- a Jaejin short story
- from asianfanfics
“Finding a place to belong is hard if people don’t accept you for who you are.”
Yoon Ahreum is a 21-year old production staff working for MBC. Because of her young age, she was outcasted. When Infinite Challenge announced they’ll have a reunion concert for Sechskies, a first generation Kpop idol group, she is determined to help working with them dilligently, especially the fact that her dying uncle was Sechskies’ former manager. During production period, Ahreum gets herself in a car accident. But instead of waking up in heaven, she finds herself waking up in early 1999, where Sechskies was still active and ends up staying in Lee Jaejin, a 20-year old man who is a part of the group. Jaejin is also an outcast due to his odd behavior and personality but tries hard as he is one of the main dancers of the group. As Ahreum(who presumes the name of Jin Hanbyul) stays in that timeline, the more she spends her time with Sechskies, especially Jaejin, who made her she belonged in that world where she doesn’t belong. Whereas Ahreum made Jaejin felt the same way, as his world changes around her.
Will Ahreum/Hanbyul and Jaejin find a world where they both belong, even when they meet again in Ahreum’s respective timeline?
Noticing the lack of present Sechskies fanfics nowadays, I decided to make one (especialy the fact that this group has seriously grown on me lol).
I do not own Sechskies or Infinite Challenge. This plot is semi-fictional as some events occurred in real-life, back in 1999-2000 and Sechskies’ reunion in 2016. All events are researched carefully for better accuracy, especially the era of how idols work before. Thank you!
Prologue: No longer….?
We can’t help but dream of something we don’t wanted to happen.
Detachment to the world.
It can mean anything.
Whether it is contextual, or something that can be taken literally.
Those dreams, are formed from something deep in our subconsciousness and something that happened in recent memory.
However, there are dreams that actually came true.
But it’s either we foresee it….
….or we lost it.
Why would I even embarrass myself in front of them? Why did I even bother caring?
I wasn’t like this back then.
I usually would keep everything inside of me because I don’t want to be a total embarrassment.
But it looks like I’m no longer the same girl from before.
I woke up in this world, believing I could start anew with a different name, and not to show off my personality I had before.
But it looks like, not everything about me before can disappear and change.
Maybe because this was a new feeling I experienced. Because I may have felt this with my family and friends, but this feeling is a totally different feeling.
If Jiyong’s words actually made sense to me, I would have understood it before and accepted it already.
But it’s impossible.
I don’t belong here. This is a long vivid dream for me. I would wake up in a hospital from that accident if this is all over.
I can’t love him. I really can’t.
I wish it was acceptable for me to love him, if I do belong here.
But even if I do, one day…..him………and the others……………
While walking aimlessly after I was done crying from earlier, I stopped at the empty snowy road and looked up at the night sky, watch the snow falling to the ground. I closed my eyes and prayed to the gods, that this dream would be over.
I felt like my prayers were answered, as I felt something about to crash.
A sign that I can finally wake up from this dream.
But before I can feel it, another force has pulled backwards and afterwards I felt warmth around me.
My eyes were still closed, still thinking that I would finally wake up.
I opened my eyes and looked up at what was happening.
Realizing that this warmth and raw emotion that I felt is somewhat so strong, I knew that everything I have believed in from the time I woke up in this world, that I believed that this is a vivid dream.
I knew it was too good to be true.
Chapter 1: Outcasted
I would have been a normal blissful day, but I ended waking up at the wrong side of the bed so my entire right arm got sore, and to make things matters worse, today is my monthly period day. But I don’t wanted that to ruin this day. I wanted to look presentable and ready, as I go to work today.
Usually a year ago, I would be busy with work and school so I won’t be able to visit my family back in Busan. Luckily, I will be having a month off afterwards so I can rest.
I’ve only been in this job for months now. Before that, I interned and worked in a production house for a year, until I got offered a place in MBC, as part of the production crew for a huge variety show. But compared to my old job, though it was a huge opportunity for me, I couldn’t be able to show my true talents. In my past job, though my job wasn’t as significant, I still managed to utilize and show my talents. This current job I have is different. Instead of working for the show, I felt like working under the staff who are really working for the show. It restricted me to show my talents and I often get discouraged by them because it. I felt like I was an intern again, but I still wanted to make this work for me, so I had no choice but to play along.
