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#stray kids imagines
eightlee · a day ago
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KINKTOBER
+18 ; hair pulling ( hwang hyunjin )
warnings; fingering, oral (f receiving), hair pulling, soft and unedited honestly
“god,” your back arches as hyunjin’s tongue does wonders against your clit, sending chilling waves throughout the nerves in your body. “d-don’t stop.”
he hums in return, content that he is able to make you feel good and have you running back to him after every date because they couldn’t make you cum the way he does. a finger teases against your entrance, before it slips in easily with the lubricant that is a sweet concoction of your slick and his saliva. he’s starting to get agitated that you haven’t been treated like the goddess you are with other men, but then again, here you are— clenching so tightly around his one singular finger as a wet patch forms on his sheets.
hyunjin slips in another finger and a beckoning motion right on your sweet spot has you grasping on whatever you can have in your hands, the sheets, the pillows, anything that could ground you from the overwhelming pleasure.
“princess, you can touch me.” hyunjin reminds with a chuckle, momentarily glancing at you as you lift your heavy head from the pillows to catch his words. he notes your confusion, using his free hand to point to his golden blonde locks and you get it immediately, hands rushing to his head as they hesitantly grip on it as softly as you could manage. however, hyunjin wasn’t letting that happen just yet.
he gets back to work on your clit, lips wrapping around it as he sucks on it hard. his fingers speed up inside you, curling and thrusting against all the right spots that has your mind blank. a broken moan that borderlines a cry leaves your throat at the sudden build up, hands gripping harder into his scalp as you pull him closer towards you, never wanting this feeling to end, ever. hyunjin moans at the sting, sending the vibrations from his vocal chords right into your bundle of nerves, sending waves of ecstasy throughout.
“h-hyunjin!!!” you cry out his name, and though a part of you is worried for his scalp, the way it has him groaning as he continues to tighten the knot that’s on the verge of snapping makes you think otherwise. he loves this as much as you do. he loves having you to ruin, and he loves being ruined by you. the way he’s practically held down to make you cum, the way his scalp is probably going to hurt when he showers with hot water, the way it was all an indication of how well he’s making you feel— it drives him to insanity.
“that’s it princess, gonna cum?” hyunjin has the slightest smile of pride when he asks, now entirely focusing the pads of his finger on your g-spot and eating you out like a man that starved.
“y-yeah, please d-ah- don’t stop please.” your face contorts with pleasure, voice parched as you feel it getting closer, and it feels much more intense than whatever you have had in recent days. your quivering thighs now encasing him entirely as keeping them open would have been an impossible task at this stage if he wasn’t in between them.
who would treat you better than i do? hyunjin finds himself pondering, adoration and guilt blended together into butterflies that fills his entire being.
“cum for me, please.”
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jl-micasea-fics · a day ago
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𝐊𝐈𝐍𝐊𝐓𝐎𝐁𝐄𝐑 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏: 𝐃𝐀𝐘 𝟏𝟓
𝐊𝐈𝐍𝐊: Lingerie kink
𝐏𝐀𝐈𝐑𝐈𝐍𝐆: Self-insert, female reader x Stray Kids Hyunjin
𝐖𝐀𝐑𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆𝐒: Strong language, explicit sexual content, use of lingerie, fetishization of lingerie, changing room sex, semi-public sex, praise and worship
𝐒𝐄𝐑𝐈𝐄𝐒 𝐍𝐀𝐕: Kinktober contents list | Kinktober prompt list
𝐂𝐎𝐏𝐘𝐑𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐓: © October 2021 by jl-micasea
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There's nothing quite as satisfying as the face of slow realisation.
Specifically when it comes from your man.
Hyunjin's never made a secret of his inclinations to silk and sex.
The two go hand in hand, he'd always said. Fuck someone on a bed of silk and then tell me you can do it any other way. Impossible.
You'd never really understood it yourself.
Yes, you'd come to appreciate the way the material felt on your bare skin since meeting Hyunjin - his fetishes soon became yours, after all.
But it wasn't until this moment - stood here, before the floor length mirror in the upmarket lingerie shop, admiring yourself openly, that you came to appreciate the true power of silk as a fabric.
It's a form fitting babydoll, but not so form fitting as to weld itself it every crease and bump of your body. It falls to the highest level of your upper thigh, barely long enough to conceal the matching thong it's paired with.
It cascades like a waterfall, the dark, royal purple reflects the light of the changing room when you turn and twist in it. The black lace hem splays out across your skin, decorating you the prettiest canvas.
The graceful court shoes on your feet add length to your legs... a specific request of Hyunjin's that you saw no point in refusing. In the grand scheme of things, heels really weren't all that big of an ask.
It's soft... Almost warm against your skin, and has a way of making you feel powerful without actively contributing anything extra to your person.
All it does is wrap itself around you.
Yet you feel to be ten times the version of yourself before you had it on.
"Have you got it on, baby?"
Hyunjin's voice bleeds through the heavy velvet curtain that conceals the changing room, and even though you knew he was waiting just outside, the butterflies in your stomach take erratic flight on hearing him.
"Y- Yes..."
Before you can say anything further or even mentally prepare yourself for the reveal he'll no doubt want, the curtain slinks aside.
Your boyfriend enters, all six foot and several inches of him, clad in the very same suit he wore to work that morning. A navy blazer hugs him nicely, enhances the broad expanse of his shoulders. His onyx black tresses are tucked behind his ears, though several strands fall loose over his eyes.
Lucky for you, it's a generous changing room. Only the best for a shop as exclusive as this, you suppose.
You watch as he wanders over to the opposite wall, reclining against the thing with his arms crossed over his chest. He presses his suit shoe to the wall behind him, and simply... stares.
"Is it... okay? I mean, do I look-"
"Stop talking."
His interruption is sudden, but weighted enough to tell you he's not messing around.
You fall silent, your heart hammering as he drags his eyes over you from top to toe, then back again. He lingers around your middle, tucks his hand into his pocket, and with simply a glance at his tight crotch you can see how apparent his... struggle is.
"Turn around for me. Slowly," he instructs. his voice gravel.
You do so, turning on the spot, making a point of taking your time until you're facing the mirror.
He drags himself from the wall, pulling his hand from his pocket and bringing... something with it. You can't quite make it out until he circles you like a predator, dropping to his knee in front of you.
It's a garter. Purple silk and white lace around the trim, he puts it between his teeth before he taps his knee intently, gesturing to your foot.
You bring it up slowly, resting the tip of your court shoe on his suited knee, your breath catching as you realise that with him at this bended angle, you're utterly exposed to him.
He takes the garter from his teeth, spreading it open with his hands and slipping it under your shoe, up your bare leg.
He takes his time, brushing his lips across the surface of your skin as he goes, following the garter in a show of lustrous desire that makes your core tingle with desperate anticipation. The tickling sensation gives you cause to bite your lip, you stifle the smallest groan when he snaps the garter closed around your upper thigh.
Yet he doesn't release you.
"You look fucking delicious," he eventually whispers, perfectly plump lips gracing your skin. "My perfect little toy."
A gasp of surprise emits from you as he abruptly grips your hips, hiking you into his arms and pressing you to the mirrored wall.
Your legs curl around him naturally, your arms slinking around his broad shoulders as he keeps you supported with one arm, the other dropping down to the zipper on his trousers.
"Wh- We can't, Hyunjin," you breathe. "Not here."
"We can," he gruffs. "And we will."
He buries his head to your neck, nibbling at the skin as he hikes you up and releases his erection from the confines of his trousers. With a deft movement, he slips his hand under you, tugging the gusset of your purple thong aside just far enough to allow himself entrance.
And as he fills you, slides his throbbing cock inside you, you almost forget you're in a somewhat public place.
He reaches above you, gripping the wall of the cubicle changing room as he drives up into you, his motions reflect his loss of self in seeing you all dressed up for him.
"Don't stain the lingerie," he groans into your ear, barely audible. "I intend to fuck you in it again after I buy it - and then I'll be the one to mess it up."
"M- Mhm... yes-"
His pace quickens, his onyx tresses fall out of place with his movements, his burnt complexion reflected in the mirror at your back. He releases the wall, grabbing the material of your silk babydoll, bunching it up in his fingers, rolling it around just to feel it against your skin.
You stifle a moan when you feel him stiffen inside you in response, feel the way he reacts so deliciously to such an ultimately simple thing.
He glances down to your legs tight around him, at the garter he placed there, relishing in the twang that comes from it when he snaps it satisfyingly.
Every thrust of his hips glides his rigid length from base to tip, stimulating your g-spot and your deepest parts with a surprising amount of control, given how deep he is in this.
You know he's only seconds from collapse.
And you'll be right there with him.
You wonder if it's worth pointing out that they have this set in several other colours...
If this is the reaction you'll get every time?
It almost has to be.
***
𝐀𝐔𝐓𝐇𝐎𝐑'𝐒 𝐍𝐎𝐓𝐄: The unofficial Dressing Down sequel that no-one asked for TAKE IT. 𝐌𝐢𝐜𝐚
𝐅𝐀𝐍𝐅𝐈𝐂𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐌𝐀𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐑𝐋𝐈𝐒𝐓: ➡
𝐋𝐄𝐀𝐕𝐄 𝐌𝐄 𝐅𝐄𝐄𝐃𝐁𝐀𝐂𝐊: ➡
𝐃𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐓𝐄 𝐎𝐑 𝐁𝐄𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐄 𝐀 𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐇𝐋𝐘 𝐒𝐔𝐁𝐒𝐂𝐑𝐈𝐁𝐄𝐑: ➡
𝐎𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑 𝐖𝐀𝐘𝐒 𝐓𝐎 𝐒𝐇𝐎𝐖 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐒𝐔𝐏𝐏𝐎𝐑𝐓: ➡
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hyuckvanqel · a day ago
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bestfriend!minho always imagined having you like this; sitting between his legs, your eyes, big n’ sweet, staring up at him while you’re hands folded neatly in your lap, waiting for his cue. and he does have you — his precious lil best friend, looking to him to show her how to make him feel good.
“pretty girl,” he muttered, reaching a hand out to your face, stroking his thumb along the crest of your cheekbone, his hand large enough to cup around your jaw, fingers sinking into your mouth. “look s’cute, baby.” he coos, letting your head rest against his thigh, smiling at the way your eyes slide shut contentedly. 
and he loves how you chase after his fingers when he pulls them from your mouth, how your half-lidded eyes gaze up at him with that haze covering them. he leans down to your eye-level. “you sure you wanna do this? we can stop at any time.”
he’s soft with you. his voice, his touch, his gaze, everything is so gentle. he likes the way it makes you’re cheeks burn, how you fumble your hands in your lap, not entirely sure what to be doing with yourself. “i wan’ it — i wan’ to, minnie! i wan’ to so bad. promise.” your blubber, nodding your head along with your heads almost desperately. cute.
minho leans back on the faded fabric of your couch, hand moving to pet down your hair. “okay, baby,” he starts, cooing at the way you shuffle closer to him, hands itching to touch him. “gonna be a good girl for me? gonna make me feel good?” 
and he loves the way you nod along with him. “i will — promise. please lemme make you feel good, minnie. tell me how to make you feel good.” 
he internally coos, letting you rest your head against his thigh, kissing and mouthing at the skin, dragging your lips to his knee, shooting a shiver down minho’s spine. alongside how you still use that sweet pet name for him, even when you’re about to take his cock down your throat.
 he swallows the taunts that bubble on his tongue, the teases and degrading pet names. he wants to be gentle with you, he wants to treat you softly. you’re not just any girl. no, you’re the sweetest girl he knows. he wants to take his time with you, make sure you feel safe with him. “don’t worry, pup, i’ll take care of you.” 
and if taking care of you meant training you to be drunk on his cock, well, he'll do just that <3
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binnieiips · 2 days ago
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stray kids & how they kiss ◞ 𓍼 ♡
warnings : none, (hyunjins is suggestive though!) <3
w.c : 745
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chan kisses soft, like you’re a glass vase that he doesn’t want to chip or create a crack in. he holds your neck or the back of your head while slowly getting closer to you until his body is pressing up against yours, feeling around your body, groping your bottom lightly. he bites down on your lips so when he pulls away they’re flushed and puffy. he grins at your eyes being shiny and your pouty lips.
“mm baby… you taste so good.”
minho likes to tease you a lot, when you go in for a kiss he moves his head so your lips land on his cheek and giggles when you whine ‘i just wanna kiss you!’ he finally gives in after your few attempts and sighs when he feels you moving closer, eventually sitting on his lap with your hand tugging lightly on his hair. he also feels around your body a lot like chan, he loves to feel around your thighs and waist. squeezing and leaving crescent marks from gripping too hard.
“… i just wanna kiss you all day.”
changbin loves LOVES to kiss in bed, maybe after you get done having sex or taking a shower. he loves the closeness of it all and your body pressing against his. (and maybe go for a second round… you never know with him.) his kisses are so.. tender and needy at the same time. he just can’t get enough of you so he bites down on your lip just so he can enter with his tongue. he loves holding the back of your head, cradling it.
“you’re so perfect kitten.”
hyunjin now he loves to turn you around while either in the shower, cooking, or cleaning and just slam his lips on yours. he’s so needy with his kisses, moving his lips quickly. he can never get enough of you, he can’t even hold himself back sometimes when you get ready to go out with him and the boys. when he sees you in the outfit and your tinted lips he JUST has to hold you closely and kiss you, smudging the lip tint onto his lips making them a bright red.
“i wish i could just take you here, right now.”
jisung he is a whiny boy. either while your busy with work, school, reading, cooking, ANYTHING. he always wants to kiss, feel you up, suck on your neck because he is so intoxicated by your sent. he whines into the kiss especially when he’s sitting on your lap and your hands are roaming around his body, under his shirt. he even juts his bottom lip out when you pull away just so you can breathe and catch your breath.
“please! just one more kiss.. please?”
felix now, we all know he loves hugging, cuddling and all of that. so when he has a s/o he can do all of that with AND kiss?? he’s going to be all over you but not too much like jisung. sure, sometimes he gets needy and wants kisses but he’ll give you your space. his lips feel like silk on yours, smoothly gliding on yours while you both sit in the bath with a bath bomb fizzing around. he holds the side of your neck, moving his thumb up and down to soothe you.
“i love you so much.”
seungmin when he’s practicing singing or dancing, he loves having you there. when he completes a song and he’s happy with how it came out or the same with a dance he asks for kisses as a reward for his hard work. he giggles into the kiss, getting shy, blushing when he pulls away. when you both are cooking he loves to put one of his hands on your waist and turn your head so your lips meet yours.
“thank you honey for being here.”
jeongin he’s used to getting praised and loving from the other members but when it comes to you he’s shy, cause he’s never had a s/o before. so when it comes to your guys’ kisses, it barely happens sometimes because he’s shy and blushes 100x when you both do. but he soon gets used to it and loves kissing you. when you or him get home from work: kiss. when you show up at practice to give him water and lunch: kiss. or when it’s your one year anniversary: millions of kisses.
“thank you for showing me what love is.”
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do not copy, repost, or translate my work without my permission!
a/n : hellooooo u_u i hope this is good- i tried my best on it! reqs are open but i’ll only take around 4 at a time due to how slow i write because i have school 😞 but feel free to send one <3 stay safe!
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dreamescapeswriting · 2 days ago
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Kinktober ~ Day 13
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WORD COUNT: 0.4K
PAIRING: Minho x Fem!Reader
GENRE: no storyline, lingerie shopping, palming minho, needy minho
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When you'd first proposed the idea of going shopping together Minho said no, not wanting to be bored while you took your time finding things to wear but now. Now his mind was completely changed as he sat outside one of the changing rooms in a lingerie store. You'd taken him shopping all morning and this happened to be the last stop on your list, deciding you wanted more underwear. Seeing as though Minho was prone to ripping yours away from your body.
"What about this?" You came out of the changing room wearing a red lace number and Minho squirmed a little in the chair. You weren't stupid, you knew what all of this was doing to him but you found it funny. Watching the boy you loved inch himself closer to the changing room doors.
"I-It looks really good," He stuttered, cheeks almost the same colour as the set you were wearing, you smirked a little leaning down and resting your hands on his thigh. Exposing your cleavage for him to see as you kissed his lips softly. 
"Thank you for coming with me, I needed your expert opinion." You bit down on his ear before heading back into the changing room, not expecting Minho to follow you but he did. Pushing your body against the wall as he shut the door and grunting as he pushed his hips against yours. You could feel how hard he was through his jeans and you smirked at him in the mirror. 
"What are you doing baby?" You questioned innocently as he ran his hands down your sides, grabbing your ass through the fabric. 
"These walls are pretty thick, which means we could be as loud as we wanted." He licked his lips as you turned your body around to be face to face with him, it was clear just how needy he was about all of this. 
"Oh, is my man needy?" You questioned running your hand down his chest until you got to the hardness of his jeans. Gently palming him as you smirked, knowing he would never do anything in public but it was fun to tease him just a little. 
"Oh shit," He whispered eyes fluttering shut as you continued to rub gently, only stopping when you heard someone outside. Opening the door you pushed him out and winked at him, watching as he fumbled with a bag to cover his jeans up. 
"When we get home I'm cuffing you to the bed and going down on you all night until my jaw is sore." He hissed as you blew him a kiss, shutting and locking the door behind you this time.
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Tagline: @minholuvs​ @stillwithlix​  @taestannie​ @sw33tnight​ @acciocriativity​ @mwitsmejk​ @taeechwitaa​
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honey-hao · a day ago
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day fourteen | l. fl | skz
content: gn!reader, praise, dirty talk, quickies, semi-public sex, ~200 words
“Be quiet,” his deep voice purrs in your ears as his hips slam into yours, his balls slapping your thighs from the pace and hard thrusts, his hands gripping your hips and pinning you into the wall. “Don’t wanna get caught, do you, baby?”
You shake your head as well as you can with your cheek pressed into the wall. “No, I just wanted your cock, know I’m being desperate.” He chuckles, pressing a kiss to your cheek, as he slows his thrusts to roll into you evenly, his laughs increasing as you whine angrily at the change in pace.
“Yes, you are being desperate, baby, but I’m just as bad if I gave in after you asked only once,” Felix shakes his head, rubbing circles on your hipbones. “Just gonna fuck you now, gonna give you the full experience when we get home. Just needed to feel you wrapped around me, gonna make you cum so hard later tonight.”
Moaning, you whimper out your agreement. “Want it so bad, quickies aren’t enough. Never have enough of you.”
Felix smiles against your shoulder as he kisses it and pulls out to just his tip before slamming back into your fluttering walls. “Cum for me, gorgeous. Then I’m gonna take you home.”
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changbinsgirlfriend · 16 hours ago
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Hi! Haven’t seen a notification from you in a while, hope you’re doing okay :)) I was wondering if you could write something with Lee Know if you had time. Something really fluffy ☺️🤎
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( hi i’m okay <3 i’ve been having a long couple weeks but life goes on, you know. of course i will write you some lee know fluff i love him so much and i hope you enjoy this! mwah! <3 )
“eat.” you look up, blinking in confusion when lee know raised his chop sticks to your lips, his eyes expectant as he looked between you and the ramen.
“oh… i’m not that hungry” you say softly, pushing his wrist back towards himself, lee know pouted, shaking his head at you and bringing the noodles back to your mouth.
“eat, you haven’t in hours” lee know said, and you couldn’t just sit there staring at him, especially when he was looking at you with that little pout on his lips. so slowly you parted your lips and let the man feed you his food. the spice was pleasant on your tongue and you gave lee know an appreciative smile once you had finished, expecting him to going back to eating, but instead he scooped up some more of the ramen and held it out to you.
“i can feed myself” you tell him, taking another bite, lee know raised his eye brows but didn’t say anything, waiting until you had swallowed once again.
“i know” he said bluntly, looking at you as though you had just told him that the sky was blue. you giggled, unable to stop the amusement that came from the sheer confusion at whatever your boyfriend was playing at, while feeding you as though you were one of his members.
it struck you then, while you were giggling to yourself, that lee know was always feeding people. offering his food to the members whenever he was eating with them, making sure that no one went hungry. he did it to you too, even if you had your own meal he would lean over, feeding you bits of things he knew you like. you had always found it sweet but never commented on it, it went straight over your head most of the time, but not today.
lee know was never one to be very affectionate in public, yes he would tease you, maybe take your hand, grab your waist when you least expect it, but never hugs or kisses. he reserved that for when you were in private and you appreciated it, but sometimes you longed to just grab his neck and pull his lips down to yours, kissing him for everyone to see. but all this time he had been making a statement that you were his and you hadn’t even noticed. the love and trust that went into allowing someone to feed you, to be that vulnerable, that said as much as any kiss could. and suddenly your heart felt heavy.
“oh” you finally stammer, “thank you” you say, gesturing for lee know to continue and he does, seeming a little confused at your sudden acceptance for him feeding you, especially after he is used to you whining and pouting about it. but he relished in the moment, in sharing this meal with you, even if he didn’t know what you had finally worked out.
the pair of you sit in silence, eyes back on the drama that was playing from the living room, but lee know didn’t pause in his feeding of you, not until the pot was empty and you were full. leaning on lee knows shoulder as a wave of tiredness hit you, sleepy after the amount of food you had consumed.
“wanna have a nap, honey?” he offered, already beginning to stand up and you nod, smiling sleepily as he tucked an arm around your waist, allowing you to lean heavily onto him as you two headed upstairs, and into his bedroom.
“i kinda want ice cream” you hum as you jump onto the bed, already sliding under the sheets. lee know chuckles at you, shutting the door and following you into bed, instantly you push yourself on top of him, burying your face in his chest.
“we can get some after” he said, pecking your forehead gently, “but only if i can have strawberry, or mint chocolate chip. oh, what one do i want” he frowned. you snicker at him, eyes feeling heavy.
“why don’t we get both, huh?” you ask him. and lee know gasped, nodding his head at you in approval.
“you are so smart, sweets” he grinned, smiling happily and you couldn’t help the smile that pulled onto your own lips as you looked up at him. completely overwhelmed by the love that bloomed in your chest for this man.
“i love you” you say to him, unable to contain it, and lee know’s eyes went wide, before they softened, and he leaned down, pressing the gentlest kiss he had ever given you to your lips.
“i love you too” he said, “now come on, go to sleep so that we can get ice cream” and at that you snicker, rolling your eyes as you curl in closer to him. falling asleep easily in his arms.
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yuta-senpai · 2 days ago
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The Playroom | Felix, Jisung, & Chan
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*Day 10 of Kinktober*
- Pairing: Felix, Jisung, Chan x Dominatrix Reader
- Genre: Smut
- Warnings: Professional dominatrix, orgasm denial, degradation, sounding, handjobs, male x male, cum licking, human furniture, male wearing dress and socks, spanking, & protected sex. (I think that’s it.  It’s honestly just pure filth)
- Word count: 5k
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Your heels clicked against the tile floor as you walked to your playroom.  A man on a leash walked on his hands in knees with a puppy mask, Mistress Luna holding the leash. 
“Aww, such an obedient and cute little puppy.”
You pat his head, smiling as you stopped. 
Mistress Luna winked, “I heard your favorite play toys are back.  You are lucky to have them, they are so adorable.” 
“I do love when they come in.  They almost always obey so well and plus they are fucking cute.”
“I am jealous of you.” You smirked and patted her shoulder. “Have fun you two.” A bark could be heard from behind you as you continued walking to your room at the very end.  You didn’t take clients as often as the other mistresses here, because you were very picky about which clients you accepted, you tended to work with the upper class. 
Pushing the door open you saw the two boys sitting on the floor cross-legged, they turned to you the moment you walked in. “Hi, Mistress Scarlet.”  Both of them said in sync as they bowed to you. 
“Hey boys.  It’s good to see you again.” “It’s our pleasure Mistress.”  Felix smiled up at you. 
You bit your lip, both boys looked up at you with anticipation. “Mistress, you look beautiful today.”
Your latex dress hugged your curves perfectly showing off your breasts and ass.  Latex dresses were their favorite. “Thank you Jisung.”
You ran your hand over your ass and smirked. 
“Come now babies.”
You started walking over to the sofa and they followed behind closely. 
“So what will it be today?  Hmm, such a tough decision on what I want to do to you boys.” You chuckled when an idea came to you, “So are you boys ever going to bring Chan, I’d love it if a real man came in.” Jisung’s eyebrow twitched, “We wouldn’t want to share you with any of the other members.” “Oh is that so, but doesn’t your mistress have control of that.” You walked towards him and tilted his head up so he was looking into your eyes. 
“Yes mistress, we can ask him to come next time.” “Why don’t you call him now, I’d love to have fun with him as you two were tied up begging to have me touch you.” You ran your hand down his chest and gripped his bulge roughly.  “Already so hard for your mistress.”
He whimpered and lowered his head again, “Look at me when I speak.” His dark brown eyes stared into yours, “Are you so hard just at the thought of me fucking Chan?” He shook his head ‘no’.
“Use your words.” “No mistress.” You looked over to Felix who was looking with jealous eyes. 
Smirking you licked your lips, “Felix would you like me to fuck Chan?” “No mistress.” “Boys why wouldn’t you like that?” Felix took a deep breath in and bit his lip, “Because, mistress you are ours.” You raised your eyebrow, “Oh am I now?” Jisung rolled his hips against your hand.
“Such a needy boy.  Also, I am not yours.  You are mine, always remember that.” “Of course Mistress.”  Felix bowed to you and then looked into your eyes. 
“I don’t think you actually do know your place.”
Jisung whimpered, "Ahh mistress.  I know my place."
You gripped his bulge tighter, "You know I hate it when you boys lie to me."
You released your grip on his bulge and backed away.  "Both of you on the couch now!"
"Yes, mistress." They both said and quickly sat down. 
"Jisung ass in the air."
He rolled over and gripped onto the top of the couch, and stuck his ass out for you.  "Good boy."
You ran your hand over his ass and then spanked him on his left cheek. 
He whimpered. 
You pulled his pants down exposing his already slightly red ass. 
"I want you to count for me." 
You walked over to your toy area and grabbed a paddle.  You walked back and tapped it against your hand a few times then brought it down onto his ass once. 
"1."
You brought it down again.
"2."
He whimpered as you raised the paddle and brought it back onto his ass again. 
"3"
"Felix, how many should he get?"
Felix stopped and looked startled. "Umm, I'm not sure Mistress. Maybe only 5?"
"Only 5?"
You raised your eyebrow up. "Well I was thinking 5 too, so how about we do 5 times 5? 25?"
Jisung whimpered, "Please, no mistress."
"What did you say? Are you trying to talk back to your mistress?"
"No, I'm sorry."
"Good boy.  How about only 10, so 7 more to go.  Count."
He counted up until 10 spanks and his knees gave out, his whole body trembling. 
You pet his head, "You did good baby."
Turning your head you smirked as you looked at Felix.  "What punishment do you deserve?"
You tapped your lip as you thought for a moment. 
"Felix, baby.  I want you to pull your pants down now."
He stood up quickly, "Yes mistress" 
You walked over to a cabinet and grabbed a small metal rod and some lubricant.  "Baby, do you know what I'm gonna do to you?"
His eyes widened and he shook his head 'no'. 
You licked your lips as you walked towards him slowly. "I'm just gonna stretch you out a little bit."
"W-wait what?"
Jisung sat down and watched closely, happy that he only got spanked. 
"You will sit down on that couch now Felix."
He sat down quickly next to Jisung and you hovered over Felix. 
Grabbing the lube you squeezed a small amount onto the tip of the rod.  "Underwear down now!"
He pulled his boxers down, his erect dick springing free.  You squeezed some lube onto the tip of his cock. 
"Tell me if it hurts."
You gripped his dick roughly causing him to jump slightly. 
"Such a sensitive baby boy."
You placed the rod at the tip directly on his slit. 
"Take a deep breath in and breath out on 3."
He nodded, "Yes mistress."
"1, 2, 3"
On 3 he breathed out and you slid the rod down into his slit spreading him apart. 
He whimpered and tried to move away but it hurt him even more. 
"Stay still or it will hurt more."
His breaths were heavy, the rod protruding from his stiff cock. He gripped the edge of the couch tightly and finally calmed himself down. 
"Now that didn't hurt too bad did it?"
He bit his lip as he looked into your eyes, "No it hurt, and still does."
"Hmm, maybe I should have used a smaller rod at first."
Jisung looked shocked at what he had just seen. 
"Jisung baby boy, do you want a rod too?"
His eyes widened, "No thank you, Mistress."
You chuckled, "Suit yourself."
You grabbed the tip of the rod with your fingers and twisted it causing Felix to moan and grip the couch even tighter. 
"Does it feel good baby boy?"
He grit his teeth, "It feels so strange."
"Good, now let me make a quick call."
Felix looked at you startled, "Are you going to leave me like this Mistress?"
"What else would I do.  Now you boys behave while I step out."
