Blind by: Phoenix_Soar part 2

blind.jpg

Unspoken – Part 1

Aaaayyy guys. Thank you so much for the feedback on the first chapter! I was surprised I even got readers considering this is a WhiteKies fic ❤

I’ve been struggling with this second chapter for over a month, but this monster has totally spiraled out of control. Now I’m forced to split this chapter “Unspoken” into two parts -_- Hopefully the word-count makes up for the wait!

PLEASE NOTE: The segments of this fic still alternate between the present Sechskies and from before their disbandment. So the events mentioned are not chronological, where some segments may refer vaguely to things that will be explained at a later point in the fic.

There are times when Suwon thinks he is at fault.

What that fault is, he cannot define exactly. But there are times, increasingly frequent, when he sees the way Sunghoon looks at him, acts around him, and he feels inexplicably guilty about it.

As a boy just growing into manhood, that’s not something he feels well-equipped at dealing with.

It’s not that Sunghoon is downright explicit about it, either. Even as the weeks blur into months and Sechskies, miraculously, rise to dominate the music charts and make a niche for themselves in South Korea’s budding K-pop scene, Sunghoon never actually says anything about it to Suwon.

But it all comes down to the fact that Suwon comes to know, regardless, and that awareness leaves him with the bizarre feeling that he has to do something.

What that can possibly be, he doesn’t have any inkling.

Like all life crises, it starts out slow and subtle, like how waves recede from the shore before the towering wall of a tsunami emerges on the horizon. Suwon knew from the day they met that Sunghoon will not be another average person in his life; he just hadn’t been prepared for the sheer extent of that reality.

Sunghoon, in general, is a comfortable person to be with. That is something Suwon learns with relief during the earliest days of his training, when he is caught between Jiwon’s mercurial personality and Sunghoon’s consistent warmth.

Jiwon is a hot-and-cold force of nature; he takes his status as the eldest and leader seriously, but he is yet young himself and doesn’t exactly function on a long fuse. It takes time for him to learn to balance his fire, which toes that fine line between childlike and childish, with the deep affection he harbours for Sunghoon and comes to harbour for Suwon.

But until the day Jiwon reaches that point, Suwon is glad to have Sunghoon to turn to. Sunghoon, with his calm and sensibility, has enough patience to make up for Jiwon’s intensity. Suwon doesn’t exactly think of Jiwon as a devil but, in contrast, Sunghoon does feel like the angel that offsets their quicksilver leader.

He mentors Suwon through his vocal and breath-control lessons without complaint, pointing out every mistake the younger makes and teaching him how to improve. All of this he does with a gentle and welcoming nature that helps to solidify their working relationship into a real friendship. That is how those days of arduous training become the era when Suwon truly believes, if only temporarily, that all they really are to each other are good friends and compatible colleagues.

It’s also appreciated that Sunghoon makes a point of assuring Suwon that Jiwon actually does like him, contrary to how things may seem. Especially after Jiwon’s occasional outbursts when things go wrong during practice.

Suwon doesn’t really need Sunghoon to comfort him, though; he’s not the type to be easily fazed, especially since he’s figured out Jiwon enough to know that the leader is not truly angry with him, just stressed and frustrated. But still, it’s nice to have someone smile at him and tell him he’s not a complete tragedy.

‘You have a pleasant voice, you know,’ Sunghoon tells him at one point of their training.

The remark catches Suwon off guard. Praise for his voice is about the last thing he expected to hear.

‘It’s light and smooth. You just need more technique,’ Sunghoon continues when Suwon fails to reply. ‘We’ll get on that after we determine the range that works best for your singing.’

‘I … uh.’ Suwon stares at Sunghoon. For the first time since they became friends, the question he’s been avoiding is back, niggling at the back of his mind.

‘What?’ Sunghoon peers at him, his face open and earnest.

Suwon drops his gaze. ‘Nothing.’

He can’t say it; he can’t ask what it is that Sunghoon saw in him to choose him, to go through all this trouble of training him from square one. He is inadequate and he knows it, but he just can’t bring himself to ask.

What Suwon doesn’t realise at the time is that maybe, he is afraid of Sunghoon’s answer.

Instead, he steels himself to make good on his word to Jiwon and Sunghoon that he will do his best for the group. It’s the least he can do, to make himself worth Sunghoon’s efforts and Jiwon’s tolerance.

His resolve hardens even further when he sees for himself the limit of Sunghoon’s patience. It happens on the day they meet Kim Jaeduk in person. Suwon’s already been told that he is a dancer but, before he and Jiwon can verify it for themselves, Jaeduk introduces himself first and he does it in all of his loud, boisterous, Busan glory.

It’s shocking, honestly, that thinly veiled look of distaste on Sunghoon’s face when he hears Jaeduk’s rough dialect. Jiwon doesn’t voice any problems with it, instead running Jaeduk through his leader-to-minion drivel, but Suwon’s attention is diverted entirely to Sunghoon. His face is devoid of its usual warmth and he looks downright unhappy.

It is only out of Jaeduk’s earshot a little while later that Suwon hears Sunghoon groan to himself, ‘I don’t want to be in this group anymore.’

The words are tinged with bitterness and exasperation, and Suwon keeps his eyes averted from Sunghoon, pretending he didn’t hear anything. Kim Jaeduk is as friendly as they come and he is attractive in his own way; Suwon is certain that Sunghoon, as the secret in-charge of auditions, must have seen Jaeduk’s looks before he was picked – which means it’s not that Sunghoon finds Jaeduk too ugly for an idol group. He simply hates it that their new member speaks in a dialect.

Suwon doesn’t know how he feels about that. He’s never thought of Sunghoon as supercilious before, but now he suspects that he’s been painting his colleague as being made of purer stuff than he truly is.

The thought continues to bother him until the moment Sunghoon changes his mind about Jaeduk. The newcomer demonstrates his full prowess at dance, his body moving in ways that Suwon cannot ever picture himself mimicking. The movements are both razor sharp and as fluid as water, and when he finishes off with a flamboyant bow, Sunghoon looks genuinely impressed.

Suwon has a feeling that Sunghoon won’t let the dialect go – Jaeduk is very likely facing an immediate future of mastering the standard Seoul accent on top of vocal and dance training. Nonetheless, Suwon is immensely relieved to see that Sunghoon didn’t let something as trivial as a dialect drive him off.

Clearly Kang Sunghoon isn’t as perfect an angel as the first impression he makes – well, who is, really? – but he’s still fundamentally a warm person and Suwon cannot explain why he finds that so important.

It also makes him realise that he doesn’t ever want to see a day when Sunghoon would look at him and decide that Suwon is not worth it. Not worth the time and effort Sunghoon is investing in him; not worth their group.

So he takes it in stride when Sunghoon insists on extra vocal training and singing practice for Suwon. He doesn’t complain either when Jaeduk is assigned as his dance mentor, though after Lee Jaejin joins the team as a second main dancer, Suwon secretly wishes he could train under him instead. Jaejin, too, is a proud son of Busan and he is unapologetically blunt with his thoughts. But he has a strong grasp of the Seoul accent and a calm way of talking – unlike Jaeduk who doesn’t seem to realise that his fiery Busan-speak sounds more like he’s telling Suwon to go jump off a cliff than guiding him through tough dance moves.

But still, Suwon eventually gets used to the accent which, admittedly, is very interesting despite its coarseness. The dance lessons become fun after that, when Jaeduk’s amiable personality isn’t being wholly overshadowed by his dialect. Suwon is happier still when, every now and then, Sunghoon drops by and joins them, because his warm presence acts like a buffer to, well, everything.

As time goes by, everything else also falls into place. They all learn to get along, discovering each other’s quirks and idiosyncrasies, and coming to realise that they actually like them. With Ko Jiyong finally on board, tall and lanky and handsome, their group is finally complete and they are handled with their official name.

Sechskies. Six crystals. In freaking German.

Suwon never says it out loud, but it is simultaneously the coolest and lamest thing he’s heard. But hey, they are going up against the white fires of H.O.T which, as their agency never fails to remind them, are burning across every civilised corner of South Korea. They desperately need all the coolness they can flaunt.

That period of transition from training to debut is the stuff of nightmares. All of their energy is invested in practising the secretly despised lyrics of their debut song, mastering its strong choreography, and battling with nerves as they wonder whether people will accept them or not. Every moment of every day is so chaotic and turbulent that not even Suwon could have pinpointed anything unusual in the behaviour of any of the members.

Or just Sunghoon, rather.

It is only much later – after Sechskies make headlines as powerful rookies to rival H.O.T, and performances end for their debut song and first album – that Suwon notices that the metaphorical waves have long since receded from his shore and the tsunami he hadn’t paid attention to is right overhead.

As Sechskies make the leap to variety shows, the reality of Kang Sunghoon crashes down on Suwon with all the force of a seiche and he is as ill-prepared for it as a camel thrown into the middle of an ocean. It dawns on him that he has been receiving all the warning signs of this fate with Sunghoon since the very beginning – but he’d just had other more pressing things to care about, like launching a career.

But that particular evening, when Suwon finds himself trapped between the wall of an empty practice room and Kang Sunghoon, whose dark eyes are burning with a myriad of emotions that are anything but brotherly, Suwon belatedly thinks that he really, really should have paid more attention to the signs.

‘Sunghoon,’ he says, somehow able to project questioning naiveté into his unsteady voice. ‘Why – what’s going on?’

For all that Suwon is pretending not to pick up on the frankly predatory aura Sunghoon is giving off right now, it is still a sincere question. It is past eleven at night and Suwon had not been expecting to meet Sunghoon or any of the members at DSP headquarters. Sechskies had just ended filming a variety appearance over an hour ago; they have the day off tomorrow for the first time in months and the rest of the members couldn’t go home fast enough. Suwon, on the other hand, had come back to the agency, knowing that security would let him in and the practice rooms would be empty.

And they had been for a blessedly peaceful hour in which he’d practised Sechskies’ dance routines by himself – until Sunghoon appeared out of nowhere, materialising like a ghost over Suwon’s shoulder in the reflection of the huge mirrored wall. Suwon had nearly gone into cardiac arrest right then and there.

Sunghoon’s arrival is startling enough, but Suwon is even less prepared for the fervent look the older is giving him. He advances on Suwon until the younger is backed up right against the wall.

The unnerving position he is in sinks in only after his back hits the cool surface of the mirror; it occurs to Suwon then that he’s never, not once in his life, imagined being in this situation with another boy, let alone a boy who is his colleague, his friend … Sunghoon.

Suwon repeats his name when Sunghoon doesn’t answer immediately. He is in Suwon’s space, not quite touching him but close enough that Suwon can smell the faint musky smell of his cologne; can almost feel the heat of his body.

Or is that his own?

‘Hoonie,’ he tries again, slipping out the nickname without really thinking. The effect is immediate; Sunghoon’s eyes darken, his pupils dilating noticeably as he parts his lips, the tip of his tongue just visible as he drags it over his teeth.

His voice is low when he finally speaks, a quiet rumble that is unlike his usual tenor, ‘Why are you still practising at this time?’

He’s not only deflecting Suwon’s inquiry, but the nature of Sunghoon’s own question creates a jarring contrast with their not-very-innocent situation. It throws Suwon even more out of the loop and it takes him a moment to gather his thoughts.

‘It’s easier without people around,’ he mutters. ‘It helps me focus …’

He trails off, wondering how to explain that he can work better on improving his dancing without others around to judge him for his slip-ups. But then Sunghoon interrupts,

‘What I meant was, why are you still practising even though promotions ended? We’ve finished all the live performances.’

Suwon doesn’t understand why Sunghoon is asking this, but he answers truthfully, nevertheless, ‘Because I still need more practice than you or the hyungs. I actually made some mistakes in a few of the lives. They weren’t very noticeable, but I have to improve and so, well, yeah…’

Sunghoon doesn’t look surprised at his answer, like he’s already guessed it. ‘But why are you doing it alone? Why not ask Jaeduk hyung or Jaejin hyung for help?’

‘I can correct myself; I just need more practice. Besides, they must be tired. We’ve had activities nonstop for so long -‘

‘Aren’t you tired?’ Sunghoon asks quietly. ‘The lives are over and we’re doing variety now. You can afford to take a break before practising again, you know.’

‘I…’ Suwon swallows, staring at Sunghoon who is still too close, too intense. ‘I was afraid I might lose touch. I don’t want to forget the choreo…’

It had taken him a lot of practice to get down the moves of School Anthem and, especially, Pong Saeng Pom Sa. Suwon is afraid that if he goes even a few days without proper practice, his memory – both brain and muscle – may betray him.

‘You need rest, too,’ Sunghoon points out softly.

‘I will. I just thought I’d practise a bit tonight. Tomorrow’s off, so I can sleep in a bit. I’ll practise again in the evening.’ The words come out choppy and rambling, but Suwon can’t help it; not with the way Sunghoon is looking at him now.

‘Again? Suwon, you … you’re overdoing it. Why are you trying this hard?’

‘I promised, didn’t I? To you and Jiwon hyung. I promised I’d work hard not to let Sechskies down.’

For the first time that night, Sunghoon looks surprised. Jaw slackening, he stares at Suwon almost disbelievingly.

‘Jang Suwon,’ his voice is low, husky, ‘you’re really something else.’

Suwon doesn’t know how to reply to that and merely looks down, licking his lips. He is uncomfortably aware that he is still sweaty from dancing, his shirt sticking to his back where he is backed up against the mirrored wall.

The brush of fingers on his hips makes him jerk his head up, startled. He inhales sharply, eyes widening as he realises that Sunghoon is closer now, almost pressing against him.

Suwon opens his mouth and says Sunghoon’s name – or rather he means to but can’t. There is only silence as he freezes under Sunghoon’s eyes and touch, unable to look away from that dark gaze while his skin burns where Sunghoon is touching him over two layers of clothing.

They are almost the same height, Suwon realises, and the thought is abrupt and incongruous. If anything, Suwon is slightly taller and that surprises him; he feels like he’s been looking up to – and at – Sunghoon ever since they met.

The sharpening scent of Sunghoon’s cologne in his nostrils returns him to his senses, reminds him that he should be paying attention because – oh. Suwon can’t help his little gasp as he finds himself physically pushed up against the wall, Sunghoon’s hands heavy on his hips, his breath hot on his jaw and his heartbeat pounding against Suwon’s chest.

Or is that last one his own?

But that press of Sunghoon’s body flush against his is what finally snaps Suwon out of his daze. The entirety of his emotions in that instant – shock, disbelief and something else he’s never felt before – comes down on him like a suffocating wave and he scrambles simultaneously for escape and purchase.

His hands find Sunghoon’s shoulders, the only place he can grab at this proximity, and in his fluster, he half pushes and half pulls at them.

‘Su-Sunghoon-ah, wai -!’ The pressure is gone from his body before he can finish.

Suwon stares, breathing hard, at Sunghoon who is suddenly three feet away from him. Sunghoon’s eyes are wide, his pupils shaking, as are his hands now hanging limply by his sides. He balls his trembling fingers into fists.

‘I … I’m sorry, Suwon-ah,’ he breathes, looking down. His voice is layered with shock, like he cannot believe what he’s just done. ‘I … I never meant to – I shouldn’t have … I’m sorry.’

‘Sunghoon,’ Suwon begins cautiously, worry trickling into his bewilderment.

The look Sunghoon gives him, however, silences Suwon before he can ask.

Sunghoon sighs heavily, running a hand through his hair. Suwon thinks – or hopes? – that Sunghoon will say something along the lines of, ‘Forget it ever happened’, but he is surprised yet again when instead,

‘Please. Don’t push yourself too hard.’

Suwon gapes at him, at a loss for words.

‘You should rest,’ Sunghoon adds and then turns away with finality. He doesn’t look back as he stiffly walks out of the practice room.

A hollow, ringing silence falls in the room. Several seconds pass before the tension seeps out of Suwon and, with a sharp exhale, he sags against the wall. He stays like that for a long time.

When he finally gathers himself and prepares to leave – the thought of practising now a distant whisper in the back of his head – Suwon takes a moment to look at himself in the mirrored wall. A confused-looking teenager gazes back, his hair cut short and his jaw square and his face not plain per se but nothing special in Suwon’s opinion.

He looks at his reflection and thinks about the Sunghoon he has come to know over the months – Sunghoon who sings with a voice that befits the name of their group, Sunghoon whose soul is as warm and lovely as he looks, Sunghoon who revealed his brilliant smile the first time all six of them completed the routine for School Anthem without a single mistake.

And then he thinks about the Sunghoon he first saw – Sunghoon who looked at Suwon with cool eyes that left him feeling stripped and bare, Sunghoon who saw some mysterious quality in Suwon that no one else sees, Sunghoon who decided that Suwon is worth something and that he wanted him.

He thinks about all the different curves and edges of Kang Sunghoon he has seen and tries to put them together, seeking some explanation for the new Sunghoon he just witnessed only minutes ago. He recalls the way Sunghoon looked at him, touched him, and is wondering where that Sunghoon came from when, out of nowhere, it strikes him –

That Sunghoon has always been there, right under his nose.

Sunghoon, who gives more time to personally mentor Suwon’s singing than to any of the other members’ (without many agency-provided instructors on hand, Sunghoon is basically the trainer for everyone).

Sunghoon, who looks in on Jaeduk’s dance practices with Suwon and, more often than not, joins in (he doesn’t have to; he trains with Jaejin and is a better dancer than Suwon).

Sunghoon, who seeks Suwon out to comfort him after the younger receives a telling-off from their higher-ups or, in increasingly rare cases, Jiwon (the reassurances are unnecessary; he’s long since learnt that Suwon doesn’t take the harsh words to heart).

That Sunghoon – who speaks to Suwon with the intimacy of one who’s known him for years; who gives his undivided attention every time Suwon speaks; who smiles just a little brighter when he catches Suwon’s eye – has been there all along and Suwon has always, on some level, been aware.

But when the stress of training days took over, he’d carelessly brushed off Sunghoon’s attention as a natural coddling of the youngest who also happened to need the most help.

He’s been an idiot, basically.

And now Suwon is left with the disquieting reality that they are not just good friends and compatible colleagues like he’d assumed – not to Sunghoon, anyway. Nor can he attain that familiar if erroneous level of comfort with the other boy again.

As he leaves the room, Suwon can’t help but look back at the wall again. The memory of the look on Sunghoons’ face as he pushed Suwon up against it sends a small shiver down his spine. It hadn’t even occurred to him to ask why Sunghoon had come to the agency in the first place.

For a moment, he dares to wonder if Sunghoon would seek him out in a similar manner again. The very idea assaults him with feelings Suwon cannot get his head around and he quickly heads home, trying not to think about the future.

Later, he will find out that that particular worry is pointless. Sunghoon will not put him in any kind of physically compromising situation again anytime soon.

At least, not for the next three years.

~***~

Practising Jiyong’s lines for their comeback performances feels unsettling, Suwon finds. He wonders if that’s why Sunghoon refused to take on any himself, giving most of them to Suwon instead.

It’s an issue they’ve been skirting around for a long time. All five of them had nursed a tentative spark of hope that Jiyong would return to complete their group. That spark had ignited into a small flame when the production team of Infinity Challenge succeeded in tracking him down at last.

They started out together after all. They are a team of six. Sechskies. The thought of restarting differently doesn’t feel right.

However, deep down, Suwon – and, he suspects, the others too – has always known that that hope cannot be.

He understands, though. They all do. Jiyong has a family now, first and foremost, and a company he has worked hard for. He has spent sixteen years walking down a new path that he’s laid down painstakingly; it’s not something that can be given up to return to an old life.

Underneath it all is the unspoken fact that no one wants to go back to something they were desperate to leave. It is one topic they take care not to discuss in public, but it is the elephant in the room – Jiyong had wanted out from the industry.

They’d known about it even before their disbandment and respected it ever since. And so they quietly set about dividing Jiyong’s lines among themselves, at first for the convenience of holding smoother practice sessions, but then for real when Jiyong confirms with the Infinity Challenge team that he’s not returning to K-pop. They see it coming and they exchange bittersweet smiles among themselves when the cameras are off.

But Suwon is surprised and admittedly a bit pressured when Sunghoon, who’s taken charge of their singing parts, suggests that he fill in for nearly all of Jiyong’s lines.

‘Why’d you do that?’ he asks Sunghoon during a short break in their rehearsal. He keeps his voice low so that the other members won’t overhear him from where they’re discussing the set list for their comeback guerilla concert.

Sunghoon is resting on one of the folding chairs near the stereo system. He raises his eyebrows. ‘Why what?’

Sighing, Suwon settles down on the chair next to him. ‘Why are you giving most of Jiyong’s lines to me?’

His friend looks mildly surprised. ‘You don’t want more lines?’

‘That’s not what I’m saying…’ He frowns, trying to think of a diplomatic way to phrase his thoughts. He doesn’t want to sound like he’s complaining. ‘I think Jiwon hyung would do a good job; he has a really nice singing voice. Jaejin and Jaeduk hyung wouldn’t be bad, either.’

‘And you?’ Sunghoon asks, crocking an eyebrow. He leans back in the chair, crossing one leg over the other. ‘Are you saying you’d do a bad job? You’re a vocal.’

‘Sub vocal,’ he corrects automatically.

‘So?’

Suwon tries not to show frustration on his face. ‘So, why me? Why not the hyungs? Why not you? You’re the main.’

‘I didn’t think you’d complain about getting Jiyong’s lines,’ remarked Sunghoon, watching him with sharp eyes.

Suwon winces slightly. ‘I’m not … complaining.’

‘Then what? What’s the problem?’

Suwon leans back, spreading his legs out in front of him. Trying to convey his thoughts in a roundabout way is not really working out. Though, in truth, he’s never been that good at beating around the bush.

‘I’m not that great a singer, y’know,’ he says wryly.

A short moment of silence follows his frank declaration, punctuated only by the voices of the hyungs who, on the other side of the room, are arguing the pros and cons of adding Reckless Love to their Infinity Challenge comeback. Suwon watches them detachedly.

‘You’re an idiot if you think you’re that terrible at singing.’

The rejoinder is heated and sharp, uttered in that low voice Sunghoon uses when he’s vehement about something.

Before Suwon can reply or even turn back to him, Sunghoon continues, ‘You mightn’t have been all that good when we started out, but you can sing. You’ve a nice voice. Don’t tell me you don’t know for yourself how much you improved since our debut?’

Suwon frowns up at the ceiling. ‘I wasn’t under the impression that I got that good while we were together.’

‘I’m not talking only about before our disbandment.’ A distinct note of irritation creeps into Sunghoon’s voice. ‘I’m talking about J-Walk. You were damn good while you were collaborating with Jaeduk hyung, and you know that.’

Suwon stills at the expression on Sunghoon’s face. It’s not quite anger, but there is something bitter in the blazing look in his eyes.

In that moment, Suwon recalls the conversation he overheard between Sunghoon and Jiwon in the practice room days ago – the one he’d tried not to think about whenever he and Sunghoon are in the same room – and he flushes down to his neck.

The look Sunghoon is giving him also brings back a sudden memory of a night that came a few years after Sechskies disbanded. The night Suwon and Jaeduk had memorably stood on stage with Sunghoon again as they shared an award. They had been a duo and he a solo but fans had still been ecstatic at the sight of half of Sechskies together again, if only for a minute.

Above all that, it was the first time Suwon met Sunghoon in person ever since their group quit, and he still remembers how Sunghoon had looked at them that night. He’d smiled brilliantly for the audience as they accepted their awards and later embraced Jaeduk and Suwon backstage. However, once the cameras and staff were finally out of their faces and Jaeduk momentarily gone, Suwon had seen the sadness in him. Sunghoon hadn’t tried to hide it when their eyes met; he’s never bothered with subtlety around Suwon.

That sorrow had turned bitter when Jaeduk returned to Suwon’s side.

Some of that sadness that night might have been for the Sechskies they once were. But that bitterness was solely for Suwon and Sunghoon himself. Of that Suwon was absolutely certain, especially when he remembered what had happened the night they disbanded. The whole situation had made him feel so out of his depth that Suwon had thought, as happy as he was to meet Sunghoon once more despite everything, it might be for the better if they didn’t see each other again.

The look Sunghoon is giving him now is the same but fiercer and Suwon falters under its weight. He’s known since their reunion that Sunghoon still has those feelings, and the conversation he overheard between Sunghoon and Jiwon only cemented that knowledge.

And yet, just like before, they’re at an impasse. There are times when they can just be great friends and colleagues; but then there are the times when Sunghoon’s unsubtle inclinations overshadow their friendship – though he still hasn’t come right out and actually said anything – which leaves Suwon with two options.

Address the issue himself. Or leave the issue alone.

He’s been going, guiltily, with option number two for years.

Because going with the first option ultimately comes down to either telling Sunghoon to wrap up his feelings and just stop, or … or to kiss Sunghoon and – kiss Sunghoon. Kiss Sunghoon every day until they’re both old and grey, holding wrinkled hands together, and even after that.

His throat closes up and he has to look away from Sunghoon’s piercing gaze. Twenty years ago, the old Suwon, if ever he had decided to address the issue, might have told Sunghoon that there was no chance of them ever happening. But the Suwon from the night they disbanded – the Suwon he is now – knows intimately well that the decision is not that clear-cut.

He is very aware that the other choice is very valid, on the table and … possibly even welcome.

Sunghoon speaks his name then, his voice low and heavy, and Suwon tries not to think about rough fingers in his hair and warm lips against his own.

He knows how Sunghoon kisses.

‘What are you guys talking about?’

Suwon starts when Jiwon’s voice intrudes on his thoughts. The leader has wandered over and is standing over the two of them, wiping his face with a small towel. He appears cheerful but Suwon doesn’t think he is misreading the suspicion in the swift look Jiwon shoots between them.

‘Jiyong’s lines,’ Sunghoon answers smoothly. Suwon almost smiles at his familiar brazen way of breezing over Jiwon’s questions.

‘Ah yeah,’ Jiwon frowns slightly. ‘We suspected it’d turn out like this, but it’s still tough, huh.’ He turns expectantly to Suwon. ‘How’s it going with Jiyong’s parts?’

Suwon hesitates, now recalling the original topic of discussion that had brought him to Sunghoon (before his train of thought was utterly wrecked). Sunghoon looks expressionlessly at him.

‘… I’ll do it.’

‘Eh?’ Jiwon lowers the towel, confused.

Sunghoon, however, begins to smile.

‘I’ll fill in for Jiyong,’ Suwon says in a stronger voice, aware that he’s not really answering Jiwon’s question. He watches Sunghoon’s smile grow. ‘It’s not easy, but I’ll do my best.’

Jiwon lightly smacks him on the shoulder and mock-complains about his cryptic reply. Sunghoon just leans back in his seat again, looking pleased. Suwon just barely catches his softly spoken words,

‘You always do.’

They don’t speak much after that, lapsing into a silence that would be more comfortable if not for Jiwon choosing to sit down on the floor right between the two younger men. He casually waves away Sunghoon’s suggestion to bring another chair and Suwon’s offer of his own seat, but Suwon thinks he knows why Jiwon chose that particular spot.

It’s a relief when Jaejin and Jaeduk finally yell at them to get back to practice.

~***~

Jiyong is the first to notice the tension between Sunghoon and Suwon. It only takes him a few months after their debut.

To Suwon’s knowledge, he is also the only member who’s noticed it. It will take twenty years for Suwon to find out that Jiwon hyung also comes to know, but perhaps being ignorant of that for now is a blessing. Because dealing with Jiyong catching on to the truth is stressful enough.