“Ya, Yoon Ahreum, you’re late!” A familiar voice shouted in front of my apartment building, as I got out from the elevator.
“I’m not late, you’re just early Nam Rihye!” I shouted back, acting annoyed but kept my shouting voice in a normal level to avoid the looks of the tenants. I was already walking towards Rihye.
“It’s good to be an early bird because we won’t encounter morning traffic. Hop on.” She grabbed my bag and tossed it on the backseat of her car.
Oh, for those of you who don’t know, this energetic woman right here is Rihye. She has been with me since our first year in college and we have been inseparable ever since. After graduation, she has since kept on convincing me to be housemates with her but I kept declining, because all I wanted is to be independent. But to make it fair for the both of us, we would take turns on picking each other up from my apartment building and her house every morning. We have our own cars but to save up gasoline and day after day, one brings a car and would pick up from their home.
Though Rihye managed to get me early, we still got involved with a minor road traffic. Rihye gets frustrated immediately over these and would complain over it for the next minute, meanwhile while listening, I was massaging my right arm, which was still sore from sleeping.
Rihye stopped complaining and looked worried, as she notices what I was doing.
“Are you okay?”
I looked flustered but immediately gave a reassuring smile. “Yeah, just woke up from the wrong side of the bed.”
“Well I hope so, good thing you didn’t drive today or it would really cause us a problem.”
Wanting to change the topic, I asked her something. “Hey anyways, when will I meet this special someone you kept on talking about?”
“Uhhhhh, just a little longer?”
“Oh Nam Rihye, it’s been years now yet you haven’t introduced me to him. I’m starting to doubt that it might have been an anime character after all this time.” This may have been also part of the reason why I didn’t wanna room with her.
“He’s real, oh my god. I’m not like you, who has a husbando.”
I rolled my eyes. “Whatever. At least tell me what he is like.”
She sighed in defeat, knowing that she can’t hide it any longer. “Alright. I can tell something about his looks.”
I scooted near her, already curious on who is the guy.
“He has these eyes that remind you of a white fluffy dog, though he can be a stiff sometimes? But I love his personality and he makes me laugh when he can.” She smiles, looking like she’s in love.
“Ooh, and you guys stayed strong huh? Oh how I wish I ever had one.”
“Well why didn’t you want to join the blind date before then?”
I sighed. “You know I don’t like those things. I believe in fate and destiny more than forced romances.”
“Well you never know.”
Perhaps this mentality started when I got obsessed with Japanese animation and video games, that I refused to pursue love? Or even a stable social life.
Rihye may have been the longest friendship I had so far. Most of my other friends have drifted apart ever since and we couldn’t see that much at all.
As for love, I wanted a love where I feel the belongingness with that significant other, and being forced to be part of a world of my significant other, where I don’t belong. That’s how I got conscious in even pursuing real life romances.
I was out of trance for awhile until Rihye stopped the car and I was brought back to reality.
“You know what, I’ll introduce you to him after you come back. I really didn’t wanna introduce you to him because of some circumstances.”
“What ‘circumstances’?” I looked at her suspisciously.
“I’ll……explain when we meet. Besides, I wanted to introduce you to his friend of his as well! He’s really sweet and thoughtful, you might like him if–”
“Rihye, can you drop me off now? I have work to do.” I pretended that I didn’t hear the last part she said. Like I said, I don’t like the idea of a forced meeting and romance.
“Alright~” She unlocked the door, while I grabbed my bag from the backseat. “I’ll pick you at the usual time. Lemme know if something happens.”
“Sure.” I smiled before getting out of her car.
If you want me to describe my normal day in this broadcasting station, it’s either being in my desk all day doing paperwork given by the other staff, or just being told off to get them this and that. It only gets hectic by the time we have a scheduled shoot for the variety show I told before.