You grabbed your phone and then stepped out of the room dialing a number you know all too well. 
"Baby, feel like having fun?"
"Of course baby girl."
"I'm with clients but I would love to use you as a form of torture."
He groaned, "Really? I don't know how I feel about that."
You chuckled, "Yeah, but you know them"
"I do?  Well, okay I’ll be there soon."
Walking back into the room you see that the rod has been removed from Felix, "Why is the rod no longer in you?"
Felix pouted, "It was hurting me, mistress.  I'm sorry for taking it out."
"It's okay baby.  I knew you would do that, that's why I have another punishment ready for the both of you." 
The boys looked scared, Jisung played with his fingers, "What are you going to do Mistress?  You are acting too calm and it scares me."
You raised an eyebrow, "Would you rather I get mad and yell?"
"No mistress" Jisung shook his head and looked down.  
"Now I'm going to need the couch shortly so I want you boys to stand against the chain wall."
Felix gasped, "Have we been that bad?"
"I'm not gonna ask you twice."
They both got off of the couch quickly and walked to the wall that had cuffs with chains attached to them. 
You pushed your body against Felix's and grabbed his wrists pushing them above his head.  You grabbed one of the leather cuffs and clipped it around his right hand as you kissed him lightly.  He leaned forward begging to be kissed again, you pushed him against the wall harder and chained his other hand up.
He whimpered and looked at you with begging eyes. 
"Are you wanting to be kissed?"
He nodded, "Yes mistress." 
You smirked and walked towards him, gripping his hair in your hand roughly you pulled his head back exposing his neck to you.  You licked up from the collar of his shirt to his jawline, he shivered underneath you.  He had a certain love of being licked especially by you. 
You released his hair and turned to Jisung.  He was waiting patiently to be chained up. 
"Shirt off now. I forgot to ask Felix so I guess he will be getting it cut off.  Are you attached to that shirt baby?"
"No mistress."
"Good." You grabbed a knife and made a small slit in Felix's shirt and then ripped the rest open exposing his chest to you.  His nipples were hard partially due to the cold and partially because he was turned on. 
You dropped the knife on the floor and pushed Jisung against the wall, your knee in between his legs.  His bare chest pressed up against your latex dress.  You rubbed your thigh up against his dick and he whimpered.  "Ahh Mistress that feels good." 
You nibbled lightly on his ear as you chained his hands above his head. 
He rubbed himself against your thigh.  "Is baby wanting to ride my thigh?"
He whimpered and bit his lip nodding.  "Please mistress."
You pushed your knee up further giving him even more pleasure.  "Of course baby."
He rocked his hips back and forth his dick begging the be let out of his jeans.  You unbuttoned his jeans and backed away pulling them down along with his boxers.  You slid them completely off throwing them elsewhere.  He now stood fully nude in front of you.  His cock was almost purple from the need to have a release. 
You pulled Felix's pants and boxers down and threw them over where Jisung's landed.  There were two beautiful men standing there hopelessly turned on begging to be touched. 
Gripping Felix's dick in your right hand you pushed your thigh in between Jisung's legs again.  "Ride it, baby."
He happily obliged thrusting forward, precum from his tip dripping on your thigh.  He whimpered with each thrust, Felix moaned as you slowly stroked his dick.  Jisung moaned loudly, "Ahh mistress.  I'm already close." 
Felix breathed heavily, deep moans escaping his lips "Me too mistress."
You felt their dicks twitch and you backed away causing them to groan. 
Jisung pouted, "But mistress I was so close."
Felix's lips hung open and sweat beaded on his forehead, his eyes were hooded as he looked at you with a pained expression. 
You smirked and licked your lips.  "You boys look delightfully sexy."
Jisung blushed and Felix smirked.  "Eat us up then."
"Hmm not yet."
You walked up to Felix and kissed him roughly, your hand around his throat.  He moaned into the kiss, your thigh pressed against his hardened cock getting precum on your leg. 
Pressing your knee in between his legs you smirked, "Do you want a turn?"
"Mistress, are you asking if I want to ride your thigh?"
"Of course I am baby."
"That is more of his thing, I'm not big int-"
"You will ride it right now."
"Yes, Mistress."
You leaned your leg up allowing him to rub his dick against your thigh, the friction causing him to moan.  "Fuck that feels good Mistress."
Jisung whimpered, "Mistress please touch me."
You gripped his dick and stroked him and Felix thrust up against your thigh.  Your thigh was coated with the precum of Felix. 
He moaned and gripped onto the chains tightly, his whole body shook as he neared an orgasm.  You backed away and he growled, "Fuck mistress, I just want to cum."
Jisung's chest rose up and down as small gasps and moans left his lips.  His lips quivered, and his thighs started shaking as an overwhelming orgasm started growing
He looked beautiful and fucked up, and when you pulled your hand he teared up.  "Mistress please let me release.  It hurts so much."
His eyes were full of tears and he looked to be in pain.
It actually hurt your heart a bit to see him so broken, but you loved breaking him. 
You kissed him lightly, "Not yet baby.  But when you do get to release I promise to make it your best orgasm ever."
He rested his head on your shoulder, his whole body weak. 
Felix whimpered, "Mistress I want some attention."
"Only good boys get attention and Jisung is a good boy.  Once you break you will get attention."
You kissed the top of Jisung's head and then backed away.  
Both of their dicks were still painfully hard, and they both were covered in sweat their hair sticking to their foreheads.
A knock was heard at the door, "I have one little surprise left for you boys."
They looked confused, "What is it, Mistress?" Felix asked.
You licked your lips, "I'm just making sure you know that I am not owned by anybody.  Especially you two."
Walking over to the door you opened it and a blonde-haired man walked in, stopping in his tracks.  "Jisung, Felix, what the hell?  You are the ones being punished?"
Jisung's eyes widened and his mouth fell open, Felix snarled, "Chan what are you doing here?" 
You smirked "Well boys I asked you to invite him didn't I?"
Felix fought against the chains, "What the fuck.  How do you even know each other?"
You thought for a moment, "We have been friends with benefits for a while, actually since before I started playing around with you boys."
Chan smirked, "I was surprised when she told me she was a professional dominatrix.  She is such a cute little baby girl for me."
Felix and Jisung looked at you shocked, "I can't see her as a submissive."
You raised an eyebrow up, and frowned, crossing your arms "I am not your baby girl."
"Yes, you are.  It's been a while since you called me 'Daddy'.  Also Jisung, Felix, it's because you know the professional Y/N, not the real Y/N."  He stepped closer towards you.
You scoffed, "Guess it's time for you to meet the 'professional' me then.  In this place, you will be my submissive."
You grabbed his shirt and pulled him to you.  "From this moment on you will only refer to me as 'ma'am' is that clear?"
"Seriously?"
You pushed him onto the sofa, "Yes seriously."
Jisung whined, "Mistress please don't do this to us."
"I will do as I please and you will watch.  If you don't watch you will not get your release.  Plus I think I should have fun tonight, Chan is as big as you two put together."
They both replied, "Yes mistress."
You crawled on top of Chan, straddling him.  His hands grabbed your ass, "Damn baby girl."
You frowned, and grabbed his throat, choking him softly.  "That is ma'am to you."
Chan gasped and rubbed his throat when you pulled your hand away.  "Fuck you are rough.  Also, ma'am sounds too formal, can I call you Mommy?"
"Mommy is fine baby boy.  Also, this isn't rough at all.  Felix just had a rod in his dick."
Chan flinched, "For fucks sake that sounds painful."
"I can try it on you and see if you think it's painful."
He chuckled, "I'm good."
You ground down against his dick and he gripped your hips tightly, "Holy fuck."
You kept rolling your hips against him and he moaned loudly, throwing his head back. 
Looking over at your boys they were staring closely, jealousy was written all over their faces.  You arched your back making your breasts more prominent for them, and you moaned.  Felix was breathing quick and shallow his dick pulsated as he watched you closely. 
You pulled Chan's shirt over his head and kissed his collar bone.  You kissed up to his sweet spot and sucked, leaving a hickey.  "Ahh fuck."
You bit down softly and then sucked again.  He moaned and slid your dress up exposing your ass. 
His hands grabbed at your ass playing with it.  You kissed up his jawline and reconnected with his lips.  You backed away and stared into his eyes, pure lust clouded his eyes. 
You reached under yourself and undid his belt painfully slow, and then unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans. You sat up on your knees and put your hands on his shoulder.  "Push them down."
He reached between your legs and pushed his jeans and boxers down, his large dick springing free.  You stood up on the couch and placed your heeled boot beside his head on the top of the couch.  You bent slightly making your core level to his face and you smirked, "Lick it."
"Of course mommy."
He leaned up and kissed your clothed core, and you grabbed his hair roughly.  "Start at my boot and work your way up."
He kissed the top of your boot then kissed and licked until he made it up to your core.  "Good job baby boy."
He pushed your thin thong to the side and bit his lip.  "You look delicious, mommy."
He kissed your clit, and then placed his tongue against it.  You gripped his hair and moaned loudly. 
You pushed your core down against his tongue and rotated your hips.  "You are behaving so well baby boy."
He licked from your core to your clit, focusing on your clit since that's your most sensitive area.  His hands gripped at your thighs but you smacked his hands away, "No hands, just use your tongue."
"Yes, mommy."  He hummed against your clit sending vibrations through your body.  Your knees wanted to give out from the pleasure but you steadied yourself.  "Make mommy cum."
He licked faster alternating between soft and hard licks.  His hand wrapped around his cock and you growled.  "Hands off!"
He continued licking and quit touching himself even though his dick also begged to be touched. 
You bit your lip and moaned loudly, throwing your head back as the familiar high started growing.  Your legs shook as he sent you over the edge, "Ahhh fuck yes baby boy."
You pushed his head back and leaned down kissing him.  
Placing your knees beside his legs you hovered over his dick and rubbed your core against him. 
"I think since you touched yourself you should be punished.  Boys, what do you think?"
Jisung looked at you thought for a moment, "You punish us for touching ourselves so he should deserve the same."
You smirked, "I agree baby." 
Chan nibbled on his lip, "Are you going to punish me bad?"
You smiled, "Of course not.  You are my baby boy."
He smiled as you placed your hand on his cheek.  "Now get on the floor in front of those two NOW!"
You got off of him and he obliged getting up and walking to get on the floor in front of them.
“Stop, crawl there.”
He moved down and crawled to move in front of them.
You walked over and dragged a chair with you, the metal dragging across the floor as your heels clicked. 
"Curl up into a ball with your back up towards the ceiling."
He pulled his knees to his chest and placed his arms on the ground. 
You sat down in the chair and placed your feet on his back, resting them right against his spine. 
"So boys how are you feeling?"
Jisung whimpered, "Desperate for your touch."
Felix nodded, "Me too mistress."
"Well, I guess I can help with that.  One moment.  Stay there, baby boy."
You stood up and walked to your closet of toys grabbing two feather ticklers.
Walking back over you sat down and placed your feet on his Chan’s back again. 
You smirked as you leaned forward and lightly tickled Felix's cock.  He jolted and whined, "Ahh that feels weird mistress."
"Of course it does baby."
You ran the feathers over his very sensitive dick again and he whined.  "Mistress."
His dick pulsated and twitched from the contact and he kept fidgeting around. 
"Does it feel good baby?"
He furrowed his eyebrows, "It is almost painful but it feels good."
He moaned and squirmed even more, as you rubbed the feathers over his entire body.  He started laughing and then tears formed in his eyes.  "Ahhh mistress please, stop."
You bit your lip and tickled his nipple and he was shaking.  His legs suddenly gave out.
You quickly stood up, accidentally kicking Chan in the process who groaned.  You grabbed Felix and supported his weight not wanting him to hurt himself. 
He laid his head on your shoulder and whimpered, "Mistress." Tears filled his eyes, you had successfully broken Felix.  He was always the hardest to break but when you did he always looked the cutest.
You kissed his cheek, "Good job baby."
You undid his cuffs and Jisung's cuffs.  "The real fun begins now.  Babies go to the couch.  Baby boy." You crouched down to his level. "Time to get up."
He got up and stretched his back. 
"I have 3 beautiful men here.  Now what to do."
You thought for a moment and smirked as you pulled a chair up in front of the couch, "Chan sit on the ground and rest your head on my lap."
He sat down and laid his head against your thigh. "Mommy, what are we doing to be doing?"
You bit your lip as you pet Chan's hair "Felix, Jisung. I want you to make out."
Felix stopped, "But mistress."
You raised your eyebrow, "Are you going to go against my will?"
"No mistress."
Felix and Jisung turned towards each other, Felix placed his hand on Jisung's face and pulled him into a kiss.  They quickly got into it and wrapped their hands up in each other's hair. 
The sight was spectacular. 
You bit your lip as you thought of what to do next.  
"Baby boy I will need you for this next part."
"Yes, mommy."
You stood up from your chair, "Sit down." 
Chan got up from the floor and sat down in the chair, and you sat down with your ass facing him, rubbing up against his dick. 
He moaned which caught the attention of Felix and Jisung. 
You smirked "Boys no touching yourselves okay?"
"Yes mistress" 
You grabbed ahold of Chan's dick and stroked it underneath you.  You stood up and lightly smacked his dick causing him to flinch.  "Baby boy.  I want you to put on something.  It's your favorite." 
You walked back to the closet and pulled out a little maid dress with white socks.  He liked when you wore things like that, but not him wearing them.  "Put this on now my little baby boy."
He gulped and bit his lip.  "Of course mommy."
"Stand up."
He stood up his large dick pressed against his stomach. 
Felix and Jisung looked shocked by the size.  "He is more of a man than both of you, but the biggest men are the most fun to break down and degrade." 
Chan slipped the dress on and pulled the socks on.  "My baby boy looks so cute."
You kissed his cheek and he smiled.  "Thank you, mommy."
He bit his lip, and you licked your lips handing him a small paddle you grabbed earlier from the closet.  "I want you to bend over that chair and spank yourself, make sure to count, and thank me and praise me after each hit."
You walked over in between Jisung and Felix.  "Make room for me in the middle."
They scooted over letting you sit in between them.
"I'm gonna rub you both as you watch him smack his ass.  I know you may try to hide it but both of you are turned on by him, your little dicks are so hard just by seeing that.  No cumming yet."
"Yes, mistress."
You gripped Jisung's cock in your right hand and Felix's in your left hand. 
"Baby boy, 5 spanks.  Start."
Chan arched his back giving all of you a perfect view of his backside.  
He raised the paddle and smacked his ass, "1.  Thank you, mommy." 
Jisung rolled his head back moaning loudly.  "2.  You are the best mommy."
Jisung gripped your thigh and Felix started breathing rapidly. 
"3.  Mommy thank you for everything."
Jisung grabbed your hand and stopped you, "I was about to cum mistress."
"4.  Thank you, mommy."
"It's fine baby. Thank you for stopping me."
You started stroking Jisung again, he was overly sensitive.
"5.  Mommy you the absolute best."
Chan sat down the paddle and sat down in the chair then flinched at the contact. 
"Boys I want you to cum."
Felix moaned loudly and gripped the couch "Ahhh fuck mistress. I'm cumming."
Felix grabbed your arm as he came over your hand and his stomach. 
Jisung quickly came after, his thighs shaking from the orgasm.  He moaned loudly and whimpered as he came over your hand and his stomach. 
"Good boys.  Now time to clean each other up."
You held your left hand up to Jisung's mouth, "Clean me of Felix."
He nodded "Yes mistress."
He licked Felix's cum off of your hand and smiled. 
You then did the same with Felix and you licked your hand clean. 
"Now I expect you to clean each other’s stomachs up too."
They both nodded, "Yes mistress."
You stood up from the couch and watched as Jisung leaned down and licked Felix's cum from his body letting his tongue slide over the slit of Felix's dick.  Felix moaned and threw his head back, his dick already hardening again. 
Jisung laid down and Felix crawled over and licked Jisung's stomach clean of his cum.  His tongue ran over the head of Jisung's partially hard dick.  Felix licked his lips and crawled up kissing Jisung passionately.  Both of their dicks were fully hard again now.  You stood there surprised at what you saw, backed up, and patted Chan. 
"Off of the chair baby boy."
He got off of the chair so you turned it around facing the back of the chair towards the boys on the couch. 
"Sit down baby boy."
He sat down and winced at the pain on his ass again.  You sat on his lap pushing his dress up so his dick was free. "Does that hurt baby boy?" 
He gripped your thighs, "No mommy."
You grabbed a condom from your boots and ripped it open with your teeth.  You rolled it onto Chan's dick.  He grabbed your ass and slid your dress up again, so he could play with your ass. 
You moved your thong to the side and slowly slid down onto Chan's length.  He groaned and threw his head back.  "Ahh fuck."
You whimpered from the size and grabbed onto his shoulders tightly.
Looking up you noticed Jisung and Felix watching you closely both of their lips red and swollen from their passionate make-out session. 
You moaned as you started rotating your hips around on Chan.  He whimpered "It feels so good mommy."
You nibbled on his ear "Of course it does baby boy."
You started moving up and down as Chan held onto your ass tightly helping you move up and down. 
Jisung and Felix looked at you with eyes full of lust.  Chan kissed the top of your right breast and pushed you back. 
"I want to see your beautiful face, Mommy."
You pressed your forehead against Chan's and looked into his eyes and you rode him.  Your moans and breaths falling on each other's faces, your lips colliding together every once in a while. 
He moaned loudly, "Mommy I'm close."
You gripped his hair and moaned loudly.  "Me too baby boy."
He pushed you down hard against him and his whole body shook as you felt his dick pulsating inside of you, which sent you over the edge causing you to tighten around him. 
You both moaned loudly, his fingers dug into your ass and you pulled his hair. 
As you came down you fell forward, Chan rested his head against your chest as you both tried to catch your breath. 
You ran your fingers through his hair and he hummed happily. “Mommy, I missed this."
Jisung cleared his throat pulling your attention away from Chan.
"Why did he just say he missed this?"
You smirked, "Well you see Chan was one of my first professional submissives but then somewhere along the way we switched to him being dominant because I did this every night."
Felix and Jisung both were very hard.  You got off of Chan and walked over to them.
"It was fun boys." You kissed their foreheads and then walked towards the door.  "See you later boys.  Bye Daddy Chan." 
Chan looked at you and rolled his eyes.  "Do you want me to fuck you again babygirl?"
"You didn't fuck me.  I fucked you." You winked and walked out of the room. 
72 notes · View notes
anqeluv · 2 days ago
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NOOOO but can you imagine sitting on minho’s nose 🧎‍♀️he has a perfect nose for facesitting 😔
AHHH STOP 🥵🥵
he’d be so smug about this. he’d love the way you grind yourself against him, even after being so shy about sitting on him in the first place. normally, he talks to you a lot while he’s fucking you, but when he’s eating you out he doesn’t talk at all. he just goes wild, using his tongue to make you cum as many times as you can take it. he wants to overstimulate you until you’re in tears for him, until you’re so fucked out that you can barely even think. and then he puts you back together again, kissing you all gentle and praising you for taking him so well.
65 notes · View notes
starrytxt · a day ago
Text
clé : à première vue (at first sight) — h.hj
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"...how can you walk away from something and still come back to it?"
— pairing: hwang hyunjin x gn!reader
— genre: coraline au, exes au, aftermath of a breakup, a lot of angst (this is really a little bundle of depressing shit), suspense/thriller, supernatural elements, some fluff
— warnings: way too many flashbacks and metaphors lol, swearing, depictions of insecurity, depression, heartbreak, and unreciprocated love/falling out of love, some violence, descriptions of drowning, several mentions of death, the other hyunjin is manipulative, some freaky/creepy supernatural elements though it's not quite horror
— word count: 18.1K
— note: while this is heavily inspired by the movie/book Coraline, you don’t have to watch or read either for it to make sense. chunks of text in italics are flashbacks. also sometimes the tenses are inconsistent bc i get confused sorry lol
— taglist: @beegyuz @vitaminhyunjin @ynghn @fuzzycurlyhairmixedmediascissors @hyuneytoast @captainsjoongs @echo-of-a-writer @cosmixyeri @bettyschwallocksyee @purpleskzsworld @97lovestay @cb97zone @thonkingdeepo @jhanleanne @vampyang
“...I finally understood it….”
“Understood what?”
“Why I don’t feel it...”
“Hello?”
“I don’t think I love you anymore.”
“Can you hear me?”
The distressing fragments of your memory crumble away in an instant, leaving you with the sight of your worried roommate, Minjeong.
“Yeah, sorry.”
She studies your expression with concern before asking, “Do you have everything?”
“I think so.”
“Okay…” her lips form an endearing pout, “I’m gonna miss you so much.”
“I’ll only be gone a couple of days.”
It won’t do much to comfort her, but you figure it’s the only real consolation you can give her.
“I know.” Her eyes look slightly glossy. You know she's trying not to cry.
“But, I’ll miss you too.”
After a tight hug, you gather your suitcase and head towards the door.
She gives you a small wave, “Have a great time. Be safe and don’t forget to text me when you arrive.”
You nod.
“See you soon?”
“See you soon.”
A soft rain drums against the windows as the train glides rapidly along the seemingly endless miles of track.
There’s something undeniably soothing about watching the world pass by.
The city’s abundance of crowded buildings had dwindled to a few dispersed houses, separated by expanses of green hills and wildlife.
It had always been relaxing to you, transitioning from the overwhelmingly congested area to the serene countryside—albeit you hadn’t experienced it as often as you wish.
But you need it, especially now.
For more than just a change of scenery.
Since the train’s departure, you’ve hardly done more than stare out the window.
You’re too absorbed in your thoughts. The soothing feeling isn’t coming as easily as it had before.
Even your fingers that itch to drag the lead across the blank page resting on your lap remain still.
Despite your prevailing intimacy with ruins, you long to create something again.
It’s been some time since you have curved the smooth graphite into designs and shaded in details, pouring plethoras of ideas onto a blank surface.
And you miss it desperately.
There had been plenty of periods where sketching didn’t come naturally, or at all for that matter, but it had always faded with a bit of time or a new source of inspiration.
Nothing had been quite like this.
After weeks of consistently empty pages and no hope for the return of your passion, Minjeong had suggested that you take a trip somewhere.
She hadn’t just suggested it for the reason of losing inspiration. She knew you needed a break.
Yet, it frightens you to let your hand move freely. Restrained emotions would undoubtedly take hold of your fingers, pouring onto the surface into a reflection of your chaotic mind.
Or perhaps, you’re afraid that when you finish the last stroke, you’ll be staring back at him.
You tuck the sketchbook back into your bag, letting out a heavy sigh. You shouldn’t try to force it.
The train cars begin to curve steadily as you rest your head against the glass.
Drawing was an attempt to distract yourself and yet that had failed miserably. Now, you are left to fall back into the depths of your memories. They replayed endlessly, taunting you, tearing open the fresh wounds while you could do nothing but endure it.
So much for relaxing.
In the distance, something catches your eyes.
At first, you can only make out the small arch tucked behind an abundance of tall trees, but upon further inspection, you realize it’s a ferris wheel accompanied by the tops of other roller coasters that peek out from behind the forestry.
The ache in your chest only grows as you stare.
How painfully similar it is to where you first met.
“Could I just wait to the side? My friends should be here any second.”
Your panic intensifies as the staff member gives you a sympathetic look, “I’m very sorry, but we can’t hold your place.”
Returning to the back of the lengthy line would mean waiting for at least another hour or more, and you had already come this far…besides, you vowed to ride this roller coaster by the end of the day.
You just hadn’t anticipated riding alone.
You take a deep breath, moving towards the nearest empty row with mounting apprehension as you settle into one of the seats.
You were definitely going to kill Jihoon and Minjeong.
You hadn’t thought anything of it when Jihoon had gotten out of line halfway through to “quickly” get some more sunscreen. Though you didn’t expect for him to be absent during the entire remaining wait. And Minjeong ducked out of line a few minutes before you approached the boarding platform. What a convenient time to have to use the restroom.
This particular roller coaster was one of the most popular and most daunting in the entire park; the three of you had been building up the courage all day to just get in line. But, you had seen just how scared shitless they were as they watched from the ground at the screaming park attendees.
They most definitely could’ve chickened out as the line grew shorter.
And though you aren’t exactly keen on leaving the park being the only one to have ridden it, there’s no going back now.
You pull the over-the-shoulder restraint down, letting out a disgruntled sigh.
While you brood over your unfortunate situation, you fail to notice someone taking the seat next to you. Regardless, you only manage to catch a brief glimpse of him before immediately averting your eyes.
It’s just your fucking luck that out of everyone that could have possibly been seated beside you, it has to be someone attractive.
Even with the momentary glance, you’re in awe of the dark-haired stranger.
Who just looks that good at an amusement park where he, no doubt, has already ridden multiple rides and is now boarding the scariest ride in the damn place?
You don’t have any more time to mull over it as a staff member announces something over the intercom and another secures the safety bar over both of your laps.
Seconds later, the cars begin to inch forward.
Fuck.
Why the fuck did you think this was a good idea?
Riding the roller coaster was terrifying in and of itself, but without your friends, and forced to sit next to a good-looking stranger, is the absolute worst scenario you could have imagined.
You take a shaky breath, struggling to suppress a whimper as the vehicle climbs upward at an agonizingly slow pace.
It’ll be over before you know it. You can just shut your eyes the whole time anyway.
Then you could feel the stable ground beneath you, track down your backstabbing friends, and finally feel some sense of calm.
Squeezing your eyes shut, you brace yourself for the ride to dart forward at any second, but at the peak of the track, it comes to a lurching halt.
There’s a sick feeling in your stomach, threatening to climb up your throat as various murmurs from the other passengers implicitly confirm your suspicions.
This can not be happening.
When you finally gather the courage to reopen your eyes, you observe the unmoving cars settled on the apex of the track.
And your worst possible scenario somehow gets worse.
You briefly glance over the side, struck with overwhelming regret when you see the ground below, seemingly miles away.
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
Is this normal? Do they know how to fix it? Were they even allowed to build a track this high? Was it even safe—
“Are you okay?”
At first, you think you’re imagining things, because why would anyone be asking you anything? You had boarded alone, after all.
That is disregarding...
Your eyes finally wander to the right, where the handsome stranger stares back at you, concern on his face.
...him.
“Oh...I’m fine.” The trembling of your voice makes you all the more embarrassed.
A beat of silence follows and, all of the sudden, the idea of tearing the restraints off and plummeting towards the ground doesn’t seem so terrible.
You swallow the lump in your throat, “Are we really stuck?”
“Pretty sure,” he nods slowly.
Shit.
If your apprehension wasn’t that bad before, it certainly was now, especially with the threat of the ride moving forward at any moment.
Why did you go through with this? And why did it have to be—
“I’m Hyunjin,” he says, lips tugging upwards into a soft smile.
You didn’t think he could look more beautiful, but the sight proves you hopelessly wrong.
“I’m Yn.”
You almost miss the way he averts his gaze briefly, smiling widening with an ever so slight pink dusting his cheeks. He wasn’t exactly the boldest person when talking to pretty strangers either.
“So you don’t like roller coasters?” He asks.
“Not really, no.”
“Me either,” he scrunches up his face into an adorable wince, “they terrify me.”
It’s a stark contrast to his seemingly relaxed demeanor.
“Really?”
He nods, “I lost a game to my friends, and now...” He sighs dejectedly, “I have to do this all alone while they watch safely from below.”
You chuckle softly, “Well, that makes two of us.”
The instant the words leave your mouth, his eyebrows shoot up, “Really?”
“They both kinda chickened out at the last minute.”
“But you’re still riding alone?”
You attempt to shrug under the shoulder restraints, “I already waited so long in line, figured I would just do it….” The metal structures creak underneath the cars right at that moment, making your stomach drop, “...then again, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea.”
Fucking hell.
“Well, at least the view is nice.” A gentle breeze caresses your face, as if intentionally accompanying his words, reminding you to relax.
You follow his line of sight to the vast sky where puffy white clouds are scattered across the light blue. The sun sits comfortably high, its warm, golden rays reaching across the entire park below.
You trace the details in your head, absolutely taken with the sight while wondering why you haven’t stopped to admire it earlier.
It makes all of the anxiety that has built up in your chest dim down.
Maybe, the ride getting stuck wasn’t all that bad.
“It is.”
He hums softly and you chance a glance at his side profile. His dark eyes roam across the sky, soft and wide with genuine fascination, as if he was taking in the sight for the very first time.
Your chest feels soft and warm, nothing like the rush of butterflies and rapid heartbeat from earlier.
With a raised hand, he points towards a cloud, “What do you think that cloud looks like?”
You study the mass, attempting to make out some kind of reasonable object.
“A seashell.”
“A seashell? Really?” He squints, then shakes his head, “I think it looks just like a butterfly!”
Even after another inspection, you can’t seem to make out what the boy is interpreting as an insect, “How do you see a butterfly?”