In retrospect, it’s not all that surprising that Jiyong finds out. If Suwon really thinks about it, it’s actually more surprising that the rest of the members don’t – because the thing with Sunghoon is that, while he’s not verbally explicit about his inclinations towards Suwon, he’s not exactly subtle about the whole thing either.

After that first incident in the practice room, Sunghoon doesn’t touch him inappropriately again. They never talk about what happened that night and, in public and during shoots, Sunghoon maintains a certain amount of distance with Suwon; close enough that it’s not awkward, but far enough that attention is never drawn solely to the two of them.

In private, Sunghoon strikes up the old familiarity and closeness that developed between them during their training. He smiles, he talks, he laughs and, at the best of times, it feels normal and natural and good that Suwon doesn’t feel any unease around him. Sunghoon is warm and comfortable to be with and Suwon feels warm and comfortable being with him.

But in private, out of the limelight and away from the eyes of strangers, there also come the times when Sunghoon unveils that part of him he carefully conceals from the public. The part that jolts Suwon out of his cocoon of comfort and reminds him that things aren’t that simple.

It may happen during a conversation, in the middle of dance rehearsal, inside the recording studio, while they’re eating, in the van riding back home after schedules, or even if they’re doing nothing at all. Suwon can’t anticipate it and Sunghoon never seems overly concerned about when or how he betrays himself.

Such as during conversations, when Sunghoon would archly make a comment at Suwon, seemingly innocuous but with a clear undertone that makes Suwon’s breath hitch. Or in the middle of dance rehearsals, when Sunghoon would unnecessarily join Suwon for extra practice with Jaeduk, smiling with quiet pride as Suwon improves or corrects a mistake. Inside the recording studio, when Sunghoon would catch Suwon’s eye as he sings sweet love songs into the microphone and boldly holds his gaze even as they both blush. While they’re eating, when Sunghoon’s eyes would dip to Suwon’s mouth and linger there, momentarily forgetting his food even as his ramen becomes soggy. Or in the van to and from schedules, when Suwon would doze off and Sunghoon guides his head to lie on his shoulder until the younger wakes up.

And sometimes, even if they’re doing nothing at all, Suwon would catch Sunghoon watching him, a tender curve to his lips and his eyes soft and infinitely fond.

So no, Sunghoon is not verbally forthright about his feelings, but he makes little other effort to hide them.

Which is why it shouldn’t be all that shocking when Jiyong finally lets Suwon know that he’s on to them. But Suwon nearly suffers a silent meltdown anyway. One part of him breaks down in fear – what will happen to him now? To Sunghoon? – while the other heaves a large mental sigh of relief; he no longer has to keep up his endless pretence of being oblivious to Sunghoon all the freaking time.

Jiyong is diplomatic in his approach. He hangs back with Suwon after practising the songs for their next album one day, grabbing the opportunity to ask, ‘Are things OK between you and Sunghoon?’

Suwon blinks. ‘Yes?’

Jiyong furrows his brows, disbelieving. ‘Something is … off, isn’t it?’

‘Off?’ repeats Suwon cautiously. ‘Like what? We’re OK, really. We’re not fighting.’

‘I didn’t say you were fighting.’

‘Then what? We’re friends.’

Jiyong bites his lip. ‘Only just friends?’

Comprehension dawns on Suwon like a bucket of cold water doused on him. ‘I … I … you – what?’

Jiyong comes closer then, lowering his voice though it’s just the two of them in the vocal training room. ‘You’ve noticed it too, right?’ He pauses, looking uncomfortable. ‘Sunghoonie – he … he doesn’t … he doesn’t look at you how … a normal friend would.’

Silence follows his words for a long minute. Suwon can’t meet his eyes, his pulse racing.

‘Suwonnie?’ Jiyong shifts from one foot to the other. ‘Didn’t yo –’

‘Yes, I noticed,’ he breathes. ‘I know.’ He looks anxiously up at Jiyong. ‘Please don’t tell anyone else.’

‘Of course not.’

‘Did you … you didn’t ask Sunghoon about it, did you?’

‘I don’t have to.’ Jiyong heaves a sigh. ‘I know him well enough. Since we were –’

‘- in primary school together,’ Suwon finishes with a faint smile. ‘You’ve only mentioned it sixty two times.’

‘Sorry.’ The amusement is momentary and Jiyong looks concerned again. ‘I was going to leave it alone since it’s none of my business, but, um, I’m worried.’

‘About?’

‘You.’

‘Why me?’

‘Because …’ Jiyong frowns, crossing his arms. ‘When I realised that Sunghoon likes you’ – He doesn’t notice how Suwon stills at hearing those words properly spoken for the first time – ‘I couldn’t help paying more attention and … I noticed that Sunghoon makes you … anxious.’

Suwon feels like laughing and crying at the same time. ‘Am I?’ he half chuckles, massaging the back of his neck.

‘You can talk to me, Suwonnie. You know that.’

‘I don’t know if it makes me anxious,’ he says slowly, ‘but I can’t ignore it.’ He waves an arm limply in the air. ‘It’s like I’m always … aware of it. Sunghoon.’

‘… Are you uncomfortable around Sunghoon now?’

That is trickier to answer. Suwon ponders on it for a long moment.

‘Not always,’ he admits at last. ‘You know Sunghoon; he’s nicer than most people. I meant it when I said we’re friends. He’s great to hang out with and I like his company…’

‘But?’ prompts Jiyong, perceptively catching on to the words Suwon is holding back.

‘But … then he’d do some little thing and I just – I remember that I’m not,’ Suwon turns red, ‘… just a friend. Not to Sunghoon. And I pretend that I don’t notice but inside, I can’t ignore it. It’s always on my mind.’

‘Do you want to ignore Sunghoon?’ asks Jiyong, almost hushed.

Suwon doesn’t even have to think. ‘No!’ He blurts and he’s surprised to realise that he means it wholeheartedly. Despite the awkwardness that comes between them, Suwon doesn’t want to avoid Sunghoon.

Because Sunghoon is … There’s no real explanation. He’s a good person and a great friend and, when things are easy and simple, Suwon genuinely enjoys being with him.

He’s not someone Suwon wants to lose.

‘We’re friends,’ he repeats lamely.

‘So it’s not like you don’t like him or anything.’

‘I … think that’s a universal law that applies in friendships,’ Suwon says wryly, with a wan smile at his weak joke.

Jiyong doesn’t smile back. ‘If you’ve known about it all along,’ he says quietly, ‘why haven’t you said anything to him?’

Suwon goes very still, his thoughts jumping in a thousand different directions.

‘He’s never asked me…’ he says, almost in a whisper.

‘If he ever did, what would you say?’

Suwon swallows. ‘I … I don’t know, Jiyongie.’

‘You don’t know what you want?’ Jiyong says sharply. His expression softens immediately. ‘I … no. I’m sorry. It’s just I’m afraid you both might get hurt if this drags out. Sunghoon’s a very good friend of mine and now you’re too, and -‘

‘I know. It’s OK. But I’m being honest, Jiyong. I really don’t know.’

‘Hasn’t it ever crossed your mind, though?’ Jiyong murmurs. ‘What you’d do if Sunghoon did ask?’

It’s the question that haunts him, in his waking hours when he sees Sunghoon’s unspoken desires, and in his dreams when he remembers Sunghoon’s touch. And it’s the question he can’t answer because both choices lead down roads he can’t handle – losing Sunghoon as his friend if he says no, or … being with Sunghoon, being with Sunghoon, in a relationship he can’t wrap his mind around.

He looks away from Jiyong’s worried gaze.

‘What do you think?’ he asks instead. ‘About all this?’

‘Truthfully…’ Underlying the concern in Jiyong’s voice is sadness. ‘I think it’s unfortunate.’

Suwon raises his eyebrows, eyes widening.

‘Because nothing matches up right now,’ Jiyong explains. ‘Our situation, the timing – everything is wrong. We’ve debuted; we’re not private citizens anymore and we can’t damage our public image. And being Sechskies and with all the schedules we have, it’s all messed up. We don’t have time for ourselves anymore. I think that’s partly why Sunghoon doesn’t say anything. It’s not only him that’ll be affected if anything goes wrong…’

Huh. Suwon bites his lips, contemplating. He’s never thought of it that way. Caught up as he’s been with his awareness of Sunghoon, he hasn’t actually stopped to think about how outside factors may be what’s keeping Sunghoon silent.

He tries to imagine word getting out that two members of Sechskies are involved with each other; he tries to picture how the public would react. Goosebumps rise up his arms and he clenches his fists.

It would destroy them.

‘Also,’ Jiyong suddenly adds, his mouth turning down. ‘You’re both guys.’

Suwon looks up so fast he almost hurts his neck. ‘Uh…’

‘Obviously Sunghoon would hold back even more because of that. I mean, not only does he not know if you like him, he also doesn’t know if you could ever like him. You know?’

He hasn’t thought of that either. It’s never fully factored in that Kang Sunghoon, a guy, has feelings for him. For Suwon it’s always been just Sunghoon having feelings for him.

‘Yeah,’ he says at last, his voice low. ‘I get it.’

Jiyong hesitates, a visible struggle on his face. ‘Suwonnie …’ His tone is careful. ‘I know you’ve had a girlfriend before. But … you’re also saying you don’t know what you want with Sunghoon. Does that mean … you might like him? Possibly?’

In the cacophony of thoughts that go off in Suwon’s head, the answer to that question may have been there. But Suwon can’t grasp it and his voice shakes as he breathes, ‘I’ve no idea, Jiyongie. I like him as my friend. I just don’t know if …’

He can’t finish. He knows he’s not immune to the non-platonic part of Sunghoon; he’s aware that he grows nervous around him, that his heart quickens when Sunghoon gives him one of those loaded looks or that he blushes when Sunghoon makes nonchalant remarks that aren’t entirely innocent.

But that and an actual relationship are two very different things.

Above all that is the primary fact that Sunghoon has not confessed anything to Suwon.

‘OK. I won’t ask any more.’ Jiyong unfolds his arms to wipe a hand through his hair. ‘It’s up to you guys in the end, but …’ He exhales loudly. ‘Well, who knows what’ll happen in the future? I just don’t want you to end up hurt. Either of you.’

Suwon doesn’t reply. He wants the same, but he can’t get rid of the thought that there is no guarantee that either of them will escape unscathed.

A/N: A couple of reference points:

– Sechskies were first called Magma, before a producer saved them from that hell. But I didn’t bother adding that detail

– The award mentioned here, which Sunghoon won with J-Walk after Sechskies disbanded, was the 2002 SBS Gayo Daejeon Popularity Award

– I’m basing Jiyong’s personality on what little I’ve seen of him on Infinity Challenge and tumblr tidbits about his time in Sechskies. I don’t know much about him except that he was mature and a bit shy with a side of mischief in Sechskies ^_^ Also Suwon said in the old days that he’s closest to Sunghoon and Jiyong – much to Jiwon’s chagrin (“What, are you saying we’re not close then?!” XD). So that’s the basis I’m using to make up the rest XD.

Head on over to the trashier second part of this chapter 😀

Unspoken – Part 2

The last few days before filming their comeback on Infinity Challenge whirl by in a blur of endless singing, dancing and nerves that feel almost worse than their debut. Amidst the chaos, Suwon practises Jiyong’s parts day and night by himself, trying to belt them out with the same confidence he feels for his own lines. It’s difficult and stressful but, at last, he nails it.

The first time he gets through their set list without a single mistake or missed cue, Jaeduk praises him loudly, Jaejin gives him a quiet thumbs-up, Jiwon looks like the proud grandpa he’ll never admit he is, and Sunghoon looks so satisfied that Suwon can’t hide his embarrassment.

His reddening face makes Sunghoon laugh. ‘And you were worried about filling in for Jiyong,’ he says teasingly as he approaches the younger man while the rest of the members and their staff prepare to leave for the day.

Suwon runs a hand through his dishevelled hair. ‘I still am.’

‘You shouldn’t be,’ says Sunghoon with conviction. ‘You don’t give yourself enough credit.’ When Suwon doesn’t respond, he adds, ‘I wish you would. I knew from the start you’d be able to do it.’

‘I only got it right ’cause I tried too hard,’ Suwon murmurs for lack of anything else to say.

Sunghoon stares at him, inscrutable. The silence is a strange mix of familiarity and tension, and Suwon continues, just to break the quiet, ‘Sorry, did I sound like an audacious asshole just now?’

He expects Sunghoon to smile at the joke, but he doesn’t. A bit flustered, Suwon carries on, ‘I mean I get it. I’m not that competitive and Jiwon hyung’s never stopped nagging me about how I just can’t be bothered to care about things, especially when he drags me on variety shows with him, but I -‘

‘But you work hard for Sechskies.’

Suwon trails off, taken aback.

‘That’s how I knew you could take over Jiyong’s parts. You always try that hard.’

Sunghoon’s gaze is heavy and his voice soft and his last remark hits Suwon with the strangest feeling of déjà vu. It brings to mind images of harsh electric lights and mirrored walls, the distant blare of a stereo in an empty practice room, hot breath on his lips and a pounding heartbeat pressed against his own…

“Why are you trying this hard?”

Suwon exhales at the memory. He stares at Sunghoon, aware that his face is colouring again, but Sunghoon says nothing else on the topic. When they resume rehearsals again the next day, Suwon keeps on practising the songs. He doesn’t stop even long after he’s memorised Jiyong’s parts enough to not even need cues.

Because Suwon is determined that everything from his side, for the stage that they’ve been preparing for so long, must and will be perfect.

When that long anticipated and dreaded day finally arrives, their comeback truly is, all things considered, as close to perfection as it possibly can be. They’re standing on stage as Sechskies again – a dream that once felt as distant as the stars – and … they’re not alone, they haven’t been abandoned. The bright sea of yellow that welcomes them is stunning and they’re overwhelmed by the sight they’d once thought they wouldn’t see again. They sing, they dance, and they cry and their fans – fans that have grown up like them, fans that have been waiting years to don the old yellow raincoats and wave yellow balloons again – sing and chant and cry too.

And at the very end, when their weeping audience is shocked by a smiling Ko Jiyong who joins them onstage for the final two performances, everything is perfect. It’s not forever, but it’s perfect and it’s enough.

To have one last night together as all six, to see Jiyong introduce himself as Sechskies with them, to provide closure to their faithful fans who all know this moment won’t last … it’s enough.

Suwon had been stunned and a little choked up himself when Jiyong shyly entered the Infinity Challenge filming scene earlier, surprising the members and their hosts right before the concert. The members’ happiness and astonishment at Jiyong’s last-minute arrival are matched only by the emotional response of their fans, whose voices reach a deafening crescendo as the last notes of Couple fade away.

When they gather together for the final bow and Jiwon flings his arm around Jiyong’s shoulders, crushing their long lost member to his side, Suwon looks around and tries to commit every detail to memory.

Jiyong is here, their fans are here, they’re Sechskies again and Suwon belongs.

Which is why when it’s all over, the post-concert interview for Infinity Challenge done with and the cameras gone, Suwon has absolutely no room for shame when his tears finally fall in the privacy of their changing room.

He’s not the only one. Jaeduk drops into a chair and weeps into his hands while Jaejin strips out of his costume with his face hidden. Across from Suwon, Jiwon is brusquely wiping away every tear that dares to fall as he wrestles with his strange arm gauntlets. Sunghoon just braces his palms on a vanity table, staring at his reflection with red eyes.

It is a delicate moment, charged with overflowing emotion and yet soft around the edges with a warm tranquillity.

The moment ends when Jiyong, with a soft knock, opens the door. Quite a lot of the awkwardness between them has dissipated since the concert and interview, but now he hesitates on the threshold, his smile tentative.

Before Jiyong can even open his mouth, Jiwon says, ‘Just come in, you,’ and pulls him inside by the wrist. He does it so naturally, like there isn’t a void spanning sixteen years of no contact between them, that Suwon feels a little punch drunk at the sight of it.

Jiwon plonks Jiyong down on the chair next to Suwon. He gives him a long, appraising look.

‘How the hell do you still look so disgustingly good, huh?’

The icebreaker works, prompting laughter out of everyone while Jiyong grins, his cheeks flushing red.

‘It’s just his suit, hyung,’ Suwon quips, unable to resist the chance to tease his old friend. He blames Jiwon’s influence. ‘Put him in size-forty hip-hop pants and he’d look as horrible as us. Not even being the visual could’ve saved him from the horror of the nineties’.’

‘Thanks, Suwon-ah,’ Jiyong finally speaks, eyes crinkled in a smile. ‘I see you still haven’t lost that tongue of yours.’

‘He’s gotten worse over the years,’ says Jaeduk, who’s finally stopped crying altogether.

‘Well, what can you expect,’ adds Jiwon with a huff. ‘Speaking shit about everyone is his one God-given talent.’

‘So you can’t begrudge me for flaunting my one talent,’ Suwon chuckles. He quickly leans back in his chair when Jiwon pretends to smack him.

‘Oh, there’s more to Suwon than that,’ Sunghoon speaks up, ‘but Jaejin hyung’s been giving him a serious run for his money lately.’ Smiling, he nods his head towards Jaejin, who is wrestling to pull on a tee shirt.

At being addressed, Jaejin pauses and gives an awkward wave to Jiyong with one arm stuck halfway through a sleeve. ‘Hello, Jiyongie.’

‘Hello, Jaejin hyung,’ Jiyong returns with an amused smile, but his voice is drowned out by Jiwon yelling at Jaejin, ‘Man, what, you hadn’t greeted Jiyong still? Get with the times, idiot!’

‘I hugged him on stage. At the end.’ Jaejin says with a shrug, finally succeeding in pulling on the shirt.

‘That’s not a greeting,’ Jiwon retorts.

‘Hugs between men are considered a formal greeting in Saudi Arabia.’

‘Since when were you an expert on Saudi Arabian greetings?!’

‘I thought they just shook hands in Saudi Arabia,’ Jaeduk adds, looking puzzled.

Jiyong starts to laugh then, low but genuine. ‘Nothing’s really changed, has it,’ he comments, mostly to Suwon and Sunghoon since their hyungs are hurtling down their new spiral of what constitutes as a greeting in the Persian Gulf.

‘Nothing except gaining a few more wrinkles. And creaky bones,’ Suwon grins.

‘You haven’t changed much, either,’ says Sunghoon to Jiyong, approaching the two younger men to be heard over the squabble of the older members (‘Kissing is also considered a greeting in some countries, why don’t you go and smooch Jiyongie, huh?’)

Jiyong raises his eyebrows at the remark, lips twitching. ‘I think I should be saying that to you, Sunghoon-ah?’

Sunghoon laughs, throwing his head back. ‘Now where have I heard that before?’ he muses, throwing a fond smile at Suwon.

Suwon shrugs nonchalantly. ‘Well, it’s true. At least Jiyongie and I have the decency to look our age.’

‘You realise that’s not an insult to me at all?’

‘It wasn’t meant to be.’

‘Not true. He just called you indecent,’ Jiyong tells Sunghoon in a mock-serious voice, which takes Suwon by mild surprise. It reminds him, more strongly than ever, of times bygone when they’d all gather and have japing conversations like these.

Sunghoon gives a loud, dramatic sigh. ‘Yeah. Clearly I’m not an exception to Suwon’s shit-talking either. And here I thought I was special.’

‘I don’t play favourites,’ Suwon shoot backs, playing along.

‘Lies. You once said on a show that me and Jiyong are the members you’re close with,’ Sunghoon counters, grinning broadly. ‘So, according to you, I count as one of your favourites.’

‘Oh, I think I remember that,’ Jiyong chuckles. ‘Wasn’t Jiwon hyung sitting right next to Suwonnie when he said that? He started whining at Suwon right then and there.’

‘As if Jang Suwon would ever care if his leader threw a tantrum on camera.’ Sunghoon spares an amused glance at Jiwon who is still debating heatedly with Jaejin and Jaeduk.

‘You know me, I can’t be bothered,’ Suwon replies lazily, crossing his arms. ‘Not my fault if people can’t handle me speaking the truth.’

Sunghoon gives him a calculating look at that while Jiyong stifles what sounds like a snort. ‘You’re closer with Jiwon hyung than before though,’ the former points out.

‘We grew close over time.’

‘So your truth has changed over time,’ Sunghoon states, smirking in that oddly sweet way only he can pull off.

Suwon can practically feel Jiyong’s amusement wash over him at the sudden turn of tables. ‘I … yeah, I guess,’ Suwon ventures cautiously.

‘So what’s the truth now? Am I no longer a favourite?’ Sunghoon pulls on a pout, his eyes twinkling. ‘Is that why you talk shit about me now?’

It’s hard to keep a straight face but Suwon manages. ‘You really want to hear the truth?’

Sunghoon is also struggling to look serious as he nods, but he can’t hide the curl of his lips.

‘The horrible, ugly, naked truth is … I grew close with all the hyungs in time, and so both of you dear same-age once-special friends of mine became obsolete.’

Jiyong chortles while Sunghoon gives Suwon an exaggerated expression of crippling sorrow.

‘You and your poisonous tongue,’ Jiyong shakes his head. ‘Jaeduk hyung’s right, it’s gotten worse.’

‘He can instigate wars between countries by himself,’ Sunghoon agrees.

Suwon bursts out laughing. ‘I think that’s Jaejin hyung, though. Unlike him, I actually have a working filter.’

‘You just called us obsolete.’

‘Why should I filter that out?’ Suwon asks innocently while Jiyong laughs harder.

‘To not hurt others’ feelings? Like a decent human being?’ Sunghoon raises a sardonic eyebrow.

‘The way I see it, true indecency is leading people on by pretending to like them when you don’t.’

‘… Ah.’ There’s a pause. ‘So you don’t like me, huh.’

‘Not as much as you’d hope.’ Suwon grins playfully at Jiyong. His smile fades a bit when he sees that Jiyong suddenly looks uneasy, his eyebrows furrowed.

‘You break my heart, Suwonnie.’

‘Don’t I always -‘ Suwon stops talking, abruptly catching on to the situation. It dawns on him that he, in his enjoyment of their nostalgic snarking, has taken his comebacks at Sunghoon down the wrong road without giving a damn thought to what he’s actually saying.

Jiyong is gazing at Sunghoon, his expression uncomfortable but knowing. Suwon’s heart sinks.

He turns to Sunghoon and immediately wishes he could rewind their conversation. Sunghoon is still wearing a smile, but it is weary and strained around the edges; he meets Suwon’s eyes briefly before he straightens, looking nonchalantly round at their older members whose argument finally seems to be winding down.

Suwon sits rigidly, feeling guilt and reproach eating away at his insides. He’s hit below the belt, he knows. “True indecency is leading people on by pretending to like them when you don’t”? He wants to punch himself in the face.

He had said that – and the rest – in jest. Sunghoon must know that. Suwon is sure that Sunghoon knows that … but he also knows – should’ve known – that, whether a joke or not, a tactless comment like that from him would’ve cut Sunghoon deep.

He feels stupid and wretched, and he wishes … he wishes for quite a lot of things. He wishes he could take those words back. He wishes he knew what to say to make things right. He wishes they could return to being friends, true and proper.

A thought parallel to that also wishes that Sunghoon would lose that dullness in his eyes and look at Suwon again, smiling.

And somewhere deep inside, in a dark guilty part of him, there is a hushed whisper that wishes that he were blind … blind to Sunghoon and everything he wants from Suwon. Wants but never says.

‘So have you decided? About how they greet people in other countries?’ Sunghoon is saying suddenly and Suwon looks up to see that Jiwon, Jaejin and Jaeduk are finally gathered by the younger three.

‘The only conclusion is that Lee Jaejin is not from this world and it’s pointless to attempt to communicate with him,’ Jiwon grunts, coming round to perch on the arm of Suwon’s chair.

‘Hyung is just upset because I made him Google it and he found out I was right about -‘ Jaejin begins but is cut off by their leader.

‘Half-right! There was more to it on the website, but guess what, it doesn’t even matter because Lee Jaejin might be an alien but we’re Koreans here and we do Korean greetings -‘

‘Just ignore it,’ Jaeduk sighs. ‘I regret getting involved. Also, sorry about that, Jiyong-ah. We meant to properly catch up with you, but…’

‘It’s alright, hyung,’ Jiyong smiles. ‘Actually, seeing you hyungs like that was … nostalgic.’

‘I bet,’ Jiwon snorts. ‘You guys were having a ball, too. The three members of WhiteKies together at last, eh.’ He grins in turn at Sunghoon, Suwon and Jiyong.

‘Well, our ball wasn’t as, er, passionate as yours,’ Sunghoon says amusedly. ‘We just talked.’

‘So did we!’

‘If you call that talking, I never want to hear the BlackKies shout,’ Suwon says dryly.

Jiwon promptly smacks him on the head, growling ‘Punk’ under his breath. Amidst the round of laughter it elicits, Suwon can feel the atmosphere in the room returning to normal. Sunghoon is cheerful again and Jiyong looks at ease; for now, things are alright again. So Suwon smiles too, and settles into the easy banter and conversation that come as they enjoy, for that night at least, the joy and nostalgia of being six once more.

As time ticks away unbeknownst to them, they talk about their comeback guerrilla stage and the fans they’d been terrified to hope would actually show up, finally putting into words the emotions they couldn’t articulate on stage. They ask after Jiyong and where his new life has led him, giggling and exclaiming over pictures of his son and wife. And they speak of future plans and dream more dreams until a staff member finally shows up and tells them, almost pleading, that they really have to leave the changing room now.

As they exit the venue, five in casual clothes and one in a suit, Suwon doesn’t feel like they’re just Sechskies again, but the group of friends they used to be, years and years ago.

It’s a feeling he’s missed and doesn’t want to miss again.

It won’t be the same as before, Suwon knows, but it’s still good. Phone numbers are exchanged, and it’s a relief to see Jiyong’s name in the online chat group they create for the six of them. A group just for friends, not for work. It’s nice.

They start talking with Jiyong mostly in the group itself, keeping things impersonal by involving all the members. They’re all busy, the five of them with Sechskies’ activities and Jiyong with his own work. But they still find moments to have little conversations here and there, keeping each other posted on big things and little things, with the occasional cat video and pictures of food flooding the chat.

It’s not that long before it becomes comfortable to talk one-on-one with Jiyong again, outside of the group chat. For Suwon it’s only occasional, but he and Jiyong exchange light-hearted messages, getting back into the groove of their old friendship. It’s familiar and new at the same time.

Suwon doesn’t know what Jiyong talks about with other members privately – if any of them do talk to him outside of the group chat, that is – but now and then, he asks Suwon about the members. Curious and thoughtful questions about what they’re like now, the things that have changed, what hasn’t changed…

Suwon can understand the inquisitiveness. He also figures that Jiyong is comfortable asking him since they’re the closest in age, on top of their old closeness.

Their talks are surprisingly easy despite the long years of no contact. Jiyong’s questions and comments aren’t overly personal and Suwon enjoys their chats until, a few weeks after their Infinity Challenge comeback is broadcasted, Jiyong breaches a subject Suwon is not expecting.

Ko Jiyong | 23:29
Are you free right now? Or doing a late schedule?
Suwon sees the message when he checks his phone after getting into bed.
Jang Suwon | 23:37
Does your wife know you chat up other men while she’s sleeping?
Ko Jiyong | 23:39
What the … typical
I’m not even going to bother
I assume you’re free
Jang Suwon | 23:42
If you’re thinking of meeting up for drinks – NO
I have work tomorrow
And I’ve been dragged out at ungodly hours enough times by Jiwon hyung
Ko Jiyong | 23:44
Don’t worry, drinks another time hehe..
I just have something I’ve wanted to ask you for a while
Jang Suwon | 23:45
OK….
Ko Jiyong | 23:45
I wasn’t sure earlier
I mean I didn’t think it was my place
Jang Suwon | 23:46
If you’re taking that long to ask, I’m going to sleep
Ko Jiyong | 23:47
Did you speak to Sunghoon about that again? Afterwards I mean?