There are benefits for doing production work anyway. I get to go to places outside of the building, or outside of Seoul. I also met a lot of celebrities as well but that’s not even important to me. I only cared working to be able to feel useful in this world. I didn’t even cared how many times I met celebrities, they’re just people to me. The only thing that motivates me is to looking forward in working everyday because that gave me meaning, at least.
But because of this focus I have on work, some celebrities would use this chance to talk to me professionally instead of several people here who can’t even stop being giddy when they’re around, especially idols. However in turn, I get hit on by them. But tried to act innocent as possible. Because of that, I am a subject of office gossip by my collegues. It never bothered me, but in turn, it made me feel like an outsider because of those rumors.
I stayed away from even interacting with celebrities to stop those rumors, however, one of them still managed to try and interact with me outside of their work, even inside of MBC.
On the same day, I was told off to get coffee for the staff because we will be having an important meeting regarding a special segment we’ll be working on for the next 4 months. Excited on what’s gonna happen, I decided to follow with their orders.
I went to the nearest coffee shop where mostly the staff are frequently seen taking a break. I was known already in the shop because I get told off to do these chores more often. I placed my order when I reached the cashier and waited at the side for the orders to be done.
While waiting, I felt a tap on my shoulder and I yelped by the sudden touch. I apologized to the staff behind the counter then I faced the person who called my attention.
“Oh hey Ahreum-ah! You look tired.” A familiar older male with somewhat youthful looks looked concerned but remained having a kind look.
“Hello Tony-sshi, it’s nice to see you again.” I bowed respectfully. “I’m alright, just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.”
“I see, but shouldn’t you be taking a break? You looked like you worked all day.”
“Well I wish I could but there’s an important meeting coming up soon so I had to follow orders from them.” I remained a calm composure. “What brings you here, Tony-sshi?”
“Hey, call me oppa. I already told you that last time.”
“I’m sorry. I wanna keep a collegue-like relationship….” Then I whispered to myself. “….so I won’t get gossiped by my co-workers.”
He sighed. “Didn’t I told you to not listen to those gossips?”
I looked flustered. “I-I’m sorry!”
“Anyways, what’s the meeting all about? Well if it’s okay to disclose, of course.” He asked curiously.
“Well, I really don’t know to be honest. But Infinite Challenge is planning something big for the spring.”
Tony wondered for a second, then whispered to himself. “I wonder if this is what Jaeduck was talking about last month.”
“Oh, it’s nothing. You should know later on.” He gave an assuring smile.
The staff called my name from the side-counter, telling me that the drinks are done.
I went to get my drinks but I didn’t notice that Tony was following me.
Noticing how many they asked to order, he tried to help me.
“Hey, let me help you carry that back to MBC.” He already held the other set of coffee before I can even agree. But out of politeness, I guess I’ll agree.
“Thank you Tony-op–”
I was about thank him then I overheard someone two women gossiping.
“Hey, isn’t that Yoon Ahreum, one of the production staff?”
“Yeah, she’s so young.”
“Well what do you expect from a panther?”
“Ooh, so the rumors of her and Tony Ahn are dating, true?”
“Well I don’t know about that, but people say that she’s been dating people who are way older than her age.”
“Hmm…around 10-15 years older than her.”
“Oh dear, that means she might target married men soon.”
“Hahaha, what do you expect from someone who kept on seeing a former H.O.T member?”
“I hope she doesn’t Kim Jaeduck afterwards though.”
I looked down, already shaking upon hearing those people. I didn’t wanna keep hearing it. It looks like these rumors won’t die soon.
The women still kept on talking about me then all of sudden, they stopped.
“Oh crap, it’s Eun Jiwon. I think he overheard us.”
“Nah Jiwon wouldn’t–”
Another voice came out of nowhere. Well actually it came from someone in front of me.
“Learn to not gossip with the person who you were gossiping about in front of you.” The unknown man said with a scary and stern voice to the two women. They immediately left upon scolding them.
“Ahreum, are you okay?” Tony asked.
“Sorry, I’ll be on my way.” I grabbed the coffee holder that Tony was carrying on his hand and left immediately. I told myself that I won’t get bothered with rumors. But I get affected immediately.
Don’t I have any place in this world?