Woo knew what he was about to get into. He knew he wouldn’t interfere with this nut case, but his little heart took control over his mind. Yeol Woo poked his head up to the upper bunk, watching Ban Ryu quietly sleep. He squealed inside and watched the man’s long eyelashes flutter or twitch. He smiled in his sleep (but his body knew what it was doing and unconsciously reverted back to a scowl.) Sleep-talking came in every once in a while. Phrases like “FIGHT ME, SCRUB SOO HO!” or “I’ll take some chapchae and mandu, please” were muttered in his sleep. It was cute, and WooWoo embraced the urge to kiss him. A little peck on the cheek, Ban Ryu smiled but was still stuck in his dreams. Yeol Woo left a little gift in his hands and dashed off somewhere. He wanted to see if he could make a true, successful match with Ban Ryu.
Ban Ryu woke up eventually, noticing the letter and some flowers. He was at first shocked at how bold this person was to give a little bouquet of white chrysanthemums and what looked like a love letter, until he read it.
“My dearest Ban Ryu, I’m sorry for the complications I caused you today. I want to make it up to you. No drama, no traps, just a talk between us. I…heard some things that I shouldn’t have but I want to talk to you about it. I know I shouldn’t pry, and you don’t have to say anything. Just stay with me for a minute, get some air to loosen up that stuffy attitude of yours! I won’t set you up with anyone! I promise! And I won’t stalk you for a little while. Everyone is still roaming around; no one’s gonna care if two dudes hang out at a bar for a little bit! So what do you say? Come meet me at 9. -Your Amazing Friend, Yeol Woo”
“What the fuck is this? Leverage? Entertainment? Threats?” Ban Ryu, puzzled, tried to decode the underlying message. But he gave up quickly after that. At first, he decided not to go. But he changed it after wanting to give this man bitch a piece of his mind and seeing how this plays out. He changes and stomps out to the bar, white chrysanthemums in hand to sort out this nonsense.
Yeol Woo, dolled up and catching the eyes of all the peasants, strolled to the bar with a look of confidence. But underneath was a feeling of dread and uncertainty: what’s gonna happen? Will he figure out how to solve this if it goes south? He shook his head to banish these dubious thoughts and continued in. He sees Ban Ryu, poker-faced as usual. He noticed the flowers in hand and hesitated for a moment.
“What is he doing?” Both thought. They met up at a table in a private room. Loud and sassy music filled the air, infecting almost everyone with its rhythm in the main hall. Men and women were dancing, singing, mingling, letting loose. Yeol Woo gingerly took his seat opposite Ban Ryu’s. For once, he wad at a loss for words. He just carried a conversation with a bullied Soo Ho and an energetic Hansung about Ji Dwi’s sleeping abs seven minutes ago. Now he can’t even utter a sound.
“What do you want with me? Spit it out.” Ryu wasn’t interested in this games. He wanted the truth and only the truth; he was tired as is and has his hands full, literally and metaphorically.
“Why’d you bring those flowers?”
“I want to know what these mean. Is this some form of mockery? Some joke as my title of a Hwarang*?”
Yeol Woo was appalled. “No! They have a special meaning! And I wanted to tal-”
“WHAT MEANING? WHAT IS THERE TO TALK ABOUT?” Ban Ryu roared. His nerves were already triggered when he talked to his headmaster; it was time that he snapped. The music covered up the muffled roar, and everyone ignorant to the events unfolding.
“There’s nothing for you to stick your ass in! Mind your own damn business!” Ryu threw the bouquet at the frightened WooWoo. He was done with everything. He didn’t need another nuisance on his plate. He moved towards the door, but stopped once heard a whisper barely audible in competition with the music.
“L-lo-oyalt-ty and-d de-devotion-n.” He stuttered. His voiced gradually strengthened and recovered. “Lov-ving support-t and pl-latonic affection. Pure love.”
Ban Ryu turned around, stunned by Yeol Woo’s words. He didn’t know how to take it. An almost complete stranger is asking, son of one of the mightiest and cutthroat advisors to royalty, to trust him and depend on him. Yeol Woo was on the verge of tears; he was overemotional considering all that happened. The two felt the tension and uncertainty, the two afraid to do a single thing except breathe.
Breaking the silence, Ryu walked towards Yeol Woo and knelt down. He took the latter’s hand and took it, saying [insert Eucharist shit], “I apologize for my actions. I didn’t mean to-”
“It’s fine. I understand. Everything is just rushing. Maybe we should just slow all this shit down.” He wiped his dramatic diva tears and fanned his face to dry non-waterproof makeup.
Of course, Ryu knew he wasn’t ready to share anything of substance or significance to him. But it was a start to have someone support him on his path. That thought calmed him and enlightened him “A friend.” He thought. “A friend.” He quietly smiled inwardly and decided to give this a shot.He took the dishelved flowers and tried to fix them, being the second-most awkward man alive (Seon Woo obviously holds the title for first.)
Yeol Woo laughed a little, still slightly shaken from the emotional roller coaster of a day. Hormones probably got to them and the atmosphere too because who knows? He sat on the floor and laid his head down on his crush’s shoulder when Ryu sat down, and together they talked. They laughed, awkwardly smiled, and hummed off-key to the tune of the music. They had some emotional moments, some comedic ones. Everything was heavenly, seeing Ban Ryu’s nose crinkle and his eyes smile brightly like the stars above them. To Ban Ryu, he was content with the mood and it was pleasing watching his new ‘friend’ be happy too. He felt his heartbeat lurch a little faster and likewise to the other too.
The two found what they needed the most. For Ban Ryu, a companion to be his anchor, even if it was sudden. For Yeol Woo, an honest chance at love. They held the bouquet together, their hands touching by accident. Both blush, maybe one a little too red. They spent the rest of the night revealing a little bit on themselves and getting a little closer before going home to the bunks before they get beat up by the guards for staying out late. Who knew that this pair would get along? And who knew that they weren’t really alone…?
A.k.a. Soo Ho, Ji Dwi, and Seon Woo saw everything at the bar that night. EVERYTHING.
“Shut up you fucking idiot. You’ll give our position away. I ship it. Kinda. To be honest, I wanna see where this goes.”
“What’s a ‘ship’? Who does Ban Ryu belong to? What do you mean by position?” Seon Woo asked.
“SHUT UP SEON WOO. NO ONE ASKED YOU.” Both of them said in unison.
Hey, this is a really long fic (it’s my first time going this long.) I mean, I might do something similar and make a chronicles of it like Delley/Shavey (which is coming back soon.) Kudos if you finished it and survived through the cringy clichés and tropes. I’m doing this for a friend, who’s my partner in motivating me to make this and a really close friend in real life. There’s probably grammar mistakes but I’m too lazy to send to my editor to check. I meant to cut it, but I’m too invested in it. If you like my work, cool. If you don’t think it’s your cup of tea, I suggest finding better writers than me. They have some good work.
*Yes, Ban Ryu despises being a Hwarang. Yes, he technically has two fathers. But this is an AU fanfic I suppose. There’s a few details that are different too, but whatever.
So thanks for reading.
To The Beautiful You,
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