Suwon blinks at his phone screen, his drowsy mind suddenly alert. Before he can reply, Jiyong sends another message,

Ko Jiyong | 23:48
He seemed upset that day
So did you
I was concerned but it didn’t feel right to say anything then..
Jang Suwon | 23:49
What are you talking about?
Ko Jiyong | 23:51
You know what
That night when the three of us were talking…
Did you speak to Sunghoon about it again later?

Suwon doesn’t reply for a minute. He remembers, vividly, Sunghoon’s reaction when Suwon had unthinkingly taken his banter too far.

“So you don’t like me, huh.”

“Not as much as you’d hope.”

He sighs heavily, squeezing his eyes shut until his phone pings again.

Ko Jiyong | 23:53
Suwonnie? You there?
I’m sorry if I’m prying..
Jang Suwon | 23:53
No I haven’t spoken to him
About that
Ko Jiyong | 23:54
Ah..

Suwon hovers his thumbs over his phone’s touch screen. He’s torn and doesn’t know how to explain it to Jiyong; that he wants to apologise for hurting Sunghoon, but doing so would mean admitting that he’s aware of Sunghoon’s enduring feelings.

And that is a Pandora’s Box he’s not sure he should open.

Ko Jiyong | 23:56
I was really surprised
I didn’t think that would’ve been the same after all this time …. It’s been so long..
Jang Suwon | 23:57
That?

Suwon regrets his response the moment he presses send. He braces himself for Jiyong’s reply, but it still knocks the breath out of him, setting his pulse racing in the darkness of his room as he reads,

Ko Jiyong | 23:58
Sunghoon is still in love with you.. right?

~***~

Three years feel like half a lifetime.

When he will later think back on those days, Suwon won’t be able to comprehend how they were able to hold on for even that long. Even now at just twenty, he feels like he’s been living like a dead man walking and he doesn’t remember what being rested and healthy feel like anymore. Looking at the other members, he sees the same thing.

They’ve been wrung beyond what they can give, by people who don’t really care as long as cash keeps flowing in. It’s the breaking point now. It’s a terrible reality to face, but it’s unavoidable.

They can’t go on anymore.

Jiyong is the first to burn out. As the harsh reality of agency-powered idol life drowns them, he admits at last that it’s not an industry he wants to pursue. The other members fall too, one by one, but it’s different for each. Jiwon is a natural in entertainment, dance flows through the veins of Jaejin and Jaeduk, Sunghoon was born to sing, and as for Suwon, he’s grown attached to what he’s practised and trained himself over the past few years for. Their hearts still lean toward this field, but they cannot survive their suffocating contract anymore.

Sechskies are over.

Something irreplaceable shatters in the moment they reach that decision, the moment they make the official announcement, the moment the ending notes of “Remember Me” fade away, marking their very last performance together. The heartbreak is boundless and tears immeasurable and, as they take their final bow to their weeping fans after the farewells, it sinks in then that this is it. This is the end.

Three years in, at the prime of their youth, this is how they fade out. Suwon can’t believe it.

They are numb when they gather together to say goodbye after the Dream Concert, out of stage costumes and back in their own clothes which feel alien and foreign against their skin. The atmosphere is weighed down with things unsaid and feelings unexpressed, but words are insufficient now. In the long drawn-out silence, they simply embrace each other, mumbling half-coherent nothings into each other’s shoulders and hair.

There are no inhibitions in those moments. Jaejin is the first to grab Suwon in a crushing hug, his previous regard for personal space all but gone. Suwon clings back just as tightly and then goes to each and every one of the rest. He rubs Jaeduk’s back comfortingly as he cries into Suwon’s neck before turning to embrace Jiyong, promptly butting his forehead on the other’s nose because Jiyong is a freaking giraffe. They gasp out weak chuckles before letting go and then it’s Jiwon’s arms around him this time. The leader’s face is pressed against the side of his own, and Suwon fancies Jiwon brushes a kiss, and maybe a teardrop, somewhere around his jawline but he isn’t sure.

Sunghoon is the last to meet his eyes, mute in his sorrow. For once, there isn’t a single fibre in Suwon that hesitates; he steps easily into Sunghoon’s arms, firm yet somehow fragile as they wrap around him. He puts his own around Sunghoon’s shoulders and leans against him, breathing in that faint musky scent Sunghoon wears. They haven’t touched like this since … in a very long time. But it’s comforting and familiar in its intimacy, and Suwon doesn’t want to pull away right now.

Is this the last he sees of Sunghoon? All of them?

‘We shouldn’t go to our homes tonight,’ Jiwon’s voice drags him back. The leader is speaking quietly, one last piece of advice before they part ways. ‘It’ll be a mess. All the fans…’ He trails off but they know what he’s getting at.

‘Yeah.’

‘We know, hyung…’

An unspoken question hangs in the air whether they should go into hiding together for that night, at least until the chaos of their disbandment simmer down outside. No one voices it out loud, though. The temptation is great but Suwon holds himself in check.

It’s not just that they’d be in greater danger of being recognised if they’re together. It’s the fact that they’re over now; from the moment they took their last bow.

The idea of sticking together tonight hurts.

There is only one thing left. They disperse.

Hats pulled low over their eyes or coat lapels turned up around the lower halves of their faces, they set off on their solitary routes. Suwon doesn’t ask where the rest of the members are going; it’s past midnight and he doesn’t know where to go himself. The only sure thing is that they can’t go home tonight. Suwon can’t even imagine attempting to handle the throngs of hysterical fans that would be waiting in front of his apartment; he’d be alone and –

Right. He is alone.

He doesn’t have a manager anymore. He doesn’t have members anymore.

With every step he takes, the staggering truth sinks in even deeper until it is like a weight pressing down on his very soul. Every breath stings and his vision turns blurry with burning tears, but Suwon just picks up his pace, pulling his denim jacket closer around him.

Around him, the world is transitioning from Spring to Summer but he feels cold. He is alone and doesn’t know where he’s going and he doesn’t care.

It doesn’t matter.

‘Suwon-ah…!’

That voice is the last thing he expects to hear and Suwon pulls up short, his sneakers skidding on the pavement.

‘Suwon.’ In the seconds he remains frozen, the voice moves closer, now speaking directly from behind him. Suwon shivers when its source comes round to stand in front of him, his heart screaming with both gladness and distress.

He’d wanted to see him again but he doesn’t want to either. It’s too soon and the hurt is too raw.

Sunghoon’s voice is soft, ‘Where are you going?’

Suwon shrugs, looking down to hide his wet eyes. ‘Don’t know. Nowhere.’ Just like his life right now.

He wants to laugh at the thought. He’s twenty this year and already washed up.

‘I’ve nowhere to go too.’

Suwon says nothing, waiting for Sunghoon to explain why he chose to follow him then. He would think Sunghoon would’ve gone with Jiwon or Jiyong instead.

Sunghoon’s eyes are shadowed, his eyebrows lost under the beanie he’s wearing to hide his dyed hair. ‘I didn’t feel like being alone tonight.’

Suwon feels like it, though. But when Sunghoon says, almost in a whisper, ‘Can I come with you?’, he doesn’t have the heart to refuse him. He starts walking again and Sunghoon falls into step with him.

Not a word is exchanged as they traipse aimlessly along the emptier side lanes of Seoul, avoiding the main roads and any people that happen to come their way. There’s a soft wind blowing, cool but with the promise of oncoming summer heat, and the waning moon making its slow march across the sky is large but dull behind thin clouds.

The night feels as empty as Suwon does.

He suspects the situation is anything but in the populous areas of Seoul. Despite the hour, Suwon has a gut feeling that things must be going to hell in the city following their … disbandment. The word is still foreign and it makes him flinch. But right now, he’s away from all that and he wants to avoid the mess for as long as possible.

It’s quieter on the side streets; there’s hardly anyone else around now, but the silence is not easy either. The shared sadness between him and Sunghoon is nearly palpable in its abundance, but there are no words to alleviate it. So he keeps his mouth shut and they just walk, sticking close but with an invisible wall between them.

Sunghoon feels like he’s miles away.

Hours must pass as they trail through the lesser tracked roads of the suburbs, but Suwon doesn’t keep track of time and his feet don’t tire. He becomes aware only much later that, at some unknown point, Sunghoon has taken the lead in their wandering. He lets him, following half a step behind as they tread on for ages, finally emerging from the suburbs on to the Han River.

Suwon becomes aware of his surroundings several minutes after they’ve been walking along the riverfront. He blinks around in mild surprise, not prepared to face people yet, but he realises that Sunghoon is leading them along the more secluded areas of the river. There are more trees here and narrower cycling lanes. This early in the morning, there’s not a soul in sight here.

Sunghoon finally ends their meandering walk at an empty bench, half hidden between two trees. Without a second thought, Suwon joins him on it and they gaze, with distant eyes, at the black waters of Han River; it glimmers and shines under the lights of the Seoul skyline.

The wind is cooler here and the sky doesn’t seem so dark anymore. Suwon glances at his watch and is shocked to realise just how much time has passed.

‘It’ll be sunrise soon,’ he murmurs, and is startled himself at how loud his voice sounds after a night of silence. With the words also come awareness of the ache in his legs and just how exhausted he really is.

‘We should start heading back soon then,’ Sunghoon responds quietly, still looking afar.

‘Head back where?’ Suwon mumbles, not really expecting a reply.

Sunghoon shrugs a shoulder. ‘Somewhere. Home, maybe. We can hide for only so long…’

Home. Suwon picks at the hem of his denim jacket. He can’t place that word anymore. They’ve never lived together as Sechskies, but Suwon suddenly can’t call his little apartment home anymore. It’s waiting for him, but that place is empty and lonely; it doesn’t welcome him like his parents’ house does … or any room with Jiwon, Jaejin, Jaeduk, Sunghoon and Jiyong. He wonders if it has ever really been home.

They watch the sky lighten, shade by shade, until the first tinges of pink emerge in the east. The chirping of crickets fade away, almost unnoticeable, replaced by the songs of birds. The Han River doesn’t look black anymore.

Suwon gets to his feet at last, every muscle in his legs protesting. He exhales loudly, dropping his head back for one last glance up at the sky. This is it, then.

He turns to Sunghoon, not really knowing what to say. Sunghoon’s eyes gazing up at him are dull and unreadable. Suwon misses his smile.

Good bye? See you around? None of it feels right. He doesn’t even know if he will meet Sunghoon again and the thought feels like a gut punch.

‘Take care,’ he gives a strained smile. There is a flicker of something on Sunghoon’s face but Suwon can’t bear to hang around any longer, delaying the inevitable. He quickly heads back towards the narrow riverfront lane.

He is caught before he’s even left the cover of the trees. Strong fingers around his elbow whip him round, making him almost stumble, and Suwon gapes at Sunghoon who is stammering his name, his voice shaking.

And Suwon stills, speechless, as he realises he’s seeing Sunghoon as he has never shown himself before. Every little thing he’s ever felt for Suwon is now laid bare, exposed and vulnerable. Even during his most unsubtle episodes, Sunghoon has never looked at him with that much longing and desperation before. It takes the breath right out of Suwon and he feels light-headed, frozen under the intensity of Sunghoon’s gaze. He’s burning with every unspoken desire and feeling he’s harboured for Suwon since they met in that small audition room and Suwon can see them, feel them, as if they were his own.

Sunghoon parts his lips and steps forward, but for a split second – an eternity – he hesitates. And in that second, it strikes Suwon all over again how stunning Sunghoon is. He always has been, but years of seeing him daily has lessened the impact of it. But now, it’s all Suwon can focus on.

Even with tired eyebags and downturned mouth, his dark eyes hooded and his pale skin grey in the light of dawn, Kang Sunghoon is still the most alluring thing Suwon’s seen. His heart skips a beat.

And then the moment passes and Sunghoon is growling, ‘Fuck it.’

His hand is around the back of Suwon’s neck before the younger can blink, knocking over the baseball cap Suwon is wearing to hide his bleached hair. And then Sunghoon is pulling him forward, his lips parting to meet Suwon’s in a searing kiss.

Suwon gasps, his breath catching in his throat, but it’s all lost in Sunghoon’s mouth. His hand at Suwon’s elbow comes around his waist, crushing Suwon against Sunghoon, while his other hand winds up through Suwon’s hair. His fingers are rough, tugging at Suwon’s locks, but his lips are warm and soft as Sunghoon kisses him, hot and impassioned.

It is by no means Suwon’s first kiss, but he has never been kissed like this before. Sunghoon kisses him like a man starved, moving their mouths together with wanton need. He can’t seem to take his hands off Suwon, dragging them up and down his back, carressing over his neck and down his arms, but always keeping him within Sunghoon’s embrace. He cards his fingers through Suwon’s hair again, guiding his head back to mouth at his lower lip; he slows down for a moment, sucking and tugging with his teeth lightly before he suddenly bites down. Suwon gasps at the sensation, involuntarily parting his lips, and that’s all the invitation Sunghoon needs to immediately deepen the kiss.

Suwon falls apart after that.

He grasps Sunghoon’s shoulders to ground himself as Sunghoon licks into his mouth, kissing him even harder if that were possible. He barely realises it when he starts to kiss Sunghoon back, cupping his face with a hand before reaching up and pulling off his beanie to touch his hair. Sunghoon groans against his mouth, a sound that shoots a jolt of arousal through Suwon, and nips at his lips again. He presses Suwon even closer so that they’re flush against each other, their heartbeats wild and pounding.

It reminds Suwon of the first time Sunghoon touched him like this, of the emotions he’d seen in Sunghoon’s eyes then. But he now realises that that was a watered down version of what Sunghoon truly feels inside. Sunghoon is pouring out everything here now; years and years of repressed desires and longing that he’s putting into this kiss, and it’s unlike anything Suwon’s felt before that he can barely breathe.

Is this what Sunghoon had wanted to do in the practice room that night so long ago? Had his feelings been as fervent then as what he’s showing Suwon now?

And would Sunghoon have, Suwon can’t help but wonder, done this a long time ago already if only their situation had not held him back? If they hadn’t been celebrities, if they didn’t have to be careful about public images, if they didn’t have fame and consequences to worry about –

Suwon freezes, his mouth going slack, suddenly reminded of what they’re doing – what he’s doing – out here in public by the Han River.

They may not be idols anymore but they’re not inconsequential enough yet to have nothing to lose.

Sunghoon, in his fervour, takes several seconds to realise that Suwon is not returning his kiss anymore. When he does, he pulls away with a suddenness that leaves Suwon shaken and wanting. His eyes dip to Sunghoon’s lips, reddened and inviting, and he wishes that Sunghoon kisses him again.

The thought is sudden and candid, a wish that’s never crossed his mind before. Suwon looks up at Sunghoon’s wide eyes and that’s when he knows, without a doubt, that if Sunghoon were to finally ask him, here and now … he would say yes.

But that new thought has barely formed when Suwon notices that things aren’t coming around. Sunghoon is still staring at him, his dark eyes wide. Confusion is written all over his face, but as the silence drags on, his expression crumples. He drops his gaze, his cheeks flaming red, and he massages the back of his neck, avoiding looking at Suwon.

Humiliation, Suwon recognises belatedly. Sunghoon is humiliated, because –

Because … Suwon kissed him back and then he didn’t. He kissed him back – and then as good as rejected him without a word.

Suwon moves to step forward then, opening his mouth to explain, but Sunghoon speaks up, still looking at the ground.

‘I’m sorry. I … I probably shouldn’t have done that. It was a mistake.’

Suwon stills, hardly believing his ears. A mistake?

Sunghoon glances at him then, still brimming with mortification but Suwon recognises the familiar longing in his eyes. Sunghoon doesn’t give him the chance, though.

‘Take care of yourself, Suwon.’

Words unsaid follow that statement but then Sunghoon leaves, walking fast with his shoulders hunched and his head bowed. Suwon can only watch him go, dismayed. There’s a part of him urging him to go after Sunghoon, but the other part – his pride that is wounded – is listening to Sunghoon’s voice, echoing the word “mistake” over and over in his mind.

He watches Kang Sunghoon walk away and his heart wrenches as he thinks that this is how they end, before they even had a chance to truly begin.

A/N: Ho dang. This grew to be so long that I even put off another major scene I initially planned for this part to the next – and hopefully last – chapter.

I’m hoping it won’t turn out as monstrously long as this update XD And don’t worry, I’ll make these failures-at-communicating idjits get it together before the end ^_^;

*Special shout out to Helene for tolerating how much I whined at her on different social media platforms about My New Trash Fic, and was lovely and supportive and just generally too good too pure for this world. I hope you enjoyed these 14K words of bullshit I promised you, Hels XD*

Advertisements

Whenever I’m With You by: reynzt15 part 4.5

whenever im with you.JPG

Side Story 2: Meet the Parents

Gosh this is freaking me out. I’m a nervous wreck!! I just hope I don’t slip up. I hope I don’t do or say anything stupid. Keep calm Kang Sunghoon.

Despite looking calm, Sunghoon’s insides were a jumble of nerves. Only Jiwon’s warm hand against his own calmed him down, but it was still not enough.

“Eomma, wasseoyo!” Jiwon called out, literally dragging Sunghoon with him. He looked back and arched an eyebrow at Sunghoon, who was frozen in his spot. Lowering his voice, he asked, “Yah, mwohago issni (what are you doing)?”

“I’m really nervous hyung.” Sunghoon whispered back.

“Relax, Mom’s not gonna bite.” Jiwon assured him.

Sunghoon breathed in and out to calm his nerves.

“Ooh wasseo?” Jiwon’s mom stepped out from the dining room. “Yeobo, they’re here.” She called out to her husband who promptly showed up behind her.

Sunghoon bowed low, greeting them politely. His nervousness seemed to dissipate as soon as he saw Jiwon’s parents. They felt familiar somehow.

“So this is THE Kang Sunghoon. Jiwon told us a lot about you.” Jiwon’s father walked up to Sunghoon and shook his hand.

Jiwon’s mother did the same, hugging him to her instead. “Actually, all Jiwon talked about was you.” she said smiling up at Sunghoon making him blush.

“Mom, Dad you’re embarassing him.” Jiwon protested, as he put his arm around Sunghoon’s shoulders, squeezing his arm lightly in reassurance. “We’re actually quite hungry Mom. We haven’t eaten lunch yet.” Jiwon purposely diverted their attention from Sunghoon knowing he’s getting more embarassed. It worked.

“Aigoo! You two shouldn’t be skipping meals! Come on, the table’s waiting.” and she hurried over to the dining room.

Jiwon’s dad smiled. “We should eat before the food gets cold.” as he too turned towards the dining area.

Jiwon nodded and ushered Sunghoon towards the dining room, where his parents waited.

The table was groaning with food. Jiwon marvelled at the delicious feast in front of them.

“Mom, are we expecting someone else? I think you can feed a whole basketball team with these.”

“Nonsense! Seat yourselves so we can eat.” she ordered. “Sunghoon-ah, don’t be shy. You can eat anything you please.”

Sunghoon bowed in gratitude. “Nae eomoni.”

And so dinner started, with Jiwon’s parents quizzing Sunghoon about their time in Hawaii. And before Sunghoon knew it, he was enjoying the company immensely that he didn’t notice the time passing by as they talked and laughed over the sumptous food.

***

Sunghoon stood in the sink, about to wash the dishes when Jiwon’s mom shooed him away.

“Anieyo, you don’t have to do that!” she protested. “Go and have fun with Jiwon. I’ll take care of these.”

“But…”

“It’s just the dishes, Sunghoon-ah. Besides, try and stop my son from playing too much video games.”

Sunghoon smiled in agreement. “He is a bit addicted to them.”

“”Which is why we want to thank you. If he didn’t meet you, I often wonder if he’ll even finish high school.”

“Eomma, of course I would have.” Jiwon said behind them. “I’m seriously offended by your lack of faith in me.” he complained jokingly.

“Aigoo… Ne adeul mianhe (I’m sorry my son).” she jokingly retorted.

Sunghoon smiled at the playful banter between the two.

“Jiwon-ah, where’s your father?”

“In his study.”

“Aah, as always. Go and have fun the two of you, I’ll take care of these.” Jiwon’s mom said as she shooed them away from the kitchen. “Sunghoon-ah, don’t be shy here okay? I think of you as my son already.You can come here anytime you want, you’ll always be welcome here.” she smiled at Sunghoon, then pointing at Jiwon, “You make sure he’s comfortable okay?”

“Arasseoyo eomma.” Jiwon replied as he motioned for Sunghoon to follow him.

Sunghoon bowed to her. “Thank you for the dinner eomoni.” she smiled in acknowledgement before Sunghoon followed Jiwon to his room.

*******

It was already nearing midnight. Jiwon and Sunghoon both spent the past hour playing video games in his room, with Sunghoon losing each time.

Since it was already late, Sunghoon decided to spend the night in Jiwon’s home. He already called his mom to inform her and they both agreed that it’ll be safer for him to return home in the morning.

Sunghoon sat in Jiwon’s bed, already in pyjamas (which he borrowed from Jiwon) while Jiwon was still in the bathroom. Being alone, Sunghoon thought back to this afternoon and he couldn’t help but smile. Jiwon’s kiss was still on his mind, remembering the feeling of Jiwon’s lips against his. Lost in his musings, he didn’t even notice Jiwon step out of the bathroom clad in only a towel…

Stepping out of his bathroom, Jiwon watched Sunghoon with a smile. ‘He’s out of it again‘, he thought as Sunghoon seemed lost in thought. Quietly, he approached him until he was in front of him. He stooped down and with quickly kissed Sunghoon’s cheek.

Sunghoon snapped out of his daydreaming as soon as he felt Jiwon’s kiss. He looked at him in surprise, touching his cheek with a hand.

“Ya, why do you do that?” Sunghoon whispered, afraid his parents might hear them.

“Do what?” Jiwon said innocently as he sat beside him drying his hair with a towel.

Sunghoon blushed upon seeing Jiwon half-naked. It wasn’t the first time he saw him like this, but it’s the first time since they had a relationship that he couldn’t help but flush red.

“This, kissing me by surprise. You’re making it a habit.” he whined, but not with conviction.

Jiwon chuckled lightly, “What? Don’t you like it.” he asked.

“Well I really don’t mind.” he answered truthfully, his cheeks blushing even further.

Jiwon smiled sweetly at him. Standing up to hang the towel he used, Sunghoon noticed he was only wearing boxers.

“Uhm hyung, is that what you’re wearing to bed?”

“Uh-huh. It’s pretty hot nowadays. Why?” he asked as he once again sat beside Sunghoon.

“Nothing really.” But in reality, Sunghoon’s heart was racing. Jiwon looked incredibly hot in just his underwear.

Sunghoon’s mouth was suddenly dry. He stood up to take a drink. Jiwon always had a pitcher full of water and a glass by his bed when they were in Hawaii, and Sunghoon was glad for his habit. He desperately needed to calm his racing heart.

Jiwon, on the other hand, was already lying on the bed watching Sunghoon, and smiling to himself knowing Sunghoon was feeling uncomfortable seeing him half-naked. As soon as Sunghoon sat back down, Jiwon tapped the space beside him. “Come here my angel. I wanna hold you.”

Gently, Sunghoon lay beside him, his head resting on Jiwon’s arm. Jiwon scooted closer, hugging Sunghoon to him tight while Sunghoon’s hand went around Jiwon’s waist. He felt incredibly warm against Jiwon’s bare skin.

Jiwon kissed Sunghoon in the forehead, as he was always used to. “I love you.” he whispered.

“I love you more.” Sunghoon replied.

Sunghoon treasured these moments between them. It is only when they are alone that they can freely express their feelings for each other, without having to watch out if anyone else noticed. He closed his eyes, inhaling Jiwon’s scent. He loved having him close like this, loving the warmth of Jiwon’s embrace.

Jiwon kissed him again on the forehead and Sunghoon smiled against Jiwon’s chest.

“Hoon-ah…”

“Hmmm?”

“Can I kiss you properly this time?”

Sunghoon looked up at Jiwon, looking at him straight in the eye.

“What?” he clarified.

“I want to kiss you properly. Can I?” Jiwon asked.

“S…s..sure.” Sunghoon stammered.

Jiwon smiled widely. He held Sunghoon’s face in his hand, “Close your eyes.” he told him. “I want you to feel it rather than see it.”

Sunghoon followed the instruction, swallowing the lump in his throat, his heart thumping hard against his chest.

Jiwon gently caressed Sunghoon’s face with his finger, tracing his jawline slowly. He brought his finger to a stop below his chin, then gently lifted Sunghoon’s face up to him.  Then, he traced Sunghoon’s lips with his thumb, before bringing his own lips downward, claiming Sunghoon’s lips in a soft kiss.

Sunghoon felt Jiwon’s lips against his, kissing him gently. His lips felt soft, gentle, waiting for something, and Sunghoon knew Jiwon was waiting for him to open up. His hand gripped Jiwon’s waist tighter, travelling upward toward his back, loving the feel of Jiwon’s muscle against him. He inched himself closer, kissing Jiwon harder by pressing his lips to his, wanting to taste him.

Jiwon felt Sunghoon inch his body closer, their need for each other obviously getting stronger. Sunghoon’s mouth opened slightly, a confirmation of his intentions, and he took advantage of it, lightly running his tongue against Sunghoon’s lower lip, then claiming it with his lips. Sunghoon’s sudden breath intake only drove him wild, and he deepened the kiss, holding him tighter to him. He kissed him gently at first, but their passion were both on a high, and Jiwon wanted to taste all of him. His tongue wanted entrance, teasing Sunghoon’s lips into yielding. And as soon as he felt Sunghoon’s tongue against his, he took it with his own and kissed him with passion, desire screaming in his veins. He reveled in Sunghoon’s taste, feeling slightly drunk, his desire for him was undeniable, as Sunghoon moaned with pleasure against him.

They kissed with reckless abandon, undmindful of the passing time, their tongues clashing against each other, both wanting more.

Jiwon crushed Sunghoon’s lips to him in one final swoop, feeling giddy from his taste, before both of them stopped trying to find air.

Breathing heavily, Sunghoon’s eyes were lidded full of desire as he looked up at Jiwon and smiled. “Wow..” he managed to mumble.

Jiwon held him tight, looking at him in the eye. Breathing heavily he pecked Sunghoon on the lips once more, smiling at him lovingly. “I have to admit that was intense.” he mumbled, as he caressed Sunghoon’s face with his thumb, all the while looking at him with so much love.

Sunghoon saw the way Jiwon looked at him and he couldn’t help but fall for him deeper. He was drowning in Jiwon’s eyes. “I love you so much hyung.” he whispered before he could stop himself.

He once thought he couldn’t love him any stronger than he already felt but such deep feelings didn’t seem to have surfaced just yet. He’s falling more in love with him everyday and it doesn’t seem to stop. Even now, Jiwon’s smile truly thaws at his heart.It felt like his heart was doing jumping jacks every time Jiwon smiled at him like that. He loved everything about him. Everything and more…

“And I love you too so much.” Jiwon smiled as he once again kissed him lightly. He held him close, he held him tight. If he could bring their bodies closer he would.