“It’s the spitting image of a little butterfly!” He leans closer to you, motioning towards the cloud, “See the head is there. And the wings are there.”
“Mm...nope, still looks just like a seashell to me.”
He chuckles softly, finally meeting your eyes.
Your breath hitches. Was he this close before?
The moment is short-lived when the cars suddenly creep forward, the daunting drop seconds away.
Fear takes over you once more as you tighten your grip around the restraints, bracing yourself.
“Nervous?”
“Extremely.”
The last thing you anticipate is for him to offer you his palm with a gentle, “It’s okay.”
There’s a brief flash of embarrassment that crosses his features, dissolved instantly when you take his hand in yours.
Neither of you has time to dwell on it as the ride shoots downward, rising and looping around with intense speed.
Hyunjin and you both scream, hand in hand.
But surprisingly, his presence makes it all the more tolerable. The ride that you had been dreading until this moment seems less and less like the worst decision you've made today.
With him, you're not alone.
And with every violent twist and turn, the ride comes closer to the end until the cars finally slow down and reenter the boarding station.
As soon as the machine releases the restraints, you rush to escape it. No way in hell you were staying on the ride longer than you needed to.
The first step you take on the stable ground is wobbly, and you’re afraid your legs might give out, but a hand on your shoulder steadies you.
You nearly forgot about Hyunjin, who is mere inches away, the same concerned expression as before on his face.
Hyunjin’s brows furrow, “Are you alright?”
You nod, ignoring the weak feeling in your knees, not courtesy of the roller coaster.
The two of you follow the exiting crowd down the path that leads to the gift shop.
The sight of the store lets the remaining adrenaline dissipate. It was finally over, now you can just head toward the exit—
He pokes your arm softly, “Look.”
Displayed at an embarrassingly large and publicized scale, is a picture of the two of you from moments ago, eyes squeezed shut and hands intertwined.
Oh god….
Before you can even respond, you hear him say, “Wait here a second.”
You aren’t sure what exactly he’s doing, or why he wants you to wait for him, though it makes you giddy with anticipation.
It dawns on you that there isn’t a reason the two of you had to stay together after the ride ended, yet he had walked the entire way alongside you, ready to steady you whenever you stumbled.
He had made that entire ride enormously less daunting. You had even forgotten all about your anxiety when the two of you talked.
When he returns a few minutes later, there are two photos in his hand, one of which he gives to you.
It’s a smaller copy of the photo of the two of you.
"Oh," you don't know how to respond.
Was this a moment he wants to remember? Or simply just a way to part on a positive note?
“Thank you.”
He nods, “Sure."
The two of you finally head for the exit, shoulders bumping into each other.
“Look at your face!” He teases with a grin on his face.
“You’re one to talk,” you shove him playfully, “You look like you’re mid-sneeze.”
It feels as if you have been friends for years, never having felt so comfortable around a complete stranger.
You wish it would last longer.
You catch sight of Jihoon and Minjeong standing near a drinking fountain, puzzled looks on their faces.
Hyunjin waves to a group of boys in the opposite direction, turning to you with the sweetest smile on his face, “I had a lot of fun! Hopefully we’ll see each other again sometime?”
You nod, “I hope so too.”
He gives you a little wave before jogging towards his friends.
There’s a slight ache in your chest as you watch him leave, knowing you probably won’t see him again.
Shaking away the slight daze you had fallen into, you approach your friends slowly.
“I see you two made it...to the exit.”
They both give you apologetic looks, but you can’t even find it in yourself to be angry with them.
“Sorry, we realized we wouldn’t make it back a bit too late….” Jihoon chuckles sheepishly.
“But who was that?” Minjeong links her arm with yours, “Do you know him or something?”
“Uh...sort of.”
“What do you mean, sort of?” Jihoon asks.
“Wait a second," Minjeong snatches the photo from your hand, inspecting it with intense focus, “What’s this?”
Jihoon peers over her shoulder with a smirk on his face, “Wow, he even wrote a message for you.”
They were probably just teasing.
You take the photo back, turning it over a bit too eagerly to see that there was indeed a message scribbled in pen on the surface.
Next to a phone number, it reads, “In case you want someone to hold hands with again ~Hyunjin :)”
Nostalgia flickers in your mind at the sight of the town by the sea, the remaining sentiments of your childhood retrieved delicately from the shelves they were kept on.
It was rather close to the town you had grown up in, making it an ideal trip destination, albeit you were only able to recall fragments from the single time you had gone.
Upon your arrival, the blurry pieces seem to erase, filled in by the vibrant details and serene ambiance that you had disregarded as a child.
Though inhabited by only a small population, there was quite an abundance of family-owned businesses along the stone roads, serving as both house and shop. Further from the shores, quiet neighborhoods with serene gardens were tucked in neat rows.
They’re all undeniably intertwined by the nearby sea—perhaps your most adored part of the town. It’s hard to ignore the overwhelming serenity from how life looks so different from here, something almost palpable as if it was embracing your very soul.
Quite the contrast to the city where people were always racing to work, moving from place to place in vehicles, not a second to be wasted. With days overflowing and crammed with routines that were nearly impossible to abandon. The town had a natural sort of rhythm that seemed to carry across into everyone’s life. And finally, you feel like you can take a breath.
With your luggage in hand, you head to your hotel that is just ahead. It stands on the cliffs, overlooking the vast expanse of the sea. A sight that you can’t get enough of. Even from a distance, it’s hard to miss the propped open doors and several unlatched windows; as if it’s merely a few obligatory walls, desperate to welcome as much of the breath of the ocean inside as possible. You had always thought the sea to be gentle. In a way that convinced you that simply staring at it could ease the burdens of life. Perhaps it's a foolish thought. Nevertheless, you can't seem to abandon it.
Seated behind the front desk is a dark-haired boy—presumably around your age—entirely engrossed in a small novel until he notices you approaching.
“Hi, welcome! Are you checking in?” His features are quite striking, distinctively defined, as if they had been sculpted by expert hands; yet there’s a soft, gentleness when he looks at you.
“Yeah.”
“Great,” he gives you a tiny smile, “Name?”
You give him your name, and he retrieves a sheet from a clipboard, scribbling something onto it before reaching under the desk and taking out a key. Everything seems undeniably natural for him and you wonder how long he’s been working at the hotel.
“Did you have a long trip here?”
“Not really, it was alright,” you shrug.
“Well, I hope you can get some rest and eat something delicious nonetheless," he says, nothing but genuineness in his soft voice.
"Thanks."
"Of course! Let me know if you need any food recommendations, I'm told I’m quite the expert." His playfulness makes you chuckle slightly, though grateful for his suggestion.
“Here’s your key,” he places it on the elevated counter, “Your room is on the second floor.”
“Thank you.”
“No problem,” he nods, “I hope you enjoy your stay! My name is Beomgyu, I'm here if you need anything at all.” You thank him again before proceeding up to your room.
It’s not overly spacious, only allowing for a bed, nightstand, and a sole chair by the window. But, you don’t mind in the slightest. From the window, there is the sea in its entirety, basked under the dwindling light of the sun. You can hear the soft lapping of waves, like an invitation to the open water.
Something in you had deemed this necessary—being alone for once. Your friends had been nothing but supportive, ever so loving, but there came a point where it was just too overwhelming. You began to doubt the genuineness of everything, despite it being based solely on the words of one person. Here, you didn’t have to conceal yourself behind feigned assurance that everything was bearable and alright. You can allow yourself to be truly sad.
Somehow, a few hours slip away while you’re nestled in the chair, the sun taking its leave for the night. Time always seems to pass so quickly.
Deciding that you had spent enough time lost in your mind, ruminating over your heartache, you venture towards the ocean. Maybe you could have a break from misery there.
You follow the quaint stone path down where it eventually leads to the sandy beach. With every breath of salty air, you feel inexplicably drawn to the ocean, pace quickening.
When you reach the body of water, you find a decent spot to settle near the shoreline in between small patches of beach grass. Something is mesmerizing about the way the light of the moon floods onto the surface of the ocean. Something almost welcoming...
A memory of you and Hyunjin watching the moon on the rooftop drifts across your mind. You recall how he had shown up at your place unexpectedly, but every word that left his mouth was brimming with such a saccharine, endearing tone that you couldn’t help but embrace him.
He had suggested heading towards the roof, becoming entranced by the moon in the night sky; and after a few hours of talking while enjoying each other’s company, you kissed for the first time. You remember how soft his lips were, how gentle yet hesitant he seemed, every atom in his body concentrated solely on you.
The memory was once stored in the most precious corner of your heart, a sort of endearment coursing through you whenever you looked back on it. But now, it feels bitter, the fondness stripped away entirely. Did he want to love you then? Everything is tainted by the same doubt.
And yet, gathering all of the memories of him, holding them for the last time, and finally letting them crumble and wither away, was something you could hardly bear to think about. How could you untangle such a person from your mind, from your soul, entirely? Would you not be left with nothing but a broken, vulnerable entity? Taking a deep breath, you allow your eyes to fall shut.
Sometimes, you wish you could hate him. For staying with you, for coming into your life in the first place, for ceasing to love you. But, how could you? For the most part, he had upheld the unspoken, mutual emphasis on honesty you had shared in your relationship. Staying with you for longer while not loving you, would have eventually pulled everything apart from the inside out.
But the fact never aided in ceasing your incessant deliberations. What had you done, to make him...fall out of love? Was it something about you? Did you change into someone so unlovable that he just couldn’t do it anymore? Was there a moment when he knew for sure? How long—
“What’re you thinking about?”
The voice startles you; the strangest, most unnerving chill traveling down your spine. It’s not real. It can’t be. You had heard it—his voice—countless times, surely enough to fabricate it in your head. But this is desperation, it had to be. Anything to help ease the longing, even...even this.
“Are you okay, my love?” This time, it sounds too close. Too real.
Your eyes shoot open as you hold your breath, carefully surveying the empty beach. The sight of the sea seems to calm the quickening beat of your heart. Of course, it was all in your head. There’s a small chuckle from behind you, and in a mere second, a figure stands beside you. You’re frozen in place, you know it’s him. But...how was it possible? How much can your thoughts taunt you?
You blink, willing the trick of your mind to vanish, yet with every passing moment, he remains. He settles down next to you, carefully, slowly, like he’s waiting for you to tell him to leave. But you can't even manage to meet his gaze.
For a moment, an unfamiliar hopefulness creeps into your mind. Had he truly come all the way here? For you?
But, as quickly as it had come, it withers away. No. He wouldn’t. He doesn’t even know you’re here. And after everything, he wouldn’t have followed you anyway.
Then, you must be dreaming. Would it be so bad to indulge in your dream? To finally see him again, without the unbearable weight of reality? You stare at the ground, carefully drawing your eyes upwards. The sight of his face makes tears prick at the corners of your eyes. It’s really him.
With a trembling voice, you whisper, “Hy...Hyunjin?”
“In the flesh,” the corner of his mouth tugs upwards and, for a brief second, you swear there’s an almost sadistic feeling to it.
His long, dark hair shifts slightly in the breeze, and you suppress the urge to brush a stray tendril away from his cheek. Every breath makes the tautness in your chest grow. It feels like you’ve been apart for eternity.
You stare at him; the gentle curve of his eyes, straight bold brows, the tiny mole under his eye, plush lips…. It takes you a moment to finally tear your eyes away. He can’t be real. But, why does it feel so real?
The longer you sit beside him, the more vivid he seems. As if he had been plucked from reality itself and placed ever so meticulously next to you. You barely muster up enough courage to speak again.
“Why...are you here?” The words are nearly carried away by the soft wind.
“Would you rather I leave?” The question seems harmless enough, a light playfulness about it, but it saddens you all the same. Don’t leave, not again.
He tilts his head towards you slightly, moving his arms to rest behind him, and you finally notice it. His eyes. They’re wrong. The deep, soft brown that you had gazed into countless times, for countless hours, was instead a kind of iridescent, ever-changing tone. With even the slightest movement, the color seems to shift, occasionally catching the light from the moon. Then, it’s not him.
“What?”
“Your….” You trail off, unable to finish your thought.
“Ah,” he lets out a satisfied hum, “Do you like them? I figured they were better than that boring brown.”
But, you’ve always loved Hyunjin’s eyes. They were deeply expressive, his unspoken thoughts often brimming to their surface. You were able to communicate with one look, like you could see the most vulnerable parts of his soul swirling in his irises. You had found immeasurable comfort in them. When you looked into them, you knew you were safe, that you were where you wanted to be. Never once had you thought of them as boring.
“What’re you thinking about?” His question comes again.
Though, you can only shake your head, attempting to dismiss it altogether. You can’t tell him what’s on your mind. Not yet. Thankfully, he stays silent.
You had, admittedly, hoped for a moment like this. Finally having the chance to confront him about his feelings, or lack thereof. And yet, you can’t even bring yourself to say anything. How could you? Whatever this is, it’s not real. And it’s not him. It won’t change anything. It will all slip away by the time you awake again.
But, maybe it’s all you need for now. To see him again without the burdens of your hearts drifting between you.
“You can tell me anything, you know," his words flood into the vacancy within you, “I hate to see you in pain.”
It’s almost ironic, you tug your knees closer to your chest, especially since he's the reason for it.
You feel his hand stroke your back gently, but you don't move away. It was something of a habit of his to soothe you like this, especially when he knew you were upset. It’s too familiar...he shouldn’t be like this anymore.
A small sound reaches your ears, and you realize he’s humming a soft melody, making your eyelids feel heavier by the second. You don’t recognize the tune, but it’s strangely soothing.
Perhaps...this was a part of letting him go, letting your mind reminisce everything you love about him, to live it one last time.
When you finally come to, the moon has vacated the sky, replaced by the warm beams of the early sun. You really fell asleep….
Yet there doesn’t seem to be a single trace of the boy from last night. Of course, you knew it was too far-fetched to be real, courtesy only of your broken heart bleeding into your mind.
But, even as you make your way back up to your room, you can’t help but savor the softness in your chest. Despite the undeniable ache in you, you were happy to see him again. If only it was real. You don’t want it to be in your head. You want to see him again. You miss him.
A soft rattling draws you out of your thoughts, your footsteps slowing when you notice a short, elderly woman standing in the hallway. Or rather, standing in front of your room door, struggling with the key in her trembling hands. You approach her cautiously, clearing your throat softly, “Excuse me?”
She turns to you, “Oh, thank goodness! My dear, I’ve been trying to unlock my door for some time, but I can’t quite manage it on my own. I wonder, could you help me?”
“I think you might have mixed up the numbers. This is actually my room.”
She gasps softly, placing a hand on her chest, “It is? Oh my goodness! I’m terribly sorry. I seem to have misplaced my glasses today, no wonder the numbers looked similar.”
You glance down at her shirt collar, where a pair of thick black frames are hung. Motioning at the missing object, you say, “Those glasses?"
“That’s where I left them!” She exclaims, taking them off and unfolding them, placing them onto the bridge of her nose. “Much better.”
She peers directly at you, her gray eyebrows furrowing together quite abruptly. For a moment you fear she’s somehow put on the wrong frames. “Are you alright, dear?”
“Uh…” you stumble over your words, the question taking you by surprise, “Yes, I...I’m fine, thank you.”
Did you really look that distressed? Her eyes roam over your face, and you want to move away, but she takes a sudden step closer, "Are you sure?”
Your entire body goes rigid. What was she talking about, really? There's something overwhelmingly unnerving about her sudden change in demeanor, like she could see right through you.
“Seeing things as they truly are is so desperately important," she nods, completely disregarding her previous question, "And of course, afflictions only make one more susceptible to deceit.”
“Oh….”
“Really, I had these here the whole time and never once thought to look down!” Before you can fully process what exactly she’s saying, a voice sounds at the opposite end of the hallway.
“Grandma!”
You tear your focus away from her to see a young blonde boy approaching. His eyes flick between the two of you with a bit of confusion, before placing a hand on her shoulder, “Is everything okay?”
When there’s no response from her, he turns to you, “I’m so sorry if she was bothering you,” he lowers his voice before continuing, “...she tends to ramble sometimes. Please excuse us.” You watch in silence as they continue down the hall.
"I found my missing glasses!"
"You did?"
"They were with me all along, can you believe that?"
How odd….
Somehow, you find yourself back in your room where finally you let out a long sigh. You figure it was as good a time as any to send Minjeong another message.
It’s brief, but it’s honestly the best you can manage. You messaged her yesterday already to let her know that you arrived in one piece. The entire trip was for you to disconnect for a few days anyway, she would understand if you weren’t actively updating her about everything you were doing.
Your fingers hover over the contacts icon, slightly tempted to pull up a familiar number. To tell him about your strange dream and how much you miss his company. But, you shut the device off, not bothering to look through the other notifications you’ve received, instead opting to tuck the device in your bag. You doubt he had sent you anything anyway.
“You’re doing it again.”
“Hm?” You glance at the boy next to you, “Doing what?”
“Thinking about it.” You don’t bother correcting him. He's right.
Curiosity had gotten the better of you as you found yourself at the beach the following night. There was no guarantee that you would fall asleep, let alone see him again, but seemingly by a stroke of luck, he had appeared once more.
You didn’t say much to each other, instead staying in unexpectedly comfortable silence for a while. His presence calmed you, just like it always had. It was, admittedly, a much-needed change from the storm of your feelings and thoughts. And, you can’t seem to find any harm in spending a few hours in his company.
“It’s okay, I’m here,” he offers his palm to you.
A painful ache tugs at your heart. But, you’re so desperate to feel his hand in yours again. “I’ll always be here,” he says softly, intertwining your fingers together.
“Are you sure you’re full?”
“Yes, my dear,” the boy gives you a soft smile, squeezing your hand gently, “I’m fine, don’t worry.”
You hum softly as the two of you continue traveling leisurely down the street. The night air is slightly chilly and you’re grateful Hyunjin so graciously gave you his hoodie, claiming that he was immune to the cold temperature.
His steps are slow as you approach the base of the staircase to his apartment. “We're here…" he turns to you.
“Goodnight then.”
He cradles the side of your cheek, placing a soft kiss on your lips. "Goodnight."
His mouth lingers near yours for a few seconds longer, as if he doesn't want to pull away. You watch as he climbs a few steps before halting and slowly turning back to face you again.
“Um…” he takes a step back down, “Thank you.”
“For?”
“For...walking me back, I guess…” he says softly, “...and, for today.” His eyes fall to the ground when he lets out a gentle sigh.
There’s still a sadness in him. One that you had tried to at least take his mind off of for the day, taking him to his favorite places in the city, walking and talking in each other’s company.
“Oh, Hyunjin,” you move closer, closing the gap between you two, “I hope you’re okay.”
He nods, “I feel a bit better now....”
You take his hand, clasping your own around it, “It’s okay to be sad. Just know that you don’t have to be alone.”
He stares at you with glossy eyes and mouth parted, like he wants to say something more, but can’t.
“You mean everything to me, I love you entirely,” a tear slips down his cheek, and you can’t bear to be so far away, wrapping your arms around his torso, “And I hate to see you in so much pain,” you mumble into his chest.
He wraps his arms around you, “I...I don’t know how to thank you.”
“You don’t have to,” you whisper, “I’ll always be here for you.”
It’s a heartbreak you can’t even begin to explain. To have Hyunjin in your life, to share the highs and lows of life, to be with each other through it all. Only to have it all vanish in an instant. You know he’s still living his life, going through every week while facing new challenges, exploring new places and trying new things, sharing them with people he loves. And you can’t be there for any of it. Does he even feel your absence? Does he miss you at all?
Hyunjin begins to hum again, and whatever melody it is, it helps you sleep for the night.
Despite falling asleep for a few hours, you feel drowsy when you re-enter the hotel. Then again, some sleep has to be better than none.
“Can’t sleep?”
The same boy from earlier—Beomgyu, if you recall correctly—is seated behind the front desk again, arms folded gently and a curious expression on his face.
“Uh, yeah,” you nod.
“Insomnia?”
You can’t even bring yourself to say the word heartbreak, so you simply nod again. He glances around the lobby momentarily, “I can make tea if you want some company.”
You almost decline, but it dawns on you that you have hardly spoken to anyone, let alone done really anything, since your arrival. Perhaps this will be good for you. “Okay, sure.”
He stands, motioning for you to come behind the desk, before heading into the back room.
“So,” you hear him say, “Is this your first time here?”
“No…” you take a seat on one of the chairs, “well, I’ve never stayed here, but I visited this town once before when I was younger.”
“Oh? It was good enough to come back?”
The brief memories of your childhood that float across your head brings a smile to your face, “Yeah.”
“Well, I’m glad,” he emerges from the back, two paper cups of steaming tea in hand. He gives one to you with a soft smile. Almost instantly, the fragrant aroma of the tea puts you at ease and you let out a small, content sigh. You’re glad you agreed to this.
“Do you live here?”
“Sort of,” he takes the seat next to you, crossing one leg over the other, “I’m just here for the summers, but I attend university in the city.”
“Oh? What are you studying?”
“Humanities,” he says, “What about you? Are you attending any university?”
“I graduated a little while ago.”
He hums, taking a sip of his tea.
“Why’d you choose to work here then?” You ask. Perhaps you aren’t overly keen on continuing the conversation about yourself, or perhaps you’re just more interested in him.
“This is my parents’ hotel. But, I’ve been helping out here for a long time.”
How nice it must be, to always have a place like this to come back to.
He clears his throat softly, sitting up a bit straighter, “I don’t mean to pry or anything, but you traveled here by yourself, right?”
You keep your focus on the wisps of steam twist and flow from your cup, “Yeah.”
“Any particular reason why?” You know it’s an innocent question; it might have come across as a bit odd for you to have traveled here alone, always keeping to yourself and never seeming to do anything like the other tourists did.
There’s a brief silence before Beomgyu jolts forward slightly with a panicked look on his face, “You don’t have to answer that, I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s okay, really. I just...wanted to take a vacation.”
“Oh,” he nods, “Well, I know this town pretty well, I could show you around sometime. Only if you want, of course.”
You give him a small smile, “That sounds nice.”
“There are a lot of great little shops nearby, and the food,” his eyes light up, “you’ll never taste better seafood!”
Images of different foods dance across your mind, painfully reminding you of the fact that you haven’t eaten anything for a few hours. Beomgyu’s descriptions only seem to make you fantasize more as, in the middle of his enthusiasm, your stomach growls softly.
“Am I making you hungry?” He asks with a chuckle.
You cover your mouth to prevent the embarrassment from increasing, “I think so.”
He immediately sets his cup down, pulling open one of the drawers, “Let’s see if I have anything in here.”
After a bit of rummaging, he pulls out two small, wrapped objects, letting out a noise of victory. One he slides to you, and the other he keeps. A fortune cookie.
“Sustenance,” he declares with a childlike grin. There’s a tiny dimple near the corner of his mouth and it makes your heart soften. He carefully unwraps it and breaks the treat open.
You mirror him, pulling the thin paper out. Accept that which you cannot change. You stare at the words for a moment. Since when do fortune cookies make you feel so unsettled?
“Depart not from the path that fate has assigned you? What’s that supposed to mean?” He furrows his eyebrows before shoving the entire cookie into his mouth, “What does yours say?”
You show him the paper to which he rolls his eyes dramatically, “Oh god, who comes up with these?”
You shrug, nibbling on the artificial cookie.
“Honestly though, how hard could it be?”
“Really?” You raise a brow.
“Easy! Choi Beomgyu is handsome, Choi Beomgyu is smart, Choi Beomgyu is-”
“Hold on,” you suppress a giggle, “how are those better than ominous life lessons?”
“Because they’re actually true,” he deadpans.
You wince playfully, “Maybe yours should’ve said never start a fortune cookie business.”
He throws his head back, letting out a loud laugh, one that you couldn’t help but savor even after it faded out. Maybe you would take him up on that offer.
You meet Hyunjin again that night.
At first, you were hesitant about it, but you had managed to push it all from your mind convincing yourself that it was harmless. Going to the sea was a simple effort, he just happened to come along with it. Besides, you weren’t quite sure how much control you had over it anyway.
Remarkably, he was just as he had been before. Well, before everything started to fall apart. It was as if the two of you had never broken up; as if his love for you had never died. And maybe it was the satisfaction of finally having what you longed for that made you not want to give it up. Not yet, at least.
He grasps your hand, gently guiding you along the shoreline of the beach. Every step brings the two of you closer to the ocean until the water eventually rolls over your bare feet. Strangely enough, Hyunjin lets it.
“Doesn’t the ocean scare you?”
He halts immediately, turning towards you with his head cocked to the side, “Why would it scare me?”
Something flashes in your mind, almost like a warning; a memory resurfacing of Hyunjin explaining to you that he had never learned to swim and how he had fallen into the ocean as a child, almost drowning before his mother jumped in after him.
It terrified him to this day, only fond of it when it couldn’t touch him.
“The mystery of what’s beneath endless miles of water makes it all the more intriguing.”
You know the words leave his mouth, yet it doesn’t seem like him. It’s like some semblance of clarity, some inclination that something might be wrong in all of this. But when you search his iridescent irises for something, anything to tell you that he was being insincere, there’s nothing. They seem to reassure you, convincing you that he would never lie to you.
Perhaps you had seen the sky in his eyes, or a galaxy, maybe even the ocean—though it had never been the same thing twice—and that gave you enough assurance. But, you still can’t seem to form a response.
Just before you broke up, he had kept himself hidden behind a shield of ambiguity, avoiding honesty in every way possible.
Your gaze is focused intently on the door, making it impossible to overlook anything. The ice in your coffee has nearly been reduced to a thin layer of water on the surface, but you pay it no mind. You shouldn’t be this anxious to meet with your boyfriend of so many years.
With a quick glance at your phone, you confirm that he’s late...again. There’s a subtle ache in your chest, like an impending dread that your heart hasn’t allowed your head to probe into. You can’t allow this to tip over just yet, you can still fix this.
Then again, maybe you shouldn’t have asked him to come. You knew how busy he had become recently, and it would be better if he rested instead of-
The door swings open, your nerves alleviated briefly as you watch Hyunjin make his way towards your table. There’s a stoic expression on his face as he takes the seat across from you. You assume that his hard exterior will melt away upon being with you, just like it always had, but to your dismay, it persists.
“Sorry, I lost track of time.” He gives you a small apologetic smile, yet it doesn’t seem to reach his eyes.
You shake your head, dismissing the matter, “It’s okay.”
He stays silent with his gaze fixed on the table.
“You’re not going to get anything?”
“No, I’m okay.”
This was his favorite cafe—the entire reason you had chosen it. You thought it might bring him a bit of comfort to just sit down, enjoy his favorite coffee, and...well, to be with you.
He’s probably just stressed. “Are you okay? Work’s still stressing you out?”
He nods.
It’s no surprise to you you weren’t quite sure why you had asked in the first place. It’s the only thing he ever really had to say to you anymore. Conversation usually came rather easily between the two of you. Neither of you favored meaningless small talk like this. Or awkward silence. Time only made it obvious that the distance between you two was widening.
Yet, you don’t know why. You want to ask him about it, ask him if he notices it at all, but you could never seem to. Even if you wanted to ask, you never seem to have time for each other, or rather, he doesn’t. And when he did, he was more closed off than ever.
When the two of you first started dating, you spent so much time together that it felt almost wrong to be apart. And even though you had both graduated and transitioned into working full-time jobs, you had remained closer than ever. At least, up until now.
You didn’t even live together. And the physical distance only brought more emotional distance. You could blame it on your demanding schedules all you wanted, but you knew it was more than that. His increasingly brief answers to everything and constant excuse of being busy had aroused more than a bit of suspicion in you.
It kept you up at night with tears burning in the corners of your eyes, tormenting your heart, but you still couldn’t bring it up to him. Not so directly, anyway.
If you did, you would bring it out of the shadows—to life. And you feared what that could lead to more than anything.
“What do you think about...living together?” You blurt out, unable to contain the words in your throat any longer.
Hyunjin visibly stiffens as his lips part slightly, “What?”
Whatever reaction you had anticipated, it definitely hadn’t been that. “I’m sorry...was that too...forward?”
Admittedly, your question was a bit sudden, but you had been a couple for a long while now; you were close, familiar with each other. You had slept over at each other’s places countless times and even taken occasional short trips together and shared a hotel room.
Though, you know living together was a different thing entirely. One that you had never actually discussed before. But even then, he could still decline the suggestion and that would be okay. You still have boundaries and the last thing you want to do is overstep them.
“No, it’s fine…I just...” he pauses, “I need some time to think about it.”
“It’s okay, we don’t have to talk about it right now.”
A tense silence follows your words. What happened to the two of you? There’s a part of you that finds it disheartening; two lovers together, with nothing to say, the presence of the other no longer comfortable.
“I should get going.”
“Already?” There’s a desperate, almost pitiful, tone in your voice. The company he worked at was closed on Sundays, so there was no possible way that he would have to-
“Work.”