He wanted Sunghoon to be one with him, but not yet. They’re both not ready to go there yet. Jiwon wanted to take things slow with Sunghoon. He wanted to cherish each and every moment he spent with him so he won’t rush it. “Go to sleep my angel. Sweet dreams.”

“You too hyung. Goodnight.”

They slept soundly in each other’s arms till late next morning.

***************

Meeting Sunghoon’s mother and sister the next day yielded almost the same results. Sunghoon’s mom graciously accepted Jiwon as her adopted son, and she expressed her gratitude to Jiwon for taking good care of Sunghoon wile they were in Hawaii. Jiwon assured her it wasn’t a problem. He was more than happy Sunghoon was there to keep him company. They also spent the night together, making out and declaring their love for each other.

They try not to think about the coming days when they’ll no longer be alone a lot. So they enjoy their free time laughing, playing and kissing knowing that tomorrow everything will change.

*************

I’m seriously sleepy now. Here’s the side story as promised. Have fun reading. Good night.. (oh, it’s already morning).😩😩😩

Whenever I’m With You by: reynzt15 part 4

whenever im with you.JPG

Decision Making: From Two to Six

August 1996 Seoul, South Korea

Jiwon and Sunghoon sat in the meeting room of DSP Media waiting for Mr. Lee. They were going to be introduced to the board today, as the newest addition to the agency. For the past two months they’ve been training with the agency, trying to finesse their dancing and singing skills. They have to admit they still have a long way to go, but Mr. Lee always assured them that their contrasting charismas would do the job. They were set to debut by the end of the year, after all preparations for their album and performances are done. They were, according to Mr. Lee, “DSP Media’s present to all teenage and young adult girls of Korea.” Jiwon thought it was a lot of BS, but he’d go with it if it meant debuting.

Jiwon tentatively reached for Sunghoon’s hand beneath the table. He was nervous, and he needed to calm himself. Sunghoon looked at Jiwon and smiled, squeezing his hand gently in reassurance.

Mr. Lee came inside with a worried look on his face. Jiwon and Sunghoon both stood up, bowing to the owner.

“Sit down Jiwon-ah, Sunghoon-ah.” Mr. Lee said as he took a seat in front of them.

Jiwon and Sunghoon sat down, both confused. There were no board of directors behind him, which meant either the meeting was canceled or there’s something going on.

“Hoejang-nim, is something wrong?” Sunghoon asked politely while Jiwon sat silently beside him.

Mr. Lee sighed heavily, crossing his hands on the table while looking at them. “We actually have a problem. You see, we heard that SM Entertainment is going to present a group of young boys by next month. This doesn’t bode well for us. You do know that SM goes for looks and talent, so if we’re going to go up against them, I’m sorry, but you both will be no competition.”

“Wait a minute, you’re saying that you won’t let us debut is that it?” Jiwon asked, trying to keep his cool.

“No, Jiwon-ah, what I’m saying is that if we were to go up against SM’s artists, we must also have our own group. You see the brilliance of Lee Soo-man, he’ll be the first one to release a group of teenage boys who sing and dance. If we go up against them with only two of you, you’ll both be swallowed whole.”

“So, you’re saying that we’ll no longer be a duo, instead we’re going to be part of a group?” Sunghoon clarified.

“Yes, and I heard it’s a group of five, so we should add one more to the team. We’ll be forming a 6-member group. They’re actually mimicking the Backstreet Boys who’s really popular now and I must say, it’s brilliant, because it’ll mean that they’ll be the first agency to venture in that field.”

Sunghoon frowned. This wasn’t what they had decided on. He couldn’t hide his disappointment. “Hoejang-nim, with all due respect, I don’t like it. Jiwon-hyung and I, we came back here because you assured us that we’ll be debuting as a duo not a group. I won’t do it. We don’t want to waste all the time we spent preparing just to be set back like this.”

Mr. Lee looked at Jiwon. Jiwon shrugged. “If Sunghoon’s not doing it, I see no point in doing it also.”

“What’s wrong with being part of a group Sunghoon?” Mr. Lee asked Sunghoon calmly.

Sunghoon pouted. “It’s different. Jiwon-hyung and I have been together for three years so we know each other really well. You’re going to pit us with people we barely know and we don’t do well with strangers. It’ll be a disaster waiting to happen. Not to mention we’re going to start from scratch. I won’t do it. I’d rather not debut than be forced.” Sunghoon fiercely said. He hated the idea of a group, he really did. Both he and Jiwon are not as sociable, and since they’re so used to each other, Sunghoon felt that having other members meant their privacy might be compromised.

“That’s a problem then. The board wanted me to present a group by this month or there’ll be no funding at all.”

Jiwon just watched Sunghoon, noticing how seriously he despised the idea. He didn’t like it too, it meant having to share their space with others, a space he wanted only them to have.

Watching them thoughtfully, Mr. Lee’s face suddenly brightened up as if an idea just popped into his head.

“What if you can pick who’ll join you? I’ll give you the right to choose your members.” Mr. Lee suggested.

Jiwon and Sunghoon looked at each other.

“I’ll let you two talk it out. Let me know of your decision. I’ll be in my office waiting.” Then Mr. Lee stood up and went out of the meeting room, with Jiwon and Sunghoon bowing to him politely.

Sunghoon sighed as he slumped back to his seat.

“Cheonsa-ya, what do you think?”

“I really don’t like it hyung.” Sunghoon pouted.

Since they were alone, Jiwon had the privilege of showing more affection to Sunghoon. He turned Sunghoon’s chair to face him and cupped his face with his hands.

“You wanted to become a singer right?” Sunghoon nodded reluctantly. “Then why not do it? I don’t want to take that dream away from you. Besides he’s giving you the right to choose. Honestly, it’s an opportunity.”

“It’s your dream too.” Sunghoon said as he held Jiwon’s hand with his, feeling the warmth against his skin. “Hyung, it’s not just that. What about us? They’ll notice us for sure. We’re not exactly discreet.”

Jiwon had to smile at that. Yes, they’re not discreet but their public display of affection can be mistaken as that of brothers. In public all they do is have their arms around each other. “My dream is to do things that I love to do with you beside me. It doesn’t really matter if there are other people around. I can always show you my affection under the pretense of being your brother. We’ll be fine. They don’t have to know. How about this, we’ll get to choose the members, and we’ll get to stay in our own homes. No dorms for us, besides I don’t think the agency can even manage to get us a dorm.”

“Why do I feel like you want this group to get formed.” Sunghoon complained. Didn’t Jiwon understand his reaction? He wanted to reach their dreams together, is it so hard to understand?

Jiwon smiled at him, “I’m just trying to let you see the advantages. As for me, I’m okay as long as I get to be with you. Besides, you’ll do all the choosing anyway not me. I know what you’re thinking.”

Sunghoon raised his eyebrows.

“You’re thinking that if there are other people around me I might abandon you right?” Jiwon knew that was what’s really bothering Sunghoon. He knew that Sunghoon was bothered his attention might get divided if there were other people around.

“It’s just that…”

Jiwon cut him off with a smile. “Have you forgotten how I’m all yours? Didn’t we promise each other that?” he reassured Sunghoon. “You don’t want to share me with anyone machi? Aren’t you greedy?” Jiwon teased.

His teasing though did relax Sunghoon. “Ya, I’m not greedy. It’s just that you might pay more attention to them not me.” Sunghoon said glumly. Jiwon was right about his reason. It was Jiwon he didn’t like to share with anyone. Greediness aside, Jiwon fares socializing better with other people. He was scared Jiwon’s attention might divert away from him. He knows he’s being selfish, but Jiwon was his. “I’m just saying that don’t forget you’re mine.” said Sunghoon possesively.

Jiwon looked at him in surprise. “Yaa… neon jinjja… neo yogsimi mwonji mollasseo. (Wow… seriously you.. I didn’t know you were this greedy.)”

Sunghoon smiled sheepishly. But he couldn’t also forget that it wasn’t just his dream that was on the line. Despite not being vulgar with it, Sunghoon knew Jiwon also wanted to stand on stage. He saw how passionate he was towards music and he didn’t want to be the wall that separates them from their dream. If having extra members meant singing on stage, then he’ll do it, for both of their sakes. He’ll be with Jiwon still anyway and that’s what mattered.

“Arasseo hyung. Fine, I’ll agree to a group. But we get to choose the members and there’ll be no dorm. What else?” Sunghoon finally gave in.

Jiwon smiled widely his eyes twinkling with mischief. “Since it’ll be a 6 member group, make sure we have good dancers and back-up vocals. And make sure I’m the oldest. You all have to follow my lead.”

Sunghoon laughed. “I’ll make sure of that so no one can go against you.”

Jiwon turned serious. “Hoon-ah, it’s the only way I can protect you. If I’m the oldest, I can do it on the pretense of looking out for everyone and no one would think otherwise.”

Sunghoon quietly held Jiwon’s hand, touched by his statement. “Arasseo hyung, I’ll do that.”

Sunghoon finally smiles a genuine smile and Jiwon couldn’t help it. He looked so delectable just sitting there, a heavenly smile on his face.

He kissed Sunghoon suddenly. Just a peck, but it set his insides on fire. Just a peck, but Jiwon could feel the softness of Sunghoon’s lips against his. He broke away, clearing his throat in the process, and noticing Sunghoon frozen in place, surprised by the sudden action.

“Ahem…” Sunghoon was still looking at him with wide eyes. “It’s your fault, smiling at me like that. I get tempted and I forget where we are.”

“Hyung…” Sunghoon finally managed to find his voice.

“Let’s go see Hoejang-nim and inform him of our decision.” Jiwon said, standing and pulling Sunghoon up with him.

Sunghoon shook his head to clear it. He tentatively felt for his lips with his fingertip, a motion that didn’t go unnoticed. Jiwon smirked.

“Was that your first kiss?” Jiwon asked teasingly.

Sunghoon punched his shoulder gently. “Yes, and you took me by surprise.”

“Aisssh, I should’ve done properly.” Then, putting his arm around Sunghoon’s shoulder, he whispered in his ear. “Don’t worry, I’ll do it properly later when we’re alone.”

Sunghoon’s blush was enough to make Jiwon chuckle.

“Ya hyung! Stop teasing me!” Sunghoon whined.

“I’m sorry, I like it when you blush.” Jiwon said, still chuckling.

“Aissh… Kaja, Mr. Lee’s waiting.” And Sunghoon went out of the meeting room first, Jiwon trailing behind him.

Jiwon’s smile was authentic. He wasn’t joking though. He’d show Sunghoon later the proper way to kiss. He followed Sunghoon quietly, trying to calm his heart. He didn’t realize that a simple kiss could send his emotions into haywire.

‘Later, cheonsa-ya. I’ll kiss you properly later.’

With that thought in mind, Jiwon happily went inside Mr. Lee’s office to inform him of their decision.

*********************

Sunghoon and Jiwon arrived at Jiwon’s home in time for dinner. They came from the agency informing Mr. Lee of their decision and conditions. Surprisingly Mr. Lee agreed. They set the auditions for new members by next week so both of them had three days to rest.

Since they’ve been in Korea for only two months, they didn’t have much time with their families, as they were busy preparing for their debut. Upon hearing of their short break, Jiwon’s mom requested that she and her husband meet the person who changed Jiwon’s life the most. Sunghoon’s mom also made the same request so they both scheduled a “parent-meeting” dinner for the next two days. The last day they agreed on spending alone together.

As they entered Jiwon’s home, Sunghoon was understandably nervous. Who wouldn’t be? It’s his first meeting with Jiwon’s parents.

Jiwon could see Sunghoon’s nervousness and he couldn’t help but smile. He held his hand as they entered the house reassuring him by saying, “There’s nothing to be nervous about Hoon-ah. My parents adore you. They say you’re an angel from heaven sent here to set me right.”

“That doesn’t comfort me at all hyung.” Sunghoon whispered.

Jiwon just smiled at him, and Sunghoon couldn’t help but relax a bit. Jiwon’s smile always made him feel calm, despite the mix of emotions raging inside him.

He took a deep breath and straightened his shoulders. Jiwon’s parents may not know about their real relationship but he doesn’t want to make a bad impression. With a reassuring nod from Jiwon, they went inside to meet his parents for dinner.

**************

Next chapter’s a side story: Sunghoon meeting Jiwon’s parents for the first time, and after, well, let me warn you, it’ll be a bit hot…🔥🔥🔥

Thanks for being patient. I’m still currently busy but I’ll be uploading the next chapter early morning tomorrow (well, in our standard time that is). I’ll try not to keep you waiting too long. Anyways, here’s a quick teaser. I already said what the next chapter would be about. The chapter after that would focus more on the audition process and the next next next chapter would be their first encounter as a whole group. Stay subscribed for updates! Saranghae!

Next – Side Story

Holiday in Hawaii by: Yellow6Hexagon – END

holiday in HI.jpg

Chapter VIII

~~~

2 hours later, everyone was tired, wet and sandy. Jaeduck was the first to finish his scuba diving. When he went back to the meeting spot under the palm tree, he saw no one there. So the poor duck sat down on the bench and felt the wind blowing against his moist skin.

“No one here yet?” Jaejin’s voice interrupted his thoughts.

“Oh! Jaejin-ah! Finished parasailing?? Was it fun?” Jaeduck asked impatiently.

“Yeah! I almost felt that I was falling from the sky!” Jaejin nodded vigorously, face still radiant with excitement.

“Really?? I should try that the next time we come here!” Jaeduck reacted.

“Sit here Jaejin-ah.” Jaeduck pat the space next to him, urging Jaejin to sit down next to him. But as usual, he was rejected.

“Aniya! I don’t want to sit beside you.” Jaejin ruthlessly rejected his chingu and sat down on the sand instead.

“Whyyy????” Jaeduck whined and instead plopped down on the sand next to Jaejin, who didn’t move away. The two busan brothers who had 25 years of relationship since middle school stayed in peaceful silence for awhile before Jaeduck felt bored. He mindlessly looked around and picked up a twig that was lying around. Feeling bored of the waiting, Jaeduck swung the twig across the sand, marking a line.

“Ooh!” Something lit in Jaeduck’s head as he started moving his hand across the sand with his twig. Jaejin looked on curiously.

“Tadaaa!!” Jaeduck pointed proudly at his work. Jaeduck had drawn a hexagon with the word ‘Sechskies’ inside, which was their official logo. It peaked Jaejin’s interest as the older Busan man found another twig and started doodling on the sand as well. Jaeduck looked on, smiling.

“Ohhh!! Is that Hawaii??” Jaeduck pointed at the abstract drawing when he spotted the palm trees.

“It’s us, can’t you see?” Jaejin said pointing with his twig. Jaejin drew the Villa with palm trees grown at the sides and the six of them hanging out in the garden together.

“OMG. YOU’RE AMAZING, JAEJIN-AH!” Jaeduck’s mouth fell in amazement while Jaejin smiled proudly.

“Jaejin hyung! Jaeduck hyung!” They heard Suwon’s voice coming from behind so they turned around…

*SPLAT SPLAT*

They were even wetter now.

“Ha! Bulls eye!!” Sunghoon exclaimed with a water gun in his hands.

“Yah! Not fair! We don’t have one!” Jaeduck complained, shielding the water aimed at his face with his arms.

“Run!!!” Jaejin shouted as he ran, Jaeduck barely following behind him and the two Whitekies member chasing after them.

“JAEJIN! JAEDUCK! CATCH!” Jaejin and Jaeduck heard their leader’s voice and turned towards the source just to find two water guns flying towards them.

“Woah!!” They barely caught it.

“BLACKIES! FIGHT BACK!” Jiwon cried out, raising his own water gun, pointing it at Suwon and Sunghoon.

“Nice one hyung!” Jaeduck grinned as he loaded his water gun and shot it towards Suwon.

“Ouch!! You’re going to regret this hyung!!” Suwon smiled slyly as he started chasing Jaeduck around.

Another 1 hour passed by without them knowing until they were dead tired and sprawled down on the sandy beach together in one row.

“I think I’ll have a good sleep tonight.” Sunghoon panted as he stared at the blue sky.

“I’ve never had such a good work out in awhile.” Suwon breathed.

“This is normal for me.” Jaejin remarked.

“I really should build on my stamina like you said, Jaejin-ah.” Jiwon panted as well.

“My stamina has gone down by a lot.” Jaeduck sighed.

“The sky is pretty.” Jaejin commented suddenly.

“It really is.” Sunghoon, which had been staring at the sky agreed. Peaceful silence washed over them even when their surrounding were rowdy. The cool breeze blew across the sandy beach and touched their skin, cooling them down.

“Come on guys! Let’s not waste time here!! We have more places to go!!” Sunghoon suddenly exclaimed, standing up and pulling the others.

“What? Where??” Jiwon asked tiredly.

“The Ala Moana Center!!” Sunghoon announced excitedly, pointing at the high end building surrounding the coast.

“For what??” Suwon asked, sitting up.

“Shopping!! I heard there are many pretty clothes there!” Sunghoon told the others.

“Seriously Hoon??” Jiwon groaned as he was pulled up by Sunghoon to his feet.

“C’mon hyung! Let’s go!!” Jiwon was pulled all the way to the mall.

“Helpppp!!!!” Jiwon shouted helplessly as the members shrugged.

~~~

After buying tons of stuff in the Ala Moana Center and changing into expensive new dry clothes, Sechskies decided to finally head back in the evening.

“I’m so hungry!!! I can’t believe we skipped lunch!!” Suwon cried.

“What’s for dinner today hyung?” Jaeduck asked, laying flat on the couch.

“Do I look like a chef to you?” Jiwon bite.

“Then… Suwon! Cook something!” Jaeduck turned towards the maknae.

“What do you want to eat?” Suwon asked, sitting up.

“Hmmm… I don’t know.” Jaeduck shrugged and Suwon sighed.

“Tteokguk! Make some Tteokguk, Suwon-ah!” Jaejin suggested suddenly.

“Why the sudden urge to eat Tteokguk?” Suwon asked.

“Well, technically we’re in our 20th anniversary and we haven’t eat any Tteokguk yet so might as well! Since we’re going to release our album soon anyway!” Jaejin explained.

“That sounds reasonable for me! Suwon! Cook some then!” Jiwon agreed.

“Other than that? Want some meat too?” Suwon asked, already walking towards the kitchen.

“What is there in the refrigerator?” Sunghoon asked, following Suwon.

“We can cook Samgyetang! Jiwon hyung bought a whole chicken yesterday when no one ask him to buy it!” Sunghoon suggested when he saw the young chicken in the freezer.

“Hey! I heard that! I saw the list wrongly!” Jiwon protested from the outside.

“You’re really getting old hyung!” Suwon shouted and plugged his ears to stop himself from hearing the oldest swearing at him.

“Okay! So it’s decided! We’ll have Samgyetang and Tteokguk for dinner!” Sunghoon announced as he helped Suwon take out the chicken to unfreeze it.

“I’ll eat it well! Suwon-ah!!” Jiwon shouted in glee, thinking of the food.

“You better!!” Suwon laughed.

~~~

When Suwon started cooking, he chased everyone out of the kitchen as he finds the help a nuisance when they just keep messing up his routine. In the end, Suwon worked alone in the kitchen as he hummed to Sechskies new soon to be released song, Be Well.

Meanwhile, the other members were loitering in the living room.

“Yorobun!! It’s time! Wait for me!!” Jiwon jumped up from his seat and suddenly yelled. In a few seconds, before his dongsaengs can react, Jiwon had rushed up the stairs.

“I’m back!!” Jiwon arrived on the first floor in record time, with some familiar shopping bags in hand and a box.

“Hyung! Aren’t those shopping bags from the zoo?” Jaeduck asked, recognizing the childish animal patterns printed on the bag.

“Yup! I bought one for everyone!” Jiwon declared, passing out the bags after checking the contents inside. The members took the bags from Jiwon while the leader kept the maknae’s first. They looked into the bag.

“WHAT IS THIS???”

From the bags, out pulled one whole piece of cloth, which turns out to be…

“A onesie!!” Jiwon stated the obvious.

“Why did you buy this hyung?? It looks ridiculous!!” Jaejin exclaimed. He stood up and spread the onesie into full length. It was white tiger patterned, similar to the beanie they bought.

“It’s for our final night in Hawaii! I even bought a brand new camera to film our last night too!” Jiwon said, unboxing his box to reveal a digital cam.

“For what hyung?” Sunghoon questioned while checking out his own onesie. Different from Jaejin, Sunghoon got a Pikachu onesie instead.

“We can show it to Yelkies during our concerts!” Jiwon replied, clicking the buttons on the camera, trying to get it to work.

“Are you serious hyung??” Sunghoon’s mouth dropped.

“No kidding!” Jiwon snapped his fingers.

“Go and change!” Jiwon ushered the members, especially Jaejin who refused to budge. On the other hand, Jaeduck nodded enthusiastically and ran up the stairs.

“Why should I wear this?!” Jaejin frowned.

“C’mon Jaejin-ah! Do hyung a favour!” Jiwon whined manly as he pulled Jaejin’s bicep.

“You’re so immature Jiwon hyung!” Jaejin huffed before giving in and headed up the stairs after Sunghoon.

“Yes!! Now my turn to change!” Jiwon cheered and went to his own room to change.

~~~

“WOAH! Jiwon hyung!! You scared me!!” Jaeduck almost screamed when he exited his room in his duck onesie to find a camera directed at his face.

“Jaeduck-ssi, say something to the camera.” Jiwon said formally, backing up a little to film more of Jaeduck.

“Eh? Annyeonghaseyo! I’m Kim Jae Duck from Sechskies!” Jaeduck bowed in front of the camera, introducing himself just like what Jiwon told him to.

“Hyung! What are you doing?” Jaeduck asked immediately after greeting.

“Filming of course. For our fans.” Jiwon answered, following Jaeduck as they sat down on their comfy and leisure corner on the second floor.

“In this ridiculous get up?” The last Blackies member appeared behind the doors.

“Oh! Lee Jae Jin is here! Jaejin-ah! Greet the fans!” Jiwon turned the focus to Jaejin who just came out in his white tiger onesie with a grumpy face.

“Annyeonghaseyo, Lee Jae Jin-imnida.” Jaejin greeted before walking behind the camera and sat next to Jaeduck on the couch.

“A white tiger and a duck. A carnivore and an omnivore. How interesting…” Jiwon dramatically zoomed in and out from Jaeduck’s face to Jaejin’s face.

“Jiwon hyung!! Jaejin hyung!! Jaeduck hyung!! Sunghoon-ah!! Dinner’s ready!!” Suwon shouted from the dining room as he laid the table.

“Oh!! Maknae called!” Jiwon said to the camera.

“Let’s film Suwonnie’s expression!” Jaeduck suddenly took interest in all this and went in front of Jiwon and head down the stairs first.

“Hyungs!!! Hyu- What?!?!?” Suwon caught a glimpse of yellow and turned around abruptly to find Jaeduck in a duck onesie and their leader in a grey wolf onesie holding a camera in between his hands.

“HAHAHAHAHA!! You should’ve seen your face!” Jiwon and Jaeduck doubled over in laughter while Jaejin took over the cameraman role.

“Jaejin hyung! You too?!” Suwon’s shock further heightened when he saw Jaejin in a white tiger onesie and Sunghoon walking down the stairs in a Pikachu onesie.

“Here comes the pikachu flower!” Jaeduck pointed as Jaejin shifted the camera to Sunghoon.

“You’ve started filming?!” Sunghoon asked, seeing the camera pointing at him.

“Yeah! All natural!” Jiwon claimed, running towards the living room, grabbed the shopping bag that contained Suwon’s onesie and ran back.

“Maknae! Here! Yours! Go and change now!” Jiwon pushed the bag towards Suwon and shoved him into the toilet even if the youngest was protesting all the way. Jiwon turned around after the toilet door closed and saw Jaejin filming the food on the table.

“Woah!!! Suwon definitely outdone himself again!” Jaeduck widened his eyes at the smell of the Samgyetang and Tteokguk.

“So this is Chef Suwon’s Samgyetang and Tteokguk made in Hawaii~” Jaejin introduced behind the camera.

“And as usual, Jiwon hyung sits at the head of the table.” Jaejin added as he shifted the camera towards Jiwon who had already sat down and salivating like a hungry wolf.

“SUWON-AH! Are you done?!?!” Not caring about the camera, Jiwon shouted, eyes not leaving the food.

“Yessssss!” Suwon replied as the door opened to reveal a shiba inu dog.

“Ooh!!! Suwonnie!! You look cute!” Sunghoon stood up and pinched his chingu’s cheeks.

“Ow! Ow! Ow!” Suwon groaned when his cheeks were violated by a pikachu.

“Oh! Our chef is here!” Jaejin said as he filmed Suwon walking over.

“Should I set this here?” Jaejin asked, putting the camera at the end of the table, so that it can film the rest of them.

“I bought a tripod too!” Jiwon went to fetched the tripod from the same box and set it up.

“There! Now it solely focuses on Jiwon hyung!” Jaejin laughed as Jiwon was in the centre.

“It looks like an animal party now.” Jaeduck commented, looking at his members.

“It’s all your fault, Jiwon hyung.” Suwon grunted.

“Yah. Don’t be rude.” Jiwon bite.

“Let’s eat before it gets cold! Thank you for the food, Suwon-ah! I’ll eat it well!” Sunghoon clapped his hands. The others followed, thanking Suwon in the process.

The whole meal was natural and all filmed in one camera. No restrains as the scenes they deem unfit could be cut away. Squabbles were normal for Sechskies and of course it did happen on the dining table. After a hot and piping meal of Samgyetang and Tteokguk made with maknae love, everyone gathered in the living room, Suwon holding the camera.

“The sky is dark.” Jaejin commented, resting on an indoor swing.

“That means we’re really running out of time in Hawaii.” Suwon stated sadly, his voice loud and clear in the camera.

“Let’s send one last message to Yelkies and off the camera.” Jiwon said, sitting up. Suwon nodded and pointed the lens towards Jiwon.

“Yorobun, your oppas spent a really good time in Hawaii these 3 days. We’ll be releasing our 20th anniversary album as soon as we get back. So look forward to it!” Jiwon ended the video message with a wink. Suwon shifted to Jaejin.

“Neh! These 3 days would definitely be the most unforgettable memory for Sechskies. Especially the gift from Jiwon hyung. Thank you to our fans for waiting for us. We’ll be coming back soon!” Jaejin smiled and waved. It was Jaeduck next.

“Yep! Jiwon hyung’s gift is the best ever!” Jaeduck grinned.

“Hey! You guys are making me embarrassed!” Jiwon interrupted.

“Don’t interrupt me hyung! Anyways, we’re really thankful for everything we’ve received from you guys. We are walking on the flower road here and I hope we’ll forever be walking on one!” Jaeduck cheered as he put his hands together to make the Sechskies hand sign. Jiwon took the camera from Suwon and filmed Sunghoon next.

“Neh~ Yelkies missed us no? We definitely missed you guys. Just like what Jaejin hyung and Jaeduck hyung said, it was really a pleasant surprise, Jiwon hyung. We’re really thankful for that. Even though Yelkies won’t know what we’re talking about, but just know that Eun leader is indeed the leader! Saranghae, hyung! Saranghae Yelkies! We’ll see you back in Korea!” Sunghoon ended with a finger heart to the camera which Jiwon was holding.

“Suwon! You’re next!” Jiwon smiled before shifting the focus to the last one.

“Yeah. Although Jiwon hyung is really immature and suggests to go to places that doesn’t make sense for us, plays like a choding, have his room half filled with game consoles and games, and bought us these ridiculous costumes, Jiwon hyung is indeed still our forever leader. Wait for us, Yelkies-ah. It’s time for us to come back.” Suwon ended with Jiwon passing the camera to Sunghoon to chase the maknae around.

“We’re gonna do the ending hyung!!” Sunghoon called as the oldest and youngest came back with Jiwon strangling Suwon’s neck.

“Jyah! Till now, we’re SechssssSSSSSSSSS……KIES!! Annyeong!!!” The five members waved to the camera before clicking it off.

*CLICK*

“Ahhhh…. The sky is even darker now.” Jaejin noted.

“It’s pitch black outside.” Jaeduck added, turning his head to look outside.

“I’m actually tired for once.” Sunghoon sighed, leaning his head backwards, closing his eyes.

“It has been a long day in Waikiki after all.” Suwon agreed, following Sunghoon’s actions.

“My eye lids are drooping…” Jaeduck said as he tried prying his eyes open.

“It’s okay guys. Let’s all sleep. No need to stay awake. We can come back anytime we want. We have a morning flight to take tomorrow.” Jiwon ordered in his leader voice, smiling slightly at his sleepy members.

“Yeah. We’ll come back for sure….” Jaeduck trailed off as he gave up on keeping his lids open.

“At least go up to your room!” Jaejin grunted as everyone chuckled when the older Busan member elbowed Jaeduck, shocking him awake.

“Okayyyyy….” Jaeduck nodded before pulling himself up with much effort and bringing himself up the stairs with even more effort.

“Let’s have an early night then. Remember to wake up at 4am in the morning.” Jiwon reminded his dongsaengs and stood up.

“You’re the one that needs reminder hyung!” Suwon joked.

“I know I know! I’ll get up on time okay!” Jiwon waved his hand vigorously.

“Sweet dreams everyone!!” Sunghoon waved as he started pulling Suwon up the stairs to prevent anymore squabbles.

“See you tomorrow!” Jiwon waved.

“Hyung. You better sleep tonight.” Jaejin said when only the two of them were left.

“I know and I will. Thanks, Jaejin-ah. Sleep well too.” Jiwon smiled reassuringly as he pat Jaejin on the shoulder. Jaejin returned him a smile.

“Good night hyung.” The doors shut close.

~~~

“Jiwon hyung!!!!!! You’re late!!!” Suwon shouted. It was 6am in the morning. They were supposed to leave the Villa at 5am. The four dongsaengs were already waiting at the doorstep with their luggage and bags ready, only waiting for their one and only Eun leader.

“I’m here! I’m here!” Jiwon rushed towards the door with shoes half worn.

“Wear your shoes properly hyung!” Sunghoon pointed. Jiwon looked down and smiled sheepishly as he adjusted his shoes.

“Okay, are we ready to go?” Jiwon asked innocently.

“We’re ALL ready since 1 hour ago, hyung. Why don’t you ever change.” Jaejin sighed as he closed the double doors of the Villa and locked it with his own set of keys.

“It’s not my fault! You guys got ready too early!” Jiwon used the old lame excuse.

“Whatever you say hyung.” The members sighed, knowing they can’t win over his stubbornness.

“We’re really going to be late for our flight! Hurry!” Suwon reminded them as they started running towards the taxi, locking the gate behind them.

~~~

“Jaeduck-ah, you awake?” Jaejin asked from his seat beside Jaeduck.

“Yeah.” Jaeduck turned his head to give Jaejin his attention.

“Remember the question I posted to you on the very first day?” Jaejin asked.

“Umm… Which one?” Jaeduck pretended not to know.

“Don’t try to lie. You know which one I’m talking about.” Jaejin gave a stern face.

“Fine. This one. I love this more than any trip I’ve been to. Even the one with Tony hyung.” Jaeduck answered with a genuine smile on his face, before emphasizing it with the keys that Jiwon gave to them.

“Me too.”

And…… It’s the end!!! Thank you to everyone who read this horrible story!!! Kamsahamida!! Byebye!! 

Untitled by: ginvodka

untitled by ginvodka.jpg

PART 1

Visibility in the woods is generally poor. It very much depends on the season as the undergrowth and greenery form layers of canopy. You can’t see the sky, the cloud nor the stars at night from the ground. Sound, on the other hand, usually travels farther than vision. There are all kinds of noises in the woods: crickets, crows, owls, snakes, wolves, river, that sort of thing.

It is very hard to move quietly and fast in the woods, because of the twigs, the holes, stumps and logs. That’s why the hunter sneaked into the woods in the day time. He found a spot and sat very, very still. He had been tracking the two creatures for some time now and finally decided to make his first strike.

It was 12 in the midnight. The hunter didn’t let his guard down even he had done this for countless times. He was alert and fully concentrated in observing the surrounding until he heard movement in the shadows of the woods.

He went behind his rifle, gripping it tight and looked through the sight. It was a hare.

Just when he is about to breathe a sigh of relief, he saw a quick shadow moving in about 50 meters away. His body tensed up. It is in fact the prey that he has been stalking. He aimed for the heart… 40 meters… 30 meters… 20 meters… 10 meters… He took a deep breath and pulled the trigger.

It was a split second before the bang that sent a hollow-point through its body.

==============================

Sunghoon spotted the hare first and went ahead of Jiwon to chase after it. They were betting – the person who catches a hare first will be granted a wish. Sunghoon is determined to win this as he has something in mind that he really wants Jiwon to do.

He was contented to find the hare resting under the bushes. Without noticing there was someone else around, he moved as quiet as possible, slowly towards the hare, grabbed it by its long ears and gave a broad grin for his victory.

“Sunghoon-ah!!!” he heard Jiwon yelling his name, at the same time a loud bang broke the silent night. He didn’t manage to dodge the white flash that went through his body. He fell on the ground, body twitching.

Jiwon is furious. He dashed over to Sunghoon as he dodged the second shot and carried him away from the plain.

“H… Hyung… it… it’s a… sil… silver… bul-let…” Sunghoon was bleeding badly in Jiwon’s arms.

“Son of a bitch! Stay here, I’ll tear him into pieces!”

“No… H… Hyung… it’s… dangerous…”

“But…”

“Hyung, lis-listen to me… run…”

“Yes, let’s go!”

“No… Hyung… just y-ou…”

“I’m not leaving you behind!”

“Hyung… I won’t survive…”

“No, no, no! You will! I’ll save you!”

“Hyung… I… caught it…” Sunghoon smiled weakly, still clutching the hare in his hand. “Grant… me… a wish…”

“Don’t do this to me”, cried Jiwon.

“Run… Hyung…” Sunghoon breathes heavily, feeling his chest tight. “Run!” He pushed Jiwon away with all his energy.

Blood came pouring out of Sunghoon’s mouth had been Jiwon’s last sight of him.

PART 2

It only took Jiwon a day to track down the man who pulled the trigger on Sunghoon. The man lives near the coast just a hundred miles away, with his wife and their daughter. He clearly lived a modest but happy life, at the cost of taking away the happiness of someone else’s. Jiwon went savage just by the thought of it. He could feed on the man anytime, but no, he didn’t want to contaminate his body with the blood of the bastard. Instead, he left trails, some obvious trails that allowed the man to quickly notice them and trace his location. He has plans for him…

==============================

The wind was strong at the cliff, the waves crashing violently on the rocks underneath. There stood three adult figures – the hunter pointing his loaded rifle to Jiwon, and his wife holding a baby girl standing motionless beside Jiwon at the edge of the cliff.

“You had missed me once. Do you really think you can hurt me with that?” Jiwon smirked.

“Let them go, it is me you’re coming after, isn’t it?!”

“I’m not sure this is the right way to beg for mercy.”

“Please… she is merely 3 months old… they are innocent… take me!” The hunter dropped the rifle and kneeled down, tears were beginning to blur his vision.

“3 months… so tender… so fragile… it’s a shame you don’t get see more of the world isn’t it?” Jiwon stroked on the cheek of the baby girl, she lifted her cheek a little in response to his touch. In a glimpse of light, Jiwon moved and stood right in front of the hunter. “How pathetic. You should have known this day would come since you made it as your career.”

“Please…” the man begged, “At least let my little girl go”.

“And what makes you think I’ll let go of her? So that she can one day take her revenge on me?” Jiwon turned back and walked slowly to the wife. He brushed her messy hair away from her face, “You must be tired from standing, love. Why don’t you turn around and retreat?”

“No! No! NO! NOOOOO!!!!!” the hunter cried as he dashed over to save his wife but only managed to watch her falling off the cliff. He stared at Jiwon, vengefully. “You monster!” he ran towards Jiwon but the latter easily shoved him against the rock.

“Oh, now you know how it feels to see your loved one die before you,” Jiwon picked up the rifle left behind by the hunter. “Let’s now experience how it feels like being shot,” aim – jack – trigger. He went for the liver, making sure of a severe bleeding that won’t cause immediate death. The hunter fell on the ground and struggled. “Patience, pal, we’re not over yet.”

==============================

Jiwon carried the wounded hunter to the woods and dropped him exactly where he had left Sunghoon. “Wakie, wakie,” Jiwon stepped on the bleeding wound, showing no mercy. The hunter gave a moan of pain and was petrified to find the unknown dark surrounding. “Ah! You’re awake! Let’s get back to work!” Jiwon splashed blood and guts over the hunter’s clothes.

“You know, they said that starving wolves are attracted by the scent of blood. Trust me, wolves, they don’t travel alone, they travel in a pack.” He wiped his hands with a handkerchief then simply dropped it on the ground. The hunter was terrified, especially when he heard echoes of wolves howling from afar. “Ah, just as we’re talking about them, they answer to our call!” Jiwon stood up and looked around.

“I think your friends are coming,” Jiwon sounded calm, “I shall leave you with them to enjoy the feast… Their feast.”

“……” he muttered something under his breath, but Jiwon wasn’t interested. Jiwon turned his back on him and walked away.

It was one of the very few walks that he enjoyed. He wasn’t far off when he heard the hunter let out a wail.

==============================

Jiwon returned to the woods on the next day, hoping he could still find Sunghoon. He shouldn’t had left him there even he knew that he couldn’t save Sunghoon; he should have insisted to bring Sunghoon along even if Sunghoon will slow him down. No, he shouldn’t have agreed on the bet at the first place! It was his entire fault!

Deep in the woods, everything starts to look the same despite it was in the daytime. Jiwon couldn’t recognize the way, he had always relied on Sunghoon to lead him. He couldn’t have found the spot where he left Sunghoon if it wasn’t for the burning smell. Knowing the hunter must have burned Sunghoon’s body, Jiwon fell kneeling on the ground and cried wholeheartedly.

It was a while before Jiwon stopped sobbing and wiped his face with a handkerchief. The moment he finally stood up again, the look on his face was cold and penetrating.

PART 3

What makes a great bar?

Wide range of drinks offering, generous happy hour, live performances, good food, relaxed ambiance, interesting people, atmospheric space, and perhaps great hospitality?

“Aloha! Welcome to paradise!” the cheerful doorman greets everyone who walks through the entrance.

The Sunset Beach Bar, which is famous of its killer ocean view, creative drinks and distinctive mahalo vibe, has been in the business for over 50 years. In spite of its remote location, people from all over the island gather here every day. They call it the paradise.

“Scotch on the rocks,” the bartender looked up to meet a pair of bright eyes with long lashes. He finds the guy before him extremely fine looking, especially with those thick eyebrows. The girls certainly are attracted by his good looks too, as they slowly gathered around the bar, trying their best to charm the man.

“Hyung!” Suwon the owner noticed Jiwon immediately when he stepped in.

“Yah, you’ve got such a nice place but you never invite me over huh?” Jiwon likes to tease Suwon for he sometimes will return Jiwon with unexpected response, which Jiwon finds it fun – one of the very least things he enjoyed nowadays.

“Hyung, you’re the one who never wanted to get out from your mansion,” Suwon rolled his eyes. “What have you ordered?” Suwon asked, just when the bartender serves the whiskey.

“Oh my God, hyung, you’re such an old man! Com’ on, you should order our signature drink!” Jiwon raised his eyebrow as Suwon turned over to the bartender, “give him the signature,” he said.

“So hyung, what brings you here?” Suwon has known Jiwon for his entire life. He would visit Hawaii every third week of February, but he only stays in the mansion. Suwon assumed he doesn’t want to attract attention from the islanders for this man does not age. But there is always something in his eyes that Suwon can’t look through, that sense of sorrowfulness, especially today…

==============================

“Oh man, I shouldn’t have promised you to come here,” Jaejin felt overwhelmed, his body and mind tense up as adrenaline kicks in.

“Come on,” Ricky gave Jaejin his irresistible ‘puppy eyes’ look, “it’s my birthday.”

“Alright, just for an hour!” Jaejin gave in. It means a lot to Ricky as Jaejin suffers minor social phobia. He doesn’t likes to go crowded places, let alone a noisy crowded bar.

“Let’s find Suwon! I’ll make him treat us expensive drinks for my birthday,” Ricky looked around searching for the owner.

“Do you think he can set up a place for us where there are lesser people?” asks Jaejin anxiously.

“There he is! Who is he talking to?” Ricky waved to Suwon, “hmm… he didn’t see us, let’s go over.” Ricky flung his arm over Jaejin’s shoulder, moving slowly towards the bar.

==============================

As Jaejin stands within the crowd, there is this weird feeling that is bothering him. He looked around anxiously as if he is searching for someone, “do you think he can set up a place for us where there are lesser people?” It might just be a sign of an anxiety attack, thought Jaejin.

However, the uneasiness grew stronger as they approach nearer to the bar. That was when Jaejin noticed the guy beside Suwon who he is talking to. Jaejin knows right away that they must get out from the place.

==============================

Ricky sensed the sudden stiffness on Jaejin, “hyung, are you ok?”

“Sorry Rick, can we go?” Jaejin clenched his jaw tight, his face as pale as death and his hands trembling.

“Alright, hold on, hyung,” Ricky held Jaejin and they turn back to where they just came from.

==============================

Suwon saw the boys approaching, but Jaejin looks pale and uncomfortable. They soon turned back and head to the exit. Suwon didn’t realize Jaejin’s anxiety is that serious. Little did he know that Jaejin wants to leave because of the man sitting beside him.

“Poor Jaejin, I think he is suffering an anxiety attack,” Suwon sounded a bit worried.

“J who?” Jiwon turned around and look at the same direction as Suwon. He caught a glimpse of a guy supporting his companion slowly walking out from the crowd and was stunned.

Jiwon could only see his eyes, a partial side profile. But even just that reminds him so much of Sunghoon. How could it be?! Sunghoon is dead and it is impossible for him to reincarnate.

‘You’re just seeing things cos’ you missed him too much,’ Jiwon told himself.

“Hyung, I’ll go check them out for a while.”

Jiwon sat alone sipping the cocktail that is supposed to be the signature of the bar, “what do you call this?” he asked the bartender.

“Shot in the heart,” he replied with a bright smile.

“Shot in the heart… How irony?” the bartender looks confused as he doesn’t understand what Jiwon meant.

“Sunghoon-ah, happy birthday…”

PART 4

“Hyung, I need my coffee fixing,” Jaejin felt his blanket, pillow and bolster are being snatched away one by- one.

“Hyung~~~ Wake up!” Now the bed is bouncing.

“Hyung!” Jaejin felt the sunlight streaming into his room…

“OK! OK! I’m awake!!!”

“I need my coffee fixing,” there he goes, putting on his ‘puppy eyes’ look again…

==============================

“Hyung, my staff got hospitalized, I need to go pay a visit and handle his insurance matters, can we meet an hour later?” Jiwon was already on his way to Suwon’s house when he received the call.

“It’s OK, go settle your stuff first, I’ll hang out in the mall near your place, call me when you’re done.” Sigh, if it wasn’t for the J guy and his friend who distracted both Suwon and himself, Jiwon would have already handed him the vial. Jiwon turned the steering, motioning the vehicle to move swiftly into the car park of a mall.

==============================

“I would like to have an iced Americano with twice the sugar please. Hyung, how about you?”

“I would rather have soju,” a glazed look masks his eyes as he stares at the ‘ALOHA COFFEE COMPANY’ signboard. He thinks he can do a better job designing that logo.

“Cheer up hyung, let’s go get some good food,” if there is anything that can cheer Jaejin up, it would be food and drinks.

“Not unless you’re paying the bill,” Jaejin still uninterested.

“Hmm… Let’s bet~ the first person who gets to the fountain at the entrance gets a free meal!”

“OK! Set! Don’t regret!” Jaejin dashed off whilst Ricky is still waiting for his coffee.

“Yah! Hyung! That’s cheating!!!” Jaejin continues running, “Hyung! Wait for me!” Ricky jogs a little but he couldn’t be fast to avoid spilling the coffee that he had just gotten.

==============================

Jiwon was browsing through the new collections of LEGO sets when he heard the voice, “Yah! Hyung! That’s cheating!!!”

‘Oh great, Eun Jiwon, now you’re hearing voices…’ he thought.

“Hyung! Wait for me!” It sounded so real. This time, Jiwon ran out from the shop to search for the voice. But there was no one out there, so he went down, and down, and lower, until he reach the ground floor. He had searched every floor but there is no sign of Sunghoon.

‘Of course you won’t find him, don’t be silly…’

==============================

“Rick, I have to drop by at Suwon’s place after this,” says Jaejin as they’re finishing up the food.

“Great! I can hang out on their private beach! But seriously hyung, do you miss him so much, you have to see him every day?” Ricky teases Jaejin.

“If it wasn’t for you, I would have did what needs to be done last night,” Jaejin quickly realized he said something wrong.

“Wait a minute hyung, what do you mean if it wasn’t for me?! It was you who had a panic attack!”

“Ah~ you’re right~ Are you done with your food?” Jaejin distracts Ricky by changing the topic, “let’s call for the bill, you do remember that you’re paying, right?”

==============================

“Thanks a lot, Suwon! You always manage to get me the purest ingredients.”

“All thanks to my wide social network!” He held on to Jaejin’s shoulders, “Jaejin hyung, you know right, if there is a need between us to say ‘thank you’, that must be me, for everything your clan had done for our family.”

==============================

“Let’s go, Rick!” Jaejin yelled for Ricky from the balcony.

“Coming, hyung!” Ricky sprints his way to the backyard.

“Suwon, you have quite an amazing beach here! The sand on the beach is so soft and white, feels like I’m stepping on baby powder!”

“That’s the beauty of nature,” Suwon smiled. “By the way, I haven’t got the chance to greet you happy birthday”

“Thank you. And all thanks to somebody I didn’t get to enjoy the night,” Ricky squints at Jaejin, who pretends to be looking at somewhere else.

“Why not you come over tonight? I’ll make you something special,” Suwon winked.

Ricky looked over to Jaejin, “OK! OK! No more ‘puppy eyes’! But just for a while OK, you know my condition.”

He turned to Suwon and asked, “Can you set up a place for us where there are lesser people? Please?” In fact, after last night’s encounter, he is more afraid of being seen than suffering an anxiety attack.

“Don’t worry, just come by tonight, OK?”

==============================

Jiwon was leaning against the rock, enjoying the sea breeze and rhythmic waves.

‘Sunghoonie would like this place.’ He allows the image of Sunghoon to slip into his mind, imagining Sunghoon stretching out his arms, embracing the warm breeze and fine weather.

Jiwon sees a figure on the beach, white T-shirt with white jeans, blonde hair and fair skin. He takes few steps backwards as the wave breaks on the beach, then few steps forward as it ebbs away. The sun is shining too bright,

Jiwon couldn’t see his face, but he thinks that image will suit Sunghoon well. He fell asleep reminiscing their good old times.

==============================

“Let’s go, Rick!”

‘God damn it! Who the hell is yelling over there,’ Jiwon cursed the roaring voice which woke him.

“Coming, hyung!”

Jiwon was stunned. He turned around to look for the voice. Then he saw someone running across the beach toward

Suwon’s backyard. It was the guy whom he saw strolling around the beach. The guy’s voice is somewhat similar to Sunghoon’s. Jiwon stood up and walked nearer, until he can see them clearly.

It has been more than a century, it could be his eyes or memories playing on him, he sometimes can’t even recall Sunghoon’s looks in his mind. But that face… the bright laugh… and those eyes… they are so alike Sunghoon’s despite he is much skinnier than Sunghoon. His smile extends beyond the mouth and his eyes squinted, just like Sunghoon.

‘Could it be him?! How could it possibly be him?!’

It was almost an hour later when he came to himself.

PART 5

“Is it done yet?” Ricky peeked into Jaejin’s so called ‘studio’ from behind the door.
“Almost…” Jaejin answered without looking up. He needs to be fully focused on his work.
“Great! I’ll get changed first, so that we can head to paradise at once after the drip!” Sunghoon skipping his way back to his room. He is really looking forward to what Suwon has in store for him.
==============================
“Hyung! You’re here again?!” Suwon was surprised when he sees Jiwon walks in.
“……” no response. Suwon left him alone.
It is almost 9 o’clock. Jiwon has been sitting by the bar since 6 in the evening. He stares at the entrance intently. The last thing he remembered had been Suwon inviting them over tonight. Why are they not here yet? Did he hear wrongly? Just when he was in doubt, he saw them walking in leisurely.
Jiwon’s eyes were locked on the blonde hair guy as he walked across the crowd with his companion. He is in all white again, with an oversized blue jacket. He looks for Suwon immediately and they were brought to a private section at the far end, where only few of Suwon’s closest friends can pass through.
==============================
A waiter followed Suwon’s cue and brought over a… fish bowl?!
“May I present you with ‘The Poison Ivy’,” Suwon said proudly as the waiter carefully places a gigantic fish bowl like glass on the table.
“It looks like something that would appear in my studio,” says Jaejin.
“This, my friend, is nothing like your awful potions! It’s a mixture of rum, Bacardi, grenadine, fruits, coloring from the ivy flowers and it tastes absolutely wonderful. I created this specially for Ricky.”
“Thanks Suwon, but I can’t take any alcohol today. I just had my remedy.”
“Oh great…” Suwon rolled his eyes “why on earth do you have to feed him today knowing you guys will be here tonight?!”
“Don’t worry, I’ll finish this. And for your records, Ricky has very low tolerance to alcohol. He’ll be down after a sip of this anyway.” Jaejin looked at the ‘glass’ of drink, eager to try.
“It’s ok Suwon, I’ll try this next time. Meanwhile I’ll have 7up for tonight,” he gave Suwon a big grin.
“All your fault,” mumbled Suwon while threatening to hit Jaejin. Jaejin knew Suwon wouldn’t hurt him, he returned Suwon with an evil smile as Suwon leaves to get Ricky’s drink.
==============================
“Who are they?” Jiwon asked Suwon who walked over to the bar, whilst his eyes still pinning on the blonde guy.
“Who is who?” Suwon wasn’t sure who is Jiwon talking about.
“Those two who you just escorted to private section,” Jiwon feels his patience slowly slipping away.
“Oh, they are Jaejin and Ricky! Jaejin is our old family friend. Ricky… well, you can basically see him anywhere Jaejin goes. Jaejin takes care of him and he listens to Jaejin. They are like brothers.”
“How long have you known them?”
“Hmm… Just like you, I’ve known Jaejin for my entire life. But I only get to know Ricky for the past 10 years.” Suwon held on to the serving tray with a can of 7up, a glass of ice and some fancy snacks, “Hyung, you’ve been talkative tonight. Why not you come over and join us? We’re celebrating Ricky’s birthday.”
“……” no response.
“Fine,” Suwon rolled his eyes and walked away.
==============================
“Suwon-ah, can I use the washroom in your house? It’s nearer, I’ll just go in from the back yard.”
“Of course. Just remember to lock the doors, I don’t want everyone to go wandering in my house.”
==============================
Ricky came out from the washroom to find the lights on.
‘Did I switched on the lights?’ He remembered rushing into the washroom without turning on any lights except for the one in the washroom.
He heard a voice while he was still wondering about the lights. He heard someone calling another person, to be precise. The voice sounds so desperate and sad. It was then that he realized there is someone standing at the end of the corridor.
“Sunghoon-ah,” he called again.
Ricky turned around but didn’t see anyone else. He can feel the gaze of that guy is fixed on him. He looks around again to confirm that no one else is there. “Me?” He asked, pointing to himself.

PART 6

Jiwon observed Ricky all night. His body gesture and every facial expression resemble Sunghoon. In fact the only difference he could find is that this guy named Ricky is much skinnier and pale than Sunghoon. He is almost 100% sure that Ricky is Sunghoon. But how did he survive the fatal shot? Where has he been all this while? Why is he here? Why is he known as ‘Ricky’? Jiwon has so many questions.

He thought it’s his opportunity when he sees Ricky left his seat alone. He followed Ricky into Suwon’s house. It was dark in the house, there was only a small glow underneath the washroom’s door.

==============================

Ricky came out from the washroom humming some melody to himself.

“Sunghoon-ah,” Jiwon called him.

Ricky looked around but didn’t respond. “Sunghoon-ah,” Jiwon called again, walking slowly towards Ricky. He took each step cautiously as if the person in front of him will vanish anytime if he goes too near.

“Uh…” Ricky looked around again.

“Me?” He pointed to himself and asked.

“Sunghoon-ah… you’re alive… Sunghoon-ah…” Jiwon hugged him so tight, afraid that he is just an illusion.

“Hey, hey,” Ricky tried to break loose from Jiwon’s embrace.

Feeling the struggle, Jiwon let loose, giving Ricky the chance to escape from his arms.

“Sunghoon-ah, where have you been? I went back for you but there was nothing left, I thought you’re dead. What happened? Huh?” Jiwon held on to his shoulders.

“Erm… I think you’ve got the wrong guy,” Ricky wanted to break through his grip but failed.

“Sunghoon-ah, it’s me, Jiwonnie, Jiwon hyung ah.”

“Yah! I’m Ricky, not Sunghoon!” Ricky took a step backwards trying to keep away from the guy. But he was taken aback by Jiwon’s persistence.

‘What’s wrong with him?! Is he drunk or something?! Ah, I should have just use the washroom outside… What should I do now…? Suwon-ah… Jaejin-ah… Help~~~’ Ricky crying out in his mind.

==============================

“Ah! Jaejin hyung! Your necklace! Its glowing?!” exclaimed Suwon.

Jaejin looked down to his chest and his face went pale immediately, “bloody hell, where is Ricky?!”

==============================

Jaejin ran into Suwon’s backyard, almost tripped on loose stones. He felt the unusual aura again, it was the energy similar to one he felt last night. He quickly dashed into the house.

“Ah! Hyung! You’re tearing down my door!” Suwon followed him at the back.

==============================

“Rick!” Ricky was surprised to see Jaejin dashing through the door at the moment he needs help the most.

“Help!!!” Jiwon is still not letting go of him.

“Yah! Hyung! Are you sober?! What are you doing?! Let go of Ricky!” Suwon went ahead to drag Jiwon away from Ricky. Jaejin is a little confused. This was not what he had expected. Nonetheless, he quickly checks on Ricky.

“Are you OK? Are you hurt? How’s are you feeling? Any aching?”

“Hyung! Stop it! I can’t answer so many questions at once,” Ricky cut him off.

“I’m OK, see?” He turns around, “I’m not hurt and I feel totally fine.”

“Really?” Jaejin continues checking up Ricky.

Ricky allows Jaejin to take his pulse, “don’t worry, I’m all well.”

“Then why did the necklace reacted?! You scared the hell out of me!” Jaejin let go of Ricky once he assured that Ricky is OK.

“That guy over there, I’ve already told him he had got the wrong person, but he just don’t let go of me. I was struggling to get loose from him, maybe that’s the reason my heart rate spiked.” Ricky hide behind Jaejin, peeking at Jiwon. “I think he is drunk,” he whispers to Jaejin’s ear.

==============================

“Hyung, what’s wrong with you? You’re not acting like yourself.”

“Suwon-ah, that’s Sunghoon over there, but why can’t he recognizes me? Uh?”

“Hyung, clear your mind. Look at him, he is Ricky.” Suwon tried to calm down Jiwon.

“No, no, you don’t understand, he is Sunghoonie!” Suwon had heard of the name, but he doesn’t know anything else other than this Sunghoon being Jiwon’s favorite dongsaeng and that he is dead. He never asked Jiwon as he knew Jiwon lacks in expressing his personal and emotional feelings. He always trusts Jiwon will eventually tell him about it when he is ready.

However, it has been the first time Suwon sees Jiwon in such helpless and depressed state. The sadness in his eyes revealed the pain in his heart.

==============================

Ricky hid behind Jaejin and followed him passing by Jiwon and Suwon. He doesn’t want to get caught by Jiwon again.

“Sorry guys, I think Jiwon hyung is drunk,” Suwon apologized to Ricky and Jaejin.

“I’m not drunk! He IS Hoony!” Why can’t they just believe him?!

“Hyung, you got any proof?”

“He looks exactly like Sunghoonie!”

“Hyung… don’t you know there are seven other people in the world who looks exactly the same as you? We need more than that,” Suwon trying to make sense out of it.

“Sunghoon… Sunghoonie…” he scratched his head thinking of something more convincing, Sunghoonie has a tattoo on his right arm!”

Ricky jumped out in excitement “Hah! Got you!” He rolled up both sleeves, “I don’t have a tattoo! See?! So stop calling me Sunghoon, told you I’m not the person you’re looking for.”

Jiwon inspects Ricky arms, unbelievably. ‘It can’t be! Where is the tattoo?! It’s not some ordinary tattoo that could be removed that easily… The bullet! He was shot through with a silver bullet, there must be a scar…’

“Hey! What are you doing?! You pervert!” Ricky screamed and hid behind Jaejin again as Jiwon tries to take off his shirt.

“There must be a scar on his chest!”

“Hyung, there is nothing on his chest!” Suwon held Jiwon tight to prevent him from grabbing on to Ricky again. He knows it as they often hung out by the beach or at the pool together. Ricky has fair skin, almost too pale, and they are flawless. “Jaejin hyung, you guys should leave the house first, I’ll take care of him.”

“Let’s go,” Ricky quickly drags Jaejin who stood still like a statue.

==============================

Jaejin stunned when Jiwon was able to tell that there is a tattoo on Ricky’s arm. Well, there WAS a tattoo back then, but it was removed. It wasn’t any ordinary tattoo, but Jaejin’s grandparents are the best of their kind.

The moment Jiwon mentioned the scar on Ricky’s chest, he realized immediately that this wasn’t a coincident. Jiwon is right – Ricky IS Sunghoon.

What should he do?! He can’t reveal Ricky’s identity now. But how can he hinder Ricky from reuniting with his friend, and possibly family?!

“Let’s go,” Ricky interrupted Jaejin’s thoughts and dragged him out from the house. It was then that Jaejin decided to keep silence.

‘No, it’s not the right time yet, not for his health.’

PART 7

“Shhh…” he stopped his wife from blowing their cover, “he is probably a vampire hunter,” he whispered.

“You mean the wounded guy is a vampire?” she stared in disbelief, “we got to save him.” She jumped out from their hiding spot once they lost sight of the vampire hunter and raced over to the flaming body.

“Careful!” Her husband who is worried that she might burn herself quickly casts a spell to put out the fire.

“Oppa, he is still breathing!” she tore off the lining of her dress, pressed the cloth over the gunshot wound to apply pressure with one hand and check the pulse with another hand.

“Quick, help me!” She cannot do this alone. She needed more hands so that she can perform emergency treatments.

“Darling, there is no point doing all these, he won’t survive. It’s a silver bullet that went through his heart,” he tried to stop his wife by explaining the reasoning.

“Oppa! I’m a physician! I can’t just leave a dying man without doing anything!” Ji Yong looked into Yang Im’s eyes, there is no point arguing with his determined wife. The only thing he can and should do is to fully support her.

==============================

“We need to bring him back, but I’m afraid he won’t make it, he is too weak, he needs blood.” Ji Yong looked around the dark surrounding, considering the alternatives.

Without second thought, Yang Im reached into her boots and took out the hidden pocket knife that she carries with her all the time. She took a slash on her palm.

“What are you doing?!” Ji Yong cried out.

“You said he needs blood.”

“Yes, but…” he was going to suggest for animal blood, although it will be less effective.

“Look, there are only both of us here and you can’t give him your blood. What better options do we have?” Yang Im held her bleeding fist above her patient’s face, allowing her blood to drip through his lips and into his mouth. Ji Yong has to agree with her. They will need at least an adult deer to sustain his life if they were to feed him animal blood. There is absolutely no way that they are able to hunt one at the moment.

==============================

“He is lucky that the hunter missed his heart and the bullet went through in-and-out. He would have been dead if it was stuck in his body.” The husband and wife stayed awake for the whole night attempting all they can to keep the man alive, “I think we ought to inform the chief.”

“Good morning omma, good morning appa. Did you sleep well?” Their four-year-old son came out from the bedroom in his bleary eyes. He leaned on to his mother’s leg as if it was a pillar.

“Hmm? Why is smiley samchon here? Did he come to play with Seungjae?” It only took the kid a while to be wide awake, especially when he notices the ‘guest’ in their house.

“Seungjae-ah, do you know him?” Ji Yong was surprised.

“Smiley samchonie, he bought strawberry milk and chocolate ice-cream for Seungjae, hehe~” the child grinned mischievously.

“He bought you snacks?” For the first time over the exhausting six hours, Ji Yong smiled. ‘What brought him to Jeju-do?’ Ji Yong wondered. “Seungjae-ah, samchonie… he is sick. Can you please go get Chief Lee?” Ji Yong had to ask his son to bring the chief as both him and his wife must stay back to look after the dying man.

“Smiley samchon is sick?” He stepped closer to look at the unconscious man. “Omma, smiley samchon is sick, give him some medicine.” He looked up to his mother.

“Seungjae-ah, samchonie, he is a special person, so we need Chief Lee to treat him.” Yang Im patiently reasoned to his son.

“Samchon is a special person? Is it because he always smiles? Samchon looks so pretty when he smiles. Seungjae needs to go bring master chief, samchon is not smiling now.” The four year-old kid seems to have his own logic.

Ji Yong and Yang Im let out a sigh of relief when their all energetic son finally sets off to get help.

After much deliberation, the coven had finally reached a conclusion.

“We will siphon our power into a seal to lock his nature instincts. Without his vampire instincts, there is nothing to trigger the tattoo spell. His body won’t react to silver and sunlight, nor will he have the urge to feed on blood. At the same time, crystallization spell will freeze the silver elements in his body, allowing us to remove them.” Everyone listened to the chief attentively.

“We need to hold him still while Yang Im shaved his wound clean. This requires slicing off his flesh over and over again until every single silver dust is eliminated. It will be tedious and demands full concentration due to its position so near to his heart. He might go violent because of the pain, but it needs to be done.”

“But this is literally digging a hole through his body repetitively…”

“He will heal. The healing power is in his genes.” The chief’s wife patted on her shoulder to comfort her.

“Chief, on what medium should we transfer the seal to?”

The chief removed the handcrafted talisman necklace that he has been wearing for years. The delicate jewelry is the heirloom of Sechskies, which has been handed down to the clan chief from generation to generation.

“One more question, chief. We need massive power to perform the seal spell. I don’t think our combined powers suffice. From where do we expect to channel for more power?

“We can use the ancestral power,” suggested the chief’s wife. Everyone gasped out in shock as channeling too much energy recklessly can lead to unpleasant consequences, including death.

“Do you think the ancestors will allow us to draw energy from them to save a vampire?”

“We’ll just have to try.”

==============================

It scared the hell out of young Jaejin when the man who lay there presumably his whole lifetime suddenly opens his eyes.

“Chief!!! Chief!!!” He shouted as he staggered his way to inform the chief.

==============================

In conjunction with the 11th clan chief’s 60th birthday, Sechskies held a grand ceremony to nominate candidates as his successor. There are three qualified candidates this run. He particularly likes the 18-year-old kid from the Lee family, who has sharp mind and quick wit despite being dorky.

“Lee Jaejin-ssi, you have demonstrated exemplary skills, high ambition and great intelligence. What make you stands out are your standards of humanity, care and dignity that comes with your humble-self. I hereby name you a nominee of the 12th clan chief. As part of your appraisal, you are assigned to be Ricky’s guardian.”

Side note

Remember I said something keeps bothering me when I made the last update? Well, I have intended to make Ji Yong the person who saved Sunghoon. But at the end of Part 6, I’ve hinted that the “removal” of Sunghoon’s tattoo is related to Jaejin’s grandparents.

For God’s sake, how could KO Ji Yong be LEE Jaejin’s grandparent…? Unless his mother’s surname is KO. So that’s how I came up with the idea of forming a clan of 6 families, instead of the same bloodline which was the initial plan.

Well I hope what I’ve written (especially the spells) makes sense. Sorry if it doesn’t, you’ll just have to bear with it cos I’m too lazy to edit/make amendments after I’ve lost the draft that was 90% completed and had to rewrite the whole thing. In fact I’ve already found something that doesn’t jive, but I guess I’ll just adjust in the coming parts (which is gonna be painful cos it’s something that I had in mind since I started this fic)

PART 8

It was an awkward moment. They were seated at a table for four, with Ricky and Jaejin sitting next to each other, facing Suwon and Jiwon. Suwon somehow managed to calm down Jiwon and Jiwon apologized to Ricky for his misbehavior. Jaejin made it obvious that he doesn’t want Jiwon to join them, but Ricky insisted that it is alright.

Since then, Jiwon often hang out with them at Suwon’s place. Suwon was surprised with his drastic change. He didn’t only come out to hang out with people, he even extended his stay in Hawaii. Little did he know Jiwon’s intention is to get to know Ricky and find out who he is. Jaejin on the other hand, still feeling uneasy whenever Jiwon is around. No one really paid attention as they assumed it has something to do with his anxiety and he being protective towards Ricky due to the incident happened that night. But Jaejin has a strong feeling that the aura radiates from Jiwon is not good for Ricky, he needs to find out why.

==============================

“Pssttt… Are you busy?” It was a fine morning when Ricky suddenly popped by Jaejin’s studio.

“A little… Why?”

“You promised we can go to the flea market today.” If only Jaejin look at Ricky, he will see his signature ‘puppy eyes’ look.

“Sorry, Rick. I don’t think we can make it today, maybe tomorrow?” Jaejin continued extracting seed oil from the herbs they’ve gotten the day before.

“But it’s the last day. We’ll have to wait another month for the next run,” Ricky pouted.

“Not that we’re leaving soon right? We can stay until we finish visiting every flea market that you want to go.”

Ricky had an idea, which he is positive that Jaejin will not approve of. But since Jaejin is so concentrated on what he is doing, maybe… maybe he will let loose… “I’ll go by myself then,” he smiled mischievously.

“You know you’re not supposed to be out of my sight right.” No, this is not a question. The talisman had made a few false alarms within the month since Ricky’s birthday, which is very unusual. Even Ricky had always assured Jaejin that he is fine, Jaejin still feels insecure.

“I’ll bring along Suwon, you can trust him right?” Ricky tried to persuade Jaejin.

Jaejin carefully lay down his tools, “You mean Suwon and THAT fella?” He slowly removed his glasses and looked over to Ricky.

“Just Suwon! I’ll tell him to come alone and not to invite Jiwon hyung!” Ricky begged, “Please, please, please~ Puh-lease~~~~~ I really want to go…” There, there, he played the ‘puppy eyes’ card again.

“Alright, just Suwon! Promise?”

“Promise!” Ricky let out his pinky finger and hooked it on Jaejin’s.

==============================

Jiwon saw a familiar figure while he was driving pass the mall – a lean figure in black T-shirt, white skinny jeans and black sneakers. He even wore a cap and sunglasses. Jiwon chuckled when he sees him licking the ice cream. How adorable!

He pulled over his car beside Ricky and shouted, “Yah! Quit playing on phone, the melting ice cream is gonna drip on your shirt!”

“Hyung! Why are you here?!” Ricky was surprised to see Jiwon. He doesn’t always get out from his house and Suwon promised to go to the flea market with him, just the both of them, they didn’t invite Jiwon.

“Yah, you look like you’ve did something wrong. Did I just caught you red handed?!”

“What?! No, of course not! I’m just surprised to see you, you seldom come out.” Jiwon looked at him with a squinted look which leaves Ricky wondered whether Jiwon believes what he just said.

“What are you doing here?”

“Suwon is on the way, I’m waiting for him,” Ricky smiled.

“OK… where is Jaejin?” Jiwon had never once seen Ricky alone.

“He is… hold on hung,” his phone rang, it was Suwon. “Annyeong, are you here yet? … I’m just by the road, near the slope towards the malls entrance … you’ll see me right away when you get here … OK, see you soon, bye.”

==============================

“Jiwon hyung?! Why are you here?!” Suwon was surprised to see Jiwon, “Hey Rick, I thought you said not to…” “Ah! Suwon! You’re here! Jiwonnie hyung saw me while I was waiting for you.” Ricky quickly cut off Suwon.

“Oh, OK…” he looked a Jiwon suspiciously, “Hyung, why are you out today?!”

“What?! Do I have to report my daily schedule to you?!”

“Nah, it’s just that you seldom leave your mansion… Rick, are you done with your ice cream? I think we better get going.”

“Where are you guys going?”

“Well… Just the flea market… downtown…” Jiwon was really just curious, but when he sees Suwon’s reacted a little stiffed and all secretive, he can’t help but showing interest to join them. “Hop on, I’ll give you a ride.”

==============================

“Here we are,” Jiwon stopped his car and turned the engine off. Ricky and Suwon got out of the car, so did Jiwon.

“Hyung? Are you coming with us?!” Suwon asked.

“Since I’m done with what I’m supposed to do, why not?” Jiwon shrugged his shoulder. In fact he enjoyed seeing Suwon being panic as much as spending time with Ricky.

“Technically, we didn’t invite him right? He is the one who followed us…” Ricky whispered to Suwon, which Suwon answered, “I think so… Let’s just make sure Jaejin doesn’t know about it.”

“Yah! What are you guys whispering around?! What secrets are you keeping from me?”

“It’s nothing, hyung, don’t be sensitive. We’re just wondering whether the restaurant will allow us to add another seat. We only made reservation for two.” Ricky quickly came out with something to comfort Jiwon.

“Not a big deal. If they don’t allow, we’ll just go to another restaurant. Let’s go.” Jiwon walked towards the entrance, leaving two helpless souls standing there looking at each other. “Yah! Are you coming?!” They picked up the pace and followed along.

==============================

Ricky likes to visit flea markets. He especially enjoys browsing through nice collections of jewelries, being it earrings, necklaces, rings or bracelets. He just likes accessories.

“Hyung! Look at this! I think it will look nice on you.” Ricky held up a necklace with a cross symbol.

“What?! A cross?! Hell no!” Jiwon resisted; not because it was made with silver or that the cross would hurt him, he is just not comfortable with holy symbols, he feels disrespectful. Suwon sniggered at his reaction.

“Come on, hyung, try it on.” Ricky tried to wear it on Jiwon.

“Stop it! I’m allergic to silver!” Jiwon dodged away.

“Hyung! Are you kidding me?! You were just playing with that ring a while ago!”

Busted! “Those… those are stainless steels!” Jiwon always believes that a bad excuse is always better than none.

“FYI, this store sells silver accessories. They are all silver.” Suwon reminded Jiwon, which made the latter threatened to slap on his face.

“Look, I just don’t like cross,” Jiwon looked around the accessories displayed and took something else and wear it around his neck. “I like this! It looks nice on me, right? This is so much better, uh? As manly as me.” Jiwon stood proud displaying the necklace with a razor blade pendent dangling over his chest.

“Alright, I’ll buy you this.” Ricky agreed. It does look good on him.

“Huh?! Why are you buying me this? I didn’t even mention that I’m going to buy it.” Jiwon removed the necklace and place it back to where it belongs.

“Nah, we’ve known each other for almost a month now, I feel that we get along well. I just wanted to buy you a gift as an appreciation.” Ricky took the necklace along with a few more items that he had chosen.

“Make sure you wear it, hyung. I’ll be upset if you don’t.” He warned Jiwon while waiting for the store owner to pack the things.

There is no doubt Ricky had gotten comfortable with Jiwon hanging around him. At times he felt that Jiwon treats him special, as if he is the person Jiwon used to know. Ricky would just go along as he didn’t want to upset Jiwon. Eventually, he found that Jiwon is actually like an egg – tough on the outside but soft in the inside. He doesn’t express his feelings and builds a wall to protect himself emotionally; he is blunt and direct with his words, at the same time emotionally sensitive and easily get hurt by unkind words. Ricky being himself, is always friendly to Jiwon despite Jaejin keeps warning him that they barely know Jiwon and that Jiwon is a tough person.

==============================

“Are you OK?” Ricky had been chatty since they had gotten out, but he seems a little quiet now. Suwon had noticed Ricky swaying slightly on his feet.

“Isn’t it stuffy? How long have we been here? Let’s go get some coffee.” In fact Ricky is breaking out cold sweat. He assumed it is due to lack of fresh air as the market is crowded.

==============================

‘Oh boy, where is the café, are we near yet…’ Ricky muttered to himself. He had increased the paces of his footsteps as he started feeling dizzy. He wanted to reach there faster. He needs to sit down for a drink to cool down his system.

His vision was blurry and sparkly when the café finally came into sight. He suddenly paused, almost tripping the person behind him. The person said something, but he couldn’t make up the voice. Was it Suwon or Jiwon hyung? What did he said? The buzzing noise was too loud he couldn’t hear clearly. ‘Take a deep breathe, Rick, take a deep breathe.’ He told himself.

He held his hand and grabbed on to the person beside him, closed his eyes and took a deep breathe.

==============================

Jiwon had been observing Ricky since the moment he noticed Ricky’s heavy sweat. Although it was crowded in the market, the area was sheltered with air conditioner and the ventilation was working well.

He felt it unusual for Ricky to be sweating under such condition. Is he not feeling well? He had been quiet for the past 15 minutes or so.

‘Wait a minute, did he just swayed to the left?!’ Jiwon was not sure.

“Are you OK?” Suwon obviously noticed that Ricky’s footsteps were floating too. He didn’t answer Suwon directly but suggested to go get some coffee. This raised suspicion to Jiwon.

Jiwon stared intensely as Ricky wipes off the sweat on his face and neck, his pale face looks drawn, his lips were dried. He walked so fast as if they are in a rush. Then the paused, suddenly.

“Hey, watch the way you’re going.” Suwon who followed behind him almost tripped, but he managed to avoid crashing himself towards Ricky.

“Rick, are you OK?” Jiwon asked.

He muttered something, but it was too soft, Jiwon couldn’t hear his voice. Then he clung on to Jiwon’s arm and lean towards Jiwon. Jiwon felt Ricky’s body slipping away before he realized Ricky lost full consciousness. He passed out.

PART 9

Jaejin was just about to wrap up his work when he heard someone buzzing the doorbell and pounding on the door impatiently. Startled, he hurried towards the front door, on his way noticed from the French window that it was…

Suwon?! Shouldn’t he be with Ricky at the flea market?!

When Jaejin opened the door, he could hardly believe what he saw. There stood a panic Suwon with Ricky on the back of Jiwon. “What the hell just happened?!”

“Rick passed out in the market!” Suwon freaked. Jiwon on the other hand was worried, but he had no idea Ricky’s life is constantly at risk. He had wanted to send Ricky to the hospital, but Suwon insisted they should send him back, “only Jaejin knows how to deal with this,” he said.

“How could this be?!” Jaejin checked Ricky’s pulse then carried him away from Jiwon and rushed him to his room, Suwon followed behind him leaving Jiwon alone.

“Hey!” Jiwon yelled at them.

“Hey! Come back!!!!” They seemed to forget about him.

Jiwon was so frustrated that he couldn’t go in. He stomped on the ground and pounded on the wall helplessly until he is tired of it and collapse. There was nothing he could do. He wasn’t invited.

==============================

It was another 3 hours later when Jaejin and Suwon finally came out. Jaejin felt strong urge to curse when he sees the cracked walls and vandalized garden, it was a hell of a mess.

“Let me in…” Jiwon said.

“Isn’t the door opened?” Jaejin teased him with a smirk.

“Hyung, let’s just invite him in, he won’t make trouble.”

“He has already made enough trouble, look at the garden!” Jaejin pointed.

Jiwon looked Jaejin in the eyes, his eyes turned red, even darker than wine. “Let me in” he commanded.

“Save your tricks, you can’t compel me.” Jiwon was caught off guard.

“Jaejin hyung, I promise he will be good, I’ll be his guarantor, OK?” Suwon begged for Jiwon.

“Let me in before I wreck your house!” threatened Jiwon.

“As if you can,” Jaejin rubbed his thumb and index finger together and mumbled something.

Before Jiwon realized Jaejin is muttering a spell, he felt a severe headache as if his brain is going to explode and his skull is ripping apart. “Aarrrggghhh!!!!! STOP IT!!!!! Aarrrggghhh!!!!!”

“This, is so you’re aware of what I’m capable of doing. I must remind you that I can rescind the invitation anytime, so please don’t do anything stupid and behave yourself.”

“What… are you… a witch?!” Jiwon asked. Although Jaejin had stopped the spell, he still feels a dull pain around his temple.

“Just! Don’t call me a witch! It sounds… sissy!” Jaejin rolled his eyes, “You may come in now.”

Jiwon wanted to know the condition of Ricky and why Suwon said Jaejin is the only one who can deal with Ricky’s condition? Did Suwon know Jaejin is a witch?! Why didn’t Suwon tell him?! Since when Jaejin knows what he is?! Does Ricky know too?! Why is Ricky always being around a witch?! And… Jiwon got too many questions to ask. But before he recover and ask anything, Jaejin had already retreated to his studio. Suwon went forward to support Jiwon, “Hyung, let’s go have a look at Ricky first,” he brought Jiwon to Ricky’s room.

==============================

Jiwon’s gaze had never left the person on the bed for a slight second. Sometimes he frowned, sometimes he smiled and sometimes he just lay there motionless to the extent that Jiwon had to check for the slight movement on his chest to make sure he is alive. He had lost Sunghoon once, he cannot lose him again.

Despite he has come to realize that they are two different people, he still sees Sunghoon in Ricky. Deep inside, he knows that he still misses Sunghoon, but at the same time he adores Ricky.

Jaejin would come over to check him up every hour, making sure his vitals are fine and the IV runs smooth. He would chase Jiwon out from the room whenever he is doing his routine, then he would lock himself up in his studio. As much as Jiwon wants to know what happened, he is worried of the man who has been unconscious for the past two days. He will deal with that wicked witch later, he can wait, he thought to himself. His top priority now is to make sure the sick man awakes.

==============================

Jaejin had done his best but he couldn’t seem to find any problem with Ricky. Ricky had taken almost a year worth of his monthly remedy, but it doesn’t seem to be effective. Why hasn’t he awake? He went into Ricky’s room and found Jiwon stoning on the chair beside the bed, just like how he had been for the last 48 hours. His has not slept, his eyes are blood shot red; he has not shaved, there is dark stubble on his cheeks; he has not changed nor showered, luckily the house is air conditioned else he would have stink; he has not eaten, Jaejin does not store his kind of food.

Jiwon stood up, intended to leave the room when he sees Jaejin walking into the room.

“Sit down,” Jaejin said; he doesn’t want another patient in the house. He is not even a nurse.

Jiwon observed as Jaejin replaced the IV packet then injects a shot of green liquid into the bag, which incredibly went transparent the moment it got contact with the fluids in it. He took Ricky’s pulse while checking the drips with another hand, making sure the flow is regular and smooth. Finally, he took Ricky’s temperature and checked his eyes for response to light. Everything seems to be fine.

“Come with me, we need to talk,” Jaejin told Jiwon after he finished his routine.

==============================

Suwon was not comfortable with the atmosphere in the living room. Jiwon and Jaejin sitting opposite each other, the act of them staring into each other’s eyes but not talking? Just creeps him out. He wanted to leave; perhaps he should hide himself in Ricky’s room. But just when he made a little gesture motioning to stand up, he heard Jaejin’s voice “Sit!”

==============================

Something was bothering Jaejin… Something just does not feel right, what was it? He observed Jiwon from head to toe then finally fixed his eyes on the necklace. “Isn’t that silver?!” He asked.

“Yes, it is. Why?” Jiwon did not quite get his point.

“Aren’t you a vampire?! How could you wear anything made out of silver?!”

“Well, I’m not vulnerable to silver, that’s why.”

“Strip off your clothes.” That was what Jaejin told Jiwon after a while.

“What?!” Jiwon was surprised. He did not see that coming. He thought they are supposed to talk?

“Just take off your clothes.” Jaejin refused to explain.

Jiwon reluctantly removed his shirt, revealing his naked top. Despite they have known each other for a month, it still feels awkward to expose himself in front of Jaejin. He blushed as he could feel Jaejin’s gaze scanning every inch of his body. He took a step backwards defending himself when Jaejin suddenly grab his arm.

==============================

Jaejin carefully inspects the sleeve tattoo on Jiwon’s right arm. He can sense that there are two layers of powerful scrolls inscribed on it, possibly an ancient spell? He does not have enough power to read through it, it must have been casted by a great witch. “What is this?” He resolved with getting direct answer from Jiwon.

“Yah, witch, you should know better, can’t you see it’s a spell?! Are you a novice?”

“I know it’s a spell, I mean what it does?”

“First, tell me what’s wrong with Ricky.” Jiwon struggled to get loose from Jaejin’s grip.

“He is fine. Now tell me about your tattoo spell.”

“Fine?! You call that fine?! Are you kidding me?! He has been sleeping for two days! I’ve seen you walking in and out replacing those drips on an hourly basis. You called that fine?!”

“Yes, but his condition is alright. I need to know more about your tattoo, it might be affecting Rick in a negative way.”

“What?! Don’t bullshit me, witch.” Jiwon didn’t buy it. How could his tattoo spell be affecting Rick?

Unless… But it couldn’t be, he is not Sunghoon.

“OK, fine.” Jaejin took a deep breath and continued, “Although Rick has a bright personality, but as you can see from his unusual pale skin, he is physically fragile. He has a weak heart.” Jaejin paused for a moment and continued, “Did you realize the necklace with a refined crystal ore that Rick wears all the time?” Jiwon nodded. “That necklace is linked to my talisman with a spell,” he held up his necklace. “The refined crystal has a protection effect, which absorbs all the dark and negative energy around him. It also monitors his vital. My talisman will react if his physical is in bad shape, for example accelerating heartbeat, hypertension, hypothermia, et cetera, et cetera. When I said you might affect him, I mean the spells might collide, which will lead to reverse effect.” Jaejin carefully word his speech to make sure he didn’t spill too much information.

==============================

Jiwon listened attentively to what Jaejin had to say. The idea of his tattoo spell might collide with Rick’s protection spell scares him.

“You’ve know this all the while?!” He asked Suwon.

“I only knew the part which Jaejin practices witchcraft.” He was telling the truth. After all, he is not a busybody. Although he enjoys befriending Ricky, he has his own secrets that he doesn’t just tell anyone, so he always respects the others in a way he wants people to treat him.

“I had this from a witch tribe which owe a huge debt of gratitude to our family. It first started with a sunlight spell, then it was overrode and extended into this part,” Jiwon pointing towards the center part of his tattoo which displayed his surname ‘Eun’ in Chinese character. “Apparently it is an ancient spell which protects the bearer from any form of paranormal manifestation. Few decades ago, I’ve gotten another spell inscribed on it, you can call it another extension, it basically protects me from harmful elements, like silver.”

“Well, it doesn’t make sense that they might collide since they are all protection spells.” Jaejin was confused. He is sure that there is definitely something that connects in between. What is that???

“Tell me, witch, since when you know I’m a… erm… vamp?”

Jaejin was perplexed, “Seriously? You really think I’m a novice?! Of course I knew it since the day we met!” declared Jaejin. “And please don’t call me ‘witch’, I have a name, Jaejin, remember? You used to call me that.”

“OK, Jaejin, does Ricky knows it too? That I’m a vamp?”

“No, I don’t think so, I never tell him.”

“So, tell me, why are both of you always together? Why are you taking care of him?”

“Because I’m his keeper,” Jaejin let out a proud grin.

==============================

“Hyung, I’m bored, let’s bet!”

“Over what?

“Hmm…”

“Hey, you’ve gotta let me know whether it’s worth betting for.”

“How about… The person who catches a hare first be granted a wish?”

“A wish? What kind of wish?”

“Whatever it is as long as it is within the other person’s capability and the other person must comply, unconditionally.”

“Deal!”

Who is the person he was talking to? It was too blurry, he couldn’t make out the image and he couldn’t recognize the voice due to the echo. All he knows is that they were laughing; they sounded happy. He could feel a strong desire, that he already had something in mind that he wants to ask for… what was that? But of all things, why are they catching a hare?! He fell back into sleep before he could figure out anything.

NOTE: So… the huge mistake I did yesterday was… how is it possible that Jiwon can wear a silver necklace?! Duh… he should be vulnerable to silver… stupid me… and hence the tattoo story progressed this way…

PART 10 (it’s just another draggy flashback)

“I’m bringing Rick back to Jeju-do,” Jaejin announced. Although he did not find any problem on Ricky, he felt a little anxious because Ricky had fallen asleep for too long. How long more is he going to sleep? Will he not wake up for another century?

“I’m going too,” Jiwon said after a long silence.

“We leave tomorrow,” Jaejin left the room. He had expected Jiwon to follow along. He only hopes that the Sechskies clan will not be mad at him for bringing in yet another vampire.

==============================

It had been five days since Ricky fell unconscious. Seeing Ricky in that state for the past few days made Jaejin feels like he had travelled back in time; his childhood when he treated the chief’s place as his playground, and his teenage years when he frequented the same place just to spend time with the wise man.

Unlike the other adults who got annoyed by his endless ‘why-what-who-when-how’, the chief is always patience in clearing his doubts. He would read to little Jaejin, tell him interesting stories, show him fancy magic that he was too little to learn and taught him the spells that he can comprehend. Jaejin was not the only one who the chief adores. In fact he treats everyone equally. It was just that Jaejin had been the one who would always rather to hang out at his place when even his own son goes out to play with his peers.

==============================

“Who is he?” Jaejin was only 3 years old when he first saw the man who is constantly in his sleep.

“This is Ricky.”

“He is so pretty,” little Jaejin rests his head beside the man and observes while the chief conducts his routine. “I want to be like him!”

The chief chuckled.

“Why do you call him Ricky?” The curious cat strikes.

“Tell me, child, who is the 10th chief?”

“Master Ko Seungjae!” Jaejin answered confidently.

“Yes. It was him who gave Ricky the name. Chief Ko’s parents found Ricky in the woods. Something terrible happened to him, he almost died. He was so weak even after treated and wouldn’t wake up until now. Nobody knows who is he or what is his name, Chief Ko was the only person who had contact with him when he is about your age. He named him ‘Ricky’ when he grew up, which means strong power, in hoping he gains the energy and will to fight for his survival.”

The chief was not sure whether Jaejin understood the conversation. But ever since then, Jaejin became a regular visitor of Ricky and had helped taking care of him as well as cleaning up the place. At times, he would just rest himself by Ricky’s bed enjoy observing the fine lines that made up the pretty face of the motionless man.

==============================

It was a hot afternoon in the September when Jaejin heard something while he is sketching a beautiful portrait of Ricky. He was in the middle of a struggle; he always struggles when it comes to the eyes as he had never once seen Ricky’s eyes. What is the color of his eyes? What is the shape of his eyes? Jaejin laughed when the thought of Ricky having crooked eyes appear in his mind. ‘No, it can’t be. Those must be a pair of captivate eyes to match the beautiful face.’

That was when he heard a sigh; a long sigh that came from the direction where the only person there has been sleeping for a century. It was as if he just let out his last breath. The clueless Jaejin stood up and slowly approach the bed to check out Ricky. It scared the hell out of him as the man’s eyes were suddenly wide opened.

“Chief!!! Chief!!!” He shouted as he staggered his way to inform the chief. He returned along with the chief to find Ricky standing in the room looking through the window into the garden.

“Where am I?” he gave them a blank look, “Why am I here?” he asked.

==============================

‘I don’t remember things; I’ve even been asking people who I am, but I never got the answer. They said I’ve suffered a terrible wound and fallen asleep for a century. Whoever said this must be insane, who on earth will sleep for that long?! On second thought, I may have just done it, they are witches after all. Apparently the old man who people referred to as the chief, is the only one who really know things about me. But he wouldn’t speak about it anymore because every time I try hard to recall things, my heart would ache and I could feel my right arm burning. Isn’t that weird?! I’m digging for memories in my brain but my heart and arm suffer?! He explained something about how our brain suppressed memories in order to protect the individual from emotional pain of recalling traumatic events. Part of me is glad that I don’t remember anything awful, but another part of me feels so empty especially when night falls. He told me not to force myself, assured me that I will naturally remember things as my body regains energy and matures. Even if I don’t, he will return me something important that will definitely boost my condition, but that will only happen 21 years later. I asked him, why 21? Because 21-year-old is when a person is physically and mentally mature, he said, I’m like a baby now. I finally decided to give up after a few stubborn attempts. I figured I should just enjoy life like any other person out there, who knows I may remember things the next minute? Maybe I should start with befriending my guardian, who will be selected… any minute by now. I would love to witness the nomination ceremony myself, but my condition isn’t helping. Oh how I hate being weak and fragile.’

PART 11

Jaejin had soon realised that it was a mission impossible to transport an unconscious man without being questioned by the authorities. He reached out to the chief, who had resolved to create a portal that connects the two locations to bring them back.

However, it will take them another week to complete that as it requires delicate choice of location and vast amount of energy to hold the portal.

“No worries, chief. His condition is stable. It’s just that he doesn’t wake up.”

==============================

“Suwon-ah, I need more of those,” Jaejin called Suwon early in the morning.

“Huh? Hyung, I just gave you a vial like a month ago? Shouldn’t that suffice for the year?”

“Yea, it normally does, but I’ve been injecting Rick his remedy on a daily basis as compared to the regular monthly dose, and I need to keep that going for another week or so until we’re transported back to Jeju-do.”

“What?! Those are for his remedies?! I never knew that!”

“Yea… So… can you fix me another vial? It’s quite urgent, I’ll be running out of stock if I don’t start making more now…”

“You know what… In fact, you can just ask from Jiwon hyung. He still camps at your place right?”

How he wishes he could throw Jiwon out from his house, Jaejin rolled his eyes to himself. “I can’t just ask from him. As a matter of fact, Ricky’s system is very sensitive. So far he has only reacted positively and without any complications to those that you manage to get for me.”

“Yea… and those are actually from Jiwon hyung…”

“WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Gosh, I should have known that!” Jaejin slapped his palm to the forehead.

==============================

Jaejin hovered anxiously outside Ricky’s room. He needs something from Jiwon, but how is he going to explain to Jiwon the reason behind? Can he tell him the truth? Should he tell him the truth?

“Hey, are you coming in?!” Jiwon interrupted Jaejin’s thought when he suddenly opens the door. He could not stand the noise of Jaejin’s footsteps, they are so annoying. “Why are you pacing up and down out like an anxious husband waiting outside the delivery room?!”

As Jiwon return to the room, Jaejin braved himself to pose his question, “Hyung… I need a favour…”

“What is it?” Jaejin is not someone who simply asks for a favour from another person.

“Uh-hmm… I need … from you…” Jaejin’s voice was so soft Jiwon couldn’t catch him.

“What is it?! I can’t hear you. Just say it loud, I’ll do it if I can.”

“Ineedyourblood.”

“Huh?” Jiwon raised his thick eyebrows in surprise, “Blood?” Did he hear wrongly?

“Yes, your blood.”

“And why do you need that?” Jiwon looked at him suspiciously.

“Ehm… Well, for the healing effect? I’m gonna use it as an ingredient to Rick’s remedy.” Jaejin as usual, tried not to give out too much information.

“Alright, how much do you need?” Jiwon was not at all convinced, but if this is the only way he can contribute, he will do it.

“Not much, just 10cc.”

==============================

‘I’ve been providing blood to Suwon for almost half his lifetime. Not much, just 10cc on a yearly basis. He said it’s for saving life. The blood of a cursed person as life saviour, how irony is that? When Jaejin said he needs a favour, I didn’t expect him to ask for my blood. He should have known that we don’t simply allow people to consume our blood. Well, maybe that’s the reason why he hesitated at the first place. We’ve only known each other for a month and we’re barely closed. Wait a minute… how long had Suwon befriend Jaejin? About 20 years? Isn’t that the duration I’ve been supplying Suwon my blood? How much is the capacity of the vial that I usually gave Suwon? Almost 10cc? Where did the blood I gave Suwon goes to? Who’s life was it to save?’

Jiwon looked at the man who sleeps peacefully in his bed. Coincidence? Maybe. And maybe not.

PART 12

The 18-year-old Jaejin is like a young bull in all the glory of youth. The hot headed young man is excited for being a nominee, but not quite so as a guardian. The other candidates get to go on adventures to accomplish quests and work together with the coven to improvise spells, but he has to become a nanny?!

“Jaejin-ssi, you’ve just been officially nominated as one of the candidates in the run of becoming the 12th chief clan. Isn’t that something worth celebrating? Why do you look upset?” The chief immediately noticed the gloomy boy in the middle of the party.

“Nothing… It’s just that I feel my mission is not as challenging… Duckie gets to travel around to collect rare items for the clan and complete special tasks requested by the coven, Eun Ju even work on spells together with the coven, but all I do is babysitting Ricky.”

“Do you think your assignment is not significant?” Jaejin nodded.

“Are you as energetic, adventurous and such a risk taker as Jae Duck?” Jaejin shook his head.

“Are you as nerdy and book-smart as Eun Ju, and as focused as her you can concentrate on one small little thing for days?” Jaejin shook his head again.

“Jaejin-ssi, I haven’t got the chance to brief in detail you yet, but Ricky’s life is constantly at stake. I trust your ability, initiative and judgement in taking good care of him. I feel confident to put his life in your hands.” The chief paused as he looked around the happy people attending the party. Jaejin understands. While Jae Duck is too hyper to focus on things, Eun Ju is too focused she often neglects what is happening around. Even he does not make it as a nominee, he would still be the best person to be Ricky guardian.

“Life is a gift. It offers us the privilege, opportunity and responsibility to give something back by becoming more. It is time you start thinking what more can you do while basking in every moment you’re in and what do you want to accomplish in life.”

==============================

Jaejin knew he is in big trouble the moment they stepped through the portal. He could feel the majority of the coven stiffened and that they were in defensive positions. ‘I’m doomed,’ he thought, ‘all thanks to the vampire hyung,’ his glare made Jiwon puzzled.

“Jaejin-ssi, come with me,” Chief Kim said after settling Ricky in bed. Jaejin followed the chief into his chamber.

“Tell me, what are the crucial five that you should be keeping an eye on?” The chief turned around and asked Jaejin after he locked the door.

“Temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, remedy and vampires.”

“And who have you brought along?”

Jaejin flinched at the stern expression on his face.

“Let’s have a seat and you can tell me all about it, starting from how you had met.” The chief needs to know everything from the beginning.

Jaejin spent half an hour to fill him in with every detail from the day they first met Jiwon until the minute before they were transported back to Jeju-do.

“I know we are refraining Ricky from contacts with his kind, in fear that it could be the rouser of his sleeping instincts. I’ve been doing that for 20 years. But chief, Jiwon hyung is different. He is somehow connected to Ricky; they knew each other. I’ve also found out days ago that he is the one who supplied the vampire blood, which we use to make remedy for Ricky. This explains why Ricky’s body only reacts satisfactorily to his blood.”

“Destiny!” It was the only word the chief said.

PART 13

He is on the ground leaning against a tree. His feels pressure on his chest, tight and heavy like having something lodged in his heart restricting his breath. His left hand is still clutching on something, but he could not see it as his fingers are too numb to release the clenched fist nor he has the energy to raise his arm. He could feel the dampness on his right hand, which is positioned on his left chest.

What is that strong scent of iron?

Why is someone weeping beside him?

What did he just say?

If only the surrounding is not that dark and his vision is not that blurred…

“Run… Hyung…” He heard his own voice.

“Run!” He channels all his energy and pushes the person away with his bloody hand. Wait a minute, is he bleeding? It is so dark but he can still see the vivid red stains all over his hand. So it is the smell of blood? Is he dying? Is that why the person is weeping? A sudden spurt of blood came rushing up his throat and gush from his mouth.

He feels very weak. He has no strength to move a muscle, not even his eyelids. He is flushed with emotions that he finds complicated as he lays there trying hard to keep breathing. Part of him is relief that he is the one downed and the other person made it to escape the scene, while another part of him drowning in sorrow and loneliness for being apart with that person. It felt like this is farewell. But who is he? Tears roll down his cheeks.

==============================

Ricky sleeps sound most of the time, with some occasional dreams that made him frown or smile. However it was the first time Jiwon had seen tears seeping down his face, it wrenched his heart. He cupped Ricky’s cheek softly and dries away his tears with the pad of his thumb. He then placed his other palm over Ricky’s forehead, gently rubbing his thumb in between Ricky’s scowl brows until the frown loosen. He lowered his posture, got a little closer and then closer; close enough for him to plant a kiss on Ricky’s forehead. His pulse went into overdrive as he realised what he was doing. Shocked by his own action, Jiwon stood and fled the room.

==============================

“Hyung, quit smoking, it’s not good for health,” Sunghoon used to nag him a lot when he sees him smoking.

“Not that I’m gonna die from a disease anyway,” Jiwon would always say.

“But the tobacco smoke irritates my eyes and airways!” And Jiwon would put out the cigarette every time Sunghoon plays that card. Every time.

He still hears Sunghoon’s voice every now and then. He knows it’s just his memories playing on him but still, he will respond and act to it as if Sunghoon is still here.

Today, however, was not the case. He lit the cigarette, inhaled the smoke into his lungs then blew out through his nose, enjoying the burning sensation that he needed to bring himself back to conscious.

Nothing happened.

He took another long pull, hold, blow.

Still dead quiet.

“Sunghoon-ah, why didn’t you nag me? Can’t you see I’m smoking?!”

……

“Sunghoon-ah, are you mad at me?”

……

“Sunghoon-ah, you know right? I adore him as a brother, but he is just a dongsaeng… unlike you… you’re irreplaceable…”

……

“I’m sorry, I must have been too worried of him, I got confused. I’ll leave the place and not see them again once he wakes up, so please don’t be mad, OK?”

……

“Hoon-ah… I miss you…” Jiwon fell on his knees and wept until he lost his breath, coughed, gagged, got his breath back to weep all the more.

PART 14

Ho-dong was happily enjoying some local delicacies when he receives a call from Jiwon. It is an emergency, he said. “It better be, else I’m gonna tear you into pieces!” He reluctantly parted with the table of food, packed his luggage and took the next flight connecting to Jeju-do.

Ho-dong has known Jiwon for his whole life, but only become closed about 16 years ago. He is a family friend. Well, sort of… His tribe actually owe a huge debt to Jiwon. They were the one who took him as a sacrifice for the ritual to keep the ancestral power flowing. At the end of the ritual, the tribe is supposed to be rewarded by the ancestors through resurrecting the sacrifice and rejuvenating their connection. The ritual failed, for they have offered the wrong sacrifice. He was resurrected, but at the same time cursed and became a different species. It has become the commitment of the tribe to look after and protect him, a legacy that is now in its sixth generation.

Although he is much younger than Jiwon, Jiwon has resolved to call him hyung. “Yah, this is inappropriate!” He objected.

“Yah?! And you deemed that appropriate?!” Jiwon insisted. “You’ve always take care of me like a big brother! Why must it depend on age?! Who piggybacks me when I hurt my knees? YOU! Who took care of me when my condition is not good? YOU! Who find me food when I’m hungry? Who played games with me when I’m bored? Who…”

“OK! OK! Call me whatever you want! Just stop it already!”

“Anyway, you’re already older than the age when I seized growing! And people will be suspicious if you call me hyung because you look so much older than me!” Jiwon grinned on his victory and quickly ran away before Ho-dong could grab his collar.

“I’ll call you haraboji!” Even Ho-dong said so, he somehow felt sorry for him. It was not his own will to be immortal at the first place, yet he has to deal with loss and loneliness.

=========================

“Giant!!” Kids ran around the compound yelling and laughing. Jiwon knew right away that Ho-dong has arrived. Frankly speaking, he is not really that big, but to kids, he is still rather a giant. “Jiwon-ah~~~ Ho-dong is here~~~” The guest himself announced his arrival loudly.

“Yah, lower your voice, you’re embarrassing me!” Jiwon protested while walking over to greet Ho-dong. He ignored Jiwon’s complaint and gave him a bear hug.

Jiwon met the chief on the other day after Jaejin. He introduced himself as Chief Kim, the 11th chief of the Sechskies clan. Yes, he had heard of them being one of the strongest witch clan, Sunghoon told him when they visited Jeju-do together for the first and also the last time.

With Jiwon’s permission, Chief Kim carefully examined his sleeve tattoo. The energy of the spell is all too familiar to him, or to be more precise, it is familiar to the strand of memory he inherited. “I see you have two protection scrolls inscribed… ancient spells… hmm… delicate work… If I could ask, do the descendants of the caster still practise witchcraft?”

“Yes. Why?” Jiwon was surprised to find the chief being knowledgeable to the spells that he bears.

“If you could invite them over, we might be able to cure Ricky.”

“You can wake him? How? He has been sleeping for so many days. In fact he seems to be just fine, but he wouldn’t wake up.”

“Not just waking him but to recover him from… should I say chronic illness? In fact, something that has been haunting him for too long.”

“Oh, you mean his heart problem?”

“Sort of.”

Jiwon wanted to know more, but figured it would be better to wait until Ho-dong is here so that the chief does not need to repeat his explanation. He called Ho-dong and told him it is “an emergency”, certain that he will depart immediately. He was happy to see Ho-dong reached so soon. Not only that he missed him, but having someone familiar being around in a strange place, what’s more a witch territory, is just relieving.

=========================

Jaejin led Jiwon and his guest to the chief’s chamber. He was fascinated by the fact that Ho-dong is one of the KANGs, a small but powerful nomadic tribe that rose to fame in the mid of 15th century. They are well known for mastering ancient spells. In fact they focused so much on studying ancient magic, they sometimes perform clumsily in other spells.

People started to gather around when the four of them did not come out from the chamber for over an hour. All kinds of whispering were heard within the crowd. Everyone was curious of the visitors’ identities and what’s going on in the chief’s room.

“Isn’t the big guy a witch?”

“How do you know?”

“Can’t you feel it?”

“Why is he here?”

“Did Chief Kim invite him?”

“Does he know the vampire?”

“I saw them greeting each other!”

“Who is the vampire anyway?”

“What are they doing in the room?”

“Why aren’t they coming out yet?”

“What’s the noise?”

“Did you hear someone banging the table just now?”

“Shh! Someone is yelling…”

“What? Are they quarrelling?”

……

It was another hour later when the door suddenly opened. Jiwon heard all sorts of whispers but he totally ignored them. He was too wearied by things he heard from the conversation they had. How could that possibly happened?! Who are they trying to fool?!

“What’s wrong with him?”

“He looks devastated!”

“His eyes are red…”

“Is he gonna kill?”

……

“Jiwon-ah, are you alright?” Ho-dong was worried. He had never seen Jiwon so emotional.

Jiwon ignored him. He needs a little solitude to process everything; he needs time to clear his mind. Without a word, he used his super speed to flee the scene.

PART 15
An onyx gemstone vintage ring rests loosely in his palm. He did not care of the red mark on his palm that resulted from him clenching the ring to his fist too tight, he just could not get his eyes off the ring, more specifically, the initial engraved on the inside of the band – W&H.
He had never thought he would see this again. He has a similar ring; a handmade ring attached with a black onyx, a gemstone crafted from the same piece of mineral as the ring he is holding now, which Sunghoon acquired in India. His ring bears a reversed initial as this one – H&W.
==============================
“Hyung, do you want a ring or a necklace?” Sunghoon asked him while observing the rock that shines under the sunlight.
“Don’t tell me you’re gonna make an accessory out of that piece of charcoal?!” Jiwon looked unbelievably on the black rock in Sunghoon’s hand. Sunghoon’s love for accessories is beginning to develop into fetish behaviour, he thought.
“It’s an onyx stone, a black onyx stone,” Sunghoon squinted at Jiwon. The latter snatched over the rock, imitating Sunghoon’s action to have a closer look under the sun.
“What’s so special about it? It’s just a black rock.”
“Let me story you a legend of onyx stones. One day, a mischievous cupid cut off the fingernails of Venus when she was asleep. God transformed the nails that scattered on the ground into stones, which came to be known as onyx. The name literally means fingernails in Greek language. It is famous in the Romans. They made seals out of it.”
“Erm… Wow… So beautiful…” Jiwon did not find the story interesting at all, scattered fingernails… that sounds unhygienic…
“Hyung! You’re not romantic at all!” Sunghoon pouted. “You know what? Onyx is believed to enhance the eloquence to express love for romantic interest. You definitely need that!” Sunghoon tried to snatched back the onyx stone from Jiwon but he could not reach it as Jiwon held it high.
“Since you’re so good in expressing your emotions and feelings, you don’t need it. Just give it to me.”
“I need it to absorb the negative energy and aid in developing strength brought by bad relationship,” teased Sunghoon who stood with his hands on his hips.
Jiwon gently tossed the rock to Sunghoon and walked away. “A ring,” he said.
Sunghoon smiled, carefully pocketed the onyx stone. He should plan for a return to Paris next, so that he can look for his favourite jewellery maker in the marketplace.
==============================
“Hyung, close your eyes and give me your hand.”
“Why? What do you want to do?!”
“It’s nothing scary, I promised.”
Jiwon looked at him suspiciously, slowly closed his eyes and cowardly offered his hands.
Sunghoon held his hands, patted softly on it, “Ah, hyung, you have such beautiful hands.”
“Yah, stop molesting me,” Jiwon protested, but he was smiling and secretly enjoying the warmth from Sunghoon’s hands. He felt a little disappointed when Sunghoon let go one of his hands.
Sunghoon let go of Jiwon’s right hand to reach into his pocket for a platinum ring. He slowly slid it onto Jiwon’s ring finger and smiled satisfactory seeing it fits him well.
“OK, you may open your eyes now.”
Jiwon grinned like an idiot when he sees the ring. He loves it. He especially likes it that Sunghoon wore it on his ring finger. “Are you proposing to me?” He teased him.
“It’s just a couple ring that symbolise our friendship,” Sunghoon blushed.
“Then it shouldn’t be worn on the ring finger!” Jiwon pretended to take it off.
“Hyung!” Sunghoon held on to his hands to stop him. “Don’t you dare take it off! And don’t lose it!” He warned Jiwon.
“Arasseo, arasseo. But where is yours? It’s supposed to be a couple ring right?”
Sunghoon took out another ring from his right pocket and wore it on his own finger. Jiwon held on to his hand, observing both rings to and forth with a sly grin.
“I know what you’re thinking hyung,” Sunghoon smiled. “Don’t even try! There are slight differences on both rings. See the side patterns?” Sunghoon pointed to the side of the ring, “They’re at the opposite sides.” Jiwon frowned. Sunghoon then removed his ring, showing Jiwon the inside of the band, “The initials engraved are also different. So, no, you can’t steal mine and pretend it’s yours if you happened to misplace it.” Jiwon could not believe that Sunghoon actually knows what he was thinking. He took both rings to compare, of course Sunghoon is right.
“Who said I’m going to do that? I won’t even remove the ring, how would I misplace it?! Take care of your own ring,” Jiwon pouted. “So… why does yours bear the initial W&H and mine H&W? Why can’t both be the same?”
“Because I’ll always put you first and I know you’ll do the same,” Sunghoon gave Jiwon his killer smile.

Part 16

[Photo+Translation] SS501 Kim Hyun Joong’s drawing ~ Story: The war with aliens

☆ SS501 ☆ 사랑해요 ☆

Source: http://cafe.daum.net/KimHyunjoong/c04C/60
Chinese: xinhm@
http://www.hyunjoongchina.com
English translation: SS501fighting.wordpress.com
Please don’t reedit
Give proper credit when reposting, thanks!

*************************************************************

haha… when I saw this, I can’t help but laugh out loud ^^

Hyun Joong really is obsessed about aliens and skulls…kekeke

They almost appear in every drawing of him

The story is so full of his 4Dness

I think he really come from outer space….hahaha

————————————————————————-

1. Alien invasion

Aliens invade the Earth.

Spacecraft kidnapped a few people on earth. They were like tied yellow croaker.

An alien captured some people on earth with a huge string bag were prepared to transfer them to the spacecraft.

There are aliens who pull hair of Earth people.

Aliens with laser guns attacked people on earth.

Saw a monster spit fire poison people on earth. There was a woman’s eyeballs jump out of her eye sockets.

2. Earth people counter-attack

The prince sitting in a tank with a…

View original post 161 more words

[TRANS] Ko Ji Yong’s Letter

90skies archive

Happy Birthday to Sechskies’ killer good looks Ko Ji Yong!

생일축하해, 젝키의 살인미모 고지용!

Hello? This is Ko Ji Yong.

You’ve been waiting for a long time, right? If I knew, I wouldn’t be able to eat. There are a lot of people who’ve waited for a long time, it’s very fun. Hahaha… It’s alright for me to wait for a long time, but for you pretty ones, you can’t do that. [That’s why] we came like this.

It’s been difficult recently, right? Shouldn’t we continue to be #1? Hahaha.. I’m so happy. Whenever I hear Jekki’s name when I’m on stage, during that time, I’m very happy to be born into this world. I don’t know how to repay all the love you all have given to us. [We’ll] practice all the songs well, sing good songs and keep everyone’s love deeply in our hearts. Very deeply… To those…

View original post 75 more words

[TRANS] Ko Ji Yong, the one who slid for the stage

90skies archive

Happy Birthday to Sechskies’ killer good looks, Ko Ji Yong!

젝스키스의 살인 미모 생일축하해!

An incident that made you blush
The Jekki members have made atleast a mistake on stage once, and I’m no exception. I’ve slipped for the stage. It happened so quickly, so I couldn’t find an alternative, I fell down naked. And confidently stood up. As if nothing’s wrong. But, at that time, there was white fog right in front of me, my face couldn’t blush, [so] I was pale. And this incident ended in 5 minutes.


An incident that angered you

Jekki’s hair right now is dyed. For everyone’s individual personality. But, Jekki’s hairstyle can’t be seen on live broadcast, it was non-broadcast, but we had to wear hats when we have the live broadcast. Because the singers’ fashion take the lead, fancy and flowery [fashion] should be controlled, since this is said by the broadcasting…

View original post 76 more words

[FANACCS] Picnic with Eun Jiwon (Day 2 – 20170629) trans: sheilaxjung

*Jiwon held a picnic event on 20170629 with 20 selected 1Kyne members. Here’s the fanaccs for the 2nd day*

*talking about the result of punishment outfit for fanmeeting*
Jiwon : i dont know~~~
Fans : Blackpink! Blackpink!
Jiwon : but i dont think i’ll do it though??
Fans : why??!!
Jiwon : no i mean what i did wrong to get such punishment??? What we did wrong???
Fans : the sin of being handsome!!!! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Fan : Last time when you did a vlive what did you film?
Jiwon : Just me alone in home and talked about things. I also filmed fans’ gifts while cleaning up then i realized i only talked by myself ㅋㅋㅋㅋ. I thought “will people watch this in a bit???” And i was confused. Turned out it was only a rehearsal. Since there were none who watched, i thought how would fans know that i’m doing this ㅋㅋㅋㅋ.
Fans : there’s notification for it ㅋㅋㅋ
Jiwon : the company told you when it started
Fans : no ㅋㅋㅋ if we follow you, we’ll get a notification ㅋㅋㅋ

So jiwon still doesnt understand vapp. A fan asked if he got so many notifications when fans commented on his instagram
Jiwon : eyy~~~~ i know that ㅋㅋㅋ what do you take me for ㅋㅋㅋ. Of course i turned it off~

Fanacc credit to @micasaro68 on twitter
Trans by @sheilaxjung
Please take it out with full credit

Recently Jiwon has so many legos and other toys in his house

*Talking about oppa thinking*
Fan : i’ve been really curious about this. You danced to p101 song nayana right? How long did it takes for you to learn it?
Jiwon : 5mins!!!

Fan : oppa, age is just a number
Jiwon : how old are you?
Fan : 20s
Jiwon : when i was your age, i also stayed up 3 nights straight~~~~

A fan asked Jiwon’s ring size and he said that he doesnt know
Me : oppa’s ring size is 17
Jiwon : ahh it’s 17?

A fan had to go down to Jiwon’s table while wearing socks and the ground was so dirty. Jiwon said “its so dirty here. Are your socks okay? It has stains all over it”

Fan : oppa you were sleeping in bathtub on njttw? It must’ve been uncomfortable
Jiwon : yeah it was
Fan : but in tv you look like you had a nice sleep
Jiwon : *laughed*

Fanacc credit to @Spdlqj6275 on twitter
Trans by @sheilaxjung
Please take it out with full credit

Fan : what’s the last drama that you watched?
Jiwon : that one with Jun Jihyun
Fan : there are My love from the star and Legend from the blue sea
Jiwon : the last one!

The september concert is not yet confirmed

When he was asked about why did it have to be 20 people. He said it’d be hard to find a place for 200 people. And also it’s bcs 20th anniversary

A fan asked if in njttw they really took away foods after playing games and when cameras were off. Jiwon said that they really did. He also recommended vietnamese food ‘bun cha’

Fans asked him if he’s aware that he lost so many followers and he laughed

Fan : oppa, are you going to keep your instagram account private?
Jiwon : yes

A fan said since jiwon showed no signs of being alive, she had to come there for him. Jiwon said “if i upload so often, you all will be like “ah this oppa uploads again” right?!”. And the fans went “nooo we wouldnt”

Fan : what are you going to do tomorrow?
Jiwon : tomorrow? I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to know that

Fanacc credit to @19780608_zzi on twitter
Trans by @sheilaxjung
Please take it out with full credit
When the fans introduced themselves, they added jiwon’s charm point at the end of their introduction so jiwon suspected the fans that they all had that planned and he said that its getting hot (because he’s shy). So the fans told him to take his clothes off and he went “take off what?!”

Fans asked when will 5th album come out and Jiwon said he wished it’ll be out before the end of this year

Fanacc credit to @Zzicnic on twitter
Trans by @sheilaxjung
Please take it out with full credit

Lucy is still sick. Jiwon said “my heart hurts the most when a dog is sick”

Fanacc credit to @G1_doggu78 on twitter
Trans by @sheilaxjung
Please take it out with full credit

Jiwon : (looked around) i think you all must’ve been hungry by now?
*He met one of the fans’ eye*
Jiwon : Seems like you’re hungry??
Fan : i got caught,,

Fan : oppa sorry for giving you only this letter ㅠㅠ
Jiwon : eyy what are you talking about~~~!!!

When fans were giving him gifts, he said “why do you bring these gifts~ i said to come without any burden~”

Fan : oppa how old is Lucie?
Jiwon : 8??9??
The fanclub PIC : no, Lucie is 7 y.o!!
Jiwon : 7 y.o???
The fanclub PIC : since you took her in 2010
*PIC : Person In Charge*

When he was giving the fans autographs, he said “ah it’d be good if i can remember all of your names”

A fan asked whose female voice is it on jiwon’s insta that was calling Lucie. The fans wanted to know whether it’s his mom’s voice or someone else. So he said “why do you even talk about that!! It was my mom’s voice for sure!!! It was female’s voice!!! My mom is the only female in my home!!!”

Fan : oppa i’ve been worrying over your knee. I looked it up and it said *mentioned someone’s name* is good at those things
(ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ everyone laughing)
Jiwon : ㅋㅋㅋㅋ why did you look up those things? Thank you~~

Game that he plays nowadays is LOL. Since he has a weak heart, he doesnt play overwatch

Fan1 : oppa did you have a private swimming lesson?
Jiwon : no because i was good at swimming~~

Jiwon : Was it during the 6th grade?? When there are my friends 25m in front of me, i’d take off their pants ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
Fan : ah so you started stealing pants from then~ (njttw reference)
Jiwon : i didnt steal it, i only took it off

Fan : oppa are you going to perform in Japanese music shows?
Jiwon: oh there are also music shows in Japan? I never heard of that before???

Fan1 : how about variety shows??
Jiwon : we should speak well to go there
Fan2 : nowadays there’s a translator beside you to translate it all
Jiwon : ah really? It’s worth to try then. But it seems like we’ll have concerts

Fan : oppa what’s your weight?
Jiwon : i gained a bit after filming NJTTW in Vietnam but now since there are no schedules and i’m only at home, i lost some weights again~~

Fan : oppa you secretly think that you’re handsome when you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, right?
Jiwon : no i’ve never thought that before~~
Fans : eyyyyy~~~~

Fans : so who’s your standard of a handsome person??
Jiwon : Hm,,, Thor!! Not the comic character but the actor that played Thor
Fan : instead of foreigners, how about Koreans??
Jiwon : there are too many of them ㅠㅠ

When they’re eating, a fan gave him a wet tissue
Jiwon : ??? You want me to wipe it for you??
Fan : no. I gave it to you to use it
Jiwon : ah i thought you want me to wipe your hands since its dirty ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
*the fan’s had red chilli-pepper all over her hand*

He prefers soju than beer. His favorite meat is pork

When the fans are introducing themselves, they mentioned jiwon’s charms in the end of their introduction. Jiwon said “you all had planned that beforehand right!??!??? Just introduce yourself~~!!”

He was late again because of he had a meeting with YGE

Fan : oppa, did you make jiwon earrings by yourself?
Jiwon : earrings?
Fan : the one that you wore during concert~
Jiwon : ah yes i made it by myself~
Fan : can you release it as goods?
Jiwon : go make it yourself ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

During the 1st round of zenga game, the first player of the first team happened to never played zenga before. When she took first block, it collapsed right away. So other fans were like “lets count this as a practice round” and jiwon said “practice round? Okay, practice round! But you have to play it again in the next round~~~” ㅋㅋㅋ

Fan : when you did vlive rehearsal, how long did you film?
Jiwon : around 2~3mins? After 2~3 mins passed, i realized that something’s weird ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Fan : have you watched the 20th anniv hawaii video? It’s really fun
Jiwon : hawaii video? When we played games in hotel? I dont even know what the dvd looks like since i dont have it

Fans : oppa can you take off your hat?
Jiwon : no~~ i have this huge bump in my forehead
Fans : its okay. Only 1 sec~~!!! Your bump is also handsome ㅠㅠㅠ
Jiwon : (shy)

Fan1 : oppa, nowadays you often heard that you’re handsome, right?
Jiwon : no i really dont
Fan2 : my mom said that you’re handsome!!!
Fan3 : my dad said the same!!!
Fan4 : (with accent) my mom said “eun jiwon is getting more handsome everytime you look at him~

Fanacc credit to @170629_zzicnic on twitter
Trans by @sheilaxjung
Please take it out with full credit

When she was getting jiwon’s autograph, mosquitos bit her knee so jiwon worried over her and saying “you didnt get bitten a lot, right?”

A fan gave him a little fan that’s written “Eun Jiwon handsome” so he said “how can i bring this thing?”

Fans said that 20 people arent enough and he said “they can just come here. You all came too, right?!” (Ah…so we can just come ㅋㅋㅋ everyone… he said you all can just come)

The fans asked about Jiwon’s tee, shoes and ring size. He said he didnt know his ring size since he only wore what the fans gave to him

Fan : what food that you’re most confident to cook?
Jiwon : cook? I’m confident in any food

Fan : i really like ‘Sad song’. The japanese version is also great. I really like the rap part
Jiwon : really? (Shy smile)

Jiwon : when would you like for us to have a concert?
Fan : anytime~~~
Jiwon : no~ it should be at least during the time that you’d like
Fan : no~ anytime is good. Really.

Jiwon : i just wanted to have a dinner with you guys

Fanacc credit to @Jiwon7868 on twitter
Trans by @sheilaxjung
Please take it out with full credit

*asking for 1kyne goods*
Jiwon : YGE has released so many things though. Do you still need more?

Fanacc credit to @Wlzmslr68 on twitter
Trans by @sheilaxjung
Please take it out with full credit

Whenever I’m With You by: reynzt15 part 3

whenever im with you.JPG

Teaser Chapter – Emotions

Note: This one is a teaser chapter. The next chapter would be the real one. Since I’d have to put in a lot of conversational instances in the next chapter, I decided to do a teaser. You can guess what the next chapter would be about too, you’ll see..🙊🙊🙊  Next chapter will be up on Sunday since month ends are always killer days for me. Thank you for your patience chinggu-deul!! Saranghaeyo!!💛💛💛

********************

June 1996 Honolulu Hawaii

We’re graduating! And then we’re going back to Korea! I’m excited, but I noticed something different with Jiwon-hyung lately. I don’t know if it was my fault, but it all started after we drank together. He’s been more… I don’t know… distant. Gosh, Kang Sunghoon! Why did you have to be so drunk?! I wonder if I did something wrong. But surely, Jiwon-hyung wouldn’t mind, he knew I was drunk after all. I must ask him one of these days. I don’t like this distance between us.

“Hoon-ah! What are you doing!? We’re going to be late!” shouted Jiwon from the front door.

Sunghoon snapped out of his musings and grabbed his things. “Coming hyung!”

He quickly made his way outside locking the door behind him. Jiwon was waiting in the car, already in his toga, tapping the steering wheel impatiently. Sunghoon made his way into the passenger seat and buckled his seatbelt.

“Kaja.” Sunghoon said.

“Ya, what took you so long?” Jiwon said as he backed out of the driveway into the main road towards their school. “You’re usually the one nagging about being late.”

“I’m sorry, I was thinking about something..”

“Mwonde? (What about?)” Jiwon asked, his eyes on the road.

“Things… I’ll tell you later..”

Jiwon slipped a glance Sunghoon’s way, noticing him more serious than usual. He didn’t seem sad though.

“Cheonsa-ya..” Jiwon said gently.

“Nae hyung?”

“We need to talk later..” Jiwon was already bracing himself for the follow-up question. Instead Sunghoon’s answer surprised him.

“Nae hyung, we do need to talk.” Sunghoon answered then quickly diverted his gaze outside the window.

Jiwon was used to Sunghoon overflowing with curiosity that he always had follow-up questions whenever they talked.

‘He’s matured somehow.’ Jiwon thought, as they arrived at the school’s parking lot.

************

The graduation ceremony passed by in a breeze. Everyone was in high spirits. Amazingly, Jiwon and Sunghoon both managed to grab academic awards to which everyone cheered loudly especially Jiwon. Their parents couldn’t make it, due to the high cost of plane tickets. Instead, both opted to use the budget for their flight back then celebrate with their parents back in Korea.

I shouldn’t have said that we needed to talk. Now I don’t know how to start.

Jiwon was apprehensive about the ceremony nearing its end. He was dreading talking to Sunghoon, in a weird way. They’ve always been honest with each other, they can even sometimes read each other’s minds. But after the “incident”, Jiwon purposely distanced himself from Sunghoon for fear of falling for him deeper. Also, his impulsive nature might make him mention it out of the blue and he dreaded how Sunghoon would react. He’d definitely feel embarassed, but what he feared the most is that Sunghoon might mean it in a different way, not really reciprocating his feelings.

On the other hand, Sunghoon wanted to know the truth. He had a vague memory of that night, that only of Jiwon kissing his forehead, but he always dismissed it as a dream. Surely Jiwon wouldn’t do that no matter how close they are. He also wanted to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid. He cursed himself for being so brazen, drinking even when he was inexperienced. But what he was curious about the most is why Jiwon would suddenly act that way with him. He wanted him to tell it straight, after all they promised no secrets.

They did, however, buy another set of drinks, to which Sunghoon was thoroughly against.

“We won’t get drunk Hoon-ah.” Jiwon assured him. “Besides I just need a little boost tonight.”

“Hyung…”

“I won’t let you drink if that’s what you’re worried about.”

Sunghoon grew quiet. So he did do something stupid while drunk. He felt nervous, but was relieved when Jiwon reached out to him and held his hand.

“There’s nothing to fret about Hoon-ah.”

Feeling reassured, Sunghoon smiled at him, giving Jiwon’s hand a gentle squeeze. Then he released his hand knowing he needed both for driving.

The drive back to their house was pretty quiet, as both were immersed in their thoughts.

**************

Confessions

How do I start? I honestly don’t know where to start. And why the hell am I nervous?! Ya Eun Jiwon! Jeongsin chalyeo bwa (Get a hold of yourself)!

Jiwon sat in the living room already on his first bottle. He was waiting for Sunghoon to finish bathing, knowing fully that he’s taking his time. He didn’t mind though. He needed these few moments to collect himself. He felt like someone who’ll confess his feelings, which he probably will later. He heaved a deep sigh. This is the first time this happened to him. To think that he’d fall in love with someone he treats like his own brother. He shook his head.

Sunghoon watched Jiwon from behind, gauging his mood. Jiwon only drank when he’s stressed but he didn’t seem too stressed. Sunghoon made his way towards him and sat beside him gently.

“You know hyung, we’re supposed to be celebrating.” Sunghoon said, still looking at Jiwon warily.

Jiwon didn’t answer. Instead, he took another swig of the bottle.

“Do you need a glass hyung?” Sunghoon asked, attempting to make conversation. He honestly didn’t like it when Jiwon grew quiet. He prefers his usual boisterous, talkative hyung. He’s been like this for the past 6 months, only talking when he felt like it. Sunghoon let out an exasperated sigh, which made Jiwon glance his way.

“I honestly feel like I’m talking to a wall.”

“I’m still building up my courage.”

Sunghoon looked at him questioningly. “Courage for what?”

“To talk to you.”

His short replies are really testing Sunghoon’s patience.

“Hyung, this is me you’re talking to. Since when did you need the courage to talk to me? What the hell?”

Jiwon sighed and put down his bottle, then he faced Sunghoon. “Exactly. Because it’s you I’m talking to, this is difficult.”

“Try to make some sense.” Sunghoon answered.

“Hoon-ah, tell me something first..” Jiwon said while Sunghoon arched an eyebrow. Jiwon’s unusual actions are stressing him out.

“What?” Sunghoon asked, his voice a bit tenser than before.

“Do you really not remember anything from 6 months ago?”

‘Isseo, but it must be a dream.’ Sunghoon thought. “Obseoyeo.” he answered half-truthfully.

“Then, can I ask you something?”

Sunghoon’s patience is getting thin from all of Jiwon’s suspenseful questions, and he was getting pissed, if it were not for the fact that Jiwon’s hand was shaking as he grabbed the beer bottle. His curiosity won over his anger. Jiwon never got nervous in front of him. To think that he’s apprehensive even with alcohol in his system, he must be really edgy.

“Ask away hyung.”

Jiwon looked at Sunghoon, his expression unreadable. He decided then to just ask him straight. It’s now or never.

His question totally caught Sunghoon off guard.

“How do you really feel about me?”

Sunghoon blinked in confusion. “Dae?”

“How do you feel about me? Tell me honestly. Am I just a friend or a brother or is there something else?” Jiwon asked in rapid succession, his words tumbling over each other.

Sunghoon sat stunned as Jiwon looked at him expectantly.

“H..hyung.. I… what…” he stuttered.

I can’t. I can’t tell him. My tongue won’t move at all. 

Sunghoon couldn’t say another word. Jiwon smiled in understanding, after Sunghoon had been quiet for several minutes. He looked away from him, and downed the whole bottle in one go.

“Hyung!” Sunghoon snapped, grabbing the bottle from him.

“I shouldn’t have asked. Forget about it Hoon-ah. Mianhe, I guess I just have a lot on my mind.” Jiwon said sadly,  standing up from the couch to go to his room. His footsteps felt heavy as he trudged towards it, closing his door gently.

Kang Sunghoon you idiot! Why can’t you tell him?! It was a simple question you fool!

Sunghoon cursed inwardly, finishing the bottle of beer Jiwon left behind. He hated unresolved conversations between them. They never went to bed without clearing any misunderstandings. They agreed on that, that’s why they’ve got along well all these years and Sunghoon wasn’t about to start now. Wanting to resolve everything, he gathered his courage and slowly made his way towards Jiwon’s room, knocking quietly.

He opened the door, even if Jiwon did not acknowledge him. He was accustomed to it, Jiwon said it was always enough to let his presence be known by just knocking.

He saw Jiwon lying on the bed, hands behind his head staring up at the ceiling. Sunghoon had to admit, he looked utterly handsome just lying there. This is why he likes him. Despite his rough appearance, moments like these tend to soften Jiwon’s features. And right now, his serene look captures the gentle soul behind the rough facade.

‘Can you ever get more handsome than this hyung?‘ he thought.

He quietly made his way towards the bed, sitting gently on Jiwon’s side. He held out his hand, knowing Jiwon would get what he want. He did, taking out one arm away from his head and held his outstretched hand. They were always like that. It was their form of silent communication. They held hands when any one of them needed assurance or comfort.

Sunghoon held Jiwon’s hand and squeezed lightly. “Why ask me that hyung?”

“I’m curious.” he said simply, looking at him in the eye.

“Does this have anything to do with what happened when I was drunk?”

“Partially.. I wanted to confirm something.”

Sunghoon looked up the ceiling, sighing. His chest felt constricted from all the emotions going through him. “I… I…” he expelled a deep breath. “Neol chuae hyung. (I like you hyung).

“I already know that. What I wanna know is what stage of like are we talking about.” Jiwon didn’t mince his words. He’s always been the straight-forward type and he likes getting answers that way. He looked at Sunghoon, eyes full of wanting.

Please Hoon-ah. Just tell me the truth. The suspense is killing me right now. I may be holding your hand, but I really wanna hug you close. This is driving me crazy jinjja.

“Honestly I’m confused hyung. I’ve never felt like this before.” Sunghoon sighed, looking at Jiwon in the eye. He smiled. “I don’t know why I feel drawn to you. You are foremost my brother, and I do love you like one, there’s no question about that. There’s also no need to question how you’re my best friend. But there’s this strange feeling, it’s different. I can’t explain it.” Sunghoon now held Jiwon’s hand in both of his own.

Jiwon sat up from his bed, locking gazes with Sunghoon. “Just try. I won’t judge you for it.”

Taking a deep breath, Sunghoon went for it. “I really like you hyung, maybe more than a brother or a friend.” He took a deep breath again before plunging on. “I honestly think I’m in love with you hyung. I think I have been for some time. It’s crazy I know. And it’s weird. I don’t think I’m gay, not really. It’s just that… being with you makes me feel things I don’t get to feel with any other girl. I like being with you. I get butterflies when you call me your angel. I like it when I’m the one who makes you smile, or calm you down when you’re angry. I like it when you complement me everytime I cook for you. I like it when you put our arm around my shoulders whenever we’re outside. I like everything about you hyung! Michigeta jinjja (I’m seriously going crazy)! What’s strange is that I don’t get to feel this with anyone else, even a girl. I…”

Sunghoon stopped when Jiwon held a finger to his lips shushing him.

“There’s no need to say more, I understand.”

“Hyung..  you’re.. you’re not angry are you?” Sunghoon said tensely.

Jiwon smiled at him. “Aniyeo. I never get angry at you.”

“You must think I’m crazy feeling this way about you.” Sunghoon said wistfully, his eyes on the verge of tears.

“On the contrary Hoon-ah, I don’t think you’re crazy. And even if you were, I’d still gladly take everything you said.”

“Eh?”

Jiwon pulled Sunghoon closer and hugged him tight. He’s been wanting to do this the whole time.

“I wanted to hear it from you sober, like now, not drunk as you were like six months ago.”

“You mean I confessed to you already!?” Sunghoon broke away from Jiwon’s embrace and held him by the shoulders. “Is that why you’ve been distant? Were you avoiding me?”

Jiwon took Sunghoon’s hands away from his shoulders and held them tightly. “I wasn’t avoiding you Hoon-ah. If I did, I wouldn’t even be in the same room with you. I was just wary. Your confession took me off guard, but the next day you couldn’t remember anything, which I expected of course. I kept my distance, knowing that if I stayed too close, you’ll notice my feelings for you and you might reject me.” He smiled wistfully. “I was a fool to think that way though.”

“You were afraid I’d reject you?” Sunghoon asked.

“Uh-huh. Nadeu chuae uri cheonsa-ya. Ani, sasil neoleul saranghae. (I like you too, my angel. No, I’m actually in love with you.) So yeah, I was scared you wouldn’t reciprocate how I felt. It drove me crazy literally. You were within arm’s reach, but I couldn’t hold you the way I wanted. I had to limit myself, so I kept my distance, knowing that having you too close, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself.”

“So that night…. did you really kiss me?”

Jiwon smiled mischievously. “Oh, that you remember.”

“I thought I was dreaming…” Sunghoon hung his head.

“Hoon-ah, urineun… let’s just take this slowly. We’re both going back to Korea in a week, and who knows what might happen then.”

“I’d still want to be with you.” Sunghoon automatically replied.

“I know.” Jiwon smiled, holding Sunghoon’s face in his hands. “And I do too. But Korea’s different, you know that. It’s not the same as here. We’d have to act accordingly there, especially since we’ll both be on stage. Do you get what I mean?”

“Nae hyung… Then what are we now?” Sunghoon asked, wanting to at least be clear about where they stand.

“What do you think?” Jiwon teased.

“Ya… I can’t believe you’re making light of this situation.” Sunghoon pouted.

Jiwon laughed at him. “I can’t help it, I’m happy.” He kissed Sunghoon on the forehead, wanting to kiss those full lips but restrained himself. ‘Not yet.’ he thought to himself. “One thing’s clear though, starting from now, you’re mine.”

Sunghoon smiled. “Neodo.. Neon nae kkeoya (you too… you’re mine.)

“Aigoo, so possessive.” Jiwon said, hugging Sunghoon tightly again. His chest felt lighter now after confessing. And he couldn’t be more happy.

“Ya, look who’s talking. You’re the one who said it first.” But he hugged Jiwon just as tightly, feeling relieved. “Badadeulseo gomaweo hyung (Thank you for accepting me).” Sunghoon mumbled.

“I should be the one saying that.” Then breaking away from the hug (much to Sunghoon’s disappointment), “let’s go to sleep. We’re getting melodramatic.” Then noticing how Sunghoon was pouting like a little kid, “Ya, what’s wrong with you?”he asked.

“I wanted to hug you a bit longer…” Sunghoon mumbled.

Jiwon laughed, reaching out to ruffle Sunghoon’s hair. “You can hug me all you want starting tomorrow, I won’t complain at all. But we both need to sleep, we have a lot to pack.”

“Arasseo, hyung, jaljja (Ok hyung, good night.)

Sunghoon got up to go to his room when Jiwon stopped him.

“Ya, eodiga? (Hey, where are you going?)

Sunghoon looked at him confusedly. “To my room, where else.”

Jiwon tapped the space beside him, “You’re sleeping with me tonight. Illeuwa (come here).”

“Hyung…”

“You think I’d let you sleep in your bed after confessing like that? Micheoseo? Come here, Hoon-ah. Starting today we’ll sleep in the same space.”

“I’ll just go get my pillow.” Sunghoon said with a smile on his face.

**********

Jiwon lay beside Sunghoon, unable to sleep. He turned to his side to face Sunghoon, noticing he was awake as well. He smiled.

“What are you thinking about?”

“Us… Hyung, do you think we’ll… do you think our feelings will stay the same?”

“Who knows.. Let’s both live in the present Hoon-ah. Let’s just enjoy what we have. And… manyagae, if we fall out of love with each other let’s still stay as brothers agreed?”

“Of course hyung. You’ll always be my brother and best friend. So for now, Carpe Diem.”

“What does that even mean?”

Sunghoon laughed softly. “It means live in the present hyung, just like what you said.”

“It’s in an alien language.” Jiwon mumbled.

Sunghoon smiled. This was the Jiwon he knew. He scooted closer to him, wrapping his arms around Jiwon’s waist and laying his head against his chest.

“Jaljja hyung.”

He felt Jiwon’s lips on his forehead again. “Good night my angel. Saranghae.”

Sunghoon smiled against Jiwon’s chest, and suddenly realized something.”You know hyung, since I’m doing this, I feel like I’m the girl in this relationship.”

“We can take turns if you feel uncomfortable. I can lay my head on your chest if you want.” he teased.

“Go to sleep hyung.” Sunghoon snapped, closing his eyes.

Jiwon smiled at Sunghoon and held him close. For once, he really feels like he was in heaven.

*********************

I did say Sunday but guess what I finished early!!!! Much to my surprise! This is for my friend kim_asia and LizzyEun and for everyone else of course. Request granted..😁😁😁 I woke up early (as in 2am in the morning till 7:30) just to finish this. Well, the inspiration kept flowing in so before I forgot everything I just had to type it down. Now I’m off to go work overtime. Please wait for the next chapter by next week, I’ll be a bit busy since it’s quarter-end, month-end, semi-annual…. Gosh, accountants don’t really have a social life😈😈😈. Anyways, thank you for waiting patiently. I’m actually over-stepping my limits here haha!

Next chapter: They’re back in Korea training to be a duo but H.O.T suddenly debuted, so, instead of the duo they will now become a group. Yes, you’ll meet Jaejin, Jiyong, Jaeduk and Suwon in the next chapter.

Yeorubeun gomawoyeo!!! Saranghae!

Next Chapter