Oh. “Okay...See you later?”
You watch as his figure retreats to the door, not even sparing you another glance. Something was wrong.
And it was bad enough to make you feel like you had to keep your walls up around each other and sit in unpleasant silences. Bad enough for him to be disinterested in you and spending time with you. Bad enough for him to lie to you.
“Hey,” his voice draws you out of your painful recollection.
He gives you a soft smile, one that almost makes you forget everything else.
“I love you, you know.”
And you know it’s wrong, but for a second, you let yourself believe him.
Beomgyu was absolutely delighted when you took him up on his offer the following day.
He started his “tour” by taking you to several of his favorite shops, explaining enthusiastically how they hadn't changed since he was a child. With every sight you passed, he seemed to know exactly what to say, keeping your attention for the entirety of it.
You couldn’t help but admire him, even if you were too exhausted to express yourself past some short responses and nods. Even when there was nothing to be said, you still enjoyed his company.
Realizing your pace had slowed when you became lost in thought, you quicken your footsteps until you’re back at his side, “What about after you graduate? Are you going to come live here?”
“No.”
You’re a bit taken aback at his unwavering reply, “Why not?”
“I don’t know,” he shrugs, “It’s nice here, but….” He pauses, motioning towards a shop to which you both head into.
Every corner is filled with all kinds of trinkets and gifts, nothing losing the eye’s attention.
You almost forget about the conversation from mere moments ago. “But what?”
You watch as his fingers brush against the spines of a small stack of books. “People generally have the impression that this town is perfect or something, because it’s such a contrast to the busy cities they live in. But, I’ve seen enough of it to know that...that's not exactly the case.”
“What do you mean?” You grapple with his words, how could this town not be preferable to the grueling, bustling city?
He’s silent for a moment, pressing his lips into a line before continuing, “I mean...life is life regardless of where you go. Even as a kid, I always wanted to live in the big city, and now I do. And people who grew up in the city always long to escape to quiet towns. It’s like they’re trading one illusion for another, but a change of scenery is just that. You can't run from life.”
“Hm...that makes sense.”
He does have a point. Albeit a bit abstract and circumstantial, you understand what he’s getting at. Though, you had never thought about it that way.
You approach a small table, catching sight of a small clay item; a delicate-looking flower, colored with a soft lavender. There’s something about it that intrigues you.
Beomgyu follows your line of sight, “You like calla lilies?”
“Yeah, it’s pretty,” you nod, studying the smooth surface of it. You feel a little burst of fascination, perhaps even inspiration; all from the tiny flower.
“I heard they represent life and death.”
“Both?”
Beomgyu places a finger to his lips, pondering your question momentarily before shrugging, “Whichever you want it to, I guess.”
You nod slowly, reaching for the dainty trinket but it’s snatched from the surface before you can even blink. Beomgyu giggles while making a beeline for the cash register, the small flower in hand.
“Wait!”
“I want to buy it for you,” he insists, handing the money to the cashier straightaway.
It’s in your palm seconds later and you can’t help the small smile on your face, “Thank you.”
“Of course!” He nods, “C’mon, I know an amazing restaurant just down the street.”
The restaurant in question sits snugly in between two buildings, so tiny you might have missed it entirely if not for the dusty orange sign hanging above the door. Beomgyu greets the owner cordially, striking up conversation easily—which is no surprise to you seeing as he was like that with most everyone.
“There are so many options...” he sighs with a pout, “How do I decide...?”
“What do you mean you can’t decide?”
“I just…” Hyunjin’s gaze falls to the floor, “...don’t know yet.”
You had had a long-overdue “conversation” about moving in together, although it had been briefer and more uncomfortable than you anticipated.
He was oddly silent for the majority of it, ending with explaining that he needed some time to consider the options and work some things out. You assumed he was looking into places or figuring out his finances or whatever he needed to do. The last thing you expected was for him to need two entire weeks to merely consider the suggestion, and somehow still not arrive at an answer.
You wouldn’t have even minded if he had said no. At least then, he was being honest with you and communicating with you. Then again, you can’t help but feel like maybe you’re being pushy about it. Perhaps you’re taking it too seriously. It wasn’t even that important anyway.
“I need some more time to think about it, that’s all.”
You have the oddest feeling that he’s referring to something else entirely. “Think about what...exactly?”
Something unrecognizable flashes across his face for such a brief moment, you nearly miss it, “Why are you being so persistent about this?”
You don’t know. Are you being too adamant? Were you making him uncomfortable? Or is he really that opposed to living with you?
“Because…” you hesitate, grappling for the right words, avoiding what you truly want to say, “...we just don’t see each other very often anymore.”
“What are you talking about?” there’s a strange apprehension in his voice.
“I don’t know. You don’t ever have time for anything….” At least not for you.
You recall a moment from earlier in the week where you had gone to the store alone. Hyunjin had told you he was busy with work for the entire week, but coincidentally, you happened to see him from the window, across the street. He was with some friends, laughing—genuinely—and you finally caught a glimpse of the Hyunjin you had been missing. One that was truly happy in the company of those he loved. One who seemed to always be absent around you.
It has to be your fault. But as much as you had mulled over it, you couldn’t understand it. You don’t know what you did, or what you’re doing to push him away so much. Is it this?
“I’m sorry, it’s just work. You know I can’t do anything about it.”
You know it’s not. Sure, Hyunjin was a bit of a workaholic which made him considerably busy, but he had canceled on you so many times that you would sometimes go a few weeks without talking, let alone seeing each other.
And it didn’t seem like he cared. Or even missed you when you were apart. The least he could do is tell you the truth. You’ll understand, you always had. But everything is crumbling beneath your feet, the foundation losing its stability with every passing second, despite your attempts to desperately cling to it. Your bare hands won’t hold a structure like this, you can’t do it alone.
“Why do you always lie to me?” It’s hardly above a whisper, but you know he heard you.
He’s silent for an excruciating few seconds, pain flashing in his eyes before shaking his head, “You’re overreacting.”
“I am?”
His jaw clenches, “Yes. You are.”
It’s the first time you feel so humiliated, so exposed in front of him; enough to make you avoid his gaze entirely. Had you really said something so wrong?
And yet, he seems like he’s still holding something back. He sucks in a sharp breath, grabbing his jacket, and leaving without another word. The inevitable collapse that you had been dreading has begun at last.
“Do you know what you want?”
“Hey, are you okay?”
You clear your throat, focusing back on the menu in your hands, “Yeah, sorry. I’ll just have the same thing as you.”
Beomgyu nods, heading towards the cash register to place the order.
Why can’t you stop thinking about him? Why does he seem to follow you wherever you go? It’s impossible to escape him. Your heart longs for him and your mind can’t let go of the memories you shared.
“...they’re trading one illusion for another, but a change of scenery is just that. You can't run from life.” Beomgyu’s words from earlier ring in your head. You hadn’t realized just how true they were, how much you’re doing exactly that.
It doesn’t matter where you go, he’ll always follow, whether it be in your memories, in your dreams, or the scattered shards of your heart. No amount of distance seems to remove him from that.
“What are you doing here?”
The distress on Hyunjin’s face is blatantly obvious. He can’t even seem to meet your eyes. Then again, it seems to be more than that. More...shameful than upset.
His entire body is stiff like he’s afraid to make any sort of movement, “Can we talk?”
You nod slowly, letting him enter. You expect him to sit down, allowing for the two of you to talk seriously, on a less confrontational level, but he remains standing.
“I’m sorry,” his voice is frail, hard for you to understand.
There’s a growing divide in your relationship, one that you had futilely tried to close before it widened. He wasn’t oblivious, you doubt that he hadn’t noticed it as well. But his presence meant that he knew, that you two could finally talk about it, and hopefully, resolve it.
“For what?”
“Being distant.” For some reason, it doesn’t feel as relieving as you had anticipated.
“You were right, it wasn’t work...I was consciously...avoiding you.”
His words sting, seeping into your mind and feeding into all of the things you had tried to keep away from being corrupted by paranoia.
It takes a moment for you to respond. “Why?”
“Because I needed to figure some things out,” he hesitates, “And the other day...I guess I finally...understood what it was.”
Whatever he’s implying, you force out of your head. He’s here to help you amend it. You can finally work it out together. Everything will be okay.
“Understood what?”
He lets out a shaky breath, looking up with teary eyes, “Why I don’t feel it….”
Everything about his face unnerves you, like a warning that whatever he’s about to confess next will truly tear open your ribcage and plunge into your heart.
“I don’t think I love you anymore.”
Your heart collapses, plummeting downward, blurring your vision with tears, clouding your head. Memories of the two of you sharing the most intimate words and actions, hearts beating in sync, are thrust painfully at your face, like you only have mere seconds with them before they’re torn away forever.
It’s as if he’s watching you fall from above and doing nothing to save you. He isn’t reaching out like you thought he would, he isn’t calling for you, he isn’t doing anything. Instead, he turns silently, leaving you to fall to your demise. It’s worse than anything you could’ve imagined.
You thought you could share anything with each other, why had he kept this away from you? How long had he been keeping it?
“I’m so sorry. I don’t know what to say...I just...I didn’t want to lie to you anymore.”
You barely feel lucid anymore, everything muddling together into a nightmarish reality. And yet, drowning in twisted denial, you wish for him to break into a fit of laughter, confessing that it had all been some kind of sick joke. Maybe that would hurt less.
Everything you want to say or scream at him is caught by the barbed wire that has become your throat.
“Are you okay?” It's like a taunt, to have him tell you that he didn’t love you anymore, only to feign concern seconds later.
Humiliation strips you down to your most vulnerable self, and you can’t bear to meet his eyes any longer.
“Please leave,” it’s hardly even a whisper, but it’s all you can manage.
“I’m sorry,” he says softly, and you know he’s crying, “I didn’t ever want to hurt you...staying together when I...feel this way, it wasn’t fair to you. But, please don’t think I don’t care about you.”
Hearing his voice makes the threat of tears more imminent, and you can’t stand it any longer. You need to be alone, away from him.
“Please,” you whimper, ”please, leave.”
You feel his gaze linger on you for a few seconds longer before he stands up hesitantly, eventually taking his leave.
Hyunjin is humming something again, the sweet sounds floating along amongst the soft sloshing of waves. You can’t stop it now.
“Why don’t you love me anymore?” The words spill from your mouth in a rush; being confined in your head for too long.
“My love,” concern swirls in his eyes when they roam your face, “I have never stopped loving you.” He places his hands on your cheeks delicately and you feel his thumb swipe away the few tears that had slipped down your face.
You knew when Hyunjin was lying to you; that became increasingly apparent to you just before you broke up. But right now, he’s telling the truth. He always tells you the truth.
“Why would I ever stop? How could I?” You feel almost numb, unable to do anything.
“Please,” his voice becomes increasingly desperate, “...don’t ever think that I don’t love you. I need you, and I want nothing more than for you to stay here with me.”
“But you’re not...real,” you back away hesitantly, his hands falling away from your face.
“Not real?” He squints, “Can you not feel my presence? Can you not tell how real I am?" Something foreign flashes across his eyes, and a strange feeling twists in your stomach.
"That's hardly proof–"
"Just because it doesn't make sense doesn't mean it's not real. You know that.” He steps closer to you.
With a shaky breath, you finally manage to say, “You’re just in my head. You’re not him.”
“Why would you think that?”
“Because,” you choke back impending tears, “you can’t be real, Hyunjin, you can’t be here.” It’s difficult to admit out loud, difficult to accept the reality that you’re in.
“So what?” His fingers brush against your cheek once more, though you don’t move away this time, “I’m here now. And I love you, always.”
Your throat feels dry as your lungs weakly expel the words, “But, I can’t let you love me.”
“Yes, you can.” His lustrous irises catch the glint of the moon.
You had hardly considered it—loving this version of him. Wasn’t an alternate persona of him, revived entirely by you, simply a fragment of him? If he wants to stay this time, if he wants to love you, should you let him? You have the chance for everything to be as it was before. Would it be so bad to allow it?
And the way that he looks at you, the numbness in your body, the familiar feeling in your chest, makes you want to believe it would last this time. You want him to stay.
“I’ll always love you.”
You’re transfixed on him entirely, disregarding the dissipating cautionary inkling in your chest.
“Come, follow me,” his fingers interlock with yours, and you let him lead you further down the beach, near the masses of rocky formations.
He takes you towards a small rock cove, into the small cave-like structure. From here, the water is quieter, softer, and almost seems to have a luminescent glow to it. Your pace slows, Hyunjin’s hand leaving yours as he moves ahead of you. You glance upward at the small opening in the solid rock. It’s like a little window to the stars. Pretty….
“As soon as I found this place, I wanted to bring you here.”
He seems to procure a little picnic basket out of thin air before spreading a blanket down on the sand and patting the space next to him. You sit down tentatively.
Hyunjin begins to unload some things from the basket and you realize they’re all your favorite foods.
He notices your gaze on him, “Is there anything more you want, my love?”
“No,” you shake your head, “...it’s okay.”
“Please, eat something,” he places a napkin in your lap, motioning towards the food he had prepared.
After several minutes of silence while the two of you eat—well, while you eat and he sits beside you, toying with some of the items in the basket every so often—you feel your energy improve.
You take a deep breath, relaxing onto your back to have a better look at the part of the night sky that’s visible. From here, you can’t see the moon. Though, the expanse of the sky through the window-like opening is still breathtaking. Dozens of tiny stars are scattered delicately across the blanket of darkness.
You feel Hyunjin’s fingers trace over the underside of your wrist, lingering near your pulse. His hand slowly takes yours, interlocking your fingers, striking a chord of a memory that you had tucked away.
Your body is cradled gently in Hyunjin’s arms, back pressed to his chest, as the two of you stare at the night sky.
“What if we had never met?” You mused, lethargy in your voice.
“Then my life wouldn’t be nearly as exciting.”
His fingers toy with yours, locking them together, “I guess we have our friends to thank...at least partially?” You recall the day at the amusement park, where you met Hyunjin for the very first time, eliciting a smile on your face.
“What do you mean? Fate brought us together.”
You can’t help the chuckle that leaves your mouth at how resolute he seems, “That’s incredibly cheesy.”
“Well,” his arms slip around your waist, pulling you even closer, “It’s true.”
“Really?”
“Of course,” he hooks his pinky with yours, letting your fingers curl into a fist before pressing the pads of your thumbs together, “And I know fate will keep us together.”
The memory fades away and you’re met once more with the darkness of the night, stars overhead. You’re with Hyunjin again, but this time...it’s different. The familiarity of it all tugs at your heart, telling you that he’ll do the same thing again. That he’ll leave again.
“Whatever brought you to me...I am forever indebted,” Hyunjin’s voice distracts you from your thought. Was it something as unexplainable as fate?
Perhaps that very idea had been disregarded by the both of you. He willed fate to keep you together, but it had instead led him down another path.
Then it was fate that he had fallen out of love with you. Your relationship’s demise was merely preordained, to keep everything on its destined course. You were foolishly keeping something unsalvageable alive even when you were the one who had driven him away. And in your sorrow, you couldn’t seem to let him go. You couldn’t let fate have its way.
And here he is. Living and breathing, constructed on the canvas of your mind, to fill the emptiness. It makes you wonder if the real Hyunjin ever thinks of you, if he even misses you.
You feel Hyunjin’s lips touch the back of your hand gently, the glint of his eyes capturing your attention entirely. Ever so slowly, he moves on top of you, your hands still intertwined.
He’s so close; close enough that you think you’ll hear the symphony in his heartbeat, yet you’re only met with strange, intimate silence.
“Can I...?” He trails off, glancing down at your lips.
A second after you manage a nod, his lips are on yours. It’s easy, so easy, to allow yourself to become lost in him. You reminisce the feeling of his lips on yours, pressing emotions he couldn’t quite articulate out loud onto your mouth.
Though, this time, his lips are less revealing and slightly...cold. You brush the thought aside, attributing the discrepancy to your mind’s inability to bleed entirely accurate sensations into your dream.
There’s a cold sensation against your neck, just before Hyunjin pulls away slightly, giving you the chance to glance down. A thin, silver chain rests against the skin of your neck, holding a tiny gem. The stone entrances you, a hypnotizing, kaleidoscopic array of colors shifting through it.
It’s the same as…. You gaze back up at Hyunjin’s eyes.
“You like it?”
“I….” Your head feels cloudy, unable to think of anything aside from him.
“Perfect,” he hums as his thumb traces your bottom lip gently.
There’s a flash of something in his eyes as he stares down at you, his gaze roaming over you with an odd sort of fondness...perhaps infatuation.
In the back of your mind, there’s a brief moment of clarity, imploring you to realize how wrong all of this is. But before you can even address it, it’s gone.
His hand falls to your neck, caressing the side of it ever so gently. You love him. And he—finally—loves you again.
“Sleep, my love.”
There’s hardly so much as a crease in the surface of the ivory comforter that covers the mattress. And yet it remains untouched.
From the day you had arrived, until now, you hadn’t slept in it once. Most nights, you fell asleep at the beach, or on the rare occasion that you actually returned to your room for the night, you opted for the lone chair in your room, unable to sleep.
It was admittedly unusual for you. The whole purpose of your trip was to have some time to heal and yet you hadn’t quite taken advantage of the relaxing attributes of the hotel.
You let out a sigh, taking heavy steps towards the lobby.
Beomgyu had mentioned something about meeting him in the morning and seeing as you didn’t have any prior engagements, you had agreed. Besides, you enjoy his company.
“Excuse me, I think you dropped this.”
You feel a tap on your shoulder that halts you in your tracks. When you turn around, you’re met with the sight of a familiar face.
“Grandma!”
You tear your focus away from her to see a young blonde boy approaching. His eyes flick between the two of you with a bit of confusion, before placing a hand on her shoulder, “Is everything okay?”
When there’s no response from her, he turns to you, “I’m so sorry if she was bothering you,” he lowers his voice before continuing, “...she tends to ramble sometimes. Please excuse us.”
The same boy has his hand outstretched towards you, and it’s then you realize there’s something in the center of his palm.
“Oh, th-” The words instantly die in your throat.
The thin, silvery chain is collected in a small pile, the tiny, familiar opalescent pendant resting on top, catching a glint from the light; as if it’s taunting you.
...How? You can’t recall waking up with it around your neck. You were sure it had disappeared last night the second you awoke.
If Hyunjin had given it to you in your dream, how could it be here in front of you now? How could it exist outside of the confines of your mind?
That would mean that...it’s all real. That he is real. It’s beyond a dream now; real, tangible, and yet impossible—nothing like you had thought it to be.
The blonde raises a brow, “Is it not yours?”
“Oh...” you nod, taking the abnormally cold chain from him, “I-It is, thank you.”
Before he can say another word, you hurry away, your heartbeat becoming increasingly erratic. The last thing you need is someone asking you about it. Though, you could hardly fathom it. What seemed so harmless, so innocent, was suddenly overwhelming and perilous.
When you reach the lobby, you secure it around your neck, hastily zipping up your hoodie to cover it. Whatever it means, you’ll deal with it later.
You spot Beomgyu behind the front desk, conversing with a guest with an enthusiastic smile on his face. He takes notice of you a few moments after handing the key over and politely sending them on their way.
“You’re back.”
“Where else would I be?”
He shrugs.
You move closer to the desk, observing how he focuses his attention on some of the paperwork on the desk. “So what did you want to do?”
“It’s a surprise.” A playful smile creeps onto his face, one that you know he’s trying to suppress from the way he avoids your gaze.
It only makes your mind dance through possibilities, brimming with curiosity at what more of the town he could possibly fascinate you with.
From the corner of your eye, someone approaches the desk, slowing when they notice you, “Oh, it’s you again.”
The boy from the hallway.
Beomgyu glances between the two of you with slight disbelief, “You two have met?”
“Only briefly,” he shakes his head, “Far from a proper introduction, anyway,” he offers you a small smile, “I’m Taehyun.”
You nod, telling him your name.
“Are you okay if I leave for a bit?” Beomgyu is already walking around the desk, Taehyun taking his place.
“Of course.”
“Good luck then!”
You watch as Beomgyu heads towards the door, running a hand through his hair, before tilting his head towards you, “Coming?”
With a small nod, you follow after him, falling into a comfortable pace alongside him.
Beomgyu’s steps are light, so much so that you feel like you could close your eyes and be completely unaware of his presence. Though the determined, yet serene expression on his face makes it apparent that there’s a clear destination in his mind.
“What?”
Your eyes fall back to the asphalt when you realize you had been blatantly staring at him, “Nothing.”
He doesn’t respond, only giving you a look as if he was open to listening to what you have to say—whatever that may be.
“I thought you were the only one who worked at the front desk,” you blurt out.
He breaks out into a fit of lively chuckles, “If that were the case, I could never leave the hotel.”
Of course. He couldn’t be the only one manning the front desk of an entire hotel all day, every day.
“Taehyun’s new though. Well, he just started working this summer, but I’ve known him since we were kids,” he explains, “I know it seems like I’m always there, but I only really work the graveyard shifts.”
“Oh.”
“Then again, guests usually go out during the day, not in the dead of night until dawn.”
You cross your arms a bit too defensively even though you know he has no accusatory intent. You can see how strange your actions may appear to him.
“Oh...yeah….”
He only chuckles softly, waving his hand slightly, as if to dismiss what he had said, “You don’t have to be embarrassed, it’s none of my business.”
You find some relief in his words despite your lingering guilt. It’s not like you were trying to hide anything, it wasn’t necessarily a secret. Then again, you hadn’t even told your friends. But, how could you? You don’t exactly know how to even explain what you’re doing.
Especially in light of your recent...discovery.
Nevertheless, you’re grateful he didn’t pry into the details; and still, you feel like you can trust him. He was easy to talk to, never overwhelming you with questions or conversation. The two of you continue on the path until the hotel is but a mere form in the distance.
“It’s just up the hill.”
A few minutes pass and the two of you eventually arrive outside a massive almost all-glass building with an abundance of plants of vibrant greens crowding the interior.
You hadn’t thought a place like this would be so close to the sea, let alone the hotel.
Beomgyu pulls open the door, motioning for you to enter. A few tall trees stand like columns, scattered here and there. Collections of flowers and plants are gathered in places where the stone floor doesn’t lay.
“Woah.”
“Pretty, isn’t it?” Beomgyu says, strolling further into the building towards a tiny bridge that sits over a wide pond.
As you approach the water, you notice the array of lily pads and various flowers. “Is it yours?”
He shakes his head, “My parents.”
“But no one really comes here,” he meanders around, “I think they prefer the ocean.”
“Mmm,” you nod, “The sea is hard to stay away from.”
He’s silent.
For a moment, you fear as if you had said something insensitive about his parents' greenhouse, ready to frantically apologize but he only shrugs, “It all depends on the person, I guess. I don’t know, for me, being here feels like…” he finally plops down on the edge of the bridge, dipping his fingers into the shallow water, “...being in love.”
Being in love?
Was love not the gentle caress of waves? With the breath of the sea embracing your heart and soul while the sky watches from above?
“And,” he adds, ”there are calla lilies here!”
You watch him point excitedly at the edge of the pond with a soft smile on your face. These were ivory. Under the golden rays of the sun, they seem especially gentle, as if they were crafted only to exist in the most idyllic of gardens.
Beomgyu and you sit in pleasant silence for a while, breathing in the fresh air. A few days ago, you could hardly handle being around people you had trusted for years, and yet with him...you can’t explain why you feel so comfortable with him.
“What do you do?”
“What?” You ask.
He tilts his head slightly, soft locks of his hair shifting across his forehead, “For a living.”
“Art.”
“You’re an artist?” There’s an obvious, genuine fascination on his face, making a tenderness grow in your chest. It was admittedly a nice change from the bitter feeling of waning interest.
You nod, rising and sauntering towards one of the massive windows that’s sectioned by several panels. From there, you can see a winding stone path that leads to a bubbling fountain and nearby, an elevated gazebo. You make a mental note to come back when you get the chance.
“Why art?”
For some reason, it’s not the question you were anticipating. Most people were interested in mediums, future prospects, and the likes, which you didn’t mind, but this is a welcomed change. Maybe that’s why you’re so fond of Beomgyu, he isn’t intimidated by intimacy.
Art was what held the seams of your soul together, it’s what cradled your heart, how you were able to pull yourself out of the deepest pits of unbearable times in your life. Without it, you would surely fall apart. You wouldn’t know what to do with yourself. But, as painful as it is, you’ve envisioned losing it, it somehow—despite being nearly impossible—unexplainably leaving you.
After all, you’ve lost something you love before.
It’s almost frustrating how you’re so attached to everything. Things that you get used to are easy to take for granted, to expect consistency from.
You let out a deep breath, turning on your heel towards him, “I just...love it.”
He stares at you with an endearing grin, “I can tell.” Before you can ask him how that was even possible, he adds, “I can see it in your eyes.”
Was love that obvious? Was it obvious when you were absolutely, entirely, and overwhelmingly in love with Hyunjin? Was it obvious when he was in love with you? Or was it only you?
You wander back towards the pillar at the start of the bridge. The sunlight seems exceptionally warm, somehow amplified through the glass in the ceiling and walls. Heavy exhaustion slows your movements, like you were treading through thick honey, the overwhelming fatigue you had managed to suppress until now finally taking over you. You unzip your hoodie, draping it loosely over your arm. Why were you so tired?
Beomgyu's gaze travels back over to you, “I’ve always—” His words halt abruptly in his throat as he stares at you with enigmatically wide eyes. It takes you a moment to realize that they’re intently locked onto your neck.
“What is that?” Your chest tightens at the sight of the silver chain around your neck. It had completely slipped your mind.
“It’s nothing…” you clear your throat awkwardly, “...just a gift from...someone.”
You really should have kept your jacket on. He squints at it for a moment longer, mumbling something under his breath, to which you swear you catch the word “familiar”. You wonder why it unnerves him as much as it does you.
He seems to lose all interest in the subject, changing the conversation as if nothing had even happened, “So, how long are you planning on staying?”
The tentative feeling that has been rising in your gut only grows as you walk the familiar path to the beach.
A distant part of you, urged you, begged you even, to stay at the hotel for the night. But, your curiosity got the better of you once more. You need to know what it all was. However unexplainable.
When you arrive, you fully expect to see him waiting for you on the shore like always, but he’s nowhere in sight. You find your feet moving towards the cove he had taken to you last time. Something tells you that he’s there.
You hear his voice before you see him. “You’re here.”
He makes his way out of the shadows with a grin on his face. It’s unnerving at first sight, but the feeling seems to instantly morph into comfort. Stepping to the side, he reveals the same blanket he had laid out before accompanied by yet another basket brimming with food. It feels almost too perfect.
Your head is hazy, though somehow you know you shouldn’t waste his time hesitating at the implicit offer.
“At least eat something,” he takes your hand, leading you to the soft material.
You take some of the food, only holding it in your hands, unable to bring yourself to eat. Even if this isn’t a dream, you know you have to leave. Very soon.
And you don’t know how to bring it up. Or if you even should. But you don’t want to leave.
“Don’t...” Hyunjin says softly, “I’ve been waiting for you all this time, I’ve missed you for too long.”
“What?”
He lets out a light sigh, “I think, somehow, if we hadn’t met in this lifetime...I would know that I was missing you still. That I would die without you.”
You don’t know how to respond, you don’t even know what you’re feeling. Everything feels like a dream, and beyond that, all you know is that he’s here with you, that he...loves...you.
“Why would you say that?”
“Because I want you to know,” his voice is gentler than ever, “I don’t want you to ever forget that you’re loved truly and entirely by me.”
How you had longed to hear the words from the real Hyunjin; or at the very least, to know, that he was, undoubtedly, the only one who held your heart with such care. Even now, as whoever this other Hyunjin was, confessed to you truly and devotedly, you felt an ache in your chest.
Because, you know, in some way or another, you love him too. Whether he’s all in your head, or somehow the boy you met at an amusement park. Whether he loves you or not.
You avert your eyes to the sand near your feet. You can't be so vulnerable to him again.
“Hey,” his unusually cold hand cups your jaw, gently guiding you to face him again, “Look at me.”
You can’t tell if your eyes burn with the plea of unattainable rest or the threat of tears. But, the instant your gaze meets his opalescent irises, you can't look away, as if they were holding you captive.
“Will you promise me?” He strokes your cheek softly.
“Promise what?”
“That you’ll stay so we can always be together….That you’ll let me love you."
You're hit with a wave of lethargy, the sound of his voice like a sweet lullaby.
“How can I...promise that?”
“With just two words.”
Every limb in your body feels weak and attentive only to him. You want to stay with him.
“Promise?”
“I…” you’re ever so tempted to finish the sentence, pledge every last bit of love you had left in you to him, but something—albeit almost entirely buried within you—holds you back, “...don’t know.”
“Why not?” There's only concern on his face, “Don’t you love me?”
“I do...I do love...you.”
You don't know what to say anymore, suddenly feeling unbearably devoid of energy. You’re so tired...ready to succumb to the sweet embrace of sleep.
“It’s okay my darling,” his lips tug into a smile, “I'll wait for you...however long it takes.”
You had been meaning to message Minjeong again—as well as your other friends—with some sort of update or otherwise, but for some reason, you haven’t.
With extremely poor justification, you concluded that you would be seeing them shortly anyway when you returned, so there was no need. You would definitely get an earful from them the second you came back.
Though, truthfully, you weren’t sure how long you could keep whatever this was a secret if you did. Your friends would be able to catch on with only a short exchange of words.
But what kind of secret was it anyway? That every second of every day, you thought of him, your mind overflowing with the previous nights and the bittersweet memories you had left. That you were obsessed, some inexplicable force always drawing you towards him.
It crept into the corners of your mind, blurring the lines of reason, and the more time you spent with him, the more you realized you could hardly stay away.
When you thought about leaving him, there was a terrible pang in your heart. One that you were beginning to realize was identical to what you felt before you broke up.
Though, most of the time, you don't allow yourself to dwell on it. It’ll only make it harder to leave.
You glance to the windowsill where the small clay calla lily that Beomgyu bought for you sits. It seems so effortless, how you retrieve your sketchbook right away and flip to the first empty page.
For once, you don’t hesitate. Your wrist seems to have a mind of its own, bending and curving lines into the soft curve of the petal, and bringing it down into a narrow stem.
After filling in some shadows and details, you lean back slowly to examine your work. It wasn’t your best effort, but it was still something. And you hadn’t done anything in so long.
The memories of Beomgyu’s adoration for the flowers resurface in your mind, bringing a soft smile to your face.
You pry the window open, your sketchbook sliding from your lap in the process before you can catch it. The pages flutter in the air before the corner hits the ground and falls flat on the surface. You reach for it but your fingers freeze upon seeing the page it had flipped to.
A sketch of Hyunjin.
“Let me see! I've been sitting still forever...look, all the ice in my americano melted already...” Hyunjin whines, his lips forming into an endearing pout.
“It hasn’t been that long,” you chuckle, making another small pencil mark on the page.
It wasn’t entirely complete yet, but you couldn’t find it in yourself to refuse him, handing him the book anyway.
You watch as he studies the paper with an intense concentration, a slight crease forming in between his brows. When his eyes meet yours again, he seems stunned, his mouth hanging open slightly, “Oh my god, this is amazing.”
“Really?”
He nods enthusiastically, “Of course it is! You’re so talented! I can’t believe you drew this in such a short time too...it’s like you took a photo! How did you make me look so life-like?”
You almost laugh at the fact that he was just whining about how long you were taking to draw him, feeling too flustered by his compliments, your heart practically melting into a saccharine puddle in your chest.
“You always take my breath away.” He gives you a small smile, “I admire you more every day, truly.”
“Hyunjin….”
He sets your sketchbook down gently, fingers tugging at your knees, urging you to come closer. You move onto his lap just as you had done countless times before.
“My love….” he mumbles softly, guiding your palm to his chest, right above his heart, “You have my heart.”
Your breath catches in your throat, all words halted in your throat. His dark eyes seem endless to you, overflowing with love, making you want to stay in this moment forever.
“I love you,” this time he brings your hand to his lips, placing a soft kiss on it.
“I love you too,” you whisper, “...always.”
The dark strokes seem permanently etched into your mind, reviving emotions buried in the rubble of your destruction.
Tears burn in your eyes once more, but you don’t stop them, letting them carry the weight of sadness with them as they slip down your face.
He saw you in all of your vulnerability, always there for you, loving you in a way that you thought was unconditional.
But, he didn’t try to keep loving you. He couldn’t. And maybe, you only have yourself to blame.
You couldn’t bring yourself to wear the necklace, shoving it into your bag with no intention to take it out again.
There’s something greatly unsettling about it. How it was the only thing that proved that the other Hyunjin was, in some way, real. Or maybe Beomgyu’s reaction to it had told you everything you needed to know.
None of it made any sense, but you had abandoned trying to figure out the feasibility of it all. It would only occupy your thoughts endlessly and the last thing you need is something else to obsess over.
You’re going to leave soon, and he, along with everything else, was bound to disappear then. What was one more farewell, anyway?
When you arrive back at the sea, he stands by the shore, lips curling upwards into a smile. You catch the glint that dances across his eyes, the kaleidoscope of colors shifting ceaselessly.
He cocks his head to the side, obviously perplexed, “Did you not like it?”
“Like what?”
With a humorless chuckle, he slips a hand into his pocket before approaching you and reaching around your neck.
You know what it is before he pulls away. The weight of the pendant against your skin is all too familiar.
How did he get it back?
“There,” he remarks with satisfaction.
You want to yank the metal off, to throw it into the vastness of the sea, but your mind grows fuzzier with every second, burying your apprehensions.
He grasps your hand with cold fingers, taking careful steps back towards the ocean. It’s as if you have completely lost control of yourself as you follow him without any hesitation.
The chill water flows against your ankles, then to your knees, and eventually up to your waist. But, you don’t even pay it any mind. Your focus remains solely on him.
Your love…. He loves you.
You feel his palm on the back of your neck, gently turning you around and easing you down into the water.
He strokes your cheek gently, “Rest now, my love.” He loves you.
You close your eyes at once, intense fatigue consuming your entire body. You shouldn’t. Not here, not now...you should stay alert….
But all you want to do is rest.
“You...” you hear his voice, lulling you deeper into some kind of daze, erasing everything but him, “...have my heart….”
It’s as if he was all around you, surrounding you, taking over your senses.
The water caresses your cheeks, flowing into your ears and occasionally moving across your lips.
Hyunjin was the sea. Endless. Forever.
And if your heart belongs to the sea, then you’ll let it reclaim you.
Your body is sinking ever so slowly beneath the surface, but you don’t stop it. You aren’t sure you even can.
It’s the plane between worlds.
You must allow yourself to succumb to one or the other. Just as he cannot live in both, neither can you.
And you would much rather be in a world where he loves you again.
You’re fully submerged into the water, letting it envelop you. He was here. And you could finally be together, just as you were always meant to be.
He loves you. He loves you. He lo—
For a brief second, there’s a sound so faint it could’ve been nothing at all. Perhaps it’s all in your head.
But then it comes again. And again.
There’s a desperation to it as it grows louder, like it needs to pierce through the surface of the water and reach you.
When it comes again, you finally make it out. It sounds like your name.
Your eyes shoot open. And everything hits you all at once.
The water weighs your body down, a terrible paralysis in your limbs. Hyunjin is nowhere in sight.
You’re drowning.
Panic jolts through you, urging your legs to move, to push you back to the surface, yet you’re stuck in place.
Give in. Let the ocean take you. Let me love you, you hear Hyunjin’s voice in your head.
It’s so tempting to let your eyes fall shut once more, but the glint of something captures your attention.
The pendant. It floats daintily in the water, right at your eye level, as if it were deliberately taunting you, daring you to move.
It’s why you’re here in the first place. It’s why you can’t think straight, why you can’t move when you need to the most.
It’s killing you.
Your head feels dizzy, your vision becoming more unfocused with every second. You don’t have much time left.
There’s a foreign, desperate ache in you, a sense of urgency to push yourself away from this other reality, no matter what world you emerge into. You need to survive. No matter the outcome.
Though as much as you need to breathe, you know you’ll only be met with salty ocean water.
You rack your brain for something, anything, to help you. But you need to move, you need to breathe, and you can’t do any of those things; whatever force had brought you here was intent on keeping you here.
Then...You’re going to die.
It seems to happen so fast, the water forcibly entering your nose, trickling into your throat, down to your lungs.
You’re so tired...so cold…so…. Your eyes flutter shut again. This is it. The beginning of the end.
You must be imagining the feeling of being pulled through the water, slipping in and out of consciousness, fabricating the feeling of air on your wet face again. Like an attempt to lessen the bitter reality. The reality of death.
Then, there's pain...no, pressure. On your chest.
You cough uncontrollably, your lungs forcibly expelling water.
The first shaky inhale of air you take feels foreign, leaving your throat burning, as gasps leave your mouth.
When you finally open your eyes, a sky full of stars stares back at you.
...how?
“Are you okay?”
Kneeling beside you is a sopping wet Beomgyu. Why is he here?
He looks as if you might break if he even breathes too close to you, his hand hesitating right above your shoulder. Hot tears blur your vision, and you hardly even manage a nod, struggling to sit up. You clutch your heaving chest, what happened?
Your body is weak and numb and the cool night air only seems to bite deeper into your wet skin. Beomgyu notices your shivering, carefully wrapping his arm around you.
Tears spill down your ice-cold cheeks when your voice scratches against your raw throat, “I...I’m...sorry...so...sorry….”
“No, hey, it’s okay. You’re safe now,” Beomgyu strokes your shoulder gently, but it only makes you sob harder, “It’s okay, you’re okay.”
He repeats the words softly. You’re okay. You’re safe.
Each passing moment drains you more than the last. Everything had happened too fast. Was this real? Were you really okay?
Beomgyu pulls you closer, engulfing you in a hug while patting your back in reassurance.
His shirt is completely soaked beneath your fingers. You cling to it as if he might vanish at any second. Because if he did, if you didn’t really make it out in time….
If you let him go, it could all crumble away in front of your eyes.
You can’t let him go, you can’t let go of life.
You don’t know how long you sit there as he holds you, trembling and crying. He feels like the only real thing you’ve encountered in so long.
Without his presence, you can’t trust yourself.
You chance a glance over his shoulder, scanning the beach with hesitant eyes. But there’s only the pale sand and sloshing water under the light of the moon.
He’s gone.
— The thin blades of the fan rotate endlessly overhead in an almost mesmerizing way. You hardly have any energy, even after what you assumed was several hours of much-needed sleep.
Even despite the window being open to let in the fresh ocean breeze, you don’t feel refreshed.
The ocean is only a reminder.
You vaguely recall the events of last night. Hyunjin leading you to the ocean, you in the water….
Beomgyu must have carried you back to the hotel where you assume you had passed out afterward.
It’s mortifying. You can only imagine what Beomgyu must think of you.
Though, you can’t help but wonder what exactly he had seen. Or who.
The other Hyunjin exists, in some form or another, that much makes sense to you. And he has no intentions of keeping you alive.
If Beomgyu hadn’t come after you, you would be...dead.
You didn’t come here to be wrapped up in the very man you had longed to get over. You didn’t come here to fall in love with him all over again, to put yourself through the same heartbreak.
And yet, you have done it again.
It felt like a bitter, excruciating death when he had told you that he fell out of love with you. But that was a death you could—albeit arduous—come back from if you so chose.
It took you a while to realize just how much of your own suffering was you clinging to the broken pieces of something already gathering dust.
You haven’t tried to move on.
And if you let everything happen again, you would only be met with certain death.
One you won’t be able to return from.
The greenhouse is empty again.
Though, it looks somewhat different when drowned in the moonlight. Still undeniably beautiful, yet rather melancholic.
You need some time to be alone. To think about everything that had happened.
You make your way through the glass building and out the back door.
The small stone path leads you to the fountain you spotted the last time you were here. The water isn’t flowing, yet the stillness is overwhelmingly serene.
Even the very air seems still.
Carefully, you climb the steps of the gazebo. In the center, orange flames flutter in a small fire pit.
Someone must have lit it earlier.
Though it’s odd to you that it’s been left unattended.
You take a deep breath, reaching inside your pocket and retrieving the pendant. You thought you lost it in the ocean last night yet it was on your nightstand when you woke up.
It’s as if it’s following you.
And you despise it.
Everything implores you to get rid of it.
A soft rumbling pulls you from your thoughts, seeming to get louder by the second.
Hesitantly, you turn around, watching as the water in the fountain below seems to bubble and rise until it spills over the rim.
It must be some sort of malfunction with the mechanism.
Slowly, a hand reaches up from inside, fingers gripping the stone ledge with so much force that it cracks underneath. You’re frozen with sheer terror as a lithe figure pulls itself up and emerges from the water.
“Why so sad, my love?” The other Hyunjin’s lip twists into a sadistic grin.
How...how was he here?
Water drips from him as he steps over the edge, “I knew you wouldn’t leave without me.”
You can’t let him control you again.
“My dear,” he says with a softness in his voice.
Avoiding his gaze, you clutch the pendant tighter.
Before, it was easy to succumb to his tricks, to listen to him tell you everything you wanted to hear, and fill your head with nothing but affection.
But, this time, your head doesn’t feel cloudy or like control will slip from your grasp at any second.
He climbs one step, “Won’t you talk to me?”
Don’t let him torment you any longer.
Whoever, or whatever, he is isn’t Hyunjin.
He isn’t here to love you.
Your time with Hyunjin ended long ago, the path ceased, you can’t walk it anymore.
“I almost died. You...wanted me to,” you spit the words at him, letting your pent-up anger finally surface.
“You don’t think death is the end, do you?” He takes another step and your body tenses, “We can be together forever, leave this miserable world behind.”
You had been too caught up in your mind, letting yourself believe that you needed his love to survive, that you needed to salvage what remained, that your world was unlivable without him in it.
But in all of it, you forgot yourself.
Without you, there is no world.
For Hyunjin wasn’t the end, only an end.
When you finally muster up the courage to meet his eyes, your breath stutters out in shock.
His pupil seems to burst at that moment, darkness expanding over his iris and across the white of his eye, into a complete pitch black.
“I love you, just like you always wanted, is that not enough?” He takes another step, only a short distance from you now.
“I don’t want it anymore.”
He’s silent for a moment before speaking, “What are you talking about? You need it. You need me. Just like I need you….”
His words do nothing to convince you.
“Please, look at me,” he carefully climbs another step, “...listen to me. I love you...I love you, I love you.” His words grow more aggressive, irritation rising.
But you don’t pay it any mind.
In all your sorrow, you were running around endlessly, searching for something, anything to fill your emptiness.
You came here to let him go.
And you can’t leave without doing that.
“I can’t live without you,” he takes the last step between you and him, coming face to face, “Please...please don’t leave me.”
Hyunjin loved you for a time, whether it was brief or for a long period, you know he did.
Maybe that’s enough.
Before you can blink, Hyunjin lunges forward, harshly knocking you to the ground. There’s a shooting pain in the back of your skull, but you push it aside at the sight of him towering over you.
Emotionless, colorless eyes burn down at you while his ice-cold hands wrap tightly around your throat.
You thrash underneath him, clawing at his arms in a desperate attempt to shove him away.
“He doesn't love you. If you go back, he'll never love you again." He hisses, grip tightening, “Stay...let me have your heart.”
A choked yelp leaves your mouth.
You need to get away, you can’t let him win.
“Let me love you.”
You muster up all the strength in your body and jam your knee up into his ribs. It’s only enough to make him loosen his grip, but you manage to push yourself up slightly.
You’re barely on your knees before he’s grabbing at your legs.
His fingers claw at your skin, “You can’t leave me.”
The necklace digs into your palm as your grip tightens. How can you be rid of it?
You violently shove at his chest, knocking your back into the stone around the fire pit. He snarls, lunging at you again, though you manage to escape the grabs at your neck.
From the corner of your eye, you see the orange flames flicker and twist in the air. Will it work?
Hyunjin’s movements halt momentarily, as if sensing your intentions, “Don’t...please don’t.”
The desperation in his voice is almost enough to make you abandon the plan, to stop fighting against him, to make sure he’s okay.
“Please,” he begs, “Without you, I’ll die.”
Almost.
The flames seem to reach for the chain as it slips from your fingers, a hissing noise piercing the air until the fire seems to dwindle into almost nothing.
When you look back at him, he stumbles backward, clutching his chest as if he had been badly wounded.
“Why? Why would you give up on us? We could’ve been happy together….”
His hand falls weakly revealing a giant, gaping hole in his chest, right where his heart should be.
“...we could’ve had...everything.”
It seems to expand and crack until it spreads through the entirety of him. He gasps, choking and sputtering, his body getting weaker with every passing second.
It’s unbearable to look any longer so you squeeze your eyes shut, hoping that when you look again, he’ll be gone.
You swear you hear him whisper your name but it’s so faint, you might have imagined it.
Moments pass.
You don’t know how long.
Will he really be gone? Have you truly rid yourself of him?
With a deep inhale, you open your eyes.
It’s empty.
You’re alone.
“When I go back to school, we should meet up!” Beomgyu grins at you.
You nod, pulling him into a hug, “We should.”
You really will miss him. He seems like a long-lost friend to you. Someone that you were destined to meet, that you had perhaps even known before this life.
“Oh,” you reach into your bag before handing him the sketch you had done earlier, “It’s for you.”
His eyes light up, “Really? You drew this for me?”
You nod, “Yeah.”
“I’m gonna frame it!” He exclaims, making you laugh, “Thank you so much.”
“Of course.”
The taxi pulls up at that moment.
“Well, have a safe trip back!”
You nod, giving him one last wave before climbing into the car.
The car starts up, moving down the path, and away from the hotel.
It hadn't been the kind of trip you anticipated.
But you feel as if you’ve finally come to terms with your feelings and set your sights beyond dwelling on the past.
Everything had been too painful before. Just hearing Hyunjin’s name would make tears gather in your eyes.
But now...now he was like a fading memory.
Albeit still painful, but the longing seems to have finally begun to dim.
You knew it would take time, perhaps a long time, but you’ll wait.
However long it takes.
end.
57 notes · View notes
memesolvernonchwe · 2 days ago
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traitor
☆ genre: angst
☆ pairing: hwang hyunjin x reader
☆ words: 815
Grabbing your phone, you immediately went to check your notifications. There were a few text messages from friends and various social media notifications, but nothing from the one person you so desperately wanted to hear from. 
Slamming your phone back onto your mattress, you rolled your eyes and started your day filled with anger in the same way you had for the past 2 weeks. 
Needless to say, you were not having a good day. You slid out of your bed, already knowing your roommate was at her morning class, meaning you were left to sulk alone as you got ready for the day.
You checked your phone again before leaving, still seeing no notifications from Hyunjin. You knew that he was still using his phone, after all he was still tweeting and posting pictures on instagram, but for some reason for the past 2 weeks he couldn’t even spare a second to text you and let you know that he was okay or that he loved you.
You got ready, already feeling like your day was going to be bad. Thankfully you didn’t have any classes with Hyunjin, though truth be told you wanted to see him just to give him a piece of your mind. Ghosting you was not something you took lightly, especially not from your boyfriend of 8 months.
Classes went by almost too quickly and before you knew it, you were walking back to your dorm room, wallowing in your own anger and sadness. You opened the wooden door with more aggression than you needed to, ready to call one of your friends or rant to your roommate, when you stopped in the doorway.
Sitting on your bed, in all his idiotic glory, was Hwang Hyunjin. You felt your jaw clench at the sight you normally would have been ecstatic to see. This time it only left you feeling raw and livid.
Hyunjin looked up when the door opened, smiling at you like everything was alright. He stood up lazily and walked over, about to give you a hug and a kiss on the forehead when you shoved him back. His eyes widened at your out of character behavior as you closed the door part way to give a little bit of privacy.
“Babe, what’s up? Did class not go well?” You felt anger bubble in your throat as you let out a scoff, crossing your arms.
“No, you don’t have the right to come back and pretend like everything's okay! And you don’t get to call me babe. Not after you ignored me for 2 weeks without so much as a text,” you said, trying not to raise your voice. Hyunjin rolled his eyes at your words, plopping down on your bed as he gave you a pointed look.
“Listen, I needed a break, okay? We spend so much time together, I needed a few weeks without your clingy ass.” You felt your eyes widen at his comment, not expecting him to say something so rude. You walked over to him, glaring at him angrily.
“Well I’m sorry that I want to spend time with my boyfriend, okay? But you know you could have at least texted me to tell me that you wanted to have some space. Instead you ignored me, leading me to believe that I had done something wrong! I worried for 2 weeks over you, when you were just being an asshole!” Your voice was rising and you were about to explode. Hyunjin scoffed at you, standing up to tower over you.
“You don’t own me, Y/N. I don’t have to tell you everything. You are not my mother.” He didn’t get another word in as you swung your hand forward. A smack resonated off the walls, before fading into a still silence. Hyunjin stood there, holding his cheek as angry tears bubbled into your eyes and fell onto your cheeks. You pointed at the door, looking him dead in the eyes.
“Get the fuck out of my room, Hyunjin.”
“Y/N, I--”
“I said, get the fuck out. Now.” Your tone was cold and empty, and it was enough for Hyunjin to nod, before rushing out of the room. Even when you heard the door close behind him, you stood there for a moment, fists clenched tightly. Finally your legs gave out and you collapsed onto your floor, sobs wracking through your chest.
You felt empty, so incredibly empty. You thought Hyunjin was different, that he wasn’t like other guys. He had been so caring, so kind, so different from the people you were used to in your past. You had let your guard down, only to be backstabbed where it would hurt the most. You sobbed harder as you realized that you had been played.
Hyunjin had been like all the other men, who left you broken and alone with no remorse.
48 notes · View notes
jl-micasea-fics · 10 hours ago
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𝐊𝐈𝐍𝐊𝐓𝐎𝐁𝐄𝐑 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏: 𝐃𝐀𝐘 𝟏𝟔
𝐊𝐈𝐍𝐊: Hate sex
𝐏𝐀𝐈𝐑𝐈𝐍𝐆: Self-insert, female reader x Stray Kids Changbin
𝐖𝐀𝐑𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆𝐒: Strong language, explicit sexual content, semi-public sex, hate sex, rough sex, degradation and dirty talk
𝐒𝐄𝐑𝐈𝐄𝐒 𝐍𝐀𝐕: Kinktober contents list | Kinktober prompt list
𝐂𝐎𝐏𝐘𝐑𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐓: © October 2021 by jl-micasea
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Some people just didn't deserve the time of day.
For you, Seo Changbin was one of them.
Scourge of the university campus, self-certified 'IT' boy and rich kid philanthropist, he was the very embodiment of everything you detested in men.
He went through women like he went through boxers, shuttled around by an entourage of equally idiotic goons that were closer to a batch list of N-Sync rejects then they were the latest hot thing on campus.
Changbin was conceited. Egotistical and cruel, he had a unique way of belittling people without them actually realising it. You figured that was why they kept clamouring to him, because for some reason, nobody but you seemed able to see him for what he truly was.
Indeed, you knew it the moment you set eyes on him.
You and him were destined to be mortal enemies.
You'd simply never get along.
You'd never see him as anything other than the asshole wannabe-jock that doesn't have two brain cells to rub together.
Even when he was working out... Shirtless on the campus lawn, his disgustingly shredded, tan body on display for everyone to gawp at.
Even when he was laughing... That raucous, gruff that allows only a slight indication of what he might intimately sound like.
Even when he was looking at you from across the shared cafeteria... in that way that suggested he'd rather be eating you for dinner.
Ugh.
Perhaps the reason you were so vehement in your disdain for him didn't just extend to the way he was. No, you knew that wasn't entirely the case.
For you hated the effect he had on you, in addition to everything else about him. And arguably, he wasn't even doing it on purpose.
How he seemed able to make your gut tighten with inappropriate excitement when you passed in the corridor between lectures.
How he'd be responsible for a surge of longing to shoot through you when he'd remove his sweater, allowing barely a glimpse of his washboard abs.
How he could make you utterly, desperately wet with nothing more than a knowing nod and a smirk in your direction.
He knew you hated him.
And he seemed to like it.
"You done?"
A gruff voice from behind you made you jump up in fright.
So much so that you dropped the polystyrene cup you'd been filling from the water cooler, sending ice cold water spilling across the laminate floor.
"Butter fingers, huh?" The voice speaks. "Always thought you'd have better grip than that."
You huff under your breath, turning to face Changbin in all his overconfident glory.
He's wearing loose sweats and a form fitting thermal workout vest - it takes concerted effort on your part to tear your eyes away from the sight of his sculpted body through the material.
"My grip would be better if you hadn't snuck up on me," you sigh. "Do you make a habit of trying to frighten girls?"
"Girls?" He raises an eyebrow. "I don't see any girls around here."
"Very funny."
"I do see a whole lot of woman, though."
You choke on whatever retort you were going to give, because quite frankly, you hadn't expected that from him.
"That almost sounds like a compliment," you laugh nervously.
"Does it? I should work on that. Ain't no single reason I'd ever compliment you. Not unless you were begging for it, anyway."
And back to reality.
"Out of my way, Changbin. It's late, I should head back."
"Aren't you thirsty?"
You stop in your tracks, eyes wide with the implication.
"Excuse me?"
"The water..." he gestures to the cooler behind you. "Didn't you want it?"
Oh.
"No."
"You sure? You're really not thirsty?" He crosses his arms over his broad chest.
"I'm not thirsty, Changbin. End of. Could you move?"
"I ain't so sure about that," he comments. "That's the second time you've checked me out since we started talking. You might not be thirsty for water... but you're thirsty for something."
Your breath hitches as he steps closer to you, his form looming over you when your back hits the wall.
It's the dead of night, the cafeteria is eerily quiet at this time.
Utterly void of other students or staff, until about eight tomorrow morning, it'll be a derelict ghost town. You only stopped by on your way back from the library on the off-chance it would be unlocked.
Because you had been thirsty, and you had wanted a drink.
But now...?
"Back off, Changbin. I'm not in the mood to play with you right now."
"Play?" He repeats. "Who said anything about playing?"
"That's just what you do," you shoot back. "With girls and everyone else around you. You play with them, treat them like toys and throw them away when you're done."
He reaches up to the wall behind you, boxing you in, enveloping you in his presence and the musk of stale sweat.... He must have just finished working out.
You hate how much you like it.
"You're not wrong... I do play with girls. But we've already established you ain't no girl," he mutters.
"Exactly. So you don't get to play with me. Ever."
His fingertips find your cheek, he brushes them against your skin before the back of his hand does the same thing, your lids flutter helplessly in response to him.
"You can keep fronting that you hate me-"
"It's not a front," you hiss. "Trust me. I despise you and everything you stand for."
You curl your hands into his thin thermal vest as he presses up against you, fighting down the little voice that's telling you not to do what you're thinking about doing. He's warm beneath your hands, tight and firm.
"You don't know the first thing about me," he scoffs quietly. "If you did, you'd know I don't take kindly to being spoken to like that."
"No? You don't? And why should I care?"
You slink your arms around his neck, craning to your tiptoes as one strong arm encircles your waist, tugging at the loop on the back of your jeans.
"Because this'll probably end badly for you..." he mutters. "One little taste of me and it's all you'll ever want."
You smile slyly, sarcastically, lacing your fingers into the short, dark hair at the back of his neck.
"I think I'll be just fine," you breathe. "I expect this one little taste is going to be..."
You glance down at his tightening crotch, at the impressive tent that's pitched there with his growing arousal.
Biting your lip, you make a point of looking him in the eye with your next words.
"... Rather underwhelming."
And with that, a flash of rage in his eyes tells you you're in for it.
You're done pretending you don't want it, done acting like you give a fuck what he holds near and dear as he spins you in place, your front pressed to the cool cafeteria wall.
"You're a cheeky little slut, aren't you?" He laughs lowly, flipping your dress up.
"Only to the ones who deserve it. Now are you going to fuck me, or what?"
Strong hands at the curve of your hips bend you over just enough to allow him entrance, your hands are pressed to the wall in support as you feel the tender prod of his rigid length against you.
"Oh, I'll fuck you, slut. And you'll thank me at the end of it all, got it?"
"Keep telling yourself that- Mhm, my god..."
Your comeback is cut short as he glides his solid cock through your thigh gap, across your slick folds to coat himself in your substance. Your core pulsates with wanting at the promise of being filled so well, yet you don't have to wish for it too long.
With a gentle ease and a groan of appreciation, you feel Changbin enter you...
And your core fucking sings with delight at the sensation of being so utterly, completely impaled.
"Fuck... For someone who claims to despise me you're awfully fucking keen, baby. Just soaking for me, huh?" He exclaims, holding you in place.
"Sh- Shut the fuck up..."
He's not wrong, of course.
You just don't want to hear it from him.
HIs pace is near feral, his thrusts animalistic after the brief moment of adjustment he allows you, and you feel the strength in your legs waning as he fucks you against the wall.
Rhythmic thuds of his pelvis against your rear act as the only sound that echoes around the cafeteria, the smack of skin on skin coupled with your wanton moans sure to give away any activities to a passerby.
But that just makes it all the more exciting.
"Tell me how good it feels to be fucked by me, baby..."
"Not a chance," you whimper, clawing at the wall when he offers a particularly sharp thrust.
"Come on... Even if your mouth lies, your tight little pussy doesn't. I know you're fucking loving this," he growls.
"I'd be loving it even more if you kept quiet."
"You deaf? I just said your pussy doesn't lie - it loves when I talk dirty to you."
Shit.
Once again... he wasn't wrong.
The filth leaving his mouth was doing more for you than you'd have cared to admit, especially given who it was coming from.
But you were largely resigned to having a man you hate make you cum harder than you'd ever been before - by another partner or your own hand.
"You're going to cum all over my dick," he groans as he glides himself back into you, then out to the tip. "Then what do you do? Remember?"
"I... I-"
You tremble and shudder as he bends you over further, your core tightening in response to his advances. White hot waves of total pleasure claim you, your knees quaking with the effort of keeping yourself upright, and Changbin didn't appear to be of a mind to assist.
"Spit it out, slut," he snaps his hips.
"I- Fuck! I'll thank you for it... I'll say thank you for making me cum, Changbin. Thank you for fucking me so well..."
"Mhm," he laughs quietly, slapping your rear just firmly enough to get you to cry out. "That's it. Knew you weren't as stupid as you look."
You hadn't the capacity to put together a decent comeback, nor even care that he'd just insulted you.
You were merely seconds away from collapsing around his swollen, throbbing cock.
Merely seconds away from thanking him for it, wholeheartedly.
Merely seconds away from losing any shred of dignity you ever had.
And you hoped it wouldn't be the last time...
***
𝐀𝐔𝐓𝐇𝐎𝐑'𝐒 𝐍𝐎𝐓𝐄: We all just love to hate Changbin and you’re a liar if you don’t. 𝐌𝐢𝐜𝐚
𝐅𝐀𝐍𝐅𝐈𝐂𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐌𝐀𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐑𝐋𝐈𝐒𝐓: ➡
𝐋𝐄𝐀𝐕𝐄 𝐌𝐄 𝐅𝐄𝐄𝐃𝐁𝐀𝐂𝐊: ➡
𝐃𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐓𝐄 𝐎𝐑 𝐁𝐄𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐄 𝐀 𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐇𝐋𝐘 𝐒𝐔𝐁𝐒𝐂𝐑𝐈𝐁𝐄𝐑: ➡
𝐎𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑 𝐖𝐀𝐘𝐒 𝐓𝐎 𝐒𝐇𝐎𝐖 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐒𝐔𝐏𝐏𝐎𝐑𝐓: ➡
83 notes · View notes
junicai · 2 days ago
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first meetings.
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The winding corridors were easy to get lost in, as Daeun discovered upon her first week in the JYP building. Every doorway looked the same, only differentiable by the steadily increasing number inscribed onto the plaque mounted beside each closed door.
She had been searching for the lunchroom, having asked directions from a friendly-looking senior who had introduced herself as Tyuzu, but had taken a wrong turn several wrong turns ago and now was completely and irreversibly lost.
Peeking in through the small windows built into each door felt like invading someone's privacy, but Daeun was desperate to find someone who could point her back to the right direction. 
It was purely by chance that she stumbled into someone coming out of the studio at the same time that she went to peer in through the window. 
The door swung open, barely missing her nose as she jumped back with a startled yelp, flinging her hands out to protect her face. 
“Sorry!” A voice called out, panicked, and then hands were pushing her own away from her face. “I didn’t hit you, did I?” 
Blinking rapidly to clear her eyes, Daeun looked up to meet the concerned face of another boy - definitely older, but not a face she recognised. 
“No, no you didn’t,” Daeun cleared her throat when her voice got caught. “I’m fine, sorry.”
With a sheepish chuckle, the boy slid a hand over the back of his neck. “I’m so sorry, I should have checked to see if anyone was out here before i swung the door open like that.” 
Daeun shook her head rapidly. “No it was totally my fault, I was looking for the cafeteria, but I think I got lost-” She cut herself off, embarrassed.
The boy bit his lip, a knowing look in his eye. “It’s a bit of a maze for your first couple weeks here, isn’t it?” He commented, turning to lock the studio door with a key he then slid back into his pocket.
“I only got here a couple days ago, this building feels endless,” Daeun agreed, wincing. 
Her comment brought out a short laugh from the boy. “Oh, tell me about it. It took me nearly a month to be able to tell the floors apart.”
“Well, at least it’s not just me and a bad sense of direction.” 
“Not at all.” He stopped, turning to face Daeun. “You said you were looking for the cafeteria?”
Daeun nodded.
“It’s the floor below this one, actually,” The boy laughed at Daeun’s crestfallen look. “I’ve done the exact same thing, don’t worry. I was actually going to head down that way, if you’d like me to walk you there? Just to make sure we don’t lose you in the stairwell or something.” He teased lightly. 
She exhaled gratefully. “Oh that would be so helpful, thank you.” 
“No bother at all.” The boy extended an arm. “After you.”
The pair walked in silence for a minute or two, before the boy turned to face Daeun without breaking his pace. “I’m Chan, by the way. Bang Chan.”
Daeun smiled. “I’m Daeun. It’s lovely to meet you, Chan-ssi.” 
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The catering hall was more crowded than Daeun had expected it to be, considering it was late in the evening, but Chan ushered her into a seat towards the corner of the room before dropping his bag into one of the unoccupied seats beside her.
They had taken to sitting together, when their classes aligned - having more in common than they previously could have imagined. Normally, come midday or later, they had both been working since eight in the morning, some days even earlier, so the half hour of lunch was a welcome reprieve.
“I’ll be right back,” He said, “I just have to go grab something from the studio.”
“Mhm,” Daeun acknowledged, resting her head on her arms with a deep sigh.
“Oh, hold on,” Chan’s voice rose in pitch. “Changbin-ah!”
Raising her head again in confusion at the unfamiliar name, Daeun watched as a shorter, dark-haired boy came up to greet Chan with a hi-five and a strange amalgamation of a bro-hug-fist-bump. With a baseball cap pulled low over his eyes and a tightly set jaw, he was a stark contrast to Chan’s smiling features and bleached-blonde hair.
“Changbin,” Chan was saying, “This is Daeun.” He pointed towards the girl sitting back into the plastic chairs of the catering hall.
Startled at being included in the conversation, Daeun raised a weak hand in a small wave, an awkward grin gracing her face.
Changbin, to his credit, lifted a hand in return, but then immediately turned back to face Chan.
“I’ve been working on that second chorus - you know the one that was giving Jisungie trouble? And I think-”
Daeun let her concentration slip from the conversation at the mention of names that she didn’t recognise, not wanting it to look like she made it a habit to eavesdrop on people’s private conversations.
She picked at the bowl of fruit she had brought with her in the bag, realizing belatedly that in her rush to leave her dorm house that morning she had forgotten to pack any utensils.
Contemplating just eating the fruit with her bare hands and then reconsidering it, given the public space, Daeun pushed herself to her feet with a sigh and moved to make her way over to the boxes of utensils the cafeteria offered - on the other side of the room.
By the time she had returned to the table, Chan was nowhere to be seen, but his bag was still sitting in the same place he had dropped it upon their arrival. In his place was Changbin, sitting with his arms folded across his chest and his baseball cap still pulled lower over his eyes.
“How do you see with that thing on?” Daeun clapped a hand over her mouth in shock. She hadn’t meant to say that out loud.
Changbin blinked up at her with wide eyes, obviously having not expected such a question as well.
“I’m so sorry, I totally didn’t mean to say that it just came out-” Daeun rushed to apologise, but was cut off by a small laugh.
Whipping her head up, Daeun realized that it was Changbin who was laughing, lips curled up in a grin as he moved to pull off the cap with one of his hands, smoothing down the hair beneath it with the other.
Smiling, she realized, Changbin didn’t look half as intimidating as he had when she had first set eyes on him. His entire face changed into something more open, and the edges of his eyes curled up in the way that only happened when the smile wasn’t forced.
“I don’t, really.” Changbin admitted, holding out the hat to look at it himself. “I just look at the floor and hope I don’t walk into a wall.”
Daeun snorted despite herself, and Changbin turned his smile on her.
“Oh, I didn’t take your seat or something, did I?” His face changed instantly, taking notice of the fact that Daeun was still standing beside the table. He moved to push himself out of the seat he was in, but she waved him off.
“No, no you’re alright.” Setting into a different chair across from him, she reached for the cup of chopped fruit and pulled it closer to herself.
A silence settled over the table, the two too unfamiliar with each other to know how to proceed with a conversation.
Daeun kept her eyes fixed on the table for the most part, cursing herself internally for letting the conversation drop just as it was getting going.
Eventually, it was Changbin that broke the silence. “So how do you know Chan hyung?”
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“Are you sure it’s alright if I stay? I don’t want to be in the way,” Daeun was saying, shuffling in through the open studio door behind Chan and Changbin.
Both boys rolled their eyes at her in response, exchanging an exasperated glance. “Yes, Daeun, we checked with him earlier. He said it was fine - that he was looking forward to meeting you.” 
Daeun still looked unconvinced, but sat down in an unoccupied chair in the corner nonetheless. 
There were stacks of papers lining the corners of the room, some neatly organized into folders, and others left loose, haphazardly shoved together and out of the immediate floor space.
Chan had his own stack of papers in his hands, a few pens scattered on top that he set down none too gently on the desk top. 
The monitors in this room had recently been refurbished, Daeun remembered being told by another trainee, so getting time in this studio room was practically impossible. 
Taking note of the otherwise empty room, Changbin clicked his teeth. “Is he gonna be late again?” He turned to Chan, who slipped his phone out of his pocket to check for new messages.
Furrowing his eyebrows, Chan shook his head. “He hasn’t texted me so-”
“Sorry!” The studio door slammed open with a bang, and a boy entered like a whirlwind, his coat half on and half off, his backpack hanging off one arm with the zip not fully closed. 
He closed the door behind himself, dropping his backpack and coat into a corner before moving to stand in the center of the room, facing Chan and Changbin. “Sorry. Practice ran overtime again, I had to run.” 
Daeun, still reeling from the events that had occurred in quick succession over the last three seconds, only blinked.
It was only after Chan had assured the boy that they too had only just arrived, that he seemed to take stock of the room, freezing when he caught sight of Daeun in the corner of the room.
She could see him coil slightly into himself, the bright energy he had exuded upon entering dimming slightly in the presence of a stranger. 
Desperate to make sure he wasn’t uncomfortable with her there, Daeun stood from her seat, bowing slightly in greeting. “Hi, I’m Daeun.” 
Jisung bent his head in acknowledgement. “Jisung.” 
The producing session was set up quickly after that, Chan and Changbin going through what they had been working on up until that point briefly with Daeun, while Jisung sat off towards the edge of the room, scouring over some of the old music sheets that they were going to be tweaking.
Daeun tried her level best to ensure she was out of the way for the most part - she was only there to be an observer, as per Chan’s recommendation - but she could just feel the anxiety radiating off of Jisung.
Changbin was catching onto the younger boy’s quietness as well, if the questioning glances he was sending his direction periodically was anything to go by. 
Jisung was twirling a pen between his fingers, not making eye contact with Daeun and only chipping in to the session with short sentences and weak smiles. 
With guilt welling up in her stomach at having obviously done something to upset Jisung, Daeun made up her mind. She slipped her phone out of her pocket, making a show of checking the screen with a small gasp for emphasis. 
“Oh god, is that the time? I completely forgot, I’m meant to meet Jiho for extra practice this afternoon, I’m so sorry.” Daeun scrambled for her bags in faux-panic, picking it up and tossing it over her shoulder.
“Thank you so much for inviting me, it was so lovely to meet you, Jisung,” She directed the last bit towards the quiet boy, who nodded in agreement. “This just totally slipped my mind, I’m so sorry.”
With that, Daeun left the studio, eyebrows knitted together, and a pit of guilt sitting in the bottom of her stomach at the pinched look on Jisung’s that had begun to fade once he realized that she was leaving the room. 
It was only the following morning that she saw Jisung again, the boy passing her on one of the side stairwells. Daeun gave him a half-smile, receiving one in return, and went to continue down the stairs before she was stopped. 
“Uh, Daeun-ssi?” Jisung’s voice was terse, and he cleared his throat once. 
Daeun stopped, surprised, and turned to face him. He was two steps higher, and so she had to crane her neck up to look at him. 
“I was wondering if, maybe- we have another 3RACHA session, uh, this afternoon, and Chan hyung was thinking- well not just hyung, because I’ve heard some of your own stuff and you’re really talented, Daeun-ssi, like incredibly and-”
“Are you inviting me to the studio, Jisung-ssi?” 
Jisung inhaled sharply, cutting himself off. He nodded, sharply, once.
“Then I’d love to come. Thank you for inviting me, just let me put my bags away somewhere.” 
“I can walk with you!” He jumped at the chance.
Daeun smiled brightly at Jisung, watching some of the tension bleed out of his shoulders. “I’d like that.”
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The practice room was empty, asides from Daeun, who was positioned in the centre of the room, peering at herself through the fogged up mirror. 
Her chest rose and fell in time with the heaving breaths she took in, hands placed firmly on her hips as she gasped for air. Her sweat-soaked t-shirt stuck to her skin, clinging uncomfortably to her back as she moved. 
Swiping the hairs that had fallen down from her haphazardly thrown together ponytail away, Daeun took another moment to collect herself before spinning on her heel to face the music, queueing the track up again.
With the monthly assessments looming like a dark cloud over the end of the week, a low buzzing anxiety slowly settling beneath her skin, Daeun had booked time in one of the smaller, private practice rooms for eleven to midnight the previous night. 
Officially, the studios close then, once the clock hits twelve, but it’s a generally unspoken rule that members of the company are free to remain there for as long as they needed - so long as they didn’t cause any problems. 
Daeun, personally, had a squeaky clean record from her time in the company, and so when the final staff were leaving and her practice room lights were still on, she was left alone to her practice without a word.
The song cycled back to the opening bars, a slow opening that would break out into a more up-beat melody once the bass line enters. 
Settling back into her opening stance, Daeun fixed her eyes on her own reflection, taking stock of how exhaustion lined her limbs and made them heavier, made moving them feel like she was dragging them through molasses. 
A knock on the door startled her from her thoughts just as the song set into the first verse. 
“Hello?” A young male voice called out, a head poking into the doorway immediately afterwards. 
Daeun, still struggling to catch her breath from the last run-through, fumbled to stop the music before turning to face the stranger in the doorway. 
“I’ve got this practice room booked from,” The boy glanced down at his phone. “Seven to ten? And it’s just gone seven, so,” He trailed off.
Daeun’s eyes widened, and she took a step back. “Is it seven?” Her voice was rough with tiredness, and she cleared her throat to rid it of the grating sound of disuse. 
The boy looked at her curiously, raising an eyebrow. “Yeah.” 
“Oh! Oh, okay, sorry I really hadn’t realized it was this late - early. I mean early.” Daeun scrambled to disconnect her phone from the speaker system, hands fumbling in their haste and the lactic acid in her muscles making her movements lethargic.
The boy stepped into the room cautiously, placing his own bag down beside Daeun’s open one. “How long have you been here?” He asked, conversationally, but kept one eye on Daeun’s form in the corner of his eye. 
“Oh,” Daeun laughed awkwardly. “I hadn’t planned to stay this long, honestly. I must have lost track of time. I still have the overnight keys.” She held up a jingling keychain, which the boy recognised as the overnight keys that the staff would leave with trainees that were staying late. 
“Does-” The boy started. “Did you stay here all night?” He asked incredulously, turning to face Daeun fully. 
Daeun let out another nervous chuckle, avoiding eye contact with him. “Like I said, completely unintentional.” She darted past his staring eyes, collecting her things in a pile in her arms.
“I should be getting out of your way, I’m so sorry for cutting into your time!” Her left knee buckled slightly beneath her weight and she caught herself on the doorframe nonchalantly. 
The boy’s eyes narrowed at the movement. “Are you going to be alright to get back to your dorms?” 
Daeun waved him off. “No bother, I’m in the first block of the C dorms, so it’s only a ten or so minute walk.” 
The boy nodded. “Good.” 
He picked up his phone from his bag, leaving his belongings in the corner as he pushed open the door, stepping out beside Daeun. “Let’s go.” 
“Huh?” 
“You’re clearly about to pass out on your feet,” The boy gestured towards Daeun’s drooping eyelids and sagging posture, and she pushed her body back into an upright position like it had been a correction. “And I’ll feel terrible if I hear that you passed out on the streets in the middle of Seoul.” 
She spluttered. “I won’t pass out!” 
The boy raised an eyebrow. “I’m Minho. We should get going if you want to have a chance to sleep before vocal lessons.” 
Mouth falling open, Daeun stepped slowly out of the practice room, following. She was too tired to protest any longer, and in all honesty, the company would probably do her good in terms of keeping her awake on the walk back.
“I- uh. Okay. Thank you.”
“You got a name?” 
“Daeun. It’s Daeun.” 
Minho smiled. “Nice to meet you.” 
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Daeun had auditioned for JYP as a rapper. She hadn’t even considered entering through another focus; not out of an excess of confidence in her rapping skills so to speak, but out of a lack of confidence in the others. She had a comfortable flow, a nice tone, wrote her own raps - it was a logical decision.
Being accepted as a trainee felt like heaven itself had blessed her.
And the first few weeks were her personal hell on earth.
Constantly confused, playing catch up, comparing herself to her fellow trainees, falling behind only to have to re-teach herself the lesson with notes she'd scribbled onto her hand in a panic. 
It was a mess; but over the years she'd slowly figured out how to survive in the cutthroat world that all trainees existed in. She became more fluid in her tone, more settled in her register. 
Daeun found her feet and was in the process of finding her confidence.
And then she got shoved in with the vocalists.
If there's one sure-fire way to shake a person, it's to, without warning, change the entirety of their situation. Daeun felt like the ground had been stolen from beneath her feet, leaving her unbalanced and unwilling to take a step out of place, less she uproot her tentatively placed branches.
She started from the bottom again.
Daeun had to write notes on her hands and go home to look things up just to understand what was going on in the tutorials, let alone be able to replicate it with her own vocal chords.
She wasn't a singer - her mother had always told her that. Her voice too jarring, too rough. No control.
Hence why Daeun had steered far away from the vocal auditions; only to be cast as a vocal trainee after 2 years of training her rap skills?
It felt like a cruel trick.
Her first monthly evaluation was coming up quickly - a duo piece that she'd been paired up with an unfamiliar male trainee for.
He had been in the vocal department longer than her, that much was obvious by his silken tone as he sang, and Daeun was a year his senior. 
Beyond that, there was naught much else they had to talk about. 
“So, I was thinking we could do an older ballad? Maybe something in English?” Daeun’s partner was pacing as he spoke, hands clasped in front of him. 
He had introduced himself to her as Seungmin - they’d only briefly met in passing before, what with Daeun being in rap tutorials up until a week ago, but he seemed amicable and friendly from what little she knew of him. 
“Uh,” Daeun winced. “My English isn’t the best, so that might not be a super good idea.” 
Seungmin spun on his heel to face her, his face bright with a smile. He always seemed to be smiling, something else that Daeun had noticed to be different in the vocal department. The rappers she trained with were always trying to one-up each other with how cool or intimidating they looked. It got exhausting after a while.  
"It can't be that bad - I'm sure you're exaggerating."
Her wince deepened. "No. I'm really not."
She really wasn't. For as long as she could remember, her English evaluations in school had been a dreadful experience - anything above a fail was to be celebrated. It made for a stilted conversation, when the only thing you could say was "I'm fine thank you, and you?"
Seungmin frowned. "Oh, well. That's okay. We can find a different song?" He offered.
Daeun relaxed slightly. "Preferably in Korean, if you will. Or Japanese - my Japanese isn't half bad."
Her partner fixed her with curious eyes. "Your Japanese is good but your English isn't?"
"Mhm." Daeun nodded. "I spent a year in school in Japan with my Dad."
Seungmin waited for a further elaboration, but when none came he simply took the information on board with another of his - clearly signature - bright grins.
"Okay!" He had lightened back up. "English or Japanese."
"Korean!"
"Korean or Japanese!"
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Streetlights illuminated patches of the footpath as Daeun strolled along, hood pulled up over her hair and a mask pulled up over her nose. The nights had grown colder quickly, the temperature dropping two or three degrees lower each night. 
Her breath had been fogging up the air before she had had the thought to protect her cheeks and nose from the cold with a mask. She kept her hands firmly tucked into her pockets, shoulders hunched over to preserve as much heat as possible. 
The small corner store was only a two minute walk or so from her dorms, and this Saturday was her turn to go on the ‘supply’ run for her roommates. 
They rotated it weekly; someone would sneak past the managers and by some instant ramen, any snack bars they could find and some juice or milk cartons to sneak back into the dorms. 
They weren’t allowed to eat that kind of stuff normally on their diet plans, but having sugary things on hand becomes handy when all of your roommates, yourself included, make it a habit of passing out every few weeks. 
It was late when Daeun finally managed to slip out onto the street, so she was hurrying through the walk that she’d normally savour in order to get out of the cold as quickly as possible. 
When the neon lights of the corner store came into view, she let out a shaky breath of relief and slipped into the warm building with a shiver. 
The shelves were lined with things that were most definitely banned from her diet according to the company, and Daeun couldn’t help the satisfied grin that spread across her face. 
Rubbing her hands together to help put some warm back into the skin, she snagged a couple pots of instant ramen, and two bottles of some kind of caffeinated energy drink - Daeun was the only one that drank them, but they were tasty and had twice the caffeine that a normal coffee would, so she kept buying them. 
She pottered around the store for a few more moments, peering at all the snacks displayed and occasionally adding to the steadily growing pile in her arms. 
Daeun went to turn around to go back down the aisle she had walked up - she’d seen a small nut bar at the start and wanted to check it’s ingredients - when she walked straight into someone’s chest, almost sending them both to the ground. 
“Oh!” The man exclaimed, and Daeun let out a matching yelp.
The stranger took two staggering steps back before he righted his balance, immediately looking for who he had bumped into. 
“I’m so sorry!” Daeun was already apologising, bending down to pick up the bottle of iced coffee he had dropped. 
“Oh god- I’m sorry!” His voice came, first in English and then switching to Korean for the apology, and Daeun nearly fell forward onto her face with surprise at the register of his voice. 
Oh wow that was deep.
She whipped her head up, staring at the very obviously boy’s face, with wide eyes. He couldn’t have been older than sixteen, maybe seventeen at a push.
“Pardon?” Daeun squeaked, standing up on autopilot to hand back the bottle of coffee. 
The boy blinked, cleared his throat and then tried again. “I am sorry. I was in your way.” 
The words were enounced carefully, like he was still unsure of how they felt in his mouth. Daeun felt a trickle of pity slip into the back of her mind; he was obviously new to Korean if the way he spoke was any indication. 
“It is okay.” Daeun tried in English, her own words now becoming stilted and broken, but she took notice of how the boy’s face brightened at the change in language. 
“I just wasn’t looking where I was going, I was standing way too close, I’m so sorry.” He said in rapid fire English, clearly more comfortable in his first language. 
Daeun blinked. And then nodded slowly.
The boy bit his lip, trying not to smile. 
Daeun felt a tired giggle bubble up in her chest - the ones that seem completely random, but just appear in the most absurd places when laughter is the only emotion a tired body can produce. 
Soon the both of them were in fits in the back aisle of the corner store, Daeun still clutching the instant ramen to her chest and the boy holding his bottle of iced coffee in a fist. 
Their laughter petered off into the air, and Daeun had to wipe a tear from her waterline with a sigh. She looked back up at the boy, who was still staring at her. 
“Do I know you?” His voice was a low timber, but slightly higher when he spoke Korean. 
Daeun squinted at his face, trying to see if he looked familiar to her. She rarely met new people, since most of the ones she interacted with were in the company building itself, but..
She remembered being told that there was a new male trainee moving into the second block of the C dorms, and her mouth parted in recognition. 
“Felix!” It sounded more like peu-lixeu in her accent but Felix’s face broke out into a grin at the name. 
“You’re the new trainee in the C dorms!” Daeun was ecastic to be the first of her roommates to meet him - they had all been clamouring for a chance to meet the newbie. 
“You live in the C dorms?” He was asking, posture opening up at a commonality. 
Daeun nodded. “Mhm! Do you, want to walk back with me?” 
“Pardon?” 
“Walk home, together?” 
“Ah- yeah! Thank you.” Felix rushed to grab another bottle of the iced coffee from the fridge, scurrying up to pay before stuffing the two bottles into his coat pockets. 
Daeun paid after him, collecting her goods in her arms and pulling her hood back up over her head to protect against the cold air that was sure to greet them outside. 
Just before stepping outside though, a hand appeared in her vision and then Felix was scooping three things from the top of her snack pile into his own arms. 
He didn’t make a comment, just gestured with his head towards the door. 
They ended up taking a detour on the way to the dorms, their conversation a strange mix of Korean, English and Siri. 
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Daeun was carefully controlling her breathing, focused on the steady inhale and exhale, the rise and fall of her chest.
Her hands twitched down by her sides, but she fought the urge to grab the bottom of her t-shirt and fiddle with the fabric. Her anxiety was visible in the tense line of her shoulders.
Chan had pulled her aside last week, for a chat he had called it. Daeun had wandered into the studio where he was working sometime on Tuesday afternoon, expecting a light hearted hour or two, maybe a couple tweaks to the track they were working on together. 
Then he mentioned the team.
The team, that threw Daeun’s head into disarray, the team that she can’t stop thinking about. 
It sits in the back of her mind, slipping in in inopportune times on the backfoot of a secondary thought, instantly derailing any train of thought that she was currently following.
The team that Chan was putting together, for the newest JYP survival show. 
The survival show that Daeun had been rejected from because she’d failed the vocal test to make it onto the B Team. 
The survival show that Daeun had accepted marked the end of her music career before it had even begun because if she couldn’t make it as a rapper, and she couldn’t make it as a singer, then what use was she as an idol? 
Ryujin had tried to comfort her, after the application results had come out, but she was riding the high of having made it onto the team, and Daeun didn’t want to rain on her parade. 
That was Friday evening.
Tuesday evening comes around, and suddenly Daeun had another chance. 
Another chance.
Of course she’d leap at the mention of it; but she’d begun to regret her impulsive Yes! as she stood outside the practice room, waiting to be introduced to the six members that Chan had already selected. 
She knew five of them from around the company; some were close friends already, like Jisung and Changbin. 
Seungmin - her vocal partner, and Minho, the boy who she keeps bumping into in practice rooms at odd hours of the morning, and then walking home with because he insists that she shouldn’t walk home alone. 
Felix, the boy she’d crashed into in the corner store in the early hours of the day. 
There was one other boy that Chan had mentioned that Daeun wasn’t familiar with. He’d mentioned that he was young; the youngest of the lot of them, and that his name was Yang Jeongin. 
Asides from that, Daeun had nothing else. 
The door cracked open in front of her, and Chan’s head peeked out, his eyes widening when he saw her standing there. 
“Hey!” He said, surprised. “Why didn’t you come on in?” 
Daeun coughed lightly, blinking. “I wasn’t sure if,” She trailed off. 
Chan rolled his eyes, snagging her wrist. “Come on.” 
He pulled her into the room, and Daeun’s eyes flickered over all the familiar faces, smiling slightly when Felix’s face lit up with recognition at her face, lifting a hand to wave at her. 
“Daeun? What are you doing here?” Minho stood up from his seated position on the ground to step over closer to her. 
Chan cleared his throat, moving closer to the centre of the room so he could address Minho’s question while facing the other five boys seated in various positions across the floor. 
“Guys, I’m pretty sure most of you already know this is Daeun,” He gestured towards Daeun, who lifted a hand in a half-wave in greeting. 
The boys all nodded in varying degrees of confusion. 
“Well, Daeun’s going to be joining us on the survival show as the eighth member.” 
A stunned silence rang around the room, broken by Changbin’s flabbergasted exclamation. 
“What?” He shot to his feet, eyebrows pulled together tightly. “She’s joining the, team? Like, our team?” 
Daeun winced, taking a step back. She’d been partly prepared for some of the other boys to react badly, but she hadn’t expected it to be Changbin out of them all. Over the months of training together before she was moved to the vocal department, they’d become close - good friends, in her mind.
Maybe she’d crossed a line by accepting Chan’s invitation, though.
“Changbin-ah,” Chan’s tone had taken on a warning edge, eyes fixed on the boy who had now taken off his cap to flip it the other way around. “We need nine members, and Daeun is a great fit to the team. She’s already friendly with nearly everyone here - and that includes you.”
Changbin shook his head, bewildered at Chan’s tone before his eyes widened in recognition of his own words. “Oh! Oh no I want Daeun on this team, we could wipe the floor with the other girls if we have her.” He shuffled over to toss an arm over Daeun’s shoulders, pulling her into his chest in a half hug. “She’s ours now, they can’t have her.” 
In what felt like the blink of an eye, but was really about twenty or so minutes of discussing future plans, Daeun ended up seated beside the one boy she was unfamiliar with. 
She leant over, hand supporting her body, to introduce herself. “Hi.” 
Jeongin jolted in surprise, whipping his head over to look at Daeun. “H-hi?” 
"I know Chan already introduced me, but everyone else here already knows me so I thought I should introduce myself in person. I’m Daeun.” 
“Oh, uh, yeah I’m Jeongin. I go by I.N though,” He mumbled the second part sheepishly, like he was embarassed to mention it. 
“I.N?”
“..mhm.” 
Daeun sat back onto her hands again, stretching her legs out in front of her. “Okay then, I.N. It’s nice to meet you.” 
“Y-you too, Daeun-ssi.” 
Daeun pulled back, to look at Jeongin. “How old are you?”
“I was born in 2001?” 
She squinted off into the distance briefly as she thought, spinning back to face Jeongin once she’d made up her mind. “If you’d like, considering we’re going to be working together for the foreseeable future, we can speak comfortably?” 
“Sorry?” 
Daeun pointed to herself. “Daeun noona. Only if you’d like.” 
Jeongin’s face went through a myriad of emotions, each one flitting across his expression for a brief second before finally settling on a gummy smile that showed off his braces. “Okay. Daeun noona.” 
Daeun patted his shoulder. “I think we’re going to get on just fine.” 
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"Who am I meeting again?" Daeun scrambled to keep up with Jisung's quick pace, panting out the words as the pair made their way at speed through the corridors.
"Chan hyung picked the last member for the team," Jisung's tone was surprisingly bitter, and he levelled her with a look. "He's. Certainly something."
Daeun opened her mouth to defend their unknown teammate. "I'm sure he'll be great, Sungie."
"That's not what I'm worried about," Jisung muttered, but before Daeun had a chance to ask him about it, he was pushing open a studio door and sliding into the room.
Daeun followed him, shutting the door behind herself with a soft snick, and turned her attention to the rest of the room.
It was just Seungmin and Jeongin, for what she could see - no new mystery member - and just as she was beginning to wonder if Jisung had been playing a prank on her, the studio door swung open again, clipping Daeun on the shoulder.
She stumbled to the side, making room for another boy to stride into the studio.
"Hyunjin!" Seungmin called, waving happily.
Daeun turned around after finding her balance again, hand pressed against the wall to support her, only to find a tall, dark-haired boy making his way over to stand beside Seungmin. 
His face had a soft smile lifting the corner of his lips, but it slid away once he spun around to face the doorway again and his eyes fell on Daeun and Jisung.
Chan, who had walked in behind Hyunjin spared Daeun a glance to see if she was alright, before clapping his hands together to gather the attention of the people in the room. 
“Okay! Some brief introductions, Hyunjin I know you know Seungmin and Jeongin, so this is Jisun-” 
“We’ve met.” Hyunjin cut Chan off, glaring at Jisung coldly. 
When Daeun looked at Jisung, a matching glare was on his face, the two boys staring each other down furiously. 
“Oookay.” Chan peered at the two boys in confusion, before resigning himself to figure that issue out later. “And this,” He said with a gesture towards her, “Is Daeun. She’ll be on the vocal team with Seungmin and Jeongin, so odds are you’ll be working together if they split us up by member speciality.” 
Daeun met Hyunjin’s eyes for the first time since he had entered the room, and was shocked to see the same emotionless glare burning into her gaze. Hyunjin’s jaw was set heavily, his shoulders tensed.
Once Chan had cleared them all to leave - not before saying that there would be a full team meeting in the next few days just so everyone could get a feel for the group - Daeun took it upon herself to wander over to Hyunjin; cautious in her approach, but approaching nonetheless.
“Hyunjin-ssi?” Daeun rested a hand onto his arm to grab his attention, but retracted it quickly when it was shrugged off.
He turned to her, the same cold look on his face. “Yes?”
Daeun stuttered, unprepared for the cool demeanour. “Oh, uh. I just wanted to introduce myself, officially, I suppose. We’ll be on a team together and it’s good if we can all get on and get to know each other?”
As soon as she had spoken the words she knew they were the wrong ones, watching as Hyunjin totally retreated into himself. 
“Teammates.” 
“Yes?”
“Teammates, Daeun-ssi. We can be teammates, and we can get along. We don’t have to know each other well for that.” 
Daeun blinked rapidly, as if blinking was enough to clear the confusion from her mind like dust in her eye. “Uh- no I suppose, I suppose not but-” 
“Then we will be teammates, and nothing more.” Hyunjin was staring at her now, like he was trying to tell her something without explicitly saying it. 
Does he not want to be friends? 
Daeun supposed not, if his actions and his words were anything to go by. 
“We can be, teammates, then.” Daeun said, slowly, staring at him as he looked un unwaveringly.
Hyunjin nodded once, sharply, before turning away, leaving Daeun befuddled and a tad offended, although it was greatly overshadowed by the fear of being the broken cog that broke Chan's well-oiled team.
37 notes · View notes
charlotteyoongs · 2 days ago
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: ̗̀➛ stray kids as Greek mythological figures
A.N: please inform me if there is any misinformation here - I retrieved most of this info from the internet :)
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『 chan 』
Heracles - a demi-god. 
Heracles was the greatest of the Greek heroes. He became god of heroes, sports, agriculture, trade and divine protector of mankind.
Heracles was known for his great strength, courage and cleverness. When he died, his father enveloped him in a cloud and he was taken to dwell in the stars amongst the constellations. 
This reminds me of how much Chan loves the sky and the stars :(
I see Chan as Heracles because of how talented Heracles is said to have been. A true all-rounder and a leader, too. 
‘Protector of mankind’ - I mean, if that doesn’t make you think of Chan, I don’t know what will. 
『 minho 』
Eros - the god of sexual desire and procreation.
Eros was a primordial god in some stories, the child of Aphrodite and Ares in others. 
Eros wielded incredible power, and it is said that no-one - deity or mortal - could resist his spells of enchantment, making him irresistible. 
Minho’s irresistible. 
I rest my case. 
『 changbin 』
Kratos - god of strength and power.
I think I’ve said enough. 
Kratos is a difficult figure to find out information about, because although it is widely agreed that he is the god of strength and power, there are conflicting stories about nearly everything else about him. 
Mysterious. I like it. 
Some believe he was a relative of the Olympian gods and others believe that he was one of Zeus’ children, which would make him a demi-god. 
Changbin’s recent vlog has been on my mind recently, which is why I think Kratos is fitting for Changbin. 
Workout Changbin has been implanted in my brain. 
Kratos does not appear the same way as the other gods. He usually is called upon in times of need to help other characters. 
Changbin best boy. 
『 hyunjin 』
Plutus - god of wealth. 
Plutus was originally meant to represent wealth in terms of farming, but he ended up representing wealth as a whole. 
Hyunjin rich boy. 
He was blinded by Zeus so that he would not just share wealth to the deserving, but to all. The blindness was also to explain why wealth sometimes took a long time to come. 
『 jisung 』
Chaos - the nothingness that all else sprung from. 
Okay, looking at that you might see Chan more fitting instead, but Jisung was Chan’s first stray kid and he really is such an all-rounder - literally everything springs from him. 
Chaos was the very first thing that ever existed. Chaos was a primordial void, which everything was created from, including the universe and the Greek gods. 
Jisung big bang theory? 
The far reaching idea is that Chaos is a space that separates and divides the earth and the sky.
Basically Jisung is the creator of everything. 
End of story. 
Now Google search, ‘he’s so full of love’ and cry.
『 felix 』
Apollo - god of archery, music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light and more.
Felix is an amazing example of a modern-day Apollo. He can do archery (ISAC!), he’s musically talented (Surfin’!), he can dance (every Stray Kids comeback literally ever!), he’s loyal and stays true to what he believes in and he literally is the sun. 
Apollo is the ideal of the kouros - the youth. He is beardless, athletic and youthful. 
Felix is athletic. 
He also doesn’t have a beard, believe it or not. 
:)
『 seungmin 』
Aether - primordial god of the upper air, light, the atmosphere, space and heaven. 
Air on the earth was governed by Chaos, but all air above this was Aether’s domain. 
Aether was considered to literally be the air. 
Aether also served as a protector to separate humans and earthly beings from Tartarus, the god of the lowest and deepest parts of Hades - the Underworld. 
He basically saved us (the pesky humans) from great harm.
Go Seungmin. 
I think I mainly see this because his English name is ‘Sky’ and I just think that it is so fitting for Minnie. 
『 jeongin 』
Morpheus - god of dreams and sleep. 
He shaped and formed dreams, through which he could appear to mortals in any form. This talent made Morpheus a messenger for the gods, able to communicate messages to sleeping mortals. 
I wish Jeongin would visit me in my dreams. 
Morpheus slept in a cave full of poppy seeds. 
I can picture Jeongin doing that. 
Thank you for coming to my ted talk.
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mxxndreams · a day ago
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Maybe, I'm Afraid - Chapter Six: A Leap of Faith
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❥ pairing: lee minho x female reader (main pairing) feat. bang chan; seo changbin x female oc (side pairing); han jisung x female oc (minor pairing) ❥ genre: fluff, romance, angst & suggestive, art gallery!au, painter!au ❥ chapter warnings: mentions of food, suggestive remarks (let me know if I am missing something) ❥ word count: 5.9k ❥ chapter synopsis: Minho opens up to Y/N about his life. Y/N makes him an out of the ordinary request. (series synopsis can be read on the series m.list) ❥ A/N: Hello, how are you today? How have you been enjoying this series? I had so much fun writing it, I hope you're enjoying reading it as well. Please, like/reblog this if you enjoy reading it and let me know your thoughts, I’m always appreciative of your feedback! As always, happy reading!
[series m.list] [stray kids masterlist] [join the series taglist]
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The apartment was silent in the morning, but everyone was already awake. Changbin had left early for work and that meant that you and Hyunjae had the time to sit down and have breakfast together. It was a small little routine you had and you knew today she wouldn’t let you leave the door without questioning you about your date. Thankfully, you were eager to talk about it and share everything that had happened the night before.
You left your room and crossed the living room and went to take a quick shower. After getting changed into your day clothes and making your bed, you joined Hyunjae in the kitchen, already eating toast and sipping on her morning coffee. You yawned and prepared yourself a strong coffee to start your day.
“Good morning,” she greeted, her eyes on her phone screen. “Did you sleep well?”
“Yes,” you announced, happily. “And you?”
“I slept well, yes,” she sighed and placed her phone on the table and looked at you, a devilish smile on her lips. “How was the date?”
You took a deep breath and quickly joined her at the table. “Well, we went to the marina, walked around for a while after dinner and when he brought me home, we … kissed,” her eyes widened and you raised two fingers, unable to hide your smile, “twice.”
“No way,” she gasped, playfully slapping your shoulder several times in excitement. “You little… twice? On a first date?”
You sipped on your coffee. “It felt right, you know? And he is a great kisser so that helps.”
Hyunjae screeched and stood up from her chair, opening her arms wide, nodding her head as she paced around. You glanced at her, an eyebrow raised.
“What’s up with you?” You were highly amused by her reaction.
“Changbin and I made a bet,” she announced, collapsing back on her chair. “And I won.”
You rolled your eyes and started to eat your toast, glancing at her. You gestured for her to explain and she cleared her throat.
“So, I bet that you would get some action on your date, and he bet your date would flop,” she patted your shoulder. “I know you better, clearly.”
You laughed, a smirk on your lips. “You were hoping I wouldn’t sleep at home, weren’t you?” You shrugged and grabbed your coffee mug, looking away from her.
“A kiss is still some action, Y/N. Clearly, I won!”
“I’m afraid Changbin will disagree. We both know what action means to you. And that is not just a kiss, no matter how passionate it is.”
“It was a passionate kiss?!” You nodded and she giggled again. “Where did you find this man, Y/N?”
“Why?” You asked, teasing her. “Do you want one for yourself too?”
She slapped you, a serious look on her face as she pointed a finger at you. “Don’t say that, not even as a joke. Changbin is the only man for me and I wouldn’t trade him for anyone or anything.”
You couldn’t help but smile. Hyunjae always got protective when it came to Changbin and their relationship, and you could tell they only had eyes for each other. You enjoyed having a glimpse at their relationship and how they were growing together as a couple.
The euphoric atmosphere died a little and you finished your breakfast in silence. Afterwards, you did the dishes and Hyunjae went over her appointments for the day. She was always completely booked.
“When will you see this fabulous man again?” She asked and you smiled to yourself at the nickname she had given him.
“I don’t know. We haven’t talked since I got home last night. I’ll text him, though.”
“You should, you should,” she said, underlining different appointments with different colours only she knew the meaning of. She closed her agenda and stood up, kissing you on the cheek. “I’ll get going. Have a nice day.”
“You too!”
As Hyunjae was about to leave, you heard your phone ringing and she ran to get it for you, an inquisitive look in her eyes as she extended it your way.
“Isn’t it too early for,” she read the caller’s name, “Lee Minho to be calling you?”
You wiped your hands and grabbed it, taking the call. Hyunjae went back to her routine, glancing at you from the entrance.
“Good morning,” you greeted him, a soft smile on your lips. “Is everything alright?”
Your heart was jumping in your chest. What if something had happened and he didn’t want to work with you anymore? Things were starting to look good for you, was this the time where they’d collapse again?
“Good morning, Y/N.” You pictured him smiling. “I am… uh… at the studio.”
“Ah.” You sighed in relief and then pinched the bridge of your nose. “I won’t be at the studio this morning, though.”
“Oh.” He was disappointed, you could tell from his voice. There was a small pause before he continued. “I’d just like to have a word with you before I head to the office this morning.”
Your heart sank again and you gulped. Hyunjae was looking at you concerned but you gestured for her to go otherwise, she’d be late for work. She fought back so you rolled your eyes and shoved her to the door as she mouthed and whispered her complaints to you.
“I’ll be at the restaurant in the morning,” you said to Minho after closing the door on Hyunjae. “But I’ll be at the studio during the afternoon. If you want we-“
“I’ll meet you at the restaurant, then.” He took a deep breath. “Yang’s restaurant, right?”
“Yes, but are you sure? I’ll be pretty busy, you might have to wait a while… Maybe we could talk in the afternoon at the studio.” You sighed and licked your lips. “I mean, whatever works best for you.”
“I’ll wait,” he said with a certainty you hadn’t heard in his voice yet. “I have no problem waiting for you.” A pause and he cleared his throat. “I’ll meet you at the restaurant, then.”
“Sure,” you answered, hoping that your confusion wouldn’t pass through in your voice. “See you there.”
Minho quickly disconnected the call and you looked around the empty apartment, taking a deep breath.
Whatever Minho had to tell you, it seemed urgent. And right now, you didn’t know if you should look forward to this conversation or if you should dread having it.
~ 🎨 ~
Minho liked the charm of the morning here. The streets were slowly waking up, its people exiting their houses to walk their dogs, take their kids to school, or just to go to work. It was a slower pace than what he was used to, but he enjoyed the calmness of it all. These streets forced him to walk slower, look at his surroundings and appreciate their beauty.
Even though he thought he’d get lost on his way to Yang’s restaurant, he quickly found its building after what felt like a couple of minutes walking. He walked closer to the door and glanced inside, seeing all tables empty, the elderly couple on the inside setting up the chairs and wiping the floor. Their grandson saw Minho and waved at him, a smile on his lips. He returned the gesture and after a few seconds, he came to open the door to him.
“Morning,” Jeongin greeted. “We’re still closed. We only open around eleven.”
“I agreed to meet Y/N here,” he announced, holding the folder in his hand tightly. “Should I wait outside or…”
“Please,” Mrs Yang appeared behind her grandson, a bright smile on her lips, “come on in, Minho. Have you had breakfast yet? I can offer you an espresso, maybe something else?”
“Thank you.” Minho got flustered by all the kindness and attention. He shook his head and stepped inside, taking a seat at the table Mrs Yang guided him to. “I’m fine, I’m just here to meet Y/N. Do you know if she’ll… take long?”
The three of them exchanged a quick look and Mrs Yang shrugged, her smile never fading. “She’s on her way.”
He nodded and looked at the streets outside, hoping to see you appear from one of them. What would you be wearing today, how would your hair be styled? Would you greet him with a wave, a smile or something else? These were questions Minho had and he wasn’t sure where they came from. Still, he waited. After a while, however, he got tired of seeing the same empty streets, disappointed when the person that appeared wasn’t you.
Mrs Yang and her husband were hard at work setting up the restaurant, bickering with each other occasionally, while Jeongin was doing something on his computer. After a few curious glances, Minho understood that he was working on what looked to be a flyer.
“It looks good.” Minho gestured to Jeongin’s computer and he looked back at him, confused. “What you’re working on. Is it a… flyer?”
Jeongin nodded proudly and cleared his throat. Minho stood up and walked closer to him, having a better look at Jeongin’s work.
“It’s for Y/N’s workshops. My grandma wants to have some to give at the restaurant, I am trying to replicate the old design, but I’m having a hard time…”
“Workshops?” Minho raised an eyebrow and Jeongin nodded.
“Y/N used to give them almost every day at her father’s studio. She’s the reason why I went to art school.”
This was news to Minho. All this time, he thought you were just looking for a place to showcase your father’s paintings. Then, he discovered you were an artist yourself, someone who was pretty good at what she did. He loved all the paintings he had seen of you at the studio. And now, another thing to add to his list of discoveries about you. You loved to share your talents with others, teach them to be better, bring people together.
“I didn’t know about that,” Minho said, an endearing smile on his lips.
“After her father’s passing, she hasn’t been able to do it, poor thing.” Mrs Yang frowned and looked out of the windows in front of her, gesturing to the streets. “Everyone in this neighbourhood went there at least once. Even my husband liked going there and he barely likes leaving this restaurant.”
“That’s true,” Jeongin confirmed, glancing between a piece of paper next to him and his computer screen.
“Has her father’s passing affected Y/N that much?” Minho asked and gestured to the paper next to Jeongin. “Can I?”
He nodded and Minho grabbed it, looking at the old flyer, trying to compare it to Jeongin’s design to help him.
“You have no idea,” Mrs Yang voice cracked and he looked at her, the sadness in her eyes as she looked at a point in the distance. “After her father’s passing-“
“Careful what you’re going to say…” Her husband warned. The old woman shrugged and gestured for him to keep quiet and he added. “You don’t know if she wants him to know the story.”
“What story?”
The restaurant grew quieter and Minho exchanged worried looks with Mrs Yang and Jeongin. He slowly turned around to find you with your cheeks flushed and somewhat out of breath, looking expectantly at the four of them.
“We were talking-“
“We were asking Minho about his fiancée,” Minho was interrupted by Mrs Yang who quickly hugged you, patting your back slightly. “Have you been running?”
Minho’s eyes remained on you as you glanced at the ring on his finger and then back at his eyes. He cleared his throat and tried to shove his hands in his pockets, failing because of the flyer on his hand. He carefully returned it to Jeongin, avoiding your gaze.
“Jeongin texted me saying Minho was here,” you finally said, after catching your breath. “I didn’t want to keep him waiting for long.”
“You shouldn’t have run,” Minho finally spoke, a serious expression on his face. “I told you I’d wait.”
Silence again. This time, Minho’s gaze was fixed on yours and he felt Mrs Yang studying his expression causing him to gulp.
“For a man that only helps with her father’s paintings, he sure does care a lot about her…” Mrs Yang whispered and walked away. Minho felt his cheeks growing warmer. He fixed his tie, looking away from you again.
“Mrs Yang, please,” you pleaded, looking at the old woman. “Don’t you see how that makes him uncomfortable? He’s engaged and hearing you say that makes me uncomfortable too. Respect his boundaries, please. He is not my friend, we don’t meet because we’re friends. We’re working together, and he is a busy man. That’s it.”
The words you said sank deep within his heart, carrying with them a veil of hope he didn’t know he had. He gulped, the pain in his eyes too much for him to hide.
“Excuse me,” Minho announced and walked outside, bumping his shoulder against yours. The breeze of the morning messed up his hair and he leaned on a wall, the lump on his throat not going down.
He let out a nervous laugh and shook his head, trying his best to keep the dark thoughts away from his mind. He couldn’t help but admit you were right, you two weren’t friends. You had been kind and caring to him and everyone else had done the same but that was it. Minho wasn’t used to any of this, so he misread the signs.
Still, part of him had a hard time accepting this. Why couldn’t you be friends? Why could you be only working together? Minho glanced at the ring on his finger again, a bitter taste in his mouth. It was that feeling again, of wishing it wasn’t there.
Then why do you still carry it?, he asked himself, furious. Why do you still have it if you don’t want it anymore?
Minho’s thoughts were interrupted when he saw you leaving the restaurant and leaning next to him, avoiding his gaze. He gulped and hid his hand in his pocket, preventing you from looking at the ring. For a while, the two of you stood there in silence, no words being exchanged, just allowing the silence to be your company.
However, this silence wasn’t the one Minho was used to. This silence wasn’t calming, it wasn’t comforting. It was loud and heavy, and… distant. He didn’t like this kind of silence, he dreaded it.
“I’m sorry.” You were the one that broke the silence, your feet playing with a small rock on the pavement, hands behind your back.
“I’m sorry too.” The words slipped from his lips, unexpectedly. What was he sorry for? “I should’ve agreed with your request and meet you in the afternoon. It would’ve been better.”
You nodded and bit your lip, slowly glancing at him. Your lips parted slightly and you pondered. Minho waited expectantly, trying to not give his emotions away. Still, he couldn’t.
“I do wish we can become friends.” You were stunned when his eyes met yours. “Maybe after all of this is over. I’d like that.”
“Why?” You asked, genuinely confused. “I mean…” You shook your head and scratched the back of your neck. “You’re like… you have everything. You’re engaged, you’re in love, you’re rich, you have a nice life, a wonderful career, you’re even good looking!” You licked your lips and glanced at him, doubtful. “It’s not that I don’t want to be friends with you, I’d be honoured to, but what could I possibly add to your life?”
Minho chuckled, pondering the same question you had asked him. He did have everything. But did he truly have everything?
“I’m engaged to a woman that doesn’t love me,” he started, gulping. “I have a career because of who my father is and I have been trying to prove my worth ever since I was younger. My good looks got me far but… most times that’s all people see.” He couldn’t believe he was telling you all of this. But now that he had started, he couldn’t stop. “I live alone. I can’t sleep at night. My house is too big for me and I despise it.” He finally turned to look at you, a bittersweet smile on his lips. “I have everything. But why does it feel like I have nothing?”
For the first time, Minho felt free. Free from the burdens of his mind, free from the lies you thought about him. Free from the expectations people had of him, free from all of it.
He watched as you moved closer to him, your hand softly patting his shoulder, a sincere smile on your lips.
“You didn’t have to justify yourself to me.” You sighed and wiped the tears away from your eyes, studying his expression with worry. “Do you feel better, though?”
He nodded and got lost in your eyes again. Here you were, crying for him, someone who didn’t even consider him a friend, someone with whom Minho had just shared his deepest thoughts and insecurities. And yet, he felt safe.
“Happiness,” he said after a while, and you raised an eyebrow. “You asked me earlier what you could possibly add to my life. You have added happiness, Y/N. That’s what you did. That’s what you do,” your lips parted slightly as Minho added. “You make me happy.”
~ 🎨 ~
Chan could never get tired of the cushioned seats at Olivia’s office. They were comfortable and extremely stylish and he always found himself drifting into a nice sleep most mornings. But this morning it was different. Chan felt energized like he hadn’t felt in a long time. It was all because of you and your date the previous night.
“How was it?” Felix asked, at the edge of his seat. Olivia glanced at him and turned her attention to her computer, shrugging.
“After dinner, I went to my place with Jisung and we spent the night there. Want more details?”
“Nope,” Felix announced, arms raised in defeat. “Let’s leave it at that.”
Chan’s mind was still going over the last moments you spent together. Your small kiss, his second attempt. He rarely got these bursts of confidence but when he did, they paid off.
“What about Y/N?” Felix asked Olivia. “What did you think of her? Is she as… amazing as Chan says she is?”
Olivia sighed and stopped what she was doing. She glanced at Chan, pondering and then shrugged, turning her attention to Felix.
“She’s nice but that’s it. She’s… too simple.” She shook her head, a disgusted look on her face. “She only talks about painting and art, and her father that died, and her childhood. It was exhausting.”
“You also only talk about facts and figures and numbers,” Chan argued, uncrossing his legs and turning to look at Felix. “She’s wonderful and I will go out with her again. We even kissed.”
“That’s a first for Bang Chan!” Felix patted his friend on the shoulder, proudly. “A kiss on the first date!”
“Well, I may only talk about facts and figures and numbers but at least, I made a career out of it, and I do not live at my friend’s house. I have my own place and I am much better in life.”
Felix and Chan exchanged a quick look. This wasn’t about you anymore. This was about Jisung and Olivia and whatever had happened between them. Chan took a deep breath and looked at his friend.
“What was it this time?” He asked and she shrugged, looking away from him. “Look, you are allowed to be angry at Jisung but I draw the line on bringing someone else down for your gain.”
“I’m not bringing her down, I’m stating the obvious,” she said in a passive-aggressive tone. “Be honest Chan, would you-“
He raised a hand and she shut up, rolling her eyes.
“I would listen to her talking about deodorant if I had to, yes. And I would listen to her talking about art and painting and what is the difference between gouache and watercolour if I had to. I know nothing about it, so all knowledge is valuable. Especially now, that Charles is starting to invest in art pieces.”
Olivia rolled her eyes and sighed audibly and Felix clapped at Chan, a bright smile on his face.
“He already talks like a committed man, Olivia. You should be thankful, he might’ve found his forever and ever!”
Chan blushed, the thought of you being with him well into the future greeting his mind. It would be nice and wonderful, just like you.
“You won’t last,” Olivia said harshly and stood up from her chair, grabbing the folder from her desk harshly, a finger pointed at Chan. “Watch the honeymoon phase pass and you’ll be where you always are: single and alone.”
She exited her office, closing the door behind her with a bang. Chan and Felix jumped in their chairs, quickly standing up and exiting behind her, on their way to the meeting room.
“It’s bad,” Felix mumbled under his breath next to Chan. “Do you think they called it quits this time?”
“They call it quits every other week, Felix.” Chan reminded his friend.
“Yeah, but they always do their thing and get back together. I’ve never seen her so pissed about it. I’m worried.”
Of course, Felix would be worried. Chan stopped and placed a hand on his friend shoulder, causing him to look at him.
“Make sure you’re worried for the right reasons, Felix. Don’t mix business with pleasure, trust me.”
Chan patted his friend’s shoulder and continued to walk, leaving Felix behind him, shocked and appalled at Chan’s comment.
“What’s that supposed to mean, Chan? Explain!”
Chan rolled his eyes but didn’t stop until he reached the meeting room.
“You know exactly what that’s supposed to mean,” Chan said when Felix was close enough, his eyes glancing over at Olivia on the other side of the table, a sad expression on her face.
Felix sighed and nodded, walking to the seat behind hers. Chan fixed his tie and went to sit next to Charles, who was at the head of the table. He looked pleasantly happy today.
“Good morning,” he greeted Charles with a small bow.
“Today is a good morning indeed,” he said and patted Chan on the shoulder, his smile a rarity in his expression. “Let’s get to work, shall we?”
Chan nodded and sat next to him, ready for the meeting to start. He watched as everyone took their places at the table, most of the assistants behind their supervisors except for Chan, since today’s meeting had been scheduled by Charles last minute.
Chan had come unprepared, unaware of what was necessary. Still, it didn’t seem like Charles cared too much about it. He smiled brightly at everyone who entered, not even raising his voice when some people entered the room late. Olivia and Chan exchanged a confused look, but she shrugged and started to whisper to Felix.
Chan took a deep breath and looked at Charles as he cleared his throat.
“Thank you for joining me on such short notice.” He started, the smile not fading from his lips.
Chan’s thoughts quickly drifted from the meeting as his mind went over his conversation with Olivia about him and you.
Watch the honeymoon phase pass and you’ll be where you always are: single and alone.
It sounded harsh but Chan asked if there wasn’t a tinge of truth to it. Maybe all of this would pass, maybe this feeling he had, this attraction he felt for you would fade away over time. Or maybe it wouldn’t, he wasn’t sure.
Still, that thought was now on his mind, like a seed that had been planted. And Chan had a hard time dealing with self-doubt, he always fed into it.
His only hope would be that this seed would die quickly and that it wouldn’t bloom into something more, whatever that may be.
~ 🎨 ~
You watched as Jisung threw paint at the canvas, his rage and disappointment in the colour palette he had selected. This time, you had prepared the workshop room for his shenanigans. The walls were covered in plastic, some of it already splattered with paint, and the floor was protected by a layer of newspaper with colourful footsteps near where Jisung was. Everything else had either been removed from the room or covered as best as you could.
“It’s coming together nicely.” You gave him a thumbs up, but he didn’t listen. He put his hand in black paint and rubbed it on the canvas, the yellow fading into a strange shade of grey. “I… guess.”
Jisung let out a frustrated scream and you had to stop him from throwing the canvas on the floor and smashing it. You sat him back on a bench and gave him a damp cloth to help him remove the paint from the gloves he had been using. He sighed and glanced at his art, revolted.
“It looks terrible,” he almost spat out the word. “Maybe I’m terrible.”
“You’re not terrible, Jisung.” You comforted him but he shook his head. “I mean it. Do you want to talk about it?”
“No,” he stated, removing the gloves and throwing them in the trash, splashing it with a muddy colour. “I… wanted to let off some steam.”
“Well, you clearly have.” You crossed your legs and gestured to the walls around you, smiling. “Do you want another canvas or…?”
“I’m fine, thanks.” Jisung stood up from his bench and glanced at his canvas, chuckling. “She is great, you know? Olivia. But… I’ve never dated a woman like her. She has everything and she is confident, extremely confident. And she loves being right. And more often than not, she is. And I am like this painting,” he gestured to it, shaking his head. “A mess that doesn’t make any sense. What if… I’m not… good enough for her?”
“Does she make you feel like you’re not… good enough for her?” You asked, standing up and walking to stand next to him. You took a deep breath and looked at his canvas.
“I always… sabotage before she can tell me what she thinks of me. Yesterday, she told me that she loved me. She loves me, Y/N. And what did I do? I said ok and kissed her as if nothing had happened. When it did.” He messed his hair in frustration and started to pace around. “Do you know how long I had waited for her to tell me that? How much I had rehearsed in my head the time I’d tell her I loved her? I messed up. I always do.”
“No one is stopping you from saying it, you know?” He stopped and turned to look at you, devastated. “Why didn’t you say it if you felt the same way?”
“Because…” He gulped. “Because I’m afraid, Y/N. I’m afraid of what might happen after I say it.”
“And what’s the worst that can happen now?” You crossed your arms and walked towards him, hugging him. He returned the gesture, wrapping his arms around your shoulders. “Being vulnerable requires sacrificing something, Jisung. You can’t expect things to be different if you act the same way repeatedly. Take this as an opportunity to do that.”
He nodded and after a while, you let go of each other and glanced at his canvas again. You smiled.
“I’m calling it breaking free.” You gestured to the painting and he rolled his eyes. You crossed your arms. “What? Do you have a better name?”
He laughed and shook his head, placing his arm around your shoulders as you both looked at the painting in front of you. “Muddy mess doesn’t make it appealing, does it?”
“It depends on the story you’re trying to tell.” You glanced at him. “Are you a muddy mess or breaking free?”
“I don’t know how you always do this,” he announced and started to pace around, grabbing his belongings. Afterwards, the two of you walked out of the workshop room.
“Do what?” You walked to the small desk and checked your phone. A missed call from Minho. Your heart skipped a beat and your mind went blank. You shook your head and put down your phone but the curiosity on Jisung’s face was undeniable. “What?”
“What’s bothering you?”
That was a complicated answer. Many things were bothering you right now but most of them had to do with one person and one person only.
“Minho.” His name rolled out of your tongue and you gulped. “I don’t want to get into it now, he’ll probably be here any second and the less I think about it, the better.”
“Maybe a painting would help?” Jisung suggested and you walked him to the door.
No, you thought. A painting doesn’t help when he is the one I want to paint.
“I’ll think about it.” You lied and rolled your eyes at Jisung’s raised eyebrow. “Now go! Text me updates!”
Jisung gave you a thumbs up and started to walk away from the studio down the street and you stood at the door until you lost sight of him. You sighed and returned to the workshop room and started to remove the plastic layers from the walls, folding them so you could reuse them some other time.
On the floor, the newspaper that could be reused was saved and the rest was thrown in the garbage. You glanced at everything twice, making sure that it was clean and exited the workshop room, climbing up the stairs with the plastic sheets on your arms.
You sighed and turned on the lights of the storage room, most of it empty. Even if you wanted to give workshops, you were lacking in materials and right now, you couldn’t afford to buy new ones. You heard the bell from the front desk and cleared your throat.
“Coming!” You screamed and stored the materials in their places, closing the door behind you and climbed down the stairs.
Once you reached the ground floor, you had to take a deep breath and prepare yourself. You watched as he glanced around the paintings like he always did with a soft smile on his lips.
You make me happy, those words had been echoing in your mind since this morning. They had been so raw and honest, they completely took you by surprise. But there was more. There was his vulnerability, his trust in you. His story was just as broken as yours, even if the both of you were vastly different. But slowly, you had been able to get those broken pieces back together and you were sure he’d be able to get his back together too.
You fixed your hair and slowly walked closer to him, your heart beating in your chest. Minho had trusted you so now, it was your turn to trust him.
“Let me paint you.” The words blurted out more like a declaration and less like a request. He slowly turned around, confused. “I want to take your portrait. Please…?”
He gulped, his eyes going over your features the soft smile never leaving his lips. You wanted to look away from him but couldn’t. You gulped and walked closer to him, unable to deal with the silence.
“Ever since I saw you at your engagement party, I’ve been wanting to paint you.” You felt your cheeks growing warmer. “I haven’t had this… feeling, this want to paint again in… months. And the only thing I want to paint is your face.”
His eyes widened and you wanted to take back everything you had just said. Now he probably thought you were silly, out of your mind, unprofessional. You watched, expectant of his reaction. His lips parted in delight as his cheeks grew a warm shade of pink, his eyes never leaving yours. And then, he nodded, smiling at you.
“I’d love that,” he said in a whisper, a soft giggle escaping his lips. “I’d be honoured if you painted me.”
“Good.” You were out of breath, unsure as to why. “That’s… good.”
Outside, you tried to keep a small smile and tried not to notice as Minho looked at you, as his eyes went over every single one of your features with the detail and care he always had when he glanced at paintings.
But inside, everything was happening at once. Here you were in the afternoon, with Lee Minho, a man that had told you that you brought him happiness and you had just asked him if he’d be willing to let you paint him to which he said yes.
And you wanted to keep it at that, to believe that this would be just a painting, the first of many.
And you were certain it would be the first of many.
But you couldn’t guarantee to yourself that this was just a painting.
~ 🎨 ~
Chan walked alone with his phone close to his ear, waiting patiently for you to pick up. His heart picked up the pace when he stopped near a sidewalk, waiting for the signal to turn green.
“Hi,” you greeted on the other side, your voice bright. “How are you?”
He sighed, relieved that you had picked up his call. For some reason, he was afraid you wouldn’t.
“I’m doing well,” he answered, the light turning green. He started to walk again. “How are you?”
“I’m well too.”
The traffic was making it hard for Chan to listen to you. He quickly turned left and reached the parking lot where his car was.
“Are you free?” His steps echoed in the concrete below his feet. His heart picked up the pace again as he waited for your answer.
“Right… now?”
He gulped. Maybe this was too soon, maybe asking you on a second date last minute the day after you had been together was too much.
He finally found his car and unlocked it, its lights turning on at the same time, that click sound greeting him. He took a deep breath and entered his vehicle, finally in the comfort of what he knew.
“Maybe we could meet again,” he finally said, checking the time on his watch. “Would you like to have dinner with me tonight? I’d pick you up at your place in about an hour.”
You sighed. Chan couldn’t understand if you were disappointed, surprised, or eager to see him again. He waited for your answer, loosening the tie on his neck first only to remove it entirely after.
“Give me a second. Don’t go anywhere!”
“Ok,” he answered and waited.
He didn’t know how long he waited but he counted the cars that drove by, entering and leaving the parking lot. When your answer finally came, his smile increased, and all his worries melted away.
“Hey,” you greeted him again. “Are you still there?”
“Yes.”
“Let’s have dinner. I’m still at the studio so it might take me… more than an hour to get ready. Is that ok?”
Chan glanced at his watch again and nodded. “It is.”
“Good. I’ll see you in a bit, then.”
You disconnected the call and Chan took a few minutes to recollect himself, unable to hide the smile on his face. You had agreed to meet him tonight, to have dinner with him again. And he couldn’t wait to see you again.
He couldn’t wait to be with you again.
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fantastic-bby · 2 days ago
Text
SKZ vs. Phasmophobia
Pairing: Reader x Member
Word count: 1.1k
Genre: Headcanon | Comedy
Summary: Phasmphobia is a 4 player co-op psychological horror game where you and your friends are paranormal investigators. Throughout the game, you learn how to use the equipment and find evidence to figure out exactly what kind of ghost resides in the map. This is how I think SKZ would play Phasmo.
Warnings: Ghosts
Masterlist
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Chan - The expert
The one with the highest level
Buys all the equipment for everyone
Also the one who tells you what to bring and is the one who chooses the maps
If you’re scared of walking around on your own, Chan’s there to follow you around the place bcs he would happily accompany you
He’s also the type who actually stays behind the door when he says that he will
He’s also the one that would come back to try and save you even though he most likely can’t
Wouldn’t scare you on purpose -unlike fucking Minsung-
“It’s okay baby I’m here”
“CHAN THE FUCKING GHOST IS IN THE CLASSROOM”
"That’s the wrong classroom, babe”
Minho - The troll (1)
A troll
A whole ass fucking troll
He’s such a dick in this game
Minho’s the kind of person who has money for all of the equipment but stays silent
Makes Chan buy everything for the entire team
Would leave you alone in a room without saying anything and return to the truck
Wouldn’t even talk to you half of the time, he would purposefully mute himself because he can
The type to laugh at you when you die
Would also pop out from behind a door to scare you and thinks that the bigger of a reaction you get, the funnier it is
Only feels bad if you cry
“MINHO IT’S NOT FUCKING FUNNY I ALMOST HAD A HEART ATTACK”
“You should’ve heard yourself scream”
“MINHO T-T”
“W-Wait, y-you’re crying?! You’re not supposed to cry!”
Changbin - The clueless one
The kind that doesn’t play Phasmophobia often
But has a high level because he lets the others play on his account
Doesn’t know what anything does
Doesn’t know how to use anything
Is honestly just there to spend time with you and his friends
Changbin’s also as scared as you are -if not more-
Would never admit it, but it’s so obvious
He wouldn’t jumpscare you bcs he doesn’t want to be jumpscared back
Yells at Minho for jumpscaring him
Tries to hide behind you when you’re being hunted and you end up dying instead
“BABY THE GHOST IS HERE AHH”
“Changbin, I swear to god if you bring that gho—CHANGBIN YOU JUST KILLED ME”
“GUYS!! (Y/N) GOT KILLED BY THE GHOST”
Hyunjin - The scared one
Didn’t even have the game before you and the boys asked him to join
He doesn’t like scary things, so he avoided Phasmo like a plague
Chan gifted him the game on steam and Hyunjin just went with it
The type to ask to stay behind in the truck
Gets worried that the ghost can follow him into the truck
It can’t
And you have to keep telling him that
If he follows you guys into the map, he would keep his camera facing down
Rips his earphones off whenever the slightest thing happens
“Jinnie, for the last time, the ghost won’t come into the truck!”
“How do you know that?! It’s a ghost!”
“That’s not how the game works -_-”
Jisung - The casual troll (2)
Troll but only when he’s with Minho
Ji on his own is actually pretty nice
He’s a little bit too casual on his own
He’d follow you around the map if you ask him to and will tell you what to do or where to go
Talks about anything and everything with you while you’re both walking around the map together
Would probably ask you what’s for dinner while you’re both being hunted
With Minho in the same game?
Those two are a nightmare
They’d both jumpscare the other two players
Jisung would always be the one who wants to scare you mainly because he doesn’t want Minho to take it too far
“Darling, let’s head to the nice cafe later and get cheesecake”
“JISUNG, TAKE THE FUCKING PICTURE THE GHOST IS RIGHT THERE!”
Felix - The chill one
Also has a pretty high level
He either does a lot of solo missions or only plays with you and Chan bcs he doesn’t want to deal with everyone else's bullshittery
Also the kind to talk to you casually while walking around the place
Would buy you any equipment you need
Chooses the maps that aren’t that hard bcs he doesn’t want to spend an hour standing in a room going “John White, are you there?”
Suggests splitting up a lot
Which means that one of you is bound to die
Would totally leave you there the moment you die though, like he wouldn’t even linger a second longer when he realises you’re gone
“Lixie, the basement has freezing temperatures”
“I’m coming over there now, just keep talking”
“FELIX, HE—”
Sees your body in the basement: “John White, did you punt my partner?”
Seungmin - The one who doesn’t play but knows how the game works
Doesn’t seem like his type of game
But he just knows how it works because he’s played it once or twice and has a basic bearing of the controls and what to do
Refuses to play alone with Minsung
The type to let the others play with his account so his level is high-ish
Would accompany you around but only if you ask him to nicely
If you don’t ask him, Seungmin would go off on his own and get himself hunted but somehow makes it out alive
Isn’t that scared of the game
So if you start screaming Seungmin would totally just stand in the doorway of the room like “uh…”
If you die, he’s dipping immediately
He doesn’t care if anyone else is there
Seungmin only cares that you’re dead, therefore mission end :D
“(Y/n)’s dead”
“Yeah, but Minho and I are still here”
“I’m not playing this game with you two, Sung”
Jeongin - The one who knows how to play but keeps dying anyway
He plays often with the boys
Knows how to play
Quite enjoys the game
But Jeongin unfortunately is the dude that keeps dying in every round even though he does everything he needs to
Hunted? Even if he hides, the ghost kills him
Does every trick in the book, but still lacks one piece of evidence to confirm the type of ghost
Brings you around with him and tells you what to do so that you know how to handle yourself
He’d also be more into you surviving and leaving rather than him bcs he loves you like that
If you’re in the dorm with them while you play, Jeongin would bust into the room you’re in and demand you leave
“Oh, Innie just died”
“(Y/N)"
“AHH INNIE WHAT THE FUCK”
“GET IN THE DAMN TRUCK AND LEAVE”
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markxdino · 2 days ago
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hyunjin crushing on yn DAMN 😮‍💨😮‍💨😮‍💨😮‍💨
a/n: oh besties, I have not done a stray kids imagine in 2 years. this gonna be rusty af
-
beauty within
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you sighed heavily. wishing you hadn't lie to your best friend that you were indeed fine. you clearly weren't. not when he is out there with the girl he likes. the amount of times he talked about her, god he could write a whole book of compliments for her. why was it her and not you?
ah right, you were simply the friend. nothing more, nothing less. your heart shatters as you recalled the huge smile he had when he announced that they were finally together. you remembered the feeling of when your heart sank, the fake smile you put on as hyunjin jumped in happiness.
"hey are you- okay?" hyunjin says as he finally catches on with your attitude. you nod.
"yeah, I'm fine." you punched his shoulders lightly. "good luck, man." hyunjin chuckles.
"thanks."
"well I have to go." you say. hyunjin nods.
"don't forget about sending me the homework." hyunjin shouts as your figure disappears from his sight. you didnt want to face him further, already feeling the tears threatening to spill.
it's been 3 months since you've last interacted with him. he didn't say or do anything to even salvage the friendship the two of you built over the 10 years. you breathed in. a tear escapes, making its way down and falling onto your shorts.
the view was beautiful, nature surrounding you as you sat on the hood of your car.
"if only I was the one you loved." you whispered into the wind. you checked the time.
6:37pm. you needed to get home. it was getting dark out. you wouldn't want to stay out too late since it was cold and you didn't bring any jacket. you got into your car and drove back to your apartment. the keys jingled as you went to open the door. you entered the apartment and instantly you felt someone pull you into a hug.
a familiar physique. he pulls away.
"(name), where did you go?" you looked up, hesitantly meeting his eyes.
"somewhere." you answered.
"you should have brought me along."
"won't aria get mad?" hyunjin sighs.
"we broke up."
"oh." it came out softer than expected but nonetheless, hyunjin heard it.
"yeah...she said that I'm not truly in love with her."
"what do you mean?"
"well...for starters, I kept talking about us. our friendship and how we've always been together. she didn't mind and kept listening. 2 months pass by and you know...we kinda drifted apart. she noticed I was sad and I told her why. she understands. 3rd month, she asked for me and her to break up." he stares into your eyes. "do you know why?"
"no."
"it's because of you."
"me?" you point to yourself. "hyunjin, I was nowhere near you or aria, how can the both of you break up because of me?"
"she said whenever I talked about you, my eyes sparkle. a bright smile appears on my face. she said I looked like a love sick fool describing you."
"you did that too with aria."
"but those were just about her outer beauty. she says the way I describe you is way more than outer beauty...it's the beauty within you."
"so, what are you trying to say?" you stared at hyunjin.
"I love you, lee (name)." your heart races. you felt a blush creep up on your cheeks.
"are you sure?"
"very."
"then...I love you too." you confessed. hyunjin pulls you close. holding you tightly, afraid you'd just disappear from his grasp.
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ppumeonae-bigvibe · a day ago
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“Ah...love.” - Chan
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find more content here: stray kids masterlist
As soon as Chan stepped foot into the apartment, his senses picked up on something. His Omega. You. In distress. 
Uneasiness and anxiety permeated the apartment thickly and Chan’s heart beat in trepidation. “Love? Where are you?” He registered your whimpers and soft sobs coming from the room and in 3 long strides he entered the room, the door swinging open with a woosh. 
That was when he spotted you sitting in the cupboard, tucking yourself away in that tiny sliver of a space. His heart broke at the sight. You were in his neon orange hoodie, clutching onto his pillow like it was your lifeline. “C-Chan...” You hiccuped his name and he immediately dropped his things to scoop you up in your arms. 
“Ah...love.” Leaning forwards, he nuzzled the exposed juncture of your neck and shoulder, effectively releasing his pheromones and scenting you. Thoughts raced through his mind as you sniffled, grasping onto his button-up. 
After a while, with much soothing words and gentle touches from Chan, your cries ebbed out and you were now placated. “Sorry.” You kept your face buried in his chest and Chan peppered you with feather-light kisses, “It’s alright baby. Don’t apologize for such things. “ Chan’s mind drifted to the topic of separation anxiety that he overheard his co-workers talking about. He’d probably bring it up to you when you were comfortable. 
“Would you like to take a shower?” Chan pulled away and glanced down at you. Hesitation flashed across your face, and you raised your gaze to meet his, “A-Alone?” He internally chided himself: you needed him. “Together, love. Then we can grab a take-out.” You nodded at the prospect of spending time with him and he smiled.
“That’s my girl.”
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lovesong-skiez · a day ago
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If Only You Could Stay | 2
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1 | 2 | to be continued...
↠ pairing: Bang Chan x fem!Reader
↠ genre: Romance, fluff, angst, first love!au, high school!au, childhood friends to ???
↠ disclaimers: This is not meant to be an accurate representation of any idols mentioned — this is simply for entertainment purposes. Possible inaccuracies in Australian school system and Australian ways of life in general (I apologize in advance). This has not been thoroughly proofread. Please let me know if there is anything I need to add!
↠ summary: Your childhood family friend, Chan, decided he wanted to be a trainee again after he took a three year break. You were surprised, considering all he went through the first time, but you were happy and excited for him. At least… you thought you were. As time crept closer to his departure, something started to feel amiss. He had left once, and it was fine. What had changed that suddenly made you wish he could stay?
↠ a/n: Hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m really excited for this new chapter :) I’m currently taking care of a lot things right now, so this chapter is releasing a lot later than I thought lmao. I’m not sure when Chapter 3 will release, but thank you to those who have read and enjoyed the first part~ If you want to be on the taglist, please let me know (through dm or ask!) and if you have any constructive criticism I’m open to all! Have a good day <3
↠ song recommendation: please by Jeremy Zucker and Chelsea Cutler
That bothered feeling still remained, but you crowded it out into the background as work for finals came in tenfold. 
Everyone around you could tell you were on edge. Your parents noted your more closed off behaviour, the way you blasted music as you hid away in your room, only coming out for meals, and to leave the house. You went to the library on especially difficult mornings, just wanting to get away. You didn’t say much as you ate lunch with your friends on a good day, and when it wasn’t a good day you stayed at the school library, tucked away in everything you loved. You let studying allay this bothered feeling, diving into cold hard facts — things with basis, explanation. The amount of time you spent swimming in summary notes, cue cards, textbook revisions, and your favourite playlists became concerning as time continued to pass. While studying became your solace, the weeks slowly started to slip away from you. 
Almost another two weeks went away, this newfound routine of yours keeping you busy. It was easy to avoid everything this way, but it didn’t stop anything or change what you were feeling… it just delayed what you were inevitably about to face.
This became evident on a particular Friday night. You laid on your bed, a restlessness battling with your sluggishness from the growing heat. There was this desire to  just do something, but after weeks of non-stop studying it started to feel boring. Hobbies weren’t common in your life, spending most of your time watching shows and videos in between studying and working. It was unsettling, having all this time, but wanting to do nothing with it. You closed your eyes, hoping sleep would be the best remedy. 
Then there was a ring of your doorbell. Groaning, you brush your hair as you run down the stairs, unsure of who would be here so late. Your parents were out for the night, attending your father’s company dinner. You peeked through the peephole of your door, stumbling back slightly as you saw Chan on the other side of the door with a plastic bag in his hand. 
You opened the door cautiously, only giving enough space for you to slip out. “W-what are you doing here?” You sputtered out, looking around the area, your eyes wide in disbelief. 
He raised the plastic bag, “I heard there was a little someone who’s been overworking themselves here, and I was called for some damage control.”
You sighed, crossing your arms in front of you stubbornly, “Damage control, huh? Says the guy who stays up until four in the morning working, when he has school at eight.” 
“No, no, no, you don’t get to pull that card on me.”
Your eyes darted around the area, trying to find a new subject to bring up. “Well anyway, thank you for the food.” You reached for the plastic bag in his hands, only for him to pull back. 
He shook his finger in front of you, stopping you in your efforts. “Uh, uh, uh, I don’t think so. If you get changed and go on a drive with me, then maybe you could have some of my delicious—” he paused, peeking inside the bag to recall what he brought. “—sandwiches!” He gave you a triumphant smile, causing laughter to bubble up from your chest. His face fell slightly, a pout forming on his lips. 
You took a deep breath to collect yourself. “All of that for only a ‘maybe?’ I don’t know Chan, you’re not selling yourself very well.” He stomped his foot, whining at your comment. You jokingly shielded your eyes from him as your resolve broke at the sight. “Fine, fine, just… stop doing that, and I’ll agree.” He straightened up, his arms pressed against his sides as he pressed his lips into a line. You chuckled, turning back to go inside the house. “Just wait in the car for me, and I’ll be out soon.”
---
The drive to the mystery location was peaceful. There was no small talk or chatter, reserving all your words for the moment you two could focus solely on each other. The night was pretty, the dark sky highlighting the bright moon. There weren’t many people out this time at night, especially with the rise in humidity. The streetlights blurred past, giving the sidewalk an uncharacteristic warm glow. You rested your head against the headrest, staring into the darkness of the night as silence persisted through the rest of the car ride. 
You weren’t sure where this drive was going to take you, but the park close to your old house was not what you were expecting. The second thing you weren’t expecting was for him to open the trunk of his car, and hand you two handheld fans, a blanket, and a Dora CD player. 
You held up the CD player giving it a thorough inspection, “Really?”
“The design doesn’t change the sound quality, and it was my sister’s when she was younger.” He saw you look away as you placed your hand over your lips, trying your best to avoid commenting on it. “I’m being serious!” 
“I know, I know. You wouldn’t just take out your—“ he gave you a glare, as you added carefully “—sister’s Dora CD player for anybody.” 
“Do you mind setting up at our usual spot? I‘ll meet you there.” 
You nodded, heading off with all the things wrapped up in the blanket, using it as a bag. There was this small area you two used to go to when you were younger — before either of you even reached double digits —, hidden in the close by forest with a gravel trail. It was only a few minutes walk until you got to a flat grassland, the trees opened up to give you a clear view of the sky. The moon shone down on everything with a blueish grey light, contrasting the yellows of the city streetlights that you passed on your way here.
You finished setting up everything, and laid down against the blanket. You turned onto your side, pressing play on the CD player, only for no sound to come through. Leaving it be, you closed your eyes, letting the handheld fan cool your face as you reveled in being surrounded by nature. 
You remembered the first time you found this spot, running away from both of your parents as they searched together to bring Chan home. You had run away together, hoping you would be able to play just a little while longer. 
This became your space away from the world, from the life you had. It was a special place where you once believed as a starry-eyed eight year old that time could stop. This was where life would wait for you when you felt left behind by everyone else. When you couldn’t keep up with how fast you were growing up, you would always run here… until you moved away during the one time you needed it the most. At least you found other ways to cope over time, but this place always held a significant comfort that couldn’t be replaced. 
A crunch of footsteps snapped you out of your reverie. Chan came from the car, a plastic bag in one hand, and a small camping lantern in the other. He tossed you your sandwich without warning, causing it to hit you in the face instead of landing safely in your arms. You pressed your lips together tightly as he burst out laughing. You unwrapped your sandwich as he came over and sat beside you, his laughter bubbling up from time to time. You waited for him to get settled before bumping together your sandwiches, and beginning to dig in. 
This was different from all the times you were younger, not as noisy and high spirited, but it wasn’t bad. You two haven’t come here together since before he left to be a trainee for the first time, and it brought this unsettling sense of nostalgia. 
You pulled out your phone to check the time when Chan snatched it out of your hands, and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He placed them in the plastic bag, saying, “Let’s just… focus on being here, in this moment.” You swallowed at his gaze, dead serious and solemn. Different from usual, but that was the thing, today was different from usual. 
Chan reached over you to grab the CD player, popping in whatever he brought from his car. You leaned back against your hands as he stood, a gentle guitar started playing from the CD player. You remember recommending this song to him almost a year ago. Your eyes widened as he extended a hand out to you. Why was he doing this? Your eyes darted from his hand to his shy expression. 
♫ I wish I had the power to make this house feel more like home ♫
You brought your hand up, your fingers curled hesitantly. You took one last glance at his face, before extending your fingers just enough to graze his. He slid his hand down, taking a hold of yours securely. He helped you up, giving you a small smile. You bit your lip nervously, glancing down at the CD player. He brought you a bit closer to him as he took your free hand in his, placing it on his shoulder. He gingerly placed his hand on your waist, the warmth of his fingertips seeping into your skin. He led you through this little dance, a gentle sway of back and forth. When you gathered the strength to look at him, his gaze met yours, a tender look in his eyes.
♫ I don’t know where my heart is ♫
At that moment, the beat of your heart thudded noisily in your ears as you couldn’t stop yourself from staring. He had a glow about him, one that mirrored the moon. A light that blanketed the earth in the quiet of the night, yet not all of it could be seen. A waning moon, hidden partly in darkness. Fully known to you were only the parts that shone, that were once in full. But as you looked at him, he wasn’t the person you had remembered all those years ago. 
He hesitantly called your name, caressing the side of your face. He brushed a hair out of view, and tucked it behind your ear. “I… have something to tell you.” 
“What is it?” You held your breath, your cheeks warm. It was surely from the summer heat.
“I passed my audition.”
Your eyes widened slightly, as your body tensed. So, this was the reason he came by. The reason you had this strange sense of nostalgia. It reminded you of five years ago. You and your families went out for a walk together, enjoying the fresh air. You two ran here while you were playing tag, chasing each other around in the grass. The person who was ‘it’ while your parents came by would lose. You were looking back as you ran away from him, when you tripped over a stick, landing into the grass. He caught up to you, piling onto you to keep you still. You smiled at each other, as you stayed there, knowing you wouldn't be able to get out of his hold. Then he quietly whispered the exact same words. You remembered how excited you felt, yelling it out as you saw your parents come into view. 
But you didn’t feel the exact same way, his words caused that bothered feeling you’ve tucked away to be swept in, his high tide collapsing your sand castle of defenses. He was the moon, controlling the relentless ocean, and you were the shore, taking the beat of the waves as they took down everything you built. You could hear the erratic beat of your heart as this sickening feeling thrashed inside of you. You were supposed to be happy, excited, proud. A part of you did feel that way, but you couldn’t ignore the waves of dread that began, the tightening of your throat. What was so wrong? Why couldn’t you be happy for him? This wasn’t the worry you thought it was… so what was it?
♫ Promises you’re breaking, parts of me you're taking ♫
While he once wandered, you could tell that this glow about him wasn’t solely from the light of the moon, but with the exhilaration of knowing where to go. He finally had a path, lit for him to follow even when it became dark and difficult to go through. He lifted your chin, furrowing his brows. Your lips parted slightly, unsure of what to say. 
“Everything, okay?”
You pushed down your bundle of emotions, letting them drown into the depths of your heart. You couldn’t ruin this, especially if this was just a temporary thing, a shock going through your system. 
“Yeah,” you smiled. “Congratulations.”
♫ Please, don’t leave me here ♫
© lovesong-skiez - please do not edit, repost, translate, modify or plagiarize.
taglist: @planetdemon